Friday, 15 July 2022

On King Lolgoff Bearhear

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Lolgoff Bearhear
The north is unforgiving. Only the strong survive here, let along flourish. The kings of Cruskii know this; it is what makes them so harsh, so stern, so demanding. Lolgoff Bearhear is harsher those who preceded him. He has need to be. His people have been subjugated. His uncle, Old King Cralstag murdered.
Sometimes called Bearhair because of the thick pelt circumnavigating is height and girth, Lolgoff bears little more mention in sourcebooks than does his predecessor, Old King Cralstag. He is referred to within the World of Greyhawk Boxed Set and the From the Ashes Boxed Set, but only as the ruler of the Kingdom of Cruski, no more; no history, no deeds, nothing whatsoever. He fares better in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, but only in regard to Cralstag’s murder. That’s not much. In his defence, little is said of most of Greyhawk’s dramatis personae within any sourcebook. It behoves us, then, as the worldbuilders of our own Greyhawks, to flesh them out. Who then is Lolgoff Bearhear? Some might even suggest that he IS the titular head of the Rhizian Suelii. The Schnai would disagree. Nevertheless, he IS Cruski.
Though they have always been the least numerous of the Suel barbarians, their royal lineage is the oldest. [LGG – 54]
Strong. Regal. Arrogant. As are all the Cruski. And in that regard, we must understand Cruski to understand Bearhear.

Long before Lolgoff would sit upon his throne in the Great Hall of Glot as Fasstal of all the Suelii, strangers calling themselves kin came to call.
316 CY
By 5831 CY SD, relations were established with the Suel tribes of Schnai, Fruztii and Cruskii in the northern lands. [SB – 4]
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. They told how the Cruski were descended from an Imperial House, the noble and loyal servant of the last Suel emperor.
[LGG – 55]

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.  [SB – 4]

320 CY – 570’s CY
But the Kingdom of Shar brought gifts that were seductive. Such gifts were seen with suspicion, at first. But time, need, and greed eroded their suspicion. What’s more, there appeared no end to these gifts.
The southerners’ gifts of exotic woods and fine weapons eventually won over the barbarian kings. [SB – 4]
The gifts, though freely given, came at a cost, it would seem.
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]

540 CY
One should never believe in the myth of the Suelii. The Suelii are the Rhizians, and the Rhizians are independent peoples. They trust in kin, their jarls, and their thanes; but not distant kin. They raid one another; and sometimes, when their longships are asea, those distant kin are perfidious, at best. The Schnai invaded the Ursula Highlands at just such a time, forever sowing distrust between these close “Suelii kin.”
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. [LGG – 105]
It was from this vantage that the Schnai demanded tribute from their Suelii kin, the Cruski, tribute that could not be denied lest they lose Glot.

Old King Cralstag’s nephew Lolgoff Olafsenn is born. [Conjecture.]
Old King Cralstag is without an heir. [Conjecture. If he did, his nephew would not have been crowned, assuming the throne is hereditary. Norse cultures were, so I assume the Rhizians were.]

540 – 560 CY
Young Lolgoff
Lolgoff was an observant child, if easily dismissed as such, due to his great height. As a child he was larger than his kith and kin, twice the height of any his age. He will be a mighty warrior, all who laid eyes on him said, nodding sagely. And surely he would be: He could tip a cow with ease, they jested. It comes to no surprise that they pressed an axe and a hammer in his hand, long before any of his peers.
He took to the axe and hammer with ease, all noted. As expected. But so too tactics, and an understanding of how words were weapons in Cralstag’s hall.
He watched. He listened. Olaf, his father, was pleased. His jarldom would wax while others’ waned under Lolgoff’s sway, he believed. He said as much to his brother, his liege, Cralstag. And Cralstag considered the boy closely, as he had no heir.
Lolgoff would not prove his father wrong. Cralstag took note of that, as well.

560 CY
Lolgoff took the name Bearhear when he took the seat of his father’s hall.
Why Bearhear? Because he seemed to know all, to hear all, and to prepare for come what may. To say nothing of his great strength: equal, they say, to any bear’s.
A few made light of his chosen name. Bearhair, they said, for was he not as hairy?

c. 570s CY
Lolgoff led his ships south...
Lolgoff led the ships of his jarldom south, as bid by his lord king Cralstag. Bring me back riches, Cralstag commanded. And keep your eye on our benevolent liege-lords, Cralstag said in confidence. Trust in their swords, he said, but not their words. Lolgoff did as told. And he learned much from what he saw of the Schnai, and even more from what they said.
The Cruski joined with their cousins on many of these raids, taking special joy in fighting their particular rivals, the Sea Barons of Aerdy.
This was the life of the barbarian Suel for hundreds of years, through victories and losses. Their freedom was undiminished, but it was subtly threatened several decades ago. [LGG – 55]
When Lolgoff returned from that season’s raiding, he discovered that the emissaries of the Kingdom of Shar had returned. They called themselves the Order of the Scarlet Sign.
Old King Cralstag admitted his suspicions of these southern kin to Lolgoff. I don’t trust them, he said. Their words are as silk, he said. His father didn’t trust them, Cralstag said, nor his father before him.

573 CY
The emissaries of the Scarlet Brotherhood, as always, offered many gifts and whispered many promises.
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. They told how the Cruski were descended from an Imperial House, the noble and loyal servant of the last Suel emperor.  [LGG – 55]
They offered passage to any of their brethren who wished to accompany them south. They bowed. They pledged promises that never seemed to resolve. And they feigned servility. Tet, all their whispers sounded like orders to Cralstag’s ears.

Old King Cralstag
Old King Cralstag knew well that his ancestors, be they slaves or scoundrels, were never the lapdogs of an emperor who stank of magic. So he told the Scarlet Brothers, and before all in his court, as his judgment on their words. For this, the Brothers murdered him soon thereafter—not with clean blade or strength of arms, but with hidden venom in his cup.
[LGG – 55]
Old King Cralstag was 73.
The Brotherhood were cunning and stealthy. But Lolgoff had taken heed of his uncle’s suspicions. And though he was not able to prevent Cralstag’s death, he was quick to call those responsible to task.
The king's nephew, Lolgoff, knew the old king's judgment and the manner of his death. When the Brothers were brought before him, they spoke words of praise and honor for the dead king, and they smiled. Lolgoff smiled too, as he cut them apart with the old king's sword, for he honored Cralstag in deeds, not words. As king and fasstal, Lolgoff pronounced his judgment: The Brothers of the Scarlet Sign should receive only death in the kingdom of Cruski. [LGG – 55]

Thus, Lolgoff Bearhear came to his uncle’s throne.
His Most Ferocious Majesty, Lolgoff Bearhear, the King of Cruski; Fasstal of all the Suelii [WoGA – 26]
Cruski, Kingdom of (Ice Barbarians): Lolgoff Bearhair, F 14 [WoGG – 17]
(CN male human Bbn15) [LGG – 54]
Lolgoff was 33.
He had been weaned on the false premise of Schnai supremacy, of their supposed suzerainty and their demand for tribute. On their deceit, and their perfidious promises of Cruski self-determination under the threat of reprisals should they not do as they were told. Lolgoff desired that his people be free of them.
More importantly, Lolgoff had seen the duplicity and treachery of those distant kin of Shar, firsthand.
He has rid his kingdom of the latter. He vowed that he would be rid of the former.

Could he? Does he have the means? He may. He might. Should he apply the strength of his people to the task.
Population: 60,000
Demi-humans: Few
Humanoids: Likely in mountains
Resources: furs, copper, gems (I)
[WoGA – 26]

Scattered Along His Coasts
Could he, though? His coast is long, his people scattered across its length; and though not poor, his people were not rich.
Corusk Mountains: It is thought that this range possesses little in the way of valuable ores or gems. [WoGA – 52]
Solnor Ocean: Kraken, Walruses [FtAR#11]
Icy Sea: Whales of all sorts frequent these waters, said to be the domain of a mighty leviathan lord. Ice Barbarians take their ships into these waters to hunt whales and collect walrus ivory and seal furs on the surrounding coasts. [LGG – 148,149]
Icy Sea: Killer Wales, Walruses [FtAR#11]
Big Seal Bay: Natives camp in the forest and hunt seal in the summer months. [WGG 3e – 26]
Sable Wood: This evergreen forest is within the realm of the King of the Ice Barbarians. Its most interesting feature is the particular fir tree whose wood turns a deep lustrous black when harvested in the dead of winter and rubbed with hot oils. The barbarians prize this material greatly, and they will not export it. [WoGA – 59]

It comes to no surprise, then, that he should raid south, joining his perfidious allies, season after season. There were other enemies abroad, and Lolgoff, in sooth, knew he could trust the Schnai insofar as they were as eager as any of the Suelii to clash with them, more so than they wished to with other Rhizians.
Trust in their swords, Cralstag had said, but not their words. Lolgoff knew he could trust in Calstag’s wisdom, in that regard.
The Ice Barbarians inhabit the bleak shores of the Thillonrian Peninsula's north and east coasts. They will raid their cousins to the south, the Snow and Frost barbarians, or raid with them into Ratik or the more tempting Great Kingdom. In high summer they often find fighting by rounding the coasts of the Hold of Stonefist, and the Cruskii have both hatred and respect for the dour inhabitants of that land. Their most despised enemy, however, is the Sea Barons, whose ships they attack on sight, and whose isles they often attack and plunder - usually at a price. 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]

576 CY

The Cruski have turned their back on us, their southern kin
, the Brotherhood whispered into Orvung’s ear. They blame us for Cralstag’s passing, they said.
Are you, Orvung asked himself? No matter, he decided, thinking such queries might lead to his own passing. We ought not to set our Cruski kin adrift, he agreed, and thus he considered a way that might keep them close.
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. [WoGA – 35]
He considered their desire to regain the Ustula Highlands. Lolgoff was young and inexperienced; Orvung knew he could wrest the Highlands back from him if he should desire to.

Orvung was not the only one concerned with how the Cruski’s longships might be engaged. Talks began; and one wonders what might have actually been on the table….
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]
Whatever was agreed upon, Glot remained Lolgoff’s seat of power. The Ustula Highlands were soon to be returned to Cruski control.

577 CY
Sailing South
Perhaps it was agreed that Lolgoff’s longships were to join Orvung’s sailing south. Because they did.
Their raiding served them well. A great many slaves were taken from southern shores. And much silver and gold were gathered from southern ports.
The attention of the Cruski was directed wholly to the south, where choice plunder could be gained during the summer raiding season. [Dragon #57 – 14]
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. [Dragon #57 – 14]
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. [Dragon #63 – 16]
The Schnai were not as lucky as the Cruski, though.
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. [Dragon #63 – 16]

The Schnai limped home.
The Schnai limped home. And though they put on a brave face, their fleet had taken more damage than they saw fit to reveal. Be that as it may, Lolgoff saw much, and new better.
After a particularly successful venture in 577, the Cruski and Schnai sat down together to bargain on a division of the spoils. In the end, the Schnai agreed to give up the land south of Glot along the east coast. The Snow Barbarians gained more gold and silver, while the Cruski regained their southern harbors. [Dragon #57 – 14]
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). [Dragon #57 – 14]
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]

578 CY
Not only did the Cruski sail south with the Schnai, they harassed the Stonehold coast as they had not done in many a season.
This made the raids into North Province and the Isles of the Sea Barons all the easier next year, and most of the able-bodied men were away on those journeys when the warbands of Stonefist (now Stonehold) rode into the tundra which the King of Cruski claimed. The few wandering tribes of Coltens there welcomed the invaders, while surviving Cruskii headed east as quickly as possible. The returning warriors were enraged at the boldness of the invasion [.] [Dragon #57 – 14]

579 CY
And continued to the next year, as well.
CY 579 is likely to be particularly good for the Snow Barbarians, for with their northern neighbors looking elsewhere, and the Frost Barbarians busy with Ratik, the choicest areas for raiding will be left to the Schnai. [Dragon #57 – 14]
[I]t is likely that the attention of the Cruskii will be trained on a war with the Stoneholders in 579. Some 50 ship captains are already pledged to sail, and more are expected. [Dragon #57 – 14]

c. 580 CY
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]
The Scarlet Brotherhood was not pleased by this development. They had always been pleased that the old king had always viewed the Ratikians with distrust, as his forefathers had before him. The Ratikians were scions of the Great Kingdom, Orvung had always growled, and whatever the fate of its mother country, its true allegiance would always lay with it.
No longer. Orvung began 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 waiting in the wings. He is old, Shar whispered in Ingemar’s ears. Ancient, they said. Past his time, they said.
He’ll die soon, Ingemar had said.
Not soon enough, Shar coaxed.

Ingemar Hartensen
The old tyrant was assassinated at age 90 by Ingemar Hartensen, who seized the throne in Soull in his 48th year. [Pure conjecture on my part.]
[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.]
Few rejoiced at the old king’s passing. Fewer still protested. Even fewer too measures afterwards. To no avail. Few mourned their passing, either.

581 CY
Lolgoff was stretched thin, raiding both north and south; but he deemed it worth the risk. He needed gold should Ingemar prove even more untrustworthy than Orvung had been shown to be; and he wished to strike a crippling blow upon Stonehold while able. For Sevvord Redbeard would surely extract revenge upon his northern jarldoms when he could, just as surely as the Schnai would prove as untrustworthy as they inevitably would. It was only a matter of time. And Lolgoff knew that he had better be ready, for none would come to his aid, in either event.
The Ice Barbarians are unsteady allies of the other barbarians, raiding where and when they please. [WGS2 – 6]
Territorial disputes with Stonehold that predated the wars were finally brought to a head three years ago, when a combined host of Cruski and Schnai entered the eastern hold. They were unable to capture the town of Kelten, but the Cruski reinforced their control of the Taival Tundra. [LGG – 55]
The Snow Barbarians have concentrated on attacks on Great Kingdom and Sea Baron shipping, although some of the Schnai have been seen “assisting” the Frost Barbarians in Stonefist. [WGS1 – 4]

The other joint operation of these states has been against the Hold of Stonefist. Fruztii forces have now secured the pass south of the Hraak forest and control the land for some 20 miles around. [WGS1 – 4]
The Ice Barbarians have supported the Fruztii to some extent by making naval raids along the northern coast of Stonefist. [WGS1 – 4]

582 CY
Indeed, Lolgoff exercised his strength upon the Icy and Solnor seas as never before.
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 – 4]
The Ice Barbarians have supported the Fruztii to some extent by making naval raids along the northern coast of Stonefist. [WGS1 – 4]

The Barbarians are not without allies.
Duke Ehyeh has become noticeably more friendly to the Frost Barbarians of late. As the actions of Ratik and the Frost Barbarians stir up the Bone March, this causes trouble for the Great Kingdom and for the Theocracy of the Pale. Both states have hostile attitudes toward the Duchy. In view of this, Ehyeh discreetly allows Frost Barbarian emissaries across his lands to organize shipments of weapons from the Bandit Kingdoms.
From here, weapons make their way up the Zumker River to Calbut and then through dangerous foothill territory at the very edge of the Griff Mountains to the pass at Kelten. The trade is discreet, but everyone knows about it. [WGS1 – 6]

One wonders what Lolgoff and his jarls agreed to, for their warriors were seen further inland than they had ever ventured, surprisingly so. Who would expect a native of Glot in the Bandit Kingdoms? Moreso, who would ever have expected that a shield maiden from the furthest corner of the Flanaess might overflow with sylvan ancestry?
Sabrala Starbreaker
No one can remember when Sabrala came from the lands of the Ice Barbarians, or how a slip of a girl with an elven father ever got born there. But the wild-eyed young bard with the heartbreaking voice brought her stories and visions to the Frost barbarians and they took her to their hearts. Her pipe rendering of the forlorn Flowers of the Forests has brought tears to the eyes of barbarians long hardened by battle and death, and she has played and sung several times for the King himself.
Sabrala becomes almost possessed when she sings, recites, or plays the music dearest to her. She almost seems to become figures in the legends, to assume their mantles and sorrows, and her performance is breathtaking. The more powerful the legend, the deeper Sabrala becomes immersed in it and the more inspired she becomes.
Sabrala’s taken name, Starbreaker, comes from an old [Cruski] expression relating to the exhalation of breath in bitterly cold air. The breath frosts at once and tiny snowflakes fall to the ground appearing like the breaking of stars. The King once compared Sabrala’s ballad voice to the gentleness of breath falling to the ground, and in honor of his compliment she adopted the name she now carries.
Sabrala travels as she will through the world, freespirited and dreaming, wishing only to learn more of legend, song, magic, and timelessness. Other-worldly and strange, she is nonetheless not gullible or foolish. When it is necessary, a bard must sing for her supper and Sabrala knows how to use her charms and wit. [WGS1 – 33]
Elves has never been known to inhabit Cruski’s cold shores, so one wonders where this girl’s parentage might have come from. Then again, little is known about the Corusks, is there?

In 582 CY, the god Vatun appeared to his subjects among the barbarian tribes of the Thillonrian Peninsula. Ancient legend predicted that the return of Vatun, who had vanished centuries ago, would signal the birth of a barbarian empire in the north. Unfortunately, this particular "Vatun" was actually Iuz, whipping the northmen into a war frenzy.
The barbarians invaded the Hold of Stonefist, which allied with them after Iuz ensorcelled Sevvord Redbeard, the Master of the Hold. The combined host then smashed through the Griffs and into the duchy of Tenh, which was swiftly overwhelmed. [LGG – 15]
But not for long.
[T]he Schnai, [were] drawn in by the false Vatun that briefly deceived them all. 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]
The barbarian alliance soon crumbled, but the damage was done; Tenh and Stonefist belonged to the Old One. [LGG – 15]

584 CY
Ruler: His Ferocious Majesty, Lolgoff Bearhear, King of Cruski; Faastal of all the Suelii
Capital: Glot (pop. 5,000) [FtAA – 28]
Population 60,000 [FtAR#3]
Has this unexpected increase in their Flanaess presence taken its toll on Glot’s population? On Cruski’s?  One can only expect this would be so; but the Cruski have never been forthcoming on how many of their kin dwell upon their coasts.

The Ice Barbarians
The Ice Barbarians are an utterly chaotic bunch, inhabiting the bitter northern and eastern edges of the Thillonrian Peninsula. They are formidable seamen, raiding west along the northern coast of Stonefist (in summer when the break-up of ice allows this), allying with other barbarians to raid the Bone March or the North Province, or sometimes simply raiding the other barbarians or Ratik.
Their most despised enemies, however, are the Sea Barons, with whom they fight an endless series of sea skirmishes. In recent years, the Cruskii have been more reliable allies with the other barbarians and most of their marauding has been directed toward the North Province.
Like other barbarians, the Cruskii are proud, strong, fierce folk with a determined sense of personal honor despite their chaotic and willful natures. Their Jarls are proudly independent of the King, who exercises his authority only when he must. The Cruskii appreciate bards as all barbarians do, and they also have a superstitious half-reverence for the nomadic druids among them, whom they believe to be chosen by the Powers and/or reincarnations of special souls. [FtAA – 28]

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. [FtAA – 37]

Cavalry is not unknown on the western tundra, but few tundra-dwellers are Ice Barbarians, most having Flan ancestry and being related to the Coltens of Stonehold. They do not serve as warriors for the Cruski, instead paying tribute to their Suel overlords to be left alone. [LGG – 154]

The War passed by Kelten and the Tundra after Vatun’s “return.” With most of the Fists away, the Barbarians held Kelten with ease. But try as they might Purmill eluded them. Indeed, the remainder of the Hold held them at bay.
And so it remained. Peace had come to the furthest north. If raiding and assassinations and sedition can be called Peace.
Until Iuz, distracted, delirious with the Death he had unleashed, lost hold of the Stonefist.
Sevvord Redbeard
[D]uring a period of Suel raids into Stonehold, the magical affliction of Sevvord Redbeard was ended. Without knowing why, he exploded in a rage that would have killed a lesser man. He gathered the Fists from across Tenh, having them first kill all the clerics of Iuz within their reach, and any locals they could quickly find; then, leaving only a rearguard to occupy Calbut, Nevond Nevnend, and the territory north of the Zumkend River, he returned in force to Stonehold. His army drove the barbarians back from Kelten and secured the pass, while he returned to Vlekstaad with his personal guard.
[LGG – 109]
War had returned to the Hold.
And held dominion as it had not for years.
Kelten and Purmill are more important in the affairs of Stonehold, especially in light of the ongoing warfare with the Suel barbarians. [LGG – 110]
Revenge is widely sought against the northern barbarians for the burning of Vlekstaad, but Iuz's forces are hated even more. Conspiracies are suspected between Iuz and several war band leaders to gain control of Stonehold. Murders of war band leaders (by their fellows) are on the rise. [LGG – 110]
Since the Greyhawk Wars, the Cruski have heard little from the Scarlet Brotherhood, though they are rumored to be present among the Fruztii. Territorial disputes with Stonehold that predated the wars were finally brought to a head three years ago, when a combined host of Cruski and Schnai entered the eastern hold. They were unable to capture the town of Kelten, but the Cruski reinforced their control of the Taival Tundra. [LGG – 55]

590 CY
His Most Ferocious Majesty, Lolgoff Bearhear, the King of Cruski, Fasstal of all the Suelii
(CN male human Bbn15) [LGG – 54]

The king of Cruski holds the title "Fasstal of all the Suelii," indicating his preeminence among the nobles of the Suel race and giving him the right to pronounce judgment on any of them. Politically, this has little real importance, for he has no power to enforce his judgments. However, it is said by some that the god Vatun granted this authority to the fasstal of the Suelii; if Vatun awoke, the full authority of the office would return to the fasstal, and a new barbarian empire would emerge under his leadership. [LGG – 54]

Since the Greyhawk Wars, the Cruski have heard little from the Scarlet Brotherhood, though they are rumored to be present among the Fruztii. Territorial disputes with Stonehold that predated the wars were finally brought to a head three years ago, when a combined host of Cruski and Schnai entered the eastern hold. They were unable to capture the town of Kelten, but the Cruski reinforced their control of the Taival Tundra. [LGG – 55]

591 CY
Lolgoff is 51.
Population: 158,800—Human 96% (S), Dwarf 2% (mountain 65%, hill 35%), Halfling 1% (stout), Other 1% [LGG – 54]
Glot and Cruski have prospered of late. They have ventured out into the world as never before. And yet, no one seems to know much about these tight-lipped people.
Stonehold accuses the Ice Barbarians of attacking Vlekstaad. [LGG – 55]
There are secret parlays between the Snow and Ice Barbarians for raids against the Sea Barons and possibly the Lordship of the Isles. [LGG – 55]

Except for one thing:
Royal hatred of the Scarlet Brotherhood grows, as does distrust of the Frost Barbarians. [LGG – 55]
There are rumours of Brotherhood in Djekul, after all.
Nobles from Ratik have great influence at court but are not always trusted. Scarlet Brotherhood agents are well received but bring strange news and promises. Merchants from the Lordship of the Isles have a growing presence, offering unusually generous trade deals that make some jarls suspicious. Hundgred's court is growing isolated from other northern barbarian nations. [LGG – 45]

“There will be killing till the score is paid.”
― Homer, The Odyssey

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:
5 Swords, by Ken Frank, from WGS2 Howl from the North, 1991
viking by 0bo

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
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
Living Greyhawk Journal, #1
Dragon Magazine 57,63
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
The map of Anna B. Meyer

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