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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  22:48:31  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Illithid's origins from the Forgotten Realms (according to Volo's Guide to Monsters)

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1483115395011731464

Jan 18, 2022

@TheScree

Are the Illithid's origins from the Forgotten Realms? Curious about this passage I read and if its something you can expound on?

Seems like a huge opportunity for a future realm-shattering event!

From Volo's Guide to Monsters: A few skeptics suggest that the entire narrative of the gith victory rings false. How could a slave race overpower the mind flayers? Where are the signs of this great struggle? Perhaps the gith didn't actually win. Perhaps, instead, the mind flayers moved themselves and their works into the future to avoid being overrun. That theory would explain the mind flayers' disappearance and the absence of any ruins from their empire.

@TheEdVerse

That passage reads like a wild tavern tale (or illithid propaganda) to me.

If the illithids had truly mastered time travel, they’d have conquered everyone long ago, and we’d all be tended herds of future meals for them, allowed to have interesting lives to give them quality memories to savor, but prevented from having wars and so depleting their food stock.

The gith really did defeat the mind flayers, because the illithids had become so lazy and decadent and reliant on their slaves that they left everything to these thralls and grew careless and overconfident. The “absence of ruins” suggests that whoever made this statement was unaware that the illithids had vast empires that included outposts on many worlds (the Realms among them), traveling from one to another mainly via gates/portals but also by spelljamming and other means of planar travel, and that any ruins—and surviving empires, for that matter—are just elsewhere, not in the Realms or other outposts, and that any structures the illithids had thralls build for them in the Realms have long ago been taken over (or dismantled for their stone) by others. In the Realms, large communities of mind flayers are almost exclusively in the Underdark—and there’s a LOT of competition for useful caverns and passages down there (aboleths, drow, duergar, dwarves, svirfneblin, myconids and on and on).

Me, I try to avoid realm-shattering events. They're hard on we who live there. ;}
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  23:15:04  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Netherese Empire awareness of other continents

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1483278555526189057

Jan 18, 2022

@EvilSalesAss

@TheEdVerse a question from my game session last night.

Did the Nethese Empire have contact or awareness of other continents? Specifically Maztica.

@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes; their flying cities flew almost everywhere. However, they tended to view ground-dwelling humans as "little better than barbarians" at best, so contact would have been minimal.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  23:20:41  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how regular people react to Chosens

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1483280201106743304

Jan 18, 2022

@TokakuT

Hi @TheEdVerse, I've been reading a lot about the Chosen of the realms and was wondering how regular people react to them. Are they seen as prophets, messiah's or just a different kind of specialty priest?

@TheEdVerse

Like so many Realms answers: it depends.

On the time and place of your "regular people" and the particular Chosen AND deity.

During the Second Sundering, there was a brief period of "everybody had Chosen" (many of them lacking much "special power").

However, MOST Chosen are viewed as champions or heralds of a deity, so are generally perceived as superpowered equivalents of the champions and heralds of powerful rulers.

Then it comes down to personal contact, and how the Chosen behaves.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  23:33:10  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On tectonic plates and activity work in Toril

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1483587355852349441

Jan 19, 2022


@jwill9311

Mr. Greenwood, would tectonic plates and activity work the same on Toril as on earth? If so where are the plates and boundaries and what plate is sliding under what plate? My group wants to hunt crystals and gems in an accurate manner. Or does sundering make it moot?

@TheEdVerse

Hi! A proper answer (plate boundaries) must wait until I can check some very old NDAs, but short is: tectonics works the same, Toril is SLIGHTLY larger than Earth so gravity is a TAD stronger, and the Second Sundering "twisted and stretched" so some stresses vented.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2022 :  23:08:19  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On zippers in the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1484012128205950979

Jan 20, 2022

@LaRockaRolla
@TheEdVerse quick question - have zippers been invented in the Realms?

@TheEdVerse

Not yet. The closest the Realms comes is close-spaced rows of metal hook-and-eyes, and "snapover" metal latches.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2022 :  01:25:50  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Cormyr's laws for cats

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1484344059753730048

Jan 21, 2022

@SirWiseGuy

One of the most major and important Laws of Cormyr is that any harm done to cats is strictly forbidden, can you please tell us why this maybe in this most noble and martial realm please?

<https://twitter.com/SirWiseGuy/status/1484311369772007430/photo/1>

@TheEdVerse

Baerauble helped some early noble and knights' daughters to escape death with a spell that transformed them into cat form. He later drafted the law to protect the safety of anyone else this was done to, by any of his successors (as Royal Magician).
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2022 :  01:30:32  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Simbul caring about her dress

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1484566284566159360

Jan 22, 2022

@TheEdVerse

Her dress did rip and did floorward slip
Creating a draft behind
A conjured wind then blew and freshened the view
Ere her furious spell struck us all blind

@WyrdhavenArts

*assumes this is about the Simbul*

@TheEdVerse

No, not Realms at all. I've created over forty imaginary settings, and am apt to doodle and daydream in any of them. ;}

If it was The Simbul, she wouldn't care a whit if her dress ripped and the world saw everything. Her mind is on other matters; almost the only time she cares about her body is as she's shapeshifting.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2022 :  01:35:58  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On premiere mastiff (or other dog) breeders in Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1484626952627568640

Jan 22, 2022

@RpgMatch

@TheEdVerse are there any premiere mastiff (or other dog) breeders in Waterdeep?

@TheEdVerse

No, they long ago got priced out of the city (no room to exercise, train, or let dogs laze and “run free” without fighting each other). They’re all in the environs, notably Emmera Dunphalon and Roondan Kennels on the east side of the Amphail Road, halfway to Rassalantar.

“Old Emmera” is a cantankerous elderly woman of legendary skills in doctoring and training dogs canines and felines, much patronized by the nobility and wealthy of the Deep.

Oreph Roondan (male half-elf expert archer and retired adventurer; many of his former adventuring colleagues now live and work with him) is canines only, and specializes in training packs of larger canines as guard, hunting, and war animals, accent on superb discipline. He rents out “runs” (trained groups of six to eight dogs) as guard patrols to farmers and ranchers, to keep wolves, coyotes, leucrotta, and other predators away from their crops,flocks, and herds.

(BTW, Courtyard of the Well lore coming. Soonish.)
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2022 :  01:31:35  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On "wardstones"

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1485053187258265609

Jan 23, 2022

@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse, sorry for another question but I was reading VGtATM and on pg 14 "Priests can pray to their deities for guidance. In fact, they had better do so if they contemplate crafting anything beyond simple potions or wardstones"

Im very familiar with ward tokens but I've never heard of wardstones. Doing a quick search in Candlekeep and the FR wiki yielded slim results.

Are wardstones just another word for ward tokens? or are they something else entirely? From what I've read they seem to be of similar use to ward tokens.

@TheEdVerse

Yes, "wardstones" is the colloquial term for the most common sort of ward token: an engraved stone. (Ward tokens can take other forms.) Many temples, monasteries, and abbeys have multiple simple wardstones, so only certain clergy can enter an 'inner sanctum' and only clergy can enter the central temple building (or walled compound) around it. This keeps beasts and brigands from readily raiding temple granaries, treasuries, etc.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2022 :  01:42:14  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On what's going on at Warlock's Crypt in 1492 DR

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1485058295161307138

Jan 23, 2022

@dgrider1234

@TheEdVerse what's going on at Warlock's Crypt these days? 1492DR Someone was asking this question in a Realms based Facebook Group today.

@TheEdVerse

Some of what’s going on is NDA, I’m afraid, but two important ongoing processes are complex, long-term, many-layered (spell upon spell upon spell) castings by the liches who obey Larloch, following his standing orders (“If I am absent for this amount of time, begin casting X”).

The first casting is a complex defense-in-depth series of wards that augment the usual wards, and involve sixteen ‘bound’ death tyrants, and eight bound dracoliches.

The second casting is a series of spells that will begin to covertly take over the minds of particular wizards all over Toril, including a zulkir of Thay, a member of the Twisted Rune, a member of the Arcane Brotherhood, several senior Zhentarim, a Cult of the Dragon mage, and so on, so they will do the bidding of their Warlock’s Crypt “controllers” (in most cases, without even realizing it).

There’s no confusion, consternation, defiance, or power struggle going on in the Crypt. To the liches therein, Larloch is simply off on one of his longer jaunts, doing things he hasn’t told them about. The lich Aumhrathond is Acting Castellan of the Crypt.

Since the end of the Second Sundering, the liches of the Crypt have successfully bred certain “new” (crossbreed) monsters, that I’ll tell you more about some other time. ;}
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3242 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2022 :  01:57:06  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm so glad that I asked Ed that Warlock Crypt question. Now I wanna know more!

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

Edited by - Brimstone on 23 Jan 2022 01:58:00
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2022 :  23:27:32  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the effects of permanently ending the Rage of Dragons in 1373

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1485279836159553536
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1485281233567457281

Jan 23, 2022

@TheTomWhoGames

@TheEdVerse - did you ever have any thoughts about the effects of permanently ending the Rage of Dragons in 1373? Whether dragons would be able to organise again, form nations etc? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much for all of your amazing work, sir.

@TheEdVerse

Hi, and you're welcome! :}

Implementing that dracorage and ending it were in-house decisions, not mine. Older, more powerful dragons are strong-willed and usually independent; they don't work well with others (except subservients, ideally kin).

Trust is always a problem. Some wyrms are paranoid to the max, others are so arrogant that others don't want to work with them, and there's always the fear that "this entity can wipe me out on a whim, nigh-effortlessly."

All of which can make lasting cooperation, as opposed to "let's go on this raid together, humble that human city, then fare you well," difficult and therefore rare.

In the Realms, dragons tend to form demesnes (territories) they consider their own (see the wildly-overlapping map of them that accompanied my original run of Wyrms of the North, in DRAGON), and attack consistent interlopers unless they're scared enough to hide from them. They do form cabals and strike non-aggression pacts and "no go" agreements, often, and the cessation of the Rage didn't change that. (The Rage was a temporary collective insanity that affected wyrms to different degrees, an idea I devised before there was anything called D&D but that others developed in ways that tied it to a star, etc.) So dragons CAN organize whenever they want to, but by their natures, they don't often want to. Many of them, particularly when younger and weaker than elder dragons, instinctively avoid other dragons in favour of working with lesser creatures they can dominate.

As a DM, consider what motivation/project might be compelling enough to get dragons to work together? (E.g. a threat from beholders or illithids or even the Cult of the Dragon, that harms/slays/robs dragon after dragon, and word starts to get around...)

@GiveMeAnAxe

Dragons and Giants working together against an aberrant scourge is actually the background plot to my homebrew.

@TheEdVerse

Excellent. In the Realms, any giant/dragon alliance is going to be uneasy, given the ancient history between them. Both sides are going to watch the other, awaiting the "inevitable" treachery.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2022 :  23:35:20  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Dryads giving birth similar to other humanoid species

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1485349464214806534

Jan 24, 2022


@JKFWEB

I'm not sure if you have any insight into this but it appears to me that Elves and Dryads on rare occasions can mate and have offspring.

I'm assuming that means Dryads give birth similar to other humanoid species?

@TheEdVerse

This has never made it into published Realmslore because for so many years TSR's Code of Conduct prevented ALL discussion of matters sexual (incl. pregnancy, childhood development, etc.), but in the Realms, I saw dryads as engaging in sex on rare occasions and then having absolute control over whether or not they conceive. If they do, they use "their" tree as the womb, bringing whatever trace nutrients it lacks for development of the child-to-be, and mother the child within the tree; it emerges only when able to walk, talk, see, reason, control its body with balance, etc. and so is far less helpless than, say, a human infant...and it's not tied to its parent or the parent's tree.

Totally unofficial (this is a creature I was never asked to write an Ecology article for).
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2022 :  23:10:40  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the elven houses of Olyrnn and Nyntynel from Anauria

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1485673911698300933

Jan 25, 2022

@DjSigrest

@TheEdVerse would you be able to share more lore on the elven houses of Olyrnn and Nyntynel from Anauria. like where did these houses originate from and how did they come by their nobility in this human kingdom?

@TheEdVerse

The Olrynn and Nyntynel elven families inhabited the forested regions on the eastern and southern edges of the expanding desert of Anauroch, and for centuries had worked to irrigate and plant the forest verges to reverse, or failing that, halt, or even reverse the advance of the sands.

When Mystra’s grace made the crash-landing of the Netherese flying city of Anauria survivable by the Netherese (though the city was shattered beyond ever being able to fly again, except as comparatively tiny earthmotes), and it plummeted into the desert, the Olrynn and Nyntynel elves (as opposed to the neighbouring elven families of Telest and Vorondor) aided the stunned Netherese with food and water, befriended them, and worked (successfully) to bridge the sands between the desert’s edge and the crashed city, so farms could be established, and then a kingdom. They then defended the new land against raiding orcs, and eventually against determined-to-conquer orc armies (which they thwarted), and for this, they were ennobled and became military and political leaders in Anauria.

Both elven houses were dominated by large families of relatively young siblings who were active and dashing and hard-working, as their elders were few in number and valued energetic hard work over philosophical and artistic pursuits. As Ralandyr Nyntynel once put it, “We leave the tree-talking to dryads. Our swords and spells speak for us.”
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2022 :  06:48:31  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On generic creature/beast in the various languages

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1486576510064631812

Jan 27, 2022

@gkrashos

Hi Ed. Need more words, and asking for a friend.Winking face What is the word for a generic creature/beast in the various languages? Most interested in the elvish word(s). Thanks as always.

@TheEdVerse

Will send more later (busy with wife's health), but for starters:

Elvish:
Creature/critter/prey to be hunted: ilyr
Monster (i.e. formidable dangerous creature): uthlyr
Sentient being: irrilyr

Orcish:
Creature/critter/prey to be hunted: guja
Monster (i.e. formidable dangerous creature): hulja
Sentient being: lurja (lur = scheme or plan, lura = snare/trap)
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2022 :  23:41:42  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On non-written languages

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1486575897415233541
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1486726323812724748

Jan 27, 2022

@Spencism_Ideas

Sorry for the weird question but: not every language would have potential runes associated with it, right?

Like, I'm sure languages such as Blink Dog or Hook Horror or Yeti are more-or-less only verbal and wouldn't have a written form, let alone runes?

@TheEdVerse

That's right (for Blink Dog and Hook Horror; Yeti does have trail-marks). There are languages that are gesture-only, and languages that are verbal-only, though some creatures that use either have some tally-markings for counting.

@Spencism_Ideas

Could this mean then that there's a possibility of some basic trail-marking Yeti runes, or would they still be too primitive for that?

@TheEdVerse

In the Realms, Yeti runes have been found in many mountainous places, marking trailside features (water safe to drink, danger of loose rock sliding, take this route), marking territories, and even negotiating (mark on rock "answered" by someone else's mark beside it, which is then responded to, below, by the first mark-maker by scratching another rune, and so on.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2022 :  00:57:45  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On pronouncing Thay

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1486867031412645888
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1486868108149207045

Jan 28, 2022

@SageAdviceDnD

Master @TheEdVerse I hope you're fine and compliments for the next Thay book with @GHC_and_Tacos , I really can't wait!

Sorry if they have already asked: How do you pronunce Thay?

Grazie!


@TheEdVerse

Thank you!

"Thay" rhymes with "say"

:}


@emersonRpage

hard th or soft th?


@TheEdVerse

Soft. "Thhhhhh" ;}

The only place they pronounce it "Tay" is in Veldorn and along the coast east of there, through Ulgarth.

Edited by - questing gm on 29 Jan 2022 00:59:04
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2022 :  02:02:08  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On population density of Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487472877704200197
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487473482699051009
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487481040436346889
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487481708006019073

Jan 30, 2022

@modgamers

Hey Ed, the question came up recently and I checked the numbers. In City of Splendors there was a map according to which Waterdeep is ~5,7 mi˛ (~14,8 km˛). Yet it has like 1,3 Million citizens. I live in Hamburg, Germany with 1,8 Million citizens on 755,09 km˛.

Population density is usually higher in Europe then in the US. But,... ahh... where do all these Waterdhavians live? Or is the City bigger then previously imagined?

@TheEdVerse

Most Waterdhavians live in rented rooms above shops (often 3 or 4 floors). Density is high. But see the FRCS: population of the city proper is 132,661, but Waterdeep has an "official" pop of 1,347,800, due to the Deep-ruled farmlands around the city (40 miles out).

Folk with means and lifestyle to do so often relocate south for the winter months (so population totals dip). The "comfortable" built capacity of the city proper is likely around 225,000 (meaning, housing stock could hold that many without rebuilding/expansion).

@modgamers

So we have to think of the "City State" of Waterdeep not as a literal State that ends and the city wall, but more in the sense of a Greek City State, that usually own many of the surrounding area and smaller villages.

@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes. From the outset, Waterdeep needed "open land" for caravans to assemble and disassemble, linking with the deepwater port. Then warehouses, and all of that, very much including granaries and paddocks. The vicinity is well-watered, but the food always has to come from somewhere. The guards for the early encampments and stockpiled goods patrolled well beyond bowshot to curb surprise bandit raids and monster attacks. From the moment the Deep was a governed area, it defended a "home ring" of surrounding farms.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2022 :  02:10:37  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the origin of the Cassalanter family crest

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487478263681331205
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487483667974959105
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487483927375847431

Jan 30, 2022

@RpgMatch

Hey there @TheEdVerse any notes on the origin of the Cassalanter family crest? It’s an odd one…

<https://twitter.com/RpgMatch/status/1487331730772004865/photo/1>

@TheEdVerse

When ennobled in 1248 DR, House Cassalanter submitted a blazon to the Heralds that was accepted without changes: a pall (the Y) of green representing evergreen (constant) hope, separating three charges on the shield: lower right is a crenelated wall, representing strength, prosperity, and the establishment (“firm foundations”) and the existing family role in those by their moneylending (banking); a fishhawk (osprey) wing in flight on the lower left, representing sea travel and getting riches from the sea (the merchant shipping much of the Deep’s early prosperity, and the family’s due to their investments, was based upon), and (uppermost charge) the head of a cockatrice, which represents both the year in which the family was ennobled and the then-most-famous ancestor of the house, Klokhartiskarl “the Cockatrice” Cassalanter (not the founder, but the man who made the initial family fortune and was famous/infamous as the foremost (and most ruthless) city moneylender of his day.

@tyty_brown505

My favorite house! Thanks for sharing Ed. This will for sure help when running the cassalanters in WDDH

@TheEdVerse

The early Cassalanters (pre-ennoblement) were the sort of moneylenders who would advance funds to the shady, the desperate, outsiders, outcasts, and those of dubious prospects (those other moneylenders wouldn't touch). If you crossed them, they were ruthless.

They openly hired bodyguards, but covertly hired lots of bullyblades as "enforcement gangs" to make sure no one cheated a Cassalanter twice.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
494 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2022 :  02:17:43  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On monks in Ed's home Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487486532189577221
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487838342091886605

Jan 30, 2022

@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse quick question as I was thinking about this, in your home Realms games do monks (as the PC class, all editions) have a place? I always thought that having monks (as the class) felt quite odd in a medieval-ish setting.

Thanks in advance!

@TheEdVerse

Player Characters in the game are supposed to be the mavericks, the standouts, and so, relatively few in number/rare “on the ground.” Almost all monks in the Realms are stay-at-home folk of faith who live and work in monasteries, venerating “their” deity. The monk class represents the rare few monks sent forth to travel and do holy work in the Realms (usually what we see as “adventuring” work). Yes, they’re an odd fit, particularly if you accentuate the Hollywood “mystic martial artist of the East” figure of what used to be known as chop-socky movies. However, my home Realms has no direct real-world analogues: when I think of PC monks, I’m NOT thinking of flying feet and karate chops and giant gongs being struck or koto music or incense and silk pantaloons. I’m thinking of a fighting-trained priest in homespun, trudging along in service to a god, and fighting only when she/he must.

@WolfsTrail

Personally, I'd love to hear more about this Ed. Monks are this odd bit of orientalism that gets thrown into largely western settings. So ways to make them feel at home are very interesting.

@TheEdVerse

I see most monks (the game class, that is) as the weapons-masters of temples who teach unarmed or improvised weapon training (as opposed to the expert archers, slingers, and swordswingers)--or their star pupils. Sent out into the world either by the temple, on "undercover" missions (tail this valuable temple shipment, not showing yourself as a visible guard, so if someone ambushes it, you can jump in and foil the raid or tail the guilty), or going out into the world to adventure due to the god's dream-vision urging.

- Edited on 31/1/2022 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 31 Jan 2022 00:02:22
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questing gm
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Posted - 30 Jan 2022 :  23:51:58  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a good Underbelly

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487834456878718978

Jan 31, 2022

@DmTemujin

What makes a good Underbelly such as The Guild of Baldurs Gate? Should one focus on a specific goal for such a group? How complex should their organization be?

@TheEdVerse

Great question! Considering the nature of that group, it should be pursuing a single focus at first clash with the PCs, but be riven by simmering/covert schisms as all members pull for their own aims, behind the scenes. DM works main aims out, so can pivot instantly.
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questing gm
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Posted - 30 Jan 2022 :  23:55:37  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On best stores or tailors in Waterdeep for a noble looking to get the latest fashion

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487835772191485953
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487836256029577217
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487836583017521158

Jan 31, 2022

@RpgMatch

Hi @TheEdVerse what are the best stores or tailors in Waterdeep for a noble looking to get the latest fashion?

@TheEdVerse

Noble houses "worth the salt" (i.e. who aren't penniless) have personal tailors and seamstresses on household staff, not just dressers, but frequent the currently most fashionable shops (so, these change with the season) for what we moderns would call "designer duds."

Not only are many nobles struggling with paunches that grow over time (and temporarily, after every gluttonous meal) and need "identical" clothing in a range of sizes, but many indulge personal fashion eccentricities.

I'm really busy with ny wife's care right now, so it's going to take me some days to have time to look up my notes for the top shops in the 1490s DR when it comes to "in the window" fashions and "creating unique creations to showcase the True YOU."
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questing gm
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Posted - 31 Jan 2022 :  00:06:13  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Lycon "Wolf-Beard"

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1487844392207630337

Jan 31, 2022

@gkrashos

Hi Ed. Weird queries out of the blue as always: what can you tell us about Lycon "Wolf-Beard", one time tutor of Elminster. Does he have a surname?

@TheEdVerse

I can’t get to my notes at the moment (they’re somewhere in the long Hi-Cube shipping container, and it has a six-foot snowdrift-turned-to-ice in front of its doors right now), but Lycon was a jovial, hardy adventuring wizard (a gentle smartass). He was a seasoned, successful adventurer, who made a fortune out of salvaging old magic from the corpses of fallen mages or their tombs and “improving” it by combining enchantments for more effective effects, and selling scrolls of the results thereof.

He roamed the Heartlands in his day, and rather than having a tower, he had six different houses, one a farmhouse but the others in cities, all nondescript and purportedly owned by average guys (all “false identities” he’d established).

Full name: Lycon Annamandur Haldred. His parents were far-traveled caravan merchants, and their ancestors came from the Amn and Tethyr areas, though his father’s side of the family always claimed (likely correctly) to have come from Halruaa shortly after its founding.

His nickname, by the way, came from a neat little enchantment he’d cast on his tidy, pointed beard: Lycon could teleport a wolf from a den he maintained “out of it,” so the wolf emerged springing at a foe from empty midair in front of his beard.

@RRavensflame

Interesting spell. Does a copy of it or three survive to this very day.

@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes. Elminster definitely has one. So did Khelben, but he snorted at it rather than casting it.

Oh, and The Simbul enspelled herself a beard so she could try it, but just once. She prefers to do the leaping and rending personally.

- Edited on 1/2/2022 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 01 Feb 2022 02:39:21
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questing gm
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On getting new blazons as a Waterdhavian noble

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1488239140709847043
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1488248753572229123
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1488265624841334784

Feb 1, 2022

@damondion45

Is here a story about a cadet branch trying to move up in the standing a little? No trying to be a Mask Lord just approving the noble standing a little? Announce a new house crest and colors?

@TheEdVerse

No noble house can announce a new blazon. The Heralds have to approve everything, and they don't like "unearned" changes (rising to rule a kingdom or a duchy "earns" an augmentation, getting bored with what you have doesn't). And colors tend to go with blazon.

@damondion45

Darn, a guess an adopted minor noble coming out of the Yawning Portal with a great big hoard is a typical Tuesday. What about noble marriages? Would that call for a new blazon?

@TheEdVerse

Not for the family, but individual nobles have their own personal blazons (e.g. sons and daughters displaying marks of cadency). If a noble marries a noble, arms are typically quartered in the personal arms of each partner, but the "house" or family arms remains.

@damondion45

Ok. My thinking is my Waterdeep noble PC should do more adventures close to home so he can campaign for a new noble house. Maybe I'm greedy for more then gold and magic items. Since I only play Adventures League it will probably take awhile.

@TheEdVerse

Ah. You need to read pages 50-53 in ED GREENWOOD PRESENTS ELMINSTER'S FORGOTTEN REALMS (an official Wizards-published 2012 Realms hardcover sourcebook, now available at the DM's Guild): "Becoming Noble In Waterdeep."
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questing gm
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Posted - 01 Feb 2022 :  02:28:46  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Halvan the Dark

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1488246810007248897

Feb 1, 2022

@JaithWraith

Hi Ed! Do you have any lore or additional info for Halvan the Dark or his keep? The Realms have been my home for 25 years now and helped me, and now my daughters, cope with chronic depression, so thank you so much for sharing them.

@TheEdVerse

You’re very welcome! Hang in there, and may the Realms always lift your spirits.

I can’t get to my old lore notes right now, but here’s what I can tell you from memory:

Halvan was a greedy and ruthless man of the sort who’s jovial to friends and supporters, but here’s what I can tell you from memory:
Halvan was a greedy and ruthless man of the sort who’s jovial to friends and supporters, but regards anyone who crosses him or stands against him a foe. So he made many enemies, and his determination to plunder the fabled riches of Myth Drannor (despite visits from elves who warned him not to) earned him his grave.

Halvan saw forests of the Elven Court as “raw wilderness to be tamed” for enrichment. His grand plan was to eventually found a caravan-road cutting through the deep woods to Cormyr (and so, the Sword Coast) so that Harrowdale would get all the overland trade and rise to outstrip all the Dales and even Sembia, becoming the funnel through which all the metals mined around the Moonsea would flow west. As he grew older, his patience waned as his fury against the hurdles the world threw up before him waxed, and his belly grew larger. So did his paranoia, causing him to start to hoard and hide wealth (earlier in life, he spent it on ostentatious displays, like his famous gem-encrusted and gold-plated armor); legend and truth both say most of his hiding places were close to home (“under his eye”), and a lot of them were within hollow walls and in secret rooms and crawlspaces in his Keep.

Halvan’s Keep was really an old manor house and stables and several root cellars and a springhouse (shed built over a spring to keep it from freezing over in winter, and free of tainted refuse year-round) that he expanded and had a stone curtain wall built around—a thirty-foot-high miniature version of a “grand castle wall” with towers along it. There was no real central “keep” or fortified tower, just a three-storey-plus-attic stone house with many chimneys and wings, surrounded by the wall enclosing the outbuildings and a small kitchen garden.

It's now a monster-infested ruin, with parts of the roof fallen in and several rooms burnt out in fires, much visited by adventurers over the years trying to find Halvan’s treasure. Small bands of brigands often squat in these ruins and murder arriving adventurers, or set up traps to do the slaying for them—and every so often illithids or doppelgangers or kenku come along and “harvest” these brigands (but don’t stay to become the next victims).

At the time when Doust Sulwood was lord in Shadowdale, some of the elves he befriended told him the elves could have put a stop to all this, but had decided to leave the ruins of Halvan’s Keep as an active, everpresent reminder of the danger and foolishness of despoiling the forests. They and some roving Harpers checked on the ruins from time to time, but only clashed with residents if they saw extensive woodcutting or fire-setting.
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questing gm
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On where the Yarting came from

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1489050872034299915

Feb 3, 2022

@Graham__Turner

I'm playing a Bard for the first time in over thirty years, and have elected to play the Yarting. My GM is supportive, but perplexed by the name. Can you shed any light on where it came from?

@TheEdVerse

I made it up. ;}

I thought to myself, if they had an acoustic guitar in the Realms, what might it be called?

Let's call it something that might echo the word 'guitar' AND sound SOMETHING like what a plucked string might be described as sounding like.

"Yarting"...yeah.
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questing gm
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Posted - 04 Feb 2022 :  01:56:33  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On where would the name Realmspace come from

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1489374004590829574
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1489660112071442443

Feb 4, 2022

@_ravanys

Something that's been bothering me and a friend: Is "Realmspace" what they call it in-fiction? We can't seem to find a conclusive answer.

No one who lives there calls it "the Forgotten Realms" right? Where would the name Realmspace come from?

@TheEdVerse

Spelljammers who navigate the phlogiston call the crystal sphere that contains Toril and its solar system "Realmspace." (This is canon in published Spelljammer lore.)

@transdragonemma

Do people in Faerűn also call it the Forgotten Realms?

@TheEdVerse

No. Those in real-world Earth who know about the gates/portals to Toril refer to it as "the Forgotten Realms" because we, collectively have "forgotten" the ways there (and increasingly, no longer believe Toril is real). Toril is "the Realms" to those who live there.

- Edited on 5/2/2022 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 05 Feb 2022 01:19:56
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questing gm
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Posted - 05 Feb 2022 :  01:33:39  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the best place to grab a high-end meal in Waterdeep’s Sea Ward

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1489693318984478727

Feb 5, 2022

@RpgMatch

Hey @TheEdVerse any thoughts on the best place to grab a high-end meal in Waterdeep’s Sea Ward? I checked Volo’s and he didn’t seem to have any strong recommendations…#128521;

@TheEdVerse

Volo winces at the thought of paying what good meals cost in Sea Ward, and behaving long enough to not get thrown out of wherever you’re eating them.

Seriously, the answer to this depends on the depths of your purse. If it really doesn’t matter to you how much you spend, and you don’t need live entertainment or space for a party of diners larger than five or six, who don’t want to be rushed through their meal but don’t expect to spend all night sitting there waiting for the next “remove” to be brought, the three current best places (NOT the haughtiest, but the best food) are:

Varneira’s Finest for a primarily seafood menu;

Ormanthar’s Big Belly for simple fare (roast meat, stews, strong cheese and bread handloaves for sides, with pickles and “darzuth” [what we would call antipasto] for taste garnishes);

and Flyntar’s Board for “the full board” (roasts, spitted fowl, soups, rice and vegetable dishes with shrimp or clam or lobster garnishes, fish “messed with” to gain non-fishy dominant flavors, and a broad menu of pastas and other “dishes from afar”).

Varneira’s Finest stands on westfront Seawatch Street, four doors south of Grimwald’s Way. Run by the bubbly, still-beautiful in her sixth decade but getting slower and plumper, long hair all ringlets Varneira Trossfeather (who lives above it with her all-female staff), the Finest is a two-floor labyrinth of dining rooms all connected by curtained archways and furnished like a conservative noble’s parlor (with little statuettes on plinths in the most remote corners). Gentle harp music is played in the passages between rooms to give slight privacy between table conversations, and the wine cellar is deep and superb. Service is prompt, pleasant, and attentive.

Ormanthar’s Big Belly stands on northfront Chasso’s Trot, one door west of Mendever Street. Mocked up to look like a rustic wayside rural tavern, with heavy crossbeams overhead, massive plain wood furniture (but chairs with arms, rather than benches), hanging-on--chains wagon-wheel candle lanterns, and mock many-small-diamond-pane windows in the walls (that open just to reveal menus, tacked up on solid walls), Ormanthar’s is where Sea Warders go when they want to pretend they’re traveling, or having adventures (assignations), or when they want to drink deep and get loud and NOT get shown the door. However, drunkards and roisters do get told to leave by fellow patrons, because everyone’s here for the food, not to drink. This is the sort of place where folk eat too much and stagger out groaning, bellies bursting from really good “hearty fare.”

Flyntar’s Board (just “Flyntar’s” to any settled resident of Sea Ward) stands on eastfront The Street Of The Singing Dolphin, three doors and “showiest” of our three best eateries, Flyntar’s is named for its dapper owner and head-of-house, a thin-moustachioed, gliding man who has mastered an expressionless stoneface but will simper like a young lass when truly amused; he keeps a flower-adorned, south of Delzorin Street. The haughtiest white-linens-to-the-fore uppercrust dining hall (divided by partition walls into a labyrinth of little alcoves, so diners at one table can typically only see parts of two other tables, not a big barn of serried ranks of tables with seated diners) humming along, with very prompt service, endless drinks on offer, doorjacks in fine garb hovering to watch for trouble and anticipate diners’ needs (they often swoop to catch spilled goblets before said items can hit the floor), and even to carry drunken guests to cots in cubicles to snore in privacy. Nobles often use Flyntar’s to meet folk they don’t want to guest in their own homes, when they want to maintain formality and a lofty “tone.”

Hope this offers your characters attractive venues for filling themselves!
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questing gm
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Posted - 06 Feb 2022 :  01:04:05  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On mithril and adamantine

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1489811376029806596

Feb 5, 2022

@RandomQueriant

I've been wondering, for some time, about different materials in different worlds. What would a real-world chemist make of a piece of mithril or admantine? What would a well-regarded Faerunian wizard discover from a bit of tungsten or titanium?


@TheEdVerse

This is something left to DMs for shaping their own campaigns. With Roger Zelazny's blessing, I borrowed his idea that substances worked differently in different worlds (the title of "The Guns of Avalon," his second Amber novel, refers to jeweler's rouge, not gunpowder, explodes in Amber) for the Realms. So I planted the principle but left the details fuzzy so a DM can vary what things do from place to place because it affects gate/portal mercantile traffic (and wars, and so geopolitics).

I can tell you, from established Realmslore, that mithril and adamantine (the refined alloys) behave more or less the same on Earth as in the Realms, and that an Earth chemist would be able to tell they were alloys, but involving unknown-to-them main ingredients. Most mages of Faerűn devote so much time to spellcraft that they tend to approach metals they encounter in either the rock-bottom-practical sense (this takes a cutting edge and is hard = good knife) or the experimental one (what happens if I try to use this as a spell component?). So I left things deliberately fuzzy, and TSR left such lore alone because they wanted to avoid the whole subject of links between the real world and their game worlds, during what we now call "the Satanic Panic."

However, we had many fun debates and speculations at GenCons and my annual around-a-GenCon TSR visits, and they spawned features of other settings and adventures. I still think this should be left to DMs as a Big Underpinning of a campaign, like überplots.
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questing gm
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Posted - 06 Feb 2022 :  01:10:43  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On any aspect of the former Mystral that could be resurrected

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1490044311899193346

Feb 6, 2022

@r4di0activ3sam

Dear @TheEdVerse, I have another #realmslore question I would love your insight on: If for some reason the current Mystra was incapacitated, is there any aspect of the former Mystral that could be resurrected?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, but very unlikely. If Mystra goes down, there’s Azuth. And Savras. There’s also the vestige of Velsharoon. Yet Mystra herself has told certain Weavemasters that “echoes of Mystral abide in the Weave,” and there are a very few devout worshippers of Mystryl who survive from the time of Netheril’s flying-cities splendor. So “any aspect,” yes. Mystryl as THE deity of magic, nigh-impossible but yet possible. There is a legend that holds that when Mystryl sacrificed herself to defeat Karsus, she renounced her divinity, but didn’t die: she permanently became a will o’ wisp ‘queen’ of unusual (and great) magical powers, retaining her sentience and alignment, and exists in that form on Toril to this day, usually in seclusion, but sometimes “luring” or guiding mortals she favors by appearing to them as a moving beacon when they are lost or wandering, so that they can find a refuge, lost magic, or a desired destination or other entity. This belief is supported by the dream-visions most recently received by the surviving Mystryl worshippers, in which communications they believe to be from the goddess come lost magic, or a desired destination or other entity. This belief is supported by the dream-visions most recently received by the surviving Mystryl worshippers, in which communications they believe to be from the goddess come from what seems to be a will o’ wisp.

Edited by - questing gm on 06 Feb 2022 01:29:18
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