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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2016 :  18:38:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all.
Eilserus, off your questions go to Ed. All I can remember of this (from the "home" Realms campaign, where it formed some of the "news and rumors" chatter in The Old Skull, as caravans came through) is that Elminster was NOT one of the Five. Ed will have to tackle everything in more detail...
Likewise with The Masked Mage's questions about Ander, though I can contribute one tidbit about the Spells wielded by him: the one spell we Knights witnessed (so, yes, he still existed as late as 1358 DR) him cast created a swirling, translucent sickly green amorphous-but-generally-oval "thing" in the air above head height and in front of him, that intercepted and "drank" spells cast at Ander, transforming them into pure spell energy that made the "thing" grow brighter and larger. Unlike raw spellfire, this energy could be called upon by Ander to "juice up" other spells (i.e. when he cast something else, he could boost the damage and area of effect or number of targets affected, by calling on energy from this glowing mass).
Ed will of course, have to elucidate...

love,
THO
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
792 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2016 :  19:57:58  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message
THO - any word on what the recent announcement from Wizards of the Coast opening up Forgotten Realms homebrew on their official site? I imagine many scribes would jump at the chance to read anything Ed can publish (personally, I'd do anything to get a new Volo's Guide).
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1361 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2016 :  20:15:27  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message
This is really exciting news. Count me in!
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2016 :  20:17:35  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

Ed in your minds-eye how were the phaerimm affected by the spellplague if at all and did they need to alter their weave-manipulation at all then and since the return of Mystra. Did the spellplague create/alter such anomalies like doompits and how have crossroads been affected as I assume they are anchored to the weave in their locations? I would assume quite a number of "things" within stasis and imprisonment and magic jar type containment's were released or "warped", yes?
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2016 :  21:25:56  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello all,

Ed in your games what happens when a vampire or any undead blood drinker knowingly or unknowingly drinks the blood/fuids of another undead????????
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Rivenhelm
Seeker

32 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2016 :  21:16:51  Show Profile Send Rivenhelm a Private Message
I would also like to hear Ed's thoughts on the DM's Guild. Might this be a chance for him to publish the much anticipated and eagerly awaited 128-page Eveningstar/Haunted Halls/Cavern of the Claws Mega-Module that was talked about a few years back? I don't think I'm alone in saying I'd like to see an EGG or Realms Secretaiat version "as Ed envisioned it" module. I know I'd pay even if it was copies of Ed's hand-drawn maps and typewritten room keys. The same goes to some of the dungeon delves of the North. I would love to see some of those areas that lie fully developed and mapped, but yet unpublished because some exec thinks that they are not marketable. I would like to hear Ed's thoughts on the feasibility making such areas available as game supplements and/or modules through the DM's Guild or any other vehicle due to the new OGL terms that seem to now be in effect? You have a ready-made customer here. :-)

R...
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Aureus
Learned Scribe

Luxembourg
118 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2016 :  01:24:04  Show Profile  Send Aureus an ICQ Message Send Aureus a Private Message
Hello fellow scribes,
recently someone wondered how a (male) drow being turned into a drider would be a punishment, particularly since it makes them closer to their goddess and also gives them other tactical advantages. (Having a large powerful spider body as lower abdomen is handy without a doubt. Having recently read the 2ed Drow of the Underdark, an important point I would like to add that the driders magical abilities do not come from being a drider, they come from being a 6th level primary spellcaster prior to the transformation, it is simply glossed over in later Monster Manuel entries and such) The punishment might actually come from something much simpler, something which incidentally is a much bigger source for social ostracization.
It's quite simple really, the all-male driders are from the last vertebra down spider, right? Now also consider this, their minds are still drow though, right? If you take all the bad publicity and the very bad environment away, what are they? What are all elves at the core of their being? Creatures of passion, of emotion, right? I mean, that is what gives the elves their strong tendency toward chaotic, isn't it? The punishment, the REAL punishment beyond cruelty of the test and the torment of the transformation, is still having the same sex drive without having someone to have sex with. There are (or were) no female driders and their perceptions of beauty and the objects of their sexuel interests/desires (usually female drow or at least elves, incidentallyy, it doesn't make a difference anymore if the drider also liked or even prefered male sexual playmates) have not changed since said objects of interests are quite literally not equipped to handle a drider and I am pretty certain even if there are a few elves deranged enough to be into drider (there are no doubt), I have serious doubts they would survive the full on intercourse the driders crave. And this is easily where the ostracization comes from, sex-starved driders accidentallyy kill drow they try to mate with. (If the mating was willing, a rape or paid for does not matter at this point anymore, what matters is that they quite literally fornicated people to death) That, naturally makes people more than a little wary of
driders in any regard and such incidents are easily the source for a myth that they crave to consume the blood of their (former) species. (I know that according to the aforementioned rule/fluff book, which I loved and fond very insightful btw, they have to, but I prefer it this way, it's more tragic and in line for Lolth's sadistic nature) The real kicker is that the new drider body does make them more powerful and gives them a more serious chance at surviving hungry, dirty and alone at the fringes of their former society, with all the comforts, pleasures and securities (such as they are) of their old homes gone, loathed by all they held dear (such as they did) and the one thing, the only thing they can never have again, no matter how well they may learn to hunt, forage, build shelter, no matter how hard they could work or how great they could be at carving out their patch in the wilderness where they are KING, they would never again enjoy the pleasantness of even momentary stress-free company of another elf. Even if in the off-hand chance that a curious elf might enjoy their company and in the off-hand chance of that off-hand chance to be so deranged that it might even be interested in intercourse, the anxiety of accidentally killing it during the act in sheer pent up lust and desire or the anguish of having accidentally murderfornicated the only one that liked your company (or even just the fear of that particular anguish of the loss) would be nigh unbearable. It takes some real Joseph Mengele level sadism to not just inflict pain and suffering, but to also make them resilient enough to survive it for so long, to watch as the cross on their back grows heavier and heavier, as they slowly compromise and barter away what little morality they had, of what little made them arguably nobler and greater than the rest of their kin, miserably surviving alone in the dark, devoured by betrayal, hate, self loathing, while trying, needing to absolutely dominate what miserable little patch and its ugly critters (monstrous spiders) they can hold and the only pleasure left inflicting pain and suffering on creatures they can hurt.

Just

like

her.


*Deep Sigh* I wonder if Lolth is even aware of the irony


On a more happy note, Dear the Hooded One (may your beauty never dim, your tongue never dull and your antics never cease),
please convey to the great Ed that this extract

<Every drow who sets out on an expedition to the surface, to raid, gets “tempted by Eilistraee in their dreams” (visions sent into their minds, whether they’re asleep, in Reverie, lying wounded or bored, singing or otherwise concentrating on something, or daydreaming alone or working on some repetitive task like painting or weaving). She also sends visions, in exactly the same manner, to drow who never go near the surface.
Many drow literally don’t understand the visions; they feel but don’t “feel” the Goddess. Others find Her troubling, or reject Her - - but about a quarter of all drow yearn for what she shows them. They may never do anything about it, or may never seek Her or Her worship, but they certainly feel Her.
So almost all drow learn of Eilistraee’s existence, and even receive a true picture of what it is (Lolth can’t stop that, because she too uses the dream-vision approach, and to try to block others from using it would rob her lay worshippers of much sanity, her priestesses of much daily control over those lay worshippers, and herself of much control over her priestesses). Not all that many reject Lolth and cleave to Eilistraee, but many secretly yearn (meaning they might spare a stricken worshipper of Eilistraee if they think no priestess is watching, or fail to pass on to other drow something they may have seen of the activities of faithful of Eilistraee, or stop to watch a dance of Eilistraee worshippers rather than disrupting it).>


from this post http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5812&whichpage=67 from 2006

is very beautiful

I strongly dislike the very idea of a people, any people as a whole, bar a very few convenient exceptions, being unredeemable. It sounds a lot like *very long sigh* fanaticism, bigotry, self-centred moral myopia born out of fear, laziness, arrogance, greed etc. Take your pick, you may combine it any way you like. I wish there were more lore like this for all the so-called 'evil races', not just the sensual, pretty, clever, charming and lusty drow. It feels very... shallow.
I love the idea that even in the darkest pit of hate, fear and despair, there is still the desire for something better, that even reduced to the very core of their very being, at their very lowest moments, at the worst of all times, they still need to be more, to be greater, that they still hope for love, understanding and companionship. That there is still something worth saving, that they are still worth saving.
This may sound very christian (and indeed it is, see 1 Corinthians 13:13), yet this is how I feel.
I know very well that morality and moral choices in real life are very ambiguous and subtle at best, people are so uncertain of everything and feel so weak and vulnerable (I know, I am all too often) and I more than understand the desire to just be done with it, have a game or pastime or even a fantasy where the answers are easy, where I am strong and can shoulder it, where I don't have to think and doubt and ruminate over every single thing of what I might have done or worse what I might not have done, be them big or small. Yet what would it say about me if I use all my (brain)power all the time to ignore and flee from the problems of the world around me, moreover and mostly because I don't know enough to make informed choices or at least calculated guesses? Would, with a certain irony, a game where I know everything that is similar enough to the world to test and train my logical and moral thinking not be the right place to safely experience, experiment and play with views, ideas and decisions? Would I not need lore that reflects such nuance and givespossibilitiess for different interpretations, to give the participants more than just fun and distraction, to give perspective? Would the moment people have pushed the existing lore to its moral/logical limits not demonstrate their growth as reasoning and human beings?


To put my personal desire here in simple words, <more please>

On a more light-hearted note, you might remember mine asking about Underdark cuisine (thank you again for the nice answer), since then I had amassed so much data and done so much worldbuilding that I decided to make it into a novel. (Fear not, I am going out of may way to create new stuff, my own world with my own lore and actually try to use as little of the OGL material as possible. In fact, other than clerics and druids there is very little left of the mechanics or lore.) Should it ever get done, I might send you a copy if you desire one. Since then I learned a lot about (among other things) writing, psychology, researching stuff and mythology. Ed likes Finnish folklore, doesn't he?



I do have a question (finally )

What languages do either of you speak?



With friendly greetings
Aureus

PS: I am writing in German, my second language, my third is French, English is only my fourth, the fifth I am currently learning is Russian. My mother language is unimportant in the grand scheme of things as it is acutally spoken by less than 400'000 people and therefore goes unnamed. If anyone cares enough, PM me, if not, no skin off my back

That is not the weirdest thing that happened to me
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2718 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2016 :  00:27:54  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Aureus

<Every drow who sets out on an expedition to the surface, to raid, gets “tempted by Eilistraee in their dreams” (visions sent into their minds, whether they’re asleep, in Reverie, lying wounded or bored, singing or otherwise concentrating on something, or daydreaming alone or working on some repetitive task like painting or weaving). She also sends visions, in exactly the same manner, to drow who never go near the surface.
Many drow literally don’t understand the visions; they feel but don’t “feel” the Goddess. Others find Her troubling, or reject Her - - but about a quarter of all drow yearn for what she shows them. They may never do anything about it, or may never seek Her or Her worship, but they certainly feel Her.
So almost all drow learn of Eilistraee’s existence, and even receive a true picture of what it is (Lolth can’t stop that, because she too uses the dream-vision approach, and to try to block others from using it would rob her lay worshippers of much sanity, her priestesses of much daily control over those lay worshippers, and herself of much control over her priestesses). Not all that many reject Lolth and cleave to Eilistraee, but many secretly yearn (meaning they might spare a stricken worshipper of Eilistraee if they think no priestess is watching, or fail to pass on to other drow something they may have seen of the activities of faithful of Eilistraee, or stop to watch a dance of Eilistraee worshippers rather than disrupting it).>


from this post http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5812&whichpage=67 from 2006

is very beautiful




I love that passage, because of what you have already said, but also because it establishes a deep connection between Eilistraee and *all* drow (which makes her much more than just ''a goddess for good drow'').

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

Luxembourg
118 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2016 :  12:14:49  Show Profile  Send Aureus an ICQ Message Send Aureus a Private Message
You put it very lovely.

Personally, I love the idea that the gods of the people are primarely expressions of said people so that everytime a god calls out to someone, it is just as much a part of them that also calls to the god and that so long as there is but sliver of a god's aspect/portfolio remains, they are not deaf to the call, not deadened to that core aspect of their own nature.

It also reminded me of this gem https://youtu.be/nveHagB16Cc?t=4m42s from another setting

That is not the weirdest thing that happened to me
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2718 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2016 :  13:49:33  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Aureus

You put it very lovely.

Personally, I love the idea that the gods of the people are primarely expressions of said people so that everytime a god calls out to someone, it is just as much a part of them that also calls to the god and that so long as there is but sliver of a god's aspect/portfolio remains, they are not deaf to the call, not deadened to that core aspect of their own nature.



Gods are indeed influenced by their own followers, so there might be some canonical (so to speak) truth in what you said.

Eilistraee is her own ''individual'', with her own story and choice to share her people's fate, in order to be at their side and bring them her hope in the time of need. However, it would be fitting if she also reflected the desire of (actual) life that the drow feel deep inside. Either way, I'm really happy that WotC decided to restore Eilistraee, and that aspect of the drow. Removing them, and that ''redemption'' arc (which is really not redemption at all) stripped this race of most of their depth and charm in my eyes.

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

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jan 2016 13:50:04
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1112 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2016 :  18:27:42  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage  Click to see hashimashadoo's MSN Messenger address Send hashimashadoo a Private Message
Being a drider is a punishment because Lolth places value on physical beauty, something only the most fanatical of priestesses would consider a drider still to possess. Secondly, until the mid 14th century DR, driders had no social standing. The best they could hope to be was a slave. It was only when a new generation of young drow began to consider the power of driders, that they began to gain some social standing in drow society, and not until the founding of Q'Xorlarrin that they became even close to equals with most drow.

Driders are sexless. They only keep their memories of gender and lust. This is not the same as castration - they literally have no genitalia (though a few images show them having secondary sexual characteristics) and were designed by Lolth to have absolutely no way to breed with anything.

Drider communities exist too. There was one not far from Menzoberranzan which the Matron Mothers used to dispose of drow who had offended them and I've seen other, slightly more pleasant ones mentioned elsewhere.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

Head admin of the FR wiki:

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com

Edited by - hashimashadoo on 20 Jan 2016 18:37:14
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Aureus
Learned Scribe

Luxembourg
118 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2016 :  19:19:22  Show Profile  Send Aureus an ICQ Message Send Aureus a Private Message
Maybe, but I prefer my vision. It's crueller and therefore fits Lolth's nature better. Taking away the sexdrive would be a blessing in disguise. To watch someone slowly break apart and revel in their continued anguish as they try to survive ostracization, the predators of the underdark, famine, lack of stimuli and distraction beyond those of survival when you don't know why it happened to you and why all the others get to be fed, warm, safe (relatively speaking), clean and entertained while all you do is suffer and your fight for survival only prolongues said suffering. Ironically madness itself would even be a blessing in disguise for such a tortured being as it would take away some of the anguish, as strange as it sounds, madness would be the only coping mechanism left, and if it gets them killed, well, that might arguably be a blessing too.

That is not the weirdest thing that happened to me
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2016 :  07:42:08  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

Ed how do travelers keep track of time and days in the underdark if stuck there for a period of days or even longer?
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hashimashadoo
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1112 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2016 :  15:51:45  Show Profile  Visit hashimashadoo's Homepage  Click to see hashimashadoo's MSN Messenger address Send hashimashadoo a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by createvmind

Hello All,

Ed how do travelers keep track of time and days in the underdark if stuck there for a period of days or even longer?



It depends on what the travellers are doing and how deep they are in the Underdark (plus whether you still use infravision in your games). According to Eric Boyd, if you're in the Upperdark, you might be able to discern the movement of bats to tell when dusk is falling and dawn has risen.

If you're making camp deeper underground, you could use water sources - using the length of time it takes a stone basin to fill from a constant trickle of water. Day candles would be a good idea for people who can't see in the dark - though depending on how long the journey is going to be, it could mean carrying an awful lot of them. Blue Glowfan fungi can be picked, whereupon they will glow with light for about 2 hours (though it's poisonous and derro eat the stuff, so if you find a big source of it, it might be an insane dwarf's pantry).

Maps could include approximate journey times between points (though such maps are notoriously unreliable if purchased on the surface) and if all else fails - just use magic. A Neverwintan water clock in a bag of holding would do the trick if you don't want to spend spell slots just for a way to tell time.

Of course, if you have infravision in your campaign, it's a simple matter of warming up a rock and waiting for it to cool down again.

When life turns it's back on you...sneak attack for extra damage.

Head admin of the FR wiki:

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com
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Rivenhelm
Seeker

32 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2016 :  05:42:37  Show Profile Send Rivenhelm a Private Message
Hello THO & Ed!

Hope all is well!

It's been a while since our last play session so I decided to tackle a little Realms-related side project. Hey, no groaning over there Ed.

Since in our play session Lashan has not yet decided to conquer the Dales, I set about trying to plot his troop movements and month-by-month timeline. I have been heavily relying on three sources: FR7 Hall of Heroes, FR0 "the Old Grey Box", and Dragon #95 "Into the Forgotten Realms". From what I can gather his campaign begins sometime in Mirtal, or before, due to a shadowy reference of "rumors of war...between Scardale and its neighbors..." in an entry on the Simbul (FR0 p.37 of the DM's Sourcebook) which I take for the battles with Harrowdale & Featherdale. Next we hear the direct reference to the battle of Mistledale in Flamerule (FR0 p.39 DMS) it is said (in Dr. #95 I believe) that this where the tide turned, but it seems that the tide really turned probably on the second battle of Mistledale. Here's where it gets a little hazy for me. Later it is said he takes Battledale (and Tassledale FR7 p.107), which implies these fell before the first Mistledale attack, where FR0 implies they fell after -- as maybe a re-entrenchment of his position with arrivals of reinforcements from the east. In the second battle of Mistledale it's said (FR0 p.39 DMS) that his army uses Halfaxe Trail to get there. I'm assuming to hide his troop movements & strength somewhat, while he appears to to recovering in Essembra. So, in the first battle of Mistledale did he use the Halfaxe Trail or did he take Essembra at that time? Or did he move through Essembra to get to Mistledale and take it after he was turned away?

By Elesias it sounds like he solidifies his positions in Harrowdale & Featherdale, his scouting patrols having encountered Mane's Band & the Battledale Seven in Highmoon (FR0 p.39 DMS -- Flamerule third entry) being rebuffed by their presence, but this is not clear. Eventually in Marpenoth (FR0 p.40 DMS) after "Lashan's foes pressed him these last two months" (DR #95 p.44) "[they]have been destroyed in a swift series of battles" (FR0 p.40 DMS). It is at this point or sometime before that he goes personally to Myth Drannor having sent two previous patrols there (Dr #95 p.44). Does this sound about right? Is this how it went down in gameplay? To me Essembra seems to be his base of operations and possibly the seat of his fledgling new Kingdom. Sounds like the Knights had fun wearing down his troops in Essembra (VGttD p.60) which makes me think the bulk of his army was stationed there. Any enlightenment on the above questions would be joyfully received.

Sorry about that lengthy preamble, but in cross referencing all this lore I found a most peculiar nugget. The date 15, Alturiak 1356. What's so special about that date you say? Well, in the census of Shadowdale (FR0 p.95 Cyclopedia) this is the date Florin slays the Lycanthrope Lune Lyrohar (who in FR7 p.111 slew Pennae -- though not sure if it was the same day), and it is also the day Jhessail weds Merith (FR7 p.114). Must've been quite a day!! Would either you or Ed like to share any stories about it from gameplay?? Was it during the wedding? Was there even a public wedding?

Wake everyone else as you leave, now that I've bored those that were left to tears. :-)


Be Well fellow Scribes!
And Thanks THO!!
R...
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Gareth
Seeker

United Kingdom
29 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2016 :  20:53:04  Show Profile Send Gareth a Private Message
Very long term lurker here, only just got round to registering and asking a question, so hopefully it wont be to silly sounding!

Its in regards famous spellbooks like those found in the OGB and "Pages from the Mages" (in its various incarnations).
Many of these spellbooks mention being traded for sums of money or items or similar, and that many of them are hunted down or being so by powerful folk- so my question(s) are:
(i) How much would rare spellbooks such as those be valued at? are we talking tens of thousands of coins?
(ii) Are the spells within generally able to be copied into someones own master spellbook?
(iii) Are the spells within able to be "memorised" without being copied into someones own master spellbook?

I ask, as its always something that I have wondered about.

linked to this as a kind of further
(iv) how rare are the various mechanisms to learn new spells in the Realms? In many games I have played in, spell scrolls are almost always used as a spell learning resource rather than an item to be used, and because of this most mages in said games have a lot of spells in their books (especially when you add in spellbooks captured from fallen NPC's etc)

Thanks for reading.

Gareth
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2016 :  22:14:42  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Who came up with the week being a "Tenday" and how was it promoted to become the norm and when, what was a week prior to tenday?
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slow-wizard
Acolyte

10 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2016 :  17:47:54  Show Profile Send slow-wizard a Private Message
I recently finished The Herald. I dont know if you discussed this before but i coudnt find a related topic while searching.

Did Larloch lie about being Mystryl's chosen? Or was he a real chosen back at time? I mean he could lie to gain Elminster's trust. He can be the best candidate to pose as one with his superb understanding of the weave and art.

I remember reading something like he has a special connection with Mystra because of his development of new magics and cutting edge use of Art etc... in some sourcebook. Maybe this was nostalgia of Mystra for good old times Larloch being the chosen of her oldself :P

Can Ed give us some info about this?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2016 :  18:59:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
I've always been under the impression that Mystra 2.0's access to the memories of her predecessors was not simply accessing another set of memories, complete with emotional context and everything, but more like watching a movie (perhaps with narration) of what happened to the predecessor. This would explain her confidence issues and not being as fully aware of her own capabilities as she could be.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 02 Feb 2016 19:00:35
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1476 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2016 :  03:36:47  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I've always been under the impression that Mystra 2.0's access to the memories of her predecessors was not simply accessing another set of memories, complete with emotional context and everything, but more like watching a movie (perhaps with narration) of what happened to the predecessor. This would explain her confidence issues and not being as fully aware of her own capabilities as she could be.

I've been under the impression that she had limited access mostly because she was overwhelmed by all these memories and therefore moved through them "piece by piece", not daring to dive all the way in and see what happens.
But here was an answer about this from 22 Nov 2004.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2718 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2016 :  21:49:59  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message
Greetings Ed and THO.

I have a questions regarding Eilistraee-dominated communities. Do children receive any specific instruction or training, aside from that provided by their parents (when still alive)? Are there any istances of priest(esse)s taking that duty?

Are there any common leisure activities (besides dance and song) practiced in a ''typical'' community? Any specific games (both for adults and children)?

As always, thanks for you time, and best wishes for all things.

EDIT: How are the Xanathar and his thieves guild faring in the post-Sundering years? Do they have any interest in the ''new'' Skullport?

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

Edited by - Irennan on 14 Feb 2016 16:57:01
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1476 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2016 :  23:46:16  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan


I have a questions regarding Eilistraee-dominated communities.

Oooh! I have a related question: are there "Eilistraee-dominated communities"?
I didn't see mentions of any stable communities other than "parish" groups running butt nekkid wandering around some or other holy place, and that's it.
The only exclusion that resembles a settled town is Eilistraee's Promenade near Skullport, which is more like a monastery - in all mentions it looks like there's little to no activity not directly related to veneration of Eilistraee.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2718 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2016 :  00:08:23  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan


I have a questions regarding Eilistraee-dominated communities.

Oooh! I have a related question: are there "Eilistraee-dominated communities"?
I didn't see mentions of any stable communities other than "parish" groups running butt nekkid wandering around some or other holy place, and that's it.
The only exclusion that resembles a settled town is Eilistraee's Promenade near Skullport, which is more like a monastery - in all mentions it looks like there's little to no activity not directly related to veneration of Eilistraee.




According to what Ed said in 2006, there are (even if they are often located within wooded areas). Yes, it's true that they often form around shrines, and its true that the ritual worship of Eilistraee can be seen as a leisure activity on its own (given that her rituals mostly consist of dance and revelry), but I wanted to know if there were other particular activities common in those communities.

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

Edited by - Irennan on 10 Feb 2016 00:09:32
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

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Posted - 11 Feb 2016 :  16:30:32  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello All,

Ed how do female adventurers deal with their monthly out on the roads and especially in places like the Underdark or any hostile non-urban environment. What manners of disposal are there for them as well to avoid leaving "tracks" during the duration. Just how long is the period of women in Faerun of various races now that I think of it?


Thanks
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2016 :  18:02:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by createvmind

Hello All,

Ed how do female adventurers deal with their monthly out on the roads and especially in places like the Underdark or any hostile non-urban environment. What manners of disposal are there for them as well to avoid leaving "tracks" during the duration. Just how long is the period of women in Faerun of various races now that I think of it?


Thanks



Ed addressed part of this back in 2006:

quote:
Hi again, fellow scribes. Herewith, Ed makes reply to Rinonalyrna Fathomlin, about this: “All right, my question for today may sound really silly, but I have honestly been wondering about it for the past few days. The trivial things in life are part of what makes up...life. If my question has been answered before, I apologize.
Do Faerunian women commonly shave their legs, underarms, and *ahem* other parts of their bodies? If so, what types of razors, creams, and other materials do they use? From what I understand, the common safety razors used today were invented only about 100-150 years ago--I can't imagine having to use a regular straight razor. I have also wondered sometimes how Faerunian women deal with their menstrual cycles...”
Ed speaks:



Nothing trivial at all about such matters! If the game makes note of what weapons or loot creatures carry, descriptions of their bodies (especially as corpses or captives being searched) are of vital importance. In the same way, if a Realms fiction writer is describing someone disrobing or getting dressed, or for that matter what’s on view in a harem, festhall, or club where scantily-clad folk are dancing or otherwise on display, this becomes Need To Know information. This importance is only enhanced when we consider time-to-time adventuring necessities of hiding small items in various body cavities (ahem; I’m sure you understand).
So here we go . . .
[[scribes reading this be warned: specific biological anatomy words and details follow]]
First, the body hair. In a world with many races dwelling and working (or at least trading) together, there’s a great tolerance for variety. So no one “looks down on” someone for being different (i.e. having heavy body hair or not). However, there are practical reasons for being hairless in warm climates (and for wrestlers and those who make coin by means of sex, too), and in the warmer countries of the Realms almost all adult folk do remove their body (not head) hair (by plucking—the mild pain of this technique is often used in prayer, in monastic communities; by shaving with sharp CURVED [crescentiform, sharp edge on inside of curve, but with a short, marked arc of sharpened outside edge at the end for doing armpits] blades; and—most popularly, by far—by the application of herbal depilatory ointments, of which there are many, widely known everywhere in the Realms). This is less common in cold areas such as the North, and men everywhere often leave chest and head hair alone, and merely trim other hair short (or shave just their cheeks, and trim moustache, sideburn, and beard hair). The majority of men DON’T shave their heads, unless they have head rashes or wounds that need treatment, and men and women aren’t vain about hair that goes gray or white (they may dye hair for all sorts of effects or reasons, but pretending to not age isn’t one of them).
As humans biologically have hair to catch and intensify natural body scent, and strong-smelling human odours aren’t considered pleasant in most of the Realms, the great majority of humans do “wash their hairy areas” daily or even more often, and use scented oils when they can’t wash properly, or before engaging in activities they know will be sweaty and during or after which they want to impress or be welcoming to others.
Many who do remove armpit and genital-area hair may leave small shaped areas of hair for adornment (e.g. a lightning bolt zigzagging down to a clitoris), and for adornment, when going nude or wearing garments that leave strategic areas bare, body paint (and dyes like henna), or even more permanent tattoos (usually blue or green) are sometimes used to “replace” genital hair.
It should be remembered that warriors and wrestlers also have practical reasons for minimizing hair, and anyone who’s ridden a lot will know that hair literally “wears off” stress areas like the inner thighs. Nor does hair always grow back on scar tissue.
Second: menstrual cycles and their treatment. Social and practical. Social: Selune, Chauntea, and many other deities keep “closeness to natural cycles” strong in the minds of all Faerûnians; there’s no religious or societal stigma about menstruation. Women aren’t regarded as “unclean” at any time, menses are no bar to sexual activity, and any embarrassment is purely of the “Oh, now I’ve stained a nice [or borrowed] garment” variety. Menstruation is never called “the curse” or anything of the sort in the Realms; in Faerûn, it’s “lifeblood” or “moonblood” or even “Selune’s kiss” or “under the moon” (as in: “I’m under the moon just now, so pack extra redcloths”).
Time for the practical. Please see my reply on page 21 of my 2004 replies, here at Candlekeep, for information about undergarments (specifically clouts and redcloths).
Blood-stained “redcloths” will be washed or at least rinsed out daily, often in scented water. To avoid being tracked by beasts following scent, wilderland-travelling women often discard (by burying them) redcloths as they go; if they can find dew or any sort of water in which to wash the cloths (including stagnant swampwater), they’ll do so, often dousing the cloth with perfume beforehand to minimize any odours the water causes. The most popular “travelling wash” for redcloths (practiced, for example, by women stopping at a rustic inn) is cheap wine followed by rinsing with rainbarrel water. Please bear in mind that there’s no embarrassment or stigma attached to this, even for young females experiencing their first menses; no one will be trying to do this “on the sly,” and inns high and low will anticipate this need and have facilities for it (that’s why there are ewers of water sitting in washbasins in most inn rooms, AND spare washbasins underneath beds, alongside the chamberpots). Most inns and taverns do a busy daily trade in buying new redcloths and disposing of old ones (they become scrubbing rags).
One last note: shaving your naughty bits with a straight razor isn’t easy, but having someone else (who’s skilled, in good light and with room to work, and not in a hurry) is just fine, if you aren’t embarrassed and don’t flinch). Just ask THO.



So saith Ed. Who (as you can probably tell by now) lacks a lot of the hang-ups and prejudices of most of the males of his generation. I remember him cheerfully buying feminine products for both co-workers and family members, but thinking it ridiculous when they asked him to go make the purchase but were embarrassed to tell him their “sizes.”
And yes, Ed’s right about the straight razor, but the key word is “skilled.” (Ed is more of a “gingerly-proceeding amateur” than “skilled” in any use of a straight razor, but I once encountered a grandfatherly army barber who tended to a row of female personnel with a gruff, “Spread ’em, ladies, and no telling jokes while I’ve got the razor out; laughers are bleeders.”)
Amazing, what we get around to discussing in this forum . . .
love to all,
THO


And the earlier response, that discussed (among other things) undergarments and redcloths:

quote:
Hi, David. Well, how much spice to include in your game should be up to your players. Discuss it with them first. My players have on occasion roleplayed some VERY erotic moments “in the flesh” (er, so to speak -- sorry, couldn’t resist that one), but on other occasions didn’t want to. [It of course helps to have a mixed-gender group of great maturity and a strong love of roleplaying and very close friendships; my group happens to include two stable-long term couples, and some er, adventuresome folks from generations before AIDS.] As DM, my job is keep them happy, so it’s their call. The older in age your players are, the less possibility exists of unintentionally upsetting anyone (as long as everyone agrees on ‘the ground rules’ beforehand).
For instance, I’d never dream of deliberately making a homophobic person uncomfortable when I (a rather stout, pepper-and-salt-bearded man) roleplay a prostitute and go and sit in a male player’s lap caressing his chin and face and breathily making propositions in a feminine voice -- but I don’t have to worry about that, because I know my players and they know me. We have “warning words” (we simply say: “Steady!” or “Simmer!”) for anyone to signal if they’re becoming uncomfortable or think an observer (i.e. someone who’s not a regular player) might be misinterpreting or becoming uncomfortable.
So your first step has to be discussing this with your players, even if it’s going to rob a future erotic situation or scene of its surprise/shock value.
I don’t want to leave anyone reading this with the impression that our play sessions are orgies. Far from it: sex comes up in play (ahem) less and less frequently as players age and a campaign acquires a deep history (and playing style) of its own. It’s just that when it does, we’re all comfortable with it -- in the same way, just to give an example, two “straight” actors of the same gender can climb into bed with each other and pretend to be carrying out a homosexual sex act when they’re performing a scene for a play or movie. I suppose you could say we’re all mature professionals about it.
Our player characters are not ourselves. What we do as characters doesn’t directly reflect our personal views and actions -- in the same way I create characters in my novels who disagree with each other to the point of killing each other, so obviously they can’t all be reflections of my own personal views (something a lot of critics, academics, and real-world clergy seem to be too simpleminded to understand, but that’s another issue).
I think all of my players are used to my craziness, and can enjoy the entertainment without fearing I’m going to use the game as an excuse to jump them carnally -- but I can certainly see that other players unfamiliar with me might acquire that fear -- and I’d never want to make someone that uncomfortable. As they say: hey, it’s just a game.
On the other hand, I once played D&D at GenCon with a beautiful stranger who unconcernedly dropped her jeans and everything else to proudly show us all her latest tattoo. It was very nice, as I recall. :}
Yet more than the view, I admired her casual confidence, her being comfortable in her own skin. THAT’S what I remember, not the exposed flesh.
Which brings us to lingerie. First, utilitarian underwear for men and women: women with large breasts that get in the way, or when doing activites that are going to cause chafing or discomfort (crawling on rock while mining, rowing, etc.) often wear a tight cloth breast-binding or sling (the equivalent of a modern sports bra, although instead of stretchy fabric covering a lot of skin, the Realms version is more like a trough or shelf of tightly-stretched cloth sewn to cords (precisely because elastic fabric is largely unknown in the Realms). In colder climates, soft hide bras are worn most of the time.
For the lower half of the body, both men and women wear clouts: a very tight leather, cloth, or cord (listed here in descending order of perceived quality and durability) belt worn around the hips, and usually held tight by multiple hooks (like a modern bra) at the front. Then a long, diaper-like strip of rectangular cloth (usually cotton) is passed between the legs, up through the front of the belt to dangle down, and up through the back of the belt to dangle down. In other words, the “breechclout” of some native American tribes. In many cases, the dangling front and back ends are designed to be tied together, and the cloth may be folded in on itself for extra absorbency or padding (especially when the wearer expects to be riding a mount). Menstruating women usually place another layer or two of red-hued cloth inside the clout and change this as necessary, and yes, clouts can be purchased that are decorative and ‘made to be seen.’ Freshly-perfumed clouts are often sold in Waterdeep and other large cities.
Among simple backcountry folk in cold climates, women often wear leggings, leather skirts, long hide shirts (tunics), and fur cloaks -- and a woman wanting to signal her willingness for some hanky-panky either aggressively tells her chosen partner so, or hikes up her skirts briefly to reveal that she, ahem, seems to have forgotten to put on her clout! (Prostitutes trolling for strangers often expose their breasts and hold up a lantern to spotlight this fact -- and probably also to keep the bared skin a little warmer.)
Okay, on to the alluring stuff. The concept of wire for breast support and shaping is unknown in the Realms, but corsets (laced-up, tight boiled hide, not whalebone or any sort of stiffeners) and stomachers that cinch the waist tight are popular, and many of them have shaped panels for the hips and a top ‘shelf’ to thrust out and support the breasts. Low-cut peasant blouses and even lace trimmings (as one can see from examining the covers of Volo’s Guides and much Realms interior artwork) are widely used. In hot climates, panties and translucent silk pantaloons, vests, and the like are often worn by women (Hollywood “harem” wear), also as established by some Realms artwork.
So black lace, black leather, and red (the other erotic hue) straps can be worn. Black lace dresses, garments that expose the crotch and nipples, and what we might call ‘bondage gear’ (such as tassel-adorned nipple clamps) are okay, on festhall dancers and in private, among couples. Prostitutes dress in whatever garb is allowed locally; in more conservative places, they are usually fully dressed, but in garments that show a strip of bare flesh all the way up the outside of the leg and torso (i.e. held together with a series of rings). This signals to would-be clients that this particular woman wants to be approached, rather than being someone who’ll offer instant violence AND scream for the Watch if propositioned.
Men trying to signal their interest in sex or courtship will often wear an artificial flower perched on one shoulder: a red rose for “I’m looking for courtship,” a black rose for “I’m looking for sex,” and a steel rose to signal homosexual interest (a device also used by lesbians). In ‘my’ Realms, there’s no stigma attached to homosexual relationships, only to any sexual behaviour that involves exploiting children, and any sexual behaviour that involves force or coercion (please note: WILLINGLY undergoing pain or bondage doesn’t count).
Fops or boisterous types (such as Mirt the Moneylender) might wear four or more such roses to signal that they’re interested in multiple partners for the night, but except in the right sort of festhall, such displays can often cause mirth or ridicule.
Other than the rose, men seldom wear “lingerie” per se, but may shave, perfume themselves, or wear a single black legging (usally on the right leg) decorated with scenes of heroic prowess (usually depicted in red). Tiny bells on nipple-rings are sometimes worn by individuals of either gender to ‘appear sexy,’ and some priests are reportedly excited by sexual partners who tattoo symbols of their deity on the palms of their hands.
And a glance at the published Realms should make it obvious that erotic dancing is a big part of foreplay and sexual entertainment. Elaborately-decorated (with bells, etc.) garters (we’re talking here not the modern straps between belt and silk stockings, but rather the slender belt worn around a single leg with ends a-dangle) are often worn by dancers, both professionals and houswives wanting to excite their husbands, and undone and thrown aside during the dance.
In warmer climes, both genders often signal their desire for sex by walking naked in moonlit gardens, or naked except for finely-made, ‘show’ high boots, headgear (often with face veils), and to-the-elbow gloves (an overcloak is usually worn to reach the gardens -- and if the gardens aren’t private, kept on until a desired partner is met).
Foreplay among elves and half-elves (particularly strangers) often includes the wearing of full-face masks or hoods that leave bare only the ears -- and caressing, kissing, or licking of ears (plus throat, backs of knees, and palms of hands) for and by both partners leads to more ardent activities.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Feb 2016 18:06:18
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