14
\$\begingroup\$

Imagine Bob the elf who is a passenger on the ship travelling to Evermeet from the Neverwinter harbor (sailing from the Material Plane to the Feywild).

Captain of the ship is an elf who already sailed to the Evermeet, so this journey is possible.

So Bob goes to the captain and asks him “How much time would it take?”

How would the captain answer? Is it possible to give such an answer at all? Or maybe the journey time would vary from time to time? Is it possible to estimate the time units here? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades maybe?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 11 at 3:36
11
\$\begingroup\$

The rules are a bit ambiguous, but it probably has a Material Plane location

Evermeet is mentioned in three of the 5e books.

Far Traveler Background

The fabled elven islands far to the west are home to elves who have never been to Faerûn.

"Far to the west" seems to imply a physical place on the same plane that the captain could give an estimate for the time to travel to.

Sword's Coast Adventurer's Guide

Evermeet is mentioned in quite a few places in this book. First it is provided as a location in the quote:

Off the western coast of Faerûn are a number of island realms of varying size. The most distant, and yet perhaps the most symbolically important to the mainland, is Evermeet, the island paradise of the elves...

Then later it is elaborated on by a second-hand account (which references the legends):

I overheard it said by the captain of the ship that Evermeet now somehow straddles all three planes: our world, the Feywild, and Arvandor. It touches them all, but exists fully in none of them...

If this account is to be believed, we still have Evermeet with a connection to the Material Plane that could likely be sailed to.

Later in the book in the Elves section we get:

or set sail across the Trackless Sea to the isle of Evermeet.

...lending further credence to the idea that it is a physical destination.

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

This is the most recent book to lend information about Evermeet, and it says:

Millennia later, Evermeet still exists, although now it is unmoored from the world, somewhere in the space between the Feywild, Arvandor, and the Material Plane. By using secret pathways, entering a fairy ring on special nights, or traversing a moonlit sea by following certain stars, elves of many worlds can get to Evermeet — if they’re lucky. Even from Faerûn, for instance, one can sail to Evermeet only on a ship captained by an elf who has been there before.

This reinforces the rumor the writer in Sword's Coast Adventurer's Guide mentions, but says nothing to remove the presence of a Material Plane island (or part of an island). Only that it shares a presence in other planes as well. While sailing to it involves taking advantage of some special method, it probably still has a physical route on the Material Plane to get there (even if magic gets in the way of normal sailing there).

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which section of MToF is the mythal line from. I can't find it. It's also certainly not referring to a mythal in Evermeet, but a mythal in the city those Elves were leaving to travel to Evermeet from. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Oct 11 at 10:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro I thought it meant he commanded the wizards of Evermeet but It says earlier in the quote the wizards of the capital of the empire. I found it in the Mythals section of the Elves chapter under Elves and Magic \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 11 at 11:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, found it now! Completely understand the confusion. It's not an especially well worded sentence, with a variety of subjects and different "orders/commands" layered into it. The capital it's referring to is almost certainly Aelinthaldaar (the site upon which Waterdeep now stands). See Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for more details on that (In the Long History in Brief section) \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Oct 11 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think some of the querent's confusion may stem from edition changes. If I recall correctly, during the Spellplauge (3E to 4E), Evermeet disppeard from Toril and existed solely within the Feywild. The Second Sundering (4E to 5E) restored it to physical presence on Toril. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Oct 11 at 14:06
10
\$\begingroup\$

If you're willing to use lore from older editions, you can get a reasonable answer, but even using a 5th edition map, the answer is "quite some time." Per that map, the distance from the Moonshae Isles to Evermeet is unknown but certainly further than 500 miles. The Moonshae Isles themselves are around 400 miles from the Sword Coast region. If you decide to consult the 2nd edition Forgotten Realms Atlas (and ignore the fact that Faerun's dimensions have changed considerably over the years), you come up with a distance of roughly 1200 miles from the Moonshaes to Evermeet, or about a 1600 mile trip.

Setting aside the fact that this particular journey will be partially planar, and assuming no more than incidental magic is used, you can estimate travel time in one of two ways- check the DMG for ship sailing speed and divide your distance by the number you get, or look around for a real-world equivalent. Using the first method (p. 117 says a sailing vessel can travel 24 hours a day, p. 119 gives an average speed of 2 mph) we end up with 1600/48 = 33 days, or about 4.5 weeks (or three tendays and change, depending on the calendar you use).

A quick Google search for the second method tells me that a Transatlantic crossing during the Age of Sail was about 3400 miles (about twice the distance we're looking for) and took 6 to 8 weeks, so a reasonable estimate for the trip using a real-world equivalent is 3-4 weeks. This coincides nicely with our estimate from the first method.

Given that you'll have quite a bit of wiggle room with the actual distance involved, due to changing editions and planar magic, and a similar amount of play with the sailing speed due to sorcery and magic vessels, a curious passenger wouldn't need to know all that. Were I a captain asked how long it would take to sail to Evermeet, I'd say "Weather permitting, about 30 days." It's close enough for a casual response.

\$\endgroup\$
7
\$\begingroup\$

Evermeet is currently on the Material Plane, or at least reachable by ship

Current lore sources from 5e strongly suggest that it has a physical location on the Material Plane.

Map of the Sword Coast

Perhaps the most authoratiative source is the 5e Wizards of the Coast published Map of the Sword Coast which clearly has an arrow to the west of the Moonshae Isles, pointing due west, with the label "West to Evermeet".

Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

Aside from that we have various passages from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide which are presented as authoritative:

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Realms

This chapter is presented as a factual set of information about the Realms and it's people.

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Realms > The Sword Coast and the North > Island Kingdoms:

Off the western coast of Faerun are a number of island relams varying in size. The most distant, and yet perhaps the most symbolically important to the mainland, is Evermeet, the island paradise of the elves, reputed to be a part of the divine realm of Arvandor. [...]

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Realms > Toril and it's Lands > Beyond the Trackless Sea:

Farther to the west, past even Evermeet, are untold, unknown lands beyond the Trackless Sea.

Chapter 2: The Sword Coast and the North

This chapter is intentionally presented as a set of first hand accounts. The opening paragraph even warns us that what follows may not be reliable. It states:

This chapter details many of the locales of the Sword Coast and the North, as seen through the eyes and recollections of a person living in Faerun. Rather than being exhaustive descriptions, what follows are snippets of information drawn from the experience of five individuals who have traversed, lived in, and explored these areas. Like any other narrators, they have opinions and biases, and may be drawing conclusions from incomplete information. No one in the Realms knows everything about any subject, even its oldest and most learned sages, and the views formed from such incomplete information can often suggest an inaccurate conclusion. This is not to say that any of the information the narrators provide is false, only that they may not be entirely knowledgeable in their declarations.

As a result, we should take what is presented here with a grain of salt (compared to the more authoritative information presented in Chapter 1, which doesn't come with any such caveats).

All that being taken into account, there is some relevant passages to our investigations presented here.

Chapter 2: The Sword Coast and the North > Island Kingdoms > Evermeet > A Little Piece of Heaven:

Legend has it [...]

Then the Spellplague struck, and some of that old elven High Magic must have unraveled. Evermeet became unmoored from the world and found itself instead in a sea of the Feywild [...]. For a century, it seemed Evermeet was lost to the world. [...]

Their patience was [...] at last rewarded, when ship from Evermeet docked once more in Sword Coast ports.

This passage, suggests that during the Spellplague Evermeet was disconnected from the Material Plane and stuck in the Feywild for a century. Since the end of the Spellplague it suggests that the island is once more moored to the Material Plane, as evidenced by the ships from it arriving in various ports of the Sword Coast.

Chapter 2: The Sword Coast and the North > Island Kingdoms > Evermeet > Sailing to the West:

I overheard it said by the captain of the ship that Evermeet somehow straddles all three planes: our world, the Feywild, and Arvandor. It touches them all, but exists fully in none of them. To find it, you must follow a pattern of stars until the stars change and then follow new stars. (I swear by Garl's mugget that's what he said!) [Those who stray from the path are lost. How I wish I could have asked the captain where the lost ships went! But I couldn't give myself away.

This is obviously presented as someone remembering something oveheard illicitly, said by someone else (the captain) to an unnamed third party as part of a conversation.

It does however give us two pieces of information (of various levels of reliability):

  1. Evermeet can be traveled to by ship on the Material Plane (the speaker claims to have done so)
  2. Evermeet is potentially present in three planes at once, but fully part of none

Chapter 3: Races of the Realms

This chapter returns to a more authoritative style, and doesn't rely on the flourishes of third hand information that chapter 2 presented.

Chapter 3: Races of the Realms > Elves:

[...] the days of the great elven nations are now long past, and many elves have withdrawn from the world into isolated sylvan realms, or set sail across the Trackless Sea to the isle of Evermeet.

This clearly presents Evermeet as an island located "across the Trackless Sea".

It also states:

At the height of their power, the elves performed a High Magic ritual intended to create the ideal homeland. They succeeded, but the spell sundered the land in a terrible cataclysm at the same time that caused the distant isle of Evermeet to rise from beneath the sea.

This sets Evermeet as an island created by great magical forces, which may lend credence to the third-hand, overheard information that Evermeet is part of but not apart of three separate realms at once.

Chapter 5: Backgrounds

Finally, as part of one of the new/augmented character options presented in this book we have the Far Traveler background.

Chapter 5: Backgrounds > Far Traveller > Where are you from?:

Evermeet The fabled islands far to the west are home to elves who have never been to Faerun.

This snippet further establishes Evermeet as physical islands "far to the west" of Faerun.

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

The last bits of lore we have in 5th edition come from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. This entire book is presented (in the Preface) as being:

the true work of that Oeridian wizard Mordenkainen, although penned in large part by his apprentice, Bigby. [...]

Bigby wrote as dictated by his master, burdened by the chains of a charm spell. Eventually Mordenkainen released Bigby from the spell once he had turned Bigby away from his evil ways and Bigby had earnede Modenkainen's trust. The last few chapters are thus penned in Mordenkainen's own hand. But you'll see the voice of the author is the same throughout.

Later in the Preface it states

A companion to the Monster Manual and Volo's Guide to Monsters, this book contains the musings of the renowned wizard Mordenkainen from the world of Greyhawk. In his travels to other worlds and other planes of existence, he has made many friends, and has risked his life an equal number of times, to amass the knowledge contained herein.

With that introduction we should bear in mind the warning presented in Chapter 2 of SCAG:

No one in the Realms knows everything about any subject, even its oldest and most learned sages, and the views formed from such incomplete information can often suggest an inaccurate conclusion.

... and thus take the information presented here, as probably true, but not necessarily authoritative or entirely accurate. We also don't have information on precisely when the information in it was gathered by Mordenkainen, so it's possible that all of the information in the book was accurate when it was gathered, but is now rendered inaccurate or out of date due to changes in circumstance. This is particularly important when we come to the section concerning Evermeet.

With that in mind, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes does have one section on Evermeet of potential interest to us.

Chapter 2: Elves > The Seldarine > Evermeet:

[...] By means of a cataclysmic ritual, the greatest elf wizards of Faerun summoned into the world a piece of Arvandor and bound it there.

[...] Milennia later, Evermeet still exists, although now it is unmoored from the world, somewhere in the space between the Feywild, Arvandor and the Material Plane. By using secret pathways, entering a fairy ring on special nights, or traversing a moonlit sea by following certain stars, elves of many worlds can get to Evermeet - if they're lucky. Even from Faerun, for instance, one can sail to Evermeet only on a ship captained by an elf who has been there before. And if the captain slips up, the ship might become adrift on the Astral Plane.

This suggests, in conflict with our other sources, that Evermeet was once tethered directly to Faerun, but is now unmoored (it's interesting the same language is used as the third hand account from SCAG) from the Material Plane, but can still be sailed to it from the Material Plane.

Conclusion

Taking all of the above into account, the most authoritative 5e sources we have strongly put forth that Evermeet is a physical island on the Material Plane, but that it may be, at the same time, between three separate planes.

5e doesn't give any specific distances to Evermeet, beyond that it's at least 1,000 miles from the Sword Coast, as that's where the map ends. Sources from other editions can give us more lore, and I will expand this answer with that lore when I have time.

But for now, we can estimate that the journey is somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 miles away from the Sword Coast (just to put an upper limit on it). The distance in our world, from Europe to the Americas is ~3,000 miles (eg Ireland to New York). According to Spartacus Educational:

In the early 19th century sailing ships took about six weeks to cross the Atlantic. With adverse winds or bad weather the journey could take as long as fourteen weeks.

So 6 - 14 weeks for a 3,000 mile journey, which would translate to 2 - 4.5 weeks for a 1,000 mile journey.

Using our estimate, that means sailing to Evermeet from the Sword Coast could take anywhere from 2 - 14 weeks of sailing, depending on the weather and the actual distance from the port of origin.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast ty for the copy editing! \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Oct 11 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Glad to be of assistance; that's a very thorough answer. Thanks for the extra effort you put into it. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 11 at 12:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.