10 Reasons for Daskinor's Insanity

Inspired by Redking’s suggestion of coming up with 10 reasons for Daskinor’s insanity, here are a few to kick start a conversation:

1. He just is
What it says on the tin. In the real world some people have severe mental health problems. Daskinor is one such person in Athas.

2. Goblin Curse
Whether caused by a goblin artifact, epic spell or the dying curses of the last goblin slain by Daskinor, the Goblin Death’s mind has been bowed and broken by the weight of a curse levied by his victims.

3. The Weight of Ages
Taking the timeline in History of the Trembling Planes, Daskinor was born nearly 14,000 years ago in the 8th World Age. He uses permanent mind switch to swap bodies up until he becomes a Champion. The stress of carrying 14 millennia of memories is simply too much for a human mind to cope with and his mind starts failing.

4. Mind Switch Toll
Taking #3, the cumulative effect of taking hundreds, if not thousands of bodies from other sentient creatures has eroded Daskinor’s mental fortitude, even as his body was changed to a younger, stronger form.

5. The Burden of a Champion/Metamorphosis
For some reason, Daskinor’s transformation into a Champion/Dragon went wrong. As his body started changing to accommodate his new state, his mind began to fracture, initially manifesting as a monomaniacal genocidal focus against the goblins, and then degenerating further after their extinction.

6. Experimentation
Daskinor attempted to advance his metamorphosis or increase his own personal power. The attempt failed and broke his mind in the process.

7. Alien Incursion
In an attempt to fend off the Dragon and his Levy, Daskinor cast about, creating a portal to the Far Realm, gaining a onetime influx of power that scared Borys off and also threatening a planar breach that endangers Athas itself.
NB: I’ve seen a variation of this scenario somewhere but I can’t remember where or who suggested it. Apologies if I’ve bastardised the original author’s intent or premise.

8-10 I’m drawing a blank on right now.

Any advances on the above, or thoughts about the 7 suggestions above?


8. He had a twin who he shared a psychic link with
Daskinor had a twin who he shared a psychic link with. When the twin died his/her psyche transferred to Daskinor’s mind which has slowly driven both of them mad over the centuries.


Evil. Thoroughly in keeping with Athas though. I like!

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Like to think his twin being the polar opposite of Daskinor and was either a powerful psionicist or druid or even both.

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Or maybe he tried to Mind Switch with his twin but the twin had enough power to endure/fight back/stay as some vestige within Dask’s mind?

  1. Unstable ultra-phrenic.

Daskinor was always a psionic prodigy, but his psionic ability came at the cost of his mental stability. Under the circumstances of a normal, peaceful life, Daskinor would have been able to overcome these challenges. Instead he was transformed by Rajaat and placed at the head of an army assigned to exterminate an entire race. The betrayal by Rajaat of his champions (the true plan being to restore Athas to the halflings) shattered what remained of his ability to trust anyone.

Daskinor has delusional and lucid moments. When he is in a delusional state, fragments break off from his consciousness, becoming sentient creatures of a sort (see Faces of the Forgotten North).

  1. Many personalities in a single body
    Daskinor is linked to every possible version of himself generated by The Black and different versions gain control of his body at different times.

I posted this previously on: Daskinor - not insane. Differently sane

The way I’ve run him is that he was the most powerful Psychoportive of the Green Age mostly due to his early mastery of True Mind Switch. As one of the very fist psionic humans he saw the rise of the human race and the fall of the halflings.

He’s the most accomplished planar traveler (even more so then Dregoth) and Rajaat recruited him specifically so he could pump him for information on the other planes. Unfortunately Daskinor was not a very good scholar (and was a painfully slow student of magic), he just did things and experienced them. He did help create the Planar Gate that Dregoth used and his stories of dragons from other worlds was the inspiration for Dregoth’s transformation spell.

When the Dragon was rampaging, Daskinor began work on the ultimate deterrent, a type of mirror similar to the Planar Gate that would be focused on his enemies and draw them into a plane that was their worst nightmare.

After a number of setbacks Borys came knocking for his yearly levy. Unlike previous years Daskinor did not have enough foreign slaves to hand over and refused to gave his citizens. When Borys pressed the issue Daskinor focuses the gate on him. Unfortunately the only thing Borys feared any longer was Rajaat himself. The mirror opened a portal through the Black to the Hallow itself. Originally intended only to allow entrance and not exit, Borys threw everything he had at the mirror as he was drawn closer to his master, damaging it and allowing Rajaat to reach back into Athas for just a moment. Daskinor attempted to close the mirror which allowed Borys to escape terrified of what would happen if Daskinor opened it again.

Unknown to Borys in the process of trying to close the mirror it’s focus switched to Daskinor and was shattered. Some of the shards became fragments of Daskinor’s personality (see Faces of the Forgotten North), others became embedded in Daskinor connecting him to the multiverse.

Daskinor can’t travel the planes with this connection, but from time to time one of those connections attempts to take over his mind. Sometimes these alternate versions of himself are waging wars that don’t exist in this plane but are able to take over his mind for a short time, other times he’s catatonic while he fights dozens or even hundreds of factions within his own mind. Rarely, he’s able to take control of his body again or a version close enough to our Prime Material Plane’s Daskinor is able to take control. During these rare moments, he tries to gather the lost fragments. He believes if he can gather all the shards they will reform the Mirror of Terror, he’ll be freed from his demons, and able to safely shut it down.


SeruZmaj, your scenario is the one I half remembered for #7. Thank you for posting it again. I love it, especially the connection to every possible Daskinor. If Daskinor managed to reassemble his psyche somehow, do you think he’d be a force for good, or an even greater danger?

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Where can the aforementioned Forgotten North timeline be found?

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In my head cannon Daskinor is the most widely traveled being on Athas as well as the oldest known being. He was one of the first humans born. He’s traveled the length and breadth of Athas thousands of times over and he traveled the planes more than any, including Dregoth. His wanderlust has seen more empires rise and fall than anyone and played a part of hundreds of them. He brought stories of kings and dragons to Athas and helped bring the first empires to Athas. When it comes to empires, he’s seen it all and done it all, the problem it it was always as an outsider.

Daskinor is an amazing force for good, he’s seen how nearly ever empire has failed. All everyone has to do in order for the world to be perfect, is everything he says. It’s one of the reasons Rajaat recruited him. Unfortunately he has no patience for politics or the subtleties of running an empire. He has always been an outsider, popping in, taking note of the problem or the solution to it and moving on. He’s not very good at the actual implementation or even creative thinking. As soon as he realizes he has seen the issue before, he simply tries to command the fix he has seen before and assumes everything will be fine.

This has failed time and time again as he jumped from one royal body to another. Rajaat put an end to his body jumping when he made him a champion, but he still hasn’t learned true understanding. If Daskinor suddenly became whole again, he’d likely institute some knee-jerk action to fix everything he identifies in Eldaarich and when that failed he’d blame it on those implementing it working against him. I think it likely he’d stay in Eldaarich and try something else rather than try to find those more worthy of him since he actually built Eldaarich, it’s the only place he’s not an outsider.


Pennarin, what happened to your Illithid project? Dark Sun should be based on the original boxed set with hidden history. That means having various histories that might be the truth, depending on the campaign.

The Illithid Project never went further than what was published on the old boards.

I know I read about permanent mind switch, and it is claimed here that it is from a timeline. Where is that timeline found?

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I believe that came out of Prison-State of Eldaarich. In my own campaign to account for his first human origins, nomad nature, and permanent mind switch I’ve got him statted as:

Barbarian 3/Nomad 5/|Tribal Psionicist 5/|Elocator 3/|Body Snatcher 6/|Elocator 7/Wizard 1/
Student of Rajaat 10/Nomad 6/Dragon 2

It took him 500 years to understand magic, the only reason Rajaat kept him around was his knowledge and Nomad abilities.


He is normal - rest of world is insanity.

Maybe every fear, every strange concept of Daskinor, is true or based on true knowledge? Maybe he see more? Maybe rest of world is infected by strange psionical bacillus, who lock for others way to knowing the true truth?


As a high functioning autistic, this perfectly sums up my life!


The ability to use psionics comes with a price!


Unfortunately autism isn’t a superpower, despite the opinion of a Swedish teenager.

Just had a thought though: would an autistic who used a permanent mind switch with a neurotypical host slowly become less autistic? :thinking:

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In the Brax/Kendrick take on the Trembling plains, it’s mention that Daskinor army had wrongly slain a city of Halfling. Maybe his madness started there? Here is the text:

Daskinor’s army sacked the goblin holds south of Basrai, and then his army marched north tracking goblin-spoor to Ghozer. The army passed Basrai, but did not find the hidden gate to the rhul-thaun city; Daskinor’s detection spells were focused on goblins, not halflings. After destroying Ghozer, however, Daskinor returned south, and this time their scouts stumbled on the city’s gate.
Daskinor knew from his divining spells that no goblins remained in the White Mountains, but the fact that this city was built into the mountains like a cave reminded him too much of the goblin cities he had just sacked, and he suddenly doubted his divining powers. Using magical and psionic attacks honed in years of goblin extermination, Daskinor and his army assaulted Basrai.
The halflings had no magic and little psionic skill. Their life-shaped weapons and creatures offered a nasty surprise to Shtas’ elite footsoldiers, but not powerful enough to offset the psionics and magic of Daskinor’s army. The soldiers easily overcame Basrai’s defenses and broke into the city, massacring the rhul-thaun where they stood and wrecking their life-shaping workshops. Daskinor arrived too late to prevent the massacre, and in any case he was filled with bloodlust and had killed dozens of halflings before he realized the nature of his foe.
In the burning ruins of Basrai, Daskinor considered what he had done. Rajaat forbade his Champions to have any contact with halflings at all, and specifically ordered the Champions to avoid places such as Orohna Valley and the Jagged Cliffs. But the First Sorcerer had never mentioned that there was a halfling city in the Snow Crowns, and in thousands of years, Daskinor had never heard of civilized halflings using curious living creatures as weapons and tools. Daskinor remembered as a child watching halflings dock airships in the mountain peaks above his grandparents’ cave dwellings, and he wondered how whether those airships were in fact living creatures. For the first time in King’s Ages, Daskinor spent an entire afternoon without thinking about goblins or the cleansing wars.


Science would suggest yes, game rules would suggest no. I saw some people online asking if they could take autism as a 3.5e flaw (each flaw gave a bonus feat in compensation). The topic is fraught, of course, because of the implication. I’d be willing to offer that as a flaw or trait in my games if someone really wanted it (just as long as the autism wasn’t an excuse to be disruptive or play chaotic stupid).

Autism as a trait: -2 to Charisma based skill and ability checks. +2 to Will saves.

Autism as a flaw: -2 to Charisma based skill and ability checks. Select a bonus feat in compensation.

Select either the flaw or the trait, not both.

If you wanted to go the biological approach, you lose the flaw or trait after mindswitch. Keep in mind you also lose any benefits, such as the bonus feat from the flaw.

I’d also be willing to accept being a eunuch as a flaw or trait. Castration can provide a boost of mystical power to an arcane caster.


That’s a nice ruling. I think I’d be more inclined to treat it as a trait than a flaw though. Instead of a +2 to will saves what about a +2 to intelligence skill based checks? That makes it roughly comparable to the -2 to charisma based checks and more appealing for player’s without being overpowering and reflects autism reasonably well I think.

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