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Wooly Rupert Posted - 09 Jan 2019 : 16:19:25
It occurs to me that Ed has been posting Realmslore on the Twitter, and not everyone has the Twitter.

So I thought a single place where such lore could be collected would be a good thing.

Ed is a frequent poster there, adding all sorts of Stormtalons and Epic Fantasy stuff, but for the purposes of this thread, I'd like to keep it focused on his Realmslore.

(I'm also stickying this thread, to make it easier to find)

Ed Greenwood (@TheEdVerse) on Twitter

The #Realmslore hashtag on Twitter
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Palant Posted - 02 Jan 2021 : 07:32:37
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

On the Eskult, Trammnur, and Yeldred families of Waterdeep:


I am proud that i asked this question)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 31 Dec 2020 : 18:55:22
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Thanks for updating, Wooly.

Not a problem! I'm actually working this week, but it's been slow enough that I was able to spend a few hours getting caught up on Tweets and then a few more posting them.

Can't let myself get behind like that again, though! Chunks of time like that are few and far between, for me!
Zeromaru X Posted - 31 Dec 2020 : 15:52:06
Thanks for updating, Wooly.
PattPlays Posted - 31 Dec 2020 : 06:42:19
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

On Gargauth:


I've a question about Gargauth. In terms of lore, he is persona non grata in Baator, having been exiled under threat of extreme pain. Why is it then, he believes that going back to Baator would allow his release from the shield?


Gargauth believes he’ll be freed from the shield because when in Baator (only) he can shift into three other forms not available to him elsewhere: an amorphous ozzing inky-black mass of many tentacles; a tatter-edged, semi-tangible wraith-like form that visually resembles an allip; and a larva-like form with two tiny arms jutting from the sides of his head. He thinks “going wraith” will allow him to seep out of the shield.


Secondly - how exactly did he get trapped in the shield? It used to be an artifact via which he communicated with his followers. What led to his imprisonment and why did he not direct his followers to take him to Baator if that's where he thinks he'll break free?


Some details are NDA, but it’s very likely he got trapped in the shield due to an entrapment spell laid on it by a mortal mage seeking to imprison Gargauth and harness his power—that succeeded because Asmodeus saw that casting and thought that trammeling Gargauth would be a good idea. Gargauth doesn’t want his followers to take him to Baator because he can “feel” the hand of Asmodeus in the enchantment that has entrapped him, and suspects Asmodeus (because of certain words that passed between them, at their last meeting) will be waiting there to seize the shield and kill Gargauth slowly and in torment, draining his powers over some years to enchant various items. (You’d be surprised at how many powerful beings are being-drained captives, in various hands, scattered all over the planes of existence.)

Gargauth has an inky slimy tentacled form?

This is not helping my Ghaunadaur mania..

Thank you for this thread. In just three pages I have a pile of copied lore to refer to later. Maybe I'll start working my way through the entire list sometime as well. ^_^
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:43:20
Huzzah! Caught up for the first time in a while!
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:42:12
On the Eskult, Trammnur, and Yeldred families of Waterdeep:


in Sardolphyn’s Gambit you mentioned other families of Waterdeep: Eskult, Yeldred and Tramnur. Can you please tell about them more?


Sure. They’re all North Ward-resident families who have made their fortunes by “mixed mercantile means.” That is, they invest in some shops, rent out North Ward and Castle Ward buildings they own to other businesses (for shops and offices, not “workshops”/factories, and not residential) to make coin, invest in ship cargoes, and run their own businesses.

I’ll tackle just the Eskults, this time.

The Eskults make bulk glue from dead horses, run a successful locksmithing service, buy local farm crops for bulk shipping to the Ten Towns, Mintarn, and other “hungry-mouth” areas, and breed fine riding horses.

The Eskults live in three adjacent, knocked-together tallhouses on northfront Saerdoun Street, in the block between Whaelgond Way and Pony Way, and are led by Jaruldimond Eskult and his wife Laedra, who have three young, dashing (“idiot” is the term Hammrar prefers; for more about Hammrar, see hereafter) sons: Cloome, Dacer, and Parladane.

Jaruldimond also has three younger brothers who are increasingly dissatisfied with his handling of the family finances, and (separately) looking to strike out on their own (if they can figure out some practical way of taking a good share of the family wealth with them; they haven’t yet).

There are also two old, dotty, stay-at-home maiden aunts, Barathta and Joysa (who prefer to live in an older era), and a fat, jovial old rake of an uncle, Hammrar, who knows where all the family skeletons are hidden (and their closets, too), and who really keeps things running by soothing the three brothers (Jakazmur, Brandred, and Tolyn) privately, and cleaning up after the worst mistakes Jaruldimond makes. Hammrar is a sardonic heavy wine-drinker and scourge of local ladies, who love his company because he’s fun, and never controlling, cruel, or judgmental. Jaruldimond is a stubborn sort who clings to old ways and avoids the new and changes; his wife Laedra embraces the changes that must be embraced and tries to steer her husband to modernize, without much success.

Laedra also tirelessly attends every last noble feast and revel she can worm her way into, and tries to “cultivate” all nobles who’re there, trying to ingratiate herself and mention her family in hopes someone, anyone, will remember her the next morning and consider calling on the Eskults as “worldly helpers” when it comes to engaging guilded repairers or anyone else for anything practical. She sees this as the road to eventually being accepted as “one of us” by the nobles, so the Eskults can be ennobled. Hammrar sees this as idiocy; he (correctly) sees her tactic as the way to make the nobles think of the Eskults as commoner doormats and syncophants who can be endlessly used and then kicked aside a moment later.


Can you tell us anything about the idiot sons?


Sure. Cloome, Dacer, and Parladane are in their teens (Cloome is ten-and-seven, Dacer ten-and-six, and Parladane ten-and-five). They wear mock-uniform “dashing and heroic” tunics bristling with fake medals, wear gilded-hilt, chrome-bladed shortswords that they brandish a lot but never use in anger (their reaction to menaces is to flee), and constantly hire lady escorts as arm candy (and sometimes, when emboldened by not enough drink to make trying to pretend they are heroes but achieving nothing and learning no skills and taking no interest in the family businesses or learning about the world or in anything that might be termed “work.” Which is why Hammrar dismisses them as idiots (conveniently forgetting what he was like at their ages). There’s nothing wrong with their brains or perception; they’re just bored, lazy, chasing entertainments, and wasting their days in fripperies.


[[Ed: this time, the Tramnur family...]]

The Tramnur family’s wealth comes from diverse investing-in-Waterdeep-businesses, sponsoring ship voyages and cargoes, and owning ranchland and getting income from meat and milk sales, but increasingly, in recent decades: buying decaying buildings in Dock Ward, South Ward, and recently in Castle Ward, adding both floors and balconies, and repurposing them to have spacious rear entries and ramps for easy bulk cargo movements, retaining shopfront uses on the ground floor, converting the floor above from offices or rental living quarters to small-storage “strongrooms,” then putting new and more luxurious rental living quarters on two floors above that, with plumbing all moved to an internal ‘stack’ where any leaks should flood out the back, into the alley or sewers, and not into the strongrooms. Many of these upper floors are fitted with luxurious marble bathing tubs and large beds with skylights and ‘mood lighting,’ and have proven very popular with Waterdhavian nobles looking for places to stash mistresses, black-sheep family members, and guests (not to mention undercover ‘safe houses’ used for shady-work or by spouses who have furious fights with each other and need their own simmer-down spaces, or to carry on hobbies the other spouse finds objectionable, from drunken benders to the use of escorts to gaming all night while smoking and drinking with “louts” of fellow gamers).

As a result, the Tramnurs, who are quite willing to pay skilled guild workers very well for ‘top-goblet’ work, and to use that skilled labor to custom-outfit these luxury floors just as clients like them (many nobles want both floors, and to join them with internal circular staircases, as well as screens and winter shutters and windows for their balconies, not to mention fireplace flues opening onto the balconies, to keep them private and to give them some measure of winter warmth), have risen to the notice of, and in the regard of, Waterdhavian nobility.

Which has led the Tramnur matriarch and her six older aunts to entertain dreams of being ennobled (though the family patriarch thinks this goal very unlikely, and is unwilling to do anything “too forward” to try to push for it; he won’t attend the endless round of revels that his womenfolk so enthusastically dress up for—the aunts in a predatory “let’s catch me a noble husband, or at least a partner to dally with overnight,” the daughters of the family for entertainment and good food and drink and to meet interesting and powerful people of high station, and the wife to “let’s network like anything, to find someone willing to help me make the Tramnurs noble.”

The patriarch of the family is the calm, tired, up-to-his-bushy-and-graying-eyebrows in work Bhaerant Tramnur, who is married to Alyse Tramnur. They have three daughters, in their late teens aged a year apart, and one much younger son: in descending order of age: Maerthaya (19); Tarltaya (18); Lhammaethe (17); and Brand (8). The six older aunts are all a decade older than the patriarch, and are overpainted, heavily-feathered, gleeful hard-drinking cougars (as we would call them; current Deep parlance just speaks of them as “aprowl”), and in descending order of age are Thaeya; Myramiea (“Meer-ah-MY-ah”); Cantele (“Can-TELL”); Deira (“DEER-ah”); Yalantra; and Haetha (“HAY-thah”). Cantele is the real beauty and brains, who usually scores a willing noble for the night, Thaeya is a forcible sort who boldly dragoons folk (which works better with commoners than nobles, who have so many bold-dragoon family members of their own whom they deal with daily) and Yalantra is a dark beauty apt to be led astray by all manner of crackpot ‘mystical’ beliefs and fads, which has brought her to the attention of some doppelgangers covertly placed amid certain noble-mansion staff servants, as a possible candidate to be kidnapped (and held for eventual ransom) while in the short term she’s impersonated, with an eye to seeing what wealth and valuable items can be wormed out of the Tramnurs (and the nobles whose revels they attend).


[Last family!]

The Yeldred family of North Ward is perhaps the most interesting of the three “wannabe noble” families. They became fabulously wealthy over the past century by controlling quarries where flagstones, cobbles, and roof-slates were produced that much of Waterdeep is now (after rebuilding and renovations and the ongoing maintenance of the last six decades) built of, and by owning a shipping fleet and three caravan companies active in the Heartlands (mainly on short, fast, lucrative Amn/Baldur’s Gate/Waterdeep/Silverymoon runs), and by shrewd investments in various guilds, shops, and forges.

So the Yeldreds alive today have always known more coin than they know how to spend. What it won’t buy them is a noble title, and some of them very much want it. They tried “nobility on the cheap,” which meant settling their own wilderlands north of the eastern Amnian mountain barony of Hawkhill, calling it the “realm” of Vaeranth (Vaeranth Yeldred was the founder of this scheme), and styling themselves Lords and Ladies of Vaeranth, complete with elaborate blazons, but no one in Waterdeep would recognize or use the titles, no matter how many ornate maps of Vaeranth the Yeldreds hired cartographers to produce and distribute throughout the city. Vaeranth remains a wilderness today, albeit with three small stone keeps the Yeldreds built; they retain one by paying a garrison to dwell there that they must supply with food and chapbooks and strong drink and paid companions, and the other two were seized by brigands who from time to time are wiped out by monsters deciding to lair therein, until the next brigands come along and slay the beasts.

So now, the Yeldreds are trying to marry into nobility.

As of the 1490s DR, the Yeldreds consist of one boy (Paerand, who’s 9 years old), and six women: Paerand’s mother Esmarheldra, the matriarch (there is no family patriarch, as her husband Boldrael died 8 years ago), and her five daughters, who in descending order of age are Astrauva (21 years old), Vauntra (20), Jaerezra (19), Palone (18), and Sapraenra (17). All are good-looking, graceful, and polite, and Esmarheldra, Astrauva, Vauntra, and Palone are stunningly beautiful and superb natural actors (in complete control of their voices, facial expressions, and mannerisms, and able to weep at will). For the last four summers, they have deliberately set about getting invited to nobles’ revels, at first as arm candy for other non-noble guests, but they have slowly and deftly cultivated friendships with nobles of higher and higher rank, trying to build networks of eligible batchelor nobles they fancy, with an eye to marrying into the ranks of the nobility.

They don’t want to be saddled with dullards or brutes or insane/headstrong narcissists, and so are seeking to learn all they can about their quarries without being obvious about their prying or seeming to be pursuing mates, but nobles aren’t unperceptive when it comes to suitors, and have caught on. The fact that these oh-so-charming females are all from one family hasn’t gone unnoticed, and various covert tricks and hired spellcastings have been employed to try to make sure the Yeldred women are indeed human, and not doppelgangers or other shapeshifters, and self-willed rather than the thralls of illithids or anyone/anything else. Various nobles privately (but erroneously) suspect the Yeldreds of being sorceresses, members of a cult, and agents of various cabals and sinister organizations.

Thus far, the dance of flirtation and slow, subtle courtship hasn’t resulted in any Yeldred…getting hitched, or even serious interest, but the daughters are all firm friends—and, gossip insists, sometime lovers—of a dozen nobles (of both genders, and a variety of families) each.

Paerand is a quiet, happy-with-his-own-company boy who reads voraciously, plays board games against any handy opponent, and although he's far from feminine, loves women's clothing and prefers to wear his elder sisters' castoffs. His hobby? Sponsoring adventurers.


Paerand sounds a bit like yourself.

Can we assume he raids his late father's study to pour over his library, and then makes up his own tales when no sequels are to be found? :)


I've never found any women's clothing I looked good in. There's something about the beard, and general hairiness, and the belly...

But yes, I think we CAN assume those things about Paerand. ;}


Nonsense. A few braids in that beard and a snood of glass beads and you'd be the prettiest sage in Canada.

This is, of course, if you presume hair accessories are counted as articles of clothing.


Sometimes, my hair is my ONLY clothing.

Not during open hunting season for bears, of course.


Tempting Sharindlar with that talk! Dwarven maids from here to Adbar will seek you out to confirm such beauty with their own eyes!


Oh, dear. Thanks to Covid, I can't go out and get my beard permed. I'll have to settle for my teenaged ploy: filling it with live fireflies, to blink their soft come-hither glows. ;}


Such advanced courtship rituals.

And here I thought all one did that far north was set aside some poutine and hot tea. Pheromones, I think.


Oh, yes, the hot tea works every time.
I make my wife tea more than a dozen times a day.
Insatiable. Pheromones, indeed.
Poutine, not so much. She prefers chocolate.


A woman of culture!


Indeed. I put out Petrie dishes all over the house.


An experiment to see which she'll go to first? Brilliant!


My marriage duty is to provide diversions. I've been doing it for so long now that some of them have become wide detours. I lured her into the scullery the other day, and we don't even have a scullery.

I really do it to perplex the cat. Who now loves me (Nr. Foodbin) WARILY.


Loving warily--can it even be called love if done any other way?
As for the scullery conundrum; extra-dimensional pockets are damn hard to find once you've mislaid them around the house! I do hope she didn't set off any dastardly traps.


No, she walks through traps as obliviously (and as charmedly-safe) as Buster Keaton.
And as for love: oh, yes, there's madly (as opposed to warily). I still have the burn scars.

@MissMartinsen wed Halaster's secret sister, did you?


Ooh, don't let her hear you say that. Even at 84, she's not to be trifled with, if you're on the same planet.
But (leans close and whispers): yes. Yes, I did.
And it's been WONDERFUL.
A frigid Canadian winter is nothing, pitted against the flames of passion. He said with dignity.


Ahem, speaking of which, I've just been summoned to bed.
(Hastily combs beard into a fetching arrangement with fingers, strikes heroic pose, and strides...)
Until next we parley, sweet lady!
I bid you goodnight!
Thinks: Snood of glass beads, now THERE'S an idea to conjure with..

Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:40:10
On some hin terms:

Aug 8, 2020


Greetings & HUZZAH @TheEdVerse! My Hin Cleric of Chauntea wants to name her owl animal companion "wise friend", her pony "strong friend", etc, but I haven't been able to find a "Hin dictionary" anywhere. Any pointers for a humble admirer? Thanks!


I’ve assembled only the barest bones of a Realms hin lexicon over the years, but I can tell you this much: “true friend” or “trusted friend” is “vaer” and in any compound linguistic construction in the halfling tongue comes first, with the descriptor second (“sautha” is “drinking buddy” or “pleasant acquaintance”).

“hrimm” is wise and “yahael” is strong, so “wise friend” would be “vaerhrimm” and “strong friend” would be “vaeryahael” and could indeed be used for formal names, as halflings tend to speak Common almost exclusively, and save their own tongue for oaths, terms of endearment, names, and vows.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:39:17
On elven terms for parents and grandparents:

Oct 30, 2020


Help @TheEdVerse!

What are the elven words for father, mother, grandfather & grandmother in Faerun?


Here you go:
Mother: : osi
Father: osu
Maternal Grandmother: i’osi
Paternal Grandmother: i’osu
Maternal Grandfather: u’osi
Paternal Grandfather: u’osu
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:38:26
On dwarven words for snow, ice, snowflakes, and frost:


Hi Ed. Someone was asking today on one of the FR FB pages what the dwarven words for “snow”, “snowball”, “snowflake” and “frost” might be. Are you able to fill us in?



Sleet is “agwurl” (from agh = sharp + wurl = perilous water or unwelcome water [as opposed to wurn, which is useful, wanted water/good drinking water]).

Powdery white snow is “neywurl” (white-water) when falling, and “neytulr” (white + heap or pile) when fallen/on the ground.

A snowflake is “neywurth” (white-wet, as “wurth” is wetness, and the state of something being wet).

Frost is “thorhavr” (derived from thorord = cold + havar = hide, skin, coating).

Ice is “aghvorwurl” (sharp-hard-perilous water), but shortened in daily speech to just "aghvorl."
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:37:32
Ranking some of the wizards of the Realms:

Aug 24, 2020


Hi @TheEdVerse, whenever some of the big-name wizards in FR lore are brought up, they are often compared to other wizards of great power. If you had to rank Elminster, Gromph Baenre, Halaster Blackcloak, Szass Tam, and Larloch in terms of wizardry alone, where would you put them?


As far away as possible. In another universe should be far enough. ;}


Well played sir.




However, to answer you seriously: by wizardry alone (mastery of spells, experience with using them, creativity in making new ones and modifying existing ones, and understanding the underlying raw magic—and leaving out the sanity of the caster, their arsenal of enchanted items and spell library, and any divine assistance or favor), I’d put them like this:

Larloch a shade ahead of Halaster Blackcloak, then Elminster, then Gromph Baenre, then Szass Tam. (With the Srinshee ahead of them all, and The Simbul and then Khelben just a whisker behind Elminster.)

If you do factor in sanity and rank them by effectiveness in battle, on their own and without items and not on their home turf with any wards, defenses, and so on, then the order shifts to Elminster a shade ahead of Larloch, then Khelben, Gromph, Halaster, The Simbul, and Szass Tam.

El’s strengths are his flexibility and vast practical field and back-alley experience, as well as Weavemastery, and Larloch’s are his utter calm and his many, many years of patiently mastering a vast and growing library of spells.


How about Ioulaum? I always considered he is the most powerful one. But he is unable to move freely as a downside.


Ioulaum is one of the most CREATIVE/innovative spellcasters. Yet years behind re. current spells and castings, lacks back-alley/street-fighting experience, and can readily be fettered in any battle against a Weavemaster (such as El). So: just behind Larloch.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:36:34
On Zuggtmoy:


Is Zuggtmoy considered a Demon Prince? The wiki has her at the power level of a Demon Lord but Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes has her listed with the Princes.


Zuggtmoy is indeed a Demon Prince (or Princess, as she prefers it when thinking of such matters at all). Trust in the official tomes of lore.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:36:05
On Zehir:


Hi Ed. Are events taking place in Neverwinter Nights officially in Forgotten Realms lore?


Yes, unless superceded/contradicted by lore in official (Wizards of the Coast) publications.


So what’s the deal with the god Zehir? Is he still a thing in the Realms?


Zehir appeared in the Realms just before the Spellplague began, and is still around, venerated by increasing numbers of yuan-ti who see Zehir as the leader of their races into a “new age” of power and prominence.

The deity is derisively known as “Fangskull” among dragons, and this name has leaked out to mages and sages.


And what is the relationship between this interloper deity and more traditional Yuan-ti gods like Sseth and Mersshaulk?


Between their clergy: hostile.

Among other yuan-ti worshippers: tense to uncaring, depending on personal devotion.

Between the deities: Sseth and Merrshaulk are in near-torpor/slumber, and Merrshaulk and Zehir are both Set, who in both guises plays at hostilities (with each other) to maximize interest and devotion among yuan-ti (and dominates Sseth, who was imprisoned by Set during the Time of Troubles).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:35:03
On wombats:


Rereading Tomb of Annihilation and this got me wondering - where in the Forgotten Realms do wombats come from? Where is FR’s Australia? Questions for @TheEdVerse and


Wombats came through gates from our Earth, long ago. There is no Realms analogue for Australia (be misled not by talk of “Osse,” for it is quite different).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:34:26
On wizards not using the Weave:

Aug 29, 2020


Good night Great Sage from Shadowdale. A curiosity: how did the Spellcasters (Wizards) manage to use magic without the use of Weave during the post-spellplague years from 1385 DR to 1475 DR? I believed that only Shadovars (Shades) used magic without using Weave.

How did Wizards dominate raw magic without Weave? Pluma and Hishna magic certainly worked without Weave interference, just like the obscure Halruaan technique know as Table Magic, but standard magic does not! That would be the doubt.


The Weave is just one way of accessing the natural powers of the world (wind, tides, convection currents/heat/sunlight, magnetism, flowing water and other kinetic effects, etc.) by non-purely-physical means (like digging or damming), which are collectively referred to as "magic." There are many others, but the D&D game system concentrates on the Weave-based ones because they are the fastest (which matters, when you're fighting for your life!). By experimentation and consulting old grimoires (in Candlekeep, various temples and royal and court and sages' libraries) for hints of other ways of spellcasting, arcane spellcasters found other ways. Steadied by the Weave, because it did NOT collapse entirely thanks to Mystra's foresight in establishing Weave anchors, both living (e.g. the Chosen) and nonliving (e.g. the Athora), the continued existence of Azuth, and some other factors, some as yet unrevealed.

Quite a few creatures use magic without accessing the Weave (even monsters, when we refer to them in the rules as having "spell-like powers/abilities"), not just shades. The study of magic is a rabbit hole that some individuals (like Larloch) devote many lifetimes to, without ever getting near a full or complete understanding of current magic ("current" because magic is not static, but a living, growing thing over time, thanks to the innovations of many sentient creatures).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:33:15
On why Westgate has multiple gates:


Westgate is on a peninsula, and economically it's an important port town between the west and the east (or the inland and the Sea of Fallen Stars). What confuses me is why the city has so many gates in all directions, even though land trade comes and goes West.

The Grand Ride is the only major road leading into and out of Westgate. Azure Bonds and the Forgotten Realms Atlas seem to suggest the Grand Ride curls around the Hills of the Seven Lost Gods and then meets up with the South Gate, so where do the other gates lead?


While it's true that there has always been travel to and from farms in the land around the city, the majority of such gates, as with all walled cities in the Heartlands, is to allow ready access to livestock paddocks well outside the walls (for "let's get away from the stink" reasons); the paddocks exist for daily "feeding the city" needs, and more importantly, to let wagons, beasts of burden, local cargo carts, and people ready access to fields where caravans assemble and disperse. Westgate's location at the end of the Grand Ride means fourteen or more caravans could be gathering or dispersing at any one time, outside the walls (no room INSIDE), and being as the city wants to not be at the mercy of a caravan coster or trading company forcibly establishing a monopoly by just occupying all the mustering space, it's in their interest to have multiple gates so no one player can dominate, and always has been. So: many city gates.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:32:01
On why sentient creatures are sacrificed:


Ed, if you have time, why then are sentient creatures sacrificed? Do clerics just enjoy the power? Or do worshipers give off extra potent prayers during a sacrifice?


Life force being released (bodily energies, that is, rather than the soul) is a potent energy source in magic (it’s at the core of necromancy). To clerics whose alignment and faith ethos don’t hand them an ethical problem with sacrifices, sentient sacrifices included, it’s like getting jet fuel when others are striking flint and steel together to produce sparks.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:25:58
On the Manyhanded Curse:


Hello @TheEdVerse! I’m curious about the origin of the “Manyhanded Curse” reference directed at humans in the Realms. Can you elaborate on what it is and why the elves specifically coined it as a moniker for humans? Thank you!


Elves refer to humans in this way because the sheer numbers of humans make them dangerous to the environment (overcutting or clearing forests, for example). So their deeds are the “curse,” and it is “manyhanded” because there are so many humans (kill thousands, there are still tens of thousands left) and because they may all be self-interested and therefore working at cross purposes (thus, “many hands”), but still prevail through the sheer weight of their numbers (for example, if some want to preserve a forest but others want to clear it, and the two groups end up fighting over the forest, they may destroy the forest in their fighting).

Hence, to elves and many others, humans are “the Manyhanded Curse.”

(The TRUE manyhanded curse are actually the orcs, who so outbreed humans and everyone else that if unchecked by strife among themselves, the depredations of giants and dragons, and so on, they will end up ruling all of Faerûn sooner rather than later.)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:24:58
On why Cyric didn't get Mystra's portfolio:


On the note of deicide - why did Cyrik not usurp Mystra's portfolio when he murdered her?


Cyric was far too insane to concentrate enough to subsume and master the Weave. Which was in chaos, like tsunamis rushing back and forth through the world. He didn't even know Mystra was thee Weave, and even sane and calm, he wouldn't have known how to take hold of it, much less master its workings and so be able to take Mystra's portfolio. Cyric is a perfect example of self-delusional narcissistic "I can do anything" without preparation or knowledge. Ao would have prevented him in any event, but I doubt Cyric could even have defeated Azuth, who was rushing to stabilize the Weave at that moment.

The Weave survived because of Mystra's foresight in turning the "mortals you must cede fractions of your power to" (saith Ao) into Weave anchors.

Cyric managed to murder Mystra large part because he caught her unawares (no sane deity would have done what he did; it's like you trying to seize a palace by toppling its roof supports so it collapses and is destroyed...with you in the middle of it).

Any three Weave anchors (let's say: Elminster, Storm, and The Simbul) could have destroyed Cyric at that moment, if they'd caught HIM unawares. Instead, they were trying to stabilize the Weave, and paying the mental price for doing so.

If the china shop is Toril, and all of we mortals are the highly breakable china, Cyric is the rampaging bull gleefully destroying everything, and the Weave anchors who are the Chosen (as opposed to the unwitting ones, like Volo) are rushing around the china shop frantically catching falling plates and vases.

History is FUN. Afterwards.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:21:55
On who runs a temple:


Is it more common for the official leader of a temple(cleric) to be the most powerful spell caster in the temple or is it more common to see a lower level cleric in charge of 1 or more higher level spell casting cleric in the temple hierarchy?


It’s most common for the most powerful cleric in a temple to head the temple, yes, but not always; matters vary over time due to customs within faiths, and due to real-world events (more powerful individual is sent on a special mission, and ends up using a temple as a home or base that continues to be run by a lower-level cleric, or high priest trains a successor who is of lower class-level/spellcasting ability than the temple ‘enforcer’ or ‘guardian’ cleric).

Many faiths separate ‘worldly’ or adventuring clerics from ‘holy’ or administrative clergy in various subtle ways, and sometimes these translate into “less powerful devotees who are better administrators are put in charge.”

In other words, order such things as best fit your campaign/story needs; I’m describing a tendency rather than a hard-and-fast rule.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:20:33
On who governed Calimport in 1271 DR:


You wouldn't happen to have any references on who governed Calimport say around 1271 DR?


Sure. Syl-pasha Amjad Tahandral, a thin, spike-bearded, brilliant man with a usually-carefully-hidden whimsical sense of humor, a gift for mimicry, and a talent for posing as a woman with the aid of a few cantrips and his masterful acting (adopting feminine gait and gestures), which he sometimes used, heavily veiled, to eavesdrop on “just plain citizens,” go shopping, and elude individuals he didn’t want to talk to.

Many syl-pashas ruled in name only, but not Tahandral. His vizars were loyal servants, not puppetmasters. Tahandral ruled for almost thirty years (around 1269 DR on), then faked his own death and disappeared, apparently tiring not just of rule, but of Calimshan. He was traced as far as Sembia, where he swiftly switched identities several times, then slipped into Cormyr.

Some believe he then went to Waterdeep or Silverymoon, others to the Dales, and still others think he changed gender permanently and dwelt quietly in Cormyr, raising chickens.

{As for why he went shopping: he liked to eat dishes that were heavy on garlic, mushrooms, and leeks all fried in wines. Courtiers hated the smell he exuded and breathed, and avoided preparing said dishes; so when in the mood, he bought and cooked for himself.}

Lore Lord of the Realms George Krashos has rescued me, pointing out quite rightly that Tahandral would have been "Pasha" of Calimport, not "Syl-Pasha" (the Syl-Pasha of Calimshan at the time was Kamar yn Saban el Djenispool).


Any evil-aligned personas that had a heavy but influence in these years.


In Calimport in Tahandral’s time, the sultans Fasih Maloufmaroun and Amaunali Almghazar, the former a subtle grifter (skimming coins from every transaction passing through his hands, in Grand Ward) and the latter slowly and carefully building his own criminal gang to shadow-rule his ward (Jewel Ward) by threats and by spreading false rumors.

In wider Calimshan, the pashas Jubrah Naipheh and Muuaumhar Qaphar did the same as Almghazar, paying as little attention as politely possible to Tahandral’s authority.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:19:41
On the strings of musical instruments:


this was probably covered before somewhere, but what are instrumemts made of normally in the realms? Wood and such as normal but what about strings and things like that?


Many strings are made of spun silk, horsehair (tails), and “gut” (dried intestines of rothé, oxen, or lambs). Only senior Gondite priests and skilled dwarven smiths can make wire fine and homogenous enough for use as strings.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:19:06
On what lizardfolk call themselves:

Jul 26, 2020


Hello @TheEdVerse! Hope you doing great in this hard time. I have a question about lizardfolk. How do they call themselves? I think that "lizardfolk" and "lizardman" are names on Common. How they would call themselves on their language and what is their true name?


Hi, Max. Delays in answering come when I must consult others on lore, check NDAs, or unearth long-buried notes, maps, or records. This one of yours involved all three.

So... truenames of lizardfolk are still NDA, and I can only answer for the Realms, wherein lizardfolk call themselves various things at various places and times, but the most popular term today (1490s DR) is “Ssah,” which means “We Who Endure” and is understood to mean ‘we lizardfolk.’

Older terms include “Arakuluth,” which translates roughly as ‘Proud-Scales’ (Justifiably Proud, And Scaled), and “Haarthuu” (transliteration: Slow But Sure ...but this really means ‘Patient And Determined/Steadfast To Our Goals’). Note that these names are all older than current Draconic, as spoken by lizardfolk today.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:18:03
On Waukeenar profanity:


@TheEdVerse, what kind of cuss would a frustrated Waukeenian swear, both to no one in particular and directed towards someone frustrating.


Aside from the ‘general’ cusswords and phrases, the following:
“Tarnish!” or “Tarnished!” (referring to the visible surface besmirchment of coins, and equivalent to real-world “Darn!” or “Blast!”) and of a person: “Tarnisher!”

A step stronger (so, equivalent to “Damn!” or “Damn it!”):
“Diminisher!” (more polite) or “Wastrel!” (less polite)

Another step stronger (so, equivalent to “Sh*t!” or “G*d DAMN it!”):
“Beswindled!” and of a person: “Swindler!”

Stronger still:
“Ruination!” and of a person: “Jaeleth!” (the name of a long-ago but still-bitterly-remembered female moneylender of Amn who ruined not just families, but cities and duchies with her thefts)

REALLY strong:
“Ontagon!” (the name of an ancient archwizard who had a spell that melted gemstones into magical energy, consuming them forever, so the word means utter and irreversible, wanton destruction of wealth) and of a person: “Hurkfist!” (“Hurk” is all that survives of a fragmentary name from Jhaamdath, of someone whose thefts ruined an entire district, AND himself, so a recklessly foolish thief)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:17:32
On Waterdhavian wedding rings:


Hey, I was wondering if there's any kind of symbol of marriage in waterdeep, similar to rings in the real world? Thanks


Yes. Each person about to be married takes their own ring to the same smith (in Waterdeep, many "storefronts" for gnomes and dwarves reach anvils in the Warrens) and are ("betrothal rings" are worn on middle fingers in the Realms) "sized."

Then both rings are cut in half, the non-matching halves fused together to create two half-and-half "union" rings, made (either by adding new material or by thinning the rings to stretch what's already there) to fit the respective middle fingers (resizing visits may be necessary). These are worn to the ceremony on fine neck-chains by the partners-to-be, then exchanged, each puts the ring on the other, and at the end of the vows, the rings are clinked together to end the ceremony, so the kissing and feasting can start.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Dec 2020 : 21:16:39
On Scroll Street in Waterdeep:


I have an untitled Thann adventurer thinking of buying property on southern corner of Scroll Street and Snail Street. He wants to become First Earl of Scroll. Any interesting history about Scroll Street?
Thank you for all you do, ...


Sure. Scroll Street got its current name (renamed from Bendulph’s Lane, after the man who began it as a paved cul-de-sac with five buildings for rent (by him, by the room or suite) clustered around it, built on what had been his stockyard paddock) when most of the ground-floor shops were rented by scribes, who lived above their shops and hired ‘underscribes’ to work for them at very low wages by throwing in room and board (in the rest of the rooms above the shops), so a short stretch of Scroll Street became the locale of choice, if you weren’t a noble or someone else rich enough to summon a scribe to you to do work, for you to find a selection of scribes to quickly copy something, draw up a contract or trade agreement in quadruplicate (a copy to each party, plus a temple copy for the temple holding the money, plus a tax-record-remittance copy for the Palace).

So for nigh two centuries Scroll Street was a hive of scribes, who earned most of their coin as copyists for daily mercantile trade. (Then and now, it attracts a trickle of interested folk who assume “scroll” means a spell scroll, and magic can be bought and sold in Scroll Street. Largely untrue, though it’s correctly rumored many scribes have a handful of spell scrolls they bought as investments, and will sell only for very high prices to the desperate.)

Then Scroll Street started to attract some wealthier renters, including mapmakers and bookbinders. The most interesting event it hosted was a band of adventurers arriving to harass a scribe who was secretly a novice mage — adventurers hired by a creditor. Their violence frightened other scribes living on Scroll Street into sending their fastest family members to call on Watchful Order aid, and the street briefly became a battlefield, in what became known as ‘the Shatterbone Fray’ (thanks to various adventurers being hurled forcefully into exterior building walls by various spells, then urged on their way by a chain lightning spell unleashed by an irked wizard arriving in the street to buy a blank workbook to record his spellcrafting experiments.

There are also persistent rumors of doppelgangers dwelling among the scribes of Scroll Street (these rumors are true, and the doppelgangers are spies for the Xanathar, to keep eyes on the two expert forgers/counterfeiters among the Scroll Street residents, and to watch for anyone beginning to regularly sell spell scrolls (which hasn’t happened yet, at these addresses).

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