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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2013 :  03:22:11  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 hashimashadoo

Hello Steven. I've never posted in any of the questions threads. Usually I can answer my own questions but this one is stumping me.

What was the connection between The Basketman Murders in Keltar in 1370 DR and the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar? Was the Basketman a ghost or something more/less sinister?



Ah. Sorry, hasimashadoo, but I'm still drawing a complete and utter blank. I'll check my old notes (what I can find, that is, after 15+ years) but I suspect it was one of those things I left as a hanging plot line for GMs to glom onto and make of it what they could. Rereading the Empires timeline notes, I suspect the killer/Basketman had something to do with something pilfered from the Haunted Halls that he/it wanted returned there....but whether or not it was a ghost, a fellow adventurer who was cheated out of something, or what, might best be left up to you.

Wish I had a better answer for you than that, but if you want to share your thoughts, maybe they'll result in a better brainstorm between the two of us than what our brains individually can conjure.

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 Nov 2013 :  03:26:10  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 The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

That said, my latest blog post went live a few hours ago and I'm hoping to hear from some Candlekeepers (like you, Sage!) about things you'd like to see more about.
In case you weren't already aware, Steven, I have since responded [and fully intend to continue responding] to your website wonderings...



I was aware, yes, and thanks, Sage. Alas, I ran out of time today as I juggled encyclopedia compiling of 14+ years of notes with trying to scribble out a coherent blog post. Thus, I erred on the side of accuracy and detail instead of just trusting my backbrain or having to edit/fix later.

After all, you don't want me to introduce a character without knowing the full etymology of his race's naming conventions, let alone the topography of his home settlement, or his favorite books, do you? ;)

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2013 :  03:33:37  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 Steven Schend

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

That said, my latest blog post went live a few hours ago and I'm hoping to hear from some Candlekeepers (like you, Sage!) about things you'd like to see more about.
In case you weren't already aware, Steven, I have since responded [and fully intend to continue responding] to your website wonderings...



I was aware, yes, and thanks, Sage. Alas, I ran out of time today as I juggled encyclopedia compiling of 14+ years of notes with trying to scribble out a coherent blog post. Thus, I erred on the side of accuracy and detail instead of just trusting my backbrain or having to edit/fix later.

After all, you don't want me to introduce a character without knowing the full etymology of his race's naming conventions, let alone the topography of his home settlement, or his favorite books, do you? ;)

Steven

Take all the time you need, my friend. Your work is always worth the wait!

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Emma Drake
Learned Scribe

USA
206 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2013 :  22:52:45  Show Profile  Visit Emma Drake's Homepage Send Emma Drake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven - It's great to see you active on the site again! Many thanks for making the time to answer our myriad lore questions. You are the expert on Calimport and I would like to pose one of my own questions on that location.

Some players in my campaign are in Calimport for the Midsummer Eve festival at the Festhall of Eternal Delight (1371). I'm toying with the idea of a raid from the Temple of Old Night during their visit. So my questions...

-How likely might it be that the followers of Shar might attack on such an occasion?
-What is the relative number and power of the priest(ess)es of Sharess? Who is the head priestess, her level, etc... or if these things are not in your notes, what might you think the power level of someone in that position at that temple might be? How many other clerics make the temple their home?
-How many "civilians" attend the festival day? How many adventurers might number among the crowd? I know that there are a number of exotic, fierce defenders, I'm asking for people not on staff, so to speak.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this for me!

"I am always here, all about you. You are never truly alone. I flow wherever life flows, wherever winds blow and water runs and the sun and moon chase each other, for there is magic in all things."

- Mystra (Ed Greenwood, Silverfall)
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2013 :  09:58:04  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, Mr. Schend.

A fellow sage (Fellfire) wrote in another thread a question about Spellviper, a priest of Mystra that was one of the harpers vital to the fall of Hellgate Keep. He wanted some details about this figure, and I'd also like to know about him, and about the whole Hellgate Keep / Dell story, expanding his question. I'd like to know if there are further details about the elves that defeated Grintharke, too, and about the other harpers that placed the artifact that destroyed the keep.

Mr. Krashos told us you were the one to ask about this, I've waited for Fellfire to write you, but since I want to expand his question, I decided writing myself. Can you give us some details about those characters and their stories, or indicate us where to find them? Thank you in advance!

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2013 :  19:45:52  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 Emma Drake

Steven - It's great to see you active on the site again! Many thanks for making the time to answer our myriad lore questions. You are the expert on Calimport and I would like to pose one of my own questions on that location.

Some players in my campaign are in Calimport for the Midsummer Eve festival at the Festhall of Eternal Delight (1371). I'm toying with the idea of a raid from the Temple of Old Night during their visit. So my questions...

-How likely might it be that the followers of Shar might attack on such an occasion?
-What is the relative number and power of the priest(ess)es of Sharess? Who is the head priestess, her level, etc... or if these things are not in your notes, what might you think the power level of someone in that position at that temple might be? How many other clerics make the temple their home?
-How many "civilians" attend the festival day? How many adventurers might number among the crowd? I know that there are a number of exotic, fierce defenders, I'm asking for people not on staff, so to speak.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this for me!


1. Do they have a reason or desire (revenge? capture of important personages? simple funding drive by kidnapping or robbery?) to attack beyond the date and it being the shortest night of the year? (Granted, that last part might be reason enough--a small show of force or at least a reminder that darkness & Shar are eternal even as everyone celebrates the light and summer et al, but that depends on your NPCs and how you view them.

2. This is entirely up to you and should be balanced relatively to match and/or slightly exceed what the PCs can handle (plus any attendant militia or guards et al). As for the head of it all, I'm always loathe to toss out game stats as I can't rebalance by edition, the level of your campaign, etc. Best to deal with it like FR1's description of Khelben the Blackstaff--"make him 7-10 levels higher than your best wizard, simply to keep them in line" (my paraphrase, not Ed's quote).

3. Attendants are an interesting question. I'd say if it's the biggest event in that drudach/neighborhood, it'll be attended by a healthy amount of non-slave/servant caste folk. Consider the adventurer or exotic population to be no more than 5-7% of the crowd. Normally it might be 10% in more northern realms, but Calimshan's not welcoming of outsiders--so of that adventuring crowd, no more than 20% of those in attendance (or about 1 out of 200 at most) would be a non-Calishite adventurer or exotic.

Sorry I can't give you more names or details on the potential attackers from Old Night....though you might consider some new "pets" for the priestess, like a gloomther (an enlarged feline beast/mount) around which she has a permanent twilight/dusk effect as well, so it makes a lot more shadow in a broad area (making it easier for other priests to supplement and darken...not to mention not forcing them to adjust their vision from the gloom.

I'm also seeing something akin to coalesced shadows that manifest like packs of ravening hounds or wolves that they'd send tearing through crowds...though the packs are more likely to attack collections of light than sound or life.

Lastly, the biggest impact they might have on the festival would be leaving reminders that their power will only grow for the remainder of the year down to Midwinter (which would be their favorite day to go out and flaunt their power on the surface due to the least sunshine that day).

However, if you truly want to have a longer impact on the players, have the Shar-worshipers be two-fold--the obvious attackers as noted above....and some disguised as priests of Sharess who wrap random victims in shadows and mist with promises of sybaritic pleasures...only to unveil the horrors and darkness of Shar's vengeance once their victim cannot be heard/seen outside of their spell cocoons....and also steal every/anything they can from said victims from coppers to sanity.

Hope all that helps, Emma.

Steven
who surprised himself by how much he could remember or come up with off the cuff here....

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

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2013 :  19:47:47  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 Barastir

Hi, Mr. Schend.

A fellow sage (Fellfire) wrote in another thread a question about Spellviper, a priest of Mystra that was one of the harpers vital to the fall of Hellgate Keep. He wanted some details about this figure, and I'd also like to know about him, and about the whole Hellgate Keep / Dell story, expanding his question. I'd like to know if there are further details about the elves that defeated Grintharke, too, and about the other harpers that placed the artifact that destroyed the keep.

Mr. Krashos told us you were the one to ask about this, I've waited for Fellfire to write you, but since I want to expand his question, I decided writing myself. Can you give us some details about those characters and their stories, or indicate us where to find them? Thank you in advance!



That's going to take some digging and research, Barastir. I've honestly not thought much about Hellgate Keep since I did the module way back in the day. Gimme a few days to dig up old notes and I'll see what's rattling about re: Spellviper.

Steven

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

USA
206 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2013 :  00:14:58  Show Profile  Visit Emma Drake's Homepage Send Emma Drake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven - Thank you so much for all of this great information and creative ideas! I really appreciate it.

I particularly liked your breakdown of the "civilians" attending. That's quite helpful for setting the scene and coming up with NPCs!

Your ideas for the Shar attackers has me mulling future adventures... as our group will have run-ins with clerics of Shar in the future.

Two follow-up questions, if you don't mind...

1. You mention non-slave attendees. It came up in our group that while the temple doesn't necessarily have slaves that work there, attendees might bring their personal slaves with them. I feel like slavery is in conflict with the basic tenets of the Sharessins' faith (as a CG deity of personal pleasure and fulfillment, one who is not free would be less able to worship her/seek personal fulfillment), so there are no slaves at the temple in our game. However, Calimport is a slave society... would the temple tell people that slaves are not permitted? Or would they allow them in? This led to a more general line of questioning in my mind. Other deities whose spheres might be in conflict with slavery (Lathander, for example) but who have temples in the city... how does that work? I'm trying to figure out how that might play out in both a general sense (how do anti-slavery faiths deal with existing in a slave society) and in the specific context of the Festhall of Eternal Delight.

2. I appreciate the guidelines for the head priestess of Sharess. I'm struggling a bit with how to interpret a few sources as relates to the under-priest(ess)es. First, you say this in your reply:

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
2. This is entirely up to you and should be balanced relatively to match and/or slightly exceed what the PCs can handle (plus any attendant militia or guards et al).



Second, the Calimport sourcebook says:
quote:

While Sharess' power remains far below that of Shar's, the fervent devotion of visitors to the Festhall allows her influence to challenge Shar and the largest temple in Calimport: The Temple of Old Night in Calimport Below.


Third, in the description of the Temple of Old Night, it describes an incredible swathe of the underworld controlled by the Temple of Old Night and the head priestess as being of 15th level.

These different pieces of information (and your suggestion) lead me to conclude that:

1. The head priestess at the Festhall of Eternal Delight might be of a comparable level to that of the head priestess of Shar.

and either:

2a. There are more low level clergy of Shar (as their temple is vast) but more high level clergy of Sharess (to balance out the power dynamic in the city as described in the quote from the Calimport book).

or 2b. The opposite... More high level clergy of Shar, with fewer under priests and the temple of Sharess has fewer high level clerics but many more lower level clergy.

Or maybe something completely different?


My main issue is that while I like to get creative with these things, I also like to work within the canon. There's just enough information for me to feel like there's something I'm not quite getting in terms of power dynamic between the two temples. They're able to stand up against one another, but how?

"I am always here, all about you. You are never truly alone. I flow wherever life flows, wherever winds blow and water runs and the sun and moon chase each other, for there is magic in all things."

- Mystra (Ed Greenwood, Silverfall)

Edited by - Emma Drake on 03 Dec 2013 00:19:30
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2013 :  03:06:23  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 Emma Drake

Steven - Thank you so much for all of this great information and creative ideas! I really appreciate it.

I particularly liked your breakdown of the "civilians" attending. That's quite helpful for setting the scene and coming up with NPCs!

Your ideas for the Shar attackers has me mulling future adventures... as our group will have run-ins with clerics of Shar in the future.

Two follow-up questions, if you don't mind...

1. You mention non-slave attendees. It came up in our group that while the temple doesn't necessarily have slaves that work there, attendees might bring their personal slaves with them. I feel like slavery is in conflict with the basic tenets of the Sharessins' faith (as a CG deity of personal pleasure and fulfillment, one who is not free would be less able to worship her/seek personal fulfillment), so there are no slaves at the temple in our game. However, Calimport is a slave society... would the temple tell people that slaves are not permitted? Or would they allow them in? This led to a more general line of questioning in my mind. Other deities whose spheres might be in conflict with slavery (Lathander, for example) but who have temples in the city... how does that work? I'm trying to figure out how that might play out in both a general sense (how do anti-slavery faiths deal with existing in a slave society) and in the specific context of the Festhall of Eternal Delight.



Well, regardless of how the faith sees slavery, it doesn't serve the faith to butt heads with the entire social structure there. Only personal possession by the goddess herself made the syl-pasha release his concubine from bondage during the Godsfall.

The way I'd play it or see it is that Sharess' faith in Calimport is more focused on lust, abandon, and personal freedom to explore any pleasures desired--free to do what your body wills. This doesn't necessarily affect or mean that they'd be pushing for legal freedom for any one person (though one could easily see some priests of both genders helping slaves escape to freedom).

If someone were to bring slaves along to the temple, they'd be treated to lavish pleasures beyond their norm (unless of course they are harem slaves, but one suspects they'd not be allowed to leave their normal enclaves/quarters) and their owners would be expected to pay for their "worship service" in addition to their own.

It's not an ideal fix, I'll grant, but it's a hinky situation. Sharess needs every worshiper she can get and she's not going to upset the apple cart in Calimshan. What her influence may do is inspire some slaves to become truly devout worshipers and acolytes or priests of the church/faith. These she will protect and provide sanctuary of sorts--often by compensating former owners in money and/or magic/blessings in exchange for transferring the slave into the church's keeping.

Well, that's one part of your question. Hope it's adequate and not further muddying the waters.

SES

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

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2013 :  03:33:10  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 Emma Drake
2. I appreciate the guidelines for the head priestess of Sharess. I'm struggling a bit with how to interpret a few sources as relates to the under-priest(ess)es. First, you say this in your reply:

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
2. This is entirely up to you and should be balanced relatively to match and/or slightly exceed what the PCs can handle (plus any attendant militia or guards et al).



Second, the Calimport sourcebook says:
quote:

While Sharess' power remains far below that of Shar's, the fervent devotion of visitors to the Festhall allows her influence to challenge Shar and the largest temple in Calimport: The Temple of Old Night in Calimport Below.


Third, in the description of the Temple of Old Night, it describes an incredible swathe of the underworld controlled by the Temple of Old Night and the head priestess as being of 15th level.

These different pieces of information (and your suggestion) lead me to conclude that:

1. The head priestess at the Festhall of Eternal Delight might be of a comparable level to that of the head priestess of Shar.

and either:

2a. There are more low level clergy of Shar (as their temple is vast) but more high level clergy of Sharess (to balance out the power dynamic in the city as described in the quote from the Calimport book).

or 2b. The opposite... More high level clergy of Shar, with fewer under priests and the temple of Sharess has fewer high level clerics but many more lower level clergy.

Or maybe something completely different?


My main issue is that while I like to get creative with these things, I also like to work within the canon. There's just enough information for me to feel like there's something I'm not quite getting in terms of power dynamic between the two temples. They're able to stand up against one another, but how?



Power and influence are two different things especially where concerning game mechanics and levels.

Sharess has a huge amount of influence in comparison to Shar because people want sex and pleasure as much or more than they fear the dark. That's overly simplistic, but that's the gist of what I was going for in EoSS.

I'll waffle a bit re: levels, numbers, et al, but here's my gut level thoughts on this:

The head of Old Night should be relatively untouchable by the PCs, regardless of her level. There's just too many forces invested in protecting her (and their own interests as well) for her to be moved unless she wishes. And there's absolutely no way she'd be involved in any martial action unless she's absolutely certain there's no way she'd be in any danger whatsoever.

That said, I'd agree with your #1--the two head priestesses might be of equal level....but Sharess' priestess would only rival her counterpart's influence when on her own holy ground (using the ideas of amping up one's power in one's place of power/worship...and I'm blanking where Ed and/or I wrote up that re: druids and their groves). Were she down in Old Night, she'd be woefully outmatched.

I'd say there's more worshipers of Shar & more loyal to her faith once you count in every person in the underworld linked to the church and its dealings in all things dark. However, I'd say the number of level-notable priests might be higher in Sharess' faith; I'd also venture to say that there might be more acolytes and priests of Sharess in Calimport than there might be of Shar's faith (but that's because Shar's priests have to travel out to keep their fingers in all the pies).

So that's the easier solution--more worshipers and many more at least those paying lip service to Shar, more ardent/honest/true faithful and acolytes and priests of Sharess.

Even so, it's totally up to you as to how you want to show the two temples in opposition.

After all, there could be a twice-a-year detente in which they respect each other's faiths and have cease-fire agreements wherein they leave each other in peace (or choose to attend to show that each goddess honors the other's place in the firmaments and in their mortal worshipers' lives...not to mention that Sharess' faith also likes the dark (for its mystery adding to pleasures) just as Shar's faith likes the passion....you get the picture. ;)

Clear as mud? Glad to have helped. :)

SES

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

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2013 :  10:20:01  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
That's going to take some digging and research, Barastir. I've honestly not thought much about Hellgate Keep since I did the module way back in the day. Gimme a few days to dig up old notes and I'll see what's rattling about re: Spellviper.

Steven

Right, I'll wait, then!

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Emma Drake
Learned Scribe

USA
206 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2013 :  19:43:13  Show Profile  Visit Emma Drake's Homepage Send Emma Drake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

Clear as mud? Glad to have helped. :)

SES



You certainly did! Very much so. Thank you!

"I am always here, all about you. You are never truly alone. I flow wherever life flows, wherever winds blow and water runs and the sun and moon chase each other, for there is magic in all things."

- Mystra (Ed Greenwood, Silverfall)
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2013 :  18:22:18  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 Barastir

Hi, Mr. Schend.

A fellow sage (Fellfire) wrote in another thread a question about Spellviper, a priest of Mystra that was one of the harpers vital to the fall of Hellgate Keep. He wanted some details about this figure, and I'd also like to know about him, and about the whole Hellgate Keep / Dell story, expanding his question. I'd like to know if there are further details about the elves that defeated Grintharke, too, and about the other harpers that placed the artifact that destroyed the keep.

Mr. Krashos told us you were the one to ask about this, I've waited for Fellfire to write you, but since I want to expand his question, I decided writing myself. Can you give us some details about those characters and their stories, or indicate us where to find them? Thank you in advance!



Did some digging and alas, I can't find any older info on either Spellviper the priest of Mystra or Cryshana Fireglen other than they're both Harpers and they were both killed when the Gatekeeper's Crystal imploded all the magical barriers around Hellgate Keep (as they'd expected when they took on this mission).

Do I have more lore on them or info on what they were carrying? No, but I'd hazard a guess that they only bore what they needed to get into position and do the deed. In fact, I'd almost suggest that their last acts before activating the GC were to use a scroll or magical item (provided by the Harpers) that would send back any items or equipment of sentimental or magical value to prevent its plundering by grave robbers or the Keep's denizens. Thus, I'd not expect some major magic or info to be found on either body if one could even find the bodies beneath thousands of tons of rock.

If I weren't busy, I'd see what other stories might exist about the characters in my head, but I can't do so now...other than to say that

Spellviper got her name from the many tattooed serpents on her arms, hands, and legs (and her spells seemed to come from those snakes that would writhe and hiss the spells out, tattoos taking on the colors complementary with each spell) and

Cryshana's latter name came from her unfortunate origin as the sole survivor of a lightning-sparked forest fire that consumed her home and hamlet, leaving her a soot-choked and starving foundling that wandered into Silverymoon a few days after that fact.

Steven

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

Edited by - Steven Schend on 05 Dec 2013 18:23:13
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2013 :  23:36:46  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wonderful, Mr. Schend. Thank you very, very much!

About the elves that defeated Grintharke, is there any info? Who were they (names, class and level, anything)? Have they found the shattered swords of general Ynloeth there, or they took the blades there? If they found it, they knew of it previously, and how to activate them? I suppose they didn't find the bracer...

Any other info, or a tip on where can I find the answers to my questions?

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13135 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  17:02:44  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven, were the Shalarin your idea? And if so, what were they inspired by?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  02:39:53  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
It was either Steven Schend or Eric Boyd. [I'm sure friend Steven will correct me!]

The reason I'm thinking Eric... is because he once had an unfinished DUNGEON submission under development that dealt with the Shalarin and their gods. It's too bad nothing more became of that write-up.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  07:08:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shalarin remind me of the old comic book ads for sea monkeys.

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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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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  02:24:19  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 Markustay

Steven, were the Shalarin your idea? And if so, what were they inspired by?



Yes, the shalarin were my idea, as I wanted something new for Sea of Fallen Stars and felt the Realms deserved something unique for its undersea.

Visually, the most immediate reference/inspiration came from Marvel Comics' Guardians of the Galaxy and the Centauri freedom fighter Yondu (http://marvel.com/universe/Yondu), though most of the rest was whole-cloth my own invention.

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  03:32:44  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
I'm kind of disappointed in myself that I never made that connection. And I was a big GotG fan back in the days of the old 90's book.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2014 :  20:01:22  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 Barastir

Wonderful, Mr. Schend. Thank you very, very much!

About the elves that defeated Grintharke, is there any info? Who were they (names, class and level, anything)? Have they found the shattered swords of general Ynloeth there, or they took the blades there? If they found it, they knew of it previously, and how to activate them? I suppose they didn't find the bracer...

Any other info, or a tip on where can I find the answers to my questions?



I'll confess that those elves have little more lore and details among my notes than are in print, alas. I'm tempted to go back and reread and expand details, but I'm crushingly busy on two different editing projects at present. Still, to leave a reader hanging is a flaw I'm hoping to not do as much this year.

The elves brought Ynloeth's blades with them, used them, and then were subsequently buried by the acts that brought the whole keep down.

Still, unless I'm totally misremembering, there's almost no chance that anyone could recover the Shattering Swords unless they've a way to remove the thousands of tons of rubble atop the remnants. I'd guess it might take the power of at least two wish spells (assuming they're even still canon and in use) to reclaim the bracer(s) and the hilts. Then the person either needs a 3rd wish for all the pieces to be restored or just wait for them to burrow themselves out from the rock...in several centuries.

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

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2014 :  17:00:38  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend
The elves brought Ynloeth's blades with them, used them, and then were subsequently buried by the acts that brought the whole keep down.

Maybe my memory is failing, but as far as I remember, the elf that activated the power of the swords died in the process, so I imagined he would not have the bracer (lost in the Keep, maybe?). I don't remember too if, after the shredding power is activated, the swords are lost, or if they magically reform... Besides, I think the fight between the elves and Grintharke was a few years before the Keep was destroyed, no?

EDIT: Typos and clarifications

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)

Edited by - Barastir on 08 Jan 2014 18:47:30
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2014 :  02:40:11  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  Reply with Quote
Friend Steven, I was reading the latest Backer Update for the Dragon Kings Kickstarter... and I noticed you've been listed as helping out with editing duties.

Is there anything you can share with interested fans about what this process might have involved? Especially with regard to the editing/working on material set as a spiritual successor to the fan-favourite Dark Sun campaign world?

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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

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

Brazil
1393 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2014 :  16:05:59  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here it is:

"As Grintharke and none of the other tanar'ri were familiar with the Shattering Swords of Coronal Ynloeth, they could not have known what dangerous items Grintharke's foes wielded against him. (...) When one elf finally brought the Shattering Swords together, the blades exploded in a flurry of razor-sharp shards that immediately engulfed the wielder and then descended on the balor."

Doesn't it mean that the owner was without the bracer? The description of the blades say that they can be clashed once per year (so they reform, after all?), and the description of the bracer says that it protects its wielder against the sword shards.

My questions: the shards would still swirl around the bracer's wielder, but not touching him? Besides, the bracer protects anyone from the shards, even if the wielder is not the one that activated the shards? Was the wielder of the swords (or the wielder of the bracer, if a different elf was employing the blade) among the four survivors after the fight?

Anyway, these survivors lived only for some minutes after defeating Grintharke and his Vrock second-in-command, and in fact the destruction of the Keep occurred only four years after that.

As for the recovery of the artifact, it would be truly hard... But my interest when I brought the question was more on the seven Evereskan elves. Who were they? Would you have any idea about class and levels? Were they any important NPC? In my campaign I have a PC and a NPC from Evereska, maybe they could have know or even be somehow related to one of these heroes, that's why I asked.

Well, since there are no notes nor newer published lore about the subject, I think I'll have to wait, right?

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)

Edited by - Barastir on 15 Jan 2014 11:53:16
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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

84 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2014 :  12:58:17  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dear Steven, I really like your FR books, having learned to play in the 2E era. I have a question about one of your products, Lands of intrigue, because it has been said that Amn is somewhat modeled based on Spain. However, during the sp-called Spanish golden age wealth and commerce were not regarded as the 'noblest' endeavors and goals, and others were privileged, as revealed in a famous painting on the 'dream of the gentleman'. Moreover, I have not seen any religious tension between Calimshan and either Amn or Tethyr, so I would like to ask you if that tension exists, according to you, and if you think that Tethyr resembles Spain more (I don't find Tethyr similar on Northen African emirates or kingdoms either, but find it more like Spain or Portugal). Thanks!
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3178 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2014 :  10:29:37  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Steven,

I've been reading the Cloak and Dagger sourcebook which is by far one of the best and my personal favourite. When reading the section about the Harper Schism I came to a conclusion that I would like to ask you about.

It is clear Khelben had been planning the creation of the Moonstars for centuries and it proves he undertakes nothing rashly or lightly. Yet when challenged about his actions by Bran Skorlsun he appears to be rashly resigning from the Harpers.

Even more suspicious is the fact that many master Harpers also split or distance themselves from the Harpers despite having created them many times over the centuries and shepherded the organisation through many internal and external conflicts. And they do so at the word of Khelben when I suspect many knew nothing concrete about his plan for the Moonstars.

Then the Harpers appear to split among the Harpers of the North, the Harpers of the Dalelands and the Harpers of Twilight Hall.

So I concluded that Khelben planned his secession from the Harpers for many, many years despite the fact that such an organisation would have been useful to his Moonstars. The only reason I could find for such an action is if the Harpers had been compromised by evil that Khelben could not locate and therefore he could no longer trust the Harpers and so a break was necessary and indeed the whole thing might have been done to try and draw out the evil into the open. If so it appears to have been working because the witch hunts of the schism are definitely bordering on evil.


Evil within the Harpers is also supported by the illness of Cylyria that cannot be cured, and the zealous actions of Bran, Obslin, and Belhuar which seem to be against their judgement or alignment.


So the next question is what is the source of evil within the Harpers. It either has to be so powerful as to disguise itself from Khelben and the other chosen/master Harpers and able to foil their attempts to cure Cylyria. Or it has remained unseen from the master Harpers and still has unfettered access to Cylyria to keep her sick.


In the end the only culprit I could find was Cylyria herself. She has feigned illness to keep out of the way of the other Master Harpers and has been infecting evil within the organisation. Her personality has been different for many years with her being melancholy and not singing for some time so I suspect she was replaced or possessed long ago.

Am I on the right track or am I a feverish mad man

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