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Karsus, or the Archwizard, was a mage in the ancient civilization of Netheril in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. He is credited with the creation of the spell Karsus' Avatar, the only 12th-level spell known, capable of killing and replacing gods.

When he finally cast the spell, the wizard chose to ascend to the position of the god of magic, formerly held by Mystryl. However, he realized that he could not continuously repair the damage to the Weave on Toril, and was killed as Mystryl negated all magic on the world temporarily. This event is known to have caused the Netherese's flying cities to crash, ultimately ending the empire. In its stead were many artifacts and the desert of Anauroch. Karsus' soul is believed to have been flung across the cosmos to the ends of reality. He exists today as a Vestige. The remnants of his physical form exist in the ruins of Karse in the center of the mystical Dire Wood, where his gigantic living heart beats ponderously within a butte of red stone.

Those who knew the wizard knew him to be completely insane. His mood could be unpredictable, and his tantrums were often deadly. Karsus also tended to make close friends out of seemingly random people, and adorn them with baubles or knowledge (in return for various services), and abandon them later.

The Savage Frontier
Netheril: Empire of Magic
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
Tome of Magic
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