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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)
ElaineCunningham Posted - 21 Jul 2014 : 16:16:35
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

Dear Mrs. Cunningham,

Will you attend to GenCon this year? I have a friend going there, and if so I'd like you to autograph my Evermeet: Island of the Elves hardcover book, which I would send through him.



Hi, Barastir.

Unfortunately, I will not be attending GenCon this year. Maybe in 2015!

Barastir Posted - 06 Jun 2014 : 13:08:11
Dear Mrs. Cunningham,

Will you attend to GenCon this year? I have a friend going there, and if so I'd like you to autograph my Evermeet: Island of the Elves hardcover book, which I would send through him.
Clegane Posted - 23 Apr 2014 : 00:51:21
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Hi, Clegane. Welcome to Candlekeep!

Thanks for the kind words. I'm delighted to hear that you've been enjoying your time in Waterdeep. Unfortunately, I don't have any additional information on Madeiron Sunderstone. To be completely candid, I haven't spent much thought on his life beyond the published material, and even if I had, I couldn't share it. If something hasn't been reviewed and approved by WotC, I don't publish it. That includes posting web comments that include speculations and extrapolations. Not all FR writers subscribe to this policy, but I think it's a sound one. Internet comments soon lose their context, so any unapproved lore floating around tends to muddy the waters of continuity.

Best,
ec


quote:
Originally posted by Clegane

Hi Elaine. I have recently read several of your novels centered around Waterdeep including City of Splendors. Loved them all. The Songs and Shadows series hooked me on the Forgotten Realms. I have since bought all the Campaign material I could find on Waterdeep. I also loved your intro in the campaign boxed set of Waterdeep. I was wondering about the character of Madeiron Sunderstone and what does it mean to be the Open Lord's champion. As Piergeiron's Champion, how much time does he spend by his side and do his duties ever require him elsewhere from the Open Lord? Piergeiron has appeared in several of your novels but I think City of Splendors is the only one where we actually see him with Piergeiron(I could be wrong about this) and the just for one sequence in the story.

Is he very active in the happenings of the City? He is a paladin and must be wise and is stated as fearless and I was wondering how that meshes with him not being especially bright? Do the other Lords or would Danillo or Arilyn look down on his intellect? Would he garner any respect from someone like Elaith Craulnober? How do Texter or the other notable Paladins of Waterdeep view him. What is his personality like? Nobility and royalty seem to be held in high regard in Waterdeep, does Madeiron himself or any of his friends acknowledge his blood ties to the Hartwick royal line of Hartsvale? How is he perceived by the common folk of Waterdeep? I had the opportunity to meet Shaquille Oniel a short time back and I have to say meeting a 7 footer of his stature was an impressive site and someone of his size immediately draws gazes. I can imagine what an 8 footer in plate mail armor would immediately draw a crowd and the attention of others. Are the people of the city fairly accustomed to this site? He is described as amiable, is he the quintessential gentle giant type?

Thanks and hoping you return to Waterdeep in a future novel.







Thanks for the answer. Hope to see your name on a future FR novel, hopefully one involving Waterdeep!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 21 Apr 2014 : 14:28:49
Hi, Clegane. Welcome to Candlekeep!

Thanks for the kind words. I'm delighted to hear that you've been enjoying your time in Waterdeep. Unfortunately, I don't have any additional information on Madeiron Sunderstone. To be completely candid, I haven't spent much thought on his life beyond the published material, and even if I had, I couldn't share it. If something hasn't been reviewed and approved by WotC, I don't publish it. That includes posting web comments that include speculations and extrapolations. Not all FR writers subscribe to this policy, but I think it's a sound one. Internet comments soon lose their context, so any unapproved lore floating around tends to muddy the waters of continuity.

Best,
ec


quote:
Originally posted by Clegane

Hi Elaine. I have recently read several of your novels centered around Waterdeep including City of Splendors. Loved them all. The Songs and Shadows series hooked me on the Forgotten Realms. I have since bought all the Campaign material I could find on Waterdeep. I also loved your intro in the campaign boxed set of Waterdeep. I was wondering about the character of Madeiron Sunderstone and what does it mean to be the Open Lord's champion. As Piergeiron's Champion, how much time does he spend by his side and do his duties ever require him elsewhere from the Open Lord? Piergeiron has appeared in several of your novels but I think City of Splendors is the only one where we actually see him with Piergeiron(I could be wrong about this) and the just for one sequence in the story.

Is he very active in the happenings of the City? He is a paladin and must be wise and is stated as fearless and I was wondering how that meshes with him not being especially bright? Do the other Lords or would Danillo or Arilyn look down on his intellect? Would he garner any respect from someone like Elaith Craulnober? How do Texter or the other notable Paladins of Waterdeep view him. What is his personality like? Nobility and royalty seem to be held in high regard in Waterdeep, does Madeiron himself or any of his friends acknowledge his blood ties to the Hartwick royal line of Hartsvale? How is he perceived by the common folk of Waterdeep? I had the opportunity to meet Shaquille Oniel a short time back and I have to say meeting a 7 footer of his stature was an impressive site and someone of his size immediately draws gazes. I can imagine what an 8 footer in plate mail armor would immediately draw a crowd and the attention of others. Are the people of the city fairly accustomed to this site? He is described as amiable, is he the quintessential gentle giant type?

Thanks and hoping you return to Waterdeep in a future novel.



Clegane Posted - 20 Apr 2014 : 17:08:19
Hi Elaine. I have recently read several of your novels centered around Waterdeep including City of Splendors. Loved them all. The Songs and Shadows series hooked me on the Forgotten Realms. I have since bought all the Campaign material I could find on Waterdeep. I also loved your intro in the campaign boxed set of Waterdeep. I was wondering about the character of Madeiron Sunderstone and what does it mean to be the Open Lord's champion. As Piergeiron's Champion, how much time does he spend by his side and do his duties ever require him elsewhere from the Open Lord? Piergeiron has appeared in several of your novels but I think City of Splendors is the only one where we actually see him with Piergeiron(I could be wrong about this) and the just for one sequence in the story.

Is he very active in the happenings of the City? He is a paladin and must be wise and is stated as fearless and I was wondering how that meshes with him not being especially bright? Do the other Lords or would Danillo or Arilyn look down on his intellect? Would he garner any respect from someone like Elaith Craulnober? How do Texter or the other notable Paladins of Waterdeep view him. What is his personality like? Nobility and royalty seem to be held in high regard in Waterdeep, does Madeiron himself or any of his friends acknowledge his blood ties to the Hartwick royal line of Hartsvale? How is he perceived by the common folk of Waterdeep? I had the opportunity to meet Shaquille Oniel a short time back and I have to say meeting a 7 footer of his stature was an impressive site and someone of his size immediately draws gazes. I can imagine what an 8 footer in plate mail armor would immediately draw a crowd and the attention of others. Are the people of the city fairly accustomed to this site? He is described as amiable, is he the quintessential gentle giant type?

Thanks and hoping you return to Waterdeep in a future novel.

ElaineCunningham Posted - 10 Jan 2014 : 20:38:57
Hi, Astolfo.

Woolly is right--I'm not currently involved with the Realms and have no idea what direction the folks at WotC might be considering for the royal family. And as Woolly mentioned, I would not be able to go into detail if I *did* know.

Wish I could have been more helpful!

Best,
ec



quote:
Originally posted by astolfo

Hi Elaine,
A quick question: in any forthcoming novel or book with 5th ed. FR, are answers going to be forthcoming to the fate of the Moonflower royal family and/or their descendants?
I've always enjoyed your work, thank you for sharing with all of us!
Astolfo

astolfo Posted - 03 Jan 2014 : 03:12:28
Thank you, that makes sense.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 31 Dec 2013 : 06:30:11
I would lay odds against Elaine being able to answer... As a freelancer, they likely wouldn't consult her or advise her on such matters unless she was working on something for them, and it would likely then be covered under an NDA.
astolfo Posted - 31 Dec 2013 : 01:52:34
Hi Elaine,
A quick question: in any forthcoming novel or book with 5th ed. FR, are answers going to be forthcoming to the fate of the Moonflower royal family and/or their descendants?
I've always enjoyed your work, thank you for sharing with all of us!
Astolfo
Portella Posted - 15 Dec 2013 : 22:57:28
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Portella

Thank you Elaine and woolly. I was looking for copy on the kindle store and it's not available there




Yes, oddly enough the book is available in audio format (Nifty aside: The narrator sang the melody I wrote to the ballad Danilo's singing sword belts out in Elfshadow) but not as an ebook. If they DO publish the book in ebook form, I'm hoping they'll include the story or two that were left out because they'd been recently published elsewhere, such as "Gorlist's Dragon." I'd be interested in writing a new short story or two for the ebook format to make it more attractive to FR readers.



That would be great, I tend to buy only ebook formats now.

And elaine this was my intro to you as an author, you got my attentions pretty good if they released the ebook as is i would get it.

;)
Kris the Grey Posted - 25 Nov 2013 : 00:32:25
Elaine,

Oh really? Huh - talk about your odd coincidences! My campaign's 'today' date is presently the 13th day of Flamerule (aka July), 1371. Small (fantasy) world. Maybe I need to take a serious look at having a Liriel cameo sometime soon. Lol.

Thanks again for all the information!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 24 Nov 2013 : 22:39:24
quote:
Originally posted by Kris the Grey

Elaine,

Do you know what year DR the story takes place in?



Yep! WINDWALKER took place in late 1361 and "Answered Prayers was almost exactly 10 years later, so it would be in the autumn of 1371.
Kris the Grey Posted - 24 Nov 2013 : 18:59:35
Elaine,

Family always comes first! So, absolutely no worries about you missing ConnectiCon, as they say in sports (and all other aspects of life really), 'there is always next year!'.

Thank you very much for the insights on Liriel's 'common knowledge' exploits and the circumstances of their likely re-telling. In re-reading "Answered Prayers" it certainly seems as though Liriel is not exactly shy about living out in the open (her move with the boots would certainly inspire tales to be told about it!). I agree that the story angle might be an interesting one to explore. Do you know what year DR the story takes place in?
Kajehase Posted - 24 Nov 2013 : 16:36:24
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
but things fell into place rather suddenly for my younger son to move to Japan.


This coupled with a vague memory of a blog-post you wrote about your older son starting college kinda makes me realise how long Candlekeep's been around now.

Pretty impressive, as internet-forums go.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 24 Nov 2013 : 01:06:44
quote:
Originally posted by Kris the Grey
We both hope that someday you might find yourself writing Realms fiction once again (despite the many bumps along the road that might have kept you from doing so up to now). We also both hope to be lucky enough to make your brief acquaintance at one convention or another at some point in the future. We live in your neck of the woods, and would have run into you at one of your writers workshops (as we do a bit of amateur scribbling of our own and so love to attend those sorts of things) at ConnectiCon this last summer had you been able to attend.




I felt pretty guilty about missing ConnectiCon, but things fell into place rather suddenly for my younger son to move to Japan. That would have been his last weekend at home, and there was no way in hell I was going to be anywhere else.

I haven't been attending many conventions over the past several years, but I hope to get out and about a bit more in 2014.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 23 Nov 2013 : 13:01:06
quote:
Originally posted by Kris the Grey

Hi Elaine,
Speaking of my wife, and Liriel, she asked me to pass along the following inquiry related to our present campaign set in the Realms. If around 1371 DR a good hearted cleric/wizard of the Mystran faith, traveling in the company of a half drow bard worshipper of Eilistraee, were to make the acquaintance of both the head of the Church of Selune in Waterdeep (and thus Kyriani Agrivar as well) and Qilue Veladorn how likely might it be for either of those two august personages to mention the existence of Liriel? Not her true family heritage, but the fact that she is a goodly drow (and faithful of Mystra) roaming the lands of light? Basically, is Liriel something of a secret/traveling in hiding, or are her travels and deeds post 1371 known to the 'adventuring public'?



I think Qilue would have to be very, very sure of someone before she mentioned Liriel. Any Underdark drow who lives on the surface is going to have powerful enemies, both from among her kind and surface dwellers who see a drow--ANY drow--as a threat to be eliminated. This gives Qilue two reasons for discretion: 1) making sure that the adventurer in question isn't planning to sell out Liriel and 2) getting a sense of whether or not the adventurer will be able to handle the sort of trouble that follows a renegade Menzoberranzan drow.

It's entirely possible that stories of Liriel's exploits will be passed along; after all, well-meaning drow are not very common. So yes, some adventurers may have heard rumors and a few will have first-hand stories to tell. I suppose it's possible that at some point she and her sword-sisters saw an advantage to going high profile with a badass name for their trio and a carefully orchestrated rep. (I'm seeing how a bard could come in handy here. A PR manager, if you will.) If that were the case, then people would be more likely to know some version of Liriel's story, and Qilue would be more likely to pass along the public version. That might be an interesting story angle to explore in your campaign.

ElaineCunningham Posted - 23 Nov 2013 : 12:51:22
quote:
Originally posted by Portella

Thank you Elaine and woolly. I was looking for copy on the kindle store and it's not available there




Yes, oddly enough the book is available in audio format (Nifty aside: The narrator sang the melody I wrote to the ballad Danilo's singing sword belts out in Elfshadow) but not as an ebook. If they DO publish the book in ebook form, I'm hoping they'll include the story or two that were left out because they'd been recently published elsewhere, such as "Gorlist's Dragon." I'd be interested in writing a new short story or two for the ebook format to make it more attractive to FR readers.
Portella Posted - 23 Nov 2013 : 10:00:36
Thank you Elaine and woolly. I was looking for copy on the kindle store and it's not available there :(. I will keep my eyes open for a physical copy but good books don't show up in second hand stores here that often.

Any way I will start another trilogy of its just need to figure out which one.

Kris the Grey Posted - 23 Nov 2013 : 05:52:39
Hi Elaine,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

It sounds like 'a goodly number' is the relative answer to my "How many Stoneshaft dwarves can a fellow expect to find in Thornhold?" inquiry. I'd put that at between a hundred and two hundred for the general operation of the keep and its defense (based on what I've seen of the same in the standard D&D literature). That gives me a much better sense, thanks! You mention mines, I'd assume those would be located at the varied clanholds elsewhere, not at/under the keep itself?

I appreciate the legal pickle you find yourself in on the lore question, not a problem that you can't answer it in a forum such as this. I do appreciate the reference to the short story in the anthology. I had read it quite a while back (when it was first released), but had understandably forgotten having done so! It does indeed give me a good sense of Bronwyn's future (post 1374 anyway!).

On a side note, along with 'Best of the Realms' I've actually read (and own) every Forgotten Realms novel you've ever written and I can say I am a genuine fan of your work. What's more, upon meeting my now wife, I set her upon the path of reading your works, and you made yourself another fan through that process. She is a particular admirer of your Liriel novels, and very much enjoyed the short story referenced above (the end of the Liriel plot line so to speak) when she finally read it last year. We both hope that someday you might find yourself writing Realms fiction once again (despite the many bumps along the road that might have kept you from doing so up to now). We also both hope to be lucky enough to make your brief acquaintance at one convention or another at some point in the future. We live in your neck of the woods, and would have run into you at one of your writers workshops (as we do a bit of amateur scribbling of our own and so love to attend those sorts of things) at ConnectiCon this last summer had you been able to attend.

Speaking of my wife, and Liriel, she asked me to pass along the following inquiry related to our present campaign set in the Realms. If around 1371 DR a good hearted cleric/wizard of the Mystran faith, traveling in the company of a half drow bard worshipper of Eilistraee, were to make the acquaintance of both the head of the Church of Selune in Waterdeep (and thus Kyriani Agrivar as well) and Qilue Veladorn how likely might it be for either of those two august personages to mention the existence of Liriel? Not her true family heritage, but the fact that she is a goodly drow (and faithful of Mystra) roaming the lands of light? Basically, is Liriel something of a secret/traveling in hiding, or are her travels and deeds post 1371 known to the 'adventuring public'?

ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Nov 2013 : 21:12:29
Hi, Portella!

Thanks for your post--delighted to hear that you enjoyed Liriel's story!

And thanks to Wooly for the short story heads-up. "Answered Prayers" takes place 10 years after the events of Windwalker. In it, Liriel has become a cleric of Mystra, thus combining her love for magic and her clerical bias. Over the past ten years, she'd been adventuring with Thorn and Sharlarra. I loved the notion of a trio of elven sword-sisters as an adventuring party. {:)]

ec


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Portella

Hi Elaine,

I have finished reading the liriel books and I want to say thank it was a great read i 'm happy to say I enjoyed all three books. Just wondering the last book's end seem end like to me that a lot happen so fast it was difficult to follow. I will have to give another read to understand everything that happen but I had just one little question what happen to liriel after the books end?

Thank you again and I hope you have a nice day.



In the Best of Elaine compilation, there's a new Liriel story, set several years later.

ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Nov 2013 : 21:05:34
Hi, Kris.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no specific map of Thornhold and environs. I don't think the exact number of dwarves in Clan Stoneshaft was ever established, but giving Ebenezer's bawdy and sarcastic response to Bronwyn's question about his family name ("My Da sired himself 13 kids...."), I think it's safe to assume that it's a pretty big extended family.

Take my husband's family, for example. His father was one of ten children. About seventy years later, the family that descended from Bill's grandfather numbered in the hundreds. Children and grandchildren and in-laws and step-children and so on--it adds up fast. And when one considers the longer dwarf lifespan, families could get very large very quickly. Since caves and caverns are not conducive to suburban sprawl, I'm assuming that when things got crowded, members of the Stoneshaft clan left the clanhold to found new mining communities. So the question would be threefold: How many people were in Ebenezer's home clanhold, how many kin lived outside of this particular series of caves and tunnels, and how many from both groups decided to relocate to Thornhold. For that matter, it seems very likely to me that many of the dwarves would live both above and below ground--perhaps splitting their time between mining and guard duty in the keep. Before I could give a useful answer to the question of how many dwarves in habit Thornhold, I'd have to do some research into the economics of a medieval trading outpost and the number of warriors needed to hold a fortress against attack. Hmmm....

I have a few ideas about what the dwarves and Bronwyn might have been doing after the events of Thornhold, but since that falls under the category of "publishing unapproved lore," I must regretfully decline to share them. There is, however, a glimpse into Bronwyn's future in the story "The Knights of Samular," a new tale that kicked off the short story collection Best of the Realms Book III: The Stories of Elaine Cunningham.




quote:
Originally posted by Kris the Grey

With a little research it would seem I've answered some of my own questions...

1368/69 was the year the Zhents took over and then the Stoneshaft dwarves liberated Thornhold (or so it would seem).

According to the 3E supplement, City of Splendors, Thornhold is being used in 1372 as:
"Clan Stoneshaft continues to operate the formidable redoubt to this day
as a merchant stopover—the last along the High Road before the
dangerous dash past the Mere of Dead Men."

I still haven't found a specific map (but I did find a rough description of the keep) nor do I have any idea how many dwarves make up Clan Stoneshaft.

I'd simply love to hear what you (their creator) think the dwarves (and Bronwyn) might be getting themselves up to at the keep at around this time (in the Golden Era of the 2E/3E Realms) if you'd care to share!

Wooly Rupert Posted - 22 Nov 2013 : 18:51:02
quote:
Originally posted by Portella

Hi Elaine,

I have finished reading the liriel books and I want to say thank it was a great read i 'm happy to say I enjoyed all three books. Just wondering the last book's end seem end like to me that a lot happen so fast it was difficult to follow. I will have to give another read to understand everything that happen but I had just one little question what happen to liriel after the books end?

Thank you again and I hope you have a nice day.



In the Best of Elaine compilation, there's a new Liriel story, set several years later.
Portella Posted - 22 Nov 2013 : 18:13:24
Hi Elaine,

I have finished reading the liriel books and I want to say thank it was a great read i 'm happy to say I enjoyed all three books. Just wondering the last book's end seem end like to me that a lot happen so fast it was difficult to follow. I will have to give another read to understand everything that happen but I had just one little question what happen to liriel after the books end?

Thank you again and I hope you have a nice day.
Kris the Grey Posted - 17 Nov 2013 : 02:28:25
With a little research it would seem I've answered some of my own questions...

1368/69 was the year the Zhents took over and then the Stoneshaft dwarves liberated Thornhold (or so it would seem).

According to the 3E supplement, City of Splendors, Thornhold is being used in 1372 as:
"Clan Stoneshaft continues to operate the formidable redoubt to this day
as a merchant stopover—the last along the High Road before the
dangerous dash past the Mere of Dead Men."

I still haven't found a specific map (but I did find a rough description of the keep) nor do I have any idea how many dwarves make up Clan Stoneshaft.

I'd simply love to hear what you (their creator) think the dwarves (and Bronwyn) might be getting themselves up to at the keep at around this time (in the Golden Era of the 2E/3E Realms) if you'd care to share!
Kris the Grey Posted - 17 Nov 2013 : 01:49:48
Greetings Mrs. Cunnigham,

I had a question about Thornhold...to whit:

What year (DR) did Bronwyn Caradoon and shield dwarves of Clan Stoneshaft take over Thornhold and what are they using it for in the years 1371-74? It sits along the High Road at the start of the Mere of Dead Men, so it would make an ideal way stop for caravans entering the Mere (as the edge of civilization so to speak).

Do you know of a map with its layout and do you have a general idea of how many dwarves inhabit it?

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