Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Suloise Conundrum

 From: ACERERAK@aol.com

Sent: Thursday, September 10, 1998 8:29 PM

To: greyhawk@MPGN.COM

Subject: [GREYHAWK] - Re: The Suloise Conundrum

<< ... But doesn't their calendar predate that of the Elves?»

Yes, there is approximately a 1,000 year difference between the Olven calendar and the Suel calender. In the year 576 CY (Common Year), it was 6091 SD (Suel Dominion), 5038 OC (Olven Calendar), 3235 BH (Baklunish Hegira), 2726 FT (Flan Tracking), 1220 OR (Oeridan Reckoning). [I'm doing this from memory, so please forgive me if I am off slightly on the names]

<< What sort of picture does everyone else have of the old Suel Dominion? »

Similar to the Roman Empire in structure. Fantastic cities filled with bizarre sights (as compared to "today"). A center of commerce with merchants from all over the world. Terraforming on a massive scale, with the help of magic.

The further away from the capital one gets the less "magical" things become. Walk down the capital city street and you might see a fountain that spews water from thin air, but get out to the fringes and all you see are forts.

Griffon riders would not be uncommon. Bizarre monsters used for manual labor, as well as slaves consisting of humanoids, demi-humans, and non-Suel. A widely segregated city structure - pure Suel in one area, everyone else in another. There may be a caste system which takes "citizenship" into account, and is a goal often strived for. Corruption is rampant within the government and bribery is a way of life. Business is booming, and the imperial coinage is very different from anything seen today. Flying ships land in the port and bring wares from off planet.

We know for sure there is a civil war of sorts going on within the Empire, not to mention an external war with a powerful enemy. Of course, the external war only lasted 63 years, having begane in 5061 SD and ended in 5094 SD. Hmmm, the Scarlet Brotherhood was formed in 5091 SD. I wonder if they had anything to do with it?

<< Post-war Pro-Aerdy Oeridian propaganda paints a very unpleasant picture of them.>>

I tend to think the survivors were the creme de la creme of Lawful Evil arrogant aristocrats and various Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic Evil warrior types who turned to pillaging after their empire was left in ruins. The Suel Basin was most likely filled with "average" people just as the Flanaess is, consisting of farmers. miners, and merchants.

I imagine a lot of monsters were made extinct in the Suel Basin for the safety of its citizens by the government, "Another family of Umber Hulks attacked a village? Sergeant take a battalion and wipe out the whole herd. I'm tired of these interruptions by local fauna!" The Suel Basin was likely a safe place to live in until, well, the untimely end.

<< That is another consideration. How biased was Pluffet Smedger? »

He didn't exist. For all intents and purposes, he was Gary Gygax. However, should we decide to write in a bias to be clever, this seems unlikely. Smedger did not write 99% of the Greyhawk account, he merely created glossographies and compiled the whole into an encyclopedia, and then in turn created D&D to "aid his study". The "Savant-Sage" wrote the account, and it is his original bias that may need examining.

The Savant-Sage lived in Greyhawk city during Oerth's "Epoch of Magic", whatever that is. He compiled an epic 7-volume work called, "Catalogue of the Land Flanaess ... ", but only the third volume survives: "A Guide to the World of Greyhawk". When the Savant-Sage died the work disappeared, but turned up vears later in an lllithid lair in the Rift Canyon. This copy was brought to Rel Mord where it was examined by Pluffet Smedger the Elder, a historian and scholar. Smedger did add some recent or missing information, but by and large the work is the enigmatic Savant-Sage.


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