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Proc
Seeker

Canada
32 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  04:59:33  Show Profile  Visit Proc's Homepage  Click to see Proc's MSN Messenger address Send Proc a Private Message
I had to debate with myself whether or not to post this question to Ed or give him a break and let him finish his novel, however, as you can well guess, my curiosity won out...

I'm curious about people's names in the Realms. Specifically, the idea that some people have two names: a common one, and a "true" name. I know that the Seven Sisters have names they're mostly known by (Storm, Dove, The Simbul etc.) but they also have names they keep secret from virtually everyone except each other. I'm pretty sure I've heard of other people having common names and ones they keep secret from all but a few close friends/family. I believe it had something to do with the idea that if a powerfull spellcaster was able to learn your "true" name, it could be very bad for you...

Is this actually true? Was it ever specifically put down in the rules that if a spellcaster was able to use a character's true name in a spell it would have a greater chance of success? (Using a Demon's name in a summoning spell will improve your chances of not being ripped apart for instance) Or is it more of a superstition of the people of Faerun?

Thanks for any reply!

PS: If any other forum-goers have an answer or idea about this, feel free to ring in.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
- George Carlin
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  05:08:51  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
The True Names thing for Demons and devils has been around since 1ed (A believe the Origional Unearthed Arcana had a spell that used Truenames, Im not sure about mortals though

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  05:23:09  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Merry met again, gentles all. Thy Hooded Lady approaching the fire once more, conveying Ed’s latest missives:


Hi, Wooly Rupert. Four columns on Larlake is it for now, but there’ll be a lot more on Silverymoon sometime in the future. It’s up to you (and all DMs) what Larlake’s true inner aims, competency, allegiances, and fate are. I’m using the Realmslore columns to pass out handy tools for Realms campaigns and paint in a few little gaps, here and there. Yet I second The Hooded One: if you have specific narrow-focus questions about Larlake, Alustriel, Silverymoon, or anything else, for that matter, I’ll try to answer them here in this thread. The bigger questions (“Tell me all about this realm or that deity”) no, because that infringes too much on what Wizards should have freedom to present.
I’m afraid I can’t reveal more about Zarasper Nyritarr or his spells at this time (NDA/possible future WotC plans), but I can tell you why Larlake’s able to resist: Zarasper’s spells are faulty, and they both fascinate and infuriate Mystra, who not only preceived them through Alustriel (and saw the truth about Larlake, where her Chosen did not, or rather, preferred not to delve too deeply and so have some chance of retaining the love of this man rather than crushing him), but worked through Alustriel’s silver fire, when the two of them were physically intimate, to alter Zarasper’s spells enough to shatter his control forever.
She (the former Midnight) finds something abhorrent in using magic to covertly try to control other wielders of magic. Influence, yes, threaten or openly bargain with, fine, but controlling beings without even allowing them to be aware of the control is something she’s discovered she DEFINITELY dislikes. Strongly.
Zarasper was at first baffled (how could Alustriel be protecting Larlake without being aware of Zarasper himself?), and then intrigued: is his failure due to Larlake’s mere contact with Alustriel, or stronger bindings she’s laying upon him, or is it something more?
And the inner, chilling question has arisen: Just how much attention does Mystra pay to her Chosen? Is Mystra actively and directly aware of the schemes and spells of Zarasper Nyritarr?
Zarasper is now trying to decide what to do. Which way he jumps is up to every DM to decide. In this Realmslore column, I merely present the tools and leave their uses and effectiveness to individual DMs.
Zarasper Nyritarr is an veteran Red Wizard and experienced ‘lone manipulator,’ unlikely to do anything rash . . . but for the first time in decades, personally afraid of Mystra. Decades ago, a colleague described him aptly as “that leathery, wily old lizard,” and he’s grown in patience and mastery of magic since then.

Lord Hobie, you’ll find bits and pieces of dialogue from plays (and song lyrics too, for that matter) in the header quotations of many of my novels, and a description of the relevant guild in CITY OF RAVENS BLUFF.
Minstrels and bards have always memorized short, crucial scenes from ‘the classics’ (old plays; the scenes in question are the dramatic historical confrontations between legendary heroes and dragons, rulers and usurpers about to slay them, wise old men and young reckless fools, and so on) to perform in their travels alongside music and dramatic recitations of poems.
There have also always been carters and merchants who earn extra coin as they travel by doing mimicry of well-known figures (Vangerdahast, for instance, in the Dragonreach) or the equivalent of Punch & Judy shows, which in the Realms are always done by putting footwear over both hands, a shawl or other cloth over one’s head to serve as a backdrop, and using the upturned boots as the heads of comic characters, and are known as “Oldboots” (or, when folk printing handbills in larger cities are being precious, “Talking Toes”) shows.
As for traveling companies of players, I’ve always envisaged them in the Heartlands (Sword Coast right through to the Dragonreach, plus the Moonshaes, Amn and Tethyr, and Aglarond and the Vilhon) as pretty close to Elizabethan England (I’m sure you’re familiar with the concepts, but for those Candlekeep scribes who aren’t, the famous historical novel CUE FOR TREASON by Geoffrey Trease brings this to life vividly; the recent movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE does a good job, too, but sticks to London and avoids the traveling aspects -- though please note that in the Realms, there’s a long tradition of actors performing in drag in both gender directions [usually for comedic purposes], but no prohibition on women playing female roles as there was in real-world England for a time; though except for travelling companies of strumpets who use their beauty in performances to entice customers for the night, beautiful women can be rare in companies travelling in the Realms purely for reasons of personal safety).
I should mention that in Faerun some actors travel constantly with goods caravans, and as a side-trade sell, make, and modify clothing to buyers at the various places they perform in (stop in your small village, present a stunningly beautiful gown on a lady character, let it be known after the show that similar garments can be bought, and wait for the local ladies [or smitten men!] to demand them).
Acting isn’t a disreputable profession except in places where past travelling companies have practised thievery with heavy hands, and many temples have small morality plays that are NEVER seen outside their sacred precincts (and are supposed to be kept secret from non-believers). Due to the nature of the faiths in the Realms, there aren’t any direct analogies to mystery plays (morality and ‘important divine event re-enactment’ plays yes, mystery no).
As for special forms, there are traditional chanting-chorus, everyone-employs-oversized-caricature-masks-on-sticks plays performed in Calimshan and Chessenta (different plays in both areas, just a common use of such masks), known in Calimshan as “malakram,” and in Chessenta as “masqueladra” (from which Cormyr and other lands around the Sea of Fallen Stars get the term “masquerades” for their masked balls and revels).
In Neverwinter, many local plays are built around a central [literally sitting center stage for most of a performance, but walking on or off in unison to mark passages of time, such as a season or some years] trio of harpists (who harp, comment on the action of the play without being a part of it, and wear no costumes), and in the Sword Coast lands from about Waterdeep south to Amn, there are many “crafty country bumpkin” plays built around a gruff, limping old character called Old Duiwin [“Doo-WIN”] that are constantly updated with new jokes and snide political commentary. These traditions don’t seem to have formal names; they’re just “the good old plays” to locals (as opposed to strange new productions brought from afar). And many old, rich Sword Coast cities from the Tashalar north to Waterdeep continue to celebrate a tradition (in festivals and the revels of the wealthy) of tableaux [suddenly-revealed-to-stirring-music scenes of motionless “actors,” usually scantily-clad females, often frozen in scenes that purport to depict important historical events]. These are usually known as ‘marvel-masques,’ but sometimes as “grandiques” or “fresstel.”
Recently, in Sembia, a new tradition has gained popularity in the most exclusive clubs and in the private revels of the wealthiest: silent re-enactments of murders or hunts, the latter often done using bare-bodied actresses with their skins painted to mimic the appearance of the beasts being hunted (it’s whispered that certain decadent patrons actually arrange to have real slayings done as part of these “bravadoes,” but those in the clubs are never real -- and again, the painted actresses are employed in the silent plays performed in club settings to drum up prostitution business with those same painted actresses; some are even dopplegangers very well paid to appear as buxom human women only with webbed hands or feet, or tails, or illithid tentacles, and under strict contract to not harm patrons in any way [though of course they’re under no such restrictions when it comes to non-patrons who happen to come within reach outside the club].


So saith Ed. I’ve passed your salt request on to him, Alan Hatcher (and yours, Bruce, and yours, too, Foxhelm), and we’ll see how long it takes him to reply (busy busy on the novel, he tells me).
Ciao for now, all!
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  15:18:57  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Proc,

I recently wrote up my notes on Realms naming practices, including truenames. I'm going to give them to Ed for clarification when he's out of his Waterdeep-novel valley. So good luck to you if Ed wants to answer about truenames before, but I'd recommend waiting a little longer.

Your second paragraph is correct. Truenames are part of the Realms both via the fantasy tradition (mostly notably in Le Guin's Earthsea books starting in 1968) and via D&D (see Unearthed Arcana's truename spell). As ever, the Realms has its particular take, which we can read about here (look, Alaundo, I did a link), in Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, and various other sourcebook and novel references.

Edited by - Faraer on 03 Apr 2004 15:19:29
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1632 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  17:02:12  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Malar tends to be worshipped in hunts only in rural areas, and not through city streets, except where there’s a local tradition of ‘a night of misrule’ or ‘a night when the old gods walk’ and persons who go out often wind up as corpses lying on the cobbles in the morning. In most such situations, local worshippers of Malar take advantage of such traditions to stage their own hunts on the same nights -- and remember, a la THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, the most dangerous quarry is a fit and formidable human, so quite often an opponent of local Malarites will be the hunted.


The one place in published Realmslore where we tried to get this across was the enclave of Malarites in the Undermountain II boxed set. Ed & I had discussed this as a potential and I pitched it to the group of designers on the box, and the idea is there (drawing a blank on the name of the sublevel forest).

Steven
Who placed the vampiric Malar priest Huntmistress Dhussara in The Lost Level and wonders if he could ever bring her back.....

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  17:10:49  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
The one place in published Realmslore where we tried to get this across was the enclave of Malarites in the Undermountain II boxed set. Ed & I had discussed this as a potential and I pitched it to the group of designers on the box, and the idea is there (drawing a blank on the name of the sublevel forest).



Wyllowood?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  17:50:35  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
“My sword is sheathed,” as the Border Forest folk say by way of friendly greeting. The Hooded One here, with Ed’s latest replies:


First, to Bakra of the Outlying Thread: You’re welcome, and we don’t know the fate of that apprentice (Elminster has not seen her again, and Khelben has said nothing about what happened to her). Real-world translation: I’ll have to chat with Margaret about that. :}

Tyros, you’re partially correct: Daggerdale does seem a very likely place to find half-orcs (most of the other Dales haven’t been raided by orcs who dared tarry long enough to indulge in rape; they tossed torches at houses as they hurried past, did a little snatch-and-grab thieving . . . and were literally crossing blades with angry Dalefolk throughout all of this; so half-orc offspring, given the tendency of orcs to break the necks of human women they’ve enjoyed, or being forced to slay said women when said women attacked them with daggers the moment they turned away, and the ready access most Dale women have to herbs that can make a pregnant woman violently miscarry, are unlikely). The problem is that Daggerdale has been an open battleground for years, so your image of communities full of folk who helped deliver half-orcs, fed them, clothed them, and let their children play with them is just plain wrong. Zhent patrols crisscross Daggerdale taking slaves (many pregnant women wouldn’t survive that cruelty, or their unborn babes wouldn’t), swording and burning out folk (again, down go your pregnant women), and orc patrols often EAT humans (more losses). The few pregnant-by-orcs women who might escape all of this have that same access to herbal pyrgatives, and would certainly use it. Again, no (or VERY few) half-orcs. The Citadel of the Raven and Zhentilar encampments between it and Zhentil Keep are a more likely source of half-orcs, and such individuals would from childhood be forced to fetch and carry for the orc troops, march with them, procure food for them, and so on. The few hardened individuals who survived this process would BECOME Zhentilar troops -- or run away and probably be slain by inhabitants of whatever forest they tried to hide in (there’s no other nearby cover).

Dargoth, there are scattered families of giants living here and there in the Thunder Peaks (especially in the southern end of that range), and a few in the Desertsmouth and Dragonspire ranges (they’ve learned to hide from the Zhents, because those who don’t are hunted down and slain or forced to join the Zhents and then used for the most dangerous work, like tearing open the gates of hostile fortress and cities), but very few giants living outside of rocky wilderland areas. Goblinkin (orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, et al) and bugbears and gnolls all dwell in the same sort of terrain, usually as wandering war-bands who travel between a cluster of cave-lairs (and can muster, as a gathered tribe, no more than sixty to seventy adults). The nomadic nature of these populations, plus our designers’ desire to leave them as ‘deployable’ as possible for a DM (i.e. not to specify) has kept mentions of them sparse. In general, they may raid the Dales but aren’t welcome in any of the Dales (and will be actively fought on sight), and Cormanthor is as dangerous to them as it is to lone, wandering human woodcutters.

Proc, Faraer’s link to my earlier Realms-list answer covers your truename question pretty well, I think. Yes, there was a specific spell, which was later deemed too powerful by in-house designers and removed from the next rules edition (and then, of course, as all cool ideas do, caught someone else’s attention and began to reappear in print as suggestions and references and hints, sneaking back into the game . . . just as poisons and insanity and psionics all have :}).

Alan, the salt trade is very important in the Realms. This, like so many other details of trade and trade-goods, has been neglected in print because of the continuing (and probably correct) judgement of TSR and later WotC managers that an all-trade or trade-focus product would not sell as well as an adventure or so-called “crunch” or “splat” books. (And please let’s not suggest it to them now! I mean, just how many merchant prestige classes does anyone want to see?)
Salt isn’t quite as important in the Realms as it has been in our real world, for two reasons: there are other means of preservation (salt’s primary importance was in preserving food so folk didn’t starve every winter, not as a seasoning -- it was POPULAR as a seasoning, yes, because it augments flavour, but there are a large array of other spices and condiments one can use for taste-altering purposes, even more in the Realms than our real world), and because salt has never been as scarce in the Realms as it has been in large areas of our real-world. In other words, in Faerun you can always get some salt fairly cheaply, from a nearby source, so shipping sacks of it becomes less important.
So exactly where is all this natural-source salt? Well, in many salt marshes (ladle the water out on large, flat sunbaked rocks, or rocks over which you spread large expanses of black cloth) such as the Flooded Forest between the Moonsea and the Dragonreach, the Adder Swamp in Chessenta, the Spider Swamp, and Rethild (The Great Swamp); and as naturally washing-up-on-rocks deposits around certain shores (such as the Lake of Steam and around Azulduth the Lake of Salt), and in dryland form in places where there were once large bodies of water (there are huge salt plains in Anauroch and Raurin). There are also salt mines in Chult, Calimshan, under certain islands in the Korinn Archipelago and north of Mintarn, in the mountains girdling Amn, in the Orsraun Mountains, and so on and on and on. The point is, salt is plentiful; its expense comes primarily from shipping this heavy commodity, because (given the various aquatic and subterranean races present in the Realms), gleaning the salt isn’t all that difficult. Many gnome families make a good living mining small salt deposits and trundling the results to the nearest human town or village market, so you won’t find a “Salt Road” or salt caravans (though you will often find a salt wagon in a mixed goods-caravan).


So saith Ed. That’s all for now, folks; he promises more replies later.
THO
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Shadowlord
Master of Realmslore

USA
1298 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  18:02:33  Show Profile  Visit Shadowlord's Homepage  Send Shadowlord an AOL message Send Shadowlord a Private Message
Ah, the fourth installment of Alustriel's Consort! To think Larlake is an independent pawn of the Red Wizards... Hmm, and this soul stealing/re-installing spell seems to bring up ideas...

The Chosen of Vhaeraun
"Nature is governed by certain immutable rules. By virtue of claw and fang, the lion will always triumph over the goat.Given time, the pounding of the sea will wear away the stone. And when dark elves mingle with the lighter races, the offspring invariably take after the dark parent. It is all much the same. That which is greater shall prevail. Our numbers increase steadily, both through birth and conquest. The dark elves are the dominant race, so ordained by the gods." Ka'Narlist of the Ilythiiri.
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Sarta
Senior Scribe

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  18:25:57  Show Profile Send Sarta a Private Message
No questions, I'm very content to keep lurking and absorbing.

I just wanted to express my deep thanks to Ed and THO for being so kind to spend as much time and energy as you both have posting here.

I know you are both very busy and we are all extremely appreciatiave for what you have given to us.

Thank you for creating the realms, sharing it with us, and then really helping make it come to life.

Sarta
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2004 :  22:05:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
’Lo again, all. The Hooded One here once more, bearing the wit, wisdom, and other words of Ed, to whit:


Hi, Bruce. Bardic colleges in the Realms have been addressed in this thread before, but your questions neatly avoid already-discussed topics, so let’s have a go:
1. Indoor, and often soundproofed by magic or by being underground and having long, “crazy dogleg” entry passages. The intent is not to enrage neighbours or embarrass performers, but to allow many bards to practise at once without disturbing anyone (except perhaps their tutor or someone they’re performing with). So many colleges have teaching rooms, lounges, living quarters, meeting rooms, kitchen facilities and pantries, instrument storage rooms, and a lone performance hall with galleries aboveground, and a radiating network of performance chambers belowground.
2. Everything varies from college to college, and from tutor to tutor. In general, the lower order colleges concentrate on hearing pitch, timbre, and nuance, singing scales and being able to precisely duplicate an overheard note or tune with the voice, mimicry of other voices and bird and animal calls, and then in memorization of certain ‘stock’ tunes and perfecting the ability to perform them on a limited range of instruments (recorder, lute, harp) and transpose them into different keys. All students are taught to make and repair a particular sort of instrument.
Higher order colleges add instruments and greatly expand the memorized repertoire, adding translations into other tongues (so that a graduate who doesn’t know language X at all can still perform a particular song in language X with perfect, non-accented pronunciation, understanding, and nuance), the histories of tunes and alternative lyrics (and why certain lands or towns or rulers frown on, or approve of, specific wordings), and so on. As students progress, they begin to be taught how to teach others well, and are instructed in how to make and repair an ever-expanding variety of instruments.
3. I’ve just covered the topics addressed in bardic colleges in the previous answer, and only the greenest students are taught in large groups, in organized classes; the whole point of bardic colleges is that there’s a lot of one-on-one or one-on-two-or-three instruction, senior students are encouraged to ‘fool around musically’ with younger ones (so they can learn by exploration), and so on.
4. Yes, bardic colleges specialize in what they teach and what instruments they make, but this varies more with the individual instructors practising at a college at a given time, than it does by college policy. As a result, non-bards won’t tend to rank, for example, a lute from one college as worth more or being finer than a lute from another college. They DO rank “this lute by Tholomon Candras, from the time when he was at . . .” over “that lute by Andrath Melonder, repaired by divers hands, from his early days at . . .”
5. Not much. Someone showing up at the door of a bardic college who was already making a living by performing might well already be known (by reputation, at least) to the masters of the college (both genders are usually called “masters,” by the way: lord masters and lady masters). However, any recognition would not be revealed; all would-be students are auditioned by at least one visible and one invisible (hearing, but not seen) master; only in cases where they disagree on admission will other auditions be necessary. Colleges sell instruments and sheet music, and take at least half the gate at any public performances put on by college students (such occasions are rare). Colleges guarantee elaborate funerals and burials for patrons (of any race, species, faith, and profession, not just musicians) who endow them with sufficient funds, and undertake commissions (usually for rulers) to compose music, so student fees tend to be tied to the ability of a student to pay (high fees aren’t used as a barrier, but cartloads of coins can’t be used to bribe one’s way in).
6. Again, colleges can be ranked against each other by reputation, but in the Realms I’ve never adhered to the 1st Edition ‘bard character level corresponds to specific college entry and tutoring’ rules. Student graduation is: when one is ready. One college is ranked over another purely by opinion, which will vary sharply from individual to individual. To outsiders, there’s simply no way to truly measure which has the “best” training or instructors, or the most talented pupils.
7. In the original Realms, many human and half-elf females were of a class called “spellsingers,” who could dance and sing in circles with other spellsingers (usually around a fire or other central focus) to combine and work magic too powerful for an individual spellsinger to cast. Spellsingers eventually found their ways into print in various forms, but as with elven “spellsong,” the ability to spellsing is an unborn talent rather than something one can acquire by instruction. Instruction serves to develop the talent, giving those possessing it control over it, and a greater scope and strength in its use.
Elven instruction inevitably builds in much more history, and nuances of emotion (mainly sadness and melancholy) are ‘built into’ how a note is shaped as it is sung, providing memory spurs to listeners, and actually ‘tags’ or footholds to elves who work magic that brings forth three-dimensional illusory images, so that a spellsong can be accompanied by a shifting ‘movie’ of animated images, one melting into the next.
Elves can reach higher notes than most humans without tone becoming thin or strangled or going sharp or flat, and can also hold notes longer, and their musical instruction is designed to develop these abilities. Certain elves can even produce a second ‘ghost’ voice echoing their primary vocalization, without any need for magic (so, for instance, an elf could sing, “’Twas in the early gloaming mist, that first I saw thy dancing fair,” and as he sang the word “first,” could faintly sing again “gloaming mist” simultaneously with “I saw thy”), and instruction develops this power, and the dronesong (whistle and hum simultaneously; many humans can do this, too, but proper instruction turns it into a finely-finished, controlled singing voice), AND the more-common-than-ghost-voice ability to split tone on a single held note, so as to create a chord with oneself (allowing a lone singer to, say, end a song with a rich, full-throated chord).
Elves typically understand more of the history of a tune, and its variants and various lyrics, than all but the most accomplished human bards.

Hi, Foxhelm. You pose an interesting query! Let us say an essentially neutral farmer (hardened, close to the land, a little selfish because he must be, but loyal to his neighbours also because he must be) from Shadowdale is brought to our world by Elminster (who then departs, leaving me to guide the fellow). Let us further say the fellow remains calm, and that El’s magic allows us to communicate perfectly but works no influence on either of us. Let us also postulate infinite freedom for me: I can whisk us across borders and go anywhere I like, money no object, no unpleasantness from severe weather or from local authorities anywhere, fly us both without planes, and so on.
Well, first I’d show him MY farm, and slowly cross southern Ontario showing him all the different farms and terrain that gets farmed, and how (I know he’d want to see such things more than anything else). I’d be sure to show him Niagara Falls, then Great Lakes freighters, grain elevators and the like, a little of Muskoka cottage country, Queen Street in downtown Toronto just because it’s a regular United Nations of different sorts of people all living close together but clinging to their cuisine and music, as well as sampling everyone else’s. Then I’d sweep him across Canada just to show him how blamed BIG this continent is: the forests of the Canadian Shield, Flowerpot Island along the Bruce peninsula, the vast sweep of the prairies, the Rocky Mountains, and finally the Pacific Northwest rain forests. Tar sand mining along the way, just to show him how large-scale human scarring of the earth can be, and what honkingly large machines we’re capable of building.
We’d see some of the famous and lush gardens on Vancouver Island, dine in one of the small hippie restaurants on Denman or Hornby Island, and then zip up through Alaska and back east across the tundra and High Arctic, over the ice (watching icebergs break off and start to drift south) and Greenland, to come down through Scotland and England (wow him with castles and the canal system, and then awe him with the libraries at Oxford, and all the oddities and valuables at the V&A in London) and Mount St. Michael, into France (wine tastings and cheese making there, then dine in Tuscany, I think). The running of the bulls in Pamplona, just for fun, the tunnels in Gibraltar to show him a REAL fortress, then the Sahara, of course, with at least one real oasis for him to marvel over (the man’s a farmer, remember) and then up the Nile (pyramids, Karnak and other temple ruins) into remote parts of Africa and some jungles. Drop in on the Bushmen to show him how they survive in much leaner terrain than he faces, see Lake Natron, and then over the Suez Canal to show him REAL crowding in New Delhi and Calcutta, on to the magnificent giant carved stone Buddhas and the Hindi temples and Anghor Wat, Laye Eyre and some of the other natural wonders of Australia, then on to South America: the Amazon and lilypads large enough to walk on, Angel Falls, the gigantic drawings on the Nazca plains and the mountainsides of Chile, then up into the USA.
There, my first stop would be the Canyon de Chelly (the Anasazi settlements), then the Grand Canyon, and then: the mudpots of Bumpass Hell in California, the carved faces on Mount Rushmore, New Mexico’s Lechuguilla Caves, Crater Lake in Oregon, the excesses of Las Vegas, a night at the palatial Drake Hotel in Chicago (hey, if the original Playboy Mansion, in the Windy City, was still going, I’d have wanted him to see that just for the spectacle -- on a night when a good musician was performing), and then a quick hop to contrast rural Pennsylvania coal country with the streets of Savannah and then the concrete canyons of Manhattan. Then Big Cypress Swamp in the Everglades, and zip across the entire continent to the Hoh rain forest in Olympic State Park in Washington State.
Then active volcanic flows somewhere, back to Europe to see the Catacombs under Rome, and I’d give him the following things to take back with him: the best meat cleaver and the best axe I could find that were suited for his height and arms; handfuls of bloodstones and similar low-value gems to use as emergency currency, a good-sized pot of old gold coins (doesn’t matter what the origins are, only that they’re old enough to be gold and not just thinly gold-plated, several large coils of fine wire, some good locks and multiple keys for each, some old-design two-man crosscut saws (yes, they still make such things), a dozen or so really good knives, a large assortment of used eyeglasses so he could fashion eyewear for aging folk in the dale, a lot of those good wheels of cheese we saw being made in France, and (hey, I’m Canadian) some rolls of duct tape. No seeds! No livestock! NO firearms!!!!
That ought to set him up for years -- and I know that the moment he saw what I was assembling, that’s exactly what he’d want to take back with him. :}


So saith Ed. That trip would make a great novel, but I’m not even going to suggest it to him. He might throw something at me. :}
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2004 :  00:35:53  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
I was wondering what Eds view on the Future of the Zhentarim would be particualrly the relationship between the Eastern (banite dominated) and western (Cyrcist dominated) halves would be

I think Fzoul will end up dumping the western half for the following reasons

1) The Return of Shade has restricted the amounted of Traffic that can travel down the Black Road.

2) The Western Cyric dominated Half of the Zhentarim will likely leave the organization (most likely merging with the Church of Cyric)

3) Daggerdale has driven the Zhentarim out of the dale, effectively cutting off Zhentarim traffic heading out of the Moonsea area and Along the Black road.

4) Fzoul and Khelbhan Blackstaff made a pact where Fzoul would not expand the Zhentarim West of the Desert for next 30 years.

For these reasons Fzoul decides to cut his losses and abandon the Western Zhentarim to the Cyricists. It seems that the Eastern Zhentarim control the resources while the Western Zhentarim control access to the market that those resources are sold. Fortunately for Fzoul there are other places in which they could sell the goods the Zhentarim trafic in without enriching the Cyricists ie Thay or the cities in Chondath


“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Lashan
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2004 :  14:09:55  Show Profile  Visit Lashan's Homepage Send Lashan a Private Message
Thanks again, Mr. Greenwood.

I do have another question, that I just recalled yesterday. I've been curious about something I saw as a feature on the map of Tantras in the module of the same name. There is a statue of Brandon Battlemaster. I am assuming that this is the same fellow who is listed in the original grey boxed set as being a mid-level mercenary. Not sure if he is a mercenary general or just a mercenary, but he is still alive (I presume). Why would there be a statue of him in Tantras? You have stated that there have only been skirmishes there. And lastly, can you tell us anything more about this unknown and forgotten NPC?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2004 :  18:15:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
’Lo everyone, Your Hooded Lady returns with more from Ed:


Dargoth, the future of the Zhentarim has been discussed in detail before on this thread. My view is that there are too many variables to say anything definitive. If Hesperdan comes out of hiding to make a move against Fzoul, probably with beholder allies and perhaps with the aid of Manshoon, Fzoul will certainly be destroyed. There are many priests of Bane (particularly those formerly loyal to the High Imperceptor) also scheming to get rid of Fzoul, and of course he could drop dead of heartstop or a rotten tree banch falling on him tomorrow. With him gone, who knows what the Zhentarim would do (after the inevitable power struggle for control of the organization)?
Your view of things could quite likely happen, but let’s look at your four points:
1. Shade is itself a BIG variable, and the fate of the Zhent trade-routes depends on what they do more than anything else. If they move to block or control overland trade, we could be seeing a shift to a war for control of portals (which would probably draw in Thay and other magically-powerful groups). In turn, this leads us to another variable: what if the Chosen of Mystra, or Larloch, or anyone other magically-powerful individual sees domination of portals by one group as A Bad Thing, and gets involved?
2. The stability and power of the Church of Cyric are by no means certain; that’s a matter for every DM to decide. My own take on this situation is that as Bane grows in power, Cyric inevitably loses, and that Bane is inherently stronger (less insane, for one thing) a personality, and thus will eventually win the “who’s the big bad guy?” contest between them. The faith of Cyric is MUCH younger than the other large priesthoods of Faerun, and from the first has been dominated by opportunists from other churches seeking more personal power -- a recipe for schisms, struggles, and a weak church. So whatever happens to the gods themselves, the Church of Cyric is by no means a predictable or a consistent force for anything.
3. See the earlier posts on this list for all of the alternative trade routes. There’s no such thing as “effectively cutting off” Zhentarim trade-traffic -- but events have already made such travel longer, more expensive, and exposed to new foes and predators (e.g. if it goes by ship and landfall in Sembia, Sembians try to take a hand; if Westgate is used as a port, certain individuals in Westgate ditto; if the Zhents try to take over Ilipur or Teziir (which to some degree they’d have to do, openly or covertly, to expand the dock, warehouse, and paddock facilities to what they’d need), they come to the official attention of Sembia, Westgate, and Cormyr, any or all of whom might respond -- and of course any waterborne route will please the pirates of the Inner Sea). We’ve seen Daggerdale laid waste by wandering Zhent war-bands, but we’ve not seen Fzoul in charge of an attempt to retake the dale yet. He might well use hordes of summoned monsters, or poisons introduced into drinking-sources, and other “slay ’em all” means -- and might well view obliberating the folk of Daggerdale as his cheapest, easiest solution. And as such struggles unfold, the hewing a road through the Border Forest (again, see the earlier posts) “Plan B” is proceeding . . .
4. Yes, Fzoul and Khelben made a pact. Would you trust either man to adhere to anything more than the strict LETTER of their agreement? Or Fzoul to break that enthusiastically if he thought he could do so through manipulated intermediaries in a way that Khelben couldn’t actually PROVE he had anything to do with? Fzoul could easily force the breakup of the western Zhents into Cyricist and other factions that are all still under his influence (particularly if he has the support of beholders, and fosters beholder cults among the breakaway groups). And [insert echoing evil laughter here] what if something happens to Khelben?
You’re quite correct, the eastern Zhents control raw material resources (gems and metals) that the Sword Coast markets want. And yes, there are plenty of alternate routes. What happens depends on just what events transpire in your own campaign. Myself, I view the Zhents like mildew: you can wipe them out again and again, and somehow they just keep creeping back . . .


So saith Ed. And I can add this echo to his words: my characters have fought the Zhents for over twenty-five years of real time, and certainly don’t view them as the Keystone Kops some gamers tend to dismiss them as. More like Hydra (cut off one head, and three more spring up to take its place). Myself, I think Fzoul’s living on borrowed time. I doubt Wizards will off him in print all that soon, but then again, how do we know the REAL Fzoul hasn’t been mind-controlled for years, or even replaced by a shapeshifter long ago? The old one never exhibited half the wiles and guts the more recent one has shown us. Hmmm.
Thoughtfully signing off,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2004 :  18:16:31  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, gentles. Thy Hooded Lady, bearing the words of Ed:


Ahhh, Lashan, you’ve spotted one of my little secrets. Yes, Brandon Battlemaster became a hero in Tantras after he led a few captains of his mercenary company -- WITHOUT pay or any sword-contract -- to the rescue of local priests of Torm, and paid with his life.
The priests were taking monies (temple offerings) and consecrated armor and weapons (which the priests of the temple had constructed, for other temples of the faith to sell in Sembia and the Vilhon, and thus raise more money for church activities [notably giving food, shelter, and healing to the families of guards who’ve died or been maimed in battle or fulfilling their duties]) to the docks in Tantras to load onto church-owned ships for a quick trip to the nearest Sembian ports (it was intended that the church cargo be carried overland as much as possible, because piracy was very bad at the time).
Not all of the supporters of Lashan died in the collapse of Lashan’s dreams. Many of them fled across the Reach, to join agents of Lashan already resident in Tantras -- and they got wind of this valuable cargo. Some of them probably saw an attack on it purely in terms of personal gain: enough coin to let them travel far away from the dales and possible retribution, and start a new life elsewhere. Others, because the weapons and armor were their chief interests, obviously intended to replace Lashan with a new ‘pretender’ (perhaps even someone magically disguised to look like Lashan and pretending to BE the original Lashan), and try again to conquer the dales or some part of the region.
During the late night loading, an attack was made on the priests at the docks. Brandon Battlemaster and some of his warcaptains happened to be drinking in a dockside tavern, and they boiled forth half-drunk to defend the priests of Torm, fighting heroically against great odds and, although almost all of them died in the fray, ultimately winning victory for the faithful of Torm by buying the authorities time enough to muster enough armed force -- and making enough noise that the other dockside taverns emptied, and although confusion reigned, it became impossible for anyone to remove property from the priests on the docks without being seen.
For their pains, Brandon (now at least a CN hm Ftr9, though he may be as much as 2 levels above that; I can’t find my current notes at the moment) and two of his senior warcaptains, Beltarkh the Bold (CN hm Ftr7 [a very large, strong man with minotaur blood in his lineage]) and Dathamra “Deadsword” Alyth (LN hf Rog2/Ftr4) were raised from the dead by the grateful Church of Torm, and a statue promptly erected in Brandon’s honour. (Local rumor insists that priests constructed it so as to have a hideout chamber in its base, containing a weapons-cache.)
Brandon, Beltarkh, and Dathamra all seem to have been deeply shaken by the experience, and are now operating all over the coastal lands of the Sea of Fallen Stars, and (for now, at least) largely avoiding Tantras and the Dragonreach. Or perhaps they came to some sort of secret agreement with the Tantran priests of Torm that the wider world doesn’t know about.


So saith Ed. Interesting. VERY interesting. Something Brandon said in passing to one of my characters makes a lot more sense, now . . .
Ed, your mind must be like a huge library of books all opening themselves and reading themselves aloud at once. Hmm: Lost and Wandering in Ed’s mind -- now THAT would make a Hollywood movie I’d pay a LOT to go and see.
THO
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Bakra
Senior Scribe

619 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2004 :  18:24:38  Show Profile Send Bakra a Private Message
Thank you for taking time to respond. I have some more minor questions, In one of your books a guard I believe at Storm's house was fascinated and horrified to be served a drink in a cup made from glass...whiched spawned this question, how many dwellings actually have glass windows? (not counting churches)And this question I blame on my archaeology professor, What type of imagery is on the ceramics...geometric patterns, animal images, do they tell myths and ledgends? I have a good understanding what the ones used for rituals would be like, I just wondered about the ones used by the average being. Plus the final question, what custom exist when a person in the Dales recieves guest into their homes? For example I know a culture in South America where once you enter their home, they give you a bowel of fermented beer and you have to drink it all...then they give you another one...which you must drink it all...then you are considered friendly.
Thank you two once again...now get back to work! :)
Take it easy,
Bakra of the Outlying Thread

I hope Candlekeep continues to be the friendly forum of fellow Realms-lovers that it has always been, as we all go through this together. If you don’t want to move to the “new” Realms, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either you or the “old” Realms. Goodness knows Candlekeep, and the hearts of its scribes, are both big enough to accommodate both. If we want them to be.
(Strikes dramatic pose, raises sword to gleam in the sunset, and hopes breeches won’t fall down.)
Enough for now. The Realms lives! I have spoken! Ale and light wines half price, served by a smiling Storm Silverhand fetchingly clad in thigh-high boots and naught else! Ahem . .
So saith Ed. <snip>
love to all,
THO
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Reefy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
892 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2004 :  22:55:53  Show Profile  Visit Reefy's Homepage  Click to see Reefy's MSN Messenger address Send Reefy a Private Message
Well met Ed and The Hooded One. I'd like to express my thanks for this wonderful resource, I really appreciate the time you've spent answering everyone's questions.
Way back towards the beginning of this thread, you said Dornal Silverhand was a 'loose end' character and also said Elaith had been. You also mentioned that there were many others. I would be interested to know who any of the others are. Obviously I'm not expecting a huge amount of detail about each simply because I realise it's a big question. Anything you could tell me would be very interesting though. Many thanks.

Life is either daring adventure or nothing.
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Bruce Donohue
Learned Scribe

Canada
129 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  05:49:24  Show Profile  Send Bruce Donohue a Yahoo! Message Send Bruce Donohue a Private Message
Hello maybe I can help in regards to the Truename question. On the Pages from the Sages website, Ed wrote the following regarding True Names

http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Castle/2566/ed-truenames.htm

"Truenames. Well, originally I used the Vancian (later picked up for 2nd edition) concept that knowing someone's truename gave you a *lot* of power over them, if you had the right spells to compel them. That got tossed out for 3rd, and rightly, because the spell escalation had made all sorts of nasty things possible for PCs to do to fiends, and if 3rd edition lets everybody do everything, well... :}

So, we're back to this: truenames allow you to leave person-specific magic mouth and similar 'trigger' spells, send spellborn messages that reach just the right individual and no one else, let folks with the right spells in use hear their own names spoken clear across Toril (with distance, direction, and sometimes - with the right magic - a hazy 'scene' of where the speaker is), make possible improved wizard locks and similar 'pass only me or persons who know my truename' magics, and suchlike. Nothing's left in "official" form, so...let's talk."

Edited by - Bruce Donohue on 05 Apr 2004 06:02:11
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Bruce Donohue
Learned Scribe

Canada
129 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  06:10:40  Show Profile  Send Bruce Donohue a Yahoo! Message Send Bruce Donohue a Private Message
Dear Lady THO, do you per chance remember when the Knights ran into the Lowlantern Lutes? I think you all had three run-ins with them if not mistaken

Ed do you think you might include this interesting little band of Bards, which is memory serves me correctly reminded me of the Three Musketeers but they were four. Be interesting to see these 4 wild psionic talents mix things up with their Bardic skills. Maybe you can slide them in with the Knights Trilogy. heehee Which Sembian Noble Family could they have fleeced the most and have they earned the ire of any noble family from Sembia?

Edited by - Bruce Donohue on 05 Apr 2004 06:13:22
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  09:52:56  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Ed

The PGTF has reintroduced Psionics back to the Realms Other than Elminster (who had Psionics in 1ed) and the ussual Psionic races ie Mind Flayers, Derro etc

Who else has Psionics?


“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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thom
Seeker

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  15:45:38  Show Profile  Visit thom's Homepage Send thom a Private Message
Wow! Go away for a weekend and just LOOK at all the juicy info that stores up

Oh Hooded Lady, please pass on to Ed how incredibly rich and full of juicy details his replies are! They'll help me immensely in keeping my young and soon-to-be-corrupted players involved and learning to look beyond the hack-n-slash-as well as falling in love with the Realms the way I did! Thanks again!

And thanks to you for all the time you put in here Hooded Lady; it's been said before, but you truly are Candlekeep's most precious "tome" of knowledge!

thom
::goes off giggling at all the info he has to digest and absorb before his first session tomorrow!::

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Maskanodel
Seeker

Canada
18 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  19:14:13  Show Profile  Visit Maskanodel's Homepage  Click to see Maskanodel's MSN Messenger address Send Maskanodel a Private Message
Dear Ed
I was just wondering what your opinion on the Tarrasque is. Did it exist in the Realms? Is it still alive? Any other things worth noting that you could possibly let us in on? I've heard various rumours that it lived in the Thunder Peaks, or that the Chosen of Mystra killed it a while ago. Just wanted to know if you clarify for me.

Thanks
Maskanodel

Ill Met On The River Of Dreams...
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  19:22:14  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
quote:
Originally posted by Maskanodel

Dear Ed
I was just wondering what your opinion on the Tarrasque is. Did it exist in the Realms? Is it still alive? Any other things worth noting that you could possibly let us in on? I've heard various rumours that it lived in the Thunder Peaks, or that the Chosen of Mystra killed it a while ago. Just wanted to know if you clarify for me.

Thanks
Maskanodel




Well it does show up on the random encounter list for El's Ecologies and it has also attacked the Heralds Holdfast in the past. So yes it does exist in FR.

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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Bruce Donohue
Learned Scribe

Canada
129 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2004 :  23:46:54  Show Profile  Send Bruce Donohue a Yahoo! Message Send Bruce Donohue a Private Message
quote:
Dargoth wrote:
Ed

The PGTF has reintroduced Psionics back to the Realms Other than Elminster (who had Psionics in 1ed) and the ussual Psionic races ie Mind Flayers, Derro etc

Who else has Psionics?


Well Dargoth, in the Player's Guide to Faerun, you will notice on page p.172+ a few entries that answer those questions.

THE KALIESH'ERAI

Based in the elven city of Evereska, the Kaliesh'erai is a loose association of elves who have a measure of psionic ability. Because many of them have been honing their mental powers for centuries, The Hall of the Kaliesh'erai is one of the greatest store of psionic knowledge in all of Faerun, and it is certainly the greatest centre of such lore beyond the reach of the mind flayers.

STRAY THOUGHTS

led by Jacenelle Traen (a 16th-level female human wilder), the Stray Thoughts is a Sembian-based adventuring company with about two score members, all of whom have at least some psionic power. The memebers of the Stray Thoughts call a seemingly rundown manor on the outskirts of Selgaunt home, but three-quarters of them are off on missions at any given time.

FORAK-ERACH-NAEK

This group of duergar soulknife/assasins is among the more feared organizations in the Underdark. THe members of the Forak-Erach-Naek (Empyt-Scabbard Killers in an obscure Dwarven dialect) are assasins for hire willing to work for any patron who can meet their price in gold. The location of the Forak-Erach-Naek's headquarters is a closely guarded secret, but would-be employers know that the Cave of Twelve Teeth, on the shores of the Darklake near the duergar metropolis of Gracklstugh, is the place to hire a Forak-Erach-Naek assassin.

THE COLLEGE OF THE ECLIPSE

Headquartered in the Thethyrian metropolis of Riatavin, this society is dedicated to the advancement of psionic abilities. The College of the Eclipse operates openly from its fortresslike headquarters. Most Tethyrians believe that it's just another esoteric order of arcane spellcasters, and its memebers encourage that misconception.

THE HALL OF MENTAL SPLENDOR

Beneath Waterdeep, in the sinister town of Skullport, stands a small keep known as the Hall of Mental Splendors, which is home to a group of psionic spies-for-hire. Run by Vhondryl (a 14th-level female human psion), the Hall of Mental Splendor provides "discreet espionage services" for many of the factionsvying for power in the city above.


I hope this helps and on p.174 you can find a Psionic prestige class: the Cognition Thief

Also finally there is a final word that Psionics is not dependent on the Weave or Shadow Weave. In truth anyone sufficiently dedicated can learn to wield psionic powers.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1632 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2004 :  00:19:15  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
Just a quick but important pair of questions for Ed:

You getting enough sleep, big guy?

And how's your diet these days? None of that deadline food AKA sugary snacks and caffeinated sodas, mind you...

Best of luck on that novel work, Ed!

And be sure you're staying healthy as well, Oh Hooded One (who I know I've not met but would love to, if only to witness the sparring of quadruple entendres with Ed ).

Take care, ye neighbors to the Northlands....

Steven
Someone who knows just how much damage deadlines can do to the system...

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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fourthmensch
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2004 :  03:03:56  Show Profile  Visit fourthmensch's Homepage  Send fourthmensch an AOL message Send fourthmensch a Private Message
(Sorry for the delayed response, as the original answer was two pages back or so.)

Hey, thanks Ed and George regarding the coinage of the East. More details are always welcome, but I like the Impilturian stuff. Good work, Mr. Krashos!

Since Lashan has been asking all sorts of questions about the Vast, I'm going to ask about the UE until its a dead horse :). So this one's about the Sons of Hoar. I don't know if this is your creation, Ed, or if it has more to do with the UE sourcebook designers, but the possibilities with these guys (and their counterparts, the Society of the Verdant Arrow) are wonderful.

So I'm curious... what sorts of activities are these schemers involved in? How does one go about trying to overthrow the Simbul? Do you think they actually have a chance against her (and her network of spies, informants, etc)? Would they go so far as to forge alliances with traditional enemies (such as Altumbel pirates or even--gasp!--Thayans)? Do you think they might actually oppose each other in the process (which seews natural), and if so, what form would this oppositon take (spies, knivework in the night, rival gangs, or just rumor-mongering and information control)? Could you pass along any more information regarding the leaders of these groups (eg Nomyr Dedriech, Varran Gloskil, Lady Mytela Halvasyn)? Would either group actually press their agenda to the point of civil war with the ever-present threat of Thay looming over the horizon?

Anything you can (and are allowed to) pass along would be great. And, no worries, I understand that you are immensely busy creating more beautiful pieces of lore for us to enjoy in the coming years, so feel free to take your time with the response. :)

I want you to go home and ponder the meaning of the word subversive.

Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination.
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