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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  01:11:54  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. This time, Ed responds to Rowan’s question: “Are there going to be any Moonstars classes in any upcoming sourcebooks so players can join the organization? It would be great to have a few classes like those for Harpers.” and to his follow-up comments in the lively discussion that ensued: “The whole idea of the Harper Schism seems a bit contrived to me. Having worked with Khelben for so long and knowing who and what he is, wouldn't Harper leadership be a lot more lenient and ask him to explain his actions, knowing that he would never do anything to endanger the organization or its members? It's especially strange that Bran Skorlsun would be against him. Isn't that just a little bit ungrateful, considering Khelben had a major hand in saving his daughter? Surely he and others would have more faith in Khelben than that...” and “Yes, Khelben is a powerful archmage and Mystra's Chosen, so it's obvious he can vaguely see into the future and is attempting to manipulate events so the Realms are prepared for whatever he sees, which must be dire indeed for him to make a deal with the Zhentarim.”
Ed replies:



Rowan, even if I knew the contents of upcoming sourcebooks, I’d be legally unable to reveal them. Sorry. Helpful scribes have pointed you to the relevant published prestige class, and I hope you’re eager to read Steven Schend’s forthcoming BLACKSTAFF: it’s stunning!
Yes, Khelben is far-seeing and arrogant, having little time for fools and, as he grows older and detects the first irrefutable signs of his own aging (slightly lessened memory, concentration, temper control, and deftness), less and less patience with delays and with actions on the part of others that he deems foolish or self-serving. It’s not strange that Bran Skorlsun would be so dead-set against Khelben if you knew the whole story of their relationship (which we’ve not yet managed to properly and fully get into print, though the highlights have been laid forth for all).
Remember that not only do Khelben and the rest of the Chosen play “deeper,” longer-payoff games (manipulations) than almost everyone else in the Realms does (Larloch approaches their league, and Szass Tam is another rung lower, but most of the Harpers are many rungs lower down, well below Manshoon and even Fzoul in their impatience and their tendency, however much they wrestle with it, to see things in too simple, clear-cut, good-and-evil a manner, with an impatience for results and a tendency to label individuals as “bad guys”), but that all of the Chosen are consummate actors (when they bother to be) and try to manipulate their allies, friends, and intimates as well as the wider world (both in the Realms and, ahem, us readers). The Harpers don’t know the depths of Khelben’s games, but they know he jerks their chains with every word and deed of his that touches on them, and so don’t trust him at all. Like a treacherous bay fisherfolk sail in daily, he’s something that can turn on you and rend you utterly at any time, and so is to be warily watched. Always.
I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to stumble over what has become Steven’s baby, nor run into NDAs or anything that could lessen your enjoyment of his upcoming novel.



So saith Ed. Who’s still hard at work pounding out Realmslore (and other lore, too) in his basement, as the days pass, and his beard grows ever-whiter . . .
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  01:24:59  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
This just in, from Ed:

To Archwizard and HunterofStorms, you’re very welcome - - and thank YOU for loving the Realms and playing in it. I’ve been INCREDIBLY busy these last three weeks adding to (official, but not yet published, of course) Realmslore, polishing things, and generally adding more depth, so it feels good to be thanked.
To The Sage: please, go ahead and ask. (Always.) We’ll worry about the NDAs when your queries are laid out before us all.
Ooops, must rush and finish something else. Later!
Ed
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2006 :  04:04:43  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
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

To The Sage: please, go ahead and ask. (Always.) We’ll worry about the NDAs when your queries are laid out before us all.
Ooops, must rush and finish something else. Later!
Ed
Great! Thank you Ed and to you as my lady .

Now, to finishing researching the background for my question .

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2006 :  01:22:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, everybody. Hoondatha asked Ed: “It's late, and a band of adventurers tramps through a dark forest. They see a campfire up ahead, and based on what they see, are fairly sure the people there will be friendly, provided they don't spook them too much coming up. So the band's leader approaches the firelight, opens his mouth, and...
What does he say? What's the Realms' version of "Hail the camp!"? Are there special procedures or etiquette that comes into play? How is this different between the North, Tethyr, and the Dalelands/Cormyr? Also, what about racial differences (a party of elves, of dwarves)?”
Ed replies:



The usual practice is to speak loudly, some variation on: “Ho! Peace be upon you! May we approach?” or “Firebright, swords sheathed, are we welcome?”
In Cormyr, this would change to: “In the name of the Dragon, we come in peace!” unless the speakers are Purple Dragons, War Wizards, or royal courtiers, who would say, “In the name of the King, we are [they’d identify their professions], and we come in peace!” A noble party (of one family and their retainers) might say: By the Dragon, we are of House [family name], and we come in peace! Let there be peace between us!”
In the Dales, the greeting is usually: “I ride peace, and it rides me! Ho for a place at the fire!”
In both the North and Tethyr, there’s some sort of “Hail!” and self-identification, followed by “Let there be peace between us!”
Pilgrims and clerical parties usually say, “In the name of [the deity; usually a descriptive phrase such as “Lady of Mysteries” is spoken here, rather than the name], let peace live (or flower) between us!
Elves and dwarves, within their own lands, have short sung (elves) and chanted (dwarves) phrases that boil down to “Hi, we’re approaching, but we come in peace!”
The elf phrase translates to:
Fair be our meeting, for our hearts are light and our swords sheathed, we hold peace in our hands and its light guides us.
The dwarf chant translates as:
We come, walking on, just walking on, no trouble here, no axe-hunger here, no feud nor fight sought here. We come. We come, as passing breeze not invader. We come.



So saith Ed. A little bit of essential Realmslore, I’d say. Well done, Hoondatha; you’ve aided us all.
love,
THO
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Trace_Coburn
Learned Scribe

New Zealand
137 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2006 :  04:00:09  Show Profile  Visit Trace_Coburn's Homepage Send Trace_Coburn a Private Message
Greetings, O Exalted Sages!

As background for a character, I'm looking to 'set up' a smallish, semi-permanent settlement of Eilistraeean drow in the Semberholme area which has some (strained) relations with the other elven races in the area. (Their presence is tolerated to a certain extent, but it's unlikely many of the local Tel'Quessir would shed tears if they were gone.)

This being so, I'm hunting after a little more detail about the elven settlements in the Semberholme/Lake Sember region, especially those on the lake's northern shore or towards the West Starwoods, and their status between, oh, Dale Reckoning 1100 and DR 1370. I've already downloaded several free .pdfs from the Wizards website - including Cormanthyr, Myth Drannor and Volo's Dalelands - but the timeframe of the former two makes them less than completely helpful in this particular matter, and we all know how hit-and-miss Volo can be.

Are (or were) there any 'sizeable' settlements of elves in that area (say, ~200 people or more)? (There's one named 'Aluiantl' marked on the Cormanthyr map, but I can find no reference to it elsewhere.) I'm not asking for full-page write-ups (though such would certainly be very nice and muchly appreciated): simple one-sentence sketches along the lines of "village of Wayouthere (located Justoverthere); population ~450 (mostly wood elves), fortified trading post; welcoming to elves, coolly civil to N'Tel'Quess" would give me ample foundation to build on. Mention of any such settlements which were abandoned during The Retreat (or extirpated by hostile action during the 1100-1370DR period) would also be helpful.

Many thanks are given for any help you can provide.

D&D collection: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual I, Complete Arcane, Arms & Equipment Guide.

FR sourcebook collection: Dragons of Faerûn, Faiths & Pantheons, FRCS, Lords of Darkness, Monsters of Faerûn, Player's Guide to Faerûn, Power of Faerûn, Races of Faerûn, Silver Marches.

I just got back into this, okay? Give me time (or better yet money) - I'll catch up soon enough.
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2006 :  14:40:29  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
THO, please forward the following to Ed. Thanks! :)
--------

Ed, I want to take a small amount of your time thanking you for Elminster's Daughter, which I am finishing at the moment. Last year has been extremely busy for me, and I had to put a hold on the reading of my ever-growing stack of unread FR novels.

To keep a long story short, I was delighted to see that the events of this book are based in Cormyr. It gives a really good update on the post-war situation there, gives us a glimpse of Caladnei's past and, last but certainly not the least, good old Vangy! (need I say more? need I more? )

Another reason the book struck a chord in me is maybe, just maybe, because a player in my Realms campaign is currently playing an Aglarondan bard/rogue (of Rashemi ancestry) who is slowly turning into a half-song dragon (via the dragon disciple class, interpreted in game as a slow, post puberty genetic mutation). Up to now, I was at a loss* in the department of suitable mothers... but now...

*Edit: I first thought about the song dragon family living/defending Relkath's Foot, but now, thanks to ye, Sir, they have become my official red herrings!

Edited by - Purple Dragon Knight on 03 Mar 2006 14:52:11
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2006 :  05:19:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow Realms scribes. This time, Ed answers Torkwaret’s question: “Are there any "Bandit Lords" active in the Western Heartlands ?? By this term I mean warlords who possess a title (baron, count, etc.) and command their own bands or even small armies and indulge in waylaying caravans ?? If yes, could you give me some samples of such individuals ?? I'd be very, very grateful to you for an answer.”
Ed replies:



Yes, there are indeed, though they tend to be very local, low-profile, and not to last long (particularly if they’re foolish enough to operate within easy reach of Baldur’s Gate, Elturel, Scornubel, or Iriaebor; there are just too many folk in that vicinity who have a vested interest in untrammeled, profitable overland trade, and will hire or manipulate adventurers into attacking and wiping out such ‘robber barons.’
However, I can give you one prominent example of a current Bandit Lord who’s going for ‘the big time.’ He’s NDA right now, but watch the Realmslore web columns for “The Vigilant Baron.”



So saith Ed. Ho ho, goodies await!
love to all,
THO
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2006 :  13:57:19  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
My humble greetings again, Lady Herald and Master Ed!

I wish to send my heartfelt thanks to Ed for writing the 'City of Splendors' with Elaine! It is an amazing book, filled with juicy details and a massive amount of essential Realmslore :)

It was nice to get a glimple at the everyday life of a guildmaster's family, and particularly I enjoyed the interaction/intrigue between differents social classes (merchants, watchmen/guardsmen and nobles). Or how rumours start and spread in a city like Waterdeep, and what are the consequences of those rumours. I wish I could thank you properly, but words seem to fail me. Let me just express my gratitude and say that every word in this book was well worth its price (and more!)

I have been playing the scion of House Tesper in our longest-running campaign since the days when the only members of the Waterdhavian noble houses listed in "canon" Realmslore were the patriarchs. Thus, I was delighted (and a bit relieved) to find that short reference to the unnamed (young?) "Lord Tesper" in a dragon outfit - I have to shamelessly admit that I imagined my character being there... :D

And you provided lore about wellhouses just as I was thinking to ask about them ;) (just kidding...)
But seriously, am I completely wrong in assuming that most wellhouses would be built on top of burnt down or dismantled/taken down buildings? (on top of their cellars - which have wells - that is)

Another question regards addressing nobility... I had assumed that 'Sir' or 'Young Master' was the proper form of addressing a young nobleman, and that 'Lord' was reserved only for addressing the Masked Lords?

Can you give any additional information about the Amalgamation? Its history, bases of operation, the gods they worship, etcetera :)

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

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2006 :  23:10:35  Show Profile  Visit Khondar's Homepage Send Khondar a Private Message
Sorry if this has been covered before – I did a quick search and did not find the information I was looking for.

With all the caravan’s trekking across the Realms has a ‘standard’ wagon size been adopted by the various merchant/caravan folk? By ‘standard’ size I’m really interested in wheel to wheel dimensions for a standard wagon – both length and width, and wheel diameter?

Also, are there any specialized wagons used in different areas of the Realms?

Basically, I’m looking for wagon information.

Thanks all for this site and the lore located within!!
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  00:28:35  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Khondar

Sorry if this has been covered before – I did a quick search and did not find the information I was looking for.

With all the caravan’s trekking across the Realms has a ‘standard’ wagon size been adopted by the various merchant/caravan folk? By ‘standard’ size I’m really interested in wheel to wheel dimensions for a standard wagon – both length and width, and wheel diameter?

Also, are there any specialized wagons used in different areas of the Realms?

Basically, I’m looking for wagon information.

Thanks all for this site and the lore located within!!




Caravans and wagons were quite well covered in the novel Hand of Fire

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

378 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  00:40:39  Show Profile  Visit Lemernis's Homepage Send Lemernis a Private Message
I have two follow-up questions to Ed's response to RodOdom at the top of p. 15 regarding why Waterdeep eclipsed Baldur's Gate, given Baldur's Gate's more central location to other trade cities.

First, how civilized is the land falling between the River Chionthor and the Cloud Peaks?

Second, how much traffic is there on the Coast Way between Athkatla and Baldur's Gate?

Beyond that, I'd like to offer some observations and conjectures if I may.

I find it curious that the fertile, less forested grasslands lying between the Cloud Peaks and the River Chionthor haven't attracted farmers in droves. The only explanation I can think of for that is that monsters and brigands must infest the area in a really big way--plus, there is no central government taking initiative to eradicate them as was the case in Amn in previous centuries.

Judging from Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast, it sounds like is the land between Baldur's Gate and Nashkel is untamed wilderness still teeming with monsters. I.e., a few brave souls do attempt to make a go of farming here and there, but they are risktaking frontiersmen, essentially. My impression is that farming would be attempted mostly within villages with stockaded walls, or in the civilized countryside immediately surrounding the Western Heartlands' walled cities (eg, as with Baldur's Gate). In contrast, farms that are isolated out in the wilderness would seem to be at great peril.

I was particularly struck by your statement that Amn strives to dominate overland trade to the interior cities of the Western Heartlands. It occurs to me that caravan trade from Amn passing north over the Cloud Peaks would tend not to use the Coast Way. From Nashkel it seems more logical to use the more direct route of the Uldoon Trail to Berdusk, Iriaebor, Scornubel, and Elturel.

Further, it strikes me that the government of Baldur's Gate, controled as it is by sea captains (who have historically been at odds with farmers), might actually want for the region between Baldur's Gate and the Cloud Peaks to remain highly dangerous for overland caravan travel: this increases Baldur's Gate's attractiveness as a seaport. Indeed, the Coast Way remaining unsafe might be the only good reason that Baldur's Gate's mercantile and shipping companies continue to remain in business, given that Baldur's Gate's prices are consistently higher, and their trade ageements unfriendlier to foreign shippers, than Waterdeep's.

I would think most trade between Athkatla and Baldur's Gate takes place by sea. There are certainly dangers to sea travel, but sailors typically accept them readily. I would think most Amnian merchants would find sea trade preferable to the overland travel over the forbidding Cloud Peaks (with its treacherous passes often closed by snows) and the dangers of the monster filled wilderness of the southern Sword Coast.

Anyway, I could easily see the Coast Way section of the Trade Way between Baldur's Gate and Nashkel used only by the hardiest, most adventurous type of caravan trader. There are quicker and safer means by which to transport goods than the extremely dangerous Coast Way. And this in turn would help explain why Nashkel is still not much larger than a village, and Beregost remains a frontier trade town of only around 40 buildings.

And one final thought. Especially given Baldur's Gate's political isolationism, I don't see the Grand Dukes participating with the Pact's agreement to provide patrols for the safety along the Coast Way. As mentioned, the sea captains of Baldur's Gate benefit from the city's trade being predominantly by sea. I don't picture Duke Eltan, himself an old sea captain and explorer, deploying the Flaming Fist for that. The smaller mercenary companies in Baldur's Gate would provide protection for caravans, but that's a fee-for-service type of thing, having nothing to do with the Pact.

I can however see Beregost particpating in the Pact, as it is clearly in the town's interest to do so. I could see the Song of the Morning's men-at-arms providing regualr patrols along the Coast Way from Nashkel to Baldur's Gate.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  15:28:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. This time, Ed tackles Dargoth’s query: “A Fortune 500 Question for Ed/Who are the richest 10-20 people/beings in Forgotten realms and what do they do?/Presumably Mirt would be one of the wealthiest/Thanks in advance.”
Vvornth chimed in: “I would put my money (no pun intended) on prominent members of the clergy of Waukeen,” and Arivia added: “I'd bet you money we'll see a note on this in Power of Faerun...”
However, I took one look at Dargoth’s question and asked, “‘richest’ how? Most loved? Most influential? Owner of the most land and hard assets? Possessor of the most coins? Gems? Raw ore, as yet unmined? Human, demi-human, and humanoid races only? Or dragons and giants, long-existing liches, et al included?”
To which Dargoth responded: “Mainly "Owner of the most land and hard assets, Possessor of the most coins and Gems Gems"/So rich Finicially/Who are the Bill Gates, Rupert Mudorchs and Donald Trumps etc of Faerun./They can be of any Race.”
Right. Got it. Heeeeeere’s Ed (I’ve chopped his answer in half so as not to hit the post-length limit):



Sigh.
The trouble with this question is that some individuals truly don’t know or realize (or care) how wealthy they are, and don’t use their influence. Others, such as Larloch or Manshoon, have great behind-the-scenes influence and have the means to seize property almost at will. Still others have the high public profiles you allude to (Donald Trump isn’t wealthy at all compared to most Saudi oil sheiks, having built his empire largely with other peoples’ money, but he does have a high public profile - - whereas far more wealthy men like J. Paul Getty went to great lengths to avoid publicity when alive), though most REALLY wealthy individuals in the Realms want to keep their wealth and lives, and so keep themselves as hidden and low-profile as possible, sometimes faking their own deaths and adopting several “identities” to “hide in.”
Some rulers claim to own all land and wealth in their country, and so could claim stupendous wealth, even though they can’t really touch most of it. Others (high priests of faiths) could make the same claim, and augment it with wider influence than the rulers, too - - but although they may control the wealth of their churches, it isn’t “theirs,” and attempts to use it in ways their deity, or just other powerful followers of their deity, disagree with, can also lead to their sudden loss of power or life.
And what about dragons and their hoards? Some of them are very rich (though they’ll never willingly spend anything) and VERY powerful, if they choose to wake up and emerge to scourge lands or try to exert influence - - yet they are unknown to most folk in the Realms, and will probably stay that way.
So, you see, this is a nigh-impossible question to meaningfully answer. Almost as fruitless as “name the ten best movies of all time.”
So, of course, I’m going to try. ;}
First: Arivia, exactly how MUCH money would you like to wager? I’m a poor game designer, you know, and a windfall would come in mighty handy about now, what with RRSP deadlines and property taxes and first income tax instalment payments . . . never mind. That should be hint enough at a reply to your speculation.
Vvornth, you wagered rather more wisely, but see my comments above. I’m disqualifying clergy (though I’m NOT disqualifying devout lay worshippers), but otherwise you’d have been right about eight out of ten. (Well, only two out of ten if I hadn’t also tossed rulers out of the mix.)
I’m also leaving influence right out of things (no matter how much using it allows its wielder to increase their profits in a given field, market, season, or situation). Sorry, Dargoth, but in terms of wealth I’m largely also going to exclude fixed assets (land and buildings), to leave just cash or cash equivalents (like crops and warehouses full of swords or plowshares that were bought with cash for resale at a profit) - - though I WILL include rents (from owned or controlled rental properties).
Which brings us to the following ten “coin mountains” (yes, that’s what folk in the Realms call anyone who’s “stinking rich”). These are the richest ten, but I’m not going to say how rich, because I haven’t enough years left in my life to start counting - - so they aren’t listed in any ranked order, just as I came to them in my notes (yes, I’ve expanded the notes and updated them to 3.5e).

* Colnd Hurthblaer of Amn (NE male Chondathan human Rog7/Exp6), a middle-aged, nondescript recluse who lives quietly (spending little on himself and even less on public show) in Athkatla, running five shipping fleets and two trading costers (most folk, even trade rivals, don’t know he owns more than just one fleet, Brightstar Sails Trading, the one he built from nothing). He’s a large landlord in Amn and, during the Interregnum, became one in Tethyr, too. He particularly likes owning gem mines, and (through various intermediaries) has been hiring adventurers to travel all over Faerûn buying or seizing control of same.

* Ralan Razhiirym of Calimport (NE male Calishite human Ftr6/Ari5/Exp4), a black-bearded, now-ailing adventurer and rake born into wealth and (through smuggling, extortion, and forcible acquisition of drug trade concerns and costers) become much richer. Still acrobatic, he has the remains of flashy good looks, and formerly wenched his way across half Faerûn, shamelessly using the women he seduced to gain favours, information, contacts, and administrative decisions and permissions that his traders profited from.

* Sabbalad Asnam huul Marouk of Darrak’shar (CE male Calishite human Rog9/Exp7), a one-eyed, scarred former gem thief who fell into the service of the Syl-Pasha of Calimport, and was rewarded with his present rank (mayor of a fictitious settlement, which allows him to speak in support of the Syl-Pasha’s aims and policies as a mayor rather than an agent of the Syl-Pasha, and to appear as a selfless patriot, rather than a mouthpiece of the Syl-Pasha, when he travels The Shining Sea region as an unofficial envoy or diplomat for Calimshan, amplifying or backing up the official emissaries). While on his travels, Marouk never misses a chance to enrich himself. Strangely, he’s a friend and sometime ally and partner of Sammereza Sulphontis of Waterdeep, and he’s been known to trade with, and act for, yuan-ti in the region. All of which has armed him with antidotes for most snake venoms that most humans can never get, enabled him to control a lot of drug and ivory trading, and (through hired adventurers who soon fell prey to “accidents” of his devising) plunder rich tombs and dragon hoards (the dragons were slain in the process). He has several hidden lairs in caverns and cellars around The Shining Sea coasts, and most of them contain more gems than a man can carry.

* Stort Melharhammer of Mirabar (NE male shield dwarf Ftr4/Rog12), a black-bearded, honey-voiced, well-groomed trader who acts as a moneylender, moneychanger, and go-between for dwarves and visiting shipcaptains, smoothing out negotiations (but often engineering false “shortages” so as to increase gem-prices for the dwarves; he always takes a cut of any increase he engineers). Stort is completely amoral, doesn’t drink, enjoys only watching elf maidens dance and hearing harp music, and lives and breathes to scheme and manipulate and “win the next deal.” When he can’t move in his underground abode for the accumulated coins and gems, he hires some trusted young dwarves (paying them handsomely) to go and buy him some more property in Neverwinter, Waterdeep, and Baldur’s Gate (in each city, he’s now a landlord of more than a dozen buildings, though he’s never seen any of them). If he didn’t spend money to influence politics in Luskan and Ruathym so as to prevent widespread warfare, he’d be even richer than he is (unless, as he judges, said warfare would have hurt trade through Mirabar, and thus cost him more).

* Elmraeda Gondoalyn of Iyrynspire (CN female Mulan human Ari9), the quiet, elegant, shrewd, and aging rich widow (of three wealthy merchants, all of whom she loved and had nothing to do with the deaths of) in Chessenta. Gondoalyn is now gaunt and frail, but protects her person with some powerful items of magic (mainly rings; takes vary as to which ones, which probably means she has a large collection). She dwells in Iyrynspire (a castle in the countryside built for her by her first husband, the shipping merchant Yarlos Melrorn) with a devoted staff and a strong bodyguard of “knights” (a sixty-some-strong private army of full-plate-armored Ftr3-8s), and entertains herself by watching others live their lives through her crystal ball (that can detect thoughts). Elmraeda lavishes money on “her people” (staff and bodyguard; her steward Deln Maerintor is a LN male Mulan human Wiz13 who’s devoted to her) but spends little on herself. Her wealth increases steadily through rents from properties in a dozen cities, and (through several trading costers) ownership of over forty trading caravels. It’s rumored that one of the towers of her home is in truth the only privately-owned Halruaan skyship in Chessenta.



So saith Ed. I’ve chopped him off after giving us all five of the ten richest “coin mountains” this time, and will give you the others tomorrow. Right now, I’m off to bed (coming, Wooly? KnightErrantJR? anyone?)
love to all and for all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  16:00:09  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
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Right now, I’m off to bed (coming, Wooly? KnightErrantJR? anyone?)
love to all and for all,
THO
My lady... Are you suggesting I leave the poor Lady K alone so that I may join you in your chambers?



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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  17:42:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Right now, I’m off to bed (coming, Wooly? KnightErrantJR? anyone?)
love to all and for all,
THO
My lady... Are you suggesting I leave the poor Lady K alone so that I may join you in your chambers?






Too late, Sage, I'm already there!

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  18:36:21  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Goodness, no, Sage, bring the Lady K along! The more the merrier!
Wooly, shame on you! Wanting me all for yourself! I have more charms than one hamster can occupy at once!
love TO ALL,
THO
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Neriandal Freit
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 05 Mar 2006 :  20:22:25  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Goodness, no, Sage, bring the Lady K along! The more the merrier!



I rather thought you would reply with something like this, *wink*



I was going to say she was going to say that, but I thought better of THO silly me

"Eating people is wrong...unless it's on the first date." - Ed Greenwood, GenCon Indy 2006
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
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Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  00:53:34  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
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Goodness, no, Sage, bring the Lady K along! The more the merrier!
Now that, is an intriguing proposal .

But I think we've taken up enough of the parchment in this scroll with such wonderings... let us return to the Realmslore Ed gifts us with .

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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  01:31:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ahem. Yes. WARM in here, isn't it?
Heh-heh. Hi again, fellow scribes. Herewith, the second half of Ed’s “coin mountains” reply for Dargoth (i.e. the other five of the ten richest individuals):



* Fuorn “Fallingstar” Avilanter of Elventree (CG male moon elf Sor19/Exp9), a seller of spells and enspelled gems of his own making (gems of spell storing) who trades discreetly with rich Sembian buyers through trusted adventurers of the Dales. A reclusive master of disguises who wears teleport rings and makes himself impossible for those who come seeking him to find, Fuorn spends all of his profits buying up city properties in Yhaunn and Saerloon, operating through agents and largely-fictitious Sembian trading companies. He also owns a few buildings in Suzail and in Teziir, and spends his free time magically spying on certain humans he’s found by accident, just watching their intrigues and achievements and pratfalls, enjoying their lives vicariously as entertainment in much the same way Gondoalyn [[note from THO: see my previous post]] does.

* Burnyl Talongar of Phsant (LN male Turami human Exp14), known to most Theskians only as “The Lord of Gems,” this unusually tall and thin, taciturn gemcutter and appraiser secretly acts as a bank and sponsor for many merchants through Thesk. His loans and deals are single-handedly responsible for slowing the spread of the Shadowmasters’ influence in the region, but they tolerate him because certain senior priests of Mask owe so much to him that the deity has personally ordered them to “keep him untouched—by anyone.” Talongar is unaware of this, and simply goes about his business, which is to make fair deals with everyone, and adhere to them strictly, dealing always with politeness and honour. As a result, he’s trusted by everyone, gets a LOT of business, and grows steadily and inexorably wealthier. Operating through seacaptain clients, he regularly invests this wealth in farms and warehouses in Impiltur, Alaghôn, and Westgate.

* Gelkul “Goldhands” Alanskul of Heldapan (LN male Durpari human Exp11), the wealthiest trader and investor in Durpar, a bald-from-birth, coldly calculating man who’s always eager to learn more of events, feuds, trade, and the investments of others. As they say in Heldapan, “no one breathes without Alanskul knowing it.” He owns most of Turelve (though he takes some pains to keep anyone from knowing this, owning properties under dozens of aliases and through various merchants’ partnerships), and many of the best upland wells in the country (he covertly sells water in very dry times). Goldhands grows edible broad”moonleaf” (white broadleaf lettuce-like fungi that flourishes in the dark) in damp cellars under his holdings in Heldapan, and makes good coin daily by selling this staple (the poor fry it in various fats and oils, as a main daily ‘hearty vegetable’) in its markets; again, he takes care that no one knows he’s the source. Most Durpari think Alanskul is just what he started out as: a moneylender and landlord to the wealthy.

* Indamu Dundardir of Chavyondat (NE male Arkaiun human Ari10/Exp5), a noble of Estagund, is a darkly handsome glutton of a man who keeps his thin frame (and resists poisons) only because he allows a small beast (of unknown identity) to live symbiotically with him, fastened to his body. A loner, he gets his satisfaction by successfully manipulating everyone and outdealing rivals. Dundardir secretly controls an ancient portal network linking various cellars in his home city with a trading compound he owns in the countryside east of Sheirtalar. One of the cellars belongs to a rival, and Dundardir’s men use it (very rarely) to pilfer certain cargoes; the others all belong to Dundardir, and he shuttles goods (usually wines, cheeses, and other perishables, or contraband) back and forth, concentrating on items of high worth so that the volume of goods passing through the portals need not be high to bring handsome profits. Dundardir spends a lot of coin training, paying, and rewarding (with perks) his personal bodyguards and armed staff, to buy their loyalties. Thus far (aided by the spying his hired wizards do, on everyone else) he’s kept betrayals to a minimum and earnings VERY high. Much of Dundardir’s profits are put into discreetly buying up property all over the Tashalar.

* Nalune Tassarat of Ormpur (CE female Tashalan human Rog7/Exp6) is an aging former prostitute who invested her earnings lifelong in shady smuggling, slaving, drug-dealing and thieving concerns, making much coin that in later life she invested in building luxurious brothels and palatial city towers that were from the first split into rental housing, floor by floor, and proved a huge hit with Ormpurrians who weren’t quite wealthy enough to own and maintain large mansions, but wanted luxury and haughty addresses. “Old Nalune” always wanted hidden tunnels and chambers in her buildings, and made quite a lot of sideline coin servicing persons who needed to go into hiding for a time, or who wanted to meet pleasure-lasses VERY discreetly. Now, in the twilight of her years, she’s increasingly investing in clever traders from Tharsult and Lantan, sponsoring them on fair terms - - and raking in coins as a result. It’s said she sleeps on a bed of cabochon-cut (smooth-polished) rubies, and is beginning to consort with necromancers with an eye to achieving undeath for herself.



So saith Ed. And there you have it, Dargoth: ten moneybags characters for PCs to whack, shake down, or cozy up to. Avilanter is the one who most intrigues me; I’ll have to see if I can pry more details of him out of Ed with a little lapsitting, purring, and backrubbing.
Wish me luck, all.
love,
THO
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Solomon
Seeker

New Zealand
23 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  08:31:16  Show Profile  Visit Solomon's Homepage Send Solomon a Private Message
I have a few questions for Ed regarding Elminster's past which (to my knowledge) are not answered elsewhere:

Can you tell us about Arkhon "the Old", who was referred to in the old 'Hall of Heroes' sourcebook and then again in the manual for the 'Baldur's Gate' computer role-playing game as a former tutor of El's in what is now Waterdeep. When did (or did) this happen?

Other interesting references are to El learning from merchants and "fences" in Scornubel, the merchant-mage Lycon "Wolf-beard", and (later) "such mages as Torose and Shalane of Taerloon". Care to shed any light on this?

Finally, can you tell us about Alais, "an elven lady" with whom Elminster left the city of Myth Drannor "to begin an epic travel about the Realms to learn its lands and lore". What was their relationship, and would you be willing to share details of their time together?

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, and for the gift of the Realms. Thank you also to THO, for gifting Ed's responses to us.
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Jindael
Senior Scribe

USA
357 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  13:14:57  Show Profile  Visit Jindael's Homepage Send Jindael a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

(yes, I’ve expanded the notes and updated them to 3.5e).



I am a cataloging librarian. I spend almost all of my time detailing MARC 21 records to ensure that even the most unskilled computer user can find that elusive copy of Tanzra Swippersnap’s Guide to Lace Doilies and Tea Cozies, fourth edition. It’s a thankless task and with nearly painful levels of minutia. But I shudder at the mere idea of the workload involved in updating all of Ed’s notes to 3.5. I would think he would need a full time staff.

Which I would happy to apply for. ^_^

EDIT: Of course, by the time I was a fraction of my way through the workload, I’m sure there would be a new edition. Hooray for Job Security! :p

"You don't have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
-- C.S. Lewis

Edited by - Jindael on 06 Mar 2006 13:17:25
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  15:13:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Jindael

I spend almost all of my time detailing MARC 21 records to ensure that even the most unskilled computer user can find that elusive copy of Tanzra Swippersnap’s Guide to Lace Doilies and Tea Cozies, fourth edition.


You know, I've been looking for a copy of that one...

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1631 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  19:15:09  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Jindael

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

(yes, I’ve expanded the notes and updated them to 3.5e).



I am a cataloging librarian. I spend almost all of my time detailing MARC 21 records to ensure that even the most unskilled computer user can find that elusive copy of Tanzra Swippersnap’s Guide to Lace Doilies and Tea Cozies, fourth edition. It’s a thankless task and with nearly painful levels of minutia. But I shudder at the mere idea of the workload involved in updating all of Ed’s notes to 3.5. I would think he would need a full time staff.

Which I would happy to apply for. ^_^

EDIT: Of course, by the time I was a fraction of my way through the workload, I’m sure there would be a new edition. Hooray for Job Security! :p




It's a beyond thankless task (speaking as someone who's seen Ed's basement and some of Ed's notes), mainly because most of the notes haven't been brought into 1st Edition D&D, let alone 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5 edition....

It'd be a better bet that you might choose a task completeable in one lifetime, like cataloguing the fictional books of the Realms (a task I started but it's lapsed some since I gave that initial list from 2000 to WotC).

Steven

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

USA
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Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  20:05:40  Show Profile  Visit Jindael's Homepage Send Jindael a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend



It's a beyond thankless task (speaking as someone who's seen Ed's basement and some of Ed's notes), mainly because most of the notes haven't been brought into 1st Edition D&D, let alone 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5 edition....


Just imagine a job “updating” Ed’s basement. Trying to file stuff in the right place, updating statistics to be compliant with current rules, and the occasional “Holy %$#@!!! So that’s why!”. Perhaps my idea of Mr. Greenwood’s basement is a touch overblown, but I get a strong mental image of a single naked bulb over a tiny desk, surrounded by heaps of overflowing boxes, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Then there are the perks; “Why, Hello Lady Hooded. That’s a lovely skirt you’re wearing. Oops, I seemed to have dropped my pen.” )



"You don't have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
-- C.S. Lewis

Edited by - Jindael on 06 Mar 2006 20:06:06
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Neriandal Freit
Senior Scribe

USA
396 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2006 :  21:21:32  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Jindael

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend



It's a beyond thankless task (speaking as someone who's seen Ed's basement and some of Ed's notes), mainly because most of the notes haven't been brought into 1st Edition D&D, let alone 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5 edition....


Just imagine a job �updating� Ed�s basement. Trying to file stuff in the right place, updating statistics to be compliant with current rules, and the occasional �Holy %$#@!!! So that�s why!�. Perhaps my idea of Mr. Greenwood�s basement is a touch overblown, but I get a strong mental image of a single naked bulb over a tiny desk, surrounded by heaps of overflowing boxes, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Then there are the perks; �Why, Hello Lady Hooded. That�s a lovely skirt you�re wearing. Oops, I seemed to have dropped my pen.� )






Oh I'd love to orgainze Ed's basement as I do enjoy organizing things, and being able to read things as you put them up and what have you would be a thrill for me. Just give me coffee, some music, a bite to eat and I can organize

"Eating people is wrong...unless it's on the first date." - Ed Greenwood, GenCon Indy 2006
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2006 :  03:43:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well, Steven, you may seen Ed’s basement, but I can top (err, bottom) that: * I’ve * made love in Ed’s basement.
(After that, a few bullets were nothing.)
Ahem.
Oh. Heh-heh. Hi again, all. This time, Ed tackles this query from Firhyanda: “. . .what would scholars in present day Faerun consider to be the Seven Wonders of the World? Is the Faerunian sensibility in general more inclined to be impressed by a natural wonder say a two mile high waterfall, or some construction of magic like a flying city? If I were to ask a waterdavian and a thayen these two questions would I get the same answer or at least an overlapping list? And what would the oldest living or unloving creature in the world consider the seven wonders of the ancient world to be?”
Ed replies:



The short, simple reply is that no Faerûnian creature would have any “Seven Wonders” list. It’s not something they’d ordinarily think about or speak of, certainly never in terms of a ranking of rival “wonders.” Folk in the Realms DO speak of wonders they’ve seen in distant lands, in taverns (usually when explorers or other far-traveled wayfarers are vying with each other to entertain the locals for some drinks or to seem important or to manipulate someone into investing in a venture). If you asked a particular Faerûnian, his reply would depend on him: if he was a farmer or rural person who’s never traveled far from his home village, he’d probably say so, and disqualify himself from relevant comment on the grounds that “they talk of many wondrous things, but I’ve not been and seen enough to tell you anything useful. I saw a melon as big as a cow once, in yon market, but then I’ve heard tell of bigger melons’n’ that, in bigger markets, see?”
Even alert, informed merchants or soldiers would say some variation on this, recognizing that they’ve hardly seen enough to venture a useful opinion. Priests and devout worshippers of one god above others would list the wonders associated with their deity (“the little stone stop Tharun’s Mount that bears the shape of Eldath’s hand, where she touched it when weeping over the death of a flower”), and that points at the key to Faerûnian attitudes towards wonders, and the reason my answer is taking the shape it is: in the Realms, everything’s slanted by the fact that EVERYONE knows the gods are real, and respects their power even when considering gods they fear, hate, or shun worship of; the knowledge that the gods walk the world (from time to time) and make changes to it colours everything. So various individuals might give you wildly different “seven wonders” lists, if you asked them to pick seven (and why seven? the concept has no significance to them, of course), UNLESS they were stay-at-homes from the same village, and so shared the same life experiences (“well, we’ve both been to Suzail once, and there were some pretty wondrous mansions THERE, let me tell you!”). So, yes, the Waterdhavian and the Thayan would probably give different lists based on different life experiences, NOT on nationalistic (or even cultural) grounds. (By “cultural,” I mean that unless they were more stupid or self-centered than most folk, both would recognize and say that they’ve not seen enough in their travels to be sure they weren’t missing important “wonders,” as a preeminent factor over seeing things as exemplifying a slave-based culture [as good or bad] or a mercantile, cosmopolitan crossroads trading center [as good or bad].)
“The Faerûnian sensibility” is “in general more inclined to be impressed by a natural wonder” than a magical construction, with one caveat: the most awe is evoked by natural wonders for which no explanations are generally known, or no god is directly and clearly attributed as the cause of (so the waterfall or the natural arch NOT “known” to have been created by the god is generally more impressive than the one this or that god altered or created - - except to a devout worshipper of that god, of course. Everyone is impressed by major magical constructions like walking colossi or flying cities, but not as “wonders” UNLESS the means of making them is now unknown or forgotten (i.e. unless they’re now unattainable or mysterious). Yet this sort of “gosh wow” admiration is a step down and to one side of “the great wonders.” It’s more a “How did they DO that?” marveling (which is, to resurrect some very old Realmslore, why folk differentiate between “Marvels” and “Wonders;” the former being man- [or rather, sentient-being-] made items and magics and processes, and the latter being things that occurred naturally or mysteriously.



So saith Ed. Increasing our understanding of the Realms daily.
love to all,
THO
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