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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2008 :  12:00:11  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Due in part to the influence of the RPGA, there are many things about the city of Raven's Bluff that don't mesh well with the Realms at large. Bits of history, organisations, characters and especially names are a bit too much Earth and a bit too little Realms.

But canon is canon, so I'll do what a wise man once told me and use my imagination to reconcile seeming inconsistencies.

The existence of a 'patissere' in Raven's Bluff is attested in canon and the name is there attributed to a world-travelling wizard that might very well be The Sage of Shadowdale himself. I wondered if one might not also explain some of the 'un-Realmsian' names there in a similar fashion.

The presence of magical gates to other worlds is a part of the Realms from the beginning. I find that imagining that at least some of the inhabitants of Raven's Bluff are the descendants of planewalkers, willing or unwilling, from worlds where the names Amber Lynn, Jack and Charles Oliver didn't sound 'off' at least helps me with my SoD. Of course, the gates shouldn't have been used for generations (and might not work any more), but even just a few dozen people a couple of generations ago goes a long way to explain the apparent cultural contamination.

Incidentally, I'd guess that such people came from a world with 16th-19th century levels of technology (based on how much more culturally advanced Raven's Bluff seems in many things), but quickly found that gunpowder didn't work on Toril and adapting to local conditions was more important than changing them.

Now, with that out of the way, I was wondering about a few things.

First, where can I find canon on Charles Oliver O'Kane? I have all the RPGA books (Port of Raven's Bluff, etc.) and the City of Raven's Bluff book by Ed, but information on him seems scarce. Does anyone know where he came from or what he did before the Champion's Games? Or even how old he is? Family?

Lady Lauren DeVillars in DR 1369 is presumably dealing with the return of Waukeen. What's she doing in DR 1372 and beyond? How long does she stay High Priestess and if she does retire again, who takes over? I think there was a Polyhedron article dealing with the history of Raven's Bluff from the City of Raven's Bluff and until the present time (then). How can I get this article? Does anyone know what it said about her?

With the discovery that Lady Amber Lynn Thoden was really Myrkyssa Jelan, a number of political factions in the city must have found their credibility in tatters. Who were her main supporters? Who contributed the most to her election? How did the scandal affect the balance of power? I can see that Lady DeVillars would be vindicated and resurgent in power, but who's down on their luck, out of fashion and unable to even get invitations to the finest houses?

Has anything new about the political situation in The Vast appeared in any canon sources since The City of Raven's Bluff? There was a slight blurb in FRCS for 3e, but is there anything else?

Who is the commander of Raven's Bluff navy? How many ships and of what nature did this navy comprise before the war in 1369 DR? How much has been rebuilt in 1372 DR?

I'm sure I have more questions and some of them I might put to Ed if the hive-mind doesn't have any information.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

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Edited by - Icelander on 23 Jul 2008 15:14:01

Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  03:15:27  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anything beyond 1372 DR is DM territory... IMHO, Raven's Bluff (and most of the Vast) can now serve as an excellent DM-canon area (like Sembia used to...)
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  03:21:13  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

Anything beyond 1372 DR is DM territory... IMHO, Raven's Bluff (and most of the Vast) can now serve as an excellent DM-canon area (like Sembia used to...)


Okay, that's fine with me. I've been using it pretty freely, having factions in the city seeking war with the orcs to expand their territory and basing several adventures on the city's lack of capital in the midst of the rebuilding effort.

But I still don't have any data on where Charles Oliver O'Kane came from, aside from the rather short bio in one of the old RPGA books. Do you know how I can get the Polyhedron article dealing with him, Lady Laur and a couple of other characters? Is there a way to buy single articles or even issues online, downloading the data?

And is there any canon on the Raven's Bluff navy before it was destroyed in the war?

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  03:53:18  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, all.
Icelander, the use of gates was exactly how Ed rationalized all the anachronistic and anamundistic elements of Ravens Bluff that resulted from the Living City campaign. Charles Oliver O'Kane WAS profiled in a 1-page article at the back of a long-ago POLYHEDRON, but the reason why information on him is so scarce is that he was Jim Ward's character (a costumed Jim Ward and all, at conventions) when Mr. Ward was the Director of Creative Services at TSR, back in the day . . .
In other words, the guy "over" both Books and Games, himself a game designer (Metamorphosis Alpha, etc., and many later games down to the recent Dragon Lairds from Margaret Weis Productions), played the mayor of the Bluff. O'Kane did whatever Jim wanted him to do, said whatever Jim wanted him to . . .etc. So he was very much "more" than anything written about him. He made proclamations, gave out Living City campaign rewards (and mock "punishments" such as banishments and imprisonments), etc.
love,
THO
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  04:09:18  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, all.
Icelander, the use of gates was exactly how Ed rationalized all the anachronistic and anamundistic elements of Ravens Bluff that resulted from the Living City campaign.

Glad to know I'm in good company. ;)

quote:
Charles Oliver O'Kane WAS profiled in a 1-page article at the back of a long-ago POLYHEDRON, but the reason why information on him is so scarce is that he was Jim Ward's character (a costumed Jim Ward and all, at conventions) when Mr. Ward was the Director of Creative Services at TSR, back in the day . . .
In other words, the guy "over" both Books and Games, himself a game designer (Metamorphosis Alpha, etc., and many later games down to the recent Dragon Lairds from Margaret Weis Productions), played the mayor of the Bluff. O'Kane did whatever Jim wanted him to do, said whatever Jim wanted him to . . .etc. So he was very much "more" than anything written about him. He made proclamations, gave out Living City campaign rewards (and mock "punishments" such as banishments and imprisonments), etc.
love,
THO


I suppose that this means that his personality would be hard to quantify. Did you see any of the convention appearances?

In my campaign, I've made him a hard-bitten former warrior desperately bored with political manuevering, but possessed of a thirty-year experience and a fair amount of native wit. He'd rather manipulate (using his bluff, no-nonsense persona very effectively to convince people that he couldn't have a hidden agenda) foolhardy adventurers into doing something than set up a complex bureaucratic organisation to do it (even though such organisations already exist, he's not a big believer in their efficiency).

He lost a hand and an eye in the war (there are conflicting reports and I'm not competent to judge their degrees of canon, so I simply decided on this). He also suffered a crisis of faith and self-confidence after being tricked, kidnapped and tortured terribly for a long time. Even so, he's bounced back with apparent speed, keeping his internal pain invisible from others as he's done all his life.

He remains on good terms with the Silent Network, prefering to analyse their raw intel himself whenever possible, and he's trying to use the Knights of the Hawk as a personal force to keep tabs on the city. Otherwise, he adopts a hands-off position except in times of crisis. The city is far too big and complex for any one person to micromanage it.

He's looking for a trustworthy chief of intelligence, since doing it himself is a job that takes too much of his time and Deputy Mayor Howard Holiday used to handle those tasks. Even so, he's not sure he can bring himself to trust anyone that completely again.

O'Kane isn't opposed to expanding the area controlled by the city and he knows that a strong military is essential for that task, but he's not in favour of 'clearing the orcish taint out of these mountains' as so many in the city seem to think. For one thing, he knows that in a war of attrition, orcs win out over humans. For another, he's seen war, a lifetime of it, and as much as he might personally hate boredom, he prefers it to watching kids die hard deaths.

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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  08:10:35  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote


Pretty good analysis of O'Kane Icelander...

I read his Polyhedron write-up a few years ago. Don't have the book in front of me, but when I do, I'll scan it and send it to ya! (it's basically the history/background of O'Kane, DeVillars, and a few others as of 1372 DR... a whole page devoted to them, complete with stats!)
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  12:54:27  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight



Pretty good analysis of O'Kane Icelander...

I read his Polyhedron write-up a few years ago. Don't have the book in front of me, but when I do, I'll scan it and send it to ya! (it's basically the history/background of O'Kane, DeVillars, and a few others as of 1372 DR... a whole page devoted to them, complete with stats!)


Thanks a bunch.

History/background greatly appreciated. Stats... not as important. ;)

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30288 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  14:12:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight



Pretty good analysis of O'Kane Icelander...

I read his Polyhedron write-up a few years ago. Don't have the book in front of me, but when I do, I'll scan it and send it to ya! (it's basically the history/background of O'Kane, DeVillars, and a few others as of 1372 DR... a whole page devoted to them, complete with stats!)



I wouldn't mind seeing that, myself.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 24 Jul 2008 14:13:49
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2008 :  17:51:27  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I should be able to provide this to you guys in two weeks. Please remind me then!
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2008 :  12:18:04  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

I should be able to provide this to you guys in two weeks. Please remind me then!


This is a belated reminder, Lord Knight.

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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2008 :  23:07:12  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Found the books: two polyhedron issues statting all major RB NPCs. Polyhedron # 147 and 148.
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2012 :  04:58:55  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This seems to be the best scroll to re-open regarding Raven's Bluff.

Can anyone tell me any information about a map that has "Raven's Gate" printed on it instead of Raven's Bluff?

My mind is trying to place it...but it made me think that perhaps at one point, the "Silver Raven" of Sembia may have been planned as some sort of connection to Raven's Bluff...

Any information on this Raven's Gate would be appreciated!

This is the map I found while looking around the net:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10166328/Ravensgate%20Reference%20Map.bmp

I don't know if someone made it...or it is from a source...if a source, I'm looking for that source.

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Edited by - Dalor Darden on 31 May 2012 05:08:11
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4908 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  07:23:39  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Raven's Bluff was originally going to be Ravensgate until TSR found out that this was a term used for another fantasy city/land (can't recall the details) and they couldn't go ahead for copyright reasons.

There is no Ravensgate in the Realms - but as I say that, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Bearded One would say, "Well George, that's not quite right ..."

-- George Krashos

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

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  07:37:52  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Raven's Bluff was originally going to be Ravensgate until TSR found out that this was a term used for another fantasy city/land (can't recall the details) and they couldn't go ahead for copyright reasons.

There is no Ravensgate in the Realms - but as I say that, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Bearded One would say, "Well George, that's not quite right ..."

-- George Krashos




Thanks George!

I don't guess you know where this map came from then do you? I found it at random when searching the net...and for the life of me can't find where I downloaded it from now!

Do you think someone simply made the map and changed the name for some reason?

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4908 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  07:51:54  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know exactly where your map came from: it was an insert in Dragon magazine, just before the Ol' Grey Box was released. Can't recall the exact issue. Remember getting out my Pages From the Mages articles and trying to find Waterdeep on there. Man, was that a frustrating exercise!

-- George Krashos

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

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  15:26:14  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks so much George! Always a pleasure hearing from you!

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14181 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  16:55:51  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, IIRC, I had that name on an early FR map that came with a product, but I can't really check that now.

I had always assumed that was an early (and Edwardian) name for the place, and it was later changed (both in-game and out).

On a related note, does anyone remember that British group WotC shut-down? They were official for awhile (a 'living' group, IIRC), and then WotC pulled-out of its UK-specific offerings. They continued to move forward on their own for quite some time, publishing tons of material (and some great maps), but then they got ordered to close (damn shame, because now I lost all that goodness I downloaded from them).

I'm only asking because their campaign area (officially given to them by TSR) was right around Ravensbluff. I incorporated some of their stuff (the town itself appeared on at least one published FR map) in my world map, but that's gone now, so I can't even look it up.

Nevermind - found it! Sarbreener! (I actually finally found an official map with it on it, on a link in a WotC thread).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Jun 2012 16:58:48
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Faraer
Great Reader

3298 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  23:37:44  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's Ravensgate in my Realms, which also makes it easier to distinguish from the RPGA horrors.

Ed's sourcebook on the city is rather extraordinary in the sense of all that work in part to naturalize all this alien material. A more magnanimous or patient man than I.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1478 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2012 :  05:14:14  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

Lady Lauren DeVillars in DR 1369 is presumably dealing with the return of Waukeen. What's she doing in DR 1372 and beyond?
Continues to shape the city from behind the scene while rebuilding the church?..
As to the spoiler...
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

With the discovery that Lady Amber Lynn Thoden was really Myrkyssa Jelan, a number of political factions in the city must have found their credibility in tatters. Who were her main supporters? Who contributed the most to her election? How did the scandal affect the balance of power? [...] who's down on their luck, out of fashion and unable to even get invitations to the finest houses?
That's too many and too loud, at one point or another. Most likely to become a matter of very awkward silence.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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LCQBlackmantle
Acolyte

2 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2017 :  16:44:39  Show Profile Send LCQBlackmantle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
<<Who is the commander of Raven's Bluff navy? How many ships and of what nature did this navy comprise before the war in 1369 DR? How much has been rebuilt in 1372 DR?>>

e-mail me off list at lcquincy@gmail.com and I'll give you everything RB Navy (and Army) wise up to the end of the campaign.
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LCQBlackmantle
Acolyte

2 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2017 :  16:48:51  Show Profile Send LCQBlackmantle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

Anything beyond 1372 DR is DM territory... IMHO, Raven's Bluff (and most of the Vast) can now serve as an excellent DM-canon area (like Sembia used to...)
And is there any canon on the Raven's Bluff navy before it was destroyed in the war?



You can contact me off-list at lcquincy@gmail.com. I have everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) Ravens Bluff connected
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4908 Posts

Posted - 04 Oct 2017 :  02:18:17  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LCQBlackmantle

<<Who is the commander of Raven's Bluff navy? How many ships and of what nature did this navy comprise before the war in 1369 DR? How much has been rebuilt in 1372 DR?>>

e-mail me off list at lcquincy@gmail.com and I'll give you everything RB Navy (and Army) wise up to the end of the campaign.



Bit of threadomancy here. You're only 6 or so years too late! Cheers anyway.

-- George Krashos

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

1478 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2017 :  08:23:01  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LCQBlackmantle

How much has been rebuilt in 1372 DR?>>

Was completely wiped out in the war.
Whatever the future holds, Ravens Bluff now has no official navy
[...]
* The Harbor Patrol is responsible for patrolling the harbor, the docks,
and the surrounding district. This branch specializes in fighting
smuggling, capturing pirates, and detecting violations of harbor regulations. 
It owns and operates a fleet of small coastal vessels in the
course of its duties?and at present, these constitute the only navy
Ravens Bluff still commands.
- The City of Ravens Bluff
How much they can rebuilt quickly, who knows, but then, after the war they also don't have an army and resort to hiring adventurers month by month, but the harbor itself is already sort of covered by their air cavalry...
It's more likely that merchants will hire mercenaries much like land caravans. And in case some specific threat will be discovered, the city could try to issue as many letters of marque as sanity allows. After all, you have to pay your army, but your privateers have to pay you.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14181 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2017 :  17:18:33  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I know exactly where your map came from: it was an insert in Dragon magazine, just before the Ol' Grey Box was released. Can't recall the exact issue. Remember getting out my Pages From the Mages articles and trying to find Waterdeep on there. Man, was that a frustrating exercise!
So long as we are 'threadomancing' away here...

It says 'Ravensgate' on the 2e Bloodstone Lands map. It must have been a VERY early 2e product, considering the map is done in the '1e style'. Anyone happen to know which issue of Dragon magazine sported that map Krash mentioned? (the link no longer works)

Homebrew Lore:
After the waters of the Inner sea receded following the Wailing Years, many port-cities found they had become 'disconnected' from the sea, some by a few hundred feet, while others at somewhat greater distances (dependent upon how steep the coastline was). In the case of Raven's Bluff, the port sat on an undersea plateau, which dropped-off rapidly some half-mile from the harbor. This allowed the dock area to be somewhat protected from harsh storms, even though it was fully exposed to the Dragonreach and the sea of Fallen Stars (wave action is mitigated by the depth). Unfortunately, it also meant that Raven's Bluff was also one of the few Inner Sea cities to be fairly 'landlocked' after the spellplague struck, since the water retreated completely beyond the plateau (which then lay above sea-level).

A settlement sprang up at the new water's edge, to accommodate the sea traffic, and it quickly grew from a ramshackle cluster of squalid huts to a respectable harbor-town in its own right, and was able to handle the transport of goods the mile or so away to Raven's Bluff proper. Originally just considered an adjunct of the city, once it attained a decent population of its own, it earned its own name: Raven's Gate (a name legends say was the name of the original village where RB now stands). Toward the end of the 15th century Ravensgate had become a busting small city, and had begun to siphon-off much of the commerce that had once passed through Raven's Bluff itself, and great feelings of resentment had begun to surface. However, before any of that could come to a head, another 'small' cataclysm (Sundering 2.0) occurred, and the sea slowly went back to its original position after several years (giving most folks plenty of time to retreat from the flooding). Raven's Bluff quickly rebuilt its harbor, with the help of both the folk who never left, and the refugees from sinking Ravengate, and the town remains today just a footnote in The Vast's history... as well as a bit of a shipping hazard and reef just off the coast, beneath the waves.

The top of a wizards tower marks the center of the reef, sticking above the water. Rumors say it is haunted, since the windows in the turret are alight at night, but the truth is far more mundane - the light was magically placed there by Raven's Bluff so as to mark the hazard for ships, much like a lighthouse would. Still, folks report shadows sometimes moving within the light.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Oct 2017 05:04:05
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AJA
Seeker

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  16:46:08  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Anyone happen to know which issue of Dragon magazine sported that map Krash mentioned? (the link no longer works)

It's probably Dragon #124 (Aug 1987). If you look at the Acaeum, here: <https://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/miscpages/fr.html> it came with an "Anauroch promotional map" that may have included the Vast.

That's also the same time as Polyhedron #36 (Jul 1987) which detailed the transitioning from "Ravensgate" to "Ravens-something."

Unfortunately, my .pdf of Dragon #124 doesn't include the insert. The Dragon CD Archive might, but mine's packed away at the moment.

AJA
YAFRP
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5980 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2017 :  17:58:06  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, so I was curious, because I hadn't really looked at the old 2nd edition maps on a lot of stuff for a while... and since Markustay mentioned the bloodstone lands maps saying ravensgate.... figured what the hell, take a look.

There's a place west of Filur called "Pick'N'Axe".
There's a place northeast of Filur called "Outentown".
I'm also wondering how many parties went up to "Hoarbridge" before they realized the spelling was wrong.

I'm thinking Ed really got punchy for names.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 15 Oct 2017 18:01:26
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