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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  01:09:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. This time Ed gets around to dealing (in part) with the first post Scarabeus made at Candlekeep, back in August of 2005:
“. . . I would like to have further details about the original spellsinger character class you made for the Realms. Knowing about your fondness for music and the rich amount of details that you put in your work, none of the published spellsigner classes seem to be near of what you created. I once worked on a legendary Elven Spellsinger character class (a la Elfsong) but it does not seem to be the original spellsinger . . . Call you tell us more about how the original spellsingers used to cast spells, or spellsongs?”
Ed replies:



I can say a little, though I’m dodging among monolithic, Stonehenge-impressive NDAs here regarding the various other versions of Spellsingers.
Originally, spellsingers were people (usually human, and usually female) who had an innate ability to call on the Weave to work magic in a specific way: when dancing and singing or chanting around a focus (usually a fire, but it could be any source of light or energy, from a red-hot sword planted in the ground and now radiating heat to a spring bubbling up from the earth), they could work limited, low-power magics they could think of (vividly; in other words, they almost always had to have seen the magical effect - - worked by someone else, or unleashed by an item - - before, and concentrate on that memory). “Put” the memory on top of the focus, and when staring at the focus try to see not the focus but only the memory, and keep staring at it - - largely oblivious to surroundings, and hence vulnerable to attack or theft - - while dancing around it.
Most spellsingers found they couldn’t “feel the Weave start to work” (though they might not say it this way, because they might not even know it was something called “the Weave” they were calling on) if they wore clothes or footwear, and so they danced naked or at least barefoot. Most spellsingers couldn’t do anything more than a cantrip when dancing alone, and even then had to dance for a long time and ended up exhausted; impressive magic (spellsingers always work arcane magic, or an arcane equivalent of, say, a druid spell) requires multiple spellsingers, dancing and chanting together. Enough experienced (upper-level, in game terms) and strong (not tired, wounded, or sick) spellsingers, working together, could enact even 9th level wizard spells - - but if a Zhent captures a spellsinger and wants her spellbooks, items, etc. he finds he has nothing but a helpless captive.
If he locks her in a room for the night, alone and unshackled - - and she’s desperate (and strong) enough - - she cuts or bites herself, uses her own spilling blood as the focal energy, and dances until she can work up a magic to free herself or more often alert or summon aid.
Otherwise, she is no magic-worker at all. “A sorceress who can’t sorce,” as THO once described it. I wanted the spellsinger to exist for two reasons: to account for all the real-world old legends of “witches dancing naked around a fire by night” (the Forgotten Realms was originally supposed to ‘account for’ all those real-world occult and fey and unexplained “magical” things, remember?) and, in the Realms, to give a REASON why every second Zhent or unwashed independent warrior didn’t just trek off to a distant village and rape, pillage, and murder his way through it for a night, and then leave again. The reason was that every single village had its crones and matrons and young daughters - - and the survivors would dance around the fire, find out who that warrior was and where he was now, and work revenge on him. (And as general folk knowledge, every warrior “knew” this would probably happen.) They haven’t the time to “go after” groups of attackers in this way, and will never agree on anything enough to do it for idle or personal-spite purposes - - but if folk think the power is there and they’d better not awaken it, we have a reason low-level priests or government officials or any large, strong local blacksmith doesn’t habitually and casually act like a tyrant.
The reason you never saw the spellsingers in print was, of course, the “ladies dancing nude” bit (running headlong into the TSR Code of Ethics).
The game-balance reason I put that element in was to make PC adventurers used to hacking anything that moved to the ground before even saying hello hesitate to “watch the show,” and so learn a bit about what was going on, and so have a moral dilemma to face and not just “ooh, look: nude women: easy kills because they’ve gotta be evil witches; how many XP will I get?”
It worked, too. Back at GenCon 13, when I ran a table of players that included several TSR staffers, they DID stop and debate. And then went in hacking anyway - - and reaped the moral and social consequences.
Memories of that may well have made TSR back away from the whole situation (so we’ll end up defending nude female “witches” to the Bible Belt, who already want every D&D book burned and its makers jailed? Riiiiight.) by just preventing the spellsingers from being published.
It’s not something that upsets me; it’s just one of the inevitable differences between my fiction world and a publicly-used game setting.



So saith Ed. Bringing you secrets from the golden past. He’s written at least one unpublished Realms short story (“The Long Sword”) that features spellsingers - - and Chess and Manshoon and Manshoon’s elder brother, too, back before there were any Zhentarim. I wonder when we’ll get to see it?
love to all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  01:25:14  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

I can say a little, though I’m dodging among monolithic, Stonehenge-impressive NDAs here regarding the various other versions of Spellsingers.
Whoa! They sound like the strongest NDAs we've heard about so far .

quote:
The reason you never saw the spellsingers in print was, of course, the “ladies dancing nude” bit (running headlong into the TSR Code of Ethics).
Ah, if only that nasty TSR Code of Ethics had been removed to another plane for a time during the days of previous editions... we may have had the opportunity to learn such facts and hear more about those deity rituals Ed has so wanted to cover in detail .



-- And to Ed, via THO, any chance we can have some confirmation on the facts relating to the questions Kuje and I asked above about the pronounciation for Vangerdahast?

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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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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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  01:47:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
I'll pass it on, Sage, and see what Ed says. (I know he has some music lore coming up for you, mid-May or earlier.)
For those interested, Chapter 14 of Oroon Rising has now been posted on the Wizards website. Entitled "An Unpleasant Storm of Spells," it can be found at:

"Oroon Rising, Chapter 14"

(please make a link for me, one of you strong tech-minded scribes!)
Things are getting tense as the tale draws to its climax . . .
love to all,
THO



EDIT: Link done. Is that better my lady?

Edited by - The Sage on 29 Apr 2006 02:06:41
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  02:08:09  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

I'll pass it on, Sage, and see what Ed says.
Neato.

quote:
(I know he has some music lore coming up for you, mid-May or earlier.)
As per previous discussions... yes, I would imagine he has .

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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

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

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  03:23:27  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Its odd that the FR is the only one of WOTC published settings that doesnt have a class unique to the setting.

Dragonlance has the Noble class and Eberron has the Artificer its a pity Wizards didnt create a full 20 level Spellfire class for the Realms (There was after all a Spellfire wielder class in 1ed/2ed)

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  03:45:22  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ed speaks:

Potentially, yes. The problem is that anyone knowing such a ritual would keep it VERY secret, so any characters desiring to gain such traits (the characters don’t know of or call them “templates,” remember) are going to have to experiment on themselves or others, at great risk (from the others they experiment on, if from no one else!). Most mage’s guilds would outlaw such attempts as too darned dangerous (in terms of the attention and potential enemies it would bring), and the experimenter is going to have to literally introduce the blood desired (procured from a presumably unwilling dragon, fiend, or celestial!) into their own or an experimental subject’s body, somehow (magically) keep them alive as their body reacts to the blood (which poisons most bodies if injected or ingested, as opposed to being born with it), and then begin a series of (unknown, experimental) spells that cause the host body to alter in properties to the desired traits.
In short, it’s a life’s work for PCs, if the DM handles it properly, and if the DM presents NPC casters who have already mastered the process, or do so “in front of” the PCs’ eyes, tell me this: why would such NPC casters share what they’ve learned, or agree to “do it to” someone else? Won’t they try to hitch some magical control into the someone else, so at the very least they can stop the augmented being from turning and slaying them to “keep the secret”? Won’t we be dealing with obsessed “mad scientist” characters here, who might well try to create an army of servitor augmented beings? (?)
Or to put it more succinctly: Have fun. :}



Chuckle. That’s my Ed. So saith he, and all that.
Keep us posted, Dargoth!
love,
THO




Thanks Ed

One of the ideas Im kicking around is Tension (From the Daggerford Entry in The North) trying to turn himself into a Fire Genasi or Half Fire Elemental. Hes sends the party to the the nearest known colony of Fire Elementals: Mount Hotenow with the hope of finding away of accomplishing his gaol

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  19:29:04  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, all! Ed apologizes for taking so long to get to this simple question from Jamallo Kreen: “I have a question regarding the Herald class in PoF: what are their class skills?”
Because, errata or not, this “counts” as unpublished-but-paid-for Realmslore owned by Wotc, Ed had to get permission from Wizards to quote from his turnover manuscript. It’s been duly granted, so here’s the skinny:

(snip)

And there you have it. Somehow this got dropped out of the text in the editing, a glitch that as we all know has happened a time or two before.
And to Jamallo Kreen: official pronunciations from Ed: “Vangey” is “VAN-jee” but “Vangerdahast” is “VAN-grr-dah-hast” (yes, regardless of what it may say elsewhere)
love,
THO




Thanks very much to both of you, THO. "Vangey" is going to make an appearance in my campaign soon, and I'm especially glad to know how to pronounce his nickname, so as to appear less foolish than usual to my players!

Hugs & kisses.


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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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  19:37:25  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

quote:
Originally posted by Jamallo Kreen

(Apropos of the Purple Dragon Knight's post, I have to say that one of the coolest moments in Cormyr: a Novel is the one it which it dawns upon the reader the what's-what and who's-whom and who-was-whom of "dahast".)
Indeed Jamallo, indeed!
Hmm... yes... indeed!
Hmm... of course!
(psst! mind refreshing my memory on that cool moment? does it have to do with a certain red-haired gent who happens to befriend the elves of the Wolf Woods?)



SPOILER WARNING!








"Dahast" indicates his descent from the elf who appears in ancient Cormanthan/Cormyrian history, as I recall (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong). Perhaps my "oooooh" moment owes a lot to my (then) near-total ignorance of Cormyr's early history. Now I'm just confused about current events. At least I'm not alone in that -- many of the nobles apparently have no idea what's going on in their own homes, let alone in the palace!



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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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2006 :  19:58:47  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
I fear an NDA might pop up in response to this question, but ...


Are wheellock pistols known on Faerun outside the circles of Spelljammers? How sophisticated are the locks on native Faerunian smokepowder weapons, anyway?



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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Mordakay of Thay
Acolyte

Romania
33 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2006 :  00:42:26  Show Profile Send Mordakay of Thay a Private Message
Hello Mr. Greenwood.May I take a moment of your time?It is about the Delymbir Vale.I am in need of some lore about the halfling town of Shinning Falls,the city of Llorkh,and a little general history about the vale itself.I've searched allot of sourcebooks about them,but most of them have vague info on this zone.Thank you in advance.I also seek knowledge of the Rein family in Loudwater.I'm looking forward to know what the family's fortune is( in GP :) ),and what buildings,inns etc. do they own in Loudwater.

William Yeats

Edited by - Mordakay of Thay on 11 May 2006 14:15:51
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2006 :  01:01:25  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met again, all. This time, Ed responds to Uzzy: “Hello Ed and The Hooded One. :) Thank you for all the Realmslore you’ve put up here over all the years. Certainly kept me up late at nights just reading through it.
Anyway, my question is about the Scarlet Mummers, the Lliiran Militant Order of Assassins. I’m playing a Lliiran Character right now (Bard/Fighter) who definately seems to be leaning towards a more 'militant' bent. So, I started looking for information about the Scarlet Mummers. But, there doesn’t seem to be any at all, other then the mention in Faiths and Pantheons and, of all things, a brief mention in Neverwinter Nights! So, essentially, if you could help at all with things like their organisation, how they are viewed by the rest of the Lliiran church, or anything, it would be a huge help. Thanks in advance. :)”
Ed replies:



I, too, wanted to know more about the Mummers. So I did something about that. Watch the Wizards website for a Realmslore column, probably this fall, that delves into the Scarlet Mummers. Sorry for the wait I’ve given you, but it’s done now. :} And you’re very welcome for the other Realmslore. Two lore tidbits: some Mummers use a single cut red rose as a signal or badge, and they have a fluid organization (no ‘set’ hierarchy) that “stands outside” church ranks.



So saith Ed. One of the unavoidable perils of writing Realmslore columns rears its head again. Sigh.
love to all,
THO
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2006 :  04:15:52  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello Again,

A Quick question I hope, lol, how many miles from the Lizard Marsh south is it plains, hills before the ground rises as the map shows and how high would the cliffs be above sea level. Basically I'm trying to create a camp that could grow but need to get an idea of how far away from the Marsh it can be but at an elevated level to deal with incursions from the Trollbark Forest yet be able to make a port? Any info on what may be in the marsh in year winter of 1371 that I might need to be aware of would be helpful too.

Thanks.
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Scarabeus
Acolyte

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2006 :  06:07:13  Show Profile  Visit Scarabeus's Homepage Send Scarabeus a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, all. This time Ed gets around to dealing (in part) with the first post Scarabeus made at Candlekeep, back in August of 2005:
“. . . Can you tell us more about how the original spellsingers used to cast spells, or spellsongs?”


Yes, the first post indeed and the waiting was worth it. I bow in gratitude before you for this rich piece of ancient realmslore. It makes me remember the time when I discovered the Realms, such full of wonders. I like those kind of "occult" feeling about the spellsingers. This is a class (I'm not even sure it is, because you said innate ability) so different than the average adventurer that in fact it looks strange and mysterious. In your reply you speak of unexplained “magical” things related to occult or fey phenomenons. It just occurs to me that while we know an awfull lots about the gods, dragons, the ancient races, the underworld and all, the mysteries of the fey have been largly avoided. By that I mean more that the simple creatures of the Monsters Manual. I mean the fey as a whole, their hidden magical realms where people have been known to come out many years later when they thought only a few days passed.
Spirit-like beings able to provide good or bad-luck, exchange babies with changelings or inspire bards and artists. I think there's a world of possibilities on the subject. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel wrote a WoTC columed named Fey Feature that was good.
Books from Brian Froud are a great source of inspiration on the subject also, but I'll go for an official question: "Based upon the fact that "the Forgotten Realms was originally supposed to ‘account for’ all those real-world occult and fey and unexplained “magical” things" how do you depict the fey in your original realms and what can you tell us about them."

quote:
So saith Ed. Bringing you secrets from the golden past. He’s written at least one unpublished Realms short story (“The Long Sword”) that features spellsingers - - and Chess and Manshoon and Manshoon’s elder brother, too, back before there were any Zhentarim. I wonder when we’ll get to see it? love to all,
THO


I would live to read that too. I have to admit that my hunger for those original spellsingers only seem to have been aroused. Thanks again O Loremaster. And my sympathies for those slain spellsingers. The debate surely was interesting to listen.

- Scarabeus

Edited by - Scarabeus on 30 Apr 2006 07:00:03
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Faraer
Great Reader

3308 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2006 :  21:22:14  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

Its odd that the FR is the only one of WOTC published settings that doesnt have a class unique to the setting.

Dragonlance has the Noble class and Eberron has the Artificer its a pity Wizards didnt create a full 20 level Spellfire class for the Realms (There was after all a Spellfire wielder class in 1ed/2ed)

?? Spellfire is a plot device created for a single novel character. It's bad enough it was implemented in the rules at all.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2006 :  01:00:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, scribes. This time Ed makes answer to Penknight, in this matter: “. . . I have a question for Mr. Greenwood about Cormyr if it's alright. I have a paladin of Torm that is a native of Cormyr. I was glancing through all of my 1st and 2nd Edition (as well as my 3e and 3.5) sourcebooks and modules, but was never able to find a temple or shrine to Torm mentioned. I was just curious why this was. I kinda figured that he would be quite popular there in regards to what his portfolio is about.”
RevJest then posted: “Torm is a favored (perhaps patron?) god of Princess Alusair, Regent of Cormyr. She is accompanied by several Tormite priests in "Death of the Dragon". If memory serves, there is a shrine to Torm at High Horn.”
And Penknight responded: “I appreciate the information, RevJest. But if I may still ask, why isn't Torm bigger in Cormyr than what he is? Lady THO, if you would ask, I would be truly and deeply grateful. Also, please pass along my deepest respects and a thank you for creating my favorite place to play D&D (especially 2nd Edition) to Mr. Greenwood if you would be so kind.”
Ed replies:



You’re very welcome; thanks for the kind words. Torm is indeed a popular faith in Cormyr, and every Purple Dragon garrison has a small shrine. Suzail has a modest temple to the True, and both Arabel and Marsember have shrines. The chivalric ideal is something the commoners of Cormyr believe in, and take comfort in believing the Crown and the noble houses of their realm follow. Some of the nobles do, and some merely perform perfunctory devotions to the deity so that folk will THINK they revere and uphold what Torm stands for. Ironically, the “lip service” nobles most often use the public city shrines and temple, whereas the devout believers tend to have their own private shrines (chapels) on their own estates.
There are many cynics in Cormyr, and it’s true that Torm is most revered by the young, shining-eyed, and naive (especially young male nobles). The reason Torm doesn’t dominate is that many gods (Chauntea, Helm, Sune, and so on and on) are worshipped in prosperous, generally happy and stable Cormyr, and NO god dominates. Moreover, Vangerdahast had good reasons to prevent faiths from rising to dominance, and used the War Wizards to keep them balanced in power against each other, and as scheming rivals to each other rather than turning their attentions to meddling in politics against the Crown (perhaps by secret alliances with particular discontented nobles). Some of the self-serving priests we see in the later chapters of DEATH OF THE DRAGON hold their lofty positions (to Azoun’s and Cormyr’s cost) because Vangey, working behind the scenes (and unbeknownst to almost all of the clergy involved), got them there. (Yes, it’s one of his largest blunders.)
With all of that said, it’s true that we have neglected the faith of Torm in Cormyr, thus far, in print. This is due, I’m afraid, to the adventuring focus of D&D products: unfolding evil is always more interesting and thus gets more attention. Would you like some brief outline details of Cormyr’s shrines, temples, and clergy? If so, let me know and I’ll post some here (eventually!) or put them in a future Realmslore column on the Wizards website.



So saith Ed. Oooh, Realmslore to order! Get your piping hot box of fresh Realmslore here! Get - - wait a minute. That’s just what we’ve been doing since the beginning of 2004. Silly me.
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2006 :  01:44:05  Show Profile Send Kuje a Private Message
Of course, I'd be interesting in that lore. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2006 :  01:55:15  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Would you like some brief outline details of Cormyr’s shrines, temples, and clergy? If so, let me know and I’ll post some here (eventually!) or put them in a future Realmslore column on the Wizards website.
Do you even need to ask that my Lady? Or is it a trick question?

Of course we'd love such Realmslore! Either format will be fine... .

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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

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

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
538 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2006 :  02:17:10  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message
I would be greatly interested in hearing more about that. Please tell Mr. Greenwood thank you for me, and a very fond thank you to you as well for asking the question for me. I truly appreciate it.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2006 :  23:42:40  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
Well met, Ed and THO!

I have been reading Pages From the Mages and The Magister over the last few days (ain't I up-to-speed on Realmslore?!), and have several questions about spells, spellcasters and items which I hope that you will be kind enough to answer. If these have been answered before, will someone please direct me to which year's answers they are in? In particular, I seem to recall that the Greenstone Amulet was discussed at length here at Candlekeep a year or two ago. I apologize for repeating the questions of others, but the "search" function doesn't always work here, and the lack of indices in almost all 3rd edition books makes it extremely difficult to look up contemporary versions of 2nd edition spells or current or recently added information about people and things mentioned in older TSR books. (I am currently wondering how Archveult's name is pronounced; I'm fairly certain that the pronunciation is given in a 3E book, but I haven't got a half hour to spare to check all those I do have, perhaps only to realize that it was in a book I borrowed two years ago from someone else. Nice, simple indices like those in Pages From the Mages would be sooooo nice, particularly in books which cost thirty or forty dollars. *sigh*) On to the questions!

From The Magister : I am not entirely clear about the charges of a Greenstone Amulet. Does it ward off listed spells according to how many spell levels it has left versus the level of a spell directed against a wielder, meaning that the "all or nothing" protection fails if, for example, 42 levels of listed spells are directed at it (and repulsed) and then a third-level spell is directed at it (because warding against that level spell exceeds its maximum defensive potential), but that the Amulet will still have two levels of defense available if it started with 44? Apropos of its 11-44 levels of defense, are those permanently fixed when an individual Amulet is created, or does the recharging which occurs always take the Amulet to 44 spell levels of defense if it is allowed a sufficient period of rest and recuperation? If the level number is fixed at item creation, does each Amulet regenerate to its own maximum level of protection if it is allowed sufficient time for R&R? Is auto-recharging possible if an Amulet has become exhausted, or is it thereafter useless for magical defense, like a burned-out Ioun Stone?

I have many questions regarding Pages From the Mages. First, some regarding Darrson. Is he a specialist mage or does he avoid illusionism by personal preference only? Should one happen to meet him, in person or as a summoned talking head, just what sort of person does he look for as a potential friend? He's described at one point as paranoid (or close to it), so does he deliberately avoid certain character classes as potential threats, or is he open to anyone who isn't Halruan or obviously threatening to him? Apropos of his magical creations: the Ring of Magic Detection has become fairly well known since the multiverse was altered by the 3rd edition rules, but are the secrets of making a Wand of Portraiture now known to others? In either case, how (un)common are they now?

Next, regarding the spells and items from Daltim's Tome of Fire: are these more common since the Tome was lost in Tethyr (as if someone who could actually use the spellbook got hold of it rather than its having gone to fuel some ogre's campfire)? In particular, how widely available is unburn now? Apropos of the magic items, does Daltim himself make these, or does he farm their creation out to employee-mages, or did he simply describe them without personally taking any part in their manufacture?

Elminster's Traveling Spellbook includes his own Evasion spell, but are his own conditions for its activation known outside a small circle of friends and those who have read Pages From the Mages or Realmspace? Who -- other than readers of Realmspace --actually knows where Safehold is physically located (and do any of them ever go there just to pass through to your house and annoy you in person)? I have a very particular question about Worldwalk: does it allow two-way travel to the Demiplane of Dread, and if not, does it allow one-way travel so that poor saps can pass into Ravenloft but can't then escape?

I am particularly interested in the "unique" spell Quimby's Enchanting Gourmet, from Jaluster's Orizon. The text says that the spell is "often used by retired sages and other sedentary types." How widespread is knowledge of this spell, anyway? Is there a way to evade the tome guardian which I missed, because my impression is that the little sucker will attack anyone who handles the book. If it does always attack, can it be killed to allow reading of the book? If so, does another one subsequently appear to harass the owner until one succeeds in killing him, or is there a single tome guardian attached to the book who can be briefly vanquished from this plane but not slain here? I just don't see how Quimby's Enchanting Gourmet could be known to those "sedentary types" unless that blasted tome guardian can be gotten rid of, even if only temporarily.

A query next on Grimwald's Graymantle, from the Tome of the Covenant: can the caster of the spell hand off the material component after it has been enchanted to another person (a halfling with a slingshot or wicked pitch, for example) without affecting that person with the graymantle, or must the caster (forgive the pun) cast the bone personally?

I have two questions regarding Xult's Magical Doom from the fragmentary Tome of Rathdaen: First, does the insanity effect occur even after a creature has returned to its normal form, or does it only effect it while it is transformed? (I can't see how it would be possible to determine if an earthworm was suffering from homicidal mania, or a bunny rabbit or cricket from hebephrenia!) Second, how is Xult's name pronounced? (This leads to a corollary request: Ed, would you please tell us how "x" is pronounced in according to the different languages or regions of the Realms? I know of at least five ways to pronounce it in Earth languages -- "sh", "z", "h", Germanic-Scots "ch", and "ex" -- but have no idea which pronunciation to apply to it occurrence in Toril, except for "Xvim," and its use in Maztica, which presumably follows Nahuatl usage.)

I apologize again for any repetitious questions, but one does want to impress one's player's with one's Realmslore, doesn't one? (Besides which, if I can think up these questions, so can my players!)


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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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2006 :  23:52:48  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ah, SUPERB questions, JK! Just the sort Ed likes.
I can tell you that Archveult is pronounced "Arch-VULL-t" and that some of your Pages questions concern material added by the TSR staffer who worked on that tome.
However, off they all go to Ed, who will no doubt reply extensively, in the fullness of time!
love,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2006 :  03:23:19  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Ed answers Julian Grimm, in this matter: “Ed, I was wondering with the portals that connected and still connect Earth to Toril, if legendary wizards and heroes like Merlin, Vanimonen (sp?) and such have ever been there or may be hiding out or living there now?”
Ed replies:



They certainly could have, and be. That’s up to you, of course, because in the published Realms heroes from elsewhere can never officially appear, for obvious legal and artistic reasons.
However, that is indeed how the “home Realms” have always functioned, though my players preferred the “Realms itself” from the first, and turned away from such play possibilities (usually AFTER Torm had said, “THAT’s King Arthur? Oooh, I’ve just gotta kick him right in the codpiece, and then we can run. Er, fast!”).
So it’s never been a big part of the Realms, but it’s always been there. I’ve felt more comfortable including characters from dead authors (like H. Beam Piper and Roger Zelazny) than living ones (Ursula LeGuin or McKillip or May or McKinley). Yeesh, it’s still hard to think of Roger as dead, though it’s been over ten years, now. Those who wonder why should try to get a copy of the mammoth last Amberzine (issues 12 through 15, bound as one volume), and read my “A Secret of Amber,” therein. Only if you’re an Amber fan, of course. (If you’re not, find a copy of NINE PRINCES IN AMBER and start reading.)
And speaking of more traditional heroes, eagle-eyed scribes should go looking for a Carroll & Graf book, due out this fall, probably entitled CHRONICLES OF BEOWULF or something of the sort. Edited by Brian Thomsen, it should contain new Beowulf stories by (let’s see now): Lynn Abbey, Wolfgang Baur (once editor of DRAGON) and Jeff Grubb. Oh, yes: and me.
Sorry from straying so far from your question, Julian, but a reading of my Beowulf tale will show how readily he could be made to stalk from our mythic past into the Realms.



So saith Ed. Purr; more delights for readers. We work poor old Ed hard, we do, but the results are worth it! (She said, flicking the whip.)
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2006 :  04:21:09  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Update, all:
Ed confirms the Archveult pronunciation and says the book title is "Further Tales of Beowulf."
love,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 02 May 2006 :  06:59:56  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message


Ed Ive got one of those horrible shoe horning rules questions for you (Hopefully Ed hasnt run off screaming into the Canadian Wilderness after reading this)

WOTC have brought out a new class in the PHB2 The Knight class and while Im generally not in favour of shoehorning new classes into the realms I actually like this one and think it would work in the realms

Wizards have posted the class up on their website

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060501a&page=2

To me it screams the old Cavalier class from Unearthed Arcana so its probably suitable for any FR character who was written up in 1ed/2ed using the Cavalier class/Kit (ie Azoun IV, several NPCs in Daggerford including Duke Pwyll)outside of these indivduels what Faerunian organisations do you think would be Knight orders?

Realmslore contains a few organisations with Knight in the name but most really dont fit the Knights code (Many are Paladin orders)

Knights of Myth Drannor (Somehow I just dont picture Torm having Chivalrous ideals! )

Knights of the Shield: While it may have orginally been a Knight order its more of a Thieves guild or power group these days

etc

The Bane worshiping Knights of the Black Gauntlet might be an order LE Knights

Where there any "Cavalier" knight orders in the 1ed Realms or the Home campaign?

Where do you see the Knight class fitting in in the Realms?

Thanks in advance

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2006 :  00:28:30  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. Back in January Octa posted this: “Ed +THO, I've been trying to think up a question and I think I have one of general interest.
It concerns the Arn Rock in the center of the lake of steam. Everytime I look at it it screams Melnibone. There seems to be very little lore on the island. So my question is this:
Who was living on the Arn Rock before it went all Santorini? Were there any ancient civilisations centered there? We know that the lake of steam has been populated since pre-history, but it mainly considered a crossroads between Coramashan and Jhaamdath rather than a region in its own right. Were there any empires centered there, other than the Occasional Aencar uniting a few of the independent cities together for a single lifetime.
And the Arn Rock, any chance for an empire of draconic-human hybrids living there in the age of dragons or some other prehistoric time.
thanks for any additional information you can give, I know how busy you are and am just shocked at how accessible you make yourself to the fans.”
Ed replies:



Hi, Octa. Thanks for your thanks; yes, answering lore questions for scribes here does eat up time, but I enjoy doing it and I feel those who love the Realms deserve my time and attention. As I told attendees at my GoH panel at Ad Astra: writing books and games is a service industry, and you’re all my clients; keeping you happy is my job.
Now, as for keeping you personally happy in this instance: Arn Rock is indeed the remnant of a long, long-ago volcano that “blew up,” shattering the lava-tube-cavern-riddled mountain that once occupied the site - - and in the process blowing some red dragons (with their lairs) to tiny spattering bits. There is indeed a chance that draconic-human hybrids dwelt on this vanished volcanic isle, but I’d have to say their having an “empire” would have to be a generous interpretation, given the utter lack of evidence or lore concerning same, to date, and also considering the targets such hybrids would have been for so many of the dragons during the age of dragons. So unless the hybrids were under the protection of a really powerful dragon (looks at the ranks of dragon deities in the Realms that have been mentioned in lore) whom they perhaps worshipped, they’d be fast-made-extinct dinners rather than empire-builders (so a decadent, magically-powerful, wealthy Melniboné-like culture is out).
So yes to the possibility of hybrids dwelling there, no to a large empire of any sort centered there at any time, and yes to the crossroads nature of the Lake of Steam (which has seemingly always been actively volcanic), with possible ancient shore-dwelling cultures (but not large, sophisticated, powerful “civilizations”) and certainly yes to port cities hurled into ruins and now entirely “lost” (but existing as buried “dungeon” labyrinths, for those who dig and search energetically enough). Have fun. :}



So saith Ed. Interestingly, he always subtly steered us away from the Lake of Steam, suggesting he had some Plans of Note for it that he either never got around to developing or that he considered we Knights Not Yet Ready To Face. Hmmm . . .
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2006 :  04:26:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. Ed has sent me answers to just a few of many questions posed in the same posting by HunterOfStorms, to whit: “Hi Ed, I have another question relating to the Sea of Fallen Stars. I've noticed in the descriptions of Aglarond, that despite the original human settlers of its shores being fisher folk and the concentration of settlements along the coast, Aglarond is not considered to be much of a sea-faring nation - which is fair enough, they don't need to be. However, since they do have a small fleet of warships, I was wondering whether the ships of Aglarond are built in Aglarond, by their own shipwrights, or whether their vessels are commissioned elsewhere by more renowned ship builders. Which brings me to an actual series of questions :) Does Velprintalar have its own shipyards or even just a dry dock for maintenance and repairs? Would it cater to only its own ships or others who might limp into port? Which nations/cities around the Inner Sea are noted for their shipbuilding skills (besides Cormyr, that is)?”
Ed replies:



Folk of western Aglarond in particular fish daily, but their fishing is almost all near-shore coastal, in small boats, with drag-nets. There are, however, at least a score of energetic entrepreneurial seafaring merchants of Aglarond (independent loners rather than fleet-owners, and hence often ignored or overlooked by those considering naval power on a by-country basis), and all of its coastal settlements have shipwrights of accomplishment (and builders who work for them), with both ship repair slips and dry docks for laying down the keels of new ships. Local forests provide both planking and mast spars, and there are sail-makers in Aglarond, too, though most sails are purchased in Telflamm and the Vilhon purely for reasons of price (greater competition, cheaper labour).
So, yes, Velprintalar has its own shipyards and ship repair docks, catering to all visiting vessels (just as do almost all ports - - as opposed to fishing villages or mere anchorages - - around the Sea of Fallen Stars). Almost all of the lands and independent cities around the Inner Sea have competent shipbuilding skills and facilities (the Wizards’ Reach, Unther, and Mulhorand are the main exceptions, and such places as Calaunt, Scardale, and Telflamm are little trusted by visiting outlanders). Sembia has shipbuilders every bit as good as Cormyr’s, but in Sembia one gets what one pays for, and those who go for the cheaper builders get shoddier work. Alaghôn and Cimbar are in the next rank of shipbuilders, followed by Lyrabar (good repairers there), and then (a slight but definite step down) the “general run” of ports, such as Tantras.



So there you have it. Shipbuilding lore from the Great Sage himself.
A public service note: Ed has family descending on him tomorrow, and will fall e-silent from now until this coming Tuesday as the extended family Greenwood eats him out of house and home, plays endless computer games, goes gardening and drags Ed out to shop and dine in restaurants and go to farm and flea markets and car dealerships and oh, did I mention shop?
However, hang in there, scribes, and Ed Will Return.
love to all,
THO
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2006 :  16:47:24  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady H.,

This came up in a recent game: how do Halruaans regard the Chosen of Mystra? There probably is no more Mystra-centric society around than Halruaa. But they are also quite insular. How do they feel about not having Halruaans among the Chosen?
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2006 :  00:54:55  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Ah, SUPERB questions, JK! Just the sort Ed likes.
I can tell you that Archveult is pronounced "Arch-VULL-t" and that some of your Pages questions concern material added by the TSR staffer who worked on that tome.
However, off they all go to Ed, who will no doubt reply extensively, in the fullness of time!
love,
THO



Thank you, Lady of the Hood!

I tried for half an hour a few days ago to locate someone's post about an item to record sound, but could not locate it. On the chance that it is somewhere in the 30+ pages preceding this, however, the best solution to the problem would be (from Pages From the Mages): Darsson's Music Box, which records sound for later playback. It apparently finds its principal use as a doorbell (!), but it would certainly be able to make a "live" recording of a speech, a bard's performance, or such-like. It cannot, however, provide the verbal component of a spell. (Although it would be interesting to create a spell whose verbal component had to be uttered by this spell or a Magic Mouth.)


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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Swordsage
Learned Scribe

149 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2006 :  01:17:02  Show Profile  Visit Swordsage's Homepage Send Swordsage a Private Message
The 'spellbook' for Milil in "Prayers From the Faithful" records words, music, etc.

The Swordsage
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4607 Posts

Posted - 06 May 2006 :  02:39:39  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Hooded One do you know if Ed wrote the Ecology of the Dracolich in this months issue of Dragon?

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 07 May 2006 :  19:10:57  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message
Hi, a climate issue for the grandmaster of realmslore.

Elminster's Ecologies App 2, then Volo's Guide to Sword Cost and finally Serpent Kingdoms confirm the presence of Yuan-ti, Ophidians and Nagas in the Serpent Hills / Backlands / Wyrm's forest regions.

The climate of this region (as described in El's ecologies) seems a little harsh for these typical monsters of the jungles.

Can you explain why/how these creatures have adapted themselves to this region ? And if it's possible to meet them in a snow-covered forest of Wyrms during the winter months ?

I asked this question first in Eric's thread (you can see there what he answered).

Edited by - Skeptic on 07 May 2006 23:07:32
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