Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Realmslore
 Chamber of Sages
 Questions for Ed Greenwood (2005)
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 84

Kentinal
Great Reader

4291 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  03:46:44  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
There was some questions about current ebents in the Realms.
This leads me to ask how Realm time compares to RL time?

I suspect it varies where one book can handle years and another perhaps a month within the years. Perhaps Narnia time paradox applies, but am interested in finding out if there eexists any plan of how fast time will pass in the Realms.
Day for Day, Month for Day, Year for a week. I am not asking for future timeline (which most likely is NDA) just wondering if there is a general plan for how quick time will pass.

Edited by - Kentinal on 23 Jan 2005 03:49:03
Go to Top of Page

SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  04:25:06  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

There was some questions about current ebents in the Realms.
This leads me to ask how Realm time compares to RL time?

I suspect it varies where one book can handle years and another perhaps a month within the years. Perhaps Narnia time paradox applies, but am interested in finding out if there eexists any plan of how fast time will pass in the Realms.
Day for Day, Month for Day, Year for a week. I am not asking for future timeline (which most likely is NDA) just wondering if there is a general plan for how quick time will pass.



When the FRCS was released, I believe there was a four to one ratio put forth. For every four months in our time, one month would pass in Realms time.

Someone with far more interest in math can figure out if the ratio is still holding true. However, with the release of Richard Baker's latest novel, it would appear the timeline is moving at a bit faster pace than the ratio. If so, I for one am quite happy at such a development.
Go to Top of Page

SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  04:28:53  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth
Lawyers are LE Hellspawn and NDAs are penned by Asmodeous himself!



Hey! I resemble that comment!

-- George Krashos




You are a laywer?!! That explains a great deal.
Go to Top of Page

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4887 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  06:44:55  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
I'm not sure what you mean SB, but I'll take it as you being fond of my wordsmithing abilities and eloquence! Mind you, in the States I'd be termed an "ambulance chaser".

-- George Krashos

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

The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  07:52:31  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 Dargoth

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth
Lawyers are LE Hellspawn and NDAs are penned by Asmodeous himself!



Hey! I resemble that comment!

-- George Krashos




yeah but you even out as Lawful Neutral

True George is a Baatezu or as they are known in the real world, a lawyer, however George have also taken the "Exalted Forgotten Realms Developer Template" which along with prolonged exposure to the Divine Eric Boyd and the Saintly Schend has shifted Georges alignment to Lawful Neutral

No, no... You've got it all wrong. It's true that George is a baatezu, but he's an erinyes... not a pit fiend. And his main weapon of seduction isn't his looks... it's the tiny bits of Realmslore that he leaves peppered around the ethereal pathways of cyberspace, luring you deeper and deeper into his clutches so that finally, you don't realise it until it's too late... that your soul... is now his... .

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
Go to Top of Page

Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  09:44:48  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
The "Advancing the Years" sidebar on page 260 of FRCS3E said that the goal was 2 Realms years for every 5 Earth/"real" years. This doesn't entirely work out, both because of concurrently-released books taking place at different times, and the sheer impossibility of releasing an entire trilogy by one author in a single year (which is why the Year of the Lightning Storms started "early"). Not to mention that it creates the frustrating and nigh-unto useless 'what's the official date in the Realms' discussion that constantly plagues me.

If the expected timeline holds up, we should expect to see game products set in 1375 starting around Spring/Summer of 2006. Novels, being what they are, will be released somewhat off the ideal schedule, but will be reasonably close.
Go to Top of Page

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4887 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  11:14:47  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
Greetings to the Hooded One (and Ed). This is another query to add to the queue - no rush as always!

In Ed's "Hin Nobody Knows" article in Dragon #269, he states that Impiltur contains two halfling villages, Klandle and Mistrenpost, and also notes that just across the Easting Reach, the settlement of Ethdale is a halfling/human settlement, much like Secomber. This begs the question: where did the halflings of the Easting Reach come from?

I'm guessing that they came from Luiren through the portal city of Shandaular, which had one terminus in Ashanath and one in the Council Hills, north of the Shaar. If so, what business did they have migrating in numbers sufficient to eventually create their own settlements, or were they enslaved by the evil Narfelli? Just curious.

-- George Krashos

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

Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2394 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2005 :  18:01:20  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Thanks Ed for the response. I'm going to go trundle off to my books on siege warfare now. (Things will be getting very interesting for my group in the future! :)

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  01:18:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. I present Ed’s latest response to Jerryd’s latest response (“Come out of your corners swinging, gentlemen. I want a good, clean fight, with no - -”):



Hi, Jerryd. You think you’re being misinterpreted? Fair enough. I think in many places in your last reply you’re misinterpreting ME, so let’s get to it. As before, I’ll run through your post in order.

First, you implied (because of your own views on micromanaging making “the managed” too scared to do anything) that if Vangerdahast was truly micromanaging the War Wizards, they’d have long since collapsed, and been far more ineffectual before said collapse than they’ve been portrayed in published Realmslore.
When I then replied that they are themselves competent wizards, and do act and accomplish quite a lot because they follow “standing orders” and “rules of engagement” set by Vangey but relayed through an ever-changing array of other War Wizards rather than an ironclad chain of command, and so can accomplish things without awaiting Vangey’s personal delivery of commands, you posted: [Still, though, to me at least "standing orders" aren't the same thing as "micromanaging"]. Nor are they to me.
You then posted: [If Vangey gives a war wizard orders then sends him off to get it done and doesn't further bother him (unless the situation changes) until he comes back to report, then by definition Vangey isn't micromanaging him. What you're describing above isn't really micromanaging. Micromanaging implys frequent if not daily checking and meddling.]
Yes, agreed. But that’s NOT what I said Vangey did. I said he DID engage in daily checking and meddling.
You then posted: [I suppose it's possible to try to do both, but it would be at least difficult. The more micromanaging is done, the less the standing orders are "standing" as they are modified or added to on a day-to-day or situation-to-situation basis. At some degree of micromanagement, the concept of "standing orders" pretty much becomes meaningless.]
Yes, it IS difficult, as I’ve said again and again. As for the next two sentences, you seem to be thinking in modern terms (wherein “standing orders” tend to “stand” for long periods of time, often an entire posting or mission), whereas I keep telling you that:
Vangey sends forth a War Wizard on Mission X with a set of orders but that all War Wizards also have ‘if this situation occurs, do thus’ “standing orders” to fall back on whenever they encounter gaps in their mission orders (‘mission orders’ being equivalent to ‘rules of engagement,’ though of course in Cormyr that particular term would neither be used nor understood), BUT that Vangey DOES micromanage, by ‘popping up’ (using an array of items and portals so he can translocate often without memorizing a lot of teleport spells, and using items worn and carried by War Wizards as spell foci so he can easily eavesdrop, both sound and vision, on their doings from afar) to surprise this or that War Wizard with additional comments and orders (which are, yes, micromanaging).
I’ve never said this was an attractive feature of being a War Wizard, or that it arose out of anything more than the same deep-seated mistrust of the competency of others that so bedevils Khelben Blackstaff: Vangerdahast and Khelben are both paranoid, and (with a few exceptions, such as Laspeera and Caladnei in the first case and Laeral and to a lesser extent all of the other Chosen of Mystra in the second) they don’t trust anyone to do a task as well as they can, or even fully and properly at all.

You’re correct in assuming that there are no standardized tests to pass to move from novice War Wizard to full acceptance. There IS one standard feature: a covert, while-asleep (or in emergencies, the brutal right-now waking equivalent) mind-ream by Vangey (Laspeera now largely handles this for Caladnei) to ensure the loyalty, essential character, and personal secrets, flaws, and schemes of every novice being tested - - but nobody forewarns a trainee about this, and as often as possible it’s done while asleep, troubling or even awakening the person being tested, but leaving them not QUITE understanding what happened, and not necessarily thinking it an experience undergone by anyone else. (Ranthaerus comes awake out of a nightmare in which he vaguely remembers being pursued through his own mind, something bright and terrible right behind him purging all the cozy darkness from its familiar passages and caverns. Panting and sweating, he peers around into the silent darkness, wondering what brought THAT on. And resolves never to drink another drop of Athkatlan clarry, ever again. Or was it the cheese?)
You ask: [Is it common for there to be little difference in acutal competence or ability between a randomly-selected novice or "trainee" and a randomly-selected junior "full" war wizard?]
No. If the selection of the novice was truly random, you’d be looking at a lot of truly green mages. Except in dire emergencies (and when he got handed one such, in DotD, he didn’t have time to change his established custom) Vangerdahast wouldn’t dream of elevating someone to full membership in the War Wizards who hadn’t at least had their trustworthiness, loyalty to the realm and to the War Wizards, and competency in a fight or when threatened, ‘proved’ in the field. In other words, you’d find no-one among the junior “full” war wizards who hadn’t been sent on a mission or two, while being covertly watched by other War Wizards, if not Laspeera or Vangey (more recently, substitute Caladnei for Vangey).

You post: [I plainly and simply don't think it's possible for micromanangement and initiative to easily and comfortably coexist in any period.]
Agreed. Vangey was attempting tactics neither easy nor comfortable, either for him or for the War Wizards under him. Ultimately (as he grew older, slower, and with ever-more things on his plate and filling his mind) doomed to failure - - but for many years he refused to accept that. Just like a lot of real people in the real world.

You post: [Given that roughly Renaissance-equivalent with a continuous 1300 year history, I find that a 2 for Cormyr would be patently unbelievable - it would shatter my suspension of disbelief.]
I disagree with your value of 2 out of 10, but I think you’re also making a great mistake here: the “continuous 1300 year history” bit. Read Cormyr: A Novel, and reflect on Luthax and other incidents in which War Wizards WERE traitors. As has been said before, Vangey completely overhauled the War Wizards, changing what they’d been before his arrival. So we’re really only speaking of the War Wizards under his aegis, which is more a matter of decades than centuries. (Much later in your post you conceded this, citing Vangey’s command over the War Wizards as lasting 64 years - - but you conveniently don’t mention that here.)

You then post: [Oh, and while I agree about no drill sergeants, uniforms and haircuts, boot camps not being present in the War Wizards, as far as the 'joe jobs' and silly punishments, may I point out that your own published words indicate that such are present in the War Wizards? Page 283 of Cormyr: A Novel states "The war wizards were funny that way; a lot of enforced teaching and learning of humility went on..." This sounds a lot like 'joe jobs' and silly punishments to me.]
Perhaps it does, if you’re seeing things from a background of modern American military practises. It doesn’t, however, sound a lot like that to ME. I see it as the way every ‘exclusive club’ sort of organization, from belonging to a street gang to belonging to a golf course, ‘trains’ new members as to the pecking order, “the way things are done around here,” and so on. The specific means of this training, because we’re dealing in the main with brilliant, independent, and often egocentric minds (the sort of person who can cast arcane spells, and has been shaped by having some experience in doing so), often consists of ‘breaking’ (humiliating, so as to shatter personal notions of superiority) the new members. After all, Vangey wants loyal War Wizards, not six hundred haughty “I know better” loose cannons.
You post: [What also may be connected to the humility aspect is that in Stormlight on pp.31-32 you indicate that war wizards are prone to playing pranks on one another, and within the context of the cite Sir Broglan has to specifically tell his team "no pranks" and to concentrate on the mission.]
Correct, though the team seen in STORMLIGHT contains no true novices. Pranks are one of the ways some brilliant minds stave off boredom when forced (by loyalty to orders) to do distasteful or dull things.

You then post, regarding the ‘necessity’ for fixed relative ranking within the War Wizards: [the War Wizards I'm envisioning from what you've written work well together and don't have disputes about who's in charge of what. Inside the War Wizards, at least (saying nothing of outside perceptions), everyone seems to know who's in charge in any given situation. There don't seem to be any turf battles or power-struggles. In order to accomplish that, each war wizard needs to have some clear sense of who is senior to him and who is junior in any given situation - thus, they need a sense of "relative" ranking.]
True. And being intelligent people with minds trained to memorize lots of information perfectly (such as spells, on a daily basis), they have NO problem remembering “on this mission or task, Rundreth gives me orders and I’m in charge of Zethna and Darsheene, but for the matter of the stolen jewels, Zethna’s in charge of us all.” These aren’t grunts, remember. They are trained “rememberers.”
*I* have no problems remembering such things on a daily basis, in real life, when I’m working with some freelancers and staffers (WotC or other publishers) on Project X in a certain hierarchical array, and working with many of the same people on Project Y in a different hierarchical array. I often, in fact, juggle six to eight creative projects at once, AND at the same time serve on a library board and a local ratepayers’ association, AND participate in SFWA and several other professional organizations and clubs, AND have a “day job” with shifting sub-hierarchies on a task-by-task basis. And if I can do it, a ‘common garden’ War Wizard (whom I envisage as far smarter than I am, though some may be more naive or less experienced) certainly could. Vangey far more so, of course.
Some of the early War Wizard training includes “live” versions of Kim’s Game, involving spell-transmitted “movies” (animated images) rather than a table full of small inanimate objects, and practise in observing and remembering many small details in those images. THIS is part of what p283 of Cormyr: A Novel refers to (of course many a mage looks back on such exercises as boring and humiliating, just as most of us recall elements of our early schooling as silly, vindictive, boring, and so on).
Nor is it entirely true that there are no turf battles or resentments. That WOULD be unrealistic, given human nature. However, every last War Wizard knows better than to engage in disputations or rivalries while on a mission. THAT’S the effect produced by Vangey popping up unexpectedly at many, many War Wizards’ elbows and snapping an order or making a sarcastic observation. (Inner thought of War Wizard X: You’re a pompous ass, Lethran, and you’re going to get us all killed someday. When this is over, I’m going to bit your behind so savagely you won’t be able to find it, let alone sit down for a tenday! When this is over . . . {because Wizard X wouldn’t DREAM of doing anything about Lethran now, in action, because that would bring the Old Man popping up, for sure!})

You then post: [But what happens if the leader gets killed? Is Vangey going to specify an order of succession for the entire group? Or will the one appointed leader specify one at the start of the mission?]
In general, standing orders applied: the local expert was in charge ‘on the ground,’ unless Vangey specified a hierarchy of command (and yes, he usually did, complete with private details like “If Jaressa takes the wand, make sure you XYZ” or “If Thammadar shows the slightest sign of wanting to turn back or delay, make very sure you ABC”). In some cases, a ‘battle leader’ was given the authority to specify an order of succession at the start of a mission, and did so.
You go on to post: [Or what happens if it's not mission orders but unexpected circumstances that put a group of war wizards together in a situation? How do they know who takes charge? Draw lots? Rock-paper-scissors? Arm wrestle?]
Senior-serving alarphon outranks all, and has authority to establish a chain of command. If lone alarphon, ditto. Exceptions to the “all” here: Vangey/Caladnei, Laspeera, or someone given brevet-rank-equivalent standing orders (recall the “checking in” scene in STORMLIGHT; most on-a-mission, in-the-field War Wizards have the means and the instructions to check in for orders and consultations regularly, and do so; War Wizard cloaks and other magic items aid other War Wizards in tracing and contacting War Wizards ‘in the field,’ and so on).
You seem to view the War Wizards as an aggressive schoolyard bunch who’ll be paralyzed with “But I’M the best!”/“No, I’M the best” arguments at the drop of a hat. Loyalty to the War Wizards is a highly prized and encouraged value among War Wizards, remember? Instinctively they’ll initially defer to senior-in-experience fellow War Wizards, breaking away only if they think the seniors are deranged, foolish, or dangerously wrong. Two or more seniors will consult and work together, not bicker.
You post: [What if the situation is time critical and they don't have time to select a leader or wait for orders - they just need a leader to act NOW?]
In THOSE sort of situations a group of War Wizards doesn’t need a leader to act NOW, they ALL need to ‘act now,’ and would do so. Simply put, they don’t have a mania for hierarchy. They know what they have to do (in general), and at least one of them would usually have recently had a “just checking in” visit from Vangey to fine-tune their directives.
You cry out that you’re being misunderstood in not trying to portray the War Wizards as modern American military, but you keep going back to “but they HAVE to have this command structure, even if you won’t let me name them” thinking that is very much like the modern American military. I suggest reading THE LAST DITCH (a study of the hastily-assembled World War II resistance in England for the German invasion that never came) for a look at alternatives (in which small fellowships of local men set aside the centuries-old English class system AND civilian/military divide AND existing military ranks, to work together). Simply put, the War Wizards DON’T have to have such a rigid relative rank command structure. They’re closer to ‘not-secret-to-anyone’ secret police than they are military forces.

You post: [If they don't have a way for leadership to quickly transition to the next man, the entire mission is placed at risk.]
“The entire mission is placed at risk” is the sort of talk I hear from the War College and NORAD guys all the time, NATO generals, and instructors at RMC up here in Canada, Sandhurst, and at West Point: modern military thinking and phraseology.
Let me drive home the point more bluntly: the War Wizards aren’t grunts, and they’re not enlisted military of any sort. They are elite Cormyreans living in Cormyr (and for the most part born and raised in Cormyr). They KNOW generally what they must do, and they share a common love of country and knowledge of country (they operate ‘at home,’ not in other lands). They also know how to ‘check in’ with fellow War Wizards: I “knew” by face and first name every last student at a school I attended in my youth, that had a student population of 800, so it’s no stretch at all to imagine a bewildered War Wizard recognizing a fellow War Wizard, racing over to him, and hissing, “THIS just happened! What d’you think we should do?” (Note that “we” rather than “I”).
You still seem to be thinking of vast numbers of people serving in various units thrown together for operational reasons (modern “combined arms”), or at least to be trying to pigeonhole these wizards into a chain of command that’s really only necessary in such situations. I’ve seen NATO tape of villagers fighting raiders from the next village in the Balkans, and there was NO rank or chain of command operating on either side, but strangely enough they managed to kill each other anyway, fighting with use of ‘cover’ and covering fire and sub-objectives and even strategic withdrawals quite effectively. Real war is never orderly, as literally hundreds of generals and survivors have said in various ways down the ages.

[THO: continues in Part II; seems there's a post size limit]
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  01:21:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
[THO: Part II of Ed's reply:]

You add: [The irrefutable truth of any sort of deadly conflict is that all other things being equal, one group that is a team led and coordinated by a leader will beat a group of leaderless and undirected individuals every time. This irrefutable truth . . .] . . .ain’t anything of the sort. Tell that to the legions wiped out by Boadicea’s uprising, the British troops slaughtered in the Mutiny, many police and military units exterminated by mobs in the disintegrating Soviet Union (I’ve seen tapes of downtown street fighting in Russian cities wherein completely leaderless and disorganized grannies with handbags took out entire units of heavily body-armored soldiers with machine guns because they were too enraged to be afraid any longer, and outnumbered the troops about seventy to one), and so on and et cetera. Of course you’ll have to raise them from the dead to do your telling. :}
MOST strategists agree that in MOST conflicts, three to one odds will prevail, unless disparities in weaponry, ‘reach,’ intelligence (of enemy locations and terrain) are significant. Leadership is one factor among many. I agree that superior leadership OFTEN prevails if forces are fairly equal, but just who are these “leaderless and undirected individuals” you refer to? Certainly not the War Wizards, who have standing orders and rules of engagement and VERY frequent direct orders from the Commander-in-Chief himself coming out their ears. Remember also that the War Wizards essentially police Cormyr; they don’t invade other countries. They’re almost always operating on familiar ground, among folk they know a lot about, and NOT in large setpiece conventional warfare situations. You make it sound as if kids at a summer camp sent on a scavenger hunt would fail if they didn’t have a strict chain of command, uniforms, and orders being barked back and forth constantly.
You post: [Not having ANY way of handling continuity of leadership in the face of casualties just plainly and simply isn't believable for any group that knows it will face possibly mortal challenges.]
Oh? The vast majority of D&D adventuring groups of Player Characters DON’T establish a strict or formal chain of command. They may set up ‘marching orders’ of characters to determine who gets squashed by this or that trap or attack, and group dynamics or a brief “You’ve got the highest-level priest? Okay, then our paladins follow” discussion usually establishes “who’s in charge most of the time” - - but they rarely establish a formal pecking order, from top to bottom, because they don’t want to and don’t need to. And task groups of War Wizards are rarely larger than PC adventuring groups.

You then post: [Having no standard measure of authority outside of Vangey's own whim for a group of 600 full war wizards is also not very believable to me; I don't think that any insititution so constituted could endure as an effective force.] and [Not having ANY method for maintaining continuity of leadership in the face of casualties in the War Wizards also exceeds my threshold of believability.]
My own conception of the War Wizards (as, ahem, the guy who created them), is that you sell them insultingly short: you’re thinking of them as incompetents, whatever your claims to the contrary, if you can type the above two sentences.

You go on to post: [Whatever else I do for the War Wizards or any other institution serving Cormyr, I want to portray them as competent and successful in the long term, not set them up for a later fall or give cause for amazement that they haven't already fallen. Call me a Cormyr fanboy if you must, but I am extremely resistant to depicting any institution of Cormyr in such a way that I am sure will lead to grave danger to Cormyr in the future and surprise that it hasn't fallen already for depending on such clods.]
Fair enough, but I believe that’s ignoring the counterbalancing nature of Purple Dragons; courtiers at the Royal Court tirelessly making rules, recording events, and therefore observing events; loyal nobles who fulfill their duties; and yeoman crofters who know not just their own place but everyone else’s, and expect folk to behave . . . in the ‘normal way of things’ in the realm of Cormyr. You see, I’m a fan of Cormyr, too, and I happen to think the whole realm survives because those farmers, shepherds, crofters, woodcutters, and craftfolk want it to: they’re the foundation on which the Forest Kingdom stands. The War Wizards are Vangey’s ace up his sleeve, that “everyone knows about” and so are as effective as a deterrent as they are in operational fact.
Your words above also equate competence with having a strict chain of command, rather than placing competence on the shoulders of individual War Wizards (where I prefer to place it; these are, after all, WIZARDS).

On Vangey’s ranking of a particular War Wizard, you posted: [Based on your list of factors the entire institution of the War Wizards seems to be first and foremost Vangey's own personal clique, or "personality cult" as some might call it]
Not so. POTENTIALLY so, yes, if he used them that way, but he hasn’t.
Vangerdahast doesn’t want to be top dog, he wants things done his way (there’s a difference). Was General Patton trying to be President or thinking he really WAS president? No. He just wanted to do things his way (often disobeying direct orders from above in the process).
Simply put, Vangey doesn’t want to be king and doesn’t think he has the right to be king. He does, however, want Cormyr to be like this and that and the other (various details that he sees or that occur to him), and is continually fine-tuning ‘the way of things’ in the realm to make it better, or rather closer to what he sees as best.
A la Machiavelli, Vangey doesn’t want the War Wizards to love or revere him (THAT would be a “personality cult”), he wants them to obey him without question or hesitation.

You then posted that this view of Vangey [doesn't fit with prior portrayals of Vangey and the War Wizards. What I got from past published portrayals of Vangey is that he was personally loyal to and served first Cormyr and second the Obarskyrs, and in all logic I would have expected him to have the same expectations of all his War Wizards.]
That was the outward face he presented, yes. See my answer to Dargoth for more about Vangey’s character. You’re correct that Vangerdahast DOES have those expectations of all of his War Wizards. He certainly doesn’t want any of them thinking they’re “better than” or have any business mind-controlling, any Obarskyr. He does, however, think HE must - - for the good of the realm, not for his own personal advancement.
You post: [My impression from published works was that Vangey might have had private thoughts that he would be the best ruler of Cormyr that he kept those thoughts private and served his country and king in that order.]
Correct. Only Filfaeril and Laspeera saw him as he really was, before the events of ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER (though Alusair and Alaphondar, to name just two, had strong suspicions). Note what I’m agreeing to, here: I’m NOT saying Vangey saw himself as a rightful ruler of Cormyr in any sense. He saw himself as the man best suited to rule, and tried to make Azoun IV better and better suited to rule, and at the same time worked to ensure that Azoun made the “right” decisions and gave the “right” decrees. “Right” in this case being what Vangey saw as right, of course. Vangerdahast saw himself as the TRUE ruler but not the RIGHTFUL ruler. In other words, it was his daily job to rule Cormyr from behind the scenes, and not get caught at it.
You post: [I suppose you might say that Vangey sees himself AS Cormyr - as in "what's good for me is good for Cormyr" or to paraphrase Judge Dredd "I *AM* Cormyr!" - but that also seems to me to be self-serving in the former and near psychotic in the latter.]
Correct. This is how Vangey rationalized going about things in a ruthless, scheming way and gathering ever more power to himself: he saw himself as the realm. The bright side of his ‘rule’ is that he brought years of peace, stability, and prosperity to Cormyr, made Azoun loved by a majority of commoners in Cormyr, and devoted his own (Vangey’s) time to making Cormyr ever better. So he never cavorted with young lasses or took gold or pursued strange hobbies: he became obsessed with the good of the realm, which he saw as ‘doing things his way.’ Whenever ‘his way’ didn’t bring about the best for the realm, he changed what he did to make Cormyr better.

[THO: Part III follows]
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  01:24:50  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
[THO: Part III of Ed's reply:]


You then posted: [The way I had envisioned it was that a number of war wizards are generally assigned to a regiment (unless the regiment has a specific mission or on campaign, the assignment is for a period of some months and wizards rotate in and out) to provide magical support (and to spy on the regiment and report its activities to Vangey/Caladnei).]
Yes and no. Vangey sends War Wizards to accompany Purple Dragon units, individual War Wizards generally serving for a tenday or two at most, and rotating in and out as he (Vangey) sees fit, but these mages are NOT “assigned” in the modern military sense of that word: they are NOT subject to the orders of the commander of the military force UNLESS Vangey tells them they are. Note that in cases of real war (invasion from Sembia, DotD battles, any forays into the Stonelands) he WOULD usually do so, with the War Wizards themselves informing the military commander of this (and of the limitations on it). Remember, it’s rare for Purple Dragons OR War Wizards to take to the field for any other reason than “defense of the realm.” (Patrols into Tunland, the Stonelands, to Tilver’s Gap, and so on are of course considered to be defending the realm.)
Yes, the War Wizards do ‘spy’ on the unit and what befalls it for Vangey. Yes, they may APPEAR or decide to take orders from almost anyone in the heat of a fray (because they are, after all, working to defend Cormyr, the same objective as held by most nobles and Purple Dragons and yeoman farmers they might be fighting alongside), but they don’t have to take such orders from anyone outside the War Wizards except individuals designated in their orders from Vangey, the Obarskyrs, and the persons you’ll learn about in the Best of Eddie book.
So, to your post: [If there's an army of multiple regiments in the field, the oversword or battlemaster leading the army can yank the regimental wizards up to his level. The constal leading that regiment has the power to assign them to specific subordinate units within the regiment (e.g. to accompany a patrol) or keep them all at the regimental level as the situation warrants. The constal or the officer leading the subordinate unit has the authority to give them general orders], my answer must be a flat NO. The officers you cite in your example have that authority only if the War Wizard in question (acting on instructions from Vangey) gives it to them. They have no authority whatsoever that’s automatically tied to the Purple Dragon (or Blue Dragon, or Court) rank they hold.

Having made your decision that War Wizards are assigned to military units, you ‘support’ it by posting: [That said, though, it is still undeniable that some war wizards ARE assigned to conventional military units to provide support.]
Not so!
You post: [Numerous times in published lore war wizards are shown with an army in the field or accompanying a routine patrol.]
Correct. Accompanying and fighting alongside, yes. Often taking orders from because they’ve been ordered to by Vangey, yes. “Assigned” into the chain of command so military commanders can bark orders at them merely because of the rank held by that military commander, NO.

You go on to post: [Published sources also speak of a regular complement of war wizards at the High Horn fortress, and I don't see how this can be regarded as anything but garrison duty.]
War Wizards are just that: wizards. Good wizards need to practise spell-hurling, just as anyone who wants to be good at something tends to be better if they gain a little experience by yes, practising. Practising casting spells in crowded public areas can be dangerous, and it also allows the general public (which will almost certainly include visiting caravan-traders from Sembia, the Dales, and divers other foreign locales who might well be spies or who may just inoocently blab what they saw to someone in power elsewhere who is a foe of Cormyr) to see what’s going on, observe War Wizards screwing up (bad for the realm-wide reputation of the War Wizards), and perhaps become over-familiar with what particular War Wizards look like (making blackmailing or impersonating them a little more possible than otherwise).
So some privacy for spellcasting practise is a good idea. It’s also less upsetting to farmers, woodcutters, and the like, and so minimizes unnecessary fear and hatred of the War Wizards among the general populace of Cormyr, while at the same time retaining the awe factor by not making the hurling of meteor swarms something seen by every passerby, everyday.
No one dwells at High Horn except Purple Dragons, and the place has walls, so it “fits the bill” as a suitable training-ground free of the general public and a steady, casual stream of passersby (traffic on the road that stops over at High Horn is strictly segregated from most areas of the fortress). It also allows Purple Dragons to be trained to work with War Wizards, allows War Wizards to spy on the Purple Dragon doings there for Vangey without being overly obvious about it, and gives Vangey a legitimate ‘secure’ place to send War Wizards, novice trainees, captives, and people the War Wizards need to temporarily “protect” so they’ll “disappear” from the public eye for a time. High Horn serves all of these functions, as well as giving Vangey a “Siberia” ‘punishment-posting’ to send War Wizards to if they show signs of getting too caught up in the politics or social whirl of Cormyr (talking to pro-Sembian sympathizers without remembering to report it to your War Wizard bosses, or falling in lust with a beauty of Suzail and seeking to impress her - - or him - - with your personal standing as a War Wizard . . . and so on).
High Horn is garrison duty for the Purple Dragons there, yes, but for the War Wizards, no. Repeatedly you say you don’t want to portray the War Wizards as a military unit, and yet repeatedly you assign them to functions of a military unit, or expect them to fulfill such functions, or wave citations of published Realmslore to the effect that they are, and do.
For instance: [I can also cite published books that tell of war wizards serving at border outposts and city gates along with a small unit of Purple Dragons. In fact, it's common in published lore that whenever Purple Dragons are spoken of one or more war wizards are often also near.]
Granted. I’ve explained why.
However, you continue with the military thinking you protest you don’t intend to use, by posting: [Published Realmslore thus incontrovertibly supports the idea that SOME war wizards (although certainly not all of them, nor the entire institution as a whole) are given military duties, thus it is reasonable to speak of that portion of war wizards in somewhat more military terms.]
No, published Realmslore DOESN’T “incontrovertibly” support such a view, except to someone who chooses to only see things as supporting such a view.
Sorry, Jerry, I’m not trying to be rude here, but you seem bewildered and disbelieving that War Wizards can function at all without a strict rank hierarchy, and I’m increasingly disbelieving that you persist in seeing them only in this way.
I’m left shaking my head, which is why I said at the outset that we’ll probably just have to agree to disagree.

You went on to post that you’d never met a real-life leadership type who attempted both paranoid micromanagement and ‘buddy buddy’ behaviour. Fair enough; I have, and as he posted here, so has Ulrik Wolfsbane. I agree that the two sorts you cite: [The paranoid micromanagers I've met have all been the "I don't care if you like me, I'm not here to be liked. I'm here to be in charge so do what I say" type, and the "buddy buddy" types have all been "you know your job and don't need me to tell you how to do every little thing, so just let me know if you need help" type.] are probably more common than the guy who tries to do both, but the guy who tries to do both is by no means rare. I sure wish he was!
You go on to post: [The point stands, that he can't succeed at both.]
Correct.
However, you then post: [No one under him except the most gullible or naive are going to be fooled by the "buddy buddy" act of a known paranoid micromanager] and here I must disagree again. Vangey DOES help his War Wizards personally, act as their father confessor, praise them when he sees they need it, buy them drinks or companionship, give them introductions to people they’re smitten by, and so on. Unpredictably, and from time to time, not often. So it’s not just a “buddy buddy” ACT for him, and they know that.
Does this behaviour leave most War Wizards confused? You bet. Not knowing which way the Old Man will jump next? Indubitably! Thinking him crazy? Certainly. But they DON’T think him so crazy or incompetent as to be dangerous to the realm or themselves enough to force his removal. On the contrary, he’s the guy they “know” carries the whole dang realm on his shoulders, who’s uncovered traitors’ plots and Sembian swindles time and time again, who’s faced down nobles, and whisked War Wizards to the rescue of distraught farmers and to search for missing children and to pretend to be Tanalasta’s smitten suitors at a revel so she can delay pushy nobles who wanted to be her suitor, and so on (duties that were fun or that they took pride in having accomplished). The War Wizards trust Vangerdahast for the same reason many nobles and courtiers grudgingly do: because he gets results.

You then turned to the matter of Vangerdahast’s mind-meddling with Azoun: [Magically dipping into his mind? Even exerting mind control?!? Vangey crosses the line, for me. Using magic to mind-ream prisoners, that I can accept - but using magic to influence or possibly even control his friend and liege?!?! I don't think I like him anymore! I rather liked him as a character despite his quirks (except for how he was such a doofus in Grodd during the trilogy), but between how he 'ranks' his war wizards and now this you've spoiled my appreciation for him! As far as I'm concerned, magically influencing or controlling the mind of a royal person (even if he thinks its for the good of the realm) constitutes High Treason. If Azoun or his father Rhigaerd ever found that out, Vangey's head should have been on a pike so fast he'd only have a moment to know what hit him and just enough time to realze "I went too far".]
I agree with you here, and felt the same way. I’ve been trying to show the differences in the “three most-onstage crotchety old controlling wizards of the Realms” (in descending order: Elminster, Khelben, and Vangerdahast) for some years (in part because several TSR designers wanted to butcher at least two of three for no better reason than “they’re too much alike!”). So they couldn’t all stay “gruff old coots who always have something up their sleeves, are always right, and have hearts of gold and loins of ‘ahem.’” Steven Schend took over Khelben, I was given the opportunity to deepen Elminster in novels (and told that if I didn’t, someone else would be asked to write the Elminster books!), and the development of Vangey got left to the Cormyr saga and short stories if I cared to. I snuck some Vangey development into ELMINSTER IN HELL, the WotC designers sidelined Vangey anyway in the FRCS and put Caladnei (their invention) in his place, and I was given the “tell his end story, okay?” suggestion, which went into ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER.
This meant that I had to show Realms readers the next layer of depth to Vangerdahast that I’d normally keep just for the DM (and as you said in your earlier post, you want to Reveal All and write that layer). I agreed to do this because the Knights in the ‘home’ Realms campaign had by this time learned all about Vangey’s innermost secrets for themselves (by a process that’s another l-o-o-o-n-g tale, for another time).
Hence what you’re reading here at Candlekeep.
I agree with you: yes, this is where Vangey ‘went over the line.’ Yes, it makes him much less of a nice or heroic guy (building into him the first flaw beyond rudeness and perhaps ruthlessness). And yet, he does something heroic, or at least noble, by realizing he went over the line and is no longer fit to run things, and doing the best thing for Cormyr: finding his own successor and ensuring an orderly transition of power. For Cormyr.
Rather than clinging to power to reward himself, or deluding himself that doing so is best for Cormyr.
That’s what more than counters what you posted next: [And based on your numbered list of factors Vangey uses in judging his war wizards, I think it's at least debatable whether he "REALLY" serves the realm. If Vangey values loyalty to himself higher than loyalty to Cormyr in his war wizards, that's a clear sign to me that what he "REALLY" serves is himself first and foremost.]
Again, we see things differently. Vangerdahast’s life was devoted to serving Cormyr. He wanted the War Wizards to be “my boys” (this includes, of course, “my girls”), his own private force, to be the tool he needed in shaping Cormyr because he couldn’t physically be everywhere at once, a lone wizard no matter how powerful could be easily eliminated by enough hired mages (hired by nobles or anyone else who didn’t like what he was doing to Cormyr, or accomplishing for Cormyr), and because the War Wizards were already on the scene and he had to make use of them some way, and also make darned sure they could never act in opposition to him or to the Obarskyrs.
So he turned the War Wizards into extensions of his will, as much as possible, to give himself reinforcements in governing Cormyr - - precisely as a counter to the Purple Dragons, any agents hired or developed by traitor nobles, and so on.
You post: [then your ordered list of factors would instantly turn the entire institution of War Wizards from the realm's protector to the realm's greatest enemy as the war wizards would put loyalty to Vangey first (if they all lived up to Vangey's loyalty priorities).]
Correct, IF they all lived up to Vangey's loyalty priorities. However, they won’t. THEY don’t know about these priorities, remember? What I listed were Vangey’s personal mental factors in judging particular War Wizards, and there’s NO way he would have let anyone but Laspeera (and later Caladnei) even see a hint of them. The War Wizards DO think they’re serving Cormyr the realm first and foremost, and the Obarskyrs second (but that “the Old Man always knows best”). If Vangey told them all “kill every Obarskyr!” the general reaction would be: “Vangey’s gone mad at last!” NOT “Sure, boss!”
So no need to gag. All you have to do is try to see the War Wizards differently than you’re seeing them. Again, this loyalty to Vangey you’re seeing is misplaced: you are still thinking of a strict military rank hierarchy (“gotta obey the general!”) rather than a band of wizards (“all for one and one for all!”), each of whom thinks Vangey watches over them personally as they all tackle the necessary tasks of defending Cormyr together.
Can you see what I’m getting at, finally? Or are we going to have to go through all of this again? :}
(“Men, this is a stick. I’m going to hit you with it until you understand what it does . . .”)


[THO: Part IV follows]
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  01:28:03  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
[THO: Part IV of Ed's reply:]


Your post then went on to deal with my description of one War Wizard outranking another for Task A, and their positions being reversed for Task B, so that they all know hierarchies for particular missions, but the force as a whole has few (beyond alarphons and Vangey/Caladnei and Laspeera) established ‘relative ranks,’ by posting: [This is ranking a 1 or a 2 on my 1-10 scale, and in my opinion is not believable.]
And here we’re at the crux of the matter. I reject your ranking system, and I’m afraid I can’t do anything about what you personally find believable (other than try to educate you with more and more details of Realmslore, in hopes that belief comes with enlightenment).
Your ranking system is based on your equating an internal order based on a hierarchy of ranks with efficiency and effectiveness. You keep saying you aren’t trying to make the War Wizards a military unit, and yet you keep judging or treating them as if they are. You post: [I am convinced that organization is the time-immemorial and eternal method for people to get things done efficiently and effectively, and that while the degree of organization needed depends on the size of the institution and the number/complexity of tasks it's given the necessity of organization in principle is constant for all times.]
It might astonish you to learn that I don’t disagree with the above sentence.
What I do disagree with is your unilateral decision that a hierarchy of stable-through-all-situations ranks is the only means by which any group can be effectively organized.
Let me shift analogies here to a modern sports team. As a Canadian, I’m going to choose hockey, one of our two national sports (the other, lacrosse, fits equally well here): a contest between two teams whose coaches, on the professional level, are constantly “juggling lines.” That is, shifting which players are on the ice playing together into different combinations (so that Hank may play left wing on one shift, but be told to play center for the next one), AND trying to match those different combinations against specific players or combinations of players on the opposing team. NFL football and major league baseball coaches do the same thing when it comes to trying to arrange matchups against specific opposing players, but in those sports, with the skill specializations that have come to dominate the modern versions of the games (‘special teams’ in football), it’s rarer to shift your own players from position to position (task to task) during a particular game - - though it DOES happen.
Vangerdahast is like a hockey coach, juggling his players (the War Wizards) continuously to deal with (what he sees as) the foes of Cormyr.
And if you dismiss every last hockey team as therefore necessarily “unorganized” or “chaotic” or “doomed to be ineffective,” I think I’ll SCREAM. :}
Just to adopt your 1-10 scale of organization for a moment, I’d rate the War Wizards as usually hovering around a 7. After all, they are among the most versatile and well-rounded people in all Faerûn, and CERTAINLY the most well-rounded group of wizards on Toril.
When (rarely, I’ll admit) their communications are really “clicking,” they go up to probably around 8.5. YOU may see them as down around 2, but I sure don’t - - but again, I’m not measuring them against a military chain of command, or expecting them to have one.

You then posted what I see as a deliberate misunderstanding of my refutation of your insistence that a strict hierarchy must have a chain of command by dismissing my historical examples as not germane to my fictional creations. Frankly, I’d be surprised if they were. :}

You then posted: [The "network of resistance cell" organization I can deal with as a lower level of organization, just as I can deal with the police model at the lower level. The "situational and freely variable" relative authority still gives me problems. What happens if the leader of a cell gets KIA'ed? Who takes over, when there's no time to have a debate in the middle of spells flying and enemies lurking.]
At the resistance cell level, Jerry, the answer is: whoever asserts themselves under fire. They were generally only five to seven guys, who’d agreed what they’d do if this or that went wrong before they crept out to try something - - and if you served in a military where that few personnel were either shocked into immobility or plunged into a furious argument over who commands the moment their sergeant or platoon commander went down, that WOULD be a military with utter lack of training or esprit de corps. Remember, it’s rare to find to a ‘task group’ of War Wizards of much larger size than that five to seven number.
If you’re worried about what happens if Vangey goes down: well, Laspeera steps in, designating her replacement as she’s doing so (and so on). It doesn’t really matter, in an emergency, because any senior war wizard who bursts in bringing “orders from Vangey” is going to be believed unless everyone present knows Vangey is dead. Yes, this has great potential for treachery and abuse, but that’s why Vangey did all the mind-snooping.
If you’re thinking, “Ah, but the abusers would be impostors from outside, perhaps Zhents or War Wizards or Dragon Cult wizards or mages hired by Sembians!” then you’re following the same fallacy that led you to post: [If this is how the War Wizards truly operate, they should have been gutted piecemeal after 64 years.]
By WHOM? Again, you seem to be thinking of them as waging war either against invaders, or against neighbours of Cormyr (in other words, fulfilling an, ahem, military role). The War Wizards police Cormyr, and most of the foes they work against are ambitious nobles, slavers, would-be crime bosses in Suzail, Marsember, and Arabel, and the like - - and these “piecemeal gutters” have no idea of this potential flaw in the War Wizard command structure.
Again, I ask you: just who do you see as a force whose efforts could cause the kept-as-mysterious-as-Vangey-can-make-them War Wizards (who have the benefit of their own extensive intelligence-gathering, one of their primary tasks, AND magical means of internal communication) to collapse? Or be “gutted piecemeal”?
I’m really curious. Yes, the Red Wizards or the Zhents MIGHT be able to accomplish this feat, if THEY ever all worked together properly - - but we haven’t shown you the slightest hint in published Realmslore that they’ve tried.
The FBI and CIA are often portrayed as idiots, especially in fiction, but they haven’t fallen apart yet. Neither has the KGB. Internal turf battles happen all the time in all three of these organizations, yet they still exist.
So just who’s supposed to make the War Wizards fall apart, or “gut” them? Exasperated Cormyrean farmers? The nearest huffing-through-his-moustache, goblet-in-hand noble?

You then post: [It plainly and simply isn't possible for one man's micromanaging & meddling whim to hold together an organization of 600 people in a feared, effective, and efficient force at accomplishing a variety of tasks for almost 64 years before beginning to unravel and to posit otherwise shatters all believability for me. And magic doesn't change this in the slightest, in my opinion.]
I guess you’ve never heard of Tito, then, or Mao, or Queen Victoria, or Elizabeth I, or Henry Ford for that matter. I suppose you can “disbelieve” in those folks, but that won’t make their names or accomplishments vanish from the history books. Funny, I still see Fords on the streets today.

You then posted some perfectly valid comments about wanting specificity in your D&D play and in lore available to DMs, and went on to post: [you did make that gentlemens' agreement to withhold any systematic or reasonably complete presentation of the War Wizards - which frankly I don't see the necessity for].
Okay, I’ll be blunt. It was seen as the best way by the TSR designers and their immediate bosses at the time to avoid introducing contradictions AND hampering creativity. In other words, they wanted the freedom for Designer X or Novel Writer Y to invent this or that little detail to best suit their needs for the project at hand, so that a synthesis would develop over time, rather than ‘everybody running to Ed.’ I KNOW this was partly due to their experience with Gary Gygax becoming the bottleneck for Greyhawk development because he was so busy trying to run the company as well as write Greyhawk products, and I suspect (from things I’ve heard said, down the years) it might also have been partly due to TSR not wanting me to have the sort of influence Margaret & Tracy did over Dragonlance, for whatever reasons. I can’t confirm that second bit at all, and frankly am not interested in trying to, because it’s all water under the bridge now. However, you said you didn’t see the necessity, so behold the explanation.
I appreciate that you can’t possibly read my mind and fill in all the gaps in published lore exactly as I would, and so come up with War Wizards that precisely match my original (or modified, down the years) conception of them.
I admire your diligence in trying to find every last published detail and extrapolate fairly. And I accept that you have to personally be happy with your results, and that you’ll see things differently from the way I do.
I’m trying to explain exactly how I see the War Wizards, and make certain there are NO misunderstandings between us arising out of using the same or similar words but meaning different things by them, and so on. I’m trying to show you WHY I see the War Wizards the way I do.
I’m not Vangerdahast (thank the gods!), so I can’t meddle in your mind and MAKE you agree with me. I do, however, want you to be very clear on what I mean by certain words and phrases, and where I’m coming from.

You then posted this: [As a more general question beyond the War Wizards, do you design the Realms as a whole to specifically provide opportunities for such farce and comedy? If so, might that have (however inadvertantly) influenced your own design of the War Wizards and their seeming lack of organization?]
No, and no. Absolutely not. The farce and comedy arises from our deep friendships, our shared experiences (so that we can, for example, respond to a situation arising in play with a silly but appropriate Monty Python, Goon Show, Sellers solo, Hoffnung, Cook & Moore, Fry & Lawrie, Dave Allen, Billy Connolly, or Flanders & Swann comment that everyone around the room will instantly understand and react to), and from CHARACTER-based challenges. For instance, I’ll give Torm a chance to verbally lambaste a pompous Sembian envoy, or get caught in bed with a lovely daughter by her parents returning home - - situations where the player can choose to have fun IF they (and the other players) want to.
The humour always arises out of human nature (check THO’s revelations of Realmsplay events, early in last year’s Questions to Eddie thread).
This aspect of my home campaign play never influences the design of places, governments, power groups, adversaries, trade routes, and all the rest. I do want gamers to have “bright spots” in the Realms to make it more attractive than their real-life experiences, and Cormyr (“the good King Arthur kingdom!” as one early Marketing VP of TSR called it) is one such “bright spot.” Laughter is great around the gaming table, but it must arise from situations; because humour is such a personal thing, it’s a mistake to put into game source material, and is tricky even in novels. (Some people love it and roll in a good humour scene like a dog rolling in something nasty, and others hate the exact same scene and fling the book down and tell the publisher and all their friends how terrible and tasteless it was. Always!)
The “Keystone Kops” nature of the early published Zhentarim was due to the TSR Code of Ethics, which was being VERY strictly applied to the Realms because Dragonlance (what with Raistlin and Takhisis and Kitiara and the draconians) was seen by some in the company as having ‘broken’ the Code and gotten far too ‘evil-is-successful-and-attractive’ - - and “We’re NOT going to let that happen in the Realms!”
So, no, it’s NOT [some small part of difference in our visions]. This isn’t a clown face, this is the way I look all the time. :}

I could go on, but this post is long enough already. I’m not angry with you or disparaging of your intent to do a War Wizard document or the work you’ve put into the Realms thus far, Jerry. I just want things to be very clear between us, and I look forward to your reactions and comments to what I’ve posted here. I HOPE you’re closer to seeing “my” version of the War Wizards by the time you’ve read down this far (note that I said seeing, not necessarily accepting).
Over to you, sir!



So saith Ed. As he said, this screed is long enough already, so I’ll spare everyone any clever comments. THIS time.
love,
THO
Go to Top of Page

Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  02:00:11  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message
Regardless of whether or not Jerryd "gets it" about the War Wizards, this is a GOLD MINE of War Wizards Realmslore. Thank you Ed and THO; this is going to be great for my campaign!
Yessssss . . .
Go to Top of Page

SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  03:18:18  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message
Doesn't seem wise to spare with Ed over Realms lore. :)

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
Go to Top of Page

Mr. Wilson
Seeker

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  04:59:12  Show Profile  Visit Mr. Wilson's Homepage Send Mr. Wilson a Private Message
Well met,

I have a question for Mr. Greenwood regarding the Fall of Stars in Harrowdale.

My question is regarding the current Mistress of the Stars, Breeandra and her mother, Ambreeauta Nenthyn, and relates more to the reasoning as to why they had chosen the Lady of the Lash as their patron.

I see the idea of an old "adventures" home as a brilliant idea, one that I liked so much that I stole it and placed it in my own homebrewed world (well, truth be told, I stole the whole inn itself). I guess I'm wondering if you meant these ladies to show a different side of Loviatar, as IMHO, I see this idea as one more in line with the creeds of Sune, Tymorra, or the Broken One.

This is just something I've wondered about for the last couple of years, so there's no hurry in responding if you have more pressing matters. If you would, maybe a line or two regarding their alignment (I think of them more as LN, but then again, I haven't seen thier "evil" side, if they have one) and levels would be welcomed as well.

A thousand pardons if this has been answered elsewhere and thank you.

"I've got a plan..."- Dan
"Nothing good has ever come after those four words." - Jesse
Go to Top of Page

Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  05:11:27  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by SirUrza

Doesn't seem wise to spare with Ed over Realms lore. :)



*chuckle*

It would be like argueing with God over the Bible!

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
Go to Top of Page

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4887 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  05:13:45  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
After reading Ed's further comments on Vangey I understand the former Mage Royal of Cormyr far better in terms of his actions during "Cormyr: A Novel" and the Abraxus Affair. His gruffness to those around him, secretive acts and demeanour are now a little clearer. Thanks Ed (and THO)!

-- George Krashos

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

Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  15:33:17  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
I have to agree with George Krashos here... Vangey's been my favourite Realms character since i read "Cormyr; A Novel" way back when, and each time i've re-read it i reckon i've understood his character just a fraction more. This large chunk of realmslore you've delivered to us Ed, really fills in the blanks.

It makes me more and more disappointed that things had to change so that Vangey was replaced. Could we possibly draw you out some more on what you feel about his replacement with Caladnei (and how and why that came about) and what his (obviously now rather special) future holds? Will we still see him popping up from time to time meddling or is he truly retired (and perhaps in stasis)?

Thanks once again Ed, as a great lover of Cormyr (and Vangey in particular) i'm truly enjoying this debate with JerryD.

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
Go to Top of Page

Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2005 :  20:53:06  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
I’ve just read enough War Wizard related Realmslore to run my campaign for a decade! Not to mention drive the wannabe Lord of the Stonelands Paladin in my campaign nuts, when he learns that being Baron does not also make him de facto boss of any War Wizards in his domain.

Oh this is too sweet!

Thankee Ed and THO!

J. Grenemyer

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
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2005 :  01:50:46  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed answers Elf_Friend:



Regarding dead gods: mortals of Faerûn don’t know the true “current body count,” or where the residue of the divine essence of a dead god lies.
In part, this is because it’s very hard for a god to truly die unless very carefully destroyed by another god: otherwise, if some mortal of Faerûn still worships them or discovers them and starts worshipping them, later (even centuries later), they ‘rise’ again, albeit as almost powerless ghostly awarenesses (at their weakest).
The arguments among churches (about what god did what to which other god) confuse the average inhabitant of the Realms (who to believe?), but I’d say that among humans, most are aware that Bhaal, Iyachtu Xvim, Leira, and Myrkul are ‘dead.’ Only sages and some priests and wizards have even heard of, say, Karsus, and most folk accept that there are countless ‘godlings’ worshipped by various ‘cultists’ here and there across the Realms (from Savras and other half-remembered names to the beast-cults to “those dangerous folk who worship the skeletons of DRAGONS if ye can believe it, aye?”).
So some of them are dead and gone ‘forever’ (although one can then debate just how long ‘forever’ is, of course :}), but most are, as you say, “just dead, ready to be revived thru some epic act or worship.”



So saith Ed, Creator and Supreme Loremaster of the Realms. Also Champion Belcher of Colborne, I trow.
love to all,
THO
Go to Top of Page

SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2005 :  02:23:21  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

It would be like argueing with God over the Bible!



Ahh but see, with the Bible you have valid arguements. The Bible was writen by men, the Realms are writen by...*choaking and gagging sounds are heard in the background*

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
Go to Top of Page

The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5041 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2005 :  01:40:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, scribes. Ed makes reply to simontrinity’s earlier query about the hostility of the drow priestesses seen in Ed’s novel SILVERFALL (BTW, simontrinity, he has your request about Syluné, and expressed delight in it; expect an answer in a week or less):



The drow seen worshipping in Ardeep, in SILVERFALL, also dwell in Ardeep (and other places; at the time of that book, they have only recentled settled in the forest). They are so “seemingly hostile” towards humans because human woodcutters, charcoal-burners and hunters despoil Ardeep daily, making it so swiftly smaller that the drow feel threatened. Also, hunters (and almost all other humans) who encounter these she-drow tend to attack the drow on sight (to slay outright, or to render unconscious and rape and then either slay or carry off as captives, to be sold to slavers, wealthy collectors or researchers of “monsters,” or mages desiring drow blood or the like).
So their behaviour wasn’t all that out of place, really - - particularly as when we first met them in SILVERFALL, they were angry because they viewed the lone intruding human female as interrupting and profaning a holy rite to the goddess. Think of them as the equivalent of a married human woman of middle years and dignity who’s warmly friendly (not amorous) to a male neighbour - - but would be outraged if he entered her house uninvited and walked in on her in the shower.



So saith Ed. I’ve been walked into while in my bath (I rarely shower), and quite enjoyed it: it was the guy who was embarrassed, and who got rather angry after I pulled him into the bath on top of me and he got his business suit all wet, but . . . that’s one of those “tales for another time.”
love to all,
THO
Go to Top of Page

Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2005 :  02:17:54  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 The Hooded One
So saith Ed. I’ve been walked into while in my bath (I rarely shower), and quite enjoyed it: it was the guy who was embarrassed, and who got rather angry after I pulled him into the bath on top of me and he got his business suit all wet, but . . . that’s one of those “tales for another time.”
love to all,
THO


Isn't going to touch that above part. :)

However, it does make me ask about something I've been pondering, since we were told WOTC won't publish this info.

Can Ed supply some wedding rituals for Sharess and Lliira? :)

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 26 Jan 2005 02:19:11
Go to Top of Page

Talwyn
Learned Scribe

Australia
222 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  02:34:32  Show Profile  Visit Talwyn's Homepage Send Talwyn a Private Message
*reads the last few posts with a raised eyebrow*

Interesting guys


Anyway I have a question to put to Ed regarding his views as to how to role play a paladin of Torm.

Recently, I've started playing on a NWN PW server "The Vast".
It's a great place, very detailed and faithfull to the realms and the role playing standard is very high.
I've taken to playing a paldin of Torm there (it's my favourite pc class) and have played him thusly:
Basically, he's a very positive sort of chap, not the brightest crayon in the box (10 int) but see's further than most. He learns songs and poems and likes to sing (in 2ndEd I'd take the singing proficientcy) both stiring hymns and ballads and occasionally a ribald sea shanty. He has a sense of humour but takes things at face value. He is kind, generous to a fault and a bit of a romantic fool. He's been unlucky in love twice now but is of the "glass is half-full" approach to these things.
I see him as like being one of the french Jongalier knights (sorry I can't remeber the proper spelling) who is a bit of a vagabond, seeing that he has no family but only the temple instead.

Now the DM's/hosts of the server feel that this is out of character for a paladin of Torm. They see the paladin as a very narrow role.
What I'd like to know is that is it possible for a paladin of Torm to be a bit out of the ordinary, be more like a troubador knight from the courtly love period of medieval times? Someone who is able to laugh, jest and tell a joke or two as well as sing the odd romantic ballad.


So then am I on the right track or am I way off the mark heere?

Thanks



Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil...prayer, fasting, good works and so on.
Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun.
EAT LEADEN DEATH DEMON!
Terry Pratchett

Go to Top of Page

Octa
Learned Scribe

USA
138 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  02:36:22  Show Profile  Visit Octa's Homepage Send Octa a Private Message
Hello, Ed this is an invaluable service-

So here is my question

In the original realms conception what were the Moonshaes like? Were they all populated by the Illuskans and served as their homeland? Also where in the west did the Illuskans migrate to Ruathym from. It just always struck me as kind of weird that all of the Illuskans came from a tiny dot on the map.

Also, how old is Toril?
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 84 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2017 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000