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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  16:19:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
It occurs to me that Ed has been posting Realmslore on the Twitter, and not everyone has the Twitter.

So I thought a single place where such lore could be collected would be a good thing.

Ed is a frequent poster there, adding all sorts of Stormtalons and Epic Fantasy stuff, but for the purposes of this thread, I'd like to keep it focused on his Realmslore.

(I'm also stickying this thread, to make it easier to find)

Ed Greenwood (@TheEdVerse) on Twitter

The #Realmslore hashtag on Twitter

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Jan 2019 16:23:55

Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  16:21:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll do more, later, but here's the first one I'll share, that I've lifted from the Twitter.

Anyone can share, and we're not going to be particular about the formatting, though keeping the original question and questioner listed would be good, and cleaning up all the extraneous stuff when doing the copy/paste is also good.




On the climate in Thay:

@Madhatterhim
Hey @TheEdVerse, just a quick question, as I've been struggling with sources in finding an answer to whether the nation of Thay is supposed to be a cold or hot country?
It has, or used to have a nearby glazier, but also volcanoes and deserts.


@TheEdVerse
Thay has always been a volcanic country, which up until the Spellplague kept its interior (the Plateau of Thay) lush and fertile (real-world Mediterranean to a little warmer), with the coastal cities climatically akin to Mediterranean due to the moderating effect of the Sea of Fallen Stars. It’s depicted this way in the earliest (2e) Realmslore. In the Spellplague’s tumult, the Plateau soared in height, pushed up amid much volcanic tumult (the glaciers melted, several active volcanos split Thaymount, and ashfalls and the heat and the water boiling off to leave parched badlands and deserts. Ash and smoke still darken the skies over Thay, making the climate cold (summertime frosts, formerly hot winds in the Thayan mountains now icy). [[These climatic effects of large volcanic eruptions happen in our real world, too; see Krakatoa and Tambora.]]
So Thay’s crop exports have shrunk to nigh nothing. Szass Tam’s undead don’t need to eat, and Thay’s outposts (not just trading enclaves, but all the private holdings all over the Heartlands owned by individual Thayans, from Red Wizards to far-traveled Thayan traders) provide food for Thay’s coastal ports, which are still habitable, just not as warm as they were. So the short answer is: Thay’s climate IS a little confusing. The even shorter answer is: it’s complicated. Or: depends on when you’re asking about. And the volcanic tumult is lessening, so Thay may be heading back towards where it was in the 1300s (2e Realmslore), though the Plateau will always be cooler than it once was (unless it sinks back towards sea level) and restoring the fertility of the land may take centuries, if it happens at all. The Red Wizards working together under firm and disciplined leadership could spell-shift a lot of the ash, get rivers flowing again, and so on—but Szass Tam seems uninterested in such an effort. Which would cause fresh climatic tumult as it was happening, too!
So there you have it. :}

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  16:22:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On pre-Time of Troubles fashion in Cormyr:

@jayeedgecliff
Cormyr, especially Waymoot & Suzail, but throughout that realm & its Dales neighbours what might be some fads/fashions among the younger human & demihuman denizens pre-time of troubles?
I mean if it were Waterdeep I could assume things like the wealthy kids /


@TheEdVerse
I LOVE these sort of Realmslore questions. So, here are the fads and fashions of the teens in that area at that time (where the “home” Realms campaign is still happily situated):

Item The First: Spreading from Sembia, the practise of wearing half-cloaks of flame-orange and similar flamboyant, eye-catching hues (and trims). These are off-one-shoulder, diagonally-cut pleated cloaks that descend from the shoulder they’re covering to the opposite waist or hip. Worn with lots of sudden turns, mincing dance steps, and thrust-out-hip poses to make them swirl. Entirely useless, very expensive, and irritating to older generations who regard their wear as playacting, “putting on noble airs” when you’re not noble, or “acting the fool, and someone else’s silly idea of nobility to boot” if you are noble. So, a fad that has stuck around for a few years. Signals the wearer’s attitude to all.

Item The Second: Spreading from Marsember: smoking (always with long, slender, ornamented/sculpted into fantastic beast-shapes or other designs cigarette holders, called “longdraws” or just “draws” in the Realms) cigarettes (called “rolldragons”) that are stuffed with perfume-sprinkled herbs. NOT hallucinatory drugs, just local cooking herbs like dried dill and powdered chives, but sprinkled with lavender-water and rose-water and other scented tinctures to change the taste and smell of the smoke. Essence of cherries a favourite. Older generations regard both the use of the longdraws and the use of the scent as effeminate, nonsensical “trying to act like nobles but succeeding only in acting as ridiculous idiots” behaviour.

Item The Third: Spreading from Suzail, the practise of trying to talk like an imaginary, exaggerated version of courtiers or nobles or royalty, with wild overblown phrases and flowery turns of speech and seventy-gold-piece words, usually with bowing and airy hand gestures and with purring or fluting or drawling delivery. Examples: “W-w-w-w-well I DO decl-AY-AH, ’pon my soul, upon my Watching-Gods-smiled-upon-SOUL!” and “Would it ’twere truly time for a fitting epithalamium, and not mere refreshment!” and “A snool and ranivorous luggard, to be sure!” and “His nigh-constant absquatulations leave me with crapulence, to say nothing—NOTHING!—of deepening borborygms!”

Item The Fourth: This comes from the Dales, and is just beginning: the collecting of mummified worms and leeches and slugs, posed on flat stones or fragments of wood or bark in little dioramas, often lampooning older members of society. These are traded, displayed on shelves and mantelpieces, giggle over, and the best ones are copied, often with exaggerated adornments and poses.
Older generations in these regions regard all of this as frivolous idiocy that often crosses the line into insolence. ’Twas ever thus.#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  16:25:12  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(This was one I asked, so I didn't format it the same as the others, when I saved it)

On birthdays:

@TheEdVerse
Among most, they're "morn days" (short for "firstmorn" or first morning, despite most folks being born later in a day), and are spoken of as "tenth of [month]" or "sixteenth of [month]" as mention of tendays declines. Note that the twenty-sixth of a month would be "score-and-six"

Local lords and nobles throw feasts for their servants/households on their birthdays, and "regular folk" throw small dinners for kin and friends (if on good terms). Guilds and trading cabals usually hold private dinners for members who've "done good" for the organization that year

A pleasure! Always happy to talk Realmslore. BTW: 1300s into 1400s, feasts have large shared platters, but diners get small pies (fat, oversized tarts) of both sweet (fruits) and savory (meats w/gravy) sorts, to take home to elderly, infirm, and children who couldn't attend.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  16:55:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Old Gnawbone, and a riddle for a green dragon:


@dinosaur1945
do you have a great riddle that fit a great green dragon ? :)


@TheEdVerse
Okay, here we go.
The key thing about Old Gnawbone is that she loves the company of humans; the bustle of city life, the energy, the strivings, the intrigues. She likes befriending them, establishing alliances and ties, using her human gang to manipulate events and make money (that she doesn’t really care about; she has more wealth than she’ll ever need and doesn’t mind losing or spending it; for her coins are like poker chips, proving her ongoing victories (besting others). She likes helping the lowly and needy, and tearing down those in power (like nobles, the Brokengulfs of Waterdeep being one example). She both fears and likes adventurers, following them like an avid sports fan, and refraining from swindling them where she wouldn’t hesitate taking advantage of a noble or rich Waterdhavian merchant or guildmaster. She ALWAYS thinks about her relationships with humans, before all else, and how what she does/what’s about to happen will affect them. I don’t mean she wants to be loved or needs approval, I mean she will act and speak in order to make particular humans trust her more, fear her more, shun her more, want to work with her more, or whatever she’s after (in other words, as DM, use what you know of your players personally to manipulate them).

Claugiyliamatar can be polite, friendly, even flirtatious or fawning, and will never show fear (and in truth, after all these years, feels little; she hates pain and doesn’t want to die horribly, but beyond that, she’s almost ‘so what’ regarding her own fate).

Similarly, she banks her rage rather than letting it boil over and master her, and is more apt to be amused when a human tricks or swindles her rather than lose her temper. But she will remember, and WILL get even.

Her favourite phrases include “I see, and we shall see” and “I wonder...” and “Have you now?/Do you now?/Will you now?” and “I am always interested in the ‘why.’ Do tell.”

And as for a riddle, try this one for a green dragon:
Harder to catch the harder you run
Yours but air, mine like deadly potion
In your last memory I’ll yet be green
In forests the scales of my kin are most often seen

(Hope this is of help! Have a great game!)
#Realmslore


@drow_sorcerer
Does she come in human guise?


@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes, often. She wants to be "one of us," "us" being the badass human women she observes forging their own lives in Waterdeep, mastering its intrigues and winning respect and influence. Not that she wants to stop being a dragon, but human society fascinates her.

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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  17:13:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On gnomes in Cormyr:

@Lodewijk_Boute
Greetings, Magister! Could I bother you with some Realmslore question? Starting a game set in Cormyr, post ToD, and would like to play a Gnome Wiz or Sor. Are there Gnomes in Cormyr? If so, where would one find them and how are they seen by the Cormyreans? Many thanks


@TheEdVerse
There are many in the three large cities, and a scattering in small centers. Cobblers, crafters, repairers (especially of plumbing and roofs). Well-respected locally, keep low profiles. They and halflings vie for the warehouse load-label-and-fetch jobs, too.


@Lodewijk_Boute
Very helpful! I will pick Suzail as “home” and probably go for a Rock Gnome Tinkerer. Thank you very much and my best wishes for 2019!


@TheEdVerse
You're very welcome! In Suzail, you can ALWAYS get work replacing roof slates and tiles, and repairing/making new casks (the hoops, especially) and crates (the metal corner reinforcements). On the tinkering side, wealthy citizens (nobles and wannabes) eagerly sponsor new "little" inventions like clockwork toasting forks and oven trowels (that thrust bread loaves, pies, and the like into and out of hot ovens), lights that pull-cord on when a stair tread is depressed by a foot, and so on. Your Rock Gnome could have a VERY profitable day job. ;}

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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  17:16:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdhavian wildlife:

@enjidee
Is there any interesting wildlife that makes its home in waterdeep? something a druid or ranger might like to befriend (animal messenger/beastmaster companion/speak with animals)
ţ

@TheEdVerse
Like any temperate Sword Coast ocean port, Waterdeep has its share of gulls and rockdoves (pigeons), but except in the outermost harbor, they’re surprisingly scarce, due to the following predators: rats (which infest Dock Ward, the harbor part of Castle Ward, and Field Ward, and in lesser numbers can be found all over the city); a handful of hardened tressym (the descendants of escaped nobles’ pets) that have “gone wild” to dwell on city rooftops, gargoyles, and chimney-angles; owls and fishhawks (osprey-like harriers that also eat rats, mice, and birds); voles; bats (Waterdeep has several small, omnivorous varieties); a handful of “tree cats”(squirrels), which have almost died out in the Deep; and perhaps of most interest to druids and rangers, the “veller” (formally velorn). This is an intelligent, alert, curious, adept-at-climbing, prehensile-tailed, gray-furred four-legged raccoon-or-monkey-eco-niche-equivalent opportunistic omnivore (eating mainly human food scraps and waste, but also birds’ eggs) creature for which (with the addition of climbing even wet and/or vertical walls at 20 ft.) the Weasel stats in the MONSTER MANUAL can be used. It’s native to the Sword Coast North from Amn north to the Spine of the World, and east to Anauroch and Tunland. Hope this is of help!
#Realmslore

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Posted - 09 Jan 2019 :  17:21:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On joining Waterdeep's Guard or Watch:


@benmorrier
How would a character go about joining the Waterdeep City Watch? How about the City Guard? Question from the DH FB group. Thanks.


@TheEdVerse
There are many different “roads in,” but showing up and expressing interest is the long one, involving training and covert honesty tests during off-duty time. The Guard takes trainee recruits who start OUTSIDE the city, on road patrols (alongside trusted Guard veterans), and then graduate to “wall watch” sentinel duty, then to guardpost garrison duty in the towers along the city wall. The Watch prefers to spy on citizens and then privately recruit individuals who impress them. Neither organization likes to take on outlanders; they prefer longtime Waterdhavians. They don’t mind taking in adventurers, but senior officers in both services (the Guard especially) are VERY suspicious of the motives and long-term loyalties of adventurers, and even long-serving members who were adventurers before joining up get spied upon, diligently. By small, shadowy groups of James Bond- or Cormyrean-Highknight-like groups of undercover agents who are in turn watched (including prying into their minds, magically) by the Blackstaff. The city is rarely desperate for recruits, as they’ve had robust training programs for centuries, so they’ll be in no hurry to induct someone who seems eager to join. The BEST way into either service is to, as a private individual, aid the city’s safety and security (i.e. render help to either or both the Guard or Watch without expectation of or request for reward or pay) in a manner that impresses Guard or Watch veterans. Trying to join has been an ongoing theme in the “home” Realms campaign from the Company of Crazed Venturers days onwards, so this is something I’ve roleplayed time and again. In the days of Piergeiron, Madeiron Sunderstone ran his own private group of spies, informants, and paid-by-the-city adventurers acting as an internal police/watchdog on the Guard, the Watch, and all known adventuring bands present in the city; the chief concern was and is “outland interests” (and Waterdeep’s own nobles!) worming agents into positions of power within Waterdeep, by infiltrating the Guard and the Watch, not just aiming for an invasion or takeover, but to help guilds or outside sinister smuggling/thieving/ organized crime organizations operate more easily within the city (thanks to Guard and/or Watch collusion). As Mirt once said, “Corruption is never dead. You have to beat it down with a stick, all too often. Twice a tenday, at least.”

Hope all of this is of help. I recall a fun chat with Terry Pratchett at the last Toronto Worldcon where he and I talked through the fun and ins and outs of doing a “Guards! Guards!” type of D&D campaign in Waterdeep, with its Watch, instead of Sam Vines and Carrot and their crew in Ankh-Morpork. Wish Terry was still here to chat with again…
#Realmslore

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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:26:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdeep's Dragonward (the original question included a screencap of text about Jalanvaloss):


@newbiedm
hi! How does somethig like this coexist with the Dragonward over Waterdeep? This dragon was touched by the staff?


@TheEdVerse
The Dragonward (like most powerful wards/fields/guards) is a localized persistent alteration in the Weave (whereas the area of effect of a spell going off is a short-term one). Given time to study the Weave, for those who have the Art (talent to sense, understand, and wield magic) and inclination to do so, any being with sufficient smarts, power, and opportunity for self-alteration (and bear in mind that experimentations in this regard are perilous!) can "attune" themselves (modify their minds and bodies in the necessary ways) to enter a ward that would otherwise prohibit them, exist within it, and avoid some or all of its effects. Weavemasters (like El and Khelben and the Seven) can do this, Mystra's touch and will, and artifacts like the Blackstaff can do it for anyone in contact with it, and several dragons have managed it, down the years (there are others mentioned in the Wyrms of the North series and other Realmslore; quite a few gold dragons and weredragons/song dragons have dwelt in Waterdeep or visited it for extended periods. Yet the Ward isn't futile; a "flight of dragons" or strike force of attacking wyrms can hardly have the time to stop, examine, and experiment with self-alterations so as to overfly, dive into, or land in Waterdeep. Make sense?


@ZeromaruX
How about other, smaller draconic creatures, such as dragonborn or kobolds? Are they affected by the Dragonward?


@TheEdVerse
No, the dragonward is "set" to ward away large draconic life-force nodes. So it would work against a sorely-wounded, dying dragon of any size and age...but would "let in" a dracolich. (!)
Khelben cast supplementary spells, anchored to Blackstaff Tower, to ward off dracoliches and other large and powerful undead, but it remains to be seen if those spells survived his demise, or if they have started to fail since.#Realmslore

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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:27:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdeep's Blue Alley:


@benmorrier
Why does Waterdeep tolerate Blue Alley over 150 years after its creation? Has the City made it safer/ harder to find (as not to needlessly harm kids and commoners)?


@TheEdVerse
The Blue Alley survives because the Watchful Order convinced Open Lord Piergeiron of its usefulness, for reasons the Open Lords since then agree with. These reasons are twofold: 1) it can be used to trap and eliminate, harm, or humble unwanted marauders in the city (visiting or otherwise), and 2) [and this second reason is hardly apparent in the various published mentions of the Blue Alley] it provides “complete healing” for those who dare to try to reach them, by a mechanism deemed too useful by the Order to eliminate, and potentially too dangerous to dismantle: the Alley includes Weave “feedback” areas; small spots in the dungeon visible only as they’re functioning: they glow an eerie blue (we modern real-worlders might say “electric blue”) as they completely heal, regenerate, and restore PCs who enter them or “touch” (impinge upon) any part of them. In other words, the Blue Alley isn’t just a deadly thrill run of waltzing undead and strange conjured images, it can be a ‘bring-the-coinless back from ashes or maimed death to full life’ boon for normal folk who dare to use it for friends, kin, or loved ones. The full Blue Alley has never been published, and sometimes underlying reasons for things, or how they fit into a society or “how things work locally” gets lost that way. To provide another example: Censored out of the published Realms from the outset is a disrespectful peeing statue in Selgaunt of a long-ago would-be local dictator. Although the man’s wealthy descendants are still powerful in the city, the statue remains intact and standing because the enchantments on it purify the pumped seawater it emits, into drinkable fresh water that now gets piped throughout the city. Unlike this statue, the Blue Alley partly survives in print, but with an important reason for why its existence is still tolerated lost. (Heh. This is why I’m still answering Realmslore questions, after fifty-some years.)
And my original Blue Alley IS hard to find; its entrance is completely cloaked by a “solid, dirty city building wall” illusion, and a hired street person lounges watching who approaches. Anyone can walk right into it, IF they can find it.

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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:29:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On regions with year-round snow:


@LouAnders
How far north do you need to be on the Sword Coast to where it is snowy year round? We started SKT in spring but I want to use some winter terrain. Icewind Dale? Citadel Felbarr?

@TheEdVerse
It varies over the decades, but the Spine Of The World range marks the “always-snow” line at the coast, then (as one heads east) the northernmost third or so of the Glimmerwood, then the Ice Mountains, and then there’s permanent “ice rime” (would be snow if there was enough moisture) slightly south of that across Anauroch, where the wind chill of constant unimpeded howling winds cools things. Then east, into the Moonsea North, the line runs east-west through Whitehorn (hence its name) east of the Border Forest. So, yes, Icewind Dale is in year-round snow, but Citadel Felbarr is JUST south of “always snow.”


@LouAnders
Ed thank you so much for this. For some reason I missed your reply yesterday but this is extremely helpful. @EHeathRobinson and I are planning on making some snowy terrain just for Storm King's Thunder and I want to be lore-accurate as to when I roll it out! Thank you!


@TheEdVerse
A pleasure! Always happy to talk Realmslore!
BTW: in the interior of the Sword Coast North, fallen snow will linger long into the spring in areas that don't get full sun for very long in a day (the "shady lee" forests, peaks, etc.). Travelers in the Silver Marches are used to it.


@LouAnders
Good to know. We are leaving Triboar heading to Yartar and eventually Citadel Felbarr. Probably the second week of Ches. Think the spring equinox is maybe three days away.


@TheEdVerse
Beware sudden whiteout snow squalls on the eastern leg of that journey. ;}

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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:31:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Citadel of the Bloody Hand:


@JasonDGraham_
I’m a pretty frustrated to be honest. I’ve been waiting for EVER to have the area above the falling stairs mapped out and see how it connects to the castle #128533;
7:38 PM - 11 Nov 2018

@TheEdVerse
Here's a quick tease: think of an old-fashioned D&D geomorph map (filling every bit of a graph grid with passages, rooms, closets, etc.). That's the trap-filled entrance to the citadel, which is inside Mount Waterdeep, and was designed as a stronghold whose defenders can retreat room-by-room, taking a maximum toll on intruders (so rooms and passages have firing-ports, portculli, angles to fire around, narrow spots easily barricaded, and spring-fire traps (multiple javelins, crossbow bolts). Very little storage beyond money vault and armory and food-and-water caches, because the Bloody Hand used cellars and attics in Waterdeep for warehousing wares/contraband/etc. Carved out of the bedrock of Mount Waterdeep, with secret doors into the "military" tunnels linking the Castle with the griffon air cavalry base (and "flight deck" caverns) high up on the mountain. As these tunnels were hewn through some rather rugged folded striations of rock, concealing the secret door seams wasn't too hard. (There, enough to start with. :}) #Realmslore

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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:32:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Zundkeep:


@mineirodabahia
Well, now it’s almost finished! Thank you so much for the directions! Also, we are working on a Homebrew adventure there, could you give us any ideas of intrigues and rumors?


@TheEdVerse
Circa 1280 DR, the wizard Zund used a stone golem to build Zundbridge, and many folk down the years have searched for the golem, many clinging to the belief that it’s buried in the height crowned by Zundkeep (or even hidden under the courtyard of the castle itself). A few even believe it stands ready to this day, upright and inside a bridge pier (it will free itself by shoving one of the bridge slabs above it upwards, when commanded).
Unfortunately for would-be golem owners, the golem (with its commander, Zund) are long gone. However, the many searches over the years have resulted in little abandoned dug pits here, there, and everywhere on the riverbanks and the slopes below the keep—and that softened, disturbed soil has been tunneled into by badgers, ettercaps, and a vast menagerie of small furry foragers and predators. Sightings of which have in turn led to many local rumors that there’s a “monsterkeeper” resident in a concealed cave nearby: a crazed human hermit who breeds monsters for companionship and as guardians, to keep folk away from him. This rumor was false, but became true in recent years: a hermit living wild found his snares in this area nigh always full, and moved here to take advantage of the ready meat food supply. Digging out a cave large enough to keep the rain off him in summer (in winter, he walked to Waterdeep to live wild there, as the heat given off by various city activities, or digging into the dung-heaps outside most stables, and sleeping within them, is enough to keep him from freezing to death), he broke through into a small underground tomb-complex, which is now his home and where he breeds fungi and small furry critters (predominantly the human-hand-sized Greater Vole) for food. Some voles escape, and their scurryings lure wild predators to the vicinity. Which in turn has given rise to rumors of Zundbridge having a resident deepspawn; a gate or planar rift linking with a teeming-with-wildlife-because-uninhabited-by-humans-or-goblinkin world or plane; a wild magic area that sharply increases fertility, or a crazed resident druid who frequently uses magic to make one critter into three or four.
Smugglers made heavy use of Zundkeep as a sheltered-from-the-elements goods-drop in the days before Waterdeep took an interest in garrisoning it, and they persist in trying to do so even now, hoping that the presence of the Deep’s soldiers and patrols will keep safe what goods they can hide near or in the castle. Several stones on the outside keep wall on the side away from the river were levered and clawed enough out of position to create a small cavity behind them, the gap being “mended” with rocks gathered from the wilderland hills around, and in this small space sacks of coins and trade-bars and the like are often left—or cryptic coded messages directing those “in the know” to where, nearby, goods are cached.
Many outlaw bands use Zundkeep as a landmark without ever approaching it, and one of these bands (the Brown Gauntlet) includes a mage who casts dancing lights and similar spells to illuminate the heights of the keep with different hues and patterns of light as night-signals to allied outlaws, fences (buyers of stolen goods), and trading contacts.
This has in turn led certain folk ignorant of the presence of outlaws locally to believe Zundkeep is either haunted, or alive with fey magic, or is even built over a tomb crammed with powerful magic from which magical emanations are “seeping out.” Some of these folk have even mounted expeditions to try to circumvent the Waterdhavian armsmen and try to find and break into this fabled tomb.
Which is likely not under the keep itself, but surprisingly, isn’t mythical, either; according to Elminster (and, long ago, Khelben ‘Blackstaff’ Arunsun, too), there IS a long-hidden underground tomb somewhere near Zundbridge, or at least its entrance (a spell-hidden “door” or gate leading to the actual tomb, elsewhere), where there is powerful magic: a Netherese artificer lies buried with his restless, magically-powerful, and in many cases zany magic items.
Another of these outlaw bands active in the Zundbridge area is Zarafear’s Bright Dagger, and Zarafear, a spitfire of a woman who dwells in North Ward in Waterdeep and enriches herself in part due to the smuggling and thieving of her Bright Dagger (whose members use her city home as a “safe house” to hide in, and healing refuge when wounded), is pursuing a plan to work with certain ambitious doppelgangers to replace and impersonate Zundkeep’s handful of permanent garrison soldiers (as opposed to the patrolling majority), so as to be able to have Zundkeep double as contraband storage and a remount stable (fresh horses) for the Bright Dagger, while retaining its role for the city of Waterdeep. On the face of it, it would seem impractical folly to think the soldiery wouldn’t notice something amiss, but the doppelgangers have subtle plans involving impersonating Watch officers and muttering about “secret agents of the Palace,” and involving the assistance of some unscrupulous wizards to work illusions and other spells, to make it all work.
And then there’s a lurking goblin adventuring band who hunt human peddlers and the like in the vicinity of Zundkeep, and have their own designs regarding extending some existing subterranean goblin “halls” (modest tunnels with rooms opening off them here and there) to reach Zundkeep’s dungeons, or at least to come up under the castle within its ring-walls, so as to be able to plunder the keep at will—and storm it if need be. The goblins have their own wild plans for conquering the keep and making the fortress their own, scaring away humans attempting to retake it with the use of tethered undead beholders (of which they have two, discovered in an underground cavern and netted there for future deployment).
In other words, there are all sorts of conflicting intrigues and rumors quietly swirling about Zundkeep; it’s up to you which are true, and which will develop into more than talk.
Hope all of this is of help.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:34:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On games in the Realms:


@Suul75
hello! a friend of mine was asking for examples of games played in the Realm and even though i have read multiple novels and source books, i came up blank. help, plz?

@TheEdVerse
Many games have been mentioned in Realmslore, from the original Realms boxed set to complete rules for some in a Volo's Guide to a listing in Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog, to many novel references. There's a Candlekeep thread that lists a lot of them ("Games of Skill/Strategy in the realms"ť).
Off the top of my head, we have "play games"ť like jacks, shove-skittles, tag, Toss the Dagger, the Xorvintaal game played by dragons for social standing by accumulating points derived from real-world accomplishments (Whispers of Venom by Richard Lee Byers, and references in Erin Evans' novels).
There are also dice (gambling) games like thabort and Traitors' Heads.
There are a few trackboard-and-dice games like shirestone (played by halflings) and Wheel-of-Spells (Cormyr: A Novel), High Dragon, Smashcastle, Strikedragon/Battles, Swords, Swords and Shields, and Wandsiir. As well as card games that use the 70-card/4 suits/no royal cards Talis deck (whist, poker, talison, elemental empires [see The Wyvern's Spur novel], and old wizard.
Then there are the board games, from the familiar to us of Earth draughts/checkers, chess/lanceboard, and go (both referenced in the Red Knight entry in 2e Powers & Pantheons), to: sava (a chess-like drow boardgame with many complex side options), chethlachance, fiveknights, lancers and lions, and more. I even snuck a reference to the Lords of Waterdeep boardgame into DEATH MASKS. And then there are card "teaching games" (nobles' Who'sRelatedToWho).

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:36:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Dagult Neverember:


@MurderHGames
Do we know what year Neverember took over as Open Lord of Waterdeep or how he initially came to his wealth?
I see him like the bootleggers, working his way up through adventuring and/or illicit enterprises, then trying to retroactively declare himself old wealth...
ţ

@TheEdVerse
See https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Dagult_Neverember ... for the best quick overview of all lore references to Dagult Neverember (4e stats for him: p88 of the Neverwinter Campaign Setting). I think your view of his rise and “image makeover” is spot-on. He grew up in Neverwinter, and was Open Lord of Waterdeep from 1479 DR (if lore notes passed to me by other sages of the Realms are correct), until 1489 DR.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  01:36:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On gnome paladins of Garl Glittergold:


@themightytink
I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Your wisdom is appreciated. Do you have any information on a knightly order of gnome paladins of Garl Glittergold? Any of its leaders/members around Waterdeep for the “dragon heist”? Please and thank you for your time.


@TheEdVerse
Hi. My Christmas was quiet but very pleasant. And I got a LOT of writing and game design done. :}
There IS a (very small, because it’s never been very large and it takes a lot of casualties) knightly order of gnome paladins of Garl Glittergold, called the Golden Watchful (“Goldshields,” colloquially, or “Goldguts,” disparagingly). In the latter 1400s, it’s a mere handful of scattered, self-reliant paladins who work with Glitterbrights (Garl’s clerics) wherever they encounter them, and there ARE Glitterbrights in Waterdeep, so it’s more than likely there’d be one or two Watchful, too—and Waterdeep has always been a good place for them to recruit new nenbers, from restless young gnomes who don’t want lives of endless hard craftwork, shopkeeping, or domestic service that they see their parents engaging in (and that they of course assist in). I’ve found a few pages of my old, old faint 1970s lore notes of the Company of Crazed Venturers, and an elderly spitfire of a female gnome paladin of the Golden Watchful is recorded therein as living in North Ward and drinking at A Maiden’s Tears (tavern). Her name is Belarra “Hardknee” Hartulneeth. She’d make a good den mother and tutor of young paladins.
Hope this is of help.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  13:21:11  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you Wooly. You even led off with the entry that most interests me (regarding current state of weather/climate/land in Thay itself)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
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Posted - 10 Jan 2019 :  18:09:44  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for this compilation, Wooly. There a lot of tweets that are not laveled with the #Realmslore tag. I will help you to locate the ones I remember. Beginning with this one. Last year I asked Ed a few questions about Jalanvaloss. So, here I share them:

@ZeromaruX:
I have a few questions about Jalanvaloss.

Is she one of the current Masked Lords? Has she been one in the past? What is her opinion about the current status of the city? (seeing that she considers Waterdeep as her hoard, basically)

Seeing that she considered Khelben her rival, I'm also interested in her opinion about the current Blackstaff, Vajra.

And last, what is her opinion about dragonborn? I know metallic dragons are particular about this topic.
Oh, and before I forget it, is Volo still dating with her? Has he ever discovered Jalanvaloss true nature? If yes, what he thinks about it?

@TheEdVerse:

Jalanvaloss has never been a Masked Lord, or wanted to (to her, that's WORK; yuk!). Like most humans, she generally thinks (grumble, grumble) that the city is getting worse...but is wiser than most humans in knowing that she loves Waterdeep for its very variety, resilience, and everchanging nature, so she wants to leave it alone to develop in its own way as much as possible, NOT try to steer it.

She thought Khelben was far too "control freak" (control for its own sake), but likes Vajra, in part because she sees Vajra as a far more empathic, nurturing individual, and in part because she sees Vajra as far less powerful and accomplished than Khelben, so less of a threat/less dominating (especially with Laeral on the scene, Elminster buzzing about, etc.). And she views dragonborn as a bad idea, but now that they're not just here in the world but more and more numerous, let's see what use can be made of them (i.e. we're stuck with them, so can they be made our/dragons' slaves, or manipulated into furthering our aims/schemes?).

Which brings us to Volo. Who has, yes, discovered her true nature because certain of the Chosen told him (circa the events of SPELLSTORM the novel, so before Laeral came to the Deep). Which caused Volo some consternation, so he "dropped out of sight"/stopped seeing her to Jalanvaloss's relief, so she said and did nothing hostile/vindictive as a result.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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AJA
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Posted - 12 Jan 2019 :  23:20:11  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote


TORSH
(note: located between the Chondalwood and Firesteap Mountains, east of Innarlith)


Torsh (“Torsch” in older records; which spelling is most popular has shifted over time) is named for an adventurer who built a keep there beside the trade road in the 1200s DR, and retired and died there. A caravan-supply town (wheelwrights, wagon makers, blacksmiths, farriers, coopers, carpenters, water suppliers, remount stables and farms to supply draft beasts and riding horses and mules, then warehouses) slowly grew around the simple stone tower and palisaded paddock, because it was a secure refuge against raiding human brigands and wemics. In the late 1200s DR, local wemic tribes fiercely resented human “invasions” (traffic along the eastern trade road along the northern edge of the Shaar), and repeatedly raided caravans and mule-trains. After several adventuring bands got tricked (by Torschans spreading false rumors about the local wemics having chests and chests full of gems looted from earlier human victims) into eradicating the wemics, Torsch started to grow quickly; it soon became a fortified town, and then a city. Increasingly heavy brigand raids made city walls a must, though Torsch developed a habit of growing so quickly that new, longer walls had to be rebuilt repeatedly to enclose ever-larger areas (often causing building collapses, where buildings had been hastily erected that used a section of city wall for side-support).

From its earliest days until now, Torsch has had something of a “rough and ready” frontier feel to it; it’s full of outfitters’ shops selling and repairing useful stuff like ropes, barrels, chests, shields and helms, crossbows, carts, replacement wheels and axles for wagons, chains, and the like. It’s also always had a bazaar (the “Stroll”) full of small shops and awning-cloaked stalls full of secondhand goods, stolen and looted items, and warehouse overstock wares from all over traderoad-served Faerűn (gowns from Mulhorand, wooden yokes and bowls and dippers from rural Aglarond, jeweled daggers from the Tashalar). Torsch has also, due to its “under frequent attack” nature, always been well-stocked with weapons (javelins, and crossbows and bolts for them being local staples) and with preserved foods (fiery vegetables jarred in oil). It remains a dusty place of hasty, much-patched architecture, with few buildings rising even three floors above the street, with stone, mud brick, and tiles for roofs dominating; though sheltered by the mountains and woods, Torsch experiences a milder version of the typical Shaaran “baking hot days, icy cold nights” extremes, so awnings that shade roofs, windows, and doorways are commonplace, and buildings tend to have thick mud-brick interior walls to help cut crossdrafts and insulate for warmth a few inner rooms (when it’s hot, move outside or to the outer rooms, used daily for storage; when cold, move to the heart of the home). Torsch caters to travelers; there are many overnight and longer-term accommodations, there are half a dozen private mule-pump-filled, gravity-emptied water towers for bulk watering of beasts and caravan wagon-tanks, and there are potion-sellers, healers, shrines to almost all surface-Realms deities (though no large temples to anyone), and quite a few locals who carry on many business sidelines to try to collectively provide almost all the goods and services one might find in much larger centers, like Waterdeep. “We can house and feed an army with ease” is a longstanding local saying.

Torsch is sometimes called “Hawksroost” because its founder, Aland Torsch of Tethyr, called himself ‘the Hawk’ and was head of the Hawktalon adventuring band. Torschans sometimes refer to him as “Lord Hawktalon,” though that wasn’t a name he ever bore in life, and the Lord’s Citadel is nicknamed Hawktalon Towers, and stands on Hawktalon Square. Torsch is ruled by the Lord of Torsch, who is a glorified magister (judge), Watch-chief, and war leader. Formerly held by a series of “seize by force and murder” cutthroats, the post has now settled into a stable model: it’s held by veteran, aging adventurers (right now, the LN Tashalan hf Ftr14 Alaermrue Hathantle) who are the speaker and front for an “advisory” Hawk Council of seven local merchants, who in reality, behind closed doors, tell the Lord what to do (female Lords are still styled “Lord”). The local merchants on the Council are all very wealthy semi-retired (from adventuring) individuals who are now into smuggling and property ownership and shipping and warehousing; three are rogues, and the other four are archwizards who have the magical might to compel almost anyone, though they keep this as secret as possible (and most of Torsch has no idea they can do anything more than hire wizards to cast spells for them when need be, or as bodyguards). They are well aware of the “deepest secret” of their city (see hereafter) and of the many spies that factions and cabals and various organizations, aboveboard and shady, maintain and send into “crossroads” Torsch. (Which, under their guidance, is becoming an ever-more-popular banking and moneylending center.) The Lord of Torsch commands a standing army of two hundred Swords of Torsch (well-trained and -equipped soldiers, all proficient lancers and horse archers, who run frequent but deliberately irregular-in-schedule mounted patrols along the trade-road and into the foothills and woods to deter brigands from operating or living close to the city). As well as the Swords, who provide gate-guard and “heavy response” (SWAT team-like) duty, Torsch is policed by the Eyes and the Stalwart. The Eyes are paid spies and informants whose identities are kept very secret, and the Stalwart are the local Watch (police); both services are very well trained and competent. As a result, Torsch can be noisy and even rowdy on occasion, but street thuggery and thievery in any city inn, tavern, or eatery, are nigh-unknown; dishonest Torschans prefer financial swindles (which the Stalwart seem to ignore, though the Eyes and the Lord’s secret bands of adventurers, who operate outside the Lord’s Laws, do not) to do anything that will result in the Lord’s justice (usually incarceration and flogging, then forfeitures of goods and fines, then exile).

The best-known inns in Torsch are Catanthra’s House, just inside Westarch, the western city gate (Excellent/Expensive; quiet, clean, run by women and a family-friendly place that offers full laundry and seamstress and waterclock-round in-room dining); the Oebleirult (Excellent/Expensive; most luxurious, expensive, and haughty of all city establishments, and host to endless evening feasts, revels, and weddings; in the heart of the city, facing the Lord’s Citadel across the central Hawktalon Square); the Hawktalon Inn (Good/Expensive, a ‘cheerful’ place known for discretion and odd sights and behaviours; located on the north side of the street a block east of the Square, along the central Way of the Hawk street that crosses Torsch from gate to gate), and The Azandavur (Good/Cheap, and so, usually noisy and crowded and full of all races and ages; its chief amenities are bathing facilities and barbering and laundry), just inside Eastarch, the eastern city gate. No major inns are near Southarch, the southern city gate, because it opens into extensive livestock paddocks, for local stabling and slaughtering and for visiting caravans (or caravans being assembled in Torsch), and tends to be a very strong-smelling neighborhood. (There is no northern city gate; Torsch has only three gates.) Torsch also offers a dozen smaller, lesser-known, cheaper, but generally poorer inns, catering to every sort of traveler.

Torsch is also home to nigh thirty taverns, which tend to come and go and be dimly-lit, none-too-clean places of stout furniture, fragile clay crockery to cut down on maimings, with open taprooms with rental meeting-rooms on the floor above. They have names like Jerith’s and Klauntur’s and Velesker’s, and strive to attract patrons with often-changed themes and cutthroat prices, which results in a lot of folk drinking themselves into slumbers or stupors. Among these taverns are five fixtures: superior taverns of better lighting, cleanliness, stability (they survive from decade to decade, changing little), internal policing, and so, patron safety and behavior. One stands across the road from all of the best-known inns, except for the two nearest the Oebleirult, which front on the Hawktalon Square across from each other. At Westarch: Gadelvur’s Griffonroost (large gilded roosting griffon statue above the front doors, and many dwarves, gnomes, and halfling staff and clientele; Gadelvur is a now-truly-elderly retired dwarf adventurer). At Eastarch: The Fair Sunrise (gowned wait-staff, Mulhorandi and Untherian décor and garb and furnishings). Across from the Hawktalon Inn: The Dancing Drowned Dwarf (house of minstrel performances, gambling and friendly game playing and tale-telling, different rooms having different themes and levels of acceptable noise and ribaldry; the “adventurers’ tavern”). Hawktalon Square: Malaharko’s (a quiet, dimly-lit establishment where business meetings are held in quiet rentable rooms, food is served, and all rowdiness and music is strongly discouraged) and Tantur Valluth’s (the closest thing to a brightly-lit “family restaurant that seats hundreds in a vast, many-pillared dining room” that Torsch offers).

Torsch entirely lacks parks, fountains or statues, and scenic attractions; it’s a city of workers and travelers passing through. One landmark is the Cauldron, a large bowl-shaped depression (open space) where rainwater collects and six streets meet, by day a market where live fowl in cages are sold for that day’s eating, halfway between the Way of the Hawk and Southarch. Another is Anvil Square, in northeastern Torsch, where three competing smithies face each other across an open space where vendors sell used tools and mongery from their wagons.

Oh, yes, city secrets… All the money-related activities that go on mean a LOT of double-crossing cabals, invested fortunes, and hidden valuables (an all-too-apt-to-become-true local jest is that so many vaults are being hollowed out under Torsch without anyone being told that one day the entire city will drop the height of two men or so, and settle there amid much dust…and screaming). And then there’s Torsch’s deepest secret. Word is slowly spreading among the Harpers, the Emerald Enclave, and the Zhentarim of this deepest secret: Vaerndoun.

Vaerndoun is literally a deep secret; it’s in a network of caverns (many containing lakes of drinkable water, and farmed colonies of edible fungi, for much water seeps through these stones) stretching for more than a hundred miles in a roughly northeasterly-southwesterly chain. The midpoint of this great cavern network is directly underneath Torsch. The whole subterranean land is known as Asglyth, and is the realm of illithids who call themselves the Asglyth. They hold an annual Underdark trade-moot known as the Eleave during the first two rides of Alturiak; the price of admission to this trade-fair (neutral ground where drow may trade with svirfneblin or other traditional foes) is slaves for the Asglyth to feed upon. The Aslgyth are very interested in the shifting politics and power of the surface Realms, and—like the now-wily and patient surviving local brigands—they both maintain spies in Torsch, and frequently send a wide variety of undercover agents peacefully into Torsch to trade, spread rumors, look around to see who’s in town and what valuable cargoes may be moving through, and hire passing adventuring bands to do “dirty work” for them. And there you have it; a quick overview of Torsch. One more ideal-for-adventuring corner of the Realms.

PART 1: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1083529202719178754
PART 2: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1083529675115319297
PART 3: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1083530124782387200
PART 4: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1083530569101778945
PART 5: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1083530975206879232
PART 6: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1083531332548993026


AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 12 Jan 2019 23:20:35
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sleyvas
Great Reader

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8210 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2019 :  23:54:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, thanks AJA. I was actually doing something with Torsch and looking for info.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 13 Jan 2019 :  04:56:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On laws in Triboar and other cities of the North:


@TheEdVerse In Triboar the Lord Protector enacts laws known as the 'Lord's Decree'. What Lord decreed those laws, and how would they differ from the laws in most larger cities, such as Waterdeep? Are most small cities and towns in The North governed similarly?


@TheEdVerse
The Lord Protector decreed those laws. ;} Most trade-centers in the Realms have codified (written down and publicly available) laws, updated by posted (on inn and tavern doors, and in all guildhalls and market halls) written decrees. Otherwise, merchants would tend to avoid such places. GENERALLY, but not at all in specifics, such laws follow a common pattern (so you can use the Code Legal I developed long, long ago for Waterdeep as a model). Most places have a "mouthpiece" who issues the decrees (in a kingdom, it's the monarch, in Waterdeep it's the Open Lord, in many small towns it's the mayor (most small places have a "lord" of some sort), but who DECIDES ON the laws differs from place to place (in Waterdeep, it's by majority vote of the Masked/Hidden Lords, in many trading centers there's a similar governing Council, though sometimes they're just advisory, and in many cases of 'absolute' rulers, the ruler leaves all the details to bureaucrats, who may draft the details of a law to make it work VERY differently than the intent of the ruler "decreeing" it. From time to time, Triboar has been so under the influence of larger city-states (usually Waterdeep) as to nigh-entirely follow their laws, and like situations pertain in many places across the Realms.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Jan 2019 :  04:57:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On ginger beer:


@TheWokeReaper
After your tweet about the hummus and other dips, my friend was wondering about ginger beer in the realms? Where could it be found and how common is it in the sword coast?


@TheEdVerse
Halflings LOVE ginger beer, though they call it "harsarm," and it can be found just about anywhere halflings dwell (as they make it). It's catching on among humans, gnomes, and half-orcs (to whom it is almost addictive), and can be bought "just about anywhere" in Tharsult, and along the coast of the Shining Sea from Ormpur south and west all along the Tashalar. Elsewhere, it's most easily found in the coastal cities of Tethyr, Baldur's Gate, and Waterdeep. (Everywhere else, ask a halfling.) ;}
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Jan 2019 :  04:58:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On taxes in Waterdeep:


@twitcher1979
Is there an Income Tax in Waterdeep? If so, or even if not, what is a good average for such a thing? Thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your work with us all.


@TheEdVerse
Waterdeep's annual taxes (as opposed to fees, like the docking fees for ships, and annual business license fees): citizens belonging to guilds pay dues to the guild (and the guilds then pay a smaller "head tax" based on number of members to the Palace [city]), and there are realty taxes (in the past, the hated window tax [covered in a Wizards website online column that should still be up on the archive], and more recently a variable-amount tax based on how large your building is; landlords pay this (so renters pay indirectly, through their rents), but there's no income tax. (It IS better to live in the Realms rather than the real world! Yes, YES! ;} ). Avoiding charging income taxes is how busy mercantile trading centers avoid declining when nearby centers rise.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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On the future (in-setting technological progression) of Faerűn:


@newbiedm
how do you envision the future of Faerun, like if technology progressed (I don’t mean publishing wise), but the in-world future? Tech wise? Skyscrapers? Cars?


@TheEdVerse
Faerűn has energetic merchants who travel, so goods and tech and thoughts and culture get swiftly shared. In the near future, lots of turmoil as races shoved aside and dominated by ever-breeding humankind see their chances, and try to take them (in the chaotic aftermath of the Sundering). We've seen various players (Rage of Dragons) try to seize power, and strife within races (Storm King's Thunder), and your planned Dodkong campaign is another great example of this. With longtime "dampeners" like Larloch and the Srinshee off the stage, there will be a lot of bids for power. And the trodden-over-in-the-process common folk, tied to the land, are going to increasingly realize they need to be more self-reliant again (make their own clothes and tools and shelter, not just grow their own food), so they can hastily move if need be, and not have to rely on any merchant. Meaning they can close borders and shut others out if they want to. So high-yield gardening, small-forging, and gadgets that make swift processing and preservation of food (pickling, etc.) are going to be increasingly popular.

Handcarts for all, better roads within an area (barony, say) and tolls and guardposts to collect them and control which "outlanders" come in, etc. In the longer term, larger wagons but with much better means of rolling (multiple articulated wheelsets, so a wagon can flex and losing one wheel doesn't stop a conveyance, because it travels on eight or more, paired, and carries spares all over the roof. This will in turn lead to both more and better roads, and railways (we already have dwarf and gnome pushcart narrow-gauge mining railroads), and urban development along those routes, which when rulers realize this, will mean they push to build good travel networks in their territories, and so on. We will see more and better factories for building supplies (roofing, plumbing first), and then widespread printing and distribution of books. Coaches increased, and taxi services to short-haul furniture and bulk purchases. Rebuilding valuable city properties with new, taller buildings, but actual skyscrapers a LONG way off, I'm seeing more 3 to 4 storey buildings replaced by 6 to 8 floors.

Mechanization of farm work with ploughing and seeding and reaping machinery, migration of folk to cities...so it seems to be following real-world historical meta-patterns. One of the topics @GrubbsTweet and @StevenESchend and I often used to discuss was what role magic would play in altering real-world patterns, being as we have a goddess onstage (Mystra) who would work hard against attempts to outlaw or restrict mage use, or persecute or imprison and control users of magic. Fun discussions that never got resolved, as the "sweet spot" for D&D is in the "Wild West" era of magic use, with many competing systems, and still a lot of agency for good old sword-swingers...

But I see things starting with small "make my daily work life easier" gadgets and innovations (better drills and shovels and oven-forks) rather than big things, because big things invite big pushbacks.

These are the sort of conversations we had behind the scenes in the TSR days, and they still go on in the Wizards days (I recall some pleasant, if too short, chats with @ChrisPerkinsDnD and Matt @Sernett and others, as well as the big metaplanning Sundering summits). My manna/ambrosia/elixir of life. ;} We even talked about doing board games like this. Early on, I wanted to have a pull-out game in The Dragon that was all about shipping cargoes (ship and shore) up and down the Sword Coast. Literally move little cards that detailed goods being carried. (I wanted this as a roleplaying game aid for DMs as well as a stand-alone game), and one of the suggested options was that if the right combination of cargoes went to the same port, eventually an innovation/breakthrough would happen (score big points, in-game).


@Abstruse
So question then...why is technology in the Forgotten Realms so stagnate then? By this point, it should be near a steampunk world...


@TheEdVerse
It is near a steampunk world, in places. But you're overlooking the amount of chaos all the warfare covered/mentioned/implied in all of the published adventures has caused (Tuigan Crusade, Szass Tam's wars, return of Shade, etc etc etc), the utter upheaval of the Sundering, and the ongoing effects of magic. The whole focus of those conversations I was alluding to. Some folk see how they can profit by change, and pursue it. Most folks resist change, and in the Realms that means GUILDS as well as rulers who want to stay on top. Throw in orc hordes and the natural chaos of bad harvests/severe winters, hurricanes and so on, and the question could just as validly be put: why hasn't the Realms regressed a long way towards barbarism/local subsistence existence? You're assuming tech is stagnant; it's not, but innovations tend to only get pushes behind them if a merchant group with money to spend can see a way to handsomely profit off a change, or a ruler or war leader sees a military benefit. Or to put it another way: roleplaying setting design intended to maximize play opportunities for small groups of independent adventurers thrives on widespread chaos and change, but not necessarily lasting achievement and widespread advances for all. We're trying to live in the moment of the tipping point, and like Peter Parker not graduating for decades, making that moment last. :}

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 13 Jan 2019 05:02:01
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Jan 2019 :  05:04:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Middle-Eastern style dips in the Realms:


@gkrashos
You are a shining gem. Thanks Ed. Btw, given the chat on Middle-Eastern-type food, do the Realms have dips like hummus, tzatziki, etc.? What are they called?


@TheEdVerse
Your timing is superb! Just found those lore notes! Here we go:

Baba ghanouj/ghanoush (roasted eggplants, lemon juice, garlic): has quite a few names in the Realms, including “olkoth,” “arlkha,” and “lennem”

Carrot puree: in the Realms, “lannli”

Fel medammes (fava beans with tahini and/or lemon): in the Realms, “belthiir” (“bel-THEER”)

Gilan pomegranate (green olive, walnut, and pomegranate): in the Realms, “halahake”

Harissa (hot chili pepper paste): in the Realms, “flametongue”

Mulhammara (walnuts, bread crumbs, red pepper paste, pomegranate syrup): in the Realms, “hotnut”

Hummus: several names across the Realms, incl. “yaruth” and “taeth”

Tabbouleh/Tabouli (salad of very finely chopped vegetables, parsley, bulgur wheat, lime juice, olive oil): in the Realms, “broaz” or “ithili”

Tahini (sesame seed paste): several Realms names, incl. “harlbutur” and “yethil”

Tzatziki: in the Realms, “tarator” (as in our-world Bulgaria, so maybe this is something Elminster or another plane-trotting individual took from our world to the Realms)
#Realmslore


@gkrashos
Great! Any language or regional aspect to those different names?


@TheEdVerse
Regional, all of them, but I can't find the page (yet) where I jotted down which name went with what area.
I DO recall that "arlkha" is Var the Golden/Utter East, and that "broaz" is Sword Coast/Heartlands whereas "ithili" is everywhere east and south of there.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Jan 2019 :  05:06:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On trees with black trunks:


@newbiedm
Although they don’t all need painting. Correct me if I’m wrong @TheEdVerse, but there are trees in Faerun with completely black trunks, right? And pitch black branches? Duskwoods? Used for cooking because they are smokeless?


@TheEdVerse
Correct! Also from Rashemen east and south, there are spindly, spreading, low-branch trees (like real-world sumacs) that have jet-black trunks AND WOOD, and are known either as blackhorns or lowbranches. Always bent and crooked, and never thick of trunk. Springy, so much used for yokes, bows, and "spring" applications (like gates and doors meant to close themselves when released). Smokeless when burning because so much of it melts into a black liquid (useful in dyes) that hardens slowly as it cools, so can readily be scraped away from hearths.


@inkhrn
They are probably in the Spiderhaunt Woods, unless they got removed from the latest maps.


@TheEdVerse
Yes! Many duskwoods in the Spiderhaunt...and last time I looked, that forest was still very much there! With at least one adventuring group losXXX, er, sightseeing deep in it.

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