Realms-L FAQ


Below is the complete Forgotten Realms FAQ of the REALMS-L Mailing List. The text below contains many in-depth questions and answers on the Forgotten Realms setting but mainly focuses on issues of the REALMS-L Mailing List, its functions and standards of use. This FAQ is maintained by Tom Cullen and not by Candlekeep who are one of a few hosts of the FAQ on the Net.

The Forgotten Realms Mailing List Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Last Updated: August 2, 2002


Tom Cullen (

Jason Hatter (

Past Maintainers:

Andrew Hackard (hackard@IO.COM)

Craig Sefton (

Original maintainer:

Bobby Nichols (

Thanks goes out to the entire FRML for keeping the Realms alive!

Special thanks to Bobby Nichols, who wrote the first iteration of this FAQ, and to the following list members (in no particular order) for their contributions: Ami-Ben Ezra, Toby Mekelburg, Craig Sefton, Jason Hatter, Jeffrey David Bray, Nick Meredith, Bobby Nichols, Niels Handest, Martin Brabander, Kain "CullA" Whitehouse, Ken Sexe, Simon Gibbs, xman, Timothy Scott Maddalena, Jay Fisher, Stephen Campey u, Paul Hoyak, David Cordy, Jenn "Kethry" Millington, "Cyric", Mike Mateer, Larry Hepker, Thomas Costa, Thomas Cullen, Steve Allen, Eric Boyd, Steven Schend, Tavis King, Andrew Phelps, Elaine Cunningham, Mark Oliva, DM Celtic, Trent Raley, Bryon Wischstadt, Tom Rinschler, Thor, Lord Emm, George Krashos, Renshai, Ed Greenwood, John Scott, Robert Thomson, John Harbord, Jay A. Johnson, Chris Garner, J.R. Farley, Jim Butler, David W. Lemburg, Rian McMurtry.  Apologies are due to those whose contributions were included but who were omitted from this listing.

Super-special thanks to AJ Asbury ( and Jason Redfern ( for hosting the FAQ on their web sites

This FAQ may be found on the following web pages:

All trademarks referenced in this document are the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and are used here without permission.

Table of Contents
(* for new or updated topics)

1. What *are* the Forgotten Realms, and why are they Forgotten?
*1.1.   I keep seeing a reference to "FRA". What is it, what's in it, and why can't I find it anywhere?
2. Deities and Related Matters

*2.1.   What are the best sources for information on Realms deities?
*2.2.   Who are the major deities and what do you call their followers?

2.3. Chosen

2.3.1. I keep seeing references to "Chosen" of various deities. What do you mean by "Chosen"?
*2.3.2.  What special powers do Mystra's chosen have?
*2.3.3.  Why do other powers choose to not have a 'Chosen' since it is evident that any power can appoint a mortal as a 'Chosen'?

*2.4.   OK, who or what is the Magister? I'm hopelessly confused.
2.5. What’s the deal with the different pantheons? Can my character in the dales worship a god from Chult?

2.6.  Is Tiamat in the Realms the same as Takhisis in Dragonlance?
2.7. Whom is Ao talking to at the end of "Waterdeep"?

2.8. Where can I get more information about the Dawn Cataclysm?

2.8.1. What gods existed at the time of the Dawn Cataclysm?

2.9. On page 37 of F&A there is a mention of the '...Seven Lost Gods...' Does anyone know who they were/are?
2.10. Can humans worship demihuman gods? What about the reverse?
2.11. Does AO also take power over all the other deities in FR besides the human ones in the normal pantheon?

*2.12.  During the ToT was it only human gods who were cast down, or were demihuman gods similarly affected?

2.13. What happens if an other-spheric priest comes over to the Realms, bringing his worship of god with him?

2.14. Who are the five patron goddesses of Silverymoon? Oghma is male, but isn't he one of them?
2.15. Is there a Grand Druid in the Realms?
*2.16. What happened to specialty priests in third edition?

3. Geography of the Realms

3.1. What game settings comprise the Realms?
3.2. What and where is Anchorome?

3.3. I thought the Realms were on the same planet as Greyhawk; does that mean Maztica is really part of Greyhawk? (Also known as "I heard it on the net so it must be true.")

3.4. Where can I put [Insert generic module here] in the Realms?

3.4.1. How to place T1-4 in the Realms:
3.4.2. How to place A1-4 in the Realms:

3.4.3. How to place G1-3 in the Realms:

3.4.4. How to place U1-U3 in the Realms:

3.4.5. How to place "B1: In Search of the Unknown" in the Realms:

3.4.6. How to place "L1: Bone Hill" in the Realms:

3.4.7. How to place the whole L1-L3 series (the Lendore Isles modules) in the Realms:

3.4.8.  L3? I've only seen L1 & L2!

3.4.9. How to place the "Keep on the Borderlands" and the return to same in the Realms:

3.4.10. How to place " The Shattered Circle" in the Realms:

3.4.11. How to place  "The Night Below" super-module in the Realms:

3.4.12. How to place  "Forge of Fury" in the Realms:

3.4.13. How to place  "The Sunless Citadel " in the Realms:

3.4.14. How to place  "The Silver Key" in the Realms:
3.5. . How large is Toril/Faerun/the Heartlands?
3.6. Where is Toril's equator?
3.7.  How long does it take to travel in the Underdark?
3.8.  What was the origin of the High Moor?

3.9.   What is the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas?
3.10.   What/where are the "Burning Lands"?
3.11.   Is there a list of all of the mythal cities?
3.11.1.   What are exactly the functions or use of the Mythals? I always thought they were centers of magic energy or dweomers?

3.12. . Is the Moonsea salt or fresh water?
3.13. Does Toril have time zones?

3.14.  What's Luruar? It's not on my map...

3.14.1. Where are the Silver Marches? What happened to Luruar?
3.14.2. What the heck is a march anyway? Isn't it like a moor?
3.15. Where can I get information on the Dwarven complex in the Laughing Hollow?  I see it on my FR Atlas. Where or what is/was Illefarn?
3.16. Where's Mount Melairbode? Is it near Waterdeep?
3.17. Where's Freedale?
3.18. On page 99 of the Realms Atlas is a place called Neiroon's Hut. It's on the eastern coast of the Dales where the River Lis joins TSOFS. Any info on the place and/or who Neiroon is/was??? (have wanted to know since 1990).
3.19. Apart from the obvious does EVER as in Evermeet & Evereska mean anything??? Maybe a corruption of Elven, or perhaps 'land of elves'?
3.20. What's known about the Moonshaes? Are they volcanic in nature? Are they separated bits of the continent? What about their culture as originally conceived by Ed Greenwood?
3.21. What's the Pool of Radiance?

*3.22. Where do  the names "Toril" and "Faerun" come from?

*3.23. What happened to the map?!? It changed when third edition came out!
4. People of the Realms

4.1. Who'd win: Elminster or Drizzt?

4.2. . Elminster

4.2.1.  Don't you think Elminster is too powerful? No, he has to be to give the PCs a challenge! Yes, he's a munchkin! We killed him off five times! etc.
4.2.2. Aren’t the Chosen overpowered? If they can do everything, what’s left for the PCs?
4.2.3. So… What’s the real scoop on Mystra’s chosen? How can they stay sane for all those centuries? And why are they all goody-two-shoes?
4.2.4. It takes a 41st level mage to cast "Create Mythal". Elminster helped lay Myth Drannor's Mythal. That was long ago, and he's not even 41st level now. What's up? Did he lose levels?
4.3. Zhents and the Zhentarim
*4.3.1.  Whats the difference between saying "Zhents" or Zhentarim?
4.3.2. What's up with the Zhents coming back from the dead?

4.4. Are Marco Volo and Volo from the Volo's Guides the same person?
*4.5. Who/what are the Malaugrym?
*4.6. Shandril is a *babe*. Where can I find rules to give my PC spellfire?

4.7. My player wants to play a half-dragon. Where can I find rules for this?
4.8. Who are/were the Witch lords?
4.9. Who are/were the Twisted Rune?
4.10. Who are/were the D'Tarig? What races of dwarven halfbreeds exist in the Realms?
4.11. Who/what is/was Wulgreth?
4.12. Who/what is/was Larloch?
4.13. What ever happened to Lashan?

4.14. The elves

4.14.1. What’s the status of Evermeet’s royal family? What happened to the children of Zaor and Amlaruil?
4.14.2. What elven subraces exist in the Realms?
4.14.3. What's the population breakdown of the elven subraces in the Realms? Which are most common?
4.14.4. What's known about Avariel in the Realms?
4.15. Cormyr
4.15.1. What is the rank structure of the Purple Dragons?
*4.15.2.  Who are the nobles of Cormyr?

4.16. Who are the Emerald Enclave?

4.17. The seven sisters

4.17.1. Does anyone know in what order the Seven Sisters were born?
*4.17.2. When did the seven sisters first appear in Realms canon?
4.18. Khelben
4.18.1. It says in the Shadow Thieves' write up that Khelben's mother had something to do with running them out of Waterdeep not so many years ago (13xx DR). Isn't he older than that?
4.18.2. Huh? Khelben confuses me!
4.18.3. Does anyone in Faerun know that Khelben's not who everyone thinks he is?
4.19. Who are the hin?
4.20. Any thoughts as to which Twisted Rune member is a phaerimm?
4.21. Who's Ilserv? Is he stone? Is he dead? Is he smashed?

*4.22. Who's wrote the Nether Scrolls, the elves or the Creator races?

*4.23. What's a Waterdhavian?

*4.24. What about the Phaerimm?

*4.25. Who are the Shades?
*4.26. Why's Halaster so powerful? In third edition you can't progress above 20th level, so how's he more powerful than any other 20th level mage? The same applies to lots of other NPCs, too?
5. History of the Realms
5.1. When were the Time of Troubles??
5.2. On what years does Shieldmeet fall?5.3. What were The Spawn Wars?5.4. Is there a list of the official Roll of Years?
5.4.1. Are there errors in the Roll of Years?
5.4.2. How were the beginning (-700 DR) and ending (1600 DR) years for the Roll of Years chosen?
5.4.3. Some groups of years seem connected- namely 1468 (the First Circle), 1470 (the Second Circle), 1472 (the Third Circle), 1474 (the Fourth Circle), 1476 (the Fifth Circle) and 1478 (the Dark Circle). Is there a method to the madness?
5.5.      When was the Horde?
6. Other common questions
6.1. Any chance of a Realms movie?
6.2. What are the names of the days in the Realms?
6.3. Is there gunpowder in the Realms?
6.4. Was there really a Forgotten Realms Comic?
6.5.  Have "official game" versions of the artifacts from the FR comic books (the hand of Vaprak, etc.) been published? I thought they might be included in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" but I don't think they were.
6.6. Is there a particular order in which the Realms novels (particularly the Harpers series) should be read?
6.7. What's up with the runes used on the top of the FR logo? Are they Dethek?
6.8. I heard that Ed Greenwood has a hotmail email address and that he posted some top-secret info on an webpage. Is it true?
6.9. Is there any information on heraldry in the Realms?*6.10. Who wrote what in Cloak and Dagger?
7. What's new in 3rd edition?
*7.1. In what year is the new Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting set?
7.2. Where can I find more info about the future of the Realms?
8. Questions specific to earlier editions
8.1. What spell levels do Realms priests get?
8.2. How fast do Realms specialty priests advance?
8.3. Do Realms clerics have major access to the sun sphere, and minor access to elemental fire and air, traveler, and war spheres?
8.4. How can so many magical items exist in the realms, given standard AD&D enchanting rules?
9. General questions about the list
*9.1.   Keyword Introduction
*9.1.1.       What are the keywords?9.1.2. How do you use the keywords?
9.2. Netiquette
9.2.1. Why isn't this topic OK?
9.2.2. What's a flame and why is it bad? (Or, This isn't a flame, you moron!)

9.2.3. Why can't I post in persona?
9.2.4. How much can I quote?
9.2.5. What's wrong with my signature?

9.2.7. What's up with the "plain text only" rule?
9.2.8. Why does my text look so funky?
9.3. Generosity and the list
9.3.1. How should I offer a file? How should I respond to an offer?
9.3.2. Why are attached files such bad things? I get/send them all the time, and I never have problems.
9.4. Copyright and the list.
9.4.1. What's a "me too"?
9.4.2. Why doesn't anyone ever comment on my posts?
9.5. Matters of terminology
9.5.1. What does this abbreviation mean?
9.5.2. What does "canon" mean?

9.5.3. So, are novels canon or aren't they?

9.5.4. What's a spoiler?
9.5.5. What's wrong with saying "T$R"?
9.5.6. What's a munchkin?
9.5.7. How can I post a review to the list?

*9.6.   How many users are there, anyway?
9.7. Who are the Realms List moderator and monitors?

9.8. LISTSERV commands

9.8.1. How do I switch to/from digest mode?
9.8.2. The Digest is too big!  Is there anything else I can do?

9.8.3. Can I switch my list subscription to a new email account?

9.8.4. What other LISTSERV commands are there?
9.9. How can I tell if the List is experiencing a temporary downage?
10.  Other resources
10.1. Official sites
10.1.1. Wizards of the Coast
10.1.2. How can I keep up with the changes at the Wizards web site?
10.1.3. MPGN10.1.4. Where are the archives of Realms-L?
10.2. Other web sites of interest
10.2.1. Where's the "best of FR-L" web page?
10.2.2. What else is out there (WWW)?

*10.2.3. What else is out there (mailing lists)?
10.2.4. What happened to the Realms-Projects list?
10.2.5. Where can I downloadable info on the Wizards site?
10.2.6. Where can I locate out of print products?
10.2.7. What if I want a paper copy of an out of print product?
10.2.8. Where can I download the Espruar/Dethek/Thorass/Common Tongue fonts?
11. Why didn't you include...?

* = new or updated in this version

1. What *are* the Forgotten Realms, and why are they Forgotten?

This question is outside the scope of this document.  However, another person, Tommi Ojanperä <>, has created a "FR FAQ for beginners" which he is hosting on his web page:


If you're not sure what we are even talking about, you might want to head there first.

If you want information on D&D in general, try the FAQ at

It's quite long (9 parts), and includes things such as questions about Stoneskin, Alignment, music to game by, and lots, lots more.  I'd recommend perusing it if you've got any general might find an answer (or three!) in it.


*1.1 I keep seeing a reference to "FRA". What is it, what's in it, and why can't I find it anywhere?

FRA stands for "Forgotten Realms Adventures", a hardback compendium of Realmslore that updated many rules for AD&D Second Edition. (There were also volumes called "Greyhawk Adventures" and "Dragonlance Adventures", those being the three main game worlds at the time.) FRA sold out quickly and is devilishly hard to find these days at anything approximating a reasonable price. (So, if you DO see one, grab it!)

Luckily for us gamers, most of the information in FRA has been reprinted or supplanted by later products. The main sections of FRA were:

Of course, most of this has also been revised in the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Hardcover.


2. Deities and Related Matters

*2.1. What are the best sources for information on Realms deities?

All of your questions are answered in the three-volume series, "Faiths & Avatars", "Powers & Pantheons", and "Demihuman Deities". While these are second edition books, much of the information is general and can be applied to a third edition game as well.

F&A details the major deities worshipped in most of the lands of the Realms, and P&P gives the demipowers, as well as some more obscure pantheons.  DD details the elven, drow, dwarven, halfling, and gnomish pantheons.


*2.2. Who are the major deities and what do you call their followers?

The following is a list of the human greater, intermediate and lesser powers (from F&A); it includes adjectives used to refer to the religions and titles of worshipers (thanks to Steve Allen). Note that some of these do not adhere to the recent Wizards effort to eliminate irregular plurals.

Akadi Akadian Akadians
Amaunator Amaunatori Amaunatori
Auril Aurilian Aurilians ?
Azuth Azuthan Azuthans ?
Bane Banite Banites
Beshaba Beshaban Beshabans ?
Bhaal Bhaalist Bhaalists
Chauntea Chauntean Chaunteans
Cyric Cyricist Cyricists
Deneir Deneirrath Deneirrath
Eldath Eldathyn Eldathyn
Gond Gondar Gondar
Grumbar Grumbarryn Grumbarryn
Helm Helmite Helmites
Ibrandul Ibrandulin Ibrandulin
Ilmater Ilmatari Ilmatari
Istishia Istishian Istishian
Iyachtu Xvim Xvimlar Xvimlar
Kelemvor Kelemvorite Kelemvorites
Kossuth Kossuthan Kossuthans
Lathander Lathanderian Lathanderites
Leira Leiran Leirans
Lliira Lliiran Lliirans
Loviatar Loviatan Loviatans
Malar Malarite Malarites
Mask Maskarran Maskarran
Mielikki Mielikkian Mielikkians
Moander Moanderite Moanderites ?
Myrkul Myrkulyte Myrkulytes
Mystra Mystran Mystrans
Oghma Oghmanyte Oghmanytes ?
Selune Selunite Selunites
Shar Sharran Sharrans
Shaundakul Shaundakun Shaundakuns ?
Silvanus Silvanite Silvanites
Sune Sunite Sunites
Talona Talonite Talonites
Talos Talassan Talassans
Tempus Tempuran Tempurans ?
Torm Tormish Tormish Torm clerics are called Tormtar's.
Tymora Tymoran Tymorans ?
Tyr Tyrran Tyrrans
Umberlee Umberlant Umberlants
Waukeen Waukeenar Waukeenar


2.3. Chosen

2.3.1. I keep seeing references to "Chosen" of various deities. What do you mean by "Chosen"?

Some deities, most notably Mystra, have given one or a small group of their dedicated followers special powers; these are called Chosen. The Chosen of Mystra are most well known, and derive some special benefits because they actually hold a portion of Mystra's essence within them. They are Elminster, Khelben, the Seven Sisters, and perhaps others yet unrevealed. (Azuth may or may not currently be a Chosen, although it's virtually certain he was before he became a god. The founder of the Cult of the Dragon, Sammaster, was a Chosen who went bad.) Mystra's Magister is NOT a chosen (at least not while holding the office of Magister). Noumea Drathchuld, a recent Magister, is now a chosen, as is Alvaerele Tasundrym, a Magister who held the office from 576-592 DR).

Other known Chosen: Cadderly, Chosen of Deneir (from the Cleric Quintet by R. A. Salvatore); Qilue Veladorn, Chosen of Eilistraee (as well as's a complicated story); Jeryth Phaulkon, the Chosen Star of Mielikki. We should also take care not to forget Fzoul Chembryl, chosen of Xvim.

The Elder Circle of the Emerald Enclave are also chosen - the Chosen of Silvanus.  The names of the three chosen are:

Shinthala Deepcrest
Lady Shadowmoon
Ashenford Torinbow

Source: The Vilhon Reach - Dungeon Master's Reference pp 27-31


*2.3.2. What special powers do Mystra's chosen have?

The powers granted to Mystra's chosen in third edition are given in the Forgotten Realms Hardcover.

The standard granted powers of the Chosen of Mystra in second edition are (from pp. 10-11  Seven Sisters):

1. Effective constitution 25 (system shock rolls + regeneration)
2. Immunity to disease & afflictions (as per elixir of health)
3. Death from natural causes impossible
4. Immunity to disintegration magic
5. +5 saving throws vs. spells
6. +3 save vs. dragon breath
7. Detect magic at will with a range of 90 ft, or w/n their line-of-sight (whichever is greater)
8. Hear own names spoken anywhere on Toril (& next 9 words spoken by that person)
9. Lose all need for sleep
10. Function without food & water for up to seven days at a time (as per potion of vitality)
11. Have one of the following effects active at any given time as per the item: ring of warmth, ring of mind shielding, potion of water breathing, protection from gas scroll
12. Immune to one specific spell of each level (own chioice)
13. One bonus spell at each level the Chosen can cast that can be cast by act of will alone and re-appears in the Chosen's memory 24 hours later
14. Unleash the silver fire (beam 5ft wide, up to 70ft long; pierces *all* barriers; 4d12 dmg, no save)
15. Cloud of silver fire (cone 5ft wide at base, up to 70ft long, up to 70ft wide at end) - banishes dead magic areas.
16. Banish all external magical or psionic compulsions with silver fire.
17. Teleport w/t error 1/day to last location where they used silver fire.

Note: some of the Chosen have additional personal granted powers from Mystra that vary with each individual and reference is made that the Chosen may well have additional powers that even they are unaware of (p. 12, Seven Sisters)

Lorm Emm cautioned:

It should be noted however that this only goes for Chosen of Mystra... Chosen of other deities should have quite different abilities.


*2.3.3. Why do other powers choose to not have a 'Chosen' since it is evident that any power can appoint a mortal as a 'Chosen'?

Paul Hoyak answered:

Oh, easy answers here.

The second answer is just as easy. Most powers do not make Chosen simply because it is both a waste of power and sometimes even a waste of time (notably for evil deities and their evil followers). Why make a Chosen (which requires the individual to be imbued with the god's essence AS WELL as the fact that they are not controlled by the deity) when you can make seraph and proxies?

Here's how it works (evidence from a variety of sources, including Code of the Harpers, Seven Sisters, FRE1 Shadowdale, Shadow of the Avatar trilogy, Planescape box set, On Hallowed Ground, Crucible, Dragon Magazine)

Chosen: most powerful of the three. Requires some of the god's essence. Not controlled by the deity.

Seraph: powerful proxies. Created as a proxy. Has a fair amount of free will.

Proxy: standard deity servant. Does not require any of the god's  essence. Can be tightly "reined in" by the deity at any time.

A deity would normally have a VERY good reason to create a Chosen over a proxy. Mystra is a notably example (read Code of the Harpers, Seven Sisters, and FRE1 Shadowdale for insight).


*2.4.OK, who or what is the Magister? I'm hopelessly confused.

I don't blame you. "The Magister" (product code FR4) was an early Realms sourcebook, which gave many new spells and magic items found in the Realms. It's at least as hard to find as FRA, so snap up any copies you see.  FR4 is available as a pay download from the WotC Online Store ESD site.

The Magister, the person, is a mage selected by Mystra to spread the Art (magic) throughout the Realms. A mage may become the Magister by defeating the current Magister in spell combat; this combat need not (but may) be to the death. The Magister is supposed to be a shadowy, secretive figure.

The sourcebook "Secrets of the Magister" details the powers and history of the position (including info on many past Magisters). The current Magister (as of 1370 DR) is Talatha Vaerovree of Innarlith, a female human 16th level wizard. 

The following is a mostly accurate discussion of the magister by Bobby Nichols <> and by Mike Mateer <>. This discussion occurred before the publishing of "Secrets of the Magister", and gross errors in speculation have been edited out.

"The Magister is a high-level (usually) mage whom Mystra elevates to show the glory of magic. In other words, the magister is a punching bag for high-level wizards who want to show how good they are. This keeps all those glory-minded mages from ruling/conquering countries and the like. The Magister is a series of people. You see, the reward for beating the Magister is usually (if you survive) becoming the Magister. If neither combatant survives, then Azuth chooses the next Magister. I would guess that what the duel is, depends on the mage who is currently the Magister. I mean, would you want to be known as the archmage who was once the Magister? Also, at high level there are lots of spells for magical combat: anti-magic shell, prismatic spells, etc. etc. Generally I would say that most combats go until the death - either by accident or design. [Editor's note: this is confirmed in SotM- good reasoning, Bobby!) As for duties, the Magister is what mages show their apprentices and say: "This is what you'll be one day-if you study hard enough." I would say that the magister has a glamorous job but no real duties or income. [Editor's note: not quite true; the magister is charged with promoting the spread and advancement of magic, though some shirked this duty horribly).

Some mentions of Magisters in other products:

   1. Jhesiyra Kestellharp. One of Halaster's apprentices, she gave up after Halaster's Test, and went to Myth Drannor and eventually became the Magister... (Campaign Guide to Undermountain, page 5)

   2. The Magister that appears in the novel Elminster, the Making of a Mage (pages 84-89), who answers a challenge to his powers and destroys a bunch of powerful magelords.

   3. A recent Magister, Noumea (referenced in FR4 The Magister and appears in the novel Cloak of Shadows).

   4. Two Magisters are referenced in Polyhedron #72 (page 29): Inhil Lauthdryn "Hurler-of-Stars", who went alone into the Vast in search of a rogue Archmage in order to bring him to justice, and Aralagath Tarsil who succeeded him.

   5. A Magister spoke directly with Mystra in a knoll in Shadowdale that nowadays is a holy place (Shandril's mother, Dammasae is buried there; she was an Incantatrix and also had Spellfire). See the 3E Campaign Setting for 3E spellfire rules. For 2E info, see the novel Spellfire, pages 356-357, and Poly #117 or Cult of the Dragon for Incantatrix courtesy of Eric Boyd." Also see Dragon #90 (which contains Ed Greenwood's original Incantrix article).


2.5. What’s the deal with the different pantheons? Can my character in the dales worship a god from Chult?

Eric Boyd explains:

Think of it this way.

Ao allows gods to extend their influence where they are worshiped by a large segment of the population.

In the "old days", when the various races and peoples were geographically isolated, the pantheons appear to be geographically divided. If, however, the entire population of Mulhorand had woken up one day and decided to walk to Calimshan, then the Mulhorandi's 'geographic sphere of influence' would have moved with them.

Given the "interconnectedness" of the Realms today, it's no suprise that the old pantheon system (Netherese, Uthgardt, Calishite, Jhaamdaathan, Untheric, Chultan, Mulhorandi, etc.) is breaking down. In fact, the existence of a geographically distinct pantheon is indicative that there is very little cross-border flow between that region and the rest of the Realms.


2.6.Is Tiamat in the Realms the same as Takhisis in Dragonlance?

According to published materials for both settings (as well as Planescape), the best answer is "yes and no".  Most DMs seem to think that they are separate but strangely similar deities; however, quite a few people play them as the same power in different aspects.

(The above answer also applies to Bahamut and Paladine.)


2.7. Whom is Ao talking to at the end of "Waterdeep"?

There are all kinds of theories, but the one that seems to make the most sense is that he was talking to the Supreme God, the DM.  In other words, the reader.


2.8. Where can I get more information about the Dawn Cataclysm?

Nowhere, at present. It's one of the abiding mysteries of the Realms. Sorry we can't be more help with this one.  :-)

[Steven Schend, in a post to Realms-L, said that to his knowledge, there are no plans to expand on the Dawn Cataclysm in any further Realms products.]

Many list members have speculated, though.

Simon Gibbs does a good job of summarizing what’s known:

A quick note on the date of the Dawn Cataclysm: it's a perennial thorn for those interested in Realms Timelines. Perhaps the most definitive stuff I have seen on this topic came from Steven Schend in response to a request for a timeline of the Dawn Cataclysm, including the birth dates and locations of Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul, and related material.

To soothe the debate, Steve Schend wrote: <quote>

Not to disappoint, but this will probably never happen, simply because it's irrelevant to mortal Realms history. The Dawn Cataclysm occurs only among the gods and has no impact whatsoever on the mortal plane of the Realms save one: A schism forms in the faith of Tyche and the church splits into the faiths of Beshaba and Tymora. This happens somewhere between the height of the Netheril Empire and the beginning of Dalereckoning. 

I'm not narrowing it down further than that right now, and frankly, I've no desire to do so, as it should be a vague time at best. As for the births of Bane/Bhaal/Myrkul, I've even less interest in dredging those topics up; suffice it to say that they may have existed long ago as mortals and at some point in the dim and misty past they became the gods they were.

They all died or/and lost their divinity in the Time of Troubles, and no matter how many schemes may be hatched to try and bring them back to godhood, they will forever canonically remain dead issues.

</end quote>

[Note well that Steven prefaces this posting (which included much stuff on future products on Netheril) with: "I'll start out with a disclaimer that states that none of these ideas discussed are officially part of any product idea or schedule at this point. It's more of a peek inside my head as to opinions, musings, and some of the stories and lore I'd like to layer onto Netheril. These may become products, plot hooks or ideas in other products, magazine articles, or even short stories at some point. Who knows? They're just ideas & pinions as of right now...."]

As a final comment, to quote Tom Costa of the list: "The date is uncertain and TSR has said they will not date godly FR events that took place out of mortal eyes, _which I think is fine_." Good words to heed, perhaps.

Paul Hoyak added:

For those with some interest in the Dawn Cataclysm (though I am not one of them) there WAS an official date(s) given for the Dawn Cataclysm; however, since it was found on the Forgotten Realms Conspectus (this is the first published mention of the Dawn Cataclysm) the date is definitely questionable:  c. 161 DR: The Dawn Cataclysm.

Jason Hatter rebutted:

Something for the Dawn Cataclysm portion: it definitely happened before 134DR, since at that time Azuth was no longer Magister, and he either was a Magister at the time of the DC, or became one after it....either of which is before the date mentioned in SotM....


2.8.1.What gods existed at the time of the Dawn Cataclysm?

Answer: We don’t know for sure:

Tavis King compiled a partial list:

Amaunator, Jannath, Jergal, Kozah, Moander, Mystryl(Mystra), Selune, Shar, Targus, and Tyche are listed in the Netheril Boxed set.  Lathander must also have existed if he started the cataclysm.


2.9. On page 37 of F&A there is a mention of the '...Seven Lost Gods...' Does anyone know who they were/are?

George Krashos and Eric Boyd have both opined on the matter:


The matter of the Seven Lost Gods has always been one of Eric's pet FR conundrums, and without pre-empting his inevitable contribution to this thread, I believe the Seven Lost Gods should include the following:

1. Jergal
2. Garagos
3. Moander
4. Shaundakul
5. Ghaunadar

 Note that this leaves two slots free, and I have some idea as to which gods I'd put in, but the fact is that there is no 'canon' answer to this question. Put in any "old" gods you like - heck, make up some gods that have been slain or have died due to loss of worship/neglect. Also in Off-List discussion, the tie between Westgate and the Seven Lost Gods has been discussed. We know little of the history of Westgate and we don't even know who or what first colonised the area. Suggestions in regard to the nation that first founded Westgate have centered mostly on Jhaamdath (sp?) - the nation first discussed in LOI and EotSS. What gods did the nation of Jhaamdath worship? It seems that FR conundrums never go away.... :)


First a bit of background:

The novel "Azure Bonds" revealed that there were seven hills with rings of stone plinths south and west of Westgate. One of these hills, the Hill of Fangs, was firmly associated with Moander.

In an off-hand reference in one of Ed's novels, there is a reference to the "Seven Lost Gods." I can no longer find this reference, but I know its out there somewhere. (If you find this reference, please let me know the source and page number.)

When I was working on the Major Centers of Worship write-up in Moander's write-up in F&A, I linked the two, and now the "Seven Lost Gods" are firmly tied to the seven hills outside of Westgate.

In "Ruins of Myth Drannor", just before the discussion of Shaundakul, there is a discussion of "old" gods whose worship is faded. This discussion mentions that the cult of Garagos was once strong in Westgate and that Savras was once venerated as the god of worshipers in the South.

In "Prayers from the Faithful," we learn that Silvanus was once venerated in a vanished woodland south and west of the city of Westgate.

I recently learned about five heretofore-unknown names of gods who "bowed down before Bane." This is mentioned in the book that accompanied the old "Pools of Radiance" computer game.

So, who are the Seven Lost Gods?

Only Moander is an absolute given, as noted above.

Garagos, and to a lesser extent, Savras, seem like likely candidates given their geographic centers of interest.

Given that "Lost" seems to imply "gods whose worship has declined significantly and who may or may not be dead", I might add the following deities to the list:

Jergal and Ghaunadaur. (Jergal, while not dead, has certainly vanished from the perspective of most humans of Faerun. Ghaunadaur seems like a good candidate because he attracts only a few cultists, and he's dark, sinister, and evil.)

Other possibilities include Silvanus (because of that PftF reference) and Shaundakul (although the latter's base was farther north, around Myth Drannor.)

The five names from the computer game "Pool of Radiance" are interesting candidates as well. One theory I'm considering is that the "current" Seven Lost Gods were venerated outside of Westgate several centuries ago. However, their temples were built atop the ruins of an earlier civilization, and that realm's temples were dedicated to seven truly lost and forgotten deities. Maybe the five names mentioned in "Pool of Radiance" were of that civilization, and their "bowing down to Bane" occurred when the Father of Xvim was in his ascendance long, long ago.

Alfred Hailey added:

It's not a given that the five names mentioned in "Pool of Radiance"  were actually gods - Tyranthraxus was a special daemon who appeared in two adventures. Properly though, they were:

Maram of the Great Spear
Haask, Voice of Hargut
Tyranthraxus the Flamed One
Borem of the Lake of Boiling Mud
Camnod the Unseen


2.10. Can humans worship demihuman gods? What about the reverse?

Eric Boyd clarified:

Demihumans can and do worship human gods. Such practices have been depicted time and time again in Forgotten Realms products, particularly the novels.

My personal impression is that this is caused out-of-game in large part because the two boxed sets, Forgotten Realms Adventures, and all the Time of Troubles products promoted the human gods at the expense of the

demihuman gods. Perhaps some of the authors mistakenly thought the Realms were akin to Dragonlance, i.e. one pantheon for all races?

In any event, it is my opinion (and nothing more than that), that while demihumans of the Realms on occasion do choose to venerate human gods, it is far, far less common than commonly depicted in FR products, with a few notable exceptions. Those exceptions are primarily cases where a "human" god is in fact a major part of a demihuman pantheon as well. Examples of such are limited to Gond (gnomes), Mielikki (elves), and Tymora (halflings) if I recall correctly.


2.11. Does AO also take power over all the other deities in FR besides the human ones in the normal pantheon?

Eric Boyd:

Yes, but ONLY with regards to their connection with Realmspace. Think of him like a local traffic cop. He doesn't care what those out-of-towners do elsewhere, except when they're in his jurisdiction. When they are in his jurisdiction, he's got absolute authority, but exercises it only when absolutely necessary.


*2.12. During the ToT was it only human gods who were cast down, or were demihuman gods similarly affected?

All of the gods descended.  In the FR Comics, Clangeddin Silverbeard and Labelas Enoreth are cast down, and Labelas defeats Clangeddin's avatar.

Tom Rinschler has compiled the following list of human and non-human powers whose locations during the TOT are known:

Faerunian Powers:

Akadi:  Not seen in the Realms (F&A) (see Note 1)
Ao: Elminster's Safehold, Mt. Waterdeep (Cloak of Shadows, Waterdeep)
Auril:  Unknown (see Note 2)
Azuth:  Pool of Yeven (FRE2)
Bane:  Zhentil Keep, Castle Kilgrave, Shadowdale, Scardale, Tantras (FRE1,2; Av. Tril.)
Beshaba:  Unknown
Bhaal: Eveningstar, High Horn, Boareskyr Bridge (FRE2, Av. Tril.)
Chauntea:  Unknown
Cyric: Not yet a god.  Arabel to Shadowdale to Tantras to Waterdeep (Av. Tril.)
Deneir: Unknown
Eldath:  The Misty Forest (Cloak of Shadows)
Gond:  Lantan (FRA, F&A)
Grumbar:  Not seen in the Realms (F&A) (see Note 1)
Helm:  Guarded the Outer Planes (Av. Tril.)
Ibrandul:  Underdark below Waterdeep (F&A)
Ilmater:  Unknown (See Note 2)
Istishia:  Not seen in the Realms (F&A) (see Note 1)
Iyachtu Xvim:  Trapped below Zhentil Keep (Ruins of Zhentil Keep, F&A)
Kelemvor:  Not yet a god.  Arabel to Shadowdale to Tantras to Waterdeep (Av. Tril.)
Kossuth:  Not seen in the Realms (F&A) (see Note 1)
Lathander:  Unknown
Leira:  Unknown (see Note 2)
Lliira: Shadowdale, Cormanthor (F&A (under Waukeen))
Loviatar:  Unknown (see Note 2)
Malar:  Gulthmere Forest, the North (F&A, P&P(under Nobanion))
Mask:  Disguised as Godsbane, Cyric's sword; Cormyr to Waterdeep (Prince of Lies)
Mielikki:  The Misty Forest (Cloak of Shadows)
Milil:  Athkatla (F&A)
Moander:  Never specifically revealed, but presumably the Lost Vale (Song of the Saurials) (see Note 3)
Myrkul:  Waterdeep (FRE3)
Mystra:  Castle Kilgrave (FRE1)
Oghma:  Unknown
Selune:  Waterdeep (FR Comic)
Shar: Calimport, Underdark under Waterdeep, Waterdeep (P&P (under Sharess), F&A, FR Comic)
Shaundakul:  Myth Drannor (F&A)
Silvanus:  Winterwood and Chondalwood (F&A)
Sune:  Calimport, Teziir (P&P (under Sharess), Waterdeep)
Talona:  Castle Trinity (Canticle)
Talos:  Tsurlagol  (Waterdeep)
Tempus:  Battledale, Mistledale (F&A, All Shadows Fled)
Torm:  Tantras (FRE2)
Tymora:  Arabel (Shadowdale)
Tyr:  Unknown
Umberlee:  Sea of Fallen Stars (FRA), Trackless Sea near the Purple Rocks (C&D)
Waukeen:  Shadowdale, Cormanthor, Astral Plane, the Abyss (F&A)

Faerunian Demipowers:

Finder:  Imprisoned in Shadowdale (Song of the Saurials) (see Note 3)
Garagos:  Westgate Harbor, Sea of Fallen Stars (C&D web supplement)
Gargauth:  Unknown
Gwaeron Windstrom:  the North (P&P)
Hoar:  Akanax, Thay, Unther (P&P, Cloak of Shadows)
Jergal:  Unknown ("Played no part in the Time of Troubles" P&P)
Lurue:  Unknown
Nobanion:  Gulthmere Forest, Shining Plains (P&P)
Red Knight:  Northeastern Tethyr (P&P)
Savras:  Imprisoned in the Scepter of Savras (P&P)
Sharess:  Calimport (P&P)
Shiallia:  the North (P&P)
Siamorphe:  Waterdeep (P&P)
Ulutiu:  Asleep under the Great Glacier (FR14, P&P)
Uthgar:  Unknown
Valkur:  Unknown
Velsharoon:  Unknown.  Not yet a god (P&P)

Chultan powers:

Eshowdow:  Unknown
Sseth:  Black Jungles, Chult (P&P)
Ubtao:  Chult (P&P)

Mulhorandi powers:

Anhur:  Mulhorand, Alamber Sea (P&P)
Geb:  Ship of the Gods (P&P)
Hathor:  Unknown
Horus-Re Unknown, but likely in Skuld as Pharaoh Horusep III (implied in P&P)
Isis:  Unknown
Nephthys:  Unknown
Osiris:  Unknown
Sebek:  Unknown
Set:  Unknown
Thoth:  Unknown

Untheric powers:

Gilgeam:  Unthalass (P&P)
Ramman:  Unther (P&P (under Hoar))
Tiamat:  Unther, Unthalass (P&P)

Demihuman Powers:

(as most demihuman avatars' locations haven't been revealed, having been mostly ignored in the core ToT products, only those with known locations are listed.  There is plenty of room for speculation here)

Lolth:  Menzoberranzan (Seige of Darkness)
Selvertarm:  Eryndlyn (Underdark below the High Moor) (DD)
Clangeddin Silverbeard:  Rauthym (FR Comic)
Deep Duerra:  Underspires, Southern Underdark (DD)
Labelas Enorath:  Rauthym (FR Comic)
Segojan Earthcaller:  Hardbuckler (DD)
Urdlen:  Hardbuckler (DD)

Monstrous powers:

(same deal as with the demihuman powers)

Sekolah:  Alamber Sea (P&P (under Anhur))
Ilsensine:  Oryndoll (Underdark under the Shining Plains) (Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark)

(While the demihuman powers have been only lightly covered, the dozens of  monstrous deities have been truly passed over.  While in some cases this is understandable, surely the draconic and giant avatars should have been VERY noticeable!  There's even more room for speculation than with the demihumans)


1.  The elemental powers (Akadi, Grumbar, Ishtishia, and Kossuth) weren't seen in the Realms according to F&A.  In the first three cases, it may just be that they weren't noticed, being basically invisible in their elements (an avatar made of water would be unnoticeable in a large ocean after all).  Unfortunately, Kossuth messes this theory up, as  a huge flame would be rather noticeable.

2.  Four powers had locations listed in the current list on the "Best" web page that are incorrect.  Auril's avatar isn't mentioned in FR14, Ilmater is mentioned on page 23 of FR9, but only as one of the gods revered in Damara, not as an avatar, and neither Leira's or Loviatar's locations are mentioned in FRA.  I think I checked pretty thoroughly, but if anyone does discover if these are correct references, don't hesitate to mention it.

Note 3:   Although Finder's and Moander's locations during the Time of Troubles have never been specifically revealed, much information can be gleaned from Song of the Saurials, which takes place immediately after the ToT.  The Godswar ended on 15 Marpenoth 1359 DR, and Song of Saurials takes place during 18 - 21 Marpenoth (the date of Finder's destruction of Moander is given in P&P as 20 Marpenoth) - presumably the start of Finder's trial had been delayed due to the chaos of the ToT and was begun as soon as possible after its end.  From the novel, it is obvious that Finder had been imprisoned in the Twisted Tower for quite some time, presumably including the entire ToT.  Although it is never specifically stated in the novel that Moander's avatar had been in the Lost Vale, it certainly would be the logical conclusion.  However, the fact that the saurials were being forced to create huge pile of rotting vegetation to be the avatar's host makes it appear that Moander's avatar during the ToT must have been quite weak; a result, presumably, of the disastrous events in Azure Bonds.


2.13 .What happens if an other-spheric priest comes over to the Realms, bringing his worship of god with him?

From F&A:

It depends. :)

If the priest's god's portfolios are similar to those held by a member of the pantheon of the land in which the priest finds himself, one of three things happens.

1. The priest converts to worship of the native deity.
2. The native deity grants the priest's spells and wins him over gradually.
3. The priest loses power.
4. The priest's deity arrives to contest the portfolio.


2.14. Who are the five patron goddesses of Silverymoon? Oghma is male, but isn't he one of them?

Steven Schend answers:

While it's true that Oghma has a big temple in the city, he's not one of the principal powers that have nurtured this tiny town and nation from its start.

Here are the few references I've hidden into Cormanthyr and The North and other products re: the Five Goddesses of Silverymoon. Thought I'd answered this question only a few months ago, but couldn't find my answer in my files.... Here's the hard-sought info.

627 --Year of the Bloodcrystals

Ecamane Truesilver and his nine apprentices arrive in Silverymoon. Claiming five goddesses (Eldath, Mielikki, Lurue, Mystra, and Sehanine) drew them here, the mages create a school of magic patterned on elven teachings.

In short: Eldath, Mielikki, Lurue, Mystra, and Sehanine are the 5 goddesses of Silverymoon/Luruar. Strangely enough, the latter two have always taken an active interest in the doings and life of a certain archmage currently of Waterdeep as well.... Food for thought...... ;)


2.15. Is there a Grand Druid in the Realms?

Rian McMurtry opined:

Each faith having druids theoretically has its own druidic hierarchy, so there would be grand druids of Silvanus, Eldath, Chauntea, and Earthmother (though an aspect of Chauntea, the Earthmother religion seems to qualify as a seperate faith to me), as well (theoretically) as a grand druid of Mielikki (considering that druids were only recently reintroduced to Mielikki's faith, I doubt she has one yet).


*2.16. What happened to specialty priests in third edition?

Specialty priests as such don't exist at low levels in 3rd ed. Instead, the "common" cleric gets a certain amount of inherent customization (through the domains), and there's always multiclassing for other abilities (a cleric of Tempus would probably be expected to have some Fighter levels, and one of Azuth should know some Wizardry). Some abilities could be taken as feats as well.

True specialty priests can exist at higher levels through the use of prestige classes.


3. Geography of the Realms

3.1. What game settings comprise the Realms?

Well, there's the Forgotten Realms product line, but I'm betting you'd figured that part out. :-)

Some settings have been set in the Realms, but otherwise have only the most tenuous of connections. Others were meant as limited-release lines and were meant to flesh out the line. Here's the most current list of what Realms product lines there are (or were):

o Forgotten Realms

o Kara-Tur (Oriental Adventures, currently defunct): Kara-Tur is at the other end of the continent from Faerun, which is what we usually think of as "the Realms".  It's a fairly homogeneous blend of Japanese, Chinese, and other East Asian societies.

o Al-Qadim (Arabian Adventures, a limited-release line): Zakhara, the Land of Fate, is a southern subcontinent with a generic Arabian feel (lots of genies, sand, and camels).  It was meant as a two-year product line, but was extended for a third year by gamer request.  Recently, TSR published a new Al-Qadim adventure, "Reunion", previously available only through the RPGA.

o The Hordelands: These lands lie between Faerun and Kara-Tur, and present a pretty standard barbarian culture.  Apart from one boxed set, a trilogy of novels, FR12, and a trilogy of modules, nothing has been released for the Hordelands.

o Maztica: For everyone who's ever wanted to play a "colonize the New World" game, complete with strange feathered serpents, gold, and human sacrifice.  Like the Horde, there was only one boxed set, one trilogy of modules, and one trilogy of novels released.

o Arcane Age (including Cormanthyr and Netheril): This line has been discontinued.


3.2. What and where is Anchorome?

In Ed Greenwood's original conception, Anchorome was a joke archipelago; each island was a dungeon, and at the bottom of the dungeon were just enough supplies and a map to the next one. With the release of the Maztica mini-setting, Anchorome became the northern end of the new continent. It has not been detailed in any fashion apart from a couple of brief mentions here and there.

[BTW, it's pronounced AN-chor-oh-MAY.]


3.3. I thought the Realms were on the same planet as Greyhawk; does that mean Maztica is really part of Greyhawk? (Also known as "I heard it on the net so it must be true.")

It's not true.

For one thing, Spelljammer products clearly indicate that FR and GH are in different crystal spheres. For another, neither the FR team nor the GH team had ever indicated so (although, to be fair, we should admit that at one time, a joke article appeared on the TSR web page claiming it was true).

But, if it makes you happy, run with it.


3.4. Where can I put [Insert generic module here] in the Realms?

These questions are often posed to the list and get many replies.  The best tends to be "wherever you want".

Eric Boyd posted some ideas on how to incorporate the Greyhawk "super-modules" to the list a few years ago:


3.4.1. How to place T1-4 in the Realms:

    My suggestion - replace Iuz with Iyachtu Xvim. Replace Zuggtmoy with Moander. (As noted in Faiths & Avatars, Moander is dead. His cult has been resurrected with the backing of Lolth as a way to corrupt a new wave of surface elves, like she did with the drow so long ago.)

Place the entire complex in the Flooded Forest, and expand Hommlet into the town of Ylraphon.


3.4.2. How to place A1-4 in the Realms:

     Make the Iron Throne a front for the slave lords. Change the humanoids to hobgoblins driven out of Impiltur. Replace Highport with Spandelyion and change the Altumbel peninsula into the Pomarj. Place the actual Slave Lord city, Suderham, in a volcano on the Isle of Earthspur in the center of the Sea of Fallen Stars.


3.4.3. How to place G1-3 in the Realms:

Buy "Giantcraft". Send the PCs up to the Ice Spires as the number of giant raids increase. Replace the giant steadings of Hartvale with G1, G2, and G3.

Eric Boyd's ideas for setting G1-3 in the South:

a) There are known hill giants in the Tejarn Hills of Amn and the eastern Small Teeth. I would place G1 there.

b) Frost Giants are unlikely to come this far south. However, if they do, they probably live in the Snowflake Mts., the Cloud Peaks, or the Giant's Run Mts. I would probably pick a remote part of the Cloud Peaks or skip this part altogether.

c) Fire giants probably live in the vicinity of a volcano. That suggests the twin peaks known as Kossuth's Eyes in the Small Teeth might harbor a fire giant hold.

If you do all this, I would suggest linking G1-3 to the Sythillusian Empire troubles. The hill giants are already part of this, simply have the frost and fire giants be part of the monster armies besieging Amn.

If you decide to add D1-3 to this as well, I would have the drow be from Guallidurth (under the Calim Desert, mentioned in DDGttU) or from Karsoluthiyl (off the coast of Baldur's Gate, under the sea floor, mentioned in DDGttU). I would probably pick Guallidurth, and tie its actions back to the Night Wars (see the history section of LoI and EoSS).

3.4.4. How to place U1-U3 in the Realms:

Paul Westermeyer had an idea about U1-U3

 I had a lot of luck setting U1-3 near the Town of Daggerford.  There's a swamp w/ lizardmen nearby, and the smugglers operation makes a bit of sense as well.  It worked especially well when I added Under Illefarn (N2?) to the mix.  The North Boxed set has a pretty detailed set up for Daggerford, most of which is straight from Under Illefarn.


3.4.5. How to place "B1: In Search of the Unknown" in the Realms:

Steve Allen placed B1: In Search of the Unknown near the source of the Esmei River in the Troll Mountains in Amn.


3.4.6. How to place "L1: Bone Hill" in the Realms:

Jeffrey David Bray placed L1: Bone Hill just below the Misty Forest in the little nook created by the forest and the High Moor, with Restenford being almost hard against the Moor


3.4.7. How to place the whole L1-L3 series (the Lendore Isles modules) in the Realms:

John Scott opined:

A while back someone asked about placing the Lendore Isles modules in the Realms. Off the top of my head, I would recommend placing them in the Korrin Archipelago (I have placed C3 The Lost Island of Castanamir among those islands. The Korrin Archipelago is a great place to adventure, but I am hesitant to give more advice since I don't have the original modules before me. It's at a higher latitude than the Lendore Isles are in Greyhawk, and you have to keep in mind the size of the island as well, depending on how closely you're trying to follow canon.


3.4.8. L3? I've only seen L1 & L2!

Robert Thomson clarified:

As for L3, that is Deep Dwarven Delve, the final module in the L-series that lay unpublished until 1999 when it was finally published in the TSR 25th Anniversary box set.

3.4.9. How to place the "Keep on the Borderlands" and the return to same in the Realms:

I put it in eastern Cormyr; along the East Way just on the east edge of the Hullack Forest. I explained the absence of the garrison as a result of the Crusade (the Lord and most of his troops rode off the battle the Horde -- and did not return).

Jay A. Johnson's ideas on the Keep on the Borderlands:

Given the dominance of low-level undead used by the Hidden Temple (especially in the original version of Keep) I'd use Velsharoon, the Demipower of Necromancy as one of the temple's patrons.  Perhaps the temple was originally dedicated to Myrkul and now that Velsharoon has taken over the portfolio of necromancy, his priests have re-opened the temple and re-activated the coalition of nonhuman tribes. However, I like the possibility of a joint temple with Shar - that would be a frightening and wicked combination.


3.4.10. How to place " The Shattered Circle" in the Realms:

Michael Austin says, "The Shattered Circle was one of the first adventures I ran for my group in the Realms.  I placed it in Shadowdale, within the Druid's Grove.  This worked great for me.  I didn't run into any problems incorporating it into my campaign."

Barry Smith ran The Shattered Circle in northeast Turmish, around the small village of Sword Lake Creek.

Jeremy Worst says " I placed The Shattered Circle roughly 60 miles northeast of Secomber, about 30 miles east of the Unicorn Run, and about 20 or so miles south of the edge of the High Forest.  I placed a small abbey to Lathander a day's journey northwest of the Circle (a paladin of Lathander was the nominal leader of the party) and that is where they began the module.  I had been placing some rumors of missing shepherds and such beforehand, so when the abbot asked them to investigate the strange disappearances, the party was more than willing to help--with some encouragement from the LG paladin.  The abbot suggested they might want to investigate those strange stones lying in a circle to the southeast, as that fit the general area of the missing folk.


3.4.11. How to place  "The Night Below" super-module in the Realms:

And here are several ideas for The Night Below super-module:

David Dodge--

I put it just north of the shining plains near the Orsraun Mountains (this area is south of Westgate and the Guithmere, north of Assam and Ormath (these are in the Northwest part of the Vilhon Reach Map)). This area was relatively undetailed at the time I ran my game, but even with the publication of the Vilhon Reach game I think you can use the area without disturbing too much. I liked the location.  The geography meshed well (explanation follows) and the location was fairly close to my core campaign area of Cormyr.  I put the valley of Haranshire just west of the Orsraun Mountains.  This worked out well, as the Flooded Forest area became one of the wetland/marsh areas on the southwest corner of the Haranshire area map.  The hills on the west side of the Haranshire map became the foothills of the Orsraun Mtns. I had the north-south road parallel the river (name escapes me) that runs north to south through the shining plains.  The Haranshire rivers merely flowed into it.  I started the game in Westgate with the young adventurers assigned to deliver the package.

Chris Perry--

   Try Delimyir Vale. Eliminate most of the surface sub-adventures and set up a keep taken by Cyricists somewhere northwest of Llorkh. Perhaps the Zhentarim in Llorkh are concerned about mage kidnappings, or perhaps a cell within their organization has been taken over by the aboleth (or whoever). Put the goblins near the High Moor or on the western edge of the Greypeak Mountains. The magical stone was placed in some part of Southwood. If one has to start in a small village, they can start in Zelbross (west of Loudwater).

Jeremy Patrick--

I placed the Night Below in the North, with the Garlstone Mines in the hills southeast of Beliard and the two villages east of the River Dessarin.  This way the PCs had Waterdeep accessible.

N. Todd Antill--

I placed The Night Below south of Raven's Bluff around Sevenecho... It fits in pretty well there, and you can always make use of the New Raven's Bluff info.

Daniel Meyer--

I placed NB just south of the Cloven Mountains and High Peaks. A close look at the maps shows that the water systems match perfectly. And the name of the woods in NB is the same also. Stretch out some light forest from the Thornwood to the south and the similarity is uncanny. Besides taking advantage of the new material like EotSS, Calimport, the Erlkazar area from LoI, and Vilhon Reach, it makes sense for the story line in other aspects related to the Realms.   [some spoilers followed which I have deleted--AH]


3.4.12. How to place  "Forge of Fury" in the Realms:

And here are several ideas for the Forge of Fury:

Renshai --

Personally, I placed the Forge of Fury in my Erlkazar campaign. It fit in with the strong dwarven history of the south. I put it in the foothills of the High Peaks near Rivenshield. IMC, it served as one of Tathtar's ancient outposts. The dungeon could easily be located in the High Forest or any mountainous region in the Realms. Faerun is full of ancient dwarven kingdoms...

Nigel Pope --

If you wanted to tie the Forge of Fury into a Realms campaign the Forlorn Hills would also be a suitable area to use. The dungeons would then be a legacy of the Fallen Kingdom.


3.4.13. How to place  "The Sunless Citadel " in the Realms:

Nigel Pope --

If you wanted to tie the Sunless Citadel into a Realms campaign the the Ardeep Forest would be be a suitable area to use. The dungeons would then be a legacy of the Fallen Kingdom. Moanderite influences would be a nice explanation for some of the encounters in the Sunless Citadel.


3.4.14. How to place  "The Silver Key" in the Realms:

Jeff Bray--

I ran it a whiles back set in the North near Citadel Adbar.  This was pre-Felbarr, so the orcs were still really crawling over the region.  I loved Dming it and the players loved being orcs (well, except the elf). It worked very well and Orc Points were a big hit.  Everyone had at least 6 orc points and one players was down his last chance when the adventure was over. He got 3 points in the amount of time it took to burp and say 2 words, <BURP!> (realizing what he did), "S***! (realizing he did it again), "F***!".  By this time, we were in hysterics.  Another player got points for stuffing a handful of chips in his mouth and allowing them to fallout.  He argued it with his mouth full, getting a second;) You have to remember to pay attention and enforce the table points for this to sink in.

Bobby Nichols --

I ran it in my campaign.  The party of PCs was based in Archendale and I had the orcs invade while they were in Sessrendale exploring some old ruins. When they arrived back In Archendale the Dale was half taken over by orcs and the Swords were trying to force the orcs out. However, with the high magic of the realms I had to do a couple of things....

1) I created a preponderance of priests in the orcs ranks.  The priests were of Gruumsh and there were rumors that the avatar of Gruumsh was about leading the orcs.

2) All the priests were carrying these black rods.  The rods absorbed

area-effect spells rendering fireballs and lightning bolts and any other large area-effect spells useless.

3) The rods were psionic in nature and keyed to the use by the priests of Gruumsh.

4) Behind the scenes there was an avatar, or rather an illusion of an avatar.  There was a cabal of illithiliches using the orcs to thrust into Archendale.  the illithiliches thought there was a magical item in Archenbridge that they had to have (I never really decided what that magical item was, it wasn't that important).

5) The illithiliches were in turn being manipulated by the Sibilant Shadow, a shadow dracolich that lairs beneath the Storm Horns.  (I can never remember the true name of that dragon!)  Any how, the dracolich was causing chaos and weeding out his information network due to recent infiltration by the Cult of the Dragon.  Easiest way to do this was cause the massive political unrest that an orc invasion caused.

6) Both Cormyr and Sembia looked to increase their holding with the addition of Archendale.  However, Archendale leaned towards Sembia and Sembia managed to take over the leadership of the army fighting the orcs.  Eventually I planned to have Sembia annex Archendale.

7) Or course, Cormyr wouldn't be happy with this and Deepingdale would be seeing a lot more Cormyrian troops and people coming into it.  Which would make the elves and the Dalesmen of Deepingdale very unhappy.

8) Meanwhile, the Zhentarim would be using every resource they had to gain influence.  As would the iron Throne.  And the Red Wizards.  And the Cult of the Dragon....

It turned into a fairly epic campaign.


3.5. How large is Toril/Faerun/the Heartlands?

Let's get our terminology straight first.  Toril (Abeir-Toril) is the planet the Realms are found on.  It's roughly Earth-sized, according to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

Faerun is the continent on which most Realms adventures take place.  It stretches from Waterdeep and the Sword Coast in the west to the edge of the Hordelands in the east.  The map in the old Grey Box clearly shows that Faerun is larger than North America by quite a bit. A quick calculation using the FR ATLAS reveals that Faerun has an area of ~ 14 million square miles. The areas of North America, Africa, and Asia are 9, 12, and 17 million square miles, respectively.

The Heartlands (3.5 million square miles) are the central portion of Faerun, centered around Cormyr, the Dales, and the northern Sea of Fallen Stars.  They cover roughly the same area as the United States (3.6 million square miles).


3.6. Where is Toril's equator?

Looking at the map in F&A, we can see that the equator runs through the southern part of Maztica (just below the published map), through the northern portion of Zakhara, and through the southern reaches of  Kara-Tur. It falls a little south of Nimbral (I think that's Nimbral) and well south of Chult.

Abeir-Toril, according to every published source, is roughly equivalent in size to Earth.  However, part of what determines the size of the tropics and the intensity of the seasons is whether or not it has the same axial tilt.  Since there are very definite summers and winters, I'd say the axial tilt is the same or perhaps even a little greater (23.5-25 degrees, as a ballpark guess).

Note also, from the same map, that even including Maztica we've only seen about a third of the surface area of Toril.  There's a LOT of room for more lands to explore, to the west of Maztica and/or the east of Kara-Tur (as well as to the south of everything).


3.7. How long does it take to travel in the Underdark?

Eric Boyd explains:

Here's a rough rule of thumb you can use for estimating Underdark travel times, assuming the travelers have sufficient magic & equipment to handle the terrain.

a) Locate the starting point and destination on a map of the surface Realms. Determine the distance in miles between the two points as the crow flies.

b) If there is a regular trade route between the two points, triple the distance.

c) If not, determine if either point is wholly cut off from the rest of the Underdark.

d) If not cut off, multiply the distance by 10.

e) If cut off, repeat the algorithm twice, but this time calculate the distance between the starting point and the nearest surface exit, the time to travel to the destination from the nearest surface entrance, and add those times to the time it takes to travel across the surface.

f) Once the distance is established, use the movement charts in the FR boxed set for rough terrain.

g) Don't forget to use the tables in the DMG for determining if the travelers have gotten lost.

The motivation for the multipliers is to account for the difficulty of terrain and for the tendency of Underdark tunnels to weave, twist, and double back. It's a three-dimensional labyrinth after all...


3.8. What was the origin of the High Moor?

A poster on the realms list asked:

I have discovered two very different creation stories for the High Moor. The North box set talks about an incident that occurred during the Crown Wars. The text reads, "Perhaps the greatest calamity to befall the Fair Folk was the Dark Disaster, a killing magic that took the form of a dark, burning cloud.  It enshrouded the kingdom of Mieyritar, and when it faded away some months later, not an elf lived -nor were trees left; only an open blasted moor: the High Moor.

>An excellent, epic creation story.  However, it is directly contradicted by the information presented in the Elminster's Ecology on the High Moor.  In this book, a rather unpleasant local druid explains that, "The High Moor wasn't always a desolate moor.  Quite a lot of evidence suggests that the High Moor was once covered with rich woodlands.  However, early peoples cleared the forest for crops and to provide themselves with building materials.  These early peoples were mostly human tribes...In other words, the High Moor is an environment created by humans.  It is not a very pleasant place, and it clearly demonstrates the negative impact that humans can have on an environment."

Andrew Phelps responded:

I consider this misinformation from the druid.  This druid is probably not an historian, so doesn't know about the Crown Wars.  His explanation is typical of a bitter, cynical druid who has seen humans destroy large tracts of land and assumes the same happened here.  The fact that he begins his whole lecture with "quite a lot of evidence suggests that..." shows that he doesn't know for sure.  He can tell you that evidence points to the High Moor being covered in rich woodland in the distant past, but can only speculate as to what went wrong (like I said, he's a druid, not a historian).  As it turns out, the creation of the High Moor was caused by nothing so mundane as deforestation.  Humans can be blamed for a lot of things, but the High Moor isn't one of them.  This one falls to the elves.

If you read the history, you will find that events lead up to the Dark Disaster that make it rather less unbelievable that elves might do such a thing.  In any case, it's a WAR.  War ain't pretty.  It's a lot like in Vietnam, where Americans used a poison (agent orange?) that killed the trees.  Nobody thought about the implications, as everybody just wanted to win the war.


3.9. What is the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas?

It is PC based software. The Atlas contains over 830 maps of the Realms. These include all published maps and many heretofore unpublished ones. For updates to the Atlas, see:


3.10. What/where are the "Burning Lands"?

According to Steven Schend:

"The Burning Lands" was Jeff Grubb's original working title (from 1990 through 1992) for what became the lands of Zakhara, aka the AL-QADIM(R) setting. As I always liked the title and it was too generic for TSR to copyright, I still use it as an infrequent honorific subtitle when I make references to the far south. That's all there is to say about it---just another name for the land of the djinni...


3.11. Is there a list of all of the mythal cities?

Eric Boyd:

There are/were a lot more than three mythal cities, and there are many "near-mythals" as well. True mythals include those created by wizards and those created by elven High Mages. (I've often wondered if there's not a priestly variant as well.) I think Myth Drannor falls in the former camp and Myth Nantar in the latter camp, but I don't know for sure. "Near-mythals" are usually extensive magical wards, such as those created by the wizard spell "Wardmist" (detailed in various Volo's Guides). Of the true mythal cities, these are the ones we currently know about ...

Myth Drannor (detailed in Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves and Ruins of Myth Drannor)
Myth Nantar (mentioned in RoMD and detailed in Sea of Fallen Stars and (partially) in the Wyrmskull Throne)
Myth Lharest (mentioned in RoMD, briefly described in Lands of Intrigue: Amn and Faiths & Avatars (Selune write-up))
Myth Glauroch (mentioned in RoMD)
Myth Dyraalis (discussed in Lands of Intrigue: Tethyr
Myth Rhynn (discussed in Lands of Intrigue: Tethyr)
Myth Unnohyr (discussed in Lands of Intrigue: Tethyr)
Myth Ondeth (mentioned in VGtATM and Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves)
Myth Iiscar, a flying city which as fallen onto the isle of Lantan (discussed in Cormanthyr)
Myth Adofhaer, last city of Siluvanede in the High Forest, placed, along with its inhabitants, into stasis and removed from Faerun until certain conditions are met to restore it and its people to the Realms. (discussed in Cormanthyr)
Ascalhorn (the mythal is mentioned in The North and Hellgate Keep)

Of course, one wonders why Ascalhorn wasn't called "Myth Ascalhorn" or something like that ... ;-)

Although it's not a city, I seem to recall that Herald's Holdfast is protected by a mythal as well. I don't have my references handy to check.

Also, for info on Myth Ondeth, see Eric Boyd's Mintiper's Chapbooks at:


3.11.1. What are exactly the functions or use of the Mythals? I always thought they were centers of magic energy or dweomers?

The function of mythals is to provide defense and a pleasant environment for those who dwell within. Some also serve as a common meeting ground for races that cannot normally survive in the same environment. The powers of Myth Drannor and Myth Nantar are best known, so you might want to check the appropriate references (RoMD and C:EoE in the former case and SoFS in the latter case) for details. No two mythals are alike, but all have a wide range of major and minor powers. I often think of them as the "climate controlled utopia" of Disney's 1950's version of the future.

Mythals are essentially living things and can become corrupted, such as happened to Myth Drannor, and then their powers can get wild and/or dangerous. One way of destroying them is the Gatekeeper's Crystal (mentioned in The North and detailed in VGtATM).


3.12. Is the Moonsea salt or fresh water?

The Moonsea is freshwater, as is the River Lis. The Sea of Fallen Stars is generally saltwater, although both the Lake of Dragons (Dragonmere) and the Vilhon Reach might be considered "brackish", i.e. somewhere in between. The latter in particular is uncomfortable for many aquatic saltwater dwellers.


3.13. Does Toril have time zones?

From: Trent Raley


Nit-pick -- that is 975 miles wide at the equator of course.  This will dwindle down to zero as you approach the poles.

 And Bryon Wischstadt added:

You should have been a Luka's Bar during GenCon when we worked this out! (I took notes) :) Something Trent didn't mention (we're co-DMs) is that with gates transporting the user instantly (as ::ahem:: *most* do) we got to thinking about adding another bit of realism to the game. We wanted to know what time of day it was when the party arrived in their new destination halfway across Faerun. From the player's perspective, they step through a gate mid-morning and arrive at a place that is still dark... this is a nice cue to the players that they have moved quite a distance. (They don't know the destinations of the gates) As you can see it's quick and relatively simple--add 2 hrs per grid on the atlas--and you'll end up with something kinda cool from both the DM and players' perspectives.  As Trent said "Hope this helps"... Enjoy!


3.14. What's Luruar? It's not on my map...

Luruar is the new confederation in the North, formed and headed by Alustriel of Silverymoon. It debuted, unnamed, in the North boxed set, and was named by a vote of gamers at Gen Con 1997. The first appearance of Luruar in print was in an article by Steven Schend in the DRAGON Annual #1. Luruar is now known as the Silver Marches.


3.14.1. Where are the Silver Marches? What happened to Luruar?

Steven Schend explained:

The name chosen at GenCon 95 was Luruar, in honor of Lurue, the patron goddess of the area and the city (well, one of five but the most prominent in worship).

It was decided that Luruar was too hard to pronounce and thus the change to The Silver Marches. Personally, that's okay for a political name; I still call the general area/terrain the Moonlands myself....


3.14.2. What the heck is a march anyway? Isn't it like a moor?

Tom Rinschler explained:

Well, your impression of marches being swampy wildernesses is not entirely wrong; lands bordering on untamed areas could well be moors and swamps. To give some real-life historical background, many medieval European states had marches; England's Earl of March held lands near the border of Wales; Scotland's Earl of March lived along the English border.  The Holy Roman Empire had loads of marches ("mark" in German; the ruler was a "markgraf"; the title was marquis in France).  Austria was originally "Ostmark" or Eastern March; Brandenburg, around Berlin was a march, and the area along the Danish border was the Danish March; Denmark derives from that title.  A lot of these areas are indeed rather barren, isolated places, as borders are wont to be.

If the FR team is going to be feudally correct, the proper term in Englsh for a ruler of a march is marquess if male or marchioness if female.  It will be interesting to see if we will have Marchioness Alustriel or Bruenor Battlehammer, Marquis de Mithral Hall.  :-)


3.15. Where can I get information on the Dwarven complex in the Laughing Hollow?  I see it on my FR Atlas. Where or what is/was Illefarn?

George Krashos explained:

N5 Under Illefarn is the only source which details the dwarven holdings near the Laughing Hollow. Illefarn itself was originally an elf kingdom that lasted until c. 340 DR when the green elves left for Evermeet. A sizable number of moon elves (the ones from Ardeep) stayed on and struck an alliance with the dwarves of Dardath (a small dwarven realm under the Horn/Forlorn Hills) and formed the 'second' Illefarn. It was this alliance of elves and dwarves that built the House of Stone (detailed in a recent Volo's column in Dragon). In 523 DR, Illefarn ceased to exist as a sovereign entity as it allied with the humans, gnomes and halflings of the Delimbiyr to form Phalorm, the Realm of Three Crowns (also more popularly known as the Fallen Kingdom). Phalorm disintegrated in 614 DR and saw Delimbiyran, the Kingdom of Man arise in its wake.

The Seatower of Ilinyth was around during the time of Phalorm. It no longer exists save as ruins. Mentioned in FR11 Dwarves Deep. Orlumbor is detailed in The North boxed set and Volo's Guide to the North.


3.16. Where's Mount Melairbode? Is it near Waterdeep?

Steven Schend  revealed:

Yup. That's the contemporary title of the dungeon that would become known in modern times as Undermountain. By the by, the modern state of the Hall of Naturalists was the dungeon in the original grey box (and previously in an adventure in Dragon Magazine).


3.17. Where's Freedale?

John Harbord relates:

The Introduction to AD&D TSR released in a big black shiny box in  1995 is set in the town of Freedale. On page 29 of the DMs booklet they provide a map showing the location of the township: its on the northern bank of the Ashaba between the small forest that borders southern Shadowdale & Cormanthor Forest (the map also includes the location of the Shallain Freehold, the village of Shadowdale, Dagger Falls, Voonlar, & other locations that clearly marks it as FR)

Jay A. Johnson added:

Calling Freedale a town is a bit generous.  In fact, the Intro to AD&D box set calls it (at various times) both a town and a city.  However, at 13 buildings, it's really just a village - and a small one at that. The village has all of the cliche' sites needed to serve as a base for low-level adventurers: the obligatory general store, a tavern, an inn, a dwarven blacksmith's shop, and a reclusive sage/mage (named Netheril) who owns his own tower, sells a few low-powered magic items, and sends the occasional band of novice adventurers on various quests. On the other hand, it was reasonably tied into FR in places.  The priest at the temple of Lathander was only 4th or 5th level.  The text noted that many spells were beyond his level - but that he could draw on the resources of the Morninglord's Temple at Shadowdale with a couple of day's notice.

In addition to Freedale, the box set also had three adventures set in the Shadowdale area.  The Tomb of Damara is a typical dungeon crawl, set in the woods to the south of Shadowdale Village.  The Ghost of Harrow Hill is a haunted mansion, set in the Dagger Hills.  The final adventure is Mount Dread, a monster infested mountain in the  portion of the Thunder Peaks directly north of Tilver's Gap.

All in all, I would certainly say that this box set is not necessary for anyone's Realms collection.  It's not a bad box set though, and fitting it into a serious realms campaign is fairly easy.  Change the stupid sounding names (there are more than a few), give real backgrounds and motivations to the cardboard NPC's, and away you go.


3.18. On page 99 of the Realms Atlas is a place called Neiroon's Hut. It's on the eastern coast of the Dales where the River Lis joins TSOFS. Any info on the place and/or who Neiroon is/was??? (have wanted to know since 1990).

Ed Greenwood writes:

Neiroon 'the Schemer' was a hermit (retired adventurer) who was a tutor of one of the Knights of Myth Drannor. He was a character with several classes, including druid and illusionist, and he deliberately remains a mystery. (In other words, because of the 'home' Realms campaign, more won't be revealed at this time; sorry.)


3.19. Apart from the obvious does EVER as in Evermeet & Evereska mean anything??? Maybe a corruption of Elven, or perhaps 'land of elves'?

Ed Greenwood writes:

'Ever' comes from the ancient elven word 'everae' (which means 'of the People' = meaning 'elven').

Note also, though, that according to the 2nd edition boxed set, p 92, Evereska means "fortress home".


3.20. What's known about the Moonshaes? Are they volcanic in nature? Are they separated bits of the continent? What about their culture as originally conceived by Ed Greenwood?

Ed Greenwood writes:

The 'original' Moonshaes are akin to LeGuin's Earthsea: hundreds of little islands, long-extinct volcanic peaks that rise up out of the sea abruptly, are inhabited by fisherfolk (with a few larger islands that have forests, farms, etc.) nothing much above the rural village culture on most, with self-styled 'lords' on others...and like Earthsea, somewhat like the Celtic-era Hebrides...they occupy the same space as TSR's (Doug Niles's) Moonshaes, arcing from a 'wide spray' at the Sword Coast or eastward extent, curving and narrowing southwest and curving to other words, a large area of 'perilous sea' with awash rocks, reefs, etc. and safe channels that only the locals know.


3.21. What's the Pool of Radiance?

David W. Lemburg answers:

The Pool of Radiance is a book: by James Word and Jane Cooper. "Humans battle humaniods to reclaim the ruined city of Phlan." It's also an older computer game based on the book. The game was put out by SSI in the late 80's or early 90's.

It's also a unique magical contruction. It is located [or was located] in the city of Phlan. The god Bane and a creature named Tyanthraxus the Great Possessor were heavily involved with the Pool of Radiance.  It was located in the Valjevo Castle in Old Phlan. 


*3.22. Where do  the names "Toril" and "Faerun" come from?

There are conflicting opinions:

Pat Werda dug up:

In Evermeet: IoE, it is revealed that Faerun is an elven word meaning "the one land" which is what the elves saw it as before the High Magic that created Evermeet cracked the end of the continent off and hauled it out to see, forming the Moonshaes et al as it went.

Pierre Godbout clarifies:

It doesn't mean anything really.  It was called Faerûn by prince Durothil, the first gold elf to have ever set foot on Toril.  He led his people out of Faerie, his home world, and upon feeling that the Weave was strong in this new world, he named it Faerûn, which is similar to Faerie in pronunciation but it didn't mean anything else in their language.  You could interpret it as something that sounded like their home world, but that could remind them gently that they were somewhere new and that they now had to move on.  This is all found in Evermeet, Island of Elves.

Jason Hatter adds:

IIRC, the grey box (or it might be the 2nd Ed box) states that abeir-toril is thought to be dwarven in etymology.  Abeir-toril is an translates loosely as meaning 'Cradle of Life'".

Faer is (again, iirc) a dwarven word indicating magic.


*3.23. What happened to the map?!? It changed when third edition came out!

Mr. Baker explains:

1. We started with the constraint that we had one standard-sized poster available in the FR Campaign Setting book, and a desire to show a good map of Faerun on that poster.

2. A marketing poster from a couple of years ago showed all of Faerun, as well as the ocean as far as Evermeet, on a single standard poster. However, the map scale was 180 miles to the inch, and great amounts of that poster were wasted space--the ocean between Evermeet and Faerun, plus an inordinate amount of the Great Glacier and the higher regions of Anauroch.

3. We examined it closely and realized that we could draw the same map at 120 miles to the inch, a 50% increase in detail and attractiveness, by choosing to leave Evermeet off the map. There was sufficient east- west room to do this without "changing" anything.

4. However, covering the exact same north-south area shown on that previous poster was impossible. In other words, we had lots of east-west room, but were "short" on north-south room. We had to find a way to not show several hundred miles of north-south on the map.

5. In order to get rid of north-south space, we started by "tilting" Faerun to the west, which makes the Sword Coast angle more sharply toward the northwest instead of pretty much due north, as it formerly had. This did a few things for us right off the bat -- it moved a lot of the Great Glacier and the Great Ice Sea right out of the desired image area and it lowered the North so that we could show a little more of the Spine of the World/Icewind Dale area. It also took that long Chultan coast and made it run more or less straight east-west, whereas it had previously run west-northwest to east-southeast.

6. Then we carefully deleted long east-west strips in various places in and around the interior of Faerun in order to bring the north and south map edges closer together. We identified the Sea of Fallen Stars and the lands around it as the most recognizable geographic feature in Faerun, and so made sure that we left it virtually untouched (that's why I'm a little surprised that Turmish looks different, since I know we really didn't touch it).

7. After we removed enough north-south distance to fit the map the way we wanted, we redrew the entire map from scratch based on the work we'd done so far, in order to "smooth" the places where we had introduced distortions. For example, the Deepwash came south a little bit, while the south coast (Dambrath, Luiren, etc.) curved much more sharply to the north in order to make up the missing space in the eastern Shaar.

Anyway, what you get for all this is Faerun at 120 miles to the inch, with over 600 map tags and many features that were never shown in detail before on a map of the whole continent. It's far and away the best map of the whole continent that we've done.


4.People of the Realms

4.1. Who'd win: Elminster or Drizzt?

Depends on who's writing the book.

Seriously, this topic (or a variation with different characters) crops up all the time. The question's essentially unanswerable; it's always possible to set up a situation where one person can win and the other can't--and vice versa. The short answer is that the novelists are unlikely to ever set up a situation where there's serious conflict between two major heroes of the Realms, so the question is relatively moot.

If you're entertained by this kind of discussion, great--but please don't flood the list with it.

This question has been raised so many times at conventions that Ed Greenwood once jokingly suggested writing a novel where Drizzt and El would have a little battle in between chapters, keeping tally on who won the most (and of course losing count--which was even).

Elaine Cunningham also had a comment:

Say there's a soccer match going on.  The Dallas Cowboys crash through the stands, trampling several dozen spectators and inadvertently breaking up several vehement soccer-related arguments.  Their actions, naturally, go virtually unnoticed until they actually leap onto the playing field.  They are joined by the NY Yankees, who are fed up with such indignities as urban decay, blueberry bagels, and George Steinbrenner.  They are seriously pissed off and are wielding non-regulation metal bats.  So.  What happens to the soccer players?  Who wins the game?

The answer, if indeed there can be an answer, can only be phrased as another question:  What set of rules are they playing by?  Oh--and a followup question:  Who's telling the story?  That's the classic answer authors give to the perennial Someone-vs-Someone Else question, and it applies here well enough.


4.2. Elminster

4.2.1. Don't you think Elminster is too powerful? No, he has to be to give the PCs a challenge! Yes, he's a munchkin! We killed him off five times! etc.

The only resolution I've ever seen to this debate is when the monitors get fed up enough to ban the topic. Some people love El; some people loathe him. Usually for the same reasons. :-)

If you think Elminster doesn't need powers approximating most demigods, tone him down or don't use him at all. If you think your party will need to be humbled from time to time, keep him around. It's a matter of personal choice.


4.2.2. Aren’t the Chosen overpowered? If they can do everything, what’s left for the PCs?

Ed Greenwood writes:

     Many on the list habitually comment that Elminster or other Chosen are "munchkins" or overpowered...but this often arises from ignoring the fact that they are divinely-powered servants of a goddess, and viewing them as "lucky former player characters who were given a superpower by Mystra...why can't my PCs have it, too?" is the wrong approach for good game refereeing. Those who find their powers undesirable can simply leave them 'offstage' in their campaigns. I've lost track of the number of times when guesting players believed their character, by virtue of being a PC, could march into a royal court, hurl insults and swordcuts in all directions, pillage, burn, and butcher a ruler on his or her own throne, and then say, "Ah, but it's okay by my alignment and nothing can stop me, hey? I'm a Player Character!" Teaching the lesson that leads to better roleplaying (and thus, continuing challenge and interest in the game, for that player) is best done within the game...such as by having the butchered king get up, blood and wounds vanishing in an instant, yawn, and say in the tones of Elminster, "Well, now that ye've gotten THAT out of thy guts, can we be introduced, perhaps? I've met thy SWORD already..." Heavy-handed, to be sure...but that's one way of using the overly powerful, and why they're there.

If one views the Chosen as "Ed's favorite super-powered characters," well of course they're overpowered anomalies best dropped from the setting. Yet I find on the list a paucity of posters who look around at the world they live in and say there should be no presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens, or governing councils purely because "they're too powerful to be realistic"...they're part of the setting one finds oneself in. Now, if a player character thinks one or more should be removed or replaced by his or her actions, that's another matter...(driving force for a campaign, anyone?). We do all this to increase and enrich potential roleplaying possibilities, folks. The thousands of fans who love the Realms prove this must be the right approach, but we screw up on specifics and details all the time; that's why we read and listen, hoping you'll point out the slip-ups to us, so we can always be better...

To better roleplayers, their mere presence on the scene (and that of power groups such as the Zhents and Red Wizards and Twisted Rune, as well as the often-ignored merchant costers and guilds and more mundane commercial alliances) guides play, offers fascinating possibilities, and keeps players and their characters speculating and interested in the setting (as the postings on this list, year after year, prove).

If you read the fiction (and between the lines in non-fiction, especially in boxed sets Steven has done or Steven and I have done together), you'll find lots of instances of 'common folk' bitterly telling the Chosen that such-and-such didn't help them much, or console them much, or restore things much. Such comments tend to be grim and terse--but then, those making them fear the Chosen, and the goddess they serve (the main reason why most rebuffs are muttered and not shouted).

We also underscore often that the information you receive about the Realms is distorted (through Elminster); this allows any DM to change things in his or her own campaign without the "canon/non-canon" arguments ever arising. Our faulty journalists (remember this is by our modern real-world standards; they're doing nothing wrong by THEIR standards) are part of this.

As to player characters having free choice taken from them, it's best to see that as an ongoing attempt to bolster realism and encourage roleplaying: it's realistic, by the terms of the created setting one is playing in, that PCs begin as low-level unknowns (unless you choose to play a royal or noble character), and must build their power and influence: only a 'lifeless stage set' campaign has static 'target' people in it and PCs who can act as they please, without consequences, manipulation from others, stronger folks trying to muscle them around, etc. Part of becoming true heroes for the player characters is to force their will and destiny on the world around and on themselves, rather than being 'acted upon' by the more powerful. Some DMs may not want that challenge in their play, but we put it there for use by those who do.

4.2.3. So… What’s the real scoop on Mystra’s chosen? How can they stay sane for all those centuries? And why are they all goody-two-shoes?

Here’s what Ed Greenwood thinks:

Mystra believes that the ultimate good comes from the proliferation of magic and its widespread use, being put into all hands, for good or for the Chosen are judged on how much they hurl magic around, give it to others, teach others, and work against tyrants-of-magic like the Zhents, not because the Zhents are "evil," but because they try to restrict control of magic to themselves, and not let potential foes have it. The Chosen who are Mystra's daughters also had (under the 'old' Mystra, their mother) a special status, which Elminster (her lover) also enjoyed...the new Mystra is changing things. Watch what we do in the years ahead with The Magister (I've turned in an FOR-style sourcebook on that office and what its holders do) and with Khelben, the most 'ungood' of "good" Chosen. It's wrong to see the Chosen as necessarily's more accurate to see them as the veteran-killer-American-GI or Wild West gunslinger who does good, or fights for 'good,' but in doing so is twisted far from good him- or herself.

Part of my writing goals have been to underscore the following things: "do-gooders" often do more harm than good, for the best of motives (Elaine's also been playing with this one); 'good' to one party is not 'good' to another  (the old saying, "for one man to gain freedom, another must lose it"); and the best meddlers are those who can see farthest, not the brute-force-right-now brigade (which is what most PC parties of necessity are, and therefore their punishments/reward are immediate).

One postscript I almost forgot: with Elminster in particular and all of the Chosen, Steven and I (at least) are delving into "how insane do you go from living so long with godly power and gods messing with your mind?"  Everything El and the other Chosen do should be read in this light; they're NOT sane. I've been hinting at this for a long time, but you have to catch the hints (like the good/happy endings, this was a Code of Ethics thing, which is why we can't show villains poisoning, or succeeding, or telling you their detailed plans that someone in the real world might copy or claim as inspiration, etc.).


4.2.4. It takes a 41st level mage to cast "Create Mythal". Elminster helped lay Myth Drannor's Mythal. That was long ago, and he's not even 41st level now. What's up? Did he lose levels?

Steven Schend, Mythal Consultant, explained;

The suggestion that "Create Mythal" is a 10th level spell is largely still true, but needing 41st level casters was a bit of fiction that has since been amended--After all, with Elminster dictating and controlling what information we get, some of it's bound to be twisted and altered by its messenger. In this case, the idea of setting the levels (on spell and caster) that high were to set mythal creation out of the hands of player characters--That's the sole reason for that.

Cormanthyr: Empire of Elves updates and amends all of the details on Myth Drannor's mythal (in its uncorrupted, new state), its creation, and elven magics in general. It also reveals the identities of all the casters of the mythal, and of those you mentioned above, all are secondary or tertiary casters who contributed powers and energy but were not direct casters of the primary magics that built the mythal.

As for El losing levels over the years, of course he has. Going toe-to-toe for centuries fighting liches and battling all sorts of otherplanar dangers is a surefire way to encounter some level draining. After all, with 12 centuries of life, he'd have to have lost some levels if normal mortals can still reach his strict class level. Just remember--all the power one wields cannot be measured by level numbers alone...


4.3. Zhents and the Zhentarim

4.3.1. Whats the difference between saying "Zhents" or Zhentarim?

Sean Reynolds explains: Compare and contrast.... "The Zhentarim came into Llork on that summer day and before we could do anything the Zhents had taken the sheriff prisoner." "The Zhentarims came into Llork on that summer day and before we could do anything the Zhents had taken the sheriff prisoner." "Zhent" is not a singular or plural form of "Zhentarim." The former refers to people associated specifically with Zhentil Keep, the latter with members of the Black Network. Zhentarim is a term for an organization, like "the Mafia." It does not have a plural because there is only one group called the Zhentarim. You wouldn't say "two mafias walked into my restaurant." You'd say "two guys from the Mafia walked into my restaurant."


4.3.2. What's up with the Zhents coming back from the dead?

[Thanks to Ami-Ben Ezra for this section.]

Both Manshoon and Fzoul were killed many times. Manshoon returns to life by the means of a secret spell-"Stasis clone". Manshoon is known to have many clones hidden in secret places. Fzoul was resurrected by the Zhentarim/Bane because he is such a "valuable" person. Even Sememmon was resurrected by Manshoon a couple of times.

To Conclude this:

All Three leaders of the Zhentarim(The inner circle)returned from death by various means.

As for the locations:

Both Manshoon and Fzoul lived in Zhentil Keep before it was destroyed.(Manshoon lived in his own compound "The Tower High") After the destruction Manshoon moved to the safety of the Citadel of the Raven and Fzoul stays in the keep, now he worships the Godson of Bane Iyachtu Xvim. Sememmon is the commander of Darkhold and lived there (since 1312DR) before and after the destruction.

At one point, multiple Manshoon clones were created, resulting in what's affectionately known as the "Manshoon Wars." For more info, see Cloak and Dagger.


4.4. Are Marco Volo and Volo from the Volo's Guides the same person?

No, they're not. Marco Volo is a bard of 6th level whose real name is Marcus Wands (grandson of Maskar Wands of Waterdeep). Volo, whose full name is Volothamp Geddarm, is the notorious wizard and writer of several guides to the Forgotten Realms, including Guide to All Things Magical which has resulted in him being turned into a toad. Marcus Wands changed his name to Marco Volo to try cash in on Volothamp Geddarm's success.


*4.5. Who/what are the Malaugrym?

The official description of the Malaugrym can be found in the "Villains Lorebook."  Additional, quite extensive details on the Malaugrym and their home in the plane of Shadows can be found in the "Shadow of the Avatars" trilogy of TSR novels by Ed Greenwood.

Bobby Nichols talked to Ed Greenwood and reported back:

Imagine a family of people who all are incredible powerful spellcasters. Now imagine that they find a source of power previously undiscovered.  Not also imagine that the members of this family grew so powerful that they became paranoid and suspicious of everything, even each other....

Anyone read the Amber books by Roger Zelezny?  Ed said that the Malaugrym are the closest things to Amberites that the Realms have.  Which mad me shiver thinking about how powerful they might be....

One last thing, no one Malaugrym is like another.  All are individuals and specialize in different ways and means of casting spells.  In other words, Malaugrym A might like ice and cold spells and Malaugrym B might prefer illusions and mind control spells.  And only rarely do Malaugrym A and B talk or work with one another.

That isn't to say that the Malaugrym *won't* work together.  Ed hinted that the Malaugrym might have quite a bit to do with the Harpstar Wars...

Ed added later:

As for the old novel Spellfire will be re-released with a few revisions soon, and one of them will show readers that the Blood of Malaug are just one big, bickering clan of shapeshifters, some of whom have magic (a la wizards), some of whom are sorcerers, some of whom are just nasty warrior-types, and many of whom are ignorant of the clan roster. Some go to Faerun to steal spells or magic items to make themselves more powerful vis-a-vis other (rival) Malaugrym...and so on. In other words, Malaugrym A might be a challenge to a 7th level warrior (or whatever you want to call that fighter type, depending on the version of the game you're using :}), and another might give a W22 a run for their money.


*4.6. Shandril is a *babe*. Where can I find rules to give my PC spellfire?

The original spellfire rules were published in "Hall of Heroes", long out of print. There are revised versions in "Heroes' Lorebook", "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical", and available for free download on the TSR web site.

See the 3E Campaign Setting for 3E spellfire rules. For more 2E info, see the novel Spellfire, pages 356-357, and Poly #117.

Please don't post about how unbalancing, unrealistic, or just plain silly spellfire is. It invariably starts an argument. Those who agree with you agree already, and the ones who disagree aren't likely to change their minds. (Besides, some of the ones who agree may still use spellfire because it's just so damn cool.)


4.7. My player wants to play a half-dragon. Where can I find rules for this?

The Council of Wyrms boxed set (NOT, as in happens, set in the Realms) has rules for half-dragon PCs. There was a supplement published in Dragon (no, it wasn't half the magazine), and I believe the rules or some abridgement thereof are available for free download from the TSR web site.


4.8. Who are/were the Witch lords?

DM Celtic contributes:

In late 800s, kingdom of Cormyr entered conflict with Witch Lords to the east of Cormyr. The Witch Lords were evil necromancer lords who ruled territory east of Wheloon and Wyvernwater and west of Sembia.

In the Year of Thirsty Swords (900 DR), King Galaghard of Cormyr battled the forces of the Witch Lords at Wheloon, Juniril, and Manticore's Crossing. The final battle between the two forces occurred at the Vast Swamp, with Cormyr winning with help from elven stag cavalry. You can find information on that battle in excellent "Cormyr: A Novel" chapter 20, named "Battle of the Witch Lords". In said chapter, you can see that these Lords have a strong affinity for necromantic magics, as they animated a whole army of undead (even the fallen soldiers of Cormyr and their own fallen mercenaries from other battles) along with some alive humanoids (orcs and goblins IIRC) to face the brave king of Forest Kingdom. The Lords' wizards flew on the backs of giant bats and battled flying War Wizards of Cormyr in the air above the ground battle between Cormyte army and dark horde. Coryr would have lost the battle were it not for elven lords and their stag cavalry. The Witch Lords dropped off the radar after this battle.


4.9. Who are/were the Twisted Rune?

Todd Antill found:

The Twisted Rune is a "very" secret organization (or a cabal for a more appropriate term) of evil aligned undead beings. This cabal reigns in the background of the South (Tethyr, Calimshan, Arnaden, Erlkazar, and Amn) from behind the scenes. The masters of the Rune, called "RuneMasters or Mistresses" consists of several high level Liches, a Dracolich and powerful Vampiress who wields a pretty powerful magic item detailed in the Sea of Fallen Stars (thanks for that one Steve!) , and many others. They have a network of undead, and underworld beings that span the shadier backdrop of the entire Southern Realms.  The best thing about this Network is that they don't really know whom they are working for.... unlike many other organizations in the south, The Rune is "Secret", and very few know of their presence. They actually rule Calimshan from behind the scenes...and no one is the wiser.

They are currently responsible for the War against the Sithillisian Empire in Southern Amn, and the advance of the Knights of the Black Gauntlet against Tethyr's Southern borders... These guys have their hands in so many goings on in the south, a party could easily be facing their minions for years and never realize they work for the same people.

If you are looking for more info on the Rune, I suggest Lands of Intrigue, and Empire of the Shining Sea as a start. They are mentioned briefly in other products (such as Stardock and Sea of Fallen Stars), but the bulk of the info lies in the first two...


4.10. Who are/were the D'Tarig? What races of dwarven halfbreeds exist in the Realms?

Eric Boyd explains In the Realms (and I stress only in the Realms), there are three known races or crossbreeds with dwarven and human blood.

a) Half-dwarves, as defined in FR11 - Dwarves Deep, are the offspring of a human and a dwarf, a human and a half-dwarf, or a half-dwarf and a half-dwarf. The offspring of a half-dwarf and a dwarf is a true dwarf. (In other words, half-dwarves favor their dwarven parent.) They look just like dwarves, except a little taller on average, and have all the abilities and restrictions of dwarves. It is for these reasons that some dwarves believe the best way to restore the race is to breed with much more fertile human females.

b) The D'Tarig are a unique race with human and dwarven ancestry and basically human abilities. They are not "half-dwarves." It is unspecified what the offspring of a D'Tarig and human would be, but I would speculate the child would be essentially human. It is unspecified what the offspring of a D'Tarig and a dwarf or half-dwarf would be, but I would speculate the child would be a half-dwarf as defined previously.

c) The derro are a unique race with human and dwarven ancestry and there own unique abilities. They are not "half-dwarves." It is unspecified what the offspring of a derro and a human would be, but I would speculate any offspring would favor the derro side, and breed true like a derro. It is unspecified what the offspring of a derro and dwarf or half-dwarf would be, but I would speculate that any offspring would favor the dwarf side, and breed true like a dwarf. Regardless, the issue is probably moot, because derro may well be infertile with both dwarves and humans so warped are they by the process of the race's creation. If an offspring were to be produced, they would probably be killed immediately by any of the above-mentioned races.


4.11. Who/what is/was Wulgreth?

George Krashos summed up:

Wulgreth made his first appearance in FR5 The Savage Frontier. In that accessory, he is a lich who lives in the Dire Wood and is just plain nasty. The write-up of Hellgate Keep notes that it was Wulgreth who summoned the first devils into Hellgate Keep - but it doesn't mention when exactly Wulgreth became a lich. It is noted however that the devils had many mages of Ascalhorn embrace lichdom, so it could have been before the fall of Ascalhorn.

The North boxed set gave us a date for the fall of Ascalhorn (The Year of the Curse 882 DR) - which IMHO is far too late in the timeline for various reasons I won't go into now - and the Hellgate Keep accessory gave us the timeline for Ascalhorn/Hellgate Keep in total. This information pretty much corresponds with the information in FR5.

The outlying piece of realmslore on Wulgreth comes from the Netheril boxed set. An arcanist named Wulgreth is enveloped by a glob of 'heavy magic' that Karsus tipped off of his enclave's edge, and transformed into a lich. Now I remember having a discussion on this List last year about whether this Wulgreth was the same one as the Ascalhorn/Dire Wood Wulgreth. I think it was meant to be, but that Slade just really didn't have his thinking cap on when he wrote him up. Simply put I found it difficult to reconcile the fact that Wulgreth became a lich prior to the fall of Netheril (i.e. before the Year of Sundered Webs -339 DR), traveled to Ascalhorn (an enclave of the Eaerlanni elves, powerful in magic themselves, and probably not too keen on having a lich in their midst), WAITED about a thousand years or so (this is the bit I have trouble with) and then decided to start summoning devils to take control of the city etc., etc.

As someone suggested at the time of the previous discussion, the best explanation is that there were TWO Wulgreths (perhaps the latter one is a descendant of the first): the first is the one mentioned in the Netheril boxed set (fate unknown), and the second is the one that helped to create Hellgate Keep. Now I stress that this answer isn't in any way perfect/totally acceptable/proof to criticism - but hell, it's the best I can do!:)

Tim responded with:

Let's see; we have an ancient Wulgreth and a fairly modern day Wulgreth.  He's a lich, so long life isn't a real factor here.  I propose that the ancient Wulgreth had been imprisoned somehow. The elves weren't too happy with his presence. Let's say the elves did take action against him.  Only, instead of destroying him, they trapped him. Now, after so many years, I would think he would have mutated into a demi-lich so the entrapment must have involved some type of stasis.  Eventually, he got free (no doubt thanks to some treasure seeking adventurers). Anyway, that would give a reason why he exists in two different time periods and why he waited so long to start doing that lich-hobby of summoning demons.  And, now there's some Realmslore we haven't heard about him (like how was he imprisoned and who freed him).  How's that? I also want the disclaimer that this isn't perfect/totally acceptable/proof to criticism :)

Jeff Bray had the final say with:

Yep.  I remember this discussion and I asked Steven Schend about it after Hellgate Keep came out.  I figured that he would have reconciled it.  As it turned out, he overlooked it and had no definitive answer off the cuff.  Not his fault, I might add.  slade botched this one royally, IMO.

(In discussing the possibility of 2 Wulgreth's Jeff responded)

Maybe it was I.  That's how I reconciled the facts myself.  Another reason is that Clayton Emery's Netheril trilogy has Wulgreth in it. Now, in the novel, Wulgreth is undead and got that way from heavy magic a la Netheril box.  Here is why I think there were 2:  The lich in the novel is a large, bestial creature that uses physical strength to bully/terrorize others.  I can't imagine that this creature as portrayed would evolve into something slick enough to be the catalyst of the fall of Ascalhorn.  Also, how could he be a lich in a place crawling with many powerful beings that might've taken offense to an undead in their midst?  This would be before the summoning of devils, and them bringing the knowldge of lichdom with them.  See also George's comment about the time discrepancy between the 2 events.  I think the second one (of Ascalhorn fame) found out about Karse and headed there at some point after setting of the chain reaction.  I have him leaving before the demons came so to outside Ascalhorn when it fell (for whatever reason). Whether he used the devil-controlled method of lichdom or an independent method, is unclear to me.  The fact that 2 guys with the same name are involved with Karsus is in my book, a coincidence.

As before, there is no definitive answer to this question, despite the fact that some are SURE that they are one and the same. Hmm, looks like we'll have to just wait for the definitive answer to pop up somewhere - if it ever does.


4.12. Who/what is/was Larloch?

According to Ed Greenwood:

Larloch is a onetime Netherese sorcerer (still possessed of a lot of Netherese scepters, which he knows how to make) who is now a quite insane "ultra-lich" (in this case, the term means he has many unknown powers which are up to you the DM, among them the fact that he can still learn and develop new spells, increase in levels, etc.). He's probably a 46th level evil-aligned wizard right now, and he crafted many of his own undead abilities prior to undeath, which argues that he found his own 'process' for achieving lichdom.

Larloch is served by many (60+ ?) liches, formerly archwizards, whom he guides in concert, as the leader of a telepathic-web 'Overmind.' Thus far, neither psionics nor mind-influencing magics have ever been effective against him or any of his servitor mages, because the others in the link can withstand and overcome such influences, causing them to fail.

In theory, an attack could reach all of them through the link, but some quite powerful Red Wizards have tried and failed (Szass Tam didn't try such an attack, which may be why he survived...he remains fearful of approaching Larloch and his mages, but fascinated by the details of their lichdom, hoping it might yield him some powers.)

One of Larloch's given-to-himself powers (which - in a long, involved, and secret, personally-developed process - cost him 10 years of life and some vitality, irrelevant of course given his goal of lichdom) is automatic spell reflection (of all magic cast upon him). He can by act of will override this ability, for example when he wants to work a spell on himself; otherwise, it always operates.

Mystra (Midnight's predecessor as the goddess) is said to have allowed Larloch to acquire powers approaching those of "old Netheril" in return for 'leaking' spells to persistent adventurers he or his minions might come into contact with, but this may be no more than rumour spread by the Zhents or Red Wizards or Dragon Cultists, designed to lure adventurers into Larloch-weakening forays...

As for Larloch knowing the identities and locations of other liches/Netherese, only the one's he's destroyed. Larloch is too self-centered to hunt down folks who don't come within his easy reach. He controls plenty of archwizards/liches already, but may decide to try to either control or destroy a new one when they come into contact. He seems to be pursuing other goals, however. Which ones? That's up to each DM....."

Larloch and his lich minions have no interest in attracting attention that would waste their time and magical resources (and perhaps, if word got around how dangerous they were, even threaten their existence in the face of a concerted attack from various magical power groups working together). Larloch is not interested in ruling Faerun...but he IS interested in creating and controlling a series of magical gates linking many worlds (parallel Prime Material Planes) and Outer Planes...and so rigging their enchantments that anyone using them comes under his control/faces his forceful removal of their magic items, information from their mind, and so forth. The gates are easy for him to create (he licked all of those problems long ago). The control enchantments have been giving him troubles for thousands of years now, and as an obsessive perfectionist, he isn't going to let this rest until he gets everything just so...nor is he going to create the gates until he's ready to put the controls on them.

In short, he's a munchkin only if played that way. All Player Characters have to learn sometime that there are folks in the Realms just too powerful to tangle with. I'm reminded of the original Realms campaign, and the Company of Crazed Venturers attacking Shaan the Serpent-Queen (who briefly appeared in a Wizards Three DRAGON article). She was busy working magic on a small island off Mintarn. They attacked, broke her concentration, and she looked up with an irritated frown. They bid her stop, or they'd destroy what she was working on; to demonstrate, one of the Company mages touched (and disintegrated) a stone he was standing beside.

She shook her head in derision, and touched the island beneath them, disintegrating IT, and dumping the Company into the chilly sea waves for a long swim...whilst she turned back to her spellcasting, floating on nothing and ignoring them once more.

A heavy-handed lesson, but...well, Larloch's in the same league, and more. Just consider him a power of the Realms and Don't Go There.


4.13. What ever happened to Lashan?

According to Ed Greenwood:

Lashan's in stasis, entombed in rock, deep beneath the Underdark. He's also in larva (as in the Lower Planar creature) form, and rendered forever mindless...thus, as Lashan, he was "destroyed." (Heeeheee! You should have seen the faces of the my players when their persistent enquiries led them to THAT calmly-related information!) P.S. Now is as good a time as any to remind folks on the list that TSR editors often change our wording...I never wrote "destroyed" re. Lashan, because in my original, some of his men were still wandering around the School, blades out, to bump into PCs at exactly the wrong times...(heh-heh)...


4.14. The elves

4.14.1. What’s the status of Evermeet’s royal family? What happened to the children of Zaor and Amlaruil?

Elaine Cunningham tells us:

One of Evermeet's mysteries and tragedies concerns the Lost Children. Many of the offspring of Zaor and Amlaruil have died, but the fate of several of the princes and princesses has not yet been determined. 

The royal issue, and their current status, follows in order of birth.

The body of Ilyrana, the first born, a priestess, currently lies in deep stasis in Moonflower Castle, and her spirit abides in Arvandor.  During battle she acted in some mysterious, hard-to-define way as an avatar focus for the goddesses she served, and the result was a titanic battle maid comprising her spirit as well as power borrowed from the elven gods.  It is unlikely, but not absolutely impossible, that she will return to Evermeet. Even before her sacrifice, she was not at all eager to take the throne.

Xharlion and Zhoron, twin sons.  They are mirror images of each other and their father, the king.  The rowdy, robust elven lads seemed destined for the warrior's life.  The queen sent them to the Moonshaes for fosterage among the elves of Sonoria.  One of them--it is not certain which one—was slain when the Ityak-Ortheel attacked the Moonshaes.  It is not known if the other survived, or if so, what became of him.

Chozzaster, the next-born son, became a High Mage.  He passed on to Arvandor at a young age, not because of illness or accident, but simply because the call of the ultimate elven homeland was too strong for him to resist.

Shandalar became a bladesinger, trained in the art by bladesinger Shanyrria Alenuath.  She was "accidentally" killed by a fellow student, a spell-singer, during a training drill.  It is not certain whether Shanyrria, her mentor, survived.  If so, the bladesinger will be eager to avenge the death of this princess, her student and namesake.

Tira-allara and Hhora were female twins, both devoted to the service of Hanali Celanil.  Both were excessively devoted to the cult of love, and each in her own way met the fate of those who love not well, but immoderately and unwisely.  Tira-alara became involved with a rogue who used her wealth and position, then broke her heart.  Elves are capable of wishing themselves dead, but few take this grim option.  The princess was an exception, and she literally died of grief.  Hhora left Evermeet determined to wed a commoner she met and loved during a seasonal festival.  Perhaps she found her love, perhaps not.  She disappeared into the High Forest, and no one has been able to learn what became of her.

Another set of female twins, Lazziar and Genstarzah, both trained as warriors and served as diplomats to mainland elves. They were lost at sea, and their fate has never been established.

Amnestria was a battle mage, and King Zaor's favorite child.  She was betrothed to Elaith Craulnober, a distant kinsman who served as captain of the King's Guard.  When Elaith broke with her over a personal disgrace, she followed him to the mainland--and fell in love with his human friend, Bran Skorlsun.  In secret she gave birth to Elaith's son, and hid the child in secret fosterage.  She later bore a girlchild to Bran, but she was slain before she could train her daughter in the secrets of the moonblade she would inherit. This half-elven child, Arilyn, was able to claim the sword--the first person of mixed blood ever to do so.

Lamruil, the youngest son, has been an adventurer for years.  He was not widely liked by the nobles of Evermeet, considered too young and frivolous to rule, but he held the throne briefly following the sacrifice of Amlaruil. He happily abdicated the throne back to his mother, and undertook the task of planting the Tree of Souls on the mainland.  He has chosen a hidden valley far to the north, a place surrounded by incredibly inhospitable terrain.  He will be kept very busy recruiting a following, subduing the land, and establishing the colony.  His consort, a mostly-human woman named Maura, will probably prove to be equal parts help and hindrance.  It is unlikely that their children will succeed him as ruler.  Maura is a teenager, but she is also impulsive, a warrior, and a human.  None of those things lend to an impressive life expectancy.  It is likely that the elves tolerate her, believing that they can put up with her for a human's relatively short span.  Lamruil will undoubtedly be urged to take an elven consort and produce suitable heirs--either before or after Maura's death.

Or perhaps another form of government, one not based on monarchy or hereditary nobility, will evolve.  One thing is certain:  Lamruil will return to Evermeet to rule only if he feels the island has no other acceptible options.  He would gladly throw his support behind a likely candidate for the throne.  Like most of Toril's elves, however, he hopes that the end of Queen Amlaruil's reign will be very long in coming.


4.14.2. What elven subraces exist in the Realms?

Eric Boyd:

The elven subraces of Faerun are known by a variety of names, listed below in decreasing order of "correctness." Those in parentheses are known to be insulting.

Note that Cha'Tel'Quessir technically only refers to the half-elves of Aglarond.


4.14.3. What's the population breakdown of the elven subraces in the Realms? Which are most common?

Eric Boyd:

In terms of population, the Avariel and the Lythari are by far the rarest. While there are many half-elves, only a small population dwell in the Yuirwood. Sea elves and green elves seem reasonably common. Moon elves are somewhat rare, but most likely to be seen in human settlements, so they seem more prevalent than they really are. Gold elves are quite rare. Drow are rare on the surface, but there are large numbers of them dwelling in the Underdark.


4.14.4. What's known about Avariel in the Realms?

Tom Costa tells us:

Avariel, winged elves, originally detailed in Dragon Magazine back in the double digits, are found in the Realms.  They have since been detailed in Elves of Evermeet, one of the Monstrous Manual annuals, and last and most important, Demihumans of the Realms.

Evermeet is supposedly in talks to open up the island to some avariel, however there are currently few to none there officially.  The only known place with avariel officially is the frozen kingdom of Sossal just east of the Great Glacier and north of Narfell.


4.15. Cormyr

4.15.1. What is the rank structure of the Purple Dragons?

According to Ed Greenwood:

The Purples used ranks similar, but not identical, to the military ranks in use in Cormyr  (and Sembia, though be warned that ranks in that land vary wildly because of private patrons bestowing whatever titles they like, from "Sword-Dog" to "Exalted Whirlwind of Might," these two examples both being given to common footsoldiers).

In short, Purple ranks ascend, from lowest to highest, as follows (modern-world VERY rough equivalents given in brackets):

Another title in later and current use:

Swordlord (for unit commander;  where this falls in the hierarchy varies with the size of the unit, from patrol to army)

...with bigwigs who sometimes never fought giving themselves "High Oversword" and similar honorifics. (The bigwigs were senior nobles and sometimes war wizards given military command for an undertaking.) Please be aware that these titles were also changed at the whim of the leaders, so DMs are quite safe in having a few 'weirdo/don't match these' titles in their games.

In more recent times, the overall leader of a large force, if he or she customarily did such things, is known in Cormyr as a "battlemaster" (modern Americans might say "five-star general"). There IS one War Wizard rank: "alarphon." An Alarphon is an internal War Wizards investigator (sort of like a military policeman), allowed to ask probing questions of everyone (Azoun and Filfaeril can tell him certain answers just won't be forthcoming, but everyone else is supposed to furnish him with the full truth).


*4.15.2. Who are the nobles of Cormyr?

George Krashos explains:

Without stealing Bryon Wischstadt's thunder, here is a list of noble families of Cormyr he cobbled up a while back for a project. I note that the list is incomplete, as there are a few extant sources on Cormyr (notably the novel "Stormlight") which also add to this list. Even so, here it is, thanks to Bryon:


4.16. Who are the Emerald Enclave?

Jim Bulter replied in a self-depreciating way:

The Emerald Enclave are a group of people dedicated to making sure that the lands remain strong and pristine. Think of them as Greenpeace with an attitude (and spells, magical items, and powerful people backing them). You can find out more about them by reading through the Vilhon Reach (written by some two-bit hack!)


4.17. The seven sisters

4.17.1. Does anyone know in what order the Seven Sisters were born?

Sylune, Alustriel, Dove, Storm, Laeral, the Simbul, and Qilue.  From the Seven Sisters acc., p. 7.


*4.17.2. When did the seven sisters first appear in Realms canon?

From Ed Greenwood himself:

The Seven Sisters were around in the Realms from the very beginning (1967), though at first I knew only that there were a large number of silver-haired, tall, powerful, beautiful she-siblings...the number didn't climb to seven until around 1978, and I deliberately left the seventh slot 'vacant,' as a 'loose end' for either TSR or individual DMs to fill in (by the way, folks: to DMs contemplating campaigns designed for longevity, continually building in 'loose ends' is a crucial design element; TSR has been building mine and their own added ones into complete products for some years, and such good scribes as Eric, George, Grant, and the Bryans have been give headaches aplenty in reconciling them). In this case, I had it in the back of my head that the last and youngest would be something of a 'black sheep' (I was thinking 'tomboy') and so wrote that "the seventh was a dark disaster."

Steven pounced on that, and the name and race of Qilue are his creation (leaving me with the 'how did THAT happen?' explanation to do in THE SEVEN SISTERS :}). I think it's a great touch--just another example of how the Realms benefits by the inspired efforts of lots of creators, rather than just one. Steven deserves to take more than a few hard-earned bows for his sensitive and thoughtful work in the Realms...and I hereby salute him once more! Slonshal!


4.18. Khelben

4.18.1 .It says in the Shadow Thieves' write up that Khelben's mother had something to do with running them out of Waterdeep not so many years ago (13xx DR). Isn't he older than that?

Steven Schend explained:

As far as the city and the Realms at large is concerned, Khelben the Blackstaff's mother is Lhestyn, the Lord who drove them out of the city. She was the stepmother of Cassandra (Arunsun) Thann and Khelben now poses as her son. Lhestyn was actually the wife of his youngest son (Zelphar).


4.18.2. Huh? Khelben confuses me!

Us too!!!

AJA tries to explain:

To clear all that up a bit, Lhestyn married Zelphar Arunsun, the eldest (acknowledged) son of Khelben the Elder (who we know as Blackstaff today). Lhestyn and Zelphar had a son, Khelben the Younger (whose identity Khel the Elder has since appropriated). Khelben the Younger now dwells in Greyhawk.


4.18.3. Does anyone in Faerun know that Khelben's not who everyone thinks he is?

Steven Schend (who's convinced no one can ever truly know Khelben until he truly knows and accepts himself, and he's not ready to do that even after nine centuries) tells us:

Actually, from my perspective, ONLY Danilo knows/understands that Khelben is not who he poses as. Cassandra is not all that close to her half-brother, and his training as a mage kept him even more at arms' length as it was something he shared with their father that she couldn't. As far as Cassandra's concerned (though Elaine may have another interpretation of this, which is to be considered canonical as Cassandra's her character), Khelben is her little brother who acts all the more mysterious because of the powers he wields.....

Of others in Waterdeep, here're my guesses as to who knows he's not who he poses as (though they may not know exactly who he is): Kyriani (Agrivar), Mirt the Moneylender, Kitten, a few elves whose names escape me now, Maskar Wands (who actually may know the truth), Maaril & Hlanta Melshimber (both of whom suspect but know very little), and a smattering of others.

Of all the beings in the Realms, only Elminster and Laeral know more than 35% of Khelben's story, and only Laeral is privy to more than that......


4.19. Who are the hin?

Eric Boyd answers:

Technically, the term "hin" only applies to halflings of the Calishite diaspora, although it is gradually becoming applied to all halflings.

Specifically, the hin are those halflings who fled the land we now know as Calimshan over the centuries, gradually moving up the Sword Coast. Major settlements resulting from this migration include the Purple Hills of Tethyr, the lands of fallen Mieritin (in east central Amn), Corm Orp and vicinity, and Secomber and vicinity.

The hin do include hairfeet, tallfellows, and stouts, with the latter two containing traces of elvish blood (from their distant ancestors breeding with the elves of Keltormir) and dwarvish blood (from their distant ancestors breeding with the dwarves of High Shanatar).

The Calishite migration of the hin is NOT enough to account for the presence of all halflings in the Realms, so presumably there are other migration points as well. (Moreover, those migrations must have also resulted in interbreeding with dwarves and elves, as tallfellows and stouts are evenly mixed into all populations of halflings across Faerun.) Despite the claims of some well-known halflings (i.e. Olive Ruskettle) that the entire race originates from Luiren, this is incorrect.

More details on the hin may be found in Demihuman Deities, in Empires of the Shining Sea, and in a recent "New Adventures of Volo" column in Dragon.


4.20. Any thoughts as to which Twisted Rune member is a phaerimm?

Eric Boyd:

I thought about this, but didn't end up including the reference in DDGttU. For the curious, there's a stray reference in the original write-up of the Twisted Rune (TR) in Code of the Harpers that suggests that one of the Runemasters is a phaerimm. Since the TR is all undead sorcerers, this suggests that there is at least one undead phaerimm in the Realms, and that it lives in the Underdark beneath Amn/Tethyr/ Calimshan (i.e. Deep Shanatar). I'd like to think that it is the ONLY undead phaerimm lich in all of the Realms, but perhaps the brain washing is taking effect. Two possibilities occur to me: (a) The undead phaerimm is one of the unnamed Runemasters of the TR (Remember that Steven left at least two holes in the roster for the DM to fill out), or (b) The undead phaerimm has figured out to create “lich puppetsâ€�.  Thus one, two, or even three of the liches serving under the Runemasters (there are many awaiting their turn to be promoted) are actually puppets of the undead phaerimm.

While I'm speculating about the remaining Runemasters, I might throw out Galadaster as an option ... see Pages from the Mages, Galadaster's Orizon. When I asked Steven, he said that he didn't include him so that not EVERY lich we knew about in the South was a member of the TR. However, he's certainly a viable candidate (or foe ...).

I'll also point out that at this point we know of 41 phaerimm outside the boundaries erected by the sharn. According to RoMD, 40 of them made their way to the ruins of Myth Drannor. According to DDGttU, 3 of those 40 now reside in Ooltul. According to CotH, there’s one (the undead phaerimm mentioned above) in the TR.


4.21. Who's Ilserv? Is he stone? Is he dead? Is he smashed?

On page 45 of Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark there is an illithid (Ilserv ) who is mentioned as once having been petrified by Xanathar and kept in Mirt's garden. He was later returned to flesh. This illithid is the one who was petrified in the AD&D comic series #12.

A contradictory reference, however has the Statue/petrified illithid destroyed (or rather smashed into a lot of small pieces) in the Forgotten Realms comic series Annual 1. This makes the reference (in DDGttU) that it was later returned to the flesh difficult to understand. After all the chances of Mirt having two statues of illithids in his garden, both of which were petrified by Xanathar, is very small at best.

Here's a couple of fixes to the contradiction:

Solution #1) That was the fake statue Mirt kept around because it was always getting stolen. The real one remained in his garden, permanently invisible.

Solution #2) Mirt predicted the attack and had a temporary statue placed there briefly.

Solution #3) It was the real Ilserv, but Mirt had a wizard put it back together for him, so upset was he to lose such an interesting conversation piece.


*4.22. Who's wrote the Nether Scrolls, the elves or the Creator races?

Steven Schend explains:

The Creator races are way older than Aryvandaar. The creator races reach back several thousand years before that, I believe. Some brief info is available in the REF5 Lords of Darkness accessory that details an ancient lizard man-type creator race mummy (I think he was a mummy, I don't recall.) There were other creator races as well; check out Eric Boyd's introduction to Powers & Pantheons.

Also, check out the Nether Scroll novel; it has some bits on the Nether Scroll (aptly named novel, eh?) and it's a good and quick read, IMHO.

I went with the idea that the elves of Aryvandaar had found and studied the lore of the Creator Races, whatever that might be. The Nether Scrolls definitely predate even the great civilizations of the elves, as noted by Rob. Still, since I built in the origins of human magecraft via elven training and then the break from that with the discovery of the NS and abuse of the same, I figured they had to have found them via some elven knowledge or study as well. <shrug>

Ron Chronister inquired further:

Unlike the elves, however, the humans did not take a long term careful "magically environmental" approach to the study of magic, and completely screwed up in the end (like giving machineguns to a bunch of 4 year olds...).  They then had to crawl back to the elves after the fall of Netheril in order to learn the proper use of magic.

Am I starting to make sense? was that your original line of thought?

And Steve Schend replied:


After all, if humanity were ready for the kinds of magics they chose to wield, the Realms would still be home to the empires of Netheril, the Imaskari, and the Shoon........ Don't mess around with magic unless you're ready for magic to mess around with you....THAT'S the primary message I kept in mind with respect to the Nether Scrolls and all the fallen magical empires of the past....


*4.23. What's a Waterdhavian?

Ed Greenwood tells us:

"ahaeva" in Auld Common (early human trade tongue) meant 'I am from' or 'I make my home at' or even 'I make my home here/this is my home'...thus, a person from Waterdeep (an early trademoot of the North, remember), is a "Waterdhavian." Clumsy, but better than "Waterdeepian."


*4.24. What about the Phaerimm?

Ed Greenwood tells us:

Oh, another thing: on the topic of the Phaerimm: yes, I presented them originally (without enough space to do either them or the Sharn justice) as "so dang powerful that cocky PCs had BETTER be scared...or swiftly dead." Remember earlier on, when I posted to the list about "thinking Realms"? Okay, let's do this again: my awful-bad Phaerimm were the mean dudes in Myth Drannor.  The 'lesser' specimens of the scaleable 3E version your PCs may now meet with are some of the less powerful Phaerimm released from long-term imprisonment (how? why? soon to be revealed). You never got the chance to see these weaker ones before now...okay?

Editor's Note: See the Return of the Archmages novels to see what Ed was hinting at?


*4.25. Who are the Shades?

A group of Netherese who escaped the demiplane of Shadow before Netheril fell. They've returned to the prime and are making their home in Anauroch. See the Return of the Archmages novels for more info.


*4.26. Why's Halaster so powerful? In third edition you can't progress above 20th level, so how's he more powerful than any other 20th level mage? The same applies to lots of other NPCs, too?

We'll use Halster as an example:

Halaster has taken some Epic levels.  These Epic Levels allow abilities and spell progression beyond the base PHB rules.

For example, the FRCS has the following spell progressions:

Halaster: 4 6 6 6 6 5 5 2 4 3

Elminster: 4 6 6 6 5 4 5 3 3 3

Wiz20: Int 24: 4 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 4

The Archmage prestige class sacrifices spell slot for special abilities. For example, the Arcane Reach ability Elminster has costs him a 7th level spell slot. So does Mastery of counterspelling. Mastery of Elements costs an 8th level slot, Spell Power +1 costs a 5th level slot, and Spell Power +3 costs a 9th level slot. Voilá, there we get Elminster's actual spell progression.

Attribute: Staffan Johansson [sjosv99@STUDENT.VXU.SE]


5. History of the Realms

5.1. When were the Time of Troubles??

Tom Rinchler and Tom Costa collaborated to answer:

The Avatar Trilogy takes place between Kythorn 1 and Marpenoth 15, according to the FR Atlas (not the CD-Rom, the OOP printed supplement). The actual date of the Fall of the Gods was in the early evening of Kythorn 15.  This date is mentioned in both the old FR atlas and the Shadows of the Avatar trilogy.  Helm destroys Mystra on Midsummer, Bane and the Celestial Stairway are  destroyed on Flamerule 18, Myrkul brings back Bane into Fzoul on Flamerule 25, Bane and Torm destroy each other on Eleasias 13, Cyric slays Bhaal on  Eleint 26, and Myrkul dies on Marpenoth 15 upon which time Midnight and Cyric ascend.


5.2. On what years does Shieldmeet fall?

Brian Rodgers did the math:

In "recent" times, there would have been Shieldmeets in the years of 1348, 1352, 1356, 1360, 1364, 1368 and 1372 DR.

Jason Hatter confirmed:

Yup, that is correct.  IIRC, the novel Elfsong occurs in 1364, during Shieldmeet. There is also a reference in the City of Splendors timeline, IIRC.


5.3. What were The Spawn Wars?

Eric Boyd:

The Spawn Wars have not been mentioned elsewhere, but you should be able to piece together bits of information from DDGttU, particularly from the write-up of Iltkazar.

The quick explanation:

There was a time before "Shanatar" was established when Alatorin was in the hands of the drow and the other dwarven subkingdoms warred amongst themselves. In those days, the dwarven gods were each associated with a particular clan. The Spawn Wars saw the use of deepspawn to produce vast numbers of dwarven troops quickly, who were then hurled into battle against each other. Eventually, the dwarven kingdoms abandoned their internecine strife and came together, although not all the deepspawn were destroyed. It should be noted that the Spawned (as they were called) were treated as second-class citizens at best and banned from breeding. However, a few did, and some suspect that a taint of weakness was introduced into the dwarven race in this fashion that now contributes to the declining birth rate.

Deepspawn were first detailed in FR11 - Dwarves Deep, but they have since appeared in other sources. (Definitely in one of the MC Annuals, and I believe in another Realms product as well.)

A major infestation of deepspawn was found in The Beast Marches, NW of Myth Drannor. This tidbit appeared long ago in Polyhedron or LC2 (can't recall which). It was developed in "Fall of Myth Drannor". See the timeline and causes of the fall in that module.

Other deepspawn that have appeared in the Realms include:

a) one under Zazesspur (see War in Tethyr where it was named)
b) one under Hellgate Keep (see the module)
c) one under Iltkazar (see DDGttU)
d) one under the Shipwreck Plains (see Wyrmskull Throne)

Ed and Steven tend to include a lot of throwaway references to deepspawn appearing all over the place as well. A good way to think of them is sort of like solitary beholders ... they're strong enough to establish themselves at the top of the local food chain and be a major player in a region.


5.4. Is there a list of the official Roll of Years?

Yes, at:

Also see


5.4.1. Are there errors in the Roll of Years?

AJA clarified:

No names are given for the years 382 and 548. Also year -681 is given two names. Year of Nightmares is given in the correct place (on the list) and year of Eternal Amber is given on a line between -502 and -503. The missing Years have already been spotted, and will be included

in the new Roll on the WotC website (if its ever updated). The Year of

Eternal Amber was moved to -645DR. The others are;

 382/Year of Steel Roses

 548/Year of the Eloene Bride

 722/Year of the Last Hunt

 977/Year of Swordforging

For Years with more than one name, the one not on the Roll is considered a regional variant; the one on the Roll is the "official" one (at least as far as the scribes at Candlekeep and the authors at TSR are concerned :)


5.4.2. How were the beginning (-700 DR) and ending (1600 DR) years for the Roll of Years chosen?

Tom Costa replied: As one of the namers, here are some answers.....

This was for the most part an arbitrary decision based on part on making sure we covered dates that covered all the years from Alaundo and Auguthra the Mad's prophecies.  However, we came up with more names than originally expected and so Steven added more named years to the rolls.  It was a lot of names to come up with and I think all of us were pretty proud of the result.  In the end, I believe the ultimate goal was to cover a period far back in history for creators and players to be able to use year names and far enough in the future to cover anticipated future events and products (which 200+ years should aptly cover I believe).

Steven Schend added:

Why did we stop at -700 and 1600? Well, two reasons. A) 2300 years names is more than enough grist for the creative mills of DMs out there. and B) If we added more at either end of that spectrum, they're either so far before or after current campaigns that they're less and less useful.


5.4.3. Some groups of years seem connected- namely 1468 (the First Circle), 1470 (the Second Circle), 1472 (the Third Circle), 1474 (the Fourth Circle), 1476 (the Fifth Circle) and 1478 (the Dark Circle). Is there a method to the madness?

Tom Costa replied: As one of the namers, here are some answers.....

IIRC, one of us came up with the sequence and Steven liked it.  There clearly is a sequence of events that occur during those years, but I don't think it was defined by any of us or in any products.

Steven Schend added:

Yes. >:D <Ain't I a stinker?


5.5. When was the Horde?

Thomas M. Costa tells us:

FR12 Horde Campaign is set up like those battle campaign books, describing major battles and how they went, including photos of typical combatants and Battle System statistics.

Here are some of the dates from that book:

Uktar 15, 1359 DR -- Battle of the Griffon Legion in Thay

Alturiak 29, 1360 DR -- Battle of the lake of Tears in Rashmen

Flamerule 3-5, 1360 DR -- Battles of the Golden Way in Thesk


6. Other common questions

6.1. Any chance of a Realms movie?

A chance?  Sure.  Is it likely?  Nope.

However, a D&D movie not set in the Realms does exist. See,3 The movie came out in the winter of 2000 to fairly mixed reviews.

A favorite sport of the Realms list is "casting" a Realms movie, arguing over who would play Elminster, Drizzt, Storm, and so forth.  While this may be fun for the people who haven't been through it before, most of the list is heartily sick of the whole topic.  Be thou forewarned.


6.2. What are the names of the days in the Realms?

This was taken from a post by Bobby Nichols <>:

At GenCon '95, I asked Ed Greenwood about the days of the week (Ride) in Faerun. I asked if there was a standard day or day name for the days of the ride. He responded that the days of the ride differ from geographic region to region, and usually have a religious connotation. There is no standard set of day names.

Ed went on to say that the people of Faerun use the number of days to indicate when something will happen as long as the number of days does not exceed 30. For instance, if I was to see you in 10 days, I would say "See you in a ten-day," not "See you in a ride" or "See you next ride," both of which are not as determinalistic as the first statement.

If you want to indicate an event in the future of past and this event happens within 10 days of a major event, a Realmsian would say "Bessie had her calf 3 days after the Lord came into his castle." or "Bessie's calf was born 2 days before last Greengrass."

In other words, Realmsians do not use dates like we do -- my birthday in Faerun is something like "12 days after Greengrass" not "Mirtul 12th." Now IMC, I use "Firstday," "Seconday", "Thirday", etc. for my days of the week, and I use dates like Americans do. Why? Well, to be blunt, my players don't want to try to understand the FR method of dating. So it is usually easier just to give in on this minor point. However, if you write fiction, you might want to follow these rules.


6.3. Is there gunpowder in the Realms?

[Thanks to Paul Hoyak for this answer.]

Gunpowder does not exist in the Realms - however, the magical item known as "smokepowder" does. It is fairly rare, as are firearms, but not as rare as they were before the Time of Troubles (FRA gives a good timeline for how guns develop in the Realms).

Also, the increase in spelljamming will also allow for more firearms and smokepowder in the Realms.

Those who are likely to have firearms mostly include pirates, bandits and brigands (who have really no idea how to use these "things" and have next to no smokepowder), and the odd city guard captain!

Note that only the firearms found in FRA are in the Realms - the guns in Combat & Tactics are NOT in the Realms as these are FAR too advanced for the Realms current time.

Smokepowder can still be found in Waterdeep, fairly easily too.

It's only a myth that Gond created smokepowder for the Realms – but that's not to say that it's not true!


6.4. Was there really a Forgotten Realms Comic?

There was both an AD&D Comic (36 issues or so) and a FR Comic (25 issues or so) with some crossover annuals.  Both took place in the Realms around the time of the Godswar, 1357-1359 DR.

Dragon 247 and 260 both contained stories about most of the characters from those comics (by Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak) 10 or so years after the original comic stories.  Their AD&D stats also appeared in I believe those two issues of Dragon.  Some of the characters also appeared in the Lost Gods trilogy of novels and played an important role in the ascension of Zaranda Star in Tethyr (see Lands of Intrigue).  You can also find info about one of the characters in the write-up of Labelas in Demihuman Deities and the Temple of Selune write-up in Powers and Pantheons.


6.5. Have "official game" versions of the artifacts from the FR comic books (the hand of Vaprak, etc.) been published? I thought they might be included in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" but I don't think they were.

Eric Boyd tells us:

The short answer is no.

There wasn't room in VGtATM to detail all the artifacts named in the comic series, so I could only detail every other artifact mentioned in a Realms product up until that point If you don't have access to the comics (which most people don't), I did name all the artifacts mentioned in the comic books in the intro to the artifacts chapter. Since most of the artifacts were reeled off in a shouting match between Omen and Elminster, and we know NOTHING about them at all, they are left wholly up to the DM to detail. IIRC, the Hand of Vaprak and the Moonpenguin of Boof were really the only "featured" artifacts of the various Realms comics, and the comics revealed much of their powers during the course of the stories they were involved in.


6.6. Is there a particular order in which the Realms novels (particularly the Harpers series) should be read?

Eric Boyd explained:

You want to read "Elfshadow" then "Elfsong" then "Silver Shadows" then "Thornhold" then "The Dream Spheres".

You want to read "Spellfire" before "Crown of Fire." (The former is not technically a Harper book, but I would call it "Harpers #0".)

You want to read "Azure Bonds", then "The Wyvern's Spur" then "Song of the Saurials" then "Masquerades".

You want to read "Crypt of the Shadowking" before "Curse of the Shadowmage."

You want to read "The Parched Sea" before "The Veiled Dragon."

You want to read "Finder's Bane" then a Dragonlance book whose name I can't recall and then "Tymora's Luck."

In other words, make sure to read all the books by the same author in order.


6.7. What's up with the runes used on the top of the FR logo? Are they Dethek?

Brian D. Gute knew:

The runes used on the top of the FR logo are not Dethek. They are the "Common Tongue Runes" introduced in Dragon #69 in the article "Runes" by Phil Taterczynski and Roger Raupp. The runes on the Forgotten Realms logo spell out the phrase: Herein lie the lost lands

Just to make matters more confusing, an article entitled "Runestones" by Ed Greenwood in which he introduced Dethek runes appears on the same page as the "Common Tongue Runes" alphabet from the "Runes" article.


6.8. I heard that Ed Greenwood has a hotmail email address and that he posted some top-secret info on an webpage. Is it true?

Ed himself replies:

"Please spread the word to the list: the posting on Amazon is a fraud by someone else purporting to be me, and I'm asking them to remove it... If you folks would like to ask them to, too, maybe then can get rid of it!

Just to amplify:

I'm not and never have been "Edwin Greenwood," I've never had a hotmail address, and on the date upon which this "author" comment was posted, I was strapped to a table in a Toronto hospital, undergoing heart surgery! With all of that said, I'm always happy to chat about any of my Realms work, though I can't promise all sorts of secrets a la the Amazon posting..."


6.9. Is there any information on heraldry in the Realms?

First this disclaimer concerning heraldry by Ed Greenwood:

The important thing to remember is that real-world heraldry was very untidy and inconsistent (still is, in many ways), and coherent rules came along late in the if you consider Realms heraldry to be like  'old' real-world heraldry, with local heralds memorizing everyone's  charges but the only 'hard' rule really being no duplication of arms within the same realm, and no use of royal arms by anyone unauthorized, anywhere, you've got it. Those who really want to follow established real-world blazonry are reminded that America ignores most of the European rules anyway, and that in both main systems, corporations are allowed to break almost all the rules if they pay enough :}  (just like the Realms!

:})....hope this helps.


by Ed Greenwood/April 2000/Copyright © 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.


Herewith, details of the arms of the Dales (a modern real-world herald would probably consider these, by their construction and everyday Dales usage, as 'badges'):

Archendale: "the star and broken crown" (star white with silver points, crown segments of gold, field is scarlet or, in older depictions, crimson; if as a pennant, field has a dagged silver border)

Battledale: "the mace, broken spear, and chain" (black mace, brown spear with steel [=dull silver] point, bright silver chain, all on a field of scarlet; if as a pennant, field has a dagged purple border)

Daggerdale: "the ring and dagger" (has changed over the years, being at one time gold ring, gold dagger with an emerald snake-eye and a scarlet forked tongue, all on a lush green field, but nowadays usually ring and dagger both of a single pewter [=dull silver] hue, on a royal blue field; as Merrydale, this region's badge was "the holly ring;" a circle of nine red holly berries on a leaf-green field, the field always being round, and bordered in blue)

Deepingdale: "the three coins" (usually silver top left, gold lower center, copper upper right, but sometimes in the past they've been all gold or all silver-but in any case, always on a field of forest green; note that although the Grand Tour book depicts three coins in a level row, overlapping from the right and with the largest coin in the center, this usage is old and seldom seen: usually the coins are arranged like a Mickey Mouse-head silhouette [sorry for the image, folks], with two equal-sized coins at upper right and upper left both overlapping a lower, larger central coin-and the coins always have abstract, unreadable decorations on them of mounted men and lettering and crowns and the like, left to the artist but never to exactly depict anyone's coinage-although Sembian artists slyly duplicate their own coins, to assert their claim to 'owning the dales'-and never to all be the same, because they're supposed to represent the coins of many places, spent in the dale in appreciation of its craftwork)

Featherdale: "the river, moon, and feather" (a black feather, usually said to be that of a 'black falcon,' though Sembians always say it's a crow, in front of a white crescent moon [it just LOOKS like a circle :}] with edges of silver, and a river of silver running away to the lower right, always on a deep brown field; if as a pennant, field has a scalloped crimson border)

Harrowdale: "the sword and manche" (the sword is always depicted with its blade shaped like the badge that appears in the Grand Tour book of the 2E Realms boxed set, and is always of gleaming silver-set with glass shards or mirror glass or spell-sparkle if possible, to make it gleam-with a crimson grip; the 'manche' [a stylised sleeve, appearing in the arms in this case to commemorate a long-ago human warrior hacking off one arm of 'an elven witch' to prevent her spells from blasting him off his chosen ground; in other words, it grandly depicts a forceful human seizure of the region from the elves] is always crimson or "blood-red," and the field is always amber or "flame orange")

The High Dale: "the harp" (the stylized bardic instrument is said to be a faithful rendering of one played at the Dancing Place, in 720 DR, at the formal founding of the Harpers, and is always depicted in white, with strings-and the air between them-of vivid [shimmering metallic, whenever possible] green, on a field of sky blue; if as a pennant, the field has a border of emerald green separated from the sky blue by thin white piping)

Mistledale: "the blowing horses" (horseheads and the 'bridle' beneath them are of white, with the vapor of their breath being depicted as two arrowhead-shapes of gold, with white 'smoke lines' amid them, on a field of light [almost lime, but a trifle darker] green)

Scardale: "the triumph" (originally scarlet, on a dun [beige] field, but more recently (last century) has been depicted as cream on a light [again, almost lime, but a trifle darker] green field; Lashan changed it to gold on a dark green field, a coloration abandoned at his disappearance)

Moondale: "the moon and stars" (always six five-pointed stars, arranged in a crescent-arc; the stars and the crescent moon were always of white, on a royal purple field, but are sometimes seen today adopted as the arms of various Sembian mercenary guard companies, Sembian merchants, and independent rangers desiring to refound Moondale, either in a new area or by wresting it back from Sembia-and in all of these 'modern revivals,' the coloration is bright silver moon and stars, on a field of midnight black...just why the new hues have all been adopted isn't known, but some say Harper influences and others divine meddling for some as-yet-unrevealed purpose)

Sessrendale: "the plough" (always depicted entirely of silver, wooden handles as well as blade, on a field of deep royal purple; to show !it with the blade pointing to the left was to advocate the dale's overthrow-a badge still seen on the breasts of certain merchants' tunics in Archendale today)

Shadowdale: "the moon and tower" (always a spiral tower of silver, in front of a crescent moon, on its back, of silver, on a royal blue field that's always oval, and bordered in silver; if as a pennant, this badge will appear on a larger, unbordered field of forest green)

Tarkhaldale (Lost Vale): "the staghead" (was always depicted head-on, and all-eyes and mouth, too-of white, on a field of forest green)

Tasseldale: "the tri-tassel" (tassels of rich gold, on a field of scarlet; if bordered, the border will be of an inner line of silver, and an outer of gold)

Teshendale: "the wave" (a kite-shaped lozenge of 'water blue,' which encloses a field of white, with the wave and lower two-thirds of the lozenge all being of water blue; if as a pennant, this device is always placed on a gray field, to denote the mountains from which the dale descends)

From time to time, Dalesfolk have used a 'common' Dales recognition badge, usually when far from home, but sometimes on the battlefield, and it's always been a "green branch:" an upright, trident-shaped brown branch that splits into three 'balanced' [=mirror image] branches, surrounded by an irregular halo or field of leaf green.


*6.10. Who wrote what in Cloak and Dagger?

Steven Schend  fills us in:

Here's the full breakdown (from someone who knows as he did the breakdown and initial outlines):


7. What's new in 3rd edition?

*7.1. In what year is the new Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting set?

1372 DR


7.2. Where can I find more info about the future of the Realms?

Check out the FR Features page at

Also, check the Forgotten Realms updates in Dragon Magazine.


8. Questions specific to earlier editions

8.1. What spell levels do Realms priests get?

[Thanks to Thomas Cullen for this answer.]

In a previous reply to this very question, Eric Boyd wrote: "In the Realms, as of F&A, demipowers, lesser powers, intermediate powers, and greater powers can all grant spells up to 7th level to their priests. This is not the case according to the generic AD&D rules. The game reasoning is that the lack of the more powerful spells under the old system discourages players from playing priests of demipowers and lesser powers because they do not want the severe limitations on their abilities at higher levels. Since many of the lower power priests are very cool role-playing wise, allowing all priests to cast all levels of priest spells encourages diversity among priest PCs."

Julia Martin has also commented on the thread in the past, and (though I can't find her exact words) argued that since realms powers gain and lose status according to the number and fervor of their worshippers, there's no problem with all deities, regardless of power level, granting high-level spells. As an example, Finder, a demigod with only one priest, can grant her high-level spells. He's not going to overextend himself, because he simply doesn't have enough priests of high enough level to request more high level spells than he can grant. Lathander, on the other hand, has a huge crop of high-level priests requesting high-level spells, but as a greater power, has the resources to satisfy them all. If you've got a lot of high level priests requesting high-level spells, you've probably got a lot of other worshippers, too and are therefore a powerful enough deity to satisfy your priests' requests.


8.2. How fast do Realms specialty priests advance?

The official answer in 2nd edition AD&D is that specialty priests use the druid advancement table (although their XP total does not reset), gaining a level for every 500,000 XP earned beyond 20th level (5,500,000 XP; note that FRA has a typo and says 8,500,000 instead; this is *wrong*).  Many DMs use the cleric advancement table instead.

In Demihuman Deities, there is a new optional advancement table for specialty priests (except druids), crusaders, monks, and shamans.


8.3. Do Realms clerics have major access to the sun sphere, and minor access to elemental fire and air, traveler, and war spheres?

Note that this issue is specific to 2nd edition AD&D.

In Faiths & Avatars there are listed spheres for clerics in the FR, but in new Priest Spell Compendium, vol.1, the spheres for clerics were a bit shortened. There, clerics were shown to not have major access to the sun sphere, and minor access to elemental fire and air, traveler, and war spheres. This conflicts with F&A.

Eric Boyd thought:

I asked Julia Martin her opinion, with which I concur.

Stick with the spheres laid out in F&A.

F&A already cut back cleric access from the statement in the PHB. Also, I don't have the sources handy to check, but PSC1 might be contingent on the slight "reorganization" of spheres a la PO:S&M that the Realms doesn't use.


8.4. How can so many magical items exist in the realms, given standard AD&D enchanting rules?

From Ed Greenwood himself:

On the feasibility of so many magical items existing, given standard ADnD enchanting rules: Consider the following answer 'unofficial,' in that a Wizards rules guru might well answer this differently: Congratulations - you've stumbled onto one of the 'hidden in plain view' little mysteries of the Realms that's never been answered in print because we didn't want to inspire a lot of 'rules-lawyer-juggernaut-characters' who churn out magic items on their own private little assembly lines.In the original, 'home' Realms campaign, my own players stumbled onto this very point, and pounced. (They also stumbled upon almost a dozen others that I'm going to go on being very quiet about until you notice THEM, too!).

After crowing about catching the DM in a rules quandary (over much green tea, incredibly rich homemade chip-dip with which I probably caused my heart condition, and several large-car-trunkloads of potato chips), they very properly returned to roleplaying, and in character went and asked Elminster,who twinkled at them and replied, "Aye, odd, isn't it?" No matter what they did (and believe me, between the err, 'talents' of Torm and the amorous wiles of the then-unhitched Jhessail and Illistyl, they tried just about EVERYthing) he'd say no more, and in the end they went off in search of someone who would. Of course, most mages were too modest in powers to know any real answer (having yet to arrive at a point where it would matter to them), and those who were mighty enough had utterly no interest in spilling any beans to a band of freewheeling adventurers. To make a long story short, the quest for an answer to this little matter became one of the many ongoing sideshows (that is, adventure generators) to grow more or less of its own accord in the home Realms campaign. What the Knights of Myth Drannor eventually discovered is that someone, long ago (perhaps even before the heights of Netherese magecraft), devised a magical process (involving several spells and much preparation, somewhat akin to the enchantment processes that appear in VOLO'S GUIDE TO ALL THINGS MAGICAL) that prevents the loss of vitality (=Constitution) normally inherent in the creation of a magic item. (This is in addition to the slightly-better-known-but-contrary-to-the-old-TSR-Code-of-Ethics evil process wherein one captures a mage, and magically drains his or her life-force in the making of magic items, thereby escaping any loss of one's own. That in turn of course involves its OWN careful-because-prone-to-backfire magical process...) The avoiding-constitution-loss process (which also allows certain stages of the preparation of identical proto-magic-items to be performed simultaneously, or in plain English: lets a character work on two or more Wands of Knock at the same time, though not to complete their crowning enchantments together) has never appeared in print for game balance and Code reasons, and therefore remains for every DM to devise (and reveal, bit by little bit, to persistent adventurers over realtime years of play) for their own campaign. It must involve treasure hunts for rare and difficult-to-obtain magical ingredients so as to stop 'magic item factory' characters from appearing in play. There are, of course, 'cheating methods' that involve draining powers or charges from existing magic items to help infuse new ones with lasting magic,and a reader of SECRETS OF THE MAGISTER will gain quite a few hints as to who might be able to help with such things, and even a little bit about how...There are also 'stealing spells' that harvest spell energies from real or magical lightning bolts, so-called 'spellstorms' (the wild magics that boil up during a wizards' duel or on a battlefield where many spells clash), and locales where strong magic lurks, such as active Mythals, MageFairs where contests have been going on, and so on, and transfer these energies into specific gem crystals and other magically-prepared receptacles, for later use in the enchanting of magic items, but you won't trick old Ed into breathing a word about such things, oh no...

Note, too, that with the streamlined and simplified item creation rules in the 3E Realms, it's not so farfetched to have these numbers of magical items in the Realms.


9. General questions about the list

 *9.1. Keyword Introduction

The Realms-L list uses subject line topic keywords.  (For those of you on the ADND-L list, it's exactly the same idea.)  This allows you to tailor the Realms list to *your* interests.  Don't like all the gods posts? You can turn them off!  Not interested in reading about books before they're released?  You don't have to!


*9.1.1. What are the keywords?

ALL: Not really a keyword, this broadcasts the message to everyone on the list.  Reserved for the exclusive use of the moderators of the REALMS list, monitors, and WotC netsec.

OTHER: Also not really a keyword, messages without keywords (or with improperly-formatted keywords; see below) go into this group. REALMS-L users are not initially subscribed to this keyword.

ADMIN: Posts about the list itself, rather than about the Realms. Should NEVER be crossposted with another keyword.

CUSTOM: for new Realms creations, may be used with other keywords

FAITHS: Messages about the deities and faiths of the Realms. 

FLUFF: Original stories and poetry set in the Realms.  Also includes discussion of such stories, and can be used to advertise for sites concerning such things.

HISTORY: discussions of Realms history and timelines, may be used with other keywords

MAGIC:  spells, magic items, the process of using magic itself in the Realms and other aspects of Realmsian dweomercraft; may be used with other keywords (note that this includes psionics but not, as a rule, priestly magic specific to a given faith)

NOVELS: Discussion of the Realms novels and short stories.  If you are discussing a new novel, be sure to include spoiler space (preferably at  least 20 lines, as not everyone sees a message header before they get into the message.) The NOVELS keyword can be used for discussion of the FR/AD&D comics and for other things like that; basically, any fiction specifically set in the Forgotten Realms.  Creation and distribution of such material should still be done via the FLUFF keyword.

PEOPLE: For questions and discussions of: PC's, NPC's, character classes and races, new and old, and how they relate to the Forgotten Realms campaign setting..

PLACES: Geography of the Realms, from city maps to village taprooms.

REVIEWS: Reviews of new Realms products and novels.  Spoilers must still be clearly indicated and protected with spoiler space, so as not to ruin the product for people who haven't had a chance to get it yet.

MISC: Any message that does not fit any of the above categories. Should NEVER be grouped with another keyword, as by definition, if it fits another category, it isn't MISC.

PROJECTS: This keyword is to be used for discussions concerning: The starting/organizing of projects to expand information on a variety of things for the Forgotten Realms.  Current examples are the Mage School project, where members contribute new schools/academies (or expand on briefly mentioned "canon" schools), and (to toot my own horn briefly) the Realms Temples project, which is attempting to catalog and list all temples of all faiths currently mentioned in "canon" materials (in the future, we'll be willing to add custom temples...but that's some time in the future). This keyword is different from the CUSTOM keyword in that projects tend to involve many people working together to create a project. This keyword may be used in conjunction with all keywords.


9.1.2. How do you use the keywords?

a) Single keywords are at the beginning of the line (leaving in the "Re:" reply indicator is OK, but NO OTHER reply indicators are acceptable) (leaving in the [FR] is also OK) followed by a colon.

Correct: PEOPLE: Manshoon the moron
Correct: Re: [FR] PEOPLE: Manshoon the moron
Incorrect: [PEOPLE] Manshoon the moron
Incorrect: PEOPLE Manshoon the moron

b) Multiple keywords are separated by a comma, with the last one followed by a colon.

Correct:  FLUFF,NOVELS,MAGIC: Shandril Starts a Campfire
Incorrect: FLUFF: NOVELS: MAGIC: Shandril Starts a Campfire
Incorrect: [FLUFF][NOVELS][MAGIC] Shandril Starts a Campfire

If you don't want to receive all of these, or you only want to receive one or two, it's quite easy to select a sublist of the above keywords to get. All of the following commands must be sent to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM to take effect.

To add a keyword or keywords: set realms-l topics= +NOVELS +PLACES
To remove a keyword or keywords: set realms-l topics= -REVIEWS -PEOPLE
To add all the keywords: set realms-l topics= +ALL
To change the keywords to a specific list:

     set realms-l topics=FAITHS MAGIC ADMIN MISC

These can be mixed and matched as needed.  The default setting for REALMS-L is +ALL -OTHER (all keywords except OTHER).


9.2. Netiquette

9.2.1. Why isn't this topic OK?

There are two major reasons why the monitors may "suggest" that a topic should be moved or terminated.

Most common is an off-topic message or thread. The Realms list is for discussion of gaming in the Forgotten Realms, not for general AD&D or gaming discussion. If your topic is not specifically related to the Realms, you may want to seek out a more appropriate venue

The second reason is a topic that has just been hashed to death (within the last two to three months, at a minimum) or one that, while nominally on-topic, is likely to prove unproductive and possibly even inflammatory.

You're welcome to make your case off the list to the monitors, but please don't argue the issue ON the list; that's as bad as perpetuating a closed topic in the first place. We don't usually ask that a thread be ended, so when we do, please abide by that decision.

Spam, product advertisements (except for the occasional TSR press release *from TSR*), chain letters, email virus reports, and so forth are grounds for immediate unsubscription. Don't send them.


9.2.2. What's a flame and why is it bad? (Or, This isn't a flame, you moron!)

A "flame" is a message whose primary purpose is not to foster discussion, but to promote argument, dissension, and ill will. Overt insults are flames, but there are very subtle messages that also come across as inflammatory.

Everyone has been misread, or has misspoken themselves, and been accused of flaming. If no hostility was truly meant, you are within your rights to explain yourself, but the best course of action is often simply to say, "That wasn't what I meant; I'm sorry it came across that way." If you DID mean to flame, I hope you have the good grace to apologize.

It should go without saying (but doesn't, so I'm saying it) that neither flames nor annoyed responses to flames belong on the list. Remember that the height of good manners frequently consists of not hearing a nasty remark; this is easily accomplished by swift application of the DELETE key.


9.2.3. Why can't I post in persona?

This has been a point of contention on the list before, so I'll explain MY interpretation of the persona guideline. Others may differ.

A person who merely signs his posts with his persona name is fine. Even the occasional post in character isn't too obnoxious. What gets very old are posts which are in persona for no good reason, and persona posts where the persona itself is rather annoying. I certainly understand the appeal of playing your character, but most list members would prefer to conduct conversations with another human being, not a figment of your imagination. (You should use the keyword FLUFF in for any post that's primarily in character, so that the people who really don't like persona posts can avoid them.)

Using your persona to belittle other characters or other players and their ideas is, of course, absolutely forbidden. Also forbidden are persona posts with no other content; this is a discussion list, not a role-playing list per se.


9.2.4. How much can I quote?

As little as possible.

Except in VERY rare cases (and VERY short posts), quoting an entire post without performing some editing is considered extremely rude. It's best to find one or two sentences, a paragraph at most, to give some context to your reply and quote only that much. You may, alternatively, elect to summarize another user's post if there's no part which can easily be extracted. However, if you are unable to edit quoted text (or unwilling to learn), the monitors respectfully ask that you refrain from quoting at all.

A good guideline, BTW, is that you should add at least as much text as you quote.

When quoting, you should be sure to trim the signature and the "To unsubscribe" footer. You should use some system to ensure that the quoted text and your additions can be distinguished. Some systems will automatically insert a '>' at the start of each quoted line. If you have to cut and paste, as AOL and some other system require, it's traditional to include opening and closing angle brackets in sets of two or three at the start and end of the quoted text.

Please leave at least one line between the quoted text and your addition, so that we can determine who said what. Also try to break up long blocks of text with blank lines; it makes your post much easier to read. If there are several points in a long post to which you want to respond, don't just have a long piece of quoted text; reply point-by-point.


9.2.5. What's wrong with my signature?

It's almost certainly too long. There's something extremely silly about a two-line message followed by a twelve-line signature file, including a bad ASCII squirrel, four web pages (two of which are yours and two of which have nudie Star Trek stars), and three email addresses, one of which you haven't checked since the Bush administration.

There are legitimate reasons to have a signature that's a little longer than most, but remember that little pictures, pithy quotes, and excess contact information (how many people really need your latitude and longitude?) bloat signatures very quickly. If your signature is too long, in the monitors' judgment, you may be asked to trim it or refrain from posting with your signature.  Around five lines for a sig file should be the limit.

It also helps if you put a '--' as the first line of the sig file, to set it off from the rest of your message.



This is considered very, very bad manners as capitals are considered to be used as an emphasis. Therefore, according to everyone who is reading your post, you're "Shouting". I know it sounds silly, but trust me: do not use capitals and you'll be fine.


9.2.7. What's up with the "plain text only" rule?

I know your message looks fine on your system, with three different fonts, five text colors, and full justification of your text.  Trust me, it looks like crap here, and on a lot of other systems.  Not every mail program understands HTML or MS rich text encoding, and on those systems your message will be ooooog-lee.  Worse, every single little formatting tag will show up in its entire text-based splendor in the digest form of Realms-L.

Stick with plain text for list messages.

.Craig Sefton reports:

If you're using Netscape Messenger for 4.0:

Select "Edit", then the option "Preferences..."

A panel will open with a white window on the left hand side, and some basic options to apply to your email on the right. In the white window, you can expand the options with a [+] next to their name. Make sure the option entitled "Mail and Groups" is expanded i.e. a [-] is next to the name instead of a [+]. Once, expanded, you'll see an option called "Messages". Click on this once. At the top of the page on the right, you'll see an option entitled: By default send HTML messages. Make sure the checkbox next to it is blank (i.e. not selected). At the bottom is another option entitled [More Options]. Click this button and in the new panel that opens, make sure the option "Always convert the message into plain text" is checked (located about halfway down the screen.

Click okay until you close all the panels. That should be it :)

Craig Sefton again:

This is for Outlook Express for IExplorer v4.0 on Win 95

Okay, as far as I know to turn off all MIME, HTML etc. etc. stuff do the following:

In Outlook select the "Tools" option.
In the menu bar, select "Options.
In the panel that appears, along the top should be a button labeled

"Send". Select this.

The panel should look something like this:

-Mail Sending Format-
o HTML           [Settings]
o Plain Text      [Settings]

-News Sending Format-
o HTML            [Settings]
o Plain Text      [Settings]

[] Save copy of sent messages in the 'Sent Items' folder
[] Include message in reply
[] Send messages immediately
[] Reply to messages using the format in which they were sent
[] Automatically complete e-mail addresses when composing

Make sure, under the heading "Mail Sending Format", that the 'Plain Text' option is checked.

Also, it's probably a good idea to uncheck the option near the bottom labeled 'Reply to messages using the format in which they were sent' so that you don't use a mime format that someone else may have sent to the list.


Next to the 'Plain Text' option under "Mail Sending Format", click on the button labeled "Settings".

You will see a panel open up with the heading "Message Format" and two basic options of MIME and Uuencode. Select the MIME option. Next to that should be a small drop down menu labeled "Encode Text Using" with 3 options in the drop down: None, Quoted Printable, and Base 64.

Select "None." And click Okay all the way back through to your email program.

Okay, I figured out how to turn off HTML/MS-Rich Text in MS Outlook 98

1) Click on the Tools option in the menu bar.
2) Click on 'Options'.
3) In the window that appears there should be a selection "Mail Sending Format" near the top. Select this.
4) You'll be able to specify 'Plain Text' here from a drop down box.
5) Right next to where you select 'Plain Text', there should be an option 'Settings...'
6) Clicking on 'Settings' will produce another panel where you can select MIME format (make sure this is selected) and, in the drop down box next to it, you'll be able to select what MIME Type you need. In this case, select 'None'.

And that should be it :)

"Cyric" adds:

If you're using MS Outlook Express:

>From menu "Tools" select "Options". Window "Options" will open. Click "Sending" card, and select "plain text" in the first frame. Click Ok button.

[Please send in similar instructions for other software!]


9.2.8. Why does my text look so funky?

Many users have a word wrap feature in their email programs.  Many


ignore this feature, and hit return at the end of lines that are

just a

little too long, so that one or two words wrap over to the next line,


by another full line of text.  It's very ugly (as you may have


If your email program supports word wrap, you should hit return only at the ends of paragraphs, just as if you were using a word processor. (It's a good idea, if the wrap margin can be changed, to set it at about 70 characters.)  Conversely, if your software does NOT support word wrap, it's a good idea to use a monospaced font, and get a good feel for where the 70-character boundary is so your lines don't get too long.


9.3. Generosity and the list

9.3.1. How should I offer a file? How should I respond to an offer?

Often. With thanks.

In more detail: The proper way to offer a file on the list is NOT to just send it to everyone, unless it's of a reasonable length AND you can include it as text directly in your message. (Even then, it's courteous to say, "I'll be posting 'The Ecology of the Tribble' tomorrow; it's rather long, so be prepared." If you can break your post into parts, that's often the best thing.)

Rather, with long posts and/or posts that can't be included as simple text, you should offer them to anyone who sends you private email. That way, you don't flood the email boxes of people who don't want or can't handle the file, and you get the information directly to the people who want it. You can also find a willing webmaster (or write your own page--you know you want to, everybody's doing it) and just post the URL with a brief note about what's there. Always, when offering a file, include your email address in the body of the message; not every reader shows your email address as the "from" address.

NOTE: There is an alternative. If your document is in .PDF or Windows .doc format, you can email it to Craig Sefton, to be made available for download from the Best of FR-L Web Site. His email address is <>. He will NOT accept any text files unless they are in the above formats.

When someone makes such an offer to the list, and you're interested, do NOT reply directly to the list. We don't want to know. Instead, send email directly to the offerer. If you don't know the email address, you can get the list archives and look for it there, or you can email someone else and ask. 

If you miss the original offer, and someone else posts that they're interested in the file (or that they've received it and it's really cool), you can email that person and ask them to forward it to you. As a last resort, send a VERY SHORT message to the list, saying "I was interested in that Tribble file but I lost the address of the person offering it. Could you email me, please?"


9.3.2. Why are attached files such bad things? I get/send them all the time, and I never have problems.

Great! Some people, however, do.

Our members who are on digest mode can't receive attached files properly; it shows up as a whole mess of gobbledygook following your email message. Some other users who get the regular list can't handle attachments either.

Apart from that, though, sending a long file to people who haven't requested it and may not be interested is just rude. There's no point in sending a Word 97 document to a user who only uses Word Perfect 2.1, and there's even less point sending a file on "Fungal Growths of the Realms" to someone who couldn't care less.


9.4. Copyright and the list.

Now, despite the encouragement and support the previous section, there is one kind of sharing we do NOT encourage: that of sharing copyrighted  materials.  This means, basically, anyone soliciting or offering scans  of modules, sourcebooks, or any other such materials, will be placed on REVIEW status, and the appropriate people notified.

9.4.1. What's a "me too"?

It's a message posted to the list that says, "Send me a copy, too!" Don't do this. Send a private message to the original poster or to the *first* person who posted to the list asking for a copy. Serves him right for not following the rules. :-)

One really annoying practice is the "Me Too" practice on a request for something that doesn't even exist.


Poster #1: "Does anyone have an extensive document detailing Drizzt's choice of footwear during his pre-teen years?"
Poster #2: "I'd love to see that too!"
Poster #3: "Me three!"
Poster #4: "So where do I get the Drizzt footwear article that everyone is talking about?"

(More generally, it's *any* short message expressing agreement or praise without any other content. These should be sent privately.)


9.4.2. Why doesn't anyone ever comment on my posts?

First, check to see if you committed one of the Deadly Sins such as *gasp* over quoting. I know that a LOT of people refuse to read such posts and simply delete them. I know from experience because I used to do this too. Another problem is that you failed to use a subject keyword, and thus very few people were able to read your post. Otherwise, damned if I know.  I get this complaint a lot, though, so it's a widespread problem.

Folks, if you read something you like, drop the poster a line and say so--you'll make her day! If you have some criticism, send it along--maybe there's an issue you hadn't considered, or maybe there's an issue SHE hadn't considered. Often good ideas can spark a message thread on the list--but equally often, good ideas sink without a trace. That's not very nice.

Posters of good ideas, however, should be aware that sometimes we can't read long messages right away. A little patience is desirable. And please don't try to get comments by insulting your readers, as at least one person has recently done. That's likely to backfire.


9.5. Matters of terminology

9.5.1. What does this abbreviation mean?

Here's a list of some of the more common ones:

AFAIK: As Far As I Know
BTW: By The Way
FWIW: For What It's Worth
HAND: Have A Nice Day
HTH: Happy To Help/Hope This Helps
IDHT*IFOM: I Don't Have The * In Front Of Me
IIRC: If I Recall Correctly
IMC: In My Campaign
IMO: In My Opinion
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO: In My Not-So-Humble Opinion
OTOH: On The Other Hand
RSE/RAE: Realms Shaking Even/Realms Altering Event
RTFM: Read The Effing Manual
WRT: With Regard To
YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary
PHB: Player's Handbook
DMG: Dungeon Master Guide
TOM: Tome Of Magic
C*H: Complete * Handbook
CBO*: Complete Book Of *
PO: Player's Option
C&T: Combat & Tactics
S&P: Skills & Powers
Sp&M: Spells & Magic
HLC: High-Level Campaigns
FRA: Forgotten Realms Adventures
F&A: Faiths & Avatars
P&P: Powers & Pantheons
DD: Demihuman Deities
ESS: Empires of the Shining Sea
LOI: Lands of Intrigue
DOTU: Drow of the Underdark
DDGttU: Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark
COTH: Code of the Harpers
COTD: Cult of the Dragon
ROZK: Ruins of Zhentil Keep
ROMD: Ruins of Myth Drannor
FOMD: Fall of Myth Drannor
ROU(2): Ruins of Undermountain (II)
SotM Secrets of the Magister
SoFS: Sea of Fallen Stars

Many other abbreviations are clear from context. If you don't know, ask!


9.5.2. What does "canon" mean?

Tom Rinschler  explained:

When mentioned in this list, "canon" refers to information that is in official products released by TSR (previously) and WotC (now), and only such information. The opposite of "canon" is "custom", information that individual players have made up for their own or others' use. That Elminster is a 29th level mage living in a tower in Shadowdale is "canon". That he likes to wear the Symbul's underwear would definitely be "custom" information.  :-)

Jenn Millington added:

Canon references things which have been written and are considered OFFICIAL FR references.  Such as modules, accessories, novels (although the last is dubious in many people's eyes *G*)


9.5.3. So, are novels canon or aren't they?

Jim Butler gives the official (or canon) answer  ;)

Everything that bears the Forgotten Realms logo is considered canon. Where two sources contradict one another, a decision needs to be made as to which one should be followed. For game products, that would mean you'd follow a game product over a novel. Later products have precedence over older products.


9.5.4. What's a spoiler?

Chris Garner replied:

Spoiler: This is information from a novel/module/accessory that you may or may not want to know.  For example, you probably don't want to know how Greenwood's latest novel ends if you haven't read it yet.  It's a courtesy that all considerate posters use when discussing new material.  Notice I said 'considerate'.

Jenn Millington added:

A spoiler warning is used to indicate that you are going to reference something (normally out of a novel) which could ruin the plot for other people.  So for instance if you were going to talk about a new book (completely fictional, guys) where Elminster dies suddenly, you'd write "spoiler" and leave about 16 lines so people don't accidentally read this and get mad at you.  Those of us who take spoilers very seriously, normally have a supply of boiling oil on hand for torture sessions *G*


9.5.5. What's wrong with saying "T$R"?

When TSR was cracking down on web sites in violation of their online policy, some people starting using "T$R" as a way of protesting their supposed money-grubbing ways. It's considered VERY rude by every TSR staffer I've spoken to, and at least one has said he refuses to answer any email or Usenet post containing the offending term.

Some people have said they mean the $ to represent the dragon in the TSR shield. We consider that an extremely weak story.


9.5.6. What's a munchkin?

It's a little guy who sings "Follow the Yellow Brick Road".

It's also a derogatory term for the type of gamers also known as min/maxers or, sometimes, powergamers.  Munchkins tend toward the "Monty Haul" style of gaming, wanting lots of magic items, lots of treasure, and lots of everything else except danger to their PCs.  Many of the Knights of the Dinner Table are munchkins.

Min/maxers are slightly different; they figure our how to tweak the system to get the maximal benefit for their characters.  Powergamers may be either of these types, or may simply be gamers who enjoy playing more powerful characters.  It's a fine distinction; just to be safe, avoid all three terms until you're more comfortable with the nuances.


9.5.7. How can I post a review to the list?

Easily. Just send a message to the list; you should title it with the keyword REVIEW, ex: "Review: Empires of the Shining Sea". If you plan on referencing DM-only aspects of the product, you should put the word "SPOILERS" in the subject line, warn about spoilers again in the first line, and leave at least fifteen lines of blank space before you actually start the review.

Remember that the best reviews give specific information about what was and wasn't done properly, not just a general impression. A review which only says "Ruins of Waterdeep was the best thing since D&D was created!" or "Ruins of Waterdeep should be recycled for toilet paper", while evocative, isn't very helpful to the reader who wants to know what, precisely, you liked or didn't like about the product.


*9.6. How many users are there, anyway?

As of the last time I checked, we have 1220 subscribers. They represent most of the major three-letter superdomains (com,edu,net,gov,org,mil) and the following country codes (and please correct and complete this list by emailing me privately):

.at  Austria
.au  Australia
.be  Belgium
.br  Brazil
.ca  Canada
.ch  Switzerland
.co  Colombia
.de  Germany (Deutschland)
.dk  Denmark
.ee  Estonia
.es  Spain
.fi  Finland
.fr  France
.gr  Greece
.hr  Croatia (Hrvatska)
.il  Israel
.is  Iceland
.it  Italy
.jp  Japan
.mx  Mexico
.my  Malaysia
.nl  the Netherlands (Holland)
.no  Norway
.nz  New Zealand
.pe  Peru
.ph  Philippines
.pl  Poland
.pt  Portugal
.se  Sweden
.sg  Singapore
.tr  Turkey
.uk  the United Kingdom
.us  the United States
.yu  Yugoslavia
.za  South Africa

[In any case, although the official language for the FR list is English, there are a LOT of non-native English speakers on this list. Please be forgiving of any odd phrasings, spelling, punctuation, or just plain old typos.]


9.7 .Who are the Realms List moderator and monitors?

The Realms-L moderator (also called the list owner) is Jason Hatter <>.   He oversees the list and sets list policies. 

The Realms-L monitors help the moderator enforce the list rules and policies.  The monitors are:

Jeff Thetford <>

Rob Chronister <>

The monitors act with the full support and sanction of the moderator at all times.


9.8. LISTSERV commands

9.8.1. How do I switch to/from digest mode?

The digest form of Realms-L collects messages every so often into one big text file and distributes just that one big file to the people who have turned on "digest mode" in their list options.  To turn this on or off, send one of the following commands to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM:

SET REALMS-L DIGEST    (to turn on the digest)

SET REALMS-L NODIGEST  (to turn off the digest)


9.8.2. The Digest is too big!  Is there anything else I can do?

You're in luck, there is.  Send the following command to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM:

SET REALMS-L INDEX (to get the index)

SET REALMS-L NOINDEX (to shut off the index).

This ends up sending you a large message much like the Digest, with one major difference.  You can choose which message you want to receive, based on sender and subject line.  This allows you to get only the threads you want to read, in the order they were sent, and without other, "boring" threads between.


9.8.3. Can I switch my list subscription to a new email account?

Yep. Use:

CHANGE realms-l newemail.address

This will switch it from the address it's currently receiving it at to the new address, once the new address is confirmed as active.  It's pretty neat.

Just as a little side note and clarification, this command needs to be sent from the original email address and not from the one which you want to change to.


  You are currently receiving messages at ABC@XYZ.COM.

  You wish to change your email address to 123@789.NET.

  Simply send the command "CHANGE realms-l 123@789.NET" from your ABC@XYZ.COM mailing account (as opposed to sending the command from your 123@789.NET account).


9.8.4. What other LISTSERV commands are there?

To get a comprehensive list of LISTSERV commands, send the command "INFO REFCARD" to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM.


9.9. How can I tell if the List is experiencing a temporary downage?


Also, try sending a message to LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM with the command "thanks" (without the quotes) in the body. If you don't get a prompt response, the server is down.


10.   Other resources

10.1. Official sites

10.1.1.Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast has an excellent web site, at

Of particular interest is the Forgotten Realms page on this site:

Among other things, it contains a large archive of Dragon and Dungeon articles, many freebies of interest to gamers, chat rooms and message boards, and a product schedule. It also has a complete list of all products EVER released.

Also see for Realms By Night by Steve Schend, Eric Boyd's Mintiper's Chapbook, and Ed Greenwood's Elminster Speaks series of continuing features.

Definitely bookmark all of these pages; they're worth frequent visits.


10.1.2. How can I keep up with the changes at the Wizards web site?

Jim Butler answers:

If you're interested in seeing a run-down on the changes on the website, as well as other updates, subscribe to the WIZINFO mailing list by sending a message to with the words "subscribe wizinfo-L <your name>" in the body of the message.


10.1.3. MPGN

MPGN has an ftp site that contains a staggering amount of files uploaded by your fellow gamers over the years. The main AD&D URL is, while the FR section is located at Among many other helpful documents, the FR area has archives of the old Realms mailing list.

It's worth an afternoon of browsing the MPGN site to ferret out all the goodies they have, many not available elsewhere.


10.1.4. Where are the archives of Realms-L?

The archives for all of the mailing lists are now available. You can review previous postings by visiting: - ListsAlphabetical

and then selecting your favorite mailing list.

For the realms-L archive, see


10.2. Other web sites of interest

10.2.1. Where's the "best of FR-L" web page?

My understanding is that this site is dead and that Maggie Vining, one of the monitors of D&D-L, has taken over the site from Craig and it has a new URL.


10.2.2. What else is out there (WWW)?

Too many to list here... Check out the FR Webring at;list

Also, check out:

It's a fairly good site put together by Jason Redfern ( It contains the content formerly available at the forgotten realms zone maintained by Mark Oliva.


*10.2.3. What else is out there (mailing lists)?

Wizards of the Coast, Inc. supports Internet mailing lists for many of its products. To subscribe to any of the lists below, send an email request to Your request should follow this format:

     SUBSCRIBE [list name] [your real name]

     Be sure your message doesn't contain a signature or other non-command data.

REALMS-L                         This Forgotten Realms Mailing List
DND-L                                Dungeons and Dragons
WIZINFO                           Changes at the WotC website
AL-QADIM-L                     Al Qadim Discussion List
BIRTHRIGHT-L                  Birthright Discussion List
DARK-SUN-L                    Dark Sun
DRAGONLANCE-L           Dragonlance
GAMMAWORLD-L           The Gamma World Discussion List
GREYHAWK-L                  Greyhawk
MYSTARA-L                      Mystara
PLANESCAPE-L                Planescape
RAVENLOFT-L                  The Ravenloft(TM) Discussion List
SPELLJAMMER-L              Spelljammer
ALTERNITY-L                    The Alternity Discussion List
DARKMATTER-L               Dark Matter Discussion List
STARDRIVE-L                    Star*Drive Discussion List
DRAGONDICE-L               Dragon Dice Discussion List
SPELLFIRE-L                      Spellfire mailing list
TSRANNOUNCE-L            The TSR Announcement Mailing List
TAOGM-L                           The Art Of Game Mastering discussion list

There's also a non-Wizards of the Coast AD&D mailing list; send email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UTA.EDU with the command "subscribe adnd-l [Your Name]", reply quickly to the verification message, and then read the document you get VERY closely.

Yahoo groups also has some useful groups. See

I've used it with good success both as a list member and list creator. Poke around, and you might find some lists to your tastes.

For the brave at heart, there are at least two relevant Usenet newsgroups: and; if you aren't familiar with news, ask your Internet provider to help you set it up. WARNING: The newsgroups have much higher volume than this list, and they don't have monitors to keep them on-topic; some judicious pruning is advised.


10.2.4. What happened to the Realms-Projects list?

It merged back into the main list. See the discussion of the Projects keyword.


10.2.5. Where can I downloadable info on the Wizards site?

There are lots of 2nd edition AD&D materials available at

Some FR material is at


10.2.6. Where can I locate out of print products?

Many out of print products are now available for free download from the Wizards website. Many others are available for a nominal fee.

The free downloads can be found at

The list of for-sale D&D downloads can be found on the Wizards of the Coast on-line store site. The specific page is:

For a FAQ on the classic downloads, see


10.2.7. What if I want a paper copy of an out of print product?

First bet: Canvass the local gaming stores, and ASK; many times they have a couple of things in the back that never sold, but that they haven't gotten around to returning. In addition, many will have used game products for sale. (I picked up two classic AD&D modules for $3 apiece this way.)

Second bet: Hit the used bookstores. Often they'll have a role-playing game section, and patient thumbing-through can reap any manner of rewards.

Third bet: There are several online merchants who specialize in used products.
[an online "auction house" which often has FR material available]

Last bet: If everything else fails, advertise. A single post on the Realms list, simply stating what you're looking for, is OK (request that all replies go directly to you, please!). You might have luck posting a message in the newsgroup, too.


10.2.8. Where can I download the Espruar/Dethek/Thorass/Common Tongue fonts?

The Espruar and Dethek fonts can be obtained from . The file is called and is located in the /Gaming/Fonts directory. The Thorass font was made by Catherine Keene and can be downloaded from her King's Tears Site at:

Mark Oliva has put a good set of FR fonts together at


11. Why didn't you include...?

Most likely because I didn't think of it. Please email me(*) with corrections, suggestions, complaints, and (dare I hope) praise. This is your FAQ, not mine; I can't make it better without your help.

(*) "me" means Tom Cullen ( or Jason Hatter (, though messages to the monitors may be appropriate as well.

Thanks in advance.