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boards
Seeker

Australia
33 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  02:58:30  Show Profile  Visit boards's Homepage Send boards a Private Message
Another question for the great sage.
Are there any forgotten realms miltary treatises like Sun Tzu's Art of War or Vegetius Renatus, Epitome of Military Science that would be required reading for officers in any profesional army.
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  03:02:29  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by boards

Another question for the great sage.
Are there any forgotten realms miltary treatises like Sun Tzu's Art of War or Vegetius Renatus, Epitome of Military Science that would be required reading for officers in any profesional army.




Theres a Red Book of War that appears in the old Grey boxset

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2387 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  16:55:40  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
I'd bet that the clergy of the Red Knight would have plenty of books on strategy.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.

Edited by - Hoondatha on 15 Apr 2006 16:57:09
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  17:46:30  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
Hi Ed,

I'm thought we'd start this off easy and base these questions on the races from the PHB. :) Anyhow, I've been pondering some questions about demihuman and human babies and children.

1) What, on average, are the types of foods, besides breast milk, do humans and demihumans feed thier babies and youngsters? Btw, since I asked about it, does the breast milk from the different demihumans taste different then the breast milk of humans?

2) What is some of the different furniture, and what does it look like, that the demihumans and humans use for babies and children when they are sleeping, being carried around the home or settlements, etc.

3) I'm curious about wet nurses and nannies based on the PHB races.

4) What are some of the toys each race gives thier babies and children to play with? I know there are some games in Aurora's, but can you expand on those?

That's all of the questions I thought of for now. :)

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

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 20 Apr 2006 04:51:28
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  19:35:51  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen 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.

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!
(snip)



Oh. Erp. Shows how little time I have on the 'Net nowadays. ... A 4-parter on WotC, hmmm? Yes. Ahem. Thank you.


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 - 15 Apr 2006 :  19:43:15  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
Lost Empires of Faerun gives the DC for knowing where the old gods of Mulhorrand and Unther were buried. Ed, tell us, please: what (besides horrendous traps and standard rich treasures) might be in those tombs? Is any sentience likely to be left in the mummies of the gods who are no longer worshipped? (Or might they rise as ultra-uber-"ancient dead"?) Were artifacts buried with the gods, or were those retained by the priesthoods? Are there any legendary lost books which might be found inscribed on the walls or buried as scrolls or tablets?



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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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2006 :  23:51:09  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message
Dear Ed,

In the Realms you introduced a number of very long-lived characters. Besides the Chosen of Mystra, hidden here and there are mortals who've lived thousands of years, such as the survivors of Netheril. What drives these people to live on? Why haven't they succumbed to ennui?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2006 :  04:04:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow scribes of the Realms. This time, Ed replies to this from Asgetrion: “I have some questions about four obscure military/Purple Dragon ranks that have been featured in your novels. Namely, Lancelord, Swordlord, Warcaptain and Boldshield (the first three in Death of the dragon and the last one in Stormlight). I have assumed that Boldshield might be a "unique" rank, and that the others are "battlefield ranks" granted when a more complex command structure (such as during a war) is needed? Am I wrong here?” (a query that was promptly seconded by Sanishiver).
Ed makes reply:



Lancelord: This title, still in current use, doesn’t appear in the POWER OF FAERUN table because it doesn’t ‘fit’ as a strict rank. It means “messenger” or “envoy” of a battlefield commander (of the rank of Oversword or higher, plus any royal, or any War Wizard assigned to serve with a military unit). Some real-world armies would use the term “aide-de-camp” for a lancelord. In short, it’s a temporary service rank that trumps the holder’s everyday rank (or lack of military rank), and puts them a shade below the rank of the person they’re speaking (or running errands) for. So the Lancelord of an Oversword outranks any Constal, but is outranked by any Oversword.

Swordlord: This title, still in current use, also doesn’t appear in the POWER OF FAERUN table because it doesn’t ‘fit’ as a strict rank. “Swordlord” is a title that means “unit commander,” but where it falls in the rank hierarchy varies with the size of the unit, from patrol to army. In other words, Swordlord Heldrar Aeron may be Swordlord of a small local militia patrol and be outranked by a First Sword, but Swordlord Jaeroevan Blackfeather may command a hastily-mustered (in the face of an orc horde attack) Army of the West Reaches, and be more or less equivalent to a Battlemaster.

Warcaptain: “War captains” (as two words) is a collective term for officers, really meaning “battlefield unit commanders, acting and permanent, plus their lancelords, here in this location [usually: at a battle or a meeting] at this time.”
Warcaptain as a single word is the title given to any acting commander, serving because of the death or incapacity (due to wounding, disease, captivity, or magical affliction or curse) of the “real” commander. By “commander” I mean the leader of any official military unit or force (aside from patrols and other usual divisions of an army).
For example, if a large cavalry unit is assembled and dubbed the Riders of High Horn, it will be commanded by an Oversword (or higher rank) who will be known as Swordlord of the Riders of High Horn. If that Swordlord falls in battle, and his Lancelord finds himself the highest-ranking surviving officer of the Riders, the Lancelord will take the title Warcaptain (and instantly cease to be known as a Lancelord; he probably still has a “real” rank, remember), and go on leading the unit. Even if he’s confirmed as the commander by other Purple Dragon commanders, it’s customary for him to continue to be called “Warcaptain” until an Obarskyr officially bestows a new rank on him. Commoners, adventurers, or War Wizards who “step into the breach” and rally leaderless Dragons, give them orders, and so lead them in battle, are by tradition called Warcaptain. If they so serve with distinction, they are given (afterwards) the pay of an Oversword for the day, and either offered a position in the ranks, or knighted.

Boldshield: This title, still in current use, doesn’t appear in the POWER OF FAERUN table because the other militaries compared in that table don’t have an equivalent rank. A boldshield is ranked just above a Lionar, while in his or her district ONLY (and is otherwise just beneath a Lionar in the chain of command). Boldshields are wardens: officers stationed in districts or regions of the realm (usually on the frontiers) that require some military oversight but lack garrisons - - and therefore lack any nearby Purple Dragon officers. Their job is to observe events (including the arrivals and departures of “persons of interest”) in their assigned territory; maintain up-to-date maps (right down to the “game trails” level) of the territory; report anything suspicious or of note to superior Purple Dragon officers elsewhere; brief (and pass on standing orders, sealed orders, and commands from on high) and act as liaison for any War Wizards and Purple Dragon units and personnel entering the territory; and act as a temporary bailiff, lawsword (police), and spokesman for Crown law in the territory, until higher-ranking or properly appointed individuals holding such duties can be summoned. They are regularly (and often: at least once a tenday, and usually twice a tenday, or more when “known trouble” is afoot) visited by lancelords, Highknights, and other Court envoys or Purple Dragon officers to receive their reports, check if they need aid or messages or items sent, and so on. There are only a dozen to sixteen boldshields, and they tend to be stationed in the household of local nobility (to keep an eye on said nobles, whose wealth and activities tend to be magnets for a lot of shady business in frontier locales, even if they aren’t themselves disloyal to the Crown or dismissive of Crown law).



So saith Ed. Who does have things pretty well worked out after forty years, as you can see.
love to all,
THO
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Sanishiver
Senior Scribe

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2006 :  10:10:15  Show Profile  Visit Sanishiver's Homepage Send Sanishiver a Private Message
Ed and THO: Right On. I'll be printing your last response up for use in-game on Monday.

Thank you!

J. Grenemyer

09/20/2008: Tiger Army at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. You wouldn’t believe how many females rode it out in the pit. Santa Cruz women are all of them beautiful. Now I know to add tough to that description.
6/27/2008: WALL-E is about the best damn movie Pixar has ever made. It had my heart racing and had me rooting for the good guy.
9/9/2006: Dave Mathews Band was off the hook at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

Never, ever read the game books too literally, or make such assumptions that what is omitted cannot be. Bad DM form, that.

And no matter how compelling a picture string theory paints, if it does not accurately describe our universe, it will be no more relevant than an elaborate game of Dungeons and Dragons. --paragraph 1, chapter 9, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2006 :  18:36:03  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message
Ed and THO: new Purple Dragon lore sent to my two campaigns' email lists... Player knowledge effective now.

Thank you for all things Cormyrean!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  01:21:12  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, fellow scribes. Ed replies to this, from Taelohn: “. . .While Midnight's ascension to become (the second) Mystra is well documented, most mentions of the death of Mystryl say that she was "reborn" or "reincarnated" as (the first) Mystra. I suppose I always just assumed that Mystra sort of "sprung into existence" as a new deity.
Does this instead imply that Mystryl bestowed her powers onto a mortal woman, just as she sacrificed herself? Perhaps someone she had vested powers in (like a Chosen)? If so, who was (the first) Mystra in her mortal life?”
Ed speaks:



Taelohn, Rory Weston is quite correct; most of the gods of the Realms were indeed “at one time mortal & "ascended" to the position.” And yes, “forgotten” gods dwindle to demigod status, and can in some cases be eliminated (killed, AND their worship wrested away/portfolios subsumed by other deities) by mortals or by other deities.
In the case of Mystryl, she sacrificed herself, not foreseeing that she’d be reborn. She had no Chosen or preselected mortal vessel, and did not know or intend that she’d “live on.” She simply did what she believed she had to do, to end a threat to the world she loved.
However, the circumstances of her passing prevented other deities from snaring her divine power, and largely prevented its dispersal, and it “fell like a dying star” to earth (or so the priests of Mystra say) to at random strike and “go into” a mindless, drooling mortal woman and infuse her with Mystryl’s divinity, so that she became Mystra. (Of course, clergy of Mystra speak of the woman being present and selected as “divine fate” and not random at all, but this is one of the Holy Mysteries of the Lady of Mysteries that only high-ranking clergy are allowed to discuss in detail; lay worshippers and non-believers won’t get much more out of a priest of Mystra than this: “When Mystryl made the ultimate and most holy sacrifice that defended Toril itself, that which was best of her fell to earth, and struck a mortal woman, and went into her, and Mystryl was reborn as Mystra, as she was fated to do, that we may all have magic that serves us and not the howling chaos of wild magic spellstorms.”
We don’t know anything about the mortal woman who became Mystra other than these things: she was young, she was “mindless” (for reasons unknown; it may have been a birth defect or a later affliction), she was a poor rural unknown somewhere in the northern, western Heartlands being cared for by kin, and she was changed in looks and stature by Mystra’s “going in” to her. I’d say more, but NDAs forbid.



So saith Ed, Creator of All (The Realms).
love to all,
THO
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  01:47:48  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

and she was changed in looks and stature by Mystra’s “going in” to her. I’d say more, but NDAs forbid.

So saith Ed, Creator of All (The Realms).
love to all,
THO



Did Ed mean Mystryl in that "going in" part? It seems like he swapped the names by accident. :)

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

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  02:01:51  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Yup, he did.
And I didn't catch it, either.
Ah, perfection is so fleeting . . .
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 17 Apr 2006 02:02:37
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  02:06:13  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Yup, he did.
And I didn't catch it, either.
Ah, perfection is so fleeting . . .
love,
THO



Okies, will change it for my files. I was just making sure because someone would nit pick about that and it would be argued about. :)

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

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 17 Apr 2006 02:09:29
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  02:30:01  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Doesnt a mortal Mystra 1.0 appear in the Arcane Age novels set it Netheril?

I seem to recall that she had some involvement with the Time traveling Netherese character and that she met them on Karsus enclave before its fall

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  02:32:55  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

Doesnt a mortal Mystra 1.0 appear in the Arcane Age novels set it Netheril?

I seem to recall that she had some involvement with the Time traveling Netherese character and that she met them on Karsus enclave before its fall



Yes, yes she does appear there. :)

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

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  02:40:31  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 Kuje

quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

Doesnt a mortal Mystra 1.0 appear in the Arcane Age novels set it Netheril?

I seem to recall that she had some involvement with the Time traveling Netherese character and that she met them on Karsus enclave before its fall



Yes, yes she does appear there. :)

In fact I recall Ed even taking about her once in the '04 replies.

I'll take a look.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

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

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

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

1144 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  11:10:33  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message
Ed, do the Chosen of Mystra have any tactical or military skill? Would you say they could lead armies and if so, would they lead them well?

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2006 :  17:13:46  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
I warned you, Ed, that I'd find some more NPC's I'd like to know more about. :) And so, sticking with my fascination with Waterdeep NPC's I'm going to ask about Mhaere Dryndilstann and Tamsil.

What does Durnan's wife and daughter look like? Clothing and the materials it's made out of, jewelry, weapons, physically markings, etc, would be great, if you want to supply them. Thier personality. Do they help at the Yawning Portal? Some of thier history would be grand. What does his wife do as a cleric of Lathander? Do they know he's a Lord? Is this his only wife or has he had more? What about other children? What do they think of Mirt and the adventures Durnan and Mirt have had/still have? And as usual, I'll leave it with: Add anything else you want to add that you think we should know or you want to impart. :)

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

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 17 Apr 2006 17:32:34
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2006 :  02:08:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. This time Ed happened to be at work on something that enabled him to very swiftly tackle this question, from Charles Phipps: “Ed, do the Chosen of Mystra have any tactical or military skill? Would you say they could lead armies and if so, would they lead them well?”
Ed replies:



The short, flippant answers are yes, yes, and yes. :}
My more responsible response will begin by limiting my reply, for NDA reasons, to Elminster and the Seven Sisters (not just Khelben is “tied up” by future plans or projects), and to explain that it’s hard for many Realms scribes to get a proper picture of the Seven, even if they read the published fiction and game products exhaustively, because there’s so much of the early personal histories of the Chosen that we haven’t had proper opportunities to present yet. I’m going to go one step farther, and drop Qilué out of this, also for NDA reasons.
Which leaves us with Elminster, Alustriel, Dove, Laeral, Alassra (The Simbul), Storm, and Syluné. All of them are servants of Mystra, and therefore can, through the Weave, consult with Mystra, Azuth, and all of Mystra’s servants (and so call on nigh-countless experience). Most of them hate doing so, because it strips them of personal freedom and claws at what’s left of their sanity. Oh, yes: most of them are, it must be remembered, no longer sane as most humans in the Realms would think of sanity. Moreover, increased contact with Mystra and her guidance pulls them ever-closer to her aims (the spreading of the use of magic). Those aims, by the way, are a large part of the reason why all of the Chosen seem concerned with promoting peace in the larger scale (keeping countries from going to war), even if they employ much violence on a personal level. It’s why Laeral, Alassra, and Alustriel, in their various ways and styles, are currently ruling or assisting in government, and why ALL of the Chosen (even those NDA’d and thus not discussed here) have in the past either tried their hand in ruling, or acted as “powers behind thrones” to support and guide rulers they liked or wanted to see reigning. Folk who’ve only read Realms novels (or a subset of Realms novels) or who have only “come to the Realms” recently have often missed the references to Stornanter and other now-vanished realms and city-states ruled by various Chosen.
All of the Chosen I’m discussing here have lived for centuries (far longer than most military individuals they will work with or against), and hence have more experience than almost any mortal foe in grand strategy, propaganda and morale, long-term manipulations, supply and foraging, living through both victory and defeat, dealing with the "fog of war," and battlefield tactics. Most mortals who have contact with a Chosen on more than a few occasions pass from awe to disappointment or contempt (they’re human after all, and pretty wilfull, have-their-own-way-or-else humans at that), then to wariness (they’re crazy, and unsafe to be noticed by, and really powerful) to respect (they’re geniuses after all).
Now, the term “genius” is one I tend to avoid, because it means something slightly different to almost every speaker who employs it. I cleave to the view that a genius is someone who can see things others can’t (when given the same information), who can create things or arrive at conclusions or new processes or views that others can’t reach (so there are superbly skilled forgers who can paint a painting or carve a relief-carving every bit as well as the genius who created the original, but couldn’t “see” and thus create that original in the first place to save their lives; they are always followers). There is also a genius in being able to handle more complexities (tasks, information) than others can, and still “see how it all fits together” and strive for a goal or visualized end result rather than just reacting to crisis after crisis and “surviving.” It’s hardly fair to non-Chosen to label any Chosen a “genius” at magic, because their access to the Weave allows them to manage magical effects and see (and therefore learn and understand) things about magic that mortal non-Chosen can only dimly perceive or grope at mastering, reaching accomplishments by luck or unseen Mystra-servant aid or just plain dogged hard work and repeated experimentation as often as by correctly “leaping ahead to what only they can see, but in doing so perceive how to get there.”
Please note that the Chosen ARE humans (yes, less than demigods), and are faltering in their faculties (though some of the Seven are still increasing their skills, particularly at rulership, and have a few centuries to go before they begin to decline as swiftly as, say, Elminster is now). They do make mistakes, and they can’t personally prevail against overwhelming odds or motivate fighting forces that don’t want to be motivated (they can magically overwhelm and control individuals, yes, but in the Realms turning military leaders or even rulers into your own mind-controlled robots doesn’t usually translate into anything close to precise command and control of lower-ranking forces).
This sort of personal control is all that is really left to Syluné now, and she is beloved in Shadowdale but has only a “Wise Witch but dead and gone now” reputation in the northern Dales, and no public profile to speak of, elsewhere. So she can hardly inspire or lead troops, beyond “whispering in the ear” of someone ELSE who’s trying to do so.
So now we’re down to Elminster, Alustriel, Dove, Laeral, The Simbul, and Storm.
All of the Chosen left on our list have had Harper involvement, and thus experience in spying, manipulating, behind-the-throne intrigue, and judging military strength and deployments (in many lands, over many years). Dove is the one who’s had an extensive military career (both mercenary and in the more-or-less disciplined forces of several realms), largely eschewing magic. The Simbul is the least stable and self-controlled (apt to “cut loose with spells”), and Elminster is the most experienced and wily. Alustriel, Laeral, and Storm display a marked preference for the soft word and superb acting to manipulate folk, rather than lashing out with swords and spells - - but, please note, they are thus manipulating those who DO lash out with swords and spells, and therefore commanding military forces, even if they don’t put on uniforms, get on horses, and ride out into “bloody-bannered fields” to do so. However, all of the Chosen listed here have in the past done all of those things, and fought both hand-to-hand and spell-to-spell, faced down foes and slaughtered foes, and commanded military forces. So, yes, they all can “lead armies.” And HAVE led armies in the past, though tactics and real-world situations change over time; we don’t know if they would, but it seems likely, given how much better informed about life in the Realms they are than most mortals. The real meat of your questions is: “. . . would they lead them well?”
Again, the answer depends on who’s doing the judging. A bored, mad, or weary-of-life commander (like all of the Chosen are, or can very easily be) can achieve both disasters and brilliant victories, exhibiting what some observers call “fearless” or “heroic” battlefield performances, and motivating troops to lay down their lives eagerly in the heat of battle. Is that “well”?
What’s kept most of the Chosen going for such long lives is their obsessive pursuit of some goals in the service of Mystra. This service and those goals hamper them in ways other mortal commanders aren’t trammeled (leading them to prefer peace over warfare, for instance), and may well weaken them in some military situations - - when compared to other mortal commanders.
THO has passed on to me some of the postings in the Heroes In Novels thread, and among them were some posts belittling Alustriel’s military leadership because she hasn’t launched a preemptive strike on Obould and his forces. This points out differing viewpoints once again: in many real-world modern-day countries such preemptive behaviour is seen as criminal lack of military discipline, clear court-martial offenses if not done with full government sanction beforehand (not wise tactics or military leadership at all) - - and a proper reading of SILVER MARCHES shows us that Alustriel (even though she may have established the confederation) really can’t act militarily on her own without endangering the unity of the Marches: she will be establishing the very precedent that she’s seeking to avoid, to keep Harbromm and Warcrown from doing just the same thing, and picking fights they’re not militarily ready to win. She also can’t act preemptively except by doing so without government sanction (in effect, “going rogue”). It might be smart tactics to clobber Obould before he can gather and consolidate his strength, but it’s very bad grand strategy - - IF you can see the “bigger picture.”
The very strength of the Chosen is also their weakness, to those who view military matters as “success here and now, and let others worry about tomorrow or down-the-road consequences.” The Chosen can see those down-the-road consequences all too clearly in most cases, and so seek to avoid many military confrontations that will result in disaster: you can’t promote the widespread public use of magic if most of your magic-using individuals are dead, and the rest are strictly controlled by military authority or church dictates.
So we’ll just have to see (and continue to debate) how “well” the Chosen perform, as the great tapestry that is the Realms unfolds before us. However, if you’re asking me are these Chosen I’ve discussed here capable of out-commanding in the field darn near every mortal leader I can see alive and on the scene in the Realms right now, the answer is a resounding YES. However, it must come with this caution attached: BUT THEY REALLY DON’T WANT TO, and may avoid doing so even when the result is disaster for a particular realm or city.



So saith Ed. Who can see the Realms more clearly than all of the rest of us, remember. (And spare me, please, all the ignorant moans about “Elminster being Ed’s favourite” or “the Chosen are all Mary Sues,” because such views are simply uninformed and wrong, and wilfully ignore the fact that the entire Realms is “Ed’s favourite,” and he’s given us thousands of characters in various shades of gray, good sides to all villains and vice versa.)
love to all,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 18 Apr 2006 02:17:51
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The Sage
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Posted - 18 Apr 2006 :  02:12:46  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

So saith Ed. Who can see the Realms more clearly than all of the rest of us, remember. (And spare me, please, all the ignorant moans about “Elminster being Ed’s favourite” or “the Chosen are all Mary Sues,” because such views are simply uninformed and wrong, and wilfully ignore the fact that the entire Realms is “Ed’s favourite,” and he’s given us thousands of characters in various shades of gray, good sides to all villains and vice versa.)
love to all,
THO
There you go Faraer... as recent words from Ed about the status of Elminster with regard to supposedly being Ed's favorite. Perhaps you should share this with that FR Wiki author who deemed to say otherwise and base it all on rumor and third-hand thoughts!

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Edited by - The Sage on 18 Apr 2006 02:13:40
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Neriandal Freit
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Posted - 18 Apr 2006 :  02:19:41  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
Wow. That was so informative, honestly.

I mean I personally as a reader know that the Chosen aren't all magic. They aren't just old and crazy, that they actually see everything in the broadest aspect.

But you left out one person Ed, what of The Shrinshee? Is she NDA on us or is she allowed to be explained as the others have on Military wise?

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

Edited by - Neriandal Freit on 18 Apr 2006 02:21:46
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The Hooded One
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Posted - 18 Apr 2006 :  02:23:49  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ed actually left out more than half a dozen Chosen (The Srinshee being one of them, yes), all for NDA reasons.
[insert diabolical laughter here]
love,
THO
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Kuje
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Posted - 18 Apr 2006 :  02:41:07  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
And I guess that answers that for the Heroes thread. Ed said, in more words, what most of us were saying all along. :)

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Jamallo Kreen
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Posted - 18 Apr 2006 :  02:43:43  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, fellow scribes. Ed replies to this, from Taelohn: “. . .While Midnight's ascension to become (the second) Mystra is well documented, most mentions of the death of Mystryl say that she was "reborn" or "reincarnated" as (the first) Mystra. I suppose I always just assumed that Mystra sort of "sprung into existence" as a new deity.
Does this instead imply that Mystryl bestowed her powers onto a mortal woman, just as she sacrificed herself? Perhaps someone she had vested powers in (like a Chosen)? If so, who was (the first) Mystra in her mortal life?”
Ed speaks:

(and fascinates when he does so...)




If it's not NDA, was the woman's own name Mystra? If so, is it (or was it) a common woman's name? I gather that there are quite a few Elminsters in Faerun, but aside from godesses I've never run across "Mystra" as a woman's name. Do enlighten us further, please, Ed.

Apropos of the name(s) of the Lady of Mysteries, I am curious about what power (if any) is bestowed upon those who know what Midnight's given name was before her ascension. We know that Kelemvor knows it, but not Cyric, but I would imagine that quite a few living mortals know it, too -- after all, hers is the ultimate "small town girl makes good" story, and some of the people from her past ought to have realized who she was as a mortal.


EDIT: Ah, yes, I do recall that there was a woman named Mystra in Netheril just before the webs were sundered, but I don't recall any details about her.



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Edited by - Jamallo Kreen on 18 Apr 2006 03:10:32
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