Sunday, November 13, 2022

Greyhawk Comic Rewind: Say What?

Hail Greyhawk mavens! I was scrolling through some of my old Greyhawk Comics scrips recently, and there are some where the annotations at the end were full on blog posts. This is what led to Greyhawkery of course. Let's go way back to July 2009 and see a fun strip celebrating the linguistic depths of D&D and the Greyhawk setting. You can read the comic in its entirety below or follow this link if you want to go back and read other installments. Enjoy!

July 23th, 2009: 'Ware and were, friends! The World of Greyhawk has a long tradition of using obscure words, unique terms and especially keen, setting specific expressions in its publications. How then did poor Mayaheine fare when Pelor came along, picked her out of her home plane and dropped her off on Oerth? Check it out. ;)

Be sure to see the annotation at the end of this one. ;)

No games here. If you knew all the bold terms above, then you are a hardcore Greyhawk fan indeed! But just in case I have friends and family reading this, here is a glossary:

Cold Iron Avail You: "A common exchange between warriors among the Highfolk and in Furyondy, referring to the power of cold iron against certain undead, particularly the servants of Iuz."
I Spit on the Old One: (Among Highfolk and Furyondy) "An aggressive greeting or expression of bravery or disdain." The Old One refers to the demigod of evil, Iuz.
May the Axe Grow Great: "An expression used among the exiled Knights of the Holy Shielding. It refers to their deity Heironeous (above), who possesses an axe that can grow or shrink in size. It expresses the hope that good will thrive and grow great, that the Shield Lands will be reclaimed, and that better times will come."
Starcloak: A coin from the elven realm of Celene. 1 electrum piece. Electrum is a naturally occurring alloy of gold, silver and other metals.
Godsday: The 4th day of the week, a day of worship. The day before Godsday however is Moonday.
Thorp: A small village usually consisting of 2d4x10 people.
Fler: "The principal inlet to Lake Quag, flowing from the Burneal Forest and the Land of Black Ice beyond. It is supposed that much of this river is passable to large craft."
Meersalm: A special salve used on Heironeous by his mother, Stern Alia to make his skin virtually invulnerable. (Don't ask me why Meersalm is for barter in a small village.)
Guchek: A Wolf Nomad tribe living on the shores of Lake Quag in the trade town of Ungra Balan.
Hobilar: Light skirmishing cavalry.
Ordai: "This dialect shared by the Wolf and Tiger Nomads bears some resemblance to Ancient Baklunish, but it is most similar to dialects spoken among the distant Paynims."
Chrysoberyl: A yellowish-green gemstone worth a base 100 g.p. The Sultanate of Zeif has a secret source of Chrysoberyl that it trades as far east as Keoland.
Da'Shon: "Falling Hail, a complicated form of unarmed combat practiced by one of Xan Yae's sects (Goddess of Stealth and Mental Power)." Xan Yae sponsored the demigod of physical and mental mastery, Zuoken who is also the Master of Da'Shon.
Vetha: A Rhennee (Gypsy-folk) wise-woman, fortune-teller and mystic but not a da'shon teacher.
Rhopan: "The language of the Rhennee, Rhopan is also called 'Rhennee cant' because it borrows many terms from other languages, including the argot of several thieves' organizations. It is not related to any Oerthly tongue."
Sweet as the Mistmarsh: "A phrase used ironically throughout the Domain (of Greyhawk) to indicate a business deal or an agreement that smells fishy to the speaker."
Old Peculiar: An ale made at Peculiar Manor by Sanjaray Mohsin of Ekbir from a recipe given to him by a dwarven chieftain. "Old Peculiar is jet black and is so heavy some say it is best not drunk but eaten with a fork. It tastes like liquid peat and no one alive has ever claimed to have downed more than two pints, and usually only dwarves claim even that. Sanjaray boasts that the crucial test of the ale's readiness is that if a rat won't dissolve in a keg of it in less than five minutes, it needs more fermentation."
Dirawaen: A network of magical roads built during the height of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. "Constructed by earth elementals tamed to the will of the famed Aerdi war-mages, these roads aided not only the passage of armies in war, but also of merchants and trade in peacetime. Neither rain nor snow gathers on the broad, black paving stones of the Dirawaen roads, rendering them passable even in winter when mundane roads are muddy swamps. Priests of Fharlanghn, god of Horizons, Distance, Travel and Roads, laid powerful dweomers on the Dirawaens allowing travelers to move quickly over long distances without tiring (travelling on a Dirawaen road doubles all land-based movement rates). It is said that no cart has ever broken a wheel, nor a horse thrown shoe or rider while travelling on a Dirawaen road."
Ktosor-hep: "Dustlakes." A feature of the Sea of Dust. "Expanses anywhere from half a mile to six miles across in which the dust is charged with a magic that causes it to take on the characteristics of water. The grains form a sort of fluid which permits the passage of air between them but retains them in a single body which supports waves and boats and swimmers as if it were a true lake. Unlike water, however, it may be made somewhat breathable if a fine cloth mask is placed over the mouth. It is therefore possible to descend to the surface beneath the dust, and there to examine in the dim and dust-laden atmosphere the ruins of towns and cities, for each dust-lake seems to have been just such a site before the Rain of Colorless Fire."
Tinklingice: Olven term for the month of late Autumn.
Ready'reat: Common Flanaess term for the same month of late Autumn.
Lirtlemark: Other name for the March of Bissel, once the northernmost frontier of the kingdom of Keoland before it was lost in the Small War against Furyondy (438 CY).
Old Ferrond: The lands from the western Nyr Dyv to the Yatil Mountains, primarily referring to the old Viceroyalty of Ferrond which served as the western frontier of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. Old Ferrond eventually slipped away from the waning empire and broke into several smaller states including the Kingdom of Furyondy.
Thillonrian: A person (usually an Ice, Frost or Snow Barbarian) from the mountainous Thillonria Peninsula in the northeast Flanaess.
Subaltern: A junior officer (A rank not normally given to barbarians).
Bec de Corbin: A type of polearm similar to a Lucerne Hammer (neither of which barbarians prefer). In 1st edition, a Bec de Corbin cost 6 g.p. and it did 1d8 dmg vs small and 1d6 vs large, with a speed factor of 9.
Obex: An inverted two-step ziggurat shape normally used as a symbol of Tharizdun.
Ipt: A species of Ipp tree (60' high, greenish bark and hand shaped leaves) that is even larger and taller. Favored by Sylvan Elves.
Deklo: "Massive hardwoods often 15 get in diameter and over 100 feet tall. They have thick strong branches that grow almost parallel to the trunk. The leaves of the tree are nearly round and grow in thick clumps. On a mature deklo, leaves will be over 1 foot in diameter. These trees tend to grow in groves, excluding other forms of vegetation.
Dweornite: Found in the Horned Lands. "Tear-shaped semi-opaque, blue-white stones found in totally unpredictable subterranean locations. The gems have diverse magic powers." Similar to dweorstones found in the Cairn Hills and Ioun Stones.
Moonveil: A coin from the elven realm of Celene. 1 Platinum piece.
Sure as a Shielding Oath: "Refers to the Knights of Holy Shielding, famed for their loyalty. It indicates a thing is a near-certainty."
The Handmaiden: Also known as Kule or Celene, (the moon not the elven realm) the smaller of Oerth's two satellites.
The Mistress: The Great Moon (aka Raenei or Luna) upon which the months are based. Appears barren from the ground but is actually forested.
Thoqqua: A giant worm from the elemental plane of fire. Known to tunnel beneath the Sea of Dust.
Until the Starbreak: "A farewell and oath of fidelity used among the northern barbarians (Thillonrians). It has two meanings. In bitterly cold weather the exhalation of breath causes a tiny cloud of frost to form and fal, and these falling flakes are referred to as "the breaking of stars," hence, "until the starbreak" can mean "until we meet again." It can also mean "until the end of the world" since certain barbaric myths indicate that the world ends with a shower of stars that fall when the heavens break."
Hands in your pockets, eyes on your purse: "A common farewell in the City of Greyhawk, where thieves are everywhere." 


Dick McGee said...

Well, I knew all the real world terms and about half the setting-specific ones, so I guess I'm somewhere around a C student. Mostly comprehensible based on context if you know even some of the references.

Did not know chyrsoberyls were particularly dense as gemstones go, though. Really hard (they're over an 8 on the Mohs scale IIRC) but that doesn't always imply high density.

grodog said...

Well-worth revisiting, Mike! :D