Friday, 5 November 2021

History of the South, Part 5: From the Ashes

 

“Welcome to the jungle,
it gets worse here everyday.
You learn to live like an animal
in the jungle where we play.
If you got a hunger for what you see,
you'll take it eventually.
You can have anything you want,
but you better not take it from me”
—Welcome to the Jungle, Guns N’ Roses, 1987


The Flanaess, For the Taking
The Great War has passed. Neither empire won. In fact, both were sundered, burned, never to rise again. In its aftermath, those who survived its fury were on the move, fleeing across the Flanaess and laying claim to what had never been theirs. Fortuitously, its breadth had been emptied by the wrath of Vecna and the Ur-Flan, who had swept the elves aside before them. But at a cost. The Flan had been bent to the Ur-Flan’s Will, and they too had been laid waste alongside the elves, their lifeblood spent, their future all but erased. Thus, the Flanaess was for the taking. And the Suloise took. As did the Aerdi.

c. -420 CY
The Oeridians
Even as the dust settled in the west, the Oeridians had already ranged far. The Flan were not a serious threat to their expansion, long ago having divided into small clans in the aftermath of the olven wars. This is not to say that the Oeridians were yet a unified people. They were not. They were as disparate and clannish as were the Flan, but they had with them artifacts they had pilfered from the Suloise, globes and orbs and rods, and the still undeciphered artifices that would in time become machines of power.
Some say that the Flan quasi-hero Krovis had risen to protect his people in their time of need; if he had, there is no evidence, for the Oeridians battled the Flan and Ur-Flan for centuries, and the Flan were defeated in the end whether Krovis had risen or not.
Krovis’ avatar has, in the past, emerged from his crypt to bring down several empires that dominated the central regions of the Flanaess, including the dominions of the Isles of Woe and the Empire of Lum the Mad (both of which occurred more than 1,000 years ago). [Dragon #167 – 13]

Baron Lum’s was not the only Oeridian “empire,” in those early days. Leuk-O had preceded the houses of Aerdi to that far eastern coast, where he delved into magics that he ought to have left well enough alone.
The Vortex [of Leuk-O] appears as an undulating black, leprous membrane set against a sheer cliff face known as Vashal-Tul in the language of the dwarves who once made their homes in the craggy hillsides nearby. In the days before the Empire of Aerdy, a band of hill folk established a small colony at the foot of the membrane, which ancient texts refer to as a smooth opalescent barrier. […] [At some point the colonists were] set upon by a terrible wasting disease. Leuk-O himself is said to have fallen victim to this illness, which caused his skin to turn sallow and his hair to fall from its roots. [LGJ#1 – 6]
The Belching Vortex is actually a remnant from another time and place, a portal to an ancient outpost of exporers from one of the many worlds along Oerth’s metaphysical axis. [LGJ#1 – 6]

-419 CY
Long did Kevelli Mauk wander. But as he and his people were chased ever east his nation of refugees swelled. Those Suel he found who shared his mind, who understood the greatness of their people, readily joined his march. He and his were never allowed to settle anywhere for long, because wherever the Aerdi recognized their former masters, and remembered their lot under the mastery of those cruel overlords, they drove them from those lands.
Four times [Kevelli and his followers] stopped, hoping to settle, but each time migrating Oeridians arrived and claimed [their] chosen territory. The Suel band was forced to flee, their numbers too small to fend off attacks, despite the skills of their guards and warriors.
The refugees struck south across a great swamp […].
Eventually the travelers emerged from the swamp, at the narrowest part of the Tilvanot (“south-hill”) peninsula. Liking the cool breezes and misty skies of the place, they continued south and came at last to the great mesa, where they found a colony of several thousand followers of the Suel Emperor’s sun Zellif, who had been living there since 2071 SD. Zellif’s people had claimed the peninsula as their own, driving away, beginning with, or enslaving the humanoid and Flan tribes there. [SB – 3]

The colony built an amazing city [Hesuel Ilshar] on the plateau, imitating the architectural styles of their lost homeland. The Tome of the Scarlet Sign was copied a dozen times; the manuscripts were passed to each Brotherhood recruit in turn for memorization. [SB – 3]

While aloof and sometimes cruel, the new Suel nation—now known by the unassuming name Shar, meaning “purity”—was careful not to reveal its true intentions.
Suel from across the Flanaess continued to migrate into the Brotherhood lands; those that agreed with the Brotherhood philosophy stayed; others crossed the shark-infested waters of the Tilva (“southern”) Strait to the jungles of the continent to the south. [SB – 3]

-413 CY
The Suel had spread out. Few migrated north. They were a southern people, accustomed to gentle climes and fertile fields. Those who had migrated before the Rain fell, found other gentle climes and other fertile fields, some even going so far as to venture across the waters, settling in the jungles to the south. But they were Suel, despite their having fled the plagues and the wars of the west. They had displaced the Flan, just as the Aerdy were displacing them after the Rains. And they had displaced the peoples of the Amedeo and Hepmonaland.
Zar was the first region of Hepmonaland to be settled by the refugees of the Suel Kingdom. Those who stayed here were the most stubborn and intractable of the lot; the more adventurous moved on, as did those seeking greater security from the people of the Falnaess. The city of Zar was founded in 5103 SD, little more than a cluster of rounded stone and wood buildings in a cleared space in the jungle. It grew as Suel refugees arrived and occasionally shrank as strange jungle diseases or infestations took their toll.  [SB – 55] (5103 SD)

c.  –412 CY
Those Suel who could not flee died as the Rains fell. But not all.
The Suloise [tribes] who entered the Flanaess after the Ruin of Colorless Fire were actually a number of once-prosperous noble families and their retainers. Being on holiday, they escaped the burning of Zinbyle, the ruined city in the Sea of Dust recently found by explorers from the Yeomanry. After the Rain died away, the survivors lived in barbarism, scavenging for food and stealing from the frocks of goat-herders in the foothills of the bordering Crystalmists. It was in such a condition a decade after the disaster that the great wizard Slerotin found them, mistaking them at first for actual savages.
Slerotin heard the entreaties of the Suloise survivors, who could offer him nothing but gratitude in return for helping them cross the Crystalmists to the rich lands of the Flannae and demihumans. I believe he gave them his aid purely to sate his own ego, for he was never known for his charity before, but perhaps I wrong him. in any event, Slerotin summoned his power and opened a great tunnel directly through over 70 leagues of solid rock. in this way did the Suloise enter the FIanaess with Slerotin, meeting some of their own kind who had earlier crossed the Kendeen Pass (later destroyed by a volcano) and settled along the Javan River. The “tribes” in time became organized clans and noble Houses. They grew in strength, preyed upon Flan and olve and dwur alike, and ran afoul of the Oeridian hordes. You know what followed then.
Imprisoned
Seventeen Suloise “tribes," including the local goat-herders, braved the Passage of Slerotin to reach what is now the Yeomanry. An 18th group the Lerara, entered late. Further delayed by a fight between several nobles, the Lerara were trapped within the Passage when it was sealed. This little group of only 100-120 adults, with children and animals in tow, was forced to adapt to this dark land, thinking they were abandoned by the gods and cursed.
Excerpt from a letter penned by Elayne Mystica, of the Free City of Iron Gate (inscribed 585 CY) [Dragon #241 – 43,44]

-411 CY
Kevelli Mak did not live long after leading his followers to the Tilvanot. He lived long enough, though, to have left his mark, for he and his followers seduced the hearts and minds of those who had settled there, and in time rose to their rightful place, guides to the Way of Purity, and in that role, they steered the course of those people for all time.
Although Kevelli died in 5105 SD, his vision lived on. He was succeeded by his most talented student, Reshek Nes. Reshek followed her mentor’s lead and created a strict monk-like regime for the most talented students, building strength and focus through discipline and denial. [SB – 4]

-402 CY
The Suel found Hepmonaland to their liking. The land was rich, and blessed with ample sustenance and resources. They were not alone; indeed, they found others, the Olman and their like, but these peoples there were primitive and though they might have once been great, they were no more. Thy were savages, unfit scions to their ancestors’ good fortune. The Suel soon spread out, taking what they would.
Lerga was settled in 5114 SD by a group of Suel nobles led by Duke Medajar, a noble priest of Llerg. According to legend, the priest had a dream vision of a great stone bear, and his group of refugees spotted a great bearlike formation of rock on a hillside, Megajar declared a halt and proclaimed the spot sacred to the God of Force. Using stone plundered from abandoned Olman ruins, Medagar’s people built shelters for themselves sand established the city of Lerga. [SB – 52] (5114 SD)

-400 CY
Conquest
Those Suel migrating across the Flanaess found themselves pitted against the Oeridians, time and again. They stood their ground, and they fought, much as the Flan had, and still did, but neither the Suel nor the Flan had hope of defeating the Oeridians. The Oeridians were fierce. The Oeridians were relentless. And in the end, the Oeridians were victorious. Those who pledged fealty were spared; those who did not, were not.
The fierce Oeridian tribes hardly had matters all their own way. For two centuries, they fought the Suel and the fragmented humanoids for possession of the central lands of the Flanaess. The Oeridians incurred the enmity of the Flannae and demihumans of the lands as well. The arrogant Oeridians might have been overcome by this mix of forces, but for one thing: the Suel were far more unpleasant than the Oeridians were aggressive. The Suel invaders lied, cheated, stole, enslaved, pillaged, and killed out of hand. Over time, the Flannae and demihumans allied with the Oeridians to drive the Suel to ever more distant fringes of the Flanaess: into the northeastern Barbarian lands and into the southern jungles of Amedio and Hepmonaland. [FtAA – 3]

Oeridian

The success of the Oeridian domination of so much of the Flanaess was in part due to their friendliness towards the original demi-human peoples of the area—dwur, noniz, hobniz, olve—and their co-operation greatly strengthened the Oeridians. The willingness of the Flanae to join forces with the Oeridian armies also proved to be a considerable factor. Perhaps the biggest asset the Oeridians had, however, was the vileness of the Suloise - for the majority lied, stole, slew, and enslaved whenever they had inclination and opportunity. There were exceptions, of course, such as the Houses of Rhola and Neheli - late migrants who settled and held the Sheldomar as already mentioned.
[Folio – 5]

To the far north, four of the strongest and fiercest Suel clans managed to retain large stretches of ground as Suloise. The majority of the Suelites were pushed to the extreme south, into the Amedio Jungle, the Tilvanot Peninsula, the Duxchan Islands, and even as far as across the narrow Tilva Straight into Hepmonaland. [Folio – 5]

c. –385 CY
But where the body of the Oeridians largely trekked north of the Nyr Dv, the Suel were content with the southern climes they had long since become accustomed to. It was there that the soil was rich, and the sun waxed pleasant, where gentle rains fell, content to remain within easy reach of the Wooley Bay, from whence they came.
[The] Suloise who had wearied of the migration [eastward] built their homes on the bank of the Selintan River. A small amount of trade existed between the settled and civilized Suel of Urnst, encompassing both the modern duchy and county, and the Suloise outcasts who held the Wild Coast (as it was known even then). […] The Suloise along the Selintan River contributed little to this traffic, but a few prospered by locating fords, running ferries, boating small cargos down to Wooley Bay, and establishing inns and farms to sell meat and produce to hungry travelers. […] [TAB – 56]

Claiming What Was Due Them...
But where most of the Suel who settled there had wearied of their long conflict, there were those who railed against those Oerdians who’d displaced them, and scorned those Flan who had long dwelled in those parts for centuries before their coming. It was these Suel who remembered their birthright, and these Suel who would claim all they thought due them.
The older [of these settlements], Naer’s Well, began as a cluster of farmsteads near a large spring circa 260 OR. This turned into a fortified islad village that traded goods with coastal communities and any olvenfolk tolerant, daring, or corrupt enough to deal with the villagers. Naer’s Well (now Narwell) immediately gained a nasty reputation for supporting local bandits, who served the town as scouts and guerilla fighters during wars with enraged olvenfolk, woodland monsters, humanoid bands, and Suloise neighbors. [TAB – 56]

-368 CY
Suel in the Sheldomar
Are and were all Suloise as wicked as their reputation declared them to be? No; how could that be so. Few Suel are evil; indeed, most are as noble and good as any other peoples. House Rhola were as noble as any, perhaps more than most. It was to this good house that those Suel who remained in the Sheldomar Valley flocked; and it was at the fore of these Suel did Rhola helped establish what would become the Kingdom of Keoland. Or so the story goes. Rhola too swept those who stood against them aside, until they claimed all the lands between the Lortmils and the Dreadwood, and from the Silverlwood to the north unto the Azure Sea.
[Those] Suel Houses [who remained in the Sheldomar Valley] fought the local Flan and abundant nonhumans for control of the rest of the land, which was dominated by the near-mythical Empire of Vecna in the north. The nobles of House Rhola made for the Azure Coast, where in -368 CY they founded the city of Gradsul. While they began settling the southern coastal lands, the nobles of Neheli took their chances in the northern valleys, heeding the apparent words of the Last Mage and striking for the northeast. [LGG – 64]
But the House of Rhola rose to the reputation bestowed them in time, a shining example of what the Suel might have been.

c. -360 CY
Not all Suel were afforded the gentle climate of House Rhola. Some had to fight for their very existence. That endless struggle does not leave mush time for refinement. Endless struggle against a savage, unforgiving world will mould a savage, unforgiving people.
The dominant human population of the Densac Gulf remains the Olman, but between 950 and 1,050 years ago, Suel survivors of the Great War between the Suel and Baklunish Empires invaded the region in large numbers. Many of these bands of desperate refugees crossed the Hellfurnaces and entered the Amedio Jungle. […] [These] Suel fought and competed with the native Olman peoples for scarce resources and land. Many of the invaders devolved into savagery, and in some cases they merged with Olman natives to produce a hybrid culture known as the Amedi. Others strived to remain racially pure and turned to piracy and slavery, often raiding coastal Suel settlements. [Dragon #350 – 65]

c. –358 CY
As those Suel in the dark heart of the Amedio descended into savagery, those in the Sheldomar ascended into the people they might always have become, had fate dealt them a different hand. Just as House Rhola tamed the shores of the Azure Sea, so too did House Neheli tame those lands north of the Silverwood unto the Dim Forest.
[The] much feared Seers, who were among the few powerful apprentices of Slerotin to survive the cataclysm, closely advised the leaders of Neheli in all things. Niole Dra was founded by them within ten years of Gradsul's creation. [LGG – 64]

c. -350 CY
Baron Lum
One wonders how long the heroes and villains of old lived? Centuries? Millenia? Did the great magics the wielded prolong their lives, even as they warped them?
The sword first appeared more than eight hundred years ago in the hand of Baron Lum (years before he discovered his infamous Machine.) He wielded a blade in combat described in the same manner as Druniazth against the Ur-Flan sorcerers near what is now the Bonewood [Thellwood], but he lost it during the fray. He spent his remaining years trying to recover the sword, and the search drove him slowly mad. [Dragon #294 – 96]

-350 CY
The Suel plunged ever deeper into the dark heart of the Amedio. The Olman stood against them, but they were no match for Suloise cruelty. Or Suloise tenacity. How were the Suel able to “conquer” so much of the Amedio so quickly? Because they had no need to stop and raise cities as the Olman once had. They took them as they found them, and claimed them. Before long, an unnamed Suel house reached Matreyus Lake and the Olman ruins of Elatalhuilhle and restored it.
By 350 CY, one Suel house had reached the northern shore of what is now called Matreyus Lake, where they discovered the ruined Olman city of Elatalhuihle. These Suel were stereotypical examples of their race, cruel and evil, and they tortured and oppressed any that they could reach. [SB – 63] (456 OL/5166 SD)

-303 CY
As the Suel waxed in the west, so too did the Oeridians in the east. Lum and Leuk-O were not the only tribes to prosper upon those fertile plains.
By the year [*-]303 CY, two principalities had emerged among the Aerdi populace. To the west, along the Harp River valley, arose the Kingdom of Thalland, home to the Thallari subtribe. To the east, along the coast east of the Mikar River, were established the Medegian Bladelands, home to the Medegi sub-tribe. Although both tribes venerated all the gods of the Oeridian pantheon, the Kingdom of Thalland was governed chiefly according to the tenets of the Heironean faith, while the Medegian Bladelands were ruled chiefly by the doctrines of the Hextorian faith. [Bastion of Faith – 8]
[* The original text says 303 CY. This is in error, as the Great Kingdom had claimed these lands at this time.]

-252 CY
The Cult of the Serpent
The Olman were faring little better against the Touv in Hepmonaland. The Tuov found the Olman worship of serpent gods repulsive, and their sacrificing humans to those gods repellant. For good reason, for they too had a serpent god, an evil god by the name of Meyanok; and the worship they witnessed held up a mirror to their own darkest ways.
In -252 CY, a disguised priest of Meyonok worked his way into the inner circle of advisors to the Jolani prince and began to poison his mind and body. [SB – 55] (1157 TC)

-250 CY
It was the beginning of the end of 1200 years of the Kingdom of Kundali.
[The Jolani] prince was so deluded that he believed that his other advisors and the king were plotting against him, so he declared his city-state independent of the Kunda Kingdom in -250 CY. Appeals and diplomatic measures from the capital were turned aside or twisted by the snake-priest, and the secession precipitated similar acts from Ichamamna and Byanbo. […]
Emissaries from the Scarlet Brotherhood were slain and sent downriver, which caused the Brotherhood to patrol the Jolan coast; Prince Ilamo Ilamo looks forward to testing the blades of his warriors against the flesh of the white-skinned northerners. [SB – 50] (1159 TC)

Kundian

Barely checked resentment burst forth in two other Kunda city-states, and they also seceded.
Trouble within the capital prevented the king from acting, and his successor was unable to reunite the states. [SB – 37]

The snake priests also destroyed one of the northern cities by a magical famine; even now, the land is cursed and few willingly travel near it. The famine provided a distraction for the city-state of Ichamamna, which had long sought to take over the once Olman yuan’ti city of Xapatlapo. [An] army of Touv warriers stormed the Xapatlapo, but fell to traps and poison, while yuan-ti turned their friends and family into snake-men, as well. [SB – 37]

-246 CY
The Scarlet Brotherhood was patient. The Scarlet Brotherhood was persistent. Within 200 years of their having found the Suloise settlements of the Tilvenot Peninsula, their careful whispers and guidance directives had found a foothold, and then a home, and before long the directives Scarlet Brotherhood had almost completely subsumed the goals of the Suloise Council of Noble Houses there.
By 5270 SD the council’s goals were almost entirely subsumed by Brotherhood directives, with most council representatives chosen by indoctrinated families. [SB – 4]

-245 CY
A few of the Suloise Noble Houses fought to regain control of their destiny, culminating in the Tilvanot Civil War. The three remaining independent Suel Houses attempted to overthrow the Scarlet Brotherhood, but they were doomed from the start. They had hoped to rally the other Houses. They had hoped those other Houses would come to their senses and join them in their bid for freedom of choice, but to no avail; the other Houses had been thoroughly seduced by promises of manifest destiny and their innate supremacy.
The last three Houses clutching at an independent identity attempted a coup in 5271 SD. The Tilvanot erupted in a brief civil war, which ended with a series of assassinations and two public demonstrations of the monks’ dreaded “quivering palm” ability, performed on the rebellion’s generals before their assembled troops. The surviving nobles of the three Houses were captured, tortured and executed as examples. [SB – 4]

-243 CY
The three remaining independent Suloise Noble Houses had fought a valiant, but ultimately doomed, rebellion against the insidiousness of the Scarlet Brotherhood’s control. The other Houses should have joined them. Had they, the Suloise people might have followed a different path. A kinder, gentler path. That’s unlikely. They were a cruel and haughty people, and the ideals of the Scarlet Brotherhood had long been theirs, as well. In any event, they did not. And the independent Houses fell. And then, so did the rest.  And the Scarlet Brotherhood assumed formal control of Tilvanot government, calling the peninsula "The Kingdom of Shar."
In 5273 SD the council was dissolved and the hierarchy of monks, assassins and thieves controlled the government as well as in deed. [SB – 4]

[The] Suel race continued to practice the evil deeds of their forbears. Enslavement of other races was an everyday practice. Holidays and celebrations were marked with ritualized torture. Dark sorceries were embraced to advance the cause. Such actions were performed in the most secret parts of the hidden city; the rare visitors from the outside world saw only a stern nation whose citizenry suffered from no more than patriotic extremism. Any visitor discovering too much disappeared, “volunteered for torture or to serve in the breeding programs for inferiors. [SB – 4]

-240 CY
The Harvest King Goes to War
The Harvest King, ruler of Kunda strained to hold his kingdom together. He tried diplomacy, but to decadence and snake worship had begun to infect his cities. He had no choice but to resort to force, for the evils of the serpent could not be tolerated. He raised his armies, and marched against the centres of the snake, where the Yuan-ti and the sauhagin walked without fear. Ichamamna fell to his wrath, but not Byanbo and Johan.
There were those states that remained loyal to the capital of Kundanol, even as their confederacy began to unravel.
The fragmentation of the [Kunda] Kingdom […] came as a disappointment to the Anatali, but they have maintained friendly relations with Kundanaol and are cordial with the other city-states. They have increased their patrols near Alocotla, hearing reports that the snake-men are taking people for some dark ritual. [SB – 47] (1169 TC)

When the Kingdom shattered, [the city-state of] Kevot weathered the turbulence between city-states and kept its lands, property and people safe; the god of inevitability and time is a popular deity here, and the people tend to accept change as a part of life. [SB – 50]

The kingdom of Kunda lasted a little over [1100] years. [SB – 37]

c. -220 CY
Long did Lum the Mad and Leuk-O. Their ambition waxed with their years, only to be laid waste in some long forgotten field.
With the power of the Mighty Servant to back him, Leuk-o forged an army that rivalled even Lum's. The two forces clashed many times, always ending in stalemate. At last, the two forces met in a final battle. Lum and Leuk-o faced each other, their mighty artifacts unleashing powers greater than any since harnessed. It is said that their battle laid waste to a great kingdom and left a scorched desert in its wake. [Book of Artifacts – 58]

-216 CY
The Aerdi’s long trek east had come to an end. They settled the eastern shores under a benevolent rising sun, and prospered. Before long, they grew suspicious of their neighbours, who looked upon their bountiful harvests with prophetic envy. The minor Houses of Aerdi looked to Lord Mikar, scion of House Garasoth, to protect them. He took up their challenge, proclaiming himself the first grand prince of Aerdy. None challenged his claim. (428 OR) 
In 428 OR (-216 CY), the scion of House Garasteth, Lord Mikar, became the first grand prince (equal to a king). He ruled a land now called the kingdom of Aerdy ("aer" meaning "sky" in Old Oeridian). [LGG – 23]

In 428 OR (-216 CY), these small states finally united under a single banner, and the kingdom of Aerdy was born. Rel Astra was chosen as its capital. The scion of Garasteth was the grand prince of the Aerdi at the time, and he set about building an impressive seat of government. A grand palace was constructed in the heart of the city and heavy walls were erected to enclose what is known today as the Old City. A large keep adjacent to the shore housed the admiralty of the kingdom, though the interest of the Aerdy turned decidedly west over the next few centuries. [LGG – 93]

The founding of the Kingdom of Aerdi in 5299 SD changed little in the Kingdom of Shar. A civilized neighbor to the north allowed the Brotherhood to trade for food and other resources, and offered them a foothold in the Flanaess where they could learn about the other forming nations. Over time, spies planted in the Aerdi kingdom moved to other lands, strengthening the Brotherhood’s information network. [SB – 4]

-170 CY
The Untamable Amedio
The Suel sought to tame the Amedio. Such is their hubris that they believed it could be so. None had tamed it before their coming, not the troglodytes, who were perhaps the best suited in trying, not the d’kana, nor the kesh; and it’s likely that none ever will. Mysteries abound under its canopy. Mysteries? Nay. Mayhap evils.
The north side of [Storm Lake/Matreyus Lake] is the former city of Elatalhuihle, later discovered by the Suel who fell to or caused a great curse on the place. [SB – 67]
[Their] city fell for unknown reasons around -170 CY; even now the place suffers one or more terrible curses. [SB – 63] (636 OL/5346 SD)
No one knows why, for sure. The reason why might be as simple as it fell to the seditious Olman; but if that were so, why have the Suel never tried to reclaim what they believed was theirs by right.
War between the Olman and Suel continued in Amedio for the next 700+ years. Indeed, it wages to this very day.
Little has changed in the last 700 years. The Olman and Suel battled each other and among themselves for food, territory and slaves, and for the glory of fighting. [SB – 63]

c. –110 to -100 CY
Humans are a vain species. They look upon all of the realms of Oerik and see only their own. There are others. The olve have always lived here. So too, it would seem, have the dwur. None can say whence the noniz and hobniz came from, for none have ever asked them. Nor cared to. One wonders what cam before us; or before the dwur and the olve, for that matter. Dragons were old, even when the olve were young, some say. Did they rule vast realms of reptiles? If they had, what became of them? There are so few of them now. Did they fall in some great war, as the elves did? Did they retreat from the world to rest? To recover in its passing? One wonders if they slept as humans infested their realms. One wonders whether they would send us back whence we came should they awaken.
Fundamental Thought and Sincere Assertion, mist dragons, arrived at the seven islands later known as the Mist Kingdom.
The seven islands known as the Mist Kingdom are nearly always shrouded in fob, rendering them invisible beyond one mile. The most powerful inhabitants of the islands – an old family of mist dragons – prefer it this way, avoiding contact with other creatures; only a few tribes of beastmen are allowed on the island, for all other intelligent creatures have been drivien away or slain by the dragons., Neither the drogons, nor the beastmen produce or harvest an excess of goods, so the kingdom does not export any resources.
The first two mist dragons came to these islands over 700 years ago. [SB – 66]

-46 CY
The Aerdi were not content with their realm on the sea. They would have the whole of the east, putting the threat of the Suel to an end, once and for all. Before long, Suel Onnwal fell after long and bloody conflict, and Irongate was established to control the Headlands for all time.
In 598 OR (-46 CY), Onnwal was taken after a long and bloody conflict that ended with the establishment of Irongate and final control of the Headlands for the Aerdi. [LGG – 80] (598 OR)

c. –9 CY
Leuk-O's Legacy
Leuk-O’s evil outlived his long years. He had opened a gate that had all but closed, and it throbs even today, spreading a black cancer each time it waxes. It was around this time that the last contact between the inhabitants of the Belching Vortex of Leuk-O and the hill folk of what are now called the Hestmark Highlands occurred.
The folk of the Hestland Highlands hold many secrets, but perhaps none so enigmatic as the great portal known colloquially as the Belching Vortex of Leuk-O. Named for an ancient Oeridian general who is said to have entered the place and emerged with unheard of treasure. The Vortex appears as an undulating black, leprous membrane set against a sheer cliff face on the mountain known as Vashal-Tul in the language of the dwarves who once made their homes in the craggy hillsides nearby. In the days before the Kingdom of Aerdy, a small band of hill folk established a small colony at the foot of the membrane, which ancient texts refer to as a smooth opalescent barrier, soft to the touch but impenetrable even by magic. At some point, however, the gateway degraded, as did the village. Now, little more than eroded foundations can be found at the site, along with the time-buried remains of a people set upon by a terrible wasting disease. Leuk-O is said to have fallen victim to this illness, which caused his skin to turn sallow and his hair to fall from its roots.  Those who have visited the Vortex […] report a wasteland bereft of animal of plant life. Occasionally, it is said, the black membrane opens suddenly, expelling an invisible gas that can strip flesh from a man’s bones. [LGJ#1 – 6]

c. –9 to – 1 CY
Fundamental Thought and Sincere Assertion raise first clutch of mist dragons.
A century after their arrival, Fundamental Thought and Sincere Assertion raised a clutch of two, one of whom left the islands to wander the former home of its parents. […]
[Although] they do not go out of their way to see each other, they encounter one or more of their relatives at least once or twice a year. The youngest sometimes visit the mainland to sample the different flavors of mist available, but the elders are content to breathe the fog of their home island and contemplate philosophy. [SB – 66]

-1 CY
What of Shar, you ask? Shar remained a mystery. Because they wished to remain such. But they were aware of the Great Kingdom and its conquests.
Even when the Great Kingdom swelled to its greatest size in 5516 SD under Overking Nasran, Shar was protected from land assaults by the Vast Swamp, and from naval attacks by the Brotherhood’s ships and powerful magic. [SB – 4]
They remained free. They sent out many of their most able to ensure they remained so.



“It was unreal as everything else — as the philanthropic pretense of the whole concern, as their talk, as their government, as their show of work. The only real feeling was a desire to get appointed to a trading post where ivory was to be had, so that they could earn percentages.”
― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale





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


The Art:

 
Sources:
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
2138 The Book of Artifacts 2e, 1993
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11374 The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
11442 Bastion of Faith, 1999
11742 Gazetteer, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine, 82, 167, 294, 299, 351
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
LGJ et. al.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer

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