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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2006 :  19:52:14  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Back in January, Jamallo Kreen asked: “This is a question that others than Ed may be better able to answer: Since half the job in getting a new technology (or magic) developed is being aware that it can be done in the first place, what is the DC to be aware it is possible to create a spell like Iolaum's Longevity?
Is it possible, based upon rumors, Netherese remains, and Volo's gossip, to figure out what were the basic Epic seeds of Iolaum's Longevity? If so, what would be the DC to know this in the 1360s and 1370s DR?
I'm not asking about the whole formula, only the general framework, which will require research per the rules.”
Ed replies:



I’m afraid there’s no hard-and-fast specific-DC-number answer to this one, Jamallo Kreen. It varies from individual to individual, depending on these factors:


(snipping of much information)

To answer you specifically about Iolaum's Longevity: no. Characters in the Realms don’t have any idea what “Epic Seeds” are. What could be deduced from Volo’s gossip and other lore-sources (assuming those sources aren’t seriously in error, and we all know what Volo’s like, and how often someone’s distortion gets picked up and embellished and repeated, spawning ever-larger errors) is ONE approach to crafting a new spell, not necessarily “THE” or THE ONLY approach. A DM must take “known” DCs and apply them to the research and spell-structuring approaches of PCs to arrive at DCs for the “milestones” along the way (which is publishing-speak for all the sub-deadlines scattered throughout a long process). The “warmer” the PC is to what the DM decides is the “right” process or spell elements, the easier the DC; the “colder” the PC’s approach is, the harder. Sorry to be so “basic” in my reply, but in the home Realms campaign I never have to worry about stuff like this: it’s all roleplayed, so if “Eureka!” and “Watson! I need you!” moments arise, success is happening, and if they don’t . . . success isn’t. :}



So saith Ed. Who has run fascinating “locked in my spell-chamber researching magic” sub-campaigns in the Realms that had no monster-fighting or dungeon-delving - - and I can assure you that they were just as compelling as the save-the-Realms-with-our-blades-cleaving-huge-dragons adventures.
love to all,
THO




Thanks, THO. Thanks, Ed. The front door to the home of one of my NPC wizards (the Kolat Towers, in fact), has long had a magic mouth which simply says, "Go away!" whenever anyone knocks. It helps (a little!) to keep away travelling salesfolk and Sharan missionaries who might otherwise interfere with spell research. ("Seven hours and fifty eight minutes of work done today ... just two more minutes and ... blast! Who's at the door?!")

I can appreciate the complexities involved in spell research as you described in the snipped section. The spectrum of available magical training is truly vast. Please correct me if I'm wrong, Ed, but my understanding is that one can -- without violating the time stream -- even go back in time to Netheril, study with an archwizard for a year and then come back with cool new tricks to show off at one's New Year's Eve party. Is it not so, or does Mystra purge one's memory of spells learned in the past? One can imagine what hilarity would ensue if such a time travelling magical apprentice returned to 1374 and then happened to bump into Tabra, whom he knew from their student days in jolly old Nethril. Apropos of which hilarity, has Tabra cast Iolaum's longevity more than once, or was her casting of it centuries ago the only casting of it which she has done?


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

5036 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2006 :  15:37:52  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, scribes. As promised, here’s Ed’s reply to Halaster Blackcloak’s 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 . . .”
Ed replies:



Szass Tam first “really” fell into my forebrain in a story I wrote in 1977, though his name and the idea he was a mighty powerful mage dwelling somewhere in the east, who had something to do with undead, were floating around in my Realms writings a decade earlier.
In that tale, I made him undead himself, and the most “interested in the lands of the west” of the zulkirs (or “zulkiirs”) who ruled Thay. Thay was my Orient, or as close as the Realms was going to get to it: NOT Oriental human subraces, but rather a warm-climate, dusty-part-desert old and decadent slave empire ruled by people who had mastered powerful magic, shaved their heads (think: Moondragon of Marvel Comics fame), and were cruel by western standards. There was a power struggle of sorts between royalty and nobility on one hand, and these magic-strong zulkirs on the other, with tharchions (and tharchionesses) being regional governors that in the old days were “patronage appointments” given to nobles by reigning royalty, and that were increasingly being seized by zulkirs and filled by themselves or their (militarily capable, ruthless) appointees. Szass Tam was a bit of a restless maverick among the zulkirs, so to stay on top against BOTH his fellow zulkirs and the royalty, he’d have to be super-powerful, and a man who’d been anticipating attacks and treacheries for centuries and preparing for them: he always had a Plan B and C, and X, Y, and Z, all of which he could shift like puzzle pieces to respond to any threat and deflect or shatter it (usually deflect it so as to harm a rival).
Like Larloch, ideally he would never feature directly in play - - because he would watch adventurers and others, and respond through layers of intermediaries so his own involvement would usually never be proven or traced (it could be rumored or suspected, but no more than that).
I’m afraid my dial-up rural Net connections are far too crude to view the URLs you’ve provided (I haven’t even tried; animations? video clips? Hahahaha; not on THIS computer!!), but I’ll see if I can sneak a peak at them at a public library high-speed terminal. Thanks!



So saith Ed. Who’d love to see a Realms movie if (and only if) it were done right, but doesn’t ever expect to (long story).
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2006 :  03:07:37  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Ed now tackles some related queries from April and June from VonRaventheDaring (and yes, by all means sample away, dear, and feel free to use your teeth as well as your hands and tongue): “Do you have any views/opinions of the new psionic classes from the CP. Also what do you think about the Jhaamdath empire, and the addons that Ed Bonny the other ed (lol okay thats lame) has made for them. I know that you have stated before that tsr kept you from publishing psionic related stuff due to dark sun being their focus place for that, but since wizards has changed that do you plan on adding or resubmitting any psionic related things for the realms? *trying not to drool at the thought* Also just have to note that the hooded one rocks, and i would like to do some breast sampling but thats a different type of question.”
and: “i read where the different types of gems all react to magic different, and i was curious if there was any gems that responded to psionic powers more so than others in the realms? and if it wouldn't be to much of a bother could you list them for me, thank you. Also i was wondering when you created the lore gems for the elves, were they inspired by psionics at all as they seem to have a psionic theme to me at least.”
Ed replies:



To deal with your last questions first (hey, I’m a designer :} ), VOLO’S GUIDE TO ALL THINGS MAGICAL will show you that witherite confers psionic immunity, and the gem-like magic item (the inspiration of Eric Boyd, and recently discussed in this thread here at Candlekeep) known as the weirdstone (also in VOLO’S GUIDE TO ALL THINGS MAGICAL and the later PLAYER’S GUIDE TO FAERUN) also deals with psionics. There are other, as-yet-undiscovered (though various alchemists, sages, and wizards are privately and independently experimenting) gemstone properties pertaining to psionics; stay tuned to all official Realmslore channels for future revelations.
As for adding or resubmitting psionic-related material for the Realms: I have LOTS of plans, but no time in which to deal with a three-hundredth of them, and I’m better suited (particularly while Wizards designers are continually revamping psionics :} ) to fleshing out the world (e.g. the cities articles in DRAGON, the Realmslore and Border Kingdom web columns, my lore answers here, and [NDA], [NDA], and [NDA]) so the maximum number of Realms DMs, players, and readers can enjoy more depth and colour in “their own” Realms.
As I’ve posted before, I tend to personally use psionics at the “personal wild talent” level more than anything else. At first glance, the psionic racial classes from the CP are just fine, the prestige classes (ebon saint in particular) seem quite usable, and I haven’t thought enough about the synad to venture a useful opinion. I’m speaking now as a game designer trying to evaluate the game balance, possible abuses, and implications of the classes as published - - whether or not, and to what extent, they appear in your Realms campaign is up to you, because (just like having lots of powerful spellcasters, or wagonloads of powerful magic items) psionics does have the potential to quickly dominate a campaign. There’s nothing wrong with that, IF that’s the campaign you and your players are happy with; everyone must make their own decisions on what balances and flavours they prefer in their play.
As for Jhaamdath: so far, so good - - but again, I’ve been too busy with many other Realms projects to fully consider the implications of the various fleshings-out of Jhaamdath on the “wider picture” of the Realms. I must take the time to sit down and do that, soon - - but looking at the multiple trainwreck that is my schedule for the next three years, I’m brainblasted (er, sorry) if I can tell you when.



So saith Ed. Who is fighting his way through many, many projects at the moment, to keep on bringing you the vivid Realms we all know and love.
love to all!
THO
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ddporter
Seeker

26 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2006 :  03:45:30  Show Profile Send ddporter a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
So saith Ed. Who’d love to see a Realms movie if (and only if) it were done right, but doesn’t ever expect to (long story).
love to all,
THO




Somebody send Peter Jackson some FR novels!
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
2879 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2006 :  06:17:58  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message
Hey, Great Ed! Howareya? Don't remember if I ever asked, or not...either way, it doesn't matter too much. Anyway, could you share with us some of the common Elven food dishes of Evermeet and Evereska? Thanks!

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerûn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerûn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2006 :  15:38:07  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Ed herewith answers scribe Lauzoril, who asked: “Did Lord Chess have any kind of power in Zhentil Keep, political or otherwise, or was he just a puppet figurehead for the Zhentarim? Could there be any chance that you and Jeff Grubb someday write a novel together again? Thank you kindly.”
Ed speaks:



You’re very welcome. Hmmm: let’s do last first, as usual. :}
I’d love to write another novel with Jeff, a very good friend who I haven’t seen enough of since Wizards relocated to Seattle. We’ve recently worked on several projects edited or engineered by Brian Thomsen, though not directly together (WE THREE DRAGONS, a fantasy book of dragon Christmas stories that was published in paperback by TOR last Christmas, wherein we both had short stories, as did Jim Ward, formerly TSR’s Creative Manager; and the forthcoming FURTHER TALES OF BEOWULF/CHAMPION OF MIDDLE-EARTH, from Carroll & Graf, wherein we both have stories alongside Lynn Abbey [of Thieves’ World fame; Lynn and I once collaborated on the Mornmist fantasy series], Wolfgang Baur [former TSR designer and editor of DRAGON, who is now writing d20 fantasy adventures “to order,” as mentioned here at Candlekeep by Steven Schend in his Become A Patron! thread], and Brian Thomsen, alongside a modern translation of “the original” Beowulf writing that’s come down through the centuries to us), but the chances of us doing a novel together right now, with the differing directions our professional lives are trending, aren’t large. That said: I’d jump at the chance, if it were directly offered.

Lord Chess was a youthful noble, a “bored, idle younger son,” who WOULD have attained real power in Zhentil Keep upon the death of his father or the pleasure of his family and fellow lords if the Zhentarim hadn’t seized control (see my short story “So High A Price” in REALMS OF INFAMY or THE BEST OF THE REALMS II: THE STORIES OF ED GREENWOOD). However, as a vital conspirator in Manshoon’s seizure of power, he rose swiftly to real power as an indolent, decadent figurehead instead. He worked as a figurehead because of his noble status and therefore “rightful” power in the eyes of the public, but he was a lazy, corrupt, and ultimately disloyal to the Zhentarim individual, who discovered his true loyalties were to his city first and the Zhents second . . . and so he paid the price.



So saith Ed. Who has written an astonishing number of short stories, several of them critically acclaimed, that many Realms fans don’t know about. Faraer, have you listed them, by chance?
love to all,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2006 :  16:15:37  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
WARNING THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM THE FINAL GATE

Unfortunately Mysteries of Moonsea has been released with out of date material that didnt take into account the events in Richard Bakers novel the Final Gate.

My question for Ed: What changes should be made to the Hillsfar write up in Mysteries of the Moonsea to reflect the events in Final Gate? (I guess what Im asking for is "Timeline Errata" for MoM)


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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Arkhaedun
Senior Scribe

869 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2006 :  18:20:30  Show Profile  Visit Arkhaedun's Homepage Send Arkhaedun a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

WARNING THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM THE FINAL GATE

Unfortunately Mysteries of Moonsea has been released with out of date material that didnt take into account the events in Richard Bakers novel the Final Gate.

My question for Ed: What changes should be made to the Hillsfar write up in Mysteries of the Moonsea to reflect the events in Final Gate? (I guess what Im asking for is "Timeline Errata" for MoM)


Thanks in advance






Page five of Mysteries of the Moonsea, in the "DM Navigation Tips" mentions that the events in the book take place in the last half of the Year of Rogue Dragons, in 1373 DR, placing the events after that portion of the Year of Rogue Dragons books that takes place in the Moonsea area, and before the events of Final Gate, which don't involve the Moonsea until the latter part of the year.

Richard Baker mentions in the Final Gate book club that he checked at the last minute with the editors of the product and had that line inserted to avoid problems.
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2006 :  18:50:27  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
This is incomplete:

"Princesses Don’t Kneel", Troll #1 (1997)
"The Sword of Dreams", Tales From Tethedril (1998)
"Writhe, Damn You", Northern Horror (2000)
"The Shadow of a Sword", The Doom of Camelot (2000)
"The Witch of the Dawn", Be Afraid! (2000)
"One Last, Little Revenge", The Book of All Flesh (2001)
"The Dragonjaw Door", 2001 World Fantasy Convention Souvenir CD-ROM (2001)
"No Stars to Steer By", Oceans of Space (2002)
?, Legends of the Pendragon (2002)
"O Silent Knight of Cards", Be Very Afraid! (2002)
"All Under the Stars", The Bakka Anthology (2002)
"The Secret in the Cellar", The Book of Final Flesh (2003)
"The Man in the Wall", Path of the Just (2003)
"The Night of Three Strangers", http://www.fastforwardgames.com/900/900_60.htm (2004)
"The Fallen Star", Children of the Rune (2004)
"Stormsong", Summoned to Destiny (2004)
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  01:21:25  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Arkhaedun

Page five of Mysteries of the Moonsea, in the "DM Navigation Tips" mentions that the events in the book take place in the last half of the Year of Rogue Dragons, in 1373 DR, placing the events after that portion of the Year of Rogue Dragons books that takes place in the Moonsea area, and before the events of Final Gate, which don't involve the Moonsea until the latter part of the year.

Richard Baker mentions in the Final Gate book club that he checked at the last minute with the editors of the product and had that line inserted to avoid problems.



That doesnt change the fact that a full 1/4 of the exstremely LIMITED amount of Realmslore in MoM was out of date before it was even published.

but Im not going to argue with you here

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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Swordsage
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  02:13:17  Show Profile  Visit Swordsage's Homepage Send Swordsage a Private Message
There's not much in it that wasn't available in previous sources. Hence, we haven't lost anything. Mind you, nothing on the gain side either other than a bunch of adventures. Adventure lovers will be thrilled. Everyone else is waiting for what comes next.

The Swordsage
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2384 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  02:42:34  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
Guys, Mysteries of the Moonsea is already the most toxic thread I've ever seen in Candlekeep. PLEASE, let's keep it confined there. The question is an honest one, and deserves an answer in the fullness of time. This is not the place to debate MotM, its format, flaws, or whatever.

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

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  02:59:03  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 Hoondatha

Guys, Mysteries of the Moonsea is already the most toxic thread I've ever seen in Candlekeep. PLEASE, let's keep it confined there. The question is an honest one, and deserves an answer in the fullness of time. This is not the place to debate MotM, its format, flaws, or whatever.



Exactly, now can we move on? It's a honest question to Ed and so let him answer it and if everyone wants to keep the debate going, there is a thread for that.

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

5036 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  05:19:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Herewith, Ed tackles Athenon’s query: “Is it an oversight that Wizards has not scheduled an "Elminster Speaks" seminar at GenCon the last couple years, or do they for some reason not like channeling of the Old Sage? Thanks for hours of entertainment reading this forum.”
Ed replies:



Will, you’re quite welcome; glad you’ve enjoyed my meanderings and mutterings. As for Elminster Speaks: Wizards submits its events for GenCon around March or so, but I’ve only just started to discover what I’m slated for, and internal WotC sources tell me “nothing’s really been settled yet” re. GenCon, so I’m not sure if Elminster will ride again or not this year at GenCon Indy.
The thinking a few years back was that as the Realms moved into 3rd edition, the role of Elminster (as his long, long life entered its twilight years) would be de-emphasized (hence, no more stand-up comedian who was improvising as he went, and therefore could say ANYTHING, much to the chagrin and shortened lifespan of his Wizards staff “straight person,” be it Jeff Grubb, or Steven Schend, or whomever). From my point of view, the costume is hot to wear and a hassle at customs (that staff’s obviously a weapon of mass destruction, you dangerous foreign bearded terrorist!), so . . . we’ll see. You can always ask me to channel Elminster at other seminars. [broad evil grin]



So saith Ed. Oh, I can just FEEL that grin.
love to all,
THO
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2384 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  06:00:57  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message
I'll put my vote in now for U-con, since I'll actually be able to attend that one. And apparently Sage Schend will be there as well, so the two of you could team up!

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

USA
1253 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2006 :  14:39:56  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

I'll put my vote in now for U-con, since I'll actually be able to attend that one. And apparently Sage Schend will be there as well, so the two of you could team up!



At this point, Steven, Ed, and I are planning on attending. I'm trying to set up a FR Q&A at some point during U-Con, so please come visit if you'd like to chat about the Realms.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  18:30:45  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Thanks for the Canada Day wishes Foxhelm (and Wooly, too! I personally think we Canadians observe Canada Day, the former Dominion Day, to celebrate our annual deliverance from the black flies to [just] the mosquitoes), and thanks for so swiftly and obligingly providing the Ed short story listing, Faraer. I can add “The Mad Monj of Onteth” from THE DRAGONS’ RETURN (2005) and “Wrathclaw’s Wyrmtide, Or The Secret of Treasure-Unlooked-For” from WE THREE DRAGONS (2005) to that list, off the top of my head, and of course there are at least two tales in not-yet-published anthologies Ed has previously mentioned in this thread . . .
But, on to Realmslore! This time, Ed makes reply to Valus Gwaren, in this matter: “I was hoping I might get some information on the size/layout of a typical Sea Ward noble's villa in Waterdeep. I have a character who is a Waterdhavian noble, and is just returning to the city for the first time since I created him. I would like to design his family's holding, but I don't really know where to start. What style architecture is typical of these sorts of places? What kind of staff would there be to run the place? and so on.”
RodOdom helpfully posted: “If the electronic FR atlas is accurate, villas are on rougly rectangular lots of anywhere from 7,500 to 15,000 sq. ft., containing three or more individual structures.”
Ed makes reply:



RodOdom is quite correct. The typical Waterdhavian “villa” (so-named because noble owners have other homes, in warmer climes south of Waterdeep, in which they spend winter months) is a walled compound, typically with a landscaped garden inside (though the nature of the gardens vary widely with owners’ tastes, from sunny floral gardens with formal layouts and statuary to “wild”-looking forest glades with shaded bowers and meandering paths), in which are situated a main residence (sometimes called a “mansion” or “manor”), a stables, and a guest house. (Servants dwell in the uppermost floors of the mansion and above the stables.)
At least, that’s the “minimum” number of structures for a villa. Larger villas will have separate servants’ quarters, perhaps a gladehouse (equivalent of an orangery, greenhouse, or summerhouse: a heated, near-tropical building where exotic warm-clime or jungle plants are grown, usually because the noble owner loves tropical fruits), and one or more guest houses, some usually given over to dowager mothers or aunts, or even mistresses (or “houseboys,” the Waterdhavian noblewoman’s term for what we might call gigolos) rather than true “guests.”
The main residence is almost always tall and impressive, with turrets and balconies. Inside, it will ALWAYS have a grand entry hall (usually with sweeping stairs rising to an upper floor), a large and splendid feasting hall, and one or more meeting rooms decorated to impress (these may be called “parlors” or “studies” or almost anything; if the noble is martial in nature, like the Roaringhorns, or a mercantile power and proud of it, one might be an “office”). Lower levels are given over to kitchens, pantries, storage cellars, and hobbies or eccentricities (pet cages or studios or private swimming pools or dress-up rooms and pleasure dens), and upper levels to dwelling-suites for family members, each generally consisting of a reception room opening into a bedchamber, robing room, garderobe (jakes), and lounge (private office or dining-room).
Aside from turrets, spires, balconies, large windows (to display the wealth of the owner; large sheets of glass are EXPENSIVE in the Realms) and luxurious furnishings (again, to display wealth: tapestries and carpets are almost always present, but sculpture [especially life-sized statuary] and paintings [huge wall-panels in particular] are popular but very much a matter of personal taste [some nobles love ’em, some don’t]), and a prevalence for building in stone, and massively (usually with marble flooring), the architecture of Waterdhavian villas can be almost anything. Some have doors of single sheets of copper fastened to wood, most have doors ten feet tall or more and with ornate handles, and most have greatglories (candle-and-crystal chandeliers), all scream “I have coin to hurl away recklessly, and see? I have!” and many have fountains of water-spouting dolphins or mermaids or fanciful monsters, both indoors and out.
Any large house requires a large staff; POWER OF FAERUN p22 and 24 outlines one typical “grand household” organization, but in brief, any Waterdhavian noble will have hostlers (sometimes called “grooms,” and always run by a horsemaster or stablemaster; the former term implies skills as a horse trainer and doctor); gardeners (administered by a head gardener or groundsmaster); a kitchen staff of scullery maids, pantry jacks, and cooks (administered by a head cook, who reports to a chatelaine or steward); house guards (commanded by a captain, who reports to a seneschal); and “the household,” the household or domestic staff, of chambermaids, pages, dressers (personal maids and jacks, what in more modern times are called “butlers”) and doorjacks, who report to the chatelaine, who in turn reports to the steward. Sometimes the seneschal and the steward are the same person, sometimes there’s no steward and the chatelaine reports to the noble lord directly, and sometimes the reverse is true (no chatelaine and the steward runs things). Any or all of these “commanding ranks” may have assistants (understewards, chatelaines-of-stairs, and so on), and there may or may not also be a house wizard, a chamberlain (accountant and lawyer), and an equerry (personal assistant to the noble lord) above all of them. Every noble dwelling in the house will also have personal servants; males generally have two (a dresser and a “sword” [butler/clerk/secretary/errand-runner]) or three (a page is added, to run errands and deliver messages), and females generally have three or four (add more maids to see to a far more elaborate wardrobe). Feel free to augment, and if things seem rather crowded, you’ve got it right: they are! A noble who entertains a lot may have seven cooks, three times that many scullery maids, and twenty or so pantry jacks in livery to serve at a feast or revel; one who’s nuts about horses or gardening will have similarly large stable and grounds staffs.



So saith Ed. Covered in depth and full, m’lord.
love to all,
THO
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Valus Gwaren
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2006 :  18:48:16  Show Profile  Visit Valus Gwaren's Homepage  Send Valus Gwaren an AOL message Send Valus Gwaren a Private Message
Many thanks to Ed and, of course, Lady Hooded. I shall begin detailing my villa this very evening!

-Lord Valus Gwaren of Waterdeep, Harper Agent.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  00:13:57  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello, all. Divers replies this time.
First, to Swordsage, Zeboaster of Ordulin, and Hoondatha: Ed looks forward to meeting any scribes who make the trek to U-Con at Ann Arbor. In the matter of who visited him, NDAs and modesty prevent (unless the visitor cares to spill the beans), but I will say some scribes are good guessers.
Secondly, to LoneHeroDragon: Feel free to ask Ed anything you’d like to ask publicly right here. However, he’s not the person to contact if you’re seriously interested in doing a Realms novel. That “best contact person” would probably be Phil Athans, Managing Editor of the Publishing Group at Wizards of the Coast, and he’d probably tell you to submit a sample and then a proposal to one of the Realms short story anthologies. That’s the “front door” (see REALMS OF THE DRAGONS II for folks who followed that route). Save your novel idea, work on it, but don’t expect Wizards to take an unsolicited Realms novel “cold” from an unfamiliar writer. That’s not the way they work. (But hey, Rich, you can get this same reply from Phil Athans directly.)
Thirdly, Ed swings into action at last to reply to Kaladorm’s recent comment: “This leads me to wonder then, as we know gods get their power simply by a person intoning their name (although obviously more so from their faithful), whether the gods power came from a sincere intoning of their name or not. Every time one of the other knights reprimanded Torm, would Torm the God become slightly more powerful. Bet that one would mess with his mind (aha Torm by misbehaving we rebuke you and so make the god of duty a bit stronger, get over that one ) Random musings :)”
Ed speaks:



No, gods derive no power from insincere intonements of their name, or mere discussion, or even proclamations. It’s devout prayer (and oaths or curses made by individuals at moments of great emotion, such as fear or rapture) that empowers them. So someone cursing Torm the mortal would have no effect at all on Torm the deity. Someone cursing Torm the deity for influencing Torm the mortal WOULD affect the deity’s power. Nor does merely hearing their name spoken (whether or ot it’s “really them” or just a mortal namesake) drive gods crazy; there’s a ceaseless thunderbabble of such namings coming to them, and all gods go crazy right away or learn to “tune it out,” listening in to specific mortals or locations or events only when they want to. By the way: rapture includes moments during lovemaking, both deliberately (on the part of clergy) and spontaneous (everyone else). :}



So saith Ed. Who must have spent a happy weekend. Ahem.
love to all,
THO
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  01:06:22  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady THO,

Have the Malaugrym had any dealings with that other shape-shifting race , the dopplegangers?
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2006 :  09:36:47  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Hello Ed,


How does one find out the all the secret names of a deity that they don't serve especially if the person is not evil therefore above torturing that deities loyal follower? And does this knowledge confer any power or leverage to the person?

Side question, the Skindancer in MM3 does it exist in YOUR Realms? The above post just made me wonder if there are female Dopplegangers and what would be offspring of her and Malaugrym?

Looking forward to hopefully meeting you at Gencon.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2006 :  03:02:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, fellow scribes. Herewith, Ed makes reply to Rinonalyrna Fathomlin, about this: “All right, my question for today may sound really silly, but I have honestly been wondering about it for the past few days. The trivial things in life are part of what makes up...life. If my question has been answered before, I apologize.
Do Faerunian women commonly shave their legs, underarms, and *ahem* other parts of their bodies? If so, what types of razors, creams, and other materials do they use? From what I understand, the common safety razors used today were invented only about 100-150 years ago--I can't imagine having to use a regular straight razor. I have also wondered sometimes how Faerunian women deal with their menstrual cycles...”
Ed speaks:



Nothing trivial at all about such matters! If the game makes note of what weapons or loot creatures carry, descriptions of their bodies (especially as corpses or captives being searched) are of vital importance. In the same way, if a Realms fiction writer is describing someone disrobing or getting dressed, or for that matter what’s on view in a harem, festhall, or club where scantily-clad folk are dancing or otherwise on display, this becomes Need To Know information. This importance is only enhanced when we consider time-to-time adventuring necessities of hiding small items in various body cavities (ahem; I’m sure you understand).
So here we go . . .
[[scribes reading this be warned: specific biological anatomy words and details follow]]
First, the body hair. In a world with many races dwelling and working (or at least trading) together, there’s a great tolerance for variety. So no one “looks down on” someone for being different (i.e. having heavy body hair or not). However, there are practical reasons for being hairless in warm climates (and for wrestlers and those who make coin by means of sex, too), and in the warmer countries of the Realms almost all adult folk do remove their body (not head) hair (by plucking—the mild pain of this technique is often used in prayer, in monastic communities; by shaving with sharp CURVED [crescentiform, sharp edge on inside of curve, but with a short, marked arc of sharpened outside edge at the end for doing armpits] blades; and—most popularly, by far—by the application of herbal depilatory ointments, of which there are many, widely known everywhere in the Realms). This is less common in cold areas such as the North, and men everywhere often leave chest and head hair alone, and merely trim other hair short (or shave just their cheeks, and trim moustache, sideburn, and beard hair). The majority of men DON’T shave their heads, unless they have head rashes or wounds that need treatment, and men and women aren’t vain about hair that goes gray or white (they may dye hair for all sorts of effects or reasons, but pretending to not age isn’t one of them).
As humans biologically have hair to catch and intensify natural body scent, and strong-smelling human odours aren’t considered pleasant in most of the Realms, the great majority of humans do “wash their hairy areas” daily or even more often, and use scented oils when they can’t wash properly, or before engaging in activities they know will be sweaty and during or after which they want to impress or be welcoming to others.
Many who do remove armpit and genital-area hair may leave small shaped areas of hair for adornment (e.g. a lightning bolt zigzagging down to a clitoris), and for adornment, when going nude or wearing garments that leave strategic areas bare, body paint (and dyes like henna), or even more permanent tattoos (usually blue or green) are sometimes used to “replace” genital hair.
It should be remembered that warriors and wrestlers also have practical reasons for minimizing hair, and anyone who’s ridden a lot will know that hair literally “wears off” stress areas like the inner thighs. Nor does hair always grow back on scar tissue.
Second: menstrual cycles and their treatment. Social and practical. Social: Selune, Chauntea, and many other deities keep “closeness to natural cycles” strong in the minds of all Faerûnians; there’s no religious or societal stigma about menstruation. Women aren’t regarded as “unclean” at any time, menses are no bar to sexual activity, and any embarrassment is purely of the “Oh, now I’ve stained a nice [or borrowed] garment” variety. Menstruation is never called “the curse” or anything of the sort in the Realms; in Faerûn, it’s “lifeblood” or “moonblood” or even “Selune’s kiss” or “under the moon” (as in: “I’m under the moon just now, so pack extra redcloths”).
Time for the practical. Please see my reply on page 21 of my 2004 replies, here at Candlekeep, for information about undergarments (specifically clouts and redcloths).
Blood-stained “redcloths” will be washed or at least rinsed out daily, often in scented water. To avoid being tracked by beasts following scent, wilderland-travelling women often discard (by burying them) redcloths as they go; if they can find dew or any sort of water in which to wash the cloths (including stagnant swampwater), they’ll do so, often dousing the cloth with perfume beforehand to minimize any odours the water causes. The most popular “travelling wash” for redcloths (practiced, for example, by women stopping at a rustic inn) is cheap wine followed by rinsing with rainbarrel water. Please bear in mind that there’s no embarrassment or stigma attached to this, even for young females experiencing their first menses; no one will be trying to do this “on the sly,” and inns high and low will anticipate this need and have facilities for it (that’s why there are ewers of water sitting in washbasins in most inn rooms, AND spare washbasins underneath beds, alongside the chamberpots). Most inns and taverns do a busy daily trade in buying new redcloths and disposing of old ones (they become scrubbing rags).
One last note: shaving your naughty bits with a straight razor isn’t easy, but having someone else (who’s skilled, in good light and with room to work, and not in a hurry) is just fine, if you aren’t embarrassed and don’t flinch). Just ask THO.



So saith Ed. Who (as you can probably tell by now) lacks a lot of the hang-ups and prejudices of most of the males of his generation. I remember him cheerfully buying feminine products for both co-workers and family members, but thinking it ridiculous when they asked him to go make the purchase but were embarrassed to tell him their “sizes.”
And yes, Ed’s right about the straight razor, but the key word is “skilled.” (Ed is more of a “gingerly-proceeding amateur” than “skilled” in any use of a straight razor, but I once encountered a grandfatherly army barber who tended to a row of female personnel with a gruff, “Spread ’em, ladies, and no telling jokes while I’ve got the razor out; laughers are bleeders.”)
Amazing, what we get around to discussing in this forum . . .
love to all,
THO
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2006 :  03:45:29  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
That has to be one of the most amazingly unexpected, but wonderful, lore answers I've ever heard. :D

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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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2006 :  04:05:24  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One


So saith Ed. Who (as you can probably tell by now) lacks a lot of the hang-ups and prejudices of most of the males of his generation. I remember him cheerfully buying feminine products for both co-workers and family members, but thinking it ridiculous when they asked him to go make the purchase but were embarrassed to tell him their “sizes.”
And yes, Ed’s right about the straight razor, but the key word is “skilled.” (Ed is more of a “gingerly-proceeding amateur” than “skilled” in any use of a straight razor, but I once encountered a grandfatherly army barber who tended to a row of female personnel with a gruff, “Spread ’em, ladies, and no telling jokes while I’ve got the razor out; laughers are bleeders.”)
Amazing, what we get around to discussing in this forum . . .
love to all,
THO




*grins* Yes indeed! But as GothicDan said, it's a wonderful answer...and Ed even gave me more information than I had asked for! I also checked out page 21 of the 2004 thread--the information there was helpful as well. Thank you Hooded One, and please thank Ed for me!

Take care,

Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2006 :  04:26:25  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
PS: I also love this...

quote:
Menstruation is never called “the curse” or anything of the sort in the Realms; in Faerûn, it’s “lifeblood” or “moonblood” or even “Selune’s kiss” or “under the moon” (as in: “I’m under the moon just now, so pack extra redcloths”).


It's nice to know that the Realms is such a comfortable place for women.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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