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Monday, December 26, 2022

Light In Dark Times: New Forgotten Realms Novels That Aren't Drizzt!

Oloré! A few months ago we received some of the most exciting news for fans of Forgotten Realms novels in several years. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a film set to release in March of 2023, and along with its release there will be accompanying media. The big two, maybe three, things that means for fans of the old novel line is this: there are two new novels coming!

Drizzt has still been getting regular installments the last several years, but 2016 marked the last year other authors had books published in the Forgotten Realms. Timeless in 2018 saw the first outside publishing, and 2022 saw the first Dragonlance novel in several years, but the thing that is in common with that release and Drizzt is that the publication is not done in-house. Hence why only the biggest names are getting published. It's quite a mess and leaves many fans of the old novel lines bemoaning the fate. 

We still had Dragon+ for the very rare fiction piece set in the Realms, but that was shut down in November, leaving the last short story being Ice Out from late 2020. Things look grim, but there is some light ahead.

Honor Among Thieves: The Druid's Call and Honor Among Thieves: The Road to Neverwinter are both prequel novels to the upcoming movie. The first is by Realms newcomer, E.K. Johnston, while the latter is from the seasoned Jaleigh Johnson (I've previously read Mistshore by her). Both are to be published by a third party and are accompanied with a movie novelization for younger audiences in February. Johnston's novel is blurbed as being "young adult" but there is no blurb describing Johnson's novel as such.

A webinar from Hasbro in early December mentioned Dungeons & Dragons being under-monetized, and Realms legend, Elaine Cunningham, suggested on Twitter that novels may be viable. I agree with her, maybe the readers' voice will be heard and more novels will come.

Amarast, reader.

Hemvar Crostiful

25 Nightal

Year of the Scroll


You can track my current progress here.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Genesis: The First Stories of the Forgotten Realms

Hail, and well met! Many know that Ed Greenwood created the Forgotten Realms several years before the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. It would become the premier setting for the game in 1987, but was introduced to readers of Dragon Magazine in the early 80s. We have previously reviewed the first D&D novel in Quag Keep, but we have not talked about the beginnings of the Forgotten Realms. 

According to Greenwood, by 1974 the Forgotten Realms already had sixteen published stories and a gazetteer, and that number was at twenty-two in 1975.

The first story ever penned by Greenwood was "One Comes, Unheralded, To Zirta", written in fragements in 1965 and finished in 1966, at the ripe young age of six. I made a whole video about this story on my YouTube channel, but to help you out here. It's a sword & sorcery tale about meetings of many famous Realms characters in a tavern in Zirta, south of Scornubel. Character's such as Mirt, Durnan, Alustriel and Storm, Elminster, and Filfaeril Obarskyr meet and make their first appearances. It's a really short yarn, one I heard about from the Jeff Grubb's foreword to Realms of Valor (1993). I later discovered it was later found and published in The Best of the Realms II: The Stories of Ed Greenwood (2005).

Recently, Greenwood listed some of these stories. Of the sixteen published before D&D's conception, he lists twelve, and ten of those have Mirt as the main character:

These were published in small magazines or chapbooks. I do not know the names of these small publications, but Greenwood did assure me there are copies still out there. Someday, I would deeply like to read them. The genesis of the Forgotten Realms is very important, as Greenwood took his influences, such as Sword & Sorcery fiction, and took part in mythopoeia to create one of fantasy's most lasting worlds.

Greenwood's List (Just in case Twitter explodes sometime in the future):
The Box of Dreams (1966)
Vultus Triumphant (1966)
Too Old a Wolf (1967)
The Bringer of Doom (1967)
Hazanth’s Trifling Error (1967) 
The Sword That Sang (1967) *
How Silent the Spectre (1968) *
How Vrackmulkyn Learned The Truth (1968) 
Mirt and the Dragon Inexorable (1969) 
Too Many Ghostly Knights (1969) 
The Last Mistake of Voroon Ouz (1969) 
Nine Swords Unaccounted For (1969) 

*Not a Mirt story

Hemvar Crostiful
18 Nightal
Year of the Scroll

You can track my current progress here.