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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  00:08:30  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
Rhauligan is a Harper
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2238 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  00:54:49  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Even for Mr. Athans to cough and choke over, before he slashes it? Like Ed’s famous “sacrificial lamb” scenes? To protect your OTHER text?
love,
THO




Ed actually wrote scenes as sacrificial lambs? Clever... Too bad we can't read some of those sacrificial bits.



Reminds me of a telephone conversation with Ed, in which we were discussing bits that had been editied from various projects. I mentioned a line from an early draft of THE MAGEHOUND in which Matteo finds Tzigone copying spell scrolls onto velum sheets, using a spell that ran wildly amok. He asked her if there'd been any fatalities, to which she replied, "Not unless you count the velum, in which case I've buggered more sheep than a Calishite shepherd." Ed replied, "Oh, you should have told the editor, 'The sheep buggering stays. This is an issue of artistic integrity; I feel very strongly about sheep buggering.' They'd have cut it anyway, but they'd have been so appalled that they would have left some of your other bits alone."

We'd discussed the advisability of writing an entirely gratuitous elven orgy and just slipping it in among the pages of CITY OF SPLENDORS, but we never got around to it.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 05 Sep 2005 01:01:37
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29725 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  02:42:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Reminds me of a telephone conversation with Ed, in which we were discussing bits that had been editied from various projects. I mentioned a line from an early draft of THE MAGEHOUND in which Matteo finds Tzigone copying spell scrolls onto velum sheets, using a spell that ran wildly amok. He asked her if there'd been any fatalities, to which she replied, "Not unless you count the velum, in which case I've buggered more sheep than a Calishite shepherd." Ed replied, "Oh, you should have told the editor, 'The sheep buggering stays. This is an issue of artistic integrity; I feel very strongly about sheep buggering.' They'd have cut it anyway, but they'd have been so appalled that they would have left some of your other bits alone."


I can see Tzigone saying that... Matteo's reaction would have been great!

But this does show us more of how Ed's mind operates... Thanks, Elaine!

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

We'd discussed the advisability of writing an entirely gratuitous elven orgy and just slipping it in among the pages of CITY OF SPLENDORS, but we never got around to it.





Ah, the things editors won't let thru...

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Mkhaiwati
Learned Scribe

USA
252 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  03:04:30  Show Profile  Visit Mkhaiwati's Homepage Send Mkhaiwati a Private Message
quote:
Neither Cloak & Dagger nor City of Splendors: Waterdeep list Glarasteer among the ranks of the Tel'Teukiira.

Both list Myrmeen Lhal as a Moonstar, though. An Arabellan halfling, Joser Minstrelwish, is also listed in Cloak & Dagger as a member of the Tel'Teukiira.

I suppose that Glarasteer could also be in the Moonstars, but I tend to doubt it.


yep, I checked Cloak & Dagger just to make sure, though. In those pages it does say that they do not wear Harper pins, which leads me to believe that Glarasteer is part of the Harpers, not Moonstars since he is mentioned wearing one. I just wanna make sure that is the case before moving along with those plans. It would have been easier for me (not the players) if he was part of the Tel'Teukiira, and of course.. he could just have a change of heart....

quote:
quote:Originally posted by The Hooded One
Rhauligan is a Harper


okay, I guess that works. I didn't see it in the old replies, but I also haven't finished perusing them. Thanks.

Mkhaiwati

"Behold the work of the old... let your heritage not be lost but bequeath it as a memory, treasure and blessing... Gather the lost and the hidden and preserve it for thy children."

"not nale. not-nale. thog help nail not-nale, not nale. and thog knot not-nale while nale nail not-nale. nale, not not-nale, now nail not-nale by leaving not-nale, not nale, in jail." OotS #367
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  07:12:01  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

We'd discussed the advisability of writing an entirely gratuitous elven orgy and just slipping it in among the pages of CITY OF SPLENDORS, but we never got around to it.





Ah, the things editors won't let thru...



But elven orgies are so Boring. Just a lot of palm and ear licking is enough for them to consider it an orgy....

Now halflings--THEY know how to party, and you know what they say about big feet.... I've had Ed tell me of noble soirees the Company interrupted in Waterdeep that involved halfling chandelier swinging and punch-bowl diving, so one doubts that their more private moments are held to higher decorum.

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  08:45:40  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 Steven Schend

But elven orgies are so Boring. Just a lot of palm and ear licking is enough for them to consider it an orgy....
I'd like to ask you how you know this exactly, but then... there are just some things I don't want to know!

quote:
Now halflings--THEY know how to party, and you know what they say about big feet....
Yeah... it costs a lot gold to cover those things... .

quote:
I've had Ed tell me of noble soirees the Company interrupted in Waterdeep that involved halfling chandelier swinging and punch-bowl diving, so one doubts that their more private moments are held to higher decorum.
Hehe... I'm sure they involve exotic foods and the like .

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  08:50:31  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

I've had Ed tell me of noble soirees the Company interrupted in Waterdeep that involved halfling chandelier swinging and punch-bowl diving, ...
I am soooo using that in my campaign tomorrow afternoon.

Thankee Steven for giving me an out just in case the grim events I've planned for play tomorrow sour the mood overmuch.

Also a thanks to Ed and Elaine for giving us the Gemcloaks. I know not what fate will befall them (I'm only on Chapter Two), but can say heartily they'll survive long enough in my Campaign to play-battle at least once in the just bought but not yet furnished or occupied Whaterdhavian mansion the players in my game have acquired.

There's nothing quite like a perfect-for-borrowing scene straight from a Realms novel, complete with dialogue and supporting NPC cast!*

Thank you to all again!

And now a question if I may, so that neither Alaundo or the Sage should become annoyed: On average, is the typical reaction of the City Watch of Waterdeep consistent throughout the various Wards of the City whenever young noblemen engage in ‘harmless’ destruction while play-battling on someone else’s property and are confronted by the Watch, such that said nobles can offer up the promise of compensation with the expectation that they’ll not be arrested, be given back their weapons and be allowed to go on their merry way?

J. Grenemyer

*This, to me, is what makes a $25.00(US) hardcover worth the price and then some, because the novel does almost as much as a typical splatbook to improve my Realms Campaign in addition to being an excellent, entertaining read.

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

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

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

Edited by - Sanishiver on 05 Sep 2005 08:54:00
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  09:12:59  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 Sanishiver

Also a thanks to Ed and Elaine for giving us the Gemcloaks. I know not what fate will befall them (I'm only on Chapter Two), but can say heartily they'll survive long enough in my Campaign to play-battle at least once in the just bought but not yet furnished or occupied Whaterdhavian mansion the players in my game have acquired.
The Gemcloaks are fast becoming one of my favorite elements of CoS. Their "noble" antics and exagerrated hijinks have fit with the "aimless and ambitionless wealthy heirs" stereotype in a much better fashion than I originally expected.

quote:
And now a question if I may, so that neither Alaundo or the Sage should become annoyed: On average, is the typical reaction of the City Watch of Waterdeep consistent throughout the various Wards of the City whenever young noblemen engage in ‘harmless’ destruction while play-battling on someone else’s property and are confronted by the Watch, such that said nobles can offer up the promise of compensation with the expectation that they’ll not be arrested, be given back their weapons and be allowed to go on their merry way?
And an additional question to Ed, following on from Sanishiver's query -

Ed,

What can you tell us about other previous "Gemcloak"-like organisations (and I use the term loosely) who may have decided to ply their "trade" in Waterdeep? Certainly, every noble or wealthy family in the City of Splendors has the potential to "breed" such individuals, but I'd like to know more about specifics groups that may exist (or perhaps existed in the past) that we have never even heard about.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

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

Edited by - The Sage on 05 Sep 2005 09:18:33
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2005 :  12:29:27  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

Now halflings--THEY know how to party, and you know what they say about big feet....


They wear large shoes?

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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Gareth Yaztromo
Seeker

Australia
37 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2005 :  11:02:06  Show Profile  Visit Gareth Yaztromo's Homepage Send Gareth Yaztromo a Private Message
Ed or the Great Hooded One, I was wondering were the Knights of Myth Drannor created by the roleplayers or did you (Ed) create them for the roleplayers. AND if the roleplayers did create them how was the issue of copyright (in regards to the roleplayers creating the characters' names etc and you using them in your novels) handled? *LOL* Sorry for the long question...

"Gereth Yaztromo is arguably the most famous wizard of Allansia due to his part in a number of the most well known sagas of that region from the third century AC. He is also known as one of the three Star Pupils of the Grand Wizard of Yore.."
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2005 :  12:03:05  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gareth Yaztromo

Ed or the Great Hooded One, I was wondering were the Knights of Myth Drannor created by the roleplayers or did you (Ed) create them for the roleplayers. AND if the roleplayers did create them how was the issue of copyright (in regards to the roleplayers creating the characters' names etc and you using them in your novels) handled? *LOL* Sorry for the long question...



Hooded one answered part of this question not long ago

I believe she said they sold the characters to TSR for 1 USD each, one of the players also wanted a mini of his character if TSR ever made one (Who knows he might get one out of the DDM line)

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2005 :  20:24:07  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

But elven orgies are so Boring. Just a lot of palm and ear licking is enough for them to consider it an orgy....


Gold star, Steven! That's my favorite bit of Elminster in MD.

Did Ed just make that up, or did it come from somewhere, I wonder?

quote:
Now halflings--THEY know how to party, and you know what they say about big feet.... I've had Ed tell me of noble soirees the Company interrupted in Waterdeep that involved halfling chandelier swinging and punch-bowl diving, so one doubts that their more private moments are held to higher decorum.



I've always wondered about TIEFLING parties (and I use the word "parties" loosely). I mean, the fiend-touched don't tend to congregate that much, but raging demonic/devil blood, possibly from things like succubi and erinyes -- actually, I would guess those are more likely than the alternatives -- and the various lower plane lords who enjoy themselves (and others) a little too much. . . .

Well. 'Twould be interesting.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2005 :  23:10:24  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message
Ed,

I have a serious question regarding one of your rather nefarious creations, Larloch. What is your vision regarding him? Is he this ultra-being that simply cannot be destroyed no matter what? Will Mystra step in a lay a godlike smack-down on any do-gooders that my want to do him harm? Can you even get to him? For instance if a group of powerful do-gooders somehow find a way to get at him without having to slay every single undead that he has in his service, what would you say to Larloch getting his undead hind-end whooped? More importantly, how much lee-way does a DM have regarding some of these more powerful denizens of Faerun? Please be as detailed as you have time for.

Thanks!
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2005 :  23:27:44  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Elf_Friend

Ed,

I have a serious question regarding one of your rather nefarious creations, Larloch. What is your vision regarding him? Is he this ultra-being that simply cannot be destroyed no matter what? Will Mystra step in a lay a godlike smack-down on any do-gooders that my want to do him harm? Can you even get to him? For instance if a group of powerful do-gooders somehow find a way to get at him without having to slay every single undead that he has in his service, what would you say to Larloch getting his undead hind-end whooped? More importantly, how much lee-way does a DM have regarding some of these more powerful denizens of Faerun? Please be as detailed as you have time for.

Thanks!



Ed's discussed Larloch in the past in these threads. Basically he said, "Leave Larloch alone because he can shatter Faerun and PC's will be dead after Larloch's done playing with them. Do remember that PC's have to sleep and undead do not."

See the reply from November 10th, 2004.

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 06 Sep 2005 23:32:53
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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2005 :  23:58:35  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

quote:
Originally posted by Elf_Friend

Ed,

I have a serious question regarding one of your rather nefarious creations, Larloch. What is your vision regarding him? Is he this ultra-being that simply cannot be destroyed no matter what? Will Mystra step in a lay a godlike smack-down on any do-gooders that my want to do him harm? Can you even get to him? For instance if a group of powerful do-gooders somehow find a way to get at him without having to slay every single undead that he has in his service, what would you say to Larloch getting his undead hind-end whooped? More importantly, how much lee-way does a DM have regarding some of these more powerful denizens of Faerun? Please be as detailed as you have time for.

Thanks!



Ed's discussed Larloch in the past in these threads. Basically he said, "Leave Larloch alone because he can shatter Faerun and PC's will be dead after Larloch's done playing with them. Do remember that PC's have to sleep and undead do not."

See the reply from November 10th, 2004.


NM that clears things up. Thanks. I have another part to that question but I'll come back with it later...

Edited by - Mystery_Man on 07 Sep 2005 00:03:48
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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2005 :  00:21:59  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message
Hi Ed,

More Larloch questions. I'm wanting your thoughts regarding who his rivals are that might still be alive, or undead. To what expense would he spare to get rid of them and/or get them under his control? What could a high level character do for him to sit up and take notice?

And Farear wants to know if he's gay. You don't have to answer that though.

Thanks!!

Edited by - Mystery_Man on 07 Sep 2005 00:29:15
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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2005 :  00:28:44  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

I had in mind whimsical.



Like will he do show tunes?
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RevJest
Learned Scribe

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 07 Sep 2005 :  02:47:25  Show Profile  Visit RevJest's Homepage Send RevJest a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

However, let me try. I did a podcast with Calye Calhoun and Mike Stackpole.


Any idea where this podcast can be found? I put those names in to Google and couldn't find it.

- RJ

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2005 :  04:18:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow scribes of Candlekeep. Herewith, Ed’s reply to Pipers Youth:



Hi, Jason. You’re welcome, and thanks for the nice words about my true goodness (is THAT what it is? I just thought this mirror made me look weird . . .).
Waterdhavian justice is a matter of meticulous recordkeeping, with “backup” written records of every sentence (and pardon, and retrial, and magister’s comments) kept at the Palace, in vault-caverns inside Mount Waterdeep, at a secret location outside Waterdeep, and at the Heralds’ Holdfast (where they provide something of a social record to the Heralds). So yes, all identities are uncovered (by mind-exploring magic if need be) and recorded.
As for the little fun piece for SILVERFALL, I simply sat down and did the sort of humour piece that I love to write, but which so seldom “fits” any of my Realms writing opportunities these days. It wasn’t a dream, but I did make it up as I went along. I didn’t want to do a boring character profile, or try to work up stats for anyone, and if I settle on one of the Seven, I inevitably slight the other six - - so I decided to do something that would be a fun read for anyone visiting the website and show everyone something of the banter and interaction between the Seven (which they’ll get much more of in SILVERFALL, making the piece a “fair” companion to the book). In other words, something useful to roleplaying but also just good fun for non-gamers.
I’d love to do it again, but I have a castle-full of contracted paying gigs to do and hand in first (before they get much more overdue!).



So saith Ed. Who often leaves me chortling with the stuff he writes to me, that the wider world never sees. No, I probably shouldn’t share. Let’s just say that Ed’s worked hard over the years making it almost impossible for other individuals to make me blush. HE still can, though.

Oh, and a postscript from Ed, re. halfling orgies: to The Sage, it’s not the exotic foods so much as it’s how far they can SLIDE in exotic foods.

Also a postscript from Ed to Mkhaiwati: yes, Rhauligan is a Harper but not a Moonstar. His allegiance to Cormyr precludes joining the Moonstars.

And yet another postscript, this one to Gareth Yaztromo from me: Ed created all of the Knights, with names, stats, and backgrounds. We took them over from there, “bringing them alive” if you will, from the character traits and sayings Ed had outlined (“growing” their aims in life from the starter ones Ed provided, for example). When TSR wanted the Realms, we all had to sign release forms, or our characters would just “vanish” from the published Realms. We all did sign those forms, of course.

Another postscript from Ed to Erik Scott de Bie: yes, I made those elven erogenous zones up (plus the backs of the knees, and the throat), tips of the ears being THE most sensitive (when one is in the mood: having part of an ear sliced or bitten away wouldn’t send an elf into orgasmic glee).

Oh, yes, and Ed promises to get to a Larloch reply soon; seems this is also blowing up on the Realms list. Let this much be said right now: Ed’s REALMS OF THE ELVES tale will include some very brief lore enlightenment re. Larloch.
love,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2005 :  05:10:19  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 The Hooded One

Oh, and a postscript from Ed, re. halfling orgies: to The Sage, it’s not the exotic foods so much as it’s how far they can SLIDE in exotic foods.
How far...! I'll have to remember that the next time I want to feature a halfling orgy in my campaigns. I might offer it up as an "attraction" and charge one gold to watch and two for who ever wants to participate .

Oh, and on another matter... I just received DRAGON #334 -- with the article on Crimmor. I'd just like to let Ed know how pleased I was to see such a wonderful take on the City of Caravans. It felt like I was back reading Realmslore in 2e. Great stuff Ed . Keep them coming!

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

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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Mystery_Man
Senior Scribe

USA
455 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2005 :  15:57:30  Show Profile  Visit Mystery_Man's Homepage Send Mystery_Man a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Oh, yes, and Ed promises to get to a Larloch reply soon;


Sweet! Can't wait.

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
...seems this is also blowing up on the Realms list.
love,
THO



It certainly does. Doesn't it?
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David Lázaro
Seeker

Spain
37 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2005 :  02:22:33  Show Profile  Visit David Lázaro's Homepage Send David Lázaro a Private Message
Well met Ed and THO,

I've got a pair of questions about the Silver Marches. I've noticed that as the cities are independent of each other and only recently have formed a league that nobility and titles maybe are different there. Have the Silver Marches got the usual share of counts, barons and other nobles or are matters handled in a different way?

Looking through the Lay of the Land section of the sourcebook I've only noticed dwarf and orc kings. Of the human leaders, the only conventional titles are lord, lady and sheriff. There are loads of more colourful titles like elder, firs speaker or holdmaster.

I'll do with a yes (there are counts and barons and other scruffy figures around) or no (those don't abound) answer. But if you wish to elaborate a little bit about how and why the system is different a little bit when you catch the time, I'm sure it would click more easily in my thick skull.

This question came when I wanted to insert a plot about a feud between two noble houses in my campaign only to find that maybe a baron wouldn't fit at all. This raised the second question: would it make sense to resolve a feud between High Hold's Holdmaster's wife and another noble family using judicial champions in Silverymoon? Or is it too brutish for the Jewel of the North? This is my second one about the laws of Silverymoon in two year's time, and hopefully a truly yes or no question.

And, as always, thanks a lot beforehand.

Edited by - David Lázaro on 13 Sep 2005 02:23:13
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2005 :  05:21:40  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. As promised, Ed attempts a reply about Larloch to Elf_Friend and the various posters who’ve been sparring on the Realms-list about this same character:


Ah, yes, Larloch. You’ll get to see him (briefly) in my story in REALMS OF THE ELVES, and that appearance will show that as Faraer asked, he can be whimsical, and he knows both boredom and a personal code of honour.
It was never my intention to use Larloch to humble PCs (brute force doesn’t humble anyone - - only the ability to awe players does), but - - as with the gods - - he can of course be used that way.
It was my intention, as I was turning the Realms from a purely fictional setting to a 1978-version AD&D game setting, to make it as realistic as possible. One of the necessities in doing that, and in giving PCs challenges, is to have entities around (gods, demigods and divine servants, heads of churches, temporal rulers, established high-level adventurers, and so on) who are stronger than the PCs. This not only gives them future foes and “standards” to measure themselves against and aspire to surpassing, it makes the world seem ongoing rather than newly-created around the PCs as an artificial obstacle course.
Larloch is one of those VERY powerful NPCs. An undead who’s been chasing and accumulating power for so long that he’s beyond possibly being challenged by most (for example) human kings or even archmages. An entity who’s conquered and ruled kingdoms, both openly and through dupes, so often and for so long that he’s quite bored with doing so, and has moved on to manipulating and steering events for his own entertainment (somewhat in the same way that Elminster manipulates and steers, though for different ends). A being so powerful in magic must inevitably “come to an agreement” with at least Mystra and Azuth, and so his doings and ultimate fate are in some manner bound up with theirs: to destroy Mystra may be to doom or destroy Larloch.
As a storytelling and roleplaying DM, I’ve always been rather puzzled by players who see EVERYthing powerful as a target they MUST destroy (hence the constant demand for avatar statistics, and the constant cries of, “I MUST kill Elminster! I’ve gotta smash Larloch!” or gloating boasts of, “I did it! I tore Elminster apart in my campaign!”
Fine, if that turns your crank. But if that’s ALL that turns your crank, what are you going to do for kicks tomorrow?
You’ve just killed Elminster, and Larloch the day before, and you tore apart Szass Tam and Manshoon before that, and laid waste to Shade and Thay and personally ate the last Phaerimm the tenday previous . . . now what? Is that the only way you can enjoy D&D?
My players are living proof of how much satisfaction one can get by sparring with foes for (literally) years, and ending up in grudging mutual respect (with the PCs inwardly gleeful because they’ve manipulated the foe into doing something they wanted him to do without him realizing it . . . and so have demonstrated for themselves that they’ve moved beyond “my blade swung faster, and I drew more blood and so beat you” adventuring, into being truly worthy of significance in Faerűn, because they have now managed to accomplish things WITHOUT brute force.
To quote from my November 2004 reply on this same topic:

In the same way as too many PC dragonslayings depend upon the dragon being played as a dumb brute, it’s highly unlikely that any PC party will have the sheer power to take down Larloch - - and in any war of attrition against his many, many liches and modified powerful undead minions (forty blazing bones over here, a demi-lich over there, various hulking gigantic undead concoted of many battle dead yonder,deceptions galore ("That wasn't Larloch, that was your KING enspelled to look like Larloch! NOW you're in trouble!"), traps that release disease, poisoned this, poisoned that [like, ahem, the PCs’ drinking water] etc. etc.), a party of PCs would have to be stupid indeed not to figure out that destroying Larloch just isn’t worth the effort.
Like most gods in most situations, Larloch doesn’t NEED to stand and fight when it’s not to his advantage. Like gods, he doesn’t need to sleep, and most PCs do. So he’ll just have his minions harry them until they're stumbling-exhausted, and then throw MORE minions at them. Larloch isn’t insane or stupid enough to need to show up in person to gloat; subtly controlling things from afar is what he DOES, and enjoys. So PCs can expect to find themselves attacked by civil authorities in whatever realm they’re in, and then brigands, and then a few guilds, never being allowed to sleep without yet another undead attack - - and even zombies and skeletons can wear you down when they come in waves, dozens daily, for day after night after month.
And if the PCs DO win their ways through all the liches to Larloch, “he” will almost certainly be just another lich (loaded with explosive spells) set up as a decoy, with dozens of hidden liches waiting to pounce on any surviving PCs who ‘celebrate’ after they take Larloch down. As the REAL Larloch watches (magical scrying) from afar.
Myself, as DM, I’d be wondering: “Such a glorious game, so many opportunities laid out before your PCs to devote your time to, and THIS fixation is the best you can come up with? Are you SURE you’re adventurers?”

And as my lovely Lady Hooded added at that time:

I take the view that if a DM tells you that a city your PCs are visiting is surrounded by a ring of hills, it requires a lot of PC insanity to try to destroy the hills “just because they’re there.” Consider Larloch a hill, part of the furniture of the Realms Ed has presented to you, not a target. Sounds like the very worst sort of power-gaming to me, and although we all need an outlet to just SMASH something once in a while, I’d hesitate to call this approach “roleplaying.”

However, to deal specifically with some of the queries raised about Larloch here and on the Realms-list (and if a Candlekeep scribe would be kind enough to repost this entire reply over there, I’d be grateful): I have NEVER postulated Larloch as a being who “cannot be destroyed.” I have suggested that PC attempts to down him reveal stooge-lich after stooge-lich (so that a PC who wants to talk to Larloch and manages to pique his curiosity enough to get an audience could indeed chat, and if they entertained Larloch enough could gain courteous, useful answers from him - - though to a good DM this would be a great chance to roleplay a “difficult” conversation that leaves the PCs involved quaking in their boots, throughout - - but a PC who thought they could dupe Larloch into a party ambush by trying to talk with him would discover that they’d destroyed not the real Larloch, but merely one of his many, many servitor liches, whom he was speaking through).
Of course any DM can do anything he or she wants in their own Realms campaign. If taking out Larloch entertains your players and they attempt it, fine. I’ve created an undead that should (like the old Rod of Seven Parts) give them several stages of victories and hard fights before they truly emerge victorious.
What I HAVE done from the beginning is strongly suggest that any DM trying to be “true to the Realms” show PCs the consequences of everything they do. If you try to take out Larloch, this is what else will happen: here’s whom (and what) he keeps in check, or how many liches have now been freed to race all over Faerűn trying to do what they for so long have been prevented from doing . . . and so on. “The interconnectedness of all things” holds sway in the Realms as it does in our real world. If you want to take out Larloch, do you really understand what you’re setting in motion? Are all the unfolding consequences what you really want to have happen?
Any DM is free to alter the Realms as they see fit before players unleash their characters into it, and is also free to let the players topple as many powerful Realms NPCs as they want to. The farther you get from the published Realms, the more ongoing adaptation work a DM is letting himself in for, but doing so isn’t going to upset me. If someone gloatingly tells me at a convention that their character killed Elminster and ate him or bedded all of the Seven Sisters at once and then killed them it’s not going to upset me. (Thought it is, as several gamers have discovered, going to make me puzzled enough to ask them WHY they did such things.)
As Faraer correctly pointed out here (back in November 2004): “The Realms has always worked on the principle that NPCs can do whatever the DM needs them to do, not what the books say, this being a storytelling game rather than a referencing game.” So DMs should feel free to change NPCs to their hearts’ content.
As for Elf_Friend’s question about Larloch’s rivals, this just makes me sigh. The problem with gamers wanting to take down powerful NPCs (and published Realms sourcebooks providing ultra-detailed stats for said NPCs) is that too often the Hammer Problem arises (the old saying: “To a man with a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.”). We all rush past trying to understand the aims, motives, and essential character of an NPC to get to the crunch details of how we can best him in combat.
Let’s look at Elf_Friend’s multipart question in detail (and please note, Elf_Friend, that these are perfectly legitimate queries that don’t upset me in the slightest; glad you asked):
“I’m wanting your thoughts regarding who his rivals are that might still be alive, or undead.”
Answer: I’m not sure Larloch has any direct rivals. For centuries he’s worked at “fading away behind the scenes,” so only legend tells us he’s still around, or what he might be up to. Is he trying to attain godhood? Immortality? Freedom from the machinations of gods? Some mysterious magical goal or goals?
A DM must decide such things in order to conclude whether or not Larloch has any rivals. If you mean: beings of roughly the same power, who COULD be worthy opponents if they came into conflict with Larloch, then all sorts of possibilities arise, from Hesperdan and Iyraclea to Shaaan and dozens more not yet given prominence in the published Realms, to say nothing of the more obvious Khelben, The Simbul, and so on. The DM had better decide what all of them want, and are striving for, too.

Back to Elf_Friend: “To what expense would he spare to get rid of them [the rivals] and/or get them under his control?”
Again, this presupposes that Larloch is a sort of gunslinger with spells, ready to blast or control any adversary that challenges him. He isn’t. Neither are Szass Tam, Manshoon, or Elminster. Proof? Well, if any of them were, most of Faerűn would be hill after plateau after mountain range of blackened, blasted, smouldering ash, not bustling, vigorous kingdoms.
Larloch delights in gaining new magic, developing or creating new magic, and in manipulating mortals (on whims, for his own entertainment and occasionally to reassure himself that he CAN still manipulate them with such skill) without them noticing, without any onlooker seeing his hand at work, and so on. So like Elminster, he doesn’t want to “get them under his control,” but he DOES want to be able to manipulate them at will, into doing the things he wants, without all the bother of ruling them or showing up to give them orders and threaten or bribe or cajole them: that’s the sort of crass stuff he did centuries ago, and has outgrown. Why get rid of a potential rival when the rival’s very power makes him useful to you? As a weapon or tool you can use to shape someone else? Or have that someone else destroy for you, while you sit and watch the fun (a la the Addams Family, and their model trains sent into headlong trainwrecks) you’ve brought about by your own deft manipulations? (“So she hates him, and he hates her? Let’s see if I can have them bedding each other within a tenday, and married before month-end, in a union that will last for decades!”)

Back to Elf_Friend again: “What could a high level character do for him to sit up and take notice?”
Ahem: any adventurer who’s reached “high level” has ALREADY come to Larloch’s notice, and is being watched (from time to time) by Larloch’s spies (most of whom, if they’re not undead, are unwitting spies). Any expressed desire to contact Larloch, best or destroy Larloch, or work with Larloch will cause him to notice. Please note, from all I’ve said above: “notice” does NOT mean send legions of undead to destroy the ‘impudent’ PC, or show up personally in a rage to destroy said PC and thereby step into the players’ elaborately-arranged trap. It means Larloch watches the PC more closely, and tries to manipulate them in small, subtle ways to see what happens.
And THAT preceding sentence of mine should give a good DM gleeful fun to fill years of rich Realms-campaign roleplaying.



So saith Ed. Who wants to reiterate that none of this online discussion upsets him, but does want some things set straight before readers entirely get the wrong ideas about Ed’s own intentions and views.
Always remember, folks, that Ed created the Realms first and foremost for himself, before there even was a D&D game.
As he told Gary Gygax once: “Well, it seemed a lot more fun than relabelling the squares around the board on a MONOPOLY game, and even more fun than drawing a fantasy map for DIPLOMACY that had more fords and inland seas and fiddly bits.”
So there you have it (she said, bracing herself for the flood of responses). Guess this torpedoes my “Larloch In Love” novel proposal . . .
love to all,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2005 :  05:57:07  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Interesting

I got the impression from Ed that Larloch is suffering from "Jergal" syndrome ie nothings a challenge anymore.

Eds response also seems to suggest that Larlochs main defence (outside of his spells and hordes of Undead) is to not "offend" anybody

Off the top of my head I can think of a few people or groups who might want him gone

Church of Kelemvor: Larloch is probably the oldest undead that has cheated death (incidently how come Larloch never turned into a Demi Lich he has to be old enough by now)

Warlock Keep contains alot varieitable army of Undead and while Lichs dont need to eat Vampires and Ghouls, Wights etc do how is Larloch feeding them all? If his undead army is preying on the Settlements around Warlock keep for food then its likely to make the locals think that Ravensloft might be a better place to live then settlements around the Troll hills!

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4746 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2005 :  06:45:14  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
I'd postulate that Larloch has many if not most of his undead minions in some sort of stasis to be used when needed. In other words, Warlock's Crypt might have Larloch and a dozen monster skeletons moving around to do the heavy lifting in a 'normal day. Of course, when the Larloch Slayers adventuring band turns up on his doorstep that's when a whole heap of tons of scads of lots of undead 'wake up' and move in - think of the scene in the film "Aliens" when they all started to wake up and clean some Colonial Marine clock.

Shaaan and Hesperdan, now that is a coincidence ...

BTW, I just finished the "Best of Eddie" collection. Why is it that the 'Maimed Wizard' story made me think that Elminster has been masquerading as Hesperdan for a long time? Or may even be Hesperdan? That does make things interesting - the former postulation more than the latter. Wheels within wheels, Mr Greenwood. Thanks again - for about the millionth time.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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