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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2022 :  01:43:07  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On "Lords of Waterdeep" (the boardgame) in Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1477332965696937986

Jan 2, 2022

@OfficialAPoD

So, Saer @TheEdVerse, “Lords of Waterdeep” exists in Waterdeep, eh?

Or is this possibly the cheekiest Easter egg I’ve read in absolutely ever?

<https://twitter.com/OfficialAPoD/status/1477227035214770177/photo/1>

@TheEdVerse

It doth. And it is. I do cheeky really well. ;}
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2022 :  01:48:54  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On noble houses in Sembia

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1477421593517244416
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1477691702005714950

Jan 2, 2022

@AsLoua

I was wondering if you have had any thoughts of noble houses in Sembia(Forgotten Realms). I know of a few from the official Novels, but was wondering if you had any other noble families up your sleeve?

@TheEdVerse

The problem (for a sage or cataloger) with Sembian nobility is that they’re self-styled (i.e. anyone with wealth or nerve enough can call themselves noble, and MIGHT get away with it; over the years, many have, including a fair number of charlatans who adopt the surname of a currently prominent noble house and pretend to be a part of it, sometimes accusing the ‘real’ nobles of being impostors).

So there’s never been any clear, agreed-upon list, at all.

Moreover, most of the wealthy nobles have a “country estate” (hunting lodge or feasting-house or food farm or horse-breeding ranch, or some combination of those) in “upcountry” (northern) Sembia, and houses or rented-out business premises in most of Sembia’s cities, with a luxurious mansion in at least one, so it’s hard to say where any Sembian “noble” family is based—especially when they have internal feuds, and each side claims to either be the only legitimate branch of the family, or the senior branch. And you can find bastard or black sheep sons and daughters and nephews and nieces “cast off” to live alone or with “lower-born companions” just about anywhere in the Dragonreach, Cormyr, and Sembia proper (and for real criminals, Westgate, too).

So here are some of the longer-established, “oldcoin” Sembian noble families not yet featured in official Realms fiction (though some of these have been mentioned at Candlekeep or in my columns on the Wizards website or other places).

I present the houses of:
Aukanor
Beltarn
Duthtan
Harcantel
Hilmhaven
Horstanneth
Ircrimmeth
Kremond
Kylantor
Olandor
Orvrant
Ravensword
Rylant
Szabelzar
Selandovur
Tarantur
Waeln
Yhauntyl
and the house known as either Zhaundyl or Zhondammur, depending on which family members you heed.

That ought to be enough lofty, flamboyant, ill-behaved folk to get you started. :}

@AsLoua

Thank you very much! This was way more information, than I had hoped for. Greetings from Denmark!

@TheEdVerse

You're very welcome! May all of those nobles not annoy you too much! ;}

@AsLoua

Oh they won't, but hopefully they will annoy my players tremendously

@TheEdVerse

Most of them are classic "new money, nose-in-the-air arrogant big time splashy spenders." There's a reason many folk call Sembia 'the Land of Fat Rich Merchants.' ;}

- Edited on 3/1/2022 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 02 Jan 2022 23:51:42
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 02 Jan 2022 :  23:49:24  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Finder Wyvernspur in post Spellplague

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1477757699966259202

Jan 3, 2022

@Tugrii

Can you update us on the God of Reckless Fools post Spellplague.

Thanknyou

@TheEdVerse

Finder Wyvernspur is keeping a very low profile, post Second Sundering. He dwells in the Gates of the Moon, but does travel the planes, usually visiting his clergy and most devoted worshippers across Faerûn to buoy their spirits and on rare occasions give them monetary aid or gifts of art supplies and inspiration, revealing himself only to them. The rest of the time, he uses magical guises to appear as an ordinary, nondescript man (he usually vanishes or uses dimension door or goes invisible rather than fighting, if menaced while in disguise), but can summon saurials as a bodyguard or to aid mortals he favors.

Finder prefers to work from the shadows, influencing mortals by manipulation rather than confrontation or public appearances. He aids and encourages artists and bards (and minstrels, to become bards) and tries to foster appreciation for art and a widespread acceptance of patronage, whereby wealthy folk support artists and works of art are respected and collected and protected—and at the same time he works to help saurials enjoy successful and fulfilling lives in the Realms, by bolstering their public acceptance (and their mercantile successes in such places as Silverymoon) and helping them establish hidden, private enclaves across the Heartlands. “Silent service” is his way.

@rgbowencom

I would love more stories about him.

@TheEdVerse

Those would be my dear friends Jeff Grubb & Kate Novak's tales to tell. Finder is their baby. :}

@sembiano

Yeah, I thought that after Second Sundering the Gods didn't establish this type of more direct contact….

@TheEdVerse

In the 1490s DR, all deities who want to can contact individual mortals through dream-visions, and directly by adopting mortal guises.

What they've pulled back on is striding around as superpowered avatars doing dramatic things (like hurling mighty spells) in public.

- Edited on 5/1/22 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 05 Jan 2022 00:55:40
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2022 :  00:04:02  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Ruins of Undermountain (boxed set)

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1477776368016498696

Jan 3, 2022

@Ant_Not_a_Num

I had a lot of fun running a few sessions of Ruins of Undermountain in 5e. Went pretty well considering I've had a gap of two decades from DMing! Undermountain is such an amazing, expansive experience. A few weeks of dungeon crawling and who knows where to next?

@TheEdVerse

And so little of Undermountain could be squeezed into that box!

Underlying guide: creatures (including folk from Waterdeep) LIVE down there for years, so get food from X, leave their wastes in Y, do Z to earn coin [from who?], have planned escape routes and refuges.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2022 :  22:37:38  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On grottos of Loudwater

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478103520284975105
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478108380334075909
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478178577485115393
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478154822469758980

Jan 4, 2022

@IslamAndDragons

Howdy @TheEdVerse, what are the 'grottos' spoken of when people call Loudwater 'The City of Grottos'?

@TheEdVerse

Hi!
Due to the longtime dominance of elves in Loudwater, the now-city (though in population it’s shrunk back to town size) looks like a garden, with winding paths and streets, many trees and garden beds, and manicured lawns and bowers (as beautiful and garden-like as the best parts of Everlund and Silverymoon).

From the earliest times of local settlement, elves beautified the few local natural caves (mainly narrow crevices in Standing Stone Hill) with planted mosses, hanging plants, piped trickling water, and faerie fire lighting effects; these were the earliest grottoes/grottos.

As Loudwater expanded and more gardens were built as residential neighbourhoods, artificial grottoes were constructed. This building reached a height when the ugly land clearances done under Rensha rule were remedied. Many of these ‘built’ grottoes contain benches for sheltering from rain and winter winds, and lead to “back entrances” into the storage cellars of abodes. No one’s ever formally counted these constructed grottoes, but there are over seventy, in addition to the fourteen to seventeen (depending on whether or not you count crawl-crevices as grottoes; children do, but seniors tend not to) natural local caves. None of them are large; artificial or natural, they tend to be two small caverns joined by a narrow passage, at best.

@IslamAndDragons

Thank you very much, comrade! But now I'm wondering: does Loudwater cut through a hillside or something for the natural grottoes to exist?

@TheEdVerse

No. Loudwater stands at the confluence of the Delimbiyr and Greyflow rivers, and in the highest spring floods (during years of heavy snows, and so, the largest melts), water runs everywhere. Including into the soft limestone of Standing Stone Hill and other local hills. Any water that remains in the rock when temperatures drop to freezing (NEXT winter) will freeze (expand, cracking rock or widening existing crevices), then eventually thaw, melt and run off. Only to repeat the process every freeze-up. So, as in our real world, crevice-caves form (and expand) over time.

[In my youth and teenaged years, I explored a lot of caves, and liked to put them in the Realms. Someone other than me put them in Loudwater, but the moment they did, I knew what the natural origins must be.]

@smparlin

@ Ed - where be dis Standing Stone Hill?

@TheEdVerse

Within the city of Loudwater. See:
https://web.archive.org/web/20161101184948/http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/frgr/20030625a

@IslamAndDragons

But wait @TheEdVerse, there's more--So Loudwater is still reduced in size? Storm King's Thunder seemed to imply that it'd recouped it's losses from the Spellplague

@TheEdVerse

It is. SKT includes the population of the new satellite settlements (suburbs, but there's actually farmland between them and the city) to the southwest, south, and southeast.

As they're resisted the taxation and census attempts of Loudwater, they're independent.

- Edited on 5/1/2022 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 05 Jan 2022 00:06:19
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 03 Jan 2022 :  22:46:46  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Merfolks during the 12th Serôs war

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478106349464600578

Jan 4, 2022

@Pyrhaa

If you could tell me one interesting tidbit about the Merfolks during the 12th Serôs war what would it be ?

@TheEdVerse

Over a score of the “good” (Nantarn Alliance) merfolk of Xadea, who lost so many of their warriors in the war, were caught in a forgotten, sunken gate (portal) during the fray—and unwittingly swam into the seas of other worlds (some to our Earth, some to Abeir, and some to Vulthurn). Where they flourish still (so, three small colonies of Xadean merfolk survive, some of them closer than you’d think), in large part due to their custom of breeding and shepherding edible fish and jellyfish, ensuring they have few predators, abundant food, and the best water conditions.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2022 :  00:09:20  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the largest tower in Iriaebor

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478179392505405441
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478193009711845383

Jan 4, 2022

@DndTravellog

Doing a campaign based in Iriaebor and I'm very curious - who owns the largest tower in the city?

@TheEdVerse

Halthandrus Saerrentaun, an aging, rotund man-mountain gourmand, glutton, and jovial friend-to-many (who behind his affable manner is a coldly ruthless friend of none) is the patriarch of the Saerrentaun family, whom he dragged up from somewhat-prosperous-but-ambitious to the heights of wealth and power by acquiring city properties and businesses in return for paying off the debts of those who sold out to him. He maintains bitter rivalries with the Malraun and Brevvesk families (also wealthy and successful owners of webs of diverse businesses), and these three families own the largest towers—in girth as well as in height.

A fourth family, the Immurtalans, dwells in a cluster of six lesser-in-diameter, shorter towers all linked by flying bridges on their thirteenth and fourteenth floors, and so claims to have the “biggest” abode in the city, but the Malraun and Brevvesk towers both have twenty-one floors, and the Saerrentaun tower has twenty-six floors and is a vast oval, twice the size of Malraunspires and Brevveskgates, and almost as large across (at its greatest expanse) as the width of Immurtalan Towers.

Like the other “great towers” of the city, the Spires of Saerrentaun has reception rooms, warehousing space, and stables at ground level, granaries and pantries above, kitchens and some soaring rooms-of-state above that, five floors of offices for various family-run businesses opening off balconies of those rooms of state, then a solid five floors of workshops, laundries, and servants’ quarters, and then palatial family apartments and family chambers above that, with rooftop gardens amid the soaring pennant-spikes and dovecote spires.

@DndTravellog

That was amazing, thank you so much for that insight into one of my favourite cities in the realms, I love to imagine the tall and diverse towers of the city.

@TheEdVerse

The oldest towers are shorter and plain (stone cylinders, some crumbling). Then came needle-spires and lofty top balconies. Then towers went taller and fatter, and the linking flying bridges became webs of bridges, with mirrors to send shafts of light down to streets.

Edited by - questing gm on 05 Jan 2022 00:53:28
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2022 :  00:25:44  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On elf ears

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478184146388328448

Jan 4, 2022

@smparlin

I come yet again bearing qweshtuns about ears!!

I know there will be wide variations, but the rise of World of Warcraft gave us giant elf mule ears that seem to have become the standard. Give us the skinny on elf ears, Ed!!! What is the norm for most elves?

@TheEdVerse

In the Realms, elves vary in size and shape of body features just as widely as humans do.

Almost always, elf ears end in a point, and almost always, their eyes are larger (compared to the size of their faces) than those of humans, but beyond that...diversity. ;}
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 05 Jan 2022 :  00:47:53  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a place to study non-magical Sciences, History, Philosophy, etc.

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478414400868569091

Jan 5, 2022

@JaysNDragons

Hi @TheEdVerse and happy new year!

Forgotten Realms question: is there a mundane university in Waterdeep? A place to study non-magical Sciences, History, Philosophy, etc. If not Waterdeep, other major cities? (Anything other than Candlekeep)

@TheEdVerse

Sure. I've listed Academies (as such institutions are usually known in the Realms, aside from the bardic colleges) several times in the past, but MOST teaching is done by sages (pay for and attend a class) or by tutors/governesses (nobility and wealthy hire these).

Most temples and larger city guilds also arrange instruction for interested lay faithful or guild members and apprentices. Most large temples of Oghma and Deneir have some functions akin to our modern real-world colleges.

And then there are apprenticeships...
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2022 :  23:23:29  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On canals in Arrabar

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1478915729684668424

Jan 6, 2022

@Artie_Pavlov

are the waterways rivers or chanels in Arrabar @TheEdVerse the Crying Claw tavern is said to be on the waterfront but the novels and novel map put it 2 districts away from the Reach. I'm trying to make it make sense. THanks in advance, Ed!


@TheEdVerse

The Port District of Arrabar is honeycombed with canals, leading to a large “turning basin” just south of the Warehouse District. So many buildings can be said to be “waterfront” that someone looking at the admittedly stylized published maps of Arrabar will think are several streets inland. You can visit the Crying Claw by boat, tie up there, and depart the same way. Garbage/trash is taken away by “narrowboat” barges, out to sea and down the coast for dumping, in a noisome monster-infested bay called “the Shallows.”

These buildings look like they’re several streets inland because they ARE several streets inland: aside from a “light well” opening down into that turning basin (and which is smaller than the basin), almost all of the canals have been roofed over, giving the buildings in the area deep cellars, and streets run atop these roofs (and rainwater flows down through gratings to empty into these canals).

So like real-world modern Chicago’s Loop area, with its multiple levels (there are streets under the surface streets), Arrabar’s webwork of canals underlies its streets and keeps goods shipping traffic moving (you could run an entire campaign down there; the city polices the area heavily to keep boats from blocking canals to cost competitors money by preventing their timely movement; for the same reason, fishing from boats, as opposed to with a fishing rod, from a balcony or window, is banned in the canals and turning basin…despite the rumored lurking aquatic monsters).

Collectively, the canals, docks, and basin are known locally as “the Netherwaters,” but in daily speech this has been shortened to “Nethers” or just “Below.” It’s where “bad people” (low, criminal, and even misshapen) live and work, so many Arrabarrans never mention it at all.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2022 :  01:22:31  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On elvish word for ghost / spirit and ghost elves

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479270246867521543

Jan 7, 2022

@JakeSpe99365588

@TheEdVerse what is the elvish word for ghost / spirit?

Also do ghost elves (not the ghost of an elf, but the race ghost elves that appeared in the dragon magazine) exist within your realms?

@TheEdVerse

Okay, here we go…

“irrenth” (pronounced “EAR-enth”) means a haunting, a place or item that’s haunted

“mormhaor” (pronounced “more-umm-HAY-oar”) means corrupted death or undeath

“ues” (pronounced “ooh-ESS”) means the spirit that is the essence of each elf

“vrae” (pronounced “VRAY”) means a phantom, wraith, or other visible translucent flying/drifting apparition

And “vraemorm” is the undead known as a “ghost” in the Common Tongue

A few adventuring bands of ghost elves have made forays into the Realms from the Ethereal Plane where they dwell, but ghost elves don’t have a presence in Toril in the form of settlements, a country, or being recognized as a race. Some elder elves will know them on sight.
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2022 :  01:38:58  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the fate of the siblings Rayland and Talandra Roaringhorn

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479287433938223105

Jan 7, 2022

@OfficialAPoD

Good evening again, Saer @TheEdVerse, I come once more with humble Waterdhavian inquiries.

Did we ever discover the fate of the siblings Rayland and Talandra Roaringhorn in the IDW comic series?

@TheEdVerse

Discover it with me now. ;}

Rayland was as good at intrigues as his father and uncle, and more handsome and dashing than both put together. He had three lovers, and children with each, before marrying and having four children.

First, he shared a bed with Sharrandra Drethen, a wealthy young woman from Amn who was then in Scornubel; she bore a daughter, Saeril, a quiet genius, mimic, and superb actress who is VERY good at deceptions and intrigues, and is now richer than her mother, thanks to her mercantile tactics in Athkatla. Rayland’s firstborn, and they know each other and are fast friends rather than “father to daughter.”

Then Rayland spent some years with Lharauva Hethenwood, a ranger and Harper from Berdusk. She bore him a second daughter, Teiraskeira (“TEER-ask-keera”), who was a wild-spirited, fiery-tempered “tomboy” type from birth, and is an emerald-eyed and flame-haired adventurer faring far across the inner Heartlands, having left both her parents behind but not in anger.

Then Rayland settled in Silverymoon and consorted with the half-elf Imbeirimra (“Imm-beer-IMM-rah”) Shalantwynter, and they had a daughter Eirel (“EAR-ell”) who is a serene painter, sculptor, seamstress (making much of her coin creating beautiful gowns that fetch high prices in Silverymoon) and harpist (harpist, not Harper). Rayland and Imbeirimra drifted apart, as he’d done with both of his previous lovers, but he seems to have the knack for parting on good terms with women, and without dispute or bitterness he left Imbeirimra amd Silverymoon and spent some time with the Roaringhorns in Cormyr, seeing the Dales (which he liked, as “beautiful backlands”) and Sembia (which he hated, as “crass and brash and haughty with nothing behind it but coin, or pretense of coin”) ere coming to an agreement with the Cormyrean Roaringhorns to set himself up as a wayhouse and trader for them in Secomber, “within hail of Waterdeep without being under the eye and shadow of his father,” as he put it. There he met an older, plainer woman, a limping retired adventurer with sharper wits than his own, and was smitten.

It took a year or two of wooing before commoner Semmera Lathdale agreed to wed him, but their union has been strong and happy: she rules the roost, he does as she directs and they wax richer thereby because she has thrice the head for business than most nobles, and they dwell in a grand house in Secomber and quietly own over thirty more thanks to shrewd purchases by Semmera, some of them “safehouses” and others always rented out. Over a decade, Rayland and Semmera have had two daughters followed by two sons; from eldest to youngest, these are: Phandele, Tammur, Ornatar, and Revrel. The last three are too young to be married (by Heartlands customs), but all of Rayland’s other children are quite old enough to both have offspring and to be wed.

Which brings us to Talandra, last seen in the Border Kingdoms. She has not wed, but has taken many lovers, most human (at least one elf and two half-elves) and mainly male (one of the half-elves and several humans have been female). Like Rayland, she has a knack for parting on good terms with lovers, though she has a far hotter temper than he does—and she’s shown no signs of getting pregnant no matter what she does.

Interestingly, Talandra encountered (in Derlusk) a quiet, studious woman who claimed to be Taevra Roaringhorn, a younger sister she never knew about. Taevra is a scribe and bookbinder and sage-in-training, and looks so like a slenderer version of Talandra that she believes they’re blood-kin, though she has no idea how their parents kept her existence secret—or even if she’s a half-sister, perhaps the result of her father taking a secret lover…and Taevra hasn’t said.

Many noble families in the Realms have this sort of web of scattered legitimate and bastard kin spread across Faerûn and beyond. I have pages of informal notes, prepared back when “the Young Dragons” were writing their first books in the Realms, and there were plans for series involving nobles; I was going to gift them each a family to play with, and watch the fun. ;}
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questing gm
Senior Scribe

Malaysia
553 Posts

Posted - 08 Jan 2022 :  02:10:44  Show Profile  Visit questing gm's Homepage Send questing gm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a Giftless wizard from a world where an innate Gift is not necessary to learn magic (only study and effort) arriving in Toril

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479514872421523462
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479521589976838145
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479525799002836999
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479527072183771141
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479578309444968453

Jan 8, 2022

@ValetheHowl

Hi there! I am about to DM a new campaign for my group, and I had a question about FR magic: if a Giftless wizard from a world where an innate Gift is not necessary to learn magic (only study and effort) arrived in Toril, would they still be able to use their powers?

@TheEdVerse

"The Gift" is merely the name given in the Realms for the ability to wield arcane magic (some folks can carry a tune and others can't, some are tone-deaf and others have perfect pitch). So if your wizard from another world has been casting spells in that world, they obviously possess the gift.

The question is not if they have the Gift or not (they do), but HOW the spells they've been casting (by study and effort) work. Almost all wizards in the Realms call on the Weave, as their means of drawing on natural energies (wind, wave, tidal, kinetic, etc.) to power the effects that their incantations shape and specify.

The wizard from another world may be working spells that don't call on the Weave, or that call on it in ways that will produce surprising-to-them effects (e.g. a Wand of Wonder). They may have to experiment for a bit (and these experiments may be dangerous or even fatal) until they learn what "works" in the Realms. Some of their spells may not work at all (nothing happens), and some may go "wild."

This has happened to many individuals in the past. Quite a few have stopped casting magic out of fear, and taken other professions.

The reason the term "the Gift" exists at all is as a handy way for saying if someone can cast arcane spells, but the precise term was coined by priests of various deities wanting to convey the impression that the gods bestow this ability (they can, using the Imbue With Spell Ability spell, but it may or may not be church propaganda to assert that being born able to cast spells is always a "god-given" ability).

And when I say that "This has happened to many individuals in the past" I mean that I was writing and publishing Realms short stories establishing this phenomenon in the setting before the game of D&D existed. The D&D game has added more examples of "magic not working the way you're used to" when you enter other planes...or alternate Prime Material Planes.

@ValetheHowl

Thank you very much! Do you say that, mechanically, having something akin to Wild Magic effects happen to the newly arrived Wizard's spells until they can get used to Toril's magic be enough to represent the difference in those magic?

@TheEdVerse

That would be a great way to do it if roleplaying the experimentation (trying spells and altering them to see what happens) isn't desired. Depends entirely on how much you want to focus on the "mechanics" of magic.

@ValetheHowl

I was mostly planning a "quick venture" for my players into Toril from my homebrew setting, so the wizards wouldn't really have time to do thorough research before having to cast spells.

@TheEdVerse

So it's totally up to you if spells just work as normal, or if they're totally unreliable, or something in between. Whatever you think will be most entertaining, for your players. Or best fits the unfolding campaign narrative.

@ValetheHowl

Does this mean that almost everyone can learn magic, at least at basic level, with enough study and practice?

@TheEdVerse

Yes. The Realms is a "high magic" setting; lots of magical energy, many tutored and untutored users of magic, a lot of "wild talents" (the kid who's never looked at a spell in his/her life, but can 'do certain things' when they want to). Wizards are relatively few as a profession because another word for "wizard" might be "target." ;}

And someone has to teach you a spell, or you need access to a spellbook and time to practise. Let's just say the number of untaught potential wizards is legion.

@MercKilsek

I have always assumes most anyone could learn a little magic in the Realms with a little help, luck or talent. Most don't because of the daily needs of living are demanding on their times.

Those that do have and use magic (arcane or divine or borrowed) are lucky to have the time/coin to learn it; gifted with raw talent or fated.

Am I to far off?

@TheEdVerse

No, right on.

Most are too busy with daily life.

Wizards guard knowledge. Scrolls and spellbooks tend to be hidden, locked away and guarded, and access to them and to instruction/training is expensive.

And it doesn't matter how rich you are if you can't get access.
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Eldacar
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quote:
Originally posted by questing gm

@MercKilsek

I have always assumes most anyone could learn a little magic in the Realms with a little help, luck or talent. Most don't because of the daily needs of living are demanding on their times.

To my recollection, this has been mentioned before in published fiction, in an older novel set in Chessenta - the Shadow Stone, I believe it was. The main character has a teacher in magic, who tells him as part of his learning magic that almost anybody can learn at least a cantrip or two if they have the time and will, and put their mind to it. Just that most don’t.

"The Wild Mages I have met exhibit a startling disregard for common sense, and are often meddling with powers far beyond their own control." ~Volo
"Not unlike a certain travelogue author with whom I am unfortunately acquainted." ~Elminster
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questing gm
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On usable lore in the new Thay book for 1350’s - early 1370’s DR

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479562862033096706

Jan 8, 2022

@GHC_and_Tacos

OooWee did I just get a killer new image of Szass Tam in for our Thay book. I am not teasing the release, but merely sharing my excitement! We should be launching it on the DM's Guild this month. @TheEdVerse @warfteiner and I are excited!

@AlexMcclay2000

Will some of the info still be usable pre-spellplague? I run all my games in 1350’s - early 1370’s DR.

@TheEdVerse

Yes. Some things in Thay have changed under Szass Tam's tenure, and others (cultural and societal) change very slowly. As the home Realms campaign is still unfolding "back then," I can tell you a huge amount of the book's lore can be used 'as is' at that Realmsdate.
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questing gm
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On Tiefling origins

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479910491619266568

Jan 9, 2022

@AugustoCLock

Hey Ed, could you give this a read (if it's not too boring) and let me how much of it makes sense? https://old.reddit.com/r/Forgotten_Realms/comments/rwqh7a/on_tiefling_origins/

@TheEdVerse

I like the 'sworn to Asmodeus making tieflings "breed true",' though individuals still vary in appearance due to individual genetics (and letting players have fun with their PCs).

Bhaalspawn aren't tieflings, though (and Abdel was sired after the Time of Troubles).

Edited by - questing gm on 09 Jan 2022 01:31:50
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questing gm
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On word for "Spider" in different languages

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479924631113023492
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479931918087081985
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1479986612826165253
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480231912740425731
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1482546090394140678
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1482586172505346048
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1482595373998817283

Jan 9, 2022

@gkrashos

Hi Ed! Enquiring minds want to know the goblin/hobgoblin word for “spider”. Can you share? And while you’re at it, what do the orcs, dwarves, elves et. al. call “spiders” in their languages? Thanks!

@TheEdVerse

All of the Torilian languages have different words for a spider versus a “monster” spider (poisonous or of head-of-the-speaker size or larger), AND all have different words/forms for singular and plural, so here we go:

Draconic: klajus (plural klajan), arklajus is a monstrous spider (plural arklajan), klood is any nest/colony of spiders

Drow: orb is any spider, orbb is plural of any spider, lhorb is a lone spider the speaker considers dangerous, lhorbbyth is more than one such spider, and yilorb (plural yilorbbyth) is a riding-spider

Dwarvish: norskul is any lone spider, norskulla is the plural, all spiders are monsters, and a known-to-be-deadly spider would be termed a yaunorsk (peril-spider, “yau” [pronounced “yaw”] being a known peril/hazard/danger)

Elvish: orbryn is any spider, obra is the plural, horb is a monster-spider, and horbra is more than one of them

Gnomish: norl is any spider, norra is the plural, harnor is a monster-spider, and harnorl is more than one monster-spider

Goblin/Hobgoblin: gaukul [pronounced “GAW-cull”] is any spider, gaukulla is the plural, and a lone monster-spider is taggaukul, plural taggaukulla

Halfling: narl is any spider, narrara is the plural, helnarl is a monster-spider, and helnarla is more than one monster-spider

Orc: ukul (pronounced OO-kul) is any lone spider (ukula is the plural), and a lone monster-spider is a ukurn (plural ukurna, pronounced “oo-KUR-nah”)

@AlexMcclay2000

Would the double r in "narrara" be pronounced with a rolling r as in Spanish? Or just a normal sounding r.

@TheEdVerse

Hintalk has a lot of rolling and trilling sounds, so some halflings would, yes. Interestingly, halflings often drop such sounds when talking to non-hin.

@LazarStojkovic

Hi! What’s the difference in pronunciation between “orb” and “orbb”? Thanks in advance!

@TheEdVerse

The first sounds like a gulp (very short "orb"), and the second sounds (drawing it out and exaggerating here; imagine it said as quickly as possible) like: "OAR-ububub" (so it ends in a "bouncing b" whereas "orb" doesn't. ;}

@RpgMatch

Are there any lexicons written down for different Torilian languages?

@TheEdVerse

Yes. We update them constantly. ;} Hence their super-secret nature. @gkrashos does all of the heavy lifting.

@gkrashos

Hi Ed. Is the plural (or singular, I guess) for the elvish word a typo? Is the plural "orbra" or is the singular "obryn" or are they correct as is?

@TheEdVerse

Sorry, you're right, there's a typo: orbryn is singular, and ORBRA is the plural.

@gkrashos

What about the giants? *wink*

@TheEdVerse

:}

In Jotun, any spider is “attlug” (eight-legs) and spiders, plural, is “attlugga.”

This is then modified by prefixes: “iph” for tiny (a spider the size of a human palm or less), “trau” [pronounced ‘traw’] for small (up to the size of a human body), and “goront” for full-grown (these size words apply to anything or any creature). Three additional creature modifiers are also applied as next-in-line prefixes, if applicable, and in this order: “kah” for biting, “duhfare” (silent-danger) if poisonous/venomous (that affects a giant, so they notice it), and “guth” for soft and easily squished/crushed.

So a tiny, easily-crushed, poisonous fanged spider would be an iphkahduthfareguthattlug, but a spider that bites but isn’t poisonous, and is larger than a human, is a gorontkahattlug.

Webs from any sort of spider (or webs a giant believes to be of arachnid origin) are attlugthul (thul is a creature-made net or snare).

@AlexMcclay2000

"iphkahduthfareguthattlug", now that's a mouthful

@TheEdVerse

Giants speak slowly (and deeply, and often loudly), and can verbalize while inhaling and exhaling.

- Edited on 10/1/2022 to add new tweets
- Edited on 17/1/2022 to add new tweets

Edited by - questing gm on 16 Jan 2022 23:33:36
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questing gm
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On recommended spells and magical effect for the Netherese Empire and during the Crown Wars

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480024951453327370

Jan 9, 2022

@Jon_4L

what do you recommend, in terms of spells and magical effects, for a 5e DM running something during the height of the Netherese Empire? Same question, but for the elves' Crown Wars?

@TheEdVerse

Big questions, so one at a time. Netherese Empire first.

When encountering an arcanist from an unfamiliar city, feel free as a DM to use ANY spell, from any source (and class) as a spell cast by that arcanist, if it fits/helps the unfolding story. ANYTHING goes as a spell effect (within reason, of course; an arcanist is not going to waste a high-level slot on a spell to change the hue of flowers). Spell-mantles aren’t a popular thing, but personal wards that counter a specific sort of damage with a pre-prepared spell response are.

And finally: get out your Wand of Wonder tables, both official and any favourites from among the many, many magazine article and homebrew alternatives. Use them when hostile spells collide in spell-duels, and 2 table results (or pick what best fits the situation) when 3 or more spells collide/overlap areas of effect.

Many arcanists are real eccentrics, obsessed with odd details; play them that way.

Crown Wars time: although there are a few haughty mavericks in every force/side fighting in the Crown Wars, MOST forces are disciplined; like a modern real-world football team, they discuss and practise tactics, and are trained to carry out roles (personal assignments) every spellcaster is expected to do in a given situation/in response to a particular battle cry. Particular forces favour the use of particular spells and schools of magic (again, equivalent to a modern football team specializing in the run, or deep passes, or play action), and will rarely have spells ready to cast that “step outside” their favourites.

And lastly, elves of that time are VERY big on etiquette and honour, and will “play by the formal rules of war” which include not attacking children or non-combatants, NO despoiling the land (e.g. “scorched earth”) or poisoning anyone or anything no matter what the stakes, and no alliances with goblinkin (orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, etc.) under any circumstances. Sneak attacks, thefts of crops and other supplies, and the like are considered low, unfair, and mean; if you fight dirty, you have already lost in your own eyes, in the eyes of your kin and allies, and in the eyes of your foe. The end does NOT justify the means.

Edited by - questing gm on 10 Jan 2022 00:01:43
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questing gm
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On a Dwarf choosing family over clan or vice versa

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480031085975252995

Jan 9, 2022

@halfwhitebigode

But you would you say that culturally a Dwarf would be pressed to choose family over clan or vice versa?

@TheEdVerse

This is one of those “it entirely depends on the dwarf’s clan, and family, and the situation, and time period” things. There’s no almost-always answer. MOST dwarves put family first, then clan, then race (versus foes/rivals of other races). But there are dwarves who hate their own kin, or some of them, or detest their clan or want to “show up” their clan for what they see as wrong decisions/policies/attitudes. The DM should always ask: what led up to this moment? What did any players involved roleplay? Okay, how do any NPCs involved act or react, the way I see them as characters? (It’s okay to call a timeout, turn aside from the table, and quietly ask yourself, as director to actors [the NPCs]: how do you see your character acting/reacting right now? Why? Okay, if X acts this way, how does that change how Y reacts? …And then turn back to play. It’s always what would the characters do, and never player vs. player or DM vs. players or any player.)

Edited by - questing gm on 10 Jan 2022 00:08:29
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questing gm
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On focuses of Arcane Brotherhood overwizards

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480230354468413441

Jan 10, 2022

@DM_Doesnt

Can anyone out there help out with the lore of the Host Tower of Luskan? As I can see reference to the different spires and their Overwizard having their own seperate focus’ but what they are evades me. Unless it is more of a personal direction by each mage in charge?

<https://twitter.com/DM_Doesnt/status/1480142973031563265/photo/1>

@TheEdVerse

Hi. I covered it in Volo's North, but there's a pretty clear overview here: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Arcane_Brotherhood
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questing gm
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On reopening Myth Drannor

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480310262305538053
https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480342679196155904

Jan 10, 2022

@ErikBaileyHEMA

I've been working on an Arcane College campaign module with a particularly sizable Elven population, but I saw you recently post that the Elves of Myth Drannor have once again blocked non-elves from entering. What kind of event could change their mind?

@TheEdVerse

They will reopen it the moment the mythal is repaired so the ancestors' tombs are once again structurally secure and the baelnorn are no longer raging.

Which could be very soon. They've been WORKING.

@ErikBaileyHEMA

So there's potential for a group of 8 archmages to open an arcane college in, say, the Alliance Ward in the near future?

@TheEdVerse

I'd say so. Monitored by an elven high mage, of course, to make sure the students are students, and not hostile mages infiltrating (they know some Thultanthans survived).

Edited by - questing gm on 11 Jan 2022 23:25:46
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questing gm
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On repopulated Essembra

https://twitter.com/ErikBaileyHEMA/status/1480612529365680128

Jan 11, 2022

@ErikBaileyHEMA

One more question: I've read that Essembra was evacuated/abandoned in 1422 DR. Has it been repopulated yet?

@TheEdVerse

Oh, yes, almost immediately after the fighting moved elsewhere. Many Essembrans just fled into the Ghost Holds, and came right back when they dared to.
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questing gm
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On the biggest phylactery in the Realms

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480742074089713664

Jan 11, 2022

@groudon466

In the most literal sense: what's the biggest phylactery in the Realms?

@TheEdVerse

I'm not certain which is the biggest, but the largest I know of is an airship of enchanted alloys fused together into an elegant sealed vessel hundreds of feet long. It floats hidden in a cavern that it almost fills. Where? Ah, that would be TELLING.
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questing gm
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On the popular fiction market in Waterdeep

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1480757792097120256

Jan 11, 2022

@IslamAndDragons

Howdy @TheEdVerse! I’m rereading Elminster’s Forgotten Realms, and was wondering:

The section on writing pertains mostly to Cormyr, how does Waterdeep differ (or not)? I’m especially interested in Waterdeep’s popular fiction market.


@TheEdVerse

I'd already covered the Waterdeep market in articles I penned for the Wizards website, both broadsheets (=newspapers) and chapbooks.

One of my Spin A Yarn tales also focused on the selling of chapbooks.

In brief, the Deep has more of everything: more competing broadsheets, far more treatises and tracts published in chapbook form, and a great breadth of genres in chapbooks, with several long-running series (akin to real-world Perry Rhodan or Dray Prescott or the Angelique books).
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questing gm
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On Elminster's clones

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1481413036615376896

Jan 13, 2022

@Artie_Pavlov

Looks like red El clone is also appearing in the new Neverwinter expansion. How many clones does he have? Did he learn from Alias and made an army of red Elminsters? Face with tears of joy

@TheEdVerse

He has an infinite number of clones: like all Weavemasters, he can spin up "Weaveghosts" at will: phantoms that SEEM real/solid if he wants them to, that he can see and speak through, and that he can cast spells through. They're not solid and can't carry anything.
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questing gm
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On Myrkul's face

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1481415864276688896

Jan 13, 2022

@VikGray

I have a small headcanon that Myrkul was an extreme, stunning beauty as a mortal. His face was nearly divine.

But it slowly started to dwindle with time and age. So... He painfully hated it. He despised the signs of decay, but instead of masking it He tried to make it harder. Destroy his pitch perfect face and leave it in ruin.

Since his ascension into divinity he fancies looking scary.

But mostly because he is afraid to see his fading old humane face ever again

@TheEdVerse

I like this very much. :}
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questing gm
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On a 10th level campaign starting in Daggerdale

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1482467454165135366

Jan 16, 2022


@JackGogsbane

Hey, @TheEdVerse ! Any tips or secret lore you could share with me for a campaign starting at 10th level in Daggerdale, involving the Lord of Daggerdale's lost sister, werewolves, Malar, Loviatar, and Tethyamar?:)

@TheEdVerse

Heh. Florin secretly rescued Silver Morn years back, so she's not to be found in Daggerdale. (The Zhents lording it in her castle died in the rescue.)

Loviatar worshippers are, though, mainly in the settlements. In the countryside, you'll find a lot of Malarites, running "holy hunts"...which is a good thing for the farmers still hanging on, as those hunts keep the foraging goblins, orcs, hobgoblins and prowling spiders roaming from the Spiderhaunt Wood down to a (somewhat) survivable level. Driders and some drow explorative warbands occasionally enter the dale, but have never established any lasting presence because dwarven adventurers seeking to repopulate Tethyamar come up from under the Desertsmouth Mountains to eliminate drow whenever they find them.

What little hope and aid the folk of Daggerdale receive comes from Shadowdale (preferential prices on needed daily goods) and, surprisingly, from the Zhentarim rebuilding Zhentil Keep, who seek to make Daggerdale their "breadbasket" food source. They have spies not only among the folk living in the settlements of Daggerdale (including some smiths, carpenters, and roofers) but roaming the countryside--and these roamers include some shapeshifters of various sorts (one or two might be werewolves, but most werewolves encountered in Daggerdale are likely long-resident in the dale, or have settled there from elsewhere (such as the Hullack region of Cormyr).

The worship of Loviatar is covertly financed by the Zhents, who see it as a way to ultimately controlling the settlements of Daggerdale from within. Adding spice to this mix are the spies in the dale supported by Shadowdale, and the spies in the dale who are visiting Harpers. ;}

Daggerdale remains an uneasy mix of farms, abandoned farms that nature is seeking to reclaim (so hunting is good), and ready violence as all of these elements clash. (The elves in the forested areas to the east prevent drow, dwarves, and Zhents from expanding in that direction, so Daggerdale is something of a cauldron.)
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questing gm
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On gender ratio of ancient Imaskari artificers

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1482780931052212232

Jan 17, 2022

@FrankMcCormick

Is it just a function of the very small sample size of known/named Imaskari, or were the artificer ruling class exclusively male? Deep Imaskar and its descendants obviously aren't, but the ancient Imaskar?

@TheEdVerse

No, there was no gender bar, and likely as many females as males. What has survived down through history is the loudest artificers who did the most dramatic/pushy/stupid things without hiding what they were doing, and THAT subset was more male than female.
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questing gm
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On giants before Giantcraft and the novels trilogy

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1482782874294276101

Jan 17, 2022

@MarcoVolo9

Speaking of Giants, if I may: before Giantcraft and the novels trilogy about giants were published, where did you put your giants in the Realms and were they ans their lore a bit part of your campaigns?

@TheEdVerse

In my home Realms campaign, I put the giants on the surface of most mountain ranges. I saw them as a dwindling race due to orcs competing for the same areas, and so, either loners or in small family groups.
Troy Denning sat down with me and a Realms map in the TSR library (during one of my annual GenCon visits to Lake Geneva) to hash out possible sites for the giant communities before he went down to Mary Kirchoff to discuss that novels trilogy.
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questing gm
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On Horizikaul

https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse/status/1483110555636355077

Jan 18, 2022

@SaltyBroccolo

I've been told you know a lot about DnD and the Forgotten Realms. 3 hours ago I started a quest searching for some information about Horizkaul which has 3 spells with his name on them. After some more searching, I found a book called Magic of Faerûn but that Didn't have anything either, do you know anything about this Horizkaul guy? I'm really curious to know.

They also told me he might have a similar story to that of Mordenkainen (Idk who that is) and that's it... Thank you!

@TheEdVerse

Well met! Metagame: I THINK Horizikaul is the creation of Sean K. Reynolds, but I may be wrong about that, and the name (plus the fact that he was obviously a creator of sonic-related spells) is about all we know of him in published Realmslore.

To that, I can extrapolate this much: his name suggests that he’s from Halruaa but of Tashlutan or Calishite heritage. Sonic spells are a chancy—and so, mistrusted in Halruaa—field of magic, which suggests Horizikaul is an independent, perhaps even defiant sort, and is likely not a respected “establishment” Halruaan. That plus the nature of the spells leads me to think he’s an adventurer, wandering the Realms, but either not successful or very much not an attention-seeker (as he hasn’t established himself as a local fixture anywhere).

So he’s another of our many loose ends that you can do what you like with. :}

If it were me, I’d have him living quietly in his own tower either in a rural area or in a small town, semi-retired from a successful adventuring career and devoting himself to his researches. Which could either be a dastardly, dangerous-to-the-world plot, or helpful and business-related (someone has to turn out all those useful enchanted weapons, tools, and doodads, you know).

Either way, he’d likely have some powerful automatons as guardians, to deter thieves and would-be Horizikaul-slayers.

(And Mordenkainen is a very different sort of character: he’s one of the most important and powerful wizards of Greyhawk, the founder of the Circle of Eight, and was recently nursed back to sanity by Elminster.)

@MarcoVolo9

Luckily, @seankreynolds can confirm, or not ;)

@seankreynolds

I was tempted to tweet a long fake backstory about them being an NPC in my FR home campaign, but … nah, I made up the name. Feel free to create whatever lore you want for this character. :D
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