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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:00:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a cleric crafting new spells:


May 29, 2021

@EoghanMacmillan

Hey @TheEdVerse, some quick cleric lore questions: first off, presuming their god is amenable, can a cleric create new spells? Saw your tweets about the Seven Mysteries and converting the arcane, but more generally how much latitude is there for the mortal to shape divine energy?

Relatedly, what about other divine spells: do they not get, say, Find Steed by their god's discretion, or is it more down to a cleric's studies and training not being geared that way? Could a specific like that be taught, or would it require the whole shebang? Cheers in advance.


@TheEdVerse

Hi!

The divine magic received by clerics is ALWAYS up to the deity (though bestowing spells in answer to a mortal’s prayers may often be delegated to their servitors). As the Time of Troubles showed us, magics up to and including 3rd level are usually “automatically” granted (even when the deity isn’t paying attention or “on the job” at all), but not to an individual the deity is displeased with and so has cut off, or is paying particular attention to (and possibly substituting other spells than those prayed for, for the god’s own purposes).

So if the deity is amenable, a “new” prayer or even an existing one offered again can result in the bestowal of a new spell. The inspiration for how to wield it, and understanding of its casting, come from the deity. However, that’s an “IF.” Realms history tells us that deities rarely grant new spells, and priesthoods (the hierarchy of mortal clerics) almost always discourage maverick “freelancing” on the part of member clergy (because humans devote themselves to faith in large part to establish order and control in their lives, to benefit themselves and others thereby). So a cleric will usually be discouraged by superiors from trying to get “the unusual” from a deity.

However, ADVENTURING clerics (and paladins, and for that matter non-classed hermits and lay fanatics) are by definition the unusual mavericks in a faith, and if they please or entertain or seem very useful to a deity, new spells could well be granted.
#Realmslore


@EoghanMacmillan

Cheers Ed, comprehensive as always! Just to clarify though, how do prayers and spells relate? When you said in the other thread about prayers being crafted to evoke particular effects, I thought it was more of a formulaic thing, I suppose. Or is that specific to Azuth's clergy?


@EoghanMacmillan

Sorry for the barrage of questions, by the way, just on a bit of a lore kick at the moment...


@TheEdVerse

Don't be sorry!

I meant: a wizard studies a spell (peruses its glyphs while memorizing its incantation and casting procedure) to put it in his/her mind, but a cleric prays to a deity in order to be "given" a spell (the deity "imparts"/places it in the cleric's mind).
#Realmslore


@EoghanMacmillan

Ah, I see. So in the case of the wizard, they may not necessarily know the underlying workings of the spell, even if they have the Gift and have memorised the required rituals. Conversely: a learned sage who knows what the Weave is actually *doing*, even if they can't cast.

Or to put it in game terms, a Wizard with no proficiency in Arcana could, in some ways, be less knowledgeable about magic than a Barbarian with it.

Not gonna lie, that sounds like a hilarious combination to have in an adventuring party.


@TheEdVerse

It does. AND very useful in combat; the barbarian may anticipate the reach and potential of hostile spells, and act accordingly...and be underestimated/dismissed by spellcasting foes as a "stupid brute" until too late.


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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:01:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a half-orc born into the Uthgardt:

@ArcticCircleDnD

Hey @TheEdVerse ! I’m planning on making a character that’s part of one of the Uthgardt tribes, so I was curious about how the tribesmembers would react to a half-orc being born in their midst?


@TheEdVerse

Like any other group of humans, reactions will vary. Their own pasts and the attitudes they were raised to have will play a part, as will any foreknowledge they have of the relationship that led to a half-orc being born (did they know the parents? What was their relationship to either parent, etc: friendly, feuding, despise or hate, whatever).

Yet half-orcs among the Uthgardt are NOT unknown, and most are accepted as staunch warriors, unless their own personal behaviour makes them untrusted or outcast.

Even personal looks play into it; someone who looks from afar like a hulking, tusked monster is going to be treated differently by many than someone who looks like most other Uthgardt males until an observer gets up close.

(The Realms exhibits the whole range of “human nature” that our real world does. Sometimes unfortunately.)
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:02:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a "what if" with Karsus:


Jan 10, 2021

@coolguy73360922

The duration of K's Avatar spell in Netheril sourcebook was "unlimited" but in P&P was "limited". The P&P came out later so it replaced the former.

What will be the states of M (didn't sacrifice herself) and K (wasn't destroyed by godly power) after the end of spell?


@TheEdVerse

In the Netheril sourcebook, the lore reflected the beliefs of Karsus (or his insane propaganda, if you prefer), whereas the P&P lore reflected the truth so far as it was known.

Canon tells us the fate of Karsus: see https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Karsus for a summary, and that of Mystryl: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Mystryl (reincarnating as Mystra).

Karsus cast the spell, and its expiration doesn’t undo what happened. If he’d cast it on another deity, he’d still have been overwhelmed by the receipt of their divine power, but Mystryl, undamaged, would have stepped in and restored the divinity to its rightful owner (with no damage to magic, or to her, or to the floating Netherese cities). What would have happened to Karsus then would have depended on his actions; if he’d tried to attack Mystryl, she’d likely have ignored him and so let the backlash of roiling magic burn out his brain, so Karsus the mindless would have soon perished. If he’d entreated her to undo his folly (unlikely, given his overweening pride and fading sanity), she’d likely have saved him but sharply limited his access to the Weave, so he’d have ended up as a minor mage or sage of magic.

If Karsus had never dared to cast the spell, Mystryl would have watched over him, ready to step in (see above) in an instant if he did try the steal a god’s power, and he’d likely have gone on to greater and greater acts of tyrannical insanity, rooting his righteousness in the “certain” knowledge that he was “as good as” a god, and could become a god whenever he wanted.

But if you’re asking what would have happened if Mystryl hadn’t sacrificed herself, and Karsus had cast the spell and become a god, he would still have been overwhelmed and catatonic, the spell would then end and he’d be a brain-dead mortal, there would have been brief but intense magical chaos (ripples racing across the Weave, colliding and ricocheting, only lessened where various deities strove to abate them or nullify their effects), and then the deity would have regained their power with Mystryl’s aid.

Exeunt Karsus, in any case.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:02:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On advanced economics:


Aug 11, 2021


@ThirstinDurstin

I've been wondering, is there any kind of established sense of economics beyond basic markets and etc in the Forgotten Realms? Like are aristocrats in Waterdeep investing in stocks and futures?


@TheEdVerse

"Advanced" economics in the Realms is a matter of those in power arranging shortages (and so, high prices) and exploiting them with ready goods to make increased profits. Aristocrats and other wealthy "players" invest in urban real estate, mines, and sponsor shipping voyages in return for rents or a percentage of the take. The ruthless engineer wars and/or sponsor brigands and border skirmishes to hurt rivals and manipulate demands and prices.

Stocks and futures are fictions our world came up with so people who lack funds to do what they want to do can call on the funds of others. This isn't a direction the Realms has yet taken, with one exception: temples of Chauntea and temples of Waukeen have offered the equivalent of crop insurance/voyage insurance: you buy a "blessing" from them, and if things go wrong, can redeem it for a set (higher than your purchase price, which is styled as an "offering" to the deity) monetary amount, and so avoid disaster. Many large temples of other deities are now quietly offering similar services, quietly, to "friends of the temple" faithful. For instance, merchants who've often made offerings to a temple or worked with the clergy of that temple. If, however, you tried to offer "futures" in the Realms, most clerics would regard it as a scam, as "not even the gods can see the future" and blasphemous to boot (you're trying to offer something that is rightly within the purview of the gods and anointed holy servants) and would loudly say so. Whereas "voyage insurance" is something that in the Realms accepted as normal and prudent if one can afford it. No one publicly trades stocks on an exchange, but many offer "shares" of business enterprises to investors (city guilds handle shares for smallholders rather than "a cabal of cronies").

So that's where we are.
#Realmslore


@gkrashos

I’ve always loved the term for “insurance” in the Realms that was mentioned in Elminster in Hell: a “godsfrown shield”.

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:03:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the the ancient black dragon Ahzalundelarr:


@slade88green

New to twitter so not sure where to ask questions about realms lore.

What can you tell us about the ancient black wyrm Ahzalundelarr (of the Wyrmbones)?


@TheEdVerse

Heh. This is the place to ask. :}

So here you go; hitherto unrevealed Realmslore:

Ahzalundelarr is the dragon most revered by the Wyrmcults of Kormul, as this ancient black wyrm has long taken a fell and active interest in human doings, and the politics of rulers, realms, and factions all across Toril, and they exult in being “the talons of his claws, at work in the world.”

Far more than most dragons (who tend to be self-interested, and ruled by greed and vanity, though this of course a generalization that does a disservice to many individual wyrms), Ahzalundelarr is genuinely interested in the aims of sentient races, and how they can be manipulated.

It’s both entertainment to him and his life-work; he has grown to delight in influencing humans in particular, but also other sentient races such as the elves, dwarves, giants, illithids, and beholders (almost any being that presumes to rule anywhere who isn’t a dragon), from behind the scenes, so as much as possible they won’t realize they’re being played.

He does this by working through intermediaries, and often employs Wyrmcultists as his tools and messengers, though he prefers to keep them as unwitting as possible, feeding them lies about WHY they’re being tasked to do something but making it clear the orders are his, because he wants them to obey with fervor, thanks to their worship (they believe he is one of the Old, True Gods who truly rule, and deserve to do so, while louder, more foolish deities like Shar and Cyric and Bane and Mystra misbehave and act as wilfully and recklessly as the deluded children that they are).

Interestingly, Ahzalundelarr seems to see Mystra’s aim of putting magic into the hands of nigh every mortal as a desirable one, likely as a way of destroying enough of the orcs and goblins that would otherwise soon overwhelm all other races through sheer numbers due to their fecundity, and as a way of making others able to better withstand drow, beholders, illithids, hags, and other aggressive, magically-accomplished, and ruthless beings.

Ahzalundelarr may be one of the major reasons (with the Harpers as another) why no new vast empires have arisen in recent centuries, and the world has instead trended to being a place of more countries that are more evenly balanced, so although warfare is no less prevalent, big conquests are—and those whose ambitions may wreak great havoc across the world (such as Szass Tam) are foiled repeatedly.

Ahzalundelarr is so old that his body began to decay centuries ago, but his mind seems unaffected, and he has been working away for even longer at a Weave-manipulating alternative to lichdom. This seems to have succeeded, insofar as he survives today as a semi-tangible, almost ghostly in appearance (though not in nature; he seems to be phasing, and existing in several planes of existence at once) body of seemingly separate body parts (his head here, his tail there, one claw yonder, and so on, without a solid body between). He seems able to absorb Weave-energy (that is: magical discharges, including spells intended to harm him), doesn’t need to breathe or sleep or eat, no longer cares about owning anything (so his hoard can be spent on bribes carried by Wyrmcultists, and funds to cover their expenses and to reward them), and likes to absorb magic items after thoroughly studying them to learn how they act on the Weave, so he can act in similar ways if he chooses.

Ahzalundelarr is certainly sneaky, and his deeds can be seen as selfish and high-handed, but he doesn’t seem to want to rule anywhere, or to destroy or best any individual (except to balance out geopolitics by removing troublesome rulers or magnates), and may aid good-aligned and other groups or individuals if their strivings further what he’s interested in achieving.

Elminster has hinted that Ahzalundelarr may on occasion covertly work with some of the Chosen, and it’s possible to interpret some words he spoke to a Magister to mean that either a Chosen, former Chosen, or other servitor of Mystra may have mind-melded or even taken over the mind of Ahzalundelarr, to bring about the dragon’s current world-view and innate personal character.

But who can tell us the truth of this, beyond Mystra, Azuth, the senior Chosen, and Ahzalundelarr himself?

Ahzalundelarr has on several occasions said things to Wyrmcultists that suggest Ahzalundelarr sees a succession of lives for dragons who “accomplish the correct achievements,” and that he may be attempting to do this, and so live many lives, in various guises.

It’s known that Ahzalundelarr has several lofty cavern lairs, high in the Wyrmbones (some of them the former lairs of rival dragons he destroyed, long ago), but which one, if any, he favours, and where he spends the majority of his time, isn’t known to anyone. He does visit certain hidden locales close to Kormul to meet with Wyrmcultists from time to time, but never appears if a trap has been prepared for him, suggesting he can and does scry from afar, and use spies and his own magical means of prying.

So there you have it. Enjoy!
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:05:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Allisa of the Mists:


@pauloalmeida074

Dear @TheEdVerse, this art is a cover for a 2e Forgotten Realms book. Who is this character and and is this place? Is it on Faerûn? Does she have a backstory? The art's named Alissa of the Mists. Is it the Lake of Mists? And who's Alissa?


@TheEdVerse

This 1990 artwork is by Clyde Caldwell; I think he named the character. She’s “ALLISA of the Mists,” BTW. The backstory we came up with was that, with or without her unicorn steed Skuldreir, she could walk through any mist or fog in the Realms to access a domain in Ravenloft of her choice. So she was a “mistrider,” or “mistwalker” if you will, and Clyde depicted her in front of the stone citadel of a Darklord, somewhere in one of the domains of Ravenloft. (Dave Sutherland nicknamed Skuldreir “Binky” after Death’s mount in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels; when Terry found out, he was tickled.)
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:05:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On arcane healing:


May 18, 2021


@Yacabolet

Is Arcane Healing less reliable than Divine Magic, or can anyone who has the Gift master healing to the same degree. If the latter, would it take more effort than a clerics prayer?

@TheEdVerse

Healing is healing, no matter the source. However, everyone’s Gift varies, which is one reason why some wizards rise to great power and create many new spells, and others don’t. Yes, all arcane healing, if you’re not a Weavemaster, Chosen using the silver fire, or spellfire user who knows what they’re doing (all of whom are working with the Weave energies directly), is more difficult/takes more effort than divine healing.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:25:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the location of Avaelearean:


May 11, 2021


@DMBIV2
howdy, I've been trying to figure something out. Can you tell me exactly where Avaelearean is? I know it's not from one of your books, but it's your FR. :)


@TheEdVerse

In the easternmost southern side of the Mountains of Copper, ALMOST (if you could peer through solid mountains, that is) overlooking the River Ghaast to the east and the great green expanse of the Shalhoond (The Great Wild Wood) to the south, is a high, peak-locked mountain valley that holds Avaelearean, a tiny land of the elves so well hidden that even the gold elves of Narbeth, at the far eastern end of the Shalhoond, don’t know where it is.

There is a trail that follows a crystal-clear stream, the Elear (“Eel-EAR”) through Avaelearean and down, beside its cascades, out of the mountains and into the Shalhoond (due north of the “G” of “Great” on the main published map of the area).

So the short answer: well-hidden, somewhere north of Murghôm.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:26:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On nicknames for Azoun IV:


@MarcoVolo9

Hello @TheEdVerse

I was asking myself : does Azoun IV Obarskyr has a nickname of some sort?


@TheEdVerse

A bunch, depending on who’s speaking of him and when, everything from the Young Stag, Young Rake, and Young Hope, through the Just Dragon and the Scourge of Sembia and the Dragon On The Dragon Throne, to the Old Dragon.
#Realsmlore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:26:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Azuth's Seven Mysteries:


May 22, 2021

@DuaneNutley

Hi Ed @TheEdVerse - Azuth's Seven Mysteries uttered in Silverfall - just a curse or something more? If something more can you elaborate? TIA


@TheEdVerse

The Seven Mysteries are magical secrets that clergy of Azuth must learn, and master that knowledge by crafting new arcane spells that make use of these secrets. These arcane spells are then transformed into divine (cleric) spells by the crafting of prayers that “work” to trigger the magical effects (Weave energy releases) by calling on the deity (which is what all divine magics do). The arcane versions of the spells are to be offered to wizards (and other spellcasters) who worship Azuth and aid Azuth’s clergy.

The Seven Mysteries are secrets, but it’s leaked out that the “first” (lowest, and most easily learned) Mystery is how clerics can craft arcane spells, whether they personally possess the Gift (ability to wield the Art/arcane magic) or not (i.e. how they can call on Azuth to empower them as if they had the Gift, and how to control their Gift if they do have it).

The “second” (next learned) of the Mysteries is that prayers can be crafted that successfully turn an arcane spell into a divine one, and the general guidelines for how to do this.

It’s rumored that among the other five mysteries are advanced contingencies or defensive fields (like mantles cast by wizards) that can be “set” by a cleric of Azuth so as to automatically wink into existence, and defend that cleric, if the magic they are intended to thwart or lessen comes into contact with the protected cleric (so, they awaken by themselves, regardless of how busy the cleric is or even if the cleric is conscious or not).
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:27:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On bees, honey, and wax:


@smparlin

How common was bee keeping in the realms for honey and wax? Is it safe to assume that bees would have been the only source of wax?


@TheEdVerse

Beekeeping is very common, wherever the climate allows. Honey keeps forever, and so is THE sweetener in much of the Realms.

But “wool wax” (lanolin) from sheep is also known and used in temperate and cold regions, and waxes are also derived from whales (especially in cold regions like Fireshear and Ironmaster).

In the Utter East and Var the Golden and Raurin, more wax is derived from scale insects than bees.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:28:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On being a contributing editor to Dragon Magazine:


May 17, 2021


@MTBlack2567

Hi @TheEdVerse, hope you are well! Got a question about your career...

In January 1981, you joined Dragon Magazine as a contributing editor, and I'm wondering what that meant? Were you officially on staff, or was it just a fancy title for a high-end freelancer?

Thanks! MTB


@TheEdVerse

Short version: I apparently impressed Kim Mohan by submitting an article (the gates piece, that appeared in issue 37) that had footnotes. I was flooding The Dragon with submissions by then. Kim asked if I was coming to GenCon that year, and if so could we meet. I went, we met, and he offered me the unpaid position (masthead title); Roger E. Moore, who afterwards became a TSR staffer, also accepted a Contributing Editor position the same weekend.

Kim came from a journalism background, and needed folks who could write "to order" (on editor-assigned topics, to tight deadlines, etc.) to balance issues (which were assembled in signatures to match the ads received, and so could shrink or expand by 8 pages in a hurry). I accepted. ;} Some of my assignments included the Ecology series and the Wizards Three.

The Dragon was partially filled with material written by staffers (sometimes "stuff that wouldn't fit" in published products, as this was before pixels), and otherwise by freelance submissions; the editors were sensitive to possibly offending contributors who submitted but didn't see their stuff used, and a masthead title was also seen as a way to assuage hurt feelings and keep gamers contributing, by providing a reason why "we keep using this guy's stuff."

But it was mainly a way to get a reliable flow of stuff that could be banked and then used as needed, to build the current issue of the magazine.

I loved doing it. And over time, it gave us the published Realms. :}

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:28:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On bloodstone trade bars:


Mar 29, 2021


@AlexMcclay2000

Thanks, Ed!

On a completely unrelated note, since your active right now, and I've tried to ask you this question before, but you've seemed to have missed it (which is understandable, cuz ur a busy person!).

How much do Bloodstone Trade bars weigh? I know that they are 25gp, and cut bloodstones are worth 50gp, I can't find how much they weigh. All the sources that I've looked at only mention their value. 1372 DR btw (if that matters)


@TheEdVerse

Although they share a descriptive term, bloodstone trade bars are far different from the “trade bars” of metal that change hands so often in trading across Faerûn. Bloodstone trade bars are flat plaques of dark gray alloy (that’s how a Damaran year and noble house symbol can be stamped into them, as opposed to being graven into them, without shattering them) that incorporate the least useful (usually flawed or shattered) pieces of bloodstone you have on hand (such as the chips and dust left behind after a bloodstone has been cut, either faceted or cabochon). That’s why something larger than a cut gem can be worth less than the gem.

The alloy is halduthra, is of ancient gnomish invention, incorporates nickel, zinc, copper, tin, and some secret mineral ingredients, and is fairly light (though bloodstone is not).

A common sort of 25 gp bloodstone trade bar is flat, smooth, with rounded edges, is about 6 inches long, an inch and a half across, and three-quarters of an inch thick. And it will weigh in at about 0.65 lbs or .3 kg.

Many older bars were larger, and so, heavier.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:29:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On clerics:


May 18, 2021

@VikGray

Whats special about clerics then, and what is the reason to be a cleric instead of wizard?

Are clerics basically inferior at everything version of wizard?


@TheEdVerse

Clerics are devout followers of a deity who dedicate their lives to furthering that deity’s aims and desires in the world, and who are given a special status and powers (including divine spells, not to mention in some cases being directly rescued by the deity or a servitor of the deity) as a result of their dedication. That’s the reason to be a cleric.

Wizards must have the Gift (innate ability to master the Art = arcane magic) in order to work any magic at all (as opposed to just being a sage of magic). A cleric might have the Gift, too, but choose to worship and serve instead. One’s not inferior to the other, and neither is a “version” of the other.

As I ponder your question, I’m guessing (may be wrong) that you’re thinking in D&D game terms of cleric vs. wizard. Sorry, but I very seldom do that (except when designing official products, and so, wearing my game designer hat); otherwise, I’m thinking of the Realms as a world (remember, I created it as a setting before the game came along).
#Realmslore


@VikGray

Nah, not vs, mostly to know what is _special_ about the class. You definitely know as an author how much space occupied by wizarding characters in your books and the importance of Mystra's chosen.

And how messy everything including the plot is when it comes to something clerical


@TheEdVerse

Ah. So what's special about the cleric class is the chance to have a direct connection with (and personal advice and guidance from, or even to be personally favoured by) a deity, and so have a gameplan for one's life, and standing in the community.

And you can heal.;}
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:30:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Deneir and the Sundering:



@R0seOfStone

I'm curious, how did the Second Sundering effect Deneir, having written himself into the Weave to stabilize it during the Spellplague? Did Mystra's return remove him from the Weave/return him to deityhood? Or has he remained forgotten to known existence?


@TheEdVerse

Deneir was driven nigh insane, not by the Spellplague, but by the Sundering (bits of his memories torn away or fading away with Abeir and Toril passing through each other, and then moving apart). Yes, he was removed from the Weave and restored to stable divine status after Mystra’s return, and when things “settled down” was able to regain many memories from Mystra and from Oghma. There are still many details lost and forgotten to him, but they are scattered and minor, not devastating.
#Realmslore


@R0seOfStone

Thank you! I have a character who's a paladin of Deneir & was curious if she'd be limited to pre Second Sundering

is Deneir's return to popular knowledge like Lathander's re perception of his death/resurrection?


@TheEdVerse

Not limited, no; paladins typically became the bulwarks of faith/temple defenders during the chaos of the Second Sundering, most of them reasoning this was the purpose their suddenly-silent deity must have prepared them for.

Most Realmsfolk post-Second Sundering believe Deneir did something self-sacrificing during the Sundering to preserve the world—and it worked, so now he’s back. Brilliant foresighted god worthy of more attention and respect…
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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:31:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On depression:


Mar 5, 2020

@VikGray

How are you, kind Sir?

@TheEdVerse may I know, do Realms even have such thing/term as depression? If there is one how mortals deal with it? And can a god be depressed?


@TheEdVerse

There is depression, for gods and mortals. Some deal with it, some don't and wander downwards, some suicide, some get busy and try to work themselves out of it, and some pick or renew a fight and try to turn their depression into rage. Some approaches work, for some.
#Realmslore

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On treating mental illness:


Apr 19, 2021

@jayeedgecliff

I wonder if I might ask something a little bit heavy: how is mental illness treated in Faerûn? I kinda doubt someone can cast cure wounds at someone’s head and their anxiety, depression, or whatever is gone.

I play Lliiran priests and actually have depression, so I’ll use it. I track down a joybringer & they would try to help me. Is their only offer nothing more than we have: cheering potions & therapeutic conversation, or do the gods grant a few more options to the situation?

Thank you so for your joyous self


@TheEdVerse

Priests of almost all faiths, and family matriarchs, all across Toril, are indeed the first line of defense against what most folk of Faerûn call "afflictions of the mind," and their first reaction is usually to comfortingly "be with" the afflicted, to banish loneliness and let them talk of what they're feeling. Tea and cordials (often mixed with "a little something" herbal) are always part of this. From there, things progress to alchemists and "wise women," plus local priests (or traveling holy folk), and their stores of "physics" and "remedies" (liquid medicines), plus priestly "mindease" spells (induced sleep, "open the gates of the mind" dreaming, and then the more powerful enchantments; remember that feeblemind can be a 'buy time for self-healing' casting, not just an attack). Like postal/message and item delivery services, treatment of the grieving and in shock and exhausted and mentally ill is a "standard" temple service, and one of the main reasons clergy (and not just deities) are so accepted/financially supported by the populace. Like any treatment, priests and the spells they use vary in efficacy and skills and success when it comes to individual cases, but at the very least, treatment can buy time for minds (and family members or friends) to rest.

And more then a few folk have realized the usefulness of a trip, or an adventure, or a change in location to bring "a new life" to a person, as opposed to leaving them in the situation they're in when suffering.
#Realmslore

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On the size of dragon brains:


Jan 7, 2021

@Banjinkun


How big are dragon brains BTW ? I'd have thought they would be similar to that of dinosaurs, small in comparaison to the size of their heads.


@TheEdVerse

My ditty doesn’t refer to D&D dragons, but in the game, human folklore, and a lot of fantasy fiction, dragons are depicted as wise and magically capable, which argues brilliance (albeit often tinged with a dangerous-to-selves overabundance of vanity). Science thinks some dinosaurs had “motor nerve nodes” in various body locations, so their (relatively) tiny brains may not have done all the work, but in any case it’s likely they weren’t casting magic, conversing eloquently in vocal language form, and accumulating a wealth of knowledge they could call upon comprehensively, so: dragon brains must have been bigger or more efficient/functioning more highly.

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:33:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Eilistraee's changedance:


Jan 11, 2021


@Dennis80884970

Sorry to bother you, but I (or rather, my drow wizard and her wife) have two questions. One: can the Changedance work both ways (could a female use it to turn into a male)?

Two: assuming the answer to one is yes, if someone shapechanged into a male mated with a female, would the union be able to produce offspring?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, Changedance works in both directions, so long as you perform it correctly (it’s not a straight reversal or “use it exactly the same way,” there are subtle differences in how one does it). So yes for female to male.

Yes, the male is functional and can produce offspring, genetics unaltered, though the X-Ys might favour the chances for female offspring over male.
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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:34:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Elminster's mage sight:


Feb 1, 2021

@SeerSnively

Did Elminster's mage sight come from being reborn as a chosen, or did he have that before? Is there any _other_ way to get such a magic sight?


@TheEdVerse

Elminster’s mage sight came from his intimate contact with Mystra (see the closing pages of ELMINSTER: THE MAKING OF A MAGE); she changed him as she claimed him, to forge him into the Chosen she wanted him to be.

Anyone who gets sufficiently attuned to the Weave can attain mage sight in this way; all of the Chosen, for instance, or anyone else I’ve dubbed a “Weavemaster” (to signal their attunement) gains it, but there are non-spellcasters in the Realms who gain it merely by handling or being in the close company of an artifact or magical radiations or a sufficiently-powerful magic item for long enough (e.g. children who’ve grown up wearing a powerful magic ring on a necklace as a “family talisman” slowly gain mage sight).
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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:35:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Elué Shundar:


@MissMartinsen

Well met this new year, Great Sage. I trust your solstice festivities went smoothly.
I’ve a question to lay at your feet, if I may; (this is an enduring matter of some consternation between one Volo-of-dubious-repute, and myself),

Namely, he and I were discussing the origins of one Elué Silverhand. He is adamant that she is a shapeshifting sorceress of planar-renown, whereas I point to sages who claim she was hardly known outside of Faerûn!

Might you be able to put this matter to rest, and elaborate on the story of said maid, and her going-on before catching the attentions of the Lady of Mysteries?


@TheEdVerse

So far as Elminster knows (and his source is the goddess Mystra, who possessed Elué during her births of silver-haired females all destined to be famous), the half-elf Elué Shundar (who never seems to have use “Silverhand” as a surname, BTW) wasn’t known outside Faerûn, and never traveled off the continent. She did befriend some silver dragons, and even investigated some gates (portals), so it’s both possible she set boot outside Toril, or that some mention of her might have spread beyond it, but unlikely. She was most a half-elf of the Sword Coast ports, an adventurer of the “make a living as a cargo escort and merchant hireling, in port cities” sort, until she achieved (in the early 700s DR) enough financial success to buy her own country estate (think: ranch/farm with extensive woodlots, from which, with the aid of tenant farmers, she harvested commercial crops of mushrooms and watercress and herbs). She settled down there to try to experiment with magic, rather than just buying scrolls and books and studying from them, until her quest to gain and master more powerful magics took her adventuring again (across the Savage North, into old ruins and crashed Netherese cities and lonely wizards’ towers whose occupants had disappeared, passed into lichdom, or lost battles with dragons), and into contact with the ranger adventurer Dornal Silverhand, who encountered her in one such remote, tumbled tower, was smitten with her in their initial battle (he mistook her for an evil sorceress), and wooed her. She led him a merry dance across the North and two years ere accepting his advances and agreeing to relocate to Silverhand Tower, near Neverwinter.

Where Dornal’s aged mother, confined to bed and dying, accepted Elué with open arms as the “sorceress in the moonlight” she’d met and befriended and adventured with so often, in her long and deep dreams (Elminster suspects Mystra’s meddling brought these dreams about, and that She was “setting up” the Dornal/Elué union).
#Realmslore


@MissMartinsen

Thank ye most kindly ;)

Seems to me, if Mystra had a hobby, matchmaking and leaving surprises for those in her good graces seems to bring the Lady of Mysteries particular delight.


@TheEdVerse

Indeed. ;}

And you're very welcome, great lady.

'Tis always a pleasure to serve forth Realmslore for you.

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:35:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On elven aristocracy:


Feb 7, 2021


@SirQuart

I’ve been doing some research into the High Elves of FR and I’ve learned many fascinating things, but I’m having trouble locating details on some of the logistics of their societies. Namely, how does High Elven aristocracy function?

Specifically, do elves do titles? Land ownership? Estates? Feudalism? What kind of lifestyle and responsibilities would elvish nobles of different ages have?

Due to their long lifespans and reincarnation, it seems like elves would be far less materialistic than most races.

Thank you! Love your work! Both in the FR canon, and your #epicfantasy tweets!


@TheEdVerse


Elves have families (they tend to dislike the term “clans” as being “too dwarvish”) of long lineage, some of them “high” and proud due to longtime wealth, power/social influence, and notable-achievements/reputations members.

Most elven societies are city-states, or realms that really encompass one or part of one forest with a number of settlements (often tree-dwelling, seldom with walls/fortifications or numerous built structures of stone, as opposed to living structures made from sculpted and “trained” still-alive trees), and they tend to be ruled by a coronal (a monarch) that is not always inherited (and in practise, thanks to warfare, is seldom inherited, these days) advised by a council of elders, usually family matriarchs and patriarchs (the females tend to wield the most influence if they care to).

Usually elf families “own” individual trees that they live in, and burial crypts that they make or inherit, and guard (sometimes with baelnorns). The rest of an elf realm is commonly owned (elves would likely view this as “owned by none, shared by all creatures, under the stewardship of we Fair Folk,” ‘stewardship’ in this case meaning partly gardening and partly guarding. A really proud family like the Starym might think of themselves as ruling and owning a demesne/estates (contiguous expanse of forest), but would only use the term “estates” if they were living in a human-dominated area (like the uplands of Sembia) in which they are legally owning (with deeds, etc.) a piece of land among the holdings of other (non-elven owners). And yes, elves are indeed far less materialistic than most races; the resources they most value are renewable living things, and what sustains them (water, rotting matter as fertilizer), that are part of the life cycles of the land.

There’s no formal feudal system, but elf families of standing in an elven realm are expected to contribute warriors and funds and resources (arrows, transport) to the defense of the realm (and in peacetime, do so daily in the form of patrols that often double as hunting parties). They are expected to master the bow and the sword (and in some elf societies, mounted combat) and to provide leadership within the elf community on matters of social policy and enterprises (businesses that emplpy and earn/enrich all), and the families as a whole are expected to provide food, shelter, care, and fuel to the elderly and infirm; “we are on this shared path together, but at the same time all of us are finding our own way.”

In practise, elf “nobles” provide social leadership in the form of setting fashions, making certain games and pursuits and interests popular or not by what they themselves take an interest in, or don’t.

The reason I put quotation marks around the word nobles is because the actual titles used by elves (beyond the vague spoken honorifics of “lord, lady, knight” [[and a knight or senior noble, or someone a speaker believes to be a knight or senior noble, is usually addressed as “honoured,” so “Honoured Saer” or “Honoured Lady” is safely polite if you’re human who’s talking to a stranger elf]]) vary so widely from place to place and over time. Many human writers just settle for lord, lady, and knight (and sometimes “lady knight”) and leave it at that.

As Vangerdahast once said, “If an elf is pompous enough to correct you by providing a specific title, use it. If you want to be polite.”
#Realmslore


@Greysil_Tassyr

Given the otherwise "living in harmony with nature" thing of elves, why would they build crypts to inter their dead, instead of something more natural?


@TheEdVerse

Wild elves do natural burials. High/silver elves have family crypts (proud, powerful families only) to preserve family remains in the belief that those who come later can benefit from them in ways not yet perfected. So it's a sort of seed bank for future descendants.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:36:28  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On finding spells in Candlekeep:


@NickelNinety7

@ChrisPerkinsDnD @TheEdVerse, is it reasonable to assume that pretty much any spell is available in a book somewhere within Candlekeep? Lots of archmages around... #dnd


@TheEdVerse

Whoa. "Pretty much any spell" is a WIDE phrase. Remember, everyone tinkers with existing spells, makes up their own new ones, and often jealously guards their secrets. However, I'd say Candlekeep has the best library; if you find an arcane spell in a 5e official lorebook, it's probably SOMEWHERE in a tome or scroll at the Keep.

Of course, it may take you a lifetime to find it.
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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:37:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Weave anchors:


@CatalogFantasy

I've trying staying, ah, abreast of your tweets but the concept of the Weave Anchor fascinates me. Just two question in general,

Can a Weave Anchor function outside the Forgotten Realms, that meaning off-world, Wildspace or outside the Realms' planar boundries.

Second, other than Volo. How many Weave Anchors are their across Toril. Can we have any known personalities other than Volo?


@TheEdVerse

Hi!

First: Weave anchors are of two sorts: stationary "things"/sites (like the Athora in Thay) and mobile (usually beings, but sometimes items such as gems). Some of the mobile ones have the means to depart Toril, and are still Weave anchors, but the Weave itself is a mere ghost they trail when outside Toril (i.e. they don't really extend the Weave to the "outside" locale, except insofar as Mystra being able to see and hear through them and communicate with them).

Second, many "known" Realms personalities are Weave anchors, including: the Chosen, Manshoon, Mirt, Durnan, and Halaster. Some of them don't even know Mystra has made them so, and many of them are still "secret" Weave anchors to those who take an interest in such things. If you notice an NPC with a longer lifespan than the norm, who seems to escape death when others might not, they MIGHT be a Weave anchor (and might not even know it). Mystra wants LOTS of them, widely scattered, so anyone trying to "take down the Weave" will find it difficult to do so.
#Realmslore


@bigobionic

So they are basicly a safety net for magic?


@TheEdVerse

Yes, in the sense that they anchor the Weave, which is Mystra, and is arcane magic. It's what allowed Mystra to come back from death, without the entire world being destroyed in the process.

In other words, despite a lot of death, destruction, and chaos, there were wizards in the 1300s DR...and there are still wizards in the 1400s DR.
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:37:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On halva:


Jul 30, 2021

@Artie_Pavlov

was there halva in the realms? I cant believe this sweet treat hasn't appeared in any of the books I comb through. #ForgottenRealms


@TheEdVerse

Yes, but not by that name, of course.

Here’s the thing: in our world, halva uses all sorts of things as a base (the flour or cornstarch that gets toasted), a variety of things for the syrup it gets cooked in, and a range of added adornments (almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins, apricots and other dried fruits).

In the Realms, all of those differences mean different names for the sweet, though most of them do end up as a very sweet substance that can be pressed into cakes and will keep during all but the warmest months.

So, for instance, the crushed dates and crushed roast tharra (the local name for pistachio nuts) honey syrup and wild rice flour mix known to the Bedine is “vauv,” but the raisin, almond, pecan, and date with coconut milk and durr (semolina) sweet known in Calimshan, Tharsult, and the Tashalar is “mraed.” The many-nuts, many-berries, sesame-based version known in Chessenta, the Vilhon, and Var the Golden is “murrl,” and the walnuts-and-cherries-and-honey variant consumed in Unther, Mulhorand, and Raurin is “tal.” In Thay, the same mixture is “taunthaun.”

In Ulgarth and the Utter East, “taunth” is grain-based, sugar-cane-syrup-cooked halva, and so on. While in Murghôm and Durpar, they wouldn’t dream of making it without hard, old honeycomb. And so it goes, across Faerûn.
#Realmslore


@Artie_Pavlov

What about further north faerun? Any? Or simply not enough local resources? Are these treats considered handfoods? As always, thank you for the lore!!


@TheEdVerse

There aren’t many folk further north than the Bedine in their longitude of the Realms. ;}

The various halva-equivalents are known and eaten, as “will keep” (except in the hottest weather) larder and trail foods, but are rarely made in northerly locales, as the ingredients are scarce = expensive = most often used in other ways, but they ARE traded for. Halva-equivalents in the north are most often spread on fire-warmed buns, or (on the trail, in the Savage North) spread on bones warmed in the fire, then eaten off the bones).

And you're very welcome!
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:38:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On honorifics:


@SaveForHalf

Question for @TheEdVerse: What are the standard honorifics in the Realms? I.e., Mister, Miss, Ma'am...


@TheEdVerse

Still “saer” and “milady/m’lady” for most folks, when addressing most others (“my lady” is more formal, and “lord saer” is more humble/reverent).

Note that “saer” is not “sir;” it means you want to be polite and respectful, but don’t know someone’s rank or official title. “Friend” is sometimes menacing/a warning (“I don’t know, friend, but I DO know…”), but need not be (tone of voice makes the difference). “Fellow” is safer (means “fellow sufferer”).
#Realmslore

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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:39:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On how Volo is still alive:


@nzbensen

May I ask: How is Volo still alive in the current Forgotten Realms setting? Between 2e and 3e, not much time passed, so it made sense. But from 3e-4e-5e a lot of time has passed. Has his lifespan been extended by magic?


@TheEdVerse


Sure you can ask, and I’ll answer, too. You’re far from the first, so here’s one of my more recent Twitter answers:

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. As covered in published Realms products, El put him into stasis as a punishment. He would dearly have loved to just blast Volo to ashes for his behavior, but (unlike Volo himself) El knew Volo’s special status (Mystra wanted some “secret” Weave anchors no one would guess, and Volo was one of them), so couldn't. So: on ice instead.
#Realmslore


@Lord_Toast13

Punishment? What did he do for a time out, publish a poor tatse limerick??


@TheEdVerse

Ah, yes, the limericks. Reason enough alone...

Seriously, Volo did so many annoying things that there was a host of reasons, but the main one was: making public in his writings who had certain magic items and spellbooks, which would make them a target when they weren't yet accomplished-in-Art enough to properly defend themselves, and so might readily be destroyed. This irresponsibility works against Mystra's aim of spreading magic use widely and making "most folk" think of magic as helpful more than dangerous, so El warned Volo. Thrice. The fourth time was: spend time as a statue, and so, be shut up when you wouldn't shut yourself up.
#Realmslore


@ZeromaruX

Since Weave anchors can be inanimate objects, why Elminster just didn't leave him a statue for all eternity? Volo is going to do his thing again, soon or later.


@TheEdVerse

Elminster didn't do that because he obeys Mystra.

As to why Our Lady of Mysteries didn't want Volo to stay a statue forever...you'll have to ask her.

(I'll just be over here, getting started on your tombstone. ;} )
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:40:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the knowledge of Old Netheril and its language:


@rwgs76

Dear @TheEdVerse, are there any sages with an extensive (or at least decent) knowledge about Old Netheril and Netherese language living around the Sword Coast, in Waterdeep or in the towns of the Delimbiyr Valley circa 1357 DR?

Thanks in advance...


@TheEdVerse

If you mean individuals making a career as a sage (known to the public as such), no. No such individuals exist anywhere in the Realms. If you mean liches and other archwizards who’ve prolonged their lifespan or entered undeath and so have been around since the time of Netheril, and dragons who’ve LISTENED to the right people and therefore know something of value, a handful.

But among sages alive in the Realms today, I’d not put the knowledge of Old Netheril and its language of even the most learned as more than “rudimentary.” (If shown an inscription, they might get one word in five or six, and guess meaning from context.)

And yes, I’m including the monks of Candlekeep in this judgment.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36142 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  20:42:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Lavok's planar sphere in Athkatla:


@TimeBust

I've been playing through Baldur's Gate 2 with a friend and was wondering, does Lavok's planar sphere remain in Athkatla's bridge district after the events of the game, or does it disappear again sometime before the 1490's (due to the Spellplague or otherwise)?


@TheEdVerse

It was swept away in the chaos of the Spellplague—or so most who’ve gone looking for it since (and found no trace of it) believe.

However, there are some who believe a secret society magically moved and hid it, somewhere in the city, so only they know how to access it.

Interestingly, Elminster refuses to say.
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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36142 Posts

Posted - 06 Sep 2021 :  21:01:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Madeiron Sunderstone's offspring:


@MarvelF89471649

Hi Ed. Did Madeiron Sunderstone have any offspring? If so, did any take after him in size, strength, and demeanor? Thanks!


@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes. The eldest two of his three daughters (that is, Iluandaera and Phelelle, but not Naeoene) grew up to have his height and build.
#Realmslore

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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