Spellplague in Faerûn | World Anvil


The Spellplague was a calamity that began on 29 Tarsakh 1385 DR that threw Realmspace and the planes into chaos. It was caused by the apparent assassination of Mystra the goddess of magic, at the hands of the gods Cyric and Shar. The death of Mystra caused the immediate collapse of the Weave. This collapse manifested itself as a blue flame that spread across Toril and the planes beyond.

Simultaneously, the world of Abeir was nearing its planar conjunction with Toril. With the Tablets of Fate having been destroyed in 1358 DR, the laws governing reality were weakened, and the death of Mystra forced Abeir into synchronicity with Toril. The massively destructive effects lasted for a decade, subsiding in 1395 DR when arcane magic stabilised. Many of the effects of the Spellplague lasted until the late 15th century DR and the advent of the Second Sundering.


Approximate 32,000 years ago, an event called the Tearfall took place. According to scholars from the world of Abeir, the batrachi (the amphiboid creator race) were at this time losing a war against the titans. In an act of desparation, they released several primordials from their prisons. This act was quickly noticed by the gods, who swiftly moved to engage their ancient foes. The destruction caused by this war destroyed the batrachi civilisation, and threatened to destroy the entire planet. One primordial allegedly threw an ice moon at Abeir-Toril, which created the Sea of Fallen Stars. The devastation reached a point so critical that Ao the Overgod himself intervened. He split the world in two - granting the world of Toril to the gods, and the world of Abeir to the primordials. Abeir was placed in a pocket dimension in the same Material Plane as Toril, but out of synchronicity with Toril.

With Abeir and Toril split, Ao created the Tablets of Fate to secure the laws of Realmspace, as well as maintain the balance between Law and Chaos, and gods and primordials. However, at the conclusion of the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR, Ao destroyed the Tablets of Fate. This forced the previously complacent gods to concern themselves with their mortal followers and worshippers, but had the side effect of weakening the laws of Realmspace. The timing of this coincided with Abeir coming into closer planar synchronisation with Toril, but that alone would not cause any undue effects.

When a band of adventurers returned the Tablets of Fate to Ao in 1358 DR, two of them were rewarded with apotheosis. The wizard Midnight became the new goddess of magic, taking the name of Mystra. The mercenary Cyric took the portfolios of Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul, which were strife, murder, and death respectively. Although he later lost the portfolio of death to Kelemvor in 1368 DR, Cyric remained a very powerful god with grand ambitions of ruling all of Realmspace.

After the Time of Troubles, Shar, the goddess of darkness, found a renaissance in worship. Due to the new rules governing deific worship, this granted her increased power. While Shar continued to subvert her sister Selûne, she also took an interest in the new Mystra. Far in the distant past, Shar had created the Shadow Weave - a dark reflection of the Weave, but only around 1372 DR did mortals come to realise its existence. Shar planned to destroy the Weave. While many of her plots were defeated, she did manage to absorb the divinity of the god Mask, granting her power over intrigue.

The Death of Mystra

In 1385 DR, one of Cyric's priests named Zasian freed the shadow mystic Kashada from imprisonment by Tyr in Mount Celestia. This shadow mystic was in fact an aspect of Shar, and she held large amounts of the goddess of darkness' power, but this was not known to Zasian at the time.

The two, along with a half-dragon hobgoblin named Myshik, ventured to Mystra's home plane of Dweomerheart. Once there, Zasian and Myshik distracted Azuth, god of wizards, long enough for Kashada to steal Azuth's Old Staff. It is at this point that Kashada stabbed Zasian in the back with a dagger, revealing herself as an agent of Shar. However, Cyric himself managed to take the staff, and with it, slay Mystra.

The death of the goddess of magic, for the third time, plunged the Weave into chaos once more. However, this time, her death in Dweomerheart caused a complete collapse of the plane, killing Savras, god of divination, in the process. Cyric's corrupted madness infected the arcane forces remaining after the Weave collapse, causing a new source of magical energy to appear as Dweomerheart collapsed. This energy quickly spread, destroying the plane entirely and spreading through magical portals to other planes. This energy became known as the Spellplague.

The Spellplague

Almost immediately after Mystra's death, arcane magic ceased functioning. On Toril, the Spellplague manifested in the form of blue flames. It began in the Mhair Jungles, west of Halruaa, and quickly grew to encompass a massive area. Their diviners having forseen the death of Mystra in advance, Halruaan wizards were barely able to harness this magical fire to shift most of their kingdom into another world - Abeir. What remained of Halruaa after the teleportation was obliterated when it was consumed by the blue firestorm. This was compounded by the presence of wild magic areas within the region, which caused a chain reaction and gigantic explosion that could be felt as far away as Waterdeep.

Even though the Spellplague began in Halruaa, it quickly spread through portals to other parts of Toril. The most immediate effect was the death or driving to insanity of thousands of arcane spellcasters. In Cormyr, one third of the War Wizards were afflicted in such a way. Mages that survived the Spellplague lost their ability to cast arcane magic, due to the collapse of the Weave.

The Spellplague continued to spread through portals, and even across time and space. It managed to reach the twin world of Abeir shortly after Dweomerheart collapsed, and, according to Abeiran scholars, collided with the grand fortress of Glaur. When the fortress exploded, it created an explosion as powerful as the Tearfall. Between the weakening of physical laws with the destruction of the Tablets of Fate, the increasing synchronity of Abeir with Toril, the death of Mystra and subsequent destruction of Dweomerheart and the Weave, and then the obliteration of Glaur, Realmspace was thrown into such upeaval that the physical ground of Abeir and Toril began to shift. Parts of each world traded places with the other, and the parts that remained were heavily damaged.

The Wailing Years

Shar's plan to assassinate Mystra and supplant the Weave with the Shadow Weave had backfired horrifically. The Shadow Weave was destroyed, and any hope Shar had to become the goddess of magic was shattered. Cyric, for his direct role in causing the Spellplague, was arrested by Lathander, Tyr, and Sune, and trapped within a prison for a sentence of one thousand years. Of course, Cyric had forseen this, and already had a plan for escape. This plan failed, and he remained trapped in the prison until the Second Sundering, his portfolio subsumbed by a resurrected and resurgent Bane.

Azuth was thrown from Dweomerheart, landing in the Nine Hells. There, the lord of all devils, Asmodeus, stole his divinity and achieved apotheosis. With his newfound divine power, he expelled all the demons from the Nine Hells, and threw the Abyss into elemental chaos. With this act, Asmodeus had ended the Blood War - temporarily. He knew it was only a matter of time before the demons returned, and as such, had the devils under his command prepare for the inevitable resumption of war.

As the Spellplague swept across the planes, those that came into direct contact with it risked being killed or warped by it. Individuals afflicted by the Spellplague often became 'plaguechanged', causing physical mutations and a completely loss of sanity. In a few cases, some people received 'spellscars' - lesser mutations that instead granted potent magical abilities.

The landscape of Toril itself was shattered by the Spellplague. When the fortress of Glaur was destroyed, the magical shockwaves reverberated across space and time to its mirror planet. The Spellplague caused lands to heave and shudder, opening massive chasms into the Underdark, draining the Sea of Fallen Stars to the same place, destroying large parts of many nations, and causing the creation of 'earthmotes'. Some of the destroyed or heavily damaged regions included Chult (the peninsula became an island), the Shaar (became a wasteland), Luiren (submerged entirely in the Great Sea), Lantan (mass smokepowder detonation and tsunamis), Evermeet (partially transported to the Feywild, and Nimbral (disappeared entirely).

In addition, sections of Abeir and Toril swapped places with each other. Most of these exchanges were small and difficult to notice, but there were some much more obvious ones. The Abeiran continent of Laerakond replaced Maztica in the Trackless Sea, and the isles of Lantan were teleported there by the Spellplague. In addition, Halruaan mages deliberately teleported their nation there to avoid its destruction.

For reasons not entirely known, the planes of the Feywild and the Shadowfell drew significantly closer to the Material Plane. While they could always be accessed through rare crossings, these crossings became significantly more common in the years after the Spellplague.


The worst of the Spellplague lasted for a decade, in what is known as the 'Wailing Years'. By 1395 DR, arcane magic was once again usable, but without the governing effects of the Weave. Due to the complete chaos caused by the Spellplague, many deities retracted themselves from the world and retreated to their home planes. While worship of these gods continued in the years after the Spellplague, the number of deities being widely worshipped in the Faerûnian Pantheon fell to less than two dozen.

Magic continued to be unreliable and weaker in the years following Mystra's death. In addition, there was a large uptick in the number of psionically gifted individuals during this time. Large parts of Toril continued to be affected by the aftermath of the Spellplague, and these magically irradiated areas were known as 'plaguelands'.

The effects of the Spellplague continued to be felt for nearly a century. They began to disappate in 1480 DR, when the goddess Mystra was found by Elminster Aumar, trapped in the body of a bear. Her divinity was restored, and in 1482 DR, Ao the Overgod began an event called the Second Sundering in order to restore the worlds of Abeir and Toril.
Other Names
Blue Breath of Change
1385 - 1395 DR (majority of effects, some last until 1480 DR)
Assassination of Mystra by Cyric and Shar; destruction of Dweomerheart
All planes are thrown into turmoil; the Weave collapses; many deities are killed or go into hiding; merging of Abeir and Toril


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