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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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33990 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2020 :  16:26:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On reincarnation:

Feb 1, 2020


@MisrulesTheDay

Good Master Ed! Other than the eponymous spell, what are the circumstances under which a soul might reincarnate in the Realms? Is that something that happens?


@TheEdVerse

It is, though not often. Sometimes it occurs due to a curse or magic item ability or ‘hanging’ (cast in a spot, waiting for a future passersby to affect) spell operating on a dead being.

More often, however, it’s because a deity wants that soul to live on to complete a task or attempt something. Not that they’ll necessarily communicate that desire directly to the reincarnated being, who may blunder along.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 02 Feb 2020 :  16:27:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Eveningstar Gorge:

Feb 1, 2020


@Sartana87

Hi @TheEdVerse! Here's my question : How high is the Eveningstar Gorge? I wonder if a PC could climb it (or monsters attack from it eh eh)? And are both sides of the gorge even? Many thanks.


@TheEdVerse

It depends on where in the Gorge you are. Right at the cliff-face where it ends (as far south as it goes), it's around 140 feet high, with both sides of the gorge climbable but dangerous, because pieces of the soft limestone can break off when being climbed and hurtle down to the bottom of the gorge below, with a climber, to land on the rubble of past "cracks and falls." The Gorge gets shallower as you traverse it north (past the entrance to the Haunted Halls) into the Stonelands, to where the stream that carved it rises (to the surface), so at its head, up in the Stonelands bedrock, it's about two feet deep. It's soft limestone with a hard dolomite (harder limestone) "cap" atop it, forming a plateau that is the southern edge of the Stonelands. At this edge, atop the cap on both sides, are grazing pastures for sheep kept by Evenar (Eveningstar-resident) farmers. There are "pillars" of rock that over the centuries have been separated from the cliffs on both sides of the gorge by pieces of the side walls breaking away to leave them isolated, particularly at the mouth of the gorge on the west side (the temple side). This happens in the real world: every winter, water that's seeped down into the limestone freezes, expands, shoves the sides of the crevices it's seeped into apart a tiny bit, and over time (many winter freezeups), the rock splits far enough to topple away, exposing a new cliff-face and widening the gorge.

So, yes, the sides are climbable (with some danger), and goat-track paths zig-zag up those sides to reach the clifftop pastures, and there's ample room in the long, long gorge for monsters to lurke, children to play, lovers to tryst, Zhents to have clandestine meeting with each other, peddlers to camp if they lack the coins to stay at an inn or stables, and so on.
#Realmslore


@Sartana87

Is "the stream" the Starwater or another source of water? Sorry, just to be sure.


@TheEdVerse

It's the Starwater. Which rises as a tiny spring, and grows as it descends the Gorge.
Oh, and the sides of the Gorge are rough and irregular, but very close to the same height as each other in most places.


@Sartana87

Oh ok the warm waterfall is the source of the Starwater. Thanks a lot !


@TheEdVerse

Yes, but is joined by much seepage out of both sidewalls of the gorge (i.e. rainwater and meltwater draining down through the plateau that is the local Stonelands) as it descends; many tiny springs augment the main flow.
#Realmslore


@Sartana87

That's crystal clear. Again, thanks a lot for your time.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 02 Feb 2020 :  16:28:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On food preservation and street vending:


Feb 1, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

Sir @TheEdVerse, i was thinking a lot about ice magics due to my own party having an unintended icy themed selection of gear.

Given the relative ubiquity of, at least, minor cantrippy magics how much do realmsians rely on refrigeration, or even just putting ice in a drink?

What I really started wondering is if any of the really major cities have noviciate magi or clerics or even just wild talents pushing around ice cream carts (bonus if there’s a tune), or if frozen yoghurt is enjoyed anywhere.

But then I also wondered if the likes of powerful ice mages or Wossname cold lady … priests with a culinary streak have invented anything unique. I mean b maybe there’re many health benefits for ogres nomming a gorgon blood slushie.

I’ve not got to time of troubles

In game yet if anything changes for any reasons due to that, or the Spellplague thing or whatever other Big Stuff is post ToT

As always, thanks a bunch for … everything.

… why do i suddenly have a vision of some Waterhavian selling eelcicles?


@TheEdVerse

Just as in our real world, most folk in the Realms can’t afford to hire magic, and can’t work their own (though many villages have local citizens who make a living employing their particular ‘wild talent’ to light fires or illuminate or whatever).

So they make use of ice-houses and cold cupboards and deep cellars (i.e. natural stone heat sinks and the ambient underground temperature) to keep things cool, combined with blocks of ice cut in winter and dragged into such places.

If they can afford the spells of local priests or wizards, they augment these arrangements with occasional cold magics in the worst rises of heat, to prevent food spoiling and loss of all ice and so on.

Usually this means the local temple (of any non-fire, non-smith deity, not just Auril) provides cold storage facilities in its own underground cellars (with priests casting cold spells in rota to keep things cold), and locals, for fees/offerings, come to fetch their own goods from said cold storage (priest brings to them, they don’t get to go down and rummage) or to buy cold-stored goods from the priests (like eel or fish laid in ‘in bulk’ by the temple, and maintained as a ‘feed the community’ store).

No, there are no carts except as delivery-carts in winter, when harbor ice can be used to keep cart contents cold. In other words, the carts rush goods to customers who order, they DON’T wander the streets playing tunes to attract passing shoppers. In Waterdeep, eelcicles ARE sold (as are fish, so you buy “coldsear silverfin” or “coldsear harbor eel”), but only in the cold depths of winter, and they’re made like this:

Eels netted, brought out of the sea, chopped into thumb-length or shorter segments, and cooked in sour wine or beer to cut their natural slime, then grilled (seared) with spices and herbs for a better taste, then dropped into shallow pans of frigid harbor water to be frozen into thin sheets of ice, then the customer comes to the Dock Ward shops where this is done with their own bucket, pay for the amount they want (it’s cheap: 1 cp buys a big bucket-full) then the proprietor chops the edge of a sheet with a hatchet, shovels the ice-and-eel shards into the customer’s bucket, and off they go (to dine in the warmth of their own home or rented lodging, when the ice thaws).

I’ve eaten eel, and lamprey, and can assure you that for my stomach at least, the cutting-the-slime AND searing with seasonings steps are highly necessary steps. We real-worlders would likely use a dry rub, as for steaks, for that grilling step. Enjoy!

(And if you don’t, well, the bucket you fetched the eel in is handy, for returning the eel to the wider world. Ahem.)
#Realmslore


@jayeedgecliff

About what i expected, sadly.

Oh well … so much for my vision’s a faerûnian 7-11 with a half-orc selling suspicious slurpees (mostly joking)
Thanks


@TheEdVerse

Heh. In the Realms, that half-orc would be more like Terry Pratchett's Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler selling his sausages; vending "mystery meat" handpies and sausages popularly rumored to be filled with missing pets and neighbours.


@jayeedgecliff

Oh! I never thought to ask that! Does Eveningstar or Suzail have not just Throat-esque vendors, but one as thoroughly (in)famous and Known. A Cormyrian CMOT Dibbler?


@TheEdVerse

Eveningstar doesn’t; anyone trying would likely starve (too rural a place to get much trade, when folk can readily buy handpies and sausages they trust from neighbours who make them, or eat their own).

Suzail has always had (in its westernmost, slum-like streets, nigh the docks) warehouses where shady thugs sell hot meat buns and sausages and handpies full of mystery meat, or mystery fish, or even openly (“dew-worm in a bun, 3 buns for a copper”). They were seldom half-orcs, but two down the years have been (the big-jawed, amiable Thelve Harrdra in the early 1300s DR, and the squinting, point-nosed “Ratface” Rurdur, no known last name, in the later 1300s).

Waterdeep has always had street carts in Trades Ward, Castle Ward, South/Southern Ward and especially Dock Ward, stalls in The Market, and warehouses in Dock Ward with serving-windows where ‘mystery meat’ food of various sorts was dispensed, including the infamous “offal on a stick” (usually fried intestines of oxen, or goose livers, or skinned fried rat or plucked fried harbor gulls). Half-orc vendors are rare because it’s always better for sales to have a good-looking young human lad or lass hawking the wares, but half-orc cooks and butchers (in the back rooms) aren’t. Perhaps the most infamous is Cooth the Cleaver, who flourished—if that’s the right word—in the 1320s to 1340s DR (but was found floating in the harbor, gutted like a fish and throat-slit, one spring morning in 1343 DR).

Later half-orc butchers and cooks of Dock Ward include Ruegrel Rausdyn, Ilvart Lunth, and (1470s to date) Auszklurt “the Awful.”
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 02 Feb 2020 16:29:14
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1141 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  11:16:19  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He just coughed up some info on the Wyvernspurs and Immersea in the 1490s which was delicious. I can post later if no one else does!
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1141 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  15:17:37  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AND - he confirmed Alias is immortal and still alive in 5th edition era. YAY
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1745 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  16:19:57  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll appreciate it if you post those tweets here!

He also wrote something for Planescape as well, talking about the nature of the World-Dragon (Io/Asgorath/etc.)

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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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1141 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  19:56:57  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@TheEdVerse
Can you give us any update on the Wyvernspur clan? How is Immersea doing?

1)
In the 1490s DR, House Wyvernspur flourishes, both financially and in numbers and the personal achievements of its members.
Having passed this family to my good friends Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak back in 1986 (real-world ating), I leave Wyernspur lore details to them, though I can mention in passing that Suzail currently (1490s DR) knows an adventurous young man named Everend Paerevel Wyvernspur, and he has slightly older two sisters who are far more successful and farfaring as adventurers, Lyriasara (“Leera”) and Asmarra (“Mara”), and at least two younger sisters who seldom if ever visit Suzail. Not to mention several uncles who were rather rakish in their day Immersea I can wax slightly more eloquent about.
It, too, flourishes, its winter population over 4,000 strong, and swelling in summer by over 800, due to wealthy social climbers in both Arabel and Suzail who built or have rented homes along the shores of the Wyvernwater that they visit for recreational purposes in good summer weather. The town flourishes, now boasting many potters, weavers, and publishers (though the odorous tanneries and papermaking mills are elsewhere), and has expanded greatly to the east, along both Wyvernwater shores, and a little to the west, but up and down Calantar’s Way. The Wyvernspurs remain the most prominent local nobility, and prosperous, locally influential non-noble Immer clans include the families of Beldrar, Coldreth, Fostren, Ghelk, Perinpost (a him family), Sagrask, and Tranther. Local fishing has declined as catches have become smaller, likely due to overfishing, and this has resulted in some fisherfolk turning their hand to other work, and at least one, the Ghelks, starting a successful crab hatchery, in a shoreline warehouse just south of the town docks.


Replying to @TheEdVerse
Can you point me in the right direction to find out the fate of Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb's Alias and Finder Wyvernspur? Or how to contact them or someone else to ask?

You can read the tale of Finder (his journey towards godhood), in the TSR-published novels FINDER’S BANE and TYMORA’S LUCK (both by Jeff and Kate). I assume you’ve read their earlier novels AZURE BONDS, THE WYVERN’S SPUR, and SONG OF THE SAURIALS.
Their novel MASQUERADES tells of the further adventures of Alias. She’s immortal, and so still out in the world (and still a Harper), as are some of her clones created by Phalse.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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33990 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  21:42:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

@TheEdVerse
Can you give us any update on the Wyvernspur clan? How is Immersea doing?

1)
In the 1490s DR, House Wyvernspur flourishes, both financially and in numbers and the personal achievements of its members.
Having passed this family to my good friends Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak back in 1986 (real-world ating), I leave Wyernspur lore details to them, though I can mention in passing that Suzail currently (1490s DR) knows an adventurous young man named Everend Paerevel Wyvernspur, and he has slightly older two sisters who are far more successful and farfaring as adventurers, Lyriasara (“Leera”) and Asmarra (“Mara”), and at least two younger sisters who seldom if ever visit Suzail. Not to mention several uncles who were rather rakish in their day Immersea I can wax slightly more eloquent about.
It, too, flourishes, its winter population over 4,000 strong, and swelling in summer by over 800, due to wealthy social climbers in both Arabel and Suzail who built or have rented homes along the shores of the Wyvernwater that they visit for recreational purposes in good summer weather. The town flourishes, now boasting many potters, weavers, and publishers (though the odorous tanneries and papermaking mills are elsewhere), and has expanded greatly to the east, along both Wyvernwater shores, and a little to the west, but up and down Calantar’s Way. The Wyvernspurs remain the most prominent local nobility, and prosperous, locally influential non-noble Immer clans include the families of Beldrar, Coldreth, Fostren, Ghelk, Perinpost (a him family), Sagrask, and Tranther. Local fishing has declined as catches have become smaller, likely due to overfishing, and this has resulted in some fisherfolk turning their hand to other work, and at least one, the Ghelks, starting a successful crab hatchery, in a shoreline warehouse just south of the town docks.


Replying to @TheEdVerse
Can you point me in the right direction to find out the fate of Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb's Alias and Finder Wyvernspur? Or how to contact them or someone else to ask?

You can read the tale of Finder (his journey towards godhood), in the TSR-published novels FINDER’S BANE and TYMORA’S LUCK (both by Jeff and Kate). I assume you’ve read their earlier novels AZURE BONDS, THE WYVERN’S SPUR, and SONG OF THE SAURIALS.
Their novel MASQUERADES tells of the further adventures of Alias. She’s immortal, and so still out in the world (and still a Harper), as are some of her clones created by Phalse.




Huh. I'd assumed they'd be immortal, but Jeff Grubb dodged the question when I asked him at GenCon, one year.

Them being immortal means that the Waterdhavian one I ran with could still be around.

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1141 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  21:55:09  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If Jeff left it open for discussion, let's go with Ed's take on it! :) Elminster did call her Finder's "immmortal vessel" in Azure Bonds when he blocks Finder from firing the crossbow at Phalse..and Ed and Elminster share a brain so...makes sense!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
33990 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  23:04:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

If Jeff left it open for discussion, let's go with Ed's take on it! :) Elminster did call her Finder's "immmortal vessel" in Azure Bonds when he blocks Finder from firing the crossbow at Phalse..and Ed and Elminster share a brain so...makes sense!



Jeff Grubb basically said it depended on the story -- if the person writing it needed Alias and her sisters to be immortal, they were.

Given Flattery's seeming immortality, that it was something Finder would have been trying for, and that Cassana certainly would have wanted it, I would say that immortality makes sense. (A counter-argument, though, would be that immortality is rarely given out, and perhaps when the gods acted to let the vessels be truly sentient and able to reproduce, the "price" was a normal mortal lifespan. And since Cat and Giogi had kids, then the vessels can reproduce)

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 05 Feb 2020 23:06:53
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1745 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2020 :  23:34:26  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
About the Sign faction's symbol

@dmportella
@TheEdVerse Hi ed sorry to disturb I wanted to speak to Tim Beach one of the authors for Factol's Manifesto but i dont know how to contact him. I like to ask What is the symbol for the faction sign of one. I cant make up what the symbol is suppose to be. ty is advance

@TheEdverse
Nice work! That symbol is the All-Dragon, or the World-Dragon. To some it is Io, to others Asgorath, but to Signers it is the Wyrm that links and births all planes and cosmologies, and transforms one cosmology to another—and it is also THE Dragon, or the Self (as Signers believe “the world exists because the mind imagines it. Without the self, the multiverse ceases to be.”) The faction sigil depicts the All-Dragon flying/swimming in the aether of primal nothingness up to regard you (you = a Signer, member of the faction), meeting your eye, challenging you to join it, become one with it, and so dream and shape the multiverse.

Metagame: it is no coincidence that the magazine published by TSR was originally called “The Dragon.”
#Planescape

(And by "cosmologies" here I mean the Great Wheel, the World Tree, the World Axis, the crystal spheres we saw in Spelljammer, with the aether there being referred to as the phlogiston.)

--------

I had to post this. This is something I'm really interested in

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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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
33990 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:37:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On some individuals in 1360s Hundelstone:

Feb 24, 2020


@TimeBust

What are some personalities in Hundelstone in the 1360's DR? The only specific inhabitant I can find anywhere in print (not counting the long-dead eponymous Hundel) is the Harper Thwip Ironbottom from SKT, and I'm not sure if he lived there over 120 years in the past.


@TheEdVerse

Happy to help. Prominent folk of Hundelstone in the 1360s DR are five in number:
Dwarf warrior-for-hire Vardreth “Starer” Blackaxe, a veteran mercenary of grizzled red beard and one eye twice the size of the other (hence his nickname). Gruff, bloodthirsty, and enthusiastic, he leads a band of ten stalwart “trusty” battle-dwarves (outcasts of many clans) who have a reputation for being accident-prone vandals and butchers.

Gnome farmer Mrella Ironkettle, a stout, amiable lady of bowed legs, a hooked-broken nose, and an endless supply of root vegetables stored in cellar-caverns, and mushrooms grown in their own deeper shroom-farm caves.

She always wears an apron of many pockets bulging with parnsips, carrots, radishes, and the like over her homespun, and filthy boots that come up almost to her waist. A faint stench of compost and dung always clings to her.

Gnome smith Wuldrik ‘Hurlhamnmer’ Leafstone, notorious for his accuracy with hurled hammers, and his propensity for driving unwanted intruders out of his forge-room by plucking and throwing some from his plentiful always-at-hand supply (mainly hung from the rafters). He’s known for his swift and secure metal plating; in his spare time he makes shields, bucklers, and buckles for sale, and hangs his plentiful supply of same all around his smithy.

Gnome artificer (maker of locks, keys, hinges, hasps, hooks, lanterns, pulleys, gratings and their pulls, crank-operated window casements, and metal mounting-bolts) Qlaklard Velvund, on Halver Street. He’s a long-nosed, balding, hunchbacked shuffler, always tunelessly whistling as he putters. He has a habit of peering disapprovingly over his spectacles (magnifiers for doing finework, not glasses he needs to see otherwise).

Human vendor of secondhand sundries (a large, cluttered warehouse of a shop) Alvran Reddarstel, a gap-toothed, bearded bear of a man who dresses in layers of rotting furs, and has a family of a never-seen wife and a dozen-some very-active children who fetch goods in the shop for him. Known for always having cauldrons and string.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:38:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On 1490s Berdusk:

Feb 9, 2020

@iveleftmymark

We haven't heard from Berdusk in 5E much. How is the Harper city faring, and what are the struggles it's going through in the 1490s DR? Thanks as always :)


@TheEdVerse

Berdusk remains a Harper base, and under their protection generations of artisans have flourished, making the city a stronghold of skilled carpentry, smithing, and crafting; throughout the 1400s it has exported a lot of useful furniture, tools, housewares (pottery, hinges, locks and hasps, pots and pans and cutlery), draperies, and decorative statuettes, lanterns, and small wall paintings. This makes it a popular caravan stop, as Berduskans will always buy food, and sell well-made and stylish items (tinder boxes, locks with sets of keys, ‘strongbox’ coffers, tools and cutlery) that merchants can readily resell elsewhere.

Over the past century, a local nobility (the wealthy who wisely sponsored others, and became even more wealthy and able to go on sponsoring others, plus enriching themselves by building granaries and warehouses all can rent space in) has grown up in Berdusk.

These ‘First Folk’ consist of twenty or so families (some large, some small), who appoint a ruling High Lord or High Lady from among their number. Perennially most influential among these noble families are the houses of Calanthal, Hardomeir, Myrmrast, Qarlagast (notorious locally for madness in the family, a reputation that began when the Spellplague hit and several mages in the family went spectacularly, energetically insane and destroyed many buildings in the city until slain; much of the family today are believed to be skilled wielders of the Art), and Spaeruthal. House Calanthal are proud, prickly, and have a family tradition of training to become deadly swordwielders (duelists). House Spaeruthal is just as proud, and perhaps the wealthiest of all. The current ruler of Berdusk is High Lady Lashantha Duarn, who takes—and heeds—advice in secret from the Harpers, and so rules far more wisely than most First Folk would be likely to. As a result, she’s increasingly unpopular and mistrusted by her fellow nobles, but more and more popular and trusted by other Berduskans.

Right now, Berdusk is dominated by squabbles (not quite open feuds, but trade disputes through proxies) between rival nobles, who unite on one issue: preventing the formation of local guilds (or breaking up those that do form, before they can wield any useful power). In this they’ve thus far succeeded, but their worst excesses have been sharply curbed by merchant costers using the city as a way-base, and by the Harpers of Twilight Hall.

(High Lady Cylyria Dragonbreast was increasingly afflicted by the periodic mania that beset her throughout her life, and vanished circa 1396 DR; her fate is unknown. The Harpers informed Berdusk that she’d perished in the fall of that year, but they never spoke of her death to fellow Harpers, and city rumor has her going mad, taking another name, and wandering off across Faerûn, or seeking refuge in Evereska or Evermeet.

But then, city rumors have Harpers doing many, many wild and odd things. In 1397 Dr, Berdusk’s First Folk selected Ingaram Caunter as High Lord, and he ruled capably for two decades.)
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:38:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On setting up a church of Azuth in Neverwinter:

Feb 21, 2020


@Pataphor1

re: #Realmslore... is there any reason, please, a "Church Of Azuth, Returned" wouldn't try to set up a Mission of wizards, clerics and artificers in the heavily hammered Neverwinter 'tween the Chasm and the river overlooking the Cloaktower? My thanks again...

whoops, tired after-work brain. I mean, it's been 9 years and a month since Azuth emerged and reincarneted, I thought? Mission and Missionary time in poor ravaged Neverwinter...?

@ZeromaruX

Dagult Neverember could be a powerful reason.


@TheEdVerse

@ZeromaruX s quite right in saying that Dagult Neverember would try to forbid or stamp out a Church of Azuth mission to establish a presence in Neverwinter UNLESS he could control it; i.e. have spies set on it to know EXACTLY what its members do, and meet with them regularly to establish policies, and steer them into paying taxes and drawing ambitious but novice wielders of the Art into the city to learn—and then leave. For example, he’d want the clergy to have a strict rule that if we tutor you in magic, you have to depart Neverwinter and go out into the wider world to use that magic, not stay in the city and try to make a living. Dagult sees competent practitioners of the Art, particularly those with a clear line of communications with a deity of spellcasting, to be a potential threat to his authority. Even if the clergy of Azuth agreed to obey him and work closely with him, he’d be suspicious of them.

None of which means you can’t have a campaign where the establishment of a mission isn’t attempted, and Neverember reacts, unfolding in roleplaying as play proceeds. That sort of ‘interesting times’ is ideal for making the Realms come alive and be an interesting, immersive setting, not just a backdrop.
#Realmslore


@Pataphor1

Okay. Cheating with the FR fandom wiki as a lead-in summary and a pointer to the relevant eventual texts.

The idea of them training and then going on m/Missions I already like. My prospective player is a rescue from Chessenta, plus an NPC who wished to be a wizard but had the wisdom to know he hadn't quite the intelligence. If Neverember felt such a church would help his "mercantile empire"...?

Um. I see that Soman Galt and his... "backers" might be quite a problem...
Mind you. ... If Neverember sent them on missions and said wizards and artificers "examined" the discoveries BEFORE handing them over to Neverember...? If the Returned Church used the very fact that Neverember would WANT to control and use them...? ...


@TheEdVerse

I think this: "If Neverember sent them on missions and said wizards and artificers "examined" the discoveries BEFORE handing them over to Neverember...? If the Returned Church used the very fact that Neverember would WANT to control and use them...?" is ideal for working a local Azuth church into Neverwinter and building a very interesting campaign around it. Neverember can see that his foes and rivals and those working against him for purely selfish reasons are rising in power, and he needs allies/tools/agents.
#Realmslore

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On a halfling nation based on the Five Shires:

Feb 19, 2020


@rwgs76

Well met, dear @TheEdVerse. A small question, if I may: if I wanted to add a second halfling nation to Faerûn by adding Mystara's The Five Shires in Faerûn around 1357 DR, what would be the best place to place it? #Realmslore #Halflings


@TheEdVerse

“Best” depends on your purpose: best for the hin would likely be siting it near Starmantle (or a tad further east along the same coast, into Turmish), flipping it north/south to keep the seacoast where it is. This would give you roughly the same climate, and some space from threatening foes. More perilous sites would be in the Vilhon or Wizards Reach or Chessenta, or taking over the Velen peninsula. Or wiping out the drow of Dambrath and putting it there.

If you sacrifice the seacoast, the Five Shires will fit in several places along the Heartlands trade routes, such as in the Greenfields, or in The Shining Plains or along the shores of Shalane Lake. Or it could nestle into what is now Battledale and Highdale and upland Sembia, displacing them all, or be slotted in between Cormyr and Sembia in the vicinity of Daerlun, becoming a buffer between them.

If you’re willing to obliterate the Marshes of Tun, the Five Shires will fit nigh-perfectly into that space between existing mountain ranges. And so on, and on.
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On adding infinite pages to a book:

Feb 26, 2020


@MissMartinsen

Great Sage! Today I lay an oddly specific question at thine feet. Is there a particular spell, or series thereof, that might give a book infinite pages? I know the Nether Scrolls have a similar property; this is more for a diary.

Best regards and much thanks!


@TheEdVerse

Ah, ye seek Agannazar's Amanuensis, a rare, old spell that adds a dozen pages (so, 24 blank sides of paper, parchment, or vellum, depending on what material the book it's cast on has for its pages) in a trice, and poises a ink-dipped quill above them.

Warning: this spell consumes the quill, a stick of wood, and an entire animal hide, cleansed and cured, in the casting.

It doesn't grant infinite pages, but can be cast repeatedly on the same tome, to expand it as much as desired. Elminster cautions that if spells are written upon these enchanted pages, instability is introduced, and grows over time and with each addition of pages.

Despite the spell's name, it does not write for the caster. The quill ceases to hover the moment it's touched by any living being. The spell does NOT provide ink replenishment.
#Realmslore


@VikGray

Does mage's tome starts to weight more?


@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes. Normal weight increase for the pages added.
#Realmslore


@gkrashos

When is the conjured quill consumed and is it a different quill to the one that is required as a material component?


@TheEdVerse

It is the same quill required as a material component, and fades away into thin air when the spell (which can’t be prolonged by any as-yet-known means) expires.
#Realmslore

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On a villain that could be a Worm That Walks:


Feb 28, 2020


@TLMayesing

I'm considering converting a worm that walks as a blessed servitor of Myrkul, kind of a "Kyuss" in the Realms pre times of troubles. Any thoughts or suggestions? This would be the grand villian of my campaign and is there an evil organization for my villian to sieze


@TheEdVerse

Great idea.

There was a mysterious robed, cowled death-cult leader calling himself “Malavor” in the cellars of Ordûlin, capitol of Sembia, in the 1340s-1360s DR (cellars guarded by animated skeletons). In reality, he was Arnthras Relathond, a wealthy, ambitious, rising merchant who created the cult for fun and to gain himself loyal dupes he could use for dirty tricks against rival merchants (arson, vandalism, warehouse-stock thefts, and assassinations—hence the worship of dead).

You could easily have the real Relathond slain and impersonated by a Worm That Walks, or have the Worm working with him, being a real servitor of Myrkul.

Sembia at this time (before the Zhentarim, Wearers of the Purple, and Red Wizard agents become numerous and powerful) is awash in warring merchant cabals that the cult can readily absorb or influence: (often fractious and short-lived) groups of half a dozen to a score of merchants covertly working together for mutual gain, and calling themselves such things as The Red Flagon, The Scarab of Sembia, The Three Dread Pacts, The High Ring, and The Serpentine Chain.
#Realmslore

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On Alias:

Feb 5, 2020


@TLMayesing

Can you point me in the right direction to find out the fate of Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb's Alias and Finder Wyvernspur? Or how to contact them or someone else to ask?


@TheEdVerse

You can read the tale of Finder (his journey towards godhood), in the TSR-published novels FINDER’S BANE and TYMORA’S LUCK (both by Jeff and Kate). I assume you’ve read their earlier novels AZURE BONDS, THE WYVERN’S SPUR, and SONG OF THE SAURIALS.

Their novel MASQUERADES tells of the further adventures of Alias. She’s immortal, and so still out in the world (and still a Harper), as are some of her clones created by Phalse.
#Realmslore

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On an order knights or paladins dedicated to Bahamut:

Feb 29, 2020


@_Matafer

Hey @TheEdVerse was wondering if there was an order of knights or paladins dedicated to Celestia or Bahumut in Faerun; post spell plague? Any info would be welcome! #loremaster


@TheEdVerse

Yes. An order of paladins dedicated to Bahamut, the True Hands Of Justice, was founded in Shamph in 1489 DR, by Grandmatriarch Darthanna Halarkantle of The House Of Justice, the new temple to Bahamut there.

It is small (little more than a dozen roving paladins, plus a handful of knights in training), but dedicated to bringing justice (both adherence to formal law, and the “law-abiding spirit” of respecting the spirit of laws and that law and order should hold sway everywhere, especially in frontier areas where there is no Watch, the Order stepping in to be the lawkeepers in lieu.

They enforce the Code of Bahamut (that all sentients have rights, that the deeds of one should not hamper the freedom of another, that force does not make “right,” that justice lies in trials and evidence and not on-the-spot execution if there’s any doubt about guilt, and so on) if they’re in wilderlands, or the laws of whatever government claims the area they’re operating in (except those laws, such as any encouraging slavery, that might offend against the Code). Some of the leading paladins of this Order include the human females Jaaluth Darfire (formerly of Selgaunt) and Mararrla Dragonshield (formerly of Luthcheq), and the human male Tarlund Raeraunt (formerly of Arrabar).
#Realmslore

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On Arabel's House Hiloar in the 1490s:

Feb 17, 2020


@Mercury605

Hi @TheEdVerse, not sure if you saw my question before. I think I had some privacy setting stuff going on. Hope you’re recovering well and thanks for still sharing Realmslore with us all on a near daily basis.

@TheEdVerse Hi Ed, hope you’re well. Years ago on the Candlekeep forums (I posted as “Gerath Hoan”) you gave me some details on House Hiloar, the minor noble family in Arabel. I was wondering if you might be so kind as to give me an update on their fortunes in the 1490s DR?


@TheEdVerse

I definitely didn’t see this earlier! But here we go…

As of the late 1490s DR, House Hiloar is still resident in Arabel, with family members also dwelling in Suzail and several Sembian cities. They have continued to diversify, notably into investments in Sembian urban real estate that took advantage of the temporary collapse of prices during the Sembian-Netherese warfare, and were largely ignored by the War Wizards in the wake of Vangerdahast’s departure from the scene (in human form).

So right now (late 1490s), the patriarch of House Hiloar is Lord Berenthar Hiloar, who dwells in the family mansion in Arabel with his wife Lady Aurandra, his aging aunt and irascible terror Lady Hulburtha Hiloar, and their youngest sons, Lords Andlurs, Canthlorn, and Pheldrar.

Berenthar and Aurandra’s three oldest children (like all siblings here, named in first-to-last birth order) are adults (and styled Lords and Ladies): son Durlanthur (heir, and so forced to live in Suzail and increasingly resenting it), daughter Mylandra (very wealthy thanks to being a shrewd investor in shipping and new household items; she collects minor protective magics and female lovers she forms firm friendships with, and dwells in Selgaunt), and son Lygard (a bit of a wild rake and adventuring rapscallion who has narrowly escaped bad scrapes in Westgate and Saerloon, and so accepted his father’s “reposting” to Athkatla, where he’s begun his shady adventures anew).

Berenthar has two living brothers, Tonstral in Darrowmar and Felvaran in Luthcheq. Both have outlived their wives, but have sons and daughters scattered all over the Heartlands and the Sea of Fallen Stars ports, busily pursuing mercantile careers. (These families use their titles when it benefits them, or when in Cormyr, and don’t bother the rest of the time.) Tonstral has two sons, one older and one younger than his five daughters: Kuldath, Mierelle (“MEE-air-ell”), Shantra, Valarra, Nove, Naryathla, and Durvrek, all moderately-successful merchants who are increasingly investing in crafters who make things, as opposed to their former focus on warehousing, bulk cargo trading, and shipping.

Felvaran has three daughters and a younger son; the daughters (Pelaerra, Alyeene, and Duskarra) are tireless and successful merchant traders and travelers, who may be encountered almost anywhere in Faerûn doing deals and shepherding cargoes, whereas the son, Hondur, keeps to Chessenta and has developed a reputation for swindling and shady-work. Increasingly, he’s taken to hiring adventurers to rob and even kill trade rivals.

That’s the short version. ;}
#Realmslore

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On Chosen:

(This one was one of those messy ones, with multiple replies across multiple days; I did the best I could with them)

@XynRaven

Is there a chance for a Chosen to be evil-natured, or are they exclusively non-evil?


@TheEdVerse

There are two sorts of Chosen: the "Chosen" of Mystra, who contain part of her divine power by Ao's decree (and as a fail-safe mechanism) that she can't wrest back from them, and the lesser Chosen of other deities (whose powers and status their deities can dismiss at will). All of these Chosen can be of any alignment, though they are likely to be Lawful (so as to be loyal to, and obey, the deity), and are otherwise likely to mirror or be akin to the alignment of the deity.
#Realmslore


@XynRaven

No no, I was talking about Mystra's Chosen, not in general, in general it's a given it depends on the deity.


@TheEdVerse

Mystra's Chosen need not be good-aligned, but in a world dominated by magic (the Weave), many of their actions will be seen as good by many creatures, regardless of their intent or alignment. Mystra has at times been seen as good, and at other times as lawful neutral.
#Realmslore


@XynRaven

So basically "Do what you want, just make sure everybody can afford tuition".


@TheEdVerse

Nope. If you read my novels or many of the Realms sourcebooks, you will see Mystra's Chosen attentively carrying out her aims, which include instructing individuals in magic, leaving magic items and scrolls and spellbooks in tombs and dungeons for folk to find (ever wonder why Undermountain and other places many adventurers have explored still have magic lying around in them, to be found?), and working against beings who use their magic to oppress (giving magic a bad reputation) or to prevent others from gaining agic or access to magic, or who imprison or coerce 'wild talents.' Mystra is dedicated to the widespread use of magic. One way to think of it is that her servitors work to spread the wealth across a society. She sees magic for all improving the world for all.
#Realmslore


@jayeedgecliff

These chosen of the other deities. Would this, ultimately, just be like the F&A-TSR9516 specialty priests, or something else altogether?

And what of gods not, themselves, lawful? Would they – especially the more capricious sorts – prefer a more free-willed individual?


@TheEdVerse

Something else altogether. During the Second Sundering, we saw LEGIONS of "Chosen" as deities decided their power in the new order would depend on how influential their worshippers were, so they named scads of Chosen. But aside from that insane time, "Chosen" of all deities are mortals imbued by a god with certain powers (that they can alter, remove, and augment more or less at will). They can all choose what and how much power they grant their Chosen, so they customize. If a deity has three Chosen, they could have markedly different powers. Some may resemble specialty priests in what they end up with, but usually not. Mystra's alone have enough self-will that she can bestow abilities and power IF THEY AGREE but not take away UNLESS THEY FREELY AND WILLINGLY GIVE.

A few gods might prefer more free-willed individuals, but most gods have a touch of the paranoid control freak. If they want Chosen at all, they want them to be UTTERLY loyal and precision-controllable. It depends on the nature/portfolio and character of the deity.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

Wait, I thought the Chosen of the Prime gods were on par with Mystra? You know, everyone who sits at the adult table while everyone else watches their decision? I.E the trial of Cyric the Mad depicts 7 or 8 portfolios(of which Mystra is one) that run the show on Faerun


@TheEdVerse

If Mystra's power wasn't limited, she would be the ubergod and all the others just niche shopkeepers. So her power was limited, and the mechanism was her Chosen. So they are a different breed than other "Chosen." Anything else you've read is propaganda.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

That seems like a continuity error. Goddess of magic with no limiter or handicap still can't make gods or overturn their decrees unless she takes over their portfolio, which Ao wouldn't allow anyway. So could even make it so magic doesn't need a god to run it.


@TheEdVerse

Hmm. You seem to be understanding quite a different Realms than the one we see in print. In which many gods have seized or stolen the portfolios of others, or even slain other gods...and Ao did nothing.

No one really understands Ao, or what he'll allow or not.


@ColeEpicSmile

The other ptime gods and portfolios are actually 100% necessary for existence itself whereas magic as it is known outside the clergy really isn't that necessary. I.E there can be gods with no wizards but no clerics without gods.


@TheEdVerse

We don't know that the gods are necessary for anything; they are ways of expressing existence. Magic permeates Toril; it's everywhere and the fastest, most powerful way of harnessing the energies of the world. A goddess of magic can and has cut off other gods' access to magic in the past, and Ao did step in and stop that. Your last sentence is quite correct, but beside the point.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

And my last sentence points out that any god who has a portfolio that is a basic necessity to existence being "less powerful" than the god of magic, which seems less necessary (than say, the concept of light and dark) seems...odd?


@TheEdVerse

When I created divine portfolios for the game, I was expressing the elements important to mortals that gods sought to dominate. They're not copyrights or trademarks; the god holds them only so far as they fight to have and keep them, and gods are CONSTANTLY vying to "take more" from, yes, OTHER GODS.

It seems odd because you're trying to make sense of 'the way things are' in the Realms in a certain way, and some of what's reported to you doesn't fit your view.

I'm trying to point out that none of us can see. the truth about matters divine in the Realms to form a coherent view that we can trust. None of us. If we DO trust our view, we may discover we're wrong hard and fast. Or not. We're all guessing. One observer's "seems" might not match another's.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

So it is slightly confusing for me that Mystra is a prime god, but the only one that really matters so her Chosen are "the big deal". Seems kind of like Ao would or should maybe fix that instead of causing one Time of Trouble and then slacking off for another few millenia.


@TheEdVerse

Many mortals lament that the world isn't as they wish it to be, often when bills come due, yet the world seems not to hear or care.

We just don't know enough about Ao to know what he would do. When we say what he "should" do, we merely project our desires onto him.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

Just the way it seemed when I read it.Mystra always seemed to have the most Chosen and really,other gods Chosen rarely ever came up,but that never seemed to denote Mystra's Chosen as a bigger deal than other Chosen of the other prime gods who put Cyric,Mystra and Kelmvor to trial


@TheEdVerse

Everything we know about the Realms comes to us through unreliable narrators. Everything we know about the gods is folklore, or rumor, or propaganda, except what we see with our own eyes.

You're quite right about the Chosen of other gods rarely being onstage. But Mystra's Chosen AREN'T swaggering emissaries, shining champions, or out to impress anyone. They deliberately keep a low profile. And carry such a heavy mental load that most are less than sane.

Be wary of that trial, too; whose POV did you "see" that from?
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

Wait. Aren't most of Mystra's Chosen famous? Hold up. Dove Falconhand. Storm. The Simbul. Lady Alustriel. I mean...Elminster and Khelben...???? Quilue I could see she also died in war of the Spider Queen didn't she?

Just the way it all pieced together for me from Red Mage, Harpers1 or 3? up to....oh, the last Elminster book where he smashes Shade and Telamont Tanthul into Myth Drannor. It all gets blurry after years of reading.


@TheEdVerse

There's a LOT of "adventure mileage" in the struggles between the gods (and their followers), and misunderstandings, and deities trying to deceive each other and mortals...almost (ahem) as if I designed it that way. ;}
#Realmslore



@sagechan1

So you're saying that since a lot of what we "know" comes from El, may be one reason we've heard more of Mystra's Chosen than those of other Gods.


@TheEdVerse

BINGO! :}
Er, yes.


@vorpaldicepress

So a chosen of Illmater for example is on a lower level than a Chosen of Mystra?


@TheEdVerse

In the eyes of their deity, they are the same. But a Chosen of any deity but Mystra is "just" an anointed mortal champion of that deity, given powers as the deity wills. As the Weave is all-encompassing and Mystra would have been all-powerful, Ao long ago forced her to divest herself of some of her divine power into mortals. She can't wrest it back from them. So she made sure these mortals were her dedicated, loyal servants, but they CAN defy her, and if she destroys them, that divine power is lost to her forever.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Is there any reason why Ao enforced Mystra to do such a thing? One thing is clear to me: this event means Ao is not the all-powerful being he wants us to believe he is.


@TheEdVerse

Mortals know not the whys and hows of gods.

We try to understand, but must always remember: EVERYONE is an unreliable narrator. The gods and their priests and sages lie to us; everybody "spins" and slants and fabricates, sometimes unwittingly, as they see the world.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Now I have another (unanswerable, I believe) question: was this enforced originally to Mystra? Or she inherited the burden from Mystryl or from the deity that controlled magic before Mystryl?


@TheEdVerse

She inherited from Mystryl, but Ao didn’t leave it unspoken; he made matters clear to Mystra, too.

Mystra’s successor Mystras inherit her memories, however imperfectly, and gain clarity through contact with her Chosen (who mentally store lore Mystra wants them to).
#Realmslore


@sagechan1

Did the other God's mostly remove the power from their Second Sundering Chosen at it's end?


@TheEdVerse

Many of the Chosen didn’t survive the Second Sundering, as agents of other gods slew them (directed by their gods, who believed their rank after things settled down would depend on how many and how powerful/influential their mortal worshippers were). Of those who survived, the gods stripped almost all of their status and powers, most deities retreating to having one or two envoys/‘avenging angel’ sorts as Chosen. To most mortals and even some senior clergy, it’s now unclear how many Chosen a particular god has, or even if they have Chosen at all. Since the Second Sundering, the gods are more distant; almost none of them have appeared in public in avatar form, and they speak directly to their clergy, or from altars, far less often, mainly using dream-visions to communicate their will to mortals.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Mystra has one portfolio, but her portfolio happens to be one of the most important of all (Magic). That's why she has the potential to be that powerful. Or that's how I understand it.


@TheEdVerse

The Chosen do as Mystra directs, and Mystra wants Thay left alone as a social experiment; how will it play out? See Tyrants In Scarlet (available for free at the DM’s Guild) for why Thay is special and why she leaves it be.

Her patience with the excesses of any wizard isn’t infinite; she will step in if she believes the actions of Szass Tam or anyone seriously threaten Toril or the Weave as a whole. (There’s a reason the Dread Ring scheme failed.)
#Realmslore


@jayeedgecliff

Then, if you don’t mind. My favourite gods are Sharess & Lliira. Do either of them have chosen & is the room for generalisation about them?

I play the 1e/2e transition years but not time of trouble … yet


@TheEdVerse

At this time in the Realms (first half of the 1300s DR) Sharess and Lliira both have Chosen, but their powers are minor (ability to heal themselves and others by touch, neutralize poison by touch, project image, blink, teleport, and deflect some incoming magics elsewhere; the Chosen of Lliira can also levitate and feather fall momentarily so as to acrobatically dance more spectacularly). Both are beautiful females and superb singers.

Their role is to teach (grooming, dancing), assist in putting on revels and festivals for the overwhelmed or depressed, and most of all to “hearten” (raise the spirits) of clergy of their deities who have fallen on hard times, suffered losses or misfortunes, or are grieving. Both travel nigh-constantly on this holy business, and make their homes with their deities when they aren’t. Their role is personal, not high-profile, though they will confront clergy who have ‘gone astray’ to bring the words and will of the goddess, who will manifest around them to show her support/their legimitmacy.

The Chosen of Sharess is an Illuskan female of striking beauty and no inhibitions at all, who loves to flirt but can also be a motherly nurturer, by the name of Indraea (“In-DRAY-ah”) Mruinwynter. She has dark hair and a purring voice.

The Chosen of Lliira is a Chondathan female of lithe, long limbs and agility, demure good looks, and merry spirits, named Talala (Tal-LAL-lah) Hurrowind. She is blonde, petite of build, and has masterful balance, often dancing on taut ropes, leaping about in what we might call ‘parkour.’

She can weave, braid, and knot with astonishing skill and speed.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven

So, in the same vein as we've been discussing, are other gods capable of creating chosen just like Mystra's and just don't? Or does that level of chosen take a mandate from Ao to create?


@TheEdVerse

In theory, other gods could create Chosen of the sort that Mystra does, but that means giving up some of your divine power to a mortal forever, lessening yourself and losing control over it AND the mortal—and calling in Ao to enforce that upon you. Gods just aren’t that generous.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven

Grand lore master, if what I am understanding is right, then Mystra has that particular type of chosen to ensure that she has backups in case she is ever killed outright. It is intended to protect the Weave, right? What about the other gods of magic, such as Eilistraee or Azuth? They share the Weave with Mystra, don't they? What would happen if someone evil, say Lolth, who tried to claim the Weave once already, or Asmodeous were to kill one of these other gods of magic and claim their portfolios?


@TheEdVerse

That’s right, it’s intended to stabilize the Weave rather than having the whole thing crash in an instant (destroying all access to arcane magic, at the same moment that existing wards, mythals, and active spells all fail).

It’s also intended to limit Mystra’s power, not provide personal backups for her. Which means it’s something that concerns Ao, and he watches over it.

Killing a deity doesn’t mean you automatically get their portfolio, or even immediate access to it. And in the case of other gods of magic, the only being easily able to readily access their power and portfolios would be Mystra, not a god-slaying deity. Which should delay any seizure of power on their part long enough for other rival deities to step in and oppose them, or perhaps even Ao taking a hand.

The tales priests tell make their deity sound like a superhero of infinite might and mastery, who can snatch something and instantly wield it like an expert long familiar with it, but that’s very rarely the case. For most deities trying to seize a new lever of power, it’s like trying to get a firm grip on fog. They have to study it, learn its ways in some depth, and so discern how best to try to get hold of it; not something easily done in the middle of a fight, or if opposed by someone else, or when handling other complex tasks. All of which means if a god of magic goes down, the other gods of magic are most likely to end up in control, in the short term if not the long, because they know how to grasp and wield the powers involved, the side-effects and consequences of everything they do, and what will likely happen if they try this, or that.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

If Mystra's Chosen are there to stabilize the Weave, and Mystryl had Chosen... Does that mean that Karsus's Ultimate Mistake wasn't the first time the Weave went down?


@TheEdVerse

Yes. ;}
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

Oh ye wascally bearded wabbit, you know we want to know more!


@TheEdVerse

Let me give thee two words: Dawn Cataclysm.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

A new conundrum, then... Tyche was split during the Dawn Cataclysm. Karsus's Oops was in -339 DR, so the DC had to be before then -- but Tyche's church didn't split into Tymora's and Beshaba's until the 700s... Why the millennium-long delay?


@TheEdVerse

NDA. (Diabolical laughter.)

Elminster sighs, rolls eyes, steps in front of laughing Eddie, and says solemnly: "The answer is lost to us in the mists of time. Just get on with thy life."


@Greysil_Tassyr

Poo. I feared the arrival of that particular Trio Nefarious, as the esteemed Steven Schend once spoke of NDAs.

Thankee for the lore, even if it does upend all my prior speculation about when the DC happened!


@TheEdVerse

We still don't know when it happened...or even if it happened the way we've been told. Priests of Lathander have a very different take on it than many other clergies...and not one priest alive today was alive then, to know the truth. It's ALL speculation.
#Realmslore


@coolguy73360922

So Mystryl wasn't the first goddess of Weave?


@TheEdVerse

I’d not draw that conclusion from what was said, but remember: we know almost nothing reliable about the doings of the gods that befell yesterday, to say nothing of so long ago that no mortal alive then is around to attest now.
#Realmslore

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On aranea webbing:

Feb 16, 2020


@cluc2018

Hi Ed, can you tell me a bit about the ecology of the Aranea? It's listed that they can only produce a very limited amount of webbing per day in their statblocks - not enough to trade in it. Are the numbers provided reflected in the lore, or are they perfunctory?


@TheEdVerse

The aranea produce webbing in direct proportion to how much food they ingest. Ere going to bed at night, most exude the webbing they haven’t used during the day (i.e. almost all of it, unless they’ve used some fighting, hunting, climbing, or “sticking” tools to their grasps during work that demands such measures), and save it in boxes lined with an ointment that keeps it supple. These collected “sheddings” are woven by skilled elder aranea into “sheets” of spidersilk (picture a flexible tablecloth of about the size of a large human warrior’s shield) for trade. So, yes, silk production is slow, but the material produced is so valuable that it’s worth the doing.

Many aranea families have indolent elder aunts and uncles who staff the family kitchens all day, and are sampling gluttons, so they, individually, produce a LOT of webbing. (The statblock numbers are a racial average.)
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On arcane institutions in 1490s Neverwinter:


Feb 5, 2020



@ZeromaruX

Hi, @TheEdVerse. How you been? Hope you're well.

I was wondering which arcane institution resides in Neverwinter in the 1490s. The NCS states that the Many-Starred disappeared during the Spellplague, so perhaps Neverember brought a new magical order with him?

I was considering to use the White Lotus Order (from core 4e sources) for my campaign, but if you have any info on this, I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks in advance


@TheEdVerse

Dagult Neverember wants no challenge to his authority in Neverwinter since his return from Waterdeep, and has become a heavily-taxing despot with an ever-larger network of spies scrutinizing his citizens. So he allows no new guilds, and NO orders of wizards or other public cabals and alliances of wielders of the Art. It’s said in the streets of Neverwinter that “If three wizards meet by chance at a street corner, Lord Neverember will be sure they’re plotting his doom.”

However, there are still Cult of the Dragon mages and other agents operating in the city—and they are under the thumb of the lich Valindra Shadowmantle, head of a Thayan cell that does Szass Tam’s will in Neverwinter. Tam’s Dread Ring plans may have failed, but he is still interested in the city and its hinterland, and how they can enrich him.

Thanks to both Neverember and the Thayans, even visiting, undercover Harper mages tread carefully in Neverwinter.

By all means introduce a wizardly order in your campaign, but be aware that Neverember will be hostile, and his spies and slaying agents active against them.
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On Auril and the Queen of Air and Darkness:


Feb 14, 2020

@CineastBenRowe

Something interesting I noticed -- the symbol of the Queen of Air and Darkness is a black diamond. In 2e, 3e, and D&D Next Auril's symbol was a snowflake on a black diamond. In 4e it was said Auril was the QoAaD. In 5e they're separate, and Auril's symbol is *just the snowflake*.

Now here's a cool potential story for a #ForgottenRealms #DnD campaign - were Auril and the QoAaD really the same entity? *Or* was the QoAaD possessing Auril somehow, and did the defeat of Auril's Chosen in the Sundering somehow break that possession, so that now they're split?.

An interesting vein to explore for any characters for whom Auril or the QoAaD are important, perhaps - especially if the QoAaD still claims to be Auril to retain worshippers on Toril.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it's an interesting notion. Any thoughts,
@TheEdVerse?


@TheEdVerse

The deeds of gods are often mysteries to mortals, especially when overlaid by what priesthoods say (which is often propaganda/misdirection intended to make their deity seem important/vital).

In this case, I'd say this: "The QoAaD still claims to be Auril to retain worshippers on Toril" is exactly what's happening. And Auril cooperates because it boosts her importance and therefore worship and therefore influence.
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On beholders working with the Zhents, and with the Red Wizards:

Feb 19, 2020


@clackclickbang

A few questions for you, wise sage: 1.) What the circumstances behind Manshoon somehow convincing his first beholder ally to work with him and not just destroy him? 2.) Beholders have often acted as Zhent allies, but do the Red Wizards ever utilise them? and 3.) Back to my zulkir questions, has a mind flayer ever impersonated or controlled a zulkir of Thay, and what was the story behind it so doing? Thank you as always!


@TheEdVerse

The young, ambitious Manshoon magically farscried (spied on) some beholders he knew dwelt not far west and northwest of Zhentil Keep, to see if they were as interested in influencing/meddling with the affairs of humans as he suspected. He was right, they were (wielding power being what they thirsted for more than aught else, with manipulating the unaware a close second), and they were concentrating on the Moonsea area with its lucrative mining/metals trade.

So he magically prepared with mantles and wardings he altered to protect himself against beholder eyestalk powers, notably their anti-magic rays. How? Well, those few who know how can ‘fold’ the Weave in a small at-hand area so area-effect and aimed spells hurled at a target will be misdirected into the (invisible) fold, leaving the target, just beyond the fold, unaffected).

This allowed Manshoon to visit the beholders he’d judged as suitable allies and survive their attacks long enough for them to hear him out as he sought to convince them he could be their tool (to work on humans where their direct personal presence would cause fear/hate/headlong flight). So certain of the eye tyrants took a chance on working with him, were very impressed with the results and with the organization (the Zhentarim) he was building and how they could use it as a widespread extension of their own schemes and wills, and became his allies. Taming the priests of Bane Manshoon couldn’t dominate by himself, or with the assistance of Fzoul (who has gained from the strivings of others for his entire life). The beholders exulted at how this extended their reach, making them truly influential across Faerûn, and also took note of how careful Manshoon was to obey them precisely, hide nothing from them, and sugar-coat nothing, so their trust in him grew. “A willing and attentive thrall,” the beholder Xuuvarathar described him, to other eye tyrants.

In contrast to the Zhentarim, Red Wizards have battled with beholders, sought to destroy them from afar often, and worked against their purposes and schemes (seeing them as rivals who must be destroyed). Only two zulkirs have ever allied with them, and these alliances were brief, disastrous, and ended with the Thayans seeking to double-cross the eye tyrants—with (for all the Red Wizards involved) fatal results.

Mind flayers have never tried to impersonate zulkirs, so far as I know, but they have tried—with very little success—to control zulkirs. Instead, they often try to influence the decision-making and deeds of zulkirs by feeding them misinformation through pawns and false rumors, and this betimes succeeds well, and betimes meets with mixed results. One beholder, Qlevulxultha, is known to view Red Wizards as toys to played with.
#Realmslore

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