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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:49:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On illithid recipes for brains:

Feb 14, 2020


@Kajehase

On the same topic, does the mind flayers have to eat the brains of their victims raw, or is there perchance a brisk trade in recipes for the best way to prepare various species' grey matter?


@TheEdVerse

If mind flayers want to glean the memories and ďdeeperĒ thoughts of their victims, they must devour the brains raw.

Strong emotions at the end of life (such as terror) and last Ďsurface thoughtsí will survive most cooking processes that donít involve charring the brain or long marinade periods. So there are brain-preparation recipes, and swapping of them, but they are usually used only to enliven illithid ennui, when forced to dine on Ďstupid,í uninteresting victims. Most mind flayers seek hidden knowledge and unusual memories, and donít want to miss any.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:50:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On brains and souls:


Feb 9, 2020


@jaskier_stan

What function does the brain serve in the Forgotten Realms keeping in mind souls are a thing? The people demand answers!


@TheEdVerse

The brain is used for thinking, by regrettably too few people, and far too seldom. The demanding answers thing is good, though. Itís what makes us human.

Seriously: the brain is the source of sentience, which isnít just reasoning, itís self-awareness, so itís what fills a soul with an identifier and qualities of character. The soul is the essence of being for a living thing; the brain contains the self, or person.

Used by deities for sorting said souls, or directing them. Used by you to go on living, if you acquire a new body.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:51:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On brains and souls, and their part in phylacteries and resurrections:

Feb 14, 2020


@Pataphor1

Apologies if this is too much, but...how then do brain and soul relate to ghosts and phylacteries? Figure a resurrection heals a brain, but soul comes back and then...what does it mean for relationship of brain and soul?
I said "thank you for everything", ...?

... does the brain's physical memory arrangement... modulate the medium of the soul the same way? Or is that the Astral analogue of the physical brain?

I thank you and then drop this on you. Sorry.


@TheEdVerse

A successful resurrection heals a brain and a body, and the soul and animating spirit return to the body, the spirit linking brain and soul together to the bodyÖand ďlife as beforeĒ is back again.

A phylactery is a physical item ďstanding inĒ for the body after death, so the animating spirit and brain remain with the (decaying) body (=undeath). The soul is in the phylactery, and the Ďdreamingí (inactive) brain is in the phylactery too, memories updated by the brain in the undead body via the Weave (upon contact, or when close by, or deliberately, or constantly; it varies with the undead creature, its whereabouts [in the Realms, or on another plane], and the situation (intervening magic, any meddling by Mystra or her servitors or other deities, and so on].
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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Mar 2020 16:51:55
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:52:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On comparisons of the merchants of Sembia and Amn:


Feb 9, 2020


@wombat1974

Great explanation! Which country produces better merchants, Ed? Amn or Sembia?


@TheEdVerse

That's a hard one to answer objectively. Any answer would be a stereotype, as it lumps together everyone in an entire country. If I try an analogy: Amn is more Wall Street (generations of money concentration/ investments/ speculation) and Sembia is more Silicon Valley (innovation), but trying hard to become Wall Street (speculation, investments, money breeding money) as fast as possible. Amn is richer, and has been richer for longer, so one can argue that every merchant alive today has personally benefitted from the infrastructure built by previous generations, and had to do less to do well than Sembians. On the other hand, Sembia's neighbors, such as the Dales and the Moonsea, would say Sembians have profited by being the physical "middlemen" for wealth that isn't really theirs but has to flow through them to reach larger markets/the wider Realms, so they've exploited the labor of others and so ALSO had it easier.

See what I mean about it being hard to judge, and be fair, and how things can be seen so differently?

That's realism for you. ;}
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:53:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On compassion for monsters:

Feb 15, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

@TheEdVerse first just wanna Iím glad to see your recovery is progressing well.

The fun of getting up at Just Kill Me Now Oíclock AM I got to wondering:

How common is someone who feels compassion toward even ďmonstersĒ?

Like taking pity on Kobolds seeing them less as evil and more simply a bit opportunistic then shunted into a place where itís magnified as a means of survival. Willing to speak with goblinkin Ö not seeing them as inherently good and generous, but simply Other Than Human & trying to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Feeling sorry for a bound Ö that magically coerced extraplanar beholder thing I canít remember the Ö Sentinal? And going out of their way to try to free it because itís lonely or get it people to visit it when that fails?

I assume among adventurers itís probably quite rare. Or can seem it given the propensity for murder hobo player groups. But in realms as you envision it? And how are these people viewed by wider society? As lunatics I guess? Except possibly the clerics who some might already deem slightly addled so just chalk it up as proof. Or magi who are obviously completely mental.

But to realise something not invented by the hand of a force of evil to be a tool of evil that nothing is any more inherently so than people only maybe doing the best they can in a harah existence coupled with some somewhat different instincts.

Anyway, as always, ty deeply for such an awesome sandbox to play in. Itís been such an inspiration to my own fiction settings even if mine have more rayguns & starships #129392;


@TheEdVerse

There are actually lots of folk in the Realms who feel this way, when you add up all the druids, devout priests of Silvanus and Mielikki and Eldath, certain Malarites, and the sort of humans who join the Guild of Naturalists and try to see all creatures as part of a Ďgrand tapestry of life that shapes the gods, even as the gods shape it.í However, they tend to be quiet, scattered, and not known to the wider Realms unless they are sages who've penned popular reference works. Some see them as madwits, yes, but Ďeveryone believing in all the godsí urges a wider tolerance for differing views and philosophies than one might think.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:54:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On beholder groups in Cormyr:


@FRAltDimensions

Hi @TheEdVerse,

Hi Ed, I've heard of Iltyr the "Blind but All Seeing" as a beholder cult that preceeded worship of Tyr in Cormyr. I'm also aware of the Xraunrarr as a beholder group trying to infiltrate and control parts of Cormyr's society. Are the two linked in any way?


@TheEdVerse

No, theyíre competitors. The Xraunrarr repeatedly tries to manipulate the Cult of the All-Seeing (which is what they call themselves these days), and the Cult resents it and tries to harm Xraunrarr members. The Xraunrarr adopted the usual attitude of superior disdain most beholders do towards ďfoolishĒ humans, but this has recently been shaken by the realization, in the wake of Cult attacks on Xraunrarr members, that the Cult knew where several Xraunrarr-member lairs wereóand the Xraunrarr didnít realize it.

The competition between the two groups is the major reason neither has been all that successful at influencing Cormyrean society.

Several merchant cabals and minor noble families are under the sway of either beholder group, but itís up to the DM which ones.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:54:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On crossing the Starwater River in Eveningstar Gorge:


@Sartana87

My players asked me "can we swin to cross the Starwater river inside the Eveningstar Gorge ?" and "Is there barges on a regular basis to pass from the west side of the gorge to the east side ?". I'm curious to hear from @TheEdVerse about those 2 very good questions if you can, Ed


@TheEdVerse

No barges exist, as none are needed. Small children could swim across the Starwater, though they'd find the water icy cold except in high summer. Everyone else could just wade; it's mid-thigh deep at most, and a lot less in most places. There are natural
"stepping stone" crossings in at least four places, where boulders and smaller rocks in the riverbed customarily stand proud of the flow, and can readily be walked on (no jumping needed). The only time the Starwater can be perilous in the Gorge is just after heavy rainfall, or during a prolonged heavy rainfall, when it can briefly swell to a roaring torrent. In spring, ice dams can form and then break in tumbling chaos for the same raging effect (plus very hard blocks of ice being hurtled along).
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:55:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how Dagult Neverember feels about his son, Renaer:


Feb 17, 2020


@nessus88

I hope you are recovering well. You recently answered some questions about Dagult November and I was wondering if you happen know how he feels about his son Renaer or if he has any plans concerning him?


@TheEdVerse

As seen in Steven Schendís novel BLACKSTAFF TOWER, Dagult and Renaer donít get along well. Renaer (who joined the Harpers) disapproved of his fatherís methods and treatment of people, and Dagult was deeply disappointed in Renaer for being ďdisloyalĒ (=not a tool whoíd obey his father and help carry out his schemes without qualm or hesitation). Dagult hoped, when Renaer was a young child, to gain him as a trustworthy henchman, but abandoned all such plans when he saw that Renaer wasnít just a Ďrebellious teen, defying parents because thatís what teens do,í but put foolish morals and scruples above loyalty to family, elders, and his father in particular.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:56:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how Dagult Neverember became a tyrant:

Feb 6, 2020


@Mahtan87

What happened to Dagult Neverember, he seamed like such a Good person, yet he is now portrayed as a Evil Tyrant?


@TheEdVerse

From the first, Dagult Neverember was ambitious. Not just for personal gain, but for bettering the world. CHANGING the world. Over time, like many, his impatience with those who got in his way, or disagreed with him, grew.

And he liked power, and wielding it.

He also grew to like being wealthier (that is, gaining from his use of power). So he made sure that the things he did made him wealthier, and gained him more power. And he slowly became less and less patient with impediments, and moved towards becoming a tyrant.

He saw himself as a transformational force who deserved more power because of the good he was achieving. But Waterdeep has seen many, many such people, and seen through them, too, and eventually flung him out of the Open Lordship, slapping him down.

In doing so, they shattered not just his pride, but his delusions. He had to face what he'd become.

But he liked who and what he was, so he "doubled down," in current parlance, and became more so, when back in Neverwinter.

Or to put things in shorter but more clichťd terms:

People change.
and:
Power corrupts.

That's what happened to Dagult Neverember.

Or to trot out another clichť:
Life happened to Dagult Neverember.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:57:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Dagult Neverember's grip on Neverwinter:


@LysbethRaven

Another question I have for you, if I might. How strong is Lord Neverember's grip on Neverwinter? Is he secure in his position, or does he risk being replaced?


@TheEdVerse

Itís actually not that strong at all, being far outweighed by his influence and reputation (folk are scared of him or what he might do, and so give in to avoid anticipated trouble). Yet itís not precarious, either, because no organized, competent, sustained alternative to him wants the job of openly ruling Neverwinter. Yet.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven

What would be the necessary requirements for him to be replaced?


@TheEdVerse

Someone with enough military power and political acumen would have to want him gone, and have a plan to assassinate him, then immediately and firmly (unless they want the city ravaged by strife) seize power.

The 4e NEVERWINTER Campaign Setting lists the on-the-spot interested factions, cabals, and groups, but any of the former city nobles, plus displaced nobles from Waterdeep and Amn, or wealthy wannabe nobles who don't see a quick road to power elsewhere, might try.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:57:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On divine servitors:

Feb 22, 2020


@jvcparry

What do evil/neutral gods have instead of angels in FR? Presumably not devils or demons, as they're part of a different 'system'?


@TheEdVerse

All deities have servitors more trusted and more powerful than mortal clergy (at the very least, to serve as messengers between the god and said priests). Some of these may be literal ďfallen angels,Ē but most will be unique individuals (mortals of some sort, often creatures from a plane of existence where the deity has a home or domesne, infused with additional powers by the god). Specific demons or devils may be among the ranks of such servitors, but their very nature (part of a hierarchy answering to other devils, for one, and chaotic and self-willed, for the other) makes most of them unsuitable for such service.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:57:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On divine sparks:

Feb 5, 2020

@ValetheHowl

Quick question: what exactly is a "divine spark" and how can people acquire one? I've read about Finder getting one from a dead god. Is there any other way?


@TheEdVerse

A ďdivine sparkĒ is a bardís poetic phrase for the ineffable essence of divinity, that Ďspecial somethingí that deities have and mortals lack. Finder gained divinity by absorbing the spark escaping from the dead god Moander.

Some sages believe that thereís only a certain amount of divine energy in the multiverse, so for a mortal or god to gain divine power, another deity must die or be destroyed or lose power, but mortals understand divine matters but dimly, so this may be incorrect. Gods can grant (bestow) a divine spark, to make mortals immortal or raise them into godhood (usually a devoted worshipper elevated to divine ally or subservient deity), but this is rare.

There are legends that the bodies of dead gods exist in the multiverse, and that divine sparks can be wrested from them by those who know how, and can find the dead gods, but some sages warn these tales are trap-trickery, spread by fiends who want to lure mortals, to gain their souls. There are also tales about divine sparks waiting as rewards for mortals who do certain things that further the Cosmic All, or help to right the Divine Balance, but these may or may not be true. And lastly, Elminster says some ruins and forests and other locales may glow with the divine spark of gods destroyed there, long agoÖjust waiting for those who know how to harvest them.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:59:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On dragon rules in the OGB:


Feb 9, 2020

@icequeenerika

why is there such a detailed system for dragon capturing and selling in the 1987 FR campaign set? Did any of your home groups at the time do it? Is it some hidden common adventuring party thing in the Realms?


@TheEdVerse

No, it was common in D&D at the time: adventurers generating income by bringing monster trophies (hides, organs, claws, fangs), live caged beasts, and eggs back to cities and selling them. So someone at TSR threw it in.
#Realmslore


@icequeenerika

As a follow up question for Ed though, are the rules on the preceding page for powering up dragons statistically your design? We know you prefer smarter, more unique dragons which would fit those stronger stats, as opposed to wyrms off random encounter tables.


@TheEdVerse

No. "Hard" game rules were done in-house in the Old Grey Box; I sent Jeff Grubb package after package of world lore, and the only "game" rule/format thing I did in that product was insist on the hex acetate overlay, so we could have hex-free maps.

I do prefer my dragons to be smart and not foolishly vain, and to have back stories, aims in life, hobbies, and so on. And they're supposed to be formidable; Gary Gygax baked that into the game (hence its name).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:59:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On dragon sizes:


@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse, I have a question regarding dragon sizes. There are three sources (Monstrous Manual 2e, FOR 1: Draconomicon and Draconomicon 3e) that give sizes of dragons and they are pretty different. For example an Adult Red dragonís body length in 2e is 80-99 feet, while in 3e its body is 18 feet. So they are drastically different. Excluding editions, what size would fit dragons in the Realms more, 2e or 3e? Also, dragon sizes in 2e are drastically different depending on the dragon, like the adult mercury dragon is 24 feet.

Thanks in advance!


@TheEdVerse

This just shows you how utter-stone-scared most humans who get anywhere near dragons are. They can't even guesstimate straight! However, Elminster tells me you'll live longer if you trust the larger dragon sizes. (Small ones probably aren't adults.)
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  17:01:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More coming... I've allowed a backlog to accumulate again, and I'm going thru them more or less in alphabetical order.

I've stopped adding dates to the more recent ones; many posts, Ed reposts the question himself and then answers it, and he may or may not be doing that on the same day -- so it kinda makes the date a moot point. Twitter's search engine seems to be pretty good, though, for finding exact text.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Mar 2020 :  03:52:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Weave:



@Mercurius_c

Is Mystra the goddess of the Weave of the whole multiverseĀCor she is just the Weavemaster of Toril?The phb saysĀgThe spellcasters of the Forgotten Realms call it the Weave and recognize its essence as the goddess Mystra.Āh

Can I understand it as:There is only one Weave in the multiverse,and wizards of the Toril named the only Weave Mystra?Or it is:The different worlds have different Weavemasters,and they rule the Weave of their own worlds?


@TheEdVerse

I'd put it another way:

Toril and all other worlds have multiple ways of accessing the energies of each world. And usually call the non-mechanical, non-engineering ways of accessing those energies "magic."

ONE of the ways on Toril is arcane magic (in D&D, wizard and sorcerer spells), and those who have the Gift (ability to wield arcane magic, which they call the Art) or study arcane magic (sages) refer to their way of accessing the energies as "the Weave." The Weave IS Mystra, the goddess of magic, and the Weave only extends throughout Realmspace (Toril and moons and the void/heavens around them). Other worlds have other ways of accessing energies, and may have their own equivalents of the Weave (not identical, and not governed by Mystra) or may not. Abeir likely has an equivalent, because it's the sister world of Toril, so similar and even sometimes (the Sunderings) contiguous with Toril, so that elements of the two worlds get swapped, but Weave-based spells don't work on Abeir; but innate spellcasting abilities do. I.e. the world energies are similar enough that magical effects can be near-duplicated, but not how they're brought about.

So in theory, a powerful archwizard from Toril would have to start all over learning how to work magic on Abeir, and if no developed system of working arcane magic, they may never hit upon how to create magical effects on Abeir, or may spend the rest of their lives experimenting and making very little headway.

In theory, all worlds MIGHT have their own Weaves (under various names) and their own gods of magic, or not. "Weavemasters" is a term I coined back in the 1990s for anyone who'd mastered the Weave (understanding its workings enough to not need the trappings of arcane magic like material, somatic, and verbal components), so they could work magic by silent act of will, rather than conventional casting. Accomplished, experienced Weavemasters (like most of the Chosen of Mystra) can think of what they want to do, then mentally call on the Weave to do it. So they can work magic when tied up, gagged, and so on, when traditional casters would be rendered helpless. They control the Weave only so much as they call upon it, and so are not the same as a deity of magic who is the Weave (e.g. Mystra) or who governs the Weave.

So Mystra IS the Weave within Realmspace only, and is greater than a Weavemaster. Other worlds have other systems of magic, and even Toril has other systems of magic (divine magic, for example). Most other systems of magic use the Weave for convenience, but need not do so (travel from real-world place to real-world place is easier using the existing road system, but could be accomplished, in many cases, by not using the existing road system).
#Realmslore


@VikGray

I wonder if arcane healing can replace divine healing or divine one is stronger. Players ask me why the realms need gods at all, and due to ky lack of experience I just say that divine magic gives acess to the healing services that are really usefull so gods have aome use


@TheEdVerse

We know from existing spells and recorded usages of spellfire that arcane magic can indeed heal, but divine magic does it at lower spell levels and at less cost, so divine magic is specialized for healing.

And the Realms need gods because some mortals in the Realms believe the Realms needs gods.

It's like having clocks and calendars. Can we live without them? Yes, but some of us have decided we need them in our lives, so we have them.
#Realmslore


@TruthSalvo

"Even Toril has other systems of magic (divine magic, for example)"

Wasn't it a point of contention during the Time of Troubles that Mystra was blocking the other God's access to magic? Wouldn't this mean Divine is just the Weave funneled through a god to their followers?


@TheEdVerse

You recall the ToT correctly. Divine magic customarily uses the Weave as the conduit, because (like an existing real-world road system) it's the fastest, easiest, most high-capacity way. But there are other ways (real-world web of railroads): place magic, table magic, etc. that I put into Realmslore at the beginning. So Mystra stopped the other deities in their tracks by denying them Weave access TEMPORARILY. They all then had to activate their alternatives. Raging.

And Mystra paid for that.
#Realmslore


@djtigon

@TheEdVerse in the past 20 min you've touched on both the weave and other conduits (ToT mystra denying access to the weave to dieties) & the netherese. So, We know that as of Karsas Folly, magic above level 9 was cut off from spellcasters. Is it true that this is only applies to individual spell casters and that a group of archmagi or a coven of witches or a cabal of warlocks could achieve 10th level or higher by a concurrently cast ritual or one that was cast in cooperative 'pieces' so to speak by multiple casters?

Additionally are level 10+ spells also cut off from extra planar beings such as Archdevils, Demon Princes, or super ancient beings such as the Oracle of Ellyn'taal who knew of these magics, but it's no longer a mere mortal?


@TheEdVerse

Ao cut off access through the Weave to spells above a certain power level (9th level in Torilian arcane magic terms) after the Folly of Karsus the over-reaching mortal. This means that more powerful spells fail upon casting when they access the Weave; it doesnĀft matter who casts them (so the spells of gods, archdevils, demon princes would fail, when cast into Realmspace, out of Realmspace, or within Realmspace).

IF those spells use the Weave.

There are rituals and magic systems that donĀft use the Weave, but the archmagi, covens of witches or hags, cabals of warlocks, and so on DO use the Weave in their rituals. Like the transplanted-to-Abeir wizards of Toril I mentioned in my earlier lore reply, such individuals would have to learn, or invent, an entire new system of magic to circumvent the Weave, and this would be hard for them without an expert tutor, because what theyĀfre used to, which influences how theyĀfd experiment and innovate, IS using the Weave; theyĀfd have to go against all instinct and learned behavior. Like one of us getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and overcoming our learned tendencies to steer with the steering wheel and accelerate or brake using the pedals...because this new vehicle steers with taps of the peddles and accelerates or brakes by turning the wheel.

Do-able, but I anticipate many spectacular crashes.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

Wait -- *AO* is the one that banned those spells? So Mystra's Ban, as we've known it for so long, was actually Ao's ban?


@TheEdVerse

Yes. We know it in the Realms as Mystra's Ban because of priestly teachings (propaganda). "Regular folk" know nothing of Ao, but everyone knows about the goddess of magic.

At the time the Ban was enacted, Mystryl was in no condition to ban anything, and Mystra didn't exist yet.
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On Elminster's castle:

Feb 19, 2020


@Victus42

I was hoping you could resolve a question that has come up within my group. An older Spelljammer book mentions Elminster's Hideout connecting to his castle. We can not find any other mention of him having a castle. Did the book intend to refer to Elminster's Tower?


@TheEdVerse

The Hideout connects to Elís Tower via the castle, which is an old stone keep (still a castle, but not nearly as grand as the word makes most folk think) hidden high in the Thunder Peaks not far southeast of Thunderspire Mountain; itís disguised by ward-spells to look like the natural stone pinnacle it began life as, before long-ago dwarf masons set to work. The castle is empty of all but stairs, rooms, and magical gates to various elsewheres, but it can (and has) provided temporary shelter and storage, not to mention a place to practise and experiment with casting new spells.

The keep was originally a Ďcontrol the dragons, wyverns, and other beasties of this mountain rangeí base built by local dwarves as a trap-filled place for said creatures to attack (very few dwarves were stationed there; they were in various caverns in the mountains), and as a project for young dwarves to become skilled masons and stonecutters. The traps were cleared out by humans in the early days of Archendale, who planned to extend the daleís official reach into these mountains and found mines and build roads between the dale and the mines to enrich Archendale forever, but these plans never came to anything, and the keep was abandoned. Elminster and others of the Seven several times cleared it of brigands and opportunistic dragons seeking lairs, and decided to Ďspell-shroudí it to keep it from such uses, and as something they could use when they needed it.

The keep has at various times been known as Blackhammer Hold (to the dwarves of clan Blackhammer), Uruldís Folly, Halardracoís Fang, the Archenfang, the Silent Keep, and Elminsterís Grand Castle (this last was a mocking title bestowed by The Simbul, whom El took there for a night of lovemaking; she wasnít expecting luxury, but she WAS expecting something more than cold, bare-but-for-dust-and-rubble stone).
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On spells miscast by Elminster:


Feb 29, 2020


@MissMartinsen

Ye, who art in Elminsterís confidence, must possess some fine tales.

Might you share some instances where his spells have gone spectacularly awry, to comedic effect?


@TheEdVerse

Oh, so many mishaps. Letís choose some of the tamer ones.

There was the time El and Vangerdahast engaged in the wizardly equivalent of ďshoot the bottles off the fenceĒ distance marksmanship, with a spell akin to Melfís Minute Meteors, aimed at crenelations on an old stub of disused curtain wall at High Horn. Vangey missed with two and hit with a third; Elminster hit with two and missed with one. Vangey sneered and cast again, blasting the remaining crenelations off one end of the wall, then challenged Elminster to clear all the rest, at the other end of the wall, with a single spell. Elminster did that.

And in doing so took out the wall, toppling it down onto the High Road in a huge, road-blocking heap of rubble. Which terrified the second road-patrol of the afternoon, as it crashed down INCHES behind them.

Then there was the recent occasion upon which El ďhelpedĒ Laeral track down an elusive noble at a night revel in Waterdeep by working a spell that lofted all living creatures of over a certain size that were in a large, night-shrouded landscaped nobleís garden into the air, and enveloped them with a strong amber faerie fire glow. The spell worked perfectly, displaying to all quite a few startled courting couples embracing while unclad.

Some of them were even married to each other.

And then there was a prank El and Caladnei tried to play on Vangerdahast, by switching Myrmeen (as a dragon) with another dragon, while dragon-Vangey was flying in the moonlight over Suzail. El misjudged the swap, and the replacement dragon landed with a gigantic splash in the pond in the Royal Gardens, drenching royals and senior courtiers who were conferring about the future of the realm over drinks. The only one left dry and unfrightened was the ghost of Alusair, who shrieked with laughterówhich only added to the fear of everyone else.

I could go on for days, butÖEl WOULD kill me.
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On elves reclaiming lost cities:


@LysbethRaven

Great Sage, I entreat another question from you. We all know the elven empires are largely gone, Evereska stands as the only remaining elven city in the Realms. Is there any effort by elves in general to rebuild new cities after so many failed attempts to claim ruins of old? Or are they just going to fade away, never to return?


@R0seOfStone

Isn't Iyrandrar still standing?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, when last I looked (a few hours back).
#Realmslore


@TheEdVerse

The elves are already rebuilding Myth Drannor AGAIN, so we know they don't intend to fade away. It's also important for humans in the Realms to bear in mind that elves prefer tree-homes and the like to paved, human-like cities, so some elf building and rebuilding may largely escape human notice. Moreover, after the way humans have behaved over the last few centuries, it would seem only sane for elves to dwell in areas as unspoiled and remote from human activity as they can get.
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@KingLorathorn

Poor Myth Drannor. Might as well be building a sandcastle.


@TheEdVerse

That has been said before. And yet...they persist.

I grew up walking in a municipal ravine park, in which every severe storm tore out pedestrian bridges and accordioned the asphalt paths linking them. The park crews rebuilt them, every time. Once, when asked why by a TV journalist, the workers looked astonished, and the crew boss replied, "But we LOVE our park. And I love building bridges."

So 'tis, with the elves.
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On Espruar:

Feb 10, 2020


@_Pseudoscience_

Hey, I can't really find the answer online but which of the two Espruar scripts floating around the web is the right one for the Realms?


@TheEdVerse

This one is the Espruar script I invented back in 1967 (yes, before D&D):
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/4/46/Espruar-5e.jpg

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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  00:02:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Gwaeron Windstrom's church:


Feb 8, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

Master Greenwood, on behalf of the GM and player (apparently Iím amusing #128530;) I was wondering if we might delve a little into the psyche of one G Windstrom, Troll-troller extraordinaire. Namely that in our references (1e/2e era) he has no church, no clergy

But has been elevated to godhood for quite some time now. Is it just that, for some reason nobodyís yet bothered or does he actively discourage worship in some fashion.
The only non clergy in our party is pretty dead set on becoming a cleric of Himself, you see Ö

Thank you


@TheEdVerse

From the first, Gwaeron Windstrom had loyal worshippers among the rangers of the North, and a clergy, but they wandered the wilderlands and forests, praying to Windstrom for their spells at dusk, and used the temples and shrines of Mielikki as gathering places, working with clergy of Mielikki as firm, trusted friends and allies. The entire faith and ethos of Gwaeron is to be out in the wilds, not building temples or tarrying in them.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  00:03:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Halaster dealing with an apprentice:


@JWRosss

How would Halaster feel about an apprentice he's been attempting to groom, refusing to go with him into Undermountain and train under him? I want to do the character justice.


@TheEdVerse

That would depend on Halasterís sanity, his mood, his relationship with the particular apprentice, and how the apprentice refuses.

Everything from unleash-violence murderous to icy courtesy with quests imposed to shrugging acceptance and ďWeíll go our separate ways, then, and Mystra watch over you.Ē

In general, I would play Halaster as someone who would say softly, ďThatís one.Ē to the apprentice.
:}
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  00:03:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Halaster's Imaskari heritage:


Feb 22, 2020


@FrankMcCormick

A few questions about Halaster, if it please you, Lord Greenwood. 1) Having lived thousands of years in "exile" longer than he did as a loyal son of the Imaskari Empire, how much, if at all, does Halaster/Hilather still consider himself Imaskari?

2) In the theoretically possible but almost vanishingly unlikely event someone of just the right knowledge were to observe him and his habits, especially his magical style, could they recognize his Imaskari heritage, or has he all evolved beyond that?

Does he mutter in Rashoum or hum Imaskari ditties when he's distracted or in deep concentration on a new spell? Are the runes he uses of a certain style? Are the fundamental principles of his magic conceptualized in terms unknown outside to any now living?

3) Is there anything about his spells or the "style" as it were of Undermountain, in particular, that could provide clues?

The fascination with portals isn't totally distinctive to the Imaskari, though it make sense when you actually know his background, but he doesn't, for instance, seem to go for purple decor.

Thank you for your lore and time.


@TheEdVerse

In his sane moments, Halaster considers himself unique (hence his adoption of a new name, moving away from ďHilatherĒ) rather than seeing himself as an Imaskari survivor. As a creator of many, many spells over the years and an ongoing, energetic experimentor with magic, he has evolved far beyond Imaskari spellcasting styles of his day, though if an observer was somehow familiar with long-ago Imaskari spellcasting ways, they would see the way he employs verbal, somatic, and material components as consistent with powerful Imaskari casters.

Halaster swears under his breath to himself in Rashoum when shocked or taken aback. He never hums except, on very rare occasions, consciously, to try to reproduce pitches as part of incantations. The fundamental principles of his magic are those of all ďarcane magicĒ callings on the Weave, and so are easily conceptualized by living spellcasters today, though the spell effects may in some cases be beyond their personal mastery. Nothing about Undermountain would say ĎImaskarií to anyone, and portal use was a fascination shared by many elder cultures in the Realms, not just human ones, and not just the Imaskari.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  00:04:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Helm during the ToT:

@JaSlaugy

I have been following you on here...and I wanted to ask a question. During the Time of Troubles Helm was the only Deity to remain in the heavens. Was he then able to still answer the prayers of all his clergy and did that increase his followers?


@TheEdVerse

No, all deities lost the ability to communicate directly with their clergy and lay worshippers, although some managed by sheer force of will to send confused visions for all to see, that swirled briefly in the air above some of their altars (cryptic images whose meanings clergy debated). The Weave echoes prayers for spells of third level and lower (including orisons), so priests can regain those (though for parts of the Time of Troubles, many could not), but no one could regain divine magic spells of fourth level or higher during the Time of Troubles. It was a time of widespread chaos and fear, with avatars of the gods stalking the Realms in person and warring, and although many fearful mortals turned to any deity they hoped could help them and keep them safe, no god truly gained followers, as mortals in the Realms believe in, and worship, all of the gods (unless theyíre clerics, paladins, or zealots), and worship most of them, even if only to ward off their displeasure, all the time.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  00:04:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On hin and racial terms:

Feb 26, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

If I may? I take it Ďhiní is what halflings call themselves? What of other races, have they words distinctly different for themselves than we commonly call them? Have the half-races ever had a preferred term for themselves? Is there much variation by game era Netherese thru 5e?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, but all races in the Realms have a variety of localized names they call themselves; it's rarely race-wide, and most half-races don't have a collective self-term; different individuals prefer different words. And these are all different from the terms other races use for them (no dwarf calls dwarves 'the Stout Folk'). Little change over time.

Metagame: I coined "hin" for halflings when writing THE FIVE SHIRES, as inventing a short collective word let me include THREE PAGES MORE of text when pouring words into the template.
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