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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2246 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  13:56:29  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
Regarding Elaith and his business concerns: The original question listed "criminal activies." Some of them are, admittedly, quite legal in Waterdeep and thereabouts. Elaith owns a festhall or two, as well as a couple of gambling dens. There is a substantial above-board profit to be made in such establishments, but Elaith also finds ways to supplement his income.

For example, the short story "Games of Chance," originally published in Dragon Magazine and soon to be reprinted in "the best of ec" anthology, describes a gambling den that's aggressively magic-free. No magic items of any kind are permitted in the establishment, and if anyone tries to bring one in, it is "dissolved" by powerful wards on the entrances. Of course, these items (which people insist upon carrying, either because they assume rules really don't apply to them, or as a sort of "let's put one over on the Serpent" game) aren't really destroyed, but transferred into a locked box in Elaith's back office. Also, the illithid Elaith employs to scan for use of psionics can also pull other information from the minds of the gamers, to the house's advantage.

Some gambling dens are legal, some might not be. Waterdeep would probably not look favorably upon certain blood sports, such as gladatorial games, cock fights, and monster baiting. Yet there are many in Waterdeep who would pay good coin to watch such games--or to participate in them.

Festhalls are seldom just bawdy houses. The courtesans, healers, and dancers who work there are schooled in the art of conversation (among others) and are skilled at drawing people out. While all of this is perfectly legal, the use to which Elaith puts some of this legally obtained pillow talk might be anything but.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 09 Oct 2006 13:57:43
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  14:09:58  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Thanks Lady Cunningham

That indeed is a great story if I remember it correctly featuring the serpent and his head-strong daughter, she'll be the death of him I tell ya.
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Baleful Avatar
Learned Scribe

Canada
161 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  19:31:47  Show Profile  Visit Baleful Avatar's Homepage Send Baleful Avatar a Private Message
A question for Ed and Lady THO,
How close is the look and feel of the Realms in Ed's novels to its look and feel when Ed's DMing his home campaign?
Thanks.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  19:45:55  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Well met, Lady Cunningham! Drop in and comment more often, please!
Ed’s overwhelmed by visiting family right now (and probably waist-deep in turkey, too ), but in reply to WalkerNinja he sent me this brief response, using Dargoth’s list, with what’s specifically illegal added where necessary:



Protection rackets: Code-illegal
Prostitution: legal, but illegal to employ shapechangers to appear as other than their real shapes without informing clients, illegal to employ prostitutes under duress (physical threat, threat of doing anything to them, kin, or property
Drug dealing: some substances illicit, illegal to deal in any that taxes and duties haven’t been paid on, or to make false claims of ingredients to avoid relevant guild involvement
Gambling: legal, but illegal to “fix” games or odds, or to employ “ringers” as players, who (covertly, acting) work together to dupe other gamblers
Kidnapping for Ransom: Code-illegal
Robberies: Code-illegal
Counterfeiting: Code-illegal
Murder for Hire: Code-illegal
Smuggling of legal and Illegal goods: illegal (by definition, smuggling is tax evasion)
Slavery: Code-illegal



So saith Ed, and there you have it!
love,
THO
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Broken Helm
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  19:53:59  Show Profile  Visit Broken Helm's Homepage Send Broken Helm a Private Message
A question for Ed, if I may: if the Swords books can't follow what happened in your campaign, are you going to use them to explore what would have happened IF the players had done something different, or do whatever works best as an entertaining story, or - what?
And if you don't want to tell us, that's fine. I'm hoping, however...
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  20:03:53  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message
Ed and THO,
At a recent convention, Ed mentioned he was writing something called DARK WARRIOR. Is this a Realms project, or something else?
Thanks in advance.
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Longtime Lurker
Seeker

51 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2006 :  20:43:55  Show Profile  Visit Longtime Lurker's Homepage Send Longtime Lurker a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,
How much does the average worshipper of Bane know about the top hierarchy of its church? Do they know Fzoul's rank, or anything about him? Do they know how he got there? Do rumors circulate, do the clergy spin rumors and news like in our modern world? And is there "1984"-like rewriting of past history when new priests rise to the top?
And how different is it in, say, the faith of Tyr?
Thanks!
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2246 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2006 :  13:41:12  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Well met, Lady Cunningham! Drop in and comment more often, please!


Thanks for the welcome and the invitation. I'm not doing much online interaction these days, but any mention of Elaith seems to have a mystical power to draw me in.

quote:
Ed’s overwhelmed by visiting family right now (and probably waist-deep in turkey, too. )


Waist-deep in turkey? Damn! And I thought the 30-pound bird I bought last year was big!

Roasted Roc, anyone?

I would ask what Ed's having on the side, but that might be misconstrued.
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Kalin Agrivar
Senior Scribe

Canada
956 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2006 :  14:49:53  Show Profile  Visit Kalin Agrivar's Homepage  Click to see Kalin Agrivar's MSN Messenger address Send Kalin Agrivar a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello again, fellow scribes. In Canada, it's Thanksgiving time, which means family visiting, which means Ed's replies may get slow or sporadic for a day or two.



Happy post-Turkey Day to THO and Ed and all the other Canuks from another Canuk! Hope you all avoided the OPP thanksgiving speed traps

Kalin Xorell El'Agrivar

- High Mage of the Arcane Assembly
- Lore Keeper of the Vault of Ancestors
- 3rd Son of the Lord of the Stand
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2006 :  04:16:08  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. This time Ed tackles (in the wake of Kaladorm’s excellent posting on the matter, all of which Ed and I both agree with) Reefy’s query: “Hi Ed (and THO), I appreciate this question could probably be answered by others (any input is welcome), but I wanted to take it to the top as it were (I hope you understand why, I have no desire to take up any more of your time than necessary).
One of my players has expressed concern about Mystra's ability to strip power away from wizards. As a wizard, obviously losing this power would be disastrous to the individual.
My opinion about this is that Mystra would not do such a thing except in the most extreme of circumstances (she was directly threatened, the Weave was directly threatened, maybe the entire world). Such circumstances are generally rather unlikely to happen, to say the least. Other than that, as the Goddess of magic, why on Toril would she want to stop an individual casting spells? She allows anybody to use magic, from the lowliest apprentice, to Alustriel and Manshoon, individuals who use magic for very different ends.
I don't think any character would be possessed of this mindset, there is no evidence to suggest such a thing might happen, certainly if the character doesn't do anything deserving of such a punishment.
I have also tried to rationalise it in terms of the far more pressing problems a character may face on a daily basis - when you have orc hordes, rampaging dragons, fearsome mothers-in-law, or where the next meal is coming from to deal with, worrying that Mystra may decide to strip away your Art on a whim pales into insignificance to me. Plus, if you're worried about that, why aren't you worried about Bane striking you down or enslaving you to his will for a bit of a laugh?
Finally, in game, such a thing would be subject to the will of the DM anyway, and handing out such a punishment would be grossly unfair unless the character did something worthy of having the power taken away, which I would say is incredibly unlikely.
Yet the player says it's the knowledge that it *could* happen, however unlikely, that is the problem to her. Could please confirm or deny my thoughts on these matters, expand on them if necessary, and share any ideas you may have on how to reassure my player?
Many thanks.”
Ed replies:



Reefy, I tend to agree with Kaladorm here: this is a player problem, rather than a character problem.
A character in the Realms would know about Mystra’s governance of the Art from her infant dreams (which, if she has aptitude for the Art, she would receive from her earliest days), and about Mystra’s ability to cut mortals off from the Weave from when she’s old enough to understand the speech of others. In other words, it’s a “given” (as in, the sun rises in the morning, and darkness comes after the sun sets, and if you just let go of a stone in your hand it’ll fall to the ground).
So to anyone roleplaying “properly” in the Realms (thinking as a creature of Faerûn would think), it shouldn’t be a source of anxiety at all - - except to a character who is, say, actively trying to harm Chosen or other servants of Mystra BECAUSE they’re servants of Mystra (in other words, a Shar-worshipper seeking to harm the causes of Mystra).
To everyone else, it’s just “one of the things we all know about the world.”
Your opinions on the unlikelihood of Mystra stripping access to the Weave from a mortal PC are dead-on correct: to someone who doesn’t deliberately set out to harm widespread magic use (in Biblical terms, a King Herod figure trying to butcher everyone who’s a wizard or a sorcerer - - or, in Realms terms, someone trying to change a Mythal into a huge explosive or toxic force so as to obliberate thousands or start a mythal “chain reaction” or deliberately feed or create new wild or dead magic areas), this is just NOT going to happen. Mystra’s portfolio is to increase use of magic (all magic, by everyone). If you show your player this response and promise as a DM that you are going to follow this view (and, therefore, almost certainly never even think of stripping her character’s Art away), that should provide real-world assurances.
Also, there are other forms of magic than Weave-based, so a character could seek (yes, lesser or more limited) alternatives, should that “unthinkable” ever happen. But then again: if it does happen, losing magical use is probably going to be considered a minor problem by a character already well over her head in REAL troubles.



So saith Ed. Who created Mystra, with this particular power, and the concept (if not the word; it was Julia Martin’s, I believe) of the Weave, too.
love to all,
THO
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2006 :  04:29:26  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Wasnt there a "Mystra Curse" in 2ed which cut a Wizard off from the weave if he deliberately used another Wizards mark?

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks

Edited by - Dargoth on 11 Oct 2006 04:30:56
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2006 :  04:34:24  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

Wasnt there a "Mystra Curse" in 2ed which cut a Wizard off from the weave if he deliberately used another Wizards mark?



Yes, and it's in Magic of Faerun also. :)

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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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4569 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2006 :  05:38:12  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
Happy turkey day Ed

I was wondering if you could tell me the status of a few questions I had asked earlier in the year

Question about the members of the Thorp noble family in Waterdeep (6th of Febuary)

Question on the Floshin family tree (4th of April)

Question about the Northsmen (11th of June)

The reason why I ask is my current campaign will likely finish up at the end of the Year and your answers to the 3 questions will help me flesh out the background of the characters for the next campaign.

Thanks in advance

Dargoth

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

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks

Edited by - Dargoth on 11 Oct 2006 05:38:51
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2006 :  02:14:04  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, all. Ed answers Uzzy this time, re.: “Hello again Ed! I’ve been wondering about the Harper Pins, and after some help from the other scribes here, I thought I would ask you. Is there any set size for one? I’m guessing that it’s small, but how small exactly? Are there any protections against it being discovered from a 'pat-down', or is it up to the agent to make sure its kept very well hidden? Are there stacks of them in safekeeping somewhere, or do they only get made for when a new member is joining the Harpers? Do they even get passed down through the generations, from Harper to Harper?
Any lore you could share with us on the Pins would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.”
Ed replies:



createvmind has the right ideas in his post, but let me tackle things, as he anticipated, in a little more depth:
* “Is there any set size for one? I’m guessing that it’s small, but how small exactly?”
I’d say “usual size” rather than “set size” (there are a few exceptions, mainly tiny “charms” worn on anklets and other fine chains or as earring pendants by ladies, that serve for Harper recognition and have a few limited powers [can be magically traced by other Harpers, cover wearer entirely with a magical aura that makes all of them seem magical, and foils alignment-reading and all surface-thought-reading attempts] rather than the usual range. Most Harper pins are about two inches across, though there are also a few larger “show” pins, up to twice that size.
* “Are there any protections against it being discovered from a 'pat-down', or is it up to the agent to make sure its kept very well hidden?”
Most pins can be touched and a word spoken, to make them seem (to everyone not employing magically-augmented, illusion-piercing vision, except the person activating this power, who sees the pin as a “glowing Harper pin”) like a set “other thing” (usually an old, slightly shabby brooch, usually with a flower or butterfly motif; in other words, an obviously “family heirloom” piece rather than something worth stealing for its intrinsic gem or metal value; some pins resemble battered personal holy symbols). This illusion lasts until the activator de-activates it again (or anyone else who knows the right word does so, by touch and speech), but doesn’t fool the fingers of anyone. Yes, Harpers usually keep pins hidden rather than displaying them disguised, except in Berdusk or at Storm’s farmhouse or “open Harper functions.” A pat-down will discover them, so bearers fearing discovery will hide their pins somewhere (not on their persons), or if they have long hair work the pins deep into hair above the back of their necks, or if female and well-endowed will slip them up and under the curve of their breasts, or if fat will ditto with belly overhangs, or even wrap them against pain and slip them into body cavities.
* “Are there stacks of them in safekeeping somewhere, or do they only get made for when a new member is joining the Harpers?”
There aren’t “stacks,” no, but there are caches of pins ready for new Harpers. If love or deep regard or friendship is involved between an existing Harper and a new one, the veteran Harper may well help make a pin for the new one. Pins with a large range of powers do of course require magically-gifted crafters of sufficient levels.
* “Do they even get passed down through the generations, from Harper to Harper?”
Yes, many Harper pins get passed down, their powers sometimes decaying over time or being augmented or altered by various owners. There are even “haunted” Harper pins that bear the whispering or mind-speaking sentiences of former Harper bearers, that communicate with later wearers.



So saith Ed, revealing something juicy right at the end there! Run with it, lads and lasses, run with it!
love to all,
THO
P.S. Ed's off to be a Guest of Honour at the Alliance Open House in Fort Wayne, Indiana (at the Grand Wayne Center, which has hosted so many superb Pentacons over the years), so he'll fall e-silent until Tuesday. Hang in there, scribes: laptop under arm, he'll still be busily turning out Realmslore for us all!
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Uzzy
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
618 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2006 :  03:12:53  Show Profile  Visit Uzzy's Homepage Send Uzzy a Private Message
Wow. Thanks Ed and THO!

Haunted Harper Pins sure sounds intresting..
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

490 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2006 :  04:41:16  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Thanks, and I understand now why no response about Imaskari and such I asked some time back, just read Darkvision.
Once again I will have to change the story i'm been working on for past year and a half, lol.

By the way has that ever happened that you've had ideas for novels and someone else had the same or similar idea that caused you to have to change your storyline?
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2006 :  20:14:42  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi, fellow scribes. Just a FYI: Ed is back from Fort Wayne (the Diamond/Alliance Open House, a day of handing out free copies of Castlemourn to retailers, and talking up the line) and racing to finish something "really big" for Wizards, that will keep him offline until Friday at least.
Keep those questions coming. Ed still intends to answer each and every one of them!
love,
THO
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2006 :  21:35:50  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage  Click to see Chosen of Moradin's MSN Messenger address Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message
Dear Lady Herald of Realmslore.

Just a quick question to Ed: how many parts will have the article Daily dwarf common? I literally fall from the chair when I see a dwarven-related realmslore. Ed is really a "master of litle things that form the great picture" (Heh! Nice title!)

Thanks in advance

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  01:13:35  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, fellow scribes. Just a FYI: Ed is back from Fort Wayne (the Diamond/Alliance Open House, a day of handing out free copies of Castlemourn to retailers, and talking up the line)...
Oooh! I love the sound of that.

Not too long now.

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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Wandering_mage
Senior Scribe

688 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  02:32:56  Show Profile  Visit Wandering_mage's Homepage Send Wandering_mage a Private Message
Ed's dwarf common article on www.wizards.com was very enjoyable. I wrote down the info into my realms journal immediately. Thanks Ed.

Illum
The Wandering Mage
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  05:22:45  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
So Ed,

What can you tell us about the Green Library in Ruathym? What is the building like? What ancient tomes does it contain? A sample of the NPC's there? The usual.... :)

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

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

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31688 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  06:08:54  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
Question for Ed, from an unmoderated scroll that needed to be sealed -

quote:
Originally posted by prepos

Well Again, Ed!

It's John, the guy who used to pop in at Brookbanks, and ask you questions about the Realms, every second day or so (ok, it might have been every day sometimes, but c'mon, there are more important things than circulation and huge lineups of angry library patrons!!!!)

Are you going to be making any 2006 or 2007 Toronto appearances?
The visit at the Merill Collection was a great idea, and fun for everyone!

Also, if you know any Realms fans in Toronto, can you send my email along. I've got a real need to talk face-to-face with some real Realms fans, instead of doing everything over the computer. Thanks : hope to see you or some Realms fans soon ! ....

John Scott
prespos2000@yahoo.ca

Virtual Fantasy
2006/404

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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Krafus
Learned Scribe

246 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2006 :  20:38:55  Show Profile  Visit Krafus's Homepage  Send Krafus an AOL message Send Krafus a Private Message
Dear Ed and THO,

What is the great red wyrm Balagos "The Flying Flame" up to nowadays? (If that's answered in Dragons of Faerun, which I'd like to buy but can't currently afford, just tell me so.) Thanks.
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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2006 :  10:33:06  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, all. This time Ed tackles (in the wake of Kaladorm’s excellent posting on the matter, all of which Ed and I both agree with)



*Blush* Wish I could remember what it was now, it sounds useful
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2006 :  11:46:00  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kuje

So Ed,

What can you tell us about the Green Library in Ruathym? What is the building like? What ancient tomes does it contain? A sample of the NPC's there? The usual.... :)



Don't we get a glimpse of it in Tangled Webs?

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett
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