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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

740 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2013 :  19:27:52  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Currently, the Supreme Court is talking about marriage, specifically the DOMA and how it affects gays - so this got me thinking about marriage in the Realms.

We've had other scrolls about gay relationships in the Realms, but I'd like for this to be a little more general - just about marriage itself.

We know that there are marriages in the Realms, but how does it "work" in terms of laws for the Realms? What does "getting married" do for a couple, on a legal level? Are there any spiritual or religious benefits to getting married?

Are marriages performed by all churches/faiths? I can't see a Sharran or Cyricist priest performing a marriage, but I could easily see a Chauntean marry a couple. Are marriages reserved to specific faiths?

If a couple is married in the Cormyrean Church of Lathander, then for some reason moves to a country where there isn't any worship of Lathander, is the marriage still legal in terms of property inheritance, etc.? Does a druidic handfasting presided over by a faithful of Silvanus count as a legal marriage, or is it too "hillbilly/country"? And what about the barbarian cultures, surely they have marriages of some kind?

When a god dies (again, let's say Lathander), are marriages of his former faithful invalidated or weakened in any way? Is there any reason to re-commit your vows under the eyes of another god/dess?

What legal benefits and responsibilities accrue with a marriage, if any? Property inheritance, taking responsibility for offspring, and so forth? What happens in divorce, and who can perform a divorce?

I'd imagine there are differences from nation to nation, but also from church to church.

Soooooo many questions!


"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer

Edited by - Eltheron on 27 Mar 2013 19:31:21

Kentinal
Great Reader

4686 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2013 :  20:03:01  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron


I'd imagine there are differences from nation to nation, but also from church to church.


The question is too general because of all the options you seek to discuss. I though will offer a broad answer that should provide some guidelines as to marriage.

Marriage does not appear to be a requirement for many things. Consort or Companion clearly can be accepted as good as wedded.

Very few only follow what their patron deity dogma consists of, they honor other deities as well and will use some of those beliefs and customs.

Royal's and Nobles will tend to use marriage to secure a legal heir, however this is not required. A person could be named heir not related or not born in marriage.

Marriage at most is civil in nature of laws, child support, inherit property and things like that.

Bloodline record keeping, heraldry also tends to look at marriage for their records and issue of coats of arms.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  01:50:42  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These questions all largely fall under the aspects of marriage/wedding rituals that Ed really hasn't had much opportunity to 'officially' detail through the Realmslore.

However, I would think that such elements like the local customs and traditions, as well as any particular religious devotions, which are specific to one region/city/country [or among smaller populations], have probably been worked into many of the ceremonies such communities/churches use when joining two people together in marriage. I would imagine that the "accepted age of marriage" between the two individuals would be just one of the cultural/religious aspects influenced by such considerations, and perhaps also influenced by other factors, such as the individual's [or their family's] social standing and/or their race for example.

So while the formal and basic practice of a Sunite wedding ceremony may likely be the same across the Realms -- small variations in its technique and overall operation, which perhaps includes aspects like the appropriate age for marriage, would probably be the result of influence from local beliefs, religious devotion, and cultural customs indicative of that region.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  01:53:15  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And here's another bit from Ed, taken from the FR Mailing List in Oct. '03 -

"[I]t depends on the faith and the individual church. Formal marriages (i.e. with written contracts and witnesses, as opposed to a simple private ceremony followed by a party if the couple want it/can afford it) are rare among those who don’t have significant wealth or land to pass on. Some faiths assume a marriage is forever (most of these have been amended to “until death,” to prevent undead terrorizing the living by insisting on returning to the house and climbing into bed with them), but most ARE, as you speculate, based on “for as long as love lasts.” In some places and faiths, this leads to a swinging lifestyle, but in most places, the public disapproves of those who abandon spouses without good moral reason (the only difference I see between most of the Heartlands of the Realms and the prevalent real-world modern Western society view is that in the Realms, short-term or seldom-consummated affairs aren’t seen as sufficient “moral reason” to end a marriage). Spouse-beating, however, IS. One is expected to remain with a spouse, and tend them in illness or dying. (And yes, there are a fair number of caravan merchants who have wives in various cities, usually without one knowing about the others, though a few even write back and forth, or journey with the merchant from time to time, to visit each other.)

Formal marriages always have SIMPLE clauses outlining what happens to lands and goods when a union ends, and many weddings involving nobility insist on both parties formally and in writing (with priests using magic to make sure the participants aren’t being magically compelled to act in a certain way, blackmailed, or coerced by drugs or other means) ending the marriage, not just one—so spouses who hate each other can keep each other bound in marriage (unless one manages to have the other killed, a risky proceeding because in Cormyr, Sembia, Waterdeep, Silverymoon, and most other “civilized” places, the slayer of a spouse forfeits all property to the government).

Again, there are faiths (those closely tied to nature in particular) who conduct and recognize both “forever” and “short-term” marriages (usually “two summers,” “three summers” or “ten summers”), which may of course be renewed. The clergy of Siamorphe from time to time conduct “overnight” marriages, allowing one-night stands to be legal and divinely approved, but always publicly renounce this practise when angry kin complain to governing authorities . . . only to quietly resume it again, elsewhen."

'Twas also included in the '04 compiled replies from Ed.

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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  14:42:37  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I understand it from my own studies and experience working in the Realms, marriage is not as *all consumingly important* as in our world. It's a significant tool for certain things (securing land, forging alliances between houses, establishing a common-line succession), but generally it's less important than just being together for love. Marriage is about publicly demonstrating your love and fealty to one another, and if/when those things end, then logically the marriage is at an end as well.

Nobles marry for lots of reasons, but primarily for political advantage and to form dynasties. Love may or may not be part of it, and it is common for both partners in a noble marriage to have lovers outside that marriage, which the other partner may or may not object to. Children of a married couple have an advantage when it comes to heredity--if for some reason the wishes of a deceased person are not clear, his/her wealth and land typically go to a "legitimate" child first, then a "natural-born" child second. We have also seen that marriage is of pivotal importance in a royal house, such as House Obarskyr.

I suspect that all faiths at least *acknowledge* a marriage as a secular reality, whether they question the religious basis of it or not. The people of the Realms believe in all the gods and recognize their power, even if they don't like certain of those gods. If a couple were married in a Church of Lathander in Waterdeep and then moved to Zhentil Keep, they might be sneered at and their covenant mocked and only barely tolerated, but they are still MARRIED and Zhentil Keep's laws still consider them such. (Though they're probably more likely to be the target of abuse of the law, etc.) What would be more significant is if they were caught PRACTICING the faith of Lathander, which would be a major offense.

And indeed, the Realms holds no stigma against members of the same sex and/or gender or (in many cases) different species marrying one another. Two men can be married as well as two women or one man and one woman or one man and one intelligent squid or one woman and one female dragon, etc. Though in certain areas (particularly rural and/or heavily regulated cities), a marriage between members of the same sex might be unusual, there's no stigma attached to it. Interfaith and cross-species marriages carry significantly more baggage, but in most cases Realmsians just shrug and live and let live.

Marriage also varies among the races. Outside of politics, Elves seldom marry, because being that deeply committed to a single romantic partner ostensibly "until death" isn't something the typical elf understands. Of course, there are elven myths and legends that highly praise this kind of all-consuming passion--imagine how much you'd have to love someone to commit to that person and no other for what could be thousands of years.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  15:32:03  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie


And indeed, the Realms holds no stigma against members of the same sex and/or gender or (in many cases) different species marrying one another. Two men can be married as well as two women or one man and one woman or one man and one intelligent squid or one woman and one female dragon, etc. Though in certain areas (particularly rural and/or heavily regulated cities), a marriage between members of the same sex might be unusual, there's no stigma attached to it.
Cheers

Erik,
I think I have almost everything from 1st Edition, but the further I have gone along through editions the more likely I am missing more products. Now everything I have is on searchable PDF and I don't see this in my searches even accounting for the changes in language over the decades. Can you point to the sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do) that states that?


Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  15:52:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie


And indeed, the Realms holds no stigma against members of the same sex and/or gender or (in many cases) different species marrying one another. Two men can be married as well as two women or one man and one woman or one man and one intelligent squid or one woman and one female dragon, etc. Though in certain areas (particularly rural and/or heavily regulated cities), a marriage between members of the same sex might be unusual, there's no stigma attached to it.
Cheers

Erik,
I think I have almost everything from 1st Edition, but the further I have gone along through editions the more likely I am missing more products. Now everything I have is on searchable PDF and I don't see this in my searches even accounting for the changes in language over the decades. Can you point to the sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do) that states that?




It hasn't really been addressed in print. Ed has said this multiple times, though, and per the agreement when he sold the setting, his words are canon until contradicted by published material.

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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  17:04:12  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

And indeed, the Realms holds no stigma against members of the same sex and/or gender or (in many cases) different species marrying one another. Two men can be married as well as two women or one man and one woman or one man and one intelligent squid or one woman and one female dragon, etc. Though in certain areas (particularly rural and/or heavily regulated cities), a marriage between members of the same sex might be unusual, there's no stigma attached to it.
Cheers
Erik,
I think I have almost everything from 1st Edition, but the further I have gone along through editions the more likely I am missing more products. Now everything I have is on searchable PDF and I don't see this in my searches even accounting for the changes in language over the decades. Can you point to the sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do) that states that?
Can you point me to a source that says otherwise? Any source that says "this region frowns upon same-sex relationships" or "marriage in this kingdom is between one man and one woman"?

Like Wooly said, we have mostly Ed's word to go on (and his word is canon until contradicted). And we do have examples in the canon of committed same-sex unions that bear no recognizable stigma. For instance:

In the 3e Forgotten Realms Setting book, we have the ruler of Elversult, Yanseldara, along with her female consort Vaerana Hawklin (they appear in the Veiled Dragon and have a cameo in Temple Hill, I believe, and are mentioned as "lovers" in my own story "The Greater Treasure," in Realms of the Elves.) One can extrapolate that the word "consort" is as close to the word "spouse" as WotC could get at the time of that book's publication (more than 10 years ago), and even then it was considered risque for its time. No stigma in those sources.

The Return of the Archwizards trilogy ends with two women and one man marrying, which while not strictly an instance of same-sex marriage (it's actually polygyny), strongly implies that we still have two women married to one another, and one of them states that the practice is not unknown in her tribe. Different expressions of polygamy have different arrangements as regards the relationship among the same-sex participants, and since this is a fantasy world, it's hard to know what exactly is going on there. But the important thing is that it isn't stigmatized.

And while they aren't married, in my novel Downshadow the ladies Ilira Nathalan and Lorien Dawnbringer have maintained a close committed relationship for many years, one that is widely known (and speculated about) in the city and not regarded with stigma. More on this subject in a future Shadowbane novel.

There are lots of examples of same-sex relationships in the Realmslore as well, but these tend to be either referred to off-stage (Alustriel, Alusair and Caladnei, etc) or mostly speculative/based on sexual tension (Ryld and Pharaun, Lhaeo and Elminster, etc). These instances don't directly address the question, but it is worth noting that they aren't stigmatized. Though a princess like Alusair is, of course, under some pressure to provide the kingdom with potential heirs, which usually implies a male sexual partner. Though the Realms is a magical world, and you never know.

Those are the instances I can think of off the top of my head. It is important to note that none of them use the word "marriage," but that's easily attributable to a translation issue. Until quite recently, our world has understood marriage in a different, strictly black-and-white, one-male-one-female sort of way.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"

Edited by - Erik Scott de Bie on 28 Mar 2013 17:05:10
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7978 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  17:26:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would think that the "special" benefits enjoyed through marriage are very much the same in the Realms as they are on our world.

Laws change every day in every land, and marriage is just another complex detail when people are concerned about property/ownership/inheritence/lineage/etc. The sort of stuff which people with power and possessions tend to endlessly manipulate. Priests of Tyr might prefer all marriages are dilineated as binding legal contracts which can be created, altered, or abolished only through some sort of legislative process. Priests of Bane might encourage tyrannical marriage contracts which assert a dominant/submissive arrangement. Priests of Sune might abhor the notion of binding love with meaningless paper promises. Priests of Selûne might prefer polygamous "pack" marriages. Priestesses of Shar might see no value in marriage beyond the suffering caused by divorce.

[/Ayrik]
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  18:45:09  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie


And indeed, the Realms holds no stigma against members of the same sex and/or gender or (in many cases) different species marrying one another. Two men can be married as well as two women or one man and one woman or one man and one intelligent squid or one woman and one female dragon, etc. Though in certain areas (particularly rural and/or heavily regulated cities), a marriage between members of the same sex might be unusual, there's no stigma attached to it.
Cheers

Erik,
I think I have almost everything from 1st Edition, but the further I have gone along through editions the more likely I am missing more products. Now everything I have is on searchable PDF and I don't see this in my searches even accounting for the changes in language over the decades. Can you point to the sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do) that states that?


It hasn't really been addressed in print. Ed has said this multiple times, though, and per the agreement when he sold the setting, his words are canon until contradicted by published material.

I wonder where Drizzt got all of his worry earlier in life about possible backlash if he actively sought out a relationship and had children with Catti-brie then? Didn't he have to get that from somewhere?

On the other hand, part of the process of having Drizzt worry about it so often, in the journal entries across so many books, was to show that he was making up excuses for stalling on directly confronting her. He has a tendency to overthink things.

But if the kind of surreal, refreshing, universal open-mindedness about dating and marrying being espoused here in this scroll gives an accurate depiction of the Realmsian view, then it makes Drizzt sound just plain stupid. He would've been all uptight over a complete non-issue, which had never even been an issue before.

Or are/were drow an exception to the rule, given their vile reputation in the past?

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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MrHedgehog
Senior Scribe

688 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  19:37:28  Show Profile  Visit MrHedgehog's Homepage Send MrHedgehog a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Drizzt is draw. I think Erik means in general interspecies, interracial, same-sex, and multiple spouses are not taboo all across the realms. Presumably there would still be instances. Marrying outside your community or class might be shocking to some but not be universal.
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

740 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  20:39:21  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal
The question is too general because of all the options you seek to discuss.


Well, yes - I did intend for it to be a very broad, open topic. I thought it would be interesting to explore this fully, from lots of different angles, especially because there hasn't been a lot of detail AFAIK on the topic of marriage in the Realms.

My initial impression, of course, was that marriage was extremely simple, small and local unless it involved nobles. At that point, I'm sure we're talking formalized, very specific contracts that detail property and political responsibilities, all sorts of things.

But what interests me more than the nobles' side of things is the commoner approach. Do commoners care about making their marriage "official" in the eyes of a church or a government? Is marriage an important function of certain churches and not others? How much would a priest charge a young couple for performing the ceremony, and do people give each other gifts like we do in real societies?

It seems to me that a marriage, with all the social bells and whistles, could be a fun thing to roleplay (or at least use as a backdrop). So, what would a common marriage look like? What details would change if you were not in Cormyr but in Aglarond or Rashemen?

If there aren't details available from Ed, what could we do to make a wedding/marriage "feel Cormyrean" or "feel Rashemite"?

"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

740 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  20:54:10  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

And here's another bit from Ed, taken from the FR Mailing List in Oct. '03 -

"[I]t depends on the faith and the individual church. Formal marriages (i.e. with written contracts and witnesses, as opposed to a simple private ceremony followed by a party if the couple want it/can afford it) are rare among those who don’t have significant wealth or land to pass on. Some faiths assume a marriage is forever (most of these have been amended to “until death,” to prevent undead terrorizing the living by insisting on returning to the house and climbing into bed with them), but most ARE, as you speculate, based on “for as long as love lasts.” In some places and faiths, this leads to a swinging lifestyle, but in most places, the public disapproves of those who abandon spouses without good moral reason (the only difference I see between most of the Heartlands of the Realms and the prevalent real-world modern Western society view is that in the Realms, short-term or seldom-consummated affairs aren’t seen as sufficient “moral reason” to end a marriage). Spouse-beating, however, IS. One is expected to remain with a spouse, and tend them in illness or dying. (And yes, there are a fair number of caravan merchants who have wives in various cities, usually without one knowing about the others, though a few even write back and forth, or journey with the merchant from time to time, to visit each other.)

Formal marriages always have SIMPLE clauses outlining what happens to lands and goods when a union ends, and many weddings involving nobility insist on both parties formally and in writing (with priests using magic to make sure the participants aren’t being magically compelled to act in a certain way, blackmailed, or coerced by drugs or other means) ending the marriage, not just one—so spouses who hate each other can keep each other bound in marriage (unless one manages to have the other killed, a risky proceeding because in Cormyr, Sembia, Waterdeep, Silverymoon, and most other “civilized” places, the slayer of a spouse forfeits all property to the government).

Again, there are faiths (those closely tied to nature in particular) who conduct and recognize both “forever” and “short-term” marriages (usually “two summers,” “three summers” or “ten summers”), which may of course be renewed. The clergy of Siamorphe from time to time conduct “overnight” marriages, allowing one-night stands to be legal and divinely approved, but always publicly renounce this practise when angry kin complain to governing authorities . . . only to quietly resume it again, elsewhen."

'Twas also included in the '04 compiled replies from Ed.



Definitely a great start in terms of basics!

I'm curious, we know quite a bit about Cormyr and its government when it comes to contracts. Would the marriage agreement be a formal contract in the classic sense, and if so who in Cormyr would keep the official paperwork? Would there be some kind of office that has a roomful of marriage contracts? Or are these things more personal and kept by the families involved?

Or would a church keep the primary log book of marriages performed (rather than, or perhaps in addition to, the government?), with a certain amount of detail listed? For example, Joe and Amy got married on this date, with these witnesses, and paid a fee of 10 gold... that kind of thing?

It's the small details of the Realms that make it come alive for me, and marriages/weddings seem like a fun thing to explore in common, everyday life.

"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  20:58:20  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my desire to be humorous and suggest a man might marry a giant squid, I suspect I overstated things and made inter-racial (or more accurately, inter-species) relationships much simpler than they really are in the Realms. Apologies.

quote:
Originally posted by BEAST

I wonder where Drizzt got all of his worry earlier in life about possible backlash if he actively sought out a relationship and had children with Catti-brie then? Didn't he have to get that from somewhere?
On the other hand, part of the process of having Drizzt worry about it so often, in the journal entries across so many books, was to show that he was making up excuses for stalling on directly confronting her. He has a tendency to overthink things.
But if the kind of surreal, refreshing, universal open-mindedness about dating and marrying being espoused here in this scroll gives an accurate depiction of the Realmsian view, then it makes Drizzt sound just plain stupid. He would've been all uptight over a complete non-issue, which had never even been an issue before.
Or are/were drow an exception to the rule, given their vile reputation in the past?
The only claim I made was that *in general*, there isn't a stigma regarding marriage among opposite/same-sex partners. Inter-species relationships are significantly more complicated and there are a lot of issues there, though that doesn't mean they can't happen.

Drizzt's hesitation is about his uncertainty regarding his heritage, the age difference, etc., there's a lot going on. But yes, there are three MAJOR issues having to do with Drizzt being a drow:

1) Most surfacers hate drow with a passion (and not without reason), and Drizzt could easily bring that wrath down upon Cattie-brie too. Hesitating to inflict hardship on someone you love is hardly a rare or difficult thing to imagine.

2) The drow are extremely screwed up as regards gender relations. If I grew up fearing and deferring to women in every instance, I might hesitate to try and assert my own desire or thoughts as a man. Drizzt spends a lot of time pining from Cattie-brie from afar, but maybe he doesn't actively pursue her in part because he has been trained not to.

3) Drow have no history or concept of marriage or even a genuinely romantic relationship of any sort. The closest you get is a Matron Mother's relationship with her House Patron, and in that case, he's just a designated bed warmer and stud stallion for her use, to be sacrificed to Lolth at her whim. I think if I grew up in a household where my mother routinely shacked up with random guys only to murder them eventually, I might shy away from a close relationship with a woman.

So no, I don't think Drizzt was "stupid" at all. He took a long time to assert himself and finally work up the fortitude to express his feelings, but he had a LOT of things to work out first. Completely and utterly realistic. Humans who go from close friends to romantic partners often have huge amounts of baggage to sort through, and they're not even drow.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  21:03:53  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron

But what interests me more than the nobles' side of things is the commoner approach. Do commoners care about making their marriage "official" in the eyes of a church or a government? Is marriage an important function of certain churches and not others? How much would a priest charge a young couple for performing the ceremony, and do people give each other gifts like we do in real societies?

It seems to me that a marriage, with all the social bells and whistles, could be a fun thing to roleplay (or at least use as a backdrop). So, what would a common marriage look like? What details would change if you were not in Cormyr but in Aglarond or Rashemen?

If there aren't details available from Ed, what could we do to make a wedding/marriage "feel Cormyrean" or "feel Rashemite"?
I imagine ceremonies vary widely from region to region. A married couple in Rashemen would have vastly different rituals than a Cormyrean ceremony (which I gotta imagine has a sword tunnel down the aisle, I mean, how can it not?). There's also the added element of the priest or noble performing the ceremony. A marriage by a priest of Umberlee might involve saying vows underwater and trying not to drown, while a Tyrran ceremony almost certainly involves lots of regimented ritual and appeals to duty.

Of the gods whose priests most often perform marriages, I imagine we're discussing Chauntea (fertility), Tymora (good fortune), Liira (happiness), Sune (love), and others(?), all of whom I can imagine having subtly (or not so subtly) different rituals. I'm sure a marriage overseen by a celebrant of Sharess would be a sight to behold--and partake in.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  21:20:27  Show Profile Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It'd likely be like a Betazed wedding in ST:TNG. Yuo know, where the wedding party- or at least the bride and groom- attend in the buff!

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MrHedgehog
Senior Scribe

688 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  22:48:21  Show Profile  Visit MrHedgehog's Homepage Send MrHedgehog a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Beshaba is mentioned somewhere as an important part of marriage in the realms (Maybe faiths and avatars?) She has to be invited or else she might curse it. But I imagine that description was overly broad since people would have different customs regarding different deities.
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4686 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  23:09:42  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eltheron

quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal
The question is too general because of all the options you seek to discuss.


Well, yes - I did intend for it to be a very broad, open topic. I thought it would be interesting to explore this fully, from lots of different angles, especially because there hasn't been a lot of detail AFAIK on the topic of marriage in the Realms.

My initial impression, of course, was that marriage was extremely simple, small and local unless it involved nobles. At that point, I'm sure we're talking formalized, very specific contracts that detail property and political responsibilities, all sorts of things.

But what interests me more than the nobles' side of things is the commoner approach. Do commoners care about making their marriage "official" in the eyes of a church or a government? Is marriage an important function of certain churches and not others? How much would a priest charge a young couple for performing the ceremony, and do people give each other gifts like we do in real societies?

It seems to me that a marriage, with all the social bells and whistles, could be a fun thing to roleplay (or at least use as a backdrop). So, what would a common marriage look like? What details would change if you were not in Cormyr but in Aglarond or Rashemen?

If there aren't details available from Ed, what could we do to make a wedding/marriage "feel Cormyrean" or "feel Rashemite"?




Well role play a wedding I have done them, not realm specific of course. With online Roleplay far too often the wedding is the main event, little Roleplay occurs afterward. In a table top of course it would tend to be different. Instead of friends sharing a danger, spouses would be sharing the danger.

I believe I have completed some 25 to 35 weddings some simple (can do in four posts 1) and some clearly more involved that could last a few hours.

Part of a romance roleplay is winning the prize, the lover committed and devoted. The doubts and uncertainties of is there another or am i worthy enough type of play.

As to common folk I suspect it clearly is about land and children. Fathers have children to care for them in their old age, often too busy with children and farm to take well care of their parents.

I would suspect the common merchant laborer wold also tend to fall into this type of never ending cycle of life. Few would break free to gain enough wealth to actually take well care of parents and not be hoping children would need to support them in their old age.


1) Four post wedding.
A) We are gathered.
B) Do you take her as Wife?
C) Do you take him as husband.
D) I pronounce you wed. (*G*)

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2013 :  23:11:41  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

I'm sure a marriage overseen by a celebrant of Sharess would be a sight to behold--and partake in.
Indeed.

For example Ed, in the past, has told us that the two individuals being wed in a Sharessan ceremony "are clad only in open mesh cloaks (scraps of fishing nets are often used) ... "

I also like the fact that Ed also later adds something like "regardless of whether/climate -- the wedding itself must be performed outdoors."

But here's the best bit, again, about the soon-to-be wed couple, from Ed:- " ... and (through love and rising passion, aided by Sharessan spells) rush together, to consummate the wedding on the spot. Yes, that means the happy couple physically engage in lovemaking, side by side with their two messenger-cats, and all of the attending Sharessan clergy (plus any guests)."

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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2013 :  05:40:34  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

And indeed, the Realms holds no stigma against members of the same sex and/or gender or (in many cases) different species marrying one another. Two men can be married as well as two women or one man and one woman or one man and one intelligent squid or one woman and one female dragon, etc. Though in certain areas (particularly rural and/or heavily regulated cities), a marriage between members of the same sex might be unusual, there's no stigma attached to it.
Cheers
Erik,
I think I have almost everything from 1st Edition, but the further I have gone along through editions the more likely I am missing more products. Now everything I have is on searchable PDF and I don't see this in my searches even accounting for the changes in language over the decades. Can you point to the sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do) that states that?
Can you point me to a source that says otherwise? Any source that says "this region frowns upon same-sex relationships" or "marriage in this kingdom is between one man and one woman"?

Like Wooly said, we have mostly Ed's word to go on (and his word is canon until contradicted). And we do have examples in the canon of committed same-sex unions that bear no recognizable stigma. For instance:

(snip)

So that the answer to question is… uhmmmm… no. There’s no product supporting your claim.

I am just pointing out that your putting out information that isn't substantiated by any product. What you state as a matter of fact isn't really the case when it comes to products. Just because what you say is proven to not be supported doesn’t mean the opposite is true.



Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2013 :  09:55:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

So that the answer to question is… uhmmmm… no. There’s no product supporting your claim.

I am just pointing out that your putting out information that isn't substantiated by any product. What you state as a matter of fact isn't really the case when it comes to products. Just because what you say is proven to not be supported doesn’t mean the opposite is true.





Again, we have Ed's words on the subject, and what Ed says is canon. Why do we need more than that?

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Thtomb
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2013 :  13:29:50  Show Profile Send Thtomb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Although this may not be the answer that is well accepted, nor even regarded, but here we go. I think that the reason there isn't much about marriage in general, is because each of us create our own little Forgotten Realms world. In one of my adventures, my evil party fought and killed Drizzt, but that does not make it canon. Now, to get to my point, in regards to marriage, you can have marriages mean what ever you want. They could mean absolutely nothing, or they could mean everything in the world. It really depends on what kind of area you work with. Now, I may not be the best source, because I don't like using places in lore for my campaign settings, and very often create my owns towns/lands. But even then, I just make sure that it seems that it will work. For instance, I had a Drow character marry a High Elf, and they got married in the High Forest. This was a huge event, and marriage itself was of great importance, and if those two ever broke it off, then there would be grave repercussions. Then, in the same campaign, I had a Barbarian marry a Priestess of Isis. Now, to here this meant a lot, but the barbarian it didn't mean much too, in fact, he didn't even see the need for marriage.

All in all, what I'm getting at, is as long as you can come up with logical reasons, you don't really need hard lore evidence. You can base your logic upon lore, but I think the best part of D&D is creating your own lore. Hope that helps :)

I am the punishment of God...If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.
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Thrasymachus
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2013 :  15:56:38  Show Profile Send Thrasymachus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

So that the answer to question is… uhmmmm… no. There’s no product supporting your claim.

I am just pointing out that your putting out information that isn't substantiated by any product. What you state as a matter of fact isn't really the case when it comes to products. Just because what you say is proven to not be supported doesn’t mean the opposite is true.





Again, we have Ed's words on the subject, and what Ed says is canon. Why do we need more than that?


*casts uber-respectful-tone* My question isn’t about Candlekeep's or Erik's take on canon Wooly. It’s about products. That’s why I specifically used the word “products” and “sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do)”, which again would be products.

For my personal table I go with Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".
So at my personal table anything that doesn’t have the logo… isn’t.
And then I edit from there.


Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".

Edited by - Thrasymachus on 29 Mar 2013 16:01:29
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36784 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2013 :  18:15:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus

*casts uber-respectful-tone* My question isn’t about Candlekeep's or Erik's take on canon Wooly. It’s about products. That’s why I specifically used the word “products” and “sources (anything with the Forgotten Realms Logo would do)”, which again would be products.

For my personal table I go with Former Forgotten Realms brand manager Jim Butler: "Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon".
So at my personal table anything that doesn’t have the logo… isn’t.
And then I edit from there.




It's not Candlekeep's take. It was part of the original agreement, when Ed sold the Realms to TSR.

Even if that wasn't the written agreement, he created the Realms. Surely the words of the setting's creator shouldn't be discarded simply because it's impossible to hang a logo on them?

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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2013 :  18:26:31  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thrasymachus, I don't really understand the purpose of your question, in that case.

While I confess that the subject of marriage in general is little discussed in the Realms (and same-sex marriage even less so), I've given you several instances in printed FR products (with the FR logo) of same-sex relationships being discussed and regarded without stigma, which you appear to have glossed over.

Wooly has pointed out that Ed has discussed the subject, but you seem not to care about what he says--your only interest is in printed products.

You make your own Realms. If you aren't interested in how marriages are viewed and treated in the products (the books I named) and the sources (mostly Ed), then that's totally your prerogative. But don't claim that it isn't addressed, because I've clearly given you several instances where it is.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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MrHedgehog
Senior Scribe

688 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2013 :  23:40:36  Show Profile  Visit MrHedgehog's Homepage Send MrHedgehog a Private Message  Reply with Quote
...why would they release products with details like this? It would be unnecessary fluff. Ed imagined the world so whatever he says is canon. More than canon since it should trump mistakes in published products. Erik works for the company who puts the logos out...how would what he says not be reliable? He went so far as to look up multiple references!
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Trebor
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2013 :  07:52:46  Show Profile Send Trebor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd also like to point out a recent novel by Bruce Cordell featuring an openly gay thief who gets the queen of Akanul to agree to help her patch things up with her estranged girlfriend. It's definitely a product (I bought it) and it has the FR logo all over it.

They're not married, but their relationship is treated just like any other in the eyes of everyone in the book.

Edited by - Trebor on 31 Mar 2013 07:56:33
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

740 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2013 :  18:00:24  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, this went down the "gay relationships" tangent pretty quickly, even though I'd asked and hoped that people would avoid going there.

Could we get back to the topic? I think it would be fun and interesting to explore (or even map out) what various marriage ceremonies might look like in different regions of the Realms.

Let's start with Cormyr. I like Erik's idea of a "sword tunnel" for the couple to pass under - though this might be more for nobility, the wealthy, and upper military. Fancy dress uniforms and extended swords, I really think this fits well as part of the ceremony. For commoners, this might get toned down a bit and be a straight line-up of friends to each side as the bride and groom walk down an aisle. To add a Cormyrean touch to the commoner side, what if the guests verbally joined in on the priest's speech, affirming an oath to the King/Queen along with their own vows to each other? Too much?

Then, perhaps, let's consider a more "country" wedding for commoners, with a Chauntean priest/ess presiding. I could imagine it happening in a nice garden setting, with "crowns" made of flowers for the bride and groom. Perhaps they might plant a tree as part of the ceremony, and guests could give gifts of seedlings, plants, and the like, or perhaps kitchen or farming tools, to "start the couple on their way" if they're farmers.

At a merchant's wedding presided over by a priest/ess of Tymora, perhaps part of the ceremony could involve guests tossing coins (instead of rice) at the bride and groom. Yes? No? Too obvious?

Tyrran or Tormite weddings, I'd imagine them to be more somber, high-churchy ceremonies with statements about duty and honor, staying true to each other.

For a Lliran wedding, definitely a huge party with lots of music and dancing.

At a wedding with a priest of Sune, both the bride and groom might spend a couple days (or a week) getting primped and pressed, to look one's absolute best. They'd wear the finest, most beautiful clothes, and have gone through "spa" style treatments and the like. In the ceremony itself, rose petals would be tossed liberally, etc.

At a dwarven wedding, the ceremony itself might be quite short, but at least a week long revelry with tons of different kinds of beers, ales, and liquors would be set out for guests. Perhaps (friendly) contests of strength would be involved, and there could also be recitations of various old dwarven songs, short histories, and the like.

What other kinds of things might you suggest?


"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer

Edited by - Eltheron on 31 Mar 2013 18:01:14
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Eltheron
Senior Scribe

740 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2013 :  18:42:03  Show Profile Send Eltheron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, let's perhaps get into the philosophy of weddings in the Realms.

With real life, marriages/weddings are intimately tied to a church and often a particular faith of the culture. I don't think this is the case at all in the Realms, and perhaps that's some of the difficulty in working out what they're like.

First, I'm going to posit that Realms weddings aren't necessarily "endorsed" by churches but rather are "just another thing" that a church -might- do. If a couple is "mixed" in terms of personal patron deities, I don't think this matters at all - even if the bride or groom is a member of a high clergy. It seems to me that because of the inherent polytheism, marriage isn't "owned" by any church. Rather, marriage would be civil and personal, and it wouldn't matter one whit if a marriage was performed by a city official rather than a clergyperson.

Does this seem right? It is a very different perspective from the one we have in Western culture.

Second, if marriage isn't specifically a church thing, why get any clergyperson involved at all? Well, I think the answer in the Realms might have much more to do with -personal- wishes for blessings. A farmer would want a Chauntean to bless his plow and farm implements. A swordsman would want Helm or perhaps Tempus to bless his swords. If you're planning a voyage by sea, you'd seek out Umberlee to placate her.

So when it comes to the question of getting married, if you -personally- want to ensure joy in your marriage you'd seek out a Lliran. If it's a marriage of the nobility that will help cool off local political infighting, you'd perhaps seek out a marriage blessing from a god/dess devoted to peace and/or contractual obligations. But the reality is probably that no deity, no church, will be mad or even think twice about having a Lliran vs. a Chauntean perform the ceremony.

That said, certain people in the nobility might care about what priest/church is chosen (as in: *gasp* they're going to have their wedding performed by that shoeless druid of Sylvanus? How utterly common! *snicker*). But this might be more about class impressions, or politics - perhaps feeling that a church is gaining too much political leverage (and here, I'm thinking of how the Cormyrean nobility wasn't keen on the Chauntean involvement for Tanalasta and Rowan, because they were concerned about Chauntea's influence politically at court - not because it mattered in any spiritual sense).

Or am I barking up the wrong tree?


"The very best possible post-fourteenth-century Realms lets down those who love the specific, detailed social, political and magical situation, with its thousands of characters, developed over forty years, and want to learn more about it; and those who'd be open to a new one with equal depth, which there just isn't time to re-produce; and those repelled, some past the point of no return, by the bad-taste-and-plausibility gap of things done to the world when its guardianship was less careful."
--Faraer

Edited by - Eltheron on 31 Mar 2013 18:50:18
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4686 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2013 :  20:25:44  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well blessing of the Mother clearly could be sought, for those that seek to have children.
The main point though is many deities or which most get some homage. A blessed wedding is not like real world where a church is the religion that the couple follows.

Closest to earth clearly might be Greek, Roman deities which certain deities were asked for certain things. Clearly not monotheistic only one deity (of your choice) that is looked to and honored.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2013 :  21:10:21  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From Dwarves Deep:

Dwarven elders used to meddle extensively in pending marriages, holding the power to approve/disapprove of marriages, or to excommunicate those who married out of clan or against their will. But this practice withered away as the dwarven population dwindled, and marriage/children became desperate matters.

That said, dwarven inter-species marriage still almost never happens.

The older, more popular dwarven combined engagement and wedding ritual is a blood-betrothal, in which a couple profess their commitment before a noble of any race. They mingle their blood, kiss, and whisper their truenames to one another. Then they openly declare themselves as mates by their public names to the witness. At this point, they are considered married.

Apparently a much more recent engagement--and possibly also marital--ceremony is an exchange of rings. Lawful good lay dwarves have silver rings crafted and given everbright treatments, and then have them blessed by priests of the goddess Berronar. If either party's heart contains deceit in the proceedings, the ring will crumble during the blessing. They then go on to swap rings. (But whether this is considered a betrothal only, or a combo deal like the blood-betrothal[/wedding], is unclear.)

Nobles use ring exchanges to unite clans/kingdoms, regardless of alignment. (It seems that alignment, moral virtue, and religious sanctity became more of those disposable elements of the institution over time, too. )

Either way, divorce is said to be unknown, amongst dwarves.

Married dwarves often live their daily lives far apart, with one adventuring in one locale, or one serving on diplomatic or trade missions elsewhere. Occasional meetings between spouses are considered sufficient.

But it is considered extremely good luck if the father can make it back home for his child's birth.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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