Sunday, May 17, 2020

Realms of the Arcane


This Forgotten Realms anthology edited by Brian M. Thomsen has a distinct structure where a prologue, interludes, and epilogue by Wes Nicholson appear alongside the short stories, with Nicholson himself serving as a character simply called Wes who cleans the library of Candlekeep and reads a few stories.

“Wishing You Many More” by David Cook – Fannol Pavish and Grand Conjurer Torreb exchange letters on the occasion of the latter’s birthday, with some malicious artifacts in the mix.

“Secrets of Blood, Spirits of the Sea” by Elaine Cunningham – Archmage of Atorrnash Ka’Narlist and his wemic servant Mbugua experiment on various creatures, with the origin of the sahuagin explained.

“Bread Storm Rising” by Tom Dupree – Magical apprentice Wiglaf Evertongue wants a vacation, and goes to his family, discovering a magical yeast that can produce bread which can feed the masses.

“When Even Sky Cities Fall” by J. Robert King – Describes the fall of the avian city of Tith Tilendrothael as witnessed by Josiah the mage and his griffon Peregrin.

“The Grotto of Dreams” by Mark Anthony – A somewhat-humorous story narrated by a deceased person’s skull in search of the eponymous Grotto of Dreams.

“A Narrowed Gaze” by Monte Cook – Describes the abdication of a monarch named Kohath who abdicates and possesses the Dark Eye of Gavinaas.

“The Whispering Crown” by Ed Greenwood – The Lady of Dusklake and Lord Rammast fight over the eponymous crown.

“The Lady and the Shadow” by Philip Athans – A huntress named Alashar Crywinds seeks the bounty of the head of the wizard Shadow.

“Shadows of the Past” by Brian Thomsen – An amnesiac narrator is nursed by Nymara Scheiron, colloquially called Kitten.

“Tertius and the Artifact” by Jeff Grubb – Tertius Wands seeks the eponymous artifact, the Tripartite Orb.

After the main text is a preview of Elminster in Myth Drannor by Ed Greenwood, and overall, I enjoyed this collection and would gladly read more Forgotten Realms stories, although some indications of when in the franchise chronology they occur would have been nice.

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