Thursday, 27 February 2020

History of the North, Part 7: The Eye of the Storm

"All was lost,
But that the heavens fought."
Shakespeare, Cymbeline (1611), Act V, sc.3, l.3

Blackness had blotted the North
Blackness had blotted the North. Iuz pressed Perrenland and Furyondy. The Vesve was under siege. The Hierarchs had “allied” with the Bandits. The Fists were pounding Tehn.
One would think that the nations of light would bind together and stand united, but lords of those supposedly noble and virtuous nations were but politicians, filled with dark thoughts and distrust. Such suspicion would haunt them later.

579 CY  Ratik and the seat of Knurl were in dire need of allies. Raids from the ravening hordes of the Rakers had beset them since the Bone March fell, so it came to no surprise that they looked to one another for aid. They met, they parlayed, they negotiated, and while they did, Lady Evaleigh, caught Alain’s eye, and before too long Baron Lexnol’s heir, Alain IV, married Lady Evaleigh, the daughter of the count of Knurl.
In 579 CY, Lexnol's only son, Alain IV, the heir to the throne of the archbarony, married Lady Evaleigh, the daughter of the count of Knurl. The county was the only surviving province of Bone March, and the union was arranged to improve the lot of both realms. [LGG - 91]
Alain acquired the dream of uniting Ratik and Bone March, but failed to convince the king of the Frost Barbarians of his plan to drive out the nonhuman tribes. Many whispered that Alain was encouraged in these ambitions by his step-family, particularly the count of Knurl, whose position between Bone March, North Province, and Nyrond was grossly precarious. In certain agreement were the immigrants from Bone March, who were driven from their lands by the invaders. [LGG - 91]
The Ratik-Fraztii alliance cleared the Kelten Pass to the Hold of Stonefist, pressing the Fists back, but not taking the town of Kelten. Rhelt Seuvord rallied his forces, pushing the Fruztii back into the Griff Mountains.

Things were not going as well west of the Rakers.
When the Horned Society appeared after the disappearance of Iuz, affairs in the Shield Lands reached a desperate crescendo. Here were enemies dedicated to vile darkness and evil sacrifice, who had sworn upon the ashen altars of Molag's Hall of Dread that they would march to Admundfort and line the walls with the earl's intestines. Though years passed without significant military activity, the period between 550-570 saw heavy skirmishing along the western banks of the Ritensa River. Great forts such as Torkeep were raised, but such defenses soon proved inadequate. [LGG - 14]
The Shield Lands ought to have been prepared. Indeed, they had banded together under the Knights of the Shield for just that purpose. But for all their vigilance, they were distrustful.

The Horned Society and Bandit Kingdoms cometh
The Horned Society and the Bandit Kingdoms acting in concert, invaded, overran and then carved-up the Shield Lands between the two conniving forces. [CoG FFF]

In 579 CY, the Horned Society banded together with the lords of the bandit realms Warfields and Wormhall. With hobgoblin and mercenary armies supported by daemons and demodands, the vast host swarmed the western territories, bypassing strongholds and laying waste to villages and farmsteads. Thousands of Shield Landers gathered at Axeport to halt the invasion, but their line was broken and their bodies thrown as fodder to inhuman beasts. [LGG - 104]
In spring 579, Warfields and Wormhall, directed and aided by the Horned Society, attacked the western Shield Lands; they were joined after their initial successes by armies from Reyhu, Redhand, the Rift, and other minor kingdoms. The Shield Lands fell, and Warfields men looted their way to Critwall and Axeport. [LGG - 30]
The ravaging of the Shield Lands by both the Bandit Kingdoms and Horned Society in 579-583 CY similarly served to weaken this entire region, leaving the Shield Lands in ruins. Iuz took note of this and made use of it in his grandiose plans for conquest. [LGG - 15]

The Nomads were always a collection of independent peoples. Only the strong ruled. And only the clever continued to rule. But the Barren Plains are vast, and the peoples there are scattered, and the tribes have always had a mind of their own.
 [Tarkhan ] Bargru went with his personal guard to the lands of the Guchek, the Wild Dog people, whose territory borders the eastern portion of Lake Quag and the uppermost reaches of the Sepias. Jicta, Khan of the Guchek, had failed to appear when summoned for the stroke against the invaders at EruTovar. The Tarkhan underestimated the degree of revolt by Jicta Khan, for Perrenland had subverted the Gucheck by bribes and the promise of aid if the Wild Dog Nomads would declare independence from the Tarkhan of the Wegwiur. This move by Perrenland should have been no surprise, considering the earlier incursions by the Wolf Nomads. In any event, Bargru managed to escape the trap after an ambush, but at the spring of CY 579, the Guchek remained independent and defiant. [Dragon #56 - 19]

580 CY  Ivid slid ever further into insanity. It is a wonder that he was able to hold what was left of his once great kingdom together. But try as he might, it shrank and shrank, as yet more of it slipped from his grasp.
Despite creeping insanity, he ably defended his realm from the combined forces of the Golden League (579-580) and civil unrest during the Red Death plague of 581. [LGG - 24]

The Bone March was displeased. Had the Fruztii not allied with Ratik, they’d have surely overwhelmed the little nation. Ratik could only fortify and man so many passes and still secure the wide expanse of the Loftwoods. If only the pact could be broken.  To break the alliance between Ratik and the Fruztii, the Bone March conspired with the North Province, for they could not enter Marner undetected. Thus, the Seal of Alliance stolen from Ratik's Baronial Vault.
In 580 CY, intruders from Bone March attempted an audacious act of treachery by stealing the Seal of Marner, an object blessed by the gods of the Suel barbarians that was the symbol of the new Northern Alliance. The plot was foiled when the raiding party was captured in Kalmar Pass before making it back to Spinecastle with their prize. [LGG - 36,37]
[But] not before news of the theft drove a small wedge between the Fruztii and Ratikans. [LGG - 91]

A Prophecy of Doom
Doomsayers have always sown the seeds on impending doom. There are always those who heed their predictions. For them, the sky is always falling. But sometimes, just sometimes those prediction come true. The Declaimers foretold of such doom: in Stroun, they foretold of the fall of Tenh.
The walled town of Stroun was long famed for its singular mage-priests of Boccob and Istus who were known throughout Tenh as "The Declaimers." Believed to be diviners without peer and to have powers of foreknowledge and precognition, these enigmatic men and women, no more than twenty in number, always refused to attend the courts of Ehyeh or any other noble. They gave their judgements, warnings, and announcements without fear or favor and did so when they deemed the time right. In 580 CY, they stood together in the town square and stated that Tenh would fall within three years. The immediate reaction was one of panic, followed by the building of the town's walls, and then, after a year, gradual amnesia as the words of the robed masters faded from memory. [WGR5 Iuz the Evil - 72]

The Rovers had a reprieve. The legions of Iuz and the Horned Society were elsewhere, waging war against the Bandit Kingdoms and the Shield Lands. So too the Fists of Stonehold. They wanted their land back. They wanted their pride back too. They saw an opportunity to take back their lost territories, but they were still weak, and they needed help. The Wolves were only too happy to help.
A former servant of Iuz and now the demigod's implacable foe, Tang had escaped with a small band of cavalry after a daring raid into the Howling Hills with the Wolf Nomads. Crossing the open plain to the Fellreev, Tang and his mercenary band encountered small groups of Rovers, gathering them at the village of Sable Watch. With their aid, together with Wardogs from the Forlorn Forest and beyond, he successfully attacked Iuzite forces in the Barrens, eventually capturing the fort of Hornduran. Most of the Rovers were still without mounts, so Tang made a fateful decision to raid into Stonehold for horses. 
The town of Vlekstaad was chosen as the target of the Rovers' nighttime strike. With most Fists either in Tenh or fighting the Suel in eastern Stonehold, Vlekstaad had almost no able soldiers in residence. Such defenses as they had were quickly penetrated, thanks to the Wardogs' amazing stealth. The stables of Vlekstaad provided a trove of horseflesh, but escaping with them proved more difficult than Tang had anticipated. He and his companions were trapped by a patrol of Fists and forced to battle for their lives. The expedition might have been lost there had not a young Wa-rdog, Nakanwa Daychaser […] led his own band of warriors on Tang's trail. Trapped between the two forces of Rovers, the Fists were slaughtered, but Tang was mortally wounded. Nakanwa quickly assumed control of the surviving Rovers, ordering them to seize everything of value in the town, including its citizens. The remains of the town were set ablaze, becoming the funeral pyre of Tang the Horrific. 
With the return of Nakanwa and the wealth of Vlekstaad to the Barrens, new hope rose among the Rovers. Their warriors now had mounts and the people had meat. Perhaps as importantly, the tribes had new members, for the captive children were quickly adopted and the captive women quickly wed. Only time will tell if the razing of Vlekstaad will result in the rebirth of the Rovers of the Barrens. They still remain an elusive people, not revealing their new strength, for they are wary of the vengeance of the Fists. Yet, for the first time since Iuz brought evil into their land, they have real hope. [LGG - 95]
They had some success against the Horned Society in 580, taking part of the northern frontier, but the gains did not last. [LGG - 95]

The Rook Restrained
The Bandits were, if anything, pragmatic. They had allied with the Hierarchs against the Shield Landers, and had gained territories there. But having sent so much of their strength to the Hierarchs, they had left their eastern border open to the Tenha. Ever pragmatic, they sought to strengthen their tenuous bonds, taking daughters to wife, willing or not.
The eastern Bluff Hills and lands south to the Zumker were held by Grosskopf, long friendly with orcs and their kin, Grosskopf was invaded by Duke Ehyeh Ill's forces in 578 and forced to restrain its banditry. This warrior realm absorbed the Fellands in 581, following a marriage between their ruling families, and raids into Tenh began anew late that year. [LGG - 26]

Just as Iuz flowed from the north, Bissel found their home front vulnerable from within. They suspected Ket, and strengthened the pass to the Bramblewood, looking to the Highfolk and the Canons od Rao to aid Furyondy in stemming his tide.
An attempted insurrection by necromancers in 580 CY, possibly tied to the plight of a disgraced, evil wizard-lord known as Evard, led to harsh suppression of fringe groups and zealous punishment of treason and sedition. A general sense of distrust and self-defeatism emerged in Bissel, no doubt encouraged by certain powers that wished to see the nation fall. [LGG - 33]

581 CY  The Shield Lands had fallen, the combined forces of the Horned Society and the Bandit Kingdoms too much to bear. They had held their line without aid, suspicious of Furyondian aid, and realed under the combined forces’ relentless attack; and before long, they were pressed back unto the borders of the nation that they ought to have trusted in.
By 581, all but Critwall had fallen to the invaders, who had been joined by other Bandit Kingdoms' troops. The victors carved up the Shield Lands, dividing it into chaotic holdings ruled by bandits, goblinoids, and agents of the Horned Society.
Though many Knights of the Shield remained in Critwall, hundreds more spread to the good countries of the Flanaess, pleading with their leaders to send armies and aid to their fallen land. The gruff arrogance of the Shield Lands nobles had caused deeper rifts than anyone had imagined, however, and despite faint agreements that something must be done, little came of the recruiting effort. [LGG - 104]

A Tale of Two Deities
Not all things go as planned. Sometimes, the most unexpected things can happen, things that even the Old One could never have planned for.
Vecna was still not satisfied...
Gradually, Vecna’s cult grew and he assumed the powers of a demigod. The process took a long time—gathering his power, responding to his worshipers, and settling himself among the greater powers. Vecna persevered and eventually reached the point where he was accepted as a minor demigod in the legions of evil.
Guaranteed immortality, Vecna was still not satisfied. With his scheming mind, he has devised a plan to ascend to greater godhood and humble his rival deities. With his usual long patience, Vecna has been working on this plan for centuries. Working through his avatar or others, the Whispered One has carefully found seven magical items. Each item has been placed in a secret location, the position strategic to his plans.
These items, when fully powered, will cast a mystical web of energy over all of Oerth, cutting off all other gods from their followers. Already they are creating interference on a local scale. Only Vecna will receive the adulation of his worshipers: the other gods will weaken and leave the path open for Vecna to rise to the fore. Then the Whispered One will open the gates of time and bring forth his faithful followers from the past. Feeding on their devotions, Vecna will become the greatest of gods.
There is only one difficulty that remains for Vecna—finding his Eye and Hand. They are the final keys to fully empower the web, the final keys that open the gate of time. He knows not where these are. In the final confrontation with Kas, when they were sundered from his body, the gods (perhaps foreseeing his powers) hid them from his senses. Vecna cannot detect their energies; he can only find them by seeing their effects on others, much like finding a boat by the wake it creates. Too many times he has come close, only to have them escape his grasp. This time, he is determined not to fail. [WGA4 Vecna Lives! - 7]

The Circle of Eight sensed a great danger, but somehow their divinations were blocked. Mordenkainen sent some of his most trusted mages to investigate. And they died. Every last one of them: Bigby, Drawmij, Jallarzi Sallavarian, Nystul, Otiluke, Otto, Rary, and Tenser. Of course, death was not the end of all of them, but that is another tale. Mordenkainen sent others; their path led ever west and the name Vecna was raised time and again. And Kas. And Iuz.
Their investigations led them to Tovag Baragu, where they came upon an avatar of Vecna, who had opened a portal to Vecna’s past, the ruins of the palace of the Spidered Throne.
Through the gateway can be clearly seen a great mass of people. They are all surging and milling forward, their attention focused on the window as if they can see through into the present. They, too, seem drawn by Turim’s chant. The first are just preparing to step through the opening. [WGA4 - 66]
Against such odds, the Circle’s heroes could not hope to win, so they did the unthinkable, they summoned Iuz, for only a demigod could hope to defeat a demigod.

Iuz Appears to Challenge Vecna
Whatever the means, Iuz the Old appears to challenge Vecna. This is a threat the [Vecna’s] avatar cannot ignore. The two confront each other and begin a fierce battle at the center of the Stone Circles. […] The two demigods do not simply cast spells at each other, they blast rays from their hands, whirling disks fly from their fingers, explosions burst among the stones, fiery balls scream through the air. In hand-to-hand struggle, their blows sound like thunder in the sky. The unbreakable stones of Tovag Baragu throw shards from the demigods’ strikes. […] [WGA4 - 66]

[Things] seem to go well for Iuz at the begining of the battle […] the balance of power quickly starts to swing the other way. Vecna is the better strategist and still has the powers of a lich. Worse still, with each blow [Vecna] seems to grow in strength. The gate he has opened to the past is starting to function. Already Vecna’s worshipers are stepping through. Upon entering the present, these men fall to their knees in reverent prayer for their god. […] The worshipers are not lambs. Most are evil fighters whipped into a berserk frenzy. They are not going to be denied. A fierce melee erupts around the gateway. At the start of the battle, 20 warriors have entered the circle. [Every few seconds] five more cross through unless their bridgehead into the future is contained. The warriors fight to the death [and] Vecna seems to have an endless supply of them. [The] only hope is to physically block the gateway or have Iuz try to damage the gate. [Iuz] launches a spell […] at the arch. […] There is a resounding crack, followed by an enraged scream from Vecna. The stone of the gateway splinters and the image in the arch suddenly scrambles […]. Indeed, all the gateways suddenly start to show random scenes, leaping to different planes, times, and places without any control. Tovag Baragu has been permanently damaged. The gateway to Vecna’s time is closed. At the same time, the magical aura shielding Greyhawk starts to weaken. Tovag Baragu was apparently the key power source for the shield. […] [WGA4 - 67]

A Great Gout of Flame
[The] demigods [lock] in hand-to-hand combat [and are] hurled as a pair through the gateway. [The] two plunge into the darkness, howling and tearing at each other. A great gout of flame rushes up and bursts out of the gate, sending a fiery blast 40 feet long and ten feet wide. […] Spouting flame and randomly scanning planes and times is how Tovag Baragu remains from now on. Unnoticed in the fiery burst […] two small objects hurtled through the gate to land in the tall grass some distance away—the Hand and the Eye of Vecna. [WGA4 - 67]

Iuz came, and Iuz battled Vecna, and very nearly perished. He did not perish, though, but if he had, the world might have been in very dire straights. Had Vecna won, he would have severed Oerth from the celestial and outer planes, and it would certainly have plunged into an age darker than it had ever known, an age from which it would never be freed. But, he did not; and it did not. And so, strangely, to our most beleaguered incredulity, we owe a debt of gratitude to Iuz, for if it were not for him, the universe would have been plunged into darkness. But let’s not get carried away, his confrontation with Vecna gave Iuz ideas. He imagined a world which bowed to him, and him alone.

581-582 CY         What did the Elves know of what transpired? Who can say? They see much and say little. Whatever they knew, they were taking steps. The Highfolk of the Vesve were taking up arms. Celene was closing its borders. And the Elves of the Spindrifts were taking steps to safeguard their mysteries.
For centuries the Spindrift Isles maintained their independence from all foreign powers, both through strength and through cunning. Perhaps the Scarlet Brotherhood made incursions into the Council of Seven in the years leading up to the Greyhawk Wars, but they were given no time to take advantage of their gains before the high elves took control of Lendore Isle. Elves have always been plagued with mysticism, and those of the Spindrifts had finally succumbed to the cult of Sehanine. The Final Calamity, it seemed, had arrived.
It was a bloodless revolution, yet catastrophic for the inhabitants of Lendore Isle. They were informed that they must be exiled from the only home they had ever known, in order for the Spindrifts to serve as high elven holy ground. The high elves used powerful phantasms to overcome strong resistance, and threats of imprisonment persuaded most others to cooperate. The humans were given three days to prepare for their removal from the island. In that time, perhaps half of Lo Reltarma's population escaped through the Gate of Glass before the elves could deactivate it; the rest were either exiled to the mainland, the Sea Barons' isles, or other local regions, or were among the few allowed to remain as workers in Lo Reltarma. [LGG - 69]

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.
 Primary sources for this history were the DMG 1e, Ivid the Undying, WGR5 Iuz the Evil, WG8 The Fate of Istus, WGA4 Vecna Lives, Die Vecna Die, the Greyhawk Adventures hardcover, The World of Greyhawk Folio, and The World of Greyhawk Gold Box, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, The Living Greyhawk Journals, Dragon Magazine 56.

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
Orcish-Warrior by voxelkeely
Prophet-s-Secret by miggymntmyr
Prophet by crucifiedmajesty
Quoth-The-Raven-Nevermore by kxg-witcher
Evil-Unearthed by ralphhorsley
in-the-moors by aldeboran
A-Pirates-loyal-Parrots by dominikmayer

1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
2023 Greyhawk Adventures Hardback, 1988
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
9253 WG8, Fate of Istus, 1989
9399 WGR 5, Iuz the Evil, 1993
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
Ivid the Undying, 1998
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
Living Greyhawk Journal
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer

Saturday, 22 February 2020

The Lady has joined her Hero in Avalon

The Lady has joined her Hero in Avalon
RIP Marlene Elizabeth Leonard
January 11, 1937 to February , 2020

I love you, mom
I miss you already

A Lament

O world! O life! O time!
On whose steps I climb,
Tremble at that where I had stood before;
No more--Oh, never more!
Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight;
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar,
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more--Oh, never more!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, 21 February 2020

History of the North, Part 6: The Storm

"Now for the bare-pick'd bones of majesty
Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of Peace."
Shakespeare, King John (1589) Act IV, sc.3, l.148.

Now for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty
Brutality swept across the North in the wake of The Great Kingdom’s retreat and collapse. The Hierarchs of the Horned Society proved a fitting heir to Iuz’s terror. They plotted and schemed, much as Iuz had, if more calculatingly than that infamous cambion had. They reaped what he had sown, and used the chaos of his passing to great advantage. His return had made little difference to them.
But Iuz was patient, for all his flailing about in his rage after his release.

578 CY  Despite his youth, King Ralff II of the Fruztii understood subjugation. His people had turned to their cousins to the east in their hour of need and found the duplicitous hand of the perfidious Schnai. The Schnai had lent their support. Yes, but that help came at a cost: suzerainty. The Fruztii had lost their governance. Indeed, they had lost their pride. Once, they were the terror of the Solnor Sea. Now, they were a subjugated people. The Shnai commanded them, calling their commands guidance. They had learned their lessons well from the diplomats of Shar, long ago.
No more, he thought. He extended his hand to Ratik and they had taken it, and they had been true to their words. They had stood side by side with his people when the tribes of Schnai had not. Therefore, he turned to Ratik again: Train my people, he said, and when he sent the pride of their youth to Marner, the Archbaron not only trained them in the modern art of War, he equipped them for such. And so, when Ralff looked again to the East, he understood that he had kin there, he had obligations there, but he also understood that he had no friend there.
The Fruztii sent raiding bands to sea with the Schnai, but due to careful urgings, numbers of mercenary troops also moved southward into Ratik and joined the Baron’s troops there. These Fruztii returned with knowledge of organized warfare and good-quality arms and armor and formed the core of a new standing army organized by King Ralff II in 578. The four companies of foot and one troop of horse actively patrolled and brought most of the realm under order. Chief men and nobles not raiding were prevailed upon to contribute men to patrol their own territories, so that by the end of the year, the frequency of banditry and humanoid raiding bands had been reduced to an all-time low. Even the high country around the head of the Jenelrad River was peaceful, and its Jarl swore an oath of fealty to Ralff. Without actually declaring independence from Schnai overlordship, the King of Fruzti showed that he was again capable of fielding an army capable of either defending his territory or taking another’s. The Schnai conveniently ignored the resurgence, probably hoping that the involvement in Ratik would again reduce the Frost Barbarians to vassal status. [Dragon #57 - 14]

But Ralff’s gambit was already bearing fruit. Ratik had been hard pressed, and were in dire need of allies. They had held their own of late, thanks to the elves and dwarves and gnomes, but if they were unable to push the orcs and gnolls back from their borders, their days were numbered. Ratik had helped him. He would help Ratik.

Battle of the Loftwood
Their expedition into Bluefang-Kelten Pass thus far successful, the Ratik-Frutzii alliance turned their attention south, their aim to destroy the humanoid forces under the Vile Rune orcs of the Bone March.
The manpower pool of the Archbarony was totally dry in 577. Because of the relatively good relations between the Fruztii and Ratik, the woodsmen and elven warders of the Timberway were moved south to the Loftwood, and new recruits were formed into units of light troops called the Volunteer Borderers.
The Vile Rune
The usefulness of the new Volunteer Borderers was proved in the summer of 578 when one of this formation’s patrols discovered that the orc tribe of the Vile Rune was indeed moving northward. In addition to 5,000 tribe members, the force had 2,000 goblins, 1,000 norkers and xvarts, and 1,000 hobgoblins, orgrilIons, gnolls, and ogres. With this detestable agglomeration were nearly 2,000 bandits and brigands serving as mercenaries. Its forerunners were worg mounted goblins, a handful of whom were slain to obtain the intelligence. Thus alerted, the Marshal of the Archbarony laid a trap which the unsuspecting invaders blundered into. The humanoid horde moved north along the fringe of the Loftwood where it butts against the hills. At the northern terminus of the trees there awaited the full army of Ratik, its numbers made to appear three times greater by magical means. The gnomes held the western (hillside) flank, while the light forester troops and elves formed the other arm of the “U,” well concealed in the dense timber. The Battle of the Loftwood saw considerable magical competitions in addition to the standard hand-to-hand combat between the strongest fighters on the opposing forces. The real fighting was between the masses of troops, however, and this was fierce in the extreme. At one point, a score of foreign volunteers saved the day because their leader, Queg, a Fruztii, had prepared an extensive ambush with rocks, tree trunks, pits, and trees to set fire to. This action turned back 250 or more hobgoblins, killing or wounding half of them, so that the flank of the Archbaron’s army couldn’t be turned. Simultaneously, the gnomes on the left flank were nearly broken by a rush of gnolls, bandits, and goblins, and were saved only by the superb slinging of a flanking group of the Hillrunners and the innate tenacity of the gnomes themselves. Finally, the scale was tipped by an attack on the right (of the orc horde) by the elves and foresters. The humanoid invading force broke and fled, and in the rout there was a great slaughter. [Dragon #57 - 14]

Seuvord Redbeard saw dissention among his Atamans, and knew he had to suppress it. He knew that he could not afford to be embroiled in a civil war. His “nation” was surrounded by enemies: The Rovers were once again increasing in strength to the west, and raids into those Barrens were far more perilous than they had been short years before. And except by all but the strongest of efforts, the passes to Tenh and Fruztii were closed to him. Were civil war to divide his lands, those enemies were sure to fall upon them and destroy them. He needed to unite his people. He also wished his own line to retain the Mastership of the Hold as a hereditary right, so he called a great council at Purmill, with promise safe conduct for all who attended. The Atamans were dubious. And they had right to be. Vlek had promised the very same, and look what happened to the Coltens? They came, but they came with a show of strength. With spears extended, and hands upon the pommels of their swords.
In CY 578, shortly after Tenh had coronated its new Duke, the Master of the Hold became Rhelt Seuvord I of Stonehold. Several of his cousins took ill from a mysterious flux shortly after the coronation, and about a dozen others were reported fleeing into the Griff Mountains with a small band of loyal followers. [Dragon #57 - 14]

Hurricane Ivid
Magic is not the only force that can wreak havoc. Those of the Old Faith can tell you that those who dismiss the forces the natural world do so at their peril. Nature can and will do more damage than mere wizards, indeed, most wizards, arcane or divine. Those who live in the shadow of smoking volcanoes can attest to such, as can those who live on the banks of rivers, and the sea…. Hurricane "Ivid" is one such reminder. It ravaged the Solnor Coast, crippling the Sea Barons’ majesty over the sea-lanes of the north. Trade halted. So did piracy, for that matter. But that was the least of the coastal settlement’s concerns, as they fled before “Ivid’s” landing.
[Most people of the Sea Barons] recall this three-day storm, which some laughingly called "Hurricane Ivid." [Ivid - 90]

Nyrond knew all too well that The Great Kingdom would try to take back those lands that were once theirs. They knew that the Kingdom’s first step would surely be to cut them off from the rest of the Iron League. Nyrond could not have that. It was only a matter of time before they would meet upon the waters of Relmor Bay.
The first major naval skirmishes between the Great Kingdom and the powerful Nyrondese navy took place in Relmor Bay in CY 578. Some say the Nyrondese engineered these skirmishes, preparing for what they considered to be an inevitable war.
Certainly, Ivid V was making noises at court about reclaiming Aerdy's great imperial heritage, and Nyrond was the first major power heading west. He did have designs on Nyrond, but it may well be that the Nyrondese forced his hand. [Ivid - 4]

Overking Ivid V was livid when he heard of his fleet’s first skirmish with Nyrond. How dare they, he screamed! What cheek! The Iron League! The Golden League. Iron was meant to be wielded! And the only thing golden about them was that they had all grown fat on the lifeblood of the Motherland! They will pay, he declared, and he called for total war against Nyrond and its allies.
The reports of war, blood, and great conquests being made by the hated barbarians and barely-civilized Fists of the North excited and enraged the overking. Egged on by the priesthood of Hextor, Ivid entered the fray by storming into Nyrond and its ally Almor. [Ivid - 4,5]

The Golden League had no choice but to reciprocate and declare war on Great Kingdom.
 [The war spanned] two years, ending in a minor strategic victory for Ivid's field army under the leadership of the Herzog, and seeing the withdrawal of Almorian and Nyrondese armies to the west of the Harp River. [WG8 Fate of Istus  - 69]

But The Great Kingdom could not wage total war against the Iron League. The Sea Barons needed to remain north to guard the coasts and sea-lanes there, for The Schnai and Cruski began to raid.
[As per their treaty,] the Schnai agreed to give up the land south of Glot along the east coast. The Snow Barbarians gained more gold and silver, while the Cruski regained their southern harbors. This made the raids into North Province and the Isles of the Sea Barons all the easier next year, and most of the able-bodied men were away on those journeys when the warbands of Stonefist (now Stonehold) rode into the tundra which the King of Cruski claimed. The few wandering tribes of Coltens there welcomed the invaders, while surviving Cruskii headed east as quickly as possible. The returning warriors were enraged at the boldness of the invasion, and it is likely that the attention of the Cruskii will be trained on a war with the Stoneholders in 579. Some 50 ship captains are already pledged to sail, and more are expected. [Dragon #57 - 14]

Without The Great Kingdom’s oversight, the North slid into a state of endless conflict. The Bandit Kingdoms made forays into Tenh, the Pale, Nyrond, County of Urnst, parts of the Shield Land and Furyondy. They were bold. They were crafty. They were also directed by the Horned Society.
Bandits in Tenh
The usual turmoil of competing states preying upon one another and any available neighbor outside the territory sums up activity within the area until CY 578. Bandit groups made forays into Tenh, the Pale, Nyrond, County Urnst, and even the Shield Lands and portions of Furyondy. Most groups were mounted, but the usual number of river raiders and buccaneers from Redhand plied the waters. Prince Zeech’s ships and galleys actually staged a major action against the Duchy of Urnst, managing to slip in through the easternmost portion of the Cairn Hills, loot and pillage, and then escape with their gains. The western bandit lords — General Hok, Guardian of Warfields […]; Oltagg, Baron of Wormhall […]; Kor, Rhelt of Abbarra […]; and the Master of Freehold, Eab Huldor […] — actively co-operated with the Hierarchs of the Horned Society. [Dragon #56 - 27]

His father fallen at the Battle of Rockegg Pass, Eyeh III, of Tenh was crowned in Nevend Neverond to much fanfare and praise. He was his father’s son, they said; he will see us through these trying times. He had a vision of the trying times ahead as the circlet was raise over and upon his head, and he wondered how he might do just that, for his enemies were many and his allies few.
At a convocation in Nevond Nevend during Neefest, 578, Ehyeh III was crowned Duke, and the Tennese celebrated greatly. The old Duke’s son was more warlike than his doughty father, and his early training as a fighter on the frontiers made Ehyeh III particularly anxious to secure all avenues against invasion. [Dragon #56 - 27]

As Ivid clashed with Nyrond and Almor, the Schnai and Cruski raided up and down the Solnor coast, landing warriors, murdering and pillaging, carrying away what they could, leaving broken villages and pillars of smoke I their wake. They howled and bellowed. They laughed, knowing in their hearts that is was what Vatun wished of them.
[The] Lord High Admiral reacted promptly to the summons of the Overking — this despite some severe raiding from the northern barbarians. Asperdi has recently dispatched a sizable contingent of ships and men to the North Province. In essence, this force represents a squadron of warships to control the sea, while a solid block of fighting men, most of them veterans of skirmishes with barbarian raiders, stiffens the forces of the Herzog. Led by the Admiral’s eldest son, Lord Captain Aldusc, known as a respectable commander and excellent strategist, the convoy reached Bellport about mid-year in CY 578. The warships are now reported to be operating along the coast. Included are no fewer than six large galleys and perhaps a score of other warships. The troops were divided after landing into main and reserve groups. [Dragon #63 - 15]

The Hierarchs had all but defeated the Rovers. They turned their attention to other fronts, no longer concerned about the nuisance that dwelt there. However, the Rovers and Wolves would not be defeated. They lunged and nipped and darted away, necessitating legions there that could have been better used elsewhere.
Pressure by the nobles holding the Shield Lands prevented the all-out move which the Hierarchs have long wished to make down the Ritensa River to the northern shore of the Nyr Dyv. The diabolical leaders of the Horned Society would gladly have allowed luz his hoped-for gains to their west, in order that they themselves might take Willip and overrun the Shield Lands. Instead, the Hierarchs, ignorant of luz’s plans, spent themselves in dribblets, first against Furyondy and the Shield Lands and then in defending against mounting incursions of war parties from the north. Just as their forces were about to turn southward again, reacting to the contest between luz and Furyondy, a major raid struck into the Society’s north, and the Hierarchs’ army had to turn around and move with all speed northward. [Dragon #56 - ]
On that first day of contact there was only light skirmishing, as the Rovers and their allies probed for weaknesses, and the Hierarch in turn attempted to discover just how powerful an enemy he faced. On the next day, kobold and bandit scouts prevented an attack from the forest coming as a complete surprise. The attacking footmen and elves were easily repulsed, while the well-trained humanoid infantry, supported by missile troops and light horse, withstood several determined charges by the other contingent of the invaders. A stand-off of several days’ duration ensued, with Blontug growing progressively more certain that his enemy was not numerous enough to be a real threat, but unable to bring them to battle because his force lacked sufficient mobility. [Dragon #56 - 20]
A major victory was narrowly missed by the Hierarch, but [their] aim was accomplished. The allied force was beaten and driven off, although cavalry losses on the part of the Society were excessive, and the enemy had established itself firmly in the northern portion of the Fellreev. [Dragon #56 - 21]

The new Duke of Tenh wasted no time. The Bandits were raiding his western demesnes with increasing brazenness. He attacked what he expected to be the usual disorganized rabble, expecting an easy victory. He was treated to easy victories at first. The Bandits scattered. But as he plunged deeper into their territories, their resolve stiffened.
The Bandit Kingdoms were never a collective. They had never trusted one another. With good reason: They plotted against one another; they raided one another with abandon. But they stood together when threatened. Even if that meant betraying their mother, their brother, their “ally.” For they knew that if they did not, they would have been put to the sword long before.
When Rovers of the Barrens overran the northern border of the Horned Society in 578 CY, the Guardian General of Warfields was among those bandit lords who pledged their support to the Hierarchs. [LGG - 29]                

Duke Ehyeh’s plan was to sweep west to the junction of the Bluff Hills and the Rakers. He then would move north into the hills, clear them in a rapid westward push, and garrison any strongholds found there. He would then swing back southeast to overrun the land between the Bluff Hills and the Zumker. Any bandit forces caught by the move would be trapped and destroyed. With this accomplished, the next move would be to bring a second force across the Zumker, just above the Artonsamay. The two would then handle expected bandit lord reaction, take Rookroost, and secure all of the territory as far west as the Fellreev. Contemplated along with these actions was an even more ambitious plan to begin the next year, which would secure all the land west of the Artonsamayas far as the Tangles. [Dragon #56 - 27,28]

[News] came from Rookroost that the Zumker had been crossed in force by Duke Ehyeh, and the Tenhese were sweeping through the Bluff Hills to clear them of resistance before turning south toward the open country beyond. The normally independant and warring leaders of the Bandit Kingdoms had rapidly declared common cause against Tenh, and all the units with the Hierarchs’ army rode off, despite the threats and imprecations of Blontug. [Dragon #56 - 21]

The Fellands were conquered by the forces of Tenh in the spring of 578 CY, and ceased raiding eastward for a time. [LGG - 26]

[When] the banners of Tenh crossed the Zumker River, laying waste the Barony of Groskopf, and then entered Fellands, the Combination of Free Lords summoned all members to arms to defend the east. When even the western states responded, the Hierarchs were enraged, for they needed the bandit troops to eject the nomad and Rover invaders from the Fellreev Forest and the steppes of the Opicm. In a punitive invasion, the Hierarchs’ forces seized and occupied both Warfields and Wormhall. A very tenacious defense by the Abbarrish, reinforced by the survivors from the conquered territories, and scrapings from Tangles and the Freehold, caused the halt of the Society’s penetration in the autumn of CY 578. [Dragon #56 - 27]

The [Duke’s] plan worked with precision, but as soon as the Theocrat [of the Pale] got wind of it — and his spy system is legendary — disturbing reports began to reach the young Duke. The Prelate’s growing military strength was at Wintershriven, and the Faithful Bands were being called up. The Tennese companies originally being readied for action elsewhere were sent from Redspan on a long march to reinforce the Yol. Woodsmen were ordered to keep a close watch in the Phostwood Forest. The Duke entrusted the army in action against the bandit states to the redoubtable Marshal laba so the new threat could be under his own command. [Dragon #56 - 28]

A truce was negotiated with the Duke of Tenh; Groskopf ceded the land between the Griff Mountains and the Zumker to Tenh, and all of the Free Lords of the Combination swore to refrain from raiding Tenh. Thus freed of immediate warfare on their east, all of the leaders turned westward to confront the Horned Society, with the express aim of recovering the lost states and taking reprisals in addition. [Dragon #56 - 27]

A local legend says the city on the hill will never be conquered, so long as its huge raven population roosts in the city's central square. So far, the prophecy has held true. The city resisted a siege by Tenha forces in 578 CY but was forced by treaty to stop raiding western Tenh. [LGG - 29]

When the Combination of Free Lords sued for peace near mid-summer, the suit was welcomed, for it ceded a considerable portion of land to the Duchy, guaranteed bandit neutrality, and allowed the Tennese military forces to meet the threat now posed by the Pale. Duke Ehyeh brought a combined army of 4,000 horse and 11,000 foot across the Yol at the edge of Phostwood in Dozenmonth Ready’reat, 578 CY. [Dragon #56 - 28]

Shortly thereafter, the duke of Tenh's troops crossed the Zumker and threatened Grosskopf. Warfields withdrew its support for the Horned Society, triggering a punitive invasion. The miniature kingdom was controlled by Molag until the Greyhawk Wars. [LGG - 30]

Iuz was on the move as well. He had lay low for too long, imprisoned beneath Castle Greyhawk, and he was eager to bring misery and mayhem to the whole of the Flanaess. But where to start? He decided, much as the Hierarchs’ had, that he could not wage war in the south with the Nomads nipping at his heels, so, he sent his hordes north to lay siege to Eru-Tovar. It would be a simple campaign. It would take them no time at all, he imagined.
In the spring of 578, luz actually-sent an army into the north to take the poor town of Eru-Tovar, the only real city of the Wolf people, the pride of their Tarkhan. [Dragon #56 - 18]

When siege was laid to Eru-Tovar the following month, each commander strove to outdo the other, each wishing credit for taking the Wegwiur stronghold. This lack of co-operation enabled the defenders, numbering only about 3,400 effective troops, to withstand almost ten weeks of siege by a force totalling well over 25,000. The losses by the attackers were compounded by the rival factions often slaying their wounded cohorts if they held loyalty to the opposite commander. [Dragon #56 - 19]

Tarkhan Bargru of the Wolves took command of his forces and rode against Iuz’ troops to break siege of EruTolvar.
Following the rise in power of the humanoid hordes of the cambion, luz, the Wegwuir avoided the eare east of the Black Water, spending their aggressive energies upon the Tiger Nomads to the west and even moving south along the Sepia-Uplands to raid Perrenland. In the spring of 578, luz actually-sent an army into the north to take the poor town of Eru-Tovar, the only real city of the Wolf people, the pride of their Tarkhan. As fate would have it, the Chakyiks were themselves interested in a venture against Ekbir, so they were quite happy to conclude a treaty. This freed a horde of 20,000 Wolf Nomads to face the invaders. Tarkhan Bargru himself commanded the force, which consisted of some 2,000 armored lancers (medium cavalry), 10,000 light horsemen, 7,000 light horse-archers, and 1,000 armored crossbowmen on horseback. [Dragon #56 - 18]

Battle of Black Water Bend
The Battle of Black Water Bend
[The Wolf Nomads] arrived outside Eru-Tovar late in the summer, just in time to raise the siege. The army of luz retreated eastward, and then fell back along the Black Water, hoping to withdraw safely to the nearer arm of the Howling Hills where humanoid reinforcements could be picked up in considerable numbers.
The Tarkhan’s force caught the retiring army of luz along the great north bend of the Black Water. After a close pursuit lasting several days, during which the majority of the light humanoid infantry and goblin cavalry was shot to pieces by the Wegwiur horse-archers, a pitched battle was fought. As usual, the powerful figures in the opposing forces basically neutralized each other, while the troops engaged in combat of the more basic sort. Fortunately for the Wolf Nomads, luz himself was engaged elsewhere and could not intervene. The horsemen once again proved superior to the ill-disciplined masses of invading infantry, and only a few thousand survivors of luz’s ruined army made it to the relative safety of the Howling Hills. Losses by the Wegwiur totalled some 2,000 killed and about twice that number wounded. Of the invading army, some 2,000 humans and 6,000 humanoids were slain, with no prisoners taken. It is assumed that desertion accounts for the balance of the total army initially encamped before Eru-Tovar. (This action is known as the Battle of Black Water Bend and was fought in the Dozenmonth of the Squirrel on the 22nd day, CY 578, or BH 3237.) [Dragon #56 - 19]

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.
Primary sources for this history were the DMG 1e, Ivid the Undying, WGR5 Iuz the Evil, the Greyhawk Adventures hardcover, The World of Greyhawk Folio, and The World of Greyhawk Gold Box, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, The Living Greyhawk Journals, Dragon Magazine 56, 57, 63.

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
Rule-of-One-Liberty by juggernaught9900
Orc-warrior by padawana
hot-tower by aerroscape
Dead-and-Getting-deader by anatofinnstark
War-Horse-Speedpaint by benedickbana

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
9253 WG8 Fate of Istus, 1989
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
Ivid the Undying, 1998
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
Living Greyhawk Journal
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer

Saturday, 15 February 2020

History of the North, Part 5: The Coming Storm

"Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water."
Shakespeare, Henry VIII (1613) Act 4, sc.2, l.45

Evil Rises Again and Again
The forces of weal and good had much to celebrate. Iuz was no more. Iggwilv’s tyranny had been vanquished. But more than even these great victories, they had stood against a great menace that had hitherto lurked in a quiet corner of the world.
However, no reprieve lasts forever. Evil rises again and again, and all must be vigilant, for it rises in the most unexpected places. One might expect that it takes root in tangled forests and fetid swamps, but that is not true; it festers in the hearts of the lustful, the wrathful, in avarice and vanity, pride and vainglory. And in the soul of the defeated. Thus, the greatest Evil might rise up in the most unlikely places, a village, or a hamlet, unseen.

c.550 CY     A collection of hovels and their slovenly inhabitants formed the nucleus for the troubles which were to increase. A wicked cleric established a small chapel at this point. The folk of Hommlet tended to ignore Nulb, even though it was but six miles distant. [T1 The Village of Hommlet - 2]
The village of Nubb began to fester with all manner if evil folk, culminating with the founding of the soon infamous Temple of Elemental Evil. The troubles began soon thereafter. Local caravans, gnome clans and the neighboring village of Hommlet, became easy targets for bandits from that region. [The Battle of Emridy Meadows, by Mike Bridges]

568 CY  News of this evil quickly spread to the Viscounty of Verbobonc to the ears of Prince Thrommel IV, Marshall of the combined armies of Furyondy and Veluna […]. Compelled to take up the quest, the Prince left his concerns to the north and promptly called upon his most pious knights, clerics, and his own picked guards to bring down this profane temple.  [The Battle of Emridy Meadows, by Mike Bridges]                

569 CY  The Battle of Emridy Meadows
By 568 CY, it became clear that the villains had established an army, and the following year saw a great battle between this horde and the forces of Verbobonc, Veluna and even Furyondy. Elves from the Gnarley proved vital to the success for the side of weal, and the Horde of Elemental Evil was scattered at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. Powerful mages and clerics sealed the temple with arcane bindings, claiming to have trapped a powerful demon within the golden doors of the edifice. For a time, peace returned to the lands of Verbobonc. [LGG - 132
The Battle of Emridy Meadow
The Battle of Emridy Meadows highlights this growing realization of mutual interests. Contingents of men-at-arms and cavalry from Furyondy and Veluna, together with a force of dwarves from the Lortmils, gnomes from the Kron Hills, and an army of elven archers and spearmen fought together against a vast horde of humanoids (ores, gnolls, and ogres predominantly) and evil men. The opposing forces met on the grassy fields south of the Velverdyva river several leagues below the city of Verbobonc. The allied forces were closing upon the stronghold of the evil creatures, a huge, walled fortress known as the Temple of Elemental Evil, not far from the unfortunate village of Hommlet, when elven scouts reported that a huge army was approaching from the south. The Marshall of Furyondy, leader of the combined forces, ordered a withdrawal northwards to a position scouted earlier. Ught cavalry skirmishes were sent out to screen the withdrawal, and no real fighting took place that day.
When the horde of evil creatures marched forth next dawn they were confronted by the senied ranks of the allied army. The pikes of Furyondy and Veluna were arrayed so that their flank was secured by the Velverdyva, in the center were the banners of horse, and on the allied left were deployed bands of dwarves and gnomes, with a few units of elven archers placed in the intervals between. The humanoids fell immediately upon the left, while the men in the evil ranks rode to engage the center and right. The hordes of ores, gnolls, and ogres thrust aside their hated foes and rushed to encircle the balance of the allied army. Thus the fatal trap was sprung, for the whole allied army pivoted, squadrons of knights driving into the rear of the onrushing horde of evil, and squares of elves emerging from the Gnarley Forest on the left to seal the pocket. Trapped in a pocket, with the bend of the Velverdyva at their backs, and the human and demi-human army forming the chord of the arc, the packed mass of evil humans and humanoids fought hopelessly. After the great slaughter inflicted, the army went on to besiege the Temple of Elemental Evil, and it fell in a fortnight. The Demoness Tsuggtmoy (or Zuggtmoy) was imprisoned in the ruins of the place, with special wards to prevent her escape. Only a few of the wicked leaders of the Temple managed to escape, and it is suspected that these individuals were responsible for the subsequent kidnapping and total disappearance of the Prince of Furyondy. [Folio - 6,7]

So great was the slaughter, so complete the victory of good, that the walled stronghold of the Temple of Elemental Evil fell within a fortnight, despite the aid of a terrible demon. The place was ruined and sealed against a further return of such abominations by powerful blessings and magic. [T1 - 2]

Prince Thrommel summoned all his mages and clerics to cooperate in creating great seals to bind this evil within the deepest parts of [Zuggtmoy’s] dungeon. Four pairs of large bronze doors, starting with the Grand Entrance to the Temple, were each bound with heavy iron chains and their seals filled with softened metal. Lastly runes were carved into the bronze portals bearing adjurationsof arcane and holy power. With the final spells in place, Evil was contained at last. [The Battle of Emridy Meadows, by Mike Bridges]

One would be naïve to believe that Evil had been destroyed. If we have learned nothing from History, it is that victory is not enough. Evil hides. Evil lurks.
In recent years, Dyvers has gained the unfortunate reputation of being a good place to "get lost"—or, rather, to lose one's pursuers. After the Horde of Elemental Evil was routed at Emridy Meadows, some adherents to darkness who did not flee to the Wild Coast instead traveled north to Dyvers, bolstering the criminal element in the city. In part because of the aftermath of that conflict, the Gentry of Dyvers live in fear of Turrosh Male's Pomarj "empire" and have even charted out wholesale evacuation plans for the city in the event of invasion (the populace fleeing to either Furyondy or Verbobonc). [LGG - 41,42]

History is not just the waxing and waning of nations and fell gods. History is much more than that; it is the triumphs and tragedies of everyday folk who sometimes rise high, and those who do not, even those who are swept up and sometimes aside by events that sweep in and out of their lives.
History of Keiren’s Journal
Just Another Day in the Hellfurnaces
Keiren Jallucian was an adventurous youth before rising to the seat of Master of the Greyhawk Guild of Wizardry, and later, President of the city’s Society of Magi. He was prudent and practical, as well, which is why he survived as many harrowing adventures as he did. He kept a series of meticulously detailed journals and adventure logs that documented his experiences; but despite his keen forethought, he had one fault back then: He did not go home often. Adventuring can be a perilous ordeal, and sometimes you have to drop what you’re carrying if you wish to live so see another day. Such was the case when a number of his catalogs were lost in 561 CY during an expedition to the Hellfurnaces. He had to admit that he could not recreate them from memory; there were too many encounters; too many curiosities, details, too many details.
Not all were destroyed. One volume turned up in the hands of a Keoish wizard, who later gave it to House Rhola in exchange for access to their family library. They had possession of it for but a single season before ordering a servant to remove it from the household. Apparently, “visions” indicating death surrounded the book.
The servant did not dispose of the book, as ordered to, but decided that he could make a quick coin off it. He did not; he was slain while on his way to a book dealer.
Kieran’s journal surfaced again in 569 CY, plucked from a wizard’s corpse at the Battle of Emridy Meadows.
At this point, its trail becomes a little sketchy, as there are too many rumours about its whereabouts. Reports claim that it surfaced in Veluna City, yet others in Celene. None are denied, none are confirmed, either.
It is an odd thing, that book; it looks more like a satchel or handbag than a book, the wooden covers and spine encased in a heavy, hardened reddish leather (that Akastilan {more on him later} claimed is red dragon skin). Keiren scoffed at that when asked.
From Greyhawk Grimoires, Keiren’s Journal, by Robert S. Mullin [Dragon #268 - 70-72]

570 CY  You can not keep a good man down, can you? Though few knew it, Iuz had been freed from his imprisonment beneath Castle Greyhawk.
Whether this was by error or perhaps design on the part of Robilar, who secretly carried a pair of highly unusual dispelling magics about himself on that fateful day, sages cannot say. What is known is that at the moment of Iuz's being freed, Archmage Tenser arrived on the scene together with Bigby the mage and a powerful fighter going by the unlikely name of Neb Retnar. Tenser had learned of Robilar's plan, feared that Riggby was being duped, and came post haste to prevent their action. Tenser and his cohort began battling the freed, enraged demigod. Riggby at once aided the assault. Robilar and Quij considered flight and felt their chances would be best if they made odds of four against one into six against one. Iuz was very nearly destroyed in that conflict, escaping to the Abyss just before Bigby would have destroyed him with his infamous crushing hand spell. He left behind him a backwash of chaotic evil magic which altered the alignment of Retnar, left Riggby catatonic for days, and caved in a large part of Castle Greyhawk's deepest dungeon complexes. Since that time, Iuz has always protected himself with a carefully secreted soul gem hidden on an unknown, unbelievably well-guarded Abyssal plane. [WGR5 Iuz the Evil - 5]

Rage of Iuz
He seethed. He raged. He could think of nothing but revenge. Against those who’d imprisoned him, against that overblown pup Robilar who’d tried to kill him, against Bigby who almost had. Indeed, against all of the Flanaess. And he was far more powerful than when Cuthbert had locked him away.
He returned to Dorakaa, and finding his fiefs disloyal, he exterminated most of the “independent” lords of the lands he still claimed as his own.  Their bones, along with those other “unfaithful” he murdered, lengthened his Road of Skulls.
After his release, Iuz was filled with a desire for vengeance and conquest. Sixty-five years of banishment had concentrated his mind wonderfully. With a savagery and cruelty allied to plans formed over many long years of thought, Iuz acted to gather together the warring bandits and humanoids of his land with an iron grip. He drew together his Boneheart, a Greater and Lesser circle of spellcasters, six in each echelon. His agents began to scour the Flanaess, seeking arcane evils and relics. Iuz readied his forces for a great war. [WGR5 - 3]

Iuz and the eight other demi-gods released; they were not happy. Can you blame them?
The seeking of treasure in Castle Greyhawk itself had unintended consequences. Iuz was suddenly freed from imprisonment in the dungeons under Zagig’s old castle in 570 CY, to the great consternation of those in Greyhawk who saw the half-fiend briefly when he emerged from the ruins. He then returned by magic to his old kingdom in the north. Several members of the Circle of Eight attempted to prevent Iuz’s escape but were unsuccessful. Other powerful beings, some of demigod status and some demon lords, appeared around this time, also apparently freed from captivity by their own muggles or the careless intervention of adventurers such as Lord Robilar of Greyhawk, a Wild Coast warrior who diplayed a bad habit of setting evil monstrosities loose from their magical bonds. Every powerful being freed from Castle Greyhawk blamed Zagig personally for his or her imprisonment and vowed revenge as they fled to recover from their ordeal. [TAB - 61]

Far be it from Iuz not to hold a grudge.
Once again Iuz rules, and his forces gather for fell purposes. Iuz has vowed to bring ruin upon Tensor the Archmage and Lord Robilar and the others who tried to slay him when his prison was sprung.
[Folio - 12]

When Iuz was freed in 570 CY, he had great plans for the Flanaess. Risen to the power of a demi-god, Iuz has achieved more than a few of his initial goals. [FtAA - 29]

Nyrond saw, clearly, the Overking's preparations for a great war against the western state. Yet, when the first blow came, it did not come from Rauxes. It came from luz; meddling fools managed to release the fiend from his imprisonment in Castle Greyhawk in 570 CY, only a year after the forces of good in Furyondy and Veluna celebrated the sack of the notorious Temple of Elemental Evil in the Gnarley Forest. Their celebrations would not last many years. [FtAA - 5]

571 CY  Stories are fruit upon the tree. They ripen over time. Sometimes epic tales have such paltry beginnings.
The Story Reuven of the Rhennee
[A] wandering band of Rhennee bargefolk came to Tristor upon the Yol River. The gypsies camped at the edge of town and pawned exotic medicines and poultices to the simple farming folk. Certain bottles of this medicine somehow spoiled, turning from a foul-tasting drink to a deadly poison. Two people died, and a young man was left both blind and paralyzed from the waist down. The town constable arrested the Rhennee and awaited the arrival of a judge, but the villagers soon stormed Tristor’s jail. After a brief scuffle, they ushered the bargefolk outside of town to a small hill, upon which stood a lone oak tree. There, each Rhennee was given a mock trial, found guilty, and lynched. As proper servants of Pholtus, however, the townsfolk of Tristor were not without mercy. They decided to spare one of the gypsies, a lad of four summers known as Reuven. After forcing the boy to watch the murder of his family, the villagers admonished him to give up his wicked ways and to abandon Tristor forevermore. The town buried the Rhennee near the oak tree. Within a year, they had put the madness behind them. The lone Rhennee boy, however, could not let the incident rest. As each year passed, his hatred of the people of Tristor grew like an inescapable malignancy. He wandered the Flanaess for years, gathering funds in exchange for hard work, learning a number of trades all the while.
[RPGA Fright at Tristor - 3]

573 CY  Iuz was not the only one with designs on the North. The Horned Society most certainly did, too. Oddly, so did the Scarlet Brotherhood. Why would they, you ask? Because The Brotherhood never thought small. They were wont to prepare for a future in which the whole of the Flanaess would be remade in their image.
Does anyone truly know when The Scarlet Brotherhood began affecting the course of the Flanaess? Could it have been when the Prince of Furyondy-Provost of Veluna disappeared? Maybe. They had been plotting a very long time; so it stands to reason that if they did, then this might not have been their first strike. Or was it? No clues were left behind when the Prince vanished.
The Prince, betrothed to the daughter of the Plar of Veluna, and serving as Provost of that state, as well as Marshall of Furyondy, was of key importance to the forces of good. [Folio - 8]
At the time, few connected the appearance of these sagely, monastic advisers to the disappearance of Prince Thrommel of Furyondy, or to any number of political developments throughout the Flanaess. The arrival of the Brothers of the Scarlet Sign did trigger curiosity, of course, and in short order spies were sent to the Tilvanot. [LGG - 96]
But was it the Brotherhood? It is far more likely that the masters of the sundered Temple of Elemental Evil were to blame, taking vengeance on that worthy paladin for his meddling in their affairs. But then again, the Brotherhood were always amicable with those who furthered their ends, weren’t they?

The Scarlet Brotherhood had designs further afield than The Sheldomar Valley and the Azure Sea. They had watched the nations of the Flanaess and its peoples for a very long time, and began inveigling their way into the courts and halls of all the lands wherever they found the descendants of the Suel migrations.
The Suelii called themselves by names in the Cold Tongue, too: Cruski, the Ice Clans, who are the most noble and brave; Schnai, the Snow Clans, who are the most numerous and strong; and Fruztii, the Frost Clans, who are the bulwark and first in battle. They battled with each other over the long years since Vatun lay down in the cold, but they would always join their hosts together when an outsider threatened. The Schnai perfected the art of building longships, and the Fruztii found adversaries for the barbarian nations to fight and plunder. The Cruski joined with their cousins on many of these raids, taking special joy in fighting their particular rivals, the Sea Barons of Aerdy.
Scarlet Whispers Call
This was the life of the barbarian Suel for hundreds of years, through victories and losses. Their freedom was undiminished, but it was subtly threatened several decades ago. Travelers from the south came to call at the courts of the barbarian Suel. Calling themselves the Brothers of the Scarlet Sign, they claimed to be kin of the Fruztii, Schnai, and Cruski. By blood, perhaps they were kin, though distantly—but, in spirit, they were the same devious manipulators who claimed to rule the ancestors of the northern Suel. They came with tales of the lost glory of the Suel race and its ruined empire. They told how the Cruski were descended from an Imperial House, the noble and loyal servant of the last Suel emperor.
Old King Cralstag knew well that his ancestors, be they slaves or scoundrels, were never the lapdogs of an emperor who stank of magic. So he told the Scarlet Brothers, and before all in his court, as his judgment on their words. For this, the Brothers murdered him soon thereafter—not with clean blade or strength of arms, but with hidden venom in his cup.
The king's nephew, Lolgoff, knew the old king's judgment and the manner of his death. When the Brothers were brought before him, they spoke words of praise and honor for the dead king, and they smiled. Lolgoff smiled too, as he cut them apart with the old king's sword, for he honored Cralstag in deeds, not words. As king and fasstal, Lolgoff pronounced his judgment: The Brothers of the Scarlet Sign should receive only death in the kingdom of Cruski. [LGG - 55]

574 CY  The Fruztii consulted with Ratik concerning what wonders may be hidden within their mountains, eager to see whether the lore of their skalds was to be found in the dusty tomes the southerners worshiped so. So, Ratik consulted the Library in Marner, and those sages and wizards employed there, and within those dusty tomes they exhumed references to lost cities of the Flan, to ancient relics of the dwerfolk, and to sunken cities of the Solnor Sea. And of course, they dug up references to dragons and the hordes they amassed. All these they brought to the attention of the Fruztii, and the Fruztii listened with great interest. And armed with this knowledge, the Fruztii and those scions of Ratik brave enough to accompany them, they climbed into the Griffs and the Corusks in search of such things.

575 CY  Where the Schnai sent promises and warriors to support the Fruztii front lines as a rear guard of the Bluefang-Kelton Pass, Ratik did one better. Although already hard pressed in the south with the orcs and gnolls, they understood that they must also secure their north, so, they sent battle hardened troops to stand shoulder to shoulder with their northern kin. The Fists came, as they knew they must, and they came with ogres and orcs and gnolls, and the alliance held the pass against them. But holding the pass was not enough. Securing it was essential, as was securing the lands north of it.
Kelten Pass
The Battle of Kelten Pass, as the Fist called it, only served to divide the Atamans of Stonefist. Were it not for Vlek’s iron rule, the Hold might have fallen into strife.
The Coltens, despite generations of servitude to the invaders, have slowly emerged as a competing form of leadership, offering their method of election of the most popular warrior as an alternative to the Rite of Battle Fitness. So many aspiring leaders were slain in the often useless raids of the latter method that its proponents have grown scarce. When Ratik and the Fruztii made peace, the subsequent battles for the Kelten Pass brought several telling defeats to “fists” led by the descendant warband leaders. The Hold was then divided between those who followed the laws laid down by Vlek Col Vlekzed, and those who claimed that Stonefist’s methods are no longer appropriate and the Coltens Feodality should be restored. The nomads and settlers west and around the Frozen River championed the ways of Stonefist. The population around Kelten and the Hraak Forest wished to establish new forms of leadership. [Dragon #57 - 13]

The successful alliance of the Barony of Ratik and the Frost Barbarians has caused much consternation in Bone March. A joint Ratik-Fruztii army wreaked havoc within the March after the signing. Leaders of the humanoids have determined that the northern alliance must be dissolved. [WoGG - 29]

Duke Ehyeh of Tenh understood the need to strengthen his borders, what with the dangers of the Fists to the North, and with raiding Rovers there as well. South lay the Bandits and the aspirations of the Theocracy of the Pale. The Pale could one day be the greater enemy, for they were organized and strong. And fanatical in their devotions that he and his people did not share.
In CY 575, Duke Ehyeh II began an active campaign to clear the Troll fens and border area on the west bank of the Yol. Considerable numbers of fortifications were built, and this two-year effort was deemed a general success. The Theocrat of the Pale concentrated his attentions south and eastwards because of the strong show by the Tennese. [Dragon #56 - 27]

576 to 582 CY     The alliance between Ratik and the Frost Barbarians was mutually beneficial. Not only had they begun to secure the Fruztii’s northern pass, they had begun to make gains against the Bone March to the south, too. But at a cost. They were small nations, their resources were limited, and were the orcs not soundly defeated, and soon, they knew all might be lost.
The humanoids so soundly defeated in the campaign of 575 were again raiding over the border, and the gnomes of the Lofthills (west of Loftwood) were being continually besieged. Losses from the campaigns in Bone March and with the Frost Barbarians could be replaced by mercenaries and volunteers from foreign lands only. [Dragon #57 - 14] 

The Frost Barbarians had not turned their backs on their cousins, the Schnai and Cruski, for they had common cause. They each hated the Hold of Stonefist, as did their distant cousins, the Zeai, the whaling Sea Barbarians who dwelt upon the far Brink Isles and Tusking Strand, east of the Black Ice. And the Snow and Ice Barbarians shared common cause against the North Province and Sea Barons, for life was harsh upon the Thillonrian Peninsula, and thought their seas were plentiful, their slim growing season could not support them.
The Schnai noticed their Fruztii cousin’s absence from the seas. And they saw their cousin’s increased reliance upon Luxnor of Ratik. But they were not worried. Let them break themselves upon the Fists and the Bone March, the Schnai said. They will weaken beyond recovery, and will be forever under our suzerainty when Ratik finally fell, for fall it must, in the end.
And in the Fruztii’s absence, the Schnai increased their raids on the Great Kingdom, knowing that they need not share the spoils with them.
The Schnai were not the only ones to note the Fruztii’s increased presence in the northeastern theatre. Tenh had heard of the Frost Barbarian’s alliance with Ratik, they had heard of their joint strike into the Bluefang-Kelten Pass, and they sent emissaries to treat with them, for, as they explained to them, we have common cause against the Fists of Stonehold, and the Fruztii listened.

576 CY  Bonded by blood, and having shed blood to protect one another, the Fruztii and Ratik ratified their bond in the eyes of both their gods, for they knew that their only hope of their standing against their enemies, they would need to stand as one.
This symbolic parchment was endorsed and blessed by the gods of both Ratik and Fruztii, and the superstitious Frost Barbarians place great store in its safety. [WoGG - 29]

Plague has a nasty habit of cropping up here and there, without warning. Of course, were there warning, plague would never gain a foothold, would it? And of course, sometimes symptoms take a while to take root. But all it takes is a sneeze, and before you know it, the victim is complaining about lassitude and fever. Red blotches appear, and then there is panic in the street. The Red Death had returned. And it was as lethal as it had been a century earlier.
But what can be done? How is it spread? Physical contact? Air? Water? Or by some other mysterious agency. The name Iuz is whispered. The Horned Society. Even Keraptis.
Plague abroad in Rookroost—or that's what a large percentage of its populace believes. A week ago, the city was as disease free as a city like Rookroost ever is. Now scores are suffering from a malady that has herbalists and clerics puzzled . . . and worried.
The word on the streets is that the Red Death has returned. [WG8 Fate of Istus - 6]

History of Keiren’s Journal
The journal next surfaced in Admondfort, its owner known for wandering the shores of the Nyr Dyv. Akastilan claimed to have found it in the Cairn Hills, but he was known to spin a tale, and likely wrestled it from a hedge wizard. He promptly traded it in Urnst.
Keiren was made aware of the volume’s surfacing, and has stated that it focuses on his experiences in the Amedio Jungle.
According to Keiren’s obserations, not every Amedio tribe is hostile to outsiders and, in fact some are quite friendly to visiters who come in peace. Several pages describe how one tribe even took him on a tour of an ancient Olman ruin, leading to his discovery of a lost spell. Although the original was etched into the surface of an immovable stone slab, the Journal contains a reproduction. The spell, calle Lightning Serpent, is one of two spells inscribed in the Journal, though both are unique. The other Kieren’s Curse Ward, is clearly of Kieren’s devising.
In any event, Kieren’s Journal is an invaluable source of information for those who would learn more about the Amedio Jungle and its people.
From Greyhawk Grimoires, Keiren’s Journal, by Robert S. Mullin [Dragon #268 - 70-72]

The Rovers were wont to increase their strength; but, their young warriors were impatient, and their elder chieftains remembered the days of old when the peoples on their borders quaked with fear upon hearing the thunder of their horses’ hooves.
The young tribesmen who matured into warriors during the last two generations avoided their old battling and hunting grounds along the Fellreev Forest and the plains of the Dulsi, for they feared the might of luz’s hordes. Instead, these nomads and woodland hunters withdrew to the steppes and other sites to the north and east. Their numbers increased, and they practiced their fighting skills against the men of the Hold of Stonefist and the savages and humanoids they met on raids into the Cold Marshes. Despite the difficulties of communication, the western tribes of the Rovers of the Barrens actually made alliances with the Wegwiur. In 566 there were a few light raids into the northeastern edge of the Fellreev. [Dragon #56 - 28]

577 CY  Bellport grew tired of the repeated raids by the Schnai, and demanded the protection due them as a city of the North Province and the Great Kingdom. Lord Captain Aldusc was dispatched from Asperdi of the Sea Barons with a squadron of warships and troops to do just that.
The warships are now reported to be operating along the coast. Included are no fewer than six large galleys and perhaps a score of other war ships. The troops were divided after landing into main [joining Herzog Grenell] and reserve [defending Bellport's landward approaches] groups. [Dragon #63 - 15]

Although the Schnai had not raided as far and as often as the Fruztii had in their days of glory, they were no strangers to such things; indeed, they were the most accomplished of seafarers, and they were truly as fierce as their cousins, as were the Cruski. They increased their raids, and their longships swept down the coast, striking the North Province and the Baronial Isles both, luring those who chased them or sought to stop them far out to sea where they could lose them with ease.
But not all were so lucky.
It was only a matter of time before the Schnai had their noses bloodied. They had underestimated the Sea Barons, and in their hubris and folly were dealt a defeat as they had not yet faced.
During the season of 577, much minor activity took place along the coast of North Province and off the northern end of the Island of Asperdi. Some raiders were met and actions were fought; some slipped through, some turned elsewhere. Reportedly a squadron of seven Schnai longships were set upon whilst sinking the hulks of two provincial merchants, the vessels Marntig and Solos. Guided by the smoke and flames, a flotilla of Baronial warships surprised the barbarians. Three of the Schnai were rammed and sunk. In hand-to-hand action, the flagship of the barbarians’ fleet was captured, but the three remaining longships escaped after jettisoning all of their captured cargo.
In hand-to-hand action, the flagship of the barbarians' fleet was captured. Jarl Froztilth, leader of the Schnai, many of his men, and the captured ship were all taken to Asperdi. News of this success was said to have greatly heartened the Herzog. [Dragon #63 - 16]

The Schnai recalled how once they and the Fruztii were the terror of the seas, and they wished the southerners to fear them so again. So, the Schnai treated with their cousins, the Cruski. And the Cruski were glad to treat with them, for the Schnai held what was theirs. The Schnai gave up the lands south of Glot along the east coast [and] the Cruski regained their southern harbors. This made the raids into North Province and the Isles of the Sea Barons all the easier next year, and most of the able-bodied men were away on those journeys when the warbands of Stonefist (now Stonehold) rode into the tundra which the King of Cruski claimed. The few wandering tribes of Coltens there welcomed the invaders, while surviving Cruskii headed east as quickly as possible. The returning warriors were enraged at the boldness of the invasion. [Dragon #57 - 14]

The Cruski and Schnai negotiated their treaty, with the Schnai agreeing to give back the lands south of Glot along the east coast to the Utsula Highlands.
The attention of the Cruski was directed wholly to the south, where choice plunder could be gained during the summer raiding season. After a particularly successful venture in 577, the Cruski and Schnai sat down together to bargain on a division of the spoils. In the end, the Schnai agreed to give up the land south of Glot along the east coast. The Snow Barbarians gained more gold and silver, while the Cruski regained their southern harbors. [Dragon #57 - 14]              

Iuz looked upon the expanse of Whyestil Lake and understood its use. Dorakaa lay upon its northern shore, Chendl lay within a day’s march of its southern. He looked to the south and knew that Furyondy ruled its waves from Crockport and he seethed. He coveted. Moreover, he realized that it had only been by the grace of Graz’zt that he had not had to fend off their fleets, or had his seat of power razed to the ground. He commissioned forty galleys to be built at Dorakaa.
After a period of rebuilding and strengthening his domain, the Lord of Evil set his mind upon the lands to the south. Various pacts and treaties were concluded with the none-tooloved Horned Society, thus assuring no immediate trouble from the east. Groups of humanoids — gnolls and flinds, orgrillons, bugbears, and even ogres — under human leadership were sent across the Dulsi River to first occupy the nearer portion of the Vesve Forest, and then work south to harass the border of Furyondy. luz caused a fleet of 40 galleys to be built at Dorakaa in 577. With this force he hoped to wrest control of Whyestil Lake from King Belvor, thus exposing all of the northern portion of Furyondy, from the Vesve along the Crystal River to the Veng and then to the Whyestil, to easy invasion. To facilitate this move, luz joined forces with the resurgent followers of Elemental Evil, believing that such a threat on the Kingdom’s southern border would distract the Furyondians from his much more ambitious plans in the north. While his forces were being readied, luz ordered his northern contingents to capture EruTovar and thus stop any possible move by the Wolf Nomads upon the upper portion of his realm while his invasion of the south was in progress. Leaving the execution of his will to trusted underlings, luz himself went far to the south to stir up trouble. [Dragon #56 - 19]

Belvor was having none of it, though. He sent his Fleet to Dorakaa, destroying the majority of the Iuzan galleys under construction.

The Fleet Aflame

The intelligence network of Furyondy discovered the plan to wrest control of Whyestil Lake from their navy, and before the luzite army stood before Eru-Tovar, King Belvor’s fleet staged a daring raid upon Dorakaa. The majority of the galleys being built were burned in the stocks, and seven of those which had been completed and outfitted were captured, while another five were sunk. [Dragon #56 - 19]

Duke Eyeh II of Tenh turned his attentions to the north, for the Fists flowed from Rockegg Pass each and every spring. He marched north to meet them, and although successful in repelling their savage attack, he fell in what came to be known as the Battle of Rockegg Pass.
In 577, the Duke began early actions to the north, working into the mountains and fortifying the southern end of Rockegg Pass, some 20 leagues above Catbut. The Duke was himself killed in fighting against the Holders, whose units of “fists” resisted with great ferocity the closing of the pass. Despite the death of their leader, the Tennese (now under Marshal laba) finished what their liege had willed, thus effectively securing the Duchy on two sides. [Dragon #56 - 27]

The Wolf Nomads were of a mind with the Rovers. For too long, the nations of the South had held dominion over lands they claimed as theirs. The Wolves wanted them back. So too did the Rovers. So, they came together to treat at the Great Beast Hunt to speak on it, and to plan.
A Conclave of the Clans
By CY 577, a conclave of all the clans staged a great beast hunt in the central portion of their territory, with many visiting Wolf Nomads taking part in the sport. The census sticks showed that clan warrior strength was as follows:

In attendance were:
11 tribes of the Great Stags, counting 5,200 warriors;
eastern area Bear Paws 1,150, 4 tribes;
Southeastern area Red Horses 2,700 6 tribes;
Northwestern area Black Horses 3,350 8 tribes;
Northwestern area Gray Lynx 1,450 5 tribes;
Northern woodlands area Horn Bows 1,800 4 tribes;
West central area Sly Foxes 850, 4 tribes;
Southern woodlands area Wardogs 3,100 fighting society;
All tribes White Wardogs 950 fighting society;
North tribes only.

At the great conference, the Rovers agreed to a plan to make war upon the Horned Society to attempt to regain their lost territory around the Opicm and in the Fellreev. The help of the Wolf Nomads was not promised, but the Rover tribes knew it would certainly come if possible. The Sly Fox Clan, always on good terms with the sylvan elves of the Fellreev Forest, were to harass the enemy from the woodlands, while the western clans, the Red Horse, Black Horse, and Horn Bows, rode south and made war upon the hated peoples of the Horned Society. Chada-Three-Lances […] was made War Sachem, and in the spring of 578, he led some 6,000 warriors on a campaign to accomplish the recovery of the lost lands. With the force went a party of about 900 centaur warriors. The latter had been displaced from their territory in and around the western end of the Fellreev, so they were more than eager to take part. [Dragon #56 - 22,23]

Not all Shield Landers were of like mind. Some were petty. Some were greedy. Some wondered why they stood alone against the evils to the north. Prince Zeech was one such. Though brave, was not at all honorable. He saw how the Bandits took what they wanted while he was held back from taking what he thought could be his, like a horse held to rein, so he broke his ties with the Shield Lands and formed the Bandit Kingdom Principality of Redhand from what was once the province of Alhaster.
The [Bandit Kingdom’s] only coastal "kingdom," Redhand holds a section of the north coast of the Nyr Dyv, from the old Shield Lands to the mouth of the Artonsamay. "Prince" Zeech [a cleric of Hextor], an effete renegade Shield Lands lord who broke with his nation in 577 […]. [LGG - 27]

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.
Special thanks to Mike Bridges for his “The Battle of Emridy Meadows.”

Primary sources for this history were the DMG 1e, Ivid the Undying, WGR5 Iuz the Evil, T1, The Village of Hommlet, the Greyhawk Adventures hardcover, The World of Greyhawk Folio, and The World of Greyhawk Gold Box, From the Ashes Boxed Set, The Aventure Begins, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, The Living Greyhawk Journals, Dragon Magazine 56, 57, 268.

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
Viking by iamtretre
Battle-For-Azeroth by astri-lohne
Iuz, by Eric Hotz, from WGR5 Iuz the Evil, 1993
Reuven, by Eric Hotz, from RPGA  The Fright at Tristor, 1993
Archway by tacosauceninja
Donner-Lake by chateaugrief
Red Death, by Karl Waller, from WG8 Fate of Istus, 1989
Visions-in-the-fire by dominikmayer
Front-Line by dominikmayer

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
2023 Greyhawk Adventures Hardback, 1988
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
9026 The Village of Hommlet, 1979, 1981
9399 WGR 5, Iuz the Evil, 1993
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
Ivid the Undying, 1998
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
RPGA The Fright at Tristor, 2000
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
Living Greyhawk Journal
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer