Crypt Of The Moaning Diamond: Date?

Post/Author/DateTimePost
#1

BadCatMan

May 22, 2008 9:12:18
Minor spoilers follow for Crypt Of The Moaning Diamond...

I recently read Crypt Of The Moaning Diamond of the Dungeons series, by Rosemary Jones. And it's great, a rousing good adventure with interesting characters, good action scenes, and plenty of fun and comedy throughout. The half-orc woman wields a shovel, the dwarf has a cute little dog, some bugbears discussed poetry, and some destrachan are slain with the aid of a failed perform check in one great scene. I haven't read many FR novels, but this is probably the best. I highly recommend it, especially if you're tired of the RSEs and epic wannabes elsewhere.

And it's set in one of my favourite realms, the Vast, focused around the city where I started my DMing, Procampur. It gives a lot of flavour to the city, even though it happens around and beneath Tsurlagol instead.

It all fits pretty closely to the lore too, nothing out of flavour or too out-of-place that can't be explained (although the Vast is implied to be north of Waterdeep, somehow), but with one glaring exception.

In the sourcebooks, the Hamayarch (mage-advisor) of Procampur is Alamondh, a shifty male wizard with some hold over the Thultyrl (the king). Of course, Alamondh is really one Carthoun Misintle, a would-be lich seeking to replace the king and rule the city. But in CotMD, the Hamayarch is the Pearl, a good, beautiful woman (and probably an Aasimar Fatespinner) who manipulated fate to save the Thultyrl's life. They've both served in the job for the last three generations, so she can't have recently replaced Alamondh. The Pearl is a minor character, but suits the story better than the creepy vizier-type Alamondh would have.

But no date is given, and the Thultyrl is not named. So I thought maybe that this story could be set in the past, but there's more circumstantial evidence. One Procampan character lost his parents to a fever not many years previously. And in 1367, a plague of featherlung decimated the city.

Anyway, I was wondering how it would slot into my Vast campaign, and if anyone else had read it and had any ideas about what date it occurred - it appears to be present day, so the question I suppose is what was the Realms year for December 2007? Also, has the Moaning Diamond (an apparently Netherese artifact of earth magic, capable of tunneling through stone and toppling city walls) appeared anywhere else?

(My PCs slew Alamondh and thwarted his plans to ravish the city with undead and replace the Thultyrl in the chaos. They were declared heroes of Procampur, and one was attempting to get elected as the replacement Hamayarch before the player left. They're great.)
#2

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 22, 2008 10:34:14
I thought this was a great book too. There's no date for it in the book though, and it is rather hard to discern. Maybe you could as Rosemary Jones (the author) in her Q&A thread at Candlekeep.com.
#3

merrikcale

May 22, 2008 10:55:16
or perhaps she purposefully did not date it
#4

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 22, 2008 10:58:38
or perhaps she purposefully did not date it

That's possible, and the date certainly doesn't matter very much within the story.

However, I still think it might be worth talking to the author about it. She's quite nice.
#5

merrikcale

May 22, 2008 11:02:43
That's possible, and the date certainly doesn't matter very much within the story.

However, I still think it might be worth talking to the author about it. She's quite nice.

Not saying you didn't have a good idea, Rhee
#6

Khaelieth

May 22, 2008 11:03:08
Chapter 2: The Moaning Diamond in the Rough.

Honestly, they MUST have seen that coming.
#7

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 22, 2008 11:10:04
double post.
#8

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 22, 2008 11:11:25
Not saying you didn't have a good idea, Rhee

Understood.
#9

lord_karsus

May 22, 2008 13:03:35
-Ugh, I do not like this novel at all. I am currently reading it, and have been struggling through it for the past couple of weeks. Mind you, I read at a fairly quick pace, and I cannot get through this book. I don't like almost all of the main characters (I like Sanval, and that's it), and I am still waiting for a decent plot to begin (150 pages in). Every time I pick up the book to read it, it's a struggle, and I can't read more than 10-20 pages at one time without losing the will to read.

-That said, is there any circumstantial evidence to allow a date to have been chosen, not mentioned in the OP? All that said, if it follows the normal conventions of dating novels (but, keep in mind, as of late, most haven't. But, most that haven't are kind of the marquee novels, so), it took place around 1374 DR or 1375 DR.
#10

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 22, 2008 13:12:20
But, most that haven't are kind of the marquee novels, so), it took place around 1374 DR or 1375 DR.

It is probably safe to say it took place around those years (near the "current" point in the official timeline), although I think it could just as easily have taken place a few years before that.
#11

rosemaryjones

May 22, 2008 14:24:10
Hi all! Author speaking here. Waving wildy to R from Candlekeep!!

The date is supposed to be the Year of Burning Steel or 1246. So the "current" rulers of Procampur according the FRCS aren't in charge yet. This was in all my notes and even mentioned in passing in one draft. And, through the magic of editing, the date suddenly became an mystery.

Why 1246? The siege begins at the end of some very big orcish campaigns in the Vast. So basically these splinter groups, like the one who invaded Tsurlagol, are retreating and rampaging in various areas as they try to get back to safer places. Also creating lots of business for my Siegebreakers!

Glad you like Procampur influence. The book really started with my reading of the description of Tsurlagol, a rather messy city, almost always besieged, and the much more rigid Procampur. And also I really wanted to write about sappers and how that might work in the Realms. And I wanted a gal who wasn't magic, not a super strong fighter, but able to win through. Lots of other stuff dropped in through my rather chaotic creative process.

Never feel like you have to finish a book! If it doesn't appeal, it just doesn't. Try one of the other Dungeons titles -- everyone took a very different approach to the idea, which I found really interesting reading.

And I'm always happy to answer questions. You can reach me through my website at www.rosemaryjones.com.

Happy adventures to you all,
Rosemary Jones
#12

rosemaryjones

May 22, 2008 14:32:28
For BadCatMan, my friend Michael found me the Moaning Diamond, it's in one of the official FR campaigns or guides. If you need to know which one, I can check with him.

Regards,
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com
#13

merrikcale

May 22, 2008 14:50:56
I think she just joined.
#14

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 22, 2008 15:01:05
Hi all! Author speaking here. Waving wildy to R from Candlekeep!!

*waves back*:D

Thanks for the clarification about the date, too.
#15

rosemaryjones

May 22, 2008 15:11:01
Just a couple more comments (and then I'll shut up, I promise). These are for anyone who wants to be campaigning around the ideas in this book.

Local lore says the Pearl has been around for three generations. But that's just the gossip that Ivy has heard -- and Ivy does not live in Procampur and she's not necessarily the best historian.

The Thultryl has not been ruling long. He's a young man and one who is apparently fated to die early in his reign (according to the Pearl). He's definitely got enemies and the Pearl has hidden his name to help protect him from magical attack.

CotMD takes place over 2 days of "real time." So it'd definitely not epic or world-changing :P and lots can be happening before or after the events in the novel.

You can either assume that everyone marches home to Procampur after the action and then finds out what has been happening in Procampur while everyone was away for a summer siege; or that some people from Procampur stick around to rebuild Tsurlagol in their very Procampurian style; or the Thultryl gets himself in trouble somewhere between those two places.

The "historical" set-up of the book is really in the first chapter, which is available online for free through the Wizards' site. You can find the link on my site too.

Regards,
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com/
#16

merrikcale

May 22, 2008 15:13:25
CotMD takes place over 2 days of "real time." So it'd definitely not epic or world-changing :P and lots can be happening before or after the events in the novel.

Which is quite nice
#17

18DELTA

May 22, 2008 15:51:23
Just a couple more comments (and then I'll shut up, I promise).

-Please don't. I really enjoyed the book. Now about Kid, is he a
Show
Tiefling
#18

lord_karsus

May 22, 2008 16:06:41
Never feel like you have to finish a book! If it doesn't appeal, it just doesn't. Try one of the other Dungeons titles -- everyone took a very different approach to the idea, which I found really interesting reading.

-That, ma'am, is not cost effective, nor does stopping allow me to absorb the Realmslore.

-Please don't. I really enjoyed the book. Now about Kid, is he a
Show
Tiefling
#19

18DELTA

May 22, 2008 16:12:31
-It's implied that he is. Horns...Hooves...

-Hey, don't want to assume anything.:P For all we know he could be a...Satyr!;)


18D:P
#20

lord_karsus

May 22, 2008 16:16:57
-Hey, don't want to assume anything.:P For all we know he could be a...Satyr!;)


18D:P

-That's what I thought at first, too.
#21

BadCatMan

May 22, 2008 21:11:07
Ah, the personal touch! Thank you, Rosemary.

So, 1246. That doesn't tangle with my plans then (in 1375), but gives some good history to play with (now that's the way to write an FR novel). I was just curious about the Moaning Diamond; now I know it's real, I'll hunt it down myself for the thrill of the chase.

I'm pretty sure that Kid "the godsight goat" is a Mulhorandi Tiefling with the Godsight feat from Lost Empires Of Faerun. :D
#22

BadCatMan

May 23, 2008 9:07:48
Aha! The Moaning Diamond appears in the DMG p281 as a Greater Artifact. Was there more of a presence in FR? I haven't found anything else.

Hmm, by the history I've pieced together, the legendary mage Snilloc destroyed a horde of hobgoblins that threatened Procampur "a century ago". Plague struck the land in 1253. And the Vast was a "lawless, monster-infested wilderland" by 1294 DR. They were living in interesting times.

So, Snowy from Tintin?
IMAGE(http://bp3.blogger.com/_Vhs10SEFpEU/R5O--rrM8LI/AAAAAAAAAAU/B1kEKlNgRIc/s320/smalldog.jpg)
#23

blackball8_dup

May 23, 2008 11:26:29
Thats awesome! Writers and designers actually post here too! :D
#24

rosemaryjones

May 24, 2008 13:23:33
Ah, the personal touch! Thank you, Rosemary.

I'm pretty sure that Kid "the godsight goat" is a Mulhorandi Tiefling with the Godsight feat from Lost Empires Of Faerun. :D

And you would be right! If you'd like to collect a prize, e-mail me at rosemarynovels at aol.com. And I'll send the signed bookplate with the dog illustration done by my friend Matt Holmes (no, it's not Snowy!).

Matt was inspired by Wiggles, although I always visualized Wiggles as having a pointy nose -- so maybe it is another of Mumchance's mutts.

Regards,
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com/
#25

rosemaryjones

May 24, 2008 13:29:10
As far as I know, the Moaning Diamond makes its first FR appearance in my novel. However, that doesn't mean it can't return to wreck havoc elsewhere!

Also, don't forget that Archlis's spellbook has all types of strange arcane lore written in it, maps to treasures that he was seeking, and other magelord stuff. That went off to Procampur and probably got filed in some color-coded box. So that might be a good place to start an adventure

Regards,
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com
#26

erikscottdebie_dup

May 24, 2008 13:31:17
Thats awesome! Writers and designers actually post here too! :D

Sure we do--when the sitch calls for it!


And on a personal note, I *loved* this novel, and I highly encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

I hadn't realized it was from that long ago, Rosemary--that's awesome. It's one of those timeless stories that you can enjoy within or regardless of historical context.
#27

sfdragon

May 24, 2008 13:49:02
i didnt find it bad, interesting
#28

rosemaryjones

May 24, 2008 13:49:54
Sure we do--when the sitch calls for it!
I hadn't realized it was from that long ago, Rosemary--that's awesome. It's one of those timeless stories that you can enjoy within or regardless of historical context.

Hi Erik! For those who don't know, Erik is a fellow Seattle writer (and much, much taller than me!). He's also written GHOST WALKER, which I loved, and DEPTHS OF MADNESS, which is SCARY and wonderful! And totally different from my Dungeons book. We both have short stories in the anthology Realms of Dragons II.

Nobody told me that FR novels were supposed to be "contemporary" so I just wandered off into my own little patch of FR history. And my editor thought that was fine. As I said before, I planned on having the year appear in the first chapter but something got rewritten and *poof* it suddenly wasn't there.

I did try to stick as close as possible to the history of the Realms as described in FRCS and other "official" encyclopedias.

Regards,
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com
#29

merrikcale

May 24, 2008 14:14:33
Nobody told me that FR novels were supposed to be "contemporary" so I just wandered off into my own little patch of FR history.

you missed that memo?
#30

merrikcale

May 24, 2008 14:16:08
And on a personal note, I *loved* this novel, and I highly encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

Started it on Thursday
#31

rosemaryjones

May 24, 2008 21:02:23
you missed that memo?

They have memoes in the Realms!? I kept watching for the scroll to appear on my desk :D

Rosemary
#32

18DELTA

May 24, 2008 21:51:07
They have memoes in the Realms!? I kept watching for the scroll to appear on my desk :D

Rosemary

-Vangy uses them to scry the authors.


18D:D
#33

Therise

May 24, 2008 22:02:14
They have memoes in the Realms!? I kept watching for the scroll to appear on my desk :D

Rosemary

They used to, but the magical scroll memo delivery service was based in Halruaa... and it's been... well, peppered by explosions recently. ;)

Now we rely on highly trained courier tressym kittens out of Waterdeep, but the kittens get playful and mischievous along the way and well, you know... ;)
#34

merrikcale

May 24, 2008 22:37:19
They have memoes in the Realms!?

Sure they do. Its how the Harpers communicate
#35

blackball8_dup

May 25, 2008 1:52:26
Sure we do--when the sitch calls for it!


And on a personal note, I *loved* this novel, and I highly encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

I hadn't realized it was from that long ago, Rosemary--that's awesome. It's one of those timeless stories that you can enjoy within or regardless of historical context.

Why do you individuals not post more often? The only author I see is Rich Baker.
#36

merrikcale

May 25, 2008 8:51:04
Why do you individuals not post more often? The only author I see is Rich Baker.

You will see them a lot more often at Candlekeep
#37

rauric

May 25, 2008 8:57:47
Why do you individuals not post more often? The only author I see is Rich Baker.

There were some nastiness directed at authors years ago and one in particular had the boards put a kabash on talking about novel stuff. That has been lightened up on over the last year it seems and people are pretty polite when discussing novel stuff around here.
#38

merrikcale

May 25, 2008 11:05:19
That has been lightened up on over the last year it seems and people are pretty polite when discussing novel stuff around here.

It has lightened up. Oddly, there was a never a moratorium on sourcebooks.
#39

lord_karsus

May 25, 2008 16:54:05
That has been lightened up on over the last year it seems and people are pretty polite when discussing novel stuff around here.

-Things were never that bad in the past, either. I am hesitant to call them "bad eggs", but in the past, it was always the same couple of people criticising the same details written by the same authors.

It has lightened up. Oddly, there was a never a moratorium on sourcebooks.

-Then there would have been nothing to talk about. Remember, at the height of the moratorium on novels, one was not allowed to mention characters and/or events in a novel. Applied to sourcebooks, there's nothing to talk about now...
#40

BadCatMan

May 25, 2008 20:16:32
And you would be right! If you'd like to collect a prize, e-mail me at rosemarynovels at aol.com. And I'll send the signed bookplate with the dog illustration done by my friend Matt Holmes (no, it's not Snowy!).

Thanks! But I'm afraid I got the book from the library. (I'm sure that they'd be pleased.)

Hmm, if I'd known at the time it came out that it was set in the Vast, I would have bought a copy, but FR novels always have such sparse blurbs you never know what any given story will be about.
#41

merrikcale

May 25, 2008 22:54:56
-Then there would have been nothing to talk about. Remember, at the height of the moratorium on novels, one was not allowed to mention characters and/or events in a novel. Applied to sourcebooks, there's nothing to talk about now...

I was around at that point really. Or at least not much. I just found it surprsing that I can post about how awful one author's sourcebook was but can say boo about a novel
#42

lord_karsus

May 25, 2008 23:48:13
I was around at that point really. Or at least not much. I just found it surprsing that I can post about how awful one author's sourcebook was but can say boo about a novel

-Mabe it was because...Sourcebook authors had hard covers!?



-Get it? Sourcebooks...Hardcover...Novels...Softcover...

-Never mind...
#43

merrikcale

May 25, 2008 23:49:44
-Mabe it was because...Sourcebook authors had hard covers!?



-Get it? Sourcebooks...Hardcover...Novels...Softcover...

-Never mind...

ouch
#44

rosemaryjones

May 31, 2008 13:27:37
This author posts when she remembers to check boards. I've been a bit buried under a writing project for another publisher (nonfiction encyclopedia on collectible children's books).

Also, I'm in the middle of covering a film festival for a local newspaper. So that's eating much of my evening and weekend time.

So if it is a burning question that needs an immediate answer, do e-mail me!

Regards,
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com/
#45

merrikcale

May 31, 2008 13:44:32
I have enjoyed the first half of the book
#46

lord_karsus

May 31, 2008 16:59:41
-I didn't. That said, however, I did indeed finish the book, and felt that it picked up greatly in the second half. Whereas, in my opinion, the characters were seemingly wandering aimlessly, with no goals, the second half of the novel gave the characters a set goal (asides for the very vague 'escape').
#47

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

May 31, 2008 19:18:17
I did indeed finish the book...

Hooray!;)
#48

merrikcale

Jun 04, 2008 22:09:44
I finished it. I enjoyed it overall
#49

rosemaryjones

Jun 05, 2008 12:34:20
Thanks for all the comments. Novels tend to be created in a vacuum and it's interesting to see how people react to my "baby." ;)

One thing that has struck me is how nice FR fans are (even when they are pointing out your errors of lore etc). I've really loved reading this board, Candlekeep, and getting the e-mails.

Keep adventuring!
Rosemary Jones
http://www.rosemaryjones.com
#50

lord_karsus

Jun 05, 2008 16:13:25
One thing that has struck me is how nice FR fans are (even when they are pointing out your errors of lore etc). I've really loved reading this board, Candlekeep, and getting the e-mails.

-Somehow, we've gotten the label of being unhelpful and critical. Go figure.
#51

rinonalyrna_fathomlin

Jun 05, 2008 18:20:27
One thing that has struck me is how nice FR fans are (even when they are pointing out your errors of lore etc). I've really loved reading this board, Candlekeep, and getting the e-mails.

Glad to hear that, thanks.
#52

merrikcale

Jun 06, 2008 6:53:36
One thing that has struck me is how nice FR fans are (even when they are pointing out your errors of lore etc). I've really loved reading this board, Candlekeep, and getting the e-mails.

we can be a decent lot on occassion
#53

erevis_cale_dup

Dec 03, 2008 17:37:00
Dark and Empty, I thought this was a great novel.