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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2008 :  15:03:15  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  Delete Topic
Well met

This being a continued collection of scrolls of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a master who needs no introduction, namely - Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms.

Ed's works include MANY FR sourcebooks and numerous novels, such as Cormyr: A Novel, Spellfire, Silverfall, The Shadows of the Avatar Trilogy and The Elminster Series, to name but a few.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this author.

For previous entries of the many, many writings of lore by Ed, please see the 2008 entries in this collection of scrolls, the 2007 entries here, the 2006 entries here, the 2005 entries here, and the 2004 entries here. 'ware, these run into over 80 pages, ye may be reading for some time. For a concise read of Ed's replies, visit the "So Saith Ed" page on the Candlekeep site.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

freyar
Learned Scribe

Canada
220 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2008 :  15:23:58  Show Profile  Visit freyar's Homepage Send freyar a Private Message
Just popping in to wish Ed, THO, and all the scribes a happy and prosperous New Year in 2009!

My DnD Links and Creations
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2008 :  16:23:37  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And I send those same wishes back to all of you, from me and from Ed. Having such lively, creative, friendly, and intellectually "alive" scribes to rub shoulders with warms and inspires us both. I know Ed views the Keep as the equivalent of a club or quiet, cozy pub where everyone's a friend and fellow Realms enthusiast, and interacting here recharges his batteries.
So, thank you, all.

And in the spirit of dispensing Realmslore (in the manner of Death playing the Hogfather: Ho. Ho. Ho.), I bring Ed's latest Realmslore reply, this one to gomez's query: " What is Lady Addee Ulphor of Shadowdale like? I suspect she is human, or less likely a half-elf? The FRCG doesn't say, so I assume human.
Edit:
I actually picture her a middle-aged woman, likely a bit stubborn and apparently not much charmed by the Sage of Shadowdale (she probably refers to him as 'that mad nutter').
Anyway, I can add any details myself, but I need to know her race (and anything else already determined) to avoid any conflicts with past or future lore."
Ed replies:


Lady Addee is human, though her first name and her very large eyes bespeak elven blood in her past (actually, two half-elves, one a great-grandparent and the other a grandparent on the other side, with everyone else in her ancestry human). She is swift-witted, has a SUPERB memory for names and faces, is conservative and apt to be disapproving of new ways and manners (though NOT prim), and can be quite sharp-tongued when she wants to be. Yes, she's stubborn, and yes, she disapproves of Elminster or anyone else who "goes to strange places, does strange things, indulges in whimsy, and doesn't keep quiet about it, so that he puts odd ideas into the heads of folk and it all leads to tumult and upset."
Lady Addee usually dresses conservatively (ankle-length gowns with shoulder-cloaks [we would call them shawls, though they are NEVER open-work weaves, being instead solid cloth lined with solid cloth - - as are her dresses]). If gardening or out walking in wet conditions or muddy places, she'll wear breeches and mens' leather boots under her gowns, and may hike up the gowns to her knee and "belt them up" at that length. She's a good cook and a sturdy, "do the next task that has to be done, put in a good day's work to see a brighter tomorrow" sort who's physically active and not afraid of work, including trying new tasks she's never done before if they become necessary and she can't think of someone handy who's better trained or experienced. So she preserves, makes wine and small beer, "puts up" her own herbs and makes her own pots, and so on. Over the years, she's picked up a smattering of many languages (that is, she can read, write, and speak a few simple phrases in over a dozen tongues), though she generally keeps this to herself, and is fluent only in Common.
So far as I know, gomez, that's all we have on the lady: my notes plus what's been published. So feel free to add details (hair length, friends, foes, etc.) as the adventure necessitates, or prod me to make up more; i don't mind at all. :}


So saith Ed. Who has to go retrieve his granddaughter from a sleepover now, then drive hither and yon shopping shopping shopping (lads and lasses, Ed is positively feminine in his love of shopping!). He promises more Realmslore replies as soon as he can sit down to write them.

love to all,
and may you all have a splendid 2009!
(Bows to The Sage for handling the year-end turnover as smoothly as usual. Another family story coming in the fullness of time, Ed promises.)
THO
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2008 :  17:48:31  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
I just want to wish everyone here a Happy New Year!

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Nerfed2Hell
Senior Scribe

USA
387 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2008 :  22:00:45  Show Profile  Visit Nerfed2Hell's Homepage Send Nerfed2Hell a Private Message
Here's one, hope this hasn't been asked to death before but I haven't gotten through all the older scrolls of Ed's replies...


What can you tell us about Filfaeril's family and how she and King Azoun got together?

Some people are like a slinky... not good for much, but when you push them down the stairs, it makes you smile.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2008 :  23:02:03  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

And in the spirit of dispensing Realmslore (in the manner of Death playing the Hogfather: Ho. Ho. Ho.)
Ed is really the Hogfather?
quote:
(Bows to The Sage for handling the year-end turnover as smoothly as usual. Another family story coming in the fullness of time, Ed promises.)
THO
No worries my Lady. I had intended on posting a question almost immediately to the '09 scroll. But celebrations kinda got in the way.

So maybe later today.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2009 :  02:26:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Nerfed2Hell,
I'm afraid Ed can't tell you much about Filfaeril (including how she and Azoun got together) because of some current NDAs and the push to get the Cormyr Lineage published.
Ed does have a partly-written (begun back in 1987!) short story up his sleeve centered on an incident in Azoun's courtship of Fee, but it, too, is "hanging fire" until the right time (i.e. those NDAs clear).
Believe me, he'd LOVE to answer you, because Filfaeril is one of his favourite characters. I believe he created her back in 1968 or 1969 (probably the latter) and has portrayed her as an NPC in our 'home' campaign Realmsplay many, many times.
love,
THO
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1172 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2009 :  03:34:31  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message
*casts some petty pyrokinesis spells on some fire works making it say:*
Happy 2009!
*poof*

Ahum. Pretty tough question. Ed, how much influence do oracles have on politics in for example Cormyr? Are the people who get visions taken seriously by rulers? How much support can a supposed prophet of Savras have in a small village? Is spouting fear inducing prohesies a crime?


My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2009 :  16:20:59  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
quote:
And in the spirit of dispensing Realmslore (in the manner of Death playing the Hogfather: Ho. Ho. Ho.)


Hmm. Shouldn't that be in capitals?
The lore is great! I'll see what we can come up with for additional details.

Gomez
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2009 :  17:30:58  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. I bring you once more the words of Ed, this time in response to this spanking-new (ahem, BAD Hooded One! Bad! We'll have to spank . . . oh. Ahem again.) query from Bladewind: "Ahum. Pretty tough question. Ed, how much influence do oracles have on politics in for example Cormyr? Are the people who get visions taken seriously by rulers? How much support can a supposed prophet of Savras have in a small village? Is spouting fear inducing prohesies a crime?"
Ed replies:


A FEW hermit and rural oracles are still taken very seriously in Faerun, particularly "new ones," whom most folk believe are truly the direct mouthpieces of deities speaking through them. Most long-established and temple-based oracles are only heeded by clergy (who view them as the deity guiding and critiquing their work) and the most devout lay worshippers), because they have been so wrong or so "right but overly cryptic or woefully partial or miscasting/twisting the truth" before.
So in Cormyr (and most other places), oracles would be viewed as alerts or warnings, but no more (i.e. they would NOT bring existing policies or projects to a crashing halt, but could work to 'steer' future efforts or ongoing efforts). Oracles themselves are generally viewed as well-meaning, honest folk (until spies or third parties prove or strongly suggest they are otherwise). A small village could well believe an oracle of Savras utterly, but not to the point of executing people or burning down major buildings or openly and repeatedly breaking major laws or offending against the rights of other faiths (including Azuth and other "direct rivals"). No, spouting fear-inducing prophecies isn't a crime (though deliberately concoting false prophecies and passing them off as divinely-inspired is), but uttering such prophecies will, over time, get the prophet largely ignored - - and will swiftly lead responsible clergy and local governing officials to denounce the prophet to the extent of "Don't follow what he/she says, but turn to the temple clergy for interpretations! He/she cannot help but distort what the god is trying to say through them!" (And this would be widely accepted by the populace, not seen first and foremost as a cover-up of the oracle's "truth.")



So saith Ed. Eagerly ongoing creator of the Realms.
We can look forward to many more such Realmslore replies in 2009, I hope.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2009 :  17:34:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, and gomez: of COURSE it should be in capitals, except that neither Ed nor I want to even hint that Ed is really Death or the Hogfather, because we love those characters so much and want Terry to write so much more about them.
However, Ed can claim to be like Death in at least one way, and can say, as Death did in that superb book:

I *AM* LAST-MINUTE STUFF.


Come to think of it, I often am (in my day job), too.
love,
THO
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 01 Jan 2009 :  21:23:45  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
Just popping in to wish Ed, THO and everyone else a Happy New Year 2009! To quote the Knights of the Dinner Table: "May all your hits be crits!"

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

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  04:48:03  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady THO,

Are most gods of mortal descent?

Thank you.
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  07:31:07  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message
Happy New Year to Ed, THO, Alaundo, The Sage, Wooly, and other fellow scribes!

As my first question of 2009, I second RodOdom's question, and broaden it somewhat: Does Ed have origin tales for the major gods other than Selune/Shar/Mystryl and the Dark Three? The story of Amaunator and Lathander would be particularly interesting, but given its necessary reference to the perpetual mystery of the Dawn Cataclysm, I don't see the story being told in great detail... but I'd still be interested all the same.

And no, I won't ask about the Cormyr Lineage, no matter how badly I want to... must... force... mind... elsewhere...

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 02 Jan 2009 07:32:29
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  13:25:48  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
Hmmm... Just remembered this:

quote:
The Hooded One

A little bird (no, not Ed; he's anything but "little;" this particular bird is American, and dwells very near a seacoast) has told me there will soon be a major announcement regarding the Realms. Scribes, keep eyes peeled . . .
love to all,
THO


Any news on the announcement (and if it was made, did I miss it)?

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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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  15:32:31  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. I'm expecting a Realmslore reply from Ed in a few hours, but in the meantime, can answer some of these latest queries with reference to my notes (drawn from Realmsplay with Ed):

RodOdom, you asked: "Are most gods of mortal descent?"
Ed's notes say:
So far as mortals know from what the gods (primarily through their clergy, but also through holy writings and dream-visions given to lay worshippers) most gods either were once mortal creatures of Faerun or elsewhere, or have "entered into" the bodies of once-mortal creatures of Toril. The 'whys' and all details vary wildly from deity to deity, and may have become confused (or fused) over time; most deities seem to value and preserve an aura of mystery, wonder, and confusion, rather than clearing up theological debates or even schisms.

Jakk, you posted: "As my first question of 2009, I second RodOdom's question, and broaden it somewhat: Does Ed have origin tales for the major gods other than Selune/Shar/Mystryl and the Dark Three? The story of Amaunator and Lathander would be particularly interesting, but given its necessary reference to the perpetual mystery of the Dawn Cataclysm, I don't see the story being told in great detail... but I'd still be interested all the same."

From my notes, I can tell you that Ed wrote up partial (see the mystery, above) origin tales for most of his pantheon; much of what was in the original Faiths & Avatars was based on Ed's notes. However, Ed wanted the focus to be on current worship of the deities (i.e. useful stuff for roleplaying), and to maintain some confusion/disagreement over the past. Unfortunately, Ed turned over all of that information (we're talking scores of closely-typewritten pages) to TSR back in the early days of the Realms, so it's all NDA; he can only paraphrase and talk briefly or obliquely about such matters here, not "set things straight" about the Dawn Cataclysm or anything else. (This has come up more than a time or two before at the Keep, BTW.) So if you're hoping for a string of origins stories for the gods . . . well, keep hoping, I'm afraid.

Ashe Ravenheart, no, there's been no announcement yet. As I said earlier, lawyers are involved, and so things are now moving slowly. Which should come as no surprise around Christmas, when many companies essentially shut down for a week or more, or around year-end for some firms, and the end of the last fiscal quarter of 2008, when (facing tough times ahead) a company might well want to delay any announcement, good or bad, until what they judge to be a better time, in 2009.
Don't worry, when the announcement happens, I'll confirm it here.

So until Ed weighs in with more lore, later today,
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  18:05:46  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. As promised a few hours back, Ed's latest lore reply . . .
Back on the 29th of December 08, rjfras posted this query: “I have a question for Ed concerning one of the rituals performed by the clergy of Mielikki. "At least once a month, every member of the clergy must perform the Song of the Trees and serve any dryads, hamadryads or treants their song calls forth. The clergy members perform small tasks requested of them, but are free of dryad charms through the will of the Lady." Could you provide some ideas on what some of the small tasks might be? Most of the ones I've thought of seem cliche or overly done and needing quite a few a year, I was looking for a new perspective rather then starting to repeat used ones. Thanks...”
Ed replies:



Most of the tasks requested are what we might call “forest gardening.” Usually they involve planting new seeds of trees, tending growing trees (watering, pruning, removing vines choking them or damaged limbs, thinning out tangles, fertilizing roots, removing rocks, et cetera), seeking new sources of seeds, caching (hidden secure storage) seeds to provide for future needs, clearing beaver dams that expand wetlands and drown trees, or improving either water supply or drainage by digging to reach water or change slopes in a localized area, et cetera.
Trees that are at risk from woodcutters or natural forces may require defending, for example by clearing away loose scree that could cause avalanches, planting grasses and “tough shrubs” to anchor sandy areas before they become desert (or to prevent existing deserts from spreading), and the planting of thorn barriers, itch-inducing plants, and the introduction of “monsters” to discourage woodcutters from continuing felling trees in a particular direction (where other directions are available).
The tasks shouldn’t take more than a tenday (so as to prevent a clever dryad keeping a particular priest of Mielikki in perpetual servitude because “Your task remains unfinished!”), and Mielikki makes this clear to the woodland beings her clergy are tasked to serve.
More rarely, tasks can include tracing underground watercourses and aquifers, exterminating or driving off root-devouring fauna or root-damaging miners of all species, and so on. Or preparing “built-upon” ground for expansion by forest life, by breaking up paving, collapsing buildings and carrying off the rubble, or even destroying roads and bridges. (Usually these will be ruins or abandoned structures, because the woodland beings are wise and history-lore-learned enough to know what furious reactions will arise from, say, a human or orc community if “the wild woods encroach.”)



So saith Ed. Who long ago lovingly detailed much of the holy duties and customs of worshippers of Mielikki so as to allow the full and colourful roleplaying of Florin Falconhand.
love to all,
THO
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  19:54:47  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Most of the tasks requested are what we might call “forest gardening.” Usually they involve planting new seeds of trees, tending growing trees (watering, pruning, removing vines choking them or damaged limbs, thinning out tangles, fertilizing roots, removing rocks, et cetera), seeking new sources of seeds, caching (hidden secure storage) seeds to provide for future needs, clearing beaver dams that expand wetlands and drown trees, or improving either water supply or drainage by digging to reach water or change slopes in a localized area, et cetera.



Hooded One, I've read that beaver dams in themselves play an important ecological role (for example, their creation provides shelter for other creatures), so I was wondering why stewards of nature would set about clearing them. It is true that beaver dams expand wetlands and drown trees, but isn't that just a part of how nature is (that is, environments do not remain static, over time new organisms move in and others get pushed out).

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2009 :  21:01:27  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message
Vendui to the Hooded One and Ed in 2009!

Since the revision is still on my alter ego's agenda for January, can I respectfully C&P my question of last year again, even though part of it has already been answered?!

quote:
Vendui The Hooded One!

My alter ego is head and shoulders into the revision of The Knights of Myth Drannor III and when typing the headline it noted that the title of the book does not exactly match up to the sword involved. For while the latter is Armaukran - "The Sword That Never Sleeps", the book is called "The Sword Never Sleeps". Now, the latter could simply rever to the ongoing blade-quarrels the protagonists face up to, but my alter ego wondered whether it was simply a publisher's omission of "that"?
Furthermore, we have now seen the appearance of Torm and Rathan and they are heading in the same direction as the Knights. Will we see another book about those heroes and heroines anytime soon ... or will the 4E Realms take centre stage for the forseeable future?


Aluve, Zanan!

Cave quid dicis, quando et cui!

Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel!

In memory of Alura Durshavin.

Visit my "Homepage" to find A Guide to the Drow NPCs of Faerûn, Drow and non-Drow PrC and much more.

Edited by - Zanan on 02 Jan 2009 21:02:04
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rjfras
Learned Scribe

261 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2009 :  03:19:51  Show Profile  Visit rjfras's Homepage Send rjfras a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Most of the tasks requested are what we might call “forest gardening.” Usually they involve planting new seeds of trees, tending growing trees (watering, pruning, removing vines choking them or damaged limbs, thinning out tangles, fertilizing roots, removing rocks, et cetera), seeking new sources of seeds, caching (hidden secure storage) seeds to provide for future needs, clearing beaver dams that expand wetlands and drown trees, or improving either water supply or drainage by digging to reach water or change slopes in a localized area, et cetera.





Hooded One, I've read that beaver dams in themselves play an important ecological role (for example, their creation provides shelter for other creatures), so I was wondering why stewards of nature would set about clearing them. It is true that beaver dams expand wetlands and drown trees, but isn't that just a part of how nature is (that is, environments do not remain static, over time new organisms move in and others get pushed out).



First, thank you Ed and THO for the response..

as far as the beaver dams and why Mielikki would allow their removal at the request of the forest creatures, I think it probably is because she is the Lady of the Forest. A lot of her dogma and teachings all revolve around keeping the forest or at least replenishing them and the animals that live in the forest. In a sometimes losing battle to woodcutters, expansion, etc, they need to preserve all the forests they can. I'm sure a small dam here and there is tolerated, but when they start expanding the dam even bigger, increasing the wetlands even more and reducing the forest in that area and the natural forest wildlife as wetland wildlife moves in, it's an issue at least as far as the forest is concerned. Now, druids of other deities that cover the other aspects of nature probably would see it as the way of the whole of nature and wouldn't have an issue with it. Druids of Mielikki might try to take some of the dams down so the wetland stays small and more manageable but if the beavers continue to keep building them bigger I could see one of their tasks then being to relocate the beavers outside the forest or to another part of the forest where wetlands wouldn't kill as many trees. Just my opinion though...
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2009 :  04:41:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Bingo, rjfras! That's exactly right; dryads, hamadryads, treants, and Mielikki all want well-watered forests but not flooded forests (too much standing water drowns the trees, roots first, and creates a wetland with dead standing trees in it). There are other forces at play that value wetlands, but none of these three sorts of sylvan creatures, nor the deity, are among them. Ed and I discussed this in detail once - - and believe me, once you factor in orc hordes, hunting dragons, wyverns, fire lizards, human woodcutters, forest fires, and the like, the forests need all the help they can get. At least to continue to dominate the North (wherever mountains and glaciers don't prevent) as much as they've always been described as doing.
So, yes, Rino, beaver dams play a part in a balanced ecosystem, but there's nothing to stop the beavers from continually relocating and rebuilding, when localized actions (by clergy serving sylvan creatures at Mielikki's behest) are made to preserve particular trees.
love,
THO
Edit: for grammar. Geez, my medications are affecting the aging brain. Time to blurt like a Dalek, I suppose.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 03 Jan 2009 18:25:05
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4291 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2009 :  05:21:37  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
Also Beavers eat trees, *wink* which is conterproductive to maintaining a forest. The bigger the beaver lake the more beavers that live in that lake.
There is also a flood concern when the dam breaks because of flooding that takes dead trees (caused by the lake) smashing into the beaver dam and causing flooding damage down stream. Live trees being eroded and stuk by dead lines.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2009 :  00:12:56  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Bingo, rjfras! That's exactly right; dryads, hamadryads, treants, and Mielikki all want well-watered forests but not flooded forests (too much standing water drowns the trees, roots first, and creates a wetland with dead standing trees in it). There are other forces at play that value wetlands, but none of these three sorts of sylvan creatures, nor the deity, are among them.


What about swamps and hammocks, then? Those are wetlands, but there are also plenty of trees there (for some types of trees, wetlands are in fact the ideal habitat). Does Mielikki not value those habitats?

That said, if the habitat is being disrupted anyway by the forces you mentioned before, I can understand the need to step in "leveling the playing field", so to speak. The bit about Mielikki literally "not valuing" wetlands doesn't sit well with me though, I have to admit...she is after all a nature goddess, and a benevolent one, too (if not *the* nature goddess). I look at it this way--If *I* became some great steward (goddess?) of the world's deserts, that doesn't mean I wouldn't value, say, the world's rain forests just because such a habitat is in some ways the polar opposite of "my" area. It might not be my specialty, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't care about it, at least if I cared about being considered a steward of nature.

At this point you can probably tell that this is a topic (nature and ecology, not specifically beavers) that I am not only interested in but have some strong feelings about. I hope I'm not coming off as "over the top" about it.

quote:
Also Beavers eat trees, *wink* which is conterproductive to maintaining a forest...


A forest makes a good home for many types of creatures in large part because there is plenty of food there for them, and that includes the plant life. Like all other animals, the number of beavers are generally kept in check by predators in their natural environment* (and the amount of food around, and the habitat that's available to them to begin with, etc). So I think it is incorrect to say that having beavers around is in itself counterproductive to maintaining a forest (by the way, I'm only addressing this subject in such detail because it was brought up).




*If they are introduced to an area where they didn't exist before, that is of course a different story...


"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 04 Jan 2009 00:48:20
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Nerfed2Hell
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 04 Jan 2009 :  02:28:30  Show Profile  Visit Nerfed2Hell's Homepage Send Nerfed2Hell a Private Message
Not valuing something and valuing something else more aren't really the same thing.

Some people are like a slinky... not good for much, but when you push them down the stairs, it makes you smile.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 04 Jan 2009 :  03:42:13  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Rinonalyrna Fathomlin, I sent your latest post off to Ed for a direct explanation, and here's his piping-hot-from-my-inbox response:


Ah. Further explanation definitely needed here. First, please understand that my replies (and THO's comments) relate to the Realms deities pre-Spellplague (before some of the major changes among the gods).
Mielikki "doesn't value" wetlands because they're not her portfolio; they are the province of Eldath, who is her close friend and co-worker (among the gods, they are almost close, loving sisters). Eldath and Mielikki don't war over "what's trees and what's swamp," because Silvanus takes care of, and oversees the constantly dancing adjustment of, the natural balance. That's why (from the human viewpoint) there are so many nature deities; they have specialized. Mielikki's focus is on maintaining forests and lush forest life (from flying squirrels and owlbears to tiny ferns and stick insects) in all of its variety (so, stunted and blighted as well as lush and deep), and the latter sort of forests need pools, springs, creeks, and abundant water cycling (mists, night dew, et al). However, pools, lakes, rapids, and wetlands are where Eldath "fades in" and predominates.
The two goddesses work together cordially and usually happily, but it is the nature of Mielikki to value trees and ideal conditions for trees, not conditions (standing water, as opposed to bogs) that drown trees . . . and it is the nature of Eldath to value bodies of open water, moving or standing, as one of the best foci of the sylvan refuges and hidden places she champions. In other words, Eldath concerns herself with how open-water features interact with all surroundings, wild woodland surroundings being seen by her as ideal, but Mielikki concerns herself with optimum forest conditions, and sees drowned-tree swamp as "non-forest."
The question at hand was the services clergy of Mielikki would perform in service to dryads, hamadryads, and treants - - and all three of those species value open bodies of water only as sources of needed water and as barriers to forest fires or incursions by various creatures, but value optimum forest-tree growing and living conditions above all else. Hence the focus of the clerical tasks. The creatures the priests are serving want water, but not permanent, well-established, ever-growing beaver dams with greater and greater flooding above such dams. As part of the forest ecosystem, beavers are fine, but as destroyers of the forest, they are not. So the creatures often ask the clerics to destroy the dams (NOT the beavers, please note), so the beavers will spend their time building dams, moving to optimum locations for dams, rebuilding dams, and so on, and dry areas of forest will get temporary flooding to replenish their water but not get root-drowned. It's an attempt at control, not exterminate the beavers or eliminate wetlands - - and like all natural processes, it's ongoing and everchanging, not a "do this task, succeed, and all is done" situation.
Silvanus oversees natural balance, and Mielikki and Eldath champion and safeguard types of wild natural areas that are under constant assault from "civilizing" influences (such as human or other species land clearances and farming, or clear-felling logging, or roadbuilders). These sorts of divine relationships have been regrettably overlooked or ignored in print, in favour of more warlike alliances and feuds, and should be better emphasized.
I hope this helps clarify things. If not, you know where to find me. :}


So saith Ed. Creator of Eldath, and borrower of Mielikki and Silvanus from real-world mythology (in their DEITIES & DEMIGODS forms, back in 1st Edition days - - not because he lacked creativity, but because he was trying to express the Realms in "official" D&D rules terms as much as possible.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2009 :  03:48:21  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hmm. After posting Ed's response, it occurs to me that something hasn't been said explicitly here that is abundantly clear to longtime players in Ed's "home" Realms campaign: the extent to which dryads, hamadryads, and treants are seen as beleaguered, rare, endangered creatures in the (current Faerunian) age of frequent orc hordes and ever-expanding human civilization.
Mielikki's "adventuring worshippers," rangers, are seen as defenders of terrain and creatures very much under assault (hence her clergy being commanded to serve those three sorts of sylvan creatures - - to try to keep them from being exterminated across much of known Faerun).
love to all,
THO
Edit: spelling. Darned medications.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 04 Jan 2009 03:50:11
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