Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Re: Humanoids in Greyhawk

Date sent: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 15:24:10 +1000
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: “Valerian J. Vortex”
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Humanoids in Greyhawk
Originally to: Keith Horsfield

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997, Keith Horsfield wrote:

> I knew this was gonna resurface ;-) FWIW, I'm attempting to do
> two things here 1) Determine whether humanoids existed in the Flanaess
> east of the barrier mountains (Yatils/Barrier
> Peaks/Crystalmists/Hellfurnaces) and 2) Determine where the oerdians
> originally came from in accordance with published material (I.e. the
> migration maps and the relevant passages stating that humanoids drove
> the oeridians northward and eastward).
> As to #1 I'm leaning to the side that humanoids migrated along with
> the oerdians and suel.

I agree, but the term “humanoids” covers a lot of ground. The humanoid mercenaries used in the Bak-Suel wars were mostly Euroz IMC, so they migrated eastward. Other humanoids...well, this might take a while...

IMC, there are three basic races of humanoids: Euroz, Kell and Jebline. Kobolds (Celbit) are a small, cunning subspecies of Gnoll (Kell). Goblins (Jebline) are “fairies gone bad”, who usually harass humans by creating inconveniences – laming horses, stealing stuff, ruining crops – rather than risking open combat. Hojebline (hobgoblins) are bigger offshoots of the previous who lack the ability to create annoying cantrips. Hobgoblins are more inclined enter combat. As for Euroz, well an orc is an orc is an orc...


In prehistory, Olves, Dwur, and Kell fought over the Flanaess. The Flannae arrived later, after a particularly nasty period in the war, and were able to create a niche for themselves and defend it against all comers. This golden age of the Flanic culture is best remembered in the legends of Vecna, the Isle of Woe and the Ur Flanae, although most of the Flanae had access to only primitive technology. At the same time, the Suloise Empire was reaching its peak, and a number of Dwur, Kell and Olve kingdoms covered the Flanaess, existing at a late bronze age stage of development (with the Kell slightly behind).

The Kell in particular were hardest pressed by the human newcomers, and olven and dwur assistance (seeing the chance to cripple one of their ancestral foes) allowed the Flanae to virtually erase any traces of the Kell civilization. The ferocity of the Flanae surprised the Elves and Dwarves, and after the sacking of the Great Library of the Kell at Gvang-Oekugh, the allied policy successfully changed its emphasis to limited contact with the humans and to disrupt the cohesiveness and development of the “fast-breeding” Flanae.

It was against this backdro that the Oeridians arrived, with the Suloise and Euroz following shortly after: scattered outposts of (usually) backwards Flan with a wide variety of cultural identities (eg. Geoff -v- Tenh -v- Perrenland -v- the Rovers; see also “The Languages of Greyhawk” and occasional contacts with other demihumans suggesting well-established but hidden, Dwur and Olven governments. By this stage, the Kell had descended into the savagery by which they are known today. (Jebline had always existed in the same way that the dragons or the lizard men existed there, but not in numbers sufficient to form any social structure of notes.)

The newcomers arrived in such numbers and with such racial cohesiveness that the Dwuf and Olves could do little to prevent their overrunning the plains and grasslands of the Flanaess. After a few centuries, the demihumans began to appreciate that humans were generally more open to cooperation than the Euroz were, and negotiations formally recognised established understandings. Such negotiations have resulted in the recognition of the borders of Celene, the Spindrift Isles and the Highfolk (other demihuman kingdoms, such as the Olven realm of Gaolin in the Dreadwood, are generally not recognized by the more powerful human governments who claim their territories), or recognition of demihuman citizenship and participation in government (eg. Verbobonc or the Ulek states).

Well that's about it off the top of my head, if people want more details I'll have to cart my folder in from home.

Ken Barns
ex-Medical Student and Connoisseur of Life.

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