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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Alaundo Posted - 30 Sep 2007 : 17:00:01
Well met

This being a collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to our newest Realms designer, Brian R. James. I'm sure Brian's work needs no introduction, his Grand History of the Realms once graced the halls of Candlekeep and is now a full product produced by WotC.

Brian is also a scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this scribe.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Irennan Posted - 25 Aug 2015 : 18:11:10
I would be very interested in it too. However, as far as I know, it can't be shared, because WotC still owns the lore. We only know that the Masked Lady gave away her divinity in lifting Corellon's curse from her followers, and that caused Eilistraee and Vhaeraun to separate again and become archfey. They could still use the lore, saying that Eilistraee and Vhaeraun managed to recover their divinity during the Sundering, since they are now back.

Bruce Donohue Posted - 25 Aug 2015 : 10:20:36
Hello Brian, I was wondering the story your wrote in regards about Eilistraee and Vhaeraun that didn't get published in the Menzo box set, are you able to share it with us?
Barastir Posted - 19 Aug 2015 : 13:33:48
I've also thought of the "helm of opposite alignment", or of a similar effect cast or done by his consort Meilan. However, for what I read in the Kara-Tur box (I may be wrong), he was corrupted AFTER reigning for some time, but GHotR implies that his very ascencion was by defeating the empress which later would become the immortal of mercy...

EDIT: Mr. James, can you help us? If not, I think we might take this discussion elsewhere, no?
Markustay Posted - 18 Aug 2015 : 00:26:43
Elven artifacts are used to their hubris, and are therefor designed to 'look deeper'?

Other then that, I got nuthin'.

EDIT:Just thought of something - he was using something that either masked his alignment, or actually changed it (like that helm that switches your alignment). That could explain a lot.

Also, the type of Lich he is - having to 'take over' other people's bodies. It could be that there is a certain 'breaking in' period in which the other personality isn't completely submerged (for example, that could be when he first took over the Monk Ambuchar Devyam, and the Monk was able to resist him for a long time, hence his 'good days'.)
Barastir Posted - 17 Aug 2015 : 19:33:54
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
(...)
The spear is a magical artifact, and uses the same type of magic to judge others. It would not have questioned his actions until HE questioned them himself (had self-doubts about what he was doing afterwards). At the moment when you have to ask yourself, "was that justified?", you have crossed a line in your own mind.
(...)


I understand your point, but following this logic, no sun elf - nor Elaith Craulnober - would be judged unworthy by a moonblade.
Rymac Posted - 16 Aug 2015 : 21:51:23
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Ahhh, theres the rub.

When someone does any sort of 'detect alignment' thingy, what they are really doing is looking into the heart of the person. If Tan Chin truly felt he was 'doing good' ("The needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the few"), then his heart would be 'pure' (because his motives would be pure, from his own perspective).

Its pretty-much how you can have tyrannical lawful good paladins.

The spear is a magical artifact, and uses the same type of magic to judge others. It would not have questioned his actions until HE questioned them himself (had self-doubts about what he was doing afterwards). At the moment when you have to ask yourself, "was that justified?", you have crossed a line in your own mind.

At least, thats how I interpret things. I am sure Adolf Hitler thought he was 'the savior of the German people' right up until the end (you know... when he died in Argentina years later ).


The villain is the hero of his own story. Once people understand that, you can play things with many layers, different shades of grey, and even a pure black vs white conflict, because the villain has thought out their goals better than the heroes. It's said stories are only as good as the villains within them.

To pick up on what Markustay is saying, I think Hitler knew what he was doing was bad, evil, and insane. However, in Hitler's mindset he was justifying it for the preservation of the Germanic peoples, and an expanded German Empire. But it's important to remember he was evil and insane, because no good person would go to the lengths he did.
Markustay Posted - 16 Aug 2015 : 20:00:18
Ahhh, theres the rub.

When someone does any sort of 'detect alignment' thingy, what they are really doing is looking into the heart of the person. If Tan Chin truly felt he was 'doing good' ("The needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the few"), then his heart would be 'pure' (because his motives would be pure, from his own perspective).

Its pretty-much how you can have tyrannical lawful good paladins.

The spear is a magical artifact, and uses the same type of magic to judge others. It would not have questioned his actions until HE questioned them himself (had self-doubts about what he was doing afterwards). At the moment when you have to ask yourself, "was that justified?", you have crossed a line in your own mind.

At least, thats how I interpret things. I am sure Adolf Hitler thought he was 'the savior of the German people' right up until the end (you know... when he died in Argentina years later ).
Barastir Posted - 16 Aug 2015 : 18:21:34
I can see things that way, but then, what about the lawful good magical spear that he wielded, and that abandoned him when he supposedly turned evil?

Besides, to be apparently good Tan Chin also had to deceive the dragon that wrote the history section on the Shou Lung book... But well, I see it is difficult, but possible.
Markustay Posted - 16 Aug 2015 : 16:10:53
If I may...

I think Tan Chin was never truly 'good'. More like an ambitious over-achiever who was smart enough not to show his true colors until he got a firm grip on the throne. Everything he did in those 'early years' was to gain the support of the populace, when Shou-Lung was in its infancy (Anok-Imaskar). Think of him as a sort of Lo Pan,Victor Von Doom, and Hitler all rolled into one. After the war with 'the gods' he easily would have looked like 'the savior of his people', when all the while he was setting himself up to be this 'hero-god' type of figure in their eyes.

Why I think this is that you will find those 'good' entries occur at the same time as some of the bad ones. I don't think he ever really changed - he just didn't tip his hand (in all its ebil glory) until much later. And in his defense (and referring to my Hitler/Doom comparison above), I am sure HE THOUGHT he was 'the good guy', doing everything for the 'good of the people' (because in his mind, he was smarted then them, and knew what they needed... whether they liked it or not). In fact, I am still not all that sure he really is evil - just incredibly misguided.

By the same token, someone who has worked against him on occasion - The Black Panther - is also shown to be both 'good' & 'bad'. I think this is more about the chaos/law/ axis of the spectrum, then the good/evil one. One believes in freedom at all costs, the other, control. Neither considers themselves 'the villain'.

Just my 2¢

As for the GHotR entries - instead of getting the rewritten/reflavored Eastern histories (from the K-T material), we got a very 'plain vanilla' Western interpretation of the events in the east, which doesn't really get into the mindset of the people involved. Its all very Black & white, when the world is really 'shades of grey'.
Barastir Posted - 16 Aug 2015 : 14:30:23
I have a question about the Kara-Tur entries in The Grand History of the Realms. It seems, through what we see of emperor Tan Chin, that he was always evil, even returning as a lich. But the Kara-Tur: the Eastern Realms presents an apparently good warrior (owner of a powerful LG magic weapon) later corrupted by an evil, sorcerous wife. Which sources were used to write these new entries? If not you, which author should I ask for these write-ups?
Markustay Posted - 31 Jul 2015 : 19:47:10
A new (circa 1375) map I am working on covers Chessenta (in part), and I am trying to reconcile a few locations from your 4e article on the area with older geography (which isn't much of problem, considering the massive changes from the Spellplague). I've been backwards-engineering the (excellent) lore from the article, and I noticed a few sites not covered by the article itself:

Chelm's Roost
Calmaercor Stonemantle
Caerhuan the Storm Tower
Myth Valorthae

I just need to know if they are recent adds, or have been there awhile, but any additional lore would be fantastic. There's also no info on Shuruppak & Maugor, two settlements that fall outside of Chessenta. Anything I should know about these? (in other words, if you have lore saying Shuruppak was settled within the last century, then I shan't place it).


Lastly, is there a small tent-like structure along the Methflow with an ex-schoolteacher using forgotten Imaskari alchemy to produce a strange, crystalline drug?

Sorry... couldn't resist taking a jab at that one.
BenN Posted - 15 Jan 2014 : 00:58:34
Hi Brian,

I originally wrote this in the Rose of Sarifal thread, but on reflection its probably best to post it here:

The Moonshaes are one of my favourite areas of the Realms, and Sarifal is intriguing; I really enjoyed your Realmslore: Sarifal article in Dragon. I'm developing a campaign storyline based on this area, including NPCs based there.

Some of the things I'm particularly interested in:

1) Relationship between LeShay & Llewyrr. According to realmslore, the latter have pledged allegiance to the former. Does this make Ate'Niah Lady Ordalf's vassal?

2) Relationship between humans (Ffolk, Northmen) and Llewyrr. What part did the Llewyrr play in defeating the Amnish settlers, and kicking the humans out of Gwynneth? Is this the reason for the 'strained relations'?

3) Relationship between Llewyrr and other elves (wood elves?) in Sarifal. If the wood elves are opposed to Fey expansionism, does this put them at odds with the Llewyrr, and might they be sympathetic to Ffolk designs to retake part of Gwynneth?


Any light you can shed on the above would be greatly appreciated!
Markustay Posted - 11 Nov 2012 : 18:59:44
I need info on the following, which appear on the 4e Cormyr map:

Valkur's Roar
Maloren's rest

Also, Mage Keep and Castle Aris both appear on the FRIA map as well, but I have no info on them.

EDIT:
New question: In your Chessenta article, which settlements can I assume aren't new as of the past (Wailing Years) century? Two I am suspect of, but the rest seem to have been there awhile.




Dalor Darden Posted - 31 Oct 2012 : 01:25:01
I had a quick one for Brian from a previous conversation in another thread:

quote:

Originally posted by Brian R. James


quote:

Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I'm still trying to dig up some information on "The Lone Tower" and the Giant's Cairn as well.

In earlier maps the two are listed as being separate from each other; but in the new map from the "Monument of the Ancients" adventure they are placed together, with the tower in the middle of the cairn area.



I designed the map for Monument of the Ancients and I'd be happy to address any inconsistencies found within. Yet, this isn't one of them.

Examine the following quote from TSR9474 "The Moonsea" p.31

The Lone Tower
This tall granite tower was built to protect the Moonsea
against Thar. Years ago it was a scene of a great
slaughter between the humans of Thar and beings
from the north.

There is a round field, called the Giant's Cairn, surrounding
the Tower. The barren stretch is dotted with
great burial mounds capped with stones. I have been
told that some inscriptions on the stones are curses
that summon giants, but that sounds too far-fetched
to be true. Many of Thar#146;s humanoids who died at the
Lone Tower are said to be buried at the Giants#146; Cairn.
I tend to favor lore descriptions found in text, so I used this as an opportunity to correct a mistake repeated on earlier maps. I hope Markus finds this change less "repugnant" now that he knows the facts behind the decision.

BTW, I *am* working on a new map of the area so if there is anything to correct, now would be the time to bring it to my attention!





Thanks Brian!

I appreciate that...I totally overlooked that bit of writing.

What is your map for?
Quale Posted - 28 Oct 2012 : 08:57:52
Thanks for the reply, I've found out later that they're from 4e DMG 2. It would be great to have more such connections between two settings. I asked because I remember reading somewhere that the Hosttower had branches to other planes.
Shemmy Posted - 27 Oct 2012 : 11:08:30
quote:
Originally posted by Quale


Also the Shemeshka article mentions the Arcane Brotherhood among other old organizations from Sigil, are they from Luskan?



I hate to intrude into Brian's thread here, but I think I can field an answer here since I'm pretty sure I wrote the relevant section.

Same name, different organization. It's plucked from previous material on Sigil (Society of the Luminiferous Aether could fit on the list there as well as a mage's collective, but it's more obscure), however there's nothing preventing there being members of the Luskan organization having made their way to Sigil and joining it.
Sightless Posted - 14 Oct 2012 : 14:02:16
I'm not sure who is the best person to be asking this question to, if you aren't the best person to ask, or if you feel you can direct me to another source, I would be most appreciative. I am attempting to deal with Lady Hope’s sons, birthdays, who is alive, and what positions they might have as of 1479. From what I can get of the source material I have, and what Dragon-magazines I can listen to, has lead to the following: Tarthilmor Aerasume (CG hem F11/W12) is set as one of the two Captains of
the Spellguard under Jorus Azuremantle. DRAGON ANNUAL #1, p60

Methrammar Aerasume, the Shining Guard (LG hem F14/W12) and commander of
Luruar's armies. THE NORTH, Cities p55

Dalbrant Tanagathor (1240 - 1313?) Disappeared while on quest given him by
Taerntym

Hardorbryn Tanagathor (1242 - 1343) Twin of Alondel; died in battle with
the Moonlight Men

Alondel Tanagathor (1242 - 1343) Twin of Hardorbryn; died in battle with
the Moonlight Men

Boesild Aerasume (1244 - ?) Oldest known/acknowledged surviving son of
Alustriel; former apprentice of Khelben the Elder just after he left
Waterdeep in 1256; now part of the Teukiira/Moonstars.

Elnriyr Moonweather (1250 - 1347) Priest of Sehanine; died in the fire that destroys Everdusk Hall

Baerndar Tanagathor (1266 - ?)

Uoundeld of Silverymoon (1269 - ?) Teacher at the Lady's College (Tactical
&
Strategic Spellcasting)

Dolthauvin Aerasume (1295 - ?) Wanderer in the Moonwood & Coldwood

Elinthalar Tanagathor (1299 - ?) Twin of Andelver; wanderer of Lurkwood

Andelver Tressymfriend (1299 - ?) Twin of Elinthalar; wanderer of Lurkwood

Methrammar Aerasume (1304 - ?) The Shining Guard & most recognized son of
Alustriel

Inthylyn of Silverymoon (1314 - ?) ?????????????????

Lilinthar Moonweather (1337 - ?) Triplet brother of Naerond & Tarthilmor;
huntmaster of Moonweather clan in Moonwood?

Naerond Aerasume (1337 - ?) Triplet brother of Lilinthar & Tarthilmor;
crusader/mage for Mystra?

Tarthilmor Aerasume (1337 - ?) Triplet brother of Naerond & Lilinthar;
Spell
Captain of the Spellguard in Silverymoon

Raerilarr Aerasume (1340 - ?) Smallest of Tall Ones at 6'7" and nicknamed
"Tiny" by brothers; most hot-tempered of brothers, rabid drow hunter.
Ghaelryss the Bold (1345 - ?) Uses no surname, raised in Silverymoon,
living in Everlund?

I am assuming that Methrammar is king with his mother’s passing, as he is the most recognized, if not necessarily the oldest. As I have said I shall be grateful for any help on the matter.
Brian R. James Posted - 09 Sep 2012 : 18:33:36
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Greetings Brian, I've a query about shardsouls, as referenced in your 'Realmslore: Vaasa' article from DUNGEON #177, pg. 5. Specifically, this portion of text:-
quote:
Luminaries are also responsible for the crafting of shardsouls, monstrous automatons formed from Telos’s body and set to serve in Vaasa’s armies.
What more can you share about these shardsouls? Particularly, the methods/techniques the Luminaries utilise in their creation of these automatons?

Greetings Sage. I believe soulshards are Rich Baker's original creation, but I've included some of my notes below from when I was working on the Vaasa article:

Shardsouls are living constructs, forged by the Warlock Knights of Vaasa from the iron like flesh of the slumbering primordial Telos. The body of the Master of the Iron Sky is ever-regenerating, resulting in a nigh-inexhaustible supply of ironfell for the Warlock Knights. Durable as steel and imbued with exotic extraplanar properties, ironfell is used predominantly in the crafting of arms and armor, as well as the Knight’s signature “iron rings”.

Only the enigmatic order of Luminaries—an elite sect of the Telosian Templars within the knighthood—are permitted to craft shardsouls. Unlike common ironfell, which is simply mined by conventional means, Luminaries employ complex rituals to ensure Telos’ potent lifeforce is preserved during the extraction. The exact process for forging a shardsoul is known only to the Luminaries, but the result is a living, self-aware automaton far superior to the simple-minded constructs crafted by wizards of other lands.

Shardsouls are fearless, perhaps overly so. Though they will not sacrifice their lives arbitrarily, shardsouls are often reckless in combat. From the day they are forged, each shardsoul endeavors to be reunited with Telos. Each knows instinctively that its animating spirit will join with the Master of the Iron Sky upon death, a fate that is looked upon with anticipation not apprehension.
Quale Posted - 09 Sep 2012 : 12:58:19
well met, two questions about the recent Dungeon articles. In Ecology of the Modron it says that Mechanus is just one realm in the Accordant Expanse, what other realms could exist there? Is the Accordant Expanse a part of the new 5e cosmology?

Also the Shemeshka article mentions the Arcane Brotherhood among other old organizations from Sigil, are they from Luskan?
Matt James Posted - 06 Sep 2012 : 21:44:01
I'm sorry you're getting offended. I never meant to insult you, especially not personally. CK has been more resistant to the idea of a Compendium than it ever has in the past. The sites that received CnD letters were violating WotC's IP in ways that were inappropriate. If it were a matter of a fanfic/non-profit site getting hammered, I might be more willing to accept CKs response.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 06 Sep 2012 : 18:21:06
quote:
Originally posted by Matt James

Right. That's been the excuse, but WotC could have shut you down at any point leading up to this. If CK doesn't want to take that risk, I fully understand.



They could have, yes. But it's theoretically possible that they were just waiting for that final offense -- the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

I'm getting rather offended at your insinuations that this has had anything to do with anything other wanting to make sure this site remained online.

In an era where sites have been shut down (admittedly, for different circumstances, but still shut down) and where WotC has gone out of its way to say "Here's the rules you're going to play by, if you want to avoid our lawyers," why is it so bad to want them to okay this?
Matt James Posted - 06 Sep 2012 : 15:20:38
Right. That's been the excuse, but WotC could have shut you down at any point leading up to this. If CK doesn't want to take that risk, I fully understand.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 06 Sep 2012 : 15:14:12
quote:
Originally posted by Matt James

I agree. The Compendium is very much a big piece of Candlekeep. I don't want to see it elsewhere, but CK hasn't been willing to do one for awhile.



Incorrect. We've been quite willing to do one. We've been unwilling to risk getting shut down by WotC for it.
Matt James Posted - 06 Sep 2012 : 11:47:23
I agree. The Compendium is very much a big piece of Candlekeep. I don't want to see it elsewhere, but CK hasn't been willing to do one for awhile.
The Red Walker Posted - 06 Sep 2012 : 03:43:02
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Matt James

Sage, it looks like there is difference in opinion by CK. If you guys don't want to do it, I understand. I'll head it up on my own.

Well, we haven't made a final decision yet, so I don't want you to assume that we're against it. That's certainly not the case. And, to be honest, I would love Candlekeep to continue it's tradition of providing fine fan-based Realmslore via the Compendium.

I've nothing against you or loremaster.org heading up your own initiative, but for the time being, I would prefer that the Compendium format remain our baby... at least until we have Alaundo's final word on the matter. [Which I'm presently asking for now.]



If the compendium were moved to another site, howerver worthy(I can think of no better place than with a James brother).....this place would loose a huge piece of its identity.....I' m sure Alaundo realizes,this, but hope he tells you full speed ahead. sooner rather than later.

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