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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  20:48:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Yawning Portal:


Nov 29, 2020


@LouAnders

Hi @TheEdVerse what does the Yawning Portal look like from the outside?


@TheEdVerse

Right, here we go…

The Yawning Portal fronts on Rainrun Street in Castle Ward, and rises from its cobbles four floors (ground floor, and three above). It’s been rebuilt several times after various fires and adventurer-caused damage, gaining a new uppermost floor in the process, and is now (1490s DR) all of mismatched, gorgon-mortared (so no teleportation through the walls) gray (unpainted) fieldstone, with three-foot-thick walls, and a steeply-pitched slate (dark gray to black, unpainted) roof. The ground floor has no windows, just wide but single-swing doors on the E and W sides of the central southface “bumpout” (a forty-foot-long section projects about ten feet south out into Rainrun Street, and has doors at both ends, opening into a vestibule with bootjacks, a cloak and coat-hanging rack along the inside S wall, and a reception desk with a hostess and three “housejacks” (bouncers) behind it along its N side, with an opening to pass on into, or out of, the main inn at the E end of this desk.

The shape of the building can most clearly and accurately be seen on the 2e CITY OF SPLENDORS boxed set map (it’s Castle Ward feature 48, near the top edge of the southernmost page of the big foldout map): looked down on from above, it’s roughly a rectangle with the long axis E-W, an E wall that’s diagonal SE to NW, and a slightly slanted (to the NW) W wall. The S wall is thirty-five feet long from its western corner to the 40-foot-long central bumpout, then runs on E for another 40 feet past the bumpout to its other end.

The N wall has a thirty-foot (measuring west to east) W end, then jogs slightly E of due S, S about 15 feet to the back door/deliveries door/kitchen door of the inn, which is double-width and barred (it can be unbarred, opened up, and the bolts that anchor it down into the cibbles and up into its upper frame shot back, to fling it open wide enough for a low wagon or a full-width cart to be pushed in or pulled out, for kitchen and pantries and furniture access, though this is very rarely done).

This door access part of the N wall is sixteen feet wide, E-W, then runs due N twelve feet or so, to turn E and form the longest run of the inn’s N wall.

There are no windows at all on the ground/street floor, but heavy-wood-shutter-protected (and almost always closed) windows on the S wall of the floor above, on either side of the central bumpout.

On the floor above that are smaller, also wooden-shuttered, windows all along the S wall, at the S end of the W wall (looking down into the alleyway), and in the center of that long easternmost run of the N wall (looking down into the interior of the city block, behind the inn).

On both floors above that, and the attic, are small windows looking due E, in the southern end of the E wall, looking out over the roof of the inn stables (which is the long, slender building adjoining the Yawning Portal, butting onto its E wall and running E along Rainrun Street to touch Lankathla’s Bakery, the shop on the corner, which is only two floors tall, the uppermost being where Lantkathla Dree and her all-female [two wives and four daughters] live, above their baking floor).

The inn has two stone chimneys rising up past its roofpeak ridge, out of both angles where its walls head N on either side of the back door (the kitchen chimneys), a central chimney stack that warms the main taproom and [via sub-hearths] rooms above, and additional chimneys rising out of the center of the western N wall, the W wall at its SW corner, and the S end of the diagonal E wall (in the “point” angle of the wall, and also offering warmth to the adjacent stables).

Aside from the shaft down into Undermountain, the inn has cellars (mainly used for food, ale, and wine storage), but these don’t extend farther than the outer walls of the inn, except for a certain narrow secret passage running north that’s still NDA.

And lastly, the Yawning Portal has a jutting signboard (as seen on the cover of WATERDEEP, the concluding book of the Avatar trilogy) on a pole projecting from the floor above the ground floor, out into Rainrun Street. This old sign has been salvaged through several inn rebuilds. There’s also a weathervane crowning the center of the E-W roofpeak, and lightning rods jutting up at both ends of said roofpeak. Locals recall a memorable night during which Mirt perched on it, singing bawdy songs, but he was likely drunk at the time.


@LouAnders

Ed, once again a) thank you b) wow and c) much more than I was asking and all fascinating! So the Halls of Undermountain interior map isn't accurate to the first floor description here then? I'm going to undertake to construct the YP with 3D printing, a HUGE project after I finish the current endeavor (a castle). Some of the diagonal walls I may not be able to do. I may end up splitting the difference between this description, the Halls interior map, and the recent cross-section drawing (that clearly inspired the new play set). Thanks


@TheEdVerse

Hi! Sounds like great fun (and a lot of work!).

The Halls map WAS accurate (in the 1460s), but a spell-duel shattered much of the then-taproom/Shaft Room and the two floors immediately above it, resulting in (after temporary rebuilding) what can be seen in WATERDEEP: DRAGON HEIST (pages 18-19). Which in turn has been "properly rebuilt" since then, to fill in the open well into the upper floors (to restore more rentable inn rooms and cut down on the night carousing noise into those floors).

And these rebuilds occur over and over again. What's in HALLS OF UNDERMOUNTAIN bears no relation at all to what was published on the Map 7 sheet of the (2e) CITY SYSTEM boxed set (circa the 1350s DR), which was of a much smaller earlier building. The Portal is a...battered place.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  20:50:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Year 0 DR, the Year of the Rising Flame:


@marcellvspqr

I'm reading through The Grand History of the Realms and wondering: is there a Year 0 DR or is -1 DR (Year of Shattered Relics) immediately followed by 1 DR (Year of Sunrise)? If there is a Year 0, what happens in it?

@TheEdVerse

There is indeed a Year 0 DR: the Year of the Rising Flame. If you consult the 2e tomes Heroes’ Lorebook or my The Seven Sisters, you’ll learn that this is the year when Ao told Mystra, and Mystra in turn told Azuth, that some of Mystra’s power must be vested in mortals (so she will have “Chosen”).
#Realmslore


@MissMartinsen

I like how flame is a running theme with Mystra. Rising flame, blue flame items, silver fire...

Are there other kinds of “flame”? I suspect it’s NDA, but I have to ask.


@TheEdVerse

There are other kinds, and this is heavy NDA territory.

Hearken to Chris Perkins DMing and see how often green flames are mentioned, when magical effects are being described. Amber and ale-brown hues are mentioned in some of my old FR adventures, and not by accident.
#Realmslore


@MissMartinsen

Thanks for the response!

Hmm, intriguing... ;)


@TheEdVerse

In this hand, I hold more intrigue. You can JUST see it, peeking above the flickering flames...
;}


@MissMartinsen

Sir, you tease me.

I can respect that.


@TheEdVerse

Lady, I admit it. I am an incorrigible tease.

I WANT to spill all, so so much, and it sears me inside. So I tease.

At your service.


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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  20:51:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On themes for clerical magic:


@jayeedgecliff

I wonder if you kight enlighten us on some aspects of how you envision cleric magics.
Never mind game mechanics … they can’t make up their minds … just TSR & WorC out the window, are clerical spells a standardised language of magic? To clarify does a Banite casting Cure Light Wounds use the same prayer with [insert god of choice here] as a Gondian? Or do the prayers go utterly differently from one clerical order to the next?
Too what of effects?

End result maybe a closed wound, but in the way a wizard can change or add words to a spell and suddenly her fireball is purple. Or twist a gesture *thus* and you epend what would be damaging force into making a much bigger volume simply a little warmer for a moment.

If a devotee of Bast tries to close a wound does a purring phantom kitten lie on it for a moment while a Sunite maybe is kissed better by the cleric themselves and a lingering ghost kiss Kiss mark hangs there until the healing finishes?

Stuff like that?
/end


@TheEdVerse

From the beginning of the Realms (pre-D&D), I have always clung to the notion that priests cure by calling on divine power through prayer, and that each faith has its own unique prayers (though for the simplest magics, such as conjuring light or banishing dirt or stains, there might well be 'generic prayers' all deities or their servitors would listen to). As the priest, your fervour/passion and any creative wording (heartfelt) you employ would be heeded, but devout beings are reluctant to stray creatively from the prayer wordings they've been taught for fear of the magic failing completely, or even incurring a 'slap' of divine displeasure.

So priests cleave to what they're taught. The wording of a Cure Light Wounds of a priest of Ilmater differs from a priest of Tyr.

And yes, regarding kittens and the like ;} I think every faith (and orders of paladins) would have their own differing details of rituals and customs. You CAN heal on the battlefield, but a priestess of Chauntea prefers to heal on a bed of wheat, corn, barley, etc.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  20:52:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Thorass suffixes in city names:


@zoozeki

Sorry if this has been asked before. Is the suffix -pur in city names analogous to Greek -pol? What language family is this from? And are there equivalent suffixes for towns, villages, hamlets?


@TheEdVerse

In Thorass (Old Common), “pur” means “great settlement” (=large settlement=city).

In Thorass, a market-moot was the closest term to a town, and had a “-ubel” suffix (which survives in the name of Scornubel). A fast-growing settlement of any size might get a “-bor” suffix (as in Iriaebor), and a good harbor’s name might end with “-gaunt” (Selgaunt). However, these suffixes were seldom used, and often vanished when growing places got renamed.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  20:53:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On spices carried by travelers:


@smparlin

Ed, I was recently watching a video on the spices that 18th American's used to carry when they traveled. Would carrying a common spice mix be the norm in the realms for travelers too? If so, what spices were normally carried?


@TheEdVerse

It depends on the palate/cuisine of the wayfarer, the climate being traveled through (which can affect what can be readily “picked from the wild” near a campsite, for right-now cooking), and length of journey.

Almost everyone carries a vial holding a pinch of salt, but beyond that, “it depends.” A VERY few carry their own spice blend (like modern real-world allspice or garam masala), but most in the Heartlands carry variants on this “base staples” array: coarse sea salt, ground black pepper, ground garlic, dill seeds, dried diced chives, vial of honey, Thyme, nutmeg or cinammon. The farther south and east you go from the Sword Coast, the more coriander, dried tamarind, dried ginger, turmeric, ground almonds, raisins, and rosemary show up in most travelers’ spice pouches. Which contain lots of little vials (often glass encased in whittled wooden ‘shielding shells’ to guard against breakage, and some drawstring leather pouches, “finished” side inward to minimize reactions with the contents.
#Realmslore


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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:05:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Turlang spreading the High Forest:


@FrankMcCormick

What has ever become of Turlang's ambitions to spread the High Forest to the north to provide a buffer with the Silver Marches, and the east to join up with the Forgotten Forest?


@TheEdVerse

Still going strong. Turlang, like all treants, is slow, patient, and inexorable. He “takes the long view” and keeps working. Subtly.

In this case, knowing woodcutters will pounce on “good” trees growing up outside the Forest, he’s sewing scrub “waste” trees and tangle vines in profusion to the north and east of the High Forest, ‘choking’ and overgrowing the land without helping large, “tall trees” to grow except at random. Creating a stealth buffer, if you will.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:12:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On using magic on the fly:


@RodrigoAlcanza

Mr. Greenwood, why in Realms does magic not work ‘on the fly’? Why can't spellcasters create spontaneous effects according to their needs? Similar to ArsMagica/Mage Ascension. I imagine to fit D&D, but what is the explanation in Realms? Spellcasters must have tried.


@TheEdVerse

Hi, Rodrigo. Some Realms spellcasters CAN work magic ‘on the fly’...all Weavemasters (such as the Chosen of Mystra, including Elminster), for example, and many who have the Gift (innate ability to wield the Art), but who don’t use arcane magic (wizards, sorcerers) or divine magic (clerics). There are many forms and systems of magic active in the Realms, but D&D tends to concentrate on arcane and divine magic, for player characters.

By all means run your own game campaign with characters using other systems of magic, but you’ll have to work out, or adapt, other rules systems to run the magic. Whatever works for you!
#Realmslore


@VikGray

Reddit ppl told me all arcane/divine magic comes from Weave and works through Weave.
Whats the diff between arc/div magic now then?
Or I misunderstood smth again


@TheEdVerse

Arcane magic is a means of calling on the Weave by rituals/a formula (spellcasting). Divine magic is a means of praying to deities to grant you specific Weave energies to do specific effects (the gods call on the Weave for you).
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:12:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Volothamp Geddarm's lifespan:


@smarkforo

how is it that Volothamp has lived beyond the average lifespan of humans ?


@TheEdVerse

Volo is unwittingly one of Mystra's 'Weave anchors,' invested with her divine fire, which has kept him alive on quite a few improbable occasions.

He was trapped in stasis (thanks to Elminster) when the Spellplague hit, and his Weave anchor-status kept the stasis magic from going wild and harming him (or ending prematurely). So he stayed the same age, as decades passed, trapped in stasis.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:14:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Volo's spells:


@TimeBust

Although he doesn't seem to be the most skilled at it if levels are any indication, Volo's been a wizard for a long time, has he authored any spells of his own?


@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes. Some are NDA, some've been published, and there's Volo's Snatch, a 1st level spell that plucks 1 caster's fist or smaller item within the caster's sight, to fly through the air, to the caster's hands. Dex check to catch each one; Volo usually uses it to steal tarts, but has managed to get keys to rooms or cells he's confined in, timely-useful weapons and tools, and so on. Caster can pluck 1 item for every 4 arcane class levels they possess. Spell can't break chains, rings, or hasps to fetch secured items.

Naked fleeing Volo once used this to garner a wardrobe (frilly lingeries, but still) while racing through a shop, after a husband came home earlier than anticipated. I left that out of a manuscript, for reasons of good taste that escape me now.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:14:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdeep's Golden Harp Inn:


@_Matafer


Hey @TheEdVerse :) anything you can tell me about the Golden Harp Inn? #loremaster


@TheEdVerse

So, from the Adventurer’s Guide booklet in the 2e City of Splendors boxed set, you likely already know that The Golden Harp is a Sea Ward two-storey inn (standing on southfront Skulls Street, in the block between but otherwise very quiet due to its solid construction. It’s both cozily-furnished (with comfortable overstuffed seating, well supplied with pillows and cushions, many tapestries and wall-hangings. and woven rugs underfoot throughout; and well-heated (every room having its own fireplace). It’s also well-lit and ventilated, and the staff are cheerful without being loud or intrusive; it tends to attract a clientele of similar mien.

The upper floor is devoted to fourteen small guestrooms, the servants sleep in the dormered attic above, and the ground floor is devoted to garderobes, kitchen and pantry, and a large common room comfortably furnished with coaches around the walls broken by small sidetables, and round wooden dining tables currounded by chairs in the center. The cellar is low-ceilinged, damp, and given over to a workshop (furniture repairs and reupholstering), a laundry, and keg and bulk vegetable (mainly potatoes and carrots) and fruit (mainly apples) bin storage.

Since the early 1300s DR, this inn has been known for the illusory golden harp that appears briefly, on random evenings, floating in midair near the ceiling of the common room (in the same central spot, though if this spot is deliberately occupied, it will appear nearby) to sing and play ancient Sword Coast and Savage North ballads by itself.

Some long-ago patrons attempted to make this feature disappear by use of dispel magics, but each time, it reappeared shortly thereafter. There are various conflicting tales told of the harp’s origins, but which, if any, of them are true has been lost to time. The most popular story says that this is a haunting, the legacy of Sharaerra Valeth, a bard who built the inn (as a private family mansion), a lady who lived happily in what is now “the Harp” for many years, and died in what is now the common room of the infirmities of old age—but died while actually playing and singing, to entertain her children.

The inn has changed very little from the 1470s through 1490s, being known as a quiet, cozy ‘home away from home,’ not haughty or showy, but a relaxing haven. Under motherly, quietly efficient innkeeper Alanna Falark (CH hf W2 [knows mainly useful cantrips, but can defend herself]) and head cook Omdurl Surlhond (LN hm F4 [retired, but can still throw a cleaver or filleting knife with deadly aim]), the Harp serves simply, heart fare of a roast boar or oxen dish every evening with fresh fish dishes also available, and soups and tarts (meat, vegetable, and berry) available at all times. It has a small but good range of wines, a few liquors, and ale, stout, and porter (brewed nigh Amphail) on tap.

Like all Sea Ward inns, the Harp is pricey (2 gp/night with all meals but only ales and water to drink included, other drinkables extra, and stabling 5cp/beast atop that, plus 2 sp if a wagon or carriage must be housed, “under secure guard,” out back). Many a successful merchant prefers to stay here when in Waterdeep; one of them long ago cited the Harp as a “drama-free restful haven,” and that remains true.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:15:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdeep's harbor:


@ShayanFilmStuff

in the 14th century, Waterdeep's Harbour was very clear, but by 1479 it had become brown and murky. Under Laeral, has the harbour cleared up? Also, how did the merfolk let it get so dirty?


@TheEdVerse

First, Mistshore was burned to get rid of most of it—which means everything aboard the ships plunged down into the harbor when the fire reached vessel waterlines. Not only did that dump poisons and even some living aquatic monsters into the harbor, the taint killed some merfolk and forced many of them to relocate away into the Outer Harbour to avoid being sickened and dying.

Very shortly thereafter, some of the Xanathar’s agents diverted some sewers to give themselves more subterranean space—and a lot more foulness began to flow daily into the harbour. Merfolk who tried to fix the latter were slaughtered by an undead eye of the deep Xanathar servitor.

The Xanathar’s reach is long.

However, Laeral’s is even longer, so that servitor is gone and remedial sewer work has been done and some mighty spells cast, and the harbour waters are clearing up.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:16:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Scroll Street in Waterdeep:


@David_Pryde

I have an untitled Thann adventurer thinking of buying property on southern corner of Scroll Street and Snail Street. He wants to become First Earl of Scroll. Any interesting history about Scroll Street?
Thank you for all you do, ...


@TheEdVerse

Sure. Scroll Street got its current name (renamed from Bendulph’s Lane, after the man who began it as a paved cul-de-sac with five buildings for rent (by him, by the room or suite) clustered around it, built on what had been his stockyard paddock) when most of the ground-floor shops were rented by scribes, who lived above their shops and hired ‘underscribes’ to work for them at very low wages by throwing in room and board (in the rest of the rooms above the shops), so a short stretch of Scroll Street became the locale of choice, if you weren’t a noble or someone else rich enough to summon a scribe to you to do work, for you to find a selection of scribes to quickly copy something, draw up a contract or trade agreement in quadruplicate (a copy to each party, plus a temple copy for the temple holding the money, plus a tax-record-remittance copy for the Palace).

So for nigh two centuries Scroll Street was a hive of scribes, who earned most of their coin as copyists for daily mercantile trade. (Then and now, it attracts a trickle of interested folk who assume “scroll” means a spell scroll, and magic can be bought and sold in Scroll Street. Largely untrue, though it’s correctly rumored many scribes have a handful of spell scrolls they bought as investments, and will sell only for very high prices to the desperate.)

Then Scroll Street started to attract some wealthier renters, including mapmakers and bookbinders. The most interesting event it hosted was a band of adventurers arriving to harass a scribe who was secretly a novice mage — adventurers hired by a creditor. Their violence frightened other scribes living on Scroll Street into sending their fastest family members to call on Watchful Order aid, and the street briefly became a battlefield, in what became known as ‘the Shatterbone Fray’ (thanks to various adventurers being hurled forcefully into exterior building walls by various spells, then urged on their way by a chain lightning spell unleashed by an irked wizard arriving in the street to buy a blank workbook to record his spellcrafting experiments.

There are also persistent rumors of doppelgangers dwelling among the scribes of Scroll Street (these rumors are true, and the doppelgangers are spies for the Xanathar, to keep eyes on the two expert forgers/counterfeiters among the Scroll Street residents, and to watch for anyone beginning to regularly sell spell scrolls (which hasn’t happened yet, at these addresses).
#Realmslore

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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:17:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waterdhavian wedding rings:


@secthay

Hey, I was wondering if there's any kind of symbol of marriage in waterdeep, similar to rings in the real world? Thanks


@TheEdVerse

Yes. Each person about to be married takes their own ring to the same smith (in Waterdeep, many "storefronts" for gnomes and dwarves reach anvils in the Warrens) and are ("betrothal rings" are worn on middle fingers in the Realms) "sized."

Then both rings are cut in half, the non-matching halves fused together to create two half-and-half "union" rings, made (either by adding new material or by thinning the rings to stretch what's already there) to fit the respective middle fingers (resizing visits may be necessary). These are worn to the ceremony on fine neck-chains by the partners-to-be, then exchanged, each puts the ring on the other, and at the end of the vows, the rings are clinked together to end the ceremony, so the kissing and feasting can start.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:18:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Waukeenar profanity:


@NickelNinety7

@TheEdVerse, what kind of cuss would a frustrated Waukeenian swear, both to no one in particular and directed towards someone frustrating.


@TheEdVerse

Aside from the ‘general’ cusswords and phrases, the following:
“Tarnish!” or “Tarnished!” (referring to the visible surface besmirchment of coins, and equivalent to real-world “Darn!” or “Blast!”) and of a person: “Tarnisher!”

A step stronger (so, equivalent to “Damn!” or “Damn it!”):
“Diminisher!” (more polite) or “Wastrel!” (less polite)

Another step stronger (so, equivalent to “Sh*t!” or “G*d DAMN it!”):
“Beswindled!” and of a person: “Swindler!”

Stronger still:
“Ruination!” and of a person: “Jaeleth!” (the name of a long-ago but still-bitterly-remembered female moneylender of Amn who ruined not just families, but cities and duchies with her thefts)

REALLY strong:
“Ontagon!” (the name of an ancient archwizard who had a spell that melted gemstones into magical energy, consuming them forever, so the word means utter and irreversible, wanton destruction of wealth) and of a person: “Hurkfist!” (“Hurk” is all that survives of a fragmentary name from Jhaamdath, of someone whose thefts ruined an entire district, AND himself, so a recklessly foolish thief)
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On what lizardfolk call themselves:

Jul 26, 2020

@Meonaar

Hello @TheEdVerse! Hope you doing great in this hard time. I have a question about lizardfolk. How do they call themselves? I think that "lizardfolk" and "lizardman" are names on Common. How they would call themselves on their language and what is their true name?


@TheEdVerse

Hi, Max. Delays in answering come when I must consult others on lore, check NDAs, or unearth long-buried notes, maps, or records. This one of yours involved all three.

So... truenames of lizardfolk are still NDA, and I can only answer for the Realms, wherein lizardfolk call themselves various things at various places and times, but the most popular term today (1490s DR) is “Ssah,” which means “We Who Endure” and is understood to mean ‘we lizardfolk.’

Older terms include “Arakuluth,” which translates roughly as ‘Proud-Scales’ (Justifiably Proud, And Scaled), and “Haarthuu” (transliteration: Slow But Sure ...but this really means ‘Patient And Determined/Steadfast To Our Goals’). Note that these names are all older than current Draconic, as spoken by lizardfolk today.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:19:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the strings of musical instruments:


@PastorGall

this was probably covered before somewhere, but what are instrumemts made of normally in the realms? Wood and such as normal but what about strings and things like that?


@TheEdVerse

Many strings are made of spun silk, horsehair (tails), and “gut” (dried intestines of rothé, oxen, or lambs). Only senior Gondite priests and skilled dwarven smiths can make wire fine and homogenous enough for use as strings.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:20:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On who governed Calimport in 1271 DR:


@CatalogFantasy

You wouldn't happen to have any references on who governed Calimport say around 1271 DR?


@TheEdVerse

Sure. Syl-pasha Amjad Tahandral, a thin, spike-bearded, brilliant man with a usually-carefully-hidden whimsical sense of humor, a gift for mimicry, and a talent for posing as a woman with the aid of a few cantrips and his masterful acting (adopting feminine gait and gestures), which he sometimes used, heavily veiled, to eavesdrop on “just plain citizens,” go shopping, and elude individuals he didn’t want to talk to.

Many syl-pashas ruled in name only, but not Tahandral. His vizars were loyal servants, not puppetmasters. Tahandral ruled for almost thirty years (around 1269 DR on), then faked his own death and disappeared, apparently tiring not just of rule, but of Calimshan. He was traced as far as Sembia, where he swiftly switched identities several times, then slipped into Cormyr.

Some believe he then went to Waterdeep or Silverymoon, others to the Dales, and still others think he changed gender permanently and dwelt quietly in Cormyr, raising chickens.

{As for why he went shopping: he liked to eat dishes that were heavy on garlic, mushrooms, and leeks all fried in wines. Courtiers hated the smell he exuded and breathed, and avoided preparing said dishes; so when in the mood, he bought and cooked for himself.}

Lore Lord of the Realms George Krashos has rescued me, pointing out quite rightly that Tahandral would have been "Pasha" of Calimport, not "Syl-Pasha" (the Syl-Pasha of Calimshan at the time was Kamar yn Saban el Djenispool).


@CatalogFantasy

Any evil-aligned personas that had a heavy but influence in these years.


@TheEdVerse

In Calimport in Tahandral’s time, the sultans Fasih Maloufmaroun and Amaunali Almghazar, the former a subtle grifter (skimming coins from every transaction passing through his hands, in Grand Ward) and the latter slowly and carefully building his own criminal gang to shadow-rule his ward (Jewel Ward) by threats and by spreading false rumors.

In wider Calimshan, the pashas Jubrah Naipheh and Muuaumhar Qaphar did the same as Almghazar, paying as little attention as politely possible to Tahandral’s authority.
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On who runs a temple:


@smparlin

Is it more common for the official leader of a temple(cleric) to be the most powerful spell caster in the temple or is it more common to see a lower level cleric in charge of 1 or more higher level spell casting cleric in the temple hierarchy?


@TheEdVerse

It’s most common for the most powerful cleric in a temple to head the temple, yes, but not always; matters vary over time due to customs within faiths, and due to real-world events (more powerful individual is sent on a special mission, and ends up using a temple as a home or base that continues to be run by a lower-level cleric, or high priest trains a successor who is of lower class-level/spellcasting ability than the temple ‘enforcer’ or ‘guardian’ cleric).

Many faiths separate ‘worldly’ or adventuring clerics from ‘holy’ or administrative clergy in various subtle ways, and sometimes these translate into “less powerful devotees who are better administrators are put in charge.”

In other words, order such things as best fit your campaign/story needs; I’m describing a tendency rather than a hard-and-fast rule.

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On why Cyric didn't get Mystra's portfolio:


@aaracokra

On the note of deicide - why did Cyrik not usurp Mystra's portfolio when he murdered her?

@TheEdVerse

Cyric was far too insane to concentrate enough to subsume and master the Weave. Which was in chaos, like tsunamis rushing back and forth through the world. He didn't even know Mystra was thee Weave, and even sane and calm, he wouldn't have known how to take hold of it, much less master its workings and so be able to take Mystra's portfolio. Cyric is a perfect example of self-delusional narcissistic "I can do anything" without preparation or knowledge. Ao would have prevented him in any event, but I doubt Cyric could even have defeated Azuth, who was rushing to stabilize the Weave at that moment.

The Weave survived because of Mystra's foresight in turning the "mortals you must cede fractions of your power to" (saith Ao) into Weave anchors.

Cyric managed to murder Mystra large part because he caught her unawares (no sane deity would have done what he did; it's like you trying to seize a palace by toppling its roof supports so it collapses and is destroyed...with you in the middle of it).

Any three Weave anchors (let's say: Elminster, Storm, and The Simbul) could have destroyed Cyric at that moment, if they'd caught HIM unawares. Instead, they were trying to stabilize the Weave, and paying the mental price for doing so.

If the china shop is Toril, and all of we mortals are the highly breakable china, Cyric is the rampaging bull gleefully destroying everything, and the Weave anchors who are the Chosen (as opposed to the unwitting ones, like Volo) are rushing around the china shop frantically catching falling plates and vases.

History is FUN. Afterwards.
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On the Manyhanded Curse:



@Wax_Da_Stache

Hello @TheEdVerse! I’m curious about the origin of the “Manyhanded Curse” reference directed at humans in the Realms. Can you elaborate on what it is and why the elves specifically coined it as a moniker for humans? Thank you!


@TheEdVerse

Elves refer to humans in this way because the sheer numbers of humans make them dangerous to the environment (overcutting or clearing forests, for example). So their deeds are the “curse,” and it is “manyhanded” because there are so many humans (kill thousands, there are still tens of thousands left) and because they may all be self-interested and therefore working at cross purposes (thus, “many hands”), but still prevail through the sheer weight of their numbers (for example, if some want to preserve a forest but others want to clear it, and the two groups end up fighting over the forest, they may destroy the forest in their fighting).

Hence, to elves and many others, humans are “the Manyhanded Curse.”

(The TRUE manyhanded curse are actually the orcs, who so outbreed humans and everyone else that if unchecked by strife among themselves, the depredations of giants and dragons, and so on, they will end up ruling all of Faerûn sooner rather than later.)
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On why sentient creatures are sacrificed:


@JacobVardy

Ed, if you have time, why then are sentient creatures sacrificed? Do clerics just enjoy the power? Or do worshipers give off extra potent prayers during a sacrifice?


@TheEdVerse

Life force being released (bodily energies, that is, rather than the soul) is a potent energy source in magic (it’s at the core of necromancy). To clerics whose alignment and faith ethos don’t hand them an ethical problem with sacrifices, sentient sacrifices included, it’s like getting jet fuel when others are striking flint and steel together to produce sparks.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:33:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On why Westgate has multiple gates:


@icequeenerika

Westgate is on a peninsula, and economically it's an important port town between the west and the east (or the inland and the Sea of Fallen Stars). What confuses me is why the city has so many gates in all directions, even though land trade comes and goes West.

The Grand Ride is the only major road leading into and out of Westgate. Azure Bonds and the Forgotten Realms Atlas seem to suggest the Grand Ride curls around the Hills of the Seven Lost Gods and then meets up with the South Gate, so where do the other gates lead?


@TheEdVerse

While it's true that there has always been travel to and from farms in the land around the city, the majority of such gates, as with all walled cities in the Heartlands, is to allow ready access to livestock paddocks well outside the walls (for "let's get away from the stink" reasons); the paddocks exist for daily "feeding the city" needs, and more importantly, to let wagons, beasts of burden, local cargo carts, and people ready access to fields where caravans assemble and disperse. Westgate's location at the end of the Grand Ride means fourteen or more caravans could be gathering or dispersing at any one time, outside the walls (no room INSIDE), and being as the city wants to not be at the mercy of a caravan coster or trading company forcibly establishing a monopoly by just occupying all the mustering space, it's in their interest to have multiple gates so no one player can dominate, and always has been. So: many city gates.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:34:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On wizards not using the Weave:


Aug 29, 2020


@arautomestre

Good night Great Sage from Shadowdale. A curiosity: how did the Spellcasters (Wizards) manage to use magic without the use of Weave during the post-spellplague years from 1385 DR to 1475 DR? I believed that only Shadovars (Shades) used magic without using Weave.

How did Wizards dominate raw magic without Weave? Pluma and Hishna magic certainly worked without Weave interference, just like the obscure Halruaan technique know as Table Magic, but standard magic does not! That would be the doubt.


@TheEdVerse

The Weave is just one way of accessing the natural powers of the world (wind, tides, convection currents/heat/sunlight, magnetism, flowing water and other kinetic effects, etc.) by non-purely-physical means (like digging or damming), which are collectively referred to as "magic." There are many others, but the D&D game system concentrates on the Weave-based ones because they are the fastest (which matters, when you're fighting for your life!). By experimentation and consulting old grimoires (in Candlekeep, various temples and royal and court and sages' libraries) for hints of other ways of spellcasting, arcane spellcasters found other ways. Steadied by the Weave, because it did NOT collapse entirely thanks to Mystra's foresight in establishing Weave anchors, both living (e.g. the Chosen) and nonliving (e.g. the Athora), the continued existence of Azuth, and some other factors, some as yet unrevealed.

Quite a few creatures use magic without accessing the Weave (even monsters, when we refer to them in the rules as having "spell-like powers/abilities"), not just shades. The study of magic is a rabbit hole that some individuals (like Larloch) devote many lifetimes to, without ever getting near a full or complete understanding of current magic ("current" because magic is not static, but a living, growing thing over time, thanks to the innovations of many sentient creatures).
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:35:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On wombats:


@Mabristow

Rereading Tomb of Annihilation and this got me wondering - where in the Forgotten Realms do wombats come from? Where is FR’s Australia? Questions for @TheEdVerse and
@ChrisPerkinsDnD


@TheEdVerse

Wombats came through gates from our Earth, long ago. There is no Realms analogue for Australia (be misled not by talk of “Osse,” for it is quite different).
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:36:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Zehir:


@Cyrus_More

Hi Ed. Are events taking place in Neverwinter Nights officially in Forgotten Realms lore?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, unless superceded/contradicted by lore in official (Wizards of the Coast) publications.
#Realmslore


@LeslieCourtne14

So what’s the deal with the god Zehir? Is he still a thing in the Realms?


@TheEdVerse

Zehir appeared in the Realms just before the Spellplague began, and is still around, venerated by increasing numbers of yuan-ti who see Zehir as the leader of their races into a “new age” of power and prominence.

The deity is derisively known as “Fangskull” among dragons, and this name has leaked out to mages and sages.
#Realmslore


@LeslieCourtne14

And what is the relationship between this interloper deity and more traditional Yuan-ti gods like Sseth and Mersshaulk?


@TheEdVerse

Between their clergy: hostile.

Among other yuan-ti worshippers: tense to uncaring, depending on personal devotion.

Between the deities: Sseth and Merrshaulk are in near-torpor/slumber, and Merrshaulk and Zehir are both Set, who in both guises plays at hostilities (with each other) to maximize interest and devotion among yuan-ti (and dominates Sseth, who was imprisoned by Set during the Time of Troubles).
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:36:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Zuggtmoy:


@vorpal_bladeDM

Is Zuggtmoy considered a Demon Prince? The wiki has her at the power level of a Demon Lord but Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes has her listed with the Princes.


@TheEdVerse

Zuggtmoy is indeed a Demon Prince (or Princess, as she prefers it when thinking of such matters at all). Trust in the official tomes of lore.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:37:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ranking some of the wizards of the Realms:


Aug 24, 2020

@HalfElfatHeart

Hi @TheEdVerse, whenever some of the big-name wizards in FR lore are brought up, they are often compared to other wizards of great power. If you had to rank Elminster, Gromph Baenre, Halaster Blackcloak, Szass Tam, and Larloch in terms of wizardry alone, where would you put them?


@TheEdVerse

As far away as possible. In another universe should be far enough. ;}


@leechmon

Well played sir.

well

played


@TheEdVerse

However, to answer you seriously: by wizardry alone (mastery of spells, experience with using them, creativity in making new ones and modifying existing ones, and understanding the underlying raw magic—and leaving out the sanity of the caster, their arsenal of enchanted items and spell library, and any divine assistance or favor), I’d put them like this:

Larloch a shade ahead of Halaster Blackcloak, then Elminster, then Gromph Baenre, then Szass Tam. (With the Srinshee ahead of them all, and The Simbul and then Khelben just a whisker behind Elminster.)

If you do factor in sanity and rank them by effectiveness in battle, on their own and without items and not on their home turf with any wards, defenses, and so on, then the order shifts to Elminster a shade ahead of Larloch, then Khelben, Gromph, Halaster, The Simbul, and Szass Tam.

El’s strengths are his flexibility and vast practical field and back-alley experience, as well as Weavemastery, and Larloch’s are his utter calm and his many, many years of patiently mastering a vast and growing library of spells.
#Realmslore


@gokmenoncu

How about Ioulaum? I always considered he is the most powerful one. But he is unable to move freely as a downside.


@TheEdVerse

Ioulaum is one of the most CREATIVE/innovative spellcasters. Yet years behind re. current spells and castings, lacks back-alley/street-fighting experience, and can readily be fettered in any battle against a Weavemaster (such as El). So: just behind Larloch.
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:38:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On dwarven words for snow, ice, snowflakes, and frost:


@gkrashos

Hi Ed. Someone was asking today on one of the FR FB pages what the dwarven words for “snow”, “snowball”, “snowflake” and “frost” might be. Are you able to fill us in?


@TheEdVerse

Sure!

Sleet is “agwurl” (from agh = sharp + wurl = perilous water or unwelcome water [as opposed to wurn, which is useful, wanted water/good drinking water]).

Powdery white snow is “neywurl” (white-water) when falling, and “neytulr” (white + heap or pile) when fallen/on the ground.

A snowflake is “neywurth” (white-wet, as “wurth” is wetness, and the state of something being wet).

Frost is “thorhavr” (derived from thorord = cold + havar = hide, skin, coating).

Ice is “aghvorwurl” (sharp-hard-perilous water), but shortened in daily speech to just "aghvorl."
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:39:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On elven terms for parents and grandparents:


Oct 30, 2020


@_Fwoop_

Help @TheEdVerse!

What are the elven words for father, mother, grandfather & grandmother in Faerun?


@TheEdVerse

Here you go:
Mother: : osi
Father: osu
Maternal Grandmother: i’osi
Paternal Grandmother: i’osu
Maternal Grandfather: u’osi
Paternal Grandfather: u’osu
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Posted - 30 Dec 2020 :  21:40:10  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On some hin terms:


Aug 8, 2020

@ubergrog

Greetings & HUZZAH @TheEdVerse! My Hin Cleric of Chauntea wants to name her owl animal companion "wise friend", her pony "strong friend", etc, but I haven't been able to find a "Hin dictionary" anywhere. Any pointers for a humble admirer? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

I’ve assembled only the barest bones of a Realms hin lexicon over the years, but I can tell you this much: “true friend” or “trusted friend” is “vaer” and in any compound linguistic construction in the halfling tongue comes first, with the descriptor second (“sautha” is “drinking buddy” or “pleasant acquaintance”).

“hrimm” is wise and “yahael” is strong, so “wise friend” would be “vaerhrimm” and “strong friend” would be “vaeryahael” and could indeed be used for formal names, as halflings tend to speak Common almost exclusively, and save their own tongue for oaths, terms of endearment, names, and vows.
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