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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2015 :  00:03:47  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
Another query from the pages of FR Adventures:

quote:
Mordenkainen and Vangerdahast both competed magically for the hand of a young extra-planar beauty (both lost, by the way).


Has this story been elaborated upon already? If not I am, of course, curious about any details that can be shared!
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 16 Oct 2015 :  15:06:05  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,

My campaign PCs just met and defeated the drow from the temple of Selvertarm in Undermountain (as described in Ruins of Undermountain). Some of the dark elves fled, and I was just wondering about their origins, for I think it would help me determinate the place and time of their revenge. Can you please give some advice about the place they came from, and their reason for living and establishing their place of worship in Undermountain? Besides, where could Essra the fighter/priestess obtain a netherese scepter? Was it found in Undermountain, and how? Or is there another story?


"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2015 :  17:55:27  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message
Hello again THO and Ed - hope you are both well.

I have a couple of quick questions for you about the Zhentarim, more particularly modern Zhent survivors. I've been writing up a description for the Manshoon sometimes referred to as 'the real Manshoon' and originally in Cloak and Dagger as 'Manshoon Prime' and have come to the inevitable questions about his relationships with other powerful Zhents.

It was stated a while back in one of your previous answers that Hesperdan ('the Old Man of the Zhentarim') and Eirhaun Sooundaeril ('The Maimed Wizard') both still survive. What if anything can you tell me about these spellcasters and what possible relations with 'the real' Manshoon they might have? Neither was mentioned back in Cloak & Dagger, so I'd love it if you could provide description/stat block as you do on occasion for NPCs. Are there other Zhents of power still around?

Finally, I have a question about the Manshoon Ed has included in his last several novels, which I assume must be the Orlak Manshoon even though he doesn't seem to have the Orlak regalia. Mystra/Elminster has tried to recruit him repeatedly - are similar attempts being made with OTHER Manshoons? Might there be a half-dozen Manshoon clone chosen flying about the realms in a slightly more villainous but equally meddlesome Elminster fashion - or doing some other such service for Mystra?

Edited by - The Masked Mage on 21 Oct 2015 06:55:07
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2015 :  23:40:03  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all.
I'm sorry I've been silent and absent for so long here at the Keep. I was on a day-job "radio silence" mission. And may soon fall silent again, I'm afraid.
However, while I'm here...yes, to The Masked Mage, it is the Orbakh Manshoon, and yes, there ARE other Manshoons running around (but what they're up to, right now, is NDA for the moment).
And yes, Hesperdan and Eirhaun both still survive, as do other (well-hidden) Zhents of power, most of whom think the days of powerful wizards among the Zhentarim maintaining a high profile are over (they want little or nothing to do with the current Zhentarim). As for specifics of those two, that'll have to await Ed's pleasure, and he's a little busy with other things these days (see OnderLibrum.com if you're interested).
His next Realms novel (after SPELLSTORM) is finished and submitted, and I THINK is supposed to come out in June 2016.
Barastir, the blast scepter was very likely found in Undermountain (because we Knights found several of them therein).
xaeyruudh, "Whaeloon" is the archaic spelling and pronunciation of "Wheloon," and yes, there are "blue caves" there, but their entrances have partially collapsed (due to magical blasting), and the remaining ones are much harder to find...
Wooly, thanks for those pics of battle arm -like armour...
Must go now, but I'll be back.
Ed and I are both fine, BTW, but Ed's wife (who turned 80 just a few days ago) is very ill and he's caring for her and that is eating up MORE of his time...
love to all,
THO
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BenN
Learned Scribe

Japan
333 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2015 :  01:55:27  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message
Thanks very much for the update THO.

I'd like to send Ed & his wife my very best wishes & positive vibes in this difficult time.
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2015 :  22:34:23  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
Thank you, milady, and much love to you and the Greenwoods!
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JohnLynch
Learned Scribe

Australia
182 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2015 :  07:26:07  Show Profile Send JohnLynch a Private Message
I just wanted to offer a very belated thankyou for Ed answering my question way back when. I've just read the 2013 thread and without fail every post of Ed's seems to always inspire new ideas :) So a very big thankyou as always to Ed for participating in these threads.

And sending my thoughts to Ed and his family.
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2015 :  12:34:37  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message
Thank you for the answers you could give by now, good luck on your job and the best wishes and blessings to Ed's wife, I'll be praying for her.

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2015 :  17:52:29  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Re. this, from grymhild:

Hello Ed and THO,
I have a question regarding non-human clergy of Lolth and Eilistraee.

On Nov 5, 2006 THO posted
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5812&whichpage=67

quote:
It is true that for some decades in the Realms (the time covered by the Realms boxed sets of both the 1st and 2nd Edition) there were apparently no male clerics of Lolth and no male clerics of Eilistraee, and no non-drow clergy of either goddess.

and

quote:
There wasn’t a single date or clear moment when the acceptance of males and non-drow began; it seems to have been slowly and almost secretively occurring over a decade or so. However, as of 1373 DR, “everyone” among the clergy of Eilistraee now seems to be aware of it.

However, this seems to contradict 2e AD&D sources such as Drow of the Underdark and Demihuman Deities.

Well, no, because the 2e sources are 1360s DR. So, no contradiction. And note THO's use of the word "apparently." The lady chooses her words carefully; I read that as a clear hint.
BB
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2015 :  12:26:27  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message
Ok THO, here's one that might seem a bit out of nowhere for Ed:

Is there any connection between Mhair Szeltune (Master of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors in Waterdeep), and Sharangar Szeltune (Archlich from Blackmoor in Ed's Spelljammer book Lost Ships)... aside from both being goodly aligned 19th level spellcasters he created?
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2560 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2015 :  17:06:49  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message
Hello Ed and THO.

Would it be possible to know if in the present era (post-Sundering), after Eilistraee spent time merged with Vhaeraun, and after her followers worked with his, the goddess is able to take male clergy, without them having to undergo the Changedance?

Are brother and sister/their followers still enemies, after all that happened?

Thanks for your time, and my best wishes for both of you, and Ed's wife.




To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 28 Oct 2015 01:47:13
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2015 :  00:12:18  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
I for one like the connection Masked Mage.

Dearest THO, your absence is sorely vexing. This scroll is falling dark and dusty without you.

I wonder if you or Ed have had pickled green tomatoes, and whether you found them as tasty as I did when my dad introduced me to them. If not, that's fine; my mom thinks we're oddballs too (also due to our affection for avocado, which she doesn't share). Apologies if I or someone else has already asked about this. And we're looking forward (oh so patiently!) to your return.
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
411 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2015 :  20:26:24  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message
I would like to also post my question for Ed and I just pray to recieve specific answer (not a mystic one)- Could you clear for my how Roll of the Years was created (what made it this clear)?
There is clear evidence in FR of working propecies. This is undestandable for me as at least some dieties or powers can predict or plan themselves those events. What is not clear to me is how was made the Roll of the Years where few oracles (Alaundo, Aughtra, ...) put together a list of most visible events for each year (my view) for more than thousand years to the future. It is way too specific for usual prophecy (marking exact year when it will happen). There seem to be some power over Fate itself at play but I do not know of any in FR pantheon that can see clear predicted future (if Savras could do it, he would not be a minor diety but one of the most important, at least for other gods).

And one small aside - do you have a description of Baator before fallen angels made Nine Hells there?
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2015 :  00:39:47  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
Firstly, I hope the Lady Greenwood is recovering!

Then, a not-mystic answer? Where's the fun in that?

I'm not Ed, and I'm sure he'll have a much better answer for you than I do, but in the meantime here are a couple of things to consider.

Prophecy isn't about controlling events so that the vision comes true. It's only foresight, or perhaps even less -- it might just be a dream in which certain conditions have taken effect as a result of other events, which haven't happened yet in the dreamer's "real world" experience. Such a dream, even if given the glory of being called a prophecy or vision, just predicts that "if things go along as it seems they're somewhat likely to go, this will be a somewhat likely result." Probability isn't a guarantee. The lack of clear sight or complete knowledge when it comes to the Roll allows us the freedom to say that things changed, and the likely disaster was averted (or the boon was lost) and this is valuable to DMs who want to take one or more of their campaigns in a different direction. Those who don't want to, don't have to; they can just use the Roll as it's written, or ignore it entirely. The more nonspecific and open-to-interpretation the campaign material is, the more useful it is to creative DMs and players.

As far as I can see, there's no control being exerted over Fate. Alaundo and others merely had visions of certain things coming to pass. From a storytelling perspective, it's neat to line them up in a row, one per year, but it's not (and shouldn't be) that simple. "Recorded" history in the Realms is approaching 40,000 years long. There have logically been a very large number of seers in that time... taking all of them into account, including everyone from Alaundo or Savras all the way down to a tribesman claiming to have visions because he wants to become the next shaman. The "test" of a seer is in how many of their predictions come true. Alaundo probably wasn't right about absolutely everything... he simply has a higher ratio of right-to-wrong. He isn't always right; maybe not even 50% of the time. And even when he was right, he probably didn't see the entire event unfold so the words that were recorded would only give hints and vague warnings. Like a flight of griffons here, and a town there, and clouds -- this gets interpreted as best as possible, and something is foretold.

Alaundo's prophecies are only called prophecies because someone said "hey, this guy was talking in his sleep about something, and look around: it's happening!" Over the course of a few years, a few things he'd predicted came to pass, and people started getting really curious about what else he would say... and they recorded it because they wouldn't be there personally to determine the truth of predictions 100 or 1000 years into the future. It's only by accident that he's famous. And his life probably sucked, when you think about it... being followed everywhere, begged and ordered to prophesy all the time, resented by some for not prophesying glory and wealth for them, etc. Those visions might just have easily been called dreams -- or brain damage.

Yes, there was probably some sort of "gift" at work. He was certainly more legit than the tribesman painting himself with rabbit's blood and snorting powdered leaves trying to convince his co-hunters and gatherers that he was attuned to the gods. But it doesn't mean he controlled destiny.

Also, I think Ed has said here or elsewhere that the prophesied events for which the years were "named" were not necessarily the most visible events in each year.


  • The Year of Sinking Sails, 1180 DR: a bunch of Sembian ships are sunk in the Pirate Isles. Sembians (or the Council, at least) were certainly aware of that, but there's a whole lot of Toril that has nothing to do with Sembia. Big things were happening in Waterdeep, which commanded attention there. And there's no way the Sembian fleet was the biggest news in Ulgarth.


  • The Year of Maidens, 1361 DR: This is the year of the first Banedeath in Zhentil Keep. Obvious connection to maidens? There isn't one. But I'm guessing somewhere else in Faerun, maybe in a big city but maybe in a small town, some maidens were up to something. Apparently, it wasn't something that the majority of Faerun was aware of, though. Much of the Roll is like that. "Tiny" events, insignificant outside some hamlets that don't appear on most maps, which Alaundo (or someone else) saw and the listeners faithfully recorded.



I think the Roll is most useful as "flair" in storytelling, or a muse of sorts to inspire creative adventure-writing. The Year of Dreaming? Interesting...

Comic relief is good. "The Year of Furious Waves was a bad year for fishing."

There's also the fact that most commoners probably haven't memorized the Roll. Within a community, whether it's a thorp or an empire, years are remembered for events which are significant in the community. Outside that community, the years will have different names.

Of course, our Alaundo is awesome, and I'm not doubting his powers.

Sorry about the wall of text, and I'm definitely not trying to hijack the thread. I'm interested in Ed's response just like everyone else. But our lovely messenger is MIA at the moment and the thread needs a poke every once in a while to keep it awake.

Questions of my own: has Bhalgustrin taken the stage at any point in the home game? Any interesting events/alliances in his past? Did he have history with Elminster or Alokkair? Was the "awakening" literal (Bhalgustrin being dormant for some length of time) or figurative (everybody in Ordulin had forgotten there was a lich under their feet)? How long was he down there? Was Thindol a significant character in the Zhentarim at the time of his spectacular demise? Just curious about any unrevealed lore that Ed has already determined for them.

Unless of course one of them is a secret boogeyman in the Knights' exploits, in which case I was never here, wink wink.

Edited by - xaeyruudh on 04 Nov 2015 00:41:24
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1357 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2015 :  00:56:35  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley
And one small aside - do you have a description of Baator before fallen angels made Nine Hells there?



If memory serves as far as canon goes (from 2nd E. planescape perhaps) the plane actually formed by the first fall and the lowest hell is formed by Asmodeus' real body...

Do you have Ed's old Nine Hells articles from Dragon Magazine? The first article also gives a list of literary works you can look to for their descriptions (Dante's Inferno for example).
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2015 :  01:19:19  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
We know that Elminster has several descendants who have served the good of the Realms. Are there any nemeses from his past whose descendants have continually found themselves in opposition to him, even if indirectly in their furtherance of organizations and aims that Elminster hinders? The Chembryls, perhaps, or one of the elven families that started the Eldreth Veluuthra? It was actually Szchulan Darkoon, who reminded me of Xeno and Maskul Mirrormane, which inspired this query, but I thought someone else might be a more interesting/theatrical choice.

Then again, perhaps there's something that makes Szchulan theatrical. I suddenly have a picture in my head of Christopher Lee (Saruman and Count Dooku) as the High Imperceptor in the FR movie that should have happened. I wonder when our world will see his like again...

On an unrelated note, Ed, I'm sure this has been said before so I guess I'm just casting my supporting vote. I think a meeting of the Wizards Three would be a cool way to re-establish links with the other settings, thus restoring a "one big happy family" feeling to the various worlds we've visited over the last several decades. But... this time perhaps THO finds herself unexpectedly hosting the Wizards... oh my. Muahaha, and so on...
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Ousia
Acolyte

Denmark
9 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2015 :  23:43:59  Show Profile  Visit Ousia's Homepage Send Ousia a Private Message
Hi fellow fans of the Forgotten Realms,

I have some questions on Eveningstar and I hope that you can help me.

1. When was Eveningstar founded?
2. Who founded Eveningstar?
3. Why was Eveningstar founded?
4. Which year was Tessaril Winter appointed Lord of Eveningstar?
5. Who was Lord in Eveningstar prior to Tessaril and who served as herald?

Regards
Kaare (Denmark)

To be updated
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2015 :  08:28:37  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
Hiya! Hope it's a happy season in the probably-cold-again North!

Mathulk's House stood in Suzail in the 1370s, right? Is it gone or still there after the Sundering?

And where in the city is Taumurt's Lane?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2015 :  18:40:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all! Just a flying visit between assignments, to bring you the words of Ed and to update things as much as I can...
First off, Ed is busier than ever, with the Realms (all top secret for now, I'm afraid), his new TEGG ("The Ed Greenwood Group") publishing venture [for more on that, and the 15 new "settings" Ed will introducing to us all, 13 by him, one by Steven Schend, and the other based on Twin Fire's FOLKLORE: The Affliction game you can see on Kickstarter from Greenbrier Games, look at OnderLibrum.com throughout November, as the settings get revealed, one by one; you'll recognize a lot of names of folks who've worked on the Realms and elsewhere in gaming and fantasy fiction over the years], and with looking after the Lady Greenwood, who turned 80 last month and is frail and failing, I'm afraid.
However, Ed has forgotten neither the Realms nor we scribes, so herewith, some fragmentary answers...in no particular order at all.

xaeyruudh, Malthulk's House stood in Suzail in the 1350s and right up until the present day; Ed tells me so far as he knows it's had a new roof and new doors, but no other outward changes during that time. He's away from his Suzail street map right now, but will have an answer for you on Taumurt's when he can...(I'm recalling east end, not far from the Promenade, myself, but may be confusing it with a similarly-named street, from Realmsplay years and years ago).
As for nemeses, YES, but Ed will have to pirouette around some NDAs before he can answer you, because those sort of answers tend to run right into Realms authors' plot schemes...and as for hosting the Wizards Three; my, that would be deliciously dangerous fun for me, but as for a public article, that'll need Wizards permission...
Bhalgustrin has never taken the stage in the "home" campaign nose to nose with any of we Knights, but he HAS been active elsewhere, that we ran into the aftermath and gossip thereof...
And I'd just like to tell all scribes that in your reply to Wrigley, you stated the "prophecies in the Realms aren't actually predestiny or unavoidable fate, but more after-the-fact interpretation" view perfectly, and it's what Ed believes/writes/designs...if the gods COULD control things perfectly, there'd be no heroism, as mortals would just be following scripts, so your adventuring is all for naught...
Oh, and yes to pickled green tomatoes. Scribes, if you are new to this delicacy, eat lightly, for in some folks, eating too much of it introduces "the runs"...

Ousia/Kaare, Eveningstar was founded several centuries before the current Realmsdate, but I'll have to contact Ed for specifics (to our characters, growing up in Espar, it's just "always been there") to all of your queries.

Irennan, yes, there can at the present time in the Realms be male clergy of Eilistraee (no changedance necessary).
SOME of their followers are still foes (humans even of the same family and/or political bent and/or organization can disagree fervently, as we're all well aware, and this applies here, too), and Eilistraee and Vhaeraun remain very different in outlook and character...but they now UNDERSTAND each other very thoroughly, and make allowances for each other's differing aims, styles, and strivings far more than they hitherto did...

More later, everyone. The phone (yes, I still have one of those) is going ringy-dingy, and the call display tells me it's Ed!
love,
THO









Edited by - The Hooded One on 11 Nov 2015 18:47:14
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2560 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2015 :  18:50:56  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello again, all! Just a flying visit between assignments, to bring you the words of Ed and to update things as much as I can...
First off, Ed is busier than ever, with the Realms (all top secret for now, I'm afraid), his new TEGG ("The Ed Greenwood Group") publishing venture [for more on that, and the 15 new "settings" Ed will introducing to us all, 13 by him, one by Steven Schend, and the other based on Twin Fire's FOLKLORE: The Affliction game you can see on Kickstarter from Greenbrier Games, look at OnderLibrum.com throughout November, as the settings get revealed, one by one; you'll recognize a lot of names of folks who've worked on the Realms and elsewhere in gaming and fantasy fiction over the years], and with looking after the Lady Greenwood, who turned 80 last month and is frail and failing, I'm afraid.
However, Ed has forgotten neither the Realms nor we scribes, so herewith, some fragmentary answers...in no particular order at all.

xaeyruudh, Malthulk's House stood in Suzail in the 1350s and right up until the present day; Ed tells me so far as he knows it's had a new roof and new doors, but no other outward changes during that time. He's away from his Suzail street map right now, but will have an answer for you on Taumurt's when he can...(I'm recalling east end, not far from the Promenade, myself, but may be confusing it with a similarly-named street, from Realmsplay years and years ago).
As for nemeses, YES, but Ed will have to pirouette around some NDAs before he can answer you, because those sort of answers tend to run right into Realms authors' plot schemes...and as for hosting the Wizards Three; my, that would be deliciously dangerous fun for me, but as for a public article, that'll need Wizards permission...
Bhalgustrin has never taken the stage in the "home" campaign nose to nose with any of we Knights, but he HAS been active elsewhere, that we ran into the aftermath and gossip thereof...
And I'd just like to tell all scribes that in your reply to Wrigley, you stated the "prophecies in the Realms aren't actually predestiny or unavoidable fate, but more after-the-fact interpretation" view perfectly, and it's what Ed believes/writes/designs...if the gods COULD control things perfectly, there'd be no heroism, as mortals would just be following scripts, so your adventuring is all for naught...
Oh, and yes to pickled green tomatoes. Scribes, if you are new to this delicacy, eat lightly, for in some folks, eating too much of it introduces "the runs"...

Ousia/Kaare, Eveningstar was founded several centuries before the current Realmsdate, but I'll have to contact Ed for specifics (to our characters, growing up in Espar, it's just "always been there") to all of your queries.

Irennan, yes, there can at the present time in the Realms be male clergy of Eilistraee (no changedance necessary).
SOME of their followers are still foes (humans even of the same family and/or political bent and/or organization can disagree fervently, as we're all well aware, and this applies here, too), and Eilistraee and Vhaeraun remain very different in outlook and character...but they now UNDERSTAND each other very thoroughly, and make allowances for each other's differing aims, styles, and strivings far more than they hitherto did...

More later, everyone. The phone (yes, I still have one of those) is going ringy-dingy, and the call display tells me it's Ed!
love,
THO



Thanks for the anser!

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1731 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2015 :  18:53:21  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message
That's an interesting tidbit on Eilistraee and Vhaeraun. Good to know!

Sweet water and light laughter
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2015 :  23:36:18  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message
Thank you very much, milady, and we hope you can return again soon! Much love to Ed and his wife. I hope peace and all the happy memories win through the struggle.
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Rivenhelm
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2015 :  23:51:33  Show Profile Send Rivenhelm a Private Message
Hi THO and Ed!

Good to see you grace these pages again. Definitely hoping you get more time in your schedule, soon, to come back more often.

First off, really hoping Jenny starts feeling herself soon. Would really like to send a card, flowers, or other well wishes if I could (feel free to PM me if that's a possibility), but please send along those wishes to them both for me.

I have been re-reading "Swords of Eveningstar" again as sort of a primer for my next session with my players. This time with my FRQ1, FRE1 & FRE3 modules and maps open right alongside. I have been having great fun plotting the course of activities of the Knights through the Halls and Arabel! Through the first half of the book it has been easy to plot their progress and get a new perspective (at least for me) on picturing things and placing my "mind's eye" more in the setting.

A couple things came up; questions and theories that I'd like to ask about of both you, as a player, and of Ed if he can elaborate.

It has been said here that the map in FRE3 has mislabeled the location of Pillar Rock (#14) and that it is where the map of FRQ1 and VGtC have that same number. Both of those sources have no cave at the FRE3 #14 location and my thought at the time was to "move" the cave rather than just draw a new cave at the actual Pillar Rock. Well, when I was re-reading the book, it dawned on me that this existing cave at the FRQ1 Thaddath farm (#32) may in fact be the cave location where the Knights discussed their forays into the Halls below the rock prominence they dubbed "the Snout". Or is that location further up the Gorge? It makes sense though. That location above the farm does afford a nice "view" of the village that was mentioned in the novel.

I loved the scenes inside the halls and tracking those on the map. The "front door" scene was pretty funny. Would have liked a bit more of a hint on how the Knights avoided the "statue trap" since it was on their minds a bit. Seems like it may have been cut for word count reasons and that's why it was never paid off properly.

I also loved tracking the initial scenes in Arabel. It was very easy to trace their movements through the city with the map in hand from FRE1. Was hoping for a few more street names, but that's just me. I was able to trace their movements pretty accurately until one point in the book. After that I couldn't ever pick up their movements properly. It was as if the story diverged from grounded in the nuts & bolts of a game experience to more of a fanciful tale. That tipping point came on the roof-top chase of Bey & Agannor by Pennae. Like Pennae after she was knocked unconscious, I likewise lost my orientation on the map, and as a consequence never could accurately locate the warehouse where the gate back to the Halls was located. Now that I'm thinking on it, this was probably Ed's intent; keeping that location vague. Anywho, my next question would be, where would that warehouse be on the Arabel map? I'm also guessing that this is where this fictional story differs from your game experience with the ways in-and-out of the Halls just based on the departure of "faithful details." Also, about the terminus of that gate in the Halls (which I was able to pinpoint) it seems to stretch across the corridor rather than being flush against the wall. How would one avoid going thru the gate to reach the far side of the corridor?? Did the Knights in gameplay have a problem with this exploring the Halls?

After this part in the story I had trouble tracking the movements of the characters exactingly. And some places didn't seem to "fit" on the maps anymore, such as Amanthan's residence, and a few others. Any clarification on those would be great. And was that the "gate" to Waterdeep that was used in gameplay? I'm guessing artistic license was again invoked.

Like I said, a great fun way to re-live an already great story and getting a new flavor on things for my upcoming DM session. Was thinking of asking for Ed's "thief's-eye" view of Eveningstar Hall as I'm sure Murtag the thief will be seeing it in due time! But that can hold off for another day.

Thanks again for listening and be well. Hope to see you soon.

R...
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1356 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2015 :  19:19:24  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
Hi Ed and THO,

After playing Sword Coast Legends (pretty decent game!) I plan on stepping back into the Underdark again. When it comes to drow, we've seen the more or less how cities are when they follow the Way of Lolth, Menzo being our prime example. We have snippets of lore on Guallidurth and Undraeth for example, but I find it surprisingly hard to design a Lolthite city that isn't the "white bread" fare we're used to (ala Menzo).

Do you have general examples or thoughts (without naming specific cities if need be) on how to design the power structure or general theme of a city that follows Lolth but does not adhere to the Way of Lolth?

In regards, to the dwarf-elf crossbreed, has there ever been any drow-dwarf dwelfs?

Thank you both! Hope we find out what the super secret Realms projects are soon! I crave more Realms. :)

Edited by - Eilserus on 12 Nov 2015 19:53:44
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4718 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2015 :  23:29:03  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
How about a drow city ruled by a council of drider? The "Orborthae" (sacred spiders) enslaved the matron mothers of their city centuries ago and control them by means of a venom that each female is exposed to at birth and which is only kept in abeyance by an antidote known only to the driders (and involving their blood). Drider form is not seen as a curse, but rather a blessing of Lolth, and all males strive to attain drider form and join the ruling elite. The Orborthae dictate who is to be transformed and when and use the Ustilhar (as the female clerics of the city are known) to effect the transformation.

The "House" system has been debased to reflect groupings surrounding one or more drider, and as is traditional, there is much vicious infighting. Each drider or group of drider have their stable of female priestesses of Lolth and every female is examined for that talent. However the city is not as sophisticated as a traditional Lolthite drow city, and there are open challenges between drider and constant warring and assassinations. Because the drow females do not control the city, there is no check or control on breeding and each drider group fosters and promotes key male drow (who hope to be elevated) as one would use stud cattle.

Lolth revels in the unabashed chaos of the city, provides spells for the females (and even some rare males!) and has "blessed" the city with occasional drider variants of greater power (like Jarlaere "the Twice-Fanged": a massive two headed drider or Arblis "of the Blades": a devilishly swift four-armed drider who wields two swords and two axes and has armoured blades attached to his legs).

-- George Krashos

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