A Guide to Greyhawk

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A Guide to Greyhawk

Post by Admin on Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:20 pm

Oerth and Flanaess

The world is called Oerth and there are two moons, Luna and her smaller sister Celene. The only civilised societies on Oerth are located on the eastern portion of the great Oerik Continent, that eastern portion being a sub-continent called Flanaess. Flanaess is generally temperate, with winter snow only lasting around two months. The central northern and north-eastern regions are covered in snow for at least half of the year, however.

A Brief History of Flanaess

The original human inhabitants of Flanaess were hunter-gatherers called Flans. They were pushed aside by aggressive migratory humans called the Suel and the Oerids coming from the east around two thousand years ago. The Suel and the Oerids also fought the fragmentary humanoid hordes (goblins, orcs, gnolls etc) and the reclusive elves. The strongest Oeridian tribe, the Aerdi, settled the fertile fields east of Lake Nyr Dyv and founded the Kingdom of Aerdy.

This Kingdom grew in power and prestige. It eventually embarked on a series of conquests, and came to rule over large portions of Flanaess. It was renamed the Great Kingdom, and its King became the Supreme Overking (sometimes also styled 'Emperor'). By this time Flanaess had been settled by other races: the Dwarves, the Halflings, the Gnomes, the Dragonborn and many others.

Eventually the Great Kingdom became decadent and corrupt. Evil grew within its rulers. It shrunk in size considerably over two centuries, with territories declaring independence or being conquered by rivals. When the demon-seeing House of Naelexx ascended to the throne, many within the Kingdom refused to declare loyalty and civil war erupted. It is generally accepted that the last four Overkings have been insane and demon-ridden.

Evil is in ascendancy everywhere across Flanaess. Evil humanoids have banded together and now rule whole areas. Some human lands have fallen into lawlessness and wickedness. The demigod demon Iuz has declared himself openly and is expanding his lands in the central north.

But there is still hope. The human countries of Nyrond, Furyondy, Veluna and Keoland are still strong in the cause of good and justice. The other good races pursue isolationist policies, but  recent events have shown a large-scale alliance between the good races is not unimaginable.  Seven years go Men, Dwarves, Elves and Gnomes fought together at the Battle of Emridy Meadows and scattered a great host of orcs which came rampaging down from the north.  

Geography of Flanaess

See map: https://i.imgur.com/NSINEMq.gif

The Peoples of Flanaess

The various evil humanoids live mostly in unfavourable areas such as mountains, barrens, marshes and swamps, and thick forests. From time to time they will band together in large groups and attempt to take (or retake) areas of better land. Such invasions have been successful in the Pomarj and the Bone March. Similar attempts are taking shape elsewhere.

The major human ethnicities are Flannae, Baklunish, Oeridian, Suloise and Olman. [NB: the 5e Player's Guide (at 30-31) uses ethnicities from the Forgotten Realms setting. The Greyhawk setting is not as diverse so feel free to utilise missing groups, such as the Mulan (the analogue for Chinese).]

Flan: tawny coloured with black hair, a hardy people who were the original inhabitants of Flanaess [Real world equivalent, Native North Americans]

Oeridian: tan to light olive, normally with dark brown hair but other colours are possible. They founded the Great Kingdom. [Real world equivalent, Western Mediterranean peoples and ancient Italians] [Skyrim equivalent, Imperials or Bretons]

Suloise: light complexion with blonde or red hair being common. [Real world equivalents, Celts and Scandinavians] [Skyrim equivalent, Nords]

Baklunish: dark brown skin, descendants of the great Baklunish Empire in the East [Real world equivalents, Persian or Arab people] [Skyrim equivalent, Redguard]

Olman: tan or dark brown, inhabit the Amedio Jungles of the far south  [Real world equivalents, Aztecs and Mayans]

There is little prejudice between the various human ethnicities. Prejudice and discrimination is more based on religion, politics and alignment (good or evil). Half-Orcs are tolerated in most human societies, although often suffer from discrimination. Tieflings suffer from extreme discrimination amongst humans and are usually shunned or abused. Elves, especially High Elves, view humans as fickle and prone to evil.

Kingdom of Keoland

Leader: His Majesty King Kimbertos (of House Skotti), King of Keoland, Lord of Gran March, Plar of Sterich, Protector of the South, etc.
Population: 300,000* (excluding dependencies)
*60,000 are Elves, Gnomes, Halflings and Dwarves
Government: King elected for life by council of nobles; land divided into feudal fiefs (two minor duchies, two marches, three earldoms, one viscounty, thirty baronies and lesser fiefs)
Capital: Niole Dra
Coat of Arms: A red shield with a black lion

The Kingdom of Keoland spans most of the fertile Sheldomar Valley. Its borders are well protected by natural barriers. To the south is the Azure Coast, and to the north are the Rushmoors. To the west and east are great rivers. The weather within the Valley is temperate and much of Keoland's verdant landscape consists of fields, pastures and forests.

Keoland is one of Flanaess's oldest kingdoms, and is considered a tolerant and prosperous realm which is home to many good non-humans. Between 350-453 CY, a line of Keoish monarchs became ambitious and embarked upon a series of conquests. This alienated many of the Kingdom's non-human communities and allies. King Tavish III was slain in battle against the Sea Princes (Siege of Westkeep, 453 CY) and his son, Tavish IV, moved quickly to change policies. After long negotiations, the Yeomanry League and Ulek States were given autonomy and Keoland returned to its old ways.

Keoland's armies are well-known for their excellent light cavalry. The armies mostly consist of foot soldiers armed with pole-arms or pikes, but they also employ small companies of Gnomes and Halflings (mostly as slingers, archers and scouts).

A notable feature of Keoland is the large forest called the Dreadwood. It is some 200 miles long, and 100 miles wide at its widest point. Most Keoish dare not venture into it, because it contains many monsters and evil humanoids. It is inhabited by Silvan Elves who are constantly battling these creatures on behalf of the King in exchange for autonomy and privacy. Large-scale efforts to clear the woods of evil creatures have been mounted in the past but they never succeed.  

You are an adventurer who has found himself on the Azure Coast of Keoland. Hearing of promising work for adventurers in the nearby town of Ganbridge, you hopped on a boat to take you there. The current year is 575 CY.


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