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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)
Seravin Posted - 14 Feb 2019 : 10:43:10
Elaine - over the years I have appreciated Elfsong more and more as my favorite Realms book from you. One thing I haven't really understood with it though is the rules/logic about the song that Garnet cast - it seems to be very random who had their memory of the old ballads songs twisted/removed and who didn't. Is there in fact a logic behind it that you can share with us? Were high level bards/people not impacted ("made their saving throw") or was it specific people targeted? Was there a range to the spell? Any races more susceptible than others?

I really, really like this book and re-read it regularly. Just a very fun romp, I only wish it had more Arilyn and Danilo together in it.
Barastir Posted - 14 Feb 2019 : 10:35:25
Another piece of art, this one with Elaith doing his blade dance (in Elfsong, IIRC).
Have you guys seen it? I see Mrs. Cunningham herself posted a comment there:

https://www.deviantart.com/righon/art/Snake-dancing-with-blades-416956302
Barastir Posted - 11 Feb 2019 : 13:25:21
Hi, Mrs. Cunningham.

I've posted this morning this message at Ed's thread here at the keep:

I just read the fantastic tips on roleplaying Elminster in the twitter-related thread, and since I don't have an active twitter account, I thought of asking here: could you please give similar advice on roleplaying Khelben around 1368/69 DR? Thank you in advance!

However, it occurred to me that I like very much your depiction of the Blackstaff, and that maybe you could give me some advice on his behavior/manners...

EDIT: As for the time set, it would be just around the time of "Dream Spheres"...
sleyvas Posted - 05 Feb 2019 : 20:04:00
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

I've never really thought about the issue of an elven soul reincarnated as a person of another race, and I'm going to assume that the elves have not, either.

The swords are elven, and the powers of non-royal swords remain for the benefit of the elven people. There's a built-in power max on the swords, in that after several generations, they become difficult, if not impossible, to claim. There are several family swords that have been unclaimed for generations, and the tradition that developed over the centuries is that such swords be left available for a time of great need and a hero who can meet it. Think Excaliber.

The Moonflower family was identified as the royral family. The elves, IMO, are not inclined to choose another.




In THAT case... JUST to be weird, I'm picturing an elf warrior who gets reincarnated as some kind of animal humanoid or tauric creature (centaur, wemic, Tabaxi, Quaggoth, Gnoll, etc...) as a part of some actual dungeon trap. They try to return home to Evermeet in hopes of finding someone who can return them to their true form, and they are rebuffed (a misunderstanding combined possibly with automated defenses putting them "in a bad light"). Perhaps they are the last of their line and they return to mainland Faerun to try and enter another elven colony in hopes they can aid him/her to return home. I'm really leaning cat folk for some reason and picturing this elf down in the Shaar and getting involved with the wild elves and maybe the wemics there. Maybe the reborn elf falls in love with a wemic, and children are produced (some wemics, some Tabaxi???). When the reborn elf passes on, the ability they give is the ability for say wemics and Tabaxi of their bloodline to be able to try and wield the moonblade. Many may have failed, and the blade sat there for dozens of generations. Not sure where to take it from there, but the imagery was in my head.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 05 Feb 2019 : 12:41:11
I've never really thought about the issue of an elven soul reincarnated as a person of another race, and I'm going to assume that the elves have not, either.

The swords are elven, and the powers of non-royal swords remain for the benefit of the elven people. There's a built-in power max on the swords, in that after several generations, they become difficult, if not impossible, to claim. There are several family swords that have been unclaimed for generations, and the tradition that developed over the centuries is that such swords be left available for a time of great need and a hero who can meet it. Think Excaliber.

The Moonflower family was identified as the royral family. The elves, IMO, are not inclined to choose another.
Barastir Posted - 05 Feb 2019 : 11:08:32
The goal of the blades was one and only: to find a worthy ruler for Evermeet. It is not clear why the rest of them didn't lose its powers - and release the souls of its ancient bearers - after the king was chosen, but Mrs. Cunningham wrote somewhere that they kept on just in the case of a disaster which could eliminate the Moonflowers (then the blades would choose a new clan to rule). Besides, she also said there was another - yet unrevealed - reason for them to be still active.

As for Arilyn's blade accepting a half-elf, Mrs. Cunningham stated many times through the years that this specific blade was behaving strangely since the moonstone and the sword were separated in "Elfshadow", and that it was taking some time to "recover". If you follow the novels, you see that Arilyn started being rejected by the sword in the last books. The end of this story would be revealed in "Reclamation", but unfortunate events, along with changes in elven canon, delayed the release of this novel, which would be the conclusion of the "Song & Swords" saga.
sleyvas Posted - 04 Feb 2019 : 19:48:42
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

I'm not Elaine, but there are some things you can consider I can help with, if you don't mind.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
(...)
I know the souls of the fallen moonblade wielders enter the blade. Does this prevent spells such as resurrection / raise dead, etc...? If this is still possible, what about reincarnation?



Well, IIRC in 2e elves' souls were different than a human's, and in fact the only way of bringing an elf back was through reincarnation. I don't know if it changed, though.

Anyway, if the elf has postponed his or her passage to Arvandor (according to Silver Shadows, IIRC), I think it makes sense that none of these spells would work (maybe the elf serving the blade would refuse to answer the spell's call).

Or maybe they could, but then there would be another problem, if the moonblade of the elf who passed away had already been claimed by a descendant.

Edit: Besides, the soul in fact empowers the magic of the blade. Maybe at least one rune would be lost, with the absence of the soul which gifts it to the sword.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
(...)
do you think it an appropriate power for said "reborn elf" to pass into the blade that his children (which might not be elven anymore) might be able to prove worthy to wield the blade.
(...)



Since the first goal of the blade is to find an elf worthy of ruling Evermeet, if the person is not an elf anymore, how likely would it be that the elves would follow that person? I think even if the reincarnated elf is still worthy and is not fried by the blade, he or she would try to revert this situation somehow.

On the other hand, the owner of the sword could simply keep the blade to be handed to another - elven - member of the clan, not necessarily a direct descendant.

Of course, these are only some considerations, and Mrs. Cunningham is more suited to answer to these questions.



Is that the purpose of the moonblades exactly (I'm literally drawing a blank on memory for the reason of their creation). I can see the King's Blade being for finding a ruler, but the others were for "protecting elvenkind" I thought. So, the reason I'm asking would be could there be a sect of say "some non elf" that wants to work and protect elves? I admit its a very weird concept, and I'd bet more than anything the magic in the blade would just kill the person as now unworthy. But it did accept Arilyn, a half-elf, so maybe they can "adapt". For instance, if Danilo and Arilyn had a child (because according to the rules, a child of a half-elf and a human becomes human), actually could said child use the blade? I'm pretty sure this has probably been answered in the past, but its just popping up in my head, so I figured I'd ask.
Barastir Posted - 04 Feb 2019 : 12:31:57
I'm not Elaine, but there are some things you can consider I can help with, if you don't mind.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
(...)
I know the souls of the fallen moonblade wielders enter the blade. Does this prevent spells such as resurrection / raise dead, etc...? If this is still possible, what about reincarnation?



Well, IIRC in 2e elves' souls were different than a human's, and in fact the only way of bringing an elf back was through reincarnation. I don't know if it changed, though.

Anyway, if the elf has postponed his or her passage to Arvandor (according to Silver Shadows, IIRC), I think it makes sense that none of these spells would work (maybe the elf serving the blade would refuse to answer the spell's call).

Or maybe they could, but then there would be another problem, if the moonblade of the elf who passed away had already been claimed by a descendant.

Edit: Besides, the soul in fact empowers the magic of the blade. Maybe at least one rune would be lost, with the absence of the soul which gifts it to the sword.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
(...)
do you think it an appropriate power for said "reborn elf" to pass into the blade that his children (which might not be elven anymore) might be able to prove worthy to wield the blade.
(...)



Since the first goal of the blade is to find an elf worthy of ruling Evermeet, if the person is not an elf anymore, how likely would it be that the elves would follow that person? I think even if the reincarnated elf is still worthy and is not fried by the blade, he or she would try to revert this situation somehow.

On the other hand, the owner of the sword could simply keep the blade to be handed to another - elven - member of the clan, not necessarily a direct descendant.

Of course, these are only some considerations, and Mrs. Cunningham is more suited to answer to these questions.
sleyvas Posted - 01 Feb 2019 : 16:55:47
Elaine,

Regarding moonblades, a VERY strange thought just entered my head, and I figured I would throw it past you. I know the souls of the fallen moonblade wielders enter the blade. Does this prevent spells such as resurrection / raise dead, etc...? If this is still possible, what about reincarnation? What do you think of the idea of an elven moonblade wielder who is reincarnated into the form of quaggoth or tabaxi, etc...? I'm suspecting that the blade would kill them if they attempt to wield it, even if they are still the same person at heart.... but if that weren't the case, do you think it an appropriate power for said "reborn elf" to pass into the blade that his children (which might not be elven anymore) might be able to prove worthy to wield the blade. I'm sure someone has brought this concept up to you over the years, as I can't be the first.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 01 Feb 2019 : 14:35:52
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

I recently found this piece of art and wanted to share it, hope you like it: https://www.deviantart.com/teutelquessir/art/The-King-Sword-12902752



Thanks for sharing! I think that the green boots represent a dubious fashion choice for Zaor, but this painting COULD be a depiction of one of his fabulous predeccesors.
Barastir Posted - 01 Feb 2019 : 11:43:30
I recently found this piece of art and wanted to share it, hope you like it: https://www.deviantart.com/teutelquessir/art/The-King-Sword-12902752
Deepening Moon Posted - 26 Jan 2019 : 22:57:26
Thank you, for answering my question!

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Deepening Moon

Hi Elaine Cunningham,

can you give me more information about the Eilistraee-priestess Dolor in the High Forest from your novel Windwalker, for example from which drow-city or noble house she came, before she became a follower of Eilistraee?
I need her as an NPC for my campaign in the high forest.
Thank you very much!



Hi, DM.

Unfortunately, there is no more information available than is included in the story. I'm sure I did a more extensive back story for her when I was writing the story, but I did not retain my notes. So my recommendation is to invent whatever background best serves your story and your campaign.



Xnella Moonblade-Thann Posted - 01 Jan 2019 : 19:12:39
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Hi, folks.

A while back, I promised to post a story about a very young Elaith Craulnober. What with one thing and another, this fell by the wayside. HOWEVER! Here is a story about another, very similar elf, going though a similar set of circumstances. This is NOT the elf you're thinking of. ::performs Jedi hand wave::

Okay, yeah, it totally is, but all of the serial numbers have been filed off.

Anyway, here's a link tthe the tale. It's on my Patreon account, but it's a public post so that everyone can read it.

I post montly writing articles and the occasional free story, so you don't need to be a Patron to read stuff on my account (unless, of course, you WANT to be..." If you're interested in getting notices of new posts, stories, and articles, you can "follow" my account without subscribing.

Hope you'll read the tale.

Best,
ec

https://www.patreon.com/posts/wolves-and-21768989



This makes a few things make sense in regards to how a few scenes in your other stories had played out. Nicely done, and I hope there can be more, even with a pseudonym instead of his real name...
ElaineCunningham Posted - 31 Dec 2018 : 15:05:22
Hi, folks.

I'm contemplating my 2019 writing schedule and feeling a little blue about the lack of anything FR-related on it. So I'm rethinking my decision to avoid the DMs guild. Here's a link to a query post in the DM forum. If you'd be interested in seeing something of this nature, please stop by and share your thoughts and wish lists.

Hope your holiday season has been merry and bright!

All the best in the coming year,
ec

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22648
ElaineCunningham Posted - 31 Dec 2018 : 15:03:06
quote:
Originally posted by Deepening Moon

Hi Elaine Cunningham,

can you give me more information about the Eilistraee-priestess Dolor in the High Forest from your novel Windwalker, for example from which drow-city or noble house she came, before she became a follower of Eilistraee?
I need her as an NPC for my campaign in the high forest.
Thank you very much!



Hi, DM.

Unfortunately, there is no more information available than is included in the story. I'm sure I did a more extensive back story for her when I was writing the story, but I did not retain my notes. So my recommendation is to invent whatever background best serves your story and your campaign.

Deepening Moon Posted - 16 Dec 2018 : 17:57:08
Hi Elaine Cunningham,

can you give me more information about the Eilistraee-priestess Dolor in the High Forest from your novel Windwalker, for example from which drow-city or noble house she came, before she became a follower of Eilistraee?
I need her as an NPC for my campaign in the high forest.
Thank you very much!
Barastir Posted - 05 Nov 2018 : 10:17:40
It was great! Thank you for your answers, and especially for sharing your wonderful fiction with us all!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 02 Nov 2018 : 11:41:55
Hi, folks.

We'll be doing an AMA on the Facebook group Forgotten Realms Archive this Sunday, November 4, from 10-11 am EST. I hope you'll stop by to chat!

Best,
ec
Barastir Posted - 25 Oct 2018 : 11:04:42
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Welcome back! I also posted a link to this story on the Forgotten Realms Archives group in Facebook...



I see. Anyway, I enjoyed a lot the reading, thank you!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 19 Oct 2018 : 12:32:25
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

Wonderful! I was absent these last month-and-a-half, it's good to be back and find this pearl!!!



Welcome back! I also posted a link to this story on the Forgotten Realms Archives group in Facebook, but that group is so active that posts quickly get pushed down-thread.

Barastir Posted - 17 Oct 2018 : 12:46:47
Wonderful! I was absent these last month-and-a-half, it's good to be back and find this pearl!!!
ElaineCunningham Posted - 04 Oct 2018 : 15:25:27
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Would you provide us insight why you chose the particular name? Just the jumble letters or is it deeper?



No deep meaning here. I just couldn't come up with another name that fit, so I shamelessly tinkered with the letters I had.
The Masked Mage Posted - 03 Oct 2018 : 22:30:46
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Hi, folks.

A while back, I promised to post a story about a very young Elaith Craulnober. What with one thing and another, this fell by the wayside. HOWEVER! Here is a story about another, very similar elf, going though a similar set of circumstances. This is NOT the elf you're thinking of. ::performs Jedi hand wave::

Okay, yeah, it totally is, but all of the serial numbers have been filed off.

Anyway, here's a link tthe the tale. It's on my Patreon account, but it's a public post so that everyone can read it.

I post montly writing articles and the occasional free story, so you don't need to be a Patron to read stuff on my account (unless, of course, you WANT to be..." If you're interested in getting notices of new posts, stories, and articles, you can "follow" my account without subscribing.

Hope you'll read the tale.

Best,
ec

https://www.patreon.com/posts/wolves-and-21768989



That you, Elaine, for bringing him back to the page again, even with a Pseudonym




Would you provide us insight why you chose the particular name? Just the jumble letters or is it deeper?
The Masked Mage Posted - 03 Oct 2018 : 22:29:31
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Hi, folks.

A while back, I promised to post a story about a very young Elaith Craulnober. What with one thing and another, this fell by the wayside. HOWEVER! Here is a story about another, very similar elf, going though a similar set of circumstances. This is NOT the elf you're thinking of. ::performs Jedi hand wave::

Okay, yeah, it totally is, but all of the serial numbers have been filed off.

Anyway, here's a link tthe the tale. It's on my Patreon account, but it's a public post so that everyone can read it.

I post montly writing articles and the occasional free story, so you don't need to be a Patron to read stuff on my account (unless, of course, you WANT to be..." If you're interested in getting notices of new posts, stories, and articles, you can "follow" my account without subscribing.

Hope you'll read the tale.

Best,
ec

https://www.patreon.com/posts/wolves-and-21768989



That you, Elaine, for bringing him back to the page again, even with a Pseudonym
ElaineCunningham Posted - 01 Oct 2018 : 17:49:22
Hi, folks.

A while back, I promised to post a story about a very young Elaith Craulnober. What with one thing and another, this fell by the wayside. HOWEVER! Here is a story about another, very similar elf, going though a similar set of circumstances. This is NOT the elf you're thinking of. ::performs Jedi hand wave::

Okay, yeah, it totally is, but all of the serial numbers have been filed off.

Anyway, here's a link tthe the tale. It's on my Patreon account, but it's a public post so that everyone can read it.

I post montly writing articles and the occasional free story, so you don't need to be a Patron to read stuff on my account (unless, of course, you WANT to be..." If you're interested in getting notices of new posts, stories, and articles, you can "follow" my account without subscribing.

Hope you'll read the tale.

Best,
ec

https://www.patreon.com/posts/wolves-and-21768989

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