Friday, 17 December 2021

On Soull


“But injustice breeds injustice; the fighting with shadows and being defeated by them necessitates the setting up of substances to combat.”
― Charles Dickens, Bleak House


The Soul of the Rhizians
The Schnai have always believed that Soull is the soul of the Rhizians.
Were they not the most pure?
The Frost, Ice and Snow Barbarians are perfect specimens of unmixed Suloise blood; the nearly albinoid Snow Barbarians are the best example. [WoGA – 13]
They are also considered the best example of the unmixed Suloise race, many being as pale as their namesake northern snows. [LGG – 105]
Do they not build the strongest and most lithe ships?
The Schnai perfected the art of building longships[.] [LGG – 54]
And are they not themselves the strongest?
The Snow Barbarians are the strongest and most numerous of the northern peoples. [Folio – 15]
It matters not what any others think.
As a people, [the Rhizians] were always distinct from the high culture of the civilized Suel. They were thought of as a mere rabble, with a primitive dialect and no magic. In the north, they became the strong masters of their own land, from which they would never be cast out. Thus, they called it Rhizia, which means immovable. [LGG – 54]
The Cold Tongue: This dialect, also known as Fruz, is primarily Suloise with Flan admixture. It is spoken commonly by the Ice, Snow. and Frost Barbarians. It has no relation to Common, and even speakers of Suloise find it hard to understand. [WoGA – 16]

They are Mariners
The Schnai know who and what they are.
They are mariners.
[T]he Schnai explored the seas and the northern isles. Their discovery of Fireland during the early years of Fruztii raids southward was a great distraction. Rather than seek conquest in the Flanaess, they chose to explore the Lesser and Greater Isles of Fire, while they built settlements on the more habitable islands of Sfirta and Berhodt. [LGG – 106]
They are warriors.
The warriors of the Schnai are typical of the Suel barbarians. They usually ply axe or sword in battle, and wear sturdy chainmail coats. All use round shields, including the berserkers, who otherwise go unarmored except for skins. Those berserkers dedicated to Vatun wield shortspears or battleaxes, while the followers of Kord favor the broadsword. The king himself favors Kord and has a company of berserkers among his household. [LGG – 105]
They are the chosen of Vatun and Kord both.
For they live in a land that would cower most not born to it.


CORUSK MOUNTAINS
The Corusks form a bow. the backbone of the Thillonrian Peninsula which runs from the Solnor Ocean in the east, north and west and then southwest where the range terminates (Hraak Pass). While the lower parts of the mountains are inhabited by humans, various bands of evil humanoids and monsters of all sorts dwell in the central fastness. It is thought that this range possesses little in the way of valuable ores or gems. [WoGA – 52]

Spikey Forest: This smallish woodland divides the lands of the Frost and Snow Barbarians. Its tall pines are used by both peoples for ship masts and spars. [WoGA – 59]

Schnabel: This river falls from the high Corusks north of Soull and runs into the deep Schnafjord. [LGG – 152]

109 CY
Life has always been hard on the Thillonrian peninsula. Survival was never certain, despite the shoals of plenty off their coasts, for the tribes of Rhizia were forever vying for what might be had. The thanes of Soull knew this. They were not destined to burrow into the oerth as others might be: dwarves and gnomes, and those lesser men in the south; so if hard steel was to be had, they must take it.
Through the Dim Years
Several centuries after the founding of Aerdy, the Suel barbarians began their sea raids. Apparently, they had been content to war with each other through the dim years that preceded their attack on the Aerdy coasts. The Fruztii were the dominant nation in these early raiding expeditions, even going so far as to establish settlements south of the Rakers, on the border of the Great Kingdom. Their raiding became so chronic that eventually the Aerdi sent troops to deal with the settlements directly. Many battles were fought over the years, but the Fruztii resisted all attempts to dislodge them. Eventually, the armies of the Great Kingdom overwhelmed the combined force of Suel barbarians, and the Frost Barbarians took most of the losses. The Fruztii were never again dominant in the north.
[LGG – 44]

128 CY
Nor were they to be displaced, either. Or kept from what they might take. As the southerners sought to do.
The Frutzii and Schnai launch a concentrated naval attack on Marner. This force is defeated by General Sir Pelgrave Ratik of Winetha. [LGG – 90]
In 128 CY, the Fruztii and Schnai allied to create an invasion flotilla. They launched a concerted attack on Marner during the spring that almost caught the Aerdi by surprise. In defense, General Ratik set the major approaches to the port ablaze, forcing the armada through a narrow approach where it was cut to pieces by the siege engines of the fort and a squadron of the imperial navy. [LGG – 90]

316 CY
As they ventured ever further south, their purity was remarked upon; and noticed by those who would look to such a thing: The Scarlet Brotherhood, for instance. They took note of these northern Suel; and soon established relations with them. (SD 5831)
Travelers from the south...
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.
[LGG – 55]
We are your brothers, they said.
By 5831 SD, relations were established with the Suel tribes of Schnai, Fruztii, and Cruskii in the northern lands. The people of the Thillonrian peninsula had adapted their original culture for their cold new homes, and the representatives of the Kingdom of Shar (actually Brotherhood members) took some getting used to. The southerners’ gifts of exotic woods and fine weapons eventually won over the barbarian kings. Culturally primitive by Brotherhood standards, the northern barbarians were beautiful examples of unpolluted Suel bloodlines, and many specimens were lured to Shar as “emissaries.” With the intent of improving the southern Suel stock. [SB – 4]

356 CY
The Rhizans took note that the peoples of Aerdi were not content with their foothold south of the Timberway. Indeed, they spawned like rabbits, and began to erect cities and palisades within those lands that the Rhizians had long claimed to be theirs.
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. [WGG3e – 3]
[A] massive invasion by a unified host of Fruztii and Schnai threatened to overwhelm the nations and sweep into North Province in 356 CY. The Rax Overking Portillan was concurrently embroiled in a struggle over the secession of Nyrond and had assembled an invasion force to head west, which he was forced to divert north to counter the new threat. The attack was soon turned back, though at great cost. So fierce was the defense of the men and dwarves of Ratik that even the Fruztii were impressed. [LGG – 90]

When the Kingdom of Aerdy became an empire, its leaders determined to crush the troublesome barbarians pushing down from the Thillonrian Peninsula and settling in the strip of land between the Rakers and Grendep Bay. Being indifferent sailors, the Aerdians opted to attack overland, and began sending strong parties northward to drive the invaders from the north back to their homeland. After many sharp skirmishes, a large contingent of imperial troops was routed, and full-scale warfare began. [WoGA – 20]
A relief force fought a pitched battle with these barbarians, most of whom were slain - along with several thousand imperial soldiers. [WoGA – 20]
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. [LGG- 90]
They failed. The Fruztii had spent the lion share of their strength in the endeavour. The Schnai had sent far fewer of their number, and were thus spared the same fate.

490 CY
Orvung Eldgrimsen is born. Conjecture on my part, as he is referred to as Old King Orvung in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, and to be old, he ought to be…well…old.

522 CY
Orvung Tigerclaw
Orvung Tigerclaw ascends the Schnai throne at age 32. Conjecture.
I have also taken liberty, suggesting that when a Rhizian reaches maturity, he can claim his own name.
Their greatest kings and jarls have all been seafarers, beginning with Schoffmund the Strong, who defeated the Kraken of Grendep Bay. Since his day, all dead Schnai kings are interred in ships, which are ignited and set adrift on the sea. [LGG – 106]

532 CY
Ingemar Hartensen is born. Conjecture.
He is not Orvung’s son, else he would be named Orvungsen.
I have placed his birth before Hundgred Rälffson’s (placed by me in 549 CY), as Hundgred is referred to as the “young” king of the Fruztii in thre Living Greyhawk Journal.
Ingmar is noted as a CN male human Bbn16 in the same work, and I would imagine that it should take a number of years to gain that level of experience.

550s CY
The Schnai took pity upon their less fortunate brethren. The Fruztii, always impulsive, always reckless, had wasted themselves in vainglorious pursuits. They had spent themselves upon southern shields, and had brought their selves low. The Schnai knew better. Sure in their supremacy, they saw no need to conquer the southerners, when they could take what they wanted, whenever they wanted.
Weakened, the Fruztii had proved themselves unfit to guard Rhizian shores, as Vatun had decreed they should. So be it, the Schnai would ensure the Fruztii do as they were destined.
The Frost Barbarians are the weakest of the three nations (of Suel peoples) inhabiting the Thillonrian Peninsula, called Rhizia by these peoples. They have never recovered from the Battle of Shamblefield, and have been under the suzerainty of the Schnai for the past two decades - and several times previously as well. [WoGA – 21]

561 CY
Kendyra of Soull is born.
[WGR3 Rary the Traitor – 31]
More on her later.

575 CY
Orvung
Kingdom of Schnai (Snow Barbarians): Orvung, F16
[WoGG – 17]
Orvung’s gambit had failed. When the Euroz fell upon the Bone March in 560 CY, the Fruztii had demanded that the Rhizians attack Ratik en mass while they were distracted. Orvung refused. The nerve, he thought, that the Fruztii should demand anything of the Schnai when they could not defend their own shores. He would not shed Schnai blood for Fruztii glory.
The Bone March fell.
And the Fruztii betrayed their kin! They treated with their long-time enemy. And allied with them!
The newly proclaimed Archbaron of Ratik frantically organized his forces after the joint Ratiker-Fruztii foray into the Bluefang-Kelten Pass. 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]
Orvung waited, sure the Fruztii would suffer defeat, their youth wasted in defence of the Aerdi.

576 CY
His Bellicose Majesty, King of the Schnai (Fighter, 16th level)
Capital: Soull (5,400)
Population: 90,000 +
Demi-humans: Some
Humanoids: Many (in mountains)
Resources: copper, gems (L II)
[Folio – 15]

Under the Thumb of the Schnai
The Snow Barbarians are the strongest and most numerous of the northern peoples. Several decades ago they captured the west coast below Glot and have managed to hold it since. For a time the Frost Barbarians were under the thumb of the King of the Schnai, but the Fruztii are now free except in pledge. This has not affected general concord with either neighbor, as all three consider the Great Kingdom and the Sea Barons as their most natural source of easy loot and profit. Although fighting invading humanoids has become a national pastime. there are sufficient men left to man the longships when campaigning season in the south is at hand. It is rumored that the Baron of Ratik has sent messages to the King of the Schnai proposing four-way cooperation to take the Hold of Stonefist and the Bone March. Supposedly this proposal offers Glot and Krakenheim as possible gains for the Schnai, while the Fruztii and Cruski would divide the Hold, part of Timberway would be returned to the Frost Barbarians, and Ratik would rule Bone March. The reaction to these proposals can not be guessed, but the Schnai are undoubtedly keeping an eye on the joint Fruztii-Ratik ventures of late.
[WoGA – 35]

The Fruztii had not failed. If anything, their alliance with Ratik had only grown more fast.
But they did not turn their backs on Soull completely. Orvung saw the Fruztii’s duplicity. They would never be seen to sever ties with their kin. Just in case their newfound ally ever saw fit to betray them. Orvung kept watch on his brethren. Wisdom knew that one had to keep enemies close.
Of late these raiders have joined with Frost and Snow barbarians in order to counter the growing strength of the coastal defenders of the Great Kingdom and the Sea Barons. [WoGA – 26]
One never knew when, or from where, betrayal might come.
[The Cruski] will raid their cousins to the south, the Snow and Frost barbarians, or raid with them into Ratik or the more tempting Great Kingdom. [WoGA – 26]

577 CY
Orvungs council of thanes pondered the future. Fruztii was ever fast with Ratik, so Soull would require allies. The King of the Cruski sent his envoy to Soull when bid, to discuss what might be done should Fruztii prove false.
Jarl Froztilth
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.
The flagship was occupied with the help of prisoners who broke free during the confused fighting and set fire to the vessel’s sail. 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.
This event notwithstanding, many of the vessels from the cold north did manage to avoid patrolling warships and successfully raid North Province and the Baronial Isles. Captured cargo and undesired weapons are said to find a ready market at Dekspoint (at the easternmost tip of Loftwood Peninsula) or at Marner in Ratik. [Dragon #63 – 16]

It came to pass that Fruztii, and indeed Ratik, paid Suoll visit. We need to cooperate, Krakenheim pled. We are surrounded by enemies, they said. We need to gather our strength if we are to survive their coming. We need to fight them in their lands, and not our own.

578 CY
Events amongst the Schnai were quite similar to those of their cousins to the north, in that they generally raided southwards and carried heaps of goods back to towns of their realm. Unsettled conditions in the Great Kingdom made for rich loot; coupled with the payment made by the Cruski for the return of Ustula, the men of the region were pleased indeed with their wealth in currency, goods, and slaves (thralls). Mutual cooperation between the Schnai and Fruztii, and the Schnai and Cruskii as well, was at a high level, and the raids from the Hold of Stonefist at a very low level. [Dragon #57 – 14]

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. [Dragon #57 – 14]

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]

579 CY
Orvung had begun to see the wisdom in these new and renewed allegiances.
The Snow Barbarians, or Schnai, are the most powerful and populous group, dominating Grendep Bay and the northern Solnor Ocean with their longships. Their marauding armies, along with those of the Ice Barbarians, have made these savages a major force in the land. [WGS2 Howl From the North – 6]

Lexnol had been working on a treaty with the Schnai to shore up his position against Bone March and its allies in North Kingdom [….] [LGG – 89]

c. 580 CY
A major raid into Stonehold was mounted several years ago by a combined force of Schnai and Cruski, though they were ultimately driven back. Since then, the young king of the Frost Barbarians has finally declared his nation's independence from the Schnai, Old King Orvung might have gone to war over such an action [….] [LGG – 106]
But Orvung was not given the chance.
Because, there were others in the Great Hall of Soull who did not agree with Orvung’s wisdom.

580 CY
He is old, they whispered.
The Scarlet Brotherhood was not pleased by this development. They were pleased that the old king, Orvung, had always viewed Lexnol and the Ratikians with distrust. Th Ratikians were scions of the Great Kingdom, Orvung had always said, and despite the fate its mother country, its true allegiance lay with them, and not the Rhizians. Yet Orvung was treating with Ratik, potentially undermining Shar’s influence on the peninsula. The old man had to go. They panned for potential gold, and discovered Ingemar Hartensen. He is old, they whispered. Ancient, they said. Venerable. Past his time, they said.
The old tyrant is assassinated at age 90 by Ingemar Hartensen, who seizes the throne in Soul in his 41st year. Pure conjecture on my part. He is not Orvung’s son, else he would be named Orvungsen.
[Orvung is king of the Schnai as of 576 CY, as noted in the Greyhawk Boxed Set, and Ingemar Hartensen is king in 584 CY, as noted in the from the ashes Boxed Set. References in the Living Greyhawk Gazetter hint that the Fruztii and Cruski thrones are passed down through the ruling family, and I would assume the Schnai no different. No mention was made of Ingemar’s ancestry, so I took the liberty to add a little drama to the succession.
I have placed Ingemar’s birth (in 532 CY) before Hundgred Rälffson’s, because Hundgred is referred to as the “young” king of the Fruztii in the Living Greyhawk Journal.
Ingmar is noted as a CN male human Bbn16 in the same work, and I would imagine that it should take a number of years to gain that level of experience.]
Few rejoiced at the old king’s passing. Fewer still protested. Even fewer too measures afterwards. To no avail. Few mourned their passing, either.

582 CY
By this time, the Cruski had regained Utsula from the Schnai, to whom they had lost it several decades before.
The Schnai also made war on the Ice Barbarians, wresting the Ustula region from them and holding it for several decades. They never conquered the Ice Barbarians as they did the Frost Barbarians, however, for the Cruski are nearly as able seafarers as the Schnai. The Ice Barbarian warriors were also extremely fierce, particularly the berserkers of Llerg, who know no fear—nor much of anything else, being little more than human beasts.
By the time of the Greyhawk Wars, the Cruski had regained Ustula, and the Fruztii had nearly regained their independence. [LGG – 106]

Into the Stonehold
One must never say that the Schnai do not honour their word. They do. The sent a token force north into the Hold of Stonefist, and another into the Loftwood. However, they sent more of their scions asea, where they and the Cruski harried shipping and raided the coastlands of the Great Kingdom with abandon.
The Snow Barbarians have concentrated their attacks on the Great Kingdom and Sea Baron shipping, although some of the Schnai are assisting the Frost Barbarians in the Hold of Stonefist.
Rumors say that the King of the Snow Barbarians was not pleased by a plan for the three barbarian groups to ally with Ratik. Not that he didn’t trust the Baron of Ratik, who proposed the plan, but for simpler reasons. Major invasions in the Bone March would drive tens of thousands of humanoids into the North Province and might precipitate an attack from the Great Kingdom. The King, being wily and crafty, prefers not to attract the Great Kingdom’s full attention just now. [WGS2 – 6]

All the barbarians were inflamed by a rumor that swept their lands: that four of five legendary magical swords, the Swords of Corusk, had been found, and that when the fifth was obtained, a "Great God of the North" would rise and lead them to conquest and greatness. The fifth sword never was found, but one calling himself Vatun and claiming to be the Great God of the North appeared before the barbarians of Fruztii, Schnai, and Cruskii, and they swept west into Stonefist under his leadership. [FtAA – 6]

Under Vatun's direction, the [Rhizians] swept into the Duchy of Tenh in 582 CY and conquered it quickly. [FtAA – 6]

583 CY
Iuz’s deception of Barbarians revealed, Iuz returns home.
[The Rhizians were] drawn in by the false Vatun that briefly deceived them all. [LGG – 106]
The alliance forged by Vatun soon collapsed. The Great God instructed the barbarians to invade the small state of Ratik, but their chiefs refused; they had long allied with Ratik against the humanoids of the Bone March and indeed against the Great Kingdom itself. They began to doubt Vatun; very wisely, since Vatun was a sham and a lie, a mask worn by Iuz the Old. [FtAA – 6]

When it was revealed that this was a deception of Iuz the Old, the Suel barbarians withdrew from the alliance created between their nations and the Stonehold. [LGG – 106]

584 CY

King Ingemar Hartensen of the Schnai

Ruler: His Bellicose Majesty, Ruler: His Bellicose Majesty, King Ingemar Hartensen of the Schnai

 of the Schnai
Capital: Soull (pop. 5,500)
[FtAA – 37]

Snow Barbarians 
Population: 95,000
[FtAR#2]

Population: Human 79%, Dwarf 8%, Halfling 6%, Elf 3%, Gnome 2%, Half-elf 1%, Half-orc 1%
Law: CN
Allies: Ice Barbarians (sometimes), Frost Barbarians (sometimes), Ratik (sometimes)
Enemies: Empire of Iuz, evil humanoids and giants in the Corusk Mountains, North Kingdom, Sea Barons, Bone March, Stonehold, Frost Barbarians (sometimes), Ratik (sometimes), Ice Barbarians (sometimes) Gnome 2%, Half-elf 1%, Half-orc 1%
[WGG3e – 15]

The Snow Barbarians are the strongest and most numerous of the northern Suel peoples. They claim suzerainty over all the barbarian peoples, especially the Cruskii, and are rather patronizing toward them. However, they have allied with their fellows against the Great Kingdom for many decades and have been known to make occasional forays against the Sea Barons.
Their alliance with Ratik is less cemented than that of the Cruskii, but Ingemar seems amenable to continued cooperation after the events of the Wars. He also has great hatred for the Stonefisters, and wishes to mount a joint expedition with the other barbarian races through the Griff Mountains to lay waste to Kelten. Time will tell if this comes to fruition.
The Snow Barbarians share many characteristics with their brethren, but are the palest of all, many being almost albinoid. Platinum-blond hair is not unusual. [….] This is a proud and strong race. [FtAA – 37, 38]

588 CY
(Mid-Year)
Where the Fruztii and Ratik attacked the Hold if Stonefist from the Kelten Pass, Soull and Glot did what they do best and sailed the open Icy Sea, landing where the Fists clung to the coast, burning their shelter and driving them into the tundra.
Few stood against them. Who could? Sevvord had led his Fists into Tenh.
Wars on the border of Iuz's empire burned in the east as well. Iuz's control over the ruler of Stonehold ended in 588. [LGG – 16]
In 588 CY, Iuz lost his magical hold over Sevvord Redbeard [, who] largely abandoned his occupation of Tenh and restructured his land […] to better fight against outside threats. [PGtG – 12]

Reports were already filtering back to the Stonefist troops that a force of Ice and Snow Barbarians was raiding and burning its way across the eastern Hold, and all wished to go home and do battle. [TAB – 22]
Many [of the Fists] returned to Stonehold to defend their lands from attacks by other barbarians. [TAB – 22]
The Schnai were never engaged. They had not secured Kelten. Indeed, they had only remained where they landed upon the Stonefist’s shore long enough to put those they found to the sword, before setting sail again.
His army drove the barbarians back from Kelten and secured the pass, while he returned to Vlekstaad with his personal guard. The town was a smoking ruin, its inhabitants dead or fled away. The Suel barbarians he blamed for the attack left no survivors to describe the onslaught. A picked force of warriors pursued their trail into the lower Griffs, where it disappeared. He decided the Suel had obviously escaped through the mountains back to their homelands in Rhizia. [LGG – 109,110]
Who had set Vlekstaad aflame, Ingemar wondered? Surely not his fleet, although he would not deny having done so if asked.

590 CY
Capital: Soull (pop, 5,600)
Population: 209,000—Human 79% (S), Dwarf 8% (mountain 60%, hill 40%), Halfling 6%, Elf 3%, Gnome 2%, Half-elf 1%, Half-orc 1%
Languages: Cold Tongue, Common, Dwarven, Halfling
Government: Independent feudal monarchy with hereditary rulership, loosely governing powerful jarls; jarls meet yearly at the Assembly of Knudje (without king present), then send representatives to Soull to negotiate with king or have him resolve judicial disputes; king and jarls each have a retinue of advisers (clerics and skalds). [LGG – 105]

The warriors of the Schnai are typical of the Suel barbarians. They usually ply axe or sword in battle, and wear sturdy chainmail coats. All use round shields, including the berserkers, who otherwise go unarmored except for skins. Those berserkers dedicated to Vatun wield shortspears or battleaxes, while the followers of Kord favor the broadsword. The king himself favors Kord and has a company of berserkers among his household. They are usually kept at Knudje, rather than at the king's court in Soull, though the king sometimes sends them to guest at the halls of particularly troublesome jarls. The king's other troops are of a more standard variety, including companies of good archers. He has a few horsemen as well, masters of the long, scything axe. [LGG – 105]

Rhisians Raiding South
Longships of the Frost Barbarians, often in cooperation with the other Suel barbarians, raid southward in spring to pillage along the coast of the new Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy and sometimes further south. The crews are typical examples of barbarian warriors, wildly brave but rarely disciplined. No lack of discipline afflicts the soldiers of the king of Fruztii, however; his standing army is highly organized and well trained. The king's men are also well armored with chainmail and shield, bearing swords or battle-axes. Several companies of archers and a small force of cavalry based in Djekul are present.
The Fruztii are strongly allied to the Archbarony of Ratik in the south. Their young king has even married a beautiful but headstrong Ratikkan noblewoman eight years his senior. Changes are already apparent in the royal court at Krakenheim, with more formal (or "civilized") trappings in the organization of the government and the military. These changes do not meet with the approval of many of the older jarls, but they remain loyal to Hundgred out of respect for his noble father. [LGG – 44]

Ingemar and his jarls pondered their future.
The Snow Barbarians, or Schnai, are the most powerful and populous group, dominating Grendep Bay and the northern Solnor Ocean with their longships. Their marauding armies, with those of the Ice Barbarians, have also made themselves into a major force in the land. [WGS1 Five Shall Be One – 4]

The Fruztii and Cruski had slipped from their grasp, for the present. But they had before. And likely would again. But the Cruski were few. And the Fruztii brash. Neither could stand without the Schnai for long. They never had. And never will.
King Ingemar
The other barbarian nations, once strong allies of the Frost Barbarians, have begun to pull away from their more sophisticated cousins. As the Scarlet Brotherhood and Ratik nobles gain more influence at court, old allies feel less welcome.
[WGG3e – 8]

An intermittent war smolders with Stonehold. King Ingemar generously feasts and rewards his chaotic jarls to insure their loyalty. Frost Barbarian jarls also being feted to gain their friendship and influence; this is viewed as blatant bribery, but it works. The king receives Scarlet Brotherhood agents at court, but privately says he does not trust them. [LGG – 106]
Nor should he.
Ingemar watched his southern “kin.” They professed that they were true to the Schnai. But they had been rumoured to have been seen in Djekul. And Krakenheim. Did they whisper those same promises there that they had to him? He also took note that he was not the only jarl in his hall they lingered nearby.
He recalled when they had first approached him. And pondered whether they might be plotting against him even now.



The Schnai are a restless people. Mariners. Inclined to see far shores.
Not all born in Soull are invited to glory, either.
Their womenfolk have an unearthly beauty and are often found as a trainers (dogs and dog-wolf hybrids), scouts, rangers, druids, or the like, despite the dominant chauvinism of their men. [FtAA – 38]
So, there are those who find glory where they might.
Kendyra of the North
Kendyra of the North
This mysterious individual was born 25 years ago [assuming Rary the Traitor is set in 586 CY, this would place her birth in 561 CY] to the Snow Barbarians of Soull. Dissatisfied with the simple northern life, she left with a merchant caravan and made her living as a mercenary warrior and scout, finally arriving in the City of Greyhawk. After making a name for herself in several celebrated adventures, she was contacted by the wizard Mordenkainen, and recruited as a special agent. Mordenkainen's somewhat suspicious nature led him to keep Kendyra's services secret from several members of the Circle, including Rary. After serving Mordenkainen well, Kendyra was eventually allowed to visit the Obsidian Citadel, the wizard's secret fortress.
When Rary founded his new kingdom in the Bright Lands, Mordenkainen immediately dispatched Kendyra to the region, with orders to gather information on Rary's progress and to organize what resistance she could to his rule. So far, she has won the friendship of a tribe of desert centaurs, as well as some of Rary's more fanatical dervish enemies.
Kendyra is a tall, slender woman, her hair bleached near-white by the sun and her once pale skin now dark, in contrast with her pale blue eyes. She dresses in buckskin and desert robes and rides a gray horse named Tinhead (her fondness for the horse is tempered by its rather stubborn nature). If encountered, she does not discuss her mission unless she is sure that the party is opposed to Rary. [WGR3 – 31]





One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece 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.
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
9317 WGS1 Five Shall be One, 1991
9337 WGS2 Howl From the North, 1991
9386 WGR3 Rary the Traitor, 1992
11742 World of Greyhawk Gazetteer 3e, 2000
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine 57,63
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer

1 comment:

  1. Another great in-depth look into a part of Greyhawk. David, thank you.

    ReplyDelete