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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  05:14:45  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  Delete Topic
Well met

This being a collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to our newest Realms designer, Matt James. Matt's great work for the Dungeons & Dragons Insider needs no introduction. His "Monument of the Ancients" [penned with brother Brian James], "Clerics of the Covernant of War" and "Goliaths: Giants of War" are all required reading for Realms and D&D scribes alike. Matt is also a co-author of the upcoming Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale, published by Wizards of the Coast.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this scribe.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- 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

Edited by - The Sage on 13 Dec 2010 06:11:39

Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2868 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  05:42:34  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't forget Monument of the Ancient's...

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  07:07:35  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
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

Hi Matt,

I'll start off the interrogation questions with this one:

Several times I've seen you mention "the brothers James". You work with your brother? Just curious.

Matt will likely have more, but I'll note that he has previously co-authored D&D material with his brother, Brian, as I've indicated in the opening post -- namely, "Monument of the Ancients" and Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- 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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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6144 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  07:32:44  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's what I get for lazy reading. Sorry Sage, Matt. Question deleted.

Eat lots of garlic - it keeps the elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons, you just don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They stick to your boots, will smell awful, and are impossible to scrape off.
Ah, of course. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 13 Dec 2010 07:34:14
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2868 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  08:24:12  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I call them the James Gang...

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  15:24:11  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cool! Thanks guys :) As for Realms work, I also wrote the Explore Ikemmu article and the Explore Airspur: Villains and Vagabonds articles.

I hope to dive into yummy Realms goodness!
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  21:14:12  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, so this is the small forest that someone was asking about on Brian's scroll. It comes from the Forgotten Realms adventure Monument of the Ancients from Dungeon #170. Vercy Wood is located Northeast of Illinvur (in fact, you can see the forest from the outskirts of the village).

I can't add photos to my scrolls, but here is a link that focuses on Vercy Wood.

VERCY WOOD

Vercy Wood is an ancient forest that has undergone many changes over the years, mainly in the form of its inhabitants. Over the past 75 years or so, the forest has been predominately "owned" by a tribe of Gnolls that are rumored to be related to old servants of the once powerful Flind. In modern times they refer to themselves as the Brtualclaw Pack. In 1468 DR, a massive civil war broke out amongst the Gnoll tribe, one that lasted for several years. The source of the conflict revolved around a divide in the fundamental principles of the tribe. One side desired to embrace a more primeval stance when it came to neighboring societies-- electing to conduct raids and provocative actions that were meant to cause fear and establish a sphere of influence. The other side desired to be inclusive, desiring only to live amongst nature and strengthen their connection to primal spirits. In the end, the latter prevailed and the tribe is mostly unheard of unless provoked.

Besides the gnollish influence that resides within Vercy Wood, many exotic and common creatures can be found as well.

More to follow if desired. In fact, I have tons of personal Realmslore from all over if anyone is interested.

Edited by - Matt James on 15 Dec 2010 01:03:27
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2010 :  23:22:38  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Congratulations Senior Matt!

Prepare after finals week to have me bombard you!

Visit my Blog Page to find things for YOUR Forgotten Realms!
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Lady Kazandra
Senior Scribe

Australia
921 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2010 :  02:45:04  Show Profile  Visit Lady Kazandra's Homepage Send Lady Kazandra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matt James

More to follow if desired. In fact, I have tons of personal Realmslore from all over if anyone is interested.

I'm eager to read more. Start posting . . .

"Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2010 :  07:18:11  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Lady Kazandra! Which would you like to hear about, more on Vercy Wood circa 1480 DR or some other location?
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2010 :  07:34:41  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me, I'd be VERY interested in anything related to The Three that you have in relation to the Moonsea area...as well as anything related to Jergal.

Visit my Blog Page to find things for YOUR Forgotten Realms!
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2010 :  07:44:13  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What do you want to know about Jergal? I still maintain he has remained mostly unchanged, even by the events of the Spellplague (i.e. Mystra's death). He still has his eternal job and is unemotionally devout to Kelemvor, and considering the nastiness Cyric has been up to, it would be safe to assume Jergal is not amused (if he would ever show such an emotion).

Edited by - Matt James on 28 Dec 2010 07:44:45
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13261 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2010 :  08:24:42  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cyric neglected his duties as god of the dead, and focused on strife. Jergal was all-too-happy to hand the keys to the palace to Kelemvor.

I don't remember the precise details, but at the the conclusion of Prince of Lies, it almost appears as if Jergal had final say over who would be god of the dead (although I suppose Ao could have 'vetoed' it later on).

I'd like to learn a bit more about Baal - he's the enigma of the group. I wouldn't want much more then we got with Myrkul, though - its nice to have some elbow-room with the lore, if you know what I mean.

Can Baal be a Skulk? I like skulks!

I seem to recall something about a few of them in Waterdeep...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Dec 2010 08:25:17
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2010 :  00:53:01  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm most interested in anything you might have to say regarding Jergal and the three in relation to Thri-Kreen in the area of the Ride.

Visit my Blog Page to find things for YOUR Forgotten Realms!
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2010 :  01:26:33  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
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Can Baal be a Skulk? I like skulks!
Thanks Markus. Now you've got me thinking that the Lord of Murder's possible skulk status lends itself to the concept of Bhaal not only assuming a human flesh tone, but actually peeling the flesh from his victims and using that to disguise himself.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- 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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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2011 :  16:21:43  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I'm most interested in anything you might have to say regarding Jergal and the three in relation to Thri-Kreen in the area of the Ride.



Jergal and the three in relation to Thri-Kreen living in the Ride? uuhh..... Brian might be a better one to tackle that. I am not very familiar with the relation between all of them.

Edited by - Matt James on 08 Jan 2011 16:38:42
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3338 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2011 :  19:07:14  Show Profile  Visit Dalor Darden's Homepage Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Care to share anything you might have penned regarding the three at all?

Visit my Blog Page to find things for YOUR Forgotten Realms!
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2011 :  20:26:07  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I haven't worked on them at all, professionally (other than MotA). In my home game, there are no surprises or unique adaptations applied to them.
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Snow
Learned Scribe

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 23 Sep 2011 :  00:56:53  Show Profile Send Snow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matt James

Okay, so this is the small forest that someone was asking about on Brian's scroll. It comes from the Forgotten Realms adventure Monument of the Ancients from Dungeon #170. Vercy Wood is located Northeast of Illinvur (in fact, you can see the forest from the outskirts of the village).

I can't add photos to my scrolls, but here is a link that focuses on Vercy Wood.

VERCY WOOD

Vercy Wood is an ancient forest that has undergone many changes over the years, mainly in the form of its inhabitants. Over the past 75 years or so, the forest has been predominately "owned" by a tribe of Gnolls that are rumored to be related to old servants of the once powerful Flind. In modern times they refer to themselves as the Brtualclaw Pack. In 1468 DR, a massive civil war broke out amongst the Gnoll tribe, one that lasted for several years. The source of the conflict revolved around a divide in the fundamental principles of the tribe. One side desired to embrace a more primeval stance when it came to neighboring societies-- electing to conduct raids and provocative actions that were meant to cause fear and establish a sphere of influence. The other side desired to be inclusive, desiring only to live amongst nature and strengthen their connection to primal spirits. In the end, the latter prevailed and the tribe is mostly unheard of unless provoked.

Besides the gnollish influence that resides within Vercy Wood, many exotic and common creatures can be found as well.

More to follow if desired. In fact, I have tons of personal Realmslore from all over if anyone is interested.

This looks exciting, Matt. Vercy Wood is a geographical locale that I've scanned my eyes over many times ... yet thought nothing of it.

Now you've breathed new life into it! I'd be curious as to the other main racial power-players in that area as well (besides the gnolls). Although the idea of detailing and statting-out a significant gnoll community/culture in a given FR area ... may very well be a first!
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2011 :  23:39:41  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Those woods would also have a significant fey presence. There is a bit of a history to them, but I want to flesh it out first ;)
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2011 :  16:08:34  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Though a player-targeted article, fans of the Moonshae Isles will find plenty of Realmslore in my upcoming article. I'm trying to get better at letting CK know of juicy FR articles I write :)
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3523 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  00:50:59  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Matt so glad I got a minute or two at the Candlekeep seminar to introduce myself to you. It was a real pleasure to shake your hand and let you know how I appreciate all,you do.

And I told your brother, the next best thing in the realms next to listening to Ed is probably seeing you and Brian interact. I truly thought we were going to have either and arm wrestling match or a hardcore rock paper scissors erupt to decide with of you got to share what......you were on fire. That goes a long way in telling me how you feel about this new direction. And that makes me feel good. Hopefully next year I can buy you a beer or ten and get a chance to talk with Brian as well.

You guys rock!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963

Edited by - The Red Walker on 20 Aug 2012 14:16:35
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tim3kgt
Acolyte

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  04:44:08  Show Profile Send tim3kgt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Matt,
Awesome time @ the Candlekeep seminar! Thanks for all the awesome insight into FR and more! I also appreciate you and the panel passing around my copy of Charon's Claw. I couldn't be in the presence of so many FR creators / loremasters and leaving empty handed. I'm just glad I had something for you guys / gals to "immortalize". If you make your way through Phoenix drinks are on me!
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13261 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  16:15:09  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, you and your brother are awesome - our lunch was one of the highlights of my experience. You guys feel a lot more like 'fans' then designers (thats meant to be a compliment). Your (and Brian's) enthusiasm was infectious.

Thanks for the great time.

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

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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1073 Posts

Posted - 20 Aug 2012 :  17:42:15  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is the highest of compliments. I hope our enthusiasm for the Realms shows in the writing. Thanks Mark!

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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Matt James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
908 Posts

Posted - 21 Aug 2012 :  12:49:50  Show Profile  Visit Matt James's Homepage Send Matt James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You guys are too kind. If I could have left you all with anything, it would be the sense that we are truly working hard for Realms and keeping them preserved and nurtured. It was wonderful to meet each of you and share in our passion for the Forgotten Realms. It was very inspirational and I am really looking forward to our shared future.
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