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Warrax
Learned Scribe

Canada
128 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2007 :  16:42:53  Show Profile  Visit Warrax's Homepage  Click to see Warrax's MSN Messenger address Send Warrax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Ergdusch: Very sorry, but I can't give anything away. All I can say is, read the trilogy and all will be revealed.
Warrax: I'd be happy to do a 40k novel, but the publisher seems more interested in having me work on medieval Warhammer for the time being. But who knows, maybe someday.



Ah well, as the publisher wills, I suppose.

Great job on Unclean, again; I was really enthused to finally see Szass Tam DOING something instead of biding his time as he has for the last decade of our world's time. :)
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2007 :  18:01:02  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Zanan: To be honest, the Loviatans won't play a big role (unless I suddenly see that they need to when I sit down to write Book Three.) Thayan society is very complex, and when you're trying to tell a big story about it in just over 300,000 words, it simply isn't possible to showcase every component of it.
I definitely will not use specific characters that Kam created. Which is by no means a knock on him. I try to avoid using characters created in other people's novels because I wouldn't want to take them someplace the creator doesn't want them to go, and so interfere with his ability to write more of his own stories about them. (Sourcebook characters, on the other hand, seem to me to be fair game if WotC gives the green light to use them.)



Thanks for the answer! BTW, Kameron did change the ranking order in The Manor in his novel (so Spellbound, UE ain't longer up-to-date), just in case the high priestess of Loviatar does make an appearance somewhere.

Cave quid dicis, quando et cui!

G a wyrd swa hio scel!

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Lord of Bones
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
77 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2007 :  20:56:25  Show Profile  Visit Lord of Bones's Homepage Send Lord of Bones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi there

I recently came to read Unclean and successfully did so in one sitting, it was that enjoyable. In fact, I would go out on a limb and so it's the best Forgotten Realms novel I've had the pleasure to read in months, so kudos to you.

I love the depth you've given to the characters involved. It seems a simple thing, but lately I've been reading a scary amount of novels where characterisation falls by the wayside. You've made Szass Tam a very interesting fellow again.

I can only echo the other posters who have said the Simbul's Gift is a must-read if you decide to do anything with the character of Lauzoril. I didn't know so many people had read that novel, but as it seems so many have read it and enjoyed it, I think it'd be a shame if some of the Lauzoril plots weren't touched on.

All in all, a great novel and an immense pleasure to read.

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2007 :  23:35:40  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very glad you liked it, Lord of Bones.
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dirtywick
Seeker

69 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2007 :  03:14:30  Show Profile  Visit dirtywick's Homepage Send dirtywick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello Mr. Byers,

I'm currently reading The Year of the Rogue Dragons trilogy, late into the second book right now, that you wrote while anxiously awaiting the looming following to Unclean, which I also enjoyed. Basically, I haven't read a novel of yours I didn't enjoy and they've served as a great resource in my own projects.

I do have a question about the events taking place during that time period, and specifically Nartheling (fang dragon near Thay) who is linked to the Cult of the Dragon. What were the other cells of the cult doing during that time? Actively seeking to transform Dragons in Dracoliches, causing distractions like what he did with Vaasa, perhaps seeking to destroy lore of lesser import? Or just biding time until victory was assured?

Thanks!

Alright, got an error so I hope this isn't a double post BTW.

Subtlety of Thay Ch 1 and Ch 2 NWN2 Module
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2007 :  16:28:45  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dirtywick: During the Year of Rogue Dragons, all the cells of the Cult of the Dragon are working to further Sammaster's master plan in various ways. Precisely what a particular cell is doing, if I didn't feature it in the trilogy (or in Queen of the Depths) is open to conjecture. If you're running a game that relates to the trilogy, you can basically have the cell doing any wild and crazy thing you want. As long as what it's doing is evil, I'm sure you can think of some sort of rationale for how this sort of skullduggery serves the grand design.
I didn't use Nartheling in the trilogy, so that goes for him, too.
Glad to hear you're enjoying my stuff.
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dirtywick
Seeker

69 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2007 :  19:06:57  Show Profile  Visit dirtywick's Homepage Send dirtywick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the answer.

What references have you found most useful when detailing Thay and the various personalities found there?

Heh, in case you couldn't tell I have a particular interest in Thay and Aglarond ;)

Subtlety of Thay Ch 1 and Ch 2 NWN2 Module
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  03:00:09  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Unapproachable East and the old 2nd Edition sourcebook on Thay, the title of which escapes me at the moment. I think maybe it's just called Red Wizards.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  03:04:45  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  Reply with Quote
'Twas Dreams of the Red Wizards.

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dirtywick
Seeker

69 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2007 :  03:37:56  Show Profile  Visit dirtywick's Homepage Send dirtywick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great, I just ordered that!

Thanks again.

Subtlety of Thay Ch 1 and Ch 2 NWN2 Module
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GS
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2008 :  23:42:14  Show Profile  Visit GS's Homepage Send GS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello Richard,

I will assume anyone reading this has read Unclean, the first book, and I will try not to spoil the second one.

I have just completed your second novel in The Haunted Lands series, Undead. Great book.

I just wanted to ask: When you started this series did you know that a 100 year jump would occur within the FR-verse? If you did not, how has the jump (and death of Mystra) affected your original outline for the series?

Your main characters - Bareris, Aoth, Mirror and Tammith - how did the spring to "life"? Did they change a lot throughout the writing process or did you have a clear"ish" outline for them from the get-go? Why did you do what you did to Tammith and Bareris? What is the drive behind them as characters?

Fastrin the Delver, is he your creation or is he found somewhere in FR lore? Why is he called the delver?

Can you give tell me/us how the thought process of writing this trilogy was processed, so to speak?

And lastly: Why did Szass Tam kill Druxus Rhym? Why do I have to wait three years just to find that out? Damn you!

Otherwise, keep up the good work. Oh, and you better not destroy Zulkir Tam. You don't get to destroy two the most recognizable and important liches in FR and live to tell the tail. Well maybe you do, but you better not try!
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2008 :  02:28:00  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GS

I just wanted to ask: When you started this series did you know that a 100 year jump would occur within the FR-verse?


I'm not Rich, but I clearly recall him writing (maybe in this thread) that he knew about the changes before he started writing the trilogy and therefore wasn't "blindsided" by them.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2008 :  04:26:38  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Undead is out? I didn't know that. I haven't received my author copies yet.
Anyway, Rin, your memory hasn't failed you. I did say I knew about the plans for the Realms (including the time shift) going in.
GS: Really glad to hear you liked the book.
As far as the lead characters go, I had a pretty clear idea of who they would be from the start (which is to say, they were born in the outlining process, where I tried to create characters who would work well in relation to the central idea) but characters always evolve during the actual writing. They don't necessarily become radically different than you thought they'd be, but you find out things about them that you didn't know before.
Why did I do what I did to Bareris and Tammith? I don't know how to answer that exactly, except to say that I thought it would make the story work better than any other alternative that occurred to me.
I made up Fastrin the Delver. He was "the Delver" because he did a lot of poking around in ancient ruins looking for lost secrets. He would have fit right in in your average D&D game.
The question about my overall approach to writing the trilogy is kind of a big question. Big enough that I'm not sure how to answer it. I can tell you that in the beginning, I had the notion of writing a trilogy that would showcase the undead of the Realms in kinda sorta the same way that Year of Rogue Dragons showcased dragons. Then Phil Athans told me that WotC wanted to take Thay in a certain direction and do it in a trilogy and suggested that I piggyback my undead idea on that concept. So that's what I tried to do. In my opinion, the trilogy ultimately became a story about Thay much more than it's a story about undead (although God knows, there are plenty of undead in it), but as long as it's entertaining, that's fine.
Hope that answers that question. If not, can you ask it in a different and more specific way?
Why did Szass whack poor old Druxus? Well, as you probably guessed, you'll have to read Book 3 for my answer. But there are clues in Books 1 and 2. If you really want to know without further delay, maybe you can figure it out for yourself.
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GS
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2008 :  15:00:27  Show Profile  Visit GS's Homepage Send GS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Undead is out? I didn't know that. I haven't received my author copies yet.


It's out here in London, so I'm guessing it's out everywhere here.

Anyway, thank you for the speedy reply and answers.

Another question though. The next book is scheduled to be released sometime next year, correct? Won't the upcoming release of the FR campaign guide this August ruin any revelations made in your upcoming book? Is it not likely that we will read in the FRCG that: "In Thay, the demigod Szass Tam rules a land of undead as its emperor, harassing nearby countries..." or somesuch?

Also, when, in time, will the third book take place? Shortly after the second one or will you jump yet another decade or more into the future?

So many questions, so little time.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2008 :  15:23:12  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
GS: You're right, the FR sourcebook is likely to give away certain aspects of Book 3. I'm not thrilled about it, but it's the kind of thing that happens when you work in a shared setting, so there's no point in getting mad about it, either. I think I can guarantee you that there's plenty that happens in Book 3 that won't get mentioned in the sourcebook, and if you're into the story, it's stuff you'll want to know.
I'm going to beg off on answering your question about the time frame of Book 3. Sorry about that, but I'm reluctant to give aspects of Book 3 away before most people have even had a chance to read Book 2.
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GS
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2008 :  16:02:29  Show Profile  Visit GS's Homepage Send GS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I'm going to beg off on answering your question about the time frame of Book 3. Sorry about that, but I'm reluctant to give aspects of Book 3 away before most people have even had a chance to read Book 2.


You're right, I'm sorry. Of course other people should read book 2 first and I do recommend that they do.

It's not that the sourcebook will deter me from buying book 3, just that I enjoy being "shocked" by the books that I am reading. But like you said, it's what happens when sharing a world.
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Zsych
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2008 :  03:34:05  Show Profile  Visit Zsych's Homepage Send Zsych a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Richard,
Just read Undead yesterday and loved it. I hadn't really liked Bareris' character in Unclean because I thought he was taking away the focus from the great forces at war with his much more limited concerns, and messing up the first evil vs. evil novel I'd ever read, but overall I was more pleased with his character in this book.

I hope we see more direct action and leading by the other zulkirs in the next book, considering that they are all also great wizards and experienced in intrigue. Luckily having the means to overcome the opponent as with Aoth isn't as satisfying in what should be a very high level game.

I hope Thay or what it represents will survive after all these events(through relocation if Thay itself isn't going to survive). A few new alliances maybe with Halruuans fleeing their lands with their magical culture might be nice(they could help bring some additional magic to the zulkirs' side too). Thay has to be the closest place around to Halruuans home, with respect to the fact that its a large magical country, and the relative evil should make things interesting.
In general, the zulkirs having contacts with other magical peoples' might help make some things more interesting(Halruuans, Shades, Imaskari..). Networking is an important part of gaining power :P

Anyway, I look forward to the next book.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2008 :  03:54:11  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you enjoyed it, Zsych.
I generally try to resist the urge to plug my own stuff, but what the heck. If you like seeing evil vs. evil, you might want to check out my novel Dissolution and other books in the War of the Spider Queen sequence.
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Zsych
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2008 :  10:21:47  Show Profile  Visit Zsych's Homepage Send Zsych a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed :)
Perhaps by first evil vs. evil. I meant first epic evil vs. evil. I actually have read the spider queen novels... although I was never sure whether some of those characters were really evil. I suppose the ending there was at least somewhat unexpected in that Lloth ended up growing stronger than before as opposed to suffering from Elistraee's machinations... but largely the characters themselves were small scale. Still, those novels were quite enjoyable.

However, part of the point of _epic_ evil is that beyond their own power, they also have many tools that they can employ and unlike goodies, they don't shy away from employing them. Plus, in evil vs. evil, kinda like with the spiderqueen series, you can't just be sure that as with good vs. evil, one faction is bound to win no matter what(except that with Bareris as a kind of protagonist, I have bad suspicions)

I liked the scene with Bane. Really showed Szass Tam's power, although he and the other zulkirs are having to micro-manage a little more than they should.
Overall, I like Szass Tam's character, and look forward to his secrets being revealed.
I also vaguely wonder how Lauzoril's very talented, and now older necromancer of a daughter is doing. If I were him, I might have exploited my connection with the Simbul to get her some high level training outside of Thay.

btw, the time jump was nice, if partly because I know what's coming. I thought *ten years*... oh crap, thats near...

Mod edit: Let's watch the language, please.

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Mar 2008 14:15:31
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doc bumblebee
Acolyte

Germany
0 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2008 :  14:20:38  Show Profile  Visit doc bumblebee's Homepage Send doc bumblebee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thx a lot mr byers :)

i finished reading the yotrd triology 3 month ago (they`re a little hard to come by in germany) and it gave me a very nice gift (more than one actually). it gave me many ideas for about 4 story lines to which i will take my players (im already running the first one :)).
very nice novels. charakters which are fun to read about and watch evolve, interesting mystyrious places, fearsome foes and all nicely packed in an epic story whith worldshaking impact if the heroes are not succesfull.
thx a lot !!! it was much fun reading those books.

greetings from germany
a new fan :D
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2008 :  18:57:30  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, doc. Glad you enjoyed it, and glad, too, that it proved useful in your campaign.
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 20 Jun 2008 :  21:13:57  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I read "Office Space" last night. It was goooooooooooood! The ending was totally unexpected. Huzzah!

(See, I am reading the works of "Realms writers" which don't concern the Forgotten Realms. Even though Hasbro has made the Realms unworthy of my money, I will continue to read works written for other markets. Such as "Looking Glass." Did I mention that I liked it?)




I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 21 Jun 2008 :  00:15:52  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jamallo: Glad you liked it, Did you read it off the Sony site? If so, you're the first person I know of who's downloaded one of my stories from there.
Uh...did I write one called "Looking Glass?" It's not ringing a bell.
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2008 :  09:37:37  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello,

Great series so far, was the summoning of Bane something you made up or was it lore inspired, it seems the sacrifice required was rather paltry. Does this have to do with 4th edition conversion of the gods, spellplague, both?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2008 :  14:57:54  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
createvmind: Glad you're enjoying it.
The summoning of Bane was something I made up. Szass Tam's attempt to do it reflects his belief that ultimately, a god is just a big, powerful outsider, not fundamentally different from a demon, devil, or what have you, and also his vast confidence in his own abilities.
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