― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
|The Fierce Forces of Stonefist |
Settled life has always been challenging, structures lifting and twisting with the frost’s heave. Most settlements hugged the coasts, for the seas were always bountiful; and as they migrated inland, they perched atop long, winding eskers. But the flatter, more arable, plains beckoned. Structures were only made possible there by driving posts deep into the clay bed. Due to the short growing season, only those heartiest of crops took root. Husbandry was more successful.
The Flan were the first peoples to dwell here, and they thrived, first under the dominion of Tostencha, then under the Ur-Flan wizard-priest Keraptis, and it was under his tutelage that they, the Colten Feodality, first learned cruelty.
It remained as such until the Suel arrived, and then the Oeridians, until those people in turn were forced north by the Rovers of the Barrens, brought into the fold of that which they had once overwhelmed. All have lived under the shadow of long sealed dwarven gates, their people rumoured to have fallen upon some unknown fate, likely from having dug too deep in their lust for gold and mithril.
|Vlek Col Vlekzed|
No boychild could take Vlek's name, so great was his person; each considered the sole property of his mother by the Stonefist. And thus he set precedent among his Fists. Each scion had to earn his right to a name, indeed, his right to vassalage; and upon surviving the Rites, if he survived, he could then take his father's name, or his own name, if he so chose, and upon that name gained acclamation or infamy, and with it his status among his peers.
|The Fists, fleet of foot and sled|
And so it went for centuries. The Rite of Battle Fitness had caused the death of so many aspiring leaders that its proponents grew scarce. The Hold became divided between those who supported the traditions of Stonefist, and those who wished to see the restoration of the Coltens Feodality.
The Fists have long been at war with the Cruski, the Barbarians, and surrounding Flan clans. But their greatest hatred has always been the centaurs upon the Barrens. It is their belief that the Rovers had known congress with their herds, and the centaurs were the result of those foul unions.
Thus was the reputation of the Hold abroad: Superstitious. Simple. And savage. It should also be said that those who hate them respected the danger they represent, saying that they are as sly as an arctic fox.
|Vlekstaad upon White Fanged Bay|
It should be said that the Stonehold is not just roaming bands of Fists. They have their tradesmen: Farmers, as noted, miners, merchants, and smiths. They were called scratchers, diggers, babblers and pounders, once; but that opinion has changed as these have altered the prospects of this dour land. Goods have been exchanged with the Free Lords and far Blackmoor, who have sent delegations to the Hold. They have their traditions: the Old Faith is strong here, despite what outsiders believe.
Inspiration for play in the Stonefist may be found in Dostoyevsky, War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago, Baba Yaga, and the myth of the black serpent Czernobog.
The Hold of Stonefist is a dangerous place where only the strong survive, and where surrounding powers watch with great concern. It is a good home for evil characters; it is also where the Coltens strive to return to prominence.
Country specific resources: Country specific resources:
Dragon magazine #57
WGS1 The Five Shall Be One; WGS2
Howl From the North; WGR5 Iuz the Evil
The Nightmare Realm of Baba Yaga, Adventure Gamebook #8
WGS2 Howl From the North
The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga
The biannual Rite of Battle Fitness
WGS1 The Five Shall Be One, Bandit Kingdoms
WGR5 Iuz the Evil
Ghost Dance, Dungeon #32, Rovers of the Barrens
Ex Keraptis Cum Amore, Dungeon #77, Burning Cliffs
Armistice, Dungeon #84, Griff Mountains
The Sharm’s Dark Song, Dungeon #87
Glacier Seas, Dungeon #87
Beyond the Light of Reason, Dungeon #96, Tenh
Raiders of the Black Ice, Dungeon #115, Blackmoor
Ill Made Graves, Dungeon #133, Jotsplat & the Icy Sea
In the Shadows of Spinecastle, Dungeon Magazine #148
C13 From His Cold, Dead Hands, by Carlos Lising, casl Entertainment, 2019, Jotsplat & the Icy Sea
Clashes and war with the Rovers of the Barrens, the Zeai and the Cruski. Raids into Tenh, Ratik, and Fruztii.
Trade with Blackmoor and the Bandit Kingdoms
Exploration of the Rift Valley
Population: 60,000 +
Human 96%, Orc 2%, Dwarf 1%, Other 1%
[WOGA - 36]
Capital: Vlekstaad Major Towns: Bastro (pop. 1,700), Kelten (pop. 2,800), Purmill (pop, 1,900), Vlekstaad (pop. 2,200 before being burned, now 700)
Resources: furs, ivory, silver, gems (I)—
Religions: Erythnul, Syrul, Beltar, Beory, Obad-Hai
[LGG - 108]
|In the shadow of the Griff Mountains|
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 1999
9577 The Adventure Begins
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
Living Greyhawk Journal
Greychrondex, Steven B. Wilson
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
Anna B. Meyer’s Greyhawk Map