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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2009 :  15:57:01  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by gomez

unless 'Brenna Graycloak' refers to Breeandra?
Gomez



I don't believe so. Brenna mostly plays a part in the Red Magic novel and she's written up in Heroes Lorebook. She is briefly mentioned in the Spellbound box set.

I always wanted to know more about her after reading that Harper novel. Hint, hint. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2009 :  16:50:21  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Kuje is correct: Brenna and Breeandra are two different people. Kuje, your "hint, hint" has been sent off to Ed, who responded with a "teaser" for us all: his notes entry for the first apprentice on his long list.
Here, then, is all we know of Alaeya Summerstar (enjoy!):

Alaeya Summerstar: human female, great-aunt to the Lord Summerstar (patriarch) of Cormyr seen in Ed’s KNIGHTS OF MYTH DRANNOR trilogy. Young, impish, wayward, and gentle, light blonde hair, snub nose, “plain as a boot.” Considered “strange” (perhaps even of illegitimate birth) for having a talent for the Art, Alaeya sought out The Simbul for guidance. Of middling magical skills, Alaeya parted amicably from The Simbul, went her own way, and became a bucolic wanderer, living for short periods in many villages and wilderland steads. She never returned to Cormyr or her kin, and worked with Harpers from time to time. Last heard of on the verges of the High Forest north of Secomber, circa 1344 DR.


So saith Ed. More from him later, I hope. (To The Simbul: hope you've seen these posts. Talk about starting something . . . )
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2009 :  17:31:27  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
. . . And hello again, all.
Here's another Simbul's apprentice writeup Ed just sent me. This one was obviously close to hand because he'd updated it recently for 4e design use of some sort. Enjoy.

Daerovyn Bracegaunt: human male, sandy-haired, brown-eyed, restless young man of nondescript appearance and “serious, quiet-voiced, dry humour” manner. The son of Laraunder Bracegaunt, a busy glover and baldric-maker of Highmoon in Deepingdale (who sold his popular wares in Ordulin, and had all of his large, three-generation family engaged in making them - - until Laraunder and many of his family died in the plague that afflicted Scardale, while on a “set up a shop here?” visit), Daerovyn had wanderlust - - and a hunger for the Art - - from a very young age. The Zhentarim tried to recruit him as a local spy when he was very young, and when he later had contact with a traveling Harper, tried to threaten him by promising violence would be done to his family. A terrified Daerovyn fled to Yhaunn, signed on as a “copper and bread” crewman on a ramshackle freight cog helmed out of Tantras, and fled the cruelty of that life at the first port of call, in Aglarond. Came on The Simbul by chance while wandering through the realm, while she was using the guise of an aging male peddler, traveled with her for some days, fought to defend her when she was attacked by brigands - - and she took him on as an apprentice after revealing her true self in routing the brigands.
Always more comfortable as a warrior and wanderer than as a mage, though he could “feel the Weave” (detect magic, acutely discerning nature and strength, in a limited range) almost as well as a Chosen, Daerovyn became a loyal traveling envoy for The Simbul, and was still in her service when the Spellplague hit. Believed to have wed and settled somewhere in rural Aglarond, and to have had descendants.


So saith Ed. Bringing us all rich Realmslore, day by day in small but satisfying ways.

love to all,
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2009 :  22:57:12  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
If milady has common Dalesfolk names to hand, like the Cormyte ones a little while back, I'd be pleased to see them.
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  09:36:02  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
I have a question about Elminster to Ed. Could you tell us of some times when Elminster badly misjudged his opponent? You see, I was remembering some scenes when baddies blast at El and when the smoke clears he just stands there and grins. In particular there was a scene with a lich who summoned an assortment of various nasties (can't remember which book it's in).

This got me thinking, has El ever been in a situation where he just stands still, waiting for the baddie's magic to just bounce of him (this seems to be a favorite of Ed. I think something like that happened in the first elminster book between a magelord and the Magister), and when the attack comes he realizes that he has severely underestimated the foe. Sort of like a zhentarim wizard of middling strength who has by chance discovered a killing spell that slices through protection spells like a knife through butter, or someone Elminster thought was just a random mugger in an alley (like how he met his daughter in the titular book) but turns out to be so supernaturally fast and strong that he/she is a genuine threat.

Sorry if this was a bit rambling, I have just been pondering this for "checks calendar" 5 months now and I had to spit it out.

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

Edited by - khorne on 29 Jun 2009 09:36:38
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13119 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  14:28:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
He underestimated Shandril... but she was on 'his side', fortunately.

Then again, nearly everyone underestimated Shandril.

IMHO, someone like Khelben (full of hubris) would more-likely fall into that trap then Elminster - he doesn't seem the type to take stuff for granted. He is also the sneakiest git in the Realms, and usuaully had been observing any opponent for YEARS before they even became aware of him.

In fact, that's Elminster's Forte' - probably learned early-on against the Mage-Lords - know your enemies better then your friends, keep them close, and note any and all weaknesses. El could only be surprised by someone he has never encountered before... which is highly unlikeluy given his penchant to snoop into everything everywhere.

Someone from 'outside' the Realms could surprise him, as did that Saurial Wizard who swapped places with him, much to the Old mage's chagrin. Or maybe some 'random nobody' who just happen to stumble upon some ancient and powerful, magic.

But known quantities such as Zhentarrim and Red Wizards, not so much.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 29 Jun 2009 15:56:59
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  15:18:21  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, everybody.
Good question, khorne. Off it's gone to Ed, and we'll see. In my play experience, Elminster does the "stand and take it" tactic in two situations: when he wants others to see and get wiser by seeing (the "oops, better not tangle with the old guy with the beard"), and when he's giving his attacker or a bystander time to make a moral decision or see the true nature of someone ("Will I strike this bearded old man down?" or "By Chauntea, that jack just hurled a spell at that old man! Smote him in cold blood, he did!").
However, Ed will of course have his own take on the situation.

In the meantime, I bring you Ed's swift reply to Faraer's query, being as this was something Ed has "ready notes" on. Here, therefore, are given names of the Dales, ladies first, listed alphabetically. Where variants are listed in a "comma row," they are listed in order of greater popularity before lesser. The most common names, overall, are denoted with an asterisk. Ed tells me these are current as of the 1370s; there have been some shifts in favoured nomenclature since the 1350s.
So here we go . . .

FEMALE
Alys *
Barandra
Bethra
Cheleace
Dellora, Delorna
Embra
Faehe
Glarra *
Haelone
Hestra *
Imbra
Jadynth
Jhaele
Kandratha
Kelnaere
Larune *, Lorune
Lyla *
Maethe
Malaena *
Mindra
Narra *
Nelnora
Ondra
Perendra
Raene
Ressa *, Resra
Sabrelle *
Saeryle
Sarindra *
Tarondra
Tashandra
Tessyn *
Velna, Velorna
Wyndra, Wyndara

MALE
Alarn
Bellard, Beliard
Brace *
Cadarn
Deln, Delyn
Dorn *
Embryn
Esmer, Esmur
Farl
Gulkin
Hargin, Hargrim
Harl *
Jaskur
Keldorn
Loryn *
Loskur
Mane
Mororn
Nardryn
Nindan, Nindyn
Norbryn
Parlond
Rory *, Roryn *, Rornagar
Rygur
Sandryn *
Telver *
Torst *
Wuldyn


So saith Ed. And there you have it, Faraer and all. Useful Realmslore; clip and save! (Collect [ahem] 'em all!)
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 29 Jun 2009 15:19:16
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bradhunter
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  15:22:37  Show Profile  Visit bradhunter's Homepage Send bradhunter a Private Message
Dear Ed,

With the publication of the compilation issue of the recent Dragon magazine #376, Revenants have now become a legal player option for the Living Forgotten Realms campaign. The article shows these beings as souls returned by the Raven Queen in order to complete an unfinished task. There is a little fluff for alternate options, but nothing Realms specific is given, sadly.

Generally, when the Raven Queen is referenced, we are to assume that in a Realms game this means Kelemvor. Given his stance on undead, however, this would seem illogical. Kelemvor is for people dying at the appointed time and opposed to those who seek to extend their life unnaturally. Revenants are not truly undead, but are affected by spells and effects as if they were both undead and living.

Can you offer any insight? Might Kelemvor allow someone who has passed on to return to finish something left undone? If not Kelemvor, could you offer good alternatives to explain this in a Realms-specific fashion? Something that would allow one to play a revenant without stepping all over canon?

I hope to play one of these soon, and I'd like to be as true to Realms lore as possible.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  15:37:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
bradhunter, this is something I can give you a swift answer on, by quoting my notes from Ed's comments from the time of the Avatar design discussions (not the internal TSR ones, but the gaming community ones that followed publication of the Time of Troubles/Avatar affair).
So, here's Ed, from almost two decades ago:

Kelemvor is one of the most unwilling and conflicted of the "New Gods." Although he has a fierce revulsion for undead, his hatred is reserved for "undead by choice" (such as liches). He has sympathy for haunts, apparitions, and revenants that exist because someone died without being able to finish a task, mission, or achievement that dominated their lives at the time of death, or so violently and "unfairly" that revenge or at least public identification of their slayer (as a warning to others) leaves them unable to "rest." So Kelemvor will turn a blind eye to "unfinished business" undead, but stand against those who seek to cheat death and achieve undeath thereby.

Now, that's Ed's opinion, at the time (and please note that "haunts, apparitions, and revenants" in his words refer to the 2e "monsters" of the game), but it's an opinion reached and informed by many discussions with TSR designers of the time, and their bosses, too (managers). In other words, the equivalent of Wizards designers and brass of today; those in charge of the game rules and of the unfolding metastory of the published Realms.
So I'd say Kelemvor would both allow such a "return," and not stand in the way of another deity empowering such undead, so long as that other deity wasn't using it to assemble an army of undead and try to dominate undeath (i.e. wrest portfolios or influence away from Kelemvor [[BTW, adding divine portfolios, per se, to the game was another Ed innovation, though in fuzzier form they were around in the game and real-world mythology and fantasy fiction long before Ed]].
So start playing your revenant right now . . .
I'll contact Ed with your post right away, of course, to see if he reacts with a "Whoa!" . . . but I don't expect one, and if you don't see one, Ed's long-ago words still stand.
love,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29648 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  16:06:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
So how would Kelemvor look at someone like a baelnorn -- a voluntary undead, but still one with a mission?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13119 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  16:07:35  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Shar is the most obvious choice for a Raven Queen replacement. Considering her connections to the Shadowfel, into which the Negative Palne was rolled, I think it's a given that this is something she would 'back', simply because it sows chaos, which helps entropy along.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, everybody.
Good question, khorne. Off it's gone to Ed, and we'll see. In my play experience, Elminster does the "stand and take it" tactic in two situations: when he wants others to see and get wiser by seeing(the "oops, better not tangle with the old guy with the beard"), and when he's giving his attacker or a bystander time to make a moral decision or see the true nature of someone ("Will I strike this bearded old man down?" or "By Chauntea, that jack just hurled a spell at that old man! Smote him in cold blood, he did!"). <snip>

Elminster also has spell-absorbing mantles usually in-place, which means he is clever-enough to be empowered by his foes attacks.

Why waste your own energy, when you can waste your enemy's against him?

I thought of this after my last post, but I figure it's still relevant - the first word that comes to mind when I think of Elminster is 'Wiley' - he does nothing without a reason, even if his reasons are unfathomable by most folks. He is the supreme coservationist - you do not knock down a village just to kill a rat (something many mages are guilty of - wasteful 'overkill').

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


Edited by - Markustay on 30 Jun 2009 02:05:06
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Knight of the Gate
Senior Scribe

USA
623 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  16:58:03  Show Profile  Visit Knight of the Gate's Homepage  Send Knight of the Gate a Yahoo! Message Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

So how would Kelemvor look at someone like a baelnorn -- a voluntary undead, but still one with a mission?


This is something that I had to deal with in my last campaign, where the party, including both a Cleric and a Paladin devoted to Kelemvor, needed assistance from a baelnorn. My conclusion was that baelnorn are outside Kelemvor's 'jurisdiction', by agreement with Shehanine, the elven goddess of the dead: Kelemvor instructs his undead-hunters to ignore these creatures (distasteful as they might be), because the elven system is 'different', and these individuals are tied up in the fate of the Fair Folk, something which he has no desire to tinker with. Again, this was my take on it, and as much as it makes sense to me, it's equally possible that I just hand-waved it for expediency, and am trying to justify it to myself now.

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  17:03:18  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

So how would Kelemvor look at someone like a baelnorn -- a voluntary undead, but still one with a mission?

Ed, I'm adding to Wooly's question, since I'd like to know how Kelemvor would also view an archlich [which is, obviously, something more than just a lich]?

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

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

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Edited by - The Sage on 29 Jun 2009 17:08:45
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  20:09:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I can't answer for Ed re. archliches, but I can confirm that the Knight of the Gate is quite correct: Ed, as DM, has during play (in response to pointed in-character questions) told us that "the elves see to their own" (meaning the human deities don't have jurisdiction over elven undead, and would ignore them; unlike bestial destructive undead, they are indeed "undead with a task/mission" and therefore not "best destroyed").
Off your posts go to Ed, of course, for his eventual responses.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  20:19:03  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, forgot to respond to Markustay's post: yes, Elminster is indeed a "do no more than is needful" spellhurler (though of course he sometimes, as in the famous fire-magic hurling scene in ELMINSTER AT THE MAGEFAIR, believes that an overkill demonstration is the best "needful" response to prevent ongoing troubles). More than once Ed has included scenes in his fiction about the true wisdom of the veteran trained archwizard being knowing when NOT to use power.
And longtime Realms designers, from Jeff Grubb onwards, will confirm that the governing design principle for Elminster in adventures is that he won't aid PCs if he need not (in other words, he won't do the adventuring thing and reduce them to spectators or sidekicks; only in the not-by-Ed scene in the Avatar modules where he's spell-dueling gods does he engage in spell battle in the presence of PCs). Ed used to portray El as a befuddled, fussy old man if PCs showed up at his Tower and tried to get him to do magics for them, or tried to bully or threaten him. Then he'd hurl a titantic, Shadowdale-shaking meteor swarm out over the meadow, chuckle and say, "Aha! Remembered it! That's fun; let's do it again!" (And he'd gleefully cast a second one, usually leaving prudent players shaking in their boots and hastily revising what they were going to have their characters try to do to him.)
love to all,
THO
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  20:37:31  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

More than once Ed has included scenes in his fiction about the true wisdom of the veteran trained archwizard being knowing when NOT to use power.

Mr. Pratchett also has that in his discworld novels. The wizards are very good at NOT using magic, since in far too many places where they practised no such restraint, grass will never grow again...

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

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2009 :  20:37:47  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So saith Ed. And there you have it, Faraer and all. Useful Realmslore; clip and save! (Collect [ahem] 'em all!)



I did ;) This will be helpful.

Gomez,
who wished he could have a PokéBall with a THO inside... ;P
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  02:30:49  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
No, no, gomez! "PokéBall" is what * I * do to YOU.
Ahem.
Realms relevance? Oh, yes ...

bradhunter, Knight of the Gate, and other interested scribes: Ed has confirmed that his view still stands: Kelemvor (and by his instruction, his clergy) ignore baelnorn. That is, they do not treat them as undead to be destroyed, and deal with them only as necessary; polite avoidance and minimal contact is best (and being as Ed is the creator of baelnorn, he's by definition the go-to expert on them).
According to Ed, archliches are regarded as undead to be aided in achieving their task/mission and then cajoled to "pass on" into true death rather than hanging around; archliches who disagree, or who have established "unfulfillable" or really long-term tasks or missions for themselves, are to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis (i.e. Kelemvor, working through his servants as proxies, wants to truly understand the motivation and natures of each individual archlich before deciding on a policy towards each particular archlich).
I grinned at that and sent Ed a "weasel, weasel, weasel" tease, and he replied:


Weasel, of course. :} Yet on the other hand: why not? Herein lies the sort of roleplaying that should be at the heart and core of every long-running D&D campaign. So long as the DM arranges it so that players, through their characters, have a chance to govern/substantially influence outcomes, rather than being reduced to spectators of the DM's acting out events.

So saith Ed. Here endeth the latest word from the Greenwood.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  02:37:39  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
khorne, yes indeed!
Both Ed and I love Terry's books, and devour them all as they appear. (Attendees at the last Toronto Worldcon may remember Terry's panel, wherein he and Ed, who shared the panel podium with him, got along just fine.)
Knowing when NOT to use your magic, and the folly of forgetting that prudence, is an old, old idea in fantasy literature (as in: at least as old as the knightly romances and Celtic folklore, to say nothing of the Brothers Grimm). Ed and Terry just both happen to believe it should apply to the truly wise spellhurlers in their respective fantasy worlds, and both of them have firmly put it there, by example and by narrator's comment. More than once, each.
love,
THO
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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  13:40:22  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

No, no, gomez! "PokéBall" is what * I * do to YOU.



That is a promise?

Would Ed like to explain how he determines regional (or racial) names? Is it a 'gut feeling' mix-and-match (which is basically how I do names) or does he use a certain system (i.e. the use of certain vowels or combinations of letters for names in specific regions or races)?

Gomez,
who recalls the last years of the Living Greyhawk campaign (other setting, I know), where PC wizards/sorcerers apparently got so lazy they would teleport or fly anywhere (often polymorphed or shapechanged), rather than walk... It got so 'bad' that Nesalia (my PC) banned the use of magic in her bathhouse out of sheer annoyance over the ego-tripping.
Ands tehn she went isnane and almost set her bath house on fire.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13119 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  14:22:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I was gong to repond to the Pokéball thing, but I bit my tongue...

Now I just can't help myself. The first thing I pictured in my twisted little mind was throwing one of those much-beloved red & white balls and yelling "Hooded One! I choose you!"

"Hooded One! Saucey Dance Attack, now!"

Anyhow, Ed, and Terry, and many, MANY other authors (including 'pulp' greats such as Howard and Moorcock, and tons and tons of folklore) traditionally have mages growing weaker as they cast spells - something sadly missing in D&D (I have my own stamina system which deals with this).

Any author worth his salt will portray Magic-users thusly, and thats why a truly great Mage knows how to do the most while exerting the least amount of energy. Many a Magister tired himself out, only to be taken by surprise by another contender for the title (and why Mystra had to change the rules). Only an idiot - or wet-behind-the-ears apprentice - uses-up his best spells at the start of any conflict.

As shown in Elminster in Hell, even an Archmage and Chosen of Mystra can leave himself so exhausted as to become helpless.

Magic itself is a resource, and like any resource, you must use it wisely, and sparingly. This is a hard-won lesson that comes with age and experience, and as we know, anything that comes with age is something Elminster should be exceedingly good at.

Elminster is more about being 'proactive', then 'reactive'. Very little happens that he hasn't already anticipated. He actually enjoys it when an opponent surprises him, just for the novelty of it.

Another reason that is occasionally used in stories for NOT over-using magic is the Yin-Yang principle, or rather, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." We see this with both Gandalf and Belgarath - you do not go-about changing the wheather unless you have a very good reason, because somewhere else in the world you just created an entirely new wheather problem. I've even seen that applied in Marvel comics, and it is one of the few 'limiting factors' of Dr. Strange's magic (and why he won't meddle in the timestream - it usually leads to something far worse).

And the reason why I bring this up is because I have yet another question - which THO could probably answer - does that come into play at all in Ed's Realms? I'm fairly certain Ed uses the first one - that Mages become weaker as they use magic - but I'm not sure how much he applies that second 'law' (Basically, the Butterfly effect).

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

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  15:08:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
He does. During the climactic spell-battles near the end of SPELLFIRE, the Shadows of the Avatar trilogy, and other Ed books, Ed wrote a lot of "window cutaways" that were akin to this:
Meanwhile, somewhere in Amn, an old and mighty duskwood turned a brightly glowing pink, tore itself up out of the forest loam, and shot several hundred feet into the air. Several vastly impressed vultures, squawking on nearby branches, promptly turned into green flowers.

(I'm making that one up, paraphrasing Ed rather than quoting him, but it's fairly close to the sort of passage Ed wrote.)

Unfortunately, these are the sort of touches that editors who don't "grok the Realms" sufficiently furrow their brows at, proclaim, "Huh?" - - and edit out. So the published books contain very few of them. They're always there in Ed's original manuscripts, though. Nor is this a problem confined to Ed's Realms fiction. Copy editors at other publishers have pounced on such touches with such comments as: "Doesn't directly advance the plot" and "Seems part of another book, dropped in by your word processor, perhaps?" and so on. One wonders just how anyone writing fantasy books above the level of, say, car-chase and bang-bang gets them published these days. (As an editor, hearing - - and in Ed's case, seeing with my own eyes, written on manuscripts - - such horror stories make me sick. If the editor wants to tell a story their way, they should write their own book. Of course, they'd better make sure they get to edit it, too, or they'll know just how it feels to have someone tromp all over their prose. )
love to all,
THO
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  15:14:21  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Hi, Ed and THO.
I was watching an old M*A*S*H* episode yesterday, wherein the 4077th encampment was freezing in unusually cold weather. The action opened with a poker game being played for socks, hats, scarves, and so on.
Which made me wonder: in the warmer parts of the Realms (Chult, the Tashalar, etc.), how often does sudden cold weather hit, and how do "just plain folks" deal with it? Are there closets full of "keep warmer" clothing that people maintain? Do they build fires and huddle around them? Does this sort of weather bring travel and commerce to a grinding halt (i.e. merchants don't bother to travel to markets to open their stalls)?
Thanks!
BB
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
161 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  15:19:52  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
Ah, MASH! Now, THERE was good TV scriptwriting. Then, as now, too few shows display it. Sigh. Guess that's the nature of talent: never enough to go around.
Which (ahem) leads to my question: in stable, long-term, relatively non-tyrannical regimes like Waterdeep and Cormyr, how many smart, capable, dedicated courtiers are there, and how many drones and lazy obstructionists? Does the proportion of "bad bureaucrats" increase steadily over time, or does the presence of the War Wizards in one place and the (masked, and therefore able to snoop "out of uniform") Lords in the other help to weed out the really corrupt and keep things groaning, if not humming, along?
Thanks in advance. No rush on this one, I'm just curious.
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  15:23:53  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
This talk of M*A*S*H reminds me to ask: is Ed doing - - or has he done recently - - any television writing that he can tell us about?
Some of the dialogue on NCIS, though modern American, has at times reminded me of some of Ed's dialogue in his early Realms novels.
Thanks.
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