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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)
sleyvas Posted - 18 Oct 2014 : 20:12:33
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Elaine, I realize that you cannot claim to be an expert on lythari mechanics, however, in my opinion, you grasp their spirit. I would like to ask your opinion regarding the sensitivity of the lythari to silver, wolfsbane and the full moon? I realize that nothing you say in anyway reflects what has already been written, I only wonder what you think.



The lythari are not werewolves, so I see no reason for them to be affected by the usual triggers and banes. In fact, it seems to me that lythari might take up the practice of wearing silver just to make a point. I imagine that the moon cycles would play a large part in their culture, both ritual and practical matters such as hunting, but I don't see the moon forcing a change.

As for wolfsbane, I imagine lythari would have much the same reaction as a human. The plant--also known as monkshood or by its Latin name, aconite--is a deadly poison. Ingesting roots can cause death in a few hours. Just handling the leaves can cause your hands to tingle and burn. Oddly enough, it's in very common use in cottage gardens. In fact, I used to grow a lovely deep blue monkshood in one of my flower gardens, right next to the raspberry patch, but I dug it out when a new family moved in next door with two little girls who were very fond of raspberries.

My point, and I do have one, is that wolfsbane is bad news to more people than werewolves.

That said, there's no real reason to assume that the family of plants referred to as wolfsbane in the Realms is identical to the 200+ varieties of aconite we have in our particular reality. It may be that the wolfsbane of Faerun has other botanical or magical properties, some of which might have either a beneficial or deleterious effect on the lythari. It would be fun, come to think of it, if the lythari could do something completely unexpected and badass with wolfsbane. Alternately, I could see them using it as a suppressant to their lupine nature; for example, suppose there are rare cases of lythari who are team players in elf form but either rogues or violent in wolf form. It would make sense for them to be exiled from the pack, as it were, but remain part of the community while going through life on two feet. Or perhaps someone has difficulty controlling the change, or is going into a situation where control is particularly difficult, such as a battle where changing into wolf form could be deadly. Ingesting or wearing wolfsbane to prevent changing would make a great deal of sense.

Or maybe they dry and smoke wolfsbane for recreational purposes.

What? Too second edition?





Hey Elaine, just wondering, some of us have made a somewhat connection between the Ilythiiri and the Lythari because of the similarity of the name and the idea that the original Ilythiiri were kind of wood elfish (figuring the Lythari is a corruption of the original tribal name). I was wondering if you had ever intended for that connection to be made.
ericlboyd Posted - 18 Oct 2014 : 15:42:10
So, by chance, I was literally trying to figure this out this morning.

I note the following: Nisstyre dies in 1361 DR (when Daughter of the Drow is set). Misstyre is mentioned in 1369 DR (when The North is written).

Therefore, despite the similarities, I don't think they can be the same individual unless that was Elaine's intent and there's a deeper story.

--Eric

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Duneth Despana

Thank you for such a quick reply ^_^. If not you, could you point me to which writer/designer has authority on the subject?




Unfortunately, I cannot. I have not been writing in the Realms for several years now, and I don't know who's responsible for what these days. You might want to post your question on the WotC community board. It seems likely that game designers and editors check the board from time to time.

DenverJack Posted - 18 Oct 2014 : 01:35:48
Hello again Elaine. I got my hands on a copy of Dragon #335 and read Game Of Chance - very interesting :-)
You've previously touched on the spell Elaith used to make 'speak with dead' type spells not function, and I was wondering if you had in mind any powers/abilities of Elaith's "special black knife," other than being of dark-elf craftsmanship?
I greatly appreciate anything you'd be willing to share.
Thanks!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 17 Oct 2014 : 13:49:09
quote:
Originally posted by Duneth Despana

Thank you for such a quick reply ^_^. If not you, could you point me to which writer/designer has authority on the subject?




Unfortunately, I cannot. I have not been writing in the Realms for several years now, and I don't know who's responsible for what these days. You might want to post your question on the WotC community board. It seems likely that game designers and editors check the board from time to time.
Duneth Despana Posted - 17 Oct 2014 : 13:08:46
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Duneth Despana

Heya,
I just created this scroll(http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19667) trying to find more information on Clan Auzkovyn.

Since they were Vhaeraunites like the Dragon's Hoard featured in 'Daughter of the Drow' and the trade organization had an enclave in the High Forest during the time Clan Auzkovyn still inhabited it, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what relations the two organizations might have had if any, and in general if you could help me in my quest for more lore on the Clan.



Interesting project! Unfortunately, I don't have any addition insights or information for Clan Auzkovyn. It seems very probable that the two groups would be aware of each other and that they would occasionally do business. Since the Dragon's Hoard traded in both Menzoberranzan and Skullport, it would make very good sense for one of the Auzkovyn to infiltrate and travel with the merchant group in order to get information and goods that could help protect and sustain their enclave.



Thank you for such a quick reply ^_^. If not you, could you point me to which writer/designer has authority on the subject?

In my investigation I stumbled upon this bit of realmslore about drow in the High Forest:

'There is an established tribe of approximately 100
Vhaeraun-worshiping drow living at the western fringe of the
High Forest just two days south of the River Dessarin's headwaters
near the Lost Peaks. The tribe is led by a drow merchant
and wizard named Misstyre'(The North Boxed Set)

And I guess that Misstyre and Nisstyre must be the same drow. (Kinda like Phaere~Phaera, Solaufein~Solausein, Xalph~Xalth...). What surprises me is that there were 100 drow in just the High Forest enclave of the Dragon's Hoard. Can you tell me what happened to the different parts of the Dragon's Hoard after Nisstyre and Gorlist's deaths in 1361DR? Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark mentions the merchant band as 'shattered'... Where did all these vhaeraunites go? Thank you in advance once again.
Fellfire Posted - 17 Oct 2014 : 05:54:55
Awesome, Elaine. I will try to smoke some immediately. Feywild, here I come.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 16 Oct 2014 : 20:39:18
quote:
Originally posted by Duneth Despana

Heya,
I just created this scroll(http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19667) trying to find more information on Clan Auzkovyn.

Since they were Vhaeraunites like the Dragon's Hoard featured in 'Daughter of the Drow' and the trade organization had an enclave in the High Forest during the time Clan Auzkovyn still inhabited it, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what relations the two organizations might have had if any, and in general if you could help me in my quest for more lore on the Clan.



Interesting project! Unfortunately, I don't have any addition insights or information for Clan Auzkovyn. It seems very probable that the two groups would be aware of each other and that they would occasionally do business. Since the Dragon's Hoard traded in both Menzoberranzan and Skullport, it would make very good sense for one of the Auzkovyn to infiltrate and travel with the merchant group in order to get information and goods that could help protect and sustain their enclave.
xaeyruudh Posted - 16 Oct 2014 : 16:03:57
Thanks Elaine, I like your take on the lythari!
Duneth Despana Posted - 16 Oct 2014 : 15:06:36
Heya,
I just created this scroll(http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19667) trying to find more information on Clan Auzkovyn.

Since they were Vhaeraunites like the Dragon's Hoard featured in 'Daughter of the Drow' and the trade organization had an enclave in the High Forest during the time Clan Auzkovyn still inhabited it, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on what relations the two organizations might have had if any, and in general if you could help me in my quest for more lore on the Clan.

Thank you in advance and thanks for your great contribution to the Realms.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 09 Oct 2014 : 12:57:34
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Elaine, I realize that you cannot claim to be an expert on lythari mechanics, however, in my opinion, you grasp their spirit. I would like to ask your opinion regarding the sensitivity of the lythari to silver, wolfsbane and the full moon? I realize that nothing you say in anyway reflects what has already been written, I only wonder what you think.



The lythari are not werewolves, so I see no reason for them to be affected by the usual triggers and banes. In fact, it seems to me that lythari might take up the practice of wearing silver just to make a point. I imagine that the moon cycles would play a large part in their culture, both ritual and practical matters such as hunting, but I don't see the moon forcing a change.

As for wolfsbane, I imagine lythari would have much the same reaction as a human. The plant--also known as monkshood or by its Latin name, aconite--is a deadly poison. Ingesting roots can cause death in a few hours. Just handling the leaves can cause your hands to tingle and burn. Oddly enough, it's in very common use in cottage gardens. In fact, I used to grow a lovely deep blue monkshood in one of my flower gardens, right next to the raspberry patch, but I dug it out when a new family moved in next door with two little girls who were very fond of raspberries.

My point, and I do have one, is that wolfsbane is bad news to more people than werewolves.

That said, there's no real reason to assume that the family of plants referred to as wolfsbane in the Realms is identical to the 200+ varieties of aconite we have in our particular reality. It may be that the wolfsbane of Faerun has other botanical or magical properties, some of which might have either a beneficial or deleterious effect on the lythari. It would be fun, come to think of it, if the lythari could do something completely unexpected and badass with wolfsbane. Alternately, I could see them using it as a suppressant to their lupine nature; for example, suppose there are rare cases of lythari who are team players in elf form but either rogues or violent in wolf form. It would make sense for them to be exiled from the pack, as it were, but remain part of the community while going through life on two feet. Or perhaps someone has difficulty controlling the change, or is going into a situation where control is particularly difficult, such as a battle where changing into wolf form could be deadly. Ingesting or wearing wolfsbane to prevent changing would make a great deal of sense.

Or maybe they dry and smoke wolfsbane for recreational purposes.

What? Too second edition?
Fellfire Posted - 09 Oct 2014 : 02:51:02
Elaine, I realize that you cannot claim to be an expert on lythari mechanics, however, in my opinion, you grasp their spirit. I would like to ask your opinion regarding the sensitivity of the lythari to silver, wolfsbane and the full moon? I realize that nothing you say in anyway reflects what has already been written, I only wonder what you think.
Demzer Posted - 05 Oct 2014 : 10:50:02
Many thanks for your answers!

It may be only your opinion, but it's highly valued in my mind. Your Starlight and Shadows trilogy got me hooked to FR novels after years of sticking to a "game sourcebooks only" dogma.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 04 Oct 2014 : 18:50:10
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Mrs Cunningham,

I have a few questions on Sharlarra Vendreth:
- Does she appear anywhere else beside Windwalker and Answered Prayers?


Alas, no.

quote:
- Is she aware of her star elf nature?


Yes.

quote:
--In Windwalker she seems to know she's not a gold elf but doesn't know what exactly she is, in Answered Prayers Liriel's thoughts at the start clearly state the Sharlarra is a star elf so i suppose Sharlarra knows too, 10 years later, how did they discover it?


This story would constitute one of the adventures the three sword-sisters shared over the past ten years. Since this period of their lives hasn't been explored in sanctioned lore, it's probably not a good idea to go into details. And to be perfectly candid, I really haven't worked through the specifics of this adventure, so anything I'd say here would be made up on the spot and probably regretted later, when I came up with a better idea.

quote:
- It may seem the typical trope, to have a character with a misterious past take steps to solve the mistery, but how much is Sharlarra interested in her ancestry? Is she aware of the existence of Sildeyuir? Is she aware of the (present as of early 1370s DR/3E era) nilshai troubles of her people?


Very, yes, and yes.

quote:
- Even if she isn't aware, would she, if made aware, feel any obligation towards the star elves to get her little band of three to the Yuirwood to investigate/help?



Okay, keep in mind that this is MY OPINION ONLY. It does not reflect WotC's plans (or lack thereof.) But yes, it does seem likely that this would be one of the main adventures these elves would share. If I could tell stories about this era, this one would be near the top of my list.
Demzer Posted - 04 Oct 2014 : 16:20:09
Mrs Cunningham,

I have a few questions on Sharlarra Vendreth:
- Is she aware of her star elf nature? In Windwalker she seems to know she's not a gold elf but doesn't know what exactly she is, in Answered Prayers Liriel's thoughts at the start clearly state the Sharlarra is a star elf so i suppose Sharlarra knows too, 10 years later, how did they discover it?
- It may seem the typical trope, to have a character with a misterious past take steps to solve the mistery, but how much is Sharlarra interested in her ancestry? Is she aware of the existence of Sildeyuir? Is she aware of the (present as of early 1370s DR/3E era) nilshai troubles of her people?
- Even if she isn't aware, would she, if made aware, feel any obligation towards the star elves to get her little band of three to the Yuirwood to investigate/help?

Thanks!

EDIT: i found the answer to one of my questions in your previous posts, so i deleted the question
ElaineCunningham Posted - 28 Sep 2014 : 01:42:30
No worries. :)
sleyvas Posted - 27 Sep 2014 : 09:51:31
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

huh, I love that quote of Einstein's. Where'd you find it? I really need to read more about him. I remember someone talking about him an the fact that it was raining, so he took off his hat and put it under his jacket. When asked, he commented that his hair would dry, but his hat would ruin.




Heh. I don't recall where I first heard that quote, but to get the wording right, I Googled "Einstein, everyone's a genius" and it popped up.




well, you set me off on a quest. Great page here.

http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html

Love this one
•"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Please forgive me for hijacking the thread for a bit.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 27 Sep 2014 : 02:25:26
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

huh, I love that quote of Einstein's. Where'd you find it? I really need to read more about him. I remember someone talking about him an the fact that it was raining, so he took off his hat and put it under his jacket. When asked, he commented that his hair would dry, but his hat would ruin.




Heh. I don't recall where I first heard that quote, but to get the wording right, I Googled "Einstein, everyone's a genius" and it popped up.
sleyvas Posted - 27 Sep 2014 : 01:30:33
huh, I love that quote of Einstein's. Where'd you find it? I really need to read more about him. I remember someone talking about him an the fact that it was raining, so he took off his hat and put it under his jacket. When asked, he commented that his hair would dry, but his hat would ruin.
Fellfire Posted - 26 Sep 2014 : 04:46:27
As always, Milady, my graciousness flows like a river inundated by the monsoon
ElaineCunningham Posted - 26 Sep 2014 : 00:04:41
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

This may be a stretch, but I'm not asking for a rules rundown. How would you describe ''dragonfear''? I reread ''Games of Chance'' and am fascinated by this power of the Craulnober moonblade. Can you expand upon this?



Here's a quote from the FR Wiki entry on dragons: (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon)

Older dragons can cast draconic magic, such as spells with just a few words, and oftentimes they don't need long and complex ritual involving words, gestures and components like other wizards, and they radiate a mystical fear aura around themselves.

The Dragonfear ability of the Craulnober moonblade mimics this innate draconic ability. It comes from a time when wielders were dragon riders. It is an insanely powerful ability, which is one of the reasons the Craulnober moonblade has not had a wielder for several generations. Elves can elect to pass on this inheritance if their particular talents, strengths, and personalities are not well suited for the family moonblade. As as Elaith's history demonstrated, his were not. He might have "grown into" the sword, had he waited a few decades and faced a few uncomfortable truths. But his particular history fostered neither patience nor perspective.

Elaith was orphaned as a baby, so he missed out on the sort of family stories that might have enabled him to honorably take a pass. Not having family made him eager to claim what remained of his heritage. As the last of his line, he simply assumed the sword was his to claim. And since he was good at just about everything he attempted, he never considered the possibility of failure.

His inability to claim the family blade shattered his sense of worth. It shouldn't have. As Einstein famously observed, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’


Fellfire Posted - 25 Sep 2014 : 23:37:31
Shaiza. Sorry for the double post. My tablet is just begging to be bricked through the window.
Fellfire Posted - 25 Sep 2014 : 23:35:05
This may be a stretch, but I'm not asking for a rules rundown. How would you describe ''dragonfear''? I reread ''Games of Chance'' and am fascinated by this power of the Craulnober moonblade. Can you expand upon this?
Barastir Posted - 21 Sep 2014 : 03:21:42
Wonderful, Mrs. Cunningham! Always good to see your writings, especially on Realmsian characters.
Fellfire Posted - 16 Sep 2014 : 13:07:21
Thanksamillion Elaine. You are the best. I'll keep my fingers crossed and wish upon a star that we see that tale someday.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 16 Sep 2014 : 03:14:30
Okay, I took a quick look at the story, and it would seem that my memory is faulty where Tincheron's appearance is concerned. He's described as a tall elf with golden eyes in a narrow, angular face covered by tiny silvery scales.

So. A few details. His eyes are the color of light amber. This seems to be a family trait, because Elaith, Azariah, and Neesha, Tincheron's daughter, all have variations on that hue. Tincheron's pupils would be vertical, like a reptile's. The scales on his skin would be very small and subtle, the texture more like a pattern on the skin than actual scales. That said, his scaly skin would provide a natural armor (similar to leather, though, rather than scale mail.) Other than his eyes and skin, he appears much like any other elf, though he is considerably taller--about 6'5. He is broad through the shoulders, slim build, long legs. He is faster than his size would suggest. And yes, his dragon-great-great-great-grandaddy was silver. No ritual other than polymorph was involved.

He and Elaith are related through the Sinsi Craulnober, the moon elf dragonrider who bore Vinisharza, a half-elven daughter, to her dragon partner, whose name I'd rather not attempt to spell. Elaith and Tincheron are related through Sinsi's mother, also a dragon rider, who wielded the Craulnober moonblade and passed it down to her firstborn son, Sinsi's older brother Since the generations in their respective lineage don't line up precisely--as is to be expected, considering the long lifespans of elves and dragonkin--Elaith and Tincheon are technically fourth cousins thrice removed. It's not a very close connection. Elaith didn't know about this branch of the family until he met Tincheron under interesting circumstances. And no, there is no story written about that. Maybe some day!

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