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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  02:36:24  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed makes reply to kuje31 in the matter of Limbo:



kuje, Toril exists within its own physical universe (as covered in Realmspace), its own cosmology (presented in the Players Guide to Faerûn), and has also had thousands of links (some of them permanent, and known as “gates”) with several parallel Prime Material Planes (hence the very name “Forgotten Realms,” which is Toril seen from the viewpoint of a real-world Earth observer).
Real-world Earth (where I live, and Elminster finds me to pass on his tales of this wondrous world we all buy divers products about) is but one of these dozens of Prime Material Planes that Toril is, or has been (and in some cases, will be again, as gates re-open in predetermined cycles or conditions, or are re-opened by the deliberate acts of various beings) directly linked to. (Lest anyone think I’m just concocting this now as a retcon, consider the date on which issue 37 of The Dragon, as it was then, was published.)
The elf realm of Faerie is one such Prime Material Plane, though it’s very different from, say, our real-world Earth (and yes, I’ll very soon answer Melfius as to how and where Faerie and Toril connect).
Most of these Prime Material Planes (from which various of the “creator races” hail) are similar to Toril in that they are vaguely-medieval-level carbon-based and copious-water environments very like Toril, and one can breathe the air and drink the water if one is a resident of one plane, and steps (via gate/portal or spell) from one to the other. Most of them exist both within their own crystal spheres (Spelljammer again, although in the majority of cases the inhabitants of these alternate Prime Material Planes are entirely unaware of the existence of crystal spheres, spelljammers, phlogiston, et al) and in the cosmology described in the ‘core’ D&D rules, where Limbo very much exists.
So as SERPENT KINGDOMS states, some learned thinkers of Toril believe the batrachi fled to Limbo, where they became known as slaadi.
(I know they exist in Limbo, because circa issue 90 or so of DRAGON, a Canadian freelance designer by the name of Stephen Inniss [creator of the lillend “monster”] and I stopped work on a by-then-300-odd-pages manuscript detailing Limbo, when TSR’s Creative Director told us they wouldn’t be publishing any more planar products. As we all know, TSR later changed its mind.)
Not only are the cosmologies connected via the various gates linking the Prime Material Planes, they’re also linked (Elminster tells me, though word of this may well not have reached those wizards who dwell on a certain coast) through their World Trees and River of Blood/River Styx (which are actually the same thing, exhibiting different properties in different places and cosmologies. I note both “places” and cosmologies because the Styx differs from place to place just within the Outer Planes of the “main D&D” or “Greyhawk” cosmology, bearing alternative names such as the River Lethe.)
Obviously, the slaadi colonized the Supreme Throne from Limbo (where, after all, the githzerai are an everpresent force that opposes them). Cyric is only very recently ascended to godhood (from a cosmic viewpoint), so it’s obvious that the Supreme Throne described in the PLAYER’S GUIDE TO FAERUN is greatly changed from the features a visitor would have found on that plane not very long ago - - when the slaadi probably dominated, hunting other creatures at will.
However, let me state again (for the benefit of all Seekers After Truths with whom you’ll undoubtedly be sharing this) that as with matters divine, matters cosmological are rife with speculation and things most mortals can never know or be sure about. What is “fact” when even a careful observer can’t necessarily perceive things as they are, or know he or she is interpreting what they see correctly? (I recall a humorous animated film, popular in schools in my youth, wherein aliens believe that cars are the rulers of Earth, and humans are merely parasites who occasionally issue forth from them or enter them.) So there you have it: clear as mud in utter darkness when one is submerged in it and blindfolded. :}



So saith Ed. Who in that last sentence has described the art of trying to understand, say, the D&D magic system (or life in general) as well as anyone ever has.
love to all,
THO
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Gray Richardson
Master of Realmslore

USA
1287 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  03:22:45  Show Profile  Visit Gray Richardson's Homepage Send Gray Richardson a Private Message
Thank you Ed! For your cosmological insight into Limbo and the Supreme Throne. As Kuje said we have been discussing this for a long time over on the Forgotten Realms cosmology board over on the WotC site and every little piece of planar lore helps us to understand the "Great Tree" a little better.
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  03:28:26  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 Octa

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?



Trying to help Ed out here with half this reply, you can see this reply from years ago:

http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Castle/2566/jg-moonshaes.htm

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
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2400 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  06:53:08  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Hello again. After all that great info on the War Wizards, I realised that I had been thinking about them incorrectly, or rather incompletely. So, if no one will object too loudly, I'd like to ask another War Wizard question.

Basically, I'm wondering about how they functioned through the years of their existence. I'd always thought they'd been as they are now, but you've made very clear the Vangey overhauled them sixty some years ago. So what were they before then? How much have they evolved from their initial founding? How have the various reigning Royal Mages (sorry if I used the wrong title, I'm afraid the little discertation on Vangey's titles took a clear concept for me and made it hopelessly confused) impacted the War Wizards?

Many thanks for all the wonderful info.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Garen Thal
Master of Realmslore

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  07:25:39  Show Profile  Visit Garen Thal's Homepage Send Garen Thal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha
Basically, I'm wondering about how they functioned through the years of their existence. I'd always thought they'd been as they are now, but you've made very clear the Vangey overhauled them sixty some years ago. So what were they before then? How much have they evolved from their initial founding? How have the various reigning Royal Mages (sorry if I used the wrong title, I'm afraid the little discertation on Vangey's titles took a clear concept for me and made it hopelessly confused) impacted the War Wizards?
To save Ed just a little bit of trouble, I'll hope to summarize things just a little bit.

The War Wizards were initially formed by Amedahast, and were originally more autonomous; the Brotherhood of Wizards of War was initially a way of centralizing and controlling magical might in Cormyr, at least so far as anyone remembers. The treachery of Luthax, then leader of the group (see Cormyr: A Novel, Chapter 18) forced later Mages Royal to keep control of the group strictly within their hands.

The "reorganization" that Vangey engaged in was due to the chaos that followed Salember's regency, usurpation, and death (Cormyr: A Novel again, this time Chapter 28). When Salember claimed the throne, the country was riven in two, and that included even the most loyal elements of the kingdom--the Purple Dragons and War Wizards. The strife was unimaginable, but worse still was the lack of a Royal Magician to keep things in check once Salember was killed and Rhigaerd II came to the throne. For 30 years (from 1286 until 1306, when it was announced that Queen Tanalusta was with child) former War Wizards operated individually, and essentially how they pleased, being without Crown mandate or control. Once Vangerdahast arrived in 1306 to assume the mantle of Mage Royal, he very firmly established himself as supreme authority over the group, and eliminated any opposition that needed, ahem, eliminating.

There was a time when "Thunderspells" was not a term of derision, after all...
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Faraer
Great Reader

3302 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  14:54:26  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
The main survival of Ed's Moonshaes in the published Realms seems to be Flamsterd, though I wonder what else in FA1 Halls of the High King is original.

Ed, are spell levels in-Realms facts, or are they abstractions of a non-stepped magical reality?

Edited by - Faraer on 27 Jan 2005 17:45:34
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2005 :  23:38:22  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
A question for Ed

Faithes and Pantheons says Tyr killed a deity called Valigan Thirdborn. All we know is that he was a Lesser Power and he was a God of Anarchy (Im assuming he was CN)

Do we have any other infomation on this deity?

Portfolios and Domains (other than Anarchy?), Alignment, History etc

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2005 :  01:41:24  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, fellow scribes. Hereafter, Ed of the Greenwood replies to ShayneT about wealth:



Good questions, all. I’m going to rearrange them for ease of answering.

1. Kings might have more money, but for a private individual, how much wealth makes him considered a financial power in the Realms?
A: It depends on where the individual’s located and who’s doing the considering. Note that there’s a difference between BEING a financial power (which means you can affect things you want to affect by using your wealth or assets, or threatening to use them - - and that other individuals may conduct their own behaviour BEARING IN MIND your presence or possible reactions to what they do: in other words, that THEY consider you a financial power) and being CONSIDERED a financial power. With that out of the way, it’s obvious that in Waterdeep, Amn, and Sembia, you’ll need to have a lot more wealth to be considered “a player” than in Cormyr (where nobility counts for something) or, say, Triboar or a tiny rural hamlet. In Calimshan, someone who’s a satrap of any rank will be judged by his peers as to wealth far differently than, say, a rural shepherd (or a slave) is judged. These variances are so wide, from region to region and country to country and social class to social class in the Realms, that I really can’t provide a set financial figure in answer to your question, that can be used as a “rule” by DMs. Really.

2. Just how much money does the average noble have control of anyway? I realize that most businessmen have most of their assets invested in property and businesses rather than easily carried wealth.
A: Your second sentence is correct. Remember that not all nobles are businessmen, although much of your second sentence holds true for them, too. The best way to hang on to wealth is to buy tangible assets (land, buildings, businesses) with it, rather than to just sit on it and wait to be robbed or to die, or to spend it all on whims. Many wealthy individuals in the Realms buy titles (nobility), offices such as Lord of the Ports or War Marshal of the Uplands (with their own salaries and powers), or partners (marrying into additional wealth and/or noble status).
However, I can only really answer your question by saying: it depends on what you consider an “average noble.” A younger son (not the heir) or older uncles (again, not the heirs) in glittering Waterdeep? Old-money upland farming nobles in Cormyr? A dispossessed, on-the-run former noble of Tethyr? Again, things vary widely, not just from place to place but in what “control” means. In some places, there are laws governing spending (and loans). In some families, Aunt Jaratha might be very wealthy but not given a copper of her own to spend “because she wastes it all on strong drink, and then disgraces herself and us,” whereas Cousin Larkel is trusted with thousands from the family vaults “because he always invests it well, and brings back thrice what he borrows, or more!” In some families, the”head of the house” can control every last copper, disinheriting whomever he or she wants to, and in others, law and custom and family pressure restrict his or her power almost completely.
Moreover, some nobles are misers, or for reasons of prudence don’t carry a single coin. Others toss handfuls of coins into crowds to impress folk. So control varies in that way, too. Again, giving a strict figure is almost impossible unless you narrow the scope to a particular time and place.

3. Is a thousand thousand coins considered a huge sum?
A: As I stated in my previous answers, it depends on who’s doing the considering, and where. However, to the vast majority of folk in Faerûn (“working people” if you like, of all walks of life), a simple glance at the suggested salaries and pay scales given in various rulebooks and Realms source material over the years will tell you that, yes, “a thousand thousand coins” is a huge sum, if they’re gold coins. If they’re coppers, it’s still a tidy sum.

4. One of the d20 modern books suggests that gold pieces are worth approximately $20. It occurs to me that the wealthiest businessman in Faerun might then be worth around 50 million gold. This would put him in the same league as a Rockefeller. I doubt it would be easy to own amounts much larger than that due to transportation and communications difficulties. Administrative costs of a business empire alone would eat up profits, along with the monsters, bandits, thieves and unscrupulous competing businesses who are out to steal your latest caravan load of silks.
Does that sound reasonable?
A: The d20 source you cite is describing the purchasing power of a gold coin rather than saying anything at all about how people LIVING IN THE SETTING judge what a gold piece is worth (the old “the Canadian dollar is worth so much, but the American dollar is worth this different amount” conversion, which only matters to tourists and other travellers, banks, and businesses importing and exporting: to a Canadian living in Canada, a dollar’s a dollar, and to an American living in the United States, a dollar is, yup, a dollar). You’re also not considering inflation, the effects of goods or money supply shortages (after the stock market crash in 1929, money lost great amounts of value, and there are tales of a hungry man buying an apple for fifty dollars, and the like).
However, with these oversimplifications granted (and the details of the business empire “administrative costs” and “transportation and communications difficulties” you mention similarly swept aside for a moment, I agree that there are practical limits to CONTROL of wealth in the Realms, if not to formal ownership of things. (For instance, if I as a successful merchant in Dock Ward in Waterdeep, rising from nothing and having no social reputation or standing, become wealthy enough to purchase a fleet of seven caravels that sail the Sword Coast making me wealthier, I can’t control in detail what any of those ships do if I’m not on them, and in fact could have lost them all to pirates or shipwrecks and not even know it - - but my “financial power” will depend on my pocket spending money and if the people I have business dealings with know I own a fleet of seven ships, but don’t know that I’ve lost them all.)
That’s what people in the real world are getting at when they say things like: “If you can count what you’re worth, you’re not really rich.” There’s a difference between actual wealth and power, and a change in attitude that occurs when you become wealthy enough that you no longer have to worry about where your next meal is going to come from, or how to pay your bills and keep what you want to keep (like your feedom, as opposed to going to jail because of debts or illicit acts you may have engaged in to pay your bills or get more money).
Communications in the Realms is lousier than in the real world, EXCEPT for people who can afford wizards or priests to make it even better than in our real world, for them. Again, there are too many variables to draw an “upper limits” line at the equivalent of 50 million or anywhere else, but your general point about practical limits to wealth is a good one. The truly wealthy Faerûnian can buy anything he or she wants to, on a whim, and can use his or her wealth to force others to do or stop doing things.

5. How much wealth does someone have to have to impress the average Waterdhavian?
A: At last we get to specifics, and even then, I’m going to have to weasel: it depends on just who your “average Waterdhavian” is.
After all, Waterdeep contains near-slaves (Dock Ward street urchins and the ’prentices of cruel masters and lowly servants of the most ill-behaved nobles), a lot of ‘short-coin’ laborers (non-guild workers paid by the day or by the task), ‘guilded’ workers, independent shopkeepers who don’t happen to be guilded, rising or successful merchants (who no longer have to work daily in their own shops, but have hired a staff, and who also usually own more than one property, and are becoming landlords and/or part-owners of other businesses than their own original one, sometimes little shops started by their sons and daughters), established merchants (born into a successful business or now a landlord or multi-business owner who’s become confident and settled, rather than still desperate), then the wannabe-nobles I referred to in last year’s thread, who spend coins like water and want to be socially important, and then the nobles (who can be divided into old money and new money, if you really want to split hairs).

Then we come to another matter: how does the Waterdhavian learn about the wealth, in order to be impressed?
Most Waterdhavians don’t want to reveal the full details of their wealth, assets, debts, and prospects to ANYONE, and don’t, often going to elaborate troubles to conceal things from the tax authorities, business partners and fellow guild members, and even close kin (using “factors” [trade agents] and go-betweens in negotiations, setting up ‘dummy’ companies, and so on). Folk in Waterdeep love to discuss trade PROSPECTS, and “who will probably do what, just you watch,” such conversations taking the place of the weather for casual daily discourse whenever folk encounter each other (other usual topics are: “What’s hot?” [again, new products, processes, fads and fashions or “who’s buying what?”] and “What’s the news?” [business feuds and announcements and the usual city gossip about murders, trysts, weddings, breakups, robberies, scandals, fights and insults, and so on]). Waterdhavians want to tell you all about their latest business venture (particularly if they want you to invest in it), but they usually want to limit what they say to just that, and gloss over what else they own, are doing, or how their other business concerns are performing.
Waterdhavians are always ‘looking for a deal,’ and love getting not just a low price but bargaining shrewdly; someone who pays high prices for things without question is either a fool (usually in love), an outlander (ignorant of what the proper ‘street price’ should be), or a noble or wannabe-noble with money to burn, who wants everyone to know how much coin they can afford to waste. Only the latter two categories, nobles or wannabe-nobles, impress the average Waterdhavian (in this case, meaning anyone who isn’t themselves a noble or wannabe-noble), and observers put the big spender into those by judging manner, speech, dress, and company kept, not just the amount of coins spent. If so judged, you impress, without anyone knowing exactly how much your complete holdings are (which allows ‘con men’ to operate).
Also, Waterdhavians aren’t impressed by someone with large amounts of coin but no assets (property, ships or shares in ships, or goods owned) or investments: they regard such people suspiciously, as either thieves, agents of foreign interests up to no good, or fools. So impressing a Waterdhavian always involves more than just a sum of money.

But let’s assume that you somehow manage to overcome the almost paranoid secrecy most Waterdhavians have over guarding the full extent of their business affairs, and let’s look at possible (generalizations, of course, and so VERY rough, to be used as a basis for individual people, not a ‘hard’ rule) minimum ‘impress me’ amounts for each of the categories of Waterdhavians I gave earlier:
1. Near-slaves: Anyone who owns their own home and has enough money to spend on fripperies (useless luxury goods such as flowers, chocolates, and pretty statuettes) on a whim (in other words, not just when in love or trying to close a business deal, and in any event more than once a year or so).
2. Short-coin laborers: Anyone in a position to employ others (in multiples); in other words, any business owner.
3. Guilded workers: Anyone who owns their own business and employs others PLUS owns something else (other business interests, rental properties, or personal residence), or is a guildmaster or higher in social rank, or orders “one of everything” or “I said blue, and I want blue, but if you say it looks much better in red, make me one in red, too, and I’ll take them both” when dealing with the guild business the worker in questions belongs to.
4. Independent shopkeepers: Anyone who owns their own business but no longer needs to work daily (can afford a staff), AND owns own home plus has other business or social interests (in other words, has money to spare to invest elsewhere or spend on a sport or pastime or entertaining).
5. Rising/successful merchants: Anyone who owns multiple businesses, has a large personal home and properties elsewhere (e.g. “a place in Amn” or a ‘winter refuge’ down south to go to in the coldest months), and still has money to spend freely on investments or fripperies or social matters (e.g. hosting revels, regularly hiring bodyguards or escorts for pleasure, sponsoring entertainers such as minstrels, poets, and actors)
6. Established merchants: Anyone who owns multiple businesses and by wits, reputation, and money can manipulate guilds and other merchants (particularly against their will) into doing things, or force them out of business (i.e. kingpins who can “crush people” in trade).
7. Wannabe-nobles: Any noble (of Waterdeep), any old money noble (from anywhere else).
8. New Money Nobles: Any old-money noble sufficiently secure as to NOT sneer at new-money nobles.
9: Old Money Nobles: Demigodhood, rulership, anyone able to casually manipulate who’s on a throne or the affairs of countries or city-states at will.

Now, if we’re really talking “how large a pile of money sitting ownerless in an old chest will awe [not just excite] your average Waterdhavian?” the minimum answer for the above categories is as follows:
1. 1,000 gp
2. 5,000 gp
3. 15,000 gp
4. 40,000 gp
5. 250,000 gp
6. 1 million gp
7. a clear grant of arms of nobility that the wannabe-noble can see a way to personally use, or 4 million gp (see “gems” in the next entry)
8. a chest full of deeds giving clear property title to most of a large, wealthy city (one in Amn, Tethyr, or Sembia, for example) or 2 million gp (this would of course have to be in the form of gems; they don’t make “old chests” large enough to hold such amounts in coinage)
9. no amount: no chest could hold enough of anything to awe an old money noble


I know Eric Boyd and Rich Baker, in particular, will be interested in reading the above answer for question 5. I hope it also proves useful to others.



So saith Ed, the Walking Treasure Chest of Realmslore.
love to all,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2005 :  02:43:37  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message

A bunch of question for Ed

How much legal power does a Noble have in he FR in the lands he governs

Does a noble have the right to sleep with any female who dwells within his domain? (Something that was legal in Medevial europe)

Can the leader of the Family put another member of the family to death for Defying or disobeying the leader of the Family (The Roman Aristocracy had the right to do this)

How much heridatary land does the average noble have and how much land do they have to retain in order to remain a Noble (A Roman aristocrat had to have x amount of land in his name before he could take a seat in the Senate)

Who inherits? Does a Noble give all his wealth to his first born son or does he spread it out amongst his sons? Can a female child Inherit?

How much power does a father have over his son or daughter? Can he force said son or daughter into an arranged marriage? (I believe they allow this in Cormyr... I seem to recall that Alusair fled an arranged marriaged when she ran off with that cleric of Gond)

Thanks in advance

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4309 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2005 :  03:24:11  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth



Does a noble have the right to sleep with any female who dwells within his domain? (Something that was legal in Medevial europe)





This is the right of the first night, when a couple married. In theory it was to assure the husband that he married a virgin, for the noble would always say that the wife was until he took her. It was not a legal right to sleep with any woman at anytime. As for realms laws one can wait for an answer, however I suspect it will be along the lines of where in the realms one lives.
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2005 :  09:27:33  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
You know, it just feels good to read Ed’s words on Waterdeep, as they mirror mine own Waterdhavian NPC’s encouraging the player characters in my campaign to unburden themselves of extra coin by investing it in property throughout the city.

A sign I’m going about things correctly, that.

So thankee to Ed and THO again, as well as ShayneT for posing the question.

And now, a question of my own: Is there any truth to the rumor (well, wild DM speculation) that the reason the boulders and other rocks that liter the Stonelands came to be where they lay is because of a massive conflagration that occurred millennia ago, where magics brought to the fore by opposing forces of Giants and Dragons battling for control over a portion of mountains that once connected the Storm Horns and Thunder Peaks literally ripped those lands apart, inadvertently showering its remains onto the heads of the goblin armies whelmed by the Dragons, yet leaving space enough for the surviving armies to pass through and overrun the forested paradise so long enjoyed exclusively by the Giants and their kin?

I’ve hinted as much to my players through the mouth of Mellomir of Arabel (who firmly believes such is true). But I thought it best to see if there were some other reason for the nature of the place.

Thank you!

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
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  01:14:39  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Housekeeping time! Herewith, some very brief answers to divers scribes:

To Octa, Ed saith: kuje31 has directed you to my earlier Realmslore reply about the Moonshaes. As for the age of Toril and the Illuskan origins and migrations: mortals in the Realms today just can’t be sure. LOST EMPIRES OF FAERUN should furnish you with something on these topics very soon now, but as with the gods: some things ARE largely lost in the mists of time.

To kuje31: “Can Ed supply some wedding rituals for Sharess and Lliira?” I, THO, as someone whose character has attended a wedding performed by priestesses of Sharess must make reply: not in a FAMILY forum. Ahem.
Seriously, I passed this on to Ed and he e-chuckled and said he’d add it to the ‘tackle WotC about the priesthoods lore’ list, and get back to you when he had something meaningful to say on the subject.

To Faraer: you’re correct in your comment about Flamsterd. In FA1 Ed was directed to “update the Moonshaes to 2nd Edition” (incorporating what Doug Niles had done) and Ed suggested he make it more a campaign base than wholly devote the pages to an adventure, a suggestion that was accepted, so although all of Ed’s writing in FA1 is original, it wasn’t his original conception of the Moonshaes but crafted at the time of writing FA1.
Regarding your second question (“Ed, are spell levels and spell-casting character levels in-Realms facts, or are they abstractions of a non-stepped magical reality?”), Ed saith:
Faraer, to me they’re abstractions, but when writing I find I must often treat them as in-Realms elements just to ‘get along’ with others who do. However, I will never write Realms fiction that has someone referring to a spell level or a character level; if you ever read such with my byline on it, rest assured some editor has been at work! For one thing, it makes for terrible roleplaying, in the same way that players at GenCon tournaments playing 1st Edition D&D would try to figure out the level of NPC wizard foes by checking how many magic missile bolts their magic missile spells hurled, how many dice of damage their lightning bolts or fireballs did, and so on: shatters suspension-of-disbelief shared ‘realism’ completely.
I recall as a DM running a TSR event under fairly strict guidelines at a long-ago GenCon (i.e. I was supposed to stick to game rules and a company ‘style’ of the time) sitting listening to a party of players “quarterback huddle” and discuss for five minutes a co-ordinated PC attack for the next round, but then howl at my “unfairness” when I as DM conflabbed with other TSR employees as to how the orc warband they’d been trying to ambush would attack them during that same round. “The monsters can’t do that! I mean, we’re attacking them - - they don’t have time to stop and plan tactics!” / “Ah, but YOU all did.” / “That’s different: we’re the heroes! Don’t you get it? And we’re higher level, too, expert with our weapons: we can do things that brutish monsters can’t!” / “Oh, so the orc ISN’T an expert with the tusks and fists he was born with?” . . . and so on. :}

Hoondatha, Garen Thal has ably answered your War Wizards question. As he said, before Vangey firmly took control over them (yes, in some cases destroying mages with his spells, and in others defeating them soundly in magical duels), the War Wizards had devolved into small independent gangs of mages, some of them quite haughty and/or corrupt, ‘doing their own thing’ ostensibly for the good of the Realm, but often for quite self-serving reasons.
Imagine if every guy who could find a gun, in a modern real-world country where the government has broken down, could also get a police uniform and stride around claiming to be a policeman and having the authority of the state to do exactly as he pleased. Some of them would get killed pretty quickly, and most of them would both make a lot of enemies AND become corrupt pretty quickly, too. Those were the War Wizards of the day, and some few elders of them are still serving the realm today. THAT was the vigilante background they were coming from - - and that Vangey had personally wrenched them out of - - which coloured my postings to Jerryd (who of course didn’t have this full picture of the War Wizards, and was trying to get it).



So saith Ed. Who is as horribly busy as usual crafting Realmslore, Realmslore, and more Realmslore for you all!
love,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  01:47:38  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
Sigh,

Okies. Well he could have PM'd it to me or emailed it. :( If I didn't "need" it I wouldn't have asked. :(

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

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Edited by - Kuje on 29 Jan 2005 06:01:47
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  05:51:18  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by kuje31

Sigh, Okies. Well he could have PM'd it to me or emailed it. :(



Wouldn't be very nice to those of us that would like to know too. :)

Wizards did 2 "Mature" books. They should let Ed do a "Mature" book for the Realms.


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

Edited by - SirUrza on 29 Jan 2005 05:52:03
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  11:21:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by SirUrza

Wizards did 2 "Mature" books. They should let Ed do a "Mature" book for the Realms.





Volo's Guide to Festhalls!

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  13:17:11  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 Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by SirUrza

Wizards did 2 "Mature" books. They should let Ed do a "Mature" book for the Realms.





Volo's Guide to Festhalls!

Jocularity aside for the moment, this would make a particularly fascinating tome, if the content was kept to a certain standard. Characterising and detailing the "night life" in the Realms would be an interesting read...

Imagine what the nobles in Waterdeep get up to on a Saturday night... .

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Edited by - The Sage on 29 Jan 2005 13:19:16
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  15:08:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Sage, I couldn’t agree more.
And no, I’m not winking or grinning when I type that: just as you say, a straightforward examination of nightlife across the Realms. Okay, the Heartlands so it’ll fit in one book.
Now, as for your last sentence about nobles in Waterdeep: don’t worry, Ed and Elaine will be giving you some lovingly-described examples of that in the forthcoming novel. That doesn’t, however, do away with the pressing need for a game book that gives us:
The customs of drinking and courtship and hiring companionship, some prices for same, party games, gambling games (with full rules for all games, of course), attire and adornment and the signals they send, hand-gestures and drawn code sigils used in flirtation and in telling tourists where certain entertainments can be had, illicit and legit ‘side-business’ done by festhalls, some NPC contacts, a sampling of dances and bawdy ballads and ‘typical’ stage shows or one-on-one public performances (the equivalent of lap dances and stripteases and ‘personal’ comedy routines, but done for the wider audience; I’m not just talking sex acts here), the attitudes of various churches to participation in, or sanctioning or even sponsorship of, such activities . . . yes, I could seriously see a darned useful 200-page-plus “old format” Volo tome here, or even a standard ‘slim’ hardcover (format of the forthcoming Waterdeep game tome, perhaps?).
Ed is a master of hinting and sly allusion, so he could keep it useful AND adhere to any standards of decency WotC demanded.
I’d buy it, and I think a LOT of gamers would, too. Why don’t you suggest it to WotC Customer Service? Whenever Ed suggests anything, it gets the “oh, sure, well of COURSE you want us to do something like that, because you just want to write it; thanks for the suggestion, but don’t call us, we’ll call you” treatment.
So, Sage, I implore you . . . I’m sitting here at this festhall table watching the urchins sweep up the empty hall, and feeling so LONELY.
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 29 Jan 2005 15:15:20
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  16:23:08  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage
Imagine what the nobles in Waterdeep get up to on a Saturday night... .



Or the nobles in Cormyr...
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2005 :  19:47:48  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message
Hi Ed (and THO),

I've just started reading The Temptation of Elminster (the last of the El books i've not read) and i'm already very confused. In it El has just woken up in the Year of the Missing Blade, listed in the copy of the roll of years i've got as 759, also claiming he's been stuck there for a century. However how is this possible as Elminster was there at the founding of the Harpers in the Year of the Dawn Rose (720)? Code of the Harpers definitely states the old rascal was there, so am i wrong in my dating of the year of the Missing Blade or is El just generalising when he says he's been there for a century?

Thanks,

GH

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2005 :  01:13:05  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all.

Lauzoril, Ed says thanks and please keep him posted. One of these days, if he ever has the time and WotC says yes (insert double bursts of maniacally disbelieving laughter here), he’d love to expand that book into four full-length novels (one dealing with El’s time in each character class). Myself, I’d rather see him spend the time crafting new works (particularly if the four books would end up getting edited in the same disastrous manner as the Spellfire rewrite did).

oldskool, there’s VERY little information about the “Blank Continents” of Toril. Ed’s never drawn any of them; what saw “print” in the Interactive Atlas was someone else’s conception, and Ed and we Knights are unanimous in thinking it resembles our real world FAR too closely. Anchorome should be an archipelago of tiny islands leading to a small C-shaped continent (‘open end’ facing Toril). Originally, before the 1986 negotiations with TSR, one of the players, Victor Selby, was going to detail one continent himself, but never got around to it.
I can tell you this much: Ed never wanted a Mayan-Aztec-’New World’ continent or flavour anywhere in the Realms, viewing it (I believe correctly) as a huge stylistic as well as commerical mistake even before he saw the published result, just as he never wanted the Hordelands to so closely resemble real-world Mongols, or see “the Dalai Lama” inserted into the Realms, and so on.I can also say Ed envisaged prosperous trading realms and city-states with their own stable, developed cultures.
Ed doesn’t want to give you any direct answer himself because he doesn’t want to influence potential WotC plans in any way. I emphasize the word “potential” here, because as far as Ed knows, right now, there aren’t any plans “in the works to expand on these blank places (or perhaps even just revisit in third edition the lands of Maztica, Kara-Tur, or Zakhara).”

There. Another query dealt with. Think I’ll go find a Knight and engage in a little hand-to-hand combat (or should that be hand-to-gland?). A girl gets to feeling lonely every few hours or so . . .

love to all,
THO
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2005 :  02:40:36  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message
oldskool, to solve the blank space problem in our campaign, the DM transplanted D20 worlds onto Faerun.

It worked out quite nicely I must say.

In our campaign, the continent east of Kara-Tur is Ghelspad (from Sword & Sorcery.)

The continent west of Faerun was reduced Kalamar (from Wizard of the Coast's Kingdoms of Kalamar.)

The continent south of that is basically Epic Level Handbook stuff.

You could replace those with any number of things. Monte Cooke's campaign setting. Everquest. Warcraft. There are so many D20 licensed products as well as original settings that you don't need to wait for Wizards. Heck, the continent east of Kara-Tur is so remote you could replace it with Eberron. :)


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

Edited by - SirUrza on 30 Jan 2005 02:45:35
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 30 Jan 2005 :  03:37:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Think I’ll go find a Knight and engage in a little hand-to-hand combat (or should that be hand-to-gland?). A girl gets to feeling lonely every few hours or so . . .

love to all,
THO




Would a hamster do, instead of a Knight?

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
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Posted - 30 Jan 2005 :  03:37:56  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

Sage, I couldn’t agree more.
And no, I’m not winking or grinning when I type that: just as you say, a straightforward examination of nightlife across the Realms. Okay, the Heartlands so it’ll fit in one book.

After leaving Candlekeep last night, I began to realise just how interesting (moreso than I realised earlier when I first mentioned it) such a tome would be.

You're right though, about only examining certain regional areas instead of the whole wide Realms. There's a lot to discuss, I would imagine.

For me though, I'd rather read about the cities on the Sword Coast first. The Heartlands would likely be a more somber environment when it comes to such concepts -- somber that is, when compared to the wildways of the Sword Coast cities... .

quote:

Now, as for your last sentence about nobles in Waterdeep: don’t worry, Ed and Elaine will be giving you some lovingly-described examples of that in the forthcoming novel.

I'm now looking forward to this novel even more than I was before...if such a thing were truly possible .

quote:

That doesn’t, however, do away with the pressing need for a game book that gives us:
The customs of drinking and courtship and hiring companionship, some prices for same, party games, gambling games (with full rules for all games, of course), attire and adornment and the signals they send, hand-gestures and drawn code sigils used in flirtation and in telling tourists where certain entertainments can be had, illicit and legit ‘side-business’ done by festhalls, some NPC contacts, a sampling of dances and bawdy ballads and ‘typical’ stage shows or one-on-one public performances (the equivalent of lap dances and stripteases and ‘personal’ comedy routines, but done for the wider audience; I’m not just talking sex acts here), the attitudes of various churches to participation in, or sanctioning or even sponsorship of, such activities . . . yes, I could seriously see a darned useful 200-page-plus “old format” Volo tome here, or even a standard ‘slim’ hardcover (format of the forthcoming Waterdeep game tome, perhaps?).
Ed is a master of hinting and sly allusion, so he could keep it useful AND adhere to any standards of decency WotC demanded.
I’d buy it, and I think a LOT of gamers would, too. Why don’t you suggest it to WotC Customer Service? Whenever Ed suggests anything, it gets the “oh, sure, well of COURSE you want us to do something like that, because you just want to write it; thanks for the suggestion, but don’t call us, we’ll call you” treatment.
So, Sage, I implore you . . . I’m sitting here at this festhall table watching the urchins sweep up the empty hall, and feeling so LONELY.

Agreed. Consider it done... Perhaps I should start a petition as well... .

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 30 Jan 2005 :  03:45:13  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 SiriusBlack

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage
Imagine what the nobles in Waterdeep get up to on a Saturday night... .



Or the nobles in Cormyr...

That would definitely be something to read about . Although, I'm thinking that I'd rather read about the "night life" in earlier days of the Forest Kingdom. The current period seems less inclined towards merriment, given recent events.



quote:
In our campaign, the continent east of Kara-Tur is Ghelspad (from Sword & Sorcery.)

Perhaps you should open another scroll here at Candlekeep and discuss this aspect more in detail, Sir Urza. I'm particularly interested in this, as I have only a passing familiarity with the Scarred Lands.

How did you go about it? What elements did you use? What about the fact that the land formerly known as Scarn has only a pantheon of 8 gods? What about the Titans? What colour is the sky? Does this dress make me look fat? What of donuts... What!?

Sorry, I got a little carried away there toward the end... .

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5043 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2005 :  03:57:32  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all!
I being unexpectedly swift responses from Ed of the Greenwood, to Gerath Hoan and kuje31, to whit:



Gerath Hoan, congratulations! You have stumbled onto one of the Great Untold Tales of the Realms, and are herewith made a Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye!
Your observations about dates are entirely correct. Elminster had NOT been hanging in that trap for a century, but only for about thirty years. However, at the time of his ‘awakening’ (when he’s freed from the trap), he THINKS he’s been there for a century, because he’s temporarily but entirely forgotten everything that has happened recently, and confused the trap he was caught in with an earlier Netherese tomb exploration that WAS about a century earlier.
I don’t want to spoil your read, and don’t know how far along you are by now, but I’ll say this much: Elminster’s mind is still ‘mazed’ by the trap-magic, and that has something to do with the silence of Mystra: he’s still ‘invisible’ to her and to the Weave. So in the scenes you’re reading El’s forgotten all about the founding of the Harpers. His state of mind changes rapidly as the book goes on, okay?
In other words, he remembers fast, particularly after page 27 (original WotC hardcover: it’s page 33 in the paperback, and I don’t know what page it is in the Science Fiction Book Club hardcover, though it most probably mirrors the original WotC hardcover pagination).
Diligent readers of my Realms fiction will notice that Elminster, Khelben, and all of the other “non-blood-of-Mystra” Chosen (in other words, all of them except the Seven Sisters) suffer much mental damage and deterioration in Mystra’ service, over the passing years, especially right after incidents in which they ‘lose’ (bleed) silver fire. It’s no accident that TSR designers have always referred to Elminster as an “unreliable narrator.”
All of this should have been made more clear, but disappeared in the editing (the editors weren't being nasty; I wrote too long a book).

kuje, the Lovely Lady Hooded conveyed your distress to me, and in fact begged on bended knee (electronically rather than in person, but she DID make promises for when we’re next flesh-to-flesh, so to speak :}) that I give you at least something to go on in the way of wedding rituals for Sharess and Lliira (no, you don’t owe her; she loves doing that sort of thing, and the rest of us all love it when she does). So here we go, in VERY rough and skeletal form, from my private notes:

Sharess, as you might expect, doesn’t mind WHO gets married (in other words, beings of the same gender, beings of different races, beings already married to others, beings very closely blood-related to each other - - all sorts of unions are okay, as well as the more traditional ‘male and female of the same race’ pairings). All that Sharess insists is that love and passion (demonstrated physically, through lovemaking) exist within the union, and that both partners of the union be ‘unjealous’ enough that both partners in the union will be free to flirt (includes at least kissing and caressing) with other beings not part of the union.
The actual ritual is as follows:
Only two beings can be wed at a time (although both can engage in later rituals, immediately after a wedding is concluded, if they desire to end up in a marriage bond of more than two individuals).
Clergy of Sharess prepare each partner, in private, for the ceremony, bathing them, anointing them with oils, applying cosmetics to them, and even (if they desire and pay for such) augmenting their natural appearance with minor illusions. As the being about to be wed is being prepared, skilled clergy talk to them of their love for the being they are about to marry, encouraging them to describe the charms and graces of their partner-to-be, and bring them to a state of excitement.
The beings about to be wed are clad only in open mesh cloaks (scraps of fishing nets are often used), and led out of doors (regardless of the weather, climate, or terrain, the wedding itself must be performed outdoors, usually in a temple garden) in some place where a feast can be held and the two partners can be led towards each other in a procession.
Each partner-to-be (who are called “the Offered” by the clergy of Sharess) cradles a trained temple cat in their arms, and they walk with clergy of Sharess (almost always priestesses) who sing and chant soft, low-voiced songs to the goddess.
At the ‘right’ time, while still out of sight of each other, the priestesses simultaneously command the partner they’re with to kiss the cat passionately, and then let go of it.
The cats usually kiss and lick the partner, and may or may not scratch them (this is to be borne stoically if they do), and then ‘climbs down’ the net-like garment, and runs off through the garden in search of the other partner-to-be. The trained cats typically run straight to where the other partner-to-be is, climb up their net-like garment, and deliver the kiss from their fellow Offered (again, licks and scratches must be accepted along with it). [There have been cases where cats have been prevented from completing this ritual, or even killed my mischance; the clergy who walk with the Offered are ready to spell-transform themselves into cat form and ‘step in’ to perform this vital part of the ritual, if necessary.]
The moment both Offered have received the kiss, a spell cast by the presiding priestess takes effect, and the partners-to-be are momentarily mind-bonded, able to see through each other’s eyes. (This ‘seeing and feeling’ some small part of the mind of the other sometimes causes them to fall right out of love with each other in a hurry.)
By means of this seeing, they can usually swiftly find each other (despite the ‘weird’ feeling of seeing through the other’s eyes), and (through love and rising passion, aided by Sharessan spells) rush together, to consummate the wedding on the spot. Yes, that means the happy couple physically engage in lovemaking, side by side with their two messenger-cats, and all of the attending Sharessan clergy (plus any guests). The temple has previously prepared a feast of mead, light wines, and what we would call ‘finger food,’ and hedonistic lovemaking continues for some time. The favoured time for a Sharessan wedding is just before dusk, so the orgy can continue throughout the night. If it’s winter or storming (NOT viewed as a bad omen, by the way), the initial consummation is ‘on the spot’ and usually outdoors, sometimes in a bower heated by a ring of small fires, but the ongoing frolic moves indoors.
During the fun, Sharessan clergy will insist that each Offered publicly disclose one of their personal faults to the other (“I snore loudly” or “My feet smell” or “I can’t resist skirt-chasing every dark-haired Calishite I see”). This must be honest, though it can be frivolous, and the clergy forewarn and even coach the partners-to-be, beforehand (i.e. the request to disclose doesn’t come as a surprise). All previous weddings and child-bearing unions (no matter how unofficial or illegal) either Offered has previously been involved in MUST be disclosed to the clergy and the other Offered, or the ritual ends right there.
The ritual isn’t actually complete until the orgy ends and both of the Offered have slept (usually together, and if not, always in the physical company of Sharessan clergy) and awakened again - - at which time both are solemnly (and seperately) asked (by Sharessan clergy) if they desire to be united to the being they Offered themselves to, and whose Offer they in turn enjoyed. In other words, they are given a last chance to back out. Sharessan clergy freely offer private counsel (advice for wedded life ahead, or how to deal with specific flaws or tendencies of the partner chosen) at this time, and will even , if one Offered desires it, bring the two Offered together to continue counselling with both, face to face. If both Offered accept the other, they are henceforth known as Accepted, their names are entered in temple rolls, and they are magically translocated (by teleport spells, usually, though portals can be used) to a place of their mutual choice, if they want to go somewhere (Yes, a honeymoon! Or an escape from smothering parents, creditors, or even the authorities!), and the clergy keep the chosen destination secret from everyone for at least a year (longer unless family of the Accepted plead for disclosure because they fear something bad has befallen the Accepted).
It’s customary for either the partners-to-be or their families to make donations to the hosting temple or shrine of Sharess (to cover the cost of the wedding feast), and in some cities priestesses quietly offer drugged wines (usually to induce wild passion) for those who pay extra (in other words, the father of the bride might try to stir the ardour of his long-uninterested wife by discreetly arranging with the clergy to ‘add a little something’ to her wine or to everyone’s).

Lliiran weddings, it won’t surprise you to learn, are dancing affairs. Like the clergy of Sharess, the church of Lliira will join together beings of all races, genders, and blood relationships, but NOT if any of the parents of either Joyous (as the bride and groom to be are both called) objects, and not if either Joyous is already married to another, still-living being.
The ritual unfolds thus: in a secluded bower or walled garden or inside a temple to Lliira (these three venues listed in descending order of desirability), all wedding participants gather. Anything that is, purports to be, or could reasonably be used as a weapon must not be brought to the gathering (and Joybringers will whisk such items away by magic if they are present, detecting them by means of spells if hidden). Participants are encouraged to wear the wildest costumes they want to, and join in the dancing.
The music, musicians, and refreshments are as chosen by the wedding participants, and continue until the two Joyous want the actual wedding to take place (i.e. everyone they want to be there has arrived and everyone’s warmed up). Then the Lliiran clergy cast certain spells, and the Twelve Dances begin. Some of the spells enable all the people present to fly (within a very limited spherical field), others generate the soaring music of the Dances, and still others put the movements of each dance into the minds of the participants, so people who’ve never been to a Joyfasting (Lliiran wedding) before know the moves without thinking, FEELING the moves of the unfolding dances (note that this means the maimed, infirm, and non-dancers can enjoy being swept along in the dances, up into the air and moving freely along with everyone else). Most of the music of these dances is heard inside the heads of the participants (and in places of danger or hostility, can be rendered silent to all outsiders by choice of the presiding clergy), but the swelling tunes are stirring and uplifting, each dance of the Twelve arousing and emotionally moving everyone involved. Most dancers will sing wordlessly along to the rising tunes, and by the time the Twelfth dance ends on a peak of arousal and high notes, everyone is whirling swiftly, well aloft, around the feet of the two Joyous, who are swept together in consummation of their union above everyone’s heads, shedding their costumes as they go (it’s considered a mark of the favour to touch - - not keep - - any part of a costume as it falls, whirled around and around among the dancers by the magic rather than plummeting to the ground). Everyone but the Joyous then sinks gently to back to the ground, and the two Joyous make love high in the air, ‘kept up there’ by the Lliiran clergy.
The ritual ends with the presiding Joybringer asking the two Joyous if they’re content to be Fasted together (married), and Lliiran magic brings their replies to the ears of all participants - - whereupon the two Joyous vanish in a burst of spectacular fireworks (magical illusions rather than actual fireworks), and the Joybringers put on a music and light show (again, except in hostile or dangerous surroundings) to entertain the wedding guests whilst the two Joyous are whisked magically away to a previously-selected spot (usually a bedchamber far from all the revelry, but sometimes an escape to a secret destination far across the Realms).
It’s customary for the presiding Joybringers to gift a potion to each of the Joyous (usually one of Cat’s Grace and one of some sort of healing, but it can be anything not directly harmful or hostile to the imbiber). The potions will be labelled, not mysterious to the Joyous receiving them.



So saith Ed. Ah, but it’s nice to know I still have the power to persuade (purr). Enjoy, kuje, enjoy. You can thank me properly if ever our paths meet.
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 30 Jan 2005 04:06:51
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