Duchy of Urnst
Dyvers, City of
Greyhawk, Free City of
Summary of Lands Near Diamond Lake
Here’s a summary of the nearby lands, nations, cultures, etc. around Diamond Lake. This should give you a better idea of what the world of Greyhawk is like, at least in the areas surrounding Diamond Lake. The entire world is much bigger and there are many other interesting places, but I don’t go into them in this summary. This might give you some inspiration for background stories, especially if your character was not originally from Diamond Lake (having moved there since for your own reasons), of if your character has had dealings, history or aspirations related to other areas.
The Cairn Hills area where Diamond Lake is situated is mostly rugged, untamed wilderness, with only a few settlements (mostly other mining towns). The closest major metropolis is the famous city-state of Greyhawk, “the Gem of the Flanaess”, several days ride to the west. To the west of Greyhawk is Grossetgrottel, a strong gnome warren known for mining diamonds, and nearby is the large human, feudal kingdom of Furyondy. Furyondy has a large military and is constantly watching or at war with the evil Horned Society and the Empire of Iuz to the north. Furyondy is typically on fair to good terms with Greyhawk and the Shield Lands.
The peaceful halfling town of Elmshire is also close to Diamond Lake, several days ride to the north on the coast of the great lake of Nyr Dyv. Elmshire is also not too far from Tenser’s Citadel, the home of a very powerful and beneficent but reclusive arch-mage. A small town has grown around Tenser’s Citadel, relying on the arch-mage for protection. The Nyr Dyv is the world’s largest freshwater lake, and is plied by shipborne traders, pirates, and warships of Furyondy and the Shield Lands. The lake is also reputed to be the home of strange, mysterious, and deadly creatures (think Loch Ness only much much bigger).
The Shield Lands are at war with the nearby evil Horned Society and bandit lords, and has lost much territory to them. The Shield Lands are also home to the renowned Knights of the Holy Shielding, great religious warriors, knights, paladins, cavaliers, templars, etc. They are devoted to regaining their lost territory.
The Horned Society is a secret society devoted to evil and devil worship. The closest thing to the Horned Society in Golarion would be Cheliax, with the great difference being that the Horned Society makes no claim of dominating devils – they openly worship them, and the Horned Society is full of humanoids as well as evil humans. You might think of them like the evil Haradrim and Easterling nations in the Lord of the Rings, who were allied with Sauron and Mordor, and willing to work alongside orcs and other humanoids, or something like Stygia in the Conan world. The Empire of Iuz is an empire ruled by the evil demigod Iuz, who actually, physically resides there. You can think of the Empire of Iuz as something like Sauron and Mordor. Iuz is a horrible, evil place – the closest thing to a Hell on Earth.
Farther to the southwest is the large and deep Gnarley Forest, home to intrepid and hardy woodsmen, rangers, elves, and a smattering of other races, including some dangerous humanoids and other creatures.
To the south of Diamond Lake, on the edge of the great Mist Marsh is a small, remote fortress built by Greyhawk to watch out for threats from the marsh. To the southeast of that is Greysmere, a dwarven stronghold of small to medium size. There are also orc/goblin/humanoid strongholds in the hills not far from Greysmere. Continue farther south and you reach The Wild Coast – a wild area of trade, pirates, and conflict. A real hive of scum and villainy. Think of it like the Barbary Coast in real world history, or Tattoine’s Mos Eisly in Star Wars (minus the desert and spaceport – replace with lots of scurvy pirates, bandit lords, exotic sea-faring merchants). As if the Wild Coast wasn’t wild enough, it sits near the Pomarj, land of humanoid hordes led by the savage warlord Turrok Mak.
To the east of Diamond Lake is the Duchy of Urnst, an independent, mostly human feudal monarchy (theoretically owing fealty to the old Great Kingdom – a great empire now in decline and ruled by madness and wicked decadence, struggling to regain its former power and domains – its rulers are known as the Overkings of the Malachite Throne) with hereditary rulership currently held by His Most Lordly Grace Karll Lorinar, the Duke of Urnst, Warden of the Abbor-Alz.
Detailed Descriptions of Lands
Abbor-Alz (ABB-or ALLz)
The Abbor-Alz hills ring the Bright Desert. They are rough and rugged, composed primarily of granite. In the west, they become a small mountain range reaching the Cairn Hills, its northern spur.
The flora here are similar to those in the Cairn Hills, although cacti and other desert plants (such as vampire cacti) become more prevalent near the Bright Desert, alpine plants more common in the mountains, and there are hardly any trees or bushes in some places. Fauna include camprats, llama-like animals, and hardy mountain goats. Monsters are also rumored to infest the area.
Dwarves and gnomes have several settlements in the west. The gnomes have only a handful of gem mines, while the dwarven presence is more prevalent. Orcs and goblins compete with the dwarves for living space. Bordering the Bright Desert, tribes of nomads quarrel with tribes of giants, ogres, bandits, trolls, and other threats.
A mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City.
The Free City of Greyhawk controls most of the Cairn Hills, which provide the domain with great mineral wealth, such as iron, gems, and silver.
This barren string of hills is the northern prominence of the massif known as the Abbor-Alz. Its name refers to the ancient discovery of mysterious burial sites here, containing relics from an unknown civiliztion. These relics proved to be of great value, though their acquisition was a matter of no little risk. Though Greyhawk was no more than a wild trading town at that time, this was the beginning of its role as a starting and ending place for would-be adventurers and treasure-seekers.
The hills fringe the territories of the Free City on two side, providing strong and visible borders. In addition, their rugged nature and general lack of settlements make them the wildest territory near the City of Greyhawk.
The hills are the remnants of an ancient range of mountains. Their foundation is the bedrock of the earth itself and in places this rock—dark gray granite and rose quartz—juts through the shallow covering of earth that gives the hills their characteristically drab appearance.
It is this same bedrock that guards the gems from which the Cairn Hills derive their most significant commercial usage. The Free City of Greyhawk operates several vast mining regions in the hills, producing a variety of large, high-quality gems, especially emeralds and rubies, though a few diamonds are unearthed here as well.
Most of the diamonds lie among the hills to the north of the Selintan River, land claimed and jealously guarded by gnomes. The humans have found it easier and much more practicable to purchase diamonds from gnomish miners rather than to try and conquer these hills. Though the surface of the land might fall to human invasion, the underearth—where the gems are—would remain forever in the hands of the industrious gnomes living in their capital Grossettgrottell.
The northern slopes of the hills, in their gentle descent to the shores of the Nyr Dyv, offer little in the way of mineral wealth or any other commercial enterprise. This might be why the halflings have been allowed to live here in their bustling town of Elmshire unmolested for so long.
The halflings fish the shallows of the Nyr Dyv, maintain small flocks of sheep on the slopes of the hills, and practice whatever trading they can with vessels passing into and out of the Selintan River.
From the north slopes, the hills curve through a vast crescent toward the south, where they meet the Abbor-Alz. For much of this stretch the hills are devoid of permanent habitation. Instead, a few scattered monsters roam the hills here, where patrols from Urnst and Greyhawk seldom venture.
Only at their very southern extremity do the hills again host inhabitants. Here the dwarves hold sway from their rocky fastness called Greysmere. Though the mining is poor here, the quarrying is superb. The dwarves have erected vast underground halls and long tunnel networks far beyond the needs of their current population. These hills are also dotted with the mysterious burial cairns of the ancients.
Flora and Fauna of the Cairn Hills
Though the barren nature of the terrain is the most visible feature of the Cairn Hills, they are home to a variety of plant and animal species.
The rocky nature of the soil carries water away quickly, though the area suffers no particlar shortage of rainfall.
The streams have water flowing through them during all but the driest of times.
The pattern of plant life in the hills follows the course of these waterways to a great extent. The actual dirt of the crests and slopes of the hills holds root only for a scraggly form of tough grass, and an occasional tough bush. These plain growths produce a variety of stunning blossoms on the morning after an all-night rain. Oddly, the colors of the blossoms seems somehow in phase with the cycles of the moon—the flowers are purple, dark blue, and maroon when it rains during the new moon, and white, bright yellow, pale blue, and pink after a full moon.
Aside from numerous mice and other rodents, the hills are home to the grey hawks that first gave the Free City of Greyhawk its name. These fierce predators are too small to threaten a man, but are greatly prized as hunting birds.
Two species of large mammals also attract occasional huntsmen to the Cairn Hills. Small herds of wild pigs inhabit the lower valleys, especially around the permanent streams. The hills are also home to a hardy breed of small deer. These surefooted grass-eaters inhabit the higher slopes of the hills. They are extremely shy and elusive. However, their meat is sweet and tender, and so they are highly sought after by human, halfling, gnome, and dwarf hunters.
Great castle built by the mad archmage Zagig Yragerne near Greyhawk City. Now ruined.
A small mining town on the edge of the same lake in the Cairn Hills, three day’s ride from Greyhawk City. Diamond Lake is the source of the Ery River, which flows down past the Free City of Greyhawk into the Wooly Bay. Though polluted by mine runoff, the lake is filled with gar and black-skinned eels, which are not fit for human consumption.
Detailed Diamond Lake info.
Basic Diamond Lake Info:
Diamond Lake is ruled by a governor-mayor appointed by the Directing Oligarchy of Greyhawk. As of 595 CY, the governor-mayor is Lanod Neff, who has held his office since at least 591 CY.
Diamond Lake nestles in the rocky crags of the Cairn Hills, three days east of the Free City of Greyhawk to which it is subject. Iron and silver from Diamond Lake’s mines fuel the capital’s markets and support its soldiers and nobles with the raw materials necessary for weapons and finery. This trade draws hundreds of skilled and unskilled laborers and artisans, all hoping to strike it rich.
In the hills surrounding the town, hundreds of laborers spend weeks at a time underground, breathing recycled air pumped in via systems worth ten times their combined annual salary. The miners are the chattel of Diamond Lake, its seething, tainted blood. But they are also Diamond Lake’s foundation, their weekly pay cycling back into the community via a gaggle of gambling dens, bordellos, ale halls, and temples. Because work in the mines is so demanding and dangerous, most folk come to Diamond Lake because they have nowhere else to turn, seeking an honest trade of hard labor for subsistence-level pay simply because the system has allowed them no other option. Many are foreigners displaced from native lands by war or famine. Work in a Diamond Lake mine is the last honest step before utter destitution or crimes of desperation. For some, it is the first step in the opposite direction: a careful work assignment to ease the burden on debtor-filled prisons, one last chance to make it in civil society.
Despite its squalor, Diamond Lake is crucial to the Free City’s economy. The city’s directors thus take a keen interest in local affairs, noting the rise and fall of the managers who run Diamond Lake’s mines in trust for the government.
Duchy of Urnst
The Duchy of Urnst, properly known as the Duchy Palatine of Urnst, is a political state of the Flanaess. Urnst is blessed with ample access to both the Nyr Dyv and the Nesser River, waterways that provide critical passage for the duchy’s legendary mineral wealth and foodstuffs (mostly seasoned sausages and rye).
Likewise gifted with a moderate climate, the farms of Urnst produce crops in all but the deepest winter. Summer rains commonly flood the banks of the Nesser well south of the capital; wise farmers construct low stone walls around their fields, building outbuildings on short stilts. The famous rolling foothills of the north prevent serious flooding there, and make for breathtaking landscapes remembered in travelogues read across the Flanaess.
Though Urnst enjoys natural defenses on every border, standing border armies have long augmented
the nation’s strength. Problems from the old Bandit Kingdoms, Rhennee, desert nomads, primitive hill folk, and the odd band of ravaging nonhumans have found swift solutions under the well trained hooves of the Bär Rampant, Duke Karll’s elite cavalry, stationed in Seltaren.
As of 591 CY, the most populous towns are Leukish (pop. 22,300), Nellix (pop. 13,400), Seltaren (pop. 9,800), Nyrstran (pop. 8,600), Pontyrel (pop. 7,550), and Goldplain (pop. 6,700).
As of 591 CY, the population of the Duchy of Urnst totaled 751,850 persons, the vast majority (almost 80%) being humans of mainly Suel descent. Elves, gnomes, halflings, dwarves, half-elves, and half-orcs make up the remainder of the population.
The most popular deities among the Duchy’s citizens are Saint Cuthbert (mainly among residents of rural regions), Pelor, and the halfling pantheon.
The Duchy of Urnst is an independent feudal monarchy (theoretically owing fealty to the old Great Kingdom) with hereditary rulership currently held by His Most Lordly Grace Karll Lorinar, the Duke of Urnst, Warden of the Abbor-Alz. The Honorable Chamber is a contingent of noble and high-born Suel that serves as the Duke’s advisors.
The national capital is Leukish.
The Duchy of Urnst’s coat of arms is blazoned thus: Vert, a brown bear rampant proper.
The Duchy of Urnst is noted for producing a variety of foodstuffs, and mining operations produce silver, electrum, gold, platinum, and gemstones of all qualities.
The Duchy’s standard coinage is based on Aerdy’s system and consists of the platinum sterling duke (pp), gold gold duke (gp), electrum bright (ep), silver shield (sp), and copper common (cp).
Dyvers, City of
In a city where gold often dictates one’s morals, adventure is never far away. From the rangers of the Gnarley Forest to the lofty Gentry of the city to the true rulers spinning their webs in dark alleyways, everyone is in need of something and everyone has something to sell.
Despite a devastating massacre among the gentry and their families in CY 595, the city leaders have not only rebuilt but rebounded into an economic boom.Foreign merchants clog the streets, plying wares from across the Flanaess and solidifying Dyvers’ claim of being the Jewel of the Flanaess—a not-so-subtle dig at the eastern rival of Greyhawk City, the Gem of the Flanaess. From the south, though, a long-feared enemy sees a ripe fruit ready to pluck, and the hordes of the Pomarj finally make their move, flooding the Gnarley Forest with orcs, goblins, ogres, and things far worse from the dark places of Oerth.
While its citizens are free to think what they want, there are certain concepts that make the average Dyversian bristle. After winning independence from Furyondy in CY 526, Dyvers does not take well to idle rhetoric wondering if the city would be better off under a king to the north. Also, Magister Larissa Hunter’s decree that any Greyhawk soldiers spotted anywhere near the lands’ eastern border would be taken as an act of war clearly demonstrates the animosity between the two giants of the Nyr Dyv.
Welcome to the City of Sails, where gold is thicker than blood.
The Free Lands of Dyvers consist of approximately 2,000 square miles on the southern bank of the Velverdyva, including four river islands, the verges of the Gnarley Forest, and the northernmost tip of the wooded Kron Hills. The land nearest the free city is suitable for farming and is leased to freemen by the Gentry of Dyvers, a collection of noble families who proudly trace their lineage back to the city’s Aerdi founders. The wild lands beyond the farms are technically owned by the less influential members of the Gentry, but are in fact populated primarily by lawless woodsmen, sylvan elves, and no few fairies, who of course pay tribute to no human lord.
A number of small villages dot the Free Lands of Dyvers. The most notable is Maraven, a burgeoning eastern town near the border with the lands of Greyhawk. Maraven straddles the highly traveled Greyhawk Road, and in the past played the Gentry of Dyvers against the Directing Oligarchy of Greyhawk, managing to remain neutral even through periods of heavy skirmishing between the cities. In recent years, however, the Magister of Dyvers, Larissa Hunter, put an end to this intrigue, stationing a castle to the east of Maraven, solidifying a hold on eastern nobles whose support was once tenuous at best.
Dyvers enjoys temperate weather throughout much of the year, with some accumulation of ice on the Velverdyva in deep winter. Due to its immense size and perhaps magical properties, the Lake of Unknown Depths does not freeze in cold weather; Dyvers runs shipping operations year round. Crews are mindful of the monstrous predators of the lake, however, and prepare accordingly.
The elite of Dyvers’ small military forces are the Free Marines, 1,500 well equipped and trained mariners who double as passable cavalry and infantry in times of crisis. Most troops are in the Free Army, roughly three thousand humans carrying either polearms or shortspears and shields. The current magister achieved great success in the wars as the captain of this able force.
Rickety piers extend into the shallow, weedy waters along the shore of the Midbay. Blue, sweet smoke wafts upward from tiny chimneys jutting from the grassy ground beyond. And everywhere people are walking, riding ponies, running, and talking.
This pastoral settlement of halflings has grown to become a major center for the diminutive demihumans, no doubt because of its proximity to Greyhawk itself.
Halflings, as a rule, enjoy the Free City for a time but grow tired of living there. Consequently, more than 5,000 of them have settled here, near the inlet of the Selintan River.
Ery River (AIR-ee)
Diamond Lake is the source of the Ery River, which flows out of the Cairn Hills near Greyhawk until it merges with the Selintan and Neer Rivers, eventually emptying into Wooly Bay.
Furyondy (see Kingdom of Furyondy, below)
The Gnarley Forest is a vast woodland extending for hundreds of miles from the southern shores of the Dyr Dvv all the way into the battle ravaged Pomarj. The northeast section of the forest is known locally as the Twisted Wood or Moaning Deep. This is the area of the Gnarley bordered on the north by the Velverdyva and on the east by the Selintan. The trees of the forest are black wood with deep purple or dark crimson leaves, and many are twisted into almost human shapes, contorted as if tormented. When breezes blow through the trees they create an unnerving moaning sound, especially intense after dark. A few tribes of woodsmen live in the Moaning Deep, hostile to outsiders and devout followers of the Old religions of blood and stone.
The Gnarley has a patchwork quilt of folk living within it, all with their own needs and interests. These include gnomes, dwarves, elves, human woodsmen, rangers, druids, fay and humanoids. They generally co-exist well enough, save for the humanoids, and cooperate in some cases.
Village of Five Oaks
This is the largest community within the eastern fringe of the Gnarley Forest, and is representative of the other villages and town throughout the rest of the vast wood.
Home to perhaps 100 people, Five Oaks boasts barely as much cleared ground as Lockswell Manor. Nor is the village surrounded by any kind of wall, the sheer number of its populace being its best hope of defense.
The brook that washes through the town is crossed by a small stone bridge leading onto the village square. Around this small meadow are poised the mayor’s house, the sawmill and the trading post. The other houses are generally two- or three room cabins. Such artisans as dwell here keep shops, of an additional room or two, with their houses.
Five Oaks boasts, besides the sawmill, a carpenter, blacksmith, tanner, leatherworker, innkeeper, livery/dairyman, and woodcarver among its industrious craftsmen and women.
The sawmill is powered by a waterwheel, and turns a blade nearly 12 feet in diameter. Boards are sawed for fee or barter, with barter preferred. Prices throughout the town are reasonable.
The trading post is the most exotic part of Five Oaks. It exists not so much to serve the local population, though it does so on a daily basis, but to offer goods from beyond the fringes of the forest to the elven traders who occasionally emerge from the heart of the Gnarley Forest to trade their valuable products.
The proprietor, Malco Frump, is an entrepreneur working for the Free City Merchant and Traders Union.
Consequently, in addition to the usual collection of flour, bacon, nails, tools, clothing, and the like, Malco keeps a variety of unusual and valuable goods on hand. His stock includes small amounts of things otherwise impossible to find in these lands: brilliant feathers from southern jungles, turquoise and platinum from mines in the East, sea shells, and salt, as well as ivory and jade carvings
Malco employs a pair of bodyguards, 4th-level fighters, to guard his treasures. The trading post is a stout building, with two doors that can be locked and barred.
The population of Goldplain stood at 6,700 persons as of 591 CY.
Greyhawk, Free City Of
As of 589 CY, the city itself boasted a population of 69,500, making it one of the largest cities on Oerth. The population for the entire Greyhawk Domain is roughly 160,000, including the larger towns of Safeton (pop. 6,100), Hardby (pop. 5,100) and Elmshire (pop. 4,000).
The Free City of Greyhawk hosts temples and shrines to many deities, including Boccob, Corellon Larethian, Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Garl Glittergold, Heironeous, Kord, Moradin, Obad-Hai, Olidammara, Pelor, Pholtus, Procan, Saint Cuthbert, Trithereon, Wee Jas, Yondalla. The worship of evil deities and fiends is forbidden, and such cults, though they may have followers, do not have a public presence.
Many more deities are worshipped in other settlements of the Domain of Greyhawk.
The Domain of Greyhawk has no officially named provinces. Some of the region’s settlements are under the direct rule of the Free City, while others have varying degrees of autonomy. Notable settlements include:
1. The Free City of Greyhawk.
2. Blackstone, a mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City.
3. Diamond Lake, a mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City.
4. Elmshire, a large halfling town on the Nyr Dyv, east of the Selintan.
5. Greysmere, a dwarven stronghold south of the Mistmarsh.
6. Grossetgrottel, a gnome warren located in the northwestern Cairn Hills.
7. Hardby, a small, virtually autonomous port city on Woolly Bay, east of the Selintan.
8. Magepoint, a coastal village east of Elmshire, under the protection of Tenser the archmage.
9. Narwell, a large inland town on the former Wild Coast.
10. Safeton, a small port city on the former Wild Coast, virtually under martial law.
11. Steaming Springs, a mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City.
The Free City of Greyhawk controls most of the Cairn Hills, which provide the domain with great mineral wealth, such as iron, gems, and silver.
The Domain of Greyhawk’s standard coinage consists of the platinum plate (pp), gold orb (gp), electrum lucky (ep), silver noble (sp), and copper common (cp). All of the coins are round, except for the platinum plate, which is square. The current coinage system replaced the previous system, which included coinage worth less than the copper common known as bronze zees, brass bits, and iron drabs.
Several roads link the settlements of the Domain of Greyhawk, including the High Road (from Greyhawk City to Elmshire), the Urnst Trail (from the High Road to the Duchy of Urnst), the Western Road (from Ford Keep on the Selintan to Dyvers), and the River Road (south from Greyhawk City along the Selintan).
Much river traffic takes place along the Selintan River, which can accommodate all but the largest sea-going vessels from the Nyr Dyv and Woolly Bay. Smaller vessels ply the Ery and Neen rivers.
The Domain of Greyhawk’s military forces, though technically under the Lord Mayor’s authority, are usually commanded by the Domain’s highest-ranking military officer, the Captain General of the Watch, who also sits on the city’s Directing Oligarchy. The current Captain General is Tigran Gellner.
Greyhawk’s forces consist of several units, including:
1. The Cairn Hills Force, led by Commander Schinus Balint.
2. The Greyhawk Mountaineers.
3. The Hardby Marines, led by Commander Wilbrem Carister.
4. The Narwell Headhunters.
5. The Safeton Garrison, led by Commander Turin Deathstalker.
6. The “Water Rats.”
A dwarven stronghold south of the Mistmarsh. Nestled between the Cairn Hills and the Guth Mountains is the dwarven village of Greysmere. Founded by a group of dwarves fleeing masses of humanoids and monsters, the city has long been an island onto itself in the mountains. With no allies in the area to call upon for aid, Greysmere has weathered countless attacks from the ogres, trolls and giants in the area. They have even come to odds with the minotaur clans in the Guth Mountains.
Greysmere is ruled over by a council of elders who see to the day to running of the city and its defense.
The people are tough and hardy with most having working knowledge of weapons and battle tactics, thanks for the cities mandatory military service policy.
Races : human (72%), half-orc, halfling, dwarf, gnome, half-elf, elf
Religions: Ehlonna, Joramy, Pelor, Procan, Saint Cuthbert, Wee Jas
Allies: Greyhawk City
Enemies: Bright Lands, Pomarj
Hardby (also known as the “City of the Scorned”) is a city in the Central Flanaess, in what is now known as the Domain of Greyhawk.
Hardby was founded in -278 CY by Ena Norbe, a Safeton wizard of Suel extraction who established the town (originally known as Norbe Harbor) as a gynarchy, to be forever ruled by women. The town has only ever had one official male ruler, Zagig Yragerne, who ruled as Despot from 339 to 351 CY. The town has been ruled by the City of Greyhawk since 582 CY, the Despotrix reduced to the status of figurehead, and resentment simmers.
Kingdom of Furyondy (FYOOR-ee-own-dee)
Furyondy is the greatest kingdom on Oerth (or so its citizens would claim). Rich with people, places, and possibilities, Furyondy is a sterling bastion of good on the world of Oerth. Furyondy stretches across the western half of the Flanaess, from the Nyr Dyv in the east, the mighty Velverdyva River in the south and west, north to the Vesve Forest and the shores of Whyestil Lake. The Kingdom is divided into smaller provinces, each ruled by a noble house. These include the County of Crystalreach and the Barony of Kalinstren in the North, both bastions of defense against Iuz; the Viscounty of the March, Furyondy’s breadbasket; the Barony of Littleberg, the most diverse province; the rich Gold County, the Duchy of the Reach, and the Barony of Willip in the south. Chendl is the capital and the seat of royal power. Furyondy’s major port and the seat of her Navy is on the Nyr Dyv in the city of Willip.
Currently, the Kingdom is still war-weary from the fighting of two great wars against Iuz the Evil, but our unrelenting crusade against Old Wicked has helped stem the tide of darkness in the Flanaess, and so our people bear their lot with quiet pride. Our leader is the pious and noble King Belvor IV, an aging paladin of Heironeous whose battle-savvy leadership got us through the great wars, and who is even now rebuilding the roads, towns, and castles damaged in the war years. Though he mourns the loss of his son, Thrommel, he continues the work of ruling his land. Rebuilding is a long and expensive process and the ongoing crusade against Old Wicked has only slowed it down.
There are many in the Flanaess who believe that Iuz is a spent force. Some may say that Old Wicked has been content to merely tease the fringes of his border states as an annoyance rather than as a true threat, but it takes time to hatch new plots and spawn unmentionable offspring; and time to delve deeper into the darkest places, creating armies that will not be vulnerable again. Now, the border states of Iuz, who have been rebuilding and reorganizing since the Flight Of Fiends, are about to discover what new nightmare Iuz The Old is ready to unleash upon the lands of the Flanaess! Are you prepared to fight?
Modern Furyondy is bordered by the Nyr Dyv to the east; by the Veng River, Whyestil Lake, and the Vesve Forest to the north; and by the Velverdyva River to the south and west.
As of 591 CY, the population of Furyondy totaled 1,481,800 persons, the vast majority being humans of chiefly Oeridian stock. Elves, halflings, dwarves, and gnomes make up less than 20% of the total population.
The most popular deities among Furyondians are Heironeous, Saint Cuthbert, Mayaheine, Zilchus, Trithereon, Fharlanghn
The Kingdom of Furyondy is a hereditary feudal monarchy. The power of the kingship is limited by the Noble Council.
Furyondy’s coat of arms is blazoned thus: Party per bend gules and azure, dexter three crowns in bend or, sinister a decrescent argent.
Furyondy is noted for its foodstuffs, cloth, gold, wines, fish, and shipbuilding supplies.
The Furyondy standard coinage consists of the platinum paladin (pp), gold wheatsheaf (gp), electrum knight (ep), silver sheridan (sp), and copper common (cp).
Furyondy has one of the most impressive armies in the Flanaess. Augmented by adventurers and mercenary bands, the full might of Furyondy’s national infantry and cavalry forces stands at roughly twenty thousand soldiers, with roughly the same amount raised by local lords.
The Furyondian Royal Navy patrols the Nyr Dyv, protecting the coasts from dangerous monsters and pirates. The navy is based in Willip at the largest dockyard in the Flanaess, the Willip Arsenal.
Midbay (Nyr Dyv)
A large inland town on the former Wild Coast. Narwell is farther from the orcish empire of the Pomarj than Safeton, and this city has a different atmosphere. It is less compacted than Safeton, with more open space and bordering into farmlands. It is not yet fully walled (building is in progress). While Safeton is brute force and strength, Narwell is a subtler, wilier kind of city. It has evil folk aplenty, but they tend to be thieves and bandits rather than the brutish men of safeton.
Narwell is jointly administered by its old ruler the self-styled Baron Janstin of Narwell, and Captain Ruberis Nenshen, brother of Org Nenshen of Greyhawk. Law here is not as strict as in Safeton; there is conscription, for example, but no curfews. There is also little doubt that the Baron is smarter than the Captain, and bandits still work from Narwell, at least in part with the Baron’s blessing. Since the Baron has joint say in militia operations, he knows where they will be patrolling, and some say that narwell bandits always manage to avoid the militia patrols and the Baron seems to be as affluent as ever he was, maybe due to the kick backs.
However, The militia here are tough and honorable, and they patrol western and central areas of the plains and the upper eastern fringe of the welkwood as far as castle mastryne. They train local militias in outlaying farm communities and give help in constructing defenses, also acquiring information and liaising with local land holders. The total garrison size is 350 men, excluding the Headhunters.
The Narwell Headhunters
This is a specialist division of Narwell’s Militia that includes thieves and rangers among its squad of 50. The headhunters specific brief is to bring justice to bandits who commit acts of looting, pillage, or violence against the communities of Greyhawk or the Wild Plains. The militia patrol to prevent such acts the headhunters go out actively tracking down those responsible. They have a free hand to do as they please, since they are mostly good-aligned and their leader, Captain Romerian Timane, is a LG ranger who would not tolerate gross violations of common law from his men.
The Headhunters will pursue their targets into the Gnarley Forest, Plains of Greyhawk, and even into the Welkwood if necessary. They are determined and relentless, and they include several priests (of lawful deities) who use divination spells in their pursuits. The Headhunters have also taken over most patrolling within the upper welkwood, their ranger-spies being ideally suited for such work.
Nyr Dyv (neer-DIV)
The largest freshwater lake in the Flanaess, the true depth of the Nyr Dyv has never been determined. Fresh water sea monsters and pirates roam the lake. Currently, the evil Empire of Iuz controls the Nyr Dyv, even without a true fleet of ships plying its waters.
The Pomarj can refer either to a large peninsula located in the central Flanaess, or to the Orcish Empire of the Pomarj, located in the same region.
Before the Great Migrations, the Pomarj was mainly a desolate region populated by primitive Flan tribespeople who revered equally primitive deities of earth and sky. Eventually, small numbers of outcast Suel settled the region. The region received little notice from the rest of the world for centuries, remaining largely isolated.
In 295 CY, King Tavish I of Keoland and the Prince of Ulek, seeking to exploit the Pomarj’s mineral wealth, raised an army to invade and subjugate the region, an endeavor which was accomplished in the span of a few years. The Pomarj was divided up into roughly a dozen small baronies, which were awarded to favored families of the Keoish throne. These subfiefs were administered by and under the protection of the Principality of Ulek. Over the next few decades, mining brought great wealth to these petty barons. In 305 CY, the town of Highport was constructed on the north coast to share these riches with the rest of the Flanaess.
In 461 CY, the Principality of Ulek had withdrawn from Keoland to gain palatinate status. The barons of the Pomarj at this time, being subjects of the Prince of Ulek, had no voice in the Council of Niole Dra. Dissatisfied with their position, the Pomarj barons broke with the Principality of Ulek in 463, declaring their own independence. The barons ejected the Prince’s dwarven garrisons and declared Highport their capital. Despite this apparent unity, however, each baron ruled his state independently, and feuds were common. Many barons assigned themselves grandiose titles, such as archbaron, duke, or prince. The baron of Suderham, even went so far as to dub himself “King of the Drachensgrabs.”
In 498 CY, the Hateful Wars began as an alliance between Celene and the Ulek States sought to drive the orcs, goblins, and other evil humanoids from Lortmil Mountains. The Prince of Ulek invited the former barons of the Pomarj to join the alliance, but the lords of the Pomarj refused, fearing reabsorption into the Principality and seeing little reason to involve themselves in what they viewed as chiefly a conflict between non-humans. By 510 CY, the Hateful Wars were over, but this conflict would have great repercussions for the Pomarj.
In 513 CY, hordes of surviving orcs, goblins, and other evil creatures from the Lortmils, having few places to hide from their elven and dwarven foes, fled to the Pomarj, emerging from the Suss and falling upon Highport in a destructive rage. In a matter of months, all of the other former baronies, save the hidden city of Suderham, also fell to the humanoid invaders.
Over the next few decades, the Pomarj became essentially a backwater filled with orcs, goblinoids, and other evil creatures, as well as a haven for human bandits, pirates, slavers, and other criminals. Various humanoid tribes carved out territories. Any good humans left lived as slaves, or else waged a losing guerilla war against the invaders.
By 574 CY, the last king of Suderham was assassinated by the Slave Lords, who turned the town into their base of operations. The Slave Lords managed to bring much of the Pomarj under their control, but by 580 CY their power was broken.
During the Greyhawk Wars of 582-584 CY, a powerful orc chieftain named Turrosh Mak united the Nedla and other humanoid tribes of the Pomarj, and invaded the surrounding lands, bringing much of the Wild Coast and the Principality of Ulek under his control. Mak named his “empire where none has stood” the Orcish Empire of the Pomarj. Though much of the land west of the Jewel was reclaimed by the Principality of Ulek in 586 CY, Mak continues to hold power in the region, and his empire shows no signs of decline.
The Pomarj proper is a peninsula dividing the Azure Sea from the Sea of Gearnat. It is bordered by the Jewel River to the west, the Suss Forest and Woolly Bay to the north, with the Straights of Gearnat to the east and the Azure to the south. The borders of the Empire are slightly larger, extending north along the Wild Coast, stopping only a few leagues south of Safeton. The Empire’s western border once stretched as far as the foothills of the Lortmils, but much of this land has since been reclaimed by the Principality of Ulek.
The peninsula is dominated by the Drachensgrabs, a range of hills which ascend to the height of mountains at their highest point. The soil of the land is poor, making cultivation of crops difficult.
As of 591 CY, the population of the Pomarj was estimated at 476,000 persons, with 43% being orcs, 28% humans (mainly of Suel and Oeridian ancestry), 15% goblin, 10% hobgoblin, and 4% of other races.
The orcish pantheon, led by Gruumsh, is heavily favored in the Pomarj, as are Beltar, Syrul, and the goblin pantheon, led by Maglubiyet. The cult of the Earth Dragon is also a strong force on the peninsula.
Pontyrel is a major town in the Duchy of Urnst, located within the Maure lands.
Pontyrel has a population of 7,550.
While the exact date of the founding of the city of Pontyrel is unknown, this much is known: Three minor noble houses of the Suel arrived in this area one year before the Twin Cataclysms. Banding together they named the newly constituted Suloise house, the Maure and laid claim to the lands all around, including the present day location of Pontyrel.
Pontyrel lies about 30 miles south of the Stone Tooth, or about three days travel. It is ruled by Sir Miles Berrick. The city is a large trade city, and the militia here regularly keeps an eye on the hills to the south, and the mountains up to Maure Castle. Due to the wide array of peoples in the city, crime is somewhat regular, but put down quickly by the city guard. Pontyrel is an icon of inter-racial relations and cooperation.
A small port city on the former Wild Coast, virtually under martial law. Safeton is closest to the expanded Orc Empire of the Pomarj, and has a population of 5,500. Fishing, trade, laboring, quarrying, and mercantile seamanship are the sources of income here, but life is hard for most.
Safeton has an atmosphere of paranoia and fear. It is subject to military rule by the 550 Greyhawk militiamen, with nighttime curfews outside the notorious Dock District (where the militia do not patrol). Three war galleys are stationed at Safeton, and Hardby Marines are training Safeton men in the hard military duties expected of them under the new conscription law. Life is tough and bloody here; many of the native folk are of evil alignments and some of them are as brutal as any orc bandit pillaging and slaying farmsteads.
Safeton’s defenses are being strengthened as a matter of priority. A complete wooden stockade wall has been erected, and within that a stone wall is being built with two massive entry gates. Sea defenses are strong, but the land threat is the greatest, so slave labor is being used round the clock to construct the walls. Slaves always existed in Safeton, and many used to be sold to the Pomarj, a horrible irony. Greyhawk law does not allow slavery, but the slaves have been appropriated as workhouse-billeted people for this essential construction of work.
Safetons climate is that of typical temperate seaboard, with one notable exception. During Goodmonth and Harvester each year, a powerful southeasterly wind blows in from the sea. The “Safeton Physic”, as the gale is known, begins to blow just after noon and continues until late into the night. It takes its name from the belief that the wind blows away disease and detritus from the poorer parts of the city. It makes piloting and sailing out of port somewhat more hazardous.
About 9,800 people live in or very near the city. They are farmers, craftsmen, and traders. Duke Karll has protected his city from attack by erecting a wall around it. The wall is dotted with 24 towers. His castle is located on a craggy hill that looms over the city. In the city, the Duke keeps 500 soldiers ready for any emergency. The Duke also has an elite troop, the Bar Rampant, who go on special missions and sometimes act as his bodyguard. The entire Elvenguard often patrols the hills to the south.
Just to the south of the city is the private estate of the Duke, managed by a loyal cousin. This land is mostly well-tended woods and gardens. It is surrounded by a low (15’) wall. The Duke uses the estate as a summer palace and hunting preserve. Anyone found on the grounds is treated as a poacher.
Poor workers and petty thieves live just outside the city walls. They work outlying farms and the Estate of Marilenev, a holding that surrounds the city.
The city is a crowded, noisy, unsanitary place. The streets are very narrow, twisting, and dark. There is no sewage system, except for trenches in the centers of streets. Pigs, chickens, geese, and goats are not uncommon in the poorer sections of the city. Most buildings stand one or two stories. They are made of dried clay brick or mud and wattle, constructed on a wooden frame. A few buildings are made of stone or fired brick. Most businesses are on the ground floor, the owner living upstairs. Water is drawn from public wells, or from the river when the tide is flowing out. Crime and gangs are not uncommon. The gangs meet near the city walls and in the squalid sections late at night.
A very small mining town near a natural occurring area of hotsprings along the road from the Free City of Greyhawk to Diamond Lake. Very few live here due to the sulfurous smell.
The Wild Coast is located on the western shore of Wooly Bay, south of the domain of Greyhawk and along the edge of the Gnarley Forest. A hive of scum and villainy, it is effectively ruled by organized crime. Slave trading is as common as blacksmithing. Ruffians stand on street corners and arrogantly rob with impunity in broad daylight, the thieves’ guild having paid off the local guards to look the other way. Known warlords and evil priests have brazenly seized lands and constructed strongholds with no regard to others. The city of Greyhawk and the Kingdom of Furyondy are gradually enforcing law and order, but there are still many wild areas currently out of their reach.