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Gillies
Seeker

Canada
25 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  01:18:09  Show Profile  Visit Gillies's Homepage Send Gillies a Private Message
Hello THO and Mr. Greenwood,

I live in a small town in the Northumberland, Ontario area. Mr. Greenwood, you went to my school sometime during this year to show us DnD. Sadly I wasn't there on that day and been pretty sad that I couldn't go. Now I have no DnD experience and I was wondering if there a group in my area playing, who would accept a new player to the game? Any information would be most helpful. Thanks.

Gillies

Edited by - Gillies on 04 Aug 2006 03:27:00
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  03:01:14  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. This time, the request for Ed’s lore comes from Jamallo Kreen, to whit: “Who was the disembodied Netherese Archwizard "Ander" back when he was alive, and what details are known of him besides what is in Elminster: Making of a Mage? (Yes! My effort to read El's life story backward to its beginnings has progressed all the way to Athalantar.)”
Ed replies:



Mharrander Dorolkh is the full and proper name of this Netherese archwizard, who was born in -1546 DR in Tzindylspar, to a lowborn merchant family of Netheril who traveled tirelessly fetching mundane supplies and items for various arcanists. He was one of some forty children, and his father, Surrane Dorolk, eventually sold Mharrander (who’d exhibited a natural aptitude to ‘feel’ the presence and strength of magic) to an archwizard, one Kazindrol - - a cruel, bald, bearded arcanist who exulted in taking beast-shape and hunting, rending, and devouring other creatures. Kazindrol sought immortality through the ability to send his mind intact into beast body after beast body, possessing and controlling all he entered, and prided himself on being able to inhabit and command two bodies at once (he saw this not only as essential to avoid dying in a slain body, but as a demonstration of his superior force of intellect).
Kazindrol had need of many assistants, but slew or transformed those he saw as growing into threats to himself. Mharrander never achieved this status, being always too obedient, eagerly obliging, and paltry in training-at-Art, and so was on hand when six of Kazindrol’s apprentices all attacked their master at once. The spellbattle was swift, spectacular, and deadly, ending with the top of Kazindrol’s tower shattered and Kazindrol and four of his apprentices reduced to ashes, a fifth caught in a spell-cycle that kept him helplessly transforming into a bewilderingly rapid sequence of different creatures (all of them wounded and pinned under rubble), and a sixth triumphant but ravaged by pain, and lashing out at everything in sight - - including Mharrander, who slew this sixth, snatched all the magical tomes and portable items he could find, and fled (leaving the wounded fifth apprentice to be blamed for everything, when neighbouring arcanists arrived to plunder Kazindrol’s magic).
Mharrander took himself far from Netheril, into high mountain caverns, somewhere to the south, where dragons laired. There he studied, soon finding a magic that would allow him to snatch creatures from afar for food, and another that would preserve dead bodies in a stasis field. He soon ringed his caverns with dead, floating beholders (that had perished of natural causes, or been on the verge of doing so, ere his magics plucked them to his presence), to dissuade exploring visitors, and began years of study and mastery. From time to time, as the years passed and the world changed, he emerged to explore and test his magic. First he slew or tamed dragons, and then under cloaks of magical concealment observed what others were up to, concentrating most on fellow Netherese arcanists - - and in particular on those working on longevity magics.
Only the human contacts of his explorations, and “feeling involved in unfolding life” through his spyings, kept Mharrander from going insane from sheer loneliness. He took to calling himself just “Ander,” and indulging in mimicry of those he spied upon.
He stole such secrets as he dared from archwizards pursuing longevity or immortality, and kept watch over their abodes and doings; whenever one of them perished, Ander swooped in to gather all he could of their magic and research. He sought his own route to immortality or at least longevity through seeking to master regeneration, and in tinkering with “the stuff of flesh” so that parts that did regenerate would not age, but return with the vigor of youth.
For many of his organs and tissues, he achieved what he sought, but saw no way to destroy and regenerate his increasingly aging head and brain without dying. So he turned to wraithform magics, and his stasis fields, hoping to buy time until he could find a solution - - or someone else did, that he could seize or steal it from.
Such tactics bought him centuries, but no solution offered itself. So at least, reluctantly, he turned to exploring lichdom and its magics, still using the “long sleeps” of stasis fields to buy more time.
Which in the end brought Ander to his encounter with Elminster encountered, in ELMINSTER: THE MAKING OF A MAGE.



So saith Ed. Who glossed over much, but has presented here far more about Ander than has hitherto been revealed anywhere.
Ed also adds a quick postscript to Gillies:


I've been asked about a local D&D playing group several times at the Port Hope Public library, but haven't found one yet. There was one in Cobourg, but its members have migrated steadily west, to Whitby and Oshawa. Keep watching this thread: if I find one, I'll post it here, and tell the librarian at TCS, too!


So saith Ed. Who's throat-deep in work, as usual.
love to all,
THO
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  03:22:03  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Enjoy the reading, pace it, thats alot of catching up you doing and the Cormyr series alone is rather intense.
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Zanan
Senior Scribe

Germany
942 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  11:48:33  Show Profile  Visit Zanan's Homepage Send Zanan a Private Message
Please let me withdraw the scroll with the yochlol question. I have since found out that they made their first appearance in Q 1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits, a long time before they got a more detailed write-up in TDotUD.

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.

Edited by - Zanan on 04 Aug 2006 11:54:08
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Sian
Senior Scribe

Denmark
596 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  14:11:00  Show Profile  Visit Sian's Homepage  Click to see Sian's MSN Messenger address Send Sian a Private Message
hello THO and Ed

due to failure from the mortals here i'll forward a question i have about candlekeep to you ... who was First Reader og Keeper of the Tomes before Ulraunt and Tethtoril ... is there a list over them somewhere in your dungeon? ... when they served and some major characteristica about the once that was there the last couple of times would be nice

Sian

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

Poland
81 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  17:13:42  Show Profile Send Torkwaret a Private Message
Greetings Master Greenwood,

Since you already revealed so much about this mysterious persona which Ander was for many, many years, would you also be so kind as to answer my inevitable question - how would you describe Ander level wise, especially in comparison to such powers as Aumvor the Undying, Szass Tam or Khelben ??

Thanks

...Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin...
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  17:53:58  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Ed doesn't think in terms of levels, just approximate 'she overmatches him or is on a par in terms of this'. NPCs only get levels if they're going to conflict with PCs, and those levels depend on PC levels and the needs of the campaign. This is why you can't argue Realms from game stats, because the game stats are both approximate and arbitrarily precise.

Edited by - Faraer on 04 Aug 2006 17:54:49
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Torkwaret
Learned Scribe

Poland
81 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  19:11:03  Show Profile Send Torkwaret a Private Message
Fine with me as well Faraer

Comparing him with Aumvor, Larloch, Khelben or Telamont would be, in fact, much better than assigning him any levels, especially if it's from Ed's point of view

...Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin...

Edited by - Torkwaret on 04 Aug 2006 19:12:06
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2006 :  22:45:36  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
Of course, Ed didn't create Aumvor or Telamont (Telamont being a remnant of the dire Netheril supplement, and later expanded in the equally-as-disappointing Return of the Archwizards Trilogy). And even "comparison"-wise, Ed seems to think that each NPC has strengths and weaknesses that can't be accurately reflected in the rules.... Larloch may be the most powerful in Necromancy and Gate magic, for instance, but perhaps not as powerful in another form...

Of course, we'll just have to wait and see what Ed says. :)

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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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  02:45:09  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
And Ed says:

"42."

Of course.

Ahem. Hello, scribes!
Ed received all of the recent flood of related queries, sighed, grinned at Wooly’s comment, nodded at Smyther’s insight, and told me that right now he dares only answer the second of Eytan Bernstein’s questions: “Does Faerun have tectonic plates that cause seismic activity?”
Ed replies:



Yes - - and no.
(There you go. You’re welcome. Now run along, have a nice day, there’s a good chap . . .)
Just joking. Yes, Toril has tectonic plates. No, they don’t often cause seismic activity, because the earth nodes ‘drink’ the kinetic stresses, and let out that energy in other ways than earthquakes, faults, and slippages. So the fault lines are there (and many volcanic flows run along and up through them, so volcanic locations give a surface observer a rough idea of where some plate boundaries are), but the plates aren’t “on the move” nearly as much as they are in our real world. As of right now, at least. :} And for now, that’s definitely all I’ll say on the matter. Sorry. (Cue sinister NDA symphony, looming dark and rising . . .)



So saith Ed. Who’s probably got “Peter and the Wolf” on in the background, again.
love to all,
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29724 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  05:07:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

And Ed says:

"42."

Of course.


And with that comment, my respect for Ed grows!

And it was my pleasure to offer amusement to the Bearded One.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  05:25:38  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
quote:
And with that comment, my respect for Ed grows!


Agreed!

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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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  06:09:34  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 Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

And Ed says:

"42."

Of course.


And with that comment, my respect for Ed grows!

And it was my pleasure to offer amusement to the Bearded One.

Indeed. I love it when he drops in these bits.

I'll add that to Ed's other "notable" mentions.

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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EytanBernstein
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  08:14:55  Show Profile  Visit EytanBernstein's Homepage Send EytanBernstein a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

And Ed says:

"42."

Of course.

Ahem. Hello, scribes!
Ed received all of the recent flood of related queries, sighed, grinned at Wooly’s comment, nodded at Smyther’s insight, and told me that right now he dares only answer the second of Eytan Bernstein’s questions: “Does Faerun have tectonic plates that cause seismic activity?”
Ed replies:



Yes - - and no.
(There you go. You’re welcome. Now run along, have a nice day, there’s a good chap . . .)
Just joking. Yes, Toril has tectonic plates. No, they don’t often cause seismic activity, because the earth nodes ‘drink’ the kinetic stresses, and let out that energy in other ways than earthquakes, faults, and slippages. So the fault lines are there (and many volcanic flows run along and up through them, so volcanic locations give a surface observer a rough idea of where some plate boundaries are), but the plates aren’t “on the move” nearly as much as they are in our real world. As of right now, at least. :} And for now, that’s definitely all I’ll say on the matter. Sorry. (Cue sinister NDA symphony, looming dark and rising . . .)



So saith Ed. Who’s probably got “Peter and the Wolf” on in the background, again.
love to all,
THO




Hmm... I think that opened more questions for me than it closed, but generally that's a good thing :) It's also probably not the best idea to give us FR designers to much info on the mechanics of natural disasters; we just might use them....

http://eytanbernstein.com - the official website of Eytan Bernstein

Edited by - EytanBernstein on 05 Aug 2006 08:17:48
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Torkwaret
Learned Scribe

Poland
81 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  10:40:52  Show Profile Send Torkwaret a Private Message
That's all I needed to know, many thanks once again Ed

...Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin...
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29724 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  14:46:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by EytanBernstein


Hmm... I think that opened more questions for me than it closed, but generally that's a good thing :) It's also probably not the best idea to give us FR designers to much info on the mechanics of natural disasters; we just might use them....



Heh... That was part of what Ed's previous reply on the topic said:

quote:
About seismic activity in the Realms: SHHHH! Holy Mystra, man, don’t you realize WotC editors read this forum?
By Her Sacred Silver Tears, don’t give them any MORE ideas for RSEs! I’ve spent years building this world, and am getting more than tired of seeing bits of it torn down! :} Couldn’t you bring up the pronounced lack of scenes of characters reading books, or playing games, instead? Tiddleywinks, even? :}

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Gillies
Seeker

Canada
25 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  18:28:24  Show Profile  Visit Gillies's Homepage Send Gillies a Private Message
Hey Ed and THO,

Its me again. I'm wondering even though I haven't found a DnD group to play with, would it be a smart idea to get the players handbook and the monster manual and some dice? So maybe I can start making my character and such.

Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo.

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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2006 :  22:26:30  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
Ed, I <3 you.

Just for the RSE-events comment, which I missed up until now.

Thanks for reposting it, Wooly. :)

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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Kazzaroth
Learned Scribe

Finland
104 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  02:59:05  Show Profile  Visit Kazzaroth's Homepage Send Kazzaroth a Private Message
Hello Ed and THO,

I have (severall) question regarding Talfirs and about my own theory and quesses. There was not much information about Talfirs in Races of Faerun and when checking on the map I noticed the Talfirs old territory according Empires of Faerun resided south from Evermeet and so far in that area is marked grey, meaning area does not belong any city nor nation according the basic Campaing Setting book. Is there particullar reason for that? I did not find much information about Reach Woods and Reach River either.

So, question is more that did Talfirs somehow 'meld' into Tethyrian tribal population when it almost literally swarmed over in their world wide wandering (explaining bit why Tethyrians have Talfir Song bardic tradition). But anycase I wondered about more of Talfirs customs and their history and how Shadowking was viewed in that time. Thanks appearance Shadow Magic in Tome of Magic I wondered was Shadowking practioner of that art (and was it part of Talfirs tribal culture)?

If that is so, then I am intrested to know how present Faerun someone learns shadow magic or does some few selected arcanists research plane magic to learn it and use it or research about legends of Shadowking etc. So how shadow magic would be viewed in Faerun in generall and can common/most folk mistake shadow magic to shadow weave magic (which in this case are two sepparated things)?
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  03:37:44  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by GothicDan

Ed, I <3 you.

Just for the RSE-events comment, which I missed up until now.





Ditto! Turns out, he feels the same way many of us do, apparently.

"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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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  03:56:34  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, scribes. This time Ed tackles RodOdom’s queries: “The Realms is criss-crossed by immense spans of roads and trails. At night when people retire from travelling do roads serve land-bound monsters? Do roads connect monster populations in a significant way? Would a goblin in the Vast Swamp be able to direct a lost traveller to Suzail? (assuming the goblin is in an unusually civil mood.)”
Ed replies:



Yes, roads do serve land-bound monsters: as paths for travel where armed road-patrols are few or absent, as navigational aids (“follow the rabbit-proof fence”), and as sources of food (where there are roads, there are eventually settlements, and frequently encamped travellers).
Roads connect SOME monster populations in a significant way (intelligent creatures who by nature travel far rather than remaining stationary or moving only small distances. Flying beasts often use roads and rivers as navigational aids.
And yes (creatvmind’s hilarious “not too bright” goblin offering notwithstanding), most goblins in the Vast Swamp are intelligent and well-informed enough to know about the busy trade-road that passes nearby, which two countries it links, and the names and natures (“busy place, lots humans, markets stink bustle bustle bustle”) of the nearest major cities in each direction, along the road.



So saith Ed. However, other scribes chimed in helpfully, and in response RodOdom clarified and expanded his questions: “But are even the most busy roads used and patrolled at night?
What I asked, in an admittedly unclear way, is whether monsters would be so familiar with the roadways as to get around in Cormyr.
For example, would a goblin would know how to get from the Vast Swamp to his cousins in the Marsh of Tun by using the kingdom's roads?”



So Ed then replies:



The busiest roads in a FEW places (interior southern Cormyr and Sembia, for example, and everywhere in Thay) are used at night. Roads in many more places (such as Cormyr in “the heart” box bounded by High Horn, Arabel, Suzail, and Wheloon, plus all of the mountain passes) are patrolled by ready-for-war army units, even if not by caravans (lone peddlers always face the “camp and risk attack, or walk on with my two mules and hope for the best” choice, if they haven’t found an inn).
Most goblins in the Vast Swamp would know that the Marsh of Tun is “THAT way, past lots of busy humans in glittering armor and their castles - - and mountains, too!” A few senior goblins would know the way more precisely, and be able to scratch out a crude map of how the roads run, where settlements are, ways over or “through” (humans would say “under”) the mountains, and so on. A handful might have made the journey. Unless the Vast swamp was suddenly becoming far more dangerous for goblins than it usually is, no goblin would particularly want to.



So saith Ed. Who roleplays sneaksy, slyly sucking-up goblins to the hilt. Torm and Rathan just roll their eyes, these days, and gut the little beauties - - or pick them up and hurl them out the nearest window, or head-first into the nearest chamberpot and then sailing through the air into a handy dungeon room with a door that can be spiked shut.
love to all,
THO
P.S. For the above sentence, cue sound effect: Ed's nasal, wet goblin voice rising in pitch and speed, yammering away in rising fear as the goblin vainly pleads/cajoles/makes offers . . . and then (one way or another) is abruptly silent.
Ahhh, it makes a girl smile.

Edited by - The Hooded One on 06 Aug 2006 03:59:07
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4273 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  04:19:19  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message
*blink*

There in another place been discussion of a Goblin Priestess of Eilistraee, it appears that such is not likely in Ed of Greenwood view?

Already have a Silver Dragon and Gnome Priestess, actually inherited a male Priest of the Dark Maiden as well (something I was reluckant to generate myself considering that dispute).

To expand question there was discussion about a hill giant becoming a Preistess as well. Yes another deity question I know, but here it is.

Are there any races that Eilistree will not acept clergy from, because of race?

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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GothicDan
Master of Realmslore

USA
1103 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  04:53:45  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
Well, in older lore, Eilistraee didn't even accept male clerics...

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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RevJest
Learned Scribe

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2006 :  21:21:00  Show Profile  Visit RevJest's Homepage Send RevJest a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

... actually inherited a male Priest of the Dark Maiden as well (something I was reluckant to generate myself considering that dispute).


Males are prohibited from Eilistraee's clergy in 2nd edition. There's no mention of a prohibition in 3rd. However, I *believe* Master Greenwood has spoken on this previously and said that the prohibition stands.

Fortunately there are an infinite number of alternate prime material planes. So there's sure to be one where Eilistraee decided to relax her rules a bit. :) And perhaps that prime is the setting for your campaign.

- RJ
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5036 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2006 :  00:05:17  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, fellow scribes. This time Ed answers Skeptic, in the matter of something Ed said in these threads back in 2004: [[[It's very important that gamers not follow their real-world (usually monotheistic) thinking when considering Faerunian situations: the Realms is pantheistic, and "everyone knows" ALL the gods (at least of one's own race) "really exist." Unlike our real world, there's no denying that the folk praying to another god next door aren't just as correct as "we" are, because often "we" will also be praying to that other deity soon (if only for appeasement). The faith lies in believing this or that personal, dream-vision-induced, or priestly interpretation of the deity's will or intentions or prohibitions, not in believing the god exists.]]
Skeptic asks: “One of my players is asking me what exactly you mean by “everyone knows” and “really exist” ?
There is a subtle difference with “knows” and “everyone in the world believe”, what is the most correct one for describing it ? (Ex. “Earth is flat, Earth is round”). If it’s the first, which proofs are shown to them to make them knows ?
Let’s say it’s prayers' visibles effects: knowing that with spells, a wizard could mimic easily many “divine powers” (like raising dead with a Wish); wouldn’t it be possible for common folks to think that there is no Gods and only “wizards who thinks are doing faith-based miracles” ?
Let’s say it’s ToT : Some would argue that seeing Gods walking the land was the ultimate proof, but I doubt Ed were taking it into account in this answer. In the opposite case, it means that the relationship between mortals and Gods really changed during this RSE, if it’s the case, I would like to hear Ed about it.”
Ed replies:



All of the conditions you mention are possible for players and DMs employing real-world, modern-day thinking, in which belief in a deity (often a ‘supreme’ or lone deity) is often a matter of faith: believing in a Divine One of some sort through “faith.” That is, belief that for many individuals is bolstered more by sermons and interpretations provided by an organized priesthoods than by personal contact with the deity.
Things are different in the Realms. ALL intelligent beings, whether they worship any deity or not, are born and grow up “knowing” the gods are real, and that they manifest or even “walk among us” daily. EVERY intelligent being receives dream-visions that they believe are sent by the gods, among their other dreams. The nature of these visions makes it clear that they are divine in nature (an individual may need or want a priest’s interpretation of the meaning of a dream-vision, but does NOT need the priest to confirm it came from a god). In most cases in which an intelligent being prays fervently to a deity (i.e. really meaning the prayer, not cursing or saying something by rote with real attention on something else), there is a manifestation, even if only minor (tingling of excitement from Tymora, rosy glow inside one’s head from Lathander, the clang of sword on sword heard in one’s head from Tempus, and so on). In other words, the praying being KNOWS they’ve made contact (perhaps not been heard or heeded or agreed with, and perhaps only with a god’s aura or servitors rather than receiving the personal attention of the deity at that moment - - but they’ve been heard). Individuals who go to temples in which exalted [high-level] clergy perform exacting rituals (“super-prayers,” if you will, with sacrifices and beautiful, heart-felt devotions: dances and eloquent pleas and fervent worship) often witness larger and more spectacular manifestations visible to all (surging excitement throughout the very air, and every body of every person, in the temple of Tymora [similar but more lustily stirring sensations in temples of Sune, Sharess, and Loviatar, with differing “tinges,” of course]; a rosy glow in the air over the altar in a temple of Lathander; the sounds of battle [shouts, screams, the clang of steel, the thunder of hooves, war-trumpets] being heard out of empty air in a temple of Tempus, with the clang of emphatically crossing swords to mark agreement, recognition of a sacrifice or something promised in a prayer, and so on).
Certainly a cynic could say, “Ah, but it’s just the priests doing that with magical trickery! Sure, magic comes from the gods, but so do we all - - and wizards can get the power out of the gods without any of this fawning and obedience!” However, the cynic would have to ignore the dream-visions that come to him, even if he doesn’t pray. ALL of the gods are real (their power determined in part by the number and fervency of their worshippers), and the cynic would have to ignore all the signs he sees around him, daily, of the power of the gods (trees shooting up overnight from seeds blessed and planted by a priest that the cynic watched doing the planting, manifestations seen by many, and so on). The cynic could REJECT “the gods,” or A god, but that’s different than not believing in them.
In our real world, magic of the “instant whizzbang, I hurl my fireball” variety doesn’t exist. In the Realms it does. In like manner, deities of the “the Great Xoblob walks past, glowing, and I weep, wet myself, and tremble uncontrollably in the thrall of energies racing through me, just through being brushed past by his divine power” variety certainly don’t seem to have daily contact with most of us in the real world; if we believe they exist, we must take it on faith. Folks in the Realms receive far more “daily evidence” to bolster their belief, even if they never knowingly happen to touch or get close to, a deity.
The Time of Troubles wasn’t unique in that “gods walked the lands.” It was unique in that “Hey, everybody, they’re ALL here this time! And they’re upset! And they can’t go back to where they dwell! And they’re lessened in power, and they’re fighting each other! RUN FOR THE HILLS!”
It’s not that every last goblin or fishwife or elf-child goes through every day thinking they talk to the gods and the gods listen and personally reply; it’s that all of those beings cowers at the thought of ever personally coming to the personal attention of any deity, but knows all of the deities are at work around them, all the time, and are immensely powerful, and are best heeded (live life the way the priests say the god wants - - and keep a close eye on the tongues of those priests, who many after all from time to time twist things as we all do, eh? - - and we’ll be in good standing with the gods, and they’ll do right by us). Life in the Realms is a series of practical choices, forced by situations (“Must eat, so must get food”), and after that a series of moral choices (Chauntea would want me not to chase the raiding goblins across the newly-sewn field, but Helm and Torm and Tempus would all want me to get after them to make sure they don’t get away, so . . . whose creed do I cleave to first?”).
In the Realms as in our real world, there are many folk who ignore the gods (and certainly priesthoods and overt worship; aren’t the nightly parade of dream-visions, and what I say and do in my dreams in response, enough?) as much as possible and just try to get on with their lives. There are also “true believers” who turn to the veneration of one primary or patron god above all. Most folk are somewhere in the middle, praying when it’s prudent (and on special holy days or occasions such as weddings, funerals, and births) and in moments alone when they seek guidance or reassurance or a lifting of their spirits; the rest of the time, they (in the words of Rusgul the Smith) “let the gods see to the doings of the gods, while Rusgul sees to the livelihood and forge-work of Rusgul!”
Now for obvious reasons, with the United States as the primary market for the D&D game, the religious aspects of both the Realms and the religious environment postulated in the core D&D rules (from the beginning) have had to be de-emphasized.
Real people play this game, and decide to sell or ban or otherwise control access to the game by others, and so the game and its provider dare not offend the majority of said people. Moreover, to be heroes, characters (played by the game’s players) must be self-willed (as “destiny” and “divine meddling” increase, “free will” and therefore “the freedom to have fun and to act as we want to, and therefore to do heroic or evil things” decreases). Add in the roleplaying possibilities afforded by organized priesthoods (with their own corruption, internal intrigues, and political involvements in the fantasy landscapes D&D campaigns unfold in), and it becomes even more desirable to make the gods “fade into the background” and push their believers (plus devils and demons and other “nasty” servitors we can fight) into the foreground.
So anyone, player or DM, can be forgiven for saying, “But there’s nothing much in the printed rules or novels that says life is so gods-heavy in the Realms as all that!” That’s quite true. Yet the hints and more than hints are there in all of the gods-specific resources (FAITHS & AVATARS, et al). The extent to which you put active divine involvement into your game is left up to you. As it should be.
(However, to game designers like me who “think Realms” daily, the intial players’ questions you posted evoke a reaction along these lines: “Huh? How exactly does he ignore or dismiss his daily prayers, then? How can he even THINK such things?”)



So saith Ed. Offering fictitious pantheistic religious guidance to millions for more than two decades.
love to all,
THO
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