Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fate of Istus

Subject: [GREYTALK] Fate of Istus
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 17:39:57 EDT
From: Tamerlain@AOL.COM

Patrice writes:

>>Greyhawk the Adventure begins page 3 seems to say it is set between 578 and 582.>>

Paul writes:

>>Sages and savants -
Although I don't have an answer to Creighton's answer, I do have another question. I once saw a glancing reference to FoI as "non-canon" or no longer canon. Is this true, and why?>>

Rainer writes:

>>But the Scarlet Brotherhood adventure inside (the final one, where all the monks leave Oerth) sets it in 576 CY.>>

Lisa writes:

>>Actually, what I said was that some parts of it weren't considered canon.
For instance, the existence of Kara Tur since that was moved to the Realms. So,
at best, you should take stuff within FoI with a grain of salt.>>

(See explanation of this below---Steve)

Paul and all (except Lisa, who already knows all of this!),

At the Greyhawk Summit 98, Team Greyhawk decided that the Fate of Istus was only partially canon (actually, we had talked about this off and on for a while prior to the Summit).

The rationale goes as follows: 1) The new Greyhawk would act as if monks and assassins did *not* disappear (and they didn't disappear in many home campaigns anyway), and Scarlet Brotherhood Monks are not Oriental Monks, therefore the sections in FoI about the Kara Tur monks et al do not apply, 2) Some dates given in the FoI cause potential problems with dates presented in other products...fixes for these have to be made, or the FoI dates should be ignored where these conflicts exist, 3) Some things, like the Istus' plague very well could have happened without disrupting the rest of the setting (the date for this isn't set, but anywhere from 576 to 582 with no trouble.), 4) Some dated historical events are fine and do not conflict with other events in Greyhawk canon (such as the brief siege of Junre by goblins and orcs in the Hateful Wars 9253 [25])

In case 1) nothing is considered canon, in case 2) only some things are considered canon, after work, in case 3) the event is canon, but no date is attached (Roger was functioning within this framework for assigning the dates for FoI in The Adventure Begins), and in case 4) all are canon.

Because of these reasons, Team Greyhawk has a very flexible attitude about FoI as one might imagine (Sean cursed it once within the last two months, even as I was trying to provide rationale for some of its dates. Erik and Roger were generally just laughing...and then they started trying to sort the mess out for the particular dates we were working on... ;)

I'd suggest the following if you want to include the 576 date for FoI:

576-582 CY---Events in the adventure Fates of Istus 9577 [3]

576 CY---Passing of the "Millennium" date predicted by Huro for the Scarlet
Brotherhood, Millennialist Party begins to decline (6091 SD)
Note: See c 490's 11374 [17], 9253 [110]
---Scarlet Brotherhood discovers Weeping Hexagram (6091 SD) 11374
---beginning of the plague of Istus (although this could go
anywhere between 576 and 582.) (based on 9253 [110], modified by 9577 [3])
Note: this date assignment is not *canon* just my suggestion.

581 CY--- Band of mercenaries penetrate defenses of the Hidden City of the Scarlet Brotherhood (Hesuel Ilshar), and steal an Weeping Hexagram (6096 SD) 11374 [5, 86] NOTE: This event could well easily be modified to be the party of adventurers from FoI (9253), primarily, while the Weeping Hexagram might still have been destroyed, don't automatically assume that the party was as per 11374 [5].

(Compiled dates from the GreyChrondex)

If an early date is assigned to the plague, and the character party is assumed to be the 581 CY bunch that steals the Weeping Hexagram, it is possible to stretch the events of the FoI out over several years, and have the plague act as one of the major pre-cursor event to the Wars.

For campaigns that have used FoI and already have it "set" in time, it would be easy enough to say that parties that successfully got to Hesuel Ilshar and left (alive) were the party that stole the Weeping Hexagram (and move that date if necessary).

This is "retro-fixing" but it does make FoI fit better. To keep the annoying "upgrade" tendencies of FoI out, just work out new rewards/punishments for characters at the end of each chapter that changes the class to 2nd ed. The adventures in FoI aren't bad, and the city descriptions are nice to have, but having the whole thing drive a change to 2nd ed was a poor "setting" decision (even if it might've been a wise marketing one). It is our "Avatar" book, and we should just be glad it was only one adventure.

Steve Wilson
Greyhawk "Sage," Team Greyhawk

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