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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2021 :  15:59:51  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not my favourite novel.

When it was located in Toril it had lots of lore, Alban Onire and Titanslayer was a nice feature as was the lost crown of King Beldoran of Thar. I'm going to assume given the location that Alban Onire was around the time of the human kingdom of Thar.

Pretty much 50% of the novel was spent on the outer planes, and while it was very atmospheric i feel those events added nothing to the realms itself. Furthermore, the portrayal of the gods and their capabilities was incorrect in many instances and inconsistent even with itself. That being said, the claim that all the gods are insane because they only see the universe from the point of view of their very narrow portfolios is interesting and something i will be seizing upon. They only notice the other gods at all when they get in the way of their aims and goals, it explains a lot.
However, the claims that Lathander can deny the dawn's light to people, or Chauntea can stop people growing crops is laughable, and Mystra being able to deny Cyric the ability to use the weave in Hades is similarly laughable.

Some good lore found throughout, lots of new people for Zhentil Keep and a few new locations (at least new for me). Gargauth's Journal was an interesting find, with a powerful ritual that allows the locator to find something anywhere no matter the protection or distance (what could he possibly have needed that for), and it appears he used it.

The perverse examples of extremes of worship could also be useful (their bones made Cyric's throne). A deneiran who painted a canvas using the blood of her own children, an axe used to enforce the judgement of a mad king in the name of Tyr, a druid of Eldath who drowned those that disturbed his peaceful pool, a knight of torm that tortured people for the most insignificant lie.

Worth a read, but to my mind it seems to be the start of a slippery slope.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2021 :  17:58:26  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Onto Crucible the Trial of Cyric the Mad.

I'm 3 pages in and i'm confused.

Malik el Sami was a merchant in Calimshan, i think he refers to it as the City of Brilliance.

The Caliph of Calimshan receives a message from Zhentil Keep about events regarding the Cyrinishad and the True Life of Cyric the Mad. He murders the messenger and then sends his agents out to find the Cyrinishad.

Malik is sent to Candlekeep where he spends years as a beggar until Rinda and Gwydion turn up, he tries to steal their horse and is caught.



Now i have a few problems with this. I wasnt aware that Ralyn el Pesarkhal (ruler of Calimshan) was a follower of Cyric, nor would i expect him to allow an underling to be a follower of Cyric (they are not exactly known for being loyal servants, more insane terrorists).

Malik can't have spent years in Candlekeep as a beggar because the Cyrinishad was only written in 1368 DR.



Anyone have an explanation for this. The only thing i can think of is that Malik is lying or more likely when he was in Candlekeep (as an actual beggar having lost his fortune), he tried to steal Rinda's horse and caught a glimpse of the Cyrinishad while rifling through her bags thus driving him utterly insane and making his recounting of this tale be wholly Cyric centric and thus almost completely unreliable. Everything after that point is likely true (ish) as he was then a completely loyal servant of Cyric and probably did go to Beregost to find Cyric loyalists and informed them about the Cyrinishad's location. Everything before that moment was altered in his delusional mind by the power of the Cyrinishad.

Just wanted to know what others thought about such a glaring set of mistakes in the opening of the novel.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6154 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2021 :  23:29:37  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He is the Seraph of Lies ... but didn't he need to speak the truth or some such? The novels throw up issues like this time and time again. Whoever was editor of these things back in the day had only a cursory knowledge of Realmslore.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2021 :  07:58:05  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good to know, hopefully this is a lot more realms based than the prince of lies. Lots of crusading orders and affiliated military groups of various allied churches in the first chapter so it's a good sign.

Would the invisible axes of iriaebor be more likely allied with shar or talos I wonder.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2021 :  10:21:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Malik was only compelled to tell the truth about Cyric, so he was free to embellish his own parts.

Reading the first chapter again its clear he is not telling the truth or he believes his own delusions.

He forgot to pay some minor tariff and the eldest prince of the caliph came to visit him. Only thing is he visited while Malik was out and when Malik returned the Prince and his wife looked flustered. Malik says it was because of the heat but the prince returns many such times to honour Malik with his presence.

It seems clear to me that Malik's business was in trouble. The prince desired his wife and so Malik was forced to accept his wife's affair in return for his continued existence (not paying taxes would surely make you a beggar in Calimshan and that means a swift death).

Maliks account glorifies himself as much as possible given the situation so i will assume the later incident where the letter is delivered from Zhentil Keep is similarly glorified.

Malik may not have had any involving with Zhentil Keep or Cyric at the time. He might have had a number of risky ventures trying to get goods too and from Zhentil Keep, possibly on behalf of the Caliph who desired something secret / illicit. Malik failed when Zhentil Keep was sacked, his entire cargo lost and so he was exiled.

Malik ends up in Candlekeep and becomes the first mortal to read from the Cyrinishad and that could be how he becomes the Seriph of Lies. That makes him delusional and insane and means the entire book cannot be relied upon for the truth, but the best lies are those based on or grounded in truth because they are the most convincing. So he was in Calimshan, and the events with his wife and the prince are partially true, just not how he recounts it.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2021 :  11:34:23  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crucible again makes the mistake of attributing all actions within a portfolio to the manipulation of a god.

Chapter 3 appears to all be about how Cyric is not fomenting strife, lies, and intrigue among the people of Faerun and so it is not occurring. Peace is becoming the norm, nobody is lying, nobody is cheating on their wives, etc.

This of course cannot be how the world works.

I'm sure that Cyric can send dreams and visions and whisperings to people to try and tempt them to lie, cheat, and plot, but he cannot force them to do so, and nor do they stop happening due to the lack of presence of a god of lies or intrigue.

Cyric can try and tempt a man to murder his wife by sending dreams about her cheating or lying, thus making him more paranoid about it. But the man may decide to ignore these vision or dreams because he loves his wife. At no point should someone be forced to act upon a deity's desires. Mortals have a choice, that was always the major source of power about a mortal's soul and why the baatezu desire it so much.

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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2021 :  15:57:57  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Good to know, hopefully this is a lot more realms based than the prince of lies. Lots of crusading orders and affiliated military groups of various allied churches in the first chapter so it's a good sign.

Would the invisible axes of iriaebor be more likely allied with shar or talos I wonder.



Other lore has Shar setting up a secret temple in Iriaebor so I would say the invisible axes of Iriaebor would be allied with Shar.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2021 :  16:07:39  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, its a quandary, invisible could be connected to Shar and darkness / loss / shadow.

Equally axes imply destruction so that could be linked to Talos.

But if there is a Shar connection to Iriaebor already then they could be a local merc or adventuring group affiliated with the cult of shar there.

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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2021 :  17:12:19  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Per the 2e Faiths and Avatars, the Church of Shar has no general affiliated orders but there are ones that affiliated with particular cells/temples. The Sharran crusaders for the Iriaebor cell could be called The Invisible Axes.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  14:03:38  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I much prefer the crucible to prince of lies. It's much more focused on the realms itself, got a lot more info about candlekeep and elversult.

Anyone know what the Worm of Gloom beneath mt Talath could be. Or speculate on how a kraken got into Hillshadow Lake in Elversult.

I was a bit shocked at how easily Rinda was disposed of.


I'm beginning to think that these God books, rather than being an example to study of how divine events on Faerun work it is more an example of the madness and dysfunction of divine events.

We have seen Cyric slowly descend into madness, and Midnight and Kelemvor slowly become the living embodiment of their portfolios viewpoint. All at the expense of their humanity and their sanity.

By the end of the novel I expect the 3 deities will only interpret and react to any information as it pertains to their perceived portfolio. They will in short become as completely insane as they other gods, unable to even acknowledge another god or being unless it effects their portfolio on some way.

Is this how material beings ascend to godhood. They shed their individuality completely and become living embodiment of an idea.
Are we seeing the path of ascension in progress where the humanoid brain comes to comprehend that the more they try and influence events with compassion or evil, the worse things become for their faithful and their belief.


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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  15:59:45  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Take a look at page 44 of So Sayeth Ed, Part 4. Ed gives his take on these novels and the gods. In part he says:

"While it's true that Mystra's inherited portfolio has an INT of this and a WIS of that, the D&D game posits deities who aren't all-knowing and mentally infallible (or there'd be no strife among deities at all, because all of them could foresee how everything would turn out, so again every being would be following a script or remaining static, with no free will and no room for adventure). Time and again we've seen D&D gods who are very like the Greek and Roman gods: supersized humans, who have exaggerated flaws as well as exaggerated powers. The Realms, as a D&D setting, must necessarily be no different. The Avatar trilogy, my Shadows of the Avatar trilogy, Prince of Lies, Crucible, and my Elminster In Hell and Elminster's Daughter have all shown us divine fallibility. (As have many other Realms novels, with Finder and Lolth and so on and on and on.)"

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  16:18:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm fine with that but it never really explained the capability for the gods to act and yet in order for the world to survive they must be almost completely inactive, which is directly contradictory to every novel (which has them as childish greek gods).

The novels themselves gave me the answer by making them insane.

Imagine only perceiving everything I'm terms of destruction, how it promotes or hinders destruction etc.

Talos perceives every god as a swirling maelstrom of destruction (if he bothers to perceive them at all because he only considers other when it affects his portfolio).

In such a singular view of the universe, talos perceives himself, as the embodiment of destruction at it's very centre, revolving around him).

None of the gods were bothered or even surprised by cyrics madness, they were only bothered that he dared to affect them and their view of the universe.

Now imagine a storm floods a village or an earthquake levels a city. In Talos' mind he caused that earthquake because he is destruction deified. He controls all acts relating to destruction. He hears all pleas for or against destruction. That is then the view he presents to his church and that they present to the world.

It doesnt matter if it is true or not. It's true for talos and that is what gets recorded and promoted by history (churches being the most likely place for history to be recorded, look at the short story about the historian of the Crusade trying to write a book).

So when history notes a god did x y and z, that is what has been recorded, it's what God and church believe happens and so that is what gets spread around faerun by the priests

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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
189 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  16:43:16  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison



Anyone know what the Worm of Gloom beneath mt Talath could be.




I'm guessing that it's an Oriental wingless dragon... the Wyrm of Gloom.
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
667 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  17:00:07  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I view the gods as influencers on Twitter: the more followers they have, the more influence, real or imagined, they have. So, they will claim whatever they can to show how powerful/influential they are. They have propagandists (their church) that will spread that as far and wide as they can. The church may or may not know what the god said is true but the god knows the truth. The god also has an image to keep up and they do that to maintain consistency with what their followers expect. Talos may very well, when he is completely alone, drink some Fresca and knit while he watches the latest episode of Sigil's Keeping up with the Kirrigans.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  18:27:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds about right to me, except that I really dont think they know the truth anymore.

I'm even wondering if Ao might not be a shared delusion they imagined to allow them to deal with other gods without resulting in mutual assured destruction (as two insane super powers squaring off against one another are inevitably bound to do).

The Immortals boxed set of D&D is the definitive model for divine behaviour I shall have to look it up and see how it suggests you handle multiple avatars and if that causes any problems.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2021 :  12:50:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crucible the Trial of Cyric the Mad (1369 DR)

Malik Lore
Malik el Sami yn Nasser, famed merchant of Calimshan from Najron the City of Brilliance (Dragon 245 places that near the mouth of the River of Ice) and a welcome attendant to the Royal House of Najron (possibly lies, he hadnt paid his taxes so he was indentured to the caliph and the Royal House of Najron) [prologue]
Malik had forgotten to pay a tariff of some kind, the first prince (eldest son of the Caliph) visited Malik’s house while Malik was out to deliver the demand of payment. He visited many such times all while Malik was away (sleeping with Malik’s wife, which Malik had to endure because his business was failing ????). [prologue]
The Caliph received a letter from Zhentil Keep about the events of the Cyrinishad, Malik was at court that day. The Caliph slew his chamberlain who read the letter supposedly because the Caliph was a Cyric worshipper and was angered at Mystra and Kelemvor (lies????). Malik was sent to Candlekeep to recover the Cyrinishad (more lies, chamberlain may have been a Cyric worshipper, its likely the Caliph or Malik had some trade venture in Zhentil Keep that now was failed and so Malik was exiled ????) [prologue]
The eldest prince of the Caliph looked after Malik’s wife while he was in Candlekeep (more likely he stole Malik’s wife while Malik was exiled????) [prologue]
Malik went to Candlekeep, lived as a beggar, claimed he made no appeals to Cyric in case the Oghmanites sensed him (more likely he abandoned his worship of Cyric or he was not a worshipper of Cyric at the time ????) [prologue]
Malik made secret deals with each of the Dark Lords (Haroun and Jabbar) separately, promising to help them recover the Cyrinishad first (is that how he won their aid????) [1]
Claimed to have been the only one to have seen the Cyrinishad and its bearers [1]
Skilled in the way of cheating the scale or claiming another’s cargo (did he cheat the Caliph or his eldest son????). Never stolen from another man’s home or killed anyone [4]
Known as Mukhtar the Mad in Candlekeep [6]
Desired to once again glimpse its dreadful truths [9]
Amil – some kind of servant to a Caliph [15]
Married to Halah [15]
Cyric imbued a horse with his blood creating an unholy monstrosity. Malik named the hell horse Halah [15]
Cyric said he had “eliminated” Halah (Malik’s wife) and the Prince [28]
Cyric made Malik the Seraph of Lies [epilogue]
Malik was tasked with writing a book about the trial – called the Crucible: The Trial of Cyric The Mad [Epilogue]

Candlekeep Lore
The Low Gate, Candlekeep’s only access, a portculis of iron bars, and a wooden gate gilded with tin with a drawbar as thick as a giant’s wasit, beyond the gate it opens onto a narrow path up the tor upon which Candlekeep sits. The path is carved into the tor itself so its impossible to avoid or go around it, the path winds around the tor several times [prologue,4,6]
Temple of Oghma [prologue]
Rinda and Gwydion arrived at Candlekeep seeking aid. Malik tried to steal their horses but was caught. Claims he could feel the Cyrinishad’s presence (more likely he rifled through their bags and caught a glimpse of the Cyrinishad and thus became a devoted servant of Cyric????) [prologue]
Malik fled to Beregost to get word to the Caliph (more likely to find fellow devotees of Cyric????) [prologue]
The High Gate at the top of the tor and allows direct access to the keep, a narrow path climbs to this gate from the Low Gate [1,4]
Malik led a force of mercenaries and allied churchs and Cyric’s faithful against Candlekeep (more likely he was kept in case he was lying in which case he would be killed????). Fire giants from the Scarlet Fellowhood a mercenary company hired at great expense. Company of the Ebon Spur. The Caliph’s Sabers a company led by the Caliph’s second prince (his first prince remained behind to look after Malik’s wife). The Sable Daggers of Soubar (Shar????), the Tunland’s Ravagers - wizards (Talos????), the Invisible Axes from Iriaebor (Shar or Talos????), and a dozen other companies of Talos and Shar. A tribe of Cloak Wood orcs. The greatest Army of Belief ever gathered (lied about the numbers????) [1]
The Monks of the White Rod joined the Army of Belief. Monastic order dedicated to Loviatar [1]
Jabbar and Haroun had a disagreement and killed each other. The Army of Belief began to fight each other. Malik seized Jabbar and Haroun’s golden sceptres. The Army of Belief collapsed, attacked by Hippogriff riders (from Waterdeep led by Ruha) come from the Sea of Swords, and fled in 10 directions [1]
The Way of the Lion heads towards Beregost [4]
Agenor and Pelias, monks in chainmail at Candlekeep, guarding the Low Gate, wearing violet robes (are they Watchers????) [6]
Brother Risto, Keeper of the Gate levies punishment on the monks that fail in their guard duty. Strict. Bearded monk, brown robe, carries a black rod. [6]
Deneir, Milil, and Gond have shrines in Candlekeep [6]
Ulraunt Keeper of Tomes, likes people who defer to his advice, hates it if people mistake his identity. Jealous mind, careful inquisitor [6]
The Flaming Fists, Hellriders of Elturel, and the Silent Rain are among those companies that came to the aid of Candlekeep [6]
First Reader Tethtoril, wears robes of palest blue, compassionate and kind [6]
Ruha was in Candlekeep, had seen a vision of Malik. Born 30 years ago. Joined the Harper’s after the Zhentarim attack on the Bedine. Ruha convinced Prince Tang to renege on his bargain with the Cult of the Dragon which caused half of Elversult to burn. Kidnapped the daughter of Duke Wycliff from hill giants, preventing a marriage to unite two races in blood and kinship. Ruha was in Waterdeep rescuing children from the Trollclaw Forest when she had a vision of a Malik the beggar reading a book before a great host (Ruha never understands her visions but meddles anyway), she heard news of the trouble in Candlekeep and travelled there immediately [7]
Special token required to enter the Keeper’s Tower, a small disc of bronze [7]
Insects not allowed in Candlekeep, they damage the books. Magic wards drive insects away
Candlekeep itself is surrounded by the Great Ward, along the wards outer edge were buildings, stables, temples, workshops. In the centre of the Great Ward is an outcropping of basalt terraced into many levels, mottled with thickets of trees and laced by winding paths and cascades of steaming water. Atop the basalt outcropping rise the towers of Candlekeep, scattered at random across the hill. At the highest point of the mount is the Keeper’s Tower surrounded by a curtain of steam from a steaming moat (smells of brimstone and iron) and looming taller than all other spires [7]
Gwydion the Quick, returned to life to guard Rinda and the Cyrinishad. Does not need to sleep. Malik cut his throat but he continued to live. [7]
Malik cut Rinda’s throat, but accidentally stole Rinda’s Journal. The Cyrinishad was moved [7,9]
Lodar, Balas, Zale, hippogriff riders from Waterdeep [9]
Dungeon Tower, where prisoners are held, interrogated, and tortured [13]
A narrow, steep trail leads from outside the High Gate down to the rocky shore around the outside of the tor. There is no rope or chain so the trail is more treacherous [13]
The shore below Candlekeep is a snarl of old lava flows, tidal pools, and deep jagged chasms [13]
Caves created by the tides on Candlekeep shore, large enough to take shelter in, they are covered during high tide but some of them are still dry inside [13]

Church of Cyric Lore
Temples in Athkatla and Escalaunt [prologue]
Most High Haroun leads the Black Helms, a group of Faithful Warriors of Cyric [1]
His Deadliness Jabbar leads the Purple Lancers [1]
The Black Helms and the Purple Lancers join together to form the Company of the Ebon Spur, elite cavalry and shock troops from Amn, dedicated to Cyric. Mounted on war bulls. Led by Haroun and Jabbar known as the Dark Lords. The Company of the Ebon Spur numbers several hundred strong [1]
Jabbar and Haroun each possess a golden sceptre crowned by an iron starburst, each containing half of Cyric’s symbol. [1]
Cyric has no claimed the mantle “God of Madness” no faithful may view lunacy as anything but a divine gift [1]
A Childhood in the Shadows, the story of the ascension of Cyric which every initiate learns by heart
Mystra has been despoiling Cyric’s temples (her church has been attacking his church????) [22]


Cyrinishad
Whispers constantly passages from the book. [4]
Smells foul (etched on human skin) [4]
The book is a living sentient thing, calls out to people [7]

Zhentil Keep Lore
After fleeing Zhentil Keep, Rinda escaped a band of marauding frost giants [11]
After Zhentil Keep Fzoul Chembryl fled to Teshwave then later returned to Zhentil Keep to worship Iyachtu Xvim [15]
The True Life of Cyric the Mad is not mentioned in Rinda’s Journal after leaving Zhentil Keep [15]
After Zhentil Keep Rinda and Gwydion spent a month in Tegea at the temple of Mystra [15]
Gwydion does not need to eat or sleep or anything else mortals require [15]
Zhentilar wear black tabards with a white gauntleted fist surmounted by a jewel, the emblem of Zhentil Keep [34]
High Tyrannar Fzoul is due to be executed on the orders of Lord Orgauth [34]
A half constructed bridge across the River Tesh [34]
Cyricists speak of the destruction of Zhentil Keep as “The Razing” and refer to Fzoul Chembryl as the Great Annihilator [34,37]
Lord Orgauth protects the temple of Cyric. The people of Zhentil Keep hate Cyric and his followers [34]
Friar Fornault Blacksun gaunt man of 50+, wears an iron starburst and skull ring. Sister Svanhild of the temple of Cyric in Zhentil Keep. Sister Thir, a raven haired beauty, sleeping with Friar Fornault. Sister Oda. Brother Durin. Brother Armod, gaunt. Sister Kelda [34,37]
Friar Fornault and 16 acolytes in the temple of Cyric in Zhentil Keep. Very poor, can’t even afford a spoon, sleep on bare stone floors. The acolytes slew Friar Fornault for trying to poison Malik [37]
South Force Gate leading across the half built Force Bridge from the Foreign Quarter (saved by General Vrakk) into the Ruins [40]
Oda slain by Malik [40]
A Believer’s Shower - Zhent’s throwing excrement and rotten food at Cyricists. Lord Orgauth’s laws forbid the slaying of Cyricists (he does not want to anger Cyric but would be happy for them all to be gone and is looking for any excuse to exile them from the city) [40]
Labourers spend all day clearing the rubble of the Ruins and making repairs before returning to the Foreign Quarter at night [40]
Fzoul is hiding in his old tower in the Ruins [40]
The old Harbour Ward Gate in the Ruins [42]
Thir is secretly a priest of Iyachtu Xvim posing as an acolyte of Cyric. The handmaiden of Fzoul Chembryl [42,44]
Visitors have to prove they can afford to be in Zhentil Keep before the guards will admit them [45]
Fzoul’s old tower is now a temple to Xvim [46]

Adon Lore
Born to a wealthy Sembia family over 30 years ago. Became so obsessed with beautiful women that he entered the Church of Sune [17]
The most terrible curse to befall a priest of Sune is to suffer a facial scar or deformity. Seen as a sign of disfavour from Sune [17]
Adon is often visited by Mystra so that he is a much valued guest in the homes of the powerful and the rich [17]
The Rites of Joy, part of the death rites for those devoted to Mystra. If the departed was a virtuous soul and a cleric of Mystra was present at the instant of death then anyone present at the Rites of Joy would have a wish fulfilled (providing it was a worthy wish and it benefited another) [17]
Currently in Elversult overseeing the building of a new temple of Mystra [17]
Cyric showed Adon a glimpse of Mystra as Cyric saw her, it drove Adon mad and Adon smashed in the dying Lord Nadisu Bhaskar’s head with his mace, his ring finger was burned off, all magic causes great damage, pain, and suffering to Adon now, and he is terrified of Mystra’s image [19,21]
Adon committed suicide, throwing himself from the 5th floor of the temple of Mystra (he was mad and trying to escape Cyric disguised as Mystra) [28]


Elversult Lore
Lord Nadisu Bhaskar, Lady Lord Yanseldara (her word is law in Elversult) and her good friend Vaerana Hawklyn, Prince Tang, Thunsroon Frostbryn all contributed generously to the building of the temple of Mystra in Elversult [17]
Lord Nadisu Bhaskar is dying, he did much for the poor during his life. His wife, Pandara Bhaskar (half crazy, spends most of her time in the Towers of the Moon) is more concerned with showing off Adon’s attendance at the Rites of Joy than her husband’s condition [17]
Wears a star ring, a simple gold band set with an unpolished diamond. The ring sparkles like a star and grows hot whenever an assassin is nearby. A gift from Mystra [17]
Usreena Juepara, an acolyte of Mystra, not yet a member of the Church of Mystra [17]
Hillshadow Lake, purple waters, visible from the new temple of Mystra [19]
New temple to Mystra is 6 months from completion. Has copper gilded doors, coffered oak ceilings and alabaster walls decorated with bas reliefs of Mystra [19]
The Maces, Elversult’s city guardsmen, armoured in scale mail [19]
Prince Tang, eldest son of the Third Virtuous Concubine and Emperor Kao Tsao Shou Tang of Shou Lung. He only bows to members of the Celestial Bureaucracy. Wears a maitung (a wide sleeved silk robe) [19]
Lasal leaves, used to numb the mind, can be used to make a sleeping potion. Also causes confusion and trembling muscles. When used to often it destroys the mind rather than numbs it [19]
Chandra, red haired acolyte at the temple of Mystra [19]
Nadisu Bhaskar, born to a whore in a brothel. A cutpurse from a young age. Killed a man at 10 years old. Recruited into the Cult of the Dragon by Indith Shalla, Nadisu was Indrith’s top assassin and a fervent worshipper of Bhaal [21]
Nadisu sent to work for House Lal the caravan company, Ganesh caravans were too effective at repelling cult of the dragon bandits. He met Pandara Lal, daughter of Ganesh, got her pregnant and then became a sleeper agent within House Lal, he murdered Pandara’s father (Ganesh) to become head of the house. [21]
Nadisu converted to Cyric after the Time of Troubles and continued to murder on the orders of Indrith Shalla. When Yanseldara overthrew the Raunshivear Cartel and made Elversult an honest city. Indrith ordered Nadisu and Pandara to stop murdering and begin donating to charity. Soon Nadisu was feeding half the city’s beggars and Yanseldara took Nadisu and Pandara into her inner circle as friends [21]
The Morning Fountain, outside the temple of Mystra on a stone terrace where the faithful like to make their morning devotions [30]
Thieves of the Purple Mask guild had been stealing alabaster and marble from her temple since construction began [30]
Prince Tang lives in the Ginger Palace which lies a half days ride south of Elversult [32]

Cormyr Lore
In Cormyr, those that abuse their office are punished by being covered from head to toe in tar [21]
Village on the High Road through the Storm Horns. A small keep stands in the centre of the village, atop the gatehouse is arch is a symbol of starburst and skull identifying the keep as a temple (or shrine) to Cyric, a green fly the size of an elephant hovers above the temple. The village was visited by pestilence during the Time of Troubles and it still pervades the area. The priest in the keep is undead but able to talk. The villagers shun the keep [22]

Other Lore
Ruha and Zale pursued Malik from Candlekeep. [19-23]
Ruha cast a spell outside Iriaebor and spawned a rainstorm that flattened half the farmhouses outside Iriaebor [23]
The Worm of Gloom beneath Mount Talath [24]
A Gigantes in Elventree [24]
A Kraken in Hillshadow Lake, Mystra’s avatar fought and defeated it [24,28]
Avner of Hartsvale became the Seraph of Death for Kelemvor. Later became the Seraph of Thieves for Mask after he rescued Mystra from Helm’s imprisonment [24,43]
A thousand footmen of Hlondeth besieging a citadel in the Alphrunn Mountains. They lost [26]
Maharani – general or ruler of Hlondeth [26]
Chien, a shou lung square bladed sword [32]
In the Swamp of Nether, a black dragon arose and slew Goodwin of Haywood [35]
Gusta, a woman and farmer who has borne 15 children and planted a field every year of her life. Died this year [36]
Mandra the Mighty who changed the Sea of Petark to wine. Dead. Mystra worshipper [36]
Darshan the Dread who filled the Chasm of Narfell with diamonds. Dead. Mystra worshipper [36]
Baldemar the Brilliant. Dead. Mystra worshipper [36]
Finest Mulmaster port (the drink) [37]
Three years ago Talos had begun a quiet campaign to subvert her worshippers [38]
Cyric wears a hauberk sewn from the flayed skin of Tethyr’s last king [49]


Voonlar Lore
Town, just north of the Dales, where the Shind Road forks off to Zhentil Keep and the Northride continues on to Teshwave [33]
Swordsmeet Tavern, a meeting place for many Zhentilar soldiers [33]
The Voonlar Debacle (as the Harpers know it). Ruha was fresh out of the desert and supposed to meet with a Harper agent among the Zhentilar to stop a smuggler selling slaves. Ruha caused a fight when a Zhentilar soldier tried to buy her body and the Harper Agent was forced to rescue her and blow his cover (Ruha and the agent fled Voonlar). As a result the smuggler was able to sell hundreds of slaves at Zhentil Keep [33]
Sign of the Shield, Voonlar’s only remaining inn [33]
Buorstag Hlammythyl, Bron of Voonlar, wears red leather trimmed with silver. Elected ruler of Voonlar, notorious hatred of Harpers. Loyal devotee of Cyric [33]
Temple of the Dark God Reborn, temple to Cyric [33]

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2021 :  13:01:00  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Douglas Niles seems to have improved his writing much from the early Moonshae Isles trilogy. The novel was a nice easy read and the descriptions good.

It spent a lot less time on the outer planes than the Prince of Lies, which is great if you are interested in lore on Faerun.

Not too happy about the depiction of the gods turning up everywhere and handling all of life's problems for mortals. But then it was mostly Cyric, Mystra, and Kelemvor doing the meddling and i now believe that they were going through a change as they shed their mortal trappings and become true gods (i guess ascendancy isnt a snapshot event but a long process whereby you lose your emotions and in some case your marbles and then lose your material form entirely).

The whole concept of the Balance was a pain, at the end of the day even the novel came to the same conclusion as many on these boards. When gods get involved in mortal affairs the end result is annihilation. Mystra, Cyric and Kelemvor were meddling, some other gods got involved to counter their meddling then things got heated and by the end of the novel everyone was ready to destroy Faerun to ensure their rivals did not succeed.

So gods remain distant by necessity as well as because they deliberately or unknowingly shed their emotions and attachments until they become only neutral clouds of belief protecting and promoting an ideology.

Its only the young gods that upset this Balance because they are still partly human, but even that passes in time.


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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
140 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  08:57:52  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Douglas Niles seems to have improved his writing much from the early Moonshae Isles trilogy. The novel was a nice easy read and the descriptions good.



Are you referring to Crucible?

Crucible was written by Troy Denning, not Douglas Niles.

https://www.bing.com/search?PC=U523&q=crucible+the+trial+of+cyric+the+mad+author&pglt=427&FORM=ANNTA1
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  09:02:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My bad, I got my authors confused it would seem

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  19:16:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Starless Night (1357 DR)

Drizzt Lore
Venturing into the Underdark, leaving Guenhwyvar behind. Regis gave him his magic ruby pendant [prologue]

Mithril Hall Lore
The Hall of Dumathoin houses the most prized treasures of Clan Battlehammer including the anvil of a legendary dwarven smith [prologue]
Berkthgar the Bold, emissary from Settlestone
Buster Bracer, highly regarded armourer of Mithril Hall. Blue beard
Cattie Brie took Artemis Entreri’s dagger, it drains the life force of those it damages and transfers it to the wielder [12]

Menzoberranzan Lore
Tier Breche, on the northern side of the cavern of Menzoberranzan, a wide stairway anchored by a pillar. Home to the three academy buildings. Arach-Tinilith is the largest and most ornate of the academies [1]
Triel Baenre, matron mistress of Arach-Tinilith, eldest daughter of Matron Baenre. Short for a drow, too stocky, not pretty by drow standards. Angry, impatient [1,15]
Arach-Tinilith, higher levels home to the private quarters of the school mistresses [1]
Matron Baenre desires a legacy, to conquer Mithril Hall and Blingdenstone. She is considering allying with illithids to accomplish the goal [1]
Matron Baenre keeps an illithid consort [1]
Over 100 illithids in the region around Menzoberranzan [1]
Blingdenstone had been allowed to survive to keep the houses of Menzoberranzan working together against a common enemy so close [1]
Qu’ellarz’orl, a high plateau on Menzoberranzan’s eastern wall housing the compound of House Baenre and the proudest noble houses of Menzoberranzan [1,22]
Baenre compound, huge, half a mile long and half that wide. A 20 ft high spiderweb fence anchoring 20 hollowed stalagmites and encompassing 30 adorned stalactites. Purple and blue faerie fire for effect. Magical enchantments added by Gromph Baenre. Spiderweb fence so old only Matron Baenre might have been around to witness its creation (said to be a gift from Lolth). Spiderweb fence immune to drow weapons, strong enough to stick a dragon fast. At the gates a guard can speak a command word to have the web strands spiral outward and open a hole. The spideweb barrier blocks all levitation, teleportation, magical travel, and climbing magics [3]
Gromph Baenre, eldest son of Matron Baenre [3]
House Baenre can muster 2500 soldiers and 16 high priestess, more than any 5 other houses of Menzoberranzan [3]
The changing of the guard at Baenre compound occurs twice a day every day (a visual spectacle involving glowing Baenre insignia in various colours and subterranean lizards that walk the guards up and down the walls [3]
The Spider Mask, a mask of black velvet cloth with 8 joint wired legs protruding from the sides. Provided by Gromph Baenre to Jarlaxle. Rare, treasured. Allows the wearer to scale any surface including the webs of Baenre Compound (which are otherwise unscaleable to any magic) [3]
Berg’inyon Baenre, handsome young drow, Matron Baenre’s youngest son, leader of the lizard riders, rides a large lizard, holds a Death Lance (a ten ft long lance, razor sharp, enchanted with deadly cold magic). Was Drizzt’s classmate at Melee Magthere and sparring partner. [3]
Baenre Great Mound, a huge and ornate stalagmite where the Baenre nobles lived. Level 3 is usually where Matron Baenre holds audiences. Level 4 is home to Matron Baenre’s private throne room [3]
Matron Baenre’s favourite guards are huge minotaur slaves [3]
Baenre uniforms are silver and black [3]
Dantrag Baenre, Weapons Master of House Baenre, nearly 6 ft tall. Amber eyes (unusual), glow red when excited. White hair in a ponytail. Wears a coat of shimmering black mail. Carries two swords, only one is of drow make (as fine a weapon as any in Menzoberranzan), the other sword is taken from the surface and possesses a hunger (and can cut granite without dulling the edge, called Khazid’hea). Has magical bracers, straps of black material lined with mithril rings, magically defensive and makes Dantrag strike before his opponents (quickness???). Principal rival of Zaknafein (now dead), now rivalry with Uthegental of House Barrison Del’Armgo. Slain by Drizzt [3,7,26]
Uthegental, Weapon Master of House Barrison Del’Armgo, second house of Menzoberranzan. Huge and strong. Rival of Dantrag Baenre [3]
Matron Baenre’s throne (on level 4 of the Great Mound) is carved of the purest black sapphire. Said to contain the souls of all those unfaithful to Lolth, transformed into driders and trapped in the throne. Each of the arms of the throne is topped by a 30 carat diamond [3]
Bladen’Kerst, 3rd oldest child of Matron Baenre (behind Triel and Gromph), sadistic in the extreme, uncontrollable (even for Matron Baenre). [3]
Methil El-Viddenvelp, illithid, crimson robe with long sleeves (to cover his 3 clawed hands), advisor to Matron Baenre [3]
K’yorl Odran, scrawny, small (shorter than Triel), wears unremarkable black robes and no other equipment (not the attire befitting a matron mother). One of the most despised leader in Menzoberranzan. Matron Baenre openly expresses her hatred of Odran [3]
Females of House Oblodra possess psionics (the only thing that keeps them alive, otherwise Matron Baenre would have arranged their destruction) [3]
Matron Baenre wears a huge gold ring with a huge black sapphire that contains a living queen velsharess orb spider [3]
Clawrift beneath House Oblodra is filled kobold slaves (over 30,000 in number) [3]
Sos’Umptu Baenre, daughter of Matron Baenre, tends to the chapel in Baenre Compound [3]
Matron Mez’Barris Armgo of House Barrison Del’Armgo (2nd house of Menzoberranzan) [3]
Jerlys Horlbar drow female priestess, Matron Mother of House Horlbar (there are two Matron Mothers of House Horlbar - 12th House of Menzoberranzan), wields a tentacle rod. Slain by Artemis Entreri when she attacked him. [4,7,11]
Khazid’hea – cutter. A sword from the surface used by Dantrag Baenre. A thin red line of light travels along its impossibly sharp edge, leading all the way down to its demon sculpted pommel. Intelligent, able to communicate telepathically with its wielder. Smart enough to manipulate its wielders. Considers Dantrag its partner not its master. Desires to be wielded by the greatest, constantly pushes its wielder to slay all rivals. Can change the shape of itself (swapped its demon hilt to a unicorn hilt so Drizzt would take it, but Cattie-Brie picked it from Dantrag’s corpse) [7,27]
Jarlaxle rescued / revived Artemis Entreri. Artemis working for Bregan Daerthe, herding goblin slaves in the moss and mushroom groves near the lake of Donigarten [11]
Magical lights and flickering torches are more common in Menzoberranzan recently, preparing the drow for a huge surface raid [11,15]
Slaver band, the least organised of any drow band of Menzoberranzan. Operate outside the city driving bands of slaves to move or recover rothe. Usually led by drow from different houses plus students from each of the three schools of the Academy in charge of goblins or other slaves [14]
Spies from rival dark elf cities not unknown in Menzoberranzan [14]
Drow value physical beauty [15]
Gromph and Triel Baenre rarely speak [15]
Gromph Baenre rarely visits his office in Sorcere (despite being headmaster), especially when House Baenre is up to something important [15]
Triel speaks the common tongue of the surface [15]
Khareesa H’kar, drow female, priest, led a slaver band. Noble of one of the lesser houses. Slain by drow warriors not wearing house emblems (they were from Bregan Daerthe and tried to kill Drizzt). Youngest daughter of House H’kar [15,17,20]
The Isle of Rothe, where the slaver bands operate from. Hundred yards long and less in width. Thick with moss and fungi. Landscape filled with valleys and steep sloping hillocks. Orc guards chase stray rothe, take rothe to the mainland, and make sure herds don’t fall into ravines on the island. A single building built atop the highest point on the island, a small two chambered house made of gigantic mushroom stalks [15,17]
Underdark rothe only 3 feet high at the shoulder, solidly built [17]
Monsters supposedly lair in Lake Donigarten [17]
Vendes Baenre, daughter of Matron Baenre, often turns prisoners into ebony statues on display in the Academy, nicknamed Duk-Tak. Slain by Drizzt [19,23]
Quenthel Baenre, daughter of Matron Baenre [19]
Matron Baenre is near death but will not allow herself to die until she has conquered Mithril Hall. She should have died centuries ago (how is she prolonging her life) [20]
Jarlaxle tends to leave alive House spies among his Bregan Daerthe, manipulating them to provide misinformation to their house [20]
Captured nobles of interhouse wars had been kept alive for centuries as prisoners, tortured slaves (and healed each day) of the victorious houses [20]
Matron Ker Horlbar of House Horlbar [20]
The Matron Mothers of the 8 ruling houses of Menzoberranzan had not met together to perform a high ritual to Lolth in centuries [23]
Jarlaxle arranged Drizzt, Entreri and Cattie Brie’s escape to help Triel and some Matron Mothers (not Matron Baenre) [27]
Regis’s ruby necklace does not work on drow nobles according to Jarlaxle [27]




Jarlaxle
Has sources about the inside of Arach-Tinilith [1]
Attended Melee-Magthere and graduated [1]
Dealt with Triel Baenre many times [1]
Has magical boots that muffle all sound of his footsteps (if he wants) [1]
Bregan Daerthe have many bases hidden throughout the cavern of Menzoberranzan [1]
Bald, unusual for drow [3]
Speaks fluid svirfneblin [13]
Met with Councillor Firble twice in the last two months discussing the increased drow activity [13]


Underdark Lore
Gee’antu spider – the underdark version of a tarantula [1]
Velsharess Orb spider – the underdark version of a black widow but far more deadly [3]
Entrance to the Underdark in the Mountains around Dead Orc Pass (in a cave east of the pass) on a straight line from Moonwood. Where Drizzt first emerged from the Underdark on his first surface raid. Its location is known to Dove Falconhand and Alustriel who tracked Drizzt’s path back to the cave after Dove chased him. [6]
Displacer Beast [7]
Blingdenstone, 40-50 miles west of Menzoberranzen [10]
Heldaeyn’s Pool, a watering hole within a few hundred yards of Menzoberranzan [14]
Svirfneblin can communicate through the stone (part telepathy, part psychokinesis, sending thought waves through the stone) [15]

Drow Language
Z’ress – means Strength [3]
Quarth – means command [4]
Iblith – means excrement [4]
Abban – means ally [4]
Darthiir – means fairy or elf [4]
Jiwin – means play [4]
Ibiith – means offal [11]
Colnbluth – means non-drow [11]
jrmrin quui'elghinn – torture until death [11]
Abbil – trusted friend [11]
Kolsen'shea orbb – means “pull the legs off a spider” [15]
Asanque – means “as you wish” or “likewise” [15]
Duk-Tak – means unholy executioner [19]
Dobluth – means outcast [21]
Nau – means no [23]

Svirfneblin Language
Magga cammara – means “by the stones” [13]


Moonwood Lore
Moon elves in the Moonwood (including a 30 year old elf maiden that recognised Drizzt’s eyes – was she the child he rescued years ago????) [5]
Tarathiel, member of the elf clan in the Moonwood, ranger / wilderness warrior [6]
Ellifain, elf maiden member of the elf clan in the Moonwood. Rescued by Drizzt as a child on his first raid [6]

Silverymoon Lore
The east gate is known as the Sundabar Gate
Fredegar Rockcrusher (Fret to friends) was part of the group with Dove Falconhand that tracked Drizzt years ago when he first emerged from the Underdark. Know works as Alustriels most trusted scribe [6]
Alustriel gave to Cattie-brie the Cat’s Eye, a fine silver chain circlet headdress with a gemstone set into it (a cat’s eye gem pale green with a line of black running through its centre). Allows the wearer to see in the dark [9]

Other Lore
A unicorn now living in Montolio’s Grove in Dead Orc Pass [6]

Blingdenstone Lore
Councillor Firble, almost bald [13]
Menzoberranzan 45 miles east of Blingdenstone [13]
svirfneblin language sentence structure is inverted compared to drow language [13]
Seldig, and Pumkato, svirfneblin that once played with Guenhwyvar as children when Drizzt stayed in Blingdenstone [15]



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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5537 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  19:24:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another RAS novel done.

Lots of lore on Menzoberranzan, half a dozen new names for nobles of Menzoberranzan. The worst of all in this novel is Berg'inyon.

His habit of using De in names i decided to convert into "of", so Montolio of Brouchee, then all i need to do is phonetically corrupt Montolio into something more realmsian. DeBernesan is now ??? of Bernesan.

Not sure what i can do about Berg'inyon. Perhaps Berg is a word in drow and so his actual name could be Inyon Baenre.


A few interesting bits of lore about Menzoberranzan. First is that Matron Baenre is dying (not surprising given her age), but also that she refuses to die until she has conquered Mithril Hall, implying that she has some means of prolonging her life, and that this means of prolonging her life is failing. I'm going to take a guess that it has to do with the souls she has imprisoned (like the first King of Mithril Hall) and that she drains them for life.

The other interesting bit is that the leading Matron Mothers of Menzoberranzan have not met in a HIgh RItual to Lolth in centuries. THis time the High Ritual was before an assault on Mithril Hall, so what prompted the last High RItual between 2 and 9 centuries ago?

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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
189 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  23:53:42  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think "Berg'inyon" is a play on the steak dinner name. Just thinkin'.
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PattPlays
Learned Scribe

280 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2021 :  03:11:23  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The worst of all in this novel is Berg'inyon.

I can't put my finger on it but I'm pretty sure (adding a first name) there is a food pun to be made there.

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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 10 Apr 2021 :  06:00:51  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


A few interesting bits of lore about Menzoberranzan. First is that Matron Baenre is dying (not surprising given her age), but also that she refuses to die until she has conquered Mithril Hall, implying that she has some means of prolonging her life, and that this means of prolonging her life is failing. I'm going to take a guess that it has to do with the souls she has imprisoned (like the first King of Mithril Hall) and that she drains them for life.

-Keeping souls trapped to feast on for later in a ritual that empowers the caster does sound particularly spider-y and Lolthian.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Vol I- The Elves of Faerûn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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