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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

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32875 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2020 :  03:48:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the flood of posts... Been busy, of late; I've still not even taken the time to open the Lego Saturn V I got for Christmas!

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32875 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2020 :  02:35:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just added this additional bit to the mythal post from the 6th:


@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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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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32875 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2020 :  02:36:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Auril's clergy:

Jan 6, 2020


@DadandDax

Quick question, got a game I'm running for my kids. One picked to be a cleric of Auril but we can't find much on what she expects of her clerics. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.


@TheEdVerse

Right, here we go…

The Frostmaiden has a loosely organized church; her clergy wander the Realms and operate with a lot of independence (making the adventuring life ideal for them). They are charged to make all folk fear the Cold Goddess and her clergy, by visiting the fury of winter weather upon mortals. That doesn’t mean making everyone suffer; those who pay her clergy for magical protection from the cold receive it from her clergy, and priests of Auril also carry out tasks others cannot, in fierce winter weather conditions (sometimes when hired to do so, sometimes to benefit their friends or those who pray fervently to the Frostmaiden, and sometimes to win public favour for themselves and the goddess). They may help someone snowbound to get to shelter or a desired destination, may guide caravans, wayfarers, or peddlers through whiteout blizzards, help hunters or others to find food in deep-snow snowstorms, and so on.

Some high-value caravans (carry gems, or important people, or desperately needed food or medicines) are run every winter by caravan masters who pay clergy of Auril highly to guide them—and such clergy, regardless of alignment, will do their very best to see those caravans reach their destinations in a timely manner, with every member safe. Auril expects no less, for she wants mortal awe and respect as well as fear.

Clerics of Auril are expected to make offerings to Her by sharing some of the personal wealth they amass by such activities by tossing the coins or gems down glacial crevasses, or cracks in the ice covering frozen lakes or rivers, or casting them wildly into ground-fallen snow during a snowstorm.

Clergy of the Frostmaiden are charged to quench fire wherever they find it, let in the cold and icy winds, and cover the landscape with ice. They are forbidden to fight or slay fellow clergy of Auril, or arctic creatures save in self-defense or “great need,” but can otherwise slay others at will—by Auril’s means (cold, snow, and ice), so stabbing with an icicle dagger or causing a fatal fall by creating an ice slide are fine, picking up a mundane weapon and doing murder is NOT. Every winter, a cleric of Auril is expected to slay at least one creature with cold (a sentient creature or one larger than the priest is, not a handy mouse, rat, or bird). Priests of the Icedawn are expected to cause fog, mist, storms, and cloudy weather where they can, to prevent clear skies and sunlight melting ice and snow and warming the land.

Clergy of Auril are expected to persuade or force a non-cleric to pray to Auril for mercy and also to praise the goddess for her “cold cleansing.” This prayer must be done out of doors, preferably at night, and must last for as long as it takes for a piece of ice larger than the praying being’s hand to melt against their bared flesh.

Clerics of Auril pray to the goddess for their spells either at the coldest time of the day, or at midnight, lying outside in the snow or the coldest stream they can find, to do so.

Since the Sundering, several priests of Auril have made a lot of coin by hiring themselves out to hunt and slay monsters forced by scarce winter food into harassing countryside or wilderness communities, or harvesting hibernating creatures such as bears and selling them for food to those facing starvation or near-starvation in the depths of winter.

Hope this is of help. (I’m assuming here that the PC has already been accepted by Auril, and has therefore undergone and survived the Embracing.)
#Realmslore


@justice_arman

I love it! Reminds me of the line in the Sword Coast's Adventuring Guide that says someone will invoke Beshaba's name when crossing a rickety bridge. Paying tribute to avoid the wrath of a goddess.


@DadandDax

Thank you. What is the embracing?!


@TheEdVerse

It's the ritual for becoming a cleric of Auril (she accepts all who survive it): the supplicant wears only boots, a thin shift, and the symbols of Auril painted on their body, and runs through a blizzard all night without any protective magic.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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32875 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2020 :  02:37:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the spice trade:


Jan 9, 2020

@Eruestani

Does anyone have an idea on the spice trade across Faerûn? My players are taking Trollskull Tavern a bit too far XD.


@TheEdVerse

Ormpur on the Shining Sea coast (S of the Border Kingdoms) is the City of Saffron. Spices tend to be harvested, used, and sold locally, but as with our real world historically, there are a few spices that, like saffron, are in high demand but available only from too few places of origin. Which is a long-winded way of saying there is a significant, high-value spice trade overland, and from the POV of someone on the Sword Coast, that means spices come from "afar" (way, way south or way, way east) to the Sword Coast.

A local-to-western Faerûn storehouse-center for the spice trade is the island of Tharsult. Pages 88-89 of the 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign setting (the big baseline Realms book) have a trade-flows map, with Salt and Spices marked (salt mined in Samarach and spices shipped north from the Tashalar (mainly to Tharsult for transshipment elsewhere) and north from Calimshan into Tethyr (and thence, elsewhere). Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Athkatla, and Calimport are all cities on the Sword Coast where you can buy "the full array" of spices used by most humans, demihumans, and humanoids, with regular resupplies. So are Silverymoon, Scornubel, Crimmor, and Iriaebor except in the depths of winter when caravans don't run.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 10 Jan 2020 :  02:38:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Mirt and Asper:


Jan 9, 2020


@MissMartinsen

Great Sage, I beg a tale of you.

Namely, I know how Asper and Mirt met, but what does their love story look like? When did our beloved moneylender view her as a wife rather than ward? Details, please .


@TheEdVerse

The really, really short version: Asper was a "quiet tomboy" of a youth, very active and very observant (watching Mirt and watching life in Waterdeep). She became adept at scrambling along rooftops, throwing knives and stones and other small objects (e.g. windows, from the street below or another building or rooftop), and generally street-smart. In other words, she was very curious about the world around her and wanted to learn all about it (she often used her facility at leaping and climbing to attend noble revels as an unseen, uninvited guest, for example). She saw a LOT of human nature, from Waterdhavians high and low, and by adulthood reached the conclusion that she wanted a mate to live out her days in the Deep, and that the one she deemed most fitting, was Mirt. So when he gently told her that it was time she started her own life, and he'd be happy to arrange an apprenticeship for her to some employer in the city, and sponsor her rent, she accepted but elicited the "my house will always be open to you" promise from him, and used it to visit him once a tenday for supper, whereat they discussed the latest city news, picking his brains re. guilds and nobles and costers, etc. Asper covertly kept watch on Mirt's doings, and aided him from time to time when he got into scrapes (usually unbeknownst to him), which happened more and more often as his advancing age made him slower and less agile. During these years, Asper had several affairs with various partners, which only strengthened her resolve that Mirt was "the one" for her (life partner, not faithful lover), so when he got wounded and took to bed drunk, she stole in through his window and seduced him. Mirt at first thought this was very wrong (she'd been his ward! No, no, no!) but she was determined and as the bond of trust between them as well as love was very strong, she eventually convinced him. He insisted on a formal marriage, though, which she was happy to oblige, and then she moved in with him, but maintained her existing rented "digs" in the city and her various schemes, investments, and business relationships. They became a duo in adventures, commerce, and life, both having side-affairs and interests, and were happy together until Mirt got trapped in a blueflame item, the Spellplague hit, and the passing years took Asper to her grave while Mirt was trapped in stasis.

This has never been published in Realmslore because TSR was afraid it would be seen as a parent seducing their child (very creepy). It was a tale I wrote when I was seven, of a grown-up ward seducing her "foster father" as a 'love conquers all' thing. Asper: "I've seen other men, and they measure not up, despite his coarse manner."
#Realmslore


@TheEdVerse

Heh. Just realized I indulged in a bit too much brevity. Started the tale too late.

Asper became Mirt's ward, as an urchin, when the Masked Lords of the time (Mirt was one) were shamed into adopting orphans of the city as wards, because various illnesses sweeping the city, and hard winters, for two years running had killed a lot of citizens, leaving substantial numbers of orphaned children. Guildmasters also got shamed into this, but nobles paid commoner families to adopt orphans for them.
#Realmslore


@NessusResident

Wait, I thought he rescued her from a sacked city when she was still an infant? Is that not right? (My partner and I had to immediately write out the "wife" part of our canon when we learned it by the way... As well as age up Durnan's late wife compared to their daughter )


@TheEdVerse

He did indeed rescue her from a sacked city when she was an infant, but turned her over to one of the city orphanages. However, when local causes created a glut of orphans a little less than a month later, Mirt "took her back" as the orphan he was adopting, as a lord of the city (Mirt was one of the few "Masked Lords" of that time that 'everyone knew' was a Lord), rather than one of the many, many other orphans.
#Realmslore


@j4ckl3

I wouldn't mind having a book of Mirt and El sitting by a campfire regaling is with tales of the early years and adventures. Maybe have some guests visit along the way.


@TheEdVerse

I would LOVE to write such a book. :}
Truly.


@VikGray

A bit creepy though BUT, after all they both were all grown up. Knowing that they are not relatives and how some classic books (not only fantasy) work. Well, not a problem. Plus, knowing the background.

Why not eh.


@TheEdVerse

Trying to thinking back to when I wrote it, over fifty years ago when I was young, that I was trying to capture the power of love and trust, AND working out that the Realms was a different place than our modern real-world, with different morals and attitudes.


@MissMartinsen

I get it. Knowing Mirt, he would have pushed back. And he did.

How did he take her passing? Did she handle his work after he disappeared?


@TheEdVerse

She did handle his work (and went on living in Mirt's Mansion) after his disappearance (and presumed death; he had many enemies from his early years as a mercenary warcaptain, and his later career as a swindler/moneylender/investor/smuggler). When he was freed from stasis (Sage of Shadowdale trilogy) and realized how much time had passed, he was very sad. But he's as tough as his old boots, and picked himself up and went on. However, he'll probably never marry or love deeply again, and doesn't care much if he gets killed serving Laeral as a roving agent, these days, because of losing Asper. She became THE love of his life.
@Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 10 Jan 2020 02:39:25
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3105 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2020 :  15:00:20  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fantastic!

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1502 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2020 :  01:27:39  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seems sleyvas got canonized
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1222675166704082944?s=19

Anyways, Wooly. Are you vompiling this into some handy pdf?

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5707 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2020 :  03:09:37  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Vompiling". Is that when you put together something that makes you sick?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32875 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2020 :  04:08:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Anyways, Wooly. Are you vompiling this into some handy pdf?



Hadn't even considered it. I've been keeping his Tweets the same way I've kept so many of his responses here: in a big directory of text files.

I've actually got a small buttload of them right now, that I need to get posted here. Time, however, has proven elusive...

I'll note, though, that due to one of his recent comments, I've got to withdraw a former complaint of mine: Silverymoon's wards becoming a mythal was not, in fact, the retcon I thought it was.

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1502 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2020 :  00:51:25  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

"Vompiling". Is that when you put together something that makes you sick?

-- George Krashos





Something like that? (?)

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1968 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  04:17:41  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find more interesting this:
quote:
from Ed Greenwood
[…] Some mythals have items enchanted to be 'keys' to them (allowing passage through them, make the bearer immune to some of their
powers, and/or to turn certain powers on or off, and such keys can be considered weapons by those who know how to use them, and can even have the physical form of a weapon (i.e. a mythal key could be a dagger or sword), but there is no way to imbue a weapon
with mythal powers that can be called upon when the weapon is away from the mythal (carry the sword even a step outside the mythal, and it can no longer act as a key, so can't call on mythal powers). Moreover, any item bearing other enchantments (beyond mere
item protections like fire resistance, rust resistance, and so on) cannot be enchanted into a mythal key (the magics war with each other and destroy the item, immediately).
#Realmslore

It's an observable and practical difference between mythals and lesser wards. We know there are enchanted items that are usable as such and also double as ward tokens (Commander Ring, War Wizard Cloak, IIRC drow House Insignia, Harper badge), but with mythals it's not an option.
So, no mythal keys protected by as much as permanent alarm or tracer, never mind blade-rite.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 01 Feb 2020 04:19:51
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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32875 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:29:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On great Gnomish existentialist philosophers

Jan 21, 2020


@NickelNinety7

are there any great Gnomish existentialist philosophers my Goliath Eldritch Knight could name his Owl familiar after? #dnd


@TheEdVerse

Certainly, though largely unknown outside the races of gnomes. The long-dead, famous gnome Nith Foelkor wrote the famous treatise YOAN DRAE. In the gnome tongue, “yoan” means ‘to be gnomish/I am a gnome’ and “drae” means ‘life, experience, point of view.’ Folekor’s central idea is that all thought, to be anything but erroneous, must be rooted in the experience of the thinking gnome, and all that is true about existence is due to the point of view of that gnome, and that gnome’s acts, feelings, and life experience. Nith Foelkor is pronounced “Nithh FOAL-kore,” and although his lifespan isn’t known, he was alive in 844 DR and dead by 929 DR.

The greatest female gnome philosopher who wrote anything down is Yantana Velvaerup (“Yan-TANNA Vel-VAER-uh”), known for being swift, agile, thin, restless, and mischievous; she flourished in the Dales, and is known to have died in the hard winter of 1126 DR. Her most famous chapbook is VUL TETHEN. “Vul” means ‘my’ and “tethen” is ‘musings/thinking’ (“teth” is a thought or idea). (Female gnomes tend to favour oral history chants over writing.)
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 01 Feb 2020 20:30:17
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32875 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:29:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Freedale:

Jan 25, 2020

@TimeBust

The town of Freedale, a few miles southeast from Shadowdale down the river Ashaba, doesn't seem to come up outside of the dubiously canon "Introduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons". If it does exist, do you have any supplemental notes on its history, role, etc.?


@TheEdVerse

Freedale was a short-lived, temporary town that sprang up at a former woodcutters’ clearance (they were after a stand of very good trees, and moved on when they’d harvested them all) as a base for a sustained effort to found a new dale (or expand Shadowdale but have this southern arm of the cleared area have its own lord and government). It gained its name, wharves, and peak population circa 1359 DR, but dwindled and faded swiftly beginning in 1374 DR when Myth Drannor rose again (and the local strength of the elves with it, said elves frowning on a large, wholesale clearance of forest by mainly Sembian humans wanting to found more farms).

So the name and site still exist in the late 1400s DR, but the forest is fast reclaiming the cleared areas, and only a few steadings (log cabins) are still in use, occupied by human families “farming” the forest lightly (harvesting mushrooms, edible mosses, and herbs for sale to peddlers and to caravans stopping at the Old Skull Inn in Shadowdale, etc.) rather than growing cash crops. It’s more of a named site in the forest now than a settlement, and lacks a lord, a watch, and anyone at all left alive in the Realms today who’d still consider it a town. At least one dock is still usable.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:30:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On farmhouses in Eveningstar:


Jan 26, 2020


@cluc2018

Hi Ed! I'm trying to figure out the specifics of farmhouses in Eveningstar, specifically the way they were dug out of the earth "like a giant rabbit warren". What sort of methods did they employ to pull this off? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

By no means all of the farmhouses were like this. The oldest ones all were, though: you pile up earth into a hill, and build your house in the lee of it (prevailing wind in Eveningstar blows from the NW, so the hill, upon which you plant vine crops and shrub herbs for home kitchen use and to anchor the soil, and for the latter reason often plant fruit trees just upwind of the hill, too, stands to the NW of where you want your front door. Then you dig into the hill, and line those inner rooms with stone; the earth shelters them and keeps them at a fairly constant temperature. If you need to expand storage cellars, you can extend the hill, usually into a crescent shape, and tunnel it farther. Then your "front rooms" jut out of the hill on the lee (sheltered) side, the E or SE (the Stoneland-edge cliff just north of Eveningstar caused those from-the-NW winds to veer and blow straight E in some spots in the village. So your house is half (or a little more, or a little less) dug into its own little hill. Giving you rooms that in the frigid depths of winter would be free of all wind chill AND warm enough so that milk, water, other non-alcoholic liquids, and small critters wouldn't freeze.

So you started by building a stone house, or at least half of a stone house, with tile or stone roof sealed with a LOT of hardfired clay, pitch, etc. ...and then you shovel-built a hill around it. The approach (the sidewalls of the entry "slice" into the hill) could be dry-laid fieldstone or timber cribbing or whatever you could afford, and could rebuild yourself in a few years as the shifting, settling earth inevitably shoved at it.
#Realmslore


@CharlesQuintin1

You'd think frost heaves would crack the floors, and walls would be out of true in a few years. I'm no architect but I've lived up north....


@TheEdVerse

You're quite right. That's why my note about 'rebuild yourself.' The floors are flagstone; they don't crack, they heave, and you dig them up and re-lay them when you're tired of tripping. Most of the in-hill rooms have timber crossbeams to keep walls from collapsing, as well as treetrunk support posts to hold the ceiling up, and are built that way from the beginning.

[Like my real-world farmhouse and barn. I live in Canada. ;} ]

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:31:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On class and magic in Lantan:

Jan 30, 2020


@FallenWyvern

Random realmslore question:

Would inhabitants of Lantan be more likely to have daVinci-esque inventions serving on them, or magical analogs (floating discs, unseen servants)?

Does the existence of magical/mechanical devices remove/reduce the 'lower class'?


@TheEdVerse

Mechanical far more than magical (though priests of Gond do use magic for propulsion and for the same rustproofing of metal that gets applied to swords elsewhere in the Realms). And yes, these mechanical devices are widespread in use, and do reduce the numbers of lower classes and disparagement of them. Lantanna society has farmers and those with no aptitude for working with their hands (sometimes derisively called “the halfwits and the dreamers”) at the bottom, workers who mine and smelt and hew a rung above, apprentices to skilled trades above them, skilled repairers and smiths above their apprentices, those who can fabricate what is new (metallurgists who can make new alloys, build prototypes and make molds) above that, brilliant inventors of the new higher still (“Inspired of Gond”), and the priests of Gond on top. But Lantan has less class friction and more ‘common feeling’ than many places; anyone willing to work isn’t despised, and everyone’s usefulness is respected (after all, farmers grow food and the starving are too weak to smelt or forge or invent).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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32875 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:35:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On being transgender in the Realms: (an older post someone recently linked to)


1 Feb 2019


@jayeedgecliff

I should preamble a little, because for reasons that break the gods’ brains some would ask this looking to trap a creator or some similarly juvenile nonsense. I’m an author, I know well that setting & characters are not the creator not reflective of her values

By the same measure I’m aware that in the grand scheme of The Realms every conceivable answer is represented *somewhere* because divers peoples, tribes, nations, etc. I grok.

Across … Classic Realms: Faerûn, principally the Sea of Fallen Stars, Cormyr, Waterdeep 1e grey box Maps region.

What is life like for a transgender or non-binary individual? Especially the former given the existence to such a thing as polymorph magics?

Is it significantly different for rich vs impoverished? Noble vs common, regardless wealth? Zhentilar vs Sembian?

I’d always made certain generalised assumptions about gender equity which I translated over to such matters but then I got to thinking about how on-screen War Wizards seem as much as 4/5 male, Purple Dragons almost exclusively so. Waterhavian Watch not exactly 50/50 but nearer

Zhentarim vibe a might more female, Red Wizards the opposite, and so on. So given a seeming wide swath of mindsets on the roles of sexes perhaps … gender affirming spellcraft? is maybe a less dull topic than previously envisioned?

I dig if you’d rather pretend this Question doesn’t exist. Regardless what you answer *someone* is going to probably have something horrid to say. But I hope even a ha’penny’s worth gem could be begged of you. /fin

Perhaps I should ask: does human vs other make any remarkable differences?
/fin+1


@TheEdVerse

Hi! Great question, because a topic that almost never gets directly addressed in published Realmslore. The Realms is, as you say, a big place, with many regional variations and just as much racism, sexism, and mistrust of “the other” and change than our real world. Bigots are everywhere, it is the nature of most to be at least a touch cynical, and so on. Yet to offset that, beings of any one race in most surface locales in the “classic” Realms coverage areas live with a variety of other races, and see “monsters” from time to time, too (albeit mainly dead, as wall-trophies). And the effects of magic, if not seeing spells hurled in your presence, is widespread, too.

For reasons of body weight and strength, some professions (smithing, professional soldiery, rowing) tend to be dominated by large-bodied males, but by and large (once you get away from Lolth-dominated matriarchies, the Rashemi, and the like) there is gender equality. As in: individuals may be discriminated against on the basis of age/experience, height, hardiness/have all their limbs in working order, and whether or not I like your face, BUT there’s no societal bias of role on the basis of gender. There ARE recruiting officers who go looking for guards of a particular build, size, and even hair color, and the units they assemble reflect that. Vangerdahast wanted female War Wizards “implanted” at Court and as “house wizards” in the households of the nobility he wanted watched over because he thought they were better at fitting in, acting, and being subtle than his young, ambitious male War Wizards (whom he deployed more in combat/action/military support functions, which is why you see them more on-screen), and his too-few really trustworthy and competent senior War Wizards he needed for vital roles (Laspeera being one of those).

Having wealth or status (e.g. nobility) provides a measure of freedom to “be yourself" in every meaning of the word—indulge your eccentricites/hobbies, and so on—so we see more nobles habitually doing “odd” things. Wealth allows those without the Art (gift of wielding magic) to hire spellcasting, so they can experiment with changing their own bodies in various ways, having sex while body-flying, and so on. Such “freedoms” are limited by disapproval/your own thinking depending on your local society (Sembia is very much “do what you want if you have the coin,” whereas modern-day Zhents are always aware of the Zhentarim and their scrutiny and war-readiness and supremacy of wizards and Bane and Zhentarim objectives.

However, magic is most often hired by the non-magical to change their own bodies, usually to make themselves more functional (overcome a withered or malformed or damaged limb, increase handsomeness). More than a few use it to switch gender, either to experiment or fulfill themselves (because they don’t feel comfortable as they are) or to escape persecution (by changing looks and often gender and taking on a new identity, sometimes to elude justice). “Everyone” has seen or at least heard of someone doing this, and it’s not considered crazy so much as “restless.” So although individuals who put on “camp” voices and lisps, and dress and use cosmetics to “outrage” may be ridiculed for such over-the-top behavior, there’s no stigma about changing your gender, nor would most folk in the Realms be repelled by discovering someone they have the hots for as one gender was once another. Nor is homosexuality, “swinging both ways” and dwelling in family groups of several “mates” of mixed races and genders frowned upon, societally. Individuals may find it too much for themselves to handle, but the laws and general attitudes of society don’t frown on it. There are strict laws regarding inheritance among royalty and nobility, but that’s purely to cut down on strife within powerful families and the resulting chaos.

This is, of course, given who was first publishing the Realms (that is, the time and place of publication, and the game and literary market of the time/societal attitudes of the time) something downplayed or even written out of published Realmslore, but from the outset, I thought racism (as in, prejudice against people who have a different skin color than you, or “talk funny” was ridiculous in a world in which elves rub shoulders with dwarves and scaly lizardfolk and talking dragons and talking bugs), and I thought my Realms would be a lot more tolerant than our real world of individuals who weren’t the one-man-one-woman-two-point-five-children-in-house-with-white-picket-fence family.

In my own background, I grew up in a very wealthy neighborhood filled with people from all over the world temporarily stationed in Canada as executives, and my mother died when I was young so I was raised by a tag team of VERY competent and strong-willed grandmothers and maiden aunts, and from age 14 on to right now I have worked in public libraries where almost all of my bosses and co-workers were women, many of them openly lesbian or bisexual, so none of this seemed unusual to me.

Which is a very long-winded way of saying that transgender and non-binary folk can live comfortably and accepted in the Realms, though they may have to pick their neighbors and friends to do so. [fin]

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On Amlaruil, and time gates:


Jan 29, 2020


@MissMartinsen

Question, Great Sage! Two, actually. Any insights as to what happened to Queen Amlaruil? Also, are the four Faerûnian Time Gates in working order post Second Sundering?


@TheEdVerse

Sorry, I missed seeing this one!

Although as of 1479 DR, Queen Amlaruil is gone from Evermeet and her throne stands empty, her fate is Elaine Cunningham’s to tell, not mine. Elminster has not heard of her death.

The time gates still exist, but they now seem to ‘twist’ (transform, unwillingly, into unforeseen shapes) those who try to use them, and teleport them to elsewhere in the Realms, and not elsewhen.

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On accessing extradimensional spaces within Silverymoon's wards:


Jan 22, 2020


@RandomQueriant

Question. Can you use a portable hole, or bag of holding, in 3.5 Silverymoon without a token?

Personal curiousity only. No game rides on this.


@TheEdVerse

No. Such items cannot enter the wards of Silverymoon except by being handed directly to someone within the wards bearing a lauthaul token, or using an active (i.e. suspending the powers of the wards at the time) thelbane token. They cannot be accessed/used within the wards except by thelbane use to suspend ward powers. They can be carried out of the wards without token bearing or use. Items within them survive.

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Ed names a kraken and a leviathan in the Sea of Fallen Stars:


Jan 13, 2020


@PastorPlague

I was wondering are there any great krakens or leviathans in Forgotten Realms? I am trying to think of a patron for a warlock in the Sea of Fallen Stars if thats at all possible. The character was left for dead and thought it would be fitting. He is also a triton.


@TheEdVerse

In the 1490s DR and for about sixty years prior, a great kraken of the Sea of Fallen Stars would be Uirtu (pronounced “OO-er-two”), most often found to the west and south, and a great leviathan in the same ocean would be Seeirleeshee, who keeps to the north and east (yes, they avoid each other).
#Realmslore


@PastorPlague

Thank you so much Great Sage, anything special you would be willing to tell about Seeirleeshee? I love the lore of the realms and a leviathan is just awesome in my mind :)


@TheEdVerse

This leviathan is intensely interested in the politics and doings of all coastal-land-dwelling "dryland" races, especially their magic, for as yet unknown reasons.
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On an epic noble feud in Waterdeep:

Jan 30, 2020


@MurderHGames

Question: While there are doubtless many petty rivalries and grudges between noble houses in Waterdeep, are there any that are truly epic in 5E times, say spanning generations?

Thanks as always.


@TheEdVerse

There are far too many petty rivalries, grudges, and even outright feuds to list on several Twitters running full-tilt, but one of the most epic is the dispute between House Massalan and House Sultlue. Which has been going on for at least two centuries and has resulted (so far) in the deaths of nigh fifty noble folk and over three hundred retainers and hired guards or bullyblade mercenaries. Including six Massalan heirs (at the time of their deaths) and one matriarch (Lady Halangalan, in 1253 DR), and seven Sultlue heirs. It involves one all-out assault on the Massalan villa of the time (during which its stables was utterly destroyed and the villa partially burned down, in a night-long battle that involved three hired mages and resulted in over a hundred deaths, including neighbors and curious onlookers), one sword-brawl at a noble revel in which two Sultlue heirs (Onstlur Sultlue and then his younger brother Braegel) perished in swift succession, and one mercenary dirty-tricks explosion that destroyed House Massalan’s best ornate coach with three family members inside (six servants, two bodyguards, and half a dozen horses also died; the head of one of the latter was found on a nearby balcony, much to the horror of the old lady who liked to sun herself there). Even today, Massalans and Sultlues bristle at the sight of each other, try not to attend the same revels, and turn on heel and leave clubs and eateries if they see members of the other noble house already there (retainers don’t count).

Ere he died (of old age and gout), as a ‘wastrel uncle,’ Haerym Massalan was wont to tell anyone who’d listen that the Massalans had “won” the feud, because he’d personally managed a swindle that cost the Sultlues three ships (good cargo cogs, all) and several valuable properties in Athkatla. The Sultlues dismissed his claims with scorn, of course, but that didn’t stop them from trying to arrange his “accidental” death at least seventeen unsuccessful times.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

That's quite the financial expenditure... What caused such a long-running and expensive feud? And how did the Lords act, in response to such things?


@TheEdVerse

The Lords left them to it, as they usually do if noble feuds don't extend to losses to others (if that fire had spread, for example). As for what caused it...you'll have to ask nobles of both families who are long dead, unless you witnessed the advent of the feud.

Some details I don't know due to unreliable narrators (such as Elminster or Volo). Why leave such gaps? It makes it much easier for DMs to tailor matters to storylines in their own Realms campaigns. What made it so long-running? Pride and stubborness (refusing to back down); a common affliction among nobles and individuals used to power in the Realms and our real world. Used to getting their own way = DETERMINED to get their own way in this matter.
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 02 Feb 2020 15:59:21
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On Lauzoril:


Jan 29, 2020


@clackclickbang

And I'm not done with you yet! I was always a big fan of Lynn Abbey's treatment of Thay and Aglarond in The Simbul's Gift. She particularly added excellent detail to the characters of the Simbul and Lauzoril. The Simbul granted Lauzoril the ability to call out her true name to request aid at any point. As the timeline has now moved on and I suspect we shan't see Lauzoril or his family again, could you shed some light on when / if Lauzoril ever called in this favour prior to his assumed demise at the hands of Szass Tam and a very steep drop? It would provide closure to a plot line set up in the mid '90s and a character I really enjoyed reading about. Additionally, anything you have to say on Lauzoril's family, his daughter, etc. and if they made it out of Thay would be excellent.


@TheEdVerse

I, too, loved what Lynn did in THE SIMBUL’S GIFT. Certain things are still NDA’d, despite (as you rightly point out) the timeline having moved on, so I have to tongue-tread carefully here, but let’s just say that Lauzoril had ALREADY called in this favour before the events you allude to. I can go so far as to say esteemed Realms scholar sleyvas is right: Lauzoril did not perish then, but escaped magically, thanks to prior preparations, and got and got his family out of Thay and into ongoing hiding (that’s where the use of his favour from The Simbul comes in).

As for any question as to why Lauzoril or his fellow Zulkirs didn’t call on The Simbul to humble Szass Tam or wreck his schemes, they would not have wanted to seem weak, and Mystra would have forbidden it because of the Athora (see TYRANTS IN SCARLET by George Krashos, available at the DM’s Guild).

Moreover, both Lauzoril and both of his daughters are still alive today (in the 1400s DR).

How?

I buy sleyvas’s idea that Lauzoril’s daughter Mimuay Tavai became a mage-priestess of Velsharoon, and later the lesser avatar of Velsharoon on Abeir (as he proposed in a thread in the Candlekeep forums familiar to you). At her request, the deity awakened Lauzoril’s clone.

Lauzoril’s other daughter, Nyasia, had her own means of longevity.

What are they all up to, these days? Ah, for that we’ll have to wait and see…
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On images of the Seven Sisters, Filfaeril, and her advisers:

Jan 12, 2020


@FichLuke

Hi so I was wondering if you have any artwork that you use for the leaders of world. I have a player in my group that suffers from Aphantasia. So she can't use theater of the mind. I hooked up a TV to my laptop, in order to project pictures of people.


@TheEdVerse

Who do you most need pics of? I can go look online for real people who "might be close enough to pass," if we can keep it to 20 or so. Non-humans will be harder. ;}


@FichLuke

I have been looking for pictures to represent the seven sisters. And the queen of cormyr and her adviser's. I would like to use some of the vast parts of the world that is not the sword coast. I thank you for any hel you are willing to give.


@TheEdVerse

Okay, so 1350s? Filfaeril as Queen of Cormyr?
There's a good pic of Laeral here:
https://scabard.com/pbs/campaign/52309/character/97835
and of Dove here:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Dove_Falconhand


@TheEdVerse

Here's a good one of Syluné:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Anastra_Sylun%C3%A9_Silverhand
and a good one of The Simbul:
https://www.toddlockwood.com/simbul


@TheEdVerse

Here's one of Storm:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Stormlight
and another:
https://dnd-5e-beginning-date-12-6-2015.obsidianportal.com/characters/astorma-storm-silverhand


@TheEdVerse

Here's one of Alustriel:
https://worldanvil.com/i/81849
and one of Qilué:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Qilu%C3%A9_Veladorn


@TheEdVerse

And strange as it may seem, these pics are pretty close to Filfaeril as queen:
https://pinterest.ca/pin/227150374934665708/?lp=true
and:
https://telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/9084977/Snow-White-Charlize-Theron-and-Julia-Roberts-vie-for-best-queen.html?image=7
and:
https://pinterest.ca/pin/548946642057524476/
and:
https://pinterest.ca/pin/568649890426581700/?lp=true
(top left pic)


@FichLuke

Thank you these are amazing. And I've been showing them to my wife who is my player with Aphantasia.


@TheEdVerse

You're very welcome. Any other images you need as play unfolds or now, let me know and I'll try to find someone/something suitable. :}


@TheEdVerse
I forgot Queen Fee's advisers!
Once Azoun and Vangerdahast are gone, the two highest-ranking ones would be:
The War Wizard Laspeera Inthré, who looks like this lady (top left pic):
https://pinterest.ca/pin/108227197280831351/?lp=true
except that the glasses are clear crystal (no frames at all!) and float in front of her face by magic rather than having stems that hook behind the ears in the usual manner.

And Caladnei, Vangey’s successor, depicted here:
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Caladnei


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On how Cormyreans think of Thauglor:


Jan 19, 2020


@Greysil_Tassyr

Thauglor has been gone from the Forest Kingdom for a few centuries, now... Who is he, to the average Cormyrian? A historical figure? A legend that may or may not be real? A boogieman used to frighten children who don't eat their veggies?


@TheEdVerse

Thauglor the Black Doom is very much a historical figure, viewed by Cormyreans alive today as “the First King of Cormyr,” before the coming of the elves and then the humans. He’s known to all to be dead, but in Cormyrean lore he haunts the realm in a ‘good’ way (meaning: he watches over it, and visits the dreams of Cormyreans to warn them if he believes the realm is threatened by invasion, coming natural calamity, and so on). Even level-headed War Wizards (there are some, though a local jest is that there certainly aren’t many) say they dream of Thauglor from time to time, and they always take such dream-appearances as a warning and try to figure out the meaning of anything else they can remember from their dreaming, from that slumber). So everyone who grew up in the Forest Kingdom knows that ‘The’ Purple Dragon was real, is dead, and still has meaning in their lives (albeit distant).
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:40:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Gwaeron Windstrom:


Jan 12, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

Sir Greenwood, one of the Rangers in our party was given a personal gift as a surprise side effect of a Luck Blade’s Wish charge autographed by one G. Windstrom of the Divine Windstroms & as a result player + character are contemplating taking on a clerical nature to add to her Rangeritude.

My question is, as a special treat for her player, would you be so generous as to lay a little Gwaeron lore on us all as a bit of fun? Please? He’s just treated as *such* a footnote in products. We’re pre-Time of Troubles late 1e Box era.
/thanks #128149;


@TheEdVerse

Gwaeron Windstrom, the Tracker Who Never Goes Astray, is the patron of rangers in the North (all across Faerûn, but he seems to manifest in full human form more in the Sword Coast than elsewhere, including often chasing trolls across the Evermoors; he’s said to sleep in Gwaeron’s Slumber, a stand of blueleaf trees surrounded by a ring of duskwoods, due west of Triboar). He usually appears when mortals (including a ranger who venerates him) are hopelessly lost, to silently blaze a trail for them, to a road, refuge, or familiar locale from which they can readily navigate to safety. He may also appear when mortals are beset by trolls, to rout the trolls; Gwaeron’s signature battle move is to impale a troll on his greatsword, Flameheart, cause (by silent will) the sword to burst into flame and so cook the troll so it won’t regenerate, then by swinging the sword overhead, fling the troll corpse away (often to bowl over other trolls, or to join a heap that closes a wall or gap, to protect the rear of mortals trying to defend themselves in a ‘last stand’ against superior numbers of trolls).

Gwaeron’s avatar is a tall human male, stripped to the waist, who has a long white beard and long, flowing white hair. His eyes are sky blue, and can even glow sky blue in the dark, or when he’s angry or moved. He is customarily silent and calm, slow to anger—but if he loses his temper, is frightening in his rage. He usually instructs by silent gesture and example, not by speech. If his avatar doesn’t appear, he may manifest as a silently hovering or flying white star, small and at about chest level for a tall human, except to ‘hop’ over obstacles, that leads the way to safety (through a thick forest, or to a path or cavern or spring of drinking water or way out through darkness). He will never aid followers of Malar, and instead will work against them. He is worshipped by druids, rangers, and troll hunters. He often appears to teach rangers who venerate Mielikki how to read even the most minute and subtle of signs, to track beasts through wild places and across almost all terrain.

His teachings to them are to never needlessly burn brush or the forest, nor fell trees, and to embrace the wild and its ways rather than to fear it; “civilized” folk can live in harmony with the wilderlands rather than having any need to ‘tame’ them. Hunt for need, not for sport, and never be cruel to animals, nor drive them from their nests or dens. Keep to the roads and trails rather than making new ones, but use your skills to find your own way without clearing or disturbing (leave as few signs of your own passage as possible); the way of least disturbance, through wild places and through life, is the best way.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:41:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Herne's Wood:

Jan 22, 2020


@TimeBust

Was Herne's Wood, the Utter Eastern name for Sempadan Forest in Blood & Magic, named by the colonizing Ffolk/Northlanders or the indigenous Mar? Did either group worship the deity Herne in the 600's, and do they still do so post-Godswar now that Malar took his guise?


@TheEdVerse

Herne’s Wood is only the enchanted northwesternmost corner of Sempadan Forest. It was named by the Mar, as they held it to be the abode of Herne and sacred to him. All sentients in the Realms believe in all the gods, and worship them at least to turn aside divine wrath, but certain Mar venerated Herne above other deities, as a path to being one with nature, and achieving the utmost personal power and accomplishment in life.

Today, a few still pray to the Horned Hunter, but most Mar abhor Malar, and pray and make offerings only to appease him.
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