Saturday, June 28, 2014

Play report

This is just a little excerpt from the current 'Greyhawk Back to the Beginning' campaign that will soon be approaching the 5 year playing mark.

Campaign log June 27, 2014

Brian's version;
I should a known it would be a weird night when I arrived, because Gabe and Monkey were already there! We took care of a lot of stuff and met with the assassins guild, just three of us. [against the advice of another player who couldn't make the session]. He [assassin's guild representative] very politely requested 50k to "protect us" which I turned down and we went our separate ways. Someone had a brilliant idea to give them the gold throne [from the ToEE] since it is hardly worth it to melt down for bullion (3k). However I soured on that idea when they poisoned our food (just the three of us). So - issue still open.
Then we failed our intelligence checks. I say this because in my mind we decided to go after a 10th level Mage (Necromancer is the level title). Clearly delusional from the poison - we took 5 pcs and the Npc cleric (illusionist was busy with spell research).
I knew Al would make it interesting but figured we had enough firepower.
So on to the crypt. We wiped out a host of ghouls and an interesting Stone golem of Tharizdun without too much trouble. We then bypassed a room full of bones by using rock to mud and got a lucky roll as the half elf found a secret passage that bypassed more rot rippers. Although I was loathe to jump in a teleportation circle, we did it and found two lovely dracoliches. Due to some lucky initiative rolls, we were able to take out the undead dragons and we were still in decent shape. That's when Al gleefully broke out 18 six sided dice. The thief went down to a delayed blast fireball, but the rest of the party was still up. That's when the Lich became visible. Alright, no panic yet.
Being trained in the arcane arts, the druid suddenly realized there was a shimmering globe around the Lich and correctly guessed that it was a prismatic sphere. This is when the soiling of the pants commenced. I called for a wall of force, Etheridge picked up the singed halfling thief, and we ran for our lives through the teleportation circle while the Lich disintegrated the force shield and started to cast again.
It was then that Al reminded us he clearly told us that this Necromancer was known as the Undying. Duh......
So, we returned home, quickly counted our treasure (that would be Zero) and lived to fight another day.

Gabe's recollection;
He was a Lich [lol]. Other than that we made quick work of two dracolichs and the rest of the crypt was honestly kind of a quick run, we used a few things to navigate around some of the nastier traps and the most challenging thing we found was a named golem (can't recall it's name right now) that had the potential to a) cause us all to see the room in reversed role (friends as foe and foe as friend) or b) just confuse us. It also had a persistent effect that at the top of the round it would have a random effect (we only saw the two aforementioned things), and it's attacks seemed like they could have been strong but it missed on the one physical attack it tried against a -2 AC. It had the properties of a stone golem, we didn't realize that stone to mud would have effected it until after the fight.
We used wizard eye to scout and saw a bunch of rot rippers, this also happened to be in a room full of bones. Like knee high 80' x 80' room full of bones, so we decided to stone to mud that room. We figured it was one of Lareth's infamous bone sentinels. 

Then it was an uneventful walk to the Lichs area. The only thing we got stuck on was a pentagram on the floor with magical energies emanating forth; we didn't know exactly what would happen so we did our usual 'three wishes or die' mentality and hopped in after some experimenting. That was what lead us to the Lichs quarters. There was a room with a huge blood pool, nothing eventful there then there was a stairway that lead to the source of the blood pool, and in that room was two dracolichs playing cards with Tiamat... We made decent quick work of them; Kromvist [the halfling thief] fell however. Then the Lich appeared, toting a prismatic sphere and opening up with a delayed blast fireball...That kind of set us back so we had to run.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Map of the Flanaess

This is mostly as a reference for the players to get a better idea of the geography of the world they're adventuring in.

Flanaess (click for larger size)

Map of Oerth (click for larger size)

Notes for the world map:

  • The location of New Empyrea is a "best guess." New Empyrea is from Frank Mentzer's Aquaria campaign (originally published in modules R1 through R4, and later repackaged as I12 Egg of the Phoenix), and was originally set "5000 miles to the east of the Flanaess" according to the module R4 Doc's Island. However, the Solnor Ocean is only 3000 miles wide, and the only land in that direction is the other side of the Oerik continent. Aquaria was supposed to be on its own continent. Plus, the geography of the map in R4 does not match up with anything in Western Oerik. Additionally, R4 describes a frontier with a minimal human presence, which does not really match the vast empires of Western Oerik. Fireland is the closes approximate landmass in the area and the closest to the same climate.
  • The Draconic Empire of Lynn, Ishtar, Tharque Empire, Red Kingdom, Tribes of Enllaves, Barbarian Seameast are all from Francois Marcela-Froideval's Black Moon ChroniclesWiki comic books. Froideval's campaign was given an official home in Western Oerik by Gary Gygax. The locations ended up being official in a map of Oerth printed in Dragon Annual #1 in 1996.
  • Khemit is also from the Black Moon Chronicles, but Froideval called it "Erypt" in his works (and it is called that on the Dragon Annual map). It is the home of the character Methraton and based on ancient Egypt.
  • Thalos, Mordengard, the Free States, Ravilla, Drazen's Horde, Ahmut's Legion, and Naresh come from the short-lived Chainmail reboot from 2001 by Chris Pramas.
  • The Baklien Khanates derive their name from the Chainmail reboot as well--they are described as mongol-like horsemen from the east in Dragon #286
  • "The Celestial Imperium" on the Dragon Annual map was named Shaofeng in Expedition to Castle Greyhawk and was called "Suhfang" in Gary Gygax's Gord the Rogue novels. It is Greyhawk's version of China.
  • "Nippon" is from the Dragon Annual map. It's named Ryuujinin in Dragon #277. It is Greyhawk's version of Japan.
  • Mur, Komal, and Risay are briefly described in Dungeon #136 and the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer
  • "Hyperborea" in the Dragon Annual map is called "Hyborea" in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. It is renamed Telchuria in Dungeon #136.
  • "Zindia" on the Dragon Annual map is called "Jahind" in Gygax's Gord the Rogue novels. It is Greyhawk's version of India.
  • "Darak Urtag" is a fan-name for the region called "Orcreich" on the Dragon Annual map.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pantheons of Greyhawk

The Baklunish Pantheon

Al'Akbar, demigod of dignity, duty, faithfulness and guardianship
Al'Asran (Pelor)
Al'Zarad (Boccob)
Azor'alq, hero-deity of light, purity, courage and strength
Daoud, hero-deity of humility, clarity and immediacy
Geshtai, goddess of lakes, rivers, wells and streams
Istus, goddess of fate, destiny, divination, the future and honesty
Mouqol, god of trade, negotiation, ventures, appraisal and reciprocity
Xan Yae, goddess of twilight, shadows, stealth and mental power
Zuoken, god of physical and mental mastery

The Celbit (Kobold) Pantheon


The Common Pantheon

Bleredd, god of metal, mines and smiths
Boccob, god of magic, arcane knowledge, balance and foresight
Cyndor, god of time, infinity and continuity
Ehlonna, goddess of forests, woodlands, flora, fauna and fertility
Incabulos, god of plagues, sickness, famine, nightmares, drought and disasters
Joramy, goddess of fire, volcanoes, wrath, anger and quarrels
Kelanen, hero-deity of swords, sword skills and balance
Lirr, goddess of prose, poetry, literature and art
Mayaheine, demigoddess of protection, justice and valor
Myhriss, goddess of love, romance and beauty
Olidammara, god of music, revels, wine, rogues, humor and tricks
Ralishaz, god of chance, ill luck, misfortune and insanity
Saint Cuthbert, god of wisdom, dedication and zeal
Trithereon, god of individuality, liberty, retribution and self-defense
Ulaa, goddess of hills, mountains and gemstones
Zagyg, demigod of humor, occult lore, eccentricity and unpredictability

The Demonic Pantheon


The Diabolic Pantheon


The Draconic Pantheon

Bahamut the Platinum Dragon, king of good dragons and god of wind, wisdom and enlightened justice
Nathair Sgiathach, god of pseudo-dragons, mischief and pranks
Tiamat, the Chromatic Dragon, queen and mother of all evil dragons and goddess of conquest, greed and evil dragonkind

The Drow Pantheon

Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders, goddess of the drow, darkness and evil
Keptolo, god of drow males, flattery, intoxication, rumor and opportunism
Kiarnasali, goddess of slavery, vengeance and the undead
Vhaerun, god of thievery, drow males, and evil activity on the surface world
Zinzerna, goddess of chaos and assassins
Elder Elemental Eye (Tharizdun) -- heretical in drow society

The Dwur (Dwarf) Pantheon

Abbathor, god of greed
Berronar Truesilver, goddess of safety, truth, home and healing
Clanggedin Silverbeard, god of war and just warriors
Dugmaren Brightmantle, god of scholarship, discovery and invention
Dumathoin, god of mining and underground exploration, protector of the dwarven dead
Gendwar Argrim, hero-deity of fatalism and obsession
Moradin, chief god of the dwarves
Muamman Duathal, god of wanderers, expatriates and lightning
Vergadain, god of wealth and luck

The Elemental Pantheon


The Euroz (Orc) Pantheon

Bahgtru, god of strength and combat
Gruumsh, patron god of the orcs, god of conquest, survival, strength and territory
Ilneval, god of warfare and leadership
Luthic, goddess of fertility, medicine, females and servitude
Shargaas, god of darkness, night, stealth, thieves and the undead
Yurtrus, god of death and disease

The Flan Pantheon

Allitur, god of ethics and propriety
Beory, goddess of the Oerth, nature and rain
Berei, goddess of agriculture, family and home
Earth Dragon, spirit of earth, weather, and hidden treasures
Kyuss, god of the undead
Myhriss, goddess of love, romance and beauty
Nerull, god of death, darkness, murder, and the Underworld
Obad-Hai, god of nature, woodlands, freedom, hunting and beasts
Pelor, god of sun, light, strength and healing
Rao, god of peace, reason and serenity
Red Fox, animal spirit that taught men crafts and fire-making
The Serpent, an entity believed to be the personification of arcane magic
Vathris, hero-deity of anguish, lost causes and revenge
Vecna, god of destructive & evil secrets, magic, hidden knowledge, and intrigue
Zodal, god of mercy, hope and benevolence

The Giant Pantheon

Skoraeus Stonebones

The Hobniz (Halfling) Pantheon

Arvoreen, god of protection, vigilance and war
Brandobaris, god of stealth, thievery, rogues and adventuring
Cyrrollalee, goddess of friendship, trust and the home
Sheela Peryroyl, goddess of nature, agriculture and the weather
Urogalan, god of earth and death
Yondalla, chief halfling deity, goddess of protection, fertility, the halfling race, children, security, leadership, diplomacy, wisdom, the cycle of life, creation, family, tradition, community, harmony, and prosperity

The Jebli (Goblin) Pantheon


The Nonhuman Pantheon


The Noniz (Gnome) Pantheon

Baervan Wildwanderer, god of forests, travel and nature
Baravar Cloakshadow, god of illusions, protection and deception
Callarduran Smoothhands, god of the earth, mining and protection
Flandal Steelskin, god of mining, smithing and fitness
Gaerdal Ironhand, god of protection, vigilance and combat
Garl Glittergold, patron deity of the gnomish race
Gelf Darkhearth, god of entropy and revenge
Nebelun, god of inventions and good luck
Segojan Earthcaller, god of earth and nature beneath the earth
Sheyanna Flaxenstrand, goddess of love, beauty and passion
Urdlen, god of greed and blood

The Oeridian Pantheon

Bleredd, god of metal, mines and smiths
Celestian, god of stars, space and wanderers
Cyndor, god of time, infinity and continuity
Daern, hero-deity of defenses and fortifications
Delleb, god of reason, intellect and study
Erythnul, god of hate, malice, panic, ugliness and slaughter
Fharlanghn, god of horizons, distance, travel and roads
Heironeous, god of chivalry, justice, honor, war, daring and valor
Hextor, god of war, discord, massacres, conflict, fitness and tyranny
Johydee, hero-goddess of deception, espionage and protection
Kurell, god of jealousy, revenge and thievery
Kuroth, hero-god of theft and treasure-finding
Lirr, goddess of prose, poetry, literature and art
Merikka, demigoddess of agriculture, farming and the home
Olidammara, god of music, revels, wine, rogues, humor and tricks
Pholtus, god of light, resolution, law, inflexibility, the sun and the moons
Procan, god of seas, sea life, salt, sea weather and navigation
Rudd, goddess of chance, good luck and skill
Sol (Pelor)
Stern Alia, demigoddess of oeridian culture, law and motherhood
Stratis, god of the art of war, strategy and battle skills (dead)
Velnius, god of the sky and weather
Telchur, god of winter, cold and the north wind
Atroa, goddess of spring, renewal and the east wind
Sotillion, goddess of summer, ease, comfort and the south wind
Wenta, goddess of autumn, brewing, harvest and the west wind
Zilchus, god of power, prestige, money, business and influence

The Olman Pantheon

Camazotz, god of bats and evil
Chitza-Atlan, demigod who guards the gates of the Underworld
Coatlicue, goddess of the earth, life, and the dead
Huhueteotl, god of time and destructive fire
Hurakan, god of floods and unrestrained fury
Mictlantecuhtli, god of death, darkness, murder and the Underworld
Ometeotl, god of creation
Quetzalcoatl, god of air, wisdom, birds and snakes
Tezcatlipoca, god of the sun, moon, night, scheming and betrayals
Tlaloc, god of rain and moisture
Tlazoteotl, mother goddess of the earth
Tonatiuh, fifth and current sun god

The Olven (Elven) Pantheon

Aerdrie Faenya, goddess of Air, Weather, Birds, and Avariel.
Alathrien Druanna, the Rune Mistress.
Alobal Lorfiril, god of Hedonism, Mirth, Magic, and Revelry.
Araleth Letheranil, god of Light.
Corellon Larethian, god of Elves, Magic, Music, Arts, Crafts, Poetry, and Warfare.
Darahl Firecloak, god of Earth and Flame
Deep Sashelas, god of Water, Knowledge, Beauty, Magic, and Aquatic Elves.
Elebrin Liothiel, god of Nature, Gardens, Orchards, and the Harvest.
Erevan Ilesere, god of Mischief, Change, and Rogues.
Fenmarel Mestarine, god of Exiles, Scapegoats, and Grugach.
Gadhelyn, hero-god of Independence, Outlawry, Feasting, and Hunting.
Hanali Celanil, goddess of Romantic Love and Beauty.
Kirith Sotheril, goddess of Divinations and Enchantments.
Labelas Enoreth, god of Time and Longevity.
Melira Taralen, goddess of Bards and Minstrels.
Mythrien Sarath, god of Protection and Mythals.
Naralis Analor, god of Healing, Easing of Pain, and Death.
Rellavar Danuvien, god of Frost Sprites and Protection from Cold.
Rillifane Rallathil, god of Nature, Woodlands, and Wood Elves.
Sarula Iliene, goddess of Lakes, Streams, Nixies, and Water Magic.
Sehanine Moonbow, goddess of the Moon, Mysticism, Dreams, Far Journeys, Death, and Transcendence.
Solonor Thelandira, god of Hunting, Archery, and Survival.
Tarsellis Meunniduin, god of Winter, Mountains, and Snow Elves.
Tethrin Veraldé, god of Bladesingers.
Vandria Gilmadrith, goddess of War, Guardianship, Justice, Grief, Vigilance, and Decision.
Ye'Cind, god of Music and Magical Songs.

The Slaad Pantheon


The Suel Pantheon

Beltar, goddess of malice, caves and pits
Bralm, goddess of insects and industriousness
Dalt, god of portals, doors, enclosures, locks and keys
Fortubo, god of stone, metals, mountains and guardianship
Jascar, god of hills and mountains
Kord, god of athletics, sports, brawling, strength and courage
Lendor, god of time, tedium, patience and study
Llerg, god of beasts and strength
Lydia, goddess of music, knowledge and daylight
Norebo, god of luck, gambling and risks
Osprem, goddess of sea voyages, ships and sailors
Phaulkon, god of air, wind, clouds, birds and archery
Phyton, god of nature, beauty and farming
Pyremius, god of assassins, fire, poison and murder
Ranet, goddess of fire (dead)
Syrul, goddess of lies, deceit, treachery and false promises
Vatun, god of northern barbarians, cold, winter and arctic beasts
Wee Jas, goddess of magic, death, vanity and law
Xerbo, god of the sea, sailing, money and business

The Touv Pantheon

Berna, goddess of passion and forgiveness
Breeka, goddess of living things
Damaran, god of vermin and flight
Katay, god of decay, inevitability, order and time
Kundo, god of building, noise, music and defense
Meyanok, god of serpents, poison, discord, darkness and famine
Nola, goddess of the sun
Uvot, god of prosperity
Vara, goddess of nightmares and fear
Vogan, god of rain, storms and water
Xanag, goddess of metals and beauty

The Unknown Pantheon

Earth Dragon
The Green Man, demigod of growth and abundance
Tharizdun, god of eternal darkness, decay, entropy, malign knowledge, insanity and cold
Wastri, god of amphibians, bigotry and self-deception

For a more complete listing of the humancentric deities see the older post.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trade Resources in Greyhawk

Trade Resources
World of Greyhawk 1983 boxed set 'A Guide to the World of Greyhawk' p.45
In the above map we see depicted 15 symbols with their associated regional products representing major exports of the various nations (2 of the symbols either depict an unknown product or that no major exports exist). Since not everyone has the Greyhawk map memorized, I have also added the Folio map below with the various nations labelled.
Political Boundries
World of Greyhawk Folio 1980 p.7 (click to enlarge)

Combo Map
Combo Map (click to enlarge)
Combo Map - Portrait 

Cloth - Almor, Bissel, Celene, Ekbir, Furyondy, Geoff, Gran March, Great Kindom, Medegia, North Province, Nyrond, Ulek Duchy, Urnst County, Yeomanry

Copper - Almor, Blackmoor, Geoff, Gran March, Great Kingdom, Ice Barbarians, Idee, Nyrond, Pale Theocracy of, Perrenland, Snow Barbarians, Ulek County, Veluna, Verbobonc, Wolf Nomads

Food - Almor, Bissel, Celene, Ekbir, Frost Barbarians, Furyondy, Gran March, Great Kingdom, Idee, Medegia, North Province, Nyrond, Pale Theocracy of, Sea Princes, Shield Lands, South Province, Tenh, Tusmit, Ulek County, Ulek Duchy, Ulek Principality, Urnst County, Urnst Duchy, Veluna, Yeomanry, Zeif, Hepmomaland

Furs - Frost Barbarians, Ice Barbarians, Iuz, Ratik, Rovers of the Barrens, Stonefist Hold of, Tiger Nomads, Wolf Nomads

Gems - Bissel I, Blackmoor II, Bone March I & II, Geoff I, Gran March III, Great Kingdom IV, CoG I-IV, Hepmonland I -IV, Ice Barbarians I, Irongate II & III, Ket I & IV, Nyrond I & II, Onnwal III, Pale Theocracy of IV, Pomarj I &  II, Ratik IV, Scarlet Brotherhood I & III and IV, Snow Barbarians I & II, Sterich II & III, Stonefist I, Sunndi II & IV, Tiger Nomads I, Ulek County I & II, Ulek Duchy I & II, Ulek Principality II & IV, Ull II, Urnst Duchy I - IV, Verbobonc I - IV, Yeomanry II, Zeif III

Gold - Bissel, Frost Barbarians, Furyondy, Geoff, Great Kingdom, CoG, Highfolk Town, Highfolk Valley, Idee, Pomarj, Ratik, Rovers of the Barrens, Scarlet Brotherhood, Sterich, Tusmit, Urnst County, Urnst Duchy, Veluna

Ivory - Blackmoor, Stonefist Hold of, Hepmonaland

Lumber - Hepmonaland

Platinum - CoG, Onnwal, Sunndi, Tenh, Urnst Duchy, Hepmonaland

Rare Metals - CoG, Iuz, North Province, Pomarj, Sterich, Sunndi, Ulek Duchy, Urnst Duchy

Silver - Bandit Kingdoms, Bone March, Celene, Frost Barbarians, Geoff, Great Kingdom, CoG, Ket, Nyrond, Pomarj, South Province, Sterich, Stonefist, Tiger Nomads, Tusmit, Ulek County, Ulek Principality, Ull, Urnst Duchy, Veluna, Yeomanry

Spices - Lorship of the Isles, Scarlet Brotherhood, Hepmonaland

Woods, Rare - Highfolk Valley, Lorship of the Isles, Scarlet Brotherhood

Below is an alphabetical listing of the nations and their resources.

Almor, Prelacy of - Food, Cloth, Copper
Bandit Kingdoms - Silver
Bissel, March of - Food, Cloth, Gold, Gems I
Blackmoor - Ivory, Copper, Gems II
Bone March - Silver, Gems I & II
Celene, Kingdom of - Food, Cloth, Silver
Dyvers, Free and Independent City - Shipbuilding Supplies
Ekbir, Caliphate of - Food, Cloth
Frost Barbarians - Food, Fur, Silver, Gold
Furyondy, Kingdom of - Food, Cloth, Gold
Geoff, Grand Duchy of - Cloth, Copper, Silver, Gold, Gems I
Gran March - Food, Cloth, Copper, Gems III
Great Kingdom (Kingdom Aerdy) - (Food, Cloth, Copper, Silver, Gold, Gems IV)
Greyhawk, City of [CoG] - (Silver, Rare Metals, Gold, Platinum, Gems I-IV)
Hepmonaland - Lumber, Food, Spices, Platinum, Gems , Ivory
Highfolk (Independent Town) - Gold
Highfolk (Valley of the Velverdyva)- Gold, Rare Woods
Horned Society - unknown
Ice Barbarians - Furs, Copper, Gems I
Idee, County of (*) - Food, Copper, Gold
Irongate, Free City of (*) - Gems II & III
Iuz, Land of - Furs, Rare Metals
Keoland, Kingdom of - Food, Cloth, Gold, Gems III
Ket - Silver, Gems I & IV
Lordship of the Isles (*) - Rare Woods, Spices
Medegia, See of - Food, Cloth
North Province - Food, Cloth, Rare Metals
Nyrond, Kingdom of - Food, Cloth, Copper, Silver, Gems I & II
Onnwal, free State of (*)- Platinum, Gems III
Pale, Theocracy of the - Food, Copper, Gems IV
Perrenland, Concatenated Cantons of - (Copper)
Paynims, Plains of the - none
Pomarj - Silver, Rare Metals, Gold, Gems I & II
Ratik, Archbarony of - Shipbuilding Supplies, Furs, Gold, Gems IV
Rovers of the Barrens - Furs, Gold
Scarlet Brotherhood - Rare Woods, Spices, Gold, Gems I, III & IV
Sea Barons - unkown
Sea Princes, Hold of the - Food
Shield Lands - Food
Snow Barbarians - Copper, Gems I & II
South Province - Food, Silver
Spindrift Isles - unknown
Sterich, Earldom of - Silver, Rare Metals, Gold, Gems II & III
Stonefist, Hold of - Fur, Ivory, Silver, Gems I
Sunndi, County of (*)- Rare Metals, Platinum, Gems II & IV
Tenh, Duchy of - Food, Platinum
Tiger Nomads - Fur, Silver, Gems I
Tusmit - Food, Silver, Gold
Ulek, County of - Food, Copper, Silver, Gems I & II
Ulek, Duchy of - Food, Cloth, Rare Metals, Gems I & II
Ulek, Principality of - Food, Silver, Gems II & IV
Ull - Silver, Gems II
Urnst, County of - Food, Cloth, Gold
Urnst, Duchy of - Food, Silver, Rare Metals, Gold, Platinum, Gems I-IV
Valley of the Mage - none
Veluna, Archclericy of - Food, Copper, Silver, Gold
Verbobonc, Viscounty and Town of - Copper, Gems I-IV
Wild Coast - Unknown
Wolf Nomads - Fur, Copper
Yeomanry, The - Food, Cloth, Silver, Gem II
Zeif, Sultanate of - Food, Gem III

(*) member of the Iron League

Since the players in my campaign have asked about various trade routes I have added this so they can look it over.

Note: In my version of Greyhawk there is no electrum, I go with a metric conversion between currencies. I just substituted in rare metals in the above trade routes where it originally was electrum. Rare metals being items such as mithril, adamatium, etc.
Yes, the combo map has some minor deviations from the published maps. 

Major Powers in Greyhawk

The Major Powers:

The Circle of Eight:

The mysterious assembly of wizards known as the Circle of Eight has long benefited from a past obscured by misinformation and enigma. The group's influence reaches from the Baklunish west to the Solnor Ocean, though its secretive methods ensure that few know the extent of its ministrations. Certain members of the Circle are well-known and liked, their talents appreciated throughout the Flanaess. The mages Bigby, Jallarzi and Otto, for instance, are welcome in courts far from cosmopolitan Greyhawk. Others, such as Drawmij, Nystul, and Theodain prefer to operate away from the public gaze. The Circle is led by the archmage Mordenkainen, who founded it as a tool to preserve the balance of power in the Flanaess and keep any one faction from dominating it. Mordenkainen's view of "enforced neutrality" is not tit-for-tat equality, but rather a detailed theoretical philosophy derived from decades of arcane research.

The Horned Society:

No one knows the true age of the Horned Society. Most scholars believe its Hierarchs were opportunist bandits who filled the void in Molag left by the disappearance of Iuz in 505 CY, only to be swept away in 570 CY after the demigod's return. More ominous speculation places the roots of the organization well before the great migrations of old. Certain old druids speak of the dreaded "Horned Ones," cultists who stalked the night in ancient times and preyed upon the Flan tribes. It is not certain if the modern Horned Society is actually a descendant of this dark sect or simply an imitator exploiting old legends.

In any case, the Horned Society came to prominence in 513 CY, a few years after the disappearance of Iuz in the north, when the cambion's malign kingdom went leaderless. The group seized the city of Molag and set about consolidating the territory around under its rule. Hobgoblins, orcs, and other nonhumans flocked to the Horned Society's dark banner. Conflicting reports placed the group's members as either worshipers of Nerull or devotees of devils. Both seem likely, as it appears the organization was a congregation of many factions, not a monolithic entity. The actual glue that held it together was likely more dogmatic than spiritual.

The Horned Society was made up of 13 leaders, called Hierarchs, including powerful fighters, clerics, rogues and wizards. The philosophy of the Horned Society was rulership through fear and might, with overtones of human supremacy and the subjugation of lesser races to achieve their goals. The Hierarchs and the rest of the leadership were presumed destroyed when Iuz sent his demonic minions into the territory in 570 CY. Still, it is possible, even likely, that they foresaw this event as a possibility and made plans to rebuild in case it became true. Rumors have placed the Horned Society's new headquarters in the Pomarj, Bone March, or even the depths of the Rift Canyon. No one knows for sure, which makes them a threat. The philosophy of the Horned Society has always been to rule through fear and might. Overtones of human supremacy also factor in.

Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom:

Of all the orders of knighthood in the history of the Flanaess, none was greater than the fabled Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom. Once many hundreds in number, their membership has since dwindled to perhaps no more than two dozen today. Throughout their history, these knights were formidable warriors with a matchless reputation for courage and honor. They have become the model for numerous orders of knighthood that have sprung up in the Flanaess in their wake, including the Knights of the Hart and the Knights of the Holy Shielding. Their legends permeate the cultures of all the former provinces of the Great Kingdom.

Founded in 537 OR (-107 CY) when a group of young men foiled an attack upon the Aerdy king by a group of Ur-Flan sorcerers, the order has always been auspicious and legendary. From its inception, the order was unique in the Great Kingdom in that it chose its own membership through contests of skill and courage. Positions were not royally appointed, nor could they be bought, like many other knighthoods in the kingdom that were known to come cheaply (such as the Knights of Medegia). The Knight Protectors numbered followers of both Heironeous and Hextor in their ranks; while this produced strong rivalries, deadly conflicts were few. The goal of the order was always a united and protected Great Kingdom under an honorable and lawful monarch.

Unfortunately, the knighthood was betrayed by the paladin Sir Kargoth in 203 CY, and while he only had 13 followers, their betrayal was so great they all became death knights. The order went into slow decline after this, as many loyal knights spent much time hunting down renegades. The royal House Rax went into slow decline at about the same time. In 443 CY, Ivid I set about hunting down and destroying the remaining Knight Protectors, for they opposed his ascension to the throne after he assassinated the last Rax overking. He did not succeed in destroying them, but they became widely dispersed and many went into hiding. Most Knight Protectors today dwell in Ratik, or have joined the Iron League and dwell in Sunndi. With the apparent passing of Ivid V in Rauxes, some expect the Knight Protectors to emerge from their dormancy and take a more active role in the recovery of the Great Kingdom's former realms.

Knights of the Hart:

Once the least militant major order of knights in the Flanaess, the Knighs of the Hart have lately become more "aggressively defensive" in nature. These knights have a tripartite organization formed in ancient days to serve the needs of the lords of Furyondy, Highfolk and Veluna. Because these states are decentralized and thus severely threatened by sudden invasion by any quarter, the Knights of the Hart bulwark standing armies and hunt potential threats. The Knights of the Hart must swear to serve as a vanguard of defense at an instant's notice, maintaining certain strongholds, serving in local governments, and supporting scouting actions into the wilderness and countryside.

Membership in the Knights of the Hart is open to commoners and nobles alike, provided each candidate is devoted to the protection of Furyondy, Highfolk, and Veluna. Further, each candidate must possess proven combat skills and have performed an act of exceptional honor, bravery, courage and service.
This group of knights was designed to make sure that Furyondy, Veluna and High Folk kept their freedom. The nobles and lords of these areas kept their own men-at-arms and guards but to gather them together took time and this problem was solved with the Knights of the Order of the Hart who vow to always be battle ready. They are divided into three branches.

The Knights of Furyondy hold 170 to 200  men. These guys aren't really trusted by Dyvers and Verbobonc even though the Knights are trying to protect their trade. They feel that the knights would be happy to see them become a part of Furyondy.

The Knights of Veluna number at 120 and used to house nothing but seasoned veterans of seventh level or higher, but have begun accepting war clerics, human paladins of at least fifth level and human and half-elven priests of at least sixth level.

The Knights of the High Forest consists completely of elves and has only 45 members. They fight in the Vesve forest and also trade, although they aren't merchants they need the money.

The Knights of the Order of the Hart spend their time drilling, protecting the strongholds and are well respected by the people of their nations. They do have a bit of a rivalry going on between themselves and the Knights of Shielding.

Knights of the Holy Shielding:

These knights are the backbone of the army of the Shield Lands. The Knights of Holy Shielding are paladins and young men hoping to join their ranks usually start as squires. A paladin must be of at least seventh level and be capable of proclaiming some heroic deed. They are well respected in their homeland but have become hated and despised by Iuz and his following with whom they battle.

Established in the mid-300s CY to support the lords of the petty domains north of the Nyr Dyv, the Knights of the Holy Shielding make up the core of an impressive army.

The core of the Knights of the Holy Shielding are paladins, though fighters and clerics of Heironeous are found among their number.

Knights of Luna:

The Knights of Luna is an elven order of knighthood dedicated to preserving the monarchy of Celene and the noble traditions of the elves throughout the central Flanaess. They espouse values that call for elven leadership in the cause of Good, and noblesse oblige toward their allied kindred and the lesser races. Most of the leading members of this order are gray elves from the Grand Court of Celene, although they are currently at odds with the policies of their fey queen and her councilors. Numbering just over two-hundred knights, this order includes many high elves and half-elves, many of them wizards as well as fighters. The majority live and operate in Celene, but increasingly they are found in the Duchy of Ulek, with a small presence among the elves of Highfolk and the Fairdells.

No strict hierarchy exists among the Knights of Luna, though Melf, Prince Brightflame of Celene is their acknowledged leader. Generally, the most senior and experienced knights have the most authority, and they are permitted to take squires of any elven or part-elven lineage. Knightly quests are typically the province of young, inexperienced members fo the order. Successful completion of a score or more quests allow a knight to gain rank and a squire.

Knights of the Watch:

These are the best of the best from the armies of Bissel, Gran March, Geoff and Keoland. They are there to protect from Baklunish threats from the west. They use traditional warfare techniques that cost them dearly when dealing with the humanoids, giants, and groups from Ket.

The Knights of the Watch are divided into two groups. The first is referred to as the Watchers. They stand on their traditions and see no reason for changing them. The second is called the Dispatchers. They tend to split into scouting parties and ambush humanoids in Geoff that shouldn't be there.

They both fight to protect Gran March and Keoland, but while the Knights of the Watch wait for enemies to come, the Knights of Dispatch actively go out and attack them.

The Knights of the Watch was created several centuries ago on the foundation of an earlier organization based in Gran March. Tasked with protection Keoland, Gran March, Bissel and Geoff from the incursions of barbaric Paynims and "westerlings" (civilized Baklunish armies), the Watchers maintain castles, fortresses and strongholds along the border with Ket, as well as in the western mountains.

The Knights of the Watch are devotees of a near-monastic school of teachings based upon the writings of the philosopher Azmarender, who chronicled a code of duty known as the Twelve and Seven Precepts. The Twelve Precepts govern how a knight of the order is to carry out his daily activities, with an eye toward the traditions of battle. The Seven Precepts guide "life beyond the self," giving meaning to the world beyond the field of battle. These latter teachings are jealously guarded secrets, revealed to knights only as they gain station within the organization.

Old Faith:

Oerth's natural fertility has inspired the devotion of its people. The cult of the Oerth Mother (Beory) once dominated the entire Flanaess, and the traditions of her worship persist in many lands. The present hierarchy of the Old Faith is built upon the ancient religion of the druids, though deities in addition to Beory are worshiped. Mistletoe, oak leaves, and holly leaves are their emblems. Druids of the Old Faith are completely neutral in philosophy and personal alignment. They yield only to the world-spanning authority of the legendary Grand Druid.

The practices of the Old Faith are generally in accord with those of other nature priesthoods. The druids do not engage in the sacrifice of sentient creatures.

The Old Faith is still widely practiced in the Flanaess, and not only in those regions dominated by descendents of the Flan peoples. The age-old sacred groves and monolithic circles of the Old Faith may include shrines dedicated to any nature deity the resident druids permit, but most often they are unadorned. While Beory the Oerth Mother is the best known deity associated with the Old Faith, any druid of purely neutral alignment may matriculate through the Nine Circles of Initiation, regardless of which nature god that druid venerates.

Old Lore:

The Colleges of the Old Lore are an order of bards appended to the druidic society of the Old Faith. Very few of these archetypal bards are left, as their traditions are primarily those of the ancient Flan. Bards of the Old Lore are distinguished from today's common bards and minstrels by their noble origins, their tradition of scholarship, and their use of druidic magic. The prospective Old Lore bard must be of human descent and noble birth, although half-elves are permitted as well. Tradition demands that each candidate have proven skill in warmaking and stealth, in addition to surpassing grace, in order to receive druidic training. The Old Lore legacy also includes a small number of magical, stringed instruments crafted specifically for each of the seven colleges of the Old Lore. Recovery of any such instrument is of prime concern to the remaining members of the colleges, and the true enchantments worked by the ancient craftsmen only come alive at the touch of a bard of the Old Lore.

People of the Testing:

The mystic cabal known as the People of the Testing is a society of elves whose members are scattered across the Flanaess. These elves are loosely bound by the memory of their experiences in the elven otherworld discovered by the Moonarch of Sehanine. The Moonarch appears only while Oerth's lesser moon, Celene, is in full phase, and the Moonarch is never encountered twice in the same location. Thus far, it has only been reported in the northern region of Celene.

Those elves who pass under the Moonarch must then pass a series of spiritual tests administered by three elven deities. Some elves never return from their journey through the Moonarch, but all those who do are profoundly changed. Some withdraw from the concerns of their previous lives and heed the Calling Away, which many call the Leaving, even though they may have centuries of life remaining to them. These elves immediately travel to the Lendore Isles; what becomes of them is not known. Other elves may become clerics (usually of Sehanine), seers, poets, savants or outcasts. From among all these come the People of the Testing.

The concerns of the People involve the destiny of all elves and their vision of the true nature of elvenkind. They are said to have special insights into the Mysteries of Faerie, but their practices are by no means as sensual as those of traditional elven participants. They see more deeply than other elves and have secret knowledge of forgotten magic, ancient banes, hidden realms, and lost races. They guard their secrets carefully, and few publicly acknowledge membership in the People of the Testing. They are present in all levels of society, however, and they use their influence to keep elven interests secure in the Flanaess, no matter what the cost to other races.

The Scarlet Brotherhood

This group makes it's home on the Tilvanot Peninsula. Their one driving goal since it's founding a thousand years ago is to have the Suel recognized as the master race throughout the Flanaess. Apparently there was a premonition of doom right before the Rain of Colorless Fire descended upon the Suel Empire. One man named Kevelli Mauk that had founded the Brotherhood three years prior had enough time to gather ten of his students along with their slaves, the Tome of the Scarlet Sign (the Brotherhood's manifesto) and use a now lost artifact called Lendor's Matrix to teleport them all to the western side of Hellfurnaces just before the fall of the Rain of Colorless Fire.

They, over time, eventually made there way down into the Tilvanot Peninsula where they reside. They believe that by their physical perfection, the early birth of their empire and their mastery of magic that they are the superior race. They are a people where assassins and thieves are as common place as farmers and merchants on the main land.

Silent Ones of Keoland:

This ancient society is almost entirely closed to outsiders, but its mystique and influence extend throughout the valley of the Sheldomar. The Silent Ones are said to form the backbone of an eldritch order that seeks to protect the last vestiges of Ancient Suel magic that has remained in Suloise hands since the Rain of Colorless Fire. Whether the order is actually this old is uncertain, since they communicate little outside their own circles. What little is known of the Silent Ones comes from one of the few individuals who departed it alive. Uhas of Neheli chronciled some of their exploits in The Chronicle of Secret Times.

The group's name comes from an ancient Suloise phrase literally translated as "those who must not speak." It is something of a misnomer as the Silent Ones are by no means mute, but they are extremely secretive and do little to dispel the aura of mystery that surrounds them. These ascetics live completely outside the authority of the ruling Keoish king, according to the first lines of the founding charter of the nation, penned nearly one thousand years ago. They do not form a magical guild in the traditional sense, as supplicants are not usually accepted into the order. Rather, they are chosen during pilgrimages conducted by the Silent Ones annually during Needfest, when the scour the countryside for youths especially attuned to their ways. Those chosen are said to be gifted in some way, and most of them are of pure Suel bloodlines. Curiously, many of the chosen are also albinos and frequently are blind. Uhas of Neheli was both.

In centuries past, sorcery was in the hands of a small few in Keoland, and the Silent Ones monitored this tradition with dispassion. That is no longer their role, though they are still viewed with fear and superstition. Silent Ones seem to be drawn to ancient places and items of strong magical power and import. On rare occasions, they openly contend with individuals, both good and evil, who seek magical power beyond the ken of mortals. Recently they have expressed disquiet over the rise of the Secret Brotherhood of the Elder Eye and the uncovering of Slerotin's Passage from the Yeomanry to the Sea of Dust.

Minor / Regional Powers

Rangers of the Gnarley Forest

This "little" group consists of more than two hundred rangers. They come from all over to protect the vast expanse of the Gnarley Forest. There is no set order of command except for several Ranger Knights that gather every two to three months to exchange information. Young rangers are taken in under one of these Knights and trained although rangers of any level may join by finding one one of these Ranger Knights, be interviewed and pass several woodland tests.

The rangers are a close group and will come to one another's aid as soon as possible. Even the animals of the Gnarley Forest seem to cooperate with them by dragging wounded rangers to safety or alerting to possible dangers. Their main goal is to control lumbering in the wood, flush out bandits and protect the people of the Gnarley Forest.

They also must stay close the the forest. Any extended leave of over six months must be approved by a Ranger Knight and long journeys away without good cause will usually result in the ranger being asked to turn in his/her insignia of oak leaves.

This is an update of the previous entry on Organizations & Societies.

Just as an FYI the current campaign's timeline is set in 577CY, with no plans on instituting the Greyhawk Wars. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Current status of the Campaign

Haven't really been posting much on the blog-o-sphere lately, so I though I would take this opportunity to remedy that. Still keeping up with the FtF Greyhawk campaign. The group has just finished The Temple of Elemental Evil. Finally, after 2 years in game and in RL time-wise. It took that long because of the fact that, of the original group of PCs that started out, not a one survived to the end. This was partially due to the lethality of the Temple itself and also due to the fact that the parties philosophy was to attack everything head on. They eventually learned and even went back to the old school method of playing more than one character at a time as well as loading the party up with NPCs. On top of which after some of the more lethal encounters the group would head off on several side quests to bolster the parties strength, magic-wise and to gain XP for gaining more levels. This helped somewhat, but since the Temple was recruiting during this time they usually wound up having to fight even greater odds when they actually got back to the main adventure. So, a mixed bag overall, but this just helped with gaining even more XP, which they needed. This has, however, led to them gaining some stooopid amounts of treasure and XP, which has caused the planned route of taking them through S4 - Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and WG4 - The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun to be put to the wayside for the moment. Their current level [characters & magic] have made using them as is a moot point. Therefore, I jumped them straight to  G1-3 Against the Giants and so far they're not really having much trouble with the Hill Giants. It looks like I'll be tweaking the modules a bit. The group fits the suggested level profile for the Giant series, it's just that I run a high fantasy campaign, which translates into a high level of magic items with which to go out adventuring. Not to mention that the group contains 2 rangers, so that right there gives them a huge advantage to start with. Anyway, for anyone interested in the actual campaign, see the Youtube link for the campaign as it stands now. As a matter of fact, the video just goes to show how long this campaign has been going on, since the store listed at the end of the vid is no longer in business.