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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2020 :  22:45:40  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I loved the book so much I bought the original cover art painting from Clyde Caldwell himself a few years back. It's always been my fave (Azure Bonds too)! Glad you enjoyed. Song of Saurials isn't quite as good as the first two books, but still great. I think Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak really had fun with Wyvern's Spur, doing a local mystery but still putting in grand touches and a cohesive story that tells so much about Finder without having him in the book at all.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  12:20:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wyvern’s Spur (1358 DR)

House Wyvernspur
Paton Wyvernspur, first given the Wyvernspur
The house will always survive while they keep the Wyvernspur
Uncle Drone Wyvernspur, great-aunt Dorath's cousin and therefore Giogi's first cousin twice removed (Giogi’s grandfather’s cousin). Knows about wine, magic, gambling, politics and history of the Wyvernspurs. Unmarried wizard. Helped educate Giogi after his parents died. 8 years younger than Aunt Dorath. Shaggy unkempt beard splotched with grey and white. Rheumy eyes, looks a lot older than Dorath with cracked and wrinkled face. Owned a statue of Selune carved by Cledwyll who gave it to Paton Wyvernspur. Drone is 60 years old.
Aunt Dorath lives at Redstone Castle. Giogi is Aunt Dorath’s eldest nephew. Aunt Dorath is a Great Aunt to Giogi. Matriach of House Wyvernspur. Tall, robust old woman, likes knitting, has typical Wyvernspur features. Black hair worn in a bun streaked with grey hairs. Has a squint. Aunt Dorath was once trapped in the Wyvernspur Crypt. Vengeful, haughty, austere. An old friend of Vangerdahast (they were romantically involved???). Dorath is 68 years old
Most Wyvernspurs have thin lips, hawklike noses, blue eyes, pale skin, and dark hair
Supposedly bandits killed a father wyvern and stole two hatchling. Paton Wyvernspur retrieved the hatchlings and returned them to the mother wyvern who rewarded Paton with the Wyvern’s Spur
Cole Wyvernspur, Giogi’s father, married a wealthy carpenter’s daughter (Bette). Died when Giogi was 8. Served as a trade envoy for Cormyr, also was a warrior adventurer, slew a number of giants. Used to steal the Wyverns Spur from the crypt whenever he went adventuring. Died adventuring, Drone recovered his body, Aunt Dorath said Cole had been killed in a riding accident. Cole was a legend at court in Suzail he slew the hydra of Wheloon, walked into its lair unarmed and slew it within an hour.
House Wyvernspur has been ennobled for 15 generations. Cole allowed himself to be captured by pirates and then captured the entire pirate ship and its crew. Cole Wyvernspur adventured with Mother Lleddew of Selune
Rely on their family fortune as their only source of income.
The Curse of the Wyvernspurs
Lord Wohl Wyvernspur, cousin to Cole Wyvernspur. Former patriarch of House Wyvernspur, Local Lord of Immersea. Father of Frefford Wyvernspur (Frefford was a child at the time). When Lord Wohl died Samtavan Sudacar was made local lord of Immersea.
Steele Wyvernspur, Giogi’s second cousin, mean and vicious. Tall, dark, handsome, mole on right side of his mouth, evil smile. Brother of Julia Wyvernspur. Second cousin to Frefford
Dorath and Steele do not like Samtavan Sudacar (local lord of Immersea), they believe Frefford should have been made Lord of Immersea when he came of age.
Wyvernspurs often serve the Crown
Lord Frefford Wyvernspur, Giogi’s second cousin. Hazel eyes, friendly smile. Second cousin to Giogi, Steele and Julia. Patriarch of House Wyversnpur.
Julia Wyvernspur, sister to Steele, Giogi’s second cousin. Is mean when around Steele but otherwise okay. Tall, well proportioned body. Black hair, slender fingers and classic Wyvernspur features. Tiny mole to the right of her mouth (inherited from her mother). Too haughty to be beautiful. Second cousin to Frefford. Has a poison needle hidden in a ring, uses it to apply sleeping sap poison to people (like Giogi as part of her mean tricks)
Gaylyn Wyvernspur, formerly Gaylyn Dimswart. Most cheerful person ever, married to Frefford Wyvernspur. Golden hair, glowing complexion. Pregnant with Freffords child. Gave birth to Lady Amber Leona Wyvernspur 20th Ches 1358 DR (named after her grandparents Leona Dimswart and Lamala “Amber” Wyvernspur)
The Wyvernspur fortune is dwindling. Redstone castle is in need of renovation.
Azoun IV relied upon the services of Cole Wyvernspur and his cousins.
Gaylyn’s father gave Lord Frefford a carriage as a wedding gift
Wyvernspurs never disturb the dead and will not allow any form of contacting the spirit of the deceased.
The Wyvernspurs know about the stirge, spiders, kobolds, and bugbears in the catacombs.
Wyvernspur coat of arms, a green wyvern on a yellow field
Dorath has the wyvern dream and can talk to the tomb guardian.
Uncle Drone left instructions for the funeral ceremony to be held in the shrine of Selune atop Spring Hill.
Dorath disapproves of Selune worship. Her mother, Lady Eswip used the Wyverns Spur to become a wyvern and went adventuring with Mother Lleddew. Lady Eswip was killed in combat when Dorath was a young girl. When Dorath was introduced at court she was snubbed and teased for being “the beasts daughter” (Rhigaerd banned them from court), but ever since Dorath has shunned the Wyverns Spur. She never had children and Mother Lleddew argued with her trying to convince her of her folly so Dorath also shunned Selune and Mother Lleddew.
Paton Wyvernspur was said to be favoured by Selune, so the family has maintained close ties
King Rhigaerd knew about the Wyverns Spur and asked Drone to give it to another Wyvernspur when Aunt Dorath refused to use it (Royal Order countermands an order from the Matriarch of the House).

Giogi Wyvernspur
Very tall, like his father and mother. Sandy brown hair, muddy brown eyes. Long face.
Thomas, Giogi’s manservant, 3 years older than Giogi.
Owns a townhouse (used to belong to his parents) in Immersea, surrounded by a high iron fence, with Calimshan carpeting, Sembian furniture coverings, and Cormyean Duskwood panelling.
Found a large, (larger than a birds egg) yellow, egg shaped, crystal outside of Westgate. It shines in the dark. Warm to the touch, smooth edges. Known as a Finder’s Stone, helps the lost find their way, its light repels undead.
Cole Wyvernspur was his dad, married a wealthy carpenters daughter, died when Giogi was 8
Bette Wyvernspur. Daughter of a wealthy carpenter named Shar of Suzail (offered a peerage by Rhigaerd II for his work but refused it), married Cole Wyvernspur. Giogi’s mother, died when Giogi was 9. Died of a broken heart supposedly
Aunt Dorath did not approve of Cole and Bette’s marriage.
As a child he let an efreet loose in Uncle Drone’s lab
As a child was locked in the family crypt (by his cousin Steele)
Is labeled and treated as a fool by his family because of his childhood antics.
Minda Lluth (Chancy Lluth’s sister) was Giogi’s girlfried (at Frefford’s wedding when Alias tried to kill him). Married Darol Harmon of Arabel
Does a good impression of King Azoun. Performed the impression of Azoun at Freffords wedding to Gaylyn Dimswart, and Alias tried to kill him for it.
Came of age 6 years ago (22 years old???)
Since coming of age has had a dream where he is a flying beast that devours animals.
2 years ago Giogi was enrolled in the Purple Dragons by Lord Frefford. He was dismissed after he released Aunt Dorath’s pet land urchin into the company provisions (it ate them all).
Aunt Dorath setup Giogi and Minda Lluth as a love match
Tomb guardian says Giogi is kissed by Selune.

Immersea
The Immer Inn, frequented by Giogi Wyvernspur. Exclusive clientele of travelers and locals willing to pay exorbitant prices for food, drink, and lodging. Guest rooms are very nice
The Wyvernspur Estate (surrounded by a low stone wall) and Redstone Castle lie southeast of Immersea
Wyvernspurs own nearly all the lands south of Immersea. Most of the land set aside for hunting and riding. The highest hill (Spring Hill) dedicated to Selune with a temple administered by the ancient Mother Lleddew. The Wyvernspurs did not cultivate the land (they are nobles not farmers).
House Cormaeril are the only other titled noble family in Immersea.
Spring Hill is home to the House of the Lady (a temple of Selune) paid for (using her adventuring booty) and administered by Mother Lleddew
The Immer Stream winds south of Immersea through the Wyvernspur Estate.
Samtavan Sudacar, military man, appointed by King Azoun to Immersea to keep the peace, collect taxes, dispense the kings justice. Local Lord of Immersea. Delegates to Culspiir his herald (who is very good at his job). Samtavan once slew a frost giant attacking merchants in Gnoll Pass (and was rewarded with this job). Originally comes from Suzail. Is a suitor to Julia Wyvernspur
Five Fine Fish, an inn frequented by Samtavan Suldacar. Renowned for its ale, frequented by adventurers. Lem, the inns owner. Serves fish, chips, and ale.
The Wyvernspurs founded Immersea
Chancy Lluth, friend of Giogis, frequents the Immer Inn. His father is a wealthy farmer. Chancy has more gambling debts than Cormyr has trees. Brother of Minda Lluth
Shaver Cormaeril, friend of Giogis, frequents the Immer Inn. His mother is Lady Dina Cormaeril. Owns a yacht called the Dancing Girl (which won a sailing competition last summer).
Lambsie Danae, friend of Giogis, frequents the Immer Inn. His father is one of the wealthiest farmers in Immersea, keeps Lambsie on a strict gambling allowance.
Bottles (a nickname???), a retired soldier (Purple Dragons???) that owns the Immer Inn. Massive physique, gruff unsophisticated manner. Married the widow of the previous owner of the Immer Inn (it was debt ridden. Bottles does not allow credit.
At the end of the market green is a granite statue of Azoun III (Azoun IV’s grandad) on a rearing stallion trampling bandits. Its called Azoun’s Triumph (did he fight a battle at Immersea???)
Minda Lluth, Giogi’s former girlfriend, now Minda Harmon, living in Arabel with Darol Harmon
Everyone in town knows and likes Samtavan Sudacar.
Lizzy Thorpe, young woman, owns a stables
Mother Lleddew is a high priestess of Selune, and a werebear. Has a massive frame, thick black hair, taut muscles, and shy eyes. Very old woman. Adventured with Dorath’s mother (Eswip) and was once very close with Dorath.
Paton Wyvernspur dedicated Spring Hill to the goddess Selune, supposedly at the will of the goddess herself. No other Wyvernspur had dared to take it back.
Lacedon’s haunt Selune’s Stairs, a rocky stream bed and waterfall route up Spring Hill. Those who climb Selune’s Stair by moonlight are said to be granted their hearts desire. Sacred to Selune.
House of the Lady, an open air shrine, a circle of white pillars supporting a domed roof, a spring fed pool bubbles in the centre of the shrine. Protected by a Shard which takes the form of a silver haired girl (16), the Shard can call on white flames to burn undead intruders.
Priest of Waukeen in Immersea, performed a divination for Steele Wyvernspur, informed on Steele to Flattery Wyvernspur for a hefty donation.
Maela’s Boarding House, Olive Ruskettle stays there, reasonable rates, clean and comfortable home. Maela is a halfling and owns a halfling sized town house (so only halflings usually stay)
Dzulas’ Stables, rents carriages and horses, owned by mister Dzulas, he is very careful with his animals and equipment (doesnt like to rent them out in dangerous conditions or to uncaring people)
Shrine of Chauntea

Other Lore
House Cormaeril, only been noble for 4 generations.
Earthquake and Underworld struggle in Westgate, and Mist’s body crashed into Westgate.
Land Urchin, (a kind of pet???) eats a lot
Even in Cormyr there are child snatchers who prey on lone children.
Elemental Empires, a gambling card game using Talis cards with dice (like magic) played in Immersea inns.
“Tymora looks out for fools”, a saying.
“Nothing flutters so frantically when caged like a secret, nor flies so fast when released”, a saying among nobles.
Tantan, a jangling musical instrument
Yarting, a stringed musical instrument
Dodders, a type of walking boot from Westgate, best boots in the Realms
Fire Knives had their charter broken by King Azoun after they murdered a scullery maid.
Cormyrean nobles love horses.
Luiren Rivengut, strong alcoholic liquor.
Cledwyll, an artist and sculpture in the time of Paton Wyvernspur (926 – 976 DR), specialises in sculptures of people, overly endowed and scantily clad (particularly females)
1333 DR (1308 CR) gnolls came down from the north and saboteurs burned the bridge over the Starwater so Purple Dragons would be delayed. Cole Wyvernspur and a carpenter named Shar rebuilt the Starwater bridge in a single night.
1334 DR a red wizard named Yawataht kidnapped Bette and took her to a glass mountain. Cole flew there and rescued her
Night stalk, a holy ritual of Selune worshipers. Priests walk in solitary communion with the goddess during a full moon until the moon sets.
Finder Wyvernspur has been in magical exiles for nearly 200 years.
Finder created Finder’s Stone.
Shar of Suzail, father of Bette Wyvernspur. Made a lot of money making furniture, supervised the timberwork of all bridges in Cormyr, and the locks in Wheloon. Offered a peerage by Rhigaerd II but turned it down. Begged Cole Wyvernspur to rescue Bette when she was kidnapped by a red wizard.
Most people know very little about the Harpers, other than they do good
Halfling sons and daughters inherit equally upon the death of their parents.
Adopting involves the symbolic exchange of gifts between parent and child (silver spoon, pearl necklace, and yard of lace for a girl, dads are given a pipe)
“Til next season” adventurers way of saying goodbye.
High priest (bishop) of Chauntea and High priest (patron) of Oghma are not talking
Alusair Nacacia is still missing

Redstone Castle / Redstone Manor
Made of red sandstone
Squats on a low hill south of Immersea, overlooking the Immer Stream, the town, and the Wyvernwater
The parlour is filled with rich carpets, faded tapestries of ancient events. Starting to look shabby
The Wyvernspur was stolen from the family crypt (where it has been kept for years). All magical wards were intact and all locks remained so but the spur was gone. The crypt was guarded by the spirit of a powerful monster that will slay anyone not a Wyvernspur by blood or marriage
Wyvernspur Mausoleum has keys to access it. Drone, Steele, Frefford, and Giogi all have a key. Wyvernspur crypt accessed from a secret door in the Mausoleum (opened by pressure pads in the floor that must be pressed in the correct sequence)
Wyvernspur Crypt can be accessed from the Mausoleum above or from the catacombs below. The catacombs can only be accessed from the Crypt above or from a secret magical entrance outside the graveyard that only opens every 50 years (18250 days to be exact) on 19th Ches (spring Equinox) 1358 DR but Drone thought it would be open on 1st Tarsakh.
The guardian appears as a wyvern like shadow, it hungers for living creatures, it recognises al Wyvernspurs as shadows on the wall. It knows that some Wyvernspurs can transform into Wyverns. Some Wyvernspurs are different, Giogi, Cole, Paton, they are kissed by Selune (lycanthrope) "You will always dream of these things, Giogi. You will dream of them until you've joined me forever." The guardian is female. The guardian speaks only to one member of each Wyvernspur generation, this time it is Giogi.
The catacombs beneath Redstone Castle were made by water tunnels that the Wyvernspurs widened. Stirges and spiders and kobolds and bugbears in the catacombs
Cat of Ordulin (an Alias clone) was lurking in the catacombs beneath the Wyvernspur Crypt)
The Reception Hall at Redstone Castle has been given to the local lord to use (probably because the local lord was most often a Wyvernspur). Archery contests have been held in the hall and it has housed the entirety of Immersea’s population in times of crisis and celebration. Reception Hall is lined with pillars and arches two stories high.
The catacombs and crypt are proofed against magical scrying.
Bronder, a servant at Redstone
Sash, stableboy at Redstone
The tomb guardian is said to be the spirit of the wyvern Paton aided. Her bones are buried in the crypt

Olive Ruskettle
Training Jade as her protege for 6 months
Past adventures in Westgate etc left her rich
Turned into a donkey by Giogi’s magic purse.

Jade More
An Alias clone
Thinks she was orphaned
Olive found her on the streets of Arabel.
Excellent thief, possessed no magical talent. Happy individual (not serious like Alias). Olive thinks her soul might be half of a halfling (perhaps her own).
Her wrist still has the azure bond although it has no creator marks (broken by Alias killing all creators)
A blue rose tattoo visible on her wrist, the mark of the Nameless Bard.
Jade pick pocketed Thomas (the butler) and got caught, they had a whirlwind romance and Thomas introduced Jade to drone.
Given a miniature bag of holding (a purse of holding) by a man friend (Uncle Drone).
Uncle Drone had Jade More steal the Wyverns Spur (he must have known about Flattery)
Killed by Flattery Wyvernspur (who looks like the Nameless bard) when Jade tried to steal a black gem from him. "Treacherous witch! You've escaped, and now you try to steal what you have not earned!"

Nameless Bard
Was a Wyvernspur
Owned a seven string yarting and a silver brooch (Harper Pin) that he gave to Olive

Cat
Sent by Flattery Wyvernspur to retrieve the Wyverns spur but someone else has stolen it before she could
Entered using the magic door that opens every 50 years (her master knew the correct date)
Was sealed in the catacombs by Drone Wyvernspur
Flattery Wyvernspur kills people who disobey him.
Speaks kobold
Is working for Flattery in return for a memory crystal he promised she could have (the black crystal Jade tried to steal perhaps???)
Awakened on Midsummer Day last summer (1357) in a Zhentil Keep alley, she knew only her name and date of birth. Was jumped by a press gang and after they discovered her magical talent she was forced into the Zhentilar and headed to Yulash. Her unit was mutually slaughtered in a battle with Red Plumes, Cat feigned death until Flattery found her.

Flattery Wyvernspur
Powerful mage
Killed Jade
Sent Cat after the Wyverns Spur
Sent a wight creature to kill Drone, but Drone disintegrated it and pretended he had died and hid in Giogi’s attic (Thomas looked after him)
Had watched Drone and the other Wyvernspurs for some time, regarded Drone as shrewd
Very strong, snapped a carriage wheel with his bare hands.
Flattery sent the lacedons to attack Giogi on Selune’s Stair
Flattery sent an unspecified undead to kill Drone.
Has sources in the Abyss, they do not know where the Wyverns Spur is
Animated zombies and ghoul soldiers from Hillsfar and Zhentil Keep, killed in a recent battle probably in Phlan. The zombies attacked Spring Hill, carried by undead giant vultures.
Flattery found Cat in Yulash while he was collecting bodies for his experiments.
He has a fortress somewhere near Yulash (within a few hours march for a zombie). Flattery isolated himself in his fortress and used undead minions to do his bidding.
Flattery Wyvernspur’s desert fortress can fly and he flew it over Immersea (netherese enclave???)
Flattery (disguised and Giogi) kidnapped baby Amber and Aunt Dorath to provoke Giogi.
Flattery’s fortress was a double a double ringed castle with a central keep 4 stories high.
Flattery’s throne was made of human bones (did that predate Flattery’s arrival???)
Flattery made himself temporarily immune to magic (glowed red???)
Flattery owns a magic foil (sword) called Ward. Apparently it is a weapon historically favoured by the Wyvernspurs
Cannot take criticism
Flattery is immortal (part of cloning used to create him or acquired elsewhere???)
Wants to kill all the Wyvernspurs, including Finder, thinks he needs the Wyverns Spur to accomplish that.
Has a dragonshape spell

Mother Lleddew
Adventured with Eswip Wyvernspur (Aunt Dorath’s mother)
Adventured with Cole Wyvernspur to keep him safe, they spent a season in Gnoll Pass (before Castle Crag was built) and secured enough wealth to finish building the House of the Lady (diamonds are embedded in the ceiling).
Cole’s second season of adventuring, Lleddew did not accompany him (he could take care of himself), at the end of that season he rescued and married Bette
14 years ago late in the fall, a small tribe of elves from the Border Forest came to Immersea (they had been driven from their “city” by a wizard who came out of Anauroch – Flattery who stole their riches and enslaved them). The elves attacked Cole Wyvernspur until he convinced them he was not evil. Two elves helped guide Cole back to their home to confront Flattery. Cole was accompanied by 9 companions including Mother Lleddew. Flattery had filled the elven city with undead to guard his desert kingdom (he must have claimed some portion of Anauroch???)
Cole Wyvernspur dueled Flattery Wyvernspur, almost defeating him until a cloud of wraiths descended upon Cole and drained him. Flattery changed into a sky blue dragon and slew Cole. Flattery flew away badly wounded.
Lleddew is 88 years old.

The Wyverns Spur
Some Wyvernspurs can change into a very large wyvern if they hold the Wyverns Spur. (Supposedly it is the tomb guardian’s favourite that can change but perhaps she can detect pseudolycanthropes???).
The Wyverns Spur makes the holder immune to most magics.
If a Wyvernspur dies while in wyvern form then they remain in wyvern form until the spur is chopped off.
Lord Gould used the Wyverns Spur, so did his daughter Lady Eswip

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  12:32:14  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was going so well, and then for the final battle Flattery turns up in a netherese enclave. I can only assume it is a netherese enclave because he acquired it in the desert of Anauroch.

He also managed to acquire a variant of the Dragonshape spell which i am attributing to Ioulaum's creation.

It is clear Flattery spent a long time in Anauroch plumbing the depths of Netheril with the sole purpose of acquiring enough power to kill Finder Wyvernspur and his whole family.

Now Flattery it appear is immortal and i've read that this is because all Alias clones are immortal and its part of the creation process but i dont think thats true. Flattery has a part of Finder's soul and the two are inextricable linked, they both appear to the be same age and Finder did not age while he was imprisoned, perhaps the planar prison he was in suspended ageing and so Flattery did not age. Alias is twinned with Dragonbait and we have no idea how long he will live.

A new magic item; Ward, the Wyvernspur foil. I'm not sure where foil's originate in Faerun but they dont seem very cormyrean, maybe they are chondathan in origin or Turmish.

Excellent story (except for the netherese enclave at the ending). I'm definitely going to rework some of the Alias saga so that Flattery was involved at the beginning. His personality problems mean that he might have wanted to make himself a partner to share his life, someone just like him (a created being), but one that he could utterly control, and also help him destroy Finder and his entire family.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  12:36:28  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was going so well, and then for the final battle Flattery turns up in a netherese enclave. I can only assume it is a netherese enclave because he acquired it in the desert of Anauroch.

He also managed to acquire a variant of the Dragonshape spell which i am attributing to Ioulaum's dragon research (one of his fads before he turned to mythallars).

It is clear Flattery spent a long time in Anauroch plumbing the depths of Netheril with the sole purpose of acquiring enough power to kill Finder Wyvernspur and his whole family.

Now Flattery it appear is immortal and i've read that this is because all Alias clones are immortal and its part of the creation process but i dont think thats true. Flattery has a part of Finder's soul and the two are inextricable linked, they both appear to the be same age and Finder did not age while he was imprisoned, perhaps the planar prison he was in suspended ageing and so Flattery did not age. Alias is twinned with Dragonbait and we have no idea how long he will live.

A new magic item; Ward, the Wyvernspur foil. I'm not sure where foil's originate in Faerun but they dont seem very cormyrean, maybe they are chondathan in origin or Turmish.

Excellent story (except for the netherese enclave at the ending). I'm definitely going to rework some of the Alias saga so that Flattery was involved at the beginning. His personality problems mean that he might have wanted to make himself a partner to share his life, someone just like him (a created being), but one that he could utterly control, and also help him destroy Finder and his entire family.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  14:32:30  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going to skip the maztica and horselord trilogy because very little of it is set in Faerun and i just can't bring myself to read them yet.

So Homeland and Exile are next.

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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  15:04:33  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
House Wyvernspur. All that lore. Noble for 15 generations. And they DON'T have a coat-of-arms, a sigil, or a trademark??? Amazing.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  15:21:11  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure I wrote down the coat of arms, a green wyvern on a yellow field.

It was a very lore filled book which is why I love it. I do think more could have been made of flatterys history though.

He was made by finder about 300 years ago. It said that an apprentice died during the process of creating finder and that the Harper's imprisoned him as a result but I don't think it was that simple. Flatterys personality screams of coercive control and it seems likely that flattery lived with finder for some time suffering under his creator.

I reckon flattery might have killed the apprentice in a fit of rage or an attempt to kill finder. That is what brought the experiment to the attention of the Harper's.

Flattery vanishes in the confusion, presumed dead, perhaps Finder claimed the experiment failed (to spare the shame of anyone discovering flatterys existence).

The curse of the wyvernspurs is mentioned and it is implied that the curse is that if the spur is lost house wyvernspur will fail, but that doesnt ring true. Legends of curses are brought about by actual events so someone or something must have continually brought misfortune on house wyvernspur for them to believe in a curse and then confuse that with the warning from the guardian spirit.

I reckon flattery tried to get the wyverns spur on several occasions and failed, sometimes he probably just slaughtered wyvernspurs for the sake of it. That would explain why there are no other branches of the family despite many daughters being married off (genealogically they would not be wyvernspurs anymore, but genetically they and their children would).

And then there is that door which opens every 50 years. Who puts a door like that in place, it is just asking for a safely thief to rob the place. That door likely predates the wyvernspurs and was placed for other reasons.
I reckon that the tunnels beneath redstone lead to the witchlord castle and that door was created by the witchlords as a secret entrance / exit that someone used against them (temporarily dispelling powerful magic that causes it to unlock every few years).

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  21:43:09  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finder recalls the story in some detail in Song of the Saurials, so we get an answer to the apprentices.

I would really love to know what Flattery was doing for 300 years; we know he became a very strong arch mage and threw in with the Zhents for a time?
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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2020 :  23:41:59  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I'm pretty sure I wrote down the coat of arms, a green wyvern on a yellow field.




You are correct. I missed it. My bad.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2020 :  11:32:06  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't worry about it, there was an awful lot of lore in the wyverns spur, even I had to triple check my notes.


On to Homeland now. I've never really delved into drow before in any depth. I'm viewing menzoberranzan as a microcosm of drow society that is not necessarily representative of elsewhere, mostly because RAS is not considerate of realmslore, but also because the drow are so separated that there should be large differences in society.

First thing I noted is that using conventional interpretation, menzoberranzans society cannot function as written. So every decade there is a house war. In order to win a house must completely eliminate all members of the other house. If this fails to happen then drow justice is served and the aggressor is eliminated.
There are 67 noble houses in menzoberranzan and every decade 1 noble house has to be eliminated. Which means at least every 670 years the entire collection of noble houses is cleaned out. However, some of these noble houses have existed for thousands of years.
Which means drow society is so harsh for weak noble houses it would not be worth them trying to make one, and I don't see drow allowing a mechanism for new noble houses to be created, nor would it be likely that existing noble houses would allow a branch house to come into existence without war to eliminate the weaker.


The current convention is that lolth chooses which houses get eliminated by showing her disfavour and so this is all predetermined. In short menzoberranzan would have failed within 1000 years.


I'm suggesting that the disfavour of lolth is political hoohar. Instead noble houses are constantly spreading rumours about "lolths disfavour" against their rivals. When events or the majority of the ruling council decide then a house has lolths disfavour and it is open season on that house.

Attacks happen but it should not always be fatal to either house. Yes if the attacker eliminates all defending nobles then they are eliminated but if not then drow justice merely dictates that the other house can be attacked without fear of reprisal, it should not mean that they are all killed by law, just that the surviving house can call on their allies to enact vengeance without fear of drow justice. If the failed aggressor is strong enough then they can survive.

There should be lots of political manoeuvring among the houses with the 8 council houses openly decrying failed attackers but secretly providing support to then in return for a favour in the future. Other houses that were formerly enemies might band together to attack a failed attacking house only to turn on each other in the battle if the opportunity presents itself. It allows for a lot more intrigue (the current model is too simplistic and too absolute) and also allow for some houses to survive even after failing to attack or defend.

Just my two cents, but the current RAS model, while interesting, does not make sense for anyone to implement or allow for long term survival.

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
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Posted - 27 Jul 2020 :  14:34:56  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really don't understand how Chaotic Evil is represented by very strict laws about Houses and pecking orders and rules about how houses can succeed. It really seems at odds with the macro concept of demons. To me Menzo's society is much more Lawful Evil - rules that are twisted in intent to create a very evil and awful outcome for the meek and innocent.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 27 Jul 2020 :  14:51:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well the whole chaotic lawful thing I avoid. Even evil and good is often a matter of perspective.

Laws are required for a society to exist, otherwise it destroys itself in minutes as everyone battles to become top dog with whatever weapons they have available to them, or they flee for the safety of elsewhere.

So the drow have to have laws and it seems clear they follow a law of privilege first as well as an eye for an eye. However, while they have strict laws I think the interpretation and enforcement is lax at best.

Attacking a noble is punishable by death, but you have to be caught to be punished, and passing a sentence is different to enforcing a sentence. So noble houses attack one another, but as long as there are no witnesses (those willing to point the finger because they are protected by privilege) then no crime has been committed.
If a crime has been committed then I guess the protection of law is removed and anyone can attack them, they will die eventually but could probably survive a long time if they have enough resources. If you break away from a condemned house and form a new house would you be likewise condemned. The matron mother could be abandoned but her female children could each form new houses, taking the house soldiers and as much wealth as they can carry with them.

I much prefer that to the absolutes it is interpreted as at present. I'm actually seeing a lot of this blurred interpretation of the law (leave no witnesses, changing identities, veiled threats and congratulations from the council), but it's only the first book on menzoberranzan so I expect that could change a lot

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 27 Jul 2020 :  15:27:34  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think chaotic evil doesn't really work as a Drow society for exactly the reasons you state - chaotic evil is basically a might makes right place where the strongest dominate without any thought to fairness or rules of fair play and behaviour.

Chaos and laws/rules are incompatible, but Menzo is chock full of rules of play, despite being under the thumb of a entity that is chaotic evil. It's always bugged me.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 27 Jul 2020 :  18:23:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I think chaotic evil doesn't really work as a Drow society for exactly the reasons you state - chaotic evil is basically a might makes right place where the strongest dominate without any thought to fairness or rules of fair play and behaviour.
Chaos and laws/rules are incompatible, but Menzo is chock full of rules of play, despite being under the thumb of a entity that is chaotic evil. It's always bugged me.



Yeah, but the rules -- such as they are -- basically come down to "do what you want, but don't get caught."

I won't otherwise disagree with the sentiment that it is a dysfunctional and unworkable mess, but I don't think we should over-emphasize the few rules they have or argue that those rules are about anything other than benefiting those with power.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 27 Jul 2020 :  19:11:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is probably the best way to interpret menzoberranzan society. It is not about lolths favour or disfavour, it is not about chaos or lawful evil. It is purely about keeping the nobles in power, wealth, and privilege.

I just got to the bit where it explained that matron ginafae DeVir used her powers to thwart a drow patrol against svirfneblin because that patrol was led by the son of the third house. This earned her lolths disfavour but to be honest it seems that the third house found out about it and spread the news among the other houses of the council. They secretly declared House Devir had lost lolths favour and thus let its rivals know that they could destroy the house with the blessing of the ruling council as long as they don't get caught.
Nothing to do with lolth at all, it's all about secrets and lies, plots and intrigue.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 29 Jul 2020 :  13:42:06  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Homeland (1297 – 1328 DR)

Menzoberranzan Lore
Ambition is good, obvious slaughter bad. Killing in public invites the pretense of justice, killing a rival or superior ally during battle is fine. Drow are too lazy for investigations.
Subterranean Lizard mounts, have padded feet for light, soundless movement. Three toes, sticky feet, can climb walls. Used by the drow
Mesh armour for mounts and drow, pliable and used for soundless movement
Cavern of Menzoberranzan is two square miles.
Hundreds of tunnels allow entry into the cavern of Menzoberranzan. Drow of Menzoberranzan are allowed to enter unhindered by its defences.
Drow noble house insignia have several enchantments, one allows them to control animals (mounts and pets) in service to that noble House.
The drow are proud of their beautiful designs, ornate columns and perfectly crafted gargoyles are often outlined in magical radiance.
Home to 20,000 drow.
Narbondel, the huge central pillar of Menzoberranzan, used to mark the passage of time. At the end of each day the Archmage casts magic fire into the base of the pillar which lingers throughout the day and spreads upward until it all glows red.
Dropping to one knee is a sign of subjugation and surrender (socially and combatively)
Tier Breche, northern section of the city
Eastern section, the produce section
Donigarten, a small pond with a moss covered island that houses a herd of rothe. Hundreds of goblin and orc slaves fish in Donigarten and tend to the rothe herd.
South central region of the city, home to the finest houses in Menzoberranzan, marked by a grove of giant mushrooms.
67 noble families in Menzoberranzan
1000 drow make up the population of nobles in Menzoberranzan.
19,000 drow are commoners
insignia, pointed and tailed white hair, distinctive patterns on piwafwi identify nobles.
Thirdborn sons of noble houses are usually sacrificed to Lloth
Female drow larger than males
Drow noble female priestesses use snake headed whips with handles of adamantite and living snakes at the head.
House wars happen every decade
Menzoberranzan justice, if one member of a defending house survives to accuse the perpetrators then the attacking house is eradicated by the justice system. House soldiers often defect (usually trained commoners, not true members of the noble house).
Menzoberranzan ruled by a council of the top 8 matron mothers.
Lloths unholy circle of eight used in rituals by drow priestesses. The priestesses ring a gemstone carving of a drow faced spider
"Dinnen douward ma brechen to!" - offensive spell in drow language.
"Abec dj'n'a'BREG DOUWARD." - offensive spell in drow language.
Patrons of noble houses elevated from common soldiers and other useful males, used to father children, when finished with they are relegated back to common ranks and stripped of the noble name, or slain.
Drow do not allow children with abnormalities to survive.
Drow eyes are usually red underground but dark green above ground (purple is almost unique).
House Hun’ett, sixth house of Menzoberranzan.
High Priestesses of Lloth wear large purple and red spider designs on black robes.
Reading the minds of high priestesses is illegal (crime of the highest order).
Drow rarely live past their 7th century and almost never the 8th century
Drow do not normally show their age.
Noble daughters past their 5th century often break away to form new branch noble houses (forced by their mothers who might suffer treachery).
Grandchildren of Matron Mothers are not considered noble (commoners) unless their parents break away to form a branch noble house.
The silent code, a sign language used by drow.
Drow nobles are able to use additional inherent magical abilities through their noble insignia.
Drow taught from childhood that all problems can be blamed on surface elves, they are the root of all misfortune.
Nobles have “rights of accusation”, false accusations are treated as crimes equal to murder.
Matron Mothers rarely walk through the city, they sit on levitating discs or are carried on litters by slaves.
Eight great braziers used to create large summoning gates to the Lower Planes. (Owned by the Ruling Council???)
Right of Challenge, the elder nobles have the right to challenge younger members. Challenges can involve champions.
Duergar create most of the weapons used by drow. The drow buy the weapons and then add exquisite enchantments later.
The Ruling Council chambers are in a heavily guarded cave at the back end of the southern wall of the cavern of Menzoberranzan. A spider shaped table sits in the meeting chamber, each matron mother of the ruling council sits between the eight hairy legs on jeweled and dazzling thrones. The ruling council gathers only at times of crisis, the matron mothers view the position as honorary but should not interrupt their life.

Tier Breche Lore
Tier Breche, northern section of Menzoberranzan, devoted to the academy, only nobles and academy instructors can pass through Tier Breche without inspection.
Tier Breche is the highest point on Menzoberranzan’s cavern floor.
A tunnel from outside Menzoberranzan passes into Tier Breche, marked by a blue archway, guarded by gigantic animated stone spider guardians. The guardians had been known to attack drow (perhaps commanded by academy instructors???)
Tier Breche is narrow, holding only the three buildings of the Academy; Arach-Tinilith, Sorcere, Melee-Magthere.
Arach-Tinilith, the spider shaped school of Lloth. Students study for 50 years. 12 high priestesses serve as instructors. Matron Mistress serves as the headmistress
Sorcere, the graceful, curving, many spired tower of wizardry. Students study for 30 years
Melee-Magthere, a plain pyramid where fighters are trained. Students study for 10 years
Ornate Stalagmite columns mark the entrance/exit of the Academy into Menzoberranzan, the cavern drops away quickly and spreads wide.
The Faceless One, a Master of the Academy, his face melted during a magical experiment. Hired by Matron Malice Do’Urden to kill Alton Devir during the upcoming battle between House Do’Urden and House DeVir. Matron Malice promised to restore the Faceless One’s face if he succeeds.
Masoj Hun’ett, young apprentice in Sorcere, had been an apprentice for 4 years (kept there by the Faceless One)
Apprentice magi users in Sorcere are little better than a cleaning attendant.
Failing a lesson is often a fatal mistake
Magic users study for 30 years in Sorcere.
Most intakes do not contain any nobles (rich commoners pay for their children to enrol???). 25 students is a very large intake.

Lloth Lore
The Spider Queen
Makes station and social standing very important. Station acquired through treachery

House Do’Urden
Tenth House of Menzoberranzan
Daermon N’a’shezbaernon, the ancient and formal name for House Do’Urden.
A spider wielding various weapons in each of its eight legs, the symbol of House Do’Urden.
Dinin of House Do’Urden, has a lizard mount. “Secondboy”. His 3 sisters all approaching position of high priestess. His uncle Zaknafein was the finest weapon master in all Menzoberranzan. His brother an accomplished wizard.
Malice Do’Urden, Matron Mother, heavily pregnant. 500 years old. Unlikely to conceive again. Renowned for seducing soldiers of her own house and males of other houses. Still looks as beautiful and vibrant as she did when she was 100.
Maya and Vierna Do’Urden (sisters), priestesses approaching high priestess rank. Sisters of Dinin Do’Urden. Children of Matron Malice. Slight like their mother, but deceptively strong.
Vierna Do’Urden was the “kindest” of the Do’Urden sisters (still vicious but not unnecessarily so). Daughter of Zaknafein.
Briza Do’Urden, eldest daughter of Matron Malice. Newly appointed high priestess. Sister to Dinin, Maya, and Vierna. Briza was huge by drow standards and round shouldered. Aggressive and brutal. 400 years old. Rizzen is not Briza’s father. Does not like men. Cruel and wicked by nature
Rizzen Do’Urden, current Patron of House Do’Urden. Father of Nalfein and Dinin
Nalfein Do’Urden, eldest son of House Do’Urden, accomplished wizard
Compound lies in a cave just outside the west wall of the city, two stalagmite towers in the city wall joined by an adamantite fence adorned with a hundred weapon wielding spider carvings enchanted with glyphs and wards, serves as an entry point into House Do’Urden compound. Inside the compound is quite bare and unadorned. The compound extends into a cave, making it easy to defend.
Zaknafein was a commoner who “serves” Matron Malice in a husbandly manner on occasion. He was once patron of House Do’Urden for a time. Tall and stronger than most females. Finest warrior in Menzoberranzan. Owns an adamantite sword magically enchanted to be extra sharp and to kill dweomers. Over 400 years old. Hates drow society, enjoys killing Lloth’s priests though. Like Vierna best until she became a high priestess
Dinin slew Nalfein in the attack on House DeVir.
Nobles are able to levitate at will.
Matron Vartha was the mother of Matron Malice.
A great onyx chalice is the most prized possession of House Do’Urden, allows far scrying if filled with spider fluids. Hidden in the central altar of the Do’Urden chapel.


House Baenre
First House of Menzoberranzan, had existed for 5000 years, since the founding of Menzoberranzan
Its compound encompasses 20 stalagmite pillars and 30 gigantic stalactites. Every inch of the compound glows in faerie fire (blue on the outer towers, brilliant purple in the central dome). Stalagmites connected/surrounded by a silvered spider web of metal strands that stick fast any that touch the web, was supposedly a gift from Lloth herself.
Matron Mother of House Baenre has 4 daughters, each high priestesses of Lloth. Is over 1000 years old by some accounts. Matron Baenre is withered and worn (drow do not normally show age). She has given birth 20 times, 15 children were female and all females were high priestesses. Two of matron Baenre’s children were older than Matron Malice of House Do’Urden.
Gromph Baenre, house wizard. Appointed Archmage of Menzoberranzan.
Triel Baenre, daughter of the Matron Mother, appointed Matron Mistress of the Academy, a position of honour second only to the Matron Mother of a noble house.
Methil, illithid that has “befriended” Matron Baenre, used to probe minds of visitors
Why is matron Baenre not dead, she is too old and should have been killed by one of her children by now.

House DeVir
Red glowing gargoyle is the house standard
Its compound is a cluster of five floor to ceiling pillars, hollowed out into a network of chambers linked by metal and stone bridges and parapets. Compound is ringed by tall mushrooms, every 5th mushroom a shrieker. Other deadly wards protect the compound.
Matron Ginafae, rumour is that they had lost the favour of Lloth. House DeVir were the last to hear of this disfavour and hadnt time to erect defences.
Alton DeVir. Studying at Sorcere, near to graduation, Matron Malice Do’Urden wants him dead and promises to restore the face of the Faceless One if he kills Alton DeVir. The Faceless One failed to kill Alton as Masoj killed the Faceless One with a crossbow bolt. Alton DeVir then assumed the identity of the Faceless One. Alton DeVir claims he helped some denizen of the Lower Planes and was given Guenhwyvar as a reward but the Faceless One took the credit and the reward (more likely the Faceless One did the task and Masoj desired the prize).
Matron Ginafae was the youngest Matron Mother on the ruling council. She used her abilities to aid a gnomish patrol and hinder a drow patrol so that a son of the Third House of Menzoberranzan (a wizard leading the drow) might perish. Matron Ginafae lost Lloth’s favour because deep gnomes were the drow’s worst enemy.



1302 DR
Vierna raises Drizzt for 5 years as wean-mother (forced to by Matron Malice)

1313 DR

House Hun’ett
Fifth House of Menzoberranzan
Matron Sinafey Hun’ett, mother of Masoj Hun’ett, diminutive by drow standards (4 ft tall)
Gelroos Hun’ett was the original Faceless One before Alton DeVir slew him and took his place.

House Do’Urden
Dinin Do’Urden master of Melee Magthere
Vierna Do’Urden master of Arach Tinilith.
Drizzt enrolled at the Academy

House Teken’duis
Raided another house but was unsuccessful.
All noble houses, the entire council, and every member of the Academy arrived at Teken’duis to await justice.

House Freth
Raided by House Tekenduis, only 3 children survived, they were adopted by House Baenre.

1315 DR

House Kenafin
Fifteenth House of Menzoberranzan
Kelnozz Kenafin, noble son enrolled at the Academy

The Academy
Hatch’net, Master of Lore at the Academy for more than 2 centuries. Teaches the drow students to hate the surface and the elves.

House Baenre
Berg’inyon Baenre, noble son enrolled at the Academy

House Barrison’Del’armgo

Other Lore
Hook horrors hunt through sound, they have the most acute hearing of any creature in the underdark. Hook horrors are rarely seen in the region near Menzoberranzan.

1323 DR
Matron Malice knew of the Faceless One’s original identity as Gelroos Hun’ett
Menzoberranzan has not staged a surface raid in 2 decades, drow wizards are not allowed to go on surface raids since an accident 2 decades ago when a drow wizard cast a fireball and it expanded beyond its normal confines killing several drow (he may have assassinated rivals and then used the surface raid as an excuse)
Drizzt and other drow (including Dinin) raid the surface and attack surface elves in a wooded valley
Sinafey claims House Do’Urden lost the favour of Lloth after the surface raid (told to her by a handmaiden a yochlol), she wants Drizzt dead within 10 days.
Guenhwyvar resisted the commands of Masoj (who held the figurine).
Alton DeVir, the Faceless One, killed by a wand exploding while fighting Drizzt and Guenhwyvar
Zaknafein sacrificed to Lloth

House Maevret
Shar Nadal Maevret, a soldier on the surface raid with Drizzt.

Blingdenstone
A rich vein of gemstones discovered 40 miles to the east (dangerously close to Menzoberranzan which is 45 miles east of Blingdenstone)
Belwar Dissengulp, a rockwarden, led the mining expedition to claim the lode
Thoqqua, known as rockworms
Rock Wardens on mining expeditions carry a magical emerald, a summoning stone to summon earth elementals.
Svirfneblin hate drow above all others.
There was once a drow living in Blingdenstone (before Drizzt)

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2020 :  13:52:18  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Homeland wasnt too bad, quite a bit of lore on Menzoberranzan with a smattering of interesting NPCs and a few magic items to be detailed.

Guenhwyvar i'm beginning to think is a bit like a genie trapped in lamp, not a figurine of power at all.

Getting a bit fed up of the fight scenes now though. I can never follow them and i always end up thinking that whoever is involved must have 3 legs from the descriptions.

The depictions of Menzoberranzan was good right up until page 230 when suddenly the priestesses of Lolth rang up one of the Yochlols on the outer planes mobile phone and the Yochlol then explained everything that was going on (or rather it knew everything that was going on and refused to tell them). Its almost as though the ideas had vanished and rather than leave it to intrigue and plots it was decided that the god knew everything and really everyone should just constantly speak to Lolth all day long.

Had enough of Drizzt now, would like to read a different novel (maybe an Elminster or Cormyr based novel), but its Exile next.

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Gary Dallison
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6026 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2020 :  20:39:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So House Hun'ett attacks House Do'Urden and fails. The whole house is destroyed except that Matron Baenre forces Matron Malice to take in Matron Hun'ett as a daughter that no one knew about that was in another city.

As far as the conversation for that event goes this kind of thing has happened before. Outwardly the house is destroyed and has to be seen to have vanish but in secret it looks like these forced adoptions and new identities is not a unique event.

So anyone looking to develop characters supposedly killed as a result of a failed House War in Menzoberranzan can continue to do so as long as they give them a new identity in another house (and can find a reason why someone would want to keep them alive).

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 30 Jul 2020 :  15:32:36  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the whole "you can wipe out another house, just don't get caught" has one glaring hole in it: resurrection. Just resurrect someone from the defeated family and have them testify that the attackers were just a bunch of meanies and the Council will turn out the whole city to kill off the attacking house.

"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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Gary Dallison
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6026 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2020 :  17:35:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very true or a simple speak with dead spell if you did not wish such an expense. I view magic as being hellishly expensive (commoners get paid in copper, spell components cost silver pieces that increase in multiples with the complexity or level of the spell).

My personal approach to the dead is that a soul hangs around on the material plane only long enough to reach one of those rifts identified in the Waterdeep novel with that well in kanaglym.
During that period dead people are only "mostly dead" a la the princess bride and can be brought back to life by magic. After that, when the soul has passed to the outer planes then they are all dead and there is only one thing you can do (go through their wallet and look for loose change, or use a wish spell to rewrite recent events).

But that's just me, I don't follow d&d rules because they change too often and they aren't great. I prefer to come up with a consistent approach to lore that makes sense logically (even if it's a fictional, fantasy setting).

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1122 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2020 :  19:12:48  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What is the cost of a resurrection compared to the cost and risk of having to attack that family yourself? I would say that Lolth would not allow speak with dead or resurrections spells to operate in this case or the drow do something to the bodies to prevent these spells from working on the remains. Without that, you would not have anyone able to confidently attack another family.

"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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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36141 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2020 :  21:16:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or perhaps there's an unmentioned side of wiping out a House: disposing of the bodies so magic can't be used to bring them back.

Or maybe it's just some odd side-effect of their culture: you died, that means you failed, and while it's possible to bring someone back, it's pretty much ingrained in them not to waste magic on a failure.

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Kentinal
Great Reader

4640 Posts

Posted - 30 Jul 2020 :  23:24:28  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Burning tended to be a very good way to prevent resurrection in most cases.

However disposing a House by killing in most cases can not leave anyone that would desire to raise the House.

Another House cheating by raising one would face destruction for interfering with House Law I would guess as the only reason another House would do that was to prove the attacking House failed to kill all, thus must be destroyed.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2020 :  11:44:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Exile (1338 – 1340 DR)

Other Lore
Piwafwi cloak, magical ones make the wearer invisible against the stone
Diatryma, a gigantic underdark bird (flightless???)
Myconids communicate through different hued fungal spores (and telepathy)
Many underdark races can judge magnetic variations in the rock, allowing them to judge direction like a compass.
Baruchies, known as crimson spitters, a rare red moss in the underdark, releases spores that choke those who disturb the moss. Unknown near Menzoberranzan, rare in the wilds beyond Blingdenstone.
Grubbers, huge caterpillar like creatures (bigger than a basilisk) that have a symbiotic relationship with the baruchies. Baruchie spores do not choke grubbers. Look like huge pale grey worms with little legs. Fiercely territorial of baruchies. Grubbers have tiny mouths and eat baruchies, they kill intruders (usually by rolling in the baruchies and releasing spores) and the baruchies feed on the corpses.
Dire corbies found most often (but rarely) in the southern reaches of the underdark, crude methods and few in number, often ignored by other underdark races. Highest honour of their race is to die in battle.
Brister Findlestick, a human wizard living in the Underdark in the wilds west of Blingdenstone, gone mad with isolation. Has an adamantine tower that he can move around the Underdark. Polymorphed a pech into a hook horror called Clacker. Brister slain by the hook horror/pech but his tower remained in place.
Illithid community in a stone castle in the wilds west of Blingdenstone (Elviddinvelp is a former member). The illithids capture Drizzt, Belwar, and Clacker. Drow make excellent masseurs of the elder brain. Guenhwyvar injured the elder brain and freed Drizzt and co, Zaknafein zin-carla kills the illithids.
Pech can create stone out of nothing (a magical ability to create a stone wall)

Language
“Magga cammara”, means “by the stones” in svirfneblin

Guenhwyvar
Immune to poison gas
Can be summoned for 12 hours every 2 days
Called an Entity Stone by the illithids
On the astral plane it is locked in an endless hunt with an entity elk.

Menzoberranzan
House Hun’ett and House Do’Urden had been in conflict for 10 years since Drizzt left.
All drow dress in a practical and quiet manner with symbols of Lolth adorning their clothes. Any armour (leather or chain link hidden beneath the piwafwi).
House Hun’ett attacks House Do’Urden but fails. House Hun’ett is “destroyed” by drow justice. Matron Sinafey Hun’ett assumes the identity of Shi’nayne Do’Urden (Matron Malice’s fictional eldest daughter returned from Ched Nasad. This type of thing has happened many times in secret in Menzoberranzan’s history.
Crossed arms across chest mean surrender or a sign of truce
Zin-carla (meaning spirit wraith), the greatest gift Lolth can bestow upon the drow. Animates a corpse, requires the soul of another in sacrifice. The body required ten weeks of preparation with spells and salves. The corpse possesses the skills it had in life, the spirit is returned to the body but the memories are removed (by the ritual).
Drizzt survived for years in a fungus grove outside of Menzoberranzan, grove was protected by myconids. Zaknafein the zin-carla slew all the myconids and hacked apart the fungus trees.
Drow rarely mine in the Underdark, and when they do they dont do it well. They prefer to get ore from others like duergar etc.
Lloth is a regionalism peculiar to the drow of Menzoberranzan
No other house has ever attacked another during zin-carla
Zin-carla withers the body due to the constant stress and magic required to control the spirit wraith.


Bregan D’aerthe
Houseless males (former nobles???) act as mercenaries to the highest bidder
Exorbitant cost
Jarlaxle wears a bright shimmering cloak (magical, shimmers in colour and heat signature), ornamental eye patch, plumed hat, and a crop-top. Brash and flamboyant. Head clean shaved. Jewelled shiny boots that jangle when he walks (only when he wants, magically silenced???). Has a whistle that only Bregan D’aerthe mercenaries can hear. Low sweeping bows used for hellos and goodbyes.
Bregan D’aerthe had hired itself out to both House Do’Urden and House Hun’ett
Bregan D'aerthe on permanent hire to House Baenre


House Do’Urden
Matron Malice and Briza had been at odds since the conflict with House Hun’ett, both houses constantly hiring new recruits and mercenaries for the repeated battles.
Briza felt that House Do’Urden should have attacked House Hun’ett the day that Drizzt left (House Hun’ett lost both its wizards Alton and Masoj)
Matron Malice paid Bregan D’aerthe whatever it wanted to turn on House Hun’ett
Vierna, Maya, and Dinin hate Briza
Matron Sinafey Hun’ett joined House Do’Urden as the pretend eldest daughter Shi’nayne. Matron Malice sacrificed her to Lolth as part of the Zin-carla ritual.
Zaknafein failed (threw himself into acid). Briza killed Malice. House Baenre attacked House Do’Urden. Maya was slain. Vierna was taken to House Baenre’s chapel. Dinin joined Bregan D’aerthe. House Do’Urden was destroyed.

House Hun’ett
Dipree Hun’ett, slain by Jarlaxle for Matron Malice

House Baenre
Elviddinvelp, Matron Baenre’s illithid companion.
Matron Baenre is considered Lolth’s representative, her approval or disapproval is Lolth’s approval or disapproval.
Matron Baenre has used zin-carla twice in the past (she has asked for it 3 times)

House Fey-Branche
9th House of Menzoberranzan
Matron Halavin Fey-Branche

Blingdenstone
Since the founding of the city most svirfneblin killed in the wilds had been killed by drow.
Big iron doors allow entry. Largest cavern just beyond the doors is home to the city guard and many tiers of defences in a huge maze.
Ruled by a king and 7 advising elders
King Schnicktick
Seldig, fledgling and pledgling svirfnebli, to be an expedition miner in 3 years.
Expedition miners are among the highest ranking svirfnebli in the city.
Svirfneblin can communicate via an empathic communal bond
Burrow Warden Krieger
Burrow Warden Belwar Dissengulp, dark grey eyes, hands chopped off by Drizzt and replaced by a mithril heavy pick and a mithril hammer. Has a brooch that emits a glow (permanent) as a gift from King Schnicktick. Has been a burrow warden for almost 50 years and led most of the far reaching explorations. Over a century in age (not by much)
Burrow Warden Brickers
The svirfneblin have agents in Menzoberranzan. Agents provide minor information in return for gemstones but cannot be relied upon to betray Menzoberranzan. One agent is Jarlaxle (he will not inform on Bregan D’aerthe). Other agents are svirfneblin transformed into drow by magic.
Firble, councillor / elder to the king. Chief of covert security
King and elders decide regions to be prospected/mined. Burrow Wardens gather volunteers for expeditions, everyone gets a cut of the profits.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2020 :  11:51:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finally, RAS novels finished for a bit.

Exile was lore light but a few interesting points. Yet again it highlighted how many survivors there can be of noble Houses in Menzoberranzan.

House Do'Urden had 5 members by the end (commoners do not really count when it comes to house destruction as they are easily traded and have no real rights beyond the protection of the house they belong to). Maya appears to have been slain (darts in the body but could have been sleep poison), Briza and Malice certainly were, but both Vierna and Dinin survive. So from a House seemingly destroyed almost half the members survive. From the other nobles this seems to be standard, although their survival is kept secret usually.


Other interesting notes are that Matron Baenre performed zin-carla twice (and asked for it a 3rd time).

Guenhwyvar is called an Entity Stone by the illithids which i kind of like as a unique name for a unique set of beings (including his other cat friends and the elk he chases).

Right at the end there is a minor typo where Drizzt refers to Belwar as "the Belwar", using that i think i will make Belwar the svirfneblin title for Burrow Warden, its an easy mistake for Drizzt to make, confusing a name with a title given his limited grasp of the svirfneblin language (he never officially learns and only spends a few months among them at the most and Belwar knows drow).

I'm still most interested in knowing who the drow was that lived with the svirfneblin before Drizzt (this is how Belwar knows how to speak drow). I'd be tempted to make it Jarlaxle since he is obviously an abandoned noble (like Dinin becomes) and has contacts among the svirfneblin (he acts as an agent / spy for the svirfneblin).

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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
235 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2020 :  19:50:02  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You will learn to like Jarlaxle, I think. RAS characterizes him very well IMHO. Such a charming (and vicious if you cross him) Rogue. It's a very "close" game he plays; not "quite" openly flippant with the Matriarchy, but never enough for the Matron Mothers to want to get rid of him.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2020 :  20:39:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe, thus far I'm finding I dislike all the characters in RAS novels.

Wulfgar and Bruenor are what I would call assholes. They are always having a go, even at their friends, especially when life gets a bit difficult. Regis is evil and only hangs around with the others because they protect him. Drizzy is about as miserable as you can get, always thinking about how hard his life has been and not enjoying what he's got. They are all mass murderers that indiscriminately slaughter anyone that gets in their way, and bully those who wont do what they want.

If they were a bunch of PCs in my game I'd have to TPK them for being murderhobos

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PattPlays
Senior Scribe

434 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2020 :  02:56:18  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Finally, RAS novels finished for a bit.

Exile was lore light but a few interesting points. Yet again it highlighted how many survivors there can be of noble Houses in Menzoberranzan.

House Do'Urden had 5 members by the end (commoners do not really count when it comes to house destruction as they are easily traded and have no real rights beyond the protection of the house they belong to). Maya appears to have been slain (darts in the body but could have been sleep poison), Briza and Malice certainly were, but both Vierna and Dinin survive. So from a House seemingly destroyed almost half the members survive. From the other nobles this seems to be standard, although their survival is kept secret usually.


Other interesting notes are that Matron Baenre performed zin-carla twice (and asked for it a 3rd time).

Guenhwyvar is called an Entity Stone by the illithids which i kind of like as a unique name for a unique set of beings (including his other cat friends and the elk he chases).

Right at the end there is a minor typo where Drizzt refers to Belwar as "the Belwar", using that i think i will make Belwar the svirfneblin title for Burrow Warden, its an easy mistake for Drizzt to make, confusing a name with a title given his limited grasp of the svirfneblin language (he never officially learns and only spends a few months among them at the most and Belwar knows drow).

I'm still most interested in knowing who the drow was that lived with the svirfneblin before Drizzt (this is how Belwar knows how to speak drow). I'd be tempted to make it Jarlaxle since he is obviously an abandoned noble (like Dinin becomes) and has contacts among the svirfneblin (he acts as an agent / spy for the svirfneblin).




Ooh burrow warden tidbits? I went hella deep into them in 2016-2017 for some Blingdenstone stuff. Belwar Dissengulp's story is ridiculous and I don't see why his name wouldn't become a shorthand for something. For some reason I recalled his name as Belwar Stonehewer at first, despite that surname being completely nonexistent on the internet or my own notes..

I am certainly hand-writing that Belwar nick/title into my OOTA copy.

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Edited by - PattPlays on 02 Aug 2020 02:57:50
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6026 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2020 :  21:22:09  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On to Song of the Saurials now.

Liking it so far, lots of lore and half truths and although the gods are involved its thus far from a mortal perspective (Akabar having dreams and Zhara interpreting them).

Just got to the bit where Grypht killed Kyre the bard. I'm assuming she doesn't come back to life but it's possible. I'm also assuming Kyre is in fact Kyre and not someone else (although if she is it doesnt matter).

So Kyre is an agent for Moander, but everyone thinks she is a Harper, and at some point in the past she probably was.

She is serving as a judge on a Harper retrial of Nameless, so she must have been fairly similar. I'm also going to assume she is from the Berdusk branch of the Harpers and not the much older branch of the Harpers in the Dalelands run by Elminster and Storm.

So a Moander agent in the Harpers means that there is possibly many other infected moander agents in the Harpers. And didn't Cyrilia fall I'll suddenly, could they have gotten to her much later. I forget if moanderite infiltration of Harpers is dealt with anywhere as I havent looked at the Harpers much, but I'm definitely going to be expanding on that potential hook.

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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
150 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2020 :  11:28:34  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gary, If I havent said it recently - thank you for the effort and time you are putting into this project. I hope it is not dragging you down and possibly making you sometime in the future not continue.

After finishing Salvatore's latest book "Relentless" over the weekend, I have started re-reading the early novels commencing with SpellFire. I wont read the Icewind Dale or Moonshae series as I know them quite well.

I am not far into SpellFire yet, but after listening to Ed talk about writing his first novel, compared to writing game material, on the weekend it has given me some new insights as to why the book has been written the way it has.

EDIT - Dammit, I forgot to ask, where are you getting your dates from when you detail the novel's contents/lore?


Edited by - maransreth on 05 Aug 2020 11:29:55
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