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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 12 Oct 2009 :  16:53:39  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, Cloak and Dagger mentions that Khelben ran across certain of Alaundo's prophecies that led him to believe that he needed to be ready to combat (IRRC, I am AFB) 'the darkness below and the 3 Prefects'.
Has any source ever elucidated what these cryptic evils might be?
If no other work of Realmslore clarifies the nature of this, do any scribes have any good ideas? To me, they sound like Elder Evils: I don't know why, but the wording sounds vaguely 'Lovecraftian' to me. Thanks in advance.

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The Sage
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Posted - 12 Oct 2009 :  17:11:07  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Officially, it's all under an NDA-cloud, as I recall, according to Ed.

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 12 Oct 2009 :  17:24:20  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Officially, it's all under an NDA-cloud, as I recall, according to Ed.



I'd assumed as much- well, I have a few ideas of my own on the subject. Thanks for the confirmation, Sage.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 12 Oct 2009 :  22:42:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
page 25 of Cloak & Dagger

quote:
At least one sagely member identified an ancient prophecy in Amagal's Tome, an ancient elven text of early Cormanthor, as noting that the Tel'Teukiira "will come hidden and in many guises and faces. They dwell in shadow and speak in omens, yet they shall bring about waking dreams and save us from the Three Threats Who Wait In Darkness, the Prefects, and ourselves." None of the Tel'Teukiira can say what all this means, though many suspect Khelben knows and simply does not say.


I'm not as keen on the idea of it being any of the Elder Evils we know about... It just doesn't seem a likely idea to me: when these things can go toe-to-toe with the gods, what can a bunch of mortals do?

There's a mention or two of the Prefects in Blackstaff.

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The Sage
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Posted - 13 Oct 2009 :  00:33:23  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm not as keen on the idea of it being any of the Elder Evils we know about... It just doesn't seem a likely idea to me: when these things can go toe-to-toe with the gods, what can a bunch of mortals do?
I'm not entirely comfortable with the "Elder Evils" possibility either. But I'm not as quick to dismiss it completely. For the simple fact that, because it's been a plot hook open for so long, that it could possibly be anything at this point.

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 13 Oct 2009 :  21:23:25  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I'm not as keen on the idea of it being any of the Elder Evils we know about... It just doesn't seem a likely idea to me: when these things can go toe-to-toe with the gods, what can a bunch of mortals do?
I'm not entirely comfortable with the "Elder Evils" possibility either. But I'm not as quick to dismiss it completely. For the simple fact that, because it's been a plot hook open for so long, that it could possibly be anything at this point.


Input appreciated, gents. As I said, I thought 'Elder Evils' simply due to the wording.
I'm considering using this in my current campaign (coming back after a few-month hiatus), as the PC's were linked to a prophecy about 'Darkness Below' (which turned out to be the City of the Spider Queen module- moved to Impiltur). In my initial plotline, they were manipulated into taking the job of finding out about the drow attacks by a Harper agent, but I'm now retroactively making her a Moonstar and onetime apprentice to Khelben. As they are now facing off against Sonellion (though they don't know it), I've decided that she (or maybe Eltab)is one of the Prefects. Any thoughts on the subject would be helpful.

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 13 Oct 2009 :  21:27:13  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and Wooly, I haven't read Blackstaff, and am not likely to get to it this week: Can you draw any inference as to who or what the Prefects are from the references there? Much appreciated.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Oct 2009 :  06:12:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Knight of the Gate

Oh, and Wooly, I haven't read Blackstaff, and am not likely to get to it this week: Can you draw any inference as to who or what the Prefects are from the references there? Much appreciated.



Five of them are mentioned, though at least one was apparently killed.

One was a vampire named Palron Kaeth. He may have been the leader of the Prefects. We know that he pops up multiple times; I don't recall if there was any closure with him or not. I need to reread Blackstaff.

Another Prefect was a drow, Ahaud of House Tanor'thal. He was a wizard, too, but also used short swords. There was an illithid named Saquarl; he was apparently killed. There was a lady vampire, Xaerna. She was referred to as Kaeth's mistress, though whether this meant lover or the vampire that had turned him isn't clarified. Last was Luuthis Fharren, Lord High Obfuscator (priest) of Leira. He was a friend of Kaeth's from when Kaeth was still alive.

There was a reference to the "Three in Darkness we all serve" (page 164). There was also a reference to a pact that all of the Prefects would share equally of magic gained, or destroy it (since both vampires and the drow were wizards, and we have this pact, we can infer that all of them were wizards). And all of this was in a tower called Silorrattor. When the then-unnamed Khelben left, Silorrattor was rubble, and the screams of the buried Prefects had ceased. Considering that Palron Kaeth popped back up later, and that Xaerna, as a vampire, would have similar inherent means of escape, that silence is not conclusive. Besides, Steven Schend is a fan of the comic book idea that if you don't see a body, then the person isn't necessarily dead.

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 14 Oct 2009 :  15:40:03  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Knight of the Gate

Oh, and Wooly, I haven't read Blackstaff, and am not likely to get to it this week: Can you draw any inference as to who or what the Prefects are from the references there? Much appreciated.



Five of them are mentioned, though at least one was apparently killed.

One was a vampire named Palron Kaeth. He may have been the leader of the Prefects. We know that he pops up multiple times; I don't recall if there was any closure with him or not. I need to reread Blackstaff.

Another Prefect was a drow, Ahaud of House Tanor'thal. He was a wizard, too, but also used short swords. There was an illithid named Saquarl; he was apparently killed. There was a lady vampire, Xaerna. She was referred to as Kaeth's mistress, though whether this meant lover or the vampire that had turned him isn't clarified. Last was Luuthis Fharren, Lord High Obfuscator (priest) of Leira. He was a friend of Kaeth's from when Kaeth was still alive.

There was a reference to the "Three in Darkness we all serve" (page 164). There was also a reference to a pact that all of the Prefects would share equally of magic gained, or destroy it (since both vampires and the drow were wizards, and we have this pact, we can infer that all of them were wizards). And all of this was in a tower called Silorrattor. When the then-unnamed Khelben left, Silorrattor was rubble, and the screams of the buried Prefects had ceased. Considering that Palron Kaeth popped back up later, and that Xaerna, as a vampire, would have similar inherent means of escape, that silence is not conclusive. Besides, Steven Schend is a fan of the comic book idea that if you don't see a body, then the person isn't necessarily dead.


OK- Another book for me to add to the pile...
Thanks, Wooly.

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Alisttair
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Posted - 14 Oct 2009 :  17:30:55  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

page 25 of Cloak & Dagger

quote:
At least one sagely member identified an ancient prophecy in Amagal's Tome, an ancient elven text of early Cormanthor, as noting that the Tel'Teukiira "will come hidden and in many guises and faces. They dwell in shadow and speak in omens, yet they shall bring about waking dreams and save us from the Three Threats Who Wait In Darkness, the Prefects, and ourselves." None of the Tel'Teukiira can say what all this means, though many suspect Khelben knows and simply does not say.


I'm not as keen on the idea of it being any of the Elder Evils we know about... It just doesn't seem a likely idea to me: when these things can go toe-to-toe with the gods, what can a bunch of mortals do?

There's a mention or two of the Prefects in Blackstaff.



A bunch of heroic mortals working cohesively could bring one down...at least it would make for a great epic story (for a home run campaign at least)....mortals suceeding where gods have failed. Aren't there stories like this (or similiar) somewhere, perhaps in greek mythology, where heroic mortals surpass their limitations like this? It kind of rings a bell in my head

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Oct 2009 :  18:48:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

A bunch of heroic mortals working cohesively could bring one down...at least it would make for a great epic story (for a home run campaign at least)....mortals suceeding where gods have failed. Aren't there stories like this (or similiar) somewhere, perhaps in greek mythology, where heroic mortals surpass their limitations like this? It kind of rings a bell in my head



It still doesn't work for me... How could mortals do something that vastly more powerful deities can't do?

I think its more likely that the Three in Darkness are something else... Maybe they've got traces of divinity (more than a Chosen, but less than a demigod), maybe they're just the closest you can get to divinity without becoming a deity... Maybe they're rogue divine agents, or some sort of nasty extraplanar critter... Something like that could be reasonably opposed, without the mortals doing it being on a level at or near the gods. It still makes for an epic challenge, without invoking implausibility.

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 14 Oct 2009 :  20:38:21  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

A bunch of heroic mortals working cohesively could bring one down...at least it would make for a great epic story (for a home run campaign at least)....mortals suceeding where gods have failed. Aren't there stories like this (or similiar) somewhere, perhaps in greek mythology, where heroic mortals surpass their limitations like this? It kind of rings a bell in my head



It still doesn't work for me... How could mortals do something that vastly more powerful deities can't do?

I think its more likely that the Three in Darkness are something else... Maybe they've got traces of divinity (more than a Chosen, but less than a demigod), maybe they're just the closest you can get to divinity without becoming a deity... Maybe they're rogue divine agents, or some sort of nasty extraplanar critter... Something like that could be reasonably opposed, without the mortals doing it being on a level at or near the gods. It still makes for an epic challenge, without invoking implausibility.


Not to disagree just for the sake of disagreeing, Wooly, but- I have to disagree.
There are a number of scenarios that I can think of off the top of my head where this could in fact be the case, with the most common being the fantasy trope of 'the gods can't interfere directly, soo....' and cue the epic party. The one I've actually used in pitting a party against the EE is better, I think: The Evil has not yet escaped its prison completely. It can interact with the outside world a bit (enough to have gathered its cultists, as well as servitor beasties) and the PCs have to fight to keep it imprisioned, which they ultimately fail to do, but have one last chance to stuff the EE back in its hole by defeating the just released/reawakened (and not yet fully operational) baddie.
I understand (and generally agree with)your feeling that anything that the gods themselves fear is likely to be unassailable by mortals, but mythology is full of just that sort of scene. After all, Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul dealt with Haask and Haargut (sp?) while still mortal, not to mention any number of gods. AND these aren't just any mortals; the Moonstars are a group led by a pair of Chosen, allied to several others, and with a membership littered with epic characters. More importantly, Khelben is quite the forward-thinker. I can think of few threats, that given a few centuries to prepare for, these folks couldn't handle.
Back on topic- I, too, agree that the Three in Darkness are likely something else. Given the source of the prophecy, I am inclined to believe that it might have something to do with the Trio Nefarious. Then again, it's just as likely something completely different. In the context of my game, I might use some really Cthulu-esque elder evils, just b/c I think it's fun- but then again, my PCs will come nowhere near these guys; they'll be totally off-stage.

EDIT: On further review, Wooly, I like your idea about the 'Rogue divine agents'. I'd already worked Malkizid into the narrative, so the concept of 'fallen' divine agents is already present in the campaign.... Food for thought.

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Edited by - Knight of the Gate on 14 Oct 2009 20:41:42
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coach
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  04:23:02  Show Profile Send coach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Officially, it's all under an NDA-cloud, as I recall, according to Ed.




see this i don't understand

with 4e and 100 year time skip, why can't NDA be lifted when talking about pre-1385 lore?

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  04:32:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coach

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Officially, it's all under an NDA-cloud, as I recall, according to Ed.




see this i don't understand

with 4e and 100 year time skip, why can't NDA be lifted when talking about pre-1385 lore?



Because it takes time and effort, and therefore money. There are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of NDAs in effect. To review them and see which ones could be lifted and which ones couldn't would require a joint effort by the folks planning everything and the legal department.

On the other hand, leaving them in place costs nothing. And since WotC is basically ignoring everything pre-4E, there's no reason to worry about those NDAs from before.

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The Sage
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  05:00:14  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by coach

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Officially, it's all under an NDA-cloud, as I recall, according to Ed.




see this i don't understand

with 4e and 100 year time skip, why can't NDA be lifted when talking about pre-1385 lore?



Because it takes time and effort, and therefore money. There are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of NDAs in effect. To review them and see which ones could be lifted and which ones couldn't would require a joint effort by the folks planning everything and the legal department.

On the other hand, leaving them in place costs nothing. And since WotC is basically ignoring everything pre-4E, there's no reason to worry about those NDAs from before.

And I'm sure that, if things were to change in terms of the NDA for this, Ed would share any info he may have with us here at Candlekeep. As a kind of follow-up to the previous questions he's been asked about them.

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Alisttair
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  12:04:51  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As far as the NDAs go, it would be nice if they could at least make it a slow process to go through them and one at a time put the ones that can be freed up aside in a "different pile" from the ones that are to remain NDA.

And about mortals doing what the divine can't, Knight of the Gate expressed it better with the "Gods can't interfere - cue the mortal heroes" scenario...this is how I also see it best working for mortals to accomplish what the gods cannot (with a bit more "prevention" rather than direct confrontation with the EE).

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  12:25:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can dig gods not being able to interfere... But ignoring that restriction, we're still talking about mortals doing something gods can't do. That's kinda like the idea of me climbing on a bicycle and out-pedaling Lance Armstrong: theoretically possible (if Lance has some sort of handicap and a really bad day), but about as likely as a community of Malarite vegans. There's a hell of a difference between "can but won't" and "can't".

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 15 Oct 2009 12:28:20
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The Sage
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  14:25:06  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

As far as the NDAs go, it would be nice if they could at least make it a slow process to go through them and one at a time put the ones that can be freed up aside in a "different pile" from the ones that are to remain NDA.
There's a problem with that perspective, however. And that is, designers/writers can't really know what they can and will be able to use in the future in terms of NDA material. What might be feasible for inclusion at one point, might later be withdrawn before publication of a particular source.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  15:57:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

As far as the NDAs go, it would be nice if they could at least make it a slow process to go through them and one at a time put the ones that can be freed up aside in a "different pile" from the ones that are to remain NDA.
There's a problem with that perspective, however. And that is, designers/writers can't really know what they can and will be able to use in the future in terms of NDA material. What might be feasible for inclusion at one point, might later be withdrawn before publication of a particular source.



Indeed. And this still involves getting multiple people to go thru all the NDAs, when it costs nothing to simply let them be.

I'd assume that each NDA came about as a need for it was noted, and that none of them have expiration dates attached... There's no need, for example, to NDA something that no one's touching, but as soon as author/designer A says "hey, let's do something over here!", then NDAs get whipped out for anyone else who might even peripherally affect it. And by not having expiration dates, they don't have to go back and re-NDA something if plans change or schedules get smoked.

And also, as an effect of how they're implemented, I'd imagine that there's no master list of NDAs, either. There's prolly still multiple filing cabinets full of NDAs at WotC headquarters, and I wouldn't expect there to be an easy organization system for them.

This isn't a knock at WotC; how would one properly organize NDAs in a shared setting? By region/subregion/critter/entity/event/object? By author? By date signed?

The latter two would be easiest to sort thru, but you'd have to wade thru everything to find who signed NDAs about something.

If it's the first option... Say that an NDA covers a mysterious murder in a Waterdhavian alley. Everyone touching Waterdeep at that time would be under an NDA on it. If the victim was a particular NPC, people working even peripherally with that NPC (friends of the NPC, relatives of the NPC, other members of the same group, etc) would be under an NDA. If it was the work of a specific power group or NPC, again with the NDAs... One minor event, and yet potentially dozens of NDAs on a very wide selection of stuff. How would you properly classify it, if the victim was an expatriate Cormyrian agent of the Lords of Waterdeep and a Harper, the murderer was an nobleman-turned-assassin with Zhent connections working for the Knights of the Shield, and it was somehow related to a particular temple?

Don't get me wrong, I agree that they should be actively going thru NDAs and seeing what can be discarded and what needs to ride. But I'm also looking at it from the business side, and seeing why they're not doing it. I personally think the fan goodwill for releasing some of this info would be worth it, in the long run, but I'm not one of those making decisions at WotC. Suffice it to say much would be different about D&D right now -- particularly for the Realms -- if I called the shots at WotC.

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 15 Oct 2009 :  19:34:17  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well-said on all sides, gents. I think what really rankles about the NDA issue is its complete lack of common sense; as Allisttair said,it's not as though ANY of that stuff is now going to be used, and yet here we sit (having spent untold sums of money on the setting) with myriad unanswered questions and access to the people most qualified to answer them. But despite how willing the authors/designers/etc. are to share these things with us, they are hogtied by a legal fiction- fiction because we know that these are areas of FR which will never see the light of day. In reality (and others have said this before) if WotC was savvy about this, they'd get a handful of the ppl who've signed these NDAs together and publish a 'Secrets of the Realms' book, consisting of 200 pages of previously NDA'd stuff written by the original authors of same. As none of it is 'new' material, I have to think that they could produce this pretty cheaply and quickly, and how could it NOT sell? But then again, I don't really have a working knowledge of the publishing industry in this regard, so I'm likely oversimplifying. But a boy can dream, can't he?

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Amarel Derakanor
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Posted - 16 Oct 2009 :  08:29:18  Show Profile Send Amarel Derakanor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Knight of the Gate
In reality (and others have said this before) if WotC was savvy about this, they'd get a handful of the ppl who've signed these NDAs together and publish a 'Secrets of the Realms' book, consisting of 200 pages of previously NDA'd stuff written by the original authors of same. As none of it is 'new' material, I have to think that they could produce this pretty cheaply and quickly, and how could it NOT sell?



Sadly, I think that the majoity of WotC's new 'target group' wouldn't be interested in purchasing such a tome. While people like us would love it, it would not contain any new combat features (what are the feats / attacks of the 4th Edition called?), epic destinies, and whatnot. But indeed, one should have his dreams...
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Alisttair
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Posted - 16 Oct 2009 :  14:59:31  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Knight of the Gate

Well-said on all sides, gents. I think what really rankles about the NDA issue is its complete lack of common sense; as Allisttair said,it's not as though ANY of that stuff is now going to be used, and yet here we sit (having spent untold sums of money on the setting) with myriad unanswered questions and access to the people most qualified to answer them. But despite how willing the authors/designers/etc. are to share these things with us, they are hogtied by a legal fiction- fiction because we know that these are areas of FR which will never see the light of day. In reality (and others have said this before) if WotC was savvy about this, they'd get a handful of the ppl who've signed these NDAs together and publish a 'Secrets of the Realms' book, consisting of 200 pages of previously NDA'd stuff written by the original authors of same. As none of it is 'new' material, I have to think that they could produce this pretty cheaply and quickly, and how could it NOT sell? But then again, I don't really have a working knowledge of the publishing industry in this regard, so I'm likely oversimplifying. But a boy can dream, can't he?



How about getting all the realms fans to do a fund-raiser to pay for the sorting of the NDAs. Someone with a lot of influence would have to organize this of course, but before they would have to maybe have someone at Wizards calculate the approximate man-hours of sorting needed and have the cost calculated by an accountant and then it can be done in phases. I doubt this would happen, but its an idea.

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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
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Posted - 16 Oct 2009 :  15:05:53  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I can dig gods not being able to interfere... But ignoring that restriction, we're still talking about mortals doing something gods can't do. That's kinda like the idea of me climbing on a bicycle and out-pedaling Lance Armstrong: theoretically possible (if Lance has some sort of handicap and a really bad day), but about as likely as a community of Malarite vegans. There's a hell of a difference between "can but won't" and "can't".



Well if we use sports as a metaphor, huge upsets do happen and those are the best stories to tell (when the underdog team wins the championship by defeating the clear-cut favorite). I know that this is comparing apples to oranges, but that's what would make it such an epic accomplishment that would be told for centuries after. Stories of people "surpassing" their limitations - especially since its not something that is expected and is a once in a era thing. How much time do the gods wpend trying to vanquish these entities anyways?

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Knight of the Gate
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Posted - 17 Oct 2009 :  08:09:48  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alright, some insomnia and some persistence have yielded this: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2258
I'm pondering posting to Mr.Schend's scroll in hopes of asking what he 'might have done' with these plot threads.

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 17 Oct 2009 :  08:16:15  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can certainly try. Just remember, Steven's occupied for most of this month, and maybe longer, so any reply may still be weeks in the coming.

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Knight of the Gate
Senior Scribe

USA
624 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2009 :  08:29:43  Show Profile Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

You can certainly try. Just remember, Steven's occupied for most of this month, and maybe longer, so any reply may still be weeks in the coming.




Thanks, Sage- I'd heard about Steven's exile from the various Internets, which is why I didn't sprint off to do just that; I'll likely post it in the next few days and wait patiently. Not that I honestly think he'll be free to speak on the subject even when he returns, but it can't hurt to ask, eh?

How can life be so bountiful, providing such sublime rewards for mediocrity? -Umberto Ecco
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