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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2011 :  17:38:46  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
Not really FR-related, but has Ed read Liane Merciel's two novels River King's Road, and Heaven's Needle?

For those who don't know of them, it is dark fantasy (albeit with a fairly wide streak of idealism - one of the heros could probably be classified as a D&D paladin), with elements of horror. Extra interest for D&D players is that the magic system is clearly Vancian, and Liane has also been contracted to write a Pathfinder novel.

I could go on a bit longer, but since this is the "Ask Ed" thread, and not the "Novel reviews" thread, I'll pass .

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 22 Aug 2011 17:39:09
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2011 :  18:31:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Lady Shadowflame, good questions.
I've asked Ed some of them before, during Realmsplay, so here's a "starter" answer until he replies with a better one (which won't be until late tonight at the earliest, because he's judging his local library's annual literary contest right now):

Thaerefoil grows right across the Realms in temperate forests at the general latitude (climate zone) of central Cormyr, wherever conditions aren't too swampy or acidic (so, not where conifers dominate). It's a small plant, that grows about six to eight inches high when mature, consisting of three broad, pointed green leaves (think "mother-in-law's-tongue" or iris leaves) growing up in a cluster. Mottled green, turn gray from the tips downward as they mature (gain full effects), then start to turn brown and wither ere frosts end them.
Thaerefoil has no effects on libido, it simply prevents erections (and other blood congestive effects within a mammalian body, such as nipples stiffening, etc.).
Ed will have to answer re. how it smells and tastes, and whether or not it can be introduced to someone's food or drink without them realising. I know that it does have a distinctive, fairly strong and recognizeable taste.
Obviously, it doesn't affect the female libido at all, but I think there are several plants that do (again, Ed will have to provide lore).
Yes, it works on horses, etc. and all three of your suggested common uses are indeed common uses in the Realms (I know this from Realmsplay).
If I remember rightly (I'll ask Ed to confirm or deny), Florin was gathering them because one of the duties of a ranger (and Florin was a young, keen, very dedicated ranger at this point) was to gather (carefully, with an eye to sustainable harvesting, not "taking it all") forest herbs, roots, berries, leaves and bark for free provision to local elders ("wise women" and wise-in-the-uses-of-these-things seniors not as mobile as they once were), the rangers' temple or local priests/druids, and (for sale) to others. Florin wouldn't have been selling thaerefoil, he'd have been selling only herbs (and roots to be ground into spices). He was probably gathering thaerefoil because a local priestess of Mielikki had asked him to get her some, if he saw any.
(Note: seniors who have circulation problems and end up with blood pooling in their feet because they sit for hours often use thaerefoil to prevent such effects.)
Seeing his opportunity to accompany the noblewoman, Florin chewed a very large dose of the leaves to make sure he couldn't get an erection for a long time. It wouldn't remove temptation, but it would prevent performance. He did NOT want to misbehave, whatever happened.

So that's a start. Hope this helps. No, I won't ask what for . . .
love,
THO
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 22 Aug 2011 :  23:59:38  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
Thank you Lady Herald and Ed for your quick and insightful responses

As ever one answer leads to another question .....

Can we get more lore on the Halnsors and why so many heralds from different parts of the Cormanthor region all had an interest in their lands?

Inquiring minds etc

Best wishes to all

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2011 :  00:47:11  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message
quote:Originally posted by The Hooded One

Interestingly, in Ed's published Realms, before TSR, Elaith was one of the characters (Mirt was another, as was Tamper Tencoin, and Storm Silverhand) that appeared far more than Elminster, who was most often a narrator or knowing old sage supporting character rather than a protagnoist (TSR policies turned him into that).
Ed wrote at least six Saint//Fafhrd & Mouser-ish stories featuring Elaith, of which I've read five. One was a manuscript copy and MIGHT never have been published, but the other four I read in various Canadian publications (well after they came out; I think one of them was a 1969 magazine, but I'd have to track down my copy to make sure of that). Elaith was a fascinating and well-developed character in all of them, long before gamers discovered him (and of course, Elaine first read about him, in FR1/WATERDEEP AND THE NORTH).
love to all,
THO

Ooh, ooh. Me, me. Where can I find these, pah, pah, pah-lease!

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2011 :  03:26:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Fellfire, Ed will have to check with Wizards' legal folks before he shares any of those tales anew. Once he's laid hand on his original texts, of course. He tells me this may take some considerable time, so . . .

In the meantime, I can add a little lore for Damian, re. this: "Can we get more lore on the Halnsors and why so many heralds from different parts of the Cormanthor region all had an interest in their lands?"
Ed will have to provide the "more lore" on the Halnsor family, but I can tell you that the heralds all represented city-states or realms where various Halnsors had aquired title to expensive central urban properties by marriage (sometimes using aliases), adoption, and by being willed the lands - - or put forward claims after an unrelated occupant of such a property died. As Elminster was known to have hunted down three Halnsors who'd fled from justice, some decades earlier, he was considered something of an expert on the reclusive family, so his "word" was desired on disentangling which Halnsor was married to who, which one had been impersonating which other one (or impersonating someone else entirely, or merely falsing claiming rights to these properties).
Lhaeo was locally famous for pranking these heralds by dressing up as a grand mage, using the assistance of one of El's apprentices to temporarily get taller, and storming out to order the heralds: "Hoy! Ye children! Get off my lawn!"

Whatever Elminster told the various heralds has never been publicly revealed, but most of the Halnsor properties shortly thereafter became "crown" properties in the various lands and cities.
So saith me, liberally paraphrasing from my notes and Realmsplay recollections.
love,
THO
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2011 :  04:16:22  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message
Thank you for the quick response, lovely lady. I had not thought to ask for them to be shared here, I simply wished to know the names and dates of these "Canadian publications." I did not realize he was bound so tightly as to be unable to list his own published works.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2011 :  15:44:48  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
I have read and can name two of those stories:

"A Serpent In The Streets"
(in which Mirt and Durnan foil Elaith)

and

"A Decanter Shattered In Dock Ward"
(in which Elaith takes down a cabal of arrogant guildmasters)

((And I read a friend's copy of a third story, title forgotten I'm afraid, involving a love story among young Waterdhavian nobles, with their haughty families opposed, and Elaith exploiting the situation to loot the mansion of one family))

My copies of the aging magazines that contain the two stories I own are up at the family cottage right now, but I'll be able to lay hands on them at Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving, that is).
Fellfire, Ed can probably list all of his stories. He probably just can't reprint any of them, now, without Wizards' consent.
BB

Edited by - Blueblade on 23 Aug 2011 15:47:02
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2011 :  15:52:41  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
That story about the noble lovers is called "Thorns of an Unplucked Rose" or something similar. My sister had a copy in a magazine put out by a long-defunct Toronto gaming store. It was one of those digest-sized publications made by folding three or four landscape-oriented sheet of 8.5"x11" paper in half, nesting them inside each other, and stapling them. Good jaunty little story. Ed's a far better writer than many give him credit for.
I read another of Ed's Elaith stories, but it was at a gaming table, reading something owned by a friend, and I can't remember the title. It had to do with a crypt and the villains doublecrossing each other (Elaith had planned for such treachery, and came out ahead).
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2011 :  19:12:12  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Found out the title of that Ed Elaith story that I don't own, the one with the starcrossed noble lovers. It's called:
Mourning of Passion
and my friend owns ANOTHER one, entitled:
A Serpent In Every Shadow

I'm going to send Wizards an e-mail suggesting these get published in a mass market paperback collection. Perhaps with a new Elaine story of Elaith (or two!).
I'd buy it in a heartbeat!
BB
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

724 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2011 :  20:41:58  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message
I've been thinking about a campaign that partly involves reclaiming old Sessrendale, and a couple thoughts/questions came to mind:

- Does anyone technically "own" the land that used to be Sessrendale? If so, titles/land grands would be acquired from whom?

- Has any mage or priest (or even perhaps a lay Chauntean) ever attempted to magically de-salinate the land? If so, what were their results?

- Supposing that crafty PCs figure out spells/magic or other methods to reclaim the land and make it suitable for farming again, who might stand in their way, and why?

- Are there any "ghost towns" (abandoned, not necessarily with actual ghosts) or intriguing post-war locations (perhaps with recent or old ruins) that PCs might come across while wandering about Sessrendale?

- Tales of necromantic magic, evil constructs, the escape of the "Dusk Lord" and the fact that this was basically a "three week war of rapine and pillage that modern Archendale citizens remember with shame even today..." - there's GOT to be an interesting story there. And not one of the other dales helped out? No bordering country got involved? I sense this may be NDA'ed, but... are there any little tidbits (or big ones) available on this?

Thanks in advance! =)


"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer

Edited by - Eltheron on 25 Aug 2011 21:12:41
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2011 :  14:09:34  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message
Dear the Hooded One and Ed Greenwood,

I (and several scribes of this forum) have come to a certain conundrum I can't wrap my head around. How do clergies of all the Faerunian gods finance themselves or the building of large temples? They can't possibly subsidize themselves of tithes and donations only can they? How firmly integrated are churches into the economies of the realms?

Do the churches (mainly the neutral and goodly ones) use the tale of the Wall of the Faithless as a means to get folk to pay for Indulgences, as happened in medieval times? Is prayer for accomplished and wealthy lords bought so that they can 'be ensured' to have a place in their patron gods heaven?

I can see that most clergymen being practitioners of certain craft in addition to being a holy (wo)man. Do they charge extra coin for the divinely inspired work they can bring to bear? Do they have to give any amount of their earnings to those higher up in the hierarchy?

Evil churches seem to have a problem aswell. How does a cleric of (for example) Talona go about earning coin; how do they even begin to collect enough wealth for building a shrine into a temple?

Ed en THO, inquiring minds want to know!

Sincerely yours,
Bladewind

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2011 :  23:31:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Bladewind, Ed just got back home from FanExpo yesterevening, and of course has a backlog of real-world stuff to urgently attend to (like showing up for his day job, getting his wife to med appointments, cooking and laundry and sorting out the recycling and garbage, etc.), but I can start on answering you...
Almost all clergies accept (and expect) offerings from worshippers in return for certain prayers (and almost all spellcastings) and services (burials, consecrations, blessings of a new business, etc.). Almost all clergies combine these funds to buy land and build properties, and become landlords, taking in a constant stream of rents from tenants, tenant farmers, and "rental" farmers.
Many clergies serve as banks/safe deposits, securely storing all manner of things for commoners (from legal documents to Great-Grandma's mummified fingers), especially for poor commoners who may be homeless or fear for the security of their "stuff" when they're off working or trying to scrounge food...and for those who travel for work, like drovers, caravan guards, wagon merchants, etc. Temples also do the moneylending/moneychanging/valuables storage functions of real-world banks, and of course charge fees for doing so. And like real-world banks, they invest such funds, and the money they earn from offerings and rents, in livestock and farm crops and cargo ships and businesses, charging interest on such loans. So most urban and "verdant breadbasket rural" temples are wealthy, not poor. (This all comes from Ed's notes.)
Hope this helps!
love,
THO
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1136 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  01:08:03  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message
Whoa, I am both surprised and awed by that! Thanks for the awesome insight you revealed there, I would hug you for that if I was able. This opens up a brand new part of realms play for future campaigns: the mercantile fallout campaign.

I can imagine it now: shady business clerics in Waterdeep selling interests in loans to other temples that have debts because of poor investments and getting filthy rich just before the poor investments go bankrupt, skewing the capitals in the Sword Coasts markets and triggering a series of bankruptcies in other temples and other businesses all around the North. (Capital Market Collapse in Faerun!)

Most definitely and sincerely yours,
Bladewind

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  03:41:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Heh. Indeed.
And ironically, I shared your question and my reply with Ed, and got back this:

There are of course many more sources of clerical income, such as the sale of holy relics and their lesser cousins, "favors of the god" (meant to bring good luck to the bearer or household), "tokens of the god" (holy symbols of recognition and veneration for the common/lay worshipper rather than the "holy symbol" a priest carries; i.e. the equivalent of a real-world Catholic crucifix worn by an "ordinary" man or woman), but you missed the BIG one: priesthoods delivering verbal and written messages, documents, and small valuables over vast distances, from one individual to another [e.g. to relatives or family members], "altar-sworn" for safe delivery (i.e. the priests swear before the deity to deliver whatever it is faithfully, without altering or distorting it, pilfering from it, or violating its privacy if possible [obviously, the contents of a verbal message are known to the bearer, but a written message will NOT be unsealed or read by any member of the priesthood, nor will they allow a third party to read it], upon pain of losing the favor of the deity = being expelled from the church), for fees. In other words, almost all faiths in the Realms offer a FedEx-like service, and derive cumulatively great amounts of income from doing so.
(There's an interesting sideline to this: someone in possession of something unique that will get him or her killed, such as stolen royal regalia, may well in desperation deliver it into the hands of temple priests with a fee to deliver it to a fictitious person or one the sender, but few or no others, know to be dead . . . so the priesthood will now keep and conceal the item(s) "forever" as they seek to deliver them to the proper person . . . whom they will never be able to find.)


So saith Ed. Who also reminded me of the longstanding practices of certain priesthoods (such as that of Waukeen) who engineer price rises and currency inflations, and profit thereby (by loading or unloading their stores of coinage or goods at times of high margins). And clergies (those of Umberlee and Talona, for example) who in effect deal in "protection rackets" by demanding offerings of appeasement to keep the "holy wrath" of their deity away from those making the offerings.
The more you dig, the deeper Ed's Realms are revealed to be . . .
love,
THO
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Azuth
Senior Scribe

USA
402 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  03:48:43  Show Profile  Visit Azuth's Homepage Send Azuth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
The more you dig, the deeper Ed's Realms are revealed to be . . .




Aye, and that's why we love them, him, and you equally, THO!

Azuth, the First Magister
Lord of All Spells

The greatest expression of creativity is through Art.
Offense can never be given, only taken.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 Aug 2011 :  18:15:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Awwww....
Hi again, all! I bring an answer from Ed of the Greenwood to Lady Shadowflame, re. the plant known as thaerefoil:



Hi, Lady Shadowflame. Everything THO told you is of course correct, so I’ll merely “fill in the blanks” here:

Growing in the wild, thaerefoil has a VERY faint smell that’s midway between minty and earthy, a smell that intensifies if the leaves are crushed. Its root tastes very much like a radish, and is usually washed and eaten raw; it has the same (prevention-of-blood-congestive-effects in the body) property as the leaves do, only milder. Raw thaerefoil tastes like mildewed garlic; it’s a strong, distinctive taste that someone unfamiliar with it might not recognize as thaerefoil - - but there’s no way in the world that it could be introduced into even the strongest-flavored food or drink (including alcoholic beverages) without being noticed. Dried (and dried and ground into powder) thaerefoil, ditto. Cooked thaerefoil loses both its blood-congestion-affecting ability and the mildewy side of its taste, the taste altering to “strong garlic but with a tang of iron, like spinach.”

As stated, thaerefoil has no effect on human female libido at all, but there are seven known plants that do. Some of these are Hathran or other secrets, so I’ll deal here only with the four widely-known ones (part of elven, gnome, and halfling lore, and known to many human herbalists, sages, rangers, and druids, as well quite a few cooks):
• barljotrun (“BARL-joe-trun”): a scabrous mottled brown-beige bark mold that resembles certain forest moths or the barred brown wing feathers of woodcocks or some ducks; this nutty, woody, chewy material inhibits pain and sensitivity (numbing the genital area and all extremities), and quells all lust, for short periods (a matter of hours, depending on how much barljotrun is consumed; the mold is potent, so small amounts are quite effective). Barljotrun doesn’t prevent any of the gross physical effects of drunkenness, such as slurred speech, loss of balance or motor control - - but it does help keep judgment clear, and keeps memory perfect (no forgetting, “blackouts,” or anything of the sort). So a “blasted and plastered” young lass at a revel will remember perfectly all that she sees, hears, or does - - or that is done to her.
Found throughout the known forested Realms.
• delcammask (“dell-CAM-ask”): a small, thin temperate forest vine that coils around living and dead matter alike, and brings forth clusters of flowers that distinguish it from other vines by their appearance; the flowers remain green, and take the shape of long, cylindrical “fingers,” four or five in a bunch, that hang down curling slightly inwards, like a human hand relaxed in the midst of trying to grip something. The vine is edible but tasteless (though it contains a lot of moisture, and can help sustain travelers who can’t find water), and has no effects on the body. However, the fingerlike flowers act not only as potent slayers of the female libido (one “finger” of mature size, which is five inches long or more, quelling all lust for 1d4+1 days), but as contraceptives (preventing pregnancy for the same period). The fingers taste bitter when immature (libido and contraceptive effects weak and variable), but very salty and nutty when mature.
Found throughout forests of the Heartlands, Sword Coast North, and Moonsea North; not found in the wild south of the latitude of mid-Calimshan.
• qulcoun (“kull-KOON”): a tall, fernlike forest “weed” consisting of a stem with long, narrow leaves growing in pairs along it, that “uncurls” from a coiled-over top or tip as it grows. Plucking and chewing the raw top stops the plant growing immediately (though it will survive in its stopped state until hard winter frosts kill all the qulcoun; any surviving frozen still-curled tips retain their libido-quelling properties until they wither entirely in the spring thaws), but the raw tops quell lustful thoughts and bodily reactions instantly and for about half a day per top (so a handful of four tops means four days of not wanting sex). Eating six tops or more at once also makes pregnancy unlikely (pregnancy becomes less and less likely, the more eaten), but eating qulcoun causes immediate cleansing of the uterus (vaginal bleeding, sometimes quite copious; other than the effects of usual menstrual blood loss, no additional damage is done). Raw qulcoun tastes strong and not all that pleasant (rather like eating raw cedar greenery); cooked qulcoun is a slimy mass, but tastes the same as raw - - but cooking it destroys all libido- and pregnancy-affecting properties.
Found in all forested areas of the Realms that don’t receive many salty onshore winds (seacoasts) or that aren’t too dry.
• surgaerel (“SURR-gare-rell”): a nut-like woody growth found inside the hips (joint-like buds, as roses have) of a certain thorny shrub of light forest (dappled sunlight, not deep and permanent shade) undergrowth. Brown, fibrous, and about the size of a (shelled) hazelnut. Incredibly bitter. Effective from when it forms. Kills all thoughts of lust, and all bodily responses/awakenings, for days. Just a pinch (as much powder as can be trapped between the fingertip pads of a small adult human forefinger and thumb) works for 1-2 days. Dries the internal genitals (making penetration without lubrication extremely painful, and pregnancy very unlikely), and this property is sometimes deliberately and willingly used by fervent worshippers of Loviatar on each other.
The surgaer shrub is plentiful in the northern Heartlands and in lightly wooded areas everywhere north of that, but the growths (surgaerels) are rarer (found in perhaps one in forty shrubs), except in areas where the forest has regrown after a recent fire (for some years, the incidence rises to almost every shrub).


Lastly, I can confirm that Florin was, as a young, diligent, and dutiful ranger, gathering thaerefoil because a local priestess of Mielikki (Vaeratha Jenneth, a sixth level cleric of the goddess, then in Waymoot) had asked him to get her some.

Farrel, I’ll try to get to Captain Baergil next.



So saith Ed. Who is back in the saddle again.
love,
THO
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2376 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  00:03:23  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Eltheron, Ed went into more detail about the fall of Sessrendale at the very end of the 2006 scroll. If you haven't already, take a look, there's a lot of good stuff. It doesn't deal with all of your questions, so I'm curious to see what new info Ed has to share with us, but I do want to share one little bit that does directly relate:

quote:
Originally posted by Ed, December 31, 2006

"EricKRod, the plan for Dawndale outlined in your campaign shouldn't meet with much resistance from these "ringleader" Sessren undead if the PCs conduct things properly. The other undead (the roaming wights, wraiths, and mindless undead) will of course be opponents - - as will elements of the Zhents, Wearers of the Purple, Sembian cabals, Arkhen, and others who don't want to see a new dale rise (or Sessrendale refounded) in that location."


There's a lot more about the Dusk Lord and some of the run-up to the war, and some of what it's like currently as well. Definitely worth a look.

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

Edited by - Hoondatha on 31 Aug 2011 00:04:51
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Lady Shadowflame
Learned Scribe

115 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2011 :  20:43:54  Show Profile Send Lady Shadowflame a Private Message
Many thanks to Ed and THO for the answers on what is rather an obscure topic.
I will expand my query somewhat to ask about ones that do a number on the male libido (instead of the bloodflow), or are for both genders.

(And I can admit that part of the lure of this knowledge is because sneaking libido-killing herbiage into the diet of overly lovey-dovey party members is an entertaining way for a less-than-sweet-natured character to ensure they actually get something done... aside from each other.)

Save a lizard... Ride a drow.

Edited by - Lady Shadowflame on 31 Aug 2011 20:46:45
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  02:17:25  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message
Hello. I was wondering if Mr. Greenwood could describe the difference in appearance between an ancient suit of elven chainmail from the time of the Crown Wars or Seven Citadels War as compared to now. I'm running a game at present, and one of the characters has a suit that he wears that came from Siluvanede during that time. I appreciate your time, and thank you both! Also, I use what I call golden mithril in my campaign. Just a variant in color from normal mithril is all. Does this exist already, or if not, what could explain the gleaming golden nature of the metal? And how rare would it be, and would it affect prices very much?

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  03:59:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all! Back on the sixth of this August, the scribe Farrel posted this query: “Well Met THO
I have a question for Ed if I may, please?
I've been running a campaign set in Mistledale for about a year now and I was hoping to gain some information on Captain Baergil of the Riders of Mistledale.
I was hoping that Ed might be able to provide some idea of level, class breakdown, personality, etc.
I've shied away from trying to detail him as I wanted to do him justice, he's one of my favorite Mistledale NPC's.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If anyone fancies a read of the campaign it can be found in this thread: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13604
Thanks again.”

As Ed intimated in his last lore reply, he intended to answer you sooner rather than later, and has now sent me this:

Hi, Farrel.
As it happens, several “Captain Baergils” have led the Riders of Mistledale down the years.
The most famous is a local legend who died heroically during the Time of Troubles. This Baergil was a former Captain of the Riders at the time of his death, having resigned from the Riders to pursue a holy life as a priest of Tempus. As a Warpriest resident in Mistledale, he sacrificed himself in a mighty magic that called up a ring of skulls that did much to help the sorely-outnumbered defenders of Mistledale defeat the invading Sword of the South army (Sembian mercenaries led by the Zhentarim).
There were two Captain Baergils before the famous one, and one since; all are blood-related. The first, Ellusk Baergil, was Captain of the Riders from 1156 DR to 1180 DR, and is remembered as a good, just, and capable man; the second, Horarn Baergil, was Captain for only a few months in 1242 DR before dying in battle against brigands in the forests of eastern Mistledale, and is recalled as a large, blustering, reckless hothead of a man.
The fourth and most recent Captain Baergil (if your campaign is set as the Spellplague is fading), is Emrius Baergil, a young, swift-witted, widely-liked man who never forgets a face or name, and is a mediocre soldier but a “natural” as a diplomat and investigator of crimes. He became Captain of the Riders in 1477 DR (when almost twenty-three years of age), and has covertly been training young boys and girls of the dale to be “eyes and ears” who report suspicious sights to the Riders, and keep watch over certain residents and visitors. He is a descendant of Darrask Baergil’s older brother Athror (a florid, successful and therefore wealthy, rather pompous man who owned several mills in northern Sembia; born 1301 DR, died 1391 DR).
The famous Captain Baergil was born Darrask Baergil on a farm in Mistledale, just southwest of Ashabenford, in 1302 DR (his parents, Angram and Baelaetha Baergil, were part owners of the farm, and dwelt there for the rest of their lives after they had their family, Angram dying of winter-fever in 1333 DR and Baelaetha of heartstop in 1337 DR; they had seven children, Darrask being the second, and the second of three boys). A good rider and forester from his earliest years, with a love of strategy and an even stronger love of Mistledale, Darrask joined the militia young, and became a Rider of Mistledale in 1321 DR, a year when eleven Riders retired (some of them thanks to debilitating wounds, others from the aches and failings of advancing age).
Darrask Baergil rose to become Swordar (then the sole second-in-command of the Riders; in the years since, there have been as many as three Swordars at once, the title shifting to mean something akin to “senior patrol leader”) of the Riders in 1332 DR, upon the death of Swordar Galaerak Darrowman (of an infection after being severely wounded in a winter fight with wolves). In 1335 DR, Darrask Baergil succeeded Ranthorn Hawkhar as Captain of the Riders of Mistledale (after Hawkhar lost his legs, home, and family to murderous house-burning raiders, and was taken by his kin to northern Sembia to live out his last years in their care), a rank Baergil resigned in Mirtul of 1352 DR.
As Captain, Darrask Baergil is remembered as a worldly-wise, weatherbeaten man who faced danger calmly, and was customarily polite. He had steel-gray eyes, hair, and moustache (formerly brown), was of average height, had very hairy forearms, and walked in his later years with a slight limp thanks to his right thigh being gored by a boar and subsequently pierced by brigand AND Zhentilar weapons. He ate and dressed simply, having interest in practicality and none at all in fashion, never married but was known to be fast friends with no less than five women of Mistledale and two travelling Harpers who often visited the dale, and if he fathered any children, the folk of Mistledale never learned of them.
He liked roast boar drenched in a red wine mushroom sauce, gnome-brewed mint ale from western Sembia, and firewine, but lived simply and customarily ate and drank almost everything. He was never without a sharp belt knife, and loved to whittle small lengths of chain and attached figurines to pass the time (these he gave away to children or acquaintances). He collected maps and scraps of the lore of Mistledale (that he wrote down in small chapbooks). The dancing of elves enthralled him, and he collected fine swords but never used them; long after his death, his kin discovered a Cormanthyrian elfblade (+1 keen longsword) among them.
Most who had dealings with Captain Darrask Baergil found him to be a fearless but kindly veteran, a shrewd judge of character and a peerless defender of the dale always alert and prepared for trouble and treachery. As a strategist he was the equal of many a king, but otherwise he was a simple man who loved simple things, that could be summed up (as he once did) as “Mistledale safe, prosperous, and happy.” He was friendly to all but had few close friends. Darrask Baergil could be stern and ruthless when he had to be, and in game terms began as a LN (and drifted to NG, later CG) human male fighter, probably F2 when a junior Rider, F4 when he was Swordar, and up to F7 or F8 by the time he resigned as Captain.
After several vivid dreams in which Tempus appeared to him and called upon him, Darrask Baergil retired from the Riders in 1352 DR to apply to Dale-based Warpriests of Tempus to become a priest of Tempus. He was accepted, served with eager diligence despite no longer being young, and rose swiftly in rank and regard among the holy devout of the Wargod. At the time of his death, he was probably (in game terms) a 7th level cleric. (In both his holy and Rider careers, Darrask Baergil’s swift advancement was due to his personal prowess, energy, and character, and the general “busy nonstop adventuring” nature of both lives he led.)
I hope this is of help! This was fun but took some time to unearth notes, because it’s been a long time since I’ve looked at Baergil.



So saith Ed. Who is, of course, the creator of all the Baergils, the Mistledale they loved and served, and the Realms around it.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  04:04:24  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And hello again.
Penknight, I'm obviously not Ed, but straight from his notes I can tell you that in general, elder elven chainmail had a lot more flutings (plates of armor curved for ornamental purposes) and spires (long sharp points of armor, on the reinforcing plates worn over chain at elbows, shoulders, surrounding the neck as an upstanding ruff or wall, and on the helm) than more modern elven chain. The same goes for elven platemail; the older stuff has more flutings and spires.
It's one of the ways we Knights, and all other adventurers, had some inkling of the value of what we'd found in dungeons and tombs and dragon treasure hoards: the older stuff is considered better, and fetches higher prices, than the newer.
Ed will of course furnish a proper reply, in the fullness of time...
love,
THO
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Azuth
Senior Scribe

USA
402 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  04:50:19  Show Profile  Visit Azuth's Homepage Send Azuth a Private Message

Ed said:
quote:
...as the Spellplague is fading.

This bodes well for my happiness! I don't want to read too much into it, but happiness is found in the little things. =)

My thanks to Master Greenwood, and of course, THO, without whom we'd be Edless.

Azuth, TFM



Azuth, the First Magister
Lord of All Spells

The greatest expression of creativity is through Art.
Offense can never be given, only taken.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6139 Posts

Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  08:30:23  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message
quote:
Penknight

Also, I use what I call golden mithril in my campaign. Just a variant in color from normal mithril is all. Does this exist already, or if not, what could explain the gleaming golden nature of the metal? And how rare would it be, and would it affect prices very much?
Our incomparably lovely Lady Herald has already answered your previous question, although I'd like to add that in our own (human) history the styling and elaborations on armors were developed into a fine art which evolved into a sort of complex heraldry. The identity, family, station, nation, allegiance, and even something about the personality/preferences of the wearer (and the armourer who made the suit) could be readily identified through visual appearance, at least to those knowledgeable about such important matters.

Your golden mithril is intriguing.
  • It might indicate the mithril came from a different (possibly now lost or depleted) source of metal ore which contained rare impurities, or that it was alloyed with the same. Alternately, it might have only been crafted in regions (or in desperate times of war) by substituting some part of the mithril alloy with gold because the proper metallurgical components weren't available (when our ancient societies had no access to the tin they needed to make bronze implements of war they would sometimes use zinc instead to produce inferior brass items, or revert to pure soft copper, or mix some combination of all these metallurgical elements to create pseudo-bronze alloys).

  • There is a said to be a mystical process (which Elminster has attempted to discredit) allowing one to convert baser metals like silver or steel into mithril ... perhaps this is why your mithril is available in two varieties, perhaps there is (or was) yet another such special formula in your Realms which involves gold.

  • Or it might just as likely be the result of some "secret" finishing process known only to the ancient masters ... the finish may or may not serve any useful purpose (such as resistance to corrosion) beyond being cosmetically desirable. This would be analogous to what Volo calls "special treatments" like blueshine and everbright, or to the bluing (and older browning) finishes used by gunsmiths and other craftsmen on our world.

  • Another possibility is that mithril might naturally attain a golden hue as it ages, deeper and richer each passing century, perhaps some microscopic alchemical transmutation is sustained by long-term exposure to background magic, perhaps it yellows from centuries of exposure to sunlight (or lack of exposure to moonlight) - in any event, this could be used to accurately estimate the age of any given mithril object (not so significant for armors, given the heraldric styling mentioned above; more useful for coins, weights, combs, mirrors, clasps, and any other objects made of this metal).


  • How rare golden mithril would be and how it would affect prices (and quality) are entirely up to you as the DM. It might be seen as "tainted" or decayed, like our cheap old plastics which have aged yellow and brittle. Or it might be seen as "mithril regia", treasured and coveted, said to be blessed by Corellon, rumoured to possess greater affinity for magic, capable of producing the purest tones when wire drawn into harpstrings, whatever. Regardless whether golden mithril is actually superior or inferior or equivalent, historians and collectors who perceive special value in authenticity would certainly pay a premium to obtain old items made from it. Arrogantly persnickety elves and stubbornly angry dwarves might take issue with "inferior races" and outsiders wearing revered suits of armor reserved for their kings, nobility, and finest champions.

    [Edit: Volo's Guide to All Things Magical [tsr9535.zip] has (along with numerous other distractingly interesting things) a fairly detailed treatise about the magical properties of metals which I believe you would find most informative. It was available from Wizards as a free download until fairly recently, you might find it archived elsewhere if you search.]

    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 01 Sep 2011 09:26:26
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    Penknight
    Senior Scribe

    USA
    536 Posts

    Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  09:00:08  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message
    Thank you both, Lady THO and Ayrik! I've made a few notes and will make a couple more I've no doubt on this for tomorrow. I also can't believe I either missed or forgot about her answering on the matter of the golden mithril. Do you by chance happen to have a direct link to that reply on it? I like to catalogue a few things every now and then in my personal notes.

    Telethian Phoenix
    Pathfinder Reference Document

    Edited by - Penknight on 01 Sep 2011 09:00:24
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    6139 Posts

    Posted - 01 Sep 2011 :  09:43:16  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message
    It is easy to overlook and suddenly forget small details when an exquisite presence such as our lady THO delights us with her voluptuously voluminous treasure troves of resplendent Realmslore.

    My previous scribbles in this scroll were not canonical by any means, nor are they likely as well-informed as anything the Cantankerous Old Sage might volunteer, they are simply based on a mixture of rudimentary smithing lore and my personal speculation.

    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]
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