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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2005 :  00:58:31  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed makes reply to Elfinblade in the matter of gods:



Hi, Elfinblade. The Realms began as a fiction setting (circa 1967), with only a few of the gods “imagined” (mostly as names and body parts in colourful curses spouted by Mirt and various characters he was busily killing, swindling, or beating up), but by the time Dungeons & Dragons started to get published there were over two dozen gods with established names, genders, holy symbols or badges or totems, and portfolios. Yes, you read that right: before D&D existed (it started in 1974, but became widespread starting in 1975).
When 1978 came around, the first two “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” rulebooks were published, and I was sufficiently impressed to ‘adapt’ the fictional Realms to the game for campaign play. I started to set to work on a proper pantheon, “filling in the gaps” around Gary Gygax’s official gods. Issue 54 of the Dragon contains an article of mine summarizing my reasoning and divine development up to that time.
I was constantly creating new cults, mainly so as to have altars for player characters in the original (and still running) Realms campaign to burst in on and be horrified at, and the roster of gods quickly expanded. Right now, we have . . . too many. :} Yes, some gods were added by the TSR staff (the first of these being Doug Niles’s Earthmother, I believe), the existing ones (e.g. Lolth) were stitched into the Realms, and the Great God Show really got going, to become the thundering locomotive it is today (and STILL no full priesthood details, with creeds and aims and practises and vestments and so on and so forth).
I don’t have a favourite deity, though Mystra, Azuth, Lurue, and Selune are all ‘in the running.’ I have soft spots for a lot more, such as Eilistraee and Tymora. It’s hard to pick (sorta like deciding which of your children is your favourite; of the list in the preceding sentence, only Tymora isn’t my creation), and I don’t really want to; I DON’T want my writing to ever be influenced by “this favourite deity and his/her servants or champions have to stay glowingly untouched” (I know some uncharitable folk believe I’ve already done just this with Mystra, but they’re just plain wrong, most of them not understanding how creative decisions regarding the Realms are made and instead believing I run TSR/WotC and publish just what I please). Ah, well. We should all have publishing empires!



So saith Ed. (Shudder) I HOPE that last line was just a joke. Believe me, as an editor: you don’t want most would-be writers to have their own publishing empires. Really. Except for YOU, of course . . .
love to all,
THO
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Borch
Seeker

Germany
21 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2005 :  13:21:53  Show Profile  Visit Borch's Homepage Send Borch a Private Message
Greetings all,

I've just a small question for the everbusy Ed.

I remember Lady Hooded One stating that lore on Lathtarl's Lantern and the Cloak Wood that I asked about some 6 or 7 months ago would be forthcoming soon. Is this still true or has Ed run into NDA problems?


Sprich aus der Ferne,
heimliche Welt,
die sich so selten
zu mir gesellt
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2005 :  22:48:00  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message


A question for Ed

I was just reading the entry for the Wyvern crown in Volos guide to all things magicial and noticed its tied to a group of Witch-Lords of Wyvernwater.

My question is this are these Witch-Lords tied in any way to Zhengyi the Witch-King of Vaasa?

Was Zhengyi one of these Witch-Lords?

VGTATM also says some of the Witch-Lords are still "alive" do they follow Orcus as well?

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  01:26:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed replies to Kentinal's question about the flows of time:


Hi, Kentinal. Yes, there is “a general plan for how quick time will pass,” and as Garen Thal pointed out, it’s given in the FRCS as a rate of two Realms years for every five real-world years - - but that of necessity (and Garen covered the array of legitimate reasons), novels often don’t fit the stated rate of time. I’m not all that concerned about novels ‘jumping around’ into the past (as I often do), for proper reasons of storytelling; the only situations that concern me are Realms publications set at any time that introduce contradictions into Realmslore, and novels or short stories set three years or more ‘into the future’ that tie the hands of other authors by describing overmuch “things in the Realms as they are” at that future time.
Everyone at WotC is aware of the potential problems, and they’re all professionals who are swimming in the big Faerûnian pool as you read this, hence have no interest in fouling said pool. Everyone’s human and mistakes do happen (gosh, I managed to cram a lot of clichés into a very few words there :}), but I think these days they largely will be mistakes, and not deeds born of “I don’t care, I’m gonna write this anyway” thinking.
So if Realmsdate wanders a bit, don’t worry about it. Enjoy the novels as entertainment and rest assured that scribes such as Garen Thal, Eric Boyd, George Krashos, Steven Schend, and yes, even me, are waiting to pounce on apparent inconsistencies and “explain them away.”



So saith Ed. I agree with another part of Garen Thal’s post, about the futility of trying to tie down exactly what date it is in the Realms, right now. It’s whatever date it is in your campaign . . .
love,
THO



Edited by - The Hooded One on 07 Feb 2005 01:28:54
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4273 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  08:07:01  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello, all. Ed replies to Kentinal's question about the flows of time:







I thank you for the reply to this question. I had almost forgotten I had asked it because of replies provided by scribes like Garen Thal. Perhaps I need to ask harder questions, tough that certainly euns the risk of waiting much longer for an answer.

I am still interested in the manor houses for example, however suspect I can not get much more on them. In a lot of ways they appear to be summer retreats on the borders, maintained by those of wealth that seek respite from the people and laws of the controling realm. As the strong houses are not self sufiecent it becomes clear that only those of wealth can have them. This leads to a question of perhaps some of these strong manors being owned by Tray Red Qizards, Zent spies, Dark elves as more then just a retreat from realm close review? It certainly does strike me that such manors certainly could be used as such bases for raids, spying and other criminal activity. The thieves guikd for example might run a few hunt clubhiuses. I am reasonanle sure there does not exist a list of all the border strong manor houses and even if there was, over tine I suspect that those clearly linked to unlawful activities would be attacked and seized or distroied. I suspect the only question I could ask might be how dense such strong manors might be on the border, one per mile of border more common or less common then that? I certainly do not expect a hard ruke on number and can picture some clusters occuring as long as they do not repersent a power base. Three lake manors, one owned by a Gold Elven Lord, one by an Enterprising Merchant the thrid owned by a gidy halfling for example would not make much of a comminity.
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  08:52:03  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
Ok, it's time to bring down Ed's righteous wrath on me... But before I ask my question, I will explain myself. I'm studying law and I'm very, very interested in the history of law. Therefore, I would like to know if Baldur's Gate and Secomber have any written acts or codes? If yes, are there any important rules I should know? I'm especially interested in penal matters, mercantile law and administration stuff. I'm aware, that this is quite uncommon question, yet it surely could become quite useful to make an adventure more realistic.
P.S. No politics, please

Edited by - Verghityax on 07 Feb 2005 10:13:43
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4273 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  09:32:48  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Verghityax

Ok, it's time to bring down Ed's righteous wrath on me... But before I ask my question, I will explain myself. I'm studying law and I'm very, very interested in the history of law. Therefore, I would like to know if Baldur's Gate and Secomber have any written acts or codes? If yes, are there any important rules I should know? I'm espiecially interested in penal matters, mercantile law and administration stuff. I'm aware, that this is quite uncommon question, yet it surely could become quite useful to make an adventure more realistic.
P.S. No politics, please



Did a quick search on this topic and I do not find much. There are indications of some written law, however there are also indications that the blade becomes the unwritten law. Ed of Greenwood certainly could have devised some laws, the manner of how rulers become rulers, the penal code, the trade codes. I am not sure how realistic you seek to make your campaign and it is imposible to mirror real life with the economics involved in fantsy worlds. Also I am not sure how you can keep politics out of the discussion. Every community has politics, the crafting of policy for a community.

Basic law would tend to follow Common law, though adjusted to the power struction of the community. The peace bonding of weapons, restrictions of cast magic tend to be two major aspects of law to perserve the peace. The trade laws would tend to extend to duties imposed and/or contraband, admisitration decided by the power base (be it noble or elected council, by those allowed to vote) and subjected to change as factions strive for overt or covert control of a community.

I do not believe fantasy is the best place to look for a history of law, I would think you might be better served by using the history of law and apply it to the fantasy world. Not forgeting the unwritten laws that would exist, because in the end it does not matter what is written if no one can/will enforce the law.
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  10:28:06  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
Kentinal, thanks for Your interest but in fact, it doesn't matter whether the blades rules primarly or not, for there always must be some written laws - if not, it would all turn into anarchy. Imagine You have lived in Baldur's Gate and wanted to run some legal bussiness. You surely would have to pay some taxes for it and probably You would have to get a permission of some kind or smth like that. Without any rules, the lawful commoners who want to run legal bussiness just wouldn't be able to do that. And as far as I now, cities like Baldur's Gate and Secomber have it's forces and they are probably able to enforce the laws.
P.S. I do not understand why fantasy world would be a bad place to have any laws - Cormyr has it laws (there were some rules, possibly in the "Four from Cormyr" adventure) and no one has any problems about that.

Edited by - Verghityax on 07 Feb 2005 10:29:30
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4273 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  15:26:30  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Verghityax

Kentinal, thanks for Your interest but in fact, it doesn't matter whether the blades rules primarly or not, for there always must be some written laws - if not, it would all turn into anarchy.



There do not need to be written laws, though given the high literacy rate in realms I do expect there are some laws set down in writing.
quote:

Imagine You have lived in Baldur's Gate and wanted to run some legal bussiness. You surely would have to pay some taxes for it and probably You would have to get a permission of some kind or smth like that. Without any rules, the lawful commoners who want to run legal bussiness just wouldn't be able to do that. And as far as I now, cities like Baldur's Gate and Secomber have it's forces and they are probably able to enforce the laws.



Yes in the RW you certainly need to rent or buy property and certainly pay taxes. There might even be some written laws concerning such matters if not published at least in notes that Ed might provide you. I am not saying that there are no written laws, I am just saying you might not find them useful in making a game more realistic, because D&D does not lead itself to realistic environment. Wheat as a commodity for example makes no sense for it to be sent to the city, the pay scale set out is also unrealistic. You can not have a viable economic law when one does not have an economy. Not long ago one of the designers was asked how much a city guard is paid. The answer was enough compared to the danger he faces. Or in other words there is no way to determine what a pay scale is or should be. If one can not know how much a guard earns, one can not know how much a guard spends. There are the skills Craft and Profession that do allow determination of weekly income, however do not do a good job on whom is paying these crafts people.
[/quote]
P.S. I do not understand why fantasy world would be a bad place to have any laws - Cormyr has it laws (there were some rules, possibly in the "Four from Cormyr" adventure) and no one has any problems about that.
[/quote]

Oh I am not saying there are no laws, there certainly are and certainly many are written. I am just saying that such laws might not be as useful in making your campaign more realistic. For my little realm I have written a code of laws, set up a judicial system, even managed a sort of economy to pay governmental employees. I had to make many inferences, number of businesses, the amount of taxes they can afford to pay, the amount of food an average farm will produce and a tax rate to keep peasants near poverty and so on. Even my model does not answer all the questions one needs to have a realistic world. This because the prices of goods are not realistic. Oh I have a penal code as well, however I have no idea of what hard labor is done by those sentenced to that penalty. It is not realistic and there is no way I can make it realistic.

I still return to the one thing I mentioned before, even if a law is written it does not mean it will be enforced. Guards can be bribed or charmed, it is rather hard to catch a wizard that casts a fire ball in a city then teleports away and so on.
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  18:28:54  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
Kentinal, most of the things You said are definitely true, though I still think, that some issues can be done in a realistic way.

For example, the law codes from dark ages and early middle ages (like Lex Salica or Lex Gundobada) are quite primitive and casuistic. And since FR is somehow based on middle ages I suppose that it can be assumed that any existing codes in the Realms are written in dark ages/feudal times fashion. Of course, I'm aware of english common law system, yet I'm sure that not every realm in FR has got such law system. One has to remember that we cannot look at FR laws from today's point of view because the mentioned dark ages codes are so very different from the ones we can see as beign used in our times.

Lex Salica, for instance, is very simple - if you killed someone's cow, you would have to pay him 20 solids for it, while killing a woman was much more highly rated crime. There are of course other examples of such laws. I know one that is really amusing. In polish middle ages if someone commited a crime in a town or village and wanted to escape to another settlement, the inhabitants (not all of them of course) of this town or village were bound by something that was called "clamor" - according to this unwritten law they had to follow the villain and shout and make much noise in the same time until they reached the mentioned settlement. If the villain managed to get to the settlement then now the settlement's inhabitants were bound by the "clamor", while the ones that hunted him to this time were released from the bond. And if the former inhabitants didn't follow the villain, they would get punished (though I'm not sure how, probably with some kind of fine).

Ekhm, anyway, I'm a little far away from the main topic now What I generally meant was that I do not need complex codes or even exact parts of them. I'm just curious about general rules and some ridiculous or amusing rules like the one mentioned . With simple rules of this kind the adventure can really become more realistic.
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  22:40:56  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
On the one hand, there's a legitimate Realms 'now' in that the timelines of Toril and Earth are tied by the visits of Elminster and others to our world.

On the other, much bigger hand, the idea of a single 'current' time in the Realms OPPOSES what the Realms, and every fantasy setting, is about. It's a land of never-when that unlike our perishable bodies lives ETERNALLY -- in dreamland, our imaginations, on paper, in the astral plane, however you conceive it.

The official timeline is a publishing convenience. One of art's purposes is to transcend time -- it is not 'now' in any real sense 1374 DR any more than it is 768 or 1344 or 1359. Keep your modern, profane, entropic history outta my Realms, I have enough of my own.
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darqravenDD
Acolyte

7 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  23:24:01  Show Profile  Visit darqravenDD's Homepage Send darqravenDD a Private Message
Mr. Greenwood,

I have placed this question in a couple different places(including a different place on this forum) and was told by Ms Elaine Cunningham that you Sir the one to ask this of. As you are the final word on Forgotten Realms Lore.
I ask this of you here, because I wish to know the Offical Standing per date. Many wonderfully helpful people have given thier thoughts on this. And thou it may seem I am just asking and asking till I get the answer I am looking for.. that is not the case. I simply ask you now Sir, because you ARE the final word on the matter and speak with the power of WotC behind you.

There for I place this before you, Sir:

In the current standings of the Realms, Would Lolth allow a male of exceptional merit to become a Cleric/High Priest of her ways. And would the Female Drow allow such?

I know that he would not have the same standing as a Female in his place. And the interactions between them would be very very interesting.

I am well aware that they are others Deities that would grant a Male Drow clerical power. One good example would be Laveth (Lolth's daughter as per Dragon Issue 84), but I am interested in Lolth, not the others. What is the Offical standing on this.
I am also aware that in the past.. it was allowed (2nd Ed rules).

If you would be so kind to tell us your thoughts on the matter.


Thank you for your time.. and I look forward to your answers, as they will help me greatly in a storeline I am working on.

darqravenDD

PS: I just thought of a side question: Would Lolth even worry about a Male Cleric/High Priest if he started to interupt her plans?

I haven't lost my mind, it's backed up on disk somewhere.......
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2005 :  23:26:21  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer


The official timeline is a publishing convenience. One of art's purposes is to transcend time -- it is not 'now' in any real sense 1374 DR any more than it is 768 or 1344 or 1359. Keep your modern, profane, entropic history outta my Realms, I have enough of my own.



Hear hear!

Seriously, you make a good point. If more people realized that the timeline doesn't have to be set in stone, there'd be less arguing about what the "official time" in the Realms is.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  03:16:01  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed replies to Dargoth’s “bunch of” noble questions:



Hi, Dargoth. Here we go:
1. How much legal power does a noble have in the FR in the lands he governs?
Depends on the realm. Usually he must abide by all the country-wide laws, but in some cases HE can sit as magister, trying and sentencing folk. Almost always, he can’t do this if the accused are nobles, courtiers, members of the military of the realms, priests, or foreign courtiers.
Generally the noble has control over how the land is used (who dwells where, so long as royal commands and expectations are met [no blocking roads, any quotas for food produced must be met, and so on]) and who’s on his own household staff. The noble usually does NOT have any say over local officials (courtiers, heralds, military garrisons and their support staff) stationed on “his” lands, as they serve as spies upon, and counterbalances to, his potential misrule.
Nobles can always bring charges against people in their lands, and often control (if not officially command) the local police (or the noble’s own bodyguard, serving as vigilante “peacekeepers”).
2. Does a noble have the right to sleep with any female who dwells within his domain?
No, droit de seigneur doesn’t officially exist in the Realms, for royals or nobles. Within priesthoods, between a mage and his apprentices, and between his (or her!) subjects and a tyrant robber baron or even a king, it may exist as daily fact, but never as “lawful tradition.” To put it another way, King Throg may burst into young Ilandra’s bedchamber by night and neither she nor her family will dare resist him - - but that’s far different from King Throg having the open public right to bed Ilandra before all the court, or on her wedding night in front of her blushing groom, or at any other time.
3. Can the leader of the family put another member of the family to death for defying or disobeying the leader of the family?
Depends on the realm. In the vast majority of lands, the legal answer is no, but in practice, cruel tyrant family patriarchs will merely have “accidents” befall those who defy them, and openly warn everyone else that a similar fate awaits anyone else who wants to behave likewise. However, if clear evidence (such as an eyewitness account from a visiting courtier, priest, or other ‘removed’ trusted observer [meaning a non-family-member of personal standing, never an outlander]) to such murders exist, the patriarch WILL almost always suffer consequences (royal justice). The harshness of said penalty depends on the ruler; it may be death, it’s often exile (and forfeiture of some or all holdings), and it may be no more than a fine or even a scolding.
4. How much hereditary land does the average noble have and how much land do they have to retain in order to remain a noble?
Re. having the land: depends on the realm; there is no meaningful “average” to tell you, considering that duchies in Tethyr can be HUGE and kingdoms in the Border Kingdoms can be tiny fields. Most nobles have a castle, sufficient farmland around it to feed everyone in the castle, a city house if the noble’s territory lies outside the capital of the realm, and enough extra land to support any levies (either armed men or payments of coin or crops, or both) the noble is expected to provide.
Re. retaining the land: in almost all cases in the Realms, once a family is ennobled, they must do something treasonous and be exiled and stripped of their lands and titles (long enough to ‘make it stick,’ not by a monarch who dies or is murdered soon thereafter) to lose their status. Otherwise, you can lose every copper coin you own (and, of course, every bit of land) and still be noble. You usually lose all the powers and perks, but you still have the title. (Unlike our latter-day real world, in the Realms you can almost never sell your titles.) In several realms, there are penniless, landless nobles who end up living “on royal favour” or “by royal grace and favour,” lodged at court or in a royal castle, and often serving the monarch as an envoy or internal-to-the-realm message-runner.
5. Who inherits? Does a noble give all his wealth to his firstborn son or does he spread it out amongst his sons? Can a female child inherit?
This varies from realm to realm and sometimes even from family to family; the Heralds keep meticulous records of the rules pertaining to every titled family (and the pertinent laws of every realm), which they (not monarchs) adjudicate. Titles are almost always conferred according to rules, not the whim of their holders, females can almost always inherit (usually in just the same way as males, but sometimes with varying-from-male titles or rights), and property inheritance is governed by realm law (sometimes a castle or particular holding [bridge, mountain pass, village] is tied to a title), but so long as this is followed, the “chattels” (rest of the loot) can be distributed as the dying noble desires. Wills are common in most realms of the Heartlands, Sword Coast, and Inner Sea regions.
6. How much power does a father have over his son or daughter? Can he force said son or daughter into an arranged marriage?
Depends on the realm (its laws and customs), the faiths followed by the individuals involved, and the personalities of the individuals, too. Arranged marriages are usual among ROYALTY; for ‘mere’ nobility, there’s often no legal penalty for someone who refuses to go along with Daddy, but the person resisting their father often risks disinheritance, or in cases where they can’t legally be disinherited, risks: exile (in some cases kidnapped and taken far away, to unfamiliar territory where their family name will mean nothing), imprisonment (daughter shut up in castle until she changes her mind or dies an old maid), possible murder (those “accidents” again), castration (“I chose the woman for you - - and if she’s not good enough, NO ONE is, and I’ll make sure of it!”) or simply being hurled out into the world beaten and without a single copper coin (in some cases naked) and left to fend for themselves. In other words, “You’re still my son, ungrateful whelp, and I can’t stop you becoming Duke of Farlarran SOMEday - - if you’re still alive, after fending for yourself on the Pirate Isles until I die of old age some thirty winters hence! But you’ll damned well work for a living, and rue the day you ever defied me!”
As with inheritance (see the answer to 5, above), the Heralds sometimes get involved in this one, too, because certain families, particularly in Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan, have “inside the family” laws governing arranged marriages (usually prohibiting them between brother and sister, but sometimes banning them altogether).
Similar pressures exist outside of the ranks of royalty and nobility, but arranged marriages usually only occur when keeping land or money in certain hands is important to heads of families, or for matters of faith.

I hope these replies are of help. I could do a better job, Dargoth, if your questions weren’t so “wide” in scope (i.e. Realms-wide). This bunch is almost literally like asking me about real-world countries and their laws on inheritance, arranged marriage, and so on: I can give almost three hundred different correct real-world answers on each of these topics.



So saith Ed. Please keep that last point in mind, everyone. Asking something like “What are the laws about roads everywhere in the Realms?” is a great way to be left waiting forever for a reply, but asking “What are the laws about roads in Luskan?” will get you a MUCH faster answer.
love to all,
THO
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4273 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  04:48:45  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One



So saith Ed. Please keep that last point in mind, everyone. Asking something like “What are the laws about roads everywhere in the Realms?” is a great way to be left waiting forever for a reply, but asking “What are the laws about roads in Luskan?” will get you a MUCH faster answer.
love to all,
THO



It will be interesting to see what Secomber and Balder's Gate laws are forth coming. At least that question was limited in area scope ;-)
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tompulsar
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  10:41:27  Show Profile  Visit tompulsar's Homepage Send tompulsar a Private Message
Hi all.
I'm new to this forum, but have been running a FR game for 2 years now :)
I have a question for Ed (or anyone else who can point me in the right direction).

On page 199 of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting book there is a single paragraph about the country of Veldorn. I was wondering what other resorces I could seek out to gain more information on the area (as it sounds like a fun place to run an adventure). I'm looking for the types of monsters that live there and a general idea of how advanced the societies there are (if at all)or any other unique cultural quirkes a nation of monsters could have. But mostly I am interested in the types of monsters that dwell there.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me :)

Edited by - tompulsar on 08 Feb 2005 10:45:01
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  11:19:43  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by tompulsar

Hi all.
I'm new to this forum, but have been running a FR game for 2 years now :)
I have a question for Ed (or anyone else who can point me in the right direction).

On page 199 of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting book there is a single paragraph about the country of Veldorn. I was wondering what other resorces I could seek out to gain more information on the area (as it sounds like a fun place to run an adventure). I'm looking for the types of monsters that live there and a general idea of how advanced the societies there are (if at all)or any other unique cultural quirkes a nation of monsters could have. But mostly I am interested in the types of monsters that dwell there.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me :)



You might want to check out the 2 Shining South Source books the 3ed one that came out last year and the old 2ed one (you can get it in PDF format from Svgames for around 5 USD

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  11:26:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by tompulsar

Hi all.
I'm new to this forum, but have been running a FR game for 2 years now :)
I have a question for Ed (or anyone else who can point me in the right direction).

On page 199 of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting book there is a single paragraph about the country of Veldorn. I was wondering what other resorces I could seek out to gain more information on the area (as it sounds like a fun place to run an adventure). I'm looking for the types of monsters that live there and a general idea of how advanced the societies there are (if at all)or any other unique cultural quirkes a nation of monsters could have. But mostly I am interested in the types of monsters that dwell there.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me :)



First, welcome to Candlekeep!

Second, Veldorn is covered in one of the newer sourcebooks, The Shining South. Have you yet consulted that tome?

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tompulsar
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  11:51:16  Show Profile  Visit tompulsar's Homepage Send tompulsar a Private Message
Thanks Guys :D
I've been avoiding even looking at tasty new sourcebooks for the last few months till I can save up some cash so I didn't know this area was already covered somewhere. Shining South was high on my list of books to get so I guess it just got a little higher.;)

and thanks for the warm welcome!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2005 :  14:49:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, tompulsar. Ed tells me that said 3e sourcebook, THE SHINING SOUTH, should be considered the definitive source, because author Thomas Reid consulted with Ed on lore details, updating earlier descriptions.
However, my copy of that tome seems to contain very little (a quarter of page 120 and a few paragraphs at the bottom of page 123) about Veldorn (although Chapter 5 contains great MONSTER MANUAL-style entries for beasties prominent in the region, with the cyclops, mantimera, and dark tree being noted as native). So if sheckels are short . . .
The SAVAGE SPECIES sourcebook is a great resource for “classed” monster NPC adventurers of the sort who hail from Veldorn.
Creatures noted as being native to Veldorn: beholders, demons, “various giants,” leucrotta, and (various sorts of) “werecreatures.” Human slaves dwell there, and the land is really a cluster of independent city-states ruled by monsters.
Just now, the sourcebooks seem to pretty much leave you on your own. Mr. Reid had the impossible task of covering a huge chunk of continent in too small a book, and some things just had to get the “once over lightly” treatment. Veldorn was one of them.
Not that you shouldn’t buy the book, if you have coin to spare: it’s a lovely tome. It’s just not chock-full of a lot on Veldorn. :}
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2005 :  00:54:49  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed replies to Sanishiver:


The Stonelands are scrub woodlands, clinging to often-bare rock, in a series of knife-edged ridges and breakneck (VERY steep-sided) ravines between between them, the ridges running roughly east-west (in someplaces, more northeast-southwest), and in modern geological terms we’d call them: layers of sedimentary rock tilted up on edge, with water (the freeze/thaw cycle and the endless precipitation of passing years) eating away the softer (limestone) layers to make ravines, and leaving the harder layers standing as ridges. Many caves have come into being through water seepage and movement through the limestone, and by boulders breaking off (again, ice-shove freeze-thaw being the main cause) and tumbling down into ravines to wedge together and over time (with the addition of washed-down earth) form ‘roofs’ over cavities below (more caves).
This extremely rugged topography is the reason the Stonelands is so hard to police and therefore govern: there’s no tillable land, precious little flat land at all, no roads and no place to put roads (unless you start a laborious ‘blast rock, pile up rubble, blast next rock’ process that’s unlikely ever to be adopted because there’s not really much place for roads to go TO). Outlaws, hardy prospectors, smugglers, and monsters are the main inhabitants of the region, which has stood as a very effective wall against the sands of Anauroch for centuries.
You’ve hit upon one reason so much loose rubble (and topsoil) exists at all in the Stonelands: a brief (less than a year long, start to finish) long-ago war involving the many dragons who laired here (some dragons lingered even after the verdant lowlands that became Cormyr had been surrendered to humans, though the Cult of the Dragon has been energetically hunting them down) and a small colony of giants who came south from northern Thar as the flind and gnolls became just too numerous to withstand any longer.
The giants found goblins in plenty dwelling in the clefts and gullies of the Stonelands, and slaughtered them until the survivors were driven to the southernmost edge of the broken lands. The increasingly alarmed dragons who laired on peaks in the region (in an uneasy truce with each other) banded together to exterminate these invading giants, but found themselves hampered in purely physical battle by the broken terrain (it gave giants assaulting a dragon’s lair too much cover).
The dragons turned to magic, and it’s thought that either a chain of combined dragon spells went awry by mischance or miscasting, or at least one wyrm tried to subvert the magic to ‘accidently’ backlash through the lair of a rival.
In any event, the result was a great ricocheting series of magical explosions that brought down all of the peaks (there were a dozen at most, all of them riddled with caverns used as lairs by dragons) in shattered ruin onto the ravines below. Most of the dragons and many of the giants perished, and the goblins swarmed over the dazed, wounded giants who were left, exterminating them.
So the Stonelands were broken, rugged ravine country before the great magic felled the mountain peaks, but yes, there WAS a struggle involving dragons, giants, and goblins in the past, and “mountains” (actually just a few slender spires of rock soaring above the ridges) were hurled down.
I’m not so sure about “yet leaving space enough for the surviving armies to pass through and overrun the forested paradise so long enjoyed exclusively by the Giants and their kin.” If by forested paradise you mean Cormyr, I don’t recall any time when goblins completely overran it (there were these elves, and these hungry dragons raiding from the skies, to prevent any such thing) or giants exclusively enjoyed it. There are ‘hanging valleys’ (soil-filled large ravines between ridges) in the Stonelands that could have been described as “forested paradises” until the Zhents started energetically exploring the area, but they’re awfully SMALL paradises (the largest is about six miles long, but only half a mile wide at best, and most are FAR smaller).
However, passing time and folktales can achieve wild distortions, and Mellomir of Arabel could well use such words and be entirely wrong about that but right about the dragon-giant battle. What say you?



So saith Ed. Hmm; Sanishiver?
love to all,
THO
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RevJest
Learned Scribe

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2005 :  07:14:50  Show Profile  Visit RevJest's Homepage Send RevJest a Private Message
Lovely Hooded One,

Another question for Ed.

Master Greenwood,

In a previous message posted some time ago you mentioned the island of Uttersea as an island that was a part of your original Realms map. Therefore, I wondered if you had any Realmslore concerning this place?

Regards,
- S
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2005 :  07:49:01  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
I shall say this...in the wise, energetic and so totally Dude-like voice of the gnarly sea turtle that saved Nemo’s dad and his buddy Dori from some majorly nasty stinging jelly fish: RIGHTEOUS! RIGHTEOUS!

I am also happily delighted by the example of how a Sage can be right about a topic of knowledge, yet so perfectly wrong at the same time! A right recipe for a mystery, if you ask me!

So I shall continue to inflict this mystery on my players whilst seeking a means to make their survival (or perhaps that of the Realm) dependent upon solving it.

So well said and thank you to all!

J. Grenemyer

....just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....

09/20/2008: Tiger Army at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. You wouldn’t believe how many females rode it out in the pit. Santa Cruz women are all of them beautiful. Now I know to add tough to that description.
6/27/2008: WALL-E is about the best damn movie Pixar has ever made. It had my heart racing and had me rooting for the good guy.
9/9/2006: Dave Mathews Band was off the hook at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

Never, ever read the game books too literally, or make such assumptions that what is omitted cannot be. Bad DM form, that.

And no matter how compelling a picture string theory paints, if it does not accurately describe our universe, it will be no more relevant than an elaborate game of Dungeons and Dragons. --paragraph 1, chapter 9, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2005 :  15:17:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Sanishiver, one element of Nemo has crept into the home Realms campaign Ed runs: when we Knights encounter officious guards, tax collectors, courtiers, and grasping merchants - -or Torm does something especially greedy - - some of us around the room will start to chirp: “Mine. Mine! Mine! Mine! MINE! MINE! MINE!” (and so on).
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 10 Feb 2005 02:38:18
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29724 Posts

Posted - 09 Feb 2005 :  23:34:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Sanishiver, one element of Nemo has crept into the home Realms campaign Ed runs: when we Knights encounter officious guards, tax collectors, courtiers, and grasping merchants - -or Torm goes something especially greedy - - some of us around the room will start to chirp: “Mine. Mine! Mine! Mine! MINE! MINE! MINE!” (and so on).
love,
THO






Do any other movie references make their way into your gaming sessions?

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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