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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)
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

Fellfire Posted - 18 Aug 2016 : 19:24:17
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
ElaineCunningham Posted - 16 Aug 2016 : 16:14:18
Here's a link to the Kickstarter for HATH NO FURY, for those who might be interested.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmmartin/hath-no-fury-an-anthology-where-women-take-the-lea
ElaineCunningham Posted - 16 Aug 2016 : 15:05:16
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Also, it has been awhile since I have last trod these halls. What is the status of your Reclamation and moonblade projects?



The status is "unchanged," which is to say no additional progress has occurred.

Most of my time these days is spent working on a website startup and a nonfiction book. My current fiction project is "Burning," a short story for the anthology HATH NO FURY. There's a Kickstarter going on now, and it's nearly funded.

But I do plan to move forward with a DM Guild project. I think the "Lost Children of Evermeet" might be my best best--it's the most focused and contained of the topics I've pondered--but the research necessary for that will also help with the moonblad project. I don't have a long term schedule, but here are August's tasks, FYI:

  • Read through Evermeet, compile info on the Moonflower royal family
  • Brief narrative outline for the life story of each of the royal offspring
  • Brainstorm possible adventure hooks


The reception to a small project of this nature will give me more info about how the DM Guild works and help me better assess if I can afford to spend the time that a moonblade product would require.

ElaineCunningham Posted - 16 Aug 2016 : 14:55:22
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Elaine, forgive me if this has been asked before. I found reference to a short story named Crystals (I think) that you wrote for Star Wars Insider. To your knowledge, is this available anywhere online for free? Thanks.

Happy belated birthday.



I don't know of any site that includes it. But a while back, I heard from a guy who has a (semi-sanctioned) site where untold Star Wars tales are posted. Let me see if I can find his info and/or the site. It might be there. If it isn't, I'll see if I still have the story file somewhere.
Fellfire Posted - 16 Aug 2016 : 02:46:49
Also, it has been awhile since I have last trod these halls. What is the status of your Reclamation and moonblade projects?
Fellfire Posted - 16 Aug 2016 : 02:40:49
Elaine, forgive me if this has been asked before. I found reference to a short story named Crystals (I think) that you wrote for Star Wars Insider. To your knowledge, is this available anywhere online for free? Thanks.

Happy belated birthday.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 15 Aug 2016 : 21:58:23
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

Happy birthday, Mrs. Cunningham. May God bless your day with lots of joy and may your life be full of blessings of peace, wisdom, success, health and love! Thank you for the dreams you share with us, and may your roads bring you to find us here in Realms grounds in a pleasant, friendly meeting! Carpe Diem!



Thanks! :)
Barastir Posted - 12 Aug 2016 : 10:58:20
Happy birthday, Mrs. Cunningham. May God bless your day with lots of joy and may your life be full of blessings of peace, wisdom, success, health and love! Thank you for the dreams you share with us, and may your roads bring you to find us here in Realms grounds in a pleasant, friendly meeting! Carpe Diem!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 16 Jun 2016 : 19:37:21
CHAMPIONS OF AETALTIS is now available. It's a heroic fantasy anthology of stories set in the world of Aetaltis, which has a flavor very similar to the Forgotten Realms circa second edition. Contributors include several FR writers: Ed Greenwood, Mel Odom, Erin M. Evans, Richard Lee Byers, and me. Hope you'll give it a look!


http://www.amazon.com/Champions-Aetaltis-Marc-Tassin/dp/0990529649/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460466276&sr=8-1&keywords=champions of aetaltis
ElaineCunningham Posted - 09 May 2016 : 13:44:12
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Elaine, could you please tell me where you did your research for the hamfariggen berserkers? I'm not finding much from official sources. Is this something you drew from mythology or the top of your head?



A combination of mythology and imagination. If memory serves, there wasn't a lot of info in the official lore at the time.
Fellfire Posted - 08 May 2016 : 00:26:33
Elaine, could you please tell me where you did your research for the hamfariggen berserkers? I'm not finding much from official sources. Is this something you drew from mythology or the top of your head?
Narwe Posted - 03 May 2016 : 21:30:45
Thank you for the quick response!
And I wish you the best of luck with publishing Reclamation in whatever form it may take :)
ElaineCunningham Posted - 03 May 2016 : 21:03:04
quote:
Originally posted by Narwe

Hello, everyone, a long-time lurker here :)

I was in fact searching for the Reclamation chapters but I couldn't find it and the links in the previous posts don't seem to work.
Can you maybe help me out?

And Elaine, your books are pure genius! You probably don't remember but more than 10 years ago when I was just starting high school I sent you a mail (to which you very kindly replied) about me trying to translate Evermeet to Slovene. I'm happy to tell you that despite not being able to get it published in any way I did finish the translation for my own private enjoyment and satisfaction :)



Hi, Narwe.

Wow. Translating an entire novel is a massive undertaking--and a huge accomplishment!

I pulled the RECLAMATION thread because I was looking into finishing and publishing the story as serial fiction on the DM Guild. This option doesn't appear to be available at this time, so I'm not sure how (or if) to proceed. If there's no chance of publishing via DMG, I will put the excerpts back online at Candlekeep.

Best,
ec
Narwe Posted - 03 May 2016 : 20:55:25
Hello, everyone, a long-time lurker here :)

I was in fact searching for the Reclamation chapters but I couldn't find it and the links in the previous posts don't seem to work.
Can you maybe help me out?

And Elaine, your books are pure genius! You probably don't remember but more than 10 years ago when I was just starting high school I sent you a mail (to which you very kindly replied) about me trying to translate Evermeet to Slovene. I'm happy to tell you that despite not being able to get it published in any way I did finish the translation for my own private enjoyment and satisfaction :)
Markustay Posted - 27 Apr 2016 : 15:44:20
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

As for Khelben's appearance, <snip>

Given that Elminster is KNOWN for changing his appearance (and sex), and that other Chosen are as well, I would just chalk this up to his being a chosen and some granted power of Mystra.

Being a famous Chosen would get in the way of many of the things they have to do, so being able to easily disguise their appearance (on a semi-permanent basis) SHOULD be in their repertoire.

Just sayin'
ElaineCunningham Posted - 27 Apr 2016 : 13:54:58
quote:
Originally posted by Clegane

I just saw in the DM forum that you have pulled Reclemation and see the thread is no longer here. Sorry to hear this but I am still glad you posted it. Since I first came across it, I have been as enthused about the FR as I was when the FR was newly published. In the last few weeks I have reread Elfshadow, Elfsong, Silver Shadows and I am half way through Thornhold(my favorite).




Thanks for sharing this, Clegane. Much appreciated. :)

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