Saturday, 27 June 2020

Timeline of the James Bay Frontier

Timeline of the James Bay Frontier

“This land may be profitable to those that will adventure it.”
-- Henry Hudson

The Road to Ratik
Ratik is a relative newcomer in the history of Greyhawk and the Flannaess. There were elves there, surely, and dwarves, and gnomes too, but their arrivals are not set in the annals of the canonical text of Greyhawk; but the World of Greyhawk setting was always a human-centric setting, wasn’t it, and although those races would most certainly have influenced and guided those human nations that came after them, very little has been said about how. There are exceptions, none set in the nation of Ratik, or the Thillonrian peninsula.
What we do know is that the Grey elves had cities in the Griffs, that Vecna fought the Grey and High elves, and that Vecna destroyed the City of Summer Stars. If only Gary Gygax had penned more about those bygone elven civilizations, we’d have had a far richer setting. Sadly, he wrote even less on the dwarves and gnomes, even less still of the halflings. It’s a blank slate. Largely.
Much is the same with Human history. Each nation was given a paragraph or two, enough to spur the imagination, no more. Those missives have been expounded upon since, though.
So what id canon in regards to Ratik?
I present a list of dates noted in Steve Wilson’s Greychrondex_42 to illuminate what is considered canon in the world of Greyhawk concerning Ratik and its environs, most notably those dates regarding the Barbarians, Stonefist, the Bone March, and the North Province as they concern Ratik.
These are mere bullet points. Some reach far back in the annals of time, but you can’t have the present without the past, can you?
If you would like to learn more, there is a wealth of source material out there. I’ve detailed these events in this blog, much as others have before me. Those Histories are my interpretation. There are others. Many others.
I encourage you to peruse: Canonfire!, Greyhawk Online, Jason Zavoda’s Hall of the Mountain King, Joe Bloch’s Greyhawk Grognard, Mike Bridges’ Greyhawkery, and Maldin’s Greyhawk. There are a whole host of others, including the fiction of Mystic Scholar and Greyhawk Stories. Be sure to download Anna B. Meyer's map while you are at it.
I’m sure you will find something to your taste.

That said, let’s get started, shall we?

The Griff Mountains
The Timeline of the James Bay Frontier
-2150 CY              The founding of Haradaragh. First year of Flannae Tracking system (1 FT).
9578 pg. 14

Vecna’s Reign
9309 pg. 6
(rumored to be ruled from the Isles of Woe)
11621 pg. 16

Battle between Elves and Ur-Flannae.

Building of Tostenhca
2023 pg. 99

c.-1500 CY           Keraptis establishes himself as protector of Tostenhca
11434 pg. 3

c.-1100 CY           Keraptis driven out of Tostenhca.
11434 pg. 3

c.-800 CY              Keraptis battles and defeats Aegwareth, Elder Druid, for control of White Plume Mountain.
11434 pg. 3

-458 CY    Oerid migrations east at peak point (187 OR)
9025 pg. 5, 1015 pg. 9

-447 CY    Suloise Migration begins (5069 SD)
9025 pg. 5, 1015 pg. 9

-422 CY    Invoked Devastation and Rain of Colorless Fire
9025 pg. 5, 1015 pg. 9, 9578 pg. 14, 11742 pg. 3

The Arrival of the Suel
-216 CY    Founding of Aerdy (428 OR)
11743 pg. 93

-171 CY    Battle between Aerdians and Flannae tribe at Chokestone. (474 OR/1980 FT)

-142 CY    Eastfair founded as capital of North Province. (503 OR)
11743 pg. 73

c.-110 CY              Around this time, Vatun was imprisoned by clerics of Telchur.
11743 pg. 185

-108 CY    In the spring, Aerdian forces mass in Knurl and drive back Fruztii. The Aerdi free Johnsport from Fruztii hands.

11743 pg. 36

11 CY     Battle between Aerdians and Flan at site of present day Arrowstrand. (2161 FT)

c.90s CY                Keraptis leaves White Plume Mountain to further his research and never returns. 11434 pg. 4

c.100 CY               Battle of Spinecastle (Aerdians vs. Fruztii).
1064 pg. 24

109 CY     The barbarians counterattack the construction site of Spinecastle in the winter but are defeated by the forces of Knight Protector Caldni Vir in the Battle of Shamblefield.  Overking Manshen names Vir the first marquis of the Bone March.
11743 pg. 36, 89

The Timberway Forest
Ratik Founded
122 CY     General Sir Pelgrave Ratik of Winetha leads an expeditionary force to push the Aerdy frontier to the foothills of the Griff Mountains. He defeats the Frutzii and drives them into the northern fastness of Timberway.  He establishes a fort overlooking Grendep Bay at Onsager Point that he names Marner.
11743 pg. 90

128 CY  The Frutzii and Schnai launch a concentrated naval attack on Marner.  This force is defeated by General Sir Pelgrave Ratik of Winetha.
11743 pg. 90

130 CY  The Overking of the Aerdian Empire elevates Pelgrave to Baron, and gifts him Timberway as a personal fief.  The walled town of Bresht is renamed Ratikhill.
11743 pg. 90

316 CY  The Scarlet Brotherhood establishes relations with the Suel Barbarian lands of the north. (SD 5831)
11374 pg. 4
(It is probably shortly after this time that the Brotherhood agents poison King Cralstag of the Cruski, and are, in turn, slain by Cralstag’s heir, Lolgoff)
11743 pg. 55

356 CY  Barbarians from the North invade the Aerdy’s North Province, forcing the Overking to divert troops from the western front thus insuring Nyrond’s survival.
11742 pg. 3
(Allied host of Frutzii and Schnai threaten to overwhelm Bone March and Ratik and sweep into the North Province.  The Rax Overking Portillan diverts a force headed to contest Nyrond to counter the barbarian invasion.  This is successful, but at a great cost.)
11743 pg. 90

c.430 CY               Vlek Col Vlekzed founds chiefdom of Hold of Stonefist.
9025 pg 26, 1015 pg 36, 1064 pg 38
(Rise of an Outlaw Rover called Stonefist who murders the leaders of the Coltens and breaks from Tenh.)
11743 pg. 113
Note: This second “origination” of Stonefist is not supported outside of 117435.  This date for the rise of “Stonefist” is not supported in the text, but no date is given.  The better case is that Vlek Col Vlekzed is a Colten Ataman who pulls the Colten Feodality under his central rule.       

c.440s-460s CY  Alain II of Ratik declares his fief an archbarony, and rules semi-independently (as does the ruler of Bone March).
11743 pg. 90
Note:  This occurs shortly after the Turmoil Between Crowns but that could be anywhere after the 9 year period between 437 CY and 446 CY, and is impossible to fix.

520 CY  Beginning of Hradji Beartooth’s ill-fated journey to find Skrallingshold (Tostenhca)
                2023 pg. 83

558 CY  Scarlet Brotherhood agents encourage humanoids to raid the Bone March. (6074 SD)
11374 pg. 5

c.550s    Schnai subjugate Fruztii
1064 pg. 25

560 CY  Humanoids (Euroz, Kell, Eiger and others) began forays into Bone March.
9025 pg. 9, 1064 pg. 24, 9578 pg. 10, 9577 pg. 19

In Ratik's Defense
561 CY  Full scale invasion of humanoids into Bone March begins.
9025 pg. 9, 1015 pg. 20, 11743 pg. 36

563 CY  Bone March falls to humanoids  9025 PG 5, 1015 PG 9,20, Ivid [PL-the military]
11743 pg. 35, 91
(All humans in that area were enslaved or killed [6078 SD])
11374 pg. 5
(Spinecastle falls by surprise)
11743 pg. 31
(Knight Protectors living in the Bone March flee to Ratik)
11743 pg. 158

565 CY  Korund of Ratik sails to Fireland
9577 pg. 11

575 CY  Ratik-Fruzii (?) alliance defeats humanoids at Blufang-Kelten Pass (probably Ogres and gnolls of Teesar Torrent)
Dragon 57 pg. 15

576 CY
576-582 CY         Ratik and Frost Barbarians make gains against Bone March.
9317 pg. 4, 9337 pg. 6
Snow, Ice, and Frost Barbarians ally against Hold of Stonefist.
9317 pg. 4, 9337 pg. 6
Snow Barbarians increase raids on Great Kingdom.
9317 pg. 4, 9337 pg. 6

577 CY  Cruski and Schnai treaty. Schnai give up the lands south of Glot along the east coast to Cruskii
Dragon 57 pg. 14
Battle of Loftwood---combined Ratik/Frutzii force destroy humanoid forces under the Vile Rune orcs of the Bone March.
Dragon 57 pg. 15

578 CY  Seuvord, Master of the Hold, becomes Rhelt Seuvord I of the Hold
Dragon 57 pg. 14
King Ralff II of the Frutzii organizes new army
Dragon 57 pg. 14
Ships and men, under Lord Captain Aldusc from Sea Barons, sent to bolster North Province against Barbarians.
Dragon 63 pg. 15
Force from Ratik wins great victory over the Bone March orcs in Loftwood (Battle of Loftwood?)
11743 pg. 141

579 CY  Baron Lexnol’s heir, Alain IV, marries Lady Evaleigh, the daughter of the count of Knurl.
11743 pg. 91

582 CY  The events of the module WGS1, The Five Shall Be One, including the rise of the Cult of Vatun.
9317 pg. 3, 11742 pg. 4, 11743 pg. 15
(Iuz triggers Greyhawk Wars by stirring unrest among Barbarians of  the Thillonrian Peninsula)
11743 pg. 62
By this time, the Cruski had regained Utsula from the Schnai, to whom they had lost it several decades before
11743 pg. 106
The events of the module WGS2, Howl From the North, including the arrival of "Vatun" and the gathering of the Barbarians for war.
9339 pg. 5, 1068 pg. 6. 11743 pg. 15

Greyhawk Wars
583 CY  Iuz’s deception of Barbarians revealed, Iuz returns home.
1068 pg. 8
584-585 CY         Part of the Loftwood despoiled as humanoids set fires.
11743 pg. 141

585 CY  Ratik starts ambitious castle building program.
1064 pg. 73

586 CY  Alain IV, Archbaron Lexnol’ son, launches a raid to repatriate Bone March.  It fails utterly.
11743 pg. 37
(Alain is killed. Baron Lexnol collapses from the news and is rendered unfit to rule.  Lady Evaleigh, Alain’s wife, begins ruling Ratik.)
11743 pg. 91

588 CY  Iuz loses control of Sevvord Redbeard of Hold of Stonefist, Hold of Stonefist renamed Stonehold.
9578 pg. 12, 9577 pg. 22-23, 11743 pg. 16
(Sevvord gathers Fists from across Tenh, kills all clerics of Iuz within reach, leaves rearguard to occupy Calbut and returns to Stonehold, driving barbarians back from Kelten and securing the pass, and the returns to Vlekstaad)
11743 pg. 109,113

590 CY  Longship from Fireland sails into the port at Marner in Ratik.
9577 pg. 38
Full scale assaults by the Bone March over the Blemu Hills into Knurl is attempted, but Ratik holds.
11743 pg. 37

Therein lies canon. It's pretty thin. Plenty of breathing room, I'd say.
The Domain of the Green God
So, what do I plan to do with that breathing room? Flesh it out, of course. I hope to set down a history that reflects my northern soul, one replete with the Green God and stone circles laid down by the Fey, with a reclusive Sylvan culture, a very Celtic Flan, a lingering tyranny of Keraptis and his minions, the coming of the Suel, and ultimately the Oeridians.
I'd like to create an epic adventure path set there, where the long dormant Elder Eye sleeps.
It seems alot right now, maybe too much, but each journey begins with a single step. Those Histories I've been gathering are that first step. It's been a big one. I expect the next to be as large.

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

The Art:
WGS1 Five Shall Be One cove, by Jeff Starlind, 1991
WGS2 Howl From the North cover, by Jeff Starlind, 1991

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

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

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic work. This is must read for greyhawkers new and old. New players are given a sense of the setting in a depth not seen bbefore and old-timers can find endless inspiration as well as the best collection of Greyhawk history compiled.