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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Alaundo Posted - 26 Jan 2005 : 23:16:47
Well met

This being a collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a renowned game designer of the Realms, namely - Eric L Boyd. Eric has been a game designer for TSR\WotC for many years, with a vast array of products to his name, including Champions of Ruin, Champions of Valor, City of Splendors: Waterdeep, Faiths & Pantheons, Lost Empires of Faerūn, Serpent Kingdoms, Races of Faerūn and the upcoming Power of Faerūn, to name but a few.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this Realms master.
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
ericlboyd Posted - 27 Feb 2024 : 01:46:38
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My guess is probably about as interested as the Fair Folk are in having non-elves visit Evermeet.

By that I mean, very resistant, with the exception of certain elf-friends like Mirt, the Seven Sisters, Elminster, and senior Harpers.

--Eric



Essentially, Player Characters will need to perform a rather substantial favor for Corellon's children before they are granted the privilege? Much appreciated.



Exactly. And "substantial" is probably on par with rescue a small kingdom of elves.
Azar Posted - 27 Feb 2024 : 00:28:53
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My guess is probably about as interested as the Fair Folk are in having non-elves visit Evermeet.

By that I mean, very resistant, with the exception of certain elf-friends like Mirt, the Seven Sisters, Elminster, and senior Harpers.

--Eric



Essentially, Player Characters will need to perform a rather substantial favor for Corellon's children before they are granted the privilege? Much appreciated.
ericlboyd Posted - 17 Feb 2024 : 10:57:12
My guess is probably about as interested as the Fair Folk are in having non-elves visit Evermeet.

By that I mean, very resistant, with the exception of certain elf-friends like Mirt, the Seven Sisters, Elminster, and senior Harpers.

--Eric
Azar Posted - 17 Feb 2024 : 09:25:30
Mr. Boyd, I have a question pertaining to Demihuman Deities. Generally speaking, with the exceptions of Fenmarel Mestarine (the loner) and Shevarash (the avenger), how open are the various Elven religions to the possibility of outsiders witnessing their ceremonies?
ericlboyd Posted - 03 Jan 2024 : 22:20:54
My intent was to go with the 1325 DR birth year for Baelam the Bold.

While the general rule is that you go with the newer source, when it's Ed writing it and when they copied 1e material verbatim into a 2e source without updating it, my rule of thumb is to go with the older source.

Given such confusion, I now avoid writing ages and always write birth years. Keeps it much simpler for the DM who might be running the campaign in any given year.

--Eric
Italian Archmage Karsus Posted - 28 Nov 2023 : 23:30:41
Hey, I was going over Baelam the Bold (City of Splendors, Waterdeep: p. 120-121). In an earlier book, Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor inside the Ruins of Myth Drannor boxed set, he's stated to be 31 years old in the apparent year of 1356. However, the default date of 2e was 1368 DR, and he was also present in Dragon 172. While a later source overrules a previous source, CGtMD is not explicitly set in 1356.

If he is taken to be 31 years old by 1368 DR, that makes him out to be 5 years old in 1342 DR, when he slays his master's assassins. I think it's more reasonable to say he's 31 years old in 1356, so he'd be 17 years old by 1342, which is in line with many a player character's age. It seems like a foregone conclusion to me, but just to stay on the safe side, I thought I should check in. Was that bit in City of Splendors written under the consideration he was 31 years old in 1356, rather than in 1368?
Azar Posted - 26 Sep 2023 : 08:05:30
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Azar
There are solid reasons as to "why" that perception persists. In most D&D core rulebooks, Elves are listed as Chaotic Good; there hasn't been a single Forgotten Realms campaign setting book or box set that has gone out of its way to blatantly refute this moral/ethical description as it applies to Corellon's offspring in The Realms.



You might want to read "Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves" a bit more closely.

-- George Krashos



I have*, but most players - hell, most DMs - don't get in that deep. By "campaign setting book or box set", I was referring to the primers which cover The Realms as a whole...touching on multiple regions (such as the 3e FRCS hardcover). That aside, I'm not sure where or even if we ought to continue this conversation; I dislike hijacking a thread with a broader purpose.

*Once through, from cover to cover. It is occasionally revisited for inspiration, however.
George Krashos Posted - 25 Sep 2023 : 14:43:54
quote:
Originally posted by Azar
There are solid reasons as to "why" that perception persists. In most D&D core rulebooks, Elves are listed as Chaotic Good; there hasn't been a single Forgotten Realms campaign setting book or box set that has gone out of its way to blatantly refute this moral/ethical description as it applies to Corellon's offspring in The Realms.



You might want to read "Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves" a bit more closely.

-- George Krashos
ericlboyd Posted - 25 Sep 2023 : 14:21:29
As much as I love Roger Moore's original work, I think settings such as GH and FR would have greatly benefited if the racial pantheons for the demihuman races had been more varied in alignment. This would have reflected the diversity of alignments found in such races, rather than portraying them as monocultures.
Azar Posted - 19 Sep 2023 : 21:36:22
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I love how we all lapse into looking at elves through a Tolkien-esque LoTR lens. Good and noble, helping humans and dwarves and hobbits, etc. etc. The elves of Faerūn are the elves of the Silmarillion: some good, some bad, some in between, some welcoming, some xenophobic ... just like long-lived humans, really. In real terms, elves were pretty much the apex predator of the Realms at the height of their civilisation and very comfortably enjoyed their superiority in magic, tech and resources. They did things for themselves, and didn't care too much about the other races. It was only when their power dwindled that you saw them entering into alliances with dwarves and humans. Pride cometh and all that.

-- George Krashos



There are solid reasons as to "why" that perception persists. In most D&D core rulebooks, Elves are listed as Chaotic Good; there hasn't been a single Forgotten Realms campaign setting book or box set that has gone out of its way to blatantly refute this moral/ethical description as it applies to Corellon's offspring in The Realms. Hell, a good chunk of Elf NPCs in many Forgotten Realms supplements - throughout the various editions - are "Chaotic Good" and lands primarily inhabited by Elves tend to receive an area Alignment of "Chaotic Good". Furthermore, a general Alignment helps to differentiate a fantasy race from Humans...the wild card of the bunch (otherwise, you end up with pointy-eared Humans sporting a really good health insurance plan). Lest we forget, this hobby is chiefly about escapism and what's more escapist than featuring classic good guys and bad guys?

Personally, I am happy to have evil Elves (Drow aside, natch) remain an exception while leaving the main body mercurial and oftentimes inscrutable, yes, but essentially benevolent.
ericlboyd Posted - 19 Sep 2023 : 19:33:08
quote:
Originally posted by kysus
Another question if i may on your underillfarn anew write up you mention an elven realm where the mere of dead men is called Faeveryal and i was wondering if you had anymore information on that realm like what happened to cause their downfall and what clans made up that realm?



Faeveryal is a new creation of myself and George Krashos. I haven't written much up about it yet, but the intent is that it was an isolationist realm of gold elves dominated by the Church of Labelas Enoreth. It largely eschewed relations with its neighbors and did not join the reformed Illefarn.

--Eric
kysus Posted - 04 Sep 2023 : 07:14:46
Thank you for the response Eric, I have both of those adventures, the writers left what happened to chomylla open as well. I think if memory serves they just added that she was a highmage of that realm.
Another question if i may on your underillfarn anew write up you mention an elven realm where the mere of dead men is called Faeveryal and i was wondering if you had anymore information on that realm like what happened to cause their downfall and what clans made up that realm?
ericlboyd Posted - 10 Aug 2023 : 13:05:12
quote:
Originally posted by kysus

Eric i have a question if i may on the The Diamond Scepter of Chomylla, i cant remember where but in one of the books it is stated that chomylla gave the scepter to the coronal for safe keeping and then left to try to find what was left of her people. And i was wondering whatever became of Chomylla, did she ever return to myth drannor or did she have something tragic happen to her thereafter?



My original write-up was in FOR11 - Cult of the Dragon (2e).

My revised write-up was in Dragons of Faerun (3.5e).

I haven't read them, but apparently the diamond staff appeared in "Vault of the Dracolich" an "Search for the Diamond Staff" (both 4e).

I'm unaware of anyone detailing what actually happened to Chomylla beyond those sources. I left it as a plot hook for the DM and haven't yet picked it back up for my own campaign.

--Eric
kysus Posted - 06 Aug 2023 : 04:12:16
Eric i have a question if i may on the The Diamond Scepter of Chomylla, i cant remember where but in one of the books it is stated that chomylla gave the scepter to the coronal for safe keeping and then left to try to find what was left of her people. And i was wondering whatever became of Chomylla, did she ever return to myth drannor or did she have something tragic happen to her thereafter?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 25 Jun 2023 : 15:54:42
I asked Ed that myself, prompted by that same tourmaline discussion. He's not answered, yet.
ericlboyd Posted - 25 Jun 2023 : 04:48:24
Note that the Gem section of VGtATM largely comes from a Dragon article on gems by Ed.
George Krashos Posted - 25 Jun 2023 : 04:33:06
quote:
Originally posted by Italian Archmage Karsus

Hey, unrelatedly, were the gemstones from Volo's Guide to All Things Magical supposed to always have those properties, or do they require special cuts, minimum sizes, or unique magical treatments to awaken those properties? Could one grab a tourmaline off a mine wall, and just turn it into three lightning bolts, or does that require cutting, magicking, treatment, a special size or grade of gemstone?



I'm not Eric Boyd, and heck who would want to be, but my take is that some of the properties (like the one associated with Orl) are naturally occurring and don't require anything more. Some of the others IMHO however require a magical process, treatment or the casting of a particular spell on the gem to "awaken" the property. Otherwise, every person on Faerūn would carry around a bag full of Ulvaen gems for healing, and a black sapphire to prevent being affected by stasis effects, etc.

I actually have the basics of an article dealing just with this topic and showcasing one means of "waking" gems to provide magical effects ... one day it might even see the light of day.

But that's my 2cp.

-- George Krashos
Italian Archmage Karsus Posted - 24 Jun 2023 : 19:37:57
Hey, unrelatedly, were the gemstones from Volo's Guide to All Things Magical supposed to always have those properties, or do they require special cuts, minimum sizes, or unique magical treatments to awaken those properties? Could one grab a tourmaline off a mine wall, and just turn it into three lightning bolts, or does that require cutting, magicking, treatment, a special size or grade of gemstone?
Italian Archmage Karsus Posted - 23 Jun 2023 : 03:09:05
I see. Thank you for your patience and flexibility. Sorry that this was so irregular, and please keep up the good work.
ericlboyd Posted - 23 Jun 2023 : 02:53:04
So, in general I haven't read Snowsblood's work, as I try not to inadvertently steal the ideas of others.

Generally I always go with Ed’s statements, as anyone should. But in this particular case it’s unclear what is Ed’s and what is fan work.

From what you copied out, I don't think there's much in the way of contradiction on Illefarn. The only thing I note is that the southern border is clearly incorrect (maybe not in Ed's original Realms, but given what was published in Cormanthyr and later sources).

--Eric



quote:
Originally posted by Italian Archmage Karsus

Hello, this one is a bit tougher, so I'll get it if you prefer to sit this one out:

while sifting for Loremaster stuff, I saw that one of our "cited" answers is to Ed Greenwood's answers on Illefarn. I was then made aware of your publication, Under Illefarn Anew. I wanted to know if you were using any lore from Ed Greenwood, and if so, if any of that lore you were using (or decided not to use) was in direct contradiction of what we were able to glean from a cite out of Loremaster dot org.

What little we were able to recover, I've placed at http://candlekeep.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24709 . Without telling us any secrets or chancing any NDAs, are you in possession of anything that refutes the cited content, Y/N?

Italian Archmage Karsus Posted - 23 Jun 2023 : 00:21:00
Hello, this one is a bit tougher, so I'll get it if you prefer to sit this one out:

while sifting for Loremaster stuff, I saw that one of our "cited" answers is to Ed Greenwood's answers on Illefarn. I was then made aware of your publication, Under Illefarn Anew. I wanted to know if you were using any lore from Ed Greenwood, and if so, if any of that lore you were using (or decided not to use) was in direct contradiction of what we were able to glean from a cite out of Loremaster dot org.

What little we were able to recover, I've placed at http://candlekeep.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24709 . Without telling us any secrets or chancing any NDAs, are you in possession of anything that refutes the cited content, Y/N?
ericlboyd Posted - 14 Jun 2023 : 14:14:27
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Fair enough.

This makes me wonder, now, if Maaril had to make some arrangements with Khelben and/or the Lords, to keep possession of the staff. I'm not saying he'd hand it over willingly, but I think if there was a perceived threat there, Khelben would have taken steps to claim the staff. Maybe not open spellbattle, but sending in thieves and adventurers, and/or finding some way to pressure Maaril into giving it up. Or even trading for it.



I'm very sure Khelben and Maaril had an understanding. See Chapter 24 of Blackstaff for additional context.

--Eric
Wooly Rupert Posted - 14 Jun 2023 : 14:02:25
Fair enough.

This makes me wonder, now, if Maaril had to make some arrangements with Khelben and/or the Lords, to keep possession of the staff. I'm not saying he'd hand it over willingly, but I think if there was a perceived threat there, Khelben would have taken steps to claim the staff. Maybe not open spellbattle, but sending in thieves and adventurers, and/or finding some way to pressure Maaril into giving it up. Or even trading for it.
ericlboyd Posted - 14 Jun 2023 : 04:27:22
It's not about a lack of backup. It's a focus for the spell. There was one foci.

--Eric

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My intent was the staff was the keystone. However, you could do whatever works best for the campaign.
--Eric

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Heya, Eric!

Pinging you here on a topic we were discussing on Ed's Discord; not sure if you get messages when you're pinged there...

In short, I was wondering if Ahghairon built any other controlling mechanisms into the dragonward. We know of the dragonstaff, of course, and Maaril's possession of it. The thing that occurs to me, though, is that if some bad guy wants to harm Waterdeep and gets a hold of that staff... With the information we currently have, this could be bad.

So I'm just wondering if there's some additional controlling mechanism, even if it's just a "purge all dragons NOW!" thing, that Ahghairon added to his dragonward.





So there was no backup?

Wooly Rupert Posted - 13 Jun 2023 : 04:12:52
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

My intent was the staff was the keystone. However, you could do whatever works best for the campaign.
--Eric

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Heya, Eric!

Pinging you here on a topic we were discussing on Ed's Discord; not sure if you get messages when you're pinged there...

In short, I was wondering if Ahghairon built any other controlling mechanisms into the dragonward. We know of the dragonstaff, of course, and Maaril's possession of it. The thing that occurs to me, though, is that if some bad guy wants to harm Waterdeep and gets a hold of that staff... With the information we currently have, this could be bad.

So I'm just wondering if there's some additional controlling mechanism, even if it's just a "purge all dragons NOW!" thing, that Ahghairon added to his dragonward.





So there was no backup?
ericlboyd Posted - 13 Jun 2023 : 03:03:04
My intent was the staff was the keystone. However, you could do whatever works best for the campaign.
--Eric

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Heya, Eric!

Pinging you here on a topic we were discussing on Ed's Discord; not sure if you get messages when you're pinged there...

In short, I was wondering if Ahghairon built any other controlling mechanisms into the dragonward. We know of the dragonstaff, of course, and Maaril's possession of it. The thing that occurs to me, though, is that if some bad guy wants to harm Waterdeep and gets a hold of that staff... With the information we currently have, this could be bad.

So I'm just wondering if there's some additional controlling mechanism, even if it's just a "purge all dragons NOW!" thing, that Ahghairon added to his dragonward.

ericlboyd Posted - 12 Jun 2023 : 16:39:50
Great question. I'm slowly working through it.

We do know some bits, like Tempus is probably from the Talfirc pantheon, given that Targus is from Netheril and Garagos is from Jhaamdath. Likewise, Talos is probably the Ruathen pantheon, given that there was a Coramshite storm god named Bhaelros and a Netherese storm god named Kozah.

With respect to the latter, I have figured out what I would call the Ruathen pantheon, but that's one small bit in a larger effort to work out the regional human pantheons that preceded the continent-wide Faerunian pantheon.

I've posted this before, but here it is again:

Ruathen Pantheon
The Ruathen pantheon, known as the Samlarehm, predates the arrival of the Ruathen people on the isle of Ruathym circa 3100 DR. The early Ruathen seafarers sailed from lands far to the west across the Trackless Sea to Faerūn. After settling on Ruathym, they eventually went on to settle most of the islands of the northern Trackless Sea and the Swordsea Coast. In time, they became known as the Northuir (Northmen).
Traditional Ruathen culture views the world as an endless contest between human heroes (“samlar”) and the titanic forces of the natural world. In the Ruathen mythos, natural forces like beasts, seas, storms, and winter are embodied by the Gods of Fury: Talos the Stormlord, Auril the Frostmaiden, Malar the Beastlord, and Umberlee the Bitch Queen. Only the greatest of heroes could hope to prevail against the Gods of Fury, embodiments of four deific roles: the Hunter, the Sailor, the Wanderer, and the Warrior.
In the Ruathen mythos, from time to time, mortal heroes ascend to the rank of demipower to embody those deific archtetypes. So there has been more than one Hunter, more than one Sailor, more than one Warrior, and more than one Wanderer, but never more than one of each such demipower at any given point in time.
In recent centuries, the portfolio of the Hunter has been held by Gwaeron Windstrom the Tracker, who stalked and slew and avatar of Malar, followed by several manifestations of the Beastlord in short succession. Before that time, legends speak of a Northuir huntress named Skadi the Stalker, who sailed the seas in the wake of Malar the Beastlord, who swam up from the deaths in the guise of the Seawolf to bedevil Northuir seafarers.
In recent centuries, the portfolio of the Sailor has been held by Valkur the Mighty, a Northuir sea captain from Mintarn who challenged Umberlee and won against all odds. Before that time, legends speak of a Northuir seawolf known as Ruathane the Reaver who plundered ships from the Sea of Moving Ice to the isle of Nimbral before sinking in a fierce winter storm wrapped in the tentacles of Umberlee’s bulk while being torn apart by sharks.
The portfolio of the Warrior was most recently seized by Uthgar the Battlefather, formerly a Ruathen thane named Uther Gardolfsson, in the Year of the Icy Axe (123 DR). Uthgar defeated a dozen different totem spirits, venerated by various Beorunni and Runlathan tribes, to take his place at the head of the Uthgardt tribes, before being absorbed into the Faerūnian pantheon as a servant of Tempus (also rendered Tempos), Lord of War. Long before the rise of Uthgar, legends speak of a shape-shifting berserker known as Magnur the Hamfariggen. This bear-like warrior is thought to have roamed the isle of Ruathym in ursine form, endlessly battling Malar the Beastlord, before eventually becoming trapped in beast form.
The portfolio of the Wanderer has been held by Shaundakul (a Ruathen of Ruathym, neé Shaun, son of Akul) since the Rider of the Winds stumbled through a portal centuries ago and found himself on the far side of Faerūn. Ever since, Shaundakul has been slowly making his way home across the North, battling the Stormlord and other strange gods who bar his way. Over time, he has become the patron of the Ruathen diaspora, from the Rus of Rasheman to the Arkaiuns of Dambrath to the invaders of the Utter East. Long before the rise of Shaundakul, legends speak of a far-wandering sailor named Ulutiu who sailed the Trackless Sea. He is said to have frozen the northern waters with his enchanted necklace before falling asleep beneath what is now the Great Glacier. Some whisper the Ulutiu was a mortal who held the role of the Wanderer ere the Ruathens arrived on Ruathym.
In the centuries since the first founding of Illusk (circa 3000 DR), the Illuskans, as the descendants of the Ruathen explorers and Netherese refugees have come to be known, have intermingled, traded with, and raided many other human ethnic groups. In the course of those interactions, Ruathen gods like Talos have absorbed rival storm deities, such as Kozah (Netherese) and Bhaelros (Calishite). Likewise, Illuskans have adopted worship of other gods—starting with Tempos, Lord of Battles. As a result, the Ruathen pantheon is now considered part of the larger Faerūnian pantheon, and its deities are worshiped far and wide across the Realms.

SilverTiger12 Posted - 11 Jun 2023 : 21:28:42
Alae, Eric Boyd

I have a question about something from Faiths & Pantheons. Specifically, that books mentions that the modern Faerunian pantheon was formed from the merger of four earlier human pantheons (the Talfiric, Jhaamdathan, Netherese, and Coramshite pantheons). The Netherese pantheon was detailed in Netheril: Empire of Magic, and Ed of Greenwood on his discord has described the Coramshite pantheon, but that leaves two pantheons and several dozen deities of more or less unknown origin.

My question is, did you or do you have thoughts on the Talifiric and Jhaamdathan pantheons and which deities came from them?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 07 Jun 2023 : 02:16:38
Heya, Eric!

Pinging you here on a topic we were discussing on Ed's Discord; not sure if you get messages when you're pinged there...

In short, I was wondering if Ahghairon built any other controlling mechanisms into the dragonward. We know of the dragonstaff, of course, and Maaril's possession of it. The thing that occurs to me, though, is that if some bad guy wants to harm Waterdeep and gets a hold of that staff... With the information we currently have, this could be bad.

So I'm just wondering if there's some additional controlling mechanism, even if it's just a "purge all dragons NOW!" thing, that Ahghairon added to his dragonward.
ericlboyd Posted - 17 May 2023 : 01:11:58
I don’t think the larger one had been published when I wrote the article, so I intended the smaller one.

However, I like the idea that big cats (eg red tigers and black lions) give birth to the bigger elven cats, while smaller felines give birth to the smaller ones.

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