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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14528 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  17:57:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Another novel and author I would like to hear Ed's take on-

I have been a fan of Mithgar far some time, despite its highly derivitive origins. Mr. McKiernan has come a long way from his original stories in differentiating his world from a mere Middle Earth copy.

I have just started Red Slippers yesterday, and am finding it highly enjoyable (McKiernan's novels could all fit the 'game novel' niche far better then some that actually hold that 'honor'). His novels always center around a small group of adventurers getting 'big' stuff done, but in small ways, one step at a time, rather then through WSEs. Building a better world through perseverance, rather then sheer fire-power.

Anyhow, it reminds me of Ed's style a lot (and I hope he takes that as a compliment), and I couldn't help but think of Ed whilst reading the foreward - the concept of the 'Red Slippers' is so... Edwardian... in nature, I couldn't help but wonder if Ed is even aware of it (the term, I mean).

For those of you who haven't read the book, 'Red Slippers' is a literary term McKiernan himself created to describe an authors habit of mentioning past events, personages, or places that have no real bearing on the story. Basicaly, the author has "dropped a Red Slipper" - something that makes the world seem more real, by mentioning the wider world around the current story. The foreword itself is worth the cover price, just because of this concept, which McKiernan claims to have taken from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (who would constantly refer to other cases that were never covered in any other novels).

Like I said, I find the term brilliant, and would love to see it achieve common usage in the literary world. This is also something I see that newer Realms sources have lacked for quite some time - whereas before every nook and cranny was filled with 'Red Slippers' for us to wonder about, now it seems everything NOT pertinent to the story at hand is lost in editting. Although I'm talking primarilly about sourcebooks, I feel some novels have suffered as well.

It's a shame, really, because it is that 'excessive verbiage' which makes the world seem so real to so many of us.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 21 Apr 2009 19:25:56
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  18:25:25  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
For those of you not privy to the foreward, here it is: Red Slippers

And I'm still waiting for my Caverns of Socrates (not the book, the actual events).

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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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14528 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2009 :  19:24:46  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Didn't even think to look for that online - thanks for the help.

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

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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  01:29:09  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady THO,
Being as it's tax time here in Canada (and the deadline has very recently passed for our American friends), I'm curious about taxes in the Realms.
Specifically in Waterdeep, Cormyr, Amn, and Tethyr.
Is everything a "passage" (docking, city entry, city departure) or consumption (pay an extra copper when you buy a pot, or anything else over 3 or 4 sp in price) tax?
Or are there any "head" or income taxes that require having detailed tax rolls? If so, who maintains the roll, where is kept/guarded/how amended, what's the normal procedure for putting people on it, and how can slay/clever/dishonest people (such as those living in hiding from justice elsewhere) keep themselves off it?
Thanks!
BB
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  01:33:56  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Okay, I'll bite: sfdragon, what is "dragon age: stolen throne"?
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2064 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  09:33:19  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm

Okay, I'll bite: sfdragon, what is "dragon age: stolen throne"?



a book
http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Age-Stolen-David-Gaider/dp/0765324083

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Liliella
Acolyte

2 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  12:39:09  Show Profile  Visit Liliella's Homepage Send Liliella a Private Message
I did a search, but havenít come up with anything as this forum isn't the easiest place to find things sometimes, so I hope these havenít been asked previously. If they have, a nudge in the right direction would be appreciated :)

1) Are there any questions that Ed has always wanted to be asked about the Realms, and no one has ever thought to ask? And if so, what are they?

2) What are Edís favourite things about the Realms to detail? Is it to expand on local customs, geography, details of specific NPCs, expand on stories or anything else?

3) What is the question (or questions) that Ed has been asked which he would most like to answer, but canít, due to NDAs or other reasons?

4) What is the most interesting or unusual RealmsĖbased story that Ed has come across, that doesnít come from his own campaign, or any published works?

Thanks for reading!
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  13:35:04  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm

Okay, I'll bite: sfdragon, what is "dragon age: stolen throne"?



a book
http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Age-Stolen-David-Gaider/dp/0765324083



More factoids: It's a novel based on a CRPG game world. The game it's based on, Dragon Age: Origins, is not due out until late this year. I believe the game has been in development since close to or soon after the release of Bioware's Neverwinter Nights. I, for one, was beginning to think it was a vapourware.

David Gaider is a developer at Bioware, who I believe wrote a good deal of text for such games as Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, Throne of Bhaal, and Neverwinter Nights. He did some of the romance storylines in BG2 (and maybe NWN as well?), and was a great supporter of them in Bioware games in general. Will be interesting to see just how well he writes conventionally.

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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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  14:15:56  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar
More factoids: It's a novel based on a CRPG game world. The game it's based on, Dragon Age: Origins, is not due out until late this year. I believe the game has been in development since close to or soon after the release of Bioware's Neverwinter Nights.


Yeah, I remember discussion about it from five years back. I'm glad the game is close to being wrapped up (hopefully--they could always push the release date back).

"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 22 Apr 2009 14:16:27
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
161 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  15:01:18  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
Sigh. Once again I'm away from all my game books, and my memory is failing me: I remember reading about the Mistwinters, but not WHERE I read about them. Nor do I remember reading they were wiped out, or possibly wiped out.
Help, somebody . . .
Thanks.
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kysus
Learned Scribe

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  18:11:12  Show Profile  Visit kysus's Homepage  Send kysus an AOL message Send kysus a Private Message
The only information on them that im aware of is the cormanthyr book talks briefly about clan mistwinter on pg 115 and how dathlue mistwinter is the sole living member left and that she was the founding leader of the harpers, while the fall of myth drannor book goes on to describe her death in on of the battles. I also think there was some information about her in the code of harpers book but i could be wrong on that one. Anyway that is why i had asked my question is cause even with that information it would seem there maybe more to such a noble clan.
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2064 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  21:03:14  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar

Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm

Okay, I'll bite: sfdragon, what is "dragon age: stolen throne"?



a book
http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Age-Stolen-David-Gaider/dp/0765324083



More factoids: It's a novel based on a CRPG game world. The game it's based on, Dragon Age: Origins, is not due out until late this year. I believe the game has been in development since close to or soon after the release of Bioware's Neverwinter Nights. I, for one, was beginning to think it was a vapourware.

David Gaider is a developer at Bioware, who I believe wrote a good deal of text for such games as Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, Throne of Bhaal, and Neverwinter Nights. He did some of the romance storylines in BG2 (and maybe NWN as well?), and was a great supporter of them in Bioware games in general. Will be interesting to see just how well he writes conventionally.

the book is out now, and the game will be later this year

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14528 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  21:08:11  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Edit: I thought I had already asked this, but I just went back a few pages and it doesn't seem I ever did (I must be having one of those 'senior moments'), so I may as well ask in this post (mainly because I've been doing more talking then question-asking )

Have there been any famous 'Earthers' in the Realms? I've noticed characters from several other worlds (Krynn, Lankhmar, Oerth, etc..), but none from Earth (aside form Ed himself, of course ). I was just wondering if there was any 'Thomas Covenant' type travellers on Toril (or 'Conneticut Yankee', if you prefer).

quote:
Originally posted by Liliella

I did a search, but havenít come up with anything as this forum isn't the easiest place to find things sometimes, so I hope these havenít been asked previously. If they have, a nudge in the right direction would be appreciated :)

1) Are there any questions that Ed has always wanted to be asked about the Realms, and no one has ever thought to ask? And if so, what are they? <snip>
I asked this about a year ago, but I don't recall if I got an answer or not. You're 3rd query is related, but different enough form me to be very interested in that answer as well. I'd also love to hear his answer #4, but I'm not so sure that it would be 'PC' for him to do so ('unusual' can be taken so many ways).

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


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Apr 2009 00:05:06
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  22:17:45  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message
That's a really good question, Markus.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  22:53:20  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

This is also something I see that newer Realms sources have lacked for quite some time - whereas before every nook and cranny was filled with 'Red Slippers' for us to wonder about, now it seems everything NOT pertinent to the story at hand is lost in editing. Although I'm talking primarilly about sourcebooks, I feel some novels have suffered as well.

It's a shame, really, because it is that 'excessive verbiage' which makes the world seem so real to so many of us.

Not to hijack Ed's thread or anything (a momentous task, and one that involves serious chastening by our Lady THO [meow!]), but this is something that I also find important: the slipping of non-/seemingly non-pertinent details into books that bring the setting alive.

To an extent, I think all books need to do that in order to succeed in constructing a fantasy world (and all authors try to varying extents). But the tiny historical or social or cultural notes have been important to Realms books for a long time, and I don't see them going away. At least, in my own writing, they are extremely important (and I managed to slip a veritable sea of small references and bits and pieces into Downshadow that I don't think detract from the plot at all--in fact, IMO, they only make it better).

There is a line to be drawn, of course, to stop us writers from just reveling in the setting and ignoring the demands of the story we're telling--i.e., get to the point in good time. So clearly some forethought/editing is indeed necessary.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2009 :  23:44:26  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Re David Gaider: I wouldn't publicize the work of a man who's blatantly insulted Ed's writing on Ed's own thread.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14528 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  00:24:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I find that people who criticize Ed's writing don't 'get' Ed's writing.

The timing couldn't be more perfect for this response, especially right after Erik's commentary (and thank you for that - I did use the word 'some' when referencing the novels ).

Ed, like Dennis McKiernan, strives to fill your 'peripheral vision', as well as where your eyes are focused. You may be looking at the small hamlet of Gillian's Hill, but you 'see' Daggerford, just up the road. You 'know' Waterdeep lies just beyond. You are aware of the Lands of Intrigue to the south, and the unforgiving vastness of The North.

You may be looking a something right in front of you, but you are fully aware of the world around it at all times.

To be honest, I didn't fully enjoy Ed's writing until I got to know the Realms, and then once I did, I went back and re-read everything and enjoyed it all the more.

When you are writing a one-shot, or even a single trilogy, you can afford to concentrate on just the action, but readers of a grander, more-developed setting (often shared) expect a 'panaramic view', as it were. History doesn't happen inside a bubble - it evolves through interaction with the cultures and geography around it. Thats how real worlds work, and thats how fantastic ones should.

So when I read about Gillian's Hill, or wherever, I don't want to read just read about the heroes, I want to hear about 'Granny Sweetwater' and 'Old-man Jonson'. I could care less if it helps the story or not - I want to know if she put-out a fresh pie on her windowsill, or if Jonson is still chasing those kids out of his cornfield.

Otherwise, those heroes just become cardboard cut-outs against a two-dimensional backdrop. How can I care about what the heroes are doing, if I don't know who they are doing it all for?

Just my two cents.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Apr 2009 03:59:47
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  01:54:14  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

Re David Gaider: I wouldn't publicize the work of a man who's blatantly insulted Ed's writing on Ed's own thread.



Oh really? I don't recall ever reading such here, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. Still...

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I find that people who criticize Ed's writing don't 'get' Ed's writing.


I have always admired his work with the Realms, but I haven't (and still don't) always appreciated his writing.

I'd go on a longer spiel about the things I haven't liked about Ed's writing, but I suspect I've already gone through some of that on these threads before (such as the lack of page time dedicated to the titular character in Elminster's Daughter).

I just really wanted to point out that, one can respect Ed without necessarily liking everything he writes.

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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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  02:06:44  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar


I just really wanted to point out that, one can respect Ed without necessarily liking everything he writes.



I agree, but I do recall Gaider's criticism of Ed's writing and I'm not sure if I'd say it was respectful in tone (and that's coming from someone who has enjoyed the work of both writers).

"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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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  02:32:33  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
http://forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=353237&forum=84&sp=30

Not respectful, civil, or professional in the least. Or criticism.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  03:23:11  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

http://forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=353237&forum=84&sp=30

Not respectful, civil, or professional in the least. Or criticism.


I believe this discussion, valid though it may be, belongs in another thread.

That being said, I don't see anything wrong with liking an author's work no matter what he may or may not have done. The day I start evaluating works of art based on what I think of their creator, I'll just stop thinking altogether and mainline Survivor shows.

And while I have nothing but the warmest regard for Ed as a person (his attitude towards fans and the unpaid time he's willing to dedicate to questions speak very highly of him in that respect) and greatly enjoy his creation, the Forgotten Realms, I have to say that I found Spellfire to be among the worst fantasy works I've ever read. For much the same reasons cited by Gaider.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14528 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  04:09:57  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Right.

And as I have said, I only became a fan of Ed's writing when I became more knowledgable about the Realms. Not that I hadn't enjoyed it before, but I wouldn't have counted myself a 'Fan' either.

I think that particualr style - the 'fleshing out' of the world around the characters, have been handled adeptly by some (Robert Silverberg jumps to mind, as does the incredible Jack Vance), while it has been 'overdone' by others (I couldn't even make it through Gormenghast).

It is something one must get used to, I think, and as I get older, I find myself more drawn to that type of 'deep fantasy' then to the pulpy kind (although both are excellent in their own right).

In fact, I would consider RAS a 'pulpy' author, and yet I have read every one of his FR novels - thats not something I can say about any other FR author. Sometimes you just want a good hack'N'slash.

Anyhow, I digress... suffice it to say that Ed is an aquired taste, but once you grow to appreciate it's subtle nuances and flavor, you appreciate it all the more. Some books are meant to be read, whle others are meant to be savored.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Apr 2009 17:08:14
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  05:56:16  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, I think we can shift the discussion about appreciating Ed's writing to another scroll.

Let's leave this specifically for questions to Ed, eh?

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Barshevy
Learned Scribe

275 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  06:04:52  Show Profile  Visit Barshevy's Homepage Send Barshevy a Private Message
I'm going to go back and read Spellfire. I remember it as a fun book, and I'm a bit confused regarding the animosity towards it.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30412 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2009 :  07:45:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
I just found this question, floating in the ethers...

quote:
Originally posted by prespos

Hi Ed, it's John from TO (remem me from Brookbanks?). Hope Mike is doing OK. (Of course, hope you're doing OK too!)

Was just about to drink some VSOP and get around to flogging the henchwoman into doing my taxes (you'd be surprised at the motivation that a rolled up copy of Dragon 48 can inspire), when my thoughts turned to food.

Yet,of a sudden, I got the munchies, and my thoughts turned to food:

spitted oxen
spitted boar
pies of stewed eels,
squabs baked in clay,
roasted pumpkins stuffed with onions and sausage,
honey-soaked sweetmeats,
stews [cauldrons?] of fresh and dried fish and fruits.

do you know where in Ontario one might be able to find any of these snacks? I checked M&M meats, but no luck there. [brownie points to anyone who can source the list]

if anyone else is able to answer this Q (even for your own province, state, etc.), that would be of interest as well.

thanks, and bon appetit!

prespos
modheaven7@gmail.com

it's better to be a carnivore and drink lots of red wine,
than to be a vegetarian and be eaten by carnivores
(i am so tempted to attribute this quote to Peter Steele, but after the foreign editions thread (please, don't ask), I really have to be careful with what I type).




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