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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)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:57:25
On giant names:


Greetings @TheEdVerse! I hope you are feeling well. I would like to ask for your help with regard to any Giant names, official or unofficial, that you might use or have used in past products. I want to color the current adventure I am working on for my players. Thanks!


Sure. It’ll take me a day or so to find my old notes, so first, Storm Giant’s Thunder gives us these giant names (I may be missing a few):

Cloud Giant
Male: Blagothkus, Cressaro, Eigeron, Kaaltar, Thullen, Vaal, Zephyros

Cloud Giant
Female: Alastrah, Sansuri

Fire Giant
Male: Zaltember, Zalto
Female: Brimskarda, Cinderhild, Tartha

Frost Giant
Male: Gurt, Harshnag, Storvald
Female: Hellenhild

Hill Giant
Male: Cog, Hruk, Tug
Female: Guh, Moog

Stone Giant
Male: Braxow

Storm Giant
Male: Hekaton, Nimir, Orlekto, Uthor
Female: Mirran, Nym, Serissa, Shaldoor, Vaasha


And here are my giant names, or rather, my more recent notes (still can’t find the fifty-year-old ones):

Cloud Giant
Male: Ahdaug, Arltulk, Durvaskr, Krokr, Kurruk, Lhammurt, Vorskar
Female: Agatra, Dagna, Dakkra, Dyrdiss, Eistla, Faena, Faenra, Haelda, Laugra, Yastra, Ystrid

Fire Giant
Male: Fforl, Ffuldr, Fulluk, Hauk, Hulbro, Ilkurt, Snarr, Zund, Zundr
Female: Edrelle, Emba, Ffaelane, Ghenjra, Hulda, Lukue, Marra, Vrolka

Frost Giant
Male: Fulvragg, Helmskag, Oraldr, Oskorri, Skane, Svolm, Ulfur, Uttir, Valkurl
Female: Folka, Gauthild, Geira, Grymra, Haelgra, Helmra, Hrimma, Imbra, Magra, Vulkara

Hill Giant
Male: Dagg, Gulk, Hogl, Hond, Hund, Kuld, Lodd, Teldo, Vruk, Usgut
Female: Ardis, Bora, Dis, Gulkra, Gylla, Laha, Nelmyr, Telda, Teldra, Tora, Vaere

Stone Giant
Male: Falkh, Hundar, Korlgar, Kuljarn, Sulfulkh, Valgusk, Vorold, Yulhamur
Female: Beldra, Gillauga, Gurdis, Moada, Oskra, Ragnara, Rakra, Skarla, Woave, Zarka

Storm Giant
Male: Gautarr, Harrdiir, Ilknarr, Kuruth, Ogmoth, Ogmund, Ormmur, Torune, Ulvulk
Female: Geironal, Helgyra, Hornarra, Mistfast, Relsif, Silkarra, Sparraxe, Talnut, Wynd, Yimmra
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:56:55
On Evergold:

Aug 7, 2020


Evergold, the Fountain of Beauty, the Fountain of Youth,or the Fountain of Youth and Beauty. Is it really the actual source of all elven and eladrin beauty? What would happen if it were destroyed, corrupted or clogged up so to speak?

Is it also the source of their longevity?


No, Evergold isn’t the source of all elven or eladrin beauty or longevity. It is a nigh-pure-energy cleanser and renewer for ALL life, divine or mortal. It can’t be successfully clogged up or destroyed except in one place — because to destroy, bury, or block it in one place just causes it to move to another. It can’t be corrupted/tainted/contaminated except momentarily and in a very small area, because it cleans, purifies, or expels (literally teleporting every atom of the intruding substance elsewhere) whatever’s being used to try to dirty it. It never exists in just one place at once, so even trying to reach all parts of it at the same time, across the many planes of existence, is very difficult (remember, many of its locations are guarded by deities and/or their servitors, and enchantments they have ringed such locales with) — and the deities linked to it can also be vessels and conduits for it to move to yet other places

So attempts to destroy, corrupt, or clog it are very likely to fail. Elminster believes that if one succeeded, Evergold would just manifest (come into being) elsewhere, unheralded (though the deities linked to it would all be able to sense its direction and distance from them, and so readily find it).


“It can’t be successfully clogged up or destroyed except in one place—“

What place would that be, please?


I meant whatever place it was thus attacked in. One of the places it can be found, not a sole specific location.


Oh, I see. My mistake, then.

Thanks for all you (and Elminster) do, by the way. It’s greatly appreciated.

Best wishes to you and yours.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:56:10
On elven body art:

Oct 11, 2020


@TheEdVerse moon elves, with their very pale skin and some having such pale hair too … I’m kinda wondering how common & how received are “alt” looks? Hair colours, especially odd or multi sort, piercings, tattoos … etc.

What would they use for the dyes too if you don’t mind?


Moon elves tend to be very expressive, and that includes unusual hairdos and dying. Tattoos not common, but henna and other body painting (tattoos that fade and wear off and can be redrawn or replaced with different) popular. Forest berry, leaf, and bark dyes (see Amarune's Almanac 1: Forests of the Realms) such as blueleaf, flamebriar, and rowan are used, mixed with various saps and oils as carrier agents, for hair, nails, and body paint as well as textiles. Piercings are very rare among elves when metal is involved (when it is, it's usually electrum, or alloys of silver that won't readily tarnish); more often, elven piercings involve a bone from a revered ancestor or lost loved one.

Eyeshadow, and symbols painted around an eye, are favorite moon elf adornments.


How does this differ from sun elves, Ed?

The vast majority of sun elves go for gilded or bronzed (tans or cosmetic) bodily beauty and perfection, not alt or “goth” looks. They want to impress with how beautiful their bodies (and expensive, often-revealing garments) are, not how startling/”different” they can look. (So think of all the real-world TV elegant, Euro-style expensive fragrance commercials, and the A-list actress and celebs who appear in them, and that’s more what sun elves strive for.) Sun elves tend to have more overt vanity.

Both my moon and sun elf descriptions on this topic are of course stereotypes, and may break down entirely when applied to any individual elf, adventurers in particular.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:55:27
On elven reincarnation:


in a previous tweet, you mentioned reincarnation was rare. What about elves? I know they have believed in reincarnation, but I always thought Arvandor was a final reward where elven spirits dwell. MToF paints it as a "waystation" for elven souls.


Reincarnation for elves can happen, but is exceedingly rare. It’s usually seen as a penance for rights that must be wronged (in the new life), or “I can’t be happy in Arvandor until this unfinished business is dealt with,” and said unfinished business often involves avenging family or mate or close friends.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:54:53
On elven menstruation:

Aug 29, 2020


this is a weird question, but I was wondering about, well, how often elves have to deal with menstruation. Is it monthly, like humans (living centuries with monthly bleeding lol)? Also, what is the typical age they start?


Elves start menstruating at around the same age as humans (i.e. it varies from individual to individual, but they are physically maturing in their “teens,” though “teenaged” is not a term known in the Realms), and remain fertile until death, but many elves can precisely control their personal fertility (when they become pregnant, or when they fertilize another) so as not to bring young into the world in times of personal peril. Many elven parents use magic to prevent their young children conceiving before “adulthood” (the decades between puberty and being considered an adult by self and others). This magic, and this personal control, include control over menses (so, yes, a female elf who has such control can “stop her period” and/or render herself temporarily infertile, at will). Most fey (korreds, for example) have a close understanding of, and control over, their bodies and some bodily functions. (And therefore, far less shame and embarrassment than many humans do, over everything from farting and vomiting to masturbation and sexual arousal.)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:54:13
On Elminster's visits to Earth:


Can you please relate any more tales of Elminster's visits to Earth please? More stories of a vaguely friendly visitor would be soothing in these troubled times.


Sure. :}

Recently, El wanted a ride in a canoe on a placid northern Ontario lake, and got one.
He now knows that standing up in a canoe and LEANING is a good way to get wet. Luckily for him, he knows a spell that can expel all excess water from clothing, hair, and body. Unluckily for me, the magic just hurls a wet mist out in all directions. Yuck.

Several visits: El loves lightning storms, and striding over the gently manicured hills of golf courses with his staff held high, getting struck repeatedly by lightning. DON’T TRY THIS; he’s an archwizard and foolhardy to boot.

Some old camping glades survive in some of Toronto’s ravine parks (log seats in a ring, well away from the paved paths and manicured areas). Lots of teenagers discover these, and so, in these COVID times, have some local fantasy and sf fans and writers, who get together to drink and chat from afternoons until moondown in the wee hours (safely distanced). Far from me, a hundred-some miles east out in the countryside, I’m afraid, but El remembered their moots, and attended. In disguise as, well, me. (!)

He assures me he behaved, and told me he loves the energy, idealism, crazy ideas and passionate discussions of them, and the youthful cynicism, too (“so CUTE,” he deemed it).

El also confessed to attending—in a different guise—a not-yet-released-TTRPG playtest in a Toronto-area basement.

“Their ideas of magic are so TWISTED,” he told me.

“Cthulhu twisted?” I asked.

“Worse,” he said darkly.

And of course the Old Mage made his usual raids on my larder and wine cellar. No ice cream (I’m being a good diabetic; El did NOT approve), and he found some of the libations I procured for my library ladies (co-workers at the day job) bewildering (as in: “Folk DRINK this cr—stuff? WILLINGLY?”), but enjoyed others (leaving me a heap of empty bottles). He also read some of the novels I’m working on, and found them HILARIOUS.

Some were even meant to be funny.

I’ll add this: having seen many folks wearing masks to guard against the coronavirus, El can’t understand why we don’t all seize the opportunity to wear plague doctor masks or wilder face coverings with snouts and so on.

“Folk in your world need to PLAY more,” he told me, “and not just when they’re young. Life is too short to stop having fun.” He then used a spell to conjure up pies and started a pie fight. My cat was NOT impressed.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:53:07
On Elminster versus Mordenkainen:

Aug 8, 2020


Who do you think would win in combat (taking place in Realms)? El or Mordenkainen?


Heh. I get asked this weekly. El recently nursed Mordy back to mental health (see my novels) and so knows his mind and has pathways into it, and the contest is taking place in the Realms where the Weave is everywhere and El is a Weavemaster: so El wins, hands down.


And how about in past? Before Spellplague or even before Time of Troubles? Would that be different? Someone also said that Mordy has copy of every magical item in existence and studied them...

Also, I am reading your novels right now and having a blast...


It wouldn’t be different in the Realms, within the Weave. (On Oerth, I’d put my money on Mordy.) As for Mordy having every magic item: Hah! Pure piffle propaganda! He hasn’t lived enough years to even lay eyes on them all, if they were handed to him by a long line of trudging servants, let alone go and get them and try to use them. Mordy thoroughly understanding how enchantments can best be combined within an item, yes, that claim I’d buy.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:52:22
On Elminster playing D&D:


It occurred to me that if El was translating stuff into game terms, for Volo's Guides, he must know the game pretty well... Does he play D&D? Does he have a favorite class? How about any of the other Chosen, or those wizards that used to gather in your living room?


Heh. El does know D&D pretty well, but is always pestering me to get that “Papers & Paychecks” RPG from the cartoon. He thinks all the D&D classes are “more than a little skewed” but that players portraying wizards “are all too often SO immature; can’t wait to blow things up. That’s a LAST resort; REAL wizards learn to menace, and impress, and get others to do things out of FEAR they’ll hurl a fireball. Children, these days. What’s that expression ye use? They should all get off ALL lawns.”

As for the other Chosen: they prefer Euro-builder games, or at least compete-to-do-more, faster games like LORDS OF WATERDEEP. They like to create things, not fight.

Dalamar likes first-person shooters, I suspect because they let him cut loose. Mordenkainen likes card games that involve bluffing, like poker. He likes to play against seasoned old ladies, because “I can respect them. In some cases, even fear them. Worthy foes.”
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:50:50
On a dragon, in human form, reverting after death:


Question about dragons @TheEdVerse. If a dragon gets killed in her human shape. Does she revert back to her natural form? #dnd #dungeonsanddragons #Realmslore


This is one of those queries that gets the infamous “It depends” answer. In this case, on the circumstances of the death. (Or the story needs of the DM/writer/game designer. ;} ) However, this is something that has come up in the home Realms campaign twice, and both times I as DM ruled the same way that (unbeknownst to me at the time) Gary Gygax had once answered such a query: yes, the dead dragon does revert at least partially (again, depending on the circumstances). So things could get interesting if space/volume or weight/mass are concerns. Reversion does occur past the point at which observers can tell at a glance this is NOT “just” a dead human (scales, etc.).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:49:58
On dragonborn and genasi in Luruar:


Hi, @TheEdVerse I have a quick question for you.

According to the 4e Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, there was a significant minority of dragonborn and genasi in Luruar. Is this info still true in the 1490s?

Thanks in advance


Genasi seem to be rare in that region in the 1490s DR, and dragonborn fewer.

There was much Spellplague tumult, and deaths, and fleeing to places folk had heard (or hoped) were in better shape, so although many folk were killed in the Spellplague and its aftermath, that doesn’t mean the “missing” dragonborn and genasi are dead; they may very well just have gone elsewhere (likely south and inland).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 21:00:53
On divine sustenance:


How do Gods sustain themselves through belief? Is there an independent power they can draw on, apportioned to them by Ao’s rule based on the number of followers they have? Or is belief itself the energy, a form of psychic emanation that the Gods feed on (for want of a better term). If so, how does it bridge such large gaps?


Worship (NOT belief; in the Realms, all sane sentient beings “believe in” ALL of the deities) is a catalyst enabling deities to access more (or less) of the natural energies of a world/plane that I referred to in an earlier reply (wind, tides and currents, sunlight, heat, and so on).

Ao has nothing directly to do with this, and it’s not based on numbers of followers, but on amount and quality (fervence of devotion) of actual worship: prayers, deeds dedicated to the god/done while calling on the god (“Odin, guide my arm!”), offerings, etc. Deities can call on the energies of the plane where they make their home (the part of it they rule and have reshaped to their their preferences) and the energies of Toril, where they are venerated: when they manifest (send visions or voices or even avatars), it’s a two-way street: these ‘sendings’ are also sponges absorbing the energy of worship and transmitting back to the deity. Again, it’s a catalyst allowing them to access more world-energies. They CAN feed on it directly, but in doing so they consume it so it isn’t still extant to be a catalyst, so they can’t use it as such to absorb more world-energies.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:59:54
On Dethek and Davek:


The font for dwarvish on PHB p. 123 seems to be one called Davek (online). In SGAG p. 105 a different font (Dethek) is used. Is one or the other canon? Are both? Also, is there a rune depicting giant (like there are runes for orc, human, elf).


Dethek is a runic script developed by dwarves (out-of-game: created by me in 1977, first seen by the wider world in my "Runestones" article in THE DRAGON) and used in the original Realms boxed set and many other places. Goblins even used it in elder days.

So, yes, it's canon for the Realms.

Davek is the dwarven script of the Eberron setting, and over time, planar travellers have brought books and labelled items and knowledge of the script to the Realms, so that BOTH are now "canon" in the Realms, though your average human commoner in, say, the Heartlands or Sword Coast who is shown Davek writings will frown and say, "Looks Dwarvish." Whereas many human commoners can read a few symbols of Dethek.

In Dethek, there is indeed a rune for giantkind: it looks like an inverted capital "T" with a crossbar only a quarter the length of the vertical stem. Just below the top end, that stem is crossed at a 20-degree angle by a diagonal cross-stroke the same length as the (bottom) crossbar, lower end to the left and higher end tothe right; it crosses the vertical stem at the midpoint of the cross-stroke.


I love these language discussions, since I’ve studied Ancient Greek and Latin in my college studies. A bit of Old English and German too. Do you think that Dwarves in Eberron and Toril could decipher their different scripts?


I think they could each easily decipher messages written in "the other" script. The meanings of 'code phrases' and local idioms might elude them, but the words making up such could readily be read (as in: glance, frown at script, then discern its meaning; that fast).


Aside from the Menace of the Underdark storyline of D&D Online, is this the first canon reference to travel between Eberron and Forgotten Realms? I've seen the addage that Elminster has been there tossed around, but I can't remember ever seeing a source on that.


I believe there were several references in various articles on the Wizards website, not long after Eberron debuted, but I can't recall any in print in actual holds-in-your-hands paper products. Aside from passing mentions that magic items like the Rod of Seven Parts, the Wand of Orcus, and other artifacts 'wandered' the planes and could be found in any of the settings, even Athas and other 'sealed off' ones.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:59:12
On deserts:


hello! I like desert settings, love FR Anaouroch and Empires of the Shining Sea! How would you describe the differences between Faerun Deserts? Calim, Anaouroch, Raurin, Plain of Purple Dust. Thanks!


This answer is a simplication through generalization, but: Anauroch is a low-water desert of all sorts from hot sands (summer only; cold sands in winter) through wind-scoured rock to frigid ice-sheathed rock as one moves north.

Calimshan is a hot sands desert (blowing dunes, like much of the real-world Sahara) all the time. Raurin is like the Serengeti: arid plains/savannah with water-storing trees for much of the year, that has a brief "wet season" when rivers and lakes form, plants grow like fury, and herds drink deep. And the Plains of Purple Dust are literally PURPLE, due to the minerals in the pulverized rock that blows in frequent sandstorms, and (the lightest grains) hangs in the air the rest of the time, tinting even "empty air" a deep amethyst purple. The Plains are actually well-watered, but there's so little soil (as opposed to rock-dust and gravel) that very little beyond lichens and mosses and ground-hugging broadleaf plants and tumbleweeds grow: the rains that do fall, though as frequent as twice a tenday, "sink right in," the water hastening deep down into the Underdark and leaving behind a desert. So folk who have barrels and bowls and catchbasins can easily grow gardens and even small-scale crops, and live and travel quite comfortably in the Plains.

Deep aquifers make life in Raurin sustainable for those who know how to tap them, or keep to known wells and oases.

Anauroch is too large to cross alive for someone who doesn't know its oases (and desert ways), and the Calim Desert is a heat- and parch-killer.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:58:23
On Derlusk:


Another question! I just bought your source book, and in it I saw Derlusk is a city of scribes and scholars. How does it compare to Candlekeep in volume? Is it a major center of learning? Any unique schools of thought developed there unique to the Borderers?


Derlusk is a port city of winding old streets crammed with two- and three-storey old houses. Most, at street level, are bookshops, selling all manner of books, from collected sermons to lurid fiction chapbooks to old histories. Upper floors of these buildings are offices for scribes (who write letters for fees, e.g. love letters, or copy texts for patrons who want a second copy, and who often write and publish poems and fiction in their spare time); letter-press publishers; living quarters; or private libraries (used by sages who write detailed, in-depth answers to questions, for fees). So the city contains far more books than Candlekeep, but many of them are duplicate copies of various tomes, and a lot of them are trashy fiction. The sages and scholars are experts at retrieving information, and knowing a little about a lot of things, so they know HOW to retrieve it (like knowing the names of important merchant families of Iriaebor two centuries ago, so you know what to look up when trying to find out more about mercantile feuds back then). So think of them as veteran real-world librarians, more than philosophers. Nor are they monks of Oghma and Deneir. Derlusk is the readers' paradise, not dedicated to preserving knowledge, but dedicated to selling books, preserving and collecting books, and writing and printing new books. Nobles from all over Faerûn pay merchants to go there and find them "good reads," and so it's the place where merchants sell libraries or books they've salvaged in their trading. It would be a mistake to think of Derlusk as trying to compete with Candlekeep, or fostering philosophers or schools of thinking--but it IS a place that can supply Candlekeep or schools of thought with necessary tomes. Quite a few folk have managed to get into Candlekeep by proffering rare, forgotten tomes they bought at Candlekeep (and luckily for them, the monks didn't yet have in Candlekeep's vast library).

Anyone thinking of starting a fire in Derlusk to watch the whole city burn might be dissuaded by various legends known in the Borders, the Vilhon, Tethyr, Ormpurr, and around the Lake of Steam, that doing so will bring terrible curses down on the arsonist.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:30:13
On Daurgothoth:


any news on Daurgothoth?


Certainly, but known only to the Chosen, Mystra and Azuth, me, and now you, not the wider Realms! The Creeping Doom’s tireless explorations of all manner of magic enabled him to easily survive the Spellplague intact by using magic NOT of the Weave to take himself into an extra-dimensional pocket of his creation and riding out the chaos (as a dracolich, he doesn’t need to eat or breathe, and patience he already had, in spades). When things had settled down, he returned to Dolblunde and set about rebuilding his plaything: the Cult of the Dragon.

He still intends to use the Cult to destroy the Zhentarim, the Red Wizards, the Arcane Brotherhood, and every other group along his way to becoming the most powerful creature on Toril, and to found his race of living dracoliches (who, of course, will all serve him).

However, right now he’s busy manipulating merchants and adventurers into working with or furthering the aims of the Cult of the Dragon, and recruiting and covertly testing the loyalty of new Cult agents all across Faerûn.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:29:21
On Crinti:


I would like to know if after the shebali uprising in 1385, some crinti strongholds remained, because some sources say that "many crinti cities were destroyed", many, but not all. Sorry for my broken English i'm French. Thank you again


Hi! Well met!

Many crinti are still around, and quite a few of the smaller, more remote strongholds survived. So, yes, one could encounter them across the post-Spellplague Realms.

Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:28:55
On common Neverwintan names and surnames:

Sep 5, 2020


Hi @TheEdVerse , By chance, do you have a list of common Nerverwintian names and surnames? Mostly for humans, but if you happen to have names for dwarves and half-elves too, it would really help me. Thanks in advance.


Common Neverwintan Surnames:
Blaurbuckle (local halfling name)
Ghelkyn (local gnome name)
Huntsunder (local half-elf name)
Torfire (local dwarf name)
Waund (local gnome name)
Xander (local gnome name)

I think I know what box the list of given names is in (it got fetched out for the 4e Neverwinter book, but never used), but dinner for self and wife first; when diabetics gotta eat, diabetics gotta eat.

Herewith, Common Female Given Names of Neverwinter:

Adanthe, Adanthae
Daea, Daya
Emmera, Emra
Qeldanthe, Qeldanthae
Tass, Tassampra
Taez, Taezauntra

Common Male Given Names of Neverwinter:

Bran, Brand, Brandan, Brandor
Caed, Caedor
Darve, Darvyn, Darvynd
Jusk, Juskin, Juskryn
Korvin, Korvyn (“Korve”)
Lorn, Lornadar
Osklan, Oskland
Qelt, Qeltyn
Rorn, Rornadar
Skeld, Skuld
Varn, Varnadar
Wesk, Weskyn
Xander, Xundur
Yorn, Yorin
And there you have it. ;}

Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:27:58
On casting spells where the Weave doesn't reach:


I have a question

Why are mages in Toril unable to cast magic in places within realmspace where the weave is damaged or dead, but are able to still do so in the outer planes where Mystra doesn't reach at all?


The Weave (Mystra) is one way of accessing the natural energies of a plane or world; arcane spells used by mages are means of calling on those energies (wind, tide, magnetism, kinetic energies such as flowing or falling water, heat/convection, etc.) to power specific effects (e.g. a fireball). Where the Weave is damaged or dead, the “trigger” (cast spell) is missing its gun to produce the effect (fire the bullet). In all cases on an outer plane where an arcane spell does work (and there are long, long lists of spells that don’t work, or that produce different effects than in the Realms), this means the magic has found a way to call on the natural energies of that plane to produce the desired effect, or at least an effect. Yet there’s a reason magic is called “the Art” and not a science; it’s often unpredictable at best.

Hence the continued utility of a sword or even a club, and someone to swing it.


Thank you for answering! So a wizard in a way is just asking for an effect and hoping the plane or weave responds properly?


Pretty much. Most priests are constantly aware that they're asking divine beings or divine servitors, but many wizards are trained to think if you get the casting right, the effect is guaranteed.
Until (blam!) it isn't.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:26:59
On birthing positions:


Greetings Archmage, can you please share some insight into what kinds of birthing positions are most commonly/standardly used by some of the major humanoid non-egg laying races (i.e. humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, etc)? #forgottenrealms


Varying by time, place, family custom, and individual (size, existing injuries or disabilities, etc.) birthing positions include standing, squatting, kneeling or lying on one’s side, on beds of moss, shallow stream-water or pools of temple-blessed clean water, in favored-of-the-gods glades and caverns. In harsh weather and conditions (outdoors, on rocks, etc.) other individuals (dwarves, gnomes, and halflings especially) may form a naked, intertwined ‘bed’ for the mother to give birth on, and/or surround her to make a living wall to shield her against driving winds, sleet, rain, and so on.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:26:15
On Bahamut fighting in Faerûn:

Aug 24, 2020


Has Bahamut physically fought on Faerun more recently than his death as Marduk in -1076? I'm looking for where my PCs could potentially find a scale from the Platinum Dragon.


He has, at many times and in many places, for he still likes to wander the continent of Faerûn in the guise of an old man, observing the lives and deeds of his followers (his clerics and paladins especially), and from time to time gets attacked by brigands or monsters. Occasions where he’d have lost scales are rare, and are most likely to happen when he’s foolishly attacked by a dragon, or a wyvern, or a Zhentarim riding a foulwing, and transforms into his true dragon shape to soar into midair and rend them; if a scale was torn off by the talons of an adversary, it would fall to earth unregarded in the fray. Zhent rider attacks are most likely in the vicinity of Darkhold, the Stonelands, and the Thunder Peaks and Stormhorns; wyvern attacks are also most likely in mountainous regions, whereas dragon attacks could occur anywhere, depending on the type of dragon.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:25:46
On bad luck symbols in Faerûn:

Sep 22, 2020


Are there any symbols particularly associated with bad luck in Faerun? (Like inverted horseshoes and walking under ladders in our world)


Customs/deeds associated with bad luck, across races and cultures: stealing from a temple or altar (usually offerings, but also holy objects like chalices), or defiling or stealing any holy symbol; lying to a priest or paladin.

Also, betraying kin or deceiving a wizard.

Symbols associated with bad luck: a broken tool (not a weapon); “blood on the moon” (a red tint to the visible moon); mislaying something just before a departure, so it must be abandoned or the hunt for it delays one’s going; the “blinded” glyph/trail mark (scratched or drawn as a warning to others) of a horizontal human like eye with a vertical stroke (or drawn point-down dagger) bisecting it; a shattered anvil, either as a depiction in a painting or story, or happening in real life; a lone withered flower; any depiction of blood dripping from an eye like tears.

There are many others, but these I’ve listed are believed in/recognized among all sentient creatures, everywhere on Toril.


Thanks for this. I’m featuring Beshaba and Tymora as central in my current game (particularly Beshaba), so this is useful.


Ah! Then this additional lore is for you:

Beshaba has a symbol all her devout will know: a black lightning bolt that forks in the middle to form an inverted “Y” (like the peace symbol without the central, vertical bottom stroke or the circle). This means ‘misfortune upon this place/house (in the family/clan sense)/endeavour, FOR GOOD REASON/they’ve earned it/I want them to know ill luck.’
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:25:01
On an unnamed lake in the eastern Rawlinswood:


Posed this question in the FR group on FB, but thought I'd try here too. 3E's Unforgettable East shows an unnamed lake in eastern Rawlinswood (now Dunwood). I'm curious if it has an official name? Same question for the hills to its south?


A bit of artistic license on the part of the cartographer methinks, as none of the UE forest lakes appear in the FR9 The Bloodstone Lands maps of the same area. No published information, so if anyone is going to make stuff up it should be Ed. I could, but It requires gravitas.:)


George’s “gravitas” was well-chosen, as you’ll see.

That lake was short-lived, evaporating over the space of a few years, and appeared even more suddenly. You’ll search for it in vain today (1490s DR); all that’s left is some lower ground in the unbroken forest. And perhaps the scattered, gnawed bones of the lake’s creator, Daozor Zantskuld, an ambitious Red Wizard of Thay who sought to become Zulkir of Conjuration when Sabass was assassinated.

To impress Szass Tam, in hopes of being chosen, Zantskuld crafted a teleport spell of sufficient power to pluck a mammoth iceberg from the frigid seas west of Ironmaster and bring it to where he stood, in northeastern Rawlinswood, with a hand-picked audience of admirers. The spell worked, all too well: the iceberg appeared in midair above Zantskuld—and then crashed to the ground thanks to gravity and the spell abruptly ending, when its exhausted caster lost consciousness.

So the meltwater lake of Zant’s Folly or Zantmere was created. There was so much ice in the berg that it took some years before it all ran off, sank into the ground, or evaporated.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:24:17
On Amaunator's hyenas:


Been developing an Amaunatori character with a pet hyena and wanted to name it after one of the deity's 13 giant hyena/hyaenodon servitors (mentioned in his Netheril... and Faiths & Avatars profiles), do any of them have names and particular traits?


They all share the trait of disciplined savagery: they explode into battle, working together to tear open and tear apart foes (biting down on limbs and tugging hard as their fellows bite into joints), only when allowed by the god to do so. However, they are always alert and have standing orders to defend the person of the deity or any mortal Amaunator designates, until he commands otherwise (they obey his voice INSTANTLY). They are cunning, and will swiftly recognize attempts to encircle or slip away screened behind distractions. They understand disabling any opponent with visible magic items, and limiting the range and reach of items with barriers and terrain.

All of them can stand on their hind legs, carry weapons and tools in their paws (but not wield them), and cooperate with each other with precision in combat.

These thirteen hyenas look very much alike, save for three: two are visibly older (gray to white muzzles and ear- and tail-tips), and a third is darker (grayer) and larger than the rest. These two elders are female, and the biggest hyena is male.

The older of the two female elders has an eye that won’t open (the left eyelid won’t lift) due to a terrasque-dealt scar across her face. Her name is Horgaera. The other female elder is Raeglarra, and the largest hyena is Brahaligor.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:23:25
On Alathea Merendil of Athkatla:


Dear @TheEdVerse ... I've a question about Alathea Merendil of Athkatla that I hope you or Elminster can answer: Did Alathea remain fertile during her three long centuries spent courting husbands?


Alathea had children about once a year from her twenties up through the middle of her 18th decade; her last known child (a daughter, the fierce-willed sorceress Bhellasharra of Yith) was born when she was 186 summers old.

So far as is known, Alathea remained sexually active (or as some sages put it, “went on wearing out husbands”) after that, but bore no more children. That may not have been her becoming infertile; it might have been her choice (contraception). After all, she had more children than most would consider “more than enough” by then.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Nov 2020 : 20:22:30
On agriculture:


Hi Ed! Big fan of FR since 96. How agriculture (and basically everything else) is functioning in Realms, because of threat from monsters and wilderness? How can I best explain that to my players?


Local subsistence farming goes on everywhere in the Realms, as everyone has to eat. Most folk grow up knowing the wilderness, with monsters roaming it, is all around them, and that and farming and gleaning wild foodstuffs is just daily life. Roads and merchant travel along those roads, bringing food and goods from afar, are constantly improving, so everyone is seeing more food/less starvation, and more cool new things they can't make themselves, all the time.

This is what "everyone" is used to, "normal life." :}

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