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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1369 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2014 :  23:45:10  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi George,

I was looking through the 2E book Prayers from the Faithful and started wondering what types of demihuman prayer books would be like. I was curious if you had given this some thought before. What would you think dwarven versions of holy books would be like?

Thank you and Happy New Year!
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JPDeed
Acolyte

Australia
14 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2014 :  17:42:30  Show Profile Send JPDeed a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi George,

Where would some locations be that shield dwarf and gold dwarf settlements interact, and in general, how do you see each subrace perceive each other as communities rather than individuals?
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JPDeed
Acolyte

Australia
14 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2014 :  17:51:52  Show Profile Send JPDeed a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Annnd one more question to peg onto that - if there are dwarven vampires, would you consider them to retain the host of standard vampire abilities/strengths/weaknesses, or something more torturous to the core of "being" a dwarf? I swear I read in an old 2nd ed. monster compendium relating to Ravenloft possibly an alternate approach to demihuman vampires.

Cheers mate!
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  07:01:06  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Hi George, hope Christmas was nice, I was wondering if you had any thoughts when the destruction of the greater riildath forest began (by the dragon overlords) and was finished by there human and hobgoblin servants.
The reason I ask is it affects my idea on the Spirit Realms I am working on in the running the realms section.
I was thinking the first dracorage would have been a big contender for the forest around ashanath and rashemen to be separated from the riildath as the dragon overlords go nuts and burn it down.
The hobgoblins and humanoid (I figure humans) soldiers of these overlords then deforest the area further.
Also if you have any ideas on who the dragons could be and where they might lair then that would be awesome. I guess the giantsrun mountains would be one dragon realm but im not sure where the others could be maybe somewhere towards thay or the hordelands.
I realise its from so long ago but the history is often the best bit



To begin to answer this query (understanding that my response is exactly that: "my response" - you can take from it what you will), you have to think of the northern reaches of the East in terms of the various inhalations and exhalations of the Great Glacier.

Before -2550 DR, there is no Great Glacier. Sure there is an ice sheet and polar cap, but I've always considered that what existed there was a huge taiga region clustered around the various mountain ranges that are best shown in the map provided by the FR Atlas by Karen Wynn Fonstad on pgs.6-7. This is where the dragons and then the giants mostly established their realms, warred and ultimately brought an end to their respective periods of preeminence. I say mostly because there were indeed giant and draconic presences in more southerly regions and indeed in what was known as the Riildath and is now the two wooded regions known as the Forest of Lethyr and the Rawlinswood.

It is indeed likely that in the dim ages this was one great wooded region, with the icy forests of the taiga giving way to more temperate forests as one travelled south. It is also likely that the wars between the giants and the dragons did deforest portions of the woodlands. As to when that may have occurred, the likely timing is for several thousand years after c. -25,000 DR as Ostoria declined from a cohesive whole to a series of giant sub-kingdoms: sub-kingdoms that the remaining vengeful and most powerful dragons saw as vulnerable to attack. While the "Time of Dragons" is delineated as being for a set period in the FR historical sources, I like to think that the end of that period of draconic mastery did not mean the end of draconic kingdoms, powerful wyrms controlling territory or wyrms receiving the fealty and submission of 'lesser races'. What it means in my book was that for the first time, draconic power was under challenge and that they indeed fell from that position of preeminence that they had previously enjoyed. In simple terms, the dragons no longer ruled all, displayed less open power and authority and were hunted and slain by the lesser races that they had previously dismissed as mere food or useful slaves. In this regard, the giants lead the way by the greatest measure but in holding forth as the dragons' biggest foe (literally and figuratively) they too were weakened and lost the power most readily exemplified by great Ostoria.

So, to the details. The woodlands of the Ashanath were ravaged in c. -18,000 DR with the fall of the realm of the great red dragon Ashanaglathos, whose primary lair was in the present-day Firward Mountains and extended south to the area of present-day Twostars, west and north in an arc to the area of Bezentil and and then northeasterly to his mountain lair. Succumbing to the dracorage he is thought to have been drowned in the Lake of Tears when the waters rose up and took him after he had brought fire and destructions to his own holdings on the western shore as well as the fey-haunted woodlands of the eastern shore (the Ashanwood is named after him when centuries later a draconic tooth of huge size washed up on the eastern shore in the Year of the Dragonstar (99 DR). From there it was taken into the woods by the Witches of Rashemen where they wove a great warding akin to a mythal preventing the "spawn of Ashanaglathos and all who had partaken of his blood" from entering the home of the telthor. Rashemen remains a land rarely troubled by dragons to this day.

Ashanaglathos was known to have hobgoblin servitors and after his death, and it is stated that many of them searched out and slew his wyrmlings, destroyed unhatched eggs and used those eggs to augment their own strength, longevity and mastery of magic. The fall of the dragon's kingdom saw his servants scattered, with the most powerful hobgoblins trekking north to join kin, but some moving west into the forests where they eked out a nomadic existence, avoiding the bigger races.

Other dragons did rule kingdoms in and around the Unapproachable East, but most are dead or disappeared from living memory. One of the most enduring was the green dragon Galaminthautor, who ruled the woodland comprised of the present-day Forest of Lethyr from the time of the dracorage to the coming of the dark elves of Ilythiir (those woodlands extending much further south, to the borders of present-day Thesk in those long ago days). The Ilythiiri are thought to have either slain or enslaved her after a titanic struggle and she was not seen or heard of again after c. -10,250 DR.

The white dragon Norfaerhoern is believed to have ruled from a lair located in the northern most peak of the present-day Icerim Mountains. Less savage than the standard dragons of his ilk, Norfaerhoern is known to have wielded amazing magics including allowing him to alter temperatures and sustain life in otherwise inhospitable polar regions. He is believed to have created several 'hidden valley' lairs throughout the northern reaches of the East where he would stash food (on the hoof - rothe in the main), treasure and lore on rune magic plundered from the giants. Human prehistoric tales talk of the 'Cloud of Claws' and the 'Yellow Eye of Frost', both thought to refer to Norfaerhoern, but his passing was not noted and it is unknown how and when he left the world, if at all.

Perhaps one of the most interesting tales of the dragons of the East is that of a dragon of unknown species known only as Orslinn, or "the Great Slave" in the tongue of the serpentfolk. This dragon is thought to have been taken as a hatchling by the Ba'etith with the advent of the Time of Dragons and nurtured by this mysterious group for purposes unknown. When the Thousand Year War commenced some sages postulate that in an attempt to return to past glories, the final gambit of the sarrukh was realised. Orslinn was unleashed upon the draconic avatar of Garyx and slew him in a huge battle over the skies of the present-day Tortured Lands, preventing the dragons from regaining hegemony over the Realms. With the fall of Ostoria, the sarrukh believed that they could return to their position of power but the departure of most of the sarrukh of Okoth had left that realm too weak to seize its opportunity and the other sarrukh realms were not in a position to take advantage. The fate of Orslinn is unknown but there are some sages who believe that he lives on in stasis, perhaps somewhere deep underneath the Dragonjaw Mountains, awaiting the next sarrukh gambit and attempt to return to power in the Realms.

I hope this has been helpful.

-- George Krashos

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

Edited by - George Krashos on 03 Jan 2014 07:05:05
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  07:20:58  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jakuta Khan

Hi george,

Since you gave the information about the previously existing Hobgoblin empire / kingdom in or on impilturs borders, i was wondering.

I have asked ed previously about why hobgoblins do not build realms elsewhere in the realms - and he explained it by their very nature, being satisfied if they can get what they need and them then only defending to maintain this ( frankly interpreted... )
So i wonder why the hobgoblins in this area have been behaving different. First i thought it might have had to do with being ruled by soneillon and she forcing them to their will.
But they acted aggressively etc. And founding realms way earlier than she arrived.

So are they of a different stock? Have they got a completely different mindset than hobgoblins elsewhere in the realms?

Thank you very much for some reply.

Btw happy new year to you!!



No, I don't think they've acted all that differently from standard hobgoblins. Ed's view on hobgoblins applies just as much to the hobgoblins I've talked about and described as to the hobgoblins of the Heartlands or the North. Where they have acted in a warlike or aggressive manner (which is what I presume you are referring to) it has been due to the fact that they have had no choice. Other than when controlled, ruled or manipulated by other more powerful entities (dragon overlords, the Ilythiiri of Narathmault or Soneillon), circumstances have forced them to take on an aggressive mindset for survival. The formation and expansion of the Great Glacier has been the catalyst for most of this, shrinking their living space, destroying their food sources and bringing them into close (and deadly) proximity to racial enemies such as humans, elves and dwarves where previous geographical space had kept them apart save for skirmishing and raiding. The only realm of consequence that they created was Haekrukkha, but it was so close to the elves of Larlotha and the dwarves of Earthfast that it was always doomed. I'd refer you to previous pages in my thread where the history of the East was fleshed out somewhat. That timeline makes it clear that the hobgoblins are reacting to circumstances, not being out and out aggressors.

However, I do consider that my "eastern Hobgoblins" are more warlike than standard hobgoblins, and possessed of a "we'll get you before you get us" mindset. That hasn't seen them become dumb savages though. They remain wily and patient foes, strong in the magics they wield, and always planning and acting with foresight.

--- George Krashos

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

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  07:30:10  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JPDeed

Annnd one more question to peg onto that - if there are dwarven vampires, would you consider them to retain the host of standard vampire abilities/strengths/weaknesses, or something more torturous to the core of "being" a dwarf? I swear I read in an old 2nd ed. monster compendium relating to Ravenloft possibly an alternate approach to demihuman vampires.

Cheers mate!



Indeed, the Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium provided different stats for dwarven vampires as opposed to "standard" ones. I managed to find a link for the write up here:

http://www.lomion.de/cmm/vampdwar.php

I personally like the idea of 'intelligent' undead such as vampires and liches having a few standard basic abilities but variations depending on race and/or class in life that would make them much more interesting to play against and keep an adventuring party on their toes as it were.

-- George Krashos

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

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  08:56:20  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent lore as alway. I picture dragons in the same way. Yes before they had massive empires and were almost unchallenged. Then the madness strikes them and they destroy it all, but as the madness subsides they build it up again (they have hundreds of years to do so) only to destroy it again and again in a great cycle that gradually diminishes their empires and their race over the millenia. I figure the purple dragon of Cormyr and Iyrauroth of the Galenas were probably the last such dragon overlords that ruled a kingdom (and scores of smaller dragons).

I have to disagree slightly about the ice since there is little snippets that point to ice covering the cold lands far back in time, plus giantcraft said Ulutiu was slain before or during the war with the dragons but we can blame all the inconsistencies on Giantcraft. I figure that the tearfall and creation of evermeet can explain away any climate change and ice creep/receding as the meteor impact could have knocked the planet out of its solar orbit slightly and the sundering would have changed the ocean wind patterns both of which would definitely have an effect on climate change.

Cheers for the excellent lore, i never could have come up with anything nearly as interesting. It's a shame i never got to hear your version of the origins of Narathmault.

ps. any verdict on the timeline of Impiltur i sent over, did i miss anything?

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  10:33:56  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JPDeed

Hi George,

Where would some locations be that shield dwarf and gold dwarf settlements interact, and in general, how do you see each subrace perceive each other as communities rather than individuals?



I can't think of anywhere in the Realms that a shield dwarf settlement and a gold dwarf settlement would be in a position to interact on a large scale. That said, I present to you one of the more peculiar dwarven discoveries of recent times.

In the Year of the Rock (1289 DR), a group of dwarves of Clan Deepshield, a small clan situated in a series of deep caverns beneath the southern Stormhorns east of Proskur and known as Sarndul, came upon a dwarven tunnel complex in the peaks of the neighbouring Sunset Mountains. Unlocking a series of rune doors (doors that opened only after a series of dethek runes were pressed in the correct sequence - pressing the wrong rune caused various magical and mundane traps to be triggered), the dwarves entered a series of interconnected rooms and storehouses and discovered that the complex had been constructed as a safehold for King Bryth Firebeard, blood of Thordbard, last ruler of fallen Oghrann. They found little of note other than magically preserved food, a cache of weapons and armour and a a small mithral sphere, covered in runes, and described by the High One Tol Deepshield as "the merest of baubles, but verily singing with the touch of the Soulforger".

Holding the sphere and pronouncing the word "barast" created a shimmering, silver portal that snatched all who touched or passed through it to another subterranean complex. Little in the way of treasure was found in this further complex but careful exploration of the surrounding region caused the elders of Clan Deepshield to discover that the further complex was located on the northern fringes of Torglor, deep beneath the Snowflake Mountains and once a sub-kingdom of fabled Shanatar. Clan Deepshield used this further complex for storage and for limited exploration but soon considered that the dangers posed by the Middledark meant that the complex, which they named Borontar, had little value other than as a fungi farm for food.

And so it was with some surprise in the Year of the Starfall (1300 DR) that dwarves of Clan Deepshield, making a routine visit to harvest fungi, encountered dwarves of Clan Hundelve of Tarnhall in the Deep Realms surveying their work. What was initially a tense encounter soon gave way to stout converse as dwarven politeness and social graces took hold. As it turned out, Clan Hundelve had been aware of Borontar for over five centuries, they too having come across a mithral sphere identical to the one held by Clan Deepshield, and had also considered the place of little real value. Clan elders had however mandated that the place be visited every 50 years and that was the reason for their presence. And so it was that a scant ten-day later Axelord Ebersar Deepshield, blood of Arn "the Giantslayer", ruler of his clan met with Axelord Rathagos "the Red", son of Tybult, leader of Clan Hundelve to discuss the fate of Borontar. After some careful and shrewd negotiation it was agreed that Borontar would continue to be used as a vast fungus farm, supplying Clan Hundelve with a source of food that it would use to ease its reliance on provender coming out of Daunting. In return, Clan Hundelve provided the Deepshield dwarves with raw metals that were in scarce supply in the North, primarily hizagkuur and a metal known as yaethil (in our world, nickel).

As such, the settlement of Borontar (for a settlement it has become: a small collective of fungus farmers, carters, guards and the everpresent bureaucracy that facilitate the trade between the two clans) has flourished although not without teething problems. As expected, the gold dwarves of Tarnhall find the shield dwarves of the Stormhorns to be lacking in refinement, slow of speech and wit and 'nothing better than farmers'. The dwarves of Clan Deepshield find the gold dwarves to be soft, full of airs and graces and 'in need of a good go round with an orc horde'. Only the patience and growing friendship of the two main administrators Daurant Deepshield and Obar Hundelve has seen matters run smoothly. They have rightly deduced that Borontar was likely a way post between fledgling Oghrann, great Shanatar and the Deep Realm in the very early days of the dwarven settlement of the North, created to speed couriers, high level diplomats and to serve as an emergency refuge. That said, the interactions between the gold and shield dwarves have been cordial and without any major incident. There have even been three marriages, although secrecy has caused elaborate tales to be put in place as to how a gold or shield dwarf has ended up in Tarnhall and Sarndul respectively.

In recent decades, with the arrival of githyanki in the ruins of Torglor, the dwarves of Borontar have put an emphasis on security and greatly reduced their quiet exploration of Borontar's environs.They have built up a small arsenal of weapons and armaments scavenged from the ruins of Torglor that they know are most effective against creatures strong in the Invisible Art but do not intend to hold Borontar to the detriment of their own holdings. If the day comes that Borontar is discovered by any powerful enemy, then it is likely that this interaction between gold and shield dwarves will cease and swiftly so. Until then, this unique situation remains a testament to dwarven commonsense and racial kinship.

-- George Krashos

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

Edited by - George Krashos on 03 Jan 2014 13:13:08
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  13:30:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Hi George,

I was looking through the 2E book Prayers from the Faithful and started wondering what types of demihuman prayer books would be like. I was curious if you had given this some thought before. What would you think dwarven versions of holy books would be like?

Thank you and Happy New Year!



"Prayers From the Faithful" remains one of my favourite FR products of all time and every time I read it, I take more and more from it. It's the Realms gift that keeps on giving!

I've long thought about Ed or someone with the talent (Eric Boyd would be the best alternative) doing a follow-up and wouldn't it be awesome if it included demi-human versions?! Long ago, for the Realms-L, I did a series of posts titled "Khanor's Prayer Stones" which could be described as something of "Prayers From the Faithful" treatment for Moradin. It was the second of two articles I put up to Dragon Magazine (and was told fairly quickly by Jesse Decker that it was an article that "only a Realms fan could love" and was rejected on that basis) and was written up on an old MAC. As such, I don't have an electronic copy and have a sneaking suspicion that my hard copy disappeared in one of my house moves. The Realms-L archives contain a reference to the posting I did but clearly it occurred before the archiving process was put in place.

I've toyed recently with trying to recreate it - much of it remains vivid in my memory from the frontpiece flavour quote to the spells it contained - but I've not got the time just right now to devote to that task.

I've always wondered why Ed omitted such deities as Tempus and Talona from his "Prayers From the Faithful" book (and others such as Lliira and Leira while we're at it) and live in hope that he actually did write up 'tomes' for those deities that might one day see the light of day. Here's hoping.

-- George Krashos

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

Australia
14 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  17:45:50  Show Profile Send JPDeed a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Most excellent. A meaty chunk of stout folk lore. This fills many gaps for me... and thanks for digging up that dwarf vampire link too... you are a c
champ . Expect more dwarvish (dwarven?) questions to come!
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6216 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  18:29:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Hi George, hope Christmas was nice, I was wondering if you had any thoughts when the destruction of the greater riildath forest began (by the dragon overlords) and was finished by there human and hobgoblin servants.
The reason I ask is it affects my idea on the Spirit Realms I am working on in the running the realms section.
I was thinking the first dracorage would have been a big contender for the forest around ashanath and rashemen to be separated from the riildath as the dragon overlords go nuts and burn it down.
The hobgoblins and humanoid (I figure humans) soldiers of these overlords then deforest the area further.
Also if you have any ideas on who the dragons could be and where they might lair then that would be awesome. I guess the giantsrun mountains would be one dragon realm but im not sure where the others could be maybe somewhere towards thay or the hordelands.
I realise its from so long ago but the history is often the best bit



To begin to answer this query (understanding that my response is exactly that: "my response" - you can take from it what you will), you have to think of the northern reaches of the East in terms of the various inhalations and exhalations of the Great Glacier.

Before -2550 DR, there is no Great Glacier. Sure there is an ice sheet and polar cap, but I've always considered that what existed there was a huge taiga region clustered around the various mountain ranges that are best shown in the map provided by the FR Atlas by Karen Wynn Fonstad on pgs.6-7. This is where the dragons and then the giants mostly established their realms, warred and ultimately brought an end to their respective periods of preeminence. I say mostly because there were indeed giant and draconic presences in more southerly regions and indeed in what was known as the Riildath and is now the two wooded regions known as the Forest of Lethyr and the Rawlinswood.

It is indeed likely that in the dim ages this was one great wooded region, with the icy forests of the taiga giving way to more temperate forests as one travelled south. It is also likely that the wars between the giants and the dragons did deforest portions of the woodlands. As to when that may have occurred, the likely timing is for several thousand years after c. -25,000 DR as Ostoria declined from a cohesive whole to a series of giant sub-kingdoms: sub-kingdoms that the remaining vengeful and most powerful dragons saw as vulnerable to attack. While the "Time of Dragons" is delineated as being for a set period in the FR historical sources, I like to think that the end of that period of draconic mastery did not mean the end of draconic kingdoms, powerful wyrms controlling territory or wyrms receiving the fealty and submission of 'lesser races'. What it means in my book was that for the first time, draconic power was under challenge and that they indeed fell from that position of preeminence that they had previously enjoyed. In simple terms, the dragons no longer ruled all, displayed less open power and authority and were hunted and slain by the lesser races that they had previously dismissed as mere food or useful slaves. In this regard, the giants lead the way by the greatest measure but in holding forth as the dragons' biggest foe (literally and figuratively) they too were weakened and lost the power most readily exemplified by great Ostoria.

So, to the details. The woodlands of the Ashanath were ravaged in c. -18,000 DR with the fall of the realm of the great red dragon Ashanaglathos, whose primary lair was in the present-day Firward Mountains and extended south to the area of present-day Twostars, west and north in an arc to the area of Bezentil and and then northeasterly to his mountain lair. Succumbing to the dracorage he is thought to have been drowned in the Lake of Tears when the waters rose up and took him after he had brought fire and destructions to his own holdings on the western shore as well as the fey-haunted woodlands of the eastern shore (the Ashanwood is named after him when centuries later a draconic tooth of huge size washed up on the eastern shore in the Year of the Dragonstar (99 DR). From there it was taken into the woods by the Witches of Rashemen where they wove a great warding akin to a mythal preventing the "spawn of Ashanaglathos and all who had partaken of his blood" from entering the home of the telthor. Rashemen remains a land rarely troubled by dragons to this day.

Ashanaglathos was known to have hobgoblin servitors and after his death, and it is stated that many of them searched out and slew his wyrmlings, destroyed unhatched eggs and used those eggs to augment their own strength, longevity and mastery of magic. The fall of the dragon's kingdom saw his servants scattered, with the most powerful hobgoblins trekking north to join kin, but some moving west into the forests where they eked out a nomadic existence, avoiding the bigger races.

Other dragons did rule kingdoms in and around the Unapproachable East, but most are dead or disappeared from living memory. One of the most enduring was the green dragon Galaminthautor, who ruled the woodland comprised of the present-day Forest of Lethyr from the time of the dracorage to the coming of the dark elves of Ilythiir (those woodlands extending much further south, to the borders of present-day Thesk in those long ago days). The Ilythiiri are thought to have either slain or enslaved her after a titanic struggle and she was not seen or heard of again after c. -10,250 DR.

The white dragon Norfaerhoern is believed to have ruled from a lair located in the northern most peak of the present-day Icerim Mountains. Less savage than the standard dragons of his ilk, Norfaerhoern is known to have wielded amazing magics including allowing him to alter temperatures and sustain life in otherwise inhospitable polar regions. He is believed to have created several 'hidden valley' lairs throughout the northern reaches of the East where he would stash food (on the hoof - rothe in the main), treasure and lore on rune magic plundered from the giants. Human prehistoric tales talk of the 'Cloud of Claws' and the 'Yellow Eye of Frost', both thought to refer to Norfaerhoern, but his passing was not noted and it is unknown how and when he left the world, if at all.

Perhaps one of the most interesting tales of the dragons of the East is that of a dragon of unknown species known only as Orslinn, or "the Great Slave" in the tongue of the serpentfolk. This dragon is thought to have been taken as a hatchling by the Ba'etith with the advent of the Time of Dragons and nurtured by this mysterious group for purposes unknown. When the Thousand Year War commenced some sages postulate that in an attempt to return to past glories, the final gambit of the sarrukh was realised. Orslinn was unleashed upon the draconic avatar of Garyx and slew him in a huge battle over the skies of the present-day Tortured Lands, preventing the dragons from regaining hegemony over the Realms. With the fall of Ostoria, the sarrukh believed that they could return to their position of power but the departure of most of the sarrukh of Okoth had left that realm too weak to seize its opportunity and the other sarrukh realms were not in a position to take advantage. The fate of Orslinn is unknown but there are some sages who believe that he lives on in stasis, perhaps somewhere deep underneath the Dragonjaw Mountains, awaiting the next sarrukh gambit and attempt to return to power in the Realms.

I hope this has been helpful.

-- George Krashos



Liking the Ashanaglathos lore. Would need to hear more on the green dragon Galaminthautor, as this makes him about 15 thousand years old when he finally passes.... lot of time to be over the Lethyr forest. The Orslinn lore is very intriguing (and noting the tortured lands where Orslinn and Garyx fought was would be relatively close <west of> to the fire giant kingdom of Helligheim which contained Ironfang Keep). That he was a dragon of unknown origin makes me wonder if he wasn't heavily experimented upon by the Sarrukh. Maybe he had multiple heads, multiple breath weapons, a poisonous bite, a natural carapace similar to a dragon turtle... or who knows what else (and maybe his magic was of an entirely different sort.... maybe he used the giants rune magic, or incarnum or pact magic).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  19:34:35  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooh, good idea I was thinking unknown origin meant like Inferno or Garnet but a dragon covered in grafts is much better. I wonder if they could use their alteration abilities on him because a dragon is slightly reptilian in nature.

A 15,000 year old dragon is a brilliant idea, imagine the size and power of him, I bet she wouldn't be able to fly at that age. But if you love your pact magic a 15,000 year old dragon is bound to be a good candidate for a vestige.

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kysus
Learned Scribe

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2014 :  02:32:28  Show Profile  Visit kysus's Homepage  Send kysus an AOL message Send kysus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
hello george,
First i wanted to say how much i loved your article on Impiltur in dragon 346. I use that article alot for when my D&D group does games in that area. So there were a number of questions Ive sorta saved up about the area i was hoping you could help me with.
The first one that i was wondering about was a grove of trees called Alithyn's copse in the grey forest. If you had any further notes on this grove and if it was linked to the legend in the campaign setting about a number of elves turning themselves in to trees to escape destruction?
Any light you could shed on this would be much awesome.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6216 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2014 :  13:45:36  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Ooh, good idea I was thinking unknown origin meant like Inferno or Garnet but a dragon covered in grafts is much better. I wonder if they could use their alteration abilities on him because a dragon is slightly reptilian in nature.

A 15,000 year old dragon is a brilliant idea, imagine the size and power of him, I bet she wouldn't be able to fly at that age. But if you love your pact magic a 15,000 year old dragon is bound to be a good candidate for a vestige.



Oooo, I like that idea of it becoming a vestige/spirit creature.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1369 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2014 :  13:42:40  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow indeed! This is great stuff! Totally using this in our current campaign!
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 09 Jan 2014 :  15:25:55  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  Reply with Quote
Awesome stuff, Krash!

I'm positively bewildered by just where and when I'll make use of this great material in my Realms.

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Derulbaskul
Senior Scribe

Singapore
378 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  07:25:35  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, George and AJA. You're a pair of top blokes. (As an Australian I can get away with saying that.)

I've just been preparing some things for a new campaign in the North and Khanor's Prayer Stones provides some really great flavour. (Edit) And Baghtru's fist is going to be used first....

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Awesome stuff, Krash!

I'm positively bewildered by just where and when I'll make use of this great material in my Realms.



I came to this thread for George's talent... and came away laughing at Sage's humour. As if you will ever get around to using this material.... :)


Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.

Edited by - Derulbaskul on 10 Jan 2014 07:27:48
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mikemax
Acolyte

12 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  21:10:15  Show Profile Send mikemax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK, I've been reading posts on here and looking at all of the supplements that I own but can't seem to find very many details on how the Warswords are organized and even less on how the Warwands.
George (or anyone else who knows) can you expand any on the inner workings of these groups?
Thanks much.

Edited by - mikemax on 13 Jan 2014 16:21:11
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2014 :  16:51:59  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the following information but dont know where its from, probably from one of George's posts, since i noted its from Candlekeep.

quote:
Warsword barracks .... can call on up to 5 'warpoints' of the Warswords (a 'warpoint' is a force of 100 warblades, 5 warswords, and an alorn leader. Five warpoints make a 'warspear', which is led by a Highsword.


Of course that doesnt mean a warsword contains only 5 warpoints just that a warsword barracks can spare 5 warpoints to be called upon by a settlement. I would imagine that a Warsword unit is mutable depending upon the situation. So in more dangerous areas or times the warsword will contain more warpoints.

Also note that the term warsword seems to be applied to units and individuals which might be confusing i.e. a warrior could be of warsword rank in the Warsword organisation.

And of course this is only 3rd edition lore so no idea what it is like now.

I did note that more information may be in Power of Faerun so it might be worth looking there.

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mikemax
Acolyte

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Posted - 13 Jan 2014 :  18:43:46  Show Profile Send mikemax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Dazler. I'd seen both of those bits before and was hoping I'd merely missed something else in another post or source. The stuff in PF seems to just be a list of ranks within the Warsword and how they translate to modern day military ranks.
I guess I'm really looking for more about the makeup of the Warwands and the hierarchy between them and the Warswords. How many warwands would be attached to a warpoint or a warspear? How do they determine who is in charge of a given situation when confronted with officers holding the same rank but differing branches? That sort of thing.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2014 :  04:54:51  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikemax

OK, I've been reading posts on here and looking at all of the supplements that I own but can't seem to find very many details on how the Warswords are organized and even less on how the Warwands.



Okay, a bit of history first. Because, you know, history is my thing.

The Warswords of Impiltur as a standing army was proclaimed and established by King Imphras I "the Great" in the year of his accession to the throne in the Year of the Gleaming Crown (1097 DR). At first it was a titular army, consisting of only traditional Heltharn retainers and those warriors and nobles who had sworn fealty to Imphras after the defeat of the hobgoblins.

In 1100 DR, Imphras set about organising the Warswords into a semblance of the army that exists in the present-day (and by present-day, all of my writings on Impiltur can be considered to be about the situation c. 1372 DR unless otherwise indicated). He created the ranks set out in "Power of Faerun" (p.29) and set about filling the ranks as he worked slowly and carefully to reduce the powers of the nobles of Impiltur by co-opting their armed hosts that had formed out of the tumult of the Kingless Years.

At this time, there were no Warwands. The Mage Royal Velgarbrin took on handful of apprentices but they were too few to form anything that could be considered to be the equivalent of the War Wizards of Cormyr.

Where the Warswords did have an advantage over most armies was Imphras' request to the clergy of the Triad to incorporate priests into the Warswords. In return he promised them that the Triad would henceforth be the state religion of Impiltur, an oath that the Heltharn line has honoured to the present time. These priests held no rank in the Warswords, were universally known simply as Warmaces, and were allocated as thought necessary by any ranking officer of Shieldlord level or higher to units of the Warswords.

Imphras' foresight in this regard was of huge benefit to the Warswords of Impiltur when they rode to war in 1110 DR against Thay to protect Telflamm (for the Balindres had sworn fealty to Impiltur on Imphras' accession, making that city once more a part of the realm) and to honour the Blackblade Treaty signed with Thesk in 1098 DR, when they were the first realm in the Unapproachable East to formally recognise Heltharn rule and the reunification of Impiltur. In addition, Imphras's actions had a personal motive as well, for he had familial ties with the Mindosels of Milvarune, for his wife Sambral was of the Mindosel line (although several generations distantly related to the reigning oligarch Jholnareer and through the line of Aulina, his sister who died in 981 DR). Sambral's sister Mhilra was also a sorceress like Sambral, and would become tutor to Ilmara for a brief two seasons after Sambral died before Ilmara left the realm for a short but eventful adventuring career. Mhilra would in time become the first head of the Warwands.

Imphras' blooding of the Warswords occurred in the campaign against Thay culminating in the Battle of Phent where the priestly magic of the Warmaces managed to withstand and prevail over the wizardry of the Red Wizards. That battle pressed home to Imphras the importance of wizardry on the 'modern' battlefield however, and on his return to Impiltur, he tasked the Mage Royal Velgarbrin with the recruitiment and training of mages to complement the blades of the Warswords.

Imbrar was on the throne of Impiltur a scant five years before he lead his ill-fated foray into the Giantspire Mountains to eradicate the menace of the hobgoblins "once and for all". With him he took his Royal Guard bearing Soargar's Legacy and almost half of the Warsword of Impiltur, numbering about 3,000 men in total. With him also went a group of about sixteen wizards, all of them apprentices of Velgarbrin. They were lead by, Arabrin, a nephew of the Mage Royal, come to serve Impiltur from Baldur's Gate. They along with their companions never returned from this tragic expedition and the disaster caused great consternation throughout the kingdom as the populace awaited another invasion from the hobgoblin hordes.

That invasion did not come to pass, for Imbrar's assault had damaged the hobgoblins considerably, causing the death of their senior war leaders and more importantly, almost all of their shamans. Weakened already by the defeat of the horde of 1095 DR, this attack caused significant disruption in the hobgoblin ranks, bringing about significant infighting as new chieftains rose to prominence "the hard way" and shamanic power only reintroduced slowly as acolytes were trained and grew in power. It is estimated that it took the hobgoblins the better part of 30 winters to recover from Imbrar's attack and in that time Queen Ilmara had returned Impiltur to a position of military strength.

Ilmara's first initiative was the official establishment of the Warwands in 1130 DR. Appointing her aunt Mhilra as head of the Warwands (she was soon known to the rank and file as "Old Greystave", but never to her face), Impiltur saw an influx of young, ambitious mages from around the lands of the Inner Sea, seeking adventure, training and opportunity.

Since the time of Ilmara the might of the Warswords and Warwands has waxed and waned reaching a nadir in the time of Lashilmbrar, but a position of pre-eminence under the aegis of the Lords of Imphras II and the regency of Sambryl. It is by far the most formidable, standing, regular army in the Unapproachable East.

Okay, end of the boring stuff. Given your patience, here's the stuff that you are actually interested in!

Each of the Lords of Imphras II has the rank of War Captain, while the reigning monarch has the titular rank of High Captain.

The Warsword of Impiltur has a paper strength of 18,000 warriors plus officers, supplemented by the Warwand (whose number is more fluid but usually hovers around 250 mages of levels between 5 and 10). The Warsword is broken up into three main groupings centred around Ilmwatch, Tower Ithfell and Tower Torfell on the outskirts of Filur. These centres are administrative in that the actual rank and file of the Warsword is stationed at a host of locations involving barracks (near every major town and city), hillforts (throughout the Uplands) and in a few key, strategic places (for example: near the Citadel of Conjurers and at the Narrows where the Herald's Road crosses the Great Imphras River on the road to Ilmwatch) throughout the kingdom. The three groupings are labelled the Blacksword (Ilmwatch), the Greysword (Tower Ithfell) and the Whitesword (Tower Torfell) respectively and warriors from each grouping wear a surcoat or arm ribbon in that particular colour (black, grey, white). Each Sword has about 6,000 warswords on paper but active strength is usually about 2/3 to 3/4 of this due to absences, illness etc.

The Blacksword is lead by Wargauntlet Perindrar Drelnorth. He in turn commands three Shields commanded by Vigilars, Milindrauth "the Boldblade" Herrill, Lanbrar Wintersun and Relraun Starsunder, respectively. Each shield consists of two warspears led by a Highsword.

The Greyword is lead by Wargauntlet Helfen Dintersan. He in turn commands three Shields commanded by Vigilars, Orban Mountstad, Indra "Twoblades" Mellethin and Forgar Caranthoon, respectively.

The Whitesword is lead by Wargauntlet Menedrar Forgecrown. He in turn commands three Shields commanded by Vigilars, Crelaun Evenoak, Drammor Brandosk and Tarthaun Wellhaven, respectively.

The head of the Warwand is ostensibly the Mage Royal Selarbrin, but in military matters he defers to the Highstave of the Warwand.

The current Highstave of the Warwand is Darathaun Steelorm. He is equivalent in rank to the Wargauntlets but cannot give orders to a unit of the Warsword led by a Highsword or higher. In days past, there was considerable friction between the Warsword and the Warwand regarding who outranked who and who could command what. The Lords of Imphras II have put paid to much of this, making it known that in matters military, the Warsword outranks the Warwand in the context of decisions made on the battlefield. As such, the Warwand acts in close concert with the Warsword and command over the Warwand is in practical terms delegated to the commanding Warsword officer if he is of Highsword rank or higher. The structure of the Warwand is such that every member is a Warstave with three Shieldstaves available to command ad-hoc groupings of the Warwand as deemed necessary. What this means in practical terms is that the Shieldstave is responsible for tactical, battlefield decisions (i.e. I want three fireballs at that hobgoblin battle standard, now!) and orders to the Warstaves as communicated from the Warsword commanding in any engagement.

A Shieldstave is considered to be the equivalent in rank to a Vigilar. Just who or how many Warwand members will be attached to any particular Sword of the Warsword depends on particular circumstances and there are no permanent arrangements in place in that regard (i.e. there is no set number of Warwand mages stationed with the Blacksword). This is so because in peace time, the Warwand has more mundane duties dealing with the magical needs of the kingdom varying from weather manipulation, security, spying and other such matters of state. As such, they are by necessity scattered in pockets throughout the kingdom undertaking tasks at the direction of the Mage Royal.

In addition to the Warsword and Warwand of Impitur, there are two further organisations that have significance in Impiltur in military terms.The most important of these is the organisation known as the Knights of Imphras II. Details on this group can be found in "Champions of Valor" (p.88-92). The Knights of Imphras II are the de-facto Royal Guard of the kingdom, which was never officially replaced after its demise following King Imbrar's ruinous assault on the hobgoblins.

The Knights of Imphras II number some 3,000 rank and file, with varying equivalent 'ranks' in the Warsword down from Highsword but never a lowly Warblade. Currently, Lords Delimbrar, Simgar and Haelimbrar are the ruling Triumvirate of the Order and govern its affairs.

The Shrikelords are all considered to be the equivalent of Vigilars. In time of war, the Shrikelords elect one of their number to the position of Blessed Shield, which is the equivalent of a Shieldlord in the Warsword. He is the battlefield commander of the order in situations where one of the Triumvirate is unable to lead the Knights personally.

There is considerable friction between the Warsword and the Knights of Imphras II. As the quasi-Royal Guard of the realm, the Knights are responsible for much of the security pertaining to the Council of Lords, the Queen-Regent and young King Imbrar. In this regard they often clash with Warsword commanders in areas outside the major cities/settlements over who is to guard what. This friction has yet to endure the test of battle, but in the absence of strong command and control, may be a weakness that can be exploited by an enemy.

Finally, the Crown, through the Council of Lords, keeps a stable of auxiliaries known as Swordpoints throughout the kingdom (see the short story "Answered Prayers" by Elaine Cunningham in the Best of the Realms Book III anthology - p.333). Usually recruited for a specific purpose (i.e. a search and destroy mission into the Giantspires or a pirate hunting expedition off the Easting Coast), Swordpoints are commanded by Blueswords, who in equivalent terms are Alorns in the Warsword. However, whereas no officer of a Swordpoint unit can command any Warsword member (even a lowly Warblade), any Warsword Officer of Alorn level or higher can command any Swordpoint or Swordpoint unit. To alleviate the almost ubiquitous conflict that ensues, it is commonplace for the Council of Lords to second a Warsword officer or a Knight of Imphras II to command such units. Swordpoint units are usually given fanciful names such as 'Toreld's Terrors' or 'Marrill's Marauders' and rarely exist longer than a season. It is known that in time of war, the Crown has laws in place to co-opt all fighting men, mercenaries and adventurers into Swordpoint units by decree. Anyone refusing such service is henceforth banished from Impiltur forever.

Well, I hope this has been helpful. If you need anything else, let me know.

-- George Krashos

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

Edited by - George Krashos on 30 Sep 2014 13:24:22
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2014 :  13:02:31  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent as always, i look forward to adding this to my Impiltur document and fleshing out the history which is always the best bit

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6216 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2014 :  14:59:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
good catch on the Elaine entries. I definitely wouldn't have caught that, and I especially like the idea that the crown can basically draft all available mercenaries and adventurers in the country during time of war.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4948 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2014 :  16:00:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it. I picked up the Elaine Cunningham short story reference because she got in touch with me back in the day to ask how Impiltur would react to a drow walking around among the general population. I helped her tweak some of her prose before the anthology came out. Those were the good old days when there were a few projects on the go and writers/designers would ask for research help and proof reading. I've always got a kick out of someone mentioning that they really liked this or that element of the Realms when that one was 'mine'. Every time I play "Lords of Waterdeep" on my phone, I smile when I play the Artor Morlin quest considering I'm the one who gave him a name many, many years ago.

-- George Krashos

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

12 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2014 :  14:41:39  Show Profile Send mikemax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info George. That was exactly what I was hoping for. I'm sure that I will have some more specific questions once I've fully digested all the details.
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