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Skies of Netheril: A Setting Guide to the Empire of Magic


Skies of Netheril

The mage walked down the streets of Eileanar, hands deep in the pockets of her robes. Magic erupted all around her: cobblestones swept themselves clean, streets were illuminated by crystal orbs of light, and the dark clouds of a storm were held outside the city by invisible walls of force. On her left, construction workers levitated stone bricks into place with weighty steel wands; on her right, a shopkeeper updated their prices, writing incandescent numerals in the air with their fingertips.

The mage herself had no less than a dozen magical objects in her pockets, from endless inkwells and everclean glasses to protective amulets and medicinal potions. Most incredibly of all, the mage noticed none of these things—and why would she? In the empire of Netheril, wondrous magic was simply a fact of life.

Skies of Netheril is a 68-page setting guide to the Empire of Netheril, one of the most unique and magical eras in the history of the Forgotten Realms. Inspired by the 2E book Winds of Netheril, it explores flying cities, introduces arrogant archwizards, and foreshadows the empire's cataclysmic fall from grace at the folly of the archwizard Karsus. 

Chapter 1: History of Netheril

This section dives into each era of Netheril's history, from its inception in the First Age to the lofty ambitions of the Shadowed Era (the "current" era in the text of this guide). It also touches very briefly on the future of Netheril when an enclave hidden in the Shadowfell returns to the continent of Faerûn once more.

Chapter 2: Life in the Enclaves

Rather than describing any one enclave in detail, this section describes life in any of the iconic flying cities of Netheril. It talks about mythallars, magical services, government, social outcasts, religions, and more.

Chapter 3: Gazetteer

This section is a detailed gazetteer describing 25+ locations in both High Netheril (the flying cities) and Low Netheril (the earthbound colonies). In addition to describing each location, the gazetteer provides 50+ adventure hooks for DMs exploring these locations in their campaigns!

Chapter 4: Class Options

This section includes six new subclasses themed around Netheril and its powerful magic:

—the Mythallist artificer, an expert in barriers and protective magic

—the Collegium Mysterium bard, a holy archivist in service to Mystryl, goddess of magic

—the Time Domain cleric, a defender of the timeline and practitioner of temporal magic

—the Way of the Broken Spell monk, a warrior trained by Netheril's enemies to nullify spellcasters in combat

—the Nightblade rogue, a shadow-wielding assassin dedicated to Shar, goddess of night

—the Gem Magic sorcerer, a crystalline caster with the ability to store spells in temporary chardalyn gems

Chapter 5: Netherese Magic

This section explores the unique magic of Netheril, including quasimagical items and the now-forbidden art of casting spells above 9th level. It describes 15 magic items, including 3 powerful artifacts, and 13 spells, about half of which are world-changing epic spells. While some of these entries are original, many of them are items and spells from 2E newly updated to 5E!

Chapter 6: Netheril Bestiary

This section describes the greatest friends and foes of the Empire of Netheril, from arcanists and their loyal constructs to the dreaded phaerimm. It contains 20 stat blocks, four of which were originally introduced in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden but are reprinted here for their relevance to Netheril.

Unsure if this book is for you? Check the Full Preview above to see nearly two-thirds of the book and decide for yourself!

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Joshua S August 23, 2022 6:00 pm UTC
Just picked this up as I've been looking for some 5e material on the Netherese/Shadovar.

At first glance, the writing is good, though no editor in the credits.

Some of the art, such as the cover, is in more of an old school Zelda style, while other pieces are more modern/anime style. A consistent art style throughout the book would have helped but doesn't detract from the well organized content.

At the very least I will run a one-Shot or a mini-campaign using this book and it will certainly improve my overall knowledge of the Netherese.

Good value.

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This title was added to our catalog on August 13, 2022.