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D&D General I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #202 The Howling Delve by Jaleigh Johnson (Dungeons 2)

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
What to say, it's a book of short stories encompassing the swiftly played out actions of various heroes in various location. Eleven stories to be exact, each one approx. 30 pages long, each gives an insight in to the people, the place and the moment. So, it's good- not great, and not my preferred story telling medium- the novel. Very easy to read, I gobbled it up.

It's fairly self-evident, but most of those stories (I don't think all of them, though I'm not sure) are essentially spotlights for characters that appear in other novels. Christie Golden's short story, for example, is about Jander Sunstar, who's the main character of the first Ravenloft novel, Vampire of the Mists. Artus Cimber, from James Lowder's short story, is the main character from The Ring of Winter, etc.
 

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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
#027 Canticle by RA Salvatore (Cleric 1)
Read 18/11/19 to 19/11/19


Forgotten Realms Canticle (Cleric 1) a 30.jpg

I really liked this one, hence the fact it only took me two days to read it- although, truth be told, I had time to kill on both days, still the inclination to read on was almost too much to bare.

That said the first 150 pages, which is quite a chunk, I get that they were very interesting but not a rip-roaring read- as in there's not much in the way of action, plenty of intrigue and fun facts to learn about a variety of folk. This book is great for that, at least for me- many of you reading this may be much better versed in the ways of the Realms.

So, the bad guys are Aballister (Wizard), Barjin (Cleric and more) & Druzil (Imp & more) who are all adherents of Talona, the Lady of Poison; there are others but for the most part we stick with these three guys. They're nasty, conniving and all the things you want your bad guys to be. Aballister thinks he's the big "I am" in the group but it's a powerplay, and Barjin is in to scoop the top spot. Druzil, the scheming Imp, is happy to play the long game, at the beginning he calls Aballister Master, but would happily swap allegiances at a moments notice.

In the 'good' corner we have Cadderly, who is suitably Insider/Outsider, with just a touch of genius- he's like no other, some would call him unique. He lives and works at the Edificant Library with a bunch of other clerics of Deneir (& Oghma etc.). Cadderly's true love is Danica- and so she's going to also be playing the part of hero, also along for the ride is Newander, the Druid, and double-trouble from the Bouldershoulder brothers (Ivan and Pikel) who are all-Dwarf.

"Oo Oi", As Pikel more often than not remarks.

The bad guys- Barjin, and later Druzil (see below), break in to the catacombs beneath the library and soon after release the Most Fatal Horror (or else Cadderly does, by accident (he's duped)) thereafter things start to go badly wrong- as the Poison/Curse works its course. Which is beautiful behold, if I could run this as a scenario tomorrow, well... I would.

After the Poison/Curse comes the adventure in to the catacombs, and that's all good- the finale is just triumphant, and the adventures of Cadderly, Ivan and Pikel are glorious to behold- funny, daft and D&D. It's a winner, but that's not the bit for me...

The best bit comes about halfway through the book when Druzil the Imp is sent by Aballister to spy on Barjin who has set up shop (evil-temple style shop, natch) in the catacombs beneath the library. Barjin thinks he has summoned the Imp, he doesn't know that Druzil is Aballister's pawn (which he really isn't).

Anyway... so, Barjin needs to sell the deal to Druzil, to convince the Imp to come and work for him he lays out his diabolical scheme, and in the style of a estate agent (US= Realtor) shows the Imp around his new home base pointing out all the best/worst aspects of his evil abode. Hot and cold running Mummy, Nice! Fire resistant Zombie janitor- t'riffic! Army of Skelly-bobs, smashing! Glyphs to die for, Cool!

It is wonderful behold, and I thought the N/PC just cast a spell- Summon Whatnot and the Lower Planes guy just showed up and got on with the evil chores, oh no- there's a deal to be done here, it seems the ideal Wizard (Lower Planes) Summoner actually needs to be some sort of cross between Sauron and a second hand car salesman. I am buying that for a dollar- believe me when I say that a version of that entire activity is going to making it to a game near me as soon as possible.

READ!

Oh, and am I on the path to discovering that RA Salvatore is the go to guy for this range of novels, it's starting to feels this way?
 


I despise Drizzt and his the great power of Gary-Stu wish fulfillment that his writer instills in him. However, I remember reading this series back in the day and finding myself genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

One thing I will give Salvatore is his ability to write dwarves. Truly, his characterization is inspirational. I remember laughing during one of the Drizzt novels about how Bruenor was over in the temple preparing for Wulfgar and Catti-Brie's wedding and testing the holy water (i.e. Ale). Ivan and Pikel were wonderfully hilarious, almost slap-stick, throughout the Cleric's Quintet (I particularly love Pikel...Dwarves couldn't be Druids in 2nd edition, IIRC, but dammit, he wanted to be one!!!! As Pikel would say, "Doo-dad!" as he would cast "Sha-lah-lah" (Shillelagh))
 

tglassy

Adventurer
I despise Drizzt and his the great power of Gary-Stu wish fulfillment that his writer instills in him. However, I remember reading this series back in the day and finding myself genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it.


That’s what i hear most about Drizzt. Everyone loves to hate him, but almost always enjoy reading about him. Is it possible he really isn’t the Gary Stu people put him up to be? He’s a genuinely fun character, he makes mistakes, he has issues, yeah he always comes out on top, and I find I disagree with him more as he ages, but he’s a fine character.

I think it’s more that people like to hate on something that’s universally popular, more than there’s anything wrong with his character. If you really despised him, you wouldn’t have enjoyed reading about him.
 

Len

Prodigal Member
My impression is that Drizzt is disliked because everyone wanted to play him as a PC, not so much as a judgement on the original character.
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
I despise Drizzt and his the great power of Gary-Stu wish fulfillment that his writer instills in him. However, I remember reading this series back in the day and finding myself genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

One thing I will give Salvatore is his ability to write dwarves. Truly, his characterization is inspirational. I remember laughing during one of the Drizzt novels about how Bruenor was over in the temple preparing for Wulfgar and Catti-Brie's wedding and testing the holy water (i.e. Ale). Ivan and Pikel were wonderfully hilarious, almost slap-stick, throughout the Cleric's Quintet (I particularly love Pikel...Dwarves couldn't be Druids in 2nd edition, IIRC, but dammit, he wanted to be one!!!! As Pikel would say, "Doo-dad!" as he would cast "Sha-lah-lah" (Shillelagh))

Don't tell me too much, I've just started 'In Sylvan Shadows', and the Dwarves have shipped out of the libarary- I didn't know they were coming back.

My thing is- I don't know diddly about any of these books, so they're all (well... almost all) a grand surprise.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
That’s what i hear most about Drizzt. Everyone loves to hate him, but almost always enjoy reading about him. Is it possible he really isn’t the Gary Stu people put him up to be? He’s a genuinely fun character, he makes mistakes, he has issues, yeah he always comes out on top, and I find I disagree with him more as he ages, but he’s a fine character.

I think it’s more that people like to hate on something that’s universally popular, more than there’s anything wrong with his character. If you really despised him, you wouldn’t have enjoyed reading about him.

Yeah, I get that- my friend Stu thinks he's Drizzt (sometimes in real life) see this post.

What I actually dislike, I have discovered, is Stu's obsession rather than the Drow Ranger- I found that out by reading the books.

Just to make clear, I don't think Drizzt is the ultimo novel born hero, I just really like the books about him- or at least the ones that I have read so far.

I'm a Dwarf man, myself- I likes me a bit of Bruenor, and Ivan & Pikel were sure-fire hits.

Cheers goonalan
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
My impression is that Drizzt is disliked because everyone wanted to play him as a PC, not so much as a judgement on the original character.

I've seen a story floating around on some other forums, about how when Salvatore was at some convention, this teenager comes up and glances at a Drizzt poster that's set up in Salvatore's booth. The kid rolls his eyes and snarks, "a drow ranger who fights with two scimitars. How original."

Salvatore just grins and says "thanks!"
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
I've seen a story floating around on some other forums, about how when Salvatore was at some convention, this teenager comes up and glances at a Drizzt poster that's set up Salvatore's booth. The kid rolls his eyes and snarks, "a drow ranger who fights with two scimitars. How original."

Salvatore just grins and says "thanks!"

You'd want that to be true.
 

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