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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2021 :  02:45:46  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On 'torchtowers' in Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1449855042543050754

Oct 18 2021

@Sundered_Ant

Hope your medical issues are treating you well @TheEdVerse. I have a hopefully simple question - what exactly are the "torchtowers" in Waterdeep? I get the impression they are like signal towers, but are they a specific set of towers?


@TheEdVerse

I'm tired from my annual stress echo, but okay, just suffering through the 2 weeks of wearing a Holter heart monitor that gets in the way of everything.

Every tower along the city walls has three beacon-fires laid ready for lighting (if a beacon has to be kept alight a long time, the unlit two get cannibalized as fuel for the lit one, as more firewood is brought up from storerooms below in the tower), but "torchtowers" is the collective name for wall-towers that aren't also city gates or major "moot-towers" where walls meet. So any "just another tower" along the wall is a torchtower. (Every walltower contains dungeon cells, a Watch "ready room," locked storage rooms for evidence/confiscated items retention, some bedchambers and garderobes, and a tiny armory.)
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2021 :  02:48:14  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Seven Sister spell to create turtle soup

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1449851281154191364

Oct 18 2021

@KaitlinBHoward

I remember reading that one of the seven sisters liked turtle soup so much that she created a spell to summon it. Which sister was that?

@TheEdVerse

Alustriel. See page 66 of FOR6/THE SEVEN SISTERS. Her fellow sisters don't share her wild fondness for it, though some of them like it. El and Khelben use the spell more often to drench a foe's head in turtle soup unexpectedly than they do to gain a meal.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2021 :  02:50:42  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Rymdyl

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1449785835616878597

Oct 18 2021

@Artie_Pavlov

Hi @TheEdVerse. Is there any lore on Rymdyl you can share? Or is it NDA?

@TheEdVerse

See p84 of THE BORDER KINGDOMS, a canon-official hardcover Realms sourcebook by Alex Kammer and yours truly, available at the DM's Guild.

Update: rival adventuring bands have recently settled there, and are digging everywhere for Rymdyl's never-found treasure.

One of the bands, Belard's Banners, say they read in an old tome in Derlusk that Rymdyl devised a magical means to hide her spellbooks INSIDE wands; they hope to find some of these.
When asked, Elminster said, "I was WONDERING when someone would remember that."

@Artie_Pavlov

Nice! was that particular piece of lore leftover from the old magazines era?

@TheEdVerse

Not "leftover" in terms of cutting-room-floor, no. Never put forward for publication. It's part of my ongoing "unfolding lore for NPCs because they're not static, they get up to as much as the PCs" DMing lore notes.

The Realms is ALIVE.

Edited by - questing gm on 02 Nov 2021 01:25:07
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  01:40:23  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Grand Tour of the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1450193948069220353

Oct 19 2021

@KaitlinBHoward

@PrMatteus

How much of “A Grand Tour of the Realms” was written by @GrubbsTweet and how much by @TheEdVerse?

@TheEdVerse

Jeff was in-house (staff) lead for that. He and the editor (Julia Martin), consulting with Realms manager Karen Boomgarden, decided on the layout of the book, rewriting and editing my "raw" material to suit the space. They'd ask me for additional text as needed.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  01:43:26  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On hand counting

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1450195968255832066
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1450197384756088842

Oct 19 2021

@TristanMers

@TheEdVerse if you would be so kind as to spare a moment of your time for a question. Do the different peoples in the Realms hand count differently? I find the various methods around the world fascinating, and was very curious about this.


@TheEdVerse

Yes, both by race/species and regionally. Dwarves and gnomes count along knuckles, left hand being "ones" and right hand "tens." Halflings count around bases of fingers on inside palm, tapping the center of the palm with the thumb of the base hand for every ten.

Elves count with raised forefingers and then make a cupping, sweeping motion of the left hand for every subtotal, adding the right hand in a crossing motion (cupping right palm to back of left hand) for a final total/result. I put some description of that into the Knights novels and the Shadows of the Avatar trilogy, but checking them, I see that those passages got edited out.

Many human merchants have two ways of counting: cupped-palm-hidden for private transactions, and slow/broad/showy for public totalling.

@TristanMers

Thank you so much! That’s awesome, and is going into my games ASAP! In our own little corner of the multiverse, I find the Japanese method fascinating as it uses only one hand.

@TheEdVerse

There are lots of individuals in the Realms who have to count one-handed, thanks to injuries or one hand being almost always occupied (holding into a roof or ladder, for instance), but most countings are two-handed if one can, for "look, I'm hiding nothing" reasons.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 19 Oct 2021 :  01:46:05  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Yeven’s Shrine or Yevenwood or the Pool of Yeven

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1449981063665684483

Oct 18 2021

@longwindedone1

Ed would you be able to offer any hint about the namesake for Yeven’s Shrine or Yevenwood or the Pool of Yeven?

@TheEdVerse

They are all named for the long-ago archmage Yeven, who dwelt on the banks of the pool, and later in a “pocket plane” tower IN the Pool (it was visible only in moonlight, as a ghostly solitary cylindrical turreted tower).

Yeven was an energetic experimenter with spells and creator of magical things, including many gates to other planes and skyships. When he died, his many links to his own wards around his home tethered his sentience and soul to the Pool and its banks and the land immediately around them, where he remains, and can be called upon as a wizshade of sorts (ghostly apparition able to cast spells, that will reform some days after being “destroyed,” every time) by those who know how. Mystra and Azuth agreed to let him exist in this manner, in return for his sharing some spells and magical lore with any who ask—so he still experiments, and tarries. Anchored in this location by the Weave, he’s a special sort of weaveghost, and the human equivalent of a ‘place spirit.’ Those who’ve met what he’s become say he’s a rather waspish “absent-minded old sage” sort. Plain black robes, fair hair, clean-shaven, handsome, seldom left the Pool, cared nothing for politics and events in the wider world, just loved magic and working with it.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2021 :  00:51:13  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On docking Halruaa sky ships

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1450276994860601344

Oct 19 2021

@thekatastrophie

Hail and well met! Now that Halruaa has returned to Toril, how do their sky ships dock now that their docks haven’t been seen or used in 100 years?

@TheEdVerse

Usually, "the old way:" turn into the wind to slow down as much as possible, then down sail and glide, and throw out mooring lines to turrets and tall towers, then it's rope bridges time (and reel in close). Then see what docks are still usable or can be repaired...
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2021 :  01:15:16  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On topography of the Yawning Portal

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1450665643880165380
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1450665645360750597

Oct 20 2021

@djazelam

Based on two maps that I found on the web I tried to replicate the Yawning Portal’s first floor. Can you tell me please if the topography of the rooms is exact? If not, can you orient me to some map that represent exactly THE Yawning Portal in your head?

<image of Yawning Portal 3D model: https://twitter.com/djazelam/status/1450254262177566727>

@TheEdVerse

This is pretty close. Beautiful!

The well down into Undermountain should be a little more than twice as big, and the double doors you enter the main taproom through (from a cloakroom/bouncer guard lobby) seem to missing. Right now, I see no way in!

It should be in that stone wall beyond the two stools around the short side of the bar.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2021 :  01:01:04  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Szass Tam with the dread ring, the demoncyst, and curse of the death moon orb

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451012751971782659
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1460126676990447616

Oct 21 2021

@LHisstory

Did Szass Tam's attempt using the dread rings to recreate things draw upon the athora in any way? Did the attempt in any way affect the demoncyst which had formerly held Eltab? Was Szass Tam affected in any way by the curse of the death moon orb after he got it?

@TheEdVerse

Heh.

No, no, and yes. Respectively. And before you ask, that yes has a still-shiny NDA bolted securely to it. ;}

@TheEdVerse

No, Szass Tam has tried and failed several times to draw on the Athora at his bidding/under his control. The Dread Rings attempt doesn’t SEEM to have affected the demoncyst, but no one is sure. Yes, Szass Tam was affected by the curse, but won’t admit it to himself or examine himself to see how he’s changed. His blindness to his own flaws and shortcomings are one of the reasons he keeps failing in large endeavours; he’s been affected negatively by several things that are still active upon him, that he doesn’t realize, and a few that he does know about but seeks to ignore. One of the things he never realized was how greatly The Simbul could use the Weave to distract Tam from afar, and influence his thinking. There’s a reason Aglarond managed to hold Thay at bay for so long, and why Szass Tam so erratically and so often broke off his military assaults to turn his attention elsewhere.

- Edited on 16/11/21 to add new tweets.

Edited by - questing gm on 15 Nov 2021 23:50:10
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2021 :  02:21:28  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On anyone becoming a wizard

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451335833768939529
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451396869754605576

Oct 22 2021

@FAlsentar

Great sage @TheEdVerse, I've been meaning to ask you, Can anyone become a wizard?

What I mean is, if you study hard enough, anyone can become a astrophysict, but is this the same case with wizards? Or do you need to be born with some kind of magical spark?

@TheEdVerse

You need to have the Gift: that is, the aptitude for wielding the Art. In most cases, born with it, though some individuals develop it after being "caught" in magic, or a god imbues them with lasting spell ability as opposed to once.

That's just to become a wizard, mind; there are many other roads in the Realms to wielding magic.

And yes, the hard studying (=experimentation and casting practice) is also part of mastering wizardry.

@groudon466

Can the Gift be stolen from someone? Or otherwise acquired quite deliberately, through study of where to go and what to do/expose one's self to?

@TheEdVerse

No, the Gift cannot be stolen.

Down the centuries, some have tried to acquire it by going to the right places, doing the right things, and having the right experiences. A few have succeeded, but...did they already have it, and just hadn't awakened/triggered it? ?
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2021 :  02:28:30  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On hiding Hesperdan's true (draconic) nature

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451377560005365760

Oct 22 2021

@garethgarfoot

Hope you're on the mend after your recent tests. Quick question that I am hoping isnt under NDA. Was Manshoon aware of Hesperdan's true (draconic) nature? ~ Regards Gareth

@TheEdVerse

No. Azuth and various of the Chosen have helped, down the years, to hide Hesperdan's true nature from Manshoon and others (not necessarily with Hesperdan's knowledge). Mystra was amused.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2021 :  02:31:46  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Elvish word or phrase that may sound like stark

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451579882874589186

Oct 23 2021

@AndrewF_Writer

Great Sage @TheEdVerse Is there an Elvish word or phrase that may sound like stark?
I am creating an Elven Armorer Artificer and would like them to have chosen a name that might be relevant but also hope to have a name that sounds like stark... Grinning face Thank you.

@TheEdVerse

How about...
jestarakh (pronounced “jess-TARK”) = crafter and cherisher of small vital details?

Jestarakh the Artificer. Hath a ring to it.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2021 :  02:38:09  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On original Moonshaes

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451640934224080906
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451641449779539973
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451661422954491905

Oct 23 2021

@vorgryth

Last night at #GHC I was lucky enough to see the original #DnD Forgotten Realms map that @TheEdVerse drew many years ago. It was interesting to see how the world had changed from that original concept. Look close at Ann & Tethyr. Grinning face with smiling eyes

@TheEdVerse

Did you peek at my original Moonshaes? ;}

@vorgryth

They were stuck on off to the side! I was trying to decide if one of the islands had been turned sideways later but my phone wouldn’t open up a map to compare. Smiling face with open mouth and tightly-closed eyes

@TheEdVerse

I'll get you your very own image of the originals someday!

Why?

In the moonlight, under the right spells drawing on Moonwells, certain folk (and Ffolk!) can "walk" the ghostly original islands like stepping stones, and so travel dryshod from, say, Sarifel to Alaron!

Just for (cough) storytelling purposes for (cough) future adventures in the Moonshaes. And it's all canon, as I and other TSR DMs were incorporating this at RPGA adventures at GenCon back in the Milwaukee era. :}

@vorgryth

Ok. This is pretty neat. Astonished face

@TheEdVerse

Wait until I tell you about the haunted suits of armor...
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2021 :  03:33:45  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Raven Queen in Forgotten Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1451719192848252932

Oct 23 2021

@Iskanda95929918

how is the raven queen in the forgotten realms, is before Kelemvor right?

@TheEdVerse

She was doing fine, when last I saw her. ;}

She was active in the Realms long before Kelemvor was born as a mortal, let alone ascended.

Yet until the Spellplague, the Raven Queen acted subtly in the Realms, doing little more than harvesting memories that intrigue her.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2021 :  01:31:42  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On announcing archeological finds

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1453174104606052353

Oct 27 2021

@TomB_WI

A question about information flow in the realms. Say an archaeologist makes a major discovery—a ruined city, a lost temple, ancient annals of a lost kingdom—that is worthy of sharing. Assuming they wanted to, how would they relay their discovery to the wider world?

@TheEdVerse

There are "broadsheets" (newspapers) in many major cities, but the main channels of information have always been traveling merchants, from large caravans to lone peddlers with a trio of mules, who trade news, rumors, and the latest jests for drinks from bored locals when they stop over at an inn or take an upstairs room at a tavern for an evening. Within cities, there are always "gossip grapevines." So that's how news spreads.

With news of the sorts you list, a discoverer will likely want to NOT relay their discovery to the wider world for fear of the city, temple, or annals getting seized/occupied/plundered by the fastest, greediest listener who can muster swords and muscle.

So what most often happens in these situations is: the discoverer seeks a wealthy patron to sponsor an expedition, knowing there will be a price. If they don't know of a suitable one, and aren't part of a guild or fellowship that could aid them in explorations (such as the Society of Stalwart Adventurers), they often write a chapbook for public sale and distribution that conceals/misdirects re. the location of the find, seeds JUST enough true lore that sages with an interest in the field/topic will get VERY interested, and await offers from possible sponsors. Whom they then try to find out all about, in a hurry.

Often while less than savoury "other interests" who have read the chapbook try to find THEM, and apply...persuasion.

Ah, life is an adventure. Try to maintain the ability to flee fast.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2021 :  00:34:33  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On ice in Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1453571370969862155

Oct 28 2021

@RpgMatch

Hi @TheEdVerse I've got another obscure Waterdeep question for you: where does ice come from and how common is it?

It's referenced as being used at Seaswealth Hall to pack fish, so they can be distributed around the city for sale. Thanks! #dnd #dungeonsanddragons #waterdeep

@TheEdVerse

In winter, anyone can "harvest wild ice" near Waterdeep, from ponds and marshes and the banks of rivers and streams.

The rest of the year: several nobles with holdings along the banks of the River Dessarin have long-standing agreements with the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors: they provide shifts of Order members with luxurious abodes, meals, and servants, in return for cold spells being cast on water diverted from the river into small holding-channels and basins. The nobles get free ice for their own icehouses and cellars, and a payment from the Order that more than covers the costs of the food and servants (and wine); the Order has agreements with various guilds to provide them with bulk ice; the guilds come and break or saw the ice from the channels and basins, and rush it to Waterdeep in straw-insulated, covered wagons.

The clerics of Goldenfields (and clergy in many other temples across Faerűn) make their own ice with cold spells, for sale and barter locally. Some Goldenfields ice makes its way to Waterdeep, packed around perishable cargoes.

Almost no ice is produced by this method in the city, however, as salt water makes poor ice, and sewer-water even less desirable ice.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2021 :  00:43:18  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On differences between funeral ceremonies for worshipers of Silvanus, Chauntea, and Eldath

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1453576576684146693

Oct 28 2021

@clackclickbang

Well met, Ed! Could you regale me with the differences between funeral ceremonies for worshipers of Silvanus, Chauntea, and Eldath?

@TheEdVerse

Hi again! Sorry for the wait for this one!

All three deities want remains of dead faithful to be returned to the earth by decay, and not by fire in any form (and said remains to be unembalmed and buried without any metal; typically the bodies are stripped, washed, then wrapped in a simple hempen or muslim shroud or old cloak of their own).

All three have ceremonies that follow the overall pattern of: eulogy for the dead, dedication of the dead to the deity, water (or dew) gathered from nature poured over the face of the dead, and then a prayer calling on the deity to receive the soul or spirit of the dead, followed by interrment.

A dead person “dedicated foremost” to Silvanus would be buried under the roots of a tree or interred within a hollow tree or wedged between the trunks of close-growing trees.

A dead person “dedicated foremost” to Chauntea would be buried in a furrow of tilled ground (which can be freshly ploughed or dug by the mourners), which is then turned over atop them and planted with seeds of beneficial (agricultural) plants, from herbs to food crops (but not root crops).

A dead person “dedicated foremost” to Eldath would be shallow-buried in a forest grove, glade, or mossy place, and keep-away spells cast over it to prevent any foraging beast from digging them up for that season at least, so they could begin to decay.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2021 :  00:50:44  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On examples of prayers to the different deities

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1453578219597271041

Oct 28 2021


@newbiedm

Has #dnd ever published examples of prayers to the different deities? drawing a blank... or what church services look like?

@TheEdVerse

It was against the Code of Conduct in the TSR days.

I provided detailed prayers, holy rituals, and private devotions for all of the deities, and they got firmly "forgotten," several times over.

@DireSabbath

Replying to @TheEdVerse and @newbiedm

Not surprising, I could see how those so inclined to, could have misconstrued that info and used it for evidence of the "satanic demon worshipping cultists" that we all were.

@TheEdVerse

Exactly. Same reason TSR killed all the details of devil's talismans from my Hells articles.
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questing gm
Learned Scribe

Malaysia
277 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2021 :  03:35:01  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Velsaert, the Dragon Sage of Baldur's Gate and the continent of Arandron

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1453869491692228609
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1453872532407398406
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454564012142862339

Oct 29 2021

@TheBadCatMan

Hi @TheEdVerse! I'm curious about Velsaert, the Dragon Sage of Baldur's Gate quoted in a lot of the Wyrms of the North articles. What's his story? Was he always secretly a steel dragon? Are the other great dragons of the North really just avoiding him?

@TheEdVerse

Velsaertirden was a steel dragon who hatched in a clutch of eggs in Steelspires, a castle built by stone giants for his parents on a bare rock ridge that towered over the busy human port city of Haunvaerune, on the continent of Arandron far to the southwest of Faerűn.

It was his mother Malavauvra’s (Malavauvrantarandra’s) last clutch of eggs, for she was ancient and ailing. Most of Velsaertirden’s siblings were sickly and died soon after hatching, or during their first year of existence. The exceptions were his ruthless, rapacious sister Rauvrahreene (Rauvrahrileenatandrar), and his brother Torthal (Torthalindrarron).

The three wyrmlings soon became dragonets (learning to take human form, and shift with ease between human and dragon form), and reacted in very different ways to the bustling human city their dying mother encouraged them to explore: Torthal was repelled by humans and wanted nothing to do with them, or cities, or crowding of any sort; Rauvrahreene saw them as cattle, pawns, and playthings to be manipulated, devoured, and otherwise expended at will to further her needs to dominate, cow lesser beings, and further her plans; and Velsaert saw them as dangerous but fascinating sources of ongoing entertainment, to be studied and befriended and worked with to see what they’d do and achieve.

Velsaert’s father Phaudron (Phaudrantanthildrar) was a withdrawn, singleminded sort of dragon who traveled widely to explore and find rare substances to use as material components in arcane magics he was devising and endlessly experimenting with.

His passion was magics intended to prolong draconic life and vigor indefinitely, without lichdom or other necromantic means, for most dragons who survive for many years love life and want to cling to it, and seek longevity by various means.

While her father was away on one of his expeditions to gain a rare ingredient, Rauvrahreene found some of his written records of his magical experimentations.

She copied them, went to a lair of her own she’d established elsewhere, and conducted her own spellcastings and experiments, successfully learning how to reverse Phaudron’s spells. Then she returned to Steelspires, and when her father returned, weary and unsuccessful, she covertly cast his reversed spells on him, killing him.

Emboldened, she sought out her weak, slumbering mother, and slew her the same way. The castle was now hers.

However, Torthal unexpectedly returned to Steelspires to consult his father, and found his sister fortifying the place with dragonslaying traps. One of which sorely wounded him (he discovered the traps the hard way). Rauvrahreene gloated openly over the mortally wounded Torthal—and was overheard doing so by Velsaert, making his own return visit to the castle. Outraged that he’d lost his parents, Velsaert attacked, and when the battle was done, Torthal had been blasted apart and Rauvrahreene, wounded, had fled.

Lost in grief, Velsaert decided he never wants to dwell in the castle. He searched it, and used all the magic he knew to subvert and reset the traps so if Rauvrahreene returned, they’d likely harm her. Then Velsaert took human form and went down into Haunvaerune.

Where as soon as he could, he took passage on a farsailing ship, that would call at “strange and distant ports.”

In this case, that meant Sambar, in Lantan (unbeknownst to wider Faerűn, the Lantanna traded their lesser invented devices with many farflung folk, to gain goods rare or hard to find). From there, Velsaert found his way to mainland Faerűn, where he traveled for over five centuries in various human guises, seeing much of different cultures.

As he grew older, he increasingly sided with the aims and doings of the Harpers of Twilight Hall, and joined them while posing as the human ranger Vontur of Zazesspur.

During his sixty-odd years as Vontur, he came across several tantalizing mentions of a dragon who MIGHT be his sister Rauvrahreene, but could never track her down. Velsaert was also increasingly fascinated by the magic-spreading role of the Chosen of Mystra, and watched their doings—and so, in return, was watched by them.

Eventually, Vontur was cornered in a perish-or-call-on-draconic-powers situation, so Vontur “died” and the dragon that slew him and his foes flew away…and a young woman by the name of Shalant Mornwind, hailing from Athkatla, joined the Harpers. An eager volunteer daunted by nothing and avoiding no unpleasant task nor company, she rose in the regard of senior Harpers, and gained an ever-larger role as a trusted and capable adventurer, active all over western Faerűn, until, in an undercover operation in the Sembian city of Selgaunt, she discovered that the secret of the success of the wealthy local Sembian family hight House Morarshar was due to their matriarch, Lady Ambrele, being the human guise of Velsaert’s sister Rauvrahreene.

Velsaert attacked, and in the battle that followed, Morarshar Hall was torn apart, the family and their staff died bloodily, several surrounding buildings were shattered and hurled down, Rauvragrene was maimed and forced to flee to another plane of existence, and Shalant Mornwind “died.”

In truth, Velsaert was aged three centuries by spells cast by Rauvrahreene to try to kill him, and left saddened by the deaths of his Harper adventuring colleagues and the destruction of so much of what had been a luxurious street in downtown Selgaunt.

So he “retired,” becoming a sage in Baldur’s Gate under the name of Imbryn Velsaert (borrowing the name Imbryn from Imbryn Ultal, the captain of the Aelusteen, the ship that had brought him from Haunvaerune to Sambar). Velsaert dwelt above his small shop in the Temples District (a street above the Helm and Cloak inn), quietly selling information and old books related to magic, and becoming a passive observer of all the bustling human activity around him. Noticing the great extent to which various humans were being manipulated by clergies, cults, cabals, and powerful entities like illithids, beholders, and dragons, he increasingly slipped into human guises to travel and investigate the doings and aims of various dragons and dracoliches active in western Faerűn (notably Laerahkralan, a greatwyrm working with yuan-ti and human agents to covertly influence various ruling courts, from towns and villages up to countries, in the Shining South). He located their principal lairs and watched what he could of their activities, befriending the bronze dragon Nymmurh in particular. During the 1360s and 1370s DR, Velsaert gained a reputation as “the” current expert on the lives and times of the dragons of the Sword Coast. The merchant Andlar Verikho of Tharsult dubbed him the “Dragon Sage,” and this nickname stuck.

After the Dracorage, an ashamed and regretful Velsaert wanted nothing further to do with the Harpers, and foresaw that his profession as a sage specializing in dragons was going to bring endless adventurers (Harpers among them) to his door, so he “retired” again, relocating to the Upper City and later the south side of the river, and then dropping out of sight.

Just in time, it seems, for a force of mages and able-to-pass-as-human creatures he suspects was sent by sister, or someone working for her, descended on his lodgings by night to slay him—and when they couldn’t find Velsaert (who was lying on a nearby rooftop, not his own, observing comets in the night sky) settled for slaughtering many neighbours instead.

Velsaert hunted them for a month thereafter, trying to find whoever they reported to, but after he’d fought and slain several of them, they turned to hunt him again, and he decided to simply disappear into a new human guise, under a new name, elsewhere.

So the greatwyrm Velsaert survives to this day—as, presumably, does his sister Rauvrahreene.

@ilikeit_ruf

Mr. Ed I love how you just drop a new (at least new to me) continent on Toril.

Has Arandron been covered anywhere? Where’s it at?

@TheEdVerse

I don't think it's been covered in print, but has been mentioned in several Milwaukee-era GenCon Realms seminars, by me with staff designers and editors on the panel. It's well SW of Faerűn.

@Razzelmire

Would it be this place that is circled? It’s from a official Scholar View of Toril from the 3rd Edition campaign book.

<image of A Scholar's View of Abeir-Toril: https://twitter.com/Razzelmire/status/1454457990514462730/photo/1>

@TheEdVerse

No. That map's rather fanciful. Notice it doesn't specify WHICH Scholar's view? It's more accurate than some maps, yet is still closer to "Dragonnes Be Herre" than reality.

Rule of thumb: trust no map that has Anchorôme as a continent, or Osse as a big continent.

- Edited on 31/10/21 to add new tweet

Edited by - questing gm on 31 Oct 2021 01:31:44
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questing gm
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Posted - 30 Oct 2021 :  03:38:00  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Thayan enclaves

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454196606362849284
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454564590910689282
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454606389477842944
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454859908378206211


Oct 30 2021

@JM13136849

I've been geeking out teaching a group about things like thay's trade enclaves across FR (UE160/161) & strategy of growth from cheap sometimes magical exports getting lots of shock they never heard such things about FR. Why was that never really spotlighted for FR?

@TheEdVerse

I don't know, as I've never been on staff. I SUSPECT it was to shift the view of Thay from slavers to capitalists, but that's just a guess. Enclaves were left to fend for themselves when Szass Tam strategy-zagged in another direction.

For what Thay (not those enclaves) looks like today, watch for a soon-forthcoming DM's Guild tome on Thay by @GHC_and_Tacos and @warfteiner and yours truly. Cuisine, fashions, daily life, a tour of the major cities, tharchions, an adventure, and...the dreaded XXCan't say! They're here!

@roguecaliber

Will your Thay be like the old Thay or new Thay

@TheEdVerse

Our Thay is the Thay of right now, Realms time. As in, 1490s DR.

As the guy who created the place, I'm not sure what "old Thay" is/was, or "new Thay" for that matter. ;}

@roguecaliber

Apologies! I sorta liked the way it was perceived previously. The evil slavers!

@TheEdVerse

Ah. Thay's led by evil, and deals in slaves. Other countries (particularly neighbours like Rashemen and Aglarond) think of it as evil and rapacious.

However, to "just plain" Thayans, it's all they've known and "just the way life is."

But adventurers=forces for change.

@RpgMatch

Is there a name for this publication yet? I’m all for more Faerun stuff published/supported by you.

@TheEdVerse

It's PROBABLY going to be entitled "THAY Land of the Red Wizards" ...unless Szass Tam gets to us first.

-Edited on 31/10/21 to add new tweets
-Editedon 1/11/21 to add new tweet

Edited by - questing gm on 01 Nov 2021 00:01:01
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questing gm
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Posted - 31 Oct 2021 :  01:38:20  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On banks in Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454565628187140099

Oct 31 2021

@webjr1981

Is there anything akin to a "bank" in Waterdeep.

@TheEdVerse

Here on Twitter I've provided Realmslore answers about the role of temples and guilds as banks several times. As you say, there's no need to travel to Daggerford.

And that doesn't even get into all the fun of moneylenders. You may have heard of one of the more famous ones: Mirt the Moneylender, a Lord of Waterdeep.

Laeral, the current Open Lord, lives in his Mansion right now.
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questing gm
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Posted - 31 Oct 2021 :  01:45:26  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Halruaan burial practices

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454612815881383936

Oct 31 2021

@pukunui81

I am running Tomb of Annihilation. The PCs rescued some Halruaans from their crashed airship. Not all the crew made it, though, and my wife (who keeps the party journal) wants to know about Halruaan burial practices. What can you tell me about that?

@TheEdVerse

Halruaan burial practices depend on the social status and wealth of a Halruaan.

The wealthiest and most magically powerful typically have favored family members cremated magically, to convert the carbon of their ashes into gems they keep and prize in family crypts or trophy rooms, or even wear as pendants or false eyes if they happen to have lost an eye.

Slightly less wealthy: cremate, and keep the ashes in small reliquaries/coffers (NOT urns) in family crypts, though a widow or widower may keep the reliquary of a beloved spouse in their bedchamber, to talk to. (For comfort, not expecting any answers.)

Less wealthy still cremate, and scatter the ashes in a favourite place of the deceased, or if survivors don’t know a favoured place or that’s impractical, in a beautiful garden or wild place (on land, never at sea).

Still less wealthy cremate and leave disposal of the ashes to someone else, or just bury the ashes themselves.

The poorest and lowest-status Halruaans simply bury their dead, either deeply or with heavy rocks piled atop the burial site, to discourage carrion-eaters, tomb-robbers, erosion, and other forces that may disturb the burial.

The grave will never be in swampy ground or near the banks of a river or stream, where it may later be washed away.

Regardless of how the body is treated, the funeral is short and simple: as the body burns or is buried, every kin of the deceased, or colleague/fellow crew wishes the dead person, by name, “fair fortune beyond” (hoping aloud that they’ll be “received” by the god they most revered, if known and/or if any) and assures them they won’t be forgotten.

And then a flower (or failing that, a plant with petals, or failing that one with windblown spores, or failing that a cast magical illusion of such a plant) is cast to the wind in memory of the departed.

If the person was liked, mourners may later drink to their name.
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questing gm
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On cuisine and drinks that are native to Shining South, Halruaa especially

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454878556920729601
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454888838925635589
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454889558672355332
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1454885712512397319

Nov 1 2021

@thekatastrophie

Good Morning Loremaster! Could you provide some insight as to the cuisine and drinks that are native to Shining South, Halruaa especially? Is there is a stark contrast between southern cuisine and the food and drink of the Savage Frontier and the Heartlands?

@TheEdVerse

A huge topic, but here’s a starter…

Yes, there is a contrast. More soups, stews, and heavy, warming food, plus food that travels well (sausages, round hardloaves of bread) in the North.

Shining South cuisine has more small meals, with savory and sweet tarts (dominated not by berries as in the North, but by caramel sauces and nuts), and mint and hot spices as seasonings.

Cheeses in both cuisines, but more soft and crumbly cheese in the South, used more in cooking, whereas in the North cheeses are more sturdy/portable/hard and eaten by hand or in wedges. The South has more strongly seasoned cheeses, with nuts and hot spices added, and sweet-and-sour taste combinations are found only in the South (except where traveling merchants and their trade routes have caused individual migrations of cuisine to specific eateries, inns, and taverns). Pickles in the North have tastes like our real-world modern “bread and butter” pickles or sour pickles; pickles in the South usually taste more fiery, like mustard pickles, and include chopped-olive and caper mixes like tapenades.

As for alcoholic drinks: in the North, mulled ciders and spiked-with-spirits hot broths and “slakes” (mixes of teas and root spices) and ale and firewine. In the South: chilled drinks, like the blue wine avanal and brandies poured over berries and shavings of ice, and wines in general in preference to beer, as well as kaeth (coffee) in preference to teas.

However, these cuisine contrasts are marked in rural and wilderness areas, but far less so in cosmopolitan trading cities, ports like Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, Athkatla, Zazesspur, and Calimport in particular, where visiting traders like to eat their customary foods, and arrive in profusion enough to support eateries offering their favourites.

Oh, and smoky food flavours are welcomed in the North (smoked fish, smoked meats) but in the South are often seen as a mark of poor cooking or attempts to hide bad-flavoured, spoiling food.

@thekatastrophie

Thank you so, so much! I appreciate your amazing insights and I appreciate you taking your time to craft such a detailed response!

@TheEdVerse

My pleasure! I hope to get around to more in-depth cuisine lore again (like that in my Volo's Guides). There's some in the upcoming Thay book, and friends and I are working on a Volo's Guide to a city in the Shining South that will have quite a bit of cuisine in it.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the sky-blue wine "avanal" (taste: a little like a dry Riesling made tart with cranberry juice) is THE drink of choice in Halruaa. Served chilled, in chilled fluted tallglasses, but NOT served with ice.

A popular Halruaan snack: a glass or two of avanal served with a small oval platter of nutbread crescents (crescent-shaped cookies; nutbread is like a very dark, rum-and-cherries-and-dark-chocolate Christmas cake; the nuts are pecans, walnuts, and pistachios).


Edited by - questing gm on 01 Nov 2021 00:28:03
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questing gm
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On usage of "highborn" and "nobles"

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1456104227508477956
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1456111474510815232

Nov 4, 2021

@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse quick question, in Ed Greenwood presents Elminsters Forgotten Realms you mention that the word for nobles in the Realms is highborn. Do people just use highborn, or do some people also say noble?

Thanks!

@TheEdVerse

“Nobles” is also in widespread usage, but as a group name. When speaking of an individual, one would say, “Oh, he’s/she’s highborn,” but when speaking of a group, one might say, “The western nobles don’t like it, but the city nobles do.”

@LarryDixonTGK

Well hell, now I wonder about the interest of Western Nobles.

@TheEdVerse

The western nobles were and are generally against the appearance of trade enclaves of Thay up and down the Sword Coast and in the western Heartlands, because it now meant any rich lowborn dolt with a grudge could buy magic to do something about that grudge. To nobles.
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questing gm
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Posted - 04 Nov 2021 :  22:25:05  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Elvish words for love

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1456105625495146498

Nov 4, 2021

@logidoggy

Hey Ed! I was wondering if elves in FR had different words for love the same way the Greeks did: ...Phileo, Eros, Ludus, Agape, Pragma, and Philautia. Do they express their love verbally in different ways, or are they like English that has only one "love" word?


@TheEdVerse

The elves of the Realms express love in singing love songs to each other, in love poetry (both public and private), and in ballads of praise for an individual one adores. There are also erotic dances.

And yes, they have different words for love.
evae: love, absence of malice
nor: love, essence of passion
immeet: to yearn for home, family, hearth
immaea: loyalty to kin and family, familial love
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