Friday, 15 January 2021

History of the South-East, Part 12: The End of an Age

 

“Dark clouds are smouldering into red
While down the craters morning burns.
The dying soldier shifts his head
To watch the glory that returns:
He lifts his fingers toward the skies
Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
Radiance reflected in his eyes,
And on his lips a whispered name.”

― Siegfried Sassoon, The War Poems 

The Great War
The Great War had enveloped the Flanaess. No nation was spared. But some were better prepared than others. The Scarlet Brotherhood continued to bide its time. Our time is now, the Millennialists urged, eager to prove the predictions of their prophet, Huro, long defamed after being sentenced to death by ritual torture for blasphemy. The Strong Hand agreed, but they most certainly would have agreed to any plan that began the immediate conquest of the mainland.
But they waited, as all did, for none would act without the approval of the Father of Obedience. Patience is a virtue, Jellevi Mauk had taught them, and the Father of Obedience agreed.
Such wisdom served the Brotherhood well; for the longer they waited, the weaker their prey became. 

584 CY  Throughout the first year of the war, one faction had remained notably silent—the ominous Scarlet Brotherhood of recent legend. While other nations hurled massive armies against each other, the Brotherhood insidiously wormed advisors into courts of kings. Against armies the Father of Obedience sent agents. Though the isolated Brotherhood seemed a mere bystander in the wars, nothing could have been further from the truth. The first phase of the Scarlet Brotherhood’s plan was simple-wait and watch. The Father of Obedience spent the opening months of the war assessing who would fight whom and where the true centers of power lay. So long as the war stayed in the north, the Father of Obedience contented himself with reports from agents in all camps. These men, posing as tutors and learned sages from before the start of hostilities, advised lords and commanders and thereby added the Brotherhood’s invisible hand to every battle. In all things, these spies worked to assure that neither side came too close to victory or treaty. The Father of Obedience commanded that the war continue, and so it did.
            Another group of the Brotherhood’s agents work even further afield, in desolate and horrible places. These men sought out foul things and whispered promises in their ears. “Arise, take the lands of men as your own, and you shall find great reward,” was their song. From the Crystalmists to the ‘Roll Fens, fell creatures responded. Thus, like the silent and inexorable tug of the moon, the Father of Obedience raised the tide of evil. [Wars - 20] 

The Amedio remains a place of mystery to most of the Flanaess because so little information has been brought back from it. It wasn’t until 584 CY, when the Matreyus expedition brought back detailed notes and artifacts from the jungle, that the Amedio became something other than a distant hazard to be avoided. These notes allowed some to realize that certain unusual items traded by the Sea Princes were products of the Amedio. The Jungle became even more real to the people of the Flanaess when the Scarlet Brotherhood began unloading slaves and warriors in Flanaess ports. [SB - 63] 

“We are ready,”
Brother Renho, the Father of Arms declared when asked by the Father of Obedience. The Brotherhood had waited long enough, he thought; but he would never be so bold as to tell the Father of Obedience that.
There are three major divisions within [the Brotherhoods armed forces]: the Suel armies and navy, consisting of citizens (mainly officers and special operatives), subcitizens and “promoted” Hepmonaland or Amedio Suel; the humanoid armies, consisting of goblins, hobgoblins and orcs; and the slave armies, consisting of human and demihuman slaves from across the Flanaess, including Suel savages from the jungles who have not been promoted. These branches work in tandem, although each branch has its own chain of command leading to the Father of Arms. [SB - 20] 

Brother Marshenref, the Father of Thralls, was not as sure as was his brethren. He understood patience, even if Brother Renho did not. He understood the need for deliberation. Long planning inevitably defeated quick action. “One must not squander our resources needlessly,” he cautioned. It was well and good for the Millennials and the Strong Hand to call for action, but it was his slaves they meant to spend in doing so, and waste if their reach proved greater than their grasp.
If there was one thing Brother Marshenref could not tolerate, it was waste.
But if the Father of Obedience saw the need that those slaves should be spent in the pursuit of the greater good, that was what they were meant for; and they should be happy to sacrifice themselves. “Be happy in your toil,” the writings of Jellevi Mauk instructed them, “for salvation is found in your dedication to servitude.”
Brother Marshenref was happy to oblige, if that was the bidding of his Master, but in truth, Brother Marshenref was far less interested in the war than were his brethren.
Under his leadership, the Brotherhood has produced two additional slave races, the Komazar and the Kurg. [SB - 19]
After many failures in trying to recreate the derro slave race, the Office of Thralls set its sights a little lower and developed […] the komazar. Resembling stunted humans [, and] are an inbred mix of [Flan] and dwarves. […] The komazar work the mines of the Scarlet Brotherhood. [SB - 87]
The Scarlet Brotherhood desired a slave race to move heavy objects, and the creation of the kurg fulfilled this nicely. Tall, with tiny bovine horns, […] and stiff fur on their heads, shoulders and backs, the kurg are very strong, gentle and not too clever. [SB - 87]
The result of a crossbreed between captured Olman and a lemur-like native of the jungles, the rullhow are hairy humanoids with […] very large eyes and short tails. […] Agile climbers, the rullhow are responsible for keeping the streets and buildings of the Brotherhood cities clean. [SB - 88]


Sister Arinohal, Mother of Purity, abhorred waste, as well.
One of the few remaining Pure Suel faction members, she makes sure that the youth of the Brotherhood are raised with the certainty of Suel superiority over every other sentient race. [SB - 19]
The Office of Purity has the most influence on [the’ Brotherhood, for it is this Office that selects citizens to produce children, coordinates the upbringing and training of these children, and directs them onto paths that allow them to best utilize their skills in service of the Brotherhood. [SB - 19]

The Father of Obedience Listened
The Father of Obedience listened, deliberated, weighted what he had heard, and decided. The time was indeed now. He gave his blessing. Go forth, he decreed.
Because of its ambivalent position in the Brotherhood’s plans, the Iron League received strange helps and hindrances in the war. Irongate, threatened by armies of the South Province, received secret support: equipment, money, advisors, and mercenaries all flowed into the city, evidently from diverse sources. In truth, the Scarlet Brotherhood guided everything to the city. Apparently unsuspecting of the source of this aid, Cobb Darg, Lord High Mayor of Irongate, put it to good use. The mayor, an able and energetic leader with good sense and tactical cunning, used the resources to repeatedly trounce the South Province’s Grand Field Force with his drastically outnumbered Army of Irongate. Cobb Darg, aided by many wise advisors, made astute use of deceptions, magic, fortifications, and traps-luring more than one Ahlissan army to destruction.
While defending Irongate, and thus Onnwal, the Brotherhood worked elsewhere to destroy the unity of the Iron League. Confident the Vast Swamp would block any overland attack, the Father of Obedience did not lift a finger when Osson liberated Sunndi. Under Ivid’s rule, the courts of Sunndi were impervious to the Brotherhood’s advisors, but liberated from the yoke of the Great Kingdom, the people would welcome the Scarlet Brotherhood—at least for a time. [Wars - 22] 

The Scarlet Brotherhood’s plan was complex, indeed. Even as they lent aid, its agents and “uncles” spread discontent, and also began its program of targeted assassinations.
The demesnes of Count Cadwale, the “Tunneling Count,” has again risen to prominence in Onnwal. The long dead noble (thought to be horrifically ugly or diseased but in fact handsome and fanatical about his privacy) was renown for the tunnels he constructed. Brotherhood agents slew the incumbent count and occupied the manor in 583 CY. [LGJ#0 - 12]
And very soon Onnwal fell.
No plan ever works out perfectly, however, no matter how meticulous its planning, or how deft its execution.
The Brotherhood made a move for Irongate as well, but crafty Cobb Darg, who had known the allegiances of his "advisers" all along, survived the sudden onslaught. [LGG -98] 

Onnwal, unlike Irongate, failed to recognize the treachery that caused it to fall into the hands of the Scarlet Brotherhood during the Greyhawk Wars. The land had never been invaded and had previously been subjected only to periodic naval raids by South Province. The Scarlet Brotherhood assassinated Szek Ewerd Destron and took over the land almost overnight. Some anticipated the takeover just in time, particularly the thieves' guild in Scant, which absconded from the city to the countryside in 584 CY. [LGG - 80] 

Next fell the Lordship of the Isles.
The Duxchan Isles had always been an unpredictable port of call. One always had to wonder where its allegiances lay. The answer to that question had always been obvious to any who had laid foot upon its beaches: With itself, for the most part.
This chain of islands has been occupied by the Suel for nearly one thousand years, and this race remains the most dominant population of the isles, most notably on Ansabo and Ganode. [LGG - 70]
These pirates and buccaneers were the terror of the south, holding a near stranglehold over traffic through the southern straits and raiding the southern coastal cities with ease. [LGG - 71]
But they had been put to rights, brought into the fold, and once the Aerdi had placed one of its own upon its throne, flown the colours of the Kingdom.
The island lords became very rich over the next few centuries, profiting from the trade that flowed through their islands, a portion of which was due the herzog of South Province.  [LGG - 71]
But one always had to wonder, even if it had been properly cowed and held at bay….

And so it had been. Until it joined the Iron League. And so it seemed it would remain. Would the Lordship have stood with the League? It might have, but it was never given the chance to prove what faith might have been laid upon that decision.
During the Greyhawk Wars, the wintry Latmac Ranold was abruptly deposed and an unheralded successor immediately took his place. The Lordship of the Isles quickly became a hotbed of intrigue.  [LGG - 72]
Was the elderly Aerdian assassinated? Some thought so. Most Aerdi believed so. For in no time, the Lordship steered the Duxchans on a hitherto unforeseen path.
Frolmar Ingerskatti of Ganode
The new prince, a little-known Suel lord named Frolmar Ingerskatti of Ganode, immediately withdrew the Lordship from the Iron League and set about lending his naval forces to the maneuvers of the Scarlet Brotherhood, including the blockade of the Tilva Strait that continues to the present day. It is clear to most that Ingerskatti is a puppet of the Scarlet Brotherhood, but little can be done about it, as these cultists are very successful at putting their operatives in key positions within the realm, deposing Oeridians whenever possible in favor of loyal Suel. Most of Ansabo, the port of Sulward, and the whole isle of Ganode are now completely under their control.
[LGG - 72]
The Lordship of the Isles and its new lord declared support of the Brotherhood during the winter of 583-584, and Irongate reacted with revulsion at the activities of its former ally. These included raids on ports of the Iron League and assisting in the subsequent isolation of Irongate by blockading the city. The city's fleet suffered greatly at their hands, and now has standing orders to attack the ships of the Lordship of the Isles upon sight. [LGG - 58] 

An Uncle Arrives
With the Iron League under control and the Great Kingdom headed for certain decline, the Father of Obedience initiated the third phase of his plan. A red-hooded ambassador arrived at the court of the Sea Princes, bearing an ultimatum: “Submit to the Scarlet Brotherhood or be destroyed.” When the lords of the land mocked the messenger, he presented them with a list of 30 names, all petty nobles of the Sea Princes’ lines. Before the next sunrise, 27 of those names had been crossed off the rolls of heraldry, slain by red-hooded assassins. Only three of the listed nobles survived the attacks, and two of them were seriously injured. The mockery stripped from their ashen faces, the Sea Princes surrendered and signed a treaty stating as much. Within a fortnight, ships bearing the Scarlet Sign docked at Port Toli and Monmurg, off-loading strange, savage warriors from the jungles of the south. [Wars - 23] 

Irongate was largely untouched by the Greyhawk Wars until a new enemy revealed itself from the south. The Scarlet Brotherhood and its agents usurped the governments of three member states of the Iron League, but old Cobb Darg proved to be one step ahead of them and prevented the same from happening in Irongate. [LGG - 58]
By 584 CY, decade-old paranoia regarding the Scarlet Brotherhood came true, as advisors in courts throughout the Flanaess were revealed as Brotherhood agents. The Lordship of the Isles, [Idee,] Onnwal, and the Hold of the Sea Princes fell under the influence of the Scarlet Brotherhood thanks to treachery or invasion. [WoG Gaz 3e - 4] 

The Scarlet Brotherhood soon took Idee and Onnwal from the alliance. Irongate and Sunndi, geographically isolated and deeply enmeshed in their own struggles with the Scarlet Sign and Aerdy, wen impotent to back up their promises of aid. [LGG - 78] 

Osson’s Fall
As the clouds of spring cleared in the east, Commandant Osson, still encamped in Medegia, could little deny the fate dealt him and his men. The hope he had posted on the Lordship of the Isles proved misplaced. [Wars - 19]
Though Osson planned an orderly dash for safety, it was not to be. As the cavalry charged across the Flanmi River, most of its officers fell to the bowmen of the entrenched Aerdi Army. [Wars - 19]
So many fell, in fact, that even the energetic and brilliant commandant could not reign in the cavalry. Before even securing the field, every horseman who still drew breath rode hard for the hills and the safety of Sunndi. From there, the ragged line of cavalry wormed its way home by way of the Iron League. Commandant of the Field Osson of Chathold did not return, and his final fate remains a mystery. The Great Almorian Raid had finally met its end. [Wars - 19]
Some folk believe that Osson of Almor is similarly imprisoned in the unspeakable dungeons, swarming with evil priests, lesser and least baatezu, undead of most kinds, and worse. [Ivid - 32] 

The Fallen Hero
While the heroism of Osson of Chathold is celebrated in song and verse, there is little doubt that his exploits cost Almor the lives of tens of thousands of people and plunged it into a nightmare which endures still. Osson's raids so enraged Ivid that he struck against Almor as brutally and forcefully as he did against Medegia. Ahlissan armies, the Army of the North, and Bone March humanoids converged on Almor and simply overwhelmed its armies. On the 17th day of Goodmonth, 584 CY, mages and priests in Ivid's armies razed Chathold by fire, lightning, acid, earthquake, poisonous gas, and more. The Day of Dust, as it is now known, saw the nation of Almor disappear from the maps of the Flanaess, probably forever. [Ivid - 145] 

Almor burned like dry wood following Commandant Ossor's eventual defeat. By the end of 584 CY, Nyrond could count only on aid from the Urnst States to protect it against Ivid's mad bid for revenge. [LGG - 78] 

The Beginning of the End
Ivid was elated. He was truly thrilled when he heard that the upstart Osson had met his end. To celebrate, he launched attacks upon those other upstarts: Nyrond, Almor, and the Iron League.
Ivid launched an attack upon Nyrond, Almor, and the Iron League states, but the conflict served only to bring ruin to the heartlands of the Great Kingdom and destruction to many tens of thousands of citizens. Ivid made terrible enemies of his kinsmen. North Province declared independence from the Great Kingdom in 584 CY, dragging itself out of the Greyhawk Wars, and the empire shattered within weeks into many pieces. [LGG - 24] 

Despite his madness, Ivid came very close to defeating Nyrond. So very close. But he hadn’t.  Nyrond had been blessed in that Ivid had taken command of the field from his plush chambers in Rauxes. If it were not for his incompetence, and the valor of the Nyrondese, that most august nation, which had shouldered so much of the Aerdy’s wrath, would surely have fallen.
Though the tide of evil seemed certain to flood the land [,] fate intervened, wearing the guise of madness. The mad Overking Ivid V compared the success of the Almorian campaign, in which he had played a small part, with the previous handling of Osson’s raid. He concluded not that Osson had been a brilliant commander, but that his own generals were incompetent bunglers, requiring his aid to be successful. In short, Ivid decided he was a military genius and all his generals were fools.
[Ivid] personally assumed complete command of all the armies of the Great Kingdom, despite the counsel of his best advisors. Ivid did not just overrule or even sack his generals: he executed them, sparing only his favorites.
The military campaign that followed was, predictably, a disaster. Flushed with victory over Almor, Ivid pushed his leaderless armies into Nyrond, believing that through magic and messengers he could command them from the distant Malachite Throne. The first efforts to cross the Harp River near Innspa ended in disaster. The few commanders who had escaped Ivid’s wrath feared to act on even the smallest tactical details without explicit commands from Rauxes. Such orders required hours to arrive, if they came at all, and even then were illogical or clearly surpassed by battlefield developments.
A Trusted Noble
Ivid responded to these failings with more executions. Fear began to spread through the nobility: the death of a commander led to the appointment of a “trusted” noble, who was placed in an impossible situation and thus became the next candidate for execution. Intended as an honor, command appointments became the mark of death. Generals quickly learned the only way to survive was to do nothing. All progress in Nyrond ground to a halt, but the armies continued the futile attack, mindlessly following the Overking’s orders.
Nor did Ivid stop there. Believing—with good reason—that his generals conspired to mutiny, the Overking sought even greater control over them. The priests of Hextor, seeking favor in the eyes of the mad Overking, devised a solution to his problem. Through secret rituals, the priests revived each dead general as an animus—a being that, though dead, retained its intelligence and abilities. Perhaps the Overking believed such beings would serve him better or be more amenable to his will. In fact, Ivid was so taken with his animus generals that he broadened the program, first slaying and reviving those nobles who offended him and eventually working the death and revivification as a reward for all his favored courtiers.
Though Ivid’s nobles were undeniably decadent, they were not mad: they considered Ivid’s gift an unenviable “reward.” Because winning the Overking’s favor had become as deadly as incurring his wrath, most nobles sought refuge in mediocrity, obscurity, and anonymity. A few of the more courageous and less astute nobles attempted to dissuade Ivid from his insane schemes, but succeeded only in convincing Ivid to “reward” them on the spot. Fear gave way to defiance as the nobles plotted against their mad lord. Thus, Ivid’s prediction of mutiny became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The crisis reached its climax during the Richfest celebrations of that year. An assassin emerged from the thronging crowds and struck Ivid a mortal blow with a poisoned dagger. When news spread of Ivid’s death, the gloom over the land lifted. The nobles stoked the fires of celebration, joyously preparing for the power struggle to come.
The Great Kingdom was spared that turmoil, however, by an even greater one. Just as the cunning of the mad Overking had saved Ivid from countless threats past, it saved him now from the grave. Secret arrangements, perhaps made with fiends summoned while on the Malachite Throne, resulted in the Overking’s revivification. Ivid V—who had seemed cold and soulless in life—seemed doubly so in death.
The vengeance visited by the animus Ivid was swift and terrible. The orgy of execution and revivification soared out of control. Ivid rewarded even the slightest suspicion with death. Nobles falsely implicated enemies, seeking to settle old scores, but Ivid cared little whether the accusations were false or true. The mad Overking, now styled the Undying One, revelled in the chaos and destruction in his lands
 Hearing of massacres in Ivid’s lands, King Archbold in Nyrond counterattacked the Army of the North between Womtham and Innspa. Though Ivid’s animus generals fought wellbeing themselves unafraid of death—the chaotic heartlands of the Great Kingdom offered no support to the Northern Army. [Wars - 21,22] 

The great battle of Karndred's Meadows occurred towards the end of the war. King Archbold of Nyrond was trying to reclaim as much of the kingdom's land as he could. Nearly five thousand of Nyrond's best soldiers fell in a single day against the demented, fiend-driven armies of the Overking. Nyrond fought them to a bloody standstill, but the losses were enormous. The cost is still being felt today, and Nyrond's future looks grim indeed. [WGR4 The Marklands - 58] 

Grenell, Herzog
The cost of Ivid’s mad displeasure was a tithe too dear to pay for some. Grenell, Herzog of North Province, had enough! Ivid and his Glorious Kingdom be damned! Grenell had been able to keep his cousin at bay for years, but if he did not rid himself of that lunatic then, while the iron was hot, he too would surely be rewarded with Ivid’s great gift; and he enjoyed his pleasures and his women far too much to consider joining the ranks of the animus anything but a boon. Grenell led his North Province in rebellion against his cousin. The other herzogs were soon to follow, and the Great Kingdom of Aerdy fractured into hundreds of petty states.
North Province declared independence from the Great Kingdom in 584 CY, dragging itself out of the Greyhawk Wars, and the empire shattered within weeks into many pieces. [LGG - 24]

Freed from constraint, the Grenell did what he always did best, he saved his own skin.
Grace Grenell, Herzog of the North Province, rebelled against his cousin in a desperate attempt to hold his lands against the march of King Archbold. Freed of the mad king, the Herzog and the orcs of the Bone March halted the Nyrondese armies in the rugged Flinty Hills. The Herzog callously sacrificed both human and orcish troops to grind King Archbold’s advance to a halt. Though the Nyrondese could advance no further against the combined armies, Archbold, tantalized by the prospect of ultimate victory, refused to break off his assault. [Wars - 21] 

This “new” realm has not changed in character from the old, being cruel and tyrannical in the extreme. The new imperial capital was proclaimed to be Eastfair, to no one’s surprise. [TAB - 23] 

Grenell was not the only one to strike while the iron was hot. There were others, even within his own “Kingdom,” who saw opportunities arise; the House of Garasteth, for instance, when they soon liberated the Highland Castles, and took them for their own.
They have, in effect, seceded from North Province. Their war leaders swore an oath of allegiance to Baron-General Shalaster, who commands them from his base at the southernmost castle. [Ivid - 55]
Grenell does not have the military might to march on local rulers he would like to subdue. With thousands of orcs in armies along his western frontier, Grenell simply cannot risk internecine war among the human armies of North Province. It would weaken the control Grenell has too much, and it would make the orcs feel more confident about attacking a divided human enemy. Grenell might take control of some small estate in such a manner—but he might lose Bellport, the northwest, even Eastfair itself, to invading orcs if he used this tactic. [Ivid - 44] 

Others have taken measures, even if Grenell could not. Castle Greenkeep is proof of that.
This ruin marks the easternmost point of the highlander castles. In Suns' Ebb CY 584, the castle was decimated by an immensely powerful magical strike. A boiling black cloud settled in the sky above Greenkeep, and vast strokes of lightning and acid rain cascaded down on the building. The walls and towers were shattered and the keep ruined, with most of the garrison here slain and only a few managing to escape westward to safety.
It is still unknown who mounted this formidable attack. The most often-rumored theory connects the attack with the necromancer Raspalan, garrisoned with the troops here. Raspalan was a minor princeling of the House of Garasteth, and was known to have fled his birthplace west of Rinloru and no few other eastern and southern cities during his lifetime. He left behind a trail of murder, outrage, and bitter enemies. The destruction of Greenkeep is generally believed to be due to one of those enemies catching up with him.
The ruin takes its name from a radiant green glow which still emanates from the keep on exceptionally cold nights. The few who have ventured anywhere near the place mumble about moving stones, the keep swelling and contracting before their eyes, and blood-freezing screams that seem to come from far beneath the ground. But this is probably just a hallucination. Nonetheless, survivors are rumored to speak with horror of Raspalan's experiments in the keep dungeon and to tell tales of wretches and the strange supplies which were ferried down to those dungeons to enable the grisly wizard to continue his malign research. [Ivid - 55]
The question rises: Who might have destroyed Greenkeep? The Dreadlord Monduiz Dephaar? 

Few were so lucky as Grenell. Ivid’s Kiss graced more than would have wished it. Granted, the Kiss was better than the eternal torment of the Endless Death.
The North Province’s defection from the Great Kingdom unleashed the pent-up fears and ambitions of all nobility in the Great Kingdom, both living and animus. The Herzog of the South, among the first nobles rewarded with death and revivification, reasserted his claim to the South Province. The wave spread outward from there: living nobles turned their fiefs into armed camps and animus lords sought to expand their realms. The Overking’s authority collapsed entirely, leaving Ivid with only his personal estates. Thus, the always fragile Great Kingdom shattered into a hundred petty principalities, dukedoms, baronies, counties, and earldoms. The Aerdi Empire was no more. [Wars - 21,22] 

Nyrond had defeated Aerdy. But at such a cost.
Nyrond lost nearly seventy thousand soldiers in the Greyhawk Wars. Though her armies held off Aerdy's siege, they did so at terrible cost. Archbold had expended the nation's entire treasury, and had depleted much of his family's wealth. Hideously in debt to the Urnst States, the king faced a future of mined fields and horrible food shortages. Nearly half of his holdings were in tax rebellions. Many of the nation's best mages, craftsmen, and nobles fled Nyrond for easier lives to the west. Whether Nyrond would fall was never an issue. The question was simply that of timing. [LGG - 78] 

War’s End
The Pact of Greyhawk
For three years, the whole of the Flanaess flew banners of war. Nations fell as new empires were born. Demons and devils from the Outer Planes were summoned en masse by Iuz and Ivid V, and hundreds of thousands of mortals died. Finally, the battle-weary combatants gathered in Greyhawk to declare peace. Harvester 584 CY was to see the signing of the Pact of Greyhawk, fixing borders and mandating an end to hostilities.
[LGG - 16]
Strangely, the Pact was suggested by the Scarlet Brotherhood, which may have sought to consolidate its gains from the war. [PGtG -11] 

Sensing that his reach was nearing his limit, the Father of Obedience halted the troop advances and instructed his agents to solidify their holds in the Brotherhood-controlled governments, where new laws suppressed previous officials, and temples to Brotherhood Faiths rose. The Father’s agents, acting as representatives of the nations in his grip, called for a Flanaess-wide truce. Some nations welcomed the chance for a rest; others were convinced via diplomacy and assassination. In the end, the countries of the Flaneass agreed to the Brotherhood’s peace proposal, hurriedly signing the Greyhawk Pact in 6099 SD in the City of Greyhawk. [SB - 6] 

Autumn of 584 CY saw the signing of the Pact of Greyhawk, an event that would close various hostilities plaguing the continent. On the Day of Great Signing, however, Greyhawk suffered a great treachery, as Rary, one of the Circle of Eight, destroyed his companions, Tenser and Otiluke, in a great magical battle. Many suspected that Rary wished to hold the ambassadors hostage, but instead, he fled to the Bright Desert to form his own kingdom. Fearing further disruptions, the delegates hurriedly signed the pact. Ironically, due to the site of the treaty signing, the conflicts soon became known as the “Greyhawk Wars.” [Gaz 3e - 4] 

Ivid signed the Pact of Greyhawk to give himself time to prepare for a final, crushing onslaught of Nyrond. Yet, that will almost certainly never come—at least not from Ivid himself.
The mad overking can claim direct control over not much more than a few hundred square miles around Rauxes. And his leigemen find pursuing their own squabbles—building their own empires within old Aerdy—much more interesting than sending their armies to Nyrond. They have no intention of leaving their own landholdings vulnerable to opportunistic conquest by their neighbors.
Ivid believes himself to command great provincial armies, which have in actual fact long marched homewards. [Ivid - 5,6] 

When peace came in Harvester 584 CY, the whole world was weary of war. Many hoped that the treaty signed then marked the end of the marching armies, bloody fields, and the burning cities. But this was not to be. The peace of the Greyhawk Wars is now seen to have marked the end of only the first part of a great period of conflict that has reached into every part of the known world and affected every creature from the highest prince to the lowest peasant farmer. [TAB - 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, The World of Greyhawk Folio, and The World of Greyhawk Gold Box, From the Ashes Box Set, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, Ivid the Undying, The Living Greyhawk Journals, Dragon Magazine.

 

The Art:
All art is wholly owned by the artists.
Renho illustration, by Sam Wood, from The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
Suel illustration, by Sam Wood, from The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
Suel Slave Races illustration, by Sam Wood, from The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
Scarlet Brotherhood Assassin illustration, by Sam Wood, from The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999

Sources:
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1043 The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989
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
9253 WG8, Fate of Istus, 1989
9398 WGR4, The Marklands, 1993
9399 WGR5, Iuz the Evil, 1993
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11374 The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Ivid the Undying, 1998
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
LGJ et. al.
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
The Map of Anna B. Meyer

1 comment:

  1. I love reading these, thanks David for all the effort

    Jim

    ReplyDelete