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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Gary Dallison Posted - 26 May 2020 : 16:01:22
So i'm going to bite the bullet and read the novels to mine them for lore.

Is anyone interested in me posting the details here so i can spare others the pain of having to read them (and for easy reference later)?
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Gary Dallison Posted - 28 Jun 2022 : 21:40:53
Reading All Shadows Fled, some nice extra lore on the dales i didnt know about.

One thing that is bothering me, and its happened a few times in Ed's novels now, perhaps someone can clear it up for me.

The Zhents hire mercs, i'm fine with that, seems like a Zhentish thing to do. The mercs appear to be commanded by Zhent commanders with ranks like Swordlord and Swordcaptain. Again makes sense, even if you hired a mercenary unit you might want your own men in charge (although i bet it costs more).

But, when it goes into some detail in the common troops, they all seem to be Zhents as well, which doesnt make sense. I would perhaps expect a few regular rank and file troops to be Zhent plants to keep an eye on the mercs etc, but every one of them seems to be armed like a Zhent, behave like a Zhent, and in many cases have been to Zhentil Keep before.

So, if anyone knows, or can ask Ed, how does this work. Are the Zhents planting their troops throughout the Dragon Reach and then rehiring them as mercenaries, although i cant imagine why they would bother. Or do the Zhents have so many Zhentilar, and so many of them leave regular service that the Dragon Reach is literally flooded with 10,000 or more former Zhentilar that then hire on as mercs whenever Zhentil Keep has a major campaign (presumably for lots of coin because Zhentilar do not live very long).

Love the novels, but sometimes i dont always catch the nuances.

I do quite enjoy the conversations between characters though, i know some people complain that it feels out of place but in all honesty i think i would behave the same way if i were about to die at any moment.
Demzer Posted - 24 Jun 2022 : 13:46:26
Originally posted by TBeholder

The giants were "upstarts", expanding when the power of dragons was shattered, right?

Wrong. As Gary said, the giants appeared around the same time the dragons were done with the Creator Races (circa -30000 DR) with Annam "spawning" them through his relationship with the Toril-bound Othea. Ostoria kept expanding at the same time as dragons ruled in other places, the big difference is that the giants were more or less a cohesive empire while each dragon (family) did his own thing.

I'm guessing that by saying "the power of dragons was shattered" you mean the first rage of dragons? That wasn't until circa -25000 DR, right at the end of the millenia long war between dragons and giants.

So the giants were bossing it around with dragons on the playing field and while the first generations of uber-elves (both from Faerie and from Tintageer) were appearing.

It's the elves that got it easy, with the big boys (dragons and giants) taking each other out leaving space for the pointy-eared empires.
Gary Dallison Posted - 24 Jun 2022 : 07:19:15
My mistake the genies did not serve the giants in Zakhara, they fought with them.

In Faerun the giants appeared after the creator races but before the dragons, then the dragons and giants annihilated each other and the elves took over.

From the tale of the Maiden of Beauty it talks about gods and genies fighting, then the sky filled with fire and the gods left. Now if you replace the "gods" with elder giants (sons of Annam), the story is similar to the fate of the Titans. The sky filling with fire seems like an obvious metaphor for a meteorite. The giants were slain and the humans fled into the mountains (why because it was the only place safe).

Zakhara is split in two with a great depression in the middle filled with water, perfect candidate for a meteor strike to flatten the land and wipe out the giants (or force them to flee if you prefer).

Just my take on it, but even FR myth purists would struggle to take the Zakharan legends as fact, they are deliberately framed as myths and legends turned into fables, not factual retellings of events.
TBeholder Posted - 24 Jun 2022 : 02:23:21
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Of course there are always portals to explain giant presence in Zakhara. THere is a big genie presence in Zakhara and has been right from the beginning,

The Bedine and their survivng spells are clearly of Zakharan origin. Also IIRC there was a mention of minor yikaria presence (scout) in some of mountain chains around Netheril.
So yes, there are (or at least were) portals between these places.
they were servants to the giants i believe in the early times.


Originally posted by Demzer

The giants were all over Faerun at the peak of Ostoria (circa -28000 DR),
So it's not unbelievable for them to have gotten down to Zakhara at some point. Probably, without anything keeping them in check and able to stop the giants' expansion (it's not until circa -26000 that the dragons got their collective s**t together and started fighting the giants meaningfully

The giants were "upstarts", expanding when the power of dragons was shattered, right?
The dragons in turn took their perch from the Creator Races, and not easily.
The giants are tough, but not powerful enough to go against the kind of creatures who can make entire new species whenever they want an army or something. Specifically including the wyverns.
Thus, they were in much the same position as humans: in the shadows of real powerhouses.

Zakhara is unusual, in that there are no true dragons. According to Zakharan legends, that's because the genies, uh, dissuaded them from settling there. Specifically, genie sorcerers are quite scary, and most of the time they don't advertise their presence (stay disguised as humans or sometimes invisible) right until some poor soul asks for a trouble.
The giants as we know them could not stand up to the dragons when those paid attention, so way out of their league with the genies.
The later human/demihuman people are backed by strong countermeasures against disruption from the genie games and rampages: not only divine powers, but also genie-binding. After Jafar al-Samal changed the game board. Yet the genies are still feared.
The local giants exist as small tribes, not very numerous.
Thus the early giant rule of the Haunted Lands and human now-Ruined Kingdoms either:
A. existed before the genies moved in, and quickly crumbled under this new pressure. Or
B. had something to hold their own, and more than just some shamans.
Demzer Posted - 23 Jun 2022 : 14:27:54
The giants were all over Faerun at the peak of Ostoria (circa -28000 DR), from the far north to the Giant's Run Mountains (the kingdom of Nedeheim, "surviving" into the 1370s at least), the Ash Plains in Unther and even Fuirgar, the "Land of Stone Giants", down at the doorsteps of Raurin.

There is also the matter of Othea doing the deed with Vaprak and Vaprak allegedly being present around Luiren (if you believe the halflings ... which is probably not wise). So I guess there is enough to think there was a giant presence (if not dominance) down to the southernmost reaches of Faerun proper.

So it's not unbelievable for them to have gotten down to Zakhara at some point. Probably, without anything keeping them in check and able to stop the giants' expansion (it's not until circa -26000 that the dragons got their collective s**t together and started fighting the giants meaningfully and even then took them one thousand years to "win"), they went through progressive waves of migration as the families and clans grew. Instead of fighting each other due to overpopulation they just traveled a bit farther out (and slowly adapted to different climates, thus all the subspecies/variants).
Gary Dallison Posted - 23 Jun 2022 : 09:28:39
Of course there are always portals to explain giant presence in Zakhara. THere is a big genie presence in Zakhara and has been right from the beginning, they were servants to the giants i believe in the early times. We also have qorrashi (cold genies) in the frozen north in one of the perilous gateway articles so a giant / genie, master / slave relationship could have existed from the start.

Either way, more sons of Annam than we know, more true giant races than we know, and i think Ostoria extended into Zakhara (and the titans lived there)
Gary Dallison Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 21:25:59
Not my favourite novel.

Still no wiser as to Lanaxis' curse or how it operates. I'm still thinking some kind of separated soul and body, maybe not an undead but definitely not a whole being.

Towards the end the shadow kept being described as abyssal which could be significant. Twilight Vale simply appeared when shadow touched it, which says to me some kind of plane shift (the abyss being on another plane), but given that its shadow related and Lanaxis is harmed by bright light i think the Bleak Palace and the Twilight Vale were plane shifted to the plane of shadow or some demiplane (because the plane of shadow is of course a recent thing).

Not much lore, but a few interesting points regarding the sons of Annam. There were over a dozen brothers of Lanaxis raised as zombies. Now we only know of 8 (and Dunmore was not slain if i recall correctly so he doesnt count), which means there are at least 5 other sons of Annam that represent other true giant races that are now lost to Toril (or perhaps just Faerun).
I was reminded about the Titan's leaving Toril, which coincides with a meteor strike that most think is located in Faerun, but i'm pretty sure it would be better placed in Zakhara. So big question is, how far away is Al-Qadim from the FrozenFar. We know the empire of Ostoria dominated the north of Faerun and it is likely it did not extend as far south as Zakhara through Faerun, but what if it extended down the other side of the north pole. There is a very heavy giant presence including many races not known in Faerun (desert, jungle, and reef giants), they could be the descendants of the unknown sons of Annam.

Lots of inconsistencies though. Again Lanaxis left the Twilight Vale without becoming mortal but did age quickly in sunlight (however immortality and youth restored in twilight vale), as a shadowroc however he could go anywhere including Anauroch.
Snad the hill giant was transparent which implies he knew the command to use Sky Cleaver, how could a hill giant know it when Basil required 3 years, two new languages (presumably ancient Jotun) and the library of Hartwick to learn the commands and location etc.
Why did Lanaxis not just take Brianna in the first book if he could leave Twilight Vale so easily.

As for the nature of Lanaxis. I dont think any of the sons of Annam should be considered a normal giant. Like the ancient elves they are far more powerful than any representative of the race today, bigger, stronger, magically more powerful, and practically immortal. As time passed the giants have gotten weaker with each generation it would seem.
Gary Dallison Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 21:09:13
The Titan of Twilight (1369 DR)
Troy Denning

Bleak Palace
Bleak Palace, in the Vale. Most exalted of the citadels of the Sons of Annam [prologue]
The Well of Health, in the longest and most majestic colonnade of the Bleak Palace. The Well of Health has since been renamed the Pool of Despair by Lanaxis, Julien and Arno [prologue]
Lanaxis poisoned the Well of Health when Othea arrived. She asked everyone drink with her and so Lanaxis poisoned his brothers and Othea at once [prologue]
Othea cursed the Bleak Palace (her shadow will lie on it forever), Lanaxis will remain as a cold, unfeeling shadow. If he should ever leave then he will grow old and die [prologue]
Goboka arrived at the Bleak Palace wanting to become a shaman. Lanaxis gave him powers in return for his help in getting hold of Brianna when she was 19 years old [prologue]
Twilight Vale can only be accessed at dawn when the light casts a shadow from Othea’s Tor and opens a fissue leading from Othea’s Tor into the Endless Ice Sea. The Bleak Palace sits in the Twilight Vale which just appears in the crevice whenever the shadow touches it (planeshift????) [16]
The shadows described as abyssal shadow [16]
Lanaxis calls his brothers to rise from the grave to avenge Othea’s desecration (Tavis cleaved Othea’s Tor in two). There were more than a dozen kings, one for each of the true giants to walk Toril. The tallest, wrapped in a cloak of the whitest linen, would be Nicias, dynast of the cloud giants. Behind him was red-bearded Masud, khan of the fire giants, his dark armor glimmering through even the thick layers of dirt and ice crusting the steel. Next were Vilmos, paramount of the storm giants; Ottar, jarl of the frost giants; Ruk, chief of the hill giants; Obadai, sage of the stone giants; and several others, among them the progenitors of some races that had not been seen in the Ice Spires since before Hartsvale was a kingdom. In their black and withered hands, all the monarchs clutched ancient weapons of splendor and power. Nicias whirled his pearly morningstar over his head, spraying a cloud of boiling white vapor toward the sundered tor. In the same instant, Vilmos brought his sword down on the plain, Ruk smashed his ebony club into his own palm, Masud pointed his flaming spear at Tavis's chest. [16]

Lanaxis, Titan of Twilight, the founder of Ostoria Empire of Giants, Lanaxis the Chosen One. Lanaxis hears the voices of everyone inside his head (why, he believes a curse from the gods????). [prologue]
Lanaxis does not experience time like mortals. He is pulled into normal time by the Time of Troubles [prologue]
Lanaxis can take on the form of anything he kills, he slays a roc and becomes a shadowroc [prologue]
Hides himself in a purple mantle of magic [prologue]
Has an eagle familiar [prologue]
Lanaxis’ brothers had sons and daughters [prologue]
Dying fire giants call on Lanaxis to send them to Surtr [4]
In Ostoria’s absence the giants have grown weak and stupid [4]
Purple skinned
Wears a cloak of purple twilight, a sash of shimmering starlight, and a crown of black silver beset with rubies and sapphires darker than night
Lanaxis has been in Twilight Vale for 3000 years (should that be 30,000 years [9]
Lanaxis remains invulnerable while cloaked in purple mist. This can be removed with bright light and then he can be hurt [9]
Vilmos committed a wrong (against Lanaxis????) a long time ago, and so the storm giants owe Lanaxis a debt. The storm giants slew Hartkiller and drove Annam from Toril forever (but Vilmos couldn’t have done this because he was already dead, therefore Vilmos committed another wrong against Lanaxis personally????) [11]
Lanaxis crawled from his birthing cave fully grown and immortal [11]
Wields a great two handed sword [16]

Other Lore
Othea the Mother Queen [prologue]
Hartsvale and the giants had been at war for the past 3 years, drained the royal treasury [1]
Firbolg women are pregnant for 2 years [1]
A verbeeg uttered the saying “Karontor’s wolves” as a curse [7]
Basil talks of Memnor and DIancastra
“As black and deep as Memnor’s cold heart”
Tavis receives too much healing in a few days, his system is overloaded with magic, any further healing will cause wounds to take a long time to heal and will shorten his life by many years [9]
The Midnight Circle (a constellation of stars????) [15]

Gorge of the Silver Wyrm, granite cliffs on one side with mines and miners and a felled pine forest. More than 8 leagues long, has a fire giant stronghold at the far end of the gorge [1]
Wyrm River, broad river, flows through the Gorge of the Silver Wyrm [1]
The Silver Citadel in the Gorge of the Silver Wyrm [1]
The Silver Duchess, name of the mine in the Gorge of the Silver Wyrm. The Drifts (named by tunnel wizards), a section of the mine where the tunnels cross and recross. [4,6]
Company of the Royal Snow Bear, personal guard of Queen Brianna. 21 horse lancers and 120 armoured pikemen strong. Slain by fire giants [1]
Earl Radborne Wynn, earl of the Storming Gorge. A stout old man with a beard and a long mane of grey hair. Slain by Galgadayle [1]
Ancient tradition holds that only consecrated veins of ore can be mined, otherwise Skoraeus Stonebones will swallow anyone breaking that tradition. The ruler of Hartsvale (blood of Annam????) can consecrate such veins [1]
Queen Brianna has been pregnant for more than three years [1]
Glacier bears [1]
Tavis is known as the Lion of Hartwick for his size and hunting prowess (have they even heard of lions in Hartsvale, maybe snow lions????) [2]
Gerda, the royal midwife [3]
Avner joined the Border Scouts two years ago [3]
Gryffitt, an old married man, one of the lancers of the Company of the Snow Bear. Has 6 children (slain by verbeeg) [4]
Thatcher Warton, lancer of the Company of the Snow Bear. Single (slain by fomorian) [4]
One of the first things Border Scouts learn is how to treat wounds and stitch clothing [5]
Marwick, lancer of the Company of the Snow Bear. Green eyes. Has a family, wife and children (slain by verbeeg) [6]
Wynn Castle. Guards the southern passages with which Hartsvale trades with the outside world. Strongest castle in Hartsvale (apart from Castle Hartwick). More than once the castle has survived assaults by fire giants [7,8]
Basil of Lyndusfarne, Royal Librarian and Runecaster to Her Majesty the Queen. Basil discovered the location of Annam’s Axe, Sky Cleaver. Whoever wields the axe will rule all giants, it will exaggerate their base desires (conquest, lust, etc) and can provide knowledge
River Citadel, somewhere in Hartsvale near the Clearwhorl River [9]
The Bleeding Circle (the sun????) [9]
The Bleak Plain, north of Hartsvale [9]
Dexter (royal executioner????) [9]
First Defender, title for royal bodyguard [9]
The Cold Marches, on Hartsvale’s northern border. Home to forest groves of spearhead spruce and bloody tamarack trees. The manors in this land were assaulted by frost giants earlier this year in a month long rampage [10]
Dervish owls with golden eyes, blue pheasant, kestrels, harriers, siskins, hawks, sparrows, crows, skunkbirds (that steal eggs and have white striped bodies), condors [12]
Moose [12]
Vultures [12]
Spire eagle [12]
Wind Keep, on the northern border of Hartsvale [13]
Cuthbert Pass, guarded by Gap Tower [13]
Avner slain by Awn [13]
Annam’s Hallway, an icy gorge running straight through the heart of Split Mountain. Walls of the gorge are more than a mile high. Supposedly Split Mountain and Annam’s Hallway were created over 100 centuries ago when Annam hurled Sky Cleaver into the mountain (angry at Othea for her faithlessness) [14]
Not many years ago, Tavis knew a fire giant named Kwasid, a young and enigmatic fire dancer [14]

Galgadayle, an old prophet male firbolg, milky eyed with a flyaway mane of grey hair. His dream visions are never wrong. Twice he has saved entire tribes, once when he foresaw a landslide engulf a verbeeg village, and again when he predicted a flood would deluge a fomorian cave. Has foreseen that Brianna will have twins and one will lead the giants against the north [1]
Raeyadfourne, chief of Meadowhome, brawny, 12 ft tall, pale eyes the colour of blue tourmaline [3]
The firbolg of Meadowhome decided to make Queen Brianna part of their clan and then take her into their protection (forcibly) [3]
Munairoe, shaman firbolg of Meadowhome [5]
Ethelhard, firbolg warrior of Meadowhome [5]
Meadowhome Clan of Firbolg [6]
Firbolg can change size at will, they cannot share the secret with outsiders [6]
Claegborne, firbolg warrior of Clan Meadowhome [6]
Horatio, verbeeg [7]
Jerome, handsome verbeeg [7]
Awn, fomorian [9]
Ror fomorian chieftain [9]
Orisino, verbeeg chieftain [9]
Anastes, storm giant [11]
Nikol, Ramos, Sebastion, Patma, storm giants [11]
Eusebius, storm giant [12]
Verbeeg’s consider private property an archaic concept, instead they believe all things belong to all people [14]
Karontor revered by verbeegs [14]
Othea’s Tor, an inselberg (hill of granite) on the edge of the Endless Ice Sea at the end of a crevice, its tip barely 200 ft above the ice plateau. It resembles the figure of a fleshy woman kneeling in the snow with her haunches on her heels. Basil insists this is the remains of Othea [15]

Galgadayle translated roughly as “The One who Dreams for Us," [3]
Raeyadfourne was "Broad Shoulders that Bear Our Burdens." [3]
"Oin" simply meant "lies in," [3]
"ur" meant "watches over," [3]
Kaedlaw, means as handsome as his father (in other words ugly) [5]

Sky Cleaver
It took Basil three years, two new languages, and the library at Castle Hartwick to learn the location of Sky Cleaver and how to free it [14]
Snad a hill giant (he has transparent skin) lives in a cavern complex beneath Annam’s Hall where Sky Cleaver is hidden. Snad is the guardian of Sky Cleaver. Snad slew the previous guardian - old Kwasid [14]
Sky Cleaver, handle is made of ivory, 8 ft long and carved with scenes of godly might (Stronmaus smashing moons with his mighty hammer, Hiatea thrusting her flaming spear into the heart of the fifty-headed hydra, Iallanis joining the hands of Memnor and Karontor in brotherly love.). Axe head is made of obsidian and bound to the handle with golden twine [14]
Sky Cleaver makes those that see it desire to possess it. [14]
Sky Cleaver can cut to the heart of any matter (it reveals truth????) [14]
While holding the axe, the possessor is immune to all magic [14]
Skoraeus Stonebones made Sky Cleaver, those desiring to possess the axe must say "In the name of Skoraeus Stonebones, Your Maker, O Sky Cleaver, do I summon you into the service of my hand." The axe then flies into the hand of whoever uttered the phrase [14]
All giants (and giant kin) are compelled to obey the wielder of Sky Cleaver, those nearby flock to its wielder. All desire to possess the axe as well and many try to take it [15]
Using Sky Cleaver’s powers drains life (youth, vitality) from the wielder, aging them quickly. Snad was 50 years old but already a withered almost transparent old giant [15]
Primary power is to cleave anything (presumably it can cut through any defence) [16]
Secondary power is to protect the wielder from most kinds of harm [16]
Cleaving burns away the bonds that tie the wielder to the physical world, making them transparent and ultimately separating spirit from body. Defensive powers rapidly age the wielder [16]

ericlboyd Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 18:56:59
Originally posted by ericlboyd

I don't think you can get a good feel for what Lanaxis "is" until the end of the third novel.

Even then, it's a struggle to pin down.


I should add: Long-story short: I think he's an elder titan who's trapped in some magical state.
Gary Dallison Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 18:29:28
I'm already noticing a few problems with the novel so i might have to make it up.

Apparently he is not able to leave the Twilight Vale without becoming mortal, but he does (in the form of a shadowroc, and he can fly as far away as anauroch).

When he does leave the Twilight Vale, he is weakened by bright light and appears to be aged by sunlight. As soon as the sunlight goes away he is restored to full power and his eternal youth.

So if he could leave the Twilight Vale all along, why did he not just steal Brianna personally in the first book, why use Goboka the ogre shaman. It would have been far simpler to just walk on down to Castle Hartwick, take Brianna (and slaughter all the humans) and be back in the Twilight Vale before nightfall, then he or the ettin paramount could get her up the duff and keep her prisoner.

It just isnt making sense at the moment. I suppose i shall have to wait until the end to hopefully get some more answers.
ericlboyd Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 18:23:02
I don't think you can get a good feel for what Lanaxis "is" until the end of the third novel.

Even then, it's a struggle to pin down.

Kentinal Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 18:17:26
Memnor was the giant deity of pride and control. He schemed to usurp Annam All-Father as the head of the Ordning,
Kentinal Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 17:55:00
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The titan of twilight makes mention of memory and diancastra several times. Anyone have idea who they are.

Diancastra was the giant demigoddess of wit and pleasure, a minor trickster deity of the Ordning.
Demzer Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 17:51:28
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The titan of twilight makes mention of memory and diancastra several times. Anyone have idea who they are.


Diancastra was (is?) a giantish demigoddess of pleasures and wit, kind of like Sharess but with a sprinkle of trickster on top of the hedonism.
Gary Dallison Posted - 22 Jun 2022 : 15:11:51
The titan of twilight makes mention of memnor and diancastra several times. Anyone have idea who they are.

Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Jun 2022 : 19:25:42
Just started Titan of Twilight.

The prologue has an interesting description of Lanaxis.

He is a shadow of sorts, unfeeling, icy cold, icy heart, lost in time, immortal.

He is cursed by Othea (or the gods, it attributes parts of his curse to different sources), so that if he remains in the Twilight Vale he will persist forever in this cursed existence. If he leaves the Vale then he will grow old and die (and so presumably get his old body back.

Now it might just be me but his current icy, frozen, eternal existence sounds a bit like a form of undeath. When he kills something he draws it into himself and gains its powers.

Also he hears the voices of everyone (i'm presuming everyone in the Vale), a curse from the gods supposedly. It sounds a bit like he is trapped partway between undeath and godhood.

Now the Epic Level Handbook has an undead called a hunefer which is a demigod whose power has not yet departed to the Astral Plane. Lanaxis would certainly qualify as a demigod when he was alive given his power level. The voices he hears could be a side effect of a partial ascension of sorts.

His undeath may not be a mummified corpse, but a shadow, no reason why all hunefer have to be mummies.

So Othea's curse separated Lanaxis' soul and body. One part lays within the Twilight Vale. The other lays outside the Vale. If he were to leave the Vale he would become mortal and eventually perish (i reckon even the first giants died of old age eventually, but they just had really really long lifespans (like the first elves had longer lifespans than modern elves).

Baltas Posted - 15 Jun 2022 : 14:17:05
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The Windwalker amulet is ancient, not of Rashemmi making, but of the Rus, people of Ruathym.

It uses rune magic and has some connection to Yggdrasil's child it would seem as it is used to carve runes onto the bark of the tree (very powerful runes).

I'm wondering if the Windwalker Amulet is actually giantish in origin or heritage there were giants on Ruathym and they could have taught such knowledge to their human slaves, or alternatively the giants could have made it.

Well, when I asked Eric L. Boyd, he kinda confirmed there is some connection between Shaundakul and the Windwalker amulet (with Shaundakul's specialty priests being called also Windwalkers).

Shaundakul, as seen in Eric's post about the Ruathen pantheon, is the successor in the role of "the Wanderer" to previous Wanderer - Ulutiu.

Ulutiu was worshiped by ancient Ruathen/Northmen, and possibly Shaundakul might had been a worshiper, of inherited some his knowledge after assuming the aspect/role of the wanderer.

There is also a question if the Ulutiu worshiped by ancient Northmen was the same as Annam's rival for Othea's affections (possibly being his successor, who took on the name of the original Ulutiu, especially that Ulutiu is sometimes stated to be possibly an avatar of some deity).

Ulutiu is also the father of Giant-kin, and I had a theory in the past if maybe Ulutiu wasn't somehow related to Annam, hence being able to father giant-like beings. Maybe one of his sons, maybe brother. And the source for the story/myth of Memnor (who is otherwise described as one of Annam's son) being instead Annam's brother and rival, who Annam banished, but had to retreat himself to Outlands after that. This has some similarities to the story of Annam's and Ulutiu's conflict (especially Ulutiu wasn't really killed by Annam, just retreated, and went into torpor). And while Memnor might be a kinda controversial member of the giant pantheon, Meanwhile, Ulutiu ie anyone speaking Ulutiu's name at a ceremony dedicated to Annam, will be executed (as detailed in Giancraft, page 45). Suggesting to me a possibility Memnor was attached to a censored myth of Ulutiu as Annam's brother.

But what I mean - Ulutiu's cult might have brought giantish magic to Ruathym, or possibly was connected to the even that introduced it to ancient Northmen (if then rather by giant-kin).
Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Jun 2022 : 22:04:21
Another solid novel. Really liked the nuanced view of drow life, felt like a functioning society.

Some editing problems, mithral, mithril, lloth, lolth used inter-changeably.

Got a bit rushed at the end when it left the underdark, the trip to waterdeep took a few lines, and the build up to the final battle was skimmed over a lot, but that's normal for most novels.

Loved all the ambiguity regarding lolths favour and vhaerauns favour until the voice of the gods turned up halfway through the novel in shaktis head. Otherwise it could have been anything that caused spells to fail or eyes on illusions to change colour (a simple enough spell)

Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Jun 2022 : 21:48:00
Daughter of the Drow (1361 DR)
Elaine Cunningham

Menzoberranzan Lore
Menzoberranzan always been dominated by the worship of Lolth [prelude]
Away from the temples and academies and noble houses, a rich and diverse people live relatively normal lives, the live, work, play, scheme, and love [prelude]
Narbondellyn, an elegant district of the city with broad streets, fine homes, expensive shops, all made of stone and magic [prelude]
Drow still operate according to the ancient circadian rhythms of their elven ancestors [prelude]
Drow are the most numerous folk in Narbondellyn [prelude]
City guards make frequent rounds on giant lizards [prelude]
Merchants use lizards or giant slugs as pack animals [prelude]
Enslaved dwarf repairs items in a shop, a pair of minotaurs serve as guards to a mansion, goblins carry goods bought by their mistress, kobolds clean the streets monitored by ogre task masters [prelude]
Law prohibits the killing of spiders (accidental or otherwise). Punishment is death, to be administered immediately [prelude]
Males have a subservient role [prelude]
Faerie Fire is an innate talent to all drow, but seldom manifests in children as young as five [prelude]
The Bazaar, one of the busiest places in Menzoberranzan, as heavily guarded as a noble palace [1]
The Dragon’s Hoard, a drow merchant band in Menzoberranzan, famous for procuring anything without regard for the cost, captained by Nisstyre. Some 80 members strong. Known in Skullport with a fell reputation. Named after a cavern below Waterdeep that was once a dragon’s lair, many have followed these rumours searching for treasure, none have returned. [1,24]
Nisstyre, known as the Fox on the surface, has copper hair. Once, many years ago lived in Ched Nasad and had been a mage of considerable promise, but he chafed under the tyranny of Lolth which limited his ambitions. He fled (before being forced to take a mind searching test of loyalty to Lolth), discovered a talent for trading and now worships Vhaeraun fervently. Has many informers in Menzoberranzan. Nisstyre was looking for a Red Wizard to steal the rashemmi wands he looted from the witches killed on the shores of Lake Ashane (the Red Wizard attacked the Witches of Rashemen and then hid his loot in Stara Baba’s hut), Nisstyre and his band encountered Fyodor in Ashenwood at Stara Baba’s hut. Nisstyre was able to create a gate to Rashemen. Has a reputation for handling questionable deals with great discretion. Has a medallion with a curving stylised dragon on it, this matches the tattoo on Gorlist’s face (Nisstyre’s lieutenant) and allows him to find Gorlist anywhere by touching the medallion [1,3,5,15,18]
Merchants bartering too hard in Menzoberranzan can result in death as the customer loses his patience [1]
People of Menzoberranzan are preparing for some unknown calamity (buying lots of staples and weapons). Matron Baenre’s death means a power struggle among the nobles that might weaken Menzoberranzan and lead to invasion from nearby illithids or another drow city [1]
20,000 drow lived in Menzoberranzan, half of those marched on Mithril Hall, no one knew how many returned. Many weapon masters and generals were slain, and lots of common folk who served as soldiers also did not return. Thousands of slaves (kobolds and minotaurs) were drafted into the army as fodder and their slave jobs were now empty [1]
Status is everything in Menzoberranzan, drow will not work below their station for the common good only for wealth or power (even in war or its aftermath) [1]
Priests of Vhaeraun wear black robes [1]
The chaos in Menzoberranzan meant some males turned to Vhaeraun as a means to end Lolth’s tyranny [1]
House Hunzrin is in charge of most of the city’s farming, including the herd of rothe on the Isle of Rothe in Lake Donigarten. Not a major house, looked down upon by the greater houses. House Hunzrin breed quaggoths for use as guards and shock troops [1,17]
Shakti Hunzrin, oversees the Isle of Rothe. Extremely near-sighted uses levitation to avoid difficult terrain. Has a three tined pitchfork with a slender rune carved handle (can shoot fire and lightning). Twelfth year student at Arach TInilith [1,14]
Isle of Rothe, only one good landing site a tiny cove unmarred by sharp rending rocks. An overseers hut carved from solid stone is a hundred feet above the cove with a narrow stair leading from the dock up to the overseer’s hut (the only way on and off the island). No one has survived the swim across Lake Donigarten yet (occasionally luminescent glowing creatures live in the lake). The oversee of the Isle of Rothe is a female from a lesser branch of House Hunzrin [1]
Drow do not allow imperfect children to survive and have little patience for people who develop physical defects later in life. Drow use their innate abilities to compensate for these defects [1]
Not enough orc and goblin slaves to tend to the rothe herd, so few rothe have been born this year (they are too weak for mating) [1]
Magic three tined pitchfork is the favoured weapon of House Hunzrin [1]
Bazherd Hunzrin, younger brother of House Hunzrin [1]
House Xorlarrin, famous for its wizardly might. Seven wizards of House Xorlarrin are masters in Sorcere. No other house in Menzoberranzan has as much wizardly might as House Xorlarrin [1,15]
Recently the Third House of Menzoberranzan had been completely destroyed by creatures from the abyss but not before its renegade leader slew the matron and heir of the Fourth House of Menzoberranzan. Auro’pol Dyrr – leader of the Fifth House of Menzoberranzan died after the war with Mithril Hall. Orderly succession is a rarity in Menzoberranzan, and each of these houses will be racked with internal strife before new matrons take power. [1]
Rarely in Menzoberranzan’s long history has there been so many vacant seats on the Ruling Council at the same time [1]
Traditionally, the position of Matron Mistress of Arach Tinilith goes to the highest-ranking priestess of Lolth in House Baenre [2]
Law and custom dictate that noble daughters enrol in Arach-Tinilith with the onset of puberty or their 25th birthday (whichever comes first) [2]
House Shobalar, a lesser clan known for its rare female wizards.
Drow puberty begins around 25 years old. Adolescence is long and still ongoing in their 40s [2]
Wealthy young drow, noble and common, often congregate together to pursue pleasure and passion, share stories at evening parties. Liriel is eccentric, easy to laugh with a zest for laugh, often goes on adventures and those companions that survive enjoy enhanced social standing as a result [2]
Bynthara Shobalar, female wizard, rival and friend of Liriel Baenre (similar age), slain by Liriel Baenre when Bynthara tried to kill her. [2]
Syzwick, the male son of an obscenely wealthy perfume merchant, highly decorative (pretty), spirited but manageable (very desirable traits in male drow). Latest consort of Bynthara Shobalar [2]
Murder is tolerated in Menzoberranzan as long as it cannot be proven, witnesses are usually eliminated [2]
25th birthday is considered the age of majority among drow [2]
Kharza-kzad Xorlarrin, powerful wizard in Menzoberranzan that specialises in crafting battle wands. Currently tutors Liriel Baenre. Thin face. He paid Nisstyre to retrieve rashemmi wands. Knows about Nisstyre’s worship of Vhaeraun. NIsstyre asked Kharza to give a Red Wizard spellbook to Liriel to get her interested in the surface then she could meet Nisstyre and he hoped to convert her to worship of Vhaeraun. Although his battle wands were prized in Menzoberranzan, Kharza-kzad had never killed anyone himself. His most powerful creation was a wand of lichdrow. Kharza fought Nisstyre in a volcano on the surface, Kharza transformed himself into a lichdrow and Nisstyre left him in the volcano [2,5,16,17]
Drow gates appear to have predetermined exits in the spellcasting. Liriel was given a book full of spells that were all linked to existing gates known to Gromph [3]
Freshwater mussels found in the shallows of Lake Donigarten [4]
Zz'Pzora, a two headed deep dragon, 50 ft from head to tail, lives in caves off a river in the Underdark around Menzoberranzan. Two heads have distinct personalities that are usually in conflict. The right head is a bit more traditionally dragonlike, likes treasure, solitude, and magic, and is a bit smarter and sarcastic. Both personalities are a little bit insane [4]
Suzonia, drow associate of Liriel Baenre, holds dinner parties (could be child of a noble or wealthy merchant) [4]
Spelltower Xorlarrin, home of Kharza-kzad [4]
Nedeirra, a wild acrobatic dance competition [5]
Dinner guests drink spiced luminous green wine called ulaver [5]
Massage is a favourite treat at parties for the drow [5]
Drow delight in using cantrips to play harmless pranks [5]
Law and custom states that all parties must end at the start of a new day [5]
Arach-Tinilith teaches its students about Menzoberranzan’s history (propaganda????). For most of its history students have not been allowed to leave the Academy (things changed after the disastrous attack on Mithril Hall) [6,14]
Zeld Mizzrym, priestess at Arach Tinilith in charge of first years students [6]
Novices of Lolth wear black robes with red trim [6]
Manyfolk District, home to artisans [6]
House Faen Tlabbar, known for the wanton nature of its females. It is rumoured they could brew a potion to incite passionate devotion in any male that imbibed it
Mod'Vensis Tlabbar, instructor at Arach Tinilith, seldom without male company from Sorcere or Melee Magthere
Some drow sleep, some still take rest in a form of elven reverie (although less and less are able to with each passing century – it requires the drow to be at peace with themselves to enter reverie)
Drow eat food raw as often as the cook it
Dancing while armed is considered an insult in drow society (and it is a hazard), dancing is therefore considered as much of a truce as is possible in drow society
Dropping to one knee is a sign of surrender in Menzoberranzan
Dancing is strictly for social events, not allowed in worship of Lolth
Harps are rare in the Underdark, the drow consider the instrument insipid and disturbing [8,10]
Dead Dragon Gorge, 6 or 7 days travel from Menzoberranzan, and very near a labyrinth of caves that lies close to the surface. Has a gate that leads to the outskirts of the city
Dragazhar (or nighthunter), has large velvet black batlike wings, a long-tapered head like scurry rat, a whiplike tail tipped with a razor-sharp triangular spike, and long curving ears that look like dragon horns. A wingspan of 7 ft, the dragazhar is one of the most dangerous bats in the Underdark. Hunt in packs of 10, but seldom attack anything but small animals. Also known as a deepbat. Its tail sting is poisonous [8,9]
Human slaves are rare in Menzoberranzan, but known unheard of [9]
Drygully Tunnel, an entrance to the surface one day’s travel from Dead Dragon Gorge [9]
Dargathan Srune'lett, older student at Melee Magthere, unattractive [10]
House Srune'lett, known for producing fat, unattractive drow (not the lithe, slender idealised form of drow). A lesser house of Menzoberranzan [10]
Many noble houses of Menzoberranzan sponsor merchant bands (it is their only tie with the world outside the city) [11]
Gorlist, drow fighter working for Nisstyre and the Dragon’s Hoard merchant band. Had been a warrior for a century. Defeated by Fyodor and thrown down a ravine into a river but healed. Son of Nisstyre. Owns a spear he stole from a surface elf, then had enchanted to make it more durable and sharper [11,18]
The Banshee’s Needle, a slender piece of glowing rock that holds a high concentration of faerzress (a node????). Located within Zz'Pzora's lair. Named for a long dead drow female that once haunted this lair. The banshee is long gone, slain by Zz'Pzora's mother in a horrendous magical battle (that may have contributed to Zz'Pzora's condition. The Banshee’s Needle is a mithril spike covered in a stone sheath [13]
Most houses in Menzoberranzan (even those of commoners) are protected by magic and hidden devices [14]
Ssasser, a dark naga (one of the rarest creatures in the Underdark), serves House Hunzrin (it costs a lot of resources to develop their natural magical abilities, so they often end up enslaved to wealthy patrons to pay for those resources). Shakti Hunzrin promises to free it if it helps her gain access to Liriel’s home and once Liriel is under Shakti’s power. Ssasser was born near Drygully Tunnel. Slain by Liriel and Fyodor [14,17,20]
Shakti Hunzrin recently paid the Dragon’s Hoard merchant group for a new rothe stud (a white ram, compact in size with an exceptionally fine fleece), it had recently been stolen from House Zinard of Ched Nasad [14]
Every day in Arach-Tinilith ends in the Chapel with a session or prayer and praise to Lolth. Services take many forms but are always eerie, impressive affairs [15]
The heart of a male drow is considered a lesser sacrifice to Lolth. Worship of Lolth occasionally requires the sacrifice of loved ones, to do so is to make a greater sacrifice to Lolth [15]
A Yochlol appeared at Arach-Tinilith and told the assembled priests that too much drow blood was being spilt. Until further notice the order of noble houses was as Lolth decreed (a list in order provided by the Yochlol then and there), and any further bloodshed wasted on House intrigue would result in the complete destruction of that house. No priestess will slay another, all healthy drow children will be raised (even the males) [15]
Qu'ellarz'orl, most prestigious district in Menzoberranzan, takes its name from the tiny cave that serves as the meeting chamber of the Ruling Council. [15]
Hesken-Faj, the matron of House Symrywin. She is recognised and respected and called the “Eyes of Lolth”. Rarely leaves her house but is granted great respect when she does [15]
House Symrywin ranked 18th for centuries. [15]
Matron Ghilanna of House Faen Tlabbar. A stunningly beautiful female drow, recently raised to power. She slew her 7 sisters in a vicious and bloody struggle for power. Tall and slender, vain and wanton, she wears finely embroidered gossamer gowns covered with seed pearls [15]
House Faen Tlabbar, suffered more than most in recent years. Its former matron and her heir were both slain. [15]
Mez'Barris Armgo, the matron of House Barrison Del'Armgo [15]
House Barrison Del’Armgo, second House of Menzoberranzan [15]
Matron Miz'ri. Her clan, House Mizzrym [15]
House Mizzrym, notable for trade contacts and willingness to deal with non-drow, and delight in treacherous double dealings [15]
Kyrnill Kenafin of House Kenafin, has cruel crimson eyes, tyrannical [15]
House Kenafin, 10th House of Menzoberranzan. In House Kenafin females reign supreme and take great delight in terrorising and subjugating the males [15]
Ker Horlbar, one of the two ruling matrons of House Horlbar [15]
House Horlbar, depend on agriculture for wealth and position. Chief rival with House Hunzrin [15]
Matron Zeerith Q’Xorlarrin, renowned for her diplomatic skill and often called upon to mediate disputes. Younger sister of Kharza-kzad [15]
Long standing alliance between House Baenre and House Xorlarrin [15]
Auro'pol, the matron of the powerful House Agrach Dyrr, had been killed by a creature of the Abyss at the command of the former Baenre matron in the tunnels beneath Mithril Hall. [15]
Artifacts are rare even in Menzoberranzan [15]
Amulet of Plethong, an ancient and powerful drow magic device that possessed many attacks and defences. The amulet has a graven face of a smiling drow wizard. Can emit a cone of power that dispels magic (or fire????) [17]
Graduating students from Arach-Tinilith are made high priests, they must undergo the Rite of Atonement, this attunes a priestess to her snake headed whip [17]
Priestesses of Lolth cannot teleport, instead they planeshift to the Lower Planes and then shift back [17]
Drow need a focus or vent for their inherent rage, vengeance often suffices [18]
Drow sleep poison is magically distilled in places of high Faerzress concentration. It did not survive in the open air on the surface [19]
Drow humour is a contest, a pleasure taken at the expense of another [21]
Self preservation is the first law of drow society [22]
The Spiders Kiss, it is not uncommon for drow priestesses to slay their lover after mating [22]
Matron Kinuere of House Hunzrin [23]
House TuinTarl [23]
A black ruby scrying bowl, a Vhaeraunite item belonging to Shakti Hunzrin. Can connect to anyone with a ruby eye lodged in their forehead and attuned to the bowl. Shakti can use the bowl to see through their eyes, communicate telepathically, and send pain and death through the link [23]
Tzarreth, drow word meaning ass [23]
Illiyitri, a formal dance, a promenade where drow compete (non lethally) to show off wealth, beauty, and ingenuity through clever disguises and extravagant costumes [24]
phlar Lloth ssinssrickla, a drow saying, means literally “when Lolth giggles” which of course never happens [24]

House Baenre
Matron Triel of House Baenre, well under 5 feet tall, not attractive, long thin white hair braided slightly and wrapped around her head like a crown. Wears a hauberk of elven chain mail. One of the highest-ranking priests of Lolth in Menzoberranzan. Matron Mistress of Arach-Tinilith. Triel has no daughters and is unlikely to (small, frail, dislikes men????) [2]
The Black Throne of House Baenre is a sentient artifact containing the victims of House Baenre [2]
Old Matron Baenre had ruled for many centuries, her first name was forgotten, she was just Matron Baenre. Many of her daughters had gone on to form their own noble houses, minor houses allied (in theory) to House Baenre [2]
Berg’inyon Baenre, Weapon Master of House Baenre, had gone missing during the war with Mithril Hall. Was a youth, barely 60 years old, he was thought dead but may have survived [2]
Merith Baenre, highest ranking priest of Lolth in House Baenre. Common born daughter of a streetsweeper, adopted into House Baenre when her considerable clerical powers emerged. A potential disgrace she has no understanding of protocol or intrigue. Sadistic in the extreme. Triel intends to have her contract a fatal illness sometime soon [2]
Sos’Umptu Baenre, Keeper of the Baenre Chapel, trueborn daughter of Matron Baenre, younger sister of Triel Baenre. Promoted to Matron Mistress of Arach-Tinilith (unwillingly, did not want to leave her chapel). Pinched face [2]
Gives all its members a magical ring that emits a silent alarm that only the attuned wearer can hear. If they hear the alarm they are supposed to go to the fortress of House Baenre immediately [2]
Eight armed females serve as the elite guard of House Baenre [2]
Baenre Chapel sits at the heart of the fortress of House Baenre. Has a gigantic illusion of drow female that constantly shapeshifts to a giant black spider (crafted by Gromph 50 years ago when he angered Matron Baenre - because he took a lesser daughter of House Hunzrin as his consort????). The drow female was modelled on Liriel’s mother so Liriel has an uncanny resemblance [2]

Gromph Baenre
Gromph Baenre, eldest son of Matron Baenre, has rooms in House Baenre’s fortress castle. Also has a private manor residence in the district of Narbondellyn carved into a stalactite (where he pores over spellbooks and amuses himself with a mistress or two [prelude]
Gromph Baenre is able to choose his own consort (providing he acts with discretion and does not pick above his station) [prelude].
Current consort is the youngest daughter of a minor noble house (House Vandree) who has few clerical gifts/skills. He has been with her for at least 5 years [prelude]
700 years old at least. [prelude]
Bitter, cold, evil, and cruel. His cruelty is legendary even in Menzoberranzan [prelude]
Thanks to his magic he appears young and vital, with smooth and lustrous ebony skin, supple long fingered hands, gleaming flowing white hair, large almond shaped amber eyes (an unusual hue for drow) [prelude]
His manor house has a magic shield that dispels illusions and invisibility and warns him of intruders [prelude]
Liriel Baenre is Gromph’s daughter with his most recent consort [prelude]
Gromph Baenre had the youngest daughter of House Vandree murdered in his manor and sent a message (via a stone statue golem of a drow) informing them that she had an accident in the Bazaar, he then took Liriel for his own house [prelude]
Wears the Cloak of the Archmage, a many pocketed piwafwi full of magical treasures and weapons [1]
A jewelled brooch with a fist sized sapphire that adorns the Cloak of the Archmage, is used to enspell the timeclock of Menzoberranzan [15]
Used to enter elven reverie for his first few centuries. Now only his magic sustains him, he has forgotten how to sleep and even dream [15]

Liriel Baenre
Has large amber eyes like Gromph Baenre [prelude]
Has eidetic memory [prelude]
Less than 40 years old [2]
Has thick white hair in wavy locks [2]
Gromph did not force Liriel to join Arach-Tinilith at 25 years of age [2]
Has enchanted elven boots that make her walk light as a shadow [2]
Has spent 20+ years adventuring in the Underdark [2]
Gromph grew tired of her a few years after adoption and sent her to foster with House Shobalar and train with their female wizards [2]
Given a miniature castle in Narbondellyn as her house by Gromph on her 25th birthday. It is situated directly across from Narbondellyn’s most infamous festhall [2,14]
Owns a piwafwi that grants invisibility and also masks her heat shadow [7,8]
Liriel learned the art of stealth from her handmaid, a halfling pickpocket

Other Lore
Attempting to read an unlearned spell can cause terrible pain, even insanity [prelude]
Amber eyes, rare among the drow [prelude]
Copper hair, unusual among the drow [1]
Deep rothe call to prospective mates with faint blinking lights [1]
Pyrimo, small (the size of a hand), oval shaped with silvery scales and delicate fins, fierce fish in the Underdark, attracted to blood. Often leap out of the water to attack animals drinking. Teeth so sharp and jaws so powerful the first bite is often unnoticed. The flesh is delicate, tasty, and highly toxic. Can be prepared into a potent intoxicant dish stronger than any wine, but fatalities can occur (rarely) when pyrimo are served (by carefully trained chefs). Their body temperature perfectly matches the surrounding water. Will continue to bite even when speared. [2]
Some rocks emit a strange radioactive power known as faerzress which is unique to the Underdark, these places of power are highly prized by the drow [4]
Deep dragons are natural shapeshifters, can consume pyrimo without any effect [4]
Deep dragons, drow dragons, are they the same thing???? [4]
Deep dragon scales are a rare and valuable spell component, when dissolved in acid they could be used to make the prized ever-dark ink used by drow wizards [4]
Liriel wonders what would happen if her scrying bowl were left in a faerzress rich area for a few days (implying drow made items gain more power from exposure to faerzress for longer [6]
Students of Arach-Tinilith that break the rules are turned into obsidian statues (forever) as a warning to other students [6]
Chirank, female ogre, kitchen hand in Arach Tinilith, very skilled at picking locks, Liriel has disguised her as a drow in the past to accomplish some prank or misdeed [6]
Rune Shaping, has three components, planning, carving, and activating. Over the course of a journey or adventure the rune would take shape in the mind of its caster, only when it was fully realised could it be carved. Some runes must be carved on specific surfaces to have an effect. A rune to speed healing must be carved on the limb of an oak tree. Activating a rune anointing it or reciting words of magic, it is highly personal and cannot be achieved by using a purchased spell scroll for example [7]
Drow that venture to the surface lose their faerie fire and levitation and other abilities, their magical items disintegrate, even their magic resistance fades (according to the tales) [7]
It is possible for someone to cast a gate to seek out other drow
Ysolde Veladorn, follower of Eilistraee, daughter of Qilue Veladorn [8,10]
The hunting horn of Eilistraee, when sounded it is a sign that someone needs aid
Liriel’s priest spells do not work on the surface (why????) [10]
One of the Seven Sisters (not Qilue) studied under the witches of Rashemen for a time, she was known as a Witch (Simbul or Sylune????) [10]
The Rus mingled their blood with the folk of many lands, the old ways are strongest on Ruathym. A sea going people settled in Rashemen before the desert of Anauroch formed they could be the Rus [10]
The Rus are connected to the land, draw magic from special places of power and the spirits that dwell there [10]
New drow magic items need several years bathing in Faerzress to become magical. Those items depleted must spent at least a year bathing in Faerzress to recover their powers [13]
Dark naga possess an internal organ that they can use to store objects they swallow [14]
House Zinard, a drow house from Ched Nasad, they breed rothe of compact size and exceptionally fine fleece [14]
Wizards of Ched Nasad must take a mind searching test of loyalty to Lolth (before they graduate presumably????) [14]
Lichdrow, a form of undead drow. Invulnerable, nearly invincible, able to cast all spells he knows at will [17]
Only the followers of Vhaeraun refer to the surface world as the Night Above [17]
Giant Underdark turtles, their shells are often used for combs by drow [17]
Vhaeraunites built a small settlement in the High Forest, with twisting, spiralled towers of stone. There are few drow women in the settlement so they breed with elves, mostly outcasts (children of such unions tend to breed towards drow). Followers of Vhaeraun are not adverse to half drow [18]
Drow are more prolific than surface elves, but their constant incestuous warfare keeps numbers low [18]
Henge, highest ranking priest of Vhaeraun in the drow settlement in the High Forest. Former slave from Ched-Nasad. Henge was Blood-bonded to Nisstyer in exchange for Nisstyre helping him escaped from Ched-Nasad [18,23]
Brizznarth, younger brother of Henge, finest fighter in the Vhaeraun drow settlement in the High Forest. Slain by Fyodor [18]
Codfael, fighter drow in the Vhaeraun drow settlement in the High Forest. Slain by Fyodor [18]
Drow males almost never “take” drow against their will (and often they just kill females of other races), it is a taboo reinforced by millennia of matriarchal society and indoctrination [18]
Only drow bother to capture and train quaggoths [19]
Quaggoths enter a death rage if they are not killed quickly. They become immune to pain [20]
Casting magic takes a physical toll on the caster [20,21]
Blood-bond, a magic used that causes any signs of loyalty towards the caster to be exacted in deep, magically inflicted cuts carved into the bonded persons body [23]

Small village with sturdy wood and stone houses and slate roofs [12]
Trollbridge, south of the Evermoor Way [12]
Ironford Path between Deadhorse Ford and Calling Horns [12]
Steaming Kettle, an inn in Trollbridge, run by Saida a plump brisk matron with nut brown hair [12]
Tosker, human male [12]
Attacked by drow regularly (every new moon), close to the Drygully Tunnel entrance to the Underdark (although the inhabitants do not know about the tunnel) [12]
The rulers of Nesme pay well for every drow ear received [12]
Tyron, young man in Trollbridge [22]

Rashemen Lore
Rashemen berserkers use a little-known magic ritual to bring on their battle rages [1]
Ashenwood logged heavily by the Tuigan leaving large tracts of barren land [3]
On the shore of Lake Ashane is a tower built by several hundred years ago. Witches magic is more potent here because of an ancient place spirit. The witch boats are launched here against those attacking across Lake Ashane. The place spirit allows the witches to summon water wraiths (creatures of steam with scalding touch and breath hot enough to melt elven metal). A group of witches in the tower were slain by Red Wizards during the Tuigan horde, their bodies were transported magically to the Witches’ stronghold city in the east, but a powerful artifact was not retrieved and Fyodor was sent to find it (single Red Wizard slew his fellows and stole all the magic) [3]
Many people in Rashemen possess the Sight, an unreliable gift often providing insights too late, but in places of power it provides echoes of events [3]
Lake Ashane has giant dragon turtles that lurk in the depths [3]
Stara Baba, name of the legendary crone that lived in a hut (that walked on gigantic chicken legs) in the Ashenwood. The hut has a bubbling cauldron and alchemical items. The Red Wizards knew about the hut, one overcame its defences and stored the items stolen from the Witches of Rashemen there [3]
Drow are occasionally encountered in the mines under the rocky hills of Rashemen and in the Ashenwood forest [3]
A Fang is a chief in charge of a band of warriors [7]
Jhuild, a potent libation more commonly known as firewine. A lesser concoction is distilled as a trade good. The real jhuild is carried by all berserkers (some have a magic endless flask of jhuild), it can be used before battle as part of a ritual that can bring on a berserk rage. The berserkers have been trained to do this since birth (none can do so without such a lifetime of training) [7]
Old favours are soon forgotten – a saying in Rashemen (maybe Rus in origin) [9]
Rashemmi hold mercenaries with contempt. They fight only when they must, never for profit [12]
Men and women both take part in snow racing (a sport), involving racing in winter, lightly clad, and on foot [19]
Rashemmi berserkers always recover weapons of the enemy (even in their rage) because weapons are so valuable [19]
A tale is told in my land of a certain warrior. After the rage of battle left him, he wandered, wounded and confused, deeper into the forest than any man should walk. In time he came to an enchanted place and came to rest beneath a mighty tree. He saw in the distance a maiden of shadows and moonlight, more beautiful than any he had glimpsed either waking or in dreams. Now, it is said in my land that a man dies when his life surpasses his dreams. Thus the warrior passed from life with the image of the maiden before him, and the sightless tree wept golden tears. Whether in sorrow or envy, who can say? [22]
The Dark Maiden (Eilistraee) is not unknown in Rashemen, she is revered as a helpful being [24]
He who would bargain with a dragon is either a fool or a corpse. An old Rashemmi proverb [25]

Champion berserker. A piece of magic from the berserk ritual lodged itself in Fyodor allowing him to become a natural berserker [1]
Hard worker, bit of a dreamer, with a resonant bass voice [1]
Has an enormous black sword with a broad blade (and a thick dull edge) that is almost too big to be wielded by a normal man [1,3]
One tamed a wild snowcat for a time before it returned to the wild [1]
Strong, stocky, just short of six feet tall, pale blue topaz coloured eyes, 19 years old, dark hair cut carelessly short [3,9]
Was sent away by the Witches of Rashemen during the war with the Tuigan because he cannot control his berserker rage [3]
Was sent by the Witches of Rashemen to find an artifact lost by the witches on the shore of Lake Ashane. Also looking for an amulet – a 3 inch dagger hanging from a thin chain, the dagger’s sheath was carved with runes from a long dead language and the metal was worn and darkened with age. The witches suggested the ancient amulet might hold the key to Fyodor’s release (controlling his berserker rage????) [3]
When Fyodor enters his berserker rage he generates enough heat to melt snow and ice. When in the berserker rage he cannot speak, but can hear and understand [3]
Apprenticed to the village swordsmith for 7 years. Used to visit the village storyteller often [3]
His Sight often gives him a glimpse of the character of people, allowing him to read people better than most wise men [12]
Fyodor’s inherent berserker rage is described as his heritage and his curse (did one of his ancestors have the same ability) [19]

The Windwalker Amulet, a tiny dagger in a rune carved sheath. Allows the witches of Rashemen to carry their place magic with them so they can leave Rashemen. It allows them to temporarily store magic from places of power. Legend suggests it may be able to grant such powers permanently. The Windwalker may have been Rus in origin and so rune magic was its key and could help make powers permanent [10]
Heals itself when damaged, heals so well it is impossible to tell where damage has occurred [13]
The Windwalker Amulet is actually a chisel, perhaps used to carve runes onto Yggdrasil’s Child (its ancient and gnarled trunk marked by the runes of a thousand spells which only the most powerful rune could be carved using tools made by only the most powerful runecasters) [13]
Yggdrasil’s Child is located on the island of Ruathym, a most ancient and sacred oak tree [13]
Allows Liriel to take her innate drow powers and drow wizardry to the surface [17]

The Promenade
The Protectors of the Song, less than 60 dark elves, humans, dwarves, halflings that are temple guards [25]
Has a small library of scrolls and spellbooks [25]
Elkantar, Qilue Veladorn’s consort, commander of the Protectors of the Song. A rebellious noble warrior in his youth that was sold by his matron mother, he ended up on a ship (in Skullport and possibly was rescued by Qilue Veladorn????) [25]
Iljrene, priestess of Eilistraee, tiny kitten soft doll like drow. She had served under Elkantar for nearly a century [25]
Qilue Veladorn owns a singing sword [25]
The Chosen, the name of Eilistraee’s priests as a group [25]

The Dark Maiden’s Shadow, the shadowy image of a tall and beautiful drow female that dances, shows the favour of Eilistraee [24]
The Dragon’s Hoard have two ships in Skullport, they are transporting drow children for sale in Calimshan. [25]
The Dragon’s Hoard have the services of a deep dragon named Pharx (is he the secret patron of the merchant group_ that can shape shift to humanoid form and has a lair around Skullport (the Dragon’s Hoard) an impressive cavern complex with three main chambers and a series of tunnels [25]
The Grinning Gargoyle, a tavern [25]
Pharx and Zz'Pzora slew each other. Liriel slew Nisstyre. Most of the Dragon’s Hoard band were defeated by the Protectors of the Song [25]
Hrolf the Unruly, a sea captain with a ship, managed to get arrested in Skullport. Will take Liriel and Fyodor to Ruathym [25]

Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Jun 2022 : 10:46:12
The Windwalker amulet is ancient, not of Rashemmi making, but of the Rus, people of Ruathym.

It uses rune magic and has some connection to Yggdrasil's child it would seem as it is used to carve runes onto the bark of the tree (very powerful runes).

I'm wondering if the Windwalker Amulet is actually giantish in origin or heritage there were giants on Ruathym and they could have taught such knowledge to their human slaves, or alternatively the giants could have made it.

I dont know what happens at the end yet, but i vaguely recall Liriel carves a rune into the tree that then allows all drow to venture to the surface. This says to me that Yggdrasil's tree is a Weave Anchor and the rune carved into it restores the drow connection to the weave (without a need for them to attune themselves like some drow seem to have done anyway).
Athreeren Posted - 14 Jun 2022 : 09:12:48
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

So the Windwalker amulet allowed Liriel to take her innate drow powers and her drow wizardry to the surface.

The fact that the drow powers are supposedly denied on the surface makes little sense given that the Weave is present everywhere, unless the drow are tied to a different Weave.

I remember it being mentioned in Homeland that drow spells didn't work as well on the surface, although some theorise that it was just propaganda to justify the failure of some surface raids. But in any case, it seems to be the norm for spells to work to some extent (or maybe drow would also lose their powers over time, as is the case with their levitation?), rather than being a binary thing of working perfectly / spell fizzling out.
Gary Dallison Posted - 14 Jun 2022 : 07:58:49
So the Windwalker amulet allowed Liriel to take her innate drow powers and her drow wizardry to the surface.

The fact that the drow powers are supposedly denied on the surface makes little sense given that the Weave is present everywhere, unless the drow are tied to a different Weave.

So lets assume the Demon Weave was always a thing. The drow are banished from the surface, what if they were also cut off from the Weave (they were certainly prevented from using elven high magic which is part of the Weave).

Now i think drow have been able to use magic on the surface from time to time, so it may be that over the millennia some drow were able to attune themselves to the Weave. Those that couldnt (seemingly the isolationist drow in Menzoberranzan) were trapped underground, and indeed what better way to ensure someone stays underground (take away their magic if they try and leave).

It might be a bit like the 10th level spells and the Weave. THey werent actually taken away, the rules were just changed so that they couldnt be accessed the same way as before and the first attempt to cast a 10th level spell always fails (thus discouraging a second attempt unless you know the first attempt always fails). So the drow are initially cut off, but they can reattune themselves, they just have to do certain things first.

Using a different weave, with different rules might also explain why so many of their magic weapons were super powerful. The adventures i remember reading listed all drow fighters as having a minimum of +3 weapons, and every item they had was magical. So this Demon Weave might be easier to enchant magic items (it looks like they just have to leave an item near a faerzress / demon weave node for a few years and hey presto its a magic item).

TBeholder Posted - 12 Jun 2022 : 02:35:59
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

While it think about it. Corellon is the god of elven magic, but he has been around on toril since before humans even learned how to write, let alone cast spells.

The elves were newcomers.
Dragons came earlier, and they had some human minions. Most humans perhaps remained savages for a while longer. But servants of the dragons could be taught.
Before that, there were Creator Races and a few others, some magic-using (aboleths, lammasu).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 11 Jun 2022 : 01:56:53
Just because gods lie sometimes doesn't mean they lie all the time.

And either way, the part I quoted from Magic of Faerûn isn't legend or myth. Mystryl may or may not have been the third deity of the Realms, but she was one of the first and she was there when mortals arrived.
Gary Dallison Posted - 10 Jun 2022 : 20:19:26
I guess that is where we disagree. For me Myths and Legends are just that, because after more than 30,000 years nobody knows what happened so long ago, and as Ed reminds us repeatedly - the gods lie all the time.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 10 Jun 2022 : 19:54:48
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Are you sure that is not a legend sidebar.

Technically, yes, it is myth and legend. But in the Realms, myths and legends are often factual.

Also, page 4 of Magic of Faerûn makes it clear that Corellon never had anything to do with the Weave:

The birth of the being then known as Mystryl did more than just balance the war between the sisters of light and darkness. Her very existence changed the reality of the universe by creating the Weave, the conduit that allows creatures to use magic. Suddenly, rather than magic being restricted to just the deities, any creature with the talent or training could draw upon the power of magic through the Weave. When sentient creatures appeared on Toril, some of them learned to use the Weave while shamans and clerics drew their magic directly from deities. Acknowledgement of her gift led to worship, and Mystryl drew power from that, becoming one of the more powerful deities.
Gary Dallison Posted - 10 Jun 2022 : 18:30:52
Are you sure that is not a legend sidebar.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 10 Jun 2022 : 18:21:35
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

While it think about it. Corellon is the god of elven magic, but he has been around on toril since before humans even learned how to write, let alone cast spells.

I wonder if the elven god of magic once controlled the weave the way mystra does now. It would then make sense for lolth to have tried making her own demon weave ages ago and the descent of the drow crushed that attempt but left the drow tied to the mini weave energies the faerzress nodes emit.

Just another thought or two

Canon is that Mystryl was the third deity present in the Realms. First Shar and Selûne, then Mystryl.
Gary Dallison Posted - 09 Jun 2022 : 19:26:13
While it think about it. Corellon is the god of elven magic, but he has been around on toril since before humans even learned how to write, let alone cast spells.

I wonder if the elven god of magic once controlled the weave the way mystra does now. It would then make sense for lolth to have tried making her own demon weave ages ago and the descent of the drow crushed that attempt but left the drow tied to the mini weave energies the faerzress nodes emit.

Just another thought or two
Baltas Posted - 09 Jun 2022 : 18:27:25
^ Great observation Gary, and it does make sense Faerzress is an offshoot of the Weave and precursor/early form of the Demon Weave.
It was even implied in canon ie "Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark":

The Weave has undoubtedly played a crucial role in the Deepearth, for vast cavern networks suddenly appear from time to time, leaving pockets of Underdark radiation, known to the drow as faerzress, in their wake.

Later sources suggested High Magic that transformed Dark Elves into Drow created Faerzress, but also suggesting it just tapped into it, and tied drow to Faerzress.

Also, with Baba Yaga, I found she was noted in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" to be present in Rashemen, so Stara Baba might be her.


Elaine Cunningham did indeed confirm that Stara Baba is meant to be Baba Yaga:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

"Stara Baba" is "old woman" in Polish--and a few other Slavic languages, I'm told. It does indeed refer to Baba Yaga.

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