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The Blue Sorceress
Learned Scribe

107 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2005 :  13:06:51  Show Profile  Visit The Blue Sorceress's Homepage Send The Blue Sorceress a Private Message
Mr. Greenwood and the Hooded One

Thank you for your answer I'm plotting ways to get a Cormyrean destrier under my next Realms paladin even now.


quote:
In short, I love horses, and riding, and even jousting (though you’d probably not be surprised by just how furious a trainer gets when he discovers some young lout is riding a thoroughbred bareback with a long pole for a lance, at another thoroughbred ridden by ANOTHER lout who’s also holding a lance; luckily for all, the horses were WAY too smart to let us get those lances anywhere near where they could have accidently injured anyone).



They usually are.

Now, tag, that you can usually get away with without engaging the horses' self-preservation instincts, and as a bonus it's an absolute blast. When you get three or four horses charging around an arena, as into the game as their riders are, things get very interesting.


Thanks again,
-Blue

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

I see your walrus and raise you a carpenter
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2005 :  02:05:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed tackles some of the questions recently posed by Phoebus (just elves and their feeding, this time; the rest to follow):



Phoebus, your questions about elves are very broad and hence my answers must be, too, applying to general tendencies (for elves in the Realms only) rather than holding strictly true for all individuals, but in general:
Elves derive energy from contact with sunlight and (purer the better) water (including winter ice and snow) in a way that humans cannot, aiding them in metabolic processes (including healing and actual body growth), but they do still need to eat and drink as almost all creatures of Faerûn do. (The sunlight and water allow elves to derive much more nourishment [complete breakdown of ingested materials] from food than the average human does, so that an elf can ‘go for longer’ on, say, a handful of berries than a human can.)
Most mythals ‘boost’ this process until access to water and sunlight ALMOST replace food (elves existing within a healthy mythal can dine only sparingly, perhaps once a month, if they wish to - - although most enjoy the tastes and sensations of enjoying good food and wine, and eat regularly, their bodies storing excess energy in a chemical manner that increases endurance rather than putting on body fat). So yes, your supposition about mythals is quite correct; note that in terms of sheer survival (as opposed to culinary enjoyment), a large number of wild berry-bushes inside the confines of a surviving mythal is enough to support a surprisingly large number of elves, particularly if they make forays forth to go hunting.
One of the reasons many elves dwell and trade with humans (and other races), aside from the endless entertainment the strivings of these other races provide (and there are elves who follow the deeds and careers of non-elven individuals or families as avidly as some real-world folk follow the unfolding lives of characters on favourite television or movie series), is that these other races are a ready source of food that elves can buy rather than spending as much time on procuring and preparation as they’d otherwise have to do.

Most elves, unless they’ve grown up getting their bodies used to other fare, NEED raw fruit and vegetables, and raw fish when they can get it, and enjoy subtly seasoned raw and cooked fruit, vegetable, and fish dishes, but can subsist largely on meat if they have to [enjoying it most when superbly seasoned and mixed with plant flavours through skilled cuisine], and when blood from the meat can be separately combined with other substances and imbibed. Most elves LOVE bread goods (especially light, sugary pastries), and fine wines. Elves can of course subsist on a wide variety of foodstuffs, but these are their favourites.
In a recent answer to Asgetrion, I mentioned that half-elven dwellings are crowded with growing plants; the same holds true for elven homes, and many of these plants are edible (in ways that a human wouldn’t necessarily find palatable; i.e. there’s much eating of raw leaves and roots that human tongues find bitter or violently hard on digestion).
This doesn’t mean that elves trying to ‘blend in’ in a human-dominated urban setting don’t have rooms or areas or even entire floors of their dwellings that are plant-free, or that can swiftly appear so (there are spells that can levitate a room’s-worth of plants up to float near a lofty ceiling until visitors are gone [or the elf residents need something to dump on the heads of unwanted intruders], just as there are spells that can transport water from afar to appear near such ceilings, to fall as a fine mist, for watering indoor plants). As far as self-sufficiency (earning coin, or having material for barter) goes, many elves tend in their homes plants that can be sold as herbs, plants that can be dried, ground, and mixed into spices, and flowers.
Elves ‘seed’ forest areas, farming not as humans do (with tilled, sunlit clear areas), but rather cross-pollinating plants, irrigating plants, grafting and planting seedlings and all of that [employing some magics not covered in spell lists to date, that enable them to so ‘cut’ plants in far less damaging ways than, say, a human gardener’s knife] to continuously spread and replenish supplies of favoured edible plants, moving new specimens to spots with optimal growing conditions so that these ‘lightly tended, for all passing elves’ plantings (as opposed to the common human “this field is MINE, and the crop yield must be maximized” approach) outstrip harvesting for food.
In this way, elves do alter forests, over long periods, continually ‘improving’ them [if the alterations a gardener makes on wild nature can be said to be ‘improvements’]. Yes, elves go hunting, especially to eliminate creatures that eat a lot of plants (bunnies, bears, and large avian flocks that ravage berry-bushes), but the answer to ‘what percentage’ of elves are engaged in farming or food-gathering must be: almost everybody; it’s something most elves spend several brief periods of time every day ‘working on,’ on an ongoing basis (living in harmony with the land means you CAN’T strip it, but must encourage renewal and regrowth of all you take, and more).
The more urban elves you mention, lacking ready access to such wild foraging areas (and if day trips out from the settlement are possible, they will be done, in family or just large bands for safety if need be), buy fresh vegetables and fruit in markets whenever possible, and dine on whatever else they can buy when such provender isn’t available.
You’re quite correct: in urban settings whenever possible, “most ‘common’ elf families have some inconspicuous, small-scale fruit orchards and vegetable gardens.”



So saith Ed. The dwarves answers next time . . .
love to all,
THO
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4266 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2005 :  08:56:05  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
What then of the Drow as most avoid sunlight?

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Bendal
Seeker

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2005 :  11:31:35  Show Profile  Visit Bendal's Homepage Send Bendal a Private Message
I thought I read somewhere that said the drow get some sustenance from the radiations that permeate the Underdark.
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Borch
Seeker

Germany
21 Posts

Posted - 27 May 2005 :  11:38:11  Show Profile  Visit Borch's Homepage Send Borch a Private Message
Hello all again,

first, I'd like to humbly ask if my question on the Cloak Wood in '04 has run into any NDA-problems or something like that?

Futhermore, I'd like to know if there is anything to say about the realm of Shavinar. I managed to find two references, albeit small ones, so far, one in Ed's article on Athalantar in Dragon 228 and one in the history of Najara in Serpent Kingdoms. If there is more I'd be really curious to know.

Thanks to both Ed and THO for taking the time to aid us in these requests


Sprich aus der Ferne,
heimliche Welt,
die sich so selten
zu mir gesellt
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2005 :  01:55:27  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow scribes. Ed tackles dwarves and their feeding for Phoebus, this time:



Hi, again, Phoebus. Okay, dwarves . . .
Dwarves (and gnomes, too) are great fisherfolk, of the ‘weir and trap’ method more than the hook-and-line or spear technique. They’re also great hunters (of the ‘herd prey over a killing cliff-fall, and then make a stew, carrying off marrow bones for use as trail food’ sort), AND also great ranchers and farmers.
Ranchers and farmers?
Yes, ranching rothé, wild boar, and other beasts with edible flesh and usable hides, that can be introduced into confined ravines and steep-sided, ‘prison’ mountain valleys. Like farmers, allow the growing herds to graze a valley bare, harvesting individual beasts as needed for food. At season end, keep just a few to regenerate the herd and move them to a second valley (or into mountain caverns for warmth and survival, if need be), and harvest the rest, leaving the first valley to regenerate edible plants.
Yes, farming edible cave and subterranean fungi. THIS is the ‘neglected secret’ of many dwarf and gnome diets: the near-surface Underdark in particular, but all depths of it to some extent, are home to a great variety of fast-growing fungi that can be sliced thin and fried, stewed, boiled to yield glues and teas and gravies, and that give dwarves (again, like elves, possessing metabolisms and chemical internal needs slightly different than those of humans, though they ‘work the same way’) all the nourishment they need, and a wide variety of tastes and textures [mushroom bread, anyone?]. This food source is self-regenerating unless fire is carefully and persistently used for eradication; think of real-life mildew that keeps coming back in the same spots.
Many southern and eastern gold dwarf tribes do breed, control, and harvest herds of grazing animals, and many cave-dwelling dwarves dine on bats, spiders, and various worms as delicacies. So except in the hearts of frozen glaciers, food’s never as scarce as one might think. Dwarves are fierce, daring, and competent hunters (and train their young continuously to replace their elders as such), but they are also patient and persistent gatherers and foragers, who’ll happily eat things many humans wouldn’t consider food, or would shudder and turn away from as ‘emergency edibles only’ (maggots, leeches, eels, gnawing worms).
However, you’re quite right: with so much trade-metal and gems to barter with, “most food the Dwarves get comes from trading (selling metalworks, weapons, armor, jewelry, etc., for foodstuffs, linen, etc).” Just like the elves, they enjoy the variety and the freedom (in terms of time not lost to foraging activities) buying food wins them. (Dwarves and gnomes distill potent vintages from Underdark materials such as molds, as well as enjoying human- or halfling-crafted beer and strong drink.)
It should be noted here that dwarves and gnomes have very strong digestive systems and tolerances for ‘slightly off’ tainted food and for strong or foul-tasting or highly-spiced food and drink. They also have the capacity to gorge themselves (become sluggish but not nauseated) incredibly when food is available (so that a dwarf who has six oxen to eat, raw or cooked, plus the expectation that food will later be very scarce, could settle down and stolidly and patiently eat most of those six beasts by himself, before lurching waddling on about his business.
Most dwarves and gnomes smoke fish and meat into dried, hard-to-human-jaws forms for trail use, and season such ‘hardscraw’ to taste, taking pride in getting ‘strong-but-just-right’ flavours in their scraw.



So saith Ed, who’ll tackle the last Phoebus question (aging and growing up) on the morrow.
love to all,
THO
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 28 May 2005 :  19:48:15  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
Well met, Lady Hooded One! Thanks to thee and Ed for all the lore you provide for us here, ´tis a noble deed indeed! I have some questions once again for the Great Sage of the Greenwood:

I was wondering about the similarity between Mages Regal and the Sword Heralds... When were these organisations established? Have existed "simultaneously", both lurking in the background at the same time? Have there been any conflicts/rivalries/alliances between them? What are the differences between them?

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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Mumadar Ibn Huzal
Master of Realmslore

1338 Posts

Posted - 29 May 2005 :  08:45:48  Show Profile Send Mumadar Ibn Huzal a Private Message
A rather mundane question for Ed: What do the Realmsians use to heat their buildings - especially in the cities?

The map showing trade goods etc in FRCS shows coal production - but only in Cormyr. And I cannot recall this as being a major industry in the Forest Kingdom. Nor have I seen much in the sense of coal mines - other than a few appearances in dwarven holds and the mine in the Baldur's Gate game in the Cloak Wood.

Wood is an obvious answer, but would require quite some trade and stockpiling in the fuel material for cities, especially those at more northern latitudes (Waterdeep, Silverymoon etc.) Again, I cannot recall having come across references of these types of trade for instance in novels or products dealing with for intsance Waterdeep.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  01:33:05  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. ISP problems kept Ed offline for a day (during which I see some good questions have arrived), but he’s “back on” now, and herewith answers the last Phoebus questions: “I think most people have a good idea regarding what a human of reasonable ambition and means can achieve in her first, say, 35 years of life (putting her in her peak, if you will). How does an Elf compare? Does a Mountain Dwarf or a Moon Elf really need to hit 250-300 years before his drive brings him to the same skill level as the aforementioned lady, or is it more a case of plateauing early and just relaxing through the rest of life? I understand the concept of different races = different mentalities/philosophies, but I've always felt that carrying this over to the "game" portion of the Realms (to maintain "game balance", for example) is a bit contrived.”
Ed replies:



Phoebus, I quite agree that this racial differentiation seems contrived, though I don’t disagree with trying to make the races different (and the colour that brings to the game, which can of course be readily ignored by players and DMs not wanting to include it).
However, the ‘big shift’ of the Realms to bring it to the ‘broad tapestry of reality’ that the world first started to see it in published form as having, involved my adapting it to the (1st Edition, unfolding) D&D rules, and this slow maturing of the demi-human races was present in those rules, so it’s there in the Realms.
I think of it like this: given proper amounts of nourishment (as opposed to, say, starved slavery) elves and dwarves physically mature about ten years later than their human counterparts, so that they stop looking like obvious children at about age 20 or 21 rather than 10 or 11. I don’t mean that they stop growing or even looking older - - I mean demihuman individuals stop seeming obviously immature to other races observing them at about that age (members of their own race can judge their approximate age far more accurately, given a ‘good look’ at an individual).
I don’t think demihumans are sexually mature when they stop looking like children; I believe achieving puberty takes at least another 80 years, and possibly as much as 120.
The time ‘in between’ being truly human and being sexually mature is the time in which demihumans start to grow up socially. So an elf or dwarf between, say, 20 and 100 can’t become pregnant or impregnate anyone, and so can sexually ‘play’ free of some social responsibilities. At the same time, they are dominated by surging hormones (and hence, mood swings), and are especially susceptible to all sorts of diseases (which they inevitably catch, and conquer). Also, during this long onset of puberty, their bones are still hardening, and in soft state lack some strength that saves them from breakages in some calamities, but also robs them of some accuracy that they’ll master later.
For elves and halflings, this prolonged adolescence is dominated, for most but not all individuals (so a PC adventurer could well be one of the exceptions, if desired) by judged-by-most-humans-as-wildly-frivolous-or-silly play, leading to an inability to stick with any one task or even pressing need for long (no attention span, a seeming complete inability to take consequences or impending disaster seriously).
For dwarves and gnomes, adolescence is dominated by a fierce, exploring independence that leads the younglings to be stubborn, proud, difficult, bad ‘team-players,’ and prone to racing off on quests or solo explorations.
Perhaps “ungovernable” is a good term to describe both the elves and dwarves. Isolated or in conditions of war or flight, they will, yes, be forced to ‘grow up’ or perish, but in terms of being trainable to specific skills (represented in the game by class abilities, skills, and feats) - - no, that comes later, at different rates for each individual. This is probably best simulated by having a favourite hobby or pastime (such as acrobatics, or archery, or a skill at identifying metals or the rocks that hold metallic ores) being mastered in this adolescence, leading to proper skills later.
This DOESN’T mean that every adolescent demihuman is a hopeless, helpless, dithering [and pouting or flipping out whenever spoken to or guided] crazy - - it just means that they’re unreliable, and can’t muster the drive to master any one thing. Unlike humans, they’re so rapt (lost) in experiencing the world and absorbing their cultures (song, dance, playing musical instruments, the lore of aeons, forge-craft, knowing stone by smell - taste - texture, divining directions underground and where water is, lineages and feuds and tribal tales, etc.) that they master everything a tiny bit at a time, not one skill and then another.
By the time 250 to 300 years of age is reached, demihumans are masters of their own bodies, world-view and awareness, and so can begin to acquire task skills (classes) and at the same time have a natural restlessness stirring that goads them into having the sort of personal drive, patience, and foresight that humans have (and that their own elders just go on developing more and more of, until death). This in turn makes them want to accomplish things, have adventures (as opposed to playing games) and so on.
In short, if an elf lass escapes from slavery at age eight to wander alone - - yes, she has no one to play with, and a need to master feeding herself and keeping herself safe, so she would ‘grow up’ pretty quickly (WITHOUT all the ‘lore of the People’ that an elf growing up far more slowly, with other elves, would possess). If the same escaped elf lass was found very swiftly by elves who took her in and raised her in an elf society, she’d mature more slowly with all of the usual play and blithe merriment.
This is my view, of course, not enshrined in the game. It’s what * I * think of the races as being, in the Realms, but feel free to disagree. I’ll be very interested in your opinion.



So saith Ed. Nice solid trio of posts, to good questions. Thanks, Phoebus!
love to all,
THO
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  07:34:15  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
But if elves can`t become pregnant until after a 100 years, what`s the deal with Keya Nihmedu in return of the archmages? She is pregnant and she is only 80.

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4266 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  11:15:36  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by khorne

But if elves can`t become pregnant until after a 100 years, what`s the deal with Keya Nihmedu in return of the archmages? She is pregnant and she is only 80.



The ages given or any general descprition applies to the average elf, there are always some that exists outside of the normal data. Thus certainly posible for some to mature quicker then expected. Just as average birth rate of elves have been exceeded in some cases by individual elfs.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Bendal
Seeker

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  13:30:40  Show Profile  Visit Bendal's Homepage Send Bendal a Private Message
ISTM that if elves and dwarves were somehow sexually active but incapable of becoming pregnant/impregnating someone, that would be a first for a race. If a male is capable of sexual relations, then he is capable of fathering a child. While a female could have sex before becoming capable of having a child, most if not all societies strongly frown on such behavior. For elves and dwarves to have a rather strange physiology like that is a bit much for me to accept.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  15:04:12  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
No offense, Bendal, but though we all have different things we can accept or not accept, * I* think it’s a “bit much” for you to judge elves and dwarves by purely 20th-century human North American real world standards.
The D&D rules are full of details of dragons laying eggs and snippets of info about imaginary creatures having their young this way or that. What’s so different about elves or dwarves? Or do they feel too close to human?
Not hostile or angry, just puzzled, here.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  15:15:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well said, Blueblade. Bendal, the questions Phoebus posed, that Ed has answered here, are rooted in the perhaps-contrived, perhaps-not game differences between humans and the demihuman races. Those differences are in the game, and were put there by Gary Gygax and TSR designers before Ed’s writings came along. They are, for D&D world settings, ‘established fact.’
You posted: “if elves and dwarves were somehow sexually active but incapable of becoming pregnant/impregnating someone, that would be a first for a race. If a male is capable of sexual relations, then he is capable of fathering a child.”
Not so. Check out any Jane Goodall or other intensive film or book on chimps or any of the primates (gorillas, orangs, etc.): all children engage in sexual behaviour from a very early age, not just when they’re capable of fathering children. Your contention that most real-world human societies frown on females behaving in such a way is correct, but beside the point. Last time I looked, most real-world human societies had no laws against elves or dwarves engaging in underage sex.
Hmmm. I see opportunities for new roleplaying games here. Oh, wait, been done, Bunnies & Burrows . . .
love,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29651 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  15:23:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bendal

ISTM that if elves and dwarves were somehow sexually active but incapable of becoming pregnant/impregnating someone, that would be a first for a race. If a male is capable of sexual relations, then he is capable of fathering a child. While a female could have sex before becoming capable of having a child, most if not all societies strongly frown on such behavior. For elves and dwarves to have a rather strange physiology like that is a bit much for me to accept.



We're speaking of races that are simply built differently... Sure, they've got plenty in common with humans, but humans don't live for centuries.

If you can accept that they live for centuries and can derive nutrition from sunlight, why not accept that they might reach sexual maturity in stages?

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Bendal
Seeker

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  17:10:13  Show Profile  Visit Bendal's Homepage Send Bendal a Private Message
Gee, state an opinion and get a host of responses.

You are all entitled to your's, just as I am mine.

BTW, if elves and dwarves were that different from humans, they would not be able to crossbreed with them. Obviously they are similar enough for that purpose, so they cannot be that much more different sexually.

As for 'sexual relations' encompassing non-intercourse by chimps, well yes that is so but irrelevent. Ed was clearly talking about intercourse when he said they 'experimented' sexually, because he also mentions they cannot cause or become pregnant. Perhaps I should have been more clear and said "intercourse" when I said if a male is sexually active he can impregnate someone.

The idea that a dwarf/elf lives nearly a century before becoming fertile, but can be sexually active in all ways, including intercourse (otherwise why the 'but they cannot impregnate or get pregnant' comment) just does not make sense, especially given Ed's comment that they have physically matured just 10 years later than a human would.
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rjs465
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  20:41:56  Show Profile  Visit rjs465's Homepage  Send rjs465 a Yahoo! Message Send rjs465 a Private Message
Whatever happened to the Castlemorn setting?
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Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5564 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2005 :  23:39:59  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bendal

Gee, state an opinion and get a host of responses.

You are all entitled to your's, just as I am mine.

BTW, if elves and dwarves were that different from humans, they would not be able to crossbreed with them. Obviously they are similar enough for that purpose, so they cannot be that much more different sexually.

As for 'sexual relations' encompassing non-intercourse by chimps, well yes that is so but irrelevent. Ed was clearly talking about intercourse when he said they 'experimented' sexually, because he also mentions they cannot cause or become pregnant. Perhaps I should have been more clear and said "intercourse" when I said if a male is sexually active he can impregnate someone.

The idea that a dwarf/elf lives nearly a century before becoming fertile, but can be sexually active in all ways, including intercourse (otherwise why the 'but they cannot impregnate or get pregnant' comment) just does not make sense, especially given Ed's comment that they have physically matured just 10 years later than a human would.



Well met

Aye, let us leave this particular subject at that, and move on to asking Ed more about other matters of the Realms and requests for lore. Thank ye

Alaundo
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2005 :  02:30:07  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed makes reply to Kentinal, khorne, and Bendal, in several matters:


Kentinal, Bendal is correct in posting that the faerzress radiations of the Underdark impart sustenance to drow. It’s best to think of faerzress as the “sunlight” of the Realms Below, as well as contributing to its magic. See pages 108 and 109 of the UNDERDARK 3.5e sourcebook for specifics, but drow require some heat, access to unpoisoned water (like all native-Underdark beings, they can safely imbibe mineral-rich and spore-laden water that surface-dwelling creatures would consider “foul” or “tainted”), and food. Drow have strong disgestive systems, and can cope with most surface food and alcohol just fine; in the Underdark, they need to regularly devour foodstuffs that include fungi that grows in moderately-strong or very strong faerzress areas (which is another reason why their cities, including the “fungi farms” most drow families maintain, are located in faerzress-strong areas). Note that this fungi can be an ingredient in soups, stews, sauces, or seasonings, and is even imparted in trace amounts in the flesh of creatures, from snails on up to pack lizards, that themselves devour the right sorts of fungi. Luminescent / phosphorescent fungi in the Underdark is ALWAYS faerzress-exposed (and therefore suitable to drow diets, to gain essential vitality).

khorne, Kentinal is correct: I was speaking in racial averages, and there will always be individual exceptions (just as some real-world humans are born blind or with deformities, or with conditions that cause them to age very rapidly or to mature very slowly or even never). The game posits adventurers as exceptional individuals, but NPCs (particularly rulers and important persons) are often exceptional too. So Keya is just an exception.

Speaking of which: Bendal, I agree wholeheartedly with Blueblade’s reaction to your comment (and THO was speaking of intercourse, when she spoke of primates). Elves and other demihumans aren’t humans, and should never be judged by human standards - - or we really are guilty of treating them as “humans with funny pointy ears, good looks, and different manners.” (And as for slow maturation not making sense to you: there are certain bloodlines of humans who do not physically mature until their third decade. One learns all sorts of odd stuff in university. :} )
By all means treat demihumans differently in your games, or omit them entirely; I know many gamers who run human-only campaigns (they have intelligent monsters as PC foes, but the “common folk who dwell all over the kingdoms” the PCs ride through are all humans). Do whatever sits well with you AND entertains your group of gamers best.

As for orc-quaggoth crossbreeds: my suspicion is that these were left unstatted for two reasons: to serve as a catch-all for several slightly different orc variants that divers designers developed over the years, and to recognize the need for DMs to be able to tailor PC foes for their own needs (as Damian said, stat them is such a way that they’re “the perfect bad guys for your campaign”). Call them whatever you like, but I have run TSR-prepared adventures at long-ago GenCons that used “ogroths,” so there’s a semi-official name if you’d like it.



So saith Ed. Elucidating the Realms wherever he goes.
love to all,
THO
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Bendal
Seeker

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2005 :  10:28:18  Show Profile  Visit Bendal's Homepage Send Bendal a Private Message
Many thanks on the orc-quaggoth crossbreed information, Ed. I've created stats for them if anyone is interested, making them stronger and bigger than orcs (3HD) and brighter than quaggoths, but without the rage and tending to use weapons.

As for the elvish maturation thing, I'll just let it lie...
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2005 :  18:14:38  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Folk here may in interested in the thread I've just started on the core story of the Realms.
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2005 :  21:40:24  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

As for orc-quaggoth crossbreeds: my suspicion is that these were left unstatted for two reasons: to serve as a catch-all for several slightly different orc variants that divers designers developed over the years, and to recognize the need for DMs to be able to tailor PC foes for their own needs (as Damian said, stat them is such a way that they’re “the perfect bad guys for your campaign”). Call them whatever you like, but I have run TSR-prepared adventures at long-ago GenCons that used “ogroths,” so there’s a semi-official name if you’d like it.




Orc-quaggoth crossbreeds are also known as "boogins" (but that sounds like a slang or regional term to me), based on a brief reference in the Shadowdale adventure in the 2e FRCS. I mentioned them in Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark as part of a discussion of the great quaggoth nation that once lay beneath the Spine of the World. As such, most examples of "boogins" are probably found in the North. I think Tom and I may have done unofficial stats in "Bestiary of the Realms, V1", but I don't have it handy to check.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2005 :  01:39:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed makes reply to the question posed by BelRex about whether or not the Shards of Selune are Chosen of that deity:


BelRex, all deities have favoured servants, and many of them empower these mortal creatures with ‘special powers’ for short periods or indefinitely. None of them have ‘Chosen’ in quite the same way that Mystra does (mortals with some of her divine power invested in them, that she can’t reclaim or entirely control), although several deities have champions or other ‘special servants’ whom they CALL ‘Chosen.’
The Shards are ‘special servants’ (yes, an elite guard, or rather, ‘fellowship of elite agents’ would be a better description), but they aren’t “Chosen” in the sense that Mystra has Chosen - - and if Selune has ‘a’ Chosen, I’m not aware of it. But then, I prefer the gods to be as mysterious and awe-inspiring as possible, and there are oodles of secrets, large and small, about matters divine as yet unrevealed to mere real-world mortals (ahem: you, me, and other Realms fans). So mayhap Selune does have a Chosen or Chosen plural, and we just don’t know it yet . . .



So saith Ed. Hmmm, I’d accuse Ed of opening a can of worms if I wasn’t privy to some secrets of the gods that he hasn’t let out of his sack of tricks, yet. As it is, I merely smile enigmatically, keep calm, stay brave, and watch for the signs . . .
love to all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2005 :  02:10:49  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

As such, most examples of "boogins" are probably found in the North. I think Tom and I may have done unofficial stats in "Bestiary of the Realms, V1", but I don't have it handy to check.

Yes Eric, they're in the "Bestiary" .

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Reefy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
892 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2005 :  17:38:06  Show Profile  Visit Reefy's Homepage  Click to see Reefy's MSN Messenger address Send Reefy a Private Message
Hi Ed and THO. Once again I must express my thanks at this incredible service you provide for us here, it's very much appreciated.

Anyway, the current character I'm playing is both a cleric of Eldath and a Harper. I've recently acquired Eric Boyd's rather splendid Faiths and Avatars and this has certainly helped get some things straight. However, I realise it only really scratches the surface given the wealth of unwritten information about deities and their clergy so I have a few questions about Eldath I would like answering.

Firstly, how are clegy of Eldath perceived by the average commoner? As you prefer specifics, we'll go with the Dales because that is the area I'm focusing on. How do people react to pacifists in such a violent world? They can be the subject of ridicule in our world and often seen as naive, does this hold true in the Realms in general or only in certain quarters?

Secondly, Eldathyn have good ties to the Harpers, how do clergy who Harp manage to balance the dogma of the faith and their Harper duties? What would happen if asked to do something for the Harpers which goes against the tenets of faith? Again, this is focused specifically on the Dales. I would imagine the two are far from incompatible and that under a different branch of the Harpers where the end justifies the means more, there may be more of a clash.

Also, any information of Eldathyn shrines or holy sites in the Dales would be much appreciated, as would any paritcular holy days of note.

Many thanks for this.

Life is either daring adventure or nothing.
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