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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29641 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2004 :  16:40:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Ed, I've long been under the impression that all of Cormyr's Mages Royal (Vangey, Amedahast, Jorunhast, etc) were descended from Baerauble. Is this true? If so, what about Caladnei?

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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2004 :  18:39:57  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Wow, Mister Chow, whatta troll. Way to go, Bookwyrm and Faraer, for demolishing him more politely and thoroughly than I could ever do.
But here’s something interesting:
At the StD launch party I was posting about, Michelle West (who was on staff at the store and may still be, so she was rushing around helping people make the cash work, and stuff like that, as well as hugging Ed when she wasn’t slanging him) said something interesting.
I can’t quote her exactly, but it was something like this: “Oh, Ed NEVER says anything nice about his own work. It’s always ‘if I could have had longer to develop that’ or ‘if only.’”
Having met a lot of braggy authors, I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I did ask Ed what he thought of his FR books, and he told me: “Well, I’m getting better. I still don’t think I’ve written a really good Realms book, but then I’m aiming for more depth than many gamers expect, and in some cases, seem to notice. If you like popcorn swords-and-sorcery with a twist of the picaresque [am I spelling that right? Ed knows that word, but *I* sure don’t] and shades of meaning, try my books. Some of the earlier ones make me wince when I re-read them now, but that’s a good thing. I should be improving. I have a long way to go.”
He also said that as bad as some of his books were, he reads a LOT of fantasy, from the classics to the stuff churned out today, and judges his writing as “better than most, but that DOESN’T mean they’re good enough.”
He said he absolutely had to write some of the books, though, because he was told if he didn’t, other writers would do Elminster and Waterdeep and Cormyr, and he couldn’t bear it if they got things seriously wrong. TSR knew that, he said, because Jeff Grubb told him right at the start “We need you to write novels, and show us all the Realms.”
So, MisterChow, if you AREN’T just a troll, what do you think of that?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2004 :  21:47:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I think Bookwyrm and Faraer have dealt with MisterChow admirably already (and I can vouch for everything Blueblade posted, too, having heard Ed express similar sentiments on many occasions), so I won’t be forwarding all of that to Ed. He’s got enough real Realmslore to serve up already. :}
Speaking of which:


Beowulf, I’ve never really had the opportunity to properly explore painting, sculpture, and music of the Realms in detail, in print thus far.
It’s a big topic, from the humble wind-chimes (stones, bones, and shells hung on rawhide thongs across many a farmstead doorway or window, to tell of trespass or rising breezes) to the elaborate ‘song-cycles’ with silent acting of scenes in the background (bards sing and play in foreground, occasionally pointing at the actors and commenting on the dramatic scenes from the past or the invented romance that are being acted out, though the actors never speak) favoured in the most ‘civilized’ human cities. Elves always dance (often using magic so they can ‘fly’ and so engage in aerial ballets), and their actors always sing and orate. Dwarves and gnomes rarely dance, and their actors tend to unison-chant (plainsong) and orate. Halflings try just about anything, as do human minstrels doing broad comedy. And so on.
Illusions and magic are mistrusted by most common folk, so the most they’re used in dramatic arts are wizards using illusions to provide animated ‘you are there’ scenes of important battles and events to audiences at feasts and formal gatherings (with forewarning, to avoid upset or violence), or the illusions of spell effects at dramatic moments in a play.
The wealthiest nobles sometimes purchase paintings that have minor illusions cast on them suggesting motion (hair of person stirring occasionally in unseen winds, a smile that comes and goes, the gaze of the depicted person moving about, small gestures), but again, most people regard these as “creepy” and want nothing to do with them. Most nobles commission these to impress (and hint that the paintings harbour more formidable defensive magics, so would-be thieves and other intruders had best beware).
Most folk buy paintings as portraits of places they’d visited, such as Waterdeep (yes, as “I’ve been there” souvenirs!), remembrances of realms they had to leave behind (usually birthplaces); portraits of monarchs they revere; holy events (usually mortals receiving divine aid or rapture rather than actual depictions of deities) of faiths they follow; or people they know (parents, more remote ancestors, loved ones, or selves). Pictures of people are sometimes painted as plaques (palm-sized slate or wood carry-arounds, either carried wrapped or fitted with little ‘doors’ like many a modern real-world dartboard), but are usually life-sized, shoulders-up pictures hung on walls in the best rooms of domiciles or guild offices. Most curio shops in Waterdeep have an assortment of ‘portraits of dead nobodies’ hung up for sale, and yes, there’s a brisk trade in portraits of scantily-clad female beauties, often mounted ‘on the back’ of a family portrait so the thing can be hastily turned around when Aunt Oskaula comes to call.
Most guild offices have the symbol of the guild (guild, coster, and family badges and full heraldic displays are the most popular ‘expensive art,’ by the way) hung up on the wall as a painted wooden carving, a portrait or portraits of the founder(s) of the guild, prominent past (long dead and famous in their field) guild members, and present and past guildmasters. A few guilds have begun to demonstrate their wealth in a way increasingly adopted by ‘wannabe-noble’ rich merchants (but thus far, sneeringly dismissed by ‘real’ nobles, at least in Waterdeep): they’ve purchased ‘waiting-room’ paintings, usually of guild-related elements (smiths would have anvils, forgehammers, tongs, and so on), that are ‘everchanging’ or ‘living.’ These terms are, of course, misnomers: what such paintings (typically large dark square pieces) really do is to display the same sequence of painted elements over and over.
To use the smiths’ example: a fire kindles and seems to ‘grow’ out of the painting, tongs and a bar of metal can be seen thrusting into it, and then the flames fade to reveal an anvil looming up. As it ‘drifts’ forward dramatically, the now-glowing bar is lowered onto it, a forgehammer smashes down on it twice, the scattering sparks wash away anvil and bar to leave just the mighty hammer (backlit by forge-glow). We see it slowly rise and fall, emphasizing the force with which it is wielded, and then it fades to reveal a tiny tumbling object that comes ‘out of the distance’ towards us, growing rapidly in size. We see that it’s a horseshoe, and then it dwindles again, back into flames that become the kindling fire (and the cycle repeats from there).
Such pictures are the latest fad, although some of them (like paintings of fires blazing in hearths) have actually been available for years. They’re very expensive, and it remains to be seen if they’ll really catch on outside of Waterdeep, Athkatla, and the largest cities of Sembia.
Which brings us to sculptures. As with paintings, abstract sculptures are almost unknown in human art (elven art often employs sweeping curves that suggest ocean waves but that incorporate elements that might be spreading branches, or straining wings). Statuettes, particularly small pieces no taller than the length of a human forearm, are quite common. Most are crude depictions of human heads, ‘severed’ orc heads (often with comical ‘bumpkin’ expressions rather than trying to look horrific), or full-body human figures (nude female dancers are popular, of course), and many are placed as finials atop fence-posts, gate-spires, and the like. In at least one place, Tharsult, statuettes have been used as money.
Many dwarves and gnomes dwelling in human cities spend their lives carving small stone statues for sale to folk desiring to ‘dress up’ their gardens or homes with either dramatic warriors (often passed off as ancestors) or, again, feminine beauty in various forms. Halflings more often carve in wood, and elf artisans work in blown glass -- but increasingly (as the years pass and everyone tries everything), these are stereotypes rather than accurate summations of racial habits.
Larger statues are less common and are quite expensive. Rulers raise monuments to themselves or to commemorate battles (usually just those they consider glorious victories), and temples often feature statues (either three-dimensional holy symbols or non-human divine servant creatures, the equivalent of Christian ‘angels’). Statues of the deity are usually large and dramatic, and unless they’re part of the shape of the temple building, tend to be inside the building, dominating the main area of worship (usually towering over the altar).
Single figures (or a single figure with smaller ‘supplicants’ twined about its legs, or bodies of fallen around its feet, are far more common than tableaux of multiple figures, though there are occasional exceptions (usually scenes of princes or kings fighting monsters -- yes, the ‘Azoun battling the Devil Dragon’ (or at least its head, curving ‘up and over’ from behind to loom down from above the valiant king, jaws agape) pieces are starting to appear).
If you haven’t fallen asleep yet, all of this rambling brings me to the heart of your questions, asking after details of the “best” statue of Sune.
Now, this is a toughie, because there are lot of exquisitely beautiful depictions of Lady Firehair, some of them enspelled so as to seem to be flesh, and to have hair that’s literally on fire. Some of these statues are provocative, and some are VERY provocative (some are located in the very private chapels of wealthy worshippers, and their poses leave no doubt as ti the uses to which they’re put). There are also temple statues exaggerated in physical features in various ways -- and, like the beauty of real living females, personal preferences have a lot to do with what individual worshippers deem the ‘best.’
However, it’s GENERALLY thought among the faithful (the clergy themselves officially have no preferences, always stating something along the lines of ‘personal mind-contact with the Goddess so eclipses everything else that these feeble reminders can be to us no more than that’) that the forty-foot-tall altar-statue of Sune at the House of Rapture temple in Nyth (presided over by High Ladyhostess Loumrae Darszuauntra, a CG female human Clr14 of Sune) is the best.
Known as ‘the Lady Rapturous,’ it depicts the goddess with her right hand raised to her own lips, its fingers in her mouth, and her left hand just rising from her thighs (the bottom of the piece, which is legless). Her torso is twisted, emphasizing the shape of her breasts, her arms are long, graceful, and posed as if captured in a moment of moving with great force, and her head is thrown back, her eyes half-closed, and her hair clinging to her “like the clawing hands of a hundred feverish lechers,” as one pilgrim (Asgrum of Iriaebor, writing a decade ago) put it.
It is undeniably striking, and its beauty is superb. It looks incredibly lifelike (if, that is, Sune was a giant-sized, legless human woman), and the illusion is only enhanced by a spell placed on the statue by priestesses of the House of Rapture, that causes the Rapturous to emit deep, rich, edge-of-moan gasps. This latter magic has been termed “ludicrous” by some visitors to the temple, but is undeniably effective in moving most lay worshippers to the edge of rapture themselves.
There’s apparently an ongoing struggle among senior clergy of Sune to have the statue moved to the House of Firehair in Daerlun or the Temple of Beauty in Waterdeep (or to various other temples as they’re built or enlarged), but thus far the Rapturous remains where ‘she’ was erected.
The Rapturous was sculpted over six years by the irascible, four-foot-tall bearded orgy- and melon pie-loving artisan Ruldan of Westgate (a pompous, hot-tempered and arrogant little schemer who tries to seduce every woman he sees, and who long ago was forced to abruptly relocate from Westgate to Athkatla when an outraged mother came after him with some VERY sharp knives). Ruldan directed a team of five local dwarves, and many folk are of the opinion that their skills are what made the statue so beautiful, not Ruldan’s tirades and tantrum-embroidered opinions and ‘deep vision.’
This is borne out, some say, by the ‘sameness’ of Ruldan’s work since (he trained a crew of young women and gnomes to work under his direction, churning out statues in just a few poses for the walls, gardens, and interiors of various grand Athkatlan houses; only the faces of the statues vary, to match the requests of patrons).
Ruldan personally carved just one other statue of Sune, which can be seen at the Bower of the Lady roadside shrine north of Ordulin, in Sembia. Much smaller (nine feet in height), cruder, and darker (it’s of crimson-hued stone), it nevertheless conveys a sense of lush, lust-inducing beauty, depicting a magnificently-bosomed Sune reaching out to worshippers as if to draw them to her. An enchantment placed on the eyes and mouth of the statue, that makes it seem like tiny fires stir and flicker there, reportedly infuriated Ruldan, who’s refused to have anything to do with “meddling priests” since.



So saith Ed. Whew. Seems a little warm in here, just now . . . Wooly? Sirius? I feel in need of a little . . . flirtation. (Hmmm, I see no little smiley for purring, exactly, so this one will have to do.)
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29641 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2004 :  22:40:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

So saith Ed. Whew. Seems a little warm in here, just now . . . Wooly? Sirius? I feel in need of a little . . . flirtation. (Hmmm, I see no little smiley for purring, exactly, so this one will have to do.)
THO


There has been a notable lack of flirting, of late...

And you're right, it is a bit warm in here... Perhaps a dip in this conveniently placed and quite cool pond? You may want to take off your hood...

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  01:36:49  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. To Gerath Hoan, Ed of the Greenwood doth make this reply:

Archendale’s proud folk are a bit of an exception among the dales, and always have been (they like to think of themselves as an independent ‘elder realm’ caught between Cormyr and Sembia, both of whom they’ve militarily defeated in the past and then ignored rather than going on to conquer them because ‘we like it here, in the best place in all the Realms’).
The ‘nobles’ of Archendale are indeed “an unofficial merchant nobility in the same sense as Sembia.” The wealthiest, proudest local families (such as the Claels, the Rodaern and the Ilkurhorns) fancy themselves as grand as anyone in all Faerun, though they sadly lack the money, lands, and great buildings to fool any objective observer. They DO have considerable wealth, invested in city real estate and small, shady moneylending firms in Marsember and the southern coastal cities of Sembia, because they’ve always been able to make a lot of money smuggling between the two realms.
Other Dales also have their old and proud families, but most Dalefolk laugh at the pretentions of those “bloody-handed longnoses of Archendale,” and don’t really regard Arkhen-folk as ‘real’ Dalefolk (too dishonest, warlike, and close to the affairs, fashions, and pretentions of Cormyr and Sembia). No, no Dale has an official nobility, though many of them have or remember ruling families, and various Dales bristle with titles -- just not hereditary titles. Most of them have ‘Keeper of the Bridge’ this, and ‘Huntmaster’ that, a ‘Caller of the Hounds’ here and a ‘Harvestmother’ there (so feel free to invent to your hearts’ content, DMs), but no ‘noble’ titles. Note that most dales use ‘Lord’ as a courtesy form of address for their mayor-equivalent or members of ruling council, for all wizards, priests, and druids known to be of formidable personal power, for some widely-respected former rulers, and for the leaders of their militia or other defensive force. Again, these are titles given to individuals, not inherited honorifics.



So saith Ed. Who tells me he’ll be sending some more replies soon.
love to all (and Sirius, you would unhood me? The rest of me, gladly, but my hood no man -- nor woman -- may touch. A girl must maintain SOME privacy, after all. Yes, this pond is cool, but I presume your warmth will . . . gasp . . . amend that?)
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29641 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  03:08:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

(and Sirius, you would unhood me? The rest of me, gladly, but my hood no man -- nor woman -- may touch. A girl must maintain SOME privacy, after all. Yes, this pond is cool, but I presume your warmth will . . . gasp . . . amend that?)
THO




Consider it amended, O Lovely Hooded One. But it was me who said that, not my oft-sarcastic compadre.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  14:43:15  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. And a special hello and apology to Wooly Rupert. Ah, Wooly, how could I? This hood oft blinds me, true, but how could I mistake the warm firmness of my Wooly? You’ll just have to punish me. Again. Ohhh, I’m such a naughty girl. So many men, so little time . . .

Ahem, as they say. I bring the words of Ed, this time to ijkay, in response to his second question about the Curse of the Blood Royal:



Hi, ijkay. Garen Thal has done his usual superbly authoritative job in answering you, and correctly says: “Just what the Curse of the Blood Royal is isn't clear, but there are many rumors about it.”
Even at Court (in Suzail), and among sages who often discuss such things, there are conflicting beliefs about the Curse, and (in the words of Filfaeril, discussing not this matter but the usual behaviour at the Court) “rumors parade as juicy truth all too often.”
The most reliable sources (only when they’ve wanted to be) to consult about the Curse are the Mages Royal, and Vangerdahast said once said this about the Curse (again, discussing another aspect of its involvement, not the ruined temple):
“There is truth in this matter of the Curse. All who bear Obarskyr blood -- the royals and their direct bastard offspring -- may pronounce it, but only as they die. If they return to life, their curse is broken. Briefly put, to undo a thing done in the name of the Curse, or to do a thing forbidden or foresworn by one bestowing the Curse, is to be personally haunted henceforth by a whispering spirit of a long-dead Obarskyr. A hostile, vengeful presence that works to bring ill on the Cursed person, until they set right their transgression against the will of the Blood Royal.’
‘A Cursed one will sleep but poorly, their mind beset by cutting comments from the dead one. They will see phantoms of other dead Obarskyr, or loyal retainers and Purple Dragons, menacing them or directing them or just watching them. Sometimes the whispers and the apparitions will be visible to others, to the lasting shame of the Cursed one. The Presence will see to it that the transgression of the Cursed one is known to others (not all others, but many), and make the Cursed one’s life a misery, until they put right what they have done. If they cannot, no forgiveness is possible. Only departure from Cormyr, and forever remaining far from it, can relieve the effects of the Curse -- and even then, in nightmares, the whisperings and the haunting visions will continue.”
In other words, in the case of the Everpresent Shield, anyone rebuilding it would suffer this fate. Perhaps Helm would intercede, and perhaps not: as Garen Thal points out, there IS a “mystical connection between the land itself and the people and creatures that inhabit it,” which is little understood but demonstrably real and powerful. You might say it’s the Great Inhibitor: everyone from Obarskyrs and would-be Obarskyr bastard pretenders to nobles harbouring treason in their hearts and rebellious Marsembians ‘thinks twice’ about ‘going too far’ in what they do (regarding the realm as a whole), for fear of what ‘the land might do to them.’
I’m afraid that for maximum DM and Realms-writer utility I’ll have to leave things that mysterious for now, but hopefully many scribes here will reflect on the juicy uses to which this can be put. I know I do. :}



So saith Ed, and I’ll just add this: Garen Thal’s all-too-true comment about Volo (“As for the rumor that Volo made it up, well, plenty of people think Volo makes everything up...”) nothwithstanding, this isn’t something Ed just sat down and invented for the Volo’s Guide; there have been hints of it in our ‘home campaign’ play for years. You just know it’s there, that’s all. I’ll say no more on this topic, though, because I have my suspicions about Ed’s forthcoming Knights novels.
THO
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  15:12:37  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

(and Sirius, you would unhood me? The rest of me, gladly, but my hood no man -- nor woman -- may touch. A girl must maintain SOME privacy, after all. Yes, this pond is cool, but I presume your warmth will . . . gasp . . . amend that?)
THO



Consider it amended, O Lovely Hooded One. But it was me who said that, not my oft-sarcastic compadre.



Sounds like a Freudian slip from THO.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  15:28:10  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ooo la la! My Freudian slip is showing again!
I guess we'll just have to take everything off, yes? Then you can cover me with (ahem) yourselves. Wooly front, Sirius back -- or vice versa. Hmm, now, will you fight for position, or, er, 'tag team'? I wonder . . .
THO
P.S. The hood stays on.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 19 Oct 2004 15:30:59
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29641 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  15:31:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello, all. And a special hello and apology to Wooly Rupert. Ah, Wooly, how could I? This hood oft blinds me, true, but how could I mistake the warm firmness of my Wooly? You’ll just have to punish me. Again. Ohhh, I’m such a naughty girl. So many men, so little time . . .


I should be delighted to punish you, my dear. Just as I'm sure you'll be delighted to be punished!

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  15:33:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ah, you two. Whenever I need that warm, affectionate, surrounded feeling, you're there.
And there, and there, and (oooh) THERE, too!
Must run now!
THO
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  16:49:23  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Ahem,

I was just going to thank you lady for passing on my questions to Ed and posting that reply... but now i do have to wonder if this is the right time for that sort of thing...

And if you could pass my thanks on to Ed i would be most grateful.

GH

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

USA
132 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  18:33:09  Show Profile  Visit The Wanderer's Homepage  Click to see The Wanderer's MSN Messenger address Send The Wanderer a Private Message
My Lady Hooded One:

I do not wish to intrude upon your enjoyement , but I was wondering if you could either answer a question or convey it to Meister Greenwood. It relates to Druids and their practices in the Realms.

Even since I started playing AD&D, I have been fascinated by the druidic class. I've read many of the books published about them. I epecially liked the idea (in 2nd Ed) that the Druidic order was a grand network which spanned the planet. All of it was under the guidance of the Grand Druid, who handled matters which encompassed the globe (or whatever shape the campaign world might be :D). Does this hold true in the Realms? If not, then how does it work? If they act separately, do druids from different climates get along with each other?

I would also be curious to know if there is such a thing as the Shadow Circle in Toril (a secret network of Druids who pursue a much more violent approach towards the safekeeping nature and its sanctity).

I will trouble you no more and leave you to your... activities

The Wanderer

Edited by - The Wanderer on 19 Oct 2004 20:34:47
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Kuje
Great Reader

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7915 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  19:05:51  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
Hi Ed,

Me and another person over instant messages were debating about Talona and some of the other info you have given us about diseases and the like. So I have a few more questions and I have the old info that I asked you about months ago, so you don't have to repeat that. :) I figured that diseases and the like come up in your games a lot because you mentioned them a lot in sourcebooks and the Chosen of Mystra are immune to them....

Now to the questions:

How are diseases handled in the Realms?
Are most immune to magic?
How important is Talona really?

Anything else you want to add would be most appreciated.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  19:18:42  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
Wanderer, there may be separate druidic orders in the Realms (the Blightlords of Talona come to mind, evil druids who turn their back on the conventional tradition to promote decay and disease), but I am also curious to know if all those orders answer to a Grand Druid in charge of the whole planet. I'd like to know if the evil druids to not talk to the good ones (i.e. if the grand network is broken and fragmented) or if they all put aside their difference. I'd also be very curious to find out about the Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral druid orders, if there are any, as these are the possible alignments of druids out there. One would think the perfect druid alignment would be the hippie Chaotic Good elfy one, but no... so I'm curious to know what a Lawful Neutral druid does with his day? Plant trees relentlessly in the King's Forest, paid by the Crown on a hourly basis?
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The Wanderer
Learned Scribe

USA
132 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  20:46:08  Show Profile  Visit The Wanderer's Homepage  Click to see The Wanderer's MSN Messenger address Send The Wanderer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

Wanderer, there may be separate druidic orders in the Realms (the Blightlords of Talona come to mind, evil druids who turn their back on the conventional tradition to promote decay and disease), but I am also curious to know if all those orders answer to a Grand Druid in charge of the whole planet.



I'm not sure, but I do believe that there just might be more then one order. I'm just not sure. I guess a better question would have been WHY FR deviates from this particular structure (if it does indeed). (I know the main reason for players was the whole, "I get to Lvl 16 and I have to challenge WHOM?!")

BTW, are the Blightlords indeed Druids or Ex-Druids?

quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

I'd like to know if the evil druids to not talk to the good ones (i.e. if the grand network is broken and fragmented) or if they all put aside their difference.



All I ever read was that these druids tend to wear masks when talking with other's who belong to their circle (there was even a shadow Grand Druid!). It was discouraged with extreme prejudice (if you will forgive the phrase) to belong to this order. I've not seen any FR references to it though


The Wanderer

Edited by - The Wanderer on 19 Oct 2004 20:51:22
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  23:18:58  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Divers answers from Ed this time, as follows:


Blind Ranger, you’re quite welcome. I get a lot of entertainment out of the Realms, too, in large part because you and other scribes ask me questions and lead me to revisit this or look up that or think about some topics either in a fresh way or for the first time. And for that, thank YOU.
I think my earlier words about the CITY OF SPLENDORS novel, that our Lady Hooded posted here, do a pretty good job of answering your queries. I’ll emphasize that we won’t, so far as I know of this writing, be delving into Skullport. My primary goal in writing this project was to take the reader closer into Waterdeep, to impart the sounds of the city and of walking on its cobbles, the smells, and everything else needed to ‘take you there.’ Of course, rollicking adventure has to be a part of every Realms novel, but both Elaine and I prefer character-driven tales, and although a Waterdeep book can hardly ignore the Khelbens and Mirts and Elaiths, we wanted to show you some new characters, too, and let you peek at things you could re-use in your own campaigns, such as: What’s it like to be in the City of the Dead at night? What does Piergeiron have for breakfast? What do nobles do for amusement? And should Waterdeep be ruled by masked, mysterious Lords, anyway?

Faraer, thanks for (as usual) hitting nails on heads in responding to MasterChow. I, too, was less than amused by Alan Neal’s approach to the topic (after his producer assured me that he was an avid player and was “very much looking forward to” doing this topic on the show. I can’t imagine an avid sports fan of any sort using a show on ‘his’ sport to belittle it, or those who enjoy or participate in it, in any way. However, his treatment was jocular rather than needling, and served the passing purpose of light entertainment -- and I’ve fared FAR worse on radio and television shows over the years (devout religious types thought nothing of asking me to “convert” or “recant” my “Satanistic beliefs” on air, without forewarning, or praying for me “to drive out the evil spirits obviously possessing” me, and so on. (I’m sure they would have been furious if I’d turned things around and asked THEM to do the same.)
WotC controls the rights to my Realms fiction, of course, and I’m not aware of any current plans on their part to do audiobooks. Blackstone (a California firm) releases all of my Aglirta books as unabriged audio cassette sets, and the last three have been narrated superbly by the expat-Brit actor and announcer Simon Vance. In my youth, I narrated many books onto tape for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (lots of people did, all as volunteers) and have been told several times that I’m pretty good at telling a story with rich inflection, etc. and character voices.
I will discuss doing a Realms short story, or something else that could serve as an intro to the Realms, with WotC as a free download from their site, or something of the sort. I think it’s a great idea. However, they’re an understaffed, working-at-frantic-pace group of people, these days, so even if enthusiastically received it might take some time to do, or go nowhere.
Thanks for ordering SUMMONED TO DESTINY; I hope the enthusiastic Blueblade hasn’t oversold my tale therein. I haven’t yet checked the edited version, BTW, to see if there are any changes I’m unhappy about, but I doubt there will be. You’ll be getting 250 pages of fantasy fiction by eight writers, all about young folks coming of age. Michelle Sagara (maiden name) or West (married name; she writes under both) did a novella, and I did a novelette, and everyone else did short stories (we all got paid only for short stories). I hope it’s not a disappointment. Nice cover, anyway. :}
No, I’d never heard of the BLUE ROSE rpg until I read your post in my e-mail from THO, and then trundled over to Candlekeep to follow the link and peer more closely. As a gamer and game designer, I’ll certainly buy it (I love Stephanie’s art, for one thing, and try to stuff from her at every GenCon Indy; this year I got a lovely original of elven archers in a forest). Thanks for bringing it to my attention; isolated from gaming stores here in my rural cellar of a garret, I do miss things unless I stumble across them at GenCon. It’s certainly different from the fledgling days of the industry, when I had to wait hungrily for each new product rather than ever fearing I’d miss something by someone. (Must pop in my false teeth now, pick up my cane, and hobble back into the old sepia photographs of my youth.) :}

Wooly, I trust you and Sirius have peeled yourselves off the endlessly-teasing THO by now. :}
None of Cormyr’s Mages Royal have been all that forthcoming, down the years, about their parentage -- and I’m not telling, either. As of this writing, I’m not sure we can assume Vangerdahast, Amedahast, and Jorunhast have any more connection to Baerauble than serving in the same office and getting to peek at Baerauble’s notes and spellbooks.
I CAN tell you that Caladnei was born in Turmish and all we really know of her parentage is what can be gleaned from the FRCS, my story in REALMS OF SHADOW, and in ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. If she’s related to Baerauble, she doesn’t know it -- and the possibility is certainly more slender than for her three predecessors you’ve asked about here.
I’d love to be more definite when speaking of this matter, but [NDA] and [NDA] and of course [NDA]. Sorry. [insert cheesy grin here]


So saith Ed. Hmmm, I’m not sure which smiley fits “cheesy grin” best, so I’ll just leave that stage direction ‘as is.’ Ed of the Greenwood will return with answers to some older Candlekeep queries from this thread (he’s still stuck on Lathtarl’s Lantern for now, but will skip over it and deal with other queries from Page 31 onwards). As the long-ago Cormyrean bard Malthinglas once sang:

I sleep on a bed of bared blades called Patience,
My covers a scorching fire called Serene Calm,
I trade silence for my tongue too loquacious,
So soft stillness becometh my Balm.

(Yes, quoted from Ed’s notes, and yes, it’s trite crap. Most bardic roundelays are. This snippet survives today as a nursery admonishment in many a noble house of Cormyr.)
Now, where’s MY warm bed of Sirius beneath and Wooly above?
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

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Posted - 19 Oct 2004 :  23:24:05  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Faerûn does have great druids and a grand druid -- see Cyclopedia of the Realms p. 40, and Faiths & Avatars p. 185 which says all faiths that include druids in their clergy have their own complete druidic hierarchy. I'd limit this to Silvanus, Chauntea, and Eldath; I don't believe Mielikki's faith is strongly druidic, and I don't buy druids of Malar (or other non-neutral druids) at all, though maybe some Malarite priests call themselves druids. The great druid of the North is Uthgang Jyarl; of the Vilhon, Shinthala Deepcrest. Vilhon Reach says the grand druid oversees all Toril, but Faerûn is more likely.

The druidic hierarchy hasn't been spotlighted in Realmslore, but neither have the individual druidic circles, which I find more intriguing.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  00:47:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Wooly, I trust you and Sirius have peeled yourselves off the endlessly-teasing THO by now. :}


Now where's the fun in that? And is it okay that I still hold her leash in my hand?

Seriously though, I do thank you for answering our questions.

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The Wanderer
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  02:16:27  Show Profile  Visit The Wanderer's Homepage  Click to see The Wanderer's MSN Messenger address Send The Wanderer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

Faerûn does have great druids and a grand druid -- see Cyclopedia of the Realms p. 40, and Faiths & Avatars p. 185 which says all faiths that include druids in their clergy have their own complete druidic hierarchy.


In other words, there are actually many such hierarchies, each with their own leadership? Do they act in concert or have occasional moots? One thing that I always found strange was the peace that exists between Chautea and Sylvanus. While both are indeed Gods of nature, Chauntea represents the "fruitful" (pardon the pun) and nurturing side (perhaps more controlled) side of nature, whereas Sylvanus represent the wilder and untamed side. I would think that they would butt heads at some point ("I want to build this farm in the middle of this 1000 year old forest!").

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

... I don't buy druids of Malar (or other non-neutral druids) at all, though maybe some Malarite priests call themselves druids.



Malar just seems so appropriate though. I do not know why he was classified as CE and not NE, especially given that he is equated with savage beasts.

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

The druidic hierarchy hasn't been spotlighted in Realmslore, but neither have the individual druidic circles, which I find more intriguing.



As do I. It's a shame that there is not more information on the inner workings of these organizations. I would love <hint><hint> to see some more information on the topic.

The Wanderer
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Capn Charlie
Senior Scribe

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Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  11:42:23  Show Profile  Visit Capn Charlie's Homepage  Click to see Capn Charlie's MSN Messenger address  Send Capn Charlie a Yahoo! Message Send Capn Charlie a Private Message
Diseases... for me this has always been hard t ofind a solution to in the realms or any other setting.

On one hand, they should not be magic resistant or immune, magic should easily handle them.

However, on the other, if diseases are so easily rid of, a simple(relatively) spell, how do any exist, except in the most desolate or evil regions? Now, some might consider that not a problem but a good thing, but it makes the setting even cheerier(and, indeed, cheesier), a lot less edgy and real feeling.

I like my realms a bit darker than some, a bit more medieval if yo uwill, and subsequently have a higher illiteracy rate than a lot of DMs use, but I am rambling...

In the end, if the magic to wipe out diseases is relatively easy t ospread, we lose out a lot on having wide spread use of healers, any plagues(which, again might sound like a good thing to most) and a lot of other things.

I have found a rather elegant solution, though, I just added a 100gp value component to all remove disease spells, meanign that they can be used in dire need but are unnavailible to the general population with any ease.

This not only means that we can have plot devices requiring the finding of funds to cure diseases(in fiction as well as games) but also that special people with the blessing and ability to remove the diseases of others become very special. All the while we are using this as a plot device for our background scenes, it is not such an issue for the player characters(or protagonists), as to most, 100gp is not such a big big deal.

Shadows of War: Tales of a Mercenary

My first stab at realms fiction, here at candlekeep. Stop on by and tell me what you think.
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Lashan
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  15:27:44  Show Profile  Visit Lashan's Homepage Send Lashan a Private Message
Ed and THO,

I enjoyed the bit about the art objects of the Realms. I've got a few questions about art. First off, I imagine that there are back areas that have roaming portrait artists who will do portraits for common folk for smaller fees. I know this practice was common in colonial America in yester year and imagine that it might be this way in FR. The artist isn't usually formally trained, but teaches himself/herself. The artist travels much like a tinkerer, but usually with more respect and a higher pay. Are there such folk in the Realms?

My other question deals with the various human ethnicities and cultures in art. How does the art differ between cultures? I have always imagined that the damaran culture learned a love of sculpture from the dwarves nearby. What about Chondathans? Are they more prone to song then others? Do the lands of Turmish favor landscapes over portraits? I'm sure that a book could be dedicated to this question, but I'm hoping for just a few examples.

Last, but not least, I was hoping you would detail something for me. I've been trying to figure out what a noble family of Tantras would be like. They are "not yet corrupt", but surely not idealic. These nobles have their hands all over the economy and make and break deals quick as a sembian. Would it be possible for you to describe one of the noble families of Tantras? Who is the nominal head of the family? How big is the family, including hanger-ons? What types of quirks are there? Does the family have large fests and are they particularly religious? I would much appreciate this info.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  15:34:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Lashan, I'll forward your request to the ever-toiling Ed. I can, however, immediately confirm that there ARE roving portrait-artists operating all over the Heartlands, at least, because we Knights kept bumping into them. Some of them, BTW, make VERY good sideline income selling "porn" paintings and fake land/building deeds.
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  15:52:43  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. A communication from Garen Thal to Ed hath brought forth these words from Ed of the Greenwood:


Garen has just raised a good point regarding Wooly Rupert’s query about the lineage of the “-ahast” Mages Royal (that CORMYR: A NOVEL makes it pretty clear in various places that they are descended from Baerauble.)
I should make things clearer. Anyone in Cormyr who thinks about such things “knows” all of the Mages Royal are descended from Baerauble, although the whereabouts of their upbringings and parentage are always mysterious (they “come out of the forest to serve the Crown”).
However, opponents of various Mages Royal, desiring to lessen the influence and power of the incumbent (these opponents have traditionally been nobles or courtiers) have repeatedly cast doubts on this ‘common knowledge’ of descent from Baerauble. Vangerdahast said he was directly descended from old Baerauble on several occasions, but opponents would call these “claims” or “self-serving lies” rather than truths.



So saith Ed. Who’s so busy today that I probably won’t hear from him again until late tonight.
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 20 Oct 2004 :  15:59:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer

Malar just seems so appropriate though. I do not know why he was classified as CE and not NE, especially given that he is equated with savage beasts.


I think it because (pardon the pun) of the nature of the beast. Neutral evil would imply that he didn't favor order or chaos, but tried to stay somewhere in the middle -- just so long as he got his way. He would be the darker aspect of nature (the whole "nature, red in tooth and claw" thing), but one that still fit into the natural order.

But Malar isn't like that. He actively glories in the savagery of the hunt and of wild beasts. It's not enough to run down the prey and start feasting, he wants to eviscerate while it's still kicking and listen to its screams. He digs the bloodlust; it's how he gets his jollies. He's not just savage because it natural for animals to be savage (the whole "nature, red in tooth and claw" thing again), he's savage because he think's it's fun.

Thus, he is CE, not NE.

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