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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2004 :  23:59:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Time to wrap up Marsember at last. Or not, if I know my fellow inquisitive scribes.
It’s time to tackle street names, at least as much of them as I learned while running a character through the city in the ‘home’ Realms campaign. I can add very little to what Ed sent off to the DUNGEON folks, except of course locate them on the published map. With the islands named, it’s relatively easy (so you’ll need to reference my earlier post).

ASSANDER STREET runs north from a T-junction with another street near the south end of Harmuth Isle, and proceeds via bridges north across Antanmaran’s Isle to the mainland city, where it crosses Calathanter Street and curves northwest to a city walltower and then southwest again to end in a moot with Calathanter Street.

CALATHANTER STREET runs east from the northern arch of the western gate of Marsember to meet with the end of Assander Street (see above) and then run on east clear across the city to enter the naval base through its northernmost gate, and end in a moot with the Dockmarch there.

CHANCEVER STREET begins in a moot with Calathanter Street that’s between Calathanter’s two meetings with Assander Street. It curves northeast to run along the city wall, where Stormhold (the home of Filfaeril Stormbillow, sorceress and seller of magic items and potions; see my first post for the correct location of this building, which is DUNGEON map feature #14) fronts on it. Chancever then curves southeast across Calathanter, passes along the south walls of Haelithtorntowers, the walled estate of Lady Joysil Ambrur and DUNGEON map feature #16) and is carried onto Old Arn Isle by the more westerly of the two northshore bridges of that island. It then runs east along the spine of Old Arn, to end in a moot with Varanth Lane.

DAUNSUL STREET begins in a moot with Chancever Street just west of Stormhold (see above), and runs south and east to reach Nornsar Isle via a bridge, and there end in a moot with Hammarhantus Lane.

DOCKMARCH (almost always “The Dockmarch” to Marsembans) is the cobbled street that runs from The Harbortower (DUNGEON map feature #36) all around the docks of the naval base, to end near the tip of Watchfire Point (the most southerly cape or spit of the naval base, east of Wrauntwreck Isle).

FENDROL’S WAY enters Marsember via the southern arch of the city’s western gate, and runs east and south to cross (via bridges, of course) Harmuth Isle, West Darnmist, and East Darnmist, before ending in a moot with another street on Stormrock Isle, at the front gates of Iyrinthorn (the city villa of the Illance noble family, and DUNGEON map feature #22).

GELGULD LANE exits the naval base through the southernmost of its two gates and parallels the mainland city shore to a moot with Tarnsar Lane right outside the front doors of Felgontar’s Firehelm (large, popular, and respectable dining-house, and DUNGEON map feature #11).

HAMMARHANTUS LANE begins in a streetmoot at the center of Baerouth’s Isle, and takes a bridge north to Nornsar Isle, where it meets with the southern end of Daunsul Street ere continuing east via a bridge to cross Gauntan Isle and take another bridge on east to Sharmran Isle, and from there northeast via yet another bridge to Old Arn Isle, where it ends in a moot with Chancever Street.

TARNSAR LANE begins at a city walltower due north of the smithy belonging to Uorn Hallowhand, Armorer, Chainmaker, and Weaponsmith (mistakenly marked #13 on the DUNGEON map; see my first post about Marsember), and runs east and south to cross Calathanter Street and turn south to a moot with Gelguld Lane by Felgontar’s Firehelm (large, popular, and respectable dining-house, and DUNGEON map feature #11), and on southeast from there via a bridge to Gauntan Isle, to end there in a moot with Hammarhantus Lane hard by Morningmist Hall (the city’s temple of Lathander, and DUNGEON map feature #12).

THELVARSPIKE LANE begins at the front doors of Luckfist Hall (Marsember’s shrine to Tymora, and DUNGEON map feature #20), and runs south across Calathanter Street to curve southeast and then south again, and end in a moot with Gelguld Lane.

VARANTH LANE begins in a moot with Gelguld Lane just west of the southernmost gate of the naval base, and takes a bridge south and east to Old Arn Isle, where it meets the eastern end of Chancever Street and continues south via another bridge to Wrauntwreck Isle, where it curves southeast and then back southwest in a great arc around Bracegauntlet Gard (fortified mansion of the Bracegauntlet noble family, and DUNGEON map feature #33) to cross onto Aertoprann’s Isle, where it promptly ends in a streetmoot.

THE LIGHTLESS LAMP has recently become an important meeting-place and reference point for Marsembans, and features in the action in ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. It’s nothing more than a broken street-lamp on Thelvarspike Lane (which remains unfixed for reasons too complicated to delve into here), and is located at a point on Thelvarspike that can be readily found on the superbly-drawn DUNGEON map by counting buildings up the west side of Thelvarspike from its end-moot with Gelguld Lane. A building stands on the northwest corner of that moot, and another building abuts it to the north. Then there’s a little space before one reaches a large and oddly-shaped warehouse, that’s been extended to join another large warehouse to the southwest. Continuing past the warehouse up Thelvarspike, one next comes to a much smaller, almost square building standing alone -- which is the site of the Lightless Lamp.


And there you have it: ‘Marsember Mended,’ if you will. I hope this has been of help to scribes planning to use Marsember in a Realms campaign; I know Ed has been frustrated by several missed chances over the years for TSR and then WotC to print street names for Suzail and Silverymoon, because he takes the view that without the major streets being named in published products, it’s hard for DMs to use cities as long-term campaign settings without a great likelihood that future Realms products will grandly contradict whatever name a particular DM gives to a street -- and that it’s hard even to keep Realms novels and sourcebooks consistent, or easily pinpoint city locations and features, without named streets to refer to.
Yet I’ve tarried too long, and must away!
Cloak round me, and I ride to greet the day!
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2004 :  00:50:25  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Muy buen. Maybe we can prevail on Erik Mona to make the map available as a high-res unlabelled download.
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David Lázaro
Seeker

Spain
37 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2004 :  01:33:27  Show Profile  Visit David Lázaro's Homepage Send David Lázaro a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
I know Ed has been frustrated by several missed chances over the years for TSR and then WotC to print street names for Suzail and Silverymoon, [...]



So, could we humbly request a similar treatment for Silverymoon, Lady Sir?

There are some details available in the My Slice of Silverymoon article by Ed but it's been frustratingly hard trying to match the descriptions therein to the map. Besides, it only covers the Holowhar quarter and its surroundings. The good thing is that the map is publicly available at the article and any description provided by you should be easier to follow.

I must say that I love all the detail that has gone into Silverymoon since Silver Marches was published. It makes for a very interesting place to base a campaign. I'm planning on starting a low level campaign there next month.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2004 :  03:06:43  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Oh, dear: yes, in the fullness of time I hope you'll see Silverymoon get the same treatment. More than that I know I can't say, except to cry: NDA! NDA!
(Sorry)
THO
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David Lázaro
Seeker

Spain
37 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2004 :  03:28:39  Show Profile  Visit David Lázaro's Homepage Send David Lázaro a Private Message
Oh...

If that means that there's more content on its way... One can always hope.

Well, thanks anyway. Maybe I'll be more lucky with some more general questions in the future (that is when I finish reviewing this thread ).
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Lashan
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2004 :  12:54:31  Show Profile  Visit Lashan's Homepage Send Lashan a Private Message
Dungeon has stated that they are going to start offering downloads for the various maps that they put in their magazine. Unfortunatly, that does not include this month's issue. I just checked on their website and don't see a downloadable map listed. Perhaps we can get them to put one up after they start to do it?
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Archmage Daraath
Acolyte

Canada
2 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2004 :  16:21:06  Show Profile  Visit Archmage Daraath's Homepage Send Archmage Daraath a Private Message
Thanks Ed, sorry it took me so long to thank you, but I don't come here often. While I'll admit to writing fanfics, I do so to tell the kind of stories that you'd never get way with, aka erotic. I have also written stories for the web that are non fan fiction, but are erotic. I didn't mean to suggest that you read any as that could put you in an problematic situation.

I'm not afraid of lawsuits, I've got squat for WOTC to take. Plus I hate corporations(I'd call them the Great Satans, but I'm a pagan and I didn't belive in Satan) so anything that pisses them off, as long as it doesn't hurt innocents like yourself, pleases me greatly.

I have another question, please. I personal I'm not upset at the fictualizing of various pagan Gods such as Tyr, because I can seperate the real historical God, from the fictional TSR one, but have you ever dealt with pagans that have found such actions offensive?

"To thine own self be true, for it follows, as night the day, thu canst not be false to anyman"
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Beowulf
Learned Scribe

Canada
322 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  00:07:12  Show Profile  Visit Beowulf's Homepage Send Beowulf a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Archmage Daraath


I have another question, please. I personal I'm not upset at the fictualizing of various pagan Gods such as Tyr, because I can seperate the real historical God, from the fictional TSR one, but have you ever dealt with pagans that have found such actions offensive?



As a Teutonic heathen, and as a sworn of Tiw (aka TyR) in specific, I personally find the use of the gods of my folk rather disconcerting. It bothers me. It especially bothers me when I see some writer portraying one of the gods of my folk in a vain and overly human manner as in that Marco Volo adventure trilogy.

At the same time, I stand in wonder at who the heck and why the heck someone put Thunor's (aka ThorR) hammer in Tiw's hand. As far as Teutonic scholars and theologians go, I'm the only one to have ever advanced the theory that the hammer of the thunderer originally belonged to Tiw (a la Dyaus, Zeus, Jupiter). So, what gives? Other than that it seems perfectly logical of course.

All-in-all, I tend to just avoid the issue by not using those deities that make me feel like I'm profaning the holy. With Tiw its easy as Torm makes for a good substitute. Or we just resort to calling him Grimjaws.

I suppose it also helps that I tend to run the gods as being alot more mysterious then is typical of FR.


"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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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  13:12:35  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Hi Ed,

Sorry, i don't want to pile up yet more questions for you, but my curiosity just won't be satisfied sometimes.

My main question is could you tell me a little about the humble activites of tea-drinking and smoking in the Realms? What substances are used and what are the methods of partaking in them? (tobacco? primative cigarettes or only pipes?) What little bits of culture and etiquette get bound up into these activities?

So far i only know of Elminster smoking his pipe, but i have no idea of the cultural origins of this activity or what precisely he smokes (tobacco i assume, but it could be any one of a number of things given that this is a fantasy world).

Its just this sort of everyday activity i like to highlight to give flavour to my games... i wasn't expecting you to provide cultural examples for the whole Realms though, gods forbid! My main interest is in Cormyr and the Dales (and to a lesser extent Sembia) and the North (meaning mostly the Silver Marches and to a degree Waterdeep). Any lore you could provide me with would be much appreciated.

Oh, and as an aside, i've just returned home for the summer to where my parents live in the Westcountry of England (Wiltshire to be precise), and after re-reading all my sources on Harrowdale (in response to your excellent Realmslore posted here not so long ago) i was wondering if this part of the world was an inspiration to you when first imagining that particular Dale? The descriptions really strike a chord with me and seem to match the beloved landscape of my home. Sigh.

Sorry for keeping you from your writings, i look forward to your next release!

Gerath Hoan

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Bergan
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  13:37:31  Show Profile  Visit Bergan's Homepage Send Bergan a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,

Since Elminster is so well known in the Realms one can understand his use of magical guises on an almost daily basis in order to get his work done.

Are there any he regularly employs in particular regions (particularly interested in Waterdeep and Silverymoon for campaign reasons). Or are they just ad hoc depemdent on whim?
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  15:19:00  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Ed's told us what Elminster smokes here. I wonder how well-known Elminster really is; I dare say the name is commonly known to mages, and to *some* other folk, but I'm averse to the idea of any kind of Faerűnwide celebrity, and surely only a relatively few people know him by sight (albeit people he may not want to be seen by).
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  15:30:19  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ah, such juiciness for Ed to bite into, the moment he has the time. Until then, it falls to me to relay what I know of his opinions and intent.
To David Lázaro: yes, it does mean more content (solid, meaty lore, and lots of it) is on its way, somewhere and somehow – but not soon enough to help with your campaign right now, I’m afraid.
Lashan, I’d LOVE to get my hands on a ‘blank’ Marsember map. Even if I didn’t itch to correct city locations, a blank map of every city visited should be part of every DM’s toolbox for use in play.
Archmage Daraath, Ed has one pagan among his original players, and play in the Realms has always reflected what we players like, dislike, and want to do (we vote on RSEs and rule adoptions, remember). In the case of the gods, Beowulf has hit upon Ed’s approach: eschew the Graeco-Roman view of making the gods “larger than life mortals with very human foibles” in favour of keeping them VERY mysterious. When Mielikki appeared to Florin, and we saw Mystra, we were literally shaking and sobbing with awe. Part of that was having Ed describing and roleplaying (he has few equals as a ham actor ), but part of that was how rare Ed kept godly appearances, and how he built them up so that we, through our characters, did believe in them and tremble at their presence.
Ed prefers manifestations rather than avatars striding around talking and doing things. An example of a manifestation: a worshipper of Lathander wonders aloud if an action is right, or a battle should be joined – and a rosy glow appears out of nowhere to surround their weapon, or point the way. Keeping things mystical avoids all of the problems of disrespect or incorrect divine details Beowulf mentions, makes for better roleplaying, and really makes us regard the gods as special.
Gerath Hoan, I’ll pass your queries about tea and smoking on to Ed (to join a long queue, I’m afraid). As for Harrowdale: yes, Ed was inspired in part by England’s Westcountry. He loves the countryside of all of the British Isles and visits as often as he can (not very often these days, I’m afraid). As for Ed’s next game release, now that Serpent Kingdoms is out (and not counting web columns, magazine articles, and sourcebooks by others that he just quietly helped with ‘behind the scenes’), that’d probably be CASTLEMORN, despite its ever-receding publication date. His next fiction release will probably be the novelette “Stormsong” in SUMMONED TO DESTINY (Realms of Wonder 1), edited by Julie Czerneda and published by Trifolium (an imprint of FitzHenry & Whiteside), which is yet another superb-for-gaming fantasy setting. I don’t know how he does it: world after world just spins off the man’s fingertips!
Bergan, you’re right about Elminster’s almost daily use of magical guises. Yes, whim often guides his choices (as do situations: if you want to get close to a merchant who’s entering a brothel, your choice of shape is rather obvious), but El tends to slip into characters he’s used and developed before, often traveling merchants, for which he has developed detailed histories, accents, etc. I’ll pass on your query to Ed, and we’ll see if he’ll reveal favourites (to me, one of his players, remember? ).
Ed tells me he has a day to read and blurb a novel by someone else and write a short story before he can finish Lathtarl’s Lantern for Borch. Sigh.
Until next,
THO
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Bergan
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  15:47:57  Show Profile  Visit Bergan's Homepage Send Bergan a Private Message
Thanks Faraer and THO (phew, that was a speedy response)

I doubt as well that Elminster is that well known as a personality - but his appearance is rather distinctive and would likely stick in people's minds. So agents of various nefarious organisations would hear pretty darn quick if he's been around if they ask. Especially in a major town like Silverymoon.

I was really wondering if he had any tried and tested disguises in the regions I mentioned: whether any of Alustriel's court, for instance, actually El when he needs to be around, and not a real person at all - or whether he "kidnaps" and temporarily replaces real people. Or if he makes more use of generic appearances.

My campaign is running on political and criminal underworld intrigues in Silverymoon, Neverwinter and waterdeep, so I wondered how El might slip in there.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  15:50:37  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
By the way, Ed will be doing two sessions of a workshop for aspiring writers at GenCon. He e-shuddered when I asked him about its title, so I suspect it’ll be far more informal and helpful than any sort of Lecture From The Great Man; he usually likes GenCon events to be Q&A format so they can be as useful as possible to those who attend.

This is Ed’s GenCon schedule thus far (Elminster Q&A may or may not happen):

Ed Greenwood Tells You How writers workshop Thursday 11-12 am
Marriott Ballroom Section 8

WotC Booth Signing Friday 1-2

WORLD BUILDING FOR RPGS seminar (panel with many other pros) Friday 3-4 pm
Marriott Ballroom Section 8

Ed Greenwood Tells You How writers workshop Saturday 10-11 am
Marriott Ballroom Section 8

WotC Booth Signing Saturday 1-2

Spin a Yarn with Ed Greenwood seminar (the usual torture for straight woman Mary-Elizabeth Allen ) Saturday 4-6 pm
Marriott Ballroom Section 9-10

WotC Forgotten Realms seminar (panel with the WotC FR team) Sunday 12-2
Marriott Ballroom Section 9-10

Your roving Realms reporter,
THO
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  17:07:52  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Thanks for your help Lady Hooded One... and please pass on my sincere apologies to Ed for adding to his ever mounting workload! Its just we love his work so...

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

5037 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  19:17:10  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
GenCon Indy attendees may have noticed the one real flaw in the venue: lack of smallish meeting rooms. This in turn means there aren't enough of the big ballrooms/function rooms to go around, and lack of them has cost us the Elminster Q & A this year.
However, Ed says you can still ask El questions at the Spin A Yarn and the FR Sunday panel, and he'll channel the Old Mage for the usual rude and windy responses.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  04:49:14  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ed is busy trying to finish up a trio of short stories before he gets in the car and races off to the Conestoga Mall in Waterloo, Ontario, for the last stop on his current signing tour (he’ll be at the Coles there from 1-3 pm on Saturday July 24th, for any interested scribes in the area), so I’ll snatch this opportunity to belatedly reply to SiriusBlack and inform interested scribes in so doing.

Sirius, Ed is pleased your player enjoyed THE KINGLESS LAND, and hopes she likes the rest of the series. Being the first Band of Four book, “Kingless” works best of them all as a ‘stand-alone-I’m-only-gonna-read-one-of-these’ titles, but it is the first of four, the others being:
2. THE VACANT THRONE
3. A DRAGON’S ASCENSION
4. THE DRAGON’S DOOM
(These are all available in mass market paperback from TOR Books, and the earlier TOR hardcover editions may still be found remaindered or used; they’re also available on unabridged audio cassette from Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.)
I found them all to be fast-paced, enjoyable romps.
The fifth Chronicle of Aglirta, THE SILENT HOUSE, is somewhat like CORMYR: A NOVEL in format, only with very abbreviated present-day scenes. In all of the Band of Four quartet, the haunted palace of the Silvertree noble family, Silvertree House, appears at least briefly as a setting: it’s a vast, sprawling crumbling ruin that seems to change by itself, with towers rising and falling, new wings sprouting, and so on. It is, of course, inhabited by monsters who feed on the many treasure-seekers who venture into the House in search of the fabled Silvertree riches. The nickname “The Silent House” comes from the fact that anyone of Silvertree blood goes mad if they spend too long inside the palace, so none of the Silvertrees dare dwell there (hence, it’s theoretically deserted and silent). THE SILENT HOUSE tells the story of this palace from when it was first built up through the centuries to the present day (that is, the time of the Band of Four, who appear only in the last few chapters). Most reviews of the first four books were of the “thrilling if you like game-related fantasy” variety, but for THE SILENT HOUSE Ed got the sort of review from Publishers Weekly that most writers would kill for; someone finally looked past the blood and monsters to note that Ed was writing superb, many-layered stuff. This book is hardcover only, right now, but there’ll be a mass market edition soon enough.
Ed’s editor for these books is Brian Thomsen, former head of TSR’s Books Department, and Brian wanted Ed to write books very much in the Realms mode, so the writing style shouldn’t be too much of a wrench for those used to TSR/WotC books (a trifle more adult, a smidgeon more sophisticated).
Ed tells me there are plans for at least two future books delving into the dawn of magic in Darsar (the world in which these books are set: “Aglirta” is the name of a single river-valley kingdom where almost all of the action in Ed’s books occurs).
No one should worry that Ed’s turning his back on the Realms, of course. There have already been discussions of the book Ed should write AFTER the Knights trilogy, and plans for at least two top-secret Realms projects (and probably a lot more I haven’t even managed to get a whiff of) directly involving Ed.
Your servant in Realmslore,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  04:54:53  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I’m also going to respond to an entreaty by Krafus, and provide another little anecdote from the ‘home’ Realms campaign, as follows:

Early on in our time in Shadowdale, a Harper brought word to Storm Silverhand of an old Cormyrean noblewoman disappearing during a shopping visit to Hillsfar, and of the increasingly frantic attempts of her relatives to uncover her fate or whereabouts. Maalthiir’s clerks and envoys met the most direct queries with sly demands for funds to “help them conduct searches.”
This noblewoman, Bethra Battlebar, had been a Harper spy in her younger days, and remained a font of knowledge concerning private mercantile alliances among traders in Cormyr, Sembia, and Hillsfar (and attempts by Zhentil Keep and by various Thayan interests to infiltrate these), so her fate was also of interest to the Harpers.
Storm told Florin of this matter, and he agreed to go and try to find and bring back Bethra. Unbeknownst to him, he was being used by the Harpers as a decoy, to rampage around Hillsfar drawing Maalthiir’s interest whilst more experienced Harpers did the real snooping. Florin was wise enough to know that his activities as the envoy of Shadowdale had made him more than a little well-known in the northern Dales and vicinity, so he hit upon the plan of using magical disguises on himself and the rest of us Knights, so we could ‘take over’ as caravan guards for a caravan running up through Shadowdale to Hillsfar.
Jhaele Silvermane agreed to aid in the switch, knowing of a caravan master, one Lorthan Mendlen of Elturel, whose guards were giving him troubles (he’d lost some veterans to death or wounds, had others ailing of various sicknesses, had some green replacements on his hands, and also had some replacements he frankly suspected of being spies for the Zhents and just waiting to betray him into disaster). When Lorthan’s run from Amn reached Suzail, he lost two of his best guards in a suspicious knife-fight, and was forced to continue with two more possibly-unreliable replacements. He called in a favour and managed to find out when the next Court messenger was riding out to the the Cormyrean trade-agent in Mistledale (this was in the days before that unfortunate diplomat was murdered by the Zhents), and offered to provide the man with the escort of a caravan, so that the bodyguard the Court would have to find could be much reduced. This scheme worked: if any of Lorthan’s men were planning to betray the caravan to bandits or worse, they did nothing under the watchful eye of riders who were almost certainly retired veteran Purple Dragons drawing triple pension pay for bodyguard duty.
Lorthan knew who in Mistledale could get word to Alok, and ensure that a caravan picking its way up the narrow Ashabenford-bank trail through the woods from Mistledale to Shadowdale would have an elven escort that would keep forest marauders of all sorts at bay—elves who’d show themselves once or twice, to keep potential traitors among Lorthan’s men honest, too.
So it was that Lorthan reached the Old Skull Inn safely, Jhaele spiked some wine and ale, and one group of caravan guards were spirited away to a certain farm at the north end of Shadowdale for rest, healing, and a covert watch over them by Harpers to see who tried to steal away and make contact with someone, and who didn’t. An identical group of replacements (us) took over for the run through Voonlar (some tense moments there) and Yulash, to Hillsfar -- where the real fun began.
It seems that some of the merchants Bethra Battlebar had been gathering information on had become aware of her scrutiny, and decided to butcher the old lady. Wiser heads had remembered that she might be worth quite a ransom to her kin, and in the meantime could be pumped for all the other information she might know (especially about trade rivals). So she must be kept hidden but very much alive.
Sharp-witted old Bethra commenced to invent plausible but false information about all sorts of things and feed it to her captors -- but soon became aware that someone was magically sliding into her mind, to try to ‘listen in.’ She suspected it might be Maalthiir himself, and adjusted her revelations accordingly, trying to make her captors seem dangerous in his eyes and also trying to exaggerate the interest of various Sembians in being Maalthiir’s foe and eventual downfall.
Maalthiir soon sent some agents to take custody of her, but other interests covertly moving into the city (from Calaunt, Mulmaster, Thay, and Zhentil Keep), who had wizards of their own, were able to frustrate Maalthiir’s forces -- and a deadly cat-and-mouse game began.
We, of course, crashed right into the middle of it, and were initially thought by everyone involved to be slayers hired by one of the other parties involved. So we got clobbered from all sides, with Harpers coming out of the woodwork all over Hillsfar trying to keep us alive so we’d continue to be the diversion they needed, while they tried to track down and rescue old Bethra before Maalthiir himself could.
Our stay in Hillsfar became one long running battle, and I think we’d have perished the moment exhaustion claimed us if it hadn’t been for a little hidey-gem that Dove had given Florin, that provided us with an extra-dimensional safehold to retreat into for rest, spell-studying, and the like: at a cost of our life-forces (it drained anyone staying in it of hit points, more the longer their tarrying).
Lorthan didn’t understand anything of what was really going on, of course (though he knew quite well who we were), and he called in another favour trying to help us.
This consisted of rousing an old adventuring companion and onetime lover of his out of retirement to help us: a fat, sour, ugly-as-an-old-boot mage named Natharra Haedlun, who just wanted to be left alone to shuffle around her shop farting and smoking a gigantic pipe, and paint twee little pictures of large-eyed kittens and dancing miniature dragons to sell to anyone interested. Natharra happened to be a more powerful mage than Maalthiir and several of the wizards ranged against him combined, and handed them all their scorched-robe behinds whilst keeping her own identity entirely concealed from them.
From then on, she retreated from the fray but kept magical watch over us. Not to help us, but to watch us as her daily entertainment as we scrambled to stay alive and find Bethra. SHE located Bethra right away, of course, and left a nice little trap waiting for Maalthiir so that whenever he tried to sidle back into Bethra’s mind, or snuff it out, he got a backlash that left him senseless for the better part of a day.
Some of the Harpers eventually found Bethra and tried to rescue her. Unfortunately, she thought they were a new batch of nastier kidnappers, and did them much harm -- enough to allow some of the Zhents to find her, and do battle with said Harpers.
We hadn’t found Bethra or these Harpers, but we had tracked down a few of the Zhents, and as they converged across the city to vanquish the Harpers and take Bethra, we converged with them.
Wily old Lorthan wasn’t done helping us, however. He managed to get hold of a middling-rank Red Plume commander of some sort and point out all of this rapid and violent convergence -- and convince the man that Hillsfar was under attack.
So in the space of a few short hornblasts we had the Red Plumes converging, too! Florin muttered something about it would be much appreciated for once if Elminster bampfed in to stage a sardonic rescue, about now, and this apparently made Natharra almost choke with laughter.
She DID choke, a few breaths later, when a Zhent tried to put a blade through Bethra and she, yes, turned into Elminster on the spot, and promptly blasted more than a few of the Zhents and Red Plumes back across the city. Then the Old Mage grinned at us, announced that he’d just whisked Bethra Battlebar back to her mansion in Cormyr and taken her place, wished us a pleasant adventure -- and vanished into thin air!
We Knights, of course, were left in the heart of Hillsfar, with an apoplectic Maalthiir hurling orders and murderous forces right and left, the Red Plumes riding in from all directions looking for folks to kill, various Zhents and sinister forces of Calaunt and Mulmaster and the Watching Gods alone knew who else trying to slay us, and a few Harpers (holding a by-then-wounded Lorthan) giving us dark looks and muttering about our less than subtle tactics as they gathered around us.
It was Torm who thought of the sewers, of course. It was Jhessail who promised to pull every last one of his body hairs out by the roots, eventually, if she had to submerge herself entirely in human sewage and swim to safety -- and it was Islif who had the satisfaction of drowning two Zhentarim wizards in said sewage during our frantic flight.
The Harpers saved us all by knowing how to get to a gate (portal) that whisked us into the backwoods of Turmish. We never did find out who’d made that gate, or why, because our precipitous arrival in that distant country landed us right in the heart of another lot of adventures, beginning with this:

Suspicious farmer of Turmish, with pitchfork in hand: “Come out of there, all of you -- and come out crawling! Who by Beshaba the Bitchlass are you, anyway?”

Torm (entirely covered with stinking excrement, except for his eyes and a wide, cheesy “you’re not gonna believe this, are you?” grin): “We’re devout followers of Ilmater, doing our Dung Penance, sir! A great magic worked by our temple has transported us here, at your mercy -- and, uh, where IS here, anyway?”

Farmer: “Expect me to believe that, horse-thieves?”

Jhessail (spitting shit): “I don’t give a flying left nipple what you believe, old man -- but if you don’t take that fork away and let me climb into yon pond and wash, right away, I’ll make you believe we’re all mightly-pissed-off archmages who can blast you clear across the Vilhon in an instant -- and I’ll make you believe it the HARD way!”

Farmer: “Oh, well, lass -- why didn’t ye just SAY so? Pond, sure, there she be . . . uh, can ye really make yer left nipple fly?”

(THAT, of course, was the line Torm recalled for Jhessail’s benefit, farmer’s hopeful accent and all, many times during the year that followed, until she finally crafted an illusion spell, complete with spurting blood as the bodily feature in question apparently tore free of the rest of her that fooled him into thinking she’d done just that. She chose to do it while he was eating, of course -- and was it her fault that he’d just drunk a very fine jack of firewine, and was startled into returning most of it to Faerűn, via his nose?)



There you go, Krafus. See what you’ve unleashed?
(Yes, the other end of my leash is lying just over there. Go on, be brave. Try to pick it up.)

THO
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  05:10:50  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
Thanks THO for the information on Band of Four series. My player finished the second book but I have yet to talk in depth with her on what she thought of that novel. I know she has the first four books and plans to read all in a row. However, I'm not sure she has the fifth book or is even aware of its publication. Thanks for letting me know I have to ask her.

quote:

No one should worry that Ed’s turning his back on the Realms, of course. There have already been discussions of the book Ed should write AFTER the Knights trilogy,



Is the plan for the Knights trilogy to involve the publication of one title per year?
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Josh Davids
Seeker

57 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  06:13:15  Show Profile  Visit Josh Davids's Homepage Send Josh Davids a Private Message
(looks at the schedule for GenCon 2004 and mutters a bit) ok it is official I will sell my soul to attend this years GenCon, of all the years to miss, oyi. All of those I would be attending this year if I could. Ah well, one more regret in life.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29784 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  07:00:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
*dives for the end of the leash* Got it! Mine!

Wow, that is one heck of a tale, Lady Hooded One! There's a lot more going on in that plot than I ever could have dreamed up... And such a colorful phrase on Jhessail's part, too!

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  15:02:39  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Yes, Sirius, the plan is for one Knights book a year, and Ed’s hard at work on the first one now (which reminds me: if any scribe has an existing Realms character, place, event, or item they really would like to see in the Knights trilogy, post it here and I’ll pass it on to Ed – with no guarantees that he’ll use it, of course).
As for Wooly: now that you’ve got my leash, dear, what will you DO with it? (she asked challengingly, eyes flashing and breathing a little faster than usual).
I’ve plenty more Realmslore tales, though most of them aren’t THAT dramatic (we do a lot of slow-paced detecting, asking casual questions, snooping into peoples’ private lives, etc.). I should also mention that we found out later that Elminster-in-Bethra’s-shape showed himself all over Hillsfar whilst we were glubbing our way along the sewers, drawing lots of pursuers after him and in at least one case causing one set of hot-on-the-trail slayers to attack another group of pursuers.
Ah, I hope Ed emerges from writing overload soon. I miss our back’n’forth e-chats.
Warm fires for now,
THO
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  15:11:12  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
By "existing" Realms characters do you mean official characters or can we petition (read as "beg") Ed to give throwaway mentions in print to one of our own characters?

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

5037 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  15:24:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Existing as in official, I'm afraid. Remember when these books will be set (starting back when the Knights are formed as a fledgling chartered adventuring group in Cormyr), too. It's hard to have an unborn being or toddler play a useful role in the sort of book Ed's writing.
Sorry, Gerath and all who pounced on the same idea. :}
THO
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2004 :  15:30:16  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Its ok my Lady, was just wondering...

In that case can i vote to see another little mention of House Hiloar in print, perhaps adding a little something to the informative write-up Ed provided us all with?

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