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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  15:58:50  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As far as my two cents, I have no problem with corrupted moonblades and even (forgive me Elaine) the re purposed dormant blades (even though I pretty much hated everything about that work), assuming the souls are no longer bound within them.

My biggest problem with what we've seen of moonblades is that if they were created in the distant past, rather than Myth Drannor, they should have passed through many more generations - even if the wielders all lived to a ripe old age. Perhaps there should be some qualification that makes it difficult to add powers to a blade so that fewer generations add powers. I once re-worked the Starym blade to be as ancient as it should be and it working generation by generation, it quickly became just about the most powerful artifact description I ever did (and I tend to go for over-powered magic in the first place).

As for moonblades I'd like to know more about (aside from Elaith's, of course), are, in order:

The Kings-Blade (the history of its bearers and how they proved themselves worthy of being the royal line would be fascinating). I'm also curious if the next king would have to draw the blade...

The Aunglor moonblade (lost in Cormanthyr with Jassin Aunglor during his battle with the great green wyrm Venom).

The Silverspear moonblade (mentioned in EOE)
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1476 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  16:04:58  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

My biggest problem with what we've seen of moonblades is that if they were created in the distant past, rather than Myth Drannor, they should have passed through many more generations - even if the wielders all lived to a ripe old age.

Exactly why?

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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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  19:11:55  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

My biggest problem with what we've seen of moonblades is that if they were created in the distant past, rather than Myth Drannor, they should have passed through many more generations - even if the wielders all lived to a ripe old age.

Exactly why?



Simple mathematics. According to Evermeet IoE, the moonblades were created in -9000DR, so that's about 10500 years ago.

Due to the average life span of elves (refer to the table in the complete book of elves) even if every wielder lived to venerable old age (300-350 years) the average blade would have had about 30 wielders. If every wielder lived to "maximum age" and passed into Aryvandar their would still have been about 17-18 wielders and powers.

However, moonblades are wielded by warriors who almost never make it to such venerable ages. I'd argue the average moonfighter would be lucky to make it to old age (250 years), which would mean about 40 wielders and powers.

It doesn't take much imagination to think of a scenario where a warlike lineage would die every 50 to 100 years or so. Then you're talking about moonblades with 100-200 powers.

Imagine how powerful such a blade would be, even if you used simple powers like those supplied in the Evermeet sourcebook like additional +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Similarly, there is nothing in any of the literature about moonblades constraining the nature or magnitude of powers of a blade. Imagine if a blade had say 20 powers on par with the Elfshadow power of Arlynn's blade. That would make it far more powerful than any sword ever described in D&D and at least on par with the most powerful relics and artifacts ever describes.
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1408 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  19:36:19  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The answer to this is that not every generation is worthy. Every blade spent many generations active but unclaimed, waiting for the next worthy elf in that clan to be born, raised properly, and finally to try claiming the blade if, after centuries of life, he or she - or his or her family think she is ready.

"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 26 May 2016 19:39:02
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vertus
Acolyte

Brazil
14 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  19:45:39  Show Profile Send vertus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Long and interesting thread.

All in all, even with the Hopeblades becoming a kind of closure for the dormant blades, I think that there is a lot of ground to cover about the creation and history of the moonblades. Great material for fiction and gamelore there.
In my campaigns I go with a theory that goes along the lines that the first Moonblades where created around the Arcane Age, when elven sages and High Mages reached the conclusion that the dominance of humans and other races would be an inevitable course, and envisioned what would become in the future, The Retreat.
With that in mind, they created a few moonblades, with the purpose of selecting and directing lineages fit for the throne, amongst the less xenophobic silver elves.
After the first batch, after some event, or as an aftertought, they created a plethora of other moonblades. They where not the original batch, but they would give other families a feel of what it was to feel worthy, and at the same time, they would serve as a smoke screen, misdirectig anyone who could think of foiling their plan of selecting kings through the blades just by stealing "the original moonblades".
With that, I have nine true moonblades, and an undefined number of moonblades.

The Hopeblades I envisioned as repurposed items. To me the moonblades, were created as masterwork items, with strong magics tied to them, and prepared to be used as vessels to the elven souls. Each soul would add salient abilities.
I always worked with the notion that the first soul to go into a moonblade would be of one of the silver elven family involved in the creation of the blade, that would "sacrifice" herself to imbue purpose in the blade.
When a particular blade would go dormant, its souls releaseed, it would be left without the original purpose, that came with it's first soul. It would still be a potent magical item, and one fit to be used as a vessel for great power still.

Anyway, I came up with these bits, based on the little lore I could gather from published books, fiction and stuff taken from the minds of you people here on Candlekeep.
Even with all the setbacks, and with Mrs. Cunningham taking a step back with the knowledge of the hopeblades, I'd really love to see her thoughts materialize into something we could adopt as the new moonblade canon.

Cya

"Misty morning
Clouds in the sky
Without warning
A wizard walks by"
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1408 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  20:02:42  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The moonblades' creation and purpose is mainly found in Evermeet: Island of the Elves and in Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. Its first rune comes from Ethlando, a High Mage and excellent judge of character who had the strongest sense of the blades' mission on finding a King in this new world (and yes, silver elves would be a better choice, then). So, he sacrificed himself to give the swords its first power, which was to judge its would-be owner. The second rune came with each clan's first owner of the blade.

"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 26 May 2016 20:04:55
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30284 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  20:47:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Do we know that the first rune was from Ethlando? It's been a while since I read it, but I don't recall Arilyn's moonblade having a rune from him.

My thinking was that the runes came from the powers invested by actual wielders, and that Ethlando's contribution was the judgement gig and the power for the blade to get new powers.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  21:35:11  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Do we know that the first rune was from Ethlando? It's been a while since I read it, but I don't recall Arilyn's moonblade having a rune from him.

My thinking was that the runes came from the powers invested by actual wielders, and that Ethlando's contribution was the judgement gig and the power for the blade to get new powers.


The first power, to test wielders, was from him... but his soul was not among those that manifested and corresponded to a rune on her blade.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  21:50:03  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

The answer to this is that not every generation is worthy. Every blade spent many generations active but unclaimed, waiting for the next worthy elf in that clan to be born, raised properly, and finally to try claiming the blade if, after centuries of life, he or she - or his or her family think she is ready.



I have a hard time buying into the idea that a moonblade spent only 9 of 40 generations born by a moonfighter. If they were THAT hard to draw, the houses would all be whittled to next to nothing by hopefuls.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1476 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2016 :  23:52:03  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


Simple mathematics. According to Evermeet IoE, the moonblades were created in -9000DR, so that's about 10500 years ago.

Due to the average life span of elves (refer to the table in the complete book of elves) even if every wielder lived to venerable old age (300-350 years) the average blade would have had about 30 wielders.


And never got lost - what's with being an "adventurer's blade" and one of its wielders collecting cobwebs in someone's treasure vaults for generations.

Never mind that these things kill anyone who fails the test, right? I am less than optimistic about Elven decision-making, but as a rule they aren't so completely bug-brained they'd spiral toward lanterns and throw themselves into fire just because it's here.
Yes, yes. I remember that hilarious scene in Myth Drannor... but that was an exception.
Elaith was the only one (we know of) this overeager, and only because he didn't know better. Which did cost him a lot and could well cost more.
Ah, found the link - Elaine already covered this here. But come on, it should be obvious.

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

Edited by - TBeholder on 27 May 2016 00:28:08
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2016 :  03:15:32  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of course that is the obvious answer, but it is, in my estimation altogether insufficient. Arlynn's moonblade was only wielded by 1 elf per MILLENNIUM. That's not just skipping a generation or two.

The count of 9 makes perfect sense if the blade was created by the smiths of "ancient Myth Drannor" as described in FOR5 - roughly 1 thousand years ago. I'm not suggesting a return to that origin, just pointing out the 10000 years is much longer than people seem to be estimating. In the real world that would put it just about as long ago as the last ice age and the extinction of saber-tooth. That is a LONG time guys :P
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1408 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2016 :  04:10:40  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it was never mentioned as one or two generations. After all, the blade would be selecting potential King Arthurs for the elves. Something like a valorous paladin and king, prepared to deal with the People's future in the world to come.

"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 27 May 2016 04:12:04
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Rymac
Learned Scribe

USA
283 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2016 :  05:10:11  Show Profile  Visit Rymac's Homepage Send Rymac a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

After all, the blade would be selecting potential King Arthurs for the elves.


That had never occurred to me, although that's what Moonblades do. Taking that analogy further, perhaps a way to reawaken a Moonblade would be seek a sacred place of power, perhaps with the help of that place's guardian. In the obvious example, a lake and its Lady of the Lake.

- Ryan

Edited by - Rymac on 27 May 2016 05:10:41
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2283 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2016 :  16:08:09  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I figured out how to deal with the moonblades and their "changed purpose." The idea is still a little hazy, but I'm working on it. :)
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1408 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2016 :  16:28:36  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very good, Mrs. Cunningham! Can't wait to see it.

"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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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2016 :  04:06:37  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rymac

quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

After all, the blade would be selecting potential King Arthurs for the elves.


That had never occurred to me, although that's what Moonblades do. Taking that analogy further, perhaps a way to reawaken a Moonblade would be seek a sacred place of power, perhaps with the help of that place's guardian. In the obvious example, a lake and its Lady of the Lake.



I think it should be considered that as a group, the moonblades were selecting a king, but they were not individually seeking a king.

By that I mean, it has been established that some of the moonblades were not potential king swords - their wielders needed different skill sets and many if not most of these were not suited to be rulers.

Here is were the idea of fate works into the mix in my mind. Zoar's sword was the kingsword not just because it worked out that way, but because it was fated to be. Amlaruil knew it immediately. I'd take it a step further that the Seldarine ALWAYS knew it would be.

The leader of the first moon elves in Faerun was Sharlario Moonflower. It could not possibly be seen as a coincidence that the first king that was foretold would be his descendant.

I remember a line from one of the Spider Queen books about what sets gods apart from mortals is the ability to see how things will work out in thousands of years (bad paraphrase, sorry).

Therefore, I submit that the role of moonblades was not so much to select the future king, but, to make those elves who would have resisted that selection see it was the correct one. Even the haughtiest gold elves would have an impossible time disputing 10000 years of tradition and getting 'the people' to listen.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2016 :  05:08:38  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Taking this a step further, it follows that the Seldarine also knew that Zoar would be killed by gold elves who resented his rule. They also knew that one of the moonblades would make this possible.

So the role of the moonblades (from the Seldarine's perspective) was not only to choose the king, but then to kill the king, and in so doing cement the reign of Amlaruil :D.

Its fun to ponder things like that :P Reminds me of the Star Trex TNG Finale "All Good Things" where the cause of the past and present was the actions of the future and vice versa. The ultimate chicken and the egg to ponder :D
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2283 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2016 :  18:21:04  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Masked Mage, these are ideas I have also pondered. Since we share an interest in elven philosophy, would you care to suggest a name for elven sage who expounds upon these matters?
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2016 :  18:56:08  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Masked Mage, these are ideas I have also pondered. Since we share an interest in elven philosophy, would you care to suggest a name for elven sage who expounds upon these matters?




I guess I'd say the patriarchs Yalathanil Symbearn and Ilianaro Durothil from Elves of Evermeet would make interesting choices. Both are ancient and well regarded... Perhaps they have conflicting ideas on the topic that they have been debating for hundreds of years and they rekindle the argument whenever some new event occurs in relation to the topic :P
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30284 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2016 :  20:17:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Masked Mage, these are ideas I have also pondered. Since we share an interest in elven philosophy, would you care to suggest a name for elven sage who expounds upon these matters?




I guess I'd say the patriarchs Yalathanil Symbearn and Ilianaro Durothil from Elves of Evermeet would make interesting choices. Both are ancient and well regarded... Perhaps they have conflicting ideas on the topic that they have been debating for hundreds of years and they rekindle the argument whenever some new event occurs in relation to the topic :P



How about, the original guy's diary turns up, and his wording for the moonblade idea implies that he didn't think gold elves were suitable rulers? It doesn't actually say that, and other passages show the guy was rather egalatarian -- but that one passage could be easily inferred to show prejudice against gold elves. When this is found, any gold elves convinced of their own racial superiority decide that the passage obviously means the deck was stacked against them from the start and thus the whole thing should be chucked aside... Causing a whole mess of political turmoil.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2016 :  21:53:46  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As far as making up original names and characters - I'm terrible at that. Same goes for words that sound like anything other than English, though I do do a killer Swedish Chef impersonation. "De Flim Es OakeyDokey" :)
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BrianDavion
Seeker

71 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2016 :  11:57:10  Show Profile Send BrianDavion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used to know an awesome site for constructing Sindarinn and Qunya elvish names, that unfortunatly seems to have been taken down. no FR doesn't use those languages but handy for creating names that at least SOUNDED right. pity it's gone. :(
By the way, on a seperate tangent, one question that's come to mind from this conversation and I'm curious as to the answer...

How do you intend for us to interpret the historical aspects of the Evermeet novel Elaine, should we view them as "the true events being witnessed" or "the product and writing of Danilo's research, and thus possiably prone to error, misinformation or simply embelishment?

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2283 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2016 :  16:30:42  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BrianDavion

I used to know an awesome site for constructing Sindarinn and Qunya elvish names, that unfortunatly seems to have been taken down. no FR doesn't use those languages but handy for creating names that at least SOUNDED right. pity it's gone. :(
By the way, on a seperate tangent, one question that's come to mind from this conversation and I'm curious as to the answer...

How do you intend for us to interpret the historical aspects of the Evermeet novel Elaine, should we view them as "the true events being witnessed" or "the product and writing of Danilo's research, and thus possiably prone to error, misinformation or simply embelishment?





When EVERMEET was being written, editor Brian Thomsen was very clear that he wanted to maintain "deniability" that would allow for future changes and flexible interpretations of the "facts" in the novel. So yes, I think it's best to regard it as Danilo's work, the product of the best information he could get his hands on. He submitted the manuscript to an elven sage for review, but the ms that became the novel is not an approved and revised version. I would say that he has most of the facts right, but he did not have all the facts. And even if he DID, I maintain that all history is fiction, in that facts are, of necessity, selected to shape a narrative. The narrative Danilo constructed was shaped by two things: His desire to give Arilyn the gift of her family story, and the invasion of Evermeet.

Also, some parts of the book were never intended to be taken as historical fact. Dan and I both considered the section on the gods to be mythology and metaphor, not a literal, factual recitation of what transpired in distant times and other planes of existence.

There are essentially three layers of storytelling happening in this novel. It was an ambitious experiment, one that succeeded in some ways, and fell short in others.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1360 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2016 :  17:21:46  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd say by and large it was a success. How you tied it so nicely to the characters that were already developed and had a good fan base was fantastic. It also touched on many of the important bits of lore that we only had hints at and gave them narrative, which was nice.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3503 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2016 :  17:27:26  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elaine, thank you ever so much for that paragraph. I shall use it as my shield of defence whenever i weave heretical reintetpretations of elven history, particularly regarding evermeet and the moonblades.

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