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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2014 :  20:01:01  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all, and thank you for answering Clegane re. we Knights and our literary endeavours.
I THINK you've caught all the gaming stuff . . .

As for your query about Ren O' The Blade, Clegane, see this:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/cosw_maps/cosw5.jpg

On that admittedly squidy image, find the label "Lackpurse Lane" and from the final "e" go east two buildings along Lackpurse Lane, on the south side of that street, to a light beige building that's situated a bit south of the buildings on either side. That red brick (street and floor above, with two now-rickety wooden floors atop that, and no cellars thanks to harbortide flooding) building was Ren O' The Blade's main base of operations (though he temporarily rented some North Ward addresses from time to time for various "operations").
All of this comes, of course, from Ed's notes.
love,
THO
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Clegane
Seeker

65 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2014 :  20:22:03  Show Profile Send Clegane a Private Message
Thank you.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2014 :  02:28:08  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 Blueblade

Dear Ed and THO,
Just wanted to say: Ed's short story, "Awakening The Deep Magic," in the front of the Kobold Press DEEP MAGIC was a nice, fun read. Thank you!
(Geez, you've been a busy guy, Ed. Don't you ever sleep?)
BB

Great Bats! I've still to download my copy as part of the Kickstarter.

Thanks for the reminder BB.

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

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2014 :  04:23:12  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 Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

Dear Ed and THO,
Just wanted to say: Ed's short story, "Awakening The Deep Magic," in the front of the Kobold Press DEEP MAGIC was a nice, fun read. Thank you!
(Geez, you've been a busy guy, Ed. Don't you ever sleep?)
BB

Great Bats! I've still to download my copy as part of the Kickstarter.

Thanks for the reminder BB.

And, funnily enough, I just came home from the library to find my hardcopies of Deep Magic and the Kobold Guide to Magic sitting on my doorstep. Woot!

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30225 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2014 :  04:38:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

Dear Ed and THO,
Just wanted to say: Ed's short story, "Awakening The Deep Magic," in the front of the Kobold Press DEEP MAGIC was a nice, fun read. Thank you!
(Geez, you've been a busy guy, Ed. Don't you ever sleep?)
BB

Great Bats! I've still to download my copy as part of the Kickstarter.

Thanks for the reminder BB.



You don't have the print books already?

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Beppe63
Seeker

Italy
42 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2014 :  08:27:32  Show Profile  Visit Beppe63's Homepage Send Beppe63 a Private Message
Hi all,

apart Dragon Purple patrols what type of encounter are normally possible along this road? I'm talking about regular encounters, not wandering monsters.
And possibly how often?

I ask this because the party is traveling from Greatgaunt to Eveningstar.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Bye.

Beppe63
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2014 :  08:35:17  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 Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

Dear Ed and THO,
Just wanted to say: Ed's short story, "Awakening The Deep Magic," in the front of the Kobold Press DEEP MAGIC was a nice, fun read. Thank you!
(Geez, you've been a busy guy, Ed. Don't you ever sleep?)
BB

Great Bats! I've still to download my copy as part of the Kickstarter.

Thanks for the reminder BB.



You don't have the print books already?

As I noted in my second reply just above your quoted post, I arrived home two hours later to find the mailed print copies on my doorstep. I've been reading them ever since...

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2014 :  22:44:53  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

Do whales beach themselves in Faerun and if so, where and what kind of whales?
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  03:06:59  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 createvmind

Hello All,

Do whales beach themselves in Faerun and if so, where and what kind of whales?

I'm not Ed, but I can partially answer this one by drawing on info from a previous Greenwood-reply:-

"The Daerasluke
This fast, agile, whale likes to play (leaping clear of the water, chasing each other around ships, islands, and undersea obstacles) in pairs or small groups. Daerasluke are slender, 50 to 70 feet long when full-grown, have large front fins and heads like very large flat arrowheads, and are sandy-hued. Under their hides is a thin layer of spongy yellow skin that leaks a yellow oil that can be burned as lamp oil just “as is” (so stabbing a beached [Sage-emphasised for relevance] or dead daerasluke causes an outflow of oil that barrels and lamps can be filled from). Under this is white, fibrous, “whitefish”-like flesh that’s very oily, but edible; it can be squeezed to “drive out” the oil and the less-oily flesh then eaten (it “fries itself” when cooked), or it can be cooked down or boiled down to separate out a lot more oil if the flesh isn’t wanted for eating. Daerasluke are plentiful, and females usually give birth to six or seven frisky young at once; they may produce two such families in a season if conditions are favourable."

...

Taking from this, we can see that whales in the Realms do indeed beach themselves. Though I'm assuming Ed will likely have more to add at some point.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

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

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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scuda
Seeker

26 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  15:12:13  Show Profile Send scuda a Private Message
Hello,
I'm looking to find the entire speech—if it exists—of Fzoul Chembryl, as quoted from the novel Elminster's Daughter:

THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE LURE

I put out my hand, and the fish swam right into my net-as they always do. It's all in the brightness of the lure you offer.

Fzoul Chembryl, High Lord of the Zhentarim, Conquering What I Want of the World: Words For All the Brethren to Live By (text of speech, circulated amongst the Zhentarim) Year of the Unstrung Harp



Can anyone advise or point me to a source? Thank you in advance.
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

731 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  15:40:36  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message
Some disturbing questions for Ed and THO about the goddess Sune -

In the very recent novel The Sentinel, the Chosen of Sune (Joelle) is strongly encouraged by her goddess to use her Chosen-enhanced magical charm ability to not only get aid from people but actually to make people fall in "love" with her to the point that they would commit self-sacrifice (i.e. suicide themselves for Joelle). In that book, when Joelle is unable to push a man into doing this for her, she somewhat randomly turns to a female friend (her adventuring companion, Arietta) and charms her. This magical charm essentially convinces Arietta that she's in "love" and the two have a lesbian sex encounter.

I found this to be extremely disturbing, but not because of the lesbian encounter itself.

First and foremost, it strongly suggests that a magically-induced love charm is viewed as actual love by the goddess Sune. After all, Sune gave these gifts to her Chosen Joelle, specifically to cause someone to fall in "love" and commit suicide (as a kind of self-sacrifice) for Joelle. This is the primary driving plot of the novel.

Second, there was zero indication that Joelle and Arietta were anything other than friends until Joelle forces the magical charm on Arietta. This seems similar to using rape-drugs, but it's actually worse IMO because it's a rape that is condoned and encouraged by a goddess-granted Chosen power, and the ultimate end-goal is the death (by self-"sacrifice") of the charmed individual.

Are these things not evil, criminal?

How can I ever again see Sune as a good, noble goddess in the Realms, if she condones and encourages magically-induced rape? How do I ever see Sune as the goddess of actual, real love, when an enhanced magical charm is considered equivalent?

How do I tell my players that magically charming a tavern wench and using her sexually isn't an evil, criminal act? Particularly when a good goddess like Sune encourages her own Chosen to do the same exact thing? In Cormyr and many other places in the Realms, magical compulsion to have forced sex is a serious crime - right? The fact that Arietta was highly confused afterwards wasn't because she was struggling with real feelings, it was because she was suffering from a Chosen-enhanced magical compulsion. Is this really moral and right in Sune's view?

Was I mistaken to believe that real, true love was Sune's primary portfolio/goal? Does the goddess have a wide, very loose interpretation of love, such that anything that vaguely looks like love fits the description? Does Sune have a different interpretation of rape, compared to the legal systems of Cormyr and Waterdeep?

How do I square what happened in that novel with who I thought Sune was, and what I thought she stood for as a good-aligned goddess?


"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 23 Apr 2014 15:47:38
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30225 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  19:03:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Another round of queries for my ever-growing requests for Edlore!

I've noticed that almost every beholder named by Ed has an X in its name... In fact, for most of the beholders Ed has named, the names started with X (Manxam being the only exception I can readily recall).

Is there any significance to that letter? Does it perhaps have some special meaning in the beholder tongue? Does it mean anything when the name does not start with X?

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1458 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  19:10:45  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron

In the very recent novel The Sentinel
(sigh) You know that Ed is far too nice for responding to the effect of "author X messed up big time, ignore that", even if a specific case was painfully obvious, right?
Though this one seems to be off, but not absurdly so - it was well established that gods tend to see things through tinted glass.
quote:
the Chosen of Sune (Joelle) is strongly encouraged by her goddess to use her Chosen-enhanced magical charm ability to not only get aid from people but actually to make people fall in "love" with her to the point that they would commit self-sacrifice (i.e. suicide themselves for Joelle). [...] she somewhat randomly turns to a female friend [...] and charms her.
This magical charm essentially convinces Arietta that she's in "love" [...] First and foremost, it strongly suggests that a magically-induced love charm is viewed as actual love by the goddess Sune.
I'm not Ed, of course, but...
Going by rulebooks, Charm always seemed to be "okay if used correctly" for Sunites - the details of this may indeed require some elucidation, even if most are not too puzzling e.g. for myself.
But charm does not "convince that" the target have feelings that "actually" are absent, it indeed induces feelings. Just like, e.g. one may insist that a knee-jerk reaction () induced via static discharge is "not a real exercise!", but in plain physical sense muscles still work out a little, someone's buttock that was on the way of the moving foot gets kicked, etc.
Practically, this means a lot of folk may consider use of enchantments "to teach 'em what X is" a good idea in general, though IMHO this should apply to strong. short-term and flexible spell Emotion much more than to Charm.
On the flip side of this, e.g. someone uses a Symbol of Discord at a bunch of Drow, and... why exactly should we expect it to change anything at all? They already felt this way longer than the naive human spellcaster lived, and still didn't butcher each other yet.
A clarification on such matters would be great.
Wait - "not only get aid"? You thought that a goddess of love gives them charm just for... mooching? Really?
quote:
After all, Sune gave these gifts to her Chosen Joelle, specifically to cause someone to fall in "love" and commit suicide (as a kind of self-sacrifice) for Joelle. This is the primary driving plot of the novel.
The "suicide" part is weird.
quote:
Are these things not evil, criminal?
You mean, unlike using charm to scam someone?
And why you use "evil, criminal" with a comma? How those are linked (other than via Big Brother love)? Good-Evil and Law-Chaos were traditionally perpendicular.
quote:
How can I ever again see Sune as a good, noble goddess in the Realms, if she condones and encourages magically-induced rape? How do I ever see Sune as the goddess of actual, real love, when an enhanced magical charm is considered equivalent?
Even if some or other deity is generally viewed as beneficial, this doesn't mean they only do things approved by everyone or that everyone should approve all their deeds. Tempus likes brawls, Lathander is dangerously irresponsible - both trends often lead to death, so what? And let's not even start on the Elves and their pantheon.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

731 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  20:03:58  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron

In the very recent novel The Sentinel
(sigh) You know that Ed is far too nice for responding to the effect of "author X messed up big time, ignore that", even if a specific case was painfully obvious, right?

I'd like an answer from Ed because he himself said that he would have to "wrap up" any loose ends from the Sundering series. IMO, this is a gigantic change in the behavior of a good-aligned goddess.

Also TBeholder, you gloss over critical points.

1. This was no simple Charm spell. It was a goddess-granted Chosen power, an amplified and enhanced love charm.

2. Sune expected a "self sacrifice" (their death) based on this false, enchanted form of "love" (which really isn't love).

3. This isn't a "viewing things through tinted glass" for a god or goddess. Sune's core portfolio is love. This is categorically, undeniably, a false, fake form of love. It removes choice and real feelings from the table. This should go against everything Sune stands for, in every way: from the magical compulsion to have sex without free consent (which IS rape), to the "need" to have the charmed person sacrifice themselves based on a lie (which is a form of murder).

quote:
Wait - "not only get aid"? You thought that a goddess of love gives them charm just for... mooching? Really?

You twist my words to poor effect. Sunites should and can use normal charm spells when necessary, for a good outcome (not an evil one). With a regular charm spell, "the affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders". But this enhanced Chosen power not only removes free will from the equation (unless you're another god's Chosen), Sune is also specifically asking for someone to sacrifice themselves based on this magically-created lie.

Rape and murder should be morally and ethically offensive to the goddess Sune.


"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 23 Apr 2014 20:11:28
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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

84 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2014 :  20:54:27  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message
Dear THO and Ed, I have a somewhat long question I would like to ask Ed, and while I am aware that some of the readers may disagree, I would like to begin by mentioning that I ask this respectfully and that I like Ed's work. My question has to do with some aspects I do not like about the Realms, which have led me to enjoy its fiction but to not be the campaign setting I use when playing. In fact, when I learned to play D&D I did so in the Realms but have never done so again, and as I just said I like its fiction. This has to do with a feeling that the Realms, having been created by Ed prior to D&D with his stories, are better suited, according to my tastes, to fiction, because of something many dnd players consider: Elminster and the Chosen of Mystra. What I would like to ask Ed is whether the way I conceive or interpret their role in the world is mistaken and that thus my dislike is attributable to a mistake of mine, or whether it is the way things are and it is a matter of simple taste disagreement, case which would be perfectly normal: after all, I admit that many dnd players love the Realms as they are according to the Mystra's chosen vision, and that is a perfectly respectable taste. What I don't like is the idea that Elminster successfully manipulates many events in the world and, being almost the most powerful being in the world, he is the one to save it from the greatest threats, rather than players. Of course, this does not mean that PCs are irrelevant, but only that while El deals with the worst menaces, they deal with others. Still, I don't like this. On top of that, most mysterious and powerful beings are Chosen of Mystra and allegedly good-aligned. I am aware of the idea that they can err, but my qualms have to do with two aspects: first of all, that there are neither more powerful evil beings nor non-Chosen of Mystra more powerful mysterious beings. Secondly, Elminster and the Chosen embody an idea of goodness removed from that of certain merciful, pious approaches, and so do not have that romantic feel. Moreover, non-wizards and gods different from Mystra and agents of other deities have no real chance. While Mystra has been defeated in the past, this may have been a decision of WotC rather than El's. Lastly, villains are depicted as foolish or significantly weaker, e.g. Manshoon (in fiction at least). To conclude, I stress that I love Ed's fiction and admire his work, and more than that I think that he is very friendly and generous to share his ideas with us. I like the realms and will continue to do so, and if there is a disagreement I may be in the wrong, but these concerns of mine lead me to play in other settings, and yet I may be wrong in how I interpret these aspects about the Realms. Thank you (I always wanted to ask this respectfully).
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  02:15:17  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 Wooly Rupert

Another round of queries for my ever-growing requests for Edlore!

I've noticed that almost every beholder named by Ed has an X in its name... In fact, for most of the beholders Ed has named, the names started with X (Manxam being the only exception I can readily recall).

Is there any significance to that letter? Does it perhaps have some special meaning in the beholder tongue? Does it mean anything when the name does not start with X?

I'm pretty sure I've [or was it Kuje?] asked Ed this one already... back in '05. It's still pending an answer from the Ol' Bearded One as I recall.

...

Strangely enough, I don't think any of the major sources on Beholders -- being 2e's I, Tyrant or the 3e Lords of Madness tome -- really defined proper Realms naming conventions for these aberrations.

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MagniThorson
Seeker

20 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  04:29:45  Show Profile Send MagniThorson a Private Message
To THO or ED,

Does Waterdeep have a robust freshwater system like Rome? I believe Spring sees Waterdeep's population swell to 600,000 which in ancient time was unsustainable because of the formation and spread of disease lacking from fresh drinking water and the lack of water used to clear refuse into sewers.

Waterdeep has a developed sewer system but I don't recall mention of water supply either magic or mundane. At her peak, Rome had seven working aqueduct systems bringing an incredible 13,000,000 gallons of freshwater daily to the city which allowed it to attain an incredible population of one million. The barbarian hordes toward the end of the Western Roman empire learned to target these as a means of attack, thus promoting the problems of disease.

Thanks,

MT
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  04:49:46  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Eltheron, I know that when Ed was finishing THE HERALD, he’d only read the first three Sundering novels, because neither Richard nor Troy had finished or submitted theirs - - so there’s no way Ed can “wrap up” or “bat cleanup” in his book for anything in books 4 and 5 of the Sundering. However, off your question has gone to him, and we’ll see what answer comes back.

MagniThorson, the various published versions of Waterdeep have largely avoided detailing the interior of Mount Waterdeep (the "citadel" dungeon level controlled by the thieves and assassins inside it, for example), and part of that detail is the spring of fresh water that shoots up inside the heart of Mount Waterdeep, and used to spew out down its seaward rocks into the sea, but for centuries now has been directed into large cistern-caverns inside the upper mountain, from which it flows down pipes into the various wards of the city. Ed's original city maps also had public pumps and wells marked, all over the city.

Which brings us to paladinnicolas. Dear paladinnicolas, heeeeere’s Ed:


paladinnicolas, no offense taken.
The published Realms have focused on Elminster and the Chosen of Mystra FAR more than my “home” Realms campaign ever has, even with Elminster literally living next door to the Knights, in Shadowdale, for a lot of campaign time.
This is due to the popularity of these characters, resulting in requests by both publishers (TSR and Wizards) for me to write Elminster novels that often feature the other Chosen, from the Seven to Khelben and for that matter the goddess of magic herself. In my own Realms campaign, Elminster is far more of “the old storyteller” who drops hints or recollections about someone or something, then frustratingly vanishes on his own business, leaving the Player Characters on their own.
So the short answer to your question is that you are very much mistaken that Elminster is “the most powerful being in the world.” Far from it. Nor is he infallible, and he’s not interested in saving the world from its “greatest threats” - - rather, he’s interested in being the best servant Mystra has. (That is, furthering her aims, of protecting the Weave and of promoting magic so it’s as widely used as possible by the maximum number of creatures, not concentrated in the hands of a few who use it to rule or tyrannize others.) His greatest achievement may just be doggedly keeping at this, refusing to go away and refusing to give up.
Elminster DOES “successfully manipulates many events in the world,” but they are events large and small, most of them hidden from public view or what we modern real-worlders might term “geopolitics,” and he and the other Chosen are by no means dealing “with the worst menaces.” They are doing what Mystra wants him to do, which usually consists of stealthily leaving scrolls and spellbooks where adventurers and “just plain folks” can find them, steering those who have a talent for the Art into places and meetings where they’ll have a chance to learn more about the Art, and so on.
When you state that “most mysterious and powerful beings are Chosen of Mystra and allegedly good-aligned,” I’m afraid you’re simply wrong. There are perhaps twenty active Chosen at any one time, and they serve Mystra in many different ways - - by which I mean they are by no means all “magical fighters” or “meddlers” or “adventurers.” Some of them are literally scribes who write down magic and hide from the world.
[[Nor are these Chosen what everyone would call “good.” Khelben was a law-and-order type, but Elminster and Storm delight in breaking laws and rules, particularly where they see such laws and rules as protecting the corrupt or promoting good at the expense of personal freedoms.]]
With Khelben off the scene, and acknowledging that Manshoon and Halaster have personal relationships with Mystra but are NOT Chosen, and the Srinshee largely keeps away from human affairs, that leaves Elminster and the Seven as the sort of ‘active’ Chosen you’re probably envisaging. Right now (I’m assuming you haven’t yet read THE HERALD) not all of the Seven are still alive, one of them (Dove) almost entirely avoids using magic, and one (Qilué) is shared between Mystra and Eilistraee, and the result is a mere handful of Chosen of Mystra (four or five beings, in the entire world) who MIGHT conceivably compete with Player Character adventurers in some situations.
And they usually won’t compete with adventurers, because they’re usually busy doing something else (recall the scene I put into SPELLFIRE, with Elminster and Florin strolling right through a battle, Elminster’s attention entirely on other things than what Shandril and her companions were involved in, and facing).
Contrary to what you state, there are MANY “more powerful evil beings” AND “non-Chosen of Mystra more powerful mysterious beings” than there are Chosen of Mystra. Larloch and Shaaan the Serpent Queen, just to name two of a long, long, LONG list (and right now I’m only considering those characters I created for the Realms, not those others have added to the setting). From the first, there have been more “nasty bad guys” (and gals, and nonhuman critters) in the Realms than good guys. I know, because I put them there, from Fzoul and Szass Tam to Klauth and the many Malaugrym and even more beholders.
Whether or not Elminster and the Chosen have a “romantic feel” is, of course, a personal view and if you find them non-romantic, so be it. I think some of the Seven are quite romantic, but I find Elminster more gruff and comical (and forbidding underneath) than romantic. However, I find his dedication, and his love of the Realms, romantic indeed.
When you state: “non-wizards and gods different from Mystra and agents of other deities have no real chance,” I’m afraid I flatly disagree. My fiction and the existing published history of the Realms (see the Grand History of the Realms) describe many mistakes, defeats, reverses, and outwittings of Mystryl and the two Mystras and their servants and agents - - and these defeats continue right up to the “present day” of the published Realms.
This sentence puzzles me: “While Mystra has been defeated in the past, this may have been a decision of WotC rather than El's.” Elminster doesn’t get to decide Mystra’s fate; it’s far more the other way around. If you meant to write “rather than Ed’s,” you’re partly correct; Wizards is the copyright holder of the Realms now, and control the creative direction of the Realms - - but in the past, I had more of a free hand in what I wrote (not the actual prose, which always got attentively edited, but the content) and so Mystra’s defeats were matters I created.
“Lastly, villains are depicted as foolish or significantly weaker, e.g. Manshoon (in fiction at least).” Here you are spot-on correct, but that was due to TSR’s infamous Code of Conduct (evil cannot be seen to win or benefit in any lasting manner from their achievements, evil cannot be portrayed as more successful or more competent than good, villains must always be more clearly flawed than heroes), and Realms designers railed against this so much that you should be able to spot passages in both my fiction and in Realms game products where the “Keystone Kops” incompetence of the Zhents was lampooned or where we attempted to provide rational in-game explanations for it.
About twenty years ago, I ran eleven short (13 session) mini-campaigns in a public library (the Player Characters were members of chartered adventuring bands in Cormyr, given charters that had a built in “starter mission’/adventure), and I don’t think Elminster or the other Chosen were so much as mentioned, let alone ever appeared, in ten of them. In the eleventh, Storm Silverhand led some Harpers right through the PCs’ forest campsite in the middle of the night, scaring the er-whatsis out of them.
The view of El and the Chosen as getting in the “game way” of Player Characters adventuring in the Realms, and so limiting their adventures, that you set forth in your post is one I’ve heard many times, but it’s not a view I’ve ever heard from any player I have Dungeon Mastered. I can only conclude that a lot of DMs must use El and the Chosen as giant hammers to batter down uppity players and their characters, which is horrible DMing behaviour. El and the Chosen are part of the rich background tapestry of the Realms, and should be used sparingly - - just as the gods themselves should be used even more sparingly.
Inevitably the published Realms fiction focuses on heroes, and about five years before the end of TSR’s tenure as custodian of the Realms, it was decided that authors should have “signature characters” and that mine should be Elminster, and I’ve been asked to write Elminster, more Elminster, and still more Elminster books ever since - - but I’ve never heard anyone say that because Sherlock Holmes is an immortal character of lasting popularity, they can’t set games in London, even Victorian London, because he’s somehow “in the way.” Nor do the writers of murder mysteries shun London because there was once a mysterious butcher named Jack the Ripper.
Now with all of this said, your (and yes, it is very respectful, and I thank you for that) post doesn’t anger me, because I welcome the chance to try to increase your enjoyment of the Realms and to “set the record straight” for others who might share the interpretation of El and the Chosen that you have posted about.
Elminster isn’t even my favorite Realms character, nor are any of the other Chosen. I’ve always had a softer spot for Mirt the Moneylender, myself.
I find it sad when gamers turn away from the Realms because of this skewed notion of the role of the Chosen of Mystra. The setting is SO much larger and richer than that. (I’ve worked on it for not much less than fifty years now, trying to make it ever richer.) I hope you can come to see that, paladinnicolas - - and more than that, start to enjoy playing in the Realms.
(There’s this Tyranny of Dragons thing coming up, and if you take a peek at it, you’ll see something else that I am SO happy is finally being focused on in the Realms, that might make you consider the Harpers, the Zhentarim, and so on in a new light.)

So saith Ed, whom I know is hard at work on at least two major Realms projects right now. Neither of which I can comfortably sit and wait for - - but I'll have to!
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  05:02:21  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, and before I hit the sack . . .
Clegane, you're very welcome.
createvmind, The Sage has the right of it. I can recall we Knights hearing of a mass beaching in the Wizards Reach, circa the Year of the Prince . . .
scuda, I'm not sure if the full text is NDA or not. I'll ask Ed...
Right. Tea time for me!!!!
love to all,
THO
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4887 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  08:23:58  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO

I've just read Ed's latest Forging the Realms article, the Thralls of Xaerogleth and have a question. Why would beholders submit to being "guardians" for the dragon Althiunthlahlurmm's hoard? Superior as they consider themselves to be, what would make them take up this role?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Beppe63
Seeker

Italy
42 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  08:37:53  Show Profile  Visit Beppe63's Homepage Send Beppe63 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Beppe63

Hi all,

apart Dragon Purple patrols what type of encounter are normally possible along this road? I'm talking about regular encounters, not wandering monsters.
And possibly how often?

I ask this because the party is traveling from Greatgaunt to Eveningstar.

Thanks for any suggestions.



Sorry I forgot to specific that the road is The High Road. :)

Bye.

Beppe63
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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

84 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  11:02:29  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,
I just wanted to say two things: that I loved the answer Ed gave me, which sheds light on many aspects of the setting and makes it much more interesting for me; and that Ed is a really friendly and tolerant person. I must confess that I asked the question because I had an inkling that my perceptions about the chosen of Mystra and Elminster were mistaken, and I am glad that I was truly wrong. In fact, I think that it would be great for all dnd players to be aware of the correct conception of the Realms regarding the chosen of Mystra that Ed has just described, because they would like the Realms much more and fully appreciate it. Thanks to what you just said Ed, I will buy the Grand History of the Realms and the Tyranny of Dragons adventure when the latter becomes available. If I may, I would like to ask just a few final questions: you said that Elminster interferes in affairs to further the aims of Mystra; but he is a Harper leader as well, which leads him to have other reasons to interfere. Does that not make him overtly active in manipulating affairs for reasons other than Mystra's agenda? Are there organizations that truly have the resources to effectively challenge the Harpers? On the other hand, I must confess that I miss Khelben, because he was somehow a counterbalance to Elminster without being his foe. Finally, do followers of the Triad or Siamorphe not consider Chosen and Harper meddling as contrary to proper legitimate governance and oppose them with reasons that may be legitimate according to them? (I must confess that I have always been fond of the Triad, but regretfully they seem to be largely irrelevant in Realms canon, but again I may be wrong, and hope to be so). To conclude, I would like to thank Ed again for being so gentle and discussing these issues. This opportunity of asking him is invaluable and has made me like his Realms much more -I have said this before, but I am a native Spanish speaker, so please excuse any mistakes I might have made-.
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

731 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  12:50:13  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Eltheron, I know that when Ed was finishing THE HERALD, he’d only read the first three Sundering novels, because neither Richard nor Troy had finished or submitted theirs - - so there’s no way Ed can “wrap up” or “bat cleanup” in his book for anything in books 4 and 5 of the Sundering. However, off your question has gone to him, and we’ll see what answer comes back.


Thank you - this situation with Sune is highly confusing and rather disturbing. So I would appreciate getting Ed's take on this, when he has time.


"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
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  17:02:51  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Ed is incommunicado right now, but I spoke to him earlier this morning, and so can provide a little more to some scribes.

Eltheron, xaeyruudh (in the thread he created) has put what Ed said to me very well: Sune is about ALL love, including murderous passion, the sort of tragic misunderstandings that Shakespeare's Hamlet and Othello both turn on, and obsession/stalking, not just the light and pleasant bits. The light and pleasant bits are what her priests concentrate on publicly, for obvious reasons of making the faith welcoming to all. Ed also added that everything was chaotic and on the gods' part desperate (hence all the "everyone has huge hosts of Chosen" stuff) in a last-minute struggle for power, during the Sundering, so many over-the-line uncharacteristic things were done and attempted.
(And on a personal note, I think if Ed has been writing THE SENTINEL, you'd never have seen such scenes or plot threads on the page.)

paladinnicolas, when it comes to the Harpers, I think it's more that Elminster tries to manipulate the Harpers, too, into doing things that further Mystra's aims. And when you ask "Are there organizations that truly have the resources to effectively challenge the Harpers?" I have to reply: Sure. Many organizations. The Harpers work against too-powerful or tyrannical rulers, remember? Those who oppress and lie to their people? So almost every organized government everywhere in the Realms is an organization that has the resources to effectively challenge the Harpers - - not to mention the Zhentarim, the Red Wizards, the Cult of the Dragon, the Shadow Thieves, etc. etc.

George, I asked Ed that very thing, and his response was: "Being as the Knights are very close to something related to this in play right now, I'm not going to be specific, but tell George that the answer is: there are things in the hoard that beholders hunger to be near."
E-mail him if you want to know more, so my eyes won't see it, because I don't want to ruin our play experience, okay?

And that's it from me, for now...
love to all,
THO
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 24 Apr 2014 :  17:11:14  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

there are things in the hoard that beholders hunger to be near.


You are such a tease. What's a fan to do, under the spell of such effortless manipulation?

On a slightly more serious note, I like this. The doors to creativity are flung wide, at least until more is shared and even then they're never shut.

Thank you.
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