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Merrith
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2011 :  21:54:45  Show Profile  Visit Merrith's Homepage Send Merrith a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Merrith

Not surprising, but some revelations. Knowing we have at least 4 more Elminster books to delve into some lore I will be patient. The Larloch revelation in BED has me expecting more.

Unfortunately, Larloch wouldn't be making any appearances in Elminster Enraged.



How do you know this for sure if I may ask? Even if he isn't personally going to be making an appearance further revelation as to why he was "The Imprisoner" and what plans he and/or Mystra had for the blueflame items would be good enough for me.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2011 :  22:26:29  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Ed said so.

Every beginning has an end.
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Thente Thunderspells
Seeker

USA
65 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2011 :  22:00:31  Show Profile Send Thente Thunderspells a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must say that I have mixed feelings about this book.

I loved the sections that seemed to indicate Mystra's revival and the end when the Simbul was revived, but then she left and it was stupid Manshoon raving as he has done for the past two novels.

I am particularly not fond of Glathra as a character. All she seems to do is run wherever the action is, scream and scream and then be completely ineffectual.

I also don't like the running back and forth to the exact same place over and over again. E.g. "Let's run to the palace! Ooo! Fight, run out of the palace, oh no Elminster is addled, lets rest for a half day." "Ok, run back into the palace again..." rinse, wash, repeat...

Maybe it seems far too much like an actual D&D game to me and that's why I'm not a fan, I'd like my novels to be novels. Also, where did Storm & Elminster's basic ability to use magic go? it's either El blasting about with a huge spell or nothing. If this is the 4E Realms, where are their minor at-will abilities like magic missile or even a 1/day sleep to use on the guards they keep trying to barrel past (since they try to burst into the palace 1/day this should be perfect!)

It's like it tries to be a novel based closely on what gaming looks like, but then it doesn't seem to follow/make use of that game other than the "encounter, run, rest, encounter" type scenarios.

I love most of Greenwoods novels and I acknowledge that they have always been a bit like what I describe above, but the last two just seemed much MORE so... I'm reading and buying them because I want to know what happens in the lives of these characters and Mystra, but that is basically the only reason right now.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
- Shakespeare
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Merrith
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2011 :  03:54:55  Show Profile  Visit Merrith's Homepage Send Merrith a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thente Thunderspells

I must say that I have mixed feelings about this book.

I loved the sections that seemed to indicate Mystra's revival and the end when the Simbul was revived, but then she left and it was stupid Manshoon raving as he has done for the past two novels.

I am particularly not fond of Glathra as a character. All she seems to do is run wherever the action is, scream and scream and then be completely ineffectual.

I also don't like the running back and forth to the exact same place over and over again. E.g. "Let's run to the palace! Ooo! Fight, run out of the palace, oh no Elminster is addled, lets rest for a half day." "Ok, run back into the palace again..." rinse, wash, repeat...

Maybe it seems far too much like an actual D&D game to me and that's why I'm not a fan, I'd like my novels to be novels. Also, where did Storm & Elminster's basic ability to use magic go? it's either El blasting about with a huge spell or nothing. If this is the 4E Realms, where are their minor at-will abilities like magic missile or even a 1/day sleep to use on the guards they keep trying to barrel past (since they try to burst into the palace 1/day this should be perfect!)

It's like it tries to be a novel based closely on what gaming looks like, but then it doesn't seem to follow/make use of that game other than the "encounter, run, rest, encounter" type scenarios.

I love most of Greenwoods novels and I acknowledge that they have always been a bit like what I describe above, but the last two just seemed much MORE so... I'm reading and buying them because I want to know what happens in the lives of these characters and Mystra, but that is basically the only reason right now.



I feel like the end played it perfectly. If what Mystra wants (for El and Manshoon to work together somehow) is to come to pass...Manshoon is going to have to, in essence, outgrow his old world view. El's reaction to his blowing up was like the father type who knew what he was going to have to put up with.

Glathra as a character was my only real issue with the book. At some point don't you think you should listen to the people who have dealt with bad situations for centuries before you were born? Hopefully they smack some sense into her she was much better as a character in the EMD.

I like all the crazy running around. Much more of a "romp" feel that I love and truthfully...it's much more realistic than just the highlights of "and they ended up at the next place they were supposed to with nothing happening along the way".
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Atian
Acolyte

Finland
1 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2011 :  19:26:26  Show Profile Send Atian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi.

Does anyone know what happened to the lore quotes at the beginning on each chapter?

To my knowledge they have been in every book written by Ed, including the previous book in the series and now they're suddenly gone.

Thank you.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5056 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2011 :  00:39:00  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Atian, those chapterhead lore-quotes were published on the WotC website for both EMD and BED, left out of the hardcover editions of both . . . and put into the mass market paperback edition of EMD; I strongly suspect they'll appear in the mass market pbk of BED.
love,
THO
P.S. Merrith, right on! Ed and I both dislike fantasy books where novices on a quest unerringly find their way across a continent to where they have to get, and various characters "just happen" to show up at the right place and time to intercept foes or join allies. Life is full of wandering around and making mistakes and rushing around.
Thente, the movement in BED is nothing like any Realms session I've ever played in (or Ed has DM'd) - - and how El and Storm can (and can't) use magic, and how it's changing, is fully explained (here and there, during the story) in EMD and BED: it's NOT like 4th edition game rules, for either of them.
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Shadowaxe
Acolyte

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2011 :  17:17:08  Show Profile  Visit Shadowaxe's Homepage Send Shadowaxe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He was suddenly tearful, lost in a joy he knew was silly yet meant so much. Nobles of Cormyr grow up knowing they can trust no one in the world, and that those who trust others are fools or dupes to be used.
Now, at last, he knew – knew – there was one person he could trust.
“Four, lad. There are four, not one,” El murmured, holding him in Amarune’s embrace. “Storm, thy mother, Rune, and Elminster Aumar...

Like all of BED – Graceful, heartfelt, immense, tremendous.
Ed, my thanks.


Mead, mead, from the honey bee,
How I long to drink thee.
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Spencer
Acolyte

Canada
10 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2011 :  15:56:29  Show Profile Send Spencer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This book is a masterpiece. The characters in particular are extremely well written and fleshed out - I genuinely care about them. It reads at a break-neck speed, but it doesn't get tiring or dull.
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Kyrel
Learned Scribe

151 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2011 :  17:51:38  Show Profile  Visit Kyrel's Homepage Send Kyrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Generally I've liked EMD and BED. With respects to the "Glathra" character, however, I have to say that I'm beginning to find her somewhat annoying. Reason being "how the hell did she attain a position of authority, if she doesn't know when to shut up and listen?" Also, I'm beginning to get the impression that she's borderlining being incompetent. And that feeling annoys me with regards to this character, because I really don't feel like she should be that. Sure, she may need to be outwitted by some of the main protagonists, but after reading BED, I can't currently remember any situations in the book, where I was left with the feeling that this was a competent character.
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ROMVS
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2012 :  08:20:00  Show Profile Send ROMVS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Glathra is there to provide a foil or a reality check so to speak. She points out people's obvious doubts and acts like how a normal person who wants to hold on to power after she gets a little would do.

I'm trying to find the book after BED on Amazon so I can pre-order and I'm actually re-reading EMD and even Elminster's Daughter to get better picture of all that is going on. I can't wait to unravel all the mysteries that I'm sure they didn't just leave out but are just waiting to unfold.

I must have read most of the FR books, the only ones I haven't read are some of the new ones and the Lolth revival series, I couldn't quiet get into it.
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1277 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  14:28:54  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't really get the Epilogue...so Elmister is made whole by the Simbul (who is seemingly nearly demigod now; even more so than before) and then a few minutes later after the Simbul is conveniently called away on important tasks Manshoon goes against his "word" and destroys Elm's body again.

I guess what the poster above said, Elm knew he would have to put up with Manshoon's temper tantrum and expected it but would the Simbul not have foreseen it and stuck around? I don't know. I guess it did seem like Elminster knew how to get his body back "in a few months"? Have to wait until Elminster's Fury.

I like the good guys but got very tired of reading Manshoon's parts of the book. I just don't like the character and having him be the old-timey-moustache-twirling villain and read about his PoV the whole book wasn't great for me. I liked reading about Storm and Elminster and the good guys, tho! The new King and his court are interesting, and any appearances by Mirt, Alusair and Vangey are MORE than welcome to me (ghost or otherwise).

One question tho as I must have forgotten from EMD, how is Mirt still alive again? I know this was answered in EMD but I've forgotten it was so long ago. Thanks.
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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  19:03:05  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I didn't really get the Epilogue...so Elmister is made whole by the Simbul (who is seemingly nearly demigod now; even more so than before) and then a few minutes later after the Simbul is conveniently called away on important tasks Manshoon goes against his "word" and destroys Elm's body again.

I guess what the poster above said, Elm knew he would have to put up with Manshoon's temper tantrum and expected it but would the Simbul not have foreseen it and stuck around? I don't know. I guess it did seem like Elminster knew how to get his body back "in a few months"? Have to wait until Elminster's Fury.

I like the good guys but got very tired of reading Manshoon's parts of the book. I just don't like the character and having him be the old-timey-moustache-twirling villain and read about his PoV the whole book wasn't great for me. I liked reading about Storm and Elminster and the good guys, tho! The new King and his court are interesting, and any appearances by Mirt, Alusair and Vangey are MORE than welcome to me (ghost or otherwise).

One question tho as I must have forgotten from EMD, how is Mirt still alive again? I know this was answered in EMD but I've forgotten it was so long ago. Thanks.


Mirt was in one of the blueflame relics. When they tried to summon the spirit out of it he popped out. If I am remembering correctly.

As for Manshoon, on one hand I think he is cracking. On the other hand, I think, based on one of his comments early on (I think in Elminster Must Die), that he is starting to get a taste of the price of immortality and on some level he knows that all that he built is gone and the only thing he has left is a desire for power and a hatred of Elminster and that might be driving the apparent crazy as some deeply buried part of him asks "what do you do once you achieve that goal?". His dialogue shows that even he knows Cormyr won't be enough to satisfy him. Elminster might be letting part of it play out so Manshoon can see how hollow his goals are once he thinks he's killed Elminster in the hopes that he could be swayed to be some type of ally.

Or Manshoon is just crazy and Elminster is staying his hand due to a mandate from Mystra.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1277 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  20:32:20  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wonder how many other humans who should be dead will conveniently have been turned immortal by relics will pop up!
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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  21:56:18  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I wonder how many other humans who should be dead will conveniently have been turned immortal by relics will pop up!


I wouldn't be surprised if more people show up in other books. It happened in the Sembia books and that was before the time jump. I haven't read the book with Jack Ravenwild yet, but it has a sequel and it mentions that he has been magically imprisoned for 100 years. I think they can get away with doing it a few more times as long as they make it varied (some become actual immortals, some age a lot slower, some are trapped, some become undead, maybe a resurrection or two) and don't overuse it.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2012 :  09:53:56  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tyrant

Or Manshoon is just crazy and Elminster is staying his hand due to a mandate from Mystra.


Agreed. While I usually favor complex and logical explanation, sometimes a simple one is more than enough.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2012 :  09:54:48  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I wonder how many other humans who should be dead will conveniently have been turned immortal by relics will pop up!


Well, if they use that to bring the Halruaans back, I wouldn't mind at all.

Every beginning has an end.
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1277 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2012 :  14:02:17  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What does everyone think the Simbul's powerlevels are compared to pre-Spell Plague? Less/same/more?
I guess we'll have to wait until the next book to know for sure.
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Merrith
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2012 :  04:56:45  Show Profile  Visit Merrith's Homepage Send Merrith a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TyrantOr Manshoon is just crazy and Elminster is staying his hand due to a mandate from Mystra.



Actually I believe El's hand is stayed with regards to Manshoon by a pact he himself made with Rorst Amandon, a lord of Zhentil Keep who was poisoned by Manshoon. Essentially, Lord Amandon wanted Manshoon's rise to power and that of the Zhentarim held in check somewhat. Although El's confirming of the agreement at the end of the short story So High a Price in the Realms of Infamy book makes it clear he will keep true to the letter of the agreement while finding other creative ways around it.

His words were: "I shall keep my word in times to come. This I swear: neither Fzoul nor Manshoon shall die by my hand or spells...however much ill they work...my payment, as agreed, for the names you gave."

If I recall correctly further...the 'names' Elminster was giving was apparently a list of truenames for many important persons/creatures in the Realms. An old sourcebook (can't recall which) had a line or two referring to this list and agreement by stating the 3 phaerimm that were the secret controllers of a beholder city under/near Anauroch were on the list of truenames El gained from Lord Amandon for his promise not to personally be the instrument of Manshoon or Fzoul's demise in times to come.

Whew...long winded, just a bit of talk that jogged my memory as to that little tidbit I remembered reading YEARS ago. Obviously El had other instruments in mind to handle them from time to time, including Shandril I assume.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2012 :  09:39:31  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

What does everyone think the Simbul's powerlevels are compared to pre-Spell Plague? Less/same/more?
I guess we'll have to wait until the next book to know for sure.


She's like a demi-god now.

Every beginning has an end.
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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2012 :  16:45:56  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Merrith

quote:
Originally posted by TyrantOr Manshoon is just crazy and Elminster is staying his hand due to a mandate from Mystra.



Actually I believe El's hand is stayed with regards to Manshoon by a pact he himself made with Rorst Amandon, a lord of Zhentil Keep who was poisoned by Manshoon. Essentially, Lord Amandon wanted Manshoon's rise to power and that of the Zhentarim held in check somewhat. Although El's confirming of the agreement at the end of the short story So High a Price in the Realms of Infamy book makes it clear he will keep true to the letter of the agreement while finding other creative ways around it.

His words were: "I shall keep my word in times to come. This I swear: neither Fzoul nor Manshoon shall die by my hand or spells...however much ill they work...my payment, as agreed, for the names you gave."

If I recall correctly further...the 'names' Elminster was giving was apparently a list of truenames for many important persons/creatures in the Realms. An old sourcebook (can't recall which) had a line or two referring to this list and agreement by stating the 3 phaerimm that were the secret controllers of a beholder city under/near Anauroch were on the list of truenames El gained from Lord Amandon for his promise not to personally be the instrument of Manshoon or Fzoul's demise in times to come.

Whew...long winded, just a bit of talk that jogged my memory as to that little tidbit I remembered reading YEARS ago. Obviously El had other instruments in mind to handle them from time to time, including Shandril I assume.


Yeah I should've remembered that short story. Though honestly at this point could anyone really fault El for destroying him? I was thinking that near the end of Bury Elminster Deep El or the Simbul says that Manshoon has some part to play and that Mystra desired this to happen.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2012 :  01:04:27  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

Anyway, I just hope that when Larloch finally gets a considerable amount of screen time, he wouldn't be depicted as a drooling bony dog. I understand that most powerful beings were severely affected by the Spellplague. But even Szass Tam retained a shred of dignity after the SP. I think we've got enough of demented characters after the SP (El, The Simbul, etc). No need to add more. Here's to positive thinking...



I agree... but if you haven't seen my posts in Ed's scroll (and possibly elsewhere), Elminster's derangement makes perfect sense in the context of Halaster. I strongly suspect (and have been all-but-verbally assured of correctness in my suspicion by THO) that Halaster was a Chosen of Mystryl, who became the Mad Mage when his goddess died at the fall of Netheril. The same exchange also suggested that Larloch was a Chosen of Mystryl before his transformation to a lich. It may very well be true that Aumvor is in the same category as Larloch, and that Ioulaum was also a Chosen before becoming absorbed by the illithid Elder Brain. As for Halaster himself, hopefully we see his return as well...

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2012 :  01:27:07  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Chosen or not, everyone wants Halaster back. Why must he die in the first place?

Every beginning has an end.
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Merrith
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2012 :  05:10:16  Show Profile  Visit Merrith's Homepage Send Merrith a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


Chosen or not, everyone wants Halaster back. Why must he die in the first place?



I could even live with him being dead for good if there is more to the story. Just a random "attempted a ritual and it killed him" seems a little far-fetched for an archwizard of his ability and longevity.

There has to be more to it.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2012 :  00:27:09  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

That's why I strongly believe that in most cases, only the creator of the character should have the final say to the fate of the character. He/she created the character in the first place, and therefore must have had all the knowledge about his/her creation and must have the right to write about its death. In Halaster's case, it's obviously Ed.

Every beginning has an end.
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2012 :  01:14:57  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


That's why I strongly believe that in most cases, only the creator of the character should have the final say to the fate of the character. He/she created the character in the first place, and therefore must have had all the knowledge about his/her creation and must have the right to write about its death. In Halaster's case, it's obviously Ed.


I agree... and the fact that there were new NDAs put in place on Halaster after Expedition to Undermountain and the GHotR were published leads me to believe that we will be hearing more about Halaster... I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2012 :  01:16:09  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I wonder how many other humans who should be dead will conveniently have been turned immortal by relics will pop up!


Well, if they use that to bring the Halruaans back, I wouldn't mind at all.


Nothing to do with relics, but see my question to Paul S. Kemp... link here, about a third of the way down the page (my post, look for a spoiler tag (invisible text)). That would definitely bring the Halruaans back...

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 11 Feb 2012 01:18:56
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2012 :  02:22:05  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I dunno. To me, it sounds too much of a stretch. I'm not particularly fond of Mask. And if you ask me, he's rather to empowered for a lesser deity, and far too cunning that he deserves a little bit of de-powering. How many lesser gods have stepped a rung or two and became greater deities? Must we add some more?

Every beginning has an end.
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2012 :  04:04:39  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


I dunno. To me, it sounds too much of a stretch. I'm not particularly fond of Mask. And if you ask me, he's rather to empowered for a lesser deity, and far too cunning that he deserves a little bit of de-powering. How many lesser gods have stepped a rung or two and became greater deities? Must we add some more?


Actually, I'm kinda hoping that we get Shar knocked down a peg by this; I could do with seeing Mask and Shar both as intermediate powers after Paul's new trilogy, but that's my opinion/preference.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2012 :  04:15:07  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

It's likely that Shar would be forced to step down a level or two. Lloth (as a certain soon-to-be-released novel indicates) would be aiming to grab the Weave and its shadow twin from Mystra's and Shar's control. This cat-fight can only lead to two things: either Shar gets kicked in the arse and becomes a lesser deity, or Lloth. Mystra is going to stay relatively unscathed for awhile, because her next scheduled reboot is not until the 8th edition.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5056 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2012 :  17:46:44  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The problem with all of this speculation (aside from the obvious one of it being colored by personal preferences; see the wording Dennis used about Mask, above) is that mortals in Faerűn, and we fans reading the books, know too little about the deities and matters divine to do more than wild, unsupported speculation.
We THINK we understand things, or know quite a bit, but time and again, what we "know" (because novels hinted or said things and rulebooks ditto) turns out to be wrong. Or as Ed keeps pointing out: even the gods lie, and their priests do so constantly (if often unwittingly, passing on in good faith what they were told or shown by deities).
Having talked to Ed, I can say that Caolin's initial conclusions and summary is accurate. Of course, a lot of what scribes have posted since then is . . . probably less than accurate. Fun, and much can come of speculation, but we should all keep in mind that it IS speculation.
love,
THO
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