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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 25 Nov 2020 :  22:24:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the most Lankhmar-style city in Faerûn:


@foggio


hello! I was reading one of the Lankhmar books, in your opinion which is the most Lankhmar-style city in Faerun? Thanks for you time


@TheEdVerse

If you mean the city of Lankhmar itself, it’s a trifle warmer in climate than Waterdeep, but it’s Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate that I think of, when asked to compare Realms cities with Fritz’s most famous city.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 25 Nov 2020 :  22:24:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the most powerful military nations of Faerûn:


@aerothgow

hello. i've been wondering, who are the most powerful military nations of faerun ? i'm guessing the lords alliance even tho not a nation is up there


@TheEdVerse

Well, there’s mobilized/aggressive/acting, and then there’s potential.
For instance, Thay could be crushingly strong, militarily, but is currently not invading anyone because doing so harms other realms and city-states for economic exploitation. Calimshan and Tethyr are also potential powerhouses but not mobilized; Chessenta is mobilized but its city-states are so often skirmishing with each other that they are weakening each other constantly.

And so on.

And then there’s the difference between reputation and what happens when boots hit the ground. The Zhentarim have a fearsome reputation, but entire Zhent armies have in the past been wiped out by one irked wizard whose magical studies they interrupted.
So that’s a hard question to answer.

Ask anyone in the Realms, and you’re likely to get a propaganda answer: if I worship Torm more fervently than others, then Torm’s paladins will sweep all before them.

On the other hand, if I cleave to Silvanus, the forest fey can wipe out all the glittering cavalry you muster to thunder onto the battlefield.

The Lords Alliance is just that: an alliance. “Nation” means a people who identify as a group, not a land, so the term fits—but the trouble is, the Alliance stays as one when going up against rival factions, like the Zhentarim; on other issues/conflicts, the Alliance is quite likely to squabble fiercely, internally, so any armies members can field might end up fighting each other.

Or as I so often begin Realmslore replies, “Well, it depends.” ;}
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:33:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On wedding rites:

@Madlockfreak

Hey Mr.Super Dm, I had an interest in the wedding rites in DnD. One of my characters plans on marrying a countess of Cromm's Hold. Are there established wedding rites I can look to? If it matters, the countess reveres Tyr and Ilmater. With the second part being, as my character is a lowborn, currently the court physician, will he need to be granted Nobility before he would be eligible for marriage towards a highborn?


@TheEdVerse

I can’t speak for D&D in general, but only for the Realms. Wedding rites are one of the topics that’s seldom been covered in print due to wordcount being needed for wilder adventure encounters, and so as not to offend any real-world religious beliefs. So there’s little to look to.

To answer your second, first, in Cromm’s Hold and other Heartlands communities, lowborns and nobility can freely marry without legal bar nor stigma, but the custom, for purposes of inheritance and legitimacy, is to confer upon the lowborn member of a couple their own title (“in their own right”) as well as whatever courtesy title they would acquire as consort. So IF the countess wants her new husband to have the same authority in the county as she does, and this isn’t fiercely opposed by kin or other noble/wealthy/influential (like senior temple clergy) folk of the county, he would be ‘created’ Count to match her title. This is customary, but not automatic (see real-world England: Queen Elizabeth II married Philip, a prince of Greece, but he didn’t become “king,” instead being styled “Prince Consort” because SHE is the ruler, and the realm wants her to remain so). So in this case, the court physician may become Count, or may acquire some special title (“Lord Protector of Cromm’s Hold” or “Champion of Crown’s Hold, Knight Before Knights” or some such), or may be styled with BOTH titles. (Your decision, based on how you see Cromm’s Hold viewing him. In this case, the Heralds are going to accept whatever’s decided locally.)

As far as wedding rites go, there’s a lot of local variation. In this case, with Tyr and Ilmater involved, clergy of both those deities would likely officiate, as equals, and the ceremony would probably run along these lines:

The physician is dressed in “sackcloth” (a crude garment made of an old sack with head- and arm-holes, worn as a tunic, over the naked body, barefoot) but escorted by burghers and senior guild members (masters, too), if any, with reverence, walking in two lines on either side of him like bodyguards, through Cromm’s Hold to an outdoor public altar (market square?) where the priest of Ilmater waits. The priest would scourge him, then escort (lead) him to the priest of Tyr at HIS outdoor public altar (in front of the home or keep of the countess, likely) where said priest would be holding a consecrated Sword of Justice. Which he’d hold edge up over the altar, and say a prayer to Tyr requesting a blessing on the union, as the physician reaches out with his palm and slices himself (in a SMALL way!) with the edge of the blade; the priest catches any spilling blood in a consecrated bowl for later use (see hereafter).

The priest of Ilmater then knocks upon the door of the abode of the countess, and calls her forth (“Art desirous of union with the man who comes for thee?”)

Her maidservants would open the door and escort her forth, she and they in finery, to the altar of Tyr where she’d nick her palm, blood in bowl as before, and she and the physician would then clasp their hands, bleeding palm to bleeding palm, over the bowl but NOT over the altar, as the priest of Ilmater and the priest of Tyr in turn say prayers over their joined hands, then prompt them to their vows: the physician formally asks the countess for her hand as an equal, “that our lives run as one, from this day forth,” and she accepts (“before the gods, and before all these good people”) and then they pledge personally to be each other’s partner and defender (“I, XXXmy nameXXX, shall protect thee and succor thee, XXXpartner’s nameXXX, until my breath fails and the gods claim me, putting thy needs and comfort before mine own, and keeping no secret from thee, until the end of my days, or until the gods set us apart, though I hereby pray they shall never do so”), they in unison touch each other’s lips with their own shed blood and then kiss each other, then the priests simultaneously heal their palm-wounds (one priest for each), then any announcement of titles conferred on the physician is publicly made by the countess (and a fine robe thrown over his sackcloth by one of her maids or a member of her household), then the countess requests that anyone who “smiles upon this our union” drinks to them, and then servers distribute goblets of wine to everyone so the toasts can be made (traditionally, the mother of the bride toasts first, then the father of the bride, then mother of the groom, then father of the groom, then senior noble present, then any other important noble head of house or designate, then mayor (or seneschal or head of local lawkeepers if there’s no mayor), then guildmasters or any mercantile head; the priests never lead any toasts, and anyone in this list who’s dead or doesn’t exist in the community is simply omitted (and if there are fierce rivalries among guildmasters or nobility over precedence, they toast in unison to avoid any trouble), whereupon the householder/host (in this case, the countess) bids all present to “break bread with us,” and the feasting begins. Which is an informal party that goes on and on, and usually involves much telling of tales, drinking, and so on; the married couple usually circulate among the revelers to chat (and traditionally, receive well-wishes), and then slip away to a bedchamber (the tradition is to consummate the union, but often, once the bedchamber door closes, it’s just to take their footwear off and nap on the bed in peace and quiet).

By tradition, the local herald “cries” (publicly proclaims) any new styles and titling of the couple the next morning, when they first emerge from wherever they spent the night. If folks have traveled to attend, they customarily linger for the following day and night, with the wedded couple providing hospitality (if commoners wed, often the local lord provides this in his/her “big house”), and that’s when gifts, if any, are given by the attendees and received by the newlyweds. And that’s it.

(Other clergy resident in the community or who happen to be there, by tradition, “stand as witness” in the crowd, and would take part in the ceremony if either of the wedding couple is pledged to their deity in some way—so in this case, if the physician had been trained at a temple, or worked at one, or had taken holy vows to a deity [even if not followed up on to become a priest], a cleric of that deity would take part in the ceremony, if available. For folks who don’t revere any deity over others, any clergy can officiate, and the rites morph a bit to fit the ceremonies of the particular deity.)
#Realmslore

@robpasl

Is it notably different on the Sword Coast or with non- humans (dwarves specifically)?


@TheEdVerse

Not really (Cromm's Hold pretty much is on the Sword Coast).

For dwarves who haven't renounced or been estranged from their clans, or who aren't keeping their union secret from clan or family, there's far more family/clan involvement in wedding ceremonies.

(In which dead family members, including revered relatives who were personally known to either member of marrying couple, are represented by their axes [or other personal weapons].)

I left out the singing, I'm afraid. For dwarves, there's a kin-blessing chant/plainsong, that gives the family line from a famous ancestor down to the couple now to be wed, reminding them that they're part of a proud line and must not fail it.
#Realmslore

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 31 Dec 2020 04:04:41
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:34:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a cleric of Bahamut making a deal with a chromatic dragon:


@pr1va7en3rd

Hey @TheEdVerse! Say a cleric of Bahamut cuts a deal with an evil dragon out of necessity (to survive). The dragon might make him swear to Bahamut to honour the deal & Bahamut wants oaths respected, obv. But how would Bahamut feel about his cleric dealing with a chromatic at all?


@TheEdVerse

Surprisingly, NOT angry. Bahamut wants more non-lethal, non-fighting contact between dragonkind and humankind (and all sentient races), so almost all “dealing with” will be encouraged. Bahamut sees this as the only viable “road into the future” for all races (otherwise, dragons may be wiped out, well before orcs dominate all other sentients).
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:36:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a Realms version of Chainmail (the game):

@EBedpan

After some half-joking discussion tonight a question arose: Is there a game in the Realms that is equivalent to Chainmail? If there is, how popular or widespread is it?


@TheEdVerse

Sandtable miniatures wargaming in the Realms is used more for tactical training/exercises by militaries, and less for recreation as a boardgame by individuals, most of whom instead enjoy card or dice games, “track” board games (Candy Land or Snakes & Ladders/Chutes & Ladders being real-world “track” boardgames), or Lords of Waterdeep-style trading or “get things done” games. There are a few “tactical” boardgames, as well. A few Realms games appear in various of the Volo's guides (2e), and I’ve outlined others here and in the Candlekeep forums, down the years.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:37:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a pureblood yuan-ti swallowing a human:


@syllafari

hey, i have a yuan ti character that needs to dispose of a human body somewhat quickly for the party. dare i ask, could a fully grown pureblood swallow parts whole? and in what sort of timeframe


@TheEdVerse

Purebloods are the most human-seeming yuan-ti, and so are most like humans in their eating capacity. However, like some serpents, they can temporarily unhinge their jaws to swallow things that wouldn’t otherwise fit, but if they swallow whole (not chewing or masticating, and so not giving their saliva many surfaces to work on, in the ingested material), they end up with lumps in their bodies that are only slowly digested by their stomach acids (4-5 days before the yuan-ti needs to defecate; they won’t be hungry for longer, but could force morsels down to ‘pretend to eat’). The digestion includes bones, so they leave little evidence behind, but the swallowing whole isn’t fast; if done publicly, the yuant-ti will be seen. And the pelvis, skull, and other large-in-span bones would have to be shattered before swallowing is attempted.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:38:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Alias and her sisters:


@Artie_Pavlov

I wonder if in 5e what happened to Baby Amberlee, and how wyvernspurs are reacting to Cat likely still being alive like Alias and her sisters?

do you ever talk about them with Jeff and Kate?


@TheEdVerse

We don’t talk about Cat, Giogi, and the Wyvernspurs often, but yes, Alias and Cat and likely most of the sisters are still alive. I leave tales of those characters to Jeff and Kate to tell, as I consider them “their” characters.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:38:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On cannabis in the Realms:


@FnordKyuss

Hello Ed. I have a few questions about flora in the realms. Since many plants from earth grow on Toril, I wonder, does Cannabis grow there? Is it smoked recreational or is it a religious sacrament? What places/churches cultivate it and where does it grow naturally?


@TheEdVerse

Heh. This was actually officially decided back in the early TSR days. They wanted it not to be in Toril, but I pointed out we already had printed lore of "hempen" ropes, woven bags, etc. Sooooo...various plants exist, their uses and prep are jealously-guarded herbalist/temple "secrets," cannabis has almost no effect on dwarves and gnomes, none at all on halflings, is nothing more than a painkiller for orcs, and makes elves violently ill (cramps, vomiting, feels like their blood is on fire). So most folk in the Realms employ other (fantastical/invented; see the Amarune's Almanacs on DM's Guild for a LOT of invented flora of the Realms) plants for recreational or even soothing purposes. Cannabis and several invented plants slow blood-flow, clear the head, and quell nausea. Most of my invented plants require the presence in a concoction (drink or poultice) or mix (line a pipe bowl with one, then smoke the other in the pipe) to derive hallucinations, or euphoria, or pain-free bliss.

[Of course, none of this was published.]

Whoops! Almost forgot your last question: almost all of these plants grow wild everywhere in the temperate zone of Faerûn (= the Heartlands), but there are a few (e.g. Quilaeya/"the Desert Flower") that grow in Raurin and other southern and eastern arid regions.

Oh, just one more thing (channeling my inner Columbo): the various creatures known as "hags" know all about the many uses of various plants, and make extensive use of this. My hag lairs are full of trap-bladders that release gases on intruders.
#Realmslore


@FnordKyuss

Was their reluctantance based on the illegal status of the plant? Who at TSR back in the day was a cannabis user, and did that have any impact on the decision?

@TheEdVerse

This was during the "Satanic panic" days, when TSR was mindful of preachers thundering about "witchcraft" and "demons and devils" being in the game, and Angry Mothers From Heck forbidding their kids buying or playing D&D. So having DRUG USE in the game was, yes, a red flag of illegality that could legitimately have been used to ban/suppress the game.

Much easier to just sidestep all that trouble by leaving it out.

Gamers are creative enough; they always morph the game to fit their own play styles and interests, if including it is wanted.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:39:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Cespenar:

@TimeBust

Any notes on specifics of the role Cespenar (from BG2: Throne of Bhaal) took under the still-living pre-ToT Bhaal? He describes himself as a butler and is an accomplished smith, but beyond that his actual role within Bhaal's divine domain isn't really detailed AFAIK.


@TheEdVerse

Cespenar was Bhaal’s quartermaster and armorer (making, repairing, and in some cases procuring from others armor for Bhaal’s guards and household; he also saw to metal tools, flatware, and pots and pans). Loyal to Bhaal and without personal ambitions; the perfect “strong, ready right hand.”
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:40:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On dating and courtship:


Nov 15, 2020

@jayeedgecliff

I wonder if you'd care to indulge another of my sociological curiosities? I feel like I saw this partly answered before, but a browse of @CandlekeepSite came up null.

Please, what is dating/courtship like in Cormyr? Does it vary much common/common vs noble/noble or common/noble? Vs other Heartland areas? Sword Coast?

Too, personal interest given I can’t play a het char to save my life, is there anything stands out if the couple(or moresome) are same gender ID?

Again TY SO MUCH not just for the FR but for its outstanding inclusivity


@TheEdVerse

You’re very welcome! I want the Realms to be a place in our minds where we can all feel welcome, a place where (when not facing the perils of adventure) we can relax, and feel at home.

Courtship/dating varies widely from place to place, social standing to social standing, races (e.g. dwarves different from humans; dwarven courtship is heavily based on “toiling on something together,” be it forge-work or mining or mapping and exploring), wealth, and local customs. In general, formal rituals of courtship matter most among nobility and “wannabe nobles,” either wealthy or well-to-do, who take refuge in social order (as cementing our place on top, or at least in the “comfortable superior strata”). For everyone else, courtship is far more a matter of ‘make it up as we go along.’

The Realms is far more tolerant than our real world “North American modern” when it comes to same gender, trans or fluid gender, and expressions of intimacy (hetero guys may kiss and not just hug and no one “looks askance”).

And because arranged marriages in any Realms culture or race tend to end up with more unhappy unions than happy ones, just about everyone expects people to “grow into a partnership” by living or working or traveling or adventuring together for a time, before a formal wedding (in the Realms, being chaste before marriage is a personal choice or preference, influenced by how parents feel, but it’s regarded as no one else’s business, at all, clergy included).

Among nobles and farmers, because marriage and offspring are so important an element in inheritance (keeping land and owned buildings “in the family”), formal marriages are important, and “formal, socially trumpeted” courtship is also important. Which means there are expected steps, like “being presented” at Court to signal that someone is “officially available.” And that also means there are established UNofficial, behind-the-scenes “getting to know one another” back-channel routes for getting to know someone, like going on a hunting tenday as a guest at one of the royal hunting lodges in the King’s Forest (same or different genders), or being a tenday-guest at the country estates of a noble family.

In Waterdeep and Athkatla and other Sword Coast ports, not to mention trading cities like Scornubel and Silverymoon, various clubs take the place of hunting lodges and country mansions (unless you’re in the interior of Tethyr); they are the “mixers.” And formal courtship largely takes place at feasts and revels held during local annual festivals.

For a noble, formal courtship may include dancing with someone in front of their family, then dancing with various family members (and enduring their queries or judgments/revelations of their personal expectations of the suitor, during the dance), then going on a hunt together (and, yes, there have been “hunting accidents” where disapproving family members frighten off, disable, or even “take care of” an unwanted suitor).


The only thing that really stands out for same-gender couples in courtship is buying underwear and everyday tools/flatware/“little things” for each other; differing-gender couples tend to confine such gifts to scents, books, and hats and cloaks.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:40:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Draconic terms for half-dragons:


Nov 29, 2020


@ZeromaruX

Hi, @TheEdVerse . I know you are busy, but if you can help me, I'd really appreciate it.

If "darastrix" is dragon in Draconic, and "darasv" is half-dragon, how are dragonborn called in Draconic?

I know there is a term for them, but I feel its more like a demonym.


@TheEdVerse

There are several. Erin Evans is THE expert on Tymantheran (as well as an author EVERYONE should read, Realms fan or not), and she’s given us these terms:
Kosjmyrni = a dragonborn raised by his mother’s clan
Strixicki = a pejorative term for the dragonborn (literally “little imposters”)
Thrikominaki = a dragonborn who is clanless
Vayemniri = the dragonborn of Tymanchebar

And in ‘standard’ Draconic, the collective impolite term for dragonborn is “darathric” (= no-dragon)

And the collective polite term for dragonborn is “darahar” (=echo-dragon) [“har” = echo, and hlar = roar]
#Realmslore

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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:41:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On drow afterlives:


@LysbethRaven

Great Sage, I ask this; when drow die, those who follow Lolth and those who follow Eilistraee or other drow gods, what becomes of their souls? Are they simply lost regardless of chosen god, or is there an afterlife for them?


@TheEdVerse

There is an afterlife. Those who follow Lolth become soul-spiders (spiders, swarming around her and serving her; she may transform them into other forms to take on tasks for her, consume and destroy them, or even give them new lives.

Those who cleave to Eilistraee join the Great Dance as flying, weightless images of themselves, unless or until the Dark Dancer changes them for her own purposes (see Lolth, above).
#Realmslore


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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:41:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On elven words for reverie and eternal:


@gkrashos

Hi again Ed. I’m getting harassed by you know who. What would be the elven word for “reverie” and while you are at it “eternal” would be very useful too. I note that in June you told us “mifir” was immortal, undying, etc. Thanks in advance!


@TheEdVerse

Heh. I know who. ;}

“ifeira” (pronounced “if-FEAR-ah”) is: eternal, always, and is always used instead of mifir to speak of things or conditions that “have always been here.”

And “reverie” as in THE Reverie elves usually experience instead of sleep is “eedqa” (pronounced “EEE-d-kwa”) but the state of calm contemplation/daydreaming is “staeya” (pronounced “STAY-yah”)
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:42:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Gargauth:


@aarakocra84

I've a question about Gargauth. In terms of lore, he is persona non grata in Baator, having been exiled under threat of extreme pain. Why is it then, he believes that going back to Baator would allow his release from the shield?


@TheEdVerse

Gargauth believes he’ll be freed from the shield because when in Baator (only) he can shift into three other forms not available to him elsewhere: an amorphous ozzing inky-black mass of many tentacles; a tatter-edged, semi-tangible wraith-like form that visually resembles an allip; and a larva-like form with two tiny arms jutting from the sides of his head. He thinks “going wraith” will allow him to seep out of the shield.
#Realmslore


@aarakocra84

Secondly - how exactly did he get trapped in the shield? It used to be an artifact via which he communicated with his followers. What led to his imprisonment and why did he not direct his followers to take him to Baator if that's where he thinks he'll break free?


@TheEdVerse

Some details are NDA, but it’s very likely he got trapped in the shield due to an entrapment spell laid on it by a mortal mage seeking to imprison Gargauth and harness his power—that succeeded because Asmodeus saw that casting and thought that trammeling Gargauth would be a good idea. Gargauth doesn’t want his followers to take him to Baator because he can “feel” the hand of Asmodeus in the enchantment that has entrapped him, and suspects Asmodeus (because of certain words that passed between them, at their last meeting) will be waiting there to seize the shield and kill Gargauth slowly and in torment, draining his powers over some years to enchant various items. (You’d be surprised at how many powerful beings are being-drained captives, in various hands, scattered all over the planes of existence.)
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:42:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On impersonating deities:


@AdamDravian

My favorite PC is a paladin of Sune. However, the trickster gnome in the party would sometimes use magic to impersonate signs and visons from Sune in order to prank or manipulate me.

Can creatures impersonate gods without fear of divine retribution?


@TheEdVerse

From my mummy answer, you can readily deduce that the answer is “yes” for some of the time. However, the real answer to this one is the tried-and-true “it depends.” In this case, on the nature of the deity. Realms gods are fallible, and many of them are flawed, and they have differing natures and personalities. Some like to test both their priesthoods and their mortal followers, and welcome sects and schisms, and some (such as Shar) love chaos among the living, and don’t mind destroying individuals among their clergy. Others will expose deceit such as you describe, and Sune is one of them. In her case, not instantly and swiftly, for deception is often part of beauty or at least allure, but she would eventually cause a persistent prankster to be exposed and rebuked. And her vengeance would be (ahem) a thing of beauty.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:43:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On mummies:


@bigobionic

If the Mulhorand culture is of egyptian descent. That mean that in country's like Thay they make pyramids to their leaders?

And that tombs or pyramids could helped some of it owners to achieve undeath?


@TheEdVerse

Although other designers introduced Earth-origin Egyptian and Sumerian elements into the Realms, and adventures that featured pyramids were retrofitted into the Realms, I didn't put any direct real-world analogues into the Realms. There are no pyramids in Thay.

If you want to add some, or a belief system involving mummification and the provision of tomb supplies for the afterlife et al, to your version of the Realms, do so by all means. But none of that is explicitly there in current Realms culture, due to the god-kings.
#Realmslore


@AdamDravian

Assuming you used mummies in your home Realms, where did you envision them coming from?


@TheEdVerse
I didn’t use mummies in the home Realms campaign, but you have stumbled on one of the Great Untold Secrets of the Realms (ta-dah!).

To whit: my Realmslore explanation for the mummy monster in the game runs thus: most mummies (on Earth) remained just that: mummified corpses, embalmed and prepared for the afterlife. A few were “possessed” by evil spirits (evil undead entities that had lost their bodies, sometimes because the bodies had fallen apart, sometimes in the process of achieving lichdom, and sometimes because they are devils in search of a body) looking for a host body. And a few of these evil undead animated mummies found their ways through gates, from Earth to Toril, and they are the “mummy” monsters of the game. They either hid from sentient societies in existing tombs they found and took over, or they sought power by entering hallowed temple or abbey or holy site tombs, and “rose” from venerated tombs there to influence high priests in secret, or even magically overcame high-ranking clergy and took over their bodies to become the “greater mummies” with clerical magic. Many were selfish and paranoid, but a few sought out other mummies (often using living priests as agents/go-betweens) to work together to gain covert influence, by means of cults they founded within priesthoods, over increasing numbers of the living.

Meaning they formed an Eminence of Araunt-like shadowy evil power group who saw adventurers as dangerous potential foes who had to be duped, eliminated, or manipulated into (usually unwittingly, as that was safer for the mummies) serving them.
#Realmslore


@AdamDravian

Wow, a juicier response than I expected. I love the thought you put into explaining an element that you didn't even originally intend to be part of the Realms. Thanks again, Ed!


@TheEdVerse

A pleasure.

The published Realms of course has to support everything in the game rules...so a great amount of fun can be had concocting explanations to link it all up.

Sages extraordinaire have been doing this for years, such as Eric Boyd & George Krashos, Brian Cortijo for Cormyr, the James brothers, Bryon Wischstadt, Tom Costa, all of us who've wielded an official pen like Jeff Grubb and Steven Schend, and many, many more creators down the years.

And in the process, the lore has been made richer for us all!
#Realmslore


@VikGray

I remember some book of realmslore told that Osiris sometimes created mummies to protect tombs from marauding, like Sehanin created baelnorn.?

Is that still a relevant lore


@TheEdVerse

True, and still holds true.

Created from a mummified body, or bone, or at least mummy dust, not from "nothing."

There's actually a profession: gathering all that can be salvaged to take to high-ranking clergy to keep for the god's purposes (said relics are left on an altar when the god directs, Osiris sends magic that roils for a night [and is dangerous to the living, as it drinks life energy], then a mummy forms from the relics, and rises).
#Realmslore


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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:43:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On joining the Harpers:

@CoraxDCLXVI

Hey Ed. Since my digging hasn't revealed much past 1375 DR, I thought I'd ask the Master Sage. Is there still an official process for joining the Harpers in the 1490s? And who, if any, are the active Senior/High Harpers on the Sword Coast in the 1490s?


@TheEdVerse

It’s never been “official” in the formal public ceremony sense. What usually happens is that the Harpers spy on likely candidates for some time, and if they think at the end of that time that someone is suitable (senior Harpers have a veto over this), a senior Harper will approach the candidate in private (usually trying to arrange circumstances where no one will observe the Harper approach or depart the meeting, so it’s often at night, wherever the candidate is sleeping, or returning from a privy) and ask them if they’re interested. If they want time to think it over, any later approach will have the same privacy but the Harper will bring reinforcements, nearby but usually hidden, to deal with any ambushes. On acceptance, the candidate is given a Harper pin and a Harper mentor, who gives them their first mission, accompanies them on it (often spied on by another Harper), and answers any questions the candidate may have/renders them aid/becomes their once-a-tenday-or-a-month contact.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:45:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Loviatan tortures:


Nov 30, 2020


@BMurpa

@TheEdVerse tw:possibly graphic.

Hey Ed I have a player who committed treason against neverwinter and was going to let a cleric of Loviatar at them.

It made me think, what kind of tortures or rituals do clerics of loviatar even practice? I can't seem to find much on the wiki.


@TheEdVerse

No surprise that lore is scanty; this is the sort of thing that has always been censored out of the published Realms.

Every clergy of the Realms needs its own book of rituals (and daily prayers, and do’s and don’ts). That’s WAY too big a topic for Twitter.

But when it comes to punishments, there are two sorts: leave visible marks/mutilations (branding, for instance, which could be “I AM A THIEF” in Common across a forehead), and those that don’t.

Because clerics of Loviatar believe in reveling in pain and inflicting it often over a long period of time (e.g. a lifetime), they specialize in intense pain that doesn’t leave marks. Sometimes they break bones so the recipient has to deal with the pain of movement with broken bones, but more often they specialize in very fine needles applied directly to nerves, or beating the soles of the feet, or floggings with soft implements that don’t break the skin, bruise, or draw blood. The intent is to cause intense pain without damaging the recipient so numbness or shock or unconsciousness or other means of escaping the sensations kick in.

If needles are coated with certain snake venoms, and the antidotes kept handy, tiny pinpricks can cause excruciating agony that lasts and lasts. (If you've ever been bitten by a water moccasin and survived, you'll know this.)
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:45:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Mab and Titania in the Realms:

@smparlin

Ed, have you ever pondered Mab and Titania's role/place in the realms?


@TheEdVerse

Yes. Their rare visits to the Realms tend to be confined to the deep heart of the High Forest, east side of the Star Mounts, in the warmest height of summer. Where they hunt down and inspect unicorns, magically healing those that need it, and sometimes work forest magics to repair woodcutters’ activity, “fill in” their trails with new trees and tangled vines and shrubs, and so on. Yet they may (very rarely) be encountered elsewhere, usually in the depths of forests like the Wood of Sharp Teeth, where large communities of elves or other sylvan cultures aren’t nearby.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:46:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On magical darts and shuriken:


@PastorGall

any interesting #realmslore about darts, shurikens, any throwable types of weapons? I dont see much about them.


@TheEdVerse

Throwing knives (carried in concealment, but handy-sheathed up wrists and down boots and backs of necks, mounted on chokers) are very much a thing in the Realms, but TSR de-emphasized them in print to avoid real-life tragedies (kid gamers getting hurt). Shuriken (in the Realms, “stars of death” [originally “deathstars,” but since Lucas later but so famously used the term, we can’t call them that any longer] are weapons in Semphar and Ulgarth and points east of both places, and are slowly spreading via pirates and sailors to ports everywhere in Faerûn. Darts, including flaming darts and enchanted darts, are also Realms staples from the beginning, but the magic ones, as they were activated by drawing blood upon striking a target, were omitted from the published Realms, as “blood magic” and so, verboten. Their effects ranged from explosions to dissolving into acid gouts to delivering tiny ochre jellies and flesh-eating worms and venomous snakes to targets.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:46:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Maglas's Chronicles of Years to Come:


Dec 25, 2020

@AlexMcclay2000

Hello @TheEdVerse and merry Christmas! I was wondering if there is any more information on Maglas's Chronicles of Years to Come, apart from DoF, FOR 11 CotD, and the 3e LoD? Where there any other prophecies that the tome spoke about that are of interest? Or is anything else NDA?

My party recently stumbled onto a copy of the tome (cuz the original one is in Candlekeep) and the session ended just when they found it. It's a Year of Rogue Dragons campaign, but it's still 1372 DR, some of my players are inquisitive so I just want to please them.


@TheEdVerse

The Chronicle of Years by Maglas the Seer consists of 4 matching volumes that contained cryptic prophecies, one to a page, with relevant notes, observations, and reports beneath each prophecy. A common mistake among members of the Cult of the Dragon is to think that the simplified translation by Sammaster is the same text as the original. (Some of the references you cite describe Sammaster’s translation.)

Some of the later pages of the original were “spellbound” (their real writings concealed beneath innocuous gossip pennings by a powerful spell that had to be solved to “untwine” it and reveal the true text).

Some of the earlier pages in the original contain still-unsolved prophecies that weren’t spellbound. These include the following:

The fire shall leap up from the stone and reveal the way, on the night when stars fall and towers tumble.

When moondark cloaks the well of dragons, a new wyrm shall arise from the bones of the old in the whispering tower, and it shall be more fell and cunning than elder dragons who have slept for centuries.

Black the crown, black the scepter, black the orb, and black the mask. Yet of these, one black is false, one is blind, one empty, and one the coldest kiss of all.

Three sorcerers know the secret way into Candlekeep, but it is not unguarded. The dead walker that is its sentinel knows how to lay low he who took a name not his own, after escaping when other lions fell, to rule Thay.

Three serpents shall greet the dawn, and one shall devour it.

Six swords sleep now, but in the right hands shall awaken and whisper guidance that shall sway kingdoms, and the world shall be changed.

Seek the lady whose smile curves beneath one eye of blue, and the other of silver, for she knows the Lost Spell.

Disturb not what lies beneath Wrinklestone, for when it walks, so too shall the six dead kings, and the Realms Below shall march.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:47:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Manshoon adventuring in Undermountain:


@garethgarfoot

Hope it's a good weekend. Has Manshoon ever adventured in Undermountain? Thanks as always.


@TheEdVerse

Yes. An early Manshoon clone pursued some Zhent deserts to Waterdeep. They fled into Undermountain, and he chased them, hunted them down there, and slew them. Then had a rather violent series of encounters in Skullport, and departed. Manshoon has returned to Undermountain on several occasions since, but very briefly, for specific purposes, not to adventure, explore, or ‘scour out’ the place.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:48:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Murghom's military forces:



@vorpaldicepress

What are Murghom's military forces like? Being ruled by Dragons, I would expect quite a force to be reckoned with.


@TheEdVerse

Most of the dragon princes have thirty-some-strong “rides” of horse archers (they carry light javelins, that they throw while galloping, not using them as lances); fast, mobile, and used to fighting from the saddle or afoot. Personal weapons: handaxe or shortsword, shields worn across backs much of the time, leather armor, daggers at belt and down boot.

Plate armor is rarely seen in this land, except when worn by gate-guards and mansion doorguards.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:48:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Mystra's Ban:


@Magtaius

Is it still possible to cast 10th level spells in the Forgotten Realms or has Mystra imposed further restrictions following the events of Karsus' Folly? Does there exist any schools of magic capable of casting 10th level spells?


@TheEdVerse

Mystra’s Ban on 10th level spells remains in place. Certain rituals can create magical effects akin to tenth level spells, if legends can be trusted, but they require the cooperation of many powerful mages and/or sorcerers.
#Realmslore


@RedNoBlue

Could you cast such a spell in the Feywild and reap the benefits in the Material?

How far does Mystra's Ban travel?


@TheEdVerse

Mystra's Ban only extends throughout Realmspace (where the Weave reaches).

The problems with casting ANY mighty spell on a Plane of Existence other than the Prime Material are: attracting undue attention from local dwellers, and: most casters don't fully understand the nature (natural workings/cycles) of any plane, and could cause great chaos/instability, dooming themselves and ending up with a different magical effect than they intended.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  16:48:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On offerings on altars:


Dec 18, 2020


@AdamDravian

@TheEdVerse I'm guessing votive and sacrificial offerings at divine altars are something that was glossed over in official Realmslore. Anything you can share? Do material offerings vanish to show the diety has accepted it?


@TheEdVerse

They were, and are. As was the use of drops of the caster's blood as material components.

Offerings are put on an altar in a temple. On the road, they can be placed in a consecrated bowl, or on any surface or in any depression that's had a symbol of the deity traced on/in it with the offerer's fingertip (preferably traced in blood, tears, spittle, or fire-ashes). Sometimes they vanish as the god takes them (in a temple, often due to a spell covertly cast by priests, to impress the devout, but on rare occasions, genuinely), sometimes they are consumed by fire (spellsent by priests or the deity or a servitor of the deity, or formally and openly applied to end the ritual/prayer), and sometimes reverently taken up for temple use or distribution to the poor or needy, or even, if it's edible, used as a "god-blessed" medicine for the ailing, stricken, or wounded.
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