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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4843 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2006 :  15:07:19  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. This time Ed answers RodOdom, re. this question: “Dear Ed and Lady THO, Thanks so much for revealing that relationship between the shape-changers. I am very suprised about their cross-breeds and hope to find out more about them one day.
Here's a question about Elminster, but not really about Elminster. If I understand correctly, the Old Sage is not so much Superman, zipping around saving the day, as he is the Kevin Bacon of the Realms. All the good guys are linked to him somehow, and he uses his connections to put the right people together for the right challenge. Has there ever been anyone in history who comes close to Elminster's role in the forces of good?”
Ed replies:



Certainly. As of right now, Alustriel in the Sword Coast North. Recently, Khelben (by different diplomatic means), Laeral in Waterdeep, and several Harpers. In elder times, Mentor in Myth Drannor, and there are at least four others I can think of, that NDAs prevent me from identifying at the moment.



So saith Ed. Who was aching to say more, but dare not. Yet.
love,
THO
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DavidTrim
Acolyte

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 31 Oct 2006 :  22:30:11  Show Profile  Visit DavidTrim's Homepage Send DavidTrim a Private Message
Ed, I just got ahold of a copy of the FR13 Anauroch suppliment and it is awesome. Just wanted to say that.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4843 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2006 :  15:30:47  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, fellow scribes. This time Ed tackles another question from RodOdom: “Dear Ed and Lady THO, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our (merciless?) barrage of questions. Here's another for your consideration:
What's the geologic age of Toril? The earliest date mentioned in the Serpent Kingdoms sourcebook -35000 DR, the start of the Age of Thunder. Were there billions of years of unrecorded history before that period?”
Ed replies:



You’re very welcome. Whenever I have time to actually sit down and deal with e-mail, I love sharing Realmslore with everyone who’s become a fan of my world. Warm fuzzy pleasure for me, so thank YOU. As for the geological age of Toril, we don’t know for sure. However, I can say that the eldest elves and dragons who’ve considered the matter, and the best-informed human sages ditto, all tend to hold opinions that suggest Toril is twice as old as the Age of Thunder . . . or perhaps a LITTLE less.



So saith Ed. Hmm. That’s a LOT more Realmslore to write, big boy . . . you are planning to live forever, aren’t you?
P.S. DavidTrim, Ed says you're welcome. He hated the lack of wordcount he ran into on that project, but a lot of the spells that "didn't make it" went into AL-Qadim.
love to all,
THO
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31438 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2006 :  15:49:03  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

Hmm. That’s a LOT more Realmslore to write, big boy . . . you are planning to live forever, aren’t you?
Hehe...

There's always lichdom!

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

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4843 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2006 :  02:48:54  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, scribes. Ed essays a reply of sorts to Longtime Lurker this time, re. this query: “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!”
Ed replies:



I’m not sure that there is such a thing as an “average worshipper of Bane.” Even among laity, there are backcountry bumpkins, and citizens in news-filled crossroads cities like Waterdeep, and everything in between. Leaving out ordained priests and novices in training to become priests, I’d say that MOST worshippers of Bane have heard of Fzoul and are aware that he’s “head of the church, or close to it,” just as they are aware that for years the church was headed by the High Imperceptor of Bane, and have heard something of the chaos and infighting among the hierarchy during the time of “Bane’s Silence,” the Time of the Godson (Xvim), and so on.
Yes, there are indeed rumors aplenty, swirling constantly among the clergy and leaking out into “public” circulation - - and there are indeed attempts to “spin” or control what information priests let slip or officially impart. There are also continual 1984-like attempts to rewrite church history, but thanks to long memories and the use of magic, these have only limited success among the clergy. They do, however, form the basis of what lay worshippers are taught, and punishments and the passage of time have a way of “changing memories” airly effectively among the laity - - unless they are nobles, wealthy, and otherwise well-informed or involved in church power struggles in some way, and take care to keep themselves informed. To such folk, forgetting little details about the past can swiftly prove fatal . . .

Not so in church of Tyr. They can be harshly repressive, too, but changes in "official" church doctrine are discussed beforehand, and everyone in the clergy is solemnly and officially informed several times (with "clarifications from on high"). So any rewriting of history is slow, ponderous, and clearly warned-about.



So saith Ed. Creator of Bane, Xvim, Fzoul, and for the matter the High Imperceptor, Waterdeep, and the whole blamed Realms around them. Tyr, howver, he's guilty only of borrowing.
love to all,
THO
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GoCeraf
Learned Scribe

147 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2006 :  05:27:09  Show Profile  Visit GoCeraf's Homepage Send GoCeraf a Private Message
Hello Mr. Greenwood.

I've been toying around with writing as of late, and I've been wondering what sort of process one has to go through to have FR related novels published. Although I don't consider myself to be anything of an expert in this area, I think it would be very fulfilling to have work done in such a well-traveled area of literature.

Thanks,
GoCeraf

Being sarcastic can be more telling than simply telling.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
27011 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2006 :  06:11:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
Well, I'm not Ed, but I will say this:

While many of us would love to write in the Realms, it's a sad fact that Wizards does not "accept unsolicited submissions for our shared-world fiction lines: Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Eberron, and Magic: The Gathering." That's a direct quote from their Book Publishing Writer Resources page. However, that page does mention they'll accept submissions for their "speculative fiction imprint", and has a link to the guidelines for such submissions. They also have a FAQ and a list of recommended books for writers.

Your best bet is to do lots and lots of writing. Try submitting stuff to Dragon. Aiming at other, non-Realms publications will help, too: you need to show what you can do and establish a track record. If you can get on WotC's radar, you'll have a better chance of being considered when they do decide to look for outside talent to work on their novels.

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 02 Nov 2006 06:12:22
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createvmind
Senior Scribe

470 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2006 :  23:34:24  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Thats why I'm going to make my story into a Neverwinter Nights 2 module, well actually it will span several modules hopefully. I will do my utmost to make you writers and the creator proud, now where is that book on C++ I have buried somewhere to help me with the gazillion scripts I'm going to need.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31438 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  00:24:49  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 createvmind

Thats why I'm going to make my story into a Neverwinter Nights 2 module, well actually it will span several modules hopefully. I will do my utmost to make you writers and the creator proud, now where is that book on C++ I have buried somewhere to help me with the gazillion scripts I'm going to need.

Ah, C++... that takes me back.

Let me know how you go createvmind... C++ isn't the easiest programming beast to tame, afterall.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- 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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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7898 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  00:29:10  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by createvmind

Thats why I'm going to make my story into a Neverwinter Nights 2 module, well actually it will span several modules hopefully. I will do my utmost to make you writers and the creator proud, now where is that book on C++ I have buried somewhere to help me with the gazillion scripts I'm going to need.

Ah, C++... that takes me back.

Let me know how you go createvmind... C++ isn't the easiest programming beast to tame, afterall.




As it does for me also because of MUD's. Sigh, I miss coding MUD's. :)

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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createvmind
Senior Scribe

470 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  01:30:20  Show Profile  Visit createvmind's Homepage Send createvmind a Private Message
Trust me, I will be begging and pleading on NWN forum for assistance with scripts.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4843 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  02:09:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. This time Ed answers Skeptic, re. this question: “Now that the Border Kingdoms are well covered, maybe Ed could talk us a bit more about the Unicorn Run ? (The others are well-covered in published realms)”
Ed replies:



Maybe I could. :}
Seriously, I intend to provide a little more detail about the Unicorn Run, but there are at least two NDAs that prevent me from doing so just yet. When certain other projects are finished or brought much farther along, I’ll know if I can say more.



So saith Ed. Swords out, ladies and gentles; the darned NDAs are on the prowl again!
love to all,
THO
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GoCeraf
Learned Scribe

147 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  05:39:15  Show Profile  Visit GoCeraf's Homepage Send GoCeraf a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Well, I'm not Ed, but I will say this:

While many of us would love to write in the Realms, it's a sad fact that Wizards does not "accept unsolicited submissions for our shared-world fiction lines: Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Eberron, and Magic: The Gathering." That's a direct quote from their Book Publishing Writer Resources page. However, that page does mention they'll accept submissions for their "speculative fiction imprint", and has a link to the guidelines for such submissions. They also have a FAQ and a list of recommended books for writers.

Your best bet is to do lots and lots of writing. Try submitting stuff to Dragon. Aiming at other, non-Realms publications will help, too: you need to show what you can do and establish a track record. If you can get on WotC's radar, you'll have a better chance of being considered when they do decide to look for outside talent to work on their novels.



Ah, I see. Well, I must say that makes me very sad. My creativity, sadly, is limited to character development, as opposed to world development. Well, the biggest journey starts with one step, and, I suppose, step I must.

Being sarcastic can be more telling than simply telling.
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Marc
Senior Scribe

582 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  09:10:57  Show Profile Send Marc a Private Message
Dear Ed and The Hooded One, thank you very much for your time and care about players

I have a few questions concerning wild elves,

1. Are the sun elves of Lyrandrar in any relations with other elves of Chondalwood or their xenophobia even expands to that?

2. Is it possible for a wild elf of Misty Vale to take an ''adventurer road'' and are there any exceptions amongst the general attitude there towards the outside world?

3. what is a general estimation of wild-elven population in Chondalwood, Chult, the Forest of Amtar, Methwood, the Misty Vale, is it low (below 50 000)? (hope that this question is not too much considering their mysteriousness, with ''yes'' or ''no'' answer I would be happy)

.
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Neriandal Freit
Senior Scribe

USA
396 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  12:26:59  Show Profile  Visit Neriandal Freit's Homepage  Click to see Neriandal Freit's MSN Messenger address Send Neriandal Freit a Private Message
I know your not much of a fan of stats Ed, but I must request just this one...

Could we get the attacks, spells and everything else of the dreaded monsters known as NDA, where they live, and who creates these VILE creatures?!

Thanks!

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

578 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  13:58:32  Show Profile Send Delzounblood a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by createvmind

Thats why I'm going to make my story into a Neverwinter Nights 2 module, well actually it will span several modules hopefully. I will do my utmost to make you writers and the creator proud, now where is that book on C++ I have buried somewhere to help me with the gazillion scripts I'm going to need.

Ah, C++... that takes me back.

Let me know how you go createvmind... C++ isn't the easiest programming beast to tame, afterall.

Sage here's a quote for you, I came across it somewhere on the web.

"C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
- Bjarne Stroustrup



*sorry to go off topic*





Gone !

If you see me I'm just checking my PM's
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31438 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  14:34:40  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 Delzounblood

Sage here's a quote for you, I came across it somewhere on the web.

"C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
- Bjarne Stroustrup



*sorry to go off topic*
Aye. I know the quote well... it's written on a special plaque hanging from the wall above my workstation.

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

Edited by - The Sage on 03 Nov 2006 14:36:21
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Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2006 :  23:20:08  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
As to the question of neglected subjects we'd like to see Ed cover: I have to somewhat echo others here who have already spoken.

1)Pre-RSE Evereska. Physical structure and appearance, people, nobility, priests, political structure, shops, inns, taverns, temples, magic, psionics, etc/ad nauseum and various other relevant latin terms. Some focus on what the rare, priviledged human and half elven visitors will see and experience from their point of view and how various factions within the city will treat them. Evereska has been long-neglected, in my opinion. The treatment in novels has been long on vague hints and hazy overviews and very short on practical realmslore that we can really sink our teeth into. So any bone Ed can throw us while lithely dodging carnivorous NDA's would be welcomed by me, at least.

2)Post-RSE Evereska. Been covered a little bit in Rand's Travelogue with regard to the immediate aftermath of the Phaerimm attack, but would love to get some hints at how it will reorganize/recover as time marches on in the published Realms, or at least how Ed would handle it in the home Realms campaign.

3)Emthrara and other Harper agents in Cormyr, and of the next generation in general, who are taking up the fight as the various 'old wolves' start to age in earnest...

4)Yanseldara, her consort Vaerana, and the city of Elversult. If for no other reason than to satisfy one of our esteemed colleagues, once and for all. ;)

5)The new neighborhoods (including Northend) that are apparently springing up around the old core of Shadowdale (as hinted at in Storm's chapter of Silverfall) and any notable people/situations therein.

6)Gwennath, Bishop of the Black Blades. Ed's usual simplified 2E stats and any background and notes as yet unrevealed. Perhaps a roster of the other Black Blades as well?

7)Sharanralee, unless she's been covered in a previous reply that I've missed or is hiding under an NDA rock someplace...

Cheers,

-Karth (who is suddenly thinking that 'lithely dodging' might be more THO's pidgin than Ed's. More stimulating to watch, as well. )



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RevJest
Learned Scribe

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2006 :  04:23:10  Show Profile  Visit RevJest's Homepage Send RevJest a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Karth

6)Gwennath, Bishop of the Black Blades. Ed's usual simplified 2E stats and any background and notes as yet unrevealed. Perhaps a roster of the other Black Blades as well?


Sadly, I fear only the Holy Lady Tymora knows what Gwennath's stats are now. :)

- RJ

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Blackwill
Seeker

55 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2006 :  07:28:22  Show Profile  Visit Blackwill's Homepage  Click to see Blackwill's MSN Messenger address Send Blackwill a Private Message
Hail Lady THO and Sir Greenwood,

I've been carefully reading over the Serpent Kingdoms sourcebook. Firstly a comment of praise. The book is excellent, and it's very refreshing to read so much detail about our cold blooded friends. Onwards to my question at hand.

My interest has focussed myself on the Moonsea region, and I was curious if any noteworthy pressence of scaled-ones can be found there. So far I haven't found any information about any pressence. The closest pressence of note is the ancient Isstosseffifil empire. Has even none of their Asabi's made the trek east?

Thank you for considering my question at hand.


~Blackwill, servant to Murder - Prince of Lies.

~Blackwill

Edited by - Blackwill on 05 Nov 2006 13:01:33
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Karth
Learned Scribe

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2006 :  12:55:14  Show Profile  Visit Karth's Homepage  Send Karth an AOL message Send Karth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by RevJest

Sadly, I fear only the Holy Lady Tymora knows what Gwennath's stats are now. :)

- RJ



Oh, did she take a dirtnap in the trilogy? I guess I forgot that...

Then again: since when is death a career-ending injury in the Realms?

-K
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RodOdom
Senior Scribe

USA
509 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2006 :  14:37:24  Show Profile  Visit RodOdom's Homepage Send RodOdom a Private Message
Dear Ed and Lady THO,

Many Faerunian dieties originate from other worlds. Have these gods ever directly transferred basic technologies or culture whole cloth from another world to Faerunian natives? For example has a bard ever woken up one morning gifted with knowledge of a song from another dimension, or a farmer with the designs for a better plow?

Edited by - RodOdom on 04 Nov 2006 14:39:01
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4843 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2006 :  16:29:53  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, all. This time Ed tackles a question from October 1th, 2005, posed by Lord of Bones: “Hello there! I have a question regarding the Simbul and her animosity towards the Red Wizards.
We all know that the Simbul is something of a loose cannon, and a bit of a crazy lady, but do you think she would attack (with intent to kill) a wizard she knew to be Thayan upon sight, or would it be more likely that she'd send him or her back to Thay via a handy spell, or alternatively capture the wandering Red Wizard?
Obviously this is going on the basis that a Red Wizard would be strolling through Aglarond, but I don't think they're fools enough to wear the ceremonial robes and reveal their complex tattoos at all times.
In addition, are we to presume that there has been any sort of relationship between the Simbul and Lauzoril since the book 'The Simbul's Gift'? It would seem that his personality has changed somewhat from "I believe Thay is destined to rule Faerun, but not a Faerun drenched in blood" to "let's march our armies upon our enemies" (at least according to the new FRCS.) The relationship between the two archmages was interesting to say the least. It's a pity it's never really been picked up on in any other book than that novel.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
LoB”
Ed replies:



Sorry I’ve taken so long (and I’m even sorrier to the scribes who’ve been waiting since 2004!) to get to your post. As for a known Red Wizard strolling through Aglarond in disguise: unless the Simbul was already very angry (due to events befalling in, say, the previous twenty minutes or so, or a day or so after a death of someone she loved), she would very much want to know WHY the Thayan was in Aglarond, and what they were up to, before she cut loose and destroy them. So use of a magical disguise (remember, the Simbul spends more time flitting around the Realms as a bird or otherwise shapechanged into “nondescript fauna” form than she does in her own shape, something recent Realms chroniclers often seem to forget) to shadow the Thayan, and then a magical invasion of his mind when he’s asleep if he doesn’t do or say anything enlightening before taking slumber, may be what she does if she doesn’t have pressing emergencies elsewhere.
If she’s enraged or in a hurry, she just might cast a delayed-blast chain meteor swarm or similar “Simbul special” battle spell into the unfortunate Thayan’s innards, and use another spell to fling him back to Thay charged to cry out that he has to get an important warning to the nearest zulkir . . .
Yet she CAN love Red Wizards, as her relationship with Lauzoril proves. A relationship that continues, sporadically, though not as “close” in nature as it was in THE SIMBUL’S GIFT. I agree that it’s a pity we haven’t seen more coverage of them, after that lone novel (and a greater pity that Lynn Abbey, whom I consider a great writer and a good friend, hasn’t written a lot more Realms books!) Lauzoril’s character continues to change, but it’s important for everyone to distinguish between the “public act” every Red Wizard puts on, to further their own standing (and survival!) within the Brotherhood and in Thayan society, and what they truly (and very privately) feel. Even Szass Tam has his soft side, and they all have their own little secret plans, diversions, and activities, from growing flowers to innocently burping little lasses and singing songs to them. (Trust me about this; I created almost every one of them, old Szass included.)



So saith Ed. Yes, I recall a certain dalliance between several Knights of Myth Drannor and powerful Red Wizards, circa 1982 or so . . . Szass wasn’t part of it, but I have always strongly suspected he was manipulating several of the Red Wizards involved, and spying on them and us through the eyes and minds of his puppets . . .
[delicious shiver]
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

4843 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2006 :  02:15:14  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello all scribes, hello! Pray heed: big answer time! Ed has finally produced a reply to Zandilar, Kentinal, RevJest, GothicDan, Zanan, Faraer, Wooly Rupert, warlockco, The Sage, bearsden, and divers other scribes, about the contentious matter of non-drow and male clerics of Eilistraee, the nature and status of the Dark Dancer among drow and pantheons in general, the role of males in rituals and among the clergy of this deity, and so on.
Here’s Ed’s answer:



It is true that for some decades in the Realms (the time covered by the Realms boxed sets of both the 1st and 2nd Edition) there were apparently no male clerics of Lolth and no male clerics of Eilistraee, and no non-drow clergy of either goddess.
However, matters have changed.
Some (not all!) priestesses of Eilistraee believe the Dancer is worried about something dark she’s foreseen. Others disagree - - but all admit the Goddess has, for reasons she’s not divulged, changed the directives she gives her clergy and lay worshippers, to become far more inclusive.
For one thing, the “dream visions” she’s sent to senior established clergy have begun to direct them to accept both males and individuals of many races into the ranks of her clergy. (So, yes, Kentinal, a goblin priestess, gnome priestess, silver dragon, hill giants, and male priests of all stripes now ARE possible. We still don’t know [not being able to personally quiz Eilistraee] if there are any races that remain unacceptable as her clergy, but whereas before the answer was: all of them except drow, and female drow at that, the answer now is: possibly; all certainty is gone.) There are even apparently lycanthropes and shapechanging races among the clergy of Eilistraee.
Yes, you heard me right: there now ARE a few males among her church, but to enter it they have all “Danced The Changedance” and spent time as female, just as Mystra caused Elminster to spend time as Elmara - - and for the same reasons: greater understanding and sensitivity of “the life of the other gender.” One cannot truly feel the Divine Dance of Eilistraee PROPERLY except as a female, and so her (still very rare, few, and generally secretive about it) male priests must spend some time as a female (not just for the duration of a ritual, but they must do some everyday living as a female). The most accomplished drow, elf, half-elf, and human male priests seem to feel the need to take female form for some days every few years or so (if they wish to “cleave more fully to the Goddess” and thus rise in levels), and most spend longer and longer times in female form. Not all female priests of the Goddess fully trust the males, and they don’t tend to rise much in the church hierarchy (no matter what character levels they achieve).
More than that, many drow priestesses of Eilistraee are unhappy about this, and may prove hostile (not to the point of violence or refusal to accept or aid, but with a coldness in manner and a wary “always watching over” any males, until they achieve acceptance on a personal level [e.g. “I still don’t hold with allowing males - - males! - - to join the dances, but Elorand can be trusted; he’s proven himself over and over, and don’t think we haven’t tested him. Other males, I still don’t trust!”). Eilistraee has always had enough personal contact with her clergy that none of them would think of disbelieving that she truly means this “new way” to occur and to be followed - - and no established priestess of Eilistraee will renounce this new order, either. (“Reluctantly accepting and unhappily coping” is a good description of their state; “defying the goddess and rejecting males or trying to trick or lead them into fatal mishaps so we can be rid of them” would NOT be an accurate characterization.)
There wasn’t a single date or clear moment when the acceptance of males and non-drow began; it seems to have been slowly and almost secretively occurring over a decade or so. However, as of 1373 DR, “everyone” among the clergy of Eilistraee now seems to be aware of it.
Zandilar, Eilistraee has always gained converts and made herself known to drow through dream-visions and personal appearances (usually dancing in moonlit woods). Many, many drow long to return to the surface and live among trees (it’s a race instinct, that some recognize for what it is - - whereas other drow just feel always unsettled and edgy, and usually turn this into fighting amongst themselves, and family and/or trading rivalries), and Eilistraee has far more worshippers than the drow who dwell under the firm influence of Vhaeraun or Lolth (who is by far the most powerful of drow deities) would have one believe. I’d say a little more than 22% or so of all drow in Faerûn worship Eilistraee - - although I must again remind scribes to set aside any modern monotheistic thinking: in the Realms, the vast majority of intelligent beings worship many or at least several gods, NOT just one. It’s not easy to truly believe in and worship Lolth and any other drow deity, but a particular drow individual COULD venerate both Eilistraee and Vhaeraun (though they’d serve neither well, in trying to follow or honour both). Drow who ONLY worship Eilistraee are almost entirely her clergy, and are probably between 10 and 12 percent of all drow.
(I would echo Zanan in ranking the “popularity” of drow deities as: Lolth by a long shot, then Vhaeraun, but thereafter I would put Eilistraee ahead of Selvetarm, and Ghaundaur last of all. As of this moment, that is; faiths and their deities rise and fall over time, and right now Lolth is the only one I would bet on being around in the far future, if one purely considers divine power. Faraer is quite correct, however, to remind us that “worship isn’t the sole determinant of godly might, or Waukeen would be far greater than Mystra and Shar.” Wooly Rupert is also dead-on when he observed “If Lolth had her way, there would be no drow pantheon - - just her.”)
Every drow who sets out on an expedition to the surface, to raid, gets “tempted by Eilistraee in their dreams” (visions sent into their minds, whether they’re asleep, in Reverie, lying wounded or bored, singing or otherwise concentrating on something, or daydreaming alone or working on some repetitive task like painting or weaving). She also sends visions, in exactly the same manner, to drow who never go near the surface.
Many drow literally don’t understand the visions; they feel but don’t “feel” the Goddess. Others find Her troubling, or reject Her - - but about a quarter of all drow yearn for what she shows them. They may never do anything about it, or may never seek Her or Her worship, but they certainly feel Her.
So almost all drow learn of Eilistraee’s existence, and even receive a true picture of what it is (Lolth can’t stop that, because she too uses the dream-vision approach, and to try to block others from using it would rob her lay worshippers of much sanity, her priestesses of much daily control over those lay worshippers, and herself of much control over her priestesses). Not all that many reject Lolth and cleave to Eilistraee, but many secretly yearn (meaning they might spare a stricken worshipper of Eilistraee if they think no priestess is watching, or fail to pass on to other drow something they may have seen of the activities of faithful of Eilistraee, or stop to watch a dance of Eilistraee worshippers rather than disrupting it).
As for which pantheon Eilistraee belongs to: pantheons are a purely mortal frame of reference, or way of classifying and speaking of divine beings they can never wholly understand. Eilistraee clearly began as, and primarily remains, a drow deity - - but has exiled herself from the formal company of all other deities (though she’s friendly to Selune and Mielikki, and at least polite to all of the major surface elven deities).
No mortal can be certain why Eilistraee is now embracing males and non-drow as worshippers, but we do know it’s been going on for some time, and is now openly Her policy (NO clergy of Eilistraee can fool themselves into passing this off as an idea promoted by this or that high-ranking priestess; they KNOW the Goddess Herself is promoting this). There are still certain church “offices” (Sword Dancers and other prestige classes) that seem restricted to females only, but this may only appear to be the case because no males have yet attained those offices - - we literally no longer know if there’s a divine prohibition.



So saith Ed. Who will return next time to say more about the roles of males in Eilistraee’s rituals, et al. (Remember, folks: Ed created the Realms, Eilistraee, and Vhaeraun, and did a lot of detailing of Ghaundaur and Lolth - - and by the Realms agreement, what he says is canon until contradicted in print in Wizards of the Coast products.)
love to all,
THO
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Nov 2006 :  01:26:38  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Ed returns, as promised, with more replies about males and their roles within the faithful of Eilistraee. Heeeeere’s Ed:



In reply to RevJest’s Jan06 query: “Ed, I would be interested in anything you might wish to say concerning the social order amongst the faithful of Eilistraee. Do they marry? Specifically, what role do males play in Eilistreean communities / households?” let me say this:
I define “faithful” as individuals who most strongly identify with, and believe in, Eilistraee. Lay worshippers, in other words, rather than just clergy (and clergy-in-training or wannabe clergy). There is no Eilistreean prohibition on marriage (or sex) among either lay worshippers or clergy, and never has been. There are many female drow clerics who prefer to remain single, either because a lesbian or other facet of their personalities makes them most comfortable being partner-less (as opposed to having a steady partner of either gender), or because they see married life as a distraction (or time-stealer) from their whole-hearted devotion to the Goddess. Eilistraee has never deemed either married or single worshippers as “preferred,” and has never regarded (as far as mortals know) either sort of worshipper as disfavoured or second in rank behind the other sort of worshipper.
Except among clergy dwelling together in a temple (or forest “temple” community; I’m not speaking here of holy buildings or even a fixed worship site), I don’t think there are any such things as “Eilistreean communities.” (Remember, individuals in the Realms worship an array of gods, not a single deity.) Eilistreean-DOMINATED communities and Eilistreean households, yes. In all of those, females tend to govern (formally make decisions and be consulted in decision-making as the individuals with most social “weight” and influence), involving males primarily as “spot experts” (e.g. “You saw the attack, Phaerold, so tell us - -” and “You’ve dealt with that human more than the rest of us, Phaerold; please give us your opinion as to - - “) Males tend to be daily-bread-winning workers, guards and warriors, and have tasks related to their generally superior physical strength. They do not tend to be supervisors and high-ranking decision-makers. (Please note the word “tend.” I’m speaking in gross generalizations here, not of “a rule that holds true in all cases.”) Many males - - even clerics of Eilistraee - - become spies, scouts, patrolling guards, or leaders of lawkeeping or defensive military forces for Eilistreean-dominated communities or Eilistreean-dedicated holy communities. (To answer Kentinal’s Jan06 query: “Some wonder how Eilistraee reacts to Wizards as followers as there has been little mention of Eilistraee following mages and the one of note is female, where do males fit in?” I can add that male wizards (of any race) accepted as worshippers of Eilistraee also serve in such capacities (and as “resident experts in arcane magic”).
Kentinal also asked: “It has been said the Eilistraee societies there is gender equality, and it appears reasonable that they do not take slaves. Some argue that such communities are Cleric dominated, they rule perhaps?”
Yes, Eilistraee forbids the taking of slaves. Prisoners of war can be made to work in return for their food and shelter, but they are not “property” and cannot be ordered around by anyone: only by supervisors assigned by the decision-makers among the Dark Dancer’s worshippers. (Such cases are rare, and generally consist of Lolth-worshipping drow or beings of other races who have “learned too much” and so are being detained for a few months, to prevent the specialized knowledge they’ve gained from being brought to enemies of the Eilistraeens.
As I noted above, one can only speak of “Eilistraee societies” if they are clerical communities. Scribes must try to set aside real-world monotheistic views of settlements or lands or racial groupings that only venerate one god: in the Realms, beings believe in, and worship (or at least try to appease, through worship) many, many gods. Far too much of the discussion here and elsewhere betrays thinking that “this family or group of [fill in race] worships Deity X, whereas these over here worship Deity Y.” Please, when dealing with the Realms, move away from that viewpoint, and reflect that any family with children old enough to think for themselves and express those opinions will likely include family members who choose different (or no!) primary deity, and “weight” their personal worship of the mix of deities differently from fellow family members.
Kentinal also posted: “Another question came up in another place that asked if Monks would take Eilistraee as a Patron deity?”
Yes, monks (of any race) can revere Eilistraee as their patron, but very few do. Just as a drow ranger could turn to Mielikki. Neither case is likely to be numerous or popular; we’re talking of handfuls of individuals, not a groundswell of hitherto-neglected-by-the-rules thousands of folk.
And to Kentinal’s “In past answers it is clear that followers are located thoughout the regions, some even in "Drow free" zones like Waterdeep and Silvermoon (disguised of course, most likely as fair elves) and there are followers of other races as well. Are there any estimates as to how far and how many races do take Eilistraree as a Patron deity?” I reply: yes, those who “look to Eilistraee first” are found all over Faerûn, and can be of almost any race. (However, the great majority of Eilistraeens are surface-dwelling female drow, who usually make their homes in wooded wilderlands.)
Kentinal also asked: “If the High Hunt is always the End of the month? (I have played it as when an evil dangerous creature came near enough for the Goddess to call out alarm). How long does a Run last?”
The High Hunt is celebrated as a ritual at least once a season (once each summer, and once each winter). One may also be mustered whenever senior clergy of Eilistraee deem it needful, which means whenever the Dark Maiden sends them dream-vision warnings or urgings to do so. What triggers her to do so isn’t known, other than yes, causes of such urgings often seem to include the alert, armed approach of large and powerful foes of Eilistraeens (or marauding monsters) to Eilistraeen rituals, places of worship, and Eilistraeens engaged in the work of the Goddess. A Run usually lasts a month to a month and a half, but sometimes for a season or an entire year (longer Runs, unless the participating beings are detained or severely wounded, are rare).
Back in Dec05, bearsden asked: “I would like to know the role of male Eilistraeen worshipers in Eilistraeen rituals. Do the males participate? Are the males excluded from any? Any insight into these questions would help me out immensely. Thanks in advance for your time and help.”
Yes, males participate in almost all rituals, as lay worshippers (as Zandilar quite correctly pointed out). This includes the High Hunt, the Run, and the Circle of Song. Yes, there are rituals that males are excluded from, AS MALES (such as almost all of the longer, more passionate dances). However, increasingly males openly plead with Eilistraeen priestesses to be magically shapechanged so as to take part in such rituals, and the priestesses (if they have the means to do so), oblige them (sometimes the change is brief and temporary, fading out as the ritual ends, and sometimes it lasts for days or much longer, while the shapechanged being undertakes a service for the clergy).
However, The Sage was also correct when he posted “Males do not have a specific place in Eilistraee's clergy.” That is, males aren’t given roles in rituals or in the church hierarchy because they are males. They are blocked from serving in some rituals and church positions because of their gender, but that’s a different thing. Most males step into roles in rituals, and rankings among Eilistraeen clergy, as if they were novice or inexperienced females. They may not advance up and out of those roles and rankings because they are males, but even this isn’t a “rule.” Some males have advanced on their own merits or because Eilistraee has favoured them to others in dream-visions or because they have chosen to remain (or beg to remain) in female form, and this choice has been admired by female clergy as a mark of dedication.
It is true that many long-standing female clerics of Eilistraee are very suspicious of males (and usually see males who take and keep female shape as power-hungry individuals who will “stop at nothing” to rise in the ranks). This means they watch (and instruct) these males VERY closely, and may even devise tasks for them that are both tests and designed to “break male spirit” and cause the changed males to cleave to increasingly female points of view (for example, they might order a changed male to serve under, or take a day job working under, a chauvinistic and authoritatian male).
However, these gender matters can be overstated and overemphasized. On the whole, all clergy of the Dark Maiden welcome an increase in worshippers of the Goddess, and the fellowship (and working with) more and more Servants of the Dark Dancer.
Specific in-ritual roles of “unchanged” males include dancing, singing, having spells cast ON THEM as part of rituals, taking part in collective spellcastings led by female clergy, intoning prayers in unison and responsively with other devout of Eilistraee, and in the tending of fires, braziers, drawn barriers, vestments and tools handed to or taken from, and used by, female worshippers, and so on. Nothing stops anyone, of any race or gender, praying to Eilistraee, including dancing and singing prayers - - and NO clergy of the Dark Maiden would frown on a male exhibiting such behaviour except when they thought it was being done to deliberately disrupt a larger ritual. Many males who worship the Dark Dancer find a moonlit wooded place, pray to Eilistraee to notice and smile upon them, and then disrobe and dance as they sing a deeper prayer (of thanks, and for guidance). Some human hunters who aren’t drow or elves, and otherwise have nothing to do with such folk do this, and may dance around a silver bastard sword, and even (when the moon is full) sacrifice live-captured animals they’ve hunted down with a silver bastard sword. Others gash themselves with the sword while dancing around it, either in lieu of an offering or as well as an offering, as a mark of devotion. Such dances are sometimes undertaken by several males as part of a larger ritual led by female clergy, who heal the males as they wound themselves (and go on dancing and singing).
In short, things are changing among those who worship the Lady of the Dance. Recently, she has taken to manifesting (as a lure to non-believers, or a signal to her faithful) as a handful of dancing moonbeams or moon-motes, that play about a favoured person or an item she wants handled or attention paid to - - or that move about in a way that guides those who see this manifestation.



So saith Ed. Who I know would like to say more, but future plans (and NDAs) prevent. I hope this has helped to answer some long-standing questions; I KNOW, dedicated scribes being dedicated scribes, that it will spark new ones.
love to all,
THO
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