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T O P I C    R E V I E W
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)
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 14:24:45
On in-universe awareness of spell levels:

@RodrigoAlcanza, ~May 18: @TheEdVerse Master Greenwood, how is the greatness or power of spells classified in Realms (or in D&D in general)? I'm talking about spells level and slots. The same as D&D rules, 0-9 spell level (plus 10th +) or exist a Realms classification? How do spellcasters refer to this?

@TheEdVerse: Most sages and mages in the Realms use the terms and classifications seen in the PHB, expressed thus: “cantrips” and then spells “of the first” (1st level), “of the second” (2nd level) and so on.

On beverage sale and transport:

@bedirthan, May 20: @TheEdVerse in the Realms are bottled milk and beer served in ten packs due to the ten day?

@TheEdVerse: No. ;}

Milk and beer are transported by the cask (big) or keg (the "barrel" you're used to) or handkeg (small, rope handles both ends or in a net around it, for easy handling), and only poured out of these into flasks for serving. Some large city establishments (large inns, big taverns, clubs, guildhalls) have tuns (GIANT casks, that never move, rest in cradles, and have spigots) in their cellars that are filled from incoming casks.

Milk and beer are usually poured out of such storage containers into glass flasks or stoppered decanters only for serving. Only the high-volume establishments listed above would bottle them, and it's a matter of funnel-pouring into bottles (the funnel being topped up before uncapping, and pre-sized to hold a "bottle-full"), then the filled bottles corked and either chilled or later serving, or taken straight to table, depending on what liquid's inside and how particular patrons prefer the temperature of their quaff.

Some places (like a real-world British off-license, back in the day) may fill a jug or ewer brought by patrons to a side-window, and a few will sell a bottle of beer (not expecting to ever get the bottle back, so priced accordingly), but no one sells "packs" of beer, cider, or anything else. Many places sell a handkeg of ale (ranging from about 8 US gallons, so a very rough equivalent to half of a modern real-world "pony keg" or "quarter barrel," up to a whole one) and the cost is typically 1 gp (2 sp for the keg, Which doesn't mean your characters couldn't start a fad of assembling and selling packs...which just might catch on!

@LeslieCourtne14, May 20: How would they chill liquids?

@TheEdVerse: Most taverns and eateries have an ice-cellar. (Lots of blocks of ice. Purchased from ice-sellers. In summer, Auril clergy make LOTS of coin selling ice they've made.)
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 12:47:20
On souls and human sacrifice:

@Kendradream, ~16 May: from a convo on Reddit:what happens to souls of goodly creatures sacrificed to evil deities? Does the evil deity devour their soul, or is it enough to feed of their pain during sacrifice? Do the souls still end up with their intended (good) god?

@TheEdVerse: The soul should, unless something else happens to it, eventually end up with the god they have most reverenced (=good deity). Although some deities “devour” souls, as do some creatures, both are really always consuming the emotions (and some memories) attached to the soul; the devoured soul itself will recoalesce, later, and drift to its intended goal. Such damaged, lessened souls are nearer to empty vessels than those who die and go more directly into the embrace of ‘their’ deity.

On Elminster and Elmara:

@bunnywoomy, ~16 May: A question for you, @TheEdVerse! I noticed Elminster took the identity of Elmara with little difficulty early in the Elminster series I've been reading. Does Elminster still take on this identity like elves blessed by Corellon?

@TheEdVerse: Very rarely, as Elmara was a priestess of the Mystra of the time, the Mystra who in various mortal forms became Elminster’s lover. Reviving her when he now serves later Mystras ‘feels wrong’ to El.

On Waterdeep's Scroll Street:

@David_Pryde, ~May 18: @TheEdVerse 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?

@TheEdVerse: 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).
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 12:31:38
Back to the main feed:

On preserving poisons:

@RidianG, ~15 May: @TheEdVerse So i know the venom breaks down rather fast if harvested. Have alchemists or poison crafters in FR ever developed a stabilizing agent to prevent this issue?

@TheEdVerse: Oh, yes. Arethra’s Amalgam, made from a secret blend of three different herbal distillates (drakentongue, feverfew, and tansy), a pinch of powdered moonstone, and a drop of basilisk blood, is a nigh-universal stabilizing agent that not only preserves the properties of liquids it’s added to, and is itself safely ingested, it also maintains hues of mixture AND keeps them mixed together. Sometimes known as “reth” for short, it’s a reddish-pink, translucent, gummy liquid. It has a shelf life of twenty years or more, if not allowed to boil (which ruins it instantly), and turns brown when it’s “no good.” Commonly sold by the 4-ounce vial for 12-20 gp (low end in a busy large-city shop that has a large stock of them, and prices quickly slide to the high end of the range in rural or wilderland areas, where there’s a scarce supply).

On democracy:

@NessusResident, May 16: @TheEdVerse My question, mostly for roleplaying purposes is: Is there anywhere in the canonical Realms that actually has or has had democracy, that could be used as an in-game reference/model?

@TheEdVerse: If you can call the real-world USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand "democracies," then the Lords of Waterdeep are certainly a "democracy." There are also many city-states in the Realms that have ruling councils (majority votes decide policies).

@NessusResident: Isn't Waterdeep an oligarchy? I mean democracy, as in somewhere all citizens (or at least a large subset, such as those who own property) decide by vote who's in charge. As far as I understand it, the Masked Lords decide who will be Masked Lords, with no input from the people?

@TheEdVerse: Here's the problem with that: there are no TRUE democracies. Even ancient Athens, in which in theory all citizens had a vote, excluded women and all slaves. Canada. the UK, and most Commonwealth countries are, or started as, constitutional monarchies. The USA is a republic, and arguably as much or more of an oligarchy as Waterdeep (the Masked Lords CAN be chosen from all walks of life, and don't have to own property [they DO have to have an address in the city, but can rent or stay in an inn], whereas the US electoral college memberships are controlled by two entrenched political parties). Many city-states in the Realms have even more "democratic" ruling Councils: the guilds elect one rep, the nobles another, the burghers (wealthy moneylenders = local banks) a third, and so on. Most real-world modern folks use the terms "democracy" and "freedom" very loosely. Looking objectively at Waterdeep and the modern USA, I'd say Waterdeep is the more democratic place. In both places, wealth tends to equal power, so wealthy people tend to get into "the corridors of power" if they want to. Olden-days Waterdeep, where either warlords or nobles ruled, wasn't democratic, but the Masked Lords are masked to prevent coercion, and their ranks (although tending towards corruption by the "old boys' network" factor of people who are Lords choosing friends or business colleagues or relatives to be appointed to the Masked Lords) have been filled, in recent centuries, by people who "aren't" something (as in: aren't nobles, aren't guildmasters, etc.) which has led to the fractious Lords' meetings seen in DEATH MASKS, and Lords at odds with the Masked Lord (Neverember and after him, Laeral, were chosen because they were outsiders, not longtime city residents who might be part of one camp or another). So the Lords have to bargain with each other, issue by issue, to get votes needed to pass a new law or regulation or city policy, and many things get modified in the debate. So lawmaking is by majority vote, and the people voting represent all of the citizenry (high and low, all races and genders and ethnicities) which is the essence of democracy.

EVERY real-world democracy can be labeled (this one's a constitutional monarchy, that one's a republic, or this one's an oligarchy, that one's a theocracy, etc.), but as we saw in DEATH MASKS, the Masked Lords aren't free of public pressure at all, and their personal agendas (or those of the group they represent, or belong to) get derailed time and again by public demands, and by the groups they belong to not having monolithic views. And there are also criminal interests (the Xanathar, Bregan D'aerthe) who like all of this political mess and onfusion, because it gives them freedom to operate in the loopholes and cracks, so they try to keep it going, in part by working to keep Masked Lord membership diverse so nobles or guildmasters never dominate (again).

@nckestrel: This seems a long thread for not really saying anything about how Waterdeep is a democracy. Just other democracies aren’t perfect, and Waterdeep’s lords are diverse, so it’s a democracy. And having a diverse lordship isn’t anywhere near any definition of democracy.

@TheEdVerse: Hmm. Sounds to me like you missed the parts about laws and policies being decided by majority vote, and any resident of the governed region can get to be a voter.

@nckestrel: I saw majority vote, but it looked like it was the masked lords that were voting. What do you mean by “can get to be a voter?” That implies not all are, and then how many are?

@TheEdVerse: Just as not every citizen in most real-world democracies gets to sit in a legislature and vote directly on laws/policies/regulations, not every Waterdeep citizen gets to do so, but they have elected representatives (the Masked Lords) who do. Any city resident CAN become a Lord.
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 12:11:44
On the road(s) again:

@AlexMcclay2000, May 9: @TheEdVerse Quick question since i cant find the answer, What is the average size of tracks in the realms (the dotted lines in the 3e map), like the Dusk Road?

@TheEdVerse: We JUST did this!
"Dotted-line roads/wagon trails have at least 30 feet of "crown" (traveled area), with a grassy verge of about another three or more feet per side before pitching down into grass-lined drainage ditches, on either side. The idea here being that wagons can easily pass each other without danger of wheels catching, or projecting-to-the-side loads snagging on each other. So, 30-foot minimum, except when cutting through rock (mountain passes/prime ambush areas!), and wherever the road comes out onto exposed bedrock, the cleared area widens into a layby/stopping area/turning area.
Eddie The Road Inspector"

On Shar's work in forming the Shadowfell:

@ivstinus, May 9: @TheEdVerse I just learned that Shar apparently made the Shadowfell? Is this different from the Shadow Plane we used to be familiar with? Since 5E I had always assumed their similarity and simply a renaming via Realms perspective. Then of course Ravenloft was *in* it..

@TheEdVerse: “Made” is a strong word (remember that almost all we know of what the gods did, except what their avatars do in front of mortal eyeballs while striding around Toril itself, is told to us by deities, their servitors, and their clergy, and just may be propaganda). If I was writing down history about this, I would change the word “made” to the word “caused.” What Shar did was successfully manipulate Cyric into murdering Mystra, causing the Spellplague (as the dying Weave ‘went wild,’ great ripples crashing across it from Weave anchor to Weave anchor). As existing wards and spells failed all across Toril, and wizards went mad, Shar was busy elsewhere. Out among the planes, to be precise. Where, caused by the widening ripples, the Elemental and Energy Planes collapsed, merging roilingly into the Elemental Chaos.

Shar played lockkeeper, exerting all of her personal power (and she’s one of the few deities who can work with necrotic energies without being diminished or altered by them, and understands the properties of necrotic energy) to steer as much as she could of the necrotic energies flowing from the collapsing Negative Energy Plane so that rather than being lost into the stew of Elemental Chaos, they flowed into her home plane, the existing Plane of Shadow (we wrote of this on page 69 of the 4e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide).

This changed the Plane of Shadow, and clergy of Shar will tell you that “the Shadowfell” (Shar’s name for the altered Plane of Shadow), was her “creation.” So it is, but she didn’t create it out of nothing. If I took the outer panels off my old tractor and replaced them with pieces of a Ferrari, I have ‘made’ something new, but it’s still my old tractor, that I bought rather than made from the ground its tires sit on, up, underneath.

With its new necrotic energies, the altered Plane of Shadow gained some new properties. Many souls of the dead came now to the Shadowfell, and had to pass through it to get to the Fugue Plane. And—and this was the entire reason why Shar acted as she did, hoping to increase her own power and reach thereby—the necrotic energies of the Shadowfell were the new energy source for, and root source of, all shadow magic. The power and reach of shadow magic cast/called upon in the Prime Material Plane (on Toril) had been subtly ebbing and fading for some time, and by this move Shar boosted shadow magic and her own might, in the Realms.

All planes change, over time influenced by energies leaking from, and actual invasions from, adjacent planes; the planes don’t exist in isolation, but affect each other constantly (though post-Spellplague, the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos surround and separate the other planes, and so act as buffers between them). So the Plane of Shadow has been called many things by sentient mortals, down the ages, such as Shadowland, Shadow, and “the demiplane of Shadow,” and these different terms don’t always merely denote different mortal ways of viewing the same thing, they actually describe different versions of the same plane as it evolves.
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 12:02:47
On elven barbarians:

@ShaunSunday_Art, ~6 May: is there any official precedent for Elven Barbarians in the Forgotten Realms? Asking for a friend, who is me.

@TheEdVerse: Sure. Many wild elves are barbarians (and rangers, for that matter), and this is in published canon Realmslore.

On the intelligence of mimics:

@mythicalbeast43, May 8: @TheEdVerse im sorry to bother you but i was wondering if you could give insight as to why mimics are now nothing more then feral monsters. But when you created The forgotten realms they could speak and were actually more common to speak then to not.

@TheEdVerse: There are several sorts of mimics (intelligent, less-so "killer" mimics, and so on). The 5e designers just haven't been bitten by (and so, reminded about) one of the smart ones yet. The ones who can lure by vocal mimicry, not just visual. Or as Dove once put it, "If you must 'go' in unfamiliar surroundings, be rather careful about where you sit down." (!)

On the state of Waterdeep's harbour:

@ShayanFilmStuff, ~9 May: TheEdVerse in the 14th century, Waterdeep's Harbour was very clear, but by 1479 it had become brown and murky. Under Laeral, has the harbour cleared up? Also, how did the merfolk let it get so dirty?

@TheEdVerse: First, Mistshore was burned to get rid of most of it—which means everything aboard the ships plunged down into the harbor when the fire reached vessel waterlines. Not only did that dump poisons and even some living aquatic monsters into the harbor, the taint killed some merfolk and forced many of them to relocate away into the Outer Harbour to avoid being sickened and dying.

Very shortly thereafter, some of the Xanathar’s agents diverted some ewers to give themselves more subterranean space—and a lot more foulness began to flow daily into the harbour. Merfolk who tried to fix the latter were slaughtered by an undead eye of the deep Xanathar servitor. The Xanathar’s reach is long. However, Laeral’s is even longer, so that servitor is gone and remedial sewer work has been done and some mighty spells cast, and the harbour waters are clearing up.
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 11:57:02
In trying to find context for one of his other replies, I've found some RTs of Ed's answers from 1-13 May:

On Harkon Lukas of Kartakass:

@DwaineSpradling, ~5 May: Can you tell us anything about Harkon Lukas - also known as the Meistersinger - before the mists of Ravenloft whisked him away to Barovia to eventully become the Darklord of Kartakass? My understanding is that he's originally from Cormyr.

@TheEdVerse: He is. He and his family (wolfweres, all) dwelt in the southeasternmost Hullack Forest, and ranged over the Thunderflow valley. In human form, they traded along the Thunder Way into Archendale, far more than westwards into central Cormyr. Their slayings were part of what maintained the reputation the Thunder Peaks have for being “dangerous” that prevails on both sides of that mountain range. Harkon’s relative unfamiliarity with Cormyr is whatled him to think he could rise to rule it; he was utterly unaware of the War Wizards and their abilities, and believed Cormyr was a sparsely-settled land of crofters, woodcutters, and traveling peddlers.

On the physical source of energy for magic:

@RedNoBlue, ~5 May: Hi, @TheEdVerse, how is your week going? I'm not looking for a massive answer, because I know you're mad busy, but I was wondering if there's a different energy used in Divine spells vs Arcane? Like the underlying source that is turned into spells.

@TheEdVerse: No. All spells draw on the natural energies of the world (kinetic energy of winds, tides, and currents, heat, sunlight, faezress and other radiations, etc.). Arcane magic does this via the Weave (Mystra).

On Ebondeath:

@TLMayesing, ~5 May: @TheEdVerse On a related note can you tell us a little about Ebondeath and Strongor Bonebag?

@TheEdVerse: Chardansearavitriol or “Ebondeath” was a male black dragon who ruled a demesne from his lair in Uthtower. He became a dracolich in 922 DR under the urging of, and with the magical assistance of, Cult of the Dragon member, and priest of Myrkul, Strongor Bonebag. Ebondeath agreed to seek lichdom because he was elderly and keenly felt the aches and lessened strength of his aging. The Cult built the Mausoleum of Ebondeath at Uthtower, and came there to worship him (becoming known as “the Ebondeath Sect”). It was led by Strongor until he was murdered in 969 DR by a younger, ambitious rival Cult member, who hoped not just to eliminate him, but capture his soul and sentience in the weapon that slew him, a specially-enchanted obsidian-bladed dagger. It’s not known if the ritual succeeded in doing so; Strongor’s murderer (whose name Elminster knows not) disappeared—and may himself have perished thanks to magical traps prepared by Strongor.

Ebondeath’s dracolich form disintegrated into dust in 1202 DR, when caught in the gaze of the Eye of Myrkul, but his spirit still clung to this dust, and the Cult continued to worship him, in increasing numbers (inspired by the persistence of the spectral Ebondeath beyond the destruction of his dracolich skeleton).
When Myrkul was destroyed in 1358 DR, a "great howling wind of darkness" swept into the Mausoleum, and scoured it bare—and the ghostly Ebondeath was seen no more. The Ebondeath Sect faded away, though Harper spies have heard Cultists fearfully telling each other that they've "heard the rage-filled whispers of Ebondeath in the night," hissing into their ears that "they betrayed and abandoned" Chardansearavitriol. So something of the bodiless dracolich survives yet.

Elminster, Azuth, and certain senior Cult of the Dragon members all deem a handful of such dracoliches, whose bodies have decayed, “demidracoliches.” The Cult reveres them, the Wearers of Purple inner circle hunt them in hopes of gaining some hold over them and making use of their powers, and Elminster wants to study them.
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 11:19:02
On Myth Drannor in 5e, and its suitability for dragons:

@suitupsully, May 14: On this same train of thought.. what does Myth Drannor look like after Thultanthar crashed into it? What would those ruins look like? Does anyone (or anything) reside in those Ruins? Would it make a good lair for an Ancient Green Wyrm?

@TheEdVerse: I answered this here two months back, when asked how the rebuilding was going:
"Slowly. This time, the elves have thrown up a cordon around it, and are preventing all other sentients from entering, as they cleanse the city, use spells to shift shattered and fallen stones and fuse them together into new buildings and foundations, and plant seedlings to begin the trees they want to eventually dominate the new Myth Drannor. They do intend to open the city to other races “when they’re ready,” but that may be in another four decades or more. Perhaps a lot more.
The initial aboveground dwellings are all fortified/defensible, and stand atop the entrances to the house crypts." (Remember, most of the baelnorn are still there, guarding the crypt entrances, and remember also that elves build "forest-cities," not cleared and paved cities like humans do. But no, it would make a terrible lair for an Ancient Green Wyrm, because the elves and baelnorn would destroy it upon arrival. A better place would be some of the headwater swamps where streams issue from the east side of the Thunder Peaks range (but not near Semberholme).
neutrondecay Posted - 07 Jul 2020 : 11:11:16
Thanks to Twitter's 3200-tweet limit, I can't get back to see what was posted 1-13 May. However, since then, Ed has provided some fascinating lore...

On canonicity:

@Yargniathus, May 14: @GHC_and_Tacos There's a debate going on regarding the canonicity of The Border Kingdoms in FR wiki. The argument is that since the only proof there is about it being canon atm is the line in dmsguild product entry, nothing from WotC that we see, it isn't canon. Can you help?

@TheEdVerse: Certainly. Anything I write about the Realms, by definition, is canon, unless or until contradicted/rendered out-of-date by Wizards-published writing. That's in the original Realms agreement, that Wizards inherited from TSR; Wizards can't change the agreement without negotiating with me (so I'd know about any change). So it's canon, by definition. (Folks on the FR wiki should know this; it was all explained years back.) The BK book is also canon because Alex Kammer made sure it was okay with Wizards to call it so. I know some fans like to decide for themselves what's canon or not, in any IP, but no one but players in my home Realms campaign would have seen more than DRAGON-glimpses of the Realms without the agreement, so it's the baseline for FR canon.

On Luskan in 5e:

@Artie_Pavlov, May 14: Question about Luskan to one and only @TheEdVerse. After the spellplague, it’s being rebuilt, right, but what is it’s state now, livable? Is arcane brotherhood still in charge even after they were to blame for the undead frolicking around? Or are the crow pirates the main force?

@TheEdVerse: Luskan is still largely in ruins, and remains lawless except in areas policed by a Ship (i.e. trading markets). Officially ruled by the High Captains, as always—but, as always, the true power is the Arcane Brotherhood, ruling from the shadows (scrying from afar and using their spells to influence everyone). They have always preferred to avoid the work, and being a public target, of overtly ruling, but Luskan does nothing they disapprove of.

@lukey_baby86: Whilst I consider you the ultimate authority, I thought that in dragon heist it states that luskan is ran by jarlaxle Baenre the leader of the bregan de'aerthe who is trying to convince the lords alliance to recognize luskan as a legitimate member state? (Attached screenshot of Jarlaxle's description in DH.)

@TheEdVerse: Jarlaxle "declared himself" its secret lord. He is indeed trying to get Luskan standing with the Lords Alliance, and he is sponsoring and propping up the High Captains. Like Arklem Greeth, Jarlaxle is far too wily to openly rule. Jarlaxle wants Luskan to be the open trading port for Bregan D'aerthe.
But Jarlaxle is spread far too thin to truly rule anywhere; he's trying the exact same thing in Neverwinter and in Waterdeep, hoping he can achieve effective rule in any of them. If the Arcane Brotherhood would go away, he could most easily achieve true (but behind the scenes) rule in Luskan. But saying Jarlaxle "runs" Luskan is like saying a downtown street gang leader "runs" Chicago or New York. Leans on folks to try to get his own way, yes, "runs," no. He's trying to wield and claim powers he doesn't really have, yet, in hopes folk will let him get away with it. In other words, the situation has been masterfully set up by @ChrisPerkinsDnD to make for maximum play opportunities for your PCs.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 21:07:04
On worshiping non-deities, and the Wall of the Faithless:

Apr 25, 2020


Quick question, is there a non-theistic religion in the Realms that doesn't automatically result in being slapped on the Wall of the Faithless?


Sure. The Cult of Entropy (popular in Chessenta).

And there's a cult of The Cosmic Balance (worshipping the concept and not a deity), too.
There's even a Cult of Ao, who believe that the gods are all posers and frauds, as Ao holds all true power.

One can also take the view that the worship of Siamorphe, in form, is "non-theistic."

Then there are beholder cults, and cults that venerate enchanted speaking swords, and...


So true worship exempts you from the Wall, even if the object of your worship isn't a deity?


That's right. It's what the entity did in life that matters (belief and intent).


Where do the souls of these mortals go upon death? They don't have a patron deity to pick them up on the Fugue Plane after all.


It differs for every soul, depending on what worship they did in life. Remember, aside from insane folk, EVERYONE in the Realms "believes in" ALL of the gods, and many worship most of them, even if it's "Dear Umberlee, please don't sink this ship I'm buying passage on."

Many gamers seem to struggle with the notion of "many gods" as opposed to everyone believing in one god. Most folk in the Realms don't have this struggle. Their souls will go to the deity they venerated most, or even get sent back (reincarnation) by a deity to fulfill some purpose, or diverted into undeath (a revenant) to take care of "unfinished-in-life" business. It's a unique journey for each soul. Best roleplayed through, if a player wants to stick with a character rather than starting a new one.


Wait, I thought Ao didn't need faithful, explicitly ignored his cultists, and that they ended up in the Wall of the Faithless.


That's right. That doesn't mean he doesn't have worshippers.

Be wary of pronouncements about the fates of souls. Where do they come from? Likely from clergy. How do THEY know? A god or god's servitor told them. Was that speaker telling truth? Or serving propaganda?


I love this q&a! I have a non-theist divination wizard who transformed himself into a lich but views gods as more of self made deal makers and I feel like he would really relate to The Cosmic Balance’s ideals.


There are even some wizards and sages who worship the Weave but NOT Mystra. (Mystra answers their prayers nonetheless. Gods who refuse veneration sooner or later fall from godhood.)

And there are liches who worship older, famous liches (as role models.)


This is perfect because although my lich studied in his first life as an elf in Neverwinter Academy he believed in magic solely as a tool. Although undead he has grounded most of his actions in trying to bring balance to the land & if he can make a council of liches.

If he doesn’t go mad by then that is.


I also remember reading that true atheists go to Asmodeus (Ahriman) to be food. So if you're worshipping a concept, like cosmic balance, and not a deity; do you count as a true atheist? Will your soul be food for Ahriman?


No, a true atheist is a non-believer (not just a non-worshipper). No divinity, no divine magic, can't and doesn't happen.

Which in the Realms would most likely be an insane person. Being as the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming and everywhere.


... what's the definition of "faith" then, given that knowledge and witnessings and clerical miracles are daily happenings in the Realms? Is that "faith" or "observation"?
Or is it just sacrifices and worship that prevents the Wall of Faithless?


Just as in our real world, many use "faith" to mean whatever they want it to.
In the Realms, it's almost never "believing without evidence" but is used in the "belief in a being" or collective religious sense.
Yes, the Wall is avoided by actively worshipping.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 21:05:15
On worshipers of dwarven deities:

May 1, 2020


I have a question regarding non-Dwarf adopted children and the Dwarven pantheon.
I have a Tiefling who was adopted as an infant by Dwarves. In the eyes of the pantheon, particularly Berronar Truesilver, would an adopted Tiefling be welcomed as one of their own?


Yes. Gods take worship wherever they can get it.

And more than a few of them take the position of "keep your potential enemies close" (it's best to have influence over a mortal who could be trouble/disloyal, even more so if they could become an adventurer/prominent).


Great. But that does lead me to another question, what happens to the souls of non dwarves who worship the dwarven pantheon, or are adopted members of a dwarven family?
From what I understand non dwarves are forbidden to enter the dwarf afterlife, yes?


Just as in our real world, “after death” is a mystery to the living.

Priests, deities, and the servitors of deities (“angels” and the like) make various claims, and a lot of these contradict each other.

Dwarves valiant in battle often believe their souls wind up in a hall of heroes where they feast and brawl and practise until the gods have need of them to do battle, or to be “reforged” (by Moradin, at his forge) into new dwarves and sent back to live again.

Dwarf smiths and crafters believe the afterlife that awaits them is a series of spacious, wonderfully-equipped workshops where they can fulfillingly create ever-better items, knowing true satisfaction and becoming ever better at creating items that are innovative as well as ever-better-made.

Dwarf clerics believe they are the “true servants” of the (dwarven) gods, and will be first to be chosen to serve anew, as a new dwarf living a new life.

Many mortals, of various races, have sages and learned priests who hold that the souls of the dead gravitate to the plane that is the home of the deity the living mortal most worshipped or best served in life, and there they dwell with their ‘chosen’ deity as petitioners, until they merge with the plane (their sentience dissolving), ascend to a planar form (an “angel” or some other sort of creature native to their god’s plane), or are reborn on the Prime Material Plane at the behest of their deity, either as themselves to fulfill some unfinished mission, or to live a new life.

All prohibitions and other details (such as “non-dwarves are forbidden to enter the dwarf afterlife”) are pronouncements made by mortal clergy. They may be right, or wrong, mistaken or out-of-date, or there may be exceptions to what the clergy believe is an inflexible rule. Gods often do and say things that perplex mortals; that’s why “just plain folk” tolerate the existence of clergy, as experts who intercede and interpret.

So here’s the thing: according to Realmslore (tavern tales, legends, various books and other records) many adopted dwarves (i.e. non-dwarves) have seen the dwarf afterlife. Which would mean: non-dwarves are NOT forbidden to enter the dwarf afterlife.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 21:04:23
On words for whip or lash:


Hi Ed, having a play for Eric. As usual. What would be the elven word for whip/lash (noun), please? What about for the drow? If you are feeling generous, the Alzhedo (Calishite) term would be nice too. You know, slavers and all that...


Whip or lash (the item): elven: nyrhlas; drow: neirt; Alzhedo: dazar
Whipping or lashing (the deed): elven: nyrtlassa; drow: neirtarr; Alzhedo: tuldazrim
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 21:01:01
On why Mystryl didn't prevent Karsus from casting that spell:


Why didn't Mystryl prevent Karsus's Folly? Did she not see it coming, or would it have been against her own doctrine to stop magical advancement, even when it affected her directly?


Mystryl did not foresee all the details of the consequences, but she did watch Karsus working and striving, and did nothing to stop him because, yes, to do so would have been to act against her very nature and purpose, the primary aim she was dedicated to, and because part of that mortal striving to master arcane magic was the “lesson to all” of the follies and pitfalls of overreaching.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 21:00:10
On Waterdhavian taxes:

Apr 29, 2020


Hi there! So I am slowly coming to grips with how taxes and fees work in Waterdeep. However, my question is: What services are provided in return? Obviously roads and the Watch, but what about schools, free medical help, homeless shelters, men's/women's refuges, children's dentists, free legal aid, etc. Are any of these or similar things provided by the state?


Matters have varied over time in Waterdeep, but in general: temples provide medical aid (including dentistry), food and shelter for the homeless, and refuges from domestic violence. The city provides a subsidy in the form of a per-head daily “credit” against temple taxes (temples are buildings, and attract a realty tax like all other city properties) that in almost all cases wipes out annual taxes and leaves most temples in the black (yes, in such situations they do receive coins or more often trade-bars from the Palace coffers). In times of trouble (war, widespread sickness, fierce winter weather) the city throws open its buildings to bolster shelter space.

Yes to roads and the Watch, but the city also pays the relevant guilds to keep sewers, water systems (pumps and rooftop cisterns, and all, even if privately owned), and the docks maintained, and to make sure regular nightsoil wagon service (garbage pickup, very much including human waste; BTW, the wagonloads are inspected at the Rat Hills, looking for human bodies and body parts and valuables, and wouldn’t you love to have THAT job) is provided, at levels necessary to keep up with the disposal problem.

The city also licenses (approves of) construction work, wines and other consumables, and the operating fitnesses of coaches, wagons, and carriages (not handcarts) to maintain public safety. It also steps in to pay for emergency repairs when roof deterioration or some other cause threatens to result in the collapse of a private building (seizing the property if the owner won’t pay or can’t be found, and working out a slow-repayment-over-time deal, otherwise).

And of course the Lords provide not just arcane magic protection and discipline (the Blackstaff, hiring of the Watchful Order) but justice; not just courts and trials, but a Palace-hosted tribunal system for working out civil disputes between private citizens, guilds, visitors, and so on. The city provides legal aid (practical, not coin) in such matters.


Is there a sword tax when passing through the gates, or did I imagine that?


There's a gate-passage tax for all wagons, and there are special taxes on the bulk shipping of bladed weapons, helms, and breastplates (to keep track of who's amassing armaments), but not a tax on the arms and armor worn, carried, or in the personal baggage of persons passing through a city gate.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:59:36
On Waterdavian tavern income:


ballpark average, late 1300 DR - how much could a moderate successful Inn & Tavern in Trades Ward Waterdeep make net per month if it takes good care of its staff and serves higher end food and drink, in your opinion?


So many variables would affect takings, but the 1330s DR are boom times, both before and after the Spellplague hits (in the wake of its initial chaos, inns/taverns became refuges for many, who craved good food, good company, and chances of casual employment), so the amount made depends largely on the size of the place (how many drinkers and diners it can seat, how many beds it can hire out for the night). If it can cram, say, 60 folk into its taproom, with 40 having table space to dine, and rent out 24 beds a night, and serves good food and pays its staff well, the net per month should be in the vicinity of 180 gp (60 gp/night). A typical inn and tavern, that waters its ale and serves a lot of small beer, and pays its staff more poorly in return for giving them room and board, would likely net 240 gp/month or so. (Grosses would be more than double those figures, but running expenses are always high.)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:59:09
On Waterdhavian noble families:


Hello! Sorry if this has been answered somewhere already but a player asked during a session once and I couldn't find an exact number on the # of Waterdeep noble families?

Here's what I found; I'm assuming the 78 is correct since it lines up closer to SCAG too, but:
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p.55: More than 75 noble families
Waterdeep Dragon Heist p 13: Well over a hundred noble families
Waterdeep Dragon Heist p. 172: 78 noble families


Sure, happy to help. Throughout most of the 1300s, there were 78 recognized noble families in Waterdeep. (Some additional houses had been previously been exiled and stripped of their nobility, and some had gone extinct.)

Then, as we saw in CITY OF THE DEAD, a great Realms novel by Rosemary Jones, there came a time wherein hard-up noble families sold their titles, there were assassinations and some noble families fled Waterdeep, only to return (or in some cases, ‘pretenders’ CLAIMING to be missing noble families popped up in the city), various commoners claimed ‘extinct’ noble titles they may or may not have been entitled to, and the Masked Lords made some rulings about individuals that boiled down to this: Joe Blow here gave us a lot of money, so we’re going to let him call himself a noble Lord of Waterdeep for the rest of his life, but that’s a life title; it DOESN’T extend to his family or not-yet-born descendants. Except, human nature being what is, in the chaos following the Spellplague but before the Second Sundering, the families of said Joe Blows DID use and claim noble titles, and a few of them got away with it. (There are also nobles descended from someone who sold their title, who claim to be Lord and Lady Assumbar—and who reside in their ancestral mansion, only a few streets away from the Lord and Lady Assumbar who are descended from the buyer of the Assumbar title. In this particular case, this mess is complicated by the existence of a longtime Waterdeep-resident commoner family of shopkeepers who claims to be the “REAL House Assumbrar” [note the difference in spelling] and have an ancient document to prove it that may just be an early 1300s DR forgery. And similar difficulties abound.)

Which all boils down to this, as of 1492 DR (the time of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist): there are officially 78 noble families recognized as rightful nobility in Waterdeep. AND at the same time, there are upwards of 130 families living in Waterdeep who claim to be noble, and are treated as such by all commoners in the city (because if you want to do business with someone, and not earn their enmity, it’s safest to politely treat them as what they claim to be).

Happy social adventuring!
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:58:26
On spellscared after the Sundering:

Apr 17, 2020


@TheEdVerse, O sagacious one, apologies in advance if this has been answered elsewhere but I wanted to inquire about the Spellplague. What happened to those affected by it, such as the Spellscarred, after the Second Sundering? Thanks!


It varies. In a few individuals, the changes wrought in them by the Spellplague faded in intensity after the Second Sundering was over; in a VERY few cases, they faded away altogether. Most people were permanently plaguechanged; whatever the Spellplague did to them continued to hold sway for the rest of their lives, so if they acquired spellscars, they were spellscarred lifelong. In a few, these changes progressed over time, so they gained more magical powers (and/or disfigurements). Quite a few people had their lifespans extended by a decade or two over their bloodline norms (that is, if their parents and grandparents died in the sixth decades of natural causes, not accidents or violence, they lasted into their seventh or eight decade). And early evidence seems to indicate that in some—not all—cases, this longevity has been inherited by offspring born after the Second Sundering (i.e. their children are also living a decade longer if not killed prematurely). Why? No one knows, though sages and clergy have advanced many claims or theories.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:57:50
On the Netherese ruling class:


Do the Netherese (looking more at the modern folk, not the ancient ones of Karsus' day) have a concept of noble bloodlines and houses? I'm curious what their internal hierarchy looks like.


Oh, yes, though in the case of some Netherese cities they may dismiss the concept of nobility (inherited rank) in favour of a meritocracy (we’re on top because we’re mighty in magic and/or psionics and/or achievements), though this is horse-dung, because all surviving Netherese cities are ruled by those who INHERITED their position. In the case of Thultanthar (“Shade”), the ruling family styled themselves “Princes” of their city.

Everyone dwelling in a flying city is of High Netheril; the cities were supplied by folk of Low Netheril (who in some cases were literally enslaved by the High Netherese, and whose descendants survive today in peoples of Faerûn who don’t identify themselves as being descended from Netheril, usually because their ancestors long ago forgot their origins). So the concept of a ruling class (nobility) is baked into Netheril.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:56:59
On the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar:

Apr 22, 2020


Questions about the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar for @TheEdVerse referring to the key from FRQ1 and some other sources):

1) There's a lot of empty rooms on the map. While empty rooms are important for dungeon design, it feels like there's too many. Would/did/do you have more rooms with notable content beyond what's in the final key? Are DMs meant to add their own to flesh it out?

2) I can place most of the action from Swords of Eveningstar on the FRQ map, but I'm not sure where the hidden portal to Arabel is. Do you have any direct notes as to where it is on this map?

3) My players attempted to overload the infamous bronze statues by putting spare metal weapons between the pair so they'd conduct. The text for Room 8 mentions they can't be shattered or moved, so I ruled they exploded, then reformed. (This lead to lots of groaning.)

Are the statues supposed to be beatable or are they ancient magics/similarily invulnerable guardians (at least to novice adventurers) and in play need to be worked around, not overcome?

4) Finally, the obligatory question about the lower levels and what lurks therein. Past comments you've made suggest that's Whisper's Crypt, but wasn't that placed elsewhere, up towards the Stonelands? There's also extraplanar/planetary dwarf portals down there, (from the notes on Candlekeep about the Haunted Halls hinting at the Spellplague, the black star, Mellomir, etc); the 3e FRCS suggests it's a group named the Mages Regal. George Krashos suggests on Candlekeep the Mages Regal were new for the 3e FRCS, and likely should be the Sword Heralds. What exactly is going on down there, and what can you share?

5) An OWLBEAR? As the first fight to the death or flee for brand new players? You are one sly, mean DM Ed.


Hoo boy. Elsewhere and elsewhen I’ve told the tale of The Haunted Halls of Eveningstar, and how it was cut down from the campaign-setting 96-page product I’d told TSR it was suitable for (with the entire village of Eveningstar and the temple all detailed, and a STARTER side adventure in a cliff-face crevice, The Caverns of the Claws (lair of three trolls) that PCs were supposed to reach before they got to the entrance to the Halls, and so get blooded/warmed up with something more manageable than an owlbear. (The Gorge also had several no-monsters-at-all exploratory ‘find old treasure, or is it junk?’ adventures, that also hit the cutting room floor.) I was trying to hand DMs a starter CAMPAIGN. The same wordcount problems (compounded by a new format rule that new monsters had to have a full page each) led to three levels of the dungeon being cut, and a LOT of room descriptions; that’s why so many rooms are empty (the same thing happened when Undermountain got published). Yes, DMs are meant to have five or six empty rooms to flesh out their own “hook to take a campign in this direction” additions, to cater to the character class mix of the PCs, for one thing…but not DOZENS of empty rooms. All of that hit the cutting room floor.

The hidden portal isn’t on the published version of the Haunted Halls map. See the natural rock rift that has “26” in/above it? It’s supposed to have areas that soar up above the main dungeon level, up to the (map missing) upper citadel (now used by the kobolds as a lair). The kobolds defecate down this rift, using it as a gigantic latrine. Down in its bottom were originally not just piles of reeking kobold dung (and an otyugh, of course), but eerie glows that respond to spells cast down at them. One of them actually outlines an invisible “standing in midair” door…a dead giveaway that there’s a gate/portal there. (I’m not saying where it leads to; I put several gates in the module, so players could take their characters to adventure in farflung locations all over the Realms…and of COURSE they all got taken out, because TSR wanted to publish a module, not a linked series of rising-in-character-level “sandboxes.”)

Yes, the zapping statues need to be circumvented, not destroyed or ‘beaten,’ but the way around them got edited out of the published module, too.

You’re right, Whisper’s Crypt was far off the map to the north, along a long, long straight corridor. Reached from the (edited out of the module) lower level that had a few rooms with formidable monsters (PCs were supposed to level up dealing with things on “the ground floor” AND the kobolds, ere they dared to go down), one of them with a simple but nasty trap: huge (as in, 40 feet tall), impressive bronze double doors that weren’t attached to anything, so trying to pull one open would bring it crashing down to crush anyone within 40 feet of it. So, yes, mean DM, as labelled.

Though there was ample room to just stand to one side and avoid the doors, and a floor design intended to tell the DM where PCs were standing without alerting the players to the fact that where their characters was standing was important.

And George is right: it was the Sword Heralds. All of the edited-out stuff, including what’s going on down there, was duly delivered to TSR in my turnover, and I was paid for it at the time, so it’s NDA and TSR (now WotC) owns it, so unless they release me from the NDA, I can’t share, beyond brief casual summaries. The Mages Regal WERE a thing, ALSO NDA, but not in the Haunted Halls. They represent yet another loose end that never got followed up on. Building in new loose ends was a design principle of the Realms, but when TSR did it in-house, they had a distressing tendency to change direction and leave their shiny new loose ends hanging. Forever.


Thanks Ed! That’s plenty to go with - but I think you have your portals mixed up! I meant the one at the end of Chapter 17 of Knights of Eveningstar- which I can now place at room 12, looking at it! But I’ll take another for plenty of fun. And I am going to do the Halls justice


Heh. I'm not saying where any of the portals edited out of the module led to. ;}
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:56:23
On the Fellowship of the Purple Staff and their hamlets:

Apr 15, 2020


Hello Ed, I have a question about The Fellowship of the Purple Staff. An organization founded by a few clergymen of Chauntea, Helm and Selûne in 1368 DR & bolstered by faithful of Lathander and Sune.What has happening with them since 1372, what are their hamlets?


The Fellowship was almost wiped out fighting beasts, brigands, and followers of Malar in the chaos following the Spellplague. Although it rebounded in the 1450s DR, today the Fellowship consists of over sixty adventuring members (and their families) who dwell in a handful of subsistence hamlets in an E-W line deep in the northern Gulthmere Forest, having lost all reach into more southerly stretches of forest (near the Orsraun Mountains).

The Fellowship now include Mielikki, Silvanus, and Corellon in their worship, and try to live in harmony with sylvan creatures and the life-cycles of the forest, using trails rather than clearing wagon-roads, and establishing ‘forest farms’ of vines and tree-clinging plants rather than clearing fields. They trade with Cedarsproke and Gurnth, but don’t live there, and those settlements aren’t Fellowship-run.

Important Fellowship members include the warband leaders Klarenna Arthtree (CG hf P14, Moonsash-Preceptress of Selûne), Raelmren Harthtanvil (NG hm P8, Prelate of Lathander), and Waeldren Stauntor (LN hm P9, Vigilant Shield of Lathander). The warbands are traveling fighting forces that rush to deal with threats to any Fellowship hamlet or members (and ar summoned by messenger or distinctive lown-note warhorns carried by Fellowship members); they’re similar to many woodland-dwelling adventuring bands, and tend to be about eight stalwarts strong, with at least five being veterans.

Senior clergy of all faiths in the Fellowship vote on major policy decisions, with the warband leaders and the aged Havaunth Taervorren (LN hm P17, Patriarch of Helm), making daily operating decisions.

The Fellowship hamlets, west to east, are Corolanth, Baelen, Favvaranth, Ellord, Qrael’s Ford, Grammath, and Haelmorr.


Thanks so much, are there any write-ups any where on the Hamlets that you have mentioned aka Forgotten Realms Wiki and maybe maps?


I’m afraid not. And if you’re looking for maps, you’re thinking of these hamlets in the wrong way: these are NOT settlements with cleared fields, roads, and so on. They have some clearings, wandering trails overhung by the forest canopy instead of roads (no wagons, just barrows and mule-drag carts), and they have homes that are part caves, part artificial caves (build up a hill of loam and tree stumps, roof it with stones and growing plants so roots will anchor it all), part tree-houses (think untidy childrens’ tree forts, reached by rope-ladders and climb-tree ladders, and joined by rope-and-board catwalks), and part tents, with outhouses that get moved when their dungpiles are rich and rotted-down enough to serve as gardens for edible forest plants, and so on. In other words, very little that would show up on a map beyond a general location for the hamlet.

BTW, a mule-drag cart is a narrow wheelbarrow with long projecting handles, turned backwards and with a mule harnessed between those handles, so the whole thing slopes down to a single wheel at the back.

(If the wheel breaks, the mule “drags” the thing like a travois, hence the name ‘mule-drag’).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:55:41
On sign languages:


Aside from drow sign language, are there any sign languages that are commonly known across many regions of Faerun?


Yes. As per official D&D, illusionists share a silent sign language, as do thieves. Alignment tongues include a few gestures.

The Harpers also have ‘silent signs,’ as do the Zhentarim. And the Red Wizards. And the Lords Alliance. And quite a few cabals and guilds.


Wait——alignment tongues? I thought they are from the "basic" D&D rules and not included in the Realms, which is a AD&D setting?


The Realms predates D&D, but yes, became an AD&D setting.

AD&D Players Handbook p.34: "In addition to the common tongue, all intelligent creatures able to converse in speech use special languages particular to their alignment. These alignment languages are..." etc.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:55:14
On Shaundakul before and after the Spellplague:


I've been unable to dig up any information on where Shaundakul scampered off to after his disappearance in 1385, during the Spellplague. Is there any canon lore concerning this? If not, could you tell me if his clerics are still receiving their powers from him? :)


Just checking in again. A little bump to see if this gets noticed :)


Sorry, I've been busy recently ferrying my wife back from hospital, and similar real-world health fusses.

I answered this very query here on Twitter a month back:
Shaundakul stepped through a portal and went worldwalking during the onset of the Spellplague, to avoid the worst of its ravages, and to find and gather scattered sentients of Toril and lead them back to the world as the spell-chaos subsided.

Thereafter, Shaundakul appeared frequently, all over Faerûn, in various mortal guises, to guide lost travelers to safety, revealing his true nature only to his clergy and the most devoted of his lay worshippers.

He is answering the prayers of the faithful, granting spells to clergy, and in fact did so with far shorter an interruption during the Spellplague than most other deities. He's very attentive to his clergy.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:52:55
On sea elf burials:


My player's cleric committed the ultimate sin of having a living family member. Now that I've fixed that, she wants to know: How would sea elves/ followers of Deep Sashelas bury or honor their dead? We are currently in Waterdeep.


A sea elf would dedicate beloved dead (kin, partner, lover, battle-companion, close friend) to Deep Sashelas with a specific ‘calling’ prayer that when performed underwater, in the presence of the corpse and including the shedding of a drop of the praying sea elf’s blood, shed into the water, attract the attention of Deep Sashelas, who would manifest in a twinkle of light in the water that becomes a rift issuing bubbles of air.

The praying elf gives the body to the rift, which sucks it in and closes, disappearing and taking the body with it.
sleyvas Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:52:54
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

On rubber duckies:

Apr 25, 2020


My DM does not believe that rubber ducks exist in Faerun. Is he wrong, or is he very wrong?


He's very wrong. Mirt and Elminster both betimes share soaking tubs with floating rubber toys, some of them duck-shaped. Elminster's sometimes floats his pipe. I shall draw the veil of decency over how Storm and The Simbul treat those duckies, when they're bathing.

Lol... he did say d..U..cks, right? Do I want to know about Storm and the Simbul?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:52:26
On Rucien-Xan:


Oh wise sage, what is known of the elven realm of rucien-xan?


Rucien-Xan is a hidden elven city-state that, according to tavern tales, has never been found by anyone searching for it, though it supposedly lies in the depths of the Chondalwood, and long ago ruled the nearby elven realm of Nikerymath, ere the elves of that kingdom destroyed Jhaamdath.

Rucien-Xan is said to still exist today, though few elves still dwell in its “magnificent halls” (of smooth tunnels, rooms, sculptures, and elaborate pierced screens all fashioned of the same magically-fused white stone, that hosts growing mosses that form carpets and the cushioning of built-in couches, seats, and beds).

This is all true, though “Rucien-Xan” and even “Nikerymath” are human versions of nicknames, not the full and proper elven names of the city and the realm, respectively.

The reason Rucien-Xan (more properly, “Ruucienandrar-founded-by-Arlxandnaea”) has never been found is that it exists on its own demiplane (precise whereabouts cosmologically unknown to Elminster), with only the gates (portals) to enter and depart it being found in the Chondalwood: high in the air just above the growing boughs of massive trees (so to enter, you climb the tree, and walk out on a huge limb guarded by an elf sentinel to pass through an invisible ‘door in the air’ above the limb, employing the right password—and into a challenge issued by several waiting guards in the city). So if the lone sentinel withdraws, there’s literally no sign of the
city, on the Prime Material Plane (the elves deliberately cast “driftspells” in the Chondalwood that moderate and redistribute moisture and control local temperature for optimum tree-leaf growth, so detect magic spells will find magic everywhere, and not spotlight invisible portals as beacons).


So what's the relationship between Rucien-Xan and Iryandrar, since they're both in/adjacent to the Chondalwood?


Pretty much non-existent. The xenophobic gold elves of Iryandrar largely want nothing to do with the wider world; the elves of Rucien-Xan want nothing to do with THEM (they see the Iryandrans as "arrogant half-wits").


Interesting! Thanks for the reply! So does that mean that the elves of Rucien-Xan aren't xenophobic the way the Iyryandrar elves are? Or only that there's enough of a difference of culture/temprament between the two that they don't get along with each other OR the outside world?


The Rucien elves aren't xenophobic; they're not interested in being wiped out. Having seen humans reshape Faerûn (a LOT of deforestation, and what they see as the "failure" of Myth Drannor) they try to attract as little human attention (to their city) as possible.


So that begs the question of course: who or what was/is Arlxandnaea?


Arlxandnaea was a female elf adventurer (a sorceress) who explored several planes of existence and mastered quite a bit of planar magic. She founded the city just as a hidden-refuge home for herself (and cache for her stuff), but it grew into a haven for her friends and extended family (she took several male partners, down her long, long years). When she finally died, they ‘gave her to the trees’ (buried her under the entwined roots of several forest giants in the Chondalwood). Her birth and death fates? Lost in the mists of time, but LONG ago.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 May 2020 : 20:43:35
On rubber duckies:

Apr 25, 2020


My DM does not believe that rubber ducks exist in Faerun. Is he wrong, or is he very wrong?


He's very wrong. Mirt and Elminster both betimes share soaking tubs with floating rubber toys, some of them duck-shaped. Elminster's sometimes floats his pipe. I shall draw the veil of decency over how Storm and The Simbul treat those duckies, when they're bathing.

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