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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2016 :  01:03:14  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Nacopa

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham


Moonblades were designed to be a test of kingship, a visual symbol of the right and fitness to rule. But over the years, concept creep has set it.



It makes a lot sense. Every reader has an imagination to some degree, and so it's natural to fill in gaps. One of the most intriguing gaps tends to be the great Why.

I pose this question: If the moonblades were created to identify characters fit for rulership, how heavily does the need or purpose of the crown in question influence the High Mages that created the swords? Since the swords were created with a specific set of traits in mind for use in selecting a king, would not the very reason for creating this new monarchy inform their creation? If so, what was the thinking of the time that brought the elves to this point? I seem to recall they desired to protect the People from extinction, basically, and that was the most primal reason for unification under one ruler. I may remember incorrectly or partially, of course, but that had always explained to me why the blades could potentially be claimed by any Tel'Quess if the original noble line died out.


It happened after the Crown Wars. The elves have seen that their time has passed and foressen the rise of mankind or at least the opening of the gap for other races, IIRC, and that's why the better rulers would be those who could deal better with non-elves. It involved the elven race survival, keeping the elven values alive, bu also dealing with the world (almost impossible for sea elves and the few secretive avariel, very hard for the wild or barbaric - for elves - green elves, and difficult for the arrogant or elitist gold elves (which were the rulers for many centuries but tended to be too proud as a subrace to produce entire lineages of open-minded rulers, back then).

The blades were never potentially claimed by any Tel'Quess or even any moon elf after a particular line died out. In fact, the line would never die out because of the blade directly, because if the one trying to claim it was the last of his line the blade would lose its powers, becoming dormant (and as I understood by the last books, releasing the souls that empowered it). Once released, the powers (and souls?) would not come back at the call of any Tel'Quess, and only through very extraordinary circustances the blade would be reactivated by a descendant of the line. If the line died out, the blade would be dormant forever: another blade would find the king, which would belong to another lineage.

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

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

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2016 :  01:34:45  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Nacopa
I pose this question: If the moonblades were created to identify characters fit for rulership,
(...)


I just found the point: moonblades were not created to identify CHARACTERS fit for rulership, but to find LINEAGES fit for the throne. That's why the blades were given to the noble clans. A worthy character would rule the elves for decades or a few centuries, a lineage would last for a much longer time - and we're talking of elven time!

That's why the subraces and clans which comprised the nobility of the realms of that time were the ones eligible to try claiming a blade. And don't forget elven politics also had a say in this. Subracial traits had also part in this eligibility: I'm not sure, but I think after the Crown Wars was exactly the time when greens decided to abandon the trappings of civilization and became more isolated from the world...

But the main point is that, if everything went in the direction of choosing a lineage worthy, and at first the swords were available only to gold and moon elven nobility, it would make no sense for the blades to be activated in the future by any Tel'Quess. The blades were made to find a king among nobles, and most - or at least "many" - of the High Mages were members of the clans which would send representatives to try claiming the blades.

EDIT: Mrs. Cunningham once declared that the set of powers manifested by the blade would be one of the requisites to be considered in the choosing of the king's clan, for the blade with more powers desirable for a ruler would reflect a clan with ruling traits. Besides, she also stated that a blade passed more directly in a lineage (like mother/father to son/daughter) would give its clan an advantage, in the appropriate time, for choosing the king's family.

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

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

Edited by - Barastir on 18 Mar 2016 16:30:12
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1494 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2016 :  05:02:25  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

see the case of Azariah

It's still not known who exactly can be an exception - only children of a (potential) heir or any descendant of any wielder of the correct clan.

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

“I see. And now I suppose you want to attempt to draw the sword from the stone.”
“Dude, that’s the high king’s sword. Excalibur. What exactly are you smoking?”

I thought Excalibur was the one Lady of the Lake gave him?

quote:
Originally posted by Barastir


EDIT: Mrs. Cunningham once declared that the set of powers manifested by the blade would be one of the requisites to be considered in the choosing of the king's clan, for the blade with more powers desirable for a ruler would reflect a clan with ruling traits.
Which implies there are some criteria for the "ruler's blade" vs. "adventurer's blade".
Unless it's simply similarity between the blades within the same clan, indicating that they are either rebellious hot-heads or slow-learners, seeing how they get in the same troubles again and again adhering to some common modus operandi and therefore probably aren't too prone to straying too far away from The Glorious Elven Ways.

quote:
Besides, she also stated that a blade passed more directly in a lineage (like mother/father to son/daughter) would give its clan an advantage, in the appropriate time, for choosing the king's family.

An interesting moment, that can be tied with non-Silver claimants.
Or this can simply mean that a sword not skipping whole generations passes through more wielders and thus collects more powers/runes.

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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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2016 :  11:40:07  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Nacopa

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham


Moonblades were designed to be a test of kingship, a visual symbol of the right and fitness to rule. But over the years, concept creep has set it.



It makes a lot sense. Every reader has an imagination to some degree, and so it's natural to fill in gaps. One of the most intriguing gaps tends to be the great Why.

I pose this question: If the moonblades were created to identify characters fit for rulership, how heavily does the need or purpose of the crown in question influence the High Mages that created the swords? Since the swords were created with a specific set of traits in mind for use in selecting a king, would not the very reason for creating this new monarchy inform their creation? If so, what was the thinking of the time that brought the elves to this point? I seem to recall they desired to protect the People from extinction, basically, and that was the most primal reason for unification under one ruler. I may remember incorrectly or partially, of course, but that had always explained to me why the blades could potentially be claimed by any Tel'Quess if the original noble line died out.



These are all excellent questions. I'll give them more thought in early April, once my schedule opens up a tad.
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4309 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2016 :  18:07:45  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder



quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

“I see. And now I suppose you want to attempt to draw the sword from the stone.”
“Dude, that’s the high king’s sword. Excalibur. What exactly are you smoking?”

I thought Excalibur was the one Lady of the Lake gave him?





There are two schools of thought on this

Some Lore does indicate that the Sword in the Stone was Excalibur, that the Lady of the Lake did not figure as much this school.

The other school clearly holds the The Sword in the Stone was a separate blade that only had that one purpose, determine the High King. In this school the blade is never mentioned again as a weapon or having any other purpose. In this school of course the Lady of the Lake provided Excalibur to Arthur after he became High King.

Pick your school of choice, or there can be a few other less remarked schools. There is much lore that has been generated over a something like 700 year span of time. There is much to study and choose from.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 18 Mar 2016 :  18:30:43  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As for the questions on souls and moonblades, some excerpts from the conversation between Arilyn and her elfshadow, in chapter 5 of Silver Shadows:

"First let me point out that the moonblade accepted you when you were but a child, not to mention the first half-elf ever to inherit such a sword! This decision was not lightly made, for it was foreseen that you would do a great service to the People."

"Once accepted, you slowly became attuned to the sword. That is how I came into being. For lack of a better description, I am the personification of your union with the sword."

"I see. Do all moonblades have people like you?"

"By the sea and stars! No, not at all. The ability to form and summon an elfshadow was one of the powers added to the moonblade you carry. By Zoastria."

"Like the elves who have gone before you, you added a power to the moonblade," (...) "A power that reflects your character and your needs."

"Moonblades contain great magic, and they grow in power with each wielder. But as with all magic, the cost is high. (...) I am the shadow of what you will become."

"Then when I die—" she began.

"You will not die, strictly speaking. Your life essence will enter the moonblade. This is the ultimate source of the sword's magic."

"So what you're saying is that this sword is full of dead elves"

"No! (...) Except in unusual cases, elves are immortal. We pass from this world on to the realms of Arvandor without tasting death as humans know it. But yes, each elf who accepts a moonblade understands that his or her passage to Arvandor will be delayed, perhaps for thousands of years, until the moonblade's purpose is fulfilled. When a sword falls dormant, the elves are released. It is an enormous sacrifice, but one that certain noble elves take on gladly for the greater good of the People."


Reading this I understood that the soul of former users of Arilyn's moonblade could manifest through the elfshadow, but that every moonfighter was attuned to his or her blade and delayed his or her soul travel to Arvandor to empower his ir hers clan blade. Is that right?

EDIT: And then a question arises. The moonblade accepted Arilyn and "the decision was not lightly made, for it was foressen she would do a great service to the People"... It was a hard decision for the blade or for the souls within it? Who foresaw her role in the people's future? If the souls decided, was it possible because of the elfshadow power, or other blades which don't manifest the souls within through shadows (if it's like it works) would also judge new owners (and Wooly's suggestion be correct, that this is one of the reasons why powerful blades are more difficult to claim)?

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

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

Edited by - Barastir on 18 Mar 2016 18:40:50
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2016 :  15:32:01  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just gathering data and gauging interest: Is there a particular elven house, or individual character, that you'd like to see highlighted?
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2016 :  16:44:31  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd like to know more about the Amarillis and about Urijah in particular. Besides the obvious choices of Craulnober and maybe a bit more about Zaor's past.

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

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Zanthox
Acolyte

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2016 :  21:43:04  Show Profile Send Zanthox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First: Super excited for this! Moonblades are some of my favorite items from previous editions.

As far as any specifics, I would love if there was a blade that could perhaps overlap with the Singing Swords or just ties into the followers of Eilistraee in some way. I realize this would be a very unique circumstance, but would still enjoy it if you think you could make it work.
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Kyrael
Acolyte

Turkey
1 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  09:19:20  Show Profile Send Kyrael a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm really excited to see that you are starting on such a project!

I would love to know more about Amarillis and Durothil clans and their blades. Some more detailed info on Elaith and lost children of Amlaruil and Zaor. Maybe some short stories from The Crown Wars era,The Weeping Wars and Myth Drannor's Fall(I know i'm asking too much but i need to know more! :) )

thank you for taking care of your elves Ms. Cunningham
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BenN
Learned Scribe

Japan
340 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  12:10:18  Show Profile Send BenN a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kyrael
lost children of Amlaruil and Zaor


Yes, that would be good. Also, more back-story about the adventures of Amnestria & Thasitalia.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  14:48:12  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenN

quote:
Originally posted by Kyrael
lost children of Amlaruil and Zaor


Yes, that would be good. Also, more back-story about the adventures of Amnestria & Thasitalia.



Seems to me that the Lost Children could end up being a project in itself. Amlaruil and Zaor had a LOT of kids....
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  20:35:18  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zanthox

First: Super excited for this! Moonblades are some of my favorite items from previous editions.

As far as any specifics, I would love if there was a blade that could perhaps overlap with the Singing Swords or just ties into the followers of Eilistraee in some way. I realize this would be a very unique circumstance, but would still enjoy it if you think you could make it work.



Huh. You know, I never thought of a singing sword in the context of moonblades, but I don't see why one of them couldn't take on this particular ability. Eilistraee is a little more complicated, since not many moon elves worship that goddess. I do have an idea for a workaround, though. A sword that sings in the presence of "good" drow would be useful to an elf who is likely to encounter dark elves on a regular basis. Not many places where that would be likely, though. Must give this some thought....
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  21:24:20  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An alarm sword for good drow seems like an ability one might acquire if you fought alongside good drow for instance (and they perhaps saved the wielders life or tried) when liberating the Lands Under Shadow in Cormanthyr alongside the good drow that became the guardians of the Twisted Tower for a time.

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  21:30:49  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

An alarm sword for good drow seems like an ability one might acquire if you fought alongside good drow for instance (and they perhaps saved the wielders life or tried) when liberating the Lands Under Shadow in Cormanthyr alongside the good drow that became the guardians of the Twisted Tower for a time.



Good point. This is also suggests a scenario for a short story, and "The Twisted Tower" is a pretty good title.

So many tales, so little time...


Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 25 Mar 2016 21:32:50
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2016 :  21:58:20  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Was it an Ildacer that orchestrated the truce between elves and drow during the fall of myth drannor. Perhaps there is a history of drow cooperation with that clan (not a nefarious history just a willingness to see people as individuals rather than as racial stereotypes).

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3601 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2016 :  08:26:35  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think with the DMs guild you can keep updating it so you could start off small with a few mechanics then add more stories later (although economically it's probably better for the writer to release each work separately)

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Owesstaer
Seeker

Luxembourg
28 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  07:46:56  Show Profile Send Owesstaer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Zanthox

First: Super excited for this! Moonblades are some of my favorite items from previous editions.

As far as any specifics, I would love if there was a blade that could perhaps overlap with the Singing Swords or just ties into the followers of Eilistraee in some way. I realize this would be a very unique circumstance, but would still enjoy it if you think you could make it work.



Huh. You know, I never thought of a singing sword in the context of moonblades, but I don't see why one of them couldn't take on this particular ability. Eilistraee is a little more complicated, since not many moon elves worship that goddess. I do have an idea for a workaround, though. A sword that sings in the presence of "good" drow would be useful to an elf who is likely to encounter dark elves on a regular basis. Not many places where that would be likely, though. Must give this some thought....



In my present campaign, there is a half-drow PC (Dambraii Runaway kit from the Demihumans of the Realms supplement) trying to find the faith of Eilistraee. She traveled north, because (pre-campaign) she came across reports on the Crown Wars and the worship of Eilistraee in old Miyertar.
Thus far she still wields mace & whip from her Loviatar/Lolth background, but I thought about a moonblade being just the right thing to find in an ancient elistraeean shrine in the High Moor, and a guarding baelnorn as the PC's new mentor.

Now as for the moon-elven heritage, the half-elven Loviatar priestesses coming to Dambrath could have "provided" this. That's where I discarded the idea however, because
1) I couldn't make up ties for a moon-elven heritage back to Miyertar, a land of dark- and wild-elves.
2) the anachronism between The Dark Disaster (-10500 DR) and the moonblades' originating in Myth Drannor (originally founded around -4000 DR)

So, if you would able to establish ties between moonblades and singing swords, this might come in extremely handy to my own needs. I'm therefore looking forward to the development of your mentioned "workaround"! :)
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  12:51:34  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Owesstaer
(...) and the moonblades' originating in Myth Drannor (originally founded around -4000 DR)

In fact, both the sourcebook Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves and the novel Evermeet: Island of the Elves establish the cretion of Moonblades around -9,000 DR. It occurred in the woods of Cormanthor, but not necessarily in the City of Myth Drannor - although some sources do cite the city as the place where the blades were created or enchanted (as the Baldur's Gate game). Note that elves live in the region of the Elven Court since -10,000 DR, according to the timeline in Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves.

EDIT: Anyway, there is a gap of 1,500 years between the Dark Disaster and the Creation of the Moonblades. This is a lot of time, even for elves.

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

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

Edited by - Barastir on 28 Mar 2016 13:00:14
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Adhriva
Learned Scribe

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  13:38:23  Show Profile  Visit Adhriva's Homepage  Send Adhriva an AOL message  Send Adhriva a Yahoo! Message Send Adhriva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's not impossible the ancient elven kingdoms during the Crown Wars had some kind of Elf or Moonblade, albeit one that would not be recognized as such any more through simple evolution of the technology and magic involved. For example, it might not even be a longblade and might give it's owner the perks of wielding it over the course of decades instead of instantaneously. It would not surprise me if ancient Elven families like the Durothil and the Irithyl had these proto-blades instead of the more modern (well, modern even by ~200DR standards) variations we often see.

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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  14:56:09  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Adhriva

It's not impossible the ancient elven kingdoms during the Crown Wars had some kind of Elf or Moonblade, albeit one that would not be recognized as such (...)


In fact, these would be swords similar to moonblades, but not moonblades themselves, since those were created at an specific event, for a determined goal: choosing the king of Evermeet (just as the elfblades had their role in Myth Drannor).

Elves created and create many wonderful magical blades, but they don't have to be all moonblades or elfblades. We have other fantastic swords in the Elves of Evermeet sourcebook (like the greatsword that is one of the treasures of Evermeet), there are the stormswords of Myth Drannor, and certainly many others fine blades exist in the Forgotten Realms (not to cite other worlds).

Although it is understandable that moonblades' and elfblades' popularity is very attractive, and we all are fans of these canonical swords, other blades would be not diminished by being not among these famous swords.

As for blades similar to moonblades, Mrs. Cunningham has considered them as an explanation for the rise of legends such as the story of the Starym's moonblade, aka Darkmoon, in the 1st page of this very thread.

"I was just discussing the 'Evil Moonblade' issue in a private message, and it seems to me that the best approach would be to offer an alternate explanation, perhaps a class of copycat swords occasionally mistaken for moonblades. A more malleable magical item would give DMs and gamers a lot more leeway."

EDIT: format

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

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

Edited by - Barastir on 28 Mar 2016 14:59:48
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2291 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  16:28:43  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like the idea of listing (and providing stats) for swords that are similar to the moonblades. This would give players and DMs a lot more storytelling flexibility.
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1412 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  17:39:07  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It also makes some sense to have copycat swords, considering how famous moonblades are among the elves. Elves are not humans and are probably more creative than that, but maybe they would follow the tendency of making lesser copies of the acclaimed blades.

As for similar blades created before the origin of moonblades, I'm not sure. I think moonblades were probably brought as something new and distinctive at its time by its elven or divine designers. But it makes sense to have other ultra-powerful blades from this past of High Magic.

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

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30431 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2016 :  18:39:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I personally do like having a corrupted moonblade, having "imitation" moonblades would go a long way towards explaining away some of the discrepancies that have crept into the lore, over the years -- especially if these imitation blades were created with the deliberate intent of replacing legitimate moonblades.

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Rhaine
Acolyte

Australia
6 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2016 :  01:17:13  Show Profile Send Rhaine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

While I personally do like having a corrupted moonblade, having "imitation" moonblades would go a long way towards explaining away some of the discrepancies that have crept into the lore, over the years -- especially if these imitation blades were created with the deliberate intent of replacing legitimate moonblades.



Perhaps some of these imitations might be 'Sunblades' created with the intent of returning the sun elves to rulership.
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