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Alathayn
Acolyte

Germany
14 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2004 :  22:09:16  Show Profile  Visit Alathayn's Homepage Send Alathayn a Private Message
Ho, Hooded One, may you plaese deliver our thanks to the Greenwood? And thanks to you as well, be ashured I will ask again ,if im in need of some bits of lore. Till that day comes, farewell!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  02:38:37  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
’Lo, all. Thy Hooded Lady, presenting once more the words of Ed:


Hi, fourthmensch. Certainly I can explain. Sune and Sharess (and therefore, in almost all cases, their churches, too) wouldn’t care about the married or unmarried state of persons indulging in lustful practises. Wherefore performing such short-term marriages wouldn’t be clerical policy for them (except perhaps to indulge wanton faithful desiring the thrill of turning a marriage ceremony into debauchery).
However, the clergy of Siamorphe, representing a deity catering to the nobility, are concerned both with being popular/useful to nobles, AND safeguarding the rights, privileges, and powers of nobles. Bastard children, loss of virginity, and so-called “immoral” behaviour are matters far more important to noble families than to the general populace.
So legitimate but very-short-term marriages allow nobles to ah, enjoy other nobles (or commoners) whilst at the same time protecting the rights, status, and wealth of the participants and their families.
For example, a commoner female (or her family) can’t easily later demand monies or other compensation from a noble male, in return for her lost maidenhead, when she willingly (the clergy will attest to this, for they test for it, with witnesses and spells) participated in a known-to-be-dusk-until-dawn marriage.
In like manner, a noble female can experience the joys of lusty male partners without said partners gaining any claim to becoming part of her family (so she can, er, taste dungsweepers instead of restricting herself to any chinless foolheaded fops who happen to be noble).
And so on. A father can promise his daughter in marriage to anyone who can slay the Dread Beast Barthos or recover the Lost Sacred Silver Apple without blindly binding his family to an evil, grasping lout or sacrificing her future and lifelong happiness -- because she can be shrouded in disease-averting, ironguard, and healing spells for a night and just put up with things for the one night. Elder nobles who don’t want to share their fortunes or sacrifice their freedom can indulge in brief flings without sacrificing respectability (remember, in most places in the Realms no one deity is paramount [Lantan, with Gond, would be one of the exceptions], so the moral code of no one deity can dominate; whereas in our real world North America Christianity dominates and decides what’s “respectable” or not, in the Realms all of the gods have rightful standing, so as ridiculous/insincere/overly convenient as a church-legitimized one-night stand might seem to us, it’s not viewed that way by the majority of Faerunians...individuals who cleave to this god or that may sneer or deride or be scandalized, but would have a much harder time than many of our real-world fanatics do in gathering popular support for their personal views).

I must preface my answer to your second question with a gentle suggestion (please understand I’m not trying to be critical here) that your question to me, as phrased, betrays a North American Christian-dominated viewpoint. You speak of people “in serious relationships sowing some serious oats” as “lax mores.”
Though I agree that in general the Realms does follow rather romanticized courtly love-plus-feminine-equality values (or at least, that’s what I designed it to have), neither I nor the nigh-immortal [not everyone, notice, just the Chosen and other live-for-many-centuries folks, and nobles and royalty who consider themselves ‘above’ laws and social rules, or to be the people who set such laws and rules] fictional Realms characters I’ve created view “sleeping with” people as being incompatible with having deep, committed relationships with someone else. So they don’t see it as “lax” at all (and by the way, neither did a LOT of real-world American people of a certain generation, during the 1960s/Woodstock generation -- making love to Person A was seen as having nothing at all to do with being life-bonded to Person B).
Yes, The Simbul and Elminster DO love each other. Deeply. Yet neither of them would define faithfulness to the other as having anything at all to do with sex. So, yes, “swinging” between committed or married couples isn’t seen as Bad by a lot of Faerunians, in many places and situations (though among most citizens across the Realms, it would be).
[It’s fashionable among some noble classes and a LOT of “wannabe noble” rich, rising merchants, and frowned upon in places with small, stable populations where warfare or monster predations haven’t forced folk into desperate survival measures (telescoping survivors down into a single extended family of multiple husbands and wives, for example).]
I make no apology for this mental separation between love and lust. Outliving lover after lover, family after family, (many of) your own children, realm after realm, and so on will do that to you. You grab physical love when you can, and search for long-term partners with a desperate hunger.
Or at least, that’s how I’ve chosen to define the effects of lonely longevity on persons trying (and usually failing) to remain sane. If I was publishing the “uncensored” Realms, in fiction, most of my liches would be desperate to have physical relations with adventurers, not kill them. Think about it.
I’m well aware that many gamers, reviewers, academics, and persons with only a casual understanding of fantasy roleplaying games have labeled me as some sort of pervert or (at best) immoral “dirty old man” for holding such views (strange, that ‘old’ bit, considering I was examining these issues and settling on this particular viewpoint when I was about fourteen), and of course the shortage of centuries-old real-world people to examine makes the point moot, but I’d like more folks to consider that situation and come up with alternative desires and drives that might dominate such long-lived characters (pure power is one, striving for immortality at the cost of humanity through undeath is another the game rules present to us).
Interesting, yes? The Realms has many such ‘deep waters’ places, awaiting those who question deeply enough.


So saith Ed. Whew.
THO
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fourthmensch
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  06:22:06  Show Profile  Visit fourthmensch's Homepage  Send fourthmensch an AOL message Send fourthmensch a Private Message
Thanks for the explanation, Ed. I'm aware that the question comes from a North-American/Christian viewpoint (and certainly am not offended by you pointing that out :)). To be perfectly frank, I like that sex in the Realms is treated differently than on earth. But (to me, youngling that I am who missed the sixties by a good twenty years) it is an alien code of morals that I would like to understand better so that I can do it justice in games. Your explanation helps a lot; simply stating that many Faerunians see sex and love as being unrelated (or at least, sex with person A not changing love for person B) crystallizes it nicely.

So thanks for the answer. I think its a little funny (funny in that ironic, wry way, although I'm sure that you get tired of it :))that people consider you a pervert for creating a world with different morals. No one seems to believe that other game designers as racist for portraying racial strife between elves and orcs, or that Frank Herbert believed that murder was justifiable in the pursuit of political power, or or or... there are any number of other examples from literature. Especially considering that a fairly large number of people openly practiced these sexual mores not so long ago (ie, free love and whatnot). I for one, think I understand your intent, and I'll bet that most of the people who have been hounding you on this forum do as well. :)

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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RevJest
Learned Scribe

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  06:31:56  Show Profile  Visit RevJest's Homepage Send RevJest a Private Message
One of the great things about this thread is that, if I wait long enough, questions I'm curious about will eventually be asked and answered.

The question just replied to certainly falls in to that category. I was thinking, "Do I really want to ask THAT question here?" And lo and behold, someone did it for me. :)

Here's a quasi-related question for Ed,

What is the nature of Dove and Florin's relationship? Mielikki ordered Florin to marry Dove. So we know why he proposed. But why did she agree? And how did Florin feel about having to ask? What did he feel for her at the time, and now?

Very curious,
Simon

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  08:15:25  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Hey Ed that would make an interesting article

Morality of the different faithes what each of the religions think of Pre Martial sex, Drug use etc

You could also throw in a couple of fantasy morality issues like what the different faithes views of Undeath etc or what they think of cross breeding ie what the church of Correllion thinks of elves who have human lovers and have Half elven children etc or views of mortals breeding with Outsiders like fiends or Celestials.




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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks

Edited by - Dargoth on 13 Apr 2004 08:19:29
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Josh Davids
Seeker

57 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  10:45:19  Show Profile  Visit Josh Davids's Homepage Send Josh Davids a Private Message
Fourthmench just wanted to add one thing about your above post. I have seen other authors be described as racist for writing about drow or other topics by people who actually RP in the game system. Saw that on the WoTC board about not only Ed Greenwood, but Gary Gygax and other early creators in the D&D universe. I believe that no matter what there will people who will believe what they want about the game, for the longest time it was demon worshipping in fact nearly got beaten to death in NC because of that false belief, now it has moved the sexism and racism belief, what has triggered that criticism I don’t know. But it has been going on for some time, and I believe a long time before hand as well but lately it has been gaining strength I guess because of the net, dunno but something people will have to confront and beat down just like they did with the demon worshipping myth though education and talking about it.

This is more of a personal question to Greenwood himself, because I recalled a while back him talking about editors as well as Hooded One mention that and other authors too. I have talked about my epilepsy and brain surgery before, and this deals with it and editors. Before I had my surgery I had slight problems with grammar in my writing just due to the medicine I was on and some brain damage from the seizures themselves. When I had the surgery it got worse, though with each story I do I get a little better it seems this will be a problem I will have with me till the day I die(no matter how much i try to overcome it), generally speaking would editors understand that if I lay it out to them?

Believe me I edit my stuff but even doing it twenty times I still miss little things just because of the damage up there and that does affect the writing, just a little bit but enough to give some publishers pause I would imagine when reading the manuscript. Though when I do get published the editor will get all the praise from me, unending basking praise and thanks for having patience with me.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  17:59:19  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Have to agree with Ed here. My parents were drug-using, partner-swapping Woodstock swingers (back THEN, before AIDS and deciding to get real careers and money to eat, so they could, well, afford ME). It's not an unbelieveable moral code. After all, we're talking an imaginary world where spells actually work.
I mean, think of the last six or seven White House administrations, and how different ALL of them would have been if the public had and could cast truth-reading spells on politicians at press conferences. I'm not taking a political stand here, I'm just pointing out how one little use of magic can force BIG changes. If we have gods walking around doing things directly, we're going to have a very different society, no?
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  18:35:57  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Most people don't understand very well, at least consciously, the relationship of art and life. Everyone thinks they do, but it's not the simple question it might appear.

Josh,

If you're submitting direct to publishers and hoping to get chosen from the slush pile, imperfect spelling and grammar are liable to get the MS discarded unless the reader is drawn by the writing very quickly -- simply because there's such a volume to go through, and the person will be looking for ways to narrow the pile down. Getting a friend to check will be more efficient than doing multiple passes yourself. Since I don't see much wrong with your posts here, I think you'd be better off not mentioning the epilepsy in case it sounds defensive.

But you're better off trying to get an agent first.
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thom
Seeker

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2004 :  18:50:37  Show Profile  Visit thom's Homepage Send thom a Private Message
Well! The recent postings on sex, drugs & mores gave me the fodder for another question!

Well met again, Ed! I know you helped with the development of some of the drugs in the Lords of Darkness book. Are there any other practical (that is, useful within-the-game-rules when used by NPCS or PCs, vs pure 'roleplaying') drugs that have seen common use in the "home" realms? If so, could you give any generic stats on what they do and any side effects?

For that matter, Oh Hooded Lady, have the Knights ever run across or broken up any home realms "drug cartels"?

BTW, thanks to *both* of you for your *wonderful* advice; I've already got my "next generation" of young players haring after several minor mysteries & shouting proper oaths at the top of their lungs! The boys are even talking about using some of the lesser oaths at school as their secret language!!

thom
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  17:01:46  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met, everyone. The Hooded One here again, with Ed’s replies:


Hello. A lot of collective replies this time:

First, to TheHermit: yes, I’ve been basically a D&D/fantasy roleplayer down the years, but I’ve also played in Cthulhu campaigns, Shadowrun, Top Secret, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World, various steampunk settings, Featherstone-style “map-moving and playing the parts of generals, with tabletop miniature battles whenever armies meet” campaigns in both real-world historical settings and fictitious rapier-and-blunderbuss European kingdoms -- and of course scores of TSR-related playtests, and even more boardgame “campaigns.”

SiriusBlack, the cover can be viewed at:
http://images.epilogue.net/users/vengince/ELminsterD.JPG
and is part of a “gallery” on display there. What you can glean from that is as much as I know about the artist. :}
The book provides a “passing look at” Alusair and the overarching politics of Cormyr, “checking in” as it were, rather than being a full-blown Cormyr book (as Dargoth was hinting/hoping). As for relieving stress [bats eyelashes in feminine manner] why, whatever do you mean? [More serious answer: you’ll see at least one interesting scene showing something of how Alusair has grown and changed thanks to the demands of the job, but not so much of her traditional stress-relief techniques. :} Oh, wait, there IS one scene at a hunting-lodge . . .
[But wait, there’s more! Keep reading what directly follows, SiriusBlack :}]

Dargoth, as aforementioned (and as kuje31 conjectured), ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER is the fifth Elminster book, but designed to be a quick cross-check with unfolding events in Cormyr. I think Peter Archer and Phil Athans might rightfully go berserk if I mess up their series lists and charts any more than I have already. :}
But yes, if I was running Wizards, the book would officially be both. Draws more of an audience, pleases fans of Cormyr who must be wondering by now when they’ll get fiction set in their kingdom that doesn’t half-destroy the place, and so on.
I can say that you’ll get to see something of Vangerdahast’s retirement, an update on a character last seen in one of the flashbacks in ELMINSTER IN HELL, something draconic (being as Richard Lee Byers is bringing us some great dragon-wild books, right now!), a little more about the Lady Lord of Arabel, a wild chase scene involving not-so-secret agent Rhauligan, Alusair and Caladnei and Filfaeril (!) in battle, and two engagingly bumbling villains I hope we can all meet again.
ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER is straightforward chronological storytelling (though we do, of course, jump from one setting and character to another), is crafted to be a bit of a romp, is a catch-up-with-some-neglected-characters book, and also introduces some new characters for Realms writers, DMs, and game designers to play with. And all this for the price of dinner for one at a decent restaurant. :}

As for your article suggestion on morality of the different faiths, yes it could make for a very useful overview, with two caveats:
-- any survey of religious beliefs must necessarily be a ‘snapshot’ of a moving target: church policies are always subtly changing, and sometimes (post-Time of Troubles is a very good example) dramatically altering
-- this entire field of discourse has been rejected by DRAGON editors and TSR editors more times down the years than I can count, no matter how politely and obliquely I promised to word things (and of course, the more vague and euphemistic the prose, the less useful the end result can be), so I don’t think it’ll ever happen. I once discussed the idea very briefly with Lorraine Williams, head of TSR at the time (doing “adult” material, in the same way that Disney can put movies on screens via Touchstone Pictures that didn’t reflect on the “wholesome animation for kids” Disney was then, pre-Pixar, known for), and she was very much afraid that ‘the public would find out’ and it would reflect poorly on TSR. There were later plans for an adult line, but it was cancelled. (Please understand here that “adult” doesn’t only mean ‘more sex or at least more skin and sizzle’ . . . it meant the brutal gunslinging, drug use, other vices, and so on covered by d20 Modern right now.)


So saith Ed. Who is busybusybusy in various Waterdhavian locations rights now.
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29649 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  17:39:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

I can say that you’ll get to see something of Vangerdahast’s retirement, an update on a character last seen in one of the flashbacks in ELMINSTER IN HELL, something draconic (being as Richard Lee Byers is bringing us some great dragon-wild books, right now!), a little more about the Lady Lord of Arabel, a wild chase scene involving not-so-secret agent Rhauligan, Alusair and Caladnei and Filfaeril (!) in battle, and two engagingly bumbling villains I hope we can all meet again.


My fave turret top salesman will be back! Yay!

Actually, if nothing else did, this blurb would be enough to interest me in the book.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Bruce Donohue
Learned Scribe

Canada
129 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2004 :  23:55:06  Show Profile  Send Bruce Donohue a Yahoo! Message Send Bruce Donohue a Private Message
Well I am sure that there is one particular mystery we would all like to know more about since Bane came back to play in the Realmsian Sandbox. There have been intrigues flying left right and centre with these two characters, yet no sittings, no hints and rumors spred by wonderful Bards.

So where or where is my little Sememmon gone? Then we also can't forget the beautiful Ashemi that is no doubt with her lover. I wonder if he got any of his things back from Darkhold, and he must be tickled pink to hear that Tilverton was flattened and that the once former thorn in his side King Azound has past away.
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Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2004 :  02:12:42  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
quote:
I’m well aware that many gamers, reviewers, academics, and persons with only a casual understanding of fantasy roleplaying games have labeled me as some sort of pervert or (at best) immoral “dirty old man” for holding such views (strange, that ‘old’ bit, considering I was examining these issues and settling on this particular viewpoint when I was about fourteen), and of course the shortage of centuries-old real-world people to examine makes the point moot, but I’d like more folks to consider that situation and come up with alternative desires and drives that might dominate such long-lived characters (pure power is one, striving for immortality at the cost of humanity through undeath is another the game rules present to us).
Interesting, yes? The Realms has many such ‘deep waters’ places, awaiting those who question deeply enough.



Ed, there have been several occasions that I have pointedly pinged you on one list or another about Heinlein. Most of the time you have apparently just as pointedly ignored the reference. *rueful chuckle* But the point you are making in this post again reminds me strongly of certain aspects of his work, especially the later, future history stuff involving the extended Long family. Time Enough For Love comes to mind, in particular.

So my question is: what is your general opinion/position on R.A.H.? Do you see a similarity between the attitudes and actions of your near-immortal Faerunians and the "Howard Methuselahs"?

-Karth

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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2004 :  02:26:35  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Well met, everyone. The Hooded One here again, with Ed’s replies:


Hello. A lot of collective replies this time:

Dargoth, as aforementioned (and as kuje31 conjectured), ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER is the fifth Elminster book, but designed to be a quick cross-check with unfolding events in Cormyr. I think Peter Archer and Phil Athans might rightfully go berserk if I mess up their series lists and charts any more than I have already. :}
But yes, if I was running Wizards, the book would officially be both. Draws more of an audience, pleases fans of Cormyr who must be wondering by now when they’ll get fiction set in their kingdom that doesn’t half-destroy the place, and so on.
I can say that you’ll get to see something of Vangerdahast’s retirement, an update on a character last seen in one of the flashbacks in ELMINSTER IN HELL, something draconic (being as Richard Lee Byers is bringing us some great dragon-wild books, right now!), a little more about the Lady Lord of Arabel, a wild chase scene involving not-so-secret agent Rhauligan, Alusair and Caladnei and Filfaeril (!) in battle, and two engagingly bumbling villains I hope we can all meet again.
ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER is straightforward chronological storytelling (though we do, of course, jump from one setting and character to another), is crafted to be a bit of a romp, is a catch-up-with-some-neglected-characters book, and also introduces some new characters for Realms writers, DMs, and game designers to play with. And all this for the price of dinner for one at a decent restaurant. :}

As for your article suggestion on morality of the different faiths, yes it could make for a very useful overview, with two caveats:
-- any survey of religious beliefs must necessarily be a ‘snapshot’ of a moving target: church policies are always subtly changing, and sometimes (post-Time of Troubles is a very good example) dramatically altering
-- this entire field of discourse has been rejected by DRAGON editors and TSR editors more times down the years than I can count, no matter how politely and obliquely I promised to word things (and of course, the more vague and euphemistic the prose, the less useful the end result can be), so I don’t think it’ll ever happen. I once discussed the idea very briefly with Lorraine Williams, head of TSR at the time (doing “adult” material, in the same way that Disney can put movies on screens via Touchstone Pictures that didn’t reflect on the “wholesome animation for kids” Disney was then, pre-Pixar, known for), and she was very much afraid that ‘the public would find out’ and it would reflect poorly on TSR. There were later plans for an adult line, but it was cancelled. (Please understand here that “adult” doesn’t only mean ‘more sex or at least more skin and sizzle’ . . . it meant the brutal gunslinging, drug use, other vices, and so on covered by d20 Modern right now.)


So saith Ed. Who is busybusybusy in various Waterdhavian locations rights now.
THO




Regarding Elminsters Daughter

Interesting, and Im glad to see it will visit a few loose ends.

"pleases fans of Cormyr who must be wondering by now when they’ll get fiction set in their kingdom that doesn’t half-destroy the place,"

*chuckle*

Ive given Troy "Death Star" Denning a nicknmae or though perhaps calling him Talos might be more suitable given the setting

Regarding the Article

hmm theres are probably sects and a like that will disagree with the mainstream.

One way of doing it might be to rate the issue on a quasi 1-5 scale

For example Embraces it Encourage it, Neutral to it, Discourage it, Persecute it.

An example the issue of Undeath using 3 gods: Lathander, Velsharoon and Corellon Larethian

Lathander: Persecutes
Velsharoon: Embraces
Corellon Larethian: Discourages

Undead are a bet peeze for lathander so his clergy would persecute it

Velsharoon is of cause the god of Undeath and Necromancy so he'd embrace it

Corellon Larethian, while most elves despise undeath some elves have taken Undead form in order to Preserve elven culture and history ie Baelnorns so Corellons position would be he discourages but sees the occassional (read very rare) need for it

I imagine youve probably got a better chance of getting such an article published these days at WOTC, after all they did the Book of vile Darkness a couple of years ago (and they apparently werent that concerned about the Lichloved feat causing bad PR)

Speaking of future FR products what do you think of doing a Leather bound updated/revised FRC for the FRs 20th Birthday in 2006?

A few suggestions and coments around found here

http://www.candlekeep.com./forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2188

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2004 :  06:04:02  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
Thank you THO and Ed Greenwood for the link and information regarding Elminster's Daughter. I hope this books starts to reach distributors a bit early as previous month's FR books have, as the more I hear of the tale, the more I'm looking forward to the read.

Thank you once again.

SB
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Lady Kazandra
Senior Scribe

Australia
921 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2004 :  06:13:32  Show Profile  Visit Lady Kazandra's Homepage Send Lady Kazandra a Private Message
I have a question for the Great Sage -

When did Elminster first start smoking with his Eversmoking Pipe?.

"Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett
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Krafus
Learned Scribe

246 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2004 :  20:38:17  Show Profile  Visit Krafus's Homepage  Send Krafus an AOL message Send Krafus a Private Message
Well met, The Hooded One and Ed. My thanks to you both for taking time to answer our questions.


If all the battle-capable evil humanoids (orcs, goblins, gnolls, trolls, ogres) and giants in the North were to muster, what kind of numbers would we be talking about for each race? I seem to recall Ed mentioning "mile upon mile of grunting goblinkin" in a novel, and there's been a few references of orc hordes exceeding 100,000 in a few products. In particular and recently in FR history, Obould Many-Arrows' horde of 40,000 orcs was besieged by one of 140,000 at the Citadel of Many-Arrows. And if those huge numbers are correct, how can so many sustain themselves?

Oh, and what happened to Sundabar for its population to go from 36,000 in the Guide to the North to 14,259 as mentioned in the FRCS? I mean, I know it probably wasn't your decision, but even so I was wondering how you would explain such a major loss of population. Maybe a lot of the inhabitants moved to Silverymoon (which has had a major population increase since the GttN)?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  00:44:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Fair greeting, scribes! Thy Hooded Lady riding in once more, with the latest from Ed:


Lashan, I’m still at work on your last few Tantras requests, and I will get to the oaths of Tyr, etc. in due time (meaning: when my taxes are in [April 30 deadline up here in Canada] and the first draft of Waterdeep is done).

Wooly Rupert, glad you’re a Glarasteer Rhauligan fan. I’ve lots more to delve into, if I get the chance, regarding the man who’s my favourite turret top salesman, too. For one thing, I’ve GOT to do a trade fair scene wherein discerning nobles and glitterpockets (merchants burning to spend their coins) inspect the exhibits of various salesmen of turret tops, drawbridges, scented-flush garderobes, roll-apart circular beds with secret treasure compartments, animated statues, and similar luxuries. Somewhere, somewhen . . .

Bruce, Sememmon and Ashemi are characters I should say no more about, just now, other than to agree that we’ve neglected them in print, yes. (My, I’m such a subtle hinter . . . :})

Dargoth, now be NICE. :} Phil Athans plotted Tilverton’s downfall, not Troy. Troy did kill off The Lords Who Sleep, a lot of Obarskyrs, and a lot more nobles and Purple Dragons, but I got called in to help him do it, so my hands are bloodstained too. At least we avoided a long-ago internal TSR plan to smash Cormyr because it was considered way too happy and King Arthur-ish a place, and there should be no such tranquil refuges in the Realms. I’m still chuckling over that one, and recall that as I handed in STORMLIGHT, I asked the Books people to hand a copy of the MS to the designer (no, I’m NOT going to reveal who it was) who described the Forest Kingdom as a “tranquil refuge,” and force him to read it. Tranquil my left buttock.
As for the article: perhaps the chance is better now. We’ll see. :}
I hope you’ll enjoy ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. As I said, it’s romp time again. The usual critics will no doubt have the usual cavils about my writing, but hey, relax and enjoy the FUN. I often think the problem with reactions to many Realms novels is akin to folks watching a James Bond flick and saying, “Tsk, tsk: there wasn’t much slow, subtle character interaction or development.”
I think a Leather Bound Wonderproduct would be just DANDY for 2006: could you please suggest to the presidents of Wizards of the Coast AND Hasbro, right away? :}
Rather than update the FRCS, I’d like to collect everything we couldn’t fit into the FRCS, including web columns (e.g. my Realmslore pieces) and the various web enhancements, all suitably updated to 3.5, and add a nice deep layer of yummy icing in the form of some new Volo Guide material. However, I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see any such thing. I WILL say that I’d love to be a part of anything we do to mark the longevity of the Realms, though for me it started in 1967, and for TSR it first appeared in 1979 in DRAGON, so a 25th anniversary is something of a ‘moveable feast.’

SiriusBlack, if real-world issues like time and money and agents and publishing schedules didn’t combine to hamper things, I’d be perfectly happy if Wizards of the Coast paid me a living wage for the rest of my life to just go on churning out Realms novels, about one every six months, for the rest of my life (and of course I hope that life is a long one, not a few months of emptying my brains onto pages and then expiring :}). I’d like every Realms fan to be eagerly awaiting the next book, because then I could spend all my mental time ‘in the Realms,’ checking in on this or that character. Even after all these years, there’s SO much I haven’t been able to even mention about the Realms yet. (And NPCs are starting to have kids and I’m another generation behind! Aaaaargh!)

Lady Kazandra, well met! An honour! I believe Elminster experimented with smoking in his youth, but took it up in earnest when consorting with dwarves and halflings in Myth Drannor. I'm not sure exactly when he gained the Eversmoking Pipe. It was some centuries later (after the events recounted in THE TEMPTATION OF ELMINSTER, I believe), but I'll have to look into this in depth. Perhaps in a short story. :}

Krafus, I've no idea what a full muster of humanoids would be in the Sword Coast North at any given time, even if such a thing were possible. Millions, certainly. The whole point of orc hordes is that they CAN'T sustain themselves: orcs are fecund, overpopulation leads to overcrowding in the northern mountain caverns and starvation, and charismatic leaders arise to lead a pillaging and foraging army south to GET food.
What happened to Sundabar? Several hordes stopped by, plus severe winters and disease, plus some of the strife recounted in various Realms novels and game products -- all of these caused deaths and migrations to "friendlier" Silverymoon and warmer, more southerly locations.

So saith Ed. Who'll have more to say very soon.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  00:46:18  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, all. Thy Hooded Lady, with Ed's latest:


Karth, I enjoy the early, seminal short-story Heinlein (The Roads Must Roll, Misfit, etc.), the juvenile-novels Heinlein (Red Planet, Farmer In The Sky, Tunnel In The Sky, etc.), the all-too-often forgotten fantasy Heinlein (Glory Road), the brilliant Heinlein (Orphans of the Stars), and the later, self-indulgent Heinlein (Friday, The Number of the Beast, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, To Sail Beyond The Sunset). I must say that the Long family books are among my least favourites, because I’m completely disinterested in interpersonal power games played along American military discipline lines or gender lines, but I enjoy examining RAH’s various ‘takes’ on altered people, characters with increased longevity, and so on. (BTW, following on the heels of the publication of Heinlein’s “lost” first novel, Spider Robinson will be completing an unfinished early Heinlein from notes and an outline).
Although it’s considered fashionable in many quarters to sneer at Heinlein, these days, I consider his early short stories and some of his early novels to be enduring classics of the field, and almost every one of them increased the horizons of what sf was at the time. His juveniles (YA or teen novels, they’d be termed today) were vitally important in ‘hooking’ an entire generation of readers into sf, many of whom became important sf writers. His later books (particularly those before his brain surgery) became increasingly long and rambling, but all of them have both fun moments and intriguing examinations of social ideas (whereas the early short stories more often examined scientific cutting-edge ideas).
Heinlein likes to show us his near-immortals in family situations, so he can compare and contrast his characters, and we can watch them bouncing off each other. By the time he was writing books about Lazarus Long and the rest, he had more or less complete freedom in what he wrote about (only light editorial hands were going to touch his work).
I’ve never yet really had that freedom of style, length, and topic -- and in my Realms fiction, I haven’t had the opportunity to examine the Seven Sisters as a ‘family,’ or really go into much depth about their attitudes -- beyond here-and-right-now problems and their current romances. I’ve managed to sneak in a lot of Elminster’s philosophy, in the form of little quotations and bon mots down the years, but SILVERFALL and a few moments in this year’s Spin A Yarn tale (Only a Woman . . .) are about the extent of Sister-to-Sister interaction.
I’d love to delve into this more, but on the other hand, the more I “paint in” about the Chosen, the harder it is for other writers to use them (and believe me, some writers ARE hard at work right now on some uses of those characters. So I guess the best way to sum it all up is that: I don’t personally agree with some of the attitudes expressed by Heinlein’s “Methuselahs,” I’m not sure we readers can be sure all of them were always telling the truth at every moment in his fiction -- and I haven’t yet had the chance to properly lay out the attitudes and actions of my various near-immortals enough for us to compare them properly.
Here we come to an important difference between RAH and Ed Greenwood [yes, besides a vast difference in literary quality :}]: RAH is writing finished fiction, that (in his mind as he’s writing it) is never going to have to serve as an unfolding, flexible roleplaying game setting. (Yes, I know there was a Crossroads solitaire game book based on Glory Road, but let’s leave that aside.) I have to keep in mind that for the Realms to stay ‘alive,’ I have to keep some mysteries clinging to the major characters, and allow them to change, grow, and us to continue having revelations about them as the years (and game products, and play sessions in your campaigns) pass. So I tend to want to reveal more slowly, to keep things interesting (in the same way that the old art of burlesque striptease can be far more compelling than a person quickly and unglamorously shucking off their clothes, even if in the end you see more).
I can say that a lot of RAH’s characters seem to value their personal freedoms above everything else (including love, stable relationships, etc.), whereas I usually see “true love” as transcending all else, and folks not only dying for a loved one, but devoting their lives to the happiness of someone else over their own (one of the best definitions of love I know). RAH was all too apt to construct situations in which Character X can most love Character Y by ‘opening the eyes’ of beloved Y to see and do things Character X’s way, because it’s right. I’ve never been so confident of what “right” is.

So saith Ed. BTW, thanks to Number of the Beast, my nickname was Gay Deceiver for a time (and no, Heinlein wasn't using "Gay" in the modern sexual-preference sense). Sorry, fellow gals.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  03:47:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
’Lo, everyone. The Hooded One once more, with more of Ed’s words to inquiring scribes:


simontrinity, I’d love to say a lot about Dove and Florin's relationship, but that’s another topic that saying too much about may well hamper/damage a future Realms project. So let me just tiptoe through some abbreviated answers, okay?
Florin had rescued Dove twice before receiving his orders from Mielikki, so they did know each other, and were well on the road to becoming very friendly. (Florin knew she was a Harper agent, and had willingly undergone degradation and Zhent captivity to learn things -- and respected her for it.) Yet at the time Florin was reluctant to marry anyone. Obviously, Dove accepted because Mystra ordered her to (suggesting an as-yet-unrevealed destiny for their offspring, and a mysterious agreement between the two goddesses).
I can say that Mielikki’s avatar personally made love to Florin while giving him his orders, and this rapturous experience augmented his knowledge and changed him forever, turning him from reluctant to marry, to eager to become Dove’s partner.
I think Dove saw Florin as a handsome, desirable, noble-of-character man she’d love to become intimate with and to befriend (knowing she’d see him get killed or grow old and die, leaving her lonely again) before Mystra spoke with her -- and then saw him as someone marked (changed) by the gods as she is, and so a fitting mate.
The two of them have teleport rings that allow them to “jump” to or from Evermeet whenever desired, and they (and their child) have the ‘liberty’ of that realm: they are free to visit and depart as they see fit [a status VERY few humans enjoy]. Dove spent much time on Evermeet giving birth and raising their infant child, but rarely visits there now (her duties as a Chosen keep her very busy).
They have a happy marriage, and love each other deeply, but are neither given to public displays of affection nor are inseparable: both spend long periods of time apart, ‘doing their own thing.’ Both are Harpers, and both enjoy some sort of limited mental link (like back and forth sending spells, but becoming a true telepathic link only on occasions of great pain or emotion) while on the same plane.


So saith Ed. I believe he’ll have more to say soon. For my part, from Realmsplay experiences in the ‘home’ Realms campaign, I can add this much: Dove and Florin ‘think alike’ enough to work as a seamless team in battle and in certain playacting negotiations (e.g. with Zhents, Cormyrean officials, Waterdeep City Watchmen, and so on), and take delight in entertaining each other with mimicry of others (in private only; they’d never dream of doing so in front of witnesses who weren’t fellow Harpers, Chosen, or Knights of Myth Drannor -- and NO, I’m NOT saying Florin is himself a Chosen of Mystra, okay?).
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  03:49:13  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
’Lo, all. Thy Hooded Lady again, bringing more words of Ed:

Hi, Josh. I think Faraer has done his usual superb job of guiding you about writing. If I were you, I’d not mention your epilepsy in any initial contact or covering letter, though your agent should know about it right up front, and you shouldn’t hesitate to tell any editor who’s working on your prose about it (particularly if they take you to task for not fixing something correctly that they’ve asked you to).
However, like it or not, unless you happen to be stunningly famous or infamous, you will be judged by editors on the quality of the writing you put before them. Almost all of them won’t care if you have epilepsy, ingrown toenails, or webbed feet: they just go by the writing. Their job is to procure or develop the best writing they can, within their time and budget constraints.
It IS possible to educate yourself, purely by reading writers who do have impeccable grammar and spelling, to “spot” bad writing or glitches even if you don’t know exactly what’s wrong, and have never had formal grammatical training (quick, everyone, what’s a gerund? how exactly does one split an infinitive? and why do teachers teach people not to start sentences with ‘and’? :}). Granted, many of these writers are English and of earlier generations (and that will land you in spelling trouble with American editors). Even if you never get formal grammar training, a thorough granding in classic writers (Kipling, Wodehouse, Dunsany, Churchill) will give you a ‘feel’ for style, pacing, and elegant phrasing. Obviously most of their writings aren’t in anything approaching a current style, but examples of current writers you can admire, or learn what NOT to do from, abound—in any library, if nowhere else handy.
I can tell you that many individuals from an entire generation (and heading into a second generation) of teachers, journalists, and, yes, professional editors in North America seemingly managed to get through school without ever learning proper grammar—and we can all read the results, every day. That’s not to say there aren’t outstanding individuals as editors, in both “guiding the story” sense and in line copyediting (fixing the spelling, grammar, tenses, and writers using the wrong words). I’ve run into both—including one copyeditor (who shall remain forever nameless) whose marginal notes in my manuscript were full of misspellings and “there/their/they’re” mistakes, who didn’t know that “presently” DOESN’T mean “at present,” and who accused me of inventing the following words (to pick just a few out of a long, long list that presumably weren’t in her Cat In The Hat Dictionary): anklet, archaic, battlements, destrier, ere, evoke, glean, helm, merlons, paralyzation, pectoral, portcullis . . . well, that’s enough. The Hooded One is a part-time book editor, and can say more if she desires to.


So saith Ed. I can spout horror stories for pages, Josh, but between Faraer and Ed, they’ve covered things thoroughly. Tell your story simply, vividly, and quickly. Save the flowery stuff for after you can tell a good tale. How do you know if you’re telling a good tale?
Turn on a tape recorder, and tell a story to a friend over the phone, about something that happened in real life. Or pretend you’re at camp, telling a campfire ghost story. Try telling it several times.
Then listen to the tape. Did you describe settings and characters vividly enough to get someone else to imagine them vividly, do you think?
If you’re not sure, get a friend to tape a brief story about a party or some incident at school that in part involves some people or rooms or places you’re NOT familiar with. Listen to the tape. Did your friend describe things well enough that you can picture them—but avoided bogging down in details and description?
Try writing THAT simply. You can “dress up the skeleton” later. Get the story done, beginning to end. Then it’ll be easy to add little baubles, here and there, like putting ornaments on a Christmas tree. Trust me.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  03:51:43  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Peace to all! Beneath this hood I pretend to be a lady (from time to time), and in this guise step forth once more to present the words of Ed:


Hi, thom. Re. the oaths and the mysteries: hey, you’re quite welcome! Great to hear I’ve been a part of corruptXXX er, helping new roleplayers! :}
Yes, there are some useful Realms drugs not yet really detailed. I’m not going to do 3.5e hard stat rules for anything here. That’s more properly the province of Wizards of the Coast writers, working in the pages, physical and web, of WotC products.
I’ll just briefly list a few known drugs. Most of these are secret-recipe mixtures of herbal distillations, plant saps, and animal secretions. They have no real-world inspirations or counterparts.

Alindluth (“AL-inn-dluth”): (ingested) Deadens all pain (prevents shock, nausea effects) for a few minutes. No known side-effects, but if used too soon after first exposure (or in too large a dose; dosages vary by body volume and weight), induces short-duration coma.

Chaunsel (“SHAWN-sell”): (bare skin contact) makes affected area VERY sensitive for short durations (up to about twenty minutes maximum). Often used by thieves or others working in darkness, on fingertips, to make them able to feel tiny details, seams, etc. Also used in festhalls or by wealthy lovers to increase sensations of pleasure—and by torturers to increase feelings of pain. Too much sensation usually causes fainting; revival plus repeated sensory overload (through pain or pleasure, not by chaunsel overdose) will bring on a coma lasting hours. Overdose causes days of numbness in affected area.

Tansabra (“TAN-sab-rah”): (injected, must reach bloodstream) Causes complete ‘system shutdown’ in mammals (humans, demi-humans, humanoids): breathing is suspended, body temperature ‘holds,’ need for oxygen ceases, bleeding stops, any internal bleeding and tearing ceases unless fresh wounds are induced, acids and toxins suspend operations, consciousness ceases. In effect, the body is placed in stasis. Usually used on persons near death, because they are rendered helpless, and remain that way for 4d6 days, emerging from that state suddenly and without warning. Certain little-known arcane and divine spells can force release from “tansabra sleep,” and there are rumors that certain rare gem powders and/or herbs can “shock” someone out of tansabra sleep, but otherwise, an affected being emerges from the effects of tansabra at a random time.
Creatures in tansabra sleep don’t heal naturally, and magical healing doesn’t affect them—but of course they can be conveyed to magical healing while in thrall to the tansabra, and healed the moment they ‘awaken.’
Repeated exposures to tansabra kill individuals, but how much exposure is lethal varies randomly from being to being (volume of tansabra doesn’t matter; it’s number of distinct times the body undergoes its effects). Tansabra is a mixture of particular creature venoms.

Vornduir (“Vorn-DOO-eer”): (inhaled powder) This drug varies widely in effects. To many people, it does nothing at all. Others get mild rashes and itches. For a few, it ‘switches’ pain and pleasure for an hour or two (so a gentle caress brings excruciating burning/ripping pain, and a slap or flogging or heavy punch or cutting wound can induce orgasm), and for others, it makes them feel warm (even if wet and/or naked and/or out of doors in freezing temperatures) and happy and alert (for two days or more, sleep isn’t needed and dexterity and judgement don’t suffer due to weariness). Vornduir prevents shock and immobility due to exposure, but not frostbite or lowered body temperature (so a vornduir user won’t get hypothermic, but could freeze solid). Vornduir is a mixture of herbs and animal essences, and also acts as a “complete and instant” antidote to certain poisons—for some individuals only!


So saith Ed. And you’re quite welcome, thom. Secret languages at school; THAT brings back memories. Three female friends and I used to get quite “hot” openly saying to each other that we were going to make love to our boyfriends at this or that time, in front of teachers—because our own ‘secret language’ was subtle enough that the words we used had legitimate everyday meanings, too. The teachers could tell that more was being said than the words normally suggest, but never asked. The thrill, for us (we were very young, okay?) was that we’d made a pact that we’d truthfully and fully answer any teacher who did ask.
Oh, I’m so BAD.
As for your question about breaking up drug cartels: not specifically. Ed’s Zhents and certain Waterdhavian gangs smuggled drugs and (to avoid taxes) perfumes and wines, and we certainly beat up on them often enough—but we were more interested in stopping their slave-trading, murders, blackmail, extortion, kidnapping, and intended regicide activities. :}
THO
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fourthmensch
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  04:18:38  Show Profile  Visit fourthmensch's Homepage  Send fourthmensch an AOL message Send fourthmensch a Private Message
Just a quick note to Krafus:

Though I like Ed's explanation about Sundabar's population reduction, there is also a meta-game explanation. Most places in the Realms underwent population changes in 3e in order to bring the figures into more realistic ranges. Many of these were quite drastic (Calimport, for example, went from over a million to just under 200,000). So Sundabar was intentionally altered from previous sources for this reason. This change went more or less unexplained, as it is simply assumed, via the "magic television" theory of continuity, that the populations were always at the levels documented in the FRCS.

Hope that helps.

And now, back to Ed (bows, exits stage left).

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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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  05:31:25  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Dargoth, now be NICE. :} Phil Athans plotted Tilverton’s downfall, not Troy.



Oh, poor Troy Denning. I've seen him catch more than a bit of flax for Tilverton. Thanks for clearing that up. We now know who was the real mastermind plotting the destruction. And surprise, surprise, he's about to release a book about the evil drow.

quote:

SiriusBlack, if real-world issues like time and money and agents and publishing schedules didn’t combine to hamper things, I’d be perfectly happy if Wizards of the Coast paid me a living wage for the rest of my life to just go on churning out Realms novels, about one every six months, for the rest of my life (and of course I hope that life is a long one, not a few months of emptying my brains onto pages and then expiring :})



And may it be a long life filled with green fields, fair maidens, and good mead.

Thank you again for the replies.
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Josh Davids
Seeker

57 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2004 :  06:31:04  Show Profile  Visit Josh Davids's Homepage Send Josh Davids a Private Message
Ok thanks both Ed and Faraer, some good hints though my weakness extends from just the type of damage in the brain I flip words constantly as well as add in words that look the same but mean totally different things that spell check just never picks up because the spelling is ok. Recently read through a description of a canyon and when wanting to write Down the steep slope he slid, his elbows and back grinding against the dried clay and loose stones tearing at his vest and flesh. Instead I wrote in done. I blinked a few times wonder how I missed that and corrected it. my most famous hiccup my wife caught me in was talking about the fishing off the coast of North Carolina when I was a teen. Started to talk about the pier fishing but instead comes out fier pishing, I still chuckle about that one to this day.

I have gotten a lot better about it though just from writing a lot, anything and everything from letters to stories. Just the constant practice of writing then correcting it has helped me greatly.

My writing talent is the fact I am a very visual writer, just recently had comments that the description of the scene just dragged them in and they got goose bumps from the dire and doom feeling the story had, which felt great to hear that type of praise and it being followed up by criticism. I actually got most of the stories up on the net for everyone to read at Elfwood, got some good critiques there and that has helped me a lot as well. not only from the weaknesses I have but also the strengths in my writing as well, oddly enough I find people really hesitant to criticize works when that is what I am craving. I normally tell people I want the bad with the good and sometimes just the bad so at least I know how to get better.

I will definitely be up in front with the agent about the damage I have sustained through the years and won’t be putting it in the contact for the cover letter unless they suggest to. Though got to be truthful I have a large at least gathering of books I like in my room everything from most of the Forgotten Realms to Dragonlance, Jack London and Jules Verne, to Terry Brooks, David Eddings and C.S. Friedman, Elizabeth Moon and hundreds of others, I am an avid reader and it is the one thing that has helped me break through the damage of so many seizures. Plus I will be going back to college this year to get my high school diploma finally, I will be taking mostly math and English courses and I am lucky in the fact that there are a bunch here about writing so that will help I think.

Also a personal thanks to you Hooded One that last little blurb about the description is a real help for me. Like I said before I am a very descriptive writer and that little thing just helped me find a balance between too much and too little. Thank ya.

Also thanks again Faraer and Ed for the help there. I don’t know if I can plug the writing or not here, so I will leave it till another day. Thanks again.

Sincerely, Josh
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