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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  05:21:08  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, AGAIN! :),

I was pouring over my 2e sourcebooks and was curious if you can explain something. In the 2e campaign box set, Sandrew the Wise is said to be the head priest of the Oghma temple in Neverwinter. Then in City of Splendors box set he is listed as being the head priest of the Oghma temple of Waterdeep and it says he came from Silverymoon.... Is that a different priest or is there something I am missing? Or, boy, does he just get around?!

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

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

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 31 Oct 2004 05:22:35
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  06:32:15  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
Wow, I'm glad I got a few things right when I made up the background on my character. And I did the basics before I'd even gotten a copy of Silver Marches.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

[except for the history of the Art which is mentioned in "Silver Marches" and "The North"]?



My character actually has ranks in Knowledge (history of magic). I'd actually based it off of the RL dicipline of the "history of science," something I'm very interested in. (Now if only one of my character's party members will get him talking on the subject! )

If I ever get to the point of retiring the character, he'll go back and try to get a job teaching this. That's assuming, of course, that the gold elf professor isn't still around to stop him.

Speaking of which, any chance you can tell us when the [NDA]s will drop off? I want the name of one of those "haughty male gold elves" . . . I figure I can rework the character's background and have one of those guys in there. That way I don't feel like I created a gold elf "Professor Snape."

quote:

There are integrated classes in some minor disciplines: defenses (an approach to magic that combines wards, mythals, shieldings, detection, traps, double-spell locks, and deceptions)



Anyone got a magic circle against NDAs? I want to know more about the "mythals" and "double-spell locks" classes.

quote:

‘building the will’ (learning how to concentrate despite mental weariness, physical discomfort, and distractions)



And my character had mentioned (in the rare moment when he was able to wax on (and on) about magic) how he'd had course in this. It made sense to me, especially considering the "Subdual Substitution" feat from Tome and Blood; my character was saying that a "weak" (i.e., nonlethal) Melf's acid arrow wasn't the most fun thing to suffer through while trying to cast a spell.

quote:

[...] a female moon elf of greater magical accomplishments who’s incredibly beautiful (so most of the students and a few of the faculty, too, are helplessly in love with her). Her name is Thaeluvae Aunglimmer, and she’s a CG ef W19 who loves to teach and rarely sets foot outside the College.



Oooh. I hear the sound of my character's background calling . . . it's saying "add to me, add to me!" (Impressionable, tome-loving half-elf + beautiful female elf teacher that loves to teach = many potential conversations involving a tongue-tied student and highly amused professor. )

quote:

The faculty also includes two crotchety male human ex-adventurers (in looks and manner, think ‘Hoggle’ from the movie LABYRINTH) who teach novice students the basics in a worldly, gruff manner. They try to one-up each other with fanciful “Now, when *I* was an adventurer” boastings, and are Belloz (“Bell-OH-ss”) Flamdurn (NG hm W9) and Handur Skeldyn (LN hm W8).
There’s also “the Vulture” (though few dare call him that to his face), a master of illusions and battle-magic hight Lyland Blackrune, a tall, darkly handsome black-robed “I’m oh-so-important” type (LN hm W12) who loves acting mysterious when he’s not snapping orders and looking disapproving. He provides much of the daily discipline around the College, and tries to make both faculty and students scared of him. To his way of thinking, awed and frightened persons are respectful persons.



Oh, a diciplinarian might just come up in roleplay. And certainly I could find a way to talk about the adventurers. Hmm . . . now if only I could find a way that isn't cheesy.

Mr. Greenwood, I have to say, if this is what we get with just information that falls through the cracks of that wall of NDAs spell, I simply can't wait for the real deal.

No, I mean it. I can't wait. GIMME!

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  17:24:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I bring some words of Ed of the Greenwood, in reply to a patient scribe:

Well, kuje31, it’s a long story. I’ll try to give the short version, okay?
So, here’s the hitherto hidden lore concerning Elminster’s mysterious great-nephew. Bear in mind that aside from Elminster, Mystra, and other servants of the goddess of magic, NO ONE in the Realms knows what I state hereafter.

“Very brave, but a little empty in the attic,” Elminster describes his great-nephew. Note that the Old Mage was very careful not to name him. El never does, because he doesn’t want half the evildoers in Faerun to descend on the poor lout, seeking a bargaining-pawn with which to do ill to one Elminster of Shadowdale.
Careful readers will also note that Elminster drops a hint as to at least one activity his great-nephew has engaged in: monster-capturing.

So how did this mysterious relative come to be? (Flourish of harpstrings, please. Let’s go back beyond your childhood . . . childhood . . . childhood . . .)

Elminster’s parents, Prince Elthryn Aumar and Amrythale Goldsheaf, were married in 210 DR, and had a daughter, Narrune (named for Amrythale’s grandmother) in early 211 DR.
When she was four months old, Narrune vanished from her cradle one night without her parents being awakened. When they did rise, come morn, they found much blood and her torn swaddlings, and the attic hay-hatch (through which rural folk forked hay to feed their horses and oxen through the worst deep-snow months) forced open. Unlikely though it was that any stealthy forest creature could slink past the village dogs, climb one of the taller cottages, and tear apart a stout wooden barred-from-within hatch, that’s what had obviously happened: Narrune had been devoured and lost.
A wolf had been raiding the village that winter, and Elthryn tirelessly hunted it all the rest of the year, until he finally slew it as the snows came again.
By then, Elthryn and Amrythale (in the way of hardy folk, in those perilous times) were done grieving. Their son Elminster was born in 212 DR, and his parents never spoke of Narrune to him, so for some centuries thereafter, El never knew he’d even had a sister -- until Mystra herself informed him that “one of her servants” (she never told him who, though El has suspected for some time that it was Azuth) had spirited Narrune away scant moments before a poisoner sent by Elthryn’s brother Othglas (the person who with needle-saws so quietly forced open the hay-hatch) entered the cottage. That servant’s spells snatched the poisoner halfway across the Kingdom of the Stag, into a swamp where he perished in the jaws of watery predators.
Mystra originally intended to return Narrune “with portents and manifestations suitable to impress Elthryn that the goddess of magic desired him to obey her.” Her commandment to him would have been to withdraw from Athalantar and dwell elsewhere in hiding, until the coming strife-of-mages was over, so that the realm might endure as a place friendly to wizards, not turned against all workers-of-Art by the fell Magelords.
However, she then reconsidered: holding a royal heir of Athalantar might prove useful in refounding the kingdom. So Narrune was never returned, but instead was magically disguised to closely resemble another infant girl, and substituted for that child.
Darondblas (“DAIR-ond-blaz”) and Mareetha Sparcastle were a happy couple, and minor mages both. They dwelt in the rolling forests of what is today called the Border Kingdom, relieved to have escaped the politics of the Vilhon (where workers-of-Art were being impressed into the service of this or that petty ruler of the time, for use in covert ‘shadow wars’ of slayings, coercion, and oppression). A daughter, Unethe (“OO-nethh”) had been born to them, but had sickened of a fever. Unethe died the very night Narrune was stolen from Athalantar, and the one babe was substituted for the other without the exhausted Sparcastles being any the wiser.
Narrune Sparcastle grew to adulthood ignorant of her true heritage. She lacked great beauty but also any touch of ugliness, and had a pleasant disposition. Like her mother, she became a good cook and seamstress, and in the fullness of time wed a local farmer, Oblyn Taetyn.
From the view of sages or enthusiasts of warfare and adventure, their life together was uneventful. They had a son, Moeblur (“Mmm-OH-blurr”) Taetyn (named for Oblyn’s father), who in time inherited their farm. Like his parents, Elminster’s nephew had no aptitude for magic.
What he did have was a restlessness. He travelled Faerun constantly as a caravan guard, peddler, or simply a vagabond wayfarer. When word came to him that his mother Narrune had died and the farm was now his, he returned to it only long enough to sell it, and set forth again.
In time he came to Iriaebor, and hired on as a cellarer there (intending to stay only long enough to fill his belly and stay warm during the winter months) in a tavern. Whilst rummaging for long-forgotten bottles in an udnercellar, he found a loose stone behind which was an even deeper cellar. Being Moeblur, he had to explore it without delay—and so found a long-hidden Netherese tomb.
And its traps found him. Caught in a spell that was either Phezult’s Sleep of Ages or a close equivalent that renders its victims invisible, he simply “vanished” as far as the tavernmaster (who hadn’t known where Moeblur had gone, and himself never went down into the “flooded several times over, so everything there must be ruined” undercellar) was concerned -- but in truth was frozen in stasis.
There he remained for over a thousand years, trapped at age twenty-six while the Realms aged around him.
Moeblur Taetyn was freed in 1337 DR when the spell failed (for reasons unknown -- at least to him, the only witness and a man entirely ignorant of matters magical), and found the world much changed. Bewildered, coinless, and hungry, he departed the city (where even a bed to sleep in costs something) and eked out an existence not far from its walls as a hunter and then a hired shepherd (for brigands preying on road-trade were then a problem, and persons willing to tend sheep, a ready food source, all too few). Favoured by Tymora all his life, Moeblur survived even the slings, arrows and cudgels of brigands, and in time married Araedya Welve, the daughter of his employer. They had a son, Rakrune, who joined his father in hunting and wandering. After Araedya died in a street accident (run down by a panicked cart-team of horses), father and son seldom returned to the city -- and the increasing grimmer Moeblur became reckless, challenging even wolves with nothing but a dagger and a snarl. Wounded many times and seemingly seeking death, he lasted only a handful of years before he died in Rakrune’s arms, torn apart by one too many challenged beasts.
So Elminster’s great-nephew is a hardy man who calls himself “Rakrune of Iriaebor.”
Rakrune is a tall, thin, ‘battered-handsome’ (he has the hawk-like Aumar nose, but also a large chin and fierce black eyebrows) adventurer who’s been making a very good living for some years now hunting down and capturing monsters (or harvesting their ‘parts’) for clients in Elturel and Scornubel. Rakrune is strong, quick, cunning, and fearless, but he has NO aptitude for magic, knows little history (and cares less), and isn’t all that shrewd in dealings with people. He doesn’t have to be: he’s a ranger who spends almost all of his time in the wilds, dealing with clients through several ‘go-between’ agents.
Merry of disposition and kindly, Rakrune makes friends easily. He’s come to lead a band of young human and half-elven adventurers of both genders who know their chosen territory well, have established several caches and ‘hideholds,’ and are good at living rough off the land, even in winter. He doesn’t know he’s related to Elminster (whom he regards as a seldom-seen friend, after Elminster and some Harpers came unexpectedly to his aid against wolves some years back), and Elminster has no intention of telling him.
So there you have it: Elminster’s great-nephew. A character who could easily star in his own novel or two. (Novels I’ll probably never have time to write, mind you, though of course it’s up to the good Books people at WotC if anyone else gets the chance to take up Rakrune’s saga. He could be VERY useful in a secret project that NDAs forbid me even hinting anything about.)


So saith Ed. Who’s done it again: made the Realms seem like a real place he’s just reporting on, and not a fictional creation.
But I see ANOTHER e-mail from Ed has just popped up in my inbox, so . . . swords bright for now, fellow scribes!
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  18:17:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed wasn’t done spouting Realmslore this morn. I bring you his latest:

To properly answer your query, Karth, I must direct you to the map of Suzail found in the 2nd Edition Realms boxed set (specifically, on page 54 of “A Grand Tour of the Realms”). On many, many occasions I’ve sent “street keys” to TSR for various cities of the Realms, but because they make maps so cluttered, they usually get dumped (or largely omitted).
So I’m using the boxed set map because of its keyed buildings, which allow me to locate features without a lot of “See a squiggle shaped like a flying banana? Well, about the width of my fingernail from it” nonsense.
Find the warehouse of the oil and perfume dealer Ilmur Jhassalan (feature 73) and Blackgorgons, the tower of the wizard Baskor (feature 74). To the east of both buildings, defining the easternmost boundary of the ‘blocks’ they stand in, is a street whose northern ‘end’ is a Y-junction, and whose southern end is a T-junction. That street is Swordstars Lane.
The Society for Stalwart Adventurers stands on the west side of Swordstars Lane, three buildings south of the Y-junction. In other words, it’s the L-shaped building five building-fronts ‘up’ from Jhassalan’s warehouse.
The westfront-Swordstars buildings in between, by the way, are (going north from the warehouse):

-- Vardrim’s (an always-full rooming-house for carters and crate-makers and warehouse workers, owned by the elderly, energetic, and irascible Bardra ‘Battleaxe’ Vardrim, who lives on its ground floor). Bardra has two sons in the Purple Dragons, who dine with her weekly, and ‘take care’ of rowdy tenants or visitors. Vardrim’s has a rickety back stair [fire escape] where many roomers grow edible plants, which several local low-coin girls use for concealment of sorts while entertaining clients (roomers who let them use “their” stretch of stairs get serviced for free).

-- Jharko’s Coffers and Crates (a rat-infested firetrap of a decaying former warehouse now owned by the shrewd, miserly Ustal Jharko, who’s filled the place with secondhand strongchests, coffers, travel-boxes, crates, coffins, barrels, handkegs, and every other sort of sturdy container. He repairs them and sells them all for a copper under “new” prices (and buys such things, no questions asked, for about a quarter of new pricings). If one needs containers in a hurry, Jharko can provide. Most of his containers have hasps, but Jharko has few locks to sell. He charges VERY dearly for hinges and hasps, for those who just want to buy such hardware.

Between Jharko’s and the next building north (Montalar’s) is the main cart-alley into the center of the block. Traffic to and from the warehouses is heavy enough to keep it clear of the usual refuse.

-- Montalar’s Happy House, a popular local eatery. This dawn-to-dusk place shutters its windows every night and turns out diners “to seek drunken entertainment elsewhere,” as Bhaerusk Montalar puts it. Up until then, however, Bhaerusk, his four daughters, his wife, and her two sisters keep bustling, serving forth hot cider (except in warm summer, when it’s served cold), weak ale, weak but sweet berry wine (beloved by many thirsty workers in the area), and ‘happy helms.’ Helms are circular pastries about the size of a small man’s palm, pinched flat around the edges but filled with a fry-mix of ground meat, diced vegetables, and strongly-spiced brown sauce. They’re portable food, and can be bought hot and fresh for dining on the spot (the vast majority are sold this way, many of them sold right out a front window to hungry buyers standing in the street) or cold (cooked, allowed to cool, and put in a stoppered second-hand clay fry-oil jug or salvaged bottle, to keep) for eating at home, later. Helms are sold two for a copper, and most find them tasty and filling -- though many whisper that the strong sauce makes one buy thrice as much drink, and could conceal the taste of, say, none-too-clean chopped rat.
The family Montalar lives on the floor above their eatery, and discreetly rents out apartments on the floor above. There’s also a cellar below, and folk murmur that jovial Bhaerusk Montalar rents out space in it for all manner of mysterious items, no questions asked. The cellar and the eatery both have rear entrances usually screened from view by heaps of discarded crates and a hanging curtain of runner-vines (edible beans) grown every year by the Montalars (their laundry lines adorn the gently-sloping roof of the building).

-- Talarkgates, the once-grand but slightly decaying home of a retired wool- and ale-merchant who still engages in moneylending and property investments in Suzail. Umbran Daerith is elderly but in robust good health. He’s rarely seen out of doors before dusk (when his coach calls for him, to take him to this or that nobles’ feast) unless attending business at Court or in one of the clubs along the central Promenade where wealthy merchants talk trade and make deals. Daerith is hard-headed but mellowing as age creeps up on him, and is increasingly seen in the company of beautiful young ladies he hires by the tenday (it’s thought they spend less time in his bedchambers than such ‘ornaments’ usually do, but most of their time simply being his friendly chattering escorts). Daerith has many ties to Sembian trading-partners, and it’s widely whispered in Suzail that some of his beautiful lasses are really War Wizards, keeping an eye on him.
The house is surrounded by a high, spear-topped wrought-iron fence, enclosing a narrow, overgrown-by-untended shrubs walkway all around it. Its name came from its builder and former owner, the long-dead merchant-fleet owner Indrith Talark.

Scribes, I was happy to answer this query, but PLEASE don’t take it as license to deluge me with “Oh, so what’s THIS street? And where’s THAT building?” requests. Not unless you can be patient until around February, when I might have some time to deal with them. For time slips between my fingers, and the novels sit unfinished . . .


So saith Ed, who added that Jim Lowder, creator of the Society (which Ed LOVES) should be interested in this, if he chances to read it.
love to all,
THO
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  18:20:35  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Blueblade:
Oh, wow. Just wonderful. Thanks to THO and especially to Ed, for bringing us this. THO, you’re so right: whenever Ed writes about the Realms, it feels real while I’m reading his words.
This thread is sorta like having Professor Tolkien alive and willing to answer all of our questions about Middle-Earth.
I know it’s been said again and again here, but thanks. Thanks again.
I’m just rubbing my hands as I look at all the answers still to come. The great part of it is, every answer just keeps me wanting more.
I hope the WotC people and other Realms authors read this thread. Damn, it’s like an endless treasure house!
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  20:24:35  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
Thanks Ed and THO.

Also I didn't mean to call Ed out earlier when I meantioned being patient. I was just making sure that some of these old replies didn't get lost. :) I understand he's busy and no rush on replies, really! I could ask him hundreds of questions about FR but I've been holding back. :)

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

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

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 31 Oct 2004 20:26:03
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Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2004 :  23:26:36  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
quote:
To properly answer your query, Karth, I must direct you to the map of Suzail found in the 2nd Edition Realms boxed set

*mouth drops open in shock*

Ed, you ROCK. There's just no other way to put it. Thanks again, Hero.

I realize this is a total longshot, but I feel compelled to ask... Those "street keys" you keep providing to Wizards - and they keep failing to include in the products: are you free to dig them up and share them here or does WotC still own them, even though they didn't choose to publish them? It seems a shame that they might never see the light of day, after you went to the considerable effort of writing them.

If so: no time pressure in the slightest. February of next year is jeeeest fine. I think we'd all be willing to wait as long as it might take for your time to free up, if it meant gaining a community treasure of that unique magnitude... ;)

-Karth
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  04:28:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I bring you Ed’s latest:

Well, Taelohn, if I tell you the locations and destinations of such gates, they won’t be “forgotten” anymore, will they? :}
Seriously, I’m reluctant to curtail DM creativity overmuch, so I’ll give you just a handful, WITHOUT telling you precisely who controls them.
Let me tackle your second question first. Most of these gates tend to be controlled by the wizard, or small cabal of wizards, or priesthood, or even wealthy merchant, who stumbled across them -- or learned of them from someone who did (whereupon they usually killed the “someone” so as to make the gates ‘their’ secret alone).
Individual Red Wizards tend to behave like everyone else when they learn of a gate: if they think other Red Wizards haven’t observed them, they try to keep it ‘their own’ secret. Ditto the Zhents, unless it’s a Zhentilar warrior who wants nothing to do with gates; such a one will report his find to a wizard but profess ignorance of the EXACT location of the gate (so he won’t be ordered to be the guinea pig who demonstrates it to a watching mage).
Larloch has learned where a lot of gates are by magically farscrying unwitting beings, over the years, but even his minions rarely use them (except to pounce on emerging users they’re interested in). Halaster traditionally hasn’t been interested in gates that don’t impinge on Undermountain, but it remains to be seen what new attitude he may or may not have acquired towards such matters since the events of ELMINSTER IN HELL.
Lone wizards and lone merchants tend to use gates they find in very similar ways: as ‘secret getaway’ routes, and as a way of reaching a new territory to explore (typically they’ll establish a hidehold or hidden cache at ‘the far end’ of the gate, to use as a second base; if things ever get ‘too hot’ for them at one end of the link, they relocate to the other).
Merchant cabals and priests usually establish regular ‘trade-runs’ through their gates, and cabals of wizards tend to use them either to raid through, or (as merchant cabals often do) steal goods in one place and whisk them away to another -- often stealing items that are scarce at one end of the gate so they can be sold for great amounts at the other end.
Gates whose ends are in different climes, of course, allow merchants to make ‘easy killings’ by taking fresh fruits to snow-choked winter locales, to sell for stiff prices, or to transport skins of drinking water into dry regions for the same purpose.
As I’ve said many a time before, the Realms is riddled with hundreds of ancient gate-links, most of them long forgotten.
Here are four sample gates:

Tesper’s Stride: Noted in some old diaries at Candlekeep as being the secret behind the financial success of the long-ago Waterdhavian merchant Ultath Tesper (no relation to the famous mage Tesper), this gate links a knoll near Amphail with a cellar somewhere under a Southbank building in western Scornubel (in what was once known as Zirta).
Its active area seems to be two men wide and taller than a man carrying a boar-spear at shoulder rest (in other words, at least twelve feet high), and traversing it reportedly takes but an instant “of extreme cold, while falling through blue-white mists.”
The northern end of the link functions ‘towards Zirta’ only when bathed in moonlight, but works ‘from Zirta’ at all times. It’s entered by mounting the westernmost of two like-sized boulders at the north end of a knoll that lies about a bowshot west of the main trade-road. Face south when atop the boulder, and step at least a handspan up off the rock. These boulders are about as tall as a cottage and as long as three horses, and have bird-dung-spattered but otherwise bare, smooth stone tops, but sides thick with green moss. Seek a knoll that has three bare ‘fallaway’ rock outcrops facing the road (on its eastern side), south of a tiny creek that comes out of a thick stand of blueleaf trees. Note that the scrub-covered ridge immediately to the north overlooks the boulders, and a watcher there has clear bowshot down at anyone arriving through the gate.
The southern end of the link seems to function in both directions all the time. Taking it ‘north’ to Amphail is a matter of entering the westernmost end chamber of a low-vaulted, stone-lined cellar, going to its northwestern corner, and touching a particular wall-stone that’s visibly darker than the rest. The cellar is one of many in Zirta, where goods were and are kept safe from theft in deep cellars -- but just which building it underlies is uncertain, because this cellar was long ago linked to many others, and fitted with traps and access-chutes from above by the now-extinct Three Hands Coster (a local trading group of unsavoury reputation). At least two local thieving bands, the Blue Cloak and Rassavar’s Blade, keep watch over who uses the cellars -- or at least, who ventures west from the busy, used-by-many-caravan-companies eastern end of the cellars (which are rented out by a sinister fat, bearded man hight Ravosz Orthroth.
Tesper used this gate to shuttle stolen goods out of Waterdeep, and to bring drugs, poisons, and perfumes from Scornubel into the City of Splendors, hiding them in chambers in the middle of ‘fixed’ casks of “winter ale” from Everlund, in the wagons of his passing-through-Amphail caravans. Some persons have definitely discovered and used this gate recently -- because fresh blood was found all over the north-end boulder last season, and a strange whisper-tale is making the rounds in Scornubel: of men ‘ridden’ by a chill presence in their minds, that ‘stole into them’ when they were using “a hidden, magical way.”

The Westwalk: this gate functions in one direction only: east to west, or outside to inside. It functions at all times, and is entered by finding a slight hollow about six wagonlengths south off the coast trade-road that runs east from the westernmost gate of the city of Westgate. This grassy depression is several hundred paces east of the gate, well within view of wall-sentinels, and they’ve learned about the gate’s presence (but not yet how to make it function), and now cut all brush in the area, to keep activities there in clear view.
Only one being at a time can use this gate, though they may carry anything they can lift and move on their backs. There are three elements to the gate’s functioning:
-- the user must step into the right puddle or (when weather has been very dry) ground-hole: the northernmost of the three
-- the user must be carrying four silver coins and no other silver of any sort
-- the user must utter the word “Alamaraska” (this may be whispered)
If all three conditions are met, the user is whisked into a stone cupola (roof-chamber) atop “Mother” Mustivvur’s rooming-house, just inside the western run of the Westgate city wall. The cupola has window-openings on its east and south, a stone hatch in its (yes, stone) floor that’s usually barred from below, and a door in its east wall that opens onto an outside stair. Two guards armed with loaded crossbows guard the cupola at all times, and a third man collects the gate toll: the four silver coins. Those desiring to dispute payment are advised to beware his sharpened, poison-tipped fingernails (he’s built up an immunity to the unidentified venom he uses).
This gate is, of course, used by persons desiring to enter Westgate unidentified or uninspected by the authorities.

The Lion Gate: this two-way, always-functioning gate has made many a Amnian fortune over the years, and its use is now monitored and taxed by the Athkatlan authorities (a guard of one concealed hired wizard, one armed official, and two guards armed hand crossbows that fire darts that have been sleep-venomed, who collect a toll of 5 gp per use, and detain and question any armed groups of users of more than four in number) at the city end of the link.
That terminus is a second-floor room (now permanently occupied by city authorities) in the Sleeping Lion salon in southern Athkatla. One of several salons in the city, the Sleeping Lion is a place for discussions, dice and card games and the gambling that accompanies them, and light drinking and dining (of grapes, chopped fruit, nuts, wedges of cheese, and small spiced pastries). It’s the ‘lowest class’ (most tolerant and least opulent) of Athkatla’s salons, and has no guards barring admittance to persons purely on the basis of their apparent wealth or status, as the other salons do (the Lion does, however, have swift-acting bouncers to deal with violent or snatch-thieving guests, including both strongmen and roof-spies armed with blowguns that fire sleep-envenomed darts).
Those who keep order in Athkatla want to prevent invasion of their city by, say, the Zhents or the Red Wizards, or anyone practising slavery or hustling kidnap victims through the Lion Gate. Otherwise, they don’t care how it’s used, so long as the toll is paid (failure to pay results in imprisonment and confiscation of goods valued at twice the toll; repeat offenders face harsher penalties).
The Lion Gate permits the passage of only one living being at a time (additional living creatures will be teleported to random locales elsewhere in the Realms, arriving safely but with no indication of where they are, and no direct way of return). Similarly, non-living material up to the mass and weight of the living user’s body can pass through if worn or carried by the user; all matter in excess of either the mass or the weight of the user will simply vanish, apparently disintegrated (some users know this, and have used the gate to ‘disappear’ corpses by loading themselves heavily with supplies, and then dragging a body behind them -- which the magic of the gate obligingly causes to vanish). In any case of ‘overage,’ material in direct contact with the user’s body is retained when cargo carried in a packsack, satchel, or bag disappears.
The other end of the Lion Gate link lies in a cave in rolling, bandit- and leucrotta-infested hills just north of the Lethyrstream and east of the Eastingreach coastal wagon-trail, nigh the Forest of Lethyr south of the Great Dale, almost clear across ‘known’ Faerun. There are several such caves in an area of loose-scree-covered hills surrounding an old gravel-quarry, and they all seep water and are used as lairs by a succession of opportunistic prowling beasts. Some bandits apparently know of the gate and lie in wait for those traversing it.
To enter the gate heading to Athkatla, a user must climb the sloping rocky back of the correct cave, passing through a strange feeble green luminescence that seems to ‘drink’ some magics but not others, unpredictably (affecting only magic items, or actively operating spells, rather than written or memorized spells), to reach a ledge, and there touch the proper two stones at the same time. Just which two jutting stones is a secret, but they’re close enough together that an average-sized elf, lying down, can touch one with a leg and another with a hand. Regardless of how a user’s body is arranged, they reach Athkatla standing upright -- and also come from Athkatla standing upright, too (there’s enough headroom on the ledge to do so, even for a troll or ogre).

Jusk’s Stroll: This gate-link works in both directions, but functions only when the end it’s being entered through is in darkness (both daylight and lamplight temporarily cause it to ‘sleep’). It links a certain spot along the south wall of a dockside warehouse in Suzail with the alleyway behind (directly south of) the Dragon’s Jaws tavern (feature 39 on the 2nd Edition Realms boxed set “Grand Tour” book [page 54] map). The warehouse is Flar Oldbottle’s Nets, Ropes, Cables, Hawsers, and Cords establishment (a stout stone two-story building topped by a hammerbeam wooden loft and slate roof). It’s the second long rectangular building on the east side of the channel leaning to The Basin (feature 16 on the map), counting northwards. In other words, it’s the rectangular building that has a tiny shed attached to it on its north side (“Old Rak” Jumble’s Fresh Fish, a reeking sty of a place best avoided). The gate is located between Oldbottle’s and the warehouse of similar construction to the south of it (Red Sunsets Trading Company, a Suzailan merchants’ collective rental space for ‘small cargoes’), a little east of midway along the wall of Oldbottle’s, and in the “towards the Jaws” direction only works when the warehouse wall is touched in just the right spot (about three feet up off the ground, and near a waterstain that runs diagonally down the wall).
The terminus behind the tavern is marked by a square of paving stones in the dirt, kept clear by city authorities. This gate is well-known to them, and they watch both ends of it to see who uses it. It’s also an open secret among dockworkers and merchants having business on the docks; other folk of Suzail know of it but not precisely where it is or how it works.
Imprur Jusk was a long-ago wealthy halfling investor of Suzail. He discovered the gate and had no idea who created it or why, but he controlled the dock end of it until his death, of a winter fever (Oldbottle’s was once one of his warehouses). The link got its name from his nightly use of it to swiftly reach the upper-class taverns and festhalls he favoured, along the Promenade. It was said you could tell where Jusk had fared on many an evening by the strong smell of harbour fish clinging to this or that highcoin girl.

Ahem. So saith Ed. Who’ll have more answers for scribes, I’m sure, tomorrow.
love to all,
THO
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Torkwaret
Learned Scribe

Poland
81 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  13:12:44  Show Profile Send Torkwaret a Private Message
Dear Ed !

I recently began collecting NPC's for my upcoming campaign and wanted one of them to be a Banelich. The problem with these guys is that I do not know if at least one is still around after the Tyrantfog and other events. If you could clarify something about it I would be very, very grateful. Second problem is that I managed to find the names of only three of them (and still not sure if one isn't homebrew) - Stellac/Stallac Benadi, Harr Santolic (??) and Faram Khaldan. Would it be ok with "The Code" if you would give me another name or two ?
The third and the last question is about the Burnbones. What are they ? Are they something like Baneliches but created by Cyric ?

Thanks !

...Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin...
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  16:27:38  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I bring Ed’s reply to The Blind Ranger:


Hmm. I’d not want to ‘be around’ during ‘big stuff’ like the Dawn Cataclysm, the fall of Karsus or the Time of Troubles. Pivotal, yes, but mighty uncomfortable times to be living.
So I’d have to say I’d want to be living in:

-- Myth Drannor when it was really ‘working’ as a crossroads of all races (i.e. after the majority of its elves had accepted and embraced the various non-elves now living among them, but before the stormclouds gathered against it).
-- Waterdeep after Ahghairon assumed power and everything settled down, so prosperity was rampant, trade bustling, and the institutions of the city (sewers, policing, garbage pickup, standards being enforced for building, etc.) were all being improved at once. That feeling of living in a place that’s visibly being made better and better with each passing day.
-- Silverymoon after Alustriel took power but before the advent of the Silver Marches (and her handing things in the city over to Taern Hornblade), for the same reasons as for Waterdeep.

These are, as usual, hard choices (“Which of your children do you love the most?”), and there are many Obarskyr reigns during which I’d want to be living in Cormyr, or times when I’d want to be in this dale or that (I’d have given a lot to attend that founding meeting of the Harpers in the Dancing Place, for example), but right now, these are what strike me as the times and places I’d really want to LIVE in (and not just see and then duck out again to some place of more safety or tranquility).


So saith Ed. Who’s hard at work on the first Knights novel as I post this, but will return with more replies anon.
love to all,
THO
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  18:31:01  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
I've got some troubles with the city of Baldur's Gate. I'm drawing a map of it, yet there is something that confuses me pretty much. In Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting from 2nd edition of AD&D it is said that Baldur's Gate in facts consists of two cities - the old city that was surrounded with stone walls; and the new city which was built next to the old one. Later the new city had it borders surrounded with walls as well - therefore there's a stone wall going through the today's Baldur's Gate (as it was in the game) and 2nd ed. FRCS confirms that. The only problem is that I have never seen an official Baldur's Gate map (and I've seen plenty of them) that would have this wall that divides the city marked. And there's one more thing - in "Gold & Glory" (2nd ed. sourcebook) it is said that Flaming Fist has it's headquarters in the city of Baldur's Gate. "Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast" mentions about it as well but again it is something that just not marked on any map of Baldur's Gate (even though it is quite an important place). If Ed could provide me with a map of Baldur's Gate with the mentioned wall and headquarters marked or any info on how or where should it be exactly drawn I would be very, very greatful.
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Taelohn
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  19:22:42  Show Profile  Visit Taelohn's Homepage  Send Taelohn an AOL message  Click to see Taelohn's MSN Messenger address Send Taelohn a Private Message
quote:
Seriously, I’m reluctant to curtail DM creativity overmuch, so I’ll give you just a handful, WITHOUT telling you precisely who controls them.


On the contrary (to curtailing creativity, that is), those examples were very helpful in plotting more, thank ye.

Hundreds out there, you say? Hmmm. :)
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1632 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  20:07:59  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Torkwaret

Dear Ed !

I recently began collecting NPC's for my upcoming campaign and wanted one of them to be a Banelich. The problem with these guys is that I do not know if at least one is still around after the Tyrantfog and other events. If you could clarify something about it I would be very, very grateful. Second problem is that I managed to find the names of only three of them (and still not sure if one isn't homebrew) - Stellac/Stallac Benadi, Harr Santolic (??) and Faram Khaldan. Would it be ok with "The Code" if you would give me another name or two ?
The third and the last question is about the Burnbones. What are they ? Are they something like Baneliches but created by Cyric ?

Thanks !



Here I am in the "I broke `em, I bought `em" department, since I'm the one who obliterated many of the baneliches....

One of the reasons I was very distinct in CLOAK & DAGGER about where the boundaries of the Tyrantfog was just for this reason--If you need/want a banelich to survive, simply note that he/she/it was outside the range of the Tyrantfog and was not destroyed by it. Thus, any banelich that was around the Sword Coast and the North was probably safe. And I'd include any of those you noted; I'd toss a name or two for new baneliches at you, but my brain's not coughing any up right now. Sorry.

Steven Schend

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Torkwaret
Learned Scribe

Poland
81 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2004 :  22:06:07  Show Profile Send Torkwaret a Private Message
Thanks for the reply Steven !

About the Baneliches' names, I wanted you to confirm if the ones I found are all "official", and if you want to give me some names, I was thinking about the "officials" I missed/do not know.

P.S. what about the Burnbones ?

...Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin...
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  01:55:19  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed makes reply to Capn Charlie:

Capn, please tell Dark Wolf this:
Every town, city, and village has its own rules about dealing with bloodshed within its boundaries, of course, and most of the latter have to deal with more brigand and monster raids than they do marauding armies (if they see the latter, everyone usually flees!), but ‘rules of war’ governing an area only apply when a strong ruler holds sway over that area (for instance, Alustriel over the Silver Marches, or any priest of high rank over an area influenced by his or her temple), and when communications are good and/or that ruler commands magic that means transgressors will expect that reports of wrongdoing and mistreatment will ‘make it back’ to the ruler.
simontrinity correctly points out that most moral codes of war-behaviour are rooted in faiths, and promoted by priests. Except when orders to the contrary are given or warriors are ‘carried away by bloodlust’ in the heat of battle, a priest’s orders WILL be heeded, because he’s your means of healing!
In general, across Faerun, the answer to your first question is: no. No structured rules, beyond what superior officers give as commands, either before a battle or during it (“Kill all prisoners!” etc.) No human willingly surrenders to orcs or any goblinkin, for instance, because they’ll expect to get eaten if they do.
Spies are usually tortured or mind-reamed with spells to find out what they’ve learned or already passed on (the ‘general knowledge’ their superiors have shared with them), and then slain -- but in some cases a spy will be ‘allowed to escape’ so as to unwittingly carry misinformation back to the enemy.
Wounded enemy soldiers on the battlefield (unless of high rank so they can be ransomed: i.e. “keep me alive and I’ll send a messenger to fetch back the title deed to my house in Waterdeep; when it comes, feed me and then release me”) are usually killed and their bodies looted, by commoners living locally (who creep out onto the bloody field after darkness has fallen) if not by the victorious soldiery. Sometimes such scavengers don’t bother to slay helpless and unconscious or apparently dying prisoners, who survive (stripped and weaponless). If the presence of lots of bodies is thought to be a monster-luring or stream-poisoning danger (or a disease danger inside a settlement), the bodies will be piled up and burned.
When an army is occupying an area, orders are often given to butcher most people or just locals of importance, and spare the rest. This is done to ‘make examples of those who resist’ to terrorize the populace, so they’ll obey without having to be compelled at swordpoint all the time. Even some ‘good’ folk countenance this, rationalizing it as making for more lives saved and less violence in the long run.
Prisoners of war will be spared if they can talk glibly enough offering to share information or to fight for their captors, but this is usually only believed if said captors have a good reason to do so. (Knowing beforehand that a particular duke of Tethyr is hated and feared might cause you to believe low-ranking soldiers of his who offer to aid you the invader against him, for example.) Otherwise, prisoners are kept alive for callously practical reasons: we need you to build a bridge, cut down all those trees, bring us livestock we can eat, or form a defensive ring around us as we advance on your own castle, so the arrows they fire will kill you and not us . . . and so on.
In general, war in the Realms is more brutish than real-world moderns might expect. Trickery and incitement to hatred/scapegoating occurs, and grudges are long-held.

On to Lizardfolk. These Scaly Ones vary in intelligence from barbarian-thick (but cunning) to (rarely) as smart as humans. The smart ones will, of course, take almost anything. The brutish majority raid to get food (yes, that includes humans, and almost exclusively meat will be sought), useful items (weapons of all sorts [missile weapons least preferred because of the practise/training effective use of them requires], ropes, chains, chests, lamp oil [for use as a weapon]), and to weaken foes (trash a village that’s too close or has been too aggressive against lizardfolk). Even stupid lizardfolk are smart enough to seize any item that they’ve seen emitting magic (even if they can’t use it, they can take it so it can’t be used against them again), and even wizards or priests (who will be bound securely, ankle-hobbled, and usually head-hooded). Some lizardfolk use coinage in trade (and so will seize it), and some don’t. The Threat from the Sea aside, it’s very rare to see lizardfolk raiding a city, though sometimes, in thick fogs, individual young lizardfolk will seek to ‘prove themselves’ by snatching a few humans from the docks of a port. There was a time, in the southern ports of Tethyr, when lizardfolk of some tribes lauded those of their number who could enter a port and bring back alive a highcoin girl (she was released unharmed after being ‘displayed’ to all), because it was known that such lasses could only be got from a particular festhall well inland within the city -- thus proving that the capturing Scaly One had traversed quite a few city streets, and overcome some resistance at the always-busy festhall, to gain his prize (not merely grabbing someone within easy reach on a dock).

As to your questions about Thay, I’m afraid the NDA wall comes down like thunder. I can say only this much: slaves are haggled over (though, like our modern real-world monetary exchange rate or share prices, ‘everyone knows’ a ballpark current base price for, just to pick one category, a strong but unskilled male human). Trained warriors and craftworkers are highly prized (but also closely watched, sometimes by child slaves assigned as constant ‘glaring from a distance’ escorts, for signs of treachery).


So saith Ed, who’s busy crafting more answers as I post this. Ahh, dispensing with sleep again, Great Bearded Thing?
love to all,
THO
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The Blind Ranger
Seeker

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  06:38:32  Show Profile  Visit The Blind Ranger's Homepage  Send The Blind Ranger an AOL message Send The Blind Ranger a Private Message
Lord Ed of the Greenwood,

First, thanks for your previous answers to my silly little questions -- you continue to endear many of us to this world of yours. Secondly, what is there in the Realms in regards to a postal service? Methinks there are couriers and what not, no? I was curious how information passes from city to city, and from realm to realm, across the seas, and so on.

With regard and respect,
The Blind Ranger

I see what I need when my sight is not enough.
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  07:06:52  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
And, after some time, I have a question of my own again.

I was speaking of this in another scroll, but it's been on my mind for some time. The Realms seem lousy with intelligent races. Is this a production effect, or are your personal Realms this crowded? If the latter, is there an in character explanation for the crowding, and what races are in danger of dying out due to population pressure from others. Or, if the former, what was the original number (ballpark figure, I guess) of intelligent, highly organized (if not technically civilized) races?

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

Download the brickfilm masterpiece by Leftfield Studios! See this page for more.
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  14:32:28  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Hi Ed,

I was re-reading Volo's Guide to Cormyr the other day and i noticed that on the maps showing the northern shore of the Wyvernwater there was a location known as "The Dead Well", but i was unable to find any reference to it in the text. Is there actually any reference in there that i'm missing? If not could you shed some light on this site for us at some point with your realmslore answers?

Thanks,

GH

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

5043 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  14:41:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I bring Ed’s reply to Karth:

I still rock, eh? Good to know. :}
Seriously, you’re welcome. I love doing this, as you might well have guessed by now. As for the street keys, some I can share, some I can’t (I shared the key to Marsember here already, for example -- but I’ve also done little streetscapes like I just did for you, for Realms authors, and feel dutybound to say absolutely nothing about those until after their book, or sometimes a series of books [in case the narratives return to locations], is published). What I never want to do is ‘trip up’ a Realms author who misses seeing my posts here and names a street in a city one thing, when I’ve firmly dubbed it another.
It’s my intent to eventually provide this much for all cities on the Sword Coast, all around the coasts of the Moonsea and the Sea of Fallen Stars, and between: ruler, main imports, main exports, lawkeepers (‘City Watch’) patrol particulars, main streets and features (large temples, architecturally striking buildings, landmarks, a few taverns, a few inns, and a shop or two). Enough so a DM can ‘wing it’ if players send their characters into a city.
However, it looks like it’s going to take me years to nail down such coverage in print. So I’m glad you’re a patient waiter. :}
“Patient waiter, I’ll have what the gentleman over there is having . . . elf maiden covered in fresh cream, isn’t it?”


Ahem. So saith Ed. Who isn’t done with answers today, yet, by the looks of my inbox.
love to all,
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  16:29:33  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Torkwaret: the only source I recall which names baneliches is Ruins of Zhentil Keep. Stallac Benadi and Harr Santolic are there, but I'm not sure if the latter was a banelich.

Blind Ranger: Look here for an answer to your question about messages.

Bookwyrm: most times people say the Realms is crowded with anything, I suggest they look again at the scale of the maps. These are vast, vast areas. Though there can be conceptual crowding even when there isn't physical or geographical crowding.

Edited by - Faraer on 02 Nov 2004 16:31:14
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The Blind Ranger
Seeker

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  18:07:26  Show Profile  Visit The Blind Ranger's Homepage  Send The Blind Ranger an AOL message Send The Blind Ranger a Private Message
Mighty kind of you there, Faraer, thanks for the heads-up!

The Blind Ranger

I see what I need when my sight is not enough.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  18:54:37  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Hereafter, Ed provides an answer to Bookwyrm’s “GIMME!”


Sorry, Bookwyrm, all I can say is: perhaps I’ll be able to reveal more by the end of 2005. Perhaps.
I’d LOVE to lay bare all sorts of lore about the College, though I’ve created so many 2nd Edition spells and magic items that I’m largely stepping back to watch others do such things for 3e (and so, specifics of new spells won’t be part of anything I post here). In fact, I’d love to provide details of many features of [NDA], but I simply can’t comment on them yet. And yes, that includes names of haughty gold elf Masters of the College, I’m afraid.
In most cases, I slip and wriggle and waffle all I can, ‘pushing’ my NDAs to the limit, because I think it’s good ‘teaser’ advertising for the Realms rather than anything damaging to the Intellectual Property (after all, what concept of FR can rivals swipe? Castles? Dragons? Rescuing princesses? Spells that work? Sheesh).
Also, the original Realms agreement ‘recognized me as creator’ of the Realms by explicitly giving me freedom to promote the Realms and create anything I wanted in it and for it, in an ongoing manner. These NDAs came along later, after WotC bought TSR, and a whole new wave of them (followed by several successive waves) have followed since Hasbro acquired Wizards. That’s fine, but the NDAs apply to specific things, and I play them that way, rather than letting some lawyer who’s never negotiated anything with me (and probably never even heard of me) shut down a right I bargained for and obtained.
If I don’t see anything harmful to future products or still-secret projects I know about or suspect will soon be pursued, I’ll hand you lore here. I never want to ‘tie the hands’ of a WotC or freelancer writer by scouring out a topic in depth, but I DO want you scribes to be able to pursue your Realms campaigns right now rather than leaving you waiting (perhaps forever) for details I could easily have provided.
With all that said, I’ll impart more about the College as soon as I can, but I’m not sure when that will be.


So saith Ed. Who’s deep in crafting the first Knights novel right now, and “revelling” in it.
love to all,
THO
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  20:35:26  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
I'm not sure if my post was missed but just in case it was I'm posting my question once more. Sorry for being so hasty (I just badly need to get this info in order to finish this wretched map :P).

Dear Ed,
I've got some troubles with the city of Baldur's Gate. I'm drawing a map of it, yet there is something that confuses me pretty much. In Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting from 2nd edition of AD&D it is said that Baldur's Gate in facts consists of two cities - the old city that was surrounded with stone walls; and the new city which was built next to the old one. Later the new city had it borders surrounded with walls as well - therefore there's a stone wall going through the today's Baldur's Gate (as it was in the game) and 2nd ed. FRCS confirms that. The only problem is that I have never seen an official Baldur's Gate map (and I've seen plenty of them) that would have this wall that divides the city marked. And there's one more thing - in "Gold & Glory" (2nd ed. sourcebook) it is said that Flaming Fist has it's headquarters in the city of Baldur's Gate. "Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast" mentions about it as well but again it is something that just not marked on any map of Baldur's Gate (even though it is quite an important place). If Ed could provide me with a map of Baldur's Gate with the mentioned wall and headquarters marked or any info on how or where should it be exactly drawn I would be very, very greatful.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  21:05:59  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed’s latest answer concerns Baldur’s Gate:


Verghityax, it doesn’t take a cartographer to know that the map (or rather, ‘gazing down from the clouds three-quarter view’) in the computer game is, ahem, “wildly inaccurate.” Fanciful, even. I understand the memory limitations of the computers of the day would force ‘shrinkage’ of features included in the game, but to this day I don’t know why the end result bore so little resemblance to the master Baldur’s Gate city map I drew (printed ‘straight’ in the FR Adventures hardcover with blue colouring and a better compass rose added, and used again in Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast). The Volo’s map is the one you need to look at, because of its keyed features.
As George said, the city wall doesn’t ‘show’ because, over the years, it’s been partly dismantled (cannibalized for building stones), and partly rebuilt into building after building. A visitor to the city can readily recognize that the wall used to exist, and see where it ran, by glancing at those buildings, even if they knew nothing about a wall.
The dismantling process has only recently been ‘completed,’ and has been going on for years. It has always been unofficial (not marked by any formal decree or law, neither to order it done nor to forbid it; it began when some builders whose own offices backed onto the wall started tearing down ‘their’ bit of wall, and selling the stone), and thus has reached the attention of few sages elsewhere in Faerun.
The Volo’s map shows a shop, Felogyr’s Fireworks, marked “15.” That shop fronts on, and stands on the south side of, a long curving street that runs across the city, with a curious ‘prow’ or deviance at about its midpoint (west of Felogyr’s), where it meets a short street that runs almost due south to the docks. The longer road is Stormcanter Street, and the shorter one is The Windgallop,’ and the old wall ran along the north side of Stormcanter and the west side of ‘the Gallop,’ so many buildings along those two ‘fronts’ are stout, thick-walled fortress-like boxes of large old close-fitted stones (many of them at the western end of Stormcanter are the houses of well-to-do Baldurians, whilst all of those along the Gallop, and most of those on the easterly stretches of Stormcanter, are shops at ground level, with apartments above (Gallop end: a few warehouses with business offices sprinkled amongst; Stormcanter end: the occasional tavern or festhall).
Steven’s comments on the sort of city buildings the Flaming Fist own are (of course) spot-on. Back to the Volo’s Guide map. North of the Seatower of Balduran (feature 6) are two parallel wharves. The longer and more northerly of the two is known as Hethkantle’s Jetty, and the street that runs roughly northwest from its ‘dry’ (land) end, right out to the city wall, is Caundorl Street. Follow Caundorl, yes, right out to the city wall, and you’ll find a miniature keep: four towers linked by stone walls.
That’s the headquarters of the Flaming Fist: an impressive-looking little castle known as The Keep of the Flame. Please bear in mind that the Fist is too large to muster inside ANY city. The Keep of the Flame consists of offices, weapons-practise chambers and an archery ‘gallery’ (with cable-drawn targets) rather than the usual open-air ‘butts,’ uniform and equipment storage, armories, and yes, dungeon cells below for the holding of prisoners for ransom (and, som Baldurians mutter, guardian monsters and darker things).
The Keep also features a glorious upper-floor map room (in its largest tower), and several one-way-outbound gates (ahem: portals) that lead to several hilltops well east of the city, where Fist members can assemble in the event of a mustering, or when they want to depart the city unnoticed (for example, with captives). The Fist also owns several other permanently-guarded armory buildings around the city, including two of the massive ‘former bits of the city wall’ structures on northfront Stormcanter.


So saith Ed, tirelessly setting straight more Realmslore. Yawn. I’m for bed (ALONE, Wooly, and Sirius, and Karth, too. Sorry!)
love to all,
THO
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2004 :  22:05:25  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
Dear Ed,

I thank Thee very, very much for help. Yet, there are few more things about Baldur's Gate I would like to know:

1) Where is the "Splurging Sturgeon" tavern marked on map? And it would be really great if You could write something about this place since there is nothing about it in "Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast".

2) Is Ravenscar's guild still active? If yes, what are they up to recently and how influential are they?

3) Since Gond's Hall of Wonders is described pretty well could You spare any info on the city's other temples and shrines?

4) Are there any chances of You giving names of few more streets, wharves etc. in Baldur's Gate?

5) And finally, has anything noteworthy happened in Baldur's Gate in recent years?

I thank Thee in advance for any help.
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