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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  14:05:37  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Since starting up his own Discord server (https://discord.onl/greenwoods-grotto/), Ed Greenwood has been answering Realms-related questions in the #q4ed channel. Although it's free to join the Discord and view his answers, but I believe it requires a subscription to Ed's Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/EdGreenwood) to be given access to ask him questions there.

So since his answers are free to view by anyone on his Discord and for the benefit of those who are not on Discord, I'm starting and updating my compilation of his answers in this scroll. I'll leave it to the wisdom of moderating scribes if anything should be changed or removed.

I won't be able to put down everything (I already have 300+ answered questions to put down), so consider updates here will be intermittent, and will take a while before it catches up to the latest questions answered. (Or just join the Discord if you want the latest )


Edited by - questing gm on 05 Nov 2023 14:06:01

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36782 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2023 :  22:27:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see no issue with doing this, just so long as people understand that asking him questions in that Discord channel does require being a Patreon subscriber.

I'm going to sticky this thread, as well.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2023 :  13:54:09  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the status and whereabout of Xxiphu in the late 1480s/early 1490s DR

Augustoc, Femboy Warlock — 02/08/2023 1:33 PM

I should like to know the status and whereabout of Xxiphu in the late 1480s/early 1490s DR, if that's something Ed is allowed to talk about

But if not, I'll live

I'm thankful anyway, keep up the good work, king!


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 10:34 PM

Okay, Xxiphu: is still in the Realms in the 1490s DR. Am stickhandling around NDAs so I can pen a proper reply.


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 9:29 AM

Xxiphu, the Soaring City, is a flying obelisk from the Far Realm, constructed of fused-together stone blocks. It is ancient, and its outer surfaces are a-crawl with moving, everchanging glyphs of magical power that surround scrying “eyes” (iridescent films of magical force that project sequences of images, of locales and creatures of the Far Realm, each image persisting for a short but variable time, then being replaced by another image, seemingly at random; some images are “movies” and others are still). The glyphs that move over the surface of the city vent waste heat, moisture, energies, and aboleth body wastes into the surroundings, venting them forcefully, and at the same time generate moving vortices (think bendable conical “Tasmanian Devil”-cartoon-like formations) that suck in surrounding air ‘in between’ the jets of waste expulsion; the combinations of these forces generate fierce electrical storms around Xxiphu, which in turn cause “windwhirl” (swirling winds, in chaotic, clashing directions, not a common, consistent direction) rainstorms, with opaque clouds, occasional hail, and gusts of scouring wind. This has sometimes been described as an “eternal storm.”

Certain of the glyphs swimming over the surface of Xxiphu are portals to the Far Realm that can emit great grasping tentacles, and others are portals that can expel aberrations (monsters), transporting them from the Far Realm into Toril. Both sorts of glyphs can be controlled by inhabitants of Xxiphu to defend the city, or scare off intruders, or act against anything approaching the obelisk too closely—if they want to. Elder aboleths (of the Abolethic Sovereignty, the inhabitants of the obelisk city) can “see perfectly” through the glyphs, their tentacles, and the storm, but not through the streams of expelled waste.

For thirty years before the 1490s DR, Xxiphu hovered above the Sea of Fallen Stars, often not far off Akanûl, but during the 1490s, the aboleths seem to have embarked upon some sort of exploration of Toril: the city flies higher, its storms are quieter, and it moves about often—though once a month or so, for a few days at a time, it returns to its “favorite” site near Akanûl. It may be seen almost anywhere, though it seems to avoid frigid areas or violent weather not of the city’s making.


Augustoc, Femboy Warlock — 02/09/2023 9:30 AM

Oh my ****

I love you, Ed

Really

Thank you so much


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 9:32 AM

You're very welcome. It took a while, but I was able to talk to someone about exactly how far I could go and not offend against the NDA...and this is it. ;}
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2023 :  13:56:54  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ao's inclusion in Cloak of Shadows

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 5:25 PM

@Ed Greenwood As I understand it, Ao in general was something TSR forced into the Realms. I wondered if Ao's inclusion in Cloak of Shadows was editorial mandate or if that was something you came up with on your own. How much did TSR mess with those scenes in editing?


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 10:53 PM

Everything written for TSR and later Wizards is "work for hire," so they can change every word if they want to. WISE editors don't; they trust that I know what I'm doing with "my" world. So everything got edited, but it's usually more a matter of wordcount limits and tight deadlines, as opposed to "let me toy with this author's story." For DEATH MASKS, my last Realms novel to date, Chris Perkins and I discussed a "laundry list" of things that should be included, like the giants in their flying castle, to support/dovetail with other Realms releases.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  10:45:39  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Ed's input in Baldur's Gate 3

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 10:22 PM

For Ed, did you have any input into the Baldur's Gate III video game?


Augustoc, Femboy Warlock — 02/08/2023 10:27 PM

I'd like to expand this question:

How much input do you have in different sources of media? I'm curious about how these 4 kinds of media compare in regard to Ed's level input:

1. An official WotC published module, like Princes of the Apocalypse
2. A semi-official DMs guild supplement that you co-authored
3. A novel set in the Realms, but written by a different author, like Brimstone Angels (gosh I miss those so bad)
4. A video game set in the Forgotten Realms, specifically Baldur's Gate 3


Cdawg — 02/08/2023 10:30 PM

I'm also curious, after all these years, if Ed has played any of the Forgotten Realms games and if so, what he enjoyed most about them.


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 10:34 PM

Warning to all: computer games have the strongest NDAs, they never get removed, and so I can often say little.

I have played a FEW of the FR games, usually in demo mode. My perennial problem was that I was writing on Macs, and the games were designed on Macs but released for PCs. My secondary problem was time: as in, I didn't have any to spend on playing computer games. I made a few exceptions, the Lucasfilm game LOOM for example, and have been known to play Solitaire during boring business calls, but...no time. Sigh.

And as for my involvement: 1. An official WotC published module, like Princes of the Apocalypse: I don't get to see the main text, but I get given a writing assignment (e.g. for Volo's Guide it was huge batches of Volo and Elminster back-and-forth comments, and an intro; about a quarter of those comments got used) and do it. I always give extra, in hopes the lore can be used elsewhere and elsewhen. It's more important to get the Realms out there than to get paid or credit or control...

2. A semi-official DMs guild supplement that you co-authored: Border Kingdoms is official, Thay is not, because we broke the "stay on the Sword Coast" rule. For both of those, Alex Kammer bankrolled, directed the art, oversaw the layout, and wrote the adventure. Alan Patrick did new classes and monsters. I did world lore, from Shel's tour to designing the heraldry to the daily life details. My jam.

3. A novel set in the Realms, but written by a different author, like Brimstone Angels (gosh I miss those so bad): Erin is a good friend and for all of those novels she was consulting with me and with Brian Cortijo, "the" Cormyr expert, to get details right (like what plants they would find if camping in this spot, or what local officers would be stationed where, etc.) We wrote back and forth often, and still check in with each other...and if you love fantasy, I HIGHLY recommend Erin's new series; the first book, EMPIRE OF EXILES, is out now and she's working on the second.

4. A video game set in the Forgotten Realms, specifically Baldur's Gate 3: When it comes to video games, companies like to keep things VERY secret from non-staff. Sometimes Wizards would involve me in the approvals process (where companies send stuff, or ask stuff, of Wizards), and I have on several occasions (Turbine's anniversary release of the Haunted Halls, for one, and something NDA'd that I just did, for another) voiced NPCs or narrated voiceovers, or both.


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 10:50 PM

For Baldur's Gate III: almost none. Baldur's Gate II: I wrote hundreds of titles for books that player characters can find in the library, and provided NPC backstories and local lore (Realmslore "colour").


Augustoc, Femboy Warlock — 02/08/2023 10:51 PM
quote:
because we broke the "stay on the Sword Coast" rule
Wait, that's an actual rule?

I thought this was a meme the D&D community had made up...

This explains so much.


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 10:55 PM

Wizards is a Hasbro company, and Hasbro International and other arms of Hasbro, as well as Wizards directly, license out their IP to make $$$ (Realms throw blankets, toy Drizzt scimitars, etc.). If they confine the in-house canon D&D products to the Sword Coast, they can tell a licensee "you can do anything you want in Thay, or Rashemen, or Mulhorand, if you set your product there." So, they stay in the Sword Coast...
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  10:49:21  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On contractual right to publish a Realms book each year

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 10:55 PM

I've seen it often repeated that you have a contractual right to cause the IP holder to publish a Realms book of yours each year. Is that accurate? I've seen that bandied around quite a bit. Its been almost six years since Death Masks.


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 10:56 PM

Yes, it has. ;}
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  12:09:35  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Vecna having visited or influenced Faerun

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 11:02 PM

Did you have the notion of Vecna having visited or influenced Faerun in the past before WotC introduced it in 5e? Was there no need for it as Larloch fulfilled the preeminent inscrutable lich role?


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 11:09 PM

Oh, yes. TSR in the old days went back and forth on "are the TSR Worlds connected or not" (the Wizards Three DRAGON articles were an editorial assignment to keep visible support for worlds TSR was then englecting), but I had them ALL linked, via gates (portals), as that's where high-level Realmsplay inevitably went: hopping from Prime Material Plane to alternate Prime MAterial Plane (Toril, Krynn, Oerth). So Vecna and others had visited, and been visited. Archvillains can often bankroll their schemes, or get monsters or armies for them, by "robbing" another world.


Juniper Churlgo — 02/08/2023 11:11 PM

Which reminds me of an ancient unanswered question for Ed. Any gates between Abernys (Birthright) and Toril?


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 11:18 PM

Yes, there are gates linking Abernys and Toril, but the NDAs stand thick and strong on this, still.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  12:22:06  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On what Ioulaum has been doing or is up to

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 11:05 PM

Speaking of liches, any breadcrumbs on what Ioulaum has been doing or is up to? There is so little about him out there. Is he still an undead elder brain?


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 11:07 PM

And that meaty SMACK you hear is Ed running full-tilt into an NDA wall. Which means I have to go and find a gap in it, so I can give you a reply.


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 11:05 AM

Ioulaum is still an undead elder brain, and he's still scheming. He's been trying to figure out ways to control the Weave and so boost his own reach and enable him to control other spellcasters through the spells they cast, and Azuth and Mystra, amused but appalled at his aims and persistence, have been thwarting him...but only after allowing him little sequences of progress, so he keeps at it. (And out of WORSE trouble.)
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  12:26:35  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On if Larloch and Vecna ever met

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 11:16 PM

This makes me wonder if Larloch and Vecna ever met. (I doubt it would be directly). If so, how did that encounter go?


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 11:20 PM

They've met more than once. Most of their meetings did not go well. They are...guardedly polite with each other, since Vecna discovered how much more powerful Larloch is than he is.


Augustoc, Femboy Warlock — 02/08/2023 11:22 PM

Larloch is above deity level? Really?


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 11:26 PM

Larloch has HUNDREDS of "bound" liches working for him, in three worlds. And where Vecna has a Plan B, Larloch has a Plan E. That shook Vecna a lot.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 08 Nov 2023 :  12:29:17  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Larloch's actual life

Cdawg — 02/08/2023 11:18 PM

I have endless questions for Ed but am trying to repress my enthusiasm. He's got things to do. I'll ask one last question. Is there anything you can tell us about Larloch's actual life? How did he end up becoming a Chosen of Mystryl, and how did he serve her. That's a book I'd love to read, frankly. (Probably all NDA)


Ed Greenwood — 02/08/2023 11:27 PM

Let's just say there was love involved. Elminster wasn't the first mortal to enjoy the charms of a goddess. If the deity began as mortal, after a time they really, really miss mortality, and want to taste it again.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  11:30:30  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Wyvernspurs' influence in Hultail

Juniper Churlgo — 02/09/2023 10:12 AM

Here's a Q for @Ed Greenwood i wrote up Hiltail on the wiki thanks to his tweets about it a few weeks back. and it looks like there is a bit of weirdness im sure is resolvable. In Cormyr sourcebook it said Wyvernspurs were the only nobles in Hultail, but the town is ruled by Sarp Redbeard of Wheloon. (FR campaign setting 2e) Plus historically it had Rallyhorn noble family. (candlekeep). What exactly is Wyvernspurs' influence there? Id assume they be lording... https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Hultail


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 10:18 AM

The Wyvernspurs have a Suzail mansion, and their country seat is Immersea (which you'll see more of, soon hint hint). Their holdings in Hultail are farms that Giogi Wyvernspur won from Rorild Rallyhorn in a bet. (The farms have tenant farmers who live in farmhouses on the farms, but the Wyvernspurs don't stay there; a Wyvernspur might visit once a year, passing through.) The Wyvernspurs and Rallyhorns are friendly towards each other.

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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  11:39:07  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Giogi Wyvernspur's favorite food and drink

Melody — 02/09/2023 10:31 AM

Question for @Ed Greenwood: What is Giogi Wyvernspur's favorite food and drink?


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 12:01 PM

That's a question for Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak (husband and wife team in Renton, WA), whose creation Giogi is...but I recall Jeff mentioning mojitos as real-world Earth drinks Giogi would down enthusiastically.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  11:45:45  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Ed Greenwood's personal "definitive" artwork of Elminster

Melody — 02/09/2023 12:05 PM

Okay, let me ask a question I've long wondered, @Ed Greenwood. Do you have a personal piece of artwork of Elminster you consider the "definitive" version of him, or just one that you really like and keep going back to in your head? I confess, I was rather smitten by the MtG artwork of Elminster, but I'm curious what your own personal favorite is.


Augustoc, Femboy Warlock — 02/09/2023 12:14 PM

<https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1072136642162343986/1073094503898021949/latest_1.png>


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 12:48 PM

Of the art that's been seen widely, as opposed to my own sketches, the one Augusto just posted here (minus the shades ;} ) is one I'm very fond of. I generally dislike any depiction of the Old Mage with braided hair. The Temptation of Elminster hardcover had a VERY good depiction of the young Elminster on it.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  11:54:05  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is Khelben evil?

illuminatirob — 02/09/2023 12:42 PM

Hello @Ed Greenwood! I am so happy to be here. I've been a heavy user of Candlekeep's forums over the years, and I have some questions that have been argued extensively, and I'd love to have the ultimate input on then I might be so fortunate? :MaskedLord: (Even though, I may get flak over this, haha)

Is Khelben evil?

I ask the question from the lens of normative ethics, regarding his having taken the Scepter of the Sorcerer King, and giving it to Fzoul. The ensuing carnage and problems were extensive, and in light of them, and the fact that Khelben is one of the Master Harper's that came up with the code of the Harper's, how can he say he lived by those tenets and doing the right thing, with everything that came of his actions in the end?

I mean no disrespect: I just love analyzing characters, and I've run through this a million times in my head. Khelben is one of my favorite characters ever. So compelling!


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 12:53 PM

Khelben is an "end justifies the means" person, who (like, say, James T. Kirk of STAR TREK fame) won't hesitate to break laws or rules to "win." He can be harsh and arrogant, too, as he believes he KNOWS the right end goal, and will push for it against the "blindly ignorant." Whereas most of the Seven believe it's not just what you do, or why, but HOW you do it; if you run roughshod over "little people" to forge a better kingdom for them, how are you better than the next tyrant? So Khelben can certainly be seen as evil. That's the thing about the Realms: everyone is a shade of gray. We watch their moral journeys in the novels, and lore, and adventures, and none of them are static. Elminster is generally nicer and more whimsical than straight-shooter Khelben, but also more sly. It takes all sorts to make (and mar) a world.


illuminatirob — 02/09/2023 1:03 PM

Hey @Ed Greenwood,

Thank you so very much for that answer, and right away too! I'm honored. I figured Khelben was a consequentialist, and I've had long debates about it, but this is great: thee answer. That's the most amazing thing about ethics: you're "good" in someone's book, and "evil" in another's, simply by the fact that the rules set is different for evaluating morality.

Thank you!


Ed Greenwood — 02/09/2023 1:09 PM

You're very welcome! Steven Schend "adopted" Khelben and has penned novels starring him, and he and I have discussed Khelben's character extensively over the years. One other thing to bear in mind: Mystra's Chosen are all very old, and "play the long game," and have suffered much grief, as they outlive kin, friends, and even the realms they grew up in; they're not sane by how we judge things. My Realms tales look at how power corrupts, and how long life claws at psyches, and so on. Khelben became a "hardcase" because it worked for him, to serve Mystra best; the ruthless manipulator and negotiator. Others took different paths.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  11:56:43  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On where the Cantlowe Library is located

illuminatirob — 02/09/2023 2:16 PM

Hi @Ed Greenwood,

You know, I thought about asking Steven on Candlekeep, but it got pretty heated on the Khelben question, so I didn't pursue it. I didn't want to have it get any more heated, so I left it there.

If another question isn't Bogarting too much here..... if so, my apologies.

A question on Candlekeep that was bumped from 2005 was, "Where is the Cantlowe Library located?"

I dug around as much as I could and came up with The Conclave of the Silverymoon / The Great University of the Gem of the North.

Is that correct?


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 11:35 AM

You are correct. The Cantlowe Library is a "special collection" that has resided in other places before being moved to the Great University, but it is now both a special collection AND the rooms that collection is specifically housed in...in the Great University.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  12:05:37  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On naming scheme common in Cormyr

FireWraith — 02/10/2023 10:44 AM

Minor question related to naming and Cormyr - Azoun V's full name was given as Azoun Rhigaerd Palaghard Duar Obarskyr in the short story from Best of the Realms. Is that sort of naming scheme (three middle names) common for the nobility in Cormyr, or just the royals, and what would the full names of some of the others be, particularly his mother Tanalasta?


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 11:41 AM

That sort of naming scheme is common for EVERYONE in Cormyr, high or low, who wants to preserve special family names (e.g. beloved grandmother/grandfather, famous ancestor), so a Hullack woodcutter could be "Brace Arjack Hilmaeron Dunlace Shanguld." (And would be free upon adulthood to pick any of those names as what he wants to be daily called by.) Nobles and royalty in Cormyr use it for the same reason. Tanalasta has a whole bunch of names (of various great-aunts and long-dead queens) that the heralds wanted to hang on her, but her mother Filfaeril said "NO" and so she's Tanalasta Faerla Jaszra Fee Obarskyr. The "Fee" she added herself upon adulthood, to honour her mother, who was "Fee" to her friends and family, and "Queen Fee" to the servants.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 09 Nov 2023 :  12:35:04  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a place on Toril where the Shadow Weave makes itself more present and strong

Bhaal — 02/10/2023 11:53 AM

@Ed Greenwood hi... i was wondering if there is a place on toril where the shadow weave makes itself more present and strong.. is there a place or places like that?


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 12:25 PM

Yes, there are several temples to Shar, and wilderland ravines where she has often visited ("secret refuges" for Sharran clergy), where she has spent some of her divine power to make the Shadow Weave locally stronger. These places are rare, few, and she tries (and fails) to keep knowledge of them exclusive to her clergy.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2023 :  02:56:18  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On what happens when an outsider such as a Celestial or Fiend is killed on their home plane

The Entire State of NJ — 02/10/2023 12:05 PM

First I love this server and having a place to talk about Forgotten Realms as I run 99% of my games in it!

So I have a question on what happens when an outsider such as a Celestial or Fiend is killed on their home plane. Are they completely destroyed as in cannot be ever brought back, or would a spell such as a True Resurrection or Wish be able to return such a destroyed being to life? Or would a deity who intervenes be able to reform such a being? Generally interested in what happens to destroyed outsiders.


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 12:28 PM

A deity who intervenes would always be able to reform such a being unless opposed by a deity of equal or greater strength, or if the intervening deity has almost no power on the plane the outsider was destroyed upon. If killed on their home plane, True Resurrection or (a correctly worded) Wish can almost always bring them back, if not opposed by Ao or another overgod. Short of that, however, it's curtains...unless the nature of the outsider, or the nature of the plane, has an established mechanism/procedure for a return to life (usually a cycle of life of reincarnation in some form)...but this is rare.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2023 :  03:03:58  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Anali Cyl's family

Juniper Churlgo — 02/10/2023 12:35 PM

A question for Ed that i might've asked before - https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Anali_Cyl , is there any lore about this cool lady's family? Wonder if her bloodline died with her? I bet Neverwinter is NDA'd


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 12:39 PM

The Cyl family survives to this day, though not in Neverwinter (unless Anali herself is still alive in your campaign). There are family members in Athkatla, Silverymoon, and Zazesspur...and a bastard son (who knows his heritage but uses a different name) in Scornubel.
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questing gm
Master of Realmslore

Malaysia
1271 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2023 :  03:23:35  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On what advice would Elminster give a student who has obtained a level of power

Kamuai — 02/10/2023 1:06 PM

Okay so I have a 5 or 6 year long character at this point. He got from 1 to 20 in his 3 year campaign. He trained directly under Elminster for years. Became a Chosen of Mystra in our version of Faerun. Now he has acquired Titan level powers and has become a Quasi-Deity like individual. He absorbed the essence of Imix on top of his Chosen abilities and such. There's more to it but we are playing these characters in high epic settings so they can keep growing. Anyways what advice would Elminster give a student who has obtained that level of power? He already is I'm a position where he guards the balance of the world and tries to help maintain the balance and use of magic where he can as well.


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 1:41 PM

Elminster would tell the character he should discuss with Mystra a personal "special project" for him to pursue henceforth. I would suggest that he start trying to SUBTLY manipulate unions among individuals with the Gift, so both parents have the Gift, to see if this produces more offspring with the Gift (Mystra's goal: EVERYONE has the ability to wield magic, and does). Part of this will be: he has to guard pregnant mothers until birth, then babies while they still can't fend for themselves, to get these Gifted individuals to their teens. WITHOUT letting Zhents or Red Wizards or anyone else who wants to control and rear "their own" mages from getting to control these fledgling wizards.
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On the Emerald Enclave responsible for between 713,230 to 2,852,920 million deaths

illuminatirob — 02/10/2023 2:07 PM

Hello @Ed Greenwood. I hope my question finds you well this evening! #128578;

In the vein of many of my questions on Candlekeep, I delve into formal ethical analysis a lot, and the Emerald Enclave has been at the center of many rigorous debates there. Specifically regarding something from the Vilhon Reach accessory.

I've been arguing that the Emerald Enclave is responsible for between 713,230 to 2,852,920 million deaths over the course of their existence as an organization.

I would like to know if that is true, based on my reading and citation of the material in the Vilhon Reach accessory, which appears to lay out a consistently violent history. The references I use are below:

- It is widely held by the Harpers that the intention of the druids is to hold the Reach under one central authority, thereby making it easier to establish their political dominance of the area."(Vilhon Reach, p.14) - That group's violence and ruthlessness are as legendary as the plagues that swept through the Vilhon."(Vilhon Reach, p.17) - And, of course, the Emerald Enclave continued its militant activities in an effort to protect the interests of Silvanus."(Vilhon Reach, p.10) - While the church has been accused of horrific actions (such as the "cleansing" of a startup community in Chondalwood in 1362, which was actually performed by the Emerald Enclave), they are guilty of some horrific actions of their own."(Vilhon Reach, p.17) - Agents of the Emerald Enclave shapeshifted on either side of him and pushed the spellcasting mage into the heart of the volcano. Danirro's ring of feather fall was said to activate, but it only served to offer him a slow death as he floated slowly down into the magma."(Vilhon Reach, p.40)

Since the quote above did say "...as legendary as the plagues..." plural, I referenced an example of the biggest plagues to hit the Vilhon Reach and came up with:

In the Year of the Clinging Death (75 DR), a plague tore through the Vilhon Reach, killing more than 50% of the total population in as little as 10 years.

My take on this is that the Emerald Enclave has killed as many people as the plagues of the Vilhon Reach in light of the quote above citing their ruthlessness and violence being as legendary as those plagues. It seems that is an intention on part of Steven Schend to correlate the plagues and the Enclaves violence. I then came up with a roughed out notion of the losses by looking at demographics from (https://www.realmshelps.net/faerun/vilhon.shtml), and adjusting generously downward.

In 1372, the Vilhon Reach had a population of approximately 5,705,840 (humans 95%, dwarves 2%, elves 1%, lizard-folk 1%). For arguments sakes I reduced that by 75% to 1,426,420 to be underwhelming in figures. I then took 50% of that figure, which appears to be 713,230 whereas the high value shows as 2,852,920.

Does this seem correct Ed?


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 2:58 PM

It does. Although everything that we know about the Realms comes to us through unreliable narrators, your conclusion is sound. Your numbers may be off purely because we can't get reliable counting for anything, and I would judge the Enclave to equal the deathcount of one of the smallest plagues, not the largest, but...your reasoning and conclusion, yes. The factor that must always be borne in mind is that ethics are mutable, from place to place, culture to culture, and time to time. We have a tendency to judge others by our own standards, and that is itself shaky ethical ground. However, one can't argue with the deathcount.
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On what exactly are brench and crabfin

Alex McClay — 02/10/2023 3:15 PM

Hi Ed, I was reading lore about the Lost Kingdoms, and in Asram in the port city of Miirsar, it mentions that the people harvested blue-scaled brench and spicy crabfin from the waters of Lake Miir. (FR 13 - Anauroch pg 69)

From some quick googling, they don't seem to be real fish/aquatic life (as far as I'm aware of). What exactly are brench and crabfin? any more details you could provide?


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 3:40 PM

Heh. I made them both up. I see brench as a big, slow-moving bottom feeder, like catfish in their habits but not looks (they're more like a flattened grouper in looks). Most brench are brown, and taste rather like roasted mushrooms. The blue-scaled sort are rarer (uncommon rather than common), and taste richer than the brown. Large enought that just one fish can be a comfortable meal for two hungry human "hearty eaters." Crabfin are several related species of fish that all have dorsal fins that look like a row of paired upreaching crab claws (or if you prefer, a row of capital "U"s), these fins being pinkish-red, whereas the rest of the fish, below their dorsal fins, are beige-white. They have a taste rather like low-salt potato chips or certain white hard cheeses, and are one of the few fish that are as pleasant raw as they are cooked (though raw = chewy indeed, whereas cooked = soft/fall apart in your mouth).
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On adding the concept of dragonsight and the poem Elegy of the First World.

#128293;Alter_Myrddin#128293; — 02/10/2023 4:20 PM

Hello Ed. In a recent supplement published by Wizards for 5th Edition, it adds the concept of dragonsight and a new mythical event to the Material Planes involving both Tiamat and Bahamut through a poem Elegy of the First World.

Has there been any encouragement or suggestion from Wizards that these ideas be present in the Realms going forth, or have you had any ideas of your own related to the contents and its place in the Realms. Or have you not heard of any of it at all #128518;.


Ed Greenwood — 02/10/2023 4:28 PM

As things stand right now, these ideas are instantly/automatically present in the Realms. As it happens, I'm just fine with them being in the Realms. I see dragonsight as a great vehicle for dragons to use to transform themselves into new lives (the Thanes, for instance, wanting to combine and become Sardior), which in turn is GREAT for storytelling. (Dragons should be splendid and mighty creatures, not just arrogant monsters to be killed.) I have long wanted to increase the role of dragons in the Realms (I had weredragons in my Realms before D&D existed), and have always been intrigued by what Roger Zelazny did in his novel ROADMARKS.
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On "other overgods"

Gustavo Tortato — 02/10/2023 10:32 PM

Hey @Ed Greenwood, could you expand on the "other overgods" topic?

Are there true other overgods in the realms, like Maztica, the Celestial Emperor and Fate are considered as overgods? Or was you talking about overgods of other settings that use similar outer planes as Forgotten Realms?

I know 2ed Campaign setting has some information about this, but maybe you have more to share with us?


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:08 AM

I was speakling of other settings than the Realms. I can't say anything about other overgods in the Realms, as there's a specific NDA about this. (But if you think about why such a NDA exists...)
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On illegality of resurrecting kings everywhere

RPGMatch — 02/10/2023 11:32 PM

Hi @Ed Greenwood! In the ##9997;general channel there was a great conversation around this topic: it’s illegal (at least in Cormyr) for the king to be resurrected. Is it illegal everywhere? Is it true for nobles too? How about for regular folk?


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:11 AM

The illegality applies to succession. In Cormyr, it was made specifically illegal to avoid civil wars, when one faction of nobles backs one candidate for the throne, and another backs another; if you can raise the dead, the field of candidates can get really crowded, really fast. So if someone ILLEGALLY raised, say, Azoun IV, or Dhalmass or Duar in time of war, they're "out of" the line of succession and can't legally be crowned. They could, of course, seize the Dragon Throne by force.

This "illegal to bring back" doesn;t apply to commoners at all. For them, it's almost always a wealth barrier. For nobles, it's not illegal, but again, their place in the line of succession is gone. HOWEVER, many noble families who suffer the loss of a patriarch or matriarch, and quickly resurrect them with the wider public never knowing they were actually dead (and not just "deathly ill"), because a majority of the family doesn't want a fight over things or prefers the mat or pat to the likely successor, just go back to "how things were before" until the resurrected noble gets feeble and/or senile. Then they can "remember" that said individual isn't legally head of the family any more, and set them aside, and move on.
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On Ed's favorite-or perhaps especially memorable-character played at the D&D table

5eForechecker (Ruf) — 02/10/2023 7:45 PM

Ed, I always wondered if you had a favorite-or perhaps especially memorable-character you have played at the D&D table?


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:18 AM

I am usually the forever DM, and when I do play get asked to play Elminster a lot. (See "Destiny of Worlds," viewable at Six Sides of Gaming, with Keith Baker, Elisa Teague, and our host Tommy Gofton.) Which usually means he has to be nerfed. I don't have favourites, but do enjoy playing Rhavalantar, a Greyhawk Mage, in Jay Scott's/Lord Gosuma's Two-Drink-Minimum forays.
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On Kalzareinad

Lucio — 02/10/2023 8:47 PM

Hello Ed. I'll keep asking about dragons, can you tell me anything about Kalzareinad?


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:19 AM

Let me check my lore notes. This may take a few days.


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 11:29 AM

Kalzareinad is a dead demipower, who was made stronger every time a dragon unleashed reckless or destructive magic. Eventually dragons took to invoking his name when they wanted to create widespread destruction with a spell they were unleashing.

Kalzareinad grew and grew in power as draconic selfishness did (that is, as more and more dragons hurled magic heedless and uncaring of the results, or exulting in destruction and calling on Kalzareinad to achieve or maximize it. Kalzareinad took to boosting the power and area of effect of magics cast while invoking his name, which of course led to dragons calling on him more and more.

Eventually he doomed himself, by aiding mortals (Sammaster was neither the first or the only one, just the only persistent one; one of the others got swiftly destroyed by the first dracolich he created) in creating dracoliches, and by other creative new magics—which brought him into competition with the dragon goddess Kereska, and under her power (he unwittingly used “casting strings” or spell elements she’d created, and was linked to), so she subsumed his power, drank his life, then cast aside his corpse. Which was later torn apart by various adventurers seeking draconic body parts for various magical uses (and resale).

He's still dead. ;}


Lucio — 02/11/2023 8:49 PM

This is very interesting, especially the part that some magical items actually are made by Kalzareinad's dragon bones...I'd love to inquire more about those other humans and/or if those items hold a tiiiny bit of coscience of the dead god Thank you very much Ed!. But my question today is different, you mentioned several times that, tomes about magic, especially when written by wizards don't spell things out, the secrets are hidden quite well and it's the scholar's task to study them and unravel them. My question is about, what kind of non-magical or magical ways wizards use to hide the truth within the truth, can you give some examples of techniques?


Ed Greenwood — 02/12/2023 12:59 AM

So there are glyphs that when properly activated (by touch and speaking a secret word or phrase) project otherwise hidden writing into the air, to glow and hang and be read. There are cyphers and codes written in normal script, there are regular writings hidden under illusionary script gibberish, and there are "chains" of innocuous words written in a book that if followed, form pass-phrases that unlock script embedded in a page and written over top of...and so on...


Lucio — 02/12/2023 9:51 PM

Thanks for your answer as usual, love the idea of the chain of innocuous words as the key. Still about dragons, I assume that dragons, especially during the past, while fighting giants was the moment their magic and power was at its strongest and I assume that dragon worshippers of Kereska and Kalzareinad dwebbled into creating some magic items. I am running a campaign where the big bad is a group of Kalzareinad worshippers dragons seeking for some dragon-made magic items sacred to him. What magic items would a dragon create? Are magic items created by dragons different in their method compared to how an human/elf wizard usually creates them?


Ed Greenwood — 02/13/2023 2:40 AM

Dragons usually create surveillance magic items linked to them (so they can see intruders approaching distant lair back doors, hoards and other items they want protected, and the like) and floating, flying guardians they can speak and see through that can unleashed stored spells they’ve put intto asaid guardians, that can both guard their backs and guard them if they’re asleep. These can take wildly different forms depending on which dragon creates them; dragons are even more individualistic than any handfuls of eccentric humans. So are the methods by which they craft these enchanted items, but there are some generalizations: dragons need raw materials to work on, but draconic spells are almost all verbal-component-only; and most dragons, for most items, create a vehicle, and then (separate process, maybe years later) imbue it with magic. So they could have a stable of flying guardians that have no powers—but a dragon attacked in its lair could still activate them to fly and ram intruders, or “buzz” intruders, or spoil aims/draw fire.


Lucio — 02/13/2023 5:43 AM

Thanks again From what you said it seems Dragons are quite expert in golem/ construct making. How such guardians would react if adventures explore the lair of an already dead dragon? Generally speaking obviously.


Ed Greenwood — 02/13/2023 10:15 AM

It depends entirely on what commands the dragon built into them. They could be immobile statues, or mindless "attack all intruders" or be fooled by an intruder using blood or scales from the dead dragon, or have specific "kill all orcs and all humans, but let elves in" or just be 'programmed' to attack only dragons, or only beings who touch a specific room or pile of the hoard. (In other words, it's up to the DM.)
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On the mightiest Cormyr's mage royals of the Dahast line

Cdawg — 02/10/2023 10:07 PM

Hi Ed. For Cormyr's mage royals of the Dahast line, which one was the mightiest?


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:24 AM

Oh, that's an "it depends" question. On sheer magical power? (Debatable.) On social achievements, steering the Realm through many challenges and difficult times? (Vangerdahast) On guiding the Realm without people realizing how much they're being steered? (Baerauble) On steering the monarch of Cormyr without said ruler realizing how much they're being steered? (Amedahast) See what I mean?
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On common traditional spices in Turmush

Juniper Churlgo — 02/10/2023 11:56 PM

my one question for Ed today. What are common traditional spices in Turmush? and what are imported en masse and a re commonly used thanks to trade? Any if any non-real world? I am thinking a mix of what is found in turkey or ethiopia? My head canon is putting berbere into every turmishian dish, sweet and savory. Happy friday btw.


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:31 AM

You're thinking along the right lines. Add Moroccan spices, myrrh and the like, and you're there. Sweet and savory, yes! So: cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, ground ginger, garlic salt, and saffron, but LIGHT on the pepper and the anise.
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On Liset Cheldar and the Moonstone Mask

JacobJ — 02/11/2023 3:17 AM

@Ed Greenwood Is Liset Cheldar still in charge of the Moonstone Mask, and are all customer facing employees still women? The Storm Over Neverwinter 4E adventure mentioned some male employees, but I think I saw you mention something contrary on Twitter once.


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 3:35 AM

Changes have come to the Moonstone Mask. There are now a handful of male customer facing employees (what a euphemism THAT is, in this context ;} ), and Liset is now in the backrooms, planning (a lot of the Mask's profits are going into buying and renoing Neverwinter real estate, these days) while a new host presides and greets: Mraelra Shantree, a half-elf of spectacular beauty and warm, charming manner. Who can blast you with spellfire if you get overly fresh. ;}
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On the Deep Imaskari people

Abby - littol creture — 02/11/2023 6:37 AM

Okay, first questions from me, @Ed Greenwood Is there any additional information you can share on the Deep Imaskari people? As a fan of all things underdark, coming across them in the few books where they appear is fascinating. What, if any, information might their city have gained in the time they were sealed away? Thank you!


Ed Greenwood — 02/11/2023 9:42 AM

And that meaty smacking sound you hear is me running full titlt into a WALL of strong NDAs and reeling back from it, stunned. Yep, they're still there. Let me check. I know Eric Boyd and George Krashos have done some work on the Imaskari and if I recall correctly posted a product on the DM's Guild...
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