Part of the problem is I am so connected to the D&D world that when I'm reading these books I'm thinking of them in game terms. Wrong thing to do, I know-
Back in the 2e-4e days it TSR/WotC occasionally would publish (usually in Dragon Magazine) stat blocks for characters in the novels. And of course there are the Heroes Lorebook, Villains Lorebook, etc. sourcebooks that do the same.
And Elaine Cunningham has said that when Jeff Grubb was overseeing things in the late '80s through mid-'90s, it was routine to check the events of the novels against what a PC or NPC with that class, level, items etc. would be capable of! Writers could, essentially, fudge the rolls for characters, but they couldn't have characters accomplish things they wouldn't be capable of in a game session.
#019 Prophet of Moonshae by Douglas Niles (Druidhome Trilogy Book 1)
Read 21/10/19 to 24/10/19
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So, the test begins- this is a bit of a stinker, don't get me wrong there's some nice action here and there but... meh. The Moonshae isles are beset by storms (Talos the Destroyer is out to get 'em) and so the kingdoms need gold to keep the Ffolk fed- King Kendrick is reliant on Earl Blackstone's gold mines, and to keep digging Blackstone needs to destroy a Moonwell. Got that- we move on, (very) swiftly mind you- Kendrick gets on a boat bound for the Sword Coast, Queen Robyn (Super-Druid) gets visited by the Nameless Priest (aka Malawar (Malware?) = Sinioth), the Priest of Talos slips Robyn some super-strength cocoa (or similar) and the Queen slumbers (more-or-less) for the rest of the novel.
So, Princess Alicia (beautiful, strong and fierce- every leading male in the story falls for her) is sent to deal with Earl Blackstone, along for the ride is Tavish (the Bard from the previous trilogy) and Keane her tutor (and as it turns out a very high level Wizard, and in love with Alicia- told you). The Moonwell is a mess, as is the land surrounding- Earl Blackstone is a bore (at best) and a pantomime villain at worst. Oh, and the Earl keeps getting visit by a spectral Doomsayer the Prophet (from the title), the last time the fellow rocked up one of his sons took his own life.
Princess Alicia decides that the Moonwell is for keeping, so the Nameless Priest (Sinioth) meets with Blackstone and sends an Iron Golem out to get the Princess. Keane casts Rock to Mud (and then back again- foolish) and sinks the monster, the Golem briefly escapes but soon after is properly sunk- and the Moonwell comes alive, the earthmother goddess is coming back.
Congrats, you made it this far- great, we're about 25 pages in... not really but you get my drift, there are tons more characters to get going on-
Deidre- Princess Alicia's moody goth (initially) sister who later sleeps with the Nameless Priest (who begins the evening looking like Justin Bieber and ends it looking like Montgomery Burns). Deidre, after reading a few books (from the library?) and fingers-crossed pledging herself to Talos becomes a high level Sorcerer (in maybe a tenday or so).
There's also Blackstone's two sons- Gwyeth (son and heir) and Hanrald (outsider hero- in love with Alicia natch). Gwyeth has inherited his father's pantomime villain traits- later he dies, no-one mourns him- oddly not even his dad who makes it clear earlier that Gwyeth is his great hope. Hanrald charges about a bit on a horse, being brave.
Blackstone also states earlier in the piece that his kingdom (being on the border) will suffer if the Northmen and Fflok go to war, then he and the Nameless Priest do all they can to get the two kingdoms to go to war. There's a lot of saying (or thinking) one thing briefly and then doing the exact opposite.
There's also Gotha, a badass Dracolich- not nice but in the end he's nullified in seconds by the good guys- mostly Newt, so not that badass after all. There are a bunch of Northmen, led by Prince Brandon (in love with Alicia), Yak the Firbolg is back (with friends- they don't last long), Newt the faerie dragon gives the good guys a hoard of artefacts to play with (and holds the Dracolich off while the artefacts power up). Oh, and the artefacts are so overpowered you figure that any of the main PCs could be replaced by a couple of farmers armed with spades, and the good guys would still stand a chance against the forces of Talos.
The threat throughout is less than- the writing's nice but pretty much the good guys have most stuff under control, or else some twist of fate always thwarts the bad folk- man, if the Nameless Priest could just catch-a-break. Also why are the bad guys just mostly idiots, the Nameless Priest takes years to make his Iron Golem, Keane sinks it under thirty seconds. The Nameless Priest choses idiots to do his bidding- Blackstone (and family) and then spends all his time converting Deidre (the goth princess) to the dark side only to have her smack him in the chops and disrupt his big showdown at the Moonwell.
So, don't read this one- I've done it for you, go and do something much more interesting instead- maybe, cut your toe-nails, or do the ironing.
Oh and the dogs are back- Canthus' brood maybe.
Oh and the Sahuagin are back too.
Oh and at the end King Kendrick's ship has gone missing/sunk- last page, here comes the sequel.
Only two more in the trilogy to go. Yay!
Do I have to read the Dragonlance novel Fistandantilus Reborn to get the full effect of the Lost Gods series? Because if I don't have to... well, I'm not going to- it's a Dragonlance novel, not my bag at all.
Also a follow up question, the Elminster series-
1) Elminster: The Making of a Mage
2) Elminster in Myth Drannor
3) The Temptation of Elminster
4) Elminster in Hell
5) Elminster's Daughter
The other two-
The Annotated Elminster, &
are just anthologies (sorta) of 1-5 with a few extra notes, is that correct?
Apologies, just trying to do the job properly.
And very much appreciating the help.