Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Realmslore
 Chamber of Sages
 Questions for Ed Greenwood (2004)
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic 
Page: of 81

Lashan
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  14:58:26  Show Profile  Visit Lashan's Homepage Send Lashan a Private Message
Hello Ed,

I was curious if you could help me understand the forming of Tantras. I know that Damaran culture isn't your thing, but I do believe that the Vast is, so I hope you will be able to help.

I am assuming that Tantras was formed during the golden age of Impiltur somewhere around 9th century DR. This is after the fall of Rolidar and gives enough time for things to quiet down. When did the Tormites consider Tantras for their world headquarters? I am guessing that it was after the Triad Crusade in nearby Impiltur. Was this the case? How soon after the forming of Tantras did the Tormites come? What was the name of the Temple of Torm's Coming before he came? Any light shed on these subjects would make me a happy man.

One last question. Tantras has a thriving market for building finished wooden items (barrels, railings, cabinets, etc), but there is no major forest near it. I am sure that any trees in the Vast are probably recovering from the orcs of Vastar. So, where does the wood come from?

Once again, my thanks...
Go to Top of Page

BrokenRulz
Seeker

USA
29 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  15:14:02  Show Profile  Visit BrokenRulz's Homepage  Send BrokenRulz an AOL message Send BrokenRulz a Private Message
This is in reference to the Hooded One's earlier request for material/lore that he felt had been skimped over and wanted us to inform him about:

Battles. Who doesn't love grand scale wars and skirmishes that helped to shape the world of Faerun as we know it? I cite the Tuigan Horde Wars and the battle in which King Azoun IV lost his life for example. Yet how many wars have we heard of that we'd like more info on? I for one would love more info on the players and scenes that took place between the Drow and Surface elves during the war that drove the dark elves below ground to name just one.
How many other great wars and battles have taken place that shook the foundations of the realms? Or how many small battles have taken place, yet were significant enough to have far reaching consequences? This may be a bit much, but I could see a Book of War or something as an interesting read/sourcebook for those who want to stage their own grand scale wars/battles. Does this make sense?

D.
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  16:08:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. The Hooded One here with Ed's latest replies (and no, Damian & Liz, I've met a lot of Clyde's models at GenCon, or seen their photos on the Virtual Gencon pages, over the years, but never modeled for any painter . . . though Ed did say the sight of me going down to skinny-dip [swim nude] in the bay in the soft light of early morning inspired him greatly :} but enough about detaching the retinae of aging gamers).
Ed speaks:

SiriusBlack, fishing will get you nowhere with me. Save it for The Hooded One. [who tells me Candlekeep has an array of smilies, but probably lacks one for the leer I'm inserting right here]. Yes, I do know what the next scene will be, and no, I'm not going to tell you. :}
However, as a consolation prize, I'll sneak you a sentence (just one) from a story I wrote recently (well, okay, just for you, TWO sentences):

The bruising strength of his grip made her gasp, and even as she twisted furiously away, cursing her silks for their lack of handy daggers, she knew she'd been dangerously -- possibly fatally -- wrong about him.
A moment later, her fingers found what they'd been straining for . . . and a moment after that, he knew it too.

There. THAT ought to keep you going until this next answer: yes, there have been plenty of Waterdeep adventures where nobles haven't been in trouble. You just haven't seen any in print, yet. :}

And yes, I was offered jobs at TSR on several occasions. Unfortunately, game designer positions aren't very well paid (game company presidents and shareholders occasionally hit the big time and get very rich, but the "creatives" share in the riches less often), and my poorly-paid Canadian library job, with its barely-adequate medical and dental insurance coverage laid atop the government-funded medicare system, managed somehow to dwarf the salary and benefits I would have received by moving across the border -- abandoning family, friends, and fully-paid-for house. (I continue to wait patiently for the USA to provide medicare for ALL of its citizens, and no, before everyone jumps down my throat, doing so ISN'T socialism, it's something called "civilization.")
None of which means I didn't LOVE to drop down to Lake Geneva and volunteer my time and writings, every year at GenCon time (and of course at the con, too). The TSR brass even checked with me one year about when I was going to arrive in town, so (I surmised later) they could show me off, hard at work in a cubicle, when they gave execs from another company "the tour" -- because that's what they did. :}
I've assisted behind the scenes on many, many Realms products down the years that don't have my name on them, and WotC did make me a consultant for a couple of years (to continue doing just that). Unfortunately, as the money dried up, I became, and am now, just another starving writer (I'm not joking: if you want to make money, becoming an electrician or a plumber is a really good idea, with doctor and lawyer waiting as alternatives for those of us with patience and money enough to jump over more hurdles first).
I do live by a personal code of ethics, so NDAs and "gentlemens' agreements" mean something, which I'm afraid in this case means, Sirius, I can tell you nothing about draconic impacts in ELMINSTER'S DAUGHTER, nor speculate on just how elfkin might rise. :}
For the same reason, Dargoth, I can't comment on empires, lost or otherwise, in the context of your query.
Ah, it wounds me deeply, being so coy.
To your other questions, Dargoth:
1. If any of the Bane Liches are still left, they'll be completely insane. I'd treat them as megalomaniacal local lords or "robber baron" types, dominating tiny communities or outlaw bands in the wilderlands. Either that, or skulking around the sewers of Waterdeep or similar hideaways. Anywhere else, and their unstable "conquer all" tendencies will have led them into battle and eventual destruction long since. The problem with the Bane Liches is that their need to be tyrants far oustrips any prudence or power they possess.
2. Shandaril is still around, but has learned the virtues of disguises and keeping hidden. So is her workbook, but I personally have no idea where it is. Ask a DM. [evil grin]
3. In the original Realms campaign, Iyachtu Xvim was Bane's mortal son born in Faerun of a human mother, and Faerun was always his home (plane). As tieflings hadn't been thought of, back then (and in fact were in the Code of Ethics 'red area' of "never, never discuss sex or its consequences" that meant we couldn't discuss the breeding of devils, or in the case of one DRAGON article had to remove the word "lovers" when describing the relationship of Lancelot and Guinevere), his (many, thanks to his habit of forcing himself on women) offspring tended to be humans, but insane and malformed (and so died young), or to grow up with 'wild talents' (in 2nd Edition terms: that is, possess minor psionic powers or innate magical abilities). Xvim never knew who they were, and they never knew their true heritage (though that doesn't mean that a returned Bane wouldn't be able to recognize the seed of his seed, on sight or in particular circumstances).
4. Bane and Shar were never siblings, but that doesn't mean the Pool author was taking liberties or getting it "wrong." It means that mortals 'know' lots of things about the gods that are just plain untrue, because gods lie to them, priests lie to them (sometimes unwittingly, through passing on church doctrine they don't know to be false or invented by a priest sitting nearby or of a previous century or three), and rumors distort everything, leading to 'common folk knowledge' that says a lot of things about the gods that aren't true. After all, almost everything we know about the Realms has come to us from Elminster -- and how do we know HE'S been straight with us, all or even part of the time?
5. I haven't seen the Players Guide, so I really can't comment on this yet. However, from the point of view of any character of Faerun who doesn't personally go planehopping often, everything I just said about the gods applies: there are all sorts of strange beliefs about matters cosmological, even among "learned" sages, and most folks have no way of knowing whether they're true or not. Which leaves you free to twist your own campaign cosmology however you see fit. I LOVE doing "D&D quantum mechanics" for my own brain-fun, but not if it's at the expense of making the day-to-day Prime Material Plane game setting interesting, colorful, and fully detailed. Look to the foundations first, and then stand on them to gaze in wonder at the stars.
Alexander, well met! Here we go:
1. Silverymoon: I wanted a northern beautiful Renaissance of human and demi-human cooperation, and thought that something a human might occasionally see in that savage Northern wilderness that would be both beautiful and breathtaking (inspiring, as our Hooded One might say :}) would be a large, full moon in a clear winter sky. One of the themes or manifestations of 'good' magical power in the Realms is the hue of silver (hence the hair of the Seven Sisters), and I wanted to further evoke the Unicorn deity (sprung from the Lion and Unicorn of British nursery rhyme fame, and yes, there's a Lion deity, too), not as a homage to Zelazny's Amber (though his later use of it didn't hurt), but rather following the delightful Elizabeth Goudge childrens' novel THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, with its Moon and Sun aspects of the Merryweather family. I needed there to be 'an outpost of sophisticated civilization' in the North because it provides a social base that can be attacked or threatened, and serve as a center for intrigue (and source of supplies) in an otherwise survivalist setting.
Selune and Shar: The same silvery moon thinking led to Selune [sorry, I can't do accent marks in my primitive e-mail setup] and her 'dark' counterpart Shar (darkness = blindness = danger = evil, whereas moonlight = visibility = aid to navigation = relative safety = factor for good). The Stratford (Ontario) production by Richard Ouzounian of Webster's THE DUCHESS OF MALFI provided some "costume and looks" inspiration for how an avatar or aspect of Shar might look, added to any number of "Dark Lady"/Witch images from gothic literature.
The Harpers: I wanted a Sherwood Forest band of anti-authority figures, who were revered by some common folk despite actions that are lawless, often violent, and occasionally disastrous (also echoes of how Aragorn and other Rangers are viewed in Bree, in LOTR), and I wanted the Harpers to include people clearly as sophisticated and cultured and far-thinking as any government they might oppose, so I hearkened back to Celtic bards and their role as preservers of lore/culture/wisdom, hence "Harping At Twilight" and the Harpers. I designed the Harper logo, and when Jeff Grubb saw it he immediately wanted TSR to do cloisonne pins (hey, if fans can proudly wear Starfleet insignia, why not?), though management vetoed it.
2. Yes, we'll hear more. Check the WotC website for the My Slice of Silverymoon article I did (WotC split it into parts) and the current Alustriel's Latest Consort Realmslore columns there, too. In the longer term, I hope to touch on Everlund and other northern features in that column and elsewhere. I think Rich Baker did a superb job in planning what would go into the SILVER MARCHES (and then cramming a greater amount of stuff into it than I would have believed possible), but of course in covering such a large area, we had to slight many topics. Glad you liked it, anyway!
Ah, as for Ascore, I'm afraid that must remain mysterious for now. We've had a LOT of fun over the years dancing around that (I did it with one of my Wyrms of the North, which are ALSO reappearing on the website, updated for 3e, if you missed their original 2nd Edition publications in DRAGON).
3. When writing DWARVES DEEP, editor Tim Brown asked me to create new dwarven gods and to "give Realms roots" to those already in the game (created through the pioneering work of Roger Moore in DRAGON and developed by Gary Gygax and others into the form seen in the original UNEARTHED ARCANA rulebook). Assigning this aspect to Marthammor Duin gives him a Realms purpose (in the same manner that I later -- again, because the editors wanted me to -- created Vhaeraun and Eilistraee, and their portfolios, in DROW OF THE UNDERDARK), and therefore makes the clergy and churches of such deities eminently 'playable.' I see Marthammor's faith being grudging among some elder dwarves, but more enthusiastically embraced by pragmatic younger dwarves, right across the Realms. Remember, on surface Faerun dwarves are seldom numerous and concentrated (aside from the Great Rift), so large temples and great congregations of devout dwarves are unlikely anywhere (just as you wouldn't expect to encounter abundant groups of dancing priestesses of Eilistraee in, say, the farm fields outside Waterdeep :}). How things play out in your campaign is up to you. The dwarves are on an upsurge now (made possible by the shift of the D&D rules, edition by edition, from the "humans are best" limitations of the original AD&D books, which forced designers who really thought things through to try to colme up with valid longterm and large-scale reasons why elves and dwarves didn't predominate over everything, leaving humans as the henchmen, servants, and slaves), so Marthammor's faith should be strengthening, too.
4. I sure hope we'll manage to do Realms fiction and game material from the view of the common folk, but it's not something current approaches embrace, so it might have to be me putting little bits into print here and there "around the edges." A hunter/trapper in the Marches views most adventurers as 'folk with strange powers he'd best be wary of,' whose plunderings and rivalries he quite understands, but whose abilities make him uneasy. Are they favored of the gods? WHY would a priest, say, who could be safe and warm in a temple somewhere, want to go out among the lurking orcs and worse prowling monsters to get lost and freeze in the wilds? Is the man crazed?
The Harpers and Zhents are similar forces for distant insanity, good for gossip entertainment when he hears of them -- unless or until personal encounters with members of them sway his opinions into something more definite. Unless the hunter visits Silverymoon, Luskan, Mirabar, or Everlund, he probably wouldn't have heard of the Shades (beyond rumors akin to this: "great dark magic in the desert, where they say a CITY has appeared overnight!"). Most hunter/trappers dress in, and sell, the pelts of their kills, salvage some bones for needles, etc., and eat the rest. They also know what herbs, lichens, bark, berries, and the like to harvest and eat regularly, and how to keep themselves from dysentry and weakness by balancing the diet -- as well as the rich vegetable, grain, and grasses harvest that can be gleaned during the brief but vigorous growing season in the isolated northern mountain valleys (assuming one can survive all the orcs). As for ballads, I once prepared lyrics for a dozen songs (to go to traditional English folk tunes), and even sang a few at an old GenCon (in addition to those few that snuck into print in early Realms products). I'll have to find them and get them out to Realms fans again, but it may take some time: they're somewhere in the dreaded Basement Boxes.



So endeth the words of Ed. The Hooded One here, signing off (Sydney, eh? Well, Dargoth, I know Ed loved his visit there, with Uncle Wes and his family, during his 1994 book tour, but I only got to see Sydney briefly (and it was work-related, visiting a certain submarine base there for official purposes), so if you see someone with, as Blueblade so aptly put it, legs up to here and down to there, mixing strange drinks at one end of your gaming table, it'll probably be me (unless, of course, someone's just followed you home from the Rocks :}).
Go to Top of Page

Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  16:18:08  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
Yet another one for Ed...

Ed, I'd love to hear anything you might like to say on the subject of the Aerasume. Obviously we already have Boesild and Methrammar. Perhaps a full roster of names with your standard write-up shorthand (NG hm W16) and usual priceless notes on personalities/quirks? ;)

I'd especially like to hear about their father(s) and their past/current/continuing relationships to Alustriel. Is it one father or many? Does the name "Aerasume" derive from the father's name or is it more of a title meaning "Scion of Alustriel"? How did Alustriel get entangled with the father(s)? What terms are they all on with each other at present?

Has Alustriel had or will she have any daughters or is she doomed to a litter of rowdy boys? What part does Mystra have in deciding this, if any?

All part of the same question, I suppose...

-KN
********************************
Go to Top of Page

Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  17:56:57  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Ah, that's what "Spellstorm" is! I saw that listed once on the web and never heard anything more about it. That's one obscure source.

Got some questions, but they're only little.

Which artists who have worked on Realms products do you think captured the Realms best?

Which of the northern dungeons (Dungeon of Death, Dungeon of the Ruins, Durlag's Tower, Gauntlgrym, Nameless Dungeon, etc.) have you detailed for exploration by the Company of Crazed Venturers?

Are the maps of Dalelands towns that first appeared in FRS1 The Dalelands and FRQ3 Doom of Daggerdale all yours?

Is there any hope of seeing the rest of the FRQ1 manuscript, perhaps as multiple web adventures?

Was Tales from the Mornmist published?

And I ought to direct you to the second ever colour illustration of Shadowdale.

Edited by - Alaundo on 09 Mar 2004 20:25:24
Go to Top of Page

Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  18:05:09  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Here's Steven Schend's post about Alustriel's sons: http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0005C&L=realms-l&P=R13472
Go to Top of Page

Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  18:18:55  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
Here's Steven Schend's post about Alustriel's sons: http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind0005C&L=realms-l&P=R13472

***
Hmmm, yes. Very useful. My thanks. Would still like to hear any expansion on what Steven has written from Ed. I realize how busy he is though...

-KN
***********************
Go to Top of Page

JamesLowder
Forgotten Realms Author & Game Designer

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2004 :  19:14:28  Show Profile  Visit JamesLowder's Homepage Send JamesLowder a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

If I recall correctly, one of Mr. Lowder’s first tasks when hired by TSR was to rewrite Ed’s character dialogue throughout the book.


It wasn't as sweeping as that, Hooded One. My very first job, my very first week as an editorial assistant at TSR, was to "translate" some of Ed's heavier dialects in the book into more modern English. (We were editing the books on an old line editing program at that time, so this was a brutal assignment because of those technical limitations, let me tell you.) It wasn't rewriting all his dialogue, just the dialect used for certain characters. And I got the assignment in part because I had a literature background that included classes in Chaucer in the original Middle English; I at least understood the patterns and the obscure, archaic word choice.

In the original draft of Spellfire, more characters than Elminster spoke in dialect, and Elminster's dialect use was originally much heavier. The speech patterns were indictative of rank and social status and education and the like; Ed used them consistently and properly. The problem was, the level of dialect use didn't sit well with the book's main editor--who had taken over the project when the original editor left the company. (This was only one of many problems that resulted from that transition.) She was afraid the pervasive dialect use would make the book inaccessible to the general reader.

There was also the problem of the "Official Realms" diverging from "Ed's Realms." While Ed could make an argument that the dialect was part of the world, there were already other Realms novels on the market that did not utilize the dialects. The company was interested in having the Realms fiction present a more unified front, so Ed's argument was trumped by the fact that very, very successful books by Niles and Salvatore had already set expectations, in terms of language, for both readers and other Realms authors. The audience might have problems with characters speaking in radically different ways between books--and Azure Bonds was already in the works, so the fiction was heading to areas where it would cross over with the setting for Spellfire. Certainly hiring authors for Avatar would have been nightmarish--even moreso than it was--because few people can write dialects effectively.

In the end, Ed managed to argue in favor of keeping Elminster's dialect at a low level, but fear of the book being obscure and muddling the marketing of the line meant the rest had to go.

Obscurity was indeed a concern. I didn't think it was as serious a concern as the main editor did, but I could see many spots where the language was going to cause people to scratch their heads more than a publisher would want. (I vividly recall having to translate the phrase "Think you me a cod-loose winker?" for several people in the department, and these were pretty well-read folks....) And if Spellfire was going to set the language style for subsequent books set in the Heartlands, it really would have been impossible to let the dialect level stand. That would have limited the line's options too much.

But the solution settled upon was not a constructive one. Ed was not involved in the edit of Spellfire, in terms of story edit or copyedit, anywhere near as much as he should have been. I didn't know that at the time. I came into my job assuming that the every individual author would be "in the loop" on the edits, and only learned later how the book had been contracted by someone no longer at the company and the problems that the hard-and-fast scheduled release date and various crossed expectations had caused. The company made some strides toward fixing this problem with later releases--I certainly made it a priority to work more constructively with the authors I edited. But most of the editing of Spellfire was not handled in a way with which anyone was happy in the end.

Cheers,
Jim Lowder


Edited by - JamesLowder on 10 Mar 2004 00:31:21
Go to Top of Page

Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  00:23:46  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
I enjoy the Realms, but have two questions.

1) I have been toying with see how the Realms might change for a campaign in the distance future...2372/2373 for example. I'm curious as to see what Mr. Greenwood might envision for the realms if place a thousand years from now. Which nations will have lasted? Will the Dieties have changed? What effects have the NPC of had on the future? Are the legends or forgotten in the mists of time? Also would Elminster and/or the other choosen of Mystra have last that long? Would they be at still operational levels or madder than a hatter convention?

2)What is your opinion of the Planetouched? Will we be seeing more of them. Will there be a Year of the Planetouched? Also what do your characters think of the Planetouched?

Thanks and I hope I haven't bothered you.

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  03:20:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. The Hooded One here, bearing Ed’s latest answers:


Adrian Moonbow, I too would like to know what Larloch’s up to -- not because I think he’s planning to overthrow realms or reach out and slaughter me if I visit the Realms, but because his ‘slowly, softly, quietly’ intrigues and manipulations to steady gain more and more magic and knowledge about individuals in the Realms who have magic he hasn’t yet acquired (or are experimenting with new castings or magic item craftings) fascinates me. Whereas Elminster and the other Chosen are tirelessly disseminating magical lore in the service of Mystra, but trying to steer who gets what to avoid reckless tyrants blowing up the entire Realms, Larloch is the silent, patient sponge who long ago gained enough stuff to shatter Faerun, but just goes on quietly grabbing more.
No, I don’t think adventurers often get far enough to really pester him, given all the liches he can throw at them as defenders. I see him as viewing adventurers as the equivalent of television: a parade of entertainment laid on for his amusement, too much ‘the same’ from day to day to be really enthralling, but worth a glance and a laugh now and then.
Lantan is of course ‘on the list’ of places to deal with, eventually (watch upcoming Realmslore columns for more about a different thus-far-neglected island), but in general I see two factors at work governing what fantastic gadgets from Lantan get into circulation: price (how many folk in the Realms will pay serious coin for, say, a clockwork toy, or even a clock when the sun and local religious observances govern daily events, and in daily society no one makes or keeps appointments “by the minute” or “on the hour”? palaces and temples have their own timekeeping, and no one else lives that way) and self-control: really powerful weapons (beyond individual battlefield firearms and the printing press, which have already found their ways onto the mainland) are probably either kept on Lantan, or are sent out of Lantan only under strict conditions (like having a Lantanna “minder” with them at all times, under the fiction that the gadget in question is so complex that it will only keep working under the continuous supervision and maintenance of a trained Lantanna. In other words, young maverick inventors of Lantan are going to be restricted in what they can export by their long-seeing seniors (who thanks to the religion of Gond have the moral authority to do so).
If you’re at all interested in steampunk, a within-Lantan campaign might be the way to go, and I’d put it on two levels: secret inventions of sophistication being kept within families (just as the noble houses of Waterdeep show off some things at revels, but keep others as dark secrets), and a public (that is, openly within Lantan) mechanization that’s about at the level of what Phil and Kaja Foglio have depicted in their marvellous GIRL GENIUS comics, with machines known as “clanks” and whatnot.
Whether or not the published Lantan ends up looking like this or not, Lantan is the “sleeping giant” on the Realms scene, with the potential to rise to become an alternative to magic, but easily kept down to the status of “oddity” if players and DMs don’t want technology to play that large a role in their games.

Lashan, I did indeed create and name the Vast. I don’t know exactly when the small fishing port grew into a city or acquired the name Tantras (I can tell you what afternoon * I * named it that, but that’s hardly the same thing :}), but I see it as not gaining its importance to the faith of Torm until relatively recently (two to three centuries ago). I do know that the temple of Torm in Tantras began as a shrine in a modest manor house, the Loyal House, and that the manor was soon expanded and fortified to become The True and Loyal House, and that devout worshippers of Torm built houses all around it, forming their own neighbourhood of the city. As the power and influence of the clergy of Torm grew, Tormites became scattered all over the growing-around-its-port city, and rebuilt and greatly expanded True and Loyal House is, yes, now known as The Temple of Torm’s Coming (for obvious reasons).
The coopers, cabinetmakers, turners, and carpenters centered in Tantras remain there because of its good harbour (hence easy shipping of goods to elsewhere) and generations of skilled woodworkers (hence ready training, streets and docks suited to crating and moving furniture, controlling and guarding against fires, etc.). They were established there in the first place, centuries back, because of the quality and quantity of the forests of the Vast (which lacked the fierce elven defenders of the similarly good woodlands on the other side of the Dragonreach). Many of these forests have now been cut down and used up, though the rolling farms of the Vast sport many woodlots, and its many creeks are cloaked in continuous runs of bankside trees: a visitor looking at the Vast will see a landscape of gently-rolling hills, and many trees (the forest studded with farms, not open farmland adorned with one or two trees).
Woodcutters are busily at work logging the eastern Vast even today -- and by “eastern Vast” I mean the slopes of the mountains that form the eastern barrier of the Vast. Although orcs do cut down timbers for their own use and do start fires from time to time (especially when making war), it would be wrong to see the orcs of the Vast as tree-hating clearers-of-the-landscape. Looking at it this way: if orcs want to eat humans or dwarves (the two dominant intelligen sources of meat in the Vast), they have to fight for their meals. Nowadays, they can also raid livestock kept on human ranches, or moving along roads as beasts of burden. However, the chief source of ready food in Vastar and in the Vast today has always been woodland animals (deer, rabbits, squirrels, bears, and everything else). The only way to keep such game abundant is to leave the forests standing: denude a stretch of land and you starve yourself (deer will certainly graze in grasslands, but you have to wait until your cleared forest floor grows consistent crops of grass, and orc bellies complain as loudly as anyone else’s if they have to wait from season to season. So the trees are still there, in all those narrow, monster-haunted, orc-prowled valleys between the mountains. Getting them has just become more dangerous and time-consuming (and hence more expensive).

BrokenRulz, you know I’d love to see Realmslore books on anything and everything, from trade routes and barter rates to the Border Kingdoms, and a collected Wyrms of the North to Volo’s Guides to this, that, and every last corner of the Realms . . . so I doubt it’ll come as much of a surprise to you that I’d love to see a Big Book of Realms Battles or something of the sort. If you look at some of the gloriously mapped and illustrated with blow-by-blow battlefield troop movements books on real-world ancient warfare (and the “Osprey”-like FR sourcebook that covered the Tuigan conflict), you can see how handsome such products can be. Yet someone running a games company (like, uh, well, take Wizards of the Coast :}) might well view such a product as having too narrow a focus and thus too small sales to be worth the time and expense of creating those glorious maps and graphics, and having someone write the thing. I’m not sure just what the sales of that past FR product I referred to were, but I’m sure they’d be used in reaching such a decision. And covering the battles and tactics of the past is “looking back,” something extremely valid in examining the real world (if one follows the “history is written on the battlefield” philosophy), but sometimes frowned upon in crafting roleplaying game products, where the focus is on “what will PCs find there now, and what’s about to happen that the PCs will find themselves in the middle of.” I agree that the specific example of drow strife you mentioned would be fascinating, as would the Harpstars Wars, and half a dozen other conflicts I could list off the top of my head, but that doesn’t mean, if I pass this suggestion on (and I will), that you’ll see such a product. Just to name one WotC staffer whom I know would do a great job on such a game book: Rich Baker. Yet the days of Rich Baker getting to work one day (or me phoning the old TSR offices in Lake Geneva one morning) and saying, “Hey, I’ve just had this great idea for a product on Pink Elephants Of the Realms! I’ll write this month, okay?” are over, if they ever existed at all. Lots of folks have input into what products appear in the product line. I’ll pass your idea along, and we’ll see, but I have to admit I want to do those ten “essential starter” Volo’s Guides first (Moonsea, Amn, Tethyr, Silver Marches, the Vast, Impiltur, Aglarond, Calimshan, Tashluta and the Tashalar, and of course “All the Other Places I Got Thrown Out Of”).

And for the record, I now tend to agree with what Jim Lowder has posted here: the dialect of my original Realms DOES cut down on accessibility (remember, I was used to portraying all of these NPCs as a DM, to a group of players who included at least three who were steeped in British accents, and a majority of whom were highly educated on medieval matters), and I could certainly have been convinced of that at the time, if I’d been consulted or told about it at all (Rule Number One when launching dozens of people to work on a shared world: constant good close communications are a MUST, and that’s what was all too often lacking, then and in the years that follow. Jim has quoted the “cod-loose winker” line exactly, and I’ve been informed that the original Harper pin idea was his. too. (By the way, fans of old English words should take a sharp glance at the latest Spin A Yarn tale: I worked about a dozen of them into it, providing WotC with an explanatory glossary, and I think they were all left in the text [without the glossary, of course :}].)

So endeth Edspeak. The Hooded One, signing off . . . and fondly remembering the arch in-play comment of one female PC to her PC suitor: “Prithee, m’lord, must mine ears hear yet more of thy old ‘doth not now, how I trow’ sallies? Thy ensnaring railery and saucy maynoverer doth make me no more deeply thy piggesnye!”
Yes, we DID talk like that. You must admit it does sound more medieval than the infamous DM’s utterance at an early GenCon, when running us through the Slavelords module, after Ed cast a wall of fire spell on our foes: “Eat flaming death, Nazi pigs!”
Even today, we female members of Ed’s players have been known to mockingly rebuff flirtations (or over-flowery excuses handed to us by bosses, co-workers, or partners), by rolling our eyes and murmuring, “MORE of your doth not now, how I trow?”
Ed warns again that Waterdeep may slow his replies, but that he certainly still wants to hear your questions. (Faraer and anyone posting after Mr. Lowder, I'll be sending your queries on to Ed ASAP.)
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  03:24:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. The Hooded One here, bearing Ed’s latest answers:


Adrian Moonbow, I too would like to know what Larloch’s up to -- not because I think he’s planning to overthrow realms or reach out and slaughter me if I visit the Realms, but because his ‘slowly, softly, quietly’ intrigues and manipulations to steady gain more and more magic and knowledge about individuals in the Realms who have magic he hasn’t yet acquired (or are experimenting with new castings or magic item craftings) fascinates me. Whereas Elminster and the other Chosen are tirelessly disseminating magical lore in the service of Mystra, but trying to steer who gets what to avoid reckless tyrants blowing up the entire Realms, Larloch is the silent, patient sponge who long ago gained enough stuff to shatter Faerun, but just goes on quietly grabbing more.
No, I don’t think adventurers often get far enough to really pester him, given all the liches he can throw at them as defenders. I see him as viewing adventurers as the equivalent of television: a parade of entertainment laid on for his amusement, too much ‘the same’ from day to day to be really enthralling, but worth a glance and a laugh now and then.
Lantan is of course ‘on the list’ of places to deal with, eventually (watch upcoming Realmslore columns for more about a different thus-far-neglected island), but in general I see two factors at work governing what fantastic gadgets from Lantan get into circulation: price (how many folk in the Realms will pay serious coin for, say, a clockwork toy, or even a clock when the sun and local religious observances govern daily events, and in daily society no one makes or keeps appointments “by the minute” or “on the hour”? palaces and temples have their own timekeeping, and no one else lives that way) and self-control: really powerful weapons (beyond individual battlefield firearms and the printing press, which have already found their ways onto the mainland) are probably either kept on Lantan, or are sent out of Lantan only under strict conditions (like having a Lantanna “minder” with them at all times, under the fiction that the gadget in question is so complex that it will only keep working under the continuous supervision and maintenance of a trained Lantanna. In other words, young maverick inventors of Lantan are going to be restricted in what they can export by their long-seeing seniors (who thanks to the religion of Gond have the moral authority to do so).
If you’re at all interested in steampunk, a within-Lantan campaign might be the way to go, and I’d put it on two levels: secret inventions of sophistication being kept within families (just as the noble houses of Waterdeep show off some things at revels, but keep others as dark secrets), and a public (that is, openly within Lantan) mechanization that’s about at the level of what Phil and Kaja Foglio have depicted in their marvellous GIRL GENIUS comics, with machines known as “clanks” and whatnot.
Whether or not the published Lantan ends up looking like this or not, Lantan is the “sleeping giant” on the Realms scene, with the potential to rise to become an alternative to magic, but easily kept down to the status of “oddity” if players and DMs don’t want technology to play that large a role in their games.

Lashan, I did indeed create and name the Vast. I don’t know exactly when the small fishing port grew into a city or acquired the name Tantras (I can tell you what afternoon * I * named it that, but that’s hardly the same thing :}), but I see it as not gaining its importance to the faith of Torm until relatively recently (two to three centuries ago). I do know that the temple of Torm in Tantras began as a shrine in a modest manor house, the Loyal House, and that the manor was soon expanded and fortified to become The True and Loyal House, and that devout worshippers of Torm built houses all around it, forming their own neighbourhood of the city. As the power and influence of the clergy of Torm grew, Tormites became scattered all over the growing-around-its-port city, and rebuilt and greatly expanded True and Loyal House is, yes, now known as The Temple of Torm’s Coming (for obvious reasons).
The coopers, cabinetmakers, turners, and carpenters centered in Tantras remain there because of its good harbour (hence easy shipping of goods to elsewhere) and generations of skilled woodworkers (hence ready training, streets and docks suited to crating and moving furniture, controlling and guarding against fires, etc.). They were established there in the first place, centuries back, because of the quality and quantity of the forests of the Vast (which lacked the fierce elven defenders of the similarly good woodlands on the other side of the Dragonreach). Many of these forests have now been cut down and used up, though the rolling farms of the Vast sport many woodlots, and its many creeks are cloaked in continuous runs of bankside trees: a visitor looking at the Vast will see a landscape of gently-rolling hills, and many trees (the forest studded with farms, not open farmland adorned with one or two trees).
Woodcutters are busily at work logging the eastern Vast even today -- and by “eastern Vast” I mean the slopes of the mountains that form the eastern barrier of the Vast. Although orcs do cut down timbers for their own use and do start fires from time to time (especially when making war), it would be wrong to see the orcs of the Vast as tree-hating clearers-of-the-landscape. Looking at it this way: if orcs want to eat humans or dwarves (the two dominant intelligen sources of meat in the Vast), they have to fight for their meals. Nowadays, they can also raid livestock kept on human ranches, or moving along roads as beasts of burden. However, the chief source of ready food in Vastar and in the Vast today has always been woodland animals (deer, rabbits, squirrels, bears, and everything else). The only way to keep such game abundant is to leave the forests standing: denude a stretch of land and you starve yourself (deer will certainly graze in grasslands, but you have to wait until your cleared forest floor grows consistent crops of grass, and orc bellies complain as loudly as anyone else’s if they have to wait from season to season. So the trees are still there, in all those narrow, monster-haunted, orc-prowled valleys between the mountains. Getting them has just become more dangerous and time-consuming (and hence more expensive).

BrokenRulz, you know I’d love to see Realmslore books on anything and everything, from trade routes and barter rates to the Border Kingdoms, and a collected Wyrms of the North to Volo’s Guides to this, that, and every last corner of the Realms . . . so I doubt it’ll come as much of a surprise to you that I’d love to see a Big Book of Realms Battles or something of the sort. If you look at some of the gloriously mapped and illustrated with blow-by-blow battlefield troop movements books on real-world ancient warfare (and the “Osprey”-like FR sourcebook that covered the Tuigan conflict), you can see how handsome such products can be. Yet someone running a games company (like, uh, well, take Wizards of the Coast :}) might well view such a product as having too narrow a focus and thus too small sales to be worth the time and expense of creating those glorious maps and graphics, and having someone write the thing. I’m not sure just what the sales of that past FR product I referred to were, but I’m sure they’d be used in reaching such a decision. And covering the battles and tactics of the past is “looking back,” something extremely valid in examining the real world (if one follows the “history is written on the battlefield” philosophy), but sometimes frowned upon in crafting roleplaying game products, where the focus is on “what will PCs find there now, and what’s about to happen that the PCs will find themselves in the middle of.” I agree that the specific example of drow strife you mentioned would be fascinating, as would the Harpstars Wars, and half a dozen other conflicts I could list off the top of my head, but that doesn’t mean, if I pass this suggestion on (and I will), that you’ll see such a product. Just to name one WotC staffer whom I know would do a great job on such a game book: Rich Baker. Yet the days of Rich Baker getting to work one day (or me phoning the old TSR offices in Lake Geneva one morning) and saying, “Hey, I’ve just had this great idea for a product on Pink Elephants Of the Realms! I’ll write this month, okay?” are over, if they ever existed at all. Lots of folks have input into what products appear in the product line. I’ll pass your idea along, and we’ll see, but I have to admit I want to do those ten “essential starter” Volo’s Guides first (Moonsea, Amn, Tethyr, Silver Marches, the Vast, Impiltur, Aglarond, Calimshan, Tashluta and the Tashalar, and of course “All the Other Places I Got Thrown Out Of”).

And for the record, I now tend to agree with what Jim Lowder has posted here: the dialect of my original Realms DOES cut down on accessibility (remember, I was used to portraying all of these NPCs as a DM, to a group of players who included at least three who were steeped in British accents, and a majority of whom were highly educated on medieval matters), and I could certainly have been convinced of that at the time, if I’d been consulted or told about it at all (Rule Number One when launching dozens of people to work on a shared world: constant good close communications are a MUST, and that’s what was all too often lacking, then and in the years that follow. Jim has quoted the “cod-loose winker” line exactly, and I’ve been informed that the original Harper pin idea was his. too. (By the way, fans of old English words should take a sharp glance at the latest Spin A Yarn tale: I worked about a dozen of them into it, providing WotC with an explanatory glossary, and I think they were all left in the text [without the glossary, of course :}].)

So endeth Edspeak. The Hooded One, signing off . . . and fondly remembering the arch in-play comment of one female PC to her PC suitor: “Prithee, m’lord, must mine ears hear yet more of thy old ‘doth not now, how I trow’ sallies? Thy ensnaring railery and saucy maynoverer doth make me no more deeply thy piggesnye!”
Yes, we DID talk like that. You must admit it does sound more medieval than the infamous DM’s utterance at an early GenCon, when running us through the Slavelords module, after Ed cast a wall of fire spell on our foes: “Eat flaming death, Nazi pigs!”
Even today, we female members of Ed’s players have been known to mockingly rebuff flirtations (or over-flowery excuses handed to us by bosses, co-workers, or partners), by rolling our eyes and murmuring, “MORE of your doth not now, how I trow?”
Ed warns again that Waterdeep may slow his replies, but that he certainly still wants to hear your questions. (Faraer and anyone posting after Mr. Lowder, I'll be sending your queries on to Ed ASAP.)
Go to Top of Page

Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  06:06:10  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
some MORE questions for Ed

1) What can you tell us about the Dragon egg trade in the town of Glen in Mistledale? It seems rather odd that this town has not been subjected to a Dragon rage or at least raids by the cult of the Dragon who would be rather keen on obtaining Dragon eggs

2)Regarding yours and Elaines "Waterdeep" novel have you decided on what the novel will be called (I assume your not going to call it Waterdeep a theres already a novel with that name)

3) Also other than the Demon Lord Eltab and our old friend Tyranthraxus from pool of Radiance are there other Arch devils/Demon Lords are specfic to the FR

Thanks in advance

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
Go to Top of Page

Alexander Heppe
Seeker

Germany
62 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  08:44:15  Show Profile  Visit Alexander Heppe's Homepage  Send Alexander Heppe an AOL message Send Alexander Heppe a Private Message
Just wanted the Hooded One to say thanks to Ed for me. His answers to my questions have really improved my ability to portray some aspects of my Silver Marches Campaign.

I promise to be back with more questions for the greatest of the Sages. His excellent creations have given me the opportunity to participate in a world larger than I could have ever imagined. Do you have business-cards, telling "Ed Greenwood - World Builder Extraordinaire"?
Go to Top of Page

Crust
Learned Scribe

USA
273 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  13:50:45  Show Profile  Visit Crust's Homepage  Send Crust an AOL message Send Crust a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by JamesLowder

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

If I recall correctly, one of Mr. Lowder’s first tasks when hired by TSR was to rewrite Ed’s character dialogue throughout the book.


It wasn't as sweeping as that, Hooded One. My very first job, my very first week as an editorial assistant at TSR, was to "translate" some of Ed's heavier dialects in the book into more modern English. (We were editing the books on an old line editing program at that time, so this was a brutal assignment because of those technical limitations, let me tell you.) It wasn't rewriting all his dialogue, just the dialect used for certain characters. And I got the assignment in part because I had a literature background that included classes in Chaucer in the original Middle English; I at least understood the patterns and the obscure, archaic word choice.

In the original draft of Spellfire, more characters than Elminster spoke in dialect, and Elminster's dialect use was originally much heavier. The speech patterns were indictative of rank and social status and education and the like; Ed used them consistently and properly. The problem was, the level of dialect use didn't sit well with the book's main editor--who had taken over the project when the original editor left the company. (This was only one of many problems that resulted from that transition.) She was afraid the pervasive dialect use would make the book inaccessible to the general reader.

There was also the problem of the "Official Realms" diverging from "Ed's Realms." While Ed could make an argument that the dialect was part of the world, there were already other Realms novels on the market that did not utilize the dialects. The company was interested in having the Realms fiction present a more unified front, so Ed's argument was trumped by the fact that very, very successful books by Niles and Salvatore had already set expectations, in terms of language, for both readers and other Realms authors. The audience might have problems with characters speaking in radically different ways between books--and Azure Bonds was already in the works, so the fiction was heading to areas where it would cross over with the setting for Spellfire. Certainly hiring authors for Avatar would have been nightmarish--even moreso than it was--because few people can write dialects effectively.

In the end, Ed managed to argue in favor of keeping Elminster's dialect at a low level, but fear of the book being obscure and muddling the marketing of the line meant the rest had to go.

Obscurity was indeed a concern. I didn't think it was as serious a concern as the main editor did, but I could see many spots where the language was going to cause people to scratch their heads more than a publisher would want. (I vividly recall having to translate the phrase "Think you me a cod-loose winker?" for several people in the department, and these were pretty well-read folks....) And if Spellfire was going to set the language style for subsequent books set in the Heartlands, it really would have been impossible to let the dialect level stand. That would have limited the line's options too much.

But the solution settled upon was not a constructive one. Ed was not involved in the edit of Spellfire, in terms of story edit or copyedit, anywhere near as much as he should have been. I didn't know that at the time. I came into my job assuming that the every individual author would be "in the loop" on the edits, and only learned later how the book had been contracted by someone no longer at the company and the problems that the hard-and-fast scheduled release date and various crossed expectations had caused. The company made some strides toward fixing this problem with later releases--I certainly made it a priority to work more constructively with the authors I edited. But most of the editing of Spellfire was not handled in a way with which anyone was happy in the end.

Cheers,
Jim Lowder





What an amazing piece of information. What a shame that Ed wasn't able to show us the Realms the way it was meant to be shown.

"That's right, hurl back views that force ye to think by name-calling - 'tis the grand old tradition, let it not down! Anything to keep from having to think, or - Mystra forfend - change thy own views!"

Narnra glowered at her father. "Just how am I to learn how to think? By being taught by you?"

"Some folk in the Realms would give their lives for the chance to learn at my feet," Elminster said mildly. "Several already have."

~from Elminster's Daughter, Ed Greenwood
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  15:03:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Any questions for Ed? ;}

Edited by - Alaundo on 10 Mar 2004 17:32:13
Go to Top of Page

crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  15:42:03  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Any questions for Ed? ;}



Yes please!

Ashtoroth, the demon who was a devil, or was it the other way around? any chance of clarification?

Will Neiroon be making appearance in the Knights books?

Will we see a Crazed Venturers get together in the Waterdeep novel (maybe see them in the Dripping Dagger having a Zzar or two reminiscing about the good old days, as the current flashblades wizz through engaged in adventure!)

Any chance of Ed doing the PROPER Haunted Halls please - a full blown book detailing all the people, their fueds and factions and of course the Halls themselves (great campaign starter IMO)

Also, will the Dungeon of the Crypt see the light of day at any point?

and a bit of background lore on Nimoars Hold would be nice please (unless that is also in the Waterdeep book)

and Hooded One what was your best ever moment (or three, feel free to expand) sitting round the gaming table (and how did you feel when you found out what happened to Lashan ;) - if you part of the team hunting for him?)

erm, about it for now :)

Cheers

Damian
(back home early after having a tooth pulled - OUCH)

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
Go to Top of Page

Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5562 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  17:35:57  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message
Well met

Just a short note, for those who have not yet seen the latest site update, a selection of Ed's Q&A herein is collected over in the Interview Room. This will continue to be updated with a selection of entries.

In addition, Ed's interview by Mortality.net is also available to download from the Interview Room.

May I once again take the opportunity to thank Ed and The Hooded One for stopping by and sharing Realmslore and knowledge with the Scribes of Candlekeep.

Alaundo
Candlekeep Forums Head Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct


An Introduction to Candlekeep - by Ed Greenwood
The Candlekeep Compendium - Tomes of Realmslore penned by Scribes of Candlekeep

Edited by - Alaundo on 10 Mar 2004 17:37:11
Go to Top of Page

Lashan
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  17:47:23  Show Profile  Visit Lashan's Homepage Send Lashan a Private Message
Thanks Ed! That has answered some questions and given rise to new ones. I see I fell for the old "orcs destroy their own ecosystem" propaganda that certain druid circles have put out. It makes much more sense if they don't. I'm still curious about the orcs of the Vast. How often would you say a strong leader bands a few tribes into creating a horde? With the life-cycle of orcs, I always pictured about once a generation, but I could be wrong. Perhaps the grey orcs of old Vastar don't band up to cause mischief as often as I thought?

That leads into another questions I have. Are the roads of the Vast patroled at all? If so, then by who? I could see how the various city-states want to protect the economic life-lines of the Vast and send out patrols (much like the Lords' Alliance). The Vast has a frontier feel to it, though. Perhaps there is no military alliance and it is rather a risky thing to be travelling, particularly near the mountains? Are there any knighly orders that are dedicated to protecting the countryside in the Vast? The world HQ of the god of paladins is right in Tantras. I would like to believe that there is a knightly order that triest to protect the various peoples of the Vast. I figured that something like a Knights of the Griffon (nearby fierce and mystic creature) would be around.

Now that you have smashed my preconcpetions of how the city of Tantras did form, I will have to think about how the town council and the various lords did come into power. You have got me thinking. Thanks so much for all the info! I greatly appreciate it. Sorry if I am asking too many questions.
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  19:03:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met, all. The Hooded One here again (this whipped cur trailing me is hight Blueblade; if he offers you a beer, I’d decline), with the latest answers from Ed:

Karth, Steve Schend catalogued Alustriel’s sons elsewhere and elsewhen, and to avoid stepping on the toes of folks currently at work on must-remain-mysterious-for-now things in the Realms, I’m going to bow out of giving you names, order of birth, levels, et al. Sorry.
However, you deserve answers to the rest of your related query, so here goes:
My concept of Alustriel as de facto ruler of Silverymoon has always been glossed over by TSR (and now WotC) for Code of Ethics/Code of Conduct reasons, because I see her as the Realms equivalent of ‘the Queen of Courtly Love,’ presiding over a Court that amuses itself (along with delighting in wit, new songs, new inventions or clever craftsmanship, and fashions) with dalliances, courtship, and lovemaking. Er, lots of lovemaking. :}
In the same way that real-world kings in some places and times enjoyed droit de signeur [French for: “As the King, I have the right to sleep with anyone” :}], Alustriel takes many lovers for short periods of time, and is one of those rare kind, understanding, warm people who has the knack of staying close, affectionate friends with former lovers, even in the presence of other ex-flames. In fact, it’s quite likely that any meeting of courtiers will contain a majority of folk who have visited the royal bed or baths at one time or another -- and most of them remain fiercely loyal to Alustriel and to her dream of Silverymoon. (In fact, some cynics, such as Torm of the Knights of Myth Drannor, believe she deliberately seduces political foes to transform them into personal friends.) The fact demonstrably remains that to attack Alustriel in Silverymoon will be to evoke immediate defense of her person by dozens of champions who will lay down their lives to protect hers, even knowing she’s the “Anointed of the Goddess” and may not really need their protection.
For obvious moral reasons, published Realmslore glides over all this ‘free love’ stuff (gakk! orgies! Nonononono!) without saying much (though if you read the words of Silverymmon-related Realmslore I’ve written, nothing contradicts it). If you’re portraying Alustriel correctly in play, she loves to laugh (except when to do so would be cruel to others), gives hugs, caresses, and kisses freely, has no personal dignity (nude? Me? Yes, so? Yes, I heard him comment on the shape and taste of my breasts -- that’s why I was thanking him) but a LOT of personal grace and charm, and never forgets details about people (so if meeting a knight she bedded one night eight years ago, she’ll recall the name of his ailing mother and her ailment, the name of his new bride, and any ‘touchy triggers’ any of them might have). Most folk who meet her can’t remain jealous of her or angry at her for long.
The original Mystra seemed to encourage Alustriel to have children (why? Hoho! SO many mysteries, waved before you!), because she conceived every nine months and a day or two, giving Faerun a succession of healthy males in a series of easy births (and being little constricted or uncomfortable while pregnant, because rather than acquiring a ballooning belly, the High Lady always put on weight all over, and retained her poise, balance, and activities). Yes, she’s given birth to females, and no, I’m not going to say ANYTHING more about that for future schemes reasons. :} The new Mystra may have other ideas, because (as far as Elminster knows -- and he doesn’t hesitate to ask her, straight out) Alustriel isn’t pregnant right now, and shows no signs of becoming so.
For details of her current consort, see the quartet of Realmslore columns appearing on the WotC website right now.
“Aerasume” is a surname, and all of the tall, strapping lads who bear it share the same father, who remains Alustriel’s lover on nights when she needs comforting, but these days is often away from Silverymoon on explorative expeditions into the wilderlands. As I said: with very few exceptions, Alustriel remains on good terms with her former lovers, and manages somehow to keep them comfortable with each other (I guess it’s like being members of a club one very much enjoys being part of). So they all get along well together. At long-ago GenCons I often ran Realms play sessions in which PCs were sent with an urgent message to Alustriel [a stranger to them by all but reputation] through a secret portal that admitted them to the Palace but removed all metal -- weapons and, er, BELT BUCKLES -- and all enchanted materials [items and garments vanished, spells operating on the bodies of the PCs just melted away] in doing so. Stumbling over their own falling clothing but under imperative, overriding orders to get to Alustriel right away (and bearing a pass that would let them do so), the racing PCs were directed to a certain chamber, and burst into it to discover that it was taken up by a vast, shallow bath filled with warm rosewater and naked people making love. SOMEwhere in all of that sliding flesh was Alustriel. Their mission: find her.
I loved watching players’ faces, right at that moment.
Ahem. I hope that answers half of your questions, Karth. :}
As the commercials say: “All participants are trained professionals. Don’t try this at home.” But then again, feel free to ignore this warning.

Faraer! Well met as always! Yes, "Spellstorm" is one of my Baron’s Blades modules. It was donated to the RPGA for their use, and they edited it, unfortunately removed most of the fun graphics handouts I did for it (messages and other things given to players during play so their PCs could solve a mystery). So I vastly prefer my original.
As for artists: well, I’m sure we’ve all had this feeling, when looking at a piece of artwork or watching a movie or television show that adapts a book we love, of thinking “That character looks wrong!” . . . and of course I get a lot of that when looking at Realms stuff. (Please remember, all who read this, that we’re talking personal preferences here.) When doing the Volo’s Guides, I turned in eighty-page art orders with examples drawn from divers sources of how buildings and garments and people should look, and Val Valusek captured almost everything perfectly (though the printing method used in the Volo books often obscured the beautiful detail of her originals and made them “blobby”). In like manner, I love the pic she did that appears on page 74 of the City of Splendors Campaign Guide, and it hangs over my upstairs study desk. Her interior art throughout Seven Sisters pleases me VERY much. Her Realms work in general has been superb art and ‘bang-on’ in getting the looks of things correct.
I love the Larry Elmore piece used as the cover of both Cities of Mystery and the City of Splendors Adventurers Guide To The City, and almost swoon over the grandeur of his cover for FR5 The Savage Frontier. I think Matt Stawicki got Elminster just right on the cover of Elminster In Hell, and Fred Fields did the same for Khelben on the cover of the City of Splendors box (in both cases, expertly capturing the man AS HE LOOKED AT THAT TIME).
Just as pieces of art, I like the Walter Velez cover for Stormlight and the cover of the forthcoming Elminster’s Daughter. I could go on for pages and pages here (it’s okay, Alaundo, I won’t!) of “I like this,” but what really matters to me is capturing the look of buildings, countryside, monsters, and individuals correctly, so a DM can hold an example up and saying, “You see THIS.”
I’ve detailed all or part of all the northern dungeons you list, but most of them are “mini-dungeons” (eight to twelve chambers linked by passages), and the published references to many of them no longer match my faint, 1st-Edition pencil originals. Which is a not-so-deft way of saying you’ll probably never see said originals in print. BTW: I had many mini-dungeons of the sort my players call “gauntlets” (doing the right or wrong thing triggers a portal that whisks you to another subterranean chamber and encounter, which you can’t avoid because there’s no way out except by finding the next portal, and so on, in a little chain; terribly unfair, of course [evil grin]).
No, none of those maps are from my originals, though the Scardale one is a simplified (individual buildings in city core blocks not shown), made-smaller version of one of my originals. The needs of a publisher require small, compact maps, and most of the Dales are clusters of farm dwellings, so you’d have handfuls of buildings here and there, on a map measuring 4 feet by 8 feet, as the “center” of a dale. So things got . . . telescoped.
Are the maps of Dalelands towns that first appeared in FRS1 The Dalelands and FRQ3 Doom of Daggerdale all yours?
At the moment there’s no hope of seeing the cut parts of FRQ1, for reasons of the time it would take and the different approach to the game since then. I didn’t finish writing a lot of it to readable-by-all standards, would have to put the maps ‘back’ to my more complex and larger originals, and WotC doesn’t publish exhaustive setpiece locales (detailing every chamberpot, intrigue, and old feud tale in a small village).
As far as I know, the publisher for Mornmist went bankrupt, or nearly so, through no fault of his own. Lynn Abbey and I did our world-building, and I believe four novels were contracted and at least partially paid-for and written (not by Lynn or myself). I heard that the publisher was selling copies of the first one at flea markets, years later, but I’ve never seen a copy, and that might be mere rumor. Rob King, who’d just left TSR, was editor for the project, brought us all on board, and behaved with honour and dignity as disaster overtook Mornmist, which was a serious fantasy setting in which intelligent, speaking animals (echoes of Redwall) adventured in a post-Apocalypse North America. BTW: I know there are far too many Arthurian fantasies out there, but Rob’s, published by TOR these last few years, are VERY good. Literature.

Foxhelm, you haven’t bothered me; I LOVE answering questions. Besides catching up with all of my friends in gaming (and there’s no truth whatsoever that “catching up” means ‘drinking under the table’) this is what I go to GenCon Indy every year FOR.
However, your first question has too many variables for me to do more than wildly guess (what about the advance of technology? The doings of the Shades or Thay or Larloch or other masters of powerful magic? Plagues? Tidal waves and volcanism and continental sinkings or risings?
So let me just answer by saying what I’d do, if as DM I was setting up a far-future Realms campaign.
I see the Silver Marches and Waterdeep as both growing in size, wealth, and population, despite the batterings of orc hordes. I see certain critters (dragons) as being far rarer, thanks to reactions to the flights of dragons that cause an “exterminate on sight” attitude in many humans. I see strong surface dwarf and elf realms on the mainland, and the collapse of Thay into small, warring holds. I see Sembia trying to swallow both Westgate and the Dales, and failing to swallow Cormyr, which now has a large wealthy merchant class and overcrowding. I see Impiltur and Thesk and Aglarond also expanding, with much local lawlessness and warfare . . . and everywhere, I see powerful mages exterminated, and those who do have magic keeping a lower profile (adviser to throne rather than on throne, local healer and sage rather than local tyrant). I see many of the Chosen gone mad and weepingly imploring Mystra to slay them -- and in a few cases, I see Azuth stepping in with newly-picked Chosen to oversee rituals in which a new Chosen slays a willing old Chosen in a manner that allows subsumption of the Silver Fire and some memories (transfer from old to new). I see the memories changing the new Chosen and driving a few of them mad (the work of Shar?). I see fewer gods, and all of them having less power and influence, as general wealth and technology increases, and “the common folk” make praying increasingly a “say and do this for good luck on the way home, and then say and do this to this other god before bed” matter-of-fact affair rather than obeying priests to the death.
I see lots of new, small realms, and warfar between them.
And I’m not sure I’d want to see much more of a Realms like that, or play in them. Yet as I said at the outset, this is merely one possibility among literally thousands.
As for the Planetouched, I doubt there’ll be a “Year of” them soon, because the Roll of Years is set for quite some time into both past and future, and because in the Realms they’re individuals rather than grouped as coherent colonies, nations, or kingdoms I think it’s a lot more fun in play to have planetouched living among just regular folks (remember, much of the Realms is already a United Nations of half-breeds and various intelligent races anyway, not given over to single xenophobic races), especially if they keep a low profile and can surprise PCs in play. Quite a few of the ladies of pleasure in Waterdeep and Amn are tieflings, for instance, because of the “lure of the illicit” and the spice of danger. I’m unsure what you’re asking here: “Also what do your characters think of the Planetouched?” Do you mean the vast and varied NPCs I run as DM? Or the characters run by my players? Or . . .?
Dargoth, future schemes not yet quite unfolded in the published Realms prohibit me from saying anything about Glen. Yes, it DOES seem rather odd, doesn’t it? :}
The title of the Waterdeep novel still isn’t settled, but neither Elaine nor I get to choose it. Suggest, yes, choose no: publishers always reserve that right for themselves (also release date, price, marketing, format) because they’re the ones risking the money, and they therefore want to control how a product is presented to the market.
Yes, the Realms has many outcast (as opposed to ruling) archdevils and similar major-league-nasty unique creatures from other planes, but most of them keep a low profile (because to do otherwise is to get whacked). No, I’m not going to reveal any more here, again because of future plans.
Alexander, you’re welcome. And so is everyone else who’s thanked me; I’m sorry, I’ve been remiss in basic courtesy the last little while. And while I’m at it, you’re welcome, Alaundo, and I must thank YOU for making this forum available and so welcoming to all who love the Realms.
It’s my pleasure to help make the Realms more colourful and real for everyone, whenever and however I can. I have quite nondescript business cards (other than the crescent moon badge they bear), but I also have Elminster business cards I hand out at conventions and at book autographing sessions (to those who don’t bring, or can’t afford to buy, the books, but do want to meet me).
And hi, Crust! There are many “unfold secrets of the Realms,” but I don’t want to air dirty linen here, just explain why some things turned out the ay they did. Jim Lowder and I are good friends, and I have a LOT of respect for him as a writer and an editor. I try to be as friendly as possible with all of the gaming creatives and Realms fans I meet, because what else is life for? If I can put a smile on someone’s face, I’ve helped a little, and done a little to pay back whatever gods there be for the air I’ve breathed and water and food I’ve used, that day.


So endeth Ed’s words (for now). Those last few lines have, as usual, left me close to tears (awwww, Ed, you big bearded lug, you!), so I’ll skip the smart or flirtatious comments.
Your Hooded One, as always.
Go to Top of Page

Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  19:11:16  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage  Click to see Lord Rad's MSN Messenger address Send Lord Rad a Private Message
Ed, just a simple quick question...

Although its early days with the new coordinators taking over only just recently... do you have any plans to return to the UK and attend GENCON again. I saw you at GENCON UK in London a couple of years ago and it made my whole weekend ::looks proudly over at his signed copy of Cormyr:A Novel)::

The FR Q&A seminar you did was fantastic, id love to see a similar session again from you. A shame that WotC didnt announce the seminar better at the time though, im sure if they did then the hall would have been packed to the rafters!

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
Go to Top of Page

Lashan
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  19:24:30  Show Profile  Visit Lashan's Homepage Send Lashan a Private Message
Oh, and one more thing. Calaunt has only two temples. Was this due to some religious and/or political conflict that left only two? Or is there a unique culture in Calaunt that there is only a need for two?

Once again, thanks!
Go to Top of Page

Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  20:24:04  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
Ahem. I hope that answers half of your questions, Karth. :}

***
It does indeed, Ed. My thanks and much mirth besides. Along with Steven's usual precision, most of my question got answered.

I must say that your distinctions make Alustriel a far more unique and interesting character than the published Realms suggest, as well as illuminating the larger culture of Silverymoon in a most instructive fashion. The opportunities for in-game hilarity truly seem endless.

Ed, given the nature of gate-hopping and such, I can't help noticing that Alustriel sounds very much like a lost member of the Long family, out of Boondock along a different space-time axis. Any comment?

In any case, it gives me some very interesting ideas indeed... ;)

If it hasn't been said too often already: Thank you for generously entertaining our many questions.

-KN
***********************************
Go to Top of Page

ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2233 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2004 :  21:14:51  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
As far as I know, the publisher for Mornmist went bankrupt, or nearly so, through no fault of his own. Lynn Abbey and I did our world-building, and I believe four novels were contracted and at least partially paid-for and written (not by Lynn or myself). I heard that the publisher was selling copies of the first one at flea markets, years later, but I’ve never seen a copy, and that might be mere rumor. Rob King, who’d just left TSR, was editor for the project, brought us all on board, and behaved with honour and dignity as disaster overtook Mornmist, which was a serious fantasy setting in which intelligent, speaking animals (echoes of Redwall) adventured in a post-Apocalypse North America. BTW: I know there are far too many Arthurian fantasies out there, but Rob’s, published by TOR these last few years, are VERY good. Literature.



Two comments on the above:

1) One of the unpublished Mornmist novels was mine. Entitled "Those Who Hunt," it featured a pair of swashbuckling racoons and a feline bard. Lots of fun. It's frustrating to have written a novel that will never see print, but that's a risk you run when you work with any start-up, small press publisher. The first "Tales of the Mornmist" book, The Rats of Acomor by Paul Kidd, was pupblished. Here's a link to the page on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1887038051/qid=1078952927/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/002-4791370-3219242?v=glance&s=books

2) By all means, read Rob King's Arthurian trilogy:

Mad Merlin
Lancelot du Lac
Le Morte D'Avalon


This is inventive, lively, literate storytelling. Highly recommended.
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2004 :  02:25:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ed has spoken again (a busy boy, indeed), thus:

Hi, Damian! Fangs awfully (sorry) for your questions. Herewith responses: in the original Realms campaign, I had a lot of NPCs with the same name (just as in real life) for maximum confusion = realism = force engaged roleplaying reasons. Obviously, when the Realms was to be published for a wider audience, TSR wanted to eliminate these confusions, so we have just one: Torm the thief sharing his name with a god (which of course is actually very common in the Realms, which has some gods risen from mortal status recently enough that there are peoples still around in which the god’s name(s) are still in popular use, and even more often because devout parents often name children after the gods (particularly if the babe is sickly, because they hope the favour of the god will result in the child surviving its early years).
In the case of Ashtaroth, I had a demon and a devil sharing the same name (the demon taking the name deliberately to echo the devil’s name, and the devil presumably being named by its parents). Therefore, if mortals (player characters) did a faulty or incomplete summoning (remember, folks, this is a heavy roleplaying campaign, not a “so we cast this spell from the Players Handbook, okay?” campaign), you could have the wrong entity show up, and it would arrive totally free of the summoner’s control. Heh-heh. This wasn’t something I went in for often, but rather set up as a harsh lesson waiting for impatient or careless PCs to find the hard way (I wanted to steer my players away from any thoughts of becoming frequent summoners and commanders of any third parties; if you’re an adventurer, do it yourself, I say). So there you have it. The name, of course, comes from -- or is unwillingly shared by -- many ancient religious and mythological sources.
I’m not sure about Neiroon; no plans right now, but you’ve got me thinking. :} I do know the Crazed Venturers won’t be in the Waterdeep novel, because we’ve had to chop out so many things already that I just can’t justify sneaking them back in (and peer at the approved outline as much as I like, I just can’t seem to find them mentioned in there).
As I told Faraer, although I’d love to do up the Haunted Halls properly (and I quite agree, it makes a great campaign starter, which was my intention when I suggested it as a 96-page “fat module”), the time that would be necessary to produce it, plus the change in focus and approach of the current D&D game, make its publication unlikely. However, this has been a perennial fan request, and -- a la Volo -- one I don’t mind at all making one more time to the good folks at WotC. Perhaps as a web supplement . . . but being as my body needs to be fed and all the levels of government want their taxes, I MUST write the paying novels first. I’ve done many charity projects down the years, still have four on the go, and just can’t afford another big one until I’ve paid some bills (if anyone reading this would like to change this state of affairs, I need about 200,000 Canadian dollars, okay? :}). But yes, I VERY much want to do up the Haunted Halls, someday, as a “here’s your campaign starter pack” adventure. After all, it’s in Cormyr, on the edge of the monster-haunted Stonelands, on a caravan road leading to the wider Realms, should have a completely detailed temple, inn, tavern, local lord, and so on, and should also include the Caverns of the Claws, Whisper’s Crypt, the Haunted Halls themselves, the ruins of Rivior’s outpost, the witch’s hut, and several tiny mini-dungeons. Drool . . .
About the Dungeon of the Crypt, I have better news -- sort of. I can’t say where or how you’ll see some lore on this yet, or how much you’ll see about it, but in the next three years we should all be able to read a brief something, in some form somewhere, about this feature. As for Nimoar, I’ll add it to my “to do” list.

Alaundo, thanks very much for the work you’re doing to preserve some of this blather for Realms fans. I’ll continue to try to provide good, solid lore whenever it won’t hamper ‘official’ stuff in the works. And I must say, you’ve got a nice place here. I’ve wandered around Candlekeep a lot over the years, but I’ve never seen these particular halls and chambers before. :}

Lashan, please don’t apologize. I’m soon going to take longer and longer to reply as the Waterdeep novel heads into the ‘race down to thre wire’ stage (as these things always seem to * sigh *), but don’t stop asking about the Realms, you or anyone.
I don’t see the orcs of the Vast as forming nearly as many hordes as the orcs near the Spine of the World, because they enjoy a slightly less harsh climate and so can forage for longer and in greater numbers before they strip all those unmapped, unexplored high mountain valleys of all food, and have no choice but to either slaughter each other (which happens quite frequently, further delaying the rise of a leader who could form a horde) or boil forth down into the Vast proper as a raiding horde. I see the mountain caverns the Vastar orcs dwell in as being just that much warmer than those of the Sword Coast North as to support more edible fungi and therefore more carrion crawlers and other subterranean life, some of which the orcs can eat.
Moreover, the dwarf-battling history of the Vastar orcs makes them wary of large numbers of armed non-orcs, and they can readily see the large and nearby cities of Calaunt, Tantras, Mulmaster, and Raven’s Bluff. Also, from time to time, whatever power is resident in Ironfang Keep reaches out and harvests some of the Vastar orcs. The high grasslands thrusting east from the coastal Vast just south of King’s Reach provide the orcs with abundant wild herd animals they can devour -- but also hands them forceful warnings not to strike out on the surface lands too boldly: wyverns, perytons, and even dragons have been known to swoop down and snatch up orcs caught in the open here.
The roads of the Vast are patrolled for at least one settlement outwards in all directions from Raven’s Bluff by city forces (assuming that city hasn’t been shattered in your Realms campaign), and all of the other cities listed above do regular road-patrols, too, though they don’t range out as far (on an everday basis, they’re trying to keep brigands, gangs of thieves, and prowling monsters at least a day’s ride distant from the city -- and give the city fair warning of the approach of anything larger, more numerous, and more formidable). I can’t see why the sort of order you envisage wouldn’t be present, given the strength of Torm’s faith in Tantras (after all, what other useful benefit could they render, that non-Tormites could see and appreciate?). In the ‘home’ Realms campaign, many folks in the smaller settlements hired bands of adventurers as defenders (something I’ve been largely silent about since the Vast was “given” to the RPGA -- in a chat between Jim Ward, Jean Rabe [then head of the RPGA], and me, Charter Life Member of same--and I detailed its countryside and then stepped back, not to return there in print until I was asked to write the City of Ravens Bluff sourcebook). This at times led to clashes between rival adventuring bands (with a sort of Robin Hood vs. the Sheriff of Nottingham flavour), but --augmented by the heavy bodyguards laid on by caravan costers -- did keep the roads fairly safe. As you imply, camping or travelling in small groups along the road that runs along the mountains has never been a wise idea.

Rad, I’d love to return to Gencon UK and see the many friends I made there again, as soon as I can. At a Butlin’s again this time, I see. My wife grew up in Surrey (very near Wimbledon, actually), we have family in England, several of my own rather-busy-in-the-marrying-game ancestors were from various places in the UK, and we love to visit whenever we can. Unfortunately, time and money are both problems working against this. I loved all the opportunities I got to just chat with people at Gencon UK (and still owe Sean an adventure * sigh* ), and I’d do it again in a shot. However, it’s absolutely out this year and possibly next year. I must say, I’m one of those who’d miss London if I couldn’t easily get to it (so having it on the edge of Hammersmith and staying at a hotel a short stroll away across the railway cut in Kensington was heavenly for me). It’d be great to see you again at another FR Q&A seminar!
Umm, now I’m going to go back to Waterdeep dreaming of London . . . the bookshops on Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street . . . so many beautiful places in the countryside (like Eric Boyd and Victor Selby among my own original Realms players, I’m a sucker for crumbling castles), so many sunken English lanes to stroll along . . . hurray, hurray, it’s the first of May -- and so on . . .

There he goes, wandering off e-muttering, Yes, ’tis the Hooded One, here to answer Damian’s questions -- or rather, start to. We crossed swords with Lashan a time or two before his conquests began, so his fate was somewhat frustrating for us (but quite realistic; Ed’s always been very good at making the Realms seem alive all around us by having dramatic events happen that we DIDN’T cause or weren’t involved in).
As for best ever moment, well, that’s why I said “start to.” Like choosing favourite books or record albums [she said, firmly dating herself again], I find it very hard to impossible to choose a single best moment. Ed and my fellow players are all such good actors, and are so sensitive to when one of us has had a hard day and just wants a big laugh (Ed’s turn at portraying an increasingly irritated but trying to be debonair Azoun IV trying to seduce a noble debutante and getting deliberately interrupted every few minutes by various courtiers and War Wizards sent in to him by Vangerdahast was a hoot that STILL makes me laugh, remembering it over sixteen years later. . . and so was Jhessail seducing Manshoon but then being replaced in his bed by Torm, which was one of our ploys that reduced Ed to helpless mirth), that time and again we had great play sessions that kept us going until we were yawning. (Up at Ed’s cottage, of course, we sometimes fell asleep playing and resumed the next morning when we awakened.)
Now, those are just the funny occasions, among many, many grim, gripping, and, well, enthralling ‘serious moments.’ I will say this: maybe it’s a gal thing, but I quickly grew tired of trap- and monster-filled “dungeon crawls.” I never get tired of Ed, because he’s at his best acting out the cast of thousands as we crashed revels in Suzail or Waterdeep, trying to get to the bottom of intrigues and dealing with dozens of tipsy, preening poseurs of nobles, some of them very evil indeed, who were trying to impress or get laid or manipulate others into doing unwise things politically.
We once spent an entire six-hour evening play session at a feast, chatting with nobles as we tried to find a shapeshifter hiding among them, and uncover another treasonous plot -- while a certain assassin lurked for a chance to off just one of us, and two other nobles (quite separately) tried to draw some of us into behaviour that would allow them to blackmail us or denounce us as traitors . . . and a young woman who’d been cursed (at the feast, by a Zhent wanting a diversion so he could steal a valuable magic item) into having a dragon body struggled with herself to keep her own human form and avoid being sworded by frightened guards. It sounds like a farce, when I’m typing it like this, but I assure you it was ENTHRALLING. Now, things only work that well with an acting DM like Ed when the players all know one another, don’t mind doing or saying ANYTHING (shy and quiet just doesn’t cut it), and also want to act.
And I’ve sat at that gaming table weeping like a baby when we found friends (NPCs) slain, or arrived too late to rescue someone. And been bright-eyed with pride as John Hunter, playing Florin defending a bridge, faced down certain death when given a chance to flee with the calm words, “I gave my word, and my word is my bond, my honour; my life. If I break my word, I am nothing. So here I stand, one blade against all your host. Come at me, Zhent, and we’ll see what bllod-price it costs you to sweep aside . . . a mere nothing.”
Florin had no hope of rescue, and knew he was going to die -- but he fought like a whirlwind, and bought his life dearly, taking down over forty Zhentilar before the others forced their way across the bridge. By then, the farmwives of that southern end of Shadowdale had gathered all their bows, sent word for reinforcements, blocked the road with a litter of overturned loaded haywagons --- and Storm Silverhand was running alone down the road to meet them, to do the same thing Florin had.
In the end, not a Zhent of that seventy-strong warband left the dale alive. Florin was brought back from the dead, of course, but that doesn’t diminish John’s play that night one whit.
And I went home happy. After all, I was friends with all of these heroes.
Go to Top of Page

Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2004 :  03:12:38  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
Hello agin.

I have somethings that I would like to see your imput on.

1)Have you ever tried a FR adventure with Sci-fi aspects, like medevil androids/robots, cyborgs(there is a divine presedent in Celtic lore) or alien invadsion? Or even parallel Faerun (Brought up in MoP)?

2)What is the most Abserve thing that you have ever thought to place in FR cannon?

3)I am a fan of the Finder Wyvernspur character from the Lost Gods and Finder's Stone series. I once thought about a campaign hook linked with eliminating the Greater through Lesser gods through some method and giving their powers to the demigods. What do you think would happen if that were to occur on Faerun? How would effect the lives of the PCs, NPCs and common man?

Thanks.

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 81 Previous Topic Topic   
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2017 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000