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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Question What was the deal with Tenebrous?

    I have no idea how, but last night I remembered that back when 3rd edition came out and I had just reading anything D&D related, some books mentioned that Tenebrous had been reincarnated as Orcus, and that apparently this was a pretty big deal.

    I know that Orcus had been in D&D from pretty early on but I never again heard of that Tenebrous story. Anyone recall what was going on there?
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What was the deal with Tenebrous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I have no idea how, but last night I remembered that back when 3rd edition came out and I had just reading anything D&D related, some books mentioned that Tenebrous had been reincarnated as Orcus, and that apparently this was a pretty big deal.

    I know that Orcus had been in D&D from pretty early on but I never again heard of that Tenebrous story. Anyone recall what was going on there?
    The Orcus/Tenebrous thing was part of the underlining connected plotline behind a series of adventure modules for the Planescape campaign setting. I'm a bit rusty on the details, but I seem to recall the general gist was that Orcus got killed/dethroned/variously de-powered and became a shadowy entity called Tenebrous that orchestrated a bunch of events, such as starting the Great Modron March early, in order to reclaim his powers and position. The canon decision was that this ultimately happened and for 3e Orcus was back more or less as if he never left. Unless you were actually running those specific modules or really deep into the Planescape weeds it ultimately wasn't that consequential.
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    Default Re: What was the deal with Tenebrous?

    But even though he got his power back, he also somehow remained a vestige, that could be bound by binders.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: What was the deal with Tenebrous?

    The Great Modron March & Dead Gods are the modules/booklets (for 2e). A fun read, too!

    as to 3e, I think he just came back. One can assume the events of Dead Gods worked for him (the cleric character Quah-Nomog comes up in later editions, though usually his race is changed from half ogre)

    If there is a story in the d20 era, it came after the fact. 3e Orcus & or Tenebrous sources (Book of vile darkness, Tome of magic, FC: Hordes of the Abyss, etc) or 4e ones, and perhaps dragon magazine, but I think they covered everybody else there)

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What was the deal with Tenebrous?

    Tenebrous is a synonym for shadowy or obscure. Short version Kiaransalee, one of Lloth's children, killed Orcus. Orcus' ghost/soul/remains are Tenebrous, which kills Primus the leader of the Modrons. Tenebrous take's Primus' place and starts the Modron March early to find what he needs to reclaim his power. Details of the search are in the adventure the Great Modron March. The adventures in Dead Gods deal with among other things Tenebrous reclaiming Orcus' realms in the Abyss.

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    Default Re: What was the deal with Tenebrous?

    Set the way back machine for the late 80's, so we are talking 1E D&D.

    TSR prints a couple 'Bloodstone Pass' adventure modules. The last one is The Throne of Bloodstone, for characters of levels 18-100 (seriously).

    The BIG part of the adventure is the PCs go into the Abyss and KILL FOREVER the Demon Prince Orcus.

    So....for a couple years Orcus is Officially dead in D&D.

    The drow goddess Kiaransalee also ''killed" Orcus...at the same time the PCs in the adventure do....or they both help each other or such.

    But he is popular and has a following...and they want to bring him back. So when Planescape, in 2E, came along, they came up with a wacky idea that while he did ''die" he came back....as Tenebrous.

    Tenebrous is in two Planescape adventurer modules as ''what is left of Orcus".

    When 3.0 E comes along they just say ''eh, Orcus is back!" He even gets a big mention in The Book of Vile Darkness.

    3.5E keeps Orcus, but adds Tenebrous as a vestige.

    4E and 5E just keep Orcus.

    Or for more of a Role Playing Story:

    The great demon lord Orcus has long sought divinity. Some years ago, for a brief period, he actually attained it. Slain and resurrected by a surge of negative energy, the corpulent demon arose as the gaunt Tenebrous, a god of darkness and undeath. For a time he traveled the planes in this form, slaying other gods in his quest to gain more power. His ultimate goal was to reincarnate himself yet again because he wished to be a god as Orcus, not Tenebrous. Some say he was thwarted by a band of mortal heroes, but whatever the cause, his grand plan failed. Orcus did indeed rise again, but as the demon prince he once was, not as a god. True divinity can never fade completely. The tatters of godly power that Orcus shed remained intact. Less than a god but still divine, this bit of essence drifted in the void between planes until it once more coalesced into a bitter sentience. Thus, Tenebrous yet exists as a pale reflection of what he once was, a shadow of a shadow.

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