The Stormtalons Blog

The Archmage Answers Your Stormtalons Questions!

** Thank you for joining the Archmage in this first ever Stormtalons chat!  He had a great time and thanks you all deeply.  The Archmage had to leave at 4, but he leaves you in the hands of Stormtalons Lore Guardian, Cat Jarrett, who will answer all remaining questions. We have many announcements and cover reveals (!) coming your way on August 15! Keep an eye out on this space for more news and juicy lore bits!**

From 2 – 4 pm ET today, July 31, the Archmage himself, Mr. Ed Greenwood, will be monitoring the comment thread for this post. He’ll be hitting the REFRESH button frantically in order to catch all your questions and curiosities about this exciting new epic fantasy story setting.

So, post your questions in the comment thread below! What do you want to know? What do you want to see? Share your curiosities and The Archmage will do his best to assuage your thirst for knowledge.

Discover the adventures and dangers that await you in the Stormtalons!


49 comments

  1. Are there “elf” friendly areas or do they always have to be disguised.

    I do like that they seem to be as varied in personality as humans.

    I am also confused by the magic a bit.

    Also do they always hide in disguise? Or are there “elf” friendly areas?

    I do like that they seem to be as varied in personality as humans.

    I am also a little confused by the “mist” is like the faewild? Like just an over lapping part of the same world like another demention?

    Is the mist were magic comes from? Are there certain types of magic are certain races restricted to what magic they can use or get full use of (I noticed in the elf description there seems to be magic harder to access while others are easier. Is one more like druid magic and the arcane?

    1. When we first see Stormtalons, what you won’t see too much of is the tired, overly-familiar “tall, haughty elves sneer at surly, hard-drinking dwarves” trope. Our elves are different, and their societies are mainly hidden from most humans in the Stormtalons (the mists).
      I’m speaking in stereotypes here; when we drop down to the level of individuals, elves can be found “out in public” like everyone else, but all non-human races are rare compared to the teeming masses of humanity.
      The Stormtalons advance and recede unpredictably, but are always present, on each of the three continents we’ll initially see. It’s easy to get lost in the mists, and monsters lurk there; there are many, many human tales that run along the lines of “X walked into the mists one day, and was never seen again.” But there are also certain intrepid individuals who go adventuring into the Stormtalons…
      As for the nature of Asmerian magic, its limits, and so on…because we’re starting with fiction and the gaming need to “know all details” won’t arise until a little later, we’ll be revealing things in a realistic manner as stories unfold, for now.
      Most folk living in the setting know more superstition and colourful legends about magic than facts, and in the opening chapters of WORDS OF UNBINDING you’ll see how one character makes a living from that. At the outset, readers and listeners will be in the same situation.
      But worry not; soon, much about magic will become all too clear…

  2. How will the visuals of Stormtalons stand out as distinctive amongst the other high fantasy settings? (E.g. Will we be able to look at artwork for a Stormtalons Elf and distinguish it from art for elves of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings?) Can you talk about some of the visual “look-and-feel” for this IP?

    Is this a world of orc, goblins, trolls, and other stable-of-fantasy monsters roaming the landscape or will the majority of the villains be cultivated from humans, elves, dwarves and the like?

    When will we get to see more artwork of these realms? And to extend on that question, when will we get a map of what there is to look forward to?

    You’ve mentioned audio works, graphic novels, and other mediums outside of the traditional novel for these many settings – especially in regards to Stormtalon so far. Can you elaborate on some of the projects coming down the line after your introductory book is released?

    Due to the influx of an audience coming from tabletop roleplaying games and the fans of already established authors, Onder Librium in general – and it seems the Stormtalons in particular will exemplify this – has a higher-then-average number of creative folks among the audience. What, if any, types of fan works will be encouraged or discouraged officially as the setting grows and develops a larger fan base?

    In a big tapestry and shared setting like this, will authors and creatives be dealing with “Signature characters” they stick to from work to work or will they be given the freedom to create new protagonist as they please?

    How do the Stormtalon mists affect day to day life in these Realms? Are they something only adventurers, sovereigns, border folk, and the occasional estranged witch have to be ever-mindful of?

    What level of technology exist within these realms?

    And finally a very open ended question: What is it about this setting that makes it so endearing (atleast for you personally)?

    1. Asmer, the world of Stormtalons, is physically large enough, and has enough separations between areas (thanks to the mists themselves) that you as a gamer or spinning your own tales of the setting could probably find room to include most “familiar” staple fantasy monsters, but this is NOT a “D&D setting.” If you want to put a particular beastie or culture into Stormtalons when personally using it, by all means, feel free! But we’re not designing it to be “another Prime Material Plane next door to the Realms” or anything close to that; it is its own, human-dominated world, closer to Game of Thrones than Doctor Strange or D&D (without being Game of Thrones, either!).
      The tech level varies from locale to locale and culture to culture, but is medieval-cum-Renaissance. (As in: innovations are everywhere, trade is good and brisk and getting better, decadence is even creeping in within many urban centers – – but the vast majority of the populace still subsistence farm, and use their tools and daily knives and cleavers as weapons, when need arises.
      Most folk are afraid of the mists, and avoid them. They are “where the wild things are.” Our tales will explore what happens when the mists advance, or folk blunder into them, or people seek them out deliberately, in desperation or for dastardly reasons or otherwise…
      As for visuals for any of our settings, many Sessorium members are artists, and this is not a traditional game publishing company or fiction publishing company, wherein artists are commissioned to follow “art orders.” Artists are collaborators, equals with the designers of game stuff and the wordsmiths of prose, so the best thing I can say about the visuals is that…you’ll have to wait and see. ;}
      I have already mapped the entire “starter area” where three continents come close together, and that map has briefly been glimpsed in public in the past (online). As stories are published, more and more of the world of Asmer will get mapped in close-up detail, and you’ll be able to examine more and more of it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since we started TEGG, it’s not to announce firm dates until we know we can make things available at specific times, so…regarding audio works, graphic novels, and so on; stay tuned; we’ll say more when we can! (The Hellmaw novels out thus far all have audiobook adaptations available concurrently with the prose editions; we also have original audio dramas and music in the works.)
      There WILL be a welcome and a role for fan fiction; for specifics, again, stay tuned! And when it comes to “signature” characters, that’s up to the individual Creatives; some may wish to follow characters through story after story, and others may want to jump from one set of protagonists to another; if the Lore Guardian likes their story pitches, they can do either – – and at TEGG, we’ll be paying close attention to what fans want, and request, too, so if you want more (or less) of anyone, say so!
      Great questions, and I want to take the time to answer many of them in a lot more depth…but the more I do, the more I’ll spoil the fun of reveals as stories unfold over the next little while!

      1. Thank you for the responses! I’m eagerly looking forward to learning more and being delightfully surprised with each new reveal.

        Oh, artists as collaborators; Equals with designers and writers in an endeavor?! Blessed Names of the Six! It’s about time we had that philosophy take center in the creative storytelling process. That thrills me to no end. One of the shouts of joy when we, the public, see the results of that will be mine.

        Will all the stories be set in the «present day» or will some of them be historical tales of legend (similar to Arcane Age stories in FR, First Age/Silmarillion in LotR)?

        Will the Six have «Chosen» mortals («Chosen» might be a bad term. Such as Elminster in FR, Phaedra in Kushiel’s Dart, and arguably Melisande in Game of Thrones) in this fantasy setting? How active are the Gods in this setting? Can you talk about some of the pantheons beyond the Six?

        Are there traditional fantasy «subraces» that populate the various lands of humans, elves, and dwarves?

        1. Yup, artists, artisans, and various other Creatives will ALL have the same respect granted to them in TEGG. While we all create in different ways, we all make amazing stuffs, and that is recognized!

          Ah…the rich history of how and why the Asmer of now is the way it is…rife with legends both great and terrible! Once the Stormtalons of today are known, the foundations upon which they are built will be explored.

          And nope. No “Chosen”, no real avatars, no FOR THOU, MORTAL, HATH PLEASED ME AND THOU SHALT CARRY MY WORD AND MY GLORY. The Great Three and the Lesser Triad can and do show mortals their favor, but it is generally in the way of a blessed token that may or may not be permanent. The gods do not speak directly to their believers, and do not stride among men. If a god needs a mortal to go on an epic quest…well…they have their ways, and they’re generally not very nice. They’re gods, and don’t see morality the way mortals do, and so have no onus to act accordingly.

          And the Six are the Six. While some cultures may have different names and even different facets of them broken out (there are sea gods that are bits of Morian and Tlalore in some far-flung societies, for example), they are only The Six in Asmer today.

          Of course, there are those that worship the Sleeping Dragons as divinity as well…

          And there are going to be races that are familiar and some that are not, like gnomes, Winter People, and halflings.

      1. Mister hb,
        Leandro of TEGG Brazil (yes, there is a TEGG Brazil!!!!) will kindly translate this reply for you. Thanks! And thanks, Cat!

        Simply put, Stormtalons has a far lower of level of “magic available to all in their daily lives” than the Realms does, has far fewer gods who interfere in the lives of mortals far less than in the Realms, and doesn’t have all of the races and tropes of D&D (the game rules of which put a lot of details into a world-setting that in turn unavoidably shape and drive it). So Stormtalons stories focus a lot more on individual characters and the adventures they have. Yes, both settings are big and have an unfolding history and geopolitical sweep, but in Stormtalons you’ll be right down looking over the shoulders of characters as things happen most of the time, less able to look back, or see overarching uberplots (unlike in the Realms right now, when Adventurers’ League play sessions follow this or that “big story”).
        Finally: I’ve been creating the Realms for 50 years now, and for about half of that time, other talented creators have been at work in the kitchen, too, building up a huge body of lore and internal setting history. Stormtalons offers far more of a clean slate, right now, for Creatives and fans alike to “be in on” the unfolding creation, from the beginning. So this is more like the way I felt, back in the early 1980s, when TSR and others started asking about the Realms, and I first started thinking of it as a shared setting. Stormtalons is our new shared story.

        1. TRADUÇÃO:

          Resumidamente, Stormtalons tem um nível mais baixo de “magia disponível na vida de todos” do que os Forgotten, tem bem menos deuses que interferem na vida dos mortais, e não tem todas as raças e temas do D&D (as regras do jogo em si, que acabam dando o sabor e detalhes do cenário que acabam moldando como o cenário tem que ser). Então, Stormtalons centralizam suas atenções nos personagens em si e nas aventuras que eles vivem. Sim, ambos os cenários são grandes e repletos de histórias e situações geopolíticas, mas em Stormtalons você vai estar olhando pelo ponto de vista do personagem enquanto tudo acontece na maioria das vezes, sendo menos capaz de observar subtramas ou acontecimentos além de sua área de conforto (diferente do que acontece atualmente em Forgotten, quando temos a Adventurers’ League seguindo a “grande história” deles).

          Por fim, eu crio em Forgotten Realms há 50 ano já, e por mais ou menos metade desse tempo temos criadores talentosos também trabalhando na cozinha do cenário, criando material cada vez maior para o conhecimento geral. Stormtalons oferece uma bagagem um pouco mais tranquila no momento, com Criatives (os autores do cenário) e os fãs acompanhando “de perto” a criação que acontece desde o início. Então, a sensação que temos é mais ou menos a mesma que tínhamos nos anos 80, quando a TSR e todo o mundo começou a perguntar sobre os Reinos de Forgotten, e eu comecei a pensar nele como um cenário compartilhado. Stormtalon É a nossa nova história compartilhada.

    1. Stormtalons is a large, broad-tapestry fantasy setting that will be home to hundreds of different stories, most of which could be called “swords & sorcery.” Most Stormtalons fiction will be character-focused tales of adventurers and pirates and wayfarers and traveling merchants and minstrels living their lives in this world.
      Unlike Middle-Earth, there isn’t a titanic confrontation between Good and Evil imminent. Unlike the Realms, this isn’t an “abundant magic, many wizards” setting. A tyrannical archwizard, the Heirophar, is locked in an uneasy detente with the priests of the Six (the six gods), and both he and the priests spy on everyone who uses magic, tries to develop magic, or finds ancient magic. If you hurl lightning bolts, expect the Heirophar’s hit team to show up and offer you the choice of serving the Heirophar or dying, on the spot.
      Big Things ARE stirring “right now” in the setting, which is why our Stormtalons stories start at this particular time in Stormtalon’s unfolding history.
      TEGG has different settings for fantasy, sf, horror, and other genres, and some Stormtalons stories may be dark. But this is our swords-and-sorcery and broad heroic fantasy setting. With scores of creators at work on very different tales and a vigilant and capable Lore Guardian, Cat Jarrett, overseeing them all for consistency and to make sure lore stays coherent for everyone, Stormtalons stories will have a wide variety of flavour and tone. We aim to make the world of Asmer seem real, a place you’d want to visit (despite the danger). ;}

  3. Hi there Mr. Greenwood!
    First of all, thanks.
    Will the Stormtalons setting have any correlation with earth historical civilizations like Vikings, Egyptians, etc? What to expect in this aspect?
    Also, will there be a proprietary gaming system or it will use d20 OGL or any other existing system?

    1. Hi, Marcos,
      You’re very welcome!
      One of the things that was “game necessary” for the Forgotten Realms, the setting I created that I’m best known for, were close analogues of real-world historical or at least “Hollywood historical” civilizations. Stormtalons may, in the hands of various creators, have much softer, more distant echoes of our real past, in that it is a medieval-cum-Renaissance-era place in which swords get swung, galleons sail, armor is worn, and so on.
      However, we’re striving to make it seem like another world than Earth’s past (or worse, a Hollywood backlot with clashing real-world analogues crammed side by side).
      We will be launching games for all of our TEGG settings later, and I’ll get into details then, but I have always personally favoured storytelling over rules, and setting-lore-sourcebooks over rulebooks. Nor do we plan to restrict ourselves to roleplaying games…we’re big fans of boardgames (especially minigames that don’t consume hours of setup time) and apps. The Sessorium has in its ranks many veteran gamers and professional game designers.

    1. Erik! Great to see you here! All is well, and I’m looking forward to seeing you in the depths of Asmer – – not to mention in Hellmaw again, too!
      As for the not signing in: ARRRRGH, technology! By the Six, I shall SMITE this horrid monster that calleth itself the Internet!

  4. Are all beings affected/afflicted through contact with the mists deformed, augmented, or both? Could a dwarf become super powerful? Once altered, can he or she ever be cured? Would they want to be? (ideas are pommeling the brain- cannot wait for the first book) Stormtalons piques so many creative outlets of the mind! This is way cool!!! Onder Librum rocks!

    1. Heh. Rockage, much rockage! ;}
      No, not all beings who come into contact with the Stormtalons are altered or deformed – – but enough of them are that it has become a general public fear, something that’s “accepted fact.” The details of being twisted, losing and gaining powers, and “curing,” are things that will get revealed, as unfolding stories touch on such topics, in the months ahead. (As for whether or not an affected individual wants to get “cured,” that will depend very much on the individual.) A certain wise old woman has a thing or two to say in the early chapters of WORDS OF UNBINDING that may interest you. ;}

  5. Another two. I assume any published products will be available as downloadable pdf epub or somesuch, but if any of it sees print, do you plan to make it available internationally through your publisher?
    And about your plan regarding the “creative creation model”, is your creative team already formed and complete, and working the forges to deliver the setting, or will you open the doors somehow to the fanbase for some kind of collaborative creation? By that I mean, will we eager dolts be allowed to send our funny stuff for your appreciation?

    1. TEGG is a “transmedia” company, meaning we want to connect fans with our stories and games in as many ways as feasibly possible, internationally, in as many languages as we can.
      Yes, e-format for everything, but also all other formats that we can manage (for example, within easy reach as I type this are gorgeous hardcover editions and trade paperback editions and CD audiobooks of all of our Hellmaw novels thus far).
      And our teams of Creatives are never complete; we will always want new Creatives AND fan involvement. Here at TEGG we have our hands full right now with launch preparations, and so haven’t reopened the doors to taking new pitches from non-members this last little while, but we plan to do so again as soon as we’re ready! TEGG is for veteran, established creative folks and newcomers alike; when we say “shared settings,” we really mean it!

  6. Wow!!!
    Boardgames, cardgames, dicegames!!!
    Very nice! Very nice indeed!!
    I am totally partial to simple games!!

    1. We’re very happy here too, and they will be worldwide translated too 😉

    2. Yes, boardgames, cardgames, and dice games! YES! I love quick, fun games that can be played in a lunch hour at school or work, or for a quick relaxer in the evening, or even at a pub/bar with friends. We have some ideas up our sleeves – – and there will be games played IN THE SETTINGS (shown in novels and short stories) that you will be able to play “in the flesh,” too!

  7. Quick comment, make sure everyone shares this with all their gaming friends on as many social media sites as you can! There is nothing like Word of Mouth to get everyone excited!

    1. I agree! We will not be buying ads on television; our time and effort will be spent on crafting the stories and games and music and artifacts (yes, things you can wear and collect!). So if you find some TEGG thing cool, tell us, and tell everyone – – that’s the best way to make sure there will be more of it!

    1. Awww, I can’t spill ALL of the secrets yet. (Besides, knowing the Heirophar, my attempts to do so would quite likely be swiftly fatal.)
      So here’s the “what everyone in Asmer” knows (“everyone” not including the Heirophar and the senior mages who serve him, the Sleeping Dragons, the highest-ranking Rheligorn, and certain others):
      The Stormtalons have a mind – – or minds – – of their own. They can sense and react, and sometimes do. If you ever feel like you’re being watched, anywhere in Asmer, you probably are.
      Luckily, the mists don’t serve the Heirophar. The mists don’t serve ANYONE. No one can reliably cast spells through the Mists.
      And if you do certain things, beware! The mists may well come for YOU…

  8. Also, if the sleeping dragons wake, what does that mean for the Six? Likewise, the lore says the elves once made deals with these dragons. Should the dragons rise, would it provoke the elves out of the mists they herd? Would their ability to wield dragon magic/talents return? I might be going to deep here. lol… Perhaps I should wait and find out…Everything thus far we’ve learned has opened a portal of excitement only the release of Words of Unbinding can assuage…

    1. Whispered rumors are racing around Asmer right now, that the Sleeping Dragons may be awakening at last. Or “stirring,” at least.
      What that will mean, no one knows.
      However, if the priests of Rheligor and the Heirophar are evenly-matched foes right now, in a status quo of working together against each other “everywhere” in Asmer (so much so that an entire region, the Firefall, is caught between them, neither being able to seize it in the face of the other), this state of counterveiling powers is obviously threatened by the dragons awakening.
      And there’s one school of thought that says that when the Dragons awake, the Heirophar is doomed…
      (Of course, there’s another that says he’s been holding them in check whilst they’ve been dreaming, but once they awaken and he can’t handle them all at once, we’re ALL doomed!)
      As for where the truth lies, in all this speculation . . . we’ll all just have to wait and see. ;}

  9. Greetings Archmage!

    Are there limitations on the movements of the mists? Can they stretch into the sky, obscuring the sun and a castle’s highest towers? Or perhaps could the mists invade a deeper dungeon?

    I could see some adventures on a simple dungeon crawl suddenly confronted by their deepest fears or the maiden in the tower looking right into the heart of the mists and trembling…

    Thank you,
    Will

    1. We just don’t know what the limitations on the Stormtalons are, or how to influence them…but yes, there are instances of both deep dungeons under the earth AND tall castles being “swallowed” indefinitely…most “edges” of the mists look like impenetrable, swirling walls of constantly-moving fog that stretches from ground up as high as the eye can see, getting “lighter” and hazier the higher up it goes, but visually seeming a “solid wall” for the bottom-most few hundreds of feet.
      And of course, when you’re caught in the mists, ANYTHING could happen.

  10. What I hope will be a simple question: Magic and Prophecy. Does the later exist? I know it can be used to be a guideline for gaming and stories, but it can also seem really ham-handed as a literary device. Still, it’s a pretty strong trope…
    (Also, what happens if it’s there, and different factions have different prophecies?)

    1. Oh, prophecies exist. What they aren’t is: reliable. They also tend to be cryptic (clear when looked back at, after something has happened, but too vague or broad for any one interpretation to be trusted and acted upon, beforehand).
      A note to those used to D&D: mind-reading, detection and location, and identification-related magic in the Stormtalons setting is as rare or unknown or more of a bluff than a reality or unreliable (which one? depends on the situation, place, and beings involved). In other words, such things are like turning things into gold for alchemists: far more of a goal than a mastered, available tool.
      So in Stormtalons, there is no One Ring To Rule Them All, and yes, many of the prophecies that do exist contradict each other. Moreover, the priests alive today, all over Asmer, seem very reluctant to utter anything that could be taken as a foretelling. Hmmm . . .

  11. Thanks to the Archmage, Ed Greenwood, and the Lore Guardian, Cat Jarrett, for bringing us together on what will definitely be an amazing adventure! And thanks to all the creatives at Onder Librum! Your talents are embraced and most assuredly enjoyed!!!

    1. Thank ye kindly, sirrah! Enthusiasm like yours drives us to create amazing tales for you to dive into!

  12. When Stormtalons launches, will print novels be available right away on this site? I’ve been interested in checking out the Hellmaw novels, but only e-books seem to be available here, on Amazon, and the other sites I have perused.

    1. Shan, please visit us again right here on August 15th, when we’ll reveal more about which editions of what will be available when, and how.
      Print editions exist of all of the full-length Hellmaw novels we’ve published so far, and we have plans to make all full-length works available in many formats. We are still making certain of every last detail before we announce these details, so please stay tuned!
      (Here! August 15th!)

      1. Awesome! Thanks for the reply. I will definitely check out what you have to say on August 15th. 🙂

  13. Thank you, all! It’s been great fun, and I’m gratified by all the interest! I’ll say goodbye now, until August 15th, and get back to writing my next Hellmaw novel! (Oh, and penning XX CENSORED XX and XX REDCATED XX and XX CAN’T TELL YOU YET XX, too!).
    See you on August 15th!

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