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Shodanicron
Acolyte

Ireland
6 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2009 :  02:56:37  Show Profile  Visit Shodanicron's Homepage Send Shodanicron a Private Message
My sincerest thanks for the reply. Much more detailed that i could have hoped. The complexities and variance in the styles was not something i expected, but more than welcome and gives much fuel for thought.

Cheers and thank you

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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2394 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2009 :  05:53:27  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
That's a really scary spell, Ed, and one I'm sure did not go unnoticed by Netheril's neighbors. Did the elves (either Eaerlann or Cormanthor) or the dwarves with their love of plate mail create any kind of countermeasure? Either magics or special alloys? Were there limits that could be exploited? I've got some players I'd like to introduce this spell to (they've long since learned to run in the other direction when I whip out the rust monsters), but I'd like to mine you for a few more ideas before I do.

edit: The more I think about this spell, the more I think it could really easily have set off a magical arms race between Netheril and its neighbors. I'm really curious how they reacted since this was clearly not a well-kept secret.

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

Edited by - Hoondatha on 31 Jan 2009 05:54:43
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2009 :  06:17:59  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

That's a really scary spell, Ed, and one I'm sure did not go unnoticed by Netheril's neighbors. Did the elves (either Eaerlann or Cormanthor) or the dwarves with their love of plate mail create any kind of countermeasure? Either magics or special alloys? Were there limits that could be exploited? I've got some players I'd like to introduce this spell to (they've long since learned to run in the other direction when I whip out the rust monsters), but I'd like to mine you for a few more ideas before I do.

edit: The more I think about this spell, the more I think it could really easily have set off a magical arms race between Netheril and its neighbors. I'm really curious how they reacted since this was clearly not a well-kept secret.


I'm thinking with the elves, they probably weren't worried too much since the spell effected metal armor and they favored more natural armor and magical defenses. As for dwarves, cold iron and other metal alloys (and pure dwarven craftsmanship) probably blunted the magic quite a bit.

But that's just my take on 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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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2009 :  09:53:00  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
Hi Ed and LHO and fellow scribes,

After paging through The Grand History of the Realms, I saw a lot of instances of "hopeless last stand" battles among the younger races, such as the Last Stand at Humaithira, the sacrifice of the Moonlight Men at Turnstone Pass, the last battles of the Weeping War for the elves and other races, and darn near every dwarf clanhold against the latest orc/goblin horde. Undoubtedly these are memorialized in countless songs and works of art.

What I'm curious about are the older races: giants and dragons. I would expect such battles to be extremely rare and far back in history because both races' populations have been in steady decline since the fall of their respective empires, and now choose to avoid entangling themselves in the affairs of the younger races.

Ed, can you please share some examples of "last stand" battles like Thermopylae or the Alamo that occurred among these two ancient races (not necessarily between each other), and moreover how their descendants memorialized the places and individuals involved? Thank you very much!
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2009 :  17:12:19  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lovely THO,
Another quick Realms question: could you please give us the names of a few well-known singers/bards/"bands" of musicians, that citizens of Waterdeep and Scornubel and Iriaebor and Suzail and Silverymoon and Neverwinter might have heard of, circa 1370 DR or so?
(I purposefull listed all of these places not to get a separate list for each, but to find out if there's anyone well-known enough to have been heard of (not necessarily personally seen or heard by the citizen), that widely.
Thanks!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2009 :  02:34:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Herewith, I present Ed’s second candidate Cormyrean noble family for Daviot to use as the villainous family in the backstory of Lorna . . .

House Bryarn: [badge: an oval, long axis vertical, of thin black thornbranch, zigzagging gently from joint to joint, with a single red thorn protruding outwards from each joint, the lowest two thorns having large teardrops of blood about to fall from them, and the thornbranch framing a four-pointed blue star, long points vertical, all on a steel-gray field, or a steel-gray symmetrical shield shaped like the shield in the arms depicted on page 73 of POWER OF FAERUN]
House Bryarn is small in numbers but notorious among the nobility of the Forest Kingdom and well-known to courtiers (though not to the wider circle of Cormyrean commoners) because of their propensity for dueling rival nobles and just slaughtering (or hiring killers to dispose of) commoners who cross them, even in small ways.
They are cold, calculating “get-even” foes, not fiery-tempered, and often wait years for the best opportunity to arrange an “accident” to befall an enemy. However, they have come to the notice of War Wizards, Highknights, and Purple Dragons over the years because just so darned many deaths occurred to persons who disagreed with Bryarns, fought or competed with them, or spoke out against them or their views at revels, feasts, or Court dealings.
As a consequence, House Bryarn has quietly become shunned by other nobles, and dealt with by Purple Dragons and courtiers with careful, exacting politeness (and as little as possible).
At least two Bryarn nobles (Esklelt in 1356 DR and Morgram in 1364 DR) have been murdered by Highknights to stop them repeatedly trying to assassinate Obarskyrs and Truesilvers who - - in their minds, at least - - had offended them. Curiously, Bryarns do not apply this ‘get even at all costs’ policy to non-Cormyreans, and so have carried on a flourishing trade in slaves, gems, fine furniture, and fashionable wines and spirits with various partners in Westgate and several Sembian cities for almost a century, deriving much of their wealth thereby.
House Bryarn was ennobled in 1262 DR by Azoun III after the head of the family, Sellorn Bryarn, the founder and leader of the Black Rose mercenary company, rescued an outnumbered and trapped band of Purple Dragons from a large and organized monster force attacking out of the Stonelands, destroying that “band of beasts” (though there were many rumors as to who had organized and controlled the monsters; most everyone agreed that wizards were involved, and paid by a backer either outside the realm or among the nobles of Cormyr - - but some said the Black Rose band were initially part of the force, and turned on it when the backer refused to pay them, or even that the Black Rose hireswords repudiated that backer just to make their own fortunes).
Sellorn’s son Siard (“SEE-ard”) is rumored to have become a procurer for Salember even before he succeeded his father as Lord Bryarn (secretly fetching him willing bedmates from Sembia and installing them at various Crown properties for dalliances, in latter days bringing them to the Palace itself - - and enabling the Rebel Prince to stay aloof from all Cormyrean noble families by keeping distant from all the willing and ambitious daughters thrust at him). The family rose in wealth and influence during Salember’s Regency—only to be “cut dead” by other nobles when Salember fell.
Siard fought several duels (in all of which he slew his noble opponents), and is thought to have murdered three other nobles who’d challenged him in the wake of those duels, only to mysteriously die by misadventure (castle parapets twice collapsing onto heads; a horse rearing and apparently triggering a fireball-inducing magic item carried by the victim; and a charging “ghost” causing a terrified and fatal leap from a high balcony) before the duels could occur.
As Crown agents and officers were sent to search for Siard, to compel him to answer royal justice for the duels, Siard hustled his family to various of their country holdings.
Then, as now, the Bryarn properties consist of a modest “northwestern, near the wall” townhouse in Suzail, some rental properties in Marsember, an inn in Arabel, two small farms not far east of Hilp, and Bryargates, a keep (and, curiously, half a dozen fortified stone warehouses) on a large wooded horse ranch and home farm just east of The Way of the Dragon, not far south of the King’s Forest) - - and then vanished. The Crown agents and officers hunting for Lord Siard Bryarn never found any trace of him.
Rumors place Siard almost everywhere in the known Realms, some even insisting he’s still alive today, and whisper that he’s behind any number of plots against the Crown or the realm.
War Wizards thoroughly mind-reamed the surviving Bryarns, and found no hint that Siard’s eldest son Blakann liked or trusted his father, knew of his whereabouts, or held any antipathy towards the Crown, so after Siard was formally stripped of his title and grace in absentia, Blakann was royally confirmed as the next Lord Bryarn (in late 1288 DR).
From that day to this, the Bryarns have kept a low profile inside Cormyr but a higher one outside it (in the easternmost cities of Sembia in particular, which is where various Lord Bryarns - - or their factors [trade agents] go wife-hunting for them). Bryarns never marry other Cormyrean nobility, generally choosing wives for their family wealth, their beauty, and their willingness to be loyal to the succession of strong-minded, ruthless ruling lords of the family. Several Lady Bryarns have proven to be more scheming, farsighted, and ruthless than their husbands, and the family hasn’t hesitated to kill its own members if they showed signs of cooperating too closely with War Wizards or other Crown agents or investigators, romancing nobility of the Forest Kingdom (Lord Vaerend Bryarn infamously told his sons, “You can look at them, even bare them and mistreat them - - but if you ever spill your seed in any of them, I will remove the instrument of that spilling with my most notched and blunt blade, have it cooked for your dining pleasure, and it will be your last meal”).
One such family casualty - - though for too-careful cordiality with suspicious and repeatedly-visiting War Wizards, and to seize his goods to pay family debts, not for dalliance with any noble Cormyrean lass or lady - - was Lyonard Bryarn, quietly killed in 1369 DR by family agents in Maeravelposts, the family-owned Suzailan townhouse (named for its builder, the briefly-famous sculptor and stonemason Maerevel Bryarn); a death they sought to blame on Lyonard’s companion (Daviot, that would be Lorna, if you choose this family).
At the time of Lyonard’s killing, his kin consist of:

Lord Boarrevarn Bryarn, Lyonard’s father and the ruling patriarch of the family, an icily self-controlled sadist who loves torturing young commoner Cormyrean lads and lasses in private and then selling the maimed remains into pot-making and item-painting slavery in back shops for owners in Westgate. He’s burly and pot-bellied, clinging to the remains of the devastating dark good looks of his youth, and sports an everchanging array of close-trimmed beards. Boarrevarn secretly pens torrid “ardent young love” chapbooks for young ladies in Suzail, under the pseudonym “Darra Delanther,” and is gaining fans as his works spread. His driving interests, however (after opportunities to indulge his sadism), consist of manipulating public opinion to slowly turn Cormyr against its ruling family and the Court they govern through, plus all “too rich, too prominent, too haughty” nobles . . . as opposed to “good” nobles. Quieter families, such as (ahem) House Bryarn.

Lady Jeleskra Bryarn, who knows very well what her husband is up to with his whips and brands and knives, and backs him to the hilt so long as he largely leaves her alone to rut with their loyal house bodyguards and to hunt in the woods at Bryargates - - except for her spring and fall visits to Suzail to take part in the rounds of feasts and revels, where she plays the part of a bored, timid, neglected noble wife to a gentle, quiet lord nothing like his disgraced predecessors; a man lost in his hobbies of painting and reading (a fiction she can maintain with some success among the nobility because Boarrevarn NEVER leaves Bryargates). Lady Jeleskra has a small but well-paid band of spies in Suzail, Marsember, Westgate, and Sembia, who keep watch over her husband’s small and better paid band of factors [trade agents] who see to the family businesses, shady and legal - - though Lady Jeleskra in truth gives the orders and ruthlessly advances the family fortunes.

Lord Melivur Bryarn, the eldest son and heir of the house (Lyonard was the second son), a sardonic, softly-purring, superior-to-all sort who curbs his insolence only when dealing with his parents. Genuinely brilliant and possessed of a never-failing memory, even for faces seen fleetingly and scraps of conversations overheard in passing, he is educating himself by reading Lyonard’s library and by seeking out all sorts of people on his frequent “gambling and wenching” trips to Suzail (during which he shepherds shipments of goods to and from the warehouses of Bryargates) and paying them handsomely to answer his questions and show him how things are made, how certain trades work, and what’s in fashion. He considers his parents less than sane and his family headed for self-courted doom, and is quietly building himself various small coin caches, a side-identity complete with a disguise, and a sideline caravan business, for the day he might have to flee in a hurry.
Unless, that is, he becomes head of the house first (whereupon, if his mother isn’t dead already, he’ll dispose of her as brutally as swiftness allows, and set about framing his brother Nuljalak for all family misdeeds and treacheries to the Crown).

Lord Nuljalak (“Jalak” to one and all) Bryarn, the youngest son of the house, a bored and splendidly handsome fair-haired hunter and rider of accomplishment, who enjoys fencing, drinking, and the bed-company of his pick of all young, wealthy, non-noble Suzailans who are interested in knowing a noble. Jalak loves pranks, swindles that make him and his “fast friends” casual coin now and then, and a life of indolence, luxury, and haughty scorn of “oldcoin nobles,” Court officers, and the ruling Obarskyrs alike. He’s good with a sword and learning to become competent with hurled daggers and with handbows (hand crossbows), likes to wrestle the most muscular bare-bodied and oiled lasses-for-hire he can procure in Suzail (he doesn’t bed them, he pays them to pit their strength against his, and cheerfully hires dwarves, half-orcs, and the largest and strongest human women he can find for this), and has a weakness for strong cheeses and exotic liqueurs. He’s recently discovered a wrinkled old crone in living in squalor in westside Suzail who was once a very active poisoner in Amn, and is paying her well to teach him all about poisons, procure their antidotes for him, and dose him with carefully-limited amounts of the ones he can thereby build up an immunity to.

Lady Alazgrelle (“Laz” or “Lazgrel” to family and friends) is a fun-loving, irreverent hard drinker and dancer who can outdrink many men, loves acrobatic pranks, and covers a vicious get-even nature behind a hearty, husky laugh, a willingness to play the fool and bare her skin in public and private, and a seemingly endless flood of curly, golden-hued tresses that reach to her ankles except when she binds them up - - or carelessly hacks them off. An accomplished rider and breeder of horses, she takes daily charge of the Bryargates horse ranch, except when she’s off carousing in Suzail, which is often. She enjoys bedding partners of either gender, but they must be human; elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and crossbreeds (of any of these races with humans) disgust her. Strangely, half-orcs and orcs do not, and she bears several scars from lust-bites suffered in moments of extreme passion when abed with such partners. (There is no truth to the rumor, popular among the Bryargates guards whom she never looks at, that she “ruts with the horses.”)
Lazgrel is tall, broad-shouldered, muscular, and buxom; her uppercut has sent more than a few startled men off to enjoy dream-visions from the gods for a time. Yet of all the Bryarns, she’s the least likely to hold a grudge or want to get even at all costs. Get her own back when she can, yes, and relish it . . . but she’s having FUN in life, and finds nursing hatreds and taking stock of slights and single coins owed to be tiresome, even obsessive.

Lady Alanstel is the youngest daughter of Boarrevarn and Jeleskra, and is a bone-thin, sly, often silent echo of her mother. Swift with sums and shrewd at judging people, she is her mother’s faithful business assistant and understudy, learning all she can from Jeleskra (and taking careful note of all slights and wrongs done not only to the Bryarns, but to her personally). She anticipates the day when the family will meet with disaster, and is positioning herself to pick up the pieces, distancing herself with false documents and the like from the misdeeds and anti-royal deeds and sentiments of her parents.
Right now, she’s quietly seeking out wizards who visit Suzail, seeking to buy some form of mind-protection (or better yet, several forms that she can use at once) from the Wizards of War. She needs to be able to conceal her true self from EVERYONE, and let them see only her chosen role of timid, quiet loyal daughter and loyal subject of the Dragon Throne.
Inwardly every bit as cold-blooded, calculating, and malicious as her mother or her aunt Yaraela, Alanstel is far more rigidly self-controlled, hiding her cruel thoughts and stilling her tongue. There will be plenty of time for paying back and settling scores later . . .

Lady Yaraela, Boarrevarn’s aging elder sister, is a wrinkled but man-hungry, malicious onetime beauty whose longtime lover, a senior Purple Dragon commander and onetime gallant commoner knight, was slain years ago. This broke her heart and turned her first to piety and then to malice, wherein she became a spectator for the lives of her kin and everyone else in Cormyr, deriving amusement from their ploys and delight from their misfortunes. Her reach, as a master manipulator, now extends only to the house bodyguards (who adore her, despite her petty cruelties, and enjoy lovemaking with her despite her age-faded beauty because she’s good at it and briskly enjoys it as physical release for both sides, nothing romantic at all) and Bryargates servants, and Alanstel - - who increasingly sees through her and refuses to play along. No matter; she vicariously enjoys meddling in lives from afar, and is enthusiastically manipulating the family factors [trade agents] into rivalries with each other, ever-harder service to Bryarns, and into themselves manipulating those House Bryarn trades with and against. Just for the malicious fun of it all.

The eldest daughter of Boarrevarn and Jeleskra, Lady Noenel (“NO-en-el”) Bryarn, was a tall, quiet, rather plain young woman with a kind side and a love of maps and books, who was close with her brother Lyonard because of his similar character and interests. (They liked and trusted each other, but they were fast friends, NOT lovers.)
Noenel died in a fierce winter storm in 1366 DR, so ill with fever (that made her “as hot as a roaring forge” inside) that she wandered outside, slipped, split her head open on frozen cobbles, and died of her wound and the cold, being found frozen in the morning.
Although there were some suspicions of foul play (largely thanks to the family reputation), Noenel’s death was a genuine accident, not an arranged one. Jeleskra shrugged off the loss, almost entirely disinterested, but Boarrevarn was saddened (he had secretly begun forcing himself on his daughter, and found her an attentive and gentle lover, the likes of which - - given his habits - - he’s not likely to find again).

And there you have it; our second candidate noble family. House Haldoneir is up next, when I can find some relief from all this shoveling (another two feet of snow fell last night and so far today, and it’s still swirling down, as pretty as a Christmas postcard and gently deadly, as we speak). Then it’s back to Thunderstone, and the questions posed by Damian and Asgetrion. Then it’s back to the ever-accumulating mound; THO has passed on some quite interesting ones in this first month of 09, but I musn’t neglect the vintage ones (2004, 2005 . . .), either.



So saith Ed, creator of the Realms, Cormyr, and a slowly-increasing roster of ah, interesting noble families. Delicious NPCs for a deep, rich Realms campaign.
love to all,
THO
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  02:07:31  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
but Boarrevarn was saddened (he had secretly begun forcing himself on his daughter, and found her an attentive and gentle lover, the likes of which - - given his habits - - he’s not likely to find again).



I suppose it goes without saying, but... What a sick <insert expletive>.

I tried to make a post about this earlier today but there was some kind of error... I think the "forcing himself" and "lover" in the same sentence made my brain explode, and some bits must have been blown into the internet and disrupted things...

Anyway, what an oxymoronic statement that is - how can Noenel be considered his lover? There's no consent there if he's forcing himself on her - even if she gives in, it's still not consensual if he's forcing the issue. I'm sorry, I just don't get it.

(I'm sure some people are going to think I'm oversensitive... )

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

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

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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ErskineF
Learned Scribe

USA
326 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  03:12:44  Show Profile  Visit ErskineF's Homepage Send ErskineF a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar

(I'm sure some people are going to think I'm oversensitive... )


Nah, I know what you mean. He could've chopped her up and made her into stir fry, and it would have been less shocking. I think we're more affected by reading about the mundane sorts of evil that are all too common in the real worl, especially when they are crimes against children. My DM once described a scene depicted on a wall in an abyssal lair that involved harming children, and I was so affected by it that he's never gone there since.


--
Erskine Fincher
http://forgotten-realms.wandering-dwarf.com/index.php
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  03:17:35  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Yes I do find it odd that the wholesale extermination of whole cities, clanholds and races is discussed nonchalantly but types of sex being described is unsettling. If a town is destroyed that means children and infants are killed probably in gruesome fashion not to mention assualts of a sexual nature.

And while it may have started off as a forced situation it seems Ed is implying that both Noenel and father grew to engage in a sexual relationship of choice, an ugly situation to say the least but faerun is rife with that is it not.
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ranger_of_the_unicorn_run
Learned Scribe

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  03:29:39  Show Profile Send ranger_of_the_unicorn_run a Private Message
It kinda reminds me of when my Russian class was watching Dr. Zhivago, we were all a little shocked by the less-than-consentual affair between Laura and her mother's suitor.
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ErskineF
Learned Scribe

USA
326 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  04:14:39  Show Profile  Visit ErskineF's Homepage Send ErskineF a Private Message
Just to clarify, I did not say that it was more shocking because it was sexual. It's more shocking for the same reason that serial killers are scarier than vampires: because it's more real.

--
Erskine Fincher
http://forgotten-realms.wandering-dwarf.com/index.php
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  04:44:43  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by ErskineF

Nah, I know what you mean. He could've chopped her up and made her into stir fry, and it would have been less shocking. I think we're more affected by reading about the mundane sorts of evil that are all too common in the real worl, especially when they are crimes against children. My DM once described a scene depicted on a wall in an abyssal lair that involved harming children, and I was so affected by it that he's never gone there since.



I think you missed my point. It wasn't that I found the whole thing shocking (I did, but that is actually beside the point)... My point was that there's an inherent contradiction between him forcing himself on her, and her being considered his lover. She'd only be his lover if the whole thing is consensual... Implicit in the term forced is lack of consent. Lover implies something else entirely.

I think use of the word lover trivializes Noenel's violation completely and implies that after the first time he forced her, she folded and then began to enjoy his "attentions". It's this implication that I find most horrific about the way Ed worded this.

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

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

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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ErskineF
Learned Scribe

USA
326 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  05:11:55  Show Profile  Visit ErskineF's Homepage Send ErskineF a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar

I think you missed my point.


I got it, but I left that part as a discussion between you and Ed, and just responded to the part about whether you're being oversensitive. You're not. :)

--
Erskine Fincher
http://forgotten-realms.wandering-dwarf.com/index.php
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Gwydion669
Acolyte

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  05:48:57  Show Profile  Visit Gwydion669's Homepage Send Gwydion669 a Private Message
Perhaps the implication is accurate.

But Ed would not mean to trivialize the situation ... just make it even more horrific. The "lovers" are a monster and his psychologically destroyed victim (Stockholm Syndrome taken to an extreme).

Even in a "civilized" society such as ours, such situations occur.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  06:36:02  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
Folks, we're kinda getting off the path of questions for Ed. Let's try to keep this scroll focused on that, eh?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- 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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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  08:00:42  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
I find it a bit tragic that there are so many noble families that started when an ancestor did something heroic, and now his descendants have become the kind of people he would most likely have despised.

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy

Edited by - khorne on 02 Feb 2009 08:01:01
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  15:32:23  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all.
Zandilar, I checked with Ed, re. this: "I think use of the word lover trivializes Noenel's violation completely and implies that after the first time he forced her, she folded and then began to enjoy his "attentions"."
Ed says that was EXACTLY his implication (Noenel did begin to enjoy his attentions, which is why she kept things secret rather than fleeing the family or running to the Crown). Neither Ed nor I agree that "use of the word lover trivializes Noenel's violation completely," unless you take the sentence out of context (separated from the rest of Ed's entry).
The entire House Bryarn entry is illustrating what twisted people most of these nobles are. Human, yes, so not all bad, but willful in the extreme because of their wealth and noble status . . . they can grow to be the monsters they want to be, or are driven to be.
And yes, khorne, it is tragic.
The setup Daviot gave us all requires a noble family that (in 1369 DR, at least) is less than, ah, "noble," and that's what Ed's giving us.
Ed completely understands that his use of the word "lover" in that context is going to upset some scribes. It was meant to.
The nobles who treated Lorna and her man (one of their own) so badly ARE villains, though some of them are truly evil and others are more weak "go along with it, or vainly/slowly try to find some way out of it" types. Ed is setting them up as villains a DM and players can hate, as well as presenting whatever good traits they have to make them seem real and not one-dimensional.
Powerful writing and design is seldom politically correct, and as a wordsmith Ed's probably not going to choose words by accident, or avoid using words because they may offend (as an editor, I can attest that one CAN'T always avoid using words that offend, because different words offend different readers, and you can end up throwing out every word for a particular situation out of your "toolbox").
I certainly understand WHY Zandilar has reacted this way, though, and Ed does too. In his word choice, he was trying to "say more than he stated baldly" about a situation. Now if Zandilar has a problem with either Noenel or her father behaving like that, that's legit, but Ed is describing what has happened in the past between two fictional characters, in a fictional rather than real-world setting, in order to establish villainy (not Noenel's!).
To shift this discussion away from matters sexual or gender-related, many people end up coerced into doing things they don't want to do, and still try to derive some enjoyment out of doing them; it's one way of dealing with life (one example I know Ed is personally familiar with, from his volunteering: seriously physically handicapped children and middle-aged people in an institution undergoing regular physical pain during their physiotherapy, to try to develop some muscles in wasted, maimed limbs . . . who try to turn their sessions into a social club, trading jokes and the like, to try to make it more bearable.
Some, of course, are going to see things differently. Zandilar, feel free to ask Ed any questions you like, about this or anything else. The welcome mat is always out.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 02 Feb 2009 15:49:32
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  16:08:20  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
I think that it was able to rile up a lot of scribes here (myself included, just being quiet about it), shows how good Ed is at writing, not just heroes, but villains as well. I know that if my group finds themselves involved in some Cormyrean politics, House Bryarn will be making an appearance for them to work against.

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

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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  16:56:46  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
I expect many would have preferred it if Noenel hadn't given in this way.
People may misread the story as a message that rape is okay if the violated person at some point returns affections.
It also may give the impression that being evil or corrupted doesn't mean you can really be hurt by such actions. Not giving in would have made Noenel more human, which may be something Ed wnated to prevent to make the family more twisted, but imo it is not necessarily bad to have some elements of humanity - even in fantasy evil people need not be totally irredeemable, and such contrasts can actually emphasize the evil of te individual members. A family where everyone is evil and twisted is generally less interesting than one where the corruption is not ever-present.
Of course, in fantasy you do need some hyperbole now and then, so I do see a place for such a family.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  18:32:51  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by khorne

I find it a bit tragic that there are so many noble families that started when an ancestor did something heroic, and now his descendants have become the kind of people he would most likely have despised.



Yes, that was an element in both accountings so far that has really jumped out at me.

I've enjoyed these accountings very much, too.

"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 02 Feb 2009 18:34:00
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Daviot
Senior Scribe

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  19:38:18  Show Profile  Visit Daviot's Homepage  Send Daviot an AOL message Send Daviot a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by khorne

I find it a bit tragic that there are so many noble families that started when an ancestor did something heroic, and now his descendants have become the kind of people he would most likely have despised.



Yes, that was an element in both accountings so far that has really jumped out at me.

I've enjoyed these accountings very much, too.



Indeed, and I could always use one or more of the other noble houses as antagonists should my game veer towards Cormyr (or should I start a game there). I'm enjoying the replies; thanks again!

One usually has far more to fear from the soft-spoken wizard with a blade and well-worn boots than from the boisterous one in the ivory tower.
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  21:01:33  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

quote:
Originally posted by khorne

I find it a bit tragic that there are so many noble families that started when an ancestor did something heroic, and now his descendants have become the kind of people he would most likely have despised.



Yes, that was an element in both accountings so far that has really jumped out at me.

I've enjoyed these accountings very much, too.

I suppose it's almost inevitable when it comes to inherited power. The first person who got the throne/title/estate had to work hard to earn it, so he/she was likely at least a competent person. His descendants didn't have to struggle in the same way, and subsequently grow more and more decadent over the generations.

Take that noble woman Florin guided through the forest in Knights of evenstar for example. She was spoiled BEYOND rotten. But when she had to struggle she came to see herself through a whole new light and became a much better person. It should be made law that all young nobles of Cormyr should go through that kind of stuff!

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy

Edited by - khorne on 02 Feb 2009 21:02:13
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ErskineF
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  21:11:37  Show Profile  Visit ErskineF's Homepage Send ErskineF a Private Message
quote:
Ed is describing what has happened in the past between two fictional characters, in a fictional rather than real-world setting, in order to establish villainy (not Noenel's!).


How is Noenal not a villain by this description? She is freely engaging in an adulterous, incestuous affair with her father. If she's his lover, she's a villain. If she's a victim, she's not his lover.

--
Erskine Fincher
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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  21:16:54  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

To shift this discussion away from matters sexual or gender-related, many people end up coerced into doing things they don't want to do, and still try to derive some enjoyment out of doing them; it's one way of dealing with life



Ed's and THO's response, reminds me of a brief scene in one of his novels, where Sharantyr of the Knights recalls being made a torture slave of the drow and destined for breeding experiments. Storm relates her own similar experiences being captured by the drow, and echoes THO's above observation about deriving some enjoyment out of it all, if only to keep oneself sane and retaining a measure of self-control. Of course, this view DOES come from one of the wilder and unrestrained of the Seven Sisters, so take it with a grain of salt.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2009 :  22:31:24  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
While I'm not arguing with your logic, Erskine, you are using one set of meanings for "villain" and "victim" and "lover." The absolute meanings, one might call them.
I recall, when studying opera in university, that the stories of the various operas contained many incestuous relationships (AND relationships where one of the participants was under a spell, or deceived by shapechanging, or forced into it by a god or devil) wherein the word "lover" or "lovers" was still used. In both translated librettos and in various scholarly commentaries on the operas.
I'm with The Sage; I think we should all shelve this discussion before it gets out of hand. Ed has spoken time and time again about the perils of applying our modern real-world morals, laws, and viewpoints to the Realms, when it gets down to tricky details - - and once we're arguing definitions and semantics, we're in the realm of tricky details. Ed's established that House Bryarn are bad people, who presumably offed the guy who was with Lorna because he didn't fit in. Being as Noenel is dead, it really doesn't matter now if she was a frighted weakling (victim above all else) or complicit (villain above victim).
THO's explained why Ed used the wording he did, and that's good enough for me. Time to move on.
Me, I'd rather ask Ed another lore question, tied to these bad noble families. If a noble goes running to the Crown complaining about another noble, it doubtless triggers the War Wizards into snooping (if they aren't aware of the situation already). But if the complaint is something serious, do they usually only send Highknights to goad and War Wizards to dig, or are there any official, public responses from courtiers or the Obarskyrs (before an arrest, I mean)?
Thanks,
BB

Edited by - Blueblade on 02 Feb 2009 22:38:44
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