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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  02:58:59  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And hello again.
Saer Cormraeril, your queries have gone off to Ed. I can give you a start on his answer to this, however, by quoting things he's said earlier: "In your view, is "specialness", or "Reams-feel" lost if player-characters channel spellfire, or are even Chosen of gods?"
Here's Ed, from an e-mail sent to some RPGA judges years back:

Spellfire is an integral part of the Realms, but (like any other power, when unopposed; remember the adventure with Rannas the Poisoner, where no one had any antidote to any of the poisons?) is a campaign-wrecker if used too widely. So PCs who have access to spellfire should be "met" in the adventure by challenges that either discourage their spellfire use, or test it.
With a PC archer, the DM should provide temptations throughout the scenario to expend arrows, so a lazy player who resorts to arrows first, last, and always, as the answer to any foe, will run a large risk of "running out of ammo" before the encounters where they are REALLY needed. So, too, with spellfire.
Reward creativity in spellfire use (attempts to heal, attempts to "burn" doors or windows in wards rather than just bringing down the ward, attempts to cook and weld). Make PCs who think having spellfire makes them swaggeringly invulnerable ("I'll just hold off the four dragons while you pour the wine . . .") think again, the hard way.
Spellfire should be something precious, that evokes awe. Not an option every second PC has ready, for when their favorite dagger isn't appropriate for a strong foe.


And this, from a TSR panel handout, from the Milwaukee GenCon days:

Comics readers are familiar with the problems of having gods (or "sons of gods") on teams of superheroes (Thor in the Avengers, Hercules in the Defenders). If stories are properly written to reflect their true powers, the rest of the team is rendered superfluous if Thor or Herc aren't kept busy or offstage.
So, too, with a Chosen of Mystra, or the "Chosen" of other Realms deities (who might bear the same title, but are subtly different; they are usually empowered mortal champions rather than bearers of the divine essence of their deity, able to effectively defy that deity). If a PC Chosen is a member of an adventuring band, and not stricken with mania, amnesia, frequent involuntary shapechanging, or some other Chosen-related affliction, he or she will soon overbalance all the other PCs.
So if you can't resist the allure of Chosen-hood, think about structuring an entire campaign around a PC Chosen. This is ideal for one-player-one-DM play. As is the "lone mage researching spells and slowly growing more magically powerful." I have used the latter as a sideline campaign in my "home" Realmsplay, when one player has a lot more time free to spend with me than others, and it works quite well as an adjunct. The Chosen (unless it's a super-powerless mortal PC just given the title of "Chosen" by a well-meaning [or sadistic enemy] priest) campaign DOESN'T work well as a sideline, because the challenges/foes have to be scaled up to properly test the Chosen...rendering the other PCs useless sidekicks or in everpresent danger of being casually wiped out by one round of attacks.


So saith Ed. Who I'm sure will have more to say about "specialness" and "Realms-feel" having a lot to do with the DM's acting abilities and style of presentation, and less to do with specific elements and situations. Yet, we'll see . . .
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 05 Jun 2011 03:06:52
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Eldacar
Learned Scribe

254 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  08:09:28  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage  Click to see Eldacar's MSN Messenger address Send Eldacar a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, all.
Eldacar, I bring you these words, from Ed:

(Lots of very, very interesting stuff.)

So saith Ed. Who would love to say more, but has written right up to the edge of an NDA and so been forced to stop there. Enjoy, I hope!
love,
THO



Fascinating. To expand with a slight follow-up question, then (and hopefully treading around whatever the mystery NDA is), when Ecamane Truesilver studied the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar in Windsong Tower (my copy of GHotR places it in 580 DR), reportedly a complete set of fifty scrolls (all five chapters), which chapters of the scrolls did he study? He spent ten months studying them and had his hair "aged white" from the magic and wisdom gained, but unless he had divine aid, he would have gone quite insane, no?

Additionally, it was mentioned that with the assistance from a deity, all the Nether Scrolls could be "walked through" by an individual, and that while such aid was rare, it is not unheard of. Can Ed say anything about individuals who have read the entire set of Nether Scrolls? If the Chosen haven't, then who has? I would imagine that Larloch or Ioulaum might be among that number, for example, but can't really think of any others off the top of my head other than particular Netherese Archwizards way back when Netheril was at its height (Karsus?).

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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Jakuta Khan
Senior Scribe

496 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  08:37:21  Show Profile Send Jakuta Khan a Private Message
Hi again!

I have two questions today:

1. I have red only bits and pieces about the Giant's plain, but as far as I know after the Giant-Tribe that lived there was driven into the Giant's run Mountains, noone ( at least no civilization ) has settled there anymore. I was wondering if either Cormyr, Amn or one of the free cities in the areas has ever treid to actually seize and settle the area, for it makes vast lands of farmland, and could probably support a Huge population. Could you give me some information, if there is actually someone settling in force, or maybe even a nation laying claim to it?

2. I have red an article here in candlekeep that the church of Bahamut approached Cormyr in 1373, and they struck an alliance with the nation, for being allowed to seize the stonelands for the church. Since then a migration of metallic dragons has occured in the stonelands, and even a troupe of 20 half-dragon paladins ventured into the stonelands. also here, can you tellme if this is actually reality in the realms in 1373, or just an article by an enthusiastic / ambitious scribe here?

Thenks a lot in advance for a reply.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2011 :  18:45:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Eldacar, I bring you swift responses from Ed re. your most recent queries. Here we go:

". . . when Ecamane Truesilver studied the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar in Windsong Tower (my copy of GHotR places it in 580 DR), reportedly a complete set of fifty scrolls (all five chapters), which chapters of the scrolls did he study?"

Ed: All of them. He had Azuth assisting him in a complete walkthrough. Keeping him from insanity and overload, but leaving him like your average university student cramming through a difficult course: read everything, understood most of it - - but a year later, only a few "high points" stuck in his memory. The lasting benefits were breakthrough insights regarding those high points, and a half-remembered "ah, THIS way will probably work better . . . I seem to remember . . ." for the rest of it, when doing magical innovation.

"He spent ten months studying them and had his hair "aged white" from the magic and wisdom gained, but unless he had divine aid, he would have gone quite insane, no?"

Ed: Yes. Without divine aid, he would have gone quite insane. (For most mages, drooling, barking, wild behavior OBVIOUSLY insane. A rare few can still function, hiding their insanity from others for long periods - - and they of course become the most dangerous.)

"Additionally, it was mentioned that with the assistance from a deity, all the Nether Scrolls could be "walked through" by an individual, and that while such aid was rare, it is not unheard of. Can Ed say anything about individuals who have read the entire set of Nether Scrolls? If the Chosen haven't, then who has? I would imagine that Larloch or Ioulaum might be among that number, for example, but can't really think of any others off the top of my head other than particular Netherese Archwizards way back when Netheril was at its height (Karsus?)."

Ed: Larloch and Ioulaum have read the entire Nether Scrolls. Both are those 'most dangerous' functioning insane sorts I mentioned (rare, yes). For that matter, Elminster is another dangerous functioning insane individual.
Karsus has NOT read the entire Nether Scrolls. He is driven by his overweening pride/arrogance, to such an extent that if he hasn't created it on his own, it's worth nothing. If someone else has devised a clever magic, he must duplicate it ON HIS OWN (and, in his mind by definition do it 'better'). He has perused them on several occasions when 'stuck' with something he couldn't intuit or understand or develop, but is suspicious of them because he views them as an attempt by the Sarrukh to control the minds of those who read them (yes, he believes the Scrolls contain sarrukh sentience - - and may very well be correct in this belief). Karsus is all about "I am the best ever, I do it myself, I am self-made and supreme and this validates my dominance." (He's wrong, but nothing shakes this belief . . . and now, trapped forever at the moment of his death, nothing ever will. He knows he's failed, but can't move beyond the moment of that realization.)


So saith Ed. Who, fresh from some steampunk fun, is busy with a fun Realms project at the moment. And some rush "ghostwriting book-rescuing" from a major New York publisher, involving a top name perennially on the bestseller lists (not in fantasy, sf, or gaming).
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 06 Jun 2011 01:47:26
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  01:57:53  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Jakuta Khan, re. this: "1. I have red only bits and pieces about the Giant's Plain, but as far as I know after the Giant-Tribe that lived there was driven into the Giant's Run Mountains, noone ( at least no civilization ) has settled there anymore. I was wondering if either Cormyr, Amn or one of the free cities in the areas has ever tried to actually seize and settle the area, for it makes vast lands of farmland, and could probably support a Huge population. Could you give me some information, if there is actually someone settling in force, or maybe even a nation laying claim to it?"

Not that I know of. All of the candidates for settlement you mention have ample grazing lands closer to home. The Giant's Plain is open, seemingly endless grassland, and that's the problem: anyone dwelling there (as opposed to passing through, like caravans) is a sitting duck for hungry dragons on the wing (or any other formidable aerial predator or flock of predators), gnolls and other bipedal predators roaming in warbands, and so on. Trees and therefore usable wood is sparse, easily-reached water isn't abundant, and one must go to the mountains to get minerals. Yes, it can support vast herds (and does: of wild beasts, who of course come with "fast great cat" predators, leucrotta, and other such nuisances).
Amn has plenty of ranchland of its own, Cormyr ditto, and the various free cities nearby all exist because of overland trade (and sometimes, its intersection with along-river trade). They can use handy grasslands without occupying them, so . . . no one stays. Thus far, at least.
Now, a plague or flooding or other devastation that caused Cormyr or Amn or another realm's population to flee en masse, looking for a new place to settle, might change that...

I can say all of this because settling the Heartland central wilderlands is something Ed and his players (including me) have discussed more than once, and I know Ed talked it over with TSR designers a time or two, as well.
It could be an interesting "big change factor" in a campaign, but you'd need a displaced population to have sudden and considerable settlement, as opposed to isolated steadings.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  02:14:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Lord Karsus, I bring you Ed of the Greenwood's reply to this query of yours: "My main question was why Song Dragons have a particular affinity with Waterdeep. I recall reading that they primarily live among Humans in Waterdeep. Taunamorla, one of the Song Dragons, mentions that others of her kind had a hand in crafting some of the powerful Waterdhavian wards that protect the city. What, specifically, is it about Waterdeep that attracts them, as opposed to Song Dragons clustering in other cities?"
Here's Ed:


Hi, Lord Karsus. I'm afraid the heart of a proper reply to your question is going to be missing because of a Realms-fiction-related NDA. (As in, there's a told but not yet published story here.)
But I can hint like crazy, so here we go . . .
Dragons are magical creatures.
Waterdeep has some integral magics of some age and complexity, some of which I know you've been recently discussing here at the Keep.
Dragons are attracted to those magics.
Song Dragons (and a few other dragon subtypes, all of whom can shapechange into human form, and so "hide among" humanity) like to dwell among humans. They are fascinated by the energy, creativity, variety, and industry of humankind, and find humans easy to manipulate and fun to be around. In other words, dragons can immerse themselves in the human "game" and enjoy it, being endlessly entertained. Humans also offer the most versatile and surprising pawns in the contests played between dragons (see Erin's novel THE GOD CATCHER for a glimpse of these).
Waterdeep has always been a bustling hive of human commerce, a crossroads where a great variety of humans (and other sentient races) congregate, then go off all over the Realms trading. Offering a dragon hiding in human shape ready transport elsewhere AND the greatest variety of humans to interact with. "Important" and "exciting" things (in the affairs of humans) are constantly happening in Waterdeep, and tolerance for variety and social climbing and mercantile striving and invention are high.
There have always been quite a few shapechanging dragons dwelling in, or frequently visiting, Waterdeep, from its earliest human year-round-permanently-settled days. Some dragons don't like to be around other dragons, or jealously defend their turf (see a lot of my Wyrms of the North), yet inevitably draconic dominions overlap. Shapechanging dragons DO like to be around others of their kind, reveling in the rivalries that develop as much as they enjoy the friendships. So, over time, more and more of these dragons congregate in Waterdeep . . . and more come because they hear that other dragons are there (and haven't been exposed and slain for what they are), and it becomes a self-fulfilling thing.
Draconic families develop, and feuds, too, and inevitably certain strong-willed dragons want to dominate and control Waterdeep, and others are just as determined to deny these rivals of theirs the chance of gaining control . . .
And this is where I'd better stop, when it's all still interesting campaign fodder and I haven't said too much. Hope this is of help.


So saith Ed. Creator of the Realms and Waterdeep and song dragons . . . and their 2e predecessors weredragons, too.
love,
THO
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2021 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  05:45:32  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message
THO please tell ED that the sample chapter of bury elminster deep was very good.

now where's chapter 2


PRAISE MYSTRA!!!!!!!

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Eldacar
Learned Scribe

254 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  07:53:57  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage  Click to see Eldacar's MSN Messenger address Send Eldacar a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One



Ed: All of them. He had Azuth assisting him in a complete walkthrough. Keeping him from insanity and overload, but leaving him like your average university student cramming through a difficult course: read everything, understood most of it - - but a year later, only a few "high points" stuck in his memory. The lasting benefits were breakthrough insights regarding those high points, and a half-remembered "ah, THIS way will probably work better . . . I seem to remember . . ." for the rest of it, when doing magical innovation.

Many thanks for the quick responses. I do have a few more questions that popped into my head upon reading through Ed's quite detailed response, though:

Azuth assisted Ecamane in walking through the entirety of the Nether Scrolls, which would presumably include the "locked" chapter dealing with the creation of artifacts (the Ars Factum). The scholars of Windsong Tower were (supposedly) never able to discover that additional key to open and read the entirety of the scrolls. Would it be plausible to guess that the key to open them would be a deity such as Azuth or Mystra (or Savras, or even Velsharoon post-ascension?) showing them to you? Or can they be opened without divine aid, and the key is just something that Azuth showed Ecamane when he helped him through the Scrolls? Additionally, though it supposedly takes as much as an entire month to review a single scroll of the fifty, Ecamane managed (with Azuth helping) to get through them all in just ten months (almost five scrolls each month!). Was this also a result of Azuth taking him through them, and the increased speed leading to a "cramming" effect? Would taking more time to study them at a slower pace have lead to a greater ability to retain the knowledge gained from the Scrolls?

Second, do there exist ways of artificially increasing your, I suppose, "capacity" to handle the information contained within the Scrolls, but without divine aid (so to speak)?

This relates to another artifact that I noticed when perusing Serpent Kingdoms, the Naja Fountain. It enhances the "spellcasting power" (for lack of a better term - 3rd edition game rules have it as a permanent +3 bonus to the arcane spellcaster's caster level for spells) of any wizard, sorcerer or similar who bathes in it, presumably by altering and improving their ability to wield magic to a greater level. Is this an example of increasing mental capacity, or would it actually be like the Scrolls in that if you've gone through the Naja Fountain, then you're going to be pushed closer to overload and your ability to comprehend the power/knowledge in the Nether Scrolls would actually decrease?

Did the Sarrukh ever manage to gain a complete understanding of the information within the Scrolls? It was the Bae'tith who first wrote them, though given what Ed has mentioned, I'd also guess that they had some help along the way (either asked for or given without their knowledge), contributing to the end result, perhaps without their even being aware of it until they went back over the finished product.

Lastly, the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar is in the form of a tree. With the normal Scrolls, the letters appear in silvery writing that swims and moves to form each "page" of the text. How does the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar differ from the scrolls in the way that it imparts its knowledge? Where does the "writing" appear from?

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2905 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  10:16:43  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

THO please tell ED that the sample chapter of bury elminster deep was very good.

now where's chapter 2


PRAISE MYSTRA!!!!!!!


Link or it didn't happen!

Oh it did happen!

"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

Edited by - Brimstone on 06 Jun 2011 10:39:58
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1401 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  12:41:28  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One( . . .)
As for Raumarth being a male, weredragons can be both male and female. 3e highlighted just the particular sort of weredragons known as Song Dragons, that take the form of female humans and female dragons, but the male weredragons who sire them still exist. They're just VERY rare now, thanks to being hunted by the Zhents AND the Cult of the Dragon for dragon-steed-breeding purposes (another largely untold tale of the Realms, though we Knights have seen quite a bit of it in play). Probably rare enough (like maedar, the male medusae) that a staff designer figured they didn't rate a writeup.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
So saith Ed. Creator of the Realms and Waterdeep and song dragons . . . and their 2e predecessors weredragons, too.

Dear THO,

About male weredragons, can I assume they are also dragons that can transform into humans, then? What about the weredragon lycanthropes that appears in the 1e "Hall of Heroes" sourcebook, in the entry of Kelemvor (and other lycanthropes like the wereleopard, werebison, weredog...)? Both weredragons were created by Ed?

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Jakuta Khan
Senior Scribe

496 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  16:09:52  Show Profile Send Jakuta Khan a Private Message
Thanks for this answer, THO.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  22:10:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
A pleasure, Jakuta Khan.
Keep those queries coming.
Barastir, weredragons were created by Ed before there was a D&D game, and were written up by him for 2e (in the pages of The DRAGON, I believe, but I might be misremembering). The were- writeups in the original Hall of Heroes weren't done by Ed (John Nephew, subsequently of Atlas Games/Ars Magica fame, did the Knights writeups from Ed's original character sheets and copious notes, but lots of TSR staffers did various bits of that sourcebook).
Ah, BURY is starting to tease. Ed tells me "Wait until you read the third one!"
(Thanks, guy. A wait of a year and a bit is JUST what a gal wants to hear. )
Eldacar, I've sent your followups off to Ed, and there's a good chance he'll send replies soon . . .
love to all,
THO
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2021 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  22:33:18  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message
ahhhhhh THO and ED are teasing us now!!!!!!!! RUn for MYTH DRannor!!!!

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30221 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2011 :  23:11:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Barastir, weredragons were created by Ed before there was a D&D game, and were written up by him for 2e (in the pages of The DRAGON, I believe, but I might be misremembering).


Actually, my lady, they were first published in 1E -- specifically, Dragon 134, June 1988.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

(Thanks, guy. A wait of a year and a bit is JUST what a gal wants to hear. )


Perhaps you could consider it foreplay...

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  00:25:34  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Thank you, Wooly. For BOTH sentences. Pleasure deferred is pleasure . . . ahem.

sfdragon, Ed thanks you for those kind words. And adds a caveat: this chapter MIGHT be a little misleading. In certain ways. No, he won't say more. (Such a tease.)

However, Ed WILL say more in response to Eldacar, as promised.
Here we go . . .
"Would it be plausible to guess that the key to open them would be a deity such as Azuth or Mystra (or Savras, or even Velsharoon post-ascension?) showing them to you? Or can they be opened without divine aid, and the key is just something that Azuth showed Ecamane when he helped him through the Scrolls?"

Ed: It would be plausible to guess that, but no, they CAN be opened without divine aid. Azuth didn't need the key, so Ecamane doesn't even know what the key is, but there IS a key (whose form and use I'm going to leave mysterious - - so if you have a pressing DMing need to feature it, make something up, because it HAS on occasion taken different forms).

"Additionally, though it supposedly takes as much as an entire month to review a single scroll of the fifty, Ecamane managed (with Azuth helping) to get through them all in just ten months (almost five scrolls each month!). Was this also a result of Azuth taking him through them, and the increased speed leading to a "cramming" effect? Would taking more time to study them at a slower pace have lead to a greater ability to retain the knowledge gained from the Scrolls?"

Ed: Yes, the speed was due to Azuth's assistance, just as Ecamane getting through them all and staying sane was. Studying them at a slower pace WOULD have led to a greater ability to retain knowledge, but it would have been less knowledge before creeping insanity made retention and proper memorization chancy/dangerously unreliable.

"Second, do there exist ways of artificially increasing your, I suppose, "capacity" to handle the information contained within the Scrolls, but without divine aid (so to speak)?"

Ed: Yes. ;}

"This relates to another artifact that I noticed when perusing Serpent Kingdoms, the Naja Fountain. It enhances the "spellcasting power" (for lack of a better term - 3rd edition game rules have it as a permanent +3 bonus to the arcane spellcaster's caster level for spells) of any wizard, sorcerer or similar who bathes in it, presumably by altering and improving their ability to wield magic to a greater level. Is this an example of increasing mental capacity, or would it actually be like the Scrolls in that if you've gone through the Naja Fountain, then you're going to be pushed closer to overload and your ability to comprehend the power/knowledge in the Nether Scrolls would actually decrease?"

Ed: Yes, this is one example of increasing capacity by "artificial" means. There are several others (most of them items, and at least one of them a process), but for now I'm going to leave them mysterious/up to a DM.

"Did the Sarrukh ever manage to gain a complete understanding of the information within the Scrolls? It was the Bae'tith who first wrote them, though given what Ed has mentioned, I'd also guess that they had some help along the way (either asked for or given without their knowledge), contributing to the end result, perhaps without their even being aware of it until they went back over the finished product."

Ed: Bingo. Aid given unaware, indeed. Collectively, the Sarrukh probably gained a working (rather than complete, akin to the guy who can do simple repairs and maintenance on his car, and diagnose problems pretty well, without being any sort of skilled mechanic) understanding of the lore contained in the scrolls . . . but that doesn't mean that INDIVIDUAL Sarrukh were walking geniuses (or even sages) of Art. They were more like a university faculty: put their experience, research, reasoning, and learning together, and you have an impressive total. Consider them in isolation, singly . . . not so much.

"Lastly, the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar is in the form of a tree. With the normal Scrolls, the letters appear in silvery writing that swims and moves to form each "page" of the text. How does the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar differ from the scrolls in the way that it imparts its knowledge? Where does the "writing" appear from?"

Ed: The writing (in long, swirling, smoothly-curved characters) appears as glows on the bark of the tree, radiances that arise and move just as the scroll writing "swims." It fades and curls into random, abstract swirls when the reader's attention turns away from beholding the trunk of the tree (and it doesn't "write itself" up boughs, onto leaves, around the back of the trunk, or in other ways make itself difficult to read or force the reader to move or change position to read all of a "page;" it's more like a page is projected out of the tree onto its bark on one side, in a readily defined area).


So saith Ed, who hopes this is of help.
love,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  02:41:54  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 The Hooded One

Thank you, Wooly. For BOTH sentences. Pleasure deferred is pleasure . . . ahem.
Trust lousy time-zones which prevent me from missing out on this exchange.
quote:
Ed: Yes, this is one example of increasing capacity by "artificial" means. There are several others (most of them items, and at least one of them a process), but for now I'm going to leave them mysterious/up to a DM.
I know you've said you would rather leave this as mysterious, but I'm actually curious about referencing one particular method of the "artificial" means in an upcoming portion of my current campaign.

Could you possibly elaborate on this, Ed?

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

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Eldacar
Learned Scribe

254 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  04:13:32  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage  Click to see Eldacar's MSN Messenger address Send Eldacar a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So saith Ed, who hopes this is of help.
love,
THO


Indeed it is, milady.

A few more questions are arising, though (apologies if I'm monopolising Ed's time!):

Presumably, Ecamane came out of his studies without "gaining fifty character levels" (from studying the entire Scrolls), but probably "gained several levels" nonetheless. Is that another effect of the cramming and speed Azuth gave him?

In his first response, Ed also noted that among the subjects Mystra and Azuth have forbidden the Chosen is killing a divine being or another Chosen and the implications (didn't we see the deaths of several deities during the Time of Troubles, and the results of killing a Chosen when they acted against Sammaster? Or are there further implications that haven't made it to published Realmslore?), as well as the essence of refining raw magical energy or darkfire into silver fire (among other things like information on former Chosen or servitors). The latter seems to imply that it is possible, for somebody using the Nether Scrolls, to in fact learn how to produce/create silver fire on their own, without ever being a servant of Mystra. Is that indeed the case?

How did that knowledge in particular become part of the scrolls? Was it originally the Sarrukh who worked it out, or something that Mystra/Azuth (or Mystryl, even) put there after the fact? What would or could it mean for Toril at large if the ability to create silver fire like that "got out" (so to speak)? Easily as dangerous or moreso than spellfire when Shandril was discovered to possess it, I would guess?

And in relation to this, when the Sarrukh first codified the Nether Scrolls, since the aid-unaware given to them was presumably by Mystryl, was her purpose when pushing the Scrolls above and beyond mere mortal codification related to preserving magical knowledge and "tying herself" to the Scrolls in the event of her death to allow for resurrection and rebirth? A death that we eventually came to see when Karsus made his mistake?

Lastly, on the methods of enhancing oneself to better comprehend the information within the Scrolls, is there still an ultimate limit to how much a mortal can handle even after continually "enhancing" themselves to increase their capacity? Will their sanity give out? Or is it a case of diminishing returns the higher they go? Ultimately how many of the Nether Scrolls could one possibly be able to comprehend and retain the knowledge of if going "all the way" in boosting their capacity? Is it even possible to fully retain all fifty (and not go insane) without being a divine being of some sort, or is the "final" threshold lower than that? Ed has mentioned that most will give out at around eight Scrolls, some as early as five.

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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Saer Cormaeril
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  05:04:59  Show Profile Send Saer Cormaeril a Private Message
Hope this isn't too soon, but...
THO, would you please speed this query off to Ed?

Ed, can you give us a date for the events which are described in Bury Elmnister Deep, "Chaper One, Kneeling to a Goddess"?

Brace Cormaeril

Edited by - Saer Cormaeril on 07 Jun 2011 05:05:52
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1401 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  12:38:15  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Barastir, weredragons were created by Ed before there was a D&D game, and were written up by him for 2e (in the pages of The DRAGON, I believe, but I might be misremembering).

Actually, my lady, they were first published in 1E -- specifically, Dragon 134, June 1988.

I'll check it out, I first read of them in the "Halls of the High King" sourcebook. Thank you both!

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  17:02:35  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Saer Cormaeril, Chapter One of BURY ELMINSTER DEEP takes place RIGHT after the end of ELMINSTER MUST DIE! (the two books follow directly on from each other, and Ed tells me the third book in this current Elminster series will follow on, just as directly, the end of BURY).
Which means all three books take place in the spring of 1479 DR, The Year of the Ageless One.
I haven't yet read the second or third books, obviously, but if they are paced like the first one was, they will each cover a sequence of events taking place in less than a tenday. EL MUST DIE! opened with fairly clear dating (late-ish Mirtul, I think, though I'm away from my copy right now), so we'll eventually be able to figure out, accurately to within a day or two, each way, the timing of scenes in all three books.
Ed adds a caveat to all readers, regarding the events in that sample chapter:

Please bear in mind that jumping to conclusions involves leaps into the unknown.

Heh. Well said, Bearded Master. Fairly warned, fairly warned . . .
love,
THO
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4291 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  19:54:18  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, all.
Eldacar, I bring you these words, from Ed:

Any of the Chosen of Mystra in the 1360s DR who desired to read the Nether Scrolls have done so. This includes Elminster and all of the Seven except Qilu.
<snip?



Was Qilu not interested in the scrolls or access not available? If access not available was it because of what she was doing or other reason?

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
778 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2011 :  23:55:21  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message
Ed, I don't know I have asked this or not,
if I have then keep it off the pile. The description
of arcane fire for the archmage prestige class
saw raw magical energy. How does this square with
spellfire, the Weave, Mystra, and the ability of
raw magical energy frying a person trying to harness it.
I having trouble seeing arcane fire different from
spellfire, at least in the destructive attack part.
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Cronje
Seeker

56 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2011 :  02:12:30  Show Profile Send Cronje a Private Message
Well met,

I've got a question about languages in the Realms. I've seen the same language called different things in different sourcebooks. For example, in the 3rd edition sourcebook, Races of Faern, the halflings are said to speak Halfling. However, in the story on Erevis Cale in The Halls of Stormweather, he shouts in "Lurienal, the halflings' tongue".

Is "Halfling" just what it's commonly called, with "Lurienal" its proper name? Or is Lurienal a dialect of the language?

Thanks!
- Cronje
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2011 :  13:28:12  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
No question, just wishing Ed a good time at PaizoCon from someone who wishes he could be there as well. Have fun!

Edit: Oh, and if you meet someone called Dennis Baker, could you give him a "Bork bork" or "Herdy herdy" in the manner of the Muppets' Swedish Chef from me?

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett

Edited by - Kajehase on 08 Jun 2011 13:32:49
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2011 :  14:59:31  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase

No question, just wishing Ed a good time at PaizoCon from someone who wishes he could be there as well. Have fun!

Edit: Oh, and if you meet someone called Dennis Baker, could you give him a "Bork bork" or "Herdy herdy" in the manner of the Muppets' Swedish Chef from me?

And if you spot a bald-headed man named Sebastian... RUN! (j/k, he's a great guy)

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

Ashe's Character Sheet

Alphabetized Index of Realms NPCs
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