Monday, April 07, 2014

F is for Faerûn

Of course, I'm going to do Faerûn. I'm even going to hunt down that little caret over the u.

I've talked about Faerûn and the Forgotten Realms before, since I have been two parts midwife and two parts sidekick in bringing Ed Greenwood's original campaign to the greater world. I think I mentioned before that the planet the world is Abeir-Toril, which is a combination of my own home campaign's name (Toril) and the word "Abeir", which has no history before its creation but served only to put the definition of the world at the front of the Cyclopedia of the Realms. I'd like to say that it was named on a Friday, and I was thinking about getting "A beer" after work, but that would be growing the story more than it deserves. It was plucked from the air.

And it is interesting that years later, the company decided that there were TWO worlds, Abeir and Toril, which they then merged back together to form the 4E version of the world. There are parts of that particular campaign that I thought were smartly done, and parts that made me roll my eyes. The former I will gladly share with you, while for the latter I require that you buy me a beer (see where my mind is going, here?).

The original Realms map, taken from Anthony Larme's website.
Yes, that's me without a beard. And with a thin white tie. It was the 80s.
But I digress. Where did the other names come from? Forgotten Realms is our name for the land, since its inhabitants have clearly not forgotten about it. And indeed, in the "real" world of the 70s and 80s, the idea of a land where monsters battled, heroes lived, and magic was commonplace would seem a little forgotten (In the modern age, where we have Harry Potter movies and former Magic: The Gathering players are bitcoin billionaires, not so much). But to the inhabitants, the largest unit the natives thought of was continental, and that continent was Faerûn.

I had no idea where Ed got the name so I asked him. He in turn replied "I just liked the sound of the word as it came into my head (as a fantasy equivalent of "Home"); "Fair-OON") and then I made the spelling more Celtic and less Disney and there I was:} ). A lot of names come to me that way. Nowadays, with the Net, I've learned to type them in so as to discover if they mean "naughty thing" in some language unfamiliar to me, or are already the name of a district in New Delhi (or just Delhi, or something)." 

And there you have it. The origin of Faerûn. And you think you don't get anything out of this blog. 

More later,