Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Unusual Greyhawk Facts

Hey Greyhawk fans! I don't have much going on this week, except maybe that I started running the classic Forge of Fury from the 5E Tales From the Yawning Portal adventure compilation. FoF isn't a Greyhawk module, but I've had an easy time retrofitting it to the Flanaess. Since I just got started on that what else can I do except crack open my copy of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer and read some random facts about the setting you probably don't know (or care about). All in good fun. Here we go!

United Kingdom of Ahlissa. The state religion is Zilchus god of money and business. This is the most honest religion I've ever seen.

Blackmoor. One of their major exports is walrus ivory. What's even more remarkable is that 18% of the population is halfling. Now all I can think about is halflings cooking walrus meat.

Ekbir. Gold pieces in Ekbir are called cups. After the golden relic, Cup of Al'Akbar. Makes sense.

Geoff. Apparently after the giants overran the country and chased off the humans, it gave the deer population a big boost. Cattle and horses are easier for monsters to catch evidently.

Ice Barbarians. These barbarians collectively call their home Rhizia, which means immovable in the Cold Tongue. Likewise the tribe Cruski means Ice Clan. Of course.

Empire of Iuz. Forecasters rejoice! The capital of Dorakaa is always overcast in a 4-mile radius. I wonder if that's only when Iuz is in town?

Lordship of the Isles. On the isle of Ganode they found mithril. In other news, elven ships from Lendore have been sinking Lordship vessels recently, but no one knows why. Uh, maybe it's cause you have mithril?

Plains of the Paynims. It says here 2% of the population of 500,000, or 10,000, is centaurs! For comparison, the Bright Lands is the next big centaur area with a measely 265. Wow.

Perrenland. The Witch Queen Iggwilv ruled this land for 10 years. Perrenland was so traumatized by her that when they later learned Iuz was her son, they unanimously refused to serve him as mercenaries. You'd think thye'd throw in with Furyondy during the Greyhawk Wars instead of being neutral.

Rel Astra. Apparently one of their biggest exports is fish. I don't know if this is an oversight of the writers. but there is plenty of island nations and larger coastal realms and fish isn't on their list of resources, unless it's assumed in "foodstuffs" in which case Rel Astra just specializes in fish. Either way this city smells bad.

Tiger and Wolf Nomads. Halflings are 2% of the population of these nomadic realms? That's about 4500 hobbits roaming the plains! Do they ride ponies along with the Relentless Horde? I got questions that need answered!

Ull. Speaking of nomads, this land has about 5500 halflings. At least Ull has a couple major towns. I wonder though, why or HOW are these halflings settling in every vile corner of the continent? Are they attracted to the walrus meat, fish and wolf pelts?

That's enough for now, time to switch off my brain. Thanks for reading.


Scott said...

When the "3E" Greyhawk books came out, I recall there being a lot of teeth gnashing on Greytalk about the inflated halfling numbers. It was like, no one knew where to put them, so they just put them everywhere!

Mystic Scholar said...

Halflings, the vermin of the Flanaess?

The figures you cite makes one wonder. LOL

MP said...

In 3e, halflings were basically described as Gypsies instead of Hobbits. From the 3.5e Player's Handbook: "Depending on the clan, halflings might be reliable, hard-working (if clannish) citizens, or they might be thieves just waiting for the opportunity to make a big score and disappear in the dead of night." Maybe the large numbers of halflings in those areas are the latter sort, who have been driven out of everywhere else?

Michael Bugg said...

So, Dorakaa is basically Beijing?

Thiago said...

Rel Astra exports live fish, for aquariums. The other places sell them as food.

Mike Bridges said...

Scott: Yeah if I went with the 80s numbers this wouldnt have been half the fun.

Mystic and MP: Yeah these must be some hardy Darksun-type halflings else places like Ull and the northern nomads would LITERALLY eat these halflings alive before they fit in.

Michael: Haha yeah I think Beijing has it worse. Orc armies aren't wearing masks over their faces 24/7.

Thiago: Ah of course! I can see it now: eccentric wizards can stock their lairs with exotic fish then change them into monsters.

Sean Robert Meaney said...

Rule of Spelljammer: Are there halflings? Are they wide spread? Invasion by stealth.

Linguistic studies have led me to understand several useful things:
1. if it has an il, ol, el, al, or ul in it, it is a common cultural origin.
2. They develop from ul->al->ol->el->il Progressing from caveman->barbarian->bronze age settlement.
3. Amigratory inversion to an asian culture moves il, el, al, to front fof word.

Ull began as a forest. Use of fire reduces it to a plain. It is likely the geographic origin. They burned back the forest creating plains. Food shortages and drought result in conflict. The survivors build their settlements on hills, resisting all but the eventual rise of armies and bronze age city states. There are likely mound burials and settlements across Ull. Zilchus people depart Ull. They meet the Chus and these become one.

Zilchus is therefor a god of trade rising in the bronze age and was probably a brutal overlord taxing peoples.
Iggwilv is an outcast of what ever bronze age culture zilchus came from. Lets say they are all from the Ull region just prior to the bronze.
Lets say Zilchus is a tyrant who invaded/moved to Ahlissa region and taxed and traded the populace into submission. He likely built a city-state After an 'Asiatic' inversion from the name chuszil... lets say the name evolved from chuszul, chuszal, chuszol, or chuszel. And Iggwilv is uninverted. Iggwilv and the witch culture are the dominant culture until

Zilchus whose ancestors likely survived by leaving Ull and the witches returns from beyond the borders of the Ull as invaders eventually introducing commerce and trade.

A sort of history.

Mike Bridges said...

Sean: Haha I am uncertain of the time periods thrown about but yes I can agree Ull was once quite different. It was clearly at the edge of the Invoked Devasation, perhaps the higher elevation of the Ulsprue/Barrier range saved it from total annihilation otherwise the Dry Steppes would be much farther north. The forests that did survive I also agree were plundered long ago in the post-apoc aftermath. Only mountain trees still thrive today.

I will leave Zilchus origins to you!

Sean Robert Meaney said...

Have done so... and Zilchus's ancestors head into the crystalmists and barrier peaks. Enslaved by the drow there, they escape east to the lortmils. Zilchus is half dwarf/Human. As chieftan he 'enslaved' the dwarves into mining and uses the gold to buy more dwarf slaves from abroad creating a substantial dwarf populace that force the monsters out of the lortmils.
A second group migrate north to the yatils. The monsters are tougher but women develop a witch culture. They are eventually wiped out but the witch queen iggwilv moves to sieze perrenland.

Then the Suel migration happens.

A framework.

Mike Bridges said...

Quite incredible. I've not seen concepts like that anywhere else. You should write up the framework into a cohesive chronology.