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Sarta
Senior Scribe

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2004 :  13:32:51  Show Profile Send Sarta a Private Message
Ed, I've been compiling a calender of holy days in the Realms and I've run into an unusual situation with Midsummer. Several entries mention celebrating Midsummer Night, which I assumed was the evening of Midsummer day itself. However, other Midsummer festivities specify that the night time celebrations occur on Midsummer's Eve, making me revise my earlier assumption.

Am I correct in assuming that most Midsummer Night is actually on Midsummer's Eve?

Thanks,

Sarta

Edited by - Sarta on 05 Jun 2004 13:36:04
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tauster
Senior Scribe

Germany
399 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2004 :  16:39:53  Show Profile  Visit tauster's Homepage Send tauster a Private Message
i can´t answer your question, but perhaps the following file helps you... it´s a calendar of many faerunian holydays: http://i.domaindlx.com/chefseehund/holyday.tip (rename in holyday.zip!)

tauster

quote:
Originally posted by Sarta

Ed, I've been compiling a calender of holy days in the Realms and I've run into an unusual situation with Midsummer. Several entries mention celebrating Midsummer Night, which I assumed was the evening of Midsummer day itself. However, other Midsummer festivities specify that the night time celebrations occur on Midsummer's Eve, making me revise my earlier assumption.

Am I correct in assuming that most Midsummer Night is actually on Midsummer's Eve?

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Sarta
Senior Scribe

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2004 :  19:11:05  Show Profile Send Sarta a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by tauster

i can´t answer your question, but perhaps the following file helps you... it´s a calendar of many faerunian holydays: http://i.domaindlx.com/chefseehund/holyday.tip (rename in holyday.zip!)



Interesting, some of those weren't listed in the sources I was looking through. I'll have to widen the scope of my search. Did you work it up?

I noticed though that this calendar ran into the same problem I was hiting. This download lists Lurue's holy day for Midsummer as Midsummer Eve and then lists the Wildride for Meilikki as taking place on Midsummer. However, unless I'm way off mark, Lurue's holy day ends in the Wild ride which Meilikki's priesthood partake in. I took this to mean that the Mielikki priesthood's Midsummer festivities begin Midsummer's Eve rather than Midsummer day.

If so, then I assume that other Midsummer Night festivities such as Beshaba's, Tymora's, Sune's, and Sharess' celebrations are also on Midsummer Eve as well.

Sarta

Edited by - Sarta on 06 Jun 2004 19:16:02
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tauster
Senior Scribe

Germany
399 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2004 :  20:19:55  Show Profile  Visit tauster's Homepage Send tauster a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Sarta
Interesting, some of those weren't listed in the sources I was looking through. I'll have to widen the scope of my search. Did you work it up?

I noticed though that this calendar ran into the same problem I was hiting. This download lists Lurue's holy day for Midsummer as Midsummer Eve and then lists the Wildride for Meilikki as taking place on Midsummer. However, unless I'm way off mark, Lurue's holy day ends in the Wild ride which Meilikki's priesthood partake in. I took this to mean that the Mielikki priesthood's Midsummer festivities begin Midsummer's Eve rather than Midsummer day.

If so, then I assume that other Midsummer Night festivities such as Beshaba's, Tymora's, Sune's, and Sharess' celebrations are also on Midsummer Eve as well.

Sarta




no, i didn´t work it up. i found it some month ago somewhere but did not copy&paste the url into the document, so i can´t tell anymore who´s work it is. i think ed can answer the question about midsummer eve when he´s back.
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2004 :  00:23:26  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Hi Ed,

Here's question that's been interesting me ever since i got my hands on a copy of the Old Grey Box...

What was your initial conception of a Faerunian afterlife? 3rd Edition makes it explicitly clear that if you don't worship a deity in the strictest sense you qualify as either faithless or false, and get sent to Kelemvor (or Cyric or Myrkul or Jergal etc)'s realm to be judged and put to work.

However the Old Grey Box implies that the average Faerunian (i.e. not a priest or paladin etc) isn't that concerned about the worship of one god over any other. Does this mean they all become Faithless or was your intent for their afterlife significantly different from this model? Do they still end up serving the deity most appropriate to their alignment and character in the afterlife?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed, i was just aiming to make my Realms more Polytheistic without overly harming those players who'll be needing Raise Dead at some point in their careers.

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  02:55:10  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, fellow scribes. Ed hath returned, and the Great E-Silence is at an end. Herewith, he tackles your queries, beginning not with the eldest but with a few that can be answered swiftly:


Sarta, ritual observances of various faiths and non-religious local customs are held on BOTH Midsummer's Eve AND Midsummer Night, with just as many celebrations occupying the daylight hours of Midsummer Day between. So as Elminster put it (when speaking of spell studies): “Consult thy lore sources with diligence, and re-read every passage at least twice. Assume NOTHING, and thy life will be the longer.”

Gerath Hoan, the average Faerunian lives long enough to worship (or serve through their actions) one deity above all others (though in many cases just which deity “tops their points list” may not be clear to a dying mortal or anyone who knows them). If a mortal dies with a mission or task for a particular deity unfinished, and it’s a matter they felt strongly about in life, they may well be “sent back” (reborn as another mortal) to try to complete that task by the deity they were trying to serve. Otherwise, they DO end up serving the deity most appropriate to their alignment and character in the afterlife. Only those who repudiate the gods (or who as a result of their actions are renounced by their gods), despoil altars and frustrate clerical aims (of any deity, not just “foe” deities), or never pray or engage in any form of deliberate worship will qualify as either faithless or false.
Only a few deities (Cyric might be one) are insane enough not to recognize and accept the polytheistic “appease this deity and that as life situations and strivings demand” model, and demand that their faithful worship them and only them. For everyone else, it’s a matter of embracing (or drifting into) primary worship of one deity above -- even if only slightly above -- all others.


So saith Ed. Who’s right hard back at work on official paying Realms projects, but will try to snatch time for more replies as he goes.
Light hearts and bright sunsets, all!
THO
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fourthmensch
Seeker

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  07:26:33  Show Profile  Visit fourthmensch's Homepage  Send fourthmensch an AOL message Send fourthmensch a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by lobotraxx
But didn't that happen near the beginning of the novel? I know she had miscarried with the spellfire demilich. At the end, she said that she was pregnant....again.



Yes. As far as I know, she died in Hand of Fire before giving birth.

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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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  09:06:52  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage  Click to see Capn Charlie's MSN Messenger address  Send Capn Charlie a Yahoo! Message Send Capn Charlie a Private Message
I was just sitting down today and considering stealing some clipart and making some round cards on photoshop and printing them, when it hit me:

Will we ever see a deck of old wizard cards released? I mean, sure it isn't that big of a thing, but I reckon a lot of gamers would bu some for use in all manner of campaigns, handy as heck they would be. I could really see all kinds of nifty little props like this released, everything from dice to packs of coin replicas for effect.

To my recollection neither TSR or Wiz/Bro have released such a thing, but it would likely rake in the cash hand over fist, so to speak.


Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  16:52:40  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 Capn Charlie

I was just sitting down today and considering stealing some clipart and making some round cards on photoshop and printing them, when it hit me:

Will we ever see a deck of old wizard cards released? I mean, sure it isn't that big of a thing, but I reckon a lot of gamers would bu some for use in all manner of campaigns, handy as heck they would be. I could really see all kinds of nifty little props like this released, everything from dice to packs of coin replicas for effect.

To my recollection neither TSR or Wiz/Bro have released such a thing, but it would likely rake in the cash hand over fist, so to speak.


Sort of like the old TSR collecter card sets?.... Not sure what you are trying to describe.....

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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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  17:00:22  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage  Click to see Capn Charlie's MSN Messenger address  Send Capn Charlie a Yahoo! Message Send Capn Charlie a Private Message
No, playing cards. The round cards Ed described for old wizard, in fact. I was speaking about the clipart to be like the art on tarot cards, perhaps even purloined from online resources of tarot cards where appropriate. I was thinkin of the card backs being blue, wit hthe symbol of mystra on them.

I just got off on a tangent about more proplike items, and the cards seemed right up there on the list of nifty keen things to have. But then again, I have always been a very tactile person, and the thought of props has always excited me. Heck, I have even made scrolls and potions before.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30431 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  17:06:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Capn Charlie

I was just sitting down today and considering stealing some clipart and making some round cards on photoshop and printing them, when it hit me:

Will we ever see a deck of old wizard cards released? I mean, sure it isn't that big of a thing, but I reckon a lot of gamers would bu some for use in all manner of campaigns, handy as heck they would be. I could really see all kinds of nifty little props like this released, everything from dice to packs of coin replicas for effect.

To my recollection neither TSR or Wiz/Bro have released such a thing, but it would likely rake in the cash hand over fist, so to speak.





I don't forsee the Wizards releasing something like this. It's only of interest to Realms players, and it's not something that they can pack prestige classes and feats into. And even among Realms players, I don't see it being a big seller.

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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2004 :  18:44:13  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage  Click to see Capn Charlie's MSN Messenger address  Send Capn Charlie a Yahoo! Message Send Capn Charlie a Private Message
I suppose you are right, I guess I am just boggled by the seeming lack of merchandising done with the realms. I mean, a captive audience of sorts, diehard fans, why hasn't there been tshirts, ball caps, and the like? About as far as it has went is the Drizzt swords, I believe. I just find id odd that hasbro hasn't "went there" yet. In fact, I haven't seen any real dnd merchandise of any kind since, the movie a few years back, I believe.

Is this done to preserve the dignity of the license, or something, or is it it just that economically unfeasible? Bah, either way this isn't the place for such musings. Sorry for wasting everyone's time.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Taelohn
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2004 :  23:21:05  Show Profile  Visit Taelohn's Homepage  Send Taelohn an AOL message  Click to see Taelohn's MSN Messenger address Send Taelohn a Private Message
Another request for Ed, if he gets the time;

I've liked the Realms expressions put forth so far, both for general use and those unique to specific faiths, and I'd quite appreciate seeing some more... for starters, what sort of phrases would be commonly used by those who worship Shar?
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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 10 Jun 2004 :  00:04:18  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
I believe TSR sold off many of those merchandising rights long ago.
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The Black Hand of Bane
Acolyte

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 10 Jun 2004 :  19:54:12  Show Profile  Visit The Black Hand of Bane's Homepage  Send The Black Hand of Bane an AOL message  Send The Black Hand of Bane a Yahoo! Message Send The Black Hand of Bane a Private Message
Here is one for Ed. It may have already been asked in which case someone can just restate it for me.

In regards to Shar and the Shadow Weave. All the FR books seem to make that her focus (beyond spitting at Selune once in awhile). Is she really trying to put all her attention to the Shadow Weave at this stage or is it just an aspect and her battle with Selune and other goals are still just as important?(but as alot of magic using players out there it is given alot of attention)

Also can Shar grant her followers corrupted versions of the same power Mystra gives hers? (spellfire, silver fire, etc.)

"Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven." John Milton, Paradise Lost

What lies beyond
The Gates of Hell?
Find out this summer at [url=http://community.dicefreaks.com/]Dicefreaks[/url]
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 10 Jun 2004 :  23:36:30  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Greetings, all. Thy scantily Hooded One gently returns, with a brief offering of Realmslore from Ed, this time for Capn Charlie:


Dice games: some, when I have time. The cuisines, too.
Let’s give you a glimpse of Turmish fare: olives and olive oil, roasted almonds, spiced greens [with both the spices and the greens derived locally, the former being mainly ground blackroot, which is like pepper, and mursinom, which has a rich, beef-gravy-like taste; and the latter being mainly broadpetal, a leaf-lettuce-like plant that grows wild in great abundance; and salaspers [fiddleheads of various ferns that develop continuously from early spring to first frost, not all reaching edibility in a brief spring unison], butter-fried small fowl and fish.
Most local meals consist of small, brown nutbread loaves served on a platter with cheeses (local cheeses are soft, crumbly white cheeses veined with chives and other herbs, and go by such names as “calmarr” and “ornsoelaun” -- but inns and wealthy homes pride themselves on serving small slivers of imported-from-afar cheeses, too); onion and chive soups; and a meat or fish dish surrounded by a ring of seasoned greens.
Simple meals tend to consist of bread, a stew, and boar sausage or slabfry (bacon), with figs and nuts as dessert. A farm wife dressing such a meal up would add garlic butter to accompany the bread, radishes, and a soup. In coastal areas, eel pie and fishhead soup are often found on cottage tables -- and almost every house has its stand of chives and its asparagus bed (steamed or boiled and served drenched in butter, with the woodier stalks finding their ways into stews, asparagus is known locally as “greenspears” or “orsauda”).
Beer and blackberry wine are the usual cheap, local daily quaffs (augmented by mintwater in the high hills, where clear spring water can readily be obtained), and desserts are usually sugar-preserved berries [sometimes doused in cream].
Grander main fare tends to be stewed venison and staghead platters (yes, the severed head of a stag, boiled clean and then stuffed with “sarvaer,” a jelly-like stew of diced, spiced and slow-cooked stag innards [all organs, from brains to tripes]. The skull is then covered with very thin slices of stagmeat, large cherries are placed in the eyesockets, and the whole assemblage is then heated in an oven before being served forth.
The folk of Turmish have a taste for the wines of the Vilhon, and love to devour great bowls of frothy, sugared whipped cream (studded with berries when available).


So saith Ed. Me, I’m going straight to the kitchen to devour a whole lot of SOMEthing after reading this.
Hmm; I guess my curves are going to become parabolas. Again.

THO
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Taelohn
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  00:07:09  Show Profile  Visit Taelohn's Homepage  Send Taelohn an AOL message  Click to see Taelohn's MSN Messenger address Send Taelohn a Private Message
quote:
... It may have already been asked in which case someone can just restate it for me.

... Also can Shar grant her followers corrupted versions of the same power Mystra gives hers? (spellfire, silver fire, etc.)


Though not on this board, I did ask him that very question some time ago. If it'll save him some time, I'll try to paraphrase Ed's explanation as best I remember - and if the Hooded One would be so kind as to pass this on as well, perhaps he can correct or expand on it?

Yes, Shar can bestow an equivalent to spellfire (hereafter called "darkfire", though I don't think that's an official term yet). However, she is not Mystra's equal. While Shar has the ability to replicate such things with the Shadow Weave, she rarely does so.

Mystra commands a great deal more power - at times, the Weave builds up too much. And every now and then, she must get rid of some of it. It's like a cow that really needs to be milked (his comparison, not mine). :)

So, she parcels some of it it out to mortals. Silver fire is a refined form of this, but available only to her Chosen - and that heaps all sorts of other responsibilities onto them, so she must select wisely (or make them from scratch, so to speak, as with the Seven Sisters). With spellfire, she is less precise - she'll pick a seemingly random person to be born with it. Generally, in a location that the person could use the gift to help spread magic... or in a location where the existance of a spellfire-weilder would cause a ruckus (ie. Thay). Once Mystra has given spellfire to a mortal, she will not (and perhaps cannot) remove it by any means short of sending one of her agents to slay the person in question, if it becomes necessary.

Shar, on the other hand, does not possess that much power. The Shadow Weave is an echo, a literal shadow of the Weave - by granting such abilities to mortals, Shar would be actually drawing from and lessening her own power, ever so slightly. And since she's a secretive and evil woman, she guards her power closely. Thus, on the rare ocassions Shar grants darkfire to someone, it is only to a being that she specifically selects, never a random choice. Unlike Mystra, who grants it for life, Shar can and will adjust how much of the power they have, or take it away on a whim.

If you please her, you might get a little more. If she's not impressed with you, she'll take some away. She espically likes to do that if the darkfire-wielder in question has displeased her and is just about to settle an old score. ("Take this! ... uh oh." "What are you going to do, wave your fingers at me?")

It also acts somewhat differently, due to it's nature. Silver fire is refined and precise - a Chosen could fire a thin beam from their finger, have it move in a perfectly straight line, turn around a corner, and burn a single leg off of a spider. Spellfire, on the other hand, can't do any fancy tricks... it's just BOOM! - no spider at all, and no wall, either.

So you could think of silver fire as a very precise and accurate weapon, like a rapier. Spellfire is akin to a big, heavy broadsword. Darkfire is more like a sword with dozens of spikes and claws and hooks sticking out every-which-way. You produce a blast of spellfire with the Weave, which is energy and magic... the Shadow Weave is just the space between the tapestry, so it's like a grid that's pulling and tugging and clawing, and trying to rend and slice it's foes.

So someone being granted darkfire is possible - but unlikely. It should be almost the same, power-wise, as spellfire... though less wieldly. The "average" darkfire-weilder would most likely have less power in it than the average spellfire-weilder, since Shar's not willing to give much up. In theory, Shar could spend more of her power to really pump them up and make it better, but that's highly unreliable at best. You'd best kept her happy if you want to keep it (and/or live).

As for an equivalent to silver fire ('Black fire?' 'Shadow fire?'), it may be *possible*, but for several reasons, not too likely... I'm not sure.

At any rate, that's about all I recall on that particular topic. Now, we must wait and see if I related it correctly. :)
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Valondil the Ranger
Learned Scribe

USA
109 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  03:47:40  Show Profile  Visit Valondil the Ranger's Homepage  Send Valondil the Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Valondil the Ranger a Private Message
Mr. Greenwood, I have three questions for you:

1. Why was the Pride of the Lion cancelled in the Sembia Series?
2. When will your website be finished?
3. Well, this is actually a few questions in one. How much control do you have over the Realms? Is it you who makes up what's gonna happen or others? Also, do you get to see the manuscripts and short stories submitted? Do the editors ever run-in the good ones with you to see if you approve?

Thank you for answering our questions. I know we all greatly appreciate you taking this kind of time off your hands to answer us. Thanks again.

--Your humble ranger,
Valondil

Check out my webpage at http://iankappos.blogspot.com/
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  04:06:04  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Valondil the Ranger

Mr. Greenwood, I have three questions for you:

1. Why was the Pride of the Lion cancelled in the Sembia Series?




Dave Gross answered this question in the following thread.

I hope that helps.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  04:34:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, fellow scribes. Ed (who tells me he hasn’t forgotten the older requests, and is probably at work on Ulgoth’s Beard as you first read this post) returns with another note for Capn Charlie:


Coinage is a topic of perennial interest (Faraer’s been waiting patiently for this -- and George Krashos provided coinage of Impiltur earlier here at Candlekeep), and (when done properly) a BIG topic, too. So let me provide just two coins here, that are widely used in Chessenta, the Vilhon, Border Kingdoms, and Tashalar (primarily for trade convenience, among traveling merchants).
These are the authokh [pronounced “OTH-awk”] and the belbolt (usually known merely as the “bolt”), and they began as the coins of a single city of Chessenta (which one is now forgotten).
An authokh is a square coin stamped out of delmed silver (“delming” is an alloying process that stops silver from tarnishing by combining it with copper and certain white metals in precise proportions that have the side effects of turning the silver a translucent green, and making its surface incapable of taking a high shine, no matter how polished), with a small central hole to allow it to be strung onto a pay-thong or wire loop. On one face, it bears an engraved ring of twelve leaves encircling the hole, and on the other a ring of twelve radiating daggers. Although originally worth 12 gp in Chessenta, authokhs today are universally valued at 5 gp.
Belbolts are thicky, heavy gold coins of curious shape: a circle with two shallow, matching cut-outs in its edges, so the result looks like two axe-heads fused back-to-back with curved blades outermost. Bolts are worth 20 gp.
Authokhs and belbolts are accepted in Amn, Scornubel, and Westgate, but not in Cormyr, Sembia, the Dales, the Dragonreach, the Moonsea, the Sword Coast lands, or Tethyr. In Calimshan and Waterdeep, an authokh is considered simply a silver piece and a belbolt is classed as “a heavy” (a gold piece worth 2 gp rather than just one).


So saith Ed, tireless spinner of Realmslore. Fare thee well until next, gentles,
THO
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The Black Hand of Bane
Acolyte

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2004 :  15:08:54  Show Profile  Visit The Black Hand of Bane's Homepage  Send The Black Hand of Bane an AOL message  Send The Black Hand of Bane a Yahoo! Message Send The Black Hand of Bane a Private Message
Thanks Phaed--uhmm..Taelohn.

That answers some of my question. Hopefully Ed will clarify it a bit more for us and also let us know Shar's focus at the moment. (I guess I just don't see her being as obsessed with the shadow weave as WotC makes it. I think she's still got her other things going on, specailly something with whatever she did in the Archwizards books and the Karsus stone.)

"Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven." John Milton, Paradise Lost

What lies beyond
The Gates of Hell?
Find out this summer at [url=http://community.dicefreaks.com/]Dicefreaks[/url]
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  03:22:23  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Hi Ed, thanks for my last answer about religion. I really appreciate the time you take to do all of this for us.

Here's another question, this one as deep and involved as any i've seen asked... and for that i apologise in advance, but hard and fast answers to some of the following would be prime Realmslore to be treasured.

I'm intrigued by the frequent mentions of Cormyr being a "feudal" nation, yet there are many individual facts of Cormyrean life that i'm aware of which seemingly contradict that view. In my games i've rationalised many of them but i'm interested to know what the "cannon" (or to be blunt, your) answers might be.

Firstly, land owning nobility vs local lords... it seems odd in a feudal realm that the major towns and cities aren't controlled by the feudal landowners but instead by a crown appointee (often of negligible aristocratic background)... my rationale was that it was to prevent these towns from being run in such a way as to politically favour any one noble faction over the other... but the smallest hamlets, flea-speck villages and farmers markets would all still be run by the noble upon whose lands they're built.

Secondly, the presence of a profesional army is unusual for a feudal realm and calls the purpose of Knighthood (though not necessarily the lesser local militias) into question... are the officers of the Purple Dragons granted Knighthoods? I presumed that the common soldier was just that, of common birth. Is it possible to be granted a Knighthood without serving in the Purple Dragons? Does a simple Knighthood (as opposed to being made a Baronet or higher) grant any lands? Are there Knightly Orders to join in Cormyr (other than the commerative Golden Way) like in Tethyr?

Thirdly, could you provide us some hard and fast information on the rankings of Purple Dragons and of the Nobility and how they work in practice? That'd be fantastic. I did find an amazing treatment of Cormyrean nobility in the Realms-L archives, but i don't know who authored it and whether or not it could be considered cannon (the piece is called "Peers of the Forest Kingdom"). If anyone could clear up the status of that article for me i'd be very grateful.

And finally, (though this is far less important) most depictions of Purple Dragons i've found show men in Breastplates with Halberds... is that the typical soldier or a ceramonial guard? What is the typical armament for both the cavalry and an infantryman?

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  03:50:27  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
Gareth:

There have been many discussions, among very many people, about just these issues, and (as Ed already knows) have compiled what I believe to be "correct" answers. To reply to your queries in the briefest manner possible:

1. Cormyr is not really a fedual monarchy. Most nobles hold lands, but not all do, nor are all the lands they hold owned as part of their title; land is free to be purchased outright, by noble and commoner alike. For a more appropriate example of "feudalism" in the Realms, one should look to Tethyr. The cities and towns of the kingdom do not fall within any one noble or family's rule, and so the Crown (which actually 'owns' the various cities of Cormyr) appoints lords. There is less land in Cormyr owned and controlled by noble houses than there is which is free to all or owned by the throne.

2. Again, Cormyr is not a feudal realm. The various noble houses do owe military servies to the Crown, but do not number nearly enough to populate an army. The standing army represents the career soldiers of the country, and its officers the elevated commoners and nobles' sons who wish to provide military service. The nobles provide support in times of war and crisis (see the Horde crusade and the war against Nalavara for two examples), which swell the ranks of the Purple Dragons well beyond their standing strength.

Knighthood can be granted on any individual that does the Crown service, and knighthood itself does not grant any lands. Most, but not all, Purple Dragon officers are at least knights, if not full nobles (born or elevated). Military and knightly orders are granted, not "joined" (the Order of the Golden Way is one example), but for significant detail, you'll have to ask Ed.

3. I wrote the Peers of the Forest Kingdom piece. It's currently undergoing revision, and will continue to do so, but as far as I'm concerned, the principles therein hold until Ed says otherwise.

4. There is no "standard issue" arms or armor for Purple Dragons, but most will be armored in at least chain (shirt or full mail, as they desire), and the majority of a given company will wield the same general category of weapon: swords, spears, etc. Units of cavalry, archers, and so forth will quite obviously all wield appropriate weapons to their task, and generally have a more uniform appearance than those of simple infantry.

Ceremonial guards almost always carry a halberd or some sort of polearm (hafted reach weapon), with a longsword or shortsword as a backup weapon. The exceptions are the Knights Royal, formerly known as the King's Blades, who wield whatever they damn well please.
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  04:02:40  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Thanks for that Garen, and especially for the original work done on the nobility, i very much enjoyed that piece.

If you could post your latest version of that work when its ready, please do, i'd be very grateful.

That just leaves some ranks of Purple Dragons then... i'm vaguely aware of several, but not at all certain how they fit together. I'm not interested in the precise nuts and bolts this rank leads that many men stuff... just what outranks what.

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2004 :  04:15:16  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
This is the rank structure I use, pulled from Ed's various posts and writings on the subject:

Blade (simple private or common soldier)
First Sword (a sort of sergeant; small unit leader)
Swordcaptain (low-ranked officer; commander of a company), called a "swordlord" if noble or knighted
Lionar
Ornrion
Constal
Oversword
Battlemaster

Note that oversword and battlemaster both roughly mean "general," but I take oversword to mean the high-ranking commander of a garrison or stationed force, and battlemaster to mean the commander of a more mobile army. The terms, that high in the rank structure, are vague, and it's usually not for someone with one or the other title to "pull rank" on his fellows. These are the commanders and war captains of the realm, and (for the most part) they are comrades, rather than the sort to command one another around.

Also note that the Lord High Warden of the Eastern Marches, Dauneth Marliir, automatically outranks anyone in his region of Cormyr (roughly the upper and eastern third or so), and that the Lord High Marshal of the Kingdom (currently a vacant post) outranks everyone but the royal family, who need no military rank to issue orders to officers of Purple Dragons.
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