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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:26:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(Note: this and the prior post were originally one tweeted question; I split it up for clarity.)

On Cormyr's treatment of non-humans:


Jan 4, 2020


@cluc2018

Also, I'm having difficulty figuring out how Cormyr treats non-human/-demihuman PCs. Any advice on that? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

Sure. Cormyr’s treatment of a PC will depend on their race (elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes are accepted, half-orcs are eyed with suspicion, and drow and all goblinkin [orcs, goblins, etc.] evoke a “run for your weapons and sound the alarm and lock your doors” reaction).


@ZeromaruX

Hi, @TheEdVerse , hope you're having a good weekend. I want to ask: is this kind of reaction still happening by the 1480s+?


@TheEdVerse

By the 1480s, SOME Cormyreans would be slower to be hostile to anyone unfamiliar, and many would react to half-orcs with “mild” suspicion or less. But most would still treat drow and all goblinkin as a threat.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Interesting. Seems the goblinoid thing is some form of cultural racism?


@TheEdVerse

No, it's a direct result of repeated goblin attacks on the citizens of Cormyr. See DEATH OF THE DRAGON and CORMYR: A NOVEL.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:27:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On some of Iriaebor's Council members:


Jan 4, 2020


@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse, hope you had a Good Christmas and a wonderfull New Year! Hope your feeling better! Im contacting you because I'm writing and adventure set in Iriaebor, not much is written about the 40-person merchant council, or I cant find anything.

Im not going to ask you to name every single merchant, but who are the most important members in the council, or the merchants that are the most wealthy/influential and what exactly do they trade in. this would be around 1360-70 DR.

Thanks Ed, and i hope you have a wonderfull year!

And to add on that, it is mentioned that there are a numerous amount of intrigues between the many merchant houses, families and cabals of the city. Any interesting ones worth mentioning?


@TheEdVerse

Right, here we go. ;}

Your dating is handy, because it lets us assume the events of Mark’s novel have played out, the Zhentarim have lost their grip on Iriaebor, and the City of a Thousand Spires is into the aftermath. (So this updates what I wrote in the 2e sourcebook FORGOTTEN REALMS ADVENTURES.)

Meaning the most prominent Zhent-backed merchants (who’d begun to openly behave like tyrants) are gone, but local citizens remember the fear they felt, and are hyper-alert for skulking Zhent spies and anyone who might be working with them.

So most cabals are silent for the time being, family intrigues are very quiet, everyone is watching everyone else, and the Council is full of new faces.

Of whom six are real “movers and shakers” with influence at Council and high public profiles. And (in order of daily “weight” of public influence) they are: Belvarn Tholandor, Janratha Deltarm, Molaklar Haelthin, Harbluth Orsavvar, and Talarra Tathgallant. In addition to these six heavyweights, up-and-comers at Council include Urland Tethgar (NE hm R2), a wagon seller, refurbisher, and warehouse owner who wants property ownership in Iriaebor to be restricted to (taxpaying, year-round-resident) citizens, but otherwise wants fewer laws and civic oversight; and Lauvilarra Yauvyn (CN gnome-f F2), a motherly, dumpy, polite and mild-mannered weaver whose manner hides a stubborn will of steel, and who firmly believes small-coin crafters and shopkeepers are the heart and backbone of Iriaebor and must be supported in law and civic treatment to remain that way.

Because of Twitter’s wordcount limits, I’m going to stop now and then tweet details of each of the six Council heavyweights separately.
#Realmslore

Belvarn Tholandor (LN hm F3): a heavy-set, raven-haired, bearded (with daggerboard sideburns and heavy brows), piercing black eyed man who rarely smiles and publicly reveals no sense of humour. He trades in iron castings and lubricants (such as wagon-axle greases and anti-rust coatings for tools and weapons) and invests in city properties. At Council, he advocates raising taxes and using them to bolster the local Watch to “keep an eye on” “miscreant citizens.” He wants lots of new laws and regulations passed, too, to keep Iriaebor clean, orderly, living within its means, and offering visiting on-caravan merchants their own stables and inns (so they can be kept apart from locals, and watched closely when they visit city taverns and businesses). Tholandor is law and order, through and through. He likes to get an edge over competitors and then have laws passed that make this advantage “rightful”—and then seek a new edge, and another law. He is forceful, sways a lot of small merchants who like the security he promises, and is loathed by many others on Council who see him as a bully who’s working his way up to being a tyrant.
#Realmslore

(In reply, the second of six Councillors)

Janratha Deltarm (CG hf Sor4): a vivacious, swift-with-a-jest, “bubbling” woman whose friendly ways and high spirits hide a shrewd ability to read others. Plump, short-brown-haired, and short, Janratha is merry, can sing beautifully, and is a vicious mimic when she wants to be. She trades in food birds (buying, raising, and import and export of preserved meats) and draft beasts (for caravan servicing), and invests in city properties (she pioneered renting individual rooms to small crafters, in “collective” shops, and remains a landlord to many such, across the city). At Council, she leads a large, shaky coalition of grocers and shopkeepers who fight against “big coin” merchants getting advantages in law and civic treatment over “the rest of us” (smallcoin merchants), and stands against more regulation and more spying on citizens. She wants taxes raised moderately not to bolster lawkeeping, but to build a contingency fund for building repairs in case of fires (and she wants priests and sorcerers paid and trained as a firefighting brigade, too). She believes the city’s road into the future is to be a city of equals, not allowing guilds to form or costers to get special treatment, and that the Council should form many small working committees to deal with problems when they’re small, not letting them grow into crises that cause divisions and strife. She detests Tholandor, and he regards her in the same way.
#Realmslore

(And here’s the third of the six heavyweights on Council.)

Molaklar Haelthin (NG hm F1): a brown-skinned, gaunt grizzled and aging man who hails from Var the Golden, Haelthin has brown eyes of unusually large size (and so, an arresting gaze that usually makes him look astonished, even when he’s far from being that). He has a soft, husky voice, is unfailingly polite, and is widely respected at Council for his habit of stating many sides of every issue, and patiently explaining his reasoning for favouring one view or decision over another (it’s clear to all that he approaches each case separately, and works always for “the best for as many citizens as possible, now and in the future”). So he pushes for nothing but the best decision on every issue and detail. Haelthin trades in city properties in Athkatla, Waterdeep, and Crimmor, buying and selling and renting, to “keep his hands clean” when it comes to decisions at Council regarding Iriaebor. Locally, he repairs locks, hinges, and handles of doors and windows. He’s outlived three wives, and rumors arise from time to time that he murdered them all, but those who knew the women say these are false.
#Realmslore

(And here’s the fourth of the six heavyweights on Council.)

Harbluth Orsavvar (CN hm R3): a loud, flamboyant, formerly very handsome man who’s aging into a paunch and several chins, Orsavvar drinks a lot, loves jests (coarse and otherwise), and holds no grudges, forgiving but never forgetting. He’s far shrewder and more thoughtful than he acts. He dabbles in many get-rich-quick short term investments, propping up the opportunistic and desperate. Most of these gambles fail, but when they succeed, he makes a LOT of coin, and has done so often enough that he’s become very successful, and is buying seedy city properties whenever he can, fixing them up and renting them out, with an eye to eventually assembling blocks of properties so he can raze and redevelop. As he makes no secret of this, he has to pay a lot for adjoining properties (because those who want to stop him put in competing offers for them). At Council, Orsavvar delights in thwarting Tholandor’s pass-new-laws efforts, as he has an aversion to heavy oversight and bureaucracy (being a wheeler-dealer himself, who wants room to wheel and deal). He loves bright, bold new visions for the future, and will often back even crazed schemes because he likes the picture painted of what Iriaebor could become.
#Realmslore

(And here’s the fifth of the six heavyweights on Council.)

Talarra Tathgallant (CG hf B2): A tall, graceful dancer and singer who paints (very good) portraits for coin and collects other sorts of paintings done by others, “the Tath” is known for her ankle-length brown hair and solemn face. She trades in draperies, gowns, worn accessories (mostly for women, but mens’ “for looks” boots, hats, and cloaks, too), and paints (mainly for buildings, as opposed to art), and has a sideline in importing ointments, lotions, and scents. At Council, she pushes art and the enjoyment of civic life to improve a sense of community, and has managed to get passed into law public water-pumps and privies (the establishment and maintenance of), and regulations that encourage citizen window-box gardening. Some on Council regard her as a madwits who wastes time on artistic matters, but others point out that she’s done more for sanitation and public health than any other Councillor.
#Realmslore

(And now, the sixth and last of the movers and shakers on the Council of Iriaebor.)

Dorland Manyweather (NG hin-m F1): A fast-talking, nervous, deft and clever bundle of energy who has scores of projects on the go at once, makes astonishing amounts of coin in many small investments (and constant re-investments), and is a calligrapher, cartographer, and fine woodcarver by trade. Over the years, he’s bought into, and now owns, no less than eight city warehouses, the rental of space therein bankrolling his life and increasingly large family. Dorland is short, rail-thin, has tousled black hair and ‘snapping’ black eyes, and grins often because he finds life entertaining. He despises Tholandor but has few foes in the city or on Council, and by nature, he’s a gambler who will take a chance on bold new initiatives (even if they’re foolish). He secretly lends a lot of hard-up shopkeepers, stall owners, and craftworkers money when they need it, charging only “one copper, ever” in interest, with the result that many of them are able to repay, and a lot of them are grateful to him and will back him in nigh anything he does. He staunchly supports regulations and civic treatments that support halflings, gnomes, dwarves, elves, and non-purebred-humans, because he firmly believes Iriaebor will be strongest as a tolerant, cosmopolitan trading city.

(Whew; done at last. Hope this is of help.)
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:28:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On drow reproduction:


Jan 5, 2020


@LysbethRaven

I know that some recent materials are saying that the elven population of Toril is in decline, but does that go for the drow too? An is there any kind of push to rebuild their population among the elves?


@TheEdVerse

Drow reproduce often (a typical female may have ten children), but the violence of their culture leads to heavy casualties. This has “always” been the case, not something that’s changed recently.

True drow population figures are hard to get, and the drow always like to think of themselves as oppressed but supreme, whereas others tend to think of drow as far too numerous. Elminster’s not noticed any decline.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:28:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On creating mythals:


Jan 5, 2020


@RedNoBlue
Hello again. Thanks again for taking the time answer my question about EHM.

I had another question now, about Mythals. In 5e, is there still a way to make Mythals? I'm assuming yes through High Magic, but did Mystra remove Epic Spells and Mythal Seeds?


@TheEdVerse

So far as is known, no one has recently created a Mythal. Some Weavemasters and Chosen of Mystra have tinkered with/repaired existing ones. In theory, crafting a Mythal is still possible, but the problem lies in assembling enough sufficiently powerful AND SKILLED participants. Such mighty wielders of Art tend to be very busy, disinclined to work with others except on their own pet projects, and paranoid about being in a known place at a known time side by side with others mighty in magic. Mystra, like all the gods post-Sundering, has “stepped back” from direct interactions with mortals, and is working more through her servitors (including the Chosen), clergy, and manifestations. ALL of the incarnations of Mystra have preferred to work more on a personal basis than with a formal “no one can do this now” approach. So you might be granted the ability to understand, master, and wield an Epic Spell, while at the same time Drang the Deathdealer in the red robes next door might not, because Mystra thinks Drang will use the spell more to destroy or oppress others than to spread the use of magic to all.

Crafting a mythal requires the deepest trust and cooperation—and too few wielders of the Art are capable of making themselves so vulnerable, and being so generous. (Sigh; like too many of us, in life.)
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

A follow-up, friend Ed. In some of the 3E Realms fiction, mythals were tied to keystones. As far as I know, this was new and had not been previously mentioned.

So was this a new thing, or something not previously discussed, or is it only some mythals that are like this?


@TheEdVerse

Only some mythals are like this. Mythals tied to keystones are rarer than those that are not. At the time, this wasn't new in Realmslore, but was new in published Realmslore. Some of the root lore literally takes decades to reach print.
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 10 Jan 2020 02:34:43
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:30:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(This post was another two-question one that I split; see the next post)


On the regard of Cormyrean nobles for the Wyvernspurs:

Jan 5, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

during the events of Wyvern’s Spur how widespread is the knowledge/rumours of the rather odd happenings of such a “trifling little backwater nobility” among the higher ranked families? Especially ones whose children are around Giogi’s age who aren’t so snobbish as to dissociate due to his “lack of importance”, rather because they’ve little patience for folks they see as using their brains simply as an organ to cool the blood, so to speak. And would those who don’t dismiss the country holdings simply for being “backwater” perhaps start to get any hint of things by the end of that Trilogy that resembles the truth of matters? If nothing else is Cat fairly social? And as a PS what of a Selûnite priest, anything they may know or suspect about Immersea & her Lords?

True PS: if ever you’re speaking with Jeff could you kindly pass along my love for his work? Giogi is truly the parallel reality incarnation of Bertram Wooster & I can think of no higher praise.


@TheEdVerse

The RUMOURS are widespread, but ignored by most as “More Wyvernspur nonsense; that entire FAMILY is madwits, I tell you! They’re the sort that give the likes of us a bad name!”

The nobility of Cormyr establish internal pecking orders based on feuds and hatreds, wealth, influence/public and political importance, and so on, but rarely agree on such rankings, and tend to scorn or dismiss those they dislike or disagree with, and their opinions and stances with them. Being “backcountry bumpkins” is one slight used in such rankings, but blunted by the fact that ALL noble families have at least one “city residence” (dwelling in Suzail, no matter how modest or rented, or how grand and accompanied by ‘safe houses’ and nests for mistresses and guests and the like) and at least one “country estate.” So everyone can be dismissed as a bumpkin by those who wish to do so, and some will agree while others will see the dismissal as empty, catty invention. There are some wise old money families, and some quiet middle-of-the-pack families, who privately welcome “odd” and adventurous behaviour among nobility as necessary progress, and a push against stagnation and irrelevance and the inevitable push among commoners to overthrow and eliminate the nobility, and needed “fresh air” besides.

And yes, Cat IS fairly social, and well respected (because so many noblewomen are seen as silly, frivolous, catty, or brainless, however unfair such judgments may be, those with sharp tongues and keen wits are valued, as entertainment if nothing else).

And yes, a Selûnite priest might suspect MUCH about Immersea and her Lords, though rather less would be confirmed and pass into the “know” category. Among War Wizards, from top to bottom, rather more would be suspected and known, though Vangey would have issued a “hands off, let’s watch where this goes” directive rather than a “stamp this out, fast” one.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:31:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(This post was another two-question one that I split; see the prior post)

On Cormyr's rumor mills:


Jan 5, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

Tangent: safe to assume among the inns & taverns, the commoner’s rumour mills are arrayed along such a wide spectrum they hit on truth by pure happenstance & anything but the truth just as much + everywhere between?


@TheEdVerse

Yes. The rumour mills grind wild and tirelessly, and uncover many truths. The problem is what we face in our modern real world: who/what to believe? This sounds so farfetched, THAT sounds just how I see that person/organization. So our prejudices steer us, sometimes to run right over the truth, and sometimes to swerve right past it. But yes, “common” Cormyreans are remarkably well-informed, and insightful, about the intrigues unfolding in their country, the interests and deeds of the powerful citizenry, and EVERYONE’S pratfalls.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:31:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On some bad Waterdhavian singers:


Dec 27, 2019

@ericremyjordan

I watched the movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, and am inspired to have an NPC quest giver in Waterdeep based on her. @TheEdVerse I’m curious if you could suggest a noble house or particular lady who you think would be a good fit? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Foster_Jenkins


@TheEdVerse

Sure! If your Realms campaign is set in the 1480s or 1490s DR, there is a wealthy noble widow who fancies herself a superb singer (but isn’t), and who rents venues in Waterdeep to give performances to packed audiences of Waterdhavians who love the entertainment she provides (plus a few bemused visitors to the city): Elgondra Eagleshield, who has a face like a horse, the build of the rear end of a galleon, a voice like a buzzsaw, and a buoyant, cheerful disposition that refuses to get annoyed at anything (so fruit hurled at her she regards as offerings of endearment). She “warbles” publicly at least once every tenday, usually in Sea Ward or North Ward gambling houses or clubs she rents all of, for an evening. She dresses in splendidly outlandish costumes, one of which makes her look like a gilded oceangoing nao.

If you’re adventuring in Waterdeep in the 1360s through the 1370s DR, noble matriarch Katya Brossfeather led a quartet of ladies with powerful singing voices who would have been quite lovely had they sung alone and a capella, but none of them had perfect pitch, so when they sang together, it was usually in four different keys. They sang at noble feasts, where they much amused fellow nobles, and word of them spread, so guilds took to hiring them for performances (to wider amusement).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:32:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Stonelands:


Dec 30, 2019


@jayeedgecliff

I wonder if I may seek a bit of advice about the climate, geography, etc of the stonelands. If our game continues to progress in current fashion one of our number shall be Baron of the SLs. Likely our only non-clergy ranger. Is there already a good fortress, or if Not where might be the likeliest places to construct one for the seat of such a barony to live & preside?

My expertise in such matters lies with Rome who weren’t always sensible about such matters … i mean they dealt with the Scotts by building a BIG ditch & wall across Britain


@TheEdVerse

Heh, here we go (again*).

[* = this has come up a lot, over the years, as various campaigns approach “a PC is on the brink of becoming Baron of the Stonelands”]

The reason the Stonelands is wild, ungoverned country, and Cormyr has that standing “police this for us and we’ll make you Baron of the Stonelands” offer, is that the terrain of the Stonelands makes moving armies through it well-nigh impossible, and governing/policing it very difficult.

The climate is harsh northern (think pre-global warming winter northernmost Michigan, Minnesota, or Ontario, so: ice storms and heavy snowfalls, with howling cold winds). If you’re familiar with Canadian Shield country(that is, exposed bedrock), the Stonelands is like that: thin soil with scrub forests, wherever there isn’t exposed rock.

And the topography consists almost entirely of east-west rock ridges, with “breakneck” (steep-sided) ravines between them; i.e. deep gullies with rainwater ponds at the bottom of them, or springs (there’s lots of water) trickling out of their sides to collect at the bottom and then drain away into the Underdark.

There are lots of prowling monsters, and the Zhentarim have an interest in keeping the area ‘wild’ so no one bothers their east-west trade routes north of (from Cormyr’s POV, “behind”) the Stonelands. There are many caverns/clefts in the rock, some of them caused by water seepage/winter freeze ice expansion that pushes rocks apart, over the centuries, and these offer many monster lairs.

And there are no good fortresses and no good sites to build any.So, good luck! ;}
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:33:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Kelemvor judging all souls:


Dec 29, 2019


@Razzelmire

@TheEdVerse went on Twitter just to ask this. Is Kelemvor in charge of all souls or Faerunian pantheon only? What about Mulhorandi pantheon? Do Giant, Dragon, Mind Flayer, Elf, Dwarf, etc souls go to him or to their own respective judgments?


@TheEdVerse

Kelemvor’s clergy will tell you that Kelemvor governs the fate of all souls. However, this is (honestly believed by those who say it) church propaganda. In other words, it isn’t true; the truth is that Kelemvor can’t even keep up with judging all Faerûnian pantheon=worshipping human souls. So, yes, the souls of nonhuman beings go to other judges and judgments, some souls get lost and “wander,” and humans who worship the Mulhorandi pantheon or other deities not of Toril encounter other judges. It seems to vary on a case-by-case basis, which really means mortals are struggling to understand the afterlife, and various faiths are attempting to provide answers which likely have more to do with reassurance and doctrine than reality. Or to put it in the very apt words of a real-world faith: “It’s a mystery.”
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:34:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Misty Forest:

Dec 2, 2019


@Madhatterhim

Hey @TheEdVerse have been studying the Misty Forest lately, but information is typically scarce. I am aware of the Temple of Chauntea...and the locations mentioned in "Rise of Tiamat."

Any further features of interest you are capable of sharing?


@TheEdVerse

The Misty Forest is one of the more ‘untouched’ forests in that part of the world. So it has no internal roads (no woodcutters have penetrated the interior), and lots of wild game.

As far as not-yet-published features of interest go, it offers Reugor’s Rock, the Tombholes, and Dead Glade.

Reugor’s Rock is a black standing stone, natural as opposed to erected by any sentient race, an erratic in geological parlance, that marks the entrance to the caverns where the orcs that raid wayfarers on the Trade Way dwell.

Pronounced “REW-gore,” it’s about two-thirds of the way ‘down’ the length of the forest from its northern end, not far inside the western edge of the woodland.

The Tombholes are narrow cracks in the face of the escarpment that marks the southern edge of the Sword Hills, and extends east halfway through the northern end of the Misty Forest. The score or so of cracks, caused by winter ice splitting and slowly widening the cracks over centuries, are barely wide enough for an armored human warrior to walk into, seldom run back more than six paces before they narrow too far to traverse, and are the sites of hasty, ancient human burials: fallen adventurers were stuffed into them, fully dressed and with their belongings, which often included treasure—even magic items. Sages suspect the Chosen of Mystra resupply the Tombholes with magic from time to time, because burials known to have been plundered have been discovered to hold magic by later searchers. The Tombholes are almost all claimed by small, furry forest beasts as lairs.

The Dead Glade is a small clearing deep in the wild heart of the Misty Forest (few agree on just where) in which some sort of ancient, fell magic holds sway. It can readily be recognized by the long-dead, falling-apart beholder that hangs in midair above it, reduced to an empty globe of sagging chitin plates and rotting fangs hanging askew; all of its eyestalks have entirely rotted away. It’s not undead, but may serve as shelter for undead.

If some adventurers’ tales can be believed, that is. And the magic that holds the remains of the beholder fixed in place makes the flesh of living creatures creep and crawl, and affects them in odd ways that vary from one being to another; some have gained darkvision, lasting years, or levitation or other abilities. Just what this magic is, and why it affects living creatures in different ways, are as of this writing unexplained mysteries.
#Realmslore

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On town markets:

Dec 3, 2019


@Sartana87

Hi @TheEdVerse ! I wonder what is the frequency of town markets in the Realms ? Is there a fixed "market day" for all lands ? Does permanent market exist ? I would love to know specifically for Eveningstar for my campaign but answer the way you want :) Take care.


@TheEdVerse

Hi. It varies from place to place AND season to season (depending on how much fresh produce farmers are harvesting).

Eveningstar has a daily "stalls market" where the two main roads meet, an ongoing "usefuls" market (forks, knives, spoons, bowls, cups, blankets) hosted by (and in the entry hall of) the temple, and a farmers' market once a tenday in the "off season" and twice a tenday during harvest times, with many farmers sending a cart that'll stay until "all gone" not just attend for market day.

Larger places host constant markets that swell in size when farmers have lots of produce to sell. When I call a place in the Realms a 'market town,' that's what I mean. Settlements on major trade routes tend to always sell food and drink (intended for travel), and livestock.
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On the region between Neverwinter and the Mere of Dead Men:


Dec 3, 2019


@Bear_Jew67

Hello @TheEdVerse! I was hoping to get some more background on the region between Neverwinter and the Mere of Dead Men. Any useful dungeons, interesting monsters, lore and the like? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

In the ‘home’ Realms campaign, there’s a band of adventurers led by three dwarves (sisters), known as The Ready Axe, who are gathering gear and provisions to hire themselves out as guides for the latest flood of “get rich quick” young thrill-seekers out of Waterdeep, so they can explore the various caverns of the Sword Mountains. None of which have been thoroughly scoured out, and many of which are being used by opportunistic monsters as places to catch, kill, and eat this annual stream of wannabe adventurers (who give themselves fanciful names such as The Peerless Plunderers or Valanthar’s Ever-Victorious). Leilon is home to a wagonworks and an outfitters whose owners are both Zhentarim members, and they’ve hired local youths as spies to watch over The Ready Axe and the wannabe adventurers, in case someone really does find something in the mountains—whereupon the Zhents will hire someone else to step in and relieve them of whatever the ‘something’ is.

And in Conyberry, a lone prospector, Dorn Multruth, is trying to get others interested in joining him in an expedition into the hills south of Triboar Trail, about halfway between Conyberry and where the Trail meets The High Road nigh the coast—where he’s found rich veins of copper, “enough to make a dozen pickaxe-swingers rich for life, right there for the taking!”
#Realmslore

And just off the top of my head, there's Cragmaw, Phandalin, Dread Ring, everything going on in the town of Leilon, some caverns ("dungeons") in the Sword Mountains including some former dragon lairs...lots to choose from. :}
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On wizards learning divine spells:


Dec 18, 2019

@CorosRPG

I'm curious, how would the Faerun pantheon, or various factions react to a wizard actively seeking to gain access to divine magic without the use of faith or religion?


@TheEdVerse

Unless a deity had a mischievous reason for aiding the wizard (putting them into a likely ill-fated role as a pawn), they would ignore the attempts, which would end in utter failure. Which is not to say that arcane spells can’t be devised (with painstaking experimentation and spellcrafting) that have effects closely echoing certain divine magic spells; the creation of such spells is a tradition in the Realms that’s thousands of years old.
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On elven portals and secret ways:


Dec 18, 2019


@davespring
after the destruction of the Elven portal network in Final Gate (Book 3 of The Last Mythal trilogy), are there any secret ways the Elves still use to move vast distances across the Realms that don’t involve powerful personal magics? Hidden roads? Anything in the North?


@TheEdVerse

Not all elven portals were destroyed, and in ancient times there were other races who constructed portal pairings and larger networks (and interested elves have had more time than races with shorter lifespans to find and master these). Quite a few of these still exist in the Sword Coast North, “hidden in plain view.” And for those with sufficient mastery of magic, there’s always the ‘roundabout’ way of shifting to another plane (the Feywild, for example), and then shifting back to a distant locale in the Realms. There are also gates and artifacts that can accomplish such roundabout journeys. There are also “hidden roads” that are tunnels through mountain ranges.
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On Waterdeep's Code Legal:


Dec 11, 2019


@TheTryxie

To all my D&D players and Dungeon Masters, what do you think:

Is entering someone's house illegal? I can't find the concept of Home Invasion in the Code Legal of Waterdeep, but in my opinion it is illegal. What do you think? If it is, what crime would it be?
Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

The Code Legal is a rather simple document, that over the centuries has been extensively bolstered by case law (decisions of magisters or the Lords that add to it by precedent, without formally adding new laws).

In this manner, home invasions have come to be handled in this way: if no forcible entry is made (i.e. someone slips through an unsecured door or window), nothing is taken or damaged, and no one is physically disturbed (i.e. no one gets slapped awake or intimidated, no chamberpots or ewers of wash-water emptied over any sleepers, etc.), a charge of disturbing the peace is made, and the sentence of that crime is applied (“edict” includes public posting of offender[s] identity/identities, and the Watch puts them on local patrol ‘watch lists,’ which can include the Watch wakening offenders in the wee hours to check on what they’re up to. Note: the Watch and Guard, or the Open Lord and Palace officials (inspectors, tax collectors, etc.) CANNOT be charged over a home invasion if on official duty; i.e. they can enter premises and it’s not a crime.

If, however, forcible entry is made, or property within the domicile is damaged by an intruder, then to the charge of disturbing the peace is added a charge of damaging property or livestock (yes, under the Code Legal, charges can ‘stack;’ whether they will or not in any particular case is up to the Lords, because if the Watch ‘hurls the Code’ at an undercover Lords’ agent or someone in favour, the Lords will reduce or eliminate charges ere a magister does any sentencing—whereas if it’s someone in disfavour, an accused will face all charges made). On a guilty finding, the usual sentence for damaging property or livestock applies.

If property is stolen, a charge of burglary is added, and the…usual sentence applies. If persons in the residence are assaulted, a charge of assaulting a citizen is added for each person (if they are citizens of Waterdeep; outlanders are afforded no protection under the Code Legal, but note that if you rent or own real estate property in the city, belong to a city guild, or have paid any recorded levy or tax, you’re a “citizen”). If persons residing on the invaded premises are awakened or threatened and “feel fear,” this same charge is leveled for each person affected, but the sentence/punishment is nominal (and often used by magisters to cobble together a sentence that “fits the crime,” so drunks or ‘madwits’ or ‘wandering-witted’ (dementia) offenders may get a gentle slap on the wrist, but gangs who intimidate, of families building into a feud, get the Code hurled at them). If anyone can be proven to have hired home invaders, they can face the same charges (proof can be hard to get, though, in the case of wily nobles or guildmasters or wealthy ‘wannabe nobles.’ However, the Xanathar, the Unseen, rival nobles, and even some unscrupulous Masked Lords have been known to fabricate proof in the past, so everything gets closely looked at, and mere verbal claims will only result in an accused getting put on a Watch ‘watch list’ and the attention of undercover agents of the Lords).

Hope all of this is of some help!
#Realmslore


@Wiser_MJW

Uh damaging property and robbery would both cover burglary.


@TheEdVerse

Quite true, but I'm describing how things have come to be applied in the Deep, by precedent. As in our real world, quite often logic doesn't come into it. ;}

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On Neverwinter's naval defenses:

Dec 5, 2019


@richlore88

@TheEdVerse, what can you tell us about Neverwinter’s naval defenses? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of the city having a navy despite its location on the coast. Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

Pre-Spellplague, Neverwinter had a small but very good navy (often replacing ships with bigger and better-armed), hence its victories over Ruathym. The Spellplague and the Sundering destroyed it. Lord Neverember borrowed some of Waterdeep's ships when he needed ...shows of force, to buy time to concentrate on rebuilding the docks (and shipyards, and warehouses) for mercantile success. Then he hired mercenaries (ironically, some Ruathym privateers!) to start rebuilding the city's navy. As of 1492 DR, keels have just been laid for major warships. Right now, Neverwinter is defended by two secondhand caravel troop ships, four old ex-Waterdhavian (purchased) fast coastal rakers, one of which mainly serves as spare parts for the other three, and one mercenary Ruathym ship (the hired 'outlander' naval vessels have been eased out of service, with handsome payoffs and thanks, as the rakers, crewed by citizens of Neverwinter, were eased into service).
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On Volo's name:

Dec 5, 2019


@nessus88

I hope you are healing well and feeling better. Thank you for answering questions. I happen to have a question about Volo. I noticed there is a city in Calimshan called 'Volothamp' and I was wondering if he is named after the city or if he gave himself a pen name?


@TheEdVerse

Oooh! You've stumbled on a hidden secret of the Realms! Volo is indeed named after the city, as he was conceived there, and his mother had a secret sideline business in having babies for nobility and royalty (and keeping very quiet about it, so they could pass off her babes as legitimate fullblood heirs), and wanted to keep track of where she 'made' her own child. (Eventually, someone decided to guarantee the silence of Volo's parents by murdering them. Via deft hired killers who offed them separately in "accidents.")


@Mr_Espinos

For a moment I thought you were talking about the town of Volo located just south of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I was super excited because I had wondered if he was named for the town, it being located so close to the birthplace of #DnD


@StevenESchend

Partly inspired from Volo Bog in the sense. I always liked Jeff Grubb’s conception of Volo’s travelogues in that he named places after himself if he didn’t bother to learn the local name


@Mr_Espinos

So, standard colonial white guy?


@TheEdVerse

Heh. Volo's a SATIRE of the "Great White Explorer" of the British Empire, and has been from the start. We needed an 'idiot narrator.' Jeff Grubb named him; I already had the character (Elminster kept turning him into water-spouting frog fountains and the like.)
#Realmslore


@Mr_Espinos

He feels appropriately cartoonish.


@nessus88

Thank you so much for answering. This is great to know. Can I ask if Volo knows that his parents were murdered and for what reason?


@TheEdVerse

No. He SUSPECTS, but only recently, because they died at different times and the fatal accidents were so well-crafted. You see, it's only recently that he learned of his mother's sideline business (which was FAR more profitable than the everyday work his parents did).
#Realmslore


@RandomQueriant

How recently?

Are we talking soon enough that the killers, and the people who sent them, are likely still alive?

Or 5e "recently", and the killers children, and possibly their grandchildren, have probably died of old age?


@TheEdVerse

The latter. As extant Realmslore records, Volo was one of those who survived the Spellplague and Sundering via magical means.
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On the Karsestone and other phylacteries:


Dec 6, 2019


@vengeful_jarl
since the events that lead to shade enclaves return to the realms, has anything been done with the karse stone? Or is it still sitting in the high forest (I havent gotten to read the return Of the archwizards books yet but I don't mind any spoilers).

Just didn't knownif it was destroyed bringing them back or if it's still in Karse to be found and manipulated.


@TheEdVerse
The Karsestone is in the possession of the goddess, Shar. And she's shown no inclination whatsoever to return it to the Realms for mortals to access. Likely because the lich Wulgreth of Ascalhorn is far more useful to her as a ghostly slave/servitor.

(The Karsestone is its phylactery.) Warning: there are TWO liches named Wulgreth, the other being from Netheril. Confusing them is likely to be horribly fatal.
#Realmslore


@MissMartinsen
Have there ever been instances of a living phylactery? And by that I mean... an egg that hatches unexpectedly, or a body that later became a mummy, or perhaps a tree/treant that wasn’t quite dead?


@TheEdVerse
Yes, BUT...life and unlife housed together destroy ("eat") each other. Usually lichdom is so powerful that it's the living phylactery that dies, VERY quickly (days or hours)...and is withered/ruined, partially or wholly. The lich is weakened until this demise occurs.
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On the inhabitants of Veldorn:


Dec 1, 2019


@AdamDravian

Illuminating as always, Ed. A shame Veldorn has been neglected, as it's such a fascinating location.

Is there some unifying factor that keeps these various monster types in (relative) harmony? Do they share the same alignment or favor the same deity? Do they welcome all monsters?


@TheEdVerse

They welcome all creatures who ‘play nice’ with others. (I.e. they understand that to every creature, certain other sorts of creatures are food/prey, but they don’t welcome beings who slay, maim, and bully for the delight of it, constantly, nor beings whose every moment is spent trying to disrupt the status quo or defeat all other creatures within reach.) Malar is the pre-eminent shared deity, and all sorts of creatures who have their own gods also worship them; there are cults that worship individual dragons—and dracoliches, beholders, alhoon, and doppelgangers are behind the current power structure, propping up current rulers high and low, and working against disruptors. Veldornar don’t share a common alignment, but they do share a common cause: making their land work and flourish, not just survive, in a sea of human-dominated realms.
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On winterbourne streams of note in Cormyr:


Dec 11, 2019


@sanishiver

Dear @TheEdVerse,

Well again! I hope this tweet finds you well along the path of recovery.

I was wondering, are there any winterbourne streams of note in Cormyr’s woodlands?

As always, my thanks to you.


@TheEdVerse

Yes, in the depths of both the King’s Forest and the Hullack Forest, but all of them sink back down into the ground rather than flowing out of the woodlands. Their names are known only to royal foresters, but it’s known that during Vangerdahast’s long tenure, they were mapped (as far as they could be; the centre of the Hullack remains a dangerous place) and renamed after the given names of long-dead Obarskyr queens and princesses.
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:42:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On alternative facts in Waterdeep:


Dec 7, 2019


@ericremyjordan

Newest issue of the Waterdeep Sentinel from my home #dnd campaigns featuring investigation into the accusations against Open Lord Silverhand. I wonder what @TheEdVerse would think about the Xanathat using alternative facts against the Open Lord?

For context, in my home games set in 1492, the Xanathar is using the tensions caused by drow followers of Eilistraee (arriving in Waterdeep since 1491 DR) to cause people to doubt Laeral Silverhand, lessening her power, and creating opportunities for the Thieves Guild to expand

The conspiracy theory started with the distribution of these pamphlets and story coverage by bribed journalists at the Waterdeep Wazoo


@TheEdVerse

LOVE those broadsheets!

Everyone in the Deep (nobles, guilds, Masked Lords, crime bosses of all species) have long used alternative facts against each other, so it's spot-on. (Laeral will just ignore until forced to do otherwise, thanks to who she is).

She will, however, privately point out the suspicious nature of the published accusations. Certain bribed journalists will likely receive menacing private visits from agents sent by various Masked Lords...with priests of Tyr and Watchful Order spellcasters using magic on the journalists during said visits, to try to find out what's really going on. Once they find out, agents of the Xanathar may meet sticky ends in a quick collective purge (as a warning), as stories from OTHER bribed journalists appear about various nobles, trusted guild members/craftworkers, popular tavern dancers and minstrels, etc. being rescued by drow in the city from various threats. Just how things are daily done in the Deep.

BTW, the danger of using alternative facts is that it makes many convervative nobles (and some conservative guildmasters) seethe, and they are extremely unlikely to ever work with or support the purveyors of untruth. They consider this tactic "too dirty for civilized society" (a threat to law and order in itself).
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:44:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On post-Spellplague Luiren:


Dec 2, 2019


@webjr1981

How's Luiren doing these days? If it was around 840,000 before the spellplague, what was it after the flooding?


@TheEdVerse

Largely recovered, though the flooding and poor harvests that followed (salt-ruined farmland) cut the population to just over 600,000. The hin rebounded fast, because if there’s one thing they know how to do, it’s farm/garden (i.e. they know what crops to plant to bind and absorb salt, and return the land to arable state as fast as possible). The other thing that’s ingrained in their nature is to work together, generously, when faced with adversity, so they flourish where other races might more often fight over the scraps. As before the Spellplague, Luiren is a rural land, as hin will happily live in human cities, but don’t see the need to build new ones themselves, when market towns will serve their purposes just fine. What they have done to ‘improve’ Luiren is build wider, better-in-wet-weather roads, with much better bridges.
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:44:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Mistshore:


Dec 5, 2019


@_cromac
Hi Ed! I was wondering if you could tell me where exactly is Mistshore on a map of Waterdeep please!


@TheEdVerse
Sure. While it flourished, Mistshore occupied the northern shore (Dock Ward) of the Great Harbor, from the breakwater separating it from the Naval Harbor on the west, to just shy of the foot-of-Odd Street docks on the east...so draw a line due west from that wharf to the naval breakwater, and that entire part of the harbor was filled with lashed-together ships: Mistshore. Its southern edge wasn't neatly horizontal; in the middle, it bulged south about half a ship (cog)-length. The Lords then prevented expansion.
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:45:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On teas for a dinner party:


Dec 7, 2019


@EBedpan

Knowing that tea in the Realms is basically anything from hot herbal drinks to actual tea from Kara-tur, I was curious if you had recommendations for us on Earth to use for a Realms themed dinner party?


@TheEdVerse

Most merchants and common folk drink what would be sold in our world as "green tea," unless they're drinking a tissane made locally or in that household from freely-available berries.

So if I assume your dinner party emulates the Heartlands, or the Dales, or Waterdeep and environs, most likely would be green tea, followed by wild raspberry tea, blackberry tea, gooseberry tea, and then rosehip tea.

If I'm incorrect in that assumption, then the most likely/popular teas would shift to match local sources, with a steady rise in black tea as one moved east across Faerûn. With a few oddities: in Luiren and Veldorn, crickets are added to tea (imparts a nutty flavour), and in Chult, certain folk swear by dried snake hatchlings (though as Elminster told me darkly, "I stand not among them").

Nobility and wannabe nobility (nouveau riche wealthy) everywhere like to be exclusive, and drink 'special' teas (secret custom lends, chocolate dissolved in tea, and so on, or even mixing tea with liqueurs. (Elminster frowns on THAT, too.)
Hope this is of help!
#Realmslore


@Gambit_Wildcard

I've put a Shoppe in Waterdeep that specialises in Kerbabs, Drow Sausage Rolls and Meat Pies, Cormyrian Pasties and slushies(blue bubblegum being the most popular flavour) the owner is a burly chap with a fine moustache and bristling beard, named Heimlich Mecklenburg


@TheEdVerse

Don't tell Elminster! Blue bubblegum slushies may enrage him into "accidentally" razing the place to the ground with an inadvertent spell. Laeral will merely shudder--and Volo will be eagerly at the counter in a trice. As for Mirt...Twitter is a family platform, yes?
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Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:47:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On who gets snow in winter:


Dec 7, 2019


@ivstinus

Weather question... is there FR/ Sword Coast map or description of who gets snow in the winter? I FEEL like there is and I've seen it.

Looking at Waterdeep to Daggerford specifically.


@TheEdVerse

Oh, we've published them, all right, but darned if I can remember after thirty-odd years of the "official" published Realms if I can remember where. Here's the short form: everywhere in that area gets snow in winter, and freeze-up. Baldur's Gate gets both, too, but the river runs strongly enough & is wide enough that the harbor isn't icebound (ships and small boats can break the thin morning skin of ice). But hard frozen ground, blizzards, and snow accumulated on the ground afflicts everywhere from the Gate northwards.


@gkrashos

I’m pretty sure the weather in the North was set out in the “Silver Marches” accessory.


@TheEdVerse

Thanks, George! You know where all the skeletons are, even the ones that never made it into closets. ;}

@gkrashos

The Realms, OCD and a packrat mentality pay off every so often.#128521;


@jayeedgecliff

This is awesome. I’m curious about Cormyr, especially Eveningstar & Suzail, and Sembia’s climate, if you wouldn’t mind.

Published novels & 1e/2e game products let me know suzail & Sembia have quite warm summers, maybe some snow in winter but the picture is fairly fuzzy.


@TheEdVerse

The problem is that published adventures seldom include weather as a factor (in the old days, this was due to a paucity of both rules and available wordcount), so all too often published source material (except when handing players parched desert or howling blizzard conditions, was largely "weather silent."

When we talk of Suzail and much of Sembia (not to mention coastal Cormyr), the Sea of Fallen Stars acts as a temperature moderator and moisture adder; if you're close to the sea, it warms you in winter and cools you in summer and gives you mists, fogs, and humidity all the time. Cormyr also has a wall of mountains at its back that acts as a wall against the worst winds blowing from the interior, and Cormyr, Sembia, and the Dales experience prevalent winds blowing to the west-northwest onshore from the Dragonreach and the open heart of the Inner Sea. What all of this adds up to is: interior areas (upland Cormyr [including Eveningstar], the Sembian backlands, and the Dales, can get a lot of snow and biting cold at the depths of winter, and some years will have long winters, whereas the coasts will have a bone-chilling 'damp cold' and ice storms as the worst of winter, and shorter winters, and both of them can have hot, humid height of summer, but usually experience moderate, pleasant summers (and spring and fall) with lots of precipitation in short bouts (i.e. swift storms that "blow over" rather than days of gloom and rain. Hence, the Dales can grow enough food to support themselves, and Cormyr and Sembia are agricultural powerhouses (growing surpluses).

If all of this strikes you as giving a DM maximum freedom to have almost any sort of weather on a given day, and you're suspicious that I designed it this way (back in the 1960s, pre-D&D)...you'd be right. ;}
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