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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14553 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2013 :  21:26:48  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message
Tell him to give himself the next two weeks off (or months); he's earned it.

I hope that 'big FR project' is a preliminary ('raw Ed') write-up of the new, 5th edition Forgotten Realms. Or should we just drop the '5th edition' part, and simply go back to calling it The Realms?

Can he even tell us if he is working on a campaign guide, and if so, when will we be hearing any official announcements? The few designers I know (and trust) claim to have had no hand in the thing... and thats a bit disheartening. I'd like to hear some names, if a FRCG is in the works.

I'm only asking this now because of the D&Dnext announcement for this coming summer, and there was no mention of FR at all. Has he seen the new rules? How does he feel about them?

EDIT: I will also be looking at By Faerie Light just as soon as I am done here. Sounds right up my alley.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 21 Dec 2013 21:32:05
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1369 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2013 :  22:29:36  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
With the news that 5E comes out next summer I hope we see a 5E campaign guide penned by Ed! Either way, 2 big Realms projects sounds good to me! More more more! heheh :)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2013 :  02:39:13  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Heh. Markustay, dear, I suspect Ed's consulting involves NDAs that will keep him from making any proper sort of reply to your question, but I'll pass your post along to him and see what he does let slip...
love,
THO
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1369 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2013 :  22:50:40  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
Hi Ed and THO,

I was reading one of the old Wyrms of the North articles from back in the day: Palarandusk, "The Unseen Protector" from Dragon #252. I was curious about the savage Forgebar dwarves mentioned. Is this an entire clan of evil hill dwarves? Would there be any additional information you could perhaps share regarding their motivations, aims, or history? Aside from duergar, I don't recall ever reading about an entire clan of hill dwarves who are this nasty.

Edited by - Eilserus on 22 Dec 2013 22:51:49
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2013 :  16:43:43  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I'll pass that along to Ed, but I believe there's some unpublished Forgebar clan lore in an Ed-scroll decorating a shelf in his private study...
So much lore, so little time. I'll get to work pestering him. However, Kris the Grey has an outstanding lore-query Ed wants to get to, first...
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2013 :  16:52:19  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all.
I bring you the words of Ed in a lore-reply to scribe Marco Volo, re. this from 28 Nov 2013 (2 pages back in this thread):
"Hi Ed and THO, Here's my question : What is the calendar of the dwarves as there are not using any human calendar ?
I have a Melairbode settlement in a level of Undermountain. There succumbed many years ago, and I have no idea about what calendar they were using at this time. What date would be figured on a rune or "stone sheet" with some official information on it?"
Ed replies:

Hi, Marco Volo. Almost all dwarves use Dalereckoning for daily convenience when dealing with the outside world, but also maintain either one or two alternate dating systems: a "clan count" numbering years from the founding of their clan (or the CLAIMED founding of the clan, as some of these systems assume the clan is older than all others, and date accordingly, though clans founded in the last six centuries never "cheat" in this manner), and a calendar that begins with the day of the founding of a specific hold/fortress/settlement, and measures years from that day.
So your Undermountain settlement would probably have stone-etched records with double dating: a Melairbode clan date, and a date based on the founding of that particular settlement.
Hope this helps!

So saith Ed, and there you have it.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2013 :  17:08:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And hello AGAIN, all!
Another Realmslore reply from Ed, this time to
paladinnicolas, in response to a 13 Nov 2013 post: "Dear THO, could you please ask this to Ed? I just read in Power of Faerun, recently available on dndclassics.com, that in the Realms licensed lawyers do not exist but that sometimes there are unprofessional and not necessarily law-expert advocates. I just wanted to ask him if according to him this has changed in the Realms since the date covered in the product after all the time advances. I am fond of legal intrigue and thrillers and wanted to run some in the Realms, reason why I'm curious. Thanks as usual!"
Ed replies:

Hi, paladinnicolas! Nothing has changed regarding licensing (in that a few city rulers have tried to establish laws regarding who can and who cannot speak as advocates in legal matters besides plaintiffs, the accused, and the local authorities, but these laws have been ignored or rejected, and so haven't "taken hold," and attempts by lawyers to establish guilds exclusive to such legal advocates have been rejected by local authorities [[though in several cases local scribes' guilds have "added" legal advocates as members, and are getting away with it]].
However, the numbers, influence, and general level of expertise in details of local laws of legal advocates is rising swiftly and shows no signs of abating. So there are now many lawyers, though they may not be called that, and they are generally still NOT regulated.
Hope this helps!

So saith Ed. Happily providing all the Realmslore he can.
love,
THO

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Marco Volo
Learned Scribe

France
174 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2013 :  18:03:45  Show Profile Send Marco Volo a Private Message
Many thanks Ed and THO and merry christmas to you !
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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

85 Posts

Posted - 25 Dec 2013 :  21:20:01  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO, Thank you for the answer to my question, which gives me a good picture of the issue in the Realms and some adventure ideas. I like the Realms more as I know more answers by Ed, so thanks to both of you for answering our questions.
Best,
Nicolas.
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unseenmage
Seeker

47 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2013 :  03:21:35  Show Profile Send unseenmage a Private Message
It was suggested that I ask this question here by a more experienced scribe.


Is there any precedent for Goblin burial rites in the books somewhere?
I have a Goblin PC with a truckload of corpses and I'm not sure how his culture handles the deceased. It's in The Dalelands if that helps.

Barring that how about other monster rites for the dead?

Flying monkeys will eat your eyes.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2013 :  07:22:52  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message
Hello THO,

As part of wrapping up this scroll and starting a new one to coincide with the new year, do you know if Ed will be able to entertain a second look at questions posed to him from this year that he wasn't able to answer?

Thank you.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2013 :  16:13:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I sure hope so.
Ed has been snowed under, or rather iced under, by a terrible and widespread ice storm in his neck of the woods. I know a large tree limb fell on one of the family cars, and Ed was out there sawing it up into little pieces (sawing by hand, so as not to run his chainsaw in the middle of the night and wake the neighbours).
At Christmas, we all have family obligations, and Ed has also been frantically busy writing for all sorts of projects.
Yet I doubt he'll miss coming through with some end-of-year lore answers for the patient, patient scribes of Candlekeep. He appreciates you all deeply for loving the Realms so much...
love to all,
THO
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  06:34:04  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message
Boy, what rotten luck.

I've some friends and family that lost tree limbs this winter (though not the sort that fall on cars). I hope Ed got some firewood out of it, at least.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1112 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  16:47:08  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage  Click to see hashimashadoo's MSN Messenger address Send hashimashadoo a Private Message
We've been getting an awful lot of winter storms over in Blighty too. Tens of thousands of people have been without electricity since the week before Christmas and there's been a lot of flooding.

So since it was decided that Baram, Kurth, Rethnor, Suljack and Taerl were titles as much as names for the High Captains of Luskan, would it be possible to get the full names of the High Captains from 1310 DR when they invaded up until the events of The Pirate King?

Thanks, I'll be patient.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

Head admin of the FR wiki:

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com

Edited by - hashimashadoo on 28 Dec 2013 16:50:16
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  04:25:30  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. It’s become a custom in this thread for our Ed of the Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms® and its foremost loremaster, to take the time, however hectic his business of the time might be, to wander through the dusty stacks of heaped up “not yet answered” scrolls of Questions for him from the patient scribes of Candlekeep, and assay an answer to one outstanding query per year.
As this thread started back in 2004, that’s where he’s going to begin.

Specifically, back on the 2nd of June, 2004, Kuje posted this query on behalf of Brother Shatterstone from the WOTC boards: “I’m looking for a list of exotic fruit that are based in the Forgotten Realms. Is there a thing and can any of the mighty sages help me find it? Note: I’m not really looking for any real world fruit here.”
To the lore he’s already provided on the fruit of the Forgotten Realms, Ed would like to add this:

Belarbrith
Imagine an apple pie that’s like a carrot in shape and durability—that is, a root vegetable that tastes like apple pie (American scribes please note: an apple pie not laced with cinammon, but baked without that highly-pleasing spice). It has the chewy, almost woody texture of a large and mature carrot, is chestnut brown mottled with ash-gray in outer hue, is “hairy” with rootlets, and is customarily washed clean and eaten bite by bite, though it may be peeled and sliced into medallions if served at a formal feast or highbrow eatery. The flesh is a translucent ale-brown flecked with darker red and brown knots or nodes.
Belarbrith naturally thickens broths and soups it’s added to, and is sometimes added to pork stews to contrast the flavor of the pork in the same way applesauce is used in some modern real-world recipes, or boiled into a sweet dessert soup to warm and nourish cold wayfarers in winter.
Belarbrith grows wild throughout the Heartlands, though it has been so overharvested in the wild as to become scarce near human settlements and well-used trade-roads, and its finding its way into every garden in the Dales, Cormyr, upland Sembia, and increasingly the Sword Coast North; it can tolerate cold winters (i.e. the root can survive being frozen), though north of Everlund and Silverymoon it grows very slowly, and is typically found as spindly, human-palm-sized rootlets, whereas in warmer climes (it is found as far south as Faerûn extends) it can grow to the length and thickness of a human forearm.

Marlikkon
This fruit grows on thorny wild bushes in the Heartlands, being particularly plentiful in the Starmantle area and south and southwest of Evereska. Readily identifiable due to its chestnut-brown, prickly, irregularly-seamed outer shell (picture a bush that has branches ending in polished brown chestnuts bristling with tiny thorns, nuts that look as if they have been cracked open, and the fragments then glued together again inexpertly enough to clearly show all the wandering edges of the joined pieces). Inside this inedible shell (that can be boiled to derive a mahogany-hued dye, or the “prickles” lopped off to serve as crude needles) is a translucent, jelly-like purplish-gray ovoid mass of flesh that resembles a human brain or certain corals in that its outer shape is that of ropy lengths of pasta or an oval clump of earthworms fused together.
This flesh is sweet and citrus acidic, tasting rather like a ripe tangerine or Clementine. It dries and withers in a day or two after being shelled, but will keep indefinitely if left in its prickly shell (it’s commonly stored in sacks in cellars all over the Realms for a year or more). Marlikkon flesh, if shelled in an intact lump, floats in most liquids, and so sees use as a garnish in all manner of ornate desserts, but it is commonly just handed out as a nut, with a cracking tool (in a roadside inn, usually a small wooden mallet), and eaten “raw.”

Salusk
This is a melon that has the beige flesh and sweet taste of a perfectly ripe pear when it is ripe. Ripeness can be reliably discerned from the outside because the rind or skin turns emerald green.
When not yet ripe, its rind is pale green, thick, and oily, and the flesh inside is green and hard and tart, rather like eating orange peel; it’s perfectly edible but not beloved by all that many.
When overripe, the flesh turns brown and mushy and very tart (like spiced plum sauce), and the rind or skin goes maroon and eventually splits, whereupon swarms of wasps and hornets descend to eat it.
Not yet ripe or ripe salusk can be fried, and soaks up the flavor of whatever it’s fried in, so it’s a popular way to “make meat go farther” by giving a large number of diners something hot that tastes like meat. Raw or cooked, the rind is edible but rather tasteless, has the texture of boiled leather, and has very little nutritional value, though it will encourage regularity.
Salusk grows wild everywhere in Faerûn from the latitude of northern Calimshan south. It grows on creeping vines, most melons the size of a small human head when full-grown, dozens per plant, and having a spindle shape: an ovoid with two “horns” thrusting out of opposing sides of the ovoid, the vine attached to one and the flowers of the salusk-vine sprouting from the other. It is cultivated by encouraging it to grow over and along fences or bent-over scrub trees, and fertilized with livestock dung. Salusks and horsetails tend to naturally grow together.
The salusk is a popular fruit for its hardiness (resistance to bruising, or being damaged by bruising), durability (if picked just under-ripe or ripe, it typically doesn’t go overripe for two tendays, if kept out of hot direct sun), and its aforementioned companionability to meat.

So saith Ed, and I hope to receive more lore replies from him over the next two days, to cover all the years up through 2013.
love to all,
THO
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1369 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  15:50:16  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
Woohoo! Christmas presents from Ed for everyone. hehehe
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Kris the Grey
Senior Scribe

USA
422 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  18:28:40  Show Profile Send Kris the Grey a Private Message
Certainly something to look forward to over the last few days of 2013!

Thanks as always to Ed and THO!

Kris the Grey - Member in Good Standing of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, the Arcane Guild of Silverymoon, and the Connecticut Bar Association
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  18:41:38  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Heh. Indeed!
And hi again, fellow scribes.
Well, Ed has come through. Here’s a reply to an outstanding 2005 lore question, this one by scribe Lashan, who posted on the 20th of May, 2005: “I just thought of a topic that I would love to know more about if Ed feels so inclined. Sir, can you tell me more about the "Lost Ways" that are located in the hills above Mulmaster? Much thanks...”

It’s been a long wait indeed, but heeeeere’s Ed:


There are many competing tales about the origins and nature of the Lost Ways, and new rumors arise from time to time to twist and embellish them or add to their number. Most learned sages and longtime resident families of Mulmaster “know” that the Lost Ways are disused copper and silver mines, tunnels that slope down into the hills and that were dug and expanded into a labyrinth for centuries, and then disused for centuries longer when the veins of ore ran out - - only to become the haunts of monsters, desperate outlaws, smugglers, and handy body hiding places for murderers.
All of this is true, but what complicates matters is that these mines, which rarely went deeper than about eighty feet down (because they encountered a layer of very hard green-black igneous rock that seemed to “go on forever” and is in fact about forty feet thick, with very few fissures, natural breaks, or sinkholes piercing it), did eventually intersect with two things:

• A small network-of-defensible-tunnels dwarven fortress, Harr’s Hold, hewn out of solid rock (a cache and way-hold dwarves mining in the area could scurry to when the beast-men [ogres] of Thar grew too numerous, rather than a stronghold belonging to, and owned by, one dwarf clan. It has more recently seen use as a bandit-hold; the lair of an illithid and its servitors, both human and monstrous; and a base for rebels from Mulmaster desiring to overthrow the cruel government of their city.

• Natural caverns connecting with deeper “ways” of the Underdark - - ways up through which have come many fearsome monsters to infest the mines, over the years, their numbers and nature making it perilous to approach certain areas in the hills. These monsters have included such cunning predators as fomorian blinders, razor hydrae, tomb spiders, and a gigantic cloaker lord known as Eeeyrith, that commands many slave creatures, both lesser cloakers and a wide array of beasts. The more insatiable and predatory creatures from below, such as the fomorians and hydrae, have ranged out over the countryside, far and wide, but have tended to survive and thrive if they fared east and northeast, keeping to the mountains and preying upon the everpresent orcs and prospectors (human, dwarven, and gnome) who enter these areas nigh-constantly. The tomb spiders and Eeeyrith have remained in the labyrinthine Lost Ways, tending them almost as a gigantic “garden,” to keep a wide array of monsters lairing and roaming in the Ways, and fairly constant streams of food arriving for these beasts to survive - - however hungrily - - on.

Certain Blades of Mulmaster have from time to time made cautious efforts to explore the Lost Ways (often through proxies such as hired adventurers). Upon learning how dangerous the tunnels and caverns have become, they have done two things: made very sure that no accurate maps of the old mines survive in Mulmaster, but that maps to known entrances, and a few rooms or passages “just inside” those entrances, are readily available for shady backstreet purchase; and to spread rumors in the city of new veins of ore, rich cached treasures of coins or gems or even magic items being found in the Lost Ways. They then work through intermediaries (such as local thieves, moneylenders, and smugglers) to subtly encourage their rival Blades, particularly malcontents dissatisfied with the policies of the rulers of Mulmaster, to seek their luck in the Lost Ways (as, of course, a way of getting rid of said rivals).
All of which keeps the Lost Ways in the backs of Mulmasterite minds, leads to many ill-fated forays into the Ways, and fosters confusion with other rumors of hidden delves in the hills, fortresses in the hills, and even magically-hidden wizard’s abodes in the hills - - all of which exist.
Elminster adds two elements to this rich mix of danger, associated lore, and misinformation that he personally knows to be true:

1. For decades, opportunistic doppelgangers have dwelt in human form in some hill ranches between the city and the Lost Ways, kept an eye on who “went forth” into the Lost Ways, and taken advantage of those Mulmasterites being in the Lost Ways or dying there to temporarily impersonate them back in the city, skulking about doing thefts, kidnappings, and even murders that bring immediate troubles onto the “real” Mulmasterites upon their return (in some cases, the doppelgangers enjoyed being the humans they ere impersonating, and sought to swiftly murder “themselves” so they could continue in their new roles).

2. One real treasure that was taken into the Lost Ways and presumably remains there are the Tlaenblades, a matched set of four longswords crafted by the elven smith Tlaenreth Taltarr in 1216 DR in the Deep Cave beneath Semberholme. These blades are light in weight, beautifully made, and have the following properties: +2 vampiric (as in: the hp damage they do are stored in them, and the wielder can choose to call on this pool at any time to heal their own damage, or by pommel contact heal other beings; the pool can’t be used as “extra” hit points by undamaged wielders) that store two spells that can each be used twice in every 24 hours, but only for four minutes or less at a time: fly and passwall (as the spells). Anyone grasping a Tlaenblade by its grip is considered a wielder, and while doing so is constantly mentally aware of the direction and general distance away of the other three Tlaenblades.

So saith Ed, gleefully increasing Realmslore for us all whenever he can.
love to all,
THO
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6218 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  21:57:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message
huh, I just realized after reading the entry on fruits. I'd always posited in my homebrew stories that Thay grew something called "honeyberries" and made a syrup from it. I pictured them golden-yellow in color, but apparently in real world there is something called honeyberries that look a little like blueberries. Now, I'm kind of thinking about making a garden for the things... even though I suck royally at growing stuff.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  22:56:41  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message
Give it a try Sleyvas. If I can do it, you can too.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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rjfras
Learned Scribe

261 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  00:19:58  Show Profile  Visit rjfras's Homepage Send rjfras a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Heh. Indeed!

• Natural caverns connecting with deeper “ways” of the Underdark - - ways up through which have come many fearsome monsters to infest the mines, over the years, their numbers and nature making it perilous to approach certain areas in the hills. These monsters have included such cunning predators as fomorian blinders, razor hydrae, tomb spiders, and a gigantic cloaker lord known as Eeeyrith, that commands many slave creatures, both lesser cloakers and a wide array of beasts. The more insatiable and predatory creatures from below, such as the fomorians and hydrae, have ranged out over the countryside, far and wide, but have tended to survive and thrive if they fared east and northeast, keeping to the mountains and preying upon the everpresent orcs and prospectors (human, dwarven, and gnome) who enter these areas nigh-constantly.





What can you tell us about razor hydrae?
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4949 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  01:05:10  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
Ahh Mulmaster. Always a place of interest since Ed's "Everwinking Eye" series of articles in Polyhedron a long time back. I've long hoped that Ed could provide some history on the place, specifically on Nesker, its "Sorcerer King". Put the request in the queue please THO!

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 30 Dec 2013 01:05:40
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  03:20:32  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
George, consider it done!
rjfras, what would you like to know? The razor hydra is a 4e "straight up" Monster Manual beastie.
Everyone, Ed's lore reply for 2006 arrived garbled, so I've sent him a heads-up, but in the meantime, I'm posting his 2007 reply, which came through just fine, as follows...
Back on the 3rd of April of 2007, Uzzy asked two questions, and Ed has provided an answer to this one: “Are there any genetic disorders that arise from breeding between the various races, and how are they treated, and the people with them treated? Thanks in advance for anything you can share with us.”

Here’s what Ed has to say:


In the Realms, it seems as if life overrules non-life, or to put it another way: when races interbreed, it’s far more likely that there will be successful issue versus infertility or consistent stillbirths. So there are lots of “half-something” individuals alive in the Realms.
Of these, half-elves and half-orcs are numerous and often “breed true” down later generations to produce more half-elves and half-orcs, not just offspring that are visually very similar to one parent race or the other. That makes them well-known sub-races to all.
Yet there are many, many crossbreeds, and few or no commentators labeling specific individuals among those crossbreeds as “different in this precise way because of their heritage” (as opposed to racial purists who say simpler things like “Argrath is not a pure orc! So Argrath is LESS than us!”).
In other words, few individuals think about inherited conditions except as defects, and fewer still think hard about the details of such conditions. Genetics is well-known (as “breeding”) because many livestock owners deliberately breed their horses or oxen or boar or cattle deliberately to get more of this trait and less of that one, and although anyone who thinks about such matters for a few moments will grasp that humans and other intelligent creatures can be selectively bred, too, and in some cases “should be” (to guard a royal lineage from interbreeding but at the same time keep it “of the realm” and not “weakened or tainted” by undesirable bloodlines), most intelligent beings balk at the notion of letting most unions and births be determined by some breeder or other, as opposed to family, clan, local, friend, or temple influences.
All of which means understanding of genetic disorders may be very limited, hotly disputed, and poorly understood.
None of which makes them not real.
The published Realms reflects real-world considerations of wide commercial acceptability and even desirability, so published coverage of such matters as genetic disorders will probably remain limited. So as to avoid upsetting some gaming consumers, while at the same time affording individual DMs (and fiction writers) the maximum freedom to create traits or outcomes that best suit their stories at hand.
Drow crossbreeds (with other sorts of elves or with humans, to identify the most likely couplings) do have a genetic disorder involving skin conditions and vision problems related to prevalent daily exposure to sunlight, just as their drow heritage will tend to show up in their pointed ears, fine features, agile and slender build, and skin that won’t be coal-black or purple-black, but that will hint at parentage that had such skin hues.
The notorious trader in Scornubel who deals in bladed weapons of all sorts (weapons that conceal their blades a specialty) and blade poisons, Murlaerlath Jethurrla, has pale white skin with a black tinge “beneath” it. His pointed ears, aquiline nose, and high cheekbones say “elf” to anyone who sees him, and many suspect him (correctly) of having drow blood in his ancestry. He stays indoors in gloomy chambers by day, and is out on the streets only by night, because bright sunlight hurts his eyes. He had a drow mother (an escaped slave, not a matron of Lolth) and a moon elf father.
His vision problems (and a “skin wasting” or cracking and shriveling of the dermis that we in the modern real world would call a skin cancer, that afflicts many drow crossbreeds who are forced into frequent contact with full sunlight) are prevalent enough to be genetic disorders to any real-world observer who could see enough of the Realms to form any proper judgment.
Yet general acceptance of an outcome can be just that: general acceptance of it, rather than goading anyone into a search for “cures” or treatments. Often this is bolstered by cultural or religious disapproval (“That’s what the gods do to fools who breed with drow” or “That there is Lolth’s curse on anyone trying to breed their way out of her clutches.”)
More often, genetic disorders aren’t so obvious. For instance, there’s a reason dwarf-human, dwarf-elf, and dwarf-orc crossbreeds are so rare as to be almost underheard-of. The reason is that the disorders tend to kill potential offspring very early on in the womb, so the material that would have become a child is reabsorbed and life for the parents goes on without issue. The same disorders cause the hardiest dwarf-human and dwarf-orc breedings—that is, the ones that do survive—to grow to human or orc height (so that although they almost always inherit dwarven hirsuteness, and love and “feel for” stone [and lust for trade-metals and gems], they can pass for a member of their non-dwarf heritage race).
All of which means that treatment for a disorder is rare indeed, and is almost always in the form of hired arcane spells applied to individuals who can afford them, as treatments. Usually this isn’t for “my disorder” but rather “to fight my curse,” the origins of the curse being unknown or misunderstood as an attack by a foe.

All of which leaves a DM or storyteller free to introduce exceptions, throwbacks, and new understanding (or misunderstandings) to the Realms or their version of it. I want to tread carefully here not because genetic disorders are a ticklish subject for me, but because I’m wary of pruning away possibilities and options too enthusiastically, just to add to lore.


So saith Ed. Who hopes that what he’s said is of some use to Uzzy, despite his caution.
love to all,
THO
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2068 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  04:59:34  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message
what can Ed tell us about Khelben the younger and would he mind telling us what he can or is whats in the history of the realms it?

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


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

France
174 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  08:42:08  Show Profile Send Marco Volo a Private Message
Thanks a lot Ed for bringing up so many lore !
I recall a question I asked this year (february) about "adventurer's club" in Waterdeep. I'd love to hear from Ed about it and I think I'm not alone on that case.

Edited by - Marco Volo on 30 Dec 2013 12:43:15
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