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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2021 :  08:50:39  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It doesnt say exactly but you can take a well educated guess from his history.

He married at 20, got his dad out of jail (or tried) and separated from his wife within a few short years.

Then he joined up with the Harpers which could be anywhere from 10-15 years ago.

He took up adventuring with pontifax 10 years ago

Then things with kaverin ebonhand got serious about 5 years ago. He left the Harpers, and killed kaverin 3 years ago.

I reckon for the past 3-5 years he has been focused on kaverin and the ring, so no iriaebor then.

It's most likely iriaebor was during his harper period 10-15 years ago, and I'd go with 10 years ago when he took up with Pontifax because his early years in the Harpers were minor missions.

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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
726 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2021 :  14:39:12  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you. That puts it somewhere between 1347 and 1352. The Banner War was in 1351. That seems like a logical escalation if there were a bunch of assassinations happening among the merchants prior to that.

"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."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6191 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2021 :  08:01:00  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gary, what do you think the phrase "Zara n'tomo, Tarth?" means in Tabaxi?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2021 :  08:21:14  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's a tricky one, its spoken by the kids to artus as he wakes up in mezro.

He doesnt speak tabaxi and no explanation is given at any point.

I'll check my other notes to see if I found any other tabaxi words but at the moment there are only a handful of words we know

Here goes, and I'm drawing inspiration from my tactless children

Zara is a bit like zasquara so rather than children what if it refers to adults.

Karth is a bit like Ka, which I imagine means "I"

That leaves n'tomo. N could be a bit like Neb which I think means no or not. So Tomo I think means black or dark.

So in conclusion I think the tabaxi are asking why Artus is not like them (not dark skinned). It would be an unusual sight for them, the rayburtons are darkly tanned and there are no other visitors to mezro.

Either that or they are saying What's your name, but in my experience kids always go for the interesting stuff (to them) first.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2021 :  12:31:51  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another thought is that they could be asking artus if he is not dead, he slept for 2 days, is very pale, and his movement and speech would indicate he was alive which might explain why they seemed pleased with his response

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2021 :  13:17:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Realms of Valour - Lord of Lowhill (1356 DR)
By Douglas Niles
Pawldo, honorary lord mayor of Lowhill, travelled to Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate
Lowhill, a warren of cottages and burrows built around the hill atop which sits Caer Corwell. Lush vineyards, fertile hedges and pastures
Corwell Town, sits a mile below Lowhill (and Caer Corwell) at a harbour on the Corwell Firth
Earl Randolph lives in the wooden walled fort of Caer Corwell
Midsummer holiday held by the ffolk. The High King and Queen will visit
Pawldo intending to travel to Kingsbay (a pleasant fishing town) to sell his latest vintage
Curragh ships in the harbour at Corwell Town
Cafwort the Barrelmaker (resident of Corwell Town or Lowhill???)
Stefanik, a red haired young halfling from Llyrath Downs, fair tracker
Llyrath Downs, a halfling community, several days east of Corwell on the fringes of the Llyrath Forest. A dozen families live there scattered over a wide hilltop
Halflings are called hairfeet in Moonshae Isles
Platinum long dagger, a foot long blade, jewel encrusted hilt (ruby in the handguard, emeralds around the base of the hilt, huge diamond in the middle of the handgrip). Found in Llyrath Forest by Stefanik where two rivers join. Tiny fleshless skull etched at the base of the blade. Dagger acts as a compass pointing to the palace when dropped on the ground.
A fleshless skull is a symbol of the Palace of Skulls
Palace of Skulls is supposed to appear once in a generation and only for the waxing of the summer solstice moon
Prince Ketheryll, supposed to be a shadow that can suck your soul. Legend says he built the great fortress in Llyrath with the heads of his enemies, at a time when Gwynneth and the Moonshaes were only a lot of small principalities. Cruel prince that made war on all his neighbours. Fascinated by magic
Palace of Skulls is full of treasure beyond imagination
Comfortable Inn on the King’s Road in Cantrev Koart
Llyrath Forest, fir trees, dark thick trunks, canopy blocks all light, claustrophobic, oppressive, murky. Layer of moss, leaves, and needles covers the floor
The Doomed Legion, made up of Ketheryll’s lieutenants, each one branded with a skull (Ketheryll’s symbol), each one pledged to die for the prince
Flamsterd and the Earthmother defeated Prince Ketheryll
Dedication ceremony for the Palace of Skulls held on the new moon of the summer solstice. A grand celebration held, hundreds of captives slain in an arena called the Circus Bizarre. Prince Ketheryll captured the young king and queen of a human realm and put them to death with the others.
The young king and queen were the first to fly the banner of the Great Bear, the symbol has survived as a talisman of the high kings of the ffolk
A black fog descended on the palace of the skulls on the night of the slaughter (a spell from flamsterd). The prince and his followers feared to venture forth, the fog lingered for a fortnight and then on the night of the solstice under the light of the full moon, the fog dissipated and the Palace of Skulls was gone.
A thief named Garius, who despised his evil master Ketheryll, fled the palace during the fog. Its unknown if he survived, some say he perished, others (in Llyrath Downs) say he was transformed
Birchbrook, a deep, cold creek south of Llyrath Downs in the Llyrath Forest
Wolves are rarely seen in Llyrath forest, they don’t bother people much.
Bears in Llyrath forest
Palace of Skulls made of bones, entrance doorway formed of three massive thigh bones 10 ft long (bigger than a firbolg)
A pair of gold rings with the great bear symbol found in the arena pit (surrounded by benches made of bone)
A crouching lion made of silver with ruby eyes, a crystal mounted knight made of diamond with a platinum lance. All worthless junk, transformed representations of thieves and inhabitants of the castle
Prince Ketheryll is now a wraith like being of oily smoke, larger than a man, with long claws, a vicious maw, a crimson tongue, and blackened teeth. He transforms any that venture into his castle into worthless but seemingly valuable treasure (tin instead of silver, glass gems, etc). He even transformed the Doomed Legion and Garius into trinkets. Any who steal from the Palace of Skulls are transformed, even if they later escape the Palace.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 02 Mar 2021 08:43:48
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2021 :  13:22:23  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll do the short stories individually, unfortunately theres no page or chapter notation because the stories are so small

Cant believe the first one was a Moonshaes novel that i missed, and it mentions Flamsterd as being responsible for Prince Ketheryll's doom (before the 4e dragon timeline crossover), so its canon rather than extended canon.

The Doomed Legion are a nice idea, and supports my use of extended family as personal bodyguards of the King. These would all now be transformed into trinkets that look priceless but are worthless and poorly made. They might also be enchanted, and i suspect cursed.

I think more than a few of these cursed Doomed Legion items should be spread out across the Moonshae Isles, enticing people to the Palace of Skulls. Perhaps if all of them can be gathered by one person then the curse is broken and the Doomed Legion restored to life, and Prince Ketheryll released from the Palace of Skulls

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2021 :  15:03:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Realms of Valour - Elminster at the Magefair (1336 DR)
By Ed Greenwood
Storm Silverhand, adventurer of wide experience and fame, senior Harper. Never heard of a magefair before. When Elminster leaves Shadowdale, Storm is often left to defend it. This year Storm received a request from one of her sisters to guard Elminster while he attends the magefair. Has a magic sword
Elminster, over 500 years old, grouchy. Hasnt been to a magefair in years, only attending this one to meet a friend for the Harpers and retrieve a key (doesn’t remember what the key looks like or why its so important all of a sudden).
Dhaerivus, midnight eyes, cold thin mouth, carries a carved gem adorned staff, a sentinel of the magefair (guards it and demands all entrants prove they can cast magic – any magic – to keep out the rabble). At the first magefair Elminster attended, he transformed Dhaerivus into a toad
Magefairs, only magic users allowed to attend, sentinels guard it and challenge entrants. Mages are allowed only one guest. Most attendees are accomplished magic users, most come to gain new spells, others come to show off. There are rules to prevent magefairs descending into a spell brawl.
Fireball throwing contest where magelings challenge older wizards to prove themselves by seeing who can produce the biggest and most powerful firesphere.
Group of wrinkled old crones with cold dark eyes and sinister black robes. Talking about a king’s baby born with wings that flew around the nursery giggling
Tlaerune invented a spell that makes men swoon and …..
Duara, short, stunningly beautiful lady mage, known Elminster years and years ago. Dark eyes. She was an apprentice of Elminster’s, now she dwells in Telflamm. Joined the Harpers last summer. Adventured and gained a dragon hoard and much magic. Is not powerful enough to teleport yet. Duara found the key to Elminster’s cabinet in the dragon’s hoard and notified Elminster immediately, her tower was ransacked twice, she was attacked several times.
Teleportation considered bad manners at a magefair
Hook nosed man in a velvet green doublet with slashed and puffed sleeves wanted Elminsters magic (tried to take it). Made off with a ten ft long smooth black staff with brass ends (wrought in a coiling snake design). Wanted the key, knew Duara had it, but didn’t know who Elminster was. Agent of Raerlin.
Boastful young mage challenged Elminster to a fireball contest and lost. Agent of Raerlin.
Magefair rules prohibit magics that enfeeble the wits
The key was a small spindle of metal set with a large emerald (Duara kissed Elminster and passed it into his mouth).
The key to Elminster’s old spellbook cabinet was stolen by Raerlin, an ambitious Calishite mage that was a brief apprentice of Elminster. Raerlin was eaten by a dragon
Raerlin survived being eaten by the dragon (is a lich, was he when attacked by the dragon???). Was at the magefair and had multiple agents watching Duara and Elminster to try and get the key. Opened a portal into Elminster’s Tower (how???) to try and steal his old spellbooks. Raerlin was strong enough to defeat Elminster (by absorbing all his magic and spells) until Storm threw a spellbook into a magic brazier and the resulting magic was absorbed by Raerlin and he crumbled.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 02 Mar 2021 08:44:04
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TBeholder
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2088 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2021 :  02:04:11  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Realms of Valour - Elminster at the Magefair (1336 DR)
Storm Silverhand, adventurer of wide experience and fame, senior Harper. Never heard of a magefair before. When Elminster leaves Shadowdale, Storm is often left to defend it. This year Storm received a request from one of her sisters to guard Elminster while he attends the magefair.

Obviously, the sister who requested have heard (...a lot of things about it), at least.
But yes, an interesting moment. So everyone is neck-deep in "closer to home" problems and may not have heard even about something that is both an old non-secret tradition and sort of less than regular non-secret "private club" activity for people working with them all the time. Just because it didn't come up yet.
quote:
Raerlin survived being eaten by the dragon (is a lich, was he when attacked by the dragon???)

May have been a lichnee at the stage when they are already prepared (and phylactery-linked), but didn't die and come back yet.
In this case it's really not obvious that one will be seen again after being eaten.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2021 :  12:21:07  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I'm struggling to mesh all the bits together. Did raerlin get eaten by the dragon at all or did he fake his death.

I think Elminsters surprise at raerlin opening a portal into his tower os the clue.

Raerlin stole the key, knowing it was where all elminster old books and stuff were kept.

He faked his death, planted the treasure in the dragons hoard and underwent the transformation to lichdom over many years with the intention of springing his trap when he was ready.

He enchanted the key in such a manner that it allowed him to use it as a locator beacon so he could transport straight to it through elminsters defences.

He then set Duara on the path to flinching the dragons hoard, knowing she would get in touch with elminster and try and return it.

The agents at the mage fair were a ruse, raerlin wanted elminster to get the key, he just didn't want it to be too easy (else the old mage become suspicious).

So elminster willingly took the key home and when his defences were at their lowest raerlin attacked.


The only bit I'm not sure about is Duaras means of contacting Elminster. She appeared to have contacted him directly but was being attacked on all sides so I'm guessing she went into hiding with the help of her harper friends and that's how dove or sylune (I forget when she died) found out about elminsters plan and they knew a trap would be laid for him so wanted extra backup.


At least that's how I'm thinking. I know Ed likes multi layered plots and this seems reasonable in terms of plots and counter plots and bluffs and double bluffs.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2021 :  19:29:26  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One Last Drink (892 DR)
By Christie Golden
First lieutenant Rhynn “the Fair” Oriandis. Moon elf, white skin, indigo hair, blue eyes. One of the esteemed Riders of Mistledale for several decades. Friends with Jander Sunstar for a month since he arrived in Mistledale Town.
Stone wall encircles the town of Mistledale
Only one major street winds haphazardly through Mistledale town. Cobbled street.
Riders of Mistledale, guard the gates leading into Mistledale town (and patrol the dale). Wear black leather armour and cloak. Ride white horses, have a very close bond with the horses, the rider raises the horse from a foal and no one else may ride it (save in emergencies), the Rider kills the horse when it becomes too old. Riders confiscate all weapons they find on those entering Mistledale Town (they only usually search strangers), weapons are returned when people leave.
Jander Sunstar, gold elf, tall (for an elf), bronze skin, shoulder length wheat gold hair, silver eyes. Warrior by trade. Born on Evermeet but unable to return there (because he’s a vampire). Been a vampire for over a century (enslaved to Cassiar’s will). Acts as a scout for Cassiar, finding the best feeding times and places and covering the vampire’s tracks. Feeds only off the blood of animals. Worshipped Lathander when alive.
Captain Theorn, leads the Riders of Mistledale for at least 5 years. Volunteered for gate duty for 5 years in a row so his Riders could enjoy the annual bardic competition. Big hands, booming voice, big man, beard. Turned into a vampire before the bardic competition.
Annual bardic competition held in Mistledale town in mid Marpenoth. A wild elf, half elf, and human priest of Lathander attended the competition
A farmer’s family and children found with their throats ripped out.
Wolves in the dales hunt to feed their young, they are generally shy and do not even attack livestock unless the winter is unusually harsh.
Black Boar Inn in Mistledale Town, where the annual bardic competition is held. Indigo, a midnight black cat (almost blue), tavern mascot. Common room with 10 tables and a stage. Cellar with a back route out (for loading barrels). Vampires slaughtered patrons in the common room.
Uncle Pogg, barkeep of the Black Boar Inn. Has a brother – Shomar, and a nephew Trevys. Pogg likes to attend the bardic competition (Shomar does not care about music – perhaps a farmer).
Pakar, wizard at the Blue Boar Inn, attending the bardic competition. Old man, pale blue eyes. Strong magician, slain by vampires.
Aluise, young barmaid at the Black Boar Inn. Shapely figure, impish, laughing eyes.
Frajen, musician, travelled a long way, wears a bright yellow tunic (people in Mistledale wear more sombre clothing). Has a plain wooden, rose coloured disc (holy symbol of Lathander). Has been a bard longer than a priest.
Cassiar, vampire lord, young man, thick head of copper hair, high pale brow, sensuous lips, brown eyes. Wears expensive but antiquated clothing. Was a spoiled, arrogant, aristocrat when alive, Jander knew him when alive. Now an old vampire, too powerful for a young priest. Cassiar turned Jander.
Two women, one blonde, one brunette, young and beautiful. Named Erith and Marys. Young and inexperienced vampires, not as powerful as Jander.
The vampires can shape change into wolves, have inhumanly sharp nails. Faster and stronger than normal humans. Have been travelling from town to town, they slaughter an entire inn, torch the building and move onto the next town.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 02 Mar 2021 08:44:43
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
726 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2021 :  19:51:33  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Merrydale became Daggerdale in 796 DR because of a vampire infestation. Is that mentioned anywhere? Could the vampires mentioned in this story have been a part of the group that "infested" Merrydale?

"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
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2021 :  20:20:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember when i first got into the realms 20 years ago, there were many threads about Jander Sunstar, but i'd never before encountered him.

Not a bad short novel, reminds me a bit of Interview with a Vampire.

A few questions arise about Jander Sunstar and the vampire troup he runs with.

It seems clear that Cassiar was once a friend of Jander and that he turned Jander into a vampire over a century ago. I'm presuming he was human although its never actually stated, and he is old enough as a vampire to become a vampire lord. He was a spoiled aristocrat in life and appears to have known Jander as a friend.

There appears to be a few inconsistencies in the lore here, because the Villain's Lorebook says that Jander was betrayed by a friend during the attack on Merrydale by vampires (which turned it into Daggerdale). The wikipedia entry says that Jander was turned by a friend who had been transformed in the first battle of Merrydale.

So this means that either Cassiar did not turn Jander directly (perhaps he commanded the vampire to turn him) because Cassiar had been a vampire for a lot longer than Jander (as the novel implies). Or alternatively Cassiar is a vampire lord transformed into one by some unknown process, and so he is not much older as a vampire than Jander but is much more powerful.



So i did some research and had a few thoughts noted below.

So Jander supposedly journeyed from Evermeet to Faerun and became a Hellrider. I'm not certain if Elturel existed before 796 DR but i guess allowances have to be made, perhaps the Hellriders could be just another adventuring group at that time.

Then he heads to the Dalelands with an adventuring band known as the Silver Six. Why he is heading there i dont know but if he were a member of a noble house (House Sunstar, House Ardaoin in elven, no idea if it exists but maybe George or Eric can help there) then he could be searching for a moonblade in Cormanthyr.

While in Merrydale the Silver Six slay a red dragon (this information is supposedly from a Ravenloft novel that i may need to track down)) and then get involved in the vampire attack on Merrydale where Jander is turned by a friend who we will assume is Cassiar (according to the novellette).

Now at this point i tried tracking down the source of the vampires and came up with nothing, but i did note some interesting history for Merrydale / Daggerdale. Alokkair tried to use one of the petty lordlings of Merrydale to forge the kingdom of Hlontar. He was an evil wizard and who magically coerced the daughter of the king of Hlontar to have children with him (3 daughters at least). When she would not cooperate he transformed her into a red dragon that was killed by elves (according to Lords of Darkness 2e).

Now eventually Hlontar's people rebelled against Alokkair and his own daughters tried to kill him. He slew two of them and either vaporised Alaphlame (the 3rd daughter) or she escaped by magic (again according to Lords of Darkness 2e).

Interestingly enough Alokkair underwent the transformation to lichdom and reading his entry in Lords of Darkness it lists one of the required components for this transformation as the blood of a vampire or one infected with vampirism.


I'm proposing that Alokkair not only transformed his wife into a red dragon, but also transformed Alaphlame into a vampire of sorts (a super powerful vampire lord type form), and he used her blood as part of his later transformation.

Alaphlame did escape by turning into a mist (as vampires do) and that matches with the information given, she was both vaporised and survived and escaped magically.

Alaphlame is the source of vampirism in the dalelands. She gradually succumbed to evil and created many vampires over the next few centuries. One of those she transformed was Cassiar, a Chondathan nobleman from the sembian coast. Those vampires transformed directly by Alaphlame inherited her vampire lord abilities (not all of them though) and so are much more powerful than normal, those vampires they in turn create are equal to normal vampires in power.

The red dragon the Silver Six slew was Alaphlame's transformed mother. They didnt do it alone, the elves of Cormanthyr also helped (by this time she would have 300 years of experience and life as a red dragon and would now behave just like a red dragon so was a major threat). There are a lot of elves in and around Merrydale, i suspect it was a joint effort and it caused Alaphlame to target Merrydale in vengeance for the killing of her mother.

So Cassiar was a newly formed vampire when he turned Jander in 796 DR, but he was turned by Alaphlame directly and much more powerful because of the abilities he inherited from her.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 28 Feb 2021 20:26:47
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 28 Feb 2021 :  20:23:04  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Merrydale became Daggerdale in 796 DR because of a vampire infestation. Is that mentioned anywhere? Could the vampires mentioned in this story have been a part of the group that "infested" Merrydale?




Its not mentioned in the novel directly, but apparently the link is made in later novels so yes the two events are related, although the dates dont match up.

Jander says he has been a vampire for over a century, but the novel is set in 892, and Merrydale was attacked in 796 DR which is just under a century. Not that it matters, Jander also doesnt know what year it is in the novel so the mistake is probably down to his lack of knowledge over the current year.

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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 01 Mar 2021 :  01:14:03  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


So Jander supposedly journeyed from Evermeet to Faerun and became a Hellrider. I'm not certain if Elturel existed before 796 DR but i guess allowances have to be made, perhaps the Hellriders could be just another adventuring group at that time.




Elturel is mentioned in 2e Pages from the Mages pg18 as existing 700 years ago. That would have been at least the mid-600s for Elturel's founding.

Thank you for the additional info.

"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."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5585 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2021 :  09:14:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Bargain (1362 DR)
By Elaine Cunningham
Arilyn and Danilo Thann travelled from Imnescar in Amn to Port Kir in Tethyr. Travelled with a merchant caravan from Waterdeep en-route to Calimport. Sent by the Harpers to deliver a warning to Pasha Balik the ruling Pasha of Tethyr. Danilo was to try and created an agent within the Pasha’s court, Arilyn was to keep Danilo alive.
Arilyn known they were being followed since Imnescar.
Merchants are the only northerners welcome in Tethyr.
Akim Nadir, merchant in Port Kir. Farig, swordsman in service to Akim Nadir.
The Guilded Dagger, a local tavern. Danilo knows knows the inkeep by name. Part of the Wine Merchants guild of Tethyr.
Guilds control every aspect of trade in Tethyr. Guild membership passed from father to son or gained through apprenticeship. Membership can be purchased but it lacks respect from members.
Pasha Balik, strongest leader in Tethyr.
Southern assassins of the assassins guild trained at a secret school known as the School of Stealth.
Arilyn has only recently joined the Harpers, was affiliated for many years.
Danilo became a member of the Wine Merchants Guild of Tethyr (wagering Arilyn could beat Farig in a duel). With this membership he can gain entry to Pasha Balik’s court.
Merchant caravans usually only brave the forest of Tethir during the day (to avoid bandits and wild beasts
Hasheth, native of Calimshan, assassin. Member of the School of Stealth. From Zazesspur. His mother was from Calimshan and a courtesan in Pasha Balik’s harem in Zazesspur. The School of Stealth sent Hasheth to assassinate Arilyn knowing he would be killed by her. Hasheth is Pasha Balik’s son. Arilyn was supposed to kill him and cause Pasha Balik to turn against the Waterdeep and the north, he would stop trade with those regions and then Tethyr would turn against Pasha Balik.
School of Stealth measures skill by a different coloured sash. Sand hued sash is for those that kill another assassin. Pale silver sash (the shadow sash) is the highest mark of skill for an assassin of the School of Stealth. Those who kill an assassin with this sash may use it to gain entry to the School of Stealth as a master, and gain much wealth, respect, and power from natives of Amn and Tethyr.
Coffee, not widely known in northern lands. Served thick, black and syrupy in Amn, Calimshan and Tethyr.
Noblemen in Tethyr seldom use cutlery, they prefer to eat delicately with their hands.
The Harpers want to keep Pasha Balik in power and warn him away from relying on the powerful guilds of Tethyr (after what happened in Waterdeep, guild rule is chaos), but warn him about the dangers of becoming a tyrant.
Hasheth gets released from the School of Stealth, Arilyn becomes a member of the Guild of Assassins, Hasheth becomes an informant for the Harpers at Pasha Balik’s court.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 02 Mar 2021 08:45:35
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 01 Mar 2021 :  09:43:59  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another good novelette, set in Tethyr during the chaotic interregnum years.

At a first glance it would seem Tethyr is very much like Calimshan, however i believe the Calishite characters are not indicative of everyone in Tethyr its just that Port Kir is a trading post so has lots of visiting merchants (Akim Nadir i'm assuming is CAlishite), and Hasheth is from Pasha Balik's court and i think he might be Calishite in origin as well given his title.

Never paid much attention to Pasha Balik before but it would appear he is the most influential and powerful of the petty lords trying to claim chaotic Tethyr. He is the one the Harpers are trying to support so i'm guessing he was the best of a bad lot in 1362 DR.

Nothing hugely groundbreaking lorewise, but a nice inclusion of the previous incarnation of the Shadow Thieves from the School of Stealth and the use of coloured sashes to denote rank (although i'm not certain that is a brilliant idea as it immediately identifies your rank and abilities to those that discover you). I'm going to presume this ranking system was ended when the Shadow Thieves were reformed.


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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 01 Mar 2021 :  18:45:56  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Patronage (1362 DR)
By David Cook
Master Koja of Khazari, a lama of the Red Mountain, Emissary of the Tuigan, Grand Historian of Yamun Khahan. studying in the temple of Deneir in Procampur. Comes from Khazari, was captured by Yamun Khahan 10 years ago and served in his court as a scholar. Wrote an account of the Tuigan and the history of the Tuigan Wars. Once stayed as a guest of King Azoun IV of Cormyr, has been in Procampur scribing his book ever since leaving Cormyr.
Koja’s book is called “Observations of the Tuigan Historian, Recording the Life of Yamun Khahan from his Rise to his Death in the Lands of the West, from Notes made for King Azoun of Cormyr”, “A History of the Tuigan” for short
Foxe, son of a noble family in Procampur, one of the priests of Deneir.
Duke Piniago holding a dinner. Likes art, has poor manners
Goodman Reaverson wrote a complete account of the Tuigan Wars
Brother Ulin of the priests of Deneir, believes in non-permanence
Procampur roofs coloured to denote different functions and arranged into districts. Blue for seamen, yellow for taverns, green for merchants. City divided into merchant, noble, and priest districts (similar layout for Khazari cities).
The Lay of the Purple Dragon – a story about the Tuigan Crusade where the gods appear to King Azoun and bless the crusade.
Griffin’s Claw (inn or tavern in Procampur????). Talamic, a bard that sings the Lay of the Purple Dragon here.
Popular sport among Tuigan in the summer is for men to hunt the snow beasts of the mountains
Sister Deara of the temple of Deneir in Procampur
Forgemaster Inkstain, a new printing business that stamps out printed pages. Located on Scribes Alley in Procampur. Located under a lean-to on the side of a teamsters stable. Forgemaster Inkstain is a dwarf, has an ogre apprentice named Aguul who works the press. The press was shipped here from Dwarves Deep (the Great Rift????)
The Great Way, a main road in Procampur.
Procampur is very foggy and misty.
Merchants District, has gates to enter it. Narrow streets, close pressed by workshops and apartments, all have green roofs.
The Red Mountain, in or near Khazari, impassable in winter.
Furo the Mighty (a god of Khazari ????)
Kumiss, soured horse milk, from Khazari
Yanitsava (a holy text from Khazari, Furo is mentioned in there????), talks about balance. Contains sutra’s (passages of text, poems, psalms????)
Granite spires of Khazari (buildings made of granite)
Silvered roofs in the noble district, magical street lamps.
Nobles and important people do not walk in Procampur – travel by Palanquin.
Duke Piniago’s Palace in the noble district. Surrounded by high walls featuring grotesque stone carved creatures and topped by iron spikes. Dining room table seats 22 guests.
Duke Jozul Piniago, massively tall and broad, thick black beard. Likes wine, a lot. Has a reputation as a gourmand. Profiteered greatly by supplying the Tuigan Crusade, did not actively fight in the war.
Tuigan rarely eat vegetables, mostly meat eaters
Temple of Tymora in Procampur.
Great sage Chih of the Red Mountain said “Truly a kingdom's victory is shared by all her people from the noble to the peasant”
Tsampo porride, a dish from Khazari, made of barley porridge oats
Buttered tea, popular in Khazari and the Tuigan, uses rich yak butter
Temples have black roofs in Procampur
Paitza, a seal from the Endless Wastes, allows travelers safe passage through Tuigan lands of a particular tribe (Yamun Khahan’s Paitza was valuable before he died as he ruled all the tribes). Koja owned Yamun Khahan’s Paitza
Yamun Khahan never called it a crusade, neither does King Azoun, they know the cost of war.
Lamas of the Red Mountain train in combat and how to ward off spirits
Each district entrance in Procampur is gated
Adventurers District had red roofs
Pure Thought sutra of the Yanitsava to fortify against evil
The Great Way winds past the entrances to each district, temple, noble, merchants, adventurers, and the Poor District. Ends at the harbour district, with massive towers marking the waterfront.
Harbour district has roofs of many colours. Harbour District is unregulated.
Thultyrl of Procampur (ruler????)
Khazari noblewomen wear silk gowns embroidered with flowers of gold and red thread on the sleeves. Necklaces of strung silver coins about their neck.
Hundred Lotus sutra of the Yanitsava causes evil spirits great pain
Khazari women are small with dark hair
Manass (settlement in Khazari????) has high valleys outside it where a type of cabbage is grown (found nowhere else)
Cabbages and sweet melons grow in Khazari
Sunlight after Storm Sutra reveals things as they really are.
Deneir, demipower of words, appears as a man surrounded by a heatless white light, stocky and straight in a tunic and cloak of purest white.
Koja receives a visit from Deneir who charges him to remain in the West and write for the uneducated. Koja decides he wants to visit Waterdeep.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 02 Mar 2021 08:45:59
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 01 Mar 2021 :  18:52:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some interesting points from this novelette about a historian of the Tuigan Crusade trying to publish his life's work.

Yamun Khahan never called the war a crusade, to him it was just a war. Similarly Azoun never called it a crusade either because he knew how costly it was. Master Koja knew both men so its a reasonable assertion for him to make.

If thats the case then who called it a crusade. I wonder if the temples of Faerun were heavily involved in the war, either gathering men or support. If yes then they may have named it a crusade to gain the support of the pious nobles and commoners. Its an angle i dont think has been explored and many have wondered why it was ever called a crusade.



Also Deneir appeared to Koja, but he is described as the Demipower of Words, so he's material plane bound which i prefer for direct deific involvement.

A fair bit of lore about Procampur, lots of different coloured roofs and districts. Quite a bit of lore about Khazari as well.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 01 Mar 2021 :  22:02:00  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A Virtue by Reflection (1353 DR)
By Scott Ciencin
Penn Othmann, owns a small, exclusive antique shop in Arabel. Magical wards on his shop (burn intruders, cause stupefaction, transform them into frail creatures) . Flaxen coloured hair, handsome face, sky blue eyes. Specialises in high priced artefacts (magical or otherwise). Shop is open by appointment only. Elhazir often referred genuine dealers to Othmann. Extremely private individual.
Othmann had a Harp from Myth Drannor (dilapidated and magic fading), ring of invisibility, healing potions, jars of ointment that restore youth and promote longevity, a chalice that shows the future when drunk from. Amulets that explode when the wearer is slain. Items that trap shapeshifters in their present form. Lover of Elhazir
Arabel holds weekly footraces to keep its citizens fit and healthy.
The Citadel has beautiful gardens surrounded by a foliage shrub wall
Myrmeen owns a crystal phoenix statuette, magically enchanted to capture sounds and repeat them back. A gift from an admirer.
Myrmeen’s curtains are enchanted to slice apart anyone that breaks through the window.
Myrmeen owns a magical dresser that exists half in another dimension. It dresses her magically and can be used as a handy escape route when necessary.
Evon Stralana, minister of defence for Arabel, tall, wiry, dark haired
Central gardens of the citadel have gazebos, rose tangled archways, topiary renditions of various gods and demigods. One gazebo has a phoenix carved into the far wall, it was where Haverstrom proposed to Myrmeen.
Elhazir’s Exotic, a dress and jewellery shop, sells imitations of famous pieces worn by nobles etc. Located near Penn Othmann’s antique shop. Elhazir, honey blond hair, doe eyes, a hard mouth, overdresses in cheap, flashy, jewellery, lover of Penn Othmann. Andreana, a young girl, apprenticed to Elhazir.
A phoenix is the symbol of Myrmeen’s late husband, Haverstrom Lhal.
During Haverstrom Lhal’s rule of Arabel it was invaded, Haverstrom was stabbed (a miracle he survived according to his healers).
Lord Zaehlas Alandovos Zacharius, Zaz for short (handsome, emerald green eyes, chiselled jaw), Siobhan (black hair, grey blue eyes, heart necklace one side black the other red), Niccolo, Sauveur, cat lords visiting Arabel, seek an audience with Myrmeen
Long ago, many tribes of cat lords that warred among themselves for centuries. Satsuma, a great leader gave his life to unite the warring tribes against a common enemy. The enemy was defeated but stole Satsuma’s bones and scattered across Faerun. One of these secret burial chambers is believed to be beneath the university of Arabel.
Clerics of Tymora staff the university of Arabel.
Russka Volney, Walcott, mages in Arabel.
Kynan Tofte, a flaxen haired soldier in Arabel.
Cats begin marauding in packs a hundred strong and attacking individuals. No deaths or serious injuries. Those who killed any cats were involved in strange incidents (killed????)
Cats in Cormyr are believed to be messengers of the gods.
The true story is Siobhan was in Arabel many years ago and was attacked in the Citadel Gardens by the gazebo, Penn Othman and Volney attacked Siobhan, Othmann had a powerful weapon and cut off her paw and stabbed her many times. They then changed their appearances (Penn and Volney did not know who the other had become). Walcott was a cat lord and was sent to track the attackers and setup Volney for Othmann’s murder. The cat lords killed Othmann and Volney.
Andreana is a powerful sorcerer, Othmann and Elhazir bought her from her parents (in Daggerdale), and used to beat and burn her and said they would kill her parents if she ran away. Her parents do not want her.
The cat lords trapped Othmann and Volney’s soul inside the heart shaped necklace (each half contains a soul (normally black, becomes crimson when the half contains a soul).
Walcott knows a spell that can reattached Siobhan’s paw.

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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
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Posted - 02 Mar 2021 :  06:24:34  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I think the "A Virtue by Reflection" short story is one of the few tidbits about catlords in Faerun. I remember catlords from Gary Gygax's Gord the Rogue series.

Request - When listing short stories, could you add the author please?
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Gary Dallison
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5585 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2021 :  07:57:43  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Will do, the catlords were interesting but felt out of place.

Supposedly long ago there was a war and then a leader united the tribes against a common enemy but he was killed and his bones stolen and hidden.

Standard fantasy trope, but it doesnt fit anywhere in faerun that I know of (although i could probably massage it into the ejen horo and the animal tribes that arrived in mulhorand around 0 DR)

I wonder if the cat people thing was an attempt to explain cormyr's cat worship, being that they once lived here long ago and the residual good favour with cats is a left over. Of course its equally likely that the cat lords liked arabel because they were nice to cats.

The murder mystery thing was a bit confusing, the girl added a layer of unnecessary complication but then life is like that I suppose. I'm guessing she is one of the wild talents, might be interesting to try and identify her parents among the people of daggerdale (unscrupulous, newly found money perhaps enough to open a shop, chondathan heritage for the wild talent).

Myrmeens backstory was elaborated further. It seems that arabel was invaded prior to her rule and her husband was stabbed and then swore vengeance, I'm assuming he went and took that vengeance later which is an event that could be elaborated.

Also Lhal's family symbol appears to have been a phoenix, was he noble, is his house extinct since he and myrmeen were childless. Why the phoenix, its unusual in cormyr, I've never seen it mentioned in that region before.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 02 Mar 2021 :  10:51:48  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kings Tear (1360 DR)
Mark Anthony
Kelshara, necromancer, has a tower in the southernmost of the Sunset Mountains. Flawless features, pale skin, long onyx coloured hair. Cruel, enraged. Her lair is a keep in the southern foothills of the Sunset Mountains, the catacombs contain ancient stone sarcophagi with gem encrusted deathmasks. The keep is filled with traps (mechanical blades, and magical traps)
Kings Tears, teardrop shaped, clear as ice. Legends say they are the tears of ancient kings turned to stone. Legends say if you look into the heart of a Kings Tear you can see what he loved most in life.
King Everard Farseer, ruler of a realm on the banks of the River Chionthar. He formed a Kings Tear and it shows his realm and glyph inscribed parchment and gem encrusted books. This kingdom fell long before people from Cormyr crossed the Sunset Mountains and raised the caravan cities.
Everard Farseer, legends say he gave his life to protect a library from marauders seeking to burn books within. He shed at least 3 Kings Tears (Kelshara has 2, Everard Abbey has one)
The Tome of Midnight, a book prized by Everard Farseer, said to hold the key to eternal life.
Toz, a kobold with powers of divination and farseeing. Was once a diviner who told the fortune of emperors and queens. Kelshara had him murdered and reincarnated into a kobold using dark magic and bound to obey her will.
Everard Abbey, dedicated to Oghma. North of Iriaebor
Tyveris, dusky skin, thickly muscled, not tall, but massively broad. Former sellsword, excellent handyman. Former slave and soldier. Lived in Iriaebor as a warrior. Learned to read a few months ago. Spent the last decade with a band of adventurers in Iriaebor, Waterdeeep, Cormyr, and the lands between. Doesnt trust mages
Mother Melisende, abbess of Everard Abbey. Tiny women, bright dark eyes, wispy white hair.
Loremaster Orven of Everard Abbey, dislikes Tyveris because he was a sellsword. Outspoken.
Patriarch Alamric, second in power to Mother Melisende, harshly thin, acerbic, grey eyes. Wants to found an order to purge those ignorant of knowledge and spread the truth of knowledge, wants Tyveris to join that order and fight the uneducated, wants to tell people what to think and show them how to behave
Tyveris and his sister Tali left Chult on a boat but were tricked and enslaved. Tali carved Tyveris a delicate bird made of jade. Tali did not survive the ship voyage.
Kelshara has been a patron of Everard Abbey for months, then she makes a pilgrimage to the site
The Tear of Everard, the most holy relic of Everard Abbey. Petrified by magic, the tear was found several centuries ago by a priest of Oghma who founded the Abbey to protect it. The Tear is supposedly enchanted to protect the Abbey from evil.
A treatise on the founding of Oghma’s church
A book about an ancient war in an empire long vanished beneath the sands of Anauroch.
Kelshara has an undead griffon
Loremaster Antira of Everard Abbey, she can cast auguries of the future. The Abbey is in great danger.
A Feathered Quill Pen, a holic relic of Everard Abbey once owned by the founder of the abbey. Protects from evil. Glows with a silvery light in the dark. Reverses curses.
Skull Watchers, magic created by Prince Ketheryll of the Moonshae Isles long ago. Used in his Palace of Skulls. When intruders walk by the skulls shriek and bone shards fly outward like a trap.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 02 Mar 2021 :  15:47:00  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kings Tear appears to be an introduction to Tyveris who appears in the crypt of the shadowking novel which is published shortly after in 1993.

Not really connected in any way to that novel other than through Tyveris, this one features the Everard Abbey (an Oghmanite Abbey) and a necromancer obsessed with achieving eternal life.

Kelshara lives in the foothills of the Sunset Mountains and has 2 KIngs Tears shed by one Everard Farseer who was the ruler of a kingdom on the banks of the River Chionthar. She seeks the third which is located in the Everard Abbey.

A few questions here. Im not aware of a large kingdom on the river Chionthar, the quote says it stretched for leagues on the banks of the river chionthar so i'm going to guess at least 50 miles (10 leagues) which is probably the distance between Berdusk and Iriaebor.

The Abbey is named after Everard who was a wise and scholarly ruler who supposedly died defending a library from invaders. A wandering priest of Oghma found the 3rd tear of Everard and founded an abbey in his honour, i'm guessing he found the tear on the site of the Abbey or nearby.

The Abbey lies some way north of Iriaebor and west of the southernmost of the Sunset Mountains so i'd make a guess that Everard Farseer ruled the lands around Iriaebor for a time before his death.

How did Kelshara come to possess the other two tears of Everard. I'm going to take another guess that upon his death Everard's tears magically petrified into Kings Tears, and were lost for a time, perhaps carried off by the invaders or loyal retainers, the 3rd lost in the field where he ultimately perished (on the site of his library perhaps).

Now the ultimate goal of Kelshara is to find the Book of Midnight, which she believes holds the key to eternal life. Now being a necromancer i'm going to presume it details a path to lichdom or some form of prolonged undead existence.

The question is why would Everard have such a book, and why would it be his most treasured possession, given his seemingly benevolent and wise outlook, is he perhaps more than he appears, or was it the possession he wanted to keep the most so that others would not find it. It would be ironic if the book were buried in the catacombs of the Abbey which once were the foundations of Everard's Library.

Given the location and the name of the book, i wonder if Everard's kingdom is not a successor to Ebenfar (or Netheril), and perhaps if the book of Midnight is not also connected to Ebenfar and the Shadowking (shadows and midnight being a similar theme).

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 02 Mar 2021 :  17:03:21  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and the novel also mentions that people from Cormyr founded the caravan cities of Iriaebor, etc.

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