Friday, May 31, 2019

Pirate Fleets of Greyhawk

Welcome Greyhawkers! Today I'm going to try extra hard and bring you some new content for your home game, especially if you are like me and are about to get the 5E nautical rules in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Now for several years already, I've been running a multi-party Hold of the Sea Princes campaign set before the Greyhawk Wars. Alot of my themes throughout the campaign has been about sailing the high seas and swashbuckling action. Not surprisingly this all started by running the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh! From there it spun out into treasure hunting, deadly curses, ocean pantheons and piratical politics inspired by movies like Pirates of the Caribbean.

One of my favorite things about our Sea Princes campaign has indeed been the use of factions, particularly pirate fleets which I became keen to expand upon when I saw the Crimson Fleet in the Dungeon Magazine AP, Savage Tide. Here is a survey of some known pirate fleets that ply the seas of the Flanaess. I leave much of the intricacies of these groups to each individual DM for now. Enjoy, mateys!

Prince's Fleet
(large fleet)
Home Port: Monmurg (Sea Princes)
Rivals: Toli Armada, Blue Confederation
Enemies: Crimson Fleet, Keoish Navy, Ulek Navy
Overview: This fleet is comprised of those nobles and captains loyal to the Prince of Monmurg who is generally regarded as the ruler of the entire Hold of the Sea Princes. These captains adhere to the laws of the sea, showing mercy to foes and eschew slavery in principle though its practice is too widespread in the mainland Hold to stop presently. The Princes Fleet is the main bulwark against the Keoish Navy and the Lion Throne retaking their former province back. For this reason, their piracy is subdued, now more focused on economic diplomacy.

Toli Armada (large fleet)
Home Port: Port Toli (Sea Princes)
Rivals: Prince's Fleet, Sasserine Fleet, Crimson Fleet
Enemies: Keoish Navy, Ulek Navy
Overview: The pompous Prince of Port Toli commands the loyalty of many captains in the southern Hold who are more concerned with personal wealth and prestige. This fleet is mainly responsible for the nation's exploration and expansion into the jungles and islands farther south, as well as the slave trade so despised by Monmurg. The Toli Armada is a fearsome naval power in its own right, but is prone to alliances and defections to the Crimson Fleet much to the dismay of Monmurg.

Hold Flotilla (small fleet)
Home Port: various (Sea Princes)
Rivals: Princes Fleet, Toli Armada, Sasserine Fleet
Enemies: Crimson Fleet, Keoish Navy
Overview: This is a loose association of captains who consider themselves above the petty squabbles of the Hold nobility and their fleets, preferring to seek independent ventures legitimate or otherwise. These captains tend to stay close to home waters however, until such time when the entire Hold is threatened. In these emergencies the Flotilla rallies and its squadrons sail with the flags of their kin.

Crimson Fleet (medium fleet)
Home Port: Scuttlecove (Pirate Isles)
Rivals: Toli Armada, Cousins of Tilva
Enemies: Keoish Navy, Prince's Fleet, Hold Flotilla, Iron League, Ulek Navy, Sasserine Fleet, Duxchan Armada
Overview: The dread Crimson Fleet carved out an island realm of their own in the seas south of the Olman Isles. The rulership of this fleet and their diabolical patrons is highly questionable. What is known is the Crimson Fleet attracts all manner of cutthroats, mutineers and disaffected captains who have no where else to call home. For this reason, the Fleet is a mish-mash of former pirates from nearly every known fleet in the Flanaess. Crimson Fleet pirates are accepted bounty in nearly any port in the south seas.

Cousins of Tilva (medium fleet)
Home Port: Kro Terlep, Ekul (Tilvanot Peninsula)
Rivals: Slave Lords, Blue Confederation, Crimson Fleet, Duxchan Armada
Enemies: South Provincial Navy, Iron League, Rel Astran Navy, Sea Barons, Sulward Blockade
Overview: This coalition of pirate captains seem to control all harbors, coves and islands surrounding the coast of the Tilvanot Peninsula and the horn of Hepmonaland. Their presence is both a bane to trade-fleets on the Azure and Aerdi Sea and a boon to the poor, defenseless villagers of this tropical region whom give the Cousins shelter. The captains of the Cousins are without exception always of Suloise descent though their crews are accepting of any ethnicity or race. They are considered more honorable than most of their rivals and have been known to sail far out of their normal sea-lanes on business for the mysterious plateau realm of Shar, rumored to be their true masters.

Slave Lords (medium fleet)
Home Port: Elredd, Highport (Wild Coast/ Pomarj)
Rivals: Blue Confederation, Cousins of Tilva
Enemies: Hardby Marines, Iron League, Nyrondal Navy, South Provincial Navy, Dyvers and Furyondy Navy.
Overview: The infamous yellow sails of the Slave Lords have long been feared in the central Flanaess, though their vicious captains rarely realize the identities of their true masters. The presence of these pirates is a constant concern for Wild Coast towns and merchant fleets crossing the Woolly Bay. Less obvious is this fleet runs a slaving network that has somehow spread inland to the Nyr Dyv incurring the wrath of the Dyvers and Furyondian Navies. The Slave Lords have also sought to expand their fleet by training Pomarj orcs and goblins the ways of sailing, to limited success.

Blue Confederation (medium fleet)
Home Port: Blue (Pomarj)
Rivals: Slave Lords, Iron League, Prince's Fleet
Enemies: South Provincial Navy, Hardby Marines, Ulek Navy, Nyrond Navy
Overview: The alliance of independent captains who mainly harbor in the coves of the southern Pomarj and Blue pre-date the rise of the Slave Lords and have managed to remain viable by working with them to harass all merchant activity passing through the Sea of Gearnat. Even so, the Blue Confederation is generally honorable compared to most pirates, and has also been known to smuggle for the Iron League if it means affecting the South Province.

Densac Squadrons (small fleet)
Home Port: Narisban (Olman Isles)
Rivals: Crimson Fleet, Prince's Fleet, Cousins of Tilva, Toli Armada
Enemies: None
Overview: The captains who call the Olman Isles their home are a mixed bunch of retired fleet captains, Olman-born sailors and Narisban freebooters. The Densac and the port of Narisban is traditionally considered neutral waters for all pirate society and the Densac Squadrons are merely an informal alliance to protect their routes. Foreign explorers and traders seeking riches to the south are not so safe.

Sulward Blockade (large fleet)
Home Port: Sulward (Lordship of the Isles)
Rivals: Rel Astran Navy, Duxchan Armada
Enemies: Sea Barons, North Provincial Navy, Spindrift Isles, Cousins of Tilva
Overview: The Sulward Blockade is formed by captains sworn to the Lord of the Isles who is nominally a member of the Iron League as well. The captains of Sulward, once part of the Great Kingdom, have changed from their piratical ways to extracting tribute on all Aerdian vessels passing south to the jungles or through the Tilva Strait (Iron League vessels pay none). In particular the Oerid population of this fleet has made them biased towards most Aerdian ships unlike their islander rivals the Duxchan Armada. The Sea Barons however, desire to crush the blockade someday and with it, retake the Isles.

Duxchan Armada (large fleet)
Home Port: Duxchan (Lordship of the Isles)
Rivals: Rel Astran Navy, Sulward Blockade, Cousins of Tilva
Enemies: Sea Barons, North Provincial Navy, Spindrift Isles, Crimson Fleet
Overview: This fleet is comprised of mostly Suel-born buccaneers from the southern isles of the Lordship. These captains are more free-wheeling and prone to adventure than the reformed Sulward Blockade, but are quick to rally in times of war. The Duxchaners have been in open conflict with the Sea Barons for a long time and chafe at contested sea traffic in the Tilva Strait with the rival Cousins. The Duxchan Armada is highly honorable and often take part in dangerous Iron League missions against the Aerdy for the riches and glory.

Thillonrian Raiders (various size fleet)
Home Port: Soull, Krakenheim, Glot (Snow, Frost, Ice Barbarians)
Rivals: Themselves
Enemies: Sea Barons, North Provincial Navy, Hold of Stonefist
Overview: The raiding captains (often chieftains) of the Thillonrian Peninsula are far flung from the cares of the south and central seas, but they share a generational hatred for the provincial navies of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. When not raiding over the Icy Sea or venturing to places uncharted, these barbarian ships come into conflict with one another for plunder rights on the Solnor Ocean. Even so, the raider-kings of Rhizia can at times overcome these tribal differences to form a mighty invading fleet.

Added notes on national fleets for completion sake:

The Great Kingdom of Aerdy has a considerable presence on all the seas, being comprised of the North (medium) and South (large) Provincial Navies and in addition the formidable Sea Barons (large).

Rel Astran Navy (medium) protects the port and merchants of this free-city and have little love of the Aerdian Navy or the Sea Barons.

The Iron League Fleet (large) is comprised of ships from Irongate, Onnwal, Idee and Sunndi (the Lordship has its own fleet). Irongate and Idee have the strongest warships, while a majority of the fleet is tiny ships converted for war.

Keoish Navy (large) and Ulek Navy (small) are the allied fleets of the western kingdoms and principalities that trade on the Azure Sea.

Nyrondal Navy (medium) is mainly concerned with piracy across the Sea of Gearnat, but also in helping the Iron League vie against the Great Kingdom.

Hardby Marines (small) protect Greyhawk Domain interests on the Woolly Bay and along the Wild Coast.

Spindrift Isles (Lendore Isles) Navy is mainly composed of elven warships whose speed and skill have confounded all pirates and navies on the seas. Only the Duxchaners have been foolish enough to test their mettle and sail within their waters.

Sasserine Fleet (small) captains serve council-members of the free-city nestled on the Jeklea Bay coast near the Hellfurnaces. They maintain peaceful ties with their former rulers the Sea Princes, but often defend against Crimson Fleet raids.

Dyvers and Furyondy Navies (medium) control the western freshwaters of the Nyr Dyv. Their main concerns are the threat of Iuz, deep lake monsters and smuggling Rhennee. The infiltration of the Slave Lords has been an added thorn in their side.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Greyhawk Articles and Stuff

Greetings Greyhawkers! I have nothing new to present, but there is always some good Greyhawk stuff online. Such as:

Greyhawk Grognard has finished off his long running Greyhawk's World series, finishing the column that Gygax started so long ago in Dragon Magazine, that updates various regions of the Flanaess. This newest download details Events on the Periphery of the Flanaess like Blackmoor, Lordship of the Isles and the Olman Isles. I love "the Periphery" as a name for these scattered locations. Be sure to get Joe Bloch's latest article, it will definitely spice up your Greyhawk campaign. I know the added news dealing with the south seas lands will help in my own Saltmarsh-Sea Princes campaign.

Over at Tribality, Greyhawk superfan Blake Ryan has a couple new articles in his ongoing column on Greyhawk cities. This time he presents Greyhawk Cities-Yecha home of the roving Tiger Nomads. Pay particular attention to the "wedding quests." I love this idea. Also check out Greyhawk Cities-Sefmur as Mr. Ryan gives the Baklunish West some more love. Looking for a raid quest? There might be a certain witch-queen lurking here to give one.

This last one is from ENWorld. It's not Greyhawk per se, but it's a great article on the development of Deities & Demigods by the author of the AD&D book himself, James Ward. I highly recommend this read to all especially my old school friends. James Ward was instrumental in Greyhawk's early development as well so it's nice to know his thought process and how he and Gygax interacted. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Random Greyhawk Esoterica

Welcome back Greyhawkers. Well I don't have my copy of Ghosts of Saltmarsh yet and our Legends & Lore stream show returns in a couple weeks, so for now I'm going to do one of my favorite things and talk about random published Greyhawk tidbits. This time I'm going to peruse some stuff from Dungeon and Dragon Magazines. Let's dig in...

Dragon #277 had an interesting article called Greyhawk 2000 by Philip Athans. This article was an example of advancing timelines in a fantasy world that includes gods, monsters and magic. I had to look it up again because I thought I was dreaming this happened. Guns, automobiles, fighter jets, etc. Indeed it reminds me of the near-future-fantasy of Shadowrun, but without proliferation of cybernetic technology. If Mr. Athans were to update his article to be "Greyhawk 2020", I'm sure there would be even more familiar concepts from real life entering the Flanaess (like smart phones). At any rate, check out this wiki Greyhawk Timeline that includes the future-hawk events, it's good for a fun read.

Raiders of the Black Ice by Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press fame, can be found in Dungeon #115 and it is one of my favorite Greyhawk adventures from the magazines. This adventure was a tie-in to the 3.5E environmental splat-book Frostburn. This book involved arctic settings and was my favorite of the series. Using it to run in the Land of Black Ice was just perfect. RotBI has more than black ice and surviving the elements, it has frost-folk, automatons and an amazing map of Blackmoor region by Rob Lazaretti. If you don't own this issue, I highly recommend it.

In Dragon #351 is the long overdue article Irongate - City of Stairs by my good friends Gary Holian and Denis Tetreault. The guys had an Irongate Project in the works for ages and this sadly short offering was published by fellow Greyhawk loremaster Erik Mona before the tragic end of Paizo's run on the magazines. While there is so much more to Irongate, they capture the history of the free city and manage to develop some cool stuff for an otherwise untouched part of the setting. One thing is they tie the mysterious World Serpent Inn to the city making it a multi-planar destination for some NPCs. Another thing is a sidebar on Oerthblood. This rare material also known as blood-iron, is unique to the World of Greyhawk and is useful in crafting weapons and armor. Before the stuff is even enchanted it grants a +1 luck bonus to hit or variable damage resistance. Want some of that? Go to Irongate!

 Lastly, is a treat from Dragon Magazine Annual #3 by Noel Graham called Falcon's Bazaar. This article made during 2E I believe, covers a bunch of intriguing mundane items that can be found in the markets throughout the Flanaess. It reminds me alot of Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue which funny to say, may be my favorite FR book of all time. In Falcon's Bazaar you can find items you never knew your character needed, like Bronzewood Portals for your bar (20-175 gp for doors, 11-85 sp for shutters), Luminous Paste made from Phostwood trees to help mark your way in the Underdark, Rhizian Shield Harness for barbarians who need to use two-handed weapons time to time, and chewable Tamal Leaves from the Amedio Jungle for hardened adventurers who are too cool (or disgusting) for halfling pipe-weed.

That's all for, good luck finding these articles, they are all timeless and useful in any edition of D&D. You won't be disappointed. Until next time!

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Few Interesting Greyhawk Posts

Howdy Greyhawkers! The big news from Wizards last weekend was about their new adventure, Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus and they've announced a setting hardback for Eberron. (for some reason) I'm not here to discuss Sharn, but I do have a few Greyhawk items to tide us over until I can get the new Ghosts of Saltmarsh book and then with Anna Meyer, on June 5th, start back up Legends & Lore on the Greyhawk Channel.

First up, over at Tribality, author Blake Ryan has another mysterious location to show off in his Greyhawk series, this time it is Xanvak, an underwater lair of Aboleth in Lake Quag near Perrenland. Suddenly that sleepy lake got 1000% more deadly. Blake throws in some interesting loot choices drawn from Greyhawk Adventures if your players care to brave this deep danger.

Second, the new Avernus book mentioned above partially takes place on the first level of hell (making this a stealth Planescape adventure). One of the product points for this event is some big nasty vehicle called the Infernal War Machine. Over at ENWorld there is photos and advance look at the rules. They are touting this as Mad Max inspired, though my next inclination is my Warhammer 40k orks would love to ride that. However, an astute Greyhawk-file will also point at this infernal machine and scream DOOMGRINDER! Or for that matter maybe the Machine of Lum the Mad or Mighty Servant of Leuk-O could come from this family of hellish devices. All this time they were Blood War left overs!

Lastly, I rarely go to Dragon+ cause reasons, but in this month's feature for the Best of the Dungeon Master's Guild by Shawn Merwin also includes some links to PDFs of classic Dragon Magazine articles that can enhance a nautical campaign. Among these excellent entries is a Greyhawk article I DO NOT REMEMBER. This is significant to me, because I thought I had seen it all. Ironically, issue #125 from 1987 features a cover painting of King Arthur at the Battle of Camlan by Roger Raupp.

This same artwork would later be recycled in 1991 for...Greyhawk Wars boxed set cover. Yes I am underwhelmed too, but I had forgot that excellent cover graced Dragon before the forgettable game. Fast forward almost three decades later and now it is here again. Magical Maps of Greyhawk by Lee Ian Wurn has some excellent lore on the Cataclysms to go with his unique magical items. Download this article!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Ghosts of Saltmarsh Thoughts

Howdy Greyhawkers! It's a lazy weekend, so all I have is some quick commentary on some early reviews of Wizards' release of nautical themed rule/adventure hardcover Ghosts of Saltmarsh. There's a good one on ENWorld by Beth Rimmels. And there's an excellent post by NewbieDM with pictures. I'm sure you've read the contents and seen the maps. I'm stoked, you're stoked. Here is my observations:

First off, the word going around from the Wizards staff is that Saltmarsh will be considered a "setting" and Greyhawk won't for purposes of DMsGuild content creation. Think about that for a second. Had they said sure, writers you can do Sword Coast but not the rest of Forgotten Realms then there would be grumbling, Barovia but not the rest of Ravenloft, grumbling. Sharn but not the rest of Eberron, grumbling. Why should Greyhawk fans be any less offended then? That said it's smart, because as I've analyzed before, the adaptation of Greyhawk classics in 5E is coming up to a crossroads. It will soon have to delve into actual Greyhawk story lines before long or be forced to switch to another classic setting like Dragonlance or Planescape. Futhermore, Saltmarsh was never an integral part of the World of Greyhawk yet it attained this classic status despite being canonically invisible. So, good on Saltmarsh as the choice for a setting to develop on its own. I take it as a sign Wizards knows its burning through IP too fast and is pumping the brakes.

Even so, from the photos shown in NewbieDM's post, we see Keoland, the Sea Princes and King Skotti are mentioned. This is fantastic exposure. The SW of the Flanaess is a popular area with a wealth of history and much open sea to explore. I should know, I've spent the last several years developing the Sea Princes and South Seas. Those DMs looking to start a high seas campaign in Greyhawk, check out my map HERE.

I am very intrigued by the factions in this book, Traditionalists, Loyalists (to Keoland) and the kicker, the Scarlet Brotherhood! This is a huge addition. The SB is a secret organization early in Greyhawk lore, who then jump into the spot light and begin conquest during the Greyhawk Wars. What era GoS is representing will definitely tip off fans where the future of published Greyhawk may be heading. The SB were never featured in any of the original modules featured in Ghosts AFAIK, so this faction addition like I said, is a big nod to setting development.

There is mention made in the pictures of at least THREE Greyhawk deities, one of which, Procan is entirely appropriate since he is the god of the seas. This is notable because Procan is not listed in the scant section of Greyhawk gods in the 5E PHB. I can only hope fellow nautical deities Xerbo and Osprem sneak into this module as well.

I've ran Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh before, it's wonderful, but not the other constituent modules (a couple which are Dungeon Magazine classics). I'm sure this book along with the rules section on seafaring will be amazing. I wish it had come out three or four books ago! So yes, I cannot wait to get this book. I also cannot wait for Greyhawk to be turned loose for real on DMsGuild. Until then, enjoy the Saltmarsh "setting".

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Greyhawk A-Z: Monsters

Howdy Greyhawkers! I was looking for something to write about this weekend and lo and behold this old column popped up. If you haven't seen my A to Z posts check them out on the Best of Greyhawkery HERE. I've covered people, places, deities and magic, so why not monsters? This is generally going to be about D&D monsters, but I guarantee I'll give my Greyhawk angle to them. Enjoy!

Aarakocra: What's an Aarakocra? Well they are bird-folk from Fiend Folio of course. They are misspelled as Aarakoora in the World of Greyhawk Glossography encounter charts. You can find these winged creatures in the Corusk, Griff, Rakers and Lortmil Mountains.

Bulette: I have never used a bulette that I can recall. The Monster Manual says these armored burrowing monsters are also called landsharks and they might be the creation of a wizard. As for Greyhawk, apparently half-strength, sand bulettes can be found in the Sea of Dust. Beware!

Cooshee: Elf dogs! Why aren't these smart pups from Monster Manual 2 more well know today? They are green, people!

Drider: You like drow? You like giant spiders? How about a drow-spider hybrid? These things are supposed to be cursed drow who fail Lolth, but serious they seem like an upgrade to me! I need to use them more.

Ettercap: Speaking of spider-kin, I never understood Ettercaps or whatever their historical origins. In D&D they are spider-men that over the editions get less and less human-like in description. An interesting theory says Ettercaps were once mad druids that changed into these things and never came back. Whatever the case, aren't there enough spider-things in Greyhawk?

Firbolg: What does Greyhawk have more of than spiders? Yeah, giants. In MM2, there was three new minor giants introduced, Verbeeg (skinny intelligent ogres), Fomorians (deformed hill giants) and the Firbolg. These giants are hermits and have magic power. Among them, they can appear small. In 5E, I'm not sure what Firbolg are like, but I'm sure it's a change from 1E. Historically, Firbolg I believe are from Celtic myth? *shrug*

Grung: If you are relatively new to D&D you might even know what the toad-like Grung are thanks to 5E's Tomb of Annihilation. Cool but I'm fairly certain they are Greyhawk originals, seen in the hardback Greyhawk Adventures. Though I've never used them, I imagine they are frog-gnomes from a playable race standpoint.

Horg: Want to know what the scariest monsters is in all of Greyspace? It's the Horg hands down. Fortunately for you Oerth-bound adventurers, they inhabit the vacuum of the asteroid belt Grinder. They are bat-like humanoids who can phase and have poisonous attacks that would worry even Tiamat. I could go into more detail, but you'll have to trust me, Spelljamming isn't a cake-walk.

Illithid: aka Mindflayers, these monsters are another I've underused in my DM career. I wager it's because of their psionic-ness. I've never been a fan of psionics. Also, rumor has it there is an Illithid lair in Riftcanyon. They apparently like collecting Greyhawk lore too. Take my word for it.

Jermaline: I love sneaky, underdark creatures like the Jermaline. Also known as bane-midges, these little guys were created by Gygax and first appeared in Fiend Folio. If you don't own the original FF, get one now! It's a classic. In the World of Greyhawk, you can even find Jermaline in the tunnels of the Sea of Dust.

Kech: Off the top of my head these are tree-dwelling camouflaged simians? I believe they were in MM2 and Ghost Tower of Inverness as I chose to replace them with Chokers because they haven't been converted to 5E yet.

Losel: Speaking of which, Losel are like primitive orc-baboon crossbreeds. Apparently Gygax first used them in his novels and they made their way into the setting lore as creatures brought to other forests of the Flanaess by Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood. As for my home campaign? Hard pass.

Manotaur: Anyone else remember this guy? No, not minotaur...manotaur.  I think it was in Greyhawk Ruins, but I can't seem to find it because I tore all the monster pages out to add to my 2E Monster Manual binder that I obviously didn't take good care of. Ah well, I know I didn't imagine it.

Norker: We have alot of spiders and giants, but Greyhawk also has tons of evil goblinoids. Not quite goblins, not quite hobgoblins, Norkers are fun because their hide is so tough they don't need armor. Otherwise, they're just extra-hard-to-kill goblins. Try em out! I do believe Iuz is doing just that in his armies.

Ogre: Ogres are everywhere! But did you know there is an ogre hang-out near Hardby called Ogremeet? Coincidentally in the adventure Greyhawk Ruins there is evidence Zagyg Yragerne was making rings of ogre control. Ogre army perhaps?

Pernicons: I have never used these grasshopper-like pests, but if you don't know what Pernicons are then check out this old post of mine that mentions them. Fiend Folio is the best! Look for these nasty swarms in the Sea of Dust and Bright Desert.

Quaggoth: Found mainly in the Burneal Forest, I like to think of these fuzzy bear-folk as D&D's version of Chewbacca. In Age of Worms they introduced an NPC Quaggoth who got some culture. I'm unsure if any edition of D&D has made them a playable race though.

Remorhaz: There is few creatures in the frozen north lager and scarier than "frost worms". They have such hot cores that being swallowed by a Remorhaz is one of the worst ways to die. I picture these being common around they geyser filled Land of Black Ice.

Swordwraith: You can probably imagine what these are already. Indeed, they are intelligent undead swordsmen from old battlefields who still gather and plot and raid! Originally in Greyhawk Adventures, it says they are most likely found in the Stark Mounds, but can be at the site of any battle. I can think of a few spots that would be crawling with these guys.

Trolls: I've gone on how there is many kinds of giant, arachnids and humanoids in Greyhawk, but let's not leave out Trolls. They apparently can adapt to ANY environment and even mate with ettins and things. Now that I think of it, they are classified as giants, so never mind. My favorite is Ice Trolls, cause well, who is going to protect you from the Remorhaz until you kill them off?

Unicorn: Who in the 80's didn't watch the D&D Cartoon and instantly want to use unicorns in their campaign? Oh yes, there was also The Last Unicorn cartoon and the movie Legend. It's amazing I barely used them until 3rd edition. When I did they were in Welkwood and Silverwood.

Volt: Are your players tired of yet another predictable Stirge attack? Okay, send Volts after them next time! Another fine creation from Fiend Folio that hasn't translated over to later editions. This is remarkable because it made the top 10 vote for best monsters in the book for White Dwarf magazine. They basically work like Stirge, but while they are draining blood they also whip you for electrical damage. You're welcome!

Will-o-Wisp: Speaking of electrical damage. The "WoW" is a creature I've underused and I can't figure out why. They are fast, evil and pack a punch. Glowing orbs that like to lure people into haunted ruins and traps also rates high on the DM toolbox. Muahaha.

Xvart: These creepy blue goblins are everywhere. Verbobonc, Bone March, Bandit Kingdoms, Vesve, Horned Society, etc. We all should know about their precocious deity, Raxivort, but I remember a VERY obscure xvart from Living Greyhawk Journal named Xiq-Ciq. IIRC he is the "pet-friend of a Komali noblewoman.

Yuan-ti: Everyone knows about these snake-people. The fun thing about them is the variety of yuan-ti that have been created over the years. This makes them seem more realistic and fearsome because you never know what you may run into next. I'm positive they rule wide swathes of Hepmonaland, but outside the jungles do yuan-ti roam the Flanaess?

Zombie: Sure, any priest of Iuz can raise them, but let's try out a new scenario more in line with our TV and movie zombies...

That's all for now!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

New Blog: Greyhawk Stories

Welcome World of Greyhawk fans. Today I'm promoting a new Greyhawk themed blog called Greyhawk Stories! What is the mission of Greyhawk Stories? Obviously to share some of the best lore and fiction about the setting we all love. And there will definitely be a healthy dose of new works by the site as well. Check out this intro for more.

In the meantime the first few articles posted cover some juicy subjects. First off is The Making of Turrosh Mak by Jeff Mckillop. Turrosh is the most famous half-orc in the Flanaess and rules over an empire of humanoids in the Pomarj. Check out this blast from the past.

The next is some original fiction by Greyhawk Stories titled Iggwilv in the Hut of Baba Yaga. What more do I need to say there? Two of the best witches in all of D&D fandom. In part one we get a wonderful tale of how a VERY young girl comes to meet Baba Yaga and charms her way into becoming her daughter.

Lastly is the expanded account of the Battle of Emridy Meadows, the most famous battle in the World of Greyhawk, researched and analyzed by yours truly back in 2008. Greyhawk Stories, with my permission, did a amazing job cleaning up this article and making it a presentable PDF download. Check it out!

Keep checking in on this new blog, they have a lot of enthusiasm and good tales to share in the future. The Greyhawk fan community has never been stronger!