Karsus was born in Netheril in 3163 NY (−696 DR). His father was Radman. He was able to cast his first spell at the age of two, and by the age of twenty-two had become the youngest arcanist to ever create his own floating city.
Gifted with magic, but lacking the necessary discipline that comes with hard work and research, he founded a school of magic on his enclave and encouraged the attendance of radical thinkers and those interested in taboo projects. One of his students was the famous Lord Shadow.
Creation of Karsus's avatar
In −345 DR, Arthindol the Terraseer appeared before Karsus and warned him that the goddess of magic Mystryl was soon to face her greatest challenge, and that this would forever affect the Netherese's perception of magic.
Shouldering a responsibility for preserving his civilization, Karsus finished creating a spell, Karsus's avatar that he had been developing for years. This spell would steal the power of a deity and transfer it to the archwizard that cast it. Karsus believed that with the power of a deity at his disposal, he could destroy the phaerimm and unite his people. Karsus cast the spell in 3520 NY (−339 DR), and chose Mystryl, the goddess of magic, as his target, feeling that she was the most powerful deity and the most appropriate choice for his purposes. Thus Karsus gained powers over all magic.
Fall of Netheril
Unfortunately, his choice was a terrible mistake, for one of the responsibilities of the deity of magic was to regulate the flow of magic to and from all beings, spells, and magic items in the world. Lacking the ability to do so properly, magic surged and fluctuated. With her last remaining bit of power, Mystryl sacrificed herself to block Karsus's access to the Weave, causing all magic to fail. The flying cities of Netheril plummeted to the earth. The severing of the link also killed Karsus and transformed him into stone, and the last thing he saw was his entire civilization being destroyed because of his actions. This was to be known as Karsus's Folly. The stone form of Karsus eventually landed in a part of the High Forest, now called the Dire Wood. The city of Karse was built around its base.
Karsus was never accepted as a petitioner by any god, nor did he go to the Fugue Plane when he died. Instead, his soul was bound to the Material Plane. Those with experience in pact magic could call up his vestige, where he appeared as a giant blood-red boulder, like the one found in the High Forest where his petrified form landed. Blood burbles up from the top of the stone, trickling down the side facing the summoner, pooling at the base. When he spoke, the pool fountained upwards, its height varying on the volume of his voice. Karsus granted the summoner a boost in magical ability, though he also imparted some of the arrogance he was renowned for. For some reason, this vestige had a strange enmity toward Amon.
Karsus held a small cult of worshipers who venerated the "momentary god". They were mostly based at Karse until its abandonment.
In the 1372 DR, an adventurer met Karsus in a hell created by a book in the Great Library of the risen Netherese city of Undrentide. Karsus was being tormented by devils but the adventurer could choose to redeem him by re-writing the magical tome in which his spirit was imprisoned. Doing so would ensure that Karsus was present to assist during the battle in the Library's final magical tome.
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