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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 09 Jan 2014 :  15:25:55  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Awesome stuff, Krash!

I'm positively bewildered by just where and when I'll make use of this great material in my Realms.

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Derulbaskul
Senior Scribe

Singapore
405 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  07:25:35  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, George and AJA. You're a pair of top blokes. (As an Australian I can get away with saying that.)

I've just been preparing some things for a new campaign in the North and Khanor's Prayer Stones provides some really great flavour. (Edit) And Baghtru's fist is going to be used first....

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Awesome stuff, Krash!

I'm positively bewildered by just where and when I'll make use of this great material in my Realms.



I came to this thread for George's talent... and came away laughing at Sage's humour. As if you will ever get around to using this material.... :)


Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.

Edited by - Derulbaskul on 10 Jan 2014 07:27:48
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mikemax
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 10 Jan 2014 :  21:10:15  Show Profile Send mikemax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK, I've been reading posts on here and looking at all of the supplements that I own but can't seem to find very many details on how the Warswords are organized and even less on how the Warwands.
George (or anyone else who knows) can you expand any on the inner workings of these groups?
Thanks much.

Edited by - mikemax on 13 Jan 2014 16:21:11
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2014 :  16:51:59  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the following information but dont know where its from, probably from one of George's posts, since i noted its from Candlekeep.

quote:
Warsword barracks .... can call on up to 5 'warpoints' of the Warswords (a 'warpoint' is a force of 100 warblades, 5 warswords, and an alorn leader. Five warpoints make a 'warspear', which is led by a Highsword.


Of course that doesnt mean a warsword contains only 5 warpoints just that a warsword barracks can spare 5 warpoints to be called upon by a settlement. I would imagine that a Warsword unit is mutable depending upon the situation. So in more dangerous areas or times the warsword will contain more warpoints.

Also note that the term warsword seems to be applied to units and individuals which might be confusing i.e. a warrior could be of warsword rank in the Warsword organisation.

And of course this is only 3rd edition lore so no idea what it is like now.

I did note that more information may be in Power of Faerun so it might be worth looking there.

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mikemax
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2014 :  18:43:46  Show Profile Send mikemax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Dazler. I'd seen both of those bits before and was hoping I'd merely missed something else in another post or source. The stuff in PF seems to just be a list of ranks within the Warsword and how they translate to modern day military ranks.
I guess I'm really looking for more about the makeup of the Warwands and the hierarchy between them and the Warswords. How many warwands would be attached to a warpoint or a warspear? How do they determine who is in charge of a given situation when confronted with officers holding the same rank but differing branches? That sort of thing.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2014 :  04:54:51  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikemax

OK, I've been reading posts on here and looking at all of the supplements that I own but can't seem to find very many details on how the Warswords are organized and even less on how the Warwands.



Okay, a bit of history first. Because, you know, history is my thing.

The Warswords of Impiltur as a standing army was proclaimed and established by King Imphras I "the Great" in the year of his accession to the throne in the Year of the Gleaming Crown (1097 DR). At first it was a titular army, consisting of only traditional Heltharn retainers and those warriors and nobles who had sworn fealty to Imphras after the defeat of the hobgoblins.

In 1100 DR, Imphras set about organising the Warswords into a semblance of the army that exists in the present-day (and by present-day, all of my writings on Impiltur can be considered to be about the situation c. 1372 DR unless otherwise indicated). He created the ranks set out in "Power of Faerun" (p.29) and set about filling the ranks as he worked slowly and carefully to reduce the powers of the nobles of Impiltur by co-opting their armed hosts that had formed out of the tumult of the Kingless Years.

At this time, there were no Warwands. The Mage Royal Velgarbrin took on handful of apprentices but they were too few to form anything that could be considered to be the equivalent of the War Wizards of Cormyr.

Where the Warswords did have an advantage over most armies was Imphras' request to the clergy of the Triad to incorporate priests into the Warswords. In return he promised them that the Triad would henceforth be the state religion of Impiltur, an oath that the Heltharn line has honoured to the present time. These priests held no rank in the Warswords, were universally known simply as Warmaces, and were allocated as thought necessary by any ranking officer of Shieldlord level or higher to units of the Warswords.

Imphras' foresight in this regard was of huge benefit to the Warswords of Impiltur when they rode to war in 1110 DR against Thay to protect Telflamm (for the Balindres had sworn fealty to Impiltur on Imphras' accession, making that city once more a part of the realm) and to honour the Blackblade Treaty signed with Thesk in 1098 DR, when they were the first realm in the Unapproachable East to formally recognise Heltharn rule and the reunification of Impiltur. In addition, Imphras's actions had a personal motive as well, for he had familial ties with the Mindosels of Milvarune, for his wife Sambral was of the Mindosel line (although several generations distantly related to the reigning oligarch Jholnareer and through the line of Aulina, his sister who died in 981 DR). Sambral's sister Mhilra was also a sorceress like Sambral, and would become tutor to Ilmara for a brief two seasons after Sambral died before Ilmara left the realm for a short but eventful adventuring career. Mhilra would in time become the first head of the Warwands.

Imphras' blooding of the Warswords occurred in the campaign against Thay culminating in the Battle of Phent where the priestly magic of the Warmaces managed to withstand and prevail over the wizardry of the Red Wizards. That battle pressed home to Imphras the importance of wizardry on the 'modern' battlefield however, and on his return to Impiltur, he tasked the Mage Royal Velgarbrin with the recruitiment and training of mages to complement the blades of the Warswords.

Imbrar was on the throne of Impiltur a scant five years before he lead his ill-fated foray into the Giantspire Mountains to eradicate the menace of the hobgoblins "once and for all". With him he took his Royal Guard bearing Soargar's Legacy and almost half of the Warsword of Impiltur, numbering about 3,000 men in total. With him also went a group of about sixteen wizards, all of them apprentices of Velgarbrin. They were lead by, Arabrin, a nephew of the Mage Royal, come to serve Impiltur from Baldur's Gate. They along with their companions never returned from this tragic expedition and the disaster caused great consternation throughout the kingdom as the populace awaited another invasion from the hobgoblin hordes.

That invasion did not come to pass, for Imbrar's assault had damaged the hobgoblins considerably, causing the death of their senior war leaders and more importantly, almost all of their shamans. Weakened already by the defeat of the horde of 1095 DR, this attack caused significant disruption in the hobgoblin ranks, bringing about significant infighting as new chieftains rose to prominence "the hard way" and shamanic power only reintroduced slowly as acolytes were trained and grew in power. It is estimated that it took the hobgoblins the better part of 30 winters to recover from Imbrar's attack and in that time Queen Ilmara had returned Impiltur to a position of military strength.

Ilmara's first initiative was the official establishment of the Warwands in 1130 DR. Appointing her aunt Mhilra as head of the Warwands (she was soon known to the rank and file as "Old Greystave", but never to her face), Impiltur saw an influx of young, ambitious mages from around the lands of the Inner Sea, seeking adventure, training and opportunity.

Since the time of Ilmara the might of the Warswords and Warwands has waxed and waned reaching a nadir in the time of Lashilmbrar, but a position of pre-eminence under the aegis of the Lords of Imphras II and the regency of Sambryl. It is by far the most formidable, standing, regular army in the Unapproachable East.

Okay, end of the boring stuff. Given your patience, here's the stuff that you are actually interested in!

Each of the Lords of Imphras II has the rank of War Captain, while the reigning monarch has the titular rank of High Captain.

The Warsword of Impiltur has a paper strength of 18,000 warriors plus officers, supplemented by the Warwand (whose number is more fluid but usually hovers around 250 mages of levels between 5 and 10). The Warsword is broken up into three main groupings centred around Ilmwatch, Tower Ithfell and Tower Torfell on the outskirts of Filur. These centres are administrative in that the actual rank and file of the Warsword is stationed at a host of locations involving barracks (near every major town and city), hillforts (throughout the Uplands) and in a few key, strategic places (for example: near the Citadel of Conjurers and at the Narrows where the Herald's Road crosses the Great Imphras River on the road to Ilmwatch) throughout the kingdom. The three groupings are labelled the Blacksword (Ilmwatch), the Greysword (Tower Ithfell) and the Whitesword (Tower Torfell) respectively and warriors from each grouping wear a surcoat or arm ribbon in that particular colour (black, grey, white). Each Sword has about 6,000 warswords on paper but active strength is usually about 2/3 to 3/4 of this due to absences, illness etc.

The Blacksword is lead by Wargauntlet Perindrar Drelnorth. He in turn commands three Shields commanded by Vigilars, Milindrauth "the Boldblade" Herrill, Lanbrar Wintersun and Relraun Starsunder, respectively. Each shield consists of two warspears led by a Highsword.

The Greyword is lead by Wargauntlet Helfen Dintersan. He in turn commands three Shields commanded by Vigilars, Orban Mountstad, Indra "Twoblades" Mellethin and Forgar Caranthoon, respectively.

The Whitesword is lead by Wargauntlet Menedrar Forgecrown. He in turn commands three Shields commanded by Vigilars, Crelaun Evenoak, Drammor Brandosk and Tarthaun Wellhaven, respectively.

The head of the Warwand is ostensibly the Mage Royal Selarbrin, but in military matters he defers to the Highstave of the Warwand.

The current Highstave of the Warwand is Darathaun Steelorm. He is equivalent in rank to the Wargauntlets but cannot give orders to a unit of the Warsword led by a Highsword or higher. In days past, there was considerable friction between the Warsword and the Warwand regarding who outranked who and who could command what. The Lords of Imphras II have put paid to much of this, making it known that in matters military, the Warsword outranks the Warwand in the context of decisions made on the battlefield. As such, the Warwand acts in close concert with the Warsword and command over the Warwand is in practical terms delegated to the commanding Warsword officer if he is of Highsword rank or higher. The structure of the Warwand is such that every member is a Warstave with three Shieldstaves available to command ad-hoc groupings of the Warwand as deemed necessary. What this means in practical terms is that the Shieldstave is responsible for tactical, battlefield decisions (i.e. I want three fireballs at that hobgoblin battle standard, now!) and orders to the Warstaves as communicated from the Warsword commanding in any engagement.

A Shieldstave is considered to be the equivalent in rank to a Vigilar. Just who or how many Warwand members will be attached to any particular Sword of the Warsword depends on particular circumstances and there are no permanent arrangements in place in that regard (i.e. there is no set number of Warwand mages stationed with the Blacksword). This is so because in peace time, the Warwand has more mundane duties dealing with the magical needs of the kingdom varying from weather manipulation, security, spying and other such matters of state. As such, they are by necessity scattered in pockets throughout the kingdom undertaking tasks at the direction of the Mage Royal.

In addition to the Warsword and Warwand of Impitur, there are two further organisations that have significance in Impiltur in military terms.The most important of these is the organisation known as the Knights of Imphras II. Details on this group can be found in "Champions of Valor" (p.88-92). The Knights of Imphras II are the de-facto Royal Guard of the kingdom, which was never officially replaced after its demise following King Imbrar's ruinous assault on the hobgoblins.

The Knights of Imphras II number some 3,000 rank and file, with varying equivalent 'ranks' in the Warsword down from Highsword but never a lowly Warblade. Currently, Lords Delimbrar, Simgar and Haelimbrar are the ruling Triumvirate of the Order and govern its affairs.

The Shrikelords are all considered to be the equivalent of Vigilars. In time of war, the Shrikelords elect one of their number to the position of Blessed Shield, which is the equivalent of a Shieldlord in the Warsword. He is the battlefield commander of the order in situations where one of the Triumvirate is unable to lead the Knights personally.

There is considerable friction between the Warsword and the Knights of Imphras II. As the quasi-Royal Guard of the realm, the Knights are responsible for much of the security pertaining to the Council of Lords, the Queen-Regent and young King Imbrar. In this regard they often clash with Warsword commanders in areas outside the major cities/settlements over who is to guard what. This friction has yet to endure the test of battle, but in the absence of strong command and control, may be a weakness that can be exploited by an enemy.

Finally, the Crown, through the Council of Lords, keeps a stable of auxiliaries known as Swordpoints throughout the kingdom (see the short story "Answered Prayers" by Elaine Cunningham in the Best of the Realms Book III anthology - p.333). Usually recruited for a specific purpose (i.e. a search and destroy mission into the Giantspires or a pirate hunting expedition off the Easting Coast), Swordpoints are commanded by Blueswords, who in equivalent terms are Alorns in the Warsword. However, whereas no officer of a Swordpoint unit can command any Warsword member (even a lowly Warblade), any Warsword Officer of Alorn level or higher can command any Swordpoint or Swordpoint unit. To alleviate the almost ubiquitous conflict that ensues, it is commonplace for the Council of Lords to second a Warsword officer or a Knight of Imphras II to command such units. Swordpoint units are usually given fanciful names such as 'Toreld's Terrors' or 'Marrill's Marauders' and rarely exist longer than a season. It is known that in time of war, the Crown has laws in place to co-opt all fighting men, mercenaries and adventurers into Swordpoint units by decree. Anyone refusing such service is henceforth banished from Impiltur forever.

Well, I hope this has been helpful. If you need anything else, let me know.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 30 Sep 2014 13:24:22
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2014 :  13:02:31  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent as always, i look forward to adding this to my Impiltur document and fleshing out the history which is always the best bit

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11217 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2014 :  14:59:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
good catch on the Elaine entries. I definitely wouldn't have caught that, and I especially like the idea that the crown can basically draft all available mercenaries and adventurers in the country during time of war.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2014 :  16:00:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glad you liked it. I picked up the Elaine Cunningham short story reference because she got in touch with me back in the day to ask how Impiltur would react to a drow walking around among the general population. I helped her tweak some of her prose before the anthology came out. Those were the good old days when there were a few projects on the go and writers/designers would ask for research help and proof reading. I've always got a kick out of someone mentioning that they really liked this or that element of the Realms when that one was 'mine'. Every time I play "Lords of Waterdeep" on my phone, I smile when I play the Artor Morlin quest considering I'm the one who gave him a name many, many years ago.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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mikemax
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2014 :  14:41:39  Show Profile Send mikemax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info George. That was exactly what I was hoping for. I'm sure that I will have some more specific questions once I've fully digested all the details.
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Lukas Kain
Seeker

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2014 :  02:49:00  Show Profile Send Lukas Kain a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had skipped over your material on the military of Impiltur, and now having read through it I am amazed at just how thoroughly it answers so very many of my questions. Terrific stuff, truly.
I was curious if you had information pertaining to Ancient Narfell, more specifically any remaining structures or uh...Interesting goodies left behind in Impiltur. Obviously I know of Dun-Orthass (Citadel of Conjurer's), the Barrowlands, and the rest of the published stuff, I just wondered if there was anything else you had.
Also, though less important, I was wondering how the command structure of Ancient Narfell went. Nentyarch was on top of course, and I remember reading about a Jesthren Darakh who was an ayarch, but what were some of the others?

Thanks in advance, George
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JPDeed
Acolyte

Australia
15 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2014 :  01:56:17  Show Profile Send JPDeed a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi GK,

I am looking for a way to culturally implement the production/use of metamagic rods. Would you see these items as "ancient secrets from past empires" or a relatively modern invention? Would you consider them to be a specialised branch of magic item invention by particular cultures or would their production be generalised and widespread?

Cheers, JpDeed.
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Jakuta Khan
Senior Scribe

496 Posts

Posted - 23 Feb 2014 :  18:52:22  Show Profile Send Jakuta Khan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi George!

I wanted to thank youagain for the detailed answers on my previous qestions.

Now, As you have said, the clash between "your" hobgoblins in Impilur and surrounding lands has mainly been caused by the great glacier and the therefore changed circumstances in their ancestral tribal hunting grounds.

Now, I have repeatedly red that the whole mountain range of the Galena mountains is crowded with "hundreds of thousands of goblinoids". I do not know how much you are involved there, but is this also been caused by the presence of the glacier, and have some of the Hobgoblins moved there?
And if you could share some knowledge about what specific races of "goblinoids" are ment there ( i.e. I know in many, esecially older, sourcebooks, orcs etc. are also considered goblinoids ) I would highly appreciate it.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2014 :  10:33:00  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JPDeed

Hi GK,

I am looking for a way to culturally implement the production/use of metamagic rods. Would you see these items as "ancient secrets from past empires" or a relatively modern invention? Would you consider them to be a specialised branch of magic item invention by particular cultures or would their production be generalised and widespread?

Cheers, JpDeed.



Right off the bat, I have to tell you that mass-produced magic is one of my pet hates, so I'm not a fan of any magic item being produced such that it could be described as generalised and widespread.

Metamagic is a wide and varied field as you know. I don't think that any realm or society would create metamagic rods across the broad range of that sub-strata of magic. So in answer to your question, I'd adopt both historical and modern means of accessing such items. For example, rods that provide the quicken spell bonus might be the preserve of the Cabal of the Crimson Cloak, active in the Vilhon Reach in the 800s DR until their power and many-spired fortress near Arrabar was laid waste by an attack from below by drow and their spell-charmed servitors. Their rods used charges but the secret of their making is lost to modern day mages. The archmage Drugath of Hlondeth has recently rediscovered a partial process to create these rods, but his are a less flexible version, operating only twice a day.

I like the idea that if a PC wizard wants such a rod he has to travel to the Vilhon and uncover its secrets (or pay Drugath a fortune to teach them how to do it - if they can bribe/convince him to do so). That's one rod. The others are similarly varied and diverse. If you wanted a particular rod to be more accessible that shouldn't mean that it is then easy to make. Everyone knows that the drunkard wizard Bruth "the Lost" Hornwind in Scornubel will tell you the key reagents and components to make a rod of silent spell, but knowing that you need an echo shroom doesn't help much when you learn that no one has seen one in decades and they are thought to be found somewhere in the High Forest, at a location known as Tapann's Leap - which no one knows how to locate.

No magic item should be easy to make. I take Ed's approach set out in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" re how difficult it is to create magic items as my bible in this regard. So sorry if this hasn't helped you or answered your question, but I'm answering you from my perspective on what makes a 'good' and 'balanced' game. YMMV.

If you want the easy option, choose one of the Red Wizard enclaves and make such items their specialty. Again, they shouldn't be easy to procure, but at least your PCs will have a ready source. As always though, the Red Wizards will get their pound of flesh.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1442 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2014 :  01:55:03  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi George,

I was curious as to what your take on how shield dwarf politics would affect a hold with several clans in it. Do you see clan feuds leading to private wars or knife-work in tunnels? Clans manipulating to get members of theirs married into the royal family etc? Most of the dwarven life I've seen have been the Battlehammers from the various Salvatore novels and they seem to have a pretty unified front where there doesn't seem to be much strife. I definitely like that regarding dwarves, it's always been one of their draws for me.

But if a person wanted to introduce some villains into a dwarf hold, how would you approach that? Having some priests of Abbathor selling weapons to the Zhentarim is one thing, but dwarves attempting to kill say the heirs of the king is where the believability starts breaking down for me. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. :)
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2014 :  04:52:13  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jakuta Khan


Now, I have repeatedly read that the whole mountain range of the Galena mountains is crowded with "hundreds of thousands of goblinoids". I do not know how much you are involved there, but is this also been caused by the presence of the glacier, and have some of the Hobgoblins moved there?

And if you could share some knowledge about what specific races of "goblinoids" are meant there (i.e. I know in many, especially older, sourcebooks, orcs etc. are also considered goblinoids ) I would highly appreciate it.



Well, if we go back to first principles, the "Cyclopedia of the Realms" at p.46 notes that the "goblin races" includes all creatures such as kobolds, goblins, orcs and hobgoblins. Some sages extend the definition to ogres, bugbears, trolls and half-orcs.

I've always gone with the view that all references, in general terms, to 'goblins' means the gamut of humanoids in the Realms, as set out above. The Bloodstone Lands are no different to other regions in this regard.

FR9 represents our best canon source on the area and at p.33 the Galenas provide that "hundreds and thousands of goblinoids and giants, and countless other monsters" quote you allude to. In my opinion, the number given is hyperbole, a bit like the reference to 80,000 drow living in the Forest of Mir in the old FR3 sourcebook. If there were more than 20,000 humanoids in the Galenas, I'd be very surprised. In my Realms, the Galenas are dominated by the hobgoblins and goblins. There are orcs there, but not in numbers to ever generate a horde. The orcs tend to congregate in the region north of Bloodstone Pass. The dwarves of Hillsafar Hall basically lie in between the orcs and the hobgoblins/goblins who are concentrated in, around and north of the Glacier of the White Worm, closer to the Earthspurs. These mountains were originally dominated by the orcs, but with the fall of Vastar and the destruction of orc numbers in the fall of Roldilar, the hobgoblins took the opportunity to move in and now dominate the Earthspurs and southern Galenas. Orcish strength was effectively sliced in half, with their main areas of strength becoming the Earthfast Mountains and the Galenas north of the Pass.

The relegation of the goblin races to wild and unnattractive geography such as mountains, moors and swamps is simply explained by the ability of humans, dwarves and elves to unify in common purpose for defence and offence and displace them from prime land fit for agriculture and habitation. With the retreat of the Great Glacier, the Bloodstone Lands saw a huge influx of humans from the lands of the Vilhon, looking to make their fortunes. They established trade ties with existing dwarven and gnomish clans and also more direct access to Sossal, and as such, the goblinoids were actively targeted and eradicated when they too sought to profit from the wealth passing them by on a daily basis.

It is known that wealthy trade concerns brought in at least three large mercenary groups from the Vilhon to hunt down goblinoids in the Galenas and the Giantspire Mountains in the twenty winters after 1045 DR or so, as well as bringing the horse tribes of Narfell to heel also - greatly reducing their raiding efforts. Many of those mercenaries stayed on, becoming settlers in these new frontier lands and providing a foundation for the successful establishment of Damara and Vaasa as realms in their own right.

Hope this helps.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2014 :  14:25:45  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lukas Kain

Also, though less important, I was wondering how the command structure of Ancient Narfell went. Nentyarch was on top of course, and I remember reading about a Jesthren Darakh who was an ayarch, but what were some of the others?



As you note the Nentyarch was the ruler of Narfell. The ruling strata beneath him involved a group of advisers, 5 in number, who were all given the title Ayarch. Often, the ruling Nentyarch's heir would be one of these individuals. Each Ayarch was in turn served by 3 Renyarchs. These individuals were akin to regional governors and located in various cities/settlements of note in the Narfelli Empire.

History has passed down a few names for us - see the sidebar in GHotR (p.55) - but on the whole little is known of these individuals. Rheligaun, the last Nentyarch of Narfell had two sons, neither of whom were Ayarchs, and both died during the last days of the Great Conflagration.

Your post states that Jesthren (yes, it is JeSthren not Jethren as written in GHotR) was of the Darakh family and an Ayarch. That's not actually the case. He was from the Aragnor family, known throughout the realm for its mastery of sorcery. The demon binders of Aragnor were pre-eminent in Narfell and numbered the most 'innardrith' (literally masters of demons) of all the leading families. Each innardrith was entitled to form his or her own summoning cabal (known as a dromon) and the Aragnors fielded over a dozen dromon in the final war against Raumathar. History mentions two items of power associated with the Aragnor. One is known only by name - the Malathor of Nilkar (thought to be a spell book) and the other by a modern descriptor: the Corona of Doom. This latter item is noted in an ancient tome known as the Codex Infernalia written by the elven sage Irhaal Echorn in the earliest days of Myth Drannor. It is described as a crown of 'pure darkness' that shrouds the worker's face with a veil of shadow, provides benefits in relation to spells dealing with darkness and, according to Irhaal, has the power to release a beam of 'black oblivion' that acts like a sphere of annihilation against any matter it touches.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2014 :  12:34:37  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Hi George,

I was curious as to what your take on how shield dwarf politics would affect a hold with several clans in it. Do you see clan feuds leading to private wars or knife-work in tunnels? Clans manipulating to get members of theirs married into the royal family etc? Most of the dwarven life I've seen have been the Battlehammers from the various Salvatore novels and they seem to have a pretty unified front where there doesn't seem to be much strife. I definitely like that regarding dwarves, it's always been one of their draws for me.

But if a person wanted to introduce some villains into a dwarf hold, how would you approach that? Having some priests of Abbathor selling weapons to the Zhentarim is one thing, but dwarves attempting to kill say the heirs of the king is where the believability starts breaking down for me. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. :)



I agree that the depiction of dwarves in Realms fiction to date has been overwhelmingly "white bread" in terms of how their communities/society function. That said I think that FR11 provides an insight into how dwarves can go 'bad' without being evil. The gold dwarves and their arrogance and pride are likely the prime example in this regard, and I can see how pride would lead to some more neutral-leaning dwarves to assert their superiority over fellow dwarves. No doubt this would have a cultural orientation to it. In other words, you would try and challenge the performance of rival dwarves in terms of the staples of dwarven life: industry and battle.

This is the interesting part: you don't have to be evil to go before Clan Elder Dhurri Worldthrone to tell him how Helmaer Deepaxe hung back in the attack on the Ten Tusk orc tribe or how Gornim Stoneshield spent the last ten day playing dice rather than at the forge. Dwarven sense of duty can be twisted to bad and negative ends just like in any society.

Personal rivalries would no doubt be amplified along familial and clan lines. From the dwarves of Clan Arnskull who take offence when not given the place of honour in the line of battle (for dwarves that is the centre of the line) when fighting against the Bloody Eye orc tribe and so refuse to participate as their 'honour' has been impugned, to the dwarves of the Darkfell clan who will not trade or work with dwarves of Clan Trueforger because they refused the clan heir's offer of marriage, etc. etc.

So in simple terms, my dwarven villains would be Lawful Proud, arrogant and insufferable. They would use honour, status and tradition to shield their own ambitions and explain away their actions - which on the alignment spectrum would be labelled as Lawful Neutral at best and Lawful Neutral (Evil) at worst.

The thing I've always liked about the Realms is that Ed has always built in and encouraged nuance. Shades of gray and complexity of interactions is a watchword of FR. Game designers and novelists take note.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 16 Mar 2014 12:36:17
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2014 :  20:30:30  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent lore as always. My players are just approaching a dwarven area and I'm going to use these ideas in play very soon.

Loving the narfelli lore as well, I wonder if any of those families survived into modern day Narfell. I would assume most would be killed by the surviving Nar for screwing up so badly and being thoroughly evil but a few must have survived somewhere.

As a random thought do you reckon the ancient Nar demonbinders might have influenced the creation of the Durthan sect in a similar way to how the Hathrans came to exist (and thus continuing the war between raumathari and narfelli that began millennia ago), although none of the people involved today would belong to either ancient people, maybe their ideals and magical ideologies are still battling each other.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 21 Mar 2014 :  03:35:12  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lukas Kain


I was curious if you had information pertaining to ancient Narfell, more specifically any remaining structures or uh ... interesting goodies left behind in Impiltur. Obviously I know of Dun-Orthass (Citadel of Conjurers), the Barrowlands, and the rest of the published stuff, I just wondered if there was anything else you had.



Goodies left behind in Impiltur? Well, unfortunately there were way too many. Places, items, spell effects ... you name it.

Here are a few of the more interesting ones. A place, an item and a spell effect.

Aragath's Hive: Discovered only relatively recently in 1346 DR, Aragath's Hive is located in the sea cliffs that run either side of Dilpur, about two days leisurely riding, near a fishing village named Redshore. A sea cave entrance, accessible at only low tide, leads one to a cavern network of narrow tunnels, the majority of them existing on a vertical rather than horizontal axis. Deeper within the cavern network, inquisitive fisherfolk found a series of worked stone caverns, clearly a living space, but now damp and deserted.

They reported their innocuous find to the authorities who dismissed it as an abandoned smuggler refuge. Of course, brave adventurers in the form of the Company of the Scarlet Sashes soon heard of the place and came to explore. Encouraged by their leader, the warrior Aragath Glimshield, their diligent and painstaking search discovered a series of secret doors which led to the inner sanctum of the worked stone complex. What occurred next comes from the mouth of the party's mage Imbrithil, the sole survivor of the company. A tomb was found - empty as they discovered - and below that a large wooden and metal chest, flickering with a golden radiance. Cautious but undeterred, they sought to open it and succeeded with magic, discovering a chest full of ancient gold pieces (coins of Narfell - a thumb-sized horn shape of reddish gold with a hole at the base, with the symbol of the realm on one side and the name of the issuing Nentyarch on the other) and magic items of various types. As they went about emptying the chest, the party became aware of a droning noise, becoming louder and louder. Scouting outside the inner area, they found that chasme were seemingly crawling out of the stone walls and ceiling throughout the tomb complex. One by one the company were hunted down and slain until Imbrithil used a desperate teleport to fling himself away from the complex.

What came next was was terror indeed. No less than two dozen chasme found their way out of the cavern network and fell upon Redshore and the surrounding area. It took the better part of three rides for authorities to clear out the infestation and hunt down all the chasme they could find. After that there were periodic outbreaks of demonic attacks as stashed carrion humans that had been used as incubation hosts by the chasme spouted forth their deadly cargo. The entrance to Aragath's Hive is now warded from entry although it is thought that there must be other areas of access and egress. It's treasure remains for the brave and foolhardy to obtain. It also serves as a warning however that the legacy of Narfell is an unwanted, constant deadly gift to Impiltur.

First heard of in the reign of Erynd the Penitent and given many names over the years including the Cursed Sallet, Harasyll's Doom and the Helm of Fangs, this nondescript steel helmet acts as a ring of protection +3 and a ring of spell-turning, but is actually non-magical. It is possessed as per Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, p.25-26 by a demon of unknown type that names itself Relashar and purports to be the spirit of the famed paladin of the same name who died in the Triad Crusade. Relashar is a very intelligent demon, seeking to corrupt its wearers not through overt evil deeds but by encouraging pride and arrogance such that the wearer will most commonly take on an evil foe that overmatches it, leading to the death of the wearer and a blow to the forces of good. Some tales say that Relashar played a major role in the fate of King Imbrar of Impiltur, being worn by one of his most trusted knights and advisers. Relashar has the power to teleport the helm away from a wearer (usually occurring when attempts are made to vanquish Relashar from his home after his nature has been discovered) and to also change the helm's appearance (but not form - the Cursed Sallet is always a helm of some type).

It is known that the Crown of Impiltur has a standing reward of 20,000 gp for anyone who can obtain the Cursed Sallet and deliver it to a Lord of Imphras II.

Finally, I reveal to you the Pall of Barthorn, named for the sage who first studied it and attempted to reveal its secrets. Also known as the Veil of Despair and Rheligaun's Breath, this gray misty cloud has a 20 foot radius and is 20 feet high when it materialises. Its creator and purpose is unknown but it appears to be drawn to areas or circumstances where there is a prevalence of magic with the healing or light descriptor. Within its area all such spells and effects operate with minimum possible effect where such effects are variable (i.e. a cure critical wounds spell cast within the Pall of Barthorn will heal someone for 4 points of damage plus 1 point per caster level) and if they have no variables attached to them, then all spell durations are halved. In addition, any individual casting a spell with the healing or light descriptor within the Pall of Barthorn is affected as per the Bane spell (PHB, p.203) with no saving throw. Any further attempt to cast a spell with the healing or light descriptor within the Pall of Barthorn causes that individual to be affected by a Fear spell (PHB, p.229) (they do get a saving throw vs. this effect).

The Pall of Barthorn appears only in the region of the Easting Coast and the churches of the Triad have long sought a means to destroy it without success. The only spell that appears to effect it is Miracle which simply causes it to dissipate only to reform at some later time and place. Wind and air effects do nothing to the Pall of Barthorn. Sages speculate that the Pall might be a type of living spell or a sentient, moving quasi-ward or mythal but none truly known much about it other than its documented effects. It is known that over the years it has been located most commonly near a wooded copse outside the town of Drubmill, north of Lyrabar, long a hub for mining trade and many forges and smiths. Just why that is the case has never yet been adequately explained.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 06 Oct 2015 13:17:58
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11217 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2014 :  09:21:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by JPDeed

Hi GK,

I am looking for a way to culturally implement the production/use of metamagic rods. Would you see these items as "ancient secrets from past empires" or a relatively modern invention? Would you consider them to be a specialised branch of magic item invention by particular cultures or would their production be generalised and widespread?

Cheers, JpDeed.



Right off the bat, I have to tell you that mass-produced magic is one of my pet hates, so I'm not a fan of any magic item being produced such that it could be described as generalised and widespread.

Metamagic is a wide and varied field as you know. I don't think that any realm or society would create metamagic rods across the broad range of that sub-strata of magic. So in answer to your question, I'd adopt both historical and modern means of accessing such items. For example, rods that provide the quicken spell bonus might be the preserve of the Cabal of the Crimson Cloak, active in the Vilhon Reach in the 800s DR until their power and many-spired fortress near Arrabar was laid waste by an attack from below by drow and their spell-charmed servitors. Their rods used charges but the secret of their making is lost to modern day mages. The archmage Drugath of Hlondeth has recently rediscovered a partial process to create these rods, but his are a less flexible version, operating only twice a day.

I like the idea that if a PC wizard wants such a rod he has to travel to the Vilhon and uncover its secrets (or pay Drugath a fortune to teach them how to do it - if they can bribe/convince him to do so). That's one rod. The others are similarly varied and diverse. If you wanted a particular rod to be more accessible that shouldn't mean that it is then easy to make. Everyone knows that the drunkard wizard Bruth "the Lost" Hornwind in Scornubel will tell you the key reagents and components to make a rod of silent spell, but knowing that you need an echo shroom doesn't help much when you learn that no one has seen one in decades and they are thought to be found somewhere in the High Forest, at a location known as Tapann's Leap - which no one knows how to locate.

No magic item should be easy to make. I take Ed's approach set out in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" re how difficult it is to create magic items as my bible in this regard. So sorry if this hasn't helped you or answered your question, but I'm answering you from my perspective on what makes a 'good' and 'balanced' game. YMMV.

If you want the easy option, choose one of the Red Wizard enclaves and make such items their specialty. Again, they shouldn't be easy to procure, but at least your PCs will have a ready source. As always though, the Red Wizards will get their pound of flesh.

-- George Krashos




Just a thought, if I had to pick a culture (existing or dead) or lone individual to have developed a metamagic rod of persistent spells (given that the best such documented rod only does 4 levels of free boost, and this item having to do 6 would make it probably near unique except for maybe lesser versions), I think I'd make it the Raumathari, as this seems to fit my idea of a battlemage. The Netherese were "more" interested in hung/contingent spells with their mantles (oooo, and a metamagic device that increases one's ability to manually trigger their own <in terms of causing multiple triggers to happen quickly>..... OR SOMEONE ELSE'S hung/contingent spells would definitely fit Netheril/Halruaa.... of course, only if they know how to perform such an act already being a requirement.... think I just got a new idea for my arcane transformist NPC).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2014 :  10:46:30  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Following on from what Ed has said in the past, the Raumathari weren't significant magic item makers. More magic item magpies. This changed toward the end of the empire, but only in relation to construct magic. Elemental spell casting remained the backbone of their magic-using traditions, so I'd be loathe to have them a player in the metamagic magic item firmament.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Lukas Kain
Seeker

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2014 :  05:19:48  Show Profile Send Lukas Kain a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been away for a time, and just checked back to find just tremendous answers. Thank you George. Your lore and background information has been very appreciated
I'm sure I'll be back with more if you're up for it; my group is very inquisitive.
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1442 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2014 :  16:51:29  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

Hi George,

I was curious as to what your take on how shield dwarf politics would affect a hold with several clans in it. Do you see clan feuds leading to private wars or knife-work in tunnels? Clans manipulating to get members of theirs married into the royal family etc? Most of the dwarven life I've seen have been the Battlehammers from the various Salvatore novels and they seem to have a pretty unified front where there doesn't seem to be much strife. I definitely like that regarding dwarves, it's always been one of their draws for me.

But if a person wanted to introduce some villains into a dwarf hold, how would you approach that? Having some priests of Abbathor selling weapons to the Zhentarim is one thing, but dwarves attempting to kill say the heirs of the king is where the believability starts breaking down for me. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. :)



I agree that the depiction of dwarves in Realms fiction to date has been overwhelmingly "white bread" in terms of how their communities/society function. That said I think that FR11 provides an insight into how dwarves can go 'bad' without being evil. The gold dwarves and their arrogance and pride are likely the prime example in this regard, and I can see how pride would lead to some more neutral-leaning dwarves to assert their superiority over fellow dwarves. No doubt this would have a cultural orientation to it. In other words, you would try and challenge the performance of rival dwarves in terms of the staples of dwarven life: industry and battle.

This is the interesting part: you don't have to be evil to go before Clan Elder Dhurri Worldthrone to tell him how Helmaer Deepaxe hung back in the attack on the Ten Tusk orc tribe or how Gornim Stoneshield spent the last ten day playing dice rather than at the forge. Dwarven sense of duty can be twisted to bad and negative ends just like in any society.

Personal rivalries would no doubt be amplified along familial and clan lines. From the dwarves of Clan Arnskull who take offence when not given the place of honour in the line of battle (for dwarves that is the centre of the line) when fighting against the Bloody Eye orc tribe and so refuse to participate as their 'honour' has been impugned, to the dwarves of the Darkfell clan who will not trade or work with dwarves of Clan Trueforger because they refused the clan heir's offer of marriage, etc. etc.

So in simple terms, my dwarven villains would be Lawful Proud, arrogant and insufferable. They would use honour, status and tradition to shield their own ambitions and explain away their actions - which on the alignment spectrum would be labelled as Lawful Neutral at best and Lawful Neutral (Evil) at worst.

The thing I've always liked about the Realms is that Ed has always built in and encouraged nuance. Shades of gray and complexity of interactions is a watchword of FR. Game designers and novelists take note.

-- George Krashos



Thanks George, this is great! Definitely something I'll be using and exploring!
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

845 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2014 :  16:46:17  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Krashos,
evil things are stirring in Impiltur in my home campaign (in early 1374 DR) and i would like some pointers about how to shake the political situation and how to make it interesting for my players.

From what i understood from Champions of Valor, Champions of Ruin and your great article in Dragon 346 things are about to get interesting around the day of Imbrar II coming of age (i think it's the 24th of Marpenoth 1374 in canon) because both the Regent and the Lords of Imphras II are about to lose political power and the first question that came to my mind reading the various sources is, what exactly are the powers of the Regent?

I ask because the way things have gone (regarding royal succession) in the past 36 years give me the idea that Sambryl doesn't want to relinquish her seat or, more likely, that someone wants to lead the people of Impiltur into thinking that she doesn't want to leave the political scene, but i'm at a loss as to what exactly she does right now that people may see as "ruling" (and thus be annoyed/angry about if she keeps at it).

Next in line is the Council of Lords, your article makes it clear that the unity of the Council is quickly disappearing due to Helimbraun zealotry and the almost unavoidable clashes this would cause with the other faiths of the Kingdom. Here i started to wonder who are the highest ranking members of the clergies of the Triad churches (the heads of the Impilturan faith) and what dealings they may have with the Lords of Imphras II (and the knightly order they guide), so, anything you feel free to share?

At last we get to Soneillon and her machinations: going over the roster of the Council of Lords some ideas came to my mind about how she may be the one messing things up with Helimbraun and other subtle and slighty cliché ways in which she can shake the council and cause trouble in Impiltur but i'm stuck at evaluating the methods with which she can get what she wants.
I haven't checked the numbers regarding all her various possession and mind-influencing abilities but i think she could probably possess and dominate/charme/suggetionate/whatever various Lords, yet this seems kind of a brute forcing method way too much risky for her to use (one slip and the Lords may become aware she's still around and scheming). Given that she's been in the business for a long time i see her using more subtle and indirect methods to sway things her way, like chain possessing items and/or people to get near the acolytes and priests that have more contacts with Helimbraun and dominate/charme/suggestionate/whatever these lowly individuals to whisper in the hear of the Lord that the Lords of Imphras II were the best thing to happen to the Kingdom in centuries or that those dissolute Lliirans are having yet another useless revel in which the youths of the Kingdom lose themselves and so on and so forth. This way she can slowly build up the same effect she would get with her more direct abilities but with a lot less risks of being discovered or thwarted. Am i on the right track?

She would even have the help of the sparse Eltab cultists and any and all disaffectionate and unloyal noble, merchants (any lore on members/families of these two groups that could be used as conspirators is appreciated) and criminals.
Also, if i've read the history you provided in the dragon article right, the last big hobgoblin troubles were in 1127 so isn't it horde-o'clock already?

Re-reading what i just wrote i realized that sistematically killing the would-be kings is the perfect way to both end the Heltharn dinasty and open up the bucket full of poo that would be the succession of one of the Lords to the throne (the original ones are all blood related to the royal family so if they cut enough branches some of the Lords may become so close to the throne that it may fancy them to rule as kings). This prompts two more questions: did the Lords swear/sign anything regarding their ruling rights as blood relatives to the royals? If not, do royal succession laws bar them from seating on the throne if something happens to Sambryl and Imbrar II? If not, are they all at the same distance from the throne or is someone among them closer to it?

Thanks for anything you'll be willing to share.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6475 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2014 :  02:38:54  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Mr. Krashos,
evil things are stirring in Impiltur in my home campaign (in early 1374 DR) and i would like some pointers about how to shake the political situation and how to make it interesting for my players.

From what i understood from Champions of Valor, Champions of Ruin and your great article in Dragon 346 things are about to get interesting around the day of Imbrar II coming of age (i think it's the 24th of Marpenoth 1374 in canon) because both the Regent and the Lords of Imphras II are about to lose political power and the first question that came to my mind reading the various sources is, what exactly are the powers of the Regent?

I ask because the way things have gone (regarding royal succession) in the past 36 years give me the idea that Sambryl doesn't want to relinquish her seat or, more likely, that someone wants to lead the people of Impiltur into thinking that she doesn't want to leave the political scene, but i'm at a loss as to what exactly she does right now that people may see as "ruling" (and thus be annoyed/angry about if she keeps at it).



Queen-Regent Sambryl is the ruling monarch of the realm. She is queen because she married her traitorous cousin Imphras IV (who was king in name only and due to the circumstances of his demise only so for a titular moment in time), and regent because she was forced into the role when Imphras IV died and there were no male Heltharns in the succession who were 16 years of age and could rule in their own right.

When Rilimbrar and Imphras IV died at the same time, it was thought by the Lords, the Mage Royal and the most senior and trusted nobles that Sambryl had to stay on as Regent for continuity, given the love held for her father by the people of the realm. It was originally intended that she would be freed from her burden of duty when Imphras IV died and a new Heltharn scion placed on the throne, but it didn't quite pan out that way.

I should note that Impiltur has a rather unique system in that it doesn't allow child monarchs; well, not in the classic sense of the word. To rule you need to be 16. That's when you have your formal coronation and are declared king (or more rarely queen). Before that, if you are not of age, you are marked for kingship by a ceremony known as the Forecrowning (and if you don't get to 16 years of age are marked down as rightful king and placed in the lineage on a retroactive basis) but you have no power at all and do not wear the Crown of Narfell, even on full ceremonial occasions. Instead they wear the Crown of Tears, created at the request of King Erynd for his son Nord in 787 DR.

You are both right and wrong about Sambryl. She does indeed want to relinquish her regency - she never wanted the job in the first place - but she has been the target of an extremely subtle and concerted campaign of subversion and manipulation by Soneillon, which has messed around with her mind a bit. Depending on what power Soneillon can bring to bear at the time Imbrar comes to the throne, it may turn Sambryl into an unwitting tool of the demonic forces she has battled for so long to keep at bay.

quote:

Next in line is the Council of Lords, your article makes it clear that the unity of the Council is quickly disappearing due to Helimbraun zealotry and the almost unavoidable clashes this would cause with the other faiths of the Kingdom. Here i started to wonder who are the highest ranking members of the clergies of the Triad churches (the heads of the Impilturan faith) and what dealings they may have with the Lords of Imphras II (and the knightly order they guide), so, anything you feel free to share?



I wouldn't describe it as quickly disappearing, but there are more and more points of conflict between the Lords now than there were at the time of their inception. The original group were tasked with solemn and holy oaths of service by Rilimbrar himself, and knew full well the burden and importance of their task. As members have died, their replacements, whilst taking the same holy oaths, have approached the role with a more pragmatic, business-like function, which has caused friction with the old timers. This is because the newer Lords have sought to create an environment where their service won't end with the accession of Imbrar but they will still retain and wield power in the king's name. The old Lords are ready to relinquish power as soon as the regency ends and a true king of Impiltur is on the throne.

That situation coupled with the fact that Soneillon has "done her thing" with a few of the Lords (I'll leave it to you to choose - gives you more flexibility for your campaign), means that cordial relationships and a sense of common purpose are now no longer the case for the Lords as a collective. They all agree on their big picture place and role, but there are significant divisions on how they see their positions, both now and in the future, playing out in real terms. The devil (or in this case the demon) is in the detail.

The heads of the Triad faith in the early part of 1372 DR are as follows:

Ilmater: Revered Mother Elmaera Dornmane (a rotund, serious individual of calm mien, iron self-control and concise speech. She has a club foot and walks with an obvious limp. A lover of nature, she often leaves Lyrabar to fast and pray at the Moss Columns, an area of the Earthfasts bordering the Grey Forest, where there is a small, Ilmatari temple retreat. She is a good friend of Sambryl's, but concerned of late as to how the toll of her burden has affected her longtime friend.)

Tyr: Defender of Justice Merlthaun Fornal (a tall, grim-visaged man with a short crop of white hair and a right-sided scar running from temple to chin - giving him his nickname of "the scarred inquisitor" to those who are less than fond of his inflexible legal viewpoints. He has a deep, booming voice but speaks seldom, and in the last few years has developed signs of the 'dread shakes' (in modern terms: Parkinson's Disease) which magical healing spells have had no effect on. He is now looking to appoint a successor, but give the impending accession of Imbrar is torn as to when this should occur.)

Torm: High Priest Velimbrar Starsunder (a cheerful, eager, 'high-energy' type who instantly becomes vey focused in times of danger or conflict. He is very intelligent, remembers everything and is always observing and scanning the people and places around him. He is blonde-haired, well-muscled and reputed to have iron endurance. Much younger than the heads of his fellow faiths - appointed only in 1369 DR - he is known to have the ear of Imbrar, having given him some paladin instruction, as the young king is a Torm follower.)

The heads of the Triad faith get on well with the Lords and the Knights of Imphras II, but wield no direct power. Their influence is significant, but often on a "back channel" basis, and never in a manner that might undermine the established, jury-rigged power structures of the realm. It is known that Merlthaun wields the most clout with the Lords, and in times past he was often called the "Hidden Lord" by conniving nobles, but he has taken a less active place in the affairs of the kingdom of late given his personal issues. Elmaera works through Sambryl and exerts influence over the Lords that way. When the regency dissolves, it is likely that the Ilmatari Church will lose influence in the realm. Finally, Velimbrar has the best day to day dealings with the Lords, especially those of a more warlike bent such as Haelimbrar. The fact that Imbrar is known to favour him, makes all the Lords curry his good regard - whether out of real friendship or due to political expediency.

quote:

At last we get to Soneillon and her machinations: going over the roster of the Council of Lords some ideas came to my mind about how she may be the one messing things up with Helimbraun and other subtle and slighty cliché ways in which she can shake the council and cause trouble in Impiltur but i'm stuck at evaluating the methods with which she can get what she wants.
<SNIP>



Yep, you've hit the target perfectly. Soneillon works through a myriad of small items, spell effects and 'transient' charmed individuals to manipulate and subtly control individuals in Impiltur. Her method can best be described as seeking to control emotions and responses, rather than creating puppets enslaved to her will. Whilst the latter brute force method works with the hobgoblins and tribes of Narfell, experience has taught her that lasting results in Impiltur can only be achieved by creating a web of manipulation and control that relies on guiding and predicting responses and emotions.

The term "transient' charmed above denotes her knowledge and mastery of spells that control or manipulate others in very specific ways. The charms in question trigger similarly to effects such as the 'magic mouth' spell, and more importantly do not 'show' on individuals until triggered (i.e. a person affected by one of these 'hung and waiting to be triggered' charm effects does not radiate magic or register to any divination spell seeking to ascertain magic control. Nothing short of a 'wish' will reveal that someone is under the effect of these types of spells.

Her immediate plans revolve around slaying both Sambryl and Imbrar at the same time, hoping that she can influence and manipulate events in the short term to put one of her puppets on the throne. Imbrar is the last male in the Velimbrar line. Should he die, then the patriarchal lineage reverts to the line of Fylraun, the last of the sons of Imphras II and the source of the current Lords. Fylraun had two daughters and only one son, Elphras (named for his older brother who died childless). The line of Elphras has no direct patriarchal line, as he had three daughters (known to all as the "Dowager Aunts"). It is these three daughters who are the mothers of the original Lords of Imphras II.

So in the current succession, the next in line for the throne is actually Lord Engarth of the Council of Lords. He has therefore been a target of Soneillon and she is seeking out ways of bringing him under her web of control.

quote:

She would even have the help of the sparse Eltab cultists and any and all disaffectionate and unloyal noble, merchants (any lore on members/families of these two groups that could be used as conspirators is appreciated) and criminals.
Also, if i've read the history you provided in the dragon article right, the last big hobgoblin troubles were in 1127 so isn't it horde-o'clock already?



Yep, it is indeed horde-o'clock. It's just a matter of timing for maximum effect though.

Hope this has been useful.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 23 Feb 2019 05:51:07
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

845 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2014 :  11:31:28  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great lore (as always), extremely useful and doesn't actually clashes with anything i have planned so far. Many thanks!

Some additional questions:
- Who are the 5 newly appointed Lords? Going with your dragon article i would guess the 3 listed as younger (Silaunbrar, Engarth and Delimbrar) and the 2 female ones (Rilaunyr and Idriane) but since Delimbrar is in the royal family tree i'm now thinking he may have been in the original 12 and just be a tad younger than the other originals or maybe just "young at heart" (or both).
- What can you share about the history and personality of the two non Triad worshiping Lords (Oriseus of Helm and Rilaunyr of Sune)?
- While reviewing the threats in the region the promixity of the Giantspires with the Rawlinswood, the involvement of Soneillon with the Rotting War and her mastery of plagues and the fact that Talona's Rotting Man is an half-demon all clicked into place making me wonder what the connection between the scheming succubus and the half-fiend Chosen of Talona is, if there is any. Anything you feel free to share?

Edited by - Demzer on 16 Apr 2014 17:44:45
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2014 :  14:13:07  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Awesome stuff GK. I think with this new info I have figured out soneillons plan for sambryl. She is playing on her fears and emotions. She will set up a few problems for the young king that he cant solve without her help so that she feels he cant cope (and it undermines his rule with the lords) then when war does finally arrive the leaders will be divided between sambryl and the king and so will undoubtedly lose

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 12 Apr 2014 :  14:39:46  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Makes me glad I stuck to original flavour realms. New realms zero flavour will have difficulty achieving this much depth

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
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Posted - 18 Apr 2014 :  04:37:42  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer


Some additional questions:
- Who are the 5 newly appointed Lords? Going with your dragon article i would guess the 3 listed as younger (Silaunbrar, Engarth and Delimbrar) and the 2 female ones (Rilaunyr and Idriane) but since Delimbrar is in the royal family tree i'm now thinking he may have been in the original 12 and just be a tad younger than the other originals or maybe just "young at heart" (or both).



I'm not sure if this made it past the final editorial cut in my Dragon article but I originally had the following:

With the passing of the years, there have been five new appointments to the council due to death caused by old age or misadventure. Seven out of the original twelve children of the Dowager Aunts remain on the Council. Of their cousins who once sat with them, Kyrlraun died of heartstop in 1370 DR and was succeeded by his son Rangrim. Lord Rangrim’s recent demise at the hands of the Cult of the Dragon in the Year of Rogue Dragons (1373 DR) (see The Rage by Richard Lee Byers) has seen him replaced by his younger brother Delimbrar. Of the others, Lord Imbra fell to orc raiders in 1359 DR and was replaced with his brother-in-law Oriseus of Ilmwatch, Lord Lashilaun died unexpectedly of heartstop in 1364 DR and was succeeded by his daughter Idriane, Lord Sambrar retired from the Council due to ill-health and was succeeded by his son Helimbraun and Lord Imbraun died of the terrible wasting sickness that slew the heir to the throne Imphras V in 1363 DR, and was succeeded by his son Engarth.

quote:

- What can you share about the history and personality of the two non Triad worshiping Lords (Oriseus of Helm and Rilaunyr of Sune)?



I have to confess that I originally envisaged that all the members of the Council worshipped the Triad. As my article was being written, Richard Lee Byers wrote "The Rage" and decided that paladins of different faiths existed on there. I had no choice but to go with it. As such, it's not a topic I've thought on at all - mainly because I've struggled conceptually to deal with it.

Oriseus and Rilaunyr get a bit of dialogue in the book. Extrapolate from there. You could ask RLB but I suspect that there won't be much to give.

quote:

- While reviewing the threats in the region the promixity of the Giantspires with the Rawlinswood, the involvement of Soneillon with the Rotting War and her mastery of plagues and the fact that Talona's Rotting Man is an half-demon all clicked into place making me wonder what the connection between the scheming succubus and the half-fiend Chosen of Talona is, if there is any. Anything you feel free to share?



Plagues and the hand of Talona are definitely a prominent feature of the Impilturian landscape, but I'm yet to come up with the kicker that beds down her involvement in the region. I don't think that there is any connection between the Rotting Man and The Queen of Whispers. Soneillon doesn't like to share.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 01 Nov 2014 03:06:12
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