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Thanateros
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15 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2020 :  15:34:18  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
The art on the cover of the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting sourcebook bears a magical sigil, but I did not find that sigil art within the pages of the sourcebook; what is that sigil?

"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 28 Mar 2020 :  15:49:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't believe it's a sigil, as much as just some decorative pattern.

Per Sean K Reynolds, one of the book's authors, the runic text does translate, though.

Something I ganked from his website long ago:

quote:
If you've seen the cover of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, you know it has writing in Dethek (Dwarven) and Espruar (Elven) script on the cover. Well, that writing actually means something--I think it was Rich Baker and I that came up with those phrases and had the graphic designers use the WotC Dethek and Espruar fonts to "translate" them, along with some numbers to fill in some of the gaps in the circle.

Enough people ask about what the words mean that I thought I'd post it here. The funny thing is that I lost my original record of the text (it was an email exchange between Rich and I), so I have to rely on the reverse-translation by Brian D. Gute, who wrote down letter-by-letter what the messages mean. Here they are:

Dethek: The secret fires of our hearts burn with the memory of wars lost and heroes slain, but like the stone from which we came, we endure

Espruar: We remember cities* now in ruin and forests murdered, yet still we sing to the stars and hope for renewal.

*There's actually no letter "C" in Espruar, so on the cover it's spelled "sities."


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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7101 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2020 :  16:51:18  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's just an artfully stylized Celtic knot in a frame.

In our world the Celtic knot(s) is(are) archetypically symbolic of Celtic identity, traditions, culture. Suggesting ancient, authentic, and mystical associations with Celtic roots. Used with pride by those who claim Celtic heritage. Also used as generic marketing, just another visually interesting but meaningless/ancient/occult/mythological symbol offered for mass consumption, to decorate the covers of fantasy gaming supplements and such.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/b/b5/FRCS.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20180326195631

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oIxHt9fprhA/UwlkRb5zZDI/AAAAAAAAAdo/67KpeZNwvEY/s1600/celtic_knot_by_slimcandy-d4frroz.jpg

The pointed arcs also evoke a biohazard warning symbol. Danger.

https://99percentinvisible.org/app/uploads/2016/03/biohazard-warning-symbol.jpg

The Realms has Moonshae ffolk who are ideally Celtic in all but name.

The Realms has (or had) a wizard sigil looking like the biohazard symbol. Maybe it was the lich Zrie Prakis, or one of the Underdark/Menzo wizards, I can't recall exactly who.

If the artwork isn't one of those associations then it's just artwork. Decorative. I'm inclined to think it's nothing more (and could be used for some invented magical purpose) since WotC didn't explicitly create any other details.

I'm also inclined to think the Realms is littered with symbols of no magical significance. They use icons and logos and markers and heraldry and historical symbolism just as we do, arguably even more than we do since so many people (of all species) in the Realms are illiterate.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 28 Mar 2020 18:13:16
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Thanateros
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2020 :  17:02:56  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If that cool sigil-like art is not used in-world as a magical sigil then an opportunity was wasted. The translations speak of a collaboration between dwarfs and elves toward endurance and hope; is there a place wheres dwarfs and elves collaborated magically on something?

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't believe it's a sigil, as much as just some decorative pattern.

Per Sean K Reynolds, one of the book's authors, the runic text does translate, though.
Something I ganked from his website long ago:
quote:
Originally posted by Sean K. Reynolds

Dethek: The secret fires of our hearts burn with the memory of wars lost and heroes slain, but like the stone from which we came, we endure

Espruar: We remember cities now in ruin and forests murdered, yet still we sing to the stars and hope for renewal.




"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."
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Thanateros
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2020 :  18:15:55  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is geometric similarity between that cover art and Celtic knots so I can see how one could make that association, but what that cover art better resembles is the three interlaced lunar crescents of either the heraldry of duchess Diane de Poitiers and/or an identical neopagan triple [lunar] goddess symbol.

If you find that "biohazard" wizard sigil definitely let us know.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

It's just an artfully stylized Celtic knot in a frame.

The Realms has (or had) a wizard sigil looking like the biohazard symbol. Maybe it was the lich Zrie Prakis, or one of the Underdark/Menzo wizards, I can't recall exactly who.


"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."

Edited by - Thanateros on 28 Mar 2020 18:30:02
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33623 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2020 :  18:45:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros

If that cool sigil-like art is not used in-world as a magical sigil then an opportunity was wasted. The translations speak of a collaboration between dwarfs and elves toward endurance and hope; is there a place wheres dwarfs and elves collaborated magically on something?




I don't know that it speaks as much of collaboration as it just gives a feeling that both races have endured a lot but still stand strong.

I think the inclusion of those lines is also an artistic thing: it adds fantastic elements to the image, using the only FR alphabets that have been detailed.

Dwarves don't have much of a magical history; until 3rd edition, dwarves could not use arcane magic. They had their magic arms and armor, but that was about it for them and magic.

There has been some collaboration between dwarves and elves to build united kingdoms and such; Phalorm is a good example, and dwarves had a presence in Myth Drannor. I can't really think of any other notable collaborations of any kind, off the top of my head, though.

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Thanateros
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15 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2020 :  10:30:37  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Myth Drannor had a mythal, which Ed Greenwood's alterego Elminster helped to create. Having the art on the FRCS cover be the central sigil of that mythal would be very appropriate.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
There has been some collaboration between dwarves and elves to build united kingdoms and such; Phalorm is a good example, and dwarves had a presence in Myth Drannor.



"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33623 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2020 :  17:09:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros

Myth Drannor had a mythal, which Ed Greenwood's alterego Elminster helped to create. Having the art on the FRCS cover be the central sigil of that mythal would be very appropriate.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
There has been some collaboration between dwarves and elves to build united kingdoms and such; Phalorm is a good example, and dwarves had a presence in Myth Drannor.






I don't know that mythals have sigils.

The casters who raised Myth Drannor's mythal were primarily elves; a half-elf and a couple of humans are mentioned, but that's it for other races. Since -- at the time, due to the then-current rules of D&D -- dwarves could not be wizards, there is no mention at all of dwarven wizardry being used before, after, or during the raising of the mythal.

Myth Drannor was primarily an elven city. It was elf-only for centuries, then some humans showed up, and only after that were other races admitted.

Truly, I'm not adverse to the idea of elven and dwarven collaboration -- we just have very few examples of it in the Realms.

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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
482 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2020 :  17:49:22  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros
Myth Drannor had a mythal, which Ed Greenwood's alterego Elminster helped to create.

"Elminster is Ed Greenwood's alter-ego / wish-fulfillment" is a tired trope that Ed himself has repeatedly declared untrue.


AJA
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Thanateros
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15 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2020 :  09:05:50  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For the sake of avoiding distracting digression, simply swap out the term "alter-ego" in my statement and replace it with "protagonist"; such will serve the same purpose for me, more or less.
quote:
Originally posted by AJA
"Elminster is Ed Greenwood's alter-ego / wish-fulfillment" is a tired trope that Ed himself has repeatedly declared untrue.
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros
Myth Drannor had a mythal, which Ed Greenwood's alterego Elminster helped to create.


"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."
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Thanateros
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15 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2020 :  09:47:10  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Elminster in Myth Drannor, Eltargrim conceived the very name Myth Drannor to honor elf-dwarf relations, as Drannor was a historical Cormanthoran elf who had married a dwarf.

...But perhaps even better than that, search terms of "dwelf mythal" brought up the dwelven runecarver archmage Isinghar Feyrune who was one of the casters of the mythal at Myth Glaurach.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Myth Drannor was primarily an elven city. It was elf-only for centuries, then some humans showed up, and only after that were other races admitted.

Truly, I'm not adverse to the idea of elven and dwarven collaboration -- we just have very few examples of it in the Realms.
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros

Myth Drannor had a mythal, which Ed Greenwood's alterego Elminster helped to create. Having the art on the FRCS cover be the central sigil of that mythal would be very appropriate.




"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33623 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2020 :  11:16:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros

In Elminster in Myth Drannor, Eltargrim conceived the very name Myth Drannor to honor elf-dwarf relations, as Drannor was a historical Cormanthoran elf who had married a dwarf.

...But perhaps even better than that, search terms of "dwelf mythal" brought up the dwelven runecarver archmage Isinghar Feyrune who was one of the casters of the mythal at Myth Glaurach.


I'm aware of this, and have referenced both in discussions to dwelves before.

But one or two known dwelves still doesn't change the fact that Myth Drannor was an elven city that only later let in other races.

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Thanateros
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15 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2020 :  14:23:29  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The meaning of the name Myth Drannor and the participation of Isinghar in casting the Myth Glaurach mythal are both plausible reasons for the inclusion of Dethek dwarven runes in a mythal sigil [if such sigils exist (and they should)]; in the absence of an official answer regarding the FRCS3 cover art I am happy to go with it being a sigil of one of those two mythals. Thank you Rupert for pointing me in the direction of Myth Drannor.
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Myth Drannor was an elven city that only later let in other races.
quote:
Originally posted by Thanateros
In Elminster in Myth Drannor, Eltargrim conceived the very name Myth Drannor to honor elf-dwarf relations, as Drannor was a historical Cormanthoran elf who had married a dwarf.

...But perhaps even better than that, search terms of "dwelf mythal" brought up the dwelven runecarver archmage Isinghar Feyrune who was one of the casters of the mythal at Myth Glaurach.


"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."
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VikingLegion
Senior Scribe

USA
479 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2020 :  23:04:53  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
There has been some collaboration between dwarves and elves to build united kingdoms and such; Phalorm is a good example, and dwarves had a presence in Myth Drannor. I can't really think of any other notable collaborations of any kind, off the top of my head, though.



The Hosttower of the Arcane in Luskan was a collaboration between elves and dwarves to make a stone-like/tree-like edifice that channels arcane power down through the many tunnels to Gauntlgrym, wherein it contains a fire primordial from going berserk and nuking the whole region.
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Thanateros
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15 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2020 :  10:50:31  Show Profile Send Thanateros a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elves appear to have been a minority in the Arcane Brotherhood, but their overwizard Valindra was an elf, so the FRCS3 cover art being a sigil to help contain the fire primordial Maegera is at least somewhat plausible.
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion
The Hosttower of the Arcane in Luskan was a collaboration between elves and dwarves to make a stone-like/tree-like edifice that channels arcane power down through the many tunnels to Gauntlgrym, wherein it contains a fire primordial from going berserk and nuking the whole region.


"Quality is a fundamental aspect of our experiential realities, with pleasure being the simplest name of the attractive positive experiential pole. Modeled mathematically, pursuit of pleasure then is simply a mathematical inevitability of our experiential realities."
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