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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2008 :  19:20:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
As in: Realms novel? Other fantasy fiction book? Fiction at all? Non-fiction?
Or to ask the librarian's counter-question: What do you like reading, and what have you just finished reading?
love,
THO
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13455 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2008 :  21:42:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I had some geographic questions pertaining to that novel as well (along with the rest of the 'Annotated' books) a few pages back, and would love to hear Ed's answers on Aysen's questions myself.

Now for one of my own -

Ed, Gimme' a Drow word for psionics.

Both the Drow version, and the English (common?) translation. I was thinking this question might have been better suited to RAS or Elaine, but then I remembered you wrote the original Drow Vocabulary in 2e's DotU. I was writing up a few groups for the Elven Netbook, when I realized we don't even have words for 'mind' or 'thoughts' or even 'brain'.

Thanks --- Mark

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


Edited by - Markustay on 21 Nov 2008 21:45:15
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 21 Nov 2008 :  23:01:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oooh! I can START to answer this, while we're waiting for Ed:

"irrel" is an idea in the elven tongue
"irreth" is a mind,
and "irrend" is a memory (single remembered thing)

These from some old notes I made during an Ed-as-DM Realms play session, when we were talking with some of the elves who lived wild in the forest east of Shadowdale, when we Knights had but newly arrived there.
love,
THO
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13455 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2008 :  00:26:13  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Problem is, I'm talking pre-3e (when Ed wrote DotU). As of 3e Drow speak Elvish and do not have their own language (a bit of core that wormed it's way into FR), so you would be corrct in a 3e FR game.

I'm looking for some pure 'old-school' Drow.

Usually I just fudge this stuff working with the Online Drow dictionary (based on Ed's original), but I can't even find anything approximating psionics - the closest thing I can find is the word for memory (the 'zha' prefix seems to have something to do with thinking based on aquired memories, or "past experience", going by what words begin with it).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Nov 2008 16:22:57
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2008 :  16:28:46  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Back on page 66 of this thread, scribe Blueblade asked: "Dear Ed and Lovely Lady Hooded,
I have always run the Dalelands, the more southerly Savage Coast North, and the lands in between (Iriaebor vicinity, Tunland, etc.) Realms as a place plentiful in game and free-for-forage edible plants, that travellers and homesteaders can readily live on. Is this still true in the 4e version of the Realms? Thanks, BB"
Ed replies:


It is even MORE true after the century jump. After all, all of those far more numerous marauding monsters have to eat SOMEthing (besides passing adventurers, that is). Seriously, the turmoil of the Spellplague, localized collapses of magic or spawning of wild magics and the death of many mages, resulted in localized population collapses, as people perished or fled to the "safety" of elsewhere (e.g. towns and cities, once hungry monsters started prowling). This meant less hunting for food-pots, and less farmers killing vermin, and so small animal populations exploded, crashed again, rose again, and stabilized at a higher level than previously (when things were more "settled"). Tunland has marshes and plains, so wild fowl are plentiful . . . and so is everything else. Even with predators increasing, fauna is more plentiful than before.


So saith Ed, biologist and botanist of the Realms.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2008 :  03:21:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all.
I bring the words of Ed of the Greenwood in response to Markustay’s request for a (2e, ahem ) drow word for psionics.
Ed replies:



Various drow communities have various words for psionics and psionic actions, but the two most prevalent drow words for psionics are “ulsharyorn” and “ulzakzigh” (the component elements of both of which should be fairly obvious), with “erress” being an older drow word for psionics (still used by clergy of Eilistraee).



So saith Ed, creator of most of the what we know of the drow tongue. And Linguist Pursuivant for all the Realms.
love to all,
THO

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2008 :  04:15:18  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message
Thinking more deeply on Shades of the Realms, I was wondering of Ed's thoughts on them. Specifically prior to 2nd and later editions of the Setting...had Ed ever used Shades or had any particular Shades in mind for the world?

If so...what can be shared about his thoughts on them prior to 2nd Edition and later...back when the planes were greatly different; and so were the baddies.

Visit my Blog Page to find things for YOUR Forgotten Realms!
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2389 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2008 :  04:20:12  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
THO,

Greetings after a long absence. Could you please forward a few words to Ed? I wanted to let him know that, as I promised months before the new edition came out, I've read both of the 4e Realms. I didn't like anything I was hearing about the changes, but Ed asked me to give it a chance, and I did. It's taken me a while to respond, however, for two reasons. First, for whatever reason, none of the Barnes and Nobles in my area carried either of the books. Borders did, but it took me a while to track one down. The second, though, was I was so depressed after reading it that it took me a long time to get up the energy to return to the Keep.

For me, it was The Summoning all over again: a book that was so bad that was so bad I had trouble even thinking about the Realms for months afterward. I'm not going to rehash all of the problems and changes, we've done that enough. But what I found almost as bad as the destruction of a world that I love was the absence of any ideas I could mine. In my opinion, very few 3e books approached the standard of lore produced in 2e and before, however, even the worst 3e books (Complete Psionic, Mysteries of the Moonsea) at least had a few good ideas that I could steal or adapt, or do something with.

That was lacking in both of the 4e books. Most of what lore there was was either a restatement of existing lore, or a very fast attempt to update that lore. There was very little new, and what there was was so badly thought out as to be unusable. About the only thing that I liked and decided I could use was the new look for the genasi. I like that a lot. However, there's maybe a dozen genasi in my entire world, so even that is of limited use.

I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you for being here at the Keep. There's nothing left for me in the published Realms, but with you here, it means the Realms aren't completely dead. Thanks.

PS: As might be expected after the 4e reading fiasco, I'm a bit behind in my reading. I only got Swords of Dragonfire a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it immensely, but I did have one question, and forgive me if it's been asked in my absence: how often does Cormyr have "interesting" periods like the one shown in the novel? And how often do they happen historically? We have the ones shown in Cormyr, A Novel, but how much time tends to elapse between major disasters?

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

5037 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2008 :  15:43:34  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. I bring the words of Ed in reply to Hoondatha's post, just above (and to Dalor Darden, I can tell you that in Ed's original Realms there was no city of Shade above Anauroch, but there WERE individual shades who served certain "hidden baddies" [we Knights didn't uncover many of them, so Ed still won't tell me who they are] as messengers and errand-runners to debtors and low-level local servants [e.g. street gangs, "crime kingpins" in market towns]; Ed will give you a proper reply himself, of course).
To Hoondatha, Ed replies:


Hi, Hoondatha. I hope to make it back to Ann Arbor some day, and hopefully we'll meet face to face again then.
I'm sorry you didn't like the 4e Realms books, and I'm certainly not going to dispute your judgement of them. As you can tell from the Gontal excerpt chopped out of the Guide and put on the website, there just wasn't wordcount enough in them to cover everything, so everything got the 'once over lightly' treatment - - and yes, I fully agree with you that what suffered in the process were the little touches of color that let most gamers "picture" a place or character in their minds, and the juicy "this is unfolding right now" adventure hooks.
Those who join the RPGA will have a steady stream of adventures coming their way, as the various regional creative teams spin both one-shots and ongoing plot arcs, but that's hardly a consolation for gamers who just want to enjoy their home D&D campaigns. I will try to impart (as questions are asked) something of what I, as one DM, would have brewing in a particular realm, settlement, or within a power group, here at the Keep, in hopes of helping to enrich the campaigns of interested scribes. When my workload (or life, e.g. when my family is visiting me at Christmas) gets "heavy," my replies may get sparse and sporadic, but as always, I will try to "be here" for all scribes who want to talk Realms withe me.
Cormyr is, as you know, one of the parts of the Realms very dear to me. I hope, in time soon to come, that the Cormyr lineage will finally get published (probably on the Wizards website). If and when it does, you'll see what I mean when I say: Cormyr has major crises every three or four reigns (not all of them fully apparent to the population). Among the nobles (many of whom cleave to the view that the Obarskyrs are on the throne really just due to luck and ruthlessness, and are really just nobles no better than any other family, so SURELY by NOW it's the turn of another family to take the Dragon Throne), and thanks to various outside power groups (often sponsored by Sembian mercantile interests), there have been nigh-constant power struggles - - and the War Wizards, pre-Vangerdahast, had their periods of internal strife, too. Not to mention the rebel causes in Arabel and Marsember, and the continuing frictions of a rising wealthy middle class being "kept in their place" by nobles, and battles between courtiers and nobles.
By the way, THE SWORD NEVER SLEEPS, the direct sequel to SWORDS OF DRAGONFIRE, is now out and (ahem) well worth your reading time, in my humble and utterly unbiased opinion. :}

So saith Ed, THE Master. In MY humble and utterly unbiased opinion.
love to all,
THO
P.S. Excellent questions, Aysen. Ed has to check one element of his reply to you re. NDAs, and then expect a response here.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 24 Nov 2008 15:51:50
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2389 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  01:06:20  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Thanks Ed. It gets said a lot, but not nearly enough. I noticed Sword Never Sleeps being out (and, btw, I think that's one of the better titles in Realms fiction, despite its being somewhat forced on you), but I'm holding off reading it for two reasons: 1) delaying the consuming of a treat just makes the treat taste better, and, 2) I'm putting it on my Christmas list.

And I'll cross my fingers that it does really well, and that WotC gives you a follow-up trilogy that takes place, oh, maybe 1 or 2 years after SnS ends. :)

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  01:51:44  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message
Thanks so much for confirming that THO...I didn't think there was ever a City of Shade, but I had always been curious as to the possible uses of Shades prior to later editions of the game...1st Edition AD&D is still very dear to my heart.

I have yet another question though:

With the world now rocked nearly to its foundations with the current economic crisis; I got to thinking about the economy of various parts of Faerun.

Since most, if not all, use a coin based system I knew that such a credit crisis as exists in the real world wouldn't happen (perhaps!); but I was wondering about actual metal scarcity for minting of new coins.

What would happen in, say, Cormyr if at the height of a protracted period of needed spending by the Crown (during war, coupled with perhaps famine and other calamities), what would happen if the Crown simply ran out of money? Would it go to mercantile interests and take loans as happened in our real world (which could put Cormyr in debt to Sembian interests?), raise taxes on an already burdened populace...what would be the best course when the funds are simply lacking, but there is still great need to spend more to keep the soldiers/mercenaries on the battle-field and well fed while also taking care of the machinery of government at home and such?

Thanks!

Visit my Blog Page to find things for YOUR Forgotten Realms!
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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  05:15:21  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
Thanks for responding so promptly Lady Hooded One, I look forward to Ed's replies!

In honor of this upcoming Thanksgiving, I have a flood of food-related Forgotten Realms questions I'd like to add to Ed's Everflowing E-Scroll. Rarely have I found an author who fires the culinary imagination as well as the literary. I hope he doesn't read these on an empty stomach...

1.) (Jumping off from the Volo travelogues) Are there any "celebrity chefs/bakers/confectioners" who are known up and down the trade routes and through the various kingdoms? To the point where people remark "You must visit so-and-so at this tavern and try his/her ______" or "So-and-so and his retinue have been employed by the King, I must wrangle an invitation to his Majesty's next ball!"

2.) My next question was inspired while browsing Aurora's Catalogue. At around say, 1374-1375 DR, are there any foodstuffs that are currently "all the rage" perhaps for their exotic origin (Kara-Tur, Maztica, Underdark, Extra-Planar) or maybe touted health benefits (reduces wrinkles! cures gout! improves memory!). I'd draw parallels to real-world fads of acai berries, dragonfruit, and mangosteen.

3.) Assuming #1 is limited to human populations, I'd like to throw in a request for lore regarding elves and dwarves. Are there any quietly famous, or widely respected, elven distillers/dwarven brewmasters in the Realms that you could make known to us? Solitary masters at their craft or burgeoning clan of entrepeneurs?

Sorry for the flood, I like to toss my questions in threes!

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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  09:09:38  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
Ed, I have a question about Cormyr. I am currently rereading Cormyr: a novel, and I was saddened by how Thauglor and his kin were driven out of the forest. The land was HIS. He had defended it for hundreds of years, and suddenly some elves come and take it from him. This led me to wonder at length about the rulership of Cormyr. Is it possible that due to some circumstances Thauglors descendants could once again claim to be the rightful rulers of the land? As in: the Obarskyrs are all dead and the place is in total chaos.
My Cormyr-fu is a bit weak compared to certain other scribes, so the possibility I described might be impossible, but I just thought it would be fun to see the faces of the nobility if they got told that the new rulers of Cormyr were black dragons.

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  14:46:36  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

What would happen in, say, Cormyr if at the height of a protracted period of needed spending by the Crown (during war, coupled with perhaps famine and other calamities), what would happen if the Crown simply ran out of money? Would it go to mercantile interests and take loans as happened in our real world (which could put Cormyr in debt to Sembian interests?), raise taxes on an already burdened populace...what would be the best course when the funds are simply lacking, but there is still great need to spend more to keep the soldiers/mercenaries on the battle-field and well fed while also taking care of the machinery of government at home and such?


I'm not Ed and never will be, more's the pity.

But I can tell you that Cormyr is a special case. The Crown has an ace in the hole when it comes to money. The Crystal Grot, a cave full of high-quality sapphires, is under the exclusive control of the Dragon Throne.

During times of high spending, such as in 1371-1375 and onwards, the Crown would dip into its reserves and send Highknights and other Crown agents to surreptiously sell sapphires around the world.

Some sales would be for gold tradebars, no doubt. Others would perhaps exchange it for supplies the realm needs. In any event, gold and silver would find its way back to Cormyr and into the economy.

Other realms, now, they'd be forced to borrow. Canonically, nobles in Chondath often borrow from Sembia and I'd suspect that Sembian influence in foreign lands is often due to being the creditor of many high ranking people. There are also jewelers in one of the Border Kingdoms that have enormous clout in world events merely because many kingdoms and nobles are in debt to them.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  16:25:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Bingo! Icelander has it exactly right. I'd add that the gems themselves are in regular use as "high amounts currency," and the confidence this gives has built up a regular "paper and graven metal billet IOU" system operating throughout Cormyr, Sembia, and Westgate, so the coin shortage wouldn't cause the "crisis of lending confidence" currently afoot in our real world. In short, this plus widespread barter means "liquidity couldn't dry up."
love,
THO
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2008 :  19:11:50  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Bingo! Icelander has it exactly right. I'd add that the gems themselves are in regular use as "high amounts currency," and the confidence this gives has built up a regular "paper and graven metal billet IOU" system operating throughout Cormyr, Sembia, and Westgate, so the coin shortage wouldn't cause the "crisis of lending confidence" currently afoot in our real world. In short, this plus widespread barter means "liquidity couldn't dry up."
love,
THO



I suspected as much...

Makes me wistful about "the old times" now and then.

Even when I was a boy, people still used barter for many things.

My grandfather to his neighbor: "I tell you what Delp, I'll give you a flank off this pig at slaughter time if you help me shore up this bank here so it doesn't slide down into the creek." Delp simply replied "Makes sense to me, I got nothin' better to do and could sure use some pork this winter."

Just doesn't happen much these days...

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2008 :  02:35:19  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Back at the end of March of this year, when this thread was at page 21 or so, createvmind posted a longish list of questions for Ed, including four that Ed has now sent me his replies to. I present them here in question-then-answer sequence:

createvmind:
“Ed, can a freak occurrence cause a spellcaster to become a "living spell" of sorts, if yes, would he retain any semblance of Intelligence or would he or it just be insane?”

Ed:
Yes, a very rare (as you say, “freak”) set of circumstances, usually involving collisions of various offensive spells (rather than a spell coming into contact with a ward or other defensive magic), can cause a spellcaster to become a living spell.
Some are instantly stricken insane, some are in physical agony and liable to do anything to try to be free of it or to lash out, and some are frightened and angry, but won’t go insane until it becomes clear that they are trapped in this form, and the true costs of being so are driven home to them (which could take years). So, “it depends” is a fair answer here.
However, there is nothing inherent in becoming a living spell that automatically causes insanity.


createvmind:
“How long does a magic potion last in a normal Weave environment, meaning no wild magic, dead magic or fluctuations occurred?”

Ed:
Again, there’s an element of “it depends” in my answer. In this case, it depends on two things: how well the potion was made (any impurities, any less than optimum “balance” of ingredients, any mistakes in handling such as overheating, allowing to mix with air or not mix with air at the right/wrong time, etc.) and the essential nature of the potion (what it’s magically intended to do; transformation potions are more volatile than healing potions, for instance).
However, a sealed and undisturbed potion will last indefinitely, so long as it doesn’t react with the container or come into direct contact with disruptive magic. Some potions have been drunk that are many thousands of years old, by creatures not of the race of the caster (or race of an intended recipient), and have functioned perfectly. By and large, as a DM, I let potions “last.” Player characters have enough arrayed against them; there’s no need for potions to betray them.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t allow potions to have side effects (imbiber glows for days, or imbiber can see past events [silent short “movies” of dramatic or traumatic events that occurred in this room, or involving this item, or to the corpse or crumbling bones the PC is now standing over] for some days. These side effects should fade, and end instantly whenever the PC imbibes any other potion, of any sort.


createvmind:
“When you attempt to put a ghost to rest does the ghost automatically sense when you have achieved task that will allow it to rest or must you return to the ghost first?”

Ed:
Again, it depends on the individual ghost, and the specific reasons they became undead. A few of them do need to “directly see” proof that they can now rest.
However, the vast majority will sense when they can rest, and will sigh away into dust gratefully. They can delay doing so if they wish to accomplish something else, like leave a message of thanks, get out a hidden item to leave as a gift or reward for the one(s) who made their rest possible, and so on. Some can even direct the last of their undeath into a magic akin to the sending or message spells, sending a spoken thanks or other message, or even a mental vision to the distant minds of those who’ve laid them to rest. (For a few ghosts, of course, this will be the equivalent of a snarl of rage, or a curse, not thanks.)


createvmind: “I assume that the Sammaster rage caused many dragons to slay offspring and crush eggs or leave them abandoned, this lead me to wonder what of all those lairs of dead dragons and the possible hoards they left behind. Do you portray dragons as knowing who their neighbors are and where their neighbors probably lair or good estimation of whereabouts, if yes, would the dragons who survived rage and got their bearings together then likely beat treasure hunters to unclaimed lairs, like would they have an advantage over most mortals? If adventurers/organizations across faerun begin acquiring the hoards would this cause an increase in hoard-seekers and thus place dragons in continued conflict even though the rage is over?”

Ed:
Heh; again, it depends. Dragons are as intelligent as humans or more so, and are as individualistic as humans, too. However, the vast majority of dragons (except the very youngest and most inexperienced, and the eldest of all, who may sleep for centuries at a time and not care much about the deeds of others, and who therefore may be “out of touch” and operating with dated information) do indeed know who their neighbours are and where said neighbours (probably) lair.
Some Rage survivors would indeed hasten to specific lairs, to see if a hated rival or a sometime ally or lover survived, and seek to plunder such hoards if they are no longer guarded. Others (of non-good alignments) will seek to use intermediaries (such as adventuring bands) to make such explorations (and take the associated risks); after all, if the adventurers do bring forth a rich unguarded hoard, the dragon who hired them will quite likely attack them, to avoid having to pay them or share the hoard. Some dragons may come into conflict with other dragons as a result of successfully sending adventuring bands or young dragonets or other coerced or paid agents to plunder draconic hoards, but if hoard-seekers become a problem, dragons are far more likely to try to eliminate the hoard-seekers rather than pursue feuds with each other. (Dragons may hate each other personally, or dislike each other by nature [species and alignment], but they hate formidable non-dragons meddling energetically in the affairs of dragons far more.



So saith Ed, our reigning expert on the Realms and their every detail, arcane and otherwise.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2008 :  02:47:07  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, and Hoondatha?
Ed would love to write many more books about the Knights, but we'll have to see. "The Sword Never Sleeps" is one of his own titles, by the way, like "Spellfire" but unlike most of the Elminster books or the Shadows of the Avatar series.
Ed is acutely aware of the pain felt by some longtime Realms fans, as the Spellplague and the century jump suddenly change the familiar and beloved Realms.
For those whose campaigns are still in the past, perhaps not even chronologically "up to" the year in which The Grand History ended, Ed will try to keep providing lore in response to questions posed here at the Keep.
He wants to emphasize, to you and others, that it takes some years for all the wild rumors about "what happened to Mystra" to spread across the Realms, and it also takes some years for the effects of the Spellplague to do the same.
So if you don't want anything to change (or don't want it to change yet, or for the life of your current campaign) . . . it doesn't. And this thread can provide your "news of the world" as your campaign goes on.
After all, if your PCs are busy marrying into the nobility of Cormyr or overthrowing the rulership of Westgate or infiltrating the Lords of Waterdeep or trying to become merchant billionaires in Sembia or Amn - - - why should any of that fun end abruptly because a new set of "base" Realms books is published?
love,
THO
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2389 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2008 :  03:46:57  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
THO:

It shouldn't. And it won't. We'll always have what's already published, and there are a wealth of stories that can be born of them. Unfortunately, there won't be any more stories coming from the new books (if there even are any). That's what makes me sad, and even more grateful for the Keep than I have been.

But, turning determinedly away from maudlin thoughts, I have a question to toss onto the pile. I've lately been thinking a great deal about hedge wizards. The way I figure it, the majority of them would be of minor level (1-3 three, max), while a much smaller number would be of middling level (I'm guessing Ghalkyn's Bolt would be *very* popular among this group), and then a tiny minority would actually be wizards of real power/archmages who are pretending to be one of the other two types for whatever reason.

Assuming the above it right, I have a couple of questions. First, what are the chances small villages in the Dalelands or the Savage North would actually have a hedge wizard? By village I'm thinking 100 people or less, often the kinds of places that are left off the maps. Second, what do they spend their time doing? Most of the kinds of spells they would use have never been published, but I'm guessing wards against insects and rodents, small charms to help the fields grow, but I'm sure there's a lot of other things I'm missing.

Third, how do hedge wizards interact with priests of Chauntea? The Dales especially, and the North to a more sporadic extent, have scattered temples of Chauntea. I'm assuming that each temple would have several "travelling" priests that would make regular circuits of the surrounding villages. I'm seeing them as sort of a cross between an adventurer ("Sure, I'll help root out that kobold infestation,"), an agricultural bard ("Have you heard about the latest crop rotation technique out of Featherdale?"), and just general troubleshooter and curse investigator ("So this one patch of field always dies off? Well, let's see here.")

How would these wandering priests interact with hedge wizards who would normally dwell in a single village, or at most travel between two or three near-by villages and therefore. The hedge wizard would be better informed of the local situation, but the priest is as like as not more powerful, definitely more travelled, and has the rest of the heirarchy to call upon if things get out of hand. What could the wizard do, that the priest can't, and vice versa? Aside from weddings, of course. Would they tend to work together, or would there be a sense of competitiveness and "That's my field, not yours?"

Obviously a lot of that is speaking in generalizations, but I'm curious for any wisdom you or THO could provide. Oh, and I'd also like to gently nudge you for the story between Mystra and Athalantar's old herald (the "You said later you didn't think I could dance" episode). I've been wondering about that ever since I first read Making of a Mage nigh these many years ago.

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

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2008 :  16:11:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Great questions, Hoondatha, and off they go to Ed, complete with a little shoulder of my own to add to your gentle nudge at the end, there.
However, I've not arrived emptyhanded. This time Ed tackles a recent pair of queries from Gelcur: “Though I know much of Baldur's Gate is cloaked in NDAs I dare venture some inquires on material that has seen at least some publication.
Dear Hooded One would you be so kind as to ask Ed if he can elaborate on two buildings that appear in the Interactive Atlas. Both are located in the southern portion of the Gate one is labeled #20 and is called Moneycoins House. It seems like a large building some 125 x 150 feet, large by the Gate's standards. Since there is already The Counting House for money exchange my guesses are either its an estate, though I imagine most estates are in the older part of the city OR maybe a mint for producing trade bars.
The other building in question is also in the southern part of the city by the southern most gate. Not the rectangular building on the right side of the road but the "C" shaped one behind it. It is marked in red on the map but there is no number that goes to it.”
Ed replies:



Hi, Gelcur. There’s a typo in the Atlas; “Moneycoins House” should be “Manycoins House.” It’s a four-floors-plus-dormers-attic temple to Waukeen that incorporates a rental-stall stables and secure (roofed) coach storage for everyone willing to pay, and short-term lodgings (suite of bathing chamber, bedchamber, and front ‘trading chamber’ where business can be done) for merchants who make offerings to the Merchantsfriend AND pay a low (1 sp/night, laundry, bathing water and drinking water provided, plus bread oven facilities) rent. (Priests and novices reside on a floor above, the novices acting as staff/servants to the lodgers, most of whom stay at the House whenever they’re visiting the city for trading purposes.) For the faith, Manycoins House is a training facility for novices and a secular trading arm for full priests. One little-known service the House provides is secure (both guarded and secret location, somewhere on-premises; secret passages and rooms are rumored) storage of small items, no questions asked, upon payment of stiff but negotiable-for-each-instance fees (yes, stolen goods may well be concealed in this way).

The other building you’re interested in, near the gate, is a large, spartan, stone-barn-like, four-storey drovers’ inn, warehouse, stables, and coach storage known as Scarbradro’s Haven. “Scar” Horlo Scarbradro is a bald, burly, much-scarred retired caravan master who owns, lives in, and operates this inn for wagon crews and their mounts. He keeps order with a well-trained-in-violence staff (plus a few young, agile errand-running lads who serve as spies when he’s suspicious of any goings-on under his roof. The Haven is old, drafty (especially in winter), and is decorated with battered, massive wooden furniture (think real-world picnic tables for style of construction) with no frills whatsoever (no rugs, no paintings or painted walls, NOTHING that isn’t functional). It has an open kitchen with trestle dining tables (again, think picnic tables with vertical rather than splayed legs, but with attached bench seating) for communal dining, and serves hot, filling meals of stews, dark nutbread, and housebrewed ale (hot broth available in winter or unseasonably cold weather). Beds in the Haven come with layers of woolen blankets and a metal chamberpot; expect little else in the way of amenities. Yet the place is always packed, and drovers love it and love Scarbradro (“Our Scar”); they often meet there to do business and eat a cheap, hearty meal, even when they’re not actually staying under the Haven’s roof.



So saith Ed, who hopes he’s been of help. If you were seeking grand mansions for PCs to plunder, these aren’t the places you’re looking for, I’m afraid - - but they are useful city landmarks.
love,
THO
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3071 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2008 :  16:49:29  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message


Now I'm going to be using "Scar" the next possible chance I get. Just reading the description has given me a half-dozen plot and story ideas. Thank you bearded one!

And thank you Hooded one for being our link to him!

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

Ashe's Character Sheet

Alphabetized Index of Realms NPCs
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2008 :  03:03:50  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Almost forgot about those questions, will make note of any questions I ask from here on. Reread the story of Mirt and Durnan meeting 'The Keeper of Secrets'. Nice story.

Happy Holidays All.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2008 :  03:28:21  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Ed was delighted to receive Aysen’s recent trio of questions, and although he cautions there are months worth of work to provide “worthily comprehensive” answers to them, he is pleased to append this humble beginning to the first question:
1.) (Jumping off from the Volo travelogues) Are there any "celebrity chefs/bakers/confectioners" who are known up and down the trade routes and through the various kingdoms? To the point where people remark "You must visit so-and-so at this tavern and try his/her ______" or "So-and-so and his retinue have been employed by the King, I must wrangle an invitation to his Majesty's next ball!"
Ed replies:



Although the “grapevine” in the Realms is by no means as efficient and thorough as our modern world’s mass communications networks, so that “people keeping secrets for reasons of competitive advantage” and other causes can keep many folk ignorant of details and the distortions of many retellings through gossip can spread misinformation, there are individuals about whom individuals would say the sort of things you anticipated. Here are just a few of them (whose fame is spreading via merchants, and so is strongest along well-travelled trade routes):


Bellorand Azmundur (a short, sleek, fiery-tempered and womanizing “master of sweets” [detractors call him such things as an “arrogant, airy popinjay of overblown haughtiness” and a “man so full of grandly sneering airs that ’tis a wonder he explodeth not!”], who is believed [[correctly]] to have come from humble origins somewhere in the Vilhon upland farms) is a confectioner in Athkatla whose chocolate, nut, and flavoured cream desserts are famous.
These “creations” (Azmunder prefers the term “gratifications”) are both incredibly sweet (though he can if asked temper this with tartness, imparted through such means as grated lime peel or persimmon rind) and able to impart a rich, long-lasting chocolate aftertaste in the mouth (some who partake of them burp wonderful tastes for hours afterwards).


Klonstahansz Almurrhand is Master of the Kitchens in the household of the Cragsmere noble family of Waterdeep, and is famous for his drippingly moist (yet thoroughly cooked) roast beef and boar, and for his sauces, most of which involve a cream base and secret concoctions of herbs, wines, mustard, and hot ground roots [such as horseradish]. These sauces make steamed and boiled vegetables incredibly flavourful; so much so that for more than a decade fellow Waterdhavian nobles, wealthy investors courted by the Cragsmeres, guildmasters, and divers others (such as cooks) brought to the Cragsmere feasting table as “guests” of the guests already listed have swooned over “the most succulent and glorious vegetables ever to pass their lips.” Many have sought to hire Almurrhand away from the Cragsmeres, or duplicate his sauces. None have quite succeeded in the latter, and none have even to begun to succeed in the former (the huge, fat, placid, soft-spoken Klonstahansz Almurrhand is perfectly happy where he is, having ordered the kitchens to his personal satisfaction, found three maids who love to share his bed whilst he pines for the Lady Cragsmere [though he knows he can never have her] and she, who is very fond of him [and knows his true feelings], occasionally bestows a private kiss or embrace upon him).
Mirt once described Almurrhand as “the perfect cook” for his moist roasts and for his calm handling of culinary emergencies (such as the unexpected need to swiftly feast the entire crew of an envoy’s ship that sank in the harbour, and leave them warm, happy, and able to sleep untroubled, rather than shivering their way into various chills and cursing Waterdeep as a place of ill fortune). Almurrhand has proven repeatedly that he is masterful at organizing kitchen chaos and causing large numbers of cooks and scullery maids to set swiftly and efficiently to work crafting many dishes.


Mharaedo Borlwynd is a maker of sausages, “shields” of pounded, spiced smoked meats [we would call them schnitzels], and “feast logs” (hollowed-out carcases of one species, such as a boar or deer, that are stuffed with simmering herbed broth and cooked “fists” [small roasts] of meat from other species [such as wildfowl, poultry, or young lamb]) whose rich and lasting, highly-seasoned flavours have made him increasingly famous across the Sword Coast North.
Based in Neverwinter, in “Borlwynd Hall” (the tumbledown, one-storey-high massive stone roots of a long-ruined castle keep, Borlwynd has a growing business shipping his sausages and shields all over the North (rangers, caravan merchants, and peddlers adore them, and so do most folk they share them with), and oversees (with jovial curses and roared instructions) a large (usually forty-plus) staff of young, eager men and women [mostly orphans and runaways] who work willing for him in return for full stomachs and warm beds nigh his hearthfires. Borlwynd regards them as his family, and sends them out to barter for bread and greens, or to forage for herbs, or to tend his own growing gardens. Peddlers bring spices from afar to him hoping to trade them for his “bellyfillers” (as he calls his wares), and that seems to be all that Borlwynd needs in life; he uses his ever-increasing profits to sponsor caravans, ships, and to buy buildings and land in Neverwinter, spending money constantly to clothe and equip his “family” of helpers.
Borlwynd will happily bring “feast logs” to any address in Neverwinter and serve them forth, hot and steaming, but has resisted all attempts to hire him away to Luskan, Silverymoon, Everlund, Waterdeep or anywhere else.


Shalesse Caelraven is a small, seemingly tireless blonde woman from northeastern Tethyr, as agile and lithe as any dancer, who is constantly on the move whenever she’s awake. An indifferent meat cook, she makes superb soups, and has become famous for her savoury (as in, not sweet) pastries: she makes small, buttery crust handpies that have diced lamb kidneys, or peppered and stewed fish, or wonderfully-prepared diced fowl meat inside. Hot or cold, they taste wonderful, and she sold trays and trays of them at a market in Iriaebor for four seasons, until a travelling envoy of the Court of Cormyr enticed her to Suzail, to cook in the Royal Palace, by promising her a house with servants [paid for by the royal purse], an annual salary she couldn’t quite believe (she’s now paid more than that; she was offered 4,000 gp a year and now receives 6,000), and her own wardrobe of fine clothes [consisting of at least twenty grand changes of garments, all paid for by the royal purse, plus another dozen of her choosing each year].
Shalesse jumped at the chance, and is now happily feeding the Court of Cormyr. Though she has no title, and the Court has dozens of cooks higher than she is in rank and seniority, she “does her own thing” in the formerly-deserted kitchen of a long-disused “dowager suite” at one end of the Palace, and the courtiers and the royals alike enjoy her simple but succulent daily handpies and soups (they are said to be the favourite comfort food of almost everyone in the Royal Palace or the Royal Court who is ill or despondent).
Shalesse has calmly and politely ignored the attentions of more than a few noblemen (both young and unmarried and older and still wed); it was only recently that news spread beyond the Royal Palace and the ranks of the War Wizards that “the handpie cook” habitually shares a bedchamber with Malathea Aercauldron, the elderly, matronly Maid of the Forechambers (overseer of all the chambermaids who see to the upkeep of the “rooms of state” in the Palace, as opposed to the private chambers where the Obarskyrs live).



So saith Ed, who could probably continue this list for pages and pages, but is mindful of the huge stack of long-unanswered lore queries sent by eager scribes, and will instead turn to them in posts yet to come.
In the meantime, there’s his superb new novel to enjoy, THE SWORD NEVER SLEEPS (a Yuletide public service announcement from, ahem, me).
Oh, and createvmind, Ed says you're very welcome, he hopes to see you again at a GenCon some day when you and he have time for a chat, and he hasn't forgotten all your OTHER questions, that he hasn't answered yet.
love to all,
THO
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2008 :  04:24:27  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

I'm not Ed and never will be, more's the pity.

But I can tell you that Cormyr is a special case. The Crown has an ace in the hole when it comes to money. The Crystal Grot, a cave full of high-quality sapphires, is under the exclusive control of the Dragon Throne.
<chop>


I share your regrets, Icelander. We need to be able to clone Ed several times (and, of course, have them all working in coordination from the same mind) so that we have two Eds writing novels for Wizards, two more writing all the stories he never got to write about the Golden Age of the Realms (Mirt, Durnan, the Knights, Khelben, the Seven Sisters, and yes, even Elminster), two more churning out other Realmslore, two more directing a detachment of Candlekeepers like myself who have the wondrous privilege of digging through the piles of papers for answers to our questions here, and two more working his day job and taking care of other real-life necessities. Yes, I realize that's ten Eds. I'm just hoping that would be enough.

Anyway, enough wishful thinking. I had a thought about the Crystal Grot that inspired a question (the answer to which is probably NDA, as all the juicy answers are). The first 3E FR adventure, "Into the Dragon's Lair" was storylined on the premise that the hoard of Nalavarauthatoryl was needed for Cormyr's financial well-being in the face of unruly nobility, goblin invasions, the attack of the dragon, and the death of Azoun IV. With the Crystal Grot, how would this be a problem?

I'll take a stab at answering my own question here, if we all don't mind. My thought is that, as mentioned, the sapphires are sold carefully in far-ranging markets to maintain their value, and so much wealth was needed to rebuild after the dragon attack and goblin war that other sources of wealth needed to be tapped. That's the only explanation I can think of at the moment. Ed? THO?

(Really: NO MORE questions from me until Ed has had a chance to catch up somewhat. I promise. I'll try. Really hard. )

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 27 Nov 2008 04:29:25
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2008 :  04:28:24  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Oooh! I can START to answer this, while we're waiting for Ed:

"irrel" is an idea in the elven tongue
"irreth" is a mind,
and "irrend" is a memory (single remembered thing)

These from some old notes I made during an Ed-as-DM Realms play session, when we were talking with some of the elves who lived wild in the forest east of Shadowdale, when we Knights had but newly arrived there.
love,
THO



Okay, this is my last one for a while. I'd forgotten that I hadn't asked about this yet in my previous post.

Does Ed (or anyone else on Candlekeep or elsewhere) have a compiled lexicon of the Faerunian/Torilian elven language? I'm hoping someone other than Ed can help me out with this one; every additional question I ask makes me wince, knowing how many answers he's still working on for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ed and THO!

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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