Thursday, September 8, 2011

War Journal: The Baklunish-Suloise War

The Baklunish-Suloise Wars and the resulting mutually assured destruction is the backdrop conflict that sets up the World of Greyhawk setting. Not surprisingly, outside the timeline by Gygax there hasn't been much written officially about this war itself which raged from 5031 S.D. to 5094 S.D. (Suel Dating) although the Twin Cataclysms (the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire) and the Great Migrations preceeding them do get most of the attention when concerning ancient Flanaess history. It is noteworthy that this fictional apocalyptic account was surely born out of our cultural fears during the Cold War. Interestingly, over thirty years later, new allusions could be made about the Baklunish-Suloise Wars in comparison to today's current events. But I won't dwell on that today. 

Here is a link to one of my all-time favorite forum discussions on the War. There you'll find loads of information about the War, including speculation that the Baklunish Empire was on the verge of winning.

One rare source about the war published back in 2005, is Creighton Broadhurst and Paul Looby's mysterious ancient battlefield, The Fields of Padyr for the Living Greyhawk Campaign.

For additional flavor, check out the article on ancient Baklunish Armies by Ed Healy in Oerth Journal #22 (illustrated by yours truly).

No one captures the pathos of the
Suel Empire's fall like Erol Otus.


scottsz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JasonZavoda said...

Perhaps the greatest thing about the Greyhawk campaign is the framework of material that is so inspiring and yet the openess of the campaign that allows each DM to make it their own. I find the lack of information about the setting, about the ancient Suel and Bakluni, to be tantalizing.

For my own campaign I use Vance's Dying Earth to flesh out the pre-Devastation Suel Society, but it is always great to hear about other perspectives. I'm just glad that Gygax era TSR didn't go into depth about the time period or the particulars of the war.

Anonymous said...

I remember that thread.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to think of an admixture of Rome and Carthage, given the Suloise use of mercenaries.

It was their downfall, just as it was for ancient Carthage. Mercenaries have no patirotism, no dying for King and Country.

So, in-spite of the pay, they would "quit" in a no win situation. If they thought the Baklunish were winning, they'd desert the Suloise, just as Rome drained away the mercenary armies of Carthage and her allies.

Mystic Scholar

Argon said...


Thanks for resurrecting this once again. The Baklunish-Suloise war is pivotal to the world of Greyhawk setting. I don't believe you can play in the setting without much discussion on the subject.

Jason is right, one of the best things about Grey Hawk is the fan created material for the setting. When we are not disputing the canon behind it all. But sometimes those discussions lead to more ideas and material. So I welcome those types of productive discussions.