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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5846 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2021 :  20:06:45  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Ed Greenwood novels. I know some people complain about the language, but it works fine for me, i've heard some complain that Myrjala kept rescuing Elminster over and again which is true but again it works fine for me, others say his novels ramble but i love the little extra details that are not necessary to the plot but provide wonderful extra detail, the one shot npcs that turn up only to get killed (life is like that and bystanders get killed unexpectedly).

There are half a hundred name drops in this novel, a hundred place names, 50 odd magic items, and thats probably an underestimate.

I do wonder about several things.

1 - What happened to the Lion Sword, was it ever restored in some way.

2 - What exactly was Myrjala. The novel reveals it is Mystra buuuutttt. I'm not buying the whole god in person thing, because if that was true when Myrjala died so would Mystra (time of troubles or not, dead is dead). If Myrjala was an avatar then why was she around for so long and so often, Avatars are expensive, you cant just keep one running for several years, Avatars are lethal, look at the faiths and avatars book, just being near an Avatar causes mortals to spontaneously combust, Avatars are also immune to just about everything so Myrjala wouldnt be killed by Ilhundyl or Undarl.

3 - What was Undarl doing in Athalantar, what was his motivation. I know the Malaugrym later are obsessed with vengeance against Elminster, but before that time what motivates a malaugrym. Does he want more magic, he seemed powerful enough to slay all the magelords so why serve as one of them for so long, why not just take the magic. Was he looking for something in and around Athalantar that he just couldnt find, i would suggest the Lion Sword (perhaps it was a bane against malaugrym).

4 - What was Braer, it says he was an elf that could become a dragon but i suspect it goes much further than a shapechange, it seems that he is half and half, a dragon and an elf, not unlike a song dragon.

5 - I wonder how much of Athalantar survives. I know Hastarl was ruined and stuff built atop it, but there were a lot of castles in Athalantar and a lot of magic. Undarl had a weird pedestal that could extend a spells duration by consuming gems. The Stag Throne was probably magical. The Sword of the Stag. These things must all have ended up somewhere.

6 - Anders learned the ways of magic in Thyndlamdrivvar, is that a netherese enclave or was he from elsewhere (perhaps Thaeravel).

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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1916 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2021 :  22:51:59  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison
3 - What was Undarl doing in Athalantar, what was his motivation. I know the Malaugrym later are obsessed with vengeance against Elminster, but before that time what motivates a malaugrym. Does he want more magic, he seemed powerful enough to slay all the magelords so why serve as one of them for so long, why not just take the magic. Was he looking for something in and around Athalantar that he just couldnt find, i would suggest the Lion Sword (perhaps it was a bane against malaugrym).

4 - What was Braer, it says he was an elf that could become a dragon but i suspect it goes much further than a shapechange, it seems that he is half and half, a dragon and an elf, not unlike a song dragon.



I think I have decent answers for both of these, to be revealed in the fullness of time.

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35679 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2021 :  04:01:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


2 - What exactly was Myrjala. The novel reveals it is Mystra buuuutttt. I'm not buying the whole god in person thing, because if that was true when Myrjala died so would Mystra (time of troubles or not, dead is dead). If Myrjala was an avatar then why was she around for so long and so often, Avatars are expensive, you cant just keep one running for several years, Avatars are lethal, look at the faiths and avatars book, just being near an Avatar causes mortals to spontaneously combust, Avatars are also immune to just about everything so Myrjala wouldnt be killed by Ilhundyl or Undarl.


Avatars can hang around for long periods of time, and I've no idea where this "just being near an Avatar causes mortals to spontaneously combust" thing comes from -- gonna need a source on that one, especially since it contradicts a lot of canon lore.

Selûne hung out in Waterdeep, pretending to be an innkeeper, for a while.

Honestly, I think that the avatars in the deity books are "battle avatars" and that they are just one type of avatar. I think that deities can spin off "lesser" avatars at need, and that some of these avatars could be pretty much mortal. Hence Myrjala was not Mystra's "battle avatar", instead, Myrjala was prolly a little more than mortal but nowhere near the power of what's described in Faiths & Avatars.

It just makes sense. A deity wants to guide a mortal without being obvious about it, or they have some other reason to maintain a low profile whilst on the Prime, so they invest less power and make a lesser avatar.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5846 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2021 :  09:21:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I look forward to reading more about Undarl and Athalantar in your upcoming adventures.

Still not convinced about the Mystra thing and lesser avatars. I dont believe that has ever been detailed in a sourcebook, and we cant really take novels as the baseline for divine activity because they are so inconsistent in approach and quality.

The more I read, the more I come to think mystra is not a god. If she is the weave itself, she can grant spells, perform miracles of magic, do absolutely anything she wants really, whisper in the minds of people, communicate with worshippers, do everything that a God can do.
So if she were not a true deity how would anyone know?

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35679 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2021 :  16:11:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I look forward to reading more about Undarl and Athalantar in your upcoming adventures.

Still not convinced about the Mystra thing and lesser avatars. I dont believe that has ever been detailed in a sourcebook, and we cant really take novels as the baseline for divine activity because they are so inconsistent in approach and quality.

The more I read, the more I come to think mystra is not a god. If she is the weave itself, she can grant spells, perform miracles of magic, do absolutely anything she wants really, whisper in the minds of people, communicate with worshippers, do everything that a God can do.
So if she were not a true deity how would anyone know?



Bowel movements have never been detailed in sourcebooks, either. That's no reason to assume they don't exist in-setting, though, especially when there is evidence otherwise.

But it is canon, in-a-sourcebook information that the statted avatars are not the only avatars a deity can create. From page 17 of Faiths & Avatars, emphasis mine:

"The statistics for a deity’s avatar given in Faiths & Avatars are for the most common avatar form or forms the power uses. Dungeon Masters are free to have the deities they use manifest in avatars of appropriate might and form for the flavor of campaign they run and for the instance in which the avatar is encountered."

If there is a most common form, then there is an option for other forms -- including lesser, near-mortal ones.

Moving on... I don't understand why you'd think Mystra isn't a deity. Every available bit of information, including the words of Ed himself, indicates that she is a deity. Aside from this one thing for which you've already rejected a logical explanation that fits available canon, why would you think she's something else?

Also, why would you think she's not a deity when you say "it's not in a sourcebook!" is a reason to dismiss something and we don't have anything in sourcebooks that is identical to but not deities?

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 27 Nov 2021 16:47:47
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5846 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2021 :  16:51:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's because Ed has also repeatedly stated Mystra is the Weave. That makes Mystra unique in that she is the only true divine being that is also bound to the material plane. It doesnt work in my mind, and Ed is a renowned wordsmith, using subtle language to misdirect or not reveal his true secrets.

Also most of the problems with the gods that people have (myself included) is when they turn up and battle Krakens in Elturel, or assassinate high priests of rival faiths, and most of this seems to come from Mystra and her actions, but if Mystra is not entirely what she appears then the problem is solved.

And then there is the fact that things have changed so much and are so inconsistent with the gods that it is hard not to question everything about them. Bahamut and Tiamat are first mentioned as quasi deities, then they are described as gods in later additions but in fact they are archetypes with aspects on each world. There is so much not made clear that to accept what little information we have as the only truth seems unwise.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35679 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2021 :  17:05:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

It's because Ed has also repeatedly stated Mystra is the Weave. That makes Mystra unique in that she is the only true divine being that is also bound to the material plane. It doesnt work in my mind, and Ed is a renowned wordsmith, using subtle language to misdirect or not reveal his true secrets.


He's also point-blank said she's a deity.

And she is not bound to the material plane. She has control over something in the material plane, the same as all other deities.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Also most of the problems with the gods that people have (myself included) is when they turn up and battle Krakens in Elturel, or assassinate high priests of rival faiths, and most of this seems to come from Mystra and her actions, but if Mystra is not entirely what she appears then the problem is solved.


Really? Let's see some sources of gods showing up to battle random monsters, or directly assassinating anyone.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

And then there is the fact that things have changed so much and are so inconsistent with the gods that it is hard not to question everything about them. Bahamut and Tiamat are first mentioned as quasi deities, then they are described as gods in later additions but in fact they are archetypes with aspects on each world. There is so much not made clear that to accept what little information we have as the only truth seems unwise.



Bahamut and Tiamat were not created by Ed. They are not Realms-only powers. They are not relevant to this discussion.

And there is orders of magnitude more info available about Mystra than there is for Bahamut and Tiamat combined.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 28 Nov 2021 05:59:16
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2204 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2021 :  17:17:28  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess you're reading too much into it. Faiths and Avatars was released two years after Making of a Mage, and perhaps the authors didn't take Myrjala into account when writing the book (maybe they weren't even aware of her). And you can't expect Ed to abide by rules that wasn't yet written when he wrote this book.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 27 Nov 2021 17:17:49
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
664 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2021 :  05:00:21  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Zeromaru, I enjoy your detailed novel deconstructions greatly, and I don't mean to dog-pile, but to suggest that both Julia ("The actual product lead, not that anyone bothers to give her credit") Martin and Eric ("Oh! Oh! I have Notes! Realms-notes! Lore! Lemme Use them!") Boyd weren't aware of Elminster: The Making of a Mage seems a bit much? As does the theory that Ed, conscientious as he always has been in keeping Realmslore "according to TSR/WotC canon," was unaware of both the prior ADnD comics, and the fact that avatars somehow innately cause mortals to spontaneously burst into flame around them. Not even in the Avatar series, where the gods were forced into avatar-form, and yet mortals were able to interact with them quite freely.

I mean, I understand deity interactions with Faerûn are a personal bugaboo for you (and heck, I don't prefer a bunch of them, too), but this one seems a leap too far?


AJA
YAFRP
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2204 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2021 :  15:54:33  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess you're mistaking me with Gary, lol

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
664 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2021 :  21:27:39  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
I guess you're mistaking me with Gary, lol

Absolutely, yikes! Apologies for that


AJA
YAFRP
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5846 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2021 :  14:37:50  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Giant Among Us (1366 DR)
Troy Denning

High Meadow
Croseley, toothless old man, liver spotted hands, left in charge of 5 youths (Thorley, Dena, Birk, and 2 other younger children) [prologue]
Thorley, 10 years old, freckled, red hair, green hairs [prologue]
Dena, blonde girl, younger than 10, has a good imagination [prologue]
Birk, young boy [prologue]
Village, recently attacked by hill giants and their dire wolves [1]
One of the entry points into the Kingdom of Hartwick [1]

Cuthbert Fief
Lake Cuthbert, in the centre of Cuthbert Fief near Cuthbert Castle. A hundred hills and many villages (including High Meadow) surround the lake [2,3]
At least three tribes of giants attacking the hamlets and villages around Castle Cuthbert [2]
Mountains form the southern border of Cuthbert’s lands – impassable except for a narrow pass, craggy hills to the north of these lands [2]
Cuthbert Castle, lies on a craggy island near one bank of Lake Cuthbert, a long bridge (can be collapsed in an emergency) connects the island to the shore – has a library in its lowest sub-basement [3]
Cuthbert Fief surrounded by mountain ranges. [3]
A snakelike road connects Cuthbert Fief to the rest of Hartsvale in the south. Cuthbert Pass is where the road crosses the mountain range, a long and winding pass with high cliffs on both sides and a narrow bottleneck in the centre [3]
Three rugged paths cross the northern mountain range and lead to the Icy Plains [3]
A single trail runs southeast through the mountains known as Shepherd’s Nightmare. Disappears into streams in several places and at the top its nothing more than a broken ledge clinging to the side of Wyvern’s Eyrie. The mouth of Shepherd’s Nightmare is a gorge, narrow and wet, with a single goat trail leading up the valley [3,5]
Wyvern’s Eyrie, a mountain peak in the southeast of Cuthbert Fief [3]
Known as the High Country [3]
Earl Wendel’s lands are south of Cuthbert Fief [3]
Secret tunnel runs from the library of Cuthbert Castle towards Shepherd’s Nightmare. This tunnel has been a secret for many years [3]
Cuthbert Fief was taken from the stone giants by Earl Cuthbert’s ancestors. A number of biotite folios were seized and detailed the history of the giant race (Ostoria????), but no mention of the Twilight Spirit [3]
Large silver mask given to Earl Cuthbert as a wedding gift by Lady Cuthbert’s father, Basil etches a number of magical runes into it so Tavis can use it to magically disguise himself as any human or giant [3]
After attacking the outlying villages, more than a hundred hill giants lay siege to Castle Cuthbert with Brianna inside [4]
Juniper bushes in Cuthbert Fief [4]
A large farm at the mouth of Shepherd’s Nightmare, run by a family: father, mother, sons and daughters. Farm is attacked by Gavorial and his stone giants. Only Eamon Drake (a son) and his mother and sisters survive [6]
Blane, sergeant of engines at Cuthbert Castle [9]
Something foul in Cuthbert Castle, a scion of an evil as ancient as Toril itself, come to claim a treasure long lost before the first human kingdoms arose in Hartsvale [9]
Olchak, one of the elder traell on the edge of Cuthbert Fief [12]
There are rumours of a lake monster in Lake Cuthbert, and that its voice brings death [15]
Earl Cuthbert slain by Arlien, his wife and daughters survive [18]

Other Lore
Peppers, black, from Anauroch, the hottest peppers (may only be the hottest in the North) [prologue]
The Twilight Spirit is the guardian spirit of giants. [prologue]
Sparrows in Hartwick, trout in the Clearwhirl River [1]
The Icy Plains, north of Cuthbert Castle, endless miles of frozen plains filled with dragons and giants and worse [2]
The Cold Hours – time between midnight and dawn [3]
Umber pines, have thick downswept boughs nearly to the ground, perfect for humans and small animals to hide in from giants
Mammoths are scared of bears and dragons. Can only really carry young giants, adult giants are too heavy and the mammoths perish from the exertion after a few miles [12]
Remorhaz, have a blind-spot behind the head [12]
Goblet pines [13]
Wyverns and Wyrms, a game about guessing the opponent’s plans and planting false clues. Known by Basil (is it a giant game or human????) [16]

Tavis Burden
Firbolg, mother died in childbirth, a trapper brought him to an orphanage in Hartwick Village. Not enough food to feed a firbolg so he is only 8 ft tall. When he was old enough, he joined the Border Patrol and became the best scout. Then the lady that ran the orphanage died and he returned to run it, that was when he met Brianna and fell in love with her. [prologue]
After saving Brianna, Tavis was made her bodyguard and his quiver carries a golden arrow (Tavis is a commoner and cannot marry the Queen). The golden arrow is enchanted to slay Brianna immediately [prologue,2]
Has rune arrows that explode when the command is used (“Basil is wise”) [1]
Had slain plenty of giants (many larger than hill giants) with Bear Driller [4]
Bear Driller is a composite bow reinforced with dragon bone, Tavis was shown how to create this by his mentor [4]
Julien destroys Bear Driller by exploding one of Tavis’ runearrows as Tavis fires it [13]

Kingdom of Hartwick
Captain Selwyn, leader of the Company of the White Wolf. Iridescent chain mail, silver axe, war fever in battle. Uncomfortable with court politics. Slain by Arlien [1,9,17]
Company of the White Wolf, renowned. Created or hired by Queen Brianna, commanded directly by the queen [1,9]
Earl Cuthbert, Lord of High Meadow and surrounding lands, barrel-chested, round-faced man of fifty with a balding head and squinting eyes. His symbol is a pair of crossed shepherd staves. Married to Lady Cuthbert. Has daughters. Can read stone giant writing. Earl Cuthbert was one of the first earls to side with Brianna against King Camden [2,3]
Serfs [2]
Cuthbert Castle was last assaulted 300 years ago [2]
Castle Hartwick’s Royal Archives, houses 2000+ volumes [3]
Humans worship Stronmaus and Hiatea [3]
Traell, normally live on the frozen plains north of the Ice Spires. Olive skinned, moon faced, soft features. Occasionally cross the Ice Spires to make their homes on the edge of Hartsvale. They lure giants into traps and slay them with ballista that fire 15ft spears
Hagamil attacked a traell village on the edge of Cuthbert Fief in the Ice Spire mountains. The traell retreated into their mines and have been luring and killing giants since (slain 3 warriors so far)
Sergeant of engines, man in charge of siege engines (defensive and offensive) [9]
Place a burning spear on the altar as a sacrificial offering to Hiatea [9]
Hiatea, giant goddess of nature and family. Watches over firbolgs and giant-kin as well [9]

Giant Lore
Fog giants, the sneakiest of all true giants, puffy pads on their feet enable them to move in near silence, are camouflaged in fog because of skin and hair colour. [1]
Fog giants live in the cold mists beneath (south of???) the Endless Ice Sea [1]
Giant tribes almost never cooperate to attack, the chiefs are too imperious [2]
If firbolgs try to lie their voices fail them, they break out in a cold sweat, and are plagued by a guilty conscience and sleeplessness for a weak [2]
Biotite Folios, the name for stone giant books, as big as serving trays, bound in copper wire, covered with thin slabs of granite. Pages of black mica, glowing symbols the size of human hands appear on the mica pages when they are touched, the symbols change colour from ruby red to emerald green to sapphire blue [3]
Meta-morpherie, the name for the stone giant written language [3]
Karontor, giant god [4]
Gragg, Meorf, Bhurn, hill giants [4]
Dekz, bigger giant in harge of Gragg, Meorg, and Bhurn during attack on Cuthbert Fief [4]
The giants know about the secret tunnel in Cuthbert Fief running from Cuthbert Castle (how, spy????) [4]
Odion, stone giant that attacks a farm at the mouth of Shepherd’s Nightmare. Follower (described as a son) of Gavorial who led the attack on the farm [6]
The Chronicles of Stone, a history of sorts, Tavis is recorded in the chronicles as a runt firbolg that serves the Queen of Hartsvale. The Chronicle holds him in great esteem [6]
The giants of the Ice Spires had long ago embraced common, but some still used their own tongues as a matter of pride [6]
Stone giants, infinitely patient, prone to careful deliberation and long pondering. Blood ties are not as important to stone giants as philosophy and spiritual heritage, stone giants describe followers and masters as sons and fathers, preferring like minded individuals to family. [6]
The giants know about the secret pass of Shepherd’s Nightmare [6]
Stone giants regard a pledge or oath as sacred and will never break it [6,8]
Stonehome, the home of the stone giants and Gavorial [6]
Gavorial slain by Tavis Burden, known as “Sharpnose” to other giants for his arrow shaped nose. Known as the best of his tribe [6,7.8]
Frost giants, notorious for boldness and bluster [7]
Verbeeg nobles pride themselves on their ability in treachery [7]
Julian and Arno ordered Gavorial to wait in the pass of Shepherd’s Nightmare for Tavis, and ordered the frost giants to ambush Tavis. Julian and Arno had also forbidden challenge fighting among the giants (who is the best warrior, etc) [7,8]
Hagamil, leader of the frost giants. Piercing blue eyes, long yellow braids. Stout and robust. Huge, bigger than most frost giants [7,10]
Egarl and Bodvar, frost giant warriors. Slagfid, leader of the frost giant band in Shepherd’s Nightmare [7,8]
Traell – means human in giant, strictly it is only applied to the semi civilised humans that wander the plains north of the Ice Spires, but most giants don’t bother with the distinction [7]
Thrym, Surtr [7]
Frost giants respect strength and prowess above all things. Diplomacy earns contempt and animosity. Frost giants see no honour in killing by surprise
Traelir – means human child in giant
Roskilde, frost giant capable of healing (shaman????)
Frost giants use Ice Diamonds. They never melt and are easily enchanted. Shoot out a bolt of searing frost if touched to any skin. Ice Diamonds are only made in the heart of the Endless Ice Sea (not Gilthwit – even frost giants think Gilthwit is a legend)
Khan of the fire giants, Paramount of the storm giants [9]
Nunatak – a craggy stone peak (mountain) that pokes up out of a glacier. The mountain warms during the day from the sun and melts the ice around it, forming large rifts and valleys around it in a circle. [10]
Frost giants ride woolly mammoths [10]
Frith, young frost giant riding a woolly mammoth, catches remorhaz. Of Hagamil’s tribe [10]
Halflook, frost giant shaman. Bald, one eye, yellow patterns tattooed on his head, dressed in the fur of a white mammoth. Carries a brilliantly glowing sceptre. Hagamil and Halfhook occupy the same body. When called Hagamil takes control and his body transforms. When knocked unconscious he reverts back to Halflook. The agreement between the two is that each has control for half the day [10]
Sjorf and Snorri, frost giants of Hagamil’s tribe [10]
Split Mountain, at least a day’s march for a giant from the Ice Spires around Cuthbert Fief [12]
Frost giants don’t mind if people cheat during games [12]
Dragon Rock, a rock lying in a stream in a valley on the way to Split Mountain [13]
No giant would take orders from an ettin [13]
Basil killed Halflook (leaving Hagamil in control permanently). Then Brianna killed Hagamil with a lightning bolt to the head [17]

Arlien
Prince Arlien of Gilthwit [1]
Handsome, swarthy man, curly dark hair, cleft chin. Brown eyes, broad mouth. Horned helmet, Warhammer, can be thrown and returns. Has enchanted plated armour. [1]
His enchanted armour can heal all wounds to body and spirit in a few days, but this enchantment vanishes if other magical healing is used [1]
Travelled with a large caravan to Hartwick with a hundred others. They were all slain by a tribe of 200+ frost giants. Arlien survived and tracked the frost giants [1]
Arlien was sent by his father (with a large entourage) to court Queen Brianna and marry her to secure a trade treaty with Gilthwit [1,2]
Brought a gift for Brianna, a necklace of thumb sized teardrop gems scintillating with a pale blue light. The gems are called ice diamonds, they are warm and cold to the touch at the same time, they are mined from the heart of the Endless Ice Sea itself. It is said that as long as you wear ice diamonds you will never cry. Enchanted to freeze any that try to steal it, also to charm the wearer (Brianna). The necklace doesn’t actually charm Brianna, it deadens her emotions, the potion Arlien gives Brianna charms her [2,5,16]
Actually Arno and Julien in magical disguise [11]
Tavis killed Julien [18]

Queen Brianna
Sturdy frame, just under 7ft tall, striking face, clear skin, dimpled chin, sparkling violet eyes. Long tresses as yellow as gold, lithe figure, long graceful limbs, gentle curves. [1]
Brianna is strong enough to beat a firbolg in a test of strength. Tavis has seen Brianna’s father beat hill giants. The first Hartwick King could supposedly best frost giants in strength [1]
Blessed by Hiatea at age 5. Only her father, Brianna, and High Priest Simon know of this. Simon has told Prince Arlien, Simon is the spy [9]
Silver necklace from which hung a flaming spear, the symbol of Hiatea [15]

Gilthwit
Gilthwit lies between the northern border of the Kingdom of Hartwick and the Endless Ice Sea. Supposedly a frozen waste of a land, so overrun by giants that the humans are reduced to savagery [1]
The Icy Plains lie between Gilthwit and Hartwick, or GIlthwit is on the Icy Plains [2]
Gilthwit has always endured the enmity of the giant [2]
Gilthwit is a rich land in jewels and rare metals [2]
Gilthwit is regarded as a legend in Hartwick [2]
Gilthwit has not sent an envoy to Hartwick before because Hartwick was always at peace with the giants (and Gilthwit was not) [2]
Gilthwit has a spy in Brianna’s court (who????), the King of Gilthwit knows all about King Camden’s betrayal and the Twilight Spirit, and Tavis’ golden arrow [2]
Gilthwit is an anagram of Twilight [9]

Basil
Larger than Tavis, gangling arms and bowed legs as thick as aspen boles. Distended belly, hairy stooped shoulders. Gaunt, half-starved look. Glutton when invited to a meal. Grey coarse eyebrows and scrawny beard. Thick lips, affable sly smile [2]
Enchanted the golden arrow to slay Brianna. Created a rune mirror to scry on places nearby [2]
Basil and his family were living in an abandoned dwarf mine. Fire giants owned the mine, caught Basil’s family and fed them to the flames. Basil was a young boy and was enslaved ever since [9].
Basil hates fire giants [9]

Hartkiller
Fire giants made Hartkiller a crown of cinders (potential magic item????) [9]
Humans made Hartkiller a crown of steel (royal regalia????) [9]
Hartkiller has a great axe used to slay the storm giant paramount (royal regalia????) [9]
Hartkiller as a newborn hunted and killed a hart (stag), eating it from hooves to antlers. (what happened to the antlers and the hooves????) [9]
Storm giants had a windy eyrie, Hartkiller fought the Paramount of Storm Giants at the eyrie above the Clearwhirl - it ran red with their blood (what happened to the eyrie????). [9]
Fire giants had a grotto (where????) [9]
Brun, son of Hartkiller [9]
The giants went to fight the humans but a great wailing wind rose and the clouds shattered and fell from the sky (fog and storm giant castles perhaps????) [9]

Arno and Julien
The ettin [13]
Intelligent, masqueraded as Prince Arlien [13]
Commands other giants, including Hagamil [13]
Arno is uglier and less intelligent than Julien. Julien is handsome and clever [13]
Tavis kills Arno with a rune arrow [13]
The enchanted breastplate he wears allows him to disguise as Arlien. It was forged by Lanaxis the Twilight Spirit and makes him nearly indestructible [17]


Ancient History
So it was that Othea gave birth to Twilight from her own dying shadow, thus imprisoning forever the faithless ones who had poisoned her. And when the winds of life whistled no more inside her breast, Annam's final son crawled at last from her womb. Great was his hunger, for Othea had held him captive a century of centuries and fed him not, and so he chased down a hart and ate it from the antlers to the hooves, and thereafter he called himself Hartkiller.
Now it was that Hartkiller remembered that mighty Annam had conceived him as immortal King of the Giants, and so he went to search out his rightful lands. He came first to the hill giants, and to them he said, "I am Hartkiller, your rightful king, and you shall bow down before me and make me a silver crown to set upon my head."
But the hill giants laughed, for Hartkiller seemed no king to them. Though his voice boomed like thunder and his mighty fist could shatter stone, his eternal fast had made of him the puniest of all Annam's sons, so that he stood barely the height of a firbolg and wore his skin upon a frame more haggard than a verbeeg. So the hill giants would not bow, and they called him Othea's bastard and drove him from their lodge with stones and filth.
Hartkiller went next to the grotto of the fire giants, and to them he said, "I am Hartkiller, your rightful king, and you shall bow down before me and make me a golden crown to set upon my head." But the fire giants said they would not have a king who stood as high as their knees, so they roared their mirth and set a crown of cinders upon his head, and they drove him from their cave with lashing tongues of flame.
Hartkiller climbed last to the windy eyrie of the storm giants, and to them he said, "I am Hartkiller, your rightful king, and you shall bow down before me and make me a crown of diamonds to set upon my head."
The storm giants asked if the hill giants had given him a crown of silver, and Hartkiller said they had driven him from their lodge with stones and filth. The storm giants asked if the fire giants had given him a crown of gold, and Hartkiller brandished the crown of cinders they had set upon his head. Then the storm giants said they would not have an oaf and a runt for a king, and they blasted him from their mountain with icy gales of wind.
When he saw that the giants would not have him, Hartkiller turned his back on the empire of Ostoria and went into the lands of the humans, and to them he said, "I am Hartkiller, and if you will have me as your king, I will drive the giants from this valley and make your farms safe from their pillage."
And the humans bowed down before Hartkiller. They made him a crown of steel to set on his head and gave him a wife to bear his sons, and also warriors to lead into battle. Hartkiller went first to the hill giants. With his great axe, he cleaved their chief down the centre and smashed their lodge asunder, and he told them to flee the hills of his valley and go live in the mountains, or live not at all.
Next, Hartkiller poured a tarn into the grotto of the fire giants, and when the flood drove them from their holes he pierced the heart of their dark khan with a lance as long as a tree, and he told them to leave the caves of his valley and go to live among the dwarves of the south, or live not at all.
Hartkiller went last to the eyrie of the storm giants, and they offered him crowns of silver and gold and diamond. Their paramount called him King of Giants, and said all giants would bow down before him if he turned his back on the humans. But Hartkiller would have none of that, for Annam had made him to be a good and loyal king, and now his subjects were men.
So the paramount and the king fought. Their fury boomed over the valley like thunder, spears flashed across the sky like black lightning, and the land shuddered beneath the might of their blows. For a hundred days they battled, never eating nor drinking nor sleeping. The ceaseless clanging of their weapons deafened all who heard it, until the Clearwhirl ran red with the blood of their wounds and their cries filled the air like the keening of spirits. Then did they drop their shields and sink to their knees, and they each struck one last blow before falling dead in each other's embrace.
And Hartkiller's son Brun went to the storm giants with all his father's warriors. He said that henceforth humans would live in the valleys and giants would live in the mountains, and they would all abide in peace. But the storm giants had no fear of Brun, and they told him the humans would live as slaves, or live not at all.
Brun returned to his people and commanded them to prepare for a terrible war, and the storm giants summoned the hill giants from the mountains. They summoned the fire giants from the caves, and together they readied their hosts to march against the humans.
But then it was that a mighty keening rose from a hidden vale. So loud was the wailing that the clouds shattered and fell from the sky, and so terrible was it that all the beasts of the north—all the foxes and all the bears, and the wyverns and all the dragons, too—all turned more pale than snow. A cold mist as purple as twilight seeped from the valley, and the armies of the giants fell to coughing and trembling, and every warrior heard in his own ears the hissing voice of a great spirit, and the Twilight Spirit spoke thus:
"Annam gave you a king, a king destined to bring all giants together and remake the lost empire of your fathers. But you would not have Hartkiller for your king. You laughed at him and you set a crown of cinders upon his head, and you sent him into the arms of the humans. In this, you have defied the will of the All Father, and it is fitting that Hartkiller has driven you from your valley and stolen all your lands.
"But your punishment need not be eternal. There is destined to come a woman of Hartkiller's line who rules your stolen lands. She is your hope, for Annam's blood is strong and it will run thick in her veins. She will bear you a new king, one with the power to undo what you have done and revive the empire of Ostoria. Be patient. Let the humans live in peace, for only through them can you lift the veil of twilight that shrouds the lost glory of your ancestors." [9]


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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 27 Dec 2021 :  14:57:51  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The more i read about the giant lore the more i like it. Its different.

The ogre magic and behaviour was quite interesting and immersive in the first book. In this one we get a bit more detail on each of the giants and their subraces.

Stone giants never break their word and record everything, are careful and ponderous.
Frost giant value strength and prowess above all and would never sneak attack, but aren't above a bit of rule bending or breaking.

Hagamil and Halflook are interesting, two giants in the same space but never at the same time. The changeover (Tyler Durden style) seems to be controlled by the glowing sceptre. Never explained, but interesting nonetheless.


Lots more extra ancient lore that i don't recall reading in the giantcraft book. Plenty of ideas for potential magical artefacts connected to Hartkiller and the giants.

One thing that struck me was Basil, he read in the books about a scion of an ancient evil which i presume is Julien and Arno. It says he was searching for a treasure long lost before the first human kingdoms arose in Hartsvale. What this treasure is was never explained, but it would appear to be in Castle Cuthbert.

Then we have the mention of a storm giant eyrie in the ancient lore, no mention of where it went, but a wind shattered the clouds. Sounds to me like the eyrie may have landed or a part of it. I did wonder how a giant castle managed to get built on a rocky spire in the middle of the river. Perhaps the storm giant eyrie is Castle Hartwick. The fact that Hartkiller and the storm giant paramount shed their blood until the Clearwhirl turned red suggests the eyrie was above the Clearwhirl.

And has anyone ever noticed that Julien sounds almost like a Titan in his description, tall, strong, handsome, clever, charismatic, human looking. Then there is his bestial, vestigial twin Arno (i don't believe i ever read about Arno being in control of the body). I wonder if Arlien was to be the original name of this new Titan, but Othea perhaps mixed Annam's child with Ulutiu's child and created a hybrid.


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Baltas
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Poland
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Posted - 28 Dec 2021 :  21:14:37  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With Julian and Arno, it is indeed quite interesting.

If Arlien (or separate Julien) was originally a beautiful, titan-like giant, it sounds similar to Fomorians in 4E and 5E lore (once beautiful, but cursed into being monstous, to embody their ugly hearts) and earlier lore surrounding Karontor (a once beautiful god of giants, fomorians specifically, warped by his jealousy). Though Ettins were rather connected with Grolantor.

This certainly wasn't Troy Dennings' (or Ray Winninger's) intent, but it's curious Demogorgon also was in 4E and 5E lore connected with Ettins stating he created them. This could be used to explain Demogorgon was somehow involved with making Arlien to his two-headed self.

[edit]

Maybe Othea merged the Fomorian ancestor (one of Ulutiu's children) with one of her children with Annam? with Arlien not being imidatelly visibly deformed, if maybe having a split personality.
With some of Arlien's chidren, due to connection him, mutating into Ettin, or Fomorians, when he was transformed. This would ask the question though, why

I take this idea, as in Giantcraft, Fomorians have a myth the prophesied king of giants would be born as a fomorian, would be born among Fomorians. This is a spoiler, but let's say Arno and Julian's child, will kinda qualify, as also being the descendant of the Hartkiller too. Ettin are also among the most deformed of giants, kinda parallel to Fomorians among giant-kin.
Both Fomorians and Ettin have some links to orcs - Ettin look orcish, while Fomorians were stated to get their evil-eye power from Gruumsh.
Last, Julian also resembles somewhat in story mythological Fomrians like Elatha and Bres.

Edited by - Baltas on 29 Dec 2021 13:29:40
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 29 Dec 2021 :  14:53:35  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It works for me. Didnt know about the fomorian myth.

I really need to look at giantcraft again, it's so wonderfully flawed.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
898 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2021 :  15:07:26  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glad you like it. One part got cut in my comment, that is my one issue in my theory - "This would ask the question though, why Ettin are counted as true giants, while Fomirians as giant-kin?"

I guess though it could be decided politically, and/or with help of priests which one strain of Arno and Julian's children shoul be counted as true giants, and descended from Annam, even if in reality that difference could be minimal or none (and explain why ettin are just above giant-kin in the Ordning).

[edit]

Also, I also now noticed Arno and Julian and his children - ettin, were the only of Annam's true sons, who didn't get land/a kingdom in Ostoria, just like sons of Ulutiu and their giant-kin children (as stated in Giantcraft). Further showing Ettin are kinda implied to be in a strange gray area in terms of relation between giant-kin and true giants.

I re-read Monster Mythology, and it also states the ancestors of Fomorians were beautiful ("some of the fairest of the giants"), but Karantor twisted them with dark magic, to be as twisted as him both in in spirit and body.

Edited by - Baltas on 31 Dec 2021 18:52:33
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  15:54:49  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shadows of Doom (1358 DR)
Ed Greenwood

The Book of Mysteries discusses the matter of Mystra’s essence as the author understands it. The book is hidden beneath a rune graven flagstone under the circular table in the innermost chamber of Candlekeep [prologue]
Mystra’s essence is held by herself, Azuth and a handful of mortals all self-willed. When one of these dies the essence of Mystra is returned to Toril and slowly recycled to Mystra (no one else can use it). [prologue]
Those who hold Mystra’s power keep it secret (for their own protection). They cannot be located or affected by magic that spies upon the mind or tames the will. Will live many hundreds of years (unless slain), resisting disease, poison, and the ravages of time. Their eyes tend towards blue and their hair towards silver. Those who hold Mystra’s power can all link thoughts with each other and communicate telepathically over any distance [prologue,1]
The Magister holds Mystra’s power as does Khelben and the 7 sisters. Mystra holds as much power for herself as all her mortal vessels combined [prologue]
Mystra fashioned a pendant containing her power in preparation for her demise [prologue]
During the ToT new stars appeared in the sky [prologue]

Elminster
Elminster possesses a book written by a necromancer of lost Netheril (Aumvor????). A crazed wits, paranoid, raving, disguised his knowledge behind code, jargon, misinformation, and mystical gibberish. Indecipherable to most sane wizards [1]
In Elminster’s home, Elminster has prepared a number of protective potions and antidotes for emergencies, hidden in a flask on a certain shelf in the kitchen [1]
When Mystra vanished during ToT, she poured her power into Elminster, it jumbled his mind and memories [1]
Azuth, Noumea (the Lady Magister), Storm Silverhand, High Lady Alustriel, and Nethreen (the Simbul) the Witch Queen of Aglarond. All came to Elminster’s mind after Mystra vanished [1]
Elminster watches over Mourngrym and Randal Morn. He leaves the Simbul (with the help of Storm) to watch over them in his absence and help the Harpers as best she can [1]
Elminster hides two plain brass (magic) rings in a rail post on his stairs. [2]
Elminster learned to harp from a beauty in Myth Drannor before it fell [3]
Zhent mage and warriors sent to kill Elminster, have a wand that pointed at Sharantyr (who was travelling with Elminster). Travelled through a mage-gate (an amber hued oval appearing in mid air) to Daggerwood from High Dale [3]
Elminster has a wand of magic missiles (alag for one missile, baulgoss for two missiles), a belt flask containing an elixir of health (cures disease, poison, etc), a ring of feather falling, a ring that turns away some spells. A ring of regeneration (works slowly). Wand of lightning, and his pipe (which holds a trick or two). All these items are old (from Myth Drannor mostly) and may not work as expected in modern faerun. [4]
Sabryn, Mulser, and a few Zhentilar attacked Elminster in Daggerwoods using a mage-gate [4]

Shadowdale
Aumry’s Feast, the day when the people of Shadowdale gather to toast their current lord in the name of a much beloved predecessor. [1]
Storm Silverhand is as famous among the Harpers as Mintiper or Sharanralee. Now semi retired and trains Harpers in the ways of song and battle [2]
Belkram of Everlund, originally from Baldur’s Gate (his truename is Kelgarh) and Itharr of Athkatla (a burly man a hand shorter than storm but much heavier, his truename is Olanshin), rangers and Harpers, training swords with Storm Silverhand. Belkram accidentally stabbed Storm while she was surrounded by blue fire, she was unharmed but his blade will now never rust [2]
Storm has a bastard sword that glints blue (magical???) [2]
Sylune, true name is Vethril, sometimes spars (as a ghost) with Storm using a black bladed battleaxe [2]
Storm warns Belkram and Itharr that for a while the most important being in the world is Elminster. All Harpers must aid and protect him, he cannot use his own magic [2]
Jhaleen, girl child in Shadowdale, brown eyes. Elminster saw in his dreams that she will one day ride dragons when she is older [3]
Balrik Daershun, rode in the forefront of Lashan’s troops as they cut down Sembian lancers on the road south of Essembra. When Lashan’s host routed, Balrik and a dozen comrades cut down a well armed cormyrean patrol to escape. Balrik is quick with a blade. Now him and his surviving comrades (3 in total) are brigands operating in the forests of the Dales (Shadowdale at the moment) [3]
Gaerth Wolfarm, brigand with Balrik Daershun [3]
Albeir o’ the Axe. Veteran of half a hundred mercenary skirmishes on the Westgate caravan roads and in the Vilhon [3]
New temples in Shadowdale, west of the river, near ruined castle Grimstead [3]
Sharantyr, Knight of Myth Drannor, originally from Baldur’s Gate [20]

Other Lore
Luth’s fabled bull, very wide (from over-eating I think????) [1]
Ghalaster of Thay, Murdrimm the Hierarchmage (a Calishite), Manshoon, all overly ambitious mages that might seek to seize Elminster’s power [1]
The Simbul has a hidden refuge deep in the Yuirwood, used by her and others in the past to hide [1]
Chilled green Calishite wine [2]
Cross arms on the breast and bow from the waist – as they do at court in Suzail or on the Sword Coast when meeting royalty [3]
Gallant knights perform a low, hand sweeping bow [3]
Swagger-swords [3]
Daggerwood, south east of Daggerdale. Home to orcs. Wooded country of ravines and ridges [3]
Bilarro’s Iron Spheres. Originally devised by Azuth himself (if you know Azuth’s truename you can command the power of any Iron Sphere, even if you do not know its actual command word. Bilarro, a much later and lesser mage, found one of these spheres, worked out how to recreate it, and retired fat and rich selling Iron Sphere’s to swordsmen fearful of magic. It is said that an apprentice used an Iron Sphere on Bilarro himself and threw him into a pond to see if he could swim [4]
Myth Drannan wands can be voice set (like a magic mouth) but only once [5]
The spellsinger Andarra was dying in a battle near the Greycloak Hills with Zhents from Darkhold. She used her lifeforce to power a song that made all magic go wild so the Zhentarim mages would have to fight with weapons. The Harpers won that fight. Belkram was present [5]
"Mages who walk in darkness," went the old saying, "cloak themselves in it and
think themselves strong—until the day it swallows them, and they come not out again." – old saying first uttered by Elminster [6]
Firequench, ruby red liqueur [6]
Belkram once evaded a Zhent group in Luskan, hid above their barracks and stole all their gear while they searched [7]
Black Stag, inn in Selgaunt
Lissel of Daerlun, merchant
The Laughing Hero of the North, spoken of in legends (this could have been Elminster)
Reddarn wine, hot spiced drink [11]
Mineira, a healer in Saerb, friends with Irreph Mulmar. Can get word to the Harpers via Elminster in Shadowdale [12]
Stealspell. Takes the most powerful spell out of a wizard’s mind and gives it to the caster of the stealspell. Known to mages of Myth Drannor [20]
Belkram’s parents were on a Nao (a type of ship) called the Dancing Dolphin sailing out of Baldur’s Gate. Pirates attacked and his parents were killed. Belkram took to the road. [20]
Itharr ran away from Athkatla and Amn, didn’t like cheats [20]
Belkram and Itharr met in an inn in Daggerford. Cult of the Dragon agents were there, they attacked a Master Harper Osryk (who slew them all), who sent Belkram and Itharr to Berdusk. [20]
Master Harper Osryk has been missing for a while [20]
Obslin Minstrelwish’s favourite musical instrument is a songhorn. He sent Belkram and Itharr to be adventurers before they could join the Way of the Harp (become Harpers) [20]
Last time Elminster was in Spellgard he was running from and fighting a family of mages who had learned how to turn themselves into dragons (House Orogoth????) [21]
Lathlamber, sparkling, glowing, warm wine [23]
Every archlich may choose how to spend their entire life and energy in a single task. Lady Saharel chose to expend hers slaying Manshoon because he attacked Elminster in her home [23]
The Flame Void, a place not quite out of Faerun, yet not in the Faerun that most folk can see and reach. A void of blackness, lit only by glowing purple mists and winking lights. No horizon or boundary. Mystra often leaves messages for Elminster in a tower in the Flame Void. No metal can be taken inside the tower [24]

Zhentarim
Manshoon, High Lord of Zhentil Keep, Lord of the Zhentarim, Overmage of the Dark Ring, the Hand of Darkness. Can drain the life and spell energy from rival Zhentarim mages all over Faerun [1,21,23]
Ithaqull, largest beholder, working with Manshoon [1]
Mulser, Zhentilar warrior, serves Heladar Longspear. Mulser and the zhentilar mostly charge tolls for passage through High Dale. Slain by Elminster and Sharantyr [4]
Saragh, Zhentilar warrior, serves Heladar Longspear. [4]
Heladar Longspear, Zhentilar commander of Zhents in High Dale (lord of High Dale at the moment). Served in the taking of Daggerdale and the Citadel of the Raven. Hard, but a good blade. Commands 40 Zhentilar with a dozen mercenaries (mostly crossbowmen) from Sembia. Stout, hook nosed, massive, in well-worn armour. Ruled High Dale for over a moon. Slain by Itharr and Belkram [4,8,10,13]
Angruin “Stormcloak” Myrvult. Zhentarim mage supporting Heladar Longspear. Commands mages Hcarla Bellwind (bad one, untrustworthy), Sabryn (slain by Elminster and Sharantyr), Nordryn Spellbinder (quiet). Commands apprentices Mrinden (slain by Elminster and Sharantyr) and Kalassyn (who rode to battle in Daggerdale and can cast fire or lightning), Haragh Mnistlyn (strutting dandy always wears court robes) and Ildomyl (arrogant and sneaky, mostly do guard duty). Haragh slain by Sharantyr and Elminsters. Owns a death dagger – a blade of black glass a Zhentarim blade. Slain by Irreph Mulmar [4,16,20]
Zhents are sponsoring brigands in the Vast Swamp which are preying on the roads and making travel on the Daerlun road difficult at the moment. Most caravans are using High Dale and having to pay Zhent tolls [4]
Zhents killed the constable of High Dale and their archers. The priests are locked up in the castle. Most Zhentilar troops are barracked in Eastkeep and Westkeep [4]
Sword, a title of Zhentilar warrior.
Wolves the name of the men at arms in High Dale, actually Zhentilar warriors commanded by a Sword [5]
Thalmond, old Zhentilar warrior. Slain by Belkram [7]
Oversword, title of Zhentilar warrior
Cabalar, Dhondys, Sabras, Mykhalar, all Zhentilar warriors
Ondarr, Zhentilar warrior [11]
Kalam Bloodsword, veteran Zhentilar, commands the Wolves. Slain by Belkram and Itharr [12]
Zhentilar’s that ignore signal horns are executed [13]
Dannath, Uthren, Balagh, Zhentilar warriors [17]
Gathen Srund, Left Axe to Lord Longspear (commander????), awesomely strong. Slain by Belkram and Itharr [18]
Sunthrun Blackshoulder, Right Axe to Lord Longspear. Cruel, butchers women and younglings. Owns a black, evil (magic???) sword about 5 ft long. Slain by Sharantyr, Belkram, and Itharr [18]
Zarduil, Zhentilar warrior. Heladar Longspear’s best fighter [19]
Mashann and Raeve, Zhentilar warriors and bodyguards to Lord Longspear [19]
Anaithe, bed companion to Manshoon [20]
Avaerl of Sembresh, mageling of the Zhentarim. Knows the truename of a powerful mage in the Zhentarim (“Gulkuth”) does not know who the mage is though [21]
Zalarth Bloodbrow, mageling of the Zhentarim. Owns a teleport ring [21]
Lesker, Zhentarim agent (rogue) [21]
Manshoon has tried to kill Elminster twice and been forced to retreat [21]
Belaghar, Zhentarim wizard in service to Manshoon [23]
Quyssztellan, beholder, works with Manshoon [23]
Manshoon hid a number of clones and a Rod of Rulership in a hidden crypt beneath Zhentil Keep (family crypt perhaps????). Guarded by a Zhentilar who is commanded to never be without a weapon in hand. When he was slain by Lady Saharel a clone awoke and claimed the rod and became the new Manshoon. [23]

High Dale
Eastkeep, Westkeep, High Castle
Belaerus, merchant of High Dale
Durvin the cellarer of High Dale
The Shieldsong of High Dale. Old song
Irreph Mulmar, former High Constable of High Dale, deposed by Heladar Longspear. The other constables of High Dale were slaughtered. Irreph was rendered docile by Angruin’s magic and now works at the mill. Former ranger [8,9,11]
Council of High Dale (many of its members are zhent agents [9]
Jatham Villore, fat, wheezing, heavy lidded weaver. Member of the Council of High Dale. Loud mouthed pest and far wiser than he pretends to be. Agent of the Red Wizards of Thay. Uses spells to hide his identify and abilities. Doesn’t kill people if he can help it. Obscured the Zhent spells when they were searching for ELminster and Sharantyr [9,10,21]
The Wolves, men at arms defending High Dale, actually Zhentilar warriors [9]
Xanther Srildar, Sembian merchant. Member of the Council of High Dale. May be more than he appears. Secret spy for Manshoon, not even Heladar or Angruin knew of his allegiance to the Zhentarim [9,20]
Blakkal Mord, dark eyes, dark brows, leather worker. Member of the Council of High Dale. Hates newcomers to High Dale, especially Zhents. A warrior, lived in High Dale a long time. Warrior in service to the Cult of the Dragon. Has a ring that shield’s his thoughts [9,19]
Thammer Saddusk, wine dealer and merchant from Sembia. Member of the Council of High Dale. Moved to High Dale in semi-retirement from the bustle of Sembia shortly after Haladar Longspear became Lord of High Dale [9]
Gulkin Hammarlin, burly, barrel chested former sellsword. Best carpenter, glazer, and roofer in High Dale. Member of the Council of High Dale. Hates mages and Zhentil Keep. From an old naval family in Daerlun. Had a short, hard mercenary career then lived in High Dale for over 20 winters. [9]
Kromm Kadar, blacksmith, recent addition to the Council of High Dale. Secret Zhentilar warrior of bannerlord rank. Strong, silent, observant. He replaced the former High Dale blacksmith and councilman who was a Sembian spy (killed when the Zhents arrived) [9]
Alazs Ironwood, the Sword of Melvaunt, horsebreeder and trader. Member of the Council of High Dale. Sarcastic. Zhentilar veteran with much experience in battle. His rank is a Sword [9,16]
Cheth Moonviper, balding, birdlike alchemist and psychic. Finger of the Black Hand (Banite priest). Blood member of one of the oldest Zhent noble families. Haughty, fussy, prissy, perfumed, and giggling. Member of the Council of High Dale [9]
Rundeth Hobyltar, local tailor and dyer. Smart and sly, laconic and cynical, appears easy-going. Shrewd warrior, often hired by Sembian interests to ferret out and destroy outlaws in the mountains and thieves in the big port cities of the Land of Silver (Sembia). Member of the Council of High Dale [9]
The Hullack Stairs, the western end of the High Dale beyond Westkeep. Elminster placed a stone marker in the Hullack Stairs around 300 years ago [9]
The Shepherds’ Rest, inn in High Dale. Run by Yoster, old warrior, has an old battle axe. Once saw Elminster battle a bunch of mages in Sembia that were enslaving people with charm magic [10,11]
Ylyndaera Mulmar, daughter of Irreph Mulmar. Set to sewing flour sacks by the Zhents. Young, gangly [11]
Baerus, old man, former warrior [11]
Ireavyn, goodwife [12]
Ulraea, fat woman, mate of Jatham, knows about his allegiance to the Red Wizards [13,21]
Gedaern, old shopkeeper, owns an old broadsword, old former warrior [15]
Lhassar, old man [15]
Jharina, goodwife, husband owns a horse [15]
Tanshlee [15]
Customary for the Council of High Dale to choose who rules in the dale [16]
In the High Castle, the old jakes pit has tunnels leading to a tower, the kitchens, the great hall, guest rooms, and audience chambers. No longer used, the jakes pit has been covered over [17]
Maerelee, wench at the High Castle [18]
An old Gate is located in the cesspool below High Castle. Elminster knows about it from long ago. It leads to a fallen hall Spellgard. It is a one way Gate [20,21]
Guards Tower, in the High Castle, has a guest chamber [21]

Spellgard
Formerly Saharelgard, now named Spellgard by others out of fear [23]
Only one mirror in the ruin, Lady Saharel smashed the others [23]
Lady Saharel is an archlich. Lacks the magic to restore her home to its former condition. Sleeps more often than not [23]
Lady Saharel, Sorceresss of Saharelgard of the High Mages of Netheril. Gave her remaining life and energy slaying Manshoon when he attacked Elminster in Spellgard [23]
The Fountain Hall, one of the few places in Spellgard with furniture left [23]
Elminster once broke the defensive spells in Saharelgard and walked into Lady Saharel’s bedchamber [23]



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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5846 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  15:59:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not my favouritest Ed Greenwood novel, too much action, not enough lore compared to previous outings.

A few things of note

Elminster last visited Saharelgard when he was fighting mages that could turn into dragons. Sounds to me like Elminster was battling the mages of House Orogoth. Could probably narrow down a date for that event.

There is a gate in the cesspool beneath High Castle in High Dale. It leads to Saharelgard. Its a one way gate, and Elminster knows about it. Whenever i hear about gates i always wonder who built it and why. It may well have been Elminster who built this one.

Manshoon died, again, probably the 3rd time in the 1358-59 period. He had a spell that allowed him to drain the life energies of powerful Zhentarim mages from all over Faerun (without them knowing), and used that to make himself more powerful. Sounds a bit like what Myrkul did during the Time of Troubles.

Would be interested to know who Gulkuth is the truename for.

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