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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:22:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the duchies of Tethyr:

Feb 9, 2020



@MartonCarungay

I apologize for interjecting with a follow-up question about Tethyr. I was wondering roughly how many dukes (or duchies) of Tethyr there are during the current 1490s (5th Edition) era?


@TheEdVerse

In the 1490s DR, there are nine duchies in the reunified Tethyr: Ankaram, Cape Velen, The Crown Lands, Durmista, The Golden Marches, Kamlann, Noromath, The Purple Marches, and Suretmarch. However, the monarch is also duke or duchess of the Crown Lands, though they may appoint a Vizier-Seneschal as a roving administrator (as of this time, that post is vacant), so there are eight dukes or duchesses (and their spouses, if any, are also styled “duke” or “duchess” and “speak with the weight of the crown”).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:22:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the elf on Undermountain's Sinister Stairs:


Feb 14, 2020


@dm_wyvern

Thank you for offering to take questions about the Ruins of Undermountain boxed @TheEdVerse!

My first question is about ROOM #8: THE SINISTER STAIRS.

Here the party meets a projection of a 7 ft elf clad in ornate black armor. Who is the elf or who cast this spell and why?


@TheEdVerse

The spell was cast by Halaster, to dissuade explorers of Undermountain from using the stairs. (He wanted them to run into his other traps and monsters, not avoid them.) He intends the stairs to be maintenance access-ways for himself and his apprentices (only). The printed text says the tall elf in black armor is an apparition of “unknown origins” because it’s reflecting what PCs can find out by asking in the Yawning Portal or querying sages or talking with veteran Undermountain delvers. None of whom will have a clue, though there are various concocted explanations floating around.

The truth is that Halaster long ago magically tried to magically coerce a baelnorn (and failed); this is what that ancient undead elf tomb-guardian looked like.

His (few) failures gnaw at the Mad Mage of Undermountain’s mind; he took glee in crafting this apparition to toy with, to make up for his defeat under the spells of the real baelnorn. Who called on the tomb’s magic items to drive off Halaster (who lost because Mystra wanted him to; she used the Weave to covertly aid the baelnorn and diminish Halaster’s spells).
#Realmslore


Viktor Gray
@VikGray

As a dungeon of mad mage delver I love it

I wish to witness baelnorn.

Though I have zero idea how to interact with them having main character being a grave cleric of Kelemvor.

Should my pc still dare and try killing baelnorn despite being almost typical LG?


@TheEdVerse

That depends on how crazed/suicidal your PC is...and why any cleric of Kelemvor would want to disturb a tomb (remember, all baelnorn are tomb guardians).
#Realmslore


@VikGray

It looks like a bit of a bigotry when "all undead are to be destroyed and it undeath is bad. Unless these ones. I created them.

If grave deities create undead on "daily basis" how do their dogmas gonna even work.
I am btw not arguing I am just super confised


@TheEdVerse

Welcome to the world of mortals trying to understand the words, deeds, and intents of the gods. ;}

A lot of adventure opportunities spring out of such confusion. It's almost as if we designed it that way...
#Realmslore


@VikGray

I just feel that as a bit of paradox because theres literally absolutely zero info of how grave deities especially Kelemvor react on "good" liches.


@TheEdVerse

That's because leaving baelnorn alone is something clergy of Kelemvor "don't talk about" (it SEEMS to contradict their ethos, as simply expressed to laity). Kelemvor doesn't command his clergy to destroy or bother baelnorn; his "hatred" of undead is itself a mortal oversimplification of the views of a deity that have shifted greatly over time, as he settles into a role he alters as his understanding grows and his personal views change.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:23:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the fauna and flora between Ten-Towns and Luskan:


@TimeBust

Heya, Ed. What kinds of flora and (non-monster) fauna might one encounter travelling the Northern Means and then Ten Trail from Luskan to Ten Towns? If seasonality has bearing on it, the period would be Tarsakh going into Mirtul, though elsewhen'd be interesting, too.


@TheEdVerse

In a typical year, this would be the beginnings of snowmelt, with frequent ground-fogs at dawn and dusk, but with the ground still hard-frozen (little to no mud), below freezing at nights, and with frequent storms that are either sleet or light swirling snow, not rain. All of this dampness keeps the stinging insects down that at other times of year will make this leg of the journey very unpleasant.

The first leg of the journey (along the Northern Means) will be through frozen reeds and grasses, and bushes denuded of all berries and leaves by hungry beasts, many stands of leafless trees (the big “forest giants” all logged off years ago, so mainly old gnarl-trees and saplings), and rolling hills with rock outcrops (festooned here and there with edible lichens; an upcoming AMARUNE’S ALMANAC will have more to say about them and other cold-land plants). Every creature that doesn’t hibernate or go into torpor will be hungry and therefore out on the land in desperation, from rabbits, hares, and voles to deer and the packs of wolves looking to dine on them all. Bears aren’t yet emerging from their dens (they won’t be seen until late Mirtul in these areas). Hunting out of Luskan and Fireshear and the topography will make rothé rare sights, though they may be well back off the road in some of the most open areas; you’d see more of them had you been heading inland from Luskan, east. The birds that relocate south for winter will still be well south of here, so the land will be quiet of birdsong except the night hooting of owls (in between hunts).

Your route avoids muskeg (“saragh” in the Realms, “bogs” to many real-worlders) if you keep to the wagon-road. Live and standing dead timber is available in profusion for cook-fire cutting, though you’ll find that heavy cutting by wayfarers over the years has pushed the treeline back a good twenty paces from the road-ditches—and that wild raspberries and bracken have colonized this cleared area, often growing so thick and tangled that a path must be hewn just to move through. The land is very well-watered, with many tiny rills and brooks running down to fill the ditches (and run along them until the next bridge or culvert in the road lets a larger watercourse through; there tends to be at least a culvert between every rise of land the road curves around, and those rises tend to be at most half a mile apart).

This land has been glaciated, so drumlins (humplike hills, all running in the same general NNE to SSW direction) and eskers (gravel ridges) are everywhere, all overgrown with trees and bushes because the glaciers receded long, long ago.

There are frequent campgrounds (cleared solid-ground areas, with a stream nearby) along the trade-road, and even refuse like broken wagon-wheels strewn along the ditches, but everything will be useless-rotten; anything still usable will have already been salvaged by someone else.

And bands of hobgoblins, orcs, goblins, and gnolls are just as hungry as everyone else at this time of year, and may be bold enough to skulk along game-trails that overlook the wagon-road, waiting to pounce on lone peddlers with pack-mules or other weak-looking travelers (which is why these roads are traveled by almost everyone in caravans, with weapons out and visible, and sentinels are posted during the dark hours, when prudent folk camp just off the road rather than pressing on through the night). If you DO hear bird calls, take them for signals between raiders stealing up on you!

[2nd half of reply to follow tonight, thanks to power cut & Twitter’s tweet-string limits]
#Realmslore


@TheEdVerse

PART TWO OF REPLY:

This holds true for the second leg of the journey, too, via Ten Trail through the mountains. There’s less cover in the rising, rocky country for ambushers, but more access to stones they can fling down at wayfarers, though avalanches grow less and less likely as the years pass, and the loose rock that can readily fall has already done so, leaving the road in an increasingly-wide, relatively safer pass.

The Trail follows deep-cut stream gorges, and there’s always the danger of falling—and even, in spring or when the (very rare) earthquakes hit, of portions of the road breaking off and plunging down into the neighbouring gorge.

Hundelstone (which I gave some details about in tweets a few days back) is the supply center along the way, and armed “guides” (bodyguards) can be hired there to accompany you on your journey, typically for a 5 gp fee plus costs (generous patrons give costs plus a tip, bringing the total to 8 or 10 gp, upon safe arrival in Bryn Shander).

Ice that can be sucked on, or melted in a cauldron over a fire, is plentiful in the mountains, but food is scarce, as anything that can be reached from the road without perilous scrambling has typically already been harvested by this time of year. The Trail is busy, though the depths of winter is its time of lightest use, and veterans avoid “the fog times” as the most dangerous for ambushes and for traveler and beast to slip and fall; a broken leg can mean death in this country.

Stands of trees are almost entirely absent between Hundelstone and the north bank of the Shaengarne, with only stunted lone trees clinging to high ledges here and there. Mountain goats and snowcats inhabit these peaks, but are rarely seen from the Trail. Perytons, eagles, hawks, and vultures are more likely sightings, as none of them move south for winter, and all will be ravenous by this time of year save the vultures, who are usually well-fed by now, some years even approaching fat and lazy.

The saddle or high point on the Trail is Three Daggers Ridge, home to a windswept campground and little else, a dragon skeleton that used to festoon it having being entirely carried away, bone by bone, for sale to alchemists and noble collectors over the years (beware back-alley shops in Bryn Shander offering to sell you the dragon’s skull, fangs, or talons; they are passing off wyvern skulls and fake fangs and talons carved from the long-frozen bones of giant rothé).

No brigand could make a living on the Trail, but there are some who head out from Bryn Shander posing as legitimate travelers, only to turn and attack travelers who reach the Ridge just behind them.

The Trail emerges from the mountains between two peaks known as Hartooth and Marlaxe, after dwarves who perished under the jaws of wolves hereabouts in the late 1200s DR, then switchbacks down a steep slope to the rail-less bridge over the narrow but deep Shaengarne Gorge, known to folk of the Ten Towns as “the Sword Cleft” (to them, it’s where their country ends, and the dangerous and strange ‘rest of the Realms’ begins).

Trees remain rarities from the Cleft on to Bryn Shander, but you’ll see countless drumlins and eskers, cloaked in snow and ice, on all sides. Many rills and brooks can be heard running under this “whitecloak” and the approach of any creature of size can be observed from some distance away—unless ground-fog or a blizzard rolls in, and brings a complete whiteout.

At other times of year, subtract the fog and add a little warmth, a lot of insects, and cover in the form of foliage to that part of your journey that lies south of Hundelstone, and you now know what you’ll see along your way. The gods grant you safe travels.
#Realmslore@TimeBust

Heya, Ed. What kinds of flora and (non-monster) fauna might one encounter travelling the Northern Means and then Ten Trail from Luskan to Ten Towns? If seasonality has bearing on it, the period would be Tarsakh going into Mirtul, though elsewhen'd be interesting, too.


@TheEdVerse

In a typical year, this would be the beginnings of snowmelt, with frequent ground-fogs at dawn and dusk, but with the ground still hard-frozen (little to no mud), below freezing at nights, and with frequent storms that are either sleet or light swirling snow, not rain. All of this dampness keeps the stinging insects down that at other times of year will make this leg of the journey very unpleasant.

The first leg of the journey (along the Northern Means) will be through frozen reeds and grasses, and bushes denuded of all berries and leaves by hungry beasts, many stands of leafless trees (the big “forest giants” all logged off years ago, so mainly old gnarl-trees and saplings), and rolling hills with rock outcrops (festooned here and there with edible lichens; an upcoming AMARUNE’S ALMANAC will have more to say about them and other cold-land plants). Every creature that doesn’t hibernate or go into torpor will be hungry and therefore out on the land in desperation, from rabbits, hares, and voles to deer and the packs of wolves looking to dine on them all. Bears aren’t yet emerging from their dens (they won’t be seen until late Mirtul in these areas). Hunting out of Luskan and Fireshear and the topography will make rothé rare sights, though they may be well back off the road in some of the most open areas; you’d see more of them had you been heading inland from Luskan, east. The birds that relocate south for winter will still be well south of here, so the land will be quiet of birdsong except the night hooting of owls (in between hunts).

Your route avoids muskeg (“saragh” in the Realms, “bogs” to many real-worlders) if you keep to the wagon-road. Live and standing dead timber is available in profusion for cook-fire cutting, though you’ll find that heavy cutting by wayfarers over the years has pushed the treeline back a good twenty paces from the road-ditches—and that wild raspberries and bracken have colonized this cleared area, often growing so thick and tangled that a path must be hewn just to move through. The land is very well-watered, with many tiny rills and brooks running down to fill the ditches (and run along them until the next bridge or culvert in the road lets a larger watercourse through; there tends to be at least a culvert between every rise of land the road curves around, and those rises tend to be at most half a mile apart).

This land has been glaciated, so drumlins (humplike hills, all running in the same general NNE to SSW direction) and eskers (gravel ridges) are everywhere, all overgrown with trees and bushes because the glaciers receded long, long ago.

There are frequent campgrounds (cleared solid-ground areas, with a stream nearby) along the trade-road, and even refuse like broken wagon-wheels strewn along the ditches, but everything will be useless-rotten; anything still usable will have already been salvaged by someone else.

And bands of hobgoblins, orcs, goblins, and gnolls are just as hungry as everyone else at this time of year, and may be bold enough to skulk along game-trails that overlook the wagon-road, waiting to pounce on lone peddlers with pack-mules or other weak-looking travelers (which is why these roads are traveled by almost everyone in caravans, with weapons out and visible, and sentinels are posted during the dark hours, when prudent folk camp just off the road rather than pressing on through the night). If you DO hear bird calls, take them for signals between raiders stealing up on you!

[2nd half of reply to follow tonight, thanks to power cut & Twitter’s tweet-string limits]
#Realmslore


@TheEdVerse

PART TWO OF REPLY:

This holds true for the second leg of the journey, too, via Ten Trail through the mountains. There’s less cover in the rising, rocky country for ambushers, but more access to stones they can fling down at wayfarers, though avalanches grow less and less likely as the years pass, and the loose rock that can readily fall has already done so, leaving the road in an increasingly-wide, relatively safer pass.

The Trail follows deep-cut stream gorges, and there’s always the danger of falling—and even, in spring or when the (very rare) earthquakes hit, of portions of the road breaking off and plunging down into the neighbouring gorge.

Hundelstone (which I gave some details about in tweets a few days back) is the supply center along the way, and armed “guides” (bodyguards) can be hired there to accompany you on your journey, typically for a 5 gp fee plus costs (generous patrons give costs plus a tip, bringing the total to 8 or 10 gp, upon safe arrival in Bryn Shander).

Ice that can be sucked on, or melted in a cauldron over a fire, is plentiful in the mountains, but food is scarce, as anything that can be reached from the road without perilous scrambling has typically already been harvested by this time of year. The Trail is busy, though the depths of winter is its time of lightest use, and veterans avoid “the fog times” as the most dangerous for ambushes and for traveler and beast to slip and fall; a broken leg can mean death in this country.

Stands of trees are almost entirely absent between Hundelstone and the north bank of the Shaengarne, with only stunted lone trees clinging to high ledges here and there. Mountain goats and snowcats inhabit these peaks, but are rarely seen from the Trail. Perytons, eagles, hawks, and vultures are more likely sightings, as none of them move south for winter, and all will be ravenous by this time of year save the vultures, who are usually well-fed by now, some years even approaching fat and lazy.

The saddle or high point on the Trail is Three Daggers Ridge, home to a windswept campground and little else, a dragon skeleton that used to festoon it having being entirely carried away, bone by bone, for sale to alchemists and noble collectors over the years (beware back-alley shops in Bryn Shander offering to sell you the dragon’s skull, fangs, or talons; they are passing off wyvern skulls and fake fangs and talons carved from the long-frozen bones of giant rothé).

No brigand could make a living on the Trail, but there are some who head out from Bryn Shander posing as legitimate travelers, only to turn and attack travelers who reach the Ridge just behind them.

The Trail emerges from the mountains between two peaks known as Hartooth and Marlaxe, after dwarves who perished under the jaws of wolves hereabouts in the late 1200s DR, then switchbacks down a steep slope to the rail-less bridge over the narrow but deep Shaengarne Gorge, known to folk of the Ten Towns as “the Sword Cleft” (to them, it’s where their country ends, and the dangerous and strange ‘rest of the Realms’ begins).

Trees remain rarities from the Cleft on to Bryn Shander, but you’ll see countless drumlins and eskers, cloaked in snow and ice, on all sides. Many rills and brooks can be heard running under this “whitecloak” and the approach of any creature of size can be observed from some distance away—unless ground-fog or a blizzard rolls in, and brings a complete whiteout.

At other times of year, subtract the fog and add a little warmth, a lot of insects, and cover in the form of foliage to that part of your journey that lies south of Hundelstone, and you now know what you’ll see along your way. The gods grant you safe travels.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:24:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the portfolio of lycanthropy:

Feb 10, 2020


@Jon_4L

Oh, this reminds me: How divided up is the divine portfolio of lycanthropy (or rather, variations within the category) among the gods in 1492 DR?


@TheEdVerse

No deity in the Realms has the portfolio of lycanthropy; most things in life are not represented by portfolios, which are mortal ways of looking at what elements of mortal life deities seek to dominate or be associated with.

Not only do deities oft disagree with how mortals see them and their interests, the gods endlessly vie for more worshippers, and over time shift in what their interests (portfolios) are. (From when I first introduced the term “portfolios” to D&D [not the concept, which dates back to the earliest real-world religions], I disagreed with how mortal public knowledge of them was depicted in published Realsmlore, as something definite, clear, and definitive, as opposed to various priesthoods making various conflicting claims.) Eldath most fiercely stands against lycanthropy (see the Water of Eldath spell), and Selûne (as goddess of the moon) is most closely associated with it, though priests of Malar claim the Beastlord is closer, and even priests of Nobanion have in the past claimed their god has dominion over the condition of lycanthropy, though not lycanthropes themselves.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:24:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Grim Statue in Undermountain:

Feb 17, 2020


@dm_wyvern

Hi @TheEdVerse! Here my next question is about ROOM #20: THE GRIM STATUE

Here an immense statue releases a deadly lightening bolt into the room every few rounds. But in the past something of immense power removed the head and fingers of the statue. Who did this and why?

O great sage of The Realms. Shall the origins and desecration of the Grime Statue remain shrouded in mystery for all time? Or shall you generously raise the lamp of enlightenment and burn away the webs of secrecy for us all?



@TheEdVerse

The Grim Statue was magically transported into Undermountain by Halaster. He did this to see if a new spell of his devising could translocate, intact, such as large stone statue. He was successful, and then enspelled the…statue to be the anchor discharge point of a ‘Weave loop’ that generates endless magical lightning bolts, as one of the perils of the dungeon that it amused him to inflict on intruders.

The statue he’d ‘borrowed’ came from a ruin half-buried in the sands of Raurin, and was of a long-dead (or vanished; the individual went on an expedition into other planes, and never returned) Imaskari wizard by the name of Voraum Nelnaer.

Adventurers exploring Undermountain much later happened upon the statue, and sought to stop its lightning bolts by magically destroying the statue’s fingers. When this didn’t work, they tried vaporizing the head with a second spell—which failed to disrupt the Weave loop AND sent deadly stone shrapnel racing about the chamber, slaying or wounding all of them. The survivors fled. Much later, some of Halaster’s “cleanup crew” of constructs and magically-coerced monsters removed both stone rubble and the bodies, leaving the still-serenely-hurling-lightning-bolts, but beheaded and fingerless, statue still stationed in its chamber.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:30:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the largest temple to the Red Knight:

Feb 8, 2020


@FichLuke

I was wondering where in the realms is the largest temple to the Red Knight was located?


@TheEdVerse

In 1479 DR, the largest temple (in terms of resident clergy, budget, and influence on the lands around) consecrated to the Red Knight stands in Thaer’s Quarter, the easternmost “quarter” (a misnomer, as the city has seven districts known as “quarters”) of the city of Akanax, in Chessenta. Known as Warfortress Hall, it is a small, square stone castle, under the command of the tireless, crisply diplomatic High Battleprelate Chartratha Paerender (LN hf C20/F6).

However, an older temple of the Red Knight that’s physically larger but consists of a central holy hall surrounded by a refectory, a guesthouse, a stables, and an armory (all less grand buildings than the Warfortress, but spread out over a larger area), and has only half as many resident clergy as the Chessentan temple, claims primacy within the faith, though few outside of Tethyr agree. This is Red Knight’s Holyroost, located in Saradush, Tethyr, and presided over by the much-scarred, terse High Battlelord Melguir Barauthar (LN hm C18/F8). City tallhouses in several of the streets around the Holyroost house wounded Red Knight clergy and loyal lay worshippers on the mend, and a few retired or ‘battlebroken’ (PTSD in modern real-world parlance) clergy.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:31:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Minstrelwish clan:


Feb 26, 2020


@Greysil_Tassyr

I've a halfling question, now... The Minstrelwish family has popped up more than once in Realmslore, and seems to be far-traveled (even coming to Earth!). How long as this family been around? What is their origin?

And is there other Minstrelwish lore you can share?


@TheEdVerse

The Minstrelwish family is EVERYWHERE (Mystara as well as the Realms and Earth), and has been one of the most creative (art, music, innovations in how things are done, fiction, even windchimes) hin clans for thousands of years.

Yet they are widely scattered, keep a low profile, and largely hide their immense wealth (some of which comes from being landlords and selling real estate, as they’ve been embedded in bustling human cities from early on, including Arrabar, Baldur’s Gate, Beluir, Berdusk, Crimmor, Derlusk, Everlund, Luthcheq, Saerloon, Scornubel, Sheirtalar, Shoun, Silverymoon, Tarmalune, the isle of Tharsult, Waterdeep, Yhaunn, and Zazesspur. In all of these cities, they become landlords, renting out properties they buy and sell, also get involved in warehousing and local shipping and delivery (providing employment for many halflings, gnomes, and humans (especially aging folk who are local experts). The Minstrelwishes make and sell paintings and statuary, but for their daily coin tend to deal in food, tools, household necessities like bowls, pots, pans, and ladles, and repairs (locks, hinges, doors and windows, and replacement cart and coach wheels and axles). They invest in new businesses they like, which tend to be creative or innovative (as that’s what they favor), and they also collect lore on gates (portals), as they’re intensely interested in planar travel that can be used as part of trade (importing cheap goods in one place that are rare and expensive in another). As such, they’ve come to the attention of the Chosen of Mystra and others, down the years, and have taken care to ingratiate themselves with Elminster, Khelben, and the Seven, so as not to be hampered in their trading activities. As a result, El and the Sisters now treat them as useful allies.

Any Minstrelwish encountered will always have hobbies and creative pursuits, and will always invest in farms, urban properties, and innovative businesses. The most far-traveled and adventuresome Minstrelwishes, in the 1490s DR, are the young males Barandan, Kaulith, and Rhauligaer, and the young females Anathraea, Claretta, Nintarra, and Yaunsae. The patriarch of the Minstrelwishes right now is the jovial, garrulous, much-scarred Duroavran, but he bows to the three older and far more iron-willed matriarchs: the cousins Breteenra, Maevurla, and Zarettara.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:31:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the name Daarg:

@theJTot

this is going to be weird, but I hope you answer my question. Sometimes I say/think to myself, for whatever reason - 'darg narbet', instead of 'dag nabbit' (I don't know why, I could just stick with 'dag nabbit', nothing wrong with it)

But I think I've found the name for my next RPG character, at least for a one-shot. Specifically Daarg Narblet/blit/blitz. My question to you, though, is: in the Forgotten Realms, what sort would Daarg be? Deep Gnome or Duergar? Any kind of dwarf, gnome or halfling?

Is Daarg any kind of human name in FR, or Narblet any surname? The -blitz option seems to me like some drow names. Of course, I understand I would be well within my rights to say Daarg is whatever race I like. But I'm curious which race it strikes *you* as coming from?thanks


@Gambit_Wildcard

As far as I can recall Dag Nabbit is the name of one of Bruenor's dwarves


@TheEdVerse

Indeed. "Dag" as a short form is a common dwarf name. It's the double-a sound/spelling that isn't dwarvish.

Dag can be short for Daglor, Dagnar, Dagnard, Dagor, Dagord, Dagorl, Dagrym, Dagsturn, and many others.

Darg is a human male given name among the barbarians of the Sword Coast, and Darg as a short form of Dargil, Dargyl, Dargar, and Dargarth in humans of Amn, Tethyr, Cormyr, Sembia, the Dales, and Starmantle (and of course, everywhere else in the Realms, spreading slowly along the caravan routes).

But “Daarg” with a double “a” is definitely Duergar (among svirfneblin AND surface gnomes, it’s a diminutive for Daargaunt or Daargoun) and halflings almost never use a double-a spelling or sound in names.

“Narb” could be gnome, halfling, or drow, but “blet/blot/blit” is usually duergar or deep gnome only; “blitz” is very rare drow construction, and usually given to driders or other outcast or out-of-favor or low-ranking drow.

And of course, lives and lineages in the Realms being what they are, your character could rejoice in such a name and be of any race, culture, gender, etc.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:32:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Order of the Gauntlet in Neverwinter:


Feb 19, 2020


@richlore88

Good afternoon, @TheEdVerse! In Storm Kings Thunder we are told the Order of the Gauntlet has a strong presence in Neverwinter and I was curious what the relationship between the order and Lord Neverember is like. Are they scrutinized or stymied to the same degree guilds are?


@TheEdVerse

Scrutinized, yes (by a motley collection of spies, including many street urchins who thereby gain enough coin to feed themselves), but not stymied. Lord Neverember sees their presence as providing a strong public perception (which he needs, to keep merchant shipping coming to his docks and through his gates) of Neverwinter as a ‘good’ law-and-order place, and therefore a relatively safe, secure city in which to live and do business.

And the Order does, by their very presence, provide a deterrent to lawlessness that enables Neverember to not use the heavy hand of his soldiers in the streets as much as he otherwise would (and which would reinforce the ‘Neverwinter is a tyranny, and Neverember its tyrant’ image he’s seeking to avoid).

Senior members of the Neverwinter-resident Order aren’t stupid; they see Neverember clearly for what he is. Yet they know that strong local rulership DOES make for law and order, so they view him as a necessary evil; it’s far more desirable to work with him than to assassinate or depose him, and have to do ALL ruling work (and become everyone’s target and focal point of criticism or open, active dislike) themselves. So they send envoys to speak with him when they need his worse excesses curbed, and keep him abreast of threats to the city and other intel about intrigues they’ve uncovered so he will regard them as too useful to work against, and in this manner they and Neverember maintain an uneasy working relationship for the common good.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:32:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Promenade:


Mar 2, 2020


@Gambit_Wildcard

I was wondering what is the current situation with the Promenade and its priestesses? The dark maiden and her followers have a special place in my heart, my drow ranger is a champion of Eilisstraee and viewed Qilue as her surrogate aunt


@TheEdVerse

While Qilué is largely gone from the affairs of mortals right now (aside from speaking out of altars), the Promenade (which was devastated in the 1370s DR, as described in the Lady Penitent trilogy of novels) has been quietly reclaimed and repopulated since the return of Eilistraée in the 1480s DR, after the Second Sundering. It now has a small sister temple, the Dancing Haven, in the city of Waterdeep above (preparations for which were mentioned in DEATH MASKS, though the temple, a grove of trees, exists in the roofless shell of an existing building in North Ward, as the chaotic development of Field Ward made it an unsuitable site), which has served as a base for expeditions to cleanse, rebuild, and resupply the Promenade, though right now the Promenade has only a dozen priestesses, four novices, and nine lay guardians (warriors who venerate the Dark Dancer above all, and obey the priestesses). The priestess in daily charge, Trelasarra Zuind, has taken no formal title indicating that she’s the supreme cleric of the Promenade yet, and the temple remains a secret to most who don’t worship Eilistraée before all others, though there are (conflicting) rumors about its refounding in Skullport.
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@AlessandroVio11

Thanks for all the info, Mr. Greenwood, it made me happy to read this. May I ask if Qilué's soul has access to Eilistraee's realm (she's always been depicted as close to Eilistraee), or is a "Weave ghost", so to speak? What kind of person is Trelasarra? Thanks again!


@TheEdVerse

Qilué is a Weaveghost, yes, but does have access to Eilistraee's realm (the returned goddess isn't giving up her Chosen, albeit shared, lightly!) Trelasarra is a gentle soul, but wary (wants to just worship, but knows she must garrison the temple as if at war).
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:32:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the second reclamation of Myth Drannor:

Feb 11, 2020


@Kendradream

So how is the (2nd) restoration of Myth Drannor going? I was sad to read about it being destroyed again, since it ha only been restored about a century ago.


@TheEdVerse

Slowly. This time, the elves have thrown up a cordon around it, and are preventing all other sentients from entering, as they cleanse the city, use spells to shift shattered and fallen stones and fuse them together into new buildings and foundations, and plant seedlings to begin the trees they want to eventually dominate the new Myth Drannor.

They do intend to open the city to other races “when they’re ready,” but that may be in another four decades or more. Perhaps a lot more.

The initial aboveground dwellings are all fortified/defensible, and stand atop the entrances to the house crypts.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:33:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Sharn Wall:


Feb 8, 2020


@MTBlack2567

Hi @TheEdVerse, I was wondering if the Sharn Wall is intact again following the Second Sundering? Thx!


@TheEdVerse

One of the most important secret missions undertaken by the Chosen of Mystra in the immediate wake of the crash of the city of Thultanthar onto Myth Drannor (1487 DR; seen in THE HERALD) was to mend the breach in the Sharn Wall.

That hole, torn in 1371 DR (see the Return of the Archwizards trilogy), allowed large numbers of phaerimm to escape confinement, but nigh all of them were destroyed in fighting that followed (as described in that trilogy).

Many phaerimm that didn’t manage to break free then were ravaged by a mighty magic worked by the Srinshee, and later renewed by several of the Seven Sisters, that used the material of the Sharn Wall immediately around the breach like a webwork of multiple forceblades to slice through creatures attempting to navigate the breach in the Wall.

All of the Chosen involved in mending the Wall sacrificed some of Mystra’s essence within themselves (lessening their personal power) to swiftly expand the Wall across the breach and meld it seamlessly together; the mending was successful.

However, how many phaerimm are still trapped under Anauroch, within their ancient prison—and how many are free and lurking on Toril (or Abeir, having moved from Toril during the Sundering)—is unknown. “Not many,” Elminster told me, but he said it rather grimly.

The phaerimm trapped in the Memory Spire are awake and able to cast their life-draining magics (and increasingly, other spells), but aren’t free. Rather, they are watched over by Weaveghosts loyal to Mystra, who can call on the Weave to blunt and deflect the phaerimm magics and foil any attempts on their part to break free.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:33:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the status of the Seven Sisters:


Feb 26, 2020


@dragonstykFTG

@TheEdVerse one of my favorite books in my earlier days of playing was about the seven sisters. I know Lareal is the current Open Lord of Waterdeep. Where are the others now? Thank you in advance.


@TheEdVerse

Syluné, Dove, and Qilué Veladorn (the drow ‘Dark Sister’) are dead, so far as most in the Realms know; they exist now as voices in the Weave (sentiences able to speak, remember, and perceive, but lacking bodies). As such, they remain Chosen of Mystra and her loyal servants, as do their five sisters who retain bodies. They can manifest as ghostly apparitions, speaking or manifesting out of altars to Mystra and their own enchanted pebbles (given by Storm to Laeral), and as seen in DEATH MASKS, Syluné and Dove are currently assisting Laeral as her spies. Alustriel is also widely but mistakenly believed to be dead, as she and Laeral vanished during the Spellplague (taking other guises and hiding among the monks of Candlekeep to guard its wards, as related in THE HERALD). After the battle for Myth Drannor, she resumed roving the Realms as one of Mystra’s Chosen, furthering the deity’s work and rebuilding Mystra’s shrines, temples, and clergy.

Storm is also an active roving Chosen, since 1491 DR (she spent most of that year healing the broken mind of the archwizard Mordenkainen of Oerth, as seen in DEATH MASKS).

And lastly, Alassra (The Simbul) is widely believed to have been consumed in the fire that destroyed the god Velsharoon in 1425 DR, the Year of the Seven Sisters. She survived, but when the Weave collapsed, went mad. Elminster, Storm, and others of the Seven aided her and kept her alive, as seen in the Sage of Shadowdale trilogy, until (as seen in ELMINSTER ENRAGED), she sacrificed herself to heal Elminster. She now shares his mind and body, though she can briefly leave it to ride the Weave as Syluné, Dove, and Qilué do.
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On the Talons of Justice and the Platinum Cadre:

Feb 29, 2020

@vorpaldicepress

Are the Talons of Justice (followers of the Ptarian Code) or the Platinum Cadre still active?


@TheEdVerse

Yes; both still exist and are still active, though both have only a handful of members left, and keep a VERY low profile these days, acting covertly rather than boldly, and often hiring or manipulating non-member (PCs, perhaps?) adventurers.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:35:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the temple of Lathander in Eveningstar:


Feb 29, 2020


@Sartana87

Hi @TheEdVerse ! Reading some Eveningstar lore, I wonder why the church of Lathander chose to put such a big temple in a little village ? Was it because of a prophecy, a holy vision, a very pragmatic reason ? Have a nice day, sir.


@TheEdVerse

Very pragmatic reason. It's a temple and FARM. And owns the high pastures atop the Stonelands and rents them out to locals to graze their sheep.

Farmers sell produce to the temple; the priests wash, sort, grade, and pack the vegetables, then ship them to Suzail and Arabel for sale at much higher prices. So the farmers get convenience (no long trips and high costs and need for good wagons and big teams of draft beasts) and the temple gets a middleman profit. Trebled when produce shipped from Suzail to other markets.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:35:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Neverwinter Nights broadsheet:


@ZeromaruX

Hi again, @TheEdVerse. I have Neverwinter: do Elminster know who runs the Neverwinter Nights broadsheet around 1480 DR?

Thanks in advance.


@TheEdVerse

Certainly. In 1480 DR, the Neverwinter Nights broadsheet is edited and published by the young “brightwits” Lundrago Mursimmur, and printed on a handcrank press by his crew of a dozen “haelhards” (the current Faerûnian term for office workers). Lundrago is a whirlwind of energy, and is more interested in celebrating the passing spectacle of life than in making enemies or digging deep to find either truth or dirt. He regularly calls on six “high-society” female friends to attend revels, feasts, store openings, and weddings, and write “I was there” opinion columns on them. All of which makes the Nights a popular read, and relatively few folk are offended.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:36:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Year of Twelve Warnings:


@hexcrawl

1494 DR in Faerun is the Year of Twelve Warnings.

Q for you: What are the 12 warnings?

(Do they warn of 12 different things? Or are they 12 different ways of warning about the same thing?)


@lukey_baby86

That seems like a question for the great @TheEdVerse

I just checked the forgotten realms wiki and it doesnt say much


@TheEdVerse

The warnings are about twelve different things. They will take several forms (not several each, but a different form for each): direct divine utterances from temple altars, or signs or portents that can be interpreted in various ways, and may well be misunderstood until “after the fact.”

In the Realms, a “sign” is something anyone can see who’s in the vicinity, and that lasts long enough for many folk to witness, like the water in a harbor changing hue markedly, or a sunset dominated by six bright stars when usually those stars aren’t visible through the light of the setting sun, or a rain from the sky of fish or frogs or locusts.

Whereas a “portent” is something more fleeting, like unusual observed behavior: a candle is lit and flies upwards and consumes itself, or poured water “falls” upwards until a jug is emptied, or someone walking across a room levitates unexpectedly for a few moments.

(Note that in our real world, these definitions are less precise.)

The problem with almost all predictive uses of the Roll of Years is that year-names may hint at major things or very minor things, without distinguishing between them. And like all omens, there may be great disagreement over the meanings of what’s observed, until the true meaning becomes obvious (“too late”). I’m reiterating this because such disputes almost always arise, as clergies compete to promote the ‘right’ interpretation that increases the importance of ‘their’ deity, and may prevent or overshadow useful predictions (so the actions of adventuring PCs may make a difference). If a deity momentarily possesses the mind of a mortal to make them ‘speak in tongues’ (utter words in a language not their own) or in a voice or manner not usual for them, it bespeaks urgency, when a god can foresee something the god very much wants prevented. Note that in the Realms, the gods are NOT infallible; they can foresee little better than attentive mortals can. In other words, a god can see out of the eyes of many of their own priests, paladins, and sworn zealots if they want to, put together those observations, and so predict better than any lone mortal. It does NOT mean gods can “see the future.” They’re just better anticipators.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:36:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On horoscopes and the zodiac:


@Mattwilljackson

Is there anything in Faerun like Zodiac signs or astrology? Or a group of people who use it as divination more than others?

Can people check their signs in The Waterdeep Wazoo?


@TheEdVerse

There are many forms of divination used daily in the Realms, and celestial signs are read and interpreted by several faiths, notably that of Selûne, as divine guidance that could be discerned by properly reading the night sky.

Individual constellations aren’t identified with particular gods, but have religious associations and portents among sky-gazers, mystics, barbarians, tribes like the Bedine, and in particular among ogres.

Soothsayers and fortune-tellers use the positions of the stars (and especially in the Shining South and Calimshan, by the position of tokens tossed blindly onto a star-chart) as an aid to predictions and divinations. There’s no Zodiac by that name, though there are several differing-by-race-and-culture systems of constellations, nor are people deemed to have characteristics because of the “sign they’re born under” or “year they’re born in, but instead, on Toril, individuals are said to be marked by a “guiding star” or “falling star” (comet or meteor shower), or by a conjunction of constellations that may have occurred at their birth (particularly if this conjunction is rare, or has a fell reputation).

In Zakhara, some mages are known as “astrologists” (see THE COMPLETE SHA’IR’S HANDBOOK) and can memorize additional spells by ‘hanging’ them on a constellation visible in the night sky at a particular time. And finally, an all-female school of astrology and magic, the Academy of Stargazers, briefly flourished in Waterdeep and then Castle Naerytar but either disbanded or went elsewhere before the 1480s DR.

Broadsheets don’t publish horoscopes as we know them, as people don’t share signs of the zodiac, but some of them do publish cryptic sentences of daily guidance (usually sheer fancy, created by staff writers) that purport to be some mysterious priest, seer, or sage’s interpretation of what they saw in the heavens last night, that you should follow in the conduct of your affairs today. In other words, they’re not called “horoscopes” and don’t work ‘by sign,’ but they DO fulfill much the same function. Most folk in Toril either prefer to ignore divinations and just live their lives, or to go to a seer they trust and pay for personal guidance.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:37:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On orders of undead slayers:



@PastorGall

i dont think rudolph van richten is one of your creations? But is there a un/known order of specifically undead slayers in tje realms. Reasonable within the churches maybe, but any independant organizations? Or slayers of note?


@TheEdVerse

No, Van Richten isn’t one of mine. :}

I don’t know of any unknown order of undead slayers in the Realms, just orders part of established faiths who fight against undead (or support them, like the Myrkulytes). Aside from a few adventuring bands dedicated to cleansing specific areas of undead, I don’t know of any independent organizations, circa 1479 DR. However, there ARE some independent slayers of note, including Grim Gartheldra of Saerloon, who travels the Realms destroying undead who have become a nuisance to locals (she lets ‘sleeping undead lie,’ and is a scarred, hardened woman in battered plate armor who goes into battle festooned with magic items and weapons against undead given to her by grateful beneficiaries and priests who value her work); the lich-mage Vorhardruil of the Wealdath, who hates ‘nuisance’ undead whose activities cause widespread fear and hatred of undead in the general populace, and acts to destroy such undead; and the vampire Tesheldra Marimmon of Luthcheq, who slaughters lesser undead of all sorts to drink their ‘undeath’ into a strange magic item she bears (a gem she wears embedded in her always-bleeding breast), that somehow increases her own power. Azuth and Mystra have become alarmed enough by her successes that they’ve told the Chosen of Mystra to begin to keep an eye on her.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:38:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Volo being annoying:


Mar 1, 2020


@optickled

@TheEdVerse is it normal to find Volo REALLY annoying? What's the most annoying thing he's done?


@TheEdVerse

It’s normal, all right. He IS really annoying. Most annoying would depend on who you are; if he did something that enraged you, then whatever it is becomes his most annoying exploit, to you. I would say that among his most annoying deeds was, when trying to find out all about certain Waterdhavian guildmasters on behalf of a client (a Masked Lord who wanted ammunition for passing decrees to limit guild powers), was to gather gossip and scurrilous rumor about particular guilds, talk to disaffected or expelled guild members about said gossip, then publish the results in broadsheets, wait for incandescent-with-rage guildmasters to confront him about what he’d published, and use what they said to worm “the truth” out of them (or their version of the truth), then publish that in subsequent broadsheets, wait for disgruntled citizens to protest that the guildmasters’ claims were bumpf, and record their complaints as facts to be presented to the Masked Lord. Who was ridiculed by his fellow Lords in (closed) council, when he presented them as such and they decried them as falsehoods, and him as a fool.

Enough annoyance to generously go around, wouldn’t you say?
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:38:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Volo's pseudonym:


@haltermandoug

Ever since I played Storm of Zehir...I've always wondered: Did Volo ever get his "Volo's Complete Guide to the Behavior of Nymphs" published or did he fail to get deemed appropriate? Are there other works Elminster has refused to publish for Volo?


@TheEdVerse

That work, like many others, wasn’t edited or published by Elminster (Volo is something of a tasteless cad, and his hunger to reveal far outweighs his appreciation of the consequences of laying bare certain secrets), but I suppose it’s time I revealed that Volo drifted into the habit of swallowing his pride, removing his name from a work and adopting a pseudonym, recasting that work as fiction rather than fact, and privately publishing it as a chapbook by “Valhalaeria the Vaunted.” Certain merchants whose morals and taste are no better than Volo’s snapped up his stock to resell these chapbooks to discerning clients; Volo’s Complete Guide to the Behavior of Nymphs became “Nymphs In Need (Of My Embraces)” by Valhalaeria the Vaunted. Writers develop a strange addiction to food, and even demand to eat regularly; Volo is no exception. Valhalaeria has quite the back catalog, Elminster sighs.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  16:39:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdhavian inns that are similar to the Waldorf-Astoria:


Feb 17, 2020


@garethgarfoot

Possibly an odd question- Does Waterdeep have anything similar to the Waldorf-Astoria (in terms of fame) where "celebrities" might rent out suites of rooms for long term residence? - As always, many thanks GG

@TheEdVerse

Waterdeep offers several luxury inns, all in Sea Ward, North Ward, or Castle Ward, where wealthy guests can rent suites of lushly-furnished rooms by the tenday, the month, the season (winter or summer, with variable end-lengths extending into spring and fall; if vacant during such times, the suites are refreshed and refurbished, or rented out for nightly revels). These establishments all take the form of four or five-floored) (aboveground) complexes of linked, formerly separate, city tallhouses, with stabling offsite but “to the door” hostler service (as a guest, you ride your horse or take your coach to and from an interior courtyard door).

Due to Twitter’s length limits and my need to get some paid writing done, I’ll highlight just one in each ward:

Tarth’s Towers (main entrance: westfront Feather Street three doors S of Delzorin Street) in Sea Ward;

Oblarth’s Gryphon (main entrance: eastfront Copper Street three doors N of Sulmor Street);

and
Dauntlyn’s Doors (main entrance: eastfront The Street of Bells, five doors N of Selduth Street).
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  17:13:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On what has a soul:


Feb 5, 2020


@xalith

A question I haven't been able to find an answer to: in the Forgotten Realms, what has a soul and what doesn't? Do plants, animals, etc?

I'm playing a Kelemvorite acolyte in Tomb of Annihilation, who doesn't want to contribute to the destruction of souls, if possible


@TheEdVerse

As per the game rules, all living things have an animating spirit. Sentient beings also have souls. Even intelligent creatures can no longer learn if they lose their souls. (Instinct is different from learned experience.) So a soul and sentience are inextricably linked.

As a DM, I would rule that the moment you have full self-awareness, defined as the ability to “put yourself in another being’s boots” or see other points of view/appreciate the world-view of others, you have a soul. Which means plants and lower-intellect animals (value judgment implicit, but if an animal is incapable of training by sentients, or loyalty to a species other than its own, it’s ‘lower’) have animating spirits, but not souls. Your acolyte PC will have to wrestle lifelong with where, when it comes to animals, the line is, and may decide to err on the side of caution. Horses, oxen, dogs, cats, and other non-magically-coerced animal companions all have souls, but an animal companion (squirrel, bat, lizard) acquired by a druid through use of spells or class abilities may or may not have a soul.
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On where to find sun elves:

Feb 7, 2020

@rwgs76

Dear @TheEdVerse, I know that most Sun Elves left Faerûn for Evermeet, and most elves who stayed are either Moon or Wood Elves, right? But can Sun Elves still be found in Faerûn? Do they have any cities or enclaves, like the Moon Elves' Evereska? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

As published Realmslore relates in several places, many sun elves returned to Faerûn from Evermeet during the Era of Upheaval (between the Time of Troubles and the Second Sundering), and resettled in Evereska, in the High Forest, and in Silverymoon and Everlund, with a few families in Iriaebor, Berdusk, Elversult, and rurally, in easternmost Amn and Tethyr.
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On Whitehorn:

@jvcparry

What going on in Whitehorn, in the west of The Ride? I can't find any mention of it anywhere!


@TheEdVerse

Whitehorn gets its name because of its sharp crags (‘horns’) and because it marks the southerly extent of the “always snow” line; in other words, to the south of it, the land has seasons, but the crags of Whitehorn, and the lower land between them, are permanently cloaked in snow. Except in one place: the Favoured Fields of Chauntea, a temple-farm of the goddess of the Great Mother sited where it is because warmth coming up from volcanic rifts in the Underdark beneath is used to warm water that’s mule-circle-trot-pumped through extensive tile “drains” to warm and water the hand-tended growing fields.

A trading and resupply town for prospectors, miners, and woodcutters active in this part of the Ride grew up around the temple-farm two centuries ago, and many wagon- and sledge-repairers and tool-makers settled and set up their shops and smithies there.

Whitehorn is defended and policed by a militia, paid by a 1 sp “gate tax” for all departing wagons, and is governed by a five-member voting merchant council who elect (from among their number) a Steward to speak their decrees publicly and to serve as the local magister (judge). Their works are funded by a 2 gp/year “hearth tax” paid by all households; inns, taverns, and smithies pay double, other businesses pay nothing at all. Three weavers have workshops in Whitehorn, but the reeking local tannery, Askel’s Leatherworks, was long ago banished to the far side of an outlying crag, about a mile downwind of the town. Persistent orc raids led to a palisade and drawbridge, plus spike-lined pit traps, being built around it in the mid-1300s DR. The current tanner is the seventh generation of the Askel family to turn out boots, belts, weathercloaks, tack, and leather armor here.

Whitehorn has never had walls, but it has had a series of ditches with steep earth ramparts inside them, to make the town easier to defend (mainly against raiding ogres, orcs, goblins, and flind). It keeps outgrowing these defenses, and remains a rough-and-ready ‘frontier’ place.

Determined to keep the town around them safe and civilized, the clergy of Chauntea long ago invited clerics of Helm to set up their own temple, and police and defend the town with armed priests and lay worshippers, which they did, building a small fortified temple with a lookout tower spire, Helmwatch House. In the 1390s DR, ballistae were installed atop the tower, to command the land around Whitehorn. Locals claim “hundreds” of orcs and other prowling monsters have been slaughtered while attacking Whitehorn, which “has never fallen.”

Whitehorn’s population swells in summer and falls sharply in winter, but its winter low is sixscore or so below two thousand. Its badge and banner display a white equilateral triangle, single point up, on a red field, the red being the blood of orcs slain or fought off, and the triangle representing the tallest of the town’s three crags, Old Jaw, which rises in the center of Whitehorn and has always been a lookout and hosted a signal beacon to warn of orc hordes.

Whitehorn is well-patrolled, has muddy streets but stone cottage homes rather than the hastily-built shacks that once predominated, dozens of wells, two taverns: The Bowshot Moon (Good/Moderate; cozy and rustic) and The Seven Split Skulls (Poor/Cheap; a brawlers’ haven); three inns: Graelhund’s Warm Rest (Good/Moderate; homey, quiet, and well-worn), The Storm Archer (Excellent/Expensive; the most luxurious accommodations north of the Moonsea outside of the best establishments in Zhentil Keep, having heated baths, and fireplaces in every guestroom), and Blacktusk’s Lair (Poor/Cheap, a dingy, cold place of small dark rooms, many blankets, and scurrying mice). Whitehorn is also home to The Bright Shield, which is a well-regarded “simple hot roasts, soups, and stews” eatery by day, and a festhall of “savage tender pleasures” by night.
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