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Christopher_Rowe
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
879 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  13:09:19  Show Profile  Visit Christopher_Rowe's Homepage Send Christopher_Rowe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

According to my dictionary program (by Webster's), staves is the correct pluralization of staff. Dictionary.com says either staves or staffs is correct. And in both cases, that pluralization does refer specifically to multiple sticks of wood.



Oh, man, I love these kinds of discussions. OED says either is correct, but that the "plural form staves is now somewhat archaic, exc. in certain senses in which a sing. form STAVE has been developed from it; but it is still preferred in those senses that are confined to literary use." (Bold emphasis mine, italic in original.)

And where things get really fun is the quotations:

c1539 in Aungier Syon (1840) 131 They bare small staves in their honds to lepe over the watery playshes.

1836 THIRLWALL Greece xiv. II. 197 Diviners..who drew their knowledge of the future from the position of staves thrown on the ground.

1742 Col. Rec. Pennsylv. IV. 621 The Constables interposing with their Staves for some time kept off the Rioters.

c1374 CHAUCER Anel. & Arc. 184 (Fairf. MS.) His new lady holdeth him vp so narowe Vp by the bridil at the staves ende, That euery worde he dred hit as an arowe.


My Realms novel, Sandstorm, is now available for ordering.
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3532 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  14:48:13  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, Staffs are who run our favorite alehouses and the like! Staves are wooden things you can smite someone with!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"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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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  14:49:00  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
Okay folks, we seem to be deviating somewhat from this particular scroll's purpose. Let's get back to those questions...

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:11:58  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 althen artren

Spells stilled, Steven:

I must unfortunitly go back to staves discussion.
Am I incorrent in assuming that the minor blackstaffs
that Khelben gave out in Blackstaff (the book) are incomplete
copies of the Blackstaff (the artifact)? I only ask this
because in the back of Epic-Level Sourcebook a blackstaff
is detailed under Khelben's entry, and I assumed that it
was a minor blackstaff.



Can't recall the details of the Epic book, but yes, as per 2nd edition, there is a spell (of Khelben's creation) that confers the effect of "blackstaff" on any staff. Any one of these would be considered a lesser/minor blackstaff, yes.

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:16:12  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 Wooly Rupert

It would prolly be more accurate to think of them as lesser blackstaves, rather than incomplete ones.


It's staffs, dammit! Staffs! Barrels have staves, wizards have staffs. And "eldritch" just means "old," not "arcane" or "or "magical." And sailors who live ashore in shanties sing chanties, not vice versa.

(Well that's twenty-five years of spleen well-vented!)





Sorry, Jamallo, but I'm going to have to wade through all this vented splenectar and disagree. Color me a silly 2nd editioner (where the plural of staff was staves), if you must. In my mind and fictions, the plural of staff is "staves." Another reason is this--the objects are staves; the people who have taken on the title of Blackstaff are "Blackstaffs." This is both my opinion and in the bible for Blackstaff Tower.

I understand the desire to correct this, but it's one of those terms that gets tangled in use ala the differences between Zhentish, Zhentilar, Zhent, and Zhentarim.

So, the objects they hold are blackstaves (well, more on that later, actually), but the Blackstaffs are the office-holders and rulers of Blacsktaff Tower.

Yes, I know it's not particularly grammatical or correct, but we dance with what brung ye, aye?

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:25:10  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 Ashe Ravenheart

Actually, going by Blackstaff Tower, the lesser versions are Duskstaves to the artifact Blackstaff.



Ah, close but not quite, Ashe. Here's the skinny.

Whereas in 2nd edition (and most likely in 1st edition), there was a spell called "blackstaff" created by Khelben that temporarily bestowed special powers on any staff. Thus, minor blackstaves.

Now, he also had a number of staves around the tower with this spell (and most likely others) permanently on them. Thus, the ones unveiled and used in the climactic scenes/chapters of Blackstaff.

There was also the True Blackstaff, which was never mentioned nor revealed until I created in for said novel.

Now, with the current continuity and the changes, there are ONLY three staves attributed to the Blackstaff.

A) A permanently-enchanted blackstaff with at least the powers of the spell blackstaff as per previous editions of D&D.

B) A twisted metal staff (officially and properly called the Duskstaff) as seen in Blackstaff Tower; this is more powerful than your standard blackstaff, though it shares those powers and many others. It also allows the Blackstaff's Heir to carry it and the Blackstaff can remain back at the tower and see/hear/sense everything within a particular range of the Duskstaff. While it officially has a different name, most folks still just refer to it as a Blackstaff simply because of who carries/wields it.

C) Third and rarest seen is that True Blackstaff I mentioned above, created in chaos by Mystra and Arun Maerdrymm and his unnamed son who became Khelben Arunsun. This has powers that have never been statted up (nor should they be, as that'll ruin the fun of it) but its power ties to both the Blackstaff (the title-holder/person) and the tower itself. Saying any more butts heads with NDA-type spells.

This should not preclude any other blackstaff variants or other staff-like items to be associated with Blackstaff Tower, but these are the core three that exist as per the novel and are used therein.

Clear as mud? Thought so.

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:29:06  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And a P.S. to the discussion above re: the three staves of the Blackstaff?

Here's the kicker that is now canonical-- NO ONE but a Blackstaff or his/her Heir can safely touch any of the three staves without incurring some serious damage/backlash.

This is established in Blackstaff Tower. I'd say more, but it'll ruin the book for folks more than what I've said already has....

SES

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

USA
3532 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:35:14  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

And a P.S. to the discussion above re: the three staves of the Blackstaff?

Here's the kicker that is now canonical-- NO ONE but a Blackstaff or his/her Heir can safely touch any of the three staves without incurring some serious damage/backlash.

This is established in Blackstaff Tower. I'd say more, but it'll ruin the book for folks more than what I've said already has....

SES

Cool! I will look forward to reading about some serious Blackstaff backlash!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"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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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
778 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:42:37  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No. Actually Steven, that was nicely described to allow
for clarification of my question. I'm glad I put forward the question.
Man, I must get that book.
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:50:26  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 althen artren

Spells stilled, Steven:

I got this question in during the silence of your working on
Blackstaff Tower, but it seemed to disappear.
I want to use Halaster in some other way that what happened at the end
of EtU. I want to say that he has escaped the "office" of Mad Mage of
Undermountain "taken by a Manshoon clone" and Halaster becoming a wild
card factor in Faerun as a servant of Mystra. Now, while he is free
from his insanity, what would he try and do?


Whatever you'd like him to do, frankly. You've got a lot of ideas on what he could do and whatever suits your needs, your campaign, or your concept of the character is honestly the best answer I can give.

That said, you asked my opinion on what Halaster would do, were he not meeting the fate set down by WotC for him. I'm not sure if I'm the best to answer that, but I'll at least touch on a few ideas of yours:

Would be raise another Imasakar? Highly unlikely--he fled that area, remember, to set up his own gig beneath what eventually became Waterdeep.

Would he manipulate others from behind the scenes? Most likely, as that suits him.

Would he bury himself in another hole in the ground? Only if he needs to or can't find a better way to ensure his safety (and remember that Undermountain wasn't always safe for him).

Allies vs. servitors? Since he's never really had allies other than one fella in Skullport, it's leaning toward apprentices/servitors.

Collect Imaskar artifacts? Only if it helps him regain power and doesn't draw more trouble to him.

Destroy the church of Shar? I haven't read exactly what happens to the Mad Mage, but he'd only go after the church if it did something directly to him.

Now go after the Twisted Rune due to their attacks on him? He'd definitely do that, as it's not enough that he has Priamon as a plaything; the Rune were the guys who encouraged his usurpation of Halaster to gain admittance to their number. Thus, they would easily reap the whirlwind of Halaster's hatred and revenge.

Would he be an evil Blackstaff in alliance with the Lords of Waterdeep? Wild idea, but very very unlikely unless the Lords serve a different purpose in your game.

The only thing for certain with Halaster (in my mind) is this: The only thing that matters to Halaster is Halaster. What is good for Halaster is good for the universe. That which thwarts Halaster is something that needs be destroyed.

Steven
who again asserts that this is all conjecture and opinion, not anything concrete or in contention with any decisions made by other designers using this character or its associated setting(s)

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

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 08 Sep 2008 :  21:56:20  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Blackstaves" actually sounds pretty good....

But a "shanty" is still not a song; it's a shack. I draw the line on that. Where's Mel Odom's scroll? I think that the real threat from the sea is bad grammar.




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 - 08 Sep 2008 :  22:03:51  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

"Blackstaves" actually sounds pretty good....

But a "shanty" is still not a song; it's a shack. I draw the line on that. Where's Mel Odom's scroll? I think that the real threat from the sea is bad grammar.




Grammarians of the world, from whose sins we must protect it, unite!

Steven

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

2037 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2008 :  10:21:33  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
bought yer book, have not finished it yet??

so they did that to the blackstaff lady, so tell me, just how pissed will she be later on???
pms pissed
or the ever so popular hell hath no fury like a woman scorned pissed??

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2008 :  13:43:02  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

bought yer book, have not finished it yet??

so they did that to the blackstaff lady, so tell me, just how pissed will she be later on???
pms pissed
or the ever so popular hell hath no fury like a woman scorned pissed??



Heh heh... You have no idea. Because not only is she pissed, but others as well.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

Ashe's Character Sheet

Alphabetized Index of Realms NPCs
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3532 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2008 :  16:33:59  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

bought yer book, have not finished it yet??

so they did that to the blackstaff lady, so tell me, just how pissed will she be later on???
pms pissed
or the ever so popular hell hath no fury like a woman scorned pissed??



I have not read this yet, thank the Gods (those that remain), you didn't say what "that" was!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"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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sfdragon
Great Reader

2037 Posts

Posted - 09 Sep 2008 :  17:57:42  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

quote:
Originally posted by sfdragon

bought yer book, have not finished it yet??

so they did that to the blackstaff lady, so tell me, just how pissed will she be later on???
pms pissed
or the ever so popular hell hath no fury like a woman scorned pissed??



I have not read this yet, thank the Gods (those that remain), you didn't say what "that" was!




they not only did that, but this too......

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2008 :  14:57:14  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For those in the general vicinity, I'll be signing Blackstaff Tower at Grand LAN downtown in Grand Rapids on Saturday the 13th from noon to about 4pm. It's part of their general D&D Meetup, but I'll have a table and many copies of the book on hand for purchase. Please stop by if you're able, if only to say hi.

Steven

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

USA
3074 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2008 :  15:02:23  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alas, Grand Rapids is still a bit too far for a leisurely drive. Let me know when you might be in the Minneapolis area (or nearby).

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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althen artren
Senior Scribe

USA
778 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2008 :  17:03:58  Show Profile Send althen artren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spells Stilled, Steven:

I don't suppose you have any signing scheduled for any part of St. Louis,
do you?
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Menelvagor
Senior Scribe

Israel
352 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2008 :  19:50:07  Show Profile  Visit Menelvagor's Homepage Send Menelvagor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found in the Fall of Myth Drannor that Syrumstar Auglamyr was last seen at the Battle of Shadusk's Glade, where she was last seen exploding with Malimshaer. Malimshaer's seared skull and ribcage fell at Captain's Selorn's feet. No remains of Syrumstar were ever found, but Captain Selorn found that he held her Choker in his hand at the end, and she had sworn it would leave her only at her death.
So my question is, why were there no remains of Syrumstar? Was she totally consumed by the fire, leaving only ashes that were swept away in the wind? Or did she survive and go somewhere else? If so, why did she leave her Choker?

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.
How much less them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation in the dust, are crushed before the moth?" - Eliphaz the Temanite, Job IV, 17-19.

"Yea, though he live a thousand years twice, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?" - Ecclesiastes VI, 6.

"There are no stupid questions just a bunch of inquisitive idiots."

"Let's not call it 'hijacking'. Let's call it 'Thread Drift'."
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Fillow
Master of Realmslore

France
1608 Posts

Posted - 11 Sep 2008 :  20:40:50  Show Profile  Visit Fillow's Homepage  Send Fillow a Yahoo! Message Send Fillow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

For those in the general vicinity, I'll be signing Blackstaff Tower at Grand LAN downtown in Grand Rapids on Saturday the 13th from noon to about 4pm. It's part of their general D&D Meetup, but I'll have a table and many copies of the book on hand for purchase. Please stop by if you're able, if only to say hi.

Steven


Don't you have a trip to Paris these coming months Steven ?

"Today is a good day to smile",
Fillow Big'n'Book Mahlemiut 'Lead-dog', Son of Garl, Wanderer of the Masked Leaf and Namer of Oghma.

- Fight in the arena and have fun ! :
La brute.com
- Feel free to take part to these projects : Post-Spellplague bibliography ; 4E index project ; Taverns and inns of the Realms ; Dogs of the Realms ; Descriptions of places in the novels ; forums, RPG, FR Abbreviations and Acronyms
- Come and have a look at the already asked questions from the Forgotten Realms Trivia Challenge

I am a French FR fan, so please forgive my lapses in English language and do not hesitate to correct me. Thanks a lot.
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sfdragon
Great Reader

2037 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2008 :  04:00:53  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
finished it, steven.
bad news is that im going to have to buy another copy.......



anyway thanks it was very enjoyable, and the end, thanks i liked that group.

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2008 :  16:40:53  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 sfdragon

finished it, steven.
bad news is that im going to have to buy another copy.......



anyway thanks it was very enjoyable, and the end, thanks i liked that group.



Bad news? I'm all for folks buying additional copies. I'm not sure why, but they're your shekels and I'm glad for the royalty.

Seriously now, I'm happy you enjoyed the book and the characters.

So no problems with the urban landscaping, then? (I'm amazed no one's grumbled about what I did to the Dragon Tower....)

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2008 :  17:01:34  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 Menelvagor

I found in the Fall of Myth Drannor that Syrumstar Auglamyr was last seen at the Battle of Shadusk's Glade, where she was last seen exploding with Malimshaer. Malimshaer's seared skull and ribcage fell at Captain's Selorn's feet. No remains of Syrumstar were ever found, but Captain Selorn found that he held her Choker in his hand at the end, and she had sworn it would leave her only at her death.
So my question is, why were there no remains of Syrumstar? Was she totally consumed by the fire, leaving only ashes that were swept away in the wind? Or did she survive and go somewhere else? If so, why did she leave her Choker?



I made that scene both definitive and purposefully vague for a number of reasons. I established that Symrustar's Choker does not come off until a wearer dies, so that can be taken at face value that she died at least a little in that battle.

That said, there's no body. Now, most folks around here know me to be an inveterate comic book fan. And the unwritten rule of comics is: If there's no body, the character's not necessarily dead.

This leaves two avenues of story open for GMs--she's either dead or alive, depending on your tastes and needs of your campaign. As she was one of Mystra's Chosen at the time, she could easily allow her body to die (to allow her choker to spread magic through another) and reconstitute herself in a new form (with Mystra's help and encouragement). After all, look at how many forms and genders Elminster has been over the years; it's not hard to believe that an elf wouldn't also be able to do similar things.

In terms of FR canon, I'm afraid she has to be considered dead for the sake of storytelling (at the present time, anyways). As for why her body didn't survive, I'd think an exploding demon in her immediate vicinity might be enough explanation. If not, let's say his final spell opened up a portal to some plane of para-elemental fire or force or somesuch, and she made it all backlash on Malimshaer, destroying him mostly and having to sacrifice herself to close the portal. I'm not saying that's the most official answer to this matter--just another option to color the pages of history.

Hope this all helps clarify your questions, Menelvagor.

Steven
who wants to thank all the fans buying Blackstaff Tower and bringing it into Amazon's Top 100 in sales for Teen related Fantasy

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2008 :  17:13:19  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In response to two queries above re: signings....

Alas, no plans for signings either domestic (St. Louis) or foreign (Paris), though I'd love to visit both places eventually. Some day I'll be at least as worldly and well-traveled as Ed Greenwood.....though it'd be loads more fun to do a book tour with Ed than nearly any other author alive, methinks....

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

Edited by - Steven Schend on 15 Sep 2008 17:14:02
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