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Matthus
Senior Scribe

Germany
393 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2007 :  08:50:02  Show Profile Send Matthus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Oh, and Ed has been implying for quite some time that Elminster's time in the Realms is perhaps coming to an end.



Is there any chance that you can be more specific - maybe this was discussed in some topic already? I wanted to bring my rollplaying group in contact with Elminster in the near future - would be a shame if he would be already gone

Well a least I would be interested to learn how this will end! There aren't any lost eleven cities left - äh

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34941 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2007 :  16:15:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matthus

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Oh, and Ed has been implying for quite some time that Elminster's time in the Realms is perhaps coming to an end.



Is there any chance that you can be more specific - maybe this was discussed in some topic already? I wanted to bring my rollplaying group in contact with Elminster in the near future - would be a shame if he would be already gone


Really, it's just something Ed has hinted at. We don't even know if the plans to get El out of the picture are in the works, or if it will be death, retirement, or something else altogether.

quote:
Originally posted by Matthus

Well a least I would be interested to learn how this will end! There aren't any lost eleven cities left - äh


Well, there are still a couple of mythal cities that either aren't always around and/or need to be reclaimed...

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 21 May 2007 :  00:25:27  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


Really, it's just something Ed has hinted at. We don't even know if the plans to get El out of the picture are in the works, or if it will be death, retirement, or something else altogether.



Right--personally, I've always taken the "Elminster's time is coming to an end" hints as a way of reminding us that Elminster is not immortal, and just because he's lived for over a thousands years and is a power Chosen of Mystra doesn't mean he will always be around to protect the Realms.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 21 May 2007 00:25:44
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Kyrene
Senior Scribe

South Africa
648 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2007 :  08:07:37  Show Profile  Visit Kyrene's Homepage Send Kyrene a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would be quite happy if Elminster does fade/go away. It makes the "common" heroics of the "average" person in Fearûn more heroic (City of Splendors being a good example) in a sense if there's one less (queue audience oohs and ahs; booming narrator voice) Chosen of Mystra to bail them out every time things get a little rough. I liked Khelben a lot, but I'm glad he's gone. Now if only we can rid Toril of the rest of the Chosen...

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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2007 :  10:42:51  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kyrene

I would be quite happy if Elminster does fade/go away. It makes the "common" heroics of the "average" person in Fearûn more heroic (City of Splendors being a good example) in a sense if there's one less (queue audience oohs and ahs; booming narrator voice) Chosen of Mystra to bail them out every time things get a little rough. I liked Khelben a lot, but I'm glad he's gone. Now if only we can rid Toril of the rest of the Chosen...



I agree lets reduce the number of Chosen down to the original amount again . Seven sisters and a couple of arch-mages is enough for Faerun. Then again, others would then cry about unbalance and unfair Mystra again. Guess one cant make everyone happy.

I don't see there being a chance of Elminster dying in the nearest future, but things being as they are this will probably be done sooner or later. He has been in the Realms for some years after all, so it would be best to remove him before he goes stale. Yes I am being sarcastic. And yes I am grumpy.
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Kaladorm
Master of Realmslore

United Kingdom
1176 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2007 :  11:18:27  Show Profile  Visit Kaladorm's Homepage Send Kaladorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can see him either dying spectacularly (and a great load of mourning going on, by readers and his friends), or simply transcending to another level, be it another plain, minor deification, or something else.

Kinda like Obi Wan Kenobi in either case actually :) Got to be the only way for him to go

*giggles* "Storm...use the (beads of) Force"

Edited by - Kaladorm on 22 May 2007 11:19:01
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Matthus
Senior Scribe

Germany
393 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2007 :  11:31:36  Show Profile Send Matthus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't wanted to bring the discussion away from Kelben - ans I hope we wont get a big NO, NO from any of the great and wise ones

Any chance that we can bring this into a new topic - I would be interessted in hearing your opinions - maybe Wooly Rupert may help us (by the way I read about your fan club Wooly Rupert - I'm just collecting all my cents for the big donation )
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34941 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2007 :  17:20:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matthus

Any chance that we can bring this into a new topic - I would be interessted in hearing your opinions - maybe Wooly Rupert may help us (by the way I read about your fan club Wooly Rupert - I'm just collecting all my cents for the big donation )



Anyone can start a new topic, though not in every area. Feel free to start a poll or whatnot. Just make sure you notate the possibility of spoilers, so as not to irk those who haven't caught up with the novels yet.

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Matthus
Senior Scribe

Germany
393 Posts

Posted - 22 May 2007 :  17:30:35  Show Profile Send Matthus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Anyone can start a new topic, though not in every area. Feel free to start a poll or whatnot. Just make sure you notate the possibility of spoilers, so as not to irk those who haven't caught up with the novels yet.



I'm sorry - I didn't caught the hint
Do you mean just mention them - or is there another posibility? Sorry for silly questions

Edited by - Matthus on 23 May 2007 14:33:51
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34941 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2007 :  17:15:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Matthus

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Anyone can start a new topic, though not in every area. Feel free to start a poll or whatnot. Just make sure you notate the possibility of spoilers, so as not to irk those who haven't caught up with the novels yet.



I'm sorry - I didn't caught the hint
Do you mean just mention them - or is there another posibility? Sorry for silly questions



If any spoilers are going to be discussed (such as a recent novel where a prominent character dies), it's a good idea to put a spoiler warning in the thread title. That way, people can't get irked if they check out the thread and read about something they weren't ready to know about, yet.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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zolansilverspear
Acolyte

Turkey
11 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2007 :  10:07:06  Show Profile  Visit zolansilverspear's Homepage Send zolansilverspear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have just finished reading Blackstaff, and I felt the urge to drop by and read some comments. I am not a regular round here, but I surely am an old FR reader. In my library I have more than a hundred FR novels (136 to be precise) , and also I tend to be a reader of a lot fantasy novels. So I like to think that my opinion hold some weight on this particular subject.

First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. Schend, on one of the most incredible "first" books I have ever read. I have read too many first failures from too many great writers, so you at least deserve a full credit for the book being your first. That said the book has many strong and weak points, from two different points of view.

First of all, as a FR novel, it stands out from the throng to rival the best. And come to think of it, nearly all "best" were trilogies. I certainly wasn't expecting a book this good from a solo novel. However it has too many flaws. One of them is it gets too compressed in the later parts. This story deserved at least a hundred pages more. I have got many misgivings about the story, though it turns out to be great overall. First and the worst is the romance, which is too shallow, and simply out of place. And contrary to many other peoples ideas I did not like the exchange between the elves, Khelben and Elminster. It felt like it was just thrust there to show the difference between two major characters of the realms and again it felt out of place. And it also, even if accidentally, reflects the elves in a major bad light. Also I have more than a few questions there. Why would an elven noble family even "consider" sacrificing a "dormant" moonblade? A dead one I can understand, but dormant? Aren't the moonblades considered gifts from Corellian and one of the highest honors an elven family could have? And where are the high mages? There should be at least 4-5 in Everaska, quite a quite large group in Evermeet and at least a few in other places, let say around 50 in total? Also add to this number high ranking priests of Corellian, who is of the elven pantheon, and should be above the major powers (gods) of the realms. (I am trying to point out that three Oghman high priests can represent Oghma’s faith, but they should, in my opinion again, look like children compared to the ancient high priest of the elves) You should have around a hundred People who could/should want a part/try to investigate immediately/try to enforce their will on such a major casting. Considering all, this is the biggest high magic ritual since the creation of Evermeet, which If I remember correctly signaled the decline of high magic through out Fearun unless a Tree Of Life is present. I can understand that this is the life work of a chosen of Mystra, and is supported by many gods including Correllian, but still elves in nature are chaotic. The only representation they get in the remaking of one of their dreams, and old homelands are 16 mages and 8 noble from random noble families? And one last point here, these elves just happened to know the high magic ritual to raise a whole damn city, they though they had more power than the most prominent mages of all races counting among them dragons and chosen (not even the elves are that blind!), and they also were willing to sacrifice their lives for an ideal, they seem to not care and out of the blue at that. (The dream of Myth Drannor is not so popular among the elves and this group looks like a perfect example) Did I say farfatched?

Also having an "Avalon" in the realms, known by most of the major wizards, and still a secret, seems… a little weird to me. Also I wonder how can a city, and a major sized, if not all-populated one, sustain itself without outlying farmlands and trade. Well… also there is the matter of stability. Myth Drannor had lived as long as it did, and shined as bright as it did, because it had the power of Cormanthyr as its foundation. It was scientifically/magically in strong position, had a strong army, and had the infrastructure and the government to back that up. Even they had a hard time controlling all the diverse populations. A “mixed community of different races” is quite different from a “different communities of races”. A dwarf, or ten or a hundred can live in a city, but give them a few clans with agendas and different political views of their own, add elves and humans to the mix… You need a strong and a very strong incentive to keep them peacefull. Which seems to be lacking in the desing of this new “City of Hope”

Now that all my flames quenched, I would like to say that the gathering of major mages for a high magic ritual was a great idea. However the throng of names could be quite confusing for a casual reader. Also the protagonist is exemplary. From the beginning to the end, he is the most imaginative character in the book. The Dreamer’s end(or the lack of it), is simply another major lapse, which I presume is the result of too few pages and too little time. I wonder where are Danilo Thann, and Arilyn? Any major Moonstar or Harper casters? Why aren’t the other choosen here? Certainly they are aware of what is going on.

I would also like to comment on this book as fantasy novel. From this point of view it is a mediocre book. It does not stand alone, it does not represent all characters (which is because it relies on previous FR knowledge), it lacks a strong romance and certainly lacks intrigue, it lacks descriptions and a lot of detail (again it relies on previous FR knowledge). However it also has way of fluency and good writing, which makes you keep reading. The magic is cleverly used, and it portrays wizards of Faerun in an interesting and beautiful light. Magic, spells, wizards and flashbacks of Khelben’s life are simply fascinating.

All things considered, this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Thank you
Mr. Schend. I am hoping to read more of your works soon.

Zolan "BeaR" Silverspear
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6197 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2007 :  00:01:22  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I'm not Steven, but I'd like to comment on your query as to why elven families would have "given up their dormant moonblades". Whilst the final chapter on moonblade lore is not yet written, one thing is very clear about them - they have served their original purpose: a monarch sits on the throne of Evermeet.

Drawing from that, one could say that the moonblades are now simply nothing more than powerful swords approaching artifact-level in power (in some cases).

I like to think that the Seldarine are playing a longer, deeper game than that. In other words, the moonblades had multiple purposes - not all of them as yet revealed. Primarily they were constructed to sort out the bloodlines that would give a monarch to Evermeet and the elven people. But so too could they have been created to provide a magical foundation for Rhymanthiin. What will come of the Craulnobur moonblade? The corrupted Starym moonblade? The Morvaeril moonblade?

The tales of the moonblades are not over. But they will no longer always be the tales of "family blades passed down from worthy bearer to worthy bearer". They will no doubt continue to play a strong role in elven magic and historical events to come, but likely not in ways that you would expect.

-- George Krashos

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

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2007 :  04:18:54  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by zolansilverspear
First and the worst is the romance, which is too shallow, and simply out of place.


I actually agree on that point.

quote:
The only representation they get in the remaking of one of their dreams, and old homelands are 16 mages and 8 noble from random noble families?


There were actually about 90 people involved with the ritual in the novel, and most of them are unnamed.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3552 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2007 :  12:36:48  Show Profile Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The way I understood it, they did not "just give away dormant moonbldes". They were sacraficed in a trade for at least equal, if not greater value! They most assuredly got something great out of the deal as well. It seemed that many who did would take up residence in the city they helped to rebirth. What value can you put on an undetectable santuary as this. Especially when you consider it the repository of hope for the entire region, if not Faerun itself.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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zolansilverspear
Acolyte

Turkey
11 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2007 :  14:24:05  Show Profile  Visit zolansilverspear's Homepage Send zolansilverspear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Correct me if I wrong. Khelben called in 8 previous favors owned to his elven family. He requested each family to attend with at least one or two mages, and bring their family moonblades with them. He further says that the blades are either dormant or dead for at least 20 generations.
Thus the number of elves in the casting is around what? 30? And here these people are not the high mages or the best or brgihtest, just the family mages or so I understand... Well... The point is the elves are underrepresented and they have a just cause for complaint.

However they are not given any explanation what is entitled in the ritual, so when they risk their moonblades, they have no idea at all they will have better/greater artifacts. I am also disturbed by the fact that they are called out of the blue...

I don't want to brag on... Simply put my point is; If you put yourselves in the shoes of the elves, the whole episode is just non-sense. They are comitting some of their most prised possesions, to a cause they have no idea about, in the blink of an eye, for a man they owe favors(a half-elf at that!). I can point out many other logical errors on this particular subject, but it is not that relevant.

Zolan "BeaR" Silverspear
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2007 :  01:00:33  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by zolansilverspear

Correct me if I wrong. Khelben called in 8 previous favors owned to his elven family. He requested each family to attend with at least one or two mages, and bring their family moonblades with them. He further says that the blades are either dormant or dead for at least 20 generations.
Thus the number of elves in the casting is around what? 30? And here these people are not the high mages or the best or brgihtest, just the family mages or so I understand... Well... The point is the elves are underrepresented and they have a just cause for complaint.



Again, how do you know there were only that many elves? Also, this is just how I interpreted the novel, but the ritual and even the reborn City of Hope weren't all just about elves. The new city is supposed to be for the benefit of all kinds of people all over Faerun.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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zolansilverspear
Acolyte

Turkey
11 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2007 :  04:54:16  Show Profile  Visit zolansilverspear's Homepage Send zolansilverspear a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rinonalyrna Fathomlin

Again, how do you know there were only that many elves?

It was my understanding that the pepople called for the ritual wee, mages of outstanding power of all races and all places and a group of elves. Of course the first would have a number of elves among them but they would be indiviuals... Still this is an unnecessary debate, since as you say it is an open ended point.

quote:
Also, this is just how I interpreted the novel, but the ritual and even the reborn City of Hope weren't all just about elves. The new city is supposed to be for the benefit of all kinds of people all over Faerun.


Good point. But I guess you and I have very different opinions about "the Dream Of Myth Drannor". That dream is/was an elven dream. The idea was a united city where all races could live in harmony and work toward a common goal. However even the utopia is equality, the elves were a little bit more equal, since they were the backbone of the dream. What I mean is erase the dwarves and you have a lie not a dream, erase the elves you have nothing.
But still This is not my core point. I guess we could agree that for a millenia now the elves were in decline. However the end of the retreat and recapture of Myth Drannor signalled a change in that decline. However the elves are still standing in the weakest spot of all races. Their capital Evermeet is isolated, and Everaska is in shambles. What remian is the hundereds of small communities, mostly wood elves. Was I able to draw the picture here?
En elven city of the old, risen by high magic (which is a high art of The People), No participation (or very little) by evermeet or everaska or the high mages...
Bottomline is the whole episode with the elves was burned to represent the difference between Khelben and Elminster, and the elves were completely ignored overall. It just doesn't fit.

Zolan "BeaR" Silverspear
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2007 :  17:06:43  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I don't think the elves were ignored overall. Again, can we say with certainly that no elven high mages from Evermeet or Evereska (or wherever) weren't involved just because they weren't named in the novel? I like it that most participants were unnamed because that means there is room for readers to add their own lore to the event. All kinds of people could have been involved, not just the the author's "pet characters" (and besides, there was a lot to fit into a 340 page novel).

Remember, too, that all the people called for the ritual (elves included) where linked with Khelben in some way.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3552 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2007 :  18:12:07  Show Profile Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by zolansilverspear
....... "the Dream Of Myth Drannor". That dream is/was an elven dream. The idea was a united city where all races could live in harmony and work toward a common goal. However even the utopia is equality, the elves were a little bit more equal, since they were the backbone of the dream. What I mean is erase the dwarves and you have a lie not a dream, erase the elves you have nothing.
But still This is not my core point. I guess we could agree that for a millenia now the elves were in decline. However the end of the retreat and recapture of Myth Drannor signalled a change in that decline. However the elves are still standing in the weakest spot of all races. Their capital Evermeet is isolated, and Everaska is in shambles. What remian is the hundereds of small communities, mostly wood elves. Was I able to draw the picture here?
En elven city of the old, risen by high magic (which is a high art of The People), No participation (or very little) by evermeet or everaska or the high mages...
Bottomline is the whole episode with the elves was burned to represent the difference between Khelben and Elminster, and the elves were completely ignored overall. It just doesn't fit.



The way I remeber reading it it could not have happened without the help of elves. I do not understand how they were ignored. Also , I am not sure that with events as they are Evermeet and the remnants of Evereska could send a huge number of highly powerful mages. It seems like Khelbun found a way to make the ritual work with what was available at the time.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2007 :  18:26:53  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

The way I remeber reading it it could not have happened without the help of elves. I do not understand how they were ignored. Also , I am not sure that with events as they are Evermeet and the remnants of Evereska could send a huge number of highly powerful mages. It seems like Khelbun found a way to make the ritual work with what was available at the time.



Also, the ritual was supposed to be clandestine. Khelben didn't want entire nations (even elven nations) knowing about the secret city.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2011 :  17:53:23  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

I'm still a bit stunned and in the process of digesting this, but I have to say one thing . . . I laughed out loud, in all honesty, when Halaster made his cameo. That was perfect!



So did I!

Every beginning has an end.
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

212 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2020 :  16:21:04  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

As is my theory that Sememmon's on his way to being an anti-hero rather than a villain, but it may take some time...



What a coincidence. That's how I'm using him and Ashemmi in my campaign. They're perfect for that in how they're written. I definitely support your notion to go that route.

quote:
Originally posted by Steven Schend

Well, Sememmon's got a long road to hoe before he gets anywhere near being called good. Ashemmi's a lot more neutral;


Hey, they don't have to be good to do good. That's what anti-heroes are for.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

..it would have been cheap to bring back an ancient city and right an ancient wrong without some serious sacrifice.


Hey, Wooly. I haven't read the book yet (just a few years late to the party), but I most likely will because reasons. Meanwhile will you give me the cliff notes? Is the ancient wrong that is being righted the fact that the mages of Aryvandar cursed all dark elves into drow, instead of just the Ilythirii? I was doing some reading up on the Crown Wars when I stumbled on this article.

On the other hand you have different fingers.

Edited by - Returnip on 11 Dec 2020 17:42:31
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