Sunday, December 13, 2009

RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk

RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk
Thursday, November 19, 2009 10:07 PM
From: "Tom Roberts" Add sender to Contacts

I think Nitescreed's record still stands as sole ban-shee from Greytalk.

Randy's not popular and his vision of Greyhawk marches with very few, but he's able to express his opinion here, should he choose to. It might be the equivalent of Thomas Scott's return to Fort Garry, but there's nothing stopping him (AFAIK). I don't recall any announcement of his ban-ishment after the last War (back about 4 years ago if memory serves).

Tom Roberts
It is of little comfort to me that it is not my end of the boat that is sinking.

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 05:06:53 -0800
Subject: RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk

Ah, just the list. I think Gary is the sole moderator of the list.

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 00:02:41 -0600
Subject: RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk

I'm the last person to usually nitpick, so while Cebrion is right about Canonfire itself, the reference to this discussion was banning just from the Greytalk list. At any rate I'm no expert on either, but do (we) canonfire admins even have access to the list?


Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 21:31:40 -0800
Subject: RE: [greytalk] RUMUR! Meet the New Hawk - WoG to Restart/Reimagine in 4e

As I do most of the work right now, I guess I am the current "senior" Canonfire! admin/moderator. I don't have many of the mad skillz that chatdemon has, but I do what I can.

So far as I know, the only people who have been banned from Canonfire! have been spammers, and those who have posted offensive or inappropriate material(usually spammers). Flamewars usually result in posts being deleted, and perhaps a PM sent to the involved parties. The admins have given people quite a bit of leeway. Perhaps this level of tolerance is due to the nature of Greyhawk fans themselves- they are a vast and varied mongrel breed, and they won't always see things eye-to-eye, let alone get along. Some people are more caustic than others, some people are overly sensitive, and yet others have the bad habit of reading things into what other people post when they shouldn't. There will eventually be disagreements and misunderstandings among posters, and that includes the admins too. This doesn't mean we can't all get along in a somewhat civil manner though. There is a limit to what will be tolerated, but I don't recall anybody having gone so far as to cross the line, such that they were banned. Despite any disagreements, most people can agree on one thing: they like to discuss Greyhawk. So far as that is the main thing going on, and nothing extraneous to that gets out of hand, then nobody will be banned.

Hoping that nobody decides they want to test my theory anytime soon,

---Cebrion(Canonfire! Admin/Moderator) ;)

Re: Geographic and political absurdities or why the xoom Keoland writeup bites

Date: Tue, 09 Nov 99 14:04PM PST
From: Taras Cranden-Guarhoth
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Geographic and political absurdities or why the xoom Keoland writeup bites

> I'll look into the two less outrageous of the claims:

First of all, the author has stated that while based on canon, it's not completely canon.

> a) the Brotherhood has superiority on the seas. Any naval campaign is going to be a lost cause unless the brotherhood's control of the seas can be broken. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out
> on this one, as unlike demons, there is nothing to send the numerous seamonsters back into the depths. All the weirdos and pirates on the costs of the Jerlea bay aren't likely to be of
> tremendous help and are not likely to mount a big united campaign.
> Keoland does not have the option of an allout naval campaign against the Brotherhood, as it would leave their coast and ports
> open to the brotherhood forces coming from say the lordship of the isles. Similarily, if the keolandish naval forces do not gain a definate upper hand, they may get pitched between two
> brotherhood forces in the Jerlea Bay.

Flaw: This assumes that there's nothing else, like, say the Sea Barons, Nyrond, Ahlissa, not to mention that big blockade they're trying to run (it's gotta be tough to blockade such a huge expanse of open water). The moment the SB and their lackeys went ahead and tried to concentrate fully on something like overpowering Keoland navally, everyone else would notice the sudden drop in SB activity, and pounce. I think the SB would be less likely to interfere with Keoland invading a province they've pretty much lost if it'd mean they'd face increaded raids within provinces that they're not losing and are a lot closer to home.

> b) the hool marshes is a possibility, but it would have very grim results. Hool marshes are after all a big part of what has kept the Keoland out of there for so long. Just about the only way
> of moving large amounts of troops through the Hool Marches would be building special roads - most probably from treetrunks -
> over which the troops could move. Reinforcements and supplies would be a severe problem, especially should something happen to the long marsh road (which does not require all that high
> level mage). The army also has the chance of the road being destroyed at which point they are stuck in the middle of a large marsh with limited supplies...

IIRC, Keoland already went through the Hools to invade the Sea Princes once.
So it CAN be done. Plus, they could go by barge down the Javan, making the amount of marshlands that they'd need to cross significantly less.

> That all above there assumes that the locals in the Hold do not side with the Brotherhood against the new enemy - the Keoland. Keoland and the Hold have never had particularily good relations, and while they probably would at least initally cheer anybody fighting the Brotherhood, there is no
> reason to think that they like Keoland even a tiny bit more than the Brotherhood.

The locals consist of a rather large variety of peoples...Olman and Amedian savages, natives of the Sea Princes, slaves taken from around the Flanaess who were owned by the Sea Princes or Scarlet Brotherhood...I think the Keoish would face less opposition than you'd think. After all, the Olman detest the Brotherhood, as does anyone of non-Suel extraction. That alone would make them more inclined to side with the Keoish. As for the native Holders, well, considering that they all got made slaves by the SB, they'd probabily be a bit more inclined to side with the Keoish, in the hopes of getting some power back. I doubt too many would rebel against a well-trained Keoish army. But a lot may conspire behind the scenes.

> The inital cheering would soon be replaced by backstabing and sabotage.

Sounds like the makings of a campaign. And, of course, since each petty noble wants to rule a free Sea Princes, they wouldn't want to let the plans of the other nobles succeed.

> a) has a lot of dissent against any further wars due to excessive losses, inc. back at home (assassinations, etc.)

Well, there WAS a civil war, providing we're thinking of the same page.

> c) must hold in check a very troublesome new province.

And? Like the SB didn't have to hold in check a very troublesome province? That's just a fact of conquering.

> a) Yeomanry is bound to dislike the presence of Keoland on more than one of it's borders and would naturally provide help - whetever offical or not - to any dissent in Sterich.

The Yeomanry would be disinclined to do much of anything against Keoland. They do best in defense, by arming everyone. Now, if they took all these new troops to war, they'd run out of food, since they'd basically empty their country in order to use their main advantage.

> b) The Sterich refugees are bound to dislike any military action in Sterich that does not involve them, and a military action involving them will not lead to Sterich becoming part of
> Keoland.

Sterich refugees are a non-factor. A) They couldn't hold their own country in the first place. B) They are scattered about all over the place. Not all of them went to Keoland. In fact, those that had the least love for the Keoish were probabily those who went the farthest from Keoland. Those who saw Keoland as a strong, protective land that could keep them safe were probabily those who fled to Keoland.

> c) Gran Marsh, Veluna and the Ulek states are bound to strongly oppose any attempts of Keoland to annex Sterich. As Keoland cannot allow itself to be put to the situation that all it's
> neighbours have many axes to grind with it, it will not be able to undertake it. It would just not survive if its border areas and Good Hills decided to leave. It would immediately leave to
> the rest of the Keoland being split into three separate parts.

He's already stated that the three Uleks were backing Keoland. And as for Veluna, it's a non-issue. Veluna has two countries between in and Keoland. I seriously doubt they're worrying about Keoland with Ket on their border and a war with Iuz going on in their backyard (Furyondy). Which just leaves the Gran March. If the Gran March has any intelligence, it'd shut up, given that Ket's running around to the north, Veluna is distracted, and the Uleks have sided with the Keoish...leaves them pretty much alone and vulnerable...wouldn't want to give those Keoish any reason to invade, now would we? And the Good Hills...IIRC, that's the area that broke away in the civil war and had to be, erm, pacified.

> d) instead of guarding a border along a river Keoland will get new borders, inc. a very extensive border with Geoff and in the mountains, and will have to guard it against further incursions
> by giants, etc.

Which I'm sure Keoland is more than capabale of. After all, if the threats in the 591 CY era aren't so great as to stop the Sterich from doing it canonically, there wouldn't be enough to bother the Keoish from doing it in the same timeframe.

> C. Getting the Ulek States under it's banner. Yeah, right. And both Demogorgon and Grazzt reformed themselves and are now living on the plains of Elusium with other good gods...

If you disagree with his heresies, that's fine. But there's no need to discourage him from posting by mocking him. It speaks more about you than it does about him.

> Where Keoland would get all those resources that would take is another matter entirely.

Let's's a big was the only big country that wasn't directly involved in the Wars which troubled so much of the Flanaess a while back...odds are, it already had the resources. Gearing itself up for the next round so that it wouldn't get caught off guard like Furyondy (or worse, Tenh) were. It just decided to put the war into it's own terms, and on other people's soil, instead of it's own.

Taras Guarhoth, Sage of House Cranden

Keoland's Climate & Geography

Subject: [GREYTALK] Keoland's Climate & Geography
Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 07:16:36 +0900
From: Craig & Julie
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Hi curently developing Keoland for use in an upcoming caampaign (U1-3) and have ben working on the regions geography and climate. If anyone hs aany suggestions or feedback I'd love to hear from you. I'm also looking for information on Gradsul- ruler, maps, anything would be fine. Anyway here is my taake on Keoland's geography & climate...

Keoland enjoys a temperate, Mediterranean style climate. Summers tend to be long, hot, dry and dusty with the temperatures often reaching into the mid to high thirties (Celsius). Winters tend to be mild with the temperature seldom dipping below freezing, except in the northern provinces.

The climate is driest in the central and western regions; areas close to the two main river valleys, the Sheldomar and the Javan, use irrigation and canals to bring water to the crops during the driest months. Gradsul and the southern coast has the highest annual rainfall. In most areas precipitation occurs mainly during the spring months when the moisture heavy south-easterly winds sweep in from the Azure Sea bringing the rains which replenishes and nourishes the soils. Summer is dry often brings droughts especially to the inland regions. In both spring and autumn the
plains are often swept by fierce thunderstorms, cumuli-nimbus clouds tower up into the stratosphere, bringing heavy rains and sometimes even tornados.

Keoland's climate is due both to it's geographic location and the prevailing long term synoptic weather patterns in Greyhawk. In the winter months the prevailing winds in the Flanaess come from the north-east, sweeping down across the central kingdoms and into Keoland, bringing snow to many northern regions. These cold winds bring little or no rain or snow to Keoland but do deposit some snow on the Lortmil Mountains and bring frosts and cold temperatures to the northern provinces of the kingdom.

In spring the south east trade winds arrive, blowing in from the Solnor Ocean and Azure Sea and pushing the winter winds back northward. The south easterlies are warm and moisture laiden and as they meet the cold dry northerly winds they bring rainfall to the lands. These spring fronts bring heavy rains to Keoland and the other nations of the Sheldomar Valley for about a month during Planting but as quickly as they arrive the rains depart and the long hot summer begins.

As well as having heavier rainfall the coastal regions are also more humid than the central and northern provinces, due to the influence of the Azure Sea. Another feature of the climate of Keoland is the hot, dry Fohn wind, called the Dragon's Breathe by locals, that blows in from the Sea of Dust beyond the Crystalmist Mountains. This super dry wind dries the land as it sucks the last of the moisture out of the air as it blows down from the high mountain valleys. The Dragon's Breathe brings high winds, dust clouds and scorching temperatures to Keoland during summer.

Keoland's climate has a definite north-south and east to west gradient. The central and northern regions tend to be both hottest and driest during the summer months and the coolest during winter as they are furthest from the moderating influences of the Azure Sea as so have the greatest extremes in temperature. Summers tend to be coolest in the good Hills where the elevation affects the temperature and during winter these hills are sometimes blanketed in snow but such snow seldom remains for more than a day or two.

Keoland is a large kingdom in the South West portion of the Flanaess. The Rushmoors form the nominal western boundary of the kingdom while in Azure Sea, some 600 miles south of these marshes form the southern boundary. To the east the mighty Sheldomar River is the kingdoms eastern border while the Javan River bounds it to the west. In the far north western corner of the kingdom the most recent acquisition to the lands, the County of Javan lies on the western shore of the Javan and this province stretches as far west as the Stark Mounds.

Most of the kingdom lies within the Sheldomar River Basin and consists of a huge plain that stretches from Gradsul in the South to the Thornwood, the capital of Bissel far to the north, a distance of some 1,000 miles.

The country generally slopes from west to east slowly rising in elevation the further west one travels. The vast plains of Keoland barely rise more than 300' in height from the Sheldomar River to the foot hills of the Good Hills, some 250 miles further west. These highlands are the only hills of any note in Keoland, and reach a peak of some 1500 feet above sea level. They are named the Good Hills for they are both fertile and have a favourable climate for growing crops and for orchards as well. Apples, pears, apricots, peaches, olives and even some citrus fruits are all grown in the valleys and slopes of the Good Hills. Beyond the hills the land falls away sharply as the hills drop down the Javan River Valley.

The most fertile soils are found closest to the Javan and Sheldomar Rivers where the annual floods deposits alluvial material that supplies the sustenance for the regions cops. The further north and west one travels from the Sheldomar the drier and stonier the soils get and the less suitable they become for arable farming. Instead the northern and central areas tend to rely more upon the raising of livestock, especially sheep and goats, for their livelihood.

Because the richest soils tend to be located nearest the Sheldomar Valley it isn't surprising to find that the majority of the kingdom's population live near this vital waterway, in fact more than 60% of the population live within 100 miles of the Sheldomar river, in the three main provinces of Gradsul, Sheldomar and Middlemarch. Population density is lessens in the central and western areas of the these provinces. The least populated provinces are in the far northern borderland provinces of (Javan, Rushmoor and Northmarch as well as the Southern Marches which lie between Dreadwood and the Azure Sea. The cooler, more temperate climate of the Good Hills, with its fertile soils, is also a favourable place to live so this region
tends to be quite densely settled.

(Note I've divided the realm into 9 provinces & am intending to start a write up on each soon).

Hope you enjoyed this

Craig Courtis

DMD: For your Campaign, the Dragons Rest

Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 -0400
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: Noel Graham
Subject: [GREYTALK] DMD: For your Campaign, the Dragons Rest
Originally to: greyhawk@MPGN.COM

Haile and Fair Greetings All,

My apologies, I ran short of room. As this is the meat of the story, so to speak, please make effort not to post questions or comments regarding this section within eyesight of players.


The Dragons Rest (continued)


Unlike many Verboboncers, Senan harbors worries about the fate of good beyond the borders of the viscounty. He has heard news from places close and far; news that does not rest well on his ears. In turn, he sometimes passes this along to traveling fellowships in search of heroic adventure. He'll even keep messages and offer storage space to expedite such plans.
As such Senan can be used to lead into adventures nearly anywhere in the central and western Flanaess. Likewise, he can provide a logical game mechanism for introducing novice PCs into established groups, or to bring together surviving members from decimated companies.

Over the years, a considerable amount of effort and vandalism have gone into the search for Toblin's map. Some say this is in vain. Instead, they argue it's more likely Toblin kept a journal (bound in hide, of course) and it's this which has been secreted.
If it exists, the field of search for this lost treasure could be narrowed considerably, but the tome would be more valuable as a guide to the Gnarleys and upper Welkwood. No doubt much of what is practical concerning the nature of those woodlands and their denizens would be found between its covers, possibly with the names of some of Toblin's longer-lived contacts.
DM's needn't fear imparting instant wealth should PCs somehow locate the dragon's former lair. Its caves and modest horde were almost certainly looted long ago by Celenian elves who would have tracked the wyrm from its intrusion into the southern Welkwood.
The current inhabitants, say, a band of gnolls with flind leaders, a shaman of Gorellik, and a pack of hyena pets, are not expected to react well to interlopers. If the PCs are particularly strong or magic heavy, substitute a shaman of Yeenoghu commanding a force of humanoid zombies and ghouls/ghasts. If this yet proves insufficient, allow the PCs their hard-fought victory. There are others within the forests that will take notice when the gnolls are gone.

DMs only beyond this point. Remember players, it only ruins the adventure for you to know.
Additional Notes:

In the home campaign ::smile::, Toblin didn't slay the dragon. It really is a tall tale.
The elves of Celene had, indeed, tracked the wyrm from its depature from the Pomarj, launching harrying attacks once it was convinced to bypass the majority of the olvenrealm. It so happens the badly wounded drake had all but escaped the relentless elves with it fell upon Toblin's group, the Freeholders (originally from the Yeomanry).
Believing its salvation had been at hand, it turned its remaining rage upon them. They're lucky still to have *any * survivors. The elves recovered the trail and continued pursuing the wyrm only to arrive during its death throws. Toblin had a minor *altercation * with them over possession of the carcass, but once they revealed their strength, he acquiesced. In fairness, the elves took what they could carry and left Toblin with the remainder. Thus, the dragon's rest.
Toblin never found the lair nor treasure because the wyrm had neither. He *was * an accomplished yarn-spinner, however, so made good use of the encounter, sans the elves of course. Oddly enough, a new great (make that GREAT) green wyrm inhabits the Gnarleys (Kaivertaurosc the Wight Wyrm) that those in search of Toblin's treasure might just find!
Kai is most unusual for her kind. More on her will be forthcoming in a future issue of DRAGON, in my article “Wyrms of the Flanaess”. If forced to significantly abridge her entry (due to page-count limitations), I'll make an effort to post the important remainder to the List.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Re: greytalk Digest 24 Nov 2009 04:14:43 -0000 Issue 1134

Re: greytalk Digest 24 Nov 2009 04:14:43 -0000 Issue 1134
Monday, November 23, 2009 11:18 PM
From: "Brian McRae"

Reminds me of something that a scholarly wizard did in my campaign. The wizard chronicled his adventures through the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun in great detail, and had 200 hand-scribed copies made at great expense. He was amazed at how quickly the copies sold. After a visit from representatives of some very powerful and influential religions and arch-mages. He kind of understood that the books were likely being studied by top men. Top men.

As to printing, wood block print would work well, and even simple movable type(wood letter blocks in a frame) is doable. However, with spells like copy(a dirt cheap 1st level spell from the 2e "Wizard's Handbook") in existence, if it does exist in a particular DM's campaign, circulating even books becomes much more simple. Now, with regards to movable type, it would take even less time and expense to just have a spell caster cast a spell that changes the shape of the wood block stamp to be embossed with reverse images of the required type/images, and then you just print as much as you want to. Simple tech more easily implemented by the simple application of magic.

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 8:14 PM, wrote:

greytalk Digest 24 Nov 2009 04:14:43 -0000 Issue 1134
Topics (messages 13419 through 13422):
Re: Greyhawk Grumbler
13419 by: ukegreg
13420 by: Kent Goertzen
13421 by: Chris Anderson
13422 by: Tracy Johnson


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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "ukegreg"
To: "'greytalk'"
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 09:50:27 -0800
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

If you want historical precedent for printing I recommend “woodblock prints”. You take a block of wood and carve it into a huge ink stamp basically. The effort it takes to create a set of hardwood plates for one ‘book’ is enormous though. Only major religions and/or countries would bother, and then only for super important books.

I agree with the others that an easily modifiable mass-produced newspaper is probably beyond the scope of the setting. Ideally technology should advance to prevent a setting from stagnating, but if you aren’t careful you might ruin the atmosphere. It’s also worth noting that there are some VERY smart villains in the campaign setting who would feel threatened by a printing press and try to subvert or destroy it immediately. If you’ve got PC’s running it they might get in serious trouble for printing the wrong thing. Imagine the party bard composing some super-motivational “Anti-Iuz” article and then spreading two hundred thousand copies throughout the Flanaess…

“Master, you need to have a look at this…”
“I guess there’s some guy in Greyhawk City making them.”
“Couple of months I guess. He’s got this really talented bard doing the illustrations.”
“Yep. There’s a naked tri-fold drawing of your mom on page 17. Apparently Iggwilv made scantily-clad-sorceress of the month. They’re calling her ‘Miss Fireseek’. We’ve seen them pinned-up in every barracks in Furyo-”

From: Vest III, Robert W []
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:15 PM
To: 'greytalk'
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

There is actually a canonical precedent for having printing presses in the Flanaess. See the Age of Worms backdrop article on Alhaster (Dungeon 131), which mentions an underground broadsheet in Alhaster called The Sinchaser Report.

From: CJ MacLean []
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 3:04 PM
To: 'greytalk'
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

From: Wade Nolen []

"I’m beginning to think that people aren’t listening to points being made, because all three of these have been refuted, over and over."

Me too. The kind of broadsheet designed to be read by thousands of people didn't happen until the mechanized printing press. Commoners didn't have access to newspapers until the 19th century, even now in unindustrialized nations newspapers can be hard to find because paper isn't a commodity that is easy to get or make without industrialization/motorization.

The examples that you keep pulling out to defend your arguments are edicts or proclamations that were read by an official and then posted in a public place, NOT given to every commoner to read. Even the later broadsheets were for merchants and the upper class not for lower caste society.

In game terms paper is costly, depending on where you look a single sheet is 1gp or more. To circulate a paper of 5000 copies (a reasonable amount given Greyhawks size) and sell it for a copper piece would mean a massive loss per issue. This cost doesn't reflect the cost of the machine/spell/scribes/time/ink/retailers that would also be needed to make the newspaper exist. No one could afford to take this loss, and no powerful businessman would lose this cash when they can hire a bard, beggar, crier, or rumormonger to get the information out at a fraction of the cost.

A newspaper doesn't make business sense, It would most likely be suppressed by the government, and while it may be historically possible to create a broadsheet, it isn't historically possible to have the circulation it would need to reach a debatably literate peasant population.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kent Goertzen
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 13:46:49 -0600
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

Time, effort (woodblock prints for example), and cost (paper really wouldn't be cheap in that period), would really prohibit it.

As far as a setting precedent, Forgotten Realms right before the switch to 4e Chapbooks filtering around Water deep weren't uncommon. But only those who were wealthy were really able to afford to produce them. Not sure what time period you've moved forward to. Living Greyhawk would probably be a 200-400 years behind where Forgotten Realms was in terms of technological advancement. Where FR is closer to 15th-17th century and GH closer to 13th-14th imo.

Kent Goertzen


“Master, you need to have a look at this…”
“I guess there’s some guy in Greyhawk City making them.”
“Couple of months I guess. He’s got this really talented bard doing the illustrations.”
“Yep. There’s a naked tri-fold drawing of your mom on page 17. Apparently Iggwilv made scantily-clad-sorceress of the month. They’re calling her ‘Miss Fireseek’. We’ve seen them pinned-up in every barracks in Furyo-”

Lol, :D

Bing brings you maps, menus, and reviews organized in one place. Try it now.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chris Anderson
To: Kent Goertzen
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 17:34:38 -0800
Subject: Re: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

Paper costs are not a problem. They are based on historical western European paper costs... so you would think that they are accurate, but they're not.

Western Europeans lost access to cheap writing paper when the Mediterranean was blockaded by the Arabs in the 700's. Papyrus is extremely cheap to make, lasts a long time, and is able to be printed on. However, when Islam took away Egypt and northern Africa, and conquered Spain, western Europe lost access to papyrus.

As a result, they turned to vellum/parchment... which is a processed animal hide. Making vellum is expensive in time, materials, and skills. So much so, that vellum was traditionally reused by scraping it clean of ink.

Rag paper was a closely guarded secret that traveled from China. Those who knew how to make it forced you to pay dearly for it... they could do this because there was no cheaper alternative. Prices for rag paper were relatively low in the middle east, because it had to compete with papyrus. They were higher in western Europe because the only competition was vellum/parchment.

So, without the Arab blockade of the Mediterranean, prices for paper in western Europe would not have been high.

You can tell this because costs of paper in Roman times were low... because trade flowed freely to Egypt. However, costs of paper in Italy during the middle ages was high, because there was no trade to Egypt.

Now, in Greyhawk, there is no Arab blockade. Trade flows freely (with some local exceptions). There is no need for high paper prices due to artificial shortages.

Woodblocks are not costly to make compared to copyists, and there is a really, really good reason to use them instead of copyists: reducing mistakes.

Copyists produced many grammar and subject matter mistakes due to the process. During Carolingian times, this was such a problem that new fonts, grammar, and punctuation were introduced in an effort to reduce copyist mistakes.

Woodblocks, once they're correct, are perfect time and again until the wood is pressed down over time and it has to be created again.

Now for rapidly changing news, I would agree that carving a woodblock over the course of a day to tell the day's news won't happen. But for news that needs to be reproduced exactly, or for holy books, or for items which must not have mistakes, it's a perfect solution.

-- Chris

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 11:46 AM, Kent Goertzen wrote:

Time, effort (woodblock prints for example), and cost (paper really wouldn't be cheap in that period), would really prohibit it.

As far as a setting precedent, Forgotten Realms right before the switch to 4e Chapbooks filtering around Water deep weren't uncommon. But only those who were wealthy were really able to afford to produce them. Not sure what time period you've moved forward to. Living Greyhawk would probably be a 200-400 years behind where Forgotten Realms was in terms of technological advancement. Where FR is closer to 15th-17th century and GH closer to 13th-14th imo.

Kent Goertzen


“Master, you need to have a look at this…”
“I guess there’s some guy in Greyhawk City making them.”
“Couple of months I guess. He’s got this really talented bard doing the illustrations.”
“Yep. There’s a naked tri-fold drawing of your mom on page 17. Apparently Iggwilv made scantily-clad-sorceress of the month. They’re calling her ‘Miss Fireseek’. We’ve seen them pinned-up in every barracks in Furyo-”


Lol, :D

Bing brings you maps, menus, and reviews organized in one place. Try it now.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tracy Johnson
To: greytalk list
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 21:38:30 -0500
Subject: Re: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler
On Mon, 2009-11-23 at 17:34 -0800, Chris Anderson wrote:
> Paper costs are not a problem. They are based on historical western
> European paper costs... so you would think that they are accurate, but
> they're not.

I don't think it matters as far as a Fantasy setting is concerned. The
overuse of magic bypassed the use of paper. I compare this to the
ubiquitous rise of today's Internet. Because of it, the traditional
newspaper is failing, because they cannot find a business model that
will support paper. (Similar to game companies that publish paper are
going under.)

Much in the same way, the all-pervasive use of scrying, seeking,
clairvoyant, clairaudience type of magic doesn't not allow a newspaper
business model to develop, because the opportunity was bypassed.
Besides, there are easier ways to find news in Greyhawk!

As was noticed on by an intern looking over the shoulder of Otiluke in
standing before one of the numerous Palantir's at the Greyhawk school of
magic library:


Tracy Johnson
Old telnet games at


RttKotB review

Subject: [GREYTALK] RttKotB review
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 22:41:50 EDT
From: "Nathan E. Irving>"
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

OK, I didn't want to comment on Return to the Keep on the Borderlands until I'd read it. Here goes.

Overall - 9 out of 10. I think this is a great adventure.

Canon Greyhawk - 2 out of 10. In my recollection, the World of Greyhawk was mentioned five times. One reference to the Sea of Dust, one to the Yeomanry, one to Wee Jas, one to St. Cuthbert, and one to the Lendore Isles. These were far outnumbered by references to Nergal, Erishkigal, Hispis, Apep, Cathos City, etc., etc..

Adventure Hooks & Opportunities (for adventuring above & beyond the scope of the module) - 8 out of 10. Far better than Star Cairns or Crypt of Lyzandred, equal to or slightly better than Doomgrinder.

OK, explanations. It seems as though this adventure was first written for Mystara -- logical, since B2 was a basic D&D adventure, and the basic D&D world became Mystara. This would explain the bhut (a monster), the D'Amberville, and the inclusion of Cathos City (which is purportedly a location in/on Mystara). Conversion to the World of Greyhawk was unquestionably haphazard and poorly done. I'm not sure if this is originally an editing failure or authorial failure, but it certainly should've been
caught by the editor (Duane Maxwell, if people are curious).

The first section of RttKotB is devoted to the Keep on the Borderlands (actually Kendall Keep). My biggest issue with this section, and the history of the Keep, is that the author seems to have confused the "lordless land" of the Yeomanry with a lawless land. Despite that, this is a great "rest & regroup" area for a party of characters. Every NPC is detailed and named (and unlike other listmembers, I had no problem with the names). Most have some kind of background hook or secret that could lead to further adventures for a party of characters that becomes well acquainted with them.

The second section is a rough overview of the wilderness surrounding the Keep, and a number of encounters a wandering band of PCs could have thereabouts. My main problem with this section is carried over from the original module, and that's the close confines of the "wilderness". Many of the encounters are within a mile and a half of the Keep. Having grown up "in the country", I know from experience that a kid can easily cover a mile and a half just for fun, let alone what a ground a serious hunter or scout could cover. the current scale of the map is 1" = 500 yrds; I think 1" = 1 mile is more realistic.

The encounters are varied in nature and tone. Several are potentially fatal to entire parties, others are exercises in roleplaying (and could result in allies for the PCs). The Shy Tower is particularly...interesting. :-)

Finally, the Caves. They've undergone a number of changes in the 20+ years since the original adventure. I won't go into details, but I do believe the adventure hangs together well. While none (or almost none) of the monsters exist in a vacuum, they aren't particularly inclined to come to each other's aid, either, allowing adventurerers to tackle one cave without involving the rest of them. One of the greatest features of this adventure is Rateliff's detailing of the consequences of a party's actions -- if the creatures of Cave X are wiped out, those of Cave Y move in, splitting their forces and affecting the inhabitants of Cave Z.

This is NOT an adventure the PCs can simply walk into and expect to walk out of. Numerous opportunities exist for the death of one or more party members, but none are unreasonable, and nearly all are avoidable with foresight, planning, and quick reactions. The deadliest encounters are mostly confined to one area, allowing PCs the opportunity to run away.

More later...

Re: FW: Ivid the Undying

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] FW: Ivid the Undying
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 23:12:13 -0400
From: The Watcher
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Haile and Fair Greetings All,

Ken writes:
>No No No. Please don't listen to him TSR. I would pay a fortune to
>have the books printed, and the same for the supplements. Yes I like
>the electronic supplements, and they help my game, but I still prefer
>to have the book on my shelf and be able to read it
>with out worrying about the refresh rate on my monitor.

First off, folks, don't lose sight of the fact that I was musing over an effort long expended. I was merely relating in mock exasperation the process I once went through in attempts to see the work to print. It would be marginally naive to think that with all the revision and supplementary materials I managed into the pages of DRAGON, DUNGEON, and to the lists that I should "suddenly" have this idea now, without ever having pursued it. Apart from that, each gamer's views are their own, of course.

>>From Kent:
>> While not every gamer has access to the 'net, I think that MOST do
>(more so every year) And, although I know there are people out there
>who would buy a copy anyhow, I have to say that (speaking strictly for
>myself), you people are just WEIRD. :-)

Fair enough. But let me be the first to break to you that you assumption seems not to be borne out by what information has been available. By comparing the figures of sales (and I don't want to debate the actual figures or how I got them) v. numbers of members on various lists recognized by TSR, there appears to be a quite small segment signed on (a vocal minority, if you will). Certainly, materials are further
disseminated after they are downloaded, but those numbers can only be guessed at -- not even estimated. As it currently stands, the WotC doesn't have evidence to definitively indicate any particular bulk of its consumer base is actively on-line at its doors.

>> Why fork out $40 for a product that is free? Sure, the binding
>might be better (the map of course would be - sorry I didn't do a
>better job - maybe some day I'll do up an Acrobat version), but $40
>for a glued spine and some metallic ink to decorate the
>> borders? I can't see the attraction - it's no more usable (in fact,
>sometimes less so - the upcoming GH modules are listed as "perfect
>bound", which don't look so perfect after you have to nearly crack the
>spine to get them to lay flat).

First of all, the manuscript was not free. Everyone who was involved in it got paid. In fact, it took quite some effort to get the manuscript posted on the TSR site. As well, the product I mused did not contain solely the _Ivid_ manuscript, but additional materials including a "current" update of the region c. 591 CY -- a completely separate work which would eventually be done and distributed at some point, anyway. Think of it as similar to the like of the _Return to..._ series, which includes reproductions of the originals within; only this reproduction will also be properly edited.
Secondly, I find it somewhat short-sighted that one would look upon one's own resources and, upon finding them sufficient, declare the rest may eat cake -- which may be misrepresented here. Kent makes an excellent case for why he should not purchase such a compilation, citing spartan preferences. But, I don't think he means to say that because of any personal indifference to bindings and graphic elements, the art department of gaming companies should be out of work.
Lastly, in his own reverse-psychology way, Kent makes yet another excellent point in that most folks don't know how to actually own/use books. As we all know (we all know, right?), one is not supposed to "crack" the spine of a perfect-bound book as is typical of stitch bindery. What we all know is that with this kind of binding, one should place a straight-edge (a ruler is a good tool) along the gripper line of the spine and fold back the cover and a number of pages at a time along
this line; the process repeated on the other cover, in the reverse direction. This "breaks in" the book properly and preserves the binding. But, I figure everyone already knows this, so forgive me for stating the obvious.

>> I'd much encourage TSR go in the OTHER direction - release their
>supplements and modules electronically - cheaper, faster, and
>customizable to my campaign- I can cut, paste and print up tidbits as
>player information (and stop yanking the books out of the
>> hands of some of my nosier players).

This is a good idea. For those who do not wish to pay the exceptional costs of hard copies -- particularly our oft-out-of-mind brethren beyond the US, where cost are *significantly* higher (!) -- there should be the option of visiting the TSR-online site and purchasing a (possibly) reduced cost electronic copy (sans extraneous graphical elements). This way, those who don't care for the "needless" parts or those where no stores seem ever to have the products have a viable option. For those in Canada and beyond, it's merely a question of exchange rates on the US$ (versus foreign production or distribution, tariffs, etc.).
Of course, this leaves out those who well have the money but prefer not to possess credit cards (like myself). This would include the youthful gamer the industry desires to restore to the ranks of players, but this are reasons enough (along with the computer issues: hardware and access costs, user-illiteracy, etc.), certainly not only the maps, for the hard copy to survive for now.

Soft Winter and Sweet Flowers,

P.S.: Oh, and one more thing. I just took some quotes today on perfect200 +/- pages of 8.5 X 11 sheet in runs under 50 copies. The "median" quote was $150 for set-up and $1.50 per copy bound. Imagine how little per copy it is in runs of thousands.

DMD: The Dragons Rest [Pocket Guide to Verbobonc]

Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 15:56:25 -0400
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: Noel Graham
Subject: [GREYTALK] DMD: The Dragons Rest [Pocket Guide to Verbobonc]
Originally to: greyhawk@MPGN.COM

----Begin forwarded message -----
Subject: Greyhawk's Inns, Taverns, and Shops

As always, this looks a might better dressed up in the bells and whistles of WordPerfect 7.0. I've also had to insert the footnotes [ ] near the text in order for them to translate. “Cariel” is, of course, Cariel Mansharn of the GH MTU, the man responsible for developing the Pocket Guides (as you know from my longbill post); “Sparius Ersitan” is one of Cariel's trusted itinerant merchants whose travels make him quite knowledgeable concerning Verbobonc.
Incidentally, the Yeoman Knight, Sir Bastromel, is NOT a member of a Yeomanry order of knighthood (as I didn't intend they have any), but rather an indication of his espoused origins.


The Dragons Rest

This well-known innhouse stands a brisk walk up from the Bailey Gate. Some of you know it as the Inn of the Sleeping Dragon or Green Meadows Inn, but be assured it's still a place of familiar faces, the lettering now reunited with the signboard.
It's easy to find so locals, who well make up half the taproom business, often meet with travelers here or each other[1]. The draconic tokens which are the inn's heritage draw as many gawkers as earnest guests. On some nights it's difficult to be heard the length of your table and almost impossible to leave it, although overly roisterous patrons are encourages to go elsewhere.

[1]Sparius Ersitan: Nearly any Gent'lman of the Watch this side of the Lords District can direct ye there if ye've trouble finding it.

What to Expect
The Rest is built from creeper-sieged quarry stone and timber with distinctive decklo woodwork: portals, wingswept shutters, scaled shinglry, and the like. Rounded lamps with frosted glaziery are mounted abreast the signboard and entry, whose hinge and band work are vaguely claw-shaped works of aged brass. A fieldstone wall along the inn's rears encloses the Damaris family's semi-private garden.
Inside, lighting is supplied by three candle wheels suspended from the pleasantly high rafters. A large stone hearth a perfect backdrop for tale tellings and minstrels stands opposite the counter (not a bar!). Perched high above the mantle, twinned dragon ribs almost from over an empty hanger that once cradled the mighty battleaxe[2] charged with their capture, long gone.
Alas, the bone-handled tableware and flagons are far between too, so don't come expecting to toss back ales from a hollowed dragon tooth. No doubt a few pieces proved the tales of less valourous men or fueled the magicks of arch-sorcerers. The remainder are now served up so infrequently that curious attentions make them less likely to regrow legs and wander off unseen.

[2][For more information on Toblin's axe, see Appendix II of this guide]

The host, Senan Demaris, is a tall and amicable enough presence in the taproom, unless he's called upon to be otherwise. Patrons have pointed out a collection of tapping mallets he keeps close to hand and remark at his aim, should trouble brew anywhere in the crowd. Take heed those who'd remark too loudly or too often on the similarity to a certain less reputable locale of the Free City[3].

[3]Cariel: While presenting herein, it seems the subject of Senan's familiar surname is rarely delved. Though, given his skill at negotiation and the jawset scowl he received, Sparus could offer only a hasty “M'haps ye should ask of Ricard.” In its stead, he was able to share a curious observation.
Patrons of suspicious airs tend to receive a piece of dragon ware with their drink or meal. Whether those who attempt to strike up conversations do so at Senan's behest, Sparys couldn't say, but the reactions are often telling.

His charming wife, Jessra, oversees the kitchens and the results are more than palatable. Scales branded into fare lists have been affixed to walls about the taproom. A copy has been rendered herein to show its eccentricities. Meals are generously portioned and can be taken there or carried up nearby stairs to lodgings above, as can complimentary pitchers of brandymint water.
Sauces available range from a spicing of crushed peppercorn and herb left to roast in the catch pan and ladled over afore serving to a broth of crushed Keoish firefingers. The latter is best reserved for the strong of constitution.
Together, the proprietors direct a staff of three kitchenfolk, six innhands (who also service the taproom), and two ostlers. This includes their youthful son, Arik, and fostered daughter, Tresea.

The Dragons Platter[4]

For the Feast

Roast Game (basted with spiced wine broth):
Hare 6 cp
Hen 4 cp
Fine Fowl (when available) 9 cp
(your meat and garden choices) 1 sp
Venison (slow simmered in garlic red stock) 2 sp
Roast chops (done to taste):
Mutton (with our crème sauce) 2 sp
Dragon (aged and seasoned) 6 sp
Lairs, Great and Small
Meat and Garden 4 cp 8 cp
Liver and Kidney 3 cp 5 cp
gravyed mild or with piper sauce
Garden and Grains
Three of: hand loaf, greens, tubers, cheese, and sauces for the feast order two-fold as a feast!) 5 cp
Yarpick Loaf 6 cp
Shielf Loaf 8 cp

By Your Command

Soup (garden broth) 2 cp
Soup (meat and garden) 4 cp
Whitebroth Stew
(spiced fish and garden) 3 cp
Grilled Fish and Other Freshwater Fare (from the Velverdyva)
3-10 cp
Kettle Roast (meat, leaks, greenstalks, and red tubers) 7 cp
Eggs, Pan-Freyed (or as you like)
Hen 2 cp
Fine Fowl 5 cp
For the Trail (most items packed cold in decklo leaves) 2 cp

For Merryment
By the Flagon or Globeglass, Also By the Bottle or Hang Keg

Ale (common) 3 cp 12 cp
Stout 7 cp 3 sp
Toblin's Taste 4 cp --
Mead 6 cp 25 cp
Wine & Hard Cyder 1 sp 4 sp
Silaurey 8 cp 3 sp
Gauglathiir 3 gp 21 gp
Brandy (by the quaff):
Galda-fruit 3 sp 2 gp
Keoish 8 sp 8 gp
Ulek Elixir 5 gp 27 gp
Raritys & Exotics 1 gp and up
Sweet Cyder 2 cp 1 sp

[4]Fine fowl is, as ye must know, goose, duck, grouse, quail, or other game bird. The smaller one come spitted in pairs, but can be had of half the cost fer one. Lances are small pikes impaled as ye like, caught in wyrm's breath, to tell, and eaten asizzle. An' while good turn on the inn's fame, to truth a dragon chop means more a maw-size cut of steer – us'aly. Dragon-kin are known to the nearby wilderlands, after all.
Small lairs are pies sized to fit in a full grasp, with the great'ns bein' full-grown pies. Shield Loaf is freyed and battled in frothe wedges of loaf grilled 'til crisp and moist within. Try it at dawnfeast with crème butter and olven sweet sauce.
Toblin's Taste is a bitten but tasty ale p'culiar fer its ruddish cast, guarded recipe, and the practice of serving it fresh from the cold cellar. Mind ye, locals call it Redhand and mark outlanders by that. Of wines there's that olven wintagreen, Greyhawk's cinnamoned Silaurey, and of times Furyondian apple wine, Voll Shamarit, and more. Ask when ye get there.
A quaff is what we'd call a gill. A globeglass is likened to a goblet without the stem. Exotics is, m'haps, Samberra or that baklunish brewed kaffet.

Charges have increased only slightly with the past few moons. A cozy room with twinned beds, wash basin, low table, and stout lock[5] is 7 sp from one suncrest to the next. Each of two “master rooms” adds a small hearth, comfortable chairs, locking trunk, and bathing chamber use – a real luxury for the road weary (and 15 cp for others). These cost 12 sp/day, though both charges vary according to business, if stays at length are arranged, and the like.

[5]Sparus: Afore ye scoff, the Rest may look of just a piled stone, but test yer eye. Thick walls are bane to thieves and spell-throwers, and to here it, the cover-all moss counts to proof ag'inst visits from the ethers. Aye, the Rest offers up safety enough fer its coin.

Fear not a night of tossing due to noise from below. The floors have been cleverly rendered proof against such nuisance. Extra coverlets or bed warming (3 cp) are also available for colder nights.
Bunk space in a common room is 1 sheridan/night and includes a flagon of ale or soup and a handloaf of (day old) bread on the dawnsbreak. Lastly, stall fees are 1 sheridan/day per steed. A green coiled wyrm sigil has long been used to mark linens, furnishings, and oddments against pilferage. For the most recent seasons of visitors, however, this seems only to have increased their value as keepsakes. To curb losses, the sigil-branded platters and hand size paste-wood scales[6] are being offered for purchase at 3 sheridans and 5 (copper) commons, respectively.

[6]The scales bring coin as trinkets and pass on the Rest's fame in the bargain. In Baranford, whole sets were made to talis decks of paint'n their backsides.

Legends & Lore
There's much to tell here. The Rest was constructed on the whim of the Yeomen mercenary, Toblin “Redhand”, after a successful season of dragon hunting in the Gnarley Wood. As the tale goes, Toblin, once known as “Axehand” for his favored weapon, and a band of compatriots took up the hunt and, though reduced in numbers, emerged victorious a sennight later.
Though doubters have tried to cast Toblin's tales as tall indeed, it's hard to argue with proof. Several items, the scales and hide-bound faldstools for starters, have been authenticated through the years by a variety of scholars. It's also clear he wanted for little for the remainder of his days, lending some to conclude Toblin made a secret cache of the dragon's horde.
Once every few seasons he'd make a foray into those forests, taking a different course each time. Noone ever claimed knowledge of his destination and when questioned, he'd only giver a wide grin and say his children would profit from his ventures.
Fortune seekers far afield still flock to the Rest with each new rumor of a lost map[7]. The stay of a Yeoman knight, one Sir Bastromel, a few seasons back started tongues wagging anew. Was he, as some thought, retained as part of a recovery party or the heirs of Toblin's surviving partner, come for his share[8]? Whatever the case, Senan appears disinterested, but is known to have short shrift with gossip-mongers (or mongrels, as he puts it) and those who'd press him on such points.

[7]Senan: Don't you believe any of this. The Freeholders were set upon by a green alright, but it was by mercy of the gods he survived. The attack left him with lasting red splotches and a chronic cough from the beast's fell breath. He built the inn from coin of selling the hide and such. Look to his name, man, his days as a freesword were over!
There's no map nor treasure, though I'm sure he looked ever for it. His profits come from good business sense, tall tales and rumors together.

[8]Sparus: The last tale's gained the widest hold, since the knight report'ly regaled lis'ners with stories, first of being set upon in the Gnarleys by a green and next a fellow trav'ler. Some say this was done to test Damaris' reaction.
That Sir Bastromel awoke to thieves few nights later and was forced to draw steel fer his life...was judged a hap of bad fortune. Now, these same sources crook finger at past tries to name changes as proof the inn had something to hide—and Damaris hadn't found it yet!

Summer will see the expansion of the Rest. Many have wondered aloud at whether this could be from a new-found source of wealth or if the fell of hammer blows will reveal what was once thought lost.

Appendix I:
Folk of Verbobonc
JESSRA DAMARIS (CG hf P0; DEX 14, WIS 13, CHA 13). Brown-flecked bright blue eyes and a slim build mark her ancestry to Toblin and his half-elven lady companion. Jessra is patient (lending calm to Senan), caring, but not easily fooled. Her quiet reverence of Hanali Celanil seems reflected in the vitality of her gardens and family. One of a collection of dragon bone figurines is of the Power, to which she makes offerings of fresh-made potpourri.

SENAN DAMARIS (NG hm F3; DEX 16, CHA 12). Senan is 6', 200 lbs. Or so, and patronly for his 41 winters; has brown eyes, hair, and thick sidebars, the latter two now streaking with gray. He's a thoughtful and pragmatic man whose obvious concerns are his family and the prosperity of the Rest. Of course, if beset, his temper is quick and hot (and +2 to hit with mallets in the taproom), the result of recurring incidents connected with the inn's fame.

TRESEA is a quick-witted lass of some sixteen winters with short-bobbed sandy hair. From her years prior to the Damaris family she learned to tread softly and conceal her presence. Tresea's since stolen a lesson or two at the blade, from which it's clear there's warrior spirit in her. She's also heard her share of tales while working the taproom and is slowly growing infatuated with the wandering life.

Appendix II:
Pars Arcanum

Magical Items
Toblin's Axe
While this battleaxe predates Toblin, its origins and true name have been lost. The axe bears a +1 enchantment, emits a flickering light (equal to torchlight) which seems to arc like heat lightning throught the head when so willed, and can discharge a 6d6 lightning bolt upon utterance of an unknown command word, twice per month. Its present whereabouts is uncertain, but one story puts it in the possession of a Pomarj orog chieftain.
----End forwarded message-----

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Re: Infamy of Iuz (was 20 most well - known deities.)

Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 14:57:45 -0800
From: Marc Tizoc Gonzalez
Subject: Re: Infamy of Iuz (was 20 most well - known deities.)

MM invited:
> I would actually like my argument refuted here. Please reason well

IMC, the peasants of and low-level PCs in northwestern Furyondy referred to the leader of Iuz as the Old One. For the peasants, this being had ruled the lands beyond the Whyestil since before their grandparents' youth. For the PCs, this was the name that they were taught. Iuz was the name of the land that the Old One ruled. After a couple of levels, when a fool-hardy set of the PCs attempted to infiltrate the armies massing across the Veng river (in early 583 CY), then they learned from a particularly vicious man that he was a priest of the _god_, Iuz the Old. The PCs did _not_ know that Iuz was the Old One or a god before they listened to that priest's diatribe. IMO, Such specificity of information represents special knowledge.

Before the Invasion of Iuz, most Furyondians, Rovers of the Barrens, Shield Landers, or Wolf Nomads had heard that something named the Old One had once ruled the land called bounded by Whyestil Lake and the Howling Hills. Yet even by 576 CY, the fact that this Old One was the demonic "god" Iuz was _not_ popular knowledge. (Some folk tales from the beginning of the sixth Common century may have even included both characters in the same story.) It took the efforts of heroes in the service of the Wise to learn this secret, and the knowledge that Iuz was a cambion of Grazz'zt (sp?) and the witch-queen Igwiilv was known by even fewer people, such as the Circle of Eight or the individuals responsible for the sundering of the Old One's
imprisonment. We should remember that Iuz was only freed in 570 CY, so even by the eve of the GH Wars (582 CY), there are only a dozen years for the infamy of Iuz to be spread. The Flanaess lacks the Internet!

Of course, some people in the CoG learned about the power and identity of Iuz just before the war due to the activity of his Spurned Cult, but even in the Gem of the Flanaess, this knowledge is not known by every last beggar, bard, or apprentice.

The post-war situation is drastically different. At every Godsday sermon the churches of Heironeous, Mayaheine, St. Cuthbert, and Trithereon harangue against that powerful demonic despot of the north, Iuz. These declamations are especially intense just before (and during) the Great Northern Crusade. This is partially due to the subtle influence (strategy) of the churches of Rao and Delleb (or the Church of Voll), which decided that the public naming of Iuz (the Old) as a powerful demon was important to limit his power and the hysterical fear that his name could cause.

Similarly, the shamans of the Rovers or Wolf Nomads have named Iuz a powerful demon, one of a long line of bestial gods that dominate the legends of the north (a la Rip Van Wormer's Madlander gods). Of course, if we obey canon, then the remnant of Rovers may well believe that Iuz represents their teleology.

In the Empire of Iuz, the clergy have constantly proselytized the power of their god. Thus by 591 CY even on the eastern periphery of the empire, in the Bandit Kingdoms or occupied Tenha, almost everyone has repeatedly heard that Iuz the Old is a demon-god walking the Flanaess and seated at his throne in Dorakaa and seen demonstrations of the god's brutal power.

His priests have had at least twenty-one years since his freedom to establish their churches and cults. I say "at least" because I wonder whether there were priests devoted to Iuz during his imprisonment, such as High Priests Patch or Althea. When did he become a true demi-god? Was the faith of some cult partially responsible for his apotheosis? Did their sacrifices penetrate the demon-dreams of the Old One's imprisonment?

Marc Tizoc

RE: Greyhawk Grumblers (was Re: Details of City of greyhawk in the 590s?)

RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumblers (was Re: Details of City of greyhawk in the 590s?)Friday, November 13, 2009 2:03 PM
From: "CJ MacLean" Add sender to Contacts
To: "'greytalk'"

Here it is pg.70 Greyhawk Gem of the Flanaess

" But the bards serve a serious role as well, particularly in chronicling the day-to day life, and the grander historical march, of the Free City and its people."

I win!


From: []
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 10:49 AM
To: greytalk
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumblers (was Re: Details of City of greyhawk in the 590s?)

What do you mean previously written, I see nothing previously written that says Greyhawk wouldn't have a new paper, and I know of no evidence of an army of bards roaming the city either as for town criers we do know they are in the city. If there is a reference some where that states there no possibility of a news sheet with all the scribes they have and magic users I will believe you. have to reread my gord the rogue books and see if there is a reference in them

Gygax is to Gaming What Kirby was to comics
Alas poor Elric I was a thousand times more evil then you
WWBYD What would Brigham Young do

Monday, November 16, 2009

Re: "Of Iuz and the Northern Reaches"

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] "Of Iuz and the Northern Reaches"
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 08:04:40 EDT
From: "Gary L. Holian"
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

>On Tue, 22 Jun 1999, Gary R Welsh wrote:
>> I tend to agree that a blunder was made with regards to Iuz and the date of his rise....though it was an easy one to make since it didn't appear to contradict any other historical facts. Clearly
>> the year 479 CY was meant to be the date in which he expanded his empire, not the year he came onto the scene in the first place.
>Yep. That's what I thought too. And of your scenarios for the dating of Iuz' realm, I think only (1) is possible. According to S4, Iggwilv began her campaign of conquest "nearly a century ago," and subjugated the Marches of Perrenland for a decade (S4, p. 2). That would mean she
>disappeared at 486 at the absolute earliest -- probably later -- in any case after 479. That rules out scenario (2).

Ah, well that depends on numerous assumptions which are not clear cut:
1) The dating of the module S4
2) The dating of the WoG Guide (83)
3) The vagaries of history, and terms such as "nearly a century".

A common misconception about the booklets of the 83 boxed set is that their contents are generally dated to the year 576 CY, the year they were completed by the Savant-Sage in the Free City of Greyhawk. However, its apparent that they are only current to the year 573 CY...and while the sage completed the seven volume set 3 years later, the material is not current to that date, but only to the year of the disappearance of the Prince of Furyondy and the emergence of the Scarlet Brotherhood.
This is not uncommon in histories, where there is a lag between what is current and when it is published.

S4 could have been set anytime in the 570's, realistically speaking, though we know it must have predated the events in Isle of the Ape which are generally dated somewhere between 576-579. Using all of this leeway, its possible to contruct a history whereby Iggwilv's empire fell and Iuz emerged in the north nearly simultaneously. However, I agree that scenario 1) is far more likely since we know that Iggwilv's magic was instrumental in Iuz's rise. It was probably the intention of Iggwilv and Iuz to expand their realm, and with the witch's magic, the cambion emerged from the Howling Hills a force and took Dorakaa. Apparently, they had some falling out and Graz'zt was loosed, forcing Iggwilv into a battle which reduced her powers dramatically, banished the Demon Lord for a century, and ended her

>> I think it is pretty obvious that his name is due in no small part to his decrepit
>> appearance whilst
Of course, people might call him old because he *looks* old. But I think that he really *is* old -- ancient even. I gave the reasons in an earlier post (i.e. the quotes from the Guide and AoE which clearly establish Iuz as "centuries old").

Well, we don't know how old...but we do know that he looks old, ancient even. I sympathize with your desire to restore Iuz to his original depiction, but I think if we're going to be Monatic* about things, we're stuck with the fact that he didn't rule in the north for centuries, whatever his true age...and quotes from the guide notwithstanding (the puffery of an old sage. ;-) Clearly, it was not known why Iuz pulled back in 505 CY and the fact that the land was ruled in his name by a proto-Bonehart is not distinguishable, his evil festered (indeed his Spurned Cult received power and spread across the Flanaess over the intervening decades.) There only appeared to be an ebb in the expansion of his empire, which resumed anew when the master was back in residence. To assert he only ruled 32 years would be a quibble without teeth, since his status wouldn't have been commonly known...roads were still being paved in skulls apace.

*Monaism asserts the primacy of canon and exhorts its practioners to find the most consistent and ingenious method to satisfy all sources. Not to be coonfused with "Hep Monatics", sufferers of a rare jungle disease involving burrowing insects.


Re: Of Iuz and [Castle Greyhawk]

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Of Iuz and [Castle Greyhawk]
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 12:57:31 -0700
From: Chris Anderson
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Hmmm... I envision them differently. To me, the Soul Husks are a method of drawing off power from a set of individuals that is used to elevate Iuz to Lesser God status. Something like a set of batteries that super-charges him.

I also have thought about the connection between what Zagyg did, and the Soul Husks. It strikes me that Iuz learned, through personal experience in Castle Greyhawk, a method of short-circuiting the usual "gain worshippers and power" method of ascending from demi-god to Lesser God.

I've decided that Zagyg used the demi-gods as "filters" for power that he poured into them from elsewhere, and that without those filters, his mortal body would have been destroyed in his attempt to gain demi-god status. With the filters, he was able to power up safely. Acting as "filters" also powered up many of the 9 demi-gods to lesser god status.

Having said that, I am divided on whether or not Iuz has to replace his batteries periodically (implying a continuous feed of power from the Husks, which has a further implication of gradual decay if they are not replaced regularly), or whether the initial magic which powered him is now embedded within him. I sort of like the idea of him having to guard the Soul Husks because if they were "disturbed" his stolen power would flow back into them. As I've said, I'm torn.

IMC, I've left rumors of powerful individuals disappearing from time to time. Just in case I go that way.

Chris Anderson

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Casper [mailto:scvolstagg@NETSCAPE.NET]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 12:33 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Of Iuz and [Castle Greyhawk]
> Hi again!
> Eric Van wrote:
> >While I already knew this part, have you figured out how this translates to the secret of the Soul Husks Caverns in Iuz the Evil?
> Hmm...maybe you should talk to Noel "Worships Sargent" Graham about that. I don't own half of Carl Sargent's material for GREYHAWK, and take the other half with a
> spoonful of salt. I would guess, however, that the Soul Husk is an "anchor" that connects the half-demon Iuz to the Prime Material Plane so Dispel Evil and the like
> won't work on him. I don't think it has to do with his ascension to godhood.
> >Also, do you use all the rules for demigods found in Legends and Lore for Iuz?
> The '83 boxed set gave demi-gods even more special abilities than Deities & Demigods did. I don't see why Iuz wouldn't get them all.
> Scott "Volstagg" Casper
> Yak-Men think soul husks taste like chicken...

DMD: Witchfire stones

Date sent: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 17:29:22 -0700
Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List
From: Chris Anderson
Subject: [GREYTALK] DMD: Witchfire stones

Since I've seen some posts on the Ghost Tower of Iverness, I thought that I would post my material on the “witchfire stones”. These are a set of artifacts which I designed that include the Soul Gem. It was my intent to make the Soul Gem part of a group of artifacts, rather than existing by itself.

In my campaign, the party managed to recover three of these gems before internal tensions (caused by the gems) tore them apart. These were created early in my career as a DM, so you'll notice that they are a bit unpolished... :-)

My standard disclaimer:

I specifically forbid the WoGFC, or any of its members, to use this material in any of their publications. The rest of you are free to use it in any manner that you see fit, as long as you maintain a reference to the author.

The Witchfire Stones

The Witchfire Stones were first created during the time of the Suloise Empire. At least five of the seven known stones were enchanted during that time. Most accounts agree that many wizards were involved in their creation and design, although at least two were created after the Rain of Colorless Fire by Galap-Dreidel and Vecna. It is unknown whether they independently reinvented the concept, worked from written descriptions, or had a stone to copy.

After the Rain of Colorless Fire, the stones were lost and nearly forgotten. Certain tomes mention them in passing, so it is possible that they resurfaced during the long years following the fall of the Suloise Empire. There are rumors that the Soul Gem has resurfaced recently in the County of Urnst, but this has not been proven.

Common Powers

The Witchfire Stones all have the same common properties:

User gains 25% magic resistance while the stone is on their person
Two stones, acting in concert, can create a permanent “gate” between them
User can use any of the stone's powers through a crystal ball
User becomes more and more protective f the item (see DMG for details)

Each stone has an alignment, and will attempt to change the users alignment to match. This is determined by checking the stone's ego against that of the players, just as an intelligent sword. Each failed check will move the players alignment one step closer to that of the stone.

In addition, all of them can be affected by the following:

Any stone can be rendered inactive for 1-4 weeks by a successful Dispel Magic vs. 25th level magic. During this time, they cannot be used.

All powers operate at 25th level unless otherwise noted.

The Hearth Stone (Red)

Location: Depths of the Nyr Dyv (in Vecna's castle)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Ego: 22

This pulsating fiery red gem is uncut, and exceedingly beautiful. It is the size of a large mans fist. It's radiance extends 30' at all times.

It's powers are:
[insert missing page]
User does not age
Cast a Timestop which lasts 2 rounds 1/day
Cast a Temporal Stasis 1/week
Charm (-4 on saving throws) at will

Those who spend time in the radiance of the gem, who are not the user, will age 10 times as quickly. Any magic item which slows or erases aging will be destroyed if taken into the radiance of the gem (potions of longevity, etc.) Any effect which induces aging (a ghost, for example) will have 10 times the effectiveness.

The Heartstone can only be destroyed by throwing it into the flames of an arising Phoenix.

The Twister (Green)

Location: The Suloise City in the Suss Forest
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Ego: 20

This cut, glowing, green gem is about one foot across by two feet long. It is cut in the fashion of a rectangular, beveled, plate. It’s powers are:

Polymorph Self at will
Dispel Magic at will
Polymorph Others 3/day
Shape Change 1/day

All those inimical to the jewel must save vs magic each round spent in its radiance or be inflicted with with a random lycanthropy. Is someone already infected with lycanthropy fails their saving throw, then they fall under the command of the user of the jewel for 1-3 days.

The jewel may only be destroyed by being bathed in the life blood of a *willing* sacrifice.

Mindfire Gem (Amber)
Location: Somewhere in the Sea of Dust
Alignment: Neutral Good
Ego: 25

This stone is an uncut gem about 2” in diameter which glows with a restful amber light. The last records of it indicate that it was set into the pommel of a magical bastard sword. It's powers are:

The stone confers psionics (150 ps) to any who claim it, along with two major, and four minor disciplines. If the bearer already has psionics it adds 150 to their current strength and gives an extra major and minor discipline. All psionics are performed at a level of mastery 4 levels higher than normal (ie if someone who did not have psionics previously claims this gem, they will be granted psionics at 1st level. While using the gem, they will perform all psionics at 5th level. Should they not be in possession of the gem, their psionics will revert back to 1st level)

The Mindfire Gem may only be destroyed by casting it into the River Lethe.

The SeaStone (Blue)

Location: The Hold of the Sea Princes
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Ego: 24

This glowing blue sphere is about 6” in diameter. It is uncut and unusually heavy – at least 50-60 pounds. It's current owner has set it into the center of a heavy table so that the upper half of it extends above the surface of the table. It's powers are:

No creature of the sea may harm the bearer
Water Breathing, on command, which lasts for 1 week
Weather Summoning 3/day
Charm Sea Creature (-4 to saving throw) 1/turn
Calms the sea on command in a one mile radius

Those who spend much time in the glow of the stone will gradually be changed into a deathless merman. Once the change is complete, the merman will fall under the command of the owner of the stone. Once the owner changes, he/she will immediately take the stone and disappear into the nearest ocean, there to hide and guard the stone.

It can only be destroyed by casting it into the Elemental Plane of Fire.

The BaneStone (Yellow)

Location: Somewhere in the Great Kingdom
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Ego: 20

This stone is about 3” across, and is uncut. It glows with a soft yellow light, which prickles on the skin. Ancient records are unclear, but it was apparently set into something, possibly a necklace or the end of a staff. It's powers are:

Bestow Curse at will
Know Alignment
Cause Serious Wounds on touch
Finger of Death 1/day
“Decree” 1/year

All who are bathed in it's rays cannot be healed by any magical means. All wounds caused in its presence cannot be healed by magic, and heal at the rate of 1hp per week. The user is subject to “withering” (as a staff of withering, on a random extremity) each time the “Decree” is used. The BaneStone can only be destroyed by the direct touch of Pelor.

(DM's Note: A “Decree” is an 11th level spell similar to a wish, but of more powerful nature. This is a spell developed by the Suloise, that can only be used by a Suloise Mage of Power).

Re: Greyhawk Grumbler

Re: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler
Monday, November 16, 2009 10:37 AM
From: "Chris Anderson"
To: "Mark Carscadden" Cc: "greytalk"

Just so we're clear... the first printing presses were simply weights pressing wood block type down onto paper. I think that's well within Greyhawk's technical base.

Later on, the screw was introduced... so that you could screw a flat plate down against the woodblock, against the paper.

-- Chris

On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Mark Carscadden wrote:

I think a printing press is something that would be a better fit in the FR setting, IMO. Gygax would have certainly at least briefly mentioned something as significant as a printing press if it existed in his setting. But as always, that's the way it will be in MY Greyhawk campaign...
----- Original Message -----
From: Wade Nolen
To: 'greytalk'
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 1:36 PM
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

Insisting that the print run of the Grumbler is more than the population of the Free City of Greyhawk itself is the utmost sheer folly.

And beyond that … the “single guy” is doing the same thing in CoGH … no one said that these things are everywhere. No one said that there are more than just the Grumbler (although we know that there are two.) This is a localized thing, specific to Greyhawk City, and what’s more, there’s nothing (of which I am aware, other than the author’s post-script here) that it’s not wood-block printing, or something other than the “mechanized” stuff that you insist on. There were printing presses long before Industrialization or the Mechanized era.

Wade K. Nolen
aka "Icarus "

I'm off to gallivant among the clouds!
" ... and he did fly, and he was seen on the wings of the wind."

From: CJ MacLean []
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 2:57 PM
To: 'greytalk'
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

I'm not talking about a single guy with bits of clay producing 20 copies of something. I am talking about the level of mechanization society has to have for a press run of 5000-30,000 (or more).

From: Vest III, Robert W []
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 1:15 PM
To: 'greytalk'
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Grumbler

There is actually a canonical precedent for having printing presses in the Flanaess. See the Age of Worms backdrop article on Alhaster (Dungeon 131), which mentions an underground broadsheet in Alhaster called The Sinchaser Report.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Re: "Of Iuz and the Northern Reaches" (HSNR)

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] "Of Iuz and the Northern Reaches" (HSNR)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 12:28:07 -0400
From: Stéphane Tanguay

Hi all !

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Gary L. Holian

What does (HSNR) stand for ?

>Two notable exceptions, are the portions which later came together as the cantons of Perrenland (in 400 CY), and the Archbarony of Blackmoor (which apparently was so cut-off from the rest of the
>Flanaess that when the revolutions sundered the Great Kingdom, it was largely forgotten.) Fred Weining (Psychlops) has an interesting aside in his Blackmoor piece in the Oerth Journal which comments how
>the land eventually disappeared from imperial maps.

Is it from Psychlops's work that you got the info that put Blackmoor under Dyvers "supervision" at a time or is there a canon source somewhere that I've missed? Others (Gary R. Welsh) have the Archbarony at odds with Iuz.


>Remember that what is considered the Horned Society now, was simply a part of the loose collection of largely flannish bandit realms we now refer to as the Bandit Kingdoms, indistinguishable from the
>rest. Iuz swept threw those bandit kingdoms between the Veng and Ritensa (sometime between 479 and 505 CY) taking Molag (where the Heirarchs picked up the pieces during his absence.)

It is the second or third time that I see mentions of this invasion of the HS by Iuz at some point in the past but again, I can't find the canon source for this.

I always tought the Horned Society was a loose collection of largely humanoid territories that was organized by some bandits lords (Hierarchs) only after Iuz disappearance.

>1) Iuz made his move during his mother's reign to the southwest. This could have been part of a plan to strike in two parts of the "Northern Reaches", then unify the realm by decimating
> the Highfolk between them while Furyondy was distracted by events in the south. He would have had direct assisstance from her in pulling off his plan, which fell through when Graz'zt
> was loosed and he was on his own. Apparently, he also had some falling out with Iggwilv.

I would go with this option. It would be consistent with what can be found in Rot8. I kind of like seing Iuz and his mother "help" each other. I now just have to find a reason why Iuz appeared to have been adopted as an infant by a flan chieftain while there is many signs he should be older at that time (479 CY). Just a disguise ? Trying to hide his demonic features ? Was it a way to keep an eye on his lands while being away helping mom ?

For myself, I'd like to have Iuz being born around 213 CY, adventuring here and there for a while (notably in the Thillorian peninsula), acquiring some of his knowledge as a cleric and assassin (thanks to Gary R. Welsh for most of these ideas) then come back around Whyestyl Lake and start to build his own fief (circa 300 CY). For years, he battle against the northern nomads and other minor desposts, both Flans and Oeridians. Not able to accomplish much, he renew contact with his mother and agree to leave his fief for a while (circa 470 CY), to make himself forgotten. He help his mother in her research. In 475 CY, Iggwilv have him disguise his demonic features as an infant and be adopted by his "father". He is able to observe his future opponents while waiting for his mother to acquire sufficient powers to help him. This happens in 479 CY. Iuz's "father" is then put to death and Iuz reveal itself, with a lot of new powers.

Here's a rough timeline, based on many sources amongst which Gary R. Welsh and Paul Stormberg post have played an important role in shaping my ideas. I hae incorporated Drelzna and Graz'zt into it, as they are somewhat indissociable:

213 Iuz is born. Age of Great Sorrows begin.
230 Iuz start his adventuring career
300 Iuz start to build his own fief around the Howling Hills
460 Iggwilv consorts with several Perrenland Flan chieftans
462 Iggwilv found the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
465 Drelnza is born
466 Graz'zt is captured by Iggwilv
467 Iggwilv renew contact with her son and begin concocting a plan to conquer the Northen Reaches
470 Iuz "disappear" from his fief.
475 Iuz, disguised as an infant, is adopted by a Flan chieftain of the Howling Hills
479 Iuz's "father" died. With help from Iggwilv's magic, Iuz's might grow. Perrenland and Furyondy attention's are turned toward Iuz, failing to see Iggwilv preparations.
480 Iggwilv embark on her conquest of Perrenland. Drelnza serves as General of Iggwilv's forces.
481 Perrenland is conquered
491 Graz'zt tricks Drenlza into freeing him. In the ensuing battle, Drelnza is killed, Graz'zt is forced to flee to the Abyss for a century and Iggwilv is stricken. The empire of Iggwilv collapse. With her remaining power she hide her treasures in the Lost caverns. Drenlza is interred with these and Iggwilv, who had both pity and hatred for her, kept her from both death and life.

Also note:
591 Graz'zt is free to leave the Abyss

I really like Gary R. Welsh's suggestion of having Iuz be reared and adventuring in the northen barrens. It does explain how he acquire a lot of his knowledge, how later he was able to put up this Vatun construction, how he acquire his soul husks, etc. It also give us opportunities to have him meet with some others luminaries of Greyhawk. Such a background for Iuz seem quite greyhawkish to me.

>but by his disappearnce in 505 CY, he was already being treated as a god by his followers.

Did he ? I tought he became a demi-god while being kept captive under Greyhawk Castle (although how can this be possibly happening is beyond me).


Stéphane Tanguay

Re: The Isles of Woe

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] The Isles of Woe
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 21:35:46 -0400
From: "d.k. tetreault"
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

On Mon, 21 Jun 1999, Scott Casper wrote:

> Denis "Maldin" Treteault wrote us a lovely story about the Isles of Woe this morning.

Why, thank you. ;-)

> It is quite clear that both the Isles,

For those not on the "other" GH list, my post was in reply to a query for information on the subject from Sir Clarence, and not spontaneous.

> and Keldreth's safety, are important to him.

Not really. ;-) I just used Roger's mention of Keldreth in GH:TAB as a way to poke a little fun at all the flamewars that Kel seems to be invariably embroiled in. ;-)

> Why does it necessarily follow that Yagrax couldn't have constructed something that led to the destruction of his kingdom? This seems entirely consistent with how powerful magic works, as anyone who's had their flesh or clay golems turn on them can attest.

The 1st Edition DMG states clearly that Yagrax "discovered" the tome, and hence it existed prior to that time. I was just searching for a story-telling way to say it, rather than "the DMG says....bla bla". I DO agree with you that arcane creations do get away from their creators in a variety of possible ways... its just not the case in this example. As a wizard himself, perhaps Maldin "chooses" to believe that this almost never happens. ;-) [Yes... Maldin has had "accidents" before! ;-)]

> And when will you reveal your reasoning for this? Do you assume Vecna's tower must be further west to be closer to Tovag-Baragu (sp?)? Perhaps you underestimate the size of Vecna's empire.

Ah, well.... That would not be me. Tovag was a tool he used in Vecna Lives, but as far as I am concerned he has no birthright to or natural affinity with Tovag. Its my own personal belief (from the majority of info available from Vecna Lives) that his empire was centered in, and should be limited to, the Sheldomar Valley. Your mileage may vary. And please...people DON'T have to point out that all the info can be taken different ways depending on which conflicting lines you choose to believe. One thing IS certain.... there is nothing (other than GH:TAB) that even suggests Vecna had ANY relationship to the Isles of Woe.

As for the line about "other research", I had a two-fold purpose. One was to poke a little fun at the numerous lively discussions we've all had in the past about Vecna's details. The other is something that I (Denis) REALLY can't reveal just at this time because of other promises. But stay tuned! Suffice it to say that some mysteries will be resolved once and for all. ;-) Ok... I'm teasing just a bit. ;-)

> You also curiously failed to mention that the Isle of Woe sank because it lacked proper canals...

Strange, that. ;-) Don't know HOW that could have happened.

> Yak-Men -- building the canals to a better future.

Everyone knows that if the Yakmen were to be given stewardship of the canals, they would quickly fill them up with yakturds.

Re: Humanoids in Greyhawk

Priority: Normal
Date sent: Sun, 19 Oct 1997 21:16:22 -0400
Send reply to: Keith Horsfield
From: Keith Horsfield
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Humanoids in Greyhawk
Originally to: “”

Hi Roger,

I hope you don't mind me sharing this with the GreyTalk list.

>The comments in the 1980 gaz don't rule out humanoids in the Flanaess,

Well, when parsing 17 year old text meant for gaming purposes and not scholarly research (though some of us go that far) nothing is ever ruled out.

>It is logical that they were there, causing trouble for the Flannae
>and demihumans.

It may be logical in the 'normal' fantasy world, but given several factors I plan on viewing it differently.

1) The Flannae racial make-up just does not strike me as one that has had to deal with much physical strife prior to the migrations. They were easily subjugated (or pushed aside) by the influx of the oerdians and the suel not to mention the warring bands of humanoids.
2) The passages that I mentioned earlier just strike me almost superfluous if there were humanoids already present in the Flanaess east of the mountains (see below). The timeline though sparse makes a point that humanoids were used as mercenaries. Why? This can go without saying unless there was some other import. The passages then emphasize that the humanoids drive the oeridians forward into the Flanaess and then that the hordes fragmented. This implies that the hordes spread out and populated the Flanaess. The only word not used in conjunction with this movement of hordes of humanoids is 'migration'.

FWIW, I'm actually thinking of running a campaign on the following premise:

Timeframe: Prior to the Oeridian, Suel and humanoid migrations. Probably well before, like -5 FT.

Setting: It will be a rather idyllic setting with no humanoids. Faerie/sylvan folk oriented with a heavy accent on celtic myth and the sidhe. The Flannae will either be in their own bronze or iron age.

Conflict: Elf vs. Flannae (man)

Premise: The Flannae were not always such a peaceful nature loving folk and could have repulsed the migrations of the Oeridians, Suloise and humanoids if only they had not been totally subjugated by the elves in a long forgotten war which decimated the Flannae civilization and forced them into a culture of small tribes/clans.

Consequences: Why is there no remaining animosity between the elves and Flannae?

1) This was happened in the far distant past. The very fact it happened prior to the migrations puts it 1,000 years ago. If we were to use this war as the starting date for Flannae calendar we are now talking almost 3,000 years ago. Elves may remember the war and the consequences, but not mere mortal humans.
2) The positives that came out of the subjugation by the elves.

Initially, resistance would be high. But over time the culture of the [missing word?] relation on how to live with the world around the flannae (I.e. nature) take the sting out of losing. Over time as the Flannae adapt the the cultural morals of the elves to their own system of beliefs, history would be rewritten. Here is the beginnings of the 'Old Faith.' With such a [missing word] and the new ethics within the flan culture, harboring animosity towards their own saviors (though this part would probably be forgotten and rewritten so that someone of their own kind came up with the idea) would be counterproductive to their new way of life.

>There just happened to be a lot of them in the Yatils/Barrier
>peaks/Crystalmists chain, and they were suitable for mercenary work if
>you weren't picky. However, they were more trouble than they were
>worth in the long run.

Granted. I was overreaching in my arguments and now have revised them so that humanoid populations were no further east than the barrier mountains (I use this term to include the Yatils, Barrier Peaks, Crystalmists and Hellfurnaces). Why no further east? Those darn pesky demi-humans knew a good thing when they saw it and did their utmost to guard the barrier mountains from incursions.

>I think the Oeridians originally lived around Ull, but abandoned it
>due to pressure from humanoid armies of the Baklunish. The Oeridians
>probably didn't get along with the Baklunish, either.

Hmm, not satisfied here. I understand when looking at the migration pictures in the published material that the oeridians are shown as starting from an area around Ull. But, the closest country with any oeridian blood in it is Ket (see Ref Card #2 FtA) and Ket is along the migration route of the oeridians. I envisioned the Oeridians moving through the Dry Steppes from somewhere to the west. Reasoning. The Dry Stepps prior to the Invoked Devastation were populated by Baklunish and Horse Barbarians. Placing the oeridians in a geographical position surrounded by the baklunish would only make them a subculture of the Baklunish. Something I think we can both agree that they are not.

Also, the relative newness of the oeridian calendar, i.e. 260 OR when the Baklunish-Suloise wars begins, implies that some major event happened relatively recently (when compared to the other human cultures). One theory could be the beginning of the actual oeridian migration from points farther west due to their own catastrophe.

Oeridians of that time period, the Baklunish-Suloise wars and migrations, were also said to have very powerful magics. Yet when we talk about the areas just west of the barrier mountains and look at the published material invariably we are only dealing with either ancient Suloise or Baklunish cultures. This says to me that the oeridians came from farther west.

Lastly, I would like to thank you for your response to this and feedback I've been sending. I know my feedback has been quite blunt at times, but I will strive to offer solutions to any criticisms I may have least well thought out reasoning why my opinion differs.

Keith Horsfield
Member Team OS/2
“To a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
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