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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:42:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Faerûn's most haunted areas:


Jan 28, 2020


@_Matafer

what are the top five most haunted area's in Faerun? The Mere of Dead Men has to be one of them right? Any insight #loremaster? :)


@TheEdVerse

That depends on how you define “haunted.” I’m going to assume it’s NOT ‘places with the most active undead’ because that shifts the list to undead-dominated lands like Thay and several cities and ruined castles full of undead, so if we go instead with ‘locales where the most creepy apparitions abound’ then my list, circa 1490 DR, will be:

1. Myth Rhynn (in the Wealdath)
2. The Ghost Holds (Battledale)
3. The Darkwatch
4. The ruins of Myth Drannor (and Thultanthar).
5. Realm of Wailing Fog

However, if we extend the list, we get:
6. Dead Dragon Tower (in the Winterwood)
7. The Mere of Dead Men
#Realmslore


@gkrashos

Dead Dragon Tower ... *scribbling furiously* ... do tell.


@TheEdVerse

Knew you'd notice, but the speed of your pounce remains impressive. ;}


@StevenESchend

Ya know, that’s too easy a mark from which to make a ribald joke, so I’ll let it go on by. Unlike Volo, I have some standards. ;)


@_Matafer

This was amazing Ed! Thank you so much!


@TheEdVerse

A pleasure! Always happy to talk Realmslore. And there are "badly" haunted houses in nigh every city on the map of Faerûn, of course. Er....enjoy. ;}
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:44:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Qilué Veladorn's singing sword:

Jan 17, 2020


@LysbethRaven

What was unique about Qilué Veladorn's singing sword and did it have a name? Need it for a game.


@TheEdVerse

See pgs 110-111 of my 2e sourcebook THE SEVEN SISTERS: Qilue’s singing sword is a +3 silver-coated bastard sword that sang constantly when drawn, but that is unusual in that she could store it in a fold of the Weave (extradimensional space) and directly and instantly draw it from there, rather than needing to carry it openly with a belt, baldric, and/or scabbard (so she could be ‘unarmed’ or even unclad and yet have instant access to it).

Any other being who seeks to trace the sword, or reach into or enter this extradimensional space (save Mystra, Azuth, or a Chosen of Mystra), will find their way barred by a manifestation sent by Eilistraee, equal in effect to an Evard’s black tentacles spell, that materializes right in front of them, and as it does so discharges a 4d4 lightning bolt at every being involved in the attempt to access the extradimensional space. When Qilué died, her soul and sentience went into this same ‘hideaway,’ so she survived as a bodiless Voice in the Weave.

Qilué called this blade “Dancing Mistress,” but Eilistraee called it by the name of her drow servitor whose soul and sentience was bound into it at the death of her corporeal body, before Eilistraee gave it to Qilué: Iluemeirarra. Iluemeirarra can ‘see’ out of the sword and mentally warn Qilué (or any being who has touched the sword barehanded (or been wounded by it) of the approach of magic or particular beings. So if Qilué or anyone else is holding the drawn sword, it can ‘speak’ to them, silently, in their mind, to warn of approaches (only).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:45:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On public bathhouses:


Jan 12, 2020


@rwgs76

how common are public bath houses in the Realms, more specifically in the Sword Coast and the North? I imagine big cities like Waterdeep or Baldur's Gate have them, but what about smaller towns and cities like Daggerford or Yartar?


@TheEdVerse

Outside cities, public bathhouses are only found where there's a warm spring (water warm enough to keep from freezing as it emerges from the ground). Otherwise, you need a large inn with cellar hearthfires to heat the water, meaning a paying-guests-only bath house.

In cities and larger centers, there are public bathhouses in Silverymoon, Everlund, Sundabar, Citadel Adbar, and Citadel Felbarr. As well as inn, festhall, and guildhouse pay-a-fee (usually 2cp, robes and towels provided, clothes laundering 1cp more) "warm baths."
#Realmslore


@VikGray

Well atleast my character with his weird addiction to hygiene is not a "weirdo" and bathhouses actually exist in plenty.

I ofc described usual taking bath as a "barrrel with a hot water". Wonder if Mystra will be angry if someone uses magic to make a shower


@TheEdVerse

Nope, not at all. Mystra promotes the widespread, frequent use of magic by as many folk as possible. That's her aim, so although magic is rare and expensive and some mortals in the Realms might see such as use as frivolous, she wouldn't.
#Realmslore


@VikGray

So the info in Faith and Pantheons turns out to be wrong? (or missundersood by me).
Because in FaP her dogma is right against missuse of magic.
But again it might be still the case, I just do not grasp the meaning of "missuse". I am a bit confused


@TheEdVerse

"Misuse" of magic, to Mystra, is to oppress others with it, so those who use magic end up hated or feared, and/or to deny the use of magic to others (i.e. a wizard or ruler seizing magic items from commoners or others). Anything that works against magic for all, EXCEPT to curb the actions of oppressors who use magic to oppress, or who act to restrict others having or using magic, is "misuse" of magic, to Mystra. So Red Wizards or Zhentarim working tyranny through magic is bad; giving or trading magic items is not.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:46:48  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On prominent writers or artists in Waterdeep and Chessenta:

Jan 25, 2020


@cainer1967

Are there any prominent writers or artists in Faerun? Especially around Waterdeep or Chessenta?


@TheEdVerse

Well, ahem, Volo is often to be found in Waterdeep or its vicinity, these days. ;}

But aside from him, in the 1490s DR-era Realms, there are now many, many writers, so few achieve prominence above the rest (save for the most trusted non-fiction works in particular fields of study, among the sages concerned with those fields).

Which brings us to MOST prominent, or first among equals. Which of course is a matter of furious debate among some fans, due to personal preferences.

Art is even more fractured by varying tastes, and in any event Waterdeep is awash in superb artists and counterfeiters who can closely or even exactly reproduce the styles of other painters, stained glass and mosaic makers, line-drawing artists, woodcarvers, and sculptors. Waterdeep and every major city in Chessenta can muster at least a score (each) of portrait painters who can render nigh-photographic likenesses of sitters.

Sculpture (of statuettes about half-life-sized, or smaller, in particular) has always been popular in Chessenta, especially in marble and other attractively-hued stones. The most famous sculptors are those who render fearsome monsters (such as dragons) locked in combat with (usually naked, for some long-forgotten reason) human heroes. The famous-for-centuries sculptor is Rhaeya Sharmanton (who spent her later years arving built-in house adornments like stair-rails and window frames, so her work survives in many, many places), and the currently most prominent sculptor is Orthlaul Maur, known for his short stature, bulbous nose, raging temper, and mastery of exaggerated features in his statuary that always seem to stop just short of caricature.

Writers perennially most popular through Chessenta tend to be scribes who turn out romances (chapbooks varying from tame tales of pure love and passion to outright erotica), distantly followed by sardonic satires of current politics (disguised as the life and adventure of some accident-prone or tactless character akin to the real-life Volo). The most lastingly famous of these are the romance writers Alannyth Sheol of Luthcheq and Jaraedra Nirnstorm of Pandrek, and the satirist Darondrar Ethlym of Luthcheq.

Waterdeep currently boasts no prominent sculptors or artists, though there may be as many as a hundred superb painters for hire. Four writers (beyond Volo) are widely known and respected: the adventure-saga writer Aljaerlar Morlynd of Sea Ward; the satirist and comedy-novel scribe and poet Londalar Glostyn of North Ward; and the romance writers Lorazelle Staunth of Castle Ward and Belabarra Wyvernlusk of Trades Ward.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:47:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On peacestrings in Cormyr:


Jan 12, 2020


@cluc2018

Hi Ed! Are Cormyrean peacestrings made out of a specific material, or can virtually any string be used so long as it's not visibly suspicious looking and in a (current) secret knot?


@TheEdVerse

Any easily-visible string can be used that someone glancing at it wouldn't assume can be broken with ease (i.e. a cord, not a thread), that's knotted. Yes, there are slipknots that can be pulled open with a single jerk, that veteran Purple Dragons will sneer at, but most citizens would let them pass; they're only looking for at-a-glance assurance that this is someone armed but law-abiding. Most Dragon barracks, or shops nearby, sell nice-looking cord for peacestring use, but there's no requirement to use "approved" cord.
#Realmslore


@cluc2018

But they were at least mandatory during Azoun IV's reign, right? I've read about travellers around 1367 needing to ask Purple Dragons to tie the knot (hehe) in some official procedure. When did this change? Or was Volo exaggerating?


@TheEdVerse

Any Purple Dragon (or Crown official) has the right to INSPECT any peacestrings. Anyone anxious, or sullen, might ask Dragons to tie or re-tie their stringing, just to be safe. Having peacestrings unless you're bearing your royal adventuring charter, or are Crown-blessed to be armed (e.g. a Purple Dragon, recognized nobility of the realm, etc.), or have a Crown dispensation (written letter of permission) is indeed mandatory.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:48:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On humans and giants peacefully co-existing:


Jan 29, 2020


@MarvelF89471649

Hi Ed. Was there a place in your Realms like Hartsvale where humans and giants had some kind of co-existence and the Jotunbrud trait was prevalent?


@TheEdVerse

“My” Realms predates the D&D game by about a decade, and the Jotunbrud trait came along more recently, but yes, in my original Realms, Sossal (the human realm) traded peacefully with giants dwelling to the north of it (in their realm of Yoruk), and the stone giants of Fuirgar traded peacefully both the human nomads of Raurin and the farmers of Durpar beyond.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:48:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On ancient names for Tiamat:

Jan 29, 2020


@ZeromaruX

Now, I have a question for @TheEdVerse , if you may indulge me. Did Tiamat had another name in ancient times?


@TheEdVerse

She had several. Among them: Raedurlaugrus, Alaugra, Miuirynmuir, and Galaglatha.
#Realmslore


@EllisThule

Question in the meta: did all those names naturally come about from your work and/or the work of others, predetermined or not? Are some of them after-the-fact character merges, for example? (Contrarily, did any of those come to you "on the spot"?)


@TheEdVerse

They all came to me on the spot, but not right now.

Tiamat, being both in the hierarchy of Hell AND a "special" dragon, is one of those interesting 'intersection-of-things' beings, and I've used her since writing up the Nine Hells in issues 75-76 of The Dragon explore the intricacies of deities assuming various names and portfolios (without revealing to mortals who's behind those masks) to gain influence/power/mortal worshippers among different groups of sentients and in different places.
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 02 Feb 2020 16:03:11
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:49:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Loudwater's coat of arms:

Jan 24, 2020

@smparlin

does Loudwater, circa 1300s DR have a coat of arms? If so, can you describe it please. Thanks.


@TheEdVerse

It does: a “pale” (vertical stripe down the center of the heraldic heater-shaped shield) of deep blue, representing the River Delimbiyr. On either side of this, the shield is gold (representing the grain-verdant farms on both banks of the river). In the “chief” position (a vertical bar crossing the top of the shield, overlapping the pale) is a steel-gray bar, representing the bridge that crosses the Delimbiyr at Loudwater. (The blazon predates the growth of Loudwater to the confluence of the Greyflow and Delimbiyr rivers, so the Greyflow doesn’t appear in Loudwater’s arms at all.)

In the gold field on either side of the pale (dexter and sinister positions in the fess, “floating” in from the edge of the shield), are two identical steel-gray gauntlets, palms toward the viewer of the shield but clenched into fists, a left-hand gauntlet on the left and a right-hand gauntlet on the right.

These represent both the Gauntlets of Loudwater, who police and guard the settlement and its surrounding farms, and the protection/“civilization” they provide.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:50:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On learning to speak Netherese:

Jan 24, 2020


@simontubey

Wondering: Can a player character speak Netherese?
Could you build a character who knew it from the get go, or would they need to study it? If so how long would it take to learn and where would they have to go in order to get the material?


@TheEdVerse

In the Realms of the 1300s and 1400s DR, only characters who grew up or dwelt (for a year or more, to get all the nuances) in a Netherese city or enclave would speak Netherese. Everyone else would have to learn it.

The basics could be learned from the libraries of Candlekeep or Derlusk or the Royal Palace in Suzail or certain nobles’ libraries in Waterdeep, and a few other places, but not the nuances (they require a lot of ongoing speech with those fluent in Netherese). Nuances include idioms, when phrases have double meanings or are used to convey an unspoken subtext of opinion (example: saying someone is “one of the best” in a way that conveys sarcasm or “not really, just being polite” without using intonation). Someone who’s mastered the basics could communicate haltingly, like a traveler using individual words or phrases from a traveler’s phrasebook, but everyone fluent would know they’re an outsider and struggling, and could easily “talk over their head” to elude their full comprehension. In the same way that I can explain the basic rules of many sports quite quickly and simply, but that’s a LONG way short of mastering the fine points of both the rules and being a good player.

Any descendants of Netherese who retained elements of the language in local dialect would be like a “basics” struggling traveler.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:51:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Silverymoon's mythal:


Jan 29, 2020


@Greysil_Tassyr

In 2E sources, we learned about the wards of Silverymoon. Nowhere was it implied that Silverymoon had a mythal. Then, in Lost Empires of Faerûn, we find out Silverymoon's had a mythal for 500 years. So... Mythal or no? How would you reconcile this conflicting lore?


@TheEdVerse

There's no conflict to reconcile. The general public knew that Silverymoon had wards, and some of what they did (the properties that daily affected them). The wards are either part of, or added to, an underlying mythal (depending on the ward) that's been hinted at in published Realmslore (Moonbridge and other elements) several times. It's simply a case of some folk thinking it wiser, in the hostile North, to keep SOME secrets. Elder TSR staffers who saw my turnovers have known about this mythal all along.

Although we all hunger to know everything, secrets have an allure; they maintain awe and wonder. There's a lot about the Realms that's still secret. TSR has been sitting on a file of "not yet revealed secrets of the Realms" they asked me to write, for YEARS.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:52:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On shapechanger territories:

Jan 13, 2020


@sanishiver

Dear @TheEdVerse,

Ed, can you please ask Elminster if he is willing to share the name(s) of any shapechanger territories that overlap with Cormyr? If there are none currently, would he mind sharing old names of territories that have come and gone?


@TheEdVerse

Heh. The only relevant shapechanger territories El will admit to knowing about are two rival shallar (doppelganger) groups fighting for dominance in Sembia. They largely ignore the Dales, actively avoid Archendale where humans once actively hunted them, but range into Hillsfar and eastern Cormyr (along the coast). Their claimed territories overlap, and have no territory names, but the shallar strongest in the west (and therefore Cormyr) are the Raedrau (“RAY-draw”), and those most dominant in Hillsfar and eastern Sembia are the Imshiu (“Imm-shee-oo”). I gather those names are based on shallar family surnames.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:53:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the laws of Waterdeep:

Jan 11, 2020


@DanielProoglow

Greetings, Great Sage!

I'm working on a campaign right now and I'm in need of comprehensive information on legal proceedings and laws of Waterdeep. I found some information in "The City of Splendors" and "WDH" but I don't think that's enough. I simply need more!


@TheEdVerse

Formally, there isn’t any more. The Code Legal is it.

However, over the years, a huge body of what we real-world moderns might call “case law” (precedents from settled cases) has built up, and decrees have been issued by the Open Lord (usually speaking for the Masked Lords) which amount to new laws applying within Waterdeep and its patrolled environs.

Here's the short version of how justice works: nobles and now guildmasters have the right to be tried by the Masked Lords, or by a trio of magisters including a Masked Lord; everyone else is tried by a magister (black-robed city magistrate). If you’re an accused, you don’t get to decide who.

There are no lawyers/barristers/solicitors as we would define them in our modern real-world, but there are private “advocates” an accused can hire who will argue in court for those who are too frightened, injured, or tongue-tied, or have language difficulties (and for convenience, some Realms writers have referred to such individuals as “lawyers.”) The City Watch is the local police force, who make arrests.

In practise, the wealthy and powerful, or individuals operating in politicially ticklish situations, can often arrange for charges to be dropped in return for paying fines and undertaking quiet agreements with the authorities (such as “stay away from X” or “leave the city forthwith” or “you are not to attempt to purchase Waterdhavian property this season or next”). The rather bloodthirsty Code Legal has for years been unofficially nudged towards a “pay this fine and we’ll forget all about it” model because Waterdeep wants itself to be seen as a tolerant, crossroads trading city open to all, not a trap of litigation for all who visit.
#Realmslore


@DanielProoglow

Thank you so much sir, I actually have even more ideas on my court dramas now!


@TheEdVerse

You're very welcome. There's also this...
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Lawyers_(Waterdeep)


@DanielProoglow

Oh, a lovely story! Though I'm thinking that perhaps in 1490s the ban could be lifted if some particularly convincing fellow would convince some lords that trials with lawyers could be a lovely sight for public, therefore an opportunity to raise some money on the show? C:


@TheEdVerse

Sure! That's a likely, logical development. IF the Masked Lords decide they, and they alone (not a guild) get to decide who's a lawyer in the city, and who's not. (And Laeral will use Mirt and others to covertly investigate all lawyers to make sure they're not outland (foreign) agents, or members of the Xanathar's organization, the Unseen, or any other criminal cabal.) Nobles will, of course, take to using lawyers very quickly...
#Realmslore

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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:53:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the kingdom of Delmyr:

Jan 22, 2020


@RCollotto

Ciao Grande Saggio @TheEdVerse, does the Kingdom of Delmyr still exist in the current era? Who is the King? Is the Kingdom always populated by halfling Baronies? Thank you


@TheEdVerse

Yes, the kingdom of Delmyr still exists, though in the Spellplague and Sundering it lost two kings, Joroelner Gleddyn and his son Mendaer (and three Gleddyn brothers and their mother, ending the Gleddyn line) in the tumult; monsters from Abeir overran the kingdom and were defeated only after decades of hard fighting (as some of those monsters were dragons who chose caverns in the Glittering Spires as ideal places to lair).

Delmyr is currently ruled by Queen Alsarra Ambrutter, second of her line (she succeeded her older brother Jhaland, who perished slaying the red dragon Alamrauthur), and she is tirelessly rebuilding the realm (better roads and bridges, crown assistance in sewing and reaping crops, tending wild growth to yield more wild herbs and medicines and foodstuffs in the future). Initially derided and resisted by the baronial families, who all still exist and cling to their power, she has won them all over into staunch support, because all can see she is bettering the lives of all and improving Delmyr.

However, a shadow is rising beneath Delmyr: someone (drow? Illithids? Elminster believes the latter) is behind mustering monsters of the Underdark and driving them upwards through the caverns and passages of the Glittering Spires. They have almost eradicated the gnomes, and the supplies of weapons, tools, and wire the Delmyrans traded for have dwindled to nothing. Monsters of the Underdark are frequently raiding the hin surface realm now, and if the kingdom doesn’t arm and effectively resist, the hin may soon follow the gnomes into near-extinction.

The veteran warrior Darthyn Belrowhin leads Delmyr’s too-small army, the Defenders (really a handful of soldiers leading a motley militia).

To make coin for hiring adventurers and mercenaries, Delmyr has begun to trade harlanthra, its nutty, green-hued mushroom cheese, with farfaring human merchants and peddlers. Prized handwheels of this superb edible now grace the tables of nobility, royalty, and the wealthy in Impiltur, Cormyr, and Sembia. Yet most humans in the Heartlands and Sword Coast still don’t know where Delmyr is, or even what it is.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 01 Feb 2020 :  20:54:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the first alteration specialist mage:


Jan 13, 2020


@CimmerianGod

Very , very first Aleration Magic User that you know of Ed? ( details please) whether fr your own pnp campaign or anywhere in that vast reservoir of lore within your noggin. This answer is very important and valuable to me. Thank you , thank you and thank you in adv


@TheEdVerse

In the Realms, the first specialized Alteration-school magic user that I know of was Imre (pronounced “IMM-ray”) the Transmuter, an artificer (wizard) of Imaskar. He likely wasn’t the first, just the first I’ve ever written about. He was one of the builders of the city of Inupras beginning in -7979 DR (Inupras wasn’t inhabited until -7975 DR). Imre delighted in spell innovation and crafting, not in power or political importance, and was a teacher of many. Unambitious, he loved books and board games and good teas and cheese. He was a brown-haired man of average height and build and unremarkable looks, who wore ankle-length robes and was followed about by a floating-nigh-his-shoulder satchel (of his own enchanting) of teamaking items, tools, what we would call a clipboard and Imaskari called a “dereth,” plus scrolls, inks, and quills with which to write.
#Realmslore

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On the enabling of Waterdhavian noble Houses Zoar and Gildeggh


Jan 13, 2020


@oakthorne

Hey @TheEdVerse : When you get a second, can you recall when Houses Zoar and Gildeggh were ennobled? Were they part of the bunch in 1248 DR, one of the “backdated” ennoblements, or was theirs afterwards?


@TheEdVerse

In 1262 DR, the Guildwars ended with only two guildmasters surviving: Ehlemm Zoar, a gemcutter, and Lhorar Gildeggh, a shipwright. They ruled together as the Lords Magister, but bickered so much their rule became known as “the Misrule of the Magisters.” They were slain by two former Masked Lords (Baeron and Shilarn) in 1273 DR, after refusing to relinquish command and depart the city. Baeron became Open Lord, and the Lords of Waterdeep were reinstalled in government, with the Zoar and Gildeggh families banned from Waterdeep.

The established legal grounds for banning families was to exile “treasonous” noble houses, so in the act of exiling House Zoar and House Gildeggh, Baeron ennobled them (in 1273 DR), and thereafter they were regarded by all as exiled nobles.
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On the Dragonspear Wars:


Jan 22, 2020


@DMBIV2

Following up on this, might you be able to clarify some dates for this befuddled bard? I'm puzzling over the Dragonspear Wars. I'm seeing two official citations (1315 DR & 1356 DR) for the first, then 1363 DR for the second -- or the events of "Hordes of Dragonspear." Thank you!


@TheEdVerse

Sages and bards frequently disagree over nomenclature, sometimes for the same reasons that opposite sides in a conflict prefer their own differing names for a particular battle (Bull Run vs. Manassas in the American Civil War, for instance).

In the case of Dragonspear Castle, hobgoblins used it as a base to raid caravans traversing the Trade Way from 1305 DR on, and became enough of a nuisance to trade that they were exterminated by armies from Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate in 1315 DR (hardly a “war”...or is it?).

Devils retook the castle in 1354 DR, arriving through portals from Avernus that the 1315 DR armies had been unable to destroy.

The devils were ousted in 1356 DR in what was retroactively called “The Dragonspear War,” but retook the castle in 1363 DR, and led an army that destroyed The Way Inn and besieged Daggerford before being defeated (by a force including PC adventurers, for gamers playing HORDES OF DRAGONSPEAR), and this was retroactively called “The Second Dragonspear War.” By some; others prefer to regard both wars as just larger skirmishes among many. (Dragonspear Castle was built in 1255 DR, but has been home to portals linking Toril with Avernus since 1290 DR, and a home to an ever-changing array of dragons, brigands, and various goblinkin down the years since.)
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On the coat of arms of Tethyr:


Jan 26, 2020


@LucJrMartin1

what is the coat of arm of Tethyr?


@TheEdVerse

The blazon of Tethyr has changed many times. The current (1490s DR) arms (far simpler than most of the earlier arms, and making possible a simple badge of a shield crossed by bands of three hues, now seen on Tethyrian soldiers’ surcoats and banners everywhere) are as follows: a heater-shaped shield divided into three horizontal bands (fesses) of equal height/width.

The bottom band is sky blue, and has a silver sea cat (sea lion, sometimes called a “morse” in real-world heraldry) naiant (swimming horizontally, nose facing the viewer’s left of the shield, so tail to the right) on it, representing Tethyr’s coast and the sea lions who historically rescued Prince Nearel of Tethyr.

The middle fess is wine-red, representing the wines of the realm and its martial pride (critics say it represents all the spilled blood of Tethyrians fighting each other, down the years). In the center of this fess, right in the center of the shield, is a (sized to touch the top and bottom of the fess) simple four-pointed white star (with the points vertical and horizontal, matching the cardinal points of a map compass, rather than pointing to the diagonals or elsewhere). This represents Queen Zaranda Star Rhindaun and the dynasty she began.

The top (“chief”) fess is gold, representing the verdant grain crops and wealthy of the realm.

(For those wanting to see how the sea cat is portrayed, but NOT its pose, see: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Complete_Guide_to_Heraldry_Fig314.png ).
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On Tchandrae Euinwood:

Jan 31, 2020


@TimeBust

What became of Tchandrae Euinwood after her (as far as I could tell) sole mentions in Volo's Guide to the North and Guide to the Savage Frontier? Her profile seemed to hint at some importance in her future, did she grow up to become a fully fledged Chosen of Mystra?


@TheEdVerse

No. She is one of literally thousands of sentient beings in the Realms who have a ‘wild talent’ for some aspect of magic, due to the world being a-crawl with magic (wielders of the Art using it, drawing on the Weave), and everyone born into this world being exposed to flows of magic. Affects most not at all, growing numbers are born with the Gift (ability to wield the Art), and here and there, lucky (or unlucky; it all depends on your point of view) individuals manifest a ‘wild talent’ that lets them work magical effects without casting or knowing magic.

The specifics of Tchandrae’s life are, I’m afraid, NDA. I will say that certain groups of mages sought to capture her in order to make use of her skills, and a certain other group of mages sought to hide her to prevent that capture.
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On titles at Silverymoon's Conclave:

Jan 29, 2020


@RedNoBlue

Hi there, just a quick selfish question. As a lecturer in all things D&D magic, I feel a bigger connection to Silverymoon's Conclave rather than Candlekeep. What would a good title be? Lecturer? Sage? Teacher?

Also, I hope you're recovering well.


@TheEdVerse

I’m getting better, yes, thanks!

And experts at the Conclave use the ascending titles of: Guide, Magister, Spellmagister, and (just one at a time) Master, with “of the Conclave” appended to each in full formality, to avoid confusion with civic magisters (judges) and Mystra’s servants.
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On the yakfolk village on Mount Hamarhaast:

Jan 19, 2020


@TimeBust

Heya Ed, I've been reading up on yakfolk and I was wondering, is the yakfolk village on Mount Hamarhaast in the Ice Spires (as described in Storm King's Thunder) indicative of recent far-reaching northward Yikarian expansion, or are they there for some other reason?


@TheEdVerse

The yikaria village on Mount Hamarhaast exists due to the near-exhaustion of metallic ores in the Zakharan mines traditionally worked by the miner genies of the yakfolk. Forced to seek iron, copper, nickel, and the like elsewhere to fashion their best tools and weapons from, they prayed to their Forgotten God (Faceless God) for guidance, and the deity sent dream-visions to certain yikaria of where they might find such needed access: the Mount Hamarhaast site of their village, which sits atop a particular natural cavern where they could gain access to mineral-rich ore veins without extensive digging—and without warfare with the dwarves of Citadel Adbar, as the yakfolk don’t trade in metals in competition with the dwarves, nor take much (they mine and smelt only to supply all yikaria).
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On the tallest mountain in the Realms:

Jan 27, 2020


@AlexMcclay2000

hey @TheEdVerse I have a simple question, whats the tallest mountain in the Realms?
I was looking at the Lands of Intrigue sourcebook, specifically the Topographical map that came with it. The tallest mountains that i could find were 5000 feet.


@TheEdVerse

So far as Elminster knows, the tallest mountain is Cloudspire (so named because its peak is permanently shrouded in a cloud layer) in the Yehimal range. If you look at Karen Wynn Fonstad’s most relevant map from the FR Atlas, find the label “Kun-Yen Shan,” and go due south from the ‘e’ in that label to the high ridgeline she drew in the green central peaks area, the peak right where your eyeline intersects that ridgeline is Cloudspire. Also known as Arthael to the elves, Yavalaur to the gnomes, Yauvdagh to the dwarves, and (Cloudspire being the Common Tongue name) variously to humans as Dzayur, Mount Huul, and Kulmount.

Cloudspire has little mineral wealth, but a few interior caverns, which have been the lairs of several dragons until remorhaz moved in and started a family (there are now many, and they use high valleys in the Yehimal range to farm wild herds of rothé and musk oxen and mountain goats for food). The precise height of Cloudspire is unknown, but the customary bottom of its cloud layer is about 32,000 feet, so it’s likely 35K to 36K in height.
#Realmslore


@Lord_Toast13

Wait...unknown, is it because something interferes with divination spells? Other than local critters eating said diviners.

@TheEdVerse

Properly handled by the DM, all divinations will result in somewhat cryptic answers (to prevent it being the "accomplish everything with no effort" spell). In this case, the cloud cover foils vision/line of sight spells, and the gods not caring about a peak's height, so they don't know it and can't be bothered to find out is a big reason. Measuring is hard for mortals and gods, because the land around Cloudspire is all high mountain range; where do you measure FROM? We real-worlders use sea level as "zero" and measure up from there, by triangulation and satellites and so on that gods in the Realms neither know nor care about. Divination can only tell you what a god wants you to know, and sometimes a mortal query will be met by a divine shrug.
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On the Shadow Weave, Io, and Sardior:


Jan 29, 2020


@TORAlexander1

If killing or (in lore) replacing mystra with upset the arcane magic, and destroy the weave, then what about killing who ever owns the "shadow" weave? What IS the difference, if any, between the shadow weave and regular weave? Is it just one is evil-ish...

Or is it more than that? And can you cast 12th level spells with the shadow weave, unlike the normal one? Has anyone tried?


@TheEdVerse

Shar created the Shadow Weave to obey her (for the use of mortals loyal to her), but it "leans on"/is an echo of/calls on the Weave (who is Mystra herself, and a webwork spanning the world that is a way of calling on the natural forces of the world). As an echo of the Weave, the Shadow Weave can never be greater than the Weave, and in fact is lesser when it comes to creating and controlling magic; it's better at destroying and compelling. And as it calls on the Weave, it's subject to the limits placed on the Weave by Mystra (and Ao), so no one can use it to craft or cast magics beyond what mortals can use the Weave for. Yes, powerful archwizards and archliches and even dragons have tried...and failed. Usually the spell just doesn't work, but if the 'wrong' forces have been unleashed, the caster is often hideously mentally and/or physically maimed, or outright destroyed. "Always wise to avoid trying to outdo Icarus," as Elminster warns we Earth types.
#Realmslore


@TORAlexander1

That sucks. So the shadow weave is a weaker, KNOCK-OFF version of the actual weave, and is essentially a parasite weave, in the fact it's a weave.... THAT DRAWS AS FROM ANOTHER WEAVE?!

Shard doesn't seem that powerful anymore, and I know she created the the shadow fell, but does that mean mystra (or one of the incarnations of the weave goddess) created the feywild?


@TheEdVerse

Nope. Treat all claims about "this deity created that" with extreme caution. So many of them are propaganda from the priesthoods of said deities, who get their information from the deity and then expand on it...when both deity and priests want more worship.
#Realmslore


@TORAlexander1

But, does this mean someone who does NOT worship shar, can draw on the shadow weave. And is the shadow weave weak in every regards? Also, why would AO care about the weave?

And speaking of which. If Io gave up his body, mind, and soul to make the dragon gods, why is he still worshipped?

And why isn't sardior not considered one of the siblings of bahamut and tiamat, given he completes them, holds the middle main faction, and seems to reason with both?

@TheEdVerse

In theory, yes. In daily practise, those who aren’t loyal to Shar first and foremost consider the Shadow Weave “of her” and therefore off limits to them unless they become her priests or paladins or fanatical coverts.

And unless they become that close to Shar, they usually won’t know HOW to access the Shadow Weave. Like Weave-based spells, you must craft the spell properly (incantation, somatic and material component, and your own mindset/concentration as caster, during perfect performance of the casting) in order for it to work at all. If you don’t know how to do it “just right,” no access, and (if you’re lucky!) no magic.

As for Io and Sardior: You’re applying LOGIC to matters of faith? Really? Bravo, but so many folk in the Realms don’t, and so worship as they do.

And dragons think not as humans do (like elves, they take “the long view,” and more most other sentients, they consider themselves truly special and greater than other races). So what they revere differs from what we put our faith in.
#Realmslore

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On the ponies of the High Moor:

Jan 31, 2020


@rwgs76

Dear @TheEdVerse, what can you tell about the High Moor ponies? Specifically, what's the breed's name and appearance? Are they wild or domesticated? Thanks in advance.


@TheEdVerse

The ponies of the High Moor are known as “the Shalune” as a species. They are wild, are short and shaggy (long-haired) and have black legs and muzzles. In hue and shape they look like real-world Konik horses, but have reddish backs, and are always stocky of build (heavily-muscled). Orcs and hobgoblins have been known to eat shalunes and to force them to drag logs or other heavy cargos by means of ropes and sledges (beating them with sticks on either side of the head to guide them). Trolls occasionally manage to catch and eat them, too, but shalunes can outlast most pursuers and outfight many of them (wolves usually avoid them, as shalune hooves can smash a wolf’s skull with ease). There have been many attempts to domesticate them, but all have failed; captive animals seem to soon will themselves to death. There are persistent legends in the North of a giant Shalane who comes in the howling heart of the worst blizzards to lead the ponies to shelter. In a few tales, this gigantic horse is described as a goateed unicorn or even a wingéd unicorn.
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On the population of Asbravn:

Jan 19, 2020


@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse I have a simple question: Im reading the FRCS from 3rd edition and I am looking at Asbravn, and the population mentioned is over 5000. Now isn't that too big for a town of only 50 buildings, or does that figure include the surrounding farmlands?


@TheEdVerse

Asbravn was the market town for the surrounding farmlands, so the local census (that the Riders in Red Cloaks used to plan patrols and budget for trainees and overall strength and deployment) was conducted there, and included everyone coming in from the hinterland to market. Also, at the time that the 3e FRCS was current, local population figures were augmented due to extensive copper and iron mining in the Far Hills, a short-lived industry because the near-surface deposits were worked out in a little over a decade. At that time, the Zhentarim were tightening their grip on Iriaebor (see Mark Anthony’s Harper novel Crypt of the Shadowking), so some folk from that city got out and relocated to Asbravn—and so did many many Zhent agents, to get in on the metals trade by running smelters in the Asbravn area. (So, a “perfect storm” to temporarily bump up local population figures.)
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On the most famous paladin of Tyr:


Jan 10, 2020


@evertos

@TheEdVerse , quick question... who was the most famous paladin of Tyr?!


@TheEdVerse

Where and when? In the Realms, I assume, but when, Realmsdate, and where? Also, among whom? Communications in the Realms isn’t great, except along major trade routes, so someone can locally famous and nigh-unheard-of far away, and there’s also a difference between who’s famous to most in society, and who’s famous within the church of Tyr.


@evertos

I ran a adventure that the followers of tyr they are losing power, and the players will go after the most famous champion of tyr. There are someone I can use?


@TheEdVerse

So, someone famous right now in the Realms. If that’s the 1490s DR (current for 5e Realms), that’d likely be Ulwulf Tharandor, Stern Hand of Tyr, a wandering/adventuring paladin of Tyr The Just most often found recently venturing along the Heartland overland caravan trade routes. If you’re back before the Spellplague in the 1380s DR or earlier, the most famous would be Rarandor Vrael, Shield Of Justice, a wandering/adventuring paladin of Tyr most often found in Amn or Tethyr. (Piergeiron the Open Lord of Waterdeep is arguably better-known, but many folk forget he’s a paladin, because he’s Open Lord or because of his nickname “the Paladinson”).
#Realmslore


@gkrashos

I’d love to know more about Athar “the Shining Knight”, the father of Peirgeiron of Waterdeep.


@XynRaven

Was there ever a case of an adventurer traveling Faerun (or any other continent, I just know Faerun best) far and wide and gaining a reputation over at least a good deal of it?


@TheEdVerse

Certainly. The explorer Dabren Sashenstar, for one.


@TheEdVerse

Sorry. Mistyped. "Dabron Sashenstar," not Dabren.
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 01 Feb 2020 21:03:17
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