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AlorinDawn
Learned Scribe

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  15:45:16  Show Profile  Visit AlorinDawn's Homepage  Click to see AlorinDawn's MSN Messenger address Send AlorinDawn a Private Message
quote:
As for other cons: yes, there is a strong possibility that I'll be attending something late this spring, but I can't confirm yet, because the convention folks haven't made any announcement yet. If it does happen, I can add this much: it shouldn't be a long trip for you to attend.




Well, I'll raise a flagon in hopes that you attend. I have high hopes that this time my voice will actually work and that I won't have missed any fortitude saves.

Currently reading: Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King

Long live Sniffy Wigglebottom
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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  16:54:16  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message
Sorry Sage,
I just had to ask.

Hi Ed,
I don't remember if I had asked you this but can you give any details on the tunnels of Clan
Tarynestone under Myth Drannor? What were they mining for, what crypts did they accidentally break into, what buildings basements touch the tunnels, where their estate was? Anything would be useful.
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Agnitio Veridicus
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  18:14:00  Show Profile  Visit Agnitio Veridicus's Homepage Send Agnitio Veridicus a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Yes, I really enjoyed that era of writing sourcebooks. On-staff editors WERE watching to make sure a product didn't go really wild, but there was plenty of freedom to delve into lore that, strangely enough, gets mined over and over again by later designers, to hang new products on. :}


I *love* the Volo's Guides! So much great background information for the hard core Realms fan. And lots of useful information for gamers as well. Just the sort of stuff that came up all the time in the AD&D game I played in as a kid -- where I can get what, what sort of inns are there, what can I get to eat, who are the local personalities, etc.
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2219 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  19:40:04  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
THO - since you've admitted to having some first-hand knowledge of the process, I figure now's the time to ask a question I've been wondering about ever since I ran Cleric's Challenge years ago about the making of wine:

Did the grape juice stain your skin? If so, how long did it take to wash out? Also, how high did the stains go? (just feet/calves, most of the body, etc) How much would be visible on a regularly-clad person? (boots/shoes, long pants/skirt, shirt with arms mostly bare)

In other words, if a party rides into a village known for its grapes, would they be able to look around and go, "Aha! I know what YOU were doing yesterday!"

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Naeryndam
Learned Scribe

USA
85 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  19:44:19  Show Profile Send Naeryndam a Private Message
THO-

I just have a quick question thats been bugging me for awhile. What did the Netherese accent sound like and is it comparable to any languages or dialects in our own world?

Thank you for your time,

Naeryndam

Naeryndam Vyshaan
"Thousands of years ago my ancestors were overthrown. I am here to correct that."
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  20:16:06  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
Ed, thank you so much for the information on marriages, especially regarding the faith of Helm.

However, much like someone else above, I would like some clarification regarding marriages where the partners aren't necessarily of the same faith (or don't feel as strongly about one god as the other does). For example, you used the term "Helmite union." Does that apply to a marriage where one partner is a strong devotee of Helm but the other isn't? I don't mean a case where they hate Helm--they may venerate him, but not with the devotion that their partner does.

Thanks,

RF

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Skyhaven_Games
Acolyte

Canada
1 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  00:15:27  Show Profile  Visit Skyhaven_Games's Homepage  Click to see Skyhaven_Games's MSN Messenger address Send Skyhaven_Games a Private Message
I was directed to this particular thread to hopefully contact Ed Greenwood.

I and two partners are running a broad spectrum gaming convention in Victoria, BC, Canada, in February 2009, and would be honored if Ed would consider our request for his attendance.

The details can be found at http://www.gottacon.com/, but I will list the important details here:

Convention Dates: Feb. 6 - 8 (Fri - Sun)
Convention Time: Fri 6:00 PM open - Sun 7:00 PM close (runs through night)
Location: Pearkes Recreation Centre

Thank you for your time.

Michael Lum
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  15:18:36  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. A Realmslore reply from yours purringly truly this time, in response to Hoondatha’s query: “THO - since you've admitted to having some first-hand knowledge of the process, I figure now's the time to ask a question I've been wondering about ever since I ran Cleric's Challenge years ago about the making of wine:
Did the grape juice stain your skin? If so, how long did it take to wash out? Also, how high did the stains go? (just feet/calves, most of the body, etc) How much would be visible on a regularly-clad person? (boots/shoes, long pants/skirt, shirt with arms mostly bare)
In other words, if a party rides into a village known for its grapes, would they be able to look around and go, "Aha! I know what YOU were doing yesterday!"”


Yes, the juice stained my skin. Red grapes stains maroon, fades to mauve, takes at least a week and a half to pass beyond casual notice (on a fair-skinned person). Washing doesn’t affect this, because it permeates the skin, and we’re really waiting for layers of skin to flake off rather than the stain to “wash away.” White-wine grapes stain a yellowish, much fainter tint to start with; though a close side-by-side examination of stained and unstained skin will show up the stain as obvious, it would pass casual “glance at me” notice much faster. Most real-world grape-trampers are covered from crotch upwards, and that of course limits the extent of stains. Aside from binding and covering long hair, I’d see no good reason, if modesty were abandoned (as in much of the Realms), for trampers not to work naked, as I did; it saves nigh-permanent staining on clothing. In that case, small droplet marks (actually more often the marks left by the flung-up skins of individual grapes, hitting and perhaps sticking to the skin) can get all over the body. In most situations, the hands and forearms DO get stained, either by holding onto the vat climbing in or out, or reaching down to “unclump” grapes or claw them away from sticking to the sides of the vat. Then, of course, if there’s any “hurl grapes at the naked lady” horseplay (there was, in my case), wherever the stuff hits will leave a mark. So a regularly-clad person MIGHT have a few “pocks” or “spots” anywhere, but would probably have thoroughly-stained hands and perhaps forearms - - and a party who’s seen wine-tramping before would indeed recognize what this was, at a glance.
If instead of treading grapes, the person observed had been treading leather in human urine to make it soft and supple, it’d be the smell that would tip you off.

love,
THO
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
158 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  15:29:18  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
A short time ago, Agnitio Veridicus posted praise of the Volo's Guides that I heartily share. Ed, is there ANY way that you can think of, of persuading Wizards of the Coast of letting you do a 4e equivalent of Volo's Guides to specific areas of the "new" Realms? How would we best go about asking? I've called WotC's Customer Service reps before on other matters, and in each case discovered I knew far more about what I was asking about than they did. I also got the distinct impression that any suggestion I might make would NOT get passed on, to anyone else in the company.
In short, in your expert opinion, how do we get to effectively request specific product ideas, these days?
Thanks!

Edited by - Baleful Avatar on 27 Mar 2008 15:29:55
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AlorinDawn
Learned Scribe

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  16:39:10  Show Profile  Visit AlorinDawn's Homepage  Click to see AlorinDawn's MSN Messenger address Send AlorinDawn a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Baleful Avatar

A short time ago, Agnitio Veridicus posted praise of the Volo's Guides that I heartily share. Ed, is there ANY way that you can think of, of persuading Wizards of the Coast of letting you do a 4e equivalent of Volo's Guides to specific areas of the "new" Realms? How would we best go about asking? I've called WotC's Customer Service reps before on other matters, and in each case discovered I knew far more about what I was asking about than they did. I also got the distinct impression that any suggestion I might make would NOT get passed on, to anyone else in the company.
In short, in your expert opinion, how do we get to effectively request specific product ideas, these days?
Thanks!


I tried the same thing, once. I got the distinct impression that the person I was talking to had something far more important to do than speak to me, such as the side conversation he was having while I attempted to let them know what I, the paying customer would like to see. I tried to find a way to email WotC concerning the same thing, products I would BUY if they were made. It was rather difficult trying to find the correct contact method to email them.

To tell ya the truth, The "vibe" I got from Chris Perkins and his henchman Rich Baker at Gencon last year was that they knew what we wanted regardless of what we thought we wanted..I sure hope they're right, otherwise Steve's $ will stay in his pocket, and if many gamers follow suit, Hasbro will send some axemen into the WotC halls to prune. There I go, getting hopeful again...

Currently reading: Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King

Long live Sniffy Wigglebottom

Edited by - AlorinDawn on 27 Mar 2008 16:40:31
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  16:53:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. I bring a further response from Ed to queries regarding his earlier marriage-related lore, provided to Lord of Bones on the previous page of this thread. To whit, these posts:
from Zandilar: “Very interesting indeed (all of it, that is, not just the bit I've quoted!)... However, I just want to clarify something...
From what you wrote, it seems Oghma supports the idea of polygamy (formal marriage to more than one partner), but infidelity is a sin. Is that right? So I assume, second or even third partners would have to be agreed upon by both parties (the first pairing - provided it didn't begin as a polygamous arrangement of course), otherwise an argument could be made that the other partners (outside the first binding) would count as infidelity to the first.
I hope that's clear what I mean there, I'm getting confused just by re-reading it...”

from Thangorn: “oo these marriage replies are very interesting.. a whole aspect of faerunian faith I've never really dealt in.
Am I to understand that marrying people have their unions blessed by whatever faiths the two partners are most supportive of? How does this translate if the marrying people are both rogues who venerate Mask or pirates who mainly placate/worship Umberlee?
I'm interested in other faiths that bless unions and marriages.
Can you offer some of your more interesting "rules" regarding marriages?
Are there any other evil faiths that have a view on the bindings of marriage? I can certainly imagine Bane having an interest, especially in some of the more political marriages or marriages of convenience.
Thanks Ed and THO..”

and from Rinonalyrna Fathomlin: “Ed, thank you so much for the information on marriages, especially regarding the faith of Helm.
However, much like someone else above, I would like some clarification regarding marriages where the partners aren't necessarily of the same faith (or don't feel as strongly about one god as the other does). For example, you used the term "Helmite union." Does that apply to a marriage where one partner is a strong devotee of Helm but the other isn't? I don't mean a case where they hate Helm--they may venerate him, but not with the devotion that their partner does.
Thanks,
RF”
Ed replies:



Hi, Zandilar. Yes, an argument could indeed be made regarding infidelity, but in the Realms it would fall on deaf ears, as the saying goes. If the spouse of a dead individual remarried, and that dead individual was later raised, the priests of Oghma regard both of the unions entered into as legitimate, so there’s no “infidelity.” In cases of several remarriages, ALL of the unions are simultaneously legitimate (once dead partners are alive again, that is; Oghmanites do not include reincarnations in other animal forms as conferring legitimacy, BTW. Your stated assumption regarding the earlier partner “agreeing upon” any later ones is, I’m afraid, erroneous; the priests are expressing what they see as Oghma’s will, and not thinking of the feelings or “rights” of the earlier partners in the way some real-world modern societies might.
Yes, this can get hard on a remarrier, who’s expected to support and “be there” for more people than most have to deal with, in life, but the Church of Oghma doesn’t care about that. The clergy are primarily interested in increasing adherence to, and therefore the influence of, the Binder.
Nor does Oghma support (or deny!) polygamy as a concept, or for that matter unions that involve more than two persons. The clergy of Oghma are simply concerned that pacts and agreements be maintained, and not broken, defied, or ignored. BTW, clear cases of murder of a spouse ARE regarded as both a sin and a willful breaking of a marriage pact; if the slain individual is raised, they are regarded as entirely free of the union. Although there is no explicit church dogma on this point, Oghmanite priests typically regard spouse-murderers as unworthy of remarrying (incapable of adhering to such a pact), and will not conduct a marriage involving such a person without a long process of atonement, service to the god, soul-searching of the offender by Oghmanite clergy, and so on.
That doesn’t mean the person denied a marriage by the Church of Oghma can’t just go to priests of another faith, of course . . .

Which brings me to Thangorn’s questions. (Hi, Thangorn! :}) Just as in our real world, individuals in the Realms, unless constrained by geography (no other clergy within reach), are free to marry “before any altar.” They TEND, if devout, to be married by one of the faiths they most venerate, or married twice (by the “closest to the heart” faiths of both of the partners), or by a “third party” faith that is connected, in a friendly manner or alliance, to the “closest” faiths of both partners). However, it is important to remember that the Realms is not monotheistic; most individuals in the Realms both “believe in” and actively worship a pantheon of deities, and may not have a “closest to the heart” faith. Most faiths “bless” marriages as well as conduct them, in the interests of getting new worshippers (the offspring of any such “blessed” union). Even faiths that deal in deceit, killing, and destruction have rituals of pairing within the faith. (Among ordained clergy of a faith, it’s understood that marriages, if allowed, will be conducted within the faith.) So, yes, there’s no reason at all that two individuals who fervently worship Mask or Umberlee wouldn’t be married within the faith. The portfolios of the deity and practices of the faith shape such rituals, but don’t preclude them. And yes, most faiths, evil and otherwise, have at least some views on marriage, regardless of the nature of the deity or church (it’s important for real-world gamers not to unconsciously “buy” the notion that only good faiths can be interested in marriages, and that bad faiths would want to destroy unions; is the act of building a car inherently evil, just because so many people get killed in cars or by cars?).
I would LOVE to delve into all the marriage details thus far neglected in official Realmslore, for all faiths. However, doing so would take about a year and a half of my writing time to do properly (much more if the project expanded, as I know it would, into other rituals and practices of each church), and in the real world I have to eat, I sign writing and design contracts that I’m expected to fulfill, and I haven’t the time to really attend to a quarter of the things I try to do in life. My health has been suffering for years due to too much time spent behind the keyboard, to say nothing of family obligations and the too-rare time I get to spend with friends, and I just CAN’T embark on doing any thorough job on this topic (which some scribes here know all too well have been requested, and outstanding, since THO first persuaded me to answer lore queries here, back in 2004). Right now I’m scrambling to get yet another overdue novel done, so I’m afraid marriage details will just have to wait until I can outline a few here and a few there, in the proverbial fullness of time.
Scribes who want to see my take on any specific Realmslore topic should seek to somehow get Wizards of the Coast to contract me to write something on the topic, and so “block out” a chunk of my time. A chunk that doesn’t gnaw away at the four or five hours of sleep a night I try to get. :}
Sigh. I wish there were about six of me . . . though that would probably make for some interesting moments when all of me tried to climb into bed with my wife . . .
Ahem, which is hardly an appropriate segue to say hello to Rinonalyrna Fathomlin, but hi, regardless (please pay no attention to the hairy bearded man behind the curtain, okay?).
In my previous reply, I used “Helmite union” simply to mean a marriage performed by priests of Helm. The Church of Helm regards any such union as “theirs” to watch over, regardless of the religious allegiances of the partners involved (which are almost always to a variety of gods, and that naturally shift over time, with greater veneration of this deity and then that, as life brings new changes and challenges). Of course, with the exception of remote areas where a choice of clergy may be severely limited, the “reach” of the Church of Helm is effectively very limited. If both members of a “Helmite union” don’t happen to be clergy of Helm or zealots worshipping only Helm, and DO happen to be from somewhere in the rural Heartlands but travel to Waterdeep to work and live, the Church of Helm will almost always lose contact with them UNLESS they choose to visit shrines or temples of Helm handy to them in Waterdeep, and participate in formal worship. If they merely pray to Helm in the privacy of their own dwelling (or handy alley), local priests of Helm will probably be entirely unaware of it; the deity or divine servitors would only point out their presence, and demand some action on their part, if the deity became interested in the specific partners (which might seem to happen a lot, if one reads Realms fiction, but in daily life in the Realms simply doesn’t occur often).
So the amount of influence any faith has over a union, once it exists, is really up to the married couple, and which clergy they go to for comfort, guidance, or aid. Unless the couple happen to be very wealthy, noble, politically prominent, or involved in some potential dramatic event (for instance, leading a large mercenary army or carrying a deadly plague or mighty artifact), most clergy are usually simply too busy administering to faithful who DO come to them, daily, to go out and seek anyone.
And, yes, married partners customarily do go to clergy of this deity about this matter (having a child, for instance) and that deity for another (success in business, or good crop yields). Just as a real-world sick person who has access and the resources to do so can and will consult more than one doctor. There’s nothing morally wrong with this, in general (though it might anger or exasperate some priests), because the simultaneous belief in, and existence and influence of, multiple deities is the Realms norm. The only time of strong influence over a union that most clergy have, with most unions, is when they are being formed (“If you desire to be wed before Tempus, and enjoy his holy blessing, he expects this and that and thus”).
Yet I blather overmuch. Back to the novel!



So saith Ed. Who DOES think about all of this stuff, folks. Really.
love to all,
THO
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  17:50:50  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
Ed and Hooded One, thanks so much for the wonderful answer to my question, and the additional information besides.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2219 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  18:13:20  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Thanks, Hooded One. Great to know the specifics of wine staining. I sense that my players will be wandering through a wine-making village soon...

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  19:52:24  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
You're very welcome, both of you. Here's a swift reply from Ed, to this from Blueblade: "
Hi, THO, another quick question for Ed: I've heard you were mightily impressed by the Eye of Flame mini from the forthcoming Dungeons of Dread set, at D&D Exp. Anything more you can say about this, Ed? As in, impressed how? BB"
Ed replies:


It was large, nicely sculpted, and a pleasure to hold and handle.
Which are words, come to think of it, that I could easily apply to certain features of the lovely THO and . . . other things. I'll say no more on THAT topic, though, because of course she could start applying those words to yet other things, too.
THO has sent me a large collection of your Realmslore requests, and I'll get to them, at least one of them quite soon.


So saith Ed. Who is deep in ARCH WIZARD (the sequel to DARK LORD, his first Falconfar book). I don't know what his next Realms-related work is, as of right now.
love to all,
THO
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Agnitio Veridicus
Acolyte

13 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2008 :  00:01:47  Show Profile  Visit Agnitio Veridicus's Homepage Send Agnitio Veridicus a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by AlorinDawn
I tried the same thing, once. I got the distinct impression that the person I was talking to had something far more important to do than speak to me, such as the side conversation he was having while I attempted to let them know what I, the paying customer would like to see. I tried to find a way to email WotC concerning the same thing, products I would BUY if they were made. It was rather difficult trying to find the correct contact method to email them.

To tell ya the truth, The "vibe" I got from Chris Perkins and his henchman Rich Baker at Gencon last year was that they knew what we wanted regardless of what we thought we wanted...


I also emailed Wizards. I tried to email the President of the company with my concerns, but whoever answers their email sent my message to FR staffers instead. People who I'm sure, given your observations and those of others, could give a damn what I have to say about their vandali... er, changes to the Realms.

Perhaps Ed can pen some more prequel novels? We still haven't seen a story with Sharanralee in it! :)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2008 :  02:34:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Naeryndam recently posted this: “THO-I just have a quick question thats been bugging me for awhile. What did the Netherese accent sound like and is it comparable to any languages or dialects in our own world?
Thank you for your time, Naeryndam”
Now, I hadn’t the faintest re. the right answer to this one, since we Knights very seldom ran into anyone speaking ancient Netherese that wasn’t a lich intoning a spell (and spell incantations need not sound much like everyday speech), so I handed it straight on to Ed, and here’s his reply:



No, Netherese is not directly comparable to any real-world language or dialect. However, it’s hard to describe it meaningfully except in terms of real-world languages. It sounded lilting and smooth-flowing (lots of liquid sounds but few hisses and no glottal stops or tongue-clicks), so a slight touch of Irish and Spanish in sound, and it had the “gwuh” sound heard in Cree and the Ojibway tongues and the rolled “r” sound heard in French. Individual words could be uttered, or long strings of phrases (the “sentence” was far less emphasized than in English of the last two centuries). A soft (not hissing) “s” sound was part of ancient Netherese, but a hard “k” sound was not. And so on.



So saith Ed. Whose ancient Netherese is a bit rusty.
(Though he DID create Netheril.)
love to all,
THO
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
11453 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2008 :  18:16:33  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Thank you once again for all the wonderful Realmslore.

I haven't asked a question in a long while because of the backlog, but I was hoping to get a 'quick response' to a simple geographical question.

I'm mapping Cormyr ATM, and I'm using every available resource, including the novels. In Death of the Dragon the Fortified Keep called Goblin Mountain is mentioned, but I can't find it on any maps.

Is it in the Stonelands? Is it on the 'border', in the area known as the High Moors? Is that just the name of the keep, or is their an actual mountain called that that the keep perhaps rests on?

Any information about it would be most appreciated.

Thanks - Mark T.


The World of Ark - Roleplay in the Age of Legends!
Red Aegis - One of the most innovative RPG concept in years!

"Maps I'll find for you both old and rare. Maps will I seek for you of lands both dark and fair."


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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2008 :  18:55:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I flipped the last few posts to Ed, and got back this lightning-swift reply for Markustay:


"Goblin Mountain" is Troy Denning's creation. When we were writing that book, Troy plotted and divvied up the chapters, we wrote separately, and then put everything together and lightly over-wrote. At the time, I worked out all to to-ing and fro-ing "after the fact," and concluded that Goblin Mountain (which is the name of the fortress thanks to its shape, NOT a pre-existing mountain) is, yes, on the southern edge of the Stonelands.
I should mention that most of the published maps of Cormyr screw up the northern reaches of the realm. Those who've examined the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar know that JUST north of the east-west road in that village is a cliff that's broken by a gorge bringing the stream down into the village. Atop those cliffs are stone-walled pasturelands, that soon peter out into rolling wilderland scrub forest/moors, that soon give way to breakneck ravines and bare rock shoulders, like Canadian Shield country in the real-world. That's where the Stonelands begin. In what most of the foldout maps show as miles upon miles of apparently bare empty space.


So saith Ed. Who I know from years of playing in the Realms means that the Stonelands begin right at those cliffs, pastures and all. The goblin fortress was quite a small mountain-shaped spire, up on top of the cliffs, about half a mile back from the southern edge (but NOT due north of Eveningstar).
Hope this helps!
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 28 Mar 2008 18:59:45
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
11453 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2008 :  20:48:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Thank You so much!

Its fairly obvious from the novel that some sort of pass exists through the Stormhorns north of Eveningstar/Arabel, and I had thought to place the keep central to that pass (perhaps blocking it, so only Cormyrian troops could use it as access to the Stonelands).

Which means adventurers would still be stuck going the 'long way around' using Gnoll Pass.

That sound about right?

I really appreciate the quick response, Thank You so much. <bows>


The World of Ark - Roleplay in the Age of Legends!
Red Aegis - One of the most innovative RPG concept in years!

"Maps I'll find for you both old and rare. Maps will I seek for you of lands both dark and fair."



Edited by - Markustay on 29 Mar 2008 01:41:06
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

3239 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2008 :  23:01:16  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message
Yet another question for Ed (sorry for the blasting recently...but the more you give us the more we want!):

Where, if anywhwere, in the Realms are there located African type cultures?

There was a question about "black" people in another thread...so I thought I would ask here.

Take a journey of exploration with Dalor Darden at our Ravenlore Press Fan Page as he explores the World of Ark

You can follow Dalor on Twitter also.

Ravenlore Press

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2008 :  01:46:05  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Dalor, Ed's a little puzzled re. your question about "African type cultures," being as that continent has, over the centuries, be home to darned near EVERY sort of culture. Do you mean the sort of jungle or savannah "hunter-gatherer tribal" that most European explorers of the colonial era encountered, or . . . ?
This is, of course, completely distinct from asking "where dark or dusky-skinned peoples can be found, in the Realms." The answer to THAT (quickly consulting all of my Ed-generated notes) is: almost everywhere, thanks to trade, flee-strife migrations, and the numerous regions where such human racial tendencies were strong through environment and breeding, such as Chult, the Tashalar, Turmish, parts of the Shaar, and much of the Old Empires.
Also, I bring a response from Ed to Markustay:


There's no real pass through the Stormhorns anywhere north of "settled Cormyr." The Stonelands stand as an unbroken barrier to north-south travel, except by air or clambering. There ARE east-west routes through the Stonelands, used by the Zhentarim (Yellow Snake Pass, et al). There are, however, many narrow, winding ravines and a handful of larger "gorges" that carry watercourses down out of the Stonelands into Cormyr, below, and these form routes up into the heart of the Stonelands . . . but not THROUGH the Stonelands.
If you're familiar with the Appalachian Mountains in the American state of Pennsylvania, where mountains form a series of parallel ridges with deep valleys between, and the bare-rock-covered-by-scrub-pine-forests Canadian Shield country, then you have a fair mental picture of the Stonelands. Agile climbers, and aerial creatures, can readily pass through it, but no large armed force can journey through it in any sort of formation, and NO horse-mounted travelers (even drow pack lizards, if one got them to the surface and somehow used to the light, would have a tough time on the precipitous, loose-gravel slopes).
In DOTD, the goblins dwell IN the Stonelands and swarm down out of them, and no forces that can't fly (no one except the ghazneths and the Devil Dragon) pass through the Stonelands . . . unless some drastic editing happened to that book that I don't recall. What in the text led you to believe there was a pass through the Stormhorns? (If a griffon-rider above Suzail looked north, he might think there was a pass, but only because he couldn't see the hundreds of knife-sharp, east-west ridges of the Stonelands filling the gaps between the higher peaks.)


So comments and asks Ed (who LOVES your maps, BTW, Markustay; please don't take this as criticism on his part). Over to you . . .
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 29 Mar 2008 01:51:02
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4842 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2008 :  02:20:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
More than a month back, tauster asked some aboleth questions in this thread. Despite tauster’s subsequent assurances that 4e would play no part in his campaign plans, Ed retreated behind his NDAs to try to see how much he could answer (no doubt in light of the Abolethic Sovereignty matter that has since come to light), but has obviously decided he can now answer at least the first two questions (additional answers to follow at some later date, he assures me): “Here are my questions (and sorry for them to be so drawn-out!):
1) When an aboleth consumes someone, he gains all (!) the knowledge of that individual, and when aboleth spawn, their offspring inherits all (!) of their parents’ knowledge. I cannot begin to imagine how vast their intellect must be and how quickly this mechanism might lead to intellects that unbalance these creatures, making them far too clever to be used as villains. At least this feature was countered in 3rd editions “Lords of Madness” by stating that their ancestral knowledge is not readily accessible and has to be searched for specific facts in protracted mind-wanderings. Still, when a whole city of aboleth comes up with a plan for world domination, I expect it to be quite bullet-proof.
...and now finally comes my question: What kind of spellcasters would they have kidnapped, and where? My take was that they would spread the kidnappings all over Faerun to avoid “spikes” that can be too easily detected, and I had them concentrate on “common” reasons for disappearance to cover their actions: adventuring bands or lone travelling individuals or wandering small groups like bands of priests travelling from one temple to another. Anything you could add? What native groups would they blame?

2) Would the gods of the realms get upset when their priests get kidnapped, and how would they react? I know it depends on the size of their followers as well as how much each individual god involves himself in mortal affairs, so the question can’t be answered in general. How is your take on Shaundakul (very small following, around 400 realms-wide according to Faiths and Avatars), Tempus, Chauntea, Tymora, Bane, Cyric, Xvim? I know that’s a lot, but a small note for each is enough. Apart from the gods themselves, how do the churches react, both on an intra- and interreligious level? Form joint search and rescue teams or hire adventuring bands (like they do so often)?”
Ed replies:

In everything I say hereafter, please bear in mind that I am speaking in generalities and stereotypes; my replies might well “break down” when applied to specific individuals.
Aboleths have minds that are broad in scope; they can “keep track of” many more things at once than the average human mind, and retain clear “photographic scenes” memories, including smells and tastes. They can also count and manipulate volumes and numeric amounts with great accuracy. They recall their own previous experiences and pay attention to foes, potential rivals, and potentially useful creatures. That does NOT mean they are any better at intuition, hunches, and creative leaps than, say, humans, elves, or Halflings. They may SEEM to be better, because of the greater mind-powers I have already outlined; certainly they can “multi-task” far better than most humans, especially under stress, without being overwhelmed or forgetting/overlooking something vital.
The great weight of accumulated “acquired” memories CAN overwhelm, which is why they get mentally shielded away from the aboleth’s own thinking and personal memories. Moreover, only the strongest emotions and judgments get retained along with ‘acquired’ memories; the vast majority of ‘acquired’ memories are like a large, unsorted pile of someone else’s unlabelled family photographs: each can be examined, and some sense made of them when they are arranged and considered, but the aboleth needs TIME to do that sorting, and otherwise just gets a humble of unidentified, out-of-context images.
Moreover, aboleths get very upset (mentally agitated) when bombarded with too many conflicting and varied emotions at once, and seek to avoid situations where this will occur (I do NOT mean they get upset by a large band of humans all hating and fearing them at once; I mean they would get upset if that same large band was loudly and fervently experiencing a large range of emotions [joy, jeering, sadness, awe, etc. as well as hatred and fear]).
So aboleths aren’t quite the unfettered geniuses one might think. They have the power to be, yes, but they also have an inherent personal vanity and jealousness that keeps them working together only superficially, not deeply trusting each other and wholeheartedly brainstorming together for the common good.
With all of that said, you are quite correct to posit that aboleths would kidnap isolated spellcasters all across the Realms to avoid being identified as the cause of the disappearances (“avoid the spike”). They would also concentrate on arcane spellcasters because they are quite wise enough to know that deities would get upset if many priests were lost (so the only priests targeted would be a few aging hermits and priests who were part of adventuring bands). The aboleths would seek to have the Zhentarim and “rival adventurers” or brigands framed for such disappearances, but prefer to just have the disappearances remain as mysterious as possible, leaving it to humans and others to concoct their own explanations through prejudice and rumor.
If choices of priests arose, aboleths are quite perceptive enough to know that the faith of Tymora (with its emphasis on luck) is a fairly “safe” target, if not too many priests are taken, and Bane and Cyric are also safe because they care little for the fate of individual priests (who are constantly doing each other in, anyway). However, to reiterate: the aboleths would prefer not to take divine spellcasters at all, concentrating instead on arcane spellcasters. If they “plant” scrolls and items seized from these to lure additional spellcasters and some such “lures” don’t result in more spellcasters coming within their reach, they can even expect this “spread of magic” to keep Azuth and Mystra off their scaly backs for a time.
And yes, the loss of priests in remote areas and while adventuring would indeed bring a response from the mortal clergy of hiring adventurers to go and investigate (and magically scrying on said “investigators” from afar, to see what happens to them and ascertain how diligently they fulfill their hired-for mission).



So saith Ed. Who is happily busy with more new “future Realms goodness,” but can see the dark cloud of his annual income taxes looming, like a sinister monster that cannot be avoided . . .
love to all,
THO
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
782 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2008 :  02:24:16  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
A fairly simple question from me this time, Ed and THO: if I get up high in Cormyr and look across the city, what are most of the "common buildings" that make up the city roofed with? The material, please, and configuration: steep pitched roofs? Lots of dormers? Lots of chimneys? Any spires and turrets on modest buildings? Downspouts?
Thanks!
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
158 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2008 :  02:28:27  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
Okay, I'd like to augment Blueblade's question!
Looking across "downtown" Suzail (I'm assuming Blueblade meant to say "Suzail" instead of Cormyr), at all of these roofs you're going to describe for him, my question is this: how easily can an agile, fit human, who's done this before but is in a bit of a hurry (*cough* perhaps being chased *cough*), travel from roof to roof? How easy is it to find and use long "chains" of roofs to cross large parts of the city? And when you run out of roof, how easy is it to climb down a typical building? Are there lots of wagons or stables one can leap partway down, onto?
Thanks!
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
782 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2008 :  02:30:59  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Heh. Sorry. I did mean Suzail, yes.
An addendum? How well lit are the city roofs, at night? And how often are things hidden by shore fogs, rolling in from the harbor? Both from people staring up from below, and people running around on the rooftops?
Hmm. For that matter, how many people in Suzail use their rooftops for sleeping on really hot summer nights, roof gardens, laundry, etc.? Are there many level areas on roofs, even if small, for such purposes? Trapdoors?
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