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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2004 :  21:11:20  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
I would ask what constitutes "normal Realms reading" and how C&K deviated from this norm, but once in a while, there's something to be said for blissful ignorance.



As someone who is only halfway through the second book in the Counselors & Kings trilogy, let me offer my input as I was thinking about this last night as I was reading your work

Your plots, to me, are much more complex, than some other Realms books that I have read. Mind you this is not meant as a disparaging remark. Rather, it's a trait that I like to see in novels. Another recent FR book that I think could stand out as more complex than some others is the recently released, The Forsaken House.
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Arion Elenim
Senior Scribe

933 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2004 :  23:11:47  Show Profile  Visit Arion Elenim's Homepage  Click to see Arion Elenim's MSN Messenger address Send Arion Elenim a Private Message
Well, Mrs. C, I won't gush anymore over your works than I already have on this thread....let's just say that I enjoyed being somewhere other than the Sword Coast for a while...

My latest Realms-based short story, about a bard, a paladin of Lathander and the letter of the law, Debts Repaid. It takes place before the "shattering" and gives the bard Arion a last gasp before he plunges into the present.http://candlekeep.com/campaign/logs/log-debts.htm
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 24 Sep 2004 :  23:33:23  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Donohue

I was just wondering, from someone who is of Irish descent but has not visited the Green Ile, is it as beautiful as many say? Was this the first time that you have gone? If you could place Ireland in the FR, where would it be?



Ireland is gorgeous. This was my second trip. Since my mother can walk only for short distances, we focused on scenic drives: the Burren, Dingle peninsula, the Ring of Kerry.

I don't see any FR place as closely analogous to Ireland, but probably the Moonshaes would come closest.
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2004 :  04:00:26  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
Stick some ancient faerie kingdoms on it and you might have something like Evermeet.

I was just in Ireland from August 2nd to the 15th -- why didn't you go earlier? We could have bumped into each other. (Ever since you mentioned your one-on-one workshops you try to do, I've been dying to do one. And of course, you've moved away from DC by the time I find out. I'm selfish, I admit it. I am a dragon . . . .)

Seriously, I do hope you had fun.

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

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rumblebelly
Seeker

Turkey
25 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2004 :  22:19:57  Show Profile  Visit rumblebelly's Homepage Send rumblebelly a Private Message
I adore Skullport
I want more skullport :)

this is the end of the world news: sponsored by god
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2004 :  12:54:52  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
Skullport is indeed an interesting place. I've taken small incursions into its depths, but it really needs its own novel. How about this: "Halaster, Making of an Insane, Evil Mage." I couldn't write it, but I'd definitely be interested in reading it!
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1578 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2004 :  19:21:23  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Skullport is indeed an interesting place. I've taken small incursions into its depths, but it really needs its own novel. How about this: "Halaster, Making of an Insane, Evil Mage." I couldn't write it, but I'd definitely be interested in reading it!



That'd be a massive novel, that. We keep forgetting at times that Hilather/Halaster is older by at least a century or two over Elminster, and his history's still not covered after 5 novels. I shudder to think what it'd take to do Halaster justice (or if it's even possible to attempt a story from his POV--at least six POVs simultaneously across Undermountain). Still, it could be a great experiment in nonlinear narrative, that.

Besides, with skullport, we really need to branch out.

How about a Gilbert & Sullivan modernized operetta/musical with a love story across clashing powers in the streets and upways of Skullport? UNDERSIDE STORY! The Skulls of Skullport sing Greek chorus throughout the production, and we finally get the dancing troglodytes and tren kick line you've always wanted, Elaine!

Okay....maybe a wee bit too much sugar and coffee this a.m..... I'm just in full babble and idea storm mode today...

On second thought, maybe a simple tale of some poor lad or lass (or both) being stolen off the streets of Waterdeep and enslaved and they have to escape both the slavers and Skullport. Escape from New York and the Great Escape all rolled into a medieval setting. Sure, it's simple and plot-driven, but that's what this genre was built upon...

Skullport's a great setting and easily a full character in itself, almost moreso than Waterdeep. Adapt Deliverance for a ride by unwitting heroes down the Saurgauth? Do a wiseguy/undercover Lords' agent story with a guy in deep with the slavers et al? A novel looking at Eilistraee's temple and life therein would be great, especially if we see it outside of Qilue's POV. What about some historians eager to explore Skullport for its Netherese origins trying to stay alive while plumbing secrets untouched in millennia? Yeah, there might be some potential for stories down here...

For those who want something interesting with some subtle shades and hints of what one might be able to do with Skullport, check out Neil Gaiman's NEVERWHERE on BBC Video (VHS and DVD, I believe); I read it when it came out in 1996 and it's a great read and great fodder for Skullport ideas.

Steven
When you're an orc, you're an orc all the way....
I want to live up in Waterdeep.....
And other great songs from Skullport!

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Melfius
Senior Scribe

USA
516 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2004 :  23:49:02  Show Profile  Visit Melfius's Homepage  Send Melfius an AOL message Send Melfius a Private Message
Hmmm, I think I may just try my hand at a Halaster story. I've been trying to think of a good plotline. Wonder if I could get Dragon Mag to publish it as a serial novel?

As for a title, the whole 'Making of a Mage' and all it's variants have been done. How about 'Living La Vida Loco'?

Melfius, Pixie-Priest of Puck - Head Chef, The Faerie Kitchen, Candlekeep Inn
"What's in his pockets, besides me?"
Read a tale of my earlier days! - Happiness Comes in Small Packages

Edited by - Melfius on 26 Sep 2004 23:50:01
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2097 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  00:08:42  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
Greetings Mrs Cunningham.

Let me start this missive by giving you my utmost thanks for bringing us those wonderful novels of your's. So far I've read the Starlight & Shadows trilogy as well as Elfshadow and Elfsong, and am currently dedicating at least an hour a day to pacing back on forth on the floor waiting for the mailman to deliver the package containing the rest of that series.

What I wanted to ask was how you imagine the music of the Elfsong to sound like? Is there any real-world traditional style of music it could be likened to?

(If someone has asked this earlier on this scroll and been answered I apologize, but it's well past midnight when I'm writing this and leafing through 22 pages of posts seems a tad daunting at the moment).

And finally the only bad thing I've found in reading your work so far: Danilo Thann... Why oh why did I read a book with him in? Now I'll have to make up a new character to use for online NWN-games or be accused of mimicking your creation. Curse you (Just joking of course, I love Danilo, had I been a girl and offered that dress he shows Arilyn at the end of Elfshadow I'd probably have acted like some silly hen and jumped right in it. Which is why I think Arilyn is better for him than I'd be).

Anyways... Once more a big thank you for your impressive body of work.

Kajehase

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  03:01:10  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
Kasehase, thanks for the post. Melfius, go for it! Steven, switch to decaf.

Kasehase, I'm a former music teacher and musician who still dabbles a bit, so I have very definite ideas about the music in Elfsong.

The ballad sung by Danilo's singing sword is a fully composed piece of music. Its title is "Elminster's Jest," and it includes a stanza with a rather bawdy punchline--so bawdy that I didn't even bother to include it when I submitted the novel. (Editors:-->) I originally scored it for harp, viol da gamba, hand drum (such as the bodhran), and obligato instrument (such as flute or recorder), but I'm currently scaling it down to a voice and harp arrangement. I've composed the melody for "Moonmist Maiden," but not the lyrics.

I envision the music in Waterdeep taverns to be similar to the popular music of real-world European cultures during the Renaissance. It's hard to describe this to someone who's not familiar with it. Think in terms of the dance music in the wedding scene in "Braveheart:" very rhythmic, with simple, rollicking melodies. Bawdy songs were VERY popular in the Renaissance, so there's definitely a tradition there.

I'm very fond of traditional folk music, and in my "mind's ear" much of the music of Waterdeep is a fusion of Near Eastern, gypsy, European, and Celtic elements. Loreena McKennit does some nice fusion music. Not quite what I envision for Waterdeep, but it gives you an idea.

Because I'm interested in traditional folk music, I like to include less familiar instruments. For an idea of what Wyn Ashgrove's hammered dulcimer sounds like, listen to any recording by Maggie Sansone. It's hard to find good recordings of a hurdy gurdy, which sounds like a cross between a violin and a bagpipes.

At one time, I was also very interested in early music (Medieval and Renaissance), so I use instruments and styles from both the popular and "art" forms. The lute was the most popular and widely played instrument, much as the guitar is today. It sounds similar to a guitar, but it has more delicate sound--the tones are not as resonant and the notes fade more quickly. Danilo's lute playing would be somewhat similar to the music of John Dowland and Thomas Campion. I've included references to some real-world music--mostly fairly obscure stuff that won't distract most readers. For example, the spell poem was written to be sung to "L'homme arme," a popular medieval melody that was used as the basis for many motets, madrigals, and even polyphonic church music.

I really enjoyed this aspect of Elfsong, and I'm looking forward to an upcoming (non-Realms) project that has a bard as a central character. More details to follow as things fall into place.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
26852 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  04:46:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Elaine, have you ever heard the music of the group Gaelic Storm? They've got a nice mix of traditional Irish music and some other stuff... A lot of the music is just plain fun to listen to.

Oh, and for further reference, they were the band in the steerage section in the movie Titanic. That's not really their best stuff, though. The last three CDs have been so much better than the first two.

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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  05:37:57  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
I've got one of their CDs lying around the place somewhere . . . . (So hard to keep track of things in a hoard -- everything's just all over the place! )

Let us know when that book's out!

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

Download the brickfilm masterpiece by Leftfield Studios! See this page for more.
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2097 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  06:28:02  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
Well met once more Mrs Cunningham (mind if I call you Elaine? We up here in the Frozen North is not much for formalities in naming each other and I feel like I'm adressing royalty when I use Mr or Mrs to someone).

It would appear that thanks is once more in order, this time for your swift and detailed answer to my questions. I think me that I have some rummaging around at the local library's music-departement to do next time I'm there.

Music teacher eh? I had to try that once during my happy days as a temp. Quite possibly the scariest moment of my career so far, I can't play a single instrument and my singing-voice is perhaps not too bad, but so nasal it makes Bob Dylan with a sinus-infection sound normal.

A funny thing struck me as I was leafing through Tangled Webs, both Liriel's father-figures in that book have got the same name as one of my uncles. So I guess I'm from Ruathym and not the Frozen North then.

Just one more thing... It's KaJehase, not Kasehase, that's my finnish second cousin twice removed.

Darn... my self-centred ramblings made me forget (thanks for the edit-function). Any chance of getting to see that missing stanza of the Danilo's sword you mentioned?

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett

Edited by - Kajehase on 27 Sep 2004 13:30:22
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  13:41:15  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
Yes, I'm familiar with Gaelic Storm. My favorite Celtic band at present is Solas. We have all their CDs, but they're even more impressive in person. We heard them play at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Incredible precision and virtuosity.

For the record, I'm not fussy about what people in Candlekeep call me, as long as you don't preface it with "Lady." Call it a quirk, but being addressed by a title I have neither inherited nor earned makes me cringe. (Though I suppose you can't actually earn the title "lady." If I'm not mistaken, a woman elevated the peerage would be addressed as "Dame Whoever.")
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Miraculixx
Seeker

Germany
19 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  22:07:27  Show Profile  Visit Miraculixx's Homepage Send Miraculixx a Private Message
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR WINDWALKER

Hello all!
Hello Mrs. Cunningham

Mrs. Cunningham, i liked to read your novels(and i read all i think), they are all very good, but best liked by me , are the novels: Daughter of the drow/Tangled Webs/Windwalker

Are there any future plans from you, to continue the adventures of Liriel Baenre?
(a short description from me, reading this triology:
Daughter of the Drow:
I was curious, how can an other drow(first drow to catch my time was Drizzt) catch my attention, but after reading your book, i come to the point, that your "Daughter of the Drow" was an excellent piece of work, which continues in Tangled Webs(once i got your books in my hands i couldnt put them away, until i was finished with the book).
Windwalker was written very well too, but the end of Windwalker hurts me deeply, why must Fyodor die?(that char gets to everbody reader's heart too, so I was very dissapointed to see him die(bravely but dead is dead)

I dont wanna critzize you, your books are too good for any critizism, only wanted to tell what i felt about your books.

So i hope you will write another novel, which contains Liriel baenre(damm i like her)

--plz forgive my bad english(it isnt my mother language), so i hope you did understand all i have written--

Mrs. Cunningham, you are an great Author, hope to see future novels from you(keep up the good work)

with greetings

M. Klein

Edited by - Alaundo on 27 Sep 2004 22:50:38
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2004 :  00:14:59  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Miraculixx

Are there any future plans from you, to continue the adventures of Liriel Baenre?


At this time, there are no plans to continue Liriel's story. But she is very persistant, so I won't rule out the possibility entirely!

quote:
--plz forgive my bad english(it isnt my mother language), so i hope you did understand all i have written--


No worries. Your English is far better than my German.

Thanks for the email, and welcome to Candlekeep!


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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2004 :  13:15:00  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase
Any chance of getting to see that missing stanza of the Danilo's sword you mentioned?


No problem. The lyrics were posted on my website for a while, and one year at GenCon I even handed out sheet music to anyone who was interested (and, most likely, several people who couldn't care less but were too polite to point this out...)

For the record, I got Ed Greenwood's okay for the title.

ELMINSTER'S JEST
Attributed to (read: "blamed upon") Danilo Thann

There was a knight who longed to wield a more impressive lance
To carry into battle, and to aid him with romance.
A wizard overheard the knight and granted his request.
The knight at first was overjoyed to see how he was blessed.

Chorus:

Hey there, ho there,
A lesson's coming through:
Be careful what you ask for--
For your wishes may come true.

The knight went to a revel with his weapon thus enhanced.
The lance made dining difficult and tripped him while he danced.
The next day at the tournaments he won the jousting meets,
For all who faced his fearsome lance fell laughing from their seats.

Chorus

The knight romanced a lady who admired his staff of oak.
They'd scarse begun their gentle joust before the staff had broke.
The knight sought out the wizard, who replied when brought to task,
"Your wish bespoke how long it WAS, and not how long 'twould LAST!"

Chorus

Repeat chorus if possible, run if necessary.
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2097 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2004 :  13:24:00  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
And once more, thank you Elaine.

This one will go straight into my notebook with songs to use when I play a bard in online games. Something tells me it'll be a huge hit on those servers where the average age of the players is higher than fifteen years.

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2004 :  13:39:00  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
Every week, I get a few emails asking about some aspect of the writing process. It's my opinion that writing is much akin to sausage-making, in that readers are more likely to enjoy the finished product if we don't know too much about the process. On the other hand, for writers, (working writers as well as aspiring scribes) observing other storytellers at work can be informative--or cautionary.

So, for those who might be interested, here's the address for my online writing journal: http://elfnotes.blogspot.com

I also have a personal reason for the online journal. I'm trying to improve my writing and increase productivity, and I'm coming at this task from several different angles. A journal is a record of progress, and it enforces a certain accountability. Anyone who's tried putting stories on paper knows that a day which feels busy and passes quickly doesn't necessarily yield much in the way of progress. Knowing I have to record my daily writing accomplishments helps me keep focused and on task. It reminds me, on a daily basis, to think about and articulate specific steps that will help me improve my work and accomplish my goals. It's also a good way to evaluate those goals from time to time, and make sure the small decisions support the larger ones.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2004 :  13:49:05  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase

And once more, thank you Elaine.

This one will go straight into my notebook with songs to use when I play a bard in online games. Something tells me it'll be a huge hit on those servers where the average age of the players is higher than fifteen years.



After I finish up the two novels, one novella, and three short stories currently in the pipeline, I'll be starting a new novel about a bardic (non-FR) character. Her music will be very much a part of the plot, and part of the writing process will involve coming up with new ballads. To that end, I plan to update my MIDI system and have the music available online, so that potential readers can actually hear it. Once that's in place and the learning curve has leveled out somewhat, I'd like to transcribe and upload some of Danilo's songs.

And come to think of it, since I'm getting into the mindset and setting up the technology, this wouldn't be a bad time to focus on a story about FR bards!

So many intriquing projects, so few waking hours...
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2004 :  13:56:32  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
How about a Gilbert & Sullivan modernized operetta/musical with a love story across clashing powers in the streets and upways of Skullport? UNDERSIDE STORY! The Skulls of Skullport sing Greek chorus throughout the production, and we finally get the dancing troglodytes and tren kick line you've always wanted, Elaine!



Damn it, Steven, now the storyline for this nightmare is fomenting in the back of my mind. A drunken bard, a musical spell gone awry, and suddenly we've got "Little Shop of Horrors, Redux" playing in a Skullport alley near you. Steve Martin reprises his role, only he's got a ::ahem:: smaller part: he has been transmuted into a sadistic, tooth-pulling halfling.

You think the folks at DRAGON magazine might be interested in an off-the-wall story for the April edition?

Nah. Me either.
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1578 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2004 :  00:56:56  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
How about a Gilbert & Sullivan modernized operetta/musical with a love story across clashing powers in the streets and upways of Skullport? UNDERSIDE STORY! The Skulls of Skullport sing Greek chorus throughout the production, and we finally get the dancing troglodytes and tren kick line you've always wanted, Elaine!



Damn it, Steven, now the storyline for this nightmare is fomenting in the back of my mind. A drunken bard, a musical spell gone awry, and suddenly we've got "Little Shop of Horrors, Redux" playing in a Skullport alley near you. Steve Martin reprises his role, only he's got a ::ahem:: smaller part: he has been transmuted into a sadistic, tooth-pulling halfling.

You think the folks at DRAGON magazine might be interested in an off-the-wall story for the April edition?

Nah. Me either.



It never hurts to ask, Elaine....

And Jack Nicholson's getting old enough that he can come in as Halaster in a cameo role!

Steven
Who thinks Rocky Horror Picture Show would be more attuned to the Realms....Richard O'Brien as Manshoon!

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
26852 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2004 :  05:31:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

It never hurts to ask, Elaine....



I agree... After all, I remember such April features as the Mother kit, and the "Bard on the Run" song parodies.... (My fave was "Gnomish Space Marines", sung to the tune of "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles.)

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7894 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2004 :  02:01:32  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
Heya,

I just wanted to let you all know that Elaine's new series is out, according to Amazon. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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Krafus
Learned Scribe

235 Posts

Posted - 08 Oct 2004 :  16:38:02  Show Profile  Visit Krafus's Homepage  Send Krafus an AOL message Send Krafus a Private Message
Hello, Mrs. Cunningham.

My interest in FR and elves having recently been lit anew by Richard Baker's excellent Forsaken House, I decided to go back and reread what I see as the best novel about elves, Evermeet. Once again I was impressed to see how you captured the magical, mystical side of elves, and I was struck at how Evermeet resembles Tolkien's Silmarillion.

My number-crunching side also got curious. I'm wondering, what was the level of Vhoori Durothil, Kethryllia Amarillis and Zaor Moonflower? Vhoori seems to have been a very talented high mage. You mention that Kethryllia is an archmage, but she's also obviously a very skilled warrior, so I'm guessing her level total must approach 30. And just what kind of sword was Dharasha, the sword Kethryllia created? (I mean, was it a longsword, a bastard sword or a greatsword? And what was its magic?)

I'll understand if you can't give me exact levels due to Evermeet being old, but I'd very much like to know what at what kind of levels you see those characters, and the exact nature of Dharasha.
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