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T O P I C    R E V I E W
The Sage Posted - 14 Jul 2010 : 01:53:58
Well met

This being another collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a renowned author of the Realms, namely - Elaine Cunningham, whos works include: Elfshadow, Elfsong, Daughter of the Drow, Tangled Webs, Windwalker and of course Evermeet: Island of Elves, to name but a few.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this author.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Barastir Posted - 21 Nov 2016 : 16:18:47
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
(...) I wouldn't be worried, if I were you. Not one bit. Really.


Errrr... Sure!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 12 Nov 2016 : 13:29:29
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir


Hey, I have only a name, but no idea on where to find it, and about its effects...



I'm sure Elaith will take your word on this. Yes, a Chat With The Dead spell would add a level of certainty, but hey--he's a reasonable elf, always willing to bet on the inherent goodness of human nature. I wouldn't be worried, if I were you. Not one bit. Really.
Barastir Posted - 09 Nov 2016 : 16:59:58
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

I think, Elaine, in one of your novels Elaith had a poison ring that contained a poison specific to elves. Can you tell me what it was, where it can be found, and the effects of it?



I passed your request along to Elaith, (...)




Statha (...)



Well, damn. Now Elaith is going to have to kill a whole lot of people.

Or maybe not. How many people actually read this scroll?



Hey, I have only a name, but no idea on where to find it, and about its effects...
The Red Walker Posted - 09 Nov 2016 : 01:33:05
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Well, damn. Now Elaith is going to have to kill a whole lot of people.

Or maybe not. How many people actually read this scroll?



More than you think.

-- George Krashos



Even those of us who appear to not be around much anymore, are lurking more often than not.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 13:10:46
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

I expect nothing from others. Especially in this medium. I'm sure the German have a word for that, though I don't know it.



Pretty sure the Germans have a word for everything--including "having a word for everything."
Fellfire Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 02:28:59
I expect nothing from others. Especially in this medium. I'm sure the German have a word for that, though I don't know it.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 02:09:05
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

You may not remember one nutty fans email though I surely remember your reply.



You might be surprised. I remember most emails, oddly enough.
Fellfire Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 02:06:17
If I could give you $XXX.00 or $X,XXX.00 or even $XX,XXX.00 to write Realms I would then share it here for everybody.
Fellfire Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 01:57:40
You may not remember one nutty fans email though I surely remember your reply.
Fellfire Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 01:47:01
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Well, damn. Now Elaith is going to have to kill a whole lot of people.

Or maybe not. How many people actually read this scroll?



More than you think.

-- George Krashos



Every single active poster. Not many, perhaps, but all eagerly anticipating your next contribution. We have spoken of this before, you are inspiring. Thanks.
George Krashos Posted - 08 Nov 2016 : 01:26:25
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Well, damn. Now Elaith is going to have to kill a whole lot of people.

Or maybe not. How many people actually read this scroll?



More than you think.

-- George Krashos
ElaineCunningham Posted - 07 Nov 2016 : 20:45:41
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

Hi, dear Mrs. Cunningham! May I ask you if any of your Realmsian plans have somehow advanced?



Also, no. If anything, they've gone backward. DMs Guild is not a venue for fiction, and best evidence suggests that there isn't much traffic for lore products, either.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 07 Nov 2016 : 20:43:57
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

I think, Elaine, in one of your novels Elaith had a poison ring that contained a poison specific to elves. Can you tell me what it was, where it can be found, and the effects of it?



I passed your request along to Elaith, who said that he's only too happy to divulge information of this nature to me and I was welcome to pass it along. But then he observed that three people can keep a secret, provided that two of them are 1) dead and 2) their corpses duly warded against Speak With the Dead spells.

So after due consideration, I think I'm going to go with "no" on this one.




Statha, Bane of Elves. Causes paralysis and death. Found it in City of Splendors.



Well, damn. Now Elaith is going to have to kill a whole lot of people.

Or maybe not. How many people actually read this scroll?
Fellfire Posted - 07 Nov 2016 : 18:13:48
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

I think, Elaine, in one of your novels Elaith had a poison ring that contained a poison specific to elves. Can you tell me what it was, where it can be found, and the effects of it?



I passed your request along to Elaith, who said that he's only too happy to divulge information of this nature to me and I was welcome to pass it along. But then he observed that three people can keep a secret, provided that two of them are 1) dead and 2) their corpses duly warded against Speak With the Dead spells.

So after due consideration, I think I'm going to go with "no" on this one.




Statha, Bane of Elves. Causes paralysis and death. Found it in City of Splendors.
Barastir Posted - 07 Nov 2016 : 17:34:04
Hi, dear Mrs. Cunningham! May I ask you if any of your Realmsian plans have somehow advanced?
Clegane Posted - 26 Sep 2016 : 03:08:16
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Clegane

Hi Elaine,

I recently reread Thornhold and Waterdeep. Love them as much with each reading! It appeared in Thornhold a rift or tension had grown in Khelban and Piergeiron's frienship over the events that trasnpired with Bronwyn and the Knights of Samular. I believe Waterdeep was set two years later and I didn't detect any tensions in that regard. I know Khelban and Piergeiron didn't directly interact in the novel but Mirt and Asper went out of their way to protect Piergeiron with the Slipshields and the help of a couple of the young nobles. Lark who represented the everyperson in the story certainly had the greatest respect for Texter it seemed. Had the tensions that were seemingly building between the Paladin Orders and the Harpers alleviated? Or had the Lords of Waterdeep who were Paladins like Piergeiron simply reasoned that their friendships and trust in Lords like Khelban, Danillo, and Mirt. etc won the day in that kind of internal debate?

Thanks in advance!



This is a complicated question. First, let me address the real-world component.

When I was contracted to write Thornhold, my directive was to create characters (Bronwyn, Dag Zoreth, Ebenezer Stoneshaft, and so on) who would become shared-author characters for several novels and game products to come. It was supposed to be a "pivot novel," which would end the Harper series by turning the organization in a new direction, one that would end with the trial of Khelben Arunsun. Seen in this light, the novel's ending makes a bit more sense.

But. While I was writing it, the editorial direction changed, the story line was all but abandoned, and no one bothered to let me know. As a pivot novel, Thornhold set up a number of questions and story lines that other authors could pick up and develop. As a final novel, it was puzzling, inconclusive, and less than satisfying.

Then there was City of Splendors. Ed and I pitched a novel that was very much like Cormyr, in that there would be a history of a specific area wrapped in a current-day framing story. The narrative would be focused upon a pivotal character; in this case, Khelbn Arunsun. After the contract were signed and we met with the editor at Gen Con, we were told that they wanted a completely different novel, set all in current time, with primarily new, low-level characters. Once Khelben was more or less off the table, it really wasn't possible--or desirable--to delve into the situation that arose between the paladins and the Harpers. That's another story, one that was abruptly discontinued.

I think the best way to view the lack of resolution between the issues raised Thornholdand the events of City of Splendors to to view the point-of-view characters in both novels through the lens of the old story of the six blind men and the elephant.

For those who aren't familiar with that tale, six blind men were led to an elephant and allowed to examine it. The man who grasped the elephant's trunk said, "An elephant is very like a snake!" The man on the other end grabbed the tail and countered, "No, the elephant is like a rope." The elephant's side was compared to a wall, its ears to a fan, its legs to tree trunks, its tusk to a spear. Every man reported what he observed accurately, but none of them had the entire picture. So it is with the narrators of these two novels.

Waterdeep is a big city, and there's a lot happening there. Sometimes it's difficult to remember that we as readers know things about the city that people who live there do not. There's no logical reason why the Gemcloak dudes, a tavern wench, or a couple of craftsman's daughters would know anything about a rift that arose between Piergeiron and Khelben a couple of years back, so there was no logical reason to include the resolution of that issue in this story.

Now, to FINALLY get to your question, which as I understand it, is, "So what happened with the Harpers and the paladins?" The answer, unfortunately, is, "I have no idea." I don't know how WotC resolved that issue, or for that matter, whether it was addressed at all. Perhaps someone who is better informed with 4th and 5th edition developments could shed some light?



Thank you so much for answering! I kind of imagined that dealing with crisis of Halaster's Highhavestide from the Undermountain Dungeon Crawl accessories in which Piergeiron slew a raised Kistarianth and later the crisis in City of Splendors may have gone a long way in reconciling his and Piergeiron's tensions. Clearly they are two men that would lay down their lives for Waterdeep and I imagine that would act as some kind of salve on the bruise of prior disagreement.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Sep 2016 : 02:17:48
It wasn't addressed, so far as I know. They disbanded the Harpers, then walked that back, deciding the Harpers were now more like what they were originally intended to be rather than what they became -- one of the few times in the history of the published Realms that something got rolled back to what Ed intended.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 20 Sep 2016 : 01:53:31
quote:
Originally posted by Clegane

Hi Elaine,

I recently reread Thornhold and Waterdeep. Love them as much with each reading! It appeared in Thornhold a rift or tension had grown in Khelban and Piergeiron's frienship over the events that trasnpired with Bronwyn and the Knights of Samular. I believe Waterdeep was set two years later and I didn't detect any tensions in that regard. I know Khelban and Piergeiron didn't directly interact in the novel but Mirt and Asper went out of their way to protect Piergeiron with the Slipshields and the help of a couple of the young nobles. Lark who represented the everyperson in the story certainly had the greatest respect for Texter it seemed. Had the tensions that were seemingly building between the Paladin Orders and the Harpers alleviated? Or had the Lords of Waterdeep who were Paladins like Piergeiron simply reasoned that their friendships and trust in Lords like Khelban, Danillo, and Mirt. etc won the day in that kind of internal debate?

Thanks in advance!



This is a complicated question. First, let me address the real-world component.

When I was contracted to write Thornhold, my directive was to create characters (Bronwyn, Dag Zoreth, Ebenezer Stoneshaft, and so on) who would become shared-author characters for several novels and game products to come. It was supposed to be a "pivot novel," which would end the Harper series by turning the organization in a new direction, one that would end with the trial of Khelben Arunsun. Seen in this light, the novel's ending makes a bit more sense.

But. While I was writing it, the editorial direction changed, the story line was all but abandoned, and no one bothered to let me know. As a pivot novel, Thornhold set up a number of questions and story lines that other authors could pick up and develop. As a final novel, it was puzzling, inconclusive, and less than satisfying.

Then there was City of Splendors. Ed and I pitched a novel that was very much like Cormyr, in that there would be a history of a specific area wrapped in a current-day framing story. The narrative would be focused upon a pivotal character; in this case, Khelbn Arunsun. After the contract were signed and we met with the editor at Gen Con, we were told that they wanted a completely different novel, set all in current time, with primarily new, low-level characters. Once Khelben was more or less off the table, it really wasn't possible--or desirable--to delve into the situation that arose between the paladins and the Harpers. That's another story, one that was abruptly discontinued.

I think the best way to view the lack of resolution between the issues raised Thornholdand the events of City of Splendors to to view the point-of-view characters in both novels through the lens of the old story of the six blind men and the elephant.

For those who aren't familiar with that tale, six blind men were led to an elephant and allowed to examine it. The man who grasped the elephant's trunk said, "An elephant is very like a snake!" The man on the other end grabbed the tail and countered, "No, the elephant is like a rope." The elephant's side was compared to a wall, its ears to a fan, its legs to tree trunks, its tusk to a spear. Every man reported what he observed accurately, but none of them had the entire picture. So it is with the narrators of these two novels.

Waterdeep is a big city, and there's a lot happening there. Sometimes it's difficult to remember that we as readers know things about the city that people who live there do not. There's no logical reason why the Gemcloak dudes, a tavern wench, or a couple of craftsman's daughters would know anything about a rift that arose between Piergeiron and Khelben a couple of years back, so there was no logical reason to include the resolution of that issue in this story.

Now, to FINALLY get to your question, which as I understand it, is, "So what happened with the Harpers and the paladins?" The answer, unfortunately, is, "I have no idea." I don't know how WotC resolved that issue, or for that matter, whether it was addressed at all. Perhaps someone who is better informed with 4th and 5th edition developments could shed some light?
Clegane Posted - 19 Sep 2016 : 21:49:37
Hi Elaine,

I recently reread Thornhold and Waterdeep. Love them as much with each reading! It appeared in Thornhold a rift or tension had grown in Khelban and Piergeiron's frienship over the events that trasnpired with Bronwyn and the Knights of Samular. I believe Waterdeep was set two years later and I didn't detect any tensions in that regard. I know Khelban and Piergeiron didn't directly interact in the novel but Mirt and Asper went out of their way to protect Piergeiron with the Slipshields and the help of a couple of the young nobles. Lark who represented the everyperson in the story certainly had the greatest respect for Texter it seemed. Had the tensions that were seemingly building between the Paladin Orders and the Harpers alleviated? Or had the Lords of Waterdeep who were Paladins like Piergeiron simply reasoned that their friendships and trust in Lords like Khelban, Danillo, and Mirt. etc won the day in that kind of internal debate?

Thanks in advance!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 09 Sep 2016 : 20:17:08
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

You left chapter 3 up. If the cards are no longer on the table for serial fiction at DMG will you be returning them to their place of honor here? If not, could you elaborate a little on the tree-like form that Danilo assumed therein.



I really can't say much more about that chapter without getting into spoiler territory. And I'd like to avoid that, in hope that an avenue opens to continue this tale.
Fellfire Posted - 09 Sep 2016 : 17:06:38
You left chapter 3 up. If the cards are no longer on the table for serial fiction at DMG will you be returning them to their place of honor here? If not, could you elaborate a little on the tree-like form that Danilo assumed therein.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 09 Sep 2016 : 15:47:41
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Were the sample chapters for TSD taken down?



Yes, they were taken down at my request. At the time, I was optimistic about the possibilities of fiction through the DMsGuild. It does not appear, however, that fiction is in the cards for that venue.
Fellfire Posted - 09 Sep 2016 : 14:49:21
Were the sample chapters for TSD taken down?
ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Aug 2016 : 13:49:20
There's a non-Realms fantasy anthology in the world that may be of interest to some FR readers. HATH NO FURY is a collection of stories about kickass female protagonists. It has funded and is now into stretch goal territory. Take a look!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmmartin/hath-no-fury-an-anthology-where-women-take-the-lea?ref=user_menu
ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Aug 2016 : 13:47:00
Thanks, Fellfire! Glad the story held up for you. :)

The best source for the Rings of Samular is the short story "The Knights of Samular" in the collection The Best of the Realms Book III: The Stories of Elaine Cunningham. It's recognizable at a glance, being the only Realms book with a bilious lime-green cover. I really don't have any more info than that contained in Thornhold and the short story.


quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

I just finished rereading Elfshadow again and I must say that the prelude is magnificent. Truly one of the greatest opening scenes ever written in the Forgotten Realms.

What can you tell me of the Rings of Samular? George described them as magical batteries. What is their history and purpouse? What do they look like? What exactly do they do? I cannot find much information anywhere. You are my only hope.

I suppose I will have to revisit Thornhold as well


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