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Arcanus
Senior Scribe

485 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  17:44:00  Show Profile  Visit Arcanus's Homepage Send Arcanus a Private Message
Hi, my question is somewhat morbid- Has Ed ever thought of the realms coming to an end? What I mean by that is does Ed have a serious idea of how the death of the realms would happen? The answer will be NDA I know but I was just curious.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  01:00:24  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

And hi again: whilst I was posting that last reply, another e-mail from Ed sidled into my e-inbox, and in part it reads, in response to Sage's recent post: "Quick side-query about this... Aside from the more obvious locales in the Realms where these new Maztican corn crops may have started flourishing, have any crops also popped up in unexpected places?"
Ed replies:


Yes, many small, scattered plantings literally "all over the place," due to: thefts from farmers and traders that were replanted, traders and others trying a little experimental planting of their own in various backland plots and farms, and dragons and other beasts plundering corn deliberately or unintentionally whilst "grabbing" other prey, and defecating corn in various spots (or in the air, to fall on random locales). Of course, wild corn doesn't last long where climate and other growing conditions aren't friendly, but elsewhere...


So saith Ed. Who will get to other lore replies when he can.
love,
THO

My thanks, Ed, and to you as well, my lovely lady.

I'll note, also, that I really do enjoy it when one of my side-queries to Ed, ends up conjuring some alternative meanderings for my Realms -- especially when it's stuff I wouldn't normally consider.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13119 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  15:07:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Ed, I have been thinking about the 'deep truths' behind the Realms, and today I am going back to basics - the name of the setting.

I assume you've read The Mists of Avalon; were the "Forgotten Realms" (YOUR original concept) supposed to be like how things work in that book? Places that have 'drifted away' from our own reality? I remember (from that novel) it being discussed how the world of the 'old people' became harder and harder to reach. And then parts of the Pagan world began to drift away as well, pushing that even more legendary (earlier) world further 'out' (making it impossible to reach from the mortal world, unless one were to cross into the 'Pagan world' first). So that Pagan-region became the 'Mittlemarch' (great term borrowed from Moorcock) - a sort-of "Wood Between the Worlds".

And then I remember how the Fey originated on Toril...

quote:
Originally posted by Arcanus

Hi, my question is somewhat morbid- Has Ed ever thought of the realms coming to an end? What I mean by that is does Ed have a serious idea of how the death of the realms would happen? The answer will be NDA I know but I was just curious.
Ed had an 'FR-Ragnarok' built-in from the beginning, which was never supposed to get used (at least not by him). He discusses this as part of the Realms 'deeper secrets' when 4e was released - the Spellplague is based on it. There is a pinned scroll around here somewhere where it is addressed.

Of course, that 'self-destruct' was never supposed to be pressed. I get this picture in my head of Ed talking to the original design team and saying "that's the red button... NEVER touch the red button".

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


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Oct 2011 21:30:03
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  15:20:42  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
With a recent show on the Culper Ring...

Are the spy ring of all Azoun III and his family based on the Culper Ring of George Washington (Common people recruited to bring information) or just a happy accident of two great minds?

Is fourth edition Cormyr Royalty have their own private spy ring (like Culper) still for each member? Are there more spy rings of common folks in the realms, both past and present (1st-3.5, and 4th editions)?

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

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  16:57:17  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message

Quick question:

Did Larloch have a love interest? [If yes, who was it?]

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

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  18:38:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Herewith, quick replies from Ed to Arcanus, and then to Markustay:


Hi, Arcanus. Yes, I envisaged an "end of the Realms" scenario after I first thought of the Realms, but well before I sold it to TSR as a setting. I came up with it sometime early in 1979, I think. Markustay has pointed to it in his reply. There were also quite a few slightly less drastic "if this goes on" scenarios wherein I envisaged a "fall" for humanity if they took magic use (and reckless magical warfare) too far...as Netheril, for example, fell. Most of these are still NDA because they were turned in to TSR in 1986 (and - who knows? - might still end up being used, someday).


Hi, Markustay. The answer is "yes and no." As in: yes, passage between our world and the Realms became harder and harder as some gates (4e portals) were destroyed, others became controlled by power groups (think of the Bellers in Philip Jose Farmer's tales of Kickaha the Trickster), and still others were simply forgotten, as those who knew their secrets died off without passing what they knew on (or passing on only parts of it). See my article in issue 37 of THE DRAGON (as the magazine was then known) for an overview of gates in fantasy literature, and I did borrow "the Wood Between The Worlds" from William Morris (the same place C.S. Lewis swiped it from) concept for a "middle ground." What I swiped from Moorcock was the ship that sails the seas, "phasing" (while cloaked in mist) from the sea on one Prime Material Plane to a sea on another Prime Material.
MZB (whom I met three or four times, and was good but nt close friends with) wrote THE MISTS OF AVALON well after I had my Realms cosmology sorted out, but I like the "feel" she managed for her real world/old world interface. In my childhood, I'd read many, many British childrens' fantasy writers (e.g. Margaret Storey, in TIMOTHY AND TWO WITCHES and its sequels) who dusted off, polished, and presented various folk traditions about our world and various worlds of magic (like "the Open Country"). All of them influenced me in a "look and feel" sense - - as they did MZB, who drew on the same traditions.


So saith Ed. And there you have it: another peek at the roots of the Realms.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  18:50:24  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oho! As I was posting Ed's last replies, another e-mail from him landed in my e-inbox, and here (in part) it is:

Hi, Foxhelm. No, the spy rings of Cormyr aren't based on the Culper ring, or any American examples. As an Anglo Canadian of a certain age educated in Ontario, I received a decidedly-British-dominated classical educationm, and so was inspired by much older English and European (and ancient Roman) examples of rival spy rings created by royal and noble family members, instead.
Yes, there are many other private spy rings in the Realms, including for the Cormyr royals in the 4e era, but I can't say much about them here because I'll be writing about them elsewhere, in time to come. Which is about all I can say on these matters right now.


Hi, Dennis. Larloch has had several love interests, but all of this is NDA right now. (They could make a nice string of novels, and still might, though there's a small phantom library by now of Realms tales "we really should write some day" but never seem to get around to.)
See Guy Gavriel Kay's classic (and award-winning) novel TIGANA for one example of how such a love interest MIGHT be presented, after the fact. BTW, it and his A SONG FOR ARBONNE (both standalones, not sequels to each other) are "must reads" for any aficianado of fantasy.


So saith Ed. Who also tells me he's hard at work on multiple still-secret fantasy projects right now...including some Realms-related ones. Things for us all to look forward to...
love,
THO


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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  19:03:07  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message

Kay bored me with his The Summer Tree, so I don't think I would ever be inclined to read anything else he wrote.

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

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  19:28:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Your loss, Dennis.
I'm afraid with that approach you'll miss a LOT of good books.
I'm familiar with literally scores of active writers whose works vary widely from book to book. From Joyce Carol Oates to Paul Theroux (think he only writes travel books? his forthcoming book is fiction, a caper about locals robbing a bank) to many, many fantasy and sf writers.
Our own Ed, Dave Duncan, C.J. Cherryh, Michael Moorcock, Leland Modessitt, Julian May, and many, many more have written hard sf, soft sf, fantasy, horror, mysteries, and so on. Shifting their style of writing from book to book, not just the subject/content. Sometimes by choice, sometimes by editorial fiat.
To dismiss a writer after sampling one book, or trilogy, or series, is to miss a LOT (and end up with a severely distorted view of the field in general and specific writers in particular). Ask any librarian - - or writer.
love,
THO
P.S. If we assume most writers, and readers, are human, we must also assume, by definition, that their interests, tastes, and capabilities change over time (one of the reasons most people "follow a writer" they're interested in is to see what they'll do next). So stopping after a one-book sample is to assume a writer NEVER changed, or that your tastes as a reader never will.
Or to put it another way, what "bored" you then may not bore you five or ten years from now. Did you still avidly read the writers you enjoyed when you were eight years old? I don't.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 28 Oct 2011 19:42:08
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  20:10:06  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Yes, there are many other private spy rings in the Realms, including for the Cormyr royals in the 4e era, but I can't say much about them here because I'll be writing about them elsewhere, in time to come. Which is about all I can say on these matters right now.
I would caution scribes to keep a sharp eye out in the coming months, where hints may be dropped in pending Realmslore. Maybe. We shall see, we shall.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  20:46:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Heh. Looking forward to it, indeed.
Back on page 36 of this thread, Eldacar asked some related questions about the Chosen and their culinary skills and preferences. Surprisingly, a comprehensive Ed-answer to this has been delayed by NDAs (!), but in his most recent e-mail he included a few lines by way of the most fragmentary of preliminary replies, as follows:

Eldacar, all of the Chosen have become at least "solid, decent" cooks, purely through the accumulated experience of living for centuries. Some have a flair for it but little time to enjoy cooking (Alustriel, Laeral), one has the time AND occasionally indulges herself (Storm), and some (Dove, Qilue, Alassra) enjoy good cooking when served it or when they have time and opportunity to do it, but are also happy eating raw or burnt meals, or things others might find disgusting (i.e. they value it as "necessary fuel" rather than an end in itself).
I can add this much: Dove loves roast moose (and to a lesser extent, venison if roasted in a wine bath so it doesn't get too dry), and Qilue has a weakness for a certain sort of glowworm found in the Underdark, eaten raw or dipped raw in particular rock salts, munched, then dipped again.
I'll bring you a proper reply when I can.


So saith Ed. Surprising us with culinary secrets of the Realms once more.
love,
THO
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  20:51:23  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Just a response to Dennis: The Summer Tree is book one oa trilogy, and it's Kay's very first book. He'd just finished helping edit The Silmarillion, and that trilogy is very Tolkienesque (plus King Arthur, plus three University of Toronto students plunged into a fantasy world).
Kay's writing has grown and changed a LOT since his first book.
Just sayin.'
BB
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  21:21:17  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message

THO: "Or to put it another way, what "bored" you then may not bore you five or ten years from now. Did you still avidly read the writers you enjoyed when you were eight years old? I don't."

I doubt that. Besides, I wasn't eight when I read it. If there's any loss for me, that's the loss of precious time I wasted reading the said book.

Blueblade: "Just a response to Dennis: The Summer Tree is book one oa trilogy, and it's Kay's very first book. He'd just finished helping edit The Silmarillion, and that trilogy is very Tolkienesque (plus King Arthur, plus three University of Toronto students plunged into a fantasy world). Kay's writing has grown and changed a LOT since his first book."

Magician was Feist's first novel. It is not as polished as his later books, but it is great, and I love it. So is Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind; Weeks's The Way of Shadows, and many others. It doesn't matter if it's the author's first. What counts most is how well his book captivates the readers, among many other things.

Every beginning has an end.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  21:29:02  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message
Tigana is on my "to read" list, curious to see what i think of it now

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  21:34:02  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello Ed, any earthquakes occur in your homebrew/true test setting in faerun in 1370's that were damaging to anything of worth...broad question I know but hoping my carpet bombing un-earths something interesting.

Second question, are planar beings like the Yugoloths and devils restricted from creating/using higher than 9th lvl spells and are all/most extraplanar beings of arcane bent aware of Mystra's edict and is she able to enforce this on all beings...a maybe will suffice there if NDA.

Many of the novels and lore have devils being well versed in all manner of obscure lore and things magical, It appears that devas and solars and such hold vast hidden lore but are maybe not as concerned with all things secretive and arcane but definitely more divine-magic and in regards to their particular realm/deity, is this good assumption?

So with that asked, if YOUR adventurers had to call on a particular fiend and a particular angel to gain some very very obscure lore, who would those two polar opposites be and can you tell us anything about them?

Thanks
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  21:37:26  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Ed did you read The Worm Ouroborous or the Thomas Covenant trilogy's?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:06:06  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
createvmind, I can tell you that Ed has read all of Eddison's published works, and all of Donaldson's to date. As have I.
love,
THO
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:09:10  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
One more thing, since things come in three's.......you wrote something when El foought devil Marane that makes me wonder is that something a witty player could deduce and get the results they sought. If a creature can resist electricity damage can this be bypassed by shooting them in mouth the way he did Marane or does this resistance encompass their entire being? Was this a special case, did the silver fire weaken her resistances/immunities briefly and her being semi-conscious make this a perfect scenario foe El to use wand in manner he did? Or is Ed just a really evil guy at heart when it comes to giving back some comeuppance..Ha?
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13119 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:09:57  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
TY Ed & THO for the fast reply.

I was hoping for something a bit deeper, something that hasn't been revealed before, but I fear I may just be applying my own hopes/tastes to the Torillian Genesis (and the greater D&D cosmology in-general). Something less matter-of-fact then portals/gates, something more... mysterious... I guess.

If you recall, in the MZB book, common folk were once able to travel to some of those places easily, but as time went on, 'the ways' were lost. I imagine a time long ago when walking to Faerūn was as simple as knowing the right path. I was picturing a cause-and effect - that The Realms are harder to reach because they are Forgotten.

And TY for adding two more novels to my 'must read' list.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Oct 2011 22:11:23
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:16:31  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Sorry, Dennis, but you persist in deliberately missing the points made to you. That DOES sound like the reaction of an eight-year-old.

Both Blueblade and I made the point that readers and writers change over time, and writing styles also change from book to book by design.
You countered that in not finishing part of the first book by one writer and not sampling the rest of the writer's output, your only loss was in the time you spent reading that unfinished book.
You then added that "what counts" is how well an author captivates. I agree. The problem is that I find certain books captivating that you find boring - but I don't confuse my preferences with absolutes that will hold true for all of us. You seem to.
Sorry to be so blunt, but when you're habitually that rude and dismissive when discussing fantasy literature (and the opinions of others), you provoke responses closer to your level. I could cite many examples, but that WOULD be boring.
love,
THO
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:19:09  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Hear hear! Well said, Lovely Lady Hooded, and about time. Let's have a POLITE tone back at the Keep, when discussing fantasy authors and their books. There used to be a respectful feeling in these halls.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:27:33  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Yes, it would be refreshing if some scribes could manage to separate their own likes and dislikes from absolute judgments of quality.
For example, I think MAGICIAN is a fun read, a very good first novel, and worth rereading (I've done so, several times).
I think THE NAME OF THE WIND *IS* great.
I found THE WAY OF SHADOWS "okay standard fare, better written than most," and no more.
When I post at the Keep, like this, I clearly label those judgments as my opinions, not fact. And try to write politely about writers.

Like THO (and for that matter Ed, because I've heard him say so, more than once) I wish more scribes would do the same.

Is it really so hard to do?
BB
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:34:06  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
You're quite right, Markustay: in earlier times, "common folk" could and did use the gates, which often were just "paths in the forest" that function as gates only when used in the right manner or at the right time or under the right conditions (e.g. when THAT stone is bathed in moonlight)...as did vampires, dragons, etc.
Ed postulated (and has written about this, often) that this traffic (and its more recent decline) is the reason for our many real-world legends of dragons, vampires, et al but the relative lack of daily meeting such things in our world, nowadays.
NDAs get in the way of really in-depth answers to you, but I know that a major theme in Ed's home campaign and in his unpublished lore has been the rise of power groups (in more recent times) that seek to control, hide, or destroy various gates, to control traffic. They are collectively one of the major reasons such traffic has declined, and our access to the Realms has been increasingly "Forgotten."
(Or to put it another way, there ARE some deeper reasons and factors, but they are the very things that are NDA'd.)
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 28 Oct 2011 22:36:05
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2376 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  22:58:01  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Actually, I still read both The Hobbit (which remains my favorite book ever), and the Laura Ingalls Wilder series regularly. I first read both of them when I was younger than eight.

I also think Temptation of Elminster is Ed's weakest book, one that I've never reread (except for a very few small passages). Doesn't keep me from really enjoying El in Hell and absolutely loving Shadows of the Avatar. To dismiss an author's entire body of work based on a single book is churlish. Read two or three so that you can have an informed opinion, preferably of different series, because an author might do one genre much better, in your opinion, than other genres.

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

490 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2011 :  02:14:49  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, all.
createvmind, I can tell you that Ed has read all of Eddison's published works, and all of Donaldson's to date. As have I.
love,
THO



Donaldson my all-time favorite, those books changed my view on life greatly......can't wait for final book....should be any year now..Ha.
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