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Earth was a largely non-fantastical world cut off from most of the multiverse.[2]

Weary of the world around ye? Welcome to my world, where magic rules and dragons fly. Beauty meets the eye often here, and anyone can try to win a throne! Oh, aye, ye can do that in your world, too—but it's all more fun here.

Cosmography[]

Some sources claimed that this planet existed within an alternate Prime Material plane,[4][5][6] but in actuality it existed within a crystal sphere on the same Prime Material plane as Toril,[2][6][note 1] though its inhabitants were unaware of the existence of crystal spheres.[6] It was difficult to locate among the Phlogiston and was potentially difficult to enter or traverse.[2]

Gateways[]

Two Roman foot soldiers face off against Kostchtchie, having likely came through a portal.

The wizard Elminster Aumar claimed that there existed hidden portals not only between Earth and Toril, but to the planets of Krynn and Oerth.[7] In this world's ancient past such portals were well-known and widely used, leading to legends on Earth of such fantastical creatures as dragons and griffons, but over time they were forgotten about.[5][8][9]

Baba Yaga knew of Earth and had probably even visited in her dancing hut, which traveled all the worlds and planes. In its Hall of Gateways, a portal called the World Gate linked to every world Baba Yaga knew of, including Earth, as well as their respective Shadowfells and Feywilds.[10][note 2]

Geography[]

This planet was comparable in size to Toril,[8][11][12][13] with an equatorial circumference of about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers).[13][note 3] The cloud cover of this planet resembled that over Radole.[14] And much like Toril, it was orbited by a giant natural satellite, which made a full orbit every thirty days.[15]

One of Earth's major landmasses was known as Eurasia,[11][12] which separated into a geographic region known as Europe.[16][17] One of the nations that could be found in Europe was known as Ireland.[18] There was also a landmass known as Australia.[19]

Calendar[]

Much like the Calendar of Harptos, the major calendar used by the people of this world marked its months based on the lunar cycle and a single year totaled 365 days.[15]

Flora & Fauna[]

One source claimed that foxes were never native to Toril, and were actually brought from France by an adventurous halfling trader named Altho Minstrelwish around 12 DR.[20] However, it was explicitly known that foxes existed on Toril far before the 1st century DR, even in the times of ancient Netheril.[21] Similarly, wombats were claimed to have been brought to Toril from Earth.[22]

Much like on Toril, there were a variety of animals on this planet that people harvested ivory from. This included the tusks of boars, elephants, narwhals, walruses, as well as the teeth of hippopotami and cachalots.[23]

Both worlds had the domestic animals known as cats[24] and dogs. There were some breeds of dog unique to Earth, being difficult or impossible to find on others like Toril, such as Boston Terriers and Irish Setters.[25] Likewise, many of the humanoids and monstrous beasts that could be found on Toril were absent from this planet.[16][17] Some insects could be found on both worlds, including crickets,[26] fireflies, and mosquitos.[18]

Minerals[]

Both Earth and Toril exhibited the substance salt, though on Earth it was comparatively a far more major trade good. This was due to Toril having a greater abundance of the substance and because the people of that world had other means of preserving their food.[27]

Much like the Realms, on this planet people cut gems found in massive form down into gemstones if they were of high value. These gems included agate, beryl, chalcedony, grossular, idocrase, jade, jasper, rhodonite, rock crystal, rose quartz, serpentine, tiger eye agate, and tourmaline. If not of high value, gems were typically weaker and they would be sold by weight for carving purposes. These gems included amber, jet, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, opal, and turquoise.[23]

Other gemstones shared by Toril and Earth included bluestone,[28] serpentine stone,[23] flamedance,[29] and Laeral's tears.[30] These gemstones were usually known by the people of Earth as "ditroite",[28] "verde antique",[23] "rhodizite",[29] and "beryllonite", respectively.[30]

Besides using them for adornment or magical purposes, the people of this world had gemstones serve as representations of their deities or guardian spirits. Some of their legends spoke of gems forming from tears, growing on trees, being excreted by horses, or being spat out by a deity or hero.[31]

Notable Locations[]

History in Relation to the Realms[]

Ancient History[]

In the most ancient times of this planet, its landmasses were all part of a singular body of land known as Pangea.[15] Over the course of this world's ancient history, it would be visited by spelljammers on a few occasions.[2]

On Toril, in the year −4366 DR,[36] the mages of a nation on the continent of Faerûn known as the Imaskar Empire sought to replenish their population after a devastating plague. To this end they opened two great gates to another world,[36][37] widely believed to have been Earth,[speculation] and kidnapped numerous humans from different eras of that world's history to serve as their slaves. Those of Mulhorand hailed from a desert land given life by the seasonal flooding of a great river and those of Unther from another land. After transporting them back to Abeir-Toril, the Imaskari closed the gates forever. Intermarrying both with each other and the Imaskari, they became the Mulan. With them, they brought their own societies, mature culture, and later, the gods of the Mulhorandi and Untheric pantheons.[37]

Later came a people from two lands: a collection of city-states known for their daring philosophies and a land of empire and glory; they had similar pantheons of gods. These were followed by folk from a rugged land with a culture tied to nature, the sea, and the warrior history of its dozen-king greater god. These people brought their own societies and faiths, and settled around the time of the rise of Netheril.[37] Those that came from the rugged land had societies that were in some respects similar to the later silver elves' society on Evermeet.[38][note 4]

Modern History[]

In the early stages of a time known as the Victorian era, a few spelljammers had visited this world.[2]

Circa Earth year 1965 CE, Elminster first came to this world.[39][note 5] He would go on to visit it many more times, seeking to learn about its ecology and societies.[40] Around the same time as his first visit, a young boy[41] who would come to be known as Ed of the Greenwood,[42] began having vivid dreams of a temperate forest in the Realms during the winter season. Two of the Seven Sisters would appear in these dreams, alongside Mirt the Moneylender.[41] It was circa 1975 CE when this boy would first become aware of Elminster.[43]

In the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR[42], now a librarian,[44] the man called Ed of the Greenwood assembled various journals, maps, and other works from Elminster Aumar into the first publication of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.[42] This included an introduction by Elminster's scribe Lhaeo, written on the last day of Nightal.[17]

Around this decade a group of six young children stumbled through a portal that manifested at an amusement park, transporting them to a world known as the Realm.[45] Years later the children found themselves on Toril and one of them, an aspiring wizard named Presto, became an apprentice to Elminster.[46]

Later, Ed Greenwood and Steve Perrin "spent many long days" working with Elminster researching spells, spellbooks, and magic items. At Elminster's bidding, they compiled this lore into The Magister.[47][48] In the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR (circa 1988 CE), Amelior Amanitas agreed to a request by Elminster, due to him generously sheltering Amelior after some incident in Volkumburgh, to provide author Jennell Jaquays the wealth of information he had regarding the North and its history. This culminated in the sourcebook The Savage Frontier.[49] Around that time Ed of the Greenwood was exploring neglected corners of the Realms, sharing some of his lore with an elf from Poughkeepsie and a would-be conqueror from Portland. The former was particularly interested in the undergarments of King Azoun Obarskyr IV, much to him and Azoun's confusion.[3]

More product? Do ye mean, more tales of wonder? I'm glad that ye realize that one cannot contain a whole world in single box.
— Elminster to Jeff Grubbs[50]

When Ed of the Greenwood's team began working on a new boxset of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting he informed Elminster. Around the winter season he would go on to storm into the office of Ed's co-worker Jeff Grubb in a flash of lightning to inquire about this project and, having acquired by that time a taste for Earthly fashions, was dressed in a brown vest and faded blue jeans. Jeff Grub would oblige his request, going on to namedrop other projects they had in development — the H series, the Desert of Desolation, Beneath Illefarn, Waterdeep and the North, and the novel Darkwalker on Moonshae by Doug Niles.[50]

Before abruptly leaving his office, Elminster informed Jeff Grubb that the continent of Kara-Tur was in fact part of the Realms. An exasperated Grubb quickly contacted Ed of the Greenwood to inform him of the wizard's visitation, only to be informed that Elminster was right next to him discussing the skyships of Halruaa. After ceasing communication with him, Grubb pondered how many other worlds had wizards that were involved in the campaign settings that their company published.[50]

In Year of the Serpent, 1359 DR,[51] around the time of the Tuigan Horde's invasion of east Faerûn,[19] Elminster came to Jeff Grubb to talk about their latest and upcoming writings on the Realms. These included the Avatar series, the The Empires trilogy, the Forgotten Realms Adventures, and The Horde. Grub would inform Elminster that, compared to their first publication of the Forgotten Realms, the Forgotten Realms Adventures would contain more info regarding Cormyr, the Dalelands, Sembia, and the Sword Coast in general.[52]

During this exchange, Elminster admitted that in the few weeks prior he had been providing Greenwood information on cities in the Realms, such as Elturel, Marsember, Ordulin, and Westgate. He also admitted to having shown Alias the cover to the novel she was the protagonist of, Azure Bonds, and that she was greatly amused by it.[19]

Circa Earth year 1985 CE, a major divine artifact of Oerth somehow winds up in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.[32]

Circa Earth year 1987 CE, at a convention known as GENCON 20, Ed of the Greenwood's company was presenting an adventure module called Waterdeep — set during the Time of Troubles, it loosely paralleled events they had described in the Avatar series. Elminster, who was featured in the module itself, would arrive to this convention and address the attendees with the following speech,[53]

Ye'll hear tales tonight, aye, and other nights besides, until ye know them well. And all of them tell of folk getting hurt, and enduring hardship and suffering, and spilling blood, too much of it their own. And ye'll laugh and enjoy it and think it grand — as ye can be sure they did not, during its unfolding. High adventure, 'tis called; more's the joke.[53]

Some Earth years after that, Elminster sent a large number of reading material on Calimshan and the Land of the Lions to Dale Donovan and Steven E. Schend in preparation for a sourcebook they were working on, Empires of the Shining Sea. Bound in oilcloth, the packaged materials included sixteen massive tomes, over a dozen parchment and vellum scrolls, and many maps.[54] And some of them were the works of King Haedrak and Count Gamalon.[55] Much to the writers' frustation, at Ed of the Greenwood's suggestion Elminster had placed sticky notes on many of the documents in place of leaving notes with magic mouth.[54]

Later, for a sourcebook about the Sea of Fallen Stars, Elminster provided Schend one of the four known copies of the Encyclopedia Serôsica with some personal notes.[56] In one such note, he described the building style of merfolk in Serôs as being comparable to that collection of city-states, due to their emphasis on columns and carved works.[57]

Around these decades Laeral Silverhand also regularly traveled to Earth to visit Steven E. Schend, whom she spoke to of Waterdeep, even if she did tend to interrupt his writing. He compiled this lore into articles for Dragon magazine.[58]

At some point, Elminster went on to give game designer Chris Perkins a guided tour of the city of Waterdeep.[59]

Religion[]

Ancient civilizations on this world worshiped a variety of different deities, much like people in the Realms did,[60] though they often had pantheons that were more organized.[61] In the 13th century of this world,[8][17] faith in general was a dominant aspect of life for people of a region known as Europe.[16][17]

Deities[]

A number of gods of the Egyptian pantheon, as well as the Babylonian and Sumerian pantheons, of Earth traveled to Toril and formed the Mulhorandi and Untheric pantheons, respectively.[37]

The Greek pantheon was largely unknown in the Realms,[62] with some exceptions. For instance, Poseidon had a small following on Toril,[63] Prometheus was once worshiped in Medinat Muskawoon,[64] and Hephaestus had a book written about him,[65] though he was considered an obscure deity.[66] Tyche, a minor deity in her original pantheon, was worshiped in Netheril until the Dawn Cataclysm.[67][68][69] And Hermes would later romance the goddess Tymora in an effort to learn the fate of Tyche.[70]

A number of deities within the Realms originated from the Celtic pantheon, Finnish pantheon and Norse pantheon.[61] Many of the deities within the Lords of Creation, the major pantheon worshiped in the Kuong Kingdom, hailed from the Vedic pantheon, such as Garuda and Yama.[71]

A number of animal spirits, foremost among them Eagle and Raven, were worshiped both by the green elves of Toril and the American Indian peoples of Earth.[72]

Magic[]

In an era on this world known as the "Dark Ages," the belief in the supernatural was at its peak. Some believed that, even during this era, the people of Earth were never as affected by arcane magic as the people of Toril.[73]

Some believed that magic on this world was entirely absent, unlike the Realms,[16][17] though Elminster was adamant that magic was at one point as dominant on Earth as it was in the Realms and that even in the planet's modern era it still existed.[74] Thus that earlier period of the planet's history could be referred to as the "Age of Magic."[75] In addition, people on this world were known to use gemstones for divination, as repositories of spells, or as protective charms against magic and evil creatures.[31]

Magical potions generally worked the same on both Earth and Toril.[76]

Culture[]

Art[]

Earth and Toril both had a rich and varied selection of music. They shared a number of musical instruments in common, though they were often known by different names. For example, pan flutes were known as birdpipes, recorders were known as songhorns, and tambourines were known as tantans.[77] In addition, Dove Falconhand owned a magical harp that resembled a Celtic harp.[78] Other instruments on Toril had no identical counterparts on Earth, like the tocken and zulkoon, though musicians would readily understand such instruments if introduced to them.[77] Clarinets and saxophones were once unique to Earth, but at some point Elminster brought some of them to Toril.[79]

Elminster once tried to steal the double-necked bass of a musician named Geddy Lee, but Ed of the Greenwood managed to dissuade him by pointing out all the electronic equipment he'd have to steal to make it function.[79]

A traditional Celtic song was called "Dawn of the Day". It was similar in mood and tone, though not the actual tune, to "The Ballad of the Dream Weaver".[80]

There was a nursery rhyme about a "Mother Hubbard" whose shelves were bare.[81]

Both worlds had heraldry, though they operated on different sets of rules.[82] The women of Earth often used a non-shield shape to display their coat of arms, such as a lozenge, while the women of Faerûn exclusively used shields.[83]

Cuisine[]

There was a variety of unique and regional cuisine on this planet that Elminster adored. This included Australian beer,[19] cocoa,[26] Bailey's Irish Cream,[18] mayonnaise,[84] pina coladas,[85] pizza,[86] pumpernickel,[87] a carbonated sugared drink known as cola,[88][89] root beer,[89] and many varieties of cheese, such as string cheese.[55]

Elminster, a self-described gourmand,[55] had a number of his own favorite Earth cuisines, including things known as Aero bars, ice cream, Mars bars, and Kit Kats. In terms of beverages, he was partial to cocktails, like pina coladas and tequila sunrises.[90] He would often raid Ed of the Greenwood's wine cellar and larder, finding to his frustration one day a lack of ice cream due to Greenwood watching his diabetes.[91] The wizard Khelben Arunsun was partial to liquorice. And nearly all wizards of the Realms that interacted with this planet were seen to delight in butter tarts.[90]

Specialist bakeries here that sold breads, cakes, and pastries were known as "patisseries". A mage, likely Elminster, claiming to have visited "far places indeed", suggested such a name to Jemima Chisolm, owner of the Downunda Patisserie in Ravens Bluff.[35]

Martial Arts[]

Much like the Realms, this world had a number of unique fighting styles. Elminster once noted that one of these styles, akido, bore similarities to a defensive fighting style practiced by the monks of St. Noradnar's Hermitage that revolved around disarming and disabling one's opponent.[92]

Appendix[]

See Also[]

Background[]

Throughout the years there has been a number of unique settings presented within D&D (and related systems by TSR, Inc. or Wizards of the Coast) that were alternate Earths, considered distinct from the Earth of this article.

Alternate Earths in the D&D system included the world of Averoigne presented in Castle Amber, the Victorian-style Gothic Earth from Ravenloft's Masque of the Red Death sub-setting, the Earth of the HR1-HR7 Historical Reference Series, and the Crusades-set Earth presented in Dungeon #86's adventure "Mysterious Ways".

Alternate Earths from tangentially connected systems included the urban fantasy-style Earth of Urban Arcana and the post-apocalyptic Gamma World of Gamma World.

Trivia[]

Notes[]

  1. In 1994 the Planescape setting collapsed the alternate Prime Material planes into a single plane consisting of the countless crystal spheres of the Spelljammer setting, star-studded orbs that each contained a planetary system. Crystal spheres included Realmspace, which contained the Forgotten Realms setting; Greyspace, which contained the Greyhawk setting, and Krynnspace, which contained the Dragonlance setting. The spheres were surrounded by the Phlogiston, a many-colored chaos that was considered beyond the power of the gods.
  2. This statement could be interpreted as implying that Earth might have a Feywild and Shadowfell of its own, much like Toril, but such thought would be purely speculative.
  3. Ed Greenwood stated in a tweet that Toril was slightly larger than Earth, but it had less mass so the difference in gravity was negligible.
  4. The sourcebook Elves of Evermeet states on page 4 that the silver elves' society on Evermeet had a strong influence of ancient Celtic culture.
  5. It's important to note right away that, in this article's attempt to document the visitations of Realms characters to Earth, there is no attempt made to line up Earth dates with Torilian dates or "the marking of years". It has been shown that Elminster is capable of visiting Earth at any time in its history, therefore he could be appearing on Earth at any time in Toril's history.

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

Comic Books
Forgotten Realms (#24)

External Links[]

References[]

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