Saturday, November 14, 2009

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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