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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  03:38:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On changes to corpses when becoming undead:

Sep 22, 2019


@PastorGall
does the makeup of a corpse change in anyway after being infused with negative energy on an undead creature? bones harden, skin becomes more pliable, muscles strengthen; anything like that? or am i imagining that :I


@TheEdVerse
Sure. The exact effects vary both individually and by undead type, but see my 2e spell Nulathoe's Ninemen for the list of minor changes/augmentations. Becoming undead almost always strengthens the LINKAGES between decaying/shrinking/withering body parts.

For example, there are "haunted" tombs in the Realms where strewn/heaped bones 'whirl up into the air' when living creatures intrude, sort themselves into their original skeletons, and attack. The negative energy "holds" the bones together, so the skeletons are closer to marionettes (components kept floating and in 'correct' orientation to each other [e.g. scapula to humerus and clavicle] by negative energy magical force, rather than by strings).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  03:39:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how far the River Chionthar is navigable:

Sep 22, 2019


@RogerDowney7
New thread: Have you or anybody else stated how far the river Chionthar is navigable for barges upstream of Baldur's Gate? Important for a campaign i'm designing in 5e. Thanks.


@TheEdVerse
Sure. Save in low-water times of drought/winter ice, the Chionthar is navigable by barge inland from the Gate north up the River Reaching a day's poling upstream/N from Hill's Edge, and along the south (main Chionthar) branch two day's poling upstream/NE of Iriaebor.
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 24 Sep 2019 03:40:38
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Sep 2019 :  03:40:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On sorcerers and the Weave:

Sep 22, 2019


@Elok45a
Could some sorcerers cast spells without needing to tap into the Weave? I've always loved the idea of sorcerers casting into the raw magic beyond the Weave.


@TheEdVerse
Hoo boy, here we go.

The answer is:
Yes and no. :}

The Weave is the “arcane magic/spells” way of accessing the raw energies of the world. These raw energies can be accessed in many ways (divine spells, natural ‘wild talent’ abilities of beings from character-classable humans to monsters, spellfire, silver fire, etc.) and many sorcerers have wild talents (exert will, focus on what’s wanted, and magical effect happens) that are direct raw-magic taps. That’s the “yes.”

But if a sorcerer wants to formally cast a spell (just like a wizard, but no memorized spell) that IS a Weave tap, as opposed to “raw energies” tap, and is a “no.”

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Sep 2019 :  04:21:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On faith in the Realms:


Sep 29, 2019


@coolguy73360922
questions from my friend.
I'm a chinese fan of the Realms. As is known to all, the official idea of PRChina is atheism. Thus, many, if not all, of us chinese fans don't really understand the difference between "believe", "worship" and "faith".

If the "atheist" will be judged as the Faithless, so as an "atheist" I do worry about my (character's) soul.

My first question is, what's "the difference between faith and belief"?

And there are a series of scenarios below, will this be judged as "worship" a god? (

1) Someone joined a celebration of a holiday of a god he doesn't care.
2) Someone don't like Tempus but being a great general, or someone never praise Mystra but being a powerful spellcaster.
3) Someone donate a few coins to a temple of Tyr, but he don't like Tyr's teaching (
4) Someone respect the teaching of a god, but will not entrust his life and soul to the god.

Sorry for my poor English, and many thanks to those answering my question.


@TheEdVerse
Hi!

In the Realms, all sane sentient beings “believe” in the gods (= know they exist and affect the world), because they have seen avatars or divine servitor beings (e.g. aasimars, celestials) and/or see signs and spells from the gods and/or been shown dramatic evidence of past manifestations of divine power (e.g. a god blasting apart a mountain with magic “from the sky”) and/or seen priests work real, lasting magic through prayer to their deities.

So everyone in the Realms “believes” (they KNOW the gods are real). “Faith” has two real-world meanings: the collective one of “everyone who believes in this god or this pantheon or this creed” (clergy and lay worshippers), and “believing in a deity without hard proof” and therefore taking the existence of the deity “on faith.” In the Realms, the first meaning is widely used and understood, the second is not (why? See above).

“Worship” means doing as the god wants you to (or the god’s clergy tell you to), working to advance the aims of the god (which might even mean fighting on behalf of the god), and making offerings to the church (coins or items), and taking part in rituals and prayers.

In the Realms, everyone ‘believes in’ ALL of the gods, and although a lot of humans (priests, paladins, and lay worshippers) ‘specialize’ in one god (worshipping that one deity more than others), most sentient beings do at least a little worshipping of many deities: a merchant wanting business success would pray and give offerings to Waukeen, and if that merchant is shipping goods aboard on a ship, would also pray and give offerings to Umberlee to NOT sink the ship, and if that same merchant was trying to use new technology to make their goods faster or better or both, he or she would also pray and give offerings to Gond, and so on.

So you can see that there’s a lot of ‘lip-service’ worship of deities by people who otherwise don’t care overmuch about that god or their faith. The gods want obedience AND worship because they gain power the more they are worshipped and have influence in the mortal world, so YES, they would count someone participating in celebration of one of their holy days as worship.

In the Realms, deities have portfolios, and Tempus is the god of war and warcraft, just as Mystra is the goddess of (arcane) magic. A mortal can be a great general or a powerful spellcaster without actively worshipping Tempus or Mystra, respectively. The deity will manipulate that mortal, and exploit that mortal’s achievements, to increase their divine influence. So, yes, they would still count the deeds of that mortal as worship—but they would also constantly send clergy AND dream-visions to that mortal to try to entice the mortal to “embrace” (openly worship) them.

Mortals aren’t required to like the creed or world-view of a deity (though the deity would prefer that they love the deity and the deity’s ways) so much as the deity wants them to obey (behave in certain ways), and donating coins to a temple is definitely worship.

And there are many mortals who respect the clergy, teachings, and deeds of a particular god, but don’t entrust their lives to the god, or formally dedicate their souls to that god or any god. Deities always want souls and lives dedicated to them if possible, but they’ll unhesitatingly take respect and the above-mentioned lip-service worship (including donating a few coins from time to time) as worship, even from a mortal who refuses to dedicate themselves. They will also tirelessly try to persuade that mortal to accept them more fully.
Hope this is of help!
#Realmslore

I should add that the “dream visions” sent by gods to sleeping mortals often include the deity appearing to the mortal directly in their dreams, speaking to them (advice, commands, cryptic hints), and that all deities employ “manifestations” (glows or visible-to-all temporary images moving in the air, smells, and visitations by birds or creatures associated with the deity, etc.) of their favour or disfavour or interest, that awake people can see. These usually appear above altars during prayers, or at a spot where someone has just made or is making a sacrifice to the god (including sacrificing their mortal lives), but can also appear elsewhere, to convince or reassure non-believers or mortals who doubt what the right thing to do is.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Sep 2019 :  04:22:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a number script for Elvish:


Sep 29, 2019


@SuspiciousReggi
Is there a number script for elvish?


@TheEdVerse
Hi! Yes, there have been several down the ages. Most popular today: base 10 counting; draw a circle, lines radiating outwards from it are the tens, lines running only into the interior are the ones, and lines crossing from outer to outer right across the circle denote hundreds. These lines are always drawn so that none of them touch (aside from intersecting with the circle itself). [So a capital "Q" to us, is "ten" in this notation. Twelve would be a capital Q with two side by side interior "tails"...and so on.]
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:41:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Manshoon's soul:


Sep 30, 2019


@justice_arman
what exactly happened to Manshoon's soul? Since a soul moves into the clone when the caster dies, are Manshoon's clones without souls, or did his soul somehow fracture into each of the clones? Maybe something else?

Things are getting real on Monday morning.
#dnd


@TheEdVerse
Years ago, Mystra offered Manshoon the status of one of her Chosen. (Remember, Mystra is about promoting the use and importance of arcane magic in the world, not about being ‘good’ per se. She does want magic to be available to all, not kept from most by those who have lots of magic or who fear magic. The Manshoon of then Mystra obviously thought suitable to be one of her Chosen; I doubt she’d see the Manshoon of later centuries the same way.)

He refused. Readers of my Sage of Shadowdale trilogy can see him refusing again. Nevertheless, Mystra saw him and the Zhentarim as useful and necessary to human use of arcane magic, just as she views Szass Tam and the Red Wizards, or Arklem Greeth and the Arcane Brotherhood. She saw that the special clone spell he’d devised (Manshoon’s clones are different in the details from clones other wizards create using the ‘standard’ Clone spell) left him in grave danger of insanity as bodies died and Manshoon’s sentience moved to new clones, and so quietly used the Weave to store and bolster his soul to make the ‘clone hops’ more stable and Manshoon less erratic and dangerous to himself, to the Weave, and to the wider Realms. So his soul is kept in the Weave, and his sentience shifts from clone to clone. His early clones had the memories/experience and mastery of the Art they had when created, so every time Manshoon ‘became’ a new clone he’d lost some spells and levels and forgotten recent events in his life (so his every death had a cost). More recently, Mystra’s Weave-work allowed Manshoon to ‘jump’ intact from clone to clone. Manshoon has always had multiple clones in reserve, even after the perilous times when several clones were active at once—in part because of his extensive roster of clones due to his paranoia and cunning, and in part because his clones are different than standard clones (hence the 2e rulebooks containing Manshoon’s own clone spell, as distinct from the standard PH clone spell).

Mystra does the same Weave-storage and bolstering for Elminster, who in recent decades (as seen in several of my novels) has possessed the bodies of various other living sentient beings. She did it so well that he was able to function in the
Sage of Shadowdale trilogy when she herself was ‘gone,’ and the Weave was ‘going wild’ (it never collapsed, despite being Mystra herself, due in part to many mortal beings, such as Elminster, holding small amounts of Her silver themselves, and so functioning as Weave anchors).

And as for the morality of the behaviour of the various archwizards involved, one of the themes explored in my Realms fiction is the sanity of living for centuries, outliving our friends, lovers, and even lands several times over; another is the morality of possessing the bodies of others, and the wider morality of “If I have this mighty magical power and someone else doesn’t and they oppose me/stand in my way/endanger the Realms, how much should I coerce them to get what I want in life?”
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:42:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the printing press in the 1490s:


Sep 30, 2019


@tatoskok
In earlier editions, the printing press existed but was still new. Some recent 5e adventures have Volo signing copies of his books. Does that mean printing press technology has advanced to the point of mass production? If not, where are we at in the 1490s? #Realmslore


@TheEdVerse
The Spellplague and Sundering smashed through existing societies and trade flows like sledgehammers, delaying and creating chaos; a lot of individuals most interested in publishing (printing and distributing) went mad or died. So there was huge disruption and much delay. However, “simple” printing (one-page broadsheets [=newspapers], handbills [advertising], and forms/permits) wasn’t disrupted at all in particular cities or among the courtiers of a given realm.

So they went right on, and chapbooks (short booklets) very soon recovered, because they can be collated from pages that are essentially broadsheets (in terms of production, if not content). What this meant was that all of the major port cities up and down the Sword Coast and around the Shining Sea, cities of wealth or rallying wealth like the cities of Cormyr and Sembia, and Westgate and Zhentil Keep, and centers of books and readership like Derlusk in the Border Kingdoms, had small, hand-operated printing presses that did more than just broadsheets (the first offshoot growth industry? Official letterhead stationery for royalty and nobility, then guilds; the second: tickets for attending special events at clubs and fairs) by the 1420s DR, and these became faster, larger (assisted by improvements in making larger sheets of rag and pulp paper) throughout the 1400s. Good leather bindings, and page-edge treatments like gilding and waxing, started to appear in Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate in the 1440s, and were swiftly copied elsewhere (the cities of the Tashalar swiftly became known for jewel-hued inks and a LOT of gilding, on pages).

By the 1470s, the concept of (for a price) keeping “forms” of previously-printed letterpress pages in warehouses for reprintings caught hold in higher-paying markets
(often because nobles and other wealthy patrons) wanted to swiftly be able to get new printings of their memoirs to hand out, or little tomes of their philosophies or poetry, or the lyrics and poems of bards they were sponsoring. Volo took advantage of this, as did the authors of other travel guides and lurid romance chapbooks. Bookshops became fixtures of the Sword Coast port cities and all major Heartland trading cities and ports by 1475 DR, and places like Waterdeep, Silverymoon, Derlusk, Baldur’s Gate, and Suzail had local bestsellers and a marketplace of “here’s what’s coming” and “read a chapbook excerpt from the forthcoming new sequel to X by talented and famed Author Y” by 1478 DR. Traveling merchants (and simple peddlers, going from hamlet to village) since then have aided in spreading this ‘culture’ everywhere.

So Volo is signing copies of his latest as just one author among many (albeit a notorious one who can claim a long and successful career), by the 1490s.

One important difference from real-world history: religious tomes haven’t been part of this development, because they were ALWAYS on the scene, written out in duplicate by hand in monasteries and temples, and then by (in monasteries and temples, along with papermaking and binding) printing press.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:44:08  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the afterlife of a non-Seldarine-worshipping elf:


Sep 30, 2019


@Kendradream
Another ? along these lines: most elves worship the Seldarine (I love them), but say an elf worshiped a different god (Silvanus, for ex). I assume their soul would go to Silvanus, rather than Arvandor? Or do all elves go to Arvandor?


@TheEdVerse
It depends. On where the mortal’s heart lies, and on the balance of what they did in life, in terms of worship. The tug of Arvandor would be very strong. (This is why early editions of D&D speak of elves having “spirits” rather than “souls;” that was the mortal understanding of why elves after death “always” went over there rather than “here.”)

Most elves go to Arvandor regardless of who they primarily venerated in life.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:45:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Mystra being worshipped on another world:


Oct 1, 2019


@ZeromaruX
hi, how you been? Hope you are recovering well.
I have a question: if Mystra begins to be worshipped in another world (another setting), does she creates a Weave there as well/bonds with the existing "magic system" in place? Or does she has a handicap in that world?


@TheEdVerse
She has a handicap in that world, unless or until a HUGE number of its arcane-magic-wielding inhabitants worship her. She would work through the world’s existing magic system, and if it’s not “arcane” (=cast magic spells) might never be able to do more than send warning/advice mind-visions and messages to those who think of her.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:47:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Tempus-worshipping goblins and Corellon versus Mystra:


Sep 30, 2019


@jayeedgecliff
2 prt question.
In the realms it seems like the gods have a certain influence shaping folk, but in turn there seems to be a measure of the folk shaping the gods … if nothing so drastically literal about it as Discworld or even to the extent of Riordan’s stuff

So part 1: what impact on the deity RE their manifestations & the like might be wrought by … say … Tempus finding himself worshipped by several tribes of goblins?
The second part is just trying to understand both the reals power balance of say the Elven god of Magic (name escapes me) and Mystra, how does that work & what normally is the enticement for a [race] to worship [race’] or [race”]’s gods instead?
Thanks
P.s. hope the surgery went well


@TheEdVerse
Hi! The surgery went well, but the recovery will be long (minimum 8 weeks for the sternum to heal).

Right, here we go with Part 1:
If Tempus found himself worshipped by tribes of goblins, he’d send manifestations of his favor cooking fires or when shamans pray, would show the goblins to themselves executing battle tactics, strategic withdrawals and the like, rather than mob charges and savage but foolish fighting forays. And to other of His faithful, Tempus might send images of goblins fighting under the signs of His favour to show them goblins worship him, and he’s fine with that.

Part 2:
Mystra IS the Weave, and in most cases and at most times controls access for mortals AND OTHER GODS to the Weave, when attempted by arcane spells (the divine spells used by clerics bypass her and her power, and there are many routes to drawing on the raw energies of the world that are deemed “magic”). In the Seldarine pantheon, all deities USE magic, and the following have portfolios concerned with magic: Alathrien Druanna (runic and conjuration magic); Darahl Firecloak (earth and fire magic); Kirith Sotheril (divination and enchantment magic); Mythrien Sarath (mythals); Rellavar Danuvien (magics concerned with cold and protection from the elements); Sarula Iliene (water magic); and Ye'Cind (music-based magics, and enchantments).

But the main elven deity concerned with magic is the leader of the Seldarine, Corellon Larethian.

So, Mystra versus Corellon...Corellon is a greater god, and more powerful than most “human pantheon” greater gods because he has less competition among elven deities, and therefore more concentrated power and authority. But this varies over time, as humans rise in collective power and dominance in the world, and the elves wane (though they surge, and resurge, hence the variances). However, Mystra was THE greatest deity in the setting, because it is magic-rich and she controlled the access of other gods to the swift, massive power of arcane magic (the fastest route to that essence, but NOT coerce them). This spread out her power and was an insurance policy so that she could arise again, if destroyed, from her scattered sparks of essence. However, every time Mystryl and her successor Mystras “died” and were replaced (such as by the mortal Midnight), the replacement is less experienced than the predecessor, and hence less capable (because they lack a lot of the magical knowledge and experience of a previous Mystra).

Moreover, the nature of Mystra is to increase the access of everyone to magic, mortal or divine; she only acts against those who try to use magic to prevent others from having or wielding magic. So she is less authoritative and imperious than Corellon, and more generous/accommodating.

So although Mystra is ‘on paper’ mightier than Corellon, it’s not a clear-cut “Mystra beats Corellon” in any situation. Which is a very wordy way of saying: the power balance tips back and forth. Most often, their aims and interests are more allied and opposed; disagreements may be over means or style, not end goals, so both deities would be inclined to warn the other of pitfalls, but let the other try “another means” of doing something, via servitors and mortals, to see which best succeeds.

Which brings us to the most usual enticements for a human to worship Corellon, or an elf to worship Mystra. Most often, they are rooted in personal or family gratitude to a deity for their boons/aid to self or family members or allies/fellow adventurers or neighbours, in life.

And always remember, many deities in the Realms happily share. As in, it’s polytheistic, not monotheistic. Aside from clergy and paladins, devotion to just one deity is unusual, not the norm. Devotion to deity’s of one’s own racial pantheon IS the norm, but exceptions are many and accepted, not shunned or thought insane or “strange.” If someone said: “Yon (human) wizard holds Corellon dearest, before Mystra,” the response might be: “Oh. What did Corellon do for him, then?”

Hope this is of help; Realms forever!!!
#Realmslore

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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:48:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Faithless:


Sep 30, 2019


@coolguy73360922
If those mortals never embrace any deity in life, when they final face Kelemvor in the City of Judgement, what fate will befall them?
Please forgive me for asking so many questions. The topic of Faithless has aroused considerable controversy among Chinese FR fans#128517;


@TheEdVerse
There’s nothing to forgive! Ask all you like. Some answers will take longer, though, or even be blocked by the dreaded NDAs.

If a mortal doesn’t worship a specific deity in life, they are not Faithless. The Realms is pantheistic, not monotheistic. If a mortal doesn’t worship ANY deities at any time in life, rejecting gods as not worthy of worship or as “not gods,” they ARE Faithless (Kelemvor judges), and their fate is to be bound into the Wall of Faithless by a green mold that only binds Faithless into the wall. Over time, the soul of a Faithless dissolves into the Wall, and is lost forever.

However, demons steal souls from the Wall, dissolving the mold by various means, and take them back to the Abyss (this is one way that demons propagate).

If a demon steals a soul from the Wall that any deity is interested in, for any reason, that deity may send servitor beings to battle the demon and wrest the soul from it, giving that soul ‘another chance’ in a new body. This often happens to adventurers, or spellcasters who in life devise new spells, or anyone who does something creative and daring. They are reborn into a new body and life, as the deity who ‘rescued’ them watches to see what they do in this new life. (Mortals provide the main source of entertainment for the gods.)

Kelemvor judges some souls to be False rather than Faithless. These are the souls of mortals who deliberately betrayed deities after making a commitment to those deities. The False are punished for all eternity (which sometimes means forever, but in very rare cases means until a deity sends servitors to ‘harvest’ them for a new life [again, another chance for the soul]. The severity of punishments fit the severity of the crimes against the deity during life, and vary from hideous tortures that would result in death if done to a live mortal (like slow dismemberment), to attentively escorting and caring for visitors to Kelemvor’s City of Judgment that the soul in life would dislike or despise (e.g. due to family or racial hatreds). Kelemvor himself has been known to (for unknown reasons) pluck certain souls away from the usual fates of his judgments, to serve him. Often they end up sent back into mortal life on missions, often in bodies of a different race and/or gender than that of their previous life.
#Realmslore


@ivstinus
Whoah... this is all an amazing and twisted process. I love it. I'm imagining some paladin traveling to inspire those who will be stuck in the wall to great deeds of any kind so they are still useful souls in the cosmological battle against demonkind now.

Do many mortals know of this fate?!


@TheEdVerse
Beyond the basics of the False and the Faithless and the Wall and the torments, no. Not even all that many senior clergy. (I.e. it's flexible campaign time for DMs. ;} )
#Realmslore

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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:50:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On delving into divine pasts:


Oct 2, 2019


@jayeedgecliff
so the recent deluge of awesome info about dark and mad gods gave me a hankering to sit down with faiths & avatars to idly read.

Until now I’d never read Leira and Lliira consecutively.
With some imagination it’s possible to see them as either 2 aspects Of a single god, sorta Tyche style or a split god (again Tyche) into 2 distinct selves.

While it might be fun for you to illuminate that, it’s just a thought exercise. What it did make me genuinely wonder is if there’s much of a scholarly and/or fannish industry of delving into the histories, namely origins, of the deities. Who they were as mortals, what planes they migrated in from … and this did lead to an exceedingly amusing mental image of some amateur godshistory nerds sitting around like “Dayvr, listen … Bane … Follow me here … is the half demon daughter of an elvish vampire lord from Ravenloft”
“But … Sael, Bane’s no—“
“No, but see this passage here? Where Bashiira says ‘I am become Bane of this world!’”
“Whoa! Head canon legitimised!!” *high fives*

But in a less laughing

At Realmsian versions of my own sort of nerdery there comes the follow up question RE the safety and life expectancy of either true sages or amateur geeks delving too deeply into these speculations given some gods are very circumspect or even insecure about their pasts but balanced against the potential guidances and protection of gods of truth, suddenly it’s deliciously complex (or looks it on surface anyway) and runs a high probability of Elminster throwing in his 10¢ on the subject …


@TheEdVerse
You raise some great points about the perils of inquiring too deeply or energetically into the mortal pasts of deities in the Realms. What I can tell you from observed history is that MOST deities have no problem with their own clergy researching and speculating—so long as what the church then tells lay worshippers and outsiders is what the god approves of. (And yes, most of them prefer mystery and “I have existed since before the world began” to “I was once a short, pimply street thief with pimples who once fell in a sewer and twice got caught stealing plums from street stalls.”)

When it comes to sages and other lay individuals, their ire is reserved for those who publish falsehoods or exaggerations/generalizations the god dislikes, or who uncover more of the truth than the deity prefers (most deities being vain, and caring about their image in the minds of all). Such sages may be smitten with divine fire or a wasting, wizening curse, struck blind, or scared by visiting servitors of the gods (think of the three Spirits who visit Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL) who demand that the sage recant, in print, offering instead THIS approved version—or suffer the fatal consequences of failing to do so. In any case, copies of published works that a deity disapproves of will be hunted down, seized, and destroyed by clergy and devoted followers of that deity (sometimes, success at this is part of a novice priest demonstrating their readiness for elevation into “the full priesthood”). Which has, of course, the effect of making the few surviving copies valuable, eagerly sought after, and believed by all to be preserving “dark truths that the deity wants suppressed.” (Candlekeep is one likely repository of such “shunned” works, but so are the private libraries of archwizards such as Elminster, who can magically hide and trap such reading-chambers so as to safeguard what’s shelved there.)

A curious adventurer who has no intention of publishing or discussing what they find beyond the circle of their fellow adventurers will usually NOT be chastised by the god, but manipulated by the god’s agents (servitor creatures and mortal clergy) into “uncovering” what lore the deity wants uncovered, to bolster the image and origin story they prefer to be “out there” in the world. This is known among upperpriests as “turning a disbeliever.” The idea is that the adventurer (or amateur whose hobby is an interest in matters divine or a particular god) will come to believe in, and spread to the extent they talk to others at all, the view of the deity that the deity prefers the world accept.

Now, as for Bane, I can tell you this: as a mortal, he lived centuries ago, and upon his death his soul was snatched and stored by Jergal, who Had Plans for his own retirement, and was looking for certain qualities in a successor (in the case of Bane, a quenchless hunger to rule all, and be feared by all through the maliciousness and malevolent intentiveness of his rule). [So Bane died long before his ascension to godhood.]
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On the behavior of the followers of Bane, Bhaal, Cyric, and Myrkul:


Sep 7, 2019


@clackclickbang
Hi Ed! I have a question for you regarding death worship in the Realms. How would you characterise the difference in behaviour and practice between Myrkulytes, Cyricists, and Bhaalites, when their respective deities held dominion over death / the dead? And would you have found temples to these "evil" deities in goodly governed cities and realms, when their purview is so inescapable for the vast majority? If so, how does a Myrkulyte / Cyricist / Bhaalite function in such a hostile (to them) land?


Oct 1, 2019


@clackclickbang
Any thoughts on this,
@TheEdVerse
?


@TheEdVerse
This one got lost in all of the prep for my surgery. Sorry!
Here we go…

BHAALISTS tend to operate “undercover,” having a daytime identity (often a shopkeeper or delivery carter in a large city), with a private cellar (or sometimes attic or city catacombs) shrine where they pray to the god before and after a murder expedition.

(So, no public temples! A few remote monasteries, yes, but temples, no.)

Few neighbours or city authorities will know a priest of the Lord of Murder is a cleric of Bhaal. The Bhaalist/Bhaalyn observes unfolding life in the city and picks targets to be murdered, often troublemakers, individuals rising in power or wealth, or even clergy of rival deities.

Then, in the darkest dead of night, at least once a tenday, properly clad as a Bhaalist, they murder their target, and “take home” some token or trophy (from a finger or heart of their victim, to personal jewelry), plus wealth from the victim if available. The token or trophy is offered to Bhaal on a simple altar anointed with the Bhaalist’s own blood, with prayers, and the wealth used by the Bhaalist to fund their ongoing life and continue their holy work.

MYRKULYTES keep to themselves, speaking to few (remember the silent Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come/Ghost of Christmas Future in A CHRISTMAS CAROL?) but appearing hooded and cowled in public, to spread fear of the Lord of Bones. Most folk of Faerûn believe that touching a priest of the Lord of Bones will bring death, and Myrkulytes hunt down and slay anyone who throws stones or casts other missiles at them, to enhance their personal protection; as a result, they’re silently shunned in most places, and can walk untouched, not even spoken to (people melt away from their path, turn their backs, and so on). They dwell in small, fortified stone (with tile roofs; the idea is to make the structures difficult to burn by a mob or someone hurling the equivalent of Molotov cocktails) temples known as mausoleums. Myrkulytes grow their own food, including mushrooms in cellars, and are supplied with food, tools and other goods, consecrated ‘black wine,’ and information by traveling Myrkulytes who constantly travel from mausoleum to mausoleum (from remote valley, ravine, or cavern bases).

CYRICISTS are hated across the Realms, because they foment strife and do many murders to spread fear of Cyric. They also work against friendships, love matches, and familial ties, and spread chaos, making them detested by most. Who would rise up and slay them if they dared.

Most urban Cyricist temples are former Myrkulyte mausoleums, and so hard-to-burn stone fortresses, from which Cyricists usually emerge by night, with spells at the ready to defeat and chase away mobs. They then go about murdering, spreading (often false) gossip that will set folk against each other, and bribing or even sponsoring (the church seizes as much as it can from its murder victims, and so is never short of funds) dissatisfied individuals to increase active intrigue (often emboldening opponents of local rulers, rebellious nobles, and strife within royalty, nobility, or wealthy families).

Cyricists don’t want to start wars (and so benefit Tempus), they want to sew seething mistrust. They are dangerous to any local society because their behaviour is often boldly mad or erratic, in reverence to the madness of the Dark Sun himself. Part of their intrigue is to build very good (well paid) intelligence networks, so they often knew when a king or local ruler was fed up and intending to exterminate them—and they’d simply flee their temples and go elsewhere for some months, only to sidle back into a community during local festivities or crises, to murder and intrigue anew.
Hope these contrasted descriptions are of help!
#Realmslore


Oct 2, 2019


@jayeedgecliff
Fantastic! Any chance of the pre-time of troubles errata of this? The sociologist in me is now very curious about Bane and … I’m blanking.


@TheEdVerse
Sure. Pre-Time of Troubles: no change to Bhaalists or Myrkulytes, Cyricists of course don’t exist, and:

BANITES were widely feared, because they were not only evil and martial (quick to organized, efficient, ruthless violence), but because they served the Lord of Tyranny by being tyrants to all within reach. For this reason, their urban temples were few except in locales where they locally (secularly) ruled; wherever there were kings or ruling lords, they acted against such secular authorities until they prevailed or were ousted.

Clergy of Bane lived in a strict hierarchy, superiors being ruthless to inferiors but never resorting to deceit or trickery, as Bane frowned upon deception (not His way or portfolio). Weak (“wavering in faith”) Banites were demoted, cast out, maimed, or slain, but those who capably carried out orders were rewarded with food, drink, diversions, and increased rank. From time to time, the Black Lord watched over rising or possibly erratic clergy closely, speaking in their minds and to those of his clergy around them—but then would turn his attention elsewhere for frustrating-to-mortals long times, leaving “his rats to gnaw each other,” as Elminster once put it.

The Church of Bane over time became like an army, dwelling in grim black stone-and-painted-steel fortress-temples, its clergy being well-armed and having black armor at the ready, and its way of open violence (not intrigue) forcing its daily activities increasingly into a militaristic style. Although it never used our real-world lingo of “Operation [Codename],” its endeavours followed the same model, with various priests directly tasked by the god to carry out this or that operation (co-ordinated series of missions), all intended to increase the reach and influence of the church; Bane observed the results and rewarded or punished individual priests accordingly.

What kept the Church of the Black Lord from conquering most of the Realms was Bane’s delight (abandoned after his return from death, when he saw that this strategy was self-defeating) in pitting his clerics against each other. Pre-Time of Troubles, he encouraged infighting among his clergy, allowing them to form competing sects and make war on each other, for he saw this as desirable to eliminate the weak and keep only the strong in his service. (After his return, Bane stamped this out by personally slaying, swiftly and publicly, all who strayed from hierarchical obedience, and encouraged a new style in which Banites achieved more through threats and offering non-Banites “carrot and stick” treatment to increase the faith’s reach and influence without open violence.)

To sum up: Pre-Time of Troubles Bane was positively gleeful about fomenting and watching infighting in his church; post-Time of Troubles Bane is more about getting and holding on to power, without open warfare but through tyranny.


@jayeedgecliff
This made me start thumbing through my old Realms material and I can’t find something: before Cyric was there a god whose purviews included madness in any meaningful way? I grok that technically Cyric was just mad as a hatter when becoming a god so gained via association

But did/do any other gods in some real way encompass madness whether simple gibbering insanity or the twisted evils of Cyrics madness?


@TheEdVerse
Pre-Time of Troubles, Leira (the Mistress of Deception and Falsehood) held purview over madness. Unofficially, but "everyone" knew it and accepted it.
#Realmslore


@gkrashos
And now I’m off down another Realms rabbit hole. Thanks Ed!#10084;#65039;


@jayeedgecliff
I feel the same way and, in exploring said rabbit hole was reading an old tsr book and now I’ve a question about Bane’s origins as the daughter if a vampire & deamon … #129315;


@Greysil_Tassyr
I've long held the theory that the original Bane is dead, and that the current Bane is actually Iyachtu Xvim, masquerading as his father... Seeing yet another change like this, between Bane 1.0 and Bane 2.0, adds to my theory!


@TheEdVerse
Shhhh...keep utter silence about this, and He may even suffer you to live! ;}
#Realmslore

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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:54:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the House of Baerlaer of Arabel:


Oct 3, 2019


@garethgarfoot
Hi Ed, Hope your recovery is going well. Wondering what lore you can give on the House of Baerlaer of Arabel, and the layout of their home (#60 on the Arabel map in Cormyr). As always many thanks. ~GG


@TheEdVerse
Hi, Gareth! See this thread at the Candlekeep forums: “Forgotten Realms Journals/Running the Realms/ THE UNRELIABLE FIVE: THEIR EYES ON THE REALMS” by Jeremy Grenemyer. From it we learn that the keyed feature #60 on the Arabel map is a “small but grand castle” built of stone, that’s “now the seat of power for the Guild of Binders, Printers and Copyists in Arabel.”

The House of Baerlear isn’t a noble family, but a successful merchant family, based in Arabel for centuries. At the time of Jeremy’s adventure, the patriarch of the family (Nelezmur “the Book Tyrant” Baerlear) is the Guildmaster of the Binders, Printers, and Copyists.

Much of the guild’s daily coin (and therefore, the income of the Baerlears) comes from printing handbills (one-page advertising handouts) and business forms (from laundry chits to detailed orders used by various craftworkers and shopkeepers). But the Baerlears have been successful merchants for decades, in part because they’ve diversified: they are landlords (and property buyers and sellers) in Arabel; they buy large stretches of wild forest and woodlots in northeastern Arabel from which to harvest pulp for papermaking, and timber that they sell to builders in southern Cormyr and Sembia (whoever will pay most); and they invest in the side-businesses of local gnome and dwarf families who make and maintain the printing presses they (and the guild they’re part of) use.

The House of Baerlear itself is a stout fieldstone castle of four towers linked by thick walls to enclose a courtyard. The only difference between the House and an old wilderland keep is that it has large (tall, narrow) windows, a few with iron-bar windowboxes but not balconies, rather than just arrowslits. The towers end in conical roofs, built over the crenelated flat-top battlements sixty years ago, and the castle has a more-than-coach-wide arched main gate, currently filled by stout ironbar latticework double doors chained and barred together when closed (the metal-plated wooden doors with inner props were replaced more than a century ago).

The Baerlears own a family (closed) coach (think stagecoach), a “fast litter” (open carriage; think phaeton), and two goods wagons, which are parked in the interior courtyard when not in use. The rest of the courtyard is filled with hay and a grass plot for the horses (the ground floor of the “back wall” (north wall) of the castle, facing the gate, is the stables), and a kitchen garden sited to catch the most sun.
The “front wall” (south wall) of the castle west of the gate houses the business part of the castle: the servants dwell there, and the family business offices, stockrooms, and “working rooms” (workshops, etc.) are located there. The front wall east of the gate houses a three-floor entry hall reached via doors on the north/inner side of the east gate tower; one passes through a circular foyer (with cloakrooms, garderobes, doorguards’ ready room, and mudroom) located on the ground floor of the tower, to reach the grand hall (with crimson tapestries and carpets, and much rich, dark woodwork) that fills that part of the eastern front/south wall adjoining the east gate tower. This hall is dominated by balconies on the upper floors looking down into the hall, and a grand stair ascending from the ground floor to the floor above, and then a second flight ascending to the third. House servants have their ready rooms (and “ready pantries” and sewing rooms) on the uppermost floor, guest apartments are located on the middle floor, with the family’s suites of personal living quarters filling the rest of the middle floor and the southeastern tower of the castle, with a map room, dining room, withdrawing rooms, dens, library, and other rooms used in daily family life occupying the ground and middle floors of the east wall.

The House of Baerlear is built over its own deep well of drinkable water, which occupies the cellar of the northeast tower.

In the past, several Baerlear patriarchs and matriarchs made extra coin by renting out apartments in the western floors of the north wall to “suitable” tenants, often Crown officials and Arabel-stationed (sometimes as family business representatives, and sometimes more like “remittance men,” to be away from parents who detested them or despaired of them) sons and daughters of wealthy “wannabe-noble” families of Suzail and Marsember. This practise ebbs and flows with the personal preferences of heads of the Baerlears; some shudder at the thought of “strangers staying under our roof as anything more than passing guests,” while others welcome the income (which at times has more than covered all running costs of the home). House Baerlear currently looks gray, its stone walls surmounted by dark gray slate “awnings” over each window, and conically roofing the tower-tops.
Hope these details are of help.
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:55:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Bane and his soul:


Oct 3, 2019


@Lord_Toast13
Odd question, does Bane know he died before his ascension or does Bane believe (due to worshipers) he went to Jergal as a mortal to challenge him for godhood?


@TheEdVerse
Bane’s clergy will tell you (and all of Toril) that Bane challenged Jergal as a mortal. Most non-sages know nothing of Jergal’s planning and manipulation of those who became the Dead Three, and believe they decisively defeated Jergal. But all of the deities involved know better. They just don’t like to admit it to anyone. In the case of Bane, there’s also the question of whether Iyachtu Xvim, his son, was destroyed as a sentience by Bane, when Bane took over his body, or whether he lurks in Bane’s mind still. Bane’s clergy don’t like to talk about Xvim at all, but will tell you Bane “utterly destroyed” him for “betrayals and insolence.” Yet Elminster “knows” vestiges of the Godson migrated to several weak-minded mortals and took up residence in their minds. What’s an open question is whether or not Bane did this, too, as an insurance policy against his own future destruction (again). Jergal certainly has.
#Realmslore


@jay_jaydraper
Is Bane’s soul still theoretically at the mercy of Jergal, or did that end with his ascension? (I kind of like the idea of the god of tyranny being little more than a puppet)


@TheEdVerse
Bane’s soul is indeed still at the mercy of Jergal, though Bane has forgotten this (with Jergal’s help). Jergal has no intention of treating Bane like a puppet until he has to (it’s another of his “insurance policies”).
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Posted - 05 Oct 2019 :  02:56:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Ed's original vision of the Outer Planes and the gods:


Oct 4, 2019


@AdamDravian
Hey Ed, in your original gods article (Dragon #54), you said you wanted all of the outer planes to have ruling deities, so you placed Bane in Archeron so as not to conflict with Asmodeus. But who did you envision ruling Concord. Opp., Silvanus or Oghma? And in Hades, Shar, or Myrkul? Since you adopted all the non-human gods from DDG, who rules the 7 Heavens, Tyr, Moradin, or Yandalla? Same for Sune and Corellon in Arvandor. Is Azuth ruler of Arcadia despite being (at that time) a demigod?
Thanks, and may you recover swiftly!


@TheEdVerse
Hi, Adam! Thanks for the good recovery wishes!
So back in the mists of time, when thinking through the gods of the Realms, I wrote up much lore that didn’t make it into that article.

And can tell you that I saw most of the first layer of ARCADIA as being ruled by the deity Clangeddin Silverbeard, with another part of it ruled by Marduk.

As my conception of the Outer Planes developed detail and depth, I envisaged the second layer being ruled by the Mulhorandi (Egyptian) deities (Ra, Isis, Osiris, and Horus-Re), with Azuth SECRETLY controlling conditions in Arcadia from behind the scenes (from his abode on the second layer) rather than “ruling.” Marduk was like a ‘mad bull’ deity who challenged and fought any deity he detected, so Azuth kept him deceived and walled away. Savras kept trying to free Marduk—which meant Savras got attacked by Marduk repeatedly, and this weakened Savras, so he rarely challenged Azuth.

I envisaged ARVANDOR as being ruled by Corellon (holding sway over a fey court of elven deities and visiting mortal supplicants and elf spirits, in a vast forest dominated by trees whose leaves glowed a soft blue in moonlight). I saw SUNE as dwelling on the plane, and welcome in Corellon’s court as Hanali Celanil, but possessing an essential personal nature disinterested in ruling, dominance, or authority.

I saw the plane of CONCORDANT OPPOSITION as ruled by Oghma, the Binder, as I saw Silvanus tied firmly to the forests of Toril and interested in the cycles of life there (particularly trees).

I saw HADES as being ruled by Myrkul, with Shar preferring to reign in the Void—that is, the dark places of all planes, including the Astral Plane/Astral Sea, where the bodies of dead gods float. Shar doesn’t want to be tied to any one plane that can be attacked, and that might distract her with obligations or neighbours; she wants to be everywhere, beholden to none—and is attracted to the chaos where planes meet planes, and there is destruction.

THE SEVEN HEAVENS I saw as a verdant paradise ruled by Yondalla (Chauntea), with Tyr, Moradin, and others welcome to dwell there unchallenged, and to shape ‘their’ parts of the Heavens as they see fit (Yondalla simply keeps growing things thriving, to enshroud and renew the paradise regardless of what others do).
Hope this is of help.
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On Realms deities, pre-TSR:


Oct 5, 2019


@AdamDravian
Much appreciated! Though I'm on a fool's quest to run a pre-TSR Realms (relying on your early Dragon articles and lore you & THO have shared online), so I'm not sure how much of that applies. In Dragon #52, you said the only DDG content in use are the non-human deities the two giant Norse gods, and some of the animal gods. Also, you didn't originally envision Sune and Hanali being the same, did you? I thought that was introduced in 4e in the Great God Outer Plane Conversion.


@TheEdVerse
The pre-TSR Realms didn’t have the Known Planes of Existence as envisaged by Gary Gygax (and published in issue 8 of The Dragon). So none of my answers apply.

I was trying to remain true to “official” D&D as it developed, and so, shifted (as mentioned in my article in Dragon 54) deities and their lore to match what got added to the game, as it appeared. Pre-D&D, I had latched onto the notion that deities could appear to mortals, and be worshipped, as different ‘aspects,’ because I wanted to have HUNDREDS of secretive cults worshipped in back rooms or cellars or upper rooms or in clubs, by masked secret societies—without having hundreds of gods to keep track of.

Yet while Sune was part of my original, pre-D&D Realms, the entire elven pantheon (not the idea of elves having gods, but the named deities of the elves that appear in the game) came ‘aboard’ in my Realms from the D&D game (my original elven deity was ‘the Lady,’ a forest-dwelling feminine nurturing goddess who flashed tall and terrible, blue and silver, when angered and manifesting in power, to do battle on behalf of imperiled elves, and the rest of the time was a softly whispering voice on a breeze of silver sparks, or two floating, watching eyes {Mystra did the floating eyes thing, too}).
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Posted - 06 Oct 2019 :  16:07:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdeep's sewers:


Oct 5, 2019


@MichaelNSCan
happy that you are recovering well and continuing to answer #realmslore questions. How deep are Waterdeep’s sewers below the surface and why don’t the main and secondary lines follow the main streets but instead run underneath buildings?


@TheEdVerse
The depth of the sewers varies, around the city (for one thing, the city is far from flat, what with Mount Waterdeep and its spur out into Castle Ward, and the plateau that the northern end of the city stands on), but is always below what we real-world modern types might call ‘basement level’ (and to Waterdhavians is “cellar level,” by which they mean one fairly deep level below ground, not several subterranean levels down). It’s important bear in mind that a lot of the sewers are flushed out by the ocean tides, coming into the harbor and ebbing out again, aided and abetted by spells cast long ago (by Ahghairon and others) and bound into the wards that help the flows of water carry sewage (so the entire harbour doesn’t become a stinking cesspool that sickens the city and kills the resident merfolk).

In our real world, main sewer lines follow the route of streets above them purely for ease of construction (and later access). They don’t do this in Waterdeep for two reasons: most of the sewers predate the current layout of the streets (i.e. the streets were different, back then), and because the sewer routes are dictated more by where springs rise and flow down to the sea, and where sewers should be sited and sized best for the tidal flushing…rather than following the routes of streets above them.
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Posted - 06 Oct 2019 :  16:09:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the word Oloré:


Oct 5, 2019


@peripateticnerd
First off, speedy recovery wishes from Germany @TheEdVerse!

May I bother thee with a language question considering the Realms? Just looked up "Oloré", which means "I will smell" in Spanish. Is this a coincidence or chosen intentionally? #Realmslore


@TheEdVerse
A coincidence. My Spanish is very poor, and was even worse when I was eight years old and coined that word. ;}
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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Oct 2019 16:09:45
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On elves and the bubonic plague:


Oct 6, 2019


@jayeedgecliff
Asking @TheEdVerse if elves are immune to bubonic plague #128530;


@TheEdVerse
Immune, no. But for elves, it's rarely fatal.
They get the buboes, go delirious, and become weak and collapse or go on a frenzied tear of fighting or rushing about...and then, either way, fall into a coma. From which they recover if not harmed while 'out of it.'
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Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  11:19:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Sune Firehair:


Oct 6, 2019


@AdamDravian
That's especially interesting that Sune was in the Realms so early on. My favorite PC is a Sunite, so I'm always eager for Sune lore.

Sorry my questions are targeted to a specific Realms period. I'm sure you prefer to share lore that's more broadly applicable to all Realms fans.


@TheEdVerse
Okay, here’s some early Sune lore for you.

Sune watched over her temple guards, and champions fighting on her behalf (including adventurers), and from time to time would manifest to bolster their armor class, hit points, to hit rolls, and the damage they did, so a supposed pushover would suddenly be far more formidable to, say, an orc or hobgoblin raiding band (so word very soon got around that Sunite temples and shrines were NOT easy targets). When this happened, Sune’s holy symbol (her head surrounded by her locks of hair would animate, the eyes directly focusing on, and tracking, beings who were present, and the hair writhing and swirling and giving off a glow as if it was aflame (though it very rarely was). Sune could send actual fire through her hair to start a fire if her faithful were shivering of cold and firewood was frozen, or similar situations, but very rarely did this to aid combat, aside from burning trolls.

Sune is very fond of sending inspiring images of great beauty (crafted items and nature, not just sensual) and music to her faithful, in dream-visions.
#Realmslore


@AdamDravian
Awesome! Interesting that "firehair" is sometimes literal. My PC has her symbol on his shield, but it seems really wrong to block blows with Sune's face. Would shields us an alternate symbol? Speaking of her symbol, it seems like it'd be difficult to render her perfectly beautiful face over and over again for each symbol. Does she use her power to ensure it's always perfectly rendered, or is her symbol done in a simple enough style that her beauty is left more to the imagination? And one other Sunite question

Do her faithful have any qualms about killing beautiful evil creatures. That's something I've had my PC struggle with.


@TheEdVerse
I always saw the shields of Sunite temple guards, paladins, and Sune-dedicated cleric adventurers as using Sune’s face. Usually painted in a simple style that, as you say, leaves her beauty largely to the viewer’s imagination.

But if a limner has the skill to make her portrait really striking, Sune has the fond vanity to magically ‘adjust’ it to be nigh-perfect. Making the shield entrancing.

And yes, her faithful DO have qualms about slaying (or battering, and so harming) beautiful foes. You’ve got it, spot on!
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  11:20:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On written languages in the Realms:


Oct 6, 2019


@simontubey
Hi Ed, I hope you're feeling a lot better now?!

I had always wondered if all scripts on Toril are written and read the same (left to right and down) or do some flow in a Japanese or Arabic style?

I wonder this especially for the Drow Script?


@TheEdVerse
Hi! Starting to feel better, yes, thanks!

Old gnome and halfling scripts are written to be read bottom to top, left to right, but this passed out of use in the 1100s DR with increased exposure to the Common Tongue through trading (becoming top-down like we’re used to in modern real-world North America). Writings in Kozakura and Wa are still bottom to top, in right-to-left columns.

However, drow writings (as seen in the original 2e DROW OF THE UNDERDARK, from my pen), are left to right and down. Giant writings from elder times (800s DR and earlier) are right to left, but they, too, shifted to left-to-right as trading contact increased and the Common Tongue took hold. In the times of Netheril and earlier, dragons rarely wrote things down, but when they did (often through servitors such as human worshippers), they wrote from a central identifying-the-dragon-who-was-writing rune in a tight, nigh-circular spiral, outwards.
#Realmslore


@LonePaladin
So this was like the dwarven method, of starting with an identifying emblem (like a banner or rune), and spiraling outward.

Yeah, I remember that article.


@TheEdVerse
The dwarves adopted it from the dragons. Knowing a good thing when they saw it.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr
Did each dragon use its own unique rune, like a mage sigil, or was it more like Japanese, with a particular (possibly unique) combination of characters forming their name?


@TheEdVerse
Each dragon used their own unique sigil.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr
Did those unique sigils have similar protections to mage sigils, preventing their misuse or forgery? Or was there some sort of cultural imperative in avoiding misuse of these sigils? Do dragons still use those unique runes, and is there a term for them?


@TheEdVerse
The sigils bear no magic to prevent their misuse or forgery, but any dragon misusing or forging would be shunned by other wyrms, and deemed mad; such behaviour is just ‘not done.’ It is ‘beneath a dragon.’ Madwyrms are to be cast out and if possible destroyed, and in any event no other dragon will aid them or make common cause with them.

Yes, dragons still use such sigils, and they are known as “othwaer” (oth = self + waer = rune, sigil, symbol of meaning). (In ancient times, “oth” was rendered “auth.”)
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 10 Oct 2019 11:21:16
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  11:23:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On four-course meals of the Realms:


Oct 6, 2019


@Jon_4L
what are some common four course meals in the Realms? Do they vary more depending on race, or depending on locale?


@TheEdVerse
They vary most depending on race; orcs and half-orcs prefer to eat a diet almost exclusively of meat, and dwarves prefer meat and dark, nutty breads, whereas elves prefer berries and green vegetables.

If you’re traveling in the Realms, and dining in taverns, inns, or eateries, here are four common meals with several ‘removes’ (=courses):

THE WARM BOARD [a solid, respectable meal, served in “good inns” in cities and towns]
1. Bowls (of fire-eggs, of nuts, and of cubed cheeses). “Fire-eggs” are hard-boiled eggs, usually hens’ eggs but sometimes duck eggs, cut in half, with the yolks blended with honey or mustard, then spooned back into the cut halves.

2. Pottage (a soup of yesterday’s leftover meat, with vegetables). Such as: potato, leek, and diced bacon or roast fowl, or ham, leek, and pea, or barley, bean, and goose (or duck, or chicken).

3. Roast Eel, Tench, or Silverfin (in coastal areas) or Rabbit or Grouse or Boar (inland).

4. Tarts (filled with cherries or berries).

Served with ale and/or “table wine” (a blended dry or semi-dry white or red wine, made locally).
#Realmslore

SOLID SUPPER [plain but sustaining fare; found in rural way-inns or the best eateries in small towns]

1. Bowls (of cubed cheeses, squares of honeycomb, and/or dates).

2. Pottage (a mixed stew of local vegetables and meats [whatever can be had, from local rats to the last fragments of smoked, aged carcases of just about anything; often venison]; failing that, simmered broth).

3. Capon with orange or lemon sauce (chicken stewed in wine, fruit, and spices) or Boar in Gravy.

4. Sugared Bread Slices (hardbread/toasted rusks sprinkled with sugar or spread with local berry jams).

Served with small beer or ale.

EVENINGFEAST [expensive, served in superior establishments]

1. Bowls (of chocolate, preserved fruits [jellies], sugared nuts, pickled silverfin or other smallfish, hot snails in butter).

2. Chilled Fruit Soup (such as strawberry, mandarin oranges, rhubarb).

3. Cucumber Medallions in Vinegar and/or Roasted Marrow Slices in Mulled Wine or Cider.

4. Cheese Tray (assortment, served with pickled onions, sweet pickles, spiced jams and/or meat marrow, on flavored crackers).

5. Boar Salad (bacon-flake-covered fresh greens, with sliced radishes and root vegetables, drizzled with spiced cider dressing).

6. First Meat (roast hare and/or stuffed chicken and/or stuffed pigeon, garnished with hard-boiled eggs spiced with cloves).

7. Second Meat (roast stag quarter, and/or a whole roast roe deer, and/or a whole roast wild boar, and/or a stuffed-with-pickled-eels sturgeon [ports and coastal areas only]).

8. First Sweet (plums stewed in rose-water and/or fruit tarts: cherry, gooseberry, or other local berries, often stewed in brandy or cordial).

9. Second Sweet (Sugared pastries [we would call them “shortbread cookies”] or love bites [small oval puff pastries filled with lemon cream and glazed with caramel]).

Served with zzar, brandy, port, sherry, and an assortment of light wines and dark beers.

SIMPLES [Served in rural places or by those charging little or with impoverished pantries]

1. Pork pot pies (stuffed with pork, bacon, and onion or leek, and seasoned with salt, pepper, sage, or other spices).

2. Sausages, fried with eggs and/or diced, spiced root vegetables (parsnips, turnips, or potatoes).

3. Grapes, drenched in a honey glaze.

Served with small beer or ale or homemade “petal” wine (dandelion or other wild weed).

Local variations on all of these, of course, depending on what’s available.

For instance, a cheap seaside tavern may serve a fried mash of mixed smallfish, followed by diced pickled herring, followed by leek-buttered fried slices of hardbread, all washed down with ale. A cheap countryside tavern may serve a “simmer stew” of mixed vegetables and whatever meat can be had (it’ll be brown and dominated by onions).

There we are; hope this is of help.
#Realmslore


@Jon_4L
Gods above, wow that helps! Extra curiosity (just to spruce up some verisimilitude for a campaign I'm running), does Laeral Silverhand have a go-to that adventurers are served when they're in her home?


@TheEdVerse
Laeral’s extensive herb garden grows INTO her kitchen, flourishing even indoors by means of growing conditions arranged ‘just so’ and by some spells cast by friendly elves and druids. As a result, year-round, she can serve up potato-and-leek soup (improved with subtle garnishes of chives and garlic), as it’s always on the go in her kitchen simmer-cauldron. To this she can add fried mushrooms (from her own farmhouse cellar), done in chive butter (her own cows, her own chives), fried quail eggs (she keeps her own birds), and herb and cheddar buns. Washed down with mugs of manyherbs chicken broth.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  11:24:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Velen:


Oct 7, 2019


@ElisabethADixon
I hope your recovery is going well! :) I have a couple questions if you don't mind: (1) is Velen still an independent duchy and (2) while Athkatla seems a reasonable place to restock/refresh while traveling via ship from Waterdeep to Port Nyranzaru, is Velen? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse
Hi! Yes, Velen is still an independent duchy, ruled by a Duke, but it now enjoys friendly relations with Tethyr (the two realms are staunch allies, cooperating against pirates and mercenary forays sponsored by ambitious satraps of Calimshan seeking to annex territory). Within Velen, many Tethyrian loyalists work to overthrow Velen’s ruling duke and courtiers, but they work quietly (if you want things to become violent in your campaign, there’s a DM’s Guild adventure, MURDER IN VELEN, that covers such events).

Regardless of how much unrest and tumult you want to have in Velen itself, it has always been a stronghold resisting the pirates of the Nelanther, meaning it’s well-defended (with ballistae and trebuchets stationed on heights, a harbour chain and harbor defense ships bristling with ballistae that can launch fiery missiles to set ships aflame, and a well-equipped fighting force of defenders, the Stalwart Shields or just “Stalwarts,” who know how to swim), well-equipped (full drydocks for ship repairs, several sailmakers and ropers { =ropemakers} and outfitters who can swiftly turn a ship from a damaged hulk into a seaworthy vessel), and well-provisioned (not only does it have coopers and warehouses galore, it’s endured pirate sieges in the past and so by local law has food-stores “laid by” as well as a lot of edible goods warehoused for trading. Sailors on the Sword Coast know that Velen is a reliable source for casks of salted meat and biscuits, wheels of cheese, and pickles, all in bulk sufficient to fill the cargo holds of any large Sword Coast cogs.

Which is a long-winded way of saying to your questions: 1. Yes. And 2. Yes. ;}
#Realmslore

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Posted - 10 Oct 2019 :  11:47:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On dates of the home campaign:


Oct 9, 2019


@AdamDravian
Hey, Ed. Question about the dating of your home Realms campaign (both in-game & reality). I gather the Crazed Venturers campaign began c. 1978, and FR0 and FR1 seems to suggest that was c. 1340 DR. I had guessed the Swords of Eveningstar (KoMD) campaign started c. 1981. Your Dragon #65 (Sep. '82) article implies that Doust had recently become Lord of Shadowdale and that Lashan's forces had yet to attack (placing it around the start of 1356 DR). But you mentioned on twitter that Pennae's death occurred during a vivid 1979 Realmsplay session. I was under the impression that her death is what spurred the Shadowdale census that occurred in Marpenoth 1355 DR, placing her death just a few months before Lashan's threatening letter arrived.
So either it took a few "real-life" years to play out the events of just a few months in-game, or I got some of these dates majorly messed up.

I'm also curious what the year was in your home Realms when you sold it to TSR in the summer of '86. Was it 1357 DR?

I'd appreciate your illumination on this. Thanks!


@TheEdVerse
Hi! You're correct on all of those dates, including it being 1357 DR in the "home" Realms campaign when TSR bought the Realms.

It did indeed take years of real time to roleplay just a few months in-game. To quote Bill Watterson: "The Days Are Just Packed."
#Realmslore


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