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Mkhaiwati
Learned Scribe

USA
252 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2008 :  23:39:24  Show Profile  Visit Mkhaiwati's Homepage Send Mkhaiwati a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Asgetrion

Hmmm... by the way, does anyone remember if goblins came through the Hullack Forest (or around it), and whether Thunderstone, Ghars or Hultail were affected by the Dragonfall War or not?



easy, I asked Ed here

Feb 13, 2006. Page 12 of the So Saith Ed pages

"Behold the work of the old... let your heritage not be lost but bequeath it as a memory, treasure and blessing... Gather the lost and the hidden and preserve it for thy children."

"not nale. not-nale. thog help nail not-nale, not nale. and thog knot not-nale while nale nail not-nale. nale, not not-nale, now nail not-nale by leaving not-nale, not nale, in jail." OotS #367
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

Germany
1719 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2008 :  10:01:19  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for refreshing our memories, Mkhaiwati, with this useful hint to Eds reply. I edited the reply-list on p. 2 by adding your link.

And further I added the latest reply by the Father of the Realms on the Crystal Grot from July 4th 2008 (see and read on this place also a few posts on p. 5).

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."

Edited by - Ergdusch on 07 Jul 2008 10:22:15
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  01:04:39  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Beer, Hostelry names, Taxes, Remembering Azoun IV and lots of other amazing Lore - enjoy!



Cheers

Damian


Hi, Damian! I’ll try to answer your questions in strict order, and restrict myself to the pre-Spellplague Cormyr in my answers; here we go.

Yes, there is a Crown law (brought into being about ten years before the death of King Azoun IV, when Vangerdahast and Alaphondar had an idle month and agreed on some things, this being one of them) banning businesses of all sorts (including inns, taverns, and private clubs) from using royal names, nicknames, heraldry, and “decrying the Crown” (which means you can’t name your tavern Azoun’s Codpiece or Duar’s Head or the Steel Regent’s Backrest, just to invent some examples). Local Purple Dragons would be offended, and might wreck such an establishment, even if there was no law; some veterans take a VERY dim view of anything that pokes fun at the Crown. They have a fierce loyalty to their “companions in harness” (comrades in arms) and the Obarskyrs who lead them (though not necessarily to some of the nobility serving as military officers). Such a naming would also, as you say, be seen as an attitude tempting misfortune, and might well be avoided by many potential customers as a result. Sometimes upstairs, undercover “drinking clubs” in Marsember get names that are a mockery of the Crown - - but never ‘real,’ taxable businesses.

In memory, Azoun IV is revered (and jovially celebrated in taverns everywhere as “our stallion,” with increasingly overblown accounts of his sexual prowess [lovemaking on the back of a galloping steed that’s leaping fallen trees and creeks as it tears through the forest, for example, something that sounds rather bruising for all parties involved]), but honoring him takes the form of remembrance festivals on the date of his birthday, and the naming of meals or ales as “Azoun’s Preferred” or “Azoun’s Chosen” (claims that everyone smiles at and does nothing to refute, this “everyone” including Crown agents), rather than dubbing buildings and businesses after him.

The naming law also prevents directly naming any business after a specific battle (even a victory), and any noble, noble family, local lord, and any specific heraldic blazon. So you could dub your tavern “The Rearing Stag” even though certain arms use a rearing stag as a device, but you could not duplicate the specific depiction of the rearing stag that appears in the Staghunt noble family blazon, nor adopt the heraldic description of that stag: “a full-antlered scarlet stag rampant to the dexter, its silver rack entwined with the branches of an oak tree” (heralds in the Realms do not use real-world French heraldic terms, though I have sometimes rendered their blazons into such, for clarity - - and ironically, now usually avoiding doing so, for the very same reason). There’s no rule against duplicating the name of a Cormyrean naval ship, simply because there were a few unintended duplications when Vangey and Alaph were drafting the law, and because neither of them considered that any confusion of association could ever arise.

You CAN name your tavern, inn, or stables (but not any other sort of business) directly after the place it is located in (so “The Arms of Arabel” is an illegal name, but “the Pride of Arabel” is not). Tailors can’t set themselves up as “the Flashing Needle of Arabel,” even if their customers give them that nickname, and Crown agents (the same guys who show up to collect taxes) will force a name change on the newer business in any case where they think a second business has been established with a name too similar to an existing one (for one thing, they never want the tax rolls to get confused). So if “the Pride of Arabel” is flourishing, you can’t legally open “the Promenade of Arabel” across the street or at the far end of the city).
No business can name itself after a place it isn’t located in (i.e. no inns in Espar calling themselves “High Horn Rest”). There ARE a few old, ‘grandfathered’ businesses that break both of the rules I’m addressing in this paragraph, and the right to go on breaking it can be bought and sold (but never increased; so the “Wyvernwater Inn” can continue to exist, but if it’s sold and continues operating under the same name, the seller can’t open a new inn called “the Old Wyvernwater House,” and if “Wheloon House” burns down, it can be rebuilt, but it can’t be expanded to two locations, “Old Wheloon House” and “Wheloon Castle”).

Mythical nobles (so long as they can’t be mistaken for members of a real noble family) CAN serve as the names of establishments, so “the Drunken Lord” or “Old Lord Roaringsides” are all right, but “Lord Old Roaringsides” would NOT be allowed in combination with a depiction, badge, or anything else (such as the black stallions famously bred by the Roaringhorn family) that would make a traveler think there was an association with the Roaringhorns.
Cormyr, like every other long-settled place, has several folk equivalents to our world’s Baron Munchausen, Casanova, and Squire Allworthy. These include Old Lord Roaringsides (a hunting, brawling, tirelessly-enduring lover of every female within reach, slayer of animals who devours them raw in the forest where he spears them or eats like sixteen men at a feast, belches loudly enough to knock nearby folk over, and so on), Lady Doom (an icily-sneering haunt of a gowned, gliding woman who sails through walls and locked doors without hindrance, says nothing to most but whispers of doom to a few, and whose appearance presages misfortune or death), and Lord “Firetongue” Haubrynton (based on a non-noble knight of a different name who fought alongside King Duar, long ago, and had the same fiery speech; Lord Firetongue is a solemn, dignified noble of senior years who has fits in which he swears like a sailor, punches objectionable people, chases maids, plays pranks . . . and then reverts, apparently forgetting everything he’s done; whereas the real knight apparently really had no remembrance, the fictional Lord Firetongue is always depicted as slyly winking when he claims to have no knowledge of his “wild deeds”).

As for signage, inns, public stables, and taverns are required by law to have signs (lit by lanterns or some other means, such as magic, so as to be readable by night, except during instances where local authorities specifically decree otherwise, such as during a war) clearly visible thrusting out into the street.
Other businesses may choose to have such signs (and may be governed by local guild rules or trade agreements), and almost all do have signs, though not all businesses use out-thrust signboards; some, particularly crafters, have flush-to-the-wall signs mounted over their doors.
In all cases, the Crown (acting through local lords, or Purple Dragon commanders in rural areas where there is no local lord) has instant and final say over the size, shape, content, and location of all such signage (“location” in this usage really meaning “how much the sign thrusts out into or over the road, creating a hazard for high-loaded wagons and coaches”).
Yes, local heralds have a duty to inspect and order any necessary changes to all such signage (on the grounds of infringing on heraldry or misleading the public as to the nature of the business, NOT on grounds of “good taste”). The Heralds can override local heralds, who can in turn override the tastes of a local lord or his agents (so citizens have a route of appeal if their lord just doesn’t like giant carved wooden boots or candles hanging from chains out over the street he rides down, for instance). It would be foolish for most shopkeepers to pick a fight with their local lord (who has many ways of getting back at them, if he chooses), but there is a strict prohibition on local lords harming businesses or crafters by denying them one sign after another, and in the past, local lords have been removed and publicly disgraced for doing so (notably Onslur Gelnwood of Wheloon in the last few years of the reign of Rhigaerd I, and Caltath Malurt of Waymoot in the second year of Azoun IV’s rule).

The tax collectors and all traveling Crown officials and courtiers have clear, easy, and confidential channels through which to complain about bad beer and similar shortcomings in inns and taverns. (They can speak to any Purple Dragon barracks commander, any local lord or bailiff of a local lord, any War Wizard, or to the Desk of Justice in the Royal Court of Suzail. Everyone of these “complain to” persons can also make complaints from their own observations, or on behalf of any citizen.) All complaints are routed to the Desk of Justice, which is really a room rather than a desk, and has nothing at all to do with Black Robes or judicial proceedings.
Rather, it is a small band of undercover inspectors run by a Highknight (and escorted for safety by War Wizards and Highknights when it seems necessary) who have the power to close a kitchen or taps on the spot, and to confiscate or destroy food, yank Crown licenses, and effectively shut down a business for good, or for as long as it takes to fix it. They rarely have to do so, these days; their mere appearance awes many patrons and frightens most hostelry owners bone-white.
However, there aren’t specific amounts or qualities set down in laws; what the Desk is trying to prevent is poisonings, the serving of food or drink that will spread disease or make folk ill, and (on a daily basis, the most important and prevalent part of their work) DECEPTION.
If you are promised a tankard of ale, there is an expectation that the tankard will be large enough to have a handle you can fit all of the fingers of your hand through, and that the tankard will descend at least two fingers below that handle and at least one finger above, in terms of the depth of interior space in the tankard that can be filled with drink, AND that said space is wide enough that all of fingers of your hand, squeezed together tightly, can be thrust down into that “hole.” (YES, that means that drinkers with huge hands should be given larger tankards, or given more ale in other containers, per drink paid for. For everyone, it means no miniature “toy tankards,” and no mugs that are only two inches deep, from lip to the “bell” [inside bottom].)
Similarly, if you are promised “mutton” or “goose eggs” or “ale from Arabel,” what you are served should be just that, and not something else passed off as what was promised.
In the ports of Suzail and Marsember, guilds are now forming or already exist to insist on, and try to enforce, strict labelling and precise identification of goods, so “Malaxan’s Best Brew” won’t be barrels of whatever Sembia sends labeled as such, but will always be beer actually brewed by the same guy called Malaxan, in the same place and to more or less the same recipe, and really be what he considers his “best,” and not “the mixed-bottom-barrel dregs slop Sembians won’t drink, so we’ll ship it to Cormyr, where all they can taste is horse-dung, so they’ll never know the difference.” (Which is why you can now buy really cheap, bitter, horrible ale called “Sembian Odds” at some dockside taverns; it really is mixed “odds and ends” from barrels, which is perfectly fine because it is identified as such.)

And finally, no direct taxes are levied on the sale of ale, wine and spirits to patrons in a tavern, but the businesses that produce such drinkables are taxed, both as businesses and a 1cp/barrel (up to 1 sp for the largest “tuns,” so making the barrel larger doesn’t allow a brewer to escape “the Crown’s take”). Small beer made at home is never taxed, and “local brews” are never taxed if they are drunk only by the owners or neighbors who may buy a tankard or pitcher. However, if drink is ever put into a barrel that is transported elsewhere (outside of town, as opposed to one street over in the same place), the “barrel tax” applies.
In Arabel, Marsember, and Suzail, ALL producers of “strong drink” (alcoholic beverages or “physics” and “cordials” [medicines]) are taxed, except for what they consume in their own house (i.e. the drinkers are their own family or guests). Individuals who try to elude tax by just running taverns or drinking clubs in their own homes quickly get visited by the Desk of Justice, the tax collectors, the Watch and everyone else (including War Wizards mind-reading them to determine their true intent and extent of their activities, because there’s an everpresent “wary watch” for smuggling), to tax them as businesses and hassle them out of such behaviour back into serving just themselves, family members, and a handful of dinner guests or overnight visitors.

Great questions, and you’re always welcome, Damian! May we both continue to enjoy the Realms for years upon years to come!



So saith Ed, creator of Cormyr and drinker of much ale.

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

Germany
1719 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2008 :  10:39:45  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wonderful piece of lore, indeed. Thank you crazed for re-posting Ed's answer (from July 13th 2008, btw) here in this thread.

Saves me some work.

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."

Edited by - Ergdusch on 14 Jul 2008 10:41:02
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

Germany
1719 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2008 :  12:52:03  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I added the latest DDi Article Backdrop: Cormyr to the 'collects-all-cormyr-related-4E-material' post on page 4 of this thread. It features a map that by all means challanges the supremacy of markusthays map creations!

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."

Edited by - Ergdusch on 18 Jul 2008 12:54:15
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PurpleDragon5150
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2008 :  19:09:08  Show Profile  Visit PurpleDragon5150's Homepage Send PurpleDragon5150 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I need a little clarification after reading the Backdrop article:

According to the article, it states that in 1441,"Daerlun and Urmlaspyr gain their independence from both nations".

However, in Baker's Coundown to the Realms articles, he states that today both those nations are a part of Cormyr.

So, if these two cities are a part of Cormyr, how long after the Treaty of Griffonfang Bridge in 1441 did these two cities join the Forest Kindgom? The Backdrop article made no reference to Cormyr currently possessing these two cities.

Any insight on this matter would be greatly appreciated.


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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2008 :  23:43:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If Brian doesn't reply here, I'll ask Rich about that over at the Wizard's site.

quote:
Originally posted by Ergdusch

I added the latest DDi Article Backdrop: Cormyr to the 'collects-all-cormyr-related-4E-material' post on page 4 of this thread. It features a map that by all means challanges the supremacy of markusthays map creations!

If its 4e, then its like comparing apples and oranges.

I have no intention of doing any 4e maps.

Besides, there is absolutely no need - what I do is put back missing locales and terrain on the altered 3e maps from earlier editions. In 4e, no earlier geography is applicable, and everything that appears on a 4e map is probably everything that survived into the next century. What purpose would it serve for me to re-draw the 4e maps with the exact same contours and locales?

Anyhow, I wish I could see the article and the map, but when I click on the link at the WotC site it doesn't work (I get some sort of 'server gibberish'). I'm signed in, so I know its not that.

Oh well. The Gremlins over at WotC have finally reached epic level, me thinks.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1073 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2008 :  01:01:57  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The situation between Cormyr and Sembia was still a bit fluid at the time Rich's countdown article was posted. At various points in the design process Daerlun and Urmlaspyr each switched from one nation to the other, but ultimately it was decided that both cities gain their independence following the treaty.

So.... The updated information in Backdrop Cormyr is correct and this will be reaffirmed in the FRCG.

quote:
Originally posted by PurpleDragon5150

According to the article, it states that in 1441,"Daerlun and Urmlaspyr gain their independence from both nations".

However, in Baker's Coundown to the Realms articles, he states that today both those nations are a part of Cormyr.

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2008 :  18:07:15  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on the Women of the Wood, who inhabit The King's Forest in the heart of Cormyr, in response to questions from Zandilar (who has since posted followup queries Ed hasn't gotten to, yet):

Zandilar's questions: “Heya, My campaign recently jumped from my current home brewed world to Faerun (through the backlash of a portal being destroyed), and as such I've been doing a bit of reading up on certain places and people... Unsurprisingly, they're headed for Cormyr next.
I was just reading the Dhedluk entry in Volo's Guide to Cormyr where I came across the Women of the Woods. What additional information can you reveal about them? I'm also curious about whether or not they ever butt heads with the High Hunt (for example, if the current victim being hunted is a woman). Volo suggests that the leader of the Women of the Woods, Vandara "the Vixen" Thulont, is one of Azoun's many bastards, and Elminster in a footnote acknowledges this with a wink - can you reveal if it is actually true? Or have I found yet another NDA?
This organisation is likely to come up in the campaign very soon (within a fortnight at this point!) - the group is going to end up in Dhedluk following clues regarding the High Hunt (the party is a bunch of meddlers, who usually get into things over their heads but somehow still manage to land on their feet. I think they'll give the Harpers a run for their money by the time they're through with Faerun!). Anyway, the plan is that the victim is a female noble from Immersea (I'm thinking one of the Thunderswords?) - so maybe they might run across the Women of the Woods.
Speaking of which, anyone know where I might find more detailed information about the Thunderswords and the Wyvernspurs? Also, the entire Cormaeril family was exiled, right? So they no longer have holdings in Immersea?
Edit: I just realized how incredibly broad and unspecific I was in my questions just now, so here are a few I would mind getting answers for in regards to the Women of the Wood...
1) What role, if any, did they play in the war with the Devil Dragon? How much attrition did they suffer, if at all? And did the Ghazneth decide to feast on their highly magical headquarters (according to Volo, they made their home in the ruins of Meliyekur's Magical Museum - which I would imagine would have provided the Ghazneth with magical nourishment)?
2) If the Women of the Wood still survive in the current pre-spellplague timeline, what do they think of the current arrangement of the Crown - do they approve of Alusair as Steel Regent, or do they think she should be Queen? If so, what steps are they likely to take to ensure this comes to be (if any)?
3) What does Alusair think of the Women of the Woods, if she knows of them? Vangerdahast was watching and harrying the Women of the Wood, does Caladnei continue this policy?
4) What kind of numbers do the Women of the Wood have? Do they regularly get new women joining? If so, do the Women just accept any girl or woman who comes to them, or must they meet some criteria?
5) What kind of policy do they have regarding male children of members? Are members likely to leave the Women in order to raise their sons?
6) How likely is it that the organization will survive the 100 year jump into the 4th Ed time line?
I could probably come up with more questions, and plainly some of them are just questions that interest me rather than anything that is going to come up in my campaign - particularly the last two.
Zandilar”

Ed replies:



Hi, Zandilar! It’s great to hear you’re moving into the Realms. I’ll try to keep it as happy a home for your campaign as I can, starting with these lore replies, and I’ll begin with your numbered questions. By all means ask followup questions; I’m happy to reply when I can.

1. During the Devil Dragon War, the Women of the Wood fought many bitter skirmishes against hobgoblins and goblins who tried to pass through the King’s Forest to outflank Crown forces (after several of these frays, the goblins realized they could goad the Women into appearing to give battle by setting fire to the woods). As a result, the Women suffered heavy losses.
No ghazneths bothered them, because there’s something (as yet unknown) about the magic of the ruin they dwelt in that made the ghazneths shun it.

2. A handful (perhaps nine at most) Women of the Wood survived to see Alusair’s Regency begin. They approve of her, and think she’d probably make a great Queen, but have little desire to get involved in the politics of Cormyr outside the Forest, and most of them think Alusair will get heartily sick of the Dragon Throne before long (they were right about this, as you’ll see in time soon to come); if she remains Regent for a good decade, until the boy Azoun V is old enough to be king, they’ll be content with that.
If they hear of any monarch, courtier, faction, or force that threatens the Forest (e.g. by allowing unfettered woodcutting, or clearing roads through it or establishing settlements), they’ll fight to prevent that, no matter who their perceived foe is.
They aren’t interested in going down in glorious battle; they’re interested in winning, so they will strike as stealthily as they think their survival demands, make alliances with the Harpers and anyone else who’ll aid them against such threats, try diplomatic trickery and manipulation of nobles and fostering uprisings (to keep the Crown busy and its attention elsewhere) and anything else they think will work.

3. Alusair knew many of the Women, and regarded some of them as friends; she knows they took heavy casualties during the Devil Dragon War, and that “a bare handful” are left. She will doing nothing to harm or harry them, and instead will give orders about the Forest that should result in them being left alone as much as possible. Vangerdahast is STILL watching (but not harrying) the Women of the Wood in his altered state (I’m trying to go light on spoilers here for those who haven’t read ELMINSTER’S DAUGHTER), as much as he can, but Caladnei has NOT continued his policy of regarding the Women as “not-so-sleeping perils to be watched.”

4. From those nine scarred survivors, the Women of the Wood have rapidly grown in numbers to around twenty, by taking in runaways, women hiding from family pressures or cruel husbands, escaped slaves (from the slavetakers and kidnappers in Sembia and Marsember), outlaws, fugitives from Suzail accused of crimes who are fleeing royal justice (either because they are innocent but don’t expect to be found so, or because they are ‘no contest’ [my term, not an in-Realms term] guilty and know what fate awaits them), and women who just don’t know where to go after all their kin die.
So although they certainly don’t “regularly” get new women joining, they have had many joiners in the last few seasons, arriving often. The Women have no formal criteria for accepting or rejecting (driving away) anyone who comes to them, but they are suspicious of werecreatures, more powerful shapechangers, Crown spies, Harper spies, and spies from every other sort of group, and newcomers will be watched VERY closely (no “slipping away unobserved whilst others sleep;” if this is tried, Women will be watching and spying) to make sure no information is being passed to outside contacts, War Wizards, and the like. The Women are sympathetic enough to dazed, forest-unsavvy newcomers, but have little use for those unwilling to work with others, show loyalty to the team, and “rough it” in the woods.

5. The Women welcome young males born to their members, but make it clear (teaching this from an early age) they must leave the Forest to seek lives in the city when they start showing signs of puberty (growing dark body hair, et al). Until then, they serve as the scouts, fighters, cave explorers, and grunt workers among the Women (who, by the way, don’t exclude them from discussions or bother to cover themselves so “the lads” won’t see their bodies or witness them performing bodily functions or while bathing).
A rare few adult males (mostly former “lads” among the Women) are tolerated as “friends” to meet with the Women in a few select spots on the fringes of the Forest, and exchange news. Friends serve to find out things for the Women in the cities of Cormyr, deliver items and messages, and “fetch back” (to the Women) items and messages. It’s very rare for Women to leave the forest to raise their sons, or to get them to medical aid, but it has happened (it most such cases, the Woman returns to the Forest eventually, to live out her days there).

6. I have no idea if the Women will survive (speaking as a game designer). In terms of in-Realms conditions: they are one of the groups least likely to be harmed much by the Spellplague and its chaos, so there’s no reason why not.

On to your other questions.
Vandara "the Vixen" Thulont is indeed one of Azoun's many bastards, and she survived the Devil Dragon War (but has no means of magically prolonging her life, so she’ll be long gone by the time 4th Edition is set (probably buried under the roots of a young tree deep in the Forest, as the Women like to do with their fallen, when they can). She is merry but sharp-tongued, and will age into a sort of Katherine Hepburn I’m-still-hale-don’t-mess-with-ME warrior (if events in your campaign don’t get her killed, of course :} ).
By long-standing agreement, the Wyvernspurs are NDA’d (I created the family, but Jeff Grubb adopted it and Giogi is his creation, so I’ve stepped back to give him full freedom, if he ever wants to, to tell any Wyvernspur tales he wants to in the future).
The Cormaerils were stripped of their titles and holdings, so the Crown now owns their Immersea properties (and may well be renting them out, but NOT letting go ownership of them). Not all Cormaerils were exiled, and some of them even retain or have been granted new knighthoods and Court offices, but it’s to reward their performance and loyalty as individuals, not their family name. Beliard Cormaeril, for instance, one of Azoun IV’s bastards, has long been a prominent and trusted knight and envoy of the Crown, and may soon be named a Highknight.
The ranks of the Thunderswords also include at least two bastards of Azoun IV (more on the offspring of this most lusty of kings can be gleaned from my “Realmslore” articles on the Wizards website), and there is unpublished (but WotC-owned) lore about the family. I’m quite willing, if you ask specific-scope questions like your numbered queries, above, to try to do the “dance around the NDA” and answer which specific things I can without violating the NDA, okay?
The Women of the Wood customarily hide from, and avoid, the High Hunt (they have sentinels, and so usually receive good warning about the approach of the Hunt), but on rare occasions (yes, almost always when the victim being hunted is a woman), they have tangled with the Hunt, using snares, concealed pits, and arrows to - - thus far, on every occasion - - win the day.
Members of the Hunt will slay Women if they can catch them during such skirmishes, but have abandoned all attempts to gather in strength to go and scour the Women out the Forest (the War Wizards watch for this, and attack the Hunt, not the Women, whenever it is tried, seeking to send them fleeing, not slay them [though they’ll kill if they have to, and will be brutal if anyone tries to set fire to the Forest]).
The Women have deep caves they can hide in, and hole up in when the depths of winter grow harsh. They ‘live rough’ in the forest, tend to dress in hides and not much else (though they will snitch good boots whenever they can), and enjoy simple pleasures like swimming in the forest streams. There’s not a lot more about them in my notes, because in my campagign, as in the published Realms, they remain as yet one of the “largely unused tools” I built into the Realms.
Keep me posted about your campaign, okay? I’m interested in hearing how things unfold.

[end Ed-quote]

Edited by - The Hooded One on 19 Jul 2008 18:07:59
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2008 :  02:53:37  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on the Haunted Halls, Whispers Crypt, lost and found Art of the Stonelands and how novice adventurers from Espar get dealt with by Archmages!

Cheers

Damian

****************************************************
No one can scry into the Haunted Halls by any known means thus far attempted, nor penetrate into the Halls with any divination magics thus far attempted, thanks to the way the wards were crafted (they “reflect” such spells back at the source but are then re-intercepted by the wards and sent back, in an endless volleying that results in “no readings at all” at the caster’s end. Whoever did this, and how, is now forgotten (except, presumably, by Azuth, Mystra, and any of her Servants who might have been involved with casting, augmenting, or repairing the wards at some time).
Again, I want to stress that the wards might not block all such magics, but have blocked all of those sorts of ‘spying’ magics thus far tried.
Yes, you CAN use of all those magics successfully within the Halls (not from inside to Halls to outside, but to another part of the Halls - - and Whisper’s Crypt really IS a farflung ‘arm’ of the Halls, as far as the wards are concerned.

No, all Zhentarim mages do NOT have a “special Brotherhood name.” A few have taken “bolder, cooler” names by personal choice when first attempting to join the ranks of the Zhentarim (usually because they are dissatisfied with their birth name for some reason), but it’s not a practice encouraged by the Brotherhood, done all that often, or undertaken to denote being accepted into (or achieving a rank within) the Brotherhood.
In this specific case, Whisper was a long-ago wizard of middling power (9th to 12th level, I believe) who fashioned his own tomb out of a “hidehold” he’d constructed for himself, earlier in life, and was interred there.
This is in the bygone days when few humans dwelt in the area, and elves dominated (Whisper was the “classic” sort of mage who wants to dwell and study in isolation, far from fellow humans who might pester, and built himself a tower in a desolate, rocky part of the Stonelands that doesn’t survive; a dragon tore it apart after his death to take any treasure that might lie therein, and to make of it a roost and perhaps nest for breeding). This “first” Whisper’s real name is now forgotten; in life, he used the nickname given to him for his normal speaking voice, which was a hissing, menacing-sounding (even when he wasn’t trying to sound menacing) whisper.
His remains had vanished (no one knows where or how; if he became undead, he never returned to “haunt” his tomb) by the time a much later Zhentarim mageling (novice wizard of low power) happened upon them after being ordered to the vicinity of Eveningstar to be the local Zhent spy and “safehold keeper” (host of a place where visiting Zhentarim members could hide in). The mageling took the name (and fell, impressive “villain behind much” reputation in local folklore of the original Whisper, which was probably largely undeserved) of Whisper, and gained much power from the magic items he found in the Crypt.

Whisper’s 2nd level status is not a misprint; he gained not just the original Whisper’s magic, but the Seven Lost Rings you refer to, and many other tomb-treasures and hidden treasure caches he found in the Stonelands, and used these items to wield Art far above his trained mastery. So, yes, he is using Chain Lightning, but it does come from a magic item (a ring of spell storing, if I remember rightly, but it could also have been from other items in the large pile he amassed).

When Khelben offered the Pendant of Ashaba to the Swords, there was a lot of hesitation (Florin outright declined, there was a lot of ‘after YOU, Alphonse/No, I insist, after YOU’ stuff, and of course the Knights later fobbed it off on young Mourngrym so he could sit and rule whilst they returned to the “freedom” of adventuring).
Yes, I do plan multiple outcomes ahead of time, tied to various PC responses (but modified during play as I roleplay the NPCs and react to EXACTLY what the PCs do and say). Not too far ahead of time, because details depend on the specifics of the confrontation or other situation, but then I already know the overall goals and aims of all major NPCs involved, power groups, and governments.
If the PCs had declined Khelben’s offer, he would have gravely accepted this, then eliminated any PCs he found most evil or set against its acceptance (Pennae, definitely, and quite likely Semoor), and arranged to have someone else (a beautiful female Harper, perhaps) offer them the Pendant elsewhere, under different circumstances. If they’d refused then, he’d have begun “pressure to get them to move on from Cormyr” from one direction, and magically whisking the Pendant into their saddlebags or putting it among spare armor or down a boot among their spare footwear, and so on, trying to “wear them down” or frighten them into accepting it. (When dealing with young adventurers, Khelben is very much an “end justifies the means” guy, trying to teach said “dangerous younglings” their “proper place” in the wider scheme of things.

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 28 Jul 2008 :  14:36:40  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for bringing these new replies by Ed to this thread, THO and crazed. They are the responses from the 18th and 26th July 2008. What magnificent pieces of lore yet again! See also the entire list of Eds Cormyr-related replies on page 2 of this thread.

Ergdusch


Edit Note: I added Swords of Eveningstar and Swords of Dragonfire to the source list on page 1 of this thread.

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."

Edited by - Ergdusch on 28 Jul 2008 14:53:33
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 30 Jul 2008 :  09:52:48  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having posted this elsewhere on Candlekeep, thought it best to keep things in good order and put it in the Cormyr thread.....

Am not sure if this has already been posted on this thread however, Jerry Davis' work on Cormyrian nobility is awesome and needs highlighting!. I would encourage everyone to get all six parts, available from the Realms Mailing List.

(Of course if this is a duplicate post then let me know and I will delete it).

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Cheers

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 04 Aug 2008 :  12:12:08  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great find, crazed! Rest assured, those have not been posted here so far.

And keep up your work, crazed. This thread really benefits from your contributions.

Ergdusch

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 12 Aug 2008 :  23:33:38  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the Hullack Thread on Candlekeep:

From Prayers from the Faithful (copyright 1997 TSR Inc, a division of Wizards of the Coast).

page 22: Crystrum of Tranquility:
This is a Holy Book of Eldath crafted not long after the Fall of Myth Drannor, The Eldathyn were later forced to flee over the Thunderpeaks into the Hullack and in 989DR Eldrum the Silent (Ranger) saw the Crystrum, which was in the possession of the priestess Analauthe Brenewood (she later sacrificed herself to cleanse the Wyvernwater from a rotting plague).
It passed to Shalgreth of the Wings (who tried to breed with swanmays and create winged humans). He passed it in 1112DR to the rangers' adventuring society. 'Men of the Green' (it then passed out of the Hullack).


(Speculation of my part: I assume that the Wyvernstones of the Hullack as detailed in Faiths and Pantheons are the place that the Eldathyn's fled to? I don't have Faiths and Pantheons to confirm).


From Dragon 164 Pages from the Mages part VI(copyright TSR Inc. Dec 1990).
(IDHTBIFOM to confirm but I think this was later reprinted in the 'Pages from the Mages' sourcebook from WoTC)

Hullack the Druid (of Eldath) led The Wyvernwater Circle over 200 years ago when elves ruled much of Cormyr. They dwelt on the northern shores of the Wyvernwater at its eastern end (i.e. present day Hullack Forest - my words). Hullack, is said to lie buried in a hidden magical refuge known as the Elfhold, somewhere in the depths of the forest that bears his name. The Circle were destroyed by beholders who were served by gargoyles, bugbears, and quicklings. The eye tyrants sought to establish a realm in the area.


(Some speculation on my part re Hullack the Druid. The '200 years ago' seems to be just bardic 'highnose' words given the lore about Cormyr from GHotR and C:aN. The elves had long since stopped ruling Cormyr by 1100-1150DR or so, the approx date of '200' years ago. This leaves the date further in the past, by several hundred years at least, probably closer to a 1000 years?).

(Would it also make sense to link the Wyvernstones of the Hullack with the Hullack led Circle of Wyvernwater as well? So we have a series of Eldathyn druid circles using the Wyvernstones over many years as a place of worship? Is the creation/use of the Wyvernstones by Eldathyns covered in much detail in Faiths and Pantheons?)

From Code of the Harpers (copyright 1993 TSR Inc.)
page 25/26: The Wanderers of Espar (Finder Wyvernspur et al) destroy a community of killers-for-hire dedicated to Bhaal based in the Hullack c.1022 DR (or so)

Cheers

Damian

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 11 Oct 2008 :  19:21:51  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Cormyte Castles, their design and laws regarding Nobles and their land
Enjoy

Damian

Yes, there are restrictions on Cormyrean nobles building castles and fortified manors; their local house wizard (who is often a War Wizard) is duty-bound (standing orders) to report any hint or planning of such building; the War Wizards will then covertly spy from afar on the noble to make sure the noble fully and honestly reports all they are doing to the “local lord.” Those who don’t face fines, the dismantling of what they’ve built, and decrees forbidding them from building anything of the sort in future on said lands or in that area (such decrees are often dissolved later, upon payment of HUGE fees).
There’s no formal license that needs to be obtained or paid for, but there IS a prohibition on building anything fortified (and, as we know, on hiring warriors beyond a certain allowed number, too). Yes, plans have to filed “at Court” (with the scribes in the Royal Court who handle all building plans) of what is to be built, and those plans must be followed. Modifications and expansions are allowed, so long as revised plans are filed - - and both Vangey and senior Purple Dragon officers closely inspect all such plans to make sure a noble isn’t planning, say, a bombard-battery that can “overshoot” a town or a rival noble’s lands.
A rich merchant or successful adventurer can indeed build themselves a SMALL, simple castle (a “keep”), or fortify a small part of a mansion. They can also purchase a larger castle from a noble, and this in fact happens all the time; nobles who need lots of cash or want to build a larger, ritzier castle sell off their old ones to the waiting and eager rich merchants and successful adventurers (at any one time, there are always lots of the former and a handful of the latter). Please note: when you sell off such property, you are selling the land with it, in a “footprint” large enough to (except in urban areas, where streets form boundaries) ride four horses abreast around the walls without any risk of touching any part of the wall (if there’s a moat, obviously this four-horse-wide expanse must be outside the moat). So the noble who sells a castle can’t claim he or she still owns the land it sits on, and try to exercise any rights thereby.
As of 1360 DR (and for the three decades before that, and quite likely for at least a decade after that), the fashionable sort of castle is an outer “curtain wall” of stone with turrets and buttresses, surrounding an orchard, gardens (with at least a duck- or frog- pond), stable yard and block, guest houses, servant dwellings (often built along the inside face of the castle wall), and the main manor (a mansion of any size, often fortified before the building of the wall if it has any “solemn age” at all; in other words, if it’s three decades or more older than the outer castle wall, it will likely have been fortified with at least thicker walls and a single front tower with turret, for archers or crossbowmen to defend the front doors). The outer castle wall will always have a gatehouse, and often this will have a portcullis (moats are uncommon, and “wet moats” [as opposed to dry ditches] are rarer). Moats, by the way, are often stocked with fish, but NEVER used as refuse or sewage dumps; for that, there is often, if existing topography allows, a marshy area, widened into waste ponds, downhill from (and downwind of) the walled castle area, where middens are maintained. This is known as “the lees.”
Secret passages are fashionable, by the way, but tunnels to allow secret access through or under the walls are rare, and are mainly old (not currently built). That doesn’t mean there aren’t many, many rumors of every last large house having them, of course, but these tales turn out to be truth mainly in urban areas, where the cellar of one building can be easily and covertly connected to the next.
Commoners are used to such grand houses. Some aspire to them, some resent them (usually as good-natured grumbling, no more), and a few regard them as “safe craziness” for “folk what has more coin than their minds can handle,” meaning they’re at least building something and not using their wealth on something more dangerous and foolish. Nobles have the right to demolish residences on their own lands, but they must provide new AND SUPERIOR dwellings beforehand, so the people they’re dispossessing can move into the new digs in an unhurried manner. Note that one mustn’t think of this in real-world feudal terms; a noble doesn’t automatically “own” all land in the area their castles or ancestral seats are located; land is owned by deed (and most of it by the Crown) in Cormyr, rather than being held in feudal fashion, so the local noble is always the landlord. Rather, most nobles take care to buy up (again, urban areas excepted) lands for at least a bowshot, and more often, as far as they can see, around the homes they want to enjoy most. It’s servants and others dwelling in existing cottages and crofts on such lands that I’m speaking of - - and there’s an important wrinkle here: by a law passed by the last Rhigaerd, anyone who is a tenant and who gets moved in this manner, MUST get moved into a dwelling built for them, and deed to it PASSED FREELY TO THEM (in other words, they get a house for free).
So a noble who wants to buy up, demolish, or otherwise affect a dwelling they don’t own, must buy it from the owner in the usual fashion (usually by overpaying outrageously, if the owner doesn’t want to sell). If any dwelling a noble has made an offer on burns down, standing royal decree means the noble must rebuild it, for the current owner, at their own expense - - so arson is actively discouraged.
Please feel free to ask supplementals; I have lots more castle lore, but a granddaughter crawling all over me right now, and a host of smaller distractions (mainly having to do with food!) driving my aging brain to distraction. Thanks for the questions!


So saith Ed. Creator of the Realms and Cormyr and lots of castles (not to mention secret passages), too.
love to all,
THO

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
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dirtywick
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Posted - 14 Oct 2008 :  03:30:05  Show Profile  Visit dirtywick's Homepage Send dirtywick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm looking for all the information I can find specifically about the Vault in Cormyr. General or specific, it doesn't matter. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks

Subtlety of Thay Ch 1 and Ch 2 NWN2 Module
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Ashe Ravenheart
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Posted - 14 Oct 2008 :  13:59:03  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't remember if it was Beyond the High Road or Death of the Dragon, but one of them had a scene where Vangey went to the vaults.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I believe it was High Road after Azoun was poisoned.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Oct 2008 :  15:01:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

I can't remember if it was Beyond the High Road or Death of the Dragon, but one of them had a scene where Vangey went to the vaults.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I believe it was High Road after Azoun was poisoned.



Azoun was poisoned in Cormyr: A Novel.

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Ashe Ravenheart
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Posted - 14 Oct 2008 :  15:06:45  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

I can't remember if it was Beyond the High Road or Death of the Dragon, but one of them had a scene where Vangey went to the vaults.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I believe it was High Road after Azoun was poisoned.



Azoun was poisoned in Cormyr: A Novel.



Dang, knew it was one of the three... Forgot that Cormyr:aN wasn't just a history book!

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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dirtywick
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Posted - 14 Oct 2008 :  16:43:56  Show Profile  Visit dirtywick's Homepage Send dirtywick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alright, thanks very much Ashe. Guess there's not much out there about the vault?

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crazedventurers
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Posted - 04 Nov 2008 :  12:58:52  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Candlekeep's 'Mr Cormyr' (Garen Thal) has his own thread Questions for Brian Cortijo

One post in particular needs a repost here - an excellent response from George Krashos on The Lords Who Sleep (first referenced in the OGBS).

Enjoy

Damian

*****************************************************************

The Lords Who Sleep ... ... I had at various times a Dragon/Dungeon article in the works for those fellows. But then Troy Denning decided to kill them all. Offstage. Finito. One of the less inspired decisions of the FR novel line IMO.

What follows is the beginnings of a Dragon article that I held onto for sentimental reasons.

“When Sitral’s brood pace the cobbles deep,
And great wyrms scour the twisted stones,
Ondeth’s blood will set the Lords Who Sleep
To slumber in Grolag’s bones.
For legions of fiends and the walking dead
Will bring ruin to this wooded land,
Unless those who should have been long dead
Array for battle and take stand.”

“The Foretellings”
Alaundo of Candlekeep
The Year of the Smiling Prophet (-58DR)

The realm of Cormyr has claimed the Stonelands, that area of trackless ravines and stone monoliths atop a rugged and imposing plateau north of the Storm Horns, for many centuries. Yet in all those long years Cormyr’s rule over the Stonelands has never exceeded the reach of a Purple Dragon’s blade. As the centuries have rolled on, various Cormyrean monarchs have awarded ambitious and successful adventurers the title “Baron of the Stonelands”, and charged them with building fortresses, fighting monsters and in truth holding the region for Cormyr. Such endeavors have met with limited success over the passing years however, due to the countless humanoids that infest the region and the vile machinations of the Zhentarim aimed at controlling overland trade routes throughout the Inner Sea. Yet the truth of Cormyr’s quest to rule the Stonelands lies in a secret known only to a few sages, the royal family of Cormyr and its High Wizard, and a shadowy group known as the Guardians. The secret relates to The Lords Who Sleep, great warriors placed in magical temporal stasis long ago to await the hour when the prophecy of the long-dead seer Alaundo would come to pass. As a matter of policy, the royal court of Cormyr refers to these stalwarts as “the Sleeping Sword”, so that most who overhear believe that an actual, magical sword is being spoken of.

History of The Sleeping Sword

The blood of House Obarskyr was fresh on the soil of Cormyr when King Keldroun succeeded his brothers Torst and Gordroun in the Year of the Waking Dreams (289 DR). King Torst and Gordroun had perished in flooded Marsember at the hands of Belorth “the Pretender” and his father, the pirate Kurrurdan, and Keldroun saw to it that Gordroun was crowned posthumously although he truly never ruled the Forest Kingdom.

Due to the suddenness with which Keldroun had the ruler’s mantle thrust upon him, the High Wizard Baerauble, along with the patriarchs of the Silver noble families, chose Aluth Greatgaunt to be the king’s constant companion and advisor. Aluth was a common born general who was blessed with great energy, foresight and an unshakeable loyalty to the Obarskyr line. He tempered the young king’s rashness and gently steered him toward a path of securing the realm against future harm.

The spread of great Anauroch in the half a century preceding the rule of King Keldroun, had seen the gradual disintegration of Hlundadim, the goblin nation north of the Storm Horns. The lapping sands of the Great Desert had brought this once mighty foe of Cormyr low, and many goblinkin fled into the High Moors, the Stonelands, and the northern fringes of Cormyr rather than face the brutal elements. King Keldroun led the Royal Host of Cormyr in hunting down the goblinkin raiders that plagued the northern settlements, and supported Melandrar Greatwyrm, an old battle companion of Aluth Greatgaunt’s, in his efforts to claim and hold the Stonelands for the kingdom as a first bulwark against the humanoid raiders. The “Stone Baron”, as Melandrar came to be known, led his mounted knights on many forays into the treacherous ravines of the Stonelands, slaying countless humanoids, and establishing the Stonebolt Trail, a crucial trade route connecting Cormyr with Myth Drannor. He also built a chain of hill forts west of the Stonebolt Trail to guard against the raids of the goblinkin that plagued the many trade caravans that now passed through the area.

Having brought stability to Cormyr, King Keldroun’s sense of satisfaction was deeply shaken by the counsel he received from Baerauble, High Wizard of Cormyr, in the Year of the Vintner’s Dagger (291 DR). The archmage brought to the king’s attention the passage from the prophecies of Alaundo that all scholars and sages agreed referred to the kingdom of Cormyr. Baerauble was sure that the time of Alaundo’s dread prophecy was nigh, pointing to submerged Marsember and the activities of Melandrar, the “great wyrm” of the prophecy, to support his belief. After taking counsel with Lord Greatgaunt, and being persuaded that his most loyal adviser was in firm agreement with the High Wizard, Keldroun had the Royal Sage Imindarth search the libraries and archives of the court for any reference to the mysterious “Grolag” of whom Alaundo spoke. Several days of feverish searching brought rewarding news when Imindarth discovered a reference to a goblin army of Hlundadim led by a chieftain named Grolag. King Moriann of Cormyr had defeated Grolag and his army in the Year of the Cold Enchanter (199 DR) in an area of the Stonelands known as the Needlespires for its countless, upward thrusting columns of stone. To the delight of King Keldroun, Baron Melandrar declared that he knew the site well, for it was a place avoided by the humanoids of the region, and used often by his men as a base camp.

Having unraveled the mystery of the reference to “Grolag’s bones” in the prophecy, the king’s closest advisors bent their wisdom toward deducing what the final lines of the prophecy meant. After more than a tenday of sometimes heated discussion the view of the High Wizard Baerauble prevailed that the phrase “those who should have been long dead” meant warriors magically preserved past their normal lifespans, rather than undead or the recipients of unreliable longevity magics. The task of selecting the warriors and constructing their place of rest fell to Lord Greatgaunt and he went about his work with the greatest possible secrecy and speed.

In the months that followed various well-known noble sons and some more notorious members of the nobility were recruited by Lord Greatgaunt to become The Lords Who Sleep. Having passed the rigorous magical probing of the High Wizard Baerauble, these worthies were whisked away by the High Wizard’s Art to the underground fastness that had been constructed beneath the Needlespires ...

That's about as far as I got before "Beyond the High Road" destroyed that little lore hook.

As an aside I can note that the creation of the Sleeping Sword led indirectly to the death of King Keldroun. The sudden disappearance of a host of younger noble sons sent rumours swirling that Keldroun was killing off various noble lines or kidnapping its members for his own evil, future plans. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but that didn't stop him being murdered by a group of allied nobles from the Turcassan, Immerdusk and Huntcrown families who saw the disappearance of their kin and younglings as a direct attack against their families' survival.

I recall from Ed's notes that Melandrar had a weredragon (song dragon) consort who was one of the Guardians like Emperel. Other notable members of the Sleeping Sword included Gelroth Turcassan "the Crimson Cavalier" (named such for his rose-hued platemail and his devotion to Sune), Andonia Huntcrown (a deadly warrior who many considered the best sword wielder, male or female, in the kingdom at that time) and the twins Arbruin and Erbruin Immerdusk (known as the "Bearblades" for their massive height and girth and proclivity to spout forth almost unintelligible warcries in the thick of battle).

I do recall that Brian mentioned to me a couple of years ago that he had "plans" for the Sleeping Sword and I remember that he had a 'play' with my rhyme above, but I'm not sure what happened to that project? Brian?

-- George Krashos

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 08 Dec 2008 :  11:30:03  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you crazed, for remembering this thread and reposting the latest informative replies. I appreciate your input in this as will everyone who will come looking for abscure lore on Cormyr.

Ergdusch

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 12 Dec 2008 :  10:41:13  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on grand feasts, social functions and the haute couture of the Obarskyrs:

Certain ceremonies (coronations, funerals, investitures, knightings, and the like) “require” by tradition that members of the royal family dress in certain ways (full crown, tiara or circlet, and so on).
However, for all “at pleasure” functions (feasts, receptions of envoys, balls, “presentations” of heirs [that is, occasions upon which proud parents introduce a noble child at court, personally to the monarch, as opposed to later ceremonies where a title is being confirmed by the monarch]), Obarskyrs can really wear what they want. In practice, this USUALLY means “what the reigning monarch approves of,” but various kings have varying degrees of control over their offspring, and the differing personal characters of the people involved affect matters, too.
For instance, Azoun IV really didn’t care how his daughters were dressed, so long as his queen, Filfaeril, was happy with their garb. He might have been surprised if they’d turned up stark naked, but would have accepted that state of affairs if it had been okay with Filfaeril. However, he would be displeased if they wore Purple Dragon uniforms of a rank they hadn’t in fact attained, or altered their appearances to deceive or mock any esteemed guest (for instance, painting their faces and adopting dress to appear to be native to Turmish when attending a function, when an envoy of Turmish was an honored guest at that function). It does NOT displease him when Alusair dresses in “mannish” clothing, nor are he and Filfaeril the sort of parents who would be outraged if Alusair came in dirty or wet from the road when she’d ridden in haste to be with them (they WOULD be annoyed if the servants didn’t offer her a bath and change of clothes, but quite content with matters if she then refused such things). In general, Filfaeril “rules the roost” in matters of dress and deportment, Azoun obliges her, and Fee expects “her girls” to not “disgrace the Throne” (by, say, exposing themselves to offend or excite older nobles).
Tanalasta, of course, would never dream of doing anything outrageous; she’s always trying to dress like a conservative, tasteful queen-to-be. At most “at pleasure” functions, she wears ankle-length gowns of expensive make and flattering cut, that are ankle-length and do not expose overmuch bosom (Tanalasta is well-endowed but not “large” in breast or hips). They may be sideslit if dancing is expected, but are intended to be quietly beautiful and project an image of conservative, confident responsibility, not to lure possible bed-partners.
Alusair’s approach to dress for an “at pleasure” function depends very much on her mood. She is more muscular than her older sister, but also more agile, and far more practiced at acting (she can dance better, or strut like a man, or lower her head and glide demurely, or be even more haughty and stately than Tana, if she wants to).
With that said, her garments can be just about anything. She has conservative gowns of the sort favoured by Tanalasta, and does wear them when she deems it fitting - - but she also has plunge-front and sideslit (up to above the waist) gowns, which she sometimes wears with nothing underneath. More of her wardrobe than Tana’s is flame-orange or fiery red or deep, thrilling blue, to catch the eye.
Alusair has been known to attend functions where there will be a lot of dancing, or where she wants to dissuade “wandering hands” or “mingle more with the lads” to talk rather than to be romantic, in breeches, jerkin, and half-cloak (in other words, mens’ clothing). However, such garments are usually tailored for her (visibly showing off her figure), and are often of spectacular hue or trim combinations, such that no one will mistake her breeches, boots, jerkin or flowing shirt, and half-cloak for rustic or foresters’ wear, but rather realize at a glance that these are splendid “for show” clothes.
However, there have been times when Alusair WANTS to melt into the background, such as when certain Sembian envoys who’ve eyed her lustfully since she was SO high come to Court, and on such occasions she will calmly wear gowns of conservative cut and hue, and stay close to her mother. NOT out of fear, mind, but as a matter of policy; she has discussed with her mother or father or both what role she’ll play that evening, and will then proceed to carry it out.
It should always be remembered that the Obarskyrs, during the long reign of Azoun IV, were quite used to attending such functions frequently; their GUESTS may have been excited, ill at ease, or fearing appearances and faux pas, but the Obarskyrs (yes, including the two Princesses, once they were past puberty and the awkward learning and rebelling stages preceding it) were very used to making small talk, mingling, deftly initiating, steering, and ending conversations, and dealing with minor problems (overexcited guest spews all over your gown? Calmly comfort him and guide him to an antechamber to be fussed over and calmed by servants, whilst you move on to a robbing room where your servants always have replacement clothing ready, plus skilled dressers and maids expert in seeing to your cosmetics and hair. As Filfaeril was wont to say, “There’s no problem, dear, if you don’t MAKE it a problem.”).
We know (from what courtiers and revelers have witnessed, on several occasions) that all of the Obarskyrs carry at least a concealed dagger at all times, and that Alusair and Azoun are in the habit of wearing rather more weaponry, and sometimes hidden breastplates and gorgets inside bodices or jerkins that have been reinforced by armor plate. We also know that all four Obarskyrs (Tanalasta with some embarrassment, the other three with none at all) are quite capable of tearing or slicing off hampering clothing, regardless of what flesh is then exposed, if they feel the need in an emergency.
Azoun rarely changes clothing during an event unless there is need, and Filfaeril and Tanalasta usually change once at most (one outfit for dinner, one for drinking, talking, and circulating after). Alusair is again the wild factor; some nights she changes what she’s wearing not at all, no matter what’s happening, and on others she may change six times or even more. (Sticking to the same garments is more likely than changing, for her.)
What is certain is that Alusair will NOT tolerate clothing that fails her or the situation; a confining gown will be torn off, if a spiked heel breaks she’ll draw steel to hack the heel off her other shoe so that they match, or kick off both shoes to go barefoot until a servant brings footwear - - which she may wave away to go on being barefoot, or may accept (sometimes murmuring, “I’ll wear these only until you can bring my [boots or slippers or whatever], mind”).
So for trend-setting or bold fashion statements, look to Alusair (and if Filfaeril approves, she’ll have something similar made to wear at the next occasion, whereupon a Court fashion is usually set as many noblewomen follow the Dragon Queen’s cue). Tanalasta follows her mother in adopting the less colourful and bold garments, so she can be considered to behave like the older, more conservative noblewomen at Court, who will gladly adopt new hats or scarves or colours, but aren’t bearing their legs or bust in public for ANYONE!
For what it’s worth, I always mentally think of Alusair as a bright flame at these events, with a swirling off-the-shoulder half-cloak or scarf and something daringly cut, on the forefront of fashion - - unless she’s disapproving of someone or wants to send a “I don’t agree with this” statement, whereupon she will be dressed, often in black, like the most agile, lithe, and debonair young males in attendance.



So saith Ed. Who tries not to forget a single question, scribes, so keep them coming, and don’t ever despair that he’s forgotten yours!
Obviously, Ed set the chronological time of his reply to Azoun's reign before the events of BEYOND THE DARK ROAD.
By the way, if the published Realms were more like Ed’s home Realms campaign, you’d be seeing a LOT of revels; amid the chatter and flirtations of such events Ed feeds us a constant stream of adventuring hints and clues as to how feuds, alliances, and business ventures are unfolding among the nobles of Cormyr.
By the way (again), great queries, Markustay and The Sage; they've gone off to Ed, and I await his replies with interest!
love to all,
THO


EDIT - update on Alusair's fashion
Ed says:

Stark naked, no. Alusair always wears boots.
To balls and revels, that is, when otherwise unclad.
Aside from footwear, anklets, and other jewelry (when scantily clad she likes to wear large teardrop-pendant earrings), she has attended two revels naked and unadorned, and one revel naked but with "clothing" very cleverly painted onto her skin, so that she appeared clad to anyone less than about eight feet away.
Remember, royalty doesn't follow fashion. Royalty SETS fashions.


Alusair as Steel Regent wore armour more often, and mens' uniform tunics of the sort her father had favoured, to signal her standing and solemnity. So, no more public nudity. However, she also wore striking and revealing gowns frequently, and she and her mother, the Dowager Dragon Queen, sometimes wore nearly-identical spectacular gowns - - and sometimes wore gowns of the same cut, but that contrasted in hue. Alusair NEVER wore male clothing to match her mother's female clothing, however. She was not trying to send the message that she was a replacement Azoun, or her mother's bedmate, but rather that she stood for the Crown after his death.


So saith Ed, again. Busy fellow . . .
love,
THO

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005

Edited by - crazedventurers on 07 Jan 2009 10:24:43
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
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Posted - 11 Jan 2009 :  00:06:56  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Noble Families linked with Thunderstone

(The time of the lore that follows is around 1370 DR.)
Between the Thunderflow and (a line of hills that borders) the Vast Swamp is a verdant band of farming and ranching country (rolling, grassy hillsides, hedgerows, wandering dirt lanes and small woodlots) and it’s also what’s sometimes referred to in our real world as “karst” country (springs rise, run along the surface, and then disappear down sinkholes, and there are lots of subterranean streams, hidden caves, and limestone, which means most waters run clear and pure). It’s well-watered by meltwater streams running southwest, down from the Thunder Peaks, and the prevailing winds (usually fairly constant, steady, mild breezes) mean it gets a lot of sun; clouds tend to scud swiftly across the sky, not settle in and cause overcasts. As a result, crops grow well and livestock fattens up swiftly, so a lot of wealthy Cormyrean families (and that of course includes the nobles) have holdings here, even if they’re only farms worked by commoner tenants.
That doesn’t mean that the same “lot” of noble families visit Thunderstone often, or own dwellings in or near the village.
In Thunderstone proper, the Hawklin family owns a row of stores along “the Rise,” the main street (that parallels the Thunder River), and two homes: a modest dwelling with stables in its own small walled orchard and garden, hight “Thundershaws” and used for putting up guests, business clients, and sometimes by certain Hawklins who want to entertain away from the rest of their kin; and Hawklinforce, a stone mansion with its own high stone walls, stables, wagon sheds, and brewhouse. From “the Force,” local factors (trade agents) of the Hawklins administer the dozen ranches and crop farms (cabbages, barley, oats, and parsnips) owned by the family, and rent out family coaches and wagons to locals for divers purposes. As a result, the Hawklins are prominent locally, their views respected and heeded.
The Huntsilvers maintain a lower local profile. Their tall-towered stone mansion is known as Hunting Castle, and has an impressive stone wall and stout front gates, but isn’t otherwise fortified. It is perhaps the most defensible large building in Thunderstone, but its small enclosed grounds are crowded with large, old trees (oaks and duskwoods), the boughs of some of which offer easy access to some of the lower Castle windows. There are persistent local rumors of secret tunnels connecting the cellars of Hunting Castle (which are said to contain all manner of gruesome sacrificial cult altars or Loviatar-loving flogging and trysting “dungeons”) with secret passages in the walls of scores of local buildings. According to Elminster, there are two secret passages, meant to allow olden-day Huntsilvers to arrive and depart without being seen by kin or slayers hired by rival noble families, they are guarded by helmed horrors, and there are no altars or pleasure-dens.
In Thunderstone, the Huntsilvers generally keep to themselves, moving about the village in closed coaches or on fast horses. They use Hunting Castle very much as a retreat, in which to read and catch up on hobbies (such as, for several Huntsilver ladies, crafting gowns and practicing at the lute, handharp, and with voice, and reportedly for some Huntsilver males, wenching with “laugh-pretties” brought up from Suzail for such purposes). The family owns about thirty farms, all worked by tenants, well to the south and southwest of Thunderstone.
Hunting Castle and Hawklinforce both back onto the Thunderflow, having their own (modest and largely disused) docks and boathouses, and face onto the “best” street in Thunderstone, the winding Nightcloak Ride, which is lined with most of the better old stone dwellings in the village. It lies largely north and west of the Rise, but hooks sharply south just west of Stag Skull’s Bridge, to intersect with, and end at, the Rise.

The Illances, Naerinths, Summerstars, and Wyvernspurs all own modest walled stone homes in Thunderstone, but visit them seldom (in the general way of nobility, such “nighthearth” houses are used as overnight way-stops when travelling, to host occasional meetings with business associates, and as retreats or trysting sites by individual family members. These four families are locally most active elsewhere (the Summerstars in Firefall Vale, which I shared lore about back in the 2004 replies here at the Keep, I believe [Sage or Wooly or Kuje, please jump in and correct my dating if I’m misremembering], and the other three noble houses largely to the north of the Hullack, or at least of the Thunderflow.

The Immerdusk noble family owns four old but solidly-built homes in Thunderstone, and owns six farms just south of the village proper. All are worked or inhabited by tenants, and Immerdusks are so seldom seen in this region that many locals believe them to be extinct, and that the factors speaking for them are actually courtiers working for the Crown, who just won’t admit that they’ve taken over the chattels and holdings of the Immerdusks.

House Indesm owns a shop on the Rise and maintains very modest lodgings (a suite of four rooms, occupying an entire floor) above it, with the shopkeeper and his family dwelling in the gabled and dormered attic above them. However, they are seen in Thunderstone seldom, and come and go without fanfare or much in the way of coaches, outriders, servants, and the like. The Indesms own sixteen ranches and farms, mainly east of Thunderstone. All are worked by tenants, though the Indesms visit and inspect them often. This family keeps mainly to the hold of Hawkhar (sometimes called Hawkhar Keep or more often and formally “Hawkhar Hall,” though most folk these days now call it simply “Hawkhar”), consisting of a fortified stone mansion and tower at the heart of a walled horse-farm where many fine mounts are bred, reared, and trained. The walls also enclose a small woodlot and orchard, and have an outer “thrust” or loop of wall, pierced by two always-open gates, that cradles the hamlet of Hawkhar, a small settlement dominated by the families of Indesm servants.

The Indesms are typical of most Cormyrean nobility in the countryside; they have and dominate their own settlement or hold, and only visit and rent or own dwellings in the villages, towns, and cities of the realm. The other three Thunderstone-home-owning noble families follow this pattern, too; they are the Houses of Buckfast, Haelbroke, and Yellander.
For more about the Yellanders, interested readers are directed to SWORDS OF DRAGONFIRE. This House did not end with the execution of the lord who featured therein, because King Azoun would not hear of the three estranged and blameless-of-treason Yellander nieces who dwelt in Suzail being shamed and paupered by the actions of Lord Prester Yellander. The War Wizards had already thoroughly upset the three with sudden, brusque mind-reamings (which confirmed their utter innocence; they were wholly unaware of Lord Prester’s drug-smugglings, or his assembling of a private army and the murders he directed them to do). One of the three nieces, Anathae, was a longtime friend and confidant of Queen Filfaeril, who took charge of the rather dazed Anathae and briskly steered her into marriage to a commoner she’d long had eyes on, a Palace courtier by the name of Hresker Falbruin. So there’s now a capable and tactful Lord Hresker Falbruin, charged by Queen Fee with finding suitable and happy mates for Anathae’s two sisters, Paerile and Tannaura (a process that is taking years because both of them are rather shy, delicate ladies and Hresker, Anathae, and Filfaeril are all agreed that the very last thing that should happen is settling them with less than ideal partners).
Hresker and Anathae Yellander now dwell in Whitewings (the renamed Yellander seat in Galdyn's Gorge, a modest, unwalled keep-and-attached stone mansion surrounded by gardens and a deep, wooden-spike-filled ditch to discourage marauding wilderland monsters; its new name comes from all the doves raised for food by Anathae’s longtime maids, who came from farming families known for their flavourful dove pies), visiting Suzail only for major Councils and at the end of summer. Prester Yellander’s simple, rustic hunting lodge on the edge of the Hullack Forest sits disused, and will soon fall into ruin if not maintained.
Less well known in Suzail are the poorer, more rustic local noble families of Buckfast and Haelbroke. These “true bloods of the Thunderflow” lead lusty lives of running their farms directly, brewing and distilling, imbibing the results, and hunting from the saddle.
They also seem to have “ridden” great numbers of willing local lasses, and are impoverished in part because of all the bastard offspring they help to support - - which has linked them, time and again, to divers local families, businesses, and farms.
Their byblows have been sent literally by the score into the ranks of local Purple Dragons, who are inclined to look the other way at Buckfast and Halebroke indiscretions, which in turn has encouraged male members of these houses to becoming accomplished rakes, drunkards, and local “rowdies” behind many a local brawl, wildly whooping midnight gallop, accidental fire, and prank.
The current patriarch of the Buckfasts is Lord Rothtil Buckfast, whose hardy, lusty, fun-loving mate is Lady Suvreene Buckfast, and they dwell with three sons (including the family heir, Ravance) and five daughters at the family seat of Buckhaven Hall, a walled manor house and ‘home farm’ in the countryside east of Thunderstone. This “heart of the Buckfasts” household also rents rent two rooms above a chandler’s (“Maerikho Hayhondlow, Chandler to High and Low”) on the south front of the Rise.
Other prominent Buckfasts include Melhard, a fat and blustering old bellower of a rake with a legendary capacity for drink, and Sargram, an aging but still deadly fighter-of-duels and bedder of anyone female and handy (the reason for a lot of those duels; noble wives are his favourite quarry, and his outrageously leering flirtatiousness [or “charm” as the ladies tend to prefer to call it] seems to conquer many of them).
The current head of House Haelbroke is Lord Larandyr Haelbroke, a haughty, humourless retired soldier (he recently departed the rank of ornrion, a West Reach posting, in the Purple Dragons when his father Lord Uskarr Haelbroke died, his mother Dardorra having predeceased Uskarr). Larandyr’s stunningly beautiful wife is Lady Mirljarla Haelbroke (formerly a Truesilver), and they dwell with their two daughters, Tasharra (the family heir) and Raedaera at the family seat of Buckhaven Hall, a rather spartan walled keep and ‘home farm’ in the countryside west of Thunderstone. They also rent a luxurious house on Nightcloak Ride in Thunderstone (Nightowl Roost, which is owned by Storm Silverhand but managed for her by the suave estate manager Maland Orlstand of Suzail, a secret Harper) where Lady Mirljarla spends increasing amounts of time entertaining noble lady friends “come out from Suzail to see the rustics.” A glowering Lord Larandyr rarely attends these visits, and the couple’s two daughters are caught in a tussle between their parents for their time and attention (although Tasharra and Raedaera, who have both inherited their mother’s raven-black hair and smoky-eyed good looks and buxom curves, dearly want to see the latest “cityside” fashions and manners, they both LOVE riding, ruling, weapons-practice, and all the other “lordly” stuff their father wants to teach them and do with them, that are more often the province of male nobles when their female counterparts are confined to empty-headed chatter in parlors and “lace-chambers”).
Other prominent Haelbrokes include Galragar, Mresper, and Borlingar. Galragar, the eldest, is Larandyr’s uncle, and the other two are his cousins. Galragar is a fair-haired, unshaven, rollicking meaty bull of a man, load and coarse and jovial. Borlingar is a younger, dark-haired echo of Galragar, whereas Mresper is sly, witty, slender, and agile. All three are tirelessly-energetic roisterers, wenchers (Mresper may on occasion also prefer young and handsome male partners), and fun-seekers, the bright stars of every revel they take part in. They are always thinking up some new “society” or club or prank, some entertainment for themselves and those who “ride with them” to take part in; Larandyr’s last attempt to host a solemn feast for Suzailan lords he desired to impress was “pranced” (in the real world, we would say “crashed”) by Galragar and Borlingar leading a dozen strapping local lads, most of them wealthy or highborn or both, all riding horses and wearing heavy makeup and beautiful womens’ gowns, garters, and all, into the ballroom to a skidding dismount and wild dance with the attending - - and utterly astonished - - noble lords. This is a typical prank, neither a highlight or lowlight, but it strengthened Larandyr’s cold distaste towards all three of his “wild wolves” of kin, whom he disowns and shuns at every opportunity. (His house wizard, a lean and homely mage by the name of Baerglan Dunstag, who is of course a War Wizard, refuses to let Larandyr bar his gates to the three or move to try to legally dispossess them [an effort that would fail, anyway, as only the Crown can strip someone of their rightful heritage, and then only by exiling them and taking away their citizenship as well], but Larandyr refuses to recognize or speak to them, always addressing cutting remarks to any of the three to any handy servant or statue or potted plant, loudly enough for the shunned kin he wants to hear, to do so. For their parts, the three are amused at Larandyr’s attitude, not upset or ashamed.)
Those are the living nobles. There are indeed a handful of extinct ones that will serve for answering your second question. For now, enjoy (I hope) this lore.



So saith Ed, whose deep love for Cormyr shows.
love to all,
THO

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2009 :  11:50:27  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on the name of the stream that borders the western edge of Eveningstar

First, crazedventurers asked the name of the stream in Eveningstar that runs down the west side of the temple lands; Damian, Ed confirms that it’s called “Starglimmer Stream” (or more often just “the Starglimmer”). The priests of the local temple have dubbed it “Morningstar Rill” in honour of Lathander, but no one outside of the temple uses this name or would even know what it referred to, if they heard it. Some elder inhabitants of Eveningstar refer to the stream by its nickname of “Bloodwater Brook,” which came from an old battle between skirmishing nobles in the civil strife of Salember’s Regency, wherein local legend holds the waters briefly ran red with the blood of the fallen.
It strikes the eye as a shallow, fast-running, coldwater stream about eight to ten feet below the level of the surrounding land, that has cut a winding streambed about twenty feet across (as root-choked earthen banks erode and tumble down). Like all fast watercourses, it undercuts its banks on the outsides of curves and deposits large gravel bars on the insides. Children play in it (south of the temple lands, that is) and are sent to bathe in it, and occasionally a goodwife will soak a thoroughly-dirtied garment in its waters, held down by stones, for cleansing [i.e. to “wash out” a large bloodstain].

Love to all
THO

So saith Ed. I've never said he was sane, have I?
Gods, all this writing and he's running a constant fantasy version of Coronation Street in his head, too. .
shudder,
love to all,
THO
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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