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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2010 :  00:07:39  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Lord of Bones: You're more than welcome, and thank you for the kind words. I'll keep your suggestion and your offer in mind, although I imagine you realize that bringing both Laurzoril and the Simbul back as active participants in a novel set in the current Realms could be somewhat tricky.
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Lord of Bones
Seeker

United Kingdom
78 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2010 :  10:15:41  Show Profile  Visit Lord of Bones's Homepage Send Lord of Bones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Lord of Bones: You're more than welcome, and thank you for the kind words. I'll keep your suggestion and your offer in mind, although I imagine you realize that bringing both Laurzoril and the Simbul back as active participants in a novel set in the current Realms could be somewhat tricky.



Oh, don't worry. That's totally understandable, and I wouldn't expect to see the Simbul as an active participant in any book not written by Mr. Greenwood at present. The offer does still stand however, as I'm sure if anyone can make good on the proffered deal between the two of them, you can. You have a damn good grasp on how these Thayvian / Thayan - I can't recall - types think and act!

Come watch the Gentleman's Guide to Gaming!
http://www.youtube.com/user/clackclickbang

On my channel I review and dissect role-playing games with great gusto. Please do take a look and let me know what you think.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2010 :  12:59:28  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord of Bones

Obviously I have no idea how far ahead your books are planned, or whether they're already written in their entirety, but if the accord between Lauzoril (who may or may not have died in Unholy) and the Simbul (as written in the Simbul's Gift by Lynn Abbey), could finally be touched upon, you would be making me a very happy reader.



I actually started a thread on this a few months ago, entitled The Simbul's Debt to Lauzoril. And my theory as to the survival of the Zulkir of Enchantment is that he asked the Simbul (probably at the beginning of Thay's civil war) to grant him an artifact/jewel/spell that will save him; maybe teleport him to a refuge sans uttering a trigger-word - the kind of spell that "automatically" determines whether the person it's cast upon is in mortal danger. And of course, 'tis just one of the many theories I have regarding his possible survival.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Oct 2010 :  13:03:32  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Gee, dennis, you really want to make it tough on my poor sellswords. You realize, they're not exactly welcome in Thay. Which is not to say that they may not end up back there eventually.



I was hoping they'd have some powerful backups- perhaps the Red Wizards from the various enclaves who haven't (yet) fallen into the iron-clad rule of Szass Tam, or maybe the surviving zulkirs themselves.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2010 :  04:04:10  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Found this post floating in the ether, for Richard:-
quote:
Originally posted by Sandstorm

Hey Richard. Just thought I'd let ya know that your book got one of my coworkers hooked on Faerun writing a few days ago. I had left book one of the "Brotherhood of the Griffon" series in the staffroom, and when I came in I caught her reading it. She was halfway through chapter one when she said "Ryley, this @#&@ is @#*!@D". . . which was shortly followed up by "Can I read this when you're done?"
Long story short, I told her it was a bad place to start, especially since she hadn't even read the Undead series. So I gave her something lighter to begin with.

But on to my actual question. Do you have any backstory on where Aoth and his men are actually procuring their griffons from? Also curious as to why Aoth is the only one achieving a particular link. I'm assuming it has something to do with Brightwing and Jet being sort of his familiars in a sense, but where does that speak for their particular intellect? Just would like some backstory here if you wouldn't mind.

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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 25 Oct 2010 :  05:06:13  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
whoops. Thanks though Sage
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2010 :  02:04:41  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Sage and Sandstorm.

Good to hear that a new reader has found the Realms in general and my stuff in particular.

There is a reason why Aoth's mounts are so intelligent and he has a psychic link with them. I think I explained it in Unclean, but maybe I'm remembering wrong. Anyway, though Aoth is first and foremost a war mage, he has picked up some other magical tricks along the way. He knows how to alter a griffon in the womb so that it's born smarter, stronger, capable of speech, and capable of establishing a psychic link with a wizard who adopts it as his familiar. He did it to Brightwing, and her descendants, including Jet, have bred true.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2010 :  03:28:43  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ya, my friend was just over, who is reading The Captive Flame right now, and he said "Ya ya, they explained that in the first book. How we works on the womb first etc..." But I read Unclean some 12-15 months ago, so we'll call that "my bad". Have to say though, that I've really become more and more a fan of your writing since your earlier stuff.
The Rage, The Rite and The Ruin, I enjoyed them to a degree, but in the end, I enjoyed the characters more than the story. I loved Wilemac Turnstone and Pavel (cant remembed last name), but something was missing in that trilogy. That "page turner" quality so to speak.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2010 :  03:37:21  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
whoops... wasn't finished.

But then you came out with the Undead seriers, in which I was utterly blown away. It was so in depth, you had captured Szass Tam perfectly, and the mindsets of the Zulkirs and how they interacted with one another and their subordinates... it was truely Thayan. The plots intertwined, and stuff from earlier on would creep back in etc... My favorite moment was when the priests of Kossuth enabled their rods and they blew up in their faces, it was just perfect. You had got me "turning pages".

I then read the Captive Flame, excited as all hell that you had continued with The Brotherhood of the Griffon. Because you have something going with these characters, and I did leave off from Unholy wanting to read more abouth Khouryn. (p.s. as if you left the Brimstone situation clear out of it after the prologue. TOTAL tease)
What you did well with The Captive Flame as opposed to the Undead series (and this might just be because it was set in Thay), was that this book had more readability. My coworker who has no more knowledge of fantasy than the Twilight series, wanted to read this book, where as had she picked up Unclean, I doubt she would have had the urge. Because the Undead series was a 'tough' read. If you weren't hard core into Forgotten Realms or Dungeons and Dragons, I doubt you could get through the Undead series. I had no problem reading it, though I could admit that it was a tough read. Whereas the Captive Flame, I think you hit that happy medium. Baby bear would read this book (Goldilocks reference... not sure.. ) Anyways, that was a long ramble just to say "well done" :)

Can't wait for the next one. November I think?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2010 :  14:57:53  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yep, Whisper of Venom is due out November 2nd. Meanwhile, anyone who's jonesing for a dose of my work should check out the Paizo site. I have a four-part Pathfinder novelette going up there. Chapter One will appear tomorrow, I think.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2010 :  04:58:19  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Can't wait. I'm currently reading The House of Serpents Trilogy by Lisa Spedman, but I can see myself putting it down for book two.

Any teasers of what to look forward to? I'm really interested to see what happens with that one dragonborn trying to infiltrate the Tyamat fanatics.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2010 :  15:46:29  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Sandstorm. I'm reluctant to give very much away. But you will see Balasar infiltrating the Platinum Cadre, war between the dragonborn and the ash giants, war between Chessenta and Threskel, and Aoth and his buddies trying simultaneously to win the wars and to solve the mysteries underlying recent events.
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Kajehase
Great Reader

Sweden
2104 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2010 :  17:45:21  Show Profile Send Kajehase a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just checking in to point out that Richard's serial novella over at Paizo won't appear until next week. (James L Sutter has been sick, and is now out travelling according to an announcement on the Paizo blog.)

There is a rumour going around that I have found god. I think is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.
Terry Pratchett

Edited by - Kajehase on 27 Oct 2010 17:46:36
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2010 :  18:16:33  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the update.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2010 :  21:21:26  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't expect you to give up anything Crazy Richard :) Just hearing you talk about it though gets me excited. I'm looking forward to the battle with the Ash Giants. That was probably my favorite part in the last one. With Khouryn and the Dragonborn hacking into them. P.s. those tornados of ash that the Adepts were moving around, were those your own creation, or did you pull those from some tome of knowledge about the Ash Giants?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  14:20:39  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Sandstorm. The 4e FRCS says that the ash giants have power over the moving pillars of ash, but it doesn't go into detail about how that works. So I extrapolated what it would actually look like in a battle.
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Shadowaxe
Acolyte

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  16:42:03  Show Profile  Visit Shadowaxe's Homepage Send Shadowaxe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry this post doesnít actually form a question, I just wanted to flip my Waterdhavian Nibís worth in.
Have just finished The Captive Flame - a thrilling read even if I am paying for the ridiculously late night now. But it was well worth it - thanks so much!
O, and Iím recommending Gaedynn for Aothís eventual successor.

Mead, mead, from the honey bee,
How I long to drink thee.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  16:48:09  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it, Shadowaxe!

Just curious: What makes you think Gaedynn will eventually get the chance to succeed Aoth? Aoth, after all, is the one with the extended lifespan.
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Shadowaxe
Acolyte

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  17:37:07  Show Profile  Visit Shadowaxe's Homepage Send Shadowaxe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He has the right attitude and burgeoning leadership qualities - the way he helped Jhesrhi in her wavering confidence, his gain in experience and it was his strategy that freed Tchazzar (putting himself in peril) Although almost immediately he was analysing what they had done and the consequences. The thought just sits well with me, thereís something else but I canít quite put my finger on it, like a deep itchÖ perhaps itís the lack of sleep. Perhaps itís just me.

Mead, mead, from the honey bee,
How I long to drink thee.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 28 Oct 2010 :  19:21:03  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AAAh okay. 4th Edition stuff. I just can't get into it. The only reason id like to, is for more knowledge about what I'm reading. E.g. the Pillars of Ash thing. But I just prefer 3.5 edition so much more, and I've got all the books ya know. *sigh*
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  00:17:37  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


Originally posted by Shadowaxe

O, and Iím recommending Gaedynn for Aothís eventual successor.




Unless you want Aoth to die before Gaedynn, I don't see this happening. 'Tis Aoth who has extended lifespan.


Anyway, Richard, will we be seeing Bareris again in book 2 or 3? I kinda miss the guy. I hope he's able to move on despite his terrible loss...

Every beginning has an end.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  01:37:31  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
dude, Bareris died in Unholy
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  02:46:42  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sandstorm

dude, Bareris died in Unholy



You mean this part:

quote:

from Unholy

But this time the ghost had vanished so utterly that not even spellscarred eyes could spot a trace of him, and dark wet patches cut through the bone white flesh of Bareris's severed head and body as ninety years' worth of deferred corruption flowered in an instant.




I'd like to think that since he's already an undead, mere bodily "destruction" had no lasting effect, that his spirit was trapped or in statis somewhere, waiting for a host, or like Tammith's body that could reassemble when torn, waiting for his own body to be whole again.

@ Richard. I stated not too long ago that some of the zulikrs - Lallara, Nevron, and Lauzoril - could have survived because their 'deaths' appeared too 'hazy.' And you said 'tis possible. Is Bareris's case the same? Or is he 'utterly' dead?

Every beginning has an end.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  19:43:12  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, dennis.

What's "utterly dead" in the world of D&D? But he's "utterly dead" for me at the moment, because I have no current plans to bring him back. But then, I had no plans to bring Pharaun back, either. Come to think of it, I didn't bring him back. Yet back he came. So it just goes to show you never know.

By the way, I just posted this bit of self-promotion in the Novels area, but I might as well put the same info here as well. Whisper of Venom, the sequel to The Captive Flame, and the omnibus edition of The Year of Rogue Dragons both hit stores today.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  20:35:15  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
personally, im not a huge fan of characters "dying" and coming back. It happened a lot on the Drizzt Do'Urden series, and though I LOVE those books... it kind of becomes a case of the boy who cried wolf. a character dies that you love, youre sad... if they always "came back", then it would take away the effect of their demise.

question though for you Richard, do you have any personal back story on Mirror? Or what exactly he was? Where you came up with the idea of him and why you chose to incorporate him?
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  21:03:40  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't have much backstory on Mirror beyond what you learn in the trilogy. Which I will now recap, so:

SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ THE HAUNTED LANDS.

Mirror was a paladin in an ancient, long-forgotten civilization. He lived in the same time and place as the wizard who discovered the ritual to destroy and remake the universe. When the book containing the secret was stolen by a person or persons unknown, the wizard went mad and started slaughtering his people on the theory that it was the only way to suppress the secret and protect the world. He not only killed their bodies but damaged their minds and souls so that none of them could use or reveal the secret even in the afterlife.

Mirror tried to fight the wizard and lost. He endured beyond death as an amnestic and almost mindless ghost until he encountered Bareris in the Sunrise Mountains. His subsequent relationship with Bareris and general involvement with human affairs had the effect of partially restoring his intellect and personality, although he never recovered all of his memories.

I invented him for a couple different reasons. One was that the trilogy was supposed to feature lots of different kinds of undead, and I needed a ghost. To help with exposition and tie various story elements together more closely, I also needed a character who had a connection to the origin of the ritual of destruction. Mirror took care of all of that.

Like some characters do, he became more and more interesting to me as I worked with him. and took on a bigger and bigger role in the story. I think there's a nice contrast between his character arc and Bareris's: as Mirror's humanity gradually comes back, Bareris's is gradually eroding. I also liked the idea of a ghost, who is inherently a creature of negative energy, nonetheless being able to channel positive energy, although at the risk of his own existence.

That's about all I can tell you, Sandstorm. It may seem strange, but when you've written millions of words of fiction, and you're writing more all the time, you forget quite a bit of what you were thinking once a book is done. Or at least I've found out that's true of me.
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Sandstorm
Seeker

Canada
80 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  21:49:10  Show Profile  Visit Sandstorm's Homepage Send Sandstorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
yes I recall the book of destruction thing being QUITE interesting. When you detailed the part about the wizard killing his own people to keep it secret, I was like "Thats bad ass". How much of that whole concept, including the book of destruction itself, was your idea, and how much was the publishers?

Also, knowing that Szass Tam is a character used by many authors, what work goes into dealing with him, and writing as him. Because I found you did it remarkably well.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2010 :  23:33:00  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As I recall, the book of destruction and the ritual it contains were entirely my idea. When I was given the job of writing the trilogy that would become The Haunted Lands, I was told that Szass Tam was supposed to make himself sole ruler of Thay and turn the place from the land we knew in the 3.5 Realms to the Mordor-like nightmare realm of the 4e Realms. But nobody had worked out any particular reason why he would make these big moves at this particular point in time. After all, why risk your existence and devastate the land fighting a civil war when, to a large extent, you already control the place anyway? And why allow what was once a wealthy, populous kingdom to remain pretty much a wasteland once the war is over? Why not take steps to restore it? What's the agenda that underlies the decision to leave it a hell on earth?

The business with the book of destruction was my answer to those questions, and it also helped me in another way. I knew my protagonists had to fail in their efforts to defeat Szass in the Thayan civil war. But for the story to be satisfying, there had to be another level on which they were victorious. I covered that by having them stop the ritual.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  02:10:04  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Hi, dennis.

What's "utterly dead" in the world of D&D? But he's "utterly dead" for me at the moment, because I have no current plans to bring him back. But then, I had no plans to bring Pharaun back, either. Come to think of it, I didn't bring him back. Yet back he came. So it just goes to show you never know.



As I understand, no single author owns/made Pharaun, so any author could resurrect him. And he (Thomas) did. And since no single author made/owns the zulkirs who 'appear to have died' in the HL trilogy, I kinda expect that someone out there will also resurrect or make them reermerge...

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2010 :  02:12:44  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

I think there's a nice contrast between his character arc and Bareris's: as Mirror's humanity gradually comes back, Bareris's is gradually eroding. I also liked the idea of a ghost, who is inherently a creature of negative energy, nonetheless being able to channel positive energy, although at the risk of his own existence.



I actually like that contrast, as I myself am fond of using contrasts in my stories...It helps in character-building...


quote:


Originally posted by Sandstorm

Also, knowing that Szass Tam is a character used by many authors, what work goes into dealing with him, and writing as him. Because I found you did it remarkably well.



I definitely agree. Richard is the only author who managed to make Tam 3-D, sufficiently believable, and highly entertaining.

quote:


Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

But for the story to be satisfying, there had to be another level on which they were victorious. I covered that by having them stop the ritual.



I kinda expected it. AFAIK, Wotc still has no plan of allowing any mortals or undead or practically anyone or anything to ascend to godhood after the a little bit disastrous/disheartening ToT. I think they sort of limit ascension to demigodhood only (like Rivalen's case), which really isn't that much since it's just like being an archmage.

Every beginning has an end.
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