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 The Aearee: Secrets of the Avian Creator Race
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Gray Richardson
Master of Realmslore

USA
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  07:23:38  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've had a few further thoughts about the Aearee since my article in the Candlekeep Compendium Volume VII

So I thought I would start a new scroll here to record some further musings about the avian creator race.

Gray Richardson
Master of Realmslore

USA
1291 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  08:13:51  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aearee subraces: The Eblis

Source: 1e Monster Manual II p.62, and 2e Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix MC11

The Eblis are a white-plumed avian race that have features similar to storks and are thought to descend from a lesser branch of Aearee that inhabited wetland environments. This branch of the Aearee shared features with wading birds such as herons, ibises, cranes, flamingos and pelicans. This race may have been particularly well-adapted to the swampy and aquatic habitats where the Batrachi dwelled, and the ancestors of the Eblis are thought to have been favored slaves of the thearchs, the priest-ruler caste of the Batrachi.

The slender Eblis are not particularly strong or suited to physical labor, but do display a wicked cunning that may have served them well in the capacity of temple slaves, scribes, administrators and even as informants for the Batrachi.

Eblis are rare these days. Before the Spellplague, communities of Eblis were known to exist in Mulhorand where they were dedicated to the service of Thoth. Lone Eblis were sometimes encountered in Mulhorand cities, living on their wits as scam-artists and thieves. A common ploy used by these individuals was to trick adherents of thoth into believing the Eblis was actually an avatar of their god, a con that was often successful in a land where gods walked among their worshipers as living incarnations.

Since the Spellplauge, no Eblis have been reported in the Old Empires regions, however Eblis still survive in out-of-the-way marshlands around Faerûn, where they tend to congregate in small communities of 2-8 mated pairs.

Eblis are noted for banditry, and often ambush travelers that pass along the roads that border Eblis territory. Eblis are known to be cunning, even cruel hunters and will attack anyone they believe to carry jewelry, gems or shiny treasure. They are fond of weaving such ornaments into their nests and the walls of their dwellings.

Eblis are often led by powerful spellcasters of particularly evil bent. Sages suspect that Eblis sorcerers derive their magic from pacts with the demonlord Pazriel or other such fiends. Eblis are not by nature evil, but those communities with spellcaster leaders are particularly prone to wickedness due to the influence of fiendish patrons.

Sages believe that the planar race known as Diakka (1e Monster Manual II p.50, Planes of Conflict ) are cousins of the Eblis that were corrupted ages ago by Pazriel and now make their home among the darker dominions of the Astral Sea, such as Banehold (formerly the Barrens of Doom & Despair), the Dismal Caverns, and parts of the Deep Wilds.

Some sages contend the Eblis are related to the gigantic avians known as boobries (1e Monster Manual II p.20, and 2e Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix MC11) however other scholars contend that the boobrie is simply an ordinary bird species and unrelated to the Eblis or the Aearee.
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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  08:20:16  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aearee subraces: The Alguduirs

The Alguduirs are a race of aquatic avian humanoids that have scales instead of feathers. (Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix MC11). Native to marshes, swamps and wetland environments, these feral hunters are skilled predators on land, in the air and underwater. Sages argue whether the Alguduir is a product of Sarrukh flesh-shaping or Batrachi experimentation to create triphibious shock-troops. Regardless, the evidence is strong that the Alguduirs were once Aearee before their transformation.

Alguduirs are especially notable for their innate ability to reflect spells back upon the caster. This peculiar form of spell resistance is considered further evidence that an elder race bred them to be deadly front-line combatants against opponents of magical might.
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Gray Richardson
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USA
1291 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  09:07:47  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aearee subraces: the Vulchlings (1e Monster Manual II, p.125)

These vulture-men are an offshoot of the Aearee-Krocaa. The vulchlings are raptors with features similar to vultures, buzzards and condors. They have brown to black plumage, but lack feathers about their heads and necks. Vulchlings in the modern era are a debased and barbaric semblance of their Aearee forebears. During the Days of Thunder, the vulchlings played an important role, comprising a caste of “untouchables” who were charged with, among other tasks, the disposition of the dead and the ministration of funerary rites.

Of all the Aearee, the vulchlings suffered most under servitude to Sarrukh and Batrachi slave-masters, relegated to the most unseemly of tasks. Vulchlings were responsible for those duties involving ritual taint, including working with leather and hides, tending to the sick, and cleaning those areas where waste and refuse accumulated. The Batrachi were particularly cruel to the vulchlings, taking perverse delight in feeding their vulchling slaves only carrion, and the decaying corpses of fellow thralls.

Even after the Aearee had gained their freedom, the perception of vulchlings as untouchable persisted due to their unusual dietary and sanitation propensities. However, in the wake of the Tearfall, the vulchlings were afforded a newfound respect by their Aearee brethren as the keepers of the rituals and sacraments surrounding death. The clergy of Phraarkiloorm were drawn almost entirely (although not exclusively) from the vulchling caste.

As a natural consequence of their biology, vulchlings are highly resistant to disease and toxins, especially those associated with putrefaction. The vulture-headed god Phraarkiloorm held the portfolios of disease and poison and so the Aearee prayed to him for protection and healing from venom and illness. Vulchling clerics were thus respected as puissant healers.

Conversely, vulchlings who pursued the arcane arts were often drawn to necromancy, and so the most infamous necromancers of the Aearee were counted among the vulchings.

Vulchlings were also known as consummate warriors, and many found success as Raptor Knights, an elite holy order of paladins and avengers in service to Phraarkiloorm. After the Tearfall, Phraarkiloorm’s Raptor Knights harried their former Batrachi masters with terrifying zeal, hunting the surviving Batrachi to near extinction--falling short of complete success, though, as Batrachi descendants yet thrive in the hidden places of Faerûn among the swamps and jungles, numbering the grippli, bullywugs and sivs among their progeny.

Vulchlings today are drawn to forgotten crypts and burial places. Before the Spellplague, vulchlings prospered in Mulhorand, among the many necropolises, and were respected caretakers of the City of the Dead. They can be found in Shoonach and small communities of them are thriving in Thay. They can be found among the crypts of Luskan and Waterdeep, or any city that has a cemetery large enough for them to dwell there in secret. Vulchlings also lair in sewers and are very comfortable in the underdark, especially among ancient catacombs.
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The Sage
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  14:22:01  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  Reply with Quote
Gray, this material is scratching me right where I itch. Good stuff!

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Amraz one arm
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Netherlands
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  15:31:57  Show Profile  Visit Amraz one arm's Homepage Send Amraz one arm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Love it, reread the compendium just 2 weeks ago. Great stuff, but no pinguins?

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Blueblade
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  16:08:29  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, penguins! We must have penguins, because the infamous "Moonpenguin" makes them canon!
BB
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Markustay
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  16:25:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great stuff, as usual, Gray.

This is making me really nostalgic for the Compendiums.

The other day I was cleaning-out a bunch of old PS files, and came across This.

Alaundo had mentioned the fact (early on) about not having the same artist for the CKC10 cover as he had for the last 'special edition', and since this one was supposed to have a theme of 'Beyond Faerûn'. I thought a map-cover might be cool. That was just a quick mock-up I did for Alaundo, to run it past him, and was supposed to be a surprise for everyone, but alas... I fear it will never be used now.

Note that it was done before the 4e announcement and changes.

Anyhow, I'm glad to see at least some folks are still plodding along, creating great FR lore, even if we no-longer have a venue to present it in. Kudos, Gray.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 09 Jun 2009 19:10:50
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Hawkins
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Posted - 08 Jun 2009 :  16:36:09  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for these bits of lore, Gray.

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Gray Richardson
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Posted - 09 Jun 2009 :  00:39:58  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glad you like it! Stay tuned; more to come!

p.s. Penguins you have requested, penguins you shall have...

Edited by - Gray Richardson on 09 Jun 2009 00:48:40
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Dart Ambermoon
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Germany
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Posted - 09 Jun 2009 :  01:25:52  Show Profile  Visit Dart Ambermoon's Homepage Send Dart Ambermoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is some really great stuff, right there. Especially liked the Vulchlings. (Gathers in among the crows waiting to hear of penguins, echoing Markustay´s feelings).

~ In Finder I trust, for danger I lust ~
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arry
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
317 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2009 :  12:34:23  Show Profile Send arry a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for this. As well as the lore, I am particularly grateful that it can be easily adapted to Spellplague or non-Spellplague campaigns.
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1092 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2009 :  17:04:13  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fantastic Gray. We have to get you published man.

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Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 09 Jun 2009 :  19:14:28  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If your going to do Penguins, then I insist you do Blue-Footed Boobies.

This way we can have a whole 'Galapagos theme' going.

Besides, what's a setting (with bird-races) without Boobies?

I think Elminster would approve.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 09 Jun 2009 19:14:59
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Gray Richardson
Master of Realmslore

USA
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Posted - 10 Jun 2009 :  06:44:19  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aearee flying technologies -- a brief survey:

The Aearee had floating cities long before Netheril took to the skies. They used many and varied techniques to raise their cities in flight, some of which were passed on to other races, yet other such secrets were lost with the Aearee.

The rookeries of the Aearee-Quor were aggregates of individually enchanted dwellings and nests, each powered by its own means of flight, all tied together with ropes and bridges, nails and wood. The magic employed was similar to that which powered Halruuan skyships. Typically a wealthy family would build a grand, flying edifice, and over the years, cadet branches, associated clans, and merchant families would build out or attach their own dwellings to the growing cluster. Over years, such rookeries would grow outward into titanic conglomerations of houses, decks, towers, trees, ships, earthmotes, platforms and nests, all lashed together in a great web of ropes, cables, branches and vines.

The Aearee-Quor of Shara are known to have discovered a magic akin to the mythallars of the Netherese. Whether it was a true mythallar, or a different magic that achieved a similar effect, is unknown to modern sages. The rookery of Aeng-Shara was the first, and greatest, of these cities powered by such mystic works. The Sharan “mythallar” was organic in nature, “grown” from a small seed into a giant orb, about which the Sharan arcanists would entwine the roots of a specially enchanted weir tree, granting it the power of flight and a tensile strength to support the weight of a city. Among the branches of the giant weir tree were assembled the battlements of a mighty fortress. And outwards from the central tree, the buildings of the rookery accreted in the fashion of the Aeraee-Quor.

The Aeree-Krocaa of Viakoo and the Aeree-Syran in the North ascended entire forests into the sky using a method achieved by careful plaiting of branches and roots in woven rune networks and carving the glyphs of aerial empowerment into the bark of each individual tree. Such flying groves had to be carefully nurtured from saplings for many years, even decades, before they were mature enough to be born aloft. But once airborne, with the passing of centuries, these flying groves grew from small orchards into vast stretches of arboreal landscapes among the clouds, casting pale green shadows across the face of Toril wherever they passed.

Aearee arcanists had learned elemental magic from their former Batrachi masters, and developed special ties to the Djinn of the Elemental Plane of Air. From the Djinn they learned still more techniques. Aearee evokers learned to bind elemental spirits into objects to raise them in flight. Over time they discovered how to craft earth motes, balancing elemental forces to suspend soil and stone from fixed points in the sky.

The Aearee knew more mundane techniques for bearing vessels and buildings aloft. They knew how to construct balloons lifted by means of heated air and also by the trapping of special gasses that conferred buoyancy upon their vessels. Aearee artificers advanced this technique to craft colossal golems in the shape of soarwhales, cloudrays and other more fanciful creatures. Thin sheets of brass, mithral, or other light, ductile metals enveloped large volumes filled with these special alchemical gasses empowering the golems not only with flight but with enough lift to carry ships or buildings on their backs, or tethered beneath them, as the golems swam gracefully through the air. In the later years of the Aearee, legions of such golems could be seen against the horizon, their silver and gold skins glinting in the sunlight as they darted like schools of fish across the sky. Mighty Aeropolises hung beneath each multitude, supported by gossamer strands of mithral and silk.

It is unclear exactly when the Aearee made contact with spelljamming races from other spheres, but the Aearee are believed to be the first of the creator races to develop spelljamming technology. Whether the Aearee developed spelljamming helms on their own or purchased helms from the enigmatic race known as the Arcane is a matter for debate. It is clear that not only did the Aearee-Syran and Aearee-Krocaa have some number of spelljamming ships among their fleets, but that some number of their floating aeries flew under the power of spelljamming helms. For at some point following the first Flight of Dragons, after the burning of the Grand Aerie at Viakoo, five Aearee cities (Rulungwar, Donnakee, Phra’iskree, Oolatiel, and an unnamed fifth one, lost during the exodus) fled through the Sea of Night, escaping Toril and the tyranny of dragons, to establish a colony on the world of Coliar, the 2nd planet from Toril’s sun.

By means of spelljamming, the Aearee spread to many spheres, where their descendants, the aarakocra survive to this day. The development of Aearee spelljamming magic is a point of contention among sages. While some sages insist the Aearee discovered the secrets of spelljamming on their own, there is some evidence to suggest that the Aearee gained their first helms from the enigmatic race known as the Arcane.

Of those techniques that died with the Aearee, sages have only intriguing snippets of lore, scant sentences describing their wonders, and in most cases only the names of spells and artifacts that propelled their great works skyward. Names such as "sky hook", "spindizzy", "cavorite shutters", "forhungren bladders", and "valorium" only hint at lost secrets that perplex scholars to this day.
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Gray Richardson
Master of Realmslore

USA
1291 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2009 :  07:34:11  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Dohwar:

Source: Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II, MC9

The Dohwar are a curious race of semi-aquatic, flightless avian whose features most closely resemble penguins. Growing on average to four feet in height, they have a pudgy frame and very short legs that lend them a slow, waddling gait when they walk. They have black plumage with white feathers on their chest and belly, and white accents and tufts around their eyes. Dohwar have two distinct fangs that protrude from their beaks, an adaptation for eating the exotic foods of wildspace. They prefer to wear shockingly garish clothes when they congregate socially; yet when engaging in trade, they usually hide their faces under heavy cloaks and shadowy hoods so as to pass for small people of whatever race they are trading with.

Their inclusion in the Aearee family tree is contested. A few sages argue that the Dohwar were never native to Toril, but rather an interloper race, first brought to the Realms by members of the enigmatic spelljamming race known as the Mercane [3E Manual of the Planes, Epic Level Handbook] (called by some the Arcane [Planescape Appendix 2, Spelljammer Campaign Setting, Monstrous Manual]). But scholars among the Dohwar insist that their race first arose on Toril before they left the Realms to sail the Sea of Night. Those Realms sages that count the Dohwar among the Aearee believe them to be an arctic offshoot of the branch of the Aearee that included the wading subraces adapted to wetland environments, such as the Eblis.

Dohwar sages, however, make grandiose claims that they are the root stock from which all other Aearee descend. They assert further that the Dohwar were indeed the first intelligent race to arise on Toril, frolicking upon the glaciers and in the depths of Toril’s frozen seas during the great ice age that preceded the Days of Thunder. As Toril thawed, they allege that the other Aearee forms diverged from the Dohwar mold as they spread out to occupy other ecological niches. Most Torilian sages find such bombastic claims highly dubious at best.

Regardless of whether they once inhabited the Realms, the Dohwar are no longer native to Toril in the modern era. They are presumed to have been hunted to extinction by white dragons sometime after -30,000 DR. The few individuals currently present in the Realms are travelers from across the Sea of Night by means of spelljamming ships.

Dohwar legends tell that survivors of the dragon onslaught (following the first Flight of Dragons) indentured what was left of their race to the Mercane in exchange for safe passage off-world. Another tale holds that the Dohwar were sold to the Mercane by the Aearee-Quor. Most scholars view this account as doubtful, as the Aearee-Quor were never known to have spelljammer helms. Other sages counter that the Aearee-Quor need not have been seeking spelljammer helms, but rather may have traded the Dohwar for a pittance simply to rid themselves of the little nuisances.

During their apprenticeship with the Mercane, the Dohwar learned their craft well. Today they are powerful and wily merchants known throughout wildspace. They consider themselves rivals of the Mercane. Although the Mercane, if pressed, do not admit to considering the Dohwar at all. The Dohwar period of indenture ended thousands of years ago—-some suggest their servitude was terminated prematurely by the Mercane themselves. Since that time the Dohwar have claimed a new homeworld—-a small ice planet of unknown location—-and have acquired an expansive fleet of merchant ships that trade between dozens of known worlds.

Dohwar are aggressive merchants with poor social skills. Most races find them to be greedy, pushy, persistent, abrasive and thoroughly annoying. Dohwar favor hard-sell tactics, double-teaming their targets with a non-stop barrage of sales pitches and offers to buy items for paltry sums. Gnomes, however, are fascinated by the little avians, and delight in the strange goods they offer for sale.

The Dohwar are psionically gifted, which grants them an advantage in trading and negotiation. They can communicate telepathically. Mated pairs of Dohwar (called “mergers”) maintain a permanent psionic link with one another, allowing them to commune silently—without the knowledge of those around them.

Dohwar live in communities called “cartels” which are organized like mercantile concerns. Cartels are led by a president or a chairman, and lesser civic leaders have such commercial titles as “executive board member” and “manger”.

Some Dohwar prefer to train as fighters, and are skilled in the use of the “weega”, a piercing blade that attaches to the beak. Much like a rapier, Dohwar protectors wield the blade with deadly accuracy and their powerful thrusts can penetrate plate mail. Dohwar themselves wear bulky armor made of extra thick plate, which provides superb protection though it impedes their mobility. However, with their distinctive waddle, even an unarmored protector cannot count their speed as an asset in combat, so mobility is easily sacrificed for the extra protection the armor affords. Dohwar tactics usually involve standing their ground at a choke-point and preventing the enemy from passing.

Dohwar protectors are impressive aerial combatants when they ride their winged boars into battle. [see Space Swine: Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II, MC9] Dohwar elite cavalry units wield lances and coordinate their attacks in dynamic, complex formations that often take their opponents by surprise. Their winged boar mounts bear razor-sharp tusks that can gore and maim as they fly past. They are trained to target an enemy mount’s wings so as to remove it from combat and render the rider ineffectual. War mounts are bred to have a single, six-inch horn sprouting from their foreheads which they can use to impale opponents in deadly dive attacks. Space swine have uncanny senses and make excellent trackers, even through the depths of wildspace.

Despite the skills of Dohwar protectors, Dohwar merchants generally prefer to hire much larger and more impressive mercenaries for personal protection. Dohwar traders are routinely accompanied by a contingent of griff guards wherever they travel.

Dohwar travel wildspace in spelljammer ships called uspos that also resemble penguins. The ships are as graceful in flight as the husky hucksters they convey; that is to say the ships are awkward, ungainly, and only slightly less flightless than the Dohwar themselves. The sight of an uspo silhouette spotted descending from the sky often sends potential customers scurrying to lock their doors and shutter their windows until such time as the pesky penguinoids give up and go away.
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The Sage
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Posted - 11 Jun 2009 :  08:06:49  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  Reply with Quote
Neat! SPELLJAMMER-lore. I've always been somewhat partial to the dohwar.

Very nice Gray.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Jun 2009 :  14:36:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Never really been a fan of the dohwar, myself... But you captured them perfectly.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1258 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2009 :  14:42:16  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Obnoxious penguinoid traders! Love them!

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Razz
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Posted - 07 Jul 2009 :  21:30:12  Show Profile Send Razz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of course, for me, lore and mechanics should go hand in hand. It'd be nice to see a collaborated effort on statting these guys in 3.5e, and the subraces too. After seeing the Sarrukh statted, I've been itching to see Candlekeep's or the FR Designers do the same for the Batrachi and Aearee.
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freyar
Learned Scribe

Canada
220 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2009 :  15:40:58  Show Profile  Visit freyar's Homepage Send freyar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The eblis and vulchling have been converted to 3e in the Creature Catalog and Necromancer Games's Tome of Horrors. The alguduir is in the Creature Catalog. And the dohwar is at Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons.

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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2009 :  19:06:44  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Psychic mercantile penguins? Oh yea!

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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creyzi4zb12
Learned Scribe

Philippines
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Posted - 13 Jul 2009 :  17:44:54  Show Profile  Visit creyzi4zb12's Homepage Send creyzi4zb12 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is this canon? Because it's COOOOLL!!!

orc orc orc orc orc orc orc orc orc orc orc
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SeeDiGi
Seeker

Bermuda
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Posted - 14 Jul 2009 :  03:34:34  Show Profile  Visit SeeDiGi's Homepage Send SeeDiGi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by creyzi4zb12

Is this canon? Because it's COOOOLL!!!



Nah its all fanwork.
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The Sage
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Posted - 14 Jul 2009 :  05:28:03  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  Reply with Quote
I disagree.

There are some sections that are almost natural extensions of canon lore, and others that are merging bits of otherwise scattered Aearee references. It's as close to canon as we're likely to have, for the moment.

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SeeDiGi
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Bermuda
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Posted - 14 Jul 2009 :  15:15:46  Show Profile  Visit SeeDiGi's Homepage Send SeeDiGi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Still isnt a WotC book, still isnt canon. There are lots of nice fanworks but they still aint canon.
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