Realmslore Archive | 7/30/2010
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Elminster Must Die! #22-28
by Ed Greenwood

Some call him Elminster the Damned.
To others, he is Elminster the Doomed.
Many believe he has died, and is now a roaming ghost—or that
fell wizards borrow his name to drench it in blame for their villainies.
Others believe he lives still, a man both mad and evil, and have
taken up the cry “Elminster must die!”
(Elminster usually counts himself as part of that last group.)

The Year of the Ageless One had brought early and warm spring to Shadowdale, an endless parade of short but drenching rains with muggy days between.

So begins Elminster Must Die!, the debut 4th Edition appearance of the famed Sage of Shadowdale. As a preview of the forthcoming novel, we're pleased to offer the following Realmslore—courtesy of Ed Greenwood himself—teasing each chapter (including each chapter's opening line).

Look for further Realmslore in the following weeks, leading up to Elminster Must Die!'s August 3rd release (just in time for Gen Con).

Chapter Twenty-Two

Hands Clasped Over a Decanter

The best deals I ever made in all my long life
Were not signed on parchment and thrice-checked
By sober, world-wise merchants.
No. They were all, look you, hands clasped over a decanter.

Ammarantus Gaerld,
Twoscore Mansions and Counting:
A Successful Merchant’s Life
published in the Year of the
Risen Elfkin

The two door guards were enthusiastically discussing their chances with the prettiest of the junior chambermaids when the bent old man in ragged clothes shuffled between them, gave them both a pleasant nod, and stepped out of the palace into the night.

Chapter Twenty-Three

To Dream a Little Dream of Being King

Him? Fear not, he’s gone off with eyes aflame,
Chest to pound, his laughter to make rafters ring,
As he prepares once more for his favorite game:
To dream a little dream of being king.

said by Asult the Cobbler
in Act II, Scene II of the play
Mad Mordran’s Fate
anonymously chapbook published
in the Year of the Dauntless Dwarves

Gaskur’s face was carefully expressionless as he admitted the three tardy nobles, but he led them up the back ways of Stormserpent Towers in almost undignified haste.

Chapter Twenty-Four

A Storm in Shadowdale

These signs I have learned to watch for, and beware:
Fires atop Ghaethluntar,
Ships sailing the skies over the Moonsea,
Beholders sighted in the Ghost Holds,
Black-hued elves seen anywhere,
And a Storm in Shadowdale.

Nestrel Mharrokh,
Sage of Saerloon,
Old Pages from an Old Sage
published in the Year of the
Elven Swords Returned

It had been a glorious day in Shadowdale, but the sun was lowering in the deep forest of the hills around the dale.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Well Earned

This crown? These scars?
This pegleg? The hand of steel?
The dark, endless hunger to kill everyone around me?
Well earned, Sardusk. Every one of them, well earned.

said by Garangor, King Darkheart
in Act III, Scene I of the play
Darkheart’s Fall, and the Price of It
by Amrathgus Taerl, Bard of Daerlun
published in the great-book
A Belt of Stars: Plays for Players
in the Year of the Splendors Burning

Marlin poured himself another glass from his favorite decanter and nodded approvingly.

Chapter Twenty-Six

Driving Wizards to Drink

Wizards can rule a battlefield,
Pry into minds across a realm,
And find traitors, but enslave all in doing so.
So I make it my business
To do what most warriors do:
Keep safe our own wizards,
And butcher all others.
When war makes not their spells needful,
Know that the realm can be kept quite safe
By driving wizards to drink.

Markuld Amryntur,
Twenty Summers a Dragon:
One Soldier’s Tale
published in the Year of the
Splendors Burning

There were more guards than usual stationed about the palace—and no wonder, with the council almost upon Suzail, a flamboyant riot of nobles freshly arrived in the city, and more lords on the way.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Blood on the Rooftops

Blood on the rooftops, you say?
Stlarn them! Why can’t they fight down here
On the honest cobbles, like all the other
Bloodthirsty idiots?
Why do our younglings always have to be different?

said by Delgar The Old Warrior
in Act I, Scene I of the play
War Comes to Spanglamar
by Imbrel Hawksoun, Sage of Assur
published in his great-book
Hawksoun’s Many Musings
in the Year of the Secret

“I thank you, Lord Delcastle,” Amarune murmured gravely, sliding into Arclath’s arms to look into his eyes from very near, expecting him to want at least a kiss, “and remain mindful of the debt I owe you.”

Chapter Twenty-Eight

I Used to be a Wizard

Long ago, when the Realms was magic,
And magic was the Realms,
When Our Lady of Mystery struck awe
Into every heart, and a mightier spell lurked
Behind every mighty spell,
Ah, then, lad, was when
I used to be a wizard.
So save me your scorn,
Your sneers of disbelief,
For I was hurling down castles
When your revered grandsire
Was still learning one end of a cow from the other.

Murlanth Stormspells
Archwizard of Athkatla
Murlanth’s Book of Elder Magic:
When Mystra Ruled Us All
published in the Year of the
Advancing Shadows

This was another alley, but it reeked almost as much as the one he’d left.

About the Author

Ed Greenwood is the man who unleashed the Forgotten Realms on an unsuspecting world. He works in libraries, writes fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and even romance stories (sometimes all in the same novel), but he is still happiest churning out Realmslore, Realmslore, and more Realmslore. There are still a few rooms in his house with space left to pile up papers in ...

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