Thursday, 12 December 2019

The History of Oerth, Part 8: Of The Dissolution of the Great Kingdom


The History of Oerth, Part 8: Of The Dissolution of the Great Kingdom


Court of Deception
The Great Kingdom had waxed and waned, and it its waning, the western principalities declared their sovereignty, for in truth, they were already self-determining and self-governing. Others closer to its heart were soon to follow, for in its Turmoil Between Crowns the Great Kingdom’s reach was surely foreshortened. And the Houses of the Celestial Circle, knowing this to be true, were plotting and maneuvering, but then again, when were they not?
Why had the Great Kingdom fallen so? Had depravity outweighed morality? Had personal gain outstripped duty? Had Evil bettered Good? Its Houses schemed against one another, dread Death Knights had risen, and with them, the much-celebrated Knights Protector had fallen. Raids and piracy plagued her seas. And lesser races, when not actually serving the Malachite Throne, were snapping at the hand that had once kept them at bay, for they could smell its death on the wind.
To make matters worse, a madman was set to soon sit upon the Malachite Throne.

The Houses used what tools were available to them in their intrigue. Rumours. Misdirection. Subterfuge. But there were other, more direct, means at their disposal, and they were not above or loathe to use them: the dirk and a dram of poison. Such crass deeds would always be hired out, of course. And only if they couldn’t be traced back to them.

c. 300 CY              The History of the Book of Darazell
This spellbook has a dark and evil history—a legacy that mirrors the land from where it came, the blighted Kingdom of Aerdy. Its spells were first put to paper sometime in the 4th Century by the assassin-wizard Darazell. Little is known of the history of this evil mage save the infamous and rare spells he perfected, especially his trademark Darazell’s noose. Darazell met an ironic fate when he himself was assassinated by unknown hands, his body found slumped over his beloved spellbook. It is a puzzle to those who know his tale that such an efficient killer was taken unawares and murdered. It is sometimes said that Darazell knew rare rituals and had made a pact with a dark power, one that would allow him to rise in eternal undeath. Indeed, it is said that Darazell ordered his own assassination as the final stage of the ritual.  [Dragon Magazine #247, by Anthony Nixon and David Head]

Such deeds were not just the purview of the luminary Celestial Houses. They were used far and wide, albeit with less flair and plum, by those the luminaries deemed unsophisticated and savage. Although, those “savages” were usually more direct in their application. After all, once all their enemies were dead, what did they have to fear?

430 CY  Some say that Vlek Col Vlekzed was a Rover, who after years of plundering the lands around his, had fled his lands for the northern peninsula, and with those Rovers and bandits who followed him, took the lands of the Colten Feodality for his own, having lured them to their deaths on the pretense that they were to treat and come to an accord of peace. Others contend that he, himself, was one of the Colten Atamans, and that he seized control of all their lands when he betrayed his peers, slaughtering them while they revelled in his Hold, besotted on his wine. Still others contend that he was from Tenh. Wherever he came from, and however he came to control the Atamans, he drew them into his fold, and collectively, they came to be known as the Hold of Stonefist.
The inhabitants of the area, the Coltens Feodality, were tricked into negotiation with Vlek. These negotiators and their escorting force were slaughtered, the remainder of the Coltens host routed by surprise and ferocity, and Vlek settled down to rule over the whole territory. [Folio]
The Coltens folk had no place in this hierarchy, and many fled to the Hraak Forest, or beyond the Big Seal Bay and the northern thrust of the Corusks to dwell in the Taival Tundra, in the land of the Ice Barbarians). [LGG]

c.440s-460s         Torn by its turmoil, the Great Kingdom began to break apart. Beginning with the Viceroyalty of Ferrond, Veluna soon followed suit, Furyondy being less devout than she wished. Then Perranland. The Malachite Throne took no action against them, could up as it was in its own tribulations. But as the tapestry of state continued unravelling, it had little choice but to rise from its stupor, lest it lose the entirety of its lands. But try as it might, it could not stem the tide. The Iron League formed. Nyrond seceded. Alain II of Ratik declared his fief an arch-barony, not entirely willing to completely sever ties with the mother country, as yet. But in truth, he ruled Ratik as though it was indeed independent, as did the Marquis of Bone March. What choice did they have? The Crown was embroiled in what came to be known as the Turmoil Between Crowns, and it took no interest in the administration of its provinces.                                                

446 CY  Paradoxically, the disintegration of the Great Kingdom paused a while, despite a wretched change at its very crown. The House of Rax became decadent, self-absorbed, weak, and ineffectual. Petty nobles began to scheme, to openly flout the Overking's edicts, and to enact their own laws and pursue their own mean-minded grudges. It was only a matter of time before Rax was overthrown and a new tyrant installed as Overking and, in truth, many petty nobles were glad when it happened. After decades of pointless strife, it was almost a relief to have central power and authority again. However, few of them would have chosen Ivid I as their new master.
No direct evidence links Ivid, ruler of the North Province at the time, with the assassination of the entire House of Rax in 446 CY. But Ivid ensured his ascension by the simple expedient of killing every other minor princeling who made a claim on the throne, and plenty more besides. Madness had gripped the Malachite Throne when Ivid I, scion of the House of Naelax, was proclaimed His Celestial Transcendency, Overking of Aerdy, and many knew it.
The Malachite Throne became known as the "Fiend-seeing Throne." It was whispered that the House of Naelax had willingly entered into a pact with fiends—lords of the infernal tanar'ri—a pact that would endure down all the generations of their descendants. A time of terror had begun. Blood would wash the feet and hands of the madman enthroned in Rauxes. Little wonder that further secessions beset his lands.
Civil war erupted in the Great Kingdom. The North Province, now ruled by Ivid's nephew, soon established independence, as did the wily Herzog of Ahlissa in the the South Province. He allied himself with the seceding Iron League: the lands of Onnwal, Idee, Sunndi, and the Free City of Ironwall.
The Holy Censor, High Priest to the Overking, sought freedom for the See of Medegia. Almor grew in strength and freedom, supported by Nyrond as a buffer state between itself and the declining power of Rauxes, although Ivid managed to drag it back under his influence in later years. Momentous change beset the Great Kingdom. Not until Ivid V ascended the Fiend-seeing Throne would the Great Kingdom appear to increase in might again. This would take a century to happen and also be ultimately a temporary hiccup in the terminal decline of Aerdy. If all eyes were on the Great Kingdom for decades after Ivid's rise, it would help explain why they missed seeing the rise of a new power far to the west and north. [FtA]

448 CY  The isles of the Sea Barons had always been given a degree of autonomy not enjoyed by the Baronies of the mainland. They’d been tasked by Overking Manshen in 102 CY to pacify the seas, to contain the Barbarians in the north, and to stamp out piracy in the south. They required freedom to do so, they said. They could not accomplish these tasks were they to account for each and every action, they said, citing the impossibility of their fleets to communicate with their home ports when they could be at sea for months at a time. Rauxes reluctantly agreed to their terms. But the crown made it abundantly clear that the Barony’s autonomy in these matters was contingent on results. The Sea Barons agreed to the Throne’s terms.
They never truly succeeded in containing the Barbarians, but in 168 CY, they finally defeated the fleets of Duxchan, all but eliminating piracy in the south. But the Barony and the Overking had grown accustomed to reaping the spoils of captured pirate ships, thus the Crown bestowed writs of privateer to those ships sailing the Azure Sea against those vessels of the Iron League.
The captains of the fleet were accustomed to keeping their own council as to who the foes of the Kingdom were, and long voyages without the oversight of the throne strengthened that sense of independence. Asea, and then in their home ports.
In time, the authority over the seas was divided between the Sea Barons and the Lordships of the Isles. Never friendly, the two provinces became heated rivals, vying for control of trade routes. The Lordship were given the writs of privateer, and preyed upon merchant fleets, while the Sea Barons weathered the far more vicious conflict with the savage Barbarians during the raiding season.
All that changed with the continued dissolution of the Kingdom.
In 448 CY, the Sea Barons suddenly gained sole authority over naval pursuits in the eastern Great Kingdom, following the affiliation of the Lordship of the Isles with the Iron League. Overnight, the prince of Sulward and the baron of Asperdi became nemeses instead of rivals, with the Aerdi Sea as their field of battle. [LGG]

450 CY  Dunstan I of Nyrond realized that once The Great Kingdom stabilized, he would need allies. His borders must be secure. But mostly, he would need others to come to his aid in his time of need, should that time come, and who else would stand by him than those that had also recently seceded for the Malachite Throne’s fierce rule.
He called the Great Council of Rel Mord, and representatives from Almor, the Iron League, the Duchy of Urnst, and Greyhawk arrived to treat with him. There was a cost. He need withdraw Nyrondal troops from the Pale and the County of Urnst, for those who would ally with him would not do so if he too occupied lands not his, for they would not throw off the yoke of one Overking only to treat with another. They came to an accord, and roundly condemned the Great Kingdom.
By 450 CY, Aerdy had survived two distinct civil wars. Ivid and his court had defeated their enemies in the aristocracy, and had entrenched themselves in the empire's political machine. With a stabilized foe, Dunstan realized in his old age that he still needed willing allies, should Aerdy take the offensive. In Harvester, he called the Great Council of Rel Mord. Delegates from every Nyrondal principality and subject state attended, as did representatives from Almor, the Iron League, the Duchy of Urnst, and even Greyhawk. After a month and a half of negotiation, Dunstan the Crafty withdrew Nyrondal troops from the Pale and the County of Urnst, and realigned the internal borders of his subject lands. Furthermore, he publicly threw his considerable support behind the Iron League, and rebuked the Great Kingdom of Aerdy as a "corpulent reanimated corpse, spreading contagion and sorrow to all that it touches."  [LGG]                

From its “Emancipation,” The Theocracy of the Pale was not a tolerant land; indeed, it never had been. It chaffed under the lack of self-determination and freedom they themselves denied any who didn’t proscribe to their narrow view: that was only one god, Pholtus, henceforth known as The Blinding Light, and that there was only one Truth and that was His. Nyrond saw otherwise, and had seen fit to exert their authority to that effect. The Theocracy determined that no other authority would supress their Truth again. They were the Chosen of The Blinding Light, selected by the god Himself, and governed by His priests. His Word was Law, and woe to those who deviated from His path. The Theocrat demanded that an “Inquisition” be enacted, heretics were rooted out, imprisoned and even slain. Those not of the faith were discouraged from entering their domain, lest they spread their false gods among the faithful. Judgement was always swift when “under the Question,” for the defendant was always considered Sinful until proven Innocent.
Not all were pleased with the Council of Nine and its inquisition. A splinter group rebelled against Wintershiven, claiming that faith was a personal path, not to be interfered with by the State and the Council. The Council saw the matter differently. They swiftly put down the heretical clerics with a division of the army personally led by three members of the council. And thus the Church Militant was born, the paramilitary body of warrior priests responsible for ensuring the purity of doctrine and safeguarding church properties, especially the Basilica of the Blinding Light.
They and the Council did not always see eye to eye.

467-469 CY         Plague swept the lands, beginning in Rookroost and fanning out faster than a man could run. It arrived as all plague does, suddenly: one week they were disease free, or as free from such as any populace ever is, and then scores were afflicted the next. The afflicted complained of lassitude, joint pain, and headache; soon, red boils appeared and the headache grew crippling. Hours later copper coins rested atop eyelids. Poultices, infusions, leeching were ineffective; indeed, even magics and the ministrations of the clergy proved useless. Thousands died; and just as swiftly as it began, it disappeared having burned itself out. Rookroost was ever vigilant of The Red Death’s return. But as in all of these cases, vigilance lasts only as long as a generation before it becomes the grist of old-wives tales and fairy fancies.
Old records describe a plague that decimated the Bandit Kingdom's population as it swept across the Flanaess some four score years ago.
A bardic song talks of a 'wasting disease' that swept Oerik nearly a century ago. [WG8]


476 CY  The Hold of Stonefist is an unforgiving land. It was born of deceit and violence. It has poor soil, a growing season shorter than any save Blackmoor. Only the Coltens have ever shown any inclination to till the land, to fur, and to fish. The rest proved as cruel and restless as their master. They wished to roam and raid widely, for to do otherwise invited subjection. Vlek Stonefist knew this, for he believed the same. Thus, he set about occupying his people in the manner to which they were accustomed: raiding. The Rovers were poor, and they moved about too much to be easy prey, so he set his people upon the Tenh. When they mobilized against his “Fists,” he sent them over the mountains to raze the Fruztii and Ratik. He sent raiding parties north against the Cruski. Resistance was everywhere, but the Fruztii, gravely weakened by having repeatedly thrown their might against the shield of the south were ill-prepared for attacks from the north. The Fists grew ever bolder, so the Fruztii began to raise palisades against them, but they no longer had the strength to man the breadth of the Fists’ onslaught. The Frost Barbarians parlayed with their cousins, and together, they came to an accord, they must ally against the Hold of Stonefist.
Iuz

479 CY  When was Iuz born? Where did he come from? None know. It is believed that he was the son of a forgotten despot of a petty fief. It truth, only the wide ruled there in that rock, heathered marsh. It was a petty land, ruled by a petty man, who when he died in 479 CY, few if any mourned him. His dismal patch of marsh fell to his son, a boy who was named Iuz. Was he the despot’s son? Few deny the claim. None believe it.
Iuz was born of a human mother, the necromancer Iggwilv, and a great tanar'ri lord, Graz'zt, ruler of several Abyssal planes. The young cambion tanar'ri soon used his powers to great effect. Realizing that his warriors could not hope to triumph by simple force, Iuz began to ally his men with other minor clan leaders to beat off stronger enemies. Of course, those allies always ended up suffering most of the casualties and their leaders died in battle with astonishing predictability. Slowly, the size of Iuz's warband increased. Celbit and Jebli ores of the Vesve margins began to join. The human scum serving Iuz didn't like the ores overmuch, but they soon saw how their enemies liked them even less. And of course, there was Iuz's magic. Many cambions wield magic, but that of Iuz, aided by his mother, was far more powerful than anything the competing hordes could muster. Iuz had control of the entire Land of Iuz in little over a decade. [Iuz]
Iuz


Few took note of this new presence in that secluded northern waste, despite the tales of refugees that fled south of slavery and ghastly abominations, the risen dead, and the road of skulls that stretched from Dorakaa to the Howling Hills. The fiefs always fought one another. Petty lords rose, and fell with regularity. This Iuz would do just the same, they imagined. He had risen. He would fall in due course. And if he didn’t, his was a secluded land of no consequence. What harm could he do?

c.500 CY               The History of the Book of Darazell
                So, the book was sold, bartered, stolen, lost and found from the See of Medegia to North Province and back over the next 200 or so years, falling into the hands of various lesser mages. The common thread that bound these mages together was that none kept the book for any length of time, and many reported strange phenomena surrounding the book. A rumor persists that Darazell, cheated by the dark power, lives on within the book as a rare form of undead, a “tome-haunt.” Supposedly, he searches for a particular type of owner to possess in order to finish some unknown goal. It has been said that there are a couple of secret pages within the book that give clues to what this is, but no one has been able to record what they hide. The spellbook is compact and bound in bleached, patchy, green leather. It has silver corner caps and an ornate silver dagger device, blade pointing downward, painted on the front.
[In addition to a list of hitherto unrelated necrotic spells, t]here are also descriptions of methods of assassination, and writings on efficient and subtle ways to commit murder. Oddly, there are 10 blank pages at the end of the book— pages that defy any attempt to write on them. [D247, by Anthony Nixon and David Head]



One must always give credit where credit is due. This History is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them. Thanks to Steven Wilson for his GREYCHRONDEX and to Keith Horsfield for his “Chronological History of Eastern Oerik.”
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.
Primary sources for this history were the DMG 1e, Ivid the Undying, WGR5 Iuz the Evil, WG8 The Fate of Istus, the Greyhawk Adventures hardcover, The World of Greyhawk Folio, and The World of Greyhawk Gold Box, From the Ashes Box Set, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, The Living Greyhawk Journals, Dragon Magazine.

The Art:
Cleopsis-Eater-of-the-Dead by steveargyle
Plague, by Karl Waller, WG8 Fate of Istus
Iuz, by Eric Hotz, WG5 Iuz the Evil
Iuz, Age of Conan

Copyright:
All source material presented within this chronology is owned and copyrighted by WotC.
The use of this material is not intended to challenge the rights of WotC.
This document is fan content and presented solely for the personal use of those individuals who game within the Greyhawk Setting.

Sources:
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1043 The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989 FFF=Feuds, Folks and Factions
1056 Castles Boxed Set, 1990 Hart=Castle Hart Book
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992 Atlas=Atlas Book; CB=Campaign Book
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991 AB=Adventure Book
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1977
2023 Greyhawk Adventures Hardback, 1988
2138 Book of Artifacts, 1993
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1981
9253 WG8, Fate of Istus, 1989
9317 WGS1, The Five Shall be One, 1991
9337 WGS2, Howl from the North, 1991
9398 WGR4, The Marklands, 1993
9399 WGR 5, Iuz the Evil, 1993
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998 AM=Adventure Maps Book
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11442 Bastion of Faith, 1999
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 2000
Ivid the Undying, 1998
Dragon 247
OJ Oerth Journal, produced by the Council of Greyhawk, and appearing on their website
LGJ et. al.
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda

Friday, 6 December 2019

History of Oerth, Part 7: Of The Rise and Fall of The Great Kingdom


History of Oerth, Part 7: Of The Rise and Fall of The Great Kingdom

Orb of Power
The Aerdy have migrated across the Flanaess and have gazed upon the Solnor Sea, scattering those Flan and Suel who would not submit to their dominion to the far reaches of the land. The Ur-Flan resisted the Oeridian tide, but they too fell, no match for the Aerdian ferocity. Their settlements grew with their waxing, and upon those foundations, their great cities rose: Rauxes, Rel Astra, Rel Deven, Rel Mord. Thus began the Pax Millennius, the peace that would last a thousand years. And thus began the Great Kingdom, for that is what they eventually named that vast land of theirs that stretched from the Solnor Sea in the east to the Yatels and Crystalmists in the west, and from the Barrens to the north and the Azure Sea to the south. From the heavens to sea to sea, as they said. I leave it to you to decide if it was truly great or not, for sometimes the best of intentions can be led astray, and the Great Kingdom was eventually led very far astray, indeed.



1 CY       With his Declaration of Universal Peace, the first Overking was crowned in Rauxes.
Ivid The first Overking was Nasran from the House of Cranden. Proclaiming universal peace, Nasran saw defeated Suloise, Flan and rebellious humanoid rabbles of no consequence and no threat to the vast might of Aerdy. [Ivid]
But for all his well-meaning words, all power was to be his, and all Houses were to bend the knee to his magnificence.
However, it quickly became clear to all the noble houses of the Aerdi that power in the Great Kingdom was being centralized in the hands of the rulers of Rauxes, and that the fortunes of the Great Kingdom would now rest with them. The needs and intrigues of the Celestial Houses would soon become subordinate to the politics of the Malachite Throne. [LGG]

The Oeridians were all but invincible, it seemed, to those who stood before them, but they had artifacts of old, some taken by the fabled Johydee from the Suel. They used them well, and were served by them well, but such things should be handled with care, for they care not who wields them.

Crown, Orb, and Sceptre of Might:
According to tradition, great items of regalia were constructed for special servants of the deities […] when the gods were contending amongst themselves. Who amongst them first conceived the idea is unknown. The champion of each [ethos] - Evil, Good, Neutrality - was given a crown, an orb, and a sceptre. These items have been scattered and last over the centuries of struggle since they first appeared. [DMG 1e]
And woe to he who should touch them who is not of its ethos.

Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless:
This artifact is reported to be a small and heavy urn, easily carried in o pack or by hand despite its weight. The Flask is stoppered with a turnip-shaped plug, engraved and embossed with sigils, glyphs, and runes of power so as to contain the spirit therein. The possessor need but know 3 words to have the Flask function properly, i.e. the word of OPENING, the word of COMMAND, the word of CLOSING AND SEALING. Tuerny's Flosk is rumored to imprison one of the following: a greater devil, a groaning spirit, a major demon, a night hag, or a nycadaemon. [No one can say which, for it is said that these are WORDS for each.]
It is generally conceded that the Servant of the Flask can be loosed only to perform evil deeds, and it must always kill before it can be commanded to return to its prison. [DMG 1e]

11 CY     The Flan continued to be pacified. Theirs was a futile struggle, as the lands of their dominion shrank and shrank, they retreated into high valleys and the northern barrens. But still they fought where such resistance could be gathered. Until they threw all their remaining might into one last stand at Arrowstrand against the ever waxing Aerdian Kingdom. They were brave. They were valiant. But fate was against them that day, and they fell. But their fall was glorious.

c. 100CY                The fell sword Druniazth, servant of Tharizdun, had passed from hand to hand in its quest to release its master. Those who wielded it were themselves wielded, used and discarded as each in turn were found wanting, until, centuries after being lost by Baron Lum the Mad at the Battle of the Bonewood, it came to one who would not be so used, and it was cast into the Rift Canyon as she sought to rid herself of its influence.

108 CY  Overking Manshen desired to secure his northern border. The Fruztii Barbarians were a constant threat, and he meant to pacify the North once and for all.
In the spring of 108 CY, Aerdi forces massed in the frontier town of Knurl. With Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom in the vanguard, the force swept northeast, between the Rakers and the Blemu Hills, in a march to the sea. By autumn, after having been met with relatively light resistance, the Aerdi succeeded in uprooting most Fruztii encampments, and the foundations of a great stronghold were laid at Spinecastle. The Aerdi freed Johnsport in a pitched battle with the barbarians before the onset of winter. Sensing that this would be only the first phase of a long struggle, Aerdi commanders summoned thousands of contingents from North Province over the objections of the herzog, a Hextorian who had wanted to lead the forces into battle himself.
With the defeat of the Fruztii at Johnsport, the call went out that winter, and thousands of their kinsmen poured south along the Timberway the next year. Marching through passes in the Rakers, they assembled and attacked the works underway at Spinecastle, focusing their assault on the heart of the Aerdi fortifications. The defenders, including the bulk of the elite Aerdi infantry, were quickly outflanked and surrounded. A young Knight Protector of the Great Kingdom, Caldni Vir, a Heironean cavalier from Edgefield, commanded a large cavalry force patrolling the hills when the barbarian force struck. As part of the contingent led by the herzog into the north, he pivoted and headed back to Spinecastle while anticipating orders from his liege to counterattack. When the courier of the herzog delivered orders for Vir to pull back to the south in retreat, he spat in disgust and ordered the standard of the Naelax prince to be trampled in the mud. He then raised the standard of the Imperial Orb and charged.
Approaching the site of the battle from the north, he descended upon the barbarians from higher ground, and they were unprepared for the hundreds of heavy horse and lance that bore down on them in the next hour. Their lines were quickly broken, and the Imperial Army was rescued to eventually take the day in what would be called the Battle of the Shamblefield. The Aerdi drove the surviving barbarians out of the hills, controlling the land all the way to the Loftwood by the following spring. Overking Manshen recognized the courage of the young knight Vir, and raised him as the first marquis of Bone March. The land was so named for the high price paid for its taking, as the fallen imperial regulars numbered into the thousands. [LGG]
Thus the Overking named Vir the first Marquis of the Bone March. And thus were the Fruztii broken.
It is said that the blood of those thousands of unsanctified and unburied Barbarian and Imperial corpses was pressed into the mortar of Spinecastle. It is also said that the Fruztii laid a curse on its unfinished walls. 

122 CY  Further buffer was required if the new lands were to be protected from further incursions by the Barbarians. The Fruztii were broken, and the Overking wished to capitalize on their weakness. General Sir Pelgrave Ratik of Winetha was commanded to lead an expeditionary force to push the Aerdian frontier back to the foothills of the Griff Mountains. 
Ratik and his forces inaugurated their expedition by crossing Kalmar Pass, taking the town of Bresht in a blustery winter campaign that cost the Fruztii dearly. After brokering an alliance with the dwarven lords of the eastern Rakers, Ratik proceeded to force a retreat of the Fruztii up the narrow coast and into the northern fastness of the Timberway. He wisely refused to follow them into an obvious trap and instead broke off the pursuit and fortified his gains. He was immediately hailed a hero in the south and his legend grew quickly. [LGG]
He established a fort overlooking Grendep Bay at Onsager Point that he named Marner, and used it as a base to solidify his gains. He fostered an alliance with the dwerfolk, with the gnomes. And he was also fair with those Fruztii who remained on their freeholds, so long as they declared fealty to the Overking.

128 CY  The Fruztii and Schnai pooled their strength to launch a concentrated naval attack on Marner. And almost defeated Ratik and his forces for theirs were far greater in number than his, but Sir Percival Ratik knew that he could never defeat fuch a force in the field, so he set the approaches to Marner aflame, forcing the Barbarians into a narrow salient where they were cut to pieces by the siege engines of his fort and a squadron of the Imperial Navy. Bruised, the Barbarians retreat, only to find their longships ablaze.

130 CY  The Overking was pleased and elevated Pelgrave to Baron, and gifted him the Timberway as his personal fief. His doing so was a small thing, it cost him nothing. And the Timberway was hardly secure and he and Sir Percival knew it; but Percival was pleased, too, nonetheless, and he campaigned hard to defeat what resistance remained there. And so, again, the Overking was pleased. The walled town of Bresht was renamed Ratikhill in honour of Sir Percival’s victory. That too was another small thing that cost the Overking nothing.

141 CY  Kargoth of Mansbridge was born, a fiesty lad, noted for his bravery and ambition from an early age. He was destined for greatness, most said. They said as much again when he was elevated to the ranks of the Knights Protector.

166 CY  The east coast of the Great Kingdom had never truly been pacified. Barbarians raided the North Coast unmolested, and piracy was ever a problem on the South Seas. The Overking was losing patience, and he committed forces to deal with it, once and for all time. He set his sights upon putting the Duxchaners to task for their misdeeds.
Following a particularly terrible attack on Pontylver, during which the shipyards were set ablaze,Overking Erhart II was determined to put an end to the marauding. In 166 CY, he committed the combined navies of the Great Kingdom to breaking the power of the Duxchaners. Old Baron Asperdi's young but powerful naval force from the Sea Barons was brought to bear on them, led by Lord Admiral Aeodorich of House Atirr, then accorded the finest naval captain of the time. The town of Dullstrand was specifically founded to act as a base of operations for the invasion of these southern islands by the Aerdi fleet. [LGG]

167 CY  Monduiz Dephaar was born in Bellport to noble lineage. He was elevated at a young age to its Barony when his family fell to Fruztii raids along the Solnor Coast.

168 CY  The naval forces of the Great Kingdom defeated the Duxchan forces in the Battle of Ganode Bay with the naval power of the Sea Barons at the fore. Thus the Duxchan Isles became The Lordship of the Isles.
Within two years of hotly fought battles in the Aerdi Sea, Atirr and his armada, which was outfitted with mages and powerful clerics of Procan, finally defeated the Duxchaners and their allies at the Battle of Ganode Bay. This won greater fame and praise for the Aerdi admiral, who eventually rose to the throne of North Province some years later. The most militant of the surviving Suel buccaneers retreated to the port of Ekul, on the Spine Ridge of the Tilvanot Plateau, but were no longer a significant factor. The Aerdi settled these islands in large numbers, founding Sulward as the capital, though the population remained largely Suel, particularly on Ansabo and Ganode, where local Suel lords were absorbed into the government of the realm. An Aerdi lord was appointed prince of the new realm and he was made responsible to the herzog of South Province, but given the right to carve up the islands into provinces as he saw fit and award them to his kin. [LGG]

CY 189 History of the Pyronomicon
A large and powerful band of adventurers from the Great Kingdom, having learned of the Legend of Harak col Hakul Deshaun and the Pyronomicon, pushed all the way to the great wyrm’s lair intent on dispatching the dragon once and for all, but when they entered the place, it was completely empty. Apparently, Harak col Hakul Deshaun, crafty even by dragon standards, had already relocated to parts unknown; an assumption based on the fact that, without a corpse or sign of struggle to say otherwise, the dragon could not be presumed dead. And with the disappearance of the dragon, so too did The Pyronomicon vanish from the chronicles of men. [D241]

c. 187 CY              As a member of the Knights Protector, Monduiz Dephaar distinguished himself defending against the seasonal Barbarian raids, fighting alongside such heroes as Lord Kargoth. He fought with a fierceness that was frightening to behold, and in time, as his reputation spread up and down the coast, his name came to be known and then feared by the Barbarians. His atrocities were initially overlooked; but eventually they could not be ignored. He was censured by the Knights, but he carried on unabated, then shunned; and in his fury, he left, and settled for a while among the Schnai, where his sword was welcomed, and where he could continue to raid and vent his rage upon the Fruztii.

198 CY  The Sage Selvor the Younger proclaimed a coming time of strife and living death for the Great Kingdom. Those in power had no ears for such words in their time of unprecedented contentment.

202 CY  During the reign of Overking Jiranen, Lord Kargoth was reputedly the greatest knight of the day. So, when the standard bearer of the Knights Protector passed into legend, Lord Kargoth fully expected to be named his successor, a fitting tribute to his long and illustrious career. When a much younger Sir Benedor was proclaimed successor, the realm gasped in disbelief, despite it being rumoured that the youth had been touched by the spirit of Johydee. Kargoth’s pride was much wounded. The Banner should have been his, he seethed!  He challenged the young knight in the Court of Essences to a contest of arms, and although fearful, the young knight accepted the challenge. The clearly weaker young knight parried Kargoth’s attacks, never giving up the floor, and held his own until sunset, upon which the challenge was called. Stalemate! According to custom, Kargoth had lost. He refused the young knight’s hand of truce and stormed from court and the sneers of his peers. He vowed revenge.
            
Kargoth Takes Refuge
Kargoth took refuge from the deluge that accompanied his flight. He came upon a ruin, and a stair down into the dry darkness beneath it. An ancient shrine greeted his torch upon reaching its base, that and the whispered words of the demon Ahmon-Ibor, the Sibilant Beast. Kargoth knew this beast, Demogorgon, to be a fell fiend worshipped by the decadent Flan until they were pacified by the Aerdy.
Lord Kargoth
The whispers promised a plan of revenge and Kargoth was seduced by those whispers, and he swore a blood pact to seal his deal. Tentacles sprung out of the darkness and tore out his eyes, and Kargoth became the first Death Knight. He emerged to discover the Knights Protector riven by the slight given him. And he was pleased.
            Monduiz Dephaar returned to the Great Kingdom upon hearing of his mentor’s supposed disgrace, seeking to join Kargoth in his revenge. Others joined him.
Dephaar did not see Kargoth’s disfigurement. Kargoth kept it hidden at all times. He kept his distance; he held his meetings in darkened rooms, his incensed ravings woven with belching clouds of acrid incense.
The whispers instructed him on when it was time to act upon his vengeance. When it was time, he gathered those who sided with him, and raided the Temple of Lothan, and taking its holy artifact, the Orb of Sol, in hand, he bent the Orb’s power to his will. He raised it high, and speaking words of power, summoned the draconic tentacle demon beast Arendagrost, as he was bid. And set it free upon the world. Arendagrost began to cut a swath of destruction from Rel Deven to Rauxes.
Temple of Lothan
Sir Benedor rode hard to Rel Deven upon hearing the news. He arrived in time to witness those thirteen knights who’d accompanied Kargoth rise from their death sprawls, their clothing scotched, their flesh burned, their eyes aglow with malevolence. He summoned all of his courage and closed with Kargoth. He attacked with abandon, sure in the knowledge that if he did not, he was lost. Near his end, he managed to wrest the Orb from Kargoth, and instructed by it, he too spoke words of power and he scattered those deathly knights that he once called peers, and began his relentless quest to destroy them.
His victory came too late for the royal family, though. They had fallen victim to the rampaging fiend. Indeed, one had fallen and was raised by Kargoth in his own image to mock their feeble power, and set him too upon the world.
Was Benedor successful? No. The Death Knights were swift, and they laid a trail of undead in their wake to slow him.

The Death Knights:
Monduiz Dephaar
St. Kargoth the Betrayer, Lord Monduiz Dephaar, Lady Lorana Kath of Naelax, Prince Myrhal of Rax, Sir Maeril of Naelax, Sir Farian of Lirthan [destroyed by Benedor], Lord Andromansis of Garasteth, Sir Oslan Knarren, Sir Rezinar of Haxx, Lord Thyrian of Naelax, Sir Minar Syrric of Darmen, Duke Urkar Grasz of Torquann, Sir Luren the Boar of Torquann, and Lord Khayven of Rax.
[History by Gary Holian, Dragon Magazine 290, 291]

213 CY  Royal Astrologers at Rel Astra proclaimed the coming of the Age of Sorrow, vindicating the discraced Sage Selvor the Younger.
The new Overking Zelcor began to distance himself from the Knights Protector, for public opinion had swayed against them and their favour.

233 CY The fell sword Druniazth, servant of Tharizdun, was discovered in the Rift Canyon “by a group of illithids, who traded it to drow merchants in 233 CY. Their caravan, however, was attacked and destroyed somewhere in the Underdark between the Rift Canyon and the Crystalmists and the blade passed out of living memory.” [D294]

247 CY  Lord Kargoth’s castle walls were pulled down by the Knights Protector, and its secrets have remained buried ever since. Rumours persist that he settled on the Isle of Cursed Souls, but if truth be told, Kargoth had only been seen once upon that northern coast, and that during the Flan Festival of the Bloody Moon.

254 CY  Far from the influence of the Malachite Throne, the Viceroyalty of Ferrond declared independence from the Great Kingdom, and was thereafter called Furyondy. This marks the beginning of the dissolution of the Great Kingdom. Never again would their influence reach as far. But in truth, its influence had not swayed Ferrond for some time.

The migration of Pholtusians from the Great Kingdom increased with the independence of Furyondy, citing religious persecution. The people there had turned away from the Flan gods, remembering the time of the Ur-Flan and Occluded Empire, and having embraced the gods of Oerid, they no longer wished to be reminded of those times and of Pholtus’ failure. Most travel through Nyrond and settle in the western valleys of the Rakers among the Flan in a semi-independent Flannae state.

Tenh, still independent of mind, wished a return to their own dominion. They had heard of the Great Kingdom’s fall into depravity and despotism, and encouraged by the its attention being drawn increasingly inward as the Death Knights ran amok and its provinces gradually sought their own council, they declared independence. They prepared for what response might come. And waited.

300-350 CY         As anarchy crept into the Great Kingdom, more and more of its northern provinces became increasingly independent. And in some cases lawless. Petty fiefs sprang up, their rulers declaring themselves kings and barons and dukes and such. And where ruffians seized power, banditry prevailed. Some banded together and became known as the Bandit Kingdoms, a loose confederacy of tyrants that preyed upon one another and clung together to ward against those who’d wish to annex them.
The Bandit Kingdoms are a collection of petty holdings. Each little kingdom is ruled by a robber chieftain claiming a title such as Baron, Boss, Plar, General, Tyrant, Prince, Despot and even King. In all there are 17 states within the confines of the area, ruled by 4 to 6 powerful lords, and the rest attempting either to become leading rulers or simply to survive. [Folio]

The Death Knights had become so powerful in the Great Kingdom that they began to hunt down the Knights Protector. Few came to the Knights’ aid.


Veralos
318 CY  Zagig Yragerne sought to find the fabled city of Veralos, for he believed that a culture that could produce Vecna and sunder the Elven Empire must have produced something worth seeking in their time. He and his Company of Seven, a young Murlynd and Keoghtom among them, left to much fanfare, and returning a year later, they claimed to have found and plundered the city, producing a wagon laden with treasures to prove their claim. Their expedition revived the legend of the lost citadel, and indeed, that of the Ur-Flan and their civilization, which had all but been forgotten since their Aerdy conquerors pulled down their ancient settlements and built their new ones on top of them, laying waste to Flan magic, art, and writings.

320 CY  Nomads began to appear in the North, coming into conflict with the Rovers of the Barrens, but indeed, the northern steppes were so vast, the Rovers remained unaware until what came to be known as the Relentless Horde had already gained a foothold. And, by then, it was already too late to stop them.
Mixed Oerid-Baklunish nomad bands had gradually moved into and laid claim to the steppe lands beyond the Yatil range, pushing eastwards as far as the Griff Mountains. Border skirmishing with the southern nations went on as these wild horsemen pushed into the Flanaess. Perhaps the civilized states could have stopped their eastward progress had they not been busy fighting with the Aerdi for their independence. [Folio]
 Forced east by the Brazen Horde, the Baklunish Relentless Horde entered the Flanaess, sweeping across the Northlands. They pressed the Rovers of the Barrens east. Victorious, Ilkhan of Tiger Nomads ruled the western steppes under Kha- Khan Ogobanuk, ruler of the Restless Horde. The Wolf Nomads pressed on but could advance no further than the Cold Marshes and the Howling Hills. Their horses could not race across the former, and they met with the Rover’s resolve in the valleys of the latter.

Following the lead of the Viceroyalty of Ferrond, the outer dependencies of Aerdy too began to claim sovereignty. The Great Kingdom, ever riven by inner turmoil, and its increasing decadency, was shrinking. And in its lessened state, it could do nothing to stem the tide.
Perranders, Velunians, Furyondians and Tenhas achieve success, establishing independent status one after the other in a series of minor but bloody wars. [Folio]

342 CY  The Council of Nine selected its first Theocrat to rule as a semi-independent leader of the Pale.

356 CY  The founding of Nyrond marked be beginning of the Great Kingdom’s decline. One might think that the founding of Furyondy marked such, but in truth, though it did mark the beginning of its dissolution, the Great Kingdom had not looked to their Western Provinces for decades, and those provinces had not sought their aid or council for decades, so when the Viceroyalty of Ferrond declared its sovereignty, the Great Kingdom hardly took note. Its attention was firmly focused on the East; so, when its Eastern protectorates began to secede, the Kingdom chose to take note, and to act.
The House of Rax, ruling Aerdi dynasty, was at the time sundered by an internal feud, and the junior branch, then known as Nyrond, declared it lands free of the rule of the reigning Overking [Portillan] and sovereign. [Folio]
[T]he ruling dynasty of Aerdy, the Celestial House of Rax, had grown especially decadent. In response, the western province of Nyrond declared itself free of the Great Kingdom and elected one of its nobles as king of an independent domain. Armies gathered from all loyal provinces of Aerdy to suppress this brazen act. [LGG]

Just as the Aerdi dynasty was marching troops north to deal with Nyrond’s illegal declaration of independence, an allied host of Fruztii and Schnai invaded, threatening to overwhelm the Bone March and Ratik and sweep into the North Province. The Rax Overking Portillan had no choice but to divert his forces headed to contest Nyrond to counter the barbarian invasion. They were successful, but at a great cost. So many perished at in the kingdom’s defence that it had to accept Nyrond’s independence.
A coalition of Fruzt, Schna and mercenary barbarians mounted a major foray into the Aerdian North Province. The Overking's army, raised to invade Nyrond, swung northeast and soon the invaders were crushed. The end of the campaigning season arrived before any action could be taken against Nyrond. [Folio]

The Battle of Redspan. Tenha cavalry route Aerdian forces, Tenh duke ends fealty to Aerdian
Crown.
Eventually, the Great Kingdom showed signs of decay. When the Nyrondal princes declared the end of their allegiance to the overking, the duke was persuaded to follow suit.The Battle of Redspan signaled the end of the duke's fealty to the overking of Aerdy. The Aerdy force was routed by the Tenha cavalry and pushed down the "Red Road to Rift Canyon" in an action made famous in the ballad of the same name. The army of the Great Kingdom was not actually swept into the Rift Canyon, as the ballad proclaims, but they were so thoroughly defeated that many of the Aerdi officers and soldiers chose exile in the Bandit Kingdoms over the punishments awaiting them at home. [LGG]

             Theocracy of the Pale, already self-determining, proclaimed its autonomy.
As the rot of cultural and social decay started to penetrate the Great Kingdom, many of the more devout and outspoken followers of the god Pholtus withdrew from the increasingly corrupt core of the land. Some of these settled between the Rakers mountain range and the Yol River. When Nyrond declared its independence from the Great Kingdom, so did these religious refugees. Thus was the Theocracy of the Pale formed. [WG8]

359 CY  Nyrond, unfortunately for the Theocracy of the Pale, did not recognize the Pale’s right to independence. Nyrondal forces marched into Wintershiven, and annexed the newly formed Theocracy of the Pale, and, later, the County of Urnst. While occupied, Wintershiven was burned to the ground, and ultimately abandoned. And so it came to pass that New Wintershiven was founded twenty miles north of the old.
Some still claim that the invaders razed the city to the ground. Calmer heads disagree, citing nothing more than carelessness: apparently some drunken Nyrondese soldiers set fire to a barn, and the fire spread to destroy the city. [WG8]
The occupation was short. Nyrond chose to accept Theocracy and Urnst independence after the treaty of Rel Mord, in return for pledges of mutual protection. The Pale celebrates this day as the Emancipation.



c.390 CY               History of the Pyronomicon
The Pyronomicon’s absence from recorded history lasted roughly 200 years before turning up again circa CY 390. This time, the owner was Foltyn, a capable Water Elementalist residing on a small island along the east coast of the Nyr Dyv. Though brilliant within his specialty, Foltyn was not known for his common sense, and he foolishly announced to the world his intention to destroy The Pyronomicon before the Joint Courts of Urnst during Richfest, when both Luna and Celene were full. Needless to say, it seemed like every powerful Fire Elementalist in the Flanaess descended upon Foltyn’s island abode exactly one week before the Midsummer festival, and in a spectacular, fiery display that lit up the night sky over an area some 100 miles in diameter, Foltyn and his island were wiped clean from the face of Oerth. [D241]

403 CY  History of the Pyronomicon
Although there is no record indicating which Fire Elementalist made off with the tome, it eventually found its way to the city of Greyhawk in CY 403, and into the possession of the sage

Warfel II, the head of a generations-old family of scholars. When Warfel II died some years later, The Pyronomicon was passed on to his eldest child, Warfel III, who passed it down to his eldest child who, in turn, passed it on to the next generation, thus quieting the tome’s storied existence. [D241]

Skipping ahead …
576 CY  History of the Pyronomicon
So it was until CY 576, when a new wrinkle appeared in the tapestry that is The Pyronomicon’s history. Warfel VI reported that, while poring over an old adventure journal, the very shadows within his study began to coalesce and solidify at a frightening pace, eventually leaping off the walls as twisted and deformed gnomes. With no reason to expect an attack in his very home, Warfel was quickly overwhelmed by the diminutive invaders and rendered unconscious. Upon waking, he found that his entire abode had been ransacked, but upon further inspection, nothing had been taken, save for The Pyronomicon.
This strange twist of fate did not end there. Elsewhere in the city, and at roughly the same time Warfel’s home was assaulted, a trio of powerful magical items (a sword, a hammer, and a trident, respectively) mysteriously vanished from the magically-protected vaults of their owners. In place of each weapon was a taunting riddle daring the owners to retrieve the items from a hidden location beneath haunted White Plume Mountain. Even more shocking than the weapons’ theft was the individual claiming responsibility. The archwizard Keraptis, thought to have died more than a millennium before, had apparently returned, for the riddles bore his personal symbol. Not surprisingly, Warfel assumed the theft of The Pyronomicon was linked to the theft of the weapons, so when adventurers were recruited in order to recover the weapons, the sage made sure that they kept an eye out for The Pyronomicon as well. But of those few intrepid adventurers who escaped White Plume Mountain with their lives, none indicated that The Pyronomicon was there, or even Keraptis for that matter.
Consequently, as of CY 585, the location of The Pyronomicon remains a mystery. [D241]



One must always give credit where credit is due. This History is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them. Thanks to Steven Wilson for his GREYCHRONDEX and to Keith Horsfield for his “Chronological History of Eastern Oerik.”
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.
Primary sources for this history were the DMG 1e, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, The Living Greyhawk Journals, Dragon Magazine (especially #241, 290, 291, 293), WG8 The Fate of Istus, The World of Greyhawk Folio, and The World of Greyhawk Gold Box.

Art:
Wizard by andrebdois
The-Secret-Place by freelex30
No-rolling-back-Dark-souls by anatofinnstark
 Lord Kargoth, by Greg Staples, Dragon 290
Monduiz Dephaar, by Adam Rex, Dragon 291
Veralos, by Kelman Andrasofszky, Dragon 293

Copyright:
All source material presented within this chronology is owned and copyrighted by WotC.
The use of this material is not intended to challenge the rights of WotC.
This document is fan content and presented solely for the personal use of those individuals who game within the Greyhawk Setting.

Sources:
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1043 The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989 FFF=Feuds, Folks and Factions
1056 Castles Boxed Set, 1990 Hart=Castle Hart Book
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992 Atlas=Atlas Book; CB=Campaign Book
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991 AB=Adventure Book
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1977
2023 Greyhawk Adventures Hardback, 1988
2138 Book of Artifacts, 1993
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1981
9253 WG8, Fate of Istus, 1989
9386 WGR3, Rary the Traitor, 1992
9398 WGR4, The Marklands, 1993
9399 WGR 5, Iuz the Evil, 1993
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998 AM=Adventure Maps Book
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11442 Bastion of Faith, 1999
11662 Die Vecna Die! 2000
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 2000
Ivid the Undying, 1998
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, produced by the Council of Greyhawk, and appearing on their website
LGJ et al.
Aqua, Aquaria; unpublished
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, byt Jason Zavoda

Friday, 29 November 2019

History of Oerth, Part 6: Of The Great Migrations


History of Oerth, Part 6: Of The Great Migrations

Suel Wizard

The Peoples of the West had rejoined our Narrative. When we first left them, they become a people under singular Empire, had mastered great magics and used them to subjugate those around them. The Flan had fled, but the Suloise had not followed them, content with gathering up all the lands of the West; so they told themselves, neglecting to mention their fear of the dark elves in the mountains to the east. Their doings had been just as turbulent as those of the Ur-Flan. Their Great Houses were ever fighting over the Throne. And while they were occupied thus, the Bakluni freed themselves. Then the Oeridians.

Needless to say, the Suel were not pleased; so, it was not long before they and the Bakluni came to blows. What began as small raids and minor skirmished escalated into widespread hostilities. War had swept the West.  And, if that were not enough, Tharizdun had slipped back into Oerth through ever widening cracks.

The Peoples of the West were on the move. And the Flanaess would never be the same.

-457 CY Freed from their oppressors, Queen Johydee led her people, the Oeridian tribes, east from Ull, fighting north and eastward through the vast savage humanoid hordes employed as mercenaries by the Suel and Bakluni, taking with them those secrets of the Suel they knew or could steal, and what debris the Suel had left scattered about the fields in those days of conquest, for they knew not what may be useful in days to come.
Some Suel fled their increasingly erratic empire, as well, and moved northward through the Kendeen Pass of the Hellfurnaces, coming into mostly peaceful congress with the migrating Oeridians, and open conflict with the native Flan who sought to keep them out. The Oeridians defeated hostile Suel and Flan alike, pushing them to the peripheral, wild places of the Flanaess. 
A large number of savage humanoids followed in their wake, infecting the Flanaess with a brutal violence it had previously been spared. 187 OR/ 5059 SD/ 1694 FT

-448 CY The Year of the Prophets. They read doom in the cards, the bones, and the tea leaves. Within the span of a generation the empire would fall, they predicted. Repent, they cried. Turn from your wicked ways, they plead, warning against worship of the Chained God, and warding against something they named Shothragot. To no avail. The masses laughed and turned their backs on the doomsayers. But it was plain in their eyes that their laughter was false. They turned their backs on their prophets because they knew their emperor was displeased, and they feared their emperor’s wrath more than their prophets’ doom.

Seven different prophets foretell of the destruction of the Suel Empire within 30 years. The Emperor, Yellax-ad-Zol has all seven drawn and quartered, even though one of the prophets is a High Priest of Beltar. [OJ11] 196 OR/ 5068 SD/1703 FT

-447 CY Not all were deaf to the prophets’ warnings. The Emperor’s son took heed, for, if seven prophets should face certain death to warn of impending disaster, who was he dispute them. He knew more than most, and heeded their warnings because he’d read the Lament for Lost Tharizdun, that foul scripture penned by that mad priest Wongas, who’d mysteriously vanished into the East a century earlier, and he’d seen with his own eyes what that dark lord demanded at his worship when it had been fashionable to be seen to attend such things, and knew what that Chained God desired even if those other revellers did not.

Zellifar-ad-Zol, son of the Emperor, mage/high priest of Beltar, breaks with his father and takes over 8,000 Suloise loyal to himself, and flees the kingdom, eastward. The ferocity and magical might of the movement scatters the Oerdians in its path, causing the remainder of the Oerdian to migrate. Slerotin, called “the Last High Mage” causes a huge tunnel to be bored into the Crystalmists, through which the Zolite Suel flee. He then seals the tunnel closed at both ends, trapping one lesser branch of the family, the Lerara, inside. The Zolites continue eastward heading toward the southeast as well as to Hepmonoland. [OJ11] 197 OR/ 5069 SD/1704 FT

-446 CY The Emperor was not pleased! Traitor! he screamed, when he heard of his son's betrayal. His advisors and courtiers bowed and slunk away from their emperor's wrath, for they knew it all too well, and feared their being heir to it in his son's absence.
 The emperor commands that the Houses Schnai, Cruskii and Fruztii move [and] bring his son, and the "Unloyal" back to face justice. [OJ1] 198 OR/ 5070 SD/1705 FT

-445 to -423 CY  The Zolites scatter the Flannae before them, and move south to the Tilvanot Peninsula. Zellifar carries with him two of the lesser Binders and the Chief Binder. The three pursuing houses, unable to find the magical tunnel, turned north, where they are met by regrouped Oerdians and fearful Flannae who harry and drive these Suel Houses south. Many are lost and remained in the Amedio Jungle. They eventually [turn] back east and march toward what is now the Rift Canyon. [OJ11] 199-221 OR/ 5071 – 5093 SD/1706-1728 FT

-424 CY Kevelli Mauk, leader of the Scarlet Brotherhood, also heeded the warnings of the seven prophets. He gathered his servants and his ten most ardent students, and managed to escape to the Flanaess just before disaster hit. They crossed the Hellfurnaces and found those Suel who’d first fled to the Sheldomar Valley as the Great War began and had already begun to settle there. But those Suel had not held true to the Path of Purity, having already consorted with the lesser Oeridians. They were not entirely without use, Mauk found, for they had news of Zellifar-ad-Zol and those thousands who had followed him into the east. 222 OR/ 5092 SD/ 1727 FT

-423 CY Zellifar was not the saviour his followers had imagined; indeed, his reading the Lament for Lost Tharizdun had twisted him and he proved as much a tyrant as his father, so, soon after taking flight, there were those among them who saw that they had traded one cruel emperor for another, and they began to steal away in the chaos he fostered as they were driven further east.
One of Zellifar’s minions, the High Priest Pellipardus, slips away from the Zolites and takes his family. Zellifar does not pursue, fearing that this will take his attention away from the Three Houses of Pursuit: the Schnai, the Fruztii, and the Cruski. [OJ11] 223 OR/ 5093 SD/1728 FT

-422 CY Zellifar parleys with the Houses of Pursuit. His Archmage, Slerotin, unleashes a mass enfeeblement on the mages of the three Houses, and a mass suggestion upon the other members of the Houses. Slerotin is blasted by magical energies upon the casting of these mighty spells, leaving the Rift Canyon as the only physical remains of this energy. The remnants of the Three Pursuing Houses flee northeastward.
The Houses of Pursuit have been mind-swept. They have no purpose and no direction and no mages whatsoever after they are hit by these spells. They do not know why they are searching or what they are searching for. They have two binders but do not realize it! As they move aimlessly, they begin to seek a homeland. They do not remember where they came from. The memories of their gods are virtually blotted out.
The three houses that eventually settle in the Barbarian States lose almost all contact with the more ‘civilized’ and good gods of their people. As they begin to multiply and prosper Kord and Llerg become major gods to them but Fortubo, Lendor, Lydia and Jascar are forgotten.
Farther south in Ratik a slightly different mix of peoples assembles. Gods like Phaulkon, Norebo and Phyton are still remembered. [OJ11] 224 OR/ 5094 SD/ 1729 FT

Invoked Devastation and Rain of Colourless Fire Strike

Rain of Colourless Fire, Erol Otis
The Great War had reached its height. Thousands had perished, and thousands would perish still. Each revelled in their atrocities, citing moral and racial superiority, eager to cleanse the land of the filth that tainted it.
In the Suel Empire proper, the Suel mages gather their magical energies and cast the Invoked Devastation. No Bakluni cities survive this blast of magical energy. But Bakluni mages gather at Tovag Baragu, using the arcane powers of the Binders, and drawing upon the energies of their holiest site, withstand these energies and counterstrike with the Rain of Colorless Fire. The remains of this expenditure of energy are now called the Dry Steppes, and the Sea of Dust. The holders of all Four Binders are utterly destroyed but the binders themselves are not. [OJ11] 224 OR/ 5094 SD/1729 FT

When the Invoked Devastation came upon the Baklunish, their own magi brought down the Rain of Colorless Fire in a last terrible curse, and this so affected the Suloise Empire as to cause it to become the Sea of Dust. [Folio]

The Suloise lands were inundated by a nearly invisible fiery rain which killed all creatures it struck, burned all living things, ignited the landscape with colorless flame, and burned the very hills into ash. [Folio] 224_OR/ 5094 SD/1729 FT

Cup and Talisman of AI'Akbar:
Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar
This pair of holy relics were given by the gods of the Paynims to their most exalted high priest […] in the days following the Invoked Devastation. It was lost to demihuman raiders and was last rumored to be somewhere in the Southeastern portion of the Bandit Kingdoms. [DMG 1e]

And thus the world was sundered, its rending felt from sea to sea, and all the peoples to the east looked to the west and thought that those great magi and their Binders had brought doom to them all. The skies lit up as never before, and, for a time, there was no night, so bright was the firmament to the west. But the end did not come. The tremors persisted, then faded, the eerie red glow slaked and withdrew to the horizon, and finally below the towering mountains there until it too faded from sight, if not from memory.

How could it? The tattered remnant of the Suel fled their homeland as the devastation rained down upon them. They crossed the Hellfurnaces into the Sheldomar Valley where the Oeridian tribe of Keogh took pity on them and welcomed them, and together they began to build what would become a vast kingdom, settling swiftly and (so they say) peacefully under the guidance of their seers. They defeated the remnants of Vecna’s Occluded Empire and drove the Flan to the fringes of the Valley.

That’s the story, anyway. But, Mordenkainen wrote otherwise in On The Rise of Magecraft and Modernity. The Suel were not peaceful, he wrote. They’d never been peaceful. Their Houses fought for control of one another even as they established themselves, and even drove their own minor Houses from the Valley altogether. Indeed, the Suel were striking pacts with those Ur-Flan who still held sway over Vecna’s Lands, even as they were seen to fight against them.

Some remained aloof. Or maybe they were just biding their time. Their seers stood apart from such petty struggles, and joined together as “Those Who Must Not Speak,” to serve all the Houses, guiding them. It’s been suggested that the Order was actually founded to keep certain aspects of Suel Magic from the Oeridians, who, as yet, still lacked great sorcerers of their own. However the circumstances of their formation, “Those Who Must Not Speak” were tasked with restraining the spread of magic, and seeking out and stopping those who would unleash such death and destruction as had already been unleashed on them. In time they came to be known as the Silent Ones.

-419 CY Zellifar enters the Griff Mountains alone. None know where he goes or what he does there. [OJ11] 225 OR/ 5097 SD/1732 FT

-417 CY The Three Houses of Pursuit move into the Thillonrian Peninsula. They turn to the gods they deem to be strong in the face of the harsh climate; Kord and Llerg. Magic is not practiced, and only priests, wise men and skalds may use it without fear. Witches are not uncommon, but are forced away from “normal” men. The skalds and priests develop a runic alphabet that carries mystic powers.
They do not know where they have come from. Their skalds do not know of the Suel Empire. They have retained memory of their more primitive gods such as Kord and Llerg. Some others like Phaulkon are still remembered but the more civilized gods (Lydia, for example), are forgotten! [OJ11] 227 OR/ 5099 SD/1734 FT

-416 CY Zellifar, last scion of Emperors, teleports from the Griff Mountains back to the remains of the Suloise Empire. He is destroyed by the lingering magics and final throes of conflict in the area. Thus ends the Suloise Empire, mightiest and longest lived of Empires on Oerth, and its reckoning (although some skalds of the Northern Barbarians, and the Scarlet Brotherhood still use it to keep records). [OJ11] 228 OR/ 5100 SD/1735 FT               

c.-400 CY              The Flan Ahlissan Kingdom was in full “decline” by this time. In the wake of the Ur-Flan and the devastating war with the elves, they’d become a peaceful folk, having reverted to a tribal existence, content to tend their flocks and fields. They were no match for the coming Suel or Oeridians ... militarily. That is not to say that they were a helpless people, either. 244 OR/ 5116 SD/ 1751 FT

Queen Ehlissa's Marvelous Nightingale: 

Queen Ehlissa's Marvelous  Nightingale
The origin of this artifact is unknown, although the Mage Mordenkainen is reported to have asserted that the Nightingale was made by Xagy and the goddess of volcanic activity, Joramy, some 17 centuries ago. Queen Ehlissa bent all to her will with the enchantments of the device, and throughout her reign […] several Suel [were] banished to margins of the Flanaess. [DMG 1e]

-366 CY Not all Flan kingdoms were as formidable. The coming of the Aerdy tribes incited panic among the citizens of Veralos, for it was only a city of artisans, highly skilled in creating the wonders of ages past, magical tablets and statuary and ensorcelled jewelry, even weaponry that was coveted by all the lords of Sulm, Itar, Ahlissa, and Nuria; but alas, they were not skilled in those arms. Legends say that an Ur-Flan prophet came to that ancient citadel of Veralos, and reaping their fear, he persuaded them to seek the succor of an ancient and sinister force. 278 OR/ 5150 SD/ 1785 FT

-365 CY Veralos committed the Dark Rites bid them, and the sleeping power rose up from the depths of the Rift Canyon and the city of Veralos was no more. 
When the Aerdy came upon the Rift Valley, all they found were steep cliffs, howling winds, undulant grasses, and dust-devils. They said the dust-devils swooned and wailed. They said their dreams were plagued by visions of untold horrors. And they quit the cliffs of the Rift Canyon before too long, having never raised a single palisade to defend the howling plains or the twisted forests that surrounded it. 279 OR/ 5151 SD/ 1786 FT

The Oeridians swept the Flan aside with ease. They were fierce. They were relentless. And they’d come prepared. They had learned from their former masters, and remembered those lessons well. They studied those Suel books and artifacts they’d taken with them. They tinkered. They failed at first to comprehend what they studied, and then one day they didn’t. Great magics were revealed to them. And the art of artifice. Leuk-O was particularly adept at such studies. And he was a wonderful tinkerer. He recreated those marvelous machines the Suel had used against them with such deadly effect. And he used them well.

Mighty Servant of Leuk-O:

Mighty Servant of Leuk-O
Those who are most knowledgeable regarding ancient artifacts believe that this device is of the same manufacture as the Machine of Lum. The Mighty Servant of the famous General Leuk-O is a towering automaton of crystal, unknown metals, and strange fibrous material. It is over 9' tall, 6’ deep, and some 4' wide. Inside is a compartment suitable for holding 2 man-sized creatures, and there is space for 4-5 others to sit outside. If the possessor knows the proper command phrases, he or she can use the Mighty Servant as a transportation mode, magical attack device, or fighting machine.
 The Mighty Servant regenerates [damage done to it]. [It is reputedly immune to magic.] Acid, cold, fire, heat, vacuum, and water have no effect on the device. [DMG 1e]

Science of Temporal Waves, by Leuk-0 [Dragon Magazine 82]

Machine of Lum the Mad:
Perhaps this strange device was built by gods long forgotten and survived the eons since their passing, for it is incredibly ancient and of workmanship unlike anything known today. The Machine was used by Baron Lum to build an empire, but what has since become of this ponderous mechanism none can say. Legends report that it has 60 levers, 40 dials, and 20 switches (but only about one-half still function). Singly or in combination, these controls will generate all sorts of powers and effects. [DMG 1e]

The Minds of The Unknown, by Baron Lum [D82]

Baron Lum wielded Druniarzth against the Ur-Flan sorcerers until he lost it in the Battle if the Bonewood. Druniarzth is a fell blade, an artifact that exists only to serve Tharizdun and free him from his endless slumber. Lum spent his remaining years trying to recover the sword, the search eventually driving him mad.

-217 CY Founding of the Kingdom of Aerdy.
The strongest tribe of the Oeridians, the Aerdi, settled the rich fields east of the Nyr Dyv and there founded the Kingdom of Aerdy, eventually to be renamed the Great Kingdom. [Folio] 427_OR/ 5299 SD/ 1881_FT

-194 CY Exploration of the Solonor Ocean begins.
In eastern Oerik, some small but farsighted groups living near the Gull Cliffs of the coast developed some skill at maritime travel. The travelers were of mixed stock, Oerid and Flannae, and part of the newly formed kingdom of Aerdy. The persistent Aqua-erdians generated two major seafaring explorations, both of which successfully returned with news of land far eastward. [Aqua] 450 OR/ 5322 SD/ 1967 FT

-171 CY The Battle of Chokestone.
The Flannae could only watch as the Aerdy flooded into the east, a relentless tide that had no ebb. They sought to parley with these newcomers, for there was an abundance of uncultivated land and room for all. But, the Aerdians saw the fertile lands of the Flannae and meant to take them for their own. The Flan sought to defend them, but their cause was hopeless compared with the fierceness and resolve of the Oeridians.
They clashed at Chokestone, and the Flan fell. 473 OR/ 5345 SD/ 1980 FT

Chokestone
This place, and the lands around it, are deserted, not farmed by anyone. The site is that of a great battle between Aerdi men and a small Flan tribe in -171 CY. The Oeridians were easily triumphant, and an excessively brutal general ordered the torture and sacrifice of all surrendering Flan folk in thanks to Erythnul. The following day, the Aerdi army woke from its camp to find that the land for several square miles around had been stripped of vegetation. Only slate-like stone remained. As they trod upon the stone, it cracked as if it were brittle paper, releasing clouds of oily, choking smoke. Less than a third of the army managed to march away from the accursed area, and those who survived suffered lung infections and disease which brought their lives to very premature ends. From time to time since this slaughter, a huge black smoky serpentine shape has been spotted prowling the lands around Chokestone, slaying any who dare approach the land where the Flan were slaughtered. Astrologer-sages can predict this wandering; it occurs around once every 17 years, with the "snake" manifesting for […] days. At other times, mages will sometimes try to obtain some of the stone for use in making dust of sneezing and choking, but they invariably send servants to obtain it rather than risking entry themselves. [Ivid]

-122 CY Aqua-erdians struck out east across the Solonor Ocean.
Disenchanted by a warlike turn of events in their homeland, most of the remaining Aqua-erdians left Aerdy by sea, migrating eastward across the Solnor Ocean. Those who remained became the ancestors of the Sea Barons, now virtually independent, but swearing fealty to the Overking at Rauxes. [Aqua] 522 OR/ 5394 SD/ 2029 FT

-110 CY After the Battle of a Fortnight’s Length, the Duke of Tenh pledged fealty to the King of Aerdy, giving the Aerdian monarch authority over the duke and his personal holdings in Tenh and the Coltens, thus ending Flan dominion over the Flanaess.
Not all nobles and officials of Tenh bent the knee to the King of Aerdy, maintaining Tenh’s independence, but without support and armies to field, their declaration was tantamount to posturing. They were living in the Great Kingdom now, regardless their delusions of the supposed continuance of a bygone age.
After several decades of increasing growth, power, and prestige, Aerdy embarked upon a series of conquests, the greatest of which was the defeat of the Nyrondal cavalry squadrons at the Battle of a Fortnight's Length. [Folio] 534 OR/ 5406 SD/ 2041 FT

-107 CY Ur-Flan insurgents attempted to assassinate the King of Aerdy by summoning a "winged horror." It was their last fruitless gasp at freedom.
It occurred in the year 537 OR (-107 CY), when an attack upon the traveling train of the king of Aerdy was foiled by a group of young men, primarily woodsmen and farmers from a nearby village. Ur-Flan insurgents released a winged horror upon the royal tent city in an effort to assassinate the leader of their conquerors. The young men of the village thwarted the attack, at the cost of most of their lives. The king was so impressed with the courage of the survivors that he raised them up as his "Knight Protectors." [LGG] 537 OR/ 5409 SD/ 2044 FT

So ended the Flan kingdoms.
So began the Aerdian Great Kingdom.

But what of the Houses of Pursuit? What befell them is as much legend and myth as it is truth.
Stories tell of a barbarian empire created by the warriors of Vatun, the "Great God of the North." The empire, if it existed at all, lasted only for the lifetime of the first fasstal of the Suelii. Some say Vatun was betrayed by a companion deity, but others blame a rival Oeridian god (Telchur) and his clerics; a few even say that the barbarians proved unworthy, being unable to sustain a mighty god's presence. Regardless, as recorded history dawned in the north, the barbarians' empire was only a tale of old. [LGG]
Legend has it that should the Five Blades of Curusk be united, Vatun would be freed from his imprisonment and work his revenge against Telchur and the Oerids.

The Fruztii settled in the lands north of the Timberway and west if the Spikey forests where the climate tended towards a more temperate temperament. They farmed their fertile lands; they harvested the bounty of Grendep Bay; they even mined the eastern Griffs; but they also raided the southern coasts with abandon, for those people were weak, and Vatun taught them to do so, and punished those tribes that did not, sending quakes and high seas and fierce winds until they set sail south once again.

The Schnai settled the land between the Corusk Mountains and the wide Grendep Bay, with only the Spikey Forest separating them with the Fruztii. Despite their identical climes, the landscape of the Schnai is more rugged than the Fruztii’s, though not so rough as the Cruski’s. The same could be said of the people, who are more factious than the Fruztii, but more united than the Cruski. It was these differences that inevitably brought their kin under their dominion.
They may not have always been the most powerful of the Suel barbarians, but they never come under the rule of either of their cousin states. Perhaps this is due to the superior seamanship of these barbarians, for they have never been attacked by land. [LGG]

The Cruski settled further east upon Rhizia, the Thellonrian Peninsula, than any of their kin. Theirs is the coldest and most severe of the Suel barbarian kingdoms. Fiercely independent, they hunted and fished and whaled from their seaside towns and their mountain steadings. And like all of their kin, they built longships, for it was and is their way to raid south, and prey upon those plying their trade at sea.
The Cruski themselves are a people of pure Suel race, speaking the Cold Tongue as their native language. Though they have always been the least numerous of the Suel barbarians, their royal lineage is the oldest. The king of Cruski holds the title "Fasstal of all the Suelii," indicating his preeminence among the nobles of the Suel race and giving him the right to pronounce judgment on any of them. Politically, this has little real importance, for he has no power to enforce his judgments. However, it is said by some that the god Vatun granted this authority to the fasstal of the Suelii; if Vatun awoke, the full authority of the office would return to the fasstal, and a new barbarian empire would emerge under his leadership. [LGG]

The Barbarians and the Kingdom of Aerdy were destined to clash.
And they did.
But that is another tale.



One must always give credit where credit is due. This History is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them. Without Len there would not be such a detailed account of the Suel Migration, or the Pantheon of Suel Gods, for that matter. I cannot at this time give credit to all those others who’d contributed to it over the years, because I myself am still learning it and who wrote it. But I can give thanks to Steven Wilson for his GREYCHRONDEX and to Keith Horsfield for his “Chronological History of Eastern Oerik.”

Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.

 The art:
Deathrite-Shaman by steveargyle
War-Relic by artursadlos
Rain of Colourless Fire by Erol Otis, Greyhawk Gold Box, 1983 TSR
Art of Artifacts can be found in the Book of Artifacts, 1993 WotC


Copyright:
All source material presented within this chronology is owned and copyrighted by WotC.
The use of this material is not intended to challenge the rights of WotC.
This document is fan content and presented solely for the personal use of those individuals who game within the Greyhawk Setting.

Sources:
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1043 The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989 FFF=Feuds, Folks and Factions
1056 Castles Boxed Set, 1990 Hart=Castle Hart Book
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992 Atlas=Atlas Book; CB=Campaign Book
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991 AB=Adventure Book
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1977
2023 Greyhawk Adventures Hardback, 1988
2138 Book of Artifacts, 1993
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1981
9027 S2, White Plume Mountain, 1979
9065 WG4, The Gorgotten Temple of Tharizdun, 1982
9253 WG8, Fate of Istus, 1989
9309 WGA4, Vecna Lives, 1990
9386 WGR3, Rary the Traitor, 1992
9398 WGR4, The Marklands, 1993
9399 WGR 5, Iuz the Evil, 1993
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998 AM=Adventure Maps Book
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11434 Return to White Plume Mountain, 1999
11442 Bastion of Faith, 1999
11662 Die Vecna Die! 2000
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 2000
Ivid the Undying, 1998
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, produced by the Council of Greyhawk, and appearing on their website
Living Greyhawk Journals
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.