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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2005 :  20:44:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Reefy, from much Realmsplay with Ed as DM I can confidently say: in the Dales and most places in the Realms, Eldathyn (like clergy of Chauntea) are valued and revered as builders and nurturers by most folk. Even if you're a woodcutter, you're pleased that they replant, clean up, and replenish what you're hewing down.
So they're definitely not despised. I will, of course, send on your question to Ed for a proper answer in the fullness of time (possibly as late as the end of June; his "answers to do" pile is growing large. I'll have to restrain and flog him again, I'm afraid.
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2005 :  00:24:18  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed replies to this question from Lemernis: “I have a question for Ed about the level of magic in Faerun. The 3rd ed. FRCS pp 92-94 implies that adventuring magic is not particularly common, and in fact may be rather hard to come by. Is real magic (as opposed to gimmick magic) extremely familiar to most or something of a rarity? How difficult is it to come by? Is it found commonly in stores?”
Ed speaks:


Well met, Lemernis. The reason why Realms sources tend to be vague about “how much” magic is out there, and how easily obtained it is, is simply because “we” (the Realms designers) want to leave the ‘magic level’ of any campaign up to the DM and players in that campaign.
It’s easy to be misled by the endless writeups of new spells and magic items into thinking of the Realms as some sort of vast candy store of magic, and by seeing the Chosen of Mystra endlessly flitting about using magic (particularly if you forget that the Chosen of Mystra are charged by their goddess to EXPAND MAGIC USE throughout Toril, putting more magic into the hands of all who won’t use it primarily to seize magic from others, slay those who work magic, and by other means restrict magic).
In ‘my’ original Realms, magic is gained in two ways: by adventuring (as shown in a scene in THE TEMPTATION OF ELMINSTER, Chosen of Mystra actually go around ‘planting’ scrolls, spellbooks, and magic items in tombs, for adventurers to find), and by undertaking training or study (which often involves temporary service with) someone who possesses more powerful magic. Apart from ‘THE’ MageFair, magic is never for sale in a store (as opposed to ‘secret deals’ where someone sells or auctions individual items to discerning persons). The published Realms does have some magic stores, because some gamers prefer that style of play and the published Realms was intended to be the “campaign setting for all” for the 2nd Edition of the D&D game.
Myself, I believe you should pick the level of magic that’s most comfortable for you and your fellow gamers/DM, and always err on the side of ‘low magic’ or at least ‘mysterious magic’ (the sword glows, and can slice through coat-of-plate, but it started humming that one time, and on that other occasion made a doorknob glow green, so I’m not quite sure what else it does, and what it was crafted to do), to keep roleplaying to the fore and avoid any temptation or possibility for your game becoming a sort of football-huddle tactical arms race wherein attention shifts to game rules and mechanics in endless fighting.



So saith Ed. As one of his players, I can confirm that we Knights SAW a lot of magic hurled and carted (in the form of gleaming magic items) around, but rarely got our hands on all that much of it - - and when we did, we tended to worry, because it meant we were soon going to face a challenge that would test us to the utmost and we’d better be able to USE that magic if we didn’t want to perish. Which is one of the reasons that the first decade or so of real playing time took us up to the lofty heights of 7th to 9th levels!
love to all,
THO
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2005 :  02:26:30  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message
A slice of life question for the Bearded One.

Facial hair . . . how is it regarded in the Heartlands. Do nobles tend to shave, or do they have moustaches only, or is there no particular preferance. My question would apply mainly to Waterdeep, the Heartland Independant Cities, Cormyr, Sembia, and the Dalelands, as I realize that other regions are more influenced, in the current Realms, but similarities to more familiar cultures.

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."--Saint Thomas Aquinas

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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Reefy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
892 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2005 :  02:57:37  Show Profile  Visit Reefy's Homepage  Click to see Reefy's MSN Messenger address Send Reefy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Reefy, from much Realmsplay with Ed as DM I can confidently say: in the Dales and most places in the Realms, Eldathyn (like clergy of Chauntea) are valued and revered as builders and nurturers by most folk. Even if you're a woodcutter, you're pleased that they replant, clean up, and replenish what you're hewing down.
So they're definitely not despised. I will, of course, send on your question to Ed for a proper answer in the fullness of time (possibly as late as the end of June; his "answers to do" pile is growing large. I'll have to restrain and flog him again, I'm afraid.
love to all,
THO



Many thanks, and I've got all the time in the world. But do go easy on him, Wooly and others may get jealous.

Life is either daring adventure or nothing.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2005 :  01:58:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, fellow scribes. Reefy, rest assured that I shall treasure my friend and great dungeon master Ed, who herewith speaks on the matter of the language of drow:


Faraer, Zandilar, et al: I believe that the language spoken by the drow of today is rooted in the elf tongue spoken by the drow before they ‘went under,’ but all that survives from the elvish they spoke then (which of course has continued to be spoken by other elf races, and hence developed in a different direction, changing more rapidly in the last few centuries than it ever did in earlier times, thanks to all the intermingling of elves with other races, and words being needed for new concepts and things as elves encountered genuinely new customs, industries, and so on) is a smattering of vocabulary and the grammatical structure that underpins it all.
Which as Zandilar correctly points out, is the aspect of all non-Common tongues in Faerûn most neglected thus far. Most of us haven’t the time to delve into full linguistic development, particularly as most publishers would regard promoting such a thing (as anything but a web enhancement) to be financial suicide. What most DMs and Realms fiction writers are looking for is a handful of useful, cool-sounding words or phrases to give flavour to the speech of nonhumans (like the orc guards the PCs are creeping up on, the elf courtiers they’re eavesdropping on, or the dragon they overhear). In many cases, these will be used mixed in with Common, just as many English speakers of today lard their speech with individual words or even phrases from Spanish or French.
The reasons the drow tongue now shares so little vocabulary with surface elven speech is threefold: the Underdark is a very different environment than the Realms Above, so new names and terms were urgently needed, while a lot of words were no longer in daily use and started to fade; there was a deliberate political attempt to distance the drow from the Hated Ones who’d spurned them (other elves), just as there’s a recent real-world American mood of anger against France re. the political disagreements over Iraq, with moves to change “french fries” to “freedom fries” and so on; and Lolth / Lloth (and her priestesses, under her command) saw controlling the very speech of the drow as a sure means to complete dominance over other faiths (both the “former faiths” of the surface elves, and the various other faiths, such as those of Vhaeraun, Ghaunadar, and later Eilistraee, that the drow had been dabbling in).
So, yes, as Zandilar commented: “Drow and Elven should be a little like Italian and French as far as differences go. They share similar origins, but today they're totally separate languages.”
Please bear in mind that this is just my opinion. The drow are from European mythology, Gary Gygax brought them into the D&D game (and therefore Greyhawk), and I was assigned (in writing DROW OF THE UNDERDARK) to “Realmsify” them (yup, that’s the word that appears in my contract for that book), and later create a detailed D&D game presentation of Menzoberranzan to make sure “Bob’s drow” were “properly in the Realms” (see the MENZOBERRANZAN boxed set, which can still be purchased in miniature form). I created Eilistraee because I was asked to create a “god for good drow” when doing DOTU.



So saith Ed. Who’s answered Faraer’s question very well, I think, though of course debates on drow language and everything else drow will continue to rage for years, alongside creative work on drow speech. All of which proves that most of us have too much idle time, but we sure know how to choose a superior way to fill it!
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 03 Jun 2005 01:59:47
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4275 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2005 :  03:25:11  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

I created Eilistraee because I was asked to create a “god for good drow” when doing DOTU.




This gives me the impresion that you did not want to do so?
Also I was under the impression that both son and daughter were created at the same time, perhaps published material did this as oposed to your own view of the Realms?

"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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Si
Seeker

United Kingdom
18 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2005 :  17:12:01  Show Profile  Visit Si's Homepage Send Si a Private Message
Dear Lady THO and Ed,
Interesting stuff about the Drow as always but here's a very quick question that was stimulated by the realms list this morning. Realmsian terms for a troubleshooter? Someone who can solve a huge variety of problems, not necessarily with recourse to violence.
And yes I did think of 'Adventurer'

'Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; The creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin.'
Quellcrist Falconer
Things I Should Have Learnt by Now
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Faraer
Great Reader

3294 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2005 :  18:35:20  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Thanks guys, I'll pass this on. And we know there are multiple elven and drow tongues and dialects, which is both a help and a chasm when it comes to reconstructing them.

Ed has mentioned that he was asked to create Eilistraee a few times, and each time hasn't mentioned what he thought of the idea. Though we can infer that he didn't think it necessary, since he hadn't done it before, but likes the end result enough to sometimes use it by choice (Qilué wasn't TSR-prompted as far as the public record shows).
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Phoebus
Seeker

18 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2005 :  23:33:29  Show Profile  Visit Phoebus's Homepage  Send Phoebus a Yahoo! Message Send Phoebus a Private Message
Ed and THO--salutations.

Thank you so much for the answers--they are right along the lines of what I was hoping for.

Ed, I will be more than glad to let you know what I think tomorrow morning. Tonight, I have tickets to a Chinese Opera version of "MacBeth" at Charleston's Spolleto Festival.

Again, thanks!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2005 :  02:16:38  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Phoebus, you’re very welcome, and Ed sends an “Oooh” of envy re. those Macbeth tickets.
He also makes reply to Arthedain, in the matter of dire spectres of death:


Arthedain, the Realms does have various legends and bards’ fireside scare-tales about cowled, skeletal figures who wield scythes, in part because of Jergal (whose servants used to appear to mortals in this guise) and in part because of the magical Decks of Many Things (firmly part of the D&D rules up to 3rd Edition), in which drawing the death card summons a “minor death” to fight (and almost always slay, though one of the Knights of Myth Drannor famously defeated a death “called” in this way). The Hooded Death Wooly Rupert referred to is a powered-down variant of this (so that PCs could have the frisson without the doom). The Knights never encountered this little feature of the Gentle Mermaid, but they DID have fun with the magical chessmen, as I recall.
Now, Jergal IS still around, and can send his cowled reapers as silently-gliding, intangible apparitions as either harbingers of death, warnings, or (when certain tombs are breached) as actual “monster” foes (your chance to use the Entropic Reaver).
Now as for Terry’s Death (my favourite Discworld character, winning by a whisker over Granny Weatherwax): I’d LOVE to put him in the Realms, but of course legally can’t. I’m a great fan of Terry’s as well as a friend, and khorne, I quite agree that it’d be great fun if Death appeared in the Realms. I could do dozens of moments like these:

Elminster didn’t bother to look up. “Stand ye back, if ye’d live a few breaths longer,” he said a little wearily, his eyes on the rising wisps of smoke that had moments ago been a sorceress he’d loved, once. Her vicious attempt to slay him made what he’d had to do no easier.
THAT’S NOT A CONCERN FOR ME, I’M AFRAID.
Something in that voice made the Old Mage whirl around, and stare narrow-eyed at the tall, almost impossibly-thin figure standing a little too near. “Ye . . . I know ye.”
I’D BE SURPRISED IF YOU DID NOT. YOU’RE ONE OF MY BEST SUPPLIERS.

. . . And so on. Ah, don’t tempt me. When next I see Terry - - but no, we can’t mix Discworld and the Realms. And I don’t want to do ANYthing to impair the flood of Discworld brilliance in the slightest. As a reader, I treasure Terry’s gems too much.



So saith Ed. Heed, scribes assembled, and send those Grim Reapers gliding . . . “Me? I just like to watch.”
Ahem.
love to all,
THO
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2005 :  19:02:19  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello, all. Phoebus, you’re very welcome, and Ed sends an “Oooh” of envy re. those Macbeth tickets.
He also makes reply to Arthedain, in the matter of dire spectres of death:


Arthedain, the Realms does have various legends and bards’ fireside scare-tales about cowled, skeletal figures who wield scythes, in part because of Jergal (whose servants used to appear to mortals in this guise) and in part because of the magical Decks of Many Things (firmly part of the D&D rules up to 3rd Edition), in which drawing the death card summons a “minor death” to fight (and almost always slay, though one of the Knights of Myth Drannor famously defeated a death “called” in this way). The Hooded Death Wooly Rupert referred to is a powered-down variant of this (so that PCs could have the frisson without the doom). The Knights never encountered this little feature of the Gentle Mermaid, but they DID have fun with the magical chessmen, as I recall.
Now, Jergal IS still around, and can send his cowled reapers as silently-gliding, intangible apparitions as either harbingers of death, warnings, or (when certain tombs are breached) as actual “monster” foes (your chance to use the Entropic Reaver).
Now as for Terry’s Death (my favourite Discworld character, winning by a whisker over Granny Weatherwax): I’d LOVE to put him in the Realms, but of course legally can’t. I’m a great fan of Terry’s as well as a friend, and khorne, I quite agree that it’d be great fun if Death appeared in the Realms. I could do dozens of moments like these:

Elminster didn’t bother to look up. “Stand ye back, if ye’d live a few breaths longer,” he said a little wearily, his eyes on the rising wisps of smoke that had moments ago been a sorceress he’d loved, once. Her vicious attempt to slay him made what he’d had to do no easier.
THAT’S NOT A CONCERN FOR ME, I’M AFRAID.
Something in that voice made the Old Mage whirl around, and stare narrow-eyed at the tall, almost impossibly-thin figure standing a little too near. “Ye . . . I know ye.”
I’D BE SURPRISED IF YOU DID NOT. YOU’RE ONE OF MY BEST SUPPLIERS.

. . . And so on. Ah, don’t tempt me. When next I see Terry - - but no, we can’t mix Discworld and the Realms. And I don’t want to do ANYthing to impair the flood of Discworld brilliance in the slightest. As a reader, I treasure Terry’s gems too much.



So saith Ed. Heed, scribes assembled, and send those Grim Reapers gliding . . . “Me? I just like to watch.”
Ahem.
love to all,
THO


Lady Hooded one, could you ask Ed if he and Terry could cook up some non-canon fun story about DEATH visiting Toril for a while? One that cpuld be added to candlekeep?
Edit: I bought Elminsters daughter, The ogres pact, Shadows of doom and realms of the dragons 2 today. Damn, am I happy.

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

Edited by - khorne on 04 Jun 2005 19:06:39
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2005 :  19:11:32  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
What might be more interesting is the Lance Witches at a Mage Fair, with a possible Granny Weatherwax/Elminster Mage Duel.

Or a conflict between Ankh-Morpork and Waterdeep?

Or Lord Veteneri vs. Bane and Fzoul for the best Tyrant/Leader?

Just some silly ideas.

Also just because you can write a FR/Discworld novel, doesn't mean that Ed can't work with Terry on an original novel. If they can broker it.

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 - 05 Jun 2005 :  01:57:05  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, fellow scribes. Ed of the Greenwood herewith makes divers replies to queries hobgoblian:


KnightErrantJR, glad you liked ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. I think it’s the best ‘romp’ of my solo Realms books to date, too (ELMINSTER IN HELL is a more ambitious, but more flawed, book, and can arguably said to try to achieve much more than DAUGHTER, and to manage to achieve just a trifle more - - but then, tastes differ, and in the end I must leave judgements of my works to others).
Superb Lorelord of the Realms George Krashos has already directed you to Eric Boyd’s work, and Steven Schend’s masterful hinting, showing something of the once-greater power of hobgoblins. As mentioned, Troy Denning crafted Grodd, and I included many mentions of humanoid realms and formerly-greater realms in the original Realms (particularly in the Vast and the Moonsea North). Rest assured that WotC Realms designers aren’t done with showing us more of orcs and all goblinkin. Which inevitably leads me into NDA troubles, and the need to say only this to you: your conclusion as to my implication is quite correct; the hobgoblin cult was more dangerous to dragons than the humans have ever been (though the Cult of the Dragon, if you take the view that dragons achieving lichdom is a “danger” to those dragons, is slowly coming to rival their achievements). There are remnants of the hobgoblin realms of that time, as well as ruins and artifacts, and I intend to say more about them. If I get the chance, of course.
(If these words sound stilted, they are indeed: I’m dancing VERY carefully along the jagged interfaces of several sharp and pointy NDAs here.)
So stay tuned, and I’ll try to reveal more about hobgoblins in the fullness of time.


So saith Ed. Who lives with more frustrations than most of us can really appreciate, scribes - - especially when NDAs silence him for years at a time, and then products are cancelled or transformed into something quite different than they started out as, and it turns out he could have spoken on various matters years earlier, after all.
Ah, well. All any of us ever get to do is play the hands we’re dealt . . .
love to all,
THO
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2005 :  02:19:37  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message
Thank you THO, and Ed as well . . . I'm sure the hobgoblins appreciate it too!

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."--Saint Thomas Aquinas

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2005 :  02:37:32  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 Foxhelm

Or a conflict between Ankh-Morpork and Waterdeep?
You know, I always thought the two cities were very much alike in many ways. I could just see the UU opening a research facility somewhere on Book Street in Waterdeep.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2005 :  18:38:44  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello, fellow scribes. Ed of the Greenwood herewith makes divers replies to queries hobgoblian:


KnightErrantJR, glad you liked ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. I think it’s the best ‘romp’ of my solo Realms books to date, too (ELMINSTER IN HELL is a more ambitious, but more flawed, book, and can arguably said to try to achieve much more than DAUGHTER, and to manage to achieve just a trifle more - - but then, tastes differ, and in the end I must leave judgements of my works to others).
Superb Lorelord of the Realms George Krashos has already directed you to Eric Boyd’s work, and Steven Schend’s masterful hinting, showing something of the once-greater power of hobgoblins. As mentioned, Troy Denning crafted Grodd, and I included many mentions of humanoid realms and formerly-greater realms in the original Realms (particularly in the Vast and the Moonsea North). Rest assured that WotC Realms designers aren’t done with showing us more of orcs and all goblinkin. Which inevitably leads me into NDA troubles, and the need to say only this to you: your conclusion as to my implication is quite correct; the hobgoblin cult was more dangerous to dragons than the humans have ever been (though the Cult of the Dragon, if you take the view that dragons achieving lichdom is a “danger” to those dragons, is slowly coming to rival their achievements). There are remnants of the hobgoblin realms of that time, as well as ruins and artifacts, and I intend to say more about them. If I get the chance, of course.
(If these words sound stilted, they are indeed: I’m dancing VERY carefully along the jagged interfaces of several sharp and pointy NDAs here.)
So stay tuned, and I’ll try to reveal more about hobgoblins in the fullness of time.


So saith Ed. Who lives with more frustrations than most of us can really appreciate, scribes - - especially when NDAs silence him for years at a time, and then products are cancelled or transformed into something quite different than they started out as, and it turns out he could have spoken on various matters years earlier, after all.
Ah, well. All any of us ever get to do is play the hands we’re dealt . . .
love to all,
THO


After reading a dragon article on hobgoblins I got the feeling that they were some sort of "sleeping giants" and woe befall their enemies should they awaken.......

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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Mumadar Ibn Huzal
Master of Realmslore

1338 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2005 :  19:45:39  Show Profile Send Mumadar Ibn Huzal a Private Message
Interesting teasing from the master of Realmslore on hobgoblins. I wonder where those ruins can be found.

Tethyr comes to mind. Currently the hobgoblins there inhabit parts of Old Shanatar, but as hinted at in LOI, they have posed a greater threat at times... I wonder what was hidden beneath the leaves of the great forest of which now only the Wealdath, Shilmista and the Forest of Mir remain...
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2005 :  01:57:53  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, fellow scribes. I bring to you Ed’s reply to Zandilar in the matter of Caladnei’s looks:


Hi, Zandilar. Glad you liked ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. Faraer has quite correctly pointed out my approach to Realms fiction: there are no major or minor characters, just ‘main’ characters in a book who get the most page space. This is part of my ongoing struggle, down the years, against the prevalent preferred editorial style of “keep the story VERY simple” to hammer home to even the casual reader how rich and large and broad in scope the Realms is (well beyond the field of view of any single novel, including whatever Ed book is in your hand), and to sprinkle in details that herald future books, in such a way that it’s not obvious to the reader until those later books come out (so the setting will seem alive, and not an otherwise lifeless stage that hosts a series of contrived literary ‘events’ and plots).
For obvious reasons, I can’t say anything about those future tomes . . .

As for lack of detail, please tell me more, so I can avoid going too light on lore or in-passing description in future books.

And as for Caladnei: when writing the outline for EL’S D, I noticed that the (very brief) notes I had for Caladnei from Rich Baker (her co-creator, I believe, along with Sean Reynolds) were at odds with Troy’s text, so I “checked in” for a definitive response from WotC, and got this:

“As per her racial origins, should have dark hair, dark brown eyes, middling height, average build (not buxom, adventurer-active so not fat). Give her some unusual trait to suggest magic-wielding in her genes?”

Not wanting to have her skin glow with runes or anything that ‘obvious,’ I devised the shifting-in-hue eyes as that visible trait of aptitude for the Art.
Interestingly, there IS a tall, slender female War Wizard in my old Realmslore notes (which TSR and therefore WotC have): Roedele Thornmantle, who DOES have a mane of long flame-orange hair and amber eyes to boot. I’ve never referred to her as “willowy,” but if one takes that to mean ‘slender, agile, bend-not-break, lithe,’ then she fits the description. She’s never appeared in print to my knowledge, probably because of this notation of mine in her original entry:

Roedele Thornmantle, knighted by Azoun for her services to the Crown (some have cattily referred to these as “personal services,” but they seem to center around alley-fighting in rebellious Arabel, not anything romantic with the Purple Dragon), uses as her arms a circular white unicorn, head to the sinister, on a circular field of dark green bordered with white flames, and is a CG hf W9 who dwells in Suzail with her two lovers, the War Wizards Abrult Morglam (CG hm W6, darkly handsome, short, whittling wooden caricatures and dragons is his constant hobby) and Jakanna Bruen (NG hf W7, short-tempered, energetic, tanned, loves to climb trees and play pranks); the three are inseparable. Roedele’s known for a polite public manner that displays a very dry humour.

[I don’t think TSR was ready to show the world two bisexual ladies in 1986].
So my “in game” explanation would have to be that Caladnei borrowed Roedele’s appearance when crafting the incantation for a spell that was probably also some sort of defensive mantle - - and that this borrowing may originally have been intended to conceal her own presence, so the Mage Royal could officially be elsewhere, and uninvolved. When the events related in THE SIEGE befell, Caladnei may have hastily cast this spell she’d developed, because she had need of its powers, and forgotten or not cared that it temporarily gave her the appearance of a fellow War Wizard. Or the spell may well have been one given her by Vangerdahast, that gives the caster someone else’s appearance, and he had set the ‘other’ to be Roedele (and Caladnei used the spell in hasty need, either not knowing it altered her appearance or not caring).


So saith Ed. A good illustration of the glitches that sometimes arise when various creators are busily at work in the Realms - - and the easy-going spirit in which these glitches are best smoothed away.
love to all,
THO
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Zandilar
Learned Scribe

Australia
313 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2005 :  06:41:23  Show Profile  Visit Zandilar's Homepage Send Zandilar a Private Message
Heya,

Once again, thank you for your response. But this has lead to some further questions.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, Zandilar. Glad you liked ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER. Faraer has quite correctly pointed out my approach to Realms fiction: there are no major or minor characters, just ‘main’ characters in a book who get the most page space. This is part of my ongoing struggle, down the years, against the prevalent preferred editorial style of “keep the story VERY simple” to hammer home to even the casual reader how rich and large and broad in scope the Realms is (well beyond the field of view of any single novel, including whatever Ed book is in your hand), and to sprinkle in details that herald future books, in such a way that it’s not obvious to the reader until those later books come out (so the setting will seem alive, and not an otherwise lifeless stage that hosts a series of contrived literary ‘events’ and plots).
For obvious reasons, I can’t say anything about those future tomes . . .



Basically I had a desire to see more of certian characters, and it seemed to me that they were cut down too far in favour of things that seemed inconsequental to me. Like those two smugglers, for example - they took up too much page space, when I actually wanted to see more of Narnra. For a book where she's the title character, the only thing we ever saw was her spending almost half the book running along the rooftops of Marsember, and then she seemed to hmmm.. be of less consequence than I was expecting given the title of the book.

quote:

As for lack of detail, please tell me more, so I can avoid going too light on lore or in-passing description in future books.



Well you're always saying that the editors cut out a lot of your words... It's hard for me to explain. Maybe once I've read the book a second time I'll have a better idea of what I'm trying to say here. (And I think there was a bit much of the "it just so happens that these bad people Narnra smashes in on ALSO happen to be involved in THIS plot with the creature that COINCIDENTALLY just so happens to be..." And yet she doesn't exert any influence herself on those situations... Ends up going out with a whimper without really doing much at all.)

On another issue of detail - I have to say that I admire your ability to write descriptive passages so lushly and with great attention to detail. It fits in seamlessly with the action that is going on... Some parts of Narnra's chase through Marsember are just breathtaking. If I could just fit half the descriptive detail into my own stories, I think I'd be doing very well indeed. My novel teacher, Delia Falconer, used to empahsise the inclusion of such detail to an extreme point, but she never gave us a good enough example of what she meant for me to truely understand what she was talking about - most of the stuff she showed us was overly full of detail, but you got the balance just right in Elminster's Daughter.

quote:

And as for Caladnei: when writing the outline for EL’S D, I noticed that the (very brief) notes I had for Caladnei from Rich Baker (her co-creator, I believe, along with Sean Reynolds) were at odds with Troy’s text, so I “checked in” for a definitive response from WotC, and got this:

“As per her racial origins, should have dark hair, dark brown eyes, middling height, average build (not buxom, adventurer-active so not fat). Give her some unusual trait to suggest magic-wielding in her genes?”



Hmm... Interesting. Caladnei is half Chondathan half Tumeri right? Is that middling height for those races, given they're both described as tall, or middling height for the average human of no specific origin? The 5'03" given to her in FRCS seems to be short, at least to me, especially for tall races.

quote:

Not wanting to have her skin glow with runes or anything that ‘obvious,’ I devised the shifting-in-hue eyes as that visible trait of aptitude for the Art.


I definitely like her eyes as you described them.

quote:

Roedele Thornmantle, knighted by Azoun for her services to the Crown (some have cattily referred to these as “personal services,” but they seem to center around alley-fighting in rebellious Arabel, not anything romantic with the Purple Dragon), uses as her arms a circular white unicorn, head to the sinister, on a circular field of dark green bordered with white flames, and is a CG hf W9 who dwells in Suzail with her two lovers, the War Wizards Abrult Morglam (CG hm W6, darkly handsome, short, whittling wooden caricatures and dragons is his constant hobby) and Jakanna Bruen (NG hf W7, short-tempered, energetic, tanned, loves to climb trees and play pranks); the three are inseparable. Roedele’s known for a polite public manner that displays a very dry humour.

[I don’t think TSR was ready to show the world two bisexual ladies in 1986].


Not just bisexual, but a true triad if the two women are both bisexual... A full on polyamorous relationship. So I can see even more reason why they might not have appeared in print. Hard enough to get people to accept sexualities other than heterosexual, let alone true polyamory. Though I suppose if it was somehow presented as the two women being Abrult's wives it might have been marginally more acceptable to some, since polygamy has a long history... Particularly in the judeo-christian faith (though it has fallen out of favour in recent times... there are still some Mormons who practice polygamy, so I understand - not sure if there are any Jewish or Muslim sects that still practice it).

quote:

So my “in game” explanation would have to be that Caladnei borrowed Roedele’s appearance when crafting the incantation for a spell that was probably also some sort of defensive mantle - - and that this borrowing may originally have been intended to conceal her own presence, so the Mage Royal could officially be elsewhere, and uninvolved. When the events related in THE SIEGE befell, Caladnei may have hastily cast this spell she’d developed, because she had need of its powers, and forgotten or not cared that it temporarily gave her the appearance of a fellow War Wizard. Or the spell may well have been one given her by Vangerdahast, that gives the caster someone else’s appearance, and he had set the ‘other’ to be Roedele (and Caladnei used the spell in hasty need, either not knowing it altered her appearance or not caring).



Oooh that's an interesting explanation... Would Caladnei have got permission to use Roedele's appearance first? I know Vangerdahast might not have, but Caladnei seems to be a little more conciderate of other people and their feelings.

Also, what do you see as the differences between Wizardy and Sorcery? If Caladnei can come up with mantles like that on her own, does that push other spells out of her "known spells" list? Or is it just something she scribed down on a scroll to use at a later date (reading it straight off the scroll)? Or is it just one more thing she's taught herself to do with magic (which would mean it would be on her list of "known spells" at the expense of another spell)? Sometimes the way you describe magic sounds to me a bit like psionics... This mind ream ability that mages (of both stripes) seem to have is definitely more psionic in appearance than magical since it doesn't seem to be a particular spell they cast, just something they do... Not sure if that's making much sense.

I guess it is diffcult taking into account the game mechanics when writing a novel... Which is why people always seem to have great trouble translating novel characters into game mechanics. According to FRCS, Caladnei has no mantle like spells or even polymorph like spells... And she's only just high enough in level to be able to cast teleport (and cone of cold, which is her other listed 5th level spell)... She just appears, in the novel, to be able to do a bit too much for her stats to truely be a refelection of her (things that can't just be explained away as magical items, since she doesn't appear to use any or read any scrolls).


quote:

So saith Ed. A good illustration of the glitches that sometimes arise when various creators are busily at work in the Realms - - and the easy-going spirit in which these glitches are best smoothed away.



Indeed! Thank you again!

Zandilar
~amor vincit omnia~
~audaces fortuna iuvat~

As the spell ends, you look up into the sky to see the sun blazing overhead like noon in a desert. Then something else in the sky catches your attention. Turning your gaze, you see a tawny furred kitten bounding across the sky towards the new sun. Her eyes glint a mischevious green as she pounces on it as if it were nothing but a colossal ball of golden yarn. With quick strokes of her paws, it is batted across the sky, back and forth. Then with a wink the kitten and the sun disappear, leaving the citizens of Elversult gazing up with amazed expressions that quickly turn into chortles and mirth.

The Sunlord left Elversult the same day in humilitation, and was never heard from again.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2005 :  15:04:54  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Zandilar, Ed will give you a proper answer, of course (eventually: gods, his platter is full!), but to quickly touch on two matters you raised:

- - Ed deliberately wanted to (his words, now): “underscore the point that Narnra (the street-smart sneak thief, out of her depth in a strange place) WASN’T going to unbelievably start defeating older, wiser, stronger NPCs on all sides, controlling situations, rising like a conquering hero head-and-shoulders above royalty, nobility, veteran wizards, and Marsemban sneak thieves just a bit older and wiser than she was.”
Ed and I have e-discussed this point already; he was a bit dismayed by how static her character ended up in the last quarter of the novel, as the editors cut (and requested he make cuts) to shorten the text.

- - Caladnei is now Royal Magician of Cormyr, and has access not only to all of Vangey’s spellbooks (except the ones he’s REALLY hidden), magic items ditto, and the training he gave her to use them. The “mind ream” is part of this. The best way to think of it (yes, I know this doesn’t square with game mechanics) is that being Royal Magician is an office that comes with a costume. Put it on, and you’re putting on some minor superpowers woven into it.

love,
THO
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2005 :  19:41:32  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
Well met, The Hooded One!

I finally bought 'Hand of Fire', which was delightful and exciting to read. I wish to send my heartfelt thanks to Ed for writing this wonderful novel, which also gives a good description about caravans and costers in the Realms.

I know that I am in for a treat with 'Elminster's daughter', which I plan to buy next

My thanks to thee also, Lady, for being our own "Lhaeo" for the Sage of the Greenwood

"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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Rocheval
Seeker

21 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2005 :  01:13:21  Show Profile  Visit Rocheval's Homepage Send Rocheval a Private Message
Hello, sorry for any interuption I may have caused. I just want to ask Ed or anybody else here knowledgeable some questions. Forgive my impertinence.

1. I hope this hasn't been asked before but what form or power manitude will the next great evil be visted upon the Realms as predicted when the comet K'Thoutek appears in the Galleon Nebula?
Will it be a just a powerful baddie or a Valheru-like razing of the realms?

2. Okay maybe its a silly question. What dale or town/area would be the equivalent of my hometown sung of by a pretty good bard "Oh, the girls are out to Bingo and the boys are gettin' Stinko, And we think no more of Inco on a Sudbury Saturday Night."

3. I should have looked it up but I need your full name Mr. Greenwood to nominate you for the Canadian Walk of Fame if you don't mind me asking

"I will vanish into the night; change my body to wood or stone; sink into the earth and walk through locked doors. I will be killed many times, yet will not die" excerpt from Ninja No Chigri (Way of the Tiger series)
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29906 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2005 :  01:25:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Rocheval

Will it be a just a powerful baddie or a Valheru-like razing of the realms?


Woohoo! Another Feist fan!

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Rocheval
Seeker

21 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2005 :  01:37:20  Show Profile  Visit Rocheval's Homepage Send Rocheval a Private Message
Hee hee, yep. I was wondering if a realms equilvelent of Murmandamus, only more powerful, could arise. Woe indeed should that happen. Also don't you find some resembablence to the shadow beasts (can't recall the name) in Feist's world and the Malgurlamyn (sp. i know i'm terrible" in the realms. Makes you wonder if the Malgurlamyn have overseers.

"I will vanish into the night; change my body to wood or stone; sink into the earth and walk through locked doors. I will be killed many times, yet will not die" excerpt from Ninja No Chigri (Way of the Tiger series)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2005 :  04:02:02  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed of the Greenwood herewith begins a series of replies to the Morn family questions posed by Mark (MW Turnage). Ed’s answers will also be of interest to longtime Realms Lorelord and Keeper of the Flame Steven Schend.


1. “Aside from FRQ3's Colderan (their great-grandfather), have either of Randal and Silver Morn's parents been named?”

Ed replies: Yes, but not in print thus far (so far as I know). Colderan Morn, the Mage-Lord (who ruled Daggerdale over a century ago) married Belesaria Arfeather, who was poisoned by his drow “allies.” Her death enraged and embittered Colderan, who presumed his young son Belard (who simply vanished at the time of Belesaria’s murder) had been murdered. His spells never found any trace of Belard, who’d been spirited away by the drow to be held captive and used in bargaining to ensure Colderan’s obedience - - but promptly “rescued” from the dark elves by certain Harpers, including Elminster and Storm, to keep him hidden from both the drow and Colderan, and rear him with none of Colderan’s cruel tyranny.
Belard “Crownthorn” never knew his true heritage. A hardy, energetic, and amiable youth, he was raised as a Harper in Secomber, Everlund, and the lands between, by the Crownthorn ranger family. While serving with the Harpers, Belard met, loved, and wed a fellow Harper, a commoner from Firefall Vale by the name of Danathra Ilkwood.
After being sorely wounded in winter skirmishes with trolls, Belard and Danathra retired from active Harper service to Deepingdale, where they became coopers (and were much enriched by trade with Harpers in need of good kegs and barrels) and had a son and a daughter, Flars and Yethtrae.
When winter-fever killed Danathra, the grieving Belard went wolf-hunting, taking increasingly reckless risks until he met his end in the woods nigh Myth Drannor, fighting something far deadlier than a wolf. By then Harpers posing as brigands had “captured” Flars (then a young lad) and Yethtrae (scarcely more than a toddler).
Yethtrae they carried off to Waterdeep, where she was taken in by the Elondar family of scribes and raised as their own. She married the scribe she was apprenticed to, and as “Yethtrae Delraven,” she’s still alive today, as a respected, retired, elderly and frail accomplished scribe, bookbinder, and artist, with only faint memories of her childhood. Yethtrae and Deraun Delraven have two daughters, Elessra and Ilimbara, but no sons. (The Harpers regard this branch of the family as a ‘backup’ in case the Morn bloodline descending through Flars becomes extinct).
Flars was raised as a minstrel and forester (ranger) by Harpers of the Heartlands, who ranged along the western verges of the High Forest. On a rare visit to Silverymoon, he met Maerindra Elrproast, a young weaver of Amn brought to the Gem of the North by Ultos Dreahond, a crooked and lecherous Athkatlan weaver who’d hoped to make his fortune there but had fallen into Silvaeren disfavour and swiftly lost nigh-everything.
Flars and Maerindra were smitten by each other on sight, in a true “match made by the gods,” and were wed in a matter of days. Draehond was living on the dwindling prentice-fee paid to him by Maerindra’s parents, and tried to have her hunted and brought back to his custody on the (false) grounds that he was her bonded guardian. Harpers took advantage of the hunt to swoop in, spirit Flars and Maerindra away from the city, reveal his heritage to the dumbstruck Flars, and offer to assist them in reclaiming Daggerdale.
To make a long tale short, Flars accepted, Daggerdale was wrested from the various outlaws (supported by various lords of Zhentil Keep, many of whom were sponsoring various lawless “blade bands” to gain them wealth in the area, and keep all thrones weak, and lands perilous and troubled, except Zhentil Keep itself) who were ruling bits and pieces of it, and House Morn was restored to their rightful lands.
Flars and Maerindra had two children, Randal (named for Maerindra’s grandsire) and his younger sister Silver (named for Silverymoon), who grew to adolescence before Flars and Maerindra were brutally slain by Zhent hireswords seeking to install puppet lordlings in Daggerdale.
Once again the Harpers rode to the rescue, and Randal grew to manhood fighting alongside them to regain Daggerdale and scour out both his own lands and the valley of the Tesh (Zhentish ‘mercenary encampment’ territory by then, from which Zhent-sponsored warbands raided all surrounding lands).
They succeeded—thrice, the “last” time decisively, and the Harpers persuaded Randal Morn (who hated ruling, but loved wandering and fighting) to go adventuring in the Sword Coast lands under the direction of Khelben Blackstaff (I’ll say a little more about that in a later answer) and leave his sister Silver Morn as Lady of Daggerdale, ruling in his name until his return. (Again, the Harpers were cold-bloodedly separating the siblings in hopes of keeping Randal alive and to hasten his fathering of children of his own.)
The Zhents swept in again, with sizable armies this time, and overran Daggerdale. Silver Morn went into hiding (to prevent being forcibly married to the Zhentarim-installed “Lord of Daggerdale”), and Randal had to leave off his life of adventuring and come riding back to win his dale AGAIN - - with the Harpers both weakened and busy on many fronts, and greater wars about to descend on the Dales. I’ll say a little more about this in my answer to your fifth question.



So saith Ed. Who will continue his replies to Mark on the morrow.
love,
THO
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