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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2008 :  09:31:50  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BlackMoria

Some questions for the esteemed Ed.



I'm certainly not Ed but I'll have a stab at these.

quote:

Lately, I have been planning a campaign in the Narfell region and look for inspiration in the region's past.

Narfell and Raumathar were mighty empires which destroyed each other. Given the fact that Narfell is peopled by barbarian tribes and not numerous (about 30,000 for the entire region) at the present, some 1300+ years after the war, what was the general nature of the war between the two nations? What forces (political, religious, philosphical)prompted both sides to go at each other with a fury that both nations destroyed each other?



I'm assuming that you've got the "Grand History of the Realms" sourcebook and have read the entry I wrote for -150DR as well as the lineages of both realms.

There were in fact two big wars between the two realms, the first started in -622 DR and lasted until -605DR and the second was the "Great Conflagration" which lasted from -160DR to -150DR and saw the mutual destruction of both kingdoms.

The period in between was punctuated by relentless skirmishing, assassinations and war by proxies.

The roots of the conflict lie in the long-ago Orcgate Wars when many Nar and Raumviran tribes were employed as mercenaries by the Mulhorandi. They were separate peoples, the Nars having their origins in the same stock as the present-day barbarians of the Ride. Sages say that these barbarians are the fallen successors to a prominent human kingdom that spanned the lands north of the Moonsea after the fall of the dragons kingdoms and before the founding of Netheril. It is thought that the Nars were an offshoot tribe that travelled north and east and settled their present-day lands in c. -5500DR.

The Raumvirans had lived in the region south of the Lake of Mists for millenia and gave fealty to Imaskar from c. -7700DR onwards. Imaskari control over the regions north of Shalhoond (the Great Wild Wood) began to wane from -6422DR onwards and with the withdrawl of the Taangans to lands further east following the beginning of the Imaskari Middle Kingdoms period, the Raumvirans grew in number and were effectively independent of Imaskar, sending them tribute only infrequently.

In -5000DR, the Raumviran chieftain Shemen led his tribe north and west, settling the lands now known as Rashemen. This was the first real contact between the Nars and the Raumvirans and ties of blood and marriage soon developed between the two peoples.

During the Orcgate Wars, the Mulhorandi used tribes of Nars, Raumvirans and Sossrim to waylay the orcs from the north and from the mountains to the east (present-day Sunrise Mountains), seeking to divert and pre-occupy them and preventing them from concentrating their strength into a great horde that may have spelled the ruin of Mulhorand if it had mustered and marched south.

In the raids and skirmishes undertaken by these "barbarian" human mercenaries, the achievements and battle prowess of the Nar chieftain Diergan "the Tall" of the Crell tribe and his Raumviran counterpart Untharl Nhalass stood apart from all others. Their rivalry and mutual dislike for the other culminated in the death of Untharl at Hordren's Cleft (present-day Gorge of Gauros) when Diergan and his riders failed to come to the aid of a beleaguered Untharl and his small retinue when they were waylaid by an orc band five times their number. So it was that the first seeds of enmity between Nar and Raumviran were sown, and the warriors of the Nhalass tribe vowed vegeance against the Crell with blood oaths that bound both them and their progeny for all time.

In the year following the disastrous seaborne invasion of Mulhorand by the forces of Narfell led by the Nentyarch Ulthas "the Darkwing" in -623DR, the Arkhan of Raumathar, Darthen III led a great gathering of the horsetribes west around Lake Ashane and into the heartland of Narfell. The forces of Narfell, seriously weakened by their losses suffered in the ill-fated invasion of Mulhorand, were bolstered by legions of drith ("demons" in the Nar tongue) summoned from the Abyss. These demons were gathered into a great bloodthirsty tide of destruction that met and defeated the forces of Raumathar and pushed them back into their own lands. Calling on ties of kinship the Arkhan Darthen rallied the warriors of Rashemen to his banner and the war came to a deadly stalemate with the Nar forces pushed back behind the river north of the Falls of Erech. The river defences of Raumathar held firm for many years despite many invasions and attempted sorties by the Narfelli armies who now openly counted demons in their ranks.

The tide of war turned in -610DR when Darthen III and his first son and heir Rhendar were slain in battle near present-day Mistbridge. Darthen's successor Umathar VI, known as "the Grim" for his countenance and bearing, held the river defences for a full five years before dying of unknown causes in the field (some say that he was poisoned by traitorous Raumathari tribal chieftains who had been corrupted by the Narfelli or feared them enough to remove Umathar and seek to sue for peace). The following three Arkhans of Raumathar, the last three sons of Darthen III, were all slain in -605DR by demonic assassins and the forces of Raumathar were finally dislodged from their defences and pushed back into their lands, seeking to take a stand west of Winterkeep.

It was at the Battle of Flamewinds in the waning days of -605DR that Vayloss, the champion of the Talanthil tribe, led the forces of Raumathar to a comprehensive victory over the demon armies of Narfell, personally slaying the Narfelli warleader Ornathal and unleashing mighty elemental magic to scatter and defeat their enemies. This crushing defeat saw the surviving forces of Narfell retreat back to their lands and a cessation of overt hostilities.

In the centuries that followed the two realms skirmished constantly each unable to muster sufficient strength to mount a major attack against the other. Narfell at this time was also in constant conflict with the elves of Lethyr (present-day Forest of Lethyr), now reduced to a scattering of clans moving constantly within the forest but adept at woodcraft and stealth and able to tap into a powerful legacy of guardian High Magic created by their ancestors when the realm was mightier and younger. It is thought that over time the elves all left for Evermeet or Cormanthyr to the west but sages note that the warriors and demon allies of Narfell never walked openly in those woodlands despite it being held by most that the elven presence had gone from the forest by the Year of Whispering Winds (-504DR).

Raumathar was also beset at this time by rival tribes of horsemen from beyond the Quoya Desert known as the Suren who raided the eastern fringes of Raumathar relentlessly for well over a century, causing no real harm or risk to the realm but demanding the attention of the horsetribes.

The death of Mystryl and the brief faltering of the Weave that accompanied Karsus' Folly in -339DR caused great turmoil in Narfell. Many demonic servants found their magical bonds of servitude shattered by the death of the deity of magic and turned on their masters in an orgy of slaughter and ruin. Known in the realm as the Time of Turning, this event took Narfell to the brink of destruction and it took well over a century to regain its strength and eradicate the pockets of demons who had created their own enclaves within its borders. From that time onward, demons continued to march with the armies of Narfell but in lesser numbers and with more powerful bindings and safeguards. Demonic servitors for anything other than military use and select breeding programs became uncommon and frowned upon.

quote:
Originally posted by BlackMoria
Was it a genocidal conflict (in that both sides literally tried to destroy each others populations rather than both sides attempting to destroy the other side's armies and subjugate the population and annex the land)?

It seems genicidal given some 1300+ years after the event, Narfell and the remnants of Raumathar have low population figures and have never again come close to their former glory of empire but if that was wrong, why did neither nation recover to any state of recognized nationhood after the war was over?



The Great Conflagration was indeed a genocidal conflict for the demonic taint, interbreeding and debasement of the Narfelli people had seen them degenerate into a megalomanical society obsessed with spreading the "purity" of their society to surrounding lands. Sages agree that insanity in the nobles and rulers of the land was a widespread as centuries of dealing with denizens of the Abyss had wrought terrible changes to all echelons of Narfelli society, and so they set their sights on destroying their ancient enemies the Raumathari.

For its part, Raumathar had enjoyed a period of relative peace and stability from -300DR onwards. Karsus' Folly had wrought less devastation to the realm and provided an unlooked for boon of hitherto hidden magic. In the Year of Shattered Portals (-283DR), the Raumathari stumbled upon a trove of Imaskari lore and learning that they seized on with fervour, remembering the power and grandeur of their former masters. Over time the magic of golems and constructs became as prevalent in the realm as the elementalist magic of their forefathers and commencing in the reign of Arkhan Tallos IV, resources were channeled into the creation of a great construct army to be used as sentinels in their border regions.

The events of the Great Conflagration are noted in some detail in my entry in GHotR (p.55). Space did not permit me to go into the minutiae of every clash and battle but it can be said that the decade-long war brought devastation to both sides and realms. At the end, it can be observed that Narfell was "winning" but the final summoning of an avatar of Kossuth brought incredible destruction to the region. The avatar started its journey of destruction in present-day Thay, skirted the woodlands of Lethyr and moved into Narfell proper, trailing devastation in its wake and seemingly immune to attempts to return it from whence it came. It then turned east, avoiding Rashemen, and plunged into the grasslands of Raumathar bringing with it a firestorm of death that was only quelled when the avatar disappeared suddenly on the outskirts of ruined Winterkeep. To this day sages do not understand the reasons why Kossuth's avatar journeyed as it did or what compulsion drove it onward but in the words of the loremaster Eirolon of Procampur, "Fire is always inscrutable and hungry. Do not seek to understand it, but give it the healthy respect you would a dragon or an archdevil. Things are usually safer that way."

quote:
Originally posted by BlackMoria
Assuming empires having large enough population centres to sustain a protracted conflict, there appears to be too few noteworthy ruins with the regions. I would have expected hundreds of destroyed towns and cities. Do such ruins exist or has 1300+ years erased all evidence of empires.



The answer to this question is "a bit of both". In relation to the ruins of Narfell, the druids of the Rawlinswood and the Forest of Lethyr spent centuries cleansing the forest of any evidence of Narfelli habitation and at the same time eradicating pockets of demons that had survived the fall of that realm. The area of the realm was also quite compressed for you have to note that at the time the realm existed, the lands of present-day Damara, Vaasa and what we call "Narfell" in modern times were still encompassed by the ice of the Great Glacier with only the ancient High Magic of the elves of Lethyr making those lands south of the ice sheet habitable. Finally, as the effects of association with demons from the Abyss began to take hold, the Narfelli developed a predilection for constructing underground dwellings. Most of the major population centres had only a small aboveground 'footprint' but miles upon miles of catacombs, vaults etc. Suffice it to say that when in the region now, you always have to be very careful where you dig.

As for Raumathar, the horsetribes developed a sophisticated society but continued to maintain their independent tribal groupings and roam their ancestral territories. Whilst only semi-nomadic, no huge metropolises were built by the Raumathari and much of their building was in timber which has not survived in the present-day Realms.

quote:
Originally posted by BlackMoria
What sort of battle magics did both sides use in the typical battle? Given that empires destroyed themselves, I imagine some very potent and powerful battle magics were employed.

We know the Nars favored fielding demonic forces and Raumathar had their own magic discipline of the battlemages but outside of that, little is know of tactics, favored battle spells, and how each side fought against each other in small skirmishes to large set piece battles. If Ed can give some insight into this, this would be fantastic.



Narfell's armies used to manipulate the weather to create gloomy, overcast conditions. No battle with Narfell was ever conducted in bright sunshine. Their attacks were usually unsophisticated, predicated in the main on demonic shock troops rushing to grapple with their foes while the Narfelli armies proper would concentrate on acting as support troops, using missile fire and magic to whittle away the enemy. Sages state that the Narfelli used some unique spells and magic lost to the present-day such as a spell known as 'Lesthren's Talon' which would transform a foe's arm into that of a demon which would then turn on that creatures seeking to blind, eviscerate or throttle it. Another was 'Bloodfury' which caused any bleeding creature to grow in strength and ferocity for a period but a the cost of some of its own lifeforce.

The Raumathari were horse warriors in the main with their sorcerors riding in the ranks with them and focusing on elemental magics. A favourite gambit was to raise a wall of earth elementals around a section of the enemy, cutting them off and crushing them. Another was to plant a line of fire elementals before the enemy and then use air elementals behind them to create a gale of blazing wind that would incinerate their opposition. After the adoption of Imaskari magic, the Raumathari also used armies of constructs built out of stone and/or metal, some of them unique. One type of golem was known as a 'Banedrinker' and had the ability to 'absorb' some of the supernatural abilities of any demons it vanquished. In addition the Raumathari battle mages became adept at creating large numbers of short-term battlefield portals keyed specifically to their construct warriors allowing them to outflank and get in behind their enemies for significant tactical advantages.

I hope that the responses above have been useful to you. I'm keen to read what Ed will add to my musings as he always does it so very, very well.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 14 May 2008 23:33:50
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2008 :  10:36:51  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by althen artren

My Dear Lady Hooded One:

Adversity?
My, you are a master of understatement. Keep the questions coming, you say?
Surely we can do that.

Any permanent aches or pains from the gunshot wound?
Can any information about ?Elfhold? (I believe I saw the name, maybe I'm wrong) within the Hullack forest be shared? Also, wasn't there a Starym stronghold within the Hullack forest?




Elfhold is detailed in the 3E accessory "Faiths & Pantheons".

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2008 :  19:43:33  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
Dear Ed and lovely Lady Hooded One,
Thanks for your previous reply. I've been expecting an NDA assault so I do not feel surprised. I'm going to trod you about Elturel and Iriaebor matter in the end of the year just to check if the evil NDAs are gone

And today I've got a quickie but it has been torturing my curiosity for some time already. What is the origin of the title of Yartar's ruler, the Waterbaron? Does it has something to do with the Three Rivers?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2008 :  20:01:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I bring more Realmslore from Ed, this time in answer to Broken Helm’s question: “In the pre-Spellplague Realms, if a Harper was killed by a Malaugrym and was seen by someone trusted by the Harpers (or another Harper) who managed to report the Malaugrym to a Harper right away, how quickly would this word spread among Harpers? How quickly would they tell a Chosen of Mystra, and again, how quickly would other Chosen know?
I'm thinking: Malaugrym revealed, witness speaks of it to a senior Harper or Master Harper within an hour or so, is believed instantly . . . so how swiftly does word get around, after that? Thanks!”
Ed replies:


The best answer, of course, is: it depends. :}
On WHICH senior or Master Harper, where they happen to be and what they’re doing at the time, what magic they have that can be used to communicate with others, etc. In general, they will attempt to inform a Chosen of Mystra or Harpers in Berdusk or any heavyweight Harper they know how to contact right away, without any delay.
That could easily take 1d4 days, and another 1d6 for word to be relayed “back out to the troops,” with most “humble Harpers operating on the ground” being at the high end of that time (so, 8 to 10 days).
However, if powerful Harpers are already working together in the vicinity of the ‘Malaugrym who was seen to be a Malaugrym,’ they could all know about it by the far end of the same day as the report, or even sooner.
The guiding principle here is: everyone involved in the communication chain will strive not to delay spreading the word. The ‘top’ Harpers and the Chosen, who can use magic to speak into the minds of many Harpers, will get details (including mental images of the shape(s) the Malaugrym was using as a disguise) spread around VERY quickly. Yes, Malaugrym have ended up being recognized by their disguise-shape and chased “hard and fast” by Harpers who intend them never to have a moment of peace to shift shape without being seen, until they can be cornered and magically blasted. At least one Malaugrym was recently killed in this way, chased into a wooden hut and hit therein by two blade barriers, as the hut was fireballed and burned down around them.


So saith Ed. Who does not recommend “scorched Malaugrym” as good dining fare.
Love to all,
THO
P.S. Thanks for your lore replies, George. Superb! Off they go to Ed, who I know will agree with my assessment of them.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 11 May 2008 20:04:12
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Daviot
Senior Scribe

USA
367 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2008 :  02:48:55  Show Profile  Visit Daviot's Homepage  Send Daviot an AOL message Send Daviot a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos
I'm certainly not Ed but I'll have a stab at these.



Many, many thanks to you, sir. Raumathar and Narfell happen to be two of my favorite ancient lands in the Realms, and your long reply will be useful, I'm sure, to more people than just BlackMoria and I.

One usually has far more to fear from the soft-spoken wizard with a blade and well-worn boots than from the boisterous one in the ivory tower.
Want more adventure? Into the Dark (PF Beginner Box 2nd level) | The Red Leaves Enigma (3.x/PF 3rd/4th level) | In Iron Clad (3.x/PF 14th lvl)
My Tabletop Writing CV.
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1796 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2008 :  06:35:41  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I'm certainly not Ed but I'll have a stab at these.
[snip]
-- George Krashos

Wow George!

That reply was pure gold! for the first time in 20 years of Realmsplay I fully understand the Narfell/Raumathar conflict.

I love you.

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2008 :  09:10:55  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
I can't resist any longer: I laughed aloud when I saw George "take a stab at it" in the most minute detail. "Stab?" Nay, say rather, "a hit! A palpable hit!"




I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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BlackMoria
Seeker

Canada
36 Posts

Posted - 12 May 2008 :  19:10:34  Show Profile  Visit BlackMoria's Homepage Send BlackMoria a Private Message
My thanks, George.

That answer exceeded my expectations, to my great delight.

A thousand thanks.

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Kalevala
Seeker

43 Posts

Posted - 13 May 2008 :  18:10:29  Show Profile  Visit Kalevala's Homepage Send Kalevala a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello again.
Kalevala, of COURSE you would use your own descriptions, and Ed apologizes for taking so long to get to your question (he still hasn't managed it, I'm afraid). Yet he WILL provide an answer when he can, so rest easy, Sage.
Right now, Ed is coping with the usual platter-full of problems. Including, just now, the sleepy aftermath of dealing with a restless litter of baby skunks at around 5 am, after finally settling down to sleep at 2 am.
love to all,
THO



Oh, OK. Just thought that I'd help Ed to ease the load by not having to answer it anymore. Anyway, looking forward to see what he has to say!

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Actually, Kalevala, if you don't mind, I'd still like Ed to answer your original query. I would like to read what he comes up with.



Not at all
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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
778 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2008 :  03:13:15  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message
Thanks George,
I can't believe that I have never saw those pages before.
I must be getting old.
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2008 :  04:53:25  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
Seeing George's reference to "The Great Conflagration" made me recall "The Rain of Colorless Fire" on Oerth, which prompts a question for Ed: Do you think that the repeated occurrence of two empires engaging in "mutually assured destruction" in RPG settings is an echo of the Cold War? I've seen the movie Matinee, set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I've just realized that you, Gygax, Arnesen, M.A.R. Barker and other "founding parents" of role-playing were pretty much of an age with the kids in Matinee (Omri Katz, et al, John Goodman not included).





I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2008 :  01:14:40  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Ed and THO,
a question about "Reptar's Wall," the flying shield Florin has (or had). Could it fly by itself? Or when commanded, by someone not in contact with it? Or when acted on by certain spells? Or did it have to be worn on an arm and controlled, to fly itself and its wearer?
Thanks,
BB
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2008 :  01:17:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. This time I bring more words of Ed, this time in response to Jamallo Kreen’s very recent query: “Seeing George's reference to "The Great Conflagration" made me recall "The Rain of Colorless Fire" on Oerth, which prompts a question for Ed: Do you think that the repeated occurrence of two empires engaging in "mutually assured destruction" in RPG settings is an echo of the Cold War? I've seen the movie Matinee, set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I've just realized that you, Gygax, Arnesen, M.A.R. Barker and other "founding parents" of role-playing were pretty much of an age with the kids in Matinee (Omri Katz, et al, John Goodman not included).”
Ed replies:



Well, Gary had twenty years on me, Dave’s age I can’t recall (but he's Gary’s contemporary), and Professor Barker is older than Gary.
Moreover, I can’t speak for others. I can only tell you what went on in my head. :}
With those caveats stated, I believe (especially considering the use of phrases like “the Invoked Devastation” and the explicit ‘brought it upon themselves’ story that went with it) that you may indeed be on to something.
I use the word “may” deliberately, however, because although Gary and other game designers may very well have been using fantasy settings and characters to comment on our real world (as Terry Pratchett does, I do, and so on), any fantasy writer or game designer who is familiar with the root classics of fantasy (the god-king epics and ballads and eddas, not just the later chivalrous epics (of Arthur, Amadis of Gaul, Palmerin of England, etc. etc.) and the William Morris and Lord Dunsany tales that led into “modern fantasy” well before Tolkien ignited a literary fantasy genre, is necessarily familiar with many, many instances of “decadent high-flying societies bringing doom upon themselves.”
Atlantis and the downfall of King Arthur are just two examples of this.
I looked to those sort of magnificent tragedies, rather than “Ban the Bomb” or “Dr. Strangelove” or the endless spy thrillers (Le Carré and Fleming anchoring opposite extremes of that genre), as my inspirations when crafting details of the Realms. For instance, in ELMINSTER IN MYTH DRANNOR we see some decadent elves, and the disaster their behaviour is rushing them towards. Some readers have criticized that depiction as showing them “too-human” elves, but I disagree. I deliberately intended to show that what we think of as “human nature” is “universal nature” when it comes to decadence and folly, and we can see elves and dwarves and dragons making the same doon-laden mistakes in the Realms before human empires did. Netheril was an echo of tragedy, not ground-breaking in its scope.
My father was a NORAD radar expert, back in the day, and despite reading and enjoying E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Operation Bullfinch doom scenario in TRIPLANETARY, I never felt all that terrorized by the Cold War. I DID feel enthralled by all the fantasy classics I was discovering, and for me, they certainly had the greater impact.



So saith Ed. Who has been to the Diefenbunker and the old underground command center in North Bay, but has only seen Cheyenne Mountain on television.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 15 May 2008 01:18:36
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2008 :  04:47:31  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
Thank you dear Lady and Master of the Green Wood! I have not seen Cheyenne Mountain, but I have seen the tunnel in Griffith Park, Los Angeles house everything from NORAD to the Stargate Project.

I grok what you have written about the Myth Drannan elves. Perhaps I should look further back than the Cuban Missile Crisis to ... oh ... the Athenian expedition to Syracuse (and didn't that just work out swell for the Birthplace of Democracy -- and tyrannical master of what was an empire in all but name!). It may be the nature of all mortal beings (except perhaps bonobos) to reduce everything to "war and football," as a pin of mine says, or to "Me eat dead gazelle; you eat nuts and berries." There is often a dagger hidden even in the most seemingly generous and humane acts, too. Not to bring the real world any further into this than I have, I can't help thinking that 50,000 "humanitarians" on the border of a rebellious conquered country don't just show up with goodness in their hearts, any more than Athenian envoys were brimming with generosity when they visited a city to "suggest" that its wealth would be safer in the Acropolis of Athens than in their own. One wonders, too, about the motives of the elves who taught magic to the Netherese -- before stealing the Nether Scrolls....

Cogitation, cogitation in the Valley of Decision....







I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2008 :  15:24:22  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
Totally unsolicited advice to WotC:

Hire George.

That is all.

ec
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2008 :  01:38:37  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage  Click to see Chosen of Moradin's MSN Messenger address Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Totally unsolicited advice to WotC:

Hire George.

That is all.

ec



There is some place where I have to sign for this?

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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Gelcur
Learned Scribe

244 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2008 :  01:53:24  Show Profile  Visit Gelcur's Homepage Send Gelcur a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Totally unsolicited advice to WotC:

Hire George.

That is all.

ec



Hear hear.

The party come to a town befallen by hysteria

Rogue: So what's in the general store?
DM: What are you looking for?
Rogue: Whatevers in the store.
DM: Like what?
Rogue: Everything.
DM: There is a lot of stuff.
Rogue: Is there a cart outside?
DM: (rolls) Yes.
Rogue: We'll take it all, we may need it for the greater good.
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2008 :  05:17:19  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message
High praise indeed Elaine and I couldn't agree more!

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2008 :  08:44:15  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Totally unsolicited advice to WotC:

Hire George.

That is all.

ec





Umm, thanks Elaine. High praise indeed from an author of your calibre.

-- George Krashos

P.S. Thanks to all who approved of Elaine's suggestion, but the Realms has many writers jostling for a piece of the action. I've had my time in the sun for a long time. I say let other aspiring FR fans like Brian work on their tan.

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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AlorinDawn
Learned Scribe

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2008 :  18:30:13  Show Profile  Visit AlorinDawn's Homepage  Click to see AlorinDawn's MSN Messenger address Send AlorinDawn a Private Message
Ed & THO,

At what age do children who are being trained in martial skills trade their wooden weapon in for the real deal?

Currently reading: Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King

Long live Sniffy Wigglebottom
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2008 :  23:36:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Ed has been very busy these last few weeks dealing with family matters and trying to catch up on his long-overdue writing (for Solaris, in particular). Yet it’s past time he provided us with new Realmslore, and here he is again.
To althen artren: as with most people my age, I have some ongoing or recurring aches and pains. I don’t think the gunshot wound is contributing to them right now, but . . .
Thanks for asking. The important thing is, I’m still alive, and still happily heralding Realmslore, to whit this from Ed:



I would also like to echo Elaine’s call for Wizards to hire George Krashos, though I know better than to expect any such hiring to take place. George’s work is outstanding and has been so for many years, during which he has enriched the Realms greatly (this latest lore post is just one shining example). He deserves much wealth, praise, and chances to craft official published Realmslore to his heart’s content. Meeting George for the first time at GenCon Indy ’07 was a real highlight for me. George, the welcome mat is always out for you!



Hear, hear! Hearty echoings from me. Ed will provide lore to supplement George’s recent and superb Realmslore reply in this thread, but has some other replies to provide this time around, to an array of questions from a “novice Brazilian DM” named “Cad” (I believe) passed on to us all by Chosen of Moradin: “I´m creating an adventure based near Espar, in Cormyr, and need of some help to start with my players.
The place will be like a base for the group, the players give their character choices: a paladin of Tyr, son of a baron; a human barbarian; a sorcerer with draconic heritage that want to be a war wizard; a dwarf, priest of Moradin; a warrior of the cormyrean army; and a black earth genasi from Mulhorand(???).
Questions:
1. How can a player character enter to the War Wizards and to the Purple Dragon? (to the organizations, to the PrC is well documented).
2. There is the possibility of exist a Cormyrean barbarian? And what will be the more plausible option?
3. About the nobles, how is the organization of the Cormyrean nobility (titles, hierarchies, etc.)
4. How could I handle the "ordainment" of a paladin of Tyr
5. How could I handle a presence of a Mulhorand genasi, how the Cormyreans will interact with him?”
Ed replies:



For joining the War Wizards: the sorcerer will be required to register (give his name, place of origin, intended place of dwelling or route of travel within the realm, blood sample, and sigil if any) with the War Wizards, just as any arcane spellcaster is. If he expressly asks to join the Wizards of War, he’ll be told (by any War Wizard NPC) the polite equivalent of “Don’t call us; we’ll call you.” However, he will also be watched covertly and closely from that moment on (including by War Wizards using spells to spy on him and listen to his utterances, from afar). The War Wizards want all adventurer-wizards active in Cormyr to be bound by adventuring charter, or to leave the realm, or to serve the Crown, or to join their ranks, so unless the sorcerer is a “bad apple” (flouts the laws and behavioural norms of the kingdom often and casually), he will eventually be asked to join. Which will mean he ends up serving as a spy or open reporter on the deeds of his adventuring companions, and can be ordered (usually by a testy Vangerdahast or another senior gruff old Wizard of War, if your Realms campaign has the War Wizards run by someone else, such as Caladnei) to undertake all sorts of dangerous tasks (read: ways you the DM can drag the PCs into adventures) at any time. The actual joining will involve mind-reaming (an exhausting mind-meld spell in which a senior War Wizard who can easily mentally overpower the PC sorts through all of the PC’s memories and sees EVERYTHING, so let’s hope the PC doesn’t have too shady a past) and then the swearing of an oath. An example of a mind-reaming can be seen in my novel ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER; the oath appears in my 2004 questions thread here at the Keep, I believe (Sage? Kuje? Wooly? Alaundo? where is it, exactly, please? :}).
For joining the Purple Dragons: the soldiery of Cormyr is always short of strength, these days, and simply volunteering at any garrison location is enough to get a PC “halfway in.” There’s an oath of loyalty (simplify it from the War Wizard one, with loyalty sworn to the ruling monarch; if your campaign is during the Steel Regency, the oath will specify serving Azoun V directly or “through the Regent, and none other”), the signing of a “bond” (simple contract, with pay specified; the PC will start as an “armsman” or trainee soldier, at 1 cp/day plus room and board; pay will increase to 1 sp/day for any sort of “combat duty,” and mounts and all gear are provided free of charge; pay will also increase as more training is mastered, and of course increases with rank; there are various notations over the three-and-ongoing years of this thread as to pay, rank, et al, plus the rank table given in POWER OF FAERUN), mind-reaming again (by a middling-level War Wizard), and then assignment to a trainee “patrol” at a garrison.
Please note: whereas PC adventurer War Wizards are typically “fairly free” to go adventuring, PC Purple Dragons are NOT. Being a soldier of the Crown means military duty, darned near all your waking hours, not racing off to delve into dungeons or pick fights with monsters or anyone else. Trainees are not going to be sent into danger or anywhere near any royalty or sensitive areas, unless the realm gets plunged suddenly into war.

No, there are no Cormyrean barbarians. Which doesn’t mean there can’t be a “barbarian” IN Cormyr. This would most likely be an unlettered, untutored “backwilds” human who’s wandered south from a subsistence-level family in the northernmost reaches of Thar or the Sword Coast North (Ice Mountains vicinity, or fled from a more westerly Uthgardt tribe thanks to a blood feud, oathbreaking, or other trouble; any human from the Sword Coast North is likely to have been displaced by strengthening orc activity). There’s also the slim possibility of having come from subsistence-level Nar or other human family from somewhere between the Great Dale and Sossal, but you’ll have to come up with “how the character got to Cormyr.” Myself, I’d use a gate/portal, but then you’ll have to decide if the character can find or use that gate again, or (preferably) if it’s been lost or destroyed.

The nobility of Cormyr are a large and complicated topic that I haven’t even begun to address properly in print. Pre-Spellplague, there may be as many as 120 noble families, if you count all of the exile, banished, possibly-extinct ones. There are generally about forty wealthy and influential noble families in Cormyr, with a dozen or so really powerful ones that a PC “son of a baron” can’t possibly be from. Most of them are called “lord” or “lady” in general daily parlance; there aren’t enough “barons” in Cormyr for a PC to easily be from a Cormyrean family and still be the “son of a baron.” I’d suggest that the PC either be from the Cormaeril family (recently lost noble status and most wealth and lands, though individuals are still allowed to serve the Crown as soldiers, earn ranks and titles, and remain as citizens, perhaps becoming ennobled in the future in their own right rather than because of their blood) or an exiled family (again, is the son of a baron but that now means nothing except suspicion in Cormyr), or hales from the nobility of Chessenta or perhaps Tethyr. As a DM, consider carefully what advantages you are handing the PC if they can call on noble privileges, wealth, and connections whenever they feel the need.

As for the ordainment of a paladin of Tyr, there are two elements here: the “Trueing” (the official ceremony or ritual in which a paladin is “sanctified” to “ride forth as an arm of Tyr,” dispensing justice, fighting injustice, and generally being a paladin in the name of the god, able to call upon and even command the support of His church), and the “Testing” that leads up to this ceremony: the Great Task that anyone desiring to become a paladin must successfully complete in order to be granted paladinhood.
I would suggest that a PC paladin begin play by having to carry out this Task with the aid of a “band of companions” (the rest of the PCs) so as to force him or her to become part of a team rather than being the loner he/she has hitherto been, and that this Task be some sort of dangerous adventuring mission in Cormyr, perhaps recovering a holy relic stolen from a temple of Tyr by someone wealthy and powerful in Cormyr (a senior courtier, a noble, or a wealthy and powerful merchant in one of the three cities; in other words, a major and tricky task). If the PC fails, there may be severe social consequences for all of the PCs in Cormyr, but the Church of Tyr understands that daring and danger holds forth the possibility of failure, and will merely assign another Task. HOW the PC paladin carries out the task is of utmost importance: he/she must try their utmost not to break any laws, and not to create any injustice by their deeds and words or through what they failed to say or do. Simple for me to outline, but can be VERY hard for a player to guide their character through, without missteps, in the hands of a good DM.

Cormyr is a tolerant, “crossroads” trading land; citizens of all of its three cities and all waystop communities along its central and eastern roads are used to seeing all manner of “strange outlanders.” Unless they look very like a known or legendary “dangerous monster” (for most Cormyreans, known monsters include carrion crawlers, doppelgangers in their “native” form or seen during shapeshifting, and goblins; legendary perils include drow, illithids, and dragons), the treatment a particular “outlander” receives depends on how he or she behaves. A black earth genasi from Mulhorand would be ridiculed if trying to make a living as, say, a lap dancer in a high-end city festhall or club, an attendant arranging tiny fragile ceramics or jewelry pieces in a crowded shop, or perhaps a fashion model, but would otherwise generally be treated as “just another trader” or laborer (“Ho, touch of giant blood in that one, I’d say!”). On the other hand, a black earth genasi from Mulhorand who set up a bone altar and prayed to orc gods would get attacked, pronto. If the player handles the PC according to what RACES OF FAERUN says about the attitude and demeanor of most earth genasi, the character should be accepted readily by Cormyreans (though they may glance at him or her twice, or stare with interest, just because the character is a tad “different” and therefore interesting).



So saith Ed, who remains frantically busy, and begs your patience as he continues to make Realmslore replies when he can. Keep those questions (and rants and hellos and everything else, too) coming.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 18 May 2008 23:39:41
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14551 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2008 :  01:23:47  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Bear with me...

quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

I can't resist any longer: I laughed aloud when I saw George "take a stab at it" in the most minute detail. "Stab?" Nay, say rather, "a hit! A palpable hit!"
More like a 100 Megaton Warhead at Ground Zero.

George's Encyclopedic Knowledge of the Realms and it's history leaves most of us in awe, and outside of Ed, is second to none.

I would second (third? Fourth?) that nomination for GK to become WotC's in-house 'master of continuity', but I suspect that ship has sailed, and I have already let him know the direction I think he should take moving forward.

I'd also like to personally thank him for that magnificent piece of Lore - I had stopped working on my "History of the Wastes" quite sometime ago, because of the shear volume of disparate lore (spread over three settings, and even in products that didn't start out FR, like the DoD). He's not only managed to fill in a rather large gap, but he's re-kindled my interest in the region once again.

One more thing, if I may, before I get to my question.

To add what Ed has given us above (and I'm taking some liberties here), I think, going by some stuff that has appeared in print, that the title of "War Wizard" is, on occassion, bestowed as an honorary title to certain personages who have done a great service to the Crown in the past.

The basis for this is from the oft-mailigned Once Around the Realms, which like it or not, IS canon. In it, both El and Khelben are mentiuoned as "War Wizards", which confused me no end when I read it.

Until I re-read some of the Elminster novels recently.

It seems that both Elminster and Khelben helped to erect many of the wards in and around the Royal Palace in Suzail... and it's Ed to the rescue once again. Of course both El and Khelben are considered 'Honorary Members' of the esteemed organization (much to Vangerdhast's chagrin) - A title that may have been granted them (much like 'Knighting') by a young Azoun or his father, or perhaps even earlier. Neither of them would be expected to show up for the day-to-day meetings those Wizards have, but when a "Council of War" or other important undertaking is being considered, the 'greater war wizards' are summoned, which would include all those luminaries that have been granted the title throughout Cormyr's history (and I suspect several others are also still around). There is no obligation on their part to show, but when it deals with matters concerning the Heartlands (as did the Tuigan War), then one can expect that certain senior members of the Harpers (and Moonstars) would want to be present for such a thing. Such was the (unamed) case in Suzail at the time OAtR was occurring, and that is why the "War Wizard" Khelben was in attendance.

Pure conjecture on my part, but it helps to patch a hole that bothered me - Make of it what you will.

Now the Question -

Does Ed continually 'churn out' material, even when he's not working on something specific, such that he always has a pile of lore at his fingertips for any project?

A comment was made over at Paizo concerning Ed's contribution to their world, about the 'shear volume' of what Ed sent them. In fact, the exact words were "Raw Ed is amazing". I will leave THO to extrapolate for us what 'Raw Ed' is.

Anyhow, it was sadly announced recently at the WotC boards that Ed's Anchorome would NOT be making it into the FRCG, and I thought about what happens to everything he works on that is never used, and then I realized that perhaps it winds up elsewhere...

like maybe Castlemourn... or Golarion (Pathfinder)?

Of course he doesn't have to answer anything that he might not want to, but it gives me the giggles to think that Paizo's world wound up with Anchorome (or at least, whatever he had already come up with for it).

So, does Ed recycle unused lore, or is he truly the inhuman creativity machine that we all think he is?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 19 May 2008 01:33:16
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30431 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2008 :  01:56:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One


An example of a mind-reaming can be seen in my novel ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER; the oath appears in my 2004 questions thread here at the Keep, I believe (Sage? Kuje? Wooly? Alaundo? where is it, exactly, please? :}).


I'll be dipped if I know where it is... I've got two documents with the oath in them, and I searched each thread around the dates on the files, but no joy. At least one of those documents (possibly both) was copied from the now-defunct Yet Another Forgotten Realms Website.

So I'll just quote the info, including the oath, instead.

quote:
From the 'home' Realms campaign, I present the Oath of Loyalty sworn by War Wizards.

In Cormyr, nobles (when they come of age) personally swear loyalty to both the sovereign (by name, and in the presence of the monarch) AND the Crown, pledging their persons to "the defense of the realm." Purple Dragons, lesser courtiers, and minor officials of the realm swear to "the Crown and the Dragon Throne" before no less than three ranking courtiers and/or the Royal Magician or a member of the Obarskyrs plus a court sage (in time of war, "battlefield oaths" are acceptable before three serving Purple Dragons and a Purple Dragon officer of the rank of ornrion or higher). Oaths are sworn when entering service, and may be re-demanded ("reconfirmed") at any time.

Highknights and courtiers of rank [Seneschal, Lord Chamberlain, the High Chatelaine, the Master of the King's Stables, etc.] take personal oaths to the sovereign (in the presence of the sovereign, a priest of the swearer's prime faith, the Royal Magician, another member of the blood Obarskyr or failing that two persons of one of the three 'royal' noble families, and a court sage and a court scribe).

All of the above oaths are usually renewed when a new sovereign or regent takes the Dragon Throne. War Wizards swear before the Mage Royal and one other War Wizard, plus a court scribe or member of the Obarskyr family, or the second-in-command of the War Wizards plus three other War Wizards of at least twelve seasons of service (rank doesn't matter) and a court scribe. In the event that the Royal Magician/Mage Royal and the Court Wizard are two separate persons, either one of them will suffice. In the event that both offices are vacant, any nine long-service War Wizards (so long as their number includes either one of the two highest-ranking surviving War Wizards) can receive the oath of loyalty.

This oath is informally but universally known as "The Handflame" because someone accepting the oath before the court for dramatic effect often conjures up illusory flame about their hands, transferring it briefly to the swearer's hands as the accepter clasps the hands of the swearer (a formality usually entirely dispensed with in private). A War Wizard's oath is taken only once; dismissal from the organization (for reasons of age, ill health, loss of desire to serve, or unfitting conduct) is known as "release from the oath." The Handflame is always spoken from memory, not recited by the accepter or a prompter and repeated by swearer. Its words are as follows:

I, --[insert full formal name, sans titles but including all given used names and aliases, including truenames if the oath is taken in private]-- , give my service unfailingly loyal to the Mage Royal of Cormyr, in full obedience of speech and action, that peace and order shall prevail in the Forest Kingdom, that magic of mine own and others be used and not misused. I do this in trust that the Mage Royal shall unswervingly serve the throne of Cormyr, and if the Mage Royal fall, or fail the Crown and Throne, my obedience shall be to the sovereign directly. Whenever there is doubt and dispute, I shall act to preserve Cormyr. Sunrise and moonfall, so long as my breath takes and my mine eyes see, I serve Cormyr. I give my life that the realm endure.

...And there you have it. Please note that all personal oaths and many noble oaths have included variant flowery language (if approved beforehand by both independent heralds AND the accepters), and there's no reason why War Wizard oaths shouldn't also have embellishments, so long as this core is retained. I can say that Vangerdahast has been overheard to grunt: "Well enough, I accept your service. Swear to serve?"
[the response was: "Uh, yes."]
Vangey: "Right, you're in. Now, I order you to-"

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
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Posted - 19 May 2008 :  02:11:18  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One


An example of a mind-reaming can be seen in my novel ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER; the oath appears in my 2004 questions thread here at the Keep, I believe (Sage? Kuje? Wooly? Alaundo? where is it, exactly, please? :}).


I'll be dipped if I know where it is... I've got two documents with the oath in them, and I searched each thread around the dates on the files, but no joy. At least one of those documents (possibly both) was copied from the now-defunct Yet Another Forgotten Realms Website.
Aye. Wooly's correct. I've searched the archives I've made with all of Ed's replies and I couldn't find an entry containing the "Oath of Loyalty." Searching through my other FR files, I noticed the "Oath" copied into a notebook I made from all of the Ed info posted on the YAFRWS. So that's where it was.

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Edited by - The Sage on 19 May 2008 02:12:39
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2008 :  05:27:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Thank you both, Wooly and Sage. I'm sure I posted that somewhere here at the Keep in answer to a query, but it might not have been in any Questions for Eddie thread. Sigh.
Markustay, I can tell you that many bits of Ed lore chopped out of Realms products by TSR and WotC editors have shown up later in subsequent FR products. Neither Ed nor the publishers want to waste any of that chocolaty Ed Realmslore goodness. However, by contract and by professional practice, Ed NEVER applies writing done for one company or setting to another. He may parody or take an opposing angle on a fantasy archetype (like dark elves), or re-use a well-established trope (idea) of fantasy, but applying, say, gnome lore from the Realms to Greyhawk just doesn't work, and mars both settings, so . . . no, Ed doesn't.
Now, as for joining the War Wizards: nice idea, but you're overlooking the fact that both Elminster and Khelben have been around for centuries, and have worked in and with Cormyr in many matters. Both were made War Wizards before Vangerdahast took over the organization (El even tutored Vangey), and though they won't submit to the authority of any latter-day Mage Royal, they're not above showing up and playing along, or even giving orders to War Wizards (Laspeera and Caladnei are both a little afraid of El and Khel, but welcome such interventions, because they've always been to the benefit of the Forest Kingdom, whereas Vangey resents the challenge to his authority, even when he grudgingly gives thanks or requests such aid).
This all comes from many conversations with Ed, down the years, not off the top of my head.
So, yes, Ed IS the insanely creative machine pumping out stuff you envisage . . .

love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 19 May 2008 15:37:23
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