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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2006 :  22:05:02  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 Myst

quote:
Originally posted by Neriandal Freit

From our experince, I'm betting the first two questions will be covered by the Viel of NDA..



Sry i'm not familar with NDA.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-disclosure_agreement

And have you looked in 2e's Cloak & Dagger? That's pretty much the best source on the group less you want to talk to Steven himself. :)

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 - 27 Jun 2006 :  03:19:26  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. This time Ed gives a hearty “you’re welcome!” to Wooly and to RodOdom, e-shouts to Quinton that his Maalthiir and Hillsfar query should now be answered by MYSTERIES OF THE MOONSEA (and to post a followup query here if that source isn’t sufficient), and forthwith tackles Asgetrion’s March request: “Could Ed provide us with the elven words for 'realm'/'kingdom', 'falcon', and 'city'/'citystate' (one without a mythal). I know '-ar/-aar' means a great realm, but is '-reier' (as in Shantel Othreier) also another word for a realm/kingdom?
p.s. Would it be possible for Ed to write "additional" (as in "more words that have not yet been published in any sourcebook" :) elven and dwarven vocabularies for the WoTC 'Realmslore'-column? I mean, when the Bearded Master only (if ever, considering all his projects ;) had the time to do it.
p.p.s. I absolutely love the Power of Faerun and the Border Kingdoms =) I think we may be up for some of the juiciest Realmslore ever published, and I am yearning to know even more about the 'Folly-realms of the Madmen' ;D”
Ed replies:



Glad you loved Power of Faerûn (Eric did much heavy lifting on that one) and are enjoying the Border Kingdoms. I’m really enjoying the BK entries; I just wish I had more TIME to do all of the stuff I’m expected to do now. Tidbits of both elven and dwarven vocabulary are upcoming in future Realmslore web columns, and the elven ones include several names for different sorts of places, so I’ll just give you the word for “falcon” right now.
Remember, elven is a mature language, and so (like modern real-world English) has both local dialects and formal and informal styles and many SLIGHTLY different words that can be used to describe a given item, situation, or event. So if you dislike what I write here, make up something else and consider this a dialect in use “somewhere else” in YOUR Realms, okay?
The elven word for falcon or hawk is “gyrlaszthraen” (in everyday speech, just “gyrlass”). The derivation is “swift strike hunting bird,” where “gyrah” is bird, “tal” is swift, “lasz” is stab, slash, or attack (natural beast savagery or combat; the word is never used for matters involving weapons or military ‘deliberate war’), and “thraen” is hunt.



So saith Ed. Whose tongue doesn’t slip as fluidly around syllables as it used to (and I’m going to firmly suppress the NEXT comment that leaped into my mind)
love to all,
THO
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Chyron
Learned Scribe

Hong Kong
279 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2006 :  08:23:02  Show Profile  Visit Chyron's Homepage Send Chyron a Private Message
Dear Master Greenwood and Hooded Lady.

I have a query on food, bards and criticism in the Realms.

Do bards serve as the top critics as well as creators? For example who in the realms would be among the most notable Drama, Music, and Food critics (The ones nobles and common folk alike might bend an ear to)? Would these be other Bards due to their wide variety of knowledge or is the domain of ‘criticism’ left to others (sages, or scholars, etc)?

Is the ‘best’* food imbued with magic? Are the Julia Childs, Jamie Olivers of the realms required to be dabblers (i.e. Bards or other casters) to be considered among the top artisans of feasting fare? Is this something that is only reserved for/accessible to the nobles?

(*Best being subjective I know…but I wonder if nobles might see ‘enchanted’ food as being above standard or even rare edible fare as the enchantment might make it more pricey and exclusive).

My thanks and good eating to you both :)

Just My Thoughts
Chyron :)


Edited by - Chyron on 27 Jun 2006 08:24:43
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  02:25:10  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. This time, Ed tackles an etymological request from Zanan: “More recently, a traveller related to me the story of Bhaal's fall near Boareskyr Bridge. While the history of the event was quite interesting, the name of the place itself roused my interest. Is there a story giving away the history of the bridge's name, maybe stored somewhere in the scrolls or annals of the Realms? Aluve, Zanan! (And what does Boareskyr mean if there ain't, please?)
[after Kuje provided Ed’s earlier post about there being no connection between Boareskyr Bridge and the Obarskyr ruling family of Cormyr, Zanan responded, adding: “Could anyone who knows relate to me whether "Boareskyr" means something real, like a telling name? Example given, "boar" could stand for boar (the animal), but the second part of the word is more obscure. To me at least. Now, before I bury myself in etymological dictionaries or the like, maybe some scribe or the Hooded One herself may have the answer. (The alter ego of mine is writing a book about ancient Scottish place names, hence the initial interest.)”]
Ed weighs in:



Zanan, you’ve hit upon something. There is indeed no social or blood connection between the adventurer Boareskyr and the Obarskyrs, but there is a common etymology.
In what is now referred to as “Old Common,” “skyr” meant “blood of” (“of the blood of” in full, meaning kinship). So Boareskyr means “Blood of the Boar” just as “Obarskyr” means “Of the Blood of Obara” (As for who Obara was, ah: that’s Jeff and Kate’s to tell, not mine)...
Boareskyr was a family name (like Obarskyr) by the time the adventurer for whom the Bridge is named bore it, but its origin is lost in the mists of time. It may have had any of these origins: real [or popularly suspected (or spoken of, either as an insult or a flattering compliment) in a community] actual human/boar interbreeding or practice of bestiality; shapechanging blood or one of Boareskyr’s ancestors was a wereboar; or someone in the community thought that ancestor had the qualities of a boar (fought like a boar, rutted like a boar, charged like a boar, smelled like a boar, whatever).



So saith Ed, and there you have it. I’m reminded of someone once telling my mother that her high school nickname meant “randy little bitch,” and her responding tartly, “Not so much of the ‘little.’”
Ahem.
love to all,
THO
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  03:33:01  Show Profile  Visit GothicDan's Homepage  Send GothicDan an AOL message  Send GothicDan an ICQ Message  Click to see GothicDan's MSN Messenger address  Send GothicDan a Yahoo! Message Send GothicDan a Private Message
To the great and wonderful Ed Greenwood:

I was considering making a Sun Elf character for roleplay (and possibly later as the main character in a writing piece), and in looking over possible Gold Elf Houses, Alastrarra caught my eye. I know that this House played a major part in Elminster's past (a la the novel).. But I was wondering, is there any information known to you about the House as it stands today, in modern Faerun?

Are they powerful? Prevalent? Weak? Declining? Primarily resident in Evermeet only, or also with branches in Silverymoon and/or Evereska? Connections to the Eldreth Veluuthra?

Any knowledge at all would be very much appreciated. :)

Thanks in advance!

Planescape Fanatic

"Fiends and Undead are the peanut butter and jelly of evil." - Me
"That attitude should be stomped on, whenever and wherever it's encountered, because it makes people holding such views bad citizens, not just bad roleplayers (considering D&D was structured as a 'forced cooperation' game, and although successive editions are pointing it more and more towards a me-first, min-max game, the drift away from 'we all need each other to succeed' will at some point make it 'no longer' D&D)." - ED GREENWOOD
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2006 :  04:19:36  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady Tho,

Here's another question about names. The ruler of Halruaa is known by the title "Netyarch". The great druid of the Great Dale has the title "Nentyarch". Is there a link between the two names?
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atlas689
Learned Scribe

123 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  01:12:15  Show Profile  Visit atlas689's Homepage  Send atlas689 an AOL message Send atlas689 a Private Message
Dear Lady Hooded One and Mr. Greenwood,
5 questions
1. Are there any future plans for any books on Netheril such in the format that of the novels of Cormyr or Evermeet were written from either you or any other author?

2. Not much is known of Barauble of Cormyr before he was seen in the elven forests of Cormyr. I know that he is from Netheril, but what of his life in Netheril is known to us?

3. Elaith Craulnober has obviously massed a huge fortune in Waterdeep, Mirt seems also to be extremely well off also but who has the greater and the more valuable keepings?

4. In City of Splendors the novel Madeiron Sunderstone is mentioned as Piergeiron's body gaurd, what is known of him other than the few worded description given to him in the novel.

5. In the novel Farthest Reach when the whereabouts are questioned about Elminster and the Knights of Myth Drannor, it is said that they are on a mission along with the Simbul to do something with the Shrinshee, is this the possible storyline of the upcoming book Swords of Eveningstar?

Tempus thanks you!
-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)
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  01:18:41  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by atlas689
3. Elaith Craulnober has obviously massed a huge fortune in Waterdeep, Mirt seems also to be extremely well off also but who has the greater and the more valuable keepings?

Look at earlier answers, you'll find the 10 biggest moneybags of the realms.

quote:
Originally posted by atlas689
5. In the novel Farthest Reach when the whereabouts are questioned about Elminster and the Knights of Myth Drannor, it is said that they are on a mission along with the Simbul to do something with the Shrinshee, is this the possible storyline of the upcoming book Swords of Eveningstar?


The KoMD trilogy is set in the past. For El and the knights, look at Realms of Elves antology (Tears so white).

Edited by - Skeptic on 29 Jun 2006 01:53:20
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Arkhaedun
Senior Scribe

869 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  01:19:49  Show Profile  Visit Arkhaedun's Homepage Send Arkhaedun a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by atlas689

Dear Lady Hooded One and Mr. Greenwood,
5 questions
1. Are there any future plans for any books on Netheril such in the format that of the novels of Cormyr or Evermeet were written from either you or any other author?

2. Not much is known of Barauble of Cormyr before he was seen in the elven forests of Cormyr. I know that he is from Netheril, but what of his life in Netheril is known to us?

3. Elaith Craulnober has obviously massed a huge fortune in Waterdeep, Mirt seems also to be extremely well off also but who has the greater and the more valuable keepings?

4. In City of Splendors the novel Madeiron Sunderstone is mentioned as Piergeiron's body gaurd, what is known of him other than the few worded description given to him in the novel.

5. In the novel Farthest Reach when the whereabouts are questioned about Elminster and the Knights of Myth Drannor, it is said that they are on a mission along with the Simbul to do something with the Shrinshee, is this the possible storyline of the upcoming book Swords of Eveningstar?

Tempus thanks you!
-Atlas




In regards to a few of these (sorry, I'm not Ed, but I can answer a few of these) . . .

4. Madeiron Sunderstone is first mentioned (that I know about) in the old 1st edition sourcebook FR1 Waterdeep and the North, where he is listed as a 9th level paladin.

5. Read the story "Tears so White" in the Realms of the ElvesAnthology . . . that should help out a bit with this one.
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atlas689
Learned Scribe

123 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  03:04:44  Show Profile  Visit atlas689's Homepage  Send atlas689 an AOL message Send atlas689 a Private Message
Well thanks so much two you two but two of my questions still stand:

1. Are there any future plans for any books on Netheril such in the format that of the novels of Cormyr or Evermeet were written from either you or any other author?

2. Not much is known of Barauble of Cormyr before he was seen in the elven forests of Cormyr. I know that he is from Netheril, but what of his life in Netheril is known to us?

Tempus thanks you THO and Mr. Greenwood!
-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 29 Jun 2006 18:16:09
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  03:47:56  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. RodOdom recently posted: “Dear Ed and THO, Currently I'm running a game taking place primarily within Evermeet and Evereska. One thing that we have largely glossed over is money in elven society. Currency and market prices aren't mentioned in the Evermeet sourcebook. How are elven economies structured? Are they any different than those of humans?”
Ed replies:



In general, elven society has shifted from gems, wine, and food as barter tokens to gems as currency, and in the last three centuries or so, to the coinage used by humans, with gems “standing in” for large amounts. Elves prefer electrum and silver to other trade-metals, but will use all manner of coins.
However, all non-drow elven society follows these firm social mores: personal honour is deeply rooted in fairness and prompt repayment. No “gouging” during shortages (charging excessively high prices when demand outstrips supply), and family always pays a shade less than clan, clan or community always pays a shade less than outsider, outsider elf pays less than any non-elf.
Otherwise, it’s coins. Medicines or food barter between friends, and spells or magic item exchanges between rulers and the haughtiest nobles, but for everyone else: coins just like humans (valued according to the metal of the coin, not the minting: i.e. elves quite happily use coins issued by human kingdoms long gone and forgotten, so long as the coins are in good condition, and of acceptable purity and size.



So saith Ed. Who wishes he had a few more real-world coins to call his own.
love to all,
THO
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  04:53:15  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message
Before asking to Ed a "big" question, two quick ones for THO :

1) Do I have pending questions for Ed except the one about yuan-ti and other snakefolks in the north ?

2) I'm looking to play with the FR setting in another game than D&D, so I want to remove some "D&Dism" from the published (3.x) realms. Would it be okay to ask to Ed a serie of short questions like "does X comes from the setting or D&D rules/design principles" ?

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Sian
Senior Scribe

Denmark
596 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  06:01:21  Show Profile  Visit Sian's Homepage  Click to see Sian's MSN Messenger address Send Sian a Private Message
hey Ed and THO ... wondered about a thing i read in 'Elminster in Myth Drannor' ... there it is said that Drannor was an elven that married a drawf girl, i find this interesting and want further infomation about those, when did they live, where did they live, do they have any living heirs, if then where do they live etc.

what happened to the queen? she's much more hysterical than usual
She's a women, it happens once a month

Edited by - Sian on 29 Jun 2006 06:01:50
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Blackwill
Seeker

55 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  14:47:20  Show Profile  Visit Blackwill's Homepage  Click to see Blackwill's MSN Messenger address Send Blackwill a Private Message
Greeting madame THO and sir Ed,

I am a member of a community (ALFA) dedicated to recreating your realms within Neverwinter Nights (2) and sometimes we have strange and funny questions which add flavor to the world we've created.

Here goes.

Is there any whale cathing within the realms? Are there specific types of whale?

What is your personal favorite region in the realms, and why?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

~Blackwill

~Blackwill
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Naeryndam
Learned Scribe

USA
93 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  15:41:49  Show Profile Send Naeryndam a Private Message
Mr. Greenwood and The Hooded One,
Do you have any information detailing Antarn the Sage's life or perhaps stats(if he is still alive)? The only information I can seem to find on him are quotes from "The High History of Faerunian Archmages Mighty".


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Myst
Seeker

34 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  21:58:46  Show Profile  Visit Myst's Homepage  Send Myst an AOL message  Click to see Myst's MSN Messenger address  Send Myst a Yahoo! Message Send Myst a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

quote:
Originally posted by Myst

quote:
Originally posted by Neriandal Freit

From our experince, I'm betting the first two questions will be covered by the Viel of NDA..



Sry i'm not familar with NDA.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-disclosure_agreement

And have you looked in 2e's Cloak & Dagger? That's pretty much the best source on the group less you want to talk to Steven himself. :)



2ed Claok and Dagger nope never read that and I didn't know that the Moonstars went back that far.

"The Cure to Ignorance is Knowledge"

-Aristotle-
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Neriandal Freit
Senior Scribe

USA
396 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  22:32:35  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
Thats WoTC for you Myst :P

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

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  23:05:46  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message
Vendui!

Many thanks indeed for the reply on the Boareskyr family name. The knowledge of Ed and THO never ceases to impress me!

Aluve, Zanan!

Cave quid dicis, quando et cui!

Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel!

In memory of Alura Durshavin.

Visit my "Homepage" to find A Guide to the Drow NPCs of Faerûn, Drow and non-Drow PrC and much more.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29800 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  23:43:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Myst

quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

And have you looked in 2e's Cloak & Dagger? That's pretty much the best source on the group less you want to talk to Steven himself. :)



2ed Claok and Dagger nope never read that and I didn't know that the Moonstars went back that far.



It was one of the last (if not the very last) of the 2E products for FR. In my opinion, it was one of the best supplements for the Realms. It covered the Harper Schism, which led up to the formation of the Tel'Teukiira (Moonstars), the Manshoon Wars, the rise of Fzoul, and a lot of the power groups of the Realms. If you can find a copy (which isn't too difficult), then I'd strongly recommend getting this book.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2006 :  01:39:45  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, scribes. Ed herewith tackles a query from HunterOfStorms, viz: “Hi again Ed, just doing my bit to keep adding to the piles of questions, no doubt stacked extradimensionally by now, in your queue. I've been looking at compiling a descriptive list of woods suitable for carving etc. for a player of mine and my first stop has been with the Volo's guides and Ecologies. And a wonderful source of detail they are too :) The newer editions don't have quite as much information, but still usueful. However, I'm intrigued by the passing references to Barausk and Rosecork trees in Elminster's Ecologies (the Settled Lands Chapter). Barausk (found in Harrowdale and Deepingdale) is well described as a tree and has the property of drying iron hard. Rosecork is only decribed as being native to the Isle of Prespur and "virtually fireproof and becoming increasingly popular with builders". Lovely stuff, but I'm greedy, I want more :) Would you be so kind as to expand on these two varieties perhaps? The colour and grain of the wood and whether it suitable or useless for carving, inlay etc.?”
Ed replies:



Happy to expound. :}

When cut into, to expose its grain, Barausk is dark brown mottled with gray-green to the casual glance. When more closely examined, the gray-green tinges come from places where the grain is “folded back in on itself” very tightly. Rather than the wavy but tending all in the same direction, sometimes widely-spaced bandings of most woodgrains, barausk looks like a maze, or meatballs resting in much-folded spaghetti, or the “crazed” banding that surrounds burls in other woods. It dulls or breaks blades when dry, but can be readily cut when “wet and green,” or soaked (immersed or very frequently doused or sprayed) for a day or so to make it wet again (this latter sort of wetting penetrates only about a fingerwidth; once this is carved, exposed surfaces must be wetted again to soften the wood more deeply, if deeper carving must be done. Dry barausk turns (and stays) brittle if heated, but otherwise is both iron-hard AND durable.

Rosecork, on the other hand, is useless for detail carving-work, because it splits on internal planes readily and cleanly, making it ideal for inlays, building panels, and the like, but tends to collapse and crumble when cut in other directions. It has a pleasant light, reddish, “speckled” woodgrain appearance (akin to the more numerous and familiar cork tree), and absorbs and holds moisture (one of the reasons it resists fire; think of a wall that emits its own steam-sprinkler, all over, when faced with heat). This makes untreated (“raw”) rosecork horribly susceptible to molds (and thus a good base for deliberate growth of fungi for food or medicine, or for that matter as dungeon traps [at the bottom of pits, for example]), so certain herbal-water concoctions (brushed or “doused” [buckets thrown] on) are used that forever prevent spores from growing within rosecork, but retain its water-holding qualities. Note that rosecork, while spongy to the touch, DOESN’T “leak water” if sucked or crushed or prodded, though a thirsty person could slash a rosecork panel and glean a few drops from each wound.



So saith Ed, who describes himself more as a “woodbutcher” than a woodcarver. Having seen his handiwork at his cottage, I must concur.
love to all,
THO
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HunterOfStorms
Seeker

Australia
21 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2006 :  04:38:26  Show Profile  Visit HunterOfStorms's Homepage Send HunterOfStorms a Private Message
Ahhh, yet another priceless gem uncovered :)

Thank you,
Hunter
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Miri - Jala
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2006 :  14:44:36  Show Profile  Visit Miri - Jala's Homepage Send Miri - Jala a Private Message
Hi Ed and Lady Tho,
Hope you and loved ones are having a great summer so far. I was browsing the Candlekeep website yesterday and found the Feb 2004 Interview at Mortality Radio and I thought it was great! I've been reading lots of posts by forum members and the ones in the "So saith Ed" archives. I can see from the insatiable appetite members have for more detail on just about evverryything that they love the realms. To hear someone vocally empassioned about it, though, is so much better than just reading the posts! I learned quite a few things I hadn't known before and thanks for doing the interview. I liked your Elminster vocalizations...coool. Do you have any mp3's you'd be willing to share where you're 'playing' some of the characters you've created? Or even some short avi files? For people who've never had the opportunity to get involved in or even see what a "home Realms campaign" is like, it would be a sweet treat indeed! If not...that's okay. I still get a kick out of reading all these posts.

I might as well put in another question for myself since I'm here... Were all the Seven Sisters born with the Silver Fire already in them? At the end of The Temptation of Elminster, Mystra sends El to watch three Chosen ones, Dove (4 yrs old), Storm, and Laeral. Since Mystra says they are already Chosen, does that mean they already have the Silver Fire? If so, when were they first able to call it forth? Was it painful or scary for them? Where they able to control it right from the start, or did they have to practice to make it do what they wanted? (If this is already covered somewhere, please let me know and I'll look there.) Thanks again Ed and Lady Tho
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2006 :  05:00:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all.
Great questions, Miri-Jala! I’ll hurl them in Ed’s direction right away . . .
Halaster Blackcloak recently posted: “I had two questions for Ed. First, where did the inspiration for Halaster Blackcloak and Undermountain come from? Ruins of Undermountain is my all time favorite game accessory/adventure and I was curious as to where it all originated. On a side note, I came across an old episode of Night Gallery (the Rod Serling tv show from the 70's) titled "Messiah on Mott Street", and it features an actor who would be perfect to play Halaster in a movie. Here is a not-so-great screen cap with Halaster's image from RoU mixed in:
http://users4.ev1.net/~dormammu/halaster-movie-color2.jpg
I thought he'd make a great Halaster.
Second question, where did the inspiration for Szass Tam come from? Again, I found a movie that features a character that's stunningly similar in appearance:
http://users4.ev1.net/~dormammu/szass-tam3.jpg
Thanks Ed, for all the help and for giving us the Realms!”
Ed replies:



Undermountain was inspired (circa 1967) by reading Tolkien, and thinking, “What a cool environment - - but what if it were RIGHT UNDERNEATH a crowded, bustling all-races crossroads trading city?” So I set about thinking about how the city-dwellers would “use” such spaces, if they knew about them (and of course, how the under-dwellers would “use” the city and its populace). When D&D came along, a little later (1974, but general release and my first taste of it: 1975), lots of Tolkien-inspired dungeons were part of it (see the original booklets for why), and the gamers of that day had magic shops, resupply areas, and the like down in their “endless dungeons.” I thought most of those touches were jarringly unrealistic, more “modern-world-obstacle-course/game-show” than anything that could possibly be consistent with the fantasy settings, so I did some hard thinking about how various races (and prowling monsters) would dwell in a large subterranean labyrinth (where does food come from? where do they poop? if they travel about in such a dangerous environment, where and WHY?).
Now, if the city above had been around for centuries, and city-dwellers were going down exploring (via the Yawning Portal, etc.) from time to time, surely all the traps would already have been sprung, monsters slain, and dangerous challenges blasted away by the fireballs and suchlike of long-ago mages. No? Well, then, someone or something would have to be creeping around “resetting” and restocking and renewing them. A lot of those traps were magical, so that someone should be a powerful mage (also handy in capturing, compelling, and transporting dangerous monsters). Okay, so WHY would someone so powerful do this - - instead of forcing world peace upon the Realms, or making everything blue, or (ahem) conquering the city above long ago?
Well, he must be mad, of course. :}
Hence, Halaster: he’s unpredictable - - there’s no telling WHAT he may do. So he won’t automatically regard adventurers who kill his monsters, take the treasures (and again, he must be mad if he hasn’t glommed onto all that magic and riches for himself, right?), and smash all his best traps as his foes. Sometimes he will, for short periods, but not for long or consistently (otherwise, it would be Halaster versus adventurers, equals no more adventurers). I then turned to thinking about WHY Halaster is the way he is, why he’s so tied to Undermountain, and so on (Halaster was around in my stories in 1967, but it wasn’t until 1976 or so that I started delving into these matters). In the published Realms, Steven Schend picked up on Halaster’s life, sanity, nature, and powers, and developed him a lot farther.
So that’s the “short version” of how I came up with Undermountain and Halaster.
The RUINS OF UNDERMOUNTAIN accessory has my (edited for brevity and game rules content) original keys to the area around the shaft down from the Yawning Portal, mated to an old Empire of the Petal Throne home-campaign map that the late Dave Sutherland (then of TSR’s mapping department) had lying around, so as to save time on redrawing my many, many levels of faded pencil maps and cramped, tiny, wandering-all-over-the-pages keys to Undermountain’s many, many levels and sub-levels. So you’ve only seen a tiny, tiny bit of my original Undermountain - - but the Realms and D&D have both “grown away” from conditions back then, so if you see more of it, you’ll almost certainly be looking at newly-generated material (perhaps loosely based on my fading-into-the-past original).



So saith Ed. To avoid running into the post-length-limit, I’ve chopped his Szass Tam answer, and will post it on the morrow.
love to all,
THO
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Foxhelm
Senior Scribe

Canada
592 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2006 :  13:01:33  Show Profile  Click to see Foxhelm's MSN Messenger address  Send Foxhelm a Yahoo! Message Send Foxhelm a Private Message
Happy Canada Day , Ed!

The day that Canadians get drunk and play with explosives. Plus sacrifice Americans to our dark gods. Like Wayne and Shuster!

Enjoy!

Ed Greenwood! The Solution... and Cause of all the Realms Problems!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29800 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2006 :  14:14:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Foxhelm

Happy Canada Day , Ed!

The day that Canadians get drunk and play with explosives. Plus sacrifice Americans to our dark gods. Like Wayne and Shuster!

Enjoy!



Another Canada fan, huh? Have you seen the Canadian World Domination website? It's all bunk, of course, since at some point in the future, the rest of Canada will secede from Quebec and join the US...

Anyway, I'm off for the weekend, so everyone enjoy your holidays!

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