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Broken Helm
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  15:27:24  Show Profile  Visit Broken Helm's Homepage Send Broken Helm a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady THO,
I was at a party last night at which some writers were discussing the pros and cons of joining SFWA. Is Ed still a member?
I seem to remember reading somewhere that he was a lifetime member; true?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  15:32:49  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Yes, Broken Helm, Ed is a Lifetime Active Member of SFWA. I'll leave it to him to comment on those pros and cons. SFWA has done some great things, and been very useful, but has also been home to many, many vicious internal feuds and bickering, down the years. I DO know that Ed ALWAYS votes in its elections and for the Nebulas, and diligently reads every work he can find that's on the ballots and candidates' platforms, too, so as to place his vote most intelligently - - which argues that he takes that part of SFWA very seriously.
love,
THO
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2009 :  20:26:09  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
If I may try to give a tentative answer:

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay:
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).


Well, I don't know whether this is Ed speaking or Troy Denning, but this is what Vangerdahast thinks, from Death of the Dragon, Page 183 (hardback edition):
"The problem was that wishes were reasonable things. They were entirely reasonable, and it was that which made them entirely unpredictable. For the multiverse to stay in balance, there had to be a certain equilibrium so that even as the thing the wisher asked was granted, something he did not wish also came to be. If people could simply go around wishing thing without consquences, the multiverse would quickly go unstable and spin out of control. By wishing Nalavara out of existence, he had merely taken her out of his immediate existence and placed her in another where he wanted her even less, and the multiverse had stayed in balance."

"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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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  01:24:19  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay


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.





I'm sure Terry Brooks' Shannara books would be a part of that "magic at a price" theme. One of my earliest fantasy reads was "The Elfstones of Shannara" and I vividly remember an ending scene where the druid-mage Allanon reveals how his magic has burned away much of his lifeforce and aged him. He says, "There is only so much life/power given to us, only so much, and no more."
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  02:26:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all.
Menelvagor, that's one of Troy's passages. Ed was facing heart surgery at the time that book was being written, so in case he "went" early, he wrote the death of Azoun scene first, then worked his way backwards through the book (he and Troy having divided up the chapters). In general, if you have Tanalasta onstage, or Vangerdahast onstage outside of Suzail, you're in Troy's hands.
Back at the time just post-publication of the book, we went through in detail "who'd written what." (Each collaboration Ed has done has happened in a different way, because Ed wants to try every sort of method, and so always wants his collaborator - - Jeff Grubb or Rob King or Troy or Elaine Cunningham - - to "do" the collaboration the way they're most comfortable, and Ed will go along with whatever they prefer, so they're happiest and we get the best resulting writing, and so Ed has the fun of potentially doing it differently every time.
love,
THO
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  07:49:03  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
Well, that's certainly interesting. But the question is, did Troy write this scene without 'agreement' from Ed, or did Ed agree with the general theory given in this scene?

"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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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  08:11:37  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
Hello again everyone,

Ed and LHO, I have a question regarding how the different religious faiths of Faerun carry out executions within their own organizations (i.e. for heresy or unforgiveable crimes), or against a sworn enemy of their faith or ethos (usually another deity's followers.)

My curiosity springs from two sources: your article on the Scarlet Mummers engaging Loviatans with dance, bladed boots, and chimes of harmonic agony, and a description from a novel that notes how Oghmanytes once bound authors of false/evil tomes with their books and burnt them both amidst bonfires.

I'd imagine evil gods decreeing specific methods on how to execute heretics or enemies of the faith more often than goodly gods, but you never know (I was surprised by Llira's Mummers). I'm most interested in the faith-based execution methods of Mystra, Lathander and Sune if they exist, but anything that you share would be wonderful.

Thanks in advance!

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13785 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  15:17:48  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I had always thought gods merely placed the thought "Kill the infidels!" in the heads of priests, and clergy came-up with all the interesting and inventive ways to carry that out.

The way heresies work, and the way 'godly power' works (especially post-ToT), I think a god would support his/her own heresies, if only because it would attract persons to the faith who would not ordinarilly be drawn to it. I think mortal priests would have the bigger problem with them, because they view them as competition.

Now, going against other religions is a whole different ball of wax, and something that is quite common in the Realms. I wouldn't mind hearing about how certain churches 'handle' executions of specific other god's clergy.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 02 Jul 2009 16:54:47
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Knight of the Gate
Senior Scribe

USA
623 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  15:21:34  Show Profile  Send Knight of the Gate a Yahoo! Message Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I had always thought gods merely placed the thought "Kill the infidels!" in the heads of priests, and clergy came-up with all the interesting and inventive ways to carry that out.

The way heresies work, and the way 'godly power' works (especially post-ToT), I think a god would support his/her own heresies, if only because it would attract persons to the faith who would not ordinarilly be drawn to it. I think mortal priests would have the boigger problem with them, because they view them as competition.

Now, going against other religions is a whole different ball of wax, and something that is quite common in the Realms. I wouldn't mind hearing about how certain churches 'handle' executions of specific other god's clergy.



MT, I'm always amazed at your ability to totally threadjack a topic on a side-trip to Mordor, but then bring it back to the Shire before you wrap it up.

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  15:30:34  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all.
Menelvagor, Ed was in total agreement with Troy (they did each read each other's chapters, and Troy asked Ed to do a "light overwrite" to catch anything that didn't "sound like the Realms" [meaning dialogue or detail that was just wrong; as I recall, Ed didn't find anything that he felt was "wrong enough" to justify monkeying with another writer's storytelling]).
The agreement was hardly surprising; Troy and Ed were, after all, both game designers who worked a lot on and with D&D (Troy on staff, Ed as freelancer), and the DM misuse and player abuse of wishes was one of the "hot problems" of the game at the time. For one thing, any novel writer, faced with a book in which a beloved monarch dies or a kingdom is faced by a great monstrous foe, has to dispose of the "so why doesn't someone solve/prevent the whole thing with a properly-worded wish spell?" (and leave us with no book full of derring-do) conundrum.
love,
THO
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  15:32:48  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Re. killing priests: discipline within a church is one thing, but killing off your own priests, if godly strength is tied to amount of worship, would seem to be counter-productive.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  15:35:26  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
I remember this being discussed at a Milwaukee-era GenCon seminar about the Realms, and Ed and some TSR staffers agreeing that "cleansing fire" would be the most popular method of killing a "completely fallen and unrepentant" priest. Yes, those are direct quotes; I took notes.
BB
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Broken Helm
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  15:38:46  Show Profile  Visit Broken Helm's Homepage Send Broken Helm a Private Message
Re. this, from our Lovely Lady Hooded:
"a book in which a beloved monarch dies or a kingdom is faced by a great monstrous foe"
. . . I just wanted to comment that I always loved how that book was both; it could have been a great train wreck in which the one overshadowed the other, and ALMOST was, but in the end . . . wasn't.
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
161 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  20:37:03  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
I just got around to reading Ken Hite's Tour de Lovecraft, and it struck me that giving the same treatment to Ed's Realms fiction would be a very useful and fun read (themes in Ed's tales).
What do other scribes think? What do YOU think, Ed and THO?
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Sage of Stars
Seeker

USA
59 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  20:47:32  Show Profile  Visit Sage of Stars's Homepage Send Sage of Stars a Private Message
Wellllll... I see a problem with it.
Not that Ed's work isn't literarily worthy of it (heck, the very success of the Realms, even if the world sold ten products and its sole popularity was Drizzt novels, qualifies it; far more obscure writers, turning out stuff that many will agree is "bad" [really hack pulp writers, for instance], have received such treatment in the past).
The "problem" is that Ed (thank all the gods of the Realms!) isn't dead and gone and hasn't stopped writing about the Realms, yet.
The Chulthu canon is alive and flourishing, but Lovecraft is long dead and so a critic or writer or anyone else can look over his entire canon and reach some valid conclusions; we can't yet do that with Ed's writing, despite its vastly greater volume than Lovecraft's (Lovecraft's own writing, that is, not counting the letters and non-horror and everything else that Hite leaves out), because it isn't finished, and Ed could change any conclusion by something he writes next, or two books from now.
We can't yet see the "whole picture" when it comes to Ed's themes. I can list some of them off the top of my head (for instance, the "little guy/gal or common man being forced into doing something heroic, and doing the right thing, and that being as heroic as any wild action sequence"), but I can't yet draw a final, valid conclusion about Ed's use of them because Ed isn't finished using them.
It's like looking in Ed's kitchen and saying, "Okay with meats and vegetables, but doesn't do pastry at all" - - and the next day Ed starts learning how to bake for the first time, and becomes a superb (or lousy but persistent) pastry cook, and stops preparing meat and vegetables and anything else. My first opinion is then not just dated, it's useless.
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A Publishing Lackey
Seeker

74 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  20:53:19  Show Profile  Visit A Publishing Lackey's Homepage Send A Publishing Lackey a Private Message
Full agreement with Sage of the Stars, from me. As Tolkien used to say about critics of LOTR (I'm paraphrasing, not quoting exactly): "I'd prefer that they waited until I was dead - - and I'm not, yet."
I know quite well the marketing reasons behind calling Ed's short story collection the "Best of Ed Greenwood" and doing the same with Elaine's, but in both cases I winced. Who knows what better short stories they'll do later?
I happen to think that at least three of Ed's SPIN A YARN tales, despite all the silly ideas he was forced to include in them, are better STORIES than many in his "Best" collection. I also happen to know that several tales that Ed considers better than the ones that were included in that book were left out of it for various reasons.
Judging Ed's Realms fiction without having seen most of it is a waste of time, IMHO. By all means let's discuss the themes Ed's shown us thus far; just leave any notion of "touring his canon" out of it. We've seen probably three or four rooms in his literary mansion (I hope).
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A Gavel
Seeker

USA
53 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  20:55:40  Show Profile  Visit A Gavel's Homepage Send A Gavel a Private Message
I, too, am going to wheel my creaking old bones up to stand in agreement with A Publishing Lackey and Sage of Stars.
Not that looking at Ed's themes is a bad idea, Baleful Avatar. It's just that the sort of overview Mr. Hite gives to Lovecraft just can't be gained with Ed, yet. Not that both men haven't given us all great sandboxes to play in.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2009 :  20:59:53  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Acck! I turn my back to do some Canada Day security work, only to see "litter-ah-choo-er" discussions breaking out behind me.
"Ed Greenwood: Guilty of Literature?"
Reminds me of Terry's face, when someone started reading out his (real) version of that (spun from Terry's by me) book title while interviewing him: a little pleased, a little amused, and a little despairing.
Oh, nooooo! (And so forth.)
Just let Ed write the next dozen Realms things first, okay? Don't distract him with this; look at all the unanswered lore questions we have here at the Keep for him to dig through!
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 01 Jul 2009 21:05:50
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2009 :  01:01:10  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Aysen
My curiosity springs from two sources: your article on the Scarlet Mummers engaging Loviatans with dance, bladed boots, and chimes of harmonic agony, and a description from a novel that notes how Oghmanytes once bound authors of false/evil tomes with their books and burnt them both amidst bonfires.


Both examples sound wrong. In the former, subjecting the Loviatans to pain before death would seem to be playing straight into Loviatar's hands, and the other just seem wrong for a largely neutral faith (false/evil tomes... what?! That seems a highly highly highly subjective judgment to make for a god of knowledge (knowledge is knowledge, evil or not)! Maybe it's just that burning books is abhorrent to me... *shrug*).

quote:
I'd imagine evil gods decreeing specific methods on how to execute heretics or enemies of the faith more often than goodly gods, but you never know (I was surprised by Llira's Mummers). I'm most interested in the faith-based execution methods of Mystra, Lathander and Sune if they exist, but anything that you share would be wonderful.


If execution is really performed by good faiths (I have no doubt about evil faiths, they'd be very cruel about it too), I would hope that truly good faiths would make their execution methods as quick and painless as they could - and only after they were 100% sure, with no doubt about it, that the person they're executing was really guilty... Also, given the way the afterlife works (and given what everyone knows about it, particularly clergy), killing an enemy is just handing them back to their deity (especially if they were true to their deity). It's can't be much of a punishment.

It's possible that my opinion here is coloured by modern sensibilities, but execution just seems like a wrong headed approach to punishment for a good society. (Most modern western nations have done away with the death penalty, and for very good reasons.)

Anyway, just my musing. I will be interested in Ed's answer to this question too.

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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Aysen
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2009 :  07:22:17  Show Profile  Visit Aysen's Homepage Send Aysen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Zandilar

Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Aysen
My curiosity springs from two sources: your article on the Scarlet Mummers engaging Loviatans with dance, bladed boots, and chimes of harmonic agony, and a description from a novel that notes how Oghmanytes once bound authors of false/evil tomes with their books and burnt them both amidst bonfires.



Both examples sound wrong. In the former, subjecting the Loviatans to pain before death would seem to be playing straight into Loviatar's hands, and the other just seem wrong for a largely neutral faith (false/evil tomes... what?! That seems a highly highly highly subjective judgment to make for a god of knowledge (knowledge is knowledge, evil or not)! Maybe it's just that burning books is abhorrent to me... *shrug*).

quote:
I'd imagine evil gods decreeing specific methods on how to execute heretics or enemies of the faith more often than goodly gods, but you never know (I was surprised by Llira's Mummers). I'm most interested in the faith-based execution methods of Mystra, Lathander and Sune if they exist, but anything that you share would be wonderful.


If execution is really performed by good faiths (I have no doubt about evil faiths, they'd be very cruel about it too), I would hope that truly good faiths would make their execution methods as quick and painless as they could - and only after they were 100% sure, with no doubt about it, that the person they're executing was really guilty... Also, given the way the afterlife works (and given what everyone knows about it, particularly clergy), killing an enemy is just handing them back to their deity (especially if they were true to their deity). It's can't be much of a punishment.





As to the Scarlet Mummers, they are special militant sect devoted to punishing the Loviatans for daring to murder a high priestess who was Llira's lover during the Time of Troubles. Ed personally makes no mention of the magical chimes in his article, but the item is later mentioned here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ps/20070306a) as being used by the Mummers to show the Loviatans that true pain comes from the loss of love, not scourges. Nice flavor text, but like you I'm skeptical as to whether a Loviatan would take time to appreciate the irony...

As to the Oghmanyte practice, unfortunately I can't remember which novel I read it from, but the speaker refers to the burnings in the past tense, so I assume that it was a practice that was either isolated, or met with disfavor and was not continued.

Also, while I hope that none of the goodly faiths of Faerun have as cruelly elaborate methods of execution as their evil counterparts, I suspect that not all would go for quick beheadings/sword-through-the-heart type executions. Hence, I didn't request those for whom "quick and painless" would be most likely, such as the three T's (Tempus, Torm, and Tyr) or Ilmater. Aside from Lathander, the other two faiths tend more toward neutral/chaotic goodly tendencies which might allow for some surprising practices.

Finally, elaborate and ritualized executions are more for the living than the soon-to-be dead. True, it's a final punishment for that individual, but it's also meant as a deterrent for those who would follow in his/her wake ("This is the fate that awaits you, and its not going to be pretty!"). For the victimized religious community, perhaps it also serves to satisfy a visceral need for vengeance, more than a rational desire for justice. In any case, though the execution sends the offending person straight to their deity, that's one less individual running around on the Prime Material advancing their deity's goals.

Anyways, I'm glad that I've piqued a few others' interest on the matter.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13785 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2009 :  17:11:09  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Oghma 'might' be 'into' burning False tomes, because he is more about knowledge itself (despite his title, "The Binder").

Deneir is more about the physical books, and would probably allow for 'false tomes' to continue to exist, because his clergy follows the addage "There is no such thing as useless lore" (which means even pure fiction has it's uses).

The existance af 'false histories' and other fictionalized texts still have an important purpose - they teach students of lore not to rely on a single source, but to do their own investigations and draw their own conclusions.

Oghma, on the other hand, is probably offended by what he consider 'untruths' written down.

At least, that is how I see the difference between the two very similar gods. Steven Schend touched upon some of that in his Blackstaff novel (there was some problems between the church and Khelben - the biggest perpetrator of 'false tomes' if there ever was one - although the conflict primarilly addressed his "hidden knowledge").

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 02 Jul 2009 17:11:51
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A Gavel
Seeker

USA
53 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2009 :  17:55:46  Show Profile  Visit A Gavel's Homepage Send A Gavel a Private Message
Aha! Now you touch upon the subject of my long-ago discussion with Ed. "The love of books" is strong in both Oghma and Deneir (and passed on to their clergy). Oghma would rarely want to advocate the destruction of books that didn't harm readers (i.e. the poisoned book in THE NAME OF THE ROSE, or a book full of Explosive Runes or other nasty "activate by reading" magics WOULD be a candidate for destruction).
Rather, Oghma's clergy would want to revise books to remove mistakes and incorrect perceptions. Censors, if you will, except that they don't want to stifle the opinions and "voice" of the original writer, so that in passages where the writer expands on mistaken assumptions, they would want to bind into the book an editorial commentary pointing out the mistakes, erroneous assumptions, and so on.
This comes from Ed, back in the day. We joked about readers who "don't get" satire because they're too ignorant of the original or the subject being satirized to recognize it; well, priests of Oghma would LABEL satire as such.
So saith Ed, circa 1992 or so.
Corrections? Changes in opinion since? Ed, THO?
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2009 :  17:59:10  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Hmmm. Baleful's mention of TOUR DE LOVECRAFT made me wonder: are such "overview" books (of literary works by others, not "real" topics and persons and objects) popular in the Realms, among the general reading public?
Or are they confined to small circles of "those in the know," sages, monks of Candlekeep, and so on?
Are they primarily "rant" chapbooks, or are some (most?) of them more substantial, longer lasting, and widely regarded?
Inquiring minds, as always, want to know . . .
Thanks!
BB
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2009 :  20:33:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Blueblade, Ed has just responded to your latest question, which I sent him moments after you posted it; here's his reply:

Hi! What you term "overview literary criticism" has a relatively narrow readership in the Realms; it IS primarily read by sages, Oghmanite and Deneiran clergy, printers and book collectors. The sole exception is colorful ranting, which is sometimes read by a wider audience for the sheer entertainment value of the insults, invective, and sarcasm (which can be adopted by local minstrels, actors, and wits). So in Waterdeep and other large cities, "rant chapbooks" are popular (on all sorts of topics, not just literary crit). In market stalls and city bookshops, secondhand crit chapbooks and slim tomes can often be found (Athkatla, Silverymoon, Neverwinter, Waterdeep, and Selgaunt are known to have particularly good selections on offer, at any time; many wealthy patrons buy books, read them, have hired scribes write out their own copies of the juicy passages they'll want to re-read often, then resell the books to recoup as much as possible of the scribe's fee and the initial purchase price of the book), but peddlers seldom have them unless they've "struck rich" by buying the entire library of a deceased hermit or villager for a song, and are now selling it all off, item by item, as they travel on.


So saith Ed. Who is hard at work writing yet more "official" Realmslore for us all.
love,
THO
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2009 :  01:20:02  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

quote:
Originally posted by Aysen
As to the Scarlet Mummers, they are special militant sect devoted to punishing the Loviatans for daring to murder a high priestess who was Llira's lover during the Time of Troubles. Ed personally makes no mention of the magical chimes in his article, but the item is later mentioned here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ps/20070306a) as being used by the Mummers to show the Loviatans that true pain comes from the loss of love, not scourges. Nice flavor text, but like you I'm skeptical as to whether a Loviatan would take time to appreciate the irony...


IMHO, the Scarlet Mummers are prime candidates for being corrupted/converted to Shar or Loviatar or even Bane (he is the god of Hate, isn't he?) etc. Lliira is the goddess of Joy, and while I can see her being angry and maybe doing something in the immediate years following the death of her lover, I can't see her wanting to continue the rampage for very long. She's both Chaotic and Good, and being a deity I'm sure she's wise enough to see the peril her Mummers face if they continue down the bloodthirsty path of hatred.

No, the whole order is illogical and very very out of character for Lliira who, lets face it, still has the soul of her lover with her in her domain - it isn't like she couldn't elevate the High Priestess to some other state than petitioner, or intervene to allow the Priestess to keep her memories. In fact, they are united forever. (But even if she didn't want that, she could also restore the Priestess to life!} Yes, it may well be a tragedy that this particular Priestess had her life struck short, but the life she did live was full of Joy serving her goddess (and she was one of the few mortals who had her own deity as a lover!). Llirans hunting down and subjecting any and all Loviatans to painful deaths for the murder of their Priestess (it's certainly not as if ALL Loviatans are responsible for the death!) seems counter intuitive to Lliira's dogma. Once those directly responsible for the murder had been taken care of, it would be well on time to let go.

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Also, while I hope that none of the goodly faiths of Faerun have as cruelly elaborate methods of execution as their evil counterparts, I suspect that not all would go for quick beheadings/sword-through-the-heart type executions. Hence, I didn't request those for whom "quick and painless" would be most likely, such as the three T's (Tempus, Torm, and Tyr) or Ilmater. Aside from Lathander, the other two faiths tend more toward neutral/chaotic goodly tendencies which might allow for some surprising practices.


Quick and painless deaths are not the sole domain of the Lawful Good alignment. The important part of a person's alignment is the latter half. We are all capable of vindictive cruelty, we can all be overcome by rage - being Lawful offers no immunity to this. So I will fully admit that there might be times when hatred, anger, or fear overcome the better parts of ourselves, and we do something terrible - but Lawful people are just as likely to succumb to these gut reactions as Neutrals or Chaotics. What sets Good apart from Evil is that nearly all of the time Good people will fight against those gut reactions and try to embrace empathy and compassion, even for those who have harmed them. This has been a common thread through out our own history, and I can't see why it wouldn't be in the Realms as well.

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Finally, elaborate and ritualized executions are more for the living than the soon-to-be dead. True, it's a final punishment for that individual, but it's also meant as a deterrent for those who would follow in his/her wake ("This is the fate that awaits you, and its not going to be pretty!"). For the victimized religious community, perhaps it also serves to satisfy a visceral need for vengeance, more than a rational desire for justice. In any case, though the execution sends the offending person straight to their deity, that's one less individual running around on the Prime Material advancing their deity's goals.


Must be my modern sensibilities coming into play. No matter how many examples we've made (by killing the "guilty"), people still continue to kill, maim, and/or torture other people. It's clear that death as a deterrent doesn't work, and I can't see how making the deaths any more gruesome would work any better. All we've done is mistakenly killed some who were not guilty along with those who were.

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. If a deity can't see this, then we're all in trouble.

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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