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Cronje
Seeker

56 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2011 :  21:48:56  Show Profile Send Cronje a Private Message
Dear Mr. Greenwood and Lady THO,

I've seen plenty of examples in the novels and elsewhere where a priest is unable to channel his or her divine spells unless they're holding their holy symbol. Is the holy symbol truly necessary for the casting, or is their belief that they must have a holy symbol to cast holding them back? For example, could an insane priest channel a spell through a holy symbol that doesn't truly exist, except in their mind?

Thanks,
Cronje
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 24 Jun 2011 :  23:49:20  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Cronje, Ed can answer this one straightaway, as follows:

Heh. As it happens, Gary Gygax and I talked about this very situation, years back, so here's his official ruling (that I've adopted for the Realms and used twice in convention Realms charity event play, down the years):
The priest must be holding a physical object to serve as the spell focus, and they must believe it is a holy symbol of their deity.
Which means it either must be, or the priest must believe it is (because they are insane/deluded, or because the object is the right size, weight, shape, and texture and it's either too dark to see it or it looks identical to their holy symbol, and they BELIEVE it's their holy symbol).
So a thief can't "depower" a priest by stealing a holy symbol and substituting an unconsecrated duplicate, because so long as the priest believes it's the real thing, the spells will work.
And if the priest discovers such a switch BUT knows that spells cast with the "false" one worked, then the priest will believe that the deity has accepted the false symbol - - and it now IS a holy symbol, just like the "real" one was.
Note that a sufficiently deranged/confused priest might believe that almost ANYTHING (a pebble, a dagger, a twig) is their holy symbol, if those around them insist loudly enough that it is, regardless of the size, shape, etc. of the "wrong" item.
Also, a priest favored by the deity, who is calling on the deity to cast the spell, might be told/reassured by the deity that the item is indeed a holy symbol - - and if the priest believes it is, the spell works, regardless of the nature of the item (even if it's a holy symbol consecrated to ANOTHER deity, or a cursed item).
Hope this is of help.


So saith Ed, who tells me he and Gary had great fun arguing hypotheticals and working it all out. The "sufficiently deranged priest" reminds me of The Killing Joke.
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 25 Jun 2011 23:25:36
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Samnell
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  00:00:09  Show Profile Send Samnell a Private Message
Thanks for the lore on Nain, Ed and THO. Sounds like a great guy and just the sort I'd want around, in-game or out.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31689 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  01:52:33  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
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

The "sufficiently deranged priest" reminds me of The Killing Joke.
As in the Joker, from Alan Moore's The Killing Joke graphic novel, or The Killing Joke novel written by Anthony Horowitz [and, about which, I know nothing]?

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  02:26:39  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Yes, as in the graphic novel involving Batman, the Joker, and the Killing Joke about the flashlight beam (about which I'll say no more, so as not to spoil it for those who haven't read the graphic novel yet).

BTW, Sage, Ed will provide Galglentor lore "soon. Promise." (No, I'm not going to make any SageTime jests.)
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 25 Jun 2011 02:32:13
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31689 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  04:02:43  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

BTW, Sage, Ed will provide Galglentor lore "soon. Promise." (No, I'm not going to make any SageTime jests.)
That's okay.

And I'd be more than a little worried if the spatial-temporal warping effects of SageTime had started affecting Ed too!

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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
2885 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  05:55:34  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message
-A question that I pose to Ed because he is the 'ultimate authority' on all things Forgotten Realms (even if he didn't necessarily create the things in question):

-I am currently playing a Star Elf character, a Bladesinger (using the 3e D&D rules, a Duskblade). For whatever reason, I don't have a lot of HP, and even though I have a relatively high Armor Class for the level we are at, I tend to get hit a lot. One of my prefered ways to heal, surrounded by enemies, in the middle of combat, is to use the spell Vampiric Touch to drain energy from my opponents and heal myself, a strategy I read one one of those 'How to Optimize your spells for X class' tutorials. A major gaffe, I realize, but it only just dawned on me that Vampiric Touch is a Necromancy spell, and to most Elves, using Necromancy spells is a major, major taboo.

-My question is this: Among the Star Elves, would using Necromancy still be considered a social taboo, generally speaking? I question if there is a difference between their social mores regarding Necromancy, and "mainstream" Elven social mores because of the more 'dire' set of circumstances Star Elves find themselves in- more or less alone in the Sildëyuir, hidden from most other Elves for thousands of years now, embroiled in a fight against the Nilshai (and whatever possible enemies before them) for however long they've been fighting, for the fate of their very demiplane and race. Would it be reasonable to think that such factors would lead the Star Elves to resort to more...'questionable' tactics, where the ends justify the means, and they'll do what they have to do to ensure that their world doesn't literally get eaten, and their race stamped out?

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerûn
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Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  23:21:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Lord Karsus, I bring you Ed's response to your Star Elf query, above:


Hi, Lord Karsus. Yes, among Star Elves, necromancy would indeed still be considered taboo. However, I mean that "among" quite literally: it would be a no-no for a Star Elf to use vampiric touch or any other necromantic spell on ANOTHER STAR ELF, except in some rare instances where it was requested/commanded (i.e. dying father or mother insists one of their children, or a longtime family friend or other relative, take the last of their life-energy so as to do some task, or be in better shape to go on aiding the family, or something of the sort.
When dealing with non-elves, all Star Elves would see nothing wrong with using necromancy (such as casting vampiric touch on clearly identified/known foes). Adventurers, such as your PC, would collectively have moved beyond this to the "do what you have to do" viewpoint, using vampiric touch or other necromancy on anybody if they deemed the need sufficient or the cause good enough.
The "gray area" for non-adventurer Star Elves would be how Star Elves treat other (non-Star-Elf) elves; some would see them as fitting targets for necromancy, but most would not. In the case of beleaguered, long-isolated groups of Star Elves whose numbers are dwindling and who seem themselves under clear and imminent threat from the world around, certain Star Elf individuals might even redefine "fitting targets for necromancy" to include other Star Elves not of their own bloodline/clan/immediate family.
So I'd say your adventurer is in the clear/greenlighted to use vampiric touch on known foes by all Star Elves so long as those foes aren't elves (and fellow Star Elf adventurers would tolerate/accept even elven targets if they have been acting as foes to your PC). As with all generalizations/stereotypes, this judgement of mine may fall down when applied to specific individuals (I could see some priests having great trouble with it, many elders having misgivings but not being hostile about it - - and on the other hand some loner "Aragorn types" and younger adventuring Star Elves having no trouble with it at all).
This is how I would run it as a DM in the Realms, rather than any sort of Wizards-official ruling, of course. Hope it helps.


So saith Ed. Who had spellsingers and bladesingers in the original, pre-D&D Realms, as well as a "rare breed" of elves who came from "beyond the stars" via gates (4e: portals), but did not craft the current bladesinger class nor create Star Elves for the published Realms.
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 26 Jun 2011 02:19:25
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2011 :  23:51:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. I bring the words of Ed of the Greenwood in response to these questions from Joran Nobleheart: "Hello, Mr. Greenwood and Lady THO. I made a thread here about the place of drow males, and I asked a question, to which a few scribes have replied. I was wondering if you might be able to add your experience and voice as well on it. Namely, on a matter I've been pondering. I've posted it here for you, dear lady. And I'd like to ask also, why have The Crawling Spider, where natives of the Underdark like to go when in the city, if drow, for example, are asked to leave upon being discovered? My campaign in set in 3.5E times, namely 1372, a few months before Lloth falls silent. Thank you for any assistance you can give!
[[quote: Originally posted by Joran Nobleheart]]: I'm finding all of this incredibly interesting! I'd like to ask another question, if I may? How would a drow be treated in Waterdeep itself? I know about Skullport, but would a drow be welcomed there? Where would a drow be likely to find rooms at? I know a place they'd likely drink at, according to VGtW, which is The Crawling Spider. Also, I'm pretty sure they'd be less than welcome at The Elfstone Tavern. But could a drow find lodging at say, The Inn of the Dripping Dagger, or any of the other fine inns of the city? Would any of the guards, watch or watch-wizards follow him or her around? Would the drow also be able to purchase supplies or gear anywhere, turned away, or be subject to suddenly increased prices? I've been told that Waterdeep is more open than most cities when it comes to situations like that, but I also know I haven't read as much as a few of you here have. Your help on this would be greatly appreciated.
And while I'm on it, would drow be allowed in Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter, or would they be turned away at the gates?"
Heeere's Ed:


Hi, Joran. In Waterdeep, circa 1372 DR, drow are NOT welcome in Waterdeep, and are likely to be detained (arrested or fought by the City Watch or the City Guard, and reported/fled from by other citizens, except perhaps adventurers or young nobles wanting adventure or members of the Watchful Order, who may well challenge them) on sight. This "general rule" is tempered with increasing hesitation at this time because of what THO alluded to in her earlier post: the increasingly-popular habit of some nobles and other wealthy Waterdhavians who can afford good disguises or appearance-altering magic, to "play at being drow" because of the spread of stories about the drow that make some see them as "alluring evil" [[="cool" bad guys]]. By 1372, there have been several well-publicized incidents of powerful noble lords being mistreated by the Watch or Guard due to being mistaken for drow, and of those lords complaining that they have every right to walk "their city" looking like whatever they choose to look like, and the onus is on public defenders and lawkeepers to make sure of their foes/targets before aggressively attacking anyone.
Most REAL drow know all about how they'll be treated in any human-dominated (or elven, or dwarven, or gnome, or for that matter illithid) surface city, and don't visit such places without disguises that make them look like something else (human clergy of dark gods like Shar and Loviatar are favorite disguises). Thanks to Skullport, many Waterdhavians are familiar with other Underdark denizens, and although anything with tentacles (including mind flayers) or that looks beholderish or that has very large claws or fangs is likely to be decried (and attacked) as a "monster!" . . . non-drow Underdark inhabitants aren't specifically banned from the city, and do (usually by night, and heavily cloaked/hooded/disguised) trade in Dock Ward and to a lesser extent in South Ward, Castle Ward, and Trades Ward, and congregate in the Crawling Spider as part of this doing deals or to celebrate afterwards. Innkeepers, tavernmasters, and shopkeepers south of an east-west line drawn through Castle Waterdeep generally accept guests/clients of all sorts who behave, don't threaten, and pay (some coin up front is a rule in ALL cases of masters' unease or mistrust of guests, and many Dock Warders demand it of ALL clientele, even known Waterdhavian nobles out on a lark); those north of there will often turn away heavily-covered visitors who refuse to show themselves.
Drow are similarly unwelcome in Neverwinter (though note the lack of a city wall and gates circa 1372 DR to stop most unwanted visitors except on the doorsteps of individual establishments), and in most parts of Baldur's Gate (though that city's cleanliness, order, and respect for law go downhill swiftly as it expands, in the late 1370s and thereafter). To reiterate: drow know this, and generally travel the surface world in disguise, sometimes among large groups of coster/caravan guards they serve in, making use of full-helm uniforms and cosmetics.
For example, in the "home" Realms campaign, four outcast female drow lived and worked on the surface for decades as caravan guards (their nature known to their fellow guards, of course) posing as dusky-skinned human females from remote eastern or southern lands, concealing their lower faces behind veils of linked coins and wearing harem-style silks under their armor; they were generally assumed by those who saw them to be human sex-servants of the caravan masters, rather than drow, and this supposition was aided by the "casually familiar, as longtime comrades" way their fellow caravan guards treated them.
I hope this is of help.

So saith Ed. Expert on the drow and of course the creator of Waterdeep, Neverwinter, Baldur's Gate, and Skullport.
love,
THO
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halfdust
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  01:35:15  Show Profile Send halfdust a Private Message
Could there ever be a chance that Mr. Greenwood would DM a session for a band of friends for a birthday present and what would the cost involve?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  02:16:37  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
halfdust, Ed has done just that at least a dozen times that I know of, for free. He tends to like to run Realms-set adventures, 2nd Edition rules but so rules-light that a complete newcomer to the game can happily participate . . .
But there is one problem, and it's a big one. Ed's wife is in failing health, and Ed's need to feed (and, increasingly, nurse) her, plus his day job and busy writing schedule leave him very little time for travel. He's cut back sharply on all trips (conventions outside his immediate vicinity this year: just two, Paizocon and GenCon), and I notice your post has "USA" on it. Ed's Canadian, a resident of southern Ontario, and has regretfully refused over sixty convention Guest of Honor invitations this year that involve flying, long car trips (he owns two aging minivans that are no longer reliable), and travel during winter months.
All of which means the likelihood of his being able to show up somewhere to DM anything on someone's actual birthday (as opposed to, say, at GenCon in Indianapolis this August [if he could fit it in around his hectic con schedule]) is slim and getting steadily slimmer. Sorry.
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 26 Jun 2011 03:44:46
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  02:26:11  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message
Hi, Ed!

We have this discussion in a different thread about the phaerimm's lifedrain and the Evareskan mythal...

We learned from The Return of the Archwizards trilogy that one of the factors that weakened Evareska's mythal was the phaerimm's lifedrain. Other than the Sharn Wall, has there been a known counterspell to it ever since? Did the High Mages of Evareska even attempted to create it? Some might think that given that several archwizards, including Lady Polaris and Karsus himself, and most probably Ioulaum and Larloch, too, had tried to unravel the secrets of the lifedrain---and failed, what chances did the High Mages have at success? But I say it's still worth the try, considering that it was their city which was at stake. Then again, mayhap they couldn't have spared even a single wizard researching on a counterspell when every one of them was direly needed to foil the attacks of the phaerimm's armies...

Candlemas was able to create a spell that countered the lifedrain's effects to his crops. But it was unknown whether such spell was effective only to specific plants or to all kinds, since he died before he could fully make use of it. Also, as far as I can recall, it didn't counter the lifedrain's effects on the land itself.

Serreg, an archwizard featured in King's First Flight from the Realms of the Arcane anthology, after decades of doggedly researching on the "blight" that ruined Netherese lands, finally "detected" its cause. However, he was stopped by three phaerimm, depriving us of seeing whatever counter-spell he must have invented. Given that he alone was not enough to fight three of the many phaerimm that cast the lifedrain, it's safe to say that whatever it was he invented to dispel the lifedrain would have been useless after all.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  03:55:35  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Dennis, your question has been sent off to Ed, who will probably reply tomorrow (he's been called in to try to rescue a book in VERY rough draft form, written by a perennial NY Times bestselling writer who's just been discovered to have Alzheimer's too advanced for him to continue...).
Reading it over, I must comment on some quite dodgy logic, here: "Given that he alone was not enough to fight three of the many phaerimm that cast the lifedrain, it's safe to say that whatever it was he invented to dispel the lifedrain would have been useless after all." Many real-world inventors were physically weak or even frail individuals, easily overcome in a fight with any robust lout or even a youth...yet their inventions slew or affected millions. A mage in the Realms might be overcome in battle, yet even a low-level spell he or she crafted could in the hands of others be used VERY effectively in battle. Serreg's tragedy was perishing before what he'd learned could be passed on, not that what he'd learned or devised was necessarily inadequate.
I suspect, knowing what I do of some unpublished Larloch and Karsus lore, that Ed is going to run into some NDAs that'll prevent a comprehensive reply, but as the creator of the phaerimm, the lifedrain spell, and Netheril, his words will be definitive. We'll just have to see how clear he can be...
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  04:02:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again. An addendum:
Dennis, I found some of my old campaign notes right away, and can tell you that Candlemas [that's a handy alias rather than his real name, BTW; "Lady Polaris" is a pseudonym, too] devised a magic that in effect teleported frequent mists of water (from a pond he'd "doctored" with various soluble nutrients) to his plants (to counteract the drying effect of the lifedrain on those plants only). His spell did nothing to fight or lessen or alter the magical effects of the lifedrain itself.
Amplification re. this, if any, will have to come from Ed himself...
love,
THO
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Zireael
Master of Realmslore

Poland
1190 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  11:26:39  Show Profile  Visit Zireael's Homepage Send Zireael a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by althen artren

The writer whose sick
wouldn't be outside the north american continent, would he?



I think I know who the writer is. And I hope Ed manages to rescue the draft.

SiNafay Vrinn, the daughter of Lloth, from Ched Nasad!

http://zireael07.wordpress.com/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30083 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  15:19:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Ed is likely obligated to not name that writer, so perhaps we should move on to other topics...

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31689 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  16:05:35  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
Agreed. Let's try to respect the privacy of those who don't directly contribute here.

Back to Realmslore queries for Ed...

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Joran Nobleheart
Senior Scribe

USA
489 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  17:04:19  Show Profile  Visit Joran Nobleheart's Homepage Send Joran Nobleheart a Private Message
I was out of town for the last two days, and I just wanted to say thank you for getting back to me, Lady THO and Mr. Greenwood. I really appreciate it. A few weeks ago, Lady THO, I sent a PM about a drow helping out during the elven crusade. I hope to hear back on that soon, and see if their help would be welcomed as I mentioned, and anything else that might be learned about the situation I presented.

Also, please give my best to Mr. Greenwood and his wife. I know how it is, having to tend to someone like that and care for them. I was there myself in my mid-teen years for my mother, who was suffering from cancer. Again, all of my very best to them and yourself, Lady THO.

Paladinic Ethos
Saint Joran Nobleheart
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  18:35:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all! Thank you, Joran, and rest assured, I'll reply as soon as I can.
I bring Ed’s reply to Dennis, re. this: “Hi, Ed! We have this discussion in a different thread about the phaerimm's lifedrain and the Evereskan mythal...
We learned from The Return of the Archwizards trilogy that one of the factors that weakened Evereska's mythal was the phaerimm's lifedrain. Other than the Sharn Wall, has there been a known counterspell to it ever since? Did the High Mages of Evereska even attempt to create it? Some might think that given that several archwizards, including Lady Polaris and Karsus himself, and most probably Ioulaum and Larloch, too, had tried to unravel the secrets of the lifedrain---and failed, what chances did the High Mages have at success? But I say it's still worth the try, considering that it was their city which was at stake. Then again, mayhap they couldn't have spared even a single wizard researching on a counterspell when every one of them was direly needed to foil the attacks of the phaerimm armies...
Candlemas was able to create a spell that countered the lifedrain's effects to his crops. But it was unknown whether such spell was effective only to specific plants or to all kinds, since he died before he could fully make use of it. Also, as far as I can recall, it didn't counter the lifedrain's effects on the land itself.
Serreg, an archwizard featured in King's First Flight from the Realms of the Arcane anthology, after decades of doggedly researching on the "blight" that ruined Netherese lands, finally "detected" its cause. However, he was stopped by three phaerimm, depriving us of seeing whatever counter-spell he must have invented. Given that he alone was not enough to fight three of the many phaerimm that cast the lifedrain, it's safe to say that whatever it was he invented to dispel the lifedrain would have been useless after all.”

Here’s Ed’s response:



Hi, Dennis. A lot of questions, so for clarity, let me take them one at a time, as they appear:


“Other than the Sharn Wall, has there been a known counterspell to it ever since?”

If you mean known to me and a handful of TSR or WotC designers and editors and fiction writers, and known to a very few individuals in the Realms, the answer is “yes.”
If you mean known to most spellcasters in the Realms, the answer is “no” (but then, most spellcasters in the Realms know of the lifedrain magic, as opposed to its desert effects, only from legend and hearsay, not specifics).
NDAs, thanks to not-yet-told tales and Realmslore, constrain me from a full answer here, but I can go this far: there are several known counterspells, both divine and arcane.
One of the arcane countermagics is a necromantic spell that attacks the lifedrain effect itself by overloading it with unlife; this spell consumes undead, usually zombies and skeletons, to derive sufficient power to manage the overloading. This spell was crafted by a known Realms NPC who shared it with others, whereas most of the alternative counters to lifedrain are known by a lone creator or a pair or trio of individuals who worked together to develop that counter.


“Did the High Mages of Evereska even attempt to create it?”

Yes, but their initial attempts failed because they misunderstood the precise nature of the threat. The phaerimm were using the lifedrain spell (yep, the same one I wrote, that was published in only slightly simplified form; wordcount considerations always trim my careful, lawyer-like, long-because-exhaustive spell descriptions into much shorter writeups that unfortunately allow for misunderstandings, confusion, and misinterpretations) under the direction of a wise senior phaerimm who’d developed a second spell that drew on the power of Evereska’s mythal to prolong and extend each lifedrain cast, AND used the mythal itself to try to conceal that power drain. This was successful in misleading the Evererskans about the mythal connection for too long for them to rescue it, once realization dawned.


“Some might think that given that several archwizards, including Lady Polaris and Karsus himself, and most probably Ioulaum and Larloch, too, had tried to unravel the secrets of the lifedrain---and failed, what chances did the High Mages have at success?”

A common misapprehension to modern real-world thinkers: if this great government or that great corporation couldn’t do X, what chance does Johnny in his basement have? The truth is that it’s almost ALWAYS Johnnies in their basements who make the big breakthroughs; the corporate staff techs and scientists (and for that matter, staff game designers) are best at developing or redeveloping new or old ideas, and bringing them to market. The High Mages had little chance of success because they recognized the true nature of the threat too late, were already too busy with other concerns and threats to deal with it properly, and were too few to counteract the phaerimm’s responses to their counter magics.
Now, an ignorant commentator (even, perhaps, a sage) in the Realms might well think and voice the sentence you’ve posted here, illustrating the “if the mighty couldn’t do it, what chance do these lessers have”? thinking that this usually holds true in non-magical military confrontations (note the Serreg situation Rob King created in his short story: Serreg alone against three phaerimm; it’s no coincidence that many military strategists strive to get three units against one unit of an enemy, to “ensure” victory). However, in this case, said reasoning is based on ignorance of all relevant details of the situation. No, Ioulaum and Larloch DIDN’T try to understand or counter the lifedrain, and it’s erroneous to think that they “probably” would try, because it’s based on an incorrect view that the unified phaerimm faced a unified foe. The whole point I was driving home in my creation of Netheril and Cormanthyr and their histories was that civilizations (elven and dwarven, not just human) invariably fall when they become groups of arrogant “me first” individuals pursuing their own selfish goals or interests or passing whims, rather than placing a primary value in living and working together, as a team/cohesive society. Netheril was doomed to its fall because of its decadent squabbling and internal power battles, and (with a few exceptions) its survivors have largely flourished since then by learning the lessons of unbridled hubris. Even the self-styled Princes of Shade have learned caution and to work behind the scenes to make victory likely, before open confrontations.
Back then, Ioulaum and Larloch weren’t so wise. They saw Evereska as doomed and not worth aiding, preferring to pursue their own plans and interests, and simply withdrew and abandoned Evereska.


“But I say it's still worth the try, considering that it was their city which was at stake. Then again, mayhap they couldn't have spared even a single wizard researching on a counterspell when every one of them was direly needed to foil the attacks of the phaerimm armies...”

Almost all Evereskans of the time would agree with you that developing countermagic to then lifedrain was worth the effort, to rescue their city. And yes, by the time they really started to tackle the problem (by starting to understand it, after their initial spell-efforts yielded very puzzling results), they were too busy fighting a war on their doorsteps to have time and spellcasting power (numbers of mages working countermagics) to succeed. However, your second sentence reveals (“they couldn’t have spared”) your view of the Evereskans as operating under a unified command, which certainly wasn’t the case.
It’s nearer the truth to see the situation at the time as akin to a man running down a street full of mansions in a gated modern real-world community shouting that “There’s a forest fire, right over the fence! It’ll be here in minutes! Get out! Get out while you still can!” . . . and some of the people in those houses can’t even hear him through their walls and the movies on the big-screen TVs they’re dozing in front of, some ignore him as “some crazy shouting in the street outside” or phone the police to “come get the shouting madman who somehow got into our community,” others say, “Another forest fire? Well, the last one came nowhere near here, so pfffft!” and only a few heed - - and of those few, some start to argue about the judgment of the shouting man, because they know more about forest fires than he ever will, others take the view that just staying in their modern mansions and waiting it out is the safest thing to do because their mansions are new and big and specially built, and the relative handful who DO take the shouting man seriously disagree as to what to do, but in any case find most of their neighbors will ignore or dispute any orders they give.
And whereas a forest fire’s fuel and driving factors can be clearly understood and are fairly simple, the phaerimm were numerous, well-prepared to counter resistance, and had a huge head start in multiple attacking magics. The walls of a strong castle can hold back a handful of unarmed men, but can fall swiftly before an army of armed, experienced titans.


“Candlemas was able to create a spell that countered the lifedrain's effects to his crops. But it was unknown whether such spell was effective only to specific plants or to all kinds, since he died before he could fully make use of it. Also, as far as I can recall, it didn't counter the lifedrain's effects on the land itself.

You recall correctly; Candrelmaskur’s spell doesn’t inhibit or stop or fight the effects of lifedrain on any area.
Candrelmaskur saw that the lifedrain was leaching moisture from the land, and that it was some sort of massive, ongoing magical effect. He decided that investigating the cause of the lifedrain and determining its specifics so as to develop a counter to it would take far too long to rescue his crops, and was therefore a project for later, after his crops had been rescued. So he crafted a spell that translocated waters from a small lake he’d augmented with compost and minerals he knew the plants needed, aerated this water into mists, and delivered them to his crops. The spell is effective in aiding almost all sorts of plants, because almost all sorts of plants benefit from getting oxygen to their roots (fungi crops won’t be aided much by this spell).


“Serreg, an archwizard featured in King's First Flight from the Realms of the Arcane anthology, after decades of doggedly researching on the "blight" that ruined Netherese lands, finally "detected" its cause. However, he was stopped by three phaerimm, depriving us of seeing whatever counter-spell he must have invented. Given that he alone was not enough to fight three of the many phaerimm that cast the lifedrain, it's safe to say that whatever it was he invented to dispel the lifedrain would have been useless after all.”

No, it’s not safe to say that at all. :}
Serreg’s crafted magic was ultimately useless because he didn’t survive to pass it on to others to use, not because it wasn’t effective. THO was quite correct to decry your logic here. You are correctly underlining that the phaerimm were numerous and concerted enough to effectively deal with those who resisted them, but that says nothing at all about what or how puissant that resistance might have been, if had been properly mounted. If you’d said “As it turned out, Serreg’s counter-spell was lost and had no effect,” that would be correct. But your wording is “would have been useless after all,” meaning his counter-spell would have been ineffective no matter what happened, which is untrue. If Serreg had lived and freely and swiftly distributed his counter-spell, it would have been VERY effective if cast widely, reversing lifedrains and ending this particular phaerimm threat almost as swiftly as the threat struck.
The phaerimm succeeded because of discipline in maintaining stealth during their massive “overkill” of lifedrain spellcasting, and linking the prolongation of those magics to the various wards, mythals, and mythallars of their target locations, so the impact of the draining was unstoppable by the time it was noticed - - whereupon the phaerimm were ready in numbers to kill or foil the relative few (like Serreg) who tried to stop the lifedrain effect.


Oh, and to comment in passing on another matter in his thread: no, the writer isn’t non-North American (it certainly isn’t Terry, who needs no writing help from me!), and it would be unprofessional to reveal the writer’s identity.


So saith Ed. Who is busy busy busy again.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  23:14:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Joran, PM reply received from Ed and sent your way. Realms forever!
love,
THO
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2011 :  01:34:22  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
Have, Vryloka the living vampires, existed in the realms always? What lore can you give on their history before and after the spellplague or is this NDA because of a future articles/articles.

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!

Edited by - Foxhelm on 27 Jun 2011 01:36:52
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The_Silversword
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2011 :  03:02:13  Show Profile  Send The_Silversword an AOL message Send The_Silversword a Private Message
OK, no questions this time, I just wanted to thank Ed for his recent Eye on the Realms article, Jalander's Dodge, there was some Procampan lore in there!

For those of you who might not get to read the Eye on the Realms articles, the jist of it is that every so often cities need to raise taxes to pay for repairs on things like streets, walls, and sewers and what-not. Such situations (and the taxes) have arisen in Cormyr, Sembia, and the independent cities of Ankhapur, Baldur’s Gate, Milvarune, and Procampur! The taxes amount to stiff new import duties on wines and spirits, to the tune of 1 sp per bottle, 2 sp per handkeg, 4gp per cask, or up to 20% for bulk cargo.

The article also talks about the roouddan, or the “red turnip of Proskur”, a common vegetable in the Sea of the Fallen Stars area, so it's probably common in stews and what-not in the inns of Procampur.

So again, thanks to Ed for providing this lore, it's little tidbits like these that really make the Realms come to life I think. Of course Ed probably wrote this long before I asked about Procampur, but still...

And thanks to you, THO, as well, your info on garnets and the Red Wizard Enclave being built outside the city helps out alot as well. 'Course I still dont know where to put the damn thing, would it be in the "front" of the city right by the entrance or perhaps an add on to the Adventures district? Ack! thats a question! I swore I wouldn't ask any this time!

I survived the Great OTTer Purge of 2013 and all I got was this stupid sig.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2011 :  03:24:02  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message

Thank you, Ed and THO for that really elaborate explanation. I'm kinda in a hurry now, so my follow-up questions would have to wait till tomorrow... Again, thank you. 'Tis much appreciated.

Every beginning has an end.
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Joran Nobleheart
Senior Scribe

USA
489 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2011 :  13:38:24  Show Profile  Visit Joran Nobleheart's Homepage Send Joran Nobleheart a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Joran, PM reply received from Ed and sent your way. Realms forever!
love,
THO



Thank you very, very much, milday! Looking it over with all sorts of excitement and ideas for adventure!

Paladinic Ethos
Saint Joran Nobleheart
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2393 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2011 :  13:57:09  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Hey Joran, can you share? Or is it something your players can't see?

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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