Friday, 17 September 2021

The Bandit Kingdoms Primer

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy ."
—  Obi-Wan Kenobi

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.”
― William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Winter is long. Life is short. So the saying goes in the Bandit Kingdoms. The Free Folk should know. Winter is long, and cold; the windblown sleet and snow is so icy it will turn your head around. What is more, the summers are dry, the soil is poor, and the growing season no longer than the bat of an eye. As to life; that depends, doesn’t it? Do you venture out in the dark of night? Can you keep your mouth shut? Do you love Iuz? Are you well connected?

It’s a wonder as many people live in these lands as they do. Or that any chose to come here in the first place. But there was silver in them thar hills, once. Or should I say, in them Rifts?  That’s what drew those first settlers, once the heathen Rovers were pressed north to make room for honest folk, and peace, progress, and empire. The Flan had never made proper use of the land, anyway. Not that it was much use: the soil was rocky, and little more than boulder clay; and what with the profusion of firs, it was acidic, too. It was barely tolerable to beans and taters, and hardly tolerable as pasture. But there was silver, and plenty of it, while it lasted. It’s no wonder the Flan didn’t even fight for it, much.
Some say there were those Flan who did, or sought to, even if they didn’t. Ur-Flan artisans, they say. Tall tales tell that the people of Veralos thought to use magic to dissuade the Aerdi from coming, that they implored an ancient and wizened prophet with talent in one Art or another to do the deed. There are those who even whisper that the doer was Keraptis, himself; but that’s neither here nor there. Those Aerdi scouts that did come said that they found an abandoned town on the edge of the Rift. It was ancient, they said, yet tables were laid, as though to sup, and the hung herbs still smelled fresh. Round the decay, nothing stirred, the only sound the rustling of the wind on the birch and poplar that hid it from sight. That’s no never mind, the Free Folk say. That was long ago. Just talk.
The Bandit Kingdoms
The Kingdom did come, and it lorded over these parts for centuries, put they paid it no heed. There was no profit in it, once the silver played out, some said. Folk took to raiding to make ends meet, usually against the “haves” to the south, and uppity Flan to the north, sometimes even into the Shield Lands if they were bold enough, or into the Hierarch’s demesnes, if they were brazened enough; but they weren’t above taking what came from the other kings and grafs and princes of the “Combination of Free Lords,” if they were too weak to hang on to what they thought theirs. That’s just the way of things here. You have to make ends meet, come what may, as they say.

So it remained until Iuz came.
Then everything changed. The Lords fell; or capitulated, if they knew what was good for them. Iuz’s Boneheart moved in. And the wheel turns.
Hail Iuz!
Be quick to “hail” when hailed, if you know what’s good for you. And trust no one. Not your friends. Not even your grandmare. After all, you never really know where another’s loyalties might lie, do you?

Adventures in the Bandit Kingdoms center on the political machinations of the various warlords and powerful merchants as they send adventurers to deal with pesky monsters, guard caravans of pilfered loot, hunt down betrayers, or wreak havoc on their enemies’ interests. Bizarre monsters from the Fellreev Forest and Rift Canyon must be dealt with. Beware the dragons in the Fellreev Forest (green), Rift Canyon (red), and White Plume Mountain (dracolich)!

The Combination of Free Lords

Suffering Iuz
The Combination of Free Lords, a.k.a. the Bandit Kingdoms, is comprised of roughly a dozen fiefdoms —  the inhabitants of which are almost all uniformly unpleasant to friends and foes alike. Surrounded by enemies, the local warlords band together to raid nearby nations. If your campaign is set pre-Greyhawk Wars, the local warlords often fight among themselves when not raiding. If your campaign is set after, the Bandit Kingdoms suffer Iuz’s occupation and yearn to break free of the evil demigod’s chains. In the Bandit Kingdoms, anyone powerful enough to raise a small army can rise to power…but not everyone can keep it.

Inspiration for campaigning in the Bandit Kingdoms can be found in the “Thieves’ World” anthologies, edited by Robert Lynn Asprin and Lynn Abbey; “The Black Company series,” by Glen Cook.
Inspiration may also be had from the AD&D 2nd Ed. accessory: “Lankhmar, City of Adventure” (TSR_2137)
Further inspiration can be had from “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” by William L. Shirer.

Country specific resources:
BDKR1: The Unofficial Living Greyhawk Bandit Kingdoms Summary, by Casey Brown.
Dragon Magazine, issue 56, “Protection circles and the like, plus news of the north central Flanaess”
Dragon Magazine, issue 63, “Where the bandits are”
Fate of Istus (details the city of Rookroost)
Iuz the Evil
The Greyhawk Folio, The Greyhawk setting boxed set, Greyhawk Adventures, Greyhawk Wars, From the Ashes Boxed Set, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, Dragon magazine #52,55,57,63,205,253,293

Adventures in this country include:
S4 White Plume Mountain
Return to White Plume Mountain
A Slight Diversion, OJ#9, Redspan,
WG8, Fate of Istus, #1, Rookroost
WGS1 Five Shall Be One
Out of the Ashes, Dungeon #17
Age of Worms adventure path (Dungeon Magazine, issues 124 – 135)
The Spire of Long Shadows, Dungeon, #130
The Prince of Redhand, Dungeon, #131
The Library of Last Resort, Dungeon, #132
Kings of the Rift, Dungeon, #133
Into the Wormcrawl Fissure, Dungeon, #134
Dawn of a New Age, Dungeon, #135

Aquatic Adventures: The Artonsamay River, Lake Aqal, the Nyr Dyv
Badlands Adventures: Bluff Hills, Great Effluvlial Swamp, Rift Canyon and Rift Barrens, White Plume Mountain
City Adventures (post-wars): Alhaster (port town ruled by a Hextorite), Hallorn (overrun with undead), Riftcrag (populated by humanoids loyal to Iuz), Rookroost (largest city in the region and secretly ruled by a shapeshifting cambion), Stoink (run by thieves)
Forest Adventures: Fellreev Forest, Tangles Forest

Adventures in nearby areas include:
WG8, Fate of Istus, #2 Nyrond, #5 Pale
WGS2 Howl From the North
WGR5 Iuz the Evil
The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga
Fright at Tristor, Theocracy of the Pale
Forge of Fury, Bone March
The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb, Dungeon #37, Bone March
Ex Keraptis Cum Amore, Dungeon #77, Burning Cliffs
Deep Freeze, Dungeon #83, Theocracy of the Pale
Armistice, Dungeon #84, Griff Mountains
The Sharm’s Dark Song, Dungeon #87
Glacier Seas, Dungeon #87
Beyond the Light of Reason, Dungeon #96, Tenh
Raiders of the Black Ice, Dungeon #115, Blackmoor
Ill Made Graves, Dungeon #133, Jotsplat & the Icy Sea
Tomb of Zhang the Horrific, by William Dvorak, Rovers of the Barrens.
C13 From His Cold, Dead Hands, by Carlos Lising, casl Entertainment, 2019, Jotsplat & the Icy Sea
C14 The Sanguine Labyrinth, by Carlos Lising, casl Entertainment, 2019, Burning Cliffs
C17 The Root of All Evil,  by Carlos Lising, casl Entertainment, 2019, Burning Cliffs
FB1 While on the Road to Cavrik's Cove, casl Entertainment, 2021, Ratik
Although later retconned into the Yeomanry, B1 Into the Unknown (in the monochrome edition) was originally suggested as located in The Duchy of Tenh or the Theocracy of the Pale. That would make either an ideal location for B1 Keep on the Borderlands, as well.

Pholtans from the Theocracy of the Pale to the east seek to break Dimre’s defenses.
The Tenha city of Redspan vies with Rookroost for control of the Artonsamay River’s northern traffic.
Nomadic barbarians of the Rovers of the Barrens dominate the wild plains to the north.
Devils stalk the Horned Society’s lands while paladins in the Holy Realm of the Shield Lands seek to curtail bandit and infernal invasions alike to the west.
County of Urnst shipping on the Nyr Dyv is often harassed by corsairs out of Alhaster.

Heroic campaigns are difficult to set in the Bandit Kingdoms. Paladins are generally run out of town by the local populace for being nosy do-gooders. In addition, there are few ancient dungeons to explore (except for Nerull’s Bane in the Fellreev Forest and Wormcrawl Fissure in the Rift Canyon).

Bandit Kingdoms:
chaotic neutral, chaotic evil; Flan, Baklunish, Oeridian, Common.
[Dragon #52 – 20]

Various claims to royal titles exist
Capital (largest city in strongest state): currently Rookroost (pop. 17,310)
Population: 95,000 +
Demi-humans: Few if any
Humanoids: Many
Resources: silver (mines in rift area)
[WOGA – 19]

After the War:
Ruler: none (Iuz)
Capital: largest city in strongest fiefdom, currently Rookroost (pop. 11,650)
[FTAA – 22]

Proper Name: (formerly) Combination of Free Lords; (now) Bandit Lands (within the Empire of Iuz)
Ruler: Various petty warlords and tyrants or Lesser Boneheart mages, all supposedly in service to Iuz
Government: Many loosely allied petty dictatorships, currently "administered" (often in name only) by occupying forces of Iuz
Capital: (formerly) The largest city in the strongest fiefdom, usually Rookroost
Resources: Silver (in Rift Canyon)
Population: 475,200—Human 79% (OFSb), Half-orc 9%, Halfling 5%, Elf 3%, Gnome 2%, Dwarf 1%, Half-elf 1%
Languages: Common, Orc, Halfling
Religions: Iuz (officially), but also Olidammara, Erythnul, Norebo, Hextor, orc pantheon, Nerull, Ralishaz, Kurell, Fharlanghn, Pholtus, Trithereon, Rudd, various goblinoid gods
[LGG – 25]

4. Abbarra;
9. Artonsamay, Duchy of the;
11. Dimre, Grand Theocracy of (independent);
16. Fellands;
3. Freehold, Mighty;
14. Greenkeep, Defenders of the;
17. Groskopf, Grand Clans of;
12. Johrase, Kingdom of;
13. Midlands, Stronghold of the;
8. Redhand, Principality of;
7. Reyhu, Great Lands of;
6. Rift, Men of the;
15. Rookroost, Free City of;
10. Stoink, Free City-State of;
5. Tangles, Earldom of the;
1. Warfields, Unified Bands of the;
2. Wormhall, Barony of
[Dragon #63 – 14]

Winter is Long, and Life is Short

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, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is exhaustive.
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.
This Primer has been expanded from the original “Touring the Bandit Kingdoms Postcard” on Canonfire! written by Casey Brown, and some passages from that scholarly work reside with this piece.

The Art:
Alhaster, from Dungeon #131, pg. 80, 2006
Assassinat de sigebert, ler Grande Chroniques de France (Bibliotheque Nationale de Fance, Paris), and The Unofficial Living Greyhawk Bandit Kingdoms Summary cover, 2012
WG8 Fate of Istus cover, by Daniel Horne, 1989
Bandit Kingdom heraldry, from the Greyhawk Folio, 1980
Bandit Kingdoms map, by Darlene, from Dragon #63, 1982

2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1981
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
2023 Greyhawk Adventures, 1989
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
Living Greyhawk Journal
Greychrondex, Steven B. Wilson
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
Anna B. Meyer’s Greyhawk Map

Friday, 10 September 2021

Cinniúint Mc’ill'Oig

Cinniúint Mc’ill'Oig

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats

A farmer's son, Cinniúint desired more than what appeared his due. Life in the foothills of the Rakers was tedious, at best; truth be told, he thought it a prison of drudgery and toil. He gazed out upon the flats below from his high, windswept perch, imagining he saw the distant coast, and dreamed of far-off lands, and deeds of daring-do and maidens fair, like those in the sagas Isin sang, and Riichi preserved on his parchments, tales of evil wizards and dragons that ruled frozen landscapes.

Why do you listen to such foolishness, Gurrda Mc’ill'Oig argued? They are nothing but lies, his father claimed. We Flan have always been as we are, he said. And: Be content with what bounty Beory hath bestowed on us.

But Cinniúint was anything but content. He was destined for better than a life of tilling soil and dirty fingernails, he believed. He had a quick and nimble mind. And he knew that his father was wrong about their people’s lot. Isin and Riichi had said those tales of ancient Flan heroes and villains were true, and Cinniúint believed them. He had seen Riichi’s parchments with his own eyes, even if he could not read them. They were old, near crumbling. Ancient, Riichi said; and Riichi should know; hadn’t the hedge wizard travelled to Marner and read the Aerdian histories that told those very same tales of Vecna and the Ur-Flan, and of the hero, Gethrun Shoiraine, who had delivered the Flan of fabled Tostencha from Keraptis’ tyranny?

He hounded the hedge wizard to teach him letters. But Riichi rebuffed him, knowing Gurrda’s mind. Cinniúint would not be dissuaded. The boy snuck into Riichi’s hut and found his books of alchemy, and somehow taught himself to read. And then recited what he had learned to the astonished Riichi. Riichi relented, reluctantly. He quickly discovered the boy's abilities surpassed his own, and sent word to the only true wizard he knew, who promptly arrived and took the boy away to Marner.

Young Cinniúint
Cinniúint was inducted into the Scholars of the Arcane, under whose rigorous tutelage he learned discipline. And there he remained until word arrived that the northern borderlands were being raided by the euroz, and that adventurers were being gathered to put an end to them. He asked the deans if he might be given leave to answer the call. They advised him against the enterprise. You are not ready, they said. He persisted. They relented.

Cinniúint travelled north, finding companions in need of a wizard once he arrived in the small town of Riverport: an elven and human rogue, two fledgling fighters, and an acolyte, each as bent on adventure as he. They set out into the Rakers, but instead of daring-do and maidens fair, they found danger and death in the ancient temple that had pressed a menagerie of evils to their design. Only three survived their adventure into those caves of chaos. Three Fools, they named themselves for their folly. And it was that name that they came to be known.

Never Again...

Cinniúint vowed he would never venture into the wilds so ill-prepared again. Who had built the red temple in the depths of the caverns where his companions fell, he wondered? They had kept silent about their aims and beliefs, fanatical they surely were, as they neither asked for, not gave, quarter or mercy. He returned to Marner and studied those ancient texts available there. Half-remembered names from his childhood flew off the pages: Tostencha, Skrellingshald. Vecna, Keraptis, and Acererak. Slerotin. Zellifar. Roghan and Zelligar. Merely mentioned in those tomes, he discovered more perusing weighty, dusty, tomes in Red Mord and Rel Astra and Rauxes. Clues led he and the other Fools, Jondhan Amar and Scáthú Urithi, into the Timberway and Loftwood forests, the Rakers and Griffs, and up and down the Grendep and Solnor coasts, raising ever more questions. He dove deeper, and learned the names of supposedly long-lost gods, The Elder Eye, and the Elemental God. They were far from dead, he discovered. And far from forgotten.

And then, one day, the deans called him into chamber. A son of a Fruztiian jarl, one Hradji Beartooth, had arrived with questions about fabled Skrellingshald.

They asked if Cinniúint might meet with him.

Skrellingshald, he asked? Did he say Skrellingshald?

"Apparently wizards poke their noses in everywhere!"
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable. 

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
Umber Hulk Ambush, by Dean Kotz (?), from Into the Borderlands, pg. 334, Goodman Games, 2018

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

The Dullahan


D is for Dullahan
We all know the legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, immortalized by Disney, and fare for consumption every Halloween for as long as I can remember.

But where did it come from? From the worthy pen of Washington Irving. Here’s a link to his prose:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving ( 

It’s far older than that eponymous tiny town in New York. It’s old indeed; Irish folklore old, in fact. The Dullahan is fey, and a particularly nasty one at that. Neither specifically male or female, this sinister spirit carries its grinning skull under its arm, cracking a whip fashioned from a human spine, riding unto its hapless victim, that can no more bar its approach than you can hold back the tide, All gates snap open, all locks yield to its approach, and in the end, like the grim reaper, it takes what is its due, the soul of he whose time has been writ. 

The Dullahan
Daniel McDonagh, December 29, 2006 

The entrance to C’Adder is guarded by a creature
Who rides a black unicorn, carrying his head in his hand,
His eyes watch all strangers, pilgrims of God
Who have been chased from their dwellings, robbed of their land.
The Dullahan rides his black unicorn all day and night
As Neir watches through terrified eyes,
His laughter she hears, trying to cover her ears,
Knowing, when he stops riding, a mortal will die.

The Dullahan
PenAllen, 2011

When The Dullahan Passes By
When the Dullahan passes by
black eyes glare with demonic spite.
He decides when you’ve got to die.
Unlikely you’ll live through the night.

Black eyes glare with demonic spite
while cracking a spine tingling whip.
Unlikely you’ll live through the night.
This ghoul won’t be given the slip.

While cracking a spine tingling whip
the coffin cart rattles and groans.
This ghoul won’t be given the slip.
Hear how the banshee shrieks and moans.

The coffin cart rattles and groans.
He decides when you’ve got to die.
Hear how the banshee shrieks and moans
when the Dullahan passes by.

The Dullahan (The Dark Man)
John F. McCullagh, November 1, 2014

The Dullahan Rides
He rides his black steed through the countryside
and whenever he stops a mortal man dies.
He's the Angel of Death and worthy of dread;
dressed all in black and lacking a head.
In his left hand is a spine that he'll use as a whip.

In his right hand a scythe that will cut to the quick.
If you chance to observe him you may be struck blind
and still think yourself lucky that he left you behind.
If he pulls on the reins and he finds you outdoors
Your heart will stop dead and will beat nevermore.

There are buckets of blood where the Dullahan rides.
On all Hallows Eve you had best be inside.

The Dullahan
Dustin Kasinecz, 2017

The end arrived upon a steed of twilight...
The road wailed through the weird,
as fear would rise from orchard to weald,
galloping nightmares in fecundity;
galloping nightmares in ferocity.

The door died on the hinge,
as locks would rust from Hell to home,
shivering in the cold decline;
shivering in the cold denial of time.

The end arrived upon a steed of twilight,
as death would reign from terror to trite,
encroaching lash of that human spine;
encroaching damnation of searching eyes.

The soul was gone,
perished with a call,
from the Dullahan.

All Poems are wholly owned by the Poets.

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists

Friday, 3 September 2021

Otto’s Spells


“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
― Bob Marley

Otto, upon the Guild's Stage
Say what you will about Otto, the man loves his music. He’s a patron of the Arts, most specifically of the Guild of Performing Artistes in the Free City of Greyhawk, where he is often in attendance. He could have been a member of that noble and talented troupe. Those who’ve heard him sing suggest he might very well have been the greatest tenor of his generation, had fate dealt him another hand and he had pursued his love of opera instead of the Art he had. That said, he never strayed very far from his first and life-long love. His adoration of all things audio can be seen in his spell creations, as they focus largely on rhythm, rhyme, and harmony, to say nothing of tone and melody.
I might suggest that if you cannot hold a tune, that you should be very careful in articulation when casting Otto’s spells, lest all manner of foul happenstance fall upon your person.

Here’s a list of those we know of. I’m sure he’s researching more, even as I write this.

Level One
Otto’s Chime of Release
Level Two
Otto’s Soothing Vibrations
Otto’s Tones of Forgetfulness
Level Three
Otto’s Crystal Rhythms
Otto’s Sure-Footed Shuffle
Level Four
Otto’s Drums of Despair
Otto’s Rousing Anthem
Otto’s Silver Tongue
Otto’s Tonal Attack
Otto’s Tin Soldiers
Otto’s Warding Tones
Level Five
Otto’s Gong of Isolation
Level Six
Otto’s Triple Chime
Level Eight
Otto’s Irresistible Dance

No description:
Otto’s Imperative Ambulation

Otto’s Chime of Release (Alteration)
Level: 1
Components: V, S, M
Range: 60 yds
Casting Time: 1 segment
Duration: 1 segment
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast, a delicate chime rings out, the vibrations of which will release any form of nonmagical bonds holding a single creature or person. Ropes will be untied, chains and shackles loosened, leather straps unbound, a gag undone, or a wooden stock will be opened by the chime. The spell can even be used to release a bit and bridle on a horse, freeing the mount from a rider’s direct control. The material component is a small brass tubular chime, which disappears when the spell is cast.
[GA – 65]

A Lulling Effect
Otto’s Soothing Vibrations (Enchantment/Charm)
Level: 2
Components: V
Range: 60yds
Casting Time: 2 rounds
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Special
Area of Effect: 20’ radius sphere
Explanation/Description: As the mage casts the spell, all creatures in the area of effect begin to hear soothing vibrations that cause them to pause and listen. As the music continues, the creatures feel the mage broadcasting peaceful, kindly thoughts to them. The creatures will do nothing for one round until the mage is finished casting the spell. Thereafter, all animals in the area of effect of semi-intelligence or lower will feel kindly to the mage, and show no aggression or fear unless attacked first. All other creatures are entitled to a saving throw at +2 to avoid the spell’s lulling effect. All animals and those creatures who fail the save are more susceptible to charm spells cast before the spell’s duration ends, and suffer a -2 penalty against any charm spell cast upon them, such as animal friendship, charm person or mammal, or charm monster: There is no somatic or material component to the spell, just the soothing, vibrating voice of the caster.
[GA – 65]

“I… I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air.”
Good Vibrations—Beach Boys, 1966
[Sorry, I couldn't help myself.]

Otto’s Tones of Forgetfulness (EnchantmentCharm)
Level: 2
Components: V, S, M
Range: 10 yds/level
Casting Time: 2 segments
Duration: 1 turn/level
Saving Throw: Special
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: When the mage casts this spell, the ears of the target creature are filled with exotic tones no one else can hear. Unless the creature makes its saving throw, the creature will lose all memory of non-weapon proficiencies known by the creature, and any attempt to use such a proficiency will meet with automatic failure. If the creature’s save is successful, the creature merely suffers a + 2 penalty to the chance of success with a non-weapon proficiency for the duration of the spell. The material components are a string from a sitar and a wooden mallet.
[GA – 65]

Otto’s Crystal Rhythms (Enchantment/Charm)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: 10 yds/level
Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: Negates
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: Unless the victim of this spell makes its saving throw, the creature’s ears will be filled with the sound of energetic crystal chimes that no one else can hear. The creature will immediately drop anything in its hands and begin clapping, so the creature cannot use its hands for anything else. Spells requiring a somatic component cannot be cast, thieving skills cannot be performed, tools cannot be used, and weapons cannot be wielded by the clapper. Obviously, only creatures that have hands will be affected, and any creature with more than one pair of hands will clap along with as many hands as the creature has. The material components for the spell are a pair of crystals worth 500 g.p. that vanish after the spell is cast.
[GA – 65]

Otto’s Sure-Footed Shuffle (Alteration-Enchantment/ Charm)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: 30 yards
Casting Time: 3 rounds
Duration: 1 turn
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: All creatures within range
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast, the listeners hear fiddle music for one round. Thereafter, the creatures are given the walking agility and sure-footedness of a mountain goat. The creature can climb an incline of up to 50 degrees with no trouble. In any situation where the creature might trip, slip, stumble, or lose his footing or balance, the creature is allowed a +4 bonus to a saving throw or -4 modifier to the creature’s dexterity check to avoid falling, using whichever roll is applicable. The material components are a fiddle string and a sliver from the hoof of a mountain goat.
[GA – 65]

Otto’s Drums of Despair (Enchantment/Charm) reversible
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 20 yds/level
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: Special
Area of Effect: 400 square feet/level
Explanation/Description: This spell will create the sound of oppressively loud war drums in a large area, filling all creatures in the area of effect with feelings of dread and despair. The spell will cover an area at the direction of the caster, so a 10th level mage could affect an area 200 feet by 20 feet, 100 feet by 40 feet, or 50 feet by 80 feet. All affected creatures will be -2 on all attack, damage, and saving throws, and will suffer a - 2 morale penalty. Creatures of 2 hit dice or less are not entitled to a saving throw to avoid the enchantment. Creatures of 2 + 1 to 4 hit dice make their save at -2, and creatures of 4 + 1 hit dice and higher roll an unmodified save. The material components are a pair of miniature bronze drums with onyx decorations, worth 1,000 g.p. in materials and workmanship, that vanish after the spell is cast.

The reverse of the spell, Otto’s rousing anthem, produces a loud trumpet call that raises the spirits of all allied creatures in the same-sized area of effect. All affected creatures will be +1 on attack and saving throws, and NPCs will receive a two-point bonus on morale checks. The material component for the anthem is a set of four miniature silver trumpets trimmed with lapis lazuli, worth a total of 5,000 g.p., which vanish after the spell is cast.
[GA – 65,66]

Otto’s Silver Tongue (Enchantment/Charm)
Level: 4
Components: V, S
Range: 0
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: The mage
Explanation/description: When this spell is cast, the mage’s voice takes on an enthralling sing-song tone that instantly catches the ear of any listener. Anything said by the caster will sound very convincing, as if the mage had a 19 charisma (+ 40% reaction adjustment). Any half-truth spoken by the caster has a 75% chance of sneaking past the notice of a listener using a detect lie spell and an outright lie has a 50% chance of not being discovered by detect lie.
[GA – 66]

Otto’s Tin Soldiers (Alteration)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 10 yds
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: 5rounds + 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Tiny Tin Soldier
Explanation/Description: To use this spell, the caster must have a pair of small, tin soldiers appropriate for one of the four versions of the spell. When the spell is cast, rousing martial music fills the air as the tin soldiers grow to human size and come to life. The tin soldiers will obey all orders faithfully, even to the death. The type of soldiers that can be conjured into existence depends on the level of the caster, as follows.

7th level caster—two heavy infantryman: AC 4 (chain mail and large shield); Move 9’’ ; HD 1 + 2; hp 8; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6 (spear or short sword); THACO 18; AL N.

9th level caster-two heavy foot archers: AC 5 (chain mail); Move 9”; HD 2 +2; hp 15; #AT 2 or 1 (long bow or short sword); Dmg 1d6 (arrow or short sword); THACO 16; AL N.

12th level caster-two light cavalrymen (if there is room for the horses): AC 6 (ring mail); Move 12”; HD 3 +2; hp 23; #AT 2 or 1 (composite short bow or broad sword); Dmg 1d6 or 2d4 (arrow or broad sword); THACO 16; AL N. They are riding light warhorses: AC 6 (leather barding); Move 21”; HD 2; hp 14; #AT 2; Dmg 1d4/ld4; THACO 16; AL N.

14th level caster—two foot knights: AC 2 (plate mail and large shield); Move 6”; HD 4 +2; hp 30; #AT 1; Dmg 1d10 + 3; THACO 15; AL N.

The material components are the pair of soldiers worth 100 g.p. in workmanship and a miniature brass bugle worth 50 g.p., which vanish after the spell is cast.
[GA – 66]

Otto’s Tonal Attack (Enchantment/charm)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 20 yds/level
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: 1 turns/level
Saving Throw: Special
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: This spell will cause a spell-using creature to temporarily lose the knowledge of how to cast all spells unless a saving throw is made. Clerics and druids make their saves at +2. If the save is successful, then any spell cast by the affected creature is reduced in effectiveness, as if the spell were cast by a character two experience levels lower for figuring spell range, area of effect, duration, or damage. The material components are a sitar string and a crystal mallet (1,000 g.p.1, which vanish after the spell is cast.
[GA – 66]

Otto’s Warding Tones (Enchantment/charm)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 120 yds
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: 50’ by 50’ square
Explanation/Description: All creatures affected by this spell will have their ears filled with loud tones only they can hear. The notes will drown out all other sounds, effectively making the creatures deaf, but also rendering the creatures immune to all sonic attacks, such as sirens’ song, a banshee’s wail, drums of panic, drums of deafening, or the first use of a horn of blasting. The material components are two lumps of bee’s wax and a string from any orchestral string instrument.
[GA – 66]

Otto’s Gong of Isolation (Enchantment/Alteration)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 10 yds/level
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 1 turn/level
Saving Throw: Negates
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast upon a creature, the mind-numbing sound of an extremely loud gong fills its mind. If the creature makes a saving throw at - 2, the creature is only stunned for one round. But if the save fails, the creature loses all normal sensory input into the mind. The creature cannot see, hear, feel, taste, or smell, effectively making the creature helpless. If the creature engages in melee, all attacks are made at -6 to hit, but the creature has no idea of what it is attacking or even if the attack succeeds. Telepathic communication with the creature is still possible, and the creature might receive information about the world through such a link. A wish, heal, or restoration spell will completely cure the condition. The material components are a miniature gold gong and tiny gold striker with a jade stone as its head, together worth 7,000 g.p. in materials and workmanship, which vanish after the spell is cast.
[GA – 66]

Otto's Irresistible Dance (Enchantment/Charm)
Level: 8
Components: V
Range: Touch
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 2-5 rounds
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Explanation/Description: When Otto's Irresistible Dance is placed upon a creature, the spell causes the recipient to begin dancing, feet shuffling and tapping. This dance makes it impossible for the victim to do anything other than caper and prance, this cavorting lowering the armor class of the creature by -4, making saving throws impossible, and negating any consideration of a shield. Note that the creature must be touched - possibly as if melee combat were taking place and the spell caster were striking to do damage.
[PHB 1e – 90]

“Jump around!
Jump around!
Jump around!
Jump up, jump up and get down!
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! (Everybody jump)”
—House of Pain, 1992

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
Falstaff und sein Page, Adolf Schrödter, 1866
Bigby and Otto of the Circle of Eight, by David Roach, from The Adventure Begins, 1998
Bigby, by Sam Wood, from Living Greyhawk Journal #0, 2000
Bigby, by Ken Frank, from WGA4 Vecna Lives!, 1990
Bigby, by Sam Wood, from Living Greyhawk Journal #6, and Dragon #290, 2002
Bigby's Irresistible Dance, by David C. Sutherland III, from PHB 1e, 1978

2010 Players Handbook 1e, 1978
011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
2011 Unearthed Arcana, 1985
2023 Greyhawk Adventures, 1988
Dragon Magazine

Friday, 27 August 2021

History of the South, Part 3: Collapse

“To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; 
and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace.”
― Tacitus

New Lands
The Flan found that there were a great many lands to be had in the Flanaess. They spread north and east, ever mindful of the benevolence of the olve, and ever mindful of their taxed tolerance as well.
But where their migrations were peaceful, there were those whose weren’t. The Olman were ever warlike, and forever cruel wherever they might settle. They would abide no others in sight of their settlements, even if those others had settled those lands long before them. Those Tuov would have to make way, they reasoned, if they could not make proper use of those lands that were destined to be Olman. The Tuov were of a different opinion.
As were those Baklunish and Oerid that found themselves in the path of Suel expansionism.

c. -1000 CY
The Earth Dragon
Once, the Pomarj was a peaceful peninsula, inhabited by primitive Flan who worshipped powers of earth and sky.
Ages ago, before humans laid claim to this monstrous peninsula, an ancient spirit, the Earth Dragon, rise to claim this land its own. In those early days of the Flanaess, the Earth Dragon was but one of many spirits worshipped by the primitive people of the Pomarj. It was the elemental spirit of Mount Drachenkopf the great mountain lying in the heart of the Drachensgrab Hills, and it was said to dwell deep in the heart of that mountain. Like other spirits of the land, the Earth Dragon demanded sacrifices from the local tribesmen. Those tribes that sacrificed to the Earth Dragon prospered, while those that did not were destroyed by avalanches and earthquakes. […]
Before the great migrations that transformed the Flanaess, the nomadic Flannae were the only humans to live in this sparsely populated land. The tribes of Flannae that wandered the Sheldomar Valley knew of the Earth Dragon and respected its power. But, since the Drachensgrab Hills made travel difficult, the Flannae tended to avoid the region, leaving sacrifices of food and wine only when they needed to ensure safe passage. [Slavers – 120]

c -1000 CY
Just as the Flan were migrating into the Pomarj, so too were the Olman beginning their mass migration from Hepmonaland unto the Olman Islands, and into the Amedio jungle, and beyond, into the southern seas.
They had little choise. The Tuov struck back at the warlike Olman, loath to accept their northern neighbour’s raids and subsequent slaughters any longer. And as the Tuov pressed the Olman ever further back into their jungles, they were horrified to discover the dark depravities the Olman had sunk to.
The monsters of Alocotla spread into the countryside, diluting their tainted blood with the remaining humans, eventually drawing all of them into the cold embrace of the serpent-men. The human aspects of the yuan-ti of this nation have Olman traits, while their snake parts are predominately dark green with red or black patterns.
Although most Olman fled Hepmonaland when invading Tuov proved too strong, those of Alocotla stayed and fought, managing to retain control of much of their territories. They fought occasional wars against the neighboring city0states, spied on their Xapatlapoan cousins, and seemed mostly content to rule their own lands. [SB – 47]

The Shores of the Amedio
The Olman arrived from Hepmonaland around -1000 CY, long after the d’kana vanished. Finding this new land largely uninhabited by intelligent foes, the Olman burned off large swaths of jungle to make their progress through the Amedio easier, stopping when they found sites of which their gods approved. They built great cities, burning away the nearby jungle to make room for farmland. Seven cities were built, each surrounded by villages and farming communities. The land around each city was considered a kingdom, with the city its capital, but all city-states owed allegiance to the high capital city in the central Amedio.
[SD – 62]

Though uninhabited by civilised cultures now, the Olman discovered evidence that this was not always so.
The Olman had discovered remnants of the troglodyte culture and declared that their civilization had fallen because the gods judged them lacking. [SD – 63]

The Isle of Dread
The Isle of Dread

The Olman have lived on the Isle of Dread for countless ages in small villages separated from the body of the island by a gigantic wall.
[Dragon #351 – 70]
The Olman are a remarkable people whose traditions remain unsullied by the rising forces of commerce, industry, and corruption.
The human tribes of the Olman have existed on the Isle of Dread as far back as their stories stretch. Decended from the once-great Olman theocrats of the sprawling city-state of Thanaclan, their capital city is now nothing more than a mist-shrouded ruin filled with horrors that have driven mad the stoutest men. Their dieties of old are now worshiped as powerful totems, granting the dark-skinned natives power over life and death. Seven tribes live southeast of the Great Wall on the Isle of Dread: Burowoao, Dawa, Kirikuka, Mora, Panitube, Tanaroans, and Usi. [Dragon #352 – 70,71]
The Olman are divided into four clans, each of which venerates a fierce animal: the elk, hawk, tiger, and sea turtle. Each clan has its own proud traditions and rituals, but each comes to the defense of the others in times of crisis. While the leader of each clan is male, the leader of each village is female, ensuring a balance of power and opinions. Olman are not afraid if outsiders, instead finding them curious and almost foolish with their determination to explore the deadly island. [Dragon #351 – 71]
While they are dedicated to their tribes, numerous individuals have left over the years to explore the world beyond. [Dragon #351 – 70,71]
Other Olman tribes exist beyond the wall, but no peaceful contact has been recorded with these cannibalistic savages whose war drums herald only slaughter and madness. [Dragon #352 – 71]

-805 CY
The Black Heart of the Amedio
Tentative at first, the Olman plunged into the black heart of the Amedio from their first coastal cities, slashing back the jungle as they raised their first cities, burning the clears to farm, and cutting paths between those towns that crouched under the oppressive and sweltering canopy.
They adapted to the Amedio’s harsh life, not so dissimilar to what they once knew in Hepmonaland. Before long, their scattered settlements took shape and form, until they had truly become a nation again.
The starting year of the Amedio Olman calendar is -805 CY, the year the Olman of the Amedio themselves the true Olman nation. [SB – 64]
As this region varies little from season to season, the calendar is based on cycles of Luna and Celene, which the Olman call Mazlateotl and Apocatequil. Each nation adopted different names for the months and days based on their own patron gods and high priests, so there are too many variants to list, although numerically the calendars are identical. [SB – 64]

c. -800 CY
Early Olman Amedio Settlements
While these city-states initially considered themselves colonies of the Hepmonaland Olman empire, all seven had declared themselves independent before -800 CY, when they discovered that the old empire was dead. From that point forward, the Amedio Olman considered themselves the true Olman civilization.
The new Olman empire extended from the southernmost jungles of the Amedio through the Olman Islands and also onto the northern part of Hepmonaland, as well as a few scattered settlements on the Tilvanot peninsula. [SD – 62]

Xamaclan Warrior
Their nation did not last long. The Olman nature railed against such subjection, and confinement. The Olman desire, above all else, their freedom. Before too long, each and every city-state colony revolted, and, and by this time, all seven had declared themselves independent. (OL 6)

Several hundred tribes live in the Amedio Jungle, each regularly warring with, conquering and being absorbed by others. As such, little effort is made for a distinct totem or symbol for each tribe, with individuals choosing a favorite animal or color as their personal icon. Only Telaneteculi, Hucanuea and Xamaclan retain true heraldic symbols: a bat-like humanoid on a field of green, a jaguar’s head on a mottled brown and green, and an eye superimposed on a ziggurat, respectively. [SB – 62]

-728 CY
The Red Death has been with the peoples of Oerth for a very long time, indeed.
When did it begin sweeping the land and culling its people? That has been lost to the fog of Time. But its first recorded appearance was devastating. The Suel prayed for protection, wondering why their gods had forsaken them so. When prayer failed them, their lamentations did little better, nor the burning of incense, nor the wards of blood painted upon their lintels, nor the thick black columns of smoke curling up into the heavens from the innumerable sacrifices pledged of goat, of sacred calf, nor even of their firstborn sons. Soon, they took to cowering within their huts and their palaces and estates, wondering how long it might be before every last one of the chosen people would fell victim to its burning.
The empire slips into stagnation. Numerous plagues sweep through the Seul Empire, some magical and some mundane. The population falls by over 40%. Many towns are completely emptied, and the border defenses are greatly weakened. This is the first year of those known as "The Plague Years." (4788 SD) [OJ1]

-720 CY
The Olman Refused To Go Willingly
Those Olman who remained in Hepmonaland refused to go willingly. Indeed, they fought the Touv with the ferocity of the jaguar, and the stealth and speed of the viper, until the Tuov feared the twilight under the jungle canopy. But the Tuov would not be pressed back out of their hard gained territory. They raised crenelated walls and palisades, redouts and fortresses as the pushed ever forward, eager to be rid of the Olman once and for all. Until they could push no more. (689 TC)
As the Tuov swept north to drive out the Olman, they built fortifcations to defend their newly conquered lands. The northernmost fort was Anatal, built in -720 CY at the base of the Fyalo hills, at the edge of the jungle close to the sea.  [SB – 47]

-645 CY
Johydee's Mask
The repeated outbreaks of plague, the Red Death had weakened the Imperium perceptibly. It could patrol its borders. It could keep vigil against invasion; but it could no longer safeguard its borders and suppress its conquered, allowing those subjugated by its tyranny to dream of emancipation. The notion of Freedom was as virulent as was the Red Death.
The Oeridian High Priestess Johydee using her Mask, breaks the Oeridian free from Seul domination. (1 OR\-645 CY) [OJ1]

-644 CY
Free at last, the Oerid vowed that they would never be subjugated again. The Suel sent what troops they could spare, but no number proved enough against the fury of the Oeridians.
After repeated attempts by both the Seul and Bakluni to regain control of the Oeridian tribes, Johydee breaks the Oeridians away from the control of the Seul. The tribes swear the Oath of Unity. This oath places allows for the common defense of Oeridian tribes under one War Leader, the First War Leader (styled Herzog) is Chenil of Aerdy. (4871 SD) [OJ1]

-627 CY
The Red Death had left the Imperium vulnerable, and the Bakluni knew it. And they meant that the Suel should pay for their raids upon Bakluni territories, their conquering, their slaving, and their supposed racial superiority.
The population begins to recover, but the Bakluni peace begins to break down. Raids become frequent. (4889 SD)

-604 CY
Strife is rife within the Imperium. The people are displeased with their nobility—that is no matter, as the people invariably always are, and are of no account—but more importantly, the Great Houses of the Suloise nobility were not pleased with the state of their state.
The first of the Succession Wars. The Schnai are removed from the throne. (4912 SD) [OJ1]

c. –600 CY
A Need for Stealth
One must never believe the Olman incapable on ingenuity. They could not chase their prey through dense jungle; nor could they stalk unheard. Even the draw of a bowstring alerted their ever-vigilant prey. And prey needed to fall quickly, lest they be lost in the tangle of the jungle, taking their arrows with them. The Olman discovered that a dab of poison on a slender needle could accomplish when bows and arrows and spears could rarely do, and quickly too.
Most [Olman tribes of the Amedio] use the blowgun, which was developed by [them] about 1200 years ago; it is commonly used when stealthy attack is needed. [SB – 65]

-558 CY
Sulm was a tainted land, an evil land. One wonders if that might be the legacy of Galap-Dreidel and his wicked ways. Mayhaps it is. More likely, Sulm was doomed by the hubris and sins of its rulers; and that Galap-Dreidel, wherever he had flown to, looked on at the folly of his successors and laughed at their foolishness, and their myopic vision.
Shattados, mage-king of Sulm and his entire people are translated into Scorpion Men. (4948 SD/1583 FT) [OJ1]

Finally, after a long slide into decadence, the land's last king, a sorcerer named Shattados, appealed to one of his wicked deities for a boon, a magical item which would enable him to be his people's unquestioned ruler.
Shattados's Wish
Shattados's wish was granted, but in a way that both he and the Sulm people would soon regret. A crown appeared to him in the shape of a great scorpion. Eagerly, Shattados donned it, expecting it to simply bend others to his will. It did far more. The gods of evil are possessed of a perverse sense of humor, and Shattados was about to be the victim of an unpleasant practical joke. In an agonizing moment, he was transformed into a monstrous scorpion and his people into the wild manscorpions which still plague the desert. In less than a day, the kingdom of Sulm ceased to exist, and perhaps, far away, in an isolated corner of an evil plane, dark laughter echoed. Those nomads and centaurs who were not citizens of Sulm were unaffected by the curse and soon returned to their nomadic lifestyles, fighting each other and the manscorpions with equal vigor. Within a few generations, the kingdom of Sulm had vanished from memory, and the desert was as it always had been.
 [WG3 – 15]

-505 CY
The last of the Succession Wars. After 500 years with the succession falling to nine different Houses, the House Zolax regains control of the Imperium. (5011 SD) [OJ1]

-504 CY
The Bakluni withdraw their ambassador from the Seuloise Empire when Zunid-ad-Zol, the Prince of House Zolax is crowned Emperor of the Seul Peoples. (5012 SD) [OJ1]

-490 CY
Regular Mass Sacrifices
The emperors of the Olman are omnipotent, omniscient; so say the priests of the Olman. Yet so too are those chosen to walk the path of faith, decreed to do so by the very gods themselves. It is a precarious balance, at best, a tenuous equilibrium of politics and power, so long as the interests of the emperor and the priesthoods align, so long as the precognitions of the priests declare that the gods approve of and are in agreement with the edicts of the emperor. So it was. So it shall always be, so long as the wheels of the Olman calendar turn. When the interests diverge, the gods’ Will be done. (OL 316)
Chetanicantla was once the capital of the Amedio Olman empire. It and the other city-states prospered in typical Olman fashion, with frequent raids into the countryside and regular mass sacrifices to the Olman gods, until -490 CY when Emperor Tloqasikukuatl was assassinated by priests of Zaotzilaha. This plunged the empire into open warfare between the noble houses and priests, each ordering their personal guards into the frey. [SB – 65]

Other cities became involved [….] The imperial army retaliated […] and went on to sack the cities [….] [SB – 65]

The city-states prospered for over 500 years, but eventually they turned on each other in a series of destructive internal wars over control of certain mines, choice of emperor and religious differences. [SB – 62, 63]

The Olman of the Amedio worship the same gods as their cousins in Hepmonaland. Regional differences account for minor name changes or differences in appearance. Two points to note are alternate names for two Olman powers. The god Tezcatlipoca is worshipped under a different aspect by some Amedio Olman; as god of the moon and lightning, he is known as Apocatequil. The bat-god Camazotz is worshipped as Zotzilaha, who includes an aspect of vampirism and the underworld. [SB – 64]

-485 CY
Two empires cannot remain posed on the brink of conflict forever. Sooner or later, something’s got to give. Tensions rise as they stare one another down, each sure the other will break the precarious peace. If there had ever been peace, and not just a pause.
Beginning of the Baklunish-Suloise Wars. (5031 SD) [WOGA – 9]

Just over one thousand years ago, two ancient western empires, the Suel and the Baklunish, were enmeshed in titanic conflict. The root of animosity between them is lost, but the result of their final war haunts even the modem historian. [WOGG 3e – 3]

The beginning of "The Great War." Nine thousand Bakluni are slaughtered in the Salhaut Pass. Munid promises to destroy the Bakluni entirely, even if the majority of mages of his own house die in the process. (5031 SD) [OJ1]

Emperor Ad-Zol sends 9000 troops across the mountains to punish the black-haired northerners. Bakluni Padishah Ramif sent similar number to meet these troops. Battle of Fields of Padyr fought to inconclusive end.) [OJ1]

The Great War
“The start of the Great War surprised no one. For longer than a year, raiders from both nations stormed across the Haut Range, pillaging and burning homes and farms on either side of the great mountains. In the spring of 5031 SD Emperor Ad-Zol sent nine thousand troops across the mountains to punish the black-haired northerners. They were met on the fields of Padyr by a comparable force sent by the Bakluni Padishah Ramif; after a pitched battle that lasted almost three days, the armies had annihilated one another. The handful of surviving warriors from the Emperor’s army retreated to their homeland and reported imminent invasion by the foul Bakluni, and the very air that my people breathed became charged with the fervor of war.”
—from the Journal of Kavelli Mauk [SB – 2]

The Suel Peoples, mainly fleeing from the great wars in the Suloise Empire, moved northwards through the Kendeen (Harsh) Pass of the southern Crystalmist Mountains (now known as the Hellfurnaces) and spread out in all directions. [Folio – 5]

-466 CY
Endless war is a taxing affair. It wastes a nation’s youth and bright future. Better that the Oerid and the orcs and hobgoblins shed their blood rather than those regals to the north and south who employed them, those very same nobles reasoned.
First employment of humanoid mercenaries. WOGG – 9
Both Bakluni and Seuloise began to go east of the mountains, recruiting Humanoids as mercenaries in their battles for the first time. (5050 SD) [OJ1]

-458 CY
Stalemate threatened both empires. Neither could gain ground, having long since dug in and fortified the undulating front. They needed a breakthrough, if there were to be an end to this bloody affair. To that end, if they could not flank the front, they would flank the war. Both Balkuni and Suel armies spilled into the lands of the Oerid, in hope of taking their bitter foes by surprise. Both were slowed by the Oeridians, who took offence at their lands being so sorely used, and attacked both. The Oeridians fought as best they could, but pinched betwixt two fronts, they had allies, no supply, and no hope to repel either. Soon, they reeled, with little hope other than retreat.
Oerid migrations [at] peak point. (187 OR) WOGA – 9

Heeding their prophets, many Oeridians began moving eastward, coming into contact and conflict with the Flanae. (5058 SD/ 1693 FT) [OJ1]

The fierce Oeridian tribes likewise moved east, thrusting aside Flan and Suloise in their path. The Oerid migrations were similar in cause to those of the Suel, in that the Baklunish-Suloise Wars, and the hordes of Euroz and associated humanoid groups used as mercenaries by both sides, tended to pillage northwards and eastwards, driving the Oerids before them. [Folio – 5]

“Listen to me
Ooh war, I despise
'Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears, to thousands of mother's eyes
When their sons go off to fight and lose their lives…”
--Excerpt from War, by Edwin Starr, 1970
Songwriters: Whitfield Norman Jesse, Strong Barrett

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, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.
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:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
The Isle of Dread map, by Robert Lazzaretti, from Dungeon #143, 2007
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11374 The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 2000
Ivid the Undying, 1998
Dragon Magazine, 351
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
LGJ et. al.
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer