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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  09:44:56  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message
Excellent Sweet Lady, this is just what I was looking for.

I think I will give them some slight ties to the dwarves due to centuries of proximity. A few words, a couple of myths and cultural traits, and a great source of clues when adventurers are looking for old ruins or magic. Some of the attitudes to magic could also come from the same source.

But as this was mentioned in the answer, I have to ask another question. How did Ed and the earliest Realms handle the idea of spirits, then especially place-spirits? Where there spirits tied to all rivers, mountains, trees etc, in more or less an animistic system or where they rarer beings that were found at some distinct areas? They could logically be tied to both the Realmsian nature deities, beast cults and to the Elemental Gods as I see them. Even an alternative when it comes to Witches and their worship of Non-Human deities (as pr Dragon # 54) would be an idea.

Thanks again with a great bow, and as you know, I am always on my knees when needed.
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  14:28:17  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
A few questions for Ed regarding the Seven, brought on by re-reading Blackstaff:
Alustriel mentions that it has been long enough since she was again a mother or aunt. This led me to think, which of the seven have known/acknowledged children? Alustriel has 14 (?) sons and some daughters. Storm is barren. Sylune is dead - but did she have any children? What about Alassra? Did Laeral have any children other than Maura, and did Qilue have any other than Ysolde? What of Dove - did she have any before Azalar?
This leads to my next question: What are the relationships between the Seven and their nephews/nieces? Is it that the moment you meet a relative, he's immediately welcome? Or are there some tensions between some of them, for example, Methrammar is uncertain with Qilue?

"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'."

Edited by - Menelvagor on 19 Mar 2010 14:33:26
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  15:37:06  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ahhh, Jorkens, a man after my own heart. Or, you know, something a little lower . . .

Menelvagor, off your queries go to Ed, but I'm warning you up front that most of the replies you seek are going to be NDA because of future creative FR plans (not necessarily anything specific, but more to preserve maximum freedom for future designers and writers).
I can answer a few of them, VERY tersely: Yes, Sylune had children. Full stop. Dove did not have any children before Azalar. Full stop.
And relationships vary, as in real life; some are close and loving, some are more distant but friendly and respectful, and some are bitter/estranged, with lots of shadings in between. Details? We'll see what Ed can or will say, but it may not be much more than this.

love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 19 Mar 2010 15:45:49
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  15:44:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, Zandilar! Off your question goes to Ed, along with Jorken's barbarian queries, but by way of a 'starter' reply to you: this works because of the players and DM being comfortable with a roleplaying, storytelling style rather than a "roll-playing" gaming style. In other words, Ed DMing a table of strangers at a con is inevitably going to be different from Ed with any group of "home" or regular players with Ed.
Ed uses his voice (not just funny voices, but pacing) to vividly describe the surroundings and the unfolding action, calling for dice rolls from individuals when needed, and we as players try to vividly describe what we're doing, as well as speak as our characters. So we sit around actually conferring on what to do next at councils-of-war, but speak very swiftly indeed when action is unfolding. With that viewpoint for play, 'game balance' is a matter of Ed's preparation and planning, rather than players feeling slighted or in an adversarial relationship with other players or the DM.
I hope that helps. If I'm aiming wide of what you meant by game balance in this reply, tell me, so it'll help Ed aim HIS reply properly to address what you're after.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  15:51:30  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Jorkens, re. place-spirits: I found some of my notes (made long ago, when talking to Ed).

So, here we go:

Spirits powerful enough to really affect or communicate with humans were relatively rare (and non-existent in long-settled, "civilized" areas because the presence of many intelligent life forms tends to make them dwindle and then fade away. If you've ever read the sf classic WITCHES OF KARRES by James Schmitz, think of them as akin to the "vatches" therein. They are indeed tied to nature and elemental deities, and in some cases to some of the beast cults, but the nature of those relationships is ever-changing and varies widely. (We Knights have encountered place-spirits functioning as guardians for both Eldath and Mielikki, and a beholder-worshipping beast cult.)

Ed will of course add to this with a longer and more comprehensive answer. (When I get my hands on him, heh-heh...)
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 19 Mar 2010 15:52:05
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  15:53:22  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Ahem. Isn't it time for some more ELMINSTER MUST DIE! teasers from Ed?
I'm missing my fix!
BB
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  15:54:51  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
It certainly is. I'll have to speak severely to him! (Now, where did I leave my whip?)

love,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  16:27:36  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
Whoa!

Please don't slow down, milady. I'm having a lot of fun compiling these rapid entries into the "So Saith Ed" archive.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2010 :  21:04:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, fellow scribes!
As promised, two new ELMINSTER MUST DIE! teasers from Ed:

You'll see someone darkly handsome doing a LOT of watching. And not always being darkly handsome in appearance whilst doing so.

You'll watch a forger conduct secret negotiations, and grant something that may raise the eyebrows of some readers.


So saith Ed. Who's being as cryptic as he can. Sheesh.
(to quote him )
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 19 Mar 2010 21:09:22
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  01:05:44  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ahem. Gallant scribes, I thank you for those warm and lascivious thoughts...
To answer sfdragon's question soberly and directly:
As a player, I can't be certain, because there's visible immediate damage, and then there are consequences (killing a rebel leader who was about to unleash civil war obviously does more "damage" to that cause than killing three wavering-loyalty rebels who were sitting in an isolated farmhouse drinking themselves into not taking part in the rebellion).
However, of the immediate visible damage done by single attacks I've landed, I BELIEVE the most impressive was a fight on the balcony of a mansion, wherein my (wounded) character's desperate hack sliced the hand off a foe on the stone balcony railing, as I shouldered him over the edge. His body fell through a skylight and onto a table below, doing much damage to a meeting of villains taking place around that table from the flying glass - - and his severed hand, gripping an enchanted sword, flew through the air and down into a chimney that descended to a lit hearth in a room where a fell wizard was awakening a dragon from stasis. The sword came into contact with both the hearth-fire and a spell that had just been cast, and the resulting blast took out the wizard, the dragon, and the building around them, causing a deadly rain of stone shards that slew or wounded many lesser villains who were restlessly roaming the mansion grounds, waiting for their leaders to wind up that meeting around the table. Fires were started, frightened survivors started swording each other in the smoke and confusion, and some of the villains' allies misinterpreted the turmoil at the mansion as meaning the authorities had uncovered the plot, and rushed to attack before they were properly organized and ready, allowing the outnumbered ruling forces to prevail.
No, I'm not going to be more specific about the place, the time, or the specific villain my character felled, because that could lead someone to easily identify my character.
Suffice it to say that with Ed as DM, players in an ongoing Realms campaign sometimes get to experience these glorious (or terrible) moments that reflect the interconnectedness of all things - - as one act precipitates consequence after unfolding consequence.
Ed remains THE Dungeon Master, in my mind.
love to all,
THO


Wow... I've been a part of similar chain reactions, both as a player and as a DM, but nothing so... explosive... in consequence.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ahhh, Jorkens, a man after my own heart. Or, you know, something a little lower . . .

Menelvagor, off your queries go to Ed, but I'm warning you up front that most of the replies you seek are going to be NDA because of future creative FR plans (not necessarily anything specific, but more to preserve maximum freedom for future designers and writers).
I can answer a few of them, VERY tersely: Yes, Sylune had children. Full stop. Dove did not have any children before Azalar. Full stop.
And relationships vary, as in real life; some are close and loving, some are more distant but friendly and respectful, and some are bitter/estranged, with lots of shadings in between. Details? We'll see what Ed can or will say, but it may not be much more than this.

love to all,
THO



Anything Ed can say about the children of Sylune would be most welcome; were any of those children fathered by Aumry, or is that information NDA at this time?

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:05:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Heh. I have checked with Ed, Jakk, and he confirms that the children (yes, plural) are part of an old NDA (probably obsolete, but unlikely to get lifted anytime soon) as far as names, gender, and deeds, but that he can tell you:


No, Aumry was not their father. They are much older than that. (The Seven have existed, and been of childbearing age - - determined by Mystra as much as by natural biology - - for literally centuries.)


So saith Ed.
Provoking new Realms questions almost daily.
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 20 Mar 2010 15:05:55
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:08:58  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,
I'm interested in learning the name, looks, and goods specialized in of any caravan merchant or peddler, based in Hillsfar in the 1330s and 1340s, who would have been well-known in the Dales from frequent trips to and through them. (I am assuming that merchants who came to be trusted might take and deliver verbal or written messages, or even small items, from person to person within the Dales, in return for fees; am I correct in this assumption?)
Thanks!
BB
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:11:15  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Dear Lady THO and Allfather Ed,
reading the reply about Aumry and Sylune leads me to ask: how much did Aumry travel around the Dales once he became Lord of Shadowdale? Or did the Dale leaders not "conflab face-to-face" much, at that time?
Thanks in advance...
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:13:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Good questions, all!
Off they go to Ed, who reminded me that I have a sheet of notes he gave me (years ago) about well-known travelling Dales merchants somewhere...I just have to find it.
Wish me luck.
love,
THO
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:15:09  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Jorkens, re. place-spirits: I found some of my notes (made long ago, when talking to Ed).

So, here we go:

Spirits powerful enough to really affect or communicate with humans were relatively rare (and non-existent in long-settled, "civilized" areas because the presence of many intelligent life forms tends to make them dwindle and then fade away. If you've ever read the sf classic WITCHES OF KARRES by James Schmitz, think of them as akin to the "vatches" therein. They are indeed tied to nature and elemental deities, and in some cases to some of the beast cults, but the nature of those relationships is ever-changing and varies widely. (We Knights have encountered place-spirits functioning as guardians for both Eldath and Mielikki, and a beholder-worshipping beast cult.)

Ed will of course add to this with a longer and more comprehensive answer. (When I get my hands on him, heh-heh...)
love,
THO





Again, just what I was looking (and hoping)for. Its also a good way to use some of the stranger creatures, like the Water Weird, which make for an excellent manifestation of a lesser water-spirit.

A sub-question is of course if the "intelligent" lifeforms can nurture the spirits in some way by worship in some form and thereby hindering them in fading away? I am then thinking about areas such as the Dalelands where I can imagine old spirits, at least their memories, still being treated with respect. Not that difficult to imagine.

I will have to keep an eye out for Witches of Karres then; I actually bought a collection of old SF's recently including several by James H. Schmitz , but unfortunately not that one.

Again you have my thanks. In any way you want.
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1755 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:17:48  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message
Hi, are there any intelligent races in the Realms that are near extinction, and possibly left behind weird structures, artifacts or technology. Or stranded alien groups/individuals?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:32:13  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, Jorkens. Full agreement re. place-spirits being an ideal deployment for the more offbeat "natural/elemental" creatures like the Water Weird. All of Ed's place-spirits can: speak and hear, communicate telepathically/sneakily read surface thoughts of other creatures (VERY limited range), and become visible/invisible at will.
They can be strengthened by several means, more linked to augmenting the places they are linked to (tending an old and ailing tree, cleaning up a refuse-choked pond or rill, planting new "right sort of" plants to replace withered or harvested ones, etc.) than by direct worship.
Even in places where place-spirits are gone or long silent, they are respected (either feared on a superstitious level: "Don't go doing X at Y, or the Whispering One will get you!" or consulted for advice ("sleep a night on the bridge or atop the slaptail [[beaver]] dam, and heed your dreams") or thought to bring direct good luck if honoured in a specific way ("lie with your new love in the pond, and you'll be blessed with hardy twins who will never drown").
In Shadowdale as of the 1360s, there are still thought to be place-spirits associated with the Old Skull and with Harpers' Hill, and both road-bridges (west out of the dale hard by the Twisted Tower, and south that carries the north-south road across the river; the road that becomes the trail to Mistledale.
The Old Skull gives advice in the form of dream-visions to those who sleep atop the height, and curses anyone (and their kin) who leaps from it (so, no suicides except to bring down your own family), Harpers' Hill is a strong healer (including afflictions of the mind) and provider of guidance through dream-visions (but one must sleep there for several nights, when the moon is full or waxing to reach full the next night) AND keeps evil-aligned creatures and undead away from the Hill, and the two bridge-spirits are both associated with good monetary fortune and learning a truth.
There's also a rumor of a dell deep in the forest (where few folk of Shadowdale dare to go) that is scared to Mielikki, and guarded by unicorns and an unseen place-spirit, who wards against fire and keeps goblinkin, trolls, demons, and devils away.

I started to assemble this reply from two lines in old Ed notes, plus e-chatting with him about those notes and the topic last night, then amplified it to reply specifically to your post. Like table magic, this is one aspect of Ed's Realms that never really made it into the published setting.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:34:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Quale, the answer to your question is: Yes. More than one. I can think of four such races that are currently covered by active NDAs (meaning we MIGHT all "learn more" in the future). I doubt there's anything useful Ed will be free to say about this topic, however, beyond pointing out some sites/ruins.
However, we'll see; off your query goes to THE Man.
love,
THO
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  15:45:50  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, Jorkens. Full agreement re. place-spirits being an ideal deployment for the more offbeat "natural/elemental" creatures like the Water Weird. All of Ed's place-spirits can: speak and hear, communicate telepathically/sneakily read surface thoughts of other creatures (VERY limited range), and become visible/invisible at will.
They can be strengthened by several means, more linked to augmenting the places they are linked to (tending an old and ailing tree, cleaning up a refuse-choked pond or rill, planting new "right sort of" plants to replace withered or harvested ones, etc.) than by direct worship.
Even in places where place-spirits are gone or long silent, they are respected (either feared on a superstitious level: "Don't go doing X at Y, or the Whispering One will get you!" or consulted for advice ("sleep a night on the bridge or atop the slaptail [[beaver]] dam, and heed your dreams") or thought to bring direct good luck if honoured in a specific way ("lie with your new love in the pond, and you'll be blessed with hardy twins who will never drown").
In Shadowdale as of the 1360s, there are still thought to be place-spirits associated with the Old Skull and with Harpers' Hill, and both road-bridges (west out of the dale hard by the Twisted Tower, and south that carries the north-south road across the river; the road that becomes the trail to Mistledale.
The Old Skull gives advice in the form of dream-visions to those who sleep atop the height, and curses anyone (and their kin) who leaps from it (so, no suicides except to bring down your own family), Harpers' Hill is a strong healer (including afflictions of the mind) and provider of guidance through dream-visions (but one must sleep there for several nights, when the moon is full or waxing to reach full the next night) AND keeps evil-aligned creatures and undead away from the Hill, and the two bridge-spirits are both associated with good monetary fortune and learning a truth.
There's also a rumor of a dell deep in the forest (where few folk of Shadowdale dare to go) that is scared to Mielikki, and guarded by unicorns and an unseen place-spirit, who wards against fire and keeps goblinkin, trolls, demons, and devils away.

I started to assemble this reply from two lines in old Ed notes, plus e-chatting with him about those notes and the topic last night, then amplified it to reply specifically to your post. Like table magic, this is one aspect of Ed's Realms that never really made it into the published setting.
love,
THO



This gets better and better.

The spirits can of course be the ideal source of "DM" help also. Sleeping by a small lake might lead to a healing by a benevolent spirit, a crusty old stone spirit might give them information in a tough spot. A random helper and hindrance of sorts. I can even see the players (preferably with another system like a Basic Roleplaying variation) ending up in an Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser situation where they learn magic from old spirits that capriciously sends them out on various missions.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  16:12:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
"The spirits can of course be the ideal source of "DM" help also."
EXACTLY.
Ed has used it that way ("on us") many a time, over the years; both the direct aid and the guidance.
Though of course, various Knights' opponents have received such aid, too, as we've discovered a time or two.
It makes the Realms a far more fascinating place than the sort of setting that's defined merely by sizes of armies, imports and exports, and the like.
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 20 Mar 2010 16:13:34
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  16:15:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
It just occured to me: place-spirit aid and guidance would be a GREAT way to start a fledgling party of novices adventuring, and during their first few adventures, before they dare to travel very far afield.
love to all,
THO
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  17:51:24  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
Thanks yo so much Ed and milady, thoguh of course I'm quite disappointed to hear about the NDA's.
Another question regarding the Seven, which came from browsing Blackstaff Tower to compare with Blackstaff: Torlyn Wands mentions that he's the only owner of the full set of non-magical books written by The Seven Sisters. I would like to know (if I can! At times I feel that NDA's flow thrugh their veins, not silver fire) what non-magical books there are that were written by the Seven besides Lifelong With Regrets by Laeral, what they were about, and also what magical books were written by them.

"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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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  17:58:49  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Heh. I have checked with Ed, Jakk, and he confirms that the children (yes, plural) are part of an old NDA (probably obsolete, but unlikely to get lifted anytime soon) as far as names, gender, and deeds, but that he can tell you:


No, Aumry was not their father. They are much older than that. (The Seven have existed, and been of childbearing age - - determined by Mystra as much as by natural biology - - for literally centuries.)


So saith Ed.
Provoking new Realms questions almost daily.
love,
THO



Heh... not surprised on either count; I suspected what you confirmed regarding Aumry, being fairly sure that Sylune's children, if any existed, were older than Aumry to say the least. On the other point, old NDAs exist to get older, if for no other purpose, and I suspect those thirteen red pyramids under Ascore will remain an untouched mystery until Caina thaws out. On the bright side, I suppose, the maintenance of these old NDAs doesn't rule out a timeline rollback such as is supposedly coming down the pipe for Greyhawk... but there are other issues that make that much more difficult for the Realms than for Greyhawk, the vast number of novels being one of them. Still, if they can reboot Dark Sun with the claim that the Prism Pentad is "one possible way things can turn out"... anything is possible...

Enough blather from me; I probably have a question for Ed, but I've probably already asked it; I'm sure that the Keeper of the Questions (THO?) knows which questions I've asked and not yet been answered better than I do, so I'll avoid repeating myself for the time being. Besides, for the things I'm really interested in, the answer's probably "NDA, with no future publication in sight" anyway...

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  19:29:56  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Menelvagor, I recall from an Ed GenCon seminar that at least two of the Sisters have written romances (chapbooks or novels). One of them became quite popular (under a pen-name). Can't remember any more than that right now, sorry.
BB

Edited by - Blueblade on 20 Mar 2010 19:31:33
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
161 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2010 :  19:34:27  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
And it's hardly a daring guess to say that the magical books written by the Seven - - other than what's already been revealed in print, for example in THE SEVEN SISTERS 2e sourcebook - - are going to be NDA...
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