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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2009 :  11:54:19  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More from Ed on Thunderstone Nobles who are exiled/deceased and their shady pastimes.....

Cheers

Damian
***************************************************************

Ed responds to the second of the eight Thunderstone-and-vicinity questions posted by Asgetrion back in mid-December:
“2) Are there any "extinct" local noble families, who might have dabbled into necromancy and/or demon worship, and were either exiled or executed or imprisoned?”
Ed replies:



There are indeed.
Thunderlunnar (or more recently, “Thunderlans;” both terms mean inhabitants of Thunderstone) and other locals might believe the Immerdusks are extinct, but in truth the following noble families, once locally prominent, have vanished: the Houses of Bracebolt, Drauthglas, Mallowbridge, and Tulwood.

According to what local legends once heeds, any or all of these families may well have dabbled with necromantic magic and/or worshipped or consorted with demons, but there are no local tales or suspicions of the old, old Drauthglas clan being exiled, executed, or imprisoned. “Longest gone and least remembered” is how most locals recall them, if at all; an ancient name clinging to the Hullack forest, and no more. So consider them a possible but least likely candidate, of the four choices, and pass on to the others.

The House of Bracebolt flourished in the time of King Duar, and had a reputation for handsome good looks and skill-at-arms, not any interest in magic. Most Bracebolts died in battle (fighting for Cormyr, loyal to the king of the day), but two were imprisoned for short periods on suspicion of murder; one [Lord Helaerd Bracebolt] was acquitted and the other [Lord Rorell “Rory” Bracebolt] escaped from a dungeon, never to be seen again (he was pardoned in absentia when later War Wizard evidence pointed to another person as the murderer, and was widely thought to have lived out his days either “living wild” in the Thunder Peaks or living simply as a forester under another names, somewhere in Battledale or Featherdale).
The family line went extinct in 1225 DR, when the childless, unmarried Lord Belarkus Bracebolt died fighting for the Crown in one of the many, many battle-victories of King Dhalmass.

The Mallowbridges are quite another matter. The males of this family tend to be soft-spoken, smiling men of dark hair, good looks, and cruel lack of morals, who swindle and deceive and cheat their ways through life, employing secretly-hired agents to end unpleasant problems (such as rivals or those they owe coin to) with a sharp dagger some night.
The last Mallowbridge is thought to have died a pauper’s death in the reign of Rhigaerd II, but the family (which rose to nobility in the reign of Andilber, through wealth and battle prowess and informing the Unfortunate King of several plots against him) lost its title and standing (though not properties) by the decree of King Palaghard II, earning this unusual fate because they were suspected of scores of bad deeds, but no hard evidence could be found against them. They had access to dark magic and used it, because every last War Wizard sent to investigate them died, mysteriously torn apart by unseen creatures who left no traces - - creatures who devoured or carried off the heads of the unfortunate mages, and cast many dark and powerful spells on the remains and the death-sites, that prevented other War Wizards from using spells to determine just how they died or what they saw or learned.
So this family are prime candidates for what you have in mind. The patriarch of the House when they gained noble status was Hander Tarius Mallowbridge, created Lord Tarius Mallowbridge (he never used his childhood name “Hander,” which he hated, once his father was dead; Tarius was the name of his grandsire, and his father had been Honder Mallowbridge, leaving the son heartily sick of being called “Hander son of Honder”).
Lord Baeryn Mallowbridge was head of the house when it was stripped of nobility; he was exiled, but his sons Tonthur and Naernyn were not. Both went on to have large families, that finally dwindled down to Esker Mallowbridge (a descendant of Tonthur), who died living alone as a forester in the Hullack, sometime in either the winter of 1331 DR or the spring of 1332 DR.
However, there are many local tales (mostly dark tales of malicious spellcastings) of various Lady Mallowbridges dabbling in magic, sometimes magically ruining young local men after seducing them. Although Mallowbridge wives came from many families (often of wealthy non-noble Marsemban stock), the tales generally portray them as slender, beautiful, and as having long, long dark hair. Elminster attests that many of the never-wed Mallowbridge daughters, who dwelt in various family homes and became aging aunts and then very-long-lived crones, were accomplished sorceresses or trained wizards, and aided and taught each other, waylaying and seizing the scrolls and tomes of traveling mages when they could to increase the “family power.”
The wife of Tarius was Lady Tamglaera, the wife of Baeryn was Lady Anglorae, and the wife of Glarem (the wealthiest and most powerful Lord Mallowbridge between Tarius and Baeryn) was Lady Resildra.
Tonthur’s wife was named Harellae, and she is known to have been powerful in magic, ruthless, fearless, and to have often fared far in the Hullack, walking alone and using spells to slay creatures that she then devoured raw (earning her the nickname “Wildfangs”).
Naeryn’s wife was Oloebrae, a delicate beauty who was masterful in acting and manipulation, and who probably poisoned Naeryn when she tired of him (she went on to take two subsequent husbands, both wealthy merchants of Suzail, and the first of them also died of poison, as did Olobrae’s sons Ithril and Ongammur. Only a daughter, Taeril, outlived her mother, and she did so by fleeing to Waterdeep and disappearing (probably altering her face, taking another name, and plunging into a new life as a drudge-servant or tavern dancer, though one tale whispers that she used spells to appear to be a man, and rose to become a guildmaster; this tale may well be true, or may have arisen because “Taeril” is a name borne by both males and females in Cormyr).

The last candidate family is the House of Tulwood, a line of arrogant, fair-haired, malicious men (and a succession of commoners who married them, because they seemed uniformly unable to attract brides from amongst the nobility of the realm) who were known for skilled swordsmanship, feuding, and personal obsessions. Some were obsessed with worshipping the Cormyrean monarch of the day, some were obsessed with married noblewomen or priestesses they could not have, and some were obsessed with collecting oddities or with mastering strange hobbies (such as tying miniature animals from knotted string, or painting miniature likenesses of lovers on the fingernails and toenails of their wives).
Aside from fighting, riding, wenching, and feuding, however, few of the Lords Tulwood accomplished much, though Lord Baerent Tulwood was that rarest of things: the head of a noble house (during most of the reign of Azoun I) who was also a master swordsmith.
The Tulwoods rose to nobility in the reign of Irbruin, ennobled for military service to the Crown (defending easternmost Cormyr against brigands, monsters, and various self-proclaimed kings of their own fledgling realms). From the first Lord Tulwood, Omburr, the family had many sons and few daughters, tended to embrace military careers, and tended to have short and violent lives. The last of the many Lord Tulwoods was Korlandur, who died in the summer of 1319 DR in a violent fall over a cliff on horseback that shattered most bones of both horse and rider (the plunge may or may not have been due to foul play; Korlandur was a cruel man known for unhesitatingly disfiguring the faces of those he disagreed with by means of his metal-barbed horsewhip, who’d earned himself many foes).
The Tulwoods were bullies who tended to hire mercenaries and wizards to beat any foe who stood up to them (though they were careful never to cross any courtier, local lord or Crown agent, the Obarskyrs, or any of the three “royal” noble families), and many of them dabbled in magic as a hobby (usually without much results, but then, those who succeed in dark summonings and the like seldom want to advertise their successes in a realm so dominated by War Wizards).
One Tulwood, a heir Rantaver (his younger brother Borovan became Lord after the death of their father, Gulthur), was exiled in the reign of Duar (for strongly suspected but not-quite-proven treason), and more than a dozen Tulwoods were imprisoned for short periods, for various violent actions perpetrated against other nobles (or in one case, a visiting envoy from Amn). There are no records of executions, but there are strong suspicions of Tulwoods being involved in dark magic and of summoning demons, so they, too, are candidates.
Perhaps you could use both the Mallowbridge AND Tulwood families, with Bracebolt as a red herring, and REALLY get your players deep into intrigues and shadowy conspiracies and shadows from the past. Heh-heh, and so forth.



So saith Ed, opening up several cans of worms with great glee, it seems to me.
Ah, Cormyr, so dear to my heart and so delightful. May your tale be told, some day and some way.
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 - 14 Jan 2009 :  00:16:23  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Harper and Zhent agents in Thunderstone, as well as a herald writing his way into the headlines......

Cheers

Damian


There is a local herald, Bannermere, but this is a new office held by a novice, a young, slender, brown-haired man originally from Berdusk, who is polite and rather shy, and derives most of his income by designing and limning signs and writing letters for locals (he is not a Crown herald). He keeps to Thunderstone, and interested clients come to see him; it’s recently come to light (much to his embarrassment) that he secretly writes salacious chapbooks for sale in Scornubel and Waterdeep, including the popular “Rorel the Conquering Blade” series (in which the debonair, swirling-cloaked Rorel beds an endless series of willing women, often after dueling their craven and cruel wife-beating husbands). Interestingly, there’s long been a rumour that the Rorel books were penned by the same anonymous hand that once presented the now-banned chapbook “Filfaeril Bound And Willing” to a receptive Suzail and even more eager Purple Dragon posts up and down the Realm, but a blushing and stammering Bannermere denies ever even dreaming of portraying the Dragon Queen in such a light. (Another rumour whispers that Filfaeril, who has been officially silent on the work, secretly enjoyed it very much and cajoled her royal husband into acting out the events of several of the encounters therein - - but rumour, like a barking dog, oft makes much more noise and arouses more ire than it in truth should.)

There are no publicly-known Zhentarim agents in the area, but “everyone knows” they do pay locals for spying and passing on information, and that there IS a Zhent paymaster somewhere in Thunderstone. It’s almost certainly a shopkeeper, and the local Purple Dragons do keep close watch over one Tunstal Draeger, a seller (but not maker; his wares come from the docks of Marsember) of rope, cord, and wire.
However, the Dragons and even Draeger are unaware that Draeger is a decoy Zhent spy and paymaster, who continues to operate and be paid by a travelling Zhent master (a Selgauntan “manywares” caravan merchant by the name of Drustigo Parltath) despite the fact that the authorities are “on to him,” and the Zhents know this. While the attention is on Draeger, the REAL local Zhent spy, the scent and potion maker and seller Naerilda Jackalane, does the real spying. She’s a bone-thin, long-nosed, rather homely woman who’s a superb mimic and actor - - and VERY careful not to attract attention to herself. She openly makes regular herb-gathering and buying trips (gathering on the banks of the Thunderflow and in the verges of the Hullack Forest, and buying from specific farms), tries to carry on romances with several local Purple Dragons (purportedly because she’s lonely and desperate for a mate and has a “thing” for “men in Crown uniform,” but actually to allay suspicion and to learn what she can of local Dragon gossip), and is known to discreetly visit local households after dark to deliver love-potions and herbal ointments that aid in “love’s arts” (lubricants and stiffeners, to put it less delicately). She has no public skill in healing, but is known to make and sell very effective ointments that effectively deaden all pain (and itching sensations) in a localized body area, and secretly possesses about a dozen magical healing potions for her own use and to aid wounded Zhents who might need them. Her Zhent name is “Thunderblade” or just “Blade,” but Zhents who think they might be overheard while speaking of her are supposed to refer to her instead as “Thunderflow” so that what they say will be mistaken either for the river, or as a SECOND agent.

The Harpers have two safe-houses and lore-moots in Thunderstone, both the homes of retired, aging, limping from old wounds ex-Dragons (who are now covert Harper agents). They do nothing at all to attract attention to themselves, beyond opening their doors after dark when certain signals are given, and taking in guests they hide in their cellars, in secret passages, and in hidden attic areas. An ever-changing succession of younger and more active Harper agents move through the area and do all the fighting, skulking, prowling, and spying (the Harpers in Berdusk regard the Thunderstone area as a good “training-ground,” but also send more experienced Harpers to watch over the novices, both to rescue them if need be and evaluate them).
The two elderly Harpers are the grizzled and laconic (most known for his severe limp and his jutting, oversized, sharp-pointed lower jaw) Pharvukh Bonehondur, once an ornrion in the Dragons who came from Teziir and joined the Dragons as a youth, in a hiring fair in Suzail; and Malaeva Irlingbreak, a sharp-tongued, tall but stooped by her aches, slightly-limping and cane-using woman who has long, untidy white hair, piercing black eyes, and a habit of purring audibly when contented or amused; she was once a constal in the Dragons, at High Horn, and earlier in her career, when holding much lower ranks, served for many years in Arabel.
Both of them are expert at tending wounds and keeping their mouths shut; Bonehondur runs a knife-and-tool sharpening service out of his home, and Malaeva makes carved and ornamented wooden front doors and shutters (and a few small carry-coffers, too).



So saith Ed, who seems to be really building up lore so Asgetrion, Damian, and anyone else who wants to can use this area for a campaign setting. Whee!
(I know Ed expects to have an answer for Asgetrion's fourth question next, then Damian's most recent query. Glancing over Ed's reply, I want to emphasize that the Zhent agents he mentions are NOT the only ones, just the only long-term-resident ones; to avoid being easily exposed, the "do the dirty stuff" Zhent agents, of whom there are probably around six to eight at any one time in the Thunderstone area, "move through" the district and on to elsewhere, being replaced by "the next wave.")
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 - 14 Jan 2009 :  10:59:18  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on fortifications in and around Thunderstone

Cheers

Damian
*****************************************************

Aside from those already mentioned for the various noble families (including the Summerstars, back in my 2004 reply and in the novel STORMLIGHT that preceded it), no.
There IS “Ravaer’s Stronghold,” an “earthen-ring-wall-surrounded by ditch” defensible redoubt for the use of Purple Dragons trying to repel any invasion in force from the Thunder Peaks, that stands in the open countryside (rolling, unfenced common ranchers’ fields) not far west of the mountain foothills. It’s exactly what its name implies: a grass-covered series of earthworks, with a single entry “lane” or elevated “ride” leading into it from the west, this lane having precipitous ditches on both sides, being just wide enough for a small wagon or two riders abreast, and having a “dogleg” bend in it to make charges difficult and aid defenders. This feature is named for a long-ago Purple Dragon commander who died defending Cormyr from a Sembian-sponsored raiding force there, and is notable for having a single stone-lined subterranean “refuge room” at its heart, a chamber about twenty feet square (“about” because its walls are a series of embrasures or niches ending in sleeping benches) that has three stone caskets (like coffins) at its center that can serve as coffins, or tables, or food and water storage (Purple Dragon patrols keep them stocked with skins of water, raw cabbages, sausages enclosed in clay to keep mold from growing on them, and firewood). The refuge room is reached down a long, narrow ramp from a hole in the ground covered by a single stone slab and sheltered by a three-sided earthwork “cave” that can provide some small shelter for hobbled horses; the cave has several hitching-rings set into its sides.

Perched on the sides of the lowest Thunder Peaks are the crumbling, open-to-the-sky remnants of several ancient “robber baron” castles; simple keeps that are much used by roosting birds (and, from time to time, perytons and even wyverns, though the Purple Dragons call in War Wizards to exterminate such unwanted inhabitants, whenever they’re noticed). These serve more as landmarks (meeting-moots and the sites of occasional smuggling caches) than as shelter; the best-known are Kaliphur’s Keep, Imbral’s Tower, the Wyvernteeth, and Black Heldar’s Roost.

A wealthy but non-noble family from Suzail, the Varvrail family, bought a cluster of a dozen farms about a quarter-day’s ride south-southwest of Thunderstone, and there started construction of a grand fortified stone mansion. However, the clan ran out of money after several investments went bad and their participation in smuggling from Westgate to Suzail was uncovered. (Several members were jailed, and the family now toils as shopkeepers in Suzail, in much reduced circumstances.) The mansion was barely begun, and consists of heaps of earth, a large pit, and the beginnings of a front wall with a row of high arched windows; the surrounding farms and the piles of cut lumber and dressed stone blocks assembled at the site but not yet used in the construction were sold off to pay family debts, leaving just the one unfinished wall, plus its temporary timber supporting buttresses and a scaffold that has long since sagged into a crazily unsafe state. It was to have been called Varvrail Hall, but is locally known as “Folly Hall.”


So saith Ed. Who adds that he left the depths of the the Hullack Forest, the heart of the Thunder Peaks, and the Vast Swamp out of this, as being not part of the "Thunderstone area," but rather its borders. All three contain both human and elven ruins (and of course there are also dwarven, gnomish, and orken ruins in the Thunder Peaks), as it happens, but many of them are tied up in all sorts of NDAs, some even linked to the old SPI (TSR-acquired) Dragonquest game (in other words, the Watching Gods alone know when we'd ever get those sorted out, to say nothing of lifted).
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 - 16 Jan 2009 :  00:12:32  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Country Nobles, what they are like, the raising of private armies, what house wizards are for, protecting Cormyr and their favourite hobbies (especially apples )

Enjoy

Damian

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

Hi, Damian. You’re very welcome. I love doing this, and am always happy to help explore the Realms.
Yes, border nobles (the polite term used in Cormyr is “upcountry nobles” and the less polite one is “backcountry nobles,” which begins a slide into “backcountry bumpkins” and progressively ruder terms) do tend to be more earthy (or “rustic,” which is the more polite disdainful expression) . . . but most of them in return look down on “citified” or “dandified” nobles who “lack all real connection to this great land of ours.”
It’s not out of any blind eye turned by the Crown or the Court, because very few upcountry nobles (except the elderly or ailing) miss any chance to get to Court in Suzail for important Councils, feasts, receptions, and times of important decision-making (which their own house wizards, the local lords and Crown heralds, and local Purple Dragon commanders all take great care to keep them all informed about, because the last thing any occupier of the Dragon Throne wants is unrest among nobles because something happened “behind their backs” because they weren’t told about something that was going on).
It’s simply because they spend more time hunting, riding on woodland trails or trysting out in open countryside or otherwise “taking the air” and enjoying simple pleasures (bobbing for apples, anyone? dancing with village lasses at various farming “fests”?) than do nobles who keep to Suzail and concern themselves with gossip, intrigue, investments (and lather, rinse, and repeat).
It IS true that nobles who help police border areas are allowed more leeway in deeds and speech than a city-dwelling noble would be, because local Purple Dragons know them better and know the scant resources and the problems (brigands, roving monsters, Sembian and Zhent and other organized subversive forces) they and the Dragons themselves face, and (to use a modern real-world term) “cut them some slack” because of this. It’s also true that for years Vangerdahast secretly pursued a policy of letting everyone think his vigilance was sadly lacking “out in the upcountry,” so nobles would “get up to things” (often using their hunting lodges for meetings, as certain nobles did in SWORDS OF DRAGONFIRE) and thereby reveal something of their plots and how energetic and committed their opposition to the Crown (if any) really was. It gave his War Wizards something to work with - - and a place to practice using nasty spells on bad guys in a way that would have set any of the three cities of the Realm into rioting, if repeatedly done in their streets.
All nobles are responsible for policing (as in, seeing that Crown law is not ignored, and applied selectively) their own lands (though locally-stationed Purple Dragons and the everpresent War Wizards also do so, as well as watching over the nobles to see how well they do it; the various “local lords” installed by the Crown are largely there to apply justice to the servants and property and minor actions of nobles, and to give commoners someone “objective” to appeal to, if they think nobles are abusing their rights and powers). In border areas, yes, this means resident or property-owning nobles help pay for the militia and see to it that a goodly number (it varies; the local lord will tell them if he thinks they’re shirking) of their servants are part of the local militia and trained and equipped accordingly (these skills should benefit the nobles, too, in case any of their buildings or lands come under attack). In times of declared war, the Crown has the legal right to demand any noble contribute trained and equipped warriors (or mounts and supplies and a large amount of coin in lieu) to the cause; often loyalty is measured in whether or not the nobles themselves (or at least their young and vigorous sons or nephews or even nieces and daughters) “take up saddle and sword” and fight alongside the Crown forces.
This indeed resembles real-world nobles’ duties, but of course where the comparison to feudalism breaks down is in land ownership and the status of commoners. Cormyr is far more like a modern “First World” or “Western” democracy (no serfs or villeins or slaves, genders legally equal, etc.) than medieval real-world feudalism. (Tenant farmers, yes, but they are free to move on and there are strict limits on what any noble can command any commoner to do; except privately, within a family, it’s very hard for a noble - - or anyone else in Cormyr - - to legally get anyone into a situation of “slavery in all but name”).
So, yes, a noble legally can (and are expected to) raise strictly-limited private armies, as personal bodyguards and to defend their homes and other properties. They are expected to lead them, or at least send them, to aid local Purple Dragons (under the command of said Dragons or another ranking Crown official like a senior War Wizard, NOT under their own command, though again, many nobles hold or are given temporary Dragon “battlefield ranks” in the event of war or widespread armed strife). However, arming too many men, and/or sending them to do things that may have something to do with protecting their noble master’s interests or settling his/her feuds, but NOT with directly proftecting the noble’s person (or that of his kin or undisputed property) is a serious crime that will almost always be met with War Wizards immediately casting spells on the men and the noble, and imprisoning them all to await the “justic and pleasure of the King” (or Regent, or ruling Queen; in practice, Vangey often decided things before the Obarskyrs found out, and Bhereu and Thomdor were also trusted to speak for the King). So amassing too many men gets them called a “private army” and that’s bad, but sending servant after servant for full and regular refresher weapons-training and fitting them with armour and arms personally suited to them is good.
Nobles have always (in fact, constantly) tried to arm too many private soldiers and use them to patrol and then use larger and larger border areas, with a fair degree of success (land with structures on it is obvious, but ranching land dotted with small plantings of crops could be the work of someone who “just moved on,” or “the monsters just got ’em” . . . and who’s to tell when a noble’s servant trained to weapons like a good militia member is part of that noble’s private army, or not?).
That’s why house wizards were installed - - and the War Wizards keyed on mindscrying the few house wizards that particular nobles insisted on choosing, rather than having a War Wizard as a house wizard; it was to prevent nobles (such as the usual malcontents in Marsember and Arabel) from quietly assembling dangerously large private armies, or annexing great amounts of territory without requesting (and paying for) formal title.
So minor expansions, yes, particularly if the nobles build or improve roads, but if they then fence off those roads, or become too greedy, Vangerdahast and an Obarskyr (or in later days, Alusair and Caladnei and a large bunch of other War Wizards and Purple Dragons) will pay the offending noble a “friendly visit” at which they’ll be bluntly but privately told their activities have been noticed, and will cease if they desire to retain their heads. If the noble then remains friendly, so will the Crown. However, the noble has been reminded that they are being watched, and will receive subtle later reminders, too (reports from house wizards, sightings of groups of War Wizards strolling through the noble’s land examining wells and granaries and barracks, servants being politely questioned, et cetera).
Heh. Hope this is of help.



So saith Ed. Ongoing and enthusiastic creator of Cormyr and all of this fun!
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 - 18 Jan 2009 :  11:33:18  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on shrines and temples in and around Thunderstone

Enjoy

Damian
ps he confirmed that Tymora, Tempus, Chauntea, Silvanus and Torm also have places of worship
************************************************

You have all the major ones except Lathander.
There’s a shrine to Lathander on the south side of the Rise, at the west end of Thunderstone (where the Rise becomes the overland road linking Thunderstone with Hultail and the heart of Cormyr).
There’s also been talk of establishing a shrine to Waukeen, but the presence of a shrine at Hultail has delayed any such plans indefinitely; visiting that shrine gives local merchants an excuse to get loans from moneylenders in Hultail without admitting they’re seeking loans (they explain away such trips by saying they visited those same persons in Hultail for moneyCHANGING purposes, and also made the rounds of warehouses and local merchants in Hultail to restock their wares for their shops back in Thunderstone).
Just north of Thunderstone, across the Thunderflow and into the Hullack Forest, no more than a long bowshot northeast of the forest verge immediately north of Stag’s Skull Bridge, is a clearing in the Hullack surrounded by thick, thigh-high stands of silverleaf fern, where a shrine to Mielikki is situated. Only Harpers and local rangers know about it and use it, though rumors of its existence are beginning to spread in Thunderstone (some Harpers are trying to counter them by spreading other rumors that a shrine USED to exist, but was destroyed with “fell magic that still lingers,” and so should be shunned.
This builds on a Crown prohibition on woodcutting in the Hullack within a half-day’s travel of the north end of Stag’s Skull Bridge, which was decreed just before Azoun IV came to the throne to halt what was beginning to happen: local woodcutters deliberately clearing a swath due north from the end of the bridge, intending to cut clear across the Hullack and found a new settlement on the East Way where their new road, when it was completed, met the East Way. The Crown had no intention of allowing certain beasts and elven ruins in the depths of the forest to be disturbed, and have to deal with the result just so a few merchants could enrich themselves (and found a new settlement that would either be independent of Cormyr and therefore a rallying-point for all rebels and foes of the Forest Kingdom, or an isolated part of Cormyr requiring the Crown to build a castle and permanently station many Purple Dragons (plus a local lord, and necessary staff and servants) there (a permanent ongoing expense).
The planned road was to have been known as the Hullackheart Trail, and the community Rabruin’s Tor after a landmark crag (just south of the East Way, just east of where it plunges into the Hullack on the Thunder Peaks side) bought and occupied by the chief backer of the road, the wealthy woodcutter and wagonmaker Estann Rabruin. He was a strong-willed, unscrupulous, tireless man who’s been dead for more than a decade, but the families of his five far more timid and less energetic sons (of whom the most forceful and capable is probably the eldest, Torstryn) still ranch and cut wood from the Tor.
Back to that shrine to Mielikki.
It’s seldom used, even though it’s shared with worshippers of Lurue, and there’s nothing in it to show its use except an eerie blue glow that arises when the name of either goddess is uttered, or surrounds any offering made to either deity or to Silvanus or Eldath, or that gathers around any unsheathed metal tool or weapon in the glade (rising to a painfully-hot flare around any metal tool or weapon used to cut or strike wood or a growing green plant in the glade). Fires will not ignite in the glade, and fires brought into it will swiftly die (including fireballs, flaming spheres, and other magical fires).
Faithful of Lurue and Mielikki often sleep the night through in the glade, lying on the bare ground (there are some large, soft patches of moss), in hopes of receiving guidance from their goddess through dream-visions - - and they are often rewarded.
Seven narrow, winding footpaths lead out of the glade in all directions, two plunging deep into the Hullack but the others all eventually circling back to its southern (Thunderflow-bank) edge, and by the power of the goddesses and Silvanus, these always remain clear of brambles and saplings, but are never obvious to the eye; they seem “not to be there” except to creatures actually on them.



So saith Ed. THE master of Realmslore, though he has been delighted to witness the emergence of many others, from Ian Hunter to Jeff Grubb and Steven Schend to Eric Boyd, George Krashos, Elaine Cunningham, Grant Christie, Brian Cortijo, Tom Costa, and others down the years.

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 19 Jan 2009 11:42:50
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2009 :  11:50:52  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Demi-humans in and around Thunderstone

Enjoy

Damian
**************************************************

Even as passing travellers, elves are rarely seen in Thunderstone and the farmlands around it, though there are a few resident half-elves. Dwarves are seldom seen, though there are a handful of residents (and more in small, simple family delves in the foothills of the Thunder Peaks; they will gather at the higher, deeper-dug former dwarven strongholds of Aszcrag and Hulder’s Axe in the mountains proper, in times of war, alarm, or need. (These places are otherwise deserted, except as a place where casks of water and excess grain are cached in times of plenty, for later lean times, and as places passing dwarves may shelter in, overnight, if “stern weather” catches them.)
Gnomes are fairly common, both in Thunderstone and the surrounding ranching and farming country, and in the foothills (where, like the dwarves, they dwell in small and simple family delves, most of them being built around springs of drinkable water that rise to the surface and then flow out of the delve; because bears, owlbears, leucrotta, and other formidable beasts like to lair in such places, gnome family “holds” usually have pit traps lined with sharpened timber stakes, and similar “confinement” misdirections, plus “rockfall” chutes that allow tons of rubble to be unleashed down onto the heads of persistently-digging intruders).
Halflings are very common in Thunderstone and its surrounding farming and ranching country, making up perhaps 2 in every 10 sentient inhabitants, but deliberately keep a low public profile so humans won’t fear their numbers and resent or be suspicious of them. Many farms owned by humans are largely worked by halflings, who tend to be the majority of bakers, brewers, and livestock trainers and tenders in the area.
In Thunderstone proper, dwarves and gnomes do all the plumbing, almost all the smithing and mason-work, most of the roofing and large-scale carpentry, and a lot of the carving of everyday furniture and items (carry-coffers, bread-boxes, storage tins, portable display racks and shelves), too.
This is very much “typical” (stereotypical) work for these races, but there are also local halfling artists, gnome potters, and gnome and dwarf hatters, lacemakers, and gown and dress-makers. A halfling family makes many of the rope-web and heather-and-lavender-stuffed bed riggings and mattresses, too, and several gnome and halfling families compete fiercely to dominate the local glasswork industries (mainly bottle-making, but also lamp “chimneys,” small window-panes [in this region, typical windows consist of a protective grid of stout “beast bars” outside a grid of wood, clay-daub sealant, and small square glass panes], and hand-mirrors).
The highest-profile demi-human in Thunderstone is probably Daerigrol “Old Daern” Halindcleave, who strides the streets every mid-morn and mid-afternoon in a dirty, scorched ankle-length leather apron growling old songs to himself and periodically clashing two sickles against each other above his head. He’s Thunderstone’s roving knife- and tool-sharpener, and will do “three simple blades for a copper, or one good one” (a ‘good one’ meaning a sword, axe, face-razor, cook’s cleaver, or other vital or large blade). Daern’s sons are swift and efficient installers and repairers of hinges and latches, but one must call on them in their shopfront on the Rise to get them to come out to wherever their skills are needed. (They are masters of fashioning, adjusting, and re-rigging counterweights for doors [and, if one asks discreetly, traps].)



So saith Ed. Coming through in his usual enthusiastic manner.
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 - 21 Jan 2009 :  11:11:49  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Stags Skull Bridge and other minor fortifications used in Thunderstone

Enjoy

Damian
**************************************************

Stag’s Skull Bridge was recently rebuilt to make it stronger and wider, fuelling speculation that perhaps, just perhaps, the Crown was finally going to permit large-scale logging in the Hullack Forest, or even permit the building (or undertake the building) of a long-locally-dreamed-of road right through the heart of the Hullack, beginning at the Bridge and ending in a moot with the East Way.
The Bridge is now wide enough for two wagons to JUST pass abreast without the wheels of either straying up onto the walkways (like modern-real-world North American sidewalks: continuous paths of smooth stone slabs raised a little more than a handspan above the level of the central “wagon-way” path). These walkways, which are “the height of a shortish man, lying down” across (about five feet), run the length of the bridge on both sides of the central wagon-way, and are bounded by continuous stone parapets four feet high and a foot thick (with a flat top “edge” much used by local youths to leap or dive into the Thunderflow in the warmest months; the Thunderflow is apt to be rather cold for such activities the rest of the year). Fishing from the bridge is forbidden, as is loitering on it “with intent to talk or meet with others,” or blocking it - - and the Dragons guarding it have strict orders to keep anyone from forming the habit of breaking these decrees. (So divers from the bridge have formed the habit of striding briskly onto the bridge, fully clad, then suddenly veering to a parapet, mounting it, and leaping off, without hesitation or delay. Guards tolerate that, even enjoying the entertainment, so they won’t stop a dripping-wet repeat diver from starting across the bridge, even if they know full well what he or she is going to do when they get to midspan.)
From below, the bridge is a high arch (allowing a man standing on the deck of a barge on the Thunderflow to pass under the bridge without ducking), but from above, the wagon-way has been built up and lengthened to minimize the “hump” or grade in the center that wagons must negotiate in slippery weather. There is one drainage-hole in the “deck” or “bed” of the bridge (the wagon-way), usually covered by a circular metal plate, that is wide enough to allow a slender man (or anyone smaller) to pass through it if they raise their arms, though it would be hard to fall through it accidentally. This hole is located just below the high point of the wagon-way, on the Thunderstone side of that crest. It is rarely uncovered, except when during rare torrential rains and when ice or snow are being cleared off the bridge in winter.
The bridge does not yet have any barbicans, gates, or “end-houses,” fortified or otherwise, although there have long been plans for a small barbican at the Hullack Forest end of the bridge. What exists instead, in a straight line north from the wagon-way and about forty feet away from the north end of the bridge, is a small stone “hump” with ground-level firing-ports let into it, and a rusty forest of “thrusting out in all directions” spikes on top (to prevent any wagon, mount, or person from standing atop the hump).
The firing ports have heavy “swing up to the ceiling” metal shutters on their insides (reinforced by locking crossbars), and let into a small “ready room” where Purple Dragons can man multiple-fire heavy crossbows that are mounted on swivel-tripods, loaded (very rapidly) by means of racks, and cocked (fairly rapidly) by means of “master” winch-windlasses operated by turning large “wheels” of open spokes. Intended to repel an invasion in force out of the forest (e.g. by orcs), this small pillbox enclosure (known to the Dragons as “the Sunken Keep”) has never been used “in anger,” and is generally regarded as a mistake (though it has proved useful for private meetings, military initiations, and even trysts). It is accessed by a stone-lined, arch-topped tunnel that runs along the north bank of the Thunderflow for “four long bowshots” and then hooks north into the Hullack, where its hidden (by a screen of woven, living forest plants, and a smaller “mat” of them affixed to the door itself) access door emerges between the roots of an ancient shadowtop stump the size of a small cottage.
As the Sunken Keep is rarely even inspected, there’s little sign of any trail or disturbance at the tunnel entry. Food and water is cached all the way along the tunnel, and it has “sleeping niches” let into its north wall every so often; enough to hide twenty armed and equipped Dragons in comfort, and to “stash” forty of them for short periods in discomfort.
There is a small wooden “keep off the rain” pavilion on the west side of the south end of the bridge. (I call it a pavilion because it’s a steeply conical roof around a central flagpole that a lantern can be winched to the top of, for better visibility around the bridge in times of attack; a flag has never been known to be raised on it, that roof being supported by a ring of eight pillars, with no walls, a flagstone floor, and one solid and very uncomfortable log bench, to discourage any on-duty Dragons from dozing off. The word “pavilion” isn’t used in Cormyr for permanent buildings, only for elaborate tents; Cormyreans call this shelter a “rain-roof.”)
The Dragons DO have a small, simple walled compound consisting of a stone barracks, stables, haypile, underground stone-lined “pit” holding-cell with wall-manacles (six sets), well, and armory at the west end of Thunderstone (just outside the built-up area), and an identical, empty, locked-up “spare” compound at the east end of Thunderstone, beyond the built-up area. The western compound is known as Westhold, and the eastern one as Easthold (ah, the ever-poetic military mind), and Dragons moving between Stag's Skull Bridge and either compound are encouraged to always vary their routes and the times they make the journey (and change bridge-guarding shifts).



So saith Ed. Who wants to know if there are any more Thunderstone-related questions, while he’s still thinking about the place and has his notes out.
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 - 24 Jan 2009 :  12:06:17  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More from Ed on Purple Dragons and Wizards of War in Thunderstone

Enjoy

Damian
****************************************************************
Q: Wizards of War: More than the normal contingent for a village of its size given the dangers of the Hullack? Any unusual spells used to blast the enemies in the woods without destroying the place? (general description is fine)

A: No, War Wizards operating in the area come to Thunderstone only to investigate suspicious matters reported in Thunderstone itself.
Otherwise, they work up and down the Cormyr side of the mountains to the east, and probe into the Hullack from the north, avoiding Thunderstone except to occasionally “lie in wait” for brigands, smugglers, Zhent agents, or monsters flushed out of the forest, whom they believe will cross the Stag’s Skull Bridge in departing the Hullack on its southern edge.
The only seldom-used spell popular among War Wizards operating against foes in the Hullack is the “loft” spell, which is a swift, long-range cone area of effect spell that levitates warm-blooded, living mammals of the same size as the caster or larger precipitously twelve feet straight up into the air, and then (caster’s choice, made during incantation) ends abruptly, dumping them back down again in a fall, or ends in a feather fall (possibly leaving them a visible target for longer). The fall and crashing up into branches might cause minor damage (1-2 hp), but the main purpose of the spell is to “flush out” persons in hiding, so archers and other Purple Dragons can act against them (a lofted target can’t run away until they are back on the ground, though they CAN grab hold of tree boughs and get up into a tree). The spell is sometimes used on “friendlies,” to boost them up into a tree beyond their reach, or to extricate them from thorns or a bog.



Q: Purple Dragons: Rangers, druids, scouts in the ranks? Do they 'patrol' the Hullack much or just keep the critters north of the Thunderflow? Do the locals lads and lasses enroll in the Dragons?

A: The local Purple Dragons have a handful of trained scouts and rangers in the ranks, but they are primarily used to track horse-thieves and smugglers, and to watch suspicious movements in the foothills of the mountains, not to make forays into the Hullack (though moots “just inside” the forest, or frequent forays into the Hullack, will be investigated). This is because, yes, they tend to work to keep critters north of the Thunderflow rather than patrolling the Hullack in any strength (forays into the Hullack are made by larger forces organized and brought in from Arabel and elsewhere for specific missions). Druids are almost unknown among the ranks of Dragons. Local lads and lasses enroll in the Dragons, some out of interest and some because they find it their best chances of good employment, but they tend to find themselves swiftly reassigned to elsewhere in the realm, with only a few veteran Dragons stationed locally as “local experts.” This policy is to keep corruption among the Dragons to a minimum (young recruits may come in with hidden obligations or debts, or be too eager to make “big coin” quickly, and so be susceptible to bribery and just “looking the other way” when faced with malfeasances by longtime friends or family).


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 - 27 Jan 2009 :  08:31:45  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Garen Thal on the Swords of State, the royal swords of Cormyr:
(Originally posted 22 Jan 09 here)

Symylazarr, like Orbyn, Rissar and Ansrivarr, are all tied into the Royal Lineage (and fully detailed there), and thus their histories and powers--all four are magical--are NDA, beyond what appears in Volo's Guide to Cormyr.

Ilbratha, Mistress of Battles, would be a fifth Sword of State, but it was lost long ago, and picked up by aquatic elves, as detailed in Sea of Fallen Stars.


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

Edited by - Ergdusch on 27 Jan 2009 08:34:14
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

Germany
1719 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2009 :  18:49:01  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished reading book 1 of the 'Lost Empires' series - Lost Library of Cormanthyr. Only parts of the book (a few chapters) take place in Cormyr, and mainly around a certain 'Sacrificial well to Vaprak', a remote location north of Waymoot. None the less, I'll post all cormyr related information gathered from Lost Library of Cormanthyr here for you to drow upon:

- Beruintar's Bone Warmer: inn in Waymoot.

- Sacrificial Well of Vaprak:
The well is located seventeen miles north of Waymoot, six miles west of Ranger's Way. Its opening has to be opened by digging at least 6 feet.
The well bottoms out at nearly forty feet, opening into a final, wide chamber. It holds no water but the presence of green glowing patches of lichen confirms the occasional presence of water in the well.
This well was used as a sacrificial altar for the lesser deity and the patron deity of ogres 'Vaprak'. There is a permanent spell of silence over the well to mask the screams of the dying from any passers-by.
The well had been in existence for decades and more than a dozen people have been sacrificed here over the years of the cruel troll rulership. In a few places, faded messages by the unfortunate have been scratched on the walls with the points of daggers or sharp rocks. Nearly all of the writings are pleas for help, or hopes that others will bury them decently. Some of them are prayers to a handful of deities.
Quite a bit of jewelry, made of gold or silver or precious gems, remains to be claimed among the victims, as the jealous and vicious god Vaprak would not tolerate if the trollkin stripped their victims of their wealth prior to sacrificing them.
Rumors of the sacrificial well of Vaprak can be heard only very rarely, but the legend of Woodbrand (see below) is known around Cormyr rather well. Furthermore mention of the well can be found in a history of herbalist's lore in a private library in Dhedluk.

- Lord Filfar Woodbrand: living local Waymoot legend, who killed the marauding trollkin, that raided that area. Woodbrand possibly sealed the well of Vaprak once he'd killed the trolls.

- Algan 'One-Thumb': Algan can be found in Suzail. He is known among explorers and adventurers as a potential buyer of wahtever loot they have to sell. It is said that the moneylender is even good for an occasional loan to some, who were willing to ferret out the truth of a rumor he'd chanced upon.
Algan is known as 'One-Thumb' because prior to his days as moneylender he was a butcher, who always tilted the scales in his own favor when no one was looking. Till someone did look, and removed that thumb for him.


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

Edited by - Ergdusch on 17 Feb 2009 10:51:35
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2009 :  22:13:32  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on unpublished Nobles of Cormyr (part I)

Enjoy

Damian
************************************************************

Well, now. At the time of the assassination of Lorna’s affianced, there are almost twenty minor noble families whom he could easily have been a member of. I’m going to choose just four, and to make sure I don’t hamper any plans being hatched by anyone else (and to accommodate the necessary assassination of a son, AND to please Cormyr fans here at the Keep with new lore of the Forest Kingdom), I’ve made sure to pick families I KNOW haven’t been mentioned in official Realmslore before (or in the extensive lore-notes I sent to TSR, back in the day). So what follows is literally ALL that has thus far been seen by anyone about these families.
Take your pick, and feel free to use the others for other purposes.
I’ll send details of one family at a time to THO to relay to the Keep (hopefully one every evening for four evenings, if nothing trips me up).
So here’s our first candidate family . . .

House Arcantlet: [badge: a black side-on dragon’s head (bronze dragon in basis shape, only with a longer, thinner snout) looking to the viewer’s left, on a gold field. From the base of the dragon’s neck, at the bottom of the badge, a black line curves up and around in an almost-complete circle to enclose the gold field, but ends in a point just before joining the neck]
With a modest townhouse on a quiet street in northwestern Suzail, farms south of the Way of the Manticore not far east of the Wyvernflow, and Cantergates, a small but fortified country mansion (in the midst of a private hunting forest or “chase”) southeast of Hultail, the Arcantlet family is comparatively impoverished, unknown, and few in numbers.
Ennobled in the reign of Duar for “valiant personal service to the King” (saving his life in battle more than once, and fighting at his side as a competent and trusted warrior), Lathlan Arcantlet was a quiet, studious, and cunning-in-battle knight who as Lord Arcantlet (given the land where Cantergates now stands and two small adjacent farms that had fallen into royal hands after Duar killed their traitor-owners, but nothing more) set out to found a family and die happy, respected, and rich.
He managed all three, building a slightly smaller Cantergates and adding three more farms to his Wyvernflow holdings before his death, at the age of ninety-six, surrounded by his wife, seven daughters, and three sons.
By royal assent, Lathlan’s wife Paerelle became Lady Arcantlet in her own right, and she shrewdly watched her offspring, trying to decide who would make her best successor. Death took two of the sons and one daughter not all that many years later, another four daughters married into other families, and an elderly and ill Lady Arcantlet named her daughter Raedaunra her successor as head of the house. This enraged her surviving son, Tersarren, who murdered her - - and was promptly executed by the Crown for doing so.
A saddened Raedaunra dwelt in Cantergates with her two sisters for more than a decade, but eventually fell in love with a commoner named Hareth Blacksheath. They were wed, and their son Croenel, a handsome, upstanding and “kingly” man eventually succeeded Raedaunra. Croenel’s weaknesses were gambling and fair lasses, but he was a shrewd merchant trader with an eye for trends and strategic purchases, and died very rich, having replaced the Arcantlet rental accommodations in Suzail with a grand mansion, built a large fleet of merchant caravels busily plying the waves of the Sea of Fallen Stars, and been not too proud to enter scores of business ventures with common-born Suzailan merchants (many of which were successful). However, Croenel’s love for chasing longskirts led to him marrying late. He sired only one son and one daughter - - and the daughter, Nendiira, proved to be a dangerous, murderous madwoman who covertly slew scores of people before she was suspected, confronted, and died under the spells of three Wizards of War after she’d killed a fourth.
Croenel’s son, Thandivurr (a quiet, scholarly man who withdrew from most of the family merchant ventures and had the misfortune to lose much of his fleet over the years in storms, remorse keeping him from adding any ships to replace those lost), also had only one son, Fendrel, an amoral rake and lover of sly schemes and thievery whose shady business dealings impoverished the family and lost them their Suzailan mansion. Fendrel had two sons, Asgreth and Thandurl - - and from that day to this, no Lord Arcantlet has sired more than two sons (and three daughters), and most have managed only one of each.
The family has stayed small and fairly poor, living within its means but as a result having a low profile among the nobility of Cormyr and little influence at Court.
In 1349, a weak and ineffectual Lord Thurcastle Arcantlet died (having spent the previous six years so wandering in his wits that the family’s kindly house wizard [yes, a Wizard of War], Brestor Narbridle, had really run the family, propping up Thurcastle’s saddened wife, Lady Adbrooke). The sole son, Helgrath, became Lord Arcantlet, and proved to be the “brokemirror” (antithesis) of his father; Helgrath was a hearty hunting, riding, brawling, wenching sort, burly, darkly handsome, and jovial.
Helgrath sent Narbridle packing and faced down Vangerdahast, telling him to “send any young novice, as we love the land yet have no love for Court scheming or conniving, controlling mages here!”
Strangely, Helgrath survived saying such words to the Royal Magician, and found himself saddled with an everchanging succession of young, inexperienced, mild-mannered house wizards - - which suited him just fine. He was busy marrying and wearing out wives, taking Nalrue Rowanmantle as his bride in 1351 DR and remarrying (Lalustra Thornstag) in 1357, within months of Nalrue’s death in childbirth. He sired sons Talryn in 1351 and Nesgarl in 1355, and daughters Oromelle (1353), Jathra (1357; her mother died birthing her), and Helbra (1359).
Helgrath died in a suspicious hunting accident in 1360 (it was almost certainly murder, but the identity of the murderers - - Helgrath died with four arrows through him, all fired from different directions in the thick forest and all piercing him before he fell - - was never uncovered, despite a “storm-scouringly diligent” investigation by the Wizards of War).
After Helgrath’s death, the true mettle of the surviving Arcantlets was revealed. Oromelle was a spiteful, brilliant woman and a superb actress, who may well have been no more evil than that (she withdrew to Suzail, survived several attempts on her life that were almost certainly made by “hands” hired by her family, and then “disappeared” with the assistance of the War Wizards and Crown permission, changing her appearance and name and being held “in reserve” to keep this noble family from becoming extinct if the Crown is ever forced to execute the rest, or their misadventures kill them all), and Nesgarl was an easygoing, gentle scholar [this is Lorna’s guy, if you want to use the Arcantlets], but Lalustra, Talryn, Jathra, and Helbra were “pure twisted poison,” to borrow War Wizard Laspeera’s description of them.
Talryn became Lord Arcantlet when young and headstrong, and set about trying to become rich and powerful by scheming with every Sembian cabal and illicit thieving group he could find - - soon running the family deep into debt to his shady allies when slaving and drug-running ventures crumbled in the face of War Wizard-led attacks and surveillance. He began ruthless, and has rapidly become embittered and a cold, tireless foe of many.
Lalustra tried to sleep her way through “every available noble bed” she could worm her way into, seeking a new husband with wealth to keep her pampered and a weak enough character to be dominated. She left a trail of unhappy noblemen she’d stolen from and fought with, and eventually gave up husband-hunting (running out of suitable candidates, and not yet ready to lower herself to “Marsemban nobles, or commoners with much coin but no noble blood”) and ended up back under her son’s roof, unwanted and untrusted.
Jathra and Helbra are superb actresses, poisoners, and wantons who used their bodies and promises to work their way through a succession of men (yes, despite Helbra’s young age; she was born with stunning good looks, matured into ripe beauty at about age nine, and watched and learned “wiles” from her mother and older sisters). Jathra likes rough, strong men and wealthy commoner merchants, preferably both; Helbra prefers lonely noblemen, often the unmarried, unhappy “uncles” of other families.
All of the surviving Arcantlets can be civil to each other, and even work together for common advantage, but none of them trust each other as far as the thickness of a dagger-blade. Moreover, Talryn, Lalustra, and Jathra all actively hate each other so much that any such cooperation between any two of them is going to be short-lived indeed.
As of 1369 [the time of Nesgarl’s murder, if you choose this noble house], the family is in debt and up past its collective eyebrows in shady dealings, though very few commoners and only a handful of noble families and courtiers know this. Some nobles personally know the cavils and worth (not much) of individual Arcantlets, but in general, if nobles or courtiers or the wider Cormyrean public have any attitude at all toward House Arcantlet, it’s to overlook them - - and if faced by the fact of their existence, to pigeonhole them as “one of those minor noble families; no coin, few in number, probably deservedly so.”
Nesgarl would have very seldom visited Suzail (perhaps once a year or so) and spent much of his youth at Cantergates, being transferred to one of several expanded farmhouses somewhere in the farms east of the Wyvernflow once his brother Talryn became Lord Arcantlet and wanted Cantergates to himself (mainly to remove witnesses to his carousings and shady dealings).
These farms, by the way (their actual number and extent have expanded and shrunk over the years, in accordance with family fortunes), are collectively known as “the Windcoast” to the family, though that’s a name anyone else will search for in vain on any maps (yes, the country is windy, and it’s near but not on the coast, though seabreezes - - and mists, blown ashore - - can often be experienced there). The farmhouse Nesgarl was installed in can have any name you want it to, but yes, he would have been surrounded by bodyguards charged with keeping him safe, keeping the farm and its crops safe - - and keeping watch over Nesgarl and his doings.
Nesgarl having a woman (Lorna) would (although it would originally have been Lalustra’s plan, also with an eye to controlling her son without having to openly seem to do so) be viewed with approval by Talryn because, in his thinking, it would keep Nesgarl busy. That is, keep him from perhaps getting restless and starting to do things on his own (such as relocate to Suzail, where he might draw attention to the wider family and cause War Wizards or others to peer at “what the Arcantlets might be up to”).
Now, if Lorna had been the “take me to the bright lights and feasts of Suzail right now” sort, rather than the “train me to arms, bodyguards of the house” sort, Lalustra or Talryn might have “taken care of her” early on . . . but as it happened, she served her purpose until Nesgarl’s removal became necessary.

So that’s our first possible noble family. Houses Bryarn, Haldoneir, and Sorndrake should follow, in the fullness of time
So saith Ed. Worldbuilder extraordinaire.

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 - 01 Mar 2009 :  22:14:35  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on unpublished Nobles of Cormyr (part II)

Enjoy

Damian

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

House Bryarn: [badge: an oval, long axis vertical, of thin black thornbranch, zigzagging gently from joint to joint, with a single red thorn protruding outwards from each joint, the lowest two thorns having large teardrops of blood about to fall from them, and the thornbranch framing a four-pointed blue star, long points vertical, all on a steel-gray field, or a steel-gray symmetrical shield shaped like the shield in the arms depicted on page 73 of POWER OF FAERUN]
House Bryarn is small in numbers but notorious among the nobility of the Forest Kingdom and well-known to courtiers (though not to the wider circle of Cormyrean commoners) because of their propensity for dueling rival nobles and just slaughtering (or hiring killers to dispose of) commoners who cross them, even in small ways.
They are cold, calculating “get-even” foes, not fiery-tempered, and often wait years for the best opportunity to arrange an “accident” to befall an enemy. However, they have come to the notice of War Wizards, Highknights, and Purple Dragons over the years because just so darned many deaths occurred to persons who disagreed with Bryarns, fought or competed with them, or spoke out against them or their views at revels, feasts, or Court dealings.
As a consequence, House Bryarn has quietly become shunned by other nobles, and dealt with by Purple Dragons and courtiers with careful, exacting politeness (and as little as possible).
At least two Bryarn nobles (Esklelt in 1356 DR and Morgram in 1364 DR) have been murdered by Highknights to stop them repeatedly trying to assassinate Obarskyrs and Truesilvers who - - in their minds, at least - - had offended them. Curiously, Bryarns do not apply this ‘get even at all costs’ policy to non-Cormyreans, and so have carried on a flourishing trade in slaves, gems, fine furniture, and fashionable wines and spirits with various partners in Westgate and several Sembian cities for almost a century, deriving much of their wealth thereby.
House Bryarn was ennobled in 1262 DR by Azoun III after the head of the family, Sellorn Bryarn, the founder and leader of the Black Rose mercenary company, rescued an outnumbered and trapped band of Purple Dragons from a large and organized monster force attacking out of the Stonelands, destroying that “band of beasts” (though there were many rumors as to who had organized and controlled the monsters; most everyone agreed that wizards were involved, and paid by a backer either outside the realm or among the nobles of Cormyr - - but some said the Black Rose band were initially part of the force, and turned on it when the backer refused to pay them, or even that the Black Rose hireswords repudiated that backer just to make their own fortunes).
Sellorn’s son Siard (“SEE-ard”) is rumored to have become a procurer for Salember even before he succeeded his father as Lord Bryarn (secretly fetching him willing bedmates from Sembia and installing them at various Crown properties for dalliances, in latter days bringing them to the Palace itself - - and enabling the Rebel Prince to stay aloof from all Cormyrean noble families by keeping distant from all the willing and ambitious daughters thrust at him). The family rose in wealth and influence during Salember’s Regency—only to be “cut dead” by other nobles when Salember fell.
Siard fought several duels (in all of which he slew his noble opponents), and is thought to have murdered three other nobles who’d challenged him in the wake of those duels, only to mysteriously die by misadventure (castle parapets twice collapsing onto heads; a horse rearing and apparently triggering a fireball-inducing magic item carried by the victim; and a charging “ghost” causing a terrified and fatal leap from a high balcony) before the duels could occur.
As Crown agents and officers were sent to search for Siard, to compel him to answer royal justice for the duels, Siard hustled his family to various of their country holdings.
Then, as now, the Bryarn properties consist of a modest “northwestern, near the wall” townhouse in Suzail, some rental properties in Marsember, an inn in Arabel, two small farms not far east of Hilp, and Bryargates, a keep (and, curiously, half a dozen fortified stone warehouses) on a large wooded horse ranch and home farm just east of The Way of the Dragon, not far south of the King’s Forest) - - and then vanished. The Crown agents and officers hunting for Lord Siard Bryarn never found any trace of him.
Rumors place Siard almost everywhere in the known Realms, some even insisting he’s still alive today, and whisper that he’s behind any number of plots against the Crown or the realm.
War Wizards thoroughly mind-reamed the surviving Bryarns, and found no hint that Siard’s eldest son Blakann liked or trusted his father, knew of his whereabouts, or held any antipathy towards the Crown, so after Siard was formally stripped of his title and grace in absentia, Blakann was royally confirmed as the next Lord Bryarn (in late 1288 DR).
From that day to this, the Bryarns have kept a low profile inside Cormyr but a higher one outside it (in the easternmost cities of Sembia in particular, which is where various Lord Bryarns - - or their factors [trade agents] go wife-hunting for them). Bryarns never marry other Cormyrean nobility, generally choosing wives for their family wealth, their beauty, and their willingness to be loyal to the succession of strong-minded, ruthless ruling lords of the family. Several Lady Bryarns have proven to be more scheming, farsighted, and ruthless than their husbands, and the family hasn’t hesitated to kill its own members if they showed signs of cooperating too closely with War Wizards or other Crown agents or investigators, romancing nobility of the Forest Kingdom (Lord Vaerend Bryarn infamously told his sons, “You can look at them, even bare them and mistreat them - - but if you ever spill your seed in any of them, I will remove the instrument of that spilling with my most notched and blunt blade, have it cooked for your dining pleasure, and it will be your last meal”).
One such family casualty - - though for too-careful cordiality with suspicious and repeatedly-visiting War Wizards, and to seize his goods to pay family debts, not for dalliance with any noble Cormyrean lass or lady - - was Lyonard Bryarn, quietly killed in 1369 DR by family agents in Maeravelposts, the family-owned Suzailan townhouse (named for its builder, the briefly-famous sculptor and stonemason Maerevel Bryarn); a death they sought to blame on Lyonard’s companion (Daviot, that would be Lorna, if you choose this family).
At the time of Lyonard’s killing, his kin consist of:

Lord Boarrevarn Bryarn, Lyonard’s father and the ruling patriarch of the family, an icily self-controlled sadist who loves torturing young commoner Cormyrean lads and lasses in private and then selling the maimed remains into pot-making and item-painting slavery in back shops for owners in Westgate. He’s burly and pot-bellied, clinging to the remains of the devastating dark good looks of his youth, and sports an everchanging array of close-trimmed beards. Boarrevarn secretly pens torrid “ardent young love” chapbooks for young ladies in Suzail, under the pseudonym “Darra Delanther,” and is gaining fans as his works spread. His driving interests, however (after opportunities to indulge his sadism), consist of manipulating public opinion to slowly turn Cormyr against its ruling family and the Court they govern through, plus all “too rich, too prominent, too haughty” nobles . . . as opposed to “good” nobles. Quieter families, such as (ahem) House Bryarn.

Lady Jeleskra Bryarn, who knows very well what her husband is up to with his whips and brands and knives, and backs him to the hilt so long as he largely leaves her alone to rut with their loyal house bodyguards and to hunt in the woods at Bryargates - - except for her spring and fall visits to Suzail to take part in the rounds of feasts and revels, where she plays the part of a bored, timid, neglected noble wife to a gentle, quiet lord nothing like his disgraced predecessors; a man lost in his hobbies of painting and reading (a fiction she can maintain with some success among the nobility because Boarrevarn NEVER leaves Bryargates). Lady Jeleskra has a small but well-paid band of spies in Suzail, Marsember, Westgate, and Sembia, who keep watch over her husband’s small and better paid band of factors [trade agents] who see to the family businesses, shady and legal - - though Lady Jeleskra in truth gives the orders and ruthlessly advances the family fortunes.

Lord Melivur Bryarn, the eldest son and heir of the house (Lyonard was the second son), a sardonic, softly-purring, superior-to-all sort who curbs his insolence only when dealing with his parents. Genuinely brilliant and possessed of a never-failing memory, even for faces seen fleetingly and scraps of conversations overheard in passing, he is educating himself by reading Lyonard’s library and by seeking out all sorts of people on his frequent “gambling and wenching” trips to Suzail (during which he shepherds shipments of goods to and from the warehouses of Bryargates) and paying them handsomely to answer his questions and show him how things are made, how certain trades work, and what’s in fashion. He considers his parents less than sane and his family headed for self-courted doom, and is quietly building himself various small coin caches, a side-identity complete with a disguise, and a sideline caravan business, for the day he might have to flee in a hurry.
Unless, that is, he becomes head of the house first (whereupon, if his mother isn’t dead already, he’ll dispose of her as brutally as swiftness allows, and set about framing his brother Nuljalak for all family misdeeds and treacheries to the Crown).

Lord Nuljalak (“Jalak” to one and all) Bryarn, the youngest son of the house, a bored and splendidly handsome fair-haired hunter and rider of accomplishment, who enjoys fencing, drinking, and the bed-company of his pick of all young, wealthy, non-noble Suzailans who are interested in knowing a noble. Jalak loves pranks, swindles that make him and his “fast friends” casual coin now and then, and a life of indolence, luxury, and haughty scorn of “oldcoin nobles,” Court officers, and the ruling Obarskyrs alike. He’s good with a sword and learning to become competent with hurled daggers and with handbows (hand crossbows), likes to wrestle the most muscular bare-bodied and oiled lasses-for-hire he can procure in Suzail (he doesn’t bed them, he pays them to pit their strength against his, and cheerfully hires dwarves, half-orcs, and the largest and strongest human women he can find for this), and has a weakness for strong cheeses and exotic liqueurs. He’s recently discovered a wrinkled old crone in living in squalor in westside Suzail who was once a very active poisoner in Amn, and is paying her well to teach him all about poisons, procure their antidotes for him, and dose him with carefully-limited amounts of the ones he can thereby build up an immunity to.

Lady Alazgrelle (“Laz” or “Lazgrel” to family and friends) is a fun-loving, irreverent hard drinker and dancer who can outdrink many men, loves acrobatic pranks, and covers a vicious get-even nature behind a hearty, husky laugh, a willingness to play the fool and bare her skin in public and private, and a seemingly endless flood of curly, golden-hued tresses that reach to her ankles except when she binds them up - - or carelessly hacks them off. An accomplished rider and breeder of horses, she takes daily charge of the Bryargates horse ranch, except when she’s off carousing in Suzail, which is often. She enjoys bedding partners of either gender, but they must be human; elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and crossbreeds (of any of these races with humans) disgust her. Strangely, half-orcs and orcs do not, and she bears several scars from lust-bites suffered in moments of extreme passion when abed with such partners. (There is no truth to the rumor, popular among the Bryargates guards whom she never looks at, that she “ruts with the horses.”)
Lazgrel is tall, broad-shouldered, muscular, and buxom; her uppercut has sent more than a few startled men off to enjoy dream-visions from the gods for a time. Yet of all the Bryarns, she’s the least likely to hold a grudge or want to get even at all costs. Get her own back when she can, yes, and relish it . . . but she’s having FUN in life, and finds nursing hatreds and taking stock of slights and single coins owed to be tiresome, even obsessive.

Lady Alanstel is the youngest daughter of Boarrevarn and Jeleskra, and is a bone-thin, sly, often silent echo of her mother. Swift with sums and shrewd at judging people, she is her mother’s faithful business assistant and understudy, learning all she can from Jeleskra (and taking careful note of all slights and wrongs done not only to the Bryarns, but to her personally). She anticipates the day when the family will meet with disaster, and is positioning herself to pick up the pieces, distancing herself with false documents and the like from the misdeeds and anti-royal deeds and sentiments of her parents.
Right now, she’s quietly seeking out wizards who visit Suzail, seeking to buy some form of mind-protection (or better yet, several forms that she can use at once) from the Wizards of War. She needs to be able to conceal her true self from EVERYONE, and let them see only her chosen role of timid, quiet loyal daughter and loyal subject of the Dragon Throne.
Inwardly every bit as cold-blooded, calculating, and malicious as her mother or her aunt Yaraela, Alanstel is far more rigidly self-controlled, hiding her cruel thoughts and stilling her tongue. There will be plenty of time for paying back and settling scores later . . .

Lady Yaraela, Boarrevarn’s aging elder sister, is a wrinkled but man-hungry, malicious onetime beauty whose longtime lover, a senior Purple Dragon commander and onetime gallant commoner knight, was slain years ago. This broke her heart and turned her first to piety and then to malice, wherein she became a spectator for the lives of her kin and everyone else in Cormyr, deriving amusement from their ploys and delight from their misfortunes. Her reach, as a master manipulator, now extends only to the house bodyguards (who adore her, despite her petty cruelties, and enjoy lovemaking with her despite her age-faded beauty because she’s good at it and briskly enjoys it as physical release for both sides, nothing romantic at all) and Bryargates servants, and Alanstel - - who increasingly sees through her and refuses to play along. No matter; she vicariously enjoys meddling in lives from afar, and is enthusiastically manipulating the family factors [trade agents] into rivalries with each other, ever-harder service to Bryarns, and into themselves manipulating those House Bryarn trades with and against. Just for the malicious fun of it all.

The eldest daughter of Boarrevarn and Jeleskra, Lady Noenel (“NO-en-el”) Bryarn, was a tall, quiet, rather plain young woman with a kind side and a love of maps and books, who was close with her brother Lyonard because of his similar character and interests. (They liked and trusted each other, but they were fast friends, NOT lovers.)
Noenel died in a fierce winter storm in 1366 DR, so ill with fever (that made her “as hot as a roaring forge” inside) that she wandered outside, slipped, split her head open on frozen cobbles, and died of her wound and the cold, being found frozen in the morning.
Although there were some suspicions of foul play (largely thanks to the family reputation), Noenel’s death was a genuine accident, not an arranged one. Jeleskra shrugged off the loss, almost entirely disinterested, but Boarrevarn was saddened (he had secretly begun forcing himself on his daughter, and found her an attentive and gentle lover, the likes of which - - given his habits - - he’s not likely to find again).

And there you have it; our second candidate noble family. House Haldoneir is up next, when I can find some relief from all this shoveling (another two feet of snow fell last night and so far today, and it’s still swirling down, as pretty as a Christmas postcard and gently deadly, as we speak). Then it’s back to Thunderstone, and the questions posed by Damian and Asgetrion. Then it’s back to the ever-accumulating mound; THO has passed on some quite interesting ones in this first month of 09, but I musn’t neglect the vintage ones (2004, 2005 . . .), either.



So saith Ed, creator of the Realms, Cormyr, and a slowly-increasing roster of ah, interesting noble families. Delicious NPCs for a deep, rich Realms campaign.
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 - 01 Mar 2009 :  22:17:02  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on unpublished Nobles of Cormyr (part III)

Enjoy

Damian
*****************************************************
House Haldoneir: [badge: the black silhouette of an upright, stylized (not recognizable as any particular known breed; it has a long, slender, almost crocodile-like snout) dragon’s head, facing to the left and with jaws parted to show the tip of a forked tongue and a ragged jet of flame spewing out of the mouth, that ends in a severed straight line at its bottom, said line having three teardrops of black blood depending from it, and a horizontal sword, point to the left, right underneath it; this device has always been known in the family as “the Wyrmdeath,” so the sword is clearly meant to have just severed the head from an unseen draconic body]
A very old human family of Cormyr, the Haldoneirs have tended to be tall, slender, and strikingly handsome, and have always been associated with warfare; hardy and long-lived, but few in numbers due to battlefield losses.
An archer, farmer, and sometime hiresword named Ryneth Haldoneir was part of Ondeth Obarskyr’s fledgling “farms by the shore” settlement, on the site of the future Suzail, and although the Haldoneirs were never leaders or particularly staunch loyalists, and weren’t ennobled for centuries after their arrival in what became Cormyr, nowadays they proudly claim to be one of the “founding families” of the Forest Kingdom, with “blood as regal as any family of the realm” (which of course carefully falls JUST shy of claiming to have blood as royal as the Obarskyrs, while trying to give the impression of that very claim).
Haldoneirs fought on behalf of the early Obarskyr kings, but it’s clear from the hereditary family height and build—plus occasional family members whose features look very elven—that more than a few early Haldoneirs reached their own “separate peace” with elves, taking elves as mates and bringing “much elven moonbright” into the family bloodlines.
There are also old family legends of dragontaming, but these are utter fiction (though the Haldoneirs of today may genuinely not know this), spun by minstrels of the family households centuries back because more than a dozen early Haldoneirs had suits of scale mail made for them that had dragonhead helms, barbs at their elbows, and other “dragonlike” stylings and accoutrements.
Haldoneirs have been members of the Purple Dragons down the centuries, and at times reached high ranks and positions of trust; at least three male Haldoneirs (Amandras, in the reign of Galaghard III; Baerlon, in the reign of Proster; and Galard, in the reign of Palaghard I) have served as Highknights (or equivalents; that is, knights who were trusted personal agents of the monarch).
One widowed Haldoneir, Lady Vaerestra, was a trusted advisor of King Dhalmass, (rightly) entrusted with secrets of the realm and as highly regarded by Jorunhast, the High Wizard of the day, as she was by the reigning monarch. She died deliberately shielding the king’s body, taking a poisoned dagger meant for him. (In recognition of this, Dhalmass ennobled the family, making her “plain soldier” son, Mreldon, the first Lord Haldoneir.)
Although almost every generation of Haldoneirs have sent sons into the ranks of the Purple Dragons (some rendering distinguished service, and some not), most latter-day Haldoneirs enjoy lives of ease, kept in abundant coin by the rents from their many urban properties (scores in Suzail, but hundreds in both Selgaunt and Urmlaspyr). They tend to maintain very haughty manners, literally sneering down their noses at most commoners they meet, and serve as the living epitome of the ridiculously overblown “proper highnoses” (that’s the Realms term; we might say “snotty noble”), exhibiting arrogance without any accomplishment—or in some cases, even basic competence—to back it up.
That’s not to say recent Haldoneirs have been entirely idle. This is a family whose members like to entertain themselves with mistresses or “brightlads” (male lovers set up in their own Suzailan houses just as mistresses are), dabble in various cults, conspiracies, and businesses (usually fads that fail, but including the occasional moneyspinning “hit”), and covertly giving coin to every merchant or noble cabal that seeks to curtail or circumvent royal powers.
Since early in the reign of Rhigaerd II, House Haldoneir has bitterly resented the demotion of Lord Esmarl Haldoneir from the post of Royal Privy Advisor (though Esmarl richly deserved his expulsion from power and favour at Court, being as he was supposed to be finding out truths for the king and instead had started taking bribes in return for passing the lies of the briber’s choice into the royal ear as “thoroughly-investigated and attested truths”). Since Esmarl’s disgrace, the Haldoneirs have been among the most energetic whisperers (in private, among nobles) of the view that “the Obarskyrs are not rightful rulers, they’re just the old-blood family that grasped the throne most ruthlessly, and have long since become so decadent and self-absorbed that they’ve lost all moral right to retain the Dragon Throne.” The royal family, thanks to Vangerdahast and his War Wizards as well as the personal reports of certain loyal nobles, are well aware of the views of the Haldoneirs, which is why they remain “shut out” of Court and largely ignored by the Crown.
The Haldoneirs, as a group, aren’t energetic enough to do anything active against the Crown; they merely bankroll others in small seditions and obstructions. Nevertheless, they are not far from being stripped of their noble status and exiled, though it’s rumoured that no less than two Lady Haldoneirs in a row begged Azoun IV not to disgrace their house in this manner, seducing him to give their pleadings great force. (This rumour is true; Azoun became VERY fond of Lady Aglathna, and came to regard her successor, Lady Ulandra, as a good and trusted friend, and did “stay his hand” at their behest - - though it’s also true that he allowed Vangerdahast to enspell him so that he’d father no Haldoneirs during his dalliances with either lady; something he very rarely allowed the Royal Magician to do to him.)
Throughout their history, the Haldoneirs have had some violent family quarrels, usually kept VERY quiet to keep “wider Cormyr” from gaining any hint of them, and several family members have been quietly murdered by kin.
Recently, a charismatic and clever family heir, Marluke Haldoneir, was slain slowly and painfully (dismembered over a period of days, with all his joints broken and the severings cauterized to keep him from bleeding to death and escaping all the suffering they had planned) by the rest of his family sometime in the summer of 1367 DR, in a Haldoneir-owned Sembian hunting lodge, because he’d gambled away (or lost in foolish business deals) many of the family properties in Sembia, leaving the freely-spending Haldoneirs suddenly very short of funds. The surviving Haldoneirs took to shadier business dealings in Sembia (with the Fire Knives and others) to try to swiftly make a lot of coin; for a year this made them profits - - and then plunged them into deeper debt the next year, which was when the most ruthless Haldoneirs decided to sell some of their family members (notably four daughters and two nieces) into slavery, and let the Fire Knives kill others (including the bookish, “hopelessly upright” second son, Flaernd [Daviot, if this family is your chosen one, this is Lorna’s guy] and two wealthy and successful Sembian-resident uncles) and take their property to offset much of the family debt.
As of the deaths of Flaernd and the two uncles, Baerand and Thruleon, House Haldoneir consists of an unknown number of “vanished” members down the years (most killed by misadventure or in battle, but some merely fled their family and Cormyr for better lives elsewhere, under new names - - or were sold into slavery, like the six young Haldoneir women who vanished in early 1369 DR: the daughters Asmrella, Dorlarra, Feaenrelle, and Paerelle, and the nieces Borlatha and Daunameire) and the following:

Lord Daeromur, the coldly sardonic, elegantly-moustachioed, wine and liqueur “aeravair” (we would say “connoisseur”) and patriarch of the family, a man driven by his cold, ardent hunger for various revenges, and opportunities to indulge his sadism (horsewhipping servants or family members when they’ve erred or displeased him is a common practice).
Under iron self-control when in public, he is oh-so-correct in his Court etiquette and remarks about the Crown and the royal family, but will spend coin and whisper suggestions and rumours in a flash if he believes he can create difficulties or “incidents” to make courtiers, War Wizards, or the Obarskyrs look bad or be exposed to danger.
Daeromur believes the Haldoneirs, as “true” nobles, have the right to do just as they please; laws are for lesser Cormyreans. Yet with another family on the Dragon Throne and their spies the War Wizards prying everywhere, he recognizes that his house must obey laws and royal authority in public, or pay the final price.
Daeromur would cheerfully kill any weak, foolish, or disloyal Haldoneir without hesitation, believing he can always sire replacements - - and he secretly believes the Obarskyrs should have long ago taken up the same view and habits (which would have served Cormyr far better).

Lady Taerenthe is a strikingly-beautiful, clever, swift-tongued and swifter-witted woman who is utterly ruthless, but believes the path to shining success is to endlessly entice and bewitch her lord husband and support his every whim, so that he values her above all other beings (besides himself).
In this she has succeeded, though she has spent small fortunes on various potions and magical procedures (often involving the lives of young, beautiful kidnapped females) on trying to retain youthful-looking beauty. She has ankle-length, glossy and wavy jet-black hair, large and liquid brown eyes, and ivory-white skin - - and she has Lord Daeromur wrapped around her little fingers, manipulating him so skillfully that he’s scarcely aware of it. When rage rises to consume him in the privacy of a Haldoneir home, she doffs her garments in an instant and offers herself to his whip until his arm is tired, whereupon he always thanks her for “knowing him so well,” and professes his love anew. Lady Taerenthe always carries healing potions with her, usually in chased metal containers hidden in her boots or worked into her belt or pectoral jewelry - - and she always carries a spare whip for her lord’s use, usually attached to her belt.
Taerenthe has some small natural sorcerous talent, which she keeps utterly secret from everyone. She has cached disguises, wealth, and even small useful magic items in dozens of places, in case she needs them in an emergency to flee her husband, her family, or even the realm.
She hopes to end her life wealthy and happy, either sharing the Dragon Throne with her husband or with the two of them holding high Court posts and the gratitude and trust of the ruler of Cormyr - - but she suspects the days of House Haldoneir retaining its noble standing in the Forest Kingdom are numbered, and is prepared to carve out a new life of luxury and status somewhere else.
Along the way, she is perfectly prepared to poison, stab, manipulate, lie, and otherwise glibly and unhesitatingly eliminate all impediments to her desires or House Haldoneir.

Lord Raskrel is (he believes) the sole surviving Haldoneir son, and the heir of the House. The laziest and most spineless of a family without scruples, he was a tirelessly wenching, drinking, prank-playing wastrel until his parents recently told him in private that he would die in agony if he didn’t become their loyal, diligent tool to further the family fortunes. If he would become utterly loyal to them, concealing NOTHING from them, and doing as they told him, he would inherit all. He agreed - - and was then plunged into helping to slay Marluke and watching Flaernd and “all the laughing ladies” of the family disposed of, leaving only himself. It was a sobering lesson, and ever since he has been VERY careful to obey his parents. This has led him to do more real work than ever in his life before, and made him glance over his shoulder every breath or so; he doesn’t even drop coins on a bed-lass for the night without obtaining his mother’s permission.
Although a handful of ruthless, carefully diplomatic factors (trade agents) hired by his mother do most of the family’s business deals (legitimate and otherwise) these days, Raskrel has several times been sent to murder or frame factors his mother wants to be rid of, and has done so, with ever-increasing confidence and competence.
If the Haldoneirs flourish for another six seasons or so, and he continues in his newfound roles of service, Raskrel might just become a formidable foe in his own right, rather than just a frightened wastrel doing what he’s told.

Lord Eldaun is “the hidden Haldoneir.” He vanished in a house fire when young, and all of his family except his mother Taerenthe (who spirited him away to be raised ignorant of his true name and heritage by a commoner couple in Westgate who believe she’s a fell mage named “Aumtelarra” rather than a Cormyrean noblewoman) think him dead and gone. Even the War Wizards don’t suspect Eldaun Haldoneir is still alive.
To Taerenthe, Eldaun is her “heir up her sleeve,” to restore the house if anyone tries to exterminate it, or even to lead an army to claim the Dragon Throne if the Obarskyrs strip the Haldoneirs of their status or execute the male Haldoneirs. If in time to come Daeromur should die and Raskrel die or turn against her, Eldaun will be Taerenthe’s replacement - - she’ll even marry him if she thinks that will be the best means of controlling him. She’s thought of many schemes for the future involving him, but of course circumstances will suggest the best one, if any.

As of 1369 DR, the Haldoneir family holdings are much diminished (what with Marluke’s losses and what the Fire Knives took after the death of Flaernd and the grand houses the nieces had dwelt in), but they still retain Wyrmdown, a large country estate and mansion in Cormyr (due northeast of Immersea; on the foldout colour map that came with the 2e CORMYR sourcebook, it’s straight north of the “R” in the “Immersea” tag on the map, about a third of the way between the Immer Trail and the oval denoting Blisterfoot Inn); Ormvraezel Keep, a small castle with a hunting forest and extensive farms, in upland northwestern Sembia; Boarhunt Towers, a hunting lodge in upland central Sembia that has its own expansive wild forest; High Oronel, a grand Suzail mansion; and also secretly maintain at least three more modest townhomes in Suzail (plus more than a dozen abodes of mistresses and brightlads) as well as two apartments (in their own rental-quarters buildings) in Marsember.



And there you have it; our third candidate noble family. Enjoy, I hope.



So saith Ed. Tireless crafter of villainous noble families.
And nicer ones, 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
Candlekeep Forum 7 May 2005
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

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1073 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2009 :  18:03:39  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Cormyte nomenclature for 'ladies of negotiable affection'

Cheers

Damian

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

Ed replies: As THO posted, “brightlass” COULD be used, but probably wouldn’t be, thanks to that more prevalent “good time girl” meaning it has acquired. The “ultra-polite” term is “confidant,” which of course has a long-established no-sex-at-all meaning, so the word is usually spoken with a wink to denote the second meaning.
The more often employed term is “my lady of the hearth” (meaning: someone I can relax and be cozy with, spending the night, with the unspoken addendums of “and have sex with” and “I pay to keep her in this haven I see her in”). Note that a “lady of the hearth” can be shared by three patrons or less (more makes her a prostitute, and I’ve already related some of the great array of Realms terms for that profession), but always implies someone installed in living quarters, and fed and clothed well, by those patrons.
There’s an old Cormyrean word, “saerla,” that means “unmarried wife,” but this means not just a mistress but “someone I’ve fathered children with,” who remains a friend (if a man says, “She used to be my saerla” it means we’re no longer on friendly terms, NOT “I’m now married or she’s now married so she can’t be called a saerla anymore”).
A new term, gaining popularity in Suzail, is “nightskirts,” which used to mean “sophisticated prostitute I can pass off as a lady of high breeding,” but is now starting to mean something like “bedmate I treat as a lady of breeding, paying for her bed and the walls around it - - because she’s worth it.”

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

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Posted - 02 Mar 2009 :  18:19:19  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Hooded One on the Crown's response to disappearing direct heirs as well as other males from the Noble family (from actual Realmsplay down the years).

Cheers

Damian
****************************************

Now, if THE sole heir of a noble house, male or female, disappeared, the War Wizards would be all over it, yes.

However, the way Ed's explained (and showed, in play) Cormyr to us, over the years, sons and nephews OFTEN go missing - - gallivanting, adventuring, "finding themselves," sowing their wild oats; whatever you want to call it, AND, yes, rebelling against parental authority - - during their youthful years. So the "treated differently" would probably have only been to ignore the whole thing (again, unless a sole heir or by far the most likely heir, like an elder son when the other children are more than a decade younger, or children who are Azoun IV's bastard offspring, are involved).

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 06 Nov 2009 11:37:29
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
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Posted - 02 Mar 2009 :  18:22:01  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on what might get a Noble family stripped of its title (in relation to the Halondeir disappearances)

Cheers

Damian
******************************
In this case, Ed's clearly said that the eldest child (the older son, and heir) has stayed put, so you can be darned sure the War Wizards are watching him VERY closely now. If either Lord or Lady Haldoneir ever talks or even hints too freely about what they've done, they'll do more than just "watch." Of course, I'm suspecting that Laspeera (and Vangey first, Caladnei later, but Lasp's the continuity, here) is waiting for House Haldoneir to take that one step too far, so she can catch them in something that disgusts even the most ardently anti-Obarskyr of their fellow Cormyrean nobles - - and THEN the Crown will strip them of their nobility, arrest and probably execute the heads of the house, and so on.
Of course, Ed will probably say more. Especially about why simple magical tracings weren't done (or weren't effective). So off your post goes to him, for THE expert's testimony .





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 - 02 Apr 2009 :  16:57:58  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More from Ed on House Bryarn

Cheers

Damian
**************************************
House Bryarn

The entire House Bryarn entry is illustrating what twisted people most of these nobles are. Human, yes, so not all bad, but willful in the extreme because of their wealth and noble status . . . they can grow to be the monsters they want to be, or are driven to be.


Ed and I chatted about this relationship when I was gleaning lore to reply to you earlier, and I, too, suspect he would have become tired of her. Noenel probably wouldn't have fled in time, once that happened, because (as Ed saw it) she derived some sort of comfort(?) from the first personal attention anyone had really paid to her. And her father would probably then have wanted her "accidentally" dead to protect himself from any possibility of their shared secret getting out.
What Ed hasn't decided is what Lady Bryarn's attitude would have been to her husband killing her daughter over an affair Ed thinks she knew about (but pretended not to). Not because she was upset by the incest or the adultery, but because she would then "know" that her husband would probably murder her, too, the moment a young, new, beautiful, non-blood-related replacement for Noenel happened along.
Of course (as they say), we'll never know . . .
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 02 Apr 2009 17:02:29
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
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Posted - 02 Apr 2009 :  16:59:56  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More from Ed on House Haldoneirs holdings in Cormyr

Cheers

Damian
*******************************************************

House Haldoneir

Boarhunt Towers: After Asmrathan Lharleld's murder, House Haldoneir SEIZED Boarhunt, because they were his principal creditors, in lieu of his repaying some large loans they’d made to him (because his coin was seized by relatives and minor creditors in Selgaunt, despite the greater Haldoneir claim).


Wyrmdown: I’ve given you its location, but it’s reached from a long dirt road that winds between the Immer Trail and Calantar’s Way not far south of Blisterfoot Inn. This road is known as Elclantar’s Ride, and Wyrmdown greets it with a small, square tower about sixty feet tall with a “swept-spired” roof, on the north of which the twenty-foot-high stone wall of the estate is pierced by an oval arch and stout front gates. Beyond them, a curving dirt lane sweeps through gardens, curling “back upon itself” several times around stands of trees, to reach a hidden-from-the-road oval courtyard onto which front a sprawling stone mansion expanded many times by various owners from a small, square, squat and defensible stone keep; a large stable block; three large barns; and a guest house. From this center, lanes run out like the anchor-strands of a spiderweb across about two hundred acres of rolling farmland, ranch meadows, and woodlots, crossed by at least three small and nameless streams. There are several clusters of cottages and smaller barns at various spots across Wyrmdown, and it’s quite easy to “put up” a lot of folk in the estate without any crowding or the neighbours seeing much evidence of their presence.

Ormvraezel Keep: Picture a stone mansion with small, round, seventy-foot-tall crenelated towers at either end of it and a steep, wood-stakes-filled dry moat around it, and you can picture Ormvraezel Keep. Across one arc of the moat lie a stables, a barn, and a carriage shed, with fields planted with vegetables beyond them in a large pie-shaped wedge stretching for about half a mile into the woods. Across the facing arc of the moat is a grand entry bridge to the Keep, and a winding dirt approach road wide enough for two large coaches to easily pass each other, that runs out to large wooden gates (no guardhouse, but the gates have tree-trunk latch-bars hung with many bells, and linked to other bells hung in trees, so opening the gate WILL make noise; the gates are flanked with deliberately-planted thornbush tangles that stretch for a bowshot or more on either side) onto Olandur’s Way, a dirt lane winding through upland northwestern Sembia. Off that lane run several side-lanes, each leading to its own triple-rings-of-fence enclosed clearing in the forest. One is a camping-place for visitors, one a paddock for horses, another has sheds and is for several hundred goats, and another has sheds and is for about forty sheep; the uses are rotated as the years pass. Around all of this is a wild “hunting forest” of about eighty acres that has no fences (only trails that serve as boundaries between it and adjacent hunting forests belonging to others) but does have a LOT of trees, several ponds, and at least one spring.

Boarhunt Towers: Picture the same set-up (and size of grounds) as Ormvraezel Keep, except that there’s no farmland, no fenced clearings, no moat, and no stone mansion with towers - - instead, a rambling wooden hunting lodge with stout shutters, a moss-covered wooden shingle roof, and huge stone chimneys (at least six of them) rising here and there amid the many-winged structure. About thirty guests can be accommodated with ease (there are sixteen bedchambers and an extensive kitchen with cellars beneath it), and there’s a stables on one side of the lodge, and a pavilion (roof on pillars, without walls) on the other for slaughtering and hanging “kills” taken in hunting, with a small smokehouse beside it.

High Oronel: Directly south across the water from Truesilver Castle in Suzail is a smallish “building block” of two connected buildings. That’s High Oronel, a stone mansion dominated by huge, high arched windows and a central hall that sports many of them, that enjoys splendid views. It stands in manicured grass lawns and gardens, and its eastern balconies overlook the great spread of the Royal Gardens. Six floors tall in some places but five or even four in others, it consists of series of “great rooms,” with very few of the odd corners and poky servants’ chambers found in most Suzailan mansions. It’s too small for a large family, but is perfect for entertaining “select” parties of guests. Many wealthy and rising merchants of the city would give their left arms (and a lot of their wealth) to own it.

Townhomes: of the tall, narrow, touching-neighboring-abodes sort, these structures are all near the Horngate, tend to be four storeys tall (with a rear “two-stall-stables” on the ground floor itself), and are used by the family as havens (that is, places they can go to for trysts, or to hide from society or Court officials, or each other). Ownership of these havens isn’t advertised, and isn’t widely known (and being as many of the neighbours are other noble families doing the same thing, and by tacit understanding turning their backs on whatever they may see next door or of comings and goings, “nosy neighbours” are not a problem). They are well-built and comfortable, with perhaps one luxuriously-furnished room (for meetings) and one nice bedchamber (for impressing bed-guests) each, but are more “everyday” than grand.

Favor Residences: this is the polite term for city lodgings maintained by a wealthy patron for mistresses and brightlads. They are essentially the same as the family townhomes, though they vary in size and grandeur by their location and origin, and the Haldoneirs keep fourteen such places, two of them currently empty (that is, rented out on a “short-stay” basis, usually a tenday at a time, to wealthy visitors to the city, such as factors and successful merchants from Sembia) and a dozen housing partners of various family members. It should be noted that nobles who own such residences tend to keep hiding places for certain items, and “side wardrobes” for themselves, in locked or even “secret” areas of the homes, with the rest being furnished more or less as the occupant (the mistress or brightlad) desires.
The House Haldoneir favor residences are distanced from the family townhomes, and so tend to be scattered throughout the eastern half of Suzail, south of the Promenade. Of these, two are “fairly rough” (as are their occupants), and are near the harbor.

Marsember holdings: just west of the gate connecting the naval base to the rest of the city, House Haldoneir owns two large, five-storey townhomes (near each other but not adjacent), though it doesn’t advertise this fact, and uses hired local citizens as “doorlords” (the local term for landlords) who won’t readily admit the identity of the owner they work for.
Both of these buildings are fairly luxurious (by the damp, cramped standards of Marsember) are divided into rental suites of two or three linked rooms. All of these suites are permanently rented out, under various long-term agreements, to wealthy local citizens - - except for one suite in each building (mid-floor, on the rear, “away from the street” side), kept for family use.
Both of these tall, ornamented stone buildings have their own attached stables, and so are thought of in the city as very desirable addresses.

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 - 02 Apr 2009 :  17:01:11  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Lady Haldoneir and the 'Hidden Haldoneir'

Cheers

Damian
**************************************************

Ed replies: Lady Taerenthe Haldoneir was born Lady Taerenthe Goldsword. Yes, THOSE Goldswords. :} She was the youngest of three daughters (Beldrara and Lysandlithe are her older sisters, Beldrara the dark-haired, big-boned, subtle-as-an-axe eldest, and Lysandlithe the smirking, soft-voiced, cynically superior epitome of idle, sophisticated noble beauty and malice) of Aundarra Goldsword - - and there have always been rumors that Lysandlithe or perhaps Taerenthe herself might just possibly have been sired by a certain royal Obarskyr (yes, THAT one).


Lord Eldaun is “the hidden Haldoneir.” : Ed replies: You’re quite right. It IS a big risk, and he could well turn out to be less than suitable as her pawn or tool. However, he’s very much an “ace in the hole” to her, and she hopes never to have to use or unmask him. In the meantime, aside from the occasional scrying (via magic items she stole from one of her conquests, Talander Cormaeril, just before House Cormaeril got stripped of their standing and possessions) to check on his health and whereabouts, she has no contact at all with Eldaun, who is entirely unaware of his origins. He’s grown up as “Loryn Naliver,” by the way, and is contentedly apprenticed to a cabinetmaker in Westgate, one Molvur Hallowrand.
No, Loryn has no suspicions of his birthright, but he’s beginning to dimly remember grand rooms in his dreams, and certain faces (of his Haldoneir family, of course, plus the eyes - - JUST the eyes - - of the Selgauntan mage [one Ontan Kheloedrikh, who is a secretive, wealthy, VERY discreet, and quite powerful wizard who casts spells for pay, but never hires himself out as an adventurer] who cast three powerful spells on Eldaun, to suppress his memories and self-awareness). These dream-visions are recurring, but unless he accidentally gets caught in some spell-backlash or dispel magic effect, he’s not going to remember much that’s useful about his past.
Like all adolescents, “Loryn” is a bundle of raging hormones, and is increasingly restless . . . and he has always longed to see Cormyr, the Forest Kingdom, where he imagines himself galloping along on a splendid horse with his cloak flowing behind him, a sword at his hip, and Purple Dragons saluting him as he rides by.
Loryn is essentially a nice, honest lad who believes in family (the commoners who raised him), friends, loyalty to both, and following rules. He doesn’t much like what he learns of of the politics of Westgate, but does take personal comfort in thrilling to the notion that he may someday have secrets - - valuable, important ones. Other than that, he hasn’t yet shown any signs of inheriting a love of intrigue. He certainly has no liking for nastiness or willful lawbreaking or family feuds.
And no, there are no family bodyguards. He’s on his own; it’s not even clear what Taerenthe will do if she perceives a threat to him, because she doesn’t know.


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 - 02 Apr 2009 :  17:02:00  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on the missing six Haldoneir females

Cheers

Damian
*****************************************
The background first, and personal spotlights on the missing six next time.
In early 1369 DR, Lord and Lady Haldoneir drugged their nieces Borlatha and Daunameire and sold them into slavery, seizing their Suzailan residence and property, and renting out the townhome after selling off most of its contents. The story was spread that they’d eloped, stealing much coin from their kin, with “rakes from Sembia.” This explanation worked so well that less than a month later, they repeated the process with three of their own daughters (Dorlarra, Feaenrelle, and Paerelle), using the same story. This caused more than a few cutting comments along the nobility about how badly the Haldoneirs must treat their daughters, but no outcry - - and more importantly, no Crown or War Wizard investigation.
Lady Haldoneir had already prepared for the latter by purchasing some mind-cloaking magics from a Chessentan wizard known to the Goldswords (and other nobles, wealthy Sembians and Chessentans, and rising folk of Westgate) and used by them to conceal their inward thoughts and schemes for decades; the cost of these small worn items is staggering, but well worth it to wealthy persons planning treason or murder, and keeps their maker (the mage Aldonasker of Airspur [a reclusive, sardonic, well-guarded by gargoyles and worse wizard rumored - - correctly - - to have come from Halruaa], who warns all clients that when he dies, the mind-masking spells he’s cast on the items will abruptly end, a fiction that keeps him safe from treacheries planned by clients) very wealthy.
A short, quiet War Wizard investigation was launched when the eldest daughter, Asmrella Haldoneir, apparently followed her sisters into flight from the arms of her family, and the realm, but ironically, veteran Wizard of War Nolbrand Tharnsilver so understood that anyone would want to be rid of the Haldoneir name and the current heads of the house that he believed the lasses had done just that, taking their cues from each other. His fellow War Wizards, to the highest levels, did not think the matters being investigated were grave enough to warrant forcibly taking Lord or Lady Haldoneir into custody, removing their magical cloakings, and mind-reaming them - - with all the uproar among other nobles that would cause . . . or the further uproar that would attend the possible execution of the senior Haldoneirs and stripping the family of its grace. Certain Highknights were asked to check with Harpers they knew, operating in Westgate, Sembia, and some Inner Sea ports, to watch and listen for any trace of the Haldoneir lasses, but thus far none has turned up - - and, as they say, weightier matters have occupied the eyes and ears of the Crown of Cormyr.

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
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Posted - 01 Jun 2009 :  11:05:24  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on three family run businesses found by the Northeastern Gate in Suzail.

Enjoy

Damian
***************************************************************

For the last two decades, three merchant families have run various shops and stalls near that gate, shifting around in terms of actual premises as rents (and their fortunes) have gone up and down.
They are:

The Landaeyrs ("Lahan-DAY-urs"), consisting of four sons, six daughters, Emra Landaeyr who keeps to the back rooms, overseeing and cooking and keeping the family accounts, and her husband - - the main public face of the family, Ansraeve ("Ann-SRAY-vvve") Landaeyr, a tall, thin, jovial and wisecracking man who cheerfully gives directions and contact information (most of it correct) and whose family-run shops are always crammed, chaotic, dimly-lit dust-heaps of sundry goods, from candles and bits of rope and wire to pots, pans, tools, and crocks ("handy household items," in other words). Whenever it's open (usually dawn to well after dusk) their shop always sells large mugs of hot beef broth-and-onion soup, mug and all, for 1 cp. They usually have "stones" (we real-worlders might call them small, slim bricks) of imported cheese and imported pressed dates for sale, too, but aside from occasional jars and vials of spices from the docks, no other food. Their shops tend to be known simply as "Landaeyr's."

Havrath Hrungoun: this short, fat, sly, fast-talking "wheeler dealer" of a man lives alone except for a man-mountain of a bodyguard, the slow-witted (but VERY observant, and a deadly accurate thrower of handy items to bring down fleeing shoplifters) Goroth Marl. Hrungoun sells broadsheets, love poems ornately written on scrolls, sweets (including chocolates, the most popular being tiny statuettes of King Azoun and Queen Filfaeril; he calls the former "bites" and the latter "lickables"), brightly-decorated bowls and decanters and ewers, and other "gift" wares.
He employs a small army of street youths to hawk the broadsheets and to "talk up" his shop everywhere in the streets, performing the only Suzailan equivalent of hard-sell, loud radio ads (of the used-car dealer "so come on down to" sort). Hrungoun is cheerfully crooked, sells booze and drugs (and purported love potions that will either "make her wild for you" or "make you a rampant bull, all night long") from under his counter, and also provides a secure short-term "lockup" service for valuables (and, it's rumored, for slaves and kidnapped persons). He's also a panderer, providing willing bedmates for visitors to the city. These latter two services he manages with the help of his three shifty sons (and their wives and children) who live in various modest homes across the city, and whom Hrungoun supports - - so although none of them trust him (no sane person trusts him), they work loyally for him.

Tarpreskur's Conveyances: Naldron Tarpreskur, his wife Tlalla, and his daughters Gontra and Marvroune run a stables (buying, selling, and boarding and tending mounts and light draft beasts), a taxi service of sorts (known as a "fastcoach carry," though it tends to be three-wheeled, two seat open conveyances with rain-hoods like some early real-world cars had), and a small-wares delivery service (same as fastcoach, but for small crates, barrels, baskets, and suchlike of goods that can be easily carried and handled). All of these operate within Suzail's walls only. The tall, laconic, battered-looking Tarpreskur is an expert horse trainer and doctor, an experienced coach and wagon repairer, and he and his family make, repair, and sell rain-hoods for everyone's coaches (that is: hood-shaped awnings, both cloth and supporting framework, that fit over coach seats, and sometimes can be folded down or back, and sometimes have added fasten-on "full weather covers" to keep the conveyance dry when it's just going to be left standing in all weather for some time.

All three of these families are consistently located just within that city gate, and habitually answer questions about the city from arrivals through the gate (doing so eagerly and well, not grudgingly or in a pranksome, deliberately-inaccurate manner).

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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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14401 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2009 :  14:43:57  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The adventure: Draco Holy Wars in the 2e Draconimicon contains some little Cormyr info (the whole adventure takes place there), including a "good friend" of King Azoun who is really a steel Dragon.

I found it whilst looking for yet more locales, and I found one - a Mountain Lodge.

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

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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2883 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2009 :  05:30:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a weird "bug", of sorts.

Arabel, as mapped, exists in two different orientations. The map of Arabel in the Forgotten Realms Atlas has the Citadel at the north, Eastgate to the East, and Calantar's Gate to the South. On the other hand, the map of Arabel in Cormyr, the 2e Campaign Setting, and FR Adventures has it rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise, putting the Citadel to the West, Eastgate to the North, and Calantar's Gate to the East.

Anyone have any idea why this might have happened? Looking at what converges in Arabel, I'm inclined to go with the Atlas' orientation, if only because it matches the roads best and actually has the Eastgate go east.
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2009 :  16:24:13  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the Cyclopedia of the Realms in the 1st-Edition gray box, Arabel is rotated 90 degrees like you describe but the compass arrow points to the left instead of toward the top of the page. So yes, Eastgate does lead East, Calantar's Gate to the South, and High Horn Gate to the west.

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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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

Germany
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Posted - 10 Jul 2009 :  19:30:46  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you guys for coming in here. Keeps this great scroll in memory.

As you mention Calanter's Gate, Brian:

Does anybody know why the Southgate is called that way?

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