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Seravin
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Posted - 15 Jul 2015 :  02:50:20  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yay Azure Bonds!
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VikingLegion
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Posted - 15 Jul 2015 :  17:04:00  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Some would say that allowing a fleeing foe to live is taking the high road -- after all, if he's fleeing, he's not a threat to you. A fleeing foe is no longer a combatant, and killing non-combatants is frequently frowned upon by goodly folks. Additionally, allowing an enemy to live means they have a chance to repent and come back to the Light Side.

I'm not saying that it was or wasn't the right choice. I'm just saying it's easy to see the thinking that lead to that particular choice.



Excellent point, thanks for sharing an alternative view on that event. While I'm not disagreeing with your interpretation, as I was reading the chapter it just felt to me that this was not Drizzt's motivation. Again it's just a gut feeling, and probably a biased one, but it read to me as though Drizzt stopped Cattie-brie because he feels Artemis is his test, his challenge, his validation. It just seems selfish and narcissistic to me that he would let a monster like that free on the Realms simply because they have fought twice now to a standstill, and he needs a personal resolution to the conflict.

Actually, I just went back and found the scene:

Cattie-brie followed his motion in a fluid movement, keeping him dead in her sights. No one, not even Artemis Entreri, could escape once she had him cleanly targeted.
"Get him, girl!" Bruenor yelled
Drizzt had been so involved in the battle that he hadn't even noticed the arrival of his friends. He spun around to see Bruenor rolling in, and Cattie-brie just about to loose her arrow.
"Hold!" Drizzt growled in a tone that froze Bruenor in his tracks and sent a shiver through Cattie'brie's spine. They both gawked, open-mouthed, at Drizzt.
"He is mine!" the drow told them.
Entreri didn't hesitate to consider his good fortune. Out in the open streets, his streets, he might find his sanctuary.
With no retort forthcoming from either of his unnerved friends, Drizzt slapped the magical mask up over his face and was just as quick to follow.


So while I appreciate your contribution Wooly, this was clearly no allowed withdrawal, as Drizzt then followed Entreri up the ladder and continued the battle on the streets of Calimport. This was straight-up vengeance/pride/ego motivated. This is doubly hypocritical when viewed in light of Drizzt's earlier council to Wulfgar (in the very same book) in one of the taverns of Waterdeep. A local "bar champion", a bully named Bungo, calls Wulfgar out, but the barbarian defuses the situation diplomatically so as not to compromise their current mission of saving Regis. He swallows his personal pride so that he doesn't lose a night cooling in jail, when all he really wants to do is pound Bungo's face in. He mentions that when Regis is safe he might like to return to the inn to teach Bungo a lesson to which Drizzt replies:

"To settle a score with a drunken ruffian and his wretched friends," Drizzt concluded.
Wulfgar laughed but stopped abruptly when Drizzt wheeled on him.
"To what end?" Drizzt asked. "Would you then replace him as the champion of the Mermaid's Arms?"
"That is a life I do not envy," Wulfgar replied, chuckling again, though this time uncomfortably.
"Then leave it to Bungo," Drizzt said, turning back to the glow of the city.


So here we have Drizzt all but scolding Wulfgar for wanting to pummel a vile man that was calling him out publicly, attempting to provoke a fight, and challenging his manhood, but then Drizzt stops Cattie-brie from ending the threat of Entreri because he wants, he needs, that kill shot.


Edited by - VikingLegion on 15 Jul 2015 17:04:46
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Jul 2015 :  18:04:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
*shrugs* I didn't recall the scene, myself; I've not read those books in a long time indeed. I was just addressing a particular point of view.

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VikingLegion
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Posted - 17 Jul 2015 :  16:31:04  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

*shrugs* I didn't recall the scene, myself; I've not read those books in a long time indeed. I was just addressing a particular point of view.



Yeah I wasn't trying to call you out or anything. I thought you were on to something with the "There's been enough bloodshed, just let him go" angle, and I had to find and re-read the scene myself to see just how egregious it was. It's tempting to simply label this as bad/inconsistent writing, but then again maybe it was intentionally done to show that even someone as high-moraled as Drizzt has flaws and can fall prey to the dark side that is within him, despite how deep he attempts to bury it. Whatever the case, I don't want to belabor the point any longer.

On to Azure Bonds which I finished the other night. I know at least two posters in this thread are big fans of this book, but for me it was a complete miss. Before I get into the negative, I'll list some things I really liked from this book:

1. The initial premise of a "created" being, built by a bard so vane he simply could not entrust his songs and lifework to other, fallible, bards. The extreme arrogance and god complex of Nameless is a wonderful start, it reads equal parts Greek hubris tragedy and Dr. Frankenstein's conceit. I LOVED it!

2. The idea that he had to fall in with some "undesirables" to achieve his goal, and that each faction laid their own claim to the creation in the form of the magical tattoos. This is great stuff and opened up all kinds of possibilities for a strange bedfellows type scenario.

3. The description of Moander's Abomination. I recently watched the anime classic Princess Mononoke and couldn't help but make a comparison of the corrupting spirits to Moander. I really liked the idea of this monstrous, writhing, amalgamation of rotting animal and plant matter. I especially enjoyed the tentacle attachments he made to some of the human bodies he had slain or taken over, using them as puppets to speak through. Some great imagery there.

Ok, that's where the good ends. The bad can be summarized in two words: Jeff Grubb. I've read his Dragonlance material and knew going in that he has a particular joking style to his writing. This works fine in a book like Lord Toede which is expected to have a more comedic, non-serious approach. But I was hoping he could suppress some of the foolishness for this story. Alas he could not. The story was riddled with bad jokes, atrocious puns, a slew of modern-day references and colloquialisms, and cringe-worthy dialogue that is amongst the worst I've read in any TSR/WotC work.

Even the excellence of the Moander description was soon ruined by horrid dialogue. Godly avatars and mighty, ancient red dragons use the same speech patterns and jokey references as a Halfling thief, there's just no differentiation between them. They're all just extensions of how I imagine Jeff Grubb speaks to his buddies and co-workers. I don't know, there's just a complete and utter lack of gravitas or weight when writing these near omnipotent beings, they all come off as goofy and clownish. And when Moander started flying by jet propulsion I nearly laughed out loud (and that's not a good thing.) He instantly went from this chilling anime demon to a cheesy Godzilla villain or a monster out of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I could almost see the strings pulling the creature across the screen.

Don't get me wrong, I think Grubb is a very good product designer. I've enjoyed his work in the Dragonlance and FR settings, as well as the Manual of the Planes. He's a great "ideas man", but something goes wrong in the execution. That dialogue!! Every character, as soon as they open their mouth to speak, is just... so.... Grubby. I think if he conceptualized the story and then passed the premise along to another writer to bring to life, Azure Bonds could've been terrific. But instead it is what it is, a missed opportunity.

Ok, that's enough for now. Tonight I'll start in on the 2nd book, The Wyvern's Spur.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 17 Jul 2015 16:33:03
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 17 Jul 2015 :  18:50:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I believe this is the first time I've seen complaints about those books. For me, the writing duo of Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak cannot be recommended highly enough; they and Elaine Cunningham are the only ones I consistently recommend to one and all.

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Seravin
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Posted - 17 Jul 2015 :  22:49:50  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1) Moander was able to fly because of the methane gas (one of the "lift gasses"), which resulted from all of the decaying plant matter he had. His goal shifted from an assault on Myth Drannor to an escape with Alias to his worshippers in Westgate..so he flew. As he used more power his ability to communicate with the avatar dropped, and I think it's referenced a few times that the power use caused him to sound stupid and changed from when he first interacted with Alias and co.

2) I never noticed any issue with the dialogue at all...at least not compared to other Realms books. Please never read "Once Around the Realms", if Azure Bonds offends you you'll probably burn thatbook.

Well to each his own, I think Azure Bonds is fantastic and really captures those magical early days of the Forgotten Realms. Hopefully Wyvern's Spur's dialogue is less goofy for you. :)
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Cards77
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Posted - 18 Jul 2015 :  21:33:04  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't read Tymora's Luck then. You'll rip out your eyes.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
256 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2015 :  07:51:09  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I believe this is the first time I've seen complaints about those books. For me, the writing duo of Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak cannot be recommended highly enough; they and Elaine Cunningham are the only ones I consistently recommend to one and all.



It's just a taste thing. If I want goofy, silly fantasy I'll go read Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, or go even farther back to Piers Anthony's Xanth novels. I highly enjoyed both those series, because I go in expecting equal parts humor and fantasy. I guess I have a different expectation for Realms books. I'm not saying it has to be all grimdark all the time, but... well I'll share a line I found particularly annoying - I'm sure I literally groaned out loud when I read it. It is by no means the worst line, it simply happens late in the story so it was freshest in my mind. Too, it wasn't just this bit alone. See, Grubb's writing for me is kind of like a cloud of gnats. Each individual bug is harmless and inconsequential, but the sum total of the swarm has a cumulative effect that eventually wears me down. Anyway, here it is (this occurs when Alias and her party are teleported to the Citadel of the White Exile bordering the Positive Material Plane):

"Olive, I don't think we're in the Realms anymore." - an obvious reference to the Wizard of Oz if you just substitute in the words Toto and Kansas. You know Grubb was clapping in delight as he typed out that masterpiece of witticism. I'm guessing right now you're rolling your eyes and thinking I'm making too much of a deal over one harmless line, and you'd be right. But like I said before this is just one of many such instances that crop up throughout all of his works.

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

1) Moander was able to fly because of the methane gas (one of the "lift gasses"), which resulted from all of the decaying plant matter he had. His goal shifted from an assault on Myth Drannor to an escape with Alias to his worshippers in Westgate..so he flew. As he used more power his ability to communicate with the avatar dropped, and I think it's referenced a few times that the power use caused him to sound stupid and changed from when he first interacted with Alias and co.

2) I never noticed any issue with the dialogue at all...at least not compared to other Realms books. Please never read "Once Around the Realms", if Azure Bonds offends you you'll probably burn thatbook.

Well to each his own, I think Azure Bonds is fantastic and really captures those magical early days of the Forgotten Realms. Hopefully Wyvern's Spur's dialogue is less goofy for you. :)



I'm an organic chemist by trade so I assure you I knew where he was going with the methane angle. In fact I applauded when Mistandaprlfelxklers used her fiery breath on the Abomination to disastrous results. So it wasn't the science behind the flight so much as the imagery of this enormous, cumbersome, not-in-the-least-bit-aerodynamic-or-flightworthy mass of sludge going from a slow but inexorable march across land to suddenly lifting off and hurtling across the sky like I saw Godzilla once do (by flying backwards, using his flame breath as propulsion.)

As for the dialogue, good point about the lessened speech capabilities, but I'm talking about before that occurs. Much like the Oz example above, this is neither the only, or best, example. At one point, while explaining his Master Plan Moander starts a paragraph off with the phrase "Well, you know..." which to me sounds more like the sort of loose, informal phrasing you'd use to describe a change to your fantasy football lineup to co-workers around the water cooler. It's this jocular, blithe, casual way of speaking that doesn't work for me when writing the speech of a god. This isn't Bob the Tanner, this is an Elder Primordial Being of Chaos, Corruption, and Decay whose every utterance should send a Lovecraftian tremor of terror into the minds and hearts of any that hear it, not some hayseed bumpkin saying "Yeah, so uh, what I'm gonna do is this, ok..."

However, being in the obvious and vast minority here, I am willing to concede my pre-existing bias against Grubb's novels may be coloring any further dialogue I read from him. Moving on.

It's funny you mentioned Once Around the Realms. I remember a friend of mine reading that way back in the mid 90s and telling me just how ludicrous it was. I didn't read it back then, but plan on getting to it in this complete read-through, but being fully armed and aware and expecting absurdity, I should be able to stomach it. I might even get a good laugh from it.

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

Don't read Tymora's Luck then. You'll rip out your eyes.



Duly noted. And here I was hoping after Song of the Saurials I'd be done with both these characters and this writing duo. Oh, speaking of which, I finished The Wyvern's Spur last night:

Edited by - VikingLegion on 20 Jul 2015 07:57:35
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VikingLegion
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Posted - 20 Jul 2015 :  08:19:29  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I went in to Wyvern's Spur with ultra-low expectations. I think it's well established by now that I'm not looking for silliness in Realms books, and here we have a 313 page book centered around Giogioni Wyvernspur, perhaps the most dopey of the Novak/Grubb characters. I was absolutely positive there would be a scene where Giogi leans up against a bookcase and accidentally nudges the statue that opens up the secret door. Or maybe he would slip on a banana peel and two attackers would swing high over his falling form, clobbering each other simultaneously.

But while there was plenty of obligatory Wyvernspur family foolishness, this book did manage to tell a decent story. Even though she was trapped in the form of a donkey for much of the story, I liked Olive's development. She sort of took on this inspector role and had some excellently glib improv moments that were entertaining. Giogi was every bit the useless fop I'd expected him to be, but did start to man up towards the end, which I think was the point of the story, his coming of age.

But isn't his budding romance with Cat a bit... gross in so far that Cat, Jade, Alias, et al are sort of created from the, I don't want to say DNA, but essence of Finder Wyvernspur. If they are considered Wyvernspurs to the point of being able to pass the crypt guardian's scrutiny, does that not make the Cat/Giogi relationship a bit on the Lannister side? I understand in medieval settings it was not uncommon to marry within your own family, I guess I just think it's a little weird.

Tomorrow night I'll start in on the finale, Song of the Saurials.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 20 Jul 2015 08:20:07
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 20 Jul 2015 :  11:10:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion


But isn't his budding romance with Cat a bit... gross in so far that Cat, Jade, Alias, et al are sort of created from the, I don't want to say DNA, but essence of Finder Wyvernspur. If they are considered Wyvernspurs to the point of being able to pass the crypt guardian's scrutiny, does that not make the Cat/Giogi relationship a bit on the Lannister side? I understand in medieval settings it was not uncommon to marry within your own family, I guess I just think it's a little weird.


Keep in mind, Finder was one of Giogi's ancestors -- we're talking so many generations back that they were practically unrelated.

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Seravin
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Posted - 20 Jul 2015 :  21:35:32  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the pseudo-DNA of Alias comes from Cassandra, in so much that she was a physical copy of a young Cassandra, not a clone of Finder or a Wyvernspur like Flattery was.
Finder was Alias's "father" in so much as he helped create her and gave her a personality/memories. Cat was married to Flattery, who was a Finder clone (of sorts, like Alias is of Cassandra), and how she got in the crypt to me--through marriage not blood. Also - It was Phalse who gave the Alias-sisters their backstories and personalities, not Finder, so Cat would be less "icky" in this sense than Alias marrying/sleeping with Giogi.
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VikingLegion
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Posted - 28 Jul 2015 :  00:09:15  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I think the pseudo-DNA of Alias comes from Cassandra, in so much that she was a physical copy of a young Cassandra, not a clone of Finder or a Wyvernspur like Flattery was.
Finder was Alias's "father" in so much as he helped create her and gave her a personality/memories. Cat was married to Flattery, who was a Finder clone (of sorts, like Alias is of Cassandra), and how she got in the crypt to me--through marriage not blood. Also - It was Phalse who gave the Alias-sisters their backstories and personalities, not Finder, so Cat would be less "icky" in this sense than Alias marrying/sleeping with Giogi.



Great points.

I finished Song of the Saurials the other night, and enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I don't have much specific to point out with this book, for good or ill, it was just a solid read throughout. I particularly liked Finder, despite him being a hopelessly vain, selfish narcissist. I'm intrigued by the end, where it mentioned he managed to "absorb much of Moander's power" - obviously setting him up to be a bigger player in the Realms scene down the road.

On to the Avatars trilogy. I started Shadowdale last night and am tearing through it.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 28 Jul 2015 :  03:16:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I think the pseudo-DNA of Alias comes from Cassandra, in so much that she was a physical copy of a young Cassandra, not a clone of Finder or a Wyvernspur like Flattery was.
Finder was Alias's "father" in so much as he helped create her and gave her a personality/memories. Cat was married to Flattery, who was a Finder clone (of sorts, like Alias is of Cassandra), and how she got in the crypt to me--through marriage not blood. Also - It was Phalse who gave the Alias-sisters their backstories and personalities, not Finder, so Cat would be less "icky" in this sense than Alias marrying/sleeping with Giogi.



Great points.

I finished Song of the Saurials the other night, and enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I don't have much specific to point out with this book, for good or ill, it was just a solid read throughout. I particularly liked Finder, despite him being a hopelessly vain, selfish narcissist. I'm intrigued by the end, where it mentioned he managed to "absorb much of Moander's power" - obviously setting him up to be a bigger player in the Realms scene down the road.



Finder appears in a divine role in the books Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck, also by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb. Those are books 1 and 3 of the Lost Gods trilogy; the 2nd book is a Dragonlance book and doesn't really do anything for the trilogy other than intro a single character.

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VikingLegion
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Posted - 28 Jul 2015 :  21:14:01  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Finder appears in a divine role in the books Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck, also by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb. Those are books 1 and 3 of the Lost Gods trilogy; the 2nd book is a Dragonlance book and doesn't really do anything for the trilogy other than intro a single character.



Careful with the spoilers please. While nearly all of these early books are re-reads for me, I did stop reading Realms books sometime in the mid 90s, so while this stuff is ancient history for you guys, it will be fresh material for me. Not a big deal, since I figured he was poised to become some divine or at least semi-divine being, just something to please keep in mind for purposes of this thread.

As for a Lost Gods series and Fistandantilus Reborn, I read that book in my complete Dragonlance read-through, and I never would've guessed it was part of any kind of cross-setting series. It was branded as a Lost Legends book in that world, as Fisty is a powerful icon of that world, but isn't divine in any respect. Sure he's one of the greatest mages in the history of Krynn, but he's always been an angry spirit trying to find a host, never a figure that has had any kind of worshipers. I'm a fan of Doug Niles, but man that book was boring and a massive disappointment.

Anyway, I finished Shadowdale last night. While not a great book (I could, but won't, point out several nitpicks) it was an enjoyable read, as it evokes a powerful sense of nostalgia for me. See, this was my entry point into the Realms from a tabletop gaming perspective. Sure I had already read the Moonshae stuff and several of the dark elf books before the Avatar series, so I was well-introduced to the Realms from a novel standpoint. But the events of the Time of Troubles was when I got my first gaming group together to run through this world. I recall how badly a friend of mine wanted to play a Wild Mage, and the often disastrous results that occurred when he had to roll on the "wild surge" table for a misfired spell.

Another poster mentioned how the Novak/Grubb duo "captured that magical feel of the early Realms." I'd like to steal that line and apply it instead to this series.

I'll continue tonight with book 2: Tantras
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Seravin
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Posted - 28 Jul 2015 :  21:46:34  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hahaha fair enough about the Avatar trilogy capturing those early days of the Realms; I prefer pre-TOT setting of the 1350s, since my introduction to the setting was in that era. Especially the Dales and Moonsea area.

My re-read of Shadowdale I liked it less than I thought, I was really perplexed at how awful Storm was portrayed (although maybe that's in Tantras). She was totally out of character; and it ruined that part of the book for me. You should read Shadow of the Avatar trilogy, it is neat to see what is going on with Elminster during the events of "Shadowdale". I enjoyed that trilogy, particularly the 3rd book.
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Cards77
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Posted - 29 Jul 2015 :  03:39:48  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh my those crossover novels were just horrible.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 29 Jul 2015 :  03:59:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Finder appears in a divine role in the books Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck, also by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb. Those are books 1 and 3 of the Lost Gods trilogy; the 2nd book is a Dragonlance book and doesn't really do anything for the trilogy other than intro a single character.



Careful with the spoilers please. While nearly all of these early books are re-reads for me, I did stop reading Realms books sometime in the mid 90s, so while this stuff is ancient history for you guys, it will be fresh material for me. Not a big deal, since I figured he was poised to become some divine or at least semi-divine being, just something to please keep in mind for purposes of this thread.


It's not a spoiler. He was a deity at the end of Song of the Saurials. That's why he was looking for a place for his own planar realm.

quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

As for a Lost Gods series and Fistandantilus Reborn, I read that book in my complete Dragonlance read-through, and I never would've guessed it was part of any kind of cross-setting series. It was branded as a Lost Legends book in that world, as Fisty is a powerful icon of that world, but isn't divine in any respect. Sure he's one of the greatest mages in the history of Krynn, but he's always been an angry spirit trying to find a host, never a figure that has had any kind of worshipers. I'm a fan of Doug Niles, but man that book was boring and a massive disappointment.


I really disliked it, myself. All it really contributes to the trilogy is the character Emilo Haversack, who appears in Tymora's Luck. There's a reference or two -- on his part -- to his adventures in the previous book, but it's utterly unnecessary to be familiar with book 2 when reading book 3.

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VikingLegion
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Posted - 04 Aug 2015 :  14:17:03  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished Tantras over the weekend. I felt it was a slight step down from Shadowdale, either that or my warm nostalgia glow has now faded. Still, there were several things to like. I thought the huge rock 'em, sock 'em battle between 50 foot tall Bane Statue and Lion-Head Torm was handled fairly well, for a situation that could've devolved quickly but instead read ok.

I also liked Cyric's transformation from a snarky, somewhat dark but still decent fellow, into a soulless, black-hearted villain was plausible, all things considered. Not an easy task to take on, changing him so thoroughly over only a 1-2 book period, but the author(s) pulled it off in a pretty believable manner, so good job on that.

The one thing that really irked me was Myrkul's ritual that instantly killed every assassin in Faerun, to steal their souls and power up Bane. It's one thing for Torm to absorb the souls of his willing followers, but how can Myrkul simply cast a spell and rip away every single follower of a different god - Bhaal? That would be like Loviatar saying "You know what, I don't like dancing and joy and whatnot, so I'm going to cast this spell here and instantly slaughter every dancer on the continent to piss off Lliira." If any god (not even a full god, just a lowly avatar) can have this kind of power over another god's clergy, how is there any protection? And why aren't they doing this all the time to slaughter each other's flocks? Like I said, it's one thing to ask your own devoted followers to lay down their lives for you, but how can a god of one sphere/domain/portfolio have that kind of providence over worshipers who have never let him/her in on any level?

I know it had to happen for plot reasons, but I thought this was a terribly ill-conceived idea. Aside from that it was a smooth and easy read, and I've already started in on the finale: Waterdeep
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Seravin
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Posted - 06 Aug 2015 :  13:24:56  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion
The one thing that really irked me was Myrkul's ritual that instantly killed every assassin in Faerun, to steal their souls and power up Bane. It's one thing for Torm to absorb the souls of his willing followers, but how can Myrkul simply cast a spell and rip away every single follower of a different god - Bhaal? That would be like Loviatar saying "You know what, I don't like dancing and joy and whatnot, so I'm going to cast this spell here and instantly slaughter every dancer on the continent to piss off Lliira." If any god (not even a full god, just a lowly avatar) can have this kind of power over another god's clergy, how is there any protection? And why aren't they doing this all the time to slaughter each other's flocks? Like I said, it's one thing to ask your own devoted followers to lay down their lives for you, but how can a god of one sphere/domain/portfolio have that kind of providence over worshipers who have never let him/her in on any level?

I know it had to happen for plot reasons, but I thought this was a terribly ill-conceived idea. Aside from that it was a smooth and easy read, and I've already started in on the finale: Waterdeep



Someone had to "think of the children!"...assassins, along with demons and devils, were too dark for 2nd Edition D&D and were taken out of the game rules. This was the "In-Realms" way of removing them from the world. Except for Artemis Entreri who wore super thick plot armour and was suddenly a fighter/thief multi-class character who took money for killing people. Mmhmm.

Oh well, no more stupid than the 4E Spellplague changes.

Edited by - Seravin on 06 Aug 2015 13:27:15
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Aug 2015 :  15:13:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion
The one thing that really irked me was Myrkul's ritual that instantly killed every assassin in Faerun, to steal their souls and power up Bane. It's one thing for Torm to absorb the souls of his willing followers, but how can Myrkul simply cast a spell and rip away every single follower of a different god - Bhaal? That would be like Loviatar saying "You know what, I don't like dancing and joy and whatnot, so I'm going to cast this spell here and instantly slaughter every dancer on the continent to piss off Lliira." If any god (not even a full god, just a lowly avatar) can have this kind of power over another god's clergy, how is there any protection? And why aren't they doing this all the time to slaughter each other's flocks? Like I said, it's one thing to ask your own devoted followers to lay down their lives for you, but how can a god of one sphere/domain/portfolio have that kind of providence over worshipers who have never let him/her in on any level?

I know it had to happen for plot reasons, but I thought this was a terribly ill-conceived idea. Aside from that it was a smooth and easy read, and I've already started in on the finale: Waterdeep



Someone had to "think of the children!"...assassins, along with demons and devils, were too dark for 2nd Edition D&D and were taken out of the game rules. This was the "In-Realms" way of removing them from the world. Except for Artemis Entreri who wore super thick plot armour and was suddenly a fighter/thief multi-class character who took money for killing people. Mmhmm.

Oh well, no more stupid than the 4E Spellplague changes.



Keep in mind, in 1E, Assassin was a PC class, not just a career.... Myrkul's move took out the members of the class, but not folks who did the same thing without the class-given abilities.

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Seravin
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Posted - 06 Aug 2015 :  22:21:38  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know that obviously, but Artemis was a Level 11 Assassin class character in 1st Edition.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Aug 2015 :  23:59:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
*shrugs* Dunno, then.

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VikingLegion
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Posted - 09 Aug 2015 :  06:12:52  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin


My re-read of Shadowdale I liked it less than I thought, I was really perplexed at how awful Storm was portrayed (although maybe that's in Tantras). She was totally out of character; and it ruined that part of the book for me. You should read Shadow of the Avatar trilogy, it is neat to see what is going on with Elminster during the events of "Shadowdale". I enjoyed that trilogy, particularly the 3rd book.



I couldn't agree more. It was a bit at the end of Shadowdale (the accusing) and the beginning of Tantras (the farce of a "trial".) Storm came off as a completely vindictive roid-rager with zero sense of justice or fairness. The entire town of Shadowdale read like a lynch mob. Yes I understand they just recently lost their beloved Elminster, but the writing was distractingly bad.

Shadow of the Avatar sounds interesting. I'll have to peek ahead in my reading list to see how long before I get up to that point.
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VikingLegion
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Posted - 09 Aug 2015 :  06:27:21  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin
Someone had to "think of the children!"...assassins, along with demons and devils, were too dark for 2nd Edition D&D and were taken out of the game rules. This was the "In-Realms" way of removing them from the world. Except for Artemis Entreri who wore super thick plot armour and was suddenly a fighter/thief multi-class character who took money for killing people. Mmhmm.

Oh well, no more stupid than the 4E Spellplague changes.



Ahhh, that explains things. Well, sort of. Now I understand the reasoning behind it, but it was still absurd to have to explicitly narrate all assassins (sans thick plot armour) being removed from Faerun as though nobody from that point on is ever going to accept money for killing someone.

At any rate, I finished Waterdeep yesterday. It was decent, but by this point I'm pretty tired of the Kelemvor/Midnight on-again-off-again romance. Adon has been useless since the first quarter of Shadowdale, Cyric's transformation has been the only interesting character development. I wonder in what fashion he'll retain that magic sword now that he's achieved godhood. She will have all the food she can possibly desire now her master is a god of Murder, Strife, and the Dead.

Tonight I started in on Pool of Radiance.
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George Krashos
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Posted - 09 Aug 2015 :  13:39:16  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He doesn't retain that magic sword because he doesn't know what that sword actually is. Mortals can never kill gods without assistance.

-- George Krashos

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