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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2021 :  12:59:18  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nearing the end of Pool of Twilight.

Found out that the guardian of the pool is a black dragon named Dusk.

This black dragon believes it caused the rage of dragons 300 years ago (i'm going to assume as well as being enraged the dragons also become somewhat delusional).

He was shot in the eye near Phlan and stumbled upon the Pool of Twilight, releasing its former guardian (a storm giant).



Now this particular bit is interesting because Dusk claims to have sent repeated attacks against Phlan over the 3 centuries since his imprisonment.


From Pool of Radiance we know that Tyranthraxus had a base in the Dragonspine Mountains. He assumed many hosts over the years. According to a tale in the Pool of Radiance computer game he was encountered by a barbarian named Dirg and trapped again by some triangle of power.

Tyranthraxus' presence pollutes the Pool of Radiance.

So what if Tyranthraxus was originally trapped in a vial of water and thrown into Lake Longreach by Baron Schodt. He was released by some fool barbarian and then reimprisoned in the Pool of Radiance in the Dragonspine Mountains (i'm going to guess the barbarian hero defeated a number of tyranthraxus' hosts until he possessed the barbarian's lizard pet and then jumped into the body of the storm giant within the pool of radiance and became trapped there.

Tyranthraxus' presence in that pool of radiance for many many centuries pollutes it into the pool of twilight.

Then fast forward to 1018 DR. Dusk the dragon (possibly a manipulated relation to Iyrauroth given the power and location and megalomania) goes on the rampage and gets shot in the eye near Phlan. He finds the pool of twilight and submerges himself thereby releasing the former guardian.

I'm wondering if Tyranthraxus was still trapped in the pools (his ioun stone ritual actually necessary to escape the pool and thus achieve world domination). He transports to the one in Phlan and various others, but can't leave the confines of a pool.

Dusk starts sending hordes of monsters against Phlan out of petty revenge. Eventually Sossar the dragon submerges into the Pool of Radiance in Phlan to acquire the energy enough to defeat the hordes. Unfortunately he becomes the guardian of that pool and host to Tyranthraxus (who still cant escape).

Then Tyranthraxus tries that figure of power using six ioun stones hoping that will allow him to leave.



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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2021 :  20:53:12  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pool of Twilight (1372 DR)

Kern
Kern Militiades Desanea, 22 years old. Lives in Denlor’s Tower with Shal and Tarl [1]
Has flaming red hair [1]
Regularly dreams about a shadow that attacks him, suffers injuries from his dream [1]
Paladin of Tyr in training [1]
Immune to magic [1]

Listle
Listle Onopordum, Shal’s apprentice, short dark hair, pretty woman but boyish appearance. Moon elf, silver eyes. Has a ruby pendant hanging from a silvery chain, originally from Lantan, made by gnomes, can make Listle solid. Precocious [1,16]
Turned up at Denlor’s Tower two years ago wanting to learn magic from Shal [5]
10 years ago on an island north of Evermeet, the evil wizard Sifahir lived in a tower. He enchanted many people and drained the of life before discarding their husks. Listle was the first to escape because she could walk through walls. She helped rescue the other prisoners [6]
300 years ago Sifahir was advisor to Queen Amlauril. His magic helped secure the island of Evermeet. Then he turned bad, tortured prisoners for weeks, used his magic to wreak havoc on villages that couldn’t pay taxes. Whispered in Queen Amlauril’s ear about conquest and plots against her from family and friends. Sifahir was exiled and cursed so he would die if he ever left the island of his exile. [16]
Listle began life as an illusion created by Sifahir to guard his treasure chamber. Over the years she became sentient (exposure to the magic in his treasure chamber). Then she found an amulet in the chamber made by gnomes from Lantan, one of its powers was to make illusions solid [16]
Listle helped Primul, Winebrook, Brookwine, and many others to escape [16]
Sifahir sends monsters to recapture Listle, Primul, etc. It has been 3 years since his last attack. The latest monster (defeated by Kern) was a huge roper like illusion designed to catch Listle [16]

Sirana
Sirana, magic user new guildmaster for 3 months – she killed former guildmaster Bercan. Provided 300 enchanted onyx longswords and 300 enchanted ebony breastplates to the thieves to fight the temple of Tyr. Commands 9 spinagons. Tall, shapely, dark hair, beautiful. [3]
Secretly a half erinyes. Daughter of Lord Marcus and the erinyes that served him (she was pregnant as Lord Marcus perished). Owns a lacquered black box full of magical memories (Sirana was given the box by her mother as she lay dying, when Sirana killed her at 9 years of age during a mock duel) [4]
Possesses the ability to absorb the power of fiends she kills (her mother, Slayer) [4]
Found a new source of power. Intends to retrieve the Hammer of Tyr and ransom it to a dark god for the power to become a demigod [4]
Summoned Slayer, slew him after he failed to retrieve the Oracle of Tyr [4]
Summoned Hoag, a hamatula, he has served her well in the past [4]
Sirana discovered the Pool of Twilight and how to free it from the pool (by swapping places). She made a pact with the guardian that she would free it, if it gave her the power to defeat her enemies [4]
Summons Sigh, a bastellus / dreamstalker after gaining more power from the guardian of the Pool of Twilight [4]
Pretended to be a wild mage and accompany Kern and Listle on their quest [7]

Daile
Daughter of Ren o the Blade. [7]
18 years old, lived her whole live in the Valley of the Falls [7]
Dead Orc Ridge bounds the west side of the Valley of the Falls. 1000 ft tall cliff with a waterfall on the north side of the Valley. Narrow gorge runs through the centre of the Valley [7]
Ciela, Daile’s mother, a druidess, died two years ago, was buried in a cairn beside the waterfall in the Valley of the Falls [7]
Owns a magic bow fashioned by Ren (her polished it by rubbing two ioun stones on the bow) [7]
Ren accompanied Daile, Kern, Listle, Miltiades, and Sirana to the Red Tower. Ren was slain by Hoag [10]

Miltiades
Buried in a crypt 22 years ago in Valhingen Graveyard [7]
Returned to unlife to aid Kern on his quest [7]
Owns a figurine of wonderous power in the form of a snow white war horse named Eritophenes
Owns a gold brooch with a single clear crystal (a gem of communication). A gift from Evaine, it has a twin that allows her to communicate with him over any distance. Very rare [9]
Was tasked with keeping the secrets of Turell safely hidden away [20]

Temple of Phlan
During Pools of Darkness, Tarl threw the Hammer of Tyr into the Pool of Darkness to destroy it. The hammer did not return (supposedly Bane stole it). Militiades made a prophecy that Shal and Tarl’s son would lead a quest for the Hammer of Tyr [1]
When the Hammer of Tyr was lost the warding spells on the temple of Tyr began to fade. Clerics began dying one by one over the last five years (did someone target the temple and clerics beginning 5 years ago????) [1]
Tarl was badly wounded last year and permanently blinded in the attack [1]
Tarl can see magical auras (despite being blind), a trait that has increased gradually over the years [2]
Paladins of the Order of Tyr must wear full battledress before entering a temple of Tyr [2]
Supplicant paladins of the Order of Tyr wear a tabard of pure unblemished white [2]
Temple of Tyr in the centre of the city. Built several decades ago, the first step in an effort to reclaimed the ruined areas of the city. Massive citadel with high stone walls and arrow slits and crenelations. The inner keep is square with dark stone and a bronze dome. Gates made of forge hardened steel [2,3]
Patriarch Anton, oldest and foremost cleric of Tyr [2]
30 clerics attend the temple of Tyr. 5 years ago there were 60+ clerics and a dozen novices, they all perished over 5 years some lost to disease others burst into flames [2]
Sister Sendara, ancient cleric of Tyr (older than Anton by at least 20 years), aurguress, expert on prophecy [2]
Brother Dameron, round faced, young, expansive paunch
Rialad, tall, handsome, steel blue eyes. Sole surviving paladin of the Order of Tyr. Arrogant. Slain by Slayer [3]
Clerics of Tyr wear grey robes (with chain mail hidden underneath) [3]
Sister Briatha. Slain by a spinagon [3]
Brother Edmorel, stone faced. Slain by Slayer [3]
Slayer and his thieves failed to retrieve the Oracle of Strife and retreated [3]
Paladin aspirants have plain shields and tabards, they can choose an emblem on the day they become a true paladin
Sister Corenna, middle aged women, intelligent, nerves of steel, steel coloured eyes [15]

Phlan Lore
Denlor’s Tower on the north side of the city [2]
Phlan had undergone a steady decline in fortunes since the loss of the Hammer of Tyr. Dead trees line the streets. Cobbled streets cracked and covered with slime, missing cobbles filled with foul muck, chimneys belch out sulphurous clouds. Houses are squalid and filthy. The Death Gate looks like it will collapse from neglect. Tarl feels the influence of dark magic everywhere in the city [2]
The Bloated Corpse, a cheap unsavoury tavern. Its name was later changed to the Golden Feather [2,20]
The Death Gates had been called many names in the past; Fire Dragon Gates, Ogre's Bane Gates, Giant's Doom Gates. But finally they had simply come to be called the Death Gates, for again and again armies of evil had broken and perished against them. [18]

Thieves Guild Lore
Phlan’s thieves guild. 300 members, led by guildmaster Sirana
“Slayer”, huge assassin 7 ft tall, 2nd in command of the thieves guild (for 3 months). Can use magic, protected himself with a crimson aura, cast a green bolt of energy that dissolved Brother Edmorel. Secretly an abishai. Ordered to retrieve the Oracle of Strife [3]
Kankorlin, wiry, shaved head, a mass of scar tissue covered one eye. Member of thieves guild, loyal to former guildmaster Bercan. Slain by Slayer [3]
Bercan, former guildmaster of the thieves guild. Slain 3 months ago by Sirana. Lost his left ear in a duel some years ago, ever since members of the guild notched their left ear [5]

Oracle of Strife Lore
The Oracle of Strife, a book supposedly written over 1000 years ago by Bane himself. The book contained 13 prophecies that detailed the events Bane would bring upon Faerun [2]
Long ago Bane went to his sister Shar who concocted a potion made of midnight. Bane drunk the potion and entered a delirium where he foretold the 13 prophecies penned in the Oracle of Strife [2]
The Oracle of Strife was lost for a long time, then 300 years ago a cleric of Tyr found it in a ruined temple of Bane in the primeval forests west of the Moonsea. It was taken to Phlan and locked away by powerful wards [2]
In the last century the book was forgotten until the loss of the Hammer of Tyr when it was discovered once again (beneath the temple of Tyr????) [2]
The last prophecy concerns Bane’s death in the Time of Troubles. Bane disliked it and crossed much of the prophecy out [2]
When winter comes with magic wild,
Then must the Seeker go
To a riven tower of magic red,
Where a city was shackled below.
With him must come four heroes,
No less and neither no more
To battle the lurking Warder
For this relic of ancient lore.
Though dark may fall before them,
Their strife has just begun,
For awaiting them still is the twilight pool's
Shadowed guardian." [2]

Pool of Twilight
Pool of Twilight in the Dragonspine Mountains, watched over by a guardian [4]
Guardian is trapped in the Pool of Twilight. Isolated for centuries [4]
Guardian can imbue people with power from the Pool of Twilight. It gives them liquid from the pool to consume, grants them abilities like better spellcasting, the ability to see in darkness, the ability to summon shadowy creatures known as bastellus or dreamstalkers, the ability to create shadows and give them life [4,12]
Only way to free the guardian is to swap places with it [4]
The guardian has sent his minions to destroy Phlan many times over the centuries (why????) but they are always defeated [4]
The guardian is sending nightmares to haunt Kern’s dreams [6]
Anyone that submerges themselves in the pool becomes its new guardian. Those that drink from the pool crave more and more of its power until they willingly throw themselves into the pool [12]
The Guardian of the Pool of Twilight is Dusk, a black dragon that once ruled the Moonsea skies 300 years ago. He amassed a flight of evil dragons and assailed the Moonsea region. He was stopped by Andehar Longarm, a hero of Phlan, who loosed an arrow into his left eye. Dusk accidentally found the Pool of Twilight and submerged himself into it, releasing the previous guardian (a storm giant). Dusk mixed droplets from the Pool of Twilight with nearby underground streams to ensnare nearby humanoid tribes. Over the years he sent hordes of monsters against Phlan but they all failed. Sirana freed Dusk and he is now free to make another flight of dragons [16]
Sirana uses the Pool of Twilight to call all nearby undead to her, giants, goblinoids, owlbears, gnolls, humans, elves, dwarves. They enter the pool and are transformed into new hybrid creatures [16]
Dusk was the biggest, most powerful dragon in all the northlands [17]
The Staff of Twilight [18]
Dusk attacked Sirana in the pool and both slew each other and were merged into a new undead guardian [19]
The Pool of Twilight was destroyed and a gaping pit was left where it had been [19]


Pool of Radiance
Porphyris Cadorna was responsible for the death of Tempest (Ren o the Blade’s love) [5]
Evaine, over a century old. Had once sought to exploit a Pool of Radiance to become the greatest wizard in Faerun, but she lost control and was made young again (losing her magical skill). She dedicated her new life to learning magic to destroy the Pools of Radiance. She has destroyed over a dozen of them so far [5]
Evaine has Gamaliel, a great cat (that can shapeshift into a human male) as a familiar. Her first familiar, a snowy owl, was slain while she tried to destroy a Pool of Radiance [5]

Primul Lore
Lives in a great oak tree called Whorl (it can talk) in a forest several leagues east of Phlan [6]
Green elf, greatest blacksmith in all Faerun, Huge elf, massive shoulders and chest, long golden hair, broad handsome face, leaf green eyes. Has a belt made of golden links that heals all wounds (including decapitation) [6]
Lives with two ancient looking green elves, Winebrook and Brookwine – they were great wizards until Sifahir captured them and chained them above the gates of his tower, draining them of magic and life. They had been prisoners for several centuries before Primul, their imprisoned together caused them to slowly merge personalities. [6]
Primul was known as the best blacksmith in a hundred kingdoms. Sifahir sent an army of magical warriors to capture him. Imprisoned in Sifahir’s Tower for 2 centuries and forced to forge weapons for Sifahir and his minions [6]
Used to own a magical axe [6]
Gifted Kern a warhammer made of silver and iron and heavily enchanted (the alloy didn’t mix properly and the warhammer might shatter with a strong blow) [6]


Moonsea
red tower of Marcus lies on the southwestern edge of the Moonsea, about 9 days ride out of Phlan
Snowheart blooms, a rare crimson flower that grows only beneath a shroud of new snow. Useful for magic spells [11]
A rough stone slab of porphyry atop a small hillock in a clearing. Ancient obelisk created by mighty magic users long ago. Only a few of these still exist in Faerun. Allows magic users to travel to another dimension briefly (filled with slavering hordes of monsters with purple tongues and yellow spittle – they do not harm travellers that do not attack them) and then exit the dimension in another place on Faerun (Netherese origin, shadow plane or nightmare plane used to travel long distances????) [11]
Hidden chambers of the city of Turell still survive and dangerous secrets of the city of Turell are still left to be discovered [17]

Dragonspine Mountains
Rock Rats in the Dragonspine Mountains. Long ago a greedy wizard was transformed into a rat by an enchantress (he swindled her). He fled into the mountains and his descendant rats have inherited some of his magic and his greedy nature, stealing shiny or pretty objects they see [11]
High in the mountains a temple perched on the cliff top but it looks like much of the structure slid into the valley centuries ago [12]
A stone golem was set to keep the temple in good repair [14]
Trooper, wizened, ancient, flowing white hair and beard, heavy antique broadsword covered in runes. Paladin of Tyr [14]

Red Tower
The Red Tower of Marcus is magically infused and evil, is slowly rebuilding itself over the years [10]
The Red Tower sits in a valley, with a watch tower on the far end. A headless statue stands near the centre of the ruins. The ruins of the Red Tower cover the valley floor [10]
Miltiades said “This has always been a place of evil” referring to the Red Tower or the valley it is located in (how old is the valley / tower????) [12]
Thousands of undead in coffins line the catacombs of the Red Tower and the cavern walls (where do they come from, how long have they been there????) [12]
An osyluth lairs in the caverns beneath the Red Tower (says it serves Bane and that Bane originally crafted the Hamer of Tyr). Connected to a silvery web by a long thread, at the centre of the web lies the Hammer of Tyr [12]
When the osyluth perished so did the undead and the Red Tower [12]
Flying carpets hidden in the maze below the Red Tower [12]


Other Lore
Trooper and a veteran warrior (of Tyr????) were travelling through the Stonelands when they saw a white fortress perched on a hill [18]
Trooper rescued a princess of Procampur from a kobold den in the Stonelands. Trooper destroyed a beast cult of Malar harrying the highway from Cormyr to the Caravan Cities. Trooper infiltrated the sewers of the biggest goblinoid warren in Faerun to spy on an orc god [20]
Trooper exchanged his life for Miltiades, granting the undead paladin life once more [20]



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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2021 :  21:01:50  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pool of Twilight was a novel written as though it was a journal of a D&D campaign.

Bad guys inexplicably appeared without rime or reason, along with the tools necessary to defeat those foes.
A prophecy was included and at the end everyone just stood back to make sure Tarl the 2nd was the one to fulfil that prophecy.

The heroes journey to the ruins of the Red Tower, i'm not sure why, and in the caverns they find an osyluth that wasnt there in the Pools of Darkness novel.

This kind of hokey dungeon crawl stuff happens throughout the novel along with the deus ex machina to defeat the baddies.




Apart from that there is quite a bit of potential. Dusk is behind 300 years of attacks on Phlan.

Miltiades intimates that legacies of the city of Turell are hidden all over the area and are dangerous.

Miltiades says the area of the Red Tower has always been a place of evil. The Red Tower was a huge magical artefact able to repair itself and seemingly tied to the osyluth somehow because when the osyluth perished so did the tower. I wonder if the osyluth was the guardian of the pool of radiance (that was corrupted into a pool of darkness).

The Oracle of Strife, a thousand year old book of Bane's prophecies.

A temple in the Dragonspine Mountains built atop the Pool of Twilight. Given Bane's involvement in Pool of Darkness and the prophecy for Pool of Twilight i wonder if it was not his temple and he spent some time trying to gain the power of the pools before realising he would ultimately become a guardian.

The Hammer of Tyr, could that be one of the legacies of TUrell later rededicated to Tyr.
Is Phlan built atop catacombs of Turell and has some powerful magic beneath it.

Lots of possibilities.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 29 Apr 2021 :  12:58:26  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Had a brief foray into all things Phlan. Not a lot of information out there that isnt directly related to the pools of radiance series.

I'm beginning to think that after the fall of barze and the formation of Thar, the survivors of netheril headed into the northern moonsea and created a whole bunch of settlements, turell was one, northkeep was another.

Looks like Turell had quite a few legacies of netheril and barze that edranka and tyranthraxus didn't manage to get hold of. These fell legacies I'm guessing are what Miltiades was tasked with keeping safe (briefly alluded to in pool of twilight novel).

Lots of tunnels and catacombs and secret vaults all over the northern moonsea that are a leftover of this time. I wonder if the likes of sokol keep, valjevo castle and the forts around the dragon spine mountains are also from this time or were built atop ruined forts from this time.

When turell fell and then northkeep, the people fled to these fortifications and new settlements arose around them.


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2021 :  15:29:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And while i remember.
Gamaliel, originally (in Pools of Darkness) is meant to be a familiar for the sorceress Evaine and it is intimated that she can use magic to make Gamaliel assume human form.

In Pool of Twilight it seems that Gamaliel is the one that has control over his transformations, like an innate ability. Furthermore toward the end of the novel it seems that Gamaliel can decide to become human permanently.

He is clearly not a normal cat or even a normal familiar, some kind of creature not documented thus far in any monster manual or sourcebook i've read. However, having recently read one of the short stories involving Myrmeen Lhal and the catlords, and given the Pools series proximity to the Heartlands i'm tempted to conclude that Gamaliel is also one of the catlords.

Which makes me wonder if the catlords are native to some region near the Heartlands. It would have to be a place undiscovered or a place that no longer exists, perhaps somewhere now covered by an enormous desert.

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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
150 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2021 :  08:41:33  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

And while i remember.
Gamaliel, originally (in Pools of Darkness) is meant to be a familiar for the sorceress Evaine and it is intimated that she can use magic to make Gamaliel assume human form.

In Pool of Twilight it seems that Gamaliel is the one that has control over his transformations, like an innate ability. Furthermore toward the end of the novel it seems that Gamaliel can decide to become human permanently.

He is clearly not a normal cat or even a normal familiar, some kind of creature not documented thus far in any monster manual or sourcebook i've read. However, having recently read one of the short stories involving Myrmeen Lhal and the catlords, and given the Pools series proximity to the Heartlands i'm tempted to conclude that Gamaliel is also one of the catlords.

Which makes me wonder if the catlords are native to some region near the Heartlands. It would have to be a place undiscovered or a place that no longer exists, perhaps somewhere now covered by an enormous desert.



Catlords are originally from Greyhawk and written by Gary in his Gord the Rogue books. I can't remember which book it was but you find out that Gord is the son of THE catlord, which is statted in one of the 1e Monster Manuals.

I always figured that the short story by Scott Ciencin was an attempt to place catlords in the Realms, especially as no other mention is made of them.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2021 :  09:03:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That seems almost certainly true, given everyone views FR as the kitchen sink to throw their stuff in.

Now that it's there though, might as well try to make it work with the history.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 07 May 2021 :  19:25:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Soldiers of Ice (1366 DR)

Gnolls Lore
The Burnt Fur tribe, worship Gorellik [5]
Wolf ear, gnoll hunter, slain by a river of ice [prologue]
Hakk Elk Slayer, chieftain of the gnolls, immense, golden fur. Slain by Vreesar who claimed the tribe for himself [5,6]
Brokka, older gnoll, pack leader [5]
Krote Word-Maker, thin, two purple black scars run down its eye. Tattooed across its face. The Speaker for Gorellik (tribal shaman). Carries an amulet a crudely carved animal head similar to a hyena. Martine taught Krote the basics to read / write. Joins Martine at the end journeying to Mulmaster [5,6,7,Epilogue]
The burnt fur tribe have lived in the valley since Arka (the chief before Hakk Elk Slayer – 10+ years ago, how long do gnolls live????) [6]
Varka, short, mangy, warrior, becomes Word-Maker after Krote is outcast [6,Epilogue]
Gnoll stories say the gnomes have strong magic and are powerful [7]
Split Ear, gnoll, warrior [7]
Burnt Fur law, the chief does not kill his warriors except in a duel
Will not stay in land where many died [14]
The Burnt Fur tribe mark their claim to new territory with Claim Stakes (stakes with the heads of their enemies impaled on top) [14]
Blind Eye, Rakk, Broken Tooth, Fat Belly, all gnoll warriors slain by the Vani [18]

Gnoll Language
Kaamak – means dowry, wife’s payment to mate [6]
Rrachk-kiah – means whatever we see we own [6]
Paavak – means a place for evil spirits (haunted [14]

Gnome Language
tukkavaaskivo – means “mean little one” refers to badgers or wolverine [12]
Mustikka – means blueberry bushes or planting area [16]


Shadowdale Lore
Martine, small black haired women, sponsored into the Harpers by Jazrac, not a full Harper yet (acts as a messenger. Buckskin trousers, half cape. Huntress. [1]
Jazrac, wizard, Harper, sponsor of Martine, old (40-50), salt and pepper goatee, wears velveteen robes, thin, tall. Overly dramatic. Mage of Saerloon. Owns a ring of flying. Is a sage not a war wizard, spent years making items and researching, if fighting needs doing then he sends someone like Martine. Ran away when the gnolls attacked Martine and the Vani. Owns a ring of teleportation. Slain by Vreesar [1,11,12,13,16]
Weregund, the village’s only trader, haggles over everything especially with Harpers [1]
Silverhand, male, senior Harper [Epilogue]

Great Glacier
A volcano of ice (it happens sometimes) this one is caused by a rift to the para elemental plane of ice [1]
Geysers of ice and rift that feeds it are four days travel (by foot) into the Great Glacier north of Samek [3]
Icy-White an ice mephit, works for Vreesar. Slain by Martine [4]
Vreesar, made of ice, insectoid, tall, muscular. Came through the rift exploring, brought Icy-White with it. “One of the great Elementals” (how Vreesar describes itself). Its brothers were waiting to come through (until Martine closed the rift). Small rasping mouth makes clicking sounds. Long arms end in claws. Vreesar declares itself the Prince of Ice. Vreesar can summon a blizzard and shoot exploding sphere’s of ice. Immune to magic [4,6,14,15,16]

Other Lore
Yurpide of Impiltur (a sage or wizard or both???) theorizes that rainbows and lightning storms are caused by rifts to a para or quasi elemental plane [1]
Villages in Damara, where people speak in whispers about her Vaasan looks [1]
Hyena in the lands south of the Sea of Fallen Stars [6]
Chessentian lacework [11]
Chessentian wine merchant [16]

Martine Lore
Martine, small black haired women, sponsored into the Harpers by Jazrac, not a full Harper yet (acts as a messenger. Buckskin trousers, half cape. Huntress, ranger. [1]
Only been in Shadowdale a few weeks (staying at the Old Skull Inn). Spent the last 4 months in the wilderness playing messenger [1]
Given a mission by Jazrac to go to the Great Glacier and seal the rift to the para elemental plane of ice to stop things coming through. Jazrac has been preparing the magical seals for her [1]
Astriphie the hippogriff is her mount [1]
Broken her ribs before and survived [3]
Liked Giles the prefect’s son who lived down the lane when she was a child [3]
Her father was a blacksmith [3]
Can speak gnoll, knowledge gained from years as a huntress [5]
Has brothers [6]
Owns a magical longsword won from a captain of the Pirate Isles (a pirate lord). Winning the sword cost Martine an ugly scar across her back. Martine named the sword Sea Dog. Hakk took the sword from her [6,12]
Many years ago Martine was in Westgate when a mob hung a pair of suspected thieves
Familiar with the forests of Sembia and the Dalelands (oak and elm)
Spent years along the coasts of the Inner Sea (Sea of Fallen Stars) [11]
Owns a tunic of chain mail, purchased from a merchant who said it was crafted by elves in the light of a full moon [12]
Journeys to Mulmaster [Epilogue]

Vilheim Lore
Vilheim, son of Balt (Baltson), 40-50 years old, big man, warrior and wood cutter living in the forest in the valley where Samek lies. Owns a well made sword and bow. Originally from Chessenta, moved to the valley 3 years ago [1]
Used to be a paladin of Torm, but quit after experiencing freedom during the Time of Troubles [3]
Owns a mismatched suit of leather, chain, and plate, old and well made, fitted to him [12]
Owns a bow and some magical arrows [17]
Has been in large battles before [17]
Slain by Vreesar [19]


Samek Lore
A village of gnomes, the last outpost before the wilds of the Great Glacier [1]
Located in a mountain valley, no more than a few miles across on the valley floor [1]
Vilheim, son of Balt (Baltson), 40-50 years old, big man, warrior and wood cutter living in the forest in the valley where Samek lies. Owns a well made sword and bow. Originally from Chessenta, moved to the valley 3 years ago [1]
The gnomes of Samek call themselves the Vani, they do not like strangers (they hide from them) [1]
Samek warren carved into a mound in the valley, the doors cleverly disguised [2]
Tikannen, doorkeeper of the gnome warren. Stocky, long white beard, rheumy red eyes, bulbous nose, ancient face. Follows the old ways, very polite and formal [2]
The Vani ruled by a council of elders. Gnome women raise children and rule the home. Men hunt, farm and deal with outsiders [2]
Jouka Tunkelo, close cropped black curly hair and full beard, and Turi Tunkelo, long black hair and beard both braided. Members of the council. Both wear blue robes girded with red and green sashes. Jouka and Turi are both young, but Jouka is the oldest of the two. Turi is shy. Jouka has killed two badgers and owns a badger killing suit. Turi is a magi, mostly illusions. Jouka is one of the few true warriors of the Vani his word carries great weight on the council. Turi slain by gnolls [2,9,12,13,14]
Sumalo, head of the council. Wears a tunic festooned with iron charms. Thick silver hair and birchbark cap. Priest of Gaerdal Ironhand (god of the Vani????) [2]
Peeled birch rod, the Speakers Rod, a symbol of Gaerdal Ironhand the Great Crafter [2]
Winter, known as the Season of the Hearth to the Vani, a time of rest. Considered bad luck to begin a journey during the Season of the Hearth [2]
The gnoll live in a valley north of Samek on the Great Glacier [3]
Ojakangas, burly, thick browed gnome, black hair, carpenter [9,18]
Any excuse to have a celebration, including the return of a search party [9]
The Vani brew a tasty hard cider [9]
Hardrangers, fiddles with extra strings that sound like bagpipes [9]
Some of the vani are 400 years old [9]
Reko, musician, fiddler, 347 years old [9]
Elder Hudni (on the council????), farmer, lives outside the warren, slain by Vreesar and his gnolls [9,11]
Buri, son of Hudni, slain by gnolls [10,12]
Heikko, husband and his stout wife Kara. Heikko is a golden haired warrior, cousins of Buri. Heikko slain by gnolls [10,12]
The Vani speak an ancient dialect of common (auld common ????) [10]
The Vani have never heard of the Harpers (how long since they left the realms of humans????) [10]
The Laws of the Vani were created by the last High King (High King of where????) [10]
The deeper sections (colder) of the warren are home to the animal pens, root cellars, and storerooms.
East Gate, South Gate [11,12]
Badgers and wolverines sometimes intrude into the warren. The Vani kill the badgers with a suit of black iron plate covered in nails, spikes, blades, and topped with a skull shaped helm with thin slits at the mouth, nose, and eyes. Badger killing is an ancient Vani tradition. Badger and wolverine are cornered in a room then a young warrior is sent in with the badger armour and a knife to kill it, this marks a true warrior.
Jouka commands the militia. Militia consists of able male gnomes (about 40 in number, most are farmers) armed with spears, short swords, the odd helmet and scrap of armour [12]
Council Chamber at the centre of the warren [10]
Cliffside entrance, an escape route, leads to a ledge on a bluff overlooking the river [14]
Luski, gnome, posted as scout by the council. Froze to death in Vreesar’s blizzard [15]
Yannis, gnome youth [16]


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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 07 May 2021 :  19:32:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Soldiers of Ice was a slow burner, a bit dull at the start. But it livened up at the end. I honestly expected Martine to die at the end because it seems that the main hero dies in these Harper novels.

Not much lore outside of two small valleys in the great glacier, a bit of an insight into gnolls which i'd always thought of as typical bad guys.

One thing i did find curious is a stray mention from the gnomes of Samek. Its clear they have been hidden away in their valley for many centuries, 3 at least, but one of them said "by the laws of the High King" which got my attention as a potential clue to their origin.

There is only one High King i know of in the realms and that is in the Moonshae Isles from over a thousand years ago. Could there be a connection, unlikely but its one possibility

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1122 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  03:01:28  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gary, who wrote that because some of that doesn't quite connect with other lore.

Gaerdal Ironhand is the god of vigilance, combat, and martial defense. Nothing to do with crafting.

Killing badgers and wolverines could make Segojan Earthcaller upset. Considering he is the god of rock gnomes, you would think they would know that.

The gnome kingdom of Songfarla was founded in -3149 in the Sunrise Mountains by escaped gnome slaves from Netheril. Samek could be a forgotten outpost of that kingdom. They would have to have been there prior to -469 because that is when the kingdom had almost dwindled to nothing.

Auld Common? Wouldn't that just be Thorass?

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6477 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  05:33:58  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


Gnoll Language
Kaamak – means dowry, wife’s payment to mate [6]
Rrachk-kiah – means whatever we see we own [6]
Paavak – means a place for evil spirits (haunted [14]

Gnome Language
tukkavaaskivo – means “mean little one” refers to badgers or wolverine [12]
Mustikka – means blueberry bushes or planting area [16]




"rrachk-kiah" might be better defined as the gnoll version of "manifest destiny".

So do we think:

"tukka" mean, cruel
"va": one
"askivo": small creature

I'm also thinking "mustikka" means 'thicket, undergrowth'.

Thoughts?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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cuiilv
Acolyte

Sweden
43 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  11:45:40  Show Profile  Visit cuiilv's Homepage Send cuiilv a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


Gnoll Language
Kaamak – means dowry, wife’s payment to mate [6]
Rrachk-kiah – means whatever we see we own [6]
Paavak – means a place for evil spirits (haunted [14]

Gnome Language
tukkavaaskivo – means “mean little one” refers to badgers or wolverine [12]
Mustikka – means blueberry bushes or planting area [16]




"rrachk-kiah" might be better defined as the gnoll version of "manifest destiny".

So do we think:

"tukka" mean, cruel
"va": one
"askivo": small creature

I'm also thinking "mustikka" means 'thicket, undergrowth'.

Thoughts?

-- George Krashos



Mustikka is Finnish for blueberry, and the rest of the Vani names and words look either Finnish or clearly based on it. I guess you could get away with that nearly 30 years ago for a mostly American audience, but I would consider that lazy creativity these days and just ignore that "gnomish" language.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 08 May 2021 :  14:41:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Assuming this gnome settlement was separated from the rest of gnome culture a long time ago, it is quite possible it holds to ancient ideas no longer present elsewhere. Gaerdal may have been known as the great crafter thousands of years ago, but is now much more warlike.

alternatively the centuries of isolation has led to an unusual evolution in their religious practices, whereby the other deities have been forgotten and only gaerdal remains and has assumed the role of all the other deities.


David Cook I believe was the author

As for auld common and Thorass, they mean the same thing to me I just couldnt remember thorass at the time. The book says an ancient dialect of common which I interpreted as meaning auld common.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 08 May 2021 :  14:58:47  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not everyone can be a language professor like Tolkien and so is forced to steal words or inspiration from existing languages.

It's fine to steal the word and then alter its meaning. Mustikka works well as thicket but it struck me that there probably isn't a lot of food around for such a colony of gnomes in a glacial valley, so I figured the blueberries were likely carefully cultivated rather than left to grow wild. Hedge might work better but they pretty much mean the same.


It seems to me that the gnoll and gnome language both have a lot of k sounds and double aa and Ava sounds. I expected gnolls to have a more animal language consisting of smells and barks or yaps. Could it be that in the 30 years the gnolls have lived in the valley (and they likely left a while back after depleting the valley and then returned 30 years ago when it recovered in a repeating pattern over the centuries) they have adopted the gnomish language and altered it to suit their facial structure.

Assuming the gnoll and gnome languages are related slightly we could interpret aavak as place and aamak as person. K as a prefix determines ownership and P as a prefix denotes none ownership. So Kaamak roughly translates as My Person and Paavak is Not My Place.

Vaas could then be a singular thing or creature or item which serves as the number one.

Tikka and tukka are related, tikka could be thorny or tree like plant with branches and so tukka would work as meaning sharp tooth or claw basically translating to vicious.

And then Kivo meaning small animal.

I guess my attempt at translation is much the same as yours just with an extra assumption on the relationship between gnolls and gnomes.

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1122 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  16:37:52  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tom Costa had this to say about non-human languanges in Dragon Annual 4 (page 29):

"Oddly, the languages of most non-human races differ only in their dialect despite their regional location and distance from one another. There is, as yet, no explanation for this phenomenon. Some sages believe that this homogeny among non-human languages is an expression of the divine might of the nonhuman gods. Others scoff at this theory."

Now, it could be that those words are only part of the local dialect of Gnim and not the language in general. It is also possible, given the proximity of the gnomes and the gnolls, that they have developed a pidgin of the two languages to create a sort of "local common".

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2021 :  14:12:23  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't know if any of you folks are in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, found here; https://www.sca.org/ ), but they have very strict rules on Persona names. The name has to be "in-period" and have at least 2 valid documentations of that names' use... "in-period". This has created a cadre of 'language nazis' that police name documentation. I don't think we should go down that road with the policing of D&D language rules. If it's reasonably "D&D sounding", then go with it (looking at YOU, RA Salvatore). If you try to govern it with RW linguistics rules, it will turn into a mire.

That'll be 2cents please.
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Gary Dallison
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6026 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2021 :  14:24:14  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If fully intend to de-RAS a lot of names while I write up regions. People named after beef stew will not be allowed in my realms

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 10 May 2021 :  08:06:11  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elfsong next. 7 pages in and already a full sheet of a4 notes. Should be a good one in terms of lore.

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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
150 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2021 :  07:10:30  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Elfsong next. 7 pages in and already a full sheet of a4 notes. Should be a good one in terms of lore.



Oh yes, lots of lore to be mined in Elfsong, I read it about 2-3 months back. I am changing the order of what books I read. Will be interesting to see your synopsis after you have finished it.

Btw, I know you are typing up the lore, do you have the info in Word docs or anything system?

Wondering if you are linking any lore together? e.g. Soldiers of Ice had a couple of things about Shadowdale. There are other books that have featured Shadowdale lore. Are you adding the Soldiers of Ice lore to an existing Shadowdale section as well?

Curious
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 11 May 2021 :  07:15:26  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Everything I have is in word documents so if you want a copy then drop me a pm with your email.

Eventually, once I've finished i intend to link as much as i can and expand the various regions i focus on using novel and sourcebook lore.

At the moment the only things I've looked at are Ebenfar (the book of night and the book of the shadow seem to be the same thing), and some stray pieces here and there.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 13 May 2021 :  17:16:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Loving Elfsong so far. 37 pages in and more lore than some novels have in their entirety. It's not mentioned just for the sake of it, nor is it immediately obvious at times.

A few things I've noted that I'm wondering if it will get revealed. Iriador seems to be related to nobility and I think its elven nobility. She has a haughty manner common with nobility, she uses the last of her families wealth on a youth potion. Could she be the last of an elven house.

She also seems to know a lot about khelben and have a personal grudge against him. It also seems that iriador is a nickname and not her real name.

Morninglark seems to be very important as an item. I wonder how it ended up in that village and did grimnosh find it by accident or was he searching for it as well as elaith.

Interesting bit was that lady Lucia thine tried to become Lady Arunsun, when and where and how spring to mind. I wonder how much khelben knows about Lucia at this time because it is said that no one knows about her Knights of the Shield affiliation but I suspect that does not include Khelben

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 May 2021 :  16:30:16  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elfsong seems to imply that (perhaps only localised to the North). Bardcraft was once of great importance, linked to the Heralds while they were part of the Harpers, for Bardcraft was about preserving history and tradition and bards were counsellors to kings and queens.

It also mentions a most honoured title "ubarcr'" which is now given to any idiot in a tavern that can play but presumably was a singular title given to best bard in the land or perhaps the whole north.


This reminds me an awful lot of the Moonshae Isles, with their Great Bards.

In fact many of the renowned schools of the north have a clear link to the Moonshaes with their names MacFuirmidh being clearly of moonshae origin and i recall it originated in the Moonshaes before being destroyed and presumably refounded in the Sword Coast / SAvage Frontier.

There should be a link between the Moonshaes (which are very music and bard centred) and the Harpers made somewhere. I expect it was only around during the middle incarnation of the Harpers.

Elfsong also implies that this barding tradition declined after the Harpstar Wars when the Heralds split. The Heralds are preservers of tradition and bardcraft was also about tradition and preservation, the two goals are very much akin. After the split the Harpers allowed bardcraft to die out (they still have bards but they do not follow tradition, they just fight, spy, and play music - not true bards in the old style), perhaps in a misguided act of vengeance against the Heralds.



Anyway, brief idea at the moment is bardcraft spreads from the Moonshae Isles when the college their is burned down by the northmen of GNarhelm. It spreads among the northlands, i'm guessing is quite important in the early days of Athalantar and Waterdeep and Silverymoon, perhaps even the Fallen Kingdoms.

Then the Harpstar Wars happen and the Heralds split and the ancient bardic tradition almost dies out.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 16 May 2021 :  16:53:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Elfsong also implies that this barding tradition declined after the Harpstar Wars when the Heralds split. The Heralds are preservers of tradition and bardcraft was also about tradition and preservation, the two goals are very much akin. After the split the Harpers allowed bardcraft to die out (they still have bards but they do not follow tradition, they just fight, spy, and play music - not true bards in the old style), perhaps in a misguided act of vengeance against the Heralds.


I would say it was more that the Heralds were keeping the traditions of bardcraft alive, and that the Heralds became more insular after the Harpstar Wars. Without the Heralds pushing the bardic traditions, a lot of newer bards were just jumping into the bardic gig without worrying about the traditional training -- and some of them may not have known of the traditions and thought it was all about the music and storytelling.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 16 May 2021 16:54:00
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 May 2021 :  18:02:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Possibly, but in the first chapters it states bards are the preservers of tradition, true bards keeping songs identical across the centuries (sounds exactly like what finder wyvernspur was doing). Bards make songs about events so it's a simple connection to make between bards and historical preservation

Then in a later chapter it says the Heralds preserved tradition and history. When the Heralds declined so did the boarding colleges. Ergo the Heralds were the true bards of the Harpers, and while the Harpers of the modern age have bards they are merely fighters and spies who can sing or play.

Either would work but Elfsong makes clear the connection, just separated by 5 or 6 chapters.

Danilo even reinforces this connection by saying his first teacher was of the old macfuirmidh tradition and he demanded the old songs be played using the original instruments of composition.

True bards preserved the past and they did it through song, which makes sense because centuries ago the majority of the north was illuskan, and they are not known for literary works. So in a parallel to ancient earth history was preserved by means other than history books (songs, stories, paintings, tapestries, etc)

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 16 May 2021 :  18:16:29  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But the Heralds didn't decline. They separated from the Harpers and went their separate ways -- and spread out further and gained more influence in the process.

Since bards have long been associated with the Harpers, and since the Heralds no longer being part of the Harpers marks the decline of bardic tradition, the obvious conclusion is that the Heralds were the ones pushing that tradition.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 May 2021 :  18:31:50  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that's what I'm trying to get at. I always imagined the heralds as being studious old sages but it never quite worked for me, what if they were the bards, I find that image much more appealing.


I always figured the Harpers of the North were half Rangers and half Bards. The Heralds provided the original bardic tradition and when they split that tradition died out.

I reckon the Heralds withdrew into secret places so it was more difficult to follow those traditions. They still sent their Heralds out into the world to preserve things but it was no longer an open tradition available to all.

The Harpers perhaps tried to reinvent that tradition as best they could when they were refounded, but it was a pale imitation and led to the almost complete destruction of the old bardic ways.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 20 May 2021 :  20:31:04  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elfsong (1364 DR)

Grimnosh Lore
Grimnoshtadrano, collects riddles as much as treasure, travellers are few so he let a few go to spread rumours of his lair and treasure (unfortunately for Grimnosh they vanished into obscurity) [prelude]
It has been more than a century since Grimnosh’s last visitor and riddle challenge [prelude]
Visited on the winter solstice by an aged sorceress (hooded grey cloak and bent with age) with elven blood that summoned him with powerful magic [prelude]
Possesses a magical elven harp called Morninglark, which he traded to Iriador[prelude]
Lair’s in the High Forest [prelude]
Given a scroll to guard by Iriador [prelude]
Lair is hidden somewhere near the Endless Caverns [6]
Green dragons are almost impossible to ambush, they blend into the forest. Green dragons consider elves a delicacy [6]
80 ft from snout to tail tip [7]
Graceful, moves silently through the forest [7]
Scale colouring changes to match the foliage around him. Can also change colour at will, preferring a brilliant emerald green [7]
Gold green eyes slashed by a vertical pupil [7]
Vartain failed to solve Grimnosh’s riddle. Danilo challenged Grimnosh to answer a riddle and tried to charm the dragon with the spell given by Khelben. It failed and so Vartain fired some powder (provided by Elaith) into the dragons mouth as it used its breath weapon. It exploded, stunning the dragon so they stole the spell scroll left by Iriador and Danilo stole a casket of gems [7]
Grimnosh emerged from his cave to begin this misadventure exactly 6 months ago – winter solstice (was this when he took Morninglark) [16]


Iriador / Garnet Lore
Bent with age, wears a hooded grey cloak [prelude]
Has been a bard, a riddlemaster, and now a sorceress [prelude]
Half-elf [prelude]
Bargains with Grimnosh, he gives her the Morninglark, in return she pens a ballad about the great Grimnosh to lure travellers to his lair [prelude]
Needs Morninglark to perform a rare type of elven magic – spellsong. She can then cast a spell which will weave the ballad into the memories of every bard in Silverymoon [prelude]
The ballad will task people to answer a riddle (of Grimnosh’s choosing), read a scroll (that the half elf will give to Grimnosh and will require someone to possess the power of Spellsong in order to read and answer the riddles upon it), and sing a song [prelude]2
She has been with the Harpers for 3 centuries and does not like what they have become [prelude]
Known as Iriador to the Harpers (may not be her true name????). Changes her appearance to be young and chooses the name of Garnet [prelude]
Iriador’s Tower towers above the courtyards of Ultrumm’s Music Conservatory [prelude]
Over 300 years old [prelude]
Spent the last of her family’s (who are her family, an elven noble house????) wealth on a potion to restore her youth and beauty. It didn’t work, she now resembles a plump, middle aged woman with brilliant blue eyes and dull brown hair streaked with grey, with a fine soprano voice [prelude]
In her youth she was so beautiful as to be compared to rubies and sapphires. Had brilliant flame red hair with sapphire blue eyes [prelude]
Her silver Harper Pin forms part of the spellsong by binding itself to one of the strings on Morninglark the harp [prelude]
Haughty, aristocratic manners [4]
Dislikes the Lords of Waterdeep. Wants to discredit Khelben and remove him from the Lords. Has created the plant blight to cause problems, spreading dissent among the citizens. Is creating songs and spreading them to all bards that spread tales about Khelben and Laeral. [4]
Knows many secrets about Khelben (how????) [4]
Garnet is deliberately altering Danilo Thann’s songs, knowing his link to Khelben. Danilo’s songs will discredit Khelben and the Lords and Danilo will take the blame [4]
Iriador knew Larissa Neathal was a Lord of Waterdeep (told by Lucia Thione) tried to poison her at Lady Thione’s Midsummer party. When that failed Lord Hhune captured Larissa and kept her magically asleep [4]
Owns an asperii, they bond telepathically with a master for life. Iriador’s asperii does not appear to be happy serving her. Asperii serve only good masters and it does not believe her goals are good [4,8]
Twisted one of Danilo’s Songs to be about the Harpstar wars, detailing the battle, many of the Harpers who fell, and warn of the Malaugrym that survived. Khelben mused that whoever wrote it (Garnet) may well have been around during that time [5]
Iriador’s final battle with the Harpers was during the Harpstar Wars. She was wounded and left for dead, but rescued by an elderly druid and introduced to a band of wood elves who taught her spellsong (despite her being a half elf). Iriador had lived among the wood elves for almost 200 years. Much of her musicianship was lost as a result of her fighting (her hands became slow and tired)[6]
Iriador knows the name of Lucia’s superior (how????), he is a Knight of high position and dark power (not Lord Hhune) [6]
Iriador has some influence with the merfolk and her music can travel far under the sea [6]
Was in Sundabar almost 300 years ago. Studied at Anstruth (a barding college) as a very young noblewoman but abandoned her studies when she was persuaded by a charismatic young bard (who????) to join the Harpers. While Iriador ran about the Northlands doing Khelben’s bidding, the barding colleges began their final decline
Adds a new power to Morninglark, the ability to call storms, which she casts in the old concert hall of Anstruth
Iriador visited Silverymoon, site of Ultrumm, then Sundabar, site of Anstruth. Are the old barding colleges home to some forgotten magic that forms part of her spell ?????
First power added to Morninglark was charm in Fochlucan. Then it was blight in MacFuirmidh. In Doss it was the ability to call or control monsters. In Canaith the ability to influence crowds through song. Fifth is Ollamn in Waterdeep (no longer exists). Can also create musical monstrosities (a huge twisted songbird the size of a war horse, a cricket the size of a dog)
Iriador Wintermist, daughter of a famous elven minstrel and a human baron of Sespech. Joined forces with Finder Wyvernspur’s band and travelled with him for a time. Believed slain during the Harpstar Wars [11]
Famed beauty, slender, not much over 5 ft tall [11]
Iriador used riddle magic and place magic from the elder barding colleges to enchant Morninglark and give it the powers of spellsong. In order to undo the magic the riddle / song used to enchant it must be played on Morninglark in its entirety (Danilo will have to do this) [12]
Asperii die if they leave their master [13]
Iriador’s upbringing was in the courts of Sespech [13]

Silverymoon Lore
Iriador’s Tower towers above the courtyards of Ultrumm’s Music Conservatory [prelude]
A teeming marketplace lies beyond Ultrumm’s Music Conservatory [prelude]
Spring Faire held in Silverymoon, always culminates in an open air concert on the vast grounds of Ultrumm’s Music Conservatory [prelude]
Utrumm’s Music Conservatory, a famed school built upon the remnants of an elder bardic college (Fochlucan). The finest bards all train at Ultrumm’s, and a spring pilgrimage brings most of them back from all over Faerun [prelude]
Fochlucan college. The foremost of the barding colleges [9]

Elf Language
Iriador – taken from the elvish word for ruby [prelude]

Morninglark
Small, light, 20 strings, carved of a dark wood. Curved lines and subtle carvings proclaim elven origin. Has a tiny morninglark carved into the wood of the soundboard (so only the harpist can see it) that moves (singing in time to the music) when the harp is played [prelude]
Ancient design [4]
Artifact, crafted in the early days of Myth Drannor. Considered too powerful for all but the most skilled spellsingers. Ingrival owned the harp safely for many centuries. Ingrival went into seclusion and has not been heard from for many years. The harp is thought to be lost [6,10]
Also known as the Harp of Ingrival [10]
Morninglark is a treasure to the People. Ingrival is a hero, exiled by misfortune (what misfortune????)
Only a spellsinger can use Morninglark [12]

Wyn Ashgrove
Elven minstrel, has a magical lyre [prelude]
Ten years ago was travelling east from the Moonshae Isles aboard a merchant ship when it was attacked by northmen raiders. Kerrigan the Bold was one of the northmen and he spared Wyn and took him home to northmen settlements to serve as his apprentice. [prelude]
Gold skin, hair cropped short ebony curls, and green eyes [prelude]
Carries a delicate silver lyre and a flute of deep green crystal [prelude]
5 ft 8 inches, slender, gold elf male [2]
From Evermeet [4]
Knows spellsong. With it the elves are able to charm any living creature. Few elves on Evermeet possess this skill any longer (why???) [5]
Owns a Lyre of Changing, which can transform into any other musical instrument desired [6]
The crystal flutes are grown by the wild elves of Evermeet [6]
Comes from a family of musical scholars [6]
Wyn lived among the Northmen for a time [6]

Kerrigan
Kerrigan the bold. Northman skald and pirate [prelude]
Took Wyn Ashgrove as an apprentice to teach him northmen music [prelude]
Heavily muscled, broad of chest, nearly 7 ft tall on thin bandy legs. Wears a helm decorated with a broad pair of antlers. Bulbous nose and whisker draped jowls, his voice is a fog shattering bellow [prelude]

Other Lore
A gypsy ballad about a long ago alliance between the Harpers and the Witches of Rashemen. A tale of magic, intrigue, battle, and death [prelude]
Balalaikas - triangular lutes, bass instrument [prelude]
The Moonshaes are full of petty royals trying to outdo one another to buy Waterdeep’s luxury goods [1]
True and master bardic tradition is to memorise the song and lore without changing it, even over many centuries. So many Harpers are bards so as to preserve knowledge of the past [1]
Songs about Harpers have been changed in the minds of bards in Silverymoon and across the Northlands. A new song about Grimnoshtadrano has been placed in their minds [1]
Bowing low is a uniquely elven gesture of respect [1]
Vangerdahast dislikes Khelben and the Harpers [2]
Inexpensive tin whistles from the Moonshae Isles [2]
Peppergum tree. Commonly cultivated in the Northlands for summer shade and brilliant autumn foliage. Each spring it yields thick pliant sap that tastes faintly of peppermint [3]
Roses from Rassalanter [4]
Raspberries from the Korinn Archipelago [4]
Venison, quail and partridges from the Misty Forest [4]
Smoked salmon from Gundarlun [4]
Famed icewine from Neverwinter [4]
The Nine adventuring band retired long before Danilo’s birth, rumours hold that many of them are rolling in wealth on another plane [5]
Along the Unicorn Run are froglike humanoids that unless a stunning shriek and attack people on the path the Nine built [5]
Scrying globes require powerful magic to use. Are used by Harpers (to send messages) only in times of great need [5]
Asper, fighter, tiny, pert, dark, and merry, deadly. Adopted daughter and heart’s-blood of Mirt the Moneylender (what does heart’s-blood mean???). Currently working as a caravan guard near Baldur’s Gate. Harper Agent, their eyes and ears in Baldur’s Gate [5,16]
Milkweed pod [5]
Kaddisht, a town in Calimshan or Tethyr [6]
Sword dances famous on the north shore of Evermeet. The Ghost of Ettntree is one such sword dance [6]
Elverquisst often forms a part of many elven ritual and celebration (including sword dances) [6]
The Heralds were the far travelling keepers of history and tradition. They split because they did not want to compromise their neutrality by pursuing the Harper’s increasingly political objectives. When the Heralds split the the Harpers allowed the barding colleges to fall into decline and fade into memory [6]
Ubarcr’, a once honoured title among bards, now given to any dolt who could warble a tavern song (given by who????) [6]
Harpers still have bards, but nowadays these are fighters and informants who also happen to play or sing [6]
Bards were once counsellors to kings and queens, nowadays treated like servants [6]
Fiddlehead ferns, grow in the River Dessarin near the waters edge. These greens are a delicacy steamed and served with a bit of butter [6]
King Khazol, his kingdom is long vanished. He was buried in Mulharahold a city south of the Mountains of Copper [7]
Magnum Alumnus, a degree, the highest honor afforded a bard (at Anstruth???)
Middle Sespechian, a court language developed about 3 centuries ago, long fallen into disuse. When the then Baron of Sespech died, the Baroness took a consort from Turmish (very handsome but not skilled in linguistics). The Baroness ordered a bastardised dialect of Sespechian to be created and required everyone at court to learn it.
“Silent strings” is a seldom used reference to a Harper pin
The 7 elder barding colleges all closed before Danilo was born
Woodruff, a herb grown in the Moonshae Isles. Grown in the vast herb gardens and vineyards that surround the ruined MacFuirmidh college. Nearly 3 moon cycles ago (3 months????) the herbgardens and vineyards were nearly destroyed [9]
7 elder barding colleges ranked in order of honour and importance. First was Fochlucan in Silverymoon, second was MacFuirmidh in Alaron, third was Doss in Berdusk, fourth Canaith in Zazesspur [9]
“By the sea and stars” – elven oath of thanks [10]
Finder Wyvernspur journeyed to Canaith and Ollamn [12]
Khelben says humans use the Weave, elves are part of the Weave, magic flows from and through them [12]
Bergand, merchant of Nimbral, associate of Lucia Thione [13]
Jarun, warrior [14]
Gold firewine [14]
Elven heat vision [14]
Asperii viewed as blessings from the gods [16]



Waterdeep Lore
Larissa Neathal, a striking red haired (luxuriant tresses brushed by a maid) woman with grey eyes and flawless white skin. Dislikes cosmetics and rarely uses them. Beautiful courtesan. Legendary capacity for dancing and drinking. One of the Lords of Waterdeep. Has a maid called Marta. Owns a red satin dress that once belonged to a Shou princess. Wears the ring of the Lords of Waterdeep on her left pinkie. Has several skilled fighters among her household servants. All her gowns are’s- equipped with hidden stilettos [1,4]
Wynead ap Gawyn, a prince of one of the lesser Moonshae Kingdoms, spoke at length to Larissa about he fields for miles around Caer Callidyrr mysteriously withering overnight [1]
Kitten, a sellsword, hair is a tousled brown mop, leathers cut to reveal abundant cleavage [1]
Brian the Swordsmaster, calloused hands, down to earth, secret lord of Waterdeep, lives and works among the commonfolk
Caravan goods of Waterdeep being lost to brigands outside the city walls [1]
Whole farm families torn to pieces without a sword drawn in defence (the work of monsters with magic perhaps????) [1]
Game (animals) is fleeing the south woods, causing food shortages [1]
Fishermen troubles, nets slashed, lines cut, catches looted. No sahuagin reported nearby [1]
Khelben Blackstaff, most powerful and least secret lord of Waterdeep. Black hair and full dark beard shot through with silver streaks, hairline definitely in retreat. Tall, heavily muscled, imposing. Has pretensions of being an artist [1,2]
Mirt the Moneylender, paunch. Retired mercenary, can still fight despite getting on in years. Former comrade in arms of Durnan [1,5]
Blackstaff Tower, has a 2nd invisible door that allowed passage out of the black stone wall that surrounds it. Kitchen, one side is filled by shelves of rare potted herbs bathed in a green light that comes from no apparent source, some of the cupboards are gates to far off places (one leads to an overbearing pomegranate tree, the other into a small ice cave [1,2]
Caladorn Cassalanter, several years older than 28, old friend of Danilo Thann, nobleman. Taller than 6 ft, broader than Danilo. Dark red hair cropped short. Calloused hands, warrior. Had long been city champion in fighting arts and horsemanship. Recently taken up with seafaring adventures, dropped his family name until he has achieved something worthy. (may not know about Danilo’s Harper affiliation or training with Khelben). At a young age severed ties with his noble family for a life of adventure. Can summon the watch by twisting a silver ring. [1,2]
Caladorn and Lucia Thione are seeing each other [1]
Fiery Flagon inn. Danilo Thann “accidentally” cast a spell that set fire to everyone’s ale. His name was mentioned in the Innkeeper’s Guild meeting as a result [1]
Innkeeper’s Guild [1]
Evindal Duirsar, ancient elf, marked as important by his fine white robes and platinum torque. Patriarch priest of Corellon Larethian. Father of Erlan Duirsar (lord of Evereska). Has a temple in Waterdeep. Frequents the Elfstone Tavern [1]
Yaereene Ilbaereth, tall, slender, silvery hair and eyes. Moon elf female. Wears a sparkling gown of blue or green that changes colour to match the whim of a fairy dragon perched on her shoulder. Hostess of the Elfstone Tavern [1]
Elfstone Tavern, taproom ceiling is 5 stories high to accommodate the trees growing here. Smells like a rain washed forest. Motes of blue light float among the patrons. Almost exclusively elven clientele. Well armed gold elf sentinels guard the door [1]
Holding out both hands, palms up, is a greeting gesture common to ladies of Waterdhavian Court. The man kisses the fingers then holds out both his hands, palms up. [1]
Vartain of Calimport, renowned riddlemaster, his skills are much in demand by adventuring parties and those needing entertainers. Has the annoying habit of always being right (which his employers quickly tire of). Employed by Elaith Craulnober since 28th Mirtul. Vartain is convinced of his own superiority and inordinately proud of his traditions. Trained in the Mulhorand tradition (do they have Riddlemasters????). Travelled from the Shaar to Waterdeep, from the Moonshaes to Rashemen. Vartain has compiled a 3 volume collection of riddles housed in Candlekeep. Grew up as a thief on the streets of Calimport [2,6,7,13]
Waterdeep Musicians Guild [2]
Kriios Halambar, secretly known as “Old Leatherlungs”. Head of the Musicians Guild. Owns Halambar’s Lute Shop. Entertainers of all kinds register at his shop and prospective employers in need of their services check check with Halambar first. Haughty [2]
Castle Ward, affluent district [2]
Street of Swords, crowded with rich Waterdhavians. Full of taverns, feasthalls, and shops. Most buildings are 3 stories tall with whitewashed plaster and thick dark beams [2]
Rebeleigh’s Elegant Headwear, shop on the Street of Swords. Rebeleigh was a slight, middle aged woman, a weather vane of fashion and a walking calendar for social events. Has a headdress of delicate links and tiny coral beads that once belonged to a Moonshae princess who died more than 200 years ago [2]
Lady Raventree hosting a masquerade ball during Midsummer [2]
Laeral Silverhand, 6 ft tall beauty. Early years shrouded in mystery. Years of adventure, combat, and intrigue. Laeral’s adventure with the Crown of Horns and rescue by Khelben was not widely known in Waterdeep (or elsewhere) until recently [2]
Singing a ballad about Laeral and her misadventure with the Crown of Horns is banned in Waterdeep, Lords of Waterdeep sent out warnings to all musicians in the city. The ballad was created and spread by the magic of Iriador / Garnet [2,4]
Lucia Thione has a villa in Sea Ward. Having a party at this villa during Midsummer festivities [2]
The Three Pearls theatre, large mud brick building on Pearl Alley [2,9]
Waterdeep’s civilian population is very independent and does not like being forced to do things or have the authorities interfere in their life [2]
Halambar’s Lute Shop on the Street of Swords, the building is owned by Danilo Thann (his recently acquired town house) [2]
Danilo’s town house on the Street of Swords. Whitewashed plaster and thick dark beams. Large windows on either side of the door, constructed of broad planked oak, which has many leaded diamond shaped panes of glass. Hinges and locks are shaped like small harps. Powerful magical ward on the house triggered by tampering with locks and hinges (none have yet survived this ward). Halambar’s Lute Shop, a single room, takes up the entire lower floor filled with instruments for sale, from lutes to tin whistles [2]
Few Riddlemasters around these days, none in Waterdeep except Vartain [2]
A strange blight had fallen on Waterdeep this year killing the crops and gardens of the city, causing hardship to many. Even roses and other flowers were in short supply as a result of the blight. Iriador / Garnet and her magic or song may be causing the blight [4]
Faunadine, Master of Festivities. A plump, greying halfling female whose skills are much in demand and her attention to details makes most elaborate parties seem effortless. Was working for Lady Raventree, but Lucia Thione managed to hire her away from her previous employer [4]
Lord Hhune, merchant nobleman from Tethyr, arrived in Waterdeep a few days ago with a shipment of goods and called on Lucia Thione expecting a routine report but learned of her plan with Garnet. Fat, black hair, with small unreadable eyes, thick eyebrows and abundant moustache. Went to Lady Lucia Thiones midsummer revel and engaged the services of Larissa Neathal to show him the sights of Waterdeep (Larissa does not like Lord Hhune but kept him as a useful contact). Lord Hhune and his entourage captured Larissa Neathal in her home (killed all her servants), he knew she was a Lord of Waterdeep, he punched her in the voicebox and broke all her fingers then put her into a deathlike magical slumber. Lord Hhune is a guildmaster of the Merchant Shipping Guild in his native land and is trying to establish thieves and assassins guilds in Waterdeep (unlikely to succeed). Mints his own gold coins that are given to agents who perform well. Wants to replace Lucia Thione as the highest ranking Knight of the Shield in Waterdeep [4,6,8,9]
All Lords of Waterdeep wear a ring that grant them immunity to poison and allow them to summon the other lords [4]
The Midsummer Games, held at the Field of Triumph. Caladorn Cassalanter is training those wishing to compete in the games [4]
Khelben Arunsun, Larissa Neathal, Mirt the Moneylender, Durnan, Texter the paladin. Suspected Lords of Waterdeep, their names are whispered in every tavern in the city [4]
Caladorn owns a townhouse, bedrooms on the top floor, baths and dressing rooms on the next floor down. Secret panel in one of the closets kept for Lucia containing a Helm of the Lords of Waterdeep. Anthony is Caladorn’s servant at the house (Lucia poisoned him with acid and tried to kill Caladorn) [4,15]
Mother Tathlorns House of Pleasure and Healing, sells massages, manicures, and more [4]
Beneath the city streets is a network of secret tunnels and passages that defied mapping or exploration. Beneath that were the mines of a long dead nation, and beneath that is rumoured the cavernous lairs and abandoned hoards of dragons. Also stories of tunnels into other planes [5]
Most secure and secret tunnel beneath Waterdeep lies between Piergeiron’s Palace and Blackstaff Tower [5]
Mirt found Larissa, priests ease her suffering but could not awaken her. Her face was beaten beyond recognition [5]
News arrived from the Lady of Berdusk for Khelben. Asper has been captured by brigands who want a ransom paid by Mirt (her adopted father) [5]
The Like Minded Lords; Khelben, Mirt, Durnan, Kitten, Brian the Swordsmaster plus one other (Caladorn or Texter????) meet regularly to plan strategies, share information, and enjoy their friendship at the Yawning Portal [5]
Texter the Paladin. Paladin of Tyr, secret Lord of Waterdeep, devout in his duties to the city but cannot long abide being within the city walls and often rides into the wilderness to renews his commitment to Tyr. Off riding in the wilderness again. Has a huge warhorse named Galadin [5,6]
Sammereza Sulphontis, Lord of Waterdeep, travelling merchant who brings valuable information from surrounding kingdoms. Not well liked by his fellow Lords [5]
Mirt heads south to Baldur’s Gate to save Asper [5]
Southern assassins in Waterdeep (with Lord Hhune????) buying new scimitars (Brian’s apprentice stole a curved knife off the buyers which proved they were southern assassins) [5]
Myrna and Galin Raventree [5]
The Masked Minstrel, a mysterious woman who wanders Castle Ward often giving open air concerts in Jester’s Court of a nice summer’s eve. Speculated to be a mad noblewoman, Zhent spy, Harper Agent. Also doubles as an escort [5,9]
Jester’s Court in Castle Ward [5]
Khelben controls Waterdeep much less than he is capable of doing, but few would believe it [5]
Monsters (charmed by Garnet’s spellsong) are attacking farmers and travellers. Merchants’ guilds and Lords of Waterdeep have hired mercenary bands to deal with them. Smaller crowd is expected for this years Midsummer Faire [6]
Crop failures and monsters are causing hardship. Food prices are high but food is coming in by sea [6]
Lands around Waterdeep are withered and dying, even the woodlands are affected. [6]
Texter was riding the wilderness along the River Dessarin, rescued a maid from orcs, the maid turned into a lorelei and charmed Texter, luring him deeper into the wilderness [6]
The corner of Dock Street and Wharf Street (in Dock Ward) is dangerous at night [7]
Zelderan Guthel, head of the Council of Farmer-Grocers. The guild rents warehouse space to merchants of all kinds, among other duties [7]
Large stone and timber warehouse on the corner of Dock Street and Wharf Street. Used to provide winter grain storage. At other times of the year stores exotic goods imported or made for the Midsummer Faire [7]
Zzundar Thul, son of Zzundar Thul. Master of the Waterman’s Guild [7]
The Merdock, a large cistern that opens onto a passage leading from the basement of the dockside Waterman’s Guild into the sea. The mermen prefer as few interactions with humans as possible [7]
Hodatar, merman, liaison with the Waterman’s Guild. Cooperates with Iriador but isnt charmed by her song. He wants to become ruler of the merman and wants to learn spellcasting to accomplish this. Magical components are expensive and very rare under the water so Iriador has been providing him with components for services [7]
3 ships bound for Waterdeep (from Baldur’s Gate) in one afternoon. One fell to pirates, two to monsters. All hands lost, no cargo could be recovered (they were carrying cargo for the Midsummer Faire) [7]
Hodator as contacts among the pirates (from Ruathym????), they have stored the sunken cargo on the Whalebones. He intends to sell the goods (minus the pirate share) to Ruathym or to his contacts Moonshae merchants on Alaron (they can only handle small volumes however) [7]
Lucia Thione stabs Hodatar and kills him [7]
Lucia Thione and her agents have been using the merdock in the Waterman’s Guild to dispose of the bodies of people murdered (Larissa Neathal’s maid), as the strong undercurrent here carries bodies way out into the harbour. This is why Lucia is a member of the Waterman’s Guild so she can easily bribe a member to allow her agents access to the merdock [7]
Serpentil Books and Folios. Owned by Jannaxil Serpentil. Every stolen scrap of paper crosses his desk in Waterdeep
One of Halambar’s apprentice instrument makers has gambling debts that far outstrip his earnings
Maaril’s Tower, shaped like a dragon standing upright on its haunches with its mouth open ready to attack. Most avoid the tower for it is steeped in sinister magic and even the surrounding streets are dangerous
A clan of wealthy North End merchants, newly wealthy, conscious of their social position. Jannaxil knows the clan matriarch. A thief acquaintance of Jannaxil has recently married the daughter of the clan matriarch (which she would not be happy about if she knew)
Chachim, thin, furtive, high ranking Knight of the Shield agent in service to Lord Hhune (or Lucia Thione). Murdered three merchants named by Lucia (they were supposed to be Lords of Waterdeep but in truth were Lucia’s rivals), one of them in the shadow of Maaril’s Tower and left the body in Blue Alley. The merchant of Jannaxil’s thief acquaintance who recently married into a newly wealthy merchant clan
Blue Alley near Maaril’s Tower
The city’s musicians and bards are angry at being censored. Lord Hhune is paying for a concert in the Three Pearls theatre and paying the musicians and actors to perform a play satirising the Lords of Waterdeep and Khelben Arunsun. [9]
Mighty Manticore, tavern, run by Imzeel Coopercan half dwarf, dour personality, barrel shaped torso, hoards knowledge overheard in Jester’s Court (used for many illicit activities). Employed Ginalee as a barmaid for many years, plump merry lass. Lion head hangs over the bar. More commonly known as the Mangy Manticore. Located in the heart of Castle Ward at the crossroad of Selduth Street and Silver Street. The back of the tavern opens onto Jester’s Court [9]
Woods cover the slopes of Waterdeep Mountain [9]
Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, Waterdeep’s youngest guild. Police visiting sorcerers, serve on the fire watch, influence and monitor magical activities of powerful independent wizards as much as they are able [9]
Many business are contracting the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors to magically ward his establishment [9]
On Shieldmeet (after the tournaments of Midsummer Day), contracts are renewed, betrothals announced, allegiances sworn, even the Lords of Waterdeep are reaffirmed [10]
The Council of Musicians guildhall (the House of Song) sits on the site of the old barding college of Ollamn. Located on Rivon Street [11,13]
The Crawling Spider, basement tavern. Plaster walls molded to look like underground stone tunnels. Glowing moss and lichen on the walls. Realistic sculptures of frightening underdark creatures decorate the taproom (a wooden illithid). Staff dressed like drow (all human women) [11]
Magda, a dark eyed crone, runs a wooden toy shop near the Crawling Spider. Magic User and informer for Laeral [11]
Two Flask Alley, you had to have two drinks to be brave enough to try and traverse it [12]
The Thirsty Sailor tavern in Two Flask Alley, patronised by brawlers, heavy drinkers, and criminals [12]
Kornith, cutpurse, bearded, taller than Elaith Craulnober. Frequents the Thirsty Sailor (looking for victims). Slain by Elaith Craulnober [12]
Ackrieg’s Bakery [13]
Laeral is one of the few humans welcome on Evermeet. Laeral and Khelben do not know spellsong [13]
River Gate, eastern entrance to Waterdeep’s Trade District [13]
Farmland east of Waterdeep, fields and orchards normally lush with fruit and veg [13]
Distinctive green and black uniforms of the city guard [13]
The Broken Lance, tavern near the Field of Triumph. Frequented by athletes and fighters. Serves eel pie as a speciality [14]
Diloontier’s Apothecary, a posh shop in the heart of Castle Ward. Caters to wealthy ladies and dandies needing herbal remedies. Patronised by many first class in society. Also sells poisons and potions to those with appropriate credentials and lots of gold [14]
Highly placed agent of the Kraken Society in Waterdeep. Also an informant of Elaith Craulnober [14]
Virgin’s Square, Blazidon One Eye works near there [14]
Blazidon One Eye’s bodyguard is a dwarf [14]
Humans are not normally allowed in the elven temple, although exceptions can be made [15]
Lucia tried to kill Caladorn by feeding him acid, Caladorn pretended to drink it [15]
Elaith made a deal with Lucia, he would kill Garnet and help Lucia escape the city (for trying to kill Caladorn and being a Knight of the Shield). However, she must kill Danilo Thann first. [15]
A caravan master from Baldur’s Gate was slain by over eager cutpurses [16]
Ariadne and Rix, Harper Agents working for Khelben Blackstaff sent to find Lucia Thione. They were found garroted outside Lucia Thione’s estate in Sea Ward. Hhune’s gold coin left next to each body [16]
Khelben had only once known such great and unbearable pain as summoning powerful magic through his body and being unable to expend it (he was prevented by Iriador’s spellsong, a charm spell) [16]
Khelben abandoned the bards according to Iriador [16]
Street of Whispers, near to Lucia Thione’s Estate in Sea Ward [16]
Urmbrusk family sybaritic villa in Sea Ward on the Street of Whispers [16]
Diamond Street, next to the Street of Whispers in Sea Ward [16]
Field of Triumph, tournament held on Midsummer Day. Jousting, magefair contests [16]
Garnet tried to use spellsong on the Field of Triumph. Grimnosh appeared and carried Garnet away. Garnet dropped the harp into a crowd of brawling mercenaries [16]
Elaith Craulnober owns his house on Selduth Street [16]
When Danilo Thann performed the Riddle Spellsong successfully it absorbed the magic Morninglark had caused back into it, along with Morninglark itself [16]
The Twilight Meeting at the marketplace marks the official beginning of Shieldmeet [16]
House of Purple Silks [Epilogue]
Wyn and Morgalla are travelling to the Earthfast Mountains [Epilogue]


Tethyr Lore
Purple Minotaur, the finest inn in Tethyr’s royal city (Zazesspur or Darromar????). Gaming hall on the first floor [1]
Purple is a favoured colour in Tethyr [1]

Danilo Thann
Paid 2000 gold for a singing sword [1]
Recently established successful and popular member of the wine merchants guild in Tethyr [1]
Studied magic with Khelben in secret since he was 12 years old [1]
6 ft tall, 28 years old [1]
Owns a ring that can teleport up to three people to Blackstaff Tower or wherever the wearer chooses (a gift from Khelben). Can only be used once per day [1]
Spent several months working with Arilyn to undermine a plot to replace the ruling pasha with a guild alliance [1]
Has 3 spellbooks (one his own, one lent to him by Khelben, the other a tome of southern magic he purchased in Tethyr) and a magic bag that carries his wardrobe and travel supplies [1]
Someone in Tethyr has put a bounty on Danilo’s head [1]
Paid for an entirely new wardrobe (including amethyst jewellery) to be made in the colour purple [1]
For the last two years Danilo and Arilyn had received their Harper missions directly from Khelben [1]
Recently purchased a townhouse (somewhere near Blackstaff Tower) [1]
Has a small scrying crystal that Danilo had adapted into an alarm [1]
The Grey Mist Maiden, a song written by Danilo Thann about the mists of Evereska (likening them to an elusive lover). The song is beloved by elves [1]
When Danilo Thann transformed the butler of the Stalwart Society of Explorers in Cormyr he had imbibed Elverquisst, but claims the magic was twisted by the Time of Troubles [1]
The Ballad of the Harper Assassin, a song Danilo composed about a magic sword (Arilyn and the adventures in Elfshadow). The song has been heard as far away as Cormyr and Tethyr. Has 29 stanzas [2]
Has a magic knife that when thrown returns to its sheath within 3 seconds. He gave this knife to Elaith Craulnober to secure the services of Vartain the Riddlemaster [4]
Clarinda Thann is his great aunt [5]
Danilo’s first music teacher was a bard trained in the style of the MacFuirmidh school who was adamant that the old songs had to be sung using the original instrument of composition [6]
Sings a historical tale about a long ago battle between Harpers and a drow queen who enslaved humans to work in her mines [6]
Never seen a dragon before [7]
Thann family deals in wines. A large part of their wealth is due to the herb woodruff, grown in herbgardens and vineyards around the MacFuirmidh school ruins. Those vineyards were nearly destroyed 3 months ago by crop failures (are the Thann family now in financial trouble????) [9]
Brother is Randor, fine with a sword (they both had the same swordsmaster) [14]
Annoyed Lord Hhune repeatedly while he was in Tethyr [14]
Danilo Thann becomes a Lord of Waterdeep [Epilogue]


Arilyn Moonblade
3 inches shorter than Danilo Thann [1]
Her loose shirt of an indistinct dark hue seems to absorb shadow [1]
Been Danilo Thann’s friend and partner for 3 years [1]
Member of the assassins guild, has been forced to defend her position from other assassins more than once [1]


Morgalla the Mirthful
Dwarf female (a rarity as most dwarf females remain within their clanholds – those that venture forth grow their beards so they look like males). [2]
A veteran of the Alliance War (Tuigan War), sent by Vangerdahast to Khelben (who needs a bard not affected by Iriador’s magic). Morgalla is in truth an artist who made a satirical sketch of King Azoun and Vangerdahast and was sent away from Cormyr as a result. [2]
Native of the Earthfast Mountains where she met and befriended Alusair [2]
Been in Cormyr as a bard for the past 3 years [2]
Morgalla of Clan Chistlesmith, dart of Olam Chistlesmith and Thendara Spearsinger of the dwarves of Earthfast [2]
A dwarven introduction involving full titles is a great honour. To be insulting most dwarves introduce themselves or others as “xxxxx of the dwarves” [2]
Beardless, young, liquid brown eyes. Broad face, high cheekbones, full lips, small nose. Thick russet hair plaited into two braids. Muscled. 4 ft high [2]
Dressed in simple brown kirtle, brown leggings with leather thongs, and iron tipped leather boots [2]
Carries a small axe and a battle scarred stout oak staff topped with the head of jester doll [2]
Thendara Spearsinger was a captain in the hearth guard [12]
Nearly 50 years old, when she reaches 50 she has to choose a mate and settle down [12]
Princess Alusair was in the Earthfast Mountains fighting orcs and hiding out when she met Morgalla [12]

Taskerleigh
A small village in the Sword Coast North, surrounded by fields and forest. [3]
The settlement is completely deserted, corpses rotting in the houses (slain some weeks ago by Grimnoshtadrano) [3]
Caves to the northwest that serve as harpy lairs (able to bewitch a man with their song) [3]
An elf lived in Taskerleigh and owned or played Morninglark. Grimnoshtadrano came and took the harp, killed all the villagers (except the elf) and ate many of them. The elf went mad (or was mad before or was he driven mad because he used Morninglark) but was able to protect himself with magic and has lived as a hermit ever since. The hermit is Ingrival who owned Morninglark for centuries then disappeared into seclusion many years ago. [3,10]
The harp Morninglark was able to charm korreds, forest creatures, even the harpies living nearby (presumably the village only survived because monsters did not attack while the harp was played????) [3]
Taskerleigh lies near Ganstar’s Creek in hilly and fertile land northwest of Goldenfields. The roads have fallen into disrepair and monster rumours discourage resettlement [5]
The road leading westward is lightly travelled for few dare to venture into the High Forest (shouldn’t that be the road eastward, I think this is the Iron Road????). At a fork in the road the southern fork leads to Secomber, the northern fork is a narrow path into the High Forest and the Unicorn Run a section of the road goes through marshland and had been built up with stone and soil into a narrow causeway (now crumbled) that was built by the Nine (the adventuring band) leading to their stronghold [5]
The rock strewn hills mark the grave of the Fallen Kingdom, the land had long since become wild [5]


Vartain
Vartain of Calimport. Riddlemaster, always right, hired by Elaith Craulnober [3]
Middle aged, bronze skin, completely bald. Slightly protruding black eyes, large hooked nose [3]
Brilliant, resourceful, always thinking, planning, analysing, shares observations freely and honestly (a know it all) [3]
Wields a dartgun [3]
Knows thieves cant [4]

Elaith Craulnober
Searching Taskerleigh for the harp Morninglark. Had spent a year researching and tracing its location to Taskerleigh. The treasure was gone when he arrived, taken my Grimnoshtadrano [3]
Hired a dozen hard and tested mercenaries to search Taskerleigh (was he going to take the treasure by force???) [3]
Elaith has little tolerance for superstition and less for cowardice [3]
Balindar, a black bearded bear of a man, worked as a mercenary for Elaith in the past [3]
Hires mercenaries with generous payments of gold and secures their loyalty with more gold [3]
Mange, a whip thin archer. Naked scalp and short cropped brown fuzz give rise to his nickname. Hired mercenary [3]
Cleddish, mercenary, injured by harpies, single braid of grey hair [5]
Has a bow and an ancient moonblade (why did he bring the moonblade along on this quest, he normally leaves it behind). Fights with sword and dirk in close combat [3]
Widely rumoured to be wealthy beyond calculation. Would often hire mercenary bands and send them on exploration trips. The last few years he had stayed in Waterdeep and made dark deals [5]
Last of an ancient noble family. Born on Evermeet and raised as a member of the Royal Court [5]
Yando, mercenary, cook [6]
Orcsarmor, mercenary, a thin archer with greying whiskers. Best archer in the group [6,7]
Was rejected by his moonblade. Slain by Garnet’s magic [6,10]
Elaith knows the sword dances of the wild elves of Evermeet [6]
His word is still a pledge of honour (doesn’t mean he wont twist the meaning of the words)
Tzadick, skilled thief, started out life as a street urchin. Hired mercenary
Cory, dark skinned youth, youngest of Elaith’s mercenaries [11]
Winnifer Fleetfingers, a former thief and employee (and more) works at the Crawling Spider tavern. Her sister Flowna works at the Three Pearls. Winnifer secretly is an informer for Laeral [11]
Elaith is often forced to slay Knights of the Shield agents when they show up in Waterdeep (is he asked by one of the Lords????) his business depends upon there being no organised crime guild in Waterdeep [14]
Azariah Craulnober, Elaith’s daughter. Silvery curly hair, rosy golden skin. Born last spring (over a year old). Mother died in childbirth. Elaith wants to restore his moonblade for his daughter. Evindal Duirsar (patriarch of the temple in Waterdeep) suggested he recover an artifact and bring it to the temple) [15]
Elaith’s moonblade reactivated when Elaith acted with honour and helped Wyn, and Morgalla fight assassins while Danilo played the Riddle spellsong. Elaith was poisoned and nearly died in the fight [16]


Lucia Thione
Lady Lucia Thione, prominent member of Waterdeep society, distant relative of Tethyr’s ousted royal family. Gleaming chestnut hair arranged in thick coils about her head. Tiny and slight in a gown of rich purple. Delicate, aquiline features. A powerful figure in Waterdeep society, a popular hostess and much sought after beauty. Widely acclaimed for her business acumen and charm. Does not like Laeral Silverhand. Tried to seduce / marry Khelben Arunsun. [1]
Makes it her business to know about edicts from Lords of Waterdeep and city politics. Does not know Caladorn Cassalanter is a secret Lord of Waterdeep but suspects him since courting. Long been searching for a direct link to the Lords of Waterdeep. Extensively studied the patrol routes of the Watch. [2]
A buyer for merchant caravans, knows how to get just about anything [4]
Her business interests make Lucia an influential part of Waterdeep’s web of commerce. She pays membership dues to two guilds [4]
Highest ranking member of the Knights of the Shield in Waterdeep. Lucia has claimed to her Knight superiors that she is a secret member of the Lords of Waterdeep (a lie, but only the senior Knights on the shield council have heard her lie). None in Waterdeep (apart from her agents) known Lucia is a member of the Knights of the Shield. Iriador / Garnet has learned this secret though and thinks she is a member of the Lords of Waterdeep (how did she learn the secret, must have been from a senior Knight) [4]
She knew Larissa Neathal was a Lord of Waterdeep and tried to keep her out of action to help Iriador’s plan. Lucia did not know the Lords of Waterdeep are immune to poison [4]
Member of the Waterman’s Guild. Uses her membership to gain access to Zzundar Thul. Has just become the liaison between the Waterman’s Guild and the mermen [7]



One of Garnet’s Songs (Twisted from Danilo’s Song)
In the Year of the Tomb a magical flight
Took the sage to a land where the shadows held sway
And the Malaugrym, armed with their shape-shifting might
Followed him back to the light of the day
The Harpers gathered to force the beasts back,
Using magic, and steel, and a staff strong and black." [5]


High Forest
Road follows near the course of the Unicorn Run, completely sheltered by a deep leafy green canopy [7]
Music and Mayhem (Elaith and Danilo’s band) found a clearing and announced their presence (by singing the Ballad of Grimnoshtadrano) to lure Grimnosh to meet them. Elaith, Wyn and Balindar hid because green dragons like to eat elves [7]


Sundabar Lore
Built long ago by dwarves
Once home to the barding college known as Anstruth
Renowned for the fine wooden instrument crafted there
Thick forests around Sundabar provide wood for the city’s crafts people. Exotic woods carried on barge along the River Rauvin
A concert hall (now a common warehouse) is the only building of Anstruth still surviving in Sundabar
The Lusty Wench, an inn, Danilo Thann has visited several times before. Famed fortified wine, exotic entertainment and resident escorts [9,10]
Trades district hit hardest by the storm [10]


Baldur’s Gate
The harbourmaster is an agent of the Knights of the Shield, passing information on shipping routes and schedules to Lucia Thione [9]


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2021 :  21:57:23  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well Elfsong was probably one of the best, if not the best realms novel i've read so far, right up until page 138 where the final showdown ended most abruptly.

Up until that point there was more realmslore than i've encountered in most sourcebooks, and it kept coming in bucket-fulls right until the end (most novels provide the interesting detail at the start and then blur into generalised events and places as it focuses on driving the plot forward and on the fight scenes).

The characters in it were all interesting and well developed, with new revelations and unexpected outcomes throughout. Loving Elaith's wanting to be good but still being a ruthless vicious killer at heart.

From what i understood, Garnet imbued Morninglark with extra spellsong magic using the place magic inherent in the old barding colleges of the north. This implies to me that there was something really special about these places, one could even infer that each place had its own unique association with bardic magic and perhaps even spellsong itself (Canaith and storms, Fochlucan and blight, etc). If the heralds were indeed the bards and that bardic tradition did perhaps originate from the Moonshae Isles (it seems to have suddenly appeared in the northlands and it likely didnt come from Netheril, nor the illuskans). The wild elves of Evermeet have a sword dance, which has a parallel in the isle of Moray so perhaps the ffolk of the Moonshaes learned some elfsong from the elves and then the bards brought it to the mainland. The title of the best bard in the northlands seems to be an echo of the great bards of the Moonshaes.

The barding colleges aside i have some questions.


Why did Grimnoshtadrano attack Taskerleigh, did he know about Morninglark, or was it just a random attack.

How did Iriador know about Morninglark. It seems to have been held by an elf for several centuries, but at some point he vanished into seclusion. I'm guessing he did so on purpose to hide Morninglark and himself from those looking for it. The several centuries could have coincided with the Harpstar Wars, he was a famous bard among the elves and may have been a Harper. If Iriador knew about Morninglark all along, why didnt she go and get the harp sooner (was she still recuperating after 300 years), why wait until Grimnoshtadrano took it? If she didnt know about it, how did she find out (Elaith tracked it down but he didnt know about her so it implies she was not involved in his investigation).

Iriador was descended from a famous elven minstrel. She is 300 years old, could it be that her father perhaps owned Morninglark for a time and perished when the Harpers were destroyed and someone else took up the harp to protect and hide it (he didnt seem skilled enough to wield it).

How did Iriador get all her information about the Knights of the Shield and the Lords of Waterdeep. She seemed to have a personal meeting with one of the senior Knights (not Hhune or Lucia) at some point off scene.

When Garnet was adding powers to the Morninglark she only visited 5 of the old colleges, why not all 7. The book also only detailed 4 of the 5 powers added although presumably one of the powers was the ability to turn musical creatures into massive monstrosities. She did say she had only ever been skilled enough to wield 4 or 5 of Morninglark's powers before, but that was before she had added the 4th and 5th power.

Why did Grimnosh take Garnet and ignore the others. Was it because her part of the bargain was unfulfilled (only Danilo Thann turned up to his cave). Why did he not attack Danilo for enspelling him and stealing his treasure which seems like something a normal dragon would do.



Other than those questions everything about the novel was near perfect. The events played out very subtly. Things alluded to in conversation sometimes played out off screen, but the aftermath (dead bodies appearing, etc) were hinted at later on in what i found a very clever and satisfying manner. I loved each of the characters having their own agenda and not working together all the time, but also nobodies plan ever worked perfectly.

One last thought. Garnet was taken by Grimnoshtadrano at the end, but it didnt say he ate her. Similarly the Morninglark vanished when Danilo performed the spell, but vanished is not destroyed. In true comicbook style i would rule both survived. Garnet as a plaything of GRimnosh, and Morninglark drawn to some other place or plane by the huge concentration of powerful magic opening a rift.


Awesome book, can't wait to read the next one.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2021 :  09:08:15  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thought about the ending some more. In general I love unexpected twists in the plot, it's always good when something happens differently than you thought it would, it keeps the book interesting.

However, at the end of the book you are invested in the story and want an epic and satisfying conclusion. In general if there is a brewing conflict between hero and villain then that should be delivered in one way or another.

In this instance however, an unexpected plot twist made that final conflict non existent which was shocking and somewhat anticlimactic.

The closest thing I can compare it to is the final series of Gane of Thrones. Everyone follows the build up to a huge war between the Night King and the seven kingdoms and instead we get a 30 minute battle between some zombies and a few thousand men in a burned out castle. Even worse the fight takes place entirely in the dark with zero visibility. And lastly the big baddie gets back stabbed by a flying 12 year old. The point I'm making is everyone wanted to see the night king overrun the land and there be huge battles and a final fight between the night king, john snow and some dragons, and instead we were given a lacklustre alternative.

Now Elfsong is not quite the same. There was never going to be a fight between Danilo and Garnet. At best it would have been a strange musical dance off, but the complete absence of this ending conflict left me feeling somewhat empty after what was otherwise a first class novel.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2021 :  09:11:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crown of Fire next.

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