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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:40:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On adding infinite pages to a book:

Feb 26, 2020


@MissMartinsen

Great Sage! Today I lay an oddly specific question at thine feet. Is there a particular spell, or series thereof, that might give a book infinite pages? I know the Nether Scrolls have a similar property; this is more for a diary.

Best regards and much thanks!


@TheEdVerse

Ah, ye seek Agannazar's Amanuensis, a rare, old spell that adds a dozen pages (so, 24 blank sides of paper, parchment, or vellum, depending on what material the book it's cast on has for its pages) in a trice, and poises a ink-dipped quill above them.

Warning: this spell consumes the quill, a stick of wood, and an entire animal hide, cleansed and cured, in the casting.

It doesn't grant infinite pages, but can be cast repeatedly on the same tome, to expand it as much as desired. Elminster cautions that if spells are written upon these enchanted pages, instability is introduced, and grows over time and with each addition of pages.

Despite the spell's name, it does not write for the caster. The quill ceases to hover the moment it's touched by any living being. The spell does NOT provide ink replenishment.
#Realmslore


@VikGray

Does mage's tome starts to weight more?


@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes. Normal weight increase for the pages added.
#Realmslore


@gkrashos

When is the conjured quill consumed and is it a different quill to the one that is required as a material component?


@TheEdVerse

It is the same quill required as a material component, and fades away into thin air when the spell (which canít be prolonged by any as-yet-known means) expires.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:40:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a villain that could be a Worm That Walks:


Feb 28, 2020


@TLMayesing

I'm considering converting a worm that walks as a blessed servitor of Myrkul, kind of a "Kyuss" in the Realms pre times of troubles. Any thoughts or suggestions? This would be the grand villian of my campaign and is there an evil organization for my villian to sieze


@TheEdVerse

Great idea.

There was a mysterious robed, cowled death-cult leader calling himself ďMalavorĒ in the cellars of OrdŻlin, capitol of Sembia, in the 1340s-1360s DR (cellars guarded by animated skeletons). In reality, he was Arnthras Relathond, a wealthy, ambitious, rising merchant who created the cult for fun and to gain himself loyal dupes he could use for dirty tricks against rival merchants (arson, vandalism, warehouse-stock thefts, and assassinationsóhence the worship of dead).

You could easily have the real Relathond slain and impersonated by a Worm That Walks, or have the Worm working with him, being a real servitor of Myrkul.

Sembia at this time (before the Zhentarim, Wearers of the Purple, and Red Wizard agents become numerous and powerful) is awash in warring merchant cabals that the cult can readily absorb or influence: (often fractious and short-lived) groups of half a dozen to a score of merchants covertly working together for mutual gain, and calling themselves such things as The Red Flagon, The Scarab of Sembia, The Three Dread Pacts, The High Ring, and The Serpentine Chain.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:41:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Alias:

Feb 5, 2020


@TLMayesing

Can you point me in the right direction to find out the fate of Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb's Alias and Finder Wyvernspur? Or how to contact them or someone else to ask?


@TheEdVerse

You can read the tale of Finder (his journey towards godhood), in the TSR-published novels FINDERíS BANE and TYMORAíS LUCK (both by Jeff and Kate). I assume youíve read their earlier novels AZURE BONDS, THE WYVERNíS SPUR, and SONG OF THE SAURIALS.

Their novel MASQUERADES tells of the further adventures of Alias. Sheís immortal, and so still out in the world (and still a Harper), as are some of her clones created by Phalse.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:42:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On an order knights or paladins dedicated to Bahamut:

Feb 29, 2020


@_Matafer

Hey @TheEdVerse was wondering if there was an order of knights or paladins dedicated to Celestia or Bahumut in Faerun; post spell plague? Any info would be welcome! #loremaster


@TheEdVerse

Yes. An order of paladins dedicated to Bahamut, the True Hands Of Justice, was founded in Shamph in 1489 DR, by Grandmatriarch Darthanna Halarkantle of The House Of Justice, the new temple to Bahamut there.

It is small (little more than a dozen roving paladins, plus a handful of knights in training), but dedicated to bringing justice (both adherence to formal law, and the ďlaw-abiding spiritĒ of respecting the spirit of laws and that law and order should hold sway everywhere, especially in frontier areas where there is no Watch, the Order stepping in to be the lawkeepers in lieu.

They enforce the Code of Bahamut (that all sentients have rights, that the deeds of one should not hamper the freedom of another, that force does not make ďright,Ē that justice lies in trials and evidence and not on-the-spot execution if thereís any doubt about guilt, and so on) if theyíre in wilderlands, or the laws of whatever government claims the area theyíre operating in (except those laws, such as any encouraging slavery, that might offend against the Code). Some of the leading paladins of this Order include the human females Jaaluth Darfire (formerly of Selgaunt) and Mararrla Dragonshield (formerly of Luthcheq), and the human male Tarlund Raeraunt (formerly of Arrabar).
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:43:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Arabel's House Hiloar in the 1490s:

Feb 17, 2020


@Mercury605

Hi @TheEdVerse, not sure if you saw my question before. I think I had some privacy setting stuff going on. Hope youíre recovering well and thanks for still sharing Realmslore with us all on a near daily basis.

@TheEdVerse Hi Ed, hope youíre well. Years ago on the Candlekeep forums (I posted as ďGerath HoanĒ) you gave me some details on House Hiloar, the minor noble family in Arabel. I was wondering if you might be so kind as to give me an update on their fortunes in the 1490s DR?


@TheEdVerse

I definitely didnít see this earlier! But here we goÖ

As of the late 1490s DR, House Hiloar is still resident in Arabel, with family members also dwelling in Suzail and several Sembian cities. They have continued to diversify, notably into investments in Sembian urban real estate that took advantage of the temporary collapse of prices during the Sembian-Netherese warfare, and were largely ignored by the War Wizards in the wake of Vangerdahastís departure from the scene (in human form).

So right now (late 1490s), the patriarch of House Hiloar is Lord Berenthar Hiloar, who dwells in the family mansion in Arabel with his wife Lady Aurandra, his aging aunt and irascible terror Lady Hulburtha Hiloar, and their youngest sons, Lords Andlurs, Canthlorn, and Pheldrar.

Berenthar and Aurandraís three oldest children (like all siblings here, named in first-to-last birth order) are adults (and styled Lords and Ladies): son Durlanthur (heir, and so forced to live in Suzail and increasingly resenting it), daughter Mylandra (very wealthy thanks to being a shrewd investor in shipping and new household items; she collects minor protective magics and female lovers she forms firm friendships with, and dwells in Selgaunt), and son Lygard (a bit of a wild rake and adventuring rapscallion who has narrowly escaped bad scrapes in Westgate and Saerloon, and so accepted his fatherís ďrepostingĒ to Athkatla, where heís begun his shady adventures anew).

Berenthar has two living brothers, Tonstral in Darrowmar and Felvaran in Luthcheq. Both have outlived their wives, but have sons and daughters scattered all over the Heartlands and the Sea of Fallen Stars ports, busily pursuing mercantile careers. (These families use their titles when it benefits them, or when in Cormyr, and donít bother the rest of the time.) Tonstral has two sons, one older and one younger than his five daughters: Kuldath, Mierelle (ďMEE-air-ellĒ), Shantra, Valarra, Nove, Naryathla, and Durvrek, all moderately-successful merchants who are increasingly investing in crafters who make things, as opposed to their former focus on warehousing, bulk cargo trading, and shipping.

Felvaran has three daughters and a younger son; the daughters (Pelaerra, Alyeene, and Duskarra) are tireless and successful merchant traders and travelers, who may be encountered almost anywhere in FaerŻn doing deals and shepherding cargoes, whereas the son, Hondur, keeps to Chessenta and has developed a reputation for swindling and shady-work. Increasingly, heís taken to hiring adventurers to rob and even kill trade rivals.

Thatís the short version. ;}
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:44:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Chosen:

(This one was one of those messy ones, with multiple replies across multiple days; I did the best I could with them)

@XynRaven

Is there a chance for a Chosen to be evil-natured, or are they exclusively non-evil?


@TheEdVerse

There are two sorts of Chosen: the "Chosen" of Mystra, who contain part of her divine power by Ao's decree (and as a fail-safe mechanism) that she can't wrest back from them, and the lesser Chosen of other deities (whose powers and status their deities can dismiss at will). All of these Chosen can be of any alignment, though they are likely to be Lawful (so as to be loyal to, and obey, the deity), and are otherwise likely to mirror or be akin to the alignment of the deity.
#Realmslore


@XynRaven

No no, I was talking about Mystra's Chosen, not in general, in general it's a given it depends on the deity.


@TheEdVerse

Mystra's Chosen need not be good-aligned, but in a world dominated by magic (the Weave), many of their actions will be seen as good by many creatures, regardless of their intent or alignment. Mystra has at times been seen as good, and at other times as lawful neutral.
#Realmslore


@XynRaven

So basically "Do what you want, just make sure everybody can afford tuition".


@TheEdVerse

Nope. If you read my novels or many of the Realms sourcebooks, you will see Mystra's Chosen attentively carrying out her aims, which include instructing individuals in magic, leaving magic items and scrolls and spellbooks in tombs and dungeons for folk to find (ever wonder why Undermountain and other places many adventurers have explored still have magic lying around in them, to be found?), and working against beings who use their magic to oppress (giving magic a bad reputation) or to prevent others from gaining agic or access to magic, or who imprison or coerce 'wild talents.' Mystra is dedicated to the widespread use of magic. One way to think of it is that her servitors work to spread the wealth across a society. She sees magic for all improving the world for all.
#Realmslore


@jayeedgecliff

These chosen of the other deities. Would this, ultimately, just be like the F&A-TSR9516 specialty priests, or something else altogether?

And what of gods not, themselves, lawful? Would they Ė especially the more capricious sorts Ė prefer a more free-willed individual?


@TheEdVerse

Something else altogether. During the Second Sundering, we saw LEGIONS of "Chosen" as deities decided their power in the new order would depend on how influential their worshippers were, so they named scads of Chosen. But aside from that insane time, "Chosen" of all deities are mortals imbued by a god with certain powers (that they can alter, remove, and augment more or less at will). They can all choose what and how much power they grant their Chosen, so they customize. If a deity has three Chosen, they could have markedly different powers. Some may resemble specialty priests in what they end up with, but usually not. Mystra's alone have enough self-will that she can bestow abilities and power IF THEY AGREE but not take away UNLESS THEY FREELY AND WILLINGLY GIVE.

A few gods might prefer more free-willed individuals, but most gods have a touch of the paranoid control freak. If they want Chosen at all, they want them to be UTTERLY loyal and precision-controllable. It depends on the nature/portfolio and character of the deity.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

Wait, I thought the Chosen of the Prime gods were on par with Mystra? You know, everyone who sits at the adult table while everyone else watches their decision? I.E the trial of Cyric the Mad depicts 7 or 8 portfolios(of which Mystra is one) that run the show on Faerun


@TheEdVerse

If Mystra's power wasn't limited, she would be the ubergod and all the others just niche shopkeepers. So her power was limited, and the mechanism was her Chosen. So they are a different breed than other "Chosen." Anything else you've read is propaganda.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

That seems like a continuity error. Goddess of magic with no limiter or handicap still can't make gods or overturn their decrees unless she takes over their portfolio, which Ao wouldn't allow anyway. So could even make it so magic doesn't need a god to run it.


@TheEdVerse

Hmm. You seem to be understanding quite a different Realms than the one we see in print. In which many gods have seized or stolen the portfolios of others, or even slain other gods...and Ao did nothing.

No one really understands Ao, or what he'll allow or not.


@ColeEpicSmile

The other ptime gods and portfolios are actually 100% necessary for existence itself whereas magic as it is known outside the clergy really isn't that necessary. I.E there can be gods with no wizards but no clerics without gods.


@TheEdVerse

We don't know that the gods are necessary for anything; they are ways of expressing existence. Magic permeates Toril; it's everywhere and the fastest, most powerful way of harnessing the energies of the world. A goddess of magic can and has cut off other gods' access to magic in the past, and Ao did step in and stop that. Your last sentence is quite correct, but beside the point.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

And my last sentence points out that any god who has a portfolio that is a basic necessity to existence being "less powerful" than the god of magic, which seems less necessary (than say, the concept of light and dark) seems...odd?


@TheEdVerse

When I created divine portfolios for the game, I was expressing the elements important to mortals that gods sought to dominate. They're not copyrights or trademarks; the god holds them only so far as they fight to have and keep them, and gods are CONSTANTLY vying to "take more" from, yes, OTHER GODS.

It seems odd because you're trying to make sense of 'the way things are' in the Realms in a certain way, and some of what's reported to you doesn't fit your view.

I'm trying to point out that none of us can see. the truth about matters divine in the Realms to form a coherent view that we can trust. None of us. If we DO trust our view, we may discover we're wrong hard and fast. Or not. We're all guessing. One observer's "seems" might not match another's.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

So it is slightly confusing for me that Mystra is a prime god, but the only one that really matters so her Chosen are "the big deal". Seems kind of like Ao would or should maybe fix that instead of causing one Time of Trouble and then slacking off for another few millenia.


@TheEdVerse

Many mortals lament that the world isn't as they wish it to be, often when bills come due, yet the world seems not to hear or care.

We just don't know enough about Ao to know what he would do. When we say what he "should" do, we merely project our desires onto him.
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

Just the way it seemed when I read it.Mystra always seemed to have the most Chosen and really,other gods Chosen rarely ever came up,but that never seemed to denote Mystra's Chosen as a bigger deal than other Chosen of the other prime gods who put Cyric,Mystra and Kelmvor to trial


@TheEdVerse

Everything we know about the Realms comes to us through unreliable narrators. Everything we know about the gods is folklore, or rumor, or propaganda, except what we see with our own eyes.

You're quite right about the Chosen of other gods rarely being onstage. But Mystra's Chosen AREN'T swaggering emissaries, shining champions, or out to impress anyone. They deliberately keep a low profile. And carry such a heavy mental load that most are less than sane.

Be wary of that trial, too; whose POV did you "see" that from?
#Realmslore


@ColeEpicSmile

Wait. Aren't most of Mystra's Chosen famous? Hold up. Dove Falconhand. Storm. The Simbul. Lady Alustriel. I mean...Elminster and Khelben...???? Quilue I could see she also died in war of the Spider Queen didn't she?

Just the way it all pieced together for me from Red Mage, Harpers1 or 3? up to....oh, the last Elminster book where he smashes Shade and Telamont Tanthul into Myth Drannor. It all gets blurry after years of reading.


@TheEdVerse

There's a LOT of "adventure mileage" in the struggles between the gods (and their followers), and misunderstandings, and deities trying to deceive each other and mortals...almost (ahem) as if I designed it that way. ;}
#Realmslore



@sagechan1

So you're saying that since a lot of what we "know" comes from El, may be one reason we've heard more of Mystra's Chosen than those of other Gods.


@TheEdVerse

BINGO! :}
Er, yes.


@vorpaldicepress

So a chosen of Illmater for example is on a lower level than a Chosen of Mystra?


@TheEdVerse

In the eyes of their deity, they are the same. But a Chosen of any deity but Mystra is "just" an anointed mortal champion of that deity, given powers as the deity wills. As the Weave is all-encompassing and Mystra would have been all-powerful, Ao long ago forced her to divest herself of some of her divine power into mortals. She can't wrest it back from them. So she made sure these mortals were her dedicated, loyal servants, but they CAN defy her, and if she destroys them, that divine power is lost to her forever.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Is there any reason why Ao enforced Mystra to do such a thing? One thing is clear to me: this event means Ao is not the all-powerful being he wants us to believe he is.


@TheEdVerse

Mortals know not the whys and hows of gods.

We try to understand, but must always remember: EVERYONE is an unreliable narrator. The gods and their priests and sages lie to us; everybody "spins" and slants and fabricates, sometimes unwittingly, as they see the world.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Now I have another (unanswerable, I believe) question: was this enforced originally to Mystra? Or she inherited the burden from Mystryl or from the deity that controlled magic before Mystryl?


@TheEdVerse

She inherited from Mystryl, but Ao didnít leave it unspoken; he made matters clear to Mystra, too.

Mystraís successor Mystras inherit her memories, however imperfectly, and gain clarity through contact with her Chosen (who mentally store lore Mystra wants them to).
#Realmslore


@sagechan1

Did the other God's mostly remove the power from their Second Sundering Chosen at it's end?


@TheEdVerse

Many of the Chosen didnít survive the Second Sundering, as agents of other gods slew them (directed by their gods, who believed their rank after things settled down would depend on how many and how powerful/influential their mortal worshippers were). Of those who survived, the gods stripped almost all of their status and powers, most deities retreating to having one or two envoys/Ďavenging angelí sorts as Chosen. To most mortals and even some senior clergy, itís now unclear how many Chosen a particular god has, or even if they have Chosen at all. Since the Second Sundering, the gods are more distant; almost none of them have appeared in public in avatar form, and they speak directly to their clergy, or from altars, far less often, mainly using dream-visions to communicate their will to mortals.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Mystra has one portfolio, but her portfolio happens to be one of the most important of all (Magic). That's why she has the potential to be that powerful. Or that's how I understand it.


@TheEdVerse

The Chosen do as Mystra directs, and Mystra wants Thay left alone as a social experiment; how will it play out? See Tyrants In Scarlet (available for free at the DMís Guild) for why Thay is special and why she leaves it be.

Her patience with the excesses of any wizard isnít infinite; she will step in if she believes the actions of Szass Tam or anyone seriously threaten Toril or the Weave as a whole. (Thereís a reason the Dread Ring scheme failed.)
#Realmslore


@jayeedgecliff

Then, if you donít mind. My favourite gods are Sharess & Lliira. Do either of them have chosen & is the room for generalisation about them?

I play the 1e/2e transition years but not time of trouble Ö yet


@TheEdVerse

At this time in the Realms (first half of the 1300s DR) Sharess and Lliira both have Chosen, but their powers are minor (ability to heal themselves and others by touch, neutralize poison by touch, project image, blink, teleport, and deflect some incoming magics elsewhere; the Chosen of Lliira can also levitate and feather fall momentarily so as to acrobatically dance more spectacularly). Both are beautiful females and superb singers.

Their role is to teach (grooming, dancing), assist in putting on revels and festivals for the overwhelmed or depressed, and most of all to ďheartenĒ (raise the spirits) of clergy of their deities who have fallen on hard times, suffered losses or misfortunes, or are grieving. Both travel nigh-constantly on this holy business, and make their homes with their deities when they arenít. Their role is personal, not high-profile, though they will confront clergy who have Ďgone astrayí to bring the words and will of the goddess, who will manifest around them to show her support/their legimitmacy.

The Chosen of Sharess is an Illuskan female of striking beauty and no inhibitions at all, who loves to flirt but can also be a motherly nurturer, by the name of Indraea (ďIn-DRAY-ahĒ) Mruinwynter. She has dark hair and a purring voice.

The Chosen of Lliira is a Chondathan female of lithe, long limbs and agility, demure good looks, and merry spirits, named Talala (Tal-LAL-lah) Hurrowind. She is blonde, petite of build, and has masterful balance, often dancing on taut ropes, leaping about in what we might call Ďparkour.í

She can weave, braid, and knot with astonishing skill and speed.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven

So, in the same vein as we've been discussing, are other gods capable of creating chosen just like Mystra's and just don't? Or does that level of chosen take a mandate from Ao to create?


@TheEdVerse

In theory, other gods could create Chosen of the sort that Mystra does, but that means giving up some of your divine power to a mortal forever, lessening yourself and losing control over it AND the mortalóand calling in Ao to enforce that upon you. Gods just arenít that generous.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven

Grand lore master, if what I am understanding is right, then Mystra has that particular type of chosen to ensure that she has backups in case she is ever killed outright. It is intended to protect the Weave, right? What about the other gods of magic, such as Eilistraee or Azuth? They share the Weave with Mystra, don't they? What would happen if someone evil, say Lolth, who tried to claim the Weave once already, or Asmodeous were to kill one of these other gods of magic and claim their portfolios?


@TheEdVerse

Thatís right, itís intended to stabilize the Weave rather than having the whole thing crash in an instant (destroying all access to arcane magic, at the same moment that existing wards, mythals, and active spells all fail).

Itís also intended to limit Mystraís power, not provide personal backups for her. Which means itís something that concerns Ao, and he watches over it.

Killing a deity doesnít mean you automatically get their portfolio, or even immediate access to it. And in the case of other gods of magic, the only being easily able to readily access their power and portfolios would be Mystra, not a god-slaying deity. Which should delay any seizure of power on their part long enough for other rival deities to step in and oppose them, or perhaps even Ao taking a hand.

The tales priests tell make their deity sound like a superhero of infinite might and mastery, who can snatch something and instantly wield it like an expert long familiar with it, but thatís very rarely the case. For most deities trying to seize a new lever of power, itís like trying to get a firm grip on fog. They have to study it, learn its ways in some depth, and so discern how best to try to get hold of it; not something easily done in the middle of a fight, or if opposed by someone else, or when handling other complex tasks. All of which means if a god of magic goes down, the other gods of magic are most likely to end up in control, in the short term if not the long, because they know how to grasp and wield the powers involved, the side-effects and consequences of everything they do, and what will likely happen if they try this, or that.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

If Mystra's Chosen are there to stabilize the Weave, and Mystryl had Chosen... Does that mean that Karsus's Ultimate Mistake wasn't the first time the Weave went down?


@TheEdVerse

Yes. ;}
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

Oh ye wascally bearded wabbit, you know we want to know more!


@TheEdVerse

Let me give thee two words: Dawn Cataclysm.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

A new conundrum, then... Tyche was split during the Dawn Cataclysm. Karsus's Oops was in -339 DR, so the DC had to be before then -- but Tyche's church didn't split into Tymora's and Beshaba's until the 700s... Why the millennium-long delay?


@TheEdVerse

NDA. (Diabolical laughter.)

Elminster sighs, rolls eyes, steps in front of laughing Eddie, and says solemnly: "The answer is lost to us in the mists of time. Just get on with thy life."


@Greysil_Tassyr

Poo. I feared the arrival of that particular Trio Nefarious, as the esteemed Steven Schend once spoke of NDAs.

Thankee for the lore, even if it does upend all my prior speculation about when the DC happened!


@TheEdVerse

We still don't know when it happened...or even if it happened the way we've been told. Priests of Lathander have a very different take on it than many other clergies...and not one priest alive today was alive then, to know the truth. It's ALL speculation.
#Realmslore


@coolguy73360922

So Mystryl wasn't the first goddess of Weave?


@TheEdVerse

Iíd not draw that conclusion from what was said, but remember: we know almost nothing reliable about the doings of the gods that befell yesterday, to say nothing of so long ago that no mortal alive then is around to attest now.
#Realmslore

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36142 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:46:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On aranea webbing:

Feb 16, 2020


@cluc2018

Hi Ed, can you tell me a bit about the ecology of the Aranea? It's listed that they can only produce a very limited amount of webbing per day in their statblocks - not enough to trade in it. Are the numbers provided reflected in the lore, or are they perfunctory?


@TheEdVerse

The aranea produce webbing in direct proportion to how much food they ingest. Ere going to bed at night, most exude the webbing they havenít used during the day (i.e. almost all of it, unless theyíve used some fighting, hunting, climbing, or ďstickingĒ tools to their grasps during work that demands such measures), and save it in boxes lined with an ointment that keeps it supple. These collected ďsheddingsĒ are woven by skilled elder aranea into ďsheetsĒ of spidersilk (picture a flexible tablecloth of about the size of a large human warriorís shield) for trade. So, yes, silk production is slow, but the material produced is so valuable that itís worth the doing.

Many aranea families have indolent elder aunts and uncles who staff the family kitchens all day, and are sampling gluttons, so they, individually, produce a LOT of webbing. (The statblock numbers are a racial average.)
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On arcane institutions in 1490s Neverwinter:


Feb 5, 2020



@ZeromaruX

Hi, @TheEdVerse. How you been? Hope you're well.

I was wondering which arcane institution resides in Neverwinter in the 1490s. The NCS states that the Many-Starred disappeared during the Spellplague, so perhaps Neverember brought a new magical order with him?

I was considering to use the White Lotus Order (from core 4e sources) for my campaign, but if you have any info on this, I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks in advance


@TheEdVerse

Dagult Neverember wants no challenge to his authority in Neverwinter since his return from Waterdeep, and has become a heavily-taxing despot with an ever-larger network of spies scrutinizing his citizens. So he allows no new guilds, and NO orders of wizards or other public cabals and alliances of wielders of the Art. Itís said in the streets of Neverwinter that ďIf three wizards meet by chance at a street corner, Lord Neverember will be sure theyíre plotting his doom.Ē

However, there are still Cult of the Dragon mages and other agents operating in the cityóand they are under the thumb of the lich Valindra Shadowmantle, head of a Thayan cell that does Szass Tamís will in Neverwinter. Tamís Dread Ring plans may have failed, but he is still interested in the city and its hinterland, and how they can enrich him.

Thanks to both Neverember and the Thayans, even visiting, undercover Harper mages tread carefully in Neverwinter.

By all means introduce a wizardly order in your campaign, but be aware that Neverember will be hostile, and his spies and slaying agents active against them.
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On Auril and the Queen of Air and Darkness:


Feb 14, 2020

@CineastBenRowe

Something interesting I noticed -- the symbol of the Queen of Air and Darkness is a black diamond. In 2e, 3e, and D&D Next Auril's symbol was a snowflake on a black diamond. In 4e it was said Auril was the QoAaD. In 5e they're separate, and Auril's symbol is *just the snowflake*.

Now here's a cool potential story for a #ForgottenRealms #DnD campaign - were Auril and the QoAaD really the same entity? *Or* was the QoAaD possessing Auril somehow, and did the defeat of Auril's Chosen in the Sundering somehow break that possession, so that now they're split?.

An interesting vein to explore for any characters for whom Auril or the QoAaD are important, perhaps - especially if the QoAaD still claims to be Auril to retain worshippers on Toril.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it's an interesting notion. Any thoughts,
@TheEdVerse?


@TheEdVerse

The deeds of gods are often mysteries to mortals, especially when overlaid by what priesthoods say (which is often propaganda/misdirection intended to make their deity seem important/vital).

In this case, I'd say this: "The QoAaD still claims to be Auril to retain worshippers on Toril" is exactly what's happening. And Auril cooperates because it boosts her importance and therefore worship and therefore influence.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:49:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On beholders working with the Zhents, and with the Red Wizards:

Feb 19, 2020


@clackclickbang

A few questions for you, wise sage: 1.) What the circumstances behind Manshoon somehow convincing his first beholder ally to work with him and not just destroy him? 2.) Beholders have often acted as Zhent allies, but do the Red Wizards ever utilise them? and 3.) Back to my zulkir questions, has a mind flayer ever impersonated or controlled a zulkir of Thay, and what was the story behind it so doing? Thank you as always!


@TheEdVerse

The young, ambitious Manshoon magically farscried (spied on) some beholders he knew dwelt not far west and northwest of Zhentil Keep, to see if they were as interested in influencing/meddling with the affairs of humans as he suspected. He was right, they were (wielding power being what they thirsted for more than aught else, with manipulating the unaware a close second), and they were concentrating on the Moonsea area with its lucrative mining/metals trade.

So he magically prepared with mantles and wardings he altered to protect himself against beholder eyestalk powers, notably their anti-magic rays. How? Well, those few who know how can Ďfoldí the Weave in a small at-hand area so area-effect and aimed spells hurled at a target will be misdirected into the (invisible) fold, leaving the target, just beyond the fold, unaffected).

This allowed Manshoon to visit the beholders heíd judged as suitable allies and survive their attacks long enough for them to hear him out as he sought to convince them he could be their tool (to work on humans where their direct personal presence would cause fear/hate/headlong flight). So certain of the eye tyrants took a chance on working with him, were very impressed with the results and with the organization (the Zhentarim) he was building and how they could use it as a widespread extension of their own schemes and wills, and became his allies. Taming the priests of Bane Manshoon couldnít dominate by himself, or with the assistance of Fzoul (who has gained from the strivings of others for his entire life). The beholders exulted at how this extended their reach, making them truly influential across FaerŻn, and also took note of how careful Manshoon was to obey them precisely, hide nothing from them, and sugar-coat nothing, so their trust in him grew. ďA willing and attentive thrall,Ē the beholder Xuuvarathar described him, to other eye tyrants.

In contrast to the Zhentarim, Red Wizards have battled with beholders, sought to destroy them from afar often, and worked against their purposes and schemes (seeing them as rivals who must be destroyed). Only two zulkirs have ever allied with them, and these alliances were brief, disastrous, and ended with the Thayans seeking to double-cross the eye tyrantsówith (for all the Red Wizards involved) fatal results.

Mind flayers have never tried to impersonate zulkirs, so far as I know, but they have triedówith very little successóto control zulkirs. Instead, they often try to influence the decision-making and deeds of zulkirs by feeding them misinformation through pawns and false rumors, and this betimes succeeds well, and betimes meets with mixed results. One beholder, Qlevulxultha, is known to view Red Wizards as toys to played with.
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On illithid recipes for brains:

Feb 14, 2020


@Kajehase

On the same topic, does the mind flayers have to eat the brains of their victims raw, or is there perchance a brisk trade in recipes for the best way to prepare various species' grey matter?


@TheEdVerse

If mind flayers want to glean the memories and ďdeeperĒ thoughts of their victims, they must devour the brains raw.

Strong emotions at the end of life (such as terror) and last Ďsurface thoughtsí will survive most cooking processes that donít involve charring the brain or long marinade periods. So there are brain-preparation recipes, and swapping of them, but they are usually used only to enliven illithid ennui, when forced to dine on Ďstupid,í uninteresting victims. Most mind flayers seek hidden knowledge and unusual memories, and donít want to miss any.
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On brains and souls:


Feb 9, 2020


@jaskier_stan

What function does the brain serve in the Forgotten Realms keeping in mind souls are a thing? The people demand answers!


@TheEdVerse

The brain is used for thinking, by regrettably too few people, and far too seldom. The demanding answers thing is good, though. Itís what makes us human.

Seriously: the brain is the source of sentience, which isnít just reasoning, itís self-awareness, so itís what fills a soul with an identifier and qualities of character. The soul is the essence of being for a living thing; the brain contains the self, or person.

Used by deities for sorting said souls, or directing them. Used by you to go on living, if you acquire a new body.
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On brains and souls, and their part in phylacteries and resurrections:

Feb 14, 2020


@Pataphor1

Apologies if this is too much, but...how then do brain and soul relate to ghosts and phylacteries? Figure a resurrection heals a brain, but soul comes back and then...what does it mean for relationship of brain and soul?
I said "thank you for everything", ...?

... does the brain's physical memory arrangement... modulate the medium of the soul the same way? Or is that the Astral analogue of the physical brain?

I thank you and then drop this on you. Sorry.


@TheEdVerse

A successful resurrection heals a brain and a body, and the soul and animating spirit return to the body, the spirit linking brain and soul together to the bodyÖand ďlife as beforeĒ is back again.

A phylactery is a physical item ďstanding inĒ for the body after death, so the animating spirit and brain remain with the (decaying) body (=undeath). The soul is in the phylactery, and the Ďdreamingí (inactive) brain is in the phylactery too, memories updated by the brain in the undead body via the Weave (upon contact, or when close by, or deliberately, or constantly; it varies with the undead creature, its whereabouts [in the Realms, or on another plane], and the situation (intervening magic, any meddling by Mystra or her servitors or other deities, and so on].
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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Mar 2020 16:51:55
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On comparisons of the merchants of Sembia and Amn:


Feb 9, 2020


@wombat1974

Great explanation! Which country produces better merchants, Ed? Amn or Sembia?


@TheEdVerse

That's a hard one to answer objectively. Any answer would be a stereotype, as it lumps together everyone in an entire country. If I try an analogy: Amn is more Wall Street (generations of money concentration/ investments/ speculation) and Sembia is more Silicon Valley (innovation), but trying hard to become Wall Street (speculation, investments, money breeding money) as fast as possible. Amn is richer, and has been richer for longer, so one can argue that every merchant alive today has personally benefitted from the infrastructure built by previous generations, and had to do less to do well than Sembians. On the other hand, Sembia's neighbors, such as the Dales and the Moonsea, would say Sembians have profited by being the physical "middlemen" for wealth that isn't really theirs but has to flow through them to reach larger markets/the wider Realms, so they've exploited the labor of others and so ALSO had it easier.

See what I mean about it being hard to judge, and be fair, and how things can be seen so differently?

That's realism for you. ;}
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:53:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On compassion for monsters:

Feb 15, 2020


@jayeedgecliff

@TheEdVerse first just wanna Iím glad to see your recovery is progressing well.

The fun of getting up at Just Kill Me Now Oíclock AM I got to wondering:

How common is someone who feels compassion toward even ďmonstersĒ?

Like taking pity on Kobolds seeing them less as evil and more simply a bit opportunistic then shunted into a place where itís magnified as a means of survival. Willing to speak with goblinkin Ö not seeing them as inherently good and generous, but simply Other Than Human & trying to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Feeling sorry for a bound Ö that magically coerced extraplanar beholder thing I canít remember the Ö Sentinal? And going out of their way to try to free it because itís lonely or get it people to visit it when that fails?

I assume among adventurers itís probably quite rare. Or can seem it given the propensity for murder hobo player groups. But in realms as you envision it? And how are these people viewed by wider society? As lunatics I guess? Except possibly the clerics who some might already deem slightly addled so just chalk it up as proof. Or magi who are obviously completely mental.

But to realise something not invented by the hand of a force of evil to be a tool of evil that nothing is any more inherently so than people only maybe doing the best they can in a harah existence coupled with some somewhat different instincts.

Anyway, as always, ty deeply for such an awesome sandbox to play in. Itís been such an inspiration to my own fiction settings even if mine have more rayguns & starships #129392;


@TheEdVerse

There are actually lots of folk in the Realms who feel this way, when you add up all the druids, devout priests of Silvanus and Mielikki and Eldath, certain Malarites, and the sort of humans who join the Guild of Naturalists and try to see all creatures as part of a Ďgrand tapestry of life that shapes the gods, even as the gods shape it.í However, they tend to be quiet, scattered, and not known to the wider Realms unless they are sages who've penned popular reference works. Some see them as madwits, yes, but Ďeveryone believing in all the godsí urges a wider tolerance for differing views and philosophies than one might think.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:54:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On beholder groups in Cormyr:


@FRAltDimensions

Hi @TheEdVerse,

Hi Ed, I've heard of Iltyr the "Blind but All Seeing" as a beholder cult that preceeded worship of Tyr in Cormyr. I'm also aware of the Xraunrarr as a beholder group trying to infiltrate and control parts of Cormyr's society. Are the two linked in any way?


@TheEdVerse

No, theyíre competitors. The Xraunrarr repeatedly tries to manipulate the Cult of the All-Seeing (which is what they call themselves these days), and the Cult resents it and tries to harm Xraunrarr members. The Xraunrarr adopted the usual attitude of superior disdain most beholders do towards ďfoolishĒ humans, but this has recently been shaken by the realization, in the wake of Cult attacks on Xraunrarr members, that the Cult knew where several Xraunrarr-member lairs wereóand the Xraunrarr didnít realize it.

The competition between the two groups is the major reason neither has been all that successful at influencing Cormyrean society.

Several merchant cabals and minor noble families are under the sway of either beholder group, but itís up to the DM which ones.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:54:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On crossing the Starwater River in Eveningstar Gorge:


@Sartana87

My players asked me "can we swin to cross the Starwater river inside the Eveningstar Gorge ?" and "Is there barges on a regular basis to pass from the west side of the gorge to the east side ?". I'm curious to hear from @TheEdVerse about those 2 very good questions if you can, Ed


@TheEdVerse

No barges exist, as none are needed. Small children could swim across the Starwater, though they'd find the water icy cold except in high summer. Everyone else could just wade; it's mid-thigh deep at most, and a lot less in most places. There are natural
"stepping stone" crossings in at least four places, where boulders and smaller rocks in the riverbed customarily stand proud of the flow, and can readily be walked on (no jumping needed). The only time the Starwater can be perilous in the Gorge is just after heavy rainfall, or during a prolonged heavy rainfall, when it can briefly swell to a roaring torrent. In spring, ice dams can form and then break in tumbling chaos for the same raging effect (plus very hard blocks of ice being hurtled along).
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:55:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how Dagult Neverember feels about his son, Renaer:


Feb 17, 2020


@nessus88

I hope you are recovering well. You recently answered some questions about Dagult November and I was wondering if you happen know how he feels about his son Renaer or if he has any plans concerning him?


@TheEdVerse

As seen in Steven Schendís novel BLACKSTAFF TOWER, Dagult and Renaer donít get along well. Renaer (who joined the Harpers) disapproved of his fatherís methods and treatment of people, and Dagult was deeply disappointed in Renaer for being ďdisloyalĒ (=not a tool whoíd obey his father and help carry out his schemes without qualm or hesitation). Dagult hoped, when Renaer was a young child, to gain him as a trustworthy henchman, but abandoned all such plans when he saw that Renaer wasnít just a Ďrebellious teen, defying parents because thatís what teens do,í but put foolish morals and scruples above loyalty to family, elders, and his father in particular.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:56:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how Dagult Neverember became a tyrant:

Feb 6, 2020


@Mahtan87

What happened to Dagult Neverember, he seamed like such a Good person, yet he is now portrayed as a Evil Tyrant?


@TheEdVerse

From the first, Dagult Neverember was ambitious. Not just for personal gain, but for bettering the world. CHANGING the world. Over time, like many, his impatience with those who got in his way, or disagreed with him, grew.

And he liked power, and wielding it.

He also grew to like being wealthier (that is, gaining from his use of power). So he made sure that the things he did made him wealthier, and gained him more power. And he slowly became less and less patient with impediments, and moved towards becoming a tyrant.

He saw himself as a transformational force who deserved more power because of the good he was achieving. But Waterdeep has seen many, many such people, and seen through them, too, and eventually flung him out of the Open Lordship, slapping him down.

In doing so, they shattered not just his pride, but his delusions. He had to face what he'd become.

But he liked who and what he was, so he "doubled down," in current parlance, and became more so, when back in Neverwinter.

Or to put things in shorter but more clichťd terms:

People change.
and:
Power corrupts.

That's what happened to Dagult Neverember.

Or to trot out another clichť:
Life happened to Dagult Neverember.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:57:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Dagult Neverember's grip on Neverwinter:


@LysbethRaven

Another question I have for you, if I might. How strong is Lord Neverember's grip on Neverwinter? Is he secure in his position, or does he risk being replaced?


@TheEdVerse

Itís actually not that strong at all, being far outweighed by his influence and reputation (folk are scared of him or what he might do, and so give in to avoid anticipated trouble). Yet itís not precarious, either, because no organized, competent, sustained alternative to him wants the job of openly ruling Neverwinter. Yet.
#Realmslore


@LysbethRaven

What would be the necessary requirements for him to be replaced?


@TheEdVerse

Someone with enough military power and political acumen would have to want him gone, and have a plan to assassinate him, then immediately and firmly (unless they want the city ravaged by strife) seize power.

The 4e NEVERWINTER Campaign Setting lists the on-the-spot interested factions, cabals, and groups, but any of the former city nobles, plus displaced nobles from Waterdeep and Amn, or wealthy wannabe nobles who don't see a quick road to power elsewhere, might try.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:57:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On divine servitors:

Feb 22, 2020


@jvcparry

What do evil/neutral gods have instead of angels in FR? Presumably not devils or demons, as they're part of a different 'system'?


@TheEdVerse

All deities have servitors more trusted and more powerful than mortal clergy (at the very least, to serve as messengers between the god and said priests). Some of these may be literal ďfallen angels,Ē but most will be unique individuals (mortals of some sort, often creatures from a plane of existence where the deity has a home or domesne, infused with additional powers by the god). Specific demons or devils may be among the ranks of such servitors, but their very nature (part of a hierarchy answering to other devils, for one, and chaotic and self-willed, for the other) makes most of them unsuitable for such service.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:57:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On divine sparks:

Feb 5, 2020

@ValetheHowl

Quick question: what exactly is a "divine spark" and how can people acquire one? I've read about Finder getting one from a dead god. Is there any other way?


@TheEdVerse

A ďdivine sparkĒ is a bardís poetic phrase for the ineffable essence of divinity, that Ďspecial somethingí that deities have and mortals lack. Finder gained divinity by absorbing the spark escaping from the dead god Moander.

Some sages believe that thereís only a certain amount of divine energy in the multiverse, so for a mortal or god to gain divine power, another deity must die or be destroyed or lose power, but mortals understand divine matters but dimly, so this may be incorrect. Gods can grant (bestow) a divine spark, to make mortals immortal or raise them into godhood (usually a devoted worshipper elevated to divine ally or subservient deity), but this is rare.

There are legends that the bodies of dead gods exist in the multiverse, and that divine sparks can be wrested from them by those who know how, and can find the dead gods, but some sages warn these tales are trap-trickery, spread by fiends who want to lure mortals, to gain their souls. There are also tales about divine sparks waiting as rewards for mortals who do certain things that further the Cosmic All, or help to right the Divine Balance, but these may or may not be true. And lastly, Elminster says some ruins and forests and other locales may glow with the divine spark of gods destroyed there, long agoÖjust waiting for those who know how to harvest them.
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Posted - 09 Mar 2020 :  16:59:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On dragon rules in the OGB:


Feb 9, 2020

@icequeenerika

why is there such a detailed system for dragon capturing and selling in the 1987 FR campaign set? Did any of your home groups at the time do it? Is it some hidden common adventuring party thing in the Realms?


@TheEdVerse

No, it was common in D&D at the time: adventurers generating income by bringing monster trophies (hides, organs, claws, fangs), live caged beasts, and eggs back to cities and selling them. So someone at TSR threw it in.
#Realmslore


@icequeenerika

As a follow up question for Ed though, are the rules on the preceding page for powering up dragons statistically your design? We know you prefer smarter, more unique dragons which would fit those stronger stats, as opposed to wyrms off random encounter tables.


@TheEdVerse

No. "Hard" game rules were done in-house in the Old Grey Box; I sent Jeff Grubb package after package of world lore, and the only "game" rule/format thing I did in that product was insist on the hex acetate overlay, so we could have hex-free maps.

I do prefer my dragons to be smart and not foolishly vain, and to have back stories, aims in life, hobbies, and so on. And they're supposed to be formidable; Gary Gygax baked that into the game (hence its name).
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On dragon sizes:


@AlexMcclay2000

Hey @TheEdVerse, I have a question regarding dragon sizes. There are three sources (Monstrous Manual 2e, FOR 1: Draconomicon and Draconomicon 3e) that give sizes of dragons and they are pretty different. For example an Adult Red dragonís body length in 2e is 80-99 feet, while in 3e its body is 18 feet. So they are drastically different. Excluding editions, what size would fit dragons in the Realms more, 2e or 3e? Also, dragon sizes in 2e are drastically different depending on the dragon, like the adult mercury dragon is 24 feet.

Thanks in advance!


@TheEdVerse

This just shows you how utter-stone-scared most humans who get anywhere near dragons are. They can't even guesstimate straight! However, Elminster tells me you'll live longer if you trust the larger dragon sizes. (Small ones probably aren't adults.)
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More coming... I've allowed a backlog to accumulate again, and I'm going thru them more or less in alphabetical order.

I've stopped adding dates to the more recent ones; many posts, Ed reposts the question himself and then answers it, and he may or may not be doing that on the same day -- so it kinda makes the date a moot point. Twitter's search engine seems to be pretty good, though, for finding exact text.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Mar 2020 :  03:52:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Weave:



@Mercurius_c

Is Mystra the goddess of the Weave of the whole multiverseĀCor she is just the Weavemaster of Toril?The phb saysĀgThe spellcasters of the Forgotten Realms call it the Weave and recognize its essence as the goddess Mystra.Āh

Can I understand it as:There is only one Weave in the multiverse,and wizards of the Toril named the only Weave Mystra?Or it is:The different worlds have different Weavemasters,and they rule the Weave of their own worlds?


@TheEdVerse

I'd put it another way:

Toril and all other worlds have multiple ways of accessing the energies of each world. And usually call the non-mechanical, non-engineering ways of accessing those energies "magic."

ONE of the ways on Toril is arcane magic (in D&D, wizard and sorcerer spells), and those who have the Gift (ability to wield arcane magic, which they call the Art) or study arcane magic (sages) refer to their way of accessing the energies as "the Weave." The Weave IS Mystra, the goddess of magic, and the Weave only extends throughout Realmspace (Toril and moons and the void/heavens around them). Other worlds have other ways of accessing energies, and may have their own equivalents of the Weave (not identical, and not governed by Mystra) or may not. Abeir likely has an equivalent, because it's the sister world of Toril, so similar and even sometimes (the Sunderings) contiguous with Toril, so that elements of the two worlds get swapped, but Weave-based spells don't work on Abeir; but innate spellcasting abilities do. I.e. the world energies are similar enough that magical effects can be near-duplicated, but not how they're brought about.

So in theory, a powerful archwizard from Toril would have to start all over learning how to work magic on Abeir, and if no developed system of working arcane magic, they may never hit upon how to create magical effects on Abeir, or may spend the rest of their lives experimenting and making very little headway.

In theory, all worlds MIGHT have their own Weaves (under various names) and their own gods of magic, or not. "Weavemasters" is a term I coined back in the 1990s for anyone who'd mastered the Weave (understanding its workings enough to not need the trappings of arcane magic like material, somatic, and verbal components), so they could work magic by silent act of will, rather than conventional casting. Accomplished, experienced Weavemasters (like most of the Chosen of Mystra) can think of what they want to do, then mentally call on the Weave to do it. So they can work magic when tied up, gagged, and so on, when traditional casters would be rendered helpless. They control the Weave only so much as they call upon it, and so are not the same as a deity of magic who is the Weave (e.g. Mystra) or who governs the Weave.

So Mystra IS the Weave within Realmspace only, and is greater than a Weavemaster. Other worlds have other systems of magic, and even Toril has other systems of magic (divine magic, for example). Most other systems of magic use the Weave for convenience, but need not do so (travel from real-world place to real-world place is easier using the existing road system, but could be accomplished, in many cases, by not using the existing road system).
#Realmslore


@VikGray

I wonder if arcane healing can replace divine healing or divine one is stronger. Players ask me why the realms need gods at all, and due to ky lack of experience I just say that divine magic gives acess to the healing services that are really usefull so gods have aome use


@TheEdVerse

We know from existing spells and recorded usages of spellfire that arcane magic can indeed heal, but divine magic does it at lower spell levels and at less cost, so divine magic is specialized for healing.

And the Realms need gods because some mortals in the Realms believe the Realms needs gods.

It's like having clocks and calendars. Can we live without them? Yes, but some of us have decided we need them in our lives, so we have them.
#Realmslore


@TruthSalvo

"Even Toril has other systems of magic (divine magic, for example)"

Wasn't it a point of contention during the Time of Troubles that Mystra was blocking the other God's access to magic? Wouldn't this mean Divine is just the Weave funneled through a god to their followers?


@TheEdVerse

You recall the ToT correctly. Divine magic customarily uses the Weave as the conduit, because (like an existing real-world road system) it's the fastest, easiest, most high-capacity way. But there are other ways (real-world web of railroads): place magic, table magic, etc. that I put into Realmslore at the beginning. So Mystra stopped the other deities in their tracks by denying them Weave access TEMPORARILY. They all then had to activate their alternatives. Raging.

And Mystra paid for that.
#Realmslore


@djtigon

@TheEdVerse in the past 20 min you've touched on both the weave and other conduits (ToT mystra denying access to the weave to dieties) & the netherese. So, We know that as of Karsas Folly, magic above level 9 was cut off from spellcasters. Is it true that this is only applies to individual spell casters and that a group of archmagi or a coven of witches or a cabal of warlocks could achieve 10th level or higher by a concurrently cast ritual or one that was cast in cooperative 'pieces' so to speak by multiple casters?

Additionally are level 10+ spells also cut off from extra planar beings such as Archdevils, Demon Princes, or super ancient beings such as the Oracle of Ellyn'taal who knew of these magics, but it's no longer a mere mortal?


@TheEdVerse

Ao cut off access through the Weave to spells above a certain power level (9th level in Torilian arcane magic terms) after the Folly of Karsus the over-reaching mortal. This means that more powerful spells fail upon casting when they access the Weave; it doesnĀft matter who casts them (so the spells of gods, archdevils, demon princes would fail, when cast into Realmspace, out of Realmspace, or within Realmspace).

IF those spells use the Weave.

There are rituals and magic systems that donĀft use the Weave, but the archmagi, covens of witches or hags, cabals of warlocks, and so on DO use the Weave in their rituals. Like the transplanted-to-Abeir wizards of Toril I mentioned in my earlier lore reply, such individuals would have to learn, or invent, an entire new system of magic to circumvent the Weave, and this would be hard for them without an expert tutor, because what theyĀfre used to, which influences how theyĀfd experiment and innovate, IS using the Weave; theyĀfd have to go against all instinct and learned behavior. Like one of us getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and overcoming our learned tendencies to steer with the steering wheel and accelerate or brake using the pedals...because this new vehicle steers with taps of the peddles and accelerates or brakes by turning the wheel.

Do-able, but I anticipate many spectacular crashes.
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

Wait -- *AO* is the one that banned those spells? So Mystra's Ban, as we've known it for so long, was actually Ao's ban?


@TheEdVerse

Yes. We know it in the Realms as Mystra's Ban because of priestly teachings (propaganda). "Regular folk" know nothing of Ao, but everyone knows about the goddess of magic.

At the time the Ban was enacted, Mystryl was in no condition to ban anything, and Mystra didn't exist yet.
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On Elminster's castle:

Feb 19, 2020


@Victus42

I was hoping you could resolve a question that has come up within my group. An older Spelljammer book mentions Elminster's Hideout connecting to his castle. We can not find any other mention of him having a castle. Did the book intend to refer to Elminster's Tower?


@TheEdVerse

The Hideout connects to Elís Tower via the castle, which is an old stone keep (still a castle, but not nearly as grand as the word makes most folk think) hidden high in the Thunder Peaks not far southeast of Thunderspire Mountain; itís disguised by ward-spells to look like the natural stone pinnacle it began life as, before long-ago dwarf masons set to work. The castle is empty of all but stairs, rooms, and magical gates to various elsewheres, but it can (and has) provided temporary shelter and storage, not to mention a place to practise and experiment with casting new spells.

The keep was originally a Ďcontrol the dragons, wyverns, and other beasties of this mountain rangeí base built by local dwarves as a trap-filled place for said creatures to attack (very few dwarves were stationed there; they were in various caverns in the mountains), and as a project for young dwarves to become skilled masons and stonecutters. The traps were cleared out by humans in the early days of Archendale, who planned to extend the daleís official reach into these mountains and found mines and build roads between the dale and the mines to enrich Archendale forever, but these plans never came to anything, and the keep was abandoned. Elminster and others of the Seven several times cleared it of brigands and opportunistic dragons seeking lairs, and decided to Ďspell-shroudí it to keep it from such uses, and as something they could use when they needed it.

The keep has at various times been known as Blackhammer Hold (to the dwarves of clan Blackhammer), Uruldís Folly, Halardracoís Fang, the Archenfang, the Silent Keep, and Elminsterís Grand Castle (this last was a mocking title bestowed by The Simbul, whom El took there for a night of lovemaking; she wasnít expecting luxury, but she WAS expecting something more than cold, bare-but-for-dust-and-rubble stone).
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On spells miscast by Elminster:


Feb 29, 2020


@MissMartinsen

Ye, who art in Elminsterís confidence, must possess some fine tales.

Might you share some instances where his spells have gone spectacularly awry, to comedic effect?


@TheEdVerse

Oh, so many mishaps. Letís choose some of the tamer ones.

There was the time El and Vangerdahast engaged in the wizardly equivalent of ďshoot the bottles off the fenceĒ distance marksmanship, with a spell akin to Melfís Minute Meteors, aimed at crenelations on an old stub of disused curtain wall at High Horn. Vangey missed with two and hit with a third; Elminster hit with two and missed with one. Vangey sneered and cast again, blasting the remaining crenelations off one end of the wall, then challenged Elminster to clear all the rest, at the other end of the wall, with a single spell. Elminster did that.

And in doing so took out the wall, toppling it down onto the High Road in a huge, road-blocking heap of rubble. Which terrified the second road-patrol of the afternoon, as it crashed down INCHES behind them.

Then there was the recent occasion upon which El ďhelpedĒ Laeral track down an elusive noble at a night revel in Waterdeep by working a spell that lofted all living creatures of over a certain size that were in a large, night-shrouded landscaped nobleís garden into the air, and enveloped them with a strong amber faerie fire glow. The spell worked perfectly, displaying to all quite a few startled courting couples embracing while unclad.

Some of them were even married to each other.

And then there was a prank El and Caladnei tried to play on Vangerdahast, by switching Myrmeen (as a dragon) with another dragon, while dragon-Vangey was flying in the moonlight over Suzail. El misjudged the swap, and the replacement dragon landed with a gigantic splash in the pond in the Royal Gardens, drenching royals and senior courtiers who were conferring about the future of the realm over drinks. The only one left dry and unfrightened was the ghost of Alusair, who shrieked with laughterówhich only added to the fear of everyone else.

I could go on for days, butÖEl WOULD kill me.
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Posted - 11 Mar 2020 :  00:01:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On elves reclaiming lost cities:


@LysbethRaven

Great Sage, I entreat another question from you. We all know the elven empires are largely gone, Evereska stands as the only remaining elven city in the Realms. Is there any effort by elves in general to rebuild new cities after so many failed attempts to claim ruins of old? Or are they just going to fade away, never to return?


@R0seOfStone

Isn't Iyrandrar still standing?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, when last I looked (a few hours back).
#Realmslore


@TheEdVerse

The elves are already rebuilding Myth Drannor AGAIN, so we know they don't intend to fade away. It's also important for humans in the Realms to bear in mind that elves prefer tree-homes and the like to paved, human-like cities, so some elf building and rebuilding may largely escape human notice. Moreover, after the way humans have behaved over the last few centuries, it would seem only sane for elves to dwell in areas as unspoiled and remote from human activity as they can get.
#Realmslore


@KingLorathorn

Poor Myth Drannor. Might as well be building a sandcastle.


@TheEdVerse

That has been said before. And yet...they persist.

I grew up walking in a municipal ravine park, in which every severe storm tore out pedestrian bridges and accordioned the asphalt paths linking them. The park crews rebuilt them, every time. Once, when asked why by a TV journalist, the workers looked astonished, and the crew boss replied, "But we LOVE our park. And I love building bridges."

So 'tis, with the elves.
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On Espruar:

Feb 10, 2020


@_Pseudoscience_

Hey, I can't really find the answer online but which of the two Espruar scripts floating around the web is the right one for the Realms?


@TheEdVerse

This one is the Espruar script I invented back in 1967 (yes, before D&D):
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/4/46/Espruar-5e.jpg

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