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Afetbinttuzani
Senior Scribe

Canada
434 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2009 :  20:36:31  Show Profile  Visit Afetbinttuzani's Homepage Send Afetbinttuzani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ergdusch

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?


The immediate response is that is leads to the Calantar's Way, the road south to Suzail. The Calantars are a noble family of Cormyr (They appear in Death of the Dragon p. 205), but beyond that I have no idea why the road is named after them. Anyone? Might be a question for Ed.

Afet bint Tuzaní

"As the good Archmage often admonishes me, I ought not to let my mind wander, as it's too small to go off by itself."
- Danilo Thann in Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham

Edited by - Afetbinttuzani on 11 Jul 2009 00:00:02
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  14:19:10  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on current names of rural dwelling Cormytes
******************************************************

for upland Cormyr, here are the most common male first names. If they have a popular diminutive, it's given in parentheses and quotation marks after the full formal name; if none's listed, there's no 'set' diminutive (and yes, there are a few where the diminutive doesn't match the formal name all that closely; these aren't mistakes).
I'll follow up with female names as soon as I can, but I'm afraid that will probably be late tomorrow . . .
Right. Here we go . . .

Brannon, Brennan ("Bran" or even "Bram"), Daerent ("Daer"), Garlin ("Garl"), Hargath ("Gath"), Ilmer, Jurusk ("Jusk"), Larthlan ("Larth"), Melsarl ("Sarl"), Naryk ("Nar"), Rorn, Rory, Sanraven, Sorbrar, Tellond ("Tuth"), Vornyn ("Vorn").

Note that these are rural upland names; when it comes to cities, they are common only in Arabel - - and if you start to include Purple Dragon garrisons (staffed by a mix of people from everywhere in the realm) or nobility and their households (again, from everywhere, but often of middle-class or "gentle" birth), the "common" names start to shift to some other names more popular in wealthier and more urban families.



Hi, all. As promised, here's my delving into Ed's notes for the most common upland rural Cormyrean female given names (with diminutives, if any, appearing in parentheses and quotation marks after the full, formal name). Bear in mind that these are the names borne by salt-of-the-earth farmers, carters, millers, and foresters, of the lowest incomes in the realm. As you move up the middle class, other names become more popular, and the list changes.

Argatha ("Gatha" or "Gath"), Baerla, Bremma, Claela or Claera, Dethra, Flarra ("Larra"), Haela, Hilbremma ("Bremma"), Imsra ("Issa"), Jalyth, Laritha ("Lara"), Maethe, Naneesa ("Neese"), Orarra, Orprelle ("Pel"), Parella ("Rella"), Sartranna ("Tana"), Tethyl, Umbra, Vaerl



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 24 Oct 2009 14:22:41
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  14:21:30  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed (briefly) on Castle Crag
************************************

Elric, there are TWO Castle Crags: the "big" one in Cormyr, and the tiny ruined one in Shadowdale. There's a long behind-the-scenes story about these, but I can assure you Ed created them, and the original ("Old Gray") boxed set lore stuff (as opposed to the rules stuff like the hexes and movement/terrain details and comparison with a map of the USA, which is by Jeff Grubb) is almost entirely from Ed's pen; Jeff's main task was arranging Ed's stuff, deciding what to leave out to put into other products (such as FR1, FR4, FR5, FR6, etc. etc.), and deciding how to streamline and "shape" what was included to cover hard D&D game rules and to be in clear english without Ed's trademark digressions (because the use of "sidebars" wasn't yet common).
Ed detailed the Cormyrean fortress of Castle Crag extensively for the Avatar series of modules, and that map and description was then edited right out of the adventure to make more room for story. The result was a sort of "black hole" when it came to the Cormyrean Castle Crag (which is both a fortess and a thriving community around the fortress, but within an outer "curtain wall").

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 24 Oct 2009 14:23:44
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  14:30:07  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on a Cormyrian Cheese
******************************

Blueblade, I've sent your query off to Ed, too - - but I can tell you, because my character once landed on a wheel of said cheese (after unintentionally "dropping in" to a Cormyrean noble's kitchen), that the cheese you speak of is known as Roaroke (or "Rokeheart" in the Border Kingdoms, where it's popular but hard to obtain, so many inferior versions of it are locally made).

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 Oct 2009 :  14:43:49  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on how common folk get to know what is going on and how clack gets out of hand!

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

Social life in the Heartlands of the Realms is quite similar to rural England pre-Industrial Revolution; most folk never travel far from where they live, but DO go down to the local tavern (like an English pub) of evenings. Where tales are told and re-told, growing and getting distorted in the telling as tales do everywhere (including at home, within families).
However, travelling bards and minstrels, not to mention peddlers and caravan merchants, stop at local inns as they travel, and drop by local taverns, trading tales for drinks and/or food bought for them. Peddlers and merchants tend to carry rumors and current news, and minstrels and bards tend to bring songs and jokes and history (particularly if you don't know many good jokes or your singing voice is temporarily damaged by a cold, you will resort to historical tales.
Yes, bards and minstrels distort tales in the telling, just as everyone else does, but the most senior bards try to make sure their datings and namings of kings and salient facts of "big events" match what other bards are saying; no one wants to be dismissed as a "false bard" or something of the sort. Sages and priests are the counterpoints to bards, but the common folk know that doctrine and faith colour everything a priest says, and as a result take what priests say with (our saying, not a Realms saying) a pinch of salt.
Between what sages, priests, and various bards say, commoners in a particular place can figure out for themselves quite well "the general shape of past events." A commoner might not get dates right, or try to keep them as specific as a Court scribe, but locals will agree that such-and-such an event happened "before the mill burned" or "Draesrae had triplets born all with white hair" or "lightning struck the shrine of Helm" (which serves their purposes). Common folk are very good at seeing causes and effects and consequences (at least in hindsight), and so can understand why things happened the way they did in many cases more clearly than modern real-world historians who chase pet theories or modern interpretations of other cultures long ago.


So saith Ed. Writing with his usual wise reason, some thirty years ago.
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
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  14:53:43  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on another Art weaving Summerstar

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

Here, then, is all we know of Alaeya Summerstar (enjoy!):

Alaeya Summerstar: human female, great-aunt to the Lord Summerstar (patriarch) of Cormyr seen in Ed’s KNIGHTS OF MYTH DRANNOR trilogy. Young, impish, wayward, and gentle, light blonde hair, snub nose, “plain as a boot.” Considered “strange” (perhaps even of illegitimate birth) for having a talent for the Art, Alaeya sought out The Simbul for guidance. Of middling magical skills, Alaeya parted amicably from The Simbul, went her own way, and became a bucolic wanderer, living for short periods in many villages and wilderland steads. She never returned to Cormyr or her kin, and worked with Harpers from time to time. Last heard of on the verges of the High Forest north of Secomber, circa 1344 DR.


So saith Ed. More from him later, I hope. (To The Simbul: hope you've seen these posts. Talk about starting something . . . )
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
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  15:57:57  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on facial hair of Cormyrian Nobles
******************************************


Yes, indeed. Noblemen almost all have mustaches, long sideburns (though they may be very thin, mere “lines along the angle of the jaw” in many cases), and beards. However, LONG or shaggy facial hair is very rare among the nobility; the whole point of the fashion is to show off your wealth and idleness (i.e. I’m rich enough to have a personal barber, and idle enough that I can sit down TWICE A DAY to be trimmed and shaved). So a nobleman will ALWAYS (except when “roughing it” with Alusair or during emergencies) have clean-shaven throats, cheeks, and other areas (no untidy regions of “stubble or hairs that become a beard as one moves across the visage”), and will usually have a very close-cropped, trimmed beard and mustache. Mustaches may have long ends (either side of the mouth), but are usually like thin lines along the upper lip above the mouth; below the mouth, the chin may well be entirely covered with hair, but a noble’s beard is seldom longer than about two inches below the point of the chin, and almost always takes the form of a neat, uniform “jaw-fringe” from this point all along the edges of the jaw, continuously to merge with “daggerboard” sideburns in front of the ear.
Young nobles, very fair-haired nobles, and anyone who for whatever reason can’t grow (or can’t have at the moment) a tidy, continuous beard, will be clean-shaven - - but even then, pencil-line-thin (or bushier) mustaches and sideburns will be maintained if at all possible. Dying of facial hair to keep it dark is sometimes done, but only utter fops dye their hair any hue other than a color that attempts to match its natural hue, and scenting facial hair is a fashion that comes and goes (mostly goes) with the passing years.
Interestingly, the upland landed gentry have always clung to a habit of “going shaggy” for a tenday or so, here and there, usually when hunting or at lambing or horsebreeding time. This is a signal to all that I’m “not at home” in my persona as Lord So-and-so right now; I’m on vacation, so to speak, and can be dealt with as an equal by anyone, but am temporarily not interested in the obligations and frippery courtesies of being a noble. (It does not of course actually release practitioners from the obligations of being noble, though the ruling Obarskyrs tend to respect it except during emergencies; if a king should awaken at the royal hunting lodge and see a few “shaggy” nobles at the morningfeast table, it means they want to share time with him as a plain-speaking friend and fellow hunter, not bring their heralds and trade factors and other servants along, and speak with formal dignity. It’s the sort of occasion when it was perfectly all right to, say, address oneself to King Azoun IV with the unadorned words, “Hoyeh! Pass yon butter, Longshanks!” and he might either pass it, or belch and reply, “Hook a finger into it yourself, Bentnose!” . . . and when Filfaeril might come to the table with her hair all wild from slumber, clad in old hunting breeches, and be addressed as “Fee” or perhaps “Crownlass” by everyone at the table. (Of course, it was NOT free license to be as rude as possible to royalty, or anyone else; folk didn’t entirely forget or ignore what was said at such occasions. It WAS a male noble’s best chance to, say, tell Filfaeril a dirty joke without half a hundred courtiers overhearing and promptly spreading gossip about it.)
Now, as those of us who have beards and mustaches and sideburns know, it’s possible with the air of a sharp razor or scissors, mirrors, and good lightning to keep oneself in fair trim when it comes to mustaches, beards, and even sideburns and neck and cheek shaving, so not all nobles actually have personal barbers, or use their services twice a day; that’s merely the look being striven for.



So saith Ed, reigning expert on Cormyrean facial fashion

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 Oct 2009 :  16:00:35  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on a ruined merchant family from Ed's campaign
*********************************************************


I can think of one, off the top of my head, from campaign play: the Narnantheirs. Formerly a powerhouse in weaving and import and export of bulk textiles, the Narnantheir ("Nar-NAN-theer") family is now scattered and poor, with some of the sons living in Suzail's shady districts, living hand-to-mouth.
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
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  16:10:15  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on death rituals of upland Nobles
***************************************
Early on in the book, a Cormyrean country noble and heir to his family's name dies and is cremated. They take his ashes and put them in a bowl, tie it to the saddle of his horse, and let the horse run free, thus scattering his ashes out amongst the countryside.
Is this a common practice amongst country nobles in Cormyr and elsewhere? Is there a specific term for such a ritual, like "last-ride"? Did the noble's status as family heir or the fact that he had military training factor in? What about the fact that the family patronized Chauntea (a Chauntean officiated the cremation and burial)?"

Ed replies:
This is an old "upland" (rural) Cormyrean practice, also seen in the Dales and Sembia in elder days (not so much in the 1300s), known as a "grave ride" or "last ride." His nobility was a factor, yes, because the only families who did this were those who owned large tracts of land (enough for a "scattering from the saddle" to be worthwhile), but not the fact that he specifically was the heir, nor his military service or rank. Last rides were generally only done by families who felt close ties to the land (farmers [there's the Chauntea connection, in this specific case], hunters, foresters, and strong worshippers of nature gods like Silvanus and Eldath), and wanted their lost ones "returned to the land."
[[Remember, in the Realms everyone "believes in" and worships ALL of the gods, though most people feel "closest" to a handful of deities. Only clergy and a relatively few "devout lay worshippers" devote themselves primarily to a single deity.]]
In Cormyr, everyone knows what a "grave ride" or "last ride" is, and everyone sees it as "doing right by the dead" and "pleasing to the gods." That doesn't mean it's a frequent custom among most citizens, not even among nobles (who tend to prefer the family crypt with intact bodies laid to rest in 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

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  16:30:31  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on 'non War Wizard' magic schools in Cormyr
******************************************************

Also, to Pierre-Luc: the only public (as opposed to secret, or members-only like the War Wizards' training sessions) school of magic in Cormyr or the Dales in 1479 DR that I know of, thus far, is a small academy called Arlrandur's, in Marsember (run by Arlrandur, a "renegade" War Wizard who increasingly is suspected of being an undercover War Wizard, identifying prospects and potential foes and troublemakers).
However, I'll check my notes and ask around, and see if there are any hints of others. In Sembia and Westgate, YES, there are several...


So saith Ed. Creator of the Realms and its reigning Lorelord, as always . . .
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 Oct 2009 :  16:34:57  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on Miior (NPC from the Haunted Halls Module)
*****************************************************


Joran, I can tell you from playing with Ed as a DM and watching him DM two other groups of players through the Haunted Halls, that Miior definitely WOULD form a relationship with one or more of her rescuers, for two reasons: she always wants to be linked to a stronger male as a protector, provider, and dupe (someone she can frame and/or steal from), and she is looking for a real mate (in other words, she will feign "falling for" a PC adventurer, strong and wealthy human male preferred, but either gender and any race if someone else seems more useful, and she's a consumate actress, BUT she can very easily genuinely fall in love with either her "chosen dupe" or someone else, and with that love will come loyalty, so she may later stand beside/support/return swindled loot to her dupe, and become his/her staunch partner).

So there you have it, from Ed to me to you...

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 Oct 2009 :  17:00:39  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed and THO on Cormyrian law
*****************************

The situation is this - three men are caught red handed forcing a Dryad (they had a way of avoiding her usual charms, perhaps rings of mind shielding - and had something to use against her to coerce her out of her tree and into cooperation) in the King's Forest (in Cormyr) to give up her "sap" - by way of cutting her and harvesting her blood without killing her, they didn't want their source to dry up, so to speak. Said blood was to be then sold to a merchant specializing in rare/unusual spell components (the three men had already done this a few times).
What penalties could these men face for their crimes? What penalty could the merchant face (the PC is going after him as well)? Is what they were doing a crime at all? (I'd be surprised if it wasn't!) Also, what status in Cormyr would the Dryad have? Would she be considered a citizen at all?”


THO replies

However, I can START on a reply for you by saying it IS a crime, and the crime is something like (I probably have the formal title of it wrong, here) "stealing from the Crown."
NOT in the sense that the dryad or her tree belong to the King (though trees that aren't sentient and don't have dryads but are in a royal forest ARE Crown property), but in the sense that at the heart of Cormyrean law is the concept that the Crown IS the land and the bounty of the land, including living things of the land and bound to the land, so rare flowers and the stags of the King's Forest and dryads are all "of the Crown." So they're stealing from the Crown.
Speculating - - and I stress this is my speculation, not Ed giving us a definitive reply - - on the basis of having Ed as my DM play the parts of many Cormyrean lawkeepers, courtiers, and Obarskyrs over the years, I'd say that they would face a light sentence (fines and a prohibition on ever doing it again, or else THIS) if the dryad freely consented to this, or initiated the transactions and the wounding (wanting to sell her sap, for some strange reason). Otherwise, oh yes, they're in trouble.
Which is where I stop pontificating and hand it to Ed.
love,
THO


Ed replies

THO is quite right in saying that things would get complicated if the dryad had consented or initiated this arrangement (so much so, that it would really be a case-by-case judgement, more than applying the relevant laws in any set manner), but because they’ve coerced her, they would be fined and banned from entering any royal forest for ten summers, and also prohibited from selling any dryad larlyn (that’s the local term for dryad or treant blood or “sap”) anywhere in Cormyr, forever (upon pain of four summers of imprisonment followed by forty summers of exile). The charges would be “theft from the heart of Cormyr, and unlawful sale of the property of the Crown.”
The second charge would apply even if the dryad had consented (but would probably, in those circumstances, earn them only a small fine and the lifelong prohibition on selling larlyn), but the first charge speaks to the status of the dryad (and also applies to treants, unicorns, and other native life of Cormyr considered to be royal property or under royal protection [so, NOT the dragons or elves dwelling in the realm, but royal stags, flowers, protected woods, rare birds, and so on that have been proclaimed as “under the royal hand,” a term meaning only members of the ruling family, or regents, can harvest them or direct others to harvest them or make use of them [including gifting them freely]). In short, such life is “of the heart of Cormyr” and can demand royal protection, but is not considered to have the responsibilities and obligations of a full citizen. (So a dryad has the RIGHTS of a citizen, but not the responsibilities.) A severely handicapped or insane royal ward, incapable of living without care, would have the same “heart” status in recognition of their inability to undertake and carry out the responsibilities of a citizen.



So saith Ed. Who is hard at work on more Realmslore for us all.
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 24 Oct 2009 17:05:29
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  17:09:20  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on iron mongery
***************************

In Cormyr, there are five very busy local smiths but no mongery-only foundries.
However, there is one in Arabel, that sells much of its wares either in Suzail, and to the wider Realms through the docks of Suzail (a smaller flow goes the other way, through the Dales to the Moonsea). It’s known as Garthen’s Hammer (after the now-aging smith Askarl Garthen, a human whose family came from Everlund; his own numerous sons and grandchildren work and run it), and (if you have access to the detailed maps of Arabel) is the complex of connected buildings on the north side of the street that runs right through the city, JUST inside The High Horn Gate (south of the row of House of Thond rental warehouses). It was formerly across the street, due south of its current location, but expanded into the premises of a decaying old inn, and Garthen then sold his former location to a wealthy and ambitious Suzailan merchant, one Handren Tharmarklor, who tore down the old smithy and built on its site a mixed-shops complex that he rents out, himself inhabiting the uppermost three floors of “Tharspire,” the tower that rises from the northwesternmost building of Tharmarklor’s Doors (the complex). Garthen more or less permanently rents the southernmost House of Thond warehouse for his inventory of nails, spikes, axe-heads, hooks, eye-spikes, door-plates (both kickplates and lockplates), and strap hinges, from which traders’ wagons run constantly to Suzail and elsewhere (Garthen himself takes no part in marketing his wares, restricting himself to selling from his premises in Arabel).

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 Oct 2009 :  17:16:27  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on dung!

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

Heh. Off to Ed that question goes, BA, but I can tell you that although Suzail DOES have sewers, it definitely has "honey wagons" (in that part of the Realms, they're known as "nightsoil carts") that take the chamberpot-emptyings of the less wealthy neighbourhoods out of the city to middens.
We Knights have had several adventuresome encounters with various of those wagons and their drovers.
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
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  17:29:38  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on road surfaces in Cormyr

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

As far as I can remember, Asgetrion, cobbled streets are restricted to the cities of Cormyr, High Horn, and the "main drags" of larger places like Wheloon. Everywhere else is hard-packed fine gravel atop dirt, with stones and moss on the flanks to slow washouts (and repaired constantly; the Purple Dragon road-patrols inspect and report constantly). With logs under the dirt in swampy spots.
Of course, I'll pass your query on to Ed, in case anything's changed.
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
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crazedventurers
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1073 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  17:32:40  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on street lighting

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

Today's Realmslore question from moi concerns street lighting in Suzail at night: oil lamps? Candle lamps?
A few stationary high-up ones, or mounted on pulleys and chains, or taken away every morning, filled up, and brought back and lit at dusk (or when?) and hung up, as needed?
If so, how good is the overall lighting? Just along the Promenade and the wealthy/nobles' neighborhoods, or - - ?
Does the port "work" at night?
And who does this? The Purple Dragons? Crown servants/special lamplighters? Or - - ?"


Ed replies:

Both. And some "lit candles floating in oil" hybrids, too. All of them in metal "cages" looking rather like the "coach lamps" of the fogbound London of Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, et al. These tend to be mounted on black cast iron brackets that thrust out from the streetside walls of stone buildings, are very good along the Promenade and in the area north of the Promenade and west of the Palace complex (i.e. the nobles' and wealthiest Suzailans' neighbourhood, where these lamps are almost all on freestanding metal poles ("posts"), fairly good down the east wall of the city (the barracks areas) and along the docks (so, yes, the port can and does work at night, when trade warrants, which is most of the time), sparse in the central heart of the city (where taverns and clubs tend to have door-lamps, and some major streetmoots [[we would say intersections]] are lit, and there's not much else), and darned near non-existent in the western part of the city (the slums and poor neighbourhoods, sometimes called "Darkstreets" as a result).
Businesses fuel and light their own lamps (i.e. many of those I mentioned in the heart of the city), and these lamps may be of any sort and mounted any way; most are on pulleys and chains, and "drawn in" to a window with a long metal hook mounted on a wooden reaching pole, for filling (they must be GENTLY let go again, not left to fall and swing, or they tend to smash against the building wall on the backswing; local laws prohibit mounting lamps on wooden walls), but some are unhooked and "reached down" via hooked poles; VERY few are let down to the ground on pulleys and chains, because of recurring vandalism/pranksters/lamp thieves in the past.
The inner wall lamps, Promenade lighting, nobles' district lamps, and port and barracks lamps are lit by hired lamplighters overseen by Crown officials (minor courtiers; there are enough of these to form lighting crews if the hirelings quit or are too scared to light particular lamps or all fall ill). These lamps are all of the "reached down" with hooked poles sorts, and are secured with safety-chains so they can't blow down from the hooks they hang from; the chains can also be unhooked by the poles from the ground, but are situated in opposition to each other, to keep the lamps from crashing down in even gale-force gusts.
However, these Crown-overseen lamps (and the Crown pays for the fuel, lamp repairs and replacements, by the way; the hired lighters are paid for the lighting work only) are in daily practise almost always filled directly, by hand, by workers standing on platforms built atop tall wagons; to prevent thieves employing these wagons at night, these wagons MUST be locked away in sheds when not in use (and can, if permits are obtained, be used for roofing repairs, hanging signs, and other non-lamplighting tasks).


So saith Ed. There you go; covered exhaustively. Oh, save for one thing; Ed neglected to mention something he's often said in play to us: that a lot of private residences have "lamps in the window" (that is, on the sill inside), sometimes as signals (i.e. prostitutes signalling they're home and open for business, or family members telling each other dinner is ready or whatever).
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
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Posted - 24 Oct 2009 :  19:28:00  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on adventurers working for nobles
******************************************


Well, the adventurers would be well advised to ask PERMISSION from the noble to operate in his lands ("fief" is not a term used in Cormyr, BTW), but if they need a charter, that's royal, and comes either (rarely) directly from the hands of an Obarskyr, or more often from a courtier, local "king's lord," or herald (court herald of Cormyr, that is, not one of the independent heralds).
A noble might well write a letter explaining that an adventuring band was on this specific business on his behalf, for said adventurers to show to Purple Dragon patrols, but the noble doesn't have the legal right or power to issue a "writ of permission."
I don't mean to imply that the adventurers can't act as the noble's unofficial troubleshooting somewhat-extra-legal band or hit squad (many adventurers fulfill just this role in Cormyr), I just want to underscore that it must be UNofficial, even if no secret. Or Azoun or Alusair or at the very least a very capable Highknight-and-War Wizard team (or all of the above) will soon show up for a "chat" with the noble. Accompanied by several hundred of their very well-armed and armored closest friends. All of them interested in discussing this apparent treason or rebellion with the noble, if you catch my drift . . .
Azoun IV's reign was marked by a VERY tight watch kept over nobles, often without royal awareness, by Royal Magician and Court Wizard Vangerdahast, head of the Wizards of War and a shrewd, paranoid man. I would be very surprised if your PCs aren't already being watched by some War Wizards, just to keep tabs on what they're up to - - and any noble who tried to issue such writs or for that matter to use adventurers in a way that might result in a noble vs. noble war would find War Wizards actively working against them, both swiftly and firmly.
As my DM for about three decades, Ed Greenwood has shown us a LOT of Cormyr, and my words here are rooted in all of the detail and roleplaying colour he's imparted, down the years. And by all means feel free to ask Ed direct questions in his Questions thread here in the Chamber of Sages; I flip them on to him, and post his replies here...
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 24 Oct 2009 22:25:05
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 01 Nov 2009 :  07:05:51  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on town/city nonemclature

Enjoy

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


My full nomenclature notes for Cormyr are both scattered and buried (as a result of respnding to various TSR requests long ago, at various times, then packing everything up for a house move), but I can tell you that "luk" in the old human local parlance meant "place of" or "home of" ("alukh" in speech, shortened to the suffix "luk" when made part of a name), and that Tyrluk is so named because of a local human "lord" (war leader; a 'robber baron' sort of chap) named Arlutyr (pronounced "Arl-ah-TEER") about whom not much is remembered save that he was black-bearded and handsome, a gallant rake, a forester who led a large band of outlaws who got along well with the elves but resisted all attempts by anyone to rule over him, and who slaughtered a lot of monsters [he was fond of threatening those who came after him by leaving the bleeding corpses of monsters in their homes for them to find when they awakened one morning, WITHOUT wakening them during his break-in to put them there].
Eveningstar is a human translation of an elven name, but then "Starwater" is also based on an elf name that meant in part "Stars-in-the-Water." When I find my #$%@$# notes, I'll be able to tell you more. :}


So saith Ed, who is busy busy busy. As usual.
love,
THO

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

Edited by - crazedventurers on 07 Nov 2009 03:19:43
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 01 Nov 2009 :  07:07:11  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on the Blue Unicorn

Cheers

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

Blueblade, unless a different Blue Unicorn I've never heard of is meant, the Blue Unicorn in the Realms is two linked things:
1. A famous Waterdhavian-noble-born lady of pleasure who worked in Suzail, masked to conceal her identity, and:
2. The brothel/"club" she founded, owned, and ran, in Suzail (it's still going, but she died of old age/natural causes in the 1340s, though I THINK one of her "girls" took over the title and mask). It's very upper-crust; that is, a quiet, luxuriously-furnished, discreet "grand house" in which members can relax, read, play board or card games, chat, dine on meals prepared in the club for them, and so on, with lots of well-behaved servants/bouncers to keep things private. It is NOT haughty, or reserved for the nobility, though a lot of them frequent it, and it's become a sort of "neutral ground" for them, a place where feuds and so on are temporarily set aside, and nobles mingle with wannabes they'll "cut dead" outside, on the street.
Ed can, of course, say more - - such as whether or not a THIRD "Blue Unicorn" (search me . . . please!) is meant.
love,
THO

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

Edited by - crazedventurers on 07 Nov 2009 03:20:02
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 07 Nov 2009 :  03:18:41  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on the Downshield Family

Cheers

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

You remember matters well, Blueblade! The noble is Lord Erephrand Downshield (the Earl of Downshield), the son of Roryn Downshield, who was ennobled by Azoun IV very early in Azoun's reign for personal loyalty to the king (read: defeating an assassination attempt and taking wounds in the process). Erephrand is a mild-mannered, middle-aged, single man who rode with Alusair and has his own fierce personal loyalty to her. He's not a rebel or any sort of foe of Cormyr, he simply dislikes the meddling of the Wizards of War, whom he regarded as the REAL traitors to the realm, under Vangerdahast. When young and vigorous and busy making many trips to, and later extended stays in, Suzail on his father's business (enriching the family through shrewd trading deals and investments in the prosperous, ever-expanding Sembian economy of the time), he discovered that he had a natural, hitherto hidden talent for the Art, and decided to hire tutors and take some training so as to be able to hold his own against passing hedge-wizards, overbearing minor priests, and, yes, overly officious War Wizards (of lesser magical accomplishments; he never intended nor expected to be a match for a group of wizards or a senior War Wizard). Again, let me stress that Erephrand Downshield is NOT a rebel. He simply wanted the confidence of knowing his own abilities, and of being able to control them, to hold his own in defending his shousehold and his family interests - - rather than having the War Wizards clamp down on him the moment his facility for magic was discovered.
The confrontation was just that: upon ascending to the lordship (earldom, that is, but I've used the customary colloquial Cormyrean term of "lordship"), on the death of his father, Erephrand politely but very firmly disagreed with the War Wizard who had been serving as his father's "house wizard" on how family business should be conducted. The particular low-level wizard was a rather sneering, superior sort, and Erephrand took some delight in publicly astonishing - - and besting - - him in a minor trading of warning (as in "shot across your bows") magics. Which earned him a swift visit from Vangerdahast, and a quite amicable understanding being reached, involving the installation of a new house wizard. :}
The confrontation took place in the hall (great room or feasting hall, but Downshield Keep has just the one large room, so it's simply called "the hall") of the family seat, which is a three-storey walled stone manor house that boasts a lone crenellated stone tower, located on a lane running north off The Way of the Manticore, about a day's easy ride east of the Wyvernflow (or of Wheloon, if you prefer), about a sixth of a day's ride up that lane, in the heart of the rolling farm and ranch countryside of eastern Cormyr.
Erephrand hasn't yet (just pre-Spellplague) married, and has outlived his father, mother, and one sister, so he might well be the second and last Earl of Downshield - - or he might sire a large next generation of Downshields; we just don't know yet. (However, we do know that he's very fond of Alusair and that he enjoys the company of women.)


So saith Ed. Font of the true, original, and best Realmslore, as ever.
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

Edited by - crazedventurers on 07 Nov 2009 03:20:32
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 08 Nov 2009 :  11:23:44  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on the Haunted Halls; specifically where to find the sub level that contained a gate (portal) that Halfling Inc destroyed.

Cheers

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

Yes, indeed, Damian. Spot on. There is a room on the second level that several other rooms open out of. One of these entrance is a huge, tall, grand-looking pair of tall metal doors that are a trap: they aren't attached to their frames at all, which are overlapping lips on the inside, that prevent them being pushed inwards. If pulled (by their visible pull-rings) outward to open them, they topple onto the pullers, filling all of the floor space except those facing the areas of wall on either side of their frames.
Those frames are set into a stone wall that's six feet thick, and one of the frames is itself a secret, hidden door opening into a passage inside the thickness of that six-foot-thick wall, that leads down a flight of stone steps into the very beholder-guarded sub-level you speak of (there are other ways in and out, too).
I'd love to just hand over the keyed map and let you all enjoy, but I'm treading VERY carefully here to stay legal and avoid trouble for myself and Candlekeep. I'll reveal more when and if I get permission to do so.


So saith Ed. Who's back hard at work on the Realms.
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

Edited by - crazedventurers on 26 Nov 2009 11:08:00
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 22 Nov 2009 :  15:27:21  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on Cormyrian Noble politics :)

Enjoy

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

Hi, all. Baleful Avatar, Ed ran at least one "library campaign" (a 13-week, one-four-hour-play-session-a-week adventure) set in Cormyr, years ago, using the PCs as Highknights to do NCIS/BONES/CSI investigations (long, long before any of those television programs was thought of, of course) within the realm.
Ed's REALMS OF MYSTERY short story, "The Grinning Ghost of Taverton Hall," echoes what that campaign was like (I didn't play in it, but I dropped by briefly to watch short stretches of two of the play sessions). There were plots and subplots galore, of course, but some of them centered around wayward nobles murdering rivals and upstart wannabe nobles whom they had trade dealings with, that went sour, and other nobles who were plotting treason and killing anyone who got even a whiff of their plans, all complicated by husband-hunting young noblewomen, some enterprising blackmailers (commoners seeking to pry money out of indiscreet nobles), various ambitious lone courtiers trying to manipulate noble families, a band of merchant thieves just trying to rob anyone and frame everyone else for everything they did . . . oh, it was a happy traffic jam, believe me, with the PCs (low-level, starting-their-careers Highknights, all of them) caught in the middle. A GREAT setup for a campaign...or for that matter for a short story anthology that I think Ed should suggest to the Books Department folks.
Unless, of course, they still covertly read this thread. Folks?

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 26 Nov 2009 11:08:30
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 22 Nov 2009 :  15:28:45  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THO on a harp maker in Arabel

Cheers

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

Hi again, all. Another raft of posts off to Ed, who is tearingly busy right now but loves the questions, so keep 'em coming. Regarding your Arabel harp request, Broken Helm, I know there's more than one place/person you can go to, but the only one I remember right now is in the southwestern part of the city, in a modest upper-floor living quarters/workshop, and is an aging, gnarled human woman named Harsratha Taree.

So saith me (from Ed, of course; this comes from playing in Ed's campaign).
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 26 Nov 2009 11:08:57
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 22 Nov 2009 :  15:30:19  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on half-orcs in Suzail

Cheers

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


. . . And more recently (on page 111) Baleful Avatar asked: “Are there any half-orcs known and tolerated as members of the royal household (servants, courtiers) in Cormyr? Are there any half-orcs known and tolerated as long-established inhabitants of Suzail? Thanks! P.S. As of just pre-Spellplague. Sorry, should have specified.”

Ed replies:

In the royal household, just pre-Spellplague: not to my knowledge. Of course, half-orcs who don’t LOOK like half-orcs might be servants, courtiers, or guards in the royal household - - and of course, by all means create some if you’d like to, for your campaign. Yes, there are about sixty half-orc longtime Suzailans, mainly dockhands (ship loaders and unloaders and warehouse “cargo handlers”) who dwell in the poorer western regions of the city. They mainly adopt an amiable “surly but placid” persona so as to fit in, and have earned tolerance among their neighbours, though not always from visitors to the city or the more xenophobic nobles.

So saith Ed. Spinning Realmslore day after day, year after year, decade after decade, for us all.
Regarding matters large and small.
More soon, he promises.
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

Edited by - crazedventurers on 26 Nov 2009 11:09:21
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crazedventurers
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Posted - 22 Nov 2009 :  15:32:43  Show Profile  Visit crazedventurers's Homepage Send crazedventurers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed on bridge building in Cormyr

Enjoy!

Damian
****************
THO is entirely correct about the cobbles, except that cobbles are also found on every bridge that isn’t a small, simple “flat planks covered with gravel affair,” and on some stretches of the main coastal trade-road linking Cormyr with Sembia (where on-its-way-down-to-the-sea drainage dictates that cobbles are better than more-readily-washed-away fine gravel).
The main trade roads tend to have tile culverts (filled in all around with VERY broad stone-rubble shoulders) for some forty or so small rivulets and drainage ditches, but wherever a watercourse is larger and “running” year-round, they do have large and robust bridges that, indeed, a “large armed band” could hide under or take shelter under.” And yes, Purple Dragon patrols do have standing orders to check under them at every pass, by the following method: shuttered lanterns lowered on poles so their illumination shines only on one side (toward the underside of the bridge and away from the Dragon observers “behind” the lanterns), while Dragons from the patrol armed with ready crossbows peer in under the bridge from some distance away “behind” the lanterns. Or to explain it more clearly: patrolmen get bows wound and ready, then go to prepared vantage-points thirty yards or more away from the bridge on either side, then signal their readiness. Lit lanterns are then lowered, with their dark sides kept towards the observers and their light-emitting sides toward the underside of the bridge. A third and fourth lanterns are already lit and ready, but kept completely shuttered. If there’s nothing under the bridge, the observers return. If this is occurring in dark or dim conditions, all four lanterns are aimed at the surroundings while other Dragons (that is, not the returning observers) watch. The patrol reforms, the crossbows are unloaded and uncocked, the patrol crosses the bridge, the lanterns are extinguished, and the patrol moves on. Those third and fourth lanterns can serve as replacements for the two lowered lanterns if they are broken, but a fifth and sixth will then be lit to replace THEM.
This procedure sounds more cumbersome than it is, because it’s all smooth habit to the patrols.



So saith Ed. Founding Creator of Cormyr and of course the Realms around it.
love,
THO


ADDENDUM:

The small, simple “flat planks covered with gravel affair” (uncobbled) bridges would only be those over the small tile culverts. In other words, such a bridge is twelve feet long or less, and largely covered by gravel (i.e. not necessarily recognizable as a bridge to travellers on the road), the buried planks being a means to stop heavy wagons crushing the tile culvert, which will almost always be a single "pipe" of about a foot across - - but in rare instances two or even three parallel pipes. Newer culverts are cylindrical sections of fired clay, and older ones are a flat plate of fired clay with an upside-down "U" of fired clay resting atop it.

So saith Ed. Seeing to even the smallest details.
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 26 Nov 2009 11:10:06
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