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Hyperion
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2018 :  08:42:16  Show Profile Send Hyperion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This things of portals is a problematic plot hole not only in the Shandril saga but also in other FR novels and, in fact, in the whole D&D line. The problem is that designers never decided or stated how common this kind of magic is, leaving that to each individual author or DM. But that is indeed a quite important world building point because if there are friendly or payable wizards around, portals should be quite easy to have. If they can be made permanent, people would want to build them to the most profitable trade routes. If you think about it, even the fact that magical travel could be dangerous could not be enough to limit them, as we can see people in history have always faced dangerous travel if they think the odds to make it are in their favour. Maybe it could be limited only by being extremely expensive, but this would not work either in novels, where powerful and rich people should have no problem in facing the cost if they have to save the world/country. Possibly magical travel should be both extremely dangerous and extremely expensive. But designers and authors never say it, and this makes no sense.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2018 :  08:48:22  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Isn't it canon as well that Aurora's Emporium stores in the Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog has a teleportation system to ensure it's stores have stock? So it was common enough to be used by a commercial business...
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Hyperion
Seeker

28 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2018 :  08:53:54  Show Profile Send Hyperion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, and that does not make any sense, because all Trade Houses rich enough should then use the same system, and the others pay them to use it. Unless Aurora's system is difficult to reproduce. In this case the Zentharim should already have captured and torture her to learn the secrets. The Zhents or any other neutral or evil organization. This point is a mess and there is no way out :(
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
337 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2018 :  19:57:44  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finished The Sword Never Sleeps. I know I've mentioned before how I like to use little scrap papers as bookmarks and jot down talking points for these reviews. For this book my notes had just 3 words:

Pennae's tits again.

I think it was some kind of magical explosion, maybe a fireball spell, whatever. It happens in every single EG novel - some kind of spell effect goes off and the hot woman (women) all get their outfits shredded or incinerated, *yawn*.

I remember the KoMD fighting hordes of insane liches in a Hidden Palace. Because if one lich is a scary and exciting villain, surely 45 liches makes for epic storytelling! One of the aforementioned liches polymorphed Florin, Islif, and Jhessail into boar piglets. Semoor and Doust, upon finding their spells and weapons to be ineffective against the lich, proceeded to scoop up the boars and throw them at their foe. One smashed it to the ground, the second crunched it up a bit more, and the third shattered its skull. WTF? Meanwhile, another lich is roaming up and down the hall singing "I feel pretty, oh so pretty..." Total buffoonery. I felt like this chapter was guest-written by Jeff Grubb.

Torm and Rathan being commanded by Elminster to join up with the Knights of Myth Drannor and "ingratiate yourselves with them by any means possible" felt like what happens when a harried and time-starved DM is suddenly told two new players will be joining the table that night with no warning. Really uninspired storytelling. It seemed almost as contrived as when the heroes were given the Pendant of Ashaba and told to go take over governance of Shadowdale. Why? What? Why are any of these things happening? Did Mystra decree it? What is happening here?

Suddenly there are multiple hargaunts? I thought there was just the one in the earlier books. What, even, is a hargaunt? There was almost no explanation or backstory given, much like all of the villains. At this point I can't even recall the name of the first hargaunt wielder in the original book - something like Harrandoon? The "character building" is pretty much this: "I'm a bad wizard and I like to do bad things!" No depth, just disposable NPCs. I can't tell you the difference between that wizard, Old Ghost, Applethorn, the crazy guy freed from the Palace, or any other of a hundred Zhent magelings. Some other dude grew a bone exoskeleton (for reasons only AO can ascertain) and then descended onto the same grove at the end as all the other forces that converged for the big finish. I felt like he could've been a major character in his own right, but in typical Greenwood fashion he was just one of 800 things going on at the same time and ultimately got lost in the madness.

I read that the animal known commonly as the Displacer Beast has a formal species name of "dirlagraun", so I guess I learned something. Other than that, this trilogy did little more than fatigue my brain. As Seravin said, it had SO much potential to be an awesome prequel/origin story, but it fell apart at the seams early and often.

Last night I started RAS's Road of the Patriarch.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 30 Jun 2018 20:03:12
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
337 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2018 :  21:47:05  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last night I finished Road of the Patriarch. I recall being somewhat disappointed by the previous book in this series Promise of the Witch King. I've been a big fan of RAS all along, but that last one didn't do it for me, so it was with a small amount of trepidation that I started this book. Also, just coming off the exhausting KoMD trilogy, I really needed a win.

Turns out I needn't have worried, this was a pretty satisfying read. Not amongst his best work, but certainly very solid. For this entire Sellswords trilogy it's been obvious he wants to develop Entreri as more than just a soulless killing machine. I swore I wouldn't fall for it, no matter how good the backstory, it was NOT going to make me empathize or like the guy. It got me.... After seeing his abuse as a child and the despicable corruption of the Selunite priesthood, it's easy to see why he turned out the way he did. I thought it was a really bold move by RAS to take a good aligned faith and portray them the way he did. It just goes to show that anyone in a position of power, no matter how noble their initial intentions, can fall. The loathsome "sale of indulgences" by the church was enough to make my blood boil. That, and some of his musings on kings/leaders was really interesting reading and possibly social commentary on our own world. I particularly enjoyed this bit:

A king who wishes to be remembered fondly by serving the best interests of his subjects rules wisely. Conversely, the leader who rules by fear, whether it be of him or of some enemy he exaggerates to use as a weapon of control, is not a man or woman of good heart.

As for the bad... I found Kane to be a bit more judgy and violent than I expected. I can't say I knew anything about his character coming into this book, but I guess I figured a Grandmaster of Flowers would be more enlightened, more introspective, more... Zen? Don't get me wrong, the character turned out to be awesome and perfect for RAS's extremely detailed style of writing martial combat. Just not what I had in mind. Also the name Kane, while very cool, is perhaps just a tad too similar to the Caine of the old Kung-Fu TV series. I'm sure that was an intentional nod. Also, the White Tree of Damara... hmmm, anyone else think immediately of Gondor? Lastly, Athrogate and his rhyming... He wasn't doing it early in the book, which made me think perhaps RAS got some reader feedback as to how stupid it is. But then he started to pick it up again midway through and was in full-force idiocy by the end.

Those things notwithstanding, this was a very good read. RAS's handling of the young women (just girls, really) being raped by the Selunite clerics was gritty, horrifying, and disgraceful, as was Artemis' own ordeals with human trafficking. His handling of these mature themes was excellent and believable - in the exact opposite manner of EG's, which I just can't buy into at all. There was a little tease towards the end, where Jarlaxle mentions his "betrayal of Zaknafein those centuries before. Hmmm... I don't believe I know the details of that story, but my curiosity certainly is piqued and I hope that's a plant for a tale further down the road!

Up next - unsure, I think I start another Paul S. Kemp trilogy, which has me very excited.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 04 Jul 2018 21:52:52
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  08:59:35  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly I loved Servant of the Shard but didn't really like the other Sellsword books, they felt a bit shoe horned into RAS's lands of Vassa only because he wrote the adventure module in that realm and wanted to get his old friends' PC heroes into the book. I can't say that Jarlaxle and Artemis would just wake up one day and decide to go monster bounty hunting for a Paladin King on the other side of the world...sigh.

Also, the use of Kimmuriel as a Deus Ex Machina was so heavy handed here in the way that BD dealt with Knellict; I love Kimmuriel but in this book and so many others Kimmuriel is just a way for Jarlaxle & co. to best anyone, be it powerful arch mages, Shade Princes, Drow Houses, demon lords, whatever...

Meh. Didn't care for this book. I also didn't realize it was a Selunite priesthood that was responsible for that evil (not sure I was thinking about which God it was but assumed it was an evil church for some reason).

I don't think this works for me on reflection. It's a little too "Real world catholic priest in the Realms" which doesn't work when you have a true Goddess who actually intervenes in Faerun like Selune. She'd have a vested interest in making sure her name isnt' being used for great harm, not to mention other Selunite churches would know of this atrocity and attack. Unlike the Catholic church, there would be no "cover up" in the name of Selune, they'd fight off secrets and darkness (that's Shar's realm, Selune's mortal enemy). Gods in FR are famously involved, Selune shows up in avatar or aspect form in numerous occassions. To me this seems like RAS getting his way because BOW BEFORE THE DRIZZT. I can't see Ed or Jeff Grubb having Selune ignore her churchhood being used as a front for the atrocities going on. She'd intervene in a big way before hand.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
337 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  21:56:32  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Honestly I loved Servant of the Shard but didn't really like the other Sellsword books, they felt a bit shoe horned into RAS's lands of Vassa only because he wrote the adventure module in that realm and wanted to get his old friends' PC heroes into the book. I can't say that Jarlaxle and Artemis would just wake up one day and decide to go monster bounty hunting for a Paladin King on the other side of the world...sigh.

Also, the use of Kimmuriel as a Deus Ex Machina was so heavy handed here in the way that BD dealt with Knellict; I love Kimmuriel but in this book and so many others Kimmuriel is just a way for Jarlaxle & co. to best anyone, be it powerful arch mages, Shade Princes, Drow Houses, demon lords, whatever...

Meh. Didn't care for this book. I also didn't realize it was a Selunite priesthood that was responsible for that evil (not sure I was thinking about which God it was but assumed it was an evil church for some reason).

I don't think this works for me on reflection. It's a little too "Real world catholic priest in the Realms" which doesn't work when you have a true Goddess who actually intervenes in Faerun like Selune. She'd have a vested interest in making sure her name isnt' being used for great harm, not to mention other Selunite churches would know of this atrocity and attack. Unlike the Catholic church, there would be no "cover up" in the name of Selune, they'd fight off secrets and darkness (that's Shar's realm, Selune's mortal enemy). Gods in FR are famously involved, Selune shows up in avatar or aspect form in numerous occassions. To me this seems like RAS getting his way because BOW BEFORE THE DRIZZT. I can't see Ed or Jeff Grubb having Selune ignore her churchhood being used as a front for the atrocities going on. She'd intervene in a big way before hand.



I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Way back in the short story where Jarlaxle and Artemis first ventured to those lands I was thinking the same thing. Why? I was aware that RAS wrote the Bloodstone Lands gaming supplement, and figured that played heavily into what felt like a very contrived and convenient decision. But I just chalked it up to an author playing in his little corner of the sandbox, so I didn't ding him too many points for it.

Agree on Kimmuriel, he's unstoppable.

As for the Selunite priesthood, I have several points on the matter. Firstly, the head priest absolutely does not cast a spell anywhere in the story, I was looking specifically for that. So either he's very frugal with his prayers or he fell long ago and simply stays in his position of authority due to political clout. But why doesn't Selune intervene directly? Well, there's the rub anytime you utilize gods as characters. If they can do that seemingly at will, why don't they do it more? Like, ALL THE TIME! Why would heroes ever have to figure out any kind of riddles, why are omens and portents so goddam cryptic instead of just being laid out plainly for all to understand? I'm sure a theologian would say something about free-will/determination and how the gods can only lead so much, it's up to the individual to sink or swim on their own merits/values/whatever.

To further muddy the waters, that high priest would tell every young girl after he finished his business, "You have done a great service to the priesthood. By sating my physical desires, you've freed my mind to better contemplate the realm of the divine." Now, that probably sounds like a very thin justification for what he's doing, but maybe when this "program" started up, he actually was respectful to the women and they were almost something like an honored class? But then he got more and more callous as the decades wore on, and now we're at the point where it's a quick shag of a confused peasant girl who has no recourse or right of refusal, before he carelessly discards them.

Or he could just be a lecherous old jerk that's been treating girls this way all along, who knows for sure?
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  22:34:40  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just think that a church of Selune that abuses children would not last long in a world where a Goddess is known to take avatar form and intervene in the lives of mortals, say in a bar in Waterdeep where Selune hung out regularly. It doesn't work in the same universe that the DC Forgotten Realms comics written by Jeff Grubb wrote, where Selune is actively involved. Or when she sent a Shard aspect to help Giogi in The Wyvern's Spur. Anyone posing as her priest at her church committing atrocities would get Selune involved, if she cares enough to hang out at a bar in Waterdeep.

A priest of a good God preying on children is a real world plot being shoe-horned into a fantasy world, and doesn't work for me in Faerun. Shared worlds are tricky and need good editors, and by this point of time I think they just let RAS do whatever he wanted.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  22:40:58  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And even though there's strong logic to say that Selune would intervene directly (she did several times for other lesser grievances in canon material); the more likely outcome would be other priests of Selune would learn of the atrocities from people like Artemis, brand that priest/church a heretic, and destroy them in short order. Especially since they're fallen and can't cast spells. So..yeah, big problems for me in a world where Gods exist and grant spells and are actually aligned Good and Evil.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3981 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  07:07:11  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just think of the ramifications of a world where the gods do and are expected to turn up and solve problems. It just doesn't work.
If selune turns up and solve all evils then the world is an incredibly boring paradise and totally unrealistic.

If selune turns up to solve one evil but misses another then she must condone that evil.
If selune only turns up to solve evil within her church then she is seen as a selfish God who only helps those in her little club.
What happens when the God of sexual abuse decided he wants this to take place. Selune turns up to stop it then he turns up to allow it and they have a massive fight and call on their ally gods and before you know it there is a huge cataclysm of world ending proportions.


There are many many instances of evil happening across the world and even within churches and not a single good God has turned up to solve it. There are a few instances where they have turned up but those are usually super special circumstances. I would conclude that either the gods cannot turn up and solve all problems or they can but do not (possibly because doing so requires a super large cost on their part).

Much like in our world people want God to turn up and save them from all evil but it just does not happen. If it did the world would no longer make sense. Such senseless interference may be fine in the kewl, bland version that is 5e where cause and effect have no meaning but not in a living breathing world like the one Ed created

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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  08:24:26  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THere's no "much like in our world" in a place where Gods are clearly good and evil and able to grant spells to their faithful and have been shown to come in Avatar form and interact with the world directly. In Ed's writing the Gods take more of an interest than most, so not sure where you get that from. Mystra likes to sleep with her faithful in Ed's writing... Tempus's avatar showed up randomly in a fight in the 3rd Shadow of the Avatar novel written by Ed to help a battle with the Zhents and Mistledale as well. So everything you said was wrong there.

I pose to you that if a God turns up to run a bar in Waterdeep (which Selune does for years as "Luna" in canon writing done during the OGB era of 1st-2nd edition) and intervenes in the lives of mortals around her, THAT SAME GOD, IN THE SAME WORLD, would not turn a blind eye to child rape done in her name by people holding themselves out to be HER PRIESTS. It doesn't work.

RAS wanted a moving reason for Artemis to be an anti-hero and explain why he's such a dirty killer so we could empathize with him, and chose some topic of the day in Real World of a "good" priest committing atrocities to do it--i have major issues with this concept in Faerun for the reasons above. This is not Earth and a rogue church of Selune committing atrocities would not last long as the priests would find out about it and do something immediately upon finding out...if not the goddess herself in Shard or Avatar form which she has been shown to do on many, many occasions when written by other authors. RAS just doesn't show the continuity or respect for the shared world here, which is hardly the first or last time he'll do this.

Edited by - Seravin on 06 Jul 2018 08:28:11
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3981 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  08:50:17  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shadow of the Avatar is set during the ToT and therefore special case doesn't count.

Luna is an odd one. It says she is an Avatar but she aged (gods do not age).

Selune did nothing when her priests were massacred in Vaasa searching for the tear of selune. She did nothing against the evil guy from vanrakdoom who I vaguely recall was involved with her clergy. I'm sure I could find many more but I need access to my sourcebooks.

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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  09:09:12  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Luna is Selune taking mortal guise and she does interfere; and I'd argue that using Her church's name to commit child rape/trafficking is much worse than when devoted priests die on a quest for her (those priests would be welcome in her Realm after dying in her name etc.).

Put it another way, if a priestess of Lloth was written in RAS's world as being overtly lawful and good and helping the needy sick infirm and downtrodden in a Drow city; Lloth would send a handmaiden at the very least (if not just strike them down dead) and likely the drow priestesses in the area would hunt down this priest/church doing the opposite of Lloth's will and kill them quickly. She sends handmaidens (Lloth's aspects) a lot in RAS's world; and I think Selune would do the same in such a crazy case.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3981 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  09:15:19  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well unless humans in FR are significantly different to real life I'd imagine the instances of such crimes occur on an annual basis (There are always nutters who come of age every year and do horrible things). We have no indication of these being discovered and punished by the goddess personally (And such events would be noteworthy) so she cannot be punishing them all.

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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
825 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  09:24:00  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Shadow of the Avatar is set during the ToT and therefore special case doesn't count.



I actually believe at the time this scene occurred the Godswar was over at that point in the series as All Shadows Fled is meant to book end the avatar trilogy; and per the Faiths and Patheons sourcebook Tempus does show up after the ToT to lead a priest to a sacred site for him.

(even peace loving Eldath appeared to Ruha and helped her win against the Zhents in The Parched Sea)

Point being in this rich fantasty shared world, Gods have been shown to intervene in times of extreme need. I'd argue strongly that this act of blasphemy by someone calling themseles her priest would get Selune's attention more so than a bunch of adventurers in Waterdeep that Selune did help out/intervene in many times. If you can't see that, well...you're special and we can agree to disagree, but calling out a comparison to real world God/priests is not a good argument here and not applicable.

Also to say, the Catholic church covered up their atrocities allowing it to go on a long time. That would NEVER EVER EVER happen in Selune's church as her mortal enemy is Shar.
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3981 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  09:36:13  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well it did happen and she did nothing so either the novel is wrong, in which case all the novels could be wrong and gods do not interfere (novels are where the bulk of deific interference occurs), or your interpretation of how the realms works may need reviewing.

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

593 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  09:58:11  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dazzlerdal stop, this is just stupid.

The Selune of any gaming material (and the rest of the novel/narrative line) would not stand for anything like this but this statement doesn't imply that she will take avatar form and personally smite the traitorous priesthood.
It means she would surely send some true faithfuls of her more militant branches (she got plenty, like all good faiths with the possible only exception of Eldath), armed with all her blessings and actually able to cast spells to kick the butts of the wrong doers.

Because in a fantasy world with real deities that's what good churches do, and, lo and behold, most of the time they hire adventurers (aka players) as aides in these little crusades. And that's how you get half the plot hooks for adventure in a fantasy setting: church X wanting to get rid of evil Y (in or out of itself) and hiring adventurers to help do it.

This is part of the essence of the Realms, the dynamic and active churches are an integral and fundamental part of the life of the Realms.

Sure, occasionally in all good churches some bad apples mature or really heinous acts are committed but then the divine patron always intervenes with escalating "signs of displeasure" that go from dreams and portents to removing spellcasting and any divinely bestowed ability (which in most cases is all the abilities the priest had) to sending someone to clean up the mess and re-establish the good name of the church. In this scenario there is no place for years long abuses and wrongdoings, you can be sure the church will act because that's how the Realms work.

Since someone will probably raise the issue: blackguards (not only those with class levels but the type of character) are exactly the exception to the rule and they lead hunted lives because they're fallen from a (relatively high) position inside some good church or organization and because of that they were of interest to some evil power that extended its blessing to them to gain (relatively powerful) agents but most importantly as a sign of superiority over the good church or organization the blackguard comes from. Blackguards are the living symbols of the victories of evil over good and that's why their lifespan is slightly longer than other type of wrongdoers, they mean something for the evil powers and are thus given enough aid to survive the vendettas of their ex-churches/organizations. But blackguards are openly and publicly expelled from their former churches/organizations so the whole mess of "followers of god X are in truth evil" can't happen.

I'm really tired of all these discussions, I hope that everyone will start to show some restraint and keep their atheist agendas out of the Realms. By stating with confidence what Dazzlerdal keeps repeating in all these threads we run the risk of someone newto the Realms getting the wrong and biased idea that the churches of the Realms are just the same as the real world monotheistic churches. They are not, they were created and developed to be different.

In your own campaigns you can do whatever you want and have Selune personally abusing all the children of the Realms to show that "churches are bad", I don't care. In the true Realms the gods are real and these things are not allowed to happen for long. Deal with it.

Sorry for the derailing rant VikingLegion but I feel this situation is really getting out of hand. Please keep the reviews coming, I really enjoy them.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3981 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  10:13:31  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We in this instance I'm merely advocating that the event in the novel is entirely accurate. Agreeing with a canon source cannot be promoting a false impression.

The indirect interference model (where gods send mortal followers to sort out the problems - communicated by visions - is the model I think should occur 99% of the time and as such is fallible and prone to failure because competing gods are sending their followers to do the opposite. That's why there is good and evil and horrible and nice things happening everywhere, because people do things and sometimes they don't succeed.

But yes continue the reviews, I was merely standing up for vikinglegion and his interpretation when someone said that could not happen because the gods would not allow it (my pet hate phrase). It did happen so either the gods allowed it or they cannot prevent it directly.

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Taleras
Seeker

67 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  14:37:50  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not to perpetuate the discussion...but couldn't you say that Selune sent Entreri to deal with the priests and that is her intervention? I agree with dazzlerdal, if Gods intervened with any evil, just any "really bad" evil, the stories would be really boring and nobody would ever need a hero. In The Sapphire Crescent there are people pretending to be Priests of Oghma (I believe) to cover up murders and Oghma never intervenes. Unless you think of Vambran as the one sent by Oghma...
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3981 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  15:05:25  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

Not to perpetuate the discussion...but couldn't you say that Selune sent Entreri to deal with the priests and that is her intervention? I agree with dazzlerdal, if Gods intervened with any evil, just any "really bad" evil, the stories would be really boring and nobody would ever need a hero. In The Sapphire Crescent there are people pretending to be Priests of Oghma (I believe) to cover up murders and Oghma never intervenes. Unless you think of Vambran as the one sent by Oghma...



Send entreri a cryptic dream and use evil to combat evil. I like it

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Demzer
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593 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  15:27:18  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

We in this instance I'm merely advocating that the event in the novel is entirely accurate. Agreeing with a canon source cannot be promoting a false impression.



It is, and I'll avoid considering too long the laughable fact of you, that clearly stated that novels are not to be considered canon for the inconsistencies they create, defending the "lore" in a novel.

Everyone in these forums (and probably in the Realmsian community as a whole), even the most diehard RAS fans, agree on the fact that RAS has always been the author that placed his own storybuilding and writing expedients above established canon, leading to lots of inconsistencies between his works and the rest of the published Realms (be it novels or gaming material). There is nothing inherently wrong in him wanting to write whatever suited his stories best and he is probably the most successful writer of Realms fiction with the wider public (ie. not only Realms fans).
But freedom to write and poetic license aside, considering each and every detail of all his books to be canon is not wise, especially when it contradicts all the other canon sources on a particular topic.

In this specific case, to anyone that fancies him or herself educated in the Realms, the thought of clerics of Selune abusing young girls while offering "indulgences" to lower the time of departed souls on the Fugue Plane is laughable.
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Demzer
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Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  20:19:39  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

... if Gods intervened with any evil, just any "really bad" evil, the stories would be really boring and nobody would ever need a hero.



The intervention of gods is almost never a direct intervention and almost always results in escalating signs from dreams and visions to portents (each deity has its own signs, see the 2E godbooks) and warnings (appearance of monsters/animals/flowers/gems related to the deity even if they don't belong in the geographical area), then direct intervention of their mortal servant and churches and in the most dire cases the sending of extraplanar servants (solars, planetars, Selune's Shards, Lolth's Yochlols, ecc...). In all this mess, more often than not when the churches are called in they seek the assistance of adventurin parties and that's when your run of the mill player gets to be the hero. It's all built in the system for the players to get involved and play the hero, there is no need to recur to real world parallelisms and water down the importance and depth of the faiths of the Realms.

quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

In The Sapphire Crescent there are people pretending to be Priests of Oghma (I believe) to cover up murders and Oghma never intervenes. Unless you think of Vambran as the one sent by Oghma...



I don't know about this incident but I doubt it was a 30 year (or plus) long operation going on in the name of a good deity. This is when it gets ridicolous. A bunch of priests going sour is perfectly acceptable as a plot device, the rest of the faith doing nothing about it for 30+ years is not. Not in the Realms.

Also there is no indication in the story that Selune sent Entreri and she doesn't have any need of "evil fighting evil", that's the kind of crap other organizations do (like the Harpers), not the good churches. The good churches of the Realms have militant orders and hire adventurers, it's in all gaming sourcebooks, in half the plot hooks scattered through 2E and 3E and in a good bunch of novels too.
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Taleras
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Posted - 07 Jul 2018 :  02:52:11  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I kind of thought the whole point of the story is how Entreri isn't inherently evil, but twisted because of his childhood experiences. I honestly don't remember the details of his "redemption", but dealing with the church could have been just that. I'm far from a Realms expert, but I'm just saying how I saw it. I totally get the 30 years of evil doings in a good church (I didn't think it was quite that long, but certainly long enough to justify a quicker intervention) vs. a short period of time for the Oghma incident, but if you're a God and able to intervene, why would you let any of it happen? Regardless of the time period? Or rather, if you're a God, why would time matter? The Gods of the Realms definitely intervene in everyday life more than any other setting I've ever read, but I always thought of Gods in any setting as beyond intervening in most matters, if only because drawing the line on where to intervene and where not too becomes too blurry. Of course, if you're a God nothing should be blurry...but that's the whole point of Gods, we're just mere mortals, how could we understand how they think and why they do what they do?
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Demzer
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Posted - 07 Jul 2018 :  10:45:29  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

I kind of thought the whole point of the story is how Entreri isn't inherently evil, but twisted because of his childhood experiences. I honestly don't remember the details of his "redemption", but dealing with the church could have been just that.



And it's all good, the problem is that the author should not have picked Selune's church, probably no church at all. He could have gone with any kind of organization pretending to help the poor while abusing them without messing with Faerunian faiths, instead he wanted to draw a parallelism with RW churches and in doing so portrayed a situation deeply inconsistent with the rest of the canonical sources.

quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

I'm far from a Realms expert, but I'm just saying how I saw it. I totally get the 30 years of evil doings in a good church (I didn't think it was quite that long, but certainly long enough to justify a quicker intervention) vs. a short period of time for the Oghma incident, but if you're a God and able to intervene, why would you let any of it happen? Regardless of the time period? Or rather, if you're a God, why would time matter?



We are back to square one here: you don't have to think as gods intervening as some kind of deux-ex-machina that instantly know everything, teleport to the place and splatter the evil doers. That's what Mystra's Chosen and herself do and it's a stinging anomaly in the Realms and one that has caused the rise of a lot of misconceptions. The rest of the faith go through all the list I made above and this takes time. For the true followers of the god to understand what is happening, what the visions and dreams mean, who are the evil doers, it takes time. How much? I don't know, weeks? Months? It depends on how the evil doers are disguising their actions. In the case at hand we have people saying they're clerics of Selune giving public sermons in a big city daily, preaching a dogma that's completely outside that of Selune (and of the Faerunian pantheon in general, I suspect the author was too eager to show he liked Dante's Purgatorio without checking how afterlife in the Realms worked) kind of easy to spot. Also some of the lesser clerics cast spells in the book and this is just laughable 'cause it implies that Selune was still giving them spells, after 30+ years of abuses (and no, I would have loved for some big reveal that there is another deity behind it but no mention is done in the novel).


quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

The Gods of the Realms definitely intervene in everyday life more than any other setting I've ever read, but I always thought of Gods in any setting as beyond intervening in most matters, if only because drawing the line on where to intervene and where not too becomes too blurry.



Again, if by "intervening" you mean taking avatar form then no god of the Realms does that in everyday life. If you mean sending visions, portents and their churches, yes they do and that's an integral part of the setting.


quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

Of course, if you're a God nothing should be blurry...but that's the whole point of Gods, we're just mere mortals, how could we understand how they think and why they do what they do?



"The gods are mysterious" goes only so far without being ridicolous, no good deity would allow for 30+ years of abuses in it's name, heck not even a neutral one (look at Helm and at it's handful of followers in Maztica). This is a fantasy setting where true evil and true good both exist and the deities that embody the good principles of human ethos do so without shades of gray or other shenanigans, that's the business of mortals. If you in your home games and narratives want it to be different by all means go for it but the canonical Realms do not host this kind of shallow copycat of RW monotheistic religions.

Edited by - Demzer on 07 Jul 2018 14:30:22
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Taleras
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Posted - 07 Jul 2018 :  14:32:49  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer
And it's all good, the problem is that the author should not have picked Selune's church, probably no church at all. He could have gone with any kind of organization pretending to help the poor while abusing them without messing with Faerunian faiths, instead he wanted to draw a parallelism with RW churches and in doing so portrayed a situation deeply inconsistent with the rest of the canonical sources.


I guess I just don't have an issue with drawing parallels from RW churches. Drawing paraellels makes stories more relatable to readers and therefore the autrocities committed are more meaningful in the context of the story. To me, and my Realms INexperience this was totally okay, and not deeply inconsistent with canonical sources.

quote:

We are back to square one here: you don't have to think as gods intervening as some kind of deux-ex-machina that instantly know everything, teleport to the place and splatter the evil doers. That's what Mystra's Chosen and herself do and it's a stinging anomaly in the Realms and one that has caused the rise of a lot of misconceptions. The rest of the faith go through all the list I made above and this takes time. For the true followers of the god to understand what is happening, what the visions and dreams mean, who are the evil doers, it takes time. How much? I don't know, weeks? Months? It depends on how the evil doers are disguising their actions. In the case at hand we have people saying they're clerics of Selune giving public sermons in a big city daily, preaching a dogma that's completely outside that of Selune (and of the Faerunian pantheon in general, I suspect the author was to eager to show he liked Dante's Purgatorio without checking how afterlife in the Realms worked) kind of easy to spot. Also some of the lesser clerics cast spells in the book and this is just laughable 'cause it implies that Selune was still giving them spells, after 30+ years of abuses (and no, I would have loved for some big reveal that there is another deity behind it but no mention is done in the novel).

I didn't think that the lesser clerics had casted spells, however, and I'm just asking, if Selune isn't that "instantly know everything, teleport to the place and splatter the evil doers" is it possible that she didn't know that the lesser clerics were involved? Does she know the location and associations of every of her followers? Maybe the lesser clerics were good other than their association with the priests committing the atrocities? It seems to me that the Gods in the Realms are not infallible, if even just from reading Shadowdale where they are confused about what's happening. I totally get that the length of time seems insanely long to let something like this happen, but they are fallible, yes? Could it be that Selune was busy with other issues across Faerun?


quote:

Again, if by "intervening" you mean taking avatar form then no god of the Realms does that in everyday life. If you mean sending visions, portents and their churches, yes they do and that's an integral part of the setting.

I guess I meant all of the above here. Mostly visions, portents, etc. I don't have concrete examples, but it feels like there are precedents for priests using the commonality of these occurrences to lie to their followers, the main one that sticks out in my mind is that Sapphire Crescent one where the Oghman priests cover up a murder and try to capture some of their own followers who are trying to solve the crime. But maybe I'm mixing up other settings and thinking of that as a general rule across fantasy settings.


quote:

"The gods are mysterious" goes only so far without being ridicolous, no good deity would allow for 30+ years of abuses in it's name, heck not even a neutral one (look at Helm and at it's handful of followers in Matzica). This is a fantasy setting where true evil and true good both exist and the deities that embody the good principles of human ethos do so without shades of gray or other shenanigans, that's the business of mortals. If you in your home games and narratives want it to be different by all means go for it but the canonical Realms do not host this kind of shallow copycat of RW monotheistic religions.


That totally makes sense, where the Gods of Good and Evil don't have shades of grey, and that's where the mortals hang.

I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just trying to understand and discuss. I also hate finding canonical inconsistencies in my reading, and if there are gaps that the author leaves that could explain how/why something happens in their story, I would prefer that there is a reason that would happen. The Selune thing never once crossed my mind as unbelievable within this setting until this thread came up. Especially since authors are only mere mortals and whatever sort of editing/fact checking system FR has used obviously isn't up to snuff for the amount of novels that were published.

Edited by - Taleras on 07 Jul 2018 14:35:22
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