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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  04:54:23  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message
A quick question, which I'm directing to Ed, since I haven't found any place to question Erin Andrews. I'm assuming he can answer himself, or get answers, or tell me where to get answers:
What more can we know about Nazra Mrays and Aundra Blacklock? Also, what does Ed (or Erin?) see Tennora and Nestrix doing after the end of the book, other that what was stated? Lastly, how much of Nestrix's power is truly gone? Is it that she's a normal human now, or is there still some vestige of power which may help her in dire need, or allow her to return to her past form?

"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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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  07:22:06  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message
Hello, first time posting here on these forums, and indeed I joined here specifically to ask Ed a question after these Q&A threads were brought to my attention. I apologize if this question has been asked and answered before in this thread or any of the previous years; several threads each upwards of 80 pages is daunting to say the least, and by the time I made it through them with my schedule, any questions I had remaining would be left for a "Questions for Ed Greenwood(2013)" thread. And on the off chance the 2012 end of the world crowd is right, I'll go ahead and ask.

First, a little backstory; I'm running a campaign that centers around a group of amnesiac drow making their way through the underdark as they slowly regain their memories. One of the major challenges they face is a plaguechanged monster which, unknown to the characters, was originally a member of their group, and one of their lovers. When brainstorming/discussing with the player who's character a male drow wizard was lovers with this tragic creature, I brought up the possibility that the plaguechanged was originally another male drow, and that his character, who's sexuality hadn't been touched on yet, was gay, as my interpritation of his character was that he was someone who wouldn't willfully enter into a relationship that wasn't based on mutual respect. Of course, what a male drow will willingly do is rarely important to a female drow, but the emotional reaction I wanted to get for the story was that spawned of a loving relationship, and such a relationship between typical heterosexual drow seemed a bit, for lack of a better term, sue-ish to me.

In the end the player didn't feel comfortable rping a gay character and it was his choice, so I didn't push the idea. But the discussion did raise the question as to what the general attitudes towards homosexuality/bisexuality(both male and female) in drow society specifically, and the realms in general, are? Where is it considered a taboo? Where, if anywhere, is it seen as perfectly acceptable?

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

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Edited by - Chosen of Asmodeus on 07 Nov 2010 07:22:49
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  17:10:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Menelvagor, I bring this response from Ed re. Erin:


Hi, Menelvagor. You raise some good questions that I dare not try to answer - - because I know Erin's hard at work on another book for Wizards of the Coast, and it MIGHT be a sequel to THE GOD CATCHER (or might not). Erin created those characters, and it would be "over the line" for me to say anything that might constrain, influence, or contradict anything she wants to do with them (unless we're working together directly on some future project). So she is the right person to ask these questions of.
However, I see your problem. I suspect Erin will be hard to contact until she's finished the draft she's working on, because she's largely fallen silent on the Net, these last few months (type "slushlush" into Google and look for Erin Evans and not the other "slushlush" who reviews music).
Erin is a good writer and editor, and a delightful person, and I was very sad to see her position with Wizards disappear as they downsized.
I want all of the writers I worked with on the "Presents Waterdeep" series (and several I haven't had the chance to work with, yet) to rise into long-term dominance on the hardcover bestseller lists, because they're all interesting writers headed towards greatness . . . but I also want all of them to remain frequent scribes of life in the Realms, because I'm a greedy reader who LOVES good Realms fiction. Which is a longwinded way of saying I want answers to your questions, too - - but I'd prefer that the answer be a series of novels rather than a few direct sentences, if I have my druthers.
Sigh. It's been a too-long litany of loss: Mary, Jim, Marlys, Eric, Bill, Brian, Rob, Peter, Mark, Phil, Courtney, Erin, Susan . . . I know this is the way of life, everywhere, but I never want to stop working with friends. Ah, well; back to plotting the next Elminster book.


So saith Ed. Who values love and friendships above all else.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  17:34:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, everyone. I bring Ed's response to this, from Chosen of Asmodeus: ". . . but the discussion did raise the question as to what the general attitudes towards homosexuality/bisexuality (both male and female) in drow society specifically, and the realms in general, are? Where is it considered a taboo? Where, if anywhere, is it seen as perfectly acceptable?"
Ed replies:


As in our real world, attitudes towards sex, sexual mores and expression, and sexual "orientation" (for want of a better term) vary widely from place to place and person to person. In general, tolerance of a wide variety of sexual practices (including interracial sex, which of course doesn't in the Realms mean unions or dalliances among humans of different skin hues, but literally between different species, from lizardfolk to pixies, and elves to hobgoblins (not to mention all the shapeshifters, such as dragons and doppelgangers) is greater in large "crossroads" urban centers such as Waterdeep, less in smaller ports (Waterdeep, Suzail), a little less in inland trade-moots such as Crimmor and Scornubel, a little less in market-towns, then a shade less along busy trade-routes that caravans ply, and the least in rural communities (in true wilderness, anything goes, because it's reduced to the level of individuals). Certain faiths in the pantheistic Realms (where everyone "believes" in ALL gods, and most folk actively worship more than one deity, daily) have various rules about sexual practices, and where those faiths are locally dominant, their doctrines influence local mores. However, wide-open tolerance and absolute taboos are rare, anywhere.
Among drow, specifically, the various drow cities are sharply independent of each other (except in cases where a strong city dominates nearby neighbors), and have widely different forms of government and laws (for instance, the matriarchal Lolth-worshipping rival-noble-houses society we see in Menzo is frequent and widespread, but not universal; in some drow societies, the open rivalries we see in, say, Bob's trilogy of Drizzt's youth would be seen as treason to the entire city, and would NOT be tolerated). So again, I can't give any hard-and-fast rules about sexual rules and attitudes, beyond saying that in the matriarchal drow societies, female priests can generally do as they please (have sexual relationships with each other, and all handy males) and males can't generally do as they please, sexually.
The game leaves sexual matters largely unspoken-of both to avoid offending customers (some gamers, and their parents) and to allow a DM and players to tailor "their" D&D games and "their" Realms to styles of play they most enjoy and are comfortable with. In short, if everyone around the gaming table is an adult feeling randy, the game can reflect that - - but if children or embarrassed and impressionable young adults are present, sex can be utterly absent from game play. (I'll avoid the inevitable moral debate about slaughtering monsters being okay and at the heart of the game, but sex, including tender and loving lovemaking, being omitted.)
So the short answer is: there are no hard-and-fast, Realms-wide rules or attitudes. As in real life, everything's complicated, and everything requires interaction (okay, roleplaying) between individuals. One female's rough enjoyable sex is another woman's rape. One person's loving and beloved by the gods multiple marriages are another person's blasphemy. And so on. I WILL say that in the Realms, most folk live far more in touch with life (birth, death, dirt, more "things" than money, more chores to stay alive with shelter and food and less "freedom to pursue careers"), and sex is less "not talked about" and hidden than it is in our modern real-world North American societies.
In your game, you should do what you feel most comfortable doing. If you want all drow to be heterosexual and utterly intolerant of anything else, make it so. If you want them all to ache for sex with anyone or anything handy thrice a day, again, make it so. Just be sure to think through the consequences of how your choices will affect society . . . because adventurers inevitably end up exploiting the details, divisions, and "gray areas" in society.


So saith Ed, who is steadily becoming an older and wiser gray area, himself.
love,
THO
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  18:41:46  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
Hey THO. Thanks for the update on Ed's panel schedule. You're right, the last one does sound like it would be an interesting sit down. Now I'm just praying I wont have to work, for me and a few of my friends would love to drive down for that.

Another question (surprise surpise :P) i had heard through a grapevine that Mr. Greenwood was on set for Lord of the Rings in New Zealand. Is this true? And if so, what sort of inputs did he have? I always feel the need to bring that up to people who watch the movie but DONT read Forgotten REalms. "See how they use the word halfling...? Ya, they dont say halfling in Tolkien's novels" etc...
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  19:39:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Sandstorm

"See how they use the word halfling...? Ya, they dont say halfling in Tolkien's novels" etc...



Actually, Treebeard used the term.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13124 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  20:09:17  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
I believe the Gondorans did as well... although its been some 35 years since I read those books.

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

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Knight of the Gate
Senior Scribe

USA
623 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2010 :  23:32:43  Show Profile  Visit Knight of the Gate's Homepage  Send Knight of the Gate a Yahoo! Message Send Knight of the Gate a Private Message
The Gondorans call Pippen 'Prince of Halflings', which is an anglicization of Ernil i Periannath or 'prince of half-men'. And Wooly has the right of it, as well; when Treebeard enters them into the 'long list', he refers to them as halflings.

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

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  00:15:47  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I believe the Gondorans did as well... although its been some 35 years since I read those books.

Markustay is correct. Hobbits were by Men most often called Halflings because they were "half" the height of Men.

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Broken Helm
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  03:18:21  Show Profile  Visit Broken Helm's Homepage Send Broken Helm a Private Message
A panel with Swanwick and Walton AND Ed? I'm SO going! (Er, if I can get time off work).
Ahem.
Dear Ed and THO,
A question: how do you usually handle "sideline" roleplaying that one player wants to do alone? Not adventuring, but his/her character's "day job," training, making contacts, buying and selling stuff . . . all of that.
?
Thanks!
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  04:08:19  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
well thats what I meant, Treebeard called them Halflings etc... which I believe is the incorporation of modern fantasy into those movies. Since "Halfling" isn't a term that Tolkien used, it shows an intergration. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  05:16:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Sandstorm

well thats what I meant, Treebeard called them Halflings etc... which I believe is the incorporation of modern fantasy into those movies. Since "Halfling" isn't a term that Tolkien used, it shows an intergration. Correct me if I'm wrong.



That's what we were telling you. The term "halfling" is used by Tolkien. Just a quick flip thru Return of the King, I found it twice.

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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  05:17:30  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
aaah no way. ok my bad.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  05:18:25  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
I thought y ou were saying that they used it in the MOVIE and that you were agreeing with me.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  06:07:04  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
Okay, I think we can hold off on most of this side-chatter, eh?

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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  06:10:50  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
Ha Ha ya, sorry THO. We're cloggin up your feed with pointless jabber. My bad ;)
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  11:16:13  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message
Thanks, THO, and pass along my thanks to Ed.

My next questions are about one of my favorite fantasy races; orcs. For a long time orcs have been potrayed in fantasy as that mass of cannon fodder for the heroes to slaughter and to be controlled by a more powerful villain, while recently there's been the growing tendancy to potray them as a noble savage achitype, a proud warrior race, and often every bit as formidable as any human, dwarf, or elf.

With the addition to the Kingdom of Many-Arrows to the Realms, do you think this trend will carry over as well? Can we expect to see orcs in more prominent, if not necessarily posistive roles in future Realms fiction? And do you think a rise in competence from stupid cannon fodder to skilled, proud warrior race could threaten orc's position as villains, similar to how some feel Drizzt's popularizing of the renegade drow made that race less threatening, or do you think that this could be an oppertunity to show orcs as a truly dangerous, threatening force instead of something any farmboy with a sword can deal with?

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
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Eldacar
Learned Scribe

254 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2010 :  14:27:13  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage  Click to see Eldacar's MSN Messenger address Send Eldacar a Private Message
Hi THO and Ed,

A quick question that I've been pondering over with regards to the use of Mystra's divine essence that can be found in the Chosen. Mostly, it's as it relates to Cynosure, that demiplane/plane where only gods can go. This does sort of drift towards "rules" a little bit rather than the info behind the mechanics, but anyway.

In order to get into Cynosure (in 3.0-3.5, at least - I'm not sure about previous or subsequent editions), you need "Divine Rank 0" - which I usually take to mean you need some sort of divine spark or divine essence within you in order to successfully activate a gate/portal etc. that takes you there. Chosen of Mystra have shards of Mystra's divine energy within them, so could they actually use it (or at least "be recognised as holding divine power" by the gateway) in order to enter Cynosure without a deity opening the door for them? Or do they need to ask one such deity (presumably Mystra given their status, or MAYBE Azuth) to open the door and let them in for whatever reason they have to be in there?

It seems to me that a gateway might passively recognise the essence and allow the Chosen entry, but if you actively need to do something then it would block them just like any other (since, as far as I know, the Chosen are forbidden to actually USE the divine essence that they have within them). Are the gateways passive or active?

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  04:07:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

With the addition to the Kingdom of Many-Arrows to the Realms, do you think this trend will carry over as well? Can we expect to see orcs in more prominent, if not necessarily posistive roles in future Realms fiction? And do you think a rise in competence from stupid cannon fodder to skilled, proud warrior race could threaten orc's position as villains, similar to how some feel Drizzt's popularizing of the renegade drow made that race less threatening, or do you think that this could be an oppertunity to show orcs as a truly dangerous, threatening force instead of something any farmboy with a sword can deal with?



This is just my own opinion, but part of the appeal of drow is their sexiness... Unless the orcs undergo a physical makeover, I don't see them ever gaining the appeal of drow.

There's a reason that humans, elves, and those races very similar to one or the other are the ones that are popular.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  04:20:36  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
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

This is just my own opinion, but part of the appeal of drow is their sexiness... Unless the orcs undergo a physical makeover, I don't see them ever gaining the appeal of drow.
Heh. Just drop some Irda into the Realms!

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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

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

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  05:23:30  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message
Well, this is me coming off of a long tenure as a world of warcraft fan/player, where orcs are fairly popular, though far from the most popular.

I'm not saying I'm part of any sort of majority, here, but I do know that there is part of the fantasy fan base out there that prefers the more monstrous creatures orcs in particular to elves/humans/so on. Has nothing to do with sexiness(with a few execptions, if the concept exists, there is a fetish for it), but orcs appeal to that primal, savage, brutal side of our minds. They appeal to that part of us that likes spartans, samurai, and mongols. Dedication to strength and war have their own appeal.

The fact that orcs have a certain appeal is evident by the many different interpritations of them. Check out TVtropes, the page Our Orcs Are Different; people put dozens of spins on orcs, giving them unique, indepth cultures and motivations, even when not potraying them sypathetically, where as more often than not they'll simply take the surface flavor off elves and dwarves from Tolkien.

Then again, like I said, I'm claiming to be in a majority as an orc fan. Still, in my campaign, Gruumsh will always beat Corelleon, and Obould will always beat Drizzt.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  05:33:42  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
That's why god created Half-Orc :)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  18:26:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Edlacar, Ed will provide a proper answer when he can, but one quick point from him:


Most of the gates are passive, but a few are active (i.e. to pass through them, something specific must be done). Almost all of them are hidden, little-known, and/or not easily accessible (e.g. on a remote mountaintop, or at the bottom of a dangerous, deep region of an Underdark).


So saith Ed. Who is recalling design discussions from a few years back.
love,
THO
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  18:29:30  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message
The only time I've heard of these gates (and correct me if I'm thinking about something else) Is in "Richard Awlins" series, when Mystra fights Helm while trying to get back into the Heavens. Is that the sort of gate we're discussing here?
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Rhewtani
Senior Scribe

USA
508 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2010 :  20:16:47  Show Profile  Send Rhewtani an AOL message Send Rhewtani a Private Message
I was wondering how long Fzoul's had a tel'kiira stuck in his forehead. As far back as 1350? He's a semi-tagonist in my Pools of Darkness adventure and I wanted to get the description on that right.

I would ask what the story is behind it, but I'm sure that's a question just as easily answered by others.
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