There comes a time when every student and many a passing merchant, farmer and king, too, demands the same answer of me:
Why O meddler and mighty mage, do ye not set the crooked straight? Why not strike directly against the evils that threaten Faerûn? Why do not all mighty folk of good heart not simply make everything right?
I've heared that cry so many times. Now hearken, once and for all, to my answers as to why the great and powerful don't
fix Toril entire every day..
First, it is not at all certain, that those of us with the power or inclination can even accomplish a tenth of the deed asked of us. The forces arrayed against us are dark and strong indeed. I might surprise Manshoon or old Szass Tam and burn him from the face of Toril - or he might do the same to me. It's a rash and short-lived hero who presses for battle when victory is not assured.
Second, the wise amongst aus know that even gods can't forsee all the consequences of their actions-and all of us have seen far to many instances of good things turning out to cause something very bad, or unwanted. We've learned that meddling often does far more harm than good.
Third: Few folk can agree on what is right, what should be done, and what the best end result would be. When ye consider a mighty stroke, be assured that every move is apt do be countered by someone who doesn't like the intended result, is determined to stop it, and is quite prepared to lay waste to you, your kingdom and anything else necessary to confound you.
Point the fourth: big changes can seldom be effected by small actions. How much work does it take just to build one house? Rearrange one room? How many simple little actions, then, will it take to destroy one kingdom and raise another-with name, ruler and societal order of your choice-in its place?
Finally: D'ye think we "mighty ones" are blind? Do we not watch each other, and guess at what each is doing, and reach out and do some little thing that hampers the aims of another great, and mighty? We'll never be free of this problem, and that's a good thing. I would cower at the thought of living in any Faerûn where all the mighty and powerful folk agreed perfectly on anything. That's the way of slavery and shackles and armed tyranny...and if ye'd like to win a bet, wager that ye'll be near the bottom of any such order.
Right. Any more silly questions?
Elminster of Shadowdale