Thursday, February 2, 2017

Literary Sources for Farlong and Away

Having decided that I will develop a NWN2 campaign in the Forgotten Realms to take place in 1345 DR, one of the first things to do to allow some authenticity is to select appropriate literary sources to draw upon.

The initial source of the idea for telling this tale is the NWN2 Official Campaign conversations. They provide some hints and potential backstory, some information (or could it be misinformation?), and establishing a conversational tone for the characters. Both Daeghun and Duncan have enough conversation in the OC to establish their general personality traits and it is reasonable to try to match that as much as possible. Mining the conversations using the NWN2 Toolset is easily done since the Windows version of the game includes both the toolset and all of the game areas can be opened and browsed.

Here are some lines from Daeghun's conversation 11_daeghun in module 1100_West_Harbor:

That shard is one of a pair. Both were found after the battle that destroyed West Harbor long ago.
My half-brother, Duncan, and I asked a mage in Neverwinter to examine the shards for enchantments, but he found nothing except a faint magical aura, a residue of the battle.
And so I kept one shard, and the other I gave to Duncan. Not long after I returned to West Harbor I sealed it away in the ruins. 
So to speak. It would be more appropriate to say that I have a half-brother... Duncan, like Bevil, has many faults that would make it wise not to rely on him or call him kin.
It was  long ago - and it was a battle that did not concern West Harbor, but the village was caught up in it, like many such villages in the Mere of Dead Men. 
We knew little about what had sparked the conflict. Demons were involved, led by a warlock of great power - we only knew him as the King of Shadows.

Perusing the conversations of other NPC's including Amie, Bevil, Tarmas, and of course Flinn and Duncan, provide a wealth of information and provide other mysteries to solve, such as the origin of Amie Fern's parents.

While the conversations are a primary source, I do not intend to take everything every character said at face value. In particular these lines of Daeghun about Esmerelle are going to be reinterpreted somewhat:

Your mother was spun of a different silk, and maintained her vitality in spite of loss. When I settled in West Harbor with my Shayla - she would visit us from time to time.
A heart can heal over time - I had become content. One day when Esmerelle returned she was thick with child - you. Those were... good times.
Before you ask - she never mentioned any details about your father. And in my homeland, we respect such silence.

Esmerelle returning to West Harbor "thick with child" means that Esmerelle's race and the race of the OC Knight Captain are biologically linked. If the Knight Captain is a full elf or dwarf or halfling or gnome then Esmerelle must be the same. If the Knight Captain is human or of mixed race - half-elf or half-orc - then Esmerelle must or could be human. Since I have a reasonable and interesting back-story for Esmerelle's origin based on other Forgotten Realms sources, and that origin requires her to be human, I am going to say that for reasons known only to himself Daeghun is hiding the truth and that Esmerelle came back carrying a child, rather than pregnant with one. Considering Daeghun's personality, that he lies to his foster child is not that hard to believe anyway.

Other sources I am using to construct this campaign are several of the Dungeons & Dragons sourcebooks.  The primary sourcebooks I am using are:

The Grand History of the Realms by Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood. This is a wonderful text for following key events and characters through the thousands of years of Faerun history from -35000 DR to 1385 DR when the Weave collapsed ushering in the 4th edition ruleset.

Elminster's Forgotten Realms by Ed Greenwood. This tome supposedly written by the famous Harper wizard Elminster Aumar details the lifestyles of the inhabitants of the realms as well as providing information about languages, religious worship, clothing, food and drink, and much more.

The Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide 4th edition, is a game supplement that provides some information about the areas, cities, and people who survived the world-changing events of 1385 DR.

A number of other official D&D sourcebooks will likely be used as references, including:

  • Lands of Intrigue
  • Cormyr
  • Volo's Guide to Cormyr
  • Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast
  • City of Splendors: Waterdeep
  • Volo's Guide to Waterdeep
  • Skullport
  • Lords of Darkness

The Forgotten Realm wiki at is a useful online source of realm lore. The information in it is intended to be canon as it is taken from the published sourcebooks.

Another online source is which has several compendiums mostly about Faerun between the start of the Time of Troubles and the collapse of the Weave. These are not canon, but provide some useful information.

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