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Forgotten Realms Deity
Mystra
Title(s) The Lady of Mysteries
the Mother of All Magic
Homeplane Dweomerheart
Power Level Greater
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Magic, spells, the Weave
Superior Lord Ao

Mystra is a fictional goddess in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

She is the Mistress of Magic and Mother of Mysteries who guides the Weave of magic that envelopes the world. She tends to the weave constantly, making possible all the miracles and mysteries wrought by magic and users of magic. She is believed to be the embodiment of the Weave and of magic herself, her veins the ley lines, her breath the mists and her body the pulsing, thrumming earth.

She is a Neutral Good (previously, and still also, Lawful Neutral) Greater Power. Since the ascension of Midnight, her symbol is a ring of seven stars surrounding a red mist, which flows from the center to the bottom of the ring; however, her older and still commonly seen symbol is a simple seven-pointed star. Her divine realm is Dweomerheart, and her Third Edition D&D domains are Good, Illusion, Knowledge, Magic, Rune, and Spell.

HistoryEdit

First IncarnationEdit

Originally called Mystryl, the goddess of magic was a CN greater power of Limbo within the domain Dweomertor, born during the battle between Shar and Selune in the dawn of time.[1] Being the goddess of magic, spells, creativity, invention, and knowledge, she was said to have taught the first spellcaster of the Realms. All spells of all types were known to her when their creators constructed them, and her spirit was said to imbue all inventors, authors, songwriters, and artists. She was most venerated by wizards and those who used magic or magical items. She provided and tended the Weave, the conduit that enabled mortals to safely access the raw magic force.[2].

Mystryl was depicted as a beautiful human female with rainbow-colored hair, radiant skin, and burning blue eyes. She wore simple, but elegant, blue-white robes of the finest heavy silk. At other times she was depicted as a vaguely female humanoid form composed entirely of prismatic-hued will-o’-wisps.

According to Ao,[2] Mystryl had ultimate control over all magic and could shape it to her will, and she could withdraw a being’s access to the Weave and prevent it from using spells of any sort, and in an even harsher restriction she could also prevent a being from using any sort of magic whatsoever if she so decreed. These conditions persisted until she removed them.

Mystryl could even deny deities access to the Weave, but she couldn’t deny other gods the ability to grant their worshipers spells through prayer.

True to her chaotic nature, Mystryl was flirtatious and profound, flighty and persistent, light-hearted and deadly serious.[2] Her moods and state-of-mind varied from moment to moment, but she generally tried to do what she thought was right. She seemed too trusting and innocent at times, and tended to overreact when she felt she had been tricked. She distrusted but didn’t hate Shar, who had sought to seize control over her for centuries, and she also rebelled occasionally against the good-intentioned suggestions of Selune, who she regarded as smotheringly maternal at times. Kozah and Moander, who seemed always intent on ruining that which she created or inspired, were her mortal enemies.

Second IncarnationEdit

Mystra came into being after Mystryl sacrificed herself to save Faerûn from the destruction of Netheril caused by Karsus in DR -339. Mystryl sacrificed herself to save the weave before the damage became irreparable. When reincarnated as Mystra, she used the form of a peasant girl learning the basics of cantra magic but with the capacities for archwizardry. She recreated the weave of magic with a few more rules, and no spell above 10th level would function.

Priests and priestesses of the new goddess of magic were told the story of Karsus in dreams and visions when they prayed for spells. It was Mystra’s attempt to make sure that nothing like this ever happened again. Yet Karsus was accredited as being the only human to have ever achieved godhood through spellcasting, even if was only for a fleeting moment.

Mystra's ChosenEdit

Mystra installed the mortal Azuth as the first magister, a position created specifically to recognize her most promising mortal pupil. With the help of Mystra, who had become his lover, Azuth finally ascended to divine status, and also enslaved Savras and Velsharoon. Mystra told Azuth at about the time of the Year of the Rising Flame (0 DR) that some of her divine power must be given into mortals, which would slumber within them, so that Mystra could call on it only with their permission. It would serve to help them heal quickly and would stretch their years into virtual immortality, but otherwise it would avail them little. The Chosen might gain some special powers, but these would still be far less than those of a deity.[3].

The Goddess of All Magic accordingly appeared to a few mortals she considered suitable, first in dream visions and then directly, and ultimately invested part of her divine power (known as the Silver Fire) in them. Elminster (who was trained by Mystra personally in the form of one of her own priestess named Myrjala[4]), and Khelben Blackstaff, were two of the first.

Daughters of MystraEdit

It soon became clear to Mystra that most mortals were not tough enough to carry divine power. They either soon withered and died, burnt out by the load they carried, like the elfqueen Aloevan of Ardeepor, or they thrived but were twisted and corrupted by their power, like the mage Sammaster, who began to think of himself as a god and set about building himself a cult of worshippers (which survives today as the Cult of the Dragon). Thus Mystra proceeded to breed her own children, known as the Seven Sisters through the possessing of the Half-Elf Elué Shundar and mating with Dornal Silverhand. Elué/Mystra and Dornal were wed in the Year of Drifting Stars (760 DR).

The happy couple had a daughter, Anastra Syluné, the following winter (the Year of Laughter, 761 DR), and six other daughters followed one per winter: Endue Alustriel in the Year of the Snow Sword (762 DR); Ambara Dove in the Year of the Sharp Edge (763 DR); Ethena Astorma(later known as Storm Silverhand) in the Year of Mistmaidens (764 DR); Anamanué Laeral in the Year of the Cowl (765 DR); Alassra Shentrantra, who is known today only as the Simbul in the Year of the Yearning (766 DR), and Qilué Erésseae in the Year of the Awakening Wyrm (767 DR).[3]

(However, it was written in[5] p.7 that Sammaster's year of birth was on or near 800 DR, which was after the seven, and in p. 8 He then became the first mage to become one of the Chosen of Mystra since the Seven Sisters many years before. These could mean that her failed relationship/mentorship with Sammaster had nothing to do with her decision to breed the Seven.)</font>

DemiseEdit

File:Mystraimprisoned.JPG

During the Time of Troubles where all gods were cast out of the planes, stripped of their powers and made mortals, Mystra emerged in the Realms as a will-o-wisp. She sought out two other mortals immediately: the human girl Caitlan, whom Mystra percived to have great magic potential, and the human wizard Midnight, whom Mystra had secretly entrusted with a portion of her godly power. However Bane somehow imprisoned Mystra before she could reach her power. Mystra sent for help, and Midnight, together with Caitlan and then mortal Kelemvor and Cyric, somehow helped her defeat Bane, and rescued her from Castle Kilgrave.

With the knowledge that the Tablet of Fate was stolen by Bane and Myrkul, Mystra intended to inform Ao. She took Caitlan as her avatar, and took back her power from Midnight. These done, she climbed the Celestial Way outside Castle Kilgrave. However at the top of the stairs, she was denied the access to the planes by Helm, since Ao's command was that no god (except Helm) can return to the planes without the returning of the Tablet of Fate, not the identity of its robber alone. Mystra threatened Helm, and Helm warned that she was currently no match for him. Enraged, Mystra attacked. The two entities dueled. Although with some of her godly power taken back, the mortal Mystra was no match for Helm. All her magic attacks had no effect on the god. Helm drove his fist through Mystra's avatar, which destroyed Caitlan's body, and left Mystra's essence dying. In her final breath, she re-bestowed her powers to Midnight, and commanded her to seek the help of Elminster, and find the Tablet of Fate.[6].[7] Her destruction caused major explosion, which shattered Castle Kilgrave and charred the land within a half-mile, which also made this area a Dead Magic Zone.

Later, during Bane's invasion into Shadowdale, with the help of Midnight and her companions, Elminster confronted Bane himself in a temple of Lathander. They dueled with magic, and Elminster summoned a magic elemental creature, which was the dead Mystra herself. She no longer appeared in the form of a regal woman, but in a wild-haired misty being of shifting blue-white star motes, raw anger, and power. Bane attacked her, and Mystra countered by embedding Bane with her misty form, absorbing all of Bane's attack, then turning those energy back toward Bane himself. A great explosion ensued, Bane's avatar was destroyed, his essence shattered to the Ethereal Plane, and Mystra was gone forever beyond even Ao's power to restore her.

Current IncarnationEdit

At the end of the Time of Troubles, Midnight was bestowed Mystra's godhood and portfolio by Ao.[8]. Midnight adopted Mystra's name in order to make peace with her worshippers, and named her mortal friend Adon, a former cleric of Sune, as her head of church. At this time Mystra's stated alignment shifted from Lawful Neutral, maintaining the balance in use of magic, to Neutral Good, reflecting the mortal's attitudes towards the uses and purpose of magic. Midnight/Mystra retains her home among the clockwork planes of Mechanus, though whether she will leave for a more good-aligned plane or find her own attitudes changed to reflect her duties remains to be seen. She is still aided in her work by Azuth and Elminster.

In the Avatar Series Mystra was revealed to be a uniquely powerful being. In Shadows of the Avatar, she is described as more powerful than any god (save Ao). The major catch is that roughly half of Mystra's power lies in her Chosen and in the Lesser Power Azuth; Ao arranged things this way so that Mystra would not rule all Realmspace.

While Mystra might be the most powerful god, that doesn't save her from Cyric and Shar, in the year 1385, when the two group together to kill her in her own realm of Dweomerheart, destroying it utterly, and ruining several smaller realms and lesser deities, as said in the final entry in the Grand History of the Realms.

RelationshipsEdit

Mystra's greatest enemies are Shar, who created the Shadow Weave in response to Selûne's creation of Mystra and the birth of the Weave, and Cyric, who was a mortal along with Mystra and Kelemvor (with whom Mystra has a cold friendship). She is served directly by the Lesser Power Azuth, and indirectly by demipowers Savras and Velsharoon. Mystra also has powerful mortal servants in her Chosen including Elminster, Khelben Arunsun and the Seven Sisters.

OrdersEdit

  • Order of the Starry Quill[9]

The Starry Quill is an order of Mystran bards who often work as information gatherers and rumormongers for the church or spend part of their time in designated libraries unearthing magical knowledge and then preserving it for posterity.

  • Order of the Shooting Star[9]

The Church of Mystra sponsors an order of rangers, known as the Order of the Shooting Star. These rangers receive their spells from Mystra. They serve as long-range scouts and spies for the church and also deal with magical threats that threaten the natural order of things, such as unloosed tanar'ri and baatezu and creatures born of irresponsible wizardly experimentation.

  • Knights of Mystic Fire[9]

The Church of Mystra sponsors a knightly order of paladins, the Knights of the Mystic Fire, who are granted their spells by Mystra. They often accompany members of the clergy on quests to locate lost hoards of ancient magic and also form the cadre from which the leadership for the small groups of armed forces who guard Mystra's larger temples and workshops is drawn.

ReferencesEdit

  1. History of the Sisters of Light and Darkness[1998], appeared in Interplay computer game Baldur's Gate.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 slade with Jim Butler (1995). Netheril: Empire of Magic. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood (1995). The Seven Sisters. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0118-7. 
  4. Ed Greenwood (1995). Elminster:The Making of a Mage. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0203-5. 
  5. Dale Donova (1998). Cult of the Dragon. Wizard of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6. 
  6. Scott Ciencin (2003/1989). Shadowdale. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3105-1. 
  7. Ed Greenwood (1989). Shadowdale:Official Game Adventure. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-720-3. 
  8. Troy Denning (2003/1990). Waterdeep. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3111-6. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Erik Mona; Eric L. Boyd. Faiths and Pantheons (Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms, Campaign Accessory). Renton, Wash: Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3. 

External linksEdit


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