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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2015 :  03:19:32  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Ed says you're very welcome, Irennan.
To Baptor, Ed says this:


Oh, do I sympathize with you. I understand how much you want clear answers to these questions you've posed, and I ache to give them. However, every single question you ask runs head-on into NDAs. That exist for very good reasons.
So let me say just this much:
Just a day ago I had a back-and-forth e-mail with a Wizards staffer about a future project, that involved discussion of specific Realmslore details. Two days before that I was providing extensive Realmslore (photo references, text, explanations) for a future fiction-and-game project. And last week I had a fun, if briefer than usual, phone call with many in-house and freelance Realms creatives, about several related upcoming products. (And the word "usual" is chosen deliberately.)
My specific level of involvement with the gaming side of the Realms changes constantly. And always has done, since the very beginning of the published Realms. That's part of the very nature of gaming publishing, it seems to me.
The problem with saying more is that anything I say will fuel speculation, which may be harmful to everyone and go in directions that are utterly or partly off-base. And directions and decisions for the publishing of the Realms and of D&D itself change over time, so that something said firmly and definitely by someone in a position to "know for sure" can be complete truth when said - - and then not happen, or change markedly before it does happen. That's just the nature of the beast.
Right now, I am chest-deep in the Realms. Because this is one of the Saturdays I have off from my library day job (I usually work alternate Saturdays), I spent about ten hours at the keyboard today, pounding out Realms stuff. Honest. But that's about as much as I can say. Besides, peeking behind the curtain beforehand DOES ruin the fun.


And so saith Ed. Sharing as much as he can. I suspect a lot of the future is hidden even from in-house Wizards staffers these days, just because plans change and the nature of publishing means things CAN change faster than they could in the days of booking printing time and ordering paper two years in advance, which is the way things were when I started working in publishing.
Be of good cheer, Realms fans. No matter what happens, Ed will be here for us as long as he's alive. And there are SO many other great folks who love the Realms, from Jeff Grubb and Steven Schend to Eric Boyd and George Krashos to Brian Cortijo and the James brothers to Bob and Erin and Troy and Susan Morris and Phil Athans and Chris Perkins and . . . and . . . every time Markustay draws a new map, and Ed peers at it and smiles, the Realms grows a little stronger. So the Realms, in the end, is as strong and happy-making a setting as YOU make it!
love to all,
THO
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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

84 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2015 :  12:14:14  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message
Dear THO and Ed,
Encouraged by the fact that similar or related questions have recently been answered by Ed, I ask the following, hoping to get answers oh wise man of Candlekeep:
If Halruaa survived (and I love its status as hidden, which adds mystey to the Realms), did Lantan survive? I love Lantan, and think that perhaps its inhabitants could have used some technology to escape (by the way, did Lantanese ever build Zeppelins?). Additionally, has Maztica really returned as the DMG hints it did? I LOVE Maztica and think that it adds diversity to the Realms.
On the other hand, just like Ed answered about Myrkul, Bhaal and Bane, I would like to ask about my favorite Realms deities: the Triad ones. With Tyr's return, will Torm, Tyr and Ilmater reunite once again? Thanks a lot!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2015 :  00:09:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
paladinnicolas, here we go:
"If Halruaa survived (and I love its status as hidden, which adds mystey to the Realms), did Lantan survive?"
THO: I don't know, and thus far, we all don't know. Some Lantanna/Lantanese (either is correct) definitely survived, but they could have been on the mainland when the Spellplague hit.

"I love Lantan, and think that perhaps its inhabitants could have used some technology to escape (by the way, did Lantanese ever build Zeppelins?)."
THO: It's a strong possibility, and yes they did, but not extensively. See Ed's old Airships of the Realms DRAGON article. Others got there first (notably the Halruaans and other Netherese), but many individual tinkerers and creators have come up with alternatives to the living elven skyships, and the various spelljamming vessels.

"Additionally, has Maztica really returned as the DMG hints it did? I LOVE Maztica and think that it adds diversity to the Realms."
THO: Again, as of this writing we just don't know.

"On the other hand, just like Ed answered about Myrkul, Bhaal and Bane, I would like to ask about my favorite Realms deities: the Triad ones. With Tyr's return, will Torm, Tyr and Ilmater reunite once again?"
THO: You're asking me or Ed to predict how deities will behave? In the future? Well, I'm often foolish, but I'm not THAT foolish! Nice try, though.
(Seriously: who knows? We'll all just have to wait and see. Ed can't answer specific "future this" or "future that" questions without slamming into NDAs, unless they happen to be on topics that it's been agreed beforehand within Wizards he can spill more about. And in such cases, just how much he can say has usually been carefully decided.

So there you (mostly, I'm afraid, don't) have it.
Oh, well . . .
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 09 Feb 2015 01:56:31
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2015 :  02:50:17  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ed says:
"aster" and "inster" are masculine name endings, and they're all guys, so that's one reason. :}
Seriously, there isn't a "wizards have these names, and these name endings have a magic-related meaning" element here (...)



Thank you dear lady, and Ed for the answer... I've noticed there were wizards with other name endings, but not the opposite, that's why I asked. Well, and I had to ask, anyway!

(Still thinking if I should change my name to BarASTER, heheh!)

"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)

Edited by - Barastir on 09 Feb 2015 02:54:36
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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

84 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2015 :  10:52:16  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message
Thanks THO!
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Baptor
Learned Scribe

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2015 :  21:19:34  Show Profile  Visit Baptor's Homepage Send Baptor a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, all. Ed says you're very welcome, Irennan.
To Baptor, Ed says this:


Oh, do I sympathize with you. I understand how much you want clear answers to these questions you've posed, and I ache to give them. However, every single question you ask runs head-on into NDAs. That exist for very good reasons.
So let me say just this much:
Just a day ago I had a back-and-forth e-mail with a Wizards staffer about a future project, that involved discussion of specific Realmslore details. Two days before that I was providing extensive Realmslore (photo references, text, explanations) for a future fiction-and-game project. And last week I had a fun, if briefer than usual, phone call with many in-house and freelance Realms creatives, about several related upcoming products. (And the word "usual" is chosen deliberately.)
My specific level of involvement with the gaming side of the Realms changes constantly. And always has done, since the very beginning of the published Realms. That's part of the very nature of gaming publishing, it seems to me.
The problem with saying more is that anything I say will fuel speculation, which may be harmful to everyone and go in directions that are utterly or partly off-base. And directions and decisions for the publishing of the Realms and of D&D itself change over time, so that something said firmly and definitely by someone in a position to "know for sure" can be complete truth when said - - and then not happen, or change markedly before it does happen. That's just the nature of the beast.
Right now, I am chest-deep in the Realms. Because this is one of the Saturdays I have off from my library day job (I usually work alternate Saturdays), I spent about ten hours at the keyboard today, pounding out Realms stuff. Honest. But that's about as much as I can say. Besides, peeking behind the curtain beforehand DOES ruin the fun.


And so saith Ed. Sharing as much as he can. I suspect a lot of the future is hidden even from in-house Wizards staffers these days, just because plans change and the nature of publishing means things CAN change faster than they could in the days of booking printing time and ordering paper two years in advance, which is the way things were when I started working in publishing.
Be of good cheer, Realms fans. No matter what happens, Ed will be here for us as long as he's alive. And there are SO many other great folks who love the Realms, from Jeff Grubb and Steven Schend to Eric Boyd and George Krashos to Brian Cortijo and the James brothers to Bob and Erin and Troy and Susan Morris and Phil Athans and Chris Perkins and . . . and . . . every time Markustay draws a new map, and Ed peers at it and smiles, the Realms grows a little stronger. So the Realms, in the end, is as strong and happy-making a setting as YOU make it!
love to all,
THO




Good Sage, that is all I could have asked for. Thank you, and though I said it once to you in person, I'll say it again, thank you for giving us the Forgotten Realms. I doubt that six year old boy would have ever dreamed his imaginary world would bless so many people. God bless you sir.

Jesus said, "I am the Ressurection and the Life. Anyone who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and those who live and believe in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2015 :  19:56:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Back on the 29th of January (and the bottom of page 5 of this thread), Finglas Leaflock posted: “Hello, THO, Ed, and everyone else! I have a question about "Seldreene Ammath of Suzail, married to a merchant," whose quote leads off Chapter 2 of Elminster's Daughter. Ammath is a moon elven clan (more details about them in the Myth Drannor material, and in Ed's reply back in October 2005!), so is Seldreene an elf or half-elf of that house, or is the name a coincidence? Thanks, and stay warm!” and I knew enough to say she was a fullblood elf of House Ammath, but Ed has now shared a little more:


Seldreene Ammath is a once-wild and fiery-tempered adventuress who traveled the Heartlands and the Shining South widely as a member of several ill-fated adventuring bands, including The Beguiling Blades, Torrim’s Tempest, and Cold Steel Solutions, but she met the merchant Baereth Rondarl of Suzail at a campfire somewhere in the Border Kingdoms, they hit it off, he hired her as his personal bodyguard, and (ahem) she evidently liked guarding his body so well that eventually they were wed. When increasing age and ill-health forced Rondarl to retire from caravan travel in favor of shrewd investments and owning a fleet of merchant ships to Suzail, where he began buying crumbling buildings, razing them, and building larger, taller replacements and renting space out as a mixed-use landlord (shops at street level, offices above, living space above that), Seldreene retired there with him, and became his negotiator, envoy, traveling buyer, and head of security. In her spare time, she writes books, including MARRIED TO A MERCHANT, a “tell all” account aimed at showing other elves how to flourish (not just co-exist with humans) in the human-dominated culture of Faerun. Rondarl is a limping, ailing oldster these days, but Seldreene is vigorous, beautiful, seemingly much younger, and a dominating, imperious personality - - though she can act very differently if doing so will “win the day” in a particular situation. Seldreene deeply appreciates Lord Delcastle, the Harpers, and others in Suzail who are friendly to the elves, especially those of Semberholme.

So saith Ed, who hopes this can be of help. Spreading Realmslore for our shared enjoyment, whenever he can...
love,
THO
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1356 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2015 :  01:15:26  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
Hi Ed and THO,

I have a few questions about Hlethvagi from the most excellent adventure book Undermountain. In his writeup on page 110: What were the trade agreements concerning magic with an orc shaman specifically about? Can anything be told about this orc shaman or his clan the Grinning Skull tribe? Were the fortresses Hlethvagi had located in Undermountain or in The North? What kind of goods would I expect to find in one of his trade warehouses?

And just for fun, what lore question have you been dying to share but nobody has asked about yet? ;)

Thank you both!
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Finglas Leaflock
Seeker

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2015 :  15:50:55  Show Profile Send Finglas Leaflock a Private Message
Thanks, THO and Ed both! I like the Ammath elves in general more with every new piece of lore revealed!

And heh, Cold Steel Solutions, very much to the point, ahem, so to speak. :-)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2015 :  19:02:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Yes, Ed has his groan-worthy moments.
Eilserus, excellent questions, and off they go to Ed . . .
Who is deep in writing some fictional scenes set in the Realms that had him chortling when I called him last night . . .

Here's more on The Beguiling Blades for you all, from Ed's notes:

The Beguiling Blades is an adventuring band that has risen from the ashes, so to speak, repeatedly. Initially founded and sponsored by Chezkel Ghalaerath, a Chessentan merchant who experienced repeated taxation and seizure-of-property troubles at the hands of various greedy local Chessentan rulers, it began as a way of scaring or slaying such rulers by getting good-looking women into his presence in private, closed-door circumstances . . . who just happened to be deadly-with-swords-and-daggers adventurers working for their sponsor, on the following basis: do my bidding, and give me 20 percent of your spoils, and the rest is yours to keep. The Blades thrice got reduced from a strength of nine or ten down to two wounded survivors, who sometimes prudently decided to retire from adventuring because of the danger, or because they'd landed a partner or husband who could support them in a less-perilous life (such as a merchant they could be head of security for), and then finally got wiped out altogether. Only to be reformed under the same name by Ghalaerath to be his rent collectors for his city rental properties up and down the Vilhon. These days, the Blades (of which Seldreene is not currently a member) consist of two all-female arms: a more senior and high-profile group who serve Ghalaerath as envoys, rent collectors, enforcers, and bodyguards (and two of them are his frequent bedmates), and a younger group who are more reckless, nearly-independent adventurers who follow their own fortunes, but rely on Ghalaerth's aid and magical healing (purchased potions and hired priests) when they need it, in return for his 20 percent. Both arms are most active around the Sea of Fallen Stars, notably in Chessenta and the Vilhon, but latterly also increasingly northwest of that, along the trade routes, into the Heartlands.
The Blades have all been human, half-elven, halfling, or in one case a half-orc, and were all considered beautiful (at least at the time of their joining); Ghalaerath wanted their looks to be an asset or weapon, and dubbed his group "Beguiling" for the intended exploitation of their beauty.
The leader of the "wild" or younger current arm of the Blades is Rarella "the Raven" Immerglur, notable for her long and tangled black hair and her icy calm and calculation, even in the heat of battle. She eschews helms or shields, but goes to war in full plate armor of ancient make, gained from a tomb while adventuring (and repaired and reinforced constantly since; in her down time, she's a skilled armorer).

So saith Ed. Spinning Realmslore whenever he can.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2015 :  23:55:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And here I am again, scribes, with some tiny tidbits from Ed re. the other two adventuring bands Seldreene was briefly part of:

TORRIM'S TEMPEST
A swashbuckling, notorious band of vandals and devil-may-care freebooters, all human women except their leader, Davalar Torrim, a womanizer and outrageous rascal who had long, flowing brown hair, flashy good looks, no morals, and a vicious streak that made him the scourge of Tethyr and the trade-roads east of Tethyr for a decade, raiding and robbing and hiring on as bullyblades in the real sense of the term to this or that unpopular and usually unscrupulous merchant. The Tempest were known for their loud, rambunctious antics, swooping attacks, and use of over-the-top misdirection (often flashing flesh and shamelessly seducing), but they melted away into a handful of scared, fleeing survivors (who never reunited) after Torrim was torn apart by a guardian monster in front of their eyes.

COLD STEEL SOLUTIONS
A short-lived adventurers-for-hire business that operated in several Inner Sea port cities, as bodyguards, "below the law" get-even forces for angry merchants and wealthy patrons of various other professions (including some temples), Cold Steel Solutions lasted only a summer and a half before being ambushed and slaughtered by assassins with poisoned blades, hired by someone the Cold Steelers had been hired to target. Only two members survived that ambush - - because they both managed to recover from the poison, which is veldruth or "black rose," a purple-black tincture of the petals of a wild ground shrub of the Vilhon whose flowers resemble tiny roses.

That's all Ed has in his notes. Obviously Seldreene was one of the few survivors in both cases. Just a little more Realmslore fun for all.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  17:03:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow scribes. Back on January 16th (and page 4 of this thread), hashimashadoo posted this:

Okay, here's one about recent continuity that I and a few others have been scratching our heads over.

Since third edition, the goddess Tiamat has not been living in Avernus like she has in all the other campaign settings. Powers and Pantheons said that she would officially join the Faerûnian Pantheon in the middle of 1371 DR. Her divine realm since joining has been listed alternately as Heliopolis (in Faiths and Pantheons), Dragon Eyrie (in the Player's Guide to Faerûn) and Banehold, serving Bane (in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide), despite Faiths and Pantheons saying that Bane was one of her enemies.

Tiamat made a cameo in Erin Evans' Fire in the Blood and is described as "Guardian to the Gate of the Second Layer. Latest Vassal of Asmodeus." and it's said that she has her own kingdom in Avernus.

I recently came across this post made by Ms Evans: “Tiamat came up in story summit discussions, which was where Ed Greenwood mentioned that they'd kicked around the idea back in the day that whatever Tiamat consumed was completely destroyed. Which just kind of lit up my whole brain--what a fantastic reason to share territory with this dragon goddess! I'll admit, at the time, I think we were all under the impression that she was placed in Avernus by 4E. I know I was. She's in Avernus in pretty much every other campaign setting, after all, and a lot of the 4E changes did have a streamlining effect. But she was in Banehold for some reason. So this is sort of a smoothing scene to account for that transition. Because Tiamat doesn't deserve to skulk around in Banehold like some kind of beaten pet! She's a Queen! She deserves her own little realm in the Nine Hells!”

So why does she need rescuing from Avernus in the Tyranny of Dragons storyline? I briefly chatted to Wolfgang Baur about this but all he said was that "It was the premise provided by Wizards, and Kobold Press really isn’t in a position to dictate canon to the Wizards team."




Ed spent some time trying to get an official answer for you, and at length abandoned that attempt and spun his own (which of course he has the moral and legal authority to do, although Wizards can of course at some future time supercede what I’m posting below). So, heeere’s Ed:

Tiamat’s physical body, like those of the Chosen of Mystra, had been slowly failing over (much passing) time; regenerating ever more slowly, and afflicting her with internal aches and pains.
Tapping into the power of her growing (“growing” in part because of disaffected members of the Cult of the Dragon who turned to her as “the True One” or “the True Hope”) worship in Faerûn (as she did in 1371 DR, from the point of view of inhabitants of Toril) renewed and strengthened Tiamat, and allowed her to truly become “The Dragon Queen” as her clergy on Toril reverenced her.
Yet this very experience of ailing and aging made Tiamat, until then a creature of bold fury and reckless, aggressive attacks (a “to think is to act” creature) suddenly more paranoid. So she misinformed her clergy—who were in no position to see through her lie and “know” differently—as to her celestial whereabouts (and wealth, and servitors, and vast ruled dominion). She also became more scheming and patient, and determined to spread “parts of” herself into several places, so as to survive the ravages of time and attacks of foes.
Her great kingdoms on Heliopolis and later Dragon Eyrie were both largely fictitious; she “changed locations” from one to the other because intrepid wizards adventuring from the Realms (ambitious members of the Twisted Rune seeking allies or sources of power they could plunder or compel) actually reached Heliopolis—and discovered Tiamat had no “realm” there at all.
What she did have in Heliopolis was a lone spellbound, shriveled lichnee half-mad Netherese archwizard, magically confined in a cave, who was the Listener of the Fiveheaded (he heard the words of prayers made to Tiamat, and “saw”offerings, and yielded up that information when Tiamat mentally visited his mind). If need be, Tiamat’s sentience could “move into” the Listener’s mind and so “be on” Heliopolis, and even use the Listener’s lich body as her own (and survive if her five-headed form was ever destroyed). She apparently used the Listener at least twice to attack foes from behind when they had no idea Tiamat was anything other than in front of them, and alone. (She could also manifest an aspect of herself through him, although if she ever did so in earnest rather than in mere brief experimentation, no one of Toril is aware of it.)
When the Twisted Rune explorers found the Listener and tried to mindscour him for magical lore, they uncovered Tiamat’s secret. Enraged, she entered into the Listener, managed to mentally dominate the Twisted Rune mages, and compelled them to assist her in “relocating” her to Dragon Eyrie by assisting her in mentally destroying and subsuming the draconic deity Azharul (whom she’d long been spying upon as a scheming rival she should someday destroy) and took over his body and rulership, renaming his gigantic and labyrinthine cavern lair as the Cave of Greed (to others in Dragon Eyrie and to priests and sages, it remained “the Dragonspawn Pits of Azharul,” and they merely assumed old Azharul—a fearsome, bad-tempered draconic deity of many long, sharp projecting body-barbs and a mighty mastery of magic—had hit upon a new name for his home). She then used Azharul, assisted by what was left of the Listener and the controlled Twisted Rune wizards, very much as she had done the Listener back on Heliopolis. (The “soft borders” connecting Dragon Eyrie with Avernus allowed Tiamat to visit the Cave of Greed whenever she wanted to, but she apparently did so only once, to convince dragons, both living and spirits, and some abishai, to accompany her to Avernus and fight for her there.)
For all of this time, the “real” Tiamat was in Avernus in the Nine Hells, rebuilding an ever-larger kingdom in the most inhospitable mountains (and rift-like alpine valleys) of that layer (she had long ago been demoted from rulership of that largely-lawless layer because she was so ineffective in preventing the various outcast devils there from repeatedly attempting coups that threatened the dominion of Asmodeus—though the Supreme delved deep into her mind and saw no disloyalty, so he didn’t destroy or otherwise punish her, merely left her to her own devices, reasoning that in building her own power, she would fight against the outcasts and any other intruders far more effectively than she would otherwise—and he also left her with the notion that she could “earn” her “return to rule” if she pleased him enough with her performance; formally, she was given by Asmodeus the duty of guarding the largest and best-known way between Avernus and Dis—the route by which “dumb beasts,” lesser and least devils, and armies gated in from elsewhere would have to pass through, and she fulfilled this duty faithfully by stationing an aspect of herself there that never departed nor neglected this duty).
When the Spellplague struck, it didn’t just affect Toril (and Abeir); its ripples tore through the multiverse, wreaking havoc large and small. Dragon Eyrie disintegrated, and although the plane of the great “Dragon Mountain” was linked to Avernus (and other planes), in the tumult of destruction a stunned and half-crushed Azharul (“physically torn open like a fowl spatchcocked or butterflied for the grill,” as described by one who saw his violent arrival in the Barrens) was hurled violently into Gehenna (Banehold), where an opportunistic Bane pounced on the dazed and physically ruined draconic deity to enslave it—and discovered Tiamat’s presence. And immediately sought to compel and rule her.
Tiamat was furious, of course, but her true self was still in Avernus, and she was wise enough to see that considering the challenges she was facing at the time from various ambitious outcast devils, she could not hope to survive a battle on two fronts—and she would have to exert her full power to defeat Bane in Banehold. So she allowed Bane to “enslave” the part of her that was Azharul, and even served him faithfully, learning his secrets (and relaying them wholly and accurately to Asmodeus as she learned them, which pleased the Overlord of Hell very much). For his part, Bane exults in tyranny and rule, not slaughter and destruction, and so gloated in harassing his new slave in every way he could. And Tiamat suffered all of these indignities and bided her time, learning all she could of Bane’s nature and powers, awaiting her chance.
And when it came—the details aren’t known—she struck ruthlessly, not only freeing herself from Bane’s tyranny and snatching her Azharul body out of Banehold and into Avernus, she drained much of Bane’s power to do so, passing all that she didn’t need to mend the Azharul body and fully link it with her own—so that in Avernus, she has her “true” body, an aspect guarding the Way To Dis, and a “battle body” or fighting body (Azharul) she uses to meet with all others, keeping her true self safe and hidden (so an adventurer encounter, such as can happen in the Rise of Tiamat™ adventure, will be with this body, enabling Tiamat herself to survive unscathed any adventurer attack).
Delighted by the gift of divine power torn from Bane (who survived, lessened in might but not in essentials), Asmodeus offered her the rulership of Avernus once more. Whereupon Tiamat surprised (and touched him) by saying she didn’t want it because she wouldn’t be good at it, that Bel would do a better job and that Asmodeus shouldn’t spurn him and so make him a foe, and that Avernus needed to remain a largely-wild “safety valve” for the Nine Hells, to keep his rule strong—but that she would willingly and devotedly be “his champion” on Avernus, smiting all who worked against him whenever she became aware of their “treason.” So Asmodeus held a great ceremony in which he named Tiamat formally “Guardian to the Gate of the Second Layer,” and his “Latest Vassal.”
He also privately urged her to provide covert magical aid to the imprisoned Zariel, behind Bel’s back, to make sure that Bel didn’t siphon all of Zariel’s power and “become a problem.”
When she did so, she came under Bel’s compulsion, and through their hostile meeting of minds saw that Asmodeus had forewarned and prepared Bel to deal with her, so as to establish firm control over her—imprisoning her in her kingdom in Avernus, so that she “doesn’t get above herself” and kindle personal ambitions.
Tiamat was enraged anew, though she hid her ire from both Bel and Asmodeus, and now believes that all the archdevils of the Nine Hells see her as a “lesser being,” a “mere monster” to be duped and exploited. Determined to be caged nowhere and by no one, she reaches out to her mortal worshippers in the Realms, and conceives of a way to manipulate them into bringing her—or at least an aspect of her—into Toril.
All of which has left her in the situation and location she’s in at the beginning of Hoard of the Dragon Queen.™
There. Hope this is of help.

So saith Ed. Who gave us our first detailed look at the Nine Hells, so many years ago, helped Jeff Grubb as a sounding board when the original Manual of the Planes was being written, and has been tinkering with details of the various conflicting cosmologies of the multiverse ever since.
Knowing Realms fans and scribes as I do, I’m sure this lore will generate lots of questions and objections, so I’m standing by. Dressed in my best red devil Hallowe’en costume, the skintight horny horns rig with the little barbed tail.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 12 Feb 2015 23:48:08
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Eilserus
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  18:30:35  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
Interesting. So would Bane be considered an Intermediate or Lesser Power when this happened? He has to be pretty irritated at this point. What kind of things would Bane be doing to try to regain or regrow his lost power?

Tiamat's efforts make me think of Dragonlance where she attempted to emerge into Krynn. With time being sometimes wonky on the planes, could this be taking place at the same time in both worlds from Tiamat's perspective, even though it should be in the past on Krynn? Or perhaps Krynn was a trial version that actually succeeds in the Realms?

Edited by - Eilserus on 12 Feb 2015 18:34:05
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  19:30:12  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Interesting. So would Bane be considered an Intermediate or Lesser Power when this happened? He has to be pretty irritated at this point. What kind of things would Bane be doing to try to regain or regrow his lost power?

Tiamat's efforts make me think of Dragonlance where she attempted to emerge into Krynn. With time being sometimes wonky on the planes, could this be taking place at the same time in both worlds from Tiamat's perspective, even though it should be in the past on Krynn? Or perhaps Krynn was a trial version that actually succeeds in the Realms?



Despite the similarities, Tiamat and Takhisis were officially different entities.

Me, I'd spin it that Takhisis was either Tiamat's twin sister, or that she was originally an aspect of Tiamat that eventually emerged as a separate entity.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  19:33:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Lovely Lady Hooded One, there seems to have been an omission here -- a sentence just kind of ends, as if it was cut off.

Otherwise, some really good stuff, here!

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

She then used Azharul, assisted by what was left of the Listener and the controlled Twisted Rune wizards, very much as she had done the Listener back on Heliopolis. (The “soft borders” connecting Dragon Eyrie with Avernus allowed Tiamat to visit the Cave of Greed whenever she wanted to, but she apparently did so only once, to convince



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Eilserus
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  19:44:17  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Interesting. So would Bane be considered an Intermediate or Lesser Power when this happened? He has to be pretty irritated at this point. What kind of things would Bane be doing to try to regain or regrow his lost power?

Tiamat's efforts make me think of Dragonlance where she attempted to emerge into Krynn. With time being sometimes wonky on the planes, could this be taking place at the same time in both worlds from Tiamat's perspective, even though it should be in the past on Krynn? Or perhaps Krynn was a trial version that actually succeeds in the Realms?



Despite the similarities, Tiamat and Takhisis were officially different entities.

Me, I'd spin it that Takhisis was either Tiamat's twin sister, or that she was originally an aspect of Tiamat that eventually emerged as a separate entity.



Didn't know that. I always figured Takhisis was an aspect of Tiamat, much like we have Lolth on Greyhawk and Toril.
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Eli the Tanner
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  22:23:30  Show Profile  Visit Eli the Tanner's Homepage Send Eli the Tanner a Private Message
Thank you THO, those were brilliant insights into the machinations of Tiamat from Ed there. Sometimes I forget that Ed wrote those great Nine Hells articles back in the day. Here's a few follow-up questions (Ed-willing):

-Is there anything else Ed can tell us about Tiamat's past in Avernus? Any notable political manouverings with other devils (besides Bel and Zariel)?
-How involved with the Blood War has she been? Purely defensive? A frequently targeted asset? Or has she taken a commanding role alongside devilish armies?
-Finally, what was Tiamat doing during the events of Elminster in Hell?

P.S. If there are any dates that could sprinkled in there, then that would be...divine.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  22:28:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Interesting. So would Bane be considered an Intermediate or Lesser Power when this happened? He has to be pretty irritated at this point. What kind of things would Bane be doing to try to regain or regrow his lost power?

Tiamat's efforts make me think of Dragonlance where she attempted to emerge into Krynn. With time being sometimes wonky on the planes, could this be taking place at the same time in both worlds from Tiamat's perspective, even though it should be in the past on Krynn? Or perhaps Krynn was a trial version that actually succeeds in the Realms?



Despite the similarities, Tiamat and Takhisis were officially different entities.

Me, I'd spin it that Takhisis was either Tiamat's twin sister, or that she was originally an aspect of Tiamat that eventually emerged as a separate entity.



Didn't know that. I always figured Takhisis was an aspect of Tiamat, much like we have Lolth on Greyhawk and Toril.



Racial deities like Lolth or Brandobaris are often multispheric, but Krynn doesn't do the racial deities gig -- they have the one-size-fits-all single pantheon, with Paladine occasionally doing the Platinum Dragon routine, and Takhisis doing the five-headed dragon schtick. Which unnecessarily creates confusion, thinks I.

Another potential spin is that Takhisis just liked the image and stole it... Or maybe, at some point, she absorbed a stray bit of Tiamat; maybe Tiamat had tried to make some inroads on Krynn, and her Krynnish aspect got subsumed into Takhisis.

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George Krashos
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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  22:53:55  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Ed spent some time trying to get an official answer for you, and at length abandoned that attempt and spun his own.


Funniest thing I've read all week. Thanks for the great realmslore Ed and THO.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 12 Feb 2015 :  23:49:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Sorry, Wooly, my bad; I inadvertently chopped off the end of Ed’s sentence when transferring.

The complete sentence should read (and I’ve edited the original post, now, so that it does):

(The “soft borders” connecting Dragon Eyrie with Avernus allowed Tiamat to visit the Cave of Greed whenever she wanted to, but she apparently did so only once, to convince dragons, both living and spirits, and some abishai, to accompany her to Avernus and fight for her there.)

There. Getting old, and my fingers are starting to fumble-slip. Can't dress or undress as fast as I once could. Ahem.
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 13 Feb 2015 :  00:06:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Heh, George, I chuckled too—but wished I didn’t have to. Ah, well.
Eilserus, re. these: “So would Bane be considered an Intermediate or Lesser Power when this happened? He has to be pretty irritated at this point. What kind of things would Bane be doing to try to regain or regrow his lost power?”

I’ve always thought those Intermediate and Lesser Power labels are mortal designations that we can never really know the truth about. I nudged Ed about it, and he agrees with me, but said:
Call him Intermediate. And regaining is hard, but Bane has always tried to “grow” his power (and in this case it would be regrowing) by increasing his worship on Toril (so, the whole Chosen gambit we saw in The Sundering books, which wasn’t very effective; the intent of all the gods was to return to the Realms as powerful as possible, so when the new Tablets of Fate were written, they’d be as powerful in ranking as possible). What worked better for Bane was subverting various outcast devils, “riding” them from what he’d learned from compelling Tiamat, and using them to utterly and permanently destroy other outcast devils in Avernus—and snatch the relatively tiny amounts of divine energy those outcast archdevils possessed. It was a lot of work, and took a long time (in Realms terms, most of the 1400s DR).

And to Eli the Tanner: dates with me might be divine, but getting dates out of Ed is really hard.
Let me try some deductions . . .
We know that the Spellplague hit in 1385, and Dragon Eyrie would have broken up quickly, so Azharul was flung into Gehenna/Banehold/the Barrens right then (all in 1385, in a matter of days after the first onset of the Spellplague). We know that Tiamat was enslaved by Bane for most of the 1400s, because by the time of FIRE IN THE BLOOD she’d been recently heralded by Asmodeus as his “Latest Vassal” (after breaking free and snatching some of Bane’s power). And that, I suspect, is about all we’ll get for now in the way of dating. Though your questions have gone to Ed to see what I can pry out of him.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 13 Feb 2015 :  00:19:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And Ed’s on the job, today!
I bring back a swift preliminary reply to Eli the Tanner, re. these: “Is there anything else Ed can tell us about Tiamat's past in Avernus? Any notable political manouverings with other devils (besides Bel and Zariel)?
How involved with the Blood War has she been? Purely defensive? A frequently targeted asset? Or has she taken a commanding role alongside devilish armies?
Finally, what was Tiamat doing during the events of Elminster in Hell?
P.S. If there are any dates that could sprinkled in there, then that would be...divine.”

Is there anything else Ed can tell us about Tiamat's past in Avernus?
Ed: Soon, I hope, but no promises. Nothing dramatic; Tiamat’s life is mainly battling archdevils and cowing lesser devils to continuously expand her mountain kingdom.

Any notable political manouverings with other devils (besides Bel and Zariel)?
Ed: Just minor conspiracies to conceal from Asmodeus and other ruling archdevils (of the other layers of Hell) that various intruders from other planes have fallen into her hands, for short periods, until she can learn all she can from them, and follow up on such knowledge via her mortal worshippers on various other planes (in the Realms, the Cult of the Dragon) to try to gain all the magic she can before others find out about it and go looking.

How involved with the Blood War has she been? Purely defensive? A frequently targeted asset? Or has she taken a commanding role alongside devilish armies?
Ed: Mainly defensive, but yes, she’s (unwillingly, of course) been “a frequently targeted asset.” She only commands her own forces, to defend her kingdom, and otherwise tries to avoid getting caught up in the endless fray—which is, after all, to her a no-win ongoing drain of power (fighting servitors) she can’t replenish.

Finally, what was Tiamat doing during the events of Elminster in Hell?
Ed: There’s a tiny NDA involved here, so I’ll try to skate around it and get back to you. For now, let us just say: obviously not directly involved with Mystra’s foray.

P.S. If there are any dates that could sprinkled in there, then that would be...divine
Ed: So it would, but bwoohahahahahah, and so forth. That’s the sort of thing I would have to get buy-in from Wizards staffers, to wind up with any precision, so please run with what THO deduced for us all, for now.

And there you have it. For now. Followup Realmslore. (And for what it's worth, Ed has always thought that Takhisis is an independent entity, but at some point absorbed a defeated "dying" aspect of Tiamat, somewhere, and in so doing drifted a little closer to the preferred physical forms and outlook of Tiamat, probably without really being aware of doing so. I have this from a long-ago discussion with him re. the relationships between the various D&D® "worlds." )
love,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Feb 2015 :  00:25:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, all. Sorry, Wooly, my bad; I inadvertently chopped off the end of Ed’s sentence when transferring.

The complete sentence should read (and I’ve edited the original post, now, so that it does):

(The “soft borders” connecting Dragon Eyrie with Avernus allowed Tiamat to visit the Cave of Greed whenever she wanted to, but she apparently did so only once, to convince dragons, both living and spirits, and some abishai, to accompany her to Avernus and fight for her there.)

There. Getting old, and my fingers are starting to fumble-slip. Can't dress or undress as fast as I once could. Ahem.
love,
THO



Thank you, my lady.

And I should like to note that it's much more fun to help a lady undress than it is to let her do it herself. So if you need a hand...

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 13 Feb 2015 :  00:27:39  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I need several, O cuddly hamster. And I need them to be wandering . . .

looooooove,
THO
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The Sage
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Posted - 13 Feb 2015 :  02:31:48  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Interesting. So would Bane be considered an Intermediate or Lesser Power when this happened? He has to be pretty irritated at this point. What kind of things would Bane be doing to try to regain or regrow his lost power?

Tiamat's efforts make me think of Dragonlance where she attempted to emerge into Krynn. With time being sometimes wonky on the planes, could this be taking place at the same time in both worlds from Tiamat's perspective, even though it should be in the past on Krynn? Or perhaps Krynn was a trial version that actually succeeds in the Realms?



Despite the similarities, Tiamat and Takhisis were officially different entities.

Me, I'd spin it that Takhisis was either Tiamat's twin sister, or that she was originally an aspect of Tiamat that eventually emerged as a separate entity.

This is always a contentious issue each time it is brought up.

The following past quotes [from here at Candlekeep] are thoughts from myself, the Lady Hooded One, and references from Jeff Grubb and Tracy Hickman on the matter:-

Myself --
quote:
Paladine and Takhisis are based on Bahamut and Tiamat. There are those who say they are the same, others who do not. There are plenty of arguments to support either side.

Does it matter if there is an established connection?

Not really. After all, they'll fill one role in DRAGONLANCE, and other roles in other worlds. Besides, 3e set things up to where each world has its own cosmology anyway.

Having said that, I'll further note that Tracy Hickman has always said that Takhisis was separate from Tiamat. Whereas Jeff Grubb prefers to think otherwise.

Ultimately, I'd say it's up to the DM as to whether the connection exists, or not.
And the lovely Lady Hooded One --
quote:
Well, I'd agree with Margaret and Tracy on just about everything Krynnish - - but NOT the gods. The gods of Dragonlance were Jeff Grubb's own gods, taken from his pre-existing D&D campaign. So on the Takhisis versus Tiamat thing, I'd go with Jeff's opinion.
(Most folks forget that Dragonlance was a created-in-house collaboration, with Margaret and Tracy emerging in the drivers' seats after their novels took off in popularity.)
Yes, I'm older than dirt.
love to all,
THO

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