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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  02:16:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all.

Oh, yes, Wooly. Lots. Usually classic comedies or farces, or Mae West-era vampish one-liners. As we say to visitors to our play sessions: Come prepared, or come to be scared.

Now to the business at hand. Ed answers Garen Thal about Meddling Mages:



As far as WotC is concerned, there is of course no “Meddling Mage Number Three,” because the three too-similar Old Bearded Crotchety Guys are taken care of. Of COURSE wizards still enthusiastically “meddle in the affairs of rulers and adventurers.” Even those mages who devote most of their time and attention to magical researches tend to want to control the surroundings immediately around their abodes, so they either erect a tower in the howling wilderness somewhere where they themselves are the ruler and defending army of their little holding, or they dictate to the nearby village and surrounding farms, usually in some sort of “I’ll protect you against the next orc horde or marauding hobgoblin warband if you agree to XYZ” manner.
The mages we all hear about, of course, are those who enjoy using their power to force or manipulate those around them, often as part of secretive power groups. I don’t think any one of these guys stands out as Meddling Mage Number Three in the ‘Old Bearded Crotchety Guy’ mold or public perception, if you discount rulers and thereby take Larloch and Szass Tam out of the running alongside those Seven Sisters who qualify. Mages like Maaril like to keep a low public profile because it keeps rulers from thinking they’re so dangerous that they Really Have To Be Dealt With, Right Now, and helps them to scare everyone else by keeping mysterious, so any rumors they spread about themselves have full reign to flourish.
I have a number of candidates in mind for Number Three, but I’m going to keep them secret for now until I see what I can get the Books folks at WotC to let me publish. Otherwise, one can always fall back on Halaster, the Srinshee, Malchor Harpell . . . and that doesn’t even look at Sembia, Silverymoon, Amn, or Tethyr’s mages!



Geez, Garen, you had to start him thinking along those lines, didn’t you! Let me remind you that I have a character who’s trying to stay ALIVE in Ed’s home campaign; this doesn’t help!
love to all,
THO
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  02:53:53  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Geez, Garen, you had to start him thinking along those lines, didn’t you! Let me remind you that I have a character who’s trying to stay ALIVE in Ed’s home campaign; this doesn’t help!
Fear not, O Hooded Lady Mine; I shall be sure to make Ed include a lengthy memorial when the sad and fateful event passes. As it happens, in most cases I want Ed to be thinking along the lines of manipulative mages, meddling shadow-rulers and kingmakers, and the like, because that's the level of the Realms that is so very often skimmed over for the slaying and spellslinging and the returns of ancient, lurking evil. Like many (Ed included), I am quite familiar with the need of wizards to control when they cannot rule outright, because they're smart enough to believe they know better than everyone, and not always wise enough to realize when they don't--Vangerdahast is a prime example.

I, however, grow tired of knowing such things. I wanna see, demmit.
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  05:43:29  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Speaking of Eds campaign

I know Ed said you guys are still playing 2ed but did any of you try and convert your characters to 3ed? If so would you be willing to share the stats?

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  13:05:46  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Hi Ed (and THO),

I was going through the old 2004 questions thread and i noticed reference to some mages that i hadn't heard of before, and whom i've been unable to locate in my Realms library. You mention that certain individuals from the early days of the Zhentarim are still around, using the names Hesperdan (the old man) and Eirhaun (the maimed wizard). Can i ask precisely what products these two are referenced in so i can find out more? And what "current clack" can you reveal about their present situation?

I'm still very intrigued by the idea that the 'real' Manshoon is out there somewhere and perhaps networking with his old wizard cronies from the earliest days of the Zhentarim, including Semmemon and perhaps these two interesting figures, amongst others.

Any help would be appreciated!

GH

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Elfinblade
Senior Scribe

Norway
377 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  15:33:42  Show Profile Send Elfinblade a Private Message
Mr. Greenwood.
Than you for your replies so far. I do appreciate you taking some precious moments of your time to dig into that infinite gooish pool of sweet sweet realmslore, and tranfer some of them to us, your loyal servants. :)

enough groveling.

a few new questions:

1. Coffee. Is this (IMO)excellent beverage available in many,if any, countries or cities in the realms? If so, Which region is the largest on export? How do they transport the coffee beans? What countries have the highest import on coffee?

2.Tea. The same as above if you please.

3.Concerning Wine, Beers, and spirits. I reckon these beverages are in abundance in the southern, middle and other temperate lands.
How Do they make/get their hands on these kinds of beverages in the northern lands, where winter is long, and summer is not nearly warm enough to grow grapes and other ingredients needed to make different sorts of wine?
I am from way north of the arctic circle myself, and i know there have been spirits and beer here for ages. made from potatoes, local berries, roots and such. Do you have any interesting ways to distill beer or spirits in the far northern reaches of the realms?
some specialities from, oh lets say silverymoon, Damara, Vaasa, or impiltur perhaps? Or other cold lands?

Later
-Stig-
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Lameth
Learned Scribe

Germany
196 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  16:38:30  Show Profile  Visit Lameth's Homepage  Send Lameth an ICQ Message Send Lameth a Private Message
Hmmm there is a map in the FR Campaign-Setting on page 88-89 about trade routes and resources. And there is a coffee icon, but I can`t find the icon on the map....???
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Faraer
Great Reader

3294 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  17:02:21  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Something I read in an excellent book unrelated to fantasy worlds or RPGs:
quote:
When I read books merely for information I skim or read only partially. They serve to expand my knowledge, since quantity will provide me with the greatest possible selection and influence my craftsmanship. But when I read books by authors I trust, I read every word, like the devout do the Bible. These authors deepen my knowledge, provide my work with quality and influence my art.
I see the 3E attitude of Frankenstein-monster pick & mix buffet, what can I extract for my campaign, how can I twist this bit to my purposes, and I think, sure, sometimes I want to read for tangential inspiration, but how incomparably more rewarding and worthwhile it is to really involve myself in the whole of what I'm reading; to try and understand its gestalt rather than cutting bits off to reappropriate. Look at Monte Cook's recent 'best of d20' competition in which he encourages submitters to point to a particularly good feat or prestige class. Nothing of lasting depth or worth will come from such localized, piecemeal thinking and creation.
quote:
Originally posted by Elfinblade

beverages
Drinks, man, drinks. Real people don't talk about 'beverages.
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  21:02:05  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer
Nothing of lasting depth or worth will come from such localized, piecemeal thinking and creation.


I'm inclined to agree on that point. After all, thinking back to heroes or villains you've read about in the Realms (or any fictional world for that matter), what do you remember more--the character or the classes/levels/stats/stuff?

THAT'S the reason why the Realms remains standing after 18 years, IMO.

Besides, once you notice that all the principals of the Realms have been statted at least three different ways, shouldn't that tell you that stats are not the heart of a character, nor are feats and prestige classes and spells the heart of a world?

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Elfinblade

beverages
Drinks, man, drinks. Real people don't talk about 'beverages.


As for another earlier comment on beers and wines et al, try and find the long-out-of-print Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (is it available as a download?). I wrote a whole section on the Beers of the Realms (including Elminster's Choice, a cheap beer so bad only Elminster would enjoy it and its labels written like runes and it reads as ELMINSTER'S CHOKE ). I believe Julia Martin had a hand in the Wines section along with me and Ed.

Steven
Who thinks despite what he said above really ought to get around to fleshing out that Halaster's Spellbook idea he's been kicking around his head for 10-odd years....

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com

Edited by - Steven Schend on 10 Feb 2005 21:07:52
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4275 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  21:15:48  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

try and find the long-out-of-print Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (is it available as a download?).



http://realmshelps.dandello.net/datafind/aurora.shtml offers OGL content or teasers (not much left there) and there is a purchasible download here: http://svgames.com/tsr9358esd.html
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  21:20:11  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
As for another earlier comment on beers and wines et al, try and find the long-out-of-print Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (is it available as a download?). I wrote a whole section on the Beers of the Realms (including Elminster's Choice, a cheap beer so bad only Elminster would enjoy it and its labels written like runes and it reads as ELMINSTER'S CHOKE ).
Ahh, Steven, you neglect to mention Elminster imparted the following wisdom in Volo's Guide to Cormyr:

"I've forgiven the impudent wretch who was so bold as to borrow my good name for his second-rate ale. Eighty years as a stone toadstool is enough, I think. He sees things my way now and even lends a hand with things better not spoken of, but don't make the mistake of believing I prefer this stuff. Never serve it to me unless (a foolish tactic, to be sure) you mean to insult me."
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  22:05:27  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
[brI wrote a whole section on the Beers of the Realms (including Elminster's Choice, a cheap beer so bad.........


What you mean some one invented Guiness?

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 10 Feb 2005 :  23:24:51  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
Hello, I was just asking some questions that I am curious about and hope that you have some time to comment on them. Thank you in advance for your time.

1)Could I have more information about the chapel of Finder Wyvernspur in Waterdeep. Perhaps comman activities, relations with the people and powers of the city and any relationship with the Bard collage in the city? Will some of this be showing up in the Waterdeep accessory?
2) Is the priesthood of Finder mainly human and saurial or have there be others attracted to it? (Cause I was thinking about the possible attraction of the church to half-elves and planetouched (like tieflings that might like to emulate the changes reflected in Finder's godhood).


Thanks.

HVulpes

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2005 :  00:50:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Herewith, Ed of the Greenwood makes reply to the tireless questor Dargoth:



Sorry, Dargoth, but Valigan Thirdborn is Eric’s baby. Try asking him in the Questions to Eric L Boyd thread here in the Chamber of Sages, because I’m interested in knowing, too. :}

You asked earlier about Zhentarim (and Church of Bane) ranks and details, and I delayed replying in hopes that NDA prohibitions would be lifted, but they haven’t been. So, for now: No Comment, I’m afraid.

Regarding the Witch-Lords, I’m afraid I can’t say a single useful word about them at the present time. No indeedy. Not without screwing up something that will hopefully turn out to be lovely. You have read CORMYR: A NOVEL, right? And gleaned the tiny bit about the Witch-Lords therein?

As for your Chaond and Zenythri question, I’d say they’ve entered Faerûn in far smaller numbers over a much longer period of time, are widely scattered (hence, no regions specified for them), and have either ‘blended in’ with (Zenythri) or avoided (Chaond) other creatures of Faerûn and kept a lower profile than have most Aasimars and Tieflings. There’s no other plausible explanation as to why “no one’s noticed them until now” in Realmslore.
And yes, I’d say they’ve had small, individual ‘impacts’ on unfolding events in Faerûn - - as individuals rather than as an identified, noticed group, working to either build up rulers and authority or shatter law and its enforcement, according to their natures. I’d say this has gone on for less than a century, so sages haven’t yet ‘noticed’ them much in historical terms (as groups, that is, as opposed to individuals).
If I was looking for groups of chaonds, I’d look in the Rat Hills, in Southbank Scornubel (the former Zirta), and in the broken lands near the Far Forest. Scattered individuals can be found in many lawless, wilderland places.
If I was looking for zenythris, I’d go to Everlund and to the Dragon Coast countryside around Starmantle, as well as peering into the ranks of domestic staff in monasteries dedicated to Helm, Torm, and other lawful deities. Again, scattered individuals can be found far more widely.



So saith Ed. It’s fascinating to note that quiet, keep-to-themselves women with bluish hair have been in Ed’s “background crowd descriptions” since the earliest days of the Realms. And the Company of the Crazed Venturers met a “hulking, frog-like man” in the Rat Hills back in 1979! I wonder who Ed was channeling?
Were chaond and zenythri entirely Ed Bonny creations, and if so, were they ‘imagined’ right at the time the MM2 was being written?
Spooky . . .
One last thing, Dargoth: nope, none of us have ever bothered to recast our characters into 3rd edition stats. For one thing, our games are increasingly about roleplaying, plain and simple, not ‘rules.’ After all, if all players trust the DM enough, there’s really no need for a lot of dicerolling and pointing out passages in rulebooks: it just doesn’t matter what edition of D&D or even what game system is being used.
love to all,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29896 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2005 :  01:03:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

I wrote a whole section on the Beers of the Realms (including Elminster's Choice, a cheap beer so bad only Elminster would enjoy it and its labels written like runes and it reads as ELMINSTER'S CHOKE ). I believe Julia Martin had a hand in the Wines section along with me and Ed.


You wrote that? Wowsers... That section caught my eye one eve, when I was rolling up a new character... I'd rolled exceedingly well for gold, but because my character was a minotaur, a lot of normal stuff to spend money on just didn't work for him. I started flipping thru my Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog, and as soon as I saw that section, my character became a lover of beer. He always kept several hand-kegs in stock, and even named his horses after various beers. Once he nearly caught on fire because he was more intent on washing away the taste of the gelatinous cube, and didn't pay attention to how close its flaming remains were...

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

Steven
Who thinks despite what he said above really ought to get around to fleshing out that Halaster's Spellbook idea he's been kicking around his head for 10-odd years....



Ooh, that sounds good... Maybe you could hook up with SKR, and the two of you could collaborate on it for the WotC site?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2005 :  02:11:55  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
Just remembered some extra questions that I was curious about.

1)Is Finder Wyvernspur, as a god, known to the people of Cormyr? If so, what are their thoughts on him or the idea that a person from one of the noble families of that country has risen to godhood? And what about the Wyvernspur family? If Finder considered well by them or less favoured?
2) Has there ever been a realms character that some one else has created that you really wished that you had created?
3)What do you like to do in your down time? Do you like to read, watch TV or movies, or play video games?

Thanks again.

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2005 :  07:19:56  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer
Look at Monte Cook's recent 'best of d20' competition in which he encourages submitters to point to a particularly good feat or prestige class. Nothing of lasting depth or worth will come from such localized, piecemeal thinking and creation.


Every time I find a Feat, Core Class, Spell, PrC or Skill in a d20 book that could possibly do an exceptionally good job of translating a part of the flavor of Faerûn into mechanics, I use it. The reason I do this is because it allows me another avenue as a DM to "show" my players a little more of Fearûn.

Couple this with both good old fashioned story telling and roleplaying, and you end up with a fusion of rules and story that is just as likely to provide the same sort of gaming experience as those whose campaigns achieve ‘apotheosis beyond the rules’ can experience.

Edited by - Alaundo on 12 Feb 2005 10:08:17
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Faraer
Great Reader

3294 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2005 :  17:45:15  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
I may have rubbed you the wrong way on the wizards.com boards, Sanishiver, but here either I expressed myself badly or you're responding to something I didn't say.

You know that I prefer less density of rules than WotC books have, but that's not my point here. I'm saying that a lot of d20 books are written less to work as a whole than for their parts to be 'used' piecemeal, and here is a respected guy deliberately encouraging people to look at books in that way. I do not mean 'Monte is bad' -- obviously evaluation time is also one of his concerns, and individual parts of books can be worthwhile on their own. I don't mean to single out rules: isolating a single place writeup or short adventure in an RPG book would have an equivalent effect. Things are more than the sum of their parts. Don't miss the wood for the trees. I thought the context made my meaning clear, but maybe not.

Edited by - Alaundo on 12 Feb 2005 10:08:38
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2005 :  23:59:08  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
I think I know what Faraer is trying to say, though in truth I tend to be rather neutral about the rules, myself. There are aspects of both 3E rules and 2E rules that I like. Steven Schend's comment more or less sums up my thoughts: I remember the character more than I remember what their stats were, or what their skills and feats were.

"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

5037 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2005 :  00:53:20  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Housekeeping time again, wherein your faithful servant the Lady Hooded tries to deal with some of the ‘easier’ (it saith here!) questions posted here.
First, for Athenon: Ed was a trifle disappointed that the Q&A with Elminster vanished from last year’s GenCon Indy roster, too. It’s too early yet to know if he'll get to do it this year, but he’ll certainly be asking.

Second, to Borch: Ed is ‘hung up’ on trying to find a Realmslore source for Lathtarl’s Lantern that’s stopping him cold on this oldest of outstanding Realmslore queries. As for Cloak Wood, he’ll be getting to it soon, but I direct your attention in the meantime to Page 81 of the 2004 Candlekeep Questions for Ed thread, and the Raetheless Ed described there for Jerryd (as part of a multipart reply that continued into the first few pages of the 2005 thread), which is immediately south of Cloak Wood and mentions some monsters therein.

Third: to David Lázaro: Ed will get to your festivities question when he can (it might take as long as a tenday), but warns that he can’t, for NDA reasons, answer your ‘druids nigh Neverwinter’ question at all. Sorry.

Fourth: Mareka, Ed makes reply to your request for an exact definition of “Creator Race” herewith:



Hi, Mareka! Please forgive me if this answer sounds both exhaustive and simple. I’m not trying to treat you like an idiot, I’m trying to cover all bases properly, because you ask about a definition that people tend to leap past a little too quickly, in their eagerness to plunge into debate.
Well, when we speak of “Creator Races,” we’re like sages of Faerun: we’re applying our own artificial category long after the fact to creatures and their activities in the dim past, and there’s room for lots of debate and dispute about what critters qualify and what they did. The lovely Lady Hooded tells me there’s an entire thread here at Candlekeep devoted to discussion of this topic [[THO note: “Creator Races” in the Sages of Realmslore section]], and these days the list usually shakes down to five races: the sarrukh (detailed in SERPENT KINGDOMS), the fey, the batrachi (an ampihibious race agreed by most sages to have evolved into locathath in the sea and dopplegangers on land), the aearee (an avian race), and humans.
There’s been much debate about whether dragons are a Creator Race, or ‘came from elsewhere’ and were modified by the sarrukh into the wyrms we know today, and so on. (For an example of how fuzzy and therefore difficult this field of discourse can be, consult the “leShay” thread here at Candlekeep [[THO note: in the General Chat]].)
Which brings us to the two major parts of what MOST people mean when they speak of Creator Races: the races of creatures who were ‘around at the beginning’ (i.e. native to Toril), and that dominated (affecting other races, perhaps even deliberately, as the sarrukh are depicted as doing in SERPENT KINGDOMS). All races evolve over time (or stagnate and dwindle), so the Creator Races, as others, have altered over the ‘Long March’ of history.
However, no mortal of Faerun, and certainly no mortal in our real world, can be certain of the events and conditions befalling on Toril long, long ago. As various faiths give wildly different descriptions of “the Beginning of All Things,” including some clergies who worship deities clearly recent arrivals in the Realms, it’s clear that no deity can be trusted as a source (or if one does, that trust is by definition “faith,” dealing with matters that can’t be proven one way or another).
So none of us are really sure who the Creator Races are, but we generally mean “those critters as held sway at the beginning of Toril’s history,” and we think of them as native (as opposed to creatures who definitely ‘arrived’ from other planes and worlds). However, we can’t be sure they’re native: they could just be the first races to rush through portals or rifts as the planet Toril cooled sufficiently for life to survive. We just don’t know.
However, if we can win past most of the argument about who is and who isn’t a Creator Race, the term becomes a useful placeholder for ‘the most senior dominant life-forms,’ who had societies established on Faerun as, one after another, everybody else arrived.
Just to confuse things still further, it’s clear that many humans and fey, to name just two of these so-called “Creator Races,” DID come to the Realms from other places far more recently than ‘the rest of’ the fey and humans who were here earlier.
At one end of such Creator Race and ‘Dawn of Time’ discussions, we reach the futility of arguing “My god was here first!” / “No, MINE was!” (a debate that really has no practical real-world application in the present-day Realms), but at the other end, it can help Dungeon Masters flesh out and understand a clear arc of history that enables them to detail dungeons, magic items, old legends, and ‘lost survivors from long ago, entombed in stasis’ to make a great campaign that some of them hope won’t be contradicted by later revelations about “who was here first.”
In the original, ‘home’ Realms campaign (still going today, whenever the Lady Hooded and I can drag enough of the rest of our merrie band together), I’ve always been as deliberately fuzzy as I can about such things, because I’m always roleplaying NPCs the PCs have to consult about such matters (and really, what does it matter if a sarrukh ‘made’ black dragons, or black dragons evolved on their own, or black dragons flew through a planar rift some day, if that genesis happened a thousand thousand THOUSAND years ago?).
However, in general, most people do mean ‘native to Toril and here first, but more important than plankton or ants or creeping lichen’ when they use the term ‘Creator Race.’



Whew. Thank you, Professor Greenwood. (Actually Professor Greenwood is Ed’s dad - - oops, I suppose that should be “Professor Emeritus Greenwood,” these days.) I’d say that is very much THAT.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2005 :  02:19:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed makes reply to Gerath Hoan:



Hi, Gerath. Hesperdan and Eirhaun both appear in HAND OF FIRE, the third and last book in the Shandril’s Saga trilogy, which should see print in mass market paperback form this April, I believe. Both of them also appear in my short story “How Wisdom Came To The Maimed Wizard,” which was published on the WotC website and will PROBABLY appear in THE BEST OF THE REALMS BOOK II: THE STORIES OF ED GREENWOOD, a WotC mass market paperback to be published in July (if recent history is any guide, it might actually show up in bookstores during the last week of June), ISBN 0-7869-3760-2 (or if you prefer the new thirteen digit ISBNs, 978-0-7869-3760-8). Once you read that latter story, you’ll be able to guess why I can’t say more about their present situation just now.
And yes, I’d certainly say that one of the early Manshoons (even when there “was only one,” his ‘cloning around’ was such that he’d died several times over, so none of those we know now are even close to the original) is still lurking, and working with certain powerful Zhentarim wizards to bring about Fzoul’s eventual downfall (and most of the rest of the priests, so the wizards end up ‘on top’ again), only VERY subtly this time, so that once Fzoul and his fellow priests notice something is wrong, the slow process will have reached the ‘inevitable’ stage. We’ll all just have to see if they ever succeed. :}



Mmm-hmmm. So saith Ed, indeed.
love to all,
THO
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Borch
Seeker

Germany
21 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2005 :  10:20:05  Show Profile  Visit Borch's Homepage Send Borch a Private Message
Thanks for bringing me up to date.

I'm looking forward to the answer to my queries as I still am quite interested in lore on the Cloak Wood and Lathtarl's. I already know about the Raetheless and was quite surprised at how interersting the islands and the Cloak Bay are yet there's nothing on the forest itself.

Well, here I'm waiting patiently for what ever there may come.

Meanwhile, perhaps a smaller querry for Ed:

I read one of his answers on street names in Baldur's Gate. It started out with a descriprion of street starting point at a fortress that is called Stormkeep.

Now, forgive me if have missed anything, but just what is Stormkeep?

Thanks and happy gaming all.

Sprich aus der Ferne,
heimliche Welt,
die sich so selten
zu mir gesellt
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2005 :  10:50:48  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Thanks for that Ed and THO... i'm going to work my way through the full Shandril Saga in the coming months as each new edition comes out.

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Verghityax
Learned Scribe

131 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2005 :  15:54:35  Show Profile  Visit Verghityax's Homepage Send Verghityax a Private Message
I have a request to all of You. Please, before You consider it rubbish, just read it.
Wouldn't it all be a lot easier for Lady Hooded One and all the other scribes if we knew which queries were already answered and which weren't? For example, when Your request in answered, edit it by putting a note in the end of it (by using a colour or maybe capital letters). What say ye?

Edited by - Verghityax on 13 Feb 2005 15:55:40
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Mareka
Learned Scribe

Canada
125 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2005 :  23:21:47  Show Profile  Visit Mareka's Homepage Send Mareka a Private Message
Thanks for clearing up my confusion, Ed and THO. That answer was much more indepth than I expected. Much appreciated!

Edited by - Mareka on 13 Feb 2005 23:23:17
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2005 :  04:37:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Settle back in your seats as Ed goes another round with Jerryd (split into parts as before, due to post size limits):



Hi, Jerryd. Okay, here we go. :}
As before, I’ll go through your post in order, responding where I see need. And as before, most of my comments apply to Vangey before the events that occurred at the end of ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. As you read this (and by “you” I mean Jerry, Alaundo, and every scribe whose eyes fall upon these posts) PLEASE understand that I’m not angry, and I don’t mean to be rude or stir up any animosity. I’m just pulling no punches so that my views will be as clear as I can make them.


You posted: “In summary, what you're trying to say is that the War Wizards operate BOTH with standing orders AND with Vangey's micromanaging.”

Correct.

You continue: “That's what I was trying to take issue with, because I don't think it's possible to really and truly do both: the more you have of one, the NECESSARILY less you have of the other. If you're trying to shoot for some middle ground, what you end up with is a grayish mess that is neither truly "standing orders" nor truly "micromanaging."”

Of course you can do both. All modern armies do just that: they operate on standing orders modified by micromanaging. Micromanaging is precisely what officers DO (there’s no difference between Vangey barking an order or a Marine Corps sergeant barking an order: both are micromanaging, by definition).
As for ‘the more of one, the less of the other,’ agreed, and yes, you do end up with a grayish mess.
That grayish mess is the key to the success of the Realms over the years, what makes it seem more real than some other fantasy settings, and gives it more room for ‘life’ (choices for players and DMs and PCs). You grant that point, but want it only to occur in-game, and disagree that game lore intended for DMs or players should reflect it.
Here (although I understand and fully sympathize with your view; who doesn’t want to get all the insider information, and be able to trust every word?) I fundamentally disagree, and the Realms has reflected my viewpoint (that things are NEVER as clear-cut, simple, and black-and-white as we would wish them to be) since before there was a D&D game. If things are absolutes, clean and clear and simple (in a fantasy roleplaying setting only, not in historical battle simulations or board games), there’s very little room left for adventure and PC strivings, and less thrill of discovery for players. The example I’ve given many, many times over the years at GenCon and in DRAGON is the difference between “There are six orcs in the ruined keep, and their hit points are . . .” versus “Elminster says there’re persistent local rumors of orcs lurking around the old ruined keep.” The former is a useful but boringly lifeless dungeon key description that tells players precisely what they’ll be facing if they get to read the adventure and the DM doesn’t do a lot of revising, and the latter is an idea-sparking suggestion that players can’t rely on the DM sticking to, precisely. One kills adventure and the other fosters it.

This plays into my comments to you about standing orders and rules of engagement being modern terms. You posted: “Well, the specific phrases are undeniably modern, but I truly believe the concepts underlying the phraseology goes as far back as people have organized themselves and are not strictly modern concepts.”
Quite possibly true, though neither of us have any way of knowing for sure (certain Roman legion records are the ONLY reliable and fairly complete historical documents that provide real-world data for us to go on, almost everything else being clearly written by those with a stake in flattering or vilifying a war leader, ruler, or general, whilst describing military activities ‘after the fact’). However, you miss my point. My point was that the very act of using those modern terms tends to channel and colour the thinking of persons using them (viz the old saw: “To a man with a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail”). There’s a danger of unconsciously using what you understand about modern (for example) Orders of the Day or debriefings and applying it to, say, the ancient Romans without keeping in mind that their situations were FAR different (most of the later Roman Empire battles were fought with ‘Roman’ forces largely made up of auxiliaries who didn’t even share a language with any legions they may have been fighting alongside, and both the soldiers of the legions and the auxiliaries were illiterate, or had rudimentary reading and writing skills on the legion side only. So there was often lousy battlefield communications and discipline.) It’s all too easy to use real-world examples and unconsciously apply modern-day mindsets. THAT was my point.

We then turn to: “I've seen next to nothing about how Vangey gets on with Khelben. Do they get along well, given they have similar outlooks? Do they dislike each other because they are too much alike? Or do they generally not have any interaction at all?”
They generally don’t have much interaction at all. Khelben is too busy to put in personal appearances where he doesn’t have to, and he regards Cormyr as a stable kingdom under the constant scrutiny of Harpers he trusts, most of whom report to certain of the Seven (such as Storm) whom he might not always agree with in methods and aims, but whose ‘hearts he knows are in the right place.’
Yes, they are VERY much alike in operating style. To the extent that Khelben thinks about Vangey, he considers him right-headed (and to be supported, as far preferable to any alternatives for Cormyr) but foolish in that his reach far outstretches his grasp. In other words, Vangerdahast is a fool for trying to do a too-large job in a way that even a Chosen would have difficulties managing, when he has nowhere near the skills and powers of a Chosen.
That’s one of the reasons various Harpers have covertly ‘helped’ Vangey, down the years, by frustrating treason-plotting nobles, rendering the sort of aid Storm does in STORMLIGHT, and so on. And, that, in turn, is one of the reasons Vangey’s entire house of cards didn’t come crashing down: too many people desperately wanted him to succeed, and go on succeeding, because they didn’t want a Zhent-subverted extension of Sembia flooding through what used to be Cormyr (followed by Sembia rolling up and swallowing the Dales, one after another, and then - - after the inevitable bloody war - - serving Westgate the same way, before the inevitable collapse of Sembia into civil war between various ‘merchant barons’).



So saith Ed. End of Part One, and all that. BTW, Jerryd, in Ed’s example of the “six orcs in the ruined keep.” above, remember that when Ed started presenting the Realms in print there was no Internet, no d20 field and VERY few regularly-published magazines that consistently dealt with fantasy roleplaying games. So darn near EVERYBODY (players and DMs alike) who could get “The Dragon” read it, every month, and there was no way to communicate lore to a DM that his or her players couldn’t also get to read.
love,
THO
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