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Drawdy
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  02:10:20  Show Profile  Visit Drawdy's Homepage Send Drawdy a Private Message
Dude, no way you're sending us to Sossal. It's too cold. (Sorry...didn't know I was going to run across a spoiler in the forum! See you Tuesday.)
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Neriandal Freit
Senior Scribe

USA
396 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  02:11:41  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Drawdy

Dude, no way you're sending us to Sossal. It's too cold. (Sorry...didn't know I was going to run across a spoiler in the forum! See you Tuesday.)



Oh this was funny

"Eating people is wrong...unless it's on the first date." - Ed Greenwood, GenCon Indy 2006
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  04:05:59  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Uh, oh. Busted.
Seriously, Ed is in NDA territory here, and can't, I'm afraid, say anything much about the Great Spire now. Myself, I wonder if Eric Boyd can elaborate slightly, drawing on his map-augmenting for the Interactive Atlas...
love,
THO
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  04:27:30  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
I'd like to put yet another Realmslore question on Ed's ever-growing heap, if I may . . .
Some years back, at a convention seminar, Ed mentioned "Thessalon Torchtower" as a young, over-the-top "Look at me everyone, I'm a suave, debonair adventurer!" type he'd love to put in a pratfall comic Realms story.
Did that story ever get written?
And if so, did it ever get published? Where? (If not, can I wheedle?)
Thanks!
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coastiemike
Seeker

18 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  04:34:54  Show Profile  Visit coastiemike's Homepage Send coastiemike a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Uh, oh. Busted.
Seriously, Ed is in NDA territory here, and can't, I'm afraid, say anything much about the Great Spire now. Myself, I wonder if Eric Boyd can elaborate slightly, drawing on his map-augmenting for the Interactive Atlas...
love,
THO



Then could he possibly advise what it was from 2nd edition ? :)
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  09:34:41  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm

Ed mentioned "Thessalon Torchtower" as a young, over-the-top "Look at me everyone, I'm a suave, debonair adventurer!" type


Re the Torchtowers - they are a noble family of Cormyr.

http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0603C&L=REALMS-L&P=1132&I=-3 though Thess is not mentioned.

I have always assumed that Thaalim Torchtower of the Tun was an exiled scion of the house? Or that he was a crown agent placed there to ensure the Tun do not rise to a single kingdom and/or to oppose Zhent inteference/control of the Tun tribes?

I know that Ed had answered questions about the Tun before in this thread (2005)
http://www.candlekeep.com/library/articles/sse/sse_040506-05.htm

Which says Thaalim is an outlander which seems to confirms to me that he is of Cormmyte stock?

Just wondering

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005

Edited by - crazedventurers on 18 Jan 2008 09:36:34
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  15:38:01  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Sorry, coastiemike, re. this: "Then could he possibly advise what it was from 2nd edition ? :)"
I'm afraid NDAs don't work that way. Now if lore on the Spire that Ed had worked on had been published, he could point the way to it or discuss it, but otherwise the NDA in effect works as "Don't publicly talk about X at all."
Nice try, though.
Damian, thanks for stepping in to give Malcolm an answer! Ed will add stuff about Thessalon in the future, I'm sure.
Teamwork. I love that. It's all around us here at the Keep, too . . .
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 18 Jan 2008 15:44:14
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PaulBestwick
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
83 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  18:58:37  Show Profile Send PaulBestwick a Private Message
Hello first time posting a queation to Ed. In a thread in the Running the Realms section of these esteemed hall I posted a question about Uthmere and the Western End of the Great Dale. The most gracious THO was able to recall a series of articles penned by your good self on Uthmere and posted on the WOTC website. I have a few questions relating to the area. What is the approximate size of the three nearby settlements, Solin, Eastwatch and Lethgate? Do these places mark the furthest extent of Lord Uthlains direct influence? Is there a minor nobility in the area that owe fealty to Lord Uthlain and as such are the rulers of these small settlements?
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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  19:16:06  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message
Okay, is there anyway we can have a "Questions for THO" scroll in addition to the "Questions for Ed" scroll. Though she has no published works (that I know of), she is very much a sage in her own right, and ends up answering many of the questions for Ed from her own memory and notes when he is either unavailable or otherwise unable to answer. Then we would be able to ask her questions too, instead of always directing them to Ed. Anyway, here's my question for the Lady Herald:

As a player under Ed as GM, which RSEs have you experienced, and which ones have you not? Also, what is the current year that you are playing in? If Alaundo creates a new thread for you, you can answer it there.

Thanks,
Hawkins

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Edited by - Hawkins on 18 Jan 2008 19:16:39
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  19:20:05  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Hawkins, I doubt I have time!!!
Mace, message received. Ed’s at work at the library for the rest of today, so it may take some time before he replies.
I did, however, receive a Realmslore reply from him before he departed for work, to this thread’s first question of 2008, from The Sage. That question was: “Ed, this is a follow-up to something we discussed back in '05 about languages and such. I'm curious about what type of languages and/or dialects you think may exist throughout the Border Kingdoms region? Which of those do you think have the most impact/influence? How have they developed and evolved over time? Do they regularly change to reflect the political and economic chaos that often grips the region?
Also, with the near-constant shifting tides of power and "occasional" influence from greater surrounding political entities in the region, I'd like to hear your thoughts on any potential clashes that could develop [or perhaps have developed] between foreign and indigenous languages. What about those indigenous languages that struggle to compete with the more widespread tongues from the North? How are they affected by those foreign languages that may be slowly reaching into the Border Kingdoms via cultural exchanges established through trade caravans and increased contact with locales north of the Lake of Steam? Are they affected?”
Ed replies:



Sage, Common is spoken by darn near everyone in the Border Kingdoms, and used automatically when speaking with strangers and travelers. This has been constant practice for the last few centuries. However, it has also been the usual daily state of affairs during the same time for every hamlet, village, thorp, and way-stop to have its own dialect, based on the language of whoever founded and settled it, modified by the tongue of whoever ruled it longest and “borrowed” words from Common to fill in the gaps (wherever the local language lacks a word or phrase for something). These dialects abound (there are probably two hundred or so in at least fragmentary daily use), are based on everything from the tongue of giants to korred dialect words, and are used as a sort of shorthand between locals, and to speak in front of an “outlander” without him or her knowing precisely what’s being said (nor is such speaking considered rude by Borderers, though it may well be by said outlander).
Calimshan and the Tashalar have long had their own dialects (I use that word rather than “languages” because they now share so much with Common that they would probably be seen by a non-scholar viewing them in the Realms of “now” [my reply is using the beginning of the last year, of detailed event entries, in A GRAND HISTORY OF THE REALMS as “now”] as dialects of Common rather than separate languages; think of Calishites as speaking with the structure of Common and a sprinkling of Common words plus a LOT of Common verbs, but using “funny alternate words” for a vast array of other such things as: chair, table, gown, barrel, family, fashionable, expected, and gate.
The prevalence of Common means this sort of thing now happens darn near everywhere that has trade with wider Faerûn and any sort of human dominance or 30 percent or more population representation (i.e. not Veldorn, Chult, or in the Underdark but just about everywhere else in western continental Faerûn). Yes, trade and travel is having that much influence, regardless of local likes or dislikes.



So saith Ed. Who will return with more Realmslore replies in the fullness of time.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  19:25:42  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Paul, your query has gone off to Ed.
HawkinstheDM, when it comes to my non-work life and hobbies, I have no secrets from Ed - - and darned few from any scribes here, either. You can ask me anything (and I mean ANYthing ) here, right in front of Ed, and he won't mind . . . and neither (purrrr) will I.
love,
THO
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  22:47:23  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

. You can ask me anything (and I mean ANYthing ) here, right in front of Ed, and he won't mind . . . and neither (



Good Lady - could you explain how the Knights met Neiroon? He who lived in the Hut near the river Lis - from the Realms Atlas, (the proper one I mean, the paper one [:)).

And is this the same Neiron 'the schemer' from the OGBS who is listed as a Ranger who is not a harper and wanders the stonelands?

I am guessing not given Ed'd like of similar names to confuse us all (Astoroth etc )

Thanks

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005

Edited by - crazedventurers on 18 Jan 2008 22:48:20
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  23:04:48  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

I just finished reading Swords of Dragonfire and found it a most excellent read. Of course I have some questions, but I think I might wait until after The Sword Never Sleeps since some of them might well be answered there.

Warning, possible spoilers for Swords of Dragonfire follow!










I did have one small criticism, though. (I apologize in advance for coming across as so strident, but it has to be said and I don't know how I can put it more delicately or diplomatically.) There is a few scenes where a certain female character (whom I won't name here because of possible spoilers), kisses two other female characters (also unnamed due to spoilers) quite publicly. When I read this, I was quite delighted, especially considering who she had avoided on her way to kiss the first woman. Then a few pages later, she spends a few pages kissing a male character (who is not a significant Cormyrian NPC), despite people trying to break them up.

While I don't think you did this deliberately, I'd like to explain how it could be read or percieved... She kisses the women as a titillation, but when the man comes along we're given no doubt as to her sexual orientation. She might be flexible, but she's pretty much heterosexual (I know you probably intended her to be bisexual, but that isn't how she came across). In essence the scene gives the impression that while women sometimes kiss other women, they only do it for the people watching (men) and only then until a man comes along. I was delighted when I read the first two scenes, because they came out of the blue and I've long wanted to see an openly gay female character... But then to see the next protracted kissing scene, it was quite a let down. The message one could come away with from that is that women are only interested in women, until the man of their dreams comes along.

At least there wasn't any indignant outcry from the gathered nobles (but I suppose they wouldn't have dared). But aside from the two women involved, the most enthusiastic endorsement seemed to come from the men, and none of the other women seemed impressed (or even interested), and spent a lot of time flinging themselves at another male character (also unnamed for spoiler reasons) after that.

Anyway, that's basically all I have to say on the matter. I'm sure some people will rise up in indignation that I even hint that there might be a problem with those scenes... But know that I am not accusing you of doing it deliberately. We all suffer from tunnel vision from time to time.

Lastly, I kind of have a request. I'm not sure how much influence on 4e Realms you have, but could you please drop hints or otherwise see to it that the new Realms ends up with some strong and charismatic female characters? We seem to be losing so many of them, without gaining any new ones so far. In some ways, females seem to be getting a rougher deal in the transition than males. (For example: Azoun V ascends to the throne at 13, and he is followed by his son Foril... This after sidestepping both Tanalasta and Alusair as outright rulers in their own names.)

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

As the spell ends, you look up into the sky to see the sun blazing overhead like noon in a desert. Then something else in the sky catches your attention. Turning your gaze, you see a tawny furred kitten bounding across the sky towards the new sun. Her eyes glint a mischevious green as she pounces on it as if it were nothing but a colossal ball of golden yarn. With quick strokes of her paws, it is batted across the sky, back and forth. Then with a wink the kitten and the sun disappear, leaving the citizens of Elversult gazing up with amazed expressions that quickly turn into chortles and mirth.

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2008 :  23:33:04  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar
I'm sure some people will rise up in indignation that I even hint that there might be a problem with those scenes...


Not me. I will politely say that I came away with a different impression than you did, though (I say this as a straight woman, btw)--I thought the unnamed character you mentioned who kissed two women could not have cared less about what anyone in the room might have thought about her actions. I also thought she might have been bisexual (although there's no way to prove that...).

"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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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2008 :  00:03:12  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
Neato!

Thanks Ed, and to you as well my lovely Lady Hooded One. More to come.

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Broken Helm
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2008 :  00:05:34  Show Profile  Visit Broken Helm's Homepage Send Broken Helm a Private Message
Zandilar and Rino, I happen to be browsing the Keep right now at a public library, using one of their public access Net terminals - - and I can see a copy of Swords of Dragonfire on the new book display shelves about six steps away.
I respect your not naming characters for spoiler purposes, but I have read the book. I've read about fifty books since, and I don't recall that particular scene. Any chance of a page number reference, so I can find it now and have a look at what's being discussed? Thanks!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30084 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2008 :  00:05:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar

(For example: Azoun V ascends to the throne at 13, and he is followed by his son Foril... This after sidestepping both Tanalasta and Alusair as outright rulers in their own names.)



Tanalasta wasn't sidestepped in the transition... She was already dead, long before the Sellplague. And while I wonder why Alusair was no longer ruling when he turned 13, we don't know why she wasn't. She did rule for 13 years, after all... Maybe she stepped aside; she certainly seems like the type that would be itching to get her backside out of the throne and into a saddle.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30084 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2008 :  00:06:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Broken Helm

Zandilar and Rino, I happen to be browsing the Keep right now at a public library, using one of their public access Net terminals - - and I can see a copy of Swords of Dragonfire on the new book display shelves about six steps away.
I respect your not naming characters for spoiler purposes, but I have read the book. I've read about fifty books since, and I don't recall that particular scene. Any chance of a page number reference, so I can find it now and have a look at what's being discussed? Thanks!



It's in the last few pages, if I remember correctly.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2008 :  02:53:18  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. I bring Ed’s response to Zandilar’s recent e-mail. As it’s not far above this post, in the thread, I’ll quote just one part of it:

Warning, possible spoilers for Swords of Dragonfire follow!

There. Herewith, Ed’s reply:


Hi, Zandilar. Re. your request, first: I, too, have noticed that. I have written some strong female characters into certain new [and still NDA] source material, have no idea how much or how little influence I have, and will certainly (at least in the novels I write) continue to feature strong female characters. (For one thing, weak female characters bore me utterly.) Please watch, but have patience; we’ll have to see how long these things take to flower.

As for your Swords scene comments, here’s the truth of the matter:

X (the kissing character) is ogled but nothing more that that by most of the assembled Cormyreans because of her status (Court etiquette pertaining to visiting envoys; strictly hands off unless the visiting VIP initiates something, in the same real-world way Brits up on their court etiquette know the “Don’t speak to the Queen unless she speaks to you!” rule) and in a few cases because of personal prejudice (dirty outlander, “weird elf-touched woman; might catch something - - they all use magic! One can’t be too careful!”) or embarrassment (she’s tall and very beautiful, and has just kissed two women with enthusiasm - - that might well stop shorter, older, more shy men or women from wanting to greet her).
Whereas the male character the Cormyrean women were flinging themselves at is a young, known-to-be-unattached “local hero” of the moment (“If I dare not have the King, I can at least have the dreamily-hunky man who RESCUED him!”), one of their countrymen, whom they know to have a status that won’t get them in legal or social trouble merely for making approaches.

X bestows her first two kisses as she does for these reasons: to show EVERYONE that a certain well-deserved royal reputation is going to be useless in swaying her; that as an envoy she’s not going to be quiet, deferential to royalty, and diplomatic to the point of submerging her personality; that no one should take her for granted; that she finds the two women she kissed personally attractive (as a senior courtier in the city she’s representing, she is an active participant in what others might deem “orgies,” and regularly enjoys partners of both genders and several races, in the company of many others also participating in lovemaking) and even preferable to the person she passed by to deliver the first kiss; and (following the secret orders given her by the ruler of her city) she wants to establish firm friendships with both of the women she kissed, to act as some measure of influence on Cormyr (where her ruler has in the past failed to easily sway either Vangerdahast or the wearer of the crown through friendly overtures).
X delivers her third kiss, to the male this time (let’s call him “Y” in deference to a certain chromosome :} ) , in a surprised and delighted meeting with him: a firm friend and lover from her past, seen again after many years apart (akin to meeting your high-school sweetheart whom you lost touch with, and fate has suddenly swept right back into your arms). X is excited and delighted, and enthusiastically showing it. So, as we readers well know from our shared viewpoint closer to Y, is Y himself. A LITTLE more about their shared past will be revealed in a brief scene near the beginning of A SWORD NEVER SLEEPS (if it survives the editing process).
Not to want to give offense here, but I’m going to fling your own “tunnel vision” words back at you.
My intention here was to firmly and vividly establish X as her own person in a very few words, and to hammer home my point: relationships (and the people involved in them) are rarely as simple and clear-cut as observers may think (at first look). Real people - - and realistic characters - - have a habit of resisting, defying, or just “not fitting” labels, even sexual preferences labels. I’m not writing books featuring characters that have “straight,” “gay” or “bi” (or, I suppose: “?” or “in training”) labels on their foreheads (or, heh-heh, cheap joke, anywhere else on their bodies, either). It’s the character that matters (and my characters hopefully grow and change as fictional time passes), not her sexual category. Which, after all, should be a desirable end-goal for everyone except misogynists and those whose faiths lead them to accept only one sort of sexual expression and role.
X loves the city she serves and the ways of its ruler (and thus, the court she’s a part of), and is quite comfortable with those free-spirited ways (she relates to persons as PERSONS, not handy genitalia of this or that gender or persuasion), but Y is “unfinished business” from her past.
Note also what happens to Y’s son upon sight of X, and have a look at that scene in the upcoming third book for how THAT progresses.
I quite understand your disappointment at how you interpreted that scene (or rather, the message you believe many others will take from it). You’re right, and I’m sorry about that.
Yet that’s not the only way to interpret that scene. One game editor who’d just read SWORDS turned to me at a convention and said she loved the scene, because it made her stop and say, “Whoa! Who’s THIS? No stereotype here! What’s SHE about? Thought she was a ‘sister,’ but - - is she, now?” (Said editor is lesbian, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.)
That’s just our first glimpse of X, remember; we will see more of her (no, no, not THAT way :} Or, well, perhaps that way too . . .).
With X, I wasn’t trying to deliver a slap to any sapphic faces. I WAS trying to tell readers the message the game editor got: this isn’t going to be the fairy tale ending you’re expecting. “Your mother’s fairytale ending,” if you will, though it would be more accurate to term it a “Father and all his drinking buddies’ expected fairytale ending.” Step past the stereotypes and labels and pay attention to the characters. Of course, it then behooves me to make the characters interesting, or the reader will ask, “Pay attention why, exactly?”
I was also trying to show the difference between the professional envoy in full control of herself and using her beauty and charm as a weapon, and the real person under that veneer, startled out into the open by a delightful apparition from her past. It’s obvious from what she says that her ruler also remembered Y, and the ruler and X discussed the possibility that X might encounter him, given the country he hailed from - - but there was alos the possibility that Y would avoid appearing at court so as NOT to see X. Instead, he’s calling her name in obvious longing, which so moves her that she lets her diplomatic mask drop.
It would be wrong to assume that X is going to do this for every man, or every handsome man, or every noble, or anyone else but this particular man from her past. Again, I can see how some might interpret the scene that way, but I am not going to write books in which every darned scene is blunt and simple and clear and overstated; I WANT the lives of my characters to be complex and nuanced and everchanging. I WANTED this scene to be capable of a variety of interpretations, because then it “works” (albeit in a variety of ways) for more readers as a “happy surprise ending” element.
Yet please don’t think I’m angered with you for bringing your reaction forward, or taking the view that you did. You raise a very valid point.
Yet I want it understood that my ambiguity was deliberate, not carelessness or a mistake or the result of editorial meddling. So was the titillation in the scene; a little winking dig at fantasy books that end with the sex scene payoff, where the “guy gets the girl.” No real sex scene, and not either of the guys everyone expected might get it.
I have included several gay characters of both genders in past Realms books, but not advertised their natures because it just wasn’t part of the story (not surprising, given the formal codes TSR and Wizards use, and the sort of stories we’re telling). Nor am I likely to be doing wild female-on-female sex scenes in a published Wizards book in the future (even if I wrote said scenes, the editors would pounce - - perhaps after enjoying the read, but they’d still pounce) that will enable me to be crystal-clear and crudely blunt about telling readers, “Hey, these two are lesbians - - see?”
I HAVE drawn criticism for including overly flowery effeminate gale male speech in scenes, yet I’ve continued to do it (usually as something to be ridiculed by another character (Torm, for instance, or Semoor of the current roster of the Knights).
Yet I don’t intend that this reply be the final word on this; feel free to respond without any fear that I’m going to be irked. As I used to say back when my knees would still allow me to fence:
Have at you, Lady fair. ;}



So saith Ed. That’s be fencing as in swords, not as in enclosing his farm fields. And he means it, Zandilar: he’s not angry or exasperated in the slightest. By all means respond.
love,
THO
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2008 :  12:18:10  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

Wow, what can I say? What an amazing answer. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it!

Oh, and before I begin again... Possible spoilers for Swords of Dragonfire!

quote:

Hi, Zandilar. Re. your request, first: I, too, have noticed that. I have written some strong female characters into certain new [and still NDA] source material, have no idea how much or how little influence I have, and will certainly (at least in the novels I write) continue to feature strong female characters. (For one thing, weak female characters bore me utterly.) Please watch, but have patience; we’ll have to see how long these things take to flower.


I have patience. At the moment, though, it consists of waiting for the FRCG to be in the store so I can flip through it. Sadly, I have no intention of buying it, and my Realms collection has officially and regretfully come to an end with my recent purchase of The Grand History of the Realms. So I suppose the request was not for myself, but for other women who might pick up the next incarnation of the Realms. Thank you for the answer, though.

quote:

X bestows her first two kisses as she does for these reasons: to show EVERYONE that a certain well-deserved royal reputation is going to be useless in swaying her; that as an envoy she’s not going to be quiet, deferential to royalty, and diplomatic to the point of submerging her personality; that no one should take her for granted; that she finds the two women she kissed personally attractive (as a senior courtier in the city she’s representing, she is an active participant in what others might deem “orgies,” and regularly enjoys partners of both genders and several races, in the company of many others also participating in lovemaking) and even preferable to the person she passed by to deliver the first kiss; and (following the secret orders given her by the ruler of her city) she wants to establish firm friendships with both of the women she kissed, to act as some measure of influence on Cormyr (where her ruler has in the past failed to easily sway either Vangerdahast or the wearer of the crown through friendly overtures).

X delivers her third kiss, to the male this time (let’s call him “Y” in deference to a certain chromosome :} ) , in a surprised and delighted meeting with him: a firm friend and lover from her past, seen again after many years apart (akin to meeting your high-school sweetheart whom you lost touch with, and fate has suddenly swept right back into your arms). X is excited and delighted, and enthusiastically showing it. So, as we readers well know from our shared viewpoint closer to Y, is Y himself. A LITTLE more about their shared past will be revealed in a brief scene near the beginning of A SWORD NEVER SLEEPS (if it survives the editing process).


Thank you. That helps put things into better perspective for me. And really, I wasn't actually offended or angered by the scene as it was portrayed, though I'm sure I probably did come across that way. I was more concerned that the wrong message might be taken from it (as I mentioned, I said I didn't think you did it deliberately).

quote:
Not to want to give offense here, but I’m going to fling your own “tunnel vision” words back at you.


I never said I was without tunnel vision myself. I believe my words were "We all suffer from tunnel vision from time to time." That especially includes me. I am very well aware of how narrow my vision can be at times.

I happen to be very interested in the portrayal of lesbians and bisexual women in the media. In general, I expect poor portrayals because I've rarely seen good portrayals. I understand that X is a woman of many motives (as you mentioned), and I now have a better idea of what they are.

quote:
My intention here was to firmly and vividly establish X as her own person in a very few words, and to hammer home my point: relationships (and the people involved in them) are rarely as simple and clear-cut as observers may think (at first look). Real people - - and realistic characters - - have a habit of resisting, defying, or just “not fitting” labels, even sexual preferences labels. I’m not writing books featuring characters that have “straight,” “gay” or “bi” (or, I suppose: “?” or “in training”) labels on their foreheads (or, heh-heh, cheap joke, anywhere else on their bodies, either). It’s the character that matters (and my characters hopefully grow and change as fictional time passes), not her sexual category. Which, after all, should be a desirable end-goal for everyone except misogynists and those whose faiths lead them to accept only one sort of sexual expression and role.


Well I can say you've done excellent work with your characters thus far in the series. I really like Pennae, and I'm kind of wondering what becomes of her (and thinking at this point, it can't be good as she's not a part of the "modern" Knights of Myth Drannor roster). I suspect I'll see that in the next novel, though, so I won't press for details. I also like X, because despite her few page make out session with Y, I still got a brilliant first impression of her.

quote:
X loves the city she serves and the ways of its ruler (and thus, the court she’s a part of), and is quite comfortable with those free-spirited ways (she relates to persons as PERSONS, not handy genitalia of this or that gender or persuasion), but Y is “unfinished business” from her past.
Note also what happens to Y’s son upon sight of X, and have a look at that scene in the upcoming third book for how THAT progresses.


Well I am looking forward to getting The Sword Never Sleeps - probably months and months after it is released in the US. *sigh*

quote:
I quite understand your disappointment at how you interpreted that scene (or rather, the message you believe many others will take from it). You’re right, and I’m sorry about that.
Yet that’s not the only way to interpret that scene. One game editor who’d just read SWORDS turned to me at a convention and said she loved the scene, because it made her stop and say, “Whoa! Who’s THIS? No stereotype here! What’s SHE about? Thought she was a ‘sister,’ but - - is she, now?” (Said editor is lesbian, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.)


When I wrote my post, I did so fully knowing that other people would take different things from the scenes. Hence my comment about people rising up in indignation at my words. I suppose some would label me "militant" - my other half warned me today that I might even come across like an evangelical if I'm not careful. What I'd really like to see a fair go for everyone, and while I know the world has come along way... we still have a very long way to go. We can do our part to change things with positive representation, but sometimes that can only be achieved by less ambiguity.

Now I know your writing, and I know that you didn't mean for the scenes to be read the way I wrote they could be... But if I can see it that way, then others can and will too.

We live in a world where a female character on a TV show can kiss another woman, and go back the next week to being completely straight... The kiss of the week before merely a stunt to take advantage of sweeps week. This gives people the wrong impression about homosexual women - that they're only gay until a man comes along and sets them straight. It isn't fair, but that is the way the world is right at the moment.

I should also add here that I have no problem at all with bisexual women, and I am sure there are some people who might look at my life and apply the label to me (it's a long story, which I don't want to go into right here). Bisexual women don't always end up with a male partner, because it's not about the gender of their partner at all - it's about love. This is part of the reason why I advocate for characters such as Myrmeen Lhal (whom you once declared to be a true bisexual) to have relationships with other women, just as strong and romantic and loving as relationships a heterosexual couple might have. If you only ever show a bisexual person in relationships with opposite sex partners, no one would ever think that the character was bisexual. The automatic label applied is "heterosexual"... well actually that's not really right is it? The label applied is "normal". It's tunnel vision, it's the assumption that just because the only partner a woman has had is a man, that she is only interested in men. X, from her actions in Swords of Dragonfire, may well be labeled "heteroflexible" by some, since going by the length of the kisses and the fact that she had ulterior motives in kissing the women, clearly has a stronger attachment/attraction to a male character. Myrmeen Lhal, just from what is available in print, would easily be labeled "heterosexual". This goes for many other characters of flexible sexualities in the Realms. About the only clearly lesbian couple in the Realms is Yanseldara and Vaerana Hawklin - and even then, as you probably recall, there was some argument over the term "consort".

(It probably comes as no surprise that when I find Zandilar taken on a given website/forum, I use Yanseldara as my screen name - my main character in World of Warcraft is called Yanseldara.)

quote:
That’s just our first glimpse of X, remember; we will see more of her (no, no, not THAT way :} Or, well, perhaps that way too . . .).
With X, I wasn’t trying to deliver a slap to any sapphic faces. I WAS trying to tell readers the message the game editor got: this isn’t going to be the fairy tale ending you’re expecting. “Your mother’s fairytale ending,” if you will, though it would be more accurate to term it a “Father and all his drinking buddies’ expected fairytale ending.” Step past the stereotypes and labels and pay attention to the characters. Of course, it then behooves me to make the characters interesting, or the reader will ask, “Pay attention why, exactly?”
I was also trying to show the difference between the professional envoy in full control of herself and using her beauty and charm as a weapon, and the real person under that veneer, startled out into the open by a delightful apparition from her past. It’s obvious from what she says that her ruler also remembered Y, and the ruler and X discussed the possibility that X might encounter him, given the country he hailed from - - but there was alos the possibility that Y would avoid appearing at court so as NOT to see X. Instead, he’s calling her name in obvious longing, which so moves her that she lets her diplomatic mask drop.
It would be wrong to assume that X is going to do this for every man, or every handsome man, or every noble, or anyone else but this particular man from her past. Again, I can see how some might interpret the scene that way, but I am not going to write books in which every darned scene is blunt and simple and clear and overstated; I WANT the lives of my characters to be complex and nuanced and everchanging. I WANTED this scene to be capable of a variety of interpretations, because then it “works” (albeit in a variety of ways) for more readers as a “happy surprise ending” element.
Yet please don’t think I’m angered with you for bringing your reaction forward, or taking the view that you did. You raise a very valid point.
Yet I want it understood that my ambiguity was deliberate, not carelessness or a mistake or the result of editorial meddling. So was the titillation in the scene; a little winking dig at fantasy books that end with the sex scene payoff, where the “guy gets the girl.” No real sex scene, and not either of the guys everyone expected might get it.
I have included several gay characters of both genders in past Realms books, but not advertised their natures because it just wasn’t part of the story (not surprising, given the formal codes TSR and Wizards use, and the sort of stories we’re telling). Nor am I likely to be doing wild female-on-female sex scenes in a published Wizards book in the future (even if I wrote said scenes, the editors would pounce - - perhaps after enjoying the read, but they’d still pounce) that will enable me to be crystal-clear and crudely blunt about telling readers, “Hey, these two are lesbians - - see?”
I HAVE drawn criticism for including overly flowery effeminate gale male speech in scenes, yet I’ve continued to do it (usually as something to be ridiculed by another character (Torm, for instance, or Semoor of the current roster of the Knights).
Yet I don’t intend that this reply be the final word on this; feel free to respond without any fear that I’m going to be irked. As I used to say back when my knees would still allow me to fence:
Have at you, Lady fair. ;}


Well my weight and fitness level no longer allows me to fence, but if I ever do manage to get them under control, I may well try to pick it up again, as well as as many different sword styles as I can. I love swords.

But on topic, while it might not seem like it, I do understand where you're coming from. I like to think of myself as a writer too, so I understand the need to reveal slowly, to make characters more than just one or even two dimensional. But as a feminist and a lesbian, I feel that you can do so without appearing to play into the stereotypes (note, I said appearing).

quote:

So saith Ed. That’s be fencing as in swords, not as in enclosing his farm fields. And he means it, Zandilar: he’s not angry or exasperated in the slightest. By all means respond.



I'm not angry either. Let's just say I felt frustrated by the scene. I feel like I got teased, then let down before the pay off. I can't help but wonder whether or not X's kissing the women would have been published without her kissing Y the way she did...

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

As the spell ends, you look up into the sky to see the sun blazing overhead like noon in a desert. Then something else in the sky catches your attention. Turning your gaze, you see a tawny furred kitten bounding across the sky towards the new sun. Her eyes glint a mischevious green as she pounces on it as if it were nothing but a colossal ball of golden yarn. With quick strokes of her paws, it is batted across the sky, back and forth. Then with a wink the kitten and the sun disappear, leaving the citizens of Elversult gazing up with amazed expressions that quickly turn into chortles and mirth.

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2008 :  01:11:07  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
I just want to say, I'm very much enjoying the exchange between Zandilar and Ed.

"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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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2008 :  02:41:09  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
Well met again, Milady THO, and thank you for the latest answers you and Ed so swiftly provided!

*Ahem*, I know that I promised not to ask anything for a while, but I hope that these "easy" (?) questions will not add too much burden to Ed's evergrowing pile of Realmslore queries :)

1) I, too, would like to know where a certain portal in Drawn Swords leads to -- as Kuje suggested, it might be best if that answer is not given here "in public". Would it be too bold, if I asked you to PM me?

2) The Reaching Woods and Northdark Woodd (the latter now vanished on the 3E maps) are not very detailed -- which sort of ruins and creatures and wonders are hidden in their depths? Anything related to Netheril? (I know about the Talfiric ruins of Talis, but is there

3) The village of Drawn Swords is vanished on the altered 3E maps, which is not problematic in itself, but the Northdark Woods has also vanished and the whole are has undergone major changes (i.e. become a lot smaller it was in 2E) which has led to many of the villages and cities and geographical features "shifting" weirdly on the map -- so, my question is: where would you relocate Drawn Swords on the 3E FR map? Perhaps on the easternmost "tip"/edge of the Trielta hills? Or closer to Yarthrain?

4) Is it more typical for urban inns to have a stable and/or coach house than not? Or do they just tell you that "Ol' Tharrask's stables lie yonder, just two blocks away along the Mistride"? And, are inns typically/usually built within a "compound" (i.e. with walls surrounding the inn grounds)?

5) Does 'farrier' -- as a profession -- exist in the Realms? Or do blacksmiths take care of shoeing your horse? Also, is it possible to buy tack/saddlery/harness/supplies and have your horse shoed at a stable, rather than buy these services/stuff from a leatherworker, blacksmith or tack-and-harness shop?

6) Is it typical to build houses/buildings on bridges in the Realms? This question was prompted by the computer game 'Baldur's Gate 2' (which featured Athkatla) and I've also seen pictures of (the 17th Century?) Paris with bridges being crammed with tall houses.

7) Another "city" question: why do some cities have suspiciously lot of "empty" space in the center of the city blocks? In comparison to Waterdeep (especially the Dock Ward) there seems to be a lot of "wasted" building space in some cities. Is there a purpose to it, or is it due to TSR/WoTC cartographers "leaving" buildings out? Or are there "smaller" buildings that are just not shown on the map (e.g. wellhouses, outhouses) or left for parks/gardens? Or are they meant as "courtyards" or "inner yards"?

My apologies for yet another weird bunch of unrelated queries ;)

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2008 :  09:44:37  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion


1) I, too, would like to know where a certain portal in Drawn Swords leads to -- as Kuje suggested, it might be best if that answer is not given here "in public". Would it be too bold, if I asked you to PM me?




Seems a bit unfair, has THO time to PM everyone as I am sure everyone would be interested?

Just wondering

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2008 :  10:52:16  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers

quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion


1) I, too, would like to know where a certain portal in Drawn Swords leads to -- as Kuje suggested, it might be best if that answer is not given here "in public". Would it be too bold, if I asked you to PM me?




Seems a bit unfair, has THO time to PM everyone as I am sure everyone would be interested?

Just wondering

Damian



I was just echoing Kuje's words as he wished that this information is not given openly on this thread :)

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2008 :  18:30:50  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion

quote:
Originally posted by crazedventurers

quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion


1) I, too, would like to know where a certain portal in Drawn Swords leads to -- as Kuje suggested, it might be best if that answer is not given here "in public". Would it be too bold, if I asked you to PM me?




Seems a bit unfair, has THO time to PM everyone as I am sure everyone would be interested?

Just wondering

Damian



I was just echoing Kuje's words as he wished that this information is not given openly on this thread :)



And as I said, if it was going to cause problems, then it's fine if it was publicly posted but some of us do have players from this site and so I was only asking.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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