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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Gary Dallison Posted - 26 May 2020 : 16:01:22
So i'm going to bite the bullet and read the novels to mine them for lore.

Is anyone interested in me posting the details here so i can spare others the pain of having to read them (and for easy reference later)?
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 03 Jul 2021 : 20:16:36
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The more of these novels I read the more I can see two distinct styles emerging. You have the true sages that dive deeply into the lore and give it a George Martin or J RR Tolkein sequel feel of great depth and hidden secrets.

Then there are those that provide a scatter gun firing of people, places, and occasionally magic all over the place like a rock skimming on the surface as it hops towards some far destination. There is not much between the plot and its connections to existing realmslore beyond a few name drops and nods to past events. Typically this type adds nothing new to the past realmslore, uses up many plot hooks and provides less to replace them.


I know which type I prefer.


-That was something I noticed in the later years of the novel line (maybe...2004 or 2005 onward?). A lot of the books started including odd and out there races or in a meta parlance classes. I'm all for groups that were more than the standard Human/Dwarf/Elf/Gnome/Halfling that were some kind of baseline Fighters/Clerics/Rogues/Magicians, but we started seeing real out there combinations. Tiefling Blood Magi. Dragon Vampires. Weredragon Barbarians. Spectral Ghost Duelists. Goliath outdoorsmen. I'm sure there were some WotC mandates to use some stuff from the books from those eras (too coincidental for there to have not been).



I don't mind breaking away from the normal mold, but it has to be done reasonably. Like I recently commented in another discussion, with this trilogy, you've got a half-golem, a song dragon, an avariel, and an arctic gnome as main characters. If I wasn't familiar with the novels in question, and you listed off those characters, I'd expect it to be followed by "...walk into a bar" and a punchline.
Lord Karsus Posted - 03 Jul 2021 : 19:50:46
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The more of these novels I read the more I can see two distinct styles emerging. You have the true sages that dive deeply into the lore and give it a George Martin or J RR Tolkein sequel feel of great depth and hidden secrets.

Then there are those that provide a scatter gun firing of people, places, and occasionally magic all over the place like a rock skimming on the surface as it hops towards some far destination. There is not much between the plot and its connections to existing realmslore beyond a few name drops and nods to past events. Typically this type adds nothing new to the past realmslore, uses up many plot hooks and provides less to replace them.


I know which type I prefer.


-That was something I noticed in the later years of the novel line (maybe...2004 or 2005 onward?). A lot of the books started including odd and out there races or in a meta parlance classes. I'm all for groups that were more than the standard Human/Dwarf/Elf/Gnome/Halfling that were some kind of baseline Fighters/Clerics/Rogues/Magicians, but we started seeing real out there combinations. Tiefling Blood Magi. Dragon Vampires. Weredragon Barbarians. Spectral Ghost Duelists. Goliath outdoorsmen. I'm sure there were some WotC mandates to use some stuff from the books from those eras (too coincidental for there to have not been).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 03 Jul 2021 : 18:02:57
My biggest issue with that trilogy -- aside from the menagerie that was the main characters -- was that it seemed to happen in isolation from the rest of the setting. This isn't anything the author did -- it's what the designers and other authors did.

Basically, outside of this trilogy, there's very little mention anywhere else of the events. And maybe it's just me, but having multiple dragons mindlessly rampaging about seems like the kind of thing that should have a dramatic impact. Maybe not in the entire setting, but at least in those places where dragons attacked or where prominent dragons were affected. Instead, it's barely a footnote, in other printed Realmslore.
Gary Dallison Posted - 03 Jul 2021 : 16:43:05
I'm happy with all the extra characters, but the lack of development of anything is irksome.

Brimstone as a foil to the cult of the dragon is great but he should have more of a roll in that fight. Impiltur seems relatively free of cult of the dragon influence (so does damara) and brimstone should be a major factor in that.

The more of these novels I read the more I can see two distinct styles emerging. You have the true sages that dive deeply into the lore and give it a George Martin or J RR Tolkein sequel feel of great depth and hidden secrets.

Then there are those that provide a scatter gun firing of people, places, and occasionally magic all over the place like a rock skimming on the surface as it hops towards some far destination. There is not much between the plot and its connections to existing realmslore beyond a few name drops and nods to past events. Typically this type adds nothing new to the past realmslore, uses up many plot hooks and provides less to replace them.


I know which type I prefer.
Lord Karsus Posted - 03 Jul 2021 : 16:33:23
-I don't have any answers (probably because there aren't any), but I remember Brimstone being a fun character.
Gary Dallison Posted - 02 Jul 2021 : 20:38:48
Randomly decided to read the second book in the Year of Rogue Dragons series because its set in Damara.

Some average lore, new places, new people, but relatively little history or insights into anyone or anything.

The thing that really bugged me about this novel is that the heroes were running all over the place looking for things that Sammaster had found about the Dracorage, but these documents are located in random places with seemingly no connection to the source (ancient elves that predated the rise of any known elven empire).

For instance the location of the elven fortress is revealed to be far in the north but its location is inscribed on a stone tablet in a temple in the ruins of the ogre kingdom of Thar. Why would the information be in the ogre kingdom of Thar, how would Sammaster have found it except by chance, and why was he stupid enough to write down the location of this source material to allow others to trace the secrets of his work (secrets which he didnt write down in his Folio).

The secret of quelling the Dracorage (which i'm guessing the elves created but who knows why given that they created the Dracorage to kill the dragons) was written on ancient books located in the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, again, how and why was it there, unless the monastery (which was big enough to fit dragons in) was actually built by dragons and it was the dragons that discovered a means of quelling the dracorage.


Lots more unanswered questions, like how did the dragon cultists infiltrate the Damaran Gate in sufficient numbers to overthrow it (no easy task i think). Why did Sammaster even bother setting his forces against Damara and Malazan against the Monastery of the Yellow Rose only to leave his forces to their their own demise and wander off into the Great Glacier.



Gary Dallison Posted - 02 Jul 2021 : 20:27:17
The Rite (1373 DR)

Damaran Gate
Fodel, Cult of the Dragon agent, soldier on the Damaran Gate, Damaran native [Prologue]
Natali, red head, soldier on the Damaran Gate. Slain by Fodel [Prologue]
Avarin, Cult of the Dragon agent, soldier on the Damaran Gate [Prologue]
Damaran Gate, 3 miles long with watchtowers, castles anchor either end. Portcullis controlled by a windlass of dwarven construction which can be operated by 2 men [Prologue]

Damara
Order of the Golden Cup, paladin holy order of Ilmater [Prologue]
Igan, pox scarred, gangly youth, squire to Gareth Dragonsbane. Skirmished with orcs and bandits, never faced a dragon [Prologue]
Mor Kulenvor, senior wizard in the Army of Bloodstone, pudgy little man with a billy goat beard [Prologue]
Drigor Bersk, priest of Ilmater in the Army of Bloodstone, scar faced and hulking, stronger than most men at arms. High ranking cleric [Prologue,10]
Sergor Marsk, Cult of the Dragon agent, wizard in the Army of Bloodstone [Prologue]
The King’s Men, elite warriors [Prologue]
Josef Darag, master of Springhill. His emblem is a hawk and lily (baron of Damara???) [1]
Aver Darag, son and heir of Josef Darag [1]
Bandit army preying on villages of northern Damara [1]
Kovor Gemetsk, former tutor of Pavel in Damara, Patriarch of the Temple of the Dawn in Heliogabalus. High priest of Lathander [10]
Lathander receives a measure of the people’s devotion in Damara, but Ilmater is the principal deity [10]
Brellan Starav, commander of the Order of the Golden Cup, white haired, robust, advises the King and Queen [10]
Thrones in Heliogabalus made of chaledony (bloodstone???) [10]
Sammaster and his wizards are able to separate a soul from its body and trap it on the shadow plane guarded by shadow dragons (Sammaster made a deal with them) [10]
The Boot and Whistle, a tavern in Pavels youth, now a cheap boarding house [10]

Sammaster
Pretending to be Zhengyi to the monsters of Vaasa [Prologue]
Malazan, ancient female red dragon, uses the Rage to give her greater strength [Prologue]
Ishenalyr, ancient green, hidecarved (disciplined, self mutilation, increases defence, regenerates). Slain by Malazan [3,6,9]
Black dragons otherwise known as skull wyrms [11]
Certain dragons infuse tanar’ri into their own hearts to augment their strength [13]

Dragons
Lareth, King of Justice, sovereign of gold dragons. Oldest gold dragon [Prologue]
Against dragon law for metallic dragons to eat the meat of sentient beings [Prologue]
Tamarand, gold dragon, first among the lords [Prologue]
Nexus, greatest of all draconic wizards. Gold dragon [Prologue]
Azhaw, silver dragon, member of the Talons of Justice [Prologue]
Silver dragons known as Shield Dragons among metallics [Prologue]
Silver dragons smell like rain [Prologue]
Karasendrieth, song dragon, crystal blue in colour, gone rogue from Lareth’s command, bard dragon [Prologue,2]
Llimark, gold dragon, friend of Karasendrieth [Prologue]
Chatulio, copper dragon, master illusionist, slain by Malazan [3,9]
Havarlan, known as Barb (due to a full beard of tendrils) is the captain of the Talons of Justice. silver dragon [10]
Wardancer, bronze dragon, allied with Kara. Lived near and beneath the Moonsea for centuries. Liked Sinylla Zoranyian
Bronze dragons smell like the sea
Gold dragons smell of saffron [10]
The King of Justice can be challenged for his position (in the draconic laws) but no gold has ever uttered such a challenge [10]
Silver dragons have no king [10]
Tamarand described Lareth as a brother (were they related???) [10]
Marigold, gold dragon????, healer [10]
Vingdavalac, younger (young adult????) bronze dragon, allied with Kara [11]



Other Lore
“Swallow your tongue”, Moonsea saying rebuking someone for speaking out of turn [1]
Sembian White (wine???) [4]

Heroes
Taegan Nightwind, avariel, black feathered wings, Maestro of a fencing academy (burned down by Cult of the Dragon). Knows a lot about the magic of bladesong [1]
Phylas, shaggy hair and surly disposition [1]
Jivex, faerie dragon, Lord of the Grey Forest [1]
Brimstone, vampiric smoke drake, being paid by Kara (a diamond shaped collar with a ruby at its centre). Lairs in Impiltur, tied to that land by his vampiric curse. Master scrier, former ally of Sammaster [9,10]
Pavel Shemov, Damaran, has magic brigandine and enchanted mace [9]


Thentia
Known for it fiercely independent wizards [1]
White marble temple of Selune [1]
The Tower of Flammuldinath Thuldoum “Firefingers”. A tower painted in vertical streaks of red, yellow, and orange [1]
Sinylla Zoranyian, priestess of Selune, young, master of divine and arcane magic. Slain by a chasme [1,7]
Samdralyrion, brass dragon, ally of Kara, hiding in Firefingers Tower. Succumbed to the Rage and slain by Firefingers and his wizards [1]
Phourkyn One-Eye, oily black hair, wizard, very antisocial, dislikes Scattercloak. Theory is that the original Phourkyn One Eye was killed by Sammaster and replaced by a sunwyrm that changed into his shape. The sunwyrm had infused a chasme into itself which it used to kill the other wizards. Cult of the Dragon agent. [2,7,11,13]
Scattercloak, warlock, wears a grey mantle and hood [2]
Baelric, brawny doorman at Firefingers Tower [2]
Gelduth Blackturret the Watchlord, wears a chain of office over his black velvet doublet, a gold sword in a gold scabbard (symbols of authority). Spokesman of the old families of Thentia (who run the city). Largely a symbolic figurehead not given much respect by wizards. Does a good job protecting surrounding farmlands from orcs [2]
Watchlord Tower [2]
Rilitar Shadow-water, male moon elf wizard, owns a topaz tipped oak wand. Gave Taegan an elven sword with a gleaming blade, needle point, and diamond shaped cross guard and silver chased green leather scabbard, Rilitar enchanted the blade for Dorn Graybrook’s hunters but no one wanted it. It has the ghost touch ability [2,4,12]
Lissa Uvarrk, a gnome, adept at transmutation, slain investigating the Rage by a Chasme summoned by a Cult of the Dragon agent among the wizards of Thentia [2,4]
Darvin Kordeion, plump wizard, dresses in white, nervous, timid. [4,9]
Janntha Goldenshield, and Baerimel Dunnath (sisters), petite female wizards and cousins to Sinylla Zoranyian. Also members of the House of the Moon [5]
Esvelle Chernin, wizard [5]
Sureene Aumratha, high priestess of the House of the Moon, priest of Selune, tall handsome middle aged woman with dyed blonde hair [7]
Thentia had only one temple, the House of the Moon [7]
A pair of Zhentish merchants have a compound in Thentia, they are disliked but tolerated because of their coin, spices, and perfumes [7]

Thar
Sammaster wrote 15 pages about a lake with a set of standing stones nearby [1]
Yagoth Devil-Eye, shaman of an ogre tribe in Thar, face torn open by a manticore in the past, has a permanent red bulging eye, the wound awakened his shaman powers [3]
Ruins around a lake in Thar, believed by ogres to be from the ogre kingdom of Thar. Largest temple contained a repository of ancient lore mostly carved on stone or clay tablets. Statues of an eyeless four armed demon [6,7,8]
Orc tribe whose symbol is a horned leering face with crossed scimitars beneath [9]



Arctic Dwarves
Raryn’s tribal legend is that some of the forefathers married bears [1]


Monastery of the Yellow Rose
A huge fortress perched atop a peak overlooking the Glacier of the White Worm [3]
Sammaster spent a long time at the monastery in disguise [3]
Servants of Ilmater wear grey [3]
Honeycomb of caves beneath the mountains and some connected to the Monastery of the Yellow Rose [5]
Cantoule, Grand Master of Flower, grey vestments, red skullcap, yellow rose embroidered sash [6]
The monks of Ilmater are pledged to defend the monastery to the death [6]
Main entrance inside the monastery is big enough for an ancient red dragon to walk through. Ceiling rigged to collapse on the entire hall [6]
Blueberry bushes in the courtyard [6]
Monks make blueberry wine [7]
Ossuary in the catacombs where bones are arranged into enormous flower shapes [9]
The oldest books contain stories in iambic heptameter that concealing emotions that can be used to create a spell (how??????????) to quell the Dracorage [10]


Gary Dallison Posted - 29 Jun 2021 : 22:02:26
Its RAS, he does what he likes.

Even alzhedo must have words though and so everni I guess may be one of them.
TheIriaeban Posted - 29 Jun 2021 : 21:40:38
That's odd. I thought the language of Calimshan was Alzhedo. Is Everni some kind of local dialect?
Gary Dallison Posted - 29 Jun 2021 : 20:40:38
Road of the Patriarch (1368 DR)

Artemis Entreri
Born and grew up in Memnon [Prelude]
Belrigger, his father, cruel, beat Artemis and sold his mother as a whore [Prelude]
Shanali, forced to sell Artemis when he was 12 years old to a spice trader for gold [Prelude]
Tosso-Pash, often paid for time with Shanali, was Belrigger’s friend [Prelude,23]
Worked for the Pasha Basadoni’s Guild in Calimport [3]
Riordan Parnell had bedded many of the most alluring women in the Bloodstone Lands [3]


Jarlaxle
Third son of House Baenre, as a babystabbed in the chest by Matron Baenre (his mother), a sacrifice to Lolth. However, due to the work of one loyal to Lolth, Baenre’s spider shaped dagger could not pierce Jarlaxle’s flesh. Jarlaxle was declared an agent of chaos and blessed by Lolth and Matron Baenre could not act against him however much she wanted to. The sacrificial ceremony was covered in lies and Jarlaxle was declared dead and a baby thrown into Lake Donigarten (as tradition dictates for third born sons) [2,5]
Jarlaxle rejected Lolth long ago, but no one knew [5]
Matron Oblodra used psionic barrier to protect Jarlaxle at his sacrifical ceremony. The second son Doquaio Baenre exploded when he went to try and kill Jarlaxle and the psionic energy rebounded into him (Matron Baenre ordered him to kill Jarlaxle). [19]
Jarlaxle betrayed Zaknafein centuries ago, and regretted it [24]


Athrogate
Spent the last 4 centuries fighting [1]
Lived in Citadel Felbarr before it fell to orcs [21]
Married to Gerthalie, had several children (youngest was Drenthro), all slain by orcs [21]
Dwarfs tried to retake Citadel Felbarr more than 300 years ago [22]
Mithril Hall fell a hundred years after Citadel Felbarr [22]
Cursed by a wizard for not paying a debt [Epilogue]

Vaasa
Bog lands of Vaasa north of Palischuk [2]
Knellicht, second in command after Timoshenko (grandfather of assassins). Whispers say he is now the grandfather of assassins himself [2]
Riordan Parnell and Wingham are old friends [3]
Zhengyi created many phylacteries and with them tempted every dragon in the Bloodstone Lands to his cause. Tazmikella and Ilnezhara’s phylactery are out there somewhere and they want them back [4]
1337 DR the spring thaw never happened and winter lasted for 2 years (presumably until 1338 DR????). Rumours are a great white dragon was behind it all [10]
Palischuk ruled by a council [11]

Damara
“Knight of the Order is no small reward these days with Gareth Dragonsbane as King” according to Athrogate (implying that it was a small thing before Gareth’s rule????) [2]
Citizens of Good Standing, a title that gives the holder a discount from merchants, free lodgings in any inn, and the first drink free in any tavern [2]
Bloodstone Hero, a title that gives the holder a discount from merchants, free lodgings in any inn, and the first drink free in any tavern, free passage throughout the kingdom, guarantees the protection of the King [2]
Kane, former Grandmaster of Flowers of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose. Has a walking stick fashioned from a branch of the White Tree. Past middle aged skinny, fraying white hair and beard. Wears rags and no jewellery except for 2 magic rings. Struck the fatal blow against Zhengyi [2]
The White Tree planted on the shores of Lake Midai [2]
Sir Liam of Halfling Downs, an apprentice Knight of the Order who went missing and was presumed slain after attending his honour ceremony. The only Apprentice Knight who did not become a full knight within 2 years [2]
“Purity of purpose, adherence to conscience, and the discipline to strike or to hold in the best interests of Bloodstone”. The oath of the Knights of the Order [2]
Spysong network, Celedon Kierney, Kane, Riordan Parnell are members [2]
Offered the raised back of his right hand, fingers stiffened, thumb straight up. He held it there for a moment, then turned his hand so that his thumb tapped his heart, the greeting of Spysong. [2]
Gareth Dragonsbane, in his forties [2]
Court etiquette holds that the king speaks first and greets his guests [2]
Mariabronne was Olwen Forestfriend’s (Duke of Soravia) protege, sent years studying under him. [2]
Dimian Ree, Baron of Morov, rumoured to have involvement with Timoshenko, but no evidence has been found [2]
The Baronies of Morov and Ostel, often called the Sister Baronies. Baroness Sylvia and Dimian Ree have the unquestioned loyalty of 60,000 citizens, more than half the population of Damara [2]
Baroness Sylvia and Lady Christine formed a friendship of sorts over the years [2]
King Gareth wants to form a greater Kingdom of Bloodstone [2]
King Gareth has a dress mirror than allows him to see into Emelyn they Grey’s chambers in Warrenwood and communicate with him through a sister mirror. Can also be used to scry on other places (like Olwen and Soravia) [2]
Emelyn the Grey, 70 years old, lives in the Warrenwood with centaurs. Married Gabrielle (much younger) [2]
The six castle of Kinbrace [2]
Gareth and Christine did not know Ellery very well, saw her once when she was appointed to the Army of Bloodstone [2]
Kinnery, Steppenhall, settlement in Soravia [2]
Sacred grove northeast of Kinbrace, visited by Olwen Forestfriend and his ranger friends [2]
Tazmikella and Ilnezhara born in the same clutch centuries ago in Calimshan [3]
Gareth and his aides know about Tazmikella and Ilnezhara, but the common citizenry do not [3]
Zhengyi approached Tazmikella and Ilnezhara with an offer to make them a dracolich, but the price was too high [3]
Nyungy the bard, the greatest bard to ever walk the Bloodstone Lands [3]
Riordan Parnell, cousin of Celedon Kierney [3]
Aspiradatus the red dragon and her 3 fiery offspring flew into the mountains of western Damara 400 years ago causing concern for Ilnezhara and Tazmikella [6]
The battle at Great Fork Road, two red dragons and a mighty white dragon (Glacialamacus) where about to defeat one of Gareth’s brigades. Kane rushed in and fought them and deceived the dragons into breathing on each other (implying all the dragons were in league with each other – and Zhengyi????). Glacialamacus was severely burned and none know if she survived. Both reds were wounded by frost and Kane. The battle could all be rumour (put out by Spysong????) [6]
Alveedum, purple flower of late summer in the Bloodstone Lands, a rare and striking spectacle
There was a brief period when Zhengyi was highly regarded
Zhengyi may have as many as 100 dracoliches and books of creation
Barony of Morov, the most populous and important barony [12]
Olwen Forestfriend and his mighty axe Treefeller [12]
The Disenchanters, wizards of the Army of Bloodstone, trained by Emelyn the Gray [12]
Emelyn the Gray, greatest wizard in the Bloodstone Lands [12]
1,100 heavy infantry in the Army of Bloodstone [12]
A Knight of the Order is able to claim any unclaimed or untamed barony [13]
Olwen Forestfriend, favoured weapon is the bow, but as he aged he changed to his legendary war axe [13]
Mariabronne was as a son to Olwen [13]
Olean’s Grove outside of Kinnery. Great Druid of Olean refused Olwen’s request to reincarnate Mariabronne [13]
Crusader, the Holy Avenger, Gareth Dragonsbane’s sword, able to cast disenchantment (dispel magic [13,15]
Emelyn the Gray has a gem of seeing
Illegal to animate the dead by the laws of Ilmater and Damara [15]
Gareth Dragonsbane, descendant of the former king [15]
Gareth Dragonsbane’s father was a baron when Damara had no king [15]
The Last Respite, the most prominent inn in Bloodstone Village, clean rooms, fine elven wine, a view of the White Tree [17]
Lady Christine, an adventurer and fighter at heart [19]
Ilnezhara and Tazmikella have enemies in the southern lands around Calimshan - Dojomentikus, a male copper dragon that Ilnezhara refused to breed with [20,21]

Davis Eng
Soldier in the Army of Bloodstone [2]

Citadel of Assassins
Knellicht, second in command after Timoshenko (grandfather of assassins). Whispers say he is now the grandfather of assassins himself. Likes cats [2,6]
Has contacts in the Court of Damara that means he manipulated it so Artemis, and Jarlaxle received prestigious titles [2]
Jailiana, female spellcaster in the Citadel of Assassins. Impetuous [5.6]
The citadel is hidden in a cave and tunnel network inside the Galena’s. Portals link the citadel to many strange places throughout Damara and Vaasa. Cave entrances to the citadel are magically disguised [6]
Coureese, a dependable if unremarkable lieutenant [6]
Wyrt, trainee [7]
Bosun Bruiseberry, trainee [9]
Remilar the Bold, young wizard, trainee, thin, wiry, overconfident [9]
Burgey’s boys [9]
Entrance to the citadel is a score miles east of the Vaasan Gate [9]
Jureemo Pascadadle [11]
Kiniquips the Short, halfling, slender, renowned master of disguise, trains other at the citadel in disguise techniques. Point man for operations in Heliogabalus. Spent two years creating his waif alter ego in Heliogabalus. Master of the Citadel (a title for being an expert in a particular field????) [11]
Citadel rules, never betray a fellow member on a job [11]
Below the Citadel of Assassins is an Underdark caravan route [15]

Heliogabalus
The Boars Snout, tavern. Griney, serving wench [4]
Beneghast, merchant, angered the Citadel of Assassins. They have arranged a highwayman to ambush him. Entreri is to kill Beneghast and apprehend the highwayman who will be blamed for the murder. Some of the guards in Heliogabalus are in the pay of the Citadel of Assassins. Short, flabby, has a white cat named Mourtrue. Was due to pay a sum of gemstones to the Citadel (why????) but was late in the payment (and so was marked for death) [4,6]
Piter’s Bakery serves as a conduit to the Underdark, a magical portal allowing Kimmuriel to cross from Menzoberranzan or Jarlaxle to cross from Damara [5]
Wall’s Around, a circular cul-de-sac off Wall Walk. Dozens of chandlers, cobblers, blacksmiths, weavers, tailors, wheelwrights, importers, bakers, and other craftsmen and tradesmen of every imaginable stripe made Wall’s Around their working home. A large three tiered fountain centred Wall’s Around [5]
Timoshenko and his advisor Knellicht were chased from Heliogabalus after the fall of Zhengyi [6]
Clairelle and Mischa, live next to Jarlaxle and Entreri, to be married. Clairelle is the daughter of Maringay
Yenthiele Sarmagon, Chief Gaoler of Heliogabalus, married, close personal friend of Baron Dimian Ree
Citadel of Assassins and agents are hanged if discovered [11]
Crown Palace [12]
Wizards guild on the other side of the city to the Crown Palace [12]


Other Lore
‘Let a roll of chance’s dice alter the board,’ an old drow saying (about sava????)
Pey ne nil ne-ne uraili ‘In truth, the bonds are shed,’, an old drow saying
Arms crossed over a chest is a sign of obedience and respect in Menzoberranzan (and possibly other drow in the Underdark), in the world above crossed arms is a sign of defiance and defensiveness [13]
“You waved a wounded rothe before a hungry displacer beast,”, old Menzoberranzan saying [13]


Bregan D’aerthe
Valas Hune, infiltrator


Memnon
Principal Cleric Yozumian Dudui Yinochek, the Blessed Voice Proper of the Protector’s House. Cleric of Selune (deflowers virgins violently). Known as the Blessed Voice Proper even in his youth as a young cleric. 60 + years old, muscular physique. Wears a crown of fabulous jewels [18,24]
Devout Papan Gositek, cleric of Selune [18]
The Protector’s House, temple of Selune, largest and grandest structure in the southwestern quarter of Memnon. Principal Cleric Yozumian’s quarters are on the 3rd floor. Has a secret door onto the street in a storage room allowing visitors to be smuggled in. Also home to the sister faiths of Valkur and Shaundakul. Has a growing library. [18]
Cult of Ibrandul found in the catacombs of the Protector’s House shortly after the Time of Troubles. Not all were killed by the priests of Selune (at Yozumian’s command) some were assimilated [18]
Oases classed as Everni are not claimed by anyone, and according to law cannot be claimed or built upon without being at war with the pashas of Calimshan [21]
Southwestern district is the poorest in the city [21]
Bullium, peasant, likes to drink, poor, lives in the southwestern district [21]
A pauper’s graveyard behind a large rocky outcropping overlooking the most southwestern tip of Memnon Harbour [23]
Devout Tyre, cleric of Selune [24]
Devout Premmi, cleric of Selune [25]

Calimshan
Sultan Alhabara, leads a band of desert nomads, currently occupying an oasis a few days out of Memnon. Wields a rod of rulership [21]

Calishite Language
Everni – means lawless [21]
Gary Dallison Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 09:47:40
For once a RAS novel without horrendous names.

Gives some good insight into the goings on in Damara and Vaasa before his destruction.

Zhengyi appears to have had many dragon allies. Each of them had a phylactery and would become dracoliches (does Zhengyi have a connection with the Cult of the Dragon or did he invent his own method?).

A new organisation - The Knights of the Order.

Gareth Dragonsbane is named as such because of his family's deeds. So it sounds like his family killed dragons and were ennobled for it.
Gary Dallison Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 09:38:41
If Ever They Happened Upon My Lair

Dwarves
Ringo Heffenstone, dwarf, exceptionally broad shoulders and a large square head. No beard, gigantic handlebar moustache (as a result of an accident with a gnomish fire rocket in the hills of northwestern Damara). Warrior, hardened by years of adventure and strife.
Nordwinnil Fellhammer, dwarf warrior.
Pergiss MacRingle, dwarf warrior
Urshula emerged from a pond north of Palischuk and slaughtered the band of dwarves
Attack happened a few years before 1358-1359 DR

Urshula
Kazmil-urshula-kelloakizilian. The Black Wyrm of Vaasa, the Beast of the Bog, the bane of all those trying to civilise and tame Vaasa. Male black dragon.
Razed whole villages in his youth.
Tribes of goblins pay homage, sacrifice to him, carry his likeness on totems.
Centuries ago, in his youth, Urshula ruled all land from the Galenas to the Great Glacier.
Lately he’d grown quiet, content on piles of magic and treasure, gems, coins, armour, and weapons.
Subterranean lair near soft peat (a bog???)
Heard the construction of Palischuk
Tunnels north of Palischuk lead to his home
Attacked a city once before, suffered injuries before flying off (wing, rear right leg, lower torso)
Attacked Palischuk now, breathing acid on the city then flying away (happened a few years before 1358 – 1359 DR)
Underground river runs from the Great Glacier under Palischuk, carrying spring meltwater. A lake that forms each spring north of Palischuk serves as an entrance to Urshula’s lair. It freezes solid in winter. Ancient lava tube from an old volcano leads from the underground river to Urshula’s lair.
Father of all black dragons in the Bloodstone Lands (what about Iyrauroth????)
Has outlived many would be kings that seek to own all they survey
Slain by the Knights of the Order, Urshula used Zhengyi’s phylactery and became a dracolich

Byphast
Byphast the Frozen Death, greatest white dragon of the Great Glacier
Takes the form of an elf with white skin, and silver hair, and pale yellow eyes with a line of black in the middle
Her lair is home to remorhaz (in a pit) and ice trolls used as sentries
Possesses potent spellcasting ability
Encountered Urshula only once, at the base of the Great Glacier. They didn’t fight as they had just eaten
Has a small amethyst skull in the shape of a dragons skull as her phylactery

Zhengyi
Grey cloak torn in strips to reveal a hooded black velvet robe. Skeletal fingers. A grey white skull with pieces of rotting flesh. Inhuman eyes points of red and yellow fire. White hair clumped at angles across his head
Honoringast the Red, greatest of Zhengyi’s dragon allies
In life he had been a robust fat man with brown hair and a dark beard
Did not use dragons during the initial assault (is that the attack on Damara in 1357 DR????). Mentions the rise of Gareth in the south (dated around 1358-1359 DR????)
Uses projected image to gather his allies. Doesnt leave Castle Perilous
His campaign pressed deep into Damara, he gained many new allies, most of them the rotting corpses of his enemies
A small but powerful force had broken into Vaasa in his own army’s wake. They lifted the siege of Palischuk and gathered the remnants of refugees across the Vaasan wasteland into a single formidable force. They are raiding Zhengyi’s caravans and disrupting his supply lines.
Zhengyi sent his dragons to deal with the rebels
Appears to his troops as he did in life so as not to terrify them
Zhengyi purposefully did not throw his full weight at Palischuk
A group of heroes, 50 strong (wizards and knights designed to battle a dragon) made it to Palischuk and the city is now fortified with ballistae and catapults that throw chains and huge spears
Red and white dragons in service to Zhengyi laid waste to many villages
Has a twisted oaken staff
Zhengy led the adventurers at Palischuk to Urshula’s lair
Has a shadow form to slip into tiny cracks
Has several dragon phylacteries.
At the end, when Gareth Dragonsbane was winning, Byphast (and presumably Zhengyi’s other dragon allies???) abandoned Zhengyi and returned home.

Damara
Gareth Dragonsbane, a surname earned through deeds in his rich family line

Knights of the Order
Maryin Felspur, Knight of the Order, the only female knight out of 10 who came from Damara. They led 50 foot soldiers, half a dozen priests, and an annoying trio of wizards. Scout of the group prefers to use a bow. Has an elven cloak. Slain by Urshula
Sir Donegan, 20 years of adventuring, only seen 1 dragon before; a small white near the Great Glacier. Dragons in service to Zhengyi laid waste to Donegan’s village. Battled a pair of blue dragons. Trained by Gareth Dragonsbane himself. Magic two handed sword
Sir Bevell. Flaming broadsword
Master Fisticus, wizard, he and his fellow wizards are more specialised against white dragons and cold magic. 2 wizards slain by Zhengyi, Fisticus blasted to another plane or place in the Multiverse
Sir Gavaland
Gary Dallison Posted - 24 Jun 2021 : 17:08:14
Promise of the Witch King (1370 DR)

Jarlaxle Notes
Can meld into stone [Prelude]
The feather in his hat can summon a diatryma (an 8 ft tall flightless bird with a thick neck and wicked hooked beak) [Prelude]
Has a wand that can create a wall of stone [Prelude]
His mirror is his prized possession [2]
Given a dragon statuette that traps any doorway or entrance it is fixed to. Those entering the doorway without identifying the type of dragon are struck by a trap. Touching the statuette allows you to change the dragon to whatever type you want [2]
Murdered the innkeeper Feepun and the Shade Rorli [3]
Has a tablecloth and wand that can produce a feast [5]
His hat contains turns into a large 10 ft deep portable hole [5]
His belt contains a pouch of holding with a bottle of Cormyrean brandy in it [5]
His belt can turn into a snake that acts as a rope of climbing [5]
Eyepatch changed to either eye as wanted [7]
Had a part in ensuring Idalia’s flute found its way into Entreri’s hand [7]
Centuries old

Entreri Notes
Charon’s Claw has a red blade [Prelude]
Charon’s Claw can conjure a cloud of black ash [Prelude]
His gauntlet can absorb magic spells and then channel the magic absorbed by the gauntlet at opponents [Prelude]
Jewelled dagger, able to steal life force (and their souls) from those it wounds/slays. Owned it for more than 2 decades, since he had been a youth on the streets of Calimport. The dagger had helped him survive and climb high in the underworld there [2]
40+ years old [2]
Dwahvel Tiggerwilles, a halfling female in Calimport and old friend of Entreri’s [5]
fat Dondon (halfling????) old friend of Entreri’s back in Calimport [5]
Given a fine white shirt by Ilnezhara
Given an ordinary looking flute by Ilnezhara and sister, created by Idalia centuries ago. The flute helps calm Entreri’s emotions [9]

Tower of Herminicle
“Book of Creation” belonged to or created by Zhengyi. Sits in the top of the tower on a tentacled pedestal that taps directly into the heart of the tower. [Prelude]
The tower is protected by many traps, including a large iron boulder that resizes to fill the sloping corridors, and an iron golem, and gargoyles, and a flesh golem [Prelude]
The Book of Creation turned the possessor into a lich, anything damaging the book damages the lich. At the heart of the book is a violet gem in the shape of a skull pulsing with light and power, the key to the lich, the tower and the unnatural remnant of Zhengyi the Witch-King [Prelude}
Zhengyi created or owned multiple Books of Creation [Prelude]
The violet gem blisters the hand of those grasping it and shatters magical blades that try to damage it [Prelude]
The lich was a minor mage from Heliogabalus called Herminicle Duperdas, his fellow students considered him a novice at best. Herminicle found the Book of Creation (how??? was it in Heliogabalus????), and read it. The book consumed him, taking his magic and life force and bound him to the tower [1]
The tower lay somewhere in Damara (near Heliogabalus????) [1]

Ilnezhara and Tazmikella
Palace Tower of Ilnezhara near Heliogabalus [1]
Ilnezhara, dragon with copper coloured scales and horns (copper dragon???), uses an illusion of a creamy skinned woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. Ilnezhara employed Jarlaxle to raid the tower and retrieve the Book of Creation [1]
Ilnezhara has a Tazmikella, they researched the origin of the tower while Jarlaxle was plundering it [1]
Have a pawnbrokers shop they run in Heliogabalus [3]

Vaasa Notes
A trove of the Witch King has been uncovered, artefacts are revealed all over the land. It has happened before when a dungeon or cellar of the Witch King is opened or a tribe of monsters is defeated and wand or weapons are discovered [1]
A library of Zhengyi has recently been pilfered. A pair of tomes on the art Necromancy were recently sold in the Halfling Downs (purchased by agents of Ilnezhara and Tazmikella) [1]
Elk, ogres, giants head north in summer following the elk. Orcs and goblinoids remain in caves [1]
A dozen miles north of the Bloodstone Village (before the Vaasan Gate) is a flat expanse dubbed the Fugue Plane by adventurers. A tent city on the Fugue Plane full of ruffians. Criminals in Damara (cutpurses mostly) are sent to the Fugue Plane as punishment [3]
Gools, a goblin, speaks the common tongue. Entreri and Jarlaxle use it to find other monsters [5]
Kneebreakers, halfling unit on warpigs, commanded by Hobart Bracegirdle. Rockney Hamsukker, main chef. The Kneebreakers first found fame during the Bloodstone Wars [5]
Kneebreakers slew a trio of ogres and a pair of ogres leading a band of hobgoblins [5]
A land blasted by war, torn by the march of armies, scalded by the fires of wizard spells and dragons breath [7]
Summer thaw can last between 1 and 3 months. Winter freezes the land for 9-11 months
Tundra yeti
Dragon statue in the bog north of Darmshall, grew to enormous proportions, and sank into the bog. A relic of Zhengyi
A belt with 25 enchanted rubies in, each one a fireball (like a necklace of fireballs). Relic of Zhengyi. Found on the northern slopes of the Galenas by a young man who blew himself to pieces
“The Rover” is a title not easily earned, the title of a rake but an honourable one
Underground snakes that can fly and spit acid. Abominations of Zhengyi [9]


Vaasan Gate
Muddy Boots and Bloody Blades, a tavern inside the walls [2]
Commander Ellery Peidopare. Commander of the Vaasan Gate Militia
General Dannaway Bridgestone Tranth, brother of Baron Tranth, military commander and mayor of the Vaasan Gate. Gained the position because of family rather than personal deeds. Haughty and superior except when with his superiors. Plump, ageing. Commander Ellery is his niece

Ellery
Commander Ellery, Tranth, Dopray, Kierney, Dragonsbane, Peidopare of the Vaasan Gate Militia, pays for goblinoid, and giant ears. Took her mighty axe from an ogre she defeated. Red hair freckles, dimples. [1]
Baron Tranth is her uncle, Queen Christine Dragonsbane her cousin and King Dragonsbane her second cousin once removed. [3]
Not 30 years old. Grew up in Bloodstone Village in the shadow of Zhengyi. [7]
A paladin of Bloodstone (not quite, not until she performs her first miracle of healing hands). Descended from a long line of holy warriors
Asked to kill Jarlaxle by Canthus Dolittel
King Dragonsbane is her uncle [13]
Canthus found Ellery years ago and his associates (assassins) trained her. She used these skills to advance quickly in service to Damara [19]
Ellery’s association and manipulation by Canthus is why she is not a full paladin [19]
Slain by Artemis Entreri. Then restored by Jarlaxle and his violet gemstone skull. Then killed again by Urshula [20]

Parissus
Blonde hair cropped short and dishevelled, broad shoulders, woman from Impiltur. [1]
Bounty hunter [1]
Niece of Gareth Dragonsbane???? [1]
Large boned, round face. Boasts about her exploits often
Run over by a wagon and killed [9]

Devis Eng
Rugged, handsome, thick black hair, full beard, sun browned skin, soldier [1]
Fought in the war against the Witch King (the Bloodstone War with Gareth????) [1]
Bounty clerk

Calihye
Half elf, female, light blue almost grey eyes, long black hair, angular features [1]
Scar on right cheek where a pirate’s gaff hook almost tore her face off, scar stretches from cheek to chin [1]
Distinct lisp, caused by the scar

Practus
Dwarf cleric [1]
Practus Bristlebeard, cleric of Moradin and Dumathoin (all the dwarven gods????) [9,12]
Slain by traps [18]


Athrogate
Connections to the Citadel of Assassins [1]
Dwarf, bounty hunter, has been top bounty collected at the Vaasan Gate for many months [1,6]
Does not like being beaten at anything [1]
Renowned in the underworld as a supreme killer [3]
Black beard, parted in the middle, two braids running down his chest tied off with sparkling blue gemstones. Black eyes, large ears [3]
Agent of the Tightpurse thieves guild [3]
Has been punished by Knellicht before (with magic) [6]
A pair of morningstars, the ends made of glassteel. One of them coated in rust monster secretions, the other in oil of impact. Specific command words release the coating [8,17]
Claims to have felled a giant in single combat [11]
Has a girdle of storm giant strength [14]
Has 30 grown children [15]


Mariabronne
Mariabronne “the Rover”, “the Tamer of Vaasa” male bounty hunter, has more Vaasan kills than anyone, ranger, never takes payment for her kills. Knighted by Gareth Dragonsbane in the years Zhengyi’s demise after [1]
Took part in the Bloodstone War in the Army of Bloodstone [1]
Served as a guard during building of the Vaasan Gate [1]
About 40, long thick dark brown hair, lean but muscly, brown eyes, ruddy complexion [6]
Acts as a courier between Palischuk and the Vaasan Gate. Acts as a guide for Palischuk hunting parties [6]
Wingham, half orc, called Weird Wingham associate of Mariabronne [1]
Has a magical, renowned bastard sword with a special hatred for giantkin
Monitored Jarlaxle in Vaasa for some organisation [9]
Every child in Damara knows of Mariabronne the Rover [11]
Great Bow and mace [15]
On his first official scouting tour for King Dragonsbane he was supposed to scout 5 miles from the Vaasan Gate, he went all the way to Palischuk [17]
Has a rakish reputation with the ladies all across Damara [18]
Slain by daemons [18]
Had a particular relationship with the Tranth family and with Commander Ellery’s family [18]
Magical leather armour, magical ring [18]




Heliogabalus
Piter McRuggle, a chef, captured by highwaymen. Liberated by Jarlaxle and Entreri. Jarlaxle set Piter up with a shop in Heliogabalus [2]
North Gate [2]


Citadel of Assassins
Knellicht, archmage, second only to Timoshenko [3]
Timoshenko, grandfather of assassins [3]
Canthan Dolittle, studious looking, beady eyes, long straight nose, grey brown hair, large bald spot. Associate of Athrogate. Stationed at the Fugue Plane tent city. Gives orders to visiting agents of the assassins. Wizard, poses as a sage from Damara. Slain by Entreri [3,9,11,20]
Timoshenko and the assassins worried that when Gareth Dragonsbane unites Damara and Vaasa that the Citadel of Assassins will be the next target [3]
The assassins do not know the two sisters are dragons [3]
Murdering your colleagues for advancement is allowed [12]


Arrayan Faylin Maggotsweeper
Half orc, female, (human and possibly elf ancestry). [4]
Lives in Palischuk [4]
Short, slender, reddish brown hair, emerald eyes, thick lips, narrow eyebrows, button nose [4]
Twenty plus years old. Wizard [4]
Spent her teenage years in a wizards tower in Damara [4]
Niece of Weird Wingham although she rarely met him [4]
Read a Book of Creation, created a link to her and the book drains her life force to build a replica of Castle Perilous [10]

Palischuk
Olgerkhan, half orc, huge canines, thick forehead, flat crooked nose. Between 5 ft 7 and 6 ft tall. Thick limbs and chest. Last saw Mariabronne two years ago [4,6]
Wingham’s Rascals or Weird Winghams Wacky Weapon Wielders. Travelling merchant band throughout the Bloodstone Lands [4]
South Gate and North Gate, open most of the time [4,8]
Wingham is a minor mage, has a wand of divination spells (he used it up 3 times divining a tome of Zhengyi’s). Owns a figurine of wondrous power – an obsidian steed (summons a nightmare, Blackfire is the command word) [4,8]
Not a close knit community, people kept to themselves except in times of celebration or common danger [6]
Most inhabitants are hunters [6]
Old Nyungy the talespinner, lives in an old three story house in terrible disrepair. Bald wrinkled old man, looks like a human but has too large teeth like an orc. Long ago gave up road and song and sword. One of the few still alive who had glimpsed Castle Perilous. Spent decades as an adventuring in the wilds around Palischuk. Travelled with Wingham for years as well studying magic and magic items. Served in Zhengyi’s army in the early days of the Witch King’s rise before the horrible truth about Zhengyi was learned (what truth????) [10]
Arrayan raises another Castle Perilous northeast of Palischuk on what was once a graveyard for Palischuk and possibly their orc ancestors for centuries [14]
Canthus’ body was quietly removed from Palischuk by parties unknown (Citadel of Assassins agents in Palischuk????) [22]



Orc Language
Koi – the name of a very lewd game [4]


Other Lore
Cormyrean brandy – precious [5]
The crystal skulls in the book of creation, created by Zhengyi, allowed ability to sense the dead (and raise them????) [9]
Zhengyi and his Books of Creation have happened before according to Nyungy. [10]
Rings of Arbitration, created by a long lost magic, only a few pairs exist, crafted for lovers bound body and soul. Shares the pain, wounds, and injuries of those that wear the paired rings [11]

Damara Lore
Tales of a half drow making a reputation for herself in Damara [7]
Doern, legendary wizard long ago perfected a method of creating minor extra dimensional powers

Castle Perilous 2
Two towers and walls surrounding an inner keep. A stables, smithy, two barracks in the courtyard [14]
Turn undead does not work on skeletons in Castle Perilous [14]
Grows gargoyles (not made of stone – leathery wings) to defend itself, grows new ones within a day of the old ones being destroyed [14]
Flesh golem[15]
Mummified gnolls (from the graveyard or the castle????) [17]
Dragon styled architecture inside the inner keep [17]
Dragon egg on a basalt altar in the inner keep [17]
Iron golems [17]
Tunnels lead down into a chamber. On the walls are silver bells, a gem topped sceptre, a golden censer. A table cloth stitched with the scene of gnolls dancing around a rearing black dragon [17]
Eggs in the chamber (lodged into the ceiling) containing gigantic daemons from Gehenna, humanoid shapes with a bulldog like face, huge canines, inward looking horns on the side of its head [17]
Catacombs hold a bas relief of a score of warriors swarming a rearing dragon [21]
A dracolich lairs in the depths of the castle, Urshula – black dracolich. Surrounded by bones from the Army of Bloodstone (died in a battle decades ago) [21]
No treasure in the castle or the dracolich lair [22]
Gary Dallison Posted - 23 Jun 2021 : 17:26:42
Randomly decided to read promise of the witch king. A surprising amount of detail on Vaasa and Damara thus far.

The names are still horrible. Why oh why weren't the editing department fired.

We have two dragon sisters that seem to be against Zhengyian artefacts, one can only assume they were similarly proactive when Zhengyi was alive.

The Books of Creation are a typical macguffin, very reminiscent of the crystal shard. Even the description of Vaasa and its seasons and fauna are reminiscent of icewind dale.

But some interesting ideas. It would appear that Zhengyi was a demilich of sorts. Each book could have been a mini phylactery factory, creating these crystal skulls that contain the soul of a victim that zhengyi then feeds off.
Those reading the book are bound to it and an exact replica of castle perilous that the book constructs. How do we know that the Zhengyi in 1347 to 1357 was not also one of these possessed and bound individuals.
The first Zhengyi could have been a long time ago. Zhengyi might even be a title.

Some interesting links highlighted in the book between the citadel of assassins and the tight purse thieves guild. One can only assume they existed pre Gareth Draginsbane and the reason zhengyi was so effective was because he had numerous agents (like felix) in Damara for at least a decade before he invaded.

Commander Ellery is niece to Baron Tranth, and General whatshisface (also a tranth) and niece to Gareth Draginsbane and 2nd cousin once removed of Gareth Dragonsbane.

Which I think means that the tranths and Sragonsbane line were joined by marriage in Ellery's great grandparent and that Ellery's father also married a Dragonsbane.
Which of course means Baron Tranth had a brother and possibly and sister (Ellery's mum) and that the Draginsbane is a noble house if Damara (commoners should not have surnames, and nobles do not marry commoners, and definitely dont marry jnto the same commoner family twice in a hundred years).

In fact Ellery's list of names gives a list of several noble houses, none of which are in the Bloodstone Lands sourcebook. Hinting that Damar has many minor baronies that are unlisted, and as Zhengyi restructured the nobility of Damara it is safe to assume these baronies are now vassals of the larger supply duchies if Arcata, Carmathen, Soravia.

I'm interested to find out what other things RAS provides in the novel (a first for me), but I'm into the last 100 pages and I suspect that is one long fight scene.
ElfBane Posted - 14 Jun 2021 : 08:36:17
Once you've let the the camels "Deus Ex Machina" and "Powerful Magic" into the tent... you suddenly notice "Plot Holes" has also arrived.
Seravin Posted - 13 Jun 2021 : 22:56:53
TBHolder - Not sure I get the "other pressing problems so I can't help her" when Elminster literally fights off Manshoon for Shandril though in Crown of Fire, taking somewhat of a personal risk for himself and STorm to do so -he unleashed a lot of magic. It would take about 3 whole seconds for Elminster or the Simbul to teleport Shandril to the other side of the world. The Simbul, in the Simbul's Gift (which is the best Realms book ever I have decided) - teleports around herself and others through the Yuirwood and across the REalms instantly several times.

The Simbul and Elminster both spent many many hours (if not longer) battling Zhent/Cult wizards in Spellfire/Crown of Fire. If they didn't have time to help her because of Maulgrym or other big bad evils, they had a funny way of showing it.
Seravin Posted - 13 Jun 2021 : 22:51:23
Good points above about Elminster/the Simbul kind of wanting Shandril to take the long road to Silverymoon and do some major damage to the Zhents on the way! I like that idea. Still doesn't really jive with why Vangerdahast or Tess didn't teleport her though, since they (well, a Lord of Cormyr so effectively Cormyr) was willing to teleport her to the Citadel of the Raven twice. I don't think Tess had to contend with being a Chosen of Mystra to explain why she couldn't use a teleport scroll or spell to get Shandril on her way to Silverymoon after she left the Hidden House.


Chaos Curse though...I hated that book. I just didn't find the vampire a compelling character. I think the showdown with Cadderly and his father could have been the finale, with Kieren maybe possessed by Ghost as a book 4 bad guy fight. Denier is also an idiot for having such idiotic followers as Dean Thobicus. Not RAS' best work. And you're right, it had very very little Realms lore in it. Bob loves to write in his little corners of the Realms so he doesn't have to build to the lore or can just make up what he wants.
Gary Dallison Posted - 11 Jun 2021 : 22:24:37
Now greater vampires sound interesting, I'll look then up immediately in the hope they are not just a reskinned real world analogue.
Baltas Posted - 11 Jun 2021 : 21:01:31
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The whole Chaos Curse vampire thing had so much potential. A being infused with essence of the Abyss, he should have been turned into something unique and terrifying, something that could infect others (like vampirism perhaps, or not) but makes the infected truly mad and completely under his control. He should have emanated an aura of taint that slowly turned the Edificant Library into a mini layer of the Abyss. Instead he was harmed by sunlight, silver, holy symbols, and fire. Abyssal horrors are not (as far as i'm aware) particularly bothered by sunlight or fire in many instances (i'll admit the holy symbol should work, and so should the silver).
He could create darkness, transform into a bat or a wolf and even control wolves. What have wolves and bats got to do with abyssal demons (RAS may as well have set this novel in Transylvania), that is real world mythology and an evil depiction of nocturnal animals exploited by the catholic church. It would have made more sense if Kierkan slowly transformed into an actual demon over time, that would have been terrifying.




Well, with wolves, the connection between them and vampires is old - present in in Slavic and Balkan folklore, with there even being some overlap between Vampires and Werewolves. The wolf-vampire conection quite probably being from even pre-Christian times, based on fears people had of wolves. The bat connection is a literature based though(I think even first appearing "only" in Bram Stocker's Dracula), related to bats being seen as demonic (as seen how even many fiends even in D&D having bat-wings).

Still I agree about the rest. You might be interested in something similar - the Greater Vampires introduced in Lords of Darkness - Greater Vampires being created from a victim being level drained to death by a succubus, and arising as a vampire - but one able to walk in daylight, as well as able to summon Vrocks and Hezrou, if only during night or when shielded from daylight:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Vampire#Notes
TBeholder Posted - 11 Jun 2021 : 11:10:52
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

My thought was that Elminster was very fatalistic about Shandril's situation. She had this powerful gift, which she could use for good or evil, if she survived. He aided her because she was demonstrably good and innocent but hedged his bets. He wasn't going to devote the entire resources of the Harpers, the Chosen and the KoMD for someone who ultimately might become a Zhent/Cult pawn (through Narm) or turn wholly to evil (note Tessaril's exchange with her re the Shadowsil) and he had seen many of these situations over the centuries.

Also, the whole "having other important pressing problems" thing (presumably spelled out via Malaugrym plot line in the axed parts) inevitable on the level of "officers" in the great cold war of gods.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 06 Jun 2021 : 18:56:41
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

This last entry into the Cleric Quintet was just weird.

It had the classic vampire with classic vampire powers that dont really fit in a fantasy setting and was full of christian mannerisms "I Deny you" "I Damn you", the only thing Cadderly didnt say was "I Denounce you Satan".

Druzil, who could have been the true evil of this story was reduced to a mockery of a demon capable of uttering only one saying over and over an over and over again "Bene Tellemera" meaning you idiot or something like that. In this book no mention is made of Loviatar, only the abyss, a Druzil, who clearly thinks he created the Chaos Curse and is completely devoted to its existence (as any creator would be), does not include Loviatar in the equation.

The whole Chaos Curse vampire thing had so much potential. A being infused with essence of the Abyss, he should have been turned into something unique and terrifying, something that could infect others (like vampirism perhaps, or not) but makes the infected truly mad and completely under his control. He should have emanated an aura of taint that slowly turned the Edificant Library into a mini layer of the Abyss. Instead he was harmed by sunlight, silver, holy symbols, and fire. Abyssal horrors are not (as far as i'm aware) particularly bothered by sunlight or fire in many instances (i'll admit the holy symbol should work, and so should the silver).
He could create darkness, transform into a bat or a wolf and even control wolves. What have wolves and bats got to do with abyssal demons (RAS may as well have set this novel in Transylvania), that is real world mythology and an evil depiction of nocturnal animals exploited by the catholic church. It would have made more sense if Kierkan slowly transformed into an actual demon over time, that would have been terrifying.

I kind of felt sorry for Kierkan Rufo, he was punished in Shilmista for not being brave enough or skilled enough to become a super hero (not everyone is cut out for that). Given a choice between death or serving evil the good guys chose to condemn Kierkan for not choosing death (how very christianesque). Then at the start of the book he is essentially controlled by the Chaos Curse and Druzil, and becomes some horrible monster. I feel there should have been a redemption arc for Rufo, being unable to defeat the monster inside him, but perhaps holding himself still long enough for Cadderly to destroy it, because Kierkan Rufo was not truly evil (just weak, or in many cases a normal human being) and all his actions as a vampire were under the control of the Chaos Curse which fundamentally altered his being and made him a passenger in his own body.

As always, very little realmslore in this book. Nothing of great interest to realms lovers. A few more priestly names of the Edificant Library that are all slaughtered by the end of the book. No new magic items, no extra history about the region or the library itself.

I'm glad i finished the Cleric Quintet though, i wont have to read another one.



Kierkan Rufo struck me as more a victim of circumstance than a villain. I wasn't keen on that one.
Gary Dallison Posted - 06 Jun 2021 : 18:07:37
This last entry into the Cleric Quintet was just weird.

It had the classic vampire with classic vampire powers that dont really fit in a fantasy setting and was full of christian mannerisms "I Deny you" "I Damn you", the only thing Cadderly didnt say was "I Denounce you Satan".

Druzil, who could have been the true evil of this story was reduced to a mockery of a demon capable of uttering only one saying over and over an over and over again "Bene Tellemera" meaning you idiot or something like that. In this book no mention is made of Loviatar, only the abyss, a Druzil, who clearly thinks he created the Chaos Curse and is completely devoted to its existence (as any creator would be), does not include Loviatar in the equation.

The whole Chaos Curse vampire thing had so much potential. A being infused with essence of the Abyss, he should have been turned into something unique and terrifying, something that could infect others (like vampirism perhaps, or not) but makes the infected truly mad and completely under his control. He should have emanated an aura of taint that slowly turned the Edificant Library into a mini layer of the Abyss. Instead he was harmed by sunlight, silver, holy symbols, and fire. Abyssal horrors are not (as far as i'm aware) particularly bothered by sunlight or fire in many instances (i'll admit the holy symbol should work, and so should the silver).
He could create darkness, transform into a bat or a wolf and even control wolves. What have wolves and bats got to do with abyssal demons (RAS may as well have set this novel in Transylvania), that is real world mythology and an evil depiction of nocturnal animals exploited by the catholic church. It would have made more sense if Kierkan slowly transformed into an actual demon over time, that would have been terrifying.

I kind of felt sorry for Kierkan Rufo, he was punished in Shilmista for not being brave enough or skilled enough to become a super hero (not everyone is cut out for that). Given a choice between death or serving evil the good guys chose to condemn Kierkan for not choosing death (how very christianesque). Then at the start of the book he is essentially controlled by the Chaos Curse and Druzil, and becomes some horrible monster. I feel there should have been a redemption arc for Rufo, being unable to defeat the monster inside him, but perhaps holding himself still long enough for Cadderly to destroy it, because Kierkan Rufo was not truly evil (just weak, or in many cases a normal human being) and all his actions as a vampire were under the control of the Chaos Curse which fundamentally altered his being and made him a passenger in his own body.

As always, very little realmslore in this book. Nothing of great interest to realms lovers. A few more priestly names of the Edificant Library that are all slaughtered by the end of the book. No new magic items, no extra history about the region or the library itself.

I'm glad i finished the Cleric Quintet though, i wont have to read another one.
Gary Dallison Posted - 06 Jun 2021 : 17:36:43
The Chaos Curse (1362 DR)


Edificant Library Lore
Bron Turman, burly headmaster of the library and one of the highest ranking of the Oghman priests. Slain by Dean Thobicus [Prologue,7]
Dean Thobicus, 70+ years old. Plotting against Cadderly, dismissed Vicero Belago. Turned into a vampire by Kierkan Rufo [1,7]
Priests of Oghma wear black and gold vests [1]
Berdole the Brutal, priest of Oghma, muscular, likes wrestling and has a snarling demeanour. 250 lbs, strongest priest of Oghma. Slain by Kierkan Rufo [3]
Curt, priest of Oghma [3]
Fester Rumpol, second highest ranking Deneiran priest. Headmaster of the library. Slain by Kierkan Rufo [4,7]
Bachtolen Mossgarden, hired as groundskeeper, become cook now that Pikel and Ivan were gone. Bachy to his friend. Dirty, doesn’t wash or shave much [4]
Banner. Deneiran priest. Turned into a vampire [7]
Romus Scaladi, Oghman priest, short, dark complexion. Grown up an orphan on the rough streets of Sundabar [9]
Library houses 80 priests, before the Chaos Curse well over 100 priests, plus 5-30 visitors [9]
The Edificant Library has always been among the holiest of places, where priests of any goodly faith could feel the presence of their god. Even druids of Sylvanus [9]
Histra, priestess of Sune. Turned into a vampire [9]
Only 3 women priests in the whole Edificant Library [10]
Has tapestries a thousand years old [10]
Cadderly’s room is in the east facing the Shining Plains [11]
Diatyne, Oghman priest, Turned into a vampire [12]
The doors to the Edificant Library are never lost [14]
Percival can understand speech and attempts to communicate with people (is he reincarnated perhaps, or a former chosen that transformed completely into a squirrel and could not change back????) [15]
Minshk, a hunter, lives in a shack a few days east of the Edificant Library, friends with Vicero Belago [18]
Kitchen, main chapel, wine cellar on the lower levels [19]
Dean Thobicus’ room on the second floor [19]
The main chapel is in the southern wing [20]
Brother Chaunticleer survived by singing in his room for weeks [22]
Cadderly called down a storm to destroy the Edificant Library, then used magic to create the Spirit Soaring cathedral. It would take 5 years to create and shorten Cadderly’s life in doing so [22]

Carradoon Lore
Baccio, commander of Carradoon garrison, visiting Edificant Library, turned into a vampire [Prologue,16]
A deep snow struck the lowlands, not seen in the Shining Plains in decades [2]

Cadderly and Co
Vander, 12 ft tall, 800 lbs [2]
Danica barely 5 ft tall, less than 100 lbs [2]
Pikel and Ivan’s kin dwarves are in Vaasa [3]
Pikel has druidic powers (shillelagh, druid water) [20]

Kierkan Rufo
Drank the Chaos Curse and died [1]
Returned to unlife [3]
Far stronger than Berdole the Brutal, killed him with one hand [3]
Red eyes glow with inner fire [3]
Telepathy, shuts a stone door with his mind from 5 long strides away [3]
Ignores holy symbols [3]
Staggered slightly in weak sunlight, sunlight will burn like fire [3,4]
Has canine’s half an inch long, has a hunger for blood [3]
Immortal [3]
Can become incorporeal at will, a green vapour [4]
Can command people with words and they have to obey [4]
Aura of cold, not enough to inflict damage [4]
Can create vampire spawn under his control [4]
Can transform into a bat [4]
Can spiderclimb walls [4]
Can create darkness [6]
Can see in darkness [7]
Can animate the dead as zombies, and command them [7]
Can see invisibility
Can regenerate, but not wounds caused by fire [11]
Able to wizard lock doors (or the vampiric equivalent) [14]
Burned by holy water [16]
Can command wolves [17]
Damaged by silver and magic weapons [16]
He prevented Dorigen’s spirit from leaving her body when she died, forcing it to remain in the burned husk [20]

Other Lore
Feywine, a mix of honey, flowers, and moonbeams. A rare drink, even among the elves [7]

Gary Dallison Posted - 06 Jun 2021 : 07:31:21
So tessaril did know the shadowsil before her downfall and I guess both were apprentices of elminster, and was the shadowsil the Harper that helped trssaril find and explore the hidden house before betraying her (presumably by stealing a bunch of secrets and magic from it and running off to the zhents).

There are a few untold stories about elminster and his apprentices I think
George Krashos Posted - 06 Jun 2021 : 03:37:26
My thought was that Elminster was very fatalistic about Shandril's situation. She had this powerful gift, which she could use for good or evil, if she survived. He aided her because she was demonstrably good and innocent but hedged his bets. He wasn't going to devote the entire resources of the Harpers, the Chosen and the KoMD for someone who ultimately might become a Zhent/Cult pawn (through Narm) or turn wholly to evil (note Tessaril's exchange with her re the Shadowsil) and he had seen many of these situations over the centuries. Khelben would have considered her super-dangerous, too young to wield such power and looked to "contain' her - willingly or not. If she had got to Silverymoon, I'm sure Alustriel would have been "just right" to bring her along - but not to the detriment of her city. That's why she needed to get there in secret (teleport elephant in the room notwithstanding). Silverymoon had always been a Zhent/Cult target - if Shandril was known to be there openly, that would simply have escalated things greatly. Elminster isn't necessarily a "good guy" (although I think he is happy to be when he can), and just had the wisdom, experience and foresight to know that Shandril was likely doomed. Having assisted/supported plenty of them over the centuries, I think he was all out of altruism.

-- George Krashos

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