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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2006 :  18:47:35  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've finally copied down the last 3 questions/posts on this board and I'll hopefully get to answering them with some thought (not haste) this week. Alas, I'm caught in a maelstrom of chaos at present, so don't lose hope or assume I'm ignoring your queries.

Steven
Who begs George for help in naming courtier families of the Shoon Imperium....

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2869 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2006 :  19:37:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

I've finally copied down the last 3 questions/posts on this board and I'll hopefully get to answering them with some thought (not haste) this week. Alas, I'm caught in a maelstrom of chaos at present, so don't lose hope or assume I'm ignoring your queries.

Steven
Who begs George for help in naming courtier families of the Shoon Imperium....



Aw, thanks for the devotion.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4718 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2006 :  23:05:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

I've finally copied down the last 3 questions/posts on this board and I'll hopefully get to answering them with some thought (not haste) this week. Alas, I'm caught in a maelstrom of chaos at present, so don't lose hope or assume I'm ignoring your queries.

Steven
Who begs George for help in naming courtier families of the Shoon Imperium....



Just send 'em through to my work e-mail Steven (gkrashos@tolisco.com.au) and I'll give you a hand. No problems.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2006 :  00:39:20  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  Reply with Quote
Not a question... But Steven, I deeply approve of your choice of "avatar" . Very fitting indeed...

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2006 :  02:06:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Not a question... But Steven, I deeply approve of your choice of "avatar" . Very fitting indeed...




'Twas actually my handiwork. I thought it fitting, too.

(I used the full version of Adobe to export the images from the pdf of the 2E FRCS boxed set, then used my non-l33t skillz to crop it and resize it.)

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2006 :  18:35:08  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Not a question... But Steven, I deeply approve of your choice of "avatar" . Very fitting indeed...




'Twas actually my handiwork. I thought it fitting, too.

(I used the full version of Adobe to export the images from the pdf of the 2E FRCS boxed set, then used my non-l33t skillz to crop it and resize it.)



And I thank you greatly for it.....

SES

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2376 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2006 :  19:15:30  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like it too, though I'm away from my books at the moment, so I'm curious. What is it the symbol of?

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

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2006 :  19:31:04  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Blackstaff's sigil.
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2376 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2006 :  23:28:03  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, thanks. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2006 :  02:03:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven had mentioned the possibility of getting a tatoo like that. When I bought the 2E FRCS pdf, it occurred to me that I could do that avatar for him. So I did.

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Lemernis
Senior Scribe

378 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2006 :  10:58:13  Show Profile  Visit Lemernis's Homepage Send Lemernis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's a set of questions for Steven regarding Amnian society's hostile attitude towards the practice of arcane magic.

It's a bit unclear to me if the practice of magic and possession of magical items in Amn is officially against the law. Here is some of the language used:

quote:
"wizards are censured, shunned, and nearly outlawed..."

"the outlawed Cowled Wizards... moved underground... each cell... is isolated"

"fear and prejudice against mages...the relative intolerance to magic..."

"Waukeen's temple in Riatavin, the Lodge of Coins, has one of the few elaborate and open uses of magic in all of Amn..."



And the following quotes make me wonder if the authorities in Amn actively seek and confiscate magic items, and whether the government also punishes people for selling or owning them:

quote:
"As the [Waukeen's] Promenade is constantly patrolled by the city guards while open, few illegal or magical items can be found here...

"The Eshpurta Road... is patrolled by Council-sponsored groups of 20 mounted, armed men who can search caravans for contraband and illegal goods..."



The description of the Meisarch's role suggests that all adventurers and wizards in Amn must register with his office. Am I correct in understanding that while magic is an "underground" and "nearly outlawed" activity that is barely tolerated, wizards are allowed to openly reside and practice in Amn as long as they are registered? And if the practice of magic is regulated as such by the Council, then why would the Cowls remain an underground society? I understand that Cowls went underground over 5o years priot to the establishment of the Council of Six. But if magic users now register, and are then tolerated by the government, doesn't that suggests that the Cowled Wizards really don't have to remain a secret society any longer?

How does the registration and regulation of mages (and adventurers for that matter) by the Council work in the central rural plain? In Amnwater, let's say?

If magic is illegal, does the patrol of Council-sponsored riders who inspect caravans remove magic items? Given the prohibitions against use of arcane magic, how do they safely and effectively accomplish this task? With divine magic (eg, Greater Spell Immunity? etc)? And wouldn't they patrol a wider region than just the Eshpurta Road, i.e., all throughout Amn's trade routes? Do they regularly make the rounds through all of Amn's communities, both large and small?

If a magic item is considered contraband, and is confiscated in the course of a patrol's inspection, is there a penalty for possession of a magical item? What types of punishments are meted out?

And finally, the Sythillisians (and their allies the Cyricists) control the Small Teeth, southern Umar Hills, and Lake Esmel region--and presumably they have no compunction about the use of magic. Has Amnian society's hostile attitude towards arcane magic changed in light of that? In other words, there is a war going on against an enemy who gains a decided advantage by its use of magic. Has Amnian society--or, indeed, the central government--softened its hostile stance towards magic in light of the war effort?

In trying to set up a campaign in this region, I'm presented with a quandry. On the one hand, I love that Amn is a 'low magic' setting--at least for the 'good' guy PCs, i.e., those allied with free Amn. I like the notion that magic is an underground, secret activity, indeed an 'outlawed' or illegal activity (and if so, presumably one that is punished--otherwise why would it be underground to begin with?). I'd like to retain these conventions, if possible.

If this is how things are in free Amn, then free Amn is hamstrung in their war effort by the society's deepseated fear and suspicion of arcane magic. Under this scenario, in terms of play balance, I would think it places too much of an advantage in the hands of the Sythillisians. I.e., the Sythillisians freely use magic, whereas the Amnians can't bring themselves to. And then imo free Amn needs to balance that advantage with a higher level of divine magic than the Sythillisians. I think a dynamic of that sort could offer some interesting quirks. It's something out of the ordinary.

On the other hand, if free Amn has changed its attitude towards the use of arcane magic in light of the war, then so be it. It's logical that they would, actually. But then the play balance is more conventional, and more standard fare.

Anyway, what are your thoughts about how a DM might operationalize this material about Amn's intolerance of magic in light of the war with the Sythillisian Empire? I realize that much is left openended for the DM, and there's a lot of room for creativity here. But I do want for whatever I do to be as consistent with canon as possible, so that it squares up reasonably well with whatever future canon will eventually be rolled out for this region.

***

Edit: Ah, I see that there is some information avilable along those lines in Empires of the Sands pp. 5-6, but I'm very still curious whether that info is the current canon take on the subject, and what the most recent author to develop this region thinks, regardless.

Edited by - Lemernis on 08 Feb 2006 21:49:29
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2006 :  13:32:24  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Steven had mentioned the possibility of getting a tatoo like that.



Hmm.. he wouldn't fear Mystra's curse ?

Edited by - Skeptic on 08 Feb 2006 13:32:37
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2006 :  21:59:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Steven had mentioned the possibility of getting a tatoo like that.



Hmm.. he wouldn't fear Mystra's curse ?



Nope, he's safe so long as he doesn't try to use it as a wizard's mark.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2869 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2006 :  14:10:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steven, I'm reading through Cloak and Dagger again in search of this or that reference to something, and I came across the "Seven Swords of the Shoon" on page 30. Do you have any clue what those might be? It is mentioned that two of them are currently or have been in the possession of the Tel'Teukiira, but no more.
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2006 :  00:04:04  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sage Schend, I asked both Eds (Bonny and Greenwood) about possible elven presence in Cormyr (near the Vast Swamp, to be exact) before the reign of Thauglor or the fallen Orva, since I think it might be reasonable to assume that the elves of Cormanthor would have had at least some kind of "outposts" (if not actual kingdoms/realms) in that area.

Mr. Bonny suggested that there might have been small family "enclaves" or outposts. What do you think?

Another question regards Orva, which apparently fell around -900 DR (I do not remember exact date). Would they have been Netherese or Jhaamdathan explorers, or maybe survivors/descendants of Thaeraevel of the Alabaster Towers? What would be your opinion of their origin?

If Sage Krashos also happens to read this, your opinions would also be most highly appreciated and regarded

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

USA
138 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2006 :  16:26:37  Show Profile  Visit Octa's Homepage Send Octa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven- Quick one:

What was the family name of the rulers of Mintar deposed by Teldorn Darkhope.
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2006 :  17:28:24  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you are the one who created Teldorn Darkhope and his knights, can you say from where they could originate (before the assault on Mintar). If not, can you tell me who created them ?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2006 :  17:10:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hiya, Steven! Another question for you... We know, thanks to the City of Splendors: Waterdeep book, that Waterdeep's navy consists of 55 ships, of various types and functions. What we don't know is anything about the ships, other than their types.

So, have you any ship names, noteworthy captains, or ship lore to add? I'm trying to exhaust other sources of lore before I take the question to Ed...

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Gerath Hoan
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
152 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2006 :  22:19:14  Show Profile Send Gerath Hoan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Steven,

As a person of some authority on Tethyr, I thought I'd ask you this quick question.

In D&D 3.0 and 3.5 we now have Wild Elves and Wood Elves, two seperate sub-species. Which type dwells in the Forest of Tethyr? I know there are two tribes there, so is there one tribe of each variety?

Thanks in advance,

GH

Knight of the Order of the Keen Eye - Granted by Ed Greenwood, 30th January 2005
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Dhomal
Senior Scribe

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2006 :  22:53:38  Show Profile  Visit Dhomal's Homepage Send Dhomal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello-

Greetings Steven! Fine work over the years, very fine indeed! I am also looking forward to Blackstaff - and am doubly-glad that it is one of the wizards series - and thus - not part of a series - so I can devour it as soon as it arrives at work!

Now - I do have a question - one that I seriously don't expect you to have a specific answer for off the top of your head - but I'd be wrong in not asking. :)

In the Empire of the Shining Sea and Calimport accessories - you put in two references to Shaundakul:

1) In EotSS - there is The Protectors House - a temple that houses four shrines - one to Shaundakul - in addition to three other 'protector' / travel deities - Selune, Valkur, and Ibrandul.

2) In Calimport - there is mention of a "pilgrimage site" to Shaundakul near the city's edge that is gaining noteriety among caravan drivers faithful to Shaundakul - though mention is made that none of his priests are aware of this yet.

My main questions about this are:

1) I'm curious as to How the shrine and the pilgrimage spot came into being - especially in light of Shaundakul's mostly North-centric worship and that I have yet to track down any other connection to Shaundakul further south than the Stonelands / Ordulin level.

2) Also - any brief thoughts as to the current status of either of these two locations, including the status of the shrine to Ibrandul (Shar) would be most welcome.


And yes - I'm working up some information on Shaundakul - and it gets more and more awkward and large in scope as I go - and I'm not sure if thats a bad thing - or a good one....

Dhomal

I am collecting the D&D Minis. I would be more than willing to trade with people. You can send me a PM here with your email listed - and I can send you my minis list. Thanks!

Successfully traded with Xysma!
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4718 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2006 :  01:43:10  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not Steven, but you have to consider that EotSS was written and set after the ToT - when many gods had a resurgence. As such, the shrine could be a recent creation brought about by the now very active Church of Shaundakul spreading his faith to many far-flung areas of Faerūn. Just a thought.

-- George Krashos

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

United Kingdom
205 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2006 :  08:18:09  Show Profile  Visit nbnmare's Homepage Send nbnmare a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a few questions related to the Shadow Thieves, if I may:

1) In Lords of Darkness, the number of Shades was reduced from eight to five, with each Shade being assigned an entire country or region rather than a district. As well as this, the number of Cloakmasters was changed from something like 50+ to only a dozen. What made the Shadow Council decide to change things so drastically?

2) Were the two new Shades introduced in Lords of Darkness (Darlan Mortem and Nulara "Silversong" Haphet) the two previously unnamed Shades, or were they newly promoted to their positions?

3) Three of those Shades named in LoI and Cloak & Dagger were gone in Lords of Darkness (namely Sammar Rendasc, Suldax Tampcoin, and Kerindra Lynnrenno). Any clues as to what happened to them (and the unnamed Shades, if Mortem and Hapet weren't them)?

EDIT: I'm guessing deaths, probably at least one of them due to the Sythillisians.

4) In City of Splendors: Waterdeep, Marune is said to report directly to the Shade of Baldur's Gate (Orniiv "The Eclipse" Fandarfall). How come he doesn't report to the Shade of the Sword Coast North (Nulara Haphet)?

5) Given that Shadow Thieves are only supposed to know the identity of their direct superior, what happens when someone is promoted within the organization? Killing everyone who knew the promotee seems a little drastic even for the Shadow Thieves ;).

EDIT 2: Just remembered another question I meant to ask.

6) Give the immense secrecy of the organization, how likely do you think it is that the Shadow Thieves have been infilitrated by certain other groups of thieves? I'm specifically thinking of the Night Masks (who are obviously in direct competition with the Saerloon branch of the STs) and the Dark Dagger.

Edited by - nbnmare on 13 Mar 2006 11:45:15
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2006 :  14:50:37  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would like to have answers to all these questions too, but I'm pretty sure that Steven is not the one to ask...
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nbnmare
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
205 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2006 :  16:38:27  Show Profile  Visit nbnmare's Homepage Send nbnmare a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Steven was the one who originally fleshed out the Shadow Thieves, detailing the Grandmaster of Shadows, three of the eight 2E era Shades as well as numerous Cloakmasters, Silhouettes and other lesser thieves in LoI. I'm guessing the fellow who pretty much created the group at least has his own ideas and opinions to explain all the changes and additions, even if it wasn't he who actually decided upon or implemented them :).

The sentence "The internal hierarchy of the Shadow Thieves is jealously guarded; a member knows only his immediate superior and underlings" from LoI would suggest Steven is certainly the person to ask in regards to 5), at the very least.

Edited by - nbnmare on 10 Mar 2006 16:44:00
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2006 :  16:47:38  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know all you said, but I would be surprised that the designers of Lords of Darkness worked with him to do the Shadow thieves entry. So maybe you should try SKR.

Edited by - Skeptic on 15 Mar 2006 17:15:51
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