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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:42:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Volo as an alter ego:

Jan 22, 2019

@zoltan_hagg
Is it true that Volo is a kind of your alter ego in Faerun, just like Tom Bombadil in Tolkien books?


@TheEdVerse
No. I have no alter egos in the Realms. Most folks think Elminster is my alter ego, but the one and only time I put myself into the Realms for a charity roleplaying event, I was "the Questmaster" (hides out in northern High Forest). Volo was created by veteran designer Jeff Grubb

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:43:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On maps of Neverwinter:


Jan 7, 2019

@Bluzpicker
Dear Mr. Greenwood, I returned to play 5e after 32 years away from D&D. I want to run a 5e campaign in the city of Neverwinter and am seeking details. I'm frustrated I can't locate shops and streets mentioned in canonical materials on a city map. Can you please help?


@TheEdVerse
Sure, but this is something I've answered a LOT, here on Twitter and on Facebook and at Candlekeep. (Where others have answered, too.) You do have the Neverwinter Campaign Setting book, and have looked at the Locations in Neverwinter on the FR wiki, yes?


@Bluzpicker
Thanks for responding to my inquiry. Sorry for wasting your time. I have the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, but no maps of Neverwinter come with street names, only a few buildings identified unlike the Waterdeep maps I have seen. I'll look at Candlekeep. TY


@TheEdVerse
No worries! Here's the first relevant previous tweet of mine: Dannar’s Mechanical Marvels (from Volo's GuidettNorth) stands in the Blacklake District, next door to Jaesor’s Fineware Porcelain Works. Jaesor’s is on the NE corner where The Street Of Storms (which runs along the inside of the NWern run of the city wall) meets Hantor’s Lane, which runs SE. Dannar’s fronts on Hantor’s Lane.
Blackule Lane (which several schools and academies front on) is also in the Blacklake District.
(I'll look for more.) The backlore is that past rulers of Neverwinter forbade publication of maps of the city "for security reasons." Which meant no maps with tags. When Lord Neverember relaxed this, we got maps with individual sites marked...but still no street names. So I've been directing traffic for gamers ever since. ;}


@Bluzpicker
Thanks again. I collected enough fragments of information that I can proceed assigning locations on the excellent map I purchased from Mike Schley. I realize that my assignment of some businesses and shops will be somewhat arbitrary, but will suffice for my campaign purposes.


@TheEdVerse
Great. Some of the shop/building locales are "fuzzy" even when we designers discuss things privately, I'm afraid, because the maps don't QUITE match what was said in fiction prose or in published adventures. The computer game locales don't exactly vie with the maps, either. If I were you, I'd put it down to businesses moving after fires or to upsize while enjoying successes or downsizing because trade is bad, plus the upheavals within the city, and site individual things where they work best for you. ...

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  10:44:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On thermometers:

On thermometers

@webjr1981
@TheEdVerse
I know that time-keeping isn't a big deal in the Realms (3 bells, etc), but do thermometers exist?


@ TheEdVerse
"Weather glasses" exist in the Realms: what our real world calls "Galileo thermometers" (sealed glass vessels with mixtures of liquid in them and floating glass sphere "bubbles" to denote various temperatures.


@Greysil_Tassyr
A followup to this question on thermometers: How is temperature actually measured? Is there any kind of scale like Farenheit/Celsius?


@TheEdVerse
There's no numerical scale. Rather, a sensory range, from boiling/scorching to touch through hot, warm, comfortable (as in, the preferred interior temp of a room or dwelling) blood-neutral, pleasant, cool, cold, icy, to numbing.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:13:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Azoun IV's romantic conquests:

10 Feb 2019

@Greysil_Tassyr
It's well-known that King Azoun IV was overly fond of feminine company.

Did he have any particular preferences for his romantic partners, or was he more like college fratboy who would hop into bed with any willing woman? And was anyone off-limits, to him?


@TheEdVerse
As King or earlier, Azoun always had a way with ladies, but he did have a moral code he followed. No married women beyond the occasional widow. No silly/stupid partners; what most attracted him was wits (hence marrying Filfaeril) coupled with strong will. No naive
innocents. Class didn't matter (i.e commoner or noble), but he didn't want to exploit anyone poor or desperate. And above all, WILLING (he was most excited when she made the first move, not him), but not in a gold-digging grasping "want to boast I slept with the King" way. Azoun's reputation grew in the gossipy retelling, until most of Cormyr assumed Azoun had bedded every woman in the realm he wanted to, and said women were hurling themselves at him daily. Far from the truth. He was a wild youth, yes.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:14:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the best-selling books in Suzail, circa 1357-1360:


8 Feb 2019
þ
@jayeedgecliff
for the sake of flavour & whimsy may we have a look into the Suzail Times Bestseller List of chapbooks 1e greybox times? I get a vibe from your and other novelists from back then that the top genre is bodice rippers. Any close competition?


@TheEdVerse
Sure. ;} I’ll split this reply so as not to overwhelm Twitter’s limits...

So the Old Gray Box is circa 1357 DR, and at that time Suzail has an avid reading public of all classes, not just wealthy nobility and “wannabe nobles” among the wealthiest rising merchants. It also has a healthy chapbook and broadsheet publishing scene, not to mention bustling playhouses (the nobility tend to “hire in” players to perform in their residences, rather than attending public performances).

Perennial leading bestsellers are, in descending order:

1. Bodice Rippers, especially if they’re thinly-disguised “tell all” adaptations of gossipy “I slept with Lord X or Lady Y or both” revelations.

2. Memoirs of adventuresome lives, either full of derring-do or swindling skullduggery, or travels through vividly-described “exotic locales afar,” or both.

3. Rags-to-riches family saga fiction about plucky rural heroes or heroines who by their wits and boldness ascend into the ranks of the wealthy and/or nobility, overcoming dastardly villains to do so.

4. Family histories of Cormyrean nobility, gentry, rising merchant families, or long-in-service-to-the-Crown folk, sales directly reflecting how entertainingly-written they are, and how salacious/revealing.

5. Useful “how to” chapbooks on making your own wine or clothes, or bestiaries of monsters and varmints/pests and how to deal with them.


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #1 include: Amalthea’s Bright Ventures (steamy sex scenes, and a heroine who likes partners of both genders, is plucky and dense but improbably land-on-her-feet lucky; readers can see troubles and pitfalls she’s blundering into before she does, but she’s merry and naïve and endearing) by Lalandra Thoelur; The Revel At The Naughty Unicorn (a book-length lurid description of the unfolding debaucheries at a revel held by mischievous young nobles at a rented, fictitious Suzailan club in order to catch their elders in compromising situations; it succeeds all too well and involves the club being wrecked and set afire by mischance amid all the lusty doings) by Bors Baskalyn (almost certainly a pen-name, likely of a courtier employed at the Royal Court); and Calathae’s Crossed Blades (the adventures of a crossdressing young country lass of improbably great beauty and sword-skills, who sleeps, duels, and adventures her way through a series of wildly-fictitious noble mansions in search of her True Partner whom she can trust, as opposed to the many partners she finds pleasure with; in the end, Calathae becomes the consort of a widowed lady of high rank, and they live happily ever after, though not before some hot scenes no reader in Suzail wanted to miss, involving sex while tied to the back of a galloping horse).


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #2 include: My Misadventures In Marsember (a thinly-disguised recitation of real-life scandals, swindles, and real-life smuggling in the shadier corners of Marsember, but fictionalized as happening to the purported author, a fictitious adventurer by the name of Randovel Rakesword, which ends with Rakesword enchanted by an evil sorceress into becoming her shapeshifting octopus slave and lover, and lurking with her underwater in Marsember, dragging incautious individuals carrying wealth down to watery dooms); With Sword And Throwing Knives Across Wildest Faerûn (a partly truthful, but embroidered with colorful tales and gossip that in truth came from the adventures of others, account of a successful dungeon-delving and dragonslaying retired adventurer of Suzail, concealing her true identity behind the pseudonym Desmra Daggermask); and Torthur’s Guide To Farthest Toril (a guidebook of dubious accuracy to places all over the world that are distant from Cormyr, which has sprinklings of useful lore about inns, taverns, local attractions, and currency details for some ports) by Aundemand Torthur, who vanished forever a few years later, quite likely eaten by a wilderland monster whilst incautiously answering a call of nature along a caravan road.


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #3 include: High Houses And High Hearts (the tale of how handsome and amiable but coinless and untutored Avander Crickletoad became Avander Crownadar, successful maker of hats and coaches for the nobility, wooed and lost three noble heiresses, and at last lands Lady Dragonwood, a spirited and passionate—and entirely fictitious; no such noble family exists in Cormyr—widow, and becomes Lord Dragonwood) by Nanthaea Joldrall; Blackblades Hall (the saga of the evil, debauched, and decadent Blackblades noble family, who are entirely fictitious and who get justice done to them at swordpoint by plucky heroine Shalambrae Daerove, a swordmaker’s daughter who’s expert with a blade, afire with ‘justice for all, high and low,’ and who falls for the one good scion of the Blackblades, youngest brother Marlynd, and in the end becomes Lady Blackblades to his Lord, when all the rest of the Blackblades have found richly-deserved graves) by Horluth Ansammar; and The Ghost Baron (the saga of how a villainous and fictitious Baron Valandruth was finally brought low by three spirited heroines, though not before he passed into undeath yet continued to mistreat the living, thanks to enchantments laid on him by liches he’d entered into unholy alliances with).


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #4 include: The Talvurs of Talvurgates (the true family history of the Talvur farming family of Dreamer’s Rock, some members of whom served long as Purple Dragons, others taking up adventuring all over Faerûn, one prospecting in the Moonsea North until maimed by ogres, another becoming a successful pirate sailing the Sea of Fallen Stars, and one daughter marrying a guildmaster in Waterdeep and becoming the lover of no less than three nobles at the same time) by Eldethelle Talvur; and By My Plume (the history of the Darendgannon courtier family, whose sigil is a single upright plume, and who have served in the Palace under sixteen Kings of Cormyr, writing down fascinating minor details and gossip of Palace life and the personal characters, hobbies, dress, sayings, and private deeds of many Obarskyrs) by Chaethla Darendgannon, the eighty-six-year-old retired Palace maid and last of the Darendgannons.


@TheEdVerse
As of 1357-1360 DR, examples of #5 include: The True And Mostly Compleat Bestiarie Of Cadellis Crowlarkyn, Adventurer (a gossipy and in some places useful compendium of the personal experiences of a retired adventuring rogue of long axed moustaches and airily flamboyant “camp” manners, pertaining to wild beasts from stinging insects up to raging wyverns, from how to cook and eat them to how to placate them to smells they dislike to how to best them in battle, a tome Elminster judged “mostly nonsense, but a good read”); and How To Masterfully Fish The Rivers And Rills of Cormyr (a comprehensive and accurate angling guide, complete with maps of precisely where the best spots to take fish are) by Rudrelko Indarjuth.

And there you have it. ;}

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:16:07  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On noble party poopers:

8 Feb 2019
þ
@jayeedgecliff
as Wodehouse proved there’s a great fun and amusement in seeing the Sir Roedericks & Aunt Agathas tormented, embarrassed, and scandalised!

What sorts of notions do these master part poopers hold dear in places like Cormyr? Waterdeep?

What are their lowborn counterparts like?

What do they (high or low born), for sake of example, feel about a noble Lliiran, Sunite, or Sharessan cleric? Of a noble adventuring with commoners?

I suppose the Woosters of the multiverse are probably pretty consistent and
How they horrify their elders.

What of the impish and intelligent? The dabblers in magics, the shrewd but laughing, or the generous & good-natured?

Given you’ve said you’re a fan of P.G.’s works I can envision a lot but the Realms have rather different mores than 1920s aristocratic London. So there’s blanks on this delightful map of social interplay in spite your best efforts in novels. /fin


@TheEdVerse
Right, here we go.
Although it’s inaccurate, rude, and can be frankly dangerous to regard the nobility of either Cormyr or Waterdeep as monolithic, sharing a consistent mindset, moral code, and views (in reality, their wealth or former wealth has led them to indulge their personal eccentricities to a degree that makes them more varied than any other social class in the Realms), the truly crusty (but unstintingly eloquent) Aunt Agatha/Lady Bracknell party poopers tend to believe these things:

Humans are the only TRULY cultured race, and their customs and decisions should hold sway. Even elves and dragons, who may be ancient and PRETEND to sophistication, screwed up badly and so demonstrated their essential unfitness to Be First. WE are First, and rightly so.

Highborn humans are the most cultured of humans; they have grown up surrounded by the ‘right views,’ and so are the most fit to rule. The highborn are the “betters,” and less wellborn are the “lesser,” even if they marry into the nobility ro acquire great wealth, they can never quite overcome the ghastly misfortune of their low birth.

The gods ordain that the highborn should have power over others, and decide things for them. Gods who do not are mistaken, or are not gods. Priests of gods who hold to any other view are deluded fools, or charlatans who were never true believers in their first place, and so are unworthy of their offices.

Society advances through experimentation, so nobles who do odd things are to be tolerated (criticized and hampered, but tolerated) unless they seek to end the status of all nobles, in which case they are mad and must be exterminated lest they endanger high society/the natural order of things/the good of all humankind/all life in the multiverse. So a noble who lowers themselves to try a life of poverty or consorting habitually with commoners or to indulge in unusual religious antics is lost to us, but to be humored and exploited as a source of entertainment (something to gossip about, at least). They may mistakenly think they are ‘broadening themselves,’ but may be moved by the gods to bring about some necessary cultural change or other, at personal cost. Their activities may even be wagered upon without loss of style.

Debauchery is something lower orders indulge in. Nobles who engage in similar activities are merely expressing themselves, or giving vent to innate animal spirits that are personal flaws.

Hopefully they’ll come to their senses before they break all the feather dusters or utterly terrify the horses.

Generosity to the lower classes is not a flaw unless carried to extremes; rather, it is necessary lubricant to keep the lower classes from rising up against us and ruining everything. They can and should be bought, and it is good that someone other than me is out of their minds enough to distribute largesse so that I need not.

Having a sense of humor that one indulges at the expense of one’s elders and betters, rather than kicking the behinds of the lowborn and especially lowborn social climbers and pretenders, is a flaw. One should not poke fun at those better and more experienced than oneself. This is the besetting sin of our straying younglings. Anyone who has too much to do with magic is mad, and dangerous, and to be thwarted. Streaks of madness, allowed to rule those who possess them unchecked, will inevitably lead to the ruin not just of their individual, but of their house. Divert them. Young men/women or gambling will usually suffice.

Being amiable and good-natured is a sign of weakness and low birth. True nobles are clever and even generous, but miss no chance to thrust the barb and demonstrate that they forever judge, and that their judgments are never mistaken. So be witty and jovial, but forgive few slights and forget none at all. Laughing at your elders is insolence, no matter how it is passed off. Such behaviour is to be avenged. Comeuppances should never be far away; I recommend the salted horsewhip.

Though not for Lord Jhalast, as he enjoys it.

{And there you have it. Ah, but I should write a play or two…in my SPARE time…}

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:16:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On roleplaying Elminster:

9 Feb 2019

@tarthalinor
So my PCs have just recently encountered Elminster in my FR campaign, and it looks like they're going be spending a good amount of time with him, so do you have any tips for roleplaying our favorite wizard appropriately? I want to make sure I'm accurate.

þ
@TheEdVerse
Elminster is gruff, cantankerous, but kind.

He’s a shrewd judge of all creatures and so is rarely surprised; your PCs should feel like he already knows their secrets and is always one step ahead. With Plans B, C, D, and E up his sleeve if anything goes bad or they turn on him.

He enjoys being mysterious.

Mystra wants him to spread the use of magic throughout the world, so he will always be slipping spell scrolls and little enchanted doodads (like glowstones) to PCs and others, instructing them in spellcasting or warning them of pitfalls (“If ye don’t do thus, be aware that thy fireball will pull to the left.”)

He likes to tease, but never to the point of upsetting (as opposed to annoying) others. He’s a very good actor. He CAN’T be embarrassed, having seen and done it all. Being naked, or covered in filth, or being shown up, won’t bother him or cause the slightest hesitation. He doesn’t get angry, he gets even. He plays the looooong game, planning things years ahead and making deft little arrangements that will lead to consequences years down the road. He doesn’t need to sleep, and never seems to get tired.

He can’t run out of spells, because he can call on the Weave directly to counter magic or to “shape” any magical effect, even if he doesn’t have the spell to cast it. BUT…he firmly believes that the key to mastery of magic is knowing when NOT to use it.

There. That should do for starters. ;}


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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:18:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the Seven Sisters, post-Spellplague, and the coast of Velprintalar:

7 Feb 2019
þ

@JoshuaNeverJosh
Working on an FR adventure about dealing with things left by the Simbul after her death. What's the current status of the other 7 Sisters & Elminster? After the Spellplague & the Sundering, did the coastline of Veltalar ever return to it's original level?


@TheEdVerse
I’m always tempted to answer queries like this with: single, of course, but careful; you’re competing with Mystra!

SPOILERS, EVERYONE!!!!

But seriously: Laeral is Open Lord of Waterdeep and Elminster head of her City Watch (see DEATH MASKS).

Dove, Sylune, Qilue, and The Simbul are all “dead” but are now Voices In The Weave (see SPELLSTORM, THE HERALD and earlier Realmslore), and the current doings of Storm and Alustriel are NDA (so, warning, they WILL be revealed, in time; see also SPELLSTORM and my tales of Mirt).

And yes, the shoreline of the Sea of Fallen Stars in the region of Veltalar/Velprintalar has returned to close to its former location.

“Old Velprintalar” has been slower to come back from half-ruined slum status, so it’s still a haven for monsters, outlaws, and fugitives from justice.
#Realmslore

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:19:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a yuan-ti having a draconic bloodline:

5 Feb 2019

@Jon_4L
in regards to Dragons and the Creator Race for "Scalykind", are they related, and is it possible a Yuan-Ti could have Draconic Sorcery merely from bloodline connections, or does their transformation typically not include that possibility, or even remove the connection


@TheEdVerse
Yuan-ti began as humans bred with serpents by the sarrukh (who through breeding experiments created other scalykind), but NOT dragons. There is a TINY possibility that a particular yuan-ti might have a draconic bloodline due to an ancestor’s dalliance with a dragon in the past, if the dragon was entering into breeding experiments with yuan-ti for some personal reason, or to create its own servants/scouts/guards, but such unions would be neither common or likely. So it’s (barely) possible (ask your DM), but unlikely and rare indeed.


@Jon_4L
I suspected that would be the case. Thanks for confirming that. Speaking of dragons, I'm reminded that the Tyranny of Dragons is interesting, and reading about all these different events and campaigns makes me think that one would hypothetically be able to time some travels in order to have a party go through part of some of them and then switch over to others. I've seen a connection between Elemental Evil and Storm King's Thunder, and I noticed that Curse of Strahd certainly isn't a story immune to side-tracking if you want to.


@TheEdVerse
Indeed. Credit @ChrisPerkinsDnD and @JeremyECrawford and @mikemearls and the rest of the superbly talented current Wizards D&D crew for designing them thus. A DM can "mix and match" for years of play that's quite different from another campaign 'next door,' so to speak. :}

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:20:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On falling into the Yawning Portal while drunk:

Feb 3 2019

@HollyConrad
Googles “how many people have fallen Into the Yawning Portal while drunk” because it really seems like a liability lol


@MileyMan1066
ed, your input my good sir???


@TheEdVerse
Heh. All campaigns, who knows? In the home Realms campaign, over 42 real (not in-game) years: 16 drunken topples, 4 falls clowning on the rim-wall, 8 dragged in trying to pull someone out, 7 knocked/pulled in by monsters from below, and 29 shoved in by charging foes.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Feb 2019 :  03:21:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On what Manshoon, Maaril, and Hesperdan were doing at age 43:

7 Feb 2019

@garethgarfoot
I've recently turned 43, so I was wondering if you could shed light on what my favourite three mages, Manshoon, Maaril, and Hesperdan were doing in their 43rd years. As always, thanks GG


@TheEdVerse
Right, here we go. Sages of the Realms, take note…
Hesperdan was 43 in 1106 DR, and though young, was rising in power among dragons. And faring badly against older and more powerful wyrms, several of whom had nearly slain him.

It was in this year that he first met Elminster, and Hesperdan’s desire to stay alive, revulsion at how paranoid, territorial, and grasping elder dragons he’d met had become, and fascination with humankind, their wizardry, and their society led him to overcome his acquisitive dragon nature and work with Elminster to gain arcane knowledge, to pursue his aim of attaining human shape, living among humans, and participating in his greatest love of all: intrigue and manipulation. Hesperdan first let Elminster into his mind in this year, and they shared thoughts and experiences. (This was the beginning of their long alliance, which led to Hesperdan later becoming an embedded spy for Elminster among the ranks of the Zhentarim.

Manshoon was 43 in 1271 DR, when the Zhentarim were a decade old and his hold on power in Zhentil Keep had become absolute. He spent much of this year in seclusion, ostensibly studying magic. Though he did craft some new spells (largely by refining existing spells, and combining stolen elven enchantments in new and more powerful ways), much of this year he spent doing two things: expanding and improving his private, personal spies both inside and outside the Zhentarim (his watchdogs on Fzoul and Fzoul’s priests, and his scouts to investigate future targets to conquer, such as Darkhold), and making ever-more-solid pacts with various beholders, to make his aims theirs, and so lessen chances of their betraying or sacrificing him. He also set about a long sideline project of magically enslaving several black dragon personal steeds.

Maaril was 43 in 1360 DR, a year he spent in seclusion in his Dragon Tower in Waterdeep. Or so Waterdhavians thought. In truth, he spent an eventful year traveling the Heartlands in disguise, getting over heartbreak at the loss of Tarrathra Delthond, his lover and trusted apprentice, taking on a new lover and apprentice (the shapeshifting Woevefril Tannakar) he hoped wouldn’t betray him as Tarrathra had, and rebuffing overtures from Manshoon to join the Zhentarim (Maaril was irked at the ease and persistence of Manshoon’s spies in finding him wherever he went and whatever guise he assumed, to petition him repeatedly).

There you go. ;}

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Feb 2019 03:23:09
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Wooly Rupert
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On ranks in the Purple Dragons:

8 Feb 2019

@ex_libris85
Hey @TheEdVerse need some help to figure out the ranking system of Cormyr's Purple Dragons. I am playing a PC who is a "lieutenant" in modern parlance so I have labeled him a Swordcaptain, but some places on google say this is more a enlisted sergeant-type rank. Volo's is scant


@TheEdVerse
You are correct. See POWER OF FAERUNp29 for a handy comparative ranks table. A modern private = blade in the Purple Dragons; corporal = telsword ("sword"); sergeant = first sword; lieutenant = swordcaptain; captain =lionar; major = ornrion; colonel = constal, etc.
#Realmslore


@ex_libris85
Thank you mighty Sage, I knew that Volo guy was sketchy.


@TheEdVerse
Heh. Sketchy indeed. And so shifty he escapes being drawn in many sketches. ;}

@ex_libris85
Oh, you writers!

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 13 Feb 2019 :  10:49:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If anyone has twitter would they mind asking a question of Ed about his original vision for Song Dragons for me pretty please.

I would like to know what he envisaged for the song dragon, how it differed from weredragons, how they reproduce (are there male and female and if not which other species are the cross fertile with), and any other information he might care to share about them. I realise this was all NDA regarding D&D song dragons a decade ago, but i was more interested in how he originally wanted them to be.

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Irennan
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Posted - 13 Feb 2019 :  18:04:11  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

If anyone has twitter would they mind asking a question of Ed about his original vision for Song Dragons for me pretty please.

I would like to know what he envisaged for the song dragon, how it differed from weredragons, how they reproduce (are there male and female and if not which other species are the cross fertile with), and any other information he might care to share about them. I realise this was all NDA regarding D&D song dragons a decade ago, but i was more interested in how he originally wanted them to be.



Done; will report here if I get an answer.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 13 Feb 2019 :  18:21:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Awesome, thank you

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Irennan
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Posted - 14 Feb 2019 :  03:48:32  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Awesome, thank you



This is what Ed said:

quote:
Song dragons were essentially weredragons renamed, as D&D changed editions. In my original Realms, SOME weredragons were the result of dragon/human (or dragon/elf, or dragon/etc.) crossbreeding (in the ancestry of a particular weredragon). Which HORRIFIED TSR's Code of Conduct folks.

Edited by - Irennan on 14 Feb 2019 03:50:13
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lsls
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Posted - 14 Feb 2019 :  14:12:25  Show Profile Send lsls a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

If anyone has twitter would they mind asking a question of Ed about his original vision for Song Dragons for me pretty please.

I would like to know what he envisaged for the song dragon, how it differed from weredragons, how they reproduce (are there male and female and if not which other species are the cross fertile with), and any other information he might care to share about them. I realise this was all NDA regarding D&D song dragons a decade ago, but i was more interested in how he originally wanted them to be.




You can find THO/ED's response in his 2009 and 2011 threads here:

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12023&whichpage=106


quote:
And Zandilar, you've spotted a WotC shift in how they viewed song dragons (the former "weredragons" of Ed-lore): initially (MoF) female-only, later seen as both genders with males VERY rare, for the very "how does the species reproduce, then?" reasons you bring up. Ed explained this discrepancy away by saying they all have the ability to take human female form, and are cross-fertile with humans when operating as females, but some of them use spells to APPEAR as human males for certain times, either out of preference or for business or personal mission reasons. So the male human is actually a magically-disguised human female who is really a song dragon in its only "natural" human form.
Myself, I share Ed's preference: that they'd stuck with weredragons all along, by all means revamping them for 3e if they wanted to do so, but thinking through such basics as species reproduction before writing up "official" rules. Sigh.


http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14621&whichpage=38


quote:
As for Raumarth being a male, weredragons can be both male and female. 3e highlighted just the particular sort of weredragons known as Song Dragons, that take the form of female humans and female dragons, but the male weredragons who sire them still exist. They're just VERY rare now, thanks to being hunted by the Zhents AND the Cult of the Dragon for dragon-steed-breeding purposes (another largely untold tale of the Realms, though we Knights have seen quite a bit of it in play). Probably rare enough (like maedar, the male medusae) that a staff designer figured they didn't rate a writeup. Only really powerful unique creatures (the terrasque, demon princes, archdevils, etc.) usually get their own writeup, these days . . .

Edited by - lsls on 14 Feb 2019 14:12:58
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lsls
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Posted - 14 Feb 2019 :  14:26:27  Show Profile Send lsls a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These were I asked:

On fates of Kara-Tur and Maztica pantheon during the ToT

12 Oct 2018

@coolguy73360922
Hi Mr Greenwood! A question about the Time of Troubles. Did Ao cast down Kara-Tur and Maztica Pantheon from the heavens during the ToT?

@TheEdVerse
Oh, yes. However, the avatars of most of the deities from those pantheons hid or saw to personal business on Toril during the ToT, keeping much lower public profiles than those we read about in the "Avatar Trilogy."

Edited by - lsls on 14 Feb 2019 14:36:59
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lsls
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On Manshoon's clones

15 Oct 2018

@coolguy73360922
In "Only a Woman Can Take This Sort of Abuse", Manshoon forgetten stasis clone spell FOREVER. Did it included all his clones?

@TheEdVerse
No. What happens to one Manshoon affects only clones of that Manshoon (i.e. THAT Manshoon's subsequent uses of the clone spell), not any existing clones. They all have different memories, spell mastery and rosters, and powers.
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lsls
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Posted - 14 Feb 2019 :  14:35:05  Show Profile Send lsls a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On Kelemvor's "jurisdiction"

29 Dec 2018

@coolguy73360922
A question about Kelemvor’s jurisdiction.
Do Faithless / False souls of Maztican or Kara-Turan judged and punished by Kelemvor?

@TheEdVerse
Only if they perish on hallowed ground (temples, blessed cemeteries or crypts, etc.) in Faerûn.

@coolguy73360922
I assume that Kelemvor unable to judge souls of Mulhorandi and Untheri either (except that "only if")?

@TheEdVerse
No, he can and does judge them, for all present-day (last 3 centuries) Mulhorandi and Untheri are daily aware of the presence, not just worship, of what we call the "Faerûnian" pantheon. As everyone saw from the Time of Troubles, a lot of godly "jurisdiction" is fuzzy/in flux.
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Wooly Rupert
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On drow harvesting roave and other spiders:

23 Feb 2019

@sno4wy
Can the internal juices of the roave be harvested without killing it? If not, how do the Lolthite Priestesses tolerate the practice of making Roavrae (or is the killing of spiders turned a blind eye upon so long as it produces a tasty/desirable outcome)?


@TheEdVerse
Skilled veterans can tap the internal juices without killing the spider, so they can be “milked” over long periods for a sustained supply. Some sorts of spiders, in particular situations, can be slain and “used” without incurring Lolth’s displeasure; she has made rules regarding this clear to many senior priestesses of Lolth.
#Realmslore

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On using electricity, and cotton candy:

23 Feb 2019

@Jon_4L
have any inventors or faithful of gods of invention and crafting figured out anything electrically powered? Also have any figured out cotton candy machines, and if so, what's it called and where is it sold?


@TheEdVerse
Yes, there are electric DISCHARGE (not current) “devices” in the Realms, thanks to industrious gnomes and halflings—and a handful of humans—who saw what lightning rods could do. As a result, killing transmitted discharges make over twenty castles in the Realms deadly to try to assault during a storm. As for cotton candy: specifically NO. Thanks to a ruling made by TSR staff (DCS III was involved, I recall) long ago.
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On phan uth, and quess as root words:

Feb 23 2019

@killerasus
Hi @TheEdVerse The tree called phandar caught my attention, as Phandalin and Phandelver seem to share a root. Is there a connection, such as Phandalin being given this name due to a lot of phandars where it was built? Or is it just because of Phalorm?


@killerasus
A similar question would be about Uth. We've got Uthgardt barbarians and the Uthtower in the Mere of Dead Men. Is Uth a root with some meaning?


@killerasus
Lastly, when Terraseer created Quesseer (now Old Owl Well), as it was meant to be a spying spot to Illefarn, I presume Quess would be from the elven root for people (Tel'Quess) and seer would befrom it's spying function. So, could Quesseer mean "Elf Watcher"?


@TheEdVerse
“Phan” is a regional root shared by all three names, yes, but that doesn’t mean a local prevalence of phandar trees resulted in either of the other two names. “Uth” is indeed a similar shared root. Both roots are too ancient for anyone alive today, including sages, to be CERTAIN of the origins or original meanings of these two roots (for example, some sages of Silverymoon thought “Uth” meant “North,” but Elminster considers that to be a guess they’ve fallen in love with). Quesseer could indeed mean Elf Watcher, by the very reasoning you’ve laid out, but the key word is ‘could.’ Names are funny things, and origins are often lost or “improved upon,” over time.

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On the current state of Myth Drannor's mythal:

17 Feb 2019
þ

@LowWisdomCzech
Current year in my game is 1492 DR. I know that the Netherese flying city crushed Drannor, but what were the effects the last time it was up?


@TheEdVerse
Thultanthar crashed atop Myth Drannor in 1487 DR, shattering Myth Drannor’s mythal into a wild state. It has since (by about late spring of 1489 DR) settled down somewhat (largely due to the Weave-repairing efforts of Mystra’s Chosen), but remains unpredictable (i.e. a DM should feel free to have it exhibit wild magic effects, allow some magics on some occasions but not on others, and so on). At night, deep blue glows flicker at random over the ruined parts of the city (some areas weren’t damaged by the fall of the flying city at all, and others, including the site of the Tree of Life, were magically protected) as the mythal seethes. Mythal properties known to have survived from before the fall of Shade to after (again, wavering and unpredictably, as noted) are a prohibition on teleportation into and out of the mythal area (attempts to go in arrive at spots outside, attempts to even dimension door within fail utterly), the mythal wholly “drinks” energies of magic missiles and similar spells to replenish itself, and partially absorbs natural and magical lightnings, often deflecting what it doesn’t drink, and the mythal also absorbs shockwaves (lessening the percussive effect of explosions, thunderwave spells, etc.) and excess heat, but “leaks” heat when the climate is cold (so no creature should die of exposure or freezing while outside in winter, in the mythal area). Note that some of these properties were ‘turned off’ by powerful elf defenders of the city, and Chosen, during their defense of Myth Drannor just before the fall of Thultanthor.

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On the original version of the Moonshaes:

17 Feb 2019
þ

@RetroGamer_Meph
It’s interesting to note that in the original FR box set, in the rumours, there is mention of “the fueding merchant houses of the Moonshaes.” Not like the celtic feel that eventually was published. I’d love to hear the story of that


@TheEdVerse
Hi. My original Moonshaes were very like LeGuin’s Earthsea or the real-world Hebrides in physiography: a cluster of many islands of varying sizes, with independent city-states and “realms” of one island dominating or claiming at most two adjacent ones. It was a region of hardy fisherfolk, woodcutters, and miners, who over time had become master mariners sailing far up and down the Sword Coast trading, fearless faring in winter gales, among icebergs, etc. and over time, the wealthiest Shae merchants had established trading costers on mainland Faerûn, assembled their own private armies of caravan escorts and warehouse guards, and inevitably clashed with each other, rivalries rising into feuds (think the warring families of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet). They were wealthy, proud, and increasingly into manipulating local politics in all the ports up and down the Sword Coast, as far south as Tharsult, because they were always aware that, as “outsiders,” they could be shut out if local rulers ashore, or popular sentiment among mainland populaces, turned against them.
This was all set aside because TSR designer Doug Niles had already developed an “Albion” campaign (Celtic elements, hence the castles named “Caer X” and “Caer Y,” the stallion Avalon, and so on) before TSR purchased the Realms. Jeff Grubb asked me if I minded if “my” Moonshaes got replaced by Doug’s, and I didn’t—which suited TSR’s needs perfectly, as that meant the Realms could be “rolled out” to the gaming public even faster (hence Doug’s novel Darkwalker On Moonshae leading the way as the first Realms product; TSR wanted to avoid at all costs my becoming a bottleneck that might slow Realms products appearing, and I agreed and still agree with that).

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On how big dragons can get:

18 Feb 2019
þ
@littlefartloser
I'm trying to figure out how large a dragon can actually grow in Faerûn. How large is the largest living dragon? The Robert Wadlow of dragons if you will. Is it Klauth?


@TheEdVerse
No, Klauth is just one of the larger dragons seen in the Sword Coast region. There are wyrms far to the east (“Utter East” and in the north of Raurin) that are far larger (some of them tend and “farm” their own herds of wild beasts to dine on, in mountain-locked high valleys).

They include a gargantuan gray great wyrm, Ralauthoarindulglaw “the Mountain,” so large its wings can’t lift it off the ground, and whose hide has been adorned down the years with fused-on sheets of rock and boulders, so that when lying at rest, it resembles a rocky ridge or mountain spur. Elminster says Ralauthoarindulglaw is about a quarter of a mile long, and about sixty feet tall at its foreshoulders, when on all fours.

Other “big drakes” have been reported, but when creatures get that big, and are typically seen in difficult, remote wilderland terrain, getting exact sizes is difficult.

So Ralauthoarindulglaw may in fact fall far short of being “the largest living dragon.”

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On worshipping Moradin in Waterdeep, and the Plinth:

18 Feb 2019

@alebelp
Sorry to bother you but I'm new to DMing and I've been searching much but to no avail. Is there a temple of Moradin in WD? I made up a little grotto/shrine in the vicinity of the Halls of Justice but I was wondering if there was an official one in the Lore. Thanks :)


@TheEdVerse
Hi! For years, Moradin was worshipped in the Plinth (the all-faiths temple), but local dwarves preferred their own private cellar chapels, and built them under properties they own, all over the city. Newcomers see dwarves, ask where the nearest temple is, and get taken to one of these. Which is why you won't find one in the lore. Gnomes and halflings tend to be like dwarves in that they prefer private cellar or "upper room" temples, not big stone edifices fronting on public streets. That's for humans.
#Realmslore


@Madhatterhim
Speaking of The Plinth. It was destroyed by the Spellplague; has it since been rebuild?
I've seen no indication that it has.


@TheEdVerse
Heh. That's one of those "bickering over funding" situations where the site has been cleared to the foundations, fencing has gone up, the Lords have approved rebuilding, the guilds have put in (sometimes-competing) bids, and there we sit. A project delayed by the tense final days of Neverember's tenure as Open Lord, then left in limbo. So it should still proceed, but is "back-burner" with more pressing issues on the local political plate. And of course, the longer Waterdhavians go without it and find their own worship alternatives, the less and less the need for the Plinth feels urgent, so more time can pass. And does.

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On the architecture of Cape Velen, in Tethyr:

18 Feb 2019


@Eric_Menge
I'm designing a home game set on Cape Velen in Tethyr. What would be a good real-world inspiration for the environment and architecture? I was looking at Galicia, Spain.


@TheEdVerse
Hi, Eric! Love the Moonshaes work!
Rural medieval Galicia (fieldstone buildings with tile or slate roofs) works, but not the grander city architecture of Tuy or Vigo, and certainly not the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

But all of these work for me:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/happiness-is-a-hamlet-all-to-yourself-in-rural-spain-8760036.html ...
and:
https://imgur.com/gallery/o4PTnPV/comment/276632322 ...
and:
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/traditional-galician-horreo-granary-architecture-rural-galicia-spain-destination.html ...
&:
https://www.alamy.com/old-and-new-houses-in-coastal-horreos-village-of-combarro-galicia-image9869723.html ...
and:
https://www.istockphoto.com/in/photo/small-old-village-in-a-rural-area-galicia-spain-gm537452354-95319127
...work for you?
I figure “grand” houses in Velen are akin to this:
https://www.spanishmonastery.com/
Lots of trees and scrub woodland, hilly country, rock outcrops everywhere, and rural field boundaries would be a mix of drystone walls (rock taken from the fields in tillage) and bocage-style tall living hedges, with dirt-lane-side ditches.


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On some elvish words:

14 Feb 2019


@gkrashos
we have a Realmslore emergency, Ed! For a cool FR connection I need the elvish words for “morning” and “song”. What do you have oh great sage?


@TheEdVerse
Hi, George! Sorry, was offline doing my taxes. :{
Elvish in the Realms: morning is "ormra" and song is "lalay"
(sunrise is "calam" and a sung saga or long epic ballad is a "omraestrum")


Feb 17

@gkrashos
Which of course means that I have another question. Black Logan is voracious as you know! Elvish words for the seasons? Also most, fog and storm? We are building a Realms weather station.#128521;


@TheEdVerse
Hi, George! Here you go:
Mist = daen
Fog = thu (pronounced “thoo”)
Storm = hethtalos
Spring = tuev (“toove”)
Summer = lildun (“lil-DOON”)
Fall = valan (“vahl-an”)
Winter = oth (also means freezing, frozen, killing cold)
#Realmslore

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Posted - 25 Feb 2019 :  01:19:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On breakfast in Cormyr:

Feb 11 2019
þ

@jayeedgecliff
rereading Stormlight today & it gives an intriguing (if sometimes disturbing) view of Fine Dining in easternmost Cormyr if one wishes to impress guests.

I suspect, given some signs of familiarity in the war wizards that Suzailian fancy feasting is quite similar.

So what of when one ISN’T trying to show off? What does a high noble of the realm have to break her fast, by preference? Or for lunch or dinner for that matter?

Is it, beyond details (quail or goose vs chicken or ... pheasant?), much different than a commoner has?


@TheEdVerse
Not really, except for the poorest commoners (who might have gruel or porridge, or if on a farm just that morning's fresh milk and eggs and naught else). A high noble of the realm will usually have a "board" morningfeast (that is, left out on the sideboard in dome-covered bowls and platters, kept warm by being wrapped in a succession of hearth-warmed towels from the kitchens. The food will be whatever the noble likes best, often hard-boiled eggs with a spicy dipping sauce often based in goat cheese, and fried bread (rather than toast), bacon (what we might call "back bacon" or Canadian bacon" but NEVER peameal-dressed), fried lamb's kidneys, and whatever exotic eggs the noble prefers, from turtle eggs to eagle eggs. There's where noble and commoner vary: enough exposure to "exotic" eggs to develop a taste for them, rather than settling for whatever (hen, duck, goose) eggs are readily available. Also, a commoner would have hearth broth or small beer to drink, whereas a noble might have mulled wine or ALL the decanters.
#Realmslore

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