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D&D: An Adventurer’s Guide To Mystra

4 Minute Read
May 14
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Today we look at the Forgotten Realms’ goddess of magic, and regular returner from death herself, Mystra, Lady of Might!

When it comes to the Forgotten Realms, nobody is more magical than Mystra. After all, she is the Mother of Magic. She’s also one of a few gods who started off as a mortal. She’s died and come back so many times she’s almost a comic book character.

But the story of Mystra doesn’t start with an unnamed peasant girl, who while beautiful, seemed to hide much pain inside. Because the story of Mystra starts in fallen Netheril. With the first goddess of magic, Mystryl.

Mystra and Mystryl and the Fall

When the ancient empire of Netheril fell, it had cosmic ramifications. This empire of powerful mages reached for the reins of the gods themselves. And though one Netherese mage, Karsus, reached for Apotheosis, the gods were wrathful. The Weave itself was torn apart, and Mystryl sacrificed herself to save Magic itself. But in that severing, all magic broke for a time.

Thus did Netheril Fall. Within minutes, the floating cities crashed to the ground.

But, ironically, the archwizard Karsus proved to be correct. He proved that mortals could become gods. As Mystryl died, a goddess of magic was reborn. Moments after the Fall of Netheril, an unnamed peasant girl with the barest of magical training awoke anew.

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Thus was Mystra born. She immediately took control of the Weave, and magic flooded back into the world. But Mystra was a different goddess entirely. And magic was changed forever in her wake.

Mystra and the Weave

For a time, she existed only as the Lady of Mysteries. She had not revealed herself to the world at large. She concerned herself primarily with governing the Weave, the network of magical energy that surrounds and encompasses the world of Toril.

She had seen the destruction chaos could cause, and took to magic with a more lawful eye. Under Mystra’s weave, spellcasters could no longer cast spells above 10th level (though few could before). Magic was transformed, given a little more structure, a little more rigidity.

Outside of this tending to the Weave, Mystra preferred to work with a Chosen few. Throughout the long history of Faerun, Mystra picked powerful casters to be her servants. Notable Chosen include Elminster Aumar, Aloevan of Ardeep, Khelben “Blackstuff” Arunsun, the Seven Sisters, Sammaster the necromancer, and more.

Of course all of that changed during the Time of Troubles, when the gods were cast from the heavens.

Mystra, Mortal

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When the gods were cast out of the heavens and made to walk as mortals, Mystra had a hard time. She was captured and tortured by Bane, among other indignities. Even before the Time of Troubles, she had been fighting off attempt to seize her portfolio.

Thus, before she was captured, Mystra chose to reveal herself to a mortal named Ariel Manx, but who was more commonly known as Midnight. Mystra entrusted her with a pendant carrying a portion of the goddesses power.

Not long after, she was captured by Bane and held in a place called Castle Kilgrave. When a band of adventurers freed her, she immediately tried to ascend the Celestial Stairway to become a god again. But Helm would not let her, and the two gods fought. Mystra, however, was no match for Helm, and after fending off Mystra’s attacks, Helm slew Mystra with a single punch.

Mystra Reborn

After Helm slew Mystra, the Weave was again damaged. And as it repaired itself, Myrkul, the god of death, tried to seize power. Midnight dueled with Myrkul, and moments after she slew the god of death in a duel over Waterdeep, Midnight ascended into godhood, becoming the goddess of magic once more.

However this didn’t last.

Dead Again

Midnight was not the goddess of magic for long. Cyric and Shar teamed up to try and take over the Weave, and slew Midnight. And in the wake of that, the Weave was chaotic, and the Spellplague followed.

But Mystra had a knack for not staying dead. This time, she had returned as a bear. The goddess possessed a bear guarding a cache of Mystra’s magic items. Thus did Mystra become the Bear-er of Magic in the Realms (nobody called her that).

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The Bear that is Mystra aided Elminster in a quest to absorb the inner magic of powerful wizards, returning it to the Lady of Mysteries, restoring the goddess once again. And to this day, the third (or fourth, if you count the bear) Mystra has stuck around.

Happy Adventuring

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