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Clegane
Seeker

65 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2014 :  17:40:29  Show Profile Send Clegane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Steve. I have just bought all the Campaign material I could find on Waterdeep including the campaign boxed set of Waterdeep and the newer 3E hardcover. I think the boxed set has to be the best rpg campaign material produced. Love the map! I was wondering about the character of Madeiron Sunderstone and what does it mean to be the Open Lord's champion. As Piergeiron's Champion, how much time does he spend by his side and do his duties ever require him elsewhere from the Open Lord? Piergeiron has appeared in several novels but I think City of Splendors is the only one where we actually see him with Piergeiron(I could be wrong about this) and the just for one sequence in the story.

Is he very active in the happenings of the City? He is a paladin and must be wise and is stated as fearless and I was wondering how that meshes with him not being especially bright? Do others look down on his intellect or does it diminish him in the eyes of his colleagues at all? Would he be able to garner the respect from someone notorious like Elaith Craulnober? How do Texter or the other notable Paladins of Waterdeep view him. What is his personality like? Nobility and royalty seem to be held in high regard in Waterdeep, does Madeiron himself or any of his friends acknowledge his blood ties to the Hartwick royal line of Hartsvale? How is he perceived by the common folk of Waterdeep? I had the opportunity to meet Shaquille Oniel a short time back and I have to say meeting a 7 footer of his stature was an impressive site and someone of his size immediately draws gazes. I can imagine what an 8 footer in plate mail armor would immediately draw a crowd and the attention of others. Are the people of the city fairly accustomed to this site? He is described as amiable, is he the quintessential gentle giant type?

Thanks!
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2014 :  18:46:50  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 paladinnicolas

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!



I didn't really copy or purposefully ape the cultures or histories of Spain or elsewhere for the Lands of Intrigue. Just as an effort to make the areas more distinct and different from other realms, I loosely took bits and bobs and inspiration from places other than England and France. Tethyr has some elements of Spain, while I used some ideas from the Doges & Medici (and a few touches of Godfather as well) of Italy for Amn.

Even if we say so in interviews or online like this, I'd say it's NEVER a 1-to-1 ratio or direct lift from history or fables to the Realms. I love history a lot and I love the Realms a lot, but each feeds the other, rather than being a place in which to drop history-analogues. Even when we've identified from where we take our inspirations, we're not doing our jobs very well if you can point out every element we didn't properly ground into the Realms.

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

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2014 :  19:05:14  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 dazzlerdal

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.

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.


As I've stated many times, Khelben plans EVERYTHING for years.

Well, okay, every action or plot of his that he controls. It took him decades with Laeral before he realized he'd never be able to plan or control her.

quote:

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.


Think we covered the issues in PM, but let me know. I'd rather leave the Cylyria mystery for individual DMs to tailor to their campaigns.

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

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2014 :  19:09:45  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 Clegane

Hi Steve. I have just bought all the Campaign material I could find on Waterdeep including the campaign boxed set of Waterdeep and the newer 3E hardcover. I think the boxed set has to be the best rpg campaign material produced. Love the map! I was wondering about the character of Madeiron Sunderstone and what does it mean to be the Open Lord's champion. As Piergeiron's Champion, how much time does he spend by his side and do his duties ever require him elsewhere from the Open Lord? Piergeiron has appeared in several novels but I think City of Splendors is the only one where we actually see him with Piergeiron(I could be wrong about this) and the just for one sequence in the story.

Is he very active in the happenings of the City? He is a paladin and must be wise and is stated as fearless and I was wondering how that meshes with him not being especially bright? Do others look down on his intellect or does it diminish him in the eyes of his colleagues at all? Would he be able to garner the respect from someone notorious like Elaith Craulnober? How do Texter or the other notable Paladins of Waterdeep view him. What is his personality like? Nobility and royalty seem to be held in high regard in Waterdeep, does Madeiron himself or any of his friends acknowledge his blood ties to the Hartwick royal line of Hartsvale? How is he perceived by the common folk of Waterdeep? I had the opportunity to meet Shaquille Oniel a short time back and I have to say meeting a 7 footer of his stature was an impressive site and someone of his size immediately draws gazes. I can imagine what an 8 footer in plate mail armor would immediately draw a crowd and the attention of others. Are the people of the city fairly accustomed to this site? He is described as amiable, is he the quintessential gentle giant type?

Thanks!



Ed or the Hooded One are probably better sources on Madeiron, as my only work/exposure with him was in the CoS boxed set. I never did much with him, and were I to speculate, I'd probably place him in a role as the Open Lord's closest line of defense--i.e. personal bodyguard. He has other roles to play among the Watch and Guard, but only as a go-between for Piergeiron.

From a far more moral and ethical standpoint, he's the Mountain to Piergeiron's Tywin (a reference suited to your screenname).

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

United Kingdom
3218 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2014 :  19:10:19  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Steven, you have my brain working overtime again with the Harper information. Its a different idea than I had originally but I think it works better, so thankyou.

And I certainly cant pick out the Spanish bits in Tethyr or the Italian bits in Amn so its a job well done from me. To me they are each their own culture with their own little quirks.


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paladinnicolas
Learned Scribe

84 Posts

Posted - 23 Jun 2014 :  21:05:32  Show Profile Send paladinnicolas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dear Steven, thank you for answering. I can certainly see the inspirations you mention, and agree with your ideas.
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2014 :  16:15:10  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For those who might have an interest in stopping by and saying howdy, I'll be working at the Gaming Paper booth at Gen Con next week Thursday and Friday from 10am to 2pm each day. Beyond that, my time is my own, so I'll plan to hit a few seminars and officially attend the Lords of Waterdeep get-together (because the Realms does NOT have hoot-a-nannies) on Saturday evening as my final event. Sunday I have to leave early so don't expect to be on site at all that day. Hope to meet a lot of Candlekeepers (or are we Candlekept?) down in Indy!

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Kris the Grey
Senior Scribe

USA
422 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2014 :  16:50:38  Show Profile Send Kris the Grey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven,

Looks like an interesting product, I'll have to swing by and check it out! See you (again) at the Candlekeep seminar as well.

Kris the Grey - Member in Good Standing of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, the Arcane Guild of Silverymoon, and the Connecticut Bar Association
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

530 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2014 :  10:25:49  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven,

my players will soon tour the cities of the northern shores of the Lake of Steam and i have some questions ("current campaign time" is early spring of 1375 DR):
- Am i wrong in picturing Innarlith as a dark place, with Cyricists and their lackeys kidnapping people (particularly spellcasters), closing down temples of goodly deities and chasing out of town their priests, with informers and both secret and not-so-secret police enforcing the rule of Pristoleph?
- Dalelost ... anything on this more than "ruined city occupied by priests of Bane"? Do the ruins extend to the road between Yhep and Ankhapur (meaning: do travelers have to pass through the ruins or take a detour)? Are these priests of Bane under the Twisted Rune, under Teldorn Darkhope, indipendent or a combination of the three? Do they work against the Cyricists of Innarlith or do they keep to themselves on some dark and obscure project? If the latter, can you enlighten us, please?
- Has King Janol I "Pinch" Famisso taken a stance against the problems of the region? Is he planning or engaging in support to Saelmur or covert/overt military actions against the Banites of Mintar or the Cyricists of Innarlith?
- What are the diplomatic relations of the various indipendent Lake of Steam cities and Sespech?

Thanks!
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Duneth Despana
Learned Scribe

Belgium
243 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2014 :  10:57:45  Show Profile Send Duneth Despana a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Heya,

I just created this scroll(http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19667) trying to find more information on Clan Auzkovyn.

In my searches I stumbled upon the passage mentioning vhaeraun-worshipping drow living in the High Forest p.51 in 'The North' Boxed Set.
I was wondering, since you co-wrote the book, if you had written that particular bit and what your thoughts were on the possible relations between Misstyre's band and clan Auzkovyn (before the latter left for Cormanthor). Furthermore If you know who originally came up with the idea for the clan and would be willing to tell me, so that I could pick her/his brain, I'd be grateful! :D

Thank you in advance and thanks for your great contribution to the Realms.

« There is no overriding « epic » in the Realms, but rather a large number of stories, adventures, and encounters going on all the time. [...]. Each creative mind adds to the base, creating, defining, and making their contribution to the rich diversity of the Realms. [...]. But Ed built the stage upon which all the plays are presented. Thanks Ed. » -FR Comic no.1
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2014 :  15:36:14  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 Duneth Despana

Heya,

I just created this scroll(http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19667) trying to find more information on Clan Auzkovyn.

In my searches I stumbled upon the passage mentioning vhaeraun-worshipping drow living in the High Forest p.51 in 'The North' Boxed Set.
I was wondering, since you co-wrote the book, if you had written that particular bit and what your thoughts were on the possible relations between Misstyre's band and clan Auzkovyn (before the latter left for Cormanthor). Furthermore If you know who originally came up with the idea for the clan and would be willing to tell me, so that I could pick her/his brain, I'd be grateful! :D

Thank you in advance and thanks for your great contribution to the Realms.




I saw over on Eric Boyd's board that you've got your answers on Clan Auzkovyn, which is a relief. My only response was to say "Not my tower. Not my minions."

Sorry for the flippant response, but they're not anything to which i've any memory or specifics to help.

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 - 30 Oct 2014 :  18:29:44  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 Demzer

Steven,

my players will soon tour the cities of the northern shores of the Lake of Steam and i have some questions ("current campaign time" is early spring of 1375 DR):
- Am i wrong in picturing Innarlith as a dark place, with Cyricists and their lackeys kidnapping people (particularly spellcasters), closing down temples of goodly deities and chasing out of town their priests, with informers and both secret and not-so-secret police enforcing the rule of Pristoleph?


Innarlith's quite dark as you've noted, but there are also some small pockets of safety within it--mainly among the moneyed and nobles (from other places) whose personal chapels and temples within their estates could not be eradicated without serious upset of social order.

quote:
- Dalelost ... anything on this more than "ruined city occupied by priests of Bane"? Do the ruins extend to the road between Yhep and Ankhapur (meaning: do travelers have to pass through the ruins or take a detour)? Are these priests of Bane under the Twisted Rune, under Teldorn Darkhope, indipendent or a combination of the three? Do they work against the Cyricists of Innarlith or do they keep to themselves on some dark and obscure project? If the latter, can you enlighten us, please?


I doubt folk have to travel through the ruins, as those priests would use some ruined areas to rebuild slapdash sentry points, barracks, or crude gates to protect their occupation. I don't have any notes re: who the Banites truly serve, but it's an opportunity for you to play out a lot of internal conflict within the Church of Bane at that time. As for who's in control and why, that's up to you--but I'd personally prefer this to be a fallback position for Teldorn to flee to if he gets uprooted from his power base.

quote:
- Has King Janol I "Pinch" Famisso taken a stance against the problems of the region? Is he planning or engaging in support to Saelmur or covert/overt military actions against the Banites of Mintar or the Cyricists of Innarlith?


Personally, probably, but politically,, he's more apt to straddle the fence until he knows with absolute certainty he can keep his power and not be overthrown by interests local or farther afield. Thus, he's probably backing covert actions vs. both while remaining publicly neutral.

quote:
- What are the diplomatic relations of the various indipendent Lake of Steam cities and Sespech?


As peaceful and organized as any relations among people on the Internet--polite when that's the standard held by the venue in which they're communicating, but as sharp, rude, or blunt as anyone if there's no reason to be otherwise civilized.

Diplomacy is only handled as a subset of trade and keeping money flowing, OR as a communication tool to ensure that Calimshan doesn't horn in on their independence. It's really more of a city-state-independent setup with coordination only happening when it has to. At least that's how I see it/remember it.

SES

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

Belgium
243 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2014 :  11:41:01  Show Profile Send Duneth Despana a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend


I saw over on Eric Boyd's board that you've got your answers on Clan Auzkovyn, which is a relief. My only response was to say "Not my tower. Not my minions."

Sorry for the flippant response, but they're not anything to which i've any memory or specifics to help.

Steven



No worries at all. Thanks anyway. I'll keep digging but in another direction, then ^_^

« There is no overriding « epic » in the Realms, but rather a large number of stories, adventures, and encounters going on all the time. [...]. Each creative mind adds to the base, creating, defining, and making their contribution to the rich diversity of the Realms. [...]. But Ed built the stage upon which all the plays are presented. Thanks Ed. » -FR Comic no.1
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29730 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2014 :  02:35:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Friend Steven, I am curious about a family you described in the City of Splendors boxed set...

Lord Bronson Phaulkon is described as being a minor Cormyrean noble who relocated to Waterdeep. What I'm curious about is how much of the Phaulkon family remained in Cormyr, and the connection between the ones who stayed and the expats who went to Waterdeep.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2014 :  03:20:17  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Friend Steven, I am curious about a family you described in the City of Splendors boxed set...

Lord Bronson Phaulkon is described as being a minor Cormyrean noble who relocated to Waterdeep. What I'm curious about is how much of the Phaulkon family remained in Cormyr, and the connection between the ones who stayed and the expats who went to Waterdeep.



Sadly, I can't locate my notes on the Phaulkons and the only other tidbit that leaps to mind was his cousin (or sister? Can't remember right now...) Jeryth became a Chosen of Mielikki and was relatively nearby (or at least closer than Cormyr).

Off the top of my head, I'd say he was part of a family akin to early 20th century British nobles--long storied title and family name, but alas, no cash....which is what brought him to Waterdeep to seek his fortunes. How many are left behind is up to you (or Ed or Garen Thal), as I can't recall much else.

Steven

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

United Kingdom
3218 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2015 :  21:46:01  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Steven,

I am almost finished reading Blackstaff (which is by the way the first realms novel I have ever read). Loving all of it so far, Khelben really comes alive in it as a human being, rather than the distant super hero he is often portrayed in the sourcebooks.

I can't wait for the death scene and at the same time I almost don't want to read about the death of one of my favourite characters (although I probably will have him return in my campaigns since that modified kiira is bonded to Tsarra and either wittingly or not his memories and personality could overwrite hers).


I'm wondering about a few things. First is this passage
quote:
"Did I ever tell you how long it took us to drop that smoldering traitor after he killed you? Honestly, the man was more stubborn as a corpse than he was in life!"

It refers to Lord Elsmyth who stabbed Khelben in the eye. The "more stubborn as a corpse than he was in life "makes it sound like he persisted into undeath after his demise. I wonder how long did Laeral take to kill him, was it an immediate response to Malek's death, did Elsmyth flee and Laeral spent the next two decades tracking him down, did he then rise again after he was killed?

Also what happened to the other traitors involved in the assassination attempt on Laeral. Tryshalm Varret and his accomplices were pinned to the walls by magic in Malek's tower so one presumes the magic wore off after a time and they fled. The other lords may have escaped during the confusion and one assumes there were other noble houses involved.

There is mention of the Xornmoors and Easting Reaches as areas within Stornanter, it sounds like these are internal regions more inland than on the coast, so could it be the eastern edges of the realm were those involved in the uprising.

What happened to all these traitors? Did they flee elsewhere? Were they saved by the departure of Laeral and Stornanter's demise. I'm kind of hoping they flee to the Moonshae Isles as I'm looking to link them to the armada of 852 DR and could use a few noble names.



One other question was about the Blackstaff itself. I remember reading that Khelben said he hadn't used the staff since he truly entered mystra's service. Well I took that to mean the day he died and became a Chosen, which makes the Blackstaff actually the Duskstaff of Sarael from the beginning of the book which sounds like a staff of the magi (or whichever one explodes when you break it) but warped somewhat by the sacrifice of Khelben and his dad perhaps. Is that true?

Anyway, excellent book I can't wait to finish it and then reread it and try to match up all the past lives of khelben with realms history (especially the tomb in Impiltur).

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Magor
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2015 :  07:07:38  Show Profile Send Magor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Steven, from a collector's perspective I'm curious about the 2e Calimshan sourcebook you wrote. I do have two questions: Is there a reason why the block of the booklet is removable from the cover or was this just by accident? Didn't the original planning of the product include a map - why was it left out?
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 25 Apr 2015 :  17:14:07  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Steven,

Curious: you've stopped posting on your blog. Any chance you'll be posting more soon?

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2015 :  01:27:51  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 Jeremy Grenemyer

Hi Steven,

Curious: you've stopped posting on your blog. Any chance you'll be posting more soon?



All the chaos of kid-wrangling has kept me from doing much with that, but I might be revving the site(s) up again this summer if all goes well...and I actually have something about which to talk.

Thanks for inquiring; wondering if THIS time I'll be able to maintain a more regular pace like I managed briefly back in 2009 for a while....

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

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2015 :  01:39:26  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 dazzlerdal

Hi Steven,

I am almost finished reading Blackstaff (which is by the way the first realms novel I have ever read). Loving all of it so far, Khelben really comes alive in it as a human being, rather than the distant super hero he is often portrayed in the sourcebooks.

I can't wait for the death scene and at the same time I almost don't want to read about the death of one of my favourite characters (although I probably will have him return in my campaigns since that modified kiira is bonded to Tsarra and either wittingly or not his memories and personality could overwrite hers).



Hope the ending satisfied you, dazzlerdal. And remember, no one outside of the Rhymanthiin ritual knows that the Khelben that returned to Waterdeep after all that was not really him...nor did anyone discover this for more than 20 years.

quote:
I'm wondering about a few things. First is this passage
quote:
"Did I ever tell you how long it took us to drop that smoldering traitor after he killed you? Honestly, the man was more stubborn as a corpse than he was in life!"

It refers to Lord Elsmyth who stabbed Khelben in the eye. The "more stubborn as a corpse than he was in life "makes it sound like he persisted into undeath after his demise. I wonder how long did Laeral take to kill him, was it an immediate response to Malek's death, did Elsmyth flee and Laeral spent the next two decades tracking him down, did he then rise again after he was killed?


It's probably better to leave it wide open for individual interpretations, but as you're asking specifically...he had items and previously-held-in-state enchantments that kept all parts of his body focused on their final activity until destruction or completion of action. Thus, imagine a smoking skeleton, crawling claws, etc. all trying to choke or otherwise harm Laeral. I do believe it took them the better part of three months to finally find every single finger bone, tooth, etc. and grind every bit of Lord Esmyth to dust after his death.

quote:
Also what happened to the other traitors involved in the assassination attempt on Laeral. Tryshalm Varret and his accomplices were pinned to the walls by magic in Malek's tower so one presumes the magic wore off after a time and they fled. The other lords may have escaped during the confusion and one assumes there were other noble houses involved.

There is mention of the Xornmoors and Easting Reaches as areas within Stornanter, it sounds like these are internal regions more inland than on the coast, so could it be the eastern edges of the realm were those involved in the uprising.

What happened to all these traitors? Did they flee elsewhere? Were they saved by the departure of Laeral and Stornanter's demise. I'm kind of hoping they flee to the Moonshae Isles as I'm looking to link them to the armada of 852 DR and could use a few noble names.



That last sounds like a marvelous bridge from one bit of unresolved lore to another, so go with it. I've got no other details on the traitors...and if Laeral so chose, she could exact any vengeance she needed later (though she probably wouldn't once her temper cooled a score or two of years later).


quote:
One other question was about the Blackstaff itself. I remember reading that Khelben said he hadn't used the staff since he truly entered Mystra's service. Well I took that to mean the day he died and became a Chosen, which makes the Blackstaff actually the Duskstaff of Sarael from the beginning of the book which sounds like a staff of the magi (or whichever one explodes when you break it) but warped somewhat by the sacrifice of Khelben and his dad perhaps. Is that true?

Anyway, excellent book I can't wait to finish it and then reread it and try to match up all the past lives of khelben with realms history (especially the tomb in Impiltur).




The True Blackstaff is a unique item, the primary form of which is the reconstituted former Duskstaff of Sarael fused with the Lupinaxe and a healthy dose of Mystra's divine touch/silver fire.

Of course, now you've got me wondering and thinking about how many minor blackstaves I put into (and took out of) play with two novels.....but I've no energy to chase down that lore tonight.

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 - 14 May 2015 :  01:42:12  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 Magor

Steven, from a collector's perspective I'm curious about the 2e Calimshan sourcebook you wrote. I do have two questions: Is there a reason why the block of the booklet is removable from the cover or was this just by accident? Didn't the original planning of the product include a map - why was it left out?



I think the separate cover was just a production slip-up, nothing more. There wasn't a loose map in that--just the centerfold two-pager that I recall.

I would have loved a poster map for that, if only to do a zoom-in map for the smaller subsections like with the Adventurer's Quarter map from the CITY OF SPLENDORS boxed set, but alas, the budget wasn't there.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3218 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2015 :  08:51:21  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The ending was more than satisfactory and was almost enough to make me consider keeping Khelben dead, but i like him too much as a character to remove him, plus having his memories overwrite tsarra's is the ultimate double blind (Khelben is masquerading as Tsarra who is masquerading as Khelben), i doubt even Laeral could figure it out. Khelben did say it was easier to "die" away from witnesses (and less painful) and so that had been his method of passing for many lives, but one wonders if it is not also less convincing for his enemies (many of whom are powerful magic users and may have pieced together his history), so his latest death had to seem final so that he could fool those enemies. Make it a secret death, but with witnesses (loyal witnesses that believe he is dead and would have to be tortured to reveal the information), and so no one really knows that his consciousness survived in the modified kiirra that would eventually overwrite Tsarras personality (Khelben probably feels real bad about the last part but Tsarra would be dead anyway without his intervention and he still has plans to see to fruition). At least thats how i'm going to play his demise.

I love the image of crawling pieces of Lord Elsmyth trying to kill Laeral by creeping into her dinner and killing her from the inside. He must really have wanted her dead to place such enchantments on himself. That kind of hatred is most unusual and indeed seems exactly the same kind of hatred that caused Priamon's final downfall.

The ending with Priamon falling into Halaster's hands was excellent, especially because the sourcebooks (and i presume other novels) seem to gloss over the fact that liches cannot be destroyed without also destroying their phylactery (too often a lich or dracolich has been labelled as "destroyed" as a result of a single battle, which would mean the idiotic creature would have to be wearing his/her phylactery at the time). I'm sure Halaster's plans for Priamon will be suitably torturous, maybe he could spend a few thousand years as the animating spirit of a golem, forced to do Halaster's every bidding and unable to escape or disobey.

I did note after posting before that the final description of The Blackstaff included an axe blade which was on "Oh" moment as i realised two powerful magic items must have fused to create a single artefact, i do wonder what it's curse is though?

Anyway, excellent novel, i enjoyed it from start to finish, even more so because it gave me lots of ideas for elaborating on Khelben and his plans.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2015 :  01:54:06  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 dazzlerdal
The ending with Priamon falling into Halaster's hands was excellent, especially because the sourcebooks (and i presume other novels) seem to gloss over the fact that liches cannot be destroyed without also destroying their phylactery (too often a lich or dracolich has been labelled as "destroyed" as a result of a single battle, which would mean the idiotic creature would have to be wearing his/her phylactery at the time). I'm sure Halaster's plans for Priamon will be suitably torturous, maybe he could spend a few thousand years as the animating spirit of a golem, forced to do Halaster's every bidding and unable to escape or disobey.


Halaster's revenge in two words: toilet brush.

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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3218 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2015 :  08:32:02  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You have a truly evil mind Steven, because if i recall correctly there is an entire level of Undermountain devoted to being the toilet of the dungeon complex.

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2015 :  15:37:18  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 dazzlerdal

You have a truly evil mind Steven, because if i recall correctly there is an entire level of Undermountain devoted to being the toilet of the dungeon complex.



Got it it one!

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