My apologies if this question has been raised before. I could not find it during my search.
I would like to know WHY magic was forbidden for a long time in Keoland.
WHEN did it start?
Did it include Clerical and Druidic magic?
How about the Elves in the Dreadwood and other forests? Where they allowed to practice magic?
Of course the Silent Ones and some nobility was allowed to use magic, but are there any other groups that were allowed to use it?
I don't have my materials in front of me but I believe it was due to the Silent Ones wanting to control how magic was practiced. I think this was mainly due to the Mahel having rebelled and delving into forbidden magics in Keoland's early history.
If magic was outlawed in Keoland, there would be no Silent Ones. In later material, I believe that workers of arcane magic need to be licensed to practice arcane magic in Keoland. Basically, the Keoish government wants to know who is able to do so. I see it as Keoland's way of simply letting those capable of mass destruction know that they can't just be going around raising undead hordes, or fireballing locks off of shop doors, and stuff.
Such a license is not required by workers of divine magic, presumably because most would see it as preposterous to demand anyone have a license to practice their religion. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I think to say that magic was outlawed in Keoland is too simplistic. There is a subtle and historical path to how these things progressed.
Initially, most of the mages who migrated to the Sheldomar Valley were either apprentices of Slerotin or of other mages of power who perished in the cataclysm. However, many of these "apprentices" were equivalent to Archmages as we would know them in the present. The migrating houses agreed to pool their resources, though these would primarily be the Neheli, Rhola, and Linth, who had the most formidable spellcasters. Two exceptions were the Malhel and the Zelrad. The latter migrated across the Azure to the lands of Ehlissa.
The Keogh, an Oeridian House who joined the Suel migrants, was particularly bereft of magic, unlike their cousins the Aerdi and Nyrondi. So they had little to contribute on that score.
Overall, there was a strong sentiment among the populace that magic and the gods were the causes of their predicament. So various philosophical strains became slowly established in the early kingdom. The first was that magic was dangerous and those who wielded needed to be controlled or watched. The second was that the gods were uncaring and of little respite, not coming to the aid of the Suel at the hour of their greatest need. So their representatives on Oerth would never enjoy any special status or establishment in the kingdom.
Over the decades as the kingdom began to form and expand, the apprentices united into a secret society, which came to be known as the Silent Ones. They were the keepers of magical secrets and the legacy of the Suel. They chose their membership and were answerable to few, save themselves.
The House of Malhel refused to join this society and in fact, in a brazen act attacked the Silent Ones around a century after the Rain of Colorless Fire. They made off with a lot of magic and a great many secrets (including it is said, the first appearance of the Hand and Eye of Vecna). They caused a lot of havoc before they finally fell. From then on, the clampdown on practitioners of magic became extreme. The power of the Silent Ones increased vastly and they would only teach magic to certain nobles and heralds. So the ruling houses of Keoland enjoyed a near-monopoly on the practice of magic. The elves were carved out as an exception (Dreadwood, Silverwood, Axewood mostly). A blind eye was always turned on what happened in the Good Hills. However, magic would be kept from the hands of common men. Foreign mages would be expelled or tried as witches.
That lasted until the Slumbering, when even the powers and privileges of the Silent Ones began to wane. Uhas of Neheli's Chronicle of Secret Times punctured many shibboleths and the sway of cynicism grew. The Rholans began to do whatever they wanted with regard to magic in their domain. They allowed for Sea Mages and private guilds in Gradsul. By the late 200s CY, many were agitating for change. That arrived in the form of Tavish the Great, who upended the established order, reduced the privileges of the Silent Ones, and established an Academy of Wizardry which would give Keoland the magical prowess on the battlefield that its neighbors enjoyed. While the practice of magic became more widespread in the imperial age, the use of magic by untrained commoners was still frowned on and in certain provinces, a death sentence. Only following the ascension of Kimbertos Skotti, 40 years ago, has that changed and freemages are now not uncommon, especially in the big cities.
Psmedger is the best to ask about post-Gygax Keoland.
Gygaxian-Greyhawk is much more DIY with very little information provided.
I'd recommend stealing only the best of Psmedger's reply ( as I've done several times. Personally i loosely base Keoland on Elizabethian England with both good and evil magic and a cadre of Witchfinder's in service to the crown.
The migrating houses agreed to pool their resources, though these would primarily be the Neheli, Rhola, and Linth, who had the most formidable spellcasters. Two exceptions were the Malhel and the Zelrad. The latter migrated across the Azure to the lands of Ehlissa.
Nice, Gary. I hadn't thought too much about the cause of the conflict between the Zelrad and the other Suloise houses in the Sheldomar so this makes a lot of sense. Any insight into why the Onnwi might have left or where exactly they might have come from? I'm assuming someone in the UK Triad came up with them? By my dating it looks like they migrated about 20 years before the Zelrad. I'd speculate maybe they came from the area that became the Sea Princes.
It's looking to me like a lot of the Suloise who ended up in the eastern Flanaess migrated by sea, and the area of Jeklea Bay does make the most sense as an origin point for them.
The Suel Diaspora is a cool and broad topic with many branches which we should explore in other threads. I'm not familiar with the "Onnwi", though its pronunciation makes me think they are boring, lol. But as you say, I think that is a Living Greyhawk creation.
So the migrations of the Suel came in many waves, the final being the escape through the Lost Passage of the Suloise. After that, you only had stragglers, no more Houses or Tribes. Some of the Suel migrated before the Rain of Colorless Fire, we call those the Firstcomer Suel. Some of those groups had been in the southern Sheldomar Valley for decades before the wars. Some stretched as far as the future Pomarj, which is still called the Suenha Hills in Keoland, after the Suel who settled them. Lots of these groups were eventually pushed out by the more powerful Neheli and Rhola and would have crossed the waters to the eastern coast of the Azure Sea, settling what would later be known as Onnwal, Idee, Sunndi, and the South Province.
So whatever you call them, I think these "Onnwi" might have come from the area we call the Pomarj today. But yes, the entire coast from the Pomarj down to Jeklea Bay would have been potential embarcation points for various groups. Some of those unfortunates would have landed on the Tilvanot Peninsula and been absorbed into the secret Scarlet Sign society.
I should note that some of the apprentices of Slerotin went NE instead of E, so not all remained with the Silent Ones. Of particular note, was the founder of the House of Maure. Not an original Suel Imperial house, but a new one with many magical secrets at its disposal.
We also know a moderately powerful Suel splinter group went to the Wild Coast, founding some of its settlements, including Hard Bay. Though these were a bit later in the timeline to be during the migrations.
There is also the matter of the group that went to the Suss and founded a Lost City there? Could their name have been Cynidiceans? Food for thought.
I missed it the first time in the LG Onnwal Gazetteer that the Onnwi did indeed sail from the Pomarj, so my guess about the Jeklea Bay area was wrong.
In the stuff I've been writing recently about the history of the eastern Flanaess I hadn't committed to where they came from. I have them as a piratical seafaring culture who were hostile to the Zelrad refugee fleet as they were sailing east, which is why the latter ended up in Ehlissa. Almost 140 years later they sacked the earliest incarnation of Chathold during the wars Tuerny's neighbors were waging to try and contain him.
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