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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2007 :  16:28:03  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fflar's identity should have been left unknown.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2007 :  20:58:22  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

Fflar's identity should have been left unknown.



I haven't read The Last Mythal yet, but so far I'm inclined to agree. I spent many hours a couple of days ago developing what I had hoped would be a lovely bit of fan-fic, and now my efforts have been shown to have been in vain, alas, out-written by those more knowledgable than I!

Glancing through the last years of the Chronology book, I see that someone with a different first name, but same last name is listed as having been raised in 1373 or thenabouts. Is this the same person? What accounts for the different names if he is the same fellow?

BTW, without giving away too much of The Last Mythal, will someone please let me (us?) know what his class(es) and level(s) were in 714 and now?



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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2007 :  23:41:38  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen


I haven't read The Last Mythal yet, but so far I'm inclined to agree. I spent many hours a couple of days ago developing what I had hoped would be a lovely bit of fan-fic, and now my efforts have been shown to have been in vain, alas, out-written by those more knowledgable than I!


Bah, write the fic anyway.

quote:
Glancing through the last years of the Chronology book, I see that someone with a different first name, but same last name is listed as having been raised in 1373 or thenabouts. Is this the same person? What accounts for the different names if he is the same fellow?


Well, GHotR gave Starbrow Melruth the rather ironic, Freudian slip name Shardrow Melruth. It's just a typo.

quote:
BTW, without giving away too much of The Last Mythal, will someone please let me (us?) know what his class(es) and level(s) were in 714 and now?


Levels, I can't help you with. But going by the novels, Fflar seemed to be a high-level fighter (and just a fighter--not a paladin or anything).

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 25 Oct 2007 23:42:44
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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2007 :  00:02:39  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

Fflar's identity should have been left unknown.



For fun, I took a party back in time, gave one of them the title Fflar, had him die in the epic battle and get raised as a demigod (sort of like Uthgar) by Tempus. The players had a lot of fun, and Fflar (based on the PC) is now a commonly chosen deity, even in some of our non-Realms games (by other DMs in our RP group). Even though it was against the guidlines presented in The Fall of Myth Drannor, I gifted each of the surviving 3 PCs a baneblade and let them take it back to the future. That explained in part why they had not been found for so many years.

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2007 :  00:20:01  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HawkinstheDM

quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

Fflar's identity should have been left unknown.



For fun, I took a party back in time, gave one of them the title Fflar, had him die in the epic battle and get raised as a demigod (sort of like Uthgar) by Tempus. The players had a lot of fun, and Fflar (based on the PC) is now a commonly chosen deity, even in some of our non-Realms games (by other DMs in our RP group). Even though it was against the guidlines presented in The Fall of Myth Drannor, I gifted each of the surviving 3 PCs a baneblade and let them take it back to the future. That explained in part why they had not been found for so many years.



*grins* That's pretty cool.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2007 :  00:20:50  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
Fellow scribes, remember, this scroll is for questions posed to Steven Schend. If you want to discuss the issue of Fflar further, I would suggest either opening a new scroll elsewhere or searching for an existing topic that deals with Fflar.

Now, let's get back to questions for Sage Schend.

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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2007 :  22:35:21  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey Steven,

I was curious if you could answer some of the questions that I have on my mind about the Moonstar and Manshoon Wars plots that are going to be major plots in my campaign. FYI, I'm looking greatly forward to Blackstaff Tower.

1. The depiction of the conflict between the mainstream Harpers and The Moonstars seems primarilly between those who think Khelben is corrupted, those who trust Khelben has something up his sleeve, and those he's recruiting for his own business. Is there any room for those who think Khelben is a ridiculously manipulative old goat that may well be playing a game over his head?

My players would find Harper's Halls suspicions to be moronic but also think that no one can juggle as many hot irons as Khelben has tried to. I'm trying to figure whether they'd be pushed to one side or the other or unwelcome with either since they don't trust Khelben completely and yet don't think him evil.

2. Is it possible that a "Council of Manshoons" could be a result of the Manshoon Wars? I had the idea of some of them contacting each other magically and pretty much carving up Faerun amongst each other. Each of the Manshoons forming their own miniature Zhentariam in their respective region of it. I was wondering if that's at all feasible as an ending or whether the Manshoons would never ally with one another like that?

3. Assuming extraordinary bad luck, acts of the gods, or whatnot. What would be the result if people found out Khelben were dead?

And finally....

4. Assuming Ashemmi and Semmenon are Moonstars, is Khelben the type to keep their presence a secret or will he expect his agents to put aside any past conflicts they might have with them?

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2007 :  18:29:34  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Fellow scribes, remember, this scroll is for questions posed to Steven Schend. If you want to discuss the issue of Fflar further, I would suggest either opening a new scroll elsewhere or searching for an existing topic that deals with Fflar.

Now, let's get back to questions for Sage Schend.




Didn't Steven create "Captain" Fflar? If someone else did, than please, by all means, let's have a separate scroll. Until last week, all of my knowledge of him came from Steven's writings, and I'm still operating on his assertion that many races/classes/religions have claimed him, but the truth of his life was unknown (until, presumably, the events of The Last Mythal).


I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2007 :  02:02:33  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 Jamallo Kreen

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Fellow scribes, remember, this scroll is for questions posed to Steven Schend. If you want to discuss the issue of Fflar further, I would suggest either opening a new scroll elsewhere or searching for an existing topic that deals with Fflar.

Now, let's get back to questions for Sage Schend.




Didn't Steven create "Captain" Fflar? If someone else did, than please, by all means, let's have a separate scroll. Until last week, all of my knowledge of him came from Steven's writings, and I'm still operating on his assertion that many races/classes/religions have claimed him, but the truth of his life was unknown (until, presumably, the events of The Last Mythal).



Honestly, I can't remember, but I suspect that Fflar came from Ed's fertile brain via Ruins of Myth Drannor and I just picked up the ball and ran with it. In any case, I'll be happy to discuss Fflar, MD, or other stuff, though I can't comment too much on people's personal campaigns other than to enjoy what folks have done with my and others' past work(s).

Steven
PS: I'll answer your questions tomorrow, Charles; still feeling a tad under-the-weather upon my return from New Mexico, and I'm out of time and energy.

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3532 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2007 :  02:10:13  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hope you get feeling better Steven!! Can't wait for your novel to be released. With as good as Blackstaff is, we are expecting more great things from you!

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"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2007 :  02:24:31  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No problem Steve.

I actually have some more for when you feel better.

Feel better soon.

:-)

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

Edited by - Charles Phipps on 31 Oct 2007 23:06:10
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2007 :  22:25:46  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend



(clutter snipped)

Honestly, I can't remember, but I suspect that Fflar came from Ed's fertile brain via Ruins of Myth Drannor and I just picked up the ball and ran with it. In any case, I'll be happy to discuss Fflar, MD, or other stuff, though I can't comment too much on people's personal campaigns other than to enjoy what folks have done with my and others' past work(s).

Steven
PS: I'll answer your questions tomorrow, Charles; still feeling a tad under-the-weather upon my return from New Mexico, and I'm out of time and energy.



Thanks. I'll ask Ed.

Feel better!

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2007 :  09:04:58  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, sickness has been going around.

I look forward to your answers to my questions.

BTW, now that I've got a copy of Hellgate Keep, I've got to say that I really enjoyed the "twist" of the whole thing. I.e. That the Keep has largely been cleared out by the time that the PCs get around to exploring it. We're getting plenty of uses out of the countess in our game.

(I'm preferring not to use Hordes of Fey'ri and instead am treating them as evil masterminds like the Malaugrym)


My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2007 :  14:55:24  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 Charles Phipps

Hey Steven,

I was curious if you could answer some of the questions that I have on my mind about the Moonstar and Manshoon Wars plots that are going to be major plots in my campaign. FYI, I'm looking greatly forward to Blackstaff Tower.


Thanks. I'm looking forward to finishing the rewrite so I can move on to other projects (and get it in WotC's hands).

quote:
1. The depiction of the conflict between the mainstream Harpers and The Moonstars seems primarilly between those who think Khelben is corrupted, those who trust Khelben has something up his sleeve, and those he's recruiting for his own business. Is there any room for those who think Khelben is a ridiculously manipulative old goat that may well be playing a game over his head?


Certainly, though I suspect those who believe Khelben's in over his head don't know Khelben very well (or that's just what he wants them to think, and acts accordingly to draw out what they're thinking/doing).

And at the heart of it was really a personal conflict between Khelben and Bran Skorlsun (or at least that's part of what started the rift).

quote:
My players would find Harper's Halls suspicions to be moronic but also think that no one can juggle as many hot irons as Khelben has tried to. I'm trying to figure whether they'd be pushed to one side or the other or unwelcome with either since they don't trust Khelben completely and yet don't think him evil.


Well, your player-characters should be unaware that Khelben's had 900-odd years of practice at juggling hot irons, so it's understandable they'd think he couldn't handle it.

Yes, on some level, I'd meant for Harpers' Halls' suspicions to be viewed with derision, as it's a fearful screed that pits Harper vs Harper. Khelben merely resigned rather than become a flashpoint within the Harpers.

Unless the PCs are hardliners agreeing with everything the three at HHall have to say, they'll be viewed with suspicion by those folk. What Khelben truly thinks about them, they'll most likely never learn (but he's quite adept at and happy to work with people (or get them working for him, knowingly or not) whether they trust him or not).

Also, the one factor that folk kept forgetting about is: What's going on with the longtime illness that keeps the real ruler of Harpers' Hall out of the loop? And why aren't more folks wondering about that illness (or why she's kept out of public view)?

In short, the Harpers/Moonstars schism is not an open conflict or a war; it's really more akin to the rivalries and political machination among the DEA/NSA/FBI/CIA/insert your intelligence agency anagram here. It's mistrust but not open hostility (at least it isn't for most).

quote:
2. Is it possible that a "Council of Manshoons" could be a result of the Manshoon Wars? I had the idea of some of them contacting each other magically and pretty much carving up Faerun amongst each other. Each of the Manshoons forming their own miniature Zhentariam in their respective region of it. I was wondering if that's at all feasible as an ending or whether the Manshoons would never ally with one another like that?


Unlikely on the surface of things, but it's a funky idea that could be great fun for your campaign. The truly hampering factor is the clone spell that makes them go stark raving bonkers and out to kill each other if they get within a certain distance of each other. You could, I suppose, shift them into vampires, women, other races, etc. and then have Manshoon-a-go-go as you choose. It's an intriguing idea, but rather than carve out each of their own little Zhentarims, they'd more likely infiltrate and use existing structures to take over pre-existing groups. Imagine a secret Council of Manshoons manipulating the Arcane Brotherhood, the Zhentarim, the Rundeen, the Cowled Wizards, the Shadow Thieves, etc.

Why, it'd be like having the Twisted Rune run by living guys, not dead guys!

quote:
3. Assuming extraordinary bad luck, acts of the gods, or whatnot. What would be the result if people found out Khelben were dead?


The first and most immediate act would be a deluge of villains descending upon Waterdeep to wreak revenge on Blackstaff Tower or the city, depending on whom they hate. Many would think the tower could be plundered without Khelben there to protect it. More would think Waterdeep's power to be at a lifetime low, and thus try and get away with more (I'm thinking the Xanathar, the Shadow Thieves, the Unseen, as well as more small time operators). And of course, any who struck agreements or detentes with Khelben might try and weasel out of them (like Fzoul, though he'd suspect the other Chosen would honor the compacts and keep his church out of the west).

Needless to say, it'd be a very tough tenday for Tsarra...though with the Blackstaff and the Tower at her back, she's not as weak as many might think....


quote:
And finally....

4. Assuming Ashemmi and Semmenon are Moonstars, is Khelben the type to keep their presence a secret or will he expect his agents to put aside any past conflicts they might have with them?


Yes and no. He'd not advertise it all around, as they're better off kept close-pocket and quiet. Think of them as his "black ops" Moonstars, like the vampires. If anyone has to work with the Darkholden, yes, he'll impress on other agents to play nice and work together. Khelben would also never put them with anyone who held a true blood-grudge or hatred of them, as that'd be counterproductive. But he'll ignore personal animosity and feelings, if he truly needs particular people to work together for his own reasons (i.e. Malchor Harpell and them in BLACKSTAFF).

Hopefully that covers your questions. If not, I'll try and clarify more later..

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2007 :  20:42:52  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

[quote]

The first and most immediate act would be a deluge of villains descending upon Waterdeep to wreak revenge on Blackstaff Tower or the city, depending on whom they hate. Many would think the tower could be plundered without Khelben there to protect it.


So attackers assuming Blackstaff Tower is defenseless without Khelben would be in for a very nasty surprise?

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2007 :  22:53:43  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 khorne

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

[quote]

The first and most immediate act would be a deluge of villains descending upon Waterdeep to wreak revenge on Blackstaff Tower or the city, depending on whom they hate. Many would think the tower could be plundered without Khelben there to protect it.


So attackers assuming Blackstaff Tower is defenseless without Khelben would be in for a very nasty surprise?



"Indeed," Steven says in his best Khelben impression.

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2007 :  23:43:16  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hehe.

Thanks, that really helps. I do have a few clarifications to ask about if you have the time.

1. I don't want to make it a blanket issue of "The Moonstars are right while the Harpers are just being really stupid" in my campaign but I suppose that sometimes one group really is more intelligent than the other.

Do you see when/if the Khelben treason issue is worked up, the two groups rejoining or is there a much more fundamental divergence?

2. The PCs trust Khelben a great deal but I've left a slightly sinister edge to the character. I.e. he's a wonderful guy but he's probably the type that runs Bourne Identity style assassination squads and wouldn't think twice of strangling the baby Hitler.

Is this accurate in your view?

3. BTW, after such a long wait, I am going to be very happy to find out what Khelben/Bran's beef is. I must confess, I wonder if anything can live up to the prenaturally long buildup to find out what their problems together are.

Since you presumably know, Steve, IS it something huge or should we keep our hopes to a more realistic "Bran and Khel just don't like one another, there's a reason but it's not a Shakesperian tragedy of epic proportions?

Thanks.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2007 :  23:49:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps


1. I don't want to make it a blanket issue of "The Moonstars are right while the Harpers are just being really stupid" in my campaign but I suppose that sometimes one group really is more intelligent than the other.

Do you see when/if the Khelben treason issue is worked up, the two groups rejoining or is there a much more fundamental divergence?


I don't think it's as much that either group is more intelligent; I think it's more a matter of different perspectives. The Moonstars aren't simply accepting at face value everything Twilight Hall says, and many of them are ready to use non-Harper-approved tactics to accomplish goals that may or may be in line with what Twilight Hall feels is right.

And in no small part, it all comes down to "Do you feel Khelben is trustworthy?" Bran and friends are, because of personal reasons and his recent activities, overlooking everything good Khel has done in the past, while the Moonstars aren't.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Nov 2007 23:51:22
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2007 :  23:54:07  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, it's making me wonder if I ran Khelben wrong since my player's answer boiled down "I believe Khelben would never betray the cause of good, justice, and the Realms. I also believe he'd kill my entire family without hesitation no matter what our past friendship if he thought it would advance his agenda of good for all."

Sort of like Greyhawk's Mordenkaine.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

Edited by - Charles Phipps on 06 Nov 2007 23:56:46
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30283 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2007 :  00:30:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Yeah, it's making me wonder if I ran Khelben wrong since my player's answer boiled down "I believe Khelben would never betray the cause of good, justice, and the Realms. I also believe he'd kill my entire family without hesitation no matter what our past friendship if he thought it would advance his agenda of good for all."

Sort of like Greyhawk's Mordenkaine.




Khelben is kinda like Batman, with spells instead of gadgets. He'll always act for the greater good, but he's not unwilling to make sacrifices or to cross the line, so long as the final result benefits the majority.

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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2007 :  00:39:35  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Yeah, it's making me wonder if I ran Khelben wrong since my player's answer boiled down "I believe Khelben would never betray the cause of good, justice, and the Realms. I also believe he'd kill my entire family without hesitation no matter what our past friendship if he thought it would advance his agenda of good for all."

Sort of like Greyhawk's Mordenkaine.




Khelben is kinda like Batman, with spells instead of gadgets. He'll always act for the greater good, but he's not unwilling to make sacrifices or to cross the line, so long as the final result benefits the majority.



Actually, I think that Steven, Eric L. boyd or Ed Greenwood mention comparing Khelben with Batman.

Or I could be mistaken.

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2007 :  02:19:22  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
'Twas Steven.

Here's a few of his more memorable "Khelben is/as Batman" references that should help along this discussion -

"Khelben as Batman/"darker hero" to Elminster as Superman/approachable "lighter hero" is one parallel I've always had in mind since 1990 when I first got the chance to work with Khelben (and Ed)."

And -

"RE: Khelben as The Operative--not quite. If you really need to know who's in mind when I think about Khelben's plans et al, think The Batman (especially re: his having contingencies about enemies and friends alike, never wholly trusting people, etc.)."

Also -

"Another analogy I've used before that might help is Khelben as the Batman, being arrogant and smart and paranoid enough to want to work behind everyone's backs and he only truly trusts those he's personally trained/recruited to do his work, even when it seems he works against his own outside allies."

And finally -

"Just remember that when I think of the Chosen, they're the Justice League/Magnificent Seven (er, Nine) of the Realms and Khelben's most definitely Batman--ruthless, scheming, paranoid, and plotting at all times."

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

Edited by - The Sage on 07 Nov 2007 02:20:13
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
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Posted - 07 Nov 2007 :  02:23:49  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
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps


1. I don't want to make it a blanket issue of "The Moonstars are right while the Harpers are just being really stupid" in my campaign but I suppose that sometimes one group really is more intelligent than the other.

Do you see when/if the Khelben treason issue is worked up, the two groups rejoining or is there a much more fundamental divergence?


I don't think it's as much that either group is more intelligent; I think it's more a matter of different perspectives. The Moonstars aren't simply accepting at face value everything Twilight Hall says, and many of them are ready to use non-Harper-approved tactics to accomplish goals that may or may be in line with what Twilight Hall feels is right.
And a little more from Steven -

"In short, the Moonstars can operate however you need and want them to operate--very brazenly and boldy, as Kyriani Agrivar no doubt can be, or very subtly and politically minded like Malchor Harpell or Phaerl Hawksong or even very ruthlessly as some of the darker figures in the group do. All you need to remember is that the Moonstars are a secret within a secret, as you're not even supposed to admit to being a Harper, let alone a member of a splinter cell of former/current Harpers."

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Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2007 :  17:24:52  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 Charles Phipps

Hehe.

Thanks, that really helps. I do have a few clarifications to ask about if you have the time.

1. I don't want to make it a blanket issue of "The Moonstars are right while the Harpers are just being really stupid" in my campaign but I suppose that sometimes one group really is more intelligent than the other.


Neither group is stupid and both groups are "right" from their own perspectives. Remember, too, that only dozens of Harpers split off to become Moonstars and equal numbers of Harpers accept the Twilight Hall trio's as gospel. All the rest of the rank-and-file Harpers are waiting to see or looking for more information before they declare for one side or another or simply opt to wait out the conflict and get on with their own work.

quote:
Do you see when/if the Khelben treason issue is worked up, the two groups rejoining or is there a much more fundamental divergence?


The group split off publicly because the trio forced a confrontation, not because Khelben wanted to actually create a new power group. Remember that he used a number of the same agents to destroy Hellgate Keep at least a year before the Moonstars became a separate entity. Since that point, though, he's worked to make them distinct (although quiet), and he's got other reasons (the prophecy) for keeping the Harpers at arm's length from him and his. (And yes, any plans of Khelben's are being followed to the letter by Tsarra, given that she's privy to his thinking and reasoning behind the decisions, including the long-term views...)

quote:
2. The PCs trust Khelben a great deal but I've left a slightly sinister edge to the character. I.e. he's a wonderful guy but he's probably the type that runs Bourne Identity style assassination squads and wouldn't think twice of strangling the baby Hitler.

Is this accurate in your view?


Yes and no. He's very hard to know; once you're allowed to know him, he's still guarded and close-lipped but honorable. Yes, he'll run black ops when needed, and he'll do more ends-justifies-the-means stuff than Alustriel (and almost as much as the Simbul does). However, he knows enough about consequences and morality to not murder infants--he'd just manipulate things to surround said infant with far better influences and people than might have led to other developments (i.e. if he could ensure Hitler would become a better artist, he'd have no reason to join the army, fall in with fringe politicos, become the monster he becomes in those influences).

While I'm very guilty of making references to Khelben as Batman, another example would be to compare him to Grant Morrison's version of the Chief/Niles Caulder of the Doom Patrol. People rarely operate at his mental level; he's cranky at having to explain himself; and he sees far too many people as pawns on a chessboard until they prove themselves to be bishops or better as people and as agents.

Another comic book reference pops to mind--Brainiac 5 of the Legion. Khelben's not THAT supra-genius-level smart, but he does operate within so many wheels that he gets distanced from the human costs of things and doesn't always tell people everything, so he's infuriating to work for unless you wholly trust him.

quote:
3. BTW, after such a long wait, I am going to be very happy to find out what Khelben/Bran's beef is. I must confess, I wonder if anything can live up to the prenaturally long buildup to find out what their problems together are.

Since you presumably know, Steve, IS it something huge or should we keep our hopes to a more realistic "Bran and Khel just don't like one another, there's a reason but it's not a Shakesperian tragedy of epic proportions?

Thanks.



I'm not entirely sure; it's Elaine's plot point that started way back in ELFSHADOW, and I've just played with it when convenient. I don't know exactly what's at the heart of the conflict, but like too many things, I just assumed it'd fester and rot inside of Bran and perhaps get worse.

Granted, there's a plot-hint that the level of vehemence and hatred directed at Khelben that fomented the rift is not entirely rational or warranted; cunning GMs can play with that bit and see who among the three is still exactly whom they seem to be (or not).

As for the heart of the matter, it's entirely up to you guys to solve that mystery; I can say with some understanding that Khelben does not foster ill will or hatred toward Bran. He just doesn't seem to hold terribly much respect for the man, methinks. No hatred--just indifference (which to proud people is almost as hard to take).

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Mkhaiwati
Learned Scribe

USA
252 Posts

Posted - 25 Nov 2007 :  05:14:25  Show Profile  Visit Mkhaiwati's Homepage Send Mkhaiwati a Private Message  Reply with Quote
since you've mentioned the Emerald Eye and the fact that something very closely resembling Mon-El's cape made it into the Realms, I gotta ask.....

Does this make Khelben and Laerel the Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel of the Realms?

I've actually always been a fan of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, myself. They actually took on Ambush Bug and a version of Darkseid, if'n I remember correctly.

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

"not nale. not-nale. thog help nail not-nale, not nale. and thog knot not-nale while nale nail not-nale. nale, not not-nale, now nail not-nale by leaving not-nale, not nale, in jail." OotS #367
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