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Kyrene
Senior Scribe

South Africa
648 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  09:28:45  Show Profile  Visit Kyrene's Homepage Send Kyrene a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Spoil sport... we weren't done trying to cunningly worm our way beneath her outer shell...

No, no, no! I agree with Zandilar: Bring in the rust monster so that we have more time to lick at THO in person. Regardless of how long it takes us, or whether or not we even care about the reference document as prize*.

* Oftentimes the journey, however fraught with valleys, nooks and crannies, mounds, hills, peaks, gushing geysers or any other anatomical topographical sights, is its own reward.

Lost for words? Find them in the Glossary of Phrases, Sayings & Words of the Realms

I am a sexy, shoeless god of war!

The Sellplague began, for all intents and purposes, in the dominions of the Corporation. Greed murdered Good Design, unraveling common sense in the cosmos and destroying her dominion. At the same time, Sales Fears and Warcraft Envy happened into alignment. This cataclysmic coincidence led to upheaval, shaking apart the primeval order, opening up holes in wallets, and reshaping everything...
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14144 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  16:29:18  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
You make it sound like we are back on the 'Backpacking' subject of a few posts ago.

I'm all for any activity that provides great exercise and a magnificent view.

@Menelvagor - Mystra is not 'uncaring', but would rather manipulate mortals into doing her bidding (I believe there are rules about such things - except for during the ToT; there is only a limited amont of influence a god may use directly on the mortal world, else you would have divine beings making war on each other and destroying worlds). Another factor is that Mystra wants her Chosen, Magisters, and other 'agents' to all learn from their own mistakes. One doesn't learn the 'hard lessons' unless one gets burned once in a while. Thirdly, the crown is an artifact, and is therefore hard to 'track' through divination. Khelben and others may have known about the crown resurfacing, and some folks may have also been wondering where Laeral was during that time, but it may have taken awhile to connect the two (most who knew her would not have suspected Larael to have become the Witch Queen (or whatever she was calling herself then), and Chosen do disappear for years at a time (Elminster did so for a century!) occasionally.

Khelben did not know her before then, so even when he began to scry her and take steps to stop her as the Witch Queen, he didn't recognize her as one of the Seven - I believe even Elminster only knew who a few were at that point in time. Also, Chosen are supposed to do Mystra's 'work', which is NOT necessarily 'good'. She is all about strengthing magic and building it, so as long as Laeral was still developing magic and thereby growing her portfolio, Mystra would not have felt much need to do anything at all about her. Another thing is that the Crown is a mind-contolling ARTIFACT, and any 'hasty' removal of such would most-likely end in the victim's brains being 'permanently scrambled'. So even after he learned who he was dealing with, much time and care (and another artifact) were required for its safe removal.

One final thing, and this is completely non-canon and homebrew: I was discussing some of this in Steven Schend's thread with the man himself, and I personally came to the conclusion (for plothook purposes) that the Laeral Khelben 'saved' was not the original - it was a clone 'left behind' after the 'Dark Powers' took the real Larael to Ravenloft.

Completely homebrew... but it allows adventurers to free the 'real' Larael from RL in a 4e adventure (giving us back one of the seven in 4e). As for the Crown - even the Dark Powers can't move artifacts between worlds, so the original crown was left behind (and donned by the clone), whilst a duplicate was created by the Dark Powers for the RL version. A bit hokey, but it would make for a great trans-planer epic adventure.


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


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Apr 2009 16:47:03
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  17:15:26  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
The only thing I don't like about the homebrew is that means Laeral and Khelben's children would fall into some 'Spider-man'-like plot device.

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

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14144 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  17:38:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I thought Larael had only one child, and that child's father is 'unknown'?*

Information about the Seven and Mystra's Chosen isn't really my Forté, so forgive any mistakes I may have made.

I just thought it would be cool is she was 'whisked away' during her tenure ruling that little kingdom (wasn't it Luskan?), and an(other) FR-like Realm existed in the Land of Mists. You have 'good Larael', and 'evil Larael'. You could always switch it around and say that Larael's clone was somehow accidently activated, and that's who donned the crown... in which case Khelben never really 'saved' her. He destroys the Larael wearing the crown (who is then stolen by the 'Dark Powers'), and finds the real Larael hidden in stasis (placed there by the clone). He tells her the story of the her time with the crown (perhaps using some mind-influencing magics on her), and she believes the whole thing, and is grateful. It certainly wouldn't be the first time Khelben lied his arse off to get what he wanted.

If that works better for you, then use it - I just thought it was a neat plothook (and I like RL and the idea of 'Evil Laeral' having a realm there). The only problem with that version is that you must assume the official version is incorrect (which breaks canon somewhat, except that Khelben is known for his purposeful misdirections).

*Edit: Nevermind... I forgot she was pregnant in Blackstaff....

Still, what would be the difference? Either way, a clone (especially a magical one) is an exact duplicate of a person, so she would still be their mother (even if they didn't physically come from her body). I have to admit it is a little comic-bookish, but I did say I designed this plothook with 4e in mind.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Apr 2009 22:58:46
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  17:55:37  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

<snip>
Still, what would be the difference? Either way, a clone (especially a magical one) is an exact duplicate of a person, so she would still be their mother (even if they didn't physically come from her body). I have to admit it is a little comic-bookish, but I did say I designed this plothook with 4e in mind.


Ask the legion of Spider-man fans what the problem with clones are.

Clone Saga

Seriously, the only fictional character to have more clones than Spider-man is Jango Fett.

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

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Edited by - Ashe Ravenheart on 13 Apr 2009 21:33:15
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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  19:32:19  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
I initially though it was a nice idea... however, the Dark Powers make darklords of people who ruly deserve it, and who made their own choices.
A Laeral turned evil by an artifact does not really fall into that category, unless they would have freed her form the artifact, and then give here a choice between good and evil... and have her choose evil.
But that makes saving Laeral from the mists near impossible, because she'll be truly evil then (unless you would go the 'Lord Soth' way). Of course, in 4ted, Ravenloft is now only a region in the Shadowfell, so these things may now be less difficult than they were.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  21:29:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

<snip>
Still, what would be the difference? Either way, a clone (especially a magical one) is an exact duplicate of a person, so she would still be their mother (even if they didn't physically come from her body). I have to admit it is a little comic-bookish, but I did say I designed this plothook with 4e in mind.


Ask the legion of Spider-man fans what the problem with clones are.

Clone Sage

Seriously, the only fictional character to have more clones than Spider-man is Jango Fett.



Clone Sage? I was expecting something else from that link!

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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  21:34:29  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
<ahem> Yes... link wordage stuff changed.

Now, time to go back to the basement and finish that experiment. (Once I've got Sage cloned, then I can work on THO! )

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

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  22:26:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

<ahem> Yes... link wordage stuff changed.

Now, time to go back to the basement and finish that experiment. (Once I've got Sage cloned, then I can work on THO! )



I think you've got the order reversed, there. Who'd want an extra Sage around? I'd start with four or five clones of the lovely Lady Hooded One. That's two or three to keep for myself, and two to send to Ed to act as his assistants.

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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  22:51:39  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

<ahem> Yes... link wordage stuff changed.

Now, time to go back to the basement and finish that experiment. (Once I've got Sage cloned, then I can work on THO! )



I think you've got the order reversed, there. Who'd want an extra Sage around? I'd start with four or five clones of the lovely Lady Hooded One. That's two or three to keep for myself, and two to send to Ed to act as his assistants.



What about cloning the Sage's brain and placing it into the Hooded One's Body? All of the realm lore in a prettier package... when Ed isn't being entertained by his/her body....

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14144 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  23:08:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Thats just wrong on so many levels.

quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

Seriously, the only fictional character to have more clones than Spider-man is Jango Fett.
Manshoon.

quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

Ask the legion of Spider-man fans what the problem with clones are.
To tell you the truth, I was thinking more in terms of an X-Men/Dark Phoenix scenario here, or perhaps the Johnny Storm/Skrull Chick storyline (considering how things wound-up with love involved). Hmmmm... a Dopplganger or a Malaugrym would be very strange, but Khelben would have saw right through those...

Also, there are many cases of people becoming 'evil' accidently and becoming a Darklord in Ravenloft. All it takes is the intial decision that sends you down that path... and she did WILLINGLY don the crown....

Either way, I'd like the real one alive in Ravenloft, and not the clone, just so we could still have her (in all her nasty glory). Who knows? By now (1479) she may have become the Raven Queen.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 22 Apr 2009 21:15:15
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Thauramarth
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
653 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2009 :  23:24:56  Show Profile Send Thauramarth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Menelvagor


EDIT: Oh, a question I had regarding Laeral:
Why did it take 20 years for Khelben to come and free her from the Crown of Horns? I mean where were all the others for 20 years? She has 6 sisters, and a powerful 'uncle'. Where were they for 20 years? And what about Mystra? What was she doing, not caring for her Chosen?
Or was it all game designer plotting? Did they go: 'Let's make sure Khelben frees her, then marries her, so we can spread rumours of him manipulating her into it and she seeking adveturers to help her against him, thus giving adventure hooks to all the players'?


Interesting question, that. Ever since this thread first appeared (in FR5-The Savage Frontier, if memory serves me right, I had the impression that Laeral's acquistion of the Crown of Horns was quite "recent" (1356-1357 DR or thereabouts), given the reference that the Nine had acquired in in Yűlash. I always figured the Nine had swooped in after Yűlash had been obliterated by the Flight of Dragons of 1356. I remember being surprised when I saw the date of the [Thomas] Crown Affair being set in 1337. I always figured that was a type (funny how a hand-written "5" can resemble a hand-written "3"). Heh.

So to add to Menelvagor's question - was this incident always supposed to be 1337, or was it set for 1357? I would certainly find it odd that nine powerful (human) adventurers would be at each other for twenty years without the good and the great noticing anything. Otherwise, my guess would be that, even though Laeral donned the hat, the hat had to work very hard (some twenty-odd years or so) to wear Laeral's mental defenses down and cause the worst case of PMS (Possessed-by-Myrkul-Syndrome) anyone has ever seen.

Club Secretary of the Dragons on the Hill RPG Club of London, UK: http://dragonsonthehill.co.uk/.
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  00:08:48  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Thats just wrong on so many levels.

quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

Seriously, the only fictional character to have more clones than Spider-man is Jango Fett.
Manshoon.



Nah... Manshoon had what? A dozen clones? By the end of the Clone Saga, Spider-man fought over a hundred of his clones. And Jango literally had tens of thousands, if not a whole lot more...

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

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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  01:06:14  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message
Greetings Ed,

I noticed a question from someone at the Wizards forums who wants to know what the Realms is all about. I know the question has been answered before, both here and in books. What I found interesting is that the interested poster included in his post the questions from the one-page entry format for the WotC Campaign Setting Design Contest of 2002.

Interestingly the sample Core Ethos Sentence uses the Realms as an example. I've always wondered how you would have answered those questions if let's say you were entering that contest with the Realms as an unpublished setting.

Regarding Question #2 and #3, I'm interested in an answer for this section applied to player character heroes and "adventurers" in general. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they here?

quote:
Originally posted by WotC
Fantasy Setting Proposal Template

1. Core Ethos Sentence. [A sentence that describes the core ethos of the world. For example, Forgotten Realms is a world of sword-and-sorcery adventure, where heroes battle monsters with magic.]

2. Who are the heroes? [Brief description of heroes central to the setting. This need not be a comprehensive list.]

3. What do they do? [What are the main objectives of the heroes, and what steps do they take to achieve those objectives?]

4. Threats, Conflicts, Villains [What is the main danger to the world, and from whom does it come?]

5. Nature of magic [What is the source of magic? How abundant/scarce is it?]

6. What’s new? What’s different? [What makes this setting unique?]



This is the poster's original post from the WotC forum:
quote:
Originally posted by SillySymphonies
[Long read, so get a snack. Summary: Eberron DM wants to know what's so interesting about the the Forgotten Realms.]

I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons (3.5th edition) since late 2006. My DM (who has been my DM from the beginning onwards) has been using homebrew settings most of the time (recently he started a new campaign in the Planescape setting though). Since January 2009 I have started DMing for a group of close friends in an Eberron setting while at the same time still playing in my own DM's games.

My DM, a long-time Forgotten Realms and Planescape fan, seems to like the Forgotten Realms setting better than Eberron (fair enough). However, he never clearly explained to me what (in his opinion) makes Forgotten Realms the wonderful setting he claims it to be.

Curious what the fuss was all about, I tried and perused the 3.5 Player's Guide to Faerűn. I didn't have the time to read all of it, and nowhere I could find a decent summary of what the setting was about. Recently, I got the chance to take a look at a copy of the AD&D Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (1987). Since -in my opinion- an idea doesn't improve if one elaborates more on it, I decided to peruse this very first Forgotten Realms booklet. To me it seemed a rather cookie-cutter setting, with only a few intersting elements in there (like the NPC beholder Manxam; the sage Elminster; the Anauroch desert and great glacier being located right next to each other). I concluded that this setting might have been new and interesting back in the eighties and nineties, but that since then most of its unique elements have become core (by which I mean 3.5 edition PHB, DMG and MM) and that it is now a setting that's only interesting to people who have been playing in it since the eighties or to people who have read the novels. Perhaps I made this conclusion wrongfully so, so I am turning to the people on these boards to explain to me what makes the Forgotten Realms so special.

So, a long story short: What in the Nine Hells is all the fuss about?
Or, to put i in a nicer way: could someone provide me with a short summary or introduction into the Forgotten Realms? Like was done in the ECS for Eberron (pages 7-9: Introduction; The tone of Eberron; Movies to inspire you; The world; Ten things you need to know) or in the FAQ for Eberron Newbies thread at these boards.

Or maybe someone would be willing to answer the following questions for me?

1. Core ethos sentence:
2. Who are the heroes?
3. What do they do?
4. Threats, conflicts, villains:
5. Nature of magic:
6. What's new? What's different?

Many thanks in advance.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  01:08:37  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, as much as I want to reply to some of the more recent exchanges, I think we should take Dark Wizard's last post as a convenient way to return to actual questions for Ed, and discussions related to the answers that come forth from the Bearded One.

Thank you.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
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Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  01:11:15  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
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Wizard

I noticed a question from someone at the Wizards forums who wants to know what the Realms is all about. I know the question has been answered before, both here and in books. What I found interesting is that the interested poster included in his post the questions from the one-page entry format for the WotC Campaign Setting Design Contest of 2002.
While the poster in question is awaiting a response from Ed, I would advise that he/she also review the previous editions of the "Questions for Ed Greenwood" scroll. All of which contain fascinating replies on Ed's thoughts processes on the Realms, and a lot about it's early beginnings.

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Christopher_Rowe
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
879 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  01:55:42  Show Profile  Visit Christopher_Rowe's Homepage Send Christopher_Rowe a Private Message
It just noticed that this will be my five hundredth post and wanted it to be in this topic.

And now I have to come up with a question.

Okay, how about this. Have there been any/many famous sets of identical twins in the Realms? I know that the Thunder Blessing brought about increased twin births among the dwarves--but are twins counted rare or (relatively) common among elves and halflings? Are twins thought to be good or bad luck in any cultures?

Cheers,

Christopher


My Realms novel, Sandstorm, is now available for ordering.
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Stranjer
Seeker

18 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  04:06:53  Show Profile  Visit Stranjer's Homepage Send Stranjer a Private Message
Hey, just thought of a topic that I am interested in, and would like to see if Ed can say much on the topic. Riddles being present in any sort of civilization that has a language, I was wondering, other then published ones, if there are any realms specific riddle's. I know Elaine Cunnigham published some in her books, and I have posted in her thread curious about any others she had penned, but was wondering if Ed, or THo, or any sage here for that matter, had any good Riddle's from the Realms that I might be able to stump my players with, for a bit. Plan on trying to create a few of my own, as well.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4906 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  05:19:27  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Menelvagor
EDIT: Oh, a question I had regarding Laeral:
Why did it take 20 years for Khelben to come and free her from the Crown of Horns? I mean where were all the others for 20 years? She has 6 sisters, and a powerful 'uncle'. Where were they for 20 years? And what about Mystra? What was she doing, not caring for her Chosen?



Where did you read that Laeral was under the influence of the Crown of Horns for 20 years?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  05:27:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher_Rowe

It just noticed that this will be my five hundredth post and wanted it to be in this topic.

And now I have to come up with a question.

Okay, how about this. Have there been any/many famous sets of identical twins in the Realms? I know that the Thunder Blessing brought about increased twin births among the dwarves--but are twins counted rare or (relatively) common among elves and halflings? Are twins thought to be good or bad luck in any cultures?

Cheers,

Christopher





Ed has shared a bit of evil twin lore with me, and it included some identical twins... If it's okay with him, I'll repost it here.

It's not twins in general, though -- I was specifically looking at the evil twin trope.

And there is one set of identical twins in published Realmslore that comes readily to mind... Voaraghamanthar "the Black Death" and his brother Waervaerendor "the Rapacious Raider", the twin black dragons in the Mere of Dead Men. They're from the old Wyrms of the North series, and were first seen in Dragon 258. The article is also online, here.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 14 Apr 2009 05:27:48
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14144 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  05:29:00  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Where did you read that Laeral was under the influence of the Crown of Horns for 20 years?

GHotR

She puts it on and "descends into madness" in 1337, and Khelben "Frees her from the influence of the Crown of Horns in 1357.

Its all right there in B&W.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 17 Apr 2009 03:44:53
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  06:27:40  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 Christopher_Rowe

It just noticed that this will be my five hundredth post and wanted it to be in this topic.

And now I have to come up with a question.

Okay, how about this. Have there been any/many famous sets of identical twins in the Realms? I know that the Thunder Blessing brought about increased twin births among the dwarves--but are twins counted rare or (relatively) common among elves and halflings? Are twins thought to be good or bad luck in any cultures?

Cheers,

Christopher



A few examples I can recall at the moment:-

Alcedor and Duhlark Kolat in Waterdeep. They're friends of the Harpells.

And the female wang-liang of Kara-Tur sometimes bear identical twins of each gender.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
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Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  06:28:10  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

Ed has shared a bit of evil twin lore with me, and it included some identical twins... If it's okay with him, I'll repost it here.
If it's okay with Ed, I'd like to see it, so that I can include it in the "So Saith Ed" compilations.

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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  09:23:16  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher_Rowe

Okay, how about this. Have there been any/many famous sets of identical twins in the Realms?


In 4th ed, Kira and Dayan Nenthyn, who own the Fall of Stars.
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Menelvagor
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Israel
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Posted - 14 Apr 2009 :  12:18:13  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
Laeral's twins?

"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'."
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