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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  14:20:39  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Sandstorm. The 4e FRCS says that the ash giants have power over the moving pillars of ash, but it doesn't go into detail about how that works. So I extrapolated what it would actually look like in a battle.
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Shadowaxe
Seeker

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  16:42:03  Show Profile  Visit Shadowaxe's Homepage Send Shadowaxe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry this post doesnít actually form a question, I just wanted to flip my Waterdhavian Nibís worth in.
Have just finished The Captive Flame - a thrilling read even if I am paying for the ridiculously late night now. But it was well worth it - thanks so much!
O, and Iím recommending Gaedynn for Aothís eventual successor.

Mead, mead, from the honey bee,
How I long to drink thee.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  16:48:09  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it, Shadowaxe!

Just curious: What makes you think Gaedynn will eventually get the chance to succeed Aoth? Aoth, after all, is the one with the extended lifespan.
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Shadowaxe
Seeker

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  17:37:07  Show Profile  Visit Shadowaxe's Homepage Send Shadowaxe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He has the right attitude and burgeoning leadership qualities - the way he helped Jhesrhi in her wavering confidence, his gain in experience and it was his strategy that freed Tchazzar (putting himself in peril) Although almost immediately he was analysing what they had done and the consequences. The thought just sits well with me, thereís something else but I canít quite put my finger on it, like a deep itchÖ perhaps itís the lack of sleep. Perhaps itís just me.

Mead, mead, from the honey bee,
How I long to drink thee.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  19:21:03  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AAAh okay. 4th Edition stuff. I just can't get into it. The only reason id like to, is for more knowledge about what I'm reading. E.g. the Pillars of Ash thing. But I just prefer 3.5 edition so much more, and I've got all the books ya know. *sigh*
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  00:17:37  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


Originally posted by Shadowaxe

O, and Iím recommending Gaedynn for Aothís eventual successor.




Unless you want Aoth to die before Gaedynn, I don't see this happening. 'Tis Aoth who has extended lifespan.


Anyway, Richard, will we be seeing Bareris again in book 2 or 3? I kinda miss the guy. I hope he's able to move on despite his terrible loss...

Every beginning has an end.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  01:37:31  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
dude, Bareris died in Unholy
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  02:46:42  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandstorm

dude, Bareris died in Unholy



You mean this part:

quote:

from Unholy

But this time the ghost had vanished so utterly that not even spellscarred eyes could spot a trace of him, and dark wet patches cut through the bone white flesh of Bareris's severed head and body as ninety years' worth of deferred corruption flowered in an instant.




I'd like to think that since he's already an undead, mere bodily "destruction" had no lasting effect, that his spirit was trapped or in statis somewhere, waiting for a host, or like Tammith's body that could reassemble when torn, waiting for his own body to be whole again.

@ Richard. I stated not too long ago that some of the zulikrs - Lallara, Nevron, and Lauzoril - could have survived because their 'deaths' appeared too 'hazy.' And you said 'tis possible. Is Bareris's case the same? Or is he 'utterly' dead?

Every beginning has an end.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  19:43:12  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, dennis.

What's "utterly dead" in the world of D&D? But he's "utterly dead" for me at the moment, because I have no current plans to bring him back. But then, I had no plans to bring Pharaun back, either. Come to think of it, I didn't bring him back. Yet back he came. So it just goes to show you never know.

By the way, I just posted this bit of self-promotion in the Novels area, but I might as well put the same info here as well. Whisper of Venom, the sequel to The Captive Flame, and the omnibus edition of The Year of Rogue Dragons both hit stores today.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  20:35:15  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
personally, im not a huge fan of characters "dying" and coming back. It happened a lot on the Drizzt Do'Urden series, and though I LOVE those books... it kind of becomes a case of the boy who cried wolf. a character dies that you love, youre sad... if they always "came back", then it would take away the effect of their demise.

question though for you Richard, do you have any personal back story on Mirror? Or what exactly he was? Where you came up with the idea of him and why you chose to incorporate him?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  21:03:40  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't have much backstory on Mirror beyond what you learn in the trilogy. Which I will now recap, so:

SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ THE HAUNTED LANDS.

Mirror was a paladin in an ancient, long-forgotten civilization. He lived in the same time and place as the wizard who discovered the ritual to destroy and remake the universe. When the book containing the secret was stolen by a person or persons unknown, the wizard went mad and started slaughtering his people on the theory that it was the only way to suppress the secret and protect the world. He not only killed their bodies but damaged their minds and souls so that none of them could use or reveal the secret even in the afterlife.

Mirror tried to fight the wizard and lost. He endured beyond death as an amnestic and almost mindless ghost until he encountered Bareris in the Sunrise Mountains. His subsequent relationship with Bareris and general involvement with human affairs had the effect of partially restoring his intellect and personality, although he never recovered all of his memories.

I invented him for a couple different reasons. One was that the trilogy was supposed to feature lots of different kinds of undead, and I needed a ghost. To help with exposition and tie various story elements together more closely, I also needed a character who had a connection to the origin of the ritual of destruction. Mirror took care of all of that.

Like some characters do, he became more and more interesting to me as I worked with him. and took on a bigger and bigger role in the story. I think there's a nice contrast between his character arc and Bareris's: as Mirror's humanity gradually comes back, Bareris's is gradually eroding. I also liked the idea of a ghost, who is inherently a creature of negative energy, nonetheless being able to channel positive energy, although at the risk of his own existence.

That's about all I can tell you, Sandstorm. It may seem strange, but when you've written millions of words of fiction, and you're writing more all the time, you forget quite a bit of what you were thinking once a book is done. Or at least I've found out that's true of me.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  21:49:10  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
yes I recall the book of destruction thing being QUITE interesting. When you detailed the part about the wizard killing his own people to keep it secret, I was like "Thats bad ass". How much of that whole concept, including the book of destruction itself, was your idea, and how much was the publishers?

Also, knowing that Szass Tam is a character used by many authors, what work goes into dealing with him, and writing as him. Because I found you did it remarkably well.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  23:33:00  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As I recall, the book of destruction and the ritual it contains were entirely my idea. When I was given the job of writing the trilogy that would become The Haunted Lands, I was told that Szass Tam was supposed to make himself sole ruler of Thay and turn the place from the land we knew in the 3.5 Realms to the Mordor-like nightmare realm of the 4e Realms. But nobody had worked out any particular reason why he would make these big moves at this particular point in time. After all, why risk your existence and devastate the land fighting a civil war when, to a large extent, you already control the place anyway? And why allow what was once a wealthy, populous kingdom to remain pretty much a wasteland once the war is over? Why not take steps to restore it? What's the agenda that underlies the decision to leave it a hell on earth?

The business with the book of destruction was my answer to those questions, and it also helped me in another way. I knew my protagonists had to fail in their efforts to defeat Szass in the Thayan civil war. But for the story to be satisfying, there had to be another level on which they were victorious. I covered that by having them stop the ritual.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  02:10:04  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Hi, dennis.

What's "utterly dead" in the world of D&D? But he's "utterly dead" for me at the moment, because I have no current plans to bring him back. But then, I had no plans to bring Pharaun back, either. Come to think of it, I didn't bring him back. Yet back he came. So it just goes to show you never know.



As I understand, no single author owns/made Pharaun, so any author could resurrect him. And he (Thomas) did. And since no single author made/owns the zulkirs who 'appear to have died' in the HL trilogy, I kinda expect that someone out there will also resurrect or make them reermerge...

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  02:12:44  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I think there's a nice contrast between his character arc and Bareris's: as Mirror's humanity gradually comes back, Bareris's is gradually eroding. I also liked the idea of a ghost, who is inherently a creature of negative energy, nonetheless being able to channel positive energy, although at the risk of his own existence.



I actually like that contrast, as I myself am fond of using contrasts in my stories...It helps in character-building...


quote:


Originally posted by Sandstorm

Also, knowing that Szass Tam is a character used by many authors, what work goes into dealing with him, and writing as him. Because I found you did it remarkably well.



I definitely agree. Richard is the only author who managed to make Tam 3-D, sufficiently believable, and highly entertaining.

quote:


Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

But for the story to be satisfying, there had to be another level on which they were victorious. I covered that by having them stop the ritual.



I kinda expected it. AFAIK, Wotc still has no plan of allowing any mortals or undead or practically anyone or anything to ascend to godhood after the a little bit disastrous/disheartening ToT. I think they sort of limit ascension to demigodhood only (like Rivalen's case), which really isn't that much since it's just like being an archmage.

Every beginning has an end.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  02:38:10  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thats awesome Richard. I remember reading the beginning of Unholy, and reading about the book and what Szass Tam was attempting to do, and was just like... wow. Awesome. Then there was the pact with Bane etc... that book concluded that trilogy so well. What about the Dread Rings? Salvatore used them in Gauntlgrym... were Szass' dread rings mentioned before The Haunted Lands?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  04:30:10  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sandstorm: Glad you liked it. I made up the Dread Rings. If you think about it, there's no point to them except in the context of the great ritual.

dennis: You are absolutely right that, with WotC's approval, any writer was free to resurrect Pharaun, and if I seemed to imply that I think otherwise, I didn't mean to. It's just that. since I did create the guy, I figured that if anybody ever brought him back, it would be me. Obviously, that's not the way it worked out, and that's okay. He's a tough character to plot for anyway, at least if you're depicting him as I think he ought to be depicted, and I've moved on to other protagonists.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  04:43:21  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandstorm

What about the Dread Rings? Salvatore used them in Gauntlgrym... were Szass' dread rings mentioned before The Haunted Lands?



'Used' as in someone attempted the ritutal? Or 'used' as in 'mentioned in passing,' in reference to something - like how the Fall of Netheril is mentioned in several novels?

Every beginning has an end.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  05:23:44  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, have you not read Gauntlgrym yet Dennis? Sorry... dont read this if you dont want it ruined then. But if youre not going to read it, then I'll tell you that Salvatore had one being created on the Sword Coast "in" the city of never winter. That must have actually made you quite pumped Richard, that Bob would use your creation in such a big novel.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  06:07:09  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No plan of reading it. I'm not a Dritzz fan. Never was. Anyway, does Bob's Dread Ring have the same purpose as Richard's? If not, I say the similarity of name is just coincidental. Besides, you mentioned there's only one. The ritual won't be completed at all unless all the Dread Rings are erected.

Every beginning has an end.
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Sandstorm
Learned Scribe

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  06:46:39  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage  Click to see Sandstorm's MSN Messenger address Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
it just talks about how this one wizard has come to the east to create a dread ring. it is apaprent that it is for Szass Tam's plan




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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  07:21:21  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sandstorm: Szass Tam is the primary antagonist in that trilogy? If so, I might reconsider my decision...

Richard: Pharaun's resurrection is a bit understandable, as there are SIX of you who used him in the entire series. Unlike Bareris... Since only you used him, and given that you said you don't have current plans of bringing him back, the possibility of seeing him again in future Ė however distant Ė novels is pretty much slim.

Every beginning has an end.
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  08:03:35  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Yep, Whisper of Venom is due out November 2nd. Meanwhile, anyone who's jonesing for a dose of my work should check out the Paizo site. I have a four-part Pathfinder novelette going up there. Chapter One will appear tomorrow, I think.



Lord of Penance

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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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  14:04:47  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Yep, Whisper of Venom is due out November 2nd. Meanwhile, anyone who's jonesing for a dose of my work should check out the Paizo site. I have a four-part Pathfinder novelette going up there. Chapter One will appear tomorrow, I think.



Lord of Penance



I'll try to find time for it later. Perhaps when I'm done strolling the web and reading Hero. Thanks for the link.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  22:31:14  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Richard: Quick question: Do most of the events in Whisper of Venom happen STILL in Chessenta?

Every beginning has an end.
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