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Baalster
Seeker

19 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2004 :  18:18:47  Show Profile  Visit Baalster's Homepage Send Baalster a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd
<<< 3. Is there any Realmslore on the underdark city of Glanderultok.

I think I put some info on it in Demihuman Deities in the major centers of worship for Abbathor, but I could be confused.
--Eric



Eric,
Thank you for a swift feedback to my questions. I will add the information to my file.

I have also looked at DhD, and could only find references to the House of Gold, which is at the base of Turnback Moutains, north of White Peaks. No reference to the name Glanderultok anywhere.

Best regards,
Baalster

The North is indeed as they say in the Vilhon Reach - a land of "hard, brutal men in leather and furs who swing overhasty swords."
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2004 :  18:59:28  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Thanks for your help again Garen... Its nice to know someone can love Cormyr enough to carry around so much of its lore in their head... if only i could remember half the stuff i've read over the years!

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2004 :  09:57:53  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Got another question for Ed

Can you shed any light on where you'd find the minor Artifacts from the DMG in Faerun?

Book of Exalted Deeds
Book of Infinate Spells
Book of Vile Darkness (Theres one beneath the Grandfather tree)
Deck of many Things
Hammerof Thunderbolts
Philosophers Stone
Sphere of Annihilation (Theres a few in Chessenta thanks to Toiamat and her Entropists)
Staff of the Magi
Talisman of Pure good
Talisman of the Sphere
Talisman of Ultimate evil
Talisman of Zagy

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2004 :  10:31:14  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
Actually, I'd like to tack an additional tome onto Dargoth's list.

Despite the fact that the Codex of the Infinite Planes is basically tied to Greyhawk, I was curious as to whether there is a copy, or at least a 'fantasy transcript' of this tome anywhere in the Realms?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2004 :  15:25:40  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Some:
book of infinite spells: Szass Tam's Chambers of Twin Burnings; Undermountain level two
book of vile darkness: Waterdeep's Blue Alley; Snowmantle's temple of Bane; Szass Tam's Chambers of Twin Burnings
deck of many things: Myth Drannor (Hood-She may know of this one); Westgate (according to "House of Cards" in Dungeon #19)
hammer of thunderbolts: Hill of Lost Souls; Eltan of the Flaming Fist has one; Ahmaergo of the Eye has one; and see FR11 p. 11
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4740 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2004 :  02:13:45  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer


hammer of thunderbolts: Hill of Lost Souls; Eltan of the Flaming Fist has one; Ahmaergo of the Eye has one; and see FR11 p. 11



One lost under ancient Sarbreen - see City of Ravens Bluff accessory.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2004 :  18:24:47  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
So Ed got into the Hall of Fame! What does he get? A trophy? A cap and gown, or maybe a propellor beanie? Can someone who was at the Awards ceremony at Origins tell me?
I KNOW it’s not going to be big bucks. This is gaming, after all.

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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2004 :  19:27:58  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Blueblade

So Ed got into the Hall of Fame! What does he get? A trophy? A cap and gown, or maybe a propellor beanie? Can someone who was at the Awards ceremony at Origins tell me?
I KNOW it’s not going to be big bucks. This is gaming, after all.





GamingReport had some photos of the ceremony up on their site. However, the HOF group was soo far away from the camera person that I couldn't tell if Ed Greenwood was in the photo.
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Vanguard
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2004 :  22:13:37  Show Profile  Visit Vanguard's Homepage Send Vanguard a Private Message
Hi first I'm a long time fan of Forgotten Realms and a Canadian as well, and I need the help of Ed Greenwood. You see I want to create my own D&D setting that I hope will become official, but first I've got to test it out on some willing players.


So far I don't gut much right know it's in the thinking stage, what source books do I need. But right now I'm using the Hundred Year War as a source, the French forces are Elves and the English are Human and the Dwaves are the ones who are tinkering with the frist cannons of this world. Which in the time of the Hundred Year War was quite primtive in form and fuction,





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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  02:35:09  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hail and well met again, all! Ed and his wife have returned to the leafy tranquility of their Canadian home, weary from the long drive back from Orlando (where Ed was one of TOR’s guest authors at the ALA Annual Conference). The Bearded Father of All Realmslore apologizes for his dozen-day-or-so silence and returns to answering vital Realmslore queries.
The lucky scribe this time is Borch, who’s been waiting patiently for more on Ulgoth’s Beard (and two other places we’ll get to in later messages) since the elventh of May. Ed sent a long enough reply that I’m going to split it up into several posts. So, scribes, I give you now the words of Ed:


Borch, thanks for your patience. I’ll try to reward it properly.

Ulgoth’s Beard is still very much as it was described by Volo in his Sword Coast guide, and according to Elminster, he got it “right.” It’s not a very exciting or large place, and still lacks wealth, an inn, and a proper tavern.

“The Beard,” as it’s known locally, is now connected to Baldur’s Gate by a web of wandering and deeply rutted cart-tracks (made by farmers of the Beard taking their wares to the city for sale just outside the gates every morning -- which costs them nothing -- or in the market, once a tenday, which costs them a per-wagon entry fee of 2 cp at the gates). This has occurred since Volo’s visit to the place; he wrote the truth of the time about the pack-mules.

Around fourteen active fishermen dwell in the Beard, and two of these have a young son each who sometimes go out in the boats. All but one of the boatmen have wives or unwed sisters who keep house for them. Three also have mothers dwelling with them, making the muster of “the salts” of the Beard 32 folk in all.
The fisherfolk usually fish two to a boat, and there are eleven seaworthy boats in the Beard right now (plus the bleached remnants of four others that the salts fiercely protect against firewood scavenging, so as to have some source of swift-emergency-replacement boards and thwarts). On most days, seven or eight vessels fare forth, setting wicker pots for crayfish and “stabcage” traps for eels in the muddy swamp-shallows along the edges of the Chionthar-mouth, and then setting drift-nets farther out. In the fiercest winter months, fishing is either impossible or yields nothing, so the salts of the Beard have to catch and ‘salt by’ enough during the rest of the year to keep from starving.
Although the salts traditionally go hunting deer in the woods when the snows are deep, the dangers of forest predators and the growth of Baldur’s Gate (which has led to steady woodcutting and a receding northwards of the forests, making hunting forays longer and longer) have made these traditions increasingly unreliable as sources of sufficient food.
All of the salts dwell in dirt-floored, windowless stone cottages with roofs of growing turf (planted with herbs and edibles). Most such dwellings have an entry room that doubles as a dining and living room (and in winter, as a kitchen), and opens into two or three inner rooms that are given over to use as bedchambers and storage (including pantries). The hearth is central, and stones are heated in cold weather to be placed in beds and cold corners, and so warm the dwelling as much as possible. Fisherfolk refer to these humble cottages as their “dens.” In summer, they gather peat and wood (some of which they “slowburn” in clay-choked fires, into charcoal) for use in winter cooking, gather berries from thickets in the “breaks” along the cliffs, and smoke and salt fish. Most homes in the Beard have outside chimney-ovens for all summer cooking, and racks on which the fisherfolk lay out their nets for drying and mending, and (under fine bird-nets) filleted fish for curing. Children growing up in the Beard become shrewd shots with slung and flung stones at an early age, bringing down birds who try to swoop in and seize fish. Such fowl, no matter how horrible they taste (and most gulls and sea-skry [cormorants] DO taste bad) are boiled in stewpots with small local vegetables (leeks and “thrae”, which are akin to what we call capers, and “durfists,” which pretty much resemble our Brussels sprouts) and much seasoning, to make one of the staples of local fare (fish and coarsegrain nutbread being the others): the thick, oily stew known as “gudgeon.”

The Beard is also home to Lharruk the Smith, who with his three strong sons Leth, Mordun, and Roril and his tiny half-elven wife Maerleth (whose fierce temper and keenly-sharp tongue are known far and wide) run the Beard’s tiny, untidy smithy. Lharruk sharpens blades, fashions fishhooks and rope-rings and keel-cradles, and keeps the tackle-blocks of the great boat-cradles working, as well as maintaining the ploughs, wagons, and shears of the farmers, and the axes and scythes used by all. Lharruk spent some years as a mercenary (mainly a “seaguard,” or warrior carried aboard merchant ships to fight off pirate boarding parties and port thieves) up and down the Sword Coast, and later briefly joined an informal adventuring band, wherein he met Maerleth. Neither of them profited much in their adventures, but gained some powerful foes -- which brought them to the Beard and now keeps them close-mouthed about their shared past. Lharruk can handle a sword -- and make one, too.
Lharruk is an amiable, slab-faced man with corded muscles and a beard that grows only along the edges of his jaw (and is usually scorched short). He growls and hums a lot as he works, seems to spend all his waking hours patiently toiling, and speaks but little. His sons are easy-going, more talkative and handsome versions of Lharruk who dream of the wider world and talk excitedly over all the gossip that “comes out of the Gate” (drifts up via the farmers and passing peddlers from Baldur’s Gate).
The sons get much of their good looks from their mother, who stands about four feet high and has glossy brown hair that would trail on the ground behind her if she didn’t keep it bound up in a long silver sleeve (tube) that juts out behind her head like a tail; from it, the bared “longer half” of her hair returns to spill down her back through a series of rings on the lower surface of the sleeve. Maerleth has fine features, large blue-green eyes, fierce brows, stunning good looks, and a temper that builds slowly, but unleashes like lightning when it breaks -- with biting words to match. She’s an expert etcher of metal, worker in glass (which she can stain and melt into windows that depict scenes), and seamstress -- and, say some elders of the Beard, an alluring barefoot dancer who can hurl daggers with deadly accuracy. She has a voracious appetite for books of all sorts, from dusty histories and diaries to tomes of magic and torrid “brightbosom” romances, and peddlers always bring her such things in (high) hopes of getting good knives and sickles from Lharruk’s forge in payment for them.
Lharruk brought Maerleth to the Beard over twenty summers ago, appearing mysteriously the day after his ancient, ailing predecessor, the local-born smith Amauntur, died of rattlelungs-fever. (Some in the Beard say that they saw a “door of fire” appear on the headlands, and a “cloaked wizard” stride out of it, staff in hand, to point the way for Lharruk and his wife to Amauntur’s forge.) Of the folk of the Beard, only Maerleth knows that Lharruk’s given name is Ilve, just as only he knows her family name is Summertide, and that she originally hailed from Secomber. (Elminster refuses to say if he was the mage who brought the couple to Ulgoth’s Beard, but he did once mention that “The Summertides keep a low profile for very good reasons.”)
The cliffs north of the Beard are the haunts of shrieking seabirds (primarily gulls and sea-skry, but also sandpipers and the grouse-like, edible “mrawkers,” who eat so many insects that flies and stinging things are almost unknown in the Beard), and are riddled with tiny one-room caverns caused by water seeping into cracks in the rock, freezing and expanding in winter to widen such cracks, and so on, until cracks become large enough for rocks to tumble down into them and wedge to form roofs of sorts. Gull-hunting foxes dwell in such places -- and so does “Old Mort.”
Old Mort is a shambling, wheezing, foul-mouthed but generally jovial old hermit who rarely bathes (and smells accordingly), and who got caught in a long-ago spell that twisted one side of his face into a nightmare of extra (sightless and milk-white) eyes, ears, and nostrils. Colourful local tales about how this happened, or what sort of strange monster Mort really is, abound --but few folk of the Beard know the truth: that he was once a wealthy and powerful merchant of Amn, and knows where a lot of coin is hidden in that country (and the details of even more debts and pacts). His proper name is Endelver Mortraryn, he fled here after the last of his kin (hungry to claim the family wealth) spread word that he was a horrible shapeshifting monster and not the real Endelver Mortraryn at all, and he’s quite content (having snuck back into Amn years later to successfully strangle both the cousin who cheated him, and the business rival who hired a wizard to transform him and several of his colleagues) to live out his days in the cliffs, eating eggs and birds that he catches with his bare hands, pouncing and wringing their necks deftly. Or rather, he lives out his nights, hunting birds as they sleep, and usually snores through most days, wedged safely down some dangerous cliffside cavern.
Old Mort has quite a bit of coin hidden around the cliffs (that he brought with him out of Amn), and makes a good living from the folk of the Beard (trading for warm cloaks whenever his rot through, plus bread and the occasional meal of cooked lamb or fish) with the potent moonshine he makes.
Called “moonfire” by folk of the Beard because Mort insists that its crucial ingredient is captured moonlight, this sparkling clear liquid is fire-like on the throat and tastes rather mint-like. It’s made from boiled cliffrock mosses and the mashed and distilled leaves of certain nettle-like plants, and Old Mort makes it in three different stills hidden in various cliff caves, and sells it in old bottles, jugs, and pans brought to him by the children of the Beard (for which he trades them little whittled wooden figures of warriors and monsters they can play with). To folk of the Beard, Mort trades it for what he needs, but to visiting strangers he sells it, insisting on a price of at least 1 sp per bottle or jug. [Mort’s moonfire shouldn’t be confused with the phosphorescent, vanilla-sweet green-white elven wine of the same name.]
Locals sometimes use moonfire to “liven up” especially bad-tasting gudgeon, some think it an aphrodisiac (it’s really closer to an anesthetic), and some have tried to mix it with ammarale [see below] with disastrous results.
Old Mort never seems to feel the cold, and the spell that so twisted his flesh also made it numb, so he handles thorns, sharp edges, barbs, and very hot or cold items with the same casual deftness. He likes to chat with anyone who seeks him out, and the folk of the Beard have long since lost all fear of him, because he’s patient with children and likes to tell them truths about the world, and although he loves to look at bared female beauty, the loss of fleshly sensation long since robbed him of all pleasure in sexual matters, so he never molests anyone. The magic that twisted him also caused him to heal rapidly (he regenerates 1 hp every half a day, even if exerting himself), and he long since learned to find his way around every stone and pebble of the cliffs, seashore below, and headlands in utter darkness and the thickest fogs. As the locals say, “Old Mort can find the lost and never get lost himself.”


So saith Ed. I’ll post the second part right after this one. Enjoy, all.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  02:37:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Herewith, more on Ulgoth’s Beard from Ed:

The rest of the forty-odd folk of the Beard are farmers, all of them keeping sheep and small plots of herbs and vegetables (the latter plowed by mule-plough and worked by hand). The most “let’s do things around here my way” farmer is probably Malluth Darake; the wealthiest (though such things are relative; he’d not be reckoned the equal of a successful backstreet shopkeeper in the Gate) is Haeraklo Harndruth; and the most colourful is the handsome one-time womanizer Roldrick Nattyre, once notorious for trying his luck “with every gown in the village” (until four of them got him into a bed and poured a cauldron of boiling water over his privates), and now even more notorious for brewing “ammarale” (‘Hammer Ale’), a dreadful beer that he sells for a copper piece a tankard, mainly to foolish folk of the Gate and passing travelers (though some older women of the village use it in fish stews).

Ammarale mixed with moonfire is a highly flammable solvent that makes short work of most tars, pitch, paints, dyes, hair, and any edibles being digested by a human or an elf (typically giving them immediate and violent “runs” until purged, a few hours later). Halflings, gnomes, dwarves, orcs and all goblinkin, and creatures having bloodlines of these races are immune to the effects of this mixture, which was dubbed “gutsnakes” by a now-dead old woman of the Beard.
Most of the farmers of the Beard are unremarkable folk who believe in the gods (especially Chauntea, Talos, Umberlee, and Auril, though they all trust in Tymora), work hard and long, and entertain themselves with the gossip that comes out of the Gate. Over half of them are skilled in making wagonwheels, and all of them are expert shearers. They belong to four main families (Darake, Harndruth, Nattyre, and Sluth), and the remnants of five others (Boele, Jannath, Orntar, Palan, and Tethtor).

Coming to Ulgoth’s Beard, a visitor will see weedy swamps of islets and floating scum right under the cliffs, guarded on the seaward side by reefs of tumbled rocks that are always wet with sea-spray (and often cloaked in thick fogs, too). The cliffs tower hundreds of feet above the waves, but although they’re always slippery and treacherous due to the everpresent damp (and in winter, ice), they are climbable, offering many seabird-occupied ledges, rock chutes, and even bowls of earth marked by tufts of greenery.
Atop the cliffs, the precipice is topped with a headland of wind-scoured rock, which then descends slightly into rolling, windy pastureland. What trees there are tend to be stunted, ground-hugging grotesques, and these conditions persist for some miles north and east, with real woods beginning only along the treacherous cliff edges beyond a distinctively-pointed knob of rock known as Sargoth’s Spear (who “Sargoth” was is long forgotten).
The Spear stands over two miles north of the Beard, and has for years been used as a moonlit moot for various conspirators, lovers, and shady merchants of Baldur’s Gate.
Ulgoth’s Beard itself lies in a natural bowl in the rock, some sixty feet deep and a quarter of a mile across, just behind the cliff headland. The farmers’ small barns (used for storing some hay and wagons from which the wheels have been removed, to discourage theft) dot their fields east and north of the Beard itself, but their wool-sheds (where their wagon wheels are stored, too) huddle in the bowl with the houses. Ulgothan farmers eat mutton, make tallow candles, and sell raw wool in Baldur’s Gate (making only enough woollens for their own use). Farmers in the Beard are likely to have larger, grander homes than the salts, sometimes with an upper floor and stone floors throughout, but they are all crowded into the bowl with the humbler “dens” of the fisherfolk -- and neither sort of Ulgothan looks down on the other (as a group: there are plenty of petty feuds between families and individuals, as exist everywhere).

By day, shepherds in the fields around the Beard keep watch over land, sea, and sky, and swiftly send word to their colleagues and folk in the Beard itself by means of whistles and gestures. By night, at least two elders of the village will always be on watch, bundled up in cloaks and lying awake on the warmest roofs of the village -- and, of course, Old Mort will be lurking about, swift to warn the folk of the Beard of approaching danger. He usually trails behind strangers of all sorts who travel near the cliffs by night, and will rouse the best-armed folk of the Beard if he sees need. There will always be an extra watcher awake (and watching the relevant barn door) when a peddler is known to be sleeping the night away in someone’s barn -- and the same applies whenever anyone is sheltering in Andarasz’s keep (which folk of the Beard call the “Northtower” or “the Old Keep”).


So saith Ed. Ah, I love how he paints reality into even such a little place as this. I can FEEL him starting to spin stories about it, too. Part 3 to follow immediately.
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 06 Jul 2004 02:42:26
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  02:51:14  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And as promised, the third part of Ed’s answer:


The keep of the long-ago pirate lord Andarasz is now little more than an arc of tumbledown stone wall, thirty feet high or so to the north and absent on the bowl or south side, surrounding a square stone tower consisting of a spiral stone stair linking a single square room per level, and rising five levels above the ground (the fifth level being choked with the fallen stones of a collapsed six level, and the other floors being damp, bird-dung-littered rooms of about forty feet square -- slightly larger in the lower levels, and slightly smaller as one ascends).
Traces of a stone stair descending down the bowl into the Beard can be seen, but these are crumblingly unsafe, and haunted by the apparition of a silently fleeing gowned woman who appears only on certain moonlit nights. Contact with her chilling form is said to bring on a night of strange visions, but do no other harm (some dispute this harmlessness).
The ground floor of the tower contains a ten-foot-wide well (now dry, choked with stone, and a probably fatal sixty-foot fall to anyone tumbling down it), and a trapdoor leading down broad stone steps some seventy feet into “dungeons” (actually linked granary-caverns, two of them natural and the other four painstakingly quarried out years ago). These caverns have been searched repeatedly, are said to be haunted, sometimes serve as brief refuges for small creatures who enter them through crevices around the trapdoor and in the stones framing it, and are used by folk of the Beard for storing firewood, water, and some emergency provisions (barrels of salted fish). In very severe weather or “when dragons attack” (in the last two centuries, there have been three wyvern foraging raids on the Beard, remembered as ‘dragon attacks,’ and one instance of perytons trying to lair along the cliffs), the folk of the Beard will flee to the Old Keep caverns for shelter.

Burials in the Beard are usually by boat, with the shrouded body being rolled over the side well out to sea. Marriages usually take place on the headlands, or (if a farming family is involved) in a tent erected on the family’s pastureland; the entire village gathers for a feast.
Folk do their daily worship in their own homes, although Chauntea is often venerated in the fields (sometimes by shedding blood over plantings, sometimes by copulation in freshly-plowed fields), and Talos is venerated during storms on the headlands.

Folk of the Beard don’t dislike the resident wizard Shandalar, but they don’t speak of him or socialize with him: he’s a private man, an outlander, “and a wizard, at that!” They know nothing of the true nature of his floating house (to them, it just “appeared there, one day” thirty-some summers ago) or of his origins, but tolerate him because his rare dealings with his neighbours are always cordial, he never tries to coerce anyone into anything, or cast any magic on locals except to aid them or defend himself, and keeps to himself. In hard winters or when blights strike, sicknesses afflict the lambs, or the fish are scarce, Shandalar causes plentiful food to appear (usually Old Mort starts bringing it excitedly down from the Old Keep, after Shandalar magically farspoke him to go there).
Locals know that “strange monsters” roam Shandalar’s mushroom-growing caverns, and that these miles of passages (“that stretch almost to the Gate, and for thrice that distance north and east”) were both melted out of rock and dug out of soil by spells (and that magic also keeps them from collapsing). They’ve seen his “walking mushrooms” [a tribe of myconids; see the 3.5e MONSTER MANUAL II] on very rare occasions, and have heard that “far more fearsome things” lurk down there. They also know that wagonloads of mushrooms come out of the caverns, because sometimes (when large “buys” are taking place, usually due to ships docking in the Gate that want to fill their holds with ’shrooms) Shandalar hires them (and their wagons and carts) to help with the transport, and know that Shandalar makes good coin off these edibles. Yet as he’s told them that he shares the wealth “with those below” (the myconids), implied that he protects the folk of the Beard from those same strange subterranean creatures, and aids the folk of the Beard without meddling overmuch in their affairs, none of the locals begrudge him his “odd ways” or wealth.
The folk of the Beard also say that since the wagon-tracks have linked them to the Gate, increasing numbers of coaches, carts, and even large wagons have begun to come up from the Gate to the wizard. Few of those visitors have been friendly to curious onlookers (some even loosing crossbow bolts at watchers), and the folk of the Beard have generally settled on the view that they don’t want to know who these visitors are, or anything about their business.
Elminster, of course, does. He’s prepared to say that these visitors come to Shandalar to pay VERY handsomely to rent temporary storage space in some of his caverns. The wizard, in return, keeps his mouth shut about what he’s storing for them -- though Elminster has done enough prying to know that what he takes in (not permitting any client to actually enter his caverns) includes contraband goods, weapons, stolen magic, and many items and even kidnapped people clients want well hidden. Shandalar examines everything he stores very carefully to prevent magical discharges, invasions, prowlings from monsters or automatons that break loose, releases of spores, gases, and diseases, deaths of stored life and the consequences of decomposition, and has been known to destroy or “lose” certain stored things.
Elminster and Khelben have kept a close watch on Shandalar for some time, but have thus far concluded that the mage is primarily interested in researching and crafting new spells and takes great care to remain aloof from politics and power struggles in Baldur’s Gate and elsewhere. They are satisfied he seeks no power, and is no danger to those who don’t directly menace him. More than that, Elminster refused to divulge about Shandalar the wizard -- and would say nothing at all about the mage’s daughters.

Ulgothans regard Baldur’s Gate as a constant source of entertainment and the seat of most that’s large and exciting in the world, and pay close attention to news and gossip from it. They also regard news of Sword Coast shipping (especially piracy) as of vital importance, seeing themselves as caught between “the Gate and the endless waves,” but strangely, Cloak Wood (and everything else south of the Chionthar) is not part of their world, and is very seldom spoken or thought of.


So saith Ed, who’s saved the best for last. Accordingly, stay tuned for the fourth and last part of his revelations about Ulgoth’s Beard.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  02:54:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I now return you to the words of Ed:


“Ah,” Elminster added knowingly, “but ye’ll be after adventure, and the things that lure and sparkle with it.”
There are, of course, the inevitable (and false) legends of Ulgoth’s treasure being hidden somewhere in, under, or near the Beard -- and of course, Shandalar’s mushroom-growing caverns are where most treasure-seekers go looking. If they go without fierce intent or armament, they won’t penetrate far: the entry house to the caverns covers a broad stone ramp descending into a cavern guarded by animated objects [see the 3.5e MONSTER MANUAL; these are small rolling metal spheres containing bells, under orders to pursue intruders as mobile alarms, bounding to strike only at creatures engaged in arcane spellcasting, to disrupt such castings], greater stone golems [described in the 3.5e MONSTER MANUAL] and iron cobras [detailed in the 3.5e FIEND FOLIO]. The golems and cobras are under orders to prevent the passage of all intruders, expelling such creatures with everything they entered with, and destroying them if necessary).
Intruders who come well-armed and with organized hostile intent, and win past the entry cavern and its inner rolling stone doors and massive iron gates (each of the three ways on into the rest of the caverns is blocked by both barriers; aside from them and the guardians, the caverns hold little else but glowing globe light sources, ‘sorting table’ stone slabs, and wagons) will soon come into conflict with the myconids and with dread guards [detailed in the 3.5e MONSTER MANUAL II]. There are also rumors of stranger guardians, such as unique sorts of golems and nimblewrights [also detailed in the 3.5e MONSTER MANUAL II].
Unfortunately for the treasure-seekers, Shandalar’s caverns don’t have any known connection to the greater Underdark (yet), and aside from seemingly-endless mushrooms and the interesting stored items kept in two ‘side-wings’ of caverns, one large and obvious and the other small and well-hidden, they contain no treasure.

However, Elminster says there ARE three treasures of note in or near Ulgoth’s Beard.
Somewhere in a cavern that’s just underwater, along the base of the cliffs beneath the Beard, lies a large pirate treasure of coins and trade-bars. The chests holding it will soon rot away or be broken by the force of the inrushing waters during the fiercest storms (the only ones that penetrate the breakwaters that guard the swamps), and perhaps the restless waves will spit forth a coin or two as clues to just where these riches lie. Some of the pirates were shut into the cavern to drown when the treasure was placed there, so aquatic undead are likely to now guard the riches.

Under one of the homes in the Beard, probably buried deeper than a grave would be, is a bronze serpent [detailed in the 3.5e MONSTER MANUAL II] that will activate when first touched by a living being, obeying its activator as its “creator.” This tale is well-known among scribes, sages, and wizards across the Realms, but many versions of the tale place it in many different locales. This is the real one.
Searchers are warned that there are REAL graves, very ancient ones, beneath several of the homes in the Beard -- and that these many well prove to contain active undead if broken open.

And, last but not least, somewhere near Ulgoth’s Beard is a hidden extra-dimensional room: an ancient “safehold” created by an elf mage as a private hiding-cache or temporary refuge. Laeral found it, long ago, and reports that it holds a “powerful” (+4 or +5) Tome of Clear Thought [described in the 3.5e DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE] and a coffer containing six Immovable Rods [also described in the 3.5e DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE]. She also said enigmatically that the safehold had “a strange guardian” but refused to say more.

Borch, I just won’t have time to provide this much depth of detail for everywhere in the Realms (including Lathtarl's Lantern and the Cloak Wood, which I’ll turn to next), and I’m afraid Ulgoth’s Beard isn’t a wildly exciting place for adventurers. Yet I hope I’ve given you enough that you can use it for a setting for game play, for PC adventurers who want to fare into or out of Baldur’s Gate.
I hope this is of help, and furnishes some enjoyment.
Ed


So saith the Master. Well, he’s certainly back in the saddle again (and riding, among other things, a top-secret project that’s got me very excited). The first draft of the Waterdeep book is done, and the first Knights book underway. And then there’s -- but no, I can’t even tell SiriusBlack about THAT. Especially not Sirius.
Ah, I’m bad.

Yours (no pushing, now!)
THO

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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  04:00:31  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
And then there’s -- but no, I can’t even tell SiriusBlack about THAT. Especially not Sirius.



Stay away from that one, he's a troublemaker. But, in the meanwhile, offer hints to everyone else on what you are teasing about. Cryptic clues are always nice and they stimulate the brain. Not that I think any other scribes here need such an exercise.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  16:12:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Fellow scribes, one thing occurs to me: the preceding screed from Ed (I split it into 4 posts) is a perfect example of what a so-called "fluff" (sorry, Faraer) Realms sourcebook would contain. Imagine several hundred pages of this, plus maps and illos.
Happy sigh
THO
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  16:38:32  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Fellow scribes, one thing occurs to me: the preceding screed from Ed (I split it into 4 posts) is a perfect example of what a so-called "fluff" (sorry, Faraer) Realms sourcebook would contain. Imagine several hundred pages of this, plus maps and illos.
Happy sigh
THO



I know. My thoughts as I read the posts were, "This is what we most likely won't see any time in the future within a Realms product."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29707 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2004 :  17:07:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Fellow scribes, one thing occurs to me: the preceding screed from Ed (I split it into 4 posts) is a perfect example of what a so-called "fluff" (sorry, Faraer) Realms sourcebook would contain. Imagine several hundred pages of this, plus maps and illos.
Happy sigh
THO



Ooh... My dear Lady, there are many, many of us that remember when Realms sourcebooks were chock full of lore and flavor, and we do wish to return to those days. Me, I'd love to spend a few months wading thru all of Ed's unpublished notes.

But oh yeah, I'd buy a book with that kinda flavor in it in a heartbeat.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  00:29:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
A few words more, fellow scribes...

SiriusBlack, Ed wasn’t at Origins at all. TOR Books, the publishers of his Aglirta fantasy novels, invited him down to the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida to do panels with fellow TOR authors (and scientists, and award-winning sf writers) Vernor Vinge and Geoffrey Landis. Ed was supposed to interview Sir Arthur C. Clarke via videophone, but ended up “winging it” onstage for more than 2 hours as techs tried (and failed) to get a satellite link through to Sri Lanka. However, as those who’ve enjoyed Ed doing panels at GenCon and Worldcon and countless other cons for decades know, the man wings panels very calmly. Ed and his wife drove down to Florida from Ontario in Canada and back, and so were “right out of touch” during Origins. Ed still hasn’t heard anything officially, but said his e-inbox was full of congratulations from fellow writers and game designers when he got home, so he believes it happened. (He also wants to know if he ever has to climb onto a pedestal and pose in a toga and laurel-wreath, or if he gets his own crypt or something “cool” like that. )

Vanguard, what exactly do you need Ed’s help with? Worldbuilding is mainly lots of drudgery and not forgetting ANYTHING and working out the implications of the smallest details before you put anything into print. I doubt any new setting has any chance of becoming an “official D&D” world for at least eight years or so, now that Eberron’s been launched (a setting which, by the way, neither Ed nor I have seen yet in final published form, thanks to the paucity of hobby stores near either of us).

Wooly dear, the Yielding Tide wasn’t Ed’s creation, and I’m afraid he can’t add much to eisting lore about it or the events it recounts. (Yet.)

Yes, Sarta, as you surmised, I had work of my own to attend to. Whilst gamers were at Origins and Ed was with the librarians at ALA, I was attending the Association of American Publishers annual conflab and hearing lots about the business side of the book biz. Sorry, all -- I’d love to live in Candlekeep, believe me, but (sigh) find myself stuck in the real world. Yet somehow, I could feel Wooly’s yearnings while I was there, amusing myself by attending panels in a very grand and prim dark gown and no underwear...

Beowulf, the folk of Sunset Vale don’t consider themselves part of Cormyr, and would have been astonished indeed if an army had come riding hard out of the Forest Kingdom to their aid during the rise of Darkhold or at any other time. The Cormyrean “claims” on their westward verges are of the “don’t anyone try to expand into here, or found a kingdom here, or there’ll be war, d’ye hear?” variety, not “we bother to police these backlands much.” Garen Thal has answered this query and your question about the possibility of rebellion admirably, and I can add little useful to his well-chosen words.

Baalster, you’re very welcome, and your Whitehorn, White Peaks, and Ride tribes lore requests are duly noted, though I’m afraid the wait is going to be long for an answer (I’m thinking Christmas, knowing Ed’s workload and the queue already built up here!). However, I’ll tackle your other four questions in a post immediately following this one.

Gerath, I’ll add your request (and Lashan’s echo of Baalster’s Ride request, too) to Ed’s ever-expanding queue.
Ah, ’tis a hard life. As Azoun IV once said, so many mouths to attend to, and so little, little time...

THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  00:32:52  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, gentles, and forthwith to Baalester’s queries. Eric Boyd has already admirably provided answers to most of these, so I’ll just backstop him as follows:

1. There’s a very good reason why the Zhentarim don't take the shortest route to the Border Forest: the ogres [“beast-men”] pushed out of the area to the north by Zhent mining expeditions and patrols, bolstered by bands of orcs and hobgoblins who weren’t part of the Zhentilar mercenaries, but came to the valley of the Tesh and to ruined Daggerdale hoping for pickings, roam in this area and make short work of all Zhent bands that don’t include numerous and capable mages and priests.
This is rough country (of which more later) that favours guerilla defenders and hampers large, organized ground forces -- and it’s crawling with Harpers, folk fled from Zhentil Keep and The Citadel of the Raven who have no love for the Zhentarim, and other “malcontents” who will harry and frustrate Zhents whenever possible. So the Zhents, who are after all pragmatic businessfolk (most of the wizards and warriors) as well as world-conquering maniacs (the senior priests, and some of the beholders), do the practical thing and keep to safer, more open country where they can move goods faster and take fewer losses.

2. The northern Border Forest is extremely rough country: wooded knife-edged ridges between ravines, with many small caverns and plentiful roaming monsters (in other words, a colder version of the Stonelands north of Cormyr). Hellish country to try to hew a trade-route through, even if it isn’t inhabited by hostile creatures (and as we know from Lanseril Snowmantle of the Knights, the inhabitants of the Border Forest are VERY hostile to the Zhents and to woodcutters in general).
Eric Boyd is correct in mentioning that hybsil tribes are a widespread and worsening problem in the southern Border Forest. In the northern forest, the plant monsters and prowling predators are fierce enough that even the hybsils don’t go there -- and we Knights, I must confess, made things worse by moving a few deepspawn there, to provide plentiful food for all and endless foes for Zhent intruders. We even encountered a Worm That Walks in our last visit there, and I can’t imagine anyone less powerful than the senior Zhents surviving there for long (and by their own thinking, they have MUCH better things to do).
To the north of the Border Forest, the land continues to be “broken” and hard to traverse, with rocky badlands running right up into the frozen, wind-sculpted jagged ice of the permanently-frozen regions. Iyraclea (detailed in the EPIC LEVEL HANDBOOK) is taking an interest in this area (because human mining forays have forced the ogres to retreat into the ice-caves and thus “intrude” on her territory. As Eric says, the flind-led gnolls roam here in seemingly-endless bands, and hate the Zhents far more than they fear them. Mount Ghaethluntar is THE main flind realm that I know of, and they view the Zhents as a threat best fought in the gnoll lands (in the same way that the Soviet Union, in our real world, sought to surround itself with “satellite states” so disputes with the ‘outside world’ could be fought therein, and not on ‘home soil’).
So, no, it wouldn't be easier for the Zhentarim to just go around Border Forest. :}

3. As far as Ed or I know, there isn’t yet any detailed Realmslore on the Underdark city of Glanderultok, so have fun! (Eric Boyd is THE expert here, and if he came up blank, blankness is what we all have to work with. )

4. The largest mountain west of the Citadel of the Raven is Mount Ombaddor, I believe. It’s named for the long-dead orc chieftan who ruled the caverns that honeycomb it, and tried to dominate other orc tribes (in which he was successful, though of course his ‘ragged realm’ vanished with his death). Mount Ombaddor has carved battlements and lookouts on some of its outside slopes, which the Zhents occupied for use as stables and bases for the flying mounts. Some of those fortifications were equipped with long-range ‘cage of rocks’ catapults, which the Zhents refurbished and manned (more to prevent the mountain being occupied by someone else and held against them than for any other reason). Orcs still dwell in some of the interior caverns, but there are tales that something far worse has “come up” into those caves from below (the Underdark), and hunted down and devoured many orcs. We Knights haven’t investigated, and frankly have other fish to fry.
My notes also tell me that Mount Launt and Mount Horgrymborr are the two side-peaks that flank Ombaddor. About them I know nothing, other than that they looked pretty forbidding from the vantage-point of my saddle.

So there you have it. Thy Hooded Lady must now away, for it seems I’ve some real-world work to attend to yet, today...
Banners bright and high, until next!
THO
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Athenon
Seeker

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  02:20:13  Show Profile  Visit Athenon's Homepage  Send Athenon an AOL message Send Athenon a Private Message
Sensual Hooded Lady,

I have a quick question for you or Ed. I noticed several months ago when the schedule for Gen Con was posted that there's not a Q & A with Ed/Elminster. I had hoped this was an oversight and would be corrected, but it still looks that way. Could you two comment on that? Many Thanks!

Will Maranto

Representing the Realms in the Wilds of Northern Louisiana
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  04:10:12  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

SiriusBlack, Ed wasn’t at Origins at all. TOR Books, the publishers of his Aglirta fantasy novels, invited him down to the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida to do panels with fellow TOR authors




So, it was librarians over the Origins? Good choice in my mind. Librarians can be fun...especially after a drink or two when they start making MARC talk to show how smart and sexy they can be.

quote:

Ed still hasn’t heard anything officially, but said his e-inbox was full of congratulations from fellow writers and game designers when he got home, so he believes it happened. (He also wants to know if he ever has to climb onto a pedestal and pose in a toga and laurel-wreath, or if he gets his own crypt or something “cool” like that. )



Heavyweight Boxing Champions get belts don't they? I'd go with that, the toga and laurel wreath, or a big cane. He can thwack people on the knees, "I'm in the HOF now youngster, show some respect!"

quote:

Ah, ’tis a hard life. As Azoun IV once said, so many mouths to attend to, and so little, little time...

THO



You know given Azoun IV's tendency towards a certain activity that comment could be taken in many ways.....
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Vanguard
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  09:31:02  Show Profile  Visit Vanguard's Homepage Send Vanguard a Private Message
Ok one of the settings that I'm hot to do is a Steam Punk D&D, so what I need help with is with two problems, that I need Ed Greewood's help.


The first porblem I have is with the Two Patheons, the old Gods and Goddess are like the Forgotten Realm deities, however it's the second Patheon I'm stuck on. There the Gods and Goddess of the Science, the new Patheon weren't created Divine they were once mortal expect for the Clockwork Goddess she start life a the first clockwork robot, so how does my new Patheon inspire people if they can't bestow spells like normal deities.


The other problem I've got is with my steam powered clockwork roborts, you see on of the few godly things the leader of the new Patheon the Clockwork Goddess did was give her childern the Victorian robots Human like smarts and mind, like the main character from the Mr Hero comic. So how do I do it?,
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  12:30:08  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
My dearest Lady Hooded One...

I notice you mentioned in your first post on the 7th that my request had been forwarded to Ed... but for the life of me i can't make out which request in particular this must be... So for clarity's sake can i ask for tonnes more flavour on Laspeera and her background... and perhaps just a dash on her fellow War Wizard Velvorn (who cameoed briefly in Elminster's Daughter).

Of course, in actual fact what i'd really love to ask is can Ed write us a whole sourcebook dedicated to Cormyr... the geography of our beloved realm is reasonably well documented but the social, ecomonic, politcal, military and magical character of it still interests me intensely and deserves the biggest Realms product to date, crammed with fantastic amounts of lore - with the structure of the nobility and of their families, structure of the War Wizards and Council of Mages and the structure of the Purple Dragons all being things i'd love to see in offical print (and masses of detail).

Sigh, can't someone convince the WOTC editors that this is what the fans would really want?

I'll leave with a chivalrous kiss on your hand my lady... If you're ever in the region of Archendale please don't hesitate to pay me a private visit!

Gerath Hoan

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2238 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  16:09:07  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
This is a reply to Vanguard's question about creating a pantheon.

I would strongly recommend that you read the book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Orson Scott Card, published by Writer's Digest Books. This is available in the reference section of good libraries and bookstores, from the Writer's Digest Bookclub, or through amazon.com.

The chapter on World Creation will give you an overview of the issues involved, and help you figure out how to tackle some of the problems you'll face. As Lady THO pointed out, world building is a detailed, laborious process. This book will give you a good start.

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Beowulf
Learned Scribe

Canada
322 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2004 :  17:06:10  Show Profile  Visit Beowulf's Homepage Send Beowulf a Private Message
Well met!

Many thanks for the response!

And another, for curiousity sake ....

Many nations in the west have exacted huge taxes from their civilian population to raise, train, and maintain a standing army as large as Cormyr's prior to Azoun IV's death. During the reign of Charlemagne for instance, many a Frankish churl was forced to sell his land and even his freedom to the Church in order to fund Chuckie's never-ending lust for war. So, where does Cormyr get the money to maintain the lifestyle their propaganda artist claim they have?

Friend of Hrothgar

"Ill tempered the wretch, who laughs at everyone. He cannot recognize, as he should, that he is not without faults." the High One, Poetic Edda
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