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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3532 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2009 :  15:36:36  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Heh. Zandilar, I'm thinking it's a reference to the sort of sword that's spelled D-I-L-D-etc. Ahem.
The sense I get from Ed is that Aluzair as Regent VERY MUCH was changing (or trying to change) the "rights" and influence and roles of nobles, with a LOT of support from "her blades" (the young nobles who'd ridden the Stonelands with her [yes, in all senses of "ridden"], knew and trusted her, and saw something of her vision of what the realm had to become . . . either her way, or a bloodier way, through a commoner uprising in which a lot of nobles would lose their heads), and that these changes, albeit with backlash resistance, would continue after her regency ended.
Red Walker, the sequels to both DARK LORD and DARK WARRIOR RISING are out, or very soon will be, and there should be a third book in both series, though I have no idea when the third Niflheim (that's the Dark Warrior series, from Tor) will appear.
Here's a quicky overview for each series:
- - the Falconfar trilogy from Solaris/Black Library (Simon & Shuster in the US) consists of 1. DARK LORD, 2. ARCH WIZARD (out very soon), and 3. FALCONFAR (probably out in the fall). It's the story of a fantasy writer in our world who is startled to discover that Falconfar, the fantasy world he thought he created, seems to be real - - and he's thrust into it. He's an ordinary guy, NOT an action hero, but people in Falconfar seem to think he's . . . the Dark Lord. I won't ruin it by saying more. Much of the action takes place tramping across a medieval-era fantasy world.
- - the Niflheim series from Tor Books consists of 1. DARK WARRIOR RISING and 2. DARK VENGEANCE (with a possible future sequel). Far more than the Falconfar series, each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone novel. They concern a subterranean world dominated by cruel dark elves who are NOT the drow of D&D (no spider goddess), but who take human slaves by raiding the surface world and snatching children. As the first book begins, one human slave, Orivon Firefist, sees a chance to escape his captivity and try to take revenge on his cruel captors AND get back to the surface world . . . and the fun begins. Orivon IS a grim fighting hero, and several reviewers have seen this as very Howard-like action fantasy. The action takes place almost entirely underground.
So I hope that tells you enough to choose, without revealing too much. I liked them both, for very different reasons. (Amusingly, Ed's usual detractors trashed them, but one detractor often directly contradicted another in their stated reasons for doing so; read into that what you will.)
love to all,
THO


Tho, thanks that's just the kind of insight I was hoping for!
I think I will read Dark Lord first, simply because I picked it up in paperback(now watch it be good enough that I am tempted to track it down in hardcover as well!) and can easily trek to and fro with it in hand!

P.S. thanks even more for including my answers underneath you answer to Zandilar.....

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2009 :  16:04:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
You're welcome.
I bring a brief e-note from Ed, this time in response to this, from Zandilar: "How did Azoun V and his son Foril manage to avoid a bloody backlash? It isn't like Alusair's blades (now that has a completely different meaning in my head!) represent every noble family (and there are probably none who are members of the staunchest anti-Obarskyr families, unless they have ulterior motives or are out and out rebels) - has there really been that big a shift in the attitudes of the nobles of Cormyr recently?"
Ed replies:


As for your first sentence, I'd LOVE to reply directly and in detail to this, but I'm afraid it falls into NDA territory, for reasons that I hope in time to come will enrich us all.
To answer the rest of your queries in a more general sense: yes, all of Cormyrean society has been shifting in its attitudes, as generations pass, and the "Devil Dragon War" (like the two World Wars in our own real world) really jolted the status quo; not only did a LOT of nobles die, everyone else (of the surviving populace) saw that the nobles, for whatever reasons, didn't "protect the rest of us" with their wealth, power to hire mercenaries and fortify their own properties and equip their own servants (and militias) properly with enough arms, armour, and horses . . . so a lot of the "automatic" obedience to nobles evaporated. Which meant the far more numerically superior commoners were no longer "amost entirely inclined" to obey or stand aside for nobles, and instead would tend to stand up to them, openly disagree with their crazier ideas, and "neglect" to obey them if not confronting them openly. As a lot of the younger nobles already thought their parents' and older relatives' behaviour was disgusting, and they didn't want to be tarred with the same brush, they started openly breaking ranks with the older nobles (something "just not done" in earlier decades) . . . and the ostracization done to those who did break ranks by the older nobles just didn't mean much, anymore.
So, yes, there WAS a large generational change, and it did happen fairly quickly - - though it had in fact been "brewing" for quite some time.
Now, all of this doesn't mean there aren't still some incredibly arrogant and/or authoritarian nobles; having lots of money gives individuals the freedom to indulge themselves, and inevitably some of them do so in such ways.
Yet a DM can easily have nobles who sneer at commoners or ignore them (except to curtly snap orders at them, when absolutely necessary, e.g. wave riding crop threateningly and snap, "Out of the way, cur!"), nobles who try to deal with commoners as equals ("Well met. I am Daerold Wyndstone, of House Wyndstone. And you are - -?"), and nobles (generally younger ones) who want to be thought of as commoners ("Well met. I'm Raerold Wyndstone, of Cormyr. Still seeking what I want to do in life. You?"), all in the same family.


So saith Ed. Who hopes to resume regular Realmslore replies very soon.
love to all,
THO
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14551 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2009 :  17:37:49  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So, yes, there WAS a large generational change, and it did happen fairly quickly - - though it had in fact been "brewing" for quite some time. <major snippage>
And I would imagine A LOT of that attitude change resulted from Allusair's 'involvment' with the younger nobles, which we discussed earlier, a few months back.

She had set the wheels in motion, and I would imagine the entire Devil Dragon/Grod Goblin/Ghazneth triple-wammy was just the catalyst.

She came out of all that looking like the 'brave heroin and saviour of Cormyr', whilst the rest looked like a bunch of petty and scrambling, self-interested cowards.

Its fairly easy to see the change right there - Azoun already had the people's heart - we saw that in the Tuigan Wars - but Alusair captured their soul.

quote:
Originally posted by gomez

I got the swordlass reference, though I think not every lesbian has a need for a private 'sword'.
So... a swordlass who doesn't have her own sword is a cutlass?

No... that would be a circumcised male warrrior... or a male-warrior who got a sex-change (perhaps from a circumcision gone terribly wrong?)

Or would that be a 'Cutlad'?

Which leads me to yet another question; is there such a thing as circumcision on the Realms?

For some reason I'm picturing only the Gnomes usig such practices...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Feb 2009 04:21:27
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  01:42:31  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Ed has managed to snatch time enough to continue his reply to Rinonalyrna Fathomlin’s query: “I was also wondering if the daughters and nieces who were sold into slavery were nice (or even "upright") like Flaernd was. Tell us about them.”
Ed replies:



ASMRELLA (“Az-MRELLA”), the eldest daughter, was probably the smartest Haldoneir of the last century. Dutiful, quiet, and under iron self-control at all times, she watched her parents at work, growing up, and thought them fools for being so open in their misdeeds, hatreds, casual cruelties, and arrogance. Far better to become the most superb actor possible, hiding all behind a façade of attentive kindness. Asmrella became that master player-of-roles, and was already a good judge of people.
She became the willing servant of her parents, seeing that as her best defense, and grew up into a taller, thinner, slightly plainer echo of her mother Taerenthe.
Although what her parents did to Borlatha and Daunameire startled her, Asmrella knew right away that it was a fate that might well eventually be hers, and swiftly made preparations - - notably buying a tiny vial of imvris, a contact poison that causes paralysis, from an alchemist on the Suzailan docks, one Rhegrest Marlambar. The vial was small and flat, and attached to an ear-hook wire, and Asmrella took to wearing it constantly under her hair, hooked over her right ear.
When she was “taken” and bundled off into slavery, she kept her calm and patience - - and was eventually rewarded with an opportunity to paralyze a sleeping captor, slit his throat with his own dagger, and make off with his purse, weapons, and cloak into the streets of Westgate. From there, she impersonated a prostitute about to entertain a drunken regular client, snared that merchant’s much fatter purse, and bought herself passage “out” with the next caravan.
She now dwells in Amn, where she managed to drown the dutiful wife of an old, rich, and nigh-blind retired merchant without being seen or suspected of anything (a river obligingly carried off the body), took the wife’s place, and is enduring the merchant’s fumbling caresses as she learns how to invest and reinvest his fortune, buy and sell his properties, and build herself into true formidability before the inevitable day she becomes the widow of Aundemann Haethmur. Whereupon “Marustine Haethmur” intends to sell out before the vultures swoop down to try to seize Haethmur’s worldly goods, relocate to Sembia, and become the doom of the Haldoneirs - - or at least of her parents. If she can manage their deaths in a way that both lets them know who’s killing them AND avoid being blamed for the murders, she will gladly reveal her true name and heritage, step forward to claim House Haldoneir’s wealth and properties, and swear any oaths of loyalty the War Wizards or the Crown want her to. If it benefits her, she may even keep some of them.

DORLARRA (“Dor-LARRA”) was the nastiest, most spiteful of the four Haldoneir daughters, and the least good-looking. Thin, sallow, and seldom to be seen without heavy cloakings of cosmetics and scent, she led a life of lounging, gossip, shopping for the gaudiest of gowns and furs, and been rude to all but handsome, eligible young noblemen at the endless round of feasts and revels she attended.
She enjoyed lovemaking, but believed it to be something to be passively experienced, and so gained not even the most basic skills of pleasing a partner. Which left saying spiteful things to be her sole accomplishment, beyond the ability to read and write.
Lazy, graceless, and utterly untrained, she became the sort of slave known as “empty meat” to slavers (that is: hardly worth feeding); not maimed or diseased, but worth little more than whatever minimum offer she attracted. Bought by a merchant who needed cargo-coffers filled by someone able to sort and handle fragile items with reasonable care (someone chained in place and worked for seemingly endless shifts, being paid only in bread, water, leftover table scraps, and old cheese), she was whipped or just kicked and punched when she worked poorly - - and has become emaciated, scarred, half-mad with fury at the world and grief at her own plight. The warehouse where she’s long-chained to a sorting bench and left to labor alone, following written packing notes, is somewhere in a Sembian port, but she knows no more than that, and as the unnumbered days pass, cares less and less about anything at all.

FEAENRELLE (“FEE-ain-rel”) was a dark, slender beauty with very pale skin, very black hair long enough to reach her ankles, and much silence. When she spoke, her croaking frog-voice made the reason for her customary silence obvious. Clever with numbers and mechanical things, and blessed with not just the wits to reason but the ability to see consequences and likelihoods that were less than obvious, she could make a very good merchant - - and that’s just what she’s become, albeit as a slave and bed-partner to a constantly-travelling merchant, Klardabreir of Airspur, who primarily deals in wines, spirits, and physics (medicinal or purportedly-medicinal drinks). Usually confined to the aging, kindly, stout, white-bearded Naumble Klardabreir’s rooms or ship cabin (he owns three merchant caravels that ply the Inner Sea), she is increasingly trusted and loved - - and is so glad to be rid of the parents and kin she so feared that she’s beginning to return that love and trust, though she longs for Klardabreir to free and marry her, or better yet sell her to someone her age and handsome, who will free and then marry her. Her diligence in matters of trade and her skills have played no small part in the rising fortunes of Klardabreir of Airspur, and though she’s not been paid a single coin for her service, she’s been well fed, given treats and gifts when Klardabreir’s been especially pleased, and although she now has a key to the manacles she wore for so long and a dagger hidden where she can get to them, she no longer dreams every day and night of using them to seize any good chance to escape, when one should come along. If she never saw Cormyr again, that wouldn’t bother her one whit, she thinks - - but finds herself dissolving into tears and excitement whenever she catches even a glimpse of the distant coast of the Forest Kingdom.



So saith Ed. Who will return when he can to describe the last Haldoneir daughter, and the two nieces. Hang in there, scribes; Ed is “on the job.”
love to all,
THO
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  07:21:48  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
Well. That is very intersting. I like Asmrella and Feanerelle. They seem like excellent characters in a story. I pefer Feanerelle, because she seems to be nicer and better. I don't suppose we'll ever find out what really happened in the end, will we? No short story about this? If so, would Ed mind if I try to write something with this?
And I can't wait for the rest of the lore.

EDIT: If Asmerella wants revenge that badly, why get complicated? Wait until her 'husband' dies, go to Cormyr, find a War wizard, and tell him the 'horrible' story of being sold into slavery with her sisters by her parents and brother, thus solving all the problems: Her parents and brother get killed, they know it was she who did it, and she gets the holdings.

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.
How much less them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation in the dust, are crushed before the moth?" - Eliphaz the Temanite, Job IV, 17-19.

"Yea, though he live a thousand years twice, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?" - Ecclesiastes VI, 6.

"There are no stupid questions – just a bunch of inquisitive idiots."

"Let's not call it 'hijacking'. Let's call it 'Thread Drift'."

Edited by - Menelvagor on 13 Feb 2009 10:09:10
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30431 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  07:22:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Asmrella is one of the most interesting NPCs I've seen in a while.

Feanrelle is interesting, too, but not as interesting as Asmrella.

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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  08:48:20  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
Asmrella has the potential to influence 4e realms, even. I can imagine a Haethmur family in Sembia (or environs) as the arch rivals of the remains of the Haldoneirs. It may even be a relatively nice family - the hatred for the Haldoneirs may seem entirely irrational, yet drives the family to oppose them even when that would be against their best interests.
Of course, such would assume Asmrella's plot never really worked out, or at least that her thirst for revenge was never quenched, but her grandsons/daughters may try just the harder.
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maransreth
Seeker

Australia
73 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  11:15:41  Show Profile  Visit maransreth's Homepage  Click to see maransreth's MSN Messenger address Send maransreth a Private Message
How long it takes to catch up on just over one week no internet access and Candlekeep is longer than I envisioned - I should blame it on the long, detailed answers to numerous questions. :)

Now for two of my own, unrelated but bought about by real-life:

1. What do people use for pain relief? Non-clerical specifically. I take it herbs and barks, but what exactly?

2. Economics. I did a bit of a search on the boards but found nothing conclusive. How important is the money market in the Realms? (Drawing upon the current RL situation) Has something similar happened in the Realms in the past?
I can remember the Iron Throne attempting to monopolise trade (I think) and it not really going anywhere.

3. (Ooo just thought of this one, sorry had to ask). Natural disasters. How often in different areas do floods, fires, wind storms, etc occur? Are they lessened/increased in frequency due to the effects of magic?
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  12:35:11  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 Wooly Rupert

Asmrella is one of the most interesting NPCs I've seen in a while.

Feanrelle is interesting, too, but not as interesting as Asmrella.

I was actually the opposite. I found Feanerelle to be the more interesting. In fact, I could certainly see myself dropping her into my campaign at some point. I've got an idea for her frog-like voice that would really leave the PC's scratching their heads. Hehe...

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)

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Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14551 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  14:34:18  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
And yet, I was drawn to Dorlarra.

Perhaps not as suited to a long-running NPC in one of my scampaigns, but a story-arc involving her was the first to jump to mind.

You know, the one where the PCs rescue someone... and then wish they hadn't.

Excellent as usual Ed. Your answers here at the keep always make me feel a little homesick, in a way.

And, of course, manage to maintain my interest in the Realms, despite everything.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Feb 2009 19:35:11
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  16:17:32  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
maransreth, I recall Ed saying at a long-ago GenCon seminar that he wanted to do herblore articles for DRAGON but these got firmly nixed, again and again.
The reasoning:
1. Real-world herbs would "inevitably" encourage experimentation and lawsuits or even state prosecutions in some anti-hippie-drug-mad US jurisdictions of the time (experiment with plants good if large pharmaceutical corp, home remedies by grandmothers very, very bad).
2. Using invented "fantasy" herbs, even with obviously fantastic instructions like "must have been stepped on by a dragon, in moonlight" would cause real-world experimenters to mistakenly or deliberately substitute real-world substances, then see #1, above.
I wouldn't be surprised if those prohibitions still apply. Sigh.
BB
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ranger_of_the_unicorn_run
Learned Scribe

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  16:23:10  Show Profile Send ranger_of_the_unicorn_run a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

maransreth, I recall Ed saying at a long-ago GenCon seminar that he wanted to do herblore articles for DRAGON but these got firmly nixed, again and again.
The reasoning:
1. Real-world herbs would "inevitably" encourage experimentation and lawsuits or even state prosecutions in some anti-hippie-drug-mad US jurisdictions of the time (experiment with plants good if large pharmaceutical corp, home remedies by grandmothers very, very bad).
2. Using invented "fantasy" herbs, even with obviously fantastic instructions like "must have been stepped on by a dragon, in moonlight" would cause real-world experimenters to mistakenly or deliberately substitute real-world substances, then see #1, above.
I wouldn't be surprised if those prohibitions still apply. Sigh.
BB


If you look at Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, though, it talks about how to create elixers, but I haven't heard of anyone attempting to find a real world alternative to some of the ingredients and trying to make something. I think whomever it is that put out this reasoning seems to think that D&D fans are crazy people who think they can cast spells and fight dragons.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  17:48:32  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
Wow, Ed (and Hooded One!) thanks for that great lore, I can't wait to see the rest.

I found it striking and even admirable that Asmrella was able to get out of her bad situation, even though she also happens to be wicked...

"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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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  22:44:29  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

Wow, Ed (and Hooded One!) thanks for that great lore, I can't wait to see the rest.

I found it striking and even admirable that Asmrella was able to get out of her bad situation, even though she also happens to be wicked...



So did I. :) But then I read the rest and was like... oh wait...

But I do have to echo one of the above posters... Why didn't she just escape and return to Cormyr - surely that would have been proof enough for the War Wizards to go to town on the Haldoniers!

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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Uzzy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
618 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  23:11:27  Show Profile  Visit Uzzy's Homepage Send Uzzy a Private Message
Firstly, it'd probably be nothing more then her word against her parents. I doubt she kept evidence of her own time in slavery. Further, it'd be rather humiliating for her, if it were known she was a slave.

Secondly, it's possible her parents wouldn't be killed. Or even if they were killed, they'd be put to death in a way where they didn't suffer. Neither seem like acceptable solutions for Asmrella.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, but that's my own personal reading of her.
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2009 :  23:35:58  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Why would she return to Cormyr with so much opportunity before her and no same war wizards to watch her every deed for the remainder of her life?

She escaped various forms of bondage IMHO.
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2009 :  17:21:09  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
I wish to ask Ed something I've been pondering about: is the Realm of Gontal in Abeir a literary nod towards the imaginary world of Gondal that Emily and Anne Brontë (as children) wrote stories, poems and articles about?

"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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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2009 :  19:47:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. I just sent the last few posts on this page off to Ed, and got this back from him, lightning-swift:


No, Gontal isn't a nod to Gondal. I have hidden more than a few "Easter Eggs" in the Realms, but nothing so overt or large-scale. Mine tend to be small details. :}


So saith Ed. Who, as we all know, LOVES small details.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 15 Feb 2009 02:46:00
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2009 :  02:41:15  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
I agree with createvmind: I think Asmrella was too SMART to return to Cormyr. The price of denouncing her parents and seeing them get their comeuppance would be putting her own neck into the noose of being their replacement. She obviously thought her new life was better than the one she'd escaped, so why go back?
If she still hates her parents when an opportunity arises to do them dirty from afar, she can still bring them down via, say, the Harpers.
Sometimes the best revenge ain't revenge at all. It's stepping right out of the situation, saying good riddance, and really meaning it.
Leaving your enemy's victory really not much of a "victory" at all.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2009 :  02:43:34  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Well said, Malcolm. VERY well said. (And of course Uzzy and createvmind, too; your thinking concurs with Ed's, all of you. That doesn't mean you're wrong, Zandilar; she probably could have destroyed her parents very effectively - - IF she'd wanted to pay the price of doing so.)
Now, Ed returns to the Keep, via me (fresh from the gala opening of an exhibition of caricatures in Port Hope, Ontario, of 42 local celebrities, including Ed himself; he is, of course, “The Wizard”), to describe the last Haldoneir daughter, and the two Haldoneir nieces, for us all:



PAERELLE (“PAY-er-el”) had from early years an unearthly beauty; golden rather than straw-yellow hair, a perfect complexion (nigh-pure white), large dark imploring indigo eyes, and extremely sharp, delicate features. She was small of bone and stature, sleek and curved rather than muscled, and although she’d learned no hand-work skills, she had perfect pitch, spot-on mimicry with a great range in voices (from deep male to faerie-bell clear) and a great natural talent for singing, and could read and write superbly. Blessed with an exacting, exhaustive memory for smells, faces, names, and dates, she might make the perfect witness.
Growing up very much in the shadow of her sisters, she learned to stay mute and challenge no one, even when treated with great cruelty. However, she never forgot ANYTHING, and was quite a shrewd judge of character.
She suspected what her fate might soon be after the “taking” of Borlatha and Daunameire, and quietly made preparations, approaching Lelrard Dorryn, a young male stable servant of the Haldoneirs whom she knew was smitten with her, to follow and rescue her in return for her hand in marriage and what wealth she could snatch.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t present when she was taken, and could only follow her. When the slaving trail led from Marsember to Westgate, Dorryn sought out a Harper he knew in Marsember, revealed all he knew, then bought passage to Westgate - - where he was soon murdered by the slavers when his clumsy pokings and pryings led them to notice him. By then, Paerelle had been bought by a brothelkeeper and had “entertained” hundreds of clients who paid extra to “violate a noble lady;” many of them returned often after they’d seen and felt her beauty.
A tenday later, when Dorryn had failed to leave word with Harpers in Westgate, they set out to find him and Paerelle Haldoneir. The result was a messy little private war that went on in the streets, back alleys, upper rooms, and secret passages of Westgate for the better part of a month, ending with a handful of Harpers dead but a slaving gang nigh-exterminated, a certain brothelkeeper murdered, and his brothel emptied and set afire by desperately-fleeing “working lasses.”
Given refuge by a Harper, Paerelle Haldoneir proved to be as wise as her eldest sister Asmrella; she refused to return to Cormyr or use her own name ever again. She had discovered she quite liked lovemaking (even receiving pain, so long as it was on HER terms), and discovered she liked manipulating men (and women, too) even more.
Local Harpers offered her a deal; if she would join the Harpers, gathering information and providing a safe haven for traveling Harpers, they would set her up in her own “brothel-of-one” in any city she desired . . . and relocate her whenever she grew bored or felt unsafe. She agreed, began work in Alaghôn, has enjoyed it, and is busily learning all she can of other places in the Realms (from clients and Harpers alike) so she can choose the “best” next place she’ll dwell. She has become the lover and fast friend of over a dozen Harpers, and is heartily glad to have put her Haldoneir heritage “forever” (in her words) behind her.

BORLATHA (“Boar-LATH-ah”) was a fat, jovial-mannered but deeply unhappy lass some seven summers older than Asmrella. More fond of food and drink - - for which she has developed a prodigious capacity without seeming to be drunk - - than of anything else, and feeling trapped in “the body of a rosy, cuddly SOW” (as she put it more than once, disgusted and despairing) she had gradually withdrawn from feasts, revels, and all other public appearances. Her life became a matter of staying in her home eating sweets, reading endless racy chapbooks, hearing the latest gossip of Suzail from tale-tellers who visited her for talk, splendid meals, and fine wine whilst she conversed with them from behind a curtain, and making love with her sister. Bored and jaded with idle luxury, she had begun “investigating” various faiths (shady cults in particular) seeking some way out of her body into a new life - - or failing that, some thrills to pass the time.
Sold into slavery as a unlovely, talentless, overfed weakling (literally for a lone copper coin), she was intended to be killed and served up as food to jaded wealthy folk of Westgate seeking illicit thrills. However, she soothed and cuddled the cage full of weeping, shrieking, and self-harming slave children she was thrown in with, and a grateful slavemaster put her to work as a “den mother” for his slave pens. Starved, she has lost most of her fat, though much of her skin hangs in loose folds, and gained a lot of energy - - but can see no way out, and is clinging to her “mothering” role as her only purpose in life. Raped by several male slaves, she is best described as “resigned” to her new life rather than happy, but she’s decided to live for the moment, try not to think about her ultimate fate, and to forget that she was ever noble.

DAUNAMEIRE (“DON-ah-meer”) was as tall, thin, and slender as her sister Borlatha was fat. From birth to now, she has had a build that shows all her ribs for counting. She has a large nose but striking beauty, with severe black brows and curly, honey-hued long tumbling hair - - though she has always preferred the company (and intimacy) of women to men, and was happily her sister’s lover for years until they were snatched into slavery. Daunameire has a sultry, smoky purr of a voice and an unconscious allure (her graceful movements are always just shy of provocative poses, and she’s entirely unashamed of her body and quite likely to casually bare parts of herself to show anyone a scratch or “where it hurts.” Neither stupid nor clever, she has always paid little attention to the world around, and so is by far the most naïve of all the Haldoneirs.
Being taken for slavery and separated from Borlatha caught her completely by surprise. Her arm was broken during her abduction (by accident, not as a result of her putting up any resistance), and one disgusted slaver thought it best to casually strike her senseless and toss her overboard in the Neck - - but she begged the other slavers to spare her life, promising to be their drudge and bedmate and willing slave, never seeking to escape or to harm them, if they’d give her a place to sleep and food to eat.
They took her up on the deal, and from that day to this has labored in a slaver’s kitchen in a low neighborhood of Westgate, cooking, keeping house, and warming the beds of half a dozen cruel, hardened slavers - - who now regard her as family, and will and have scrambled to protect her when the need has arisen.
Her arm healed with a visible irregularity and a recurring damp-weather ache, but is serviceable, and Daunameire herself is content with her new life. She misses being noble not at all, and is only wistful for her former idleness and luxuries on rare occasions, but she would very much like to see her sister - - whom she unconsciously regards as her life partner - - again.
Her owners not only have come to love and value her, they never tire of watching her dance, read them aloud chapbook tales in that loins-stirring purr of hers, and coming to their beds (and after a difficult first few tendays, they made a pact with each other never to fight over who “had” her on this night, but to be generous with each other and with her; if she wanted a night alone, or felt poorly, she would get it - - though to their delight, she prefers sleeping with men, even more than one, to lying in bed alone).



So saith Ed. Who has provided us with another trio of interesting characters; as he’s said many times before, the Realms isn’t geography so much as it is people.
Me, I hope he’ll bring us scores more fascinating characters in the years ahead. I KNOW he’ll bring us more Realmslore replies here to Candlekeep, one by one, as soon as he can get to them.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 15 Feb 2009 02:48:25
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2009 :  09:54:14  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

I definitely like those last three best out of the whole lot. They might not be the most useful for a DM, but they're the ones I can relate to best. Paerelle might make a good contact for PCs.

But I do have a question about the latter two in the post... Does Borlath view Daunameire the same way Daunameire views her? And if Daunameire were to meet up with Borlath again (both having been freed from their slavery), what would she think then, given the physical changes and psychological scarring her sister would carry? (I find their relationship quite interesting.)

I have one last set of questions not related to the families that have been detailed recently, but still staying with the nobles of Cormyr - which of the noble families would be the most loyal to the crown, and which would be considered the most Good aligned? Are there any noble families that would be Good aligned AND disloyal to the Crown (I am sure that is possible!)? Which of the noble families of Cormyr have pulled themselves out of corruption/depravity and reformed or redeemed themselves from their shady/traitorous pasts? All just things I was musing about in light of the latest details of Cormyrian nobility.

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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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2009 :  15:39:09  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Obviously I'm not Ed or THO, but my guess would be the three "royal" noble families have to be considered pretty loyal (Crownsilver, Huntsilver, Truesilver), because even though they might have SOME disloyal individual members, they've intermarried with the Obarskyrs so much down the years that they're tightly knit, and would probably "go down with the Obarskyrs" if Cormyr ever suffered the equivalent of the Black Days In Eleint that Tethyr "enjoyed."
Of the way the noble families have been portrayed, I would have to put the Wyvernspurs (in the 1350s-60s, anyway) at the forefront of truly loyal families (unless I've missed something).
I'm sure Ed doesn't have the time or the desire (not wanting to really hamper future fiction writing) to give us a full scorecard of noble families for answering you, Zan, but I, too, would really like to see "five good examples" of noble families for each of those categories you outlined. NOT the "top five," because that would hamper a DM wanting to surprise his players with a "Hah! You didn't suspect the Hoohahs were blackhearted traitors behind their smiles, did you?" moment.
So, please, please, Ed, add another, oh, dozen waking hours to your days and get to this question soon.
BB
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3532 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2009 :  01:26:36  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message
I would love to see Ed caricatured as "The Wizard"!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2009 :  02:18:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. I bring you Ed’s latest Realmslore, this time (sorry, Daviot; House Sorndrake IS coming, eventually) a response to just one of the questions posed by crazedventurers about life in Thunderstone and vicinity (add this to your accumulated Ed-lore on that area, interested scribes - - and yes, Damian, answers to all the rest of your questions are on the way, too; Ed’s just a little overloaded now): “Ranching: Are horses bred for work (dray, plough etc) and for the military/general riding? (or do they specialize). Do most folks in Thunderstone know how to ride?”
Ed replies:



Hi, Damian. Various sorts of horses are bred for both the plough and the saddle, with most of the latter being sold to merchants who come out from Suzail to inspect the trained “stock” and to Purple Dragon buyers (who rely on the constant observation of local animals by the resident Dragons, to make their picks).
Most of the locals who do ride tend to use old, retired plough horses to plod around on, often pulling small work-carts in which non-riders can travel as well as purchases and items they’re transporting. However, there are locals who own and ride horses bred and trained for the purpose, as well as nobles and wannbe-nobles who enjoy hunting (see my next answer, coming soon), and have horses trained for galloping across country, leaping obstacles, fording streams, and the like. I would judge that about 4 in 10 locals can ride, about half that number doing it well, and that perhaps 8 out of 10 have been on a horse (however clumsily and/or briefly : } ) once in their lives.



So saith Ed. Who will, if he can, follow up with details of House Sorndrake, last of his four candidate “nasty noble families” for Daviot, then turn to more in the series of Thunderstone questions posed by crazedventurers, probably starting with hunting.
Not to mention Asgetrion’s followup Thunderstone questions!
If time presses in the next few days, Ed warns, he'll deal with smaller, swifter lore queries instead, for a bit.
After all of that, there are some nice queries posed recently that I know Ed is itching to tackle.
Keep ’em coming, scribes; I’m sure it reassures Ed that the advent of 4e hasn’t caused longtime scribes to abandon the Realms.
love to all,
THO
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2009 :  02:00:13  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,
Another question for the ever-growing pile.
When a death occurs in a noble family of Cormyr, and it's "uncomplicated" (they're not traitors, they don't die far from home or suspiciously, they don't carry some sort of horrible plague, and it's not war time or deep howling winter), where do they get buried, and how? I assume in a coffin and in a family crypt, but am I right to assume that? How are the bodies treated/prepared? Do practises vary from family to family or regionally? How is a noble's funeral different from a commoner's, legally or to heralds or in the eyes of the Crown or Court scribes? And are any noble families of the Forest Kingdom really eccentric about this? Severing heads from bodies or doing "prevent undeath" stuff?
Thanks in advance for anything you say on this topic.
BB
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