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T O P I C    R E V I E W
The Sage Posted - 31 Dec 2016 : 14:06:22
Well met

This being a continued collection of scrolls of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a master who needs no introduction, namely - Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms.

Ed's works include MANY FR sourcebooks and numerous novels, such as Cormyr: A Novel, Spellfire, Silverfall, The Shadows of the Avatar Trilogy and The Elminster Series, 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.

For previous entries of the many, many writings of lore by Ed, please see the 2016 entries in this collection of scrolls, the 2015 entries here, the 2014 entries here, the 2013 entries here, the 2012 entries here, the 2011 entries here, the 2010 entries here, the 2009 entries here the 2008 entries here, the 2007 entries here, the 2006 entries here, the 2005 entries here, and the 2004 entries here. 'ware, these run into over 80 pages, ye may be reading for some time. For a concise read of Ed's replies, visit the "So Saith Ed" page on the Candlekeep site.


Mod Edit: Given the continuing shorter length of this scroll, I’ve now altered its title once again to accomodate any particular Ed-brand content that may come our way in 2019.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CorellonsDevout Posted - 07 Jan 2019 : 22:28:00
I like godly involvement and seeing how they interact with their followers, be it directly (such as an avatar. The deity itself appearing would be too much for mortals), or indirectly, such as a vision or signs. Post-Spellplague (or more so, post-Sundering), the gods interact more indirectly, so an avatar showing up is less likely, though not impossible. I think the way a deity interacts, and how they choose to do so (such as Lath appearing) is going to depend on the deity. Evil deities (with some exceptions), may be less wont to appear at their follower's request to help them assassinate an enemy. More likely, they will give their priest/cleric spells to help aid the priest/cleric in slaying the enemy.
Halaku Posted - 07 Jan 2019 : 22:20:51
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

It wasn't a god that turned up, it was an Avatar, and he was summoned there (which I believe cost the life or sanity of the summoners so there was considerable sacrifice involved) and it was impossible for those assembled to even look at him without going mad.




While I understand that, post-Spellplague, the powers of Faerun have become more "hands-off" in general, what's to stop a group of priests worshiping any of the evil gods from trying to ambush a powerful hero, and summoning an avatar of their own god to kill the hero when they fail, even at the cost of their own lives? One would assume that this sort of martyrdom would be considered a positive thing, especially if it ended up taking the life of a hero that stands against what one's deity represents (in the way that Sammaster's Cult of the Dragon went against Lathander's teachings) but we don't see that happening in the history of the Realms, regardless of which edition the rules set happened to be in play at the time... except when the Harpers and Lathander's priests did it to Sammaster.

Which, in turn, certainly gives the impression that there's more to this story.
dazzlerdal Posted - 07 Jan 2019 : 22:08:49
Just my thoughts here but in all honesty I think this is how the gods should be depicted.

It wasn't a god that turned up, it was an Avatar, and he was summoned there (which I believe cost the life or sanity of the summoners so there was considerable sacrifice involved) and it was impossible for those assembled to even look at him without going mad.

There should be little or nothing you can do to damage a god, that sammaster drew blood is a testament to his brilliance.

If all such deific depictions were in this manner then the fiction and sourcebbok range would be better for it. God's are awesomely powerful and to kill one is nigh impossible, they don't just turn up, you have to summon an Avatar, and to do so is costly.
Halaku Posted - 07 Jan 2019 : 21:01:54
If I may be so bold, I've a question regarding a certain villain which has started to vex me, to the point where I've given up my years-long custom of lurking to make a post in this forum.

Namely, Sammaster, and the manner of his first death.

After he had his 'epiphany', and founded the Cult of the Dragon, he became quite the target. If I understand the lore correctly, a mixed group of Harpers and priests of Lathander ambushed him and some fellows on a "Let's preach the good word to some dragons!" mission, with the intent to assassinate him. When the ambush / assassination went poorly, the priests cried out for aid, Lathander sent an avatar who attacked him, Sammaster's magics gave him the equivalent of a paper cut, at which point the avatar mocked Sammaster and obliterated him.


Is there... more to this story? Because as I currently understand it:

1. Good guys try to jump bad guys.

2. Bad guys handily repel the good guys.

3. Good guys say "We're going to lose the fight we picked, we need backup or we're all going to die and our target's going to get away!"

4. One of the gods that the good guys worship shows up with the equivalent of an "I.W.I.N. Button" and bad guys, without anything at all they can do to level the playing field, promptly get destroyed. The good guys even get a new relic out of it, to show the superiority of 'their team'.

This just seems... incredibly lopsided to me. We don't have cases of the forces of evil trying to ambush / assassinate someone on the side of good, failing, and getting an avatar of an evil god to show up and blot their primary opponent off the face of Faerun for them. Even if we take the Chosen of Mystra out of the equation as valid targets (due to Her relationship with them) I would think that if a Sammaster-equivalent force for good was ambushed by bad guys who realized that they bit off more than they could chew, and had an avatar of Bane / Lolth / Tiamat / whomever show up to squish the good guy like a bug, leaving the bad guys to celebrate their successful bushwacking, people who think it unfair, and poor storytelling.

Which means either how Sammaster died at the hands of Lathander was equally unfair... or there's more to the story to explain why it was okay for a god (a good god, no less) to personally show up to defend his worshipers and make their assassination attempt a success, but it wouldn't be okay for other gods (especially the evil ones) to do the same to individuals who vexed their clergy.

So I guess my question is... what am I missing, here?

Thank you in advance for any clarification you can provide regarding this event.

Sincerely, Halaku
George Krashos Posted - 06 Jan 2019 : 04:06:04
Ed tells me that he's slowly getting out from under a few non-Realms paid writing gigs, is casting an eye toward a host of outstanding Realmslore queries and is slowly churning through his boxes of old notes, lore fragments and other bits looking for gold. I hope he'll be in a position to answer a few queries soon. In the interim - while it might not be a social media conduit that you favour - Ed is providing quite a bit of lore via his @TheEdVerse twitter feed. If you're not already following, I'd suggest as a fan of the Realms that it might be in your interests to do so.

-- George Krashos
xaeyruudh Posted - 10 Dec 2018 : 20:57:48
I just now saw this, and failed my saving throw vs distraction. Let's hope I didn't also fail my math skill roll.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I just need a flagon with a small (say 2 inch radius) one-way, activatable portal. If you could only open it for an hour a day, how many barrels do you think could you fill? 2? 4? 10?



The decanter of endless water is a similar item, capable of disgorging 1, 5, or 30 gallons per round.

Instead of 1 gallon per round, I prefer to visualize the flagon filling itself in one round -- it just seems more natural/useful. If the "portal" can open for an hour each day, 6 seconds at a time, then it can "create" 600 flagons of ale over the course of 24 hours. The flagon probably has a capacity of 2 imperial pints (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagon), or 1.1 liters, or 2.4 US pints. Thus 600 flagons is equal to 150 imperial gallons or about 180 US gallons (Google conversion). UK beer barrels are typically 36 imperial gallons, so the flagon could fill 4+1/6 such barrels each day. Most US beer barrels have a 31 gallon capacity, so the flagon could fill about 5.8 of these barrels per day.

At 5 gallons (Imperial or US) per round, an hour of activations would "create" 3000 equivalent gallons per day.
Marco Volo Posted - 04 Dec 2018 : 07:50:17
Hi again to you all,
It's a question for Ed or THO :)

I was wandering if the lord bandit Rivior of Eveningstar had a special ("favourite") deity among the human pantheon ? (It is for having a little shrine in my version of the Haunted Halls).
I imagine there also should be an "all faith" shrine for his men, right ?

Thanks,
Marco
Marco Volo Posted - 26 Nov 2018 : 08:31:05
Hi Ed and THO,
I've seen on the DMsGuild presentation of the Haunted Halls that there was in your original module a "Silent House hideout" in or around Eveningstar.
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/16833/FRQ1-Haunted-Halls-of-Eveningstar-2e?it=1

Can you confirm or deny that information and if you confirm it, can you say something more about it ?
Thanks,
Marco
KanzenAU Posted - 13 Nov 2018 : 00:17:11
Hi Ed and the Hooded One,

I'm hoping either of you can provide some information of Waterdeep's city gates - how they look, how they're guarded, the kind of traffic they get, that kind of stuff. I've been looking all over but can't seem to find much on them, besides some excellent information provided some years back about when the gates are shut.

Thanks in advance, and hope you're both keeping well.
AJA Posted - 01 Nov 2018 : 02:49:30
Yo Ed,

After an evening spent listening to the oeuvre of Jackie Wilson, is it odd that the next Waterdeep-based adventure I want is one that involves the PCs commandeering a Walking Statue made ambulatory by the awesome tunes of the resident PC bard to attack the Ghaunadan-created slime barrier around the corrupted Maernos Shrines?

You know,
quote:
Blackstaff: I'm afraid the vibrations will shake her to pieces. We should have padded her feet.
Piergeiron: I don't think they make hob-nails in her size, Khelben.


George Krashos Posted - 07 Oct 2018 : 02:23:41
Brilliant. I know Ed has all these - I've seen them. I'll ping through the question to him.

-- George Krashos
Zeromaru X Posted - 06 Oct 2018 : 23:27:43
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Hey Ed! And dear THO, and George (?)

My brother bought me a FR comic that tells the tale of Talandra Roaringhorn and some other miscreants from Waterdeep. Can you tell me more about the "King of the Ghosts" and his Ghost Holds? (direct translation here; the comic is traslated to spanish, so I don't know the original terms—but you know who I'm talking about: is the super powerful ghost that opens the portal for Talandra and her friends)

Also, why he had control over direhelms? Does that means he is part of the Eminence of Araunt?

Thanks in advance!



Before I pass this on to Ed, what issue of the comics was it, and was it the Forgotten Realms comic or the AD&D Comic (there were two as I recall)?

-- George Krashos



George, I don't have the comics, but this might help. It appears to be the Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms series released in 2012?

https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/dungeons-dragons-forgotten-realms-2/

https://www.amazon.com/Dungeons-Dragons-Forgotten-Realms-Book/dp/B071S1J99J



Yes, it is this comic. IIRC, was the final issue (number 5).
Fineva Posted - 06 Oct 2018 : 09:27:40
Dear THO, Ed and George,
I made up a hierarchy of powers, look about right?


Overgod (Ao) (can strip powers)
Greater gods (multiple portfolios)
Lesser gods (portfolio powers)
Demigods (divine powers)
Exarchs (Made by the God, various powers)
Chosen (power in a person, may allow spell like use )
Artifact wielders (Artus Cimber)
(Uncertain here) 5e "boons" /3e "Epic" level 20s
sleyvas Posted - 06 Oct 2018 : 07:13:45
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Hey Ed! And dear THO, and George (?)

My brother bought me a FR comic that tells the tale of Talandra Roaringhorn and some other miscreants from Waterdeep. Can you tell me more about the "King of the Ghosts" and his Ghost Holds? (direct translation here; the comic is traslated to spanish, so I don't know the original terms—but you know who I'm talking about: is the super powerful ghost that opens the portal for Talandra and her friends)

Also, why he had control over direhelms? Does that means he is part of the Eminence of Araunt?

Thanks in advance!



Before I pass this on to Ed, what issue of the comics was it, and was it the Forgotten Realms comic or the AD&D Comic (there were two as I recall)?

-- George Krashos



George, I don't have the comics, but this might help. It appears to be the Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms series released in 2012?

https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/dungeons-dragons-forgotten-realms-2/

https://www.amazon.com/Dungeons-Dragons-Forgotten-Realms-Book/dp/B071S1J99J
sleyvas Posted - 06 Oct 2018 : 07:11:40
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Hey Ed! And dear THO, and George (?)

My brother bought me a FR comic that tells the tale of Talandra Roaringhorn and some other miscreants from Waterdeep. Can you tell me more about the "King of the Ghosts" and his Ghost Holds? (direct translation here; the comic is traslated to spanish, so I don't know the original terms—but you know who I'm talking about: is the super powerful ghost that opens the portal for Talandra and her friends)

Also, why he had control over direhelms? Does that means he is part of the Eminence of Araunt?

Thanks in advance!



Before I pass this on to Ed, what issue of the comics was it, and was it the Forgotten Realms comic or the AD&D Comic (there were two as I recall)?

-- George Krashos



George, I don't have the comics, but this might help. It appears to be the Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms series released in 2012?

https://www.idwpublishing.com/product/dungeons-dragons-forgotten-realms-2/

https://www.amazon.com/Dungeons-Dragons-Forgotten-Realms-Book/dp/B071S1J99J
Fineva Posted - 06 Oct 2018 : 03:32:48
Thank you George.
I can only say omg.
-Fineva
George Krashos Posted - 05 Oct 2018 : 08:41:15
quote:
Originally posted by Fineva
Secondly, I'm told George knows about the Althora ...an artifact in Thay?
Thanks,
Fineva



It's the Athora, and you can get the info here:

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/253571/Tyrants-in-Scarlet-the-Founding-History-of-the-Zulkirs-of-Thay

-- George Krashos
Fineva Posted - 05 Oct 2018 : 06:18:12
Hi George, Ed & THO,
Anyone can answer this I think, as I'm still pretty basic in my studies.
Someone recently attributed/hinted the Blackstaff was a part of Khelben being a chosen of Mystra, and I wonder about that.
(Kind of like inventing the staff should have come from a chosen, not create one)
Secondly, I'm told George knows about the Althora ...an artifact in Thay?
Thanks,
Fineva
George Krashos Posted - 05 Oct 2018 : 03:28:42
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Hey Ed! And dear THO, and George (?)

My brother bought me a FR comic that tells the tale of Talandra Roaringhorn and some other miscreants from Waterdeep. Can you tell me more about the "King of the Ghosts" and his Ghost Holds? (direct translation here; the comic is traslated to spanish, so I don't know the original terms—but you know who I'm talking about: is the super powerful ghost that opens the portal for Talandra and her friends)

Also, why he had control over direhelms? Does that means he is part of the Eminence of Araunt?

Thanks in advance!



Before I pass this on to Ed, what issue of the comics was it, and was it the Forgotten Realms comic or the AD&D Comic (there were two as I recall)?

-- George Krashos
Zeromaru X Posted - 05 Oct 2018 : 01:04:09
Hey Ed! And dear THO, and George (?)

My brother bought me a FR comic that tells the tale of Talandra Roaringhorn and some other miscreants from Waterdeep. Can you tell me more about the "King of the Ghosts" and his Ghost Holds? (direct translation here; the comic is traslated to spanish, so I don't know the original terms—but you know who I'm talking about: is the super powerful ghost that opens the portal for Talandra and her friends)

Also, why he had control over direhelms? Does that means he is part of the Eminence of Araunt?

Thanks in advance!
Hoondatha Posted - 04 Oct 2018 : 17:11:48
Great! Thanks Ed and George! Much appreciated.
George Krashos Posted - 04 Oct 2018 : 12:58:08
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

Hey Ed! I hope the autumn is treating you well.

I have a quick question about the Thayan slave trade in the 1300's DR. How frequent are slave ships in the Sea of Fallen Swords and the Alamber? How many of the ships are dedicated slavers (I'm thinking those that served the American/Caribbean slave trade), versus a general merchant ship that just happens to have some slaves in part of the hold?

I'm thinking about having a "good guy" pirate ship of escaped slaves that is trying to attack and free as many slave ships as they can. How common or infrequent are slave ships heading to Thay? Roughly what percentage of Thay's slaves come by sea, rather than overland from the south or west, or underground, or through gates?

Thanks as always.



And one more because Ed is he coolest:

In the 1300s DR, slave ships aren’t frequent at all. Almost all of them are, as you describe, “a general merchant ship that just happens to have some slaves in part of the hold.” And the majority of the slave trade is overland, especially from Semphar and Raurin and parts beyond, in large part because slaves at sea suffer losses (ill health, seasickness, inability to get away from infections on a ship) and so lose strength and weight and therefore value, even if they don’t actually die. So slaving is generally done by land travel, often very slow “land coffles” of slaves chained to common timbers who carry their own sun protection (awnings attached to said timbers) and food and water, and are dedicated to foraging AND work along the route (e.g. carrying tons of nuts they shell as they trudge; they can eat as many as they like, but must keep shelling to avoid being lashed, so those tons of nuts get shelled ere they reach their destination).
So perhaps twenty percent, tops, of Thayan slaves come by sea. Which doesn’t mean your “good guy” ship can’t storm and board scores of other ships, searching for those few slaves chained in the hold of each (often, again, set to a drudge-task involving cargo, like the shelling of nuts).

-- George Krashos
George Krashos Posted - 04 Oct 2018 : 12:56:51
quote:
Originally posted by WERDNA

I was reading Elminster's Forgotten Realms the other day and saw a note referring to Thay as having been envisioned as a "Far-Eastern" empire suitable for Oriental Adventures play.

I suppose my question for Ed and THO is what the earlier home-game conception of Thay was like as well as what a more Far-East style of Thay would have been like according to Ed. Even though the official realms have moved past this, I find this early version of Thay very interesting as a concept.



I know that our dear THO is a busy gal and being off the radar has its disadvantages, so I passed on your question to Ed and he responded as follows:

Remember Moondragon from Marvel Comics (bald-headed woman, serene, standup collar)? That was a typical Tharchioness, in my early version of Thay. I saw it as a land of many economically-warring old-money merchant houses, each with their own tiny principalities (equivalent of baronies in the western Realms), having mutually retreated from open martial warfare with each other after almost mutually destroying each other. The Red Wizards arose out of this, and soon became a pox on all of these old-money, family-honor blood-related houses (because you either have or don’t have an aptitude for the Art; it has nothing to do with your wealth or heritage, so “anyone” can become a Red Wizard, not just members of the existing aristocracy).
What I wanted to avoid in my original Realms, pre-TSR publication, was ANY “too close to real world, or real-world history, or real-world Hollywood, or real-world legend” elements. So I didn’t want historical China, or Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, etc. or anything “too close” (no Great Wall, no Shinto or Buddism or Celestial Bureaucracy, and so on). I wanted to evoke the FLAVOUR of the East without full-on stereotypes or cultural trappings.
I thought then, and still think, that a polyglot, mixed-heritage region of many tiny principalities and vigorous trade and technological and magical advances, rather than warring lands or races and for that matter an organized, non-internally-feuding uberwizards, makes for better roleplaying opportunities, because visiting or resident PC adventurers can more easily find roles (be hired as hit teams, escorts, investigators, guards, etc.).
“My” Thay was a slaving empire with Red Wizards, but the monied AND “just plain folks” populace (very much including the various clergy) were quietly opposed to, and thwarting, what they saw as the growing power of the “upstart” Red Wizards.

There it is, root realmslore for us all.

-- George Krashos
Hoondatha Posted - 02 Oct 2018 : 21:20:34
Hey Ed! I hope the autumn is treating you well.

I have a quick question about the Thayan slave trade in the 1300's DR. How frequent are slave ships in the Sea of Fallen Swords and the Alamber? How many of the ships are dedicated slavers (I'm thinking those that served the American/Caribbean slave trade), versus a general merchant ship that just happens to have some slaves in part of the hold?

I'm thinking about having a "good guy" pirate ship of escaped slaves that is trying to attack and free as many slave ships as they can. How common or infrequent are slave ships heading to Thay? Roughly what percentage of Thay's slaves come by sea, rather than overland from the south or west, or underground, or through gates?

Thanks as always.
WERDNA Posted - 28 Sep 2018 : 15:08:24
I was reading Elminster's Forgotten Realms the other day and saw a note referring to Thay as having been envisioned as a "Far-Eastern" empire suitable for Oriental Adventures play.

I suppose my question for Ed and THO is what the earlier home-game conception of Thay was like as well as what a more Far-East style of Thay would have been like according to Ed. Even though the official realms have moved past this, I find this early version of Thay very interesting as a concept.

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