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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

487 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2012 :  04:43:26  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. De Bie, you have really outdone yourself with this trilogy. I remember reading that you wanted to create a character who would be as iconic as Drizzt, Elminster, or Erevis Cale. Well, I think you're doing that. I will highlight some things I really liked, and then I have a few questions.

Strong Points

1. Characters - I like them all. You remind me a lot of RAS or Elaine in the way I feel about your characters. I really enjoy them all so much that I'm not overly concerned with who "wins". Although, I am dying to know who wins that game of coroniir in the end.

2. Settings - You did a great job contrasting the beauty of Waterdeep vs. the filth of Downshadow in the 1st book. Your depiction is Luskan in the 2nd book made it seem like a place Cyric would enjoy, which I gather was your point. (oh, and Sithe made that novel all by her lonesome) Finally, with Westgate, you really made me love the city enough to want to visit, but also be scared of what might happen to me if I did.

3. Gods - Your series deals with the gods a lot, in an indirect way. Gods are so impossible to depict in a way that will please all the fans, so I think this is a great way to go. You show how hard it is in FR to faithfully follow a god(dess), because what they want can seem so unclear.

Questions

SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS

#1 - You make it clear that Lilten is Sarya's little brother. If I recall the Last Mythal series right, Sarya was all high and mighty because her father was a balor. Does it follow that Lilten's father is that same balor? There are many references to him having a hot touch, or a hot kiss, or feeling the old fire rising in him. However, I don't recall Sarya having any demonic powers outside of her sorcery. I almost wonder if he has found a way to unlock the full power of a balor.

#2 - I recall that Tyr and Bane once fought over Hoar. Does Hoar granting spells in Helm's name represent an attempt to escape Bane's rule and become more neutral, or even good?

#3 - How on earth was Vaelis not dead, when his death is what caused the crack in the sword?

#4 - Is Kirenkirsalai really serving Shar, or his own ends? He seems to dearly love Myrin and want her back, but if she truly holds a vestige of Mystra, his goddess Shar will want her dead. I'm guessing that this is how Shar has been blocking Mystra's resurrection all these years, by sending her minions to kill any mortal that Mystra may have hidden a piece of her divine essence in.

#5 - I noticed that when Kirensirsalai threatened Fayne, Lilten uttered a prayer to Erevan Ilesere, describing himself as a wayward servant, I think. Why not pray to Beshaba?

#6 - Is Myrin meant to be bisexual, or just attracted to Ilira because of her spellscar?

#7 - Does the conclusion of your saga depend on what WOTC does with 5E, or do you have your own goals in mind?
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2012 :  08:00:15  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hail, Lilianviaten (such an honor)!

I'm very glad you enjoyed. Such glowing words, and great questions! I would like to invite you to post a review on Amazon, sir. The more reviews my work gets, the more likely it is to sell, and thus the more likely it will continue!

Also, come find me on Facebook if you're so inclined: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erik-Scott-de-Bie/86237599006


SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS


quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

#1 - You make it clear that Lilten is Sarya's little brother. If I recall the Last Mythal series right, Sarya was all high and mighty because her father was a balor. Does it follow that Lilten's father is that same balor? There are many references to him having a hot touch, or a hot kiss, or feeling the old fire rising in him. However, I don't recall Sarya having any demonic powers outside of her sorcery. I almost wonder if he has found a way to unlock the full power of a balor.
Lilten does indeed consider Sarya his "older sister" (or at least he says so there), though the exact nature of their relation is still not clear. They may not have the same set of parents but may be only half siblings, or they may not share a parent at all. I haven't yet revealed that.

But you are correct in your assertion that he does seem to have some kind of inner fire. Sarya did indeed have powers outsider her sorcery related to her demonic heritage, according to her appearance in Cloak and Dagger. Her actual depiction in the Last Mythal trilogy may or may not have made use of these powers (I don't recall at the moment).

Lilten will be revealed one of these days. We'll see.

quote:
#2 - I recall that Tyr and Bane once fought over Hoar. Does Hoar granting spells in Helm's name represent an attempt to escape Bane's rule and become more neutral, or even good?
That's a very optimistic way of looking at it. Vengeance and Shadowbane both interpret Hoar's influence in a considerably darker way--that he has subsumed and perverted the ways of justice.

quote:
#3 - How on earth was Vaelis not dead, when his death is what caused the crack in the sword?
Ah, but was it actually his death that caused the crack in the sword? The sword cracked along with Kalen's heart, which happened when Kalen *thought* Vaelis was dead. Whether Vaelis actually was dead is another question.

Also, even if he did die, there *is* resurrection magic in the world.

Also, remember who/what Vaelis serves in EoJ.

There are plenty of ways to look at it, but if you want what really happened (pending any contrary reveal): Vaelis was mortally wounded, but Kirenkirsalai whisked him away on the brink of death to use him for a greater purpose later on. Kire has "enhanced" Vaelis the same way vampires did so in Westgate before the fall of the Night Masks. If this were a 3.5 game, Vaelis would be a Night Mask Deathbringer (see Champions of Ruin).

quote:
#4 - Is Kirenkirsalai really serving Shar, or his own ends? He seems to dearly love Myrin and want her back, but if she truly holds a vestige of Mystra, his goddess Shar will want her dead. I'm guessing that this is how Shar has been blocking Mystra's resurrection all these years, by sending her minions to kill any mortal that Mystra may have hidden a piece of her divine essence in.
Mystra, eh? What makes you think Kirenkirsalai "loves" her?

Great theory, though. Were I you, I would not abandon that line of thinking.

quote:
#5 - I noticed that when Kirensirsalai threatened Fayne, Lilten uttered a prayer to Erevan Ilesere, describing himself as a wayward servant, I think. Why not pray to Beshaba?
He referred to himself as a "lapsed servant," in fact.

Most people in the Realms pray to many deities--a priest of Torm might offer a prayer to Tempus when heading off to war or to Sune to bless courting lovers. A body is as likely to pray to Tymora or Beshaba to bless someone with good luck--either to have Tymora smile or Beshaba turn away from an effort. As for why Lilten prays to Erevan at this moment, perhaps it's because a prayer to Erevan for aid is much more appropriate in this case than a prayer to Beshaba NOT to hurt Ilira. It could be irony. Also, he's a complex man with complex loyalties--perhaps this is an indication he hasn't entirely abandoned his former patron?

quote:
#6 - Is Myrin meant to be bisexual, or just attracted to Ilira because of her spellscar?
Yes and no. There's clearly some sexual tension between them--we'll see where that goes. "Bisexual" as a label doesn't really exist in the Realms. People in the Realms are much more open to sexual expression of various kinds without being rigidly defined in particular groups. That said, yes, there's some queer business going on in this story, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Myrin and Ilira's relationship deepen. Part of that is attraction, and part of that is that eventually Myrin is the first non-shadovar person in a century that Ilira can actually touch without hurting.

Their spellscars are indeed a connection between them, but it's mostly Myrin's scar that attracts other scarred people (it does the same thing to Kalen). She isn't necessarily drawn to them in the same way.

quote:
#7 - Does the conclusion of your saga depend on what WOTC does with 5E, or do you have your own goals in mind?
Yes and yes. WotC's direction has already shaped my story, but I do have an endgame planned. We'll see how things shake out.

And, of course, there's no guarantee at the moment there will even be more Shadowbane books. If you're invested in the story and really want to see it continue, talk it up, tell your friends, post reviews online (particularly on Amazon), and send your feedback to WotC.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Lilianviaten
Senior Scribe

487 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2012 :  15:27:55  Show Profile Send Lilianviaten a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I will certainly write you a top notch Amazon review, sir. I very much appreciate your answers, but now I have even more questions.

SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS

#1 - Have you and Ed coordinated at all on your storylines? The book details Manshoon's takeover of the Night Masks and alludes to his current adventures in Cormyr. Also, with what appears to be the interaction of Shar and Mystra, albeit indirectly, I figured you guys might have discussed that.

#2 - What exactly did Halaster do to Myrin? Ilira assures her that she's a real person, and not a construct of any sort. But Fayne assured her in Downshadow that she is a goddess. Lilten and Kirenkirsalai seem to be the only ones who really know what she is.

#3 - Why do so many servants of Shar appear to be working at cross ends? Kirenkirsalai worships Shar and wants to capture Myrin. Hessar, despite being a somewhat flippant servant, at least worked for Shar at some point. He wants to capture Myrin also. Ilira vigorously opposes them, despite being a servant of Netheril (she doesn't really appear to worship Shar though; doesn't she worship Erevan Ilesere?). In Shadowbane, Sithe worshipped Shar, but seemed to like and respect Myrin. Finally, the tavern girl in Downshadow mentions that the monastery where Rath was trained was dedicated to entropy or something like that. It definitely sounded Sharran, but he worked for Lilten and did not seem to want to hurt Myrin. Unlike the others, he was also oblivious to what makes her so special. Does he actually worship Shar? And which of these people actually work as Shar's servants, as opposed to paying lip service while doing their own thing?

Btw, I really enjoy that about your work. Your portrayal of the gods is as realistic as it gets. Eden and Lilten were working at cross ends and both thought Beshaba supported them. Kalen has no idea who he's actually worshipping/receiving powers from. Vaelis, Kalen, and Rhett are all chosen by the same sword. Besides the confusion of trying to carry out a god's will without knowing what that is, there is also the theme of the "lapsed servant". Shar would have hated how Sithe helped Kalen regain his confidence and find greater favor with his god. Lilten is a turncloak. I don't know if Rath turned his back on his goddess, but he killed his whole monastery. Hessar seemed to have betrayed Shar's worship to some degree, by his own admission. In real life, even if you dedicate yourself to a set of ideals, sometimes you do change your mind about what you believed, and sometimes you find it hard to live up to your own ideals. So, great job portrayed the real difficulties of living your life by a strict code.

#4 - Is anyone in this series beyond redemption? Fayne was portrayed as cold hearted in Downshadow, but there just might be help for her yet. Ilira seems cold, but that's more of an artificial hardness to keep people at bay. I would say that Lilten and Kirenkirsalai are the only ones who are pure evil. Maybe Rath, but he strikes me as more like Artemis Entreri. He hates himself and thinks that bringing misery to others will ease his pain. But old Artemis is coming around, and even Erevis Cale found redemption, so I will hold out hope for him.

#4 - Do Lilten and Kirenkirsalai play this game of wit out of habit for their past friendship/rivalry? Or are they, like archwizards, afriad that a clash between them might bring way too much attention and end in mutual destruction? (due to their great personal power). Vampire Lords aren't as mighty as archwizards, but I'm unaware if Kirenkirsalai has powers given to him by Shar also.

#5 - Finally, wasn't Cythara a cultist of Graz'zt? I think Graz'zt could possibly be Lilten's father. I considered Demogorgon too, since one of his priests kidnapped Ilira, but I think if Demogorgon was his father, Lilten would probably be bipolar. He's very charming and debonair, in a way that reminds me of Graz'zt.
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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2012 :  17:30:43  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always assumed Rath was a Monk of the Long Death, or part of a monastic order that stemmed from the Monks of the Long Death.

Also, I don't view Lilten as much "evil" as I do "cold and calculating."

Errant d20 Designer - My Blog (last updated January 06, 2016)

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back. --Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

"Mmm, not the darkness," Myrin murmured. "Don't cast it there." --Erik Scott de Bie, Shadowbane

* My character sheets (PFRPG, 3.5, and AE versions; not viewable in Internet Explorer)
* Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (PFRPG OGL Rules)
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* 3.5 D&D Archives

My game design work:
* Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG, conversion; Rite Publishing)
* Compendium Arcanum Volume 1: Cantrips & Orisons (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Compendium Arcanum Volume 2: 1st-Level Spells (PFRPG, designer; d20pfsrd.com Publishing)
* Martial Arts Guidebook (forthcoming) (PFRPG, designer; Rite Publishing)

Edited by - Hawkins on 28 Sep 2012 17:31:52
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2012 :  18:54:14  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Answers below:

SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS



quote:
Originally posted by Lilianviaten

#1 - Have you and Ed coordinated at all on your storylines? The book details Manshoon's takeover of the Night Masks and alludes to his current adventures in Cormyr. Also, with what appears to be the interaction of Shar and Mystra, albeit indirectly, I figured you guys might have discussed that.
I have Ed's personal email and he and I have discussed numerous matters related to Shadowbane on occasion. In particular, Myrin and her significance in the greater picture. So yes, there are plans swirling around.

My technique of writing in the Realms actively puts in references to other works in the setting--for instance, the assortment of chapbooks in Downshadow, the discussion of the Five Captains and the history of Luskan in Shadowbane, the Mask Dance in the "Heir of Shadowbane" e-story (which you should read if you haven't!), or a discussion of the Night Masks in Westgate, etc. Elaine actually wrote a piece of poetry I attributed to Danilo Thann in Downshadow. Some of that comes from working with other authors directly, and some of it is just admiration of their work.

quote:
#2 - What exactly did Halaster do to Myrin? Ilira assures her that she's a real person, and not a construct of any sort. But Fayne assured her in Downshadow that she is a goddess. Lilten and Kirenkirsalai seem to be the only ones who really know what she is.
This hasn't been revealed/sorted out yet, so I'll tip-toe around the issue. Fayne *joked* with Myrin that she was a goddess or--more accurately--had part of a goddess in her. Myrin *is* a real person (as confirmed by the fact that she had an early life, even if she doesn't remember it). Halaster was somehow involved in her early life, but not in the way it might seem.

And I would go out on a limb to say that while Kire and Lilten (and now Ilira and Myrin herself) all know WHO Myrin is, only Lilten actually knows WHAT she is.

quote:
#3 - Why do so many servants of Shar appear to be working at cross ends?
For exactly the reasons you express. In the Realms, everyone knows that the gods exist, everyone worships the gods, and everyone thinks they know what the gods want (but no one really does except the gods). There are lots of ways of serving them, and mortals are constantly grinding against each other in their zeal to serve the ends of the same gods. Let's see if we can't pase some of these loyalties.

quote:
Kirenkirsalai worships Shar and wants to capture Myrin.
Kire doesn't really do more than pay lip service to Shar, if that. He's out for himself and is pursuing Myrin for his own ends.

quote:
Hessar, despite being a somewhat flippant servant, at least worked for Shar at some point. He wants to capture Myrin also.
...
Hessar seemed to have betrayed Shar's worship to some degree, by his own admission.
Hessar is a tough nut to crack, but it's true, his loyalties are to himself first, Shar second, Netheril third. He isn't really all that interested in Myrin--his main priority is serving (or at least appearing to serve) Kirenkirsalai. He ultimately tries to kill Myrin in order to keep Kire from getting what he wants, and also because he really, really hates her for humiliating him. He does have a history with Ilira, presumably from when (he claims) she served Netheril. See below!

quote:
Ilira vigorously opposes them, despite being a servant of Netheril (she doesn't really appear to worship Shar though; doesn't she worship Erevan Ilesere?).
Ilira's past hasn't been revealed, but it has been CLAIMED that she used to be a servant of Shar--specifically, an assassin called Shadowfox. This would have been during the quiet century, which was *after* Ilira served Erevan actively as a divine seeker. This may or may not be true.

I will say that a particularly dark tragedy did happen in Ilira's past, ending her adventuring career and *perhaps* pushing her into Shar's arms for a time. But that's a story for another time.

On this question, a particularly important moment is Lilten and Ilira's interaction wherein he says to her "I am hardly the only one who has betrayed the Fey Trickster" (a reference to Erevan) and indicates her tattoo, and then that "One might say that my betrayal is the lesser offense."

The implication here is that Ilira turned her back on Erevan just like Lilten did, only that her betrayal is much worse.

Ilira never confirms that she worked for Netheril, worshipped Shar, or turned her back on Erevan--all of that is just rumor from the other characters. Time will tell.

quote:
In Shadowbane, Sithe worshipped Shar, but seemed to like and respect Myrin.
...
Shar would have hated how Sithe helped Kalen regain his confidence and find greater favor with his god.
I didn't get into Sithe's faith too much, but she did indeed worship Shar in the past. It's unclear whether in the novel she's still an active follower of Shar, though indeed, her actions both seem to confirm and deny. So what do you think is the truth? Is she a lapsed servant looking for some kind of redemption by training Kalen, or is she an active priestess serving Shar's best interests by molding him into a destroyer?

quote:
Finally, the tavern girl in Downshadow mentions that the monastery where Rath was trained was dedicated to entropy or something like that. It definitely sounded Sharran, but he worked for Lilten and did not seem to want to hurt Myrin. Unlike the others, he was also oblivious to what makes her so special. Does he actually worship Shar?
...
I don't know if Rath turned his back on his goddess, but he killed his whole monastery.
I hope to reveal more about this one day, but generally speaking, Rath is not a terribly religious person. He believes in the gods, sure, but has nothing but contempt for them, as evidenced by his discussion with the dwarves in Downshadow. His monastery did indeed have something to do with Shar, but I'll save that for a future novel.

quote:
And which of these people actually work as Shar's servants, as opposed to paying lip service while doing their own thing?
Ironically, Hessar is probably the most reverent servant of Shar. Sithe and Rath both serve Shar's ends, but their path is decidedly more spiritual than religious. Kire uses shadowdancing powers, but he is not religious. Ilira doesn't serve Shar any more, if she ever actually did.

quote:
Btw, I really enjoy that about your work. Your portrayal of the gods is as realistic as it gets. Eden and Lilten were working at cross ends and both thought Beshaba supported them. Kalen has no idea who he's actually worshipping/receiving powers from. Vaelis, Kalen, and Rhett are all chosen by the same sword. Besides the confusion of trying to carry out a god's will without knowing what that is, there is also the theme of the "lapsed servant".
Glad you like how I handle faith. Sure, the gods of the Realms are real and concrete, but that doesn't mean that mortals understand them any better than we understand religious figures/concepts in our own world. I want to get away from the concept that "everyone knows" a god values/works for XXXXX . . . or more accurately, sometimes what "everyone knows" isn't quite correct.

And I wouldn't say Kalen has "no idea" about what deity he serves. He definitely believes he is following the Threefold God generally, Helm specifically. And Vengeance is definitely following Hoar, and Mercy definitely following Tyr. Vindicator just isn't necessarily specific to any particular deity. It's a tool that can be used for good or for evil.

quote:
In real life, even if you dedicate yourself to a set of ideals, sometimes you do change your mind about what you believed, and sometimes you find it hard to live up to your own ideals. So, great job portrayed the real difficulties of living your life by a strict code.
Very much so. And thanks!

quote:
#4 - Is anyone in this series beyond redemption? Fayne was portrayed as cold hearted in Downshadow, but there just might be help for her yet. Ilira seems cold, but that's more of an artificial hardness to keep people at bay. I would say that Lilten and Kirenkirsalai are the only ones who are pure evil.
I don't believe in "pure good" or "pure evil." I write in shades of gray. Heroes shouldn't do good just because it's good, and villains shouldn't do evil for its own sake. Every character has (sometimes noble, sometimes nefarious) reasons for doing what he or she does--it's the character's *actions* that are good or evil.

This vision sort of fits in with the work of such writers as George R.R. Martin or one of my good friends, Paul S. Kemp (whose Erevis Cale books are a masterclass in shades of gray).

So no, no characters in the series are beyond redemption. Some of them are absolutely not interested in redemption--in fact, they don't believe they need such a thing, because they are so convinced they're doing the right thing. For instance, Fayne is driven to have justice (or is it vengeance?) on Ilira for killing her mother (which Ilira definitely did), and she believes that Ilira is a far worse monster than she could ever be.

Kire is probably the closest you get to "pure evil," but he has the added hindrance of being a monster, rather than a humanoid character. He's a vampire, with all the emotional baggage and "heart of darkness" that goes along with that. I tend to write vampires as ruthless destructive monsters, incapable of human empathy or feeling. (No sparkly vamps here!)

As for Lilten, Hawkins has the right of it--"cold and calculating" is my intention. And Lilten has a motivation for all that he does, too, and it has rather a lot to do with Ilira. Back in Shadowbane, did you notice how he interacted with Eden? That's somewhat telling.

quote:
Maybe Rath, but he strikes me as more like Artemis Entreri. He hates himself and thinks that bringing misery to others will ease his pain. But old Artemis is coming around, and even Erevis Cale found redemption, so I will hold out hope for him.
I plan to have Rath return, in all his self-loathing, barely-repressed, homicidal glory. We'll see.

quote:
#4 - Do Lilten and Kirenkirsalai play this game of wit out of habit for their past friendship/rivalry? Or are they, like archwizards, afriad that a clash between them might bring way too much attention and end in mutual destruction? (due to their great personal power). Vampire Lords aren't as mighty as archwizards, but I'm unaware if Kirenkirsalai has powers given to him by Shar also.
Yes and yes. Neither of them is an archwizard. In fact, Lilten is a bard (with some skill in cleric, rogue, and fighter) and Kire is a fighter/rogue type (and a vampire lord besides).

quote:
#5 - Finally, wasn't Cythara a cultist of Graz'zt? I think Graz'zt could possibly be Lilten's father. I considered Demogorgon too, since one of his priests kidnapped Ilira, but I think if Demogorgon was his father, Lilten would probably be bipolar. He's very charming and debonair, in a way that reminds me of Graz'zt.
Yes, Cythara was indeed a cultist of Graz'zt. Lilten's shared characteristics with Graz'zt are not accidental, though that doesn't necessarily make him the son of Graz'zt. His actual parentage has yet to be revealed.

I will say this much: Lilten is *not* the son of Demogorgon.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
483 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2012 :  18:04:24  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've just finished reading Shadowbane and Eye of Justice (and the extra side-stories).

Some comments:



SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS





In Shadowbane I really liked how Kalen got Vindicator back. I was getting worried that he would never wield it again.

I admit that at one point during Eye of Justice my head was spinning trying to figure out who was on which side. While I was reading I couldn't figure out which "chess" pieces represented which character.

I'm with Kalen, I hope Hoar isn't the third part of the three-fold god.

I kind of agree that I think the enmities at the end of the book seemed a bit forced. I can see why there's problems between Ilira and Kalen, but I didn't like how Rhett started to hate what Kalen had become so much that he would kill them in their next confrontation. I'm not sure if this is the right interpretation, but did Rhett kind of worship Kalen like some kind of righteous hero and was then shocked to see his brutality when facing Vhaelis, and its part of this shock that makes him say that he would kill Valen the next time they met? It still seems kind of harsh.

During Eye of Justice (and with the events in Shadowbane) Kalen tells Levia that he's no longer a Paladin. Is this true? Personally, I'm hoping for some kind of redemption where he gets his Paladin powers back (or where he at least starts considering himself a Paladin again).

Just one final question: I know a bit about the history of the Night Masks from looking around the internet, but are there any novels that people should have read to understand a bit more about the backstory of Westgate? While I was reading this scroll it also looked like there was some additional info out there about Ilira (I know that there's the Fox-at-Twilight chapbooks mentioned in Downshadow, but are those chapbook stories available for us (the reader) to read?

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".

Edited by - Tanthalas on 11 Dec 2012 18:05:02
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2012 :  07:30:54  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tanthalas, I want you to know I will be getting to your questions when I get a chance!

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 14 Dec 2012 :  23:04:25  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hail and well met, all!

Before I get to Tanthalas's questions, let me clarify something: The Shadowbane saga is not a trilogy. It's an ongoing series that will go on as long as you guys enjoy the books and keep calling for them. If you feel strongly about it and want to support the ongoing series, check out some simple steps you can take to show your support (only one of which actually involves buying copies): http://erikscottdebie.com/shadowbane/support-shadowbane-2/


SPOILERS abound


quote:
Originally posted by Tanthalas

In Shadowbane I really liked how Kalen got Vindicator back. I was getting worried that he would never wield it again.
Glad you liked how that went down. Kalen's faith is a constant struggle for him, and how he relates to Vindicator is a barometer of where he is on his path. He voluntarily relinquishes it at the end of the book, but that doesn't mean he won't wield it again. As Myrin said to him in the previous novel, the sword chose Kalen, and he can no more run from it than he can survive without breathing.

quote:
I admit that at one point during Eye of Justice my head was spinning trying to figure out who was on which side. While I was reading I couldn't figure out which "chess" pieces represented which character.
That was indeed purposeful--I hope it became clear in the end. One way of reading it is that the white sorceress is Myrin, the white knight Kalen, the black reaver Ilira, the white jester Brace, the white priestess Levia, the black sorcerer Hessar, and then the black knight Vengeance and the white bladesinger Rujia. Though you COULD see Kalen as the black knight and Mercy as the white knight. It's a metaphor, really.

(Easter egg: See how the reaver is described just before part three: anyone notice how it resembles a certain D&D mini? That's the mini I use to represent Ilira when I use her as a NPC in my game.)

quote:
I'm with Kalen, I hope Hoar isn't the third part of the three-fold god.
It remains to be seen, I suppose. The Threefold God is a heresy, but there seems to be some truth to it. It's a kind of triad for 4e. The matters of the gods are supposed to be above human comprehension--it's really all about what the individual mortals believe.

quote:
I kind of agree that I think the enmities at the end of the book seemed a bit forced. I can see why there's problems between Ilira and Kalen
Ilira's enmity toward Kalen actually has more to do with her than with him. She has a vast pool of self-loathing and generalized rage, and Kalen makes a convenient target for it.

quote:
but I didn't like how Rhett started to hate what Kalen had become so much that he would kill them in their next confrontation.
Well, in the heat of the moment, we often say things we really don't mean, and I'd hesitate to ascribe hatred to Rhett. It was more like he was totally broken hearted and assuring Kalen that it would be his duty to destroy him if they had to fight. I don't think Rhett hates Kalen, partly because . . .

quote:
I'm not sure if this is the right interpretation, but did Rhett kind of worship Kalen like some kind of righteous hero
Absolutely that's correct. Rhett has a severe case of hero-worship for Kalen, and that scene in the inn when Kalen unleashed his full fury on Vaelis violently ended Rhett's belief in Kalen's perfection.

quote:
and was then shocked to see his brutality when facing Vhaelis, and its part of this shock that makes him say that he would kill Valen the next time they met?
Kinda.

Here's how I explained it to another reader. Picture this: Luke Skywalker (good-hearted young hero) sees Obi-Wan Kenobi (beloved mentor who can do no wrong) facing Darth Vader (his former apprentice turned to evil). Instead of seeing Obi-Wan sacrifice himself to protect his friends, instead he channels the dark side and brutally hacks Darth Vader to pieces, hesitating to kill him only when Luke himself shouts "No!" See how that works?

quote:
During Eye of Justice (and with the events in Shadowbane) Kalen tells Levia that he's no longer a Paladin. Is this true? Personally, I'm hoping for some kind of redemption where he gets his Paladin powers back (or where he at least starts considering himself a Paladin again).
Mechanically, Kalen is an Avenger (a 4e class) which is similar to a paladin but notably less noble and more focused on inflicting punishment. This isn't necessarily the way he will stay, and redemption is a huge thing in my books. Keep reading!

quote:
Just one final question: I know a bit about the history of the Night Masks from looking around the internet, but are there any novels that people should have read to understand a bit more about the backstory of Westgate?
I suggest Azure Bonds and Masquerades (both by Jeff Grubb) as well as the 2e sourcebook "Cloak and Dagger" and the 3.x books Lords of Darkness and Champions of Ruin.

quote:
While I was reading this scroll it also looked like there was some additional info out there about Ilira (I know that there's the Fox-at-Twilight chapbooks mentioned in Downshadow, but are those chapbook stories available for us (the reader) to read?
They exist in my head at the moment. Maybe someday I'll write them.

The closest we come at the moment is Depths of Madness, which covers the events depicted in the chapbook "Fox in the Anauroch."

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 15 Dec 2012 :  14:53:25  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ahhh thanks for the Spoilers warning. Leaving scroll now.
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Tanthalas
Senior Scribe

Portugal
483 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2012 :  17:12:44  Show Profile Send Tanthalas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the explanations.

Sir Markham pointed out, drinking another brandy. "A chap who can point at you and say 'die' has the distinct advantage".
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1172 Posts

Posted - 13 Apr 2013 :  23:28:34  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spoilers for the both Shadowbane and SBEOJ

Okay awesome novels.

First guess Kire is really Neveren, after all Neveren I believe was one of those who fought the vampire night masks so it makes sense he could have been bitten.

My guess is the duel between Neveren and Ilra was after he became a vampire and Shalis blamed Ilra at one time for getting Neveren invovled in the fight with the nightmasks.

Two I'm totally on Myrin's side on the issue of Kalen. I'm on Ilra's side and hope she gets the Myrin. Kalen can have his mentor.

I hope to see Shalis' powers in action during one of Myrin's stolen memories as a Celebrant of Sharess I'm curious how her powers work in action,does she channel them like a Cleric, a Bard, or a Warlock?

Although I'm surprised you had Shalis as a Mulan as I would think Glorious Sevitors of Bast would be more common in Mulan, where as Celebrants of Sharess along with Dancers of Sharess and Mystic Wonders would be more common on the Sword Coast.

I also like how you use Myrin's memory stealing to explore other characters including those who are already dead.

Another guess Myrin's former doppelganger lover was the originally Night Mask leader, who didn't die after all, but fled instead before the guy with the mask (forget his name) came along to lead the Night Masks before it was taken over by vampire Manshoon.

Just a thought, but the three fold god reminds me of the Dupari idea of the Adama which is the Godhead which all the Gods are part of.

Could Gedrin has borrowed a warped verson of Adama?

Also I'm assuming that Vindicator is a Holy Avenger, so perhaps any Paladin (or Avenger) can use it?

I love the Ebook format and I especially like how in Shadowbane they really used the medium to its advantage with samples from other novels and the bonus short story. I read SBEOJ in McDonalds beside a mock fireplace drink soda :D
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2013 :  20:14:59  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great theories, Gyor! I hope you'll forgive me if I can neither confirm not deny.

Glad you enjoy! If you haven't checked out all the supplemental Shadowbane material available, check out http://erikscottdebie.com/Shadowbane

Regarding Kirenkirsalai, I wrote a Backdrop: Westgate article for WotC a few months back, which I hope will be published on DDI eventually. It has more to reveal on the subject.

A couple teasing replies:


Spoilers for the both Shadowbane and SBEOJ to follow!


quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

I'm totally on Myrin's side on the issue of Kalen. I'm on Ilra's side and hope she gets the Myrin.
Well, in my work no one really "gets the girl" because no one is just a prize to be won. But yeah, at the end of SB: EOJ, Myrin is definitely with Ilira, not with Kalen.

quote:
Kalen can have his mentor.
And she carries such a torch for him, too! I'm not sure he feels that way about her, but who knows as time unfolds?

quote:
I hope to see Shalis' powers in action during one of Myrin's stolen memories as a Celebrant of Sharess I'm curious how her powers work in action,does she channel them like a Cleric, a Bard, or a Warlock?
Depends what edition we're talking, but she's mostly like a bard. That whole configuration of characters would be fun to explore.

quote:
Although I'm surprised you had Shalis as a Mulan as I would think Glorious Sevitors of Bast would be more common in Mulan, where as Celebrants of Sharess along with Dancers of Sharess and Mystic Wonders would be more common on the Sword Coast.
That was purposeful, actually, because Bast and Sharess are basically the same goddess. Shalis grew up venerating Bast by that name but when she moved to Faerun, she found her goddess waiting by a different name.

quote:
I also like how you use Myrin's memory stealing to explore other characters including those who are already dead.
It's a unique opportunity that I love taking advantage of. Myrin has a big backstory, and I don't know if we'll see all of it. She's every bit as experienced and storied as Ilira ever was as the Fox-at-Twilight, and every bit as mysterious.

quote:
Another guess Myrin's former doppelganger lover was the originally Night Mask leader, who didn't die after all, but fled instead before the guy with the mask (forget his name) came along to lead the Night Masks before it was taken over by vampire Manshoon.
Perhaps. The concept for Umbra actually originates from an actual campaign where I played Myrin (in her former incarnation) as a PC. He was a pretty neat (and deadly) character.

quote:
Just a thought, but the three fold god reminds me of the Dupari idea of the Adama which is the Godhead which all the Gods are part of.

Could Gedrin has borrowed a warped verson of Adama?
Quite possible. The Threefold God is kind of a 4e Triad, which is a concept that's been around a long time.

We don't know Gedrin's backstory that well, though one can extrapolate who his mother was (someone of import). His father is a mystery.

quote:
Also I'm assuming that Vindicator is a Holy Avenger, so perhaps any Paladin (or Avenger) can use it?
Similar concept, not the same mechanics. In 4e terms, Vindicator is a powerful Vigilant Blade. As we've seen, it can be used by people of various alignments, seemingly molding itself and its powers to that cause. The unifying traits appear to be powerful religious faith and a focus on retributive action (justice, vengeance, mercy, etc).

quote:
I love the Ebook format and I especially like how in Shadowbane they really used the medium to its advantage with samples from other novels and the bonus short story. I read SBEOJ in McDonalds beside a mock fireplace drink soda :D

Glad it works for you. It wasn't actually my choice to go ebook-only--WotC sprang that on me after the books were already written. And while the sales figures are lower than print-also books, they've been steady and increasing. Ebooks are here to stay.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2013 :  03:05:04  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote:

In long, there's a particular power old school 4e assassins (the shadow-wielding sort, not the executioner build) that harms with the shadow of the blade, rather than the blade itself. It's called "Inescapable Blade." And that's what she used in this instance.

Source?

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 22 Oct 2013 03:08:37
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2013 :  07:40:35  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The initial 4e Assassin class release in Dragon 379. It's a D&D Insider exclusive, mostly accessible through the 4e character builder.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1944 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2013 :  10:05:02  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Eric.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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geok1ng
Acolyte

Brazil
9 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2013 :  18:52:06  Show Profile  Visit geok1ng's Homepage Send geok1ng a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I congratule eric scott de brie for the excellent work on shadowbane and to a lesser degree, eye of justice. You really did great with the dialogue between shadowbane and the shar follower. It is always a trick subject to bring a religion background to define a character but the result was nothing short of amazing. please forgive me if i was sceptical on the future of shadowbane after the first novel, but now i am looking forward for the sequel. keep up the good work and make us feel elated again. "my faith is stronger than yours" is the new motto.
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2013 :  19:15:16  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi geok1ng,

I think you're referring to Sithe in SHADOWBANE? One of my favorite characters.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Indeed, Sharrans play some small role in the books, and they're an aspect I really liked writing.

If you want to read the full series, check out my website for a reading order.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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huskyshops
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  09:08:41  Show Profile Send huskyshops a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Erik:

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. Fayne is supposedly a feyri but is the daughter of two gold elves- specifically lilten and cythara. Moreover, ilira is hated by fayne for killing Cythara something that lead to the death of yldar as well- yet cythara was the one referred to as the demoness. What am I missing here- how is Fayne a feyri?

Thanks!

W
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  16:32:14  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met, HS!

quote:
Originally posted by huskyshops

Fayne is supposedly a feyri but is the daughter of two gold elves- specifically lilten and cythara. Moreover, ilira is hated by fayne for killing Cythara something that lead to the death of yldar as well- yet cythara was the one referred to as the demoness. What am I missing here- how is Fayne a feyri?
This hasn't been fully revealed yet, so this isn't a complete answer. As far as we know, Cythara is just a sun elf--a demon priestess but still mortal. Lilten, however, is far from a mere sun elf. His full name, as used by Ilira in SB:EOJ, is Lilianviaten Dlardrageth, which is the name of a certain ancient house of Daemonfey, and he himself talks about being thousands of years old, his childhood in Siluvanede, etc, see chapter eight. Meaning that he is probably either a feyri or a full on half-fiend sun elf (not entirely clear). So any child of his could certainly be a feyri.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14197 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2017 :  02:44:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finally picked this up today on Amazon (and I had to jump through hoops, because I DON'T own a Kindle, and in order to get the Kindle reader they want your cell number, which I NEVER give out).

Anyhow, only up to chapter three, and so far so good. I'll post a review on Amazon when I'm done.

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

Spoilers Chap 1-3
Man..I think I have a new favorite Realms character.
Yaeshl the Ripper....it took Shadowbane and Fox to fell him!
You liked that guy, did you? I wonder if that was intentional.

quote:
How did Fox's rapier render him unconscious(didnt Fox take his pulse and say she thought he'd make it?) without the tip touching him?
In short, shadow magic.

In long, there's a particular power old school 4e assassins (the shadow-wielding sort, not the executioner build) that harms with the shadow of the blade, rather than the blade itself. It's called "Inescapable Blade." And that's what she used in this instance.

quote:
Hopefully we haven't seen the last of Yaeshl and Old Man Tay.
They're very minor characters (and might be dead after that scene), so I don't leave much room in the rest of the novel for them to show up again, but never say never!

Ohhhhh, Erik... you made me a BAD GUY.

And here I thought I was going to be some kindly and helpful sage...


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


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Feb 2017 08:10:40
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