You've kindly introduced a couple of Hethcanters via your Twitter replies. These are Lady Brunzarra Hethcanter, the second person to hold the office of Lady of Graces, and Ildra Hethcanter, matriarch of the Hethcanter farm in Immersea.
There's also Hethcanter, first to write of the Scalamagdrion, whom you introduced in Pages from the Mages III in Dragon #92.
Was Brunzarra the holder of a unique title that died with her? Were the Hethcanters ennobled? Is she or Ildra related the mage Hethcanter?
The Hethcanters are what in our real world might be called “landed gentry.” They don’t have hereditary noble titles, but they are locally powerful, wealthy, “always there” families who often have members holding local civic posts or Court posts in Suzail (as Brunzarra did), and a few family members earn their own titles, and/or knighthoods. The Hethcanters are indeed descended from the mage Hethcanter, and both Brunzarra and Ildra are members of “those Hethcanters” (there are some unrelated Hethcanters in Sembia, Tsurlagol, and Telflamm). During the reign of Azoun IV, there were three Sir Hethcanters (knights who rode with the Purple Dragons, of various ages), and Lord Oratham Hethcanter was garrison commander of High Horn in the reign of Rhigaerd II (he died fighting bandits in the Stonelands). Young and handsome adventurer Paresper Hethcanter, formerly of Immersea, is currently one of the six partners who own the Nightgate Inn (just outside Suzail); he owns the smallest share. His father Rharvuld is a superb furniture maker whose wardrobes are much sought-after by wealthy ladies of Suzail. He has some connection to the War Wizards that he doesn’t talk about.
And lastly, Lyrele Hethcanter is said to currently serve the Crown (of Cormyr) in some undercover fashion; some believe she may be a Highknight, as of old.
Did he get the share in the late 15th century?
Yes. He made a pile adventuring, didn't know where to park it, and hit upon the idea of buying out the aging, ailing smallest partner (Shaluta Drennan, a retired widow of a ship captain from Marsember) among the inn's owners.
Hey, Ed! Studying Finnish myths, I read that Kiputytto is seen as Loviatar's sister (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalma_(goddess)). Since Kiputytto existed in Toril as a god killed by Talona, is that partly why Loviatar torments Talona, or are Kiputytto and Loviatar unrelated in Toril?
That's indeed why Loviatar torments Talona (K and L were sisters in Toril).
Sooo... is Kiputytto back after the Second Sundering? Is she like Xvim - an echo? or is her divinity gobbled up by Talona? #realmslore questions are neverending!
Kiputytto and several other deities were devoured and destroyed by Moander, as they returned to Toril. Making Moander more powerful...hence the Chosen fighting against him, behind the scenes. They have succeeded in deceiving him into breaking his alliance with Shar.
Good evening, @TheEdVerse! I'm starting to think about the ending of Dungeon of the Mad Mage. In your Realms, what would happen if Halaster were destroyed by adventurers?
A lot of Undermountain magic tied to him would briefly go wild, and Chosen and other servitors of Mystra (weaveghosts, etc.) would be "sent in" to stabilize matters. Gates/portals would open in Undermountain and certain monsters would flood in (e.g. some dragons who covet the place for a lair). Some of Halaster's experimental spells would "run wild" without him, and some apprentices who were hiding from him would be emboldened and "go public," and so on.
Lots of "and so on." ;}
Was "tying" Halaster to the Undermountain a mistake in the eyes of Mystra?
Mystra doesn't see things that way; she's all about providing magic to all sentients and letting them use it creatively (hence her not stopping Karsus). She didn't tie Halaster to Undermountain; he did that.
She likely thinks most mortal actions are mistakes. ;}
On a serious note
Wouldve it mean that amount of her Chosen would increase? Or is it already many to seal such "leaks in Weave".
No increase, she has lots of servitors and time would be of the essence (no time to recruit and train).
That sounds suitably epic. And Halaster himself: CAN he, in fact, be destroyed? Or is he almost trapped in the Weave at this point, doomed to come back again and again?
He will survive as a (mad) voice in the Weave, and may well come back (being given other bodies to possess and inhabit, with Mystra's aid).
'Tis Election Tuesday (no, not a holiday) here in the USA, and I think we'd all love to learn something about popular electoral systems of the Realms. What are some offices elected 'by the people'? How does the system work?
Hi! Really busy with design work tonight, but let me say a few words about local elections for “village lord” (mayor) and harbormasters (in ports) in Amn and Tethyr. In the smaller places where they are elected, as opposed to appointed (in the larger places, it’s often a “reward posting” for investors handed out by local nobles or wealthy and powerful locals).
Voters in such elections are stakeholders: property owners in a settlement, or owners of docks and warehouses and shipyards in ports. They go before a local herald (with a local priest as a witness, if there’s a shrine, temple, or monastic community locally; if more than one deity is locally represented, each will have a representative) to vote verbally (out of earshot of others) for their chosen candidate (any local resident can stand), and for each vote, a pebble is put into a jar labeled for that candidate, and all jars are safeguarded by the herald and the clergy (often in a secure structure to minimize tampering). When the election time is deemed over (it may be as long as a tenday, but by local custom is usually three or four days, dawn to dusk), the pebbles are counted by the herald and all clergy in unison, and the high total wins. If there’s any dispute or anomaly (more pebbles than local voters, for example), a new election is held, but any incumbent running again does NOT stay in office until it’s done; rather, clergy step in to serve.
Hey Ed! How common are tattoos amongst various races in Faerûn? Do different cultures use different methods and substances?
Henna bodypainting (sometimes quite elaborate, but wears off with skin layers) is quite common, especially south and east from the Vilhon, but permanent tattoos less so. Guilds and cults sometimes use brands (as, of course, do slavers).
Yes, different methods and materials are used from place to place and culture to culture. In Veldorn and the Shaar, there's a lot of use of cinnabar and other red-hued substances injected just under the skin (don't do this for real: the mercury in cinnabar gets absorbed by the body).
Hi @TheEdVerse a question dated back to azure bonds. In the novel, Akabar and Dimwart say "Amarast" to each other. Is it Turmic? what does it mean? Or are they just naming river and are very bad at it? :D
Originally a Turmic word, but long ago (thanks to traveling merchants using it) became a Common Tongue word, too, with the same meaning: "fare well until next we meet." (Used the same as the Elvish expression: "Merry part.")
So I have to ask @TheEdVerse. How much of a divergence is there between your forgotten realms (original homebrew version) especially if it's still running from the published materials. I have wonderful this ever since I heard you still ran it.
Geographically, not a lot, actually. Aside from: no Maztica, no Kara-Tur, my original Moonshaes persist.
Also, the Time of Troubles hasn't happened yet (and likely never will: my players vote on things). In "my" Realms, the gods show up in person a LOT less often.
I’m sure he’s much too busy to answer, but just on the off chance…
@TheEdVerse can Beholders dream up anything into existence, or only other types of Beholders? Could they dream up a new species? A Drow? Could they wake up with fabulous golden hair one morning?
I know that with the pysche of a Beholder being what it is, it's not necessarily *likely* for them to dream those things. But I've been pondering it so much and I'm just so curious what the extent of their dreaming powers are lol
A beholder can alter themselves without limit by their dreaming, because any internal changes are done instinctively (i.e. they don't have to understand every facet of how things work).
The moment they're dreaming of another entity than themselves, they DO have to understand every last detail of the functioning bodily systems of that entity, to 'dream them up.' So even though beholders are geniuses, they almost always are A) transforming an already-living creature of the same sort (mammal, reptile, etc.) as what envisage, and B) are really "reskinning" a beholder in terms of organs and inner workings, because that's what they understand (unless they've done a LOT of breeding, dissections, and other examinations, of other sorts of creatures).
And in the same way that most kids trying to "make up" new monsters usually think of a stuck-together assembly of features (jaws, talons, tentacles, wings, etc.) of various creatures they're already familiar with, that's how a beholder trying to dream up a new species is usually going to arrive at something: a hodgepodge of known bits and pieces. If a beholder makes developing new species (long-term breeding for selected traits program, surgical and magical experimentations, etc.) its chief focus of interest, they may achieve stable new species beyond these 'limits of time and attention' with a surprising degree of success.
I was wondering, how common is it for lesser nobles in the realms to try and gather followers and try to conquer/settle the frontiers in the Realms? Would it be unheard of for one to try and claim unsettled land as his own in say the Savage North?
It's common for wealthy wannabe nobles (successful merchants) and lesser nobles to hire adventuring bands and small mercenary companies to do it for them. Risking their necks doing it themselves is much rarer.
Are same sex marriages an option (or common) for the nobility of the Realms? In our history it was common for nobles to marry and have children for family duty, and have lovers on the side (for both gay or straight sorts), but would this be as true in the Realms?
Yes, marriage to produce heirs and keep the line going, with (publicly known and accepted) lovers on the side is the way in the Realms. Same-sex unions for "third and below" sons and daughters are fairly common, but they are almost never formal marriages UNTIL whoever in the family will inherit first has had three or four healthy children who've made it alive out of infancy. (Lineage is far less important to folk in society who don't own lots of land.)
I imagine that Roman-style adoption for same sex couples/couples who don't have children is pretty common in the more republic or senate style merchant states like Hillsfar etc, right?
This one got me thinking:
What are infant mortality rates for a magic-infused realm like Faerûn?0. I would imagine proximity to clerics would be life or death…
The rates can be high in bad winters or when diseases spread. The game gives us a skewed view of "easy" availability of magic, but yes: even the temples of evil deities look after their neighbours; if trouble comes to their doors, they want support, not ready foes.
In the Realms, there are always side-bowls of tart sauces (antipastos or chutneys, to us) for individual diners to ladle onto forkfuls of something like this. It's how inns (and householders) "rescue" meals that might otherwise be meager or bland.
And here we go, another entry in Juniper's Companion to Venturesome Cookery is done. Wild boar dumplings from the Arnise Hold in Amn. #ForgottenRealms #DnD #dndcooking Next stop will probably be Waterdeep by way of Calimshan because of fish and chips!
A random pronunciation question, if you will forgive the imposition on your time? Is the “ghost” in Pereghost pronounced like the spooky spirit, or is it said so as to rhyme with “cost”? Thanks so much for any insight you’d be willing to share!
I can confirm that this "Jack Fred" is Keith Parkinson.
My first TSR product, wherein "the crew" taught me how to use their storyboard sheets, etc. They told me "don't bother with the cover in your art order, Keith has a day to paint whatever he wants."
HAHA! Wow. They were playing fast & loose with the cover descriptors, huh, Mr Greenwood?! Somehow the art/title combo did not sell me on the concept of the module at the time. I have to admit I had forgotten it was one of yours as well. Did you feel the art captured the spirit?
The editor knew there was an invisible stair linking open field with sky, and likely told Keith, but "Jack Fred" came into existence when artists felt so rushed they knew they couldn't do work they wanted their names on, in the time given. In this case, one day.
I'm fine with it, as this wasn't my art order being ignored or deliberately subverted by an artist, it was "no time, so don't give the artist any direction." Considering that, I think it turned out pretty well.
Remember, I was a freelancer in another country, not in the office.
Yep all those things are making perfect sense.
A day. Sheesh! And in oils I assume. I don't know how much the guys used acrylics, but, if so, working that up in oils in a day is pretty impressive, to be honest.
I visited annually (a week at GenCon), and didn't see any airbrushes or acrylics in the Art Dept for some years after this was painted. BUT...I don't know the normal routine (who did any work at home, etc.). The original Spelljammer cover (1989) was the first acrylic piece I saw.
Hey there @TheEdVerse! I hope you are getting better!
Could you clarify for me your connection of the Forgotten Realms to Spelljammer?
Are there many influences on your part within the Realms when it comes to Spelljammer? Or was that more the work of Jeff Grub and TSR?
I was the first freelancer to work on Spelljammer (did the first supplement, LOST SHIPS). Jeff and I had many chats about how much spelljamming would be known to folks in the Realms and how much it would affect their lives.
hail @TheEdVerse! Question about Candlekeep. Is there a bathhouse, fine spa or other luxury bathing facility anywhere in the House of Rest, Court of Air or other seeker-accessible areas?
From my research the accommodations seem fairly utilitarian, but my players crave pampering
We're using Elminster's Candlekeep Companion as our primary source here, for the record
You’re correct: it’s a monastery, so “fairly utilitarian” is the order of things. The only seeker-accessible bathhouse is “the Baths,” at the rear of the House of Rest, where it backs onto the outer walls: there’s a spring-fed tiled bathhouse (garderobes with what we could call bidets, and several sizes of baths, both private and communal). Plentiful towels and robes, dim/bad lighting, BUT one feature that would make it “luxury” compared to most 3) facilities across the Realms: the water is heated; it’s pumped from the same deep, volcanically-heated spring that warms similar facilities for the monks, “The Warmwet,” deep beneath the seaward end of the complex.
"Eggbread" is like our "french toast": slices of bread soaked in egg batter and fried.
It's not challah, nor brioche.
Challah in the Realms is usually "Santrath" (named for an Athkatlan gnome baker who popularized it).
Brioche (made with butter) is usually "Goldloaf."
A note for many American gamers: eggbread in the Realms is like savoury French toast. If it has cinammon or sugar or maple syrup added to it, the recipe will always say so; the Faerûnian default is unsweetened.
My first censored article. I wrote up details for the talismans (what they looked like, sigils and all) but Gary didn't want them graffitied on churches across the land, so no. Also, I explained why no Lucifer, and another archdevil had 2 layers: Lucifer and his consort, Batna, had a child, Lucifuge, which was the BIG no-no for Asmodeus (because he ruled in the status quo, and new archdevils upset that status quo). So he destroyed all 3 and gave Lucifer's layer to his greatest foe among the archdevils, as a lesson to everyone else.
I heard Lucifuge was a "test tube" child (i.e. a variant of clone that involved material from Lucifer and Batna, but using a magical centrifuge to combine their essences ). The child had to be created this way to bypass certain magical wardings placed on both parents by Asmodeus. Thus, "Lucifuge" was a nickname for the unborn child, which was killed prior to being born and became something akin to an atropal.
Gaj is a major market town in the foothills of the western end of The Maerthwatch mountains, where copper and silver (and a little gold) from local mines are smelted. Dwarves work the (shallow) mines, gnomes turn the copper into wire in Gaj’s foundries, and traders come from coastal Chondath and Chessenta to buy the items made in Gaj (both wire grips for tolls and weapons, and wire mounts for jewelry and handles, such as wooden handles for teapots and other hot vessels).
Gaj is an unwalled town that may soon become a city. It’s home to many crafters, and the surrounding farms supply it with ample goat cheese and milk, mutton, and vegetables. What its inhabitants seem to want most from the wider world is clothing and woven textiles, and fine wines (local wines and ales are sour varieties).
Gaj is ruled by the Luth, an elected council of twelve senior crafters who give direction to the Gajmar (police chief), who heads the town watch (which consists of patrols of “trusties” armed with cudgels but backed up with both spies—who concentrate on outlanders—and spellcasters with bodyguards, who act against mages, adventurers, and others the trusties can’t handle). The Watch is mainly concerned with keeping the peace and preventing thefts, threat-blackmail, arson, and the formation of gangs. Gaj tends to be a peaceful place, as most inhabitants work too hard to have time or energy for much mischief.
In 1354 DR, the period covered by my lore-notes, the Gajmar was a retired human adventurer, Lhlarauna Dashard Umurr (LG hf F9/Sor3).
Thank you, Ed! One more spot of realms mystery - filled in! Can’t want to check the settlement out… wonder what they eat there? Cashew soup maybe?
Lots of soups and stews dominated by leeks, marrows, "dilvarren" (local name for sweet peppers), and barley bread (and nutbread; the most prevalent local nuts are "brains" = walnuts). Mutton, roast goat, goat milk and cheese, and for dessert redroot (rhubarb).
Late Night Clyde Caldwell would like to know, in a battle of Shandril versus the dracolich, who ya got?
Debuted as cover art for @TheEdVerse’s first Forgotten Realms novel Spellfire, TSR, 1988
Clyde told me he painted treasure (along the bottom of the pic) for TWO DAYS for this one, in a note affixed to the photocopy he sent for my "approval." The quotation marks are there because it was sent after the printing deadline, of course. ;}
This was a really fun book. But AIMLESS. Just like a D&D party #129395;
Heh. That's because two-thirds of it was edited out (Books Dept. personnel changed completely while I was writing it, and I was writing to an old, larger wordcount; a trilogy became one book).
How much was added back into the 'expanded' edition?
Unfortunately, the "expanded" edition is SHORTER (shortened in-house after I did a longer "director's cut").
Like most places in the Realms in the 1300s-1400sDR, Amn has “battle banners” carried by units in battle, and pennants that fly from fortress towers (by way of flags).
Battle banners sometimes take the shape of a golden keystone, long side at the top, hung from a long-pike, whereas pennants are always long and thin tapering triangles affixed to their fly-staff along the base.
Both are scarlet, with a gold border, and in the center display a badge (also seen on the surcoats of city gate and civic building doorguards) known as “The Pride of Amn.” Its use has persisted despite the changes in Amn’s governance after the Spellplague.
The Pride is a horizontal row of six identically-sized, featureless (i.e. no minting marks) gold circles (representing the “coins of all” and the Council of Six). They are featureless to denote that they are coins from everywhere, and because the Council stay anonymous) atop a steel-gray shape that represents the forefangs of an open-mouthed beast, This shape is called a “daerag” and means “Amn will devour you in the marketplace” (winning all competitions of price, innovation, and energy).
[And yes, the daerag is a rare prowling predator, perhaps extinct, native to eastern Amn.]
Is there an insane asylum in Waterdeep? (I believe Mystra’s Arms was there but burned down?)
The old Waterdhavian joke is that there is indeed, and it’s called Piergeiron’s Palace.
Seriously, the answer depends on when you’re asking about. From the 1460s DR onward, there’s “the Mad Tower” on the NW corner of The Trollmarch and Black Dog Alley, in North Ward, formerly the tower of the wizard Thalandruil (and before that, in the 1350s DR, the site of the Black Dog tavern, which gave the alley its name). The Open Lord must approve all entrants (and releases).
I can work with that! Thanks!
Oh, sorry! I forgot to say that the formal name for this place is Sunrise Tower. It's guarded by a dozen City Watch "trusties" (veteran officers) at all times, and has a live-in staff who work with residents.
Random question, but I couldn't find it in the Gazeteer: what naming convention do those from the Border Kingdoms use? I want to make a PC from Derlusk.
Folk come to the Border Kingdoms from all over the Realms, so Borderers can be encountered with all sorts of names. However, a native-born Derluskan will typically have a name akin to those bestowed in Cormyr and the Dales (lots of portmanteau surnames).
Here are some “very popular” Derluskan male first names: Baerond, Delgar, Dorn, Erevven, Florn, Gavran, Havnar, Jelde, Lorond, Lorth, Manthard, Rorild, Sandlor, Tesper, Wyndar.
Here are some “very popular” Derluskan female first names: Astarra, Chansra, Ember, Glasmra, Helarra, Iome, Jance, Lannathra, Marandra, Mornra, Raedra, Shaernarra, Tarsharra, Wyndra, Yavarra.
Sir Ed could u clear up a question i have had for many years about the City of Coins? after scouring for source maps, the map i commissioned shows the Alandor river going above and through the city? (some issues but thx Tiffany for the map)
The Alandor River bisects Athkatla, the City of Coin; see the full-page map on the inside back cover of the Amn booklet in the LANDS OF INTRIGUE boxed set. At the time depicted, one bridge and lots of busy ferries cross the river inside the city walls.
Wondering what winter weather in The Reaching Woods is like?
Lots of snow (every 3-4 days), so 4-feet-plus snowpack in areas open to the sky, prevailing winds out of the NW and out of the SW (these streams collide around Easting, which is a “freak storms” area as a result), so loose snow blows up into whiteouts.
The winters are freezing, snowy, windy, and mostly cloudy. From Uktar to Tarsakh, the Reaching Wood can remain below freezing all day long, especially where the sun can’t reach, with about seventy “very cold” days. Most of the time, it’s much milder, a damp cold with ground fogs thanks to the flow of the River Reaching.
Ed can you give us a better idea of what the “daerang” looks like? Is it an open mouth with long forefangs, like a saber tooth tiger or something else? Is it all in gray with no distinguishing colors or borders?
Sure. Google “tail of a whale” (images) and you’ll see a lot of photos of the flukes of whales with the rest of them underwater. Pick one that’s side-on, mentally edit out the sky and the water and the “trunk” of the tail (so just the flukes are left), then paint it a non-metallic silver (so, light gray), and adorn its uppermost surface with a uniform picket-fence row of points, evenly spaced between the two points that are the end-points of the flukes. And that’s what the daerang looks like.
Can you tell me some interesting information about the Deity Mask that many might not know?
Mask enjoys his own company more than that of anyone else; what we call “loneliness” is his preferred emotion. In himself, he values sublety above all else; the scheming and plotting to manipulate entities and events so deftly that no one notices they’re being manipulated. He hates Cyric above all, and delights in stealing small amounts of Cyric’s power and influence back to himself.
Mask can shift shape from any humanoid form to any sort of mask, including rectangles of gauzy cloth without shaping or eyeholes (the sort of mask that’s just tied around the head, and the material peered through). He prefers to do this, slumping into seemingly-discarded cloth litter underfoot, to avoid detection. These mask forms can fly, flitting like moths or butterflies by choice but sometimes flapping like bats. Mask’s chief hobby is eavesdropping and listening. He can perfectly mimic any voice he’s recently heard, and often murmurs words into ears that other entities mistake for someone else they’ve been speaking with. He’ll often do this to speak on behalf of someone who’s died, so others think they’re still alive.
And on the one occasion he heard it (Elminster casting a spell), Mask LOVED lone-sax, mournful, slow jazz.