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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 04 Nov 2019 :  11:15:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On enclaves of Eilistraee:


Oct 20, 2019


@LysbethRaven
Are there any enclaves, major or minor, of the Dark Dancer still in Faerun, or have they all been killed off?


@TheEdVerse
There are indeed enclaves left. Here are some (not an exhaustive list) as of the 1480s DR:

Major: Ardeepforest, easternmost central High Forest, in the depths of the Yuirwood, and in the eastern Chondalwood.

Minor: Hullack Forest, Methwood, Shaarwood, northernmost Forest of Mir, the Forgotten Forest, and in the forest across Lake Ashane from Immilmar.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven
Are any of these permanent settlements or are they roaming tribes? And if they are perm, what are they like and what are they composed of?


@TheEdVerse
They are permanent, and consist of tree-homes (a few hollow, and a few having root-caves beneath, and tunnels to outlying trees). Most have devotees who live scattered in the surrounding forest, but gather frequently at the enclave.
#Realmslore

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Steven Schend
Forgotten Realms Designer & Author

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2019 :  19:05:54  Show Profile  Visit Steven Schend's Homepage  Send Steven Schend a Yahoo! Message Send Steven Schend a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

On the horde invasion:

@TheEdVerse
Hi. I had nothing to do with that storyline, which was hatched in-house. My guess is that the TSR designers of the time who were history buffs (Zeb Cook and Doug Niles) thought that putting a horde sweeping across the “civilized” lands and having to be fought by a hasty alliance of realms (echoing the real-life Genghis Khan) would make a great story. But it’s just a guess on my part.
#Realmslore



That guess would be exactly correct, as I (a TSR staffer at that time) recall this as the impetus for both The Horde and Maztica from Zeb & Doug respectively

Steven

For current projects and general natter, see www.steveneschend.com
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
976 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2019 :  21:02:00  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Horde worked as a RSE, I enjoyed that and it at least brought some light on the far eastern realms that was pretty blank. Maztica was just unnecessary, in my humble opinion.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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32527 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2019 :  00:00:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

The Horde worked as a RSE, I enjoyed that and it at least brought some light on the far eastern realms that was pretty blank. Maztica was just unnecessary, in my humble opinion.



I liked the Horde storyline, especially because it was an RSE that didn't threaten to blow up the setting and that wasn't forgotten about when the next RSE started a week later.

I've never touched Maztica for two reasons: what I've seen of it was too much of a rip-off of real-world history, and because Doug Niles was the author. When I first read the Moonshae trilogy, I could not finish those books fast enough -- because I couldn't wait to be reading anything else but those books. I did like the Druidhome trilogy a lot more, but when Maztica came out, the only other Doug Niles fiction I could look at was enough to scare me away.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Nov 2019 00:02:04
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1903 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2019 :  14:07:14  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I liked the Horde storyline, especially because it was an RSE that didn't threaten to blow up the setting and that wasn't forgotten about when the next RSE started a week later.

And that's why they say "We should stop lowering the bar for good news."

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:41:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Zotha:


Nov 25, 2019


@Tiberius7771
I don't see much in the way of lore when it comes to Zotha. Can you impart any thing about its form or relationship with Asgorath? Ty


@TheEdVerse

Like most of what happened long, long ago, sentients alive today know little—and even less they can trust—of beings and events in the remote past. So take what I say here with a generous handful of salt.

Except this: there is almost no Zotha lore, published in our real world or known in Toril today.

Right, here we go…some priesthoods, elder dragons, and sages believe that Zotha was a huge, flying being that in outward form resembled a real-world manta ray (having a flat, roughly-diamond-shaped body of two ‘wings’ depending out from a central body with a maw at the front, and a long, long tail at the back). Zotha was sentient, strong-willed, and among the early deities of Toril was nicknamed ‘the Devourer’ because in their belief (passed on by Asgorath?) Zotha created life and non-living things from the raw dust and energies of the Void purely to play with and then consume, whereupon it would create anew.

There were other Creator entities in existence in the vast Void, including Asgorath, who also created life and non-living things, and all of them tended to believe they held dominion over what they themselves had created.

But Zotha considered that all creations were for it to toy with, alter, and ultimately devour. Including Asgorath’s creation, Toril—but when Zotha sought to devour Toril, Asgorath defended Toril, at first by shielding it, and then by destroying Zotha, rending Zotha into many small, raw fragments. Some of these Asgorath consumed, so Zotha could never be reborn, but others fell onto Toril and seared their ways down into the deep places of Toril, where in time they became creatures that would in turn evolve into illithids and others (neogi? Beholders?).

I stress again that all of this is disputed and secondhand; no mortals alive today can know the truth of what befell in times so ancient. But some gods told versions of this tale to their priests in centuries agone, so these stories were set down, and passed down, and we have them now.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:41:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Neverwintan cuisine:


Nov 26, 2019


@PawnRenegade

Hi @TheEdVerse, I'm going to be playing a cook in a 5e campaign in the new year who's from Neverwinter. Are there any sources of what recipes/cuisine can be found in the city so that I can play my character more authentically?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, lore about the cuisine of the Moonstone Mask in particular. Let me summarize, because that lore amplifies the twin themes of local Neverwinter cuisine: fish and marine edibles in hot soups, sauces, and broths, and the serving of hot savoury pies and sweet dessert tarts.

Augmented by hot meat dishes (roast boar, fowl, and oxen cooked on spits) and crusty handloaves of bread spiced with garlic or nuts, and served with cheeses).

With sides such as fried dulce (seaweed), mushrooms doused in herb-and-garlic sauce, and scallions and fennel soaked in a parsley-and-mint chicken broth.

Popular examples of the marine viands: mussel-and-basil soup, chowders, turtle soup, and octopus broth. Places like the Mask would serve signature dishes like the Mask’s Daintyfish dish: twenty tiny fish known as silverflashes, slid onto a single skewer, dipped in herbed butter, and sizzled over a flame until crunchy.

The hot pies served in Neverwinter tended to be boar, veal, bacon and kidney (lamb’s kidneys preferred), chicken liver, or goat. Poorer folk ate eel pies, lamprey pies, fish pies, or rabbit pies.

Sweet pies were usually made and served in grander houses or commercial eateries, and were dominated by sugar and fruits, such as blackberry-and-apple pies, topped with cream and sliced almonds.

In inns, taverns, and the kitchens of private homes, small “hand tarts” (palm-sized) were usually produced, and these tended to have fillings of gooseberries, and almonds.

As a special treat, when chocolate was available, strawberries might be served, each fruit in a chilled chocolate coating.
Hope this is of help.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:42:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Veldorn in the home Realms:


Nov 27, 2019


@AdamDravian

Could you share what Veldorn is like in your home Realms? In your '86 Realms turnover, was it a land of monsters ruled by “beast chiefs” with a vampire overlord or were those aspects added by TSR?

Thanks, and I hope your recovery is going well.


@TheEdVerse

In my home Realms, Veldorn is indeed a land of monsters dwelling together with a hierarchy of overlords, sub-chiefs, and enforcers. (What TSR added was making the overlord a vampire.) This wasn’t in my initial turnover, but rather in one of the many, many followup phone calls with Jeff Grubb and others at TSR, and the sharings of lore that sprang from those.

What IS in the original turnover packages are a few notations on the maps that I amplified in the later conversations, that gave most of the sentient “monster” races in the game their own homelands or multiple ruled areas (not just humans, dwarves, and elves). [For example, north of the Moonsea, Mount Gaethluntar being noted as the home of the flind, and Thar as the “land of the beast-men” = ogres, these being human-drawn maps and reflecting human attitudes.]

My notion was that because of the nature of humans to dominate through conflict when they came into constant contact with other races, in terrain they wanted to occupy (as opposed to rugged mountains, or the bottom of the sea), such “monster kingdoms” would be in areas of the Realms either remote from the Sword Coast and Cormyr/Dalelands “human-settled-and-‘civilized’” foci of early Realmsplay, or in undesirable-to-humans terrain like swamps, mountains, really frigid wastes, and deserts.

TSR picked up this idea and ran with it (for example, where Troy Denning located the giant realms in his trilogy of novels), in part because it gave adventurers journeys (quests) to reach monster-ruled areas, where ruins or monster lairs could be located, full of treasure, without the question arising of why earlier adventurers hadn’t seized the treasure already, if it was just sitting there nearby, in relatively ‘safe’ areas. (I tackled this topic in another way by having the Chosen and servitors of Mystra tasked by Her with distributing spell scrolls, spellbooks, and magic items into tombs, ruins, and other places for ‘just anyone’ to find, so as to increase the widespread mortal use of magic.)

Veldorn was always ‘the Realm of Monsters’ because it was a land where all sorts of ‘beasts’ lived together in (relative) harmony, whereas around the edges of the map (Evermeet for the elves, Luiren for halflings, and so on) there were quite a few “one sort of monster rules here” places. I had hoped that Veldorn would be explored in print a lot more than it was, as a setting that encouraged adventuring (as, in another way, the Border Kingdoms and the Bandit Wastes/Bandit Kingdoms do), but there were always projects set elsewhere in the Realms to do first. I wanted Veldorn to have constant vying for power, without all that much open bloodshed, because those on top wanted to avoid a widespread bloodbath that would tear the realm apart in utter anarchy, and clamped down whenever anyone got too violent. Which would mean human adventurers, rather than getting torn apart on sight as undesirable intruders and/or prey, might be suffered to live longer as pawns, manipulated into doing the specific violence that monsters in their immediate vicinity wanted done, rather than the monsters themselves doing it and being punished for those deeds.

The beauty of it all, from a game designer's POV, was that I had gleaned this idea of "Here Be Monsters" in remote areas from ancient real-world maps and the fantasy genre (not just the modern sources, but Amadis of Gaul and all the other romances parodied in Don Quixote) when imagining the Realms before D&D or any other roleplaying games came along. It just seemed fitting that (aside from orcs and other marauders, who "came to you") heroes had to go on long, perilous journeys to reach lands ruled by 'Others.'
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:42:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some Sembian dungeons:


Nov 27, 2019


@garethgarfoot

Hello from England. Are there any famous/infamous "dungeons" or ruins in Sembia that might be shared? As always, best regards~ GG


@TheEdVerse

Certainly! The most infamous are in northern Sembia, in the forested hunting preserves of wealthy Sembians (many of whom have “country estates” with mansions or hunting lodges, some of which are castles in all but name).

Most are places where Sembians relax, drink and scheme with other wealthy Sembians, and hunt or fish—but there are quite a few ‘haunted’ and abandoned/ruined sites among them that opportunistic clever monsters, such as beholders, illithids, and doppelgangers, took over after their owners died. Sometimes these new dwellers install real or fake undead to ‘haunt’ the upper/outer areas of a ruin, to prevent other humans from taking over such properties, then use them as lairs…or even foment secret societies (of humans, in Sembian cities) to worship them (worship the ‘prime mover’ monsters, that is), using the country estate ruins as gathering places and the cultists as defenders (sometimes live-in defenders) to keep would-be new human owners at bay.

The existence of these ‘dungeons’ is overshadowed in public regard by the Ghost Holds in Battledale, but right now northern Sembia hosts at least seven: Alond’s Haven, Briarposts, Culark’s Hall, Faereld’s Hold, Landreltowers, Rurethtowers, and Yaeraunt’s Keep. To avoid a massive thread, I’ll tweet descriptions separately, under a SembiaSeven header.
#Realmslore


SembiaSeven 1:
Alond’s Haven: due east of Tasselheart, across the border into Sembia; an overgrown, tumbledown mansion of many wings and several collapsed towers and open-to-the-elements upper floors. Overrun by many spiders, some of them nigh-human-sized, and rumors say they’ve been assembled there, and bred, by something more sinister that now lairs there.
#Realmslore

SembiaSeven 2:
Briarposts: due east of Tegal’s Mark, just across the border into Sembia; a hunting lodge in a dark pine wood said to be haunted by dark, flying ‘clutching ghosts’ that may be cloakers or may be something more formidable, that serve a more powerful, spell-hurling resident. Latest rumor: whatever resides here is trading with drow and allowing them passage to the surface Realms through Briarposts (which is, as the name suggests, surrounded by extensive brambles).

SembiaSeven 3:
Culark’s Hall: due south of the southern edge of the easternmost Archwood, across the border into Sembia and across (so, south of) the overland road built to link Ordûlin and Archenbridge, in open, rolling farming country. The least overgrown and ruinous of these seven ‘dungeons.’ Over a decade ago, the cruel, crooked merchant Hithyn Culark (pronounced ‘HITH-in COOL-ark’) escaped death at the hands of furious fellow Sembians he’d swindled by transforming into a flumph and flying away. Although his country mansion, where he bred horses (and, rumor correctly has it, monsters for Sembians monster-collectors and monster-meat gourmands, in caverns beneath it), was ransacked of everything, and searched repeatedly for signs of him hiding there, no trace of him was ever found. Now, however, a cult of mysterious black-hooded-gowned Sembian women, that’s led by something many-tentacled and flying/hovering, that also wears a black gown with hood to conceal its true nature, dwells in the Hall, supported and visited by women from several Sembian cities. They call themselves the Believers (the Believers in Darkness, in full), and it seems they plot to gain personal power and influence in Sembia, which their leader, the monstrous “Darkness” can exploit, and in return it pays them handsomely. The cult holds lavish dinners at which they drink ruith, a salty, opaque black wine rumored to subtly alter humans who imbibe it over sufficient time.

Latest rumors say there are male cultists, too; some disguising themselves as women to visit the Hall. Why they do so is unknown.
#Realmslore

SembiaSeven 4:
Faereld’s Hold: on a wooded hill on the north side of the River Arkhen, overlooking that watercourse not far east of the Archendale/Sembia border. An old stone keep that’s survived after the modern wings added to it have largely decayed, this country manor has long been rumored to house all manner of marauding monsters. These rumors are true; Underdark denizens long ago tunneled up into the dungeons of the keep, and an everchanging array of monsters of the Upperdark have supplanted first the human owners who followed Unstran Faereld (who died peacefully in his sleep in Selgaunt) and then each other, some of them bringing lesser monsters along as servants.

A few have even taken up residence in the dense, dark forests that surround the Hold.
#Realmslore

SembiaSeven 5:
Landreltowers: due east of Arrowmark, about a day’s leisurely ride in that direction from the Sembian border. A fanciful folly of three different ornate castles crowning three knolls that face each other across a deep gorge where an underground spring rises with force to flow to a pond where it drains away underground again, the never-completed country retreat of the wealthy Sembian perfume and wine importer Emlond Landrel has long been home to a beholder that surrounds itself with servitor monsters and undead beholders of its own creation (its victims); these undead orbs float menacingly over the gorge, moving silently to attack intruders who venture too close to any of the overgrown castles. Just where their master, the beholder known as Orgraun, lurks, most intruders never learn—until it’s too late.

SembiaSeven 6:
Rurethtowers: in a stag wood east of the northernmost eastern edge of the Archwood, just across the Sembian border. A four-towered stone castle, with extensive cellars and a rumored Underdark connection due to their intersecting with underground stream-passages, Rurethtowers has attracted many explorers over the years thanks to persistent rumors of bandit treasure being hidden in its walls. About thirty summers ago, these treasure-seekers started disappearing; it seems monsters had taken up residence and begun preying on them. Reports vary widely as to just which sort of creatures dwell here—likely because several sorts do.
#Realmslore

SembiaSeven 7:
Yaeraunt’s Keep: about halfway between Scardale and Yhaunn, in a region of rolling, wooded hills between farmed valleys. Eldred Yaeraunt was a coachmaker and pleasure-sloop shipwright who grew fabulously rich as Sembia first became wealthy and its successful folk wanted exclusive toys. He spent a lot of coin building a many-balconied, stout stone tower country home that became fought over after his sudden death (of a fever-inducing unknown malady) by several would-be owners, a fight that progressed to some of the combatants buying and loosing wild monsters to fight on their behalf—beasts that devoured all the humans involved, to continue fighting with each other. Until a greater monster (some say a dragon, but tales differ) arrived to tame or devour them, until only it and its slaves remained. Their descendants still inhabit the Keep’s palatial, riches-filled rooms.

Legend has it that Yaeraunt’s main coin-vault, hidden and trapped somewhere in the Keep cellars, has never been found or plundered, and still holds thousands upon thousands of coins…and even a few magic items.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:43:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Netherese efforts to wipe out orcs:


Nov 12, 2019


@William21Strong

why didn't the Netherese exterminate the remaining orcs in their territory after Ioulaum's first campaign against them? They'd suffered from orcs for a long time. Ioulaum's campaign was costly, but when the enclaves rose and Netheril grew in power, why'd they stop?


@TheEdVerse

They didn't stop, but their extermination efforts became increasingly brief and slapdash (and therefore, were failures) as they got interested in their various projects. (The downfall of the Netherese was their decadence; they hunted after many sorts of power, these hunts consuming their energy and thinking, so like all fanatics they increasingly left the practical, everyday world behind. As orcs did what orcs have always done: endure, no matter what, and breed like rabbits, so they're VERY hard to wipe out.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:43:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On yokai in Kozakura:


Nov 25, 2019


@Gambit_Wildcard

hi Ed, just wondering if in the Eastern Realms, well the Kozakura area mainly, do they have Yokai? Reason I ask is I'm planning on playing a Kappa Monk and she has a Neko-Mata as a pet (he's a bit of a pyromaniac)


@TheEdVerse

Hi! Yes, indeed, there are many yokai in Kozakura, of a variety of forms; they all prefer to dwell in wilderland (usually rocky) areas, not near cities, though being close to busy roads doesn’t seem to bother them.

They tend to keep a low public profile, because troublesome (predatory on humans and valuable livestock) yokai have in the past been hunted down and eradicated. However, from the early 1300s DR onwards, many small, mischievous shapeshifting yokai (including those who can take the shape of small, often-domesticated cats) do dwell on farms or even in towns and cities, among humans. Most steal food and small items to carry on their livings, but a few serve as shop, home, or warehouse guardians in return for food and shelter. They are all unquenchably curious.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:44:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On noble families in Turmish:


Nov 21, 2019


@Valkarth

considering the rather democratic nature of Turmish, are there nobles too? It’s my understanding the merchants are a form of noble?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, certain long-wealthy merchant families try to claim special privileges for themselves on the basis of being “great houses of Turmish,” and divide ‘great’ from ‘everyday’ folk on the basis of bloodline and ‘class’ (as in, if you’re ‘one of us’ you’ve been raised with training and education that sets you above commoners of Turmish, more suited (“fit” is the usual term used) to wield authority, and you share our views of the world and our rightful place in it, as well as what’s best for Turmish. Which is acting as nobles whether or not formal titles are used. And increasingly, in Turmish, this is accepted; the special status claimed is being granted.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:45:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On roses:


Nov 16, 2019


@ashleymaywrites

I beg your knowledge, @TheEdVerse! I'm writing about cultivating roses in the Realms. Common Bloodrose, Mourning Rose, Daylight Rose, Creeper Rose, Sunset Rose, Ruby Blushrose, Undead Bloodrose, Sea Rose (Firethorn) and Rose of Forgetfulness... Am I forgetting any important ones?


@TheEdVerse

Hi! Happy to help!

* Starfall Rose (flourishes in deep forest shade, clusters of many softly luminescent pearl-white tiny blossoms sharing the same long, trailing stem)

* Sorrow of the Princess (rich blood-red blossom as large across as a large adult human’s hand, but the outermost ring of petals grow into long, irregular drooping shapes variously described as the teardrops of, or the sleeves of a long gown worn by, a grieving princess)

* Corpse Spider Rose (large, long-petaled, softly-luminescent white roses that flourish in deep forest shade that move slowly as time passes, ‘crawling’ in a slow oval circuit around the central rise of their stem; often grow on corpses, or the dead wood of fallen trees or brambles)

* Goldspear Rose/Sunspike Rose (a sun-loving rose that grows clusters of large striped gold-and-white blossoms that have shining golden, pointed inner petals that stand proud/thrust up from the surrounding rest of the petals; lasts for days if cut and floated in honeyed water)

* Winterwind Rose (small clusters of dark crimson to nigh-black roses that resist being shredded or dropping petals even when frozen, and that cling stubbornly to life for several tendays after being frozen, and so survive for months even in howling winter weather where shelter is scarce or nonexistent)

Hope these are of help!

Ooops! Almost forgot to add: Corpse Spider Rose petals are edible, taste like roasted almonds, and enough of them can make a filling meal (or serve as a herb), and Goldspear Rose golden inner petals are like a buttery, weak saffron substitute (as a herb).
#Realmslore

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Posted - 01 Dec 2019 :  15:46:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On City Guard ranks for Neverwinter, Baldur's Gate, and Amn:


Nov 4, 2019


@AuraofMana
Waterdeep has different ranks for the City Guard. Are there ones for Neverwinter, Baldur's Gate, and Amn in equivalence to Waterdeep?


@TheEdVerse
Yes. Here we go…
Real-world vs. City Watch of Waterdeep (1450s DR and onwards):
Private = Blade
Corporal = Armar/Sword
Sergeant = Swordcaptain
Lieutenant = Rorden
Captain = Orsar
Major = Guardsword
Colonel = Torsin
Major General = Watchlord
Lieutenant General = Captain of the Watch
General = Commander of the Watch
#Realmslore

In Neverwinter, since the ascension of Dagult Neverwinter, these same ranks, in ascending order, are:
Blade, Armar, Swordcaptain, Onstal, Halar, Guardsword, Malrar, Watchlord, and Lord Commander of the Watch (no Lieutenant General equivalent rank).

In Baldur’s Gate, 1450s DR onwards, these same ranks, in ascending order, are:
Constable, Shield, Swordar, Ammarar, Halthan, Orspear, Harmace, Warden, Commander, Lord Commander

In the cities of Amn, 1450s DR onwards, these same ranks, in ascending order, are:
Constable, High Constable, Swordar, Shieldlord, Hornsel, Ondramar, Huthtar, Watchlord, Commander, Lord Commander
#Realmslore

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On sorcerers in Thay:


Nov 4, 2019


@BraynerPereira1
I've started Reading "the haunted lands" trilogy and i'm wondering what is like to be a sorcerer in thay. Are they useful to the zulkirs or because of this "gift" are they hunted down by the red wizards? thanks a lot!! #realmslore


@TheEdVerse
They are useful to the zulkirs, and so are hunted down and given ranks and roles in enforcement (i.e. those who govern Thay don’t want “wild” or free sorcerers living in or wandering the country; they want sorcerers subject to oversight and authority).
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On gates:


Nov 4, 2019


@RandomQueriant
I was speculating on the potential properties and costs of gates, and wanted to know if something like the following exists in your world.

Do there exist, in your Toril, gates which impose an alignment change, or conformation to a particular alignment or axis, or which place a geas/quest/other compulsion upon those passing through?

Possibly, are there gates which change the race/species, ethnicity, gender, or even the home plane of those who traverse them? Any which cause those who cross them to each arrive in the body of a different traveler?

Any which rob a traveler of a skill or language, or impart one, or possibly mixes them up so a person passing through one might lose one skill, but collect one lost by a previous traveler?

Or in such a way that certain languages or skills never leave, or never enter, through that gate?

Would such a thing, assuming such a thing exists at all, be the work of gods, mortals, or just some natural accident such as nature tends to produce?

If there are any notable examples of any of the above, can you share?


@TheEdVerse
Heh. I first covered this in issue 37 of The Dragon, in my Gates article. Which, having footnotes, so impressed the staff that they offered me a Contributing Editor position (which I accepted). The answer is "yes" to all of your questions, BUT I've always left just what each gate does a mystery, so DMs can tailor gate effects to their campaigns. A few (in FR0/The Old Gray Box and in Undermountain, for example) have been nailed down in print, and a few more in my fiction, over the years. TSR had a "top secret" reference document I penned of many specific gate effects, and they paid me for it, so that means I can't share its contents without permission. So your mission, should you choose to accept it...

I can say that Eric L. Boyd and others penned various articles for the Wizards website, over the years, that dealt with specific gates; one series of articles featured a different gate of the Realms in each instalment.
#Realmslore

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On dlarun:


Nov 9, 2019


@smparlin
can you tell me more about the halfling metal, Dalrun? Where are the clay filled banks its dug from? I'm guessing it's the Delimbiyr =)


@TheEdVerse
{Dlarun, not Dalrun; “Dalrun” is a long-dead dwarf known for his wit and sharp tongue, about whom many apocryphal tales are told.}

Your guess is correct, but that’s not the only place (other known sources: the banks of the many small streams and rills in the eastern Border Kingdoms, the upper Nagaflow, the headwaters of the Ith, the Liontongue in Veldorn, and the lower River Lapendrar in Thay).

Dlarun or “icesteel” is a soft, malleable bone-white metal that can be brought to a high polish, and shines green in candlelight or in magical radiances (in texture, think lead but not toxic or as heavy), which means it’s pretty much useless for structural applications but great for inlays and other applications where fine details need to be graven or molded.

(After being refined, dlarun must be reheated in a secret process known to few halfling smiths, to make it hard enough for use in making armor, weapons, or tools, and/or suited to taking enchantments, or exhibiting its natural property: in contact with a being’s skin, it allows that being to see through illusions, and confers a limited immunity to certain psionic effects. Dlarun is unsuited to resisting fire, or carrying enchantments related to flame, but has an affinity for cold and frost {hence its nickname}).

In the past, when demand from human clients for magic items was lower, hin who had ready access to the clay in which the white flakes of dlarun were found made many small household vessels and covers (e.g. protections for books) of dlarun, where human might use pewter or copper, respectively. Dlarun was then relatively rare because of its few sources, but inexpensive (cheaper than most alloys and better-known metals).

Since the 1330s DR, its price has risen steadily as more and more folk have become aware of its existence and properties, and demanded it. Dlarun is now more expensive than silver, but not quite as pricey as gold.
#Realmslore


@smparlin
Can Dlarun items be reformed after going through the hardening process I to a new item, e.g. can a smith who finds several Dlarun figures reforge them into sword or dagger blade?


@TheEdVerse
Yes, but doing so takes GREAT (rare) smithing skill, AND very high heat (i.e. lava rift underground, not a bellows-driven forge). Or to put it another way: not usually.
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On trade in Loudwater and Secomber:


Nov 10, 2019

@smparlin
good sir Ed, in your realms, does Loudwater and Secomber have guilds or are they every merchant for themselves?


@TheEdVerse
In my Realms, neither place has formal guilds because the trading costers who've used them as bases for the last two centuries don't want guilds, and keep breaking them up. Which means that instead both have many small, short-lived secretive merchants' cabals.
#Realmslore


@smparlin
Thanks! What would a trading costar look like in that area? In my mind I see a merchant buying cheap and moving the good elsewhere where they sell for more?


@TheEdVerse
Thereabouts a trading coster's presence would be a way-base (warehouses, wagon repair shops, paddocks for remounts and replacement draft horses, mules, and oxen) for Heartland overland caravan travel. And yes, all of that travel is to buy low, locally, and transport to where more will be paid for the goods. (In most cases, in this region, it's extract raw resources, turn them into something useful [e.g. timber into furniture or building lumber], and sell them in large cities, Sword Coast or Inner Sea shores.)
#Realmslore

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On dragon and giant adventurers:


Nov 10, 2019


@lmartinez781
“PC races” have limitless possibilities to earn XP and treasure. Where do giants/dragons, for example, do the same? Why aren't “they” adventuring?


@TheEdVerse
Some of them are (for both giants and dragons, this often takes the form of exploration, to acquire a new demesne/territory, sometimes on other planes/through gates to other worlds). However, MOST dragons and giants fight and plunder to amass treasure, only dragons have a gnawing need for a hoard (to most giants, valuables are barter-fodder means to ends), and most dragons and giants are far more interested in altering conditions in the world to be the way they want them to be (i.e. manipulating “lesser races”). Erin Evans showed us the competitions between dragons in her Realms fiction. Storm Giant’s Thunder tells us what the giant races want. Neither dragons nor giants tend to have much interest in rising in wealth and status within human society (and in the Realms, human society dominates among the vast majority of adventurers).
#Realmslore

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Brimstone
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Ed just dropped 54 tweets about the Lords of Waterdeep...

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1201318739339304961?fbclid=IwAR1bjcJpz42n06dU6bZeFY8QnPweEBdKwJNlGo-Yi9bZDxe2R3fOusxO7W8

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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On the Open Lords of Waterdeep


Dec 1, 2019


@oakthorne
Gods help me my current pet project has me trying to piece together the history of Waterdeep post-Spellplague, including the fate of the myriad noble houses. RIP my whole entire sanity. @TheEdVerse I don't suppose you can kick a brother a list of the Open Lords post-Piergeiron?


@TheEdVerse

Of course I can. Here we go, folks...

Piergeiron ‘the Paladinson’ became Open Lord of Waterdeep in 1314 DR, and died in office in 1379 DR (of age and ill health, after several assassination attempts at the hands of those increasingly impatient to replace him with their various stooges; one of those attempts claimed the life of his loyal bodyguard, Madeiron Sunderstone, late in 1378 DR).

Piergeiron was succeeded (a month after his death, by majority vote of the Masked Lords, after many candidates had been proposed by various Lords, but rejected by others) by (a compromise candidate, initially seen within the Lords and across the city as a caretaker, but who won respect while in office) the respected-in-trade Waterdhavian merchant (parchment and paper-maker and bookbinder) Audreithra Teltorna, who was not a Masked Lord.

She held the Lordship until the Spellplague hit in 1385 DR.

In its tumult, agents of the Xanathar (of the time) succeeded in assassinating Teltorna, intending to install their puppet among the Masked Lords as her replacement.
However, they overplayed their hand, and their candidate, the shipwright Andramas Rujyntral, was rejected by the Lords. A flurry of assassinations among the Lords followed as the Xanathar’s agents took their revenge and sought to eliminate rival candidates within the Lords and Rujyntral’s most steadfast opponents, but this goaded various Lords to hire adventurers to assassinate both Rujyntral and any of the Xanathar’s agents they could identify and hunt down. They succeeded so well that the Xanathar not only lost Rujyntral, it suffered the loss of so many loyal human agents that it decided to retreat into the shadows, rebuilding its network with slow care and keeping well away from the Masked Lords (a policy that remained in force until a new Xanathar succeeded to the title).

The Masked Lords endured a little more than three months without an Open Lord at the helm, until the ravages of the Spellplague demanded that their appointed spokesperson (Acting Voice Of the Lords) Watchlord Phulundaera Vantur (a seasoned veteran who’d risen through the ranks; her much-scarred body incorporated magically-bonded limbs and organs from fallen comrades) be adopted as the new Open Lord.

Phulundaera was street-wise and gruff and no-nonsense, and the guilds and just plain citizens of the streets loved her, because she stood for equality of treatment under city law and policy, for the high and the low. This same quality made her detested by the nobles and ‘wannabe nobles’ nouveau riche, and they tried to arrange many accidents for her. As she was already old and ailing, one such assassination attempt finally succeeded, in 1389 DR.

The nobles and the wealthy then spent money and called in favors in ‘the Golden Deluge,’ and succeeded in buying enough votes to put their own candidate into the Open Lordship’s chair: a wastrel young noble son named Hauthshaw Assumbar, who had little useful education, even less strength of will (no principles, and a tendency to obey whoever had yelled at him loudest, most recently), and beliefs only in the superiority of the nobility and of Waterdeep and of hot buttered snail, to all else. He was intended to be the pawn of the noble houses, but a guildmaster (Hartran Ilandrouth of the Coopers’ Guild) shrewdly sent his daughter, Shalantha, to seduce and cozen Assumbar, giving him Ilandrouth’s directions, which were not just promoting guild interests, but were in the main shrewd good governance—but infuriated the nobles, who had coin enough to pay for many assassination attempts. They succeeded in poisoning Shalantha fatally and Assumbar enough to frighten him in fleeing the city in disguise, late in 1390 DR, aboard a ship to Mintarn with adventurers.

He eventually made it to the Moonshaes, but there was recognized and assassinated by someone who thought his death would plunge Waterdeep into confusion and weaken it. His head was sold to a factor (trade agent) of the Deepwinter noble house of Waterdeep, who sent it back to Waterdeep to prove Assumbar’s demise.

The chest containing Assumbar’s head was opened by the Masked Lords meeting in council in the Palace in 1391 DR, but proved little more than an unpleasant anticlimax, as the winter of early 1391 DR had been full of fractious debates to replace Assumbar, with everyone assuming he’d been murdered (Shalantha’s body had been found purple and bloated with poison).

As before, the Masked Lords, with many personal interests at stake and many interests across the city seeking to influence them, found it difficult to choose an Open Lord, until one among them, Athlynxthlas Ultrumpet, put himself forward with the promise that he’d simply be the mouthpiece of the Lords, deferring all decisions to them, even the traditional magisterial (judging criminals) rulings.

The weary Lords agreed to this, and the wily Ultrumpet began his subtle reign. Under the guise of meeting with Lords to learn their will so he could humbly carry it out, he developed the habit of meeting with small groups of Lords—meetings that filled most of the days of his forty-odd year reign. Ultrumpet took the Open Lord’s throne in the early summer of 1391 DR, and was assassinated in 1440 DR. The last year of his rule he spent surrounded by his personally-hired bodyguards, shut up in the inner room of the Palace, as by then all of the Masked Lords had realized how subtly he’d been steering them (some of them had realized this as long as thirty years earlier, but been unable to do much about it). Under Ultrumpet, the nobles and guilds lost power, all citizens saw cleaner and safer streets, everyone paid more taxes but these were raised so slowly and quietly that there was little unrest—and more and more real daily power was sapped from the Masked Lords and gathered to the Open Lordship.

Ultrumpet’s slayers were hired by a cabal of nobles, but they merely succeeded where more than two dozen earlier assassination attempts mounted by various covert groups of Masked Lords had failed. Fearful of an attempt to wrest power by the nobles, the Masked Lords turned to the general populace to suggest candidates, causing the expected utter chaos of hundreds of candidates being put forward. However, the Lords plucked a timorous meal-server, a shy young Waterdeep-born woman named Ilmyndra Lhethrus whose quiet but attentive service to several Lords’ family members had been appreciated, from among all the tumult of promoted candidates, and installed her, hoping for self-effacing innocence and obedience (a pawn who’d get no sly ideas of her own).

They were right, and although Lhethrus hated the role and sickened under the attention and demands, she served well for sixteen years, resigning in 1456 on her deathbed of ‘dragonback fever.’

Not wanting a return of the tumult or any candidate of the guilds or nobles in the Open Lord’s chair, the Masked Lords quickly chose one of their own, the moneylender Fandral Daerakus. Many Lords suspected he’d be unable to resist the temptation to dip into city coffers to enrich himself or expand his moneylending business using city funds, and kept close watch over him, employing hired mages and mundane spies—and they were right.

Daerakus attempted to cover up his misdeeds by proposing that the city openly lend money to enrich its coffers, under the Open Lord’s direction, but that cut no harbor ice with the Masked Lords, who expelled him for life from the city, not just from the Open Lordship, late in 1457 DR. (He soon fell in with several unscrupulous traders of Amn who tried to use his inside knowledge of Waterdhavian courtiers and dealings to advance their own enterprises, but they worked through the wrong guilds, and didn’t get far.)

The Masked Lords swiftly replaced Daerakus with another of their own, the aging and conservative Malthavyn Thunstone, a stolid, honest, unimaginative stickler-for-details whom no one was enthused about but no one was enraged by. Under his steady hand the city flourished, and he lasted until the doddering wits that afflict some in old age led him to resign in 1462 DR.

Thunstone was quickly replaced by another citizen-not-of-the-Lords, Hamaera ‘Hammerbrow’ Nalaver, an independent (non-guild-member) designer of cloaks, gowns, and winterwraps of fierce temper, drive, and swift wits. Her rages were many but short-lived, and she held no grudges; she might be laughing with someone at supper that she’d shrieked at and thrown things at, nigh highsun. Some loved her, and some hated her, but none were bored by her, and she lasted four years, until dying in what almost everyone believes (and the Watchful Order was called in to investigate, and also believed) was a genuine accident—run over by a heavy-laden wagon in Dock Ward late in 1466 DR, after losing her footing in fish-slop and sliding under its wheels.

The nobles had been biding their time under her mercurial Open Lordship, and were ready with a candidate of their own and a covert behind-the-scenes vote-buying push to back him, which quickly succeeded, in large part because their candidate, Dathjet Deepwinter, was an amiable, principled, unambitious, acceptable-to-all young nobleman—who came from a small and not particularly wealthy or encumbered (by obligations, debts, or alliances) noble house. Dathjet made mistakes but tried to do what was best for the entire city, and explained his reasonings in open Council, which endeared him to many even when they thought his decisions were wrong.

However, he grew dissatisfied with what he saw as his increasing blunders, and resigned early in 1471 DR, surprising most of the city.

The Lords hastily voted one of their own into the Open Lord’s chair, a wily schemer by the name of Hulkane Spaudelar. Nasal-voiced, long-nosed, and prissy, Spaudelar was widely mocked for his pet phrases and habit of waving his hands wildly in distaste, but although he had to best foes and win arguments, he never did it for personal gain, living simply and avoiding all opportunities to gain influence or benefit. Various criminal elements of the city misread him as being ripe for subversion, and when he exposed some of their attempts to meet with him and cozen him, they assassinated him to cut short the damage he could do—so he was gone by mid-1473 DR.

This time, it was the turn of the guilds to try to control who sat in the Open Lord’s chair, decrying the past results of the Masked Lords voting one of their own into it or the nobles installing a candidate of their liking. Of course, the guilds couldn’t agree on a candidate, and in the end put forward six rivals. The Masked Lords liked none of them and instead plucked another independent commoner from the streets, Elchantra Gauntan, a singer, dancer, and sometime model whose good looks and good fortunes were in her past. Wry, street-wise, and good-natured, she ruled well but her health declined under the pressure, and she froze to death one bitterly cold winter night in 1477 DR after falling asleep in her coach on the way back to the Palace, when equally weary staff overlooked her when seeing to the horses, and left her in it overnight.

What followed was known as “the Chaos,” a succession of a dozen Open Lords (a few guild candidates, but most of them from the ranks of the Masked Lords) being voted in and proclaimed, then assassinated after days or months, in which the city was in uproar and lawlessness rose in the streets and alleys.

Into this tumult stepped the charismatic and scheming Dagult Neverember, who held the Open Lordship for a decade, from 1479 DR until he was ousted in 1489 DR.

Laeral Silverhand was proclaimed Open Lord in 1489, and is still Open Lord (the current year in the Realms depends on just where things stand in your Realms campaign, but published FR adventures and novels have brought us past 1492 DR).
#Realmslore

Hope your sanity has survived, Lord Carriker!

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 03 Dec 2019 05:09:59
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On Open Lord Caladorn Cassalanter


@MurderHGames

One question: a character in Steven Schend's "Blackstaff Tower" had mentioned Caladorn Cassalanter as a former Open Lord. Is that still canon or can we assume this (like a lot of its stories about extinct/merged houses that exist again by 1492) was incorrect?

Thanks!


@StevenESchend

I was curious about that too, honestly. Well, Ed?


@TheEdVerse

Heh. On it. Still canon. See Ultrumpet's ruse. ;} And I haven't even mentioned all the Open Lord candidates various noble houses secretly groomed "just in case." It was something they could do with younger sons and daughters disinterested in family businesses.
#Realmslore


@TheEdVerse

I left a LOT of details out of that already-overlong-for-Twitter recital, and one of them was a ruse pulled during the long tenture of Athlynxthlas Ultrumpet: he had Open Lords named to ‘shadow’ him and so learn on the job, so they could be trained (and vetted by the Masked Lords) as successors. Most of them—there were more than a dozen, and on two brief occasions, two at once—were mediocre, and those who grew too popular or seemed too competent Ultrumpet covertly framed for crimes, or arranged for fatal fatal ‘accidents’ to befall them.

Caladorn Cassalanter was one of these Open Lords, announced in 1398 DR by Ultrumpet and serving until 1406 DR, when he resigned his Open Lordship to be at his mother’s side and support her, upon the death of one of his older brothers (shortly after the death of his father; Caladorn’s other brother had died some years earlier).

For most of 1399 DR Caladorn was the only public face of the Lords, as Ultrumpet was in seclusion recovering from an attempt to kill him by means of a ’rotting disease’ from Mhair, introduced into his food by unknown hands (belonging to agents of the Xanathar, UItrumpet believed). Three other of these ‘tryout’ Open Lords named by Ultrumpet survived their tenure in the Open Lordship, two resigning openly because they could see they were about to be framed, and a third simply fleeing the city covertly for a new life in Tethyr, under a new name (so to Waterdeep, he simply disappeared). As Ultrumpet became (rightfully) more paranoid, he took to sending his ‘right hand’ Open Lords to stand in for him at public appearances, so they’d be the target, and not him.

Caladorn Cassalanter became the respected backbone of his family, and died in ripe old age, never losing his taste for fun or his interest in naval matters.
#Realmslore

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sleyvas
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Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  22:12:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

On Zotha:


Nov 25, 2019


@Tiberius7771
I don't see much in the way of lore when it comes to Zotha. Can you impart any thing about its form or relationship with Asgorath? Ty


@TheEdVerse

Like most of what happened long, long ago, sentients alive today know little—and even less they can trust—of beings and events in the remote past. So take what I say here with a generous handful of salt.

Except this: there is almost no Zotha lore, published in our real world or known in Toril today.

Right, here we go…some priesthoods, elder dragons, and sages believe that Zotha was a huge, flying being that in outward form resembled a real-world manta ray (having a flat, roughly-diamond-shaped body of two ‘wings’ depending out from a central body with a maw at the front, and a long, long tail at the back). Zotha was sentient, strong-willed, and among the early deities of Toril was nicknamed ‘the Devourer’ because in their belief (passed on by Asgorath?) Zotha created life and non-living things from the raw dust and energies of the Void purely to play with and then consume, whereupon it would create anew.

There were other Creator entities in existence in the vast Void, including Asgorath, who also created life and non-living things, and all of them tended to believe they held dominion over what they themselves had created.

But Zotha considered that all creations were for it to toy with, alter, and ultimately devour. Including Asgorath’s creation, Toril—but when Zotha sought to devour Toril, Asgorath defended Toril, at first by shielding it, and then by destroying Zotha, rending Zotha into many small, raw fragments. Some of these Asgorath consumed, so Zotha could never be reborn, but others fell onto Toril and seared their ways down into the deep places of Toril, where in time they became creatures that would in turn evolve into illithids and others (neogi? Beholders?).

I stress again that all of this is disputed and secondhand; no mortals alive today can know the truth of what befell in times so ancient. But some gods told versions of this tale to their priests in centuries agone, so these stories were set down, and passed down, and we have them now.
#Realmslore




Which some may conflate the serpent kingdoms naga myths about Ssharstrune as Zotha (since Ssharstrune embodied the principles of curiosity, destruction, and possessiveness that had precipitated the World Serpent's fragmentation) getting "devoured" by Shekinster (which could represent Asgorath) and then the "child" Parrafaire who "hides" the portions of Ssharstrune/Zotha could be Ubtao. This would make Jazirian the same as Kukul. All of which mixes the idea that "great dragons" and "primordials/dawn titans" MAY have been the same thing in some scenarios (which also begs the question of whether the "mounts" of the primordials were dragons... or were they the dragons themselves.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 03 Dec 2019 22:30:15
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