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TBeholder
Great Reader

2201 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2021 :  10:06:00  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison


If she didnt know about it, how did she find out (Elaith tracked it down but he didnt know about her so it implies she was not involved in his investigation).
At least not with her own face.
quote:

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

A young dragon would do. Old dragons are... the ones who don't escalate problems just for fun one time too many.
Danilo is someone who proved troublesome already, and at least didn't try to take Grimnosh's entire hoard plus his head to put in a nice castle wall mount.
Garnet invited a bored dragon to fun game with snacks, and this led to facing someone with enough of magic ability to successfully enchant said dragon.
Also, there's always a shadow of Blackstaff over all this. More so if Grimnosh identified Danilo as Khelben's supposedly inept relative.
Ultimately, he had 3 main options:
A: Do nothing.
Between being sort of defeated once and his part in this mess, this creates a risk of turning into "unfinished business" for a bunch of upset bards, the people in perfect position to send an endless stream of aspiring dragon slayers to his lair. Which is fun right until it isn't.
As it is, even his brief appearance invited some adventurers to try(*). This could be far worse.
At very least, the portion of riddling challenges that turn into ambushes greatly increases, so his entertainment will suffer. Just ask Olothontor "The Minstrel Wyrm".
B: Escalate.
Try to prevent problems of (A) by killing the bards, show of force via scattering the assembly, or something like that. This deprives him of much future entertainment and may backfire terribly, even if the operation itself was successful. Also, this would greatly annoys powerful locals. Some of whom are known for walking around incognito and may be present. For that matter, some of these bards proven capable of enchanting him...
C: Be in charge.
Grimnosh positions himself above it all as a "force of nature", terrible, but generally impartial. This doesn't brush his pride the wrong way at all, yet mitigates all present problems.

(*)
quote:
The North: The Wilderness, p. 51
[...] Grimnoshtasdrano, known in some circles as the "Riddling Dragon," makes his lair in the
Endless Caverns along or under the Unicorn Run. His brief foray into Waterdeep on Shieldmeet in 1364 attracted a number of
daredevils into the High Forest hunting him and seeking his death, but they only fed him and added to his treasure horde.


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
5936 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2021 :  10:23:59  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What you say makes sense in a way for humanoids, I just expect dragons to want to be the apex predator at all times and not like any challenges. I suppose this could be the first time he was beaten by an opponent and so is wary for the time while planning revenge on danilo.

As for Iriador. Her story is still somewhat of a puzzle. She is supposedly killed in the harp star wars. She spends several centuries recuperating with the wild elves. Then she must have spent a few decades planning her revenge at least and spent enough time in silverymoon to buy a tower.

She picked a particular harp for her revenge, was there a reason for that harp being chosen (a familial link perhaps), because there are many powerful magical elven harps from myth Drannor.

Or did Iriador's plan get pushed into action when Grimnosh attacked Taskerleigh and the presence of Morninglark was revealed. The attack happened in midwinter, 6 months before the events of the novel so plenty of time for elves to hear of the attack and identify the former owner and the harp from accounts of survivors that fled elsewhere (rumours of the attack prevented resettlement).

I'm not certain of a link with Iriador and Elaith, but it's possible he spent the last year sending out agents for potential locations of lost elven artifacts. He might have intertwined with Iriadors search for a magic harp and the two combined resources without ever having met one another. Then Grimnoshs attack reveals a definite lead and everyone jumps into action, elaith now determined to beat his former partner not realising she has an asperii.


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maransreth
Learned Scribe

Australia
148 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2021 :  12:12:01  Show Profile Send maransreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Something I thought of is that it is possible other people have asked these questions to Elaine, and Elaine may have provided some answers in her scroll. The issue, of course, is trying to find the exact page of the scroll you require.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2021 :  15:38:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

What you say makes sense in a way for humanoids, I just expect dragons to want to be the apex predator at all times and not like any challenges. I suppose this could be the first time he was beaten by an opponent and so is wary for the time while planning revenge on danilo.

As for Iriador. Her story is still somewhat of a puzzle. She is supposedly killed in the harp star wars. She spends several centuries recuperating with the wild elves. Then she must have spent a few decades planning her revenge at least and spent enough time in silverymoon to buy a tower.

She picked a particular harp for her revenge, was there a reason for that harp being chosen (a familial link perhaps), because there are many powerful magical elven harps from myth Drannor.

Or did Iriador's plan get pushed into action when Grimnosh attacked Taskerleigh and the presence of Morninglark was revealed. The attack happened in midwinter, 6 months before the events of the novel so plenty of time for elves to hear of the attack and identify the former owner and the harp from accounts of survivors that fled elsewhere (rumours of the attack prevented resettlement).

I'm not certain of a link with Iriador and Elaith, but it's possible he spent the last year sending out agents for potential locations of lost elven artifacts. He might have intertwined with Iriadors search for a magic harp and the two combined resources without ever having met one another. Then Grimnoshs attack reveals a definite lead and everyone jumps into action, elaith now determined to beat his former partner not realising she has an asperii.





You're overly complicating things. Elaith and Garnet both picked the Morninglark for the same reasons: it was nearby, available, and most importantly, had the powers they needed. The Morninglark was obviously more than just a magical harp -- it was a minor artifact.

Also, I don't think Elaith had been looking for elven artifacts just in general -- I think he was likely told he needed this specific one.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 22 May 2021 15:40:12
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2021 :  12:16:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not certain i'm over complicating things, it is a complex novel with well developed characters and multiple plots and agendas.

The Morninglark was clearly too powerful for Ingrival, his last use of it drove him mad and that could have happened any and every time he used it which means he probably used it seldom if at all, acting as a guardian of the item rather than a musician that owns it.

Ingrival owned the Morninglark for several centuries and it says he went into seclusion and has not been seen for many years. Now it is not clear if his possession of the Morninglark and his seclusion happened at the same time, but one has to assume that he went into seclusion because people were after the harp, so it could have been as small a time difference as a few years or decades.

If he vanished for many years (even a few decades) then Iriador and Elaith would have no way of knowing the harp was nearby. It took Elaith the best part of a year to locate the harp and in the end it appears it required Grimnosh's theft of it to reveal the location to Iriador (Elaith appears to have found out about it another way).

I cant think of any reason why the elven temple in Waterdeep would ask for the Morninglark to be recovered specifically (it was made in early Myth Drannor, presumably came through the gate to Delimbyran and then maybe ended up in Ardeep or Illefarn and then was lost, the same is probably true of many elven magic items of renown). Elaith was sent on his quest not to recover the artifact but to devote himself to a cause other than his own life and pleasure, to redeem himself by helping preserve the legacy of the elves and at the same time secure a new legacy for his daughter. It was the journey that was important, not the item (at least that's the impression i got from the novel).

I agree Iriador could have been looking for the harp specifically, but in that case i am thinking there is a familial link to this because Iriador appears not to have used any of Morninglark's original powers (the novel doesnt even detail what they are, although Ingrival appears to have protected himself with them so they may be abjuration in nature). Instead Iriador imbued Morninglark with entirely new powers, and so could have used any magical instrument of sufficient power to contain these powers, and to be honest there are many very powerful magical instruments made by the elves.

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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1968 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2021 :  12:42:36  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, it's been a bit since I really dug into it, but go back and reread the prelude.

The half-elf bard/riddlemaster/sorceress in the Prelude is Iriador. She's clearly asking the dragon to get the Morninglark for her. It's unclear if she know where it is and just needs the dragon to do it or if she needs the dragon to find it for her. (I suspect the former, and part of it is that she doesn't want to be seen acquiring it.) Moreover, her payment to the dragon is actually of value to her as well by creating a flypaper lure to catch Harpers.

The harp clearly has some normal powers. But she's able to do something special by combining spellsong with this specific harp. Her plot only works with both.

As for the elven temple, my thought was that they had received some sort of divine prophecy that the harp would prove to be important in the not-too-distant future. So when Elaith needed to get in touch with his elf-ness, they sent him after it.

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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1968 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2021 :  12:44:54  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, for all of Elaine's novels, it's very important to read the short stories in order in between the novels. One of your references above is from a short story that fell in between, IIRC. Some appeared in "Realms of ..." and some appeared in Dragon. I think they were all collected in "Best of the Realms - Volume 3."

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2021 :  14:55:17  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

So, it's been a bit since I really dug into it, but go back and reread the prelude.

The half-elf bard/riddlemaster/sorceress in the Prelude is Iriador. She's clearly asking the dragon to get the Morninglark for her. It's unclear if she know where it is and just needs the dragon to do it or if she needs the dragon to find it for her. (I suspect the former, and part of it is that she doesn't want to be seen acquiring it.) Moreover, her payment to the dragon is actually of value to her as well by creating a flypaper lure to catch Harpers.

The harp clearly has some normal powers. But she's able to do something special by combining spellsong with this specific harp. Her plot only works with both.

As for the elven temple, my thought was that they had received some sort of divine prophecy that the harp would prove to be important in the not-too-distant future. So when Elaith needed to get in touch with his elf-ness, they sent him after it.




Now when i read the prologue i got the impression that the dragon already owned the harp.

"To you the Morninglark is just another elven harp, a magic trinket lying atop your hoard."

I suppose you could infer that she is suggesting he seek out the harp for her, but equally you could infer he already possesses it.

I guess it comes down to timing. The end of the novel Grimnosh says this all began 6 months ago, but that could refer solely to his meeting with Iriador, or it could refer to his taking of the harp.

Taskerleigh was already filled with rotting corpses. So how decomposed is a corpse after 6 months or a year. The wording from the prologue is that Grimnosh has a winter sleep which implies he still wakes up every spring to eat. So is the description of the village in a state of destruction from 6 months ago (in the winter solstice when Iriador set him to get the harp), or is it from a year ago when he took the harp anyway and Iriador came in winter to ask for it.

Later it mentions that resettlement was stalled because the roads were in disrepair and monsters roamed the lands. So is 6 months long enough time for news of Grimnosh's attack to get out (bearing in mind it hadnt yet reached Elaith and Waterdeep because he did not know about the attack) and then for resettlement to be attempted but abandoned because of difficulties.

I dont know the answers myself but i suspect 6 months might be a bit short in time frame.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2021 :  19:19:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Crown of Fire (1357 DR)

Thundarlun
Small village near Thunder Gap in eastern Cormyr [prologue]
Brann, shepherd with a flock east of Thundarlun [prologue]
Purple Dragons stationed at Thundarlun (border guards????). Three Purple Dragons for every villager [prologue]
Delg, Narn, and Shandril raced to Thundarlun, pursued by 30 Zhentilar (Shandril slew 20 Zhentilar earlier) [prologue]
Guardcaptain Ruldel of the Purple Dragons. Slain by Zhentilar. May have known Azoun (his last words were “Tell Azoun I . . . we were togeth . . .”) [Prologue]
The settlement was slaughtered by Zhentilar [prologue]
28 Purple Dragons stationed in Thundarlun (which means 8 or 9 adult villagers) [2,4]


Other Lore
“they scarce had time for last wistful wishes before death swept down on them” a saying from minstrels of the Dales [prologue]
Mespert of Baldur’s Gate, author of The Book of the Coast in the Year of the Talking Skull (1293 DR) [1]
Black eels from the Moonsea [1]
Something wild and uncontrollable has crept into the Art of late. This chaos may or may not be linked to spellfire (Manshoon’s words) [1]
Storm Silverhand, author of To Harp at Twilight, written in the Year of the Swollen Stars (1224 DR) [1]
Zhentarim, Cult of the Dragon, and Red Wizards of Thay have all been known to ride foulwings [2]
The private army of a lich riding foulwings in the Vilhon Reach (seen by Delg the dwarf) [2]
Rumours in Suzail that a lord of Westgate was using foulwings in league with a pirate [2]
Alustriel, High Lady of Silverymoon, author of To Harp and To Help, in the Year of the Deep Moon (1294 DR) [3]
Azlundar, lion of Neverwinter, author of One Warrior’s Life, in the Year of the Sighing Serpent (1289 DR) [4]
Thayan agents in Sembia knew of Shandril and spellfire and may have been acting through the Cult of the Dragon, some may have been eliminated by Zhents [4]
Former Cult of the Dragon stronghold at Semberholme [4]
Old bandit keeps of Alarangh and Tossril, south of the Eastway and east of Thunder Gap. Sometimes used as bases for Zhentilar forces [4]
Annath of Neverwinter, author of Sayings of the North, in the Year of the Cold Soul (1281 DR) [5]
I am Delg the Dwarf, a gentle dwarven insult, implying the speaker does not trust enough to provide his last name [5]
Mirt the Moneylender, author of Wanderings with Quill and Sword, in the Year of Rising Mist [6]
Amhritar the Tall, author of Tall Tales: A Ranger’s Life, in the Year of the Striking Hawk (1326 DR). Knew someone called Tessyrana [7]
Zhentarim use “blackslime” to poison their blades, can kill within minutes [7]
Estimrya of High Horn, author of Twenty Winters a War Wizard, in the Year of the Dragon (1352 DR)
Elminster can use Spellfire, he was taught by Azuth. “Shandril does it naturally” (does that mean Spellfire use can be learned????)
Elminster and the chosen carry some of the immortal magefire within their bodies, small parts of Mystra’s divine power. They grow old very slowly, can be slain (releasing the magefire)
Elminster cared for Storm as a baby. Loves Storm most as a friend. Loves the Simbul as a mate and companion
Elminster does not need to sleep
Asklannan possessed a book that said any man whose blood joined with one who possessed spellfire has a chance of gaining it himself. That joining would be pleasurable (sex????)
Faeranduil of Neverwinter, author of Sage Sayings of the North, in the Year of Sunset Smoke (1309 DR Year of the Sunset Winds) [9]
“Little man”, insult to dwarves
Glarthlyn of Silverymoon, author of Sage Shadows in the Firelight, in the Year of Dark Frost (when is this year – 1057 DR Year of Azure Frost) [10]
Amberjack, drink (wine????) [10]
Priests of Leira wear all concealing robes with a featureless glass mask. Mantle around the shoulders with a glass orb adorning the mantle (allows the wearer to change their size by magic). Carry a staff topped by an ever-changing multi-hued orb. Call each other Brothers of the Mists, walk together in a half moon formation [10]
Berduskan dark (wine????) [10]
Laeral of Waterdeep, quoted in Words to an Apprentice Ithryn Halast, in Year of the Weeping Moon (1339 DR)[11]
Dzuntabbar of Thay, a foe Elminster must deal with [11]
The wizard Vlumn has plans for creating ice golems the size of mountains in the High Ice, a foe Elminster must deal with [11]
Calishite satraps working on poison creating magics. Elminster needs to twist these magics before the satraps think its a good idea [11]
Glarthlyn of Silverymoon, author of Sage Shadows in the Firelight in Year of Dark Frost (when is this year – 1057 DR Year of Azure Frost) [12]
“Raise not thy voice, lest the sleeping dragon wake”. Old saying of Faerun [12]
Asargrym of Baldur’s Gate, author of A Merchant Master’s Life, in Year of the Blue Flame (1327 DR) [14]
Thay has growing influence in Calaunt and Westgate [15]
Mulmaster has agents established in Hillsfar [15]
Oblut Thoim, Master Merchant of Teziir, author of Letters to a Sheltered Son, in the Year of the Striking Falcon (1333 DR) [17]
Westgate Ruby, red wine [17]
Tasagar Winterwind, Scribe to the Guilds of Selgaunt, author of Talk of the Taverns, in the Year of the Lost Helm (1329 DR) [18]
Cloaking spells used to be called “masks” in the Old Empires [18]
Malarkin Norlbertusz of Ordulin, author of the play Much Ado in Sembia, in the Year of the Prince (1357 DR)


Zhentarim Lore
Teacher Sarhthor, slim, graceful, dark eyes. Trains apprentice Zhentarim magelings. Archwizard. Replaced Manshoon after Shandril slew him. Secretly a Harper, sacrificed himself to save Shandril, slain by Fzoul. Knew about the Crown of Fire (how????). Sarhthor was tutored in the Art by Alustriel in Silverymoon. At Manshoon’s bidding he studied everything on spellfire, he discovered a diary in Candlekeep that described the Crown of Fire. [1,2,20, Epilogue]
Fimril of Westgate, mageling. Able to call images from the flames (use them for scrying), its an exhausting spell but he’s very good at it. Developed a spell that forms band of magical annihilation drawing in warmth, light and spellfire. [1,4,6]
Gathlarue the Wonder WIzard, female mage, uses magic to disguise herself as a male (women do not rise high in the Zhentarim, but Fzoul and Manshoon secretly know she is a woman). Slim lips. Owns a scrying crystal and a necklace that makes her immune to poison. Has a blood spell woven on both her apprentices that allows her to secretly hear their thoughts. Has a spell powerful enough to deal with Manshoon and maybe powerful enough to deal with Spellfire (found in an extraplanar room in a roofless leaning tower in Myth Drannor (needs a certain word to make the portal appear). Tracking Shandril. Knows Ghaubhan Szaurr is secretly a Zhent. May secretly be a Malaugrym. Wants women to rule the Zhentarim [2,8,14]
Mairara, long raven hair, apprentice of Gathlarue. Wants to kill Gathlarue one day. May be a Malaugrym. Sent to Marsember while Gathlarue and Tespril attacked Shandril at Irondrak Rock [2,8,14]
Tespril, dark eyes, apprentice of Gathlarue, sleeps with the guards. Fled the failed attack at Irondrake Rock using a teleport ring stolen from Gathlarue. Executed by Sarhthor [2,14]
Gate between the High Hall of Zhentil Keep and the heart of the Citadel of the Raven. Sarhthor helped Manshoon create the portal and the traps (a gold key on a plinth kills anyone that touches it) [2].
Two beholders (one of the Zulthondre) in the Citadel of the Raven, called Manshoon and Sarhthor to meet them. The beholders are unhappy with the loyalty of Fzoul and his underlings. Fzoul’s priests are everywhere so they cannot meet in Zhentil Keep (hence meeting Manshoon in the Citadel). The beholders want wizards in control of the Brotherhood again to destroy or rule the priests, but the current crop of magelings are inept and lack self control. They want spellfire and for Manshoon to wield it or control who wields it, otherwise they will withdraw their support of Manshoon [2]
The beholders brought Manshoon Iliph Thraun to help him secure spellfire [2]
Iliph Thraun, a lord among liches. A floating yellowed human skull with light in its eye sockets. Long ago, when he was alive, Iliph had spellfire. He can drain spellfire from Shandril. A lichnee, used a flawed process of lichdom and now must feed off the energies of spells cast by wizards (it tutors magelings and then destroys them when they grow too powerful). The spells it feeds off must drain life or create fire or lightning and take the form of a sphere, using the name Calauthas ensures the caster can control Iliph (is Calauthas his true name????). Iliph’s phylactery is a fist sized black gem in a brass cage now in Xarlraun’s possession (how???). Iliph’s memories go back 1000 years. Slain by Shandril who overloaded him while he tried to drain spellfire from her [2,4,6,14]
Zhentarim (Brotherhood) priests regard all undead to be destroyed or enslaved. That is why there have been very few liches in the Brotherhood [2]
Elminster was hiding in the Citadel of the Raven disguised as a carpet [2]
Guld, Alorth Bloodshoulder, Bluth (swordmaster), Zhentilar warriors. Bluth slain by spellfire [3]
Karkul Memrimmon, a great beast of a man who fights with spiked gauntlets. Leading the Zhentilar attack on Shandril. Warcaptain. Slain by Delg [3,4]
Simron, Zhentilar warrior of the Eastern Stonelands Company of the Zhentilar, ran away from Shandril. Captured and tortured to death by Manshoon [3,4,7]
Zhents refer to it as the Brotherhood [4]
Xarlraun, dark chitinous plates covered in old scars, pale eyes. Its body as large as a woodsman’s hut, as tall as 3 men standing on shoulders. Spent many years dwelling on its own in a high mountain valley feeding on herds of rothe. As the decades passed it grew large and hungry and eventually the rothe ran out and it descended to the world of men (bonier but tastier). Xarlraun stayed and grew wise in the world of men. Xarlraun is allying with Fzoul against its lesser kin (who allied with Manshoon). Immune to many deadly poisons [4]
Zhentarim know of 6 Cult of the Dragon agents pursuing Shandril after the council at Ordulin. They slew 4 of the agents [4]
Sent 20 mounted lancers from Alarangh (slain by Shandril at Thundarlun). Then 60 mounted lancers from Tossril (slain by Shandril in Hullack) [4]
Zhentarim spies in court at Suzail and among the War Wizards [4]
Zhentarim agents in Arabel [4]
Zhentarim have stronger forces in the Stonelands and Tilverton [4]
Fzoul suspects Manshoon wants the priests of the Zhentarim to be loyal to him first and gods second [4]
Shandril slew one of Manshoon’s lovers (the Shadowsil), and his favourite dragon steed one long bonded to him. Manshoon had to fight his way through Baatezu and out of Myth Drannor. Manshoon wants revenge [4]
Xarlraun actually controls Iliph Thraun through a fist sized black gem in a brass cage (Iliph’s phylactery). Xarlraun gives the phylactery to Fzoul, through it he can see through Iliph’s eyes and control his actions without Manshoon detecting it [4]
A lich lord is a failed lich of an ancient process. It takes the form of a floating disembodied skull and feeds on spell energy to maintain its unlife [4]
Othrogh, half orc Zhentilar warrior [5]
Swordmaster Cleuvus, Zhentilar [5]
Swordmaster in charge of hiring new warriors for the Zhentilar. Given coin and sent to nearby towns [5]
Lyrkon, Duthspurn (slain by Shandril), Glondar (slain by Mirt), Zhentilar warriors [6]
Zhentarim attacked in Sembia by Harpers and Cult of the Dragon assassins. The magelings Arluth and Chsalbreian were slain [7]
Heldiir, Zhentarim mage [7]
A group of local thugs hired by a Zhentarim rat is called a “fist”
Unthlar Highsword, veteran Zhentilar, has a venomed throwing dagger (called a deathfang) that has slain many a rival. Slain by Narm [11]
Beluard, latest apprentice of Manshoon [12]
Manshoon intends to arrange shortages of pork and sugar in Sembia (banditry????) to drive up prices just before Zhent caravans arrive [12]
Zulthondre, old and powerful eye tyrant, green chitinous plates. Summoned by Manshoon to attack Elminster. Slain by Elminster [12]
Trade officials in Melvaunt, Ordulin, and Priapurl need to be killed (do they hinder Zhent activities) [14]
Beliarge, senior mageling in the Zhentarim. Ambitious and capable [14]
Brotherhood teleport rings given to senior magelings like Gathlarue [14]
Citadel of the Raven, Wizards’ Watch Tower (often called Old Fools’ Tower), the largest tower in the citadel, where Manshoon often is when visiting the tower. Trapped to prevent teleportation in or out [15,16]
Spell Court the closest courtyard in the Citadel of the Raven to Wizards’ Watch Tower [16]
Citadel of the Raven is a series of linked fortresses and courtyards. High in the tallest towers are often wizards spellcasting chambers that are protected from scrying and have healing potions (Zhent wizards run to them when they are injured) [16]
Citadel of the Raven is protected by a trap, those who teleport into it are surrounded by summoned beholders [16]
Shandril attacks the Citadel of the Raven (starting in Spell Court), causing a huge spellstorm. Changes a nearby field of red flowers to blue. Causes a tree to uproot and fly away (losing its branches at speed). Causes a nearby tower to vanish and another to form a crack (as wide as a hand) from top to bottom [16]
Belarla, a Harper lives in the Citadel of the Raven as a pleasure-queen. Has a house with a purple door. Oelaerone works with Belarla, also a Harper or Harper sympathiser. Mirt knows Belarla [17]
Elthaulin, upper-priest of Bane in the Grand Chancel of the Black Altar, performing the Great Invocation (normally only Fzoul is allowed to perform this ceremony). Declared himself the New Voice of Bane when Fzoul was believed slain. Slain by Shandril [17,20]
Banite priests, Watchful Brother, Trusted Servant, Deadly Adepts, Striking Hand, ranks of priests [17]
Robing Room in the Black Altar [17]
The Black Hand of Bane, altar in the Grand Chancel, glows with black fire as a sign of Bane [17]
Ansiber, priest of Bane of Striking Hand rank [17]
Myrintara of the Masks. Tall, very beautiful, dark green eyes, glossy black hair. One of the most successful pleasure queens in the Moonsea North. Sorceress and Harper (not known to the Zhents). Formerly lover of Mirt. May have come from the Old Empires region. Has at least 16 servants in her house. Has a Gate that leads to the Lonesome Tankard (her favourite inn) in Eveningstar. May have been a pleasure-queen in the Citadel of the Raven when Mirt was young. [18]
Sewers, never washed clean even during snow melt. Older sections of the sewers. People have rafts and mushroom beds they use to navigate the sewers. Some hide treasure caches in the sewers. One of the tunnels leads directly to Myrintara’s house (it used to be an old well) [18]
Thousands of Zhentilar in the Citadel of the Raven. Shandril slew nearly 50 beholders [19]
The Sceptre of Bane, ends in a glossy black hand at the tip. Carried by Fzoul [19]
In the Black Alter in Fzoul’s quarters there is a secret niche holding a skull, a mummified hand, and several bottles of a thick yellow poison (deadly to others but Fzoul is immune) [19]
At the entrance of Wizards’ Watch Tower is a Spell Engine, Manshoon’s greatest work. It is invisible and drinks all magic near it to power itself. [20]
Neaveil, Oprion Blackstone, upper priests in the Black Alter, loyal to Elthaulin (not Fzoul) [20,Epilogue]
Shandril returned to the Citadel of the Raven destroyed three towers and Wizards’ Watch Tower, including the Spell Engine [20]
Manshoon has a crypt in Zhentil Keep with 4 clones in storage. Fzoul doesn’t know about it. Most boring watch position in Zhentil Keep [Epilogue]
About 200 members of the Zhentarim slain by Shandril [Epilogue]
Fzoul has a magical mace named Mageslayer [Epilogue]


Elminster
Tiny enchantment warns him of anyone approaching his tower (with a noise), it clicks when they turn down towards the pool [1]
Attacked by a malaugrym disguised as a boy, he used a spell (of his own devising) to stop it using magic, he slew the malaugrym and then traced his sister malaugrym and used the same spell to stop her using magic. The sister malaugrym fled [1]
Elminster sent Torm and Rathan to Shandril but told them to stay back and wait for the malaugrym to attack Shandril then they can ambush the malaugrym [1]
Elminster has recently given a scroll to a little boy to help him one day become and archmage, has told a nomad chieftain about a foe, and warned a Waterdhavian guildmaster about a plot against him, all in the last few days [11]
Spelltrap, an illusion that opens a vortex (to where????) when damaged [12]
Storm chopped off several of Manshoon’s fingers (on each hand) and cut his face open before Manshoon’s contingencies saved him. Elminster has slain Manshoon 21 times at least [12]


Malaugrym
Magusta and her brother attacked Elminster [1]
Malaugrym are a powerful clan who walk many worlds. They are old foes of Elminster [1]
Known as Shadowmasters in the Heartlands [1]
Each malaugrym is about as powerful as an experienced mage [1]
Have golden light in their eyes. Elminster’s trace spell makes their eyes glow blue [1]
Torm, Rathan, Mirt, and Tessaril slew Magusta in the Hidden House [Epilogue]


Shadowdale
Old enchantment in the spell chamber of the Twisted Tower, makes the stars wink and glitter as they drift across an illusionary sky [1]
High balcony of the Twisted Tower gives a splendid view of the meadows below [6]
Illistyl, 19 years old [6]
The Knights of Myth Drannor are riding over the Dales distracting those searching for spellfire [6]
Torm and Illistyl disguised as Shandril and Narm. They were attacked by darkenbeasts set by the two youngest and most reckless Malaugrym. The Malaugrym were killed (by Elminster) [6]
Several Harper mages battled Malaugrym outside the Twisted Tower. Elminster slew one of them as well [6]

Delg the Dwarf
A harper [1]
Told by his superiors (Elminster????) that he may have to kill Shandril to save the realms [2]
Possesses a long black dwarven warhammer. Magical, ancient, from the Ironstar clan, seen mighty battles, cracked held together by bands of metal [5]
Knows eastern Cormyr well (and possibly the Stonelands too) [9]
Delg of the dwarves of Mintarn Mountain. Shield-Son of House Ironstar [10]
House Ironstar, fabled lost clan of dwarves. The mightiest, most noble house, driven into hiding long ago [11]


Shandril
Shandril and Narm possess an amulet (given by Torm and Rathan) that boosts invisibility spells (covers an entire area, masks sight, sound, smell, and blocks scrying) [3]
Found a rogue stone in Tethgard in Hullack Forest. The stone was prepared by Khelben and linked to a spell and placed in Tethgard by Mirt for Shandril to find. Anyone who uses a trigger word is teleported to the stone no matter where it is. Mirt uses it to teleport to Shandril when she goes to the Citadel of the Raven [5,16]
Self interested mages and brigands, Zhentarim, Cult of the Dragon, and Banites loyal to the High Imperceptor are pursuing Shandril. Malaugrym are behind at least two of these groups [6]
Elminster spoke to Khelben who told Mirt and other Harpers about Shandril [6]
Used spellfire to bring Narm back to life [14]
Crown of Fire, most powerful form of spellfire, requires a life to use it (Shandril used Sarhthor’s). Shatters towers. Requires someone to willingly give their life to power the effect. It has been used at least once before [20,Epilogue]
Shandril and Narm become Harpers [20]

Hullack Forest
Old Phandar trees, thick stands of Duskwood trees, huge shadowtop trees in Hullack Forest [2]
Sprawls over much of eastern Cormyr, foresters and hunters seldom venture far into its dim depths [2]
Boars and worse hunted in the forest [2]
Trackless depths, trails end less than half a day into the treeline [2]
Owlbears, wolves [3,4]
Dark, dense, damp, its trees grown close together [5]
At Tethgard, beneath the rubble lies a crypt with “Lady Duskreene of Tethgard” on the door Lady Duskreene the Unquiet Spirit. [6]
Mirt calls the spirit of Lady Duskreene “Grandlady”. Lady Duskreene slaughtered the Zhentilar. [6]
Lady Duskreene, white hair, dark eyes, top half looks live, ribs give way to bones. Ancestor of Mirt. Watchghost. Alive over 1000 years ago. Lover of Elminster. Protects Tethgard ruins. Lonely, takes a morbid interest in modern events and the descendants of her family, allies, and enemies [6]
The Wanton Wyvern stands near the western edge of the Hullack Forest. Wooden inn. Cozy, owned by an acquaintance of Mirt. Walled inn, gates closed at dusk with a guard (Thomd) allowing travellers inside. Simple rooms, warm, clean, arranged around a gallery that overlooks the taproom and lobby. Two of the girls at the Wanton Wyvern like to Harp (Harper informants????)[6,7]
Baergasra, female beggar that hangs around outside the Wanton Wyvern but is never let inside. Pretends to be a leper. Is secretly a Harper, knows Mirt as the Old Wolf (old adventuring companion????). Priestess of Eldath. Baera for short [7,8]
Shandril, Delg, and Narm attacked by brigands at the Wanton Wyvern led by Osber, a local Zhentarim rat and thief [7,8]

Cult of the Dragon
Thiszult, cult of the dragon agent. Missing in Thunder Gap, presumed slain by Shandril [4]
Dread Master Ghaubhan Szaurr, cult of the dragon agent. Commands a large permanent force in the Stonelands too large and skilled for the Zhentarim to eliminate. They harry the patrols of Cormyr. Ghaubhan openly serves the Cult of the Dragon but secretly serves the Zhentarim (only Manshoon and a few senior Zhent wizards know the truth – Fzoul does not know). Stole a book from Asklannan’s spell library (his old master or a victim????) [4, 8]
Ramath, apprentice of Ghaubhan Szaurr. Possess some kind of foresight ability. Secret agent of Manshoon

Mirt the Moneylender
Once known as Mirt the Merciless, the Old Wolf, Scourge of the Sea of Swords, Harper Lord. [5,18]
Wandering in Hullack Forest [5]
Knows about Tethgard in Hullack [5]
Is protected from all scrying and probings of the mind, a gift from a female mage long ago. The protection extends to those close to Mirt [5]
Harper (has a harp on a fine silver chain about his wrist connected to a brass ring [5]
Owns a ring that reflects magic back at the caster, made by the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors [6]
Gorstag is an old friend of Mirt the Moneylender [6]
Knows eastern Cormyr well (possibly the Stonelands too) [9]
Has a bag of holding in the guise of an old drawstring bag. Contains a set of robes and masks from priests of Leira (real and magical) [10]
Magic dagger, glows in the dark, absorbs spells [10,20]
Old friends with Tessaril of Eveningstar (who can teleport people to Zhentil Keep). Has kissed her often enough [11,13]
Owns a Purple Dragon Ring (rarely held by outsiders), given to him by Azoun when Mirt guarded Azoun’s two infant daughters. [13]
Has seen cities burn and large battles [13]
Magic sabre, can glow with light [15]
A plain brass ring that produces a blade barrier [17]

Cormry Lore
Patrols have been doubled in eastern Cormyr [7]
Earlier kings of Cormyr claimed to rule Desert’s Edge [9]
Road linking Cormyr and Tilverton called the Moonsea Ride. Soldiers of Cormyr keep the brush clear on either side of the road [10]


Stonelands Lore
Filled with treacherous slopes and breakneck ravines [10]
Skeletal trolls, monstrous ettins, hobgoblins, and goblins in the Stonelands [10]
Irondrake Rock, named for a great wyrm that used to lair here. A stone spire at the end of a valley with a grassy meadow, home to a Gate that Mirt knows about at the top of the rocky spire, it leads to a place in the High Forest south of Stone Stand [10]
Gargoyles in service to Gathlarue (controlled by wings she wears) attack Shandril, reinforced by Zhentilar. Gargoyles split into smaller gargoyles when slain. Delg killed by gargoyles [10]
Shandril melted Irondrake Rock [11]
Ring of stones, old beyond the eldest towers in Myth Drannor, made by elves or men before Netheril was proud. Something keeps even the smallest birds and wild things away. Manshoon knows this place best in the Stonelands (for teeport purposes), he comes here to think, be alone, feel comforted by titanic workings of the Art. Attacked by Ghaubhan Szaurr and his Zhents, Manshoon slew them all, Ghaubhan jumped off a cliff. [12]


Manshoon Lore
Manshoon, High Lord of Zhentil Keep. [1]
Manshoon found Asklannan’s book. Knows Ghaubhan Szaurr is a traitor [12]
Knows a spell that summons 3 beholders to his aid (very costly, only used in the most dire of need). Manshoon has clones and hideaways on other worlds [12]
Has a contingency (cast long ago) that returns him to the last place before he magically travelled. This contingency has saved him 3 times since he came to rule Zhentil Keep (4 now) [12]
Shandril used spellfire to kill Manshoon [12]
Fzoul destroyed 6 or 7 of Manshoon’s clones when he was killed [14]
Massive interactions of magic and spellfire create a spellstorm which burns away mages minds instantly or twists their magic into wild and uncontrollable results [16]


Eveningstar
Thrulgar, Azatlim. Purple Dragon guards at Tessaril’s Tower in Eveningstar. Thrulgar is older [13]
Tzin Tzummer, Herald to Lord Tessaril Winter [13]
The Lonesome Tankard, inn. Dunman works or owns the inn and is a Harper [13]
Lord’s Court, presided over by Tessaril on certain days [13]
Tessaril Winter, has a wand and a sword, skilled with both. Slim, ash blonde. Has a tressym called Firespark. Always loved Azoun [13,19]
Nine Purple Dragons guard Tessaril’s Tower [13]
Iliph Thraun attacks Tessaril’s Tower, kills many guards, disintegrates a wall in the entry hall [13]
Tessaril’s Tower, entry hall on the ground floor. Gallery level above entry hall with statues (including warriors of Cormyr, mermaid, and a sleeping dragon) [13]
Evenor, used to refer to people from Eveningstar [13]
Tessaril’s Tower has a Gate to the Hidden House, which was created by an archmage when Myth Drannor was new. The only easy entrance to the Hidden House is in Tessaril’s Tower in Eveningstar. Wardship of the Hidden House is given to the Lord of Eveningstar and is the reason for Lord of Eveningstar having such a high rank [15].
The Hidden House once belonged to Phaeryl, a legendary sorceress in the days of Netheril. It is said Phaeryl bred dragons. Adventurers have spent ages looking for Phaeryl’s Lost Abode, some searching the Haunted Halls for it. Tessaril and a Harper friend (woman) discovered the Hidden House by accident when they were young and spent a long time exploring it and talking to the ghosts. Gates in the Hidden House lead to many far off places. [15]
The Hidden House is not considered part of Cormyr [15]
Hall of Mirrors in the Hidden House, has a window that acts like a mirror of scrying, allowing the looker to view any person they desire and their surroundings [15]
Tessaril knew the Shadowsil before she turned to evil. Shadowsil wanted to learn magic to strike at her enemies (“what use is it if I can’t strike at them when I want to”) [16]
Tessaril was once ruled by a need for revenge (why, did the Shadowsil betray her, was the Shadowsil the Harper that helped her find the Hidden House????) [16]

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2021 :  19:31:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do like the Shandril novels. I'm going to guess that some people dislike reading about a girl who destroys 500 Zhents and half the Citadel of the Raven, but it seemed perfectly justified and reasonable to me.

Lots of lore about the Zhentarim, a hundred extra NPCs, a score of rooms and locations across the Heartlands.

Some things that caught my attention are a diary in Candlekeep that Sarhthor read that detailed the Crown of Fire effect, indicating it has been used in the past. A book owned by Asklannan (who i presume is a Zhent mage of some power) which Ghaubhan Szaurr read, it detailed a process by which a man might have a chance to acquire Spellfire by joining blood with the spellfire user, a process which is said to be very pleasurable (the language used made it sound like sex was involved). Just who was Asklannan, how did he come by the book, who originally wrote the book and attempted or documented the process.

It sounds like there are a lot of interesting past events around Spellfire.

Then there was a stray mention from Tessaril Winter about her once living for revenge (which is why she let Shandril go to free her from that fate). She also knew the Shadowsil personally, and it sounds like she knew her before the Shadowsil turned to evil. I'm wondering if the two are linked and if the Shadowsil betrayed Tessaril.



And Mirt, he's seen cities sacked, fought in large wars. Is or was known as the Scourge of the Sword Sea (indicating he was a pirate or pirate hunter). Has lovers in just about every female NPC Harper in the novel.

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1048 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2021 :  20:05:53  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Berduskan Dark is a wine. It is listed in Aurora's.

Amberjack sounds suspiciously close to Applejack. Applejack was a colonial times strong liquor made from apples so it may be the same thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applejack_(drink)

"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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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

USA
226 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2021 :  21:01:56  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I do like the Shandril novels. I'm going to guess that some people dislike reading about a girl who destroys 500 Zhents and half the Citadel of the Raven, but it seemed perfectly justified and reasonable to me.



I like them too. But she sure does whine a lot about HAVING that awesome power. Don't know if you've read The Wheel of Time novels, but the protagonist there, Rand Al'Thor, also bitches about having the ability to wield devastating magical power. He has a reason to though... if he mishandles that power it can kill him or drive him insane.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35998 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2021 :  21:07:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElfBane

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I do like the Shandril novels. I'm going to guess that some people dislike reading about a girl who destroys 500 Zhents and half the Citadel of the Raven, but it seemed perfectly justified and reasonable to me.



I like them too. But she sure does whine a lot about HAVING that awesome power. Don't know if you've read The Wheel of Time novels, but the protagonist there, Rand Al'Thor, also bitches about having the ability to wield devastating magical power. He has a reason to though... if he mishandles that power it can kill him or drive him insane.



To be fair, Shandril did have half of the Realms trying to kill or capture her. That's a fair reason for complaining, I should think.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2021 :  00:17:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban


Amberjack sounds suspiciously close to Applejack. Applejack was a colonial times strong liquor made from apples so it may be the same thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applejack_(drink)



While I don't disagree (my first thoughts were to applejack as well), let's see if we can come up with something different for fun. Jacking just means taking something like apple cider that's been fermented but has a low alcohol content, then letting it freeze off the water so it separates. You then pull out the ice and throw it away. In a place that's frozen a good bit of the year (like the North, Bloodstone Lands, Rashemen, Sossal etc...), its an easy way to make alcohol without having to go through the distillation/heating process, use all the tubing, etc.... It's also dirty, leaving behind contaminants, which is why people making applejack today still heat it up to cook off the contaminants.

What is Amber? tree sap (some clarify it as tree resin, but the commoner says sap). What do we make from saps here in our world? Maple and OTHER syrups. I'd recommend making an ale/beer/whiskey/vodka etc... out of sap. Maybe maple. Maybe something more fantastical. So, amberjack would be made from freezing fermented syrup made from tree sap and then removing the water content to leave behind the richer alcohol content.

By the way... may not be a good idea at all, but blueleaf trees make a sap that makes a rich blue dye. It grows in areas north of Amn/Impiltur... so colder areas. It might be fun if there's a "bluejack ale" that can be made from some sap that's maybe lower quality or something and unusable as dye? When the alcohol is set aflame, it burns with a blue flame, just like the wood maybe?

Here's some discussions for making various beers, meads, ales, vodkas, whiskeys, etc... from maple. Some mix honey in with the maple, and honestly I could see some "amberjacks" made in this method too. Some honey meads are frozen and the water removed to make them stronger as well and people call that "honeyjack".

https://www.chelseagreen.com/2020/sap-syrup-beer-wine-liquor/

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=7588.0

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  00:12:57  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I actually like Crown of Fire - it has some great stuff in it and the fight with Eliminster, Storm and Manshoon is quite fun. You get a lot of Zhentil Keep and Citadel of the Raven setting flavour which is always fun.

The biggest problem is of course that Shandril is teleported around MORE THAN ONCE very large distances between cities, but yet no one seems to think it would be a good idea to teleport her to Silverymoon ever. Nope, she has to walk there or join a caravan. Sigh. Big plot hole that I don't care what anyone says this invalidates the whole premise of Crown of Fire and Hand of Fire.

As for Elfsong, it is my fave Elaine novel. I didn't understand how the most famous Harper Bard, Storm Silverhand, was never mentioned or involved - I guess the eastern Harpers never bother with the Western ones? Unless plot says so? you'd think a 500 year old Harper Bard master would want to get involved in this? But okay. And 2) the spell Garnet uses to do all the lore changes to people's memories is a bit weird - did it only work on those in attendance when she played the song? Was it random? Wynne didn't get impacted, I think maybe he was late to the concert? And..I don't know. That bit of the story was a bit funky to me. Maybe Elaine or someone smarter to me can explain to me how Garnet's big spell worked and who it affected and didn't affect and why? Cause that wasn't clear in the books. It was just random, like some people made their saving throws but the rest didn't and had a memory wipe.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  09:23:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I assumed Garnet's spell was resisted by some also, it makes sense and is the only way to account for the few not affected. No magic should ever be 100% effective.



As for the teleportation thing. I dont really see a problem. Magic should be expensive (i'll ignore the thoroughly broken D&D economy as Ed does not even use D&D rules in his games as far as i can tell), so one reason could be that nobody deemed it worth the expense. Also Elminster himself could solve everybody's problems, slay almost every foe, right every wrong. But i think he learned long ago that using magic in such a manner just creates more problems and he would quickly burn himself out. He seems rather detached from the world and resigned to the sad fact that everyone will die no matter what he does. So he chooses not to interfere himself unless it is a world ending threat. He lets Shandril make her own choices (including the wrong ones), he lets her travel her own paths, he does the same for all his knights and friends. He saves them when he can but only at the last minute (perhaps to teach them not to be reckless, for if you knew Elminster would save you every time you would throw your life away and he would have to save you every day).

So for me ELminster is taking on the role of an aloof, slightly paternal, but ultimately advisory only role.

Yes other people could teleport Shandril, but magic is expensive (only Elminster and Khelben etc have limitless resources), and Shandril doesn't "need" it. There are far more inexpensive methods, such as walking which have the added bonus of stretching your enemy's resources as they chase her across Faerun, it would also draw out local enemy agents as she passes them by and they have orders to stop her.

Admittedly at the end Tessaril does teleport Shandril, buuuuut, Shandril was going to walk into certain death anyway, and it probably seemed a better use of resources to send her right into the centre where she could do the most damage (she did kill 2 / 3 leaders of the Zhentarim and did a ton of damage to the Citadel, and slew at least 500 soldiers). Those results alone and the quiet time it bought the Dalelands and Cormyr after were probably worth the expense of a few teleport spells.

Just my thoughts, we don't know what the characters were thinking but i often find everyone believes spells are free, but that is largely due to the utterly broken D&D economy. In a medieval approximation a sword should cost 10 times more than a peasants annual wage and casting any spell with a specific gp material component would require noble patronage to make it affordable (peasants earn cp, professionals earn sp, nobles earn gp). Spells should cost silver pieces in regular spell components and that would make it unaffordable for peasants, a professional might be able to save up for a spell. Magic Items would and should be treasured family heirlooms (not throw away disposable tissue equivalents) worth more than most people could dream of affording and would almost certainly be commissioned to be created. A teleport spell should at least cost 10sp to cast, more than most craftsmen make in a month, i'd be tempted to make it cost 50sp to cast given its power. It should not be cheap and casters should think twice before using it.

Is it worth spending 50sp on someone you just met that wants to travel to Silverymoon - nah, make her walk. Is it worth 50sp to teleport your homicidal nuclear warhead equivalent ally into the stronghold of your enemy where she can strike at leaders that no one else can touch - hell yeah (if you dont she is going to walk there anyway but wont get within 10 miles of the place). Tessaril is a noble, she might get paid a couple of gold pieces from the crown as part of her title, that would mostly go towards maintaining the tower and investing in the town, even she would have to think twice before using a teleport spell or two.



Just my two cents.

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Eldacar
Senior Scribe

425 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  14:12:11  Show Profile Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Also Elminster himself could solve everybody's problems, slay almost every foe, right every wrong.

I doubt it. At any one time, there is far too much going on in the world for one person to deal with. There's too much for even a god to handle, that's why they have minions. This isn't just a question of personal power, although that plays into it, but a question of how many seconds and how many minutes and how many hours there are in a day.

Even if Elminster took full advantage of his "no sleep required" deal* he'd probably run out of teleport spells under an hour into the day, and then he's stuck hoofing it through portals or stopping to replenish his spells, and then an hour later he'd be out of teleports again.

It's a matter of time.

* I really, really want to know what that feels like on the inside for the person on a consistent, day to day basis. As somebody who's sometimes lost nights to work, and operated on very little sleep for extended periods, the notion of "no sleep" is an absolutely bizarre one to me, entirely outside the human condition (or the condition of animals more generally). Everybody gets worn down, gets tired, feels fatigue (and while Chosen don't need to sleep, they can still get exhausted after long enough - I sometimes wonder if the lack of sleep contributes to them all eventually going insane). And the brain also uses sleep for all sorts of things besides just fatigue, things Elminster surely still needs, so when does that happen for him? What about circadian rhythms and internal body clock ("jet lag" from teleports?), and all the messing about that must be going on in brain and body chemistry. Okay, rant over now.

"The Wild Mages I have met exhibit a startling disregard for common sense, and are often meddling with powers far beyond their own control." ~Volo
"Not unlike a certain travelogue author with whom I am unfortunately acquainted." ~Elminster
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ElfBane
Learned Scribe

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Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  14:25:52  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elminster has made a career out of keeping his nose out of business that is, to us, critical. So much so that I would say he is MOST DEFINITLY firmly planted along the Neutral Alignment. He only seems to get "riled up" when one side or the other is about to get an insurmountable advantage and really upset the "Balance". Classic TN alignment.
2 cents please!
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  14:58:46  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well the point was, he has the power to solve most problems (maybe not in one day but over his lifetime), but as Gandalf put it, even the very wise cannot see all ends. Whose to say that if he uses his magic to destroy an oncoming orc horde that it wont cause other issues, like the absence of the orcs causing an explosion in another even more deadly monster, or that the orcs slaughter of a nearby town thankfully ended the life of a future manshoon before it began.

Far better to let life sort itself out and only intervene in matters where you are certain it is not the natural way of things. So Elminster spends his time blocking super powerful beings that also shouldnt be interfering (like Manshoon, like Larloch, like Telemont Tanthul, like the Malaugrym). But otherwise he lets things happen as they will, perhaps subtly guiding people towards better ends (giving them advice or a particular item or a new ally but never forcing them to do anything).

So Elminster could have teleported Shandril, but instead he sent word to Khelben who let Mirt know (who was probably overdue a visit to his ancestor Lady Duskreene), he set the Knights of Myth Drannor to distracting the Zhents and eliminating those pursuing Shandril, he trained Narm and gave them a few choice magic items, but otherwise it was up to Shandril to make her own way. If he had teleported Shandril to Silverymoon she would have been alone in a foreign city and weak and would have attracted a lot of Zhent, Thayan, Cult of the Dragon, and Calishite agents to that lovely city. At least now Shandril can go to Silverymoon the long way without having to worry about the Zhents or the Cult of the Dragon for a while (because she slaughtered them), and now she is ten times more powerful with far less enemies for a while.

So non-interference likely worked out better, even if Delg did die on the way. But there is no way of knowing, Elminster probably learned the hard way that no matter what he does it will turn out unpredictably, and good never triumphs for ever or long (just like evil), so far better to conserve your energy and wait for the truly important events that really need your help.

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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
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Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  23:09:50  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any number of characters could have teleported Shandril. Elminster let them stay in his house for weeks and taught Narm, got them married, kept close watch on them and fought off Manshoon for them.

It makes ZERO sense that he did not just teleport her to Silverymoon. Sorry, you're 100% objectively wrong in thinking your logic here. It's a plot hole. And one many, many, many fans of the Realms have brought up. What SHOULD have been written in is that the Spellfire makes teleporting impossible, and that gates are needed instead and then you'd still get them doing the "road trip" to the gates and from the gates to Silverymoon.

But instead, cause while Ed is the best world builder on the planet he isn't the best at plots, we get Shandril being teleported to and from the Citadel of the Raven twice.
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  23:12:07  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, Alustriel and the Harpers were to watch over Shandril in Silverymoon. She wasn't going there alone. Read Hand of Fire. The plot holes keep mounting.
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1180 Posts

Posted - 04 Jun 2021 :  23:16:35  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's where THO admits the teleporting to Silverymoon issue is a plot hole created by the powers that be editing the original Spellfire novel:

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4036

Ed wanted Spellfire users to be at huge risk from teleportation spells/gates, but it was cut. That would explain why she had to walk!

But I do love how people will write their own narrative to fix plotholes for an author/editors. You must love the Realms so much you're turning a blind eye to writing problems :)


Edited by - Seravin on 04 Jun 2021 23:22:55
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5936 Posts

Posted - 05 Jun 2021 :  08:04:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dont we all love the realms here?.

We all view things differently and I dont see a plot hole, I see that it feeds into how I imagine the realms working - magic is expensive and elminster doesnt do things for people.

It works for me. I'm more interested in the fact that Elminster was taught how to awaken spellfire. Given that spellfire seems to be the use of life energy to power magic, that it is hereditary, and that it cannot be turned off once activated, is it possible that any and all of elminsters children (depending upon when azuth taught him) have the chance to inherit spellfire.
Is it also possible that shandril is another of Els distant relatives, or was there another that learned how to activate spellfire and his "genes" have been passed kn down the years creating spellfire wielder every few generations.

And who was this asklannan, was he a zhent (unlikely given that he was old and seemed to be a teacher (agents dont strike me as the studious type). Did he write the book about spellfire or was it written by someone else. Was asklannan involved in the events with shandrils mother at all.


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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

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Posted - 05 Jun 2021 :  14:36:25  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So it's been a while since I read the books, but I think Elminster is a little less kindly than you think. By having Shandril walk to Silverymoon, she draws out ever Dragon Cultist and Zhentarim mageling along the way. Many are destroyed, making their local regions safer.

In effect, Elminster was using her as bait in service of the greater good.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 05 Jun 2021 :  15:48:13  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was wondering about that, so far she has dealt a huge blow to the resources of two major evil organisations in the heartlands, and exposed 3 malaugrym in hiding

You could argue it was for the greater good, khelben style, but it could be that elminster only cares about the malaugrym and a little about manshoon. Maybe he only prepared shandril and narm out of sentimentality or just so they could destroy more zhents.


I'd never considered elminster that callous before but maybe I should re examine him as devoid of humanity.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 05 Jun 2021 :  15:52:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

So it's been a while since I read the books, but I think Elminster is a little less kindly than you think. By having Shandril walk to Silverymoon, she draws out ever Dragon Cultist and Zhentarim mageling along the way. Many are destroyed, making their local regions safer.

In effect, Elminster was using her as bait in service of the greater good.



I'm inclined to agree. Even without teleporting, there are ways he could have gotten her to Silverymoon quicker and/or safer. Magic for flight, or a flying mount would have been quicker. A polymorph would have been a hell of a disguise, especially if coupled with something to block/suppress magical detection. Combine them -- shielding against detection and a polymorph to a flying shape.

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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 05 Jun 2021 :  16:49:54  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by "Shandril of Spellfire, And Why I Decided Not To Destroy Her"

My fellow Chosen must be warned, as well as All Who Harp and certain others, for if one thing in Faerûn can be depended upon as surely as the sun rising some time after each moonfall, 'tis that those who snatch and seize magic for their own fell and cruel purposes will learn of this Shandril and attempt to seize her . . . if they know not of her already. Manshoon and his lot, the Cult of the Dragon, those of Luskan who style themselves "the Arcane," those who take childish delight in calling themselves the Twisted Rune, and the entire realm of Thay – to say nothing of diverse beholders and Phaerimm, dragons, and scores of independent archmages, both mighty and those who merely consider themselves puissant – will stretch out swords or spells or talons to pluck this spellfire for their own. Failing that, they will slay its source so as to deny it to their rivals.

Were I the sort of cold-hearted beast that calls itself Manshoon, or even Khelben, I might set a trap with this Shandril as the lure and sacrifice her mind or life to bring some of these dark workers of Art into my grasp for slaying or ravaging. Yet Mystra forbids such reckless harvesting of those who weave magic, and she even stands against attempts to harm those who follow Shar's darker path. As the sword and the fang give way to ever wider use of magic, Mystra grows ever in might, and her desire is more and more greatly fulfilled: that magic – even magic worked by those who follow Shar or Bane or other gods – become more prevalent and widespread, thus making Our Lady ever the greater.

What we Chosen are commanded to strike out against are those who seek to forbid magic to others, use it for tyranny that prevents others daring to work magic, or destroy spell-weavers out of hand. Most evil mages are the first sort of foe, Manshoon is often the second, and this Shandril Shessair is all too apt to become the third. So whether my heart warms toward this lass or not – and I confess that, thus far, it doth, for she reminds me of mine own self of many centuries ago – I may well be called upon to strike her down.

She has the potential and even the tendency to shatter and slay and pillage, for spellfire is all too often a thing that begins as the servant and ends up the master. Yet she also hath a chance to become an instrumental force for good and order and justice (three very different things, I must remember) in the Realms – the more so because she walks her own road and cleaves not to privilege and noble station and orders given by those who desire to give them.

So I must not stand in her way – yet. I must test her, to learn all I can of the extent and power of her spellfire (and her mastery of it) thus far, and more than that: in so doing, I must learn far more of her character and the handles by which I or anyone can move her. Doth her love for this young lad Narm – as amiable and thus weak but generous a mageling as one can expect to find anywhere – give one the means to compel her? I fear it doth, but will she crumple, fight in wild fury, or bide time to betray any who use her so?

How gullible is she, and how suspicious? How ignorant of the true ways of Faerûn, and how close-minded? Doth she trust on the basis of race or age or gender, or in what wise?

I confess me my heart leaps with admiration for this one, with her hunger for adventure and fierce desire to walk her own way and see justice done, while still giving thought to the needs of others. Faerûn could use a dozen kings who think as she doth.

Mystra, need I slay her yet, or can I let her run awhile?

I hope and I believe we can suffer her to live.

I must confess I've a hunger to see Manshoon and all the rest reach for her – and have their fingers soundly scorched. Perhaps, just perhaps, she can teach them some of the lessons about magic and the rightful use of power she'll be learning in the days to come.

I'm looking forward to watching Faerûn discover the true measure of Shandril of Highmoon. The fire of her glory is apt to be doused soon, but let it burn bright while it lasts!

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison
I'd never considered elminster that callous before but maybe I should re examine him as devoid of humanity.

Elminster may be friendly, but he is not your friend. That said, I think "devoid of humanity" is a step too far. His concerns are of magic and Faerûn as a whole, and while he does prefer sunshine and kittens he will do what (he or Mystra thinks) needs to be done, and regret the human cost sometime afterwards. But he does regret. And he does try to avoid those costs if at all possible. And that makes him preferable to a Manshoon or any random Cyricist, who do things solely for ruthless personal power or just for twisted kicks.

Or even Khelben. Elminster "hopes and believes we can suffer her to live," Khelben would just want to nuke her from orbit and not leave it up to chance.


AJA
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Edited by - AJA on 05 Jun 2021 16:51:35
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 05 Jun 2021 :  17:34:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA



Or even Khelben. Elminster "hopes and believes we can suffer her to live," Khelben would just want to nuke her from orbit and not leave it up to chance.




I don't think Khelben would nuke her from orbit. He's also a Chosen, so he's under the same limitations as Elminster.

But these lines -- "Were I the sort of cold-hearted beast that calls itself Manshoon, or even Khelben, I might set a trap with this Shandril as the lure and sacrifice her mind or life to bring some of these dark workers of Art into my grasp for slaying or ravaging. Yet Mystra forbids such reckless harvesting of those who weave magic, and she even stands against attempts to harm those who follow Shar's darker path."

I think that gives us more an idea what Khelben would do. He'd not stake her out as a sacrificial goat and then slay all who showed up, even though he'd be tempted. But he'd certainly steer Shandril in particular directions, so that she would tempt certain parties who would then rush to their own destruction.

And I don't think he'd limit those parties to magic wielders, either -- plenty of non-magical sorts would see her as a potential weapon.

Khelben is overall a decent person, though. He'd set things up so that Shandril was walking a gauntlet, but not so that she'd be walking into certain death. And I think he'd also take precautions to make sure that while she may get hurt or hardened, that she'd not be killed or pushed so far that she crossed the line into evil.

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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2021 :  00:34:40  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
I don't think Khelben would nuke her from orbit. He's also a Chosen, so he's under the same limitations as Elminster.

Khelben is overall a decent person, though. He'd set things up so that Shandril was walking a gauntlet, but not so that she'd be walking into certain death. And I think he'd also take precautions to make sure that while she may get hurt or hardened, that she'd not be killed or pushed so far that she crossed the line into evil.

I don't want to stray too far from the current thread focus on Shandril and Crown of Fire here, but my answer to the first is that Elminster follows Mystra's rules (in fact, he's the poster boy for following Mystra's rules). Khelben....considers them more like guidelines. He's very much the "it's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission" type.

And to the second, everything you're ascribing to Khelben here is what Elminster is up there saying about himself.


AJA
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Eldacar
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425 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2021 :  01:05:41  Show Profile Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

Elminster may be friendly, but he is not your friend. That said, I think "devoid of humanity" is a step too far. His concerns are of magic and Faerûn as a whole, and while he does prefer sunshine and kittens he will do what (he or Mystra thinks) needs to be done, and regret the human cost sometime afterwards.


As another very old sorcerer in another, non-Realms book series once said, paraphrasing very slightly:

“I moved about quite a bit during the next several centuries, however. There were still marriages to arrange and an occasional murder. Does that shock you? It shouldn’t. I’ve never made any pretense at being a saint, and there were people out there in the world who were inconvenient. I’m not going to waste my time, or yours, coming up with lame excuses. I was driven by necessity, so I did what was necessary.”

"The Wild Mages I have met exhibit a startling disregard for common sense, and are often meddling with powers far beyond their own control." ~Volo
"Not unlike a certain travelogue author with whom I am unfortunately acquainted." ~Elminster
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