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Lord Rad
Great Reader

United Kingdom
2080 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  20:32:49  Show Profile  Visit Lord Rad's Homepage  Click to see Lord Rad's MSN Messenger address Send Lord Rad a Private Message
Greetings, THO and Ed

I'm currently reading Elminster in Myth Drannor, and just this moment read the last section of the chapter at the end of part 2... it's only 1.5 pages long, but it's one of the most beautiful pieces of text i've read from Ed (it's the one with the spider, the elf and the wolf - for those who are wondering) I loved it! Call me strange, but i'll always remember this little scene as a memorable piece of this book.

Lord Rad

"What? No, I wasn't reading your module. I was just looking at the pictures"
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  21:53:44  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I preferred Xvim. He seemed to have more style, as opposed to the "Ooh! I'm evil and scary!" vibe I've always gotten from Bane.



Hardly the place but I made a thread for discussing this very subject http://www.candlekeep.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6610

And I always liked Xvim even if I preferred Bane. I always thought of him as the Damien Thorne to Bane's Empire and not really belonging up amongst the gods.

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

17 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2006 :  22:47:28  Show Profile  Visit Nynshari's Homepage Send Nynshari a Private Message
Hello there. I posted awhile back about some questions I had regarding the Realms for a paper I'm doing for my comparative myth class. I've been really busy and am just now getting around to posting the questions. Just to warn people, this could be a long post - I'm really sorry and apologize in advance for the length.

Alight, so Ed: if you still have time, would you mind answering the following questions for me? There's no rush - anytime in the next 2 weeks or so would be fine. If you don't have the time, or can only answer some of them, that's okay, too.

Thank you in advance for any help that you can give me.

Alright, here they are:

Many of the countries in the realms resemble earth cultures either directly from history or from mythology. Was this modeling intentional or accidental regarding the following places:
Vaasa - Vikings
Netheril and Thultanthar - ancient Greece and Rome/Plato's Republic (respectfully)
Cormyr - Imerial Britain
Mulhorand - Egypt (actually, I think this one is obvious, but I have to ask as part of the class research)
Unther - Mesopotamia (ditto as above for Mulhorand)
Calimshan - Arabia
Evermeet - Atlantis
Cormanthor - Camelot

Many of the 'hero myths' associated with the above places also resemble the hero myths in their earth counterparts. Was this modeling intentional or accidental regarding the following stories:
Vaasa - (I haven't decided on one yet)
Netheril/Thultanthar - Ioulaum (Brutus), Karsus (Julius Caesar), Telamont (Augustus Caesar,'The philosopher king' of Plato's Republic)
Cormyr - King Azoun (Richard the Lionheart)
Unther - Gilgeam (Gilgamesh, Tiamat and Marduk)
Calimshan - (I haven't decided on one yet)
Evermeet - (I haven't decided on one yet)
Cormanthor - Shevarash (the goddeses Sekhmet and Durga) and Starbrow (King Arthur)

Some questions about deities as well. I've been told that Eric Boyd did most of the work on the deity end, and I'm going to ask him as well, but I wanted to see if you had anything to say about it. Some of the deities are intentional copies of earth deities, in that they came from earth to Faerun, while others appear to be copies but are not said to have come from earth but rather have their home cosmology as that of Toril (please excuse my terminology if it is wrong). Regarding the latter group, were they intentionally modeled or was their similarity accidental, in general, but especially regarding the following deities:
Mask/Vhaeraun/Lolth - Loki
Umberlee - Poseidon/Neptune
Eilistraee - Artemis
Erevan Ilesere - Hermes

For any of the above that were intentionally modeled, in terms of culture, hero myths, and deities separately, were they modeled due to:
the popularity of the culture/place/histories/deities with the public, or
because those cultures/places/histories/deities were common knowledge, or
because those cultures/places/histories/deities were obscure knowledge, or
any combination of the above?
If not any of the above, can you offer a different explanation?

Is there a significance to cultures/places/histories which were not chosen to be modeled, for example:
because they were not popular with the public, or
because they were too common knowledge, or
because they were too obscure knowledge, or
any combination of the above?
If not any of the above, can you offer a different explanation?

Ugh. So very sorry for the lengthy post, and if Ed doesn't have the time, I understand.

Thanks.

Nynshari


Nynshari

Chaos is Life
Chaos is Creativity
Chaos is the Essence of Our Souls
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2006 :  02:07:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, fellow scribes! Feanor very recently posted (as part of a much longer and more detailed question that Ed intends to properly answer later) this: “So, at what age do elves reach adulthood or, to be more specific, at what age an elf would be physically capable of becoming an adventurer?”
Ed replies:



To address (at the moment) only the second half of your question, elves are physically capable of adventuring at around age 33 or so. However, that’s just like saying, “Yonder kid who’s gawky and in the middle of a growth spurt and accident-prone due to clumsiness with his extremities - - banging things with his elbows because he didn’t think they protruded so far, and so on - - is ready to drive this truck.”
In other words, elves at age 33 are neither physically or emotionally mature. The latter is often exhibited by behaviour that more dour individuals see as “whimsically inane” or “silly” or “gigglingly reckless” (or “suicidal” or “dangerous” in stealth or combat situations), and the former may well mean clumsiness, a pronounced tendency to drop things, and a lack of anything close to full mature upper body strength. Immature elves tend to take far too little seriously, see far too few consequences until hit by them, and to have attention spans that make butterflies look like deep thinkers. (I am speaking in gross generalizations here, please remember.)
Yet none of this stops them from functioning as adventurers. Compared to some characters as portrayed by apparently intelligent human real-world gamers who’ve played in GenCon tournaments I’ve DMed down the years, such immature elves may even seem like stalwart veterans. :}
That DOESN’T mean they would normally want to go adventuring, or that their families would normally let them leave parental supervision to go and indulge in such suicidal activities at such ages. However, in an emergency (for example: where elves fleeing from a ruined tree-village or something of the sort attached themselves to an adventuring band), it could happen.
This would not mean that such elves would step onto the stage as adventurers with any skill at all at archery or anything else, or much worldly wisdom at all (even pertaining to elven society beyond their immediate family groupings). Nor are they necessarily ready to face the world and stay sane. Balanced reasoning, cause-and-effect perceptions, and other judgemental faculties just Aren’t Yet Ready For Prime Time - - in part because the hormones inside their bodies are dedicated to physical growth at this stage in their lives, above all else (note to some of the younger scribes who may read this: despite the loose way in which “hormones” are often linked only to matters of puberty, sex, and reproduction, the term really refers to the naturally-generated substances within a living body that control ALL of its growth and processes, “turning on” and “turning off” and “regulating” various glands and organs throughout life).
In short, most elves at age 33 or so are like inquisitive, innocently-wandering children (which is why elf societies DO tend to isolate them from the wider, crueler world), who have progressed beyond incoherent crying and unstable “toddling” far enough to master speech and engage in simple acrobatics. As Steven Schend said, it’s around age 50 before they’re physically mature (enough to deftly and reliably control their own physical movements, and learn “motor skills” like aimed weapon use), and they’re adolescents for what seems a very long time for humans (able to, for instance, engage in sex without conceiving - - although, again, please remember I’m speaking in generalizations rather than about every last specific individual).



So saith Ed. Who will wade into the weightier “decide this for us” part of your question later, when he’s polished off his taxes and at least two novels, two dozen web columns, three magazine columns, and a game product more than he has right now. (Whew!)
love to all,
THO
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Neriandal Freit
Senior Scribe

USA
396 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2006 :  02:21:26  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
A random question popped into my head today while out in my herb garden Ed, and I thought I'd ask this.

Do any of the Planes, like the Material, get objects in the sky like Comets? And, if so, what would happen if a Asteroid hit this Plane of --- (Be it Fire, Earth, Shadow, etc.etc.)? Can Wizards, Clerics and other magics allow access to said-plane that was effected? What about the beings that live in this said-plane, do they flee the other planes?

One more bit, would the effects be different then if one hit the Material Plane, or would they be the same?

I know, abunch of little questions, but I think it's one worth asking for once on my end.

"Eating people is wrong...unless it's on the first date." - Ed Greenwood, GenCon Indy 2006
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David Lázaro
Seeker

Spain
37 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2006 :  03:09:22  Show Profile  Visit David Lázaro's Homepage Send David Lázaro a Private Message
Hi Ed and Lady Hooded One,

I think your previous Waterdeep reply paints a very nice picture of fun campaigns set in the city. I was wandering how would you paint part of a campaign set in Silverymoon, Everlund or Luskan. What themes would be a good fit for those places? Nobility and money doesn't seem to rule those places as they do in Waterdeep.

I've also been wondering about a hook left in the Silver Marches for a long long time. The most I think about it the less I can see its consequences in game. I'm referring to the Arcane Brotherhood using drugs that affect the memory of the citizens of Silverymoon and the Silver Marches in order to gain more power there. I'm just unable to see: 1) how they will get the drugs inside, or where the drugs will come, 2) how they can get enough population exposed to the drugs, and 3) how they could use that situation to their advantage.

I've been trying to imagine something to do with that plot hook since I bought my first copy of the Silver Marches sourcebook (I always buy one English and one Spanish copy of everything to support both publishers) and have been unable to come with anything. After reading Power of Faerűn I thought that maybe I'm forgetting some connection between commerce and power structure that you can help untwist.

By the way, is Silverymoon and the Silver Marches out of NDA? Some years ago you said we will see more of them soon...
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Patrakis
Learned Scribe

Canada
256 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  02:11:05  Show Profile Send Patrakis a Private Message
Well met Ed, and lady of the hood, consider yourself warmly saluted also.

I've finally decided to write on this thread (gathered the courage to do it is more like it) and ask the creator of all some questions of my own that, i don't think, have never been adressed in these threads before. I also decided is was more than time to give to Mr. Greenwood (Ed, sorry) my own deep and sincere thanks for sharing is imagination for so many years. In my case, i discovered your words and your world in 1983 or 84, i think, in the pages of Dragon magazine. I had just started playing D&D at that time and was shopping for a word to play in. The grey box found me and i, it, or her i guess:) The first lines for this box felt like an explosion in my head. I was discovering a real world out of my own. I could see the dales, i could feel waterdeep. It read like a history book from a time i never knew existed and yet it was as if i was there. It was a very weird experience, i must say.

It didn't take very long before i started to add some things of my own though. Little things that filled the gaps and before long sir, your world became my world. Or our world maybe. I thank you for that sir. I thank you for the spark that fired my desire to imagine more.

And now :) for my question:

It concerns Sessrendale and the Dusk lord. My current campaign involves the descendants of survivors from the genoocide of Sessrendale. You see, i my campaign, some survivors from the attacks of Archedale fled not to Battledale or some other dales but they travel toward the east, toward Anauroch and stopped in a little vale between the southerned tip of spiderhaunt woods and the desertmouth mountains. They founded a new dale there called Valedale or some call it the secret dale or the pocket dale :) They were embraced by a dwarven clan who protected for some years, just the time it took to settle in and build some settlements. They've been living there, very out the way, for a little more than a hundred years now.

My campaign starts with the return of the dusk lord and since i haven't found that much information about him, i wondered if you could share with me some of your thoughts on what would occur if the dusk lord had survived in some way the attacks from Archendale. What could he have become in that time? I am at that stage of designing the campaign and quite frankly, it would be an honour to get your point of view about the idea i put forth and your knowledge of the Dusk lord. I read somewhere that archendale were experimenting weird manifestations, hauntings some might say, and it seems that surviving families of the archendale agressors are the main targets. Would this be the Dusk lord manifesting his vengeance? Any information on this part of the realms would be very appreciated and cherished.

As you can see by now (and that is the main reason i was so hesitant to write before) is my very poor skill in writing in the english language. I am a french canadian living in Quebec and even though i can make myself understood most of the time, writing to Ed Greenwood was very intimidating for me, considering my skills. Anyway, i took the chance. I hope i haven't offended anybody with some strange phrase construction or something.

Well that's about it then. And as they say in Valedale sir, may your gaze reach the horizon and your heart touch the sky. (sounds better in french)

Patrakis

Dancing is like standing still, but faster.
My site: http://www.patoumonde.com
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  02:14:31  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. Nynshari recently posted a series of deity-related Realmslore questions, and Ed replies hereafter (Nynshari’s queries interleaved in double square brackets):
Ed speaks:



Nynshari, I hope I can be of help here. However, I’m afraid I largely disagree with what seems to be your root thesis: that Realmsian elements are modeled on the specific real-world mythic or historical elements you believe them to be.
When reading these replies, please remember that over seventy writers that I know of have “touched” the gods in significant ways, and that some of them may have taken very different approaches than I did.
My original approach to creating the Realms pantheon (complete with “placeholder” gods, awaiting what Gary Gygax was going to do with, for example, the elemental gods) can be found in issue 54 of DRAGON Magazine (or “The Dragon,” as it was then). Most of my 300,000 words or so of notes on the gods, their priesthoods, and the creeds and rituals of their faiths became “base source material” for the 2nd edition sourcebooks FAITHS AND AVATARS tome and its sequel, POWERS AND PANTHEONS. Eric Boyd and Julia Martin did a lot of work giving the deities life, detail, and color, but (aside from “killing off” deities on several occasions) there have been very few wholesale changes in my original pantheon in which I wasn’t involved.

[[Many of the countries in the realms resemble earth cultures either directly from history or from mythology. Was this modeling intentional or accidental regarding the following places:
Vaasa - Vikings]]
Vaasa wasn’t in my original Realms; it’s entirely a TSR creation, and I have no idea whether it was intentionally modeled on anything or not.

[[Netheril and Thultanthar - ancient Greece and Rome/Plato's Republic (respectfully)]]
The Netheril you saw in print differed in fine detail from my original, and Thultanthar was developed by others. So for the published Thultanthar, again I can’t answer as to the intent behind its detailing.
Netheril certainly wasn’t modeled on ancient real-world anything, and attempts to draw parallels between real-world places and Netheril are tenuous at best. In Netheril I intended to show the decadence of humans consumed by the desire to “master” magic, and achieve immortality or godhood (or the ability to reshape the world like gods, at a whim), and the contrast between their created worlds (not all floating cities, by the way), with altered gravity and such, and the “other” Netherese living like hardy hunters in the forests, ignored or considered beasts by the archwizards.
This doesn’t resemble either “real” or mythological ancient Greece at all. Not in society, climate, history, warfare, world-beliefs, presence or absence of magic, religious beliefs or divine influence - - sorry, no correspondence at all. Imperial Rome could be said to have a similar “we’re the greatest, the ultimate, and our might makes right; it’s morally right to do to the rest of the world just what we want to do” attitude as Netheril, but it’s important to remember that attitude only ‘comes down to us’ (except as fancifully amplified by Hollywood) in the fragmentarily surviving writings and proclamations of a few rulers, who were politicians attempting to justify their actions and positions. It’s highly unlikely the “average” Roman citizen (or legionary) held such views, considering what various Roman plays reveal of public attitudes, and what Juvenal says in his SATIRES. That megalomaniacs or persuasive politicians want (and profess to believe they deserve to wield) power is hardly something distinctive to either Rome or Netheril - - something so universal hardly establishes a parallel.

[[Cormyr - Imperial Britain]]
I created Cormyr to have the Sherwood Forest/Arthur and his galloping knights of the Table Round “feel,” but to be a distinct kingdom with quite a different history. Imagine the fictional court of Camelot - - all the bickering knights, that is - - and see what happens if a royal line manages to hold the throne for centuries. Quite different from all of the fictional depictions of Arthur, who creates his own great kingdom, far more powerful than what existed before him - - a kingdom that either declines (through Constantine) or is swept away entirely after his death or departure, depending on which sources or versions of the Arthurian mythos one embraces most closely.
The various approaches to Arthur (the Christian king; the Celtic or Welsh king of England repelling or withstanding Germanic foreigners; the Celt holding together civilization after the departure of the Romans; the predestined king who fulfills his destiny, and so on) are all quite different from the concept of the Dragon Throne of Cormyr and the Obarskyrs who’ve held it. (Elves take land from dragons, arriving human settling family manages to establish a settlement, and holds it almost continuously for over a thousand years, withstanding all challenges in various ways and in the process building a strong kingdom.)
The term “Imperial Britain” of course refers to the far more recent, historical British empire (wherein the English sailed wooden ships all over the world to conquer, occupy, and exploit distant territories such as India, Canada, the colonies that later became the United States, and so on), and of course Cormyr has never had imperial ambitions. Its armies stay at home, beyond temporary occupations of pirate ports such as Teziir, patrols along its fringes (Tunland, the West Reaches, the Stonelands), and naval skirmishes with Westgate and Sembia that arise only when Cormyr is trying to keep those two rivals from cutting off access to Marsember and Suzail. So Cormyr has no correspondence whatsoever to “Imperial Britain.” Sorry.

[[Mulhorand - Egypt (actually, I think this one is obvious, but I have to ask as part of the class research)]]
Correct. I wanted Mulhorand to be a land of dusky-skinned Set worshippers, because I postulated the worship of Set to have spread through the planar links from earth. When it was developed in print by other designers than me, it had become “Egyptians from our real-world Earth resettle in the Realms, and bring all their gods and worship with them,” so there is direct modeling. Not by me, and it’s not how I would have handled Mulhorand, but that’s what other designers did, and they did it well.

[[Unther - Mesopotamia (ditto as above for Mulhorand)]]
I wanted to “echo” or “suggest” the concept of god-kings from the real-world Sumerian myths of Gilgamesh, and create a place where nagas (the game monster, drawn of course from real-world mythology) could rule or at least be venerated in cults - - and go no closer to real-world beliefs and matters than that.
Again, the Unther that was published wasn’t designed by me, and it’s not how I would have handled it.
Several senior TSR designers were former history teachers, and the Realms was seen by TSR as a vast tapestry that was to be the “home” for all sorts of D&D roleplaying, from Hollywood pirate movies through Viking raids and sword-and-sandal movie epics, so TSR added many real-world elements to the Realms - - such as Mongol hordes, an overt version of the Orient, and in one real blunder, the Dalai Lama. (No kidding.)
Again, this is NOT what I intended for the Realms.

[[Calimshan - Arabia]]
Correct. TSR had an “Arabian Adventures” sourcebook planned, and I pointed to Calimshan and said: “Turbans and veils and sand and camels, bare-bellied dancers and pointy-bearded men, slaves and gold and souks, ruled by viziers and satraps.” TSR promptly did the historical thing and put in pashas and all the rest. Again, they did it very well and gave a historical ‘home’ to the geniekind D&D game monsters.

[[Evermeet - Atlantis]]
Nope. If you see Evermeet as Atlantis, you’re completely misreading it. Evermeet is an unspoiled forest isle that the elves long ago took over and defended as their own kingdom, keeping other non-sylvan races out - - and in particular keeping humans, dwarves, and orcs out (being as said other races were, in the elven view, “despoiling and ruining” the mainland, and swamping the elves in their attempts to hold onto the forests there.)
Whatever the truth about the historical Atlantis (Thera or any of the many other candidates), the mythological Atlantis is a great, advanced (and in some sources, decadent, with its fate self-inflicted or at least deserved) human city swallowed by the sea.
Again, I don’t see any connection whatsoever. Evermeet’s never been human, never been a city or “advanced” in terms of wealth or settlement or structures, and has never been drowned. It’s not “lost” and not a treasure-trove: it’s a chunk of forest very like much of the mainland used to be, that was maintained as forest and ‘gardened’ by the elves to keep it vigorous and prevent erosion, blights, land-clearances, and so on. Atlantis in all of its folklore versions is a great, grand city of advanced technology (in the view of the day), not unspoiled nature at all.

[[Cormanthor - Camelot]]
I can see how someone examining Myth Drannor and Camelot could draw a parallel between them (both were great shining cities, and were lost), but I certainly didn’t model one on the other, and both history and mythology are FULL of proud cities that are now lost (I can think of twenty right off the top of my head).
When you think about the two for a moment, that parallel breaks down. Camelot is a castle, and a city that develops around it, built by one human, that fades from view after his death, location now lost or disputed (i.e. no extensive ruins).
Cormanthor is a city built by many elves, and inhabited for generations before being “opened to other races” as a place for traditionally warring or at least rival races to dwell together in harmony - - a city that exists still, in recent years as an extensive ruin occupied by devils and demons, visited by a “gold rush” of adventurers when those fiends are largely eliminated, and now seen as something that could be reoccupied again.
So again, the comparison is tenuous. It looks good until you glance at history, both real and mythological, and seen just how darn many cities were lost and are longed-for in memory (of someone, at some time). This is, yes, a universal theme, rooted in the human dislike of change, and nostalgia (“Oh, it was golden in the old days, when fair Freedonia’s towers still soared into the sky, and folk - -”). If your idea of Camelot is only the musical, wherein Arthur sings sadly “don’t let it be forgot,” charging the audience to Remember the Dream, then yes, Myth Drannor represented a Dream that some desire to be revived. Again, that’s hardly an original concept, and I certainly wasn’t thinking of Camelot when I created Myth Drannor - - I was thinking more of “backward humans are allowed into the bright, gleaming city, and allowed a brief glimpse of wonder that they fight alongside the elves to try to keep, but fail gloriously.”



So saith Ed. THO here, splitting Ed's post so as not to run into the post-limit lengths; I'll send the second half right away!
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  02:16:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. The promised second half, beginning with Nynshari's next question (in double square brackets):



[[Many of the 'hero myths' associated with the above places also resemble the hero myths in their earth counterparts. Was this modeling intentional or accidental regarding the following stories:
Vaasa - (I haven't decided on one yet)]]
Obviously not; see my answer for Vaasa, above.

[[Netheril/Thultanthar - Ioulaum (Brutus), Karsus (Julius Caesar), Telamont (Augustus Caesar,'The philosopher king' of Plato's Republic)]]
Wow, you’re REALLY stretching here. Ioulaum is a trickster “I’m cleverer than everyone else, and will foresee the peckadilloes of my fellow ambitious archwizards, and craft spells that will give me escape hatches beforehand” loner wizard. Brutus has no magic, is a scheming politician, and in the most famous accounts had a hand in murdering Caesar.
Karsus is a wizard obsessed with power, intent on joining or defeating and replacing the gods. Gods he KNOWS to be real, remember, no faith necessary. He cares very little about, and pays very little attention to, the affairs and interests of others, except as they exist as obstacles to what he wants to do. His attention is bent on personal magical power, in the end attempting to transcend mortality. Julius Caesar, if you do any extensive studying of the historical character, was a very pragmatic politician (and war leader), concerned with social power: getting to the top of the Roman Empire and staying there. Both were powerful schemers, but that’s about the extent of their resemblance to each other.
Telamont as published is the work of others, so I can’t say whether they intentionally modeled the character on a mythic hero or not. It doesn’t look like it to me.

[[Cormyr - King Azoun (Richard the Lionheart)]]
This connection puzzles me. Do you see it because of the “Crusade” against the Tuigan Horde that TSR designers (not me) grafted onto his life story? The historical Richard is an absent-from-his-realm king (Azoun is almost always “at home” in Cormyr), probably homosexual (Azoun is aggressively heterosexual), both are seen in folklore as bearded crowned men good in battle (though Richard was defeated, imprisoned, and ransomed, whereas Azoun was not) - - but then, history, folklore, and modern fantasy literature (from Dunsany, Morris, Eddison, Cabell, and other writers before Tolkien) is full of bearded warrior-kings. We really don’t have a consistent folk representation of Richard; from THE LION IN WINTER to his various depictions in various versions of the Robin Hood tales, Richard is “all over the place” as a hero (or not so hero) king.
I certainly never saw King Azoun IV as Richard the Lionheart, King Arthur, John F Kennedy, or any of the other real, historical, or folklore characters various commentators down the years have tried to compare him to. However, I haven’t had the chance to paint as vivid a living, breathing picture of him as I wanted to - - which is why you’ll see more of him in SWORDS OF EVENINGSTAR and in my current Realmslore columns on the Wizards website.

[[Unther - Gilgeam (Gilgamesh, Tiamat and Marduk)]]
Correct. Yes, deliberately modeled. See my Unther answer above.

[[Calimshan - (I haven't decided on one yet)]]
Sorry. None. See my Calimshan answer above.

[[Evermeet - (I haven't decided on one yet)]]
Sorry. None. See my Evermeet answer above.

[[Cormanthor - Shevarash (the goddeses Sekhmet and Durga) and Starbrow (King Arthur)]]
Nope. However, the characters you mention were brought to life by others, and I can’t speak for their motivations or modeling, if any.

[[Some questions about deities as well. I've been told that Eric Boyd did most of the work on the deity end, and I'm going to ask him as well, but I wanted to see if you had anything to say about it. Some of the deities are intentional copies of earth deities, in that they came from earth to Faerun, while others appear to be copies but are not said to have come from earth but rather have their home cosmology as that of Toril (please excuse my terminology if it is wrong). Regarding the latter group, were they intentionally modeled or was their similarity accidental, in general, but especially regarding the following deities:
Mask/Vhaeraun/Lolth - Loki]]
Sorry, Nynshari, but no. You’re stretching again. Let’s look very quickly at the three “Realmsian” deities:
Mask is my creation, the god of thieves, and envisaged by me as the sidling, soft-spoken, almost meek master manipulator, good at slipping away, who regards being caught or taunting victims or openly stepping into conflict as clumsy, distasteful, and not ‘his way’ at all. A thief and schemer, yes.
Vhaeraun is my creation, a deity primarily concerned with drow males returning to the surface world and succeeding there. Through murder (poison, for instance: assassins), thievery, and evil. A thief and schemer, yes.
Lolth is not my creation; she’s the spider-goddess who seeks to become the sole deity of the drow (a goal she might very well achieve), who both schemes and uses brute force. She wants to be the only goddess for “her” race. I can’t speak for either her creators or those who’ve handled her since, aside from my brief handling of her in DROW OF THE UNDERDARK and MENZOBERRANZAN.
And now let’s look at Loki: the Norse trickster god. A schemer, yes - - but if you read widely in the various writings, stepping back from modern comics interpretations and the Eddas, Loki burns to do harm to the other gods and win more power and favor. (So in this he’s somewhat like Lolth.) However, in many of the writings, he craves Odin’s favor and/or wants to be respected and obeyed by the other deities. This is unlike Lolth; she just wants to destroy the other drow deities.
Loki delights in scheming (so in this he’s like all three of the Realmsian deities you cite). However, Loki often schemes quite openly, setting the other gods at odds with each other by lies and engaging in both gloating and taunting (and in this, he and Mask could not be more un-alike, and he lacks Vhaeraun’s subtlety and shows far more glee and humor than Lolth ever has). Your problem here is taking two Realmsian gods of deceit and one evil goddess who sometimes engages in deception and trying to equate them with a Norse god of deception who is THE trickster of his mythos.
In other Norse or Teutonic sources, Loki is the god of fire, or (as the son of the giant Farbauti and of Laufey, not a god at all - - though he’s certainly powerful enough to slay gods, and give birth to gods (such as Hel). What IS constant in the depictions of Loki is his hatred of the gods and determination to destroy them all. In this, he is similar to Lolth (though you can hardly make a convincing case for this being modeling, as Lolth first came on the scene as the only drow deity, with no other drow deities existing to destroy except the already-vanquished “Elder Elemental God,” and because I’ve told you her deity-destroying aims more bluntly than the published Realms canon yet has) but not at all similar to Mask (who doesn’t want any deity dead, and only wants specific mortals dead who can expose his faithful; otherwise, every dead god or mortal is one less potential victim, and therefore a Bad Thing). Vhaeraun delights in evil, and won’t hesitate to kill for personal gain (assassins), but seeks to avoid notice of other gods rather than taking any of them on - - and doesn’t hate them.
So I don’t see any strong parallels at all, and certainly no modeling (and to argue that I was “unconsciously” or “accidentally” modeling a Realms deity on anything, when the creation of a deity in an attemptedly-balanced pantheon is such a complicated process, is the very height of academic arrogance, ranking right up there with professors who tell authors that they can’t possibly understand what they’ve written because they’re only writers, and not scholars).

[[Umberlee - Poseidon/Neptune]]
Nope. Every seafaring or shore culture down through history has had gods of the sea. Most deities are seen as humans (albeit sometimes with beast-parts grafted on), so most sea-deities end up with scales, fish tales, seaweed hair, and so on.
However, you’ve chosen the two “classical” faces of the bearded crowned king of the sea and tried to draw a parallel between them and Umberlee, whom I created and deliberately depicted as the personification of human male sailors seeing the capricious, cruel sea as a bitchy female. Their histories, characters, and aims differ sharply - - so I’m sorry, but I don’t see any modeling.
Poseidon is lord not just of the sea but of rivers and fountains, and (leaving aside his wife and offspring), he’s only one of many Greek sea deities, such as the titan Oceanus, Pontus, Nereus (and his wife and all of HIS offspring); in short, a much different concept than I’ve created with Umberlee.

[[Eilistraee - Artemis]]
Nope. I was asked to create a “good drow deity” for DROW OF THE UNDERDARK, pertaining to surface-dwelling drow, and I did, deciding to depict her as nurturing mother goddess worshipped through dancing nude under the moonlight (echoing British faery traditions, but seeking to make her seem not capricious, as the faeries are depicted, but non-warlike, non-violent except when protecting “her” mortals). Through her priestesses, Eilistraee aids her faithful in hunting and swordcraft as a way of helping them to survive and flourish in a hostile surface world. She’s not HERSELF depicted as any sort of a huntress; she’s the force that brings a stag into the reach of hungry drow, not the slayer-by-arrows of drow foes.
She can personally be an avenger or protectress, yes (an aspect strengthened in 3rd Edition, not by me), fearsomely wielding the sword she dances with, but owes more to the bard than the huntress.
So you’ve turned to a classical goddess depicted as the huntress, a peerless archer whose shafts never miss (or almost never miss, depending on the tale). This puzzles me; I certainly wouldn’t equate a benevolent nurturing (and fertility, though thanks to the TSR Code of Ethics you have to read between the lines to see this in DROW OF THE UNDERDARK and SILVERFALL, where I certainly wasn’t very subtle about it) goddess with the Queen of the Hunt, the virgin Greek goddess of chastity.
Let’s look more closely at Artemis. In her Roman derivation (Diana), it’s death to a mortal man to see her nude - - but he sees her bathing; she isn’t in that tradition depicted as normally racing about the forests bareskinned. (Some writers do depict all of the classical deities so, which probably has much to do with many of the real-life mortal cities of worshippers having few nudity taboos.) She’s the moon goddess, also goddess of childbirth, wild life, domestic animals, and infants (children just after they are born), as well as being goddess of flocks, and of the chase.
So there are a lot of possible portfolios here that someone TRYING to draw a parallel could catch onto, to try to make their case, but none of them really fit: I created Eilistraee as worshipped under the moon because that’s when she appears, NOT a moon goddess; her only connection to the moon was because drow (who had to stay in the dark to keep any power, in that edition of the D&D game) on the surface could see the moon but Underdark drow could not. Eilistraee has nothing to do with domestic animals or wild life, and her mothering is not of childbirth or the young, but of the whole race (to sustain and strengthen them in their return to the surface). Eilistraee has nothing to do with flocks or the chase, is not virginal, and has nothing to do with chastity.
Hmmm, looks like you’ve got the wrong gal. :}

[[Erevan Ilesere - Hermes]]
Here you’re speaking of a god not of my creation, an elf god of the D&D game put into the Realms with the rest of the elven pantheon, who is the deity of bards, revelers, rogues, sorcerers, and tricksters (fickle, changeable, a jester).
And you’re trying to equate him with Hermes, the messenger and herald of the Greek gods, who is also the god of eloquence, speech, roads, protector of travellers, prudence, cunning (fraud, perjury, and theft), commerce, good luck, crops, patron and guardian of athletic contests, god of mining, treasure-diggers, sleep and dreams, and (in Arcadia) of the fertility of the soil and of animals. He invented numbers, the alphabet, astronomy, weights and measures, sacrifices (and so was the patron of sacrificial animals) and so on and on and on.
Well, they’re both gods of rogues, but otherwise, they couldn’t be more unalike. One delights in mischief, and promotes elves - - the other has never heard of elves, and is interested in getting his own way through cunning, not spreading mischief.
Again, I think you’re really stretching.

[[For any of the above that were intentionally modeled, in terms of culture, hero myths, and deities separately, were they modeled due to:
the popularity of the culture/place/histories/deities with the public, or
because those cultures/places/histories/deities were common knowledge, or
because those cultures/places/histories/deities were obscure knowledge, or
any combination of the above?
If not any of the above, can you offer a different explanation?]]

Mulhorand: Egyptian due to the popularity of Set-worshipping with gamers at the time, including my PCs (so as to establish an ongoing conflict: PCs versus the evil cult of Set-worshippers, with no intention to include the rest of the pantheon or closely model Egyptian life; that was the doing of others).
Unther: Nothing to do with popularity; I wanted to explore what apparently immortal god-kings would DO, and what effect their rule would have, on a fantasy society.
Calimshan: Arabian because of the popularity of “exploring the exotic” culture (my version of it, that is) with my PCs; its inner workings and world-views.

[[Is there a significance to cultures/places/histories which were not chosen to be modeled, for example:
because they were not popular with the public, or
because they were too common knowledge, or
because they were too obscure knowledge, or
any combination of the above?
If not any of the above, can you offer a different explanation?]]

As I’ve said, Nynshari, with the three exceptions noted above, and the individual deities noted in DRAGON 54 (such as Tyr and Tyche), I wasn’t trying to borrow or model real-world historical or mythic anything. I was creating my own fantasy world for my personal writing pleasure and DMing enjoyment, so public tastes and degree of knowledge played no part in it.
I’m sorry if I’ve shattered your academic work (I hope I haven’t), but I’m NOT going to accept anyone, for any reason, just assuming this part of the Realm is real-world this, and that element of the Realms is real-world that, and asking why I chose to model this or copy that. I imported a few real-world deities, with explanations, I “echoed” some real-world fantasy and folk settings I wanted to write about or play in (and TSR designers and other writers went down this road much, much farther), and otherwise I tried to craft and flesh out the Realms with reference to the Realms (and what I saw as human nature, elven nature, dwarvish nature, draconic nature, and so on). It had to be self-consistent, but it didn’t have to correspond to anything else (TSR’s needs were, of course, different).
I’m quite willing to discuss this farther, elaborating on anything you’d care to ask, but please don’t promote any thesis based on my ‘obviously being influenced by this or that’ - - because as you can see from my answers above, you drew the wrong lines and conclusions far more often than not.
Sorry, and thanks for the interest. I hope you can salvage something from this, really I do. (I rushed to answer your questions so as to give you time - - before the two weeks is up - - to try a different approach or hypothesis.)



So saith Ed. Who DOES mean it, so post again on this if you’d like, Nynshari. I’m enjoying the glimpses of “why Ed made this design choice, what he intended with that deity” I’m getting.
love to all,
THO
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boards
Seeker

Australia
33 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  11:32:26  Show Profile  Visit boards's Homepage Send boards a Private Message
To the master of the Greenwood.

First let me say that I am supremely grateful that you reply (and what replies they are) but I would like to add another to your evergrowing list of questions.
First, about elves, they're generally described as being more slender than humans. Do you see this as being because they have narrower bones and ribcages than humans but have a decent amount of muscle. Or is their skeleton the same size as ours but with less flesh i.e. like a fashion model.

And second, seeing as you spoke about Artemis in your last post, are there any good aligned god/goddesses of hunting that a human can worship. Milieki and Silvanus both seem more about preservation of nature, and Malar is evil so they dont seem like someone that a pioneer out trying to catch a deer for his family to eat would be praying to.

Thanks for your time.

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Jindael
Senior Scribe

USA
357 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  14:51:53  Show Profile  Visit Jindael's Homepage Send Jindael a Private Message
Ed's last two posts (Via THO) have very strong Kung-Fu. I love reading about this sort of thing. Please pass my thanks along to Ed if you would please, and thanks to you Nynshari for starting this.

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

11 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  19:24:24  Show Profile  Visit Metis's Homepage Send Metis a Private Message
Dear Ed,

I had a question about Tethyrian architecture. Trademeet is described as having this style of architecture, and I imagine most cities in Tethyr display it as well. However, I haven't been able to locate any descriptions of this architecture, and there is little artwork, unlike Calishite architecture which also appears in several places within Tethyr.

Any bits you can share on Tethyrian architecture, artwork that might appear within a Tethyrian cities architecture, etc., would be most welcome.
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Nynshari
Seeker

17 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2006 :  21:24:10  Show Profile  Visit Nynshari's Homepage Send Nynshari a Private Message
Thank you sooooo much for your replies to my questions. I really appreciate it.

I'm sorry if I was unclear about this paper - it is supposed to simply be a paper to describe the mythology of the Realms, just as if it were a paper on Greek mythology or Norse mythology. I never had any intention of saying that there was any connection at all between anything in the realms and earth things and nothing along those lines had even crossed my mind for this paper - but I was told by my prof (well, he 'suggested', which actually means 'do it', lol) that I should find out if there was and that, if there were, then to include that information in the paper. Since I had to ask, I asked about the places I'm specifically writing about (because those are the places that I like, not because I see any specific connection). I apologize if I gave the wrong impression; I promise I had no intention of claiming anything that wasn't true or saying you did something that you didn't - that's why I asked And I also apologize if I offended you by the way I asked - I honestly never meant to imply that you purposefully modeled anything, but just to ask what my prof said I should ask.

Sorry again, and thanks again for your answers.


Nynshari

Chaos is Life
Chaos is Creativity
Chaos is the Essence of Our Souls
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  00:22:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all.
Ed’s family is descending on him for Easter, so he’s rushing to get some replies in, just in case his postings get interrupted by having a nine-year-old granddaughter who thinks computers were created to be her personal toys crawling all over him.
First, to Lord Rad, Ed says thus:

THANK you. I love that scene. One of my little whimsical asides, a moment of “meanwhile” off to the side of all the action and frenetic intrigue and word-fencing that dominates that novel. I love doing these, and they often get amputated by editors, but - - if not overdone - - to me they seem like the rewards of reading, the little moments of reflection and seeing things from unusual angles, eavesdropping on offbeat events (and making the night forest seem just a little more real). I’m very glad you like it.

Secondly, to David Lázaro, Ed speaks:

David, I’ll reply properly to you (re. themes) the moment I have the time, but two swift notes: no, Silverymoon and the Silver Marches aren’t yet out of NDA (sigh). As for the Arcane Brotherhood introducing drugs: they are conveyed to Brotherhood agents in the city, and introduced into specific food and drink consumed by particular individuals, to make them forget having ever met particular Brotherhood agents before, and forget what befell during those encounters (so they won’t raise the alarm or launch attacks when said agents [not the same ones doing the cooking and pouring, of course] encounter the drug-affected individuals again.
The widespread smuggling and selling “to all” (in powdered spices, wines, and sauces, so as to affect those who consume them) is to spread the memory-loss effects randomly around the citizenry, in an attempt to “hide” specific sources of memory loss and therefore the Brotherhood’s activities.
The drugs are brought into the city mixed into, yes, “legitimate cargoes” of powdered spices, wines, and sauces. The spiked stuff goes to Brotherhood agents, the unadulterated spices, wines, and sauces go to innocent vendors for resale to the citizenry.

Thirdly, to Nynshari, Ed responds:

Goodness, no, you didn’t upset me, Nynshari; no apologies necessary. I just wanted to make it very clear that I wasn’t deriving things directly, so that no scribe reading your questions and my responses could take it as “proof” that I borrowed X from here and Y from there.
I know all about professorial “suggestions.” :} Years agao, I even had one prof who used to wink, grin, and mime bringing a lash down on our behinds when she sweetly issued her “just a suggestion - -” epistles.
One of the most fascinating aspects of building the pantheon, for me, was to have it more or less balanced between power levels and the various alignments, but in constant flux, with events “really happening” to the gods, and their power directly related to the in-Toril power and influence (not quite the same thing as numerical strength of, but related) of their worshippers. This of course makes tinkering with the deities a neverending, “living” part of any ongoing Realms campaign.

And lastly, Ed responds to Faraer’s query: ““Hey, 'Feasthouse' median Realmsian for 'restaurant'? What's Realmsian for 'doggerel'?”
Ed speaks:

In the Realms, the most popular term for restaurant (there are local variants) is either “feast hall” or more often “feasting hall” (to avoid confusion with “festhall”) or “feasthouse” in Common, but “skaethar” in Chondathan, a word that has crept into Common to serve as the ‘formal’ word as opposed to the everyday slang term (I suppose, to put things in Modern English terms, “skaethar” would correspond to “dining establishment” and “feasthouse” to “eatery”).
And “doggerel” in the perjorative sense is either “horoloro” (pronounced “HAUR-oh-LORE-oh”), formally, or “bardspit” (“bardsquall” is bad, usually off-key or even tone-deaf, singing). Doggerel in the affectionate, “Oh, this isn’t really worthy poetry, but it’s catchy and witty and serves the need of the moment” sense is “bright-words” or more formally (only if it follows a rhyming scheme), “tarnrhyme” (after a long-ago bard called Tarn, who’s remembered for little four-line ditties like: “Wind and rain before highsun/Will clear before the day is done/Love that presses hot and swift/Will fall away like a lover’s shift”).

So saith Ed, Grand Linguist of the Realms. (I’m trying hard to resist saying most cunning . . .)
Ahem. (Wooly, get busy! I’m a busy woman, and that’s a LOT of whipped cream. Next time don’t order the family-sized dessert! And take the darned stems off the cherries next time!)
love to all,
THO
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1144 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  00:36:25  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message
Hey Ed,

I'm working on depicting a Bhaal cult for my group and since you were kind enough to talk about influences above, I was curious if you could tell me whether I have the implications right. Bhaal is 'Death' and while being worshipped by Assassins, I certainly don't think he's only worshipped by them. I was imagining that he'd be a fairly widely worshipped god of nonhumans and primitive tribesmen with lots of areas where human sacrifice is extemely common or individuals want to bring themselves luck in battle (while Tempus is certainly the god of war, I imagine that a person who simply wants the death of his enemies is almost certainly as respectful to Bhaal).

While it may be linking it too much with the Earthly Baal (whose unrelated) would a Gorgon as a 'Holy Animal' (the Stone inducing bull than the serpent haired women) be appropriate for worshippers of death?

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

USA
29805 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  03:19:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ahem. (Wooly, get busy! I’m a busy woman, and that’s a LOT of whipped cream. Next time don’t order the family-sized dessert! And take the darned stems off the cherries next time!)
love to all,
THO




But more whipped cream means more time spent removing it! I thought that was a good thing!

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  03:33:18  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
I can supply at least a little information on some of the architectural questions I recently asked. The two passages in quotation marks below come from Jungles of Chult by James Lowder and Jean rabe (FRM1, TSR 9389), p.12f. The passages refer to the Temple of Ubtao in Mezro, which, being literally god-built, and in a city hidden from the rest of Toril for the past 500 years, is probably not representative of the architecture in the rest of the world. Still....


quote:
I know that stained glass windows are known in Faerun, but what about flying buttresses and the pointed arches of Gothic architecture -- are they used?

and
quote:
Are true hemispherical domes in use outside the pseudo-Arabian areas such as Calimshan and Zakhara?



Jungles of Chult: "Nine stories tall, the temple boasts flying buttresses, rows of stained glass windows, and a glittering dome of pure gold."


The arch leading into the Temple is not described in detail, but since the building is based upon triangular units, it may be pointed like a Gothic arch -- or it may not be. żQuien sabe? as I said elsewhere.


quote:
Are mosaic walls and/or floors common?



Jungles of Chult: "The king's audience hall is a huge, triangular chamber with stained glass and a mosaic floor depicting the entire city of Mezro; tiny figures on the floor reflect the movement of each citizen and visitor."


I think that this mosaic floor ought not to be considered representative of the rest of the Realms because it reflects a particular aspect of Ubtao-worship -- the belief that one's life is a maze.



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


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

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atlas689
Learned Scribe

123 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  04:08:39  Show Profile  Visit atlas689's Homepage  Send atlas689 an AOL message Send atlas689 a Private Message
Hi Ed and Lady Hooded One,

As I just recently finished the two novels Evermeet and Cormyr (which i absolutely could not put down, even read while eating), a question popped in my head. I love the style of the novels about a famous land or city with the two different storylines at once. One of the past leading up to current times and one of the present. I was just wondering if there where any plans on any more novels being written in the style about more famous/notable lands or cities (such as Cormanthyr, Vassa, Thay, Silverymoon, etc.)? Also, as i was writing this a second question found its way into my thoughts. In the book Evermeet there is talk and even communication with the Elven Imperial Navy(spaceship fleet). As the Forgotten Realms series is just of Toril I was wondering if there were any plans on a book of Faerun's first ship to be in the Imperial Navy or if the Magic on Toril is not yet developed and advanced enough to be even taken into consideration by the Navy? Please respond but if you do not, I do understand for I am sure you are a very busy (and talented)person!
-Atlas

Soldiers fight, thieves steal, bards sing, wizards cast, sages think, assassins kill. Good or Evil we all have a job. So tell me this. What the hell are nobles and merchants for?

From: Thoughts of an Old Sage
by: An Old Sage (anonymous)

Edited by - atlas689 on 14 Apr 2006 04:17:07
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David Lázaro
Seeker

Spain
37 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  04:14:49  Show Profile  Visit David Lázaro's Homepage Send David Lázaro a Private Message
Thanks Ed for your answer about the drugs of the Arcane Brotherhood. I think I'm beginning to see how that might work.

So those drugs are most probably magical in nature and have effects that make the movements of the Brotherhood agent's easier around the North. I've read again the passage on the sourcebook about this (must be the 20th time or so, heh) and it says that the drugs are of Thayan origin. I see lots of possibilities for introducing the drugs, so the initial plan seems a good one.

I see that the Arcane Brotherhood interests around that time consisted in gathering intelligence for their purpose making commerce with the Silver Marches difficult for anyone but them. The part that I still don't grasp is why Valindra Shadowmantle wants to ‘destabilise’ the Marches with the drugs. It would be much easier for her to leave things as they are and get the benefits of easier movement of their agents in the open to close that market to other cities. Forcing a destablised Marches there would result in less of a market and thus less benefits.

It could be that she is planning a direct invasion; the sourcebooks speaks of ‘talking over’ the zone. But that seems difficult because, as I see it, Luskan main strength lies in the sea. They have used direct attack continuously against other cities of the Sword Coast. But they are not so strong by land so moving east doesn't seem as a good idea.

To put it more clearly, my question would be: what could be on Valindra's mind? What is her goal and check mate movement of her strange scheme?
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  12:32:13  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
Milady and Ed,

I loved the religious lore in Power of Faerűn, and I hope that one day we will see Faiths of Faerűn that will feature "everyday facts" about religions, ceremonies/chants, religious legends/stories, propaganda, etcetera.

I would also like to see something along the lines of Five Nations (an Eb***** sourcebook - I cannot even pronounce the heretic name on this sacred board ;) Something that would be an "All Regions" sourcebook, featuring local art, architecture, foreign relations, local factions, vocabulary, "local things you know", "things other nations know about your land", fighting styles, food & drinks, trade issues, local legends/stories (adventure hooks?), fashion, landmarks, prominent merchants/NPCs, and such. If not delving "too deep" on each issue, I think this sourcebook would be possible to do.
Actually, Five Nations manages to feature most of those issues in about 20 pages per region

No prestige classes or too many feats - just juicy and fluffy Realmslore :)

"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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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29805 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  14:47:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by atlas689

In the book Evermeet there is talk and even communication with the Elven Imperial Navy(spaceship fleet). As the Forgotten Realms series is just of Toril I was wondering if there were any plans on a book of Faerun's first ship to be in the Imperial Navy or if the Magic on Toril is not yet developed and advanced enough to be even taken into consideration by the Navy?


The Elven Imperial Navy has an outpost on Evermeet. As a nation, Evermeet is not really large enough to have much of a space fleet, and their need for local defense also draws resources from what could otherwise be a space fleet.

As for other nations, several have had -- or currently do have -- a presence in space. In Kara-Tur, both Shou Lung and Wa have active space navies. The Netherese explored spelljamming, but didn't do much more than poke around in Realmspace. The Thayans have developed a rather unique type of spelljammer. And some Halruaan skyships are equipped with spelljamming helms.

Most of this comes from the now-defunct 2E space setting Spelljammer. Though the line died out years ago, there were many spelljamming references in established Realmslore. In 3.x, there are still references, but they are minor and quickly glossed over.

I'm pretty knowledgable about Spelljammer, so if you've more questions about it, feel free to PM me or drop me an email.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  20:55:23  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Akashayana

Hey there again.

If possible, I'd like to ask Mr. Greenwood if he would reveal a bit more than is currently printed on the Raurin Desert. Not its gloriously devastated ancient history, but rather how it and its surrounding mountain ranges have developed since. I am especially curious about the creatures and general ecology of the area.
Has the wrath of the Mulhorandi gods made the area completely uninhabitable? Do desert folk reside therein despite the dragons, sandstorms, and frequent lightning strikes?
Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

-Tlazcotl



I'd like to know what the purple mineral is which colors the sands and the 1st Imaskarcana?

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


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


Edited by - Jamallo Kreen on 14 Apr 2006 20:56:12
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ddporter
Seeker

26 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2006 :  21:36:08  Show Profile Send ddporter a Private Message
Dear Hooded One,
Speaking of Spelljamming, did the Knights of Myth Drannor or Crazed Venturers ever have any spelljamming adventures?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  00:47:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, fellow scribes. First, a quick note to The Sage, about how soon the state visits Realmslore columns may appear on the WotC website from Ed:

You’re very welcome, Sage, and here’s the situation: how quickly and in what order the columns appear is up to Wizards, of course, but there SHOULD be 9 columns between the end of The Lost Ship 2-parter and the first of the two State Visits duo.

So saith Ed. Secondly: on March 30th, Jamallo Kreen asked Ed “a heap o' questions about architecture which may well have been answered previously. If so, I would appreciate being directed to those answers, please.”
Well, Ed hath detected several questions in your heap that deserve his own, direct answers (in the fullness of time), but in the meantime, Jamallo, I’m going to happily refer you to Ed’s many extant detailings of Realms architecture, which (outside of the Volo’s Guides and other TSR/WotC sourcebooks, include: the recent 4-part Realms Architecture columns in Ed’s “Realmslore” series on the Wizards website, plus the earlier 8-part Sembian merchant “Realmslore” columns, AND his architecture answers here at Candlekeep: in the 2004 thread (page 2 of the Chamber of Sages), page 16, page 62, and (Northkeep) p74; and in the 2005 thread, page 56. Happy reading!
And now, the Bearded One tackles this, from Lord Rad, about The Pride of the Lion: “I know that he didn't have time in his schedule to write this concluding novel to the Sembia series, but did he get as far as to have any ideas of what the novel would cover and what it would be about? I don't know if he had to pull out in the early stages before the preceeding novels had been written and therefore the overall flow not been established.”
Ed replies:



The series was about half-written, as I recall. After a hilarious conference call or two involving various writers and WotC editors, Dave Gross handled the subject matter that would have been the backbone of my concluding book in his preceding novel. Here’s my brief synopsis of what PRIDE would have been about:
“Thamalon is going to die, and knows it. The book will explore what it is to grow old, with failing personal abilities, and face death. What foes should be reconciled with, or taken down with oneself? What debts should be paid, what legacies established or grand last gestures made? What sort of peace can Thamalon make with various members of his own family (especially his wife and his eldest son)? We’ll watch him try, with varying degrees of success; the Old Lion fighting his last fights. And then he’ll die, and I want to leave every last damned reader of the book in tears as they close it.”



So saith Ed. Makes you wish he had written it, doesn’t it? By the way, as someone in the book industry who has access to BookScan and some warehouse shipping sales figures, I suspect the reason Pride got cancelled was as much a function of WotC looking at sliding sales on later books in the series as it was Ed being too busy, although Ed’s never so much as hinted at that.
love,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  02:27:12  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

Hi again, fellow scribes. First, a quick note to The Sage, about how soon the state visits Realmslore columns may appear on the WotC website from Ed:

You’re very welcome, Sage, and here’s the situation: how quickly and in what order the columns appear is up to Wizards, of course, but there SHOULD be 9 columns between the end of The Lost Ship 2-parter and the first of the two State Visits duo.
Thanks Ed... I appreciate the details, as always .

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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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