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    Canonfire :: View topic - Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe
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    Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:04 pm  
    Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe

    "See the Pomarj--and Die!" a 1991 article in Dragon #167, mentions the hero-deity Krovis, who sleeps in a tomb beneath the Drachensgrabs and comes forth only "to prevent the domination of any goodly portion of the Flanaess by a single individual or state."

    The article further states that Krovis has been in his crypt for "almost 2000 years," meaning he probably wound up entombed about -1418 CY (assuming the article reflects the state of the Pomarj in 582 CY, the year of the CoG box, yet prior to the Wars), and that two of the times he sallied forth was to bring down the "dominions of the Isles of Woe and the Empire of Lum the Mad (both of which occurred more than 1000 years ago."

    This last sentence means that the Isles of Woe and Lum's empire fell between -1418 and -420 CY. This date is probably too early for Lum's empire, given the fact that he discovered the sword Druniazth about 200 years after -420. But what of the Isles of Woe? I know of no specific date for their destruction, though it is known that the city of Veralos paid tribute to the Isles. That city fell before -366 CY, so it is possible that the Isles fell sometime within the range mentioned above.

    Thoughts? I realize that there are some problems with the Pomarj article (perhaps the biggest being the "unofficial" disclaimer at the beginning), but it's the closest thing I've found to a date for the fall of the isles, apocryphal or not.
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    Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:08 am  

    I don't have much new to add to this Rob, but I concur on your research which I've done as well. The time period you line out was a very busy time for Flandom including other notable things like Inverness, Tostenhca and Sulm. I'd go with the Veralos connection to the Isles and have their fall at the high end of your range, -1400 as there was probably a power vacuum with the disappearance of Galap Dreidel then by extension the Isle's fall giving rise to the Sulm and Itar nations. Veralos hangs on till much later by virtue of the Isle's destruction giving them independence enough to become neutral and barely outlast many larger Flan realms like Tostenhca and Sulm.
    Lum's realm I am not up on, but I'm sure to fit other sources like you said he would be best off Migration era.
    GreySage

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    Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:54 am  

    We discussed the time and place of Baron Lum in this old thread, in which I started out appallingly ignorant but things ended up hashed out pretty well. One relevant thing is that Grodog, from whom the Druniazth reference originated, specifies that he didn't intend to fix a firm date for Lum's lifetime (he said over 800 years ago, but says this could have been considerably more than 800 years ago). In any case, Ivid the Undying places Lum clearly in the Migrations era (before the founding of the Kingdom of Aerdy, in any case).

    We discussed the Isles of Woe in this thread.

    From Dragon #293, we know that the Isles of Woe sank "early in prehistory," and that Veralos outlasted it, probably by many centuries (assuming that the Great Migrations period, when Veralos finally fell, was late prehistory). That article uses the word "even" to describe Veralos's fealty to the Isles of Woe, as if that fact was more momentous than their trade with Sulm, Itar, Ahlissa, and Nuria. Perhaps the intent was merely that paying tribute to someone is more impressive than merely trading with them, but I think the intent was probably that the Isles of Woe are significantly more ancient than those other four nations.

    The magic number 2000 (approx. -1400 CY) appears quite a lot in the history of the Flan. Approximately 2000 years ago the kingdom of Sulm was just beginning its decline, and Keraptis had established his protectorate over Tostenhca ("some two thousand years ago," according to Return to White Plume Mountain). It's thought that this was the beginning of Vecna's reign, too, to account for references in Vecna Lives! to Vecna being thousands of years old. And Krovis has been in his crypt for almost 2000 years. The fall of Erlacor in Dragon #51 was placed 2000 years ago as well, though of course that's not official Greyhawk material, nor were the people of Erlacor named as Flan.

    I think Galap-Dreidel's time was probably considerably earlier than the Isles of Woe, though, since the Flan had only just arrived in the Abbor-Alz region (C2 simply says "the land," which could mean the immediate area or the Flanaess in general) when Galap-Dreidel was "at the height of his power and glory" - if you think the Isles of Woe were Flan, which seems likely to me, then they probably didn't become very impressive until the Flan had been in the area (which is pretty damn close to the Nyr Dyv) for considerably longer.

    I don't really have any firm conclusions here. I think Dragon #293 implies the Isles of Woe sank more than 2000 years ago, but Dragon #167 indicates it must have been less than that. There's no "firm" canon on the matter either way.
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    Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:04 pm  

    The latter, after c. -1400 CY, sounds more reasonable to me. Not to say that one thing must flow from another, but Kyuss probably wasn't the only dissident who fled Sulm during its decline. Whoever founded the kingdom of the Isles of Woe may have also been from Sulm. Something to remember though is that even if Krovis did put the kibosh on the Isles less than 2000 years ago that doesn't mean it wasn't around for a good deal of time before that. Its founders could have even been more refugees from Caerdiralor c. -4000.

    Good research from all concerned though, and especially a good catch by Rob. Well done!
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    Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:54 pm  
    Re: Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe

    OK, let's try again. My first attempt seems to have been unsuccessful.

    Robbastard wrote:
    "See the Pomarj--and Die!" a 1991 article in Dragon #167, mentions the hero-deity Krovis, who sleeps in a tomb beneath the Drachensgrabs and comes forth only "to prevent the domination of any goodly portion of the Flanaess by a single individual or state."



    I can't help but ask what qualifies as "a goodly portion" of the Flanaess. Since Krovis was supposedly 'asleep' for 2,000 years, that would mean the Great Kingdom at its largest wasn't quite big enough apparently.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:15 am  
    Re: Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe

    BlueWitch wrote:
    I can't help but ask what qualifies as "a goodly portion" of the Flanaess. Since Krovis was supposedly 'asleep' for 2,000 years, that would mean the Great Kingdom at its largest wasn't quite big enough apparently.


    Perhaps it's the lack of any states strong enough to oppose them. It's all about balance. At its largest, the Great Kingdom still wasn't any threat to Keoland (which was not yet at its own imperial height), and Keoland buffered it from expanding into the Baklunish lands, so Aerdy really couldn't expand much further.

    Lum's domain might have been tiny in comparison, but until Leuk-o's betrayal (which solved the problem), there may have been no one who could counter is indefinite expansion. The same might have been true for the Isles of Woe before their drowning; Sulm, Itar, Nuria, Vecna, Keraptis, and so on might have been mighty, but they might have all lost a series of extremely one-sided battles with the armies of Woe, inspiring Krovis to rise and take action. Not that he really seems to have made much of a difference.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:16 am  
    Re: Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe

    BlueWitch brings up an interesting point, but I believe that the only possible answer lies in one's own point of view. After all, very little information on the subject actually exists in canon.

    Krovis was/is undoubtedly a Flan hero/hero deity. Baron Lum was an Oeridian warlord. That Krovis would protect the Flanaess -- the land of the Flannae people -- from such a tyrant is, to me, obvious. Because of this, I'm at a loss as to explain why Krovis did not act against the Great Kingdom, which unquestionably oppressed many of Krovis' people while taking their lands.

    rasgon wrote:
    Perhaps it's the lack of any states strong enough to oppose them. It's all about balance . . . The same might have been true for the Isles of Woe before their drowning; Sulm, Itar, Nuria, Vecna, Keraptis, and so on might have been mighty, but they might have all lost a series of extremely one-sided battles with the armies of Woe, inspiring Krovis to rise and take action.


    Rasgon's answer may well explain Krovis' actions against the Isles of Woe, given that kingdom's Flan origins. But this answer still leaves the question of the advent of the Great Kingdom and even of the rise of Keoland. Confused

    Why did this Flan hero not act to help/assist his people against the oppression of the Oeridians has never really been sufficiently explained.

    Of course, this situation does leave us with a blank canvass upon which to paint our own individual picture. Wink
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    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:01 pm  

    You're assuming the Flan thought of themselves as one people, Mystic. I doubt that was the case. They were many nations with a history of wars between them. Krovis's responsibilities were to the Flanaess, not to people of a certain range of skin tones. In his day, when he was awake, he fought against many other Flan nations, and considered them to be his foes.

    Krovis was a man presumedly from the Pomarj, or perhaps that was only where he was buried. I don't think he would have identified so much with the vile Necromancers of the Trask or Vecna's empire that he would have sided with them against the Great Kingdom or Keoland. While the Flan may have suffered in both those modern kingdoms, they suffered far more under the grasp of the foul necromancer-kings of old.

    In our world, the idea of continent-spanning "races" is mostly a 19th century construct. To project that kind of racism on to Krovis would be anachronistic, I think. The Suel were a single nation, as were the Baklunish at one point. The Oeridians were more of a confederation of tribes, but united for a brief time by a single prophecy and goal. The Flannae were never united by anything, as far as I know.

    Krovis doesn't represent "Flan pride" or anything like that, if any pan-Flannae solidarity ever existed (and I maintain it did not). He represents the desire for political balance on the continent. He doesn't attempt to eliminate tyranny or war, only to contain these things within reasonable boundaries.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:06 pm  

    Thanks for the input, all!

    Another thing I find curious is Krovis's relationship with Trithereon. Though Krovis is definitely Flan, Trithereon seems very much an Oeridian deity, and its certain that the Oeridians didn't begin their migrations until c. -465 CY (tAB, 55), & even StP&D states that the Oeridians arrived in the Pomarj about 1100 years ago, or c. -519 CY (DR167, 11), both dates being much earlier than -1418.

    Another empire extant during Krovis's napping was that of Vecna--in fact, the main reason I was perusing this article was as part of my research on Vecna's history (I was hoping to find a hint on Vecna II/Mace). Something that I found interesting when dating Krovis's interment was that it falls very close to the date I determined for Vecna's seige of Fleeth (c -1420), so it's tempting to link the two (though I probably won't).
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:22 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:
    Trithereon seems very much an Oeridian deity


    Trithereon is by no means an Oeridian deity. He's listed as "common," which means there are legends of him in most cultures. Even the Living Greyhawk deities list lists his origin as "unknown." While he's said to have blond hair, so is Pelor (an ally of his). I don't think it's unreasonable for him to have appeared in different guises in various times and places, either; while his current appearance may be how he's most recognized in the Flanaess today, there's no reason to assume everyone has always seen him that way. In any case, "red-gold hair and grey eyes" sounds at least as Suloise as it does Oeridian, so I don't think even his appearance is enough to link him with the Oeridians in particular.

    Trithereon has an interest in fighting tyranny, so an alliance with Krovis is natural for him. While Krovis, as above, doesn't strive to eliminate all tyranny everywhere, his foes are usually tyrants by definition.

    Trithereon, as I see him, originated in some mythic land far in the past, some antediluvian realm that no longer exists, although he may not have ever been a mortal or a member of a mortal race. I see him as a combination of Cuchulain, Rama, and Corum, a bigger-than-life cultural hero common to many cultures.

    Quote:
    Something that I found interesting when dating Krovis's interment was that it falls very close to the date I determined for Vecna's seige of Fleeth (c -1420), so it's tempting to link the two (though I probably won't).


    That would be tempting, yes. Like I said, 2000 years ago is a pretty common date in Flan history.


    Last edited by rasgon on Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:25 pm  
    Re: Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe

    Robbastard wrote:
    "See the Pomarj--and Die!" a 1991 article in Dragon #167, mentions the hero-deity Krovis, who sleeps in a tomb beneath the Drachensgrabs and comes forth only "to prevent the domination of any goodly portion of the Flanaess by a single individual or state."


    I just ignore that lat bit. Showing up only to throw a wrench in the plans of power players is not only a poor idea, but seems like the ultimate "I screwed up may campaign by giving the *insert name of power player that you mistakenly have allowed to run amok here* too much land and power, but how do I fix it? Hah! The old 'Krovis Maneuver'! Brilliant!" maguffin. Just a bad idea, and rather pointless. Or...

    "Don't become too successful, or Krovis will come an' git ya!"

    ---Common Oeridian bed-time saying.

    Just a plain horrible bogey-man idea with regards to this purpose. Confused
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    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:39 pm  
    Re: Krovis, Lum, and the Isles of Woe

    Cebrion wrote:
    Showing up only to throw a wrench in the plans of power players is not only a poor idea, but seems like the ultimate "I screwed up may campaign by giving the *insert name of power player that you mistakenly have allowed to run amok here* too much land and power, but how do I fix it?


    That would be a bad idea, but I don't think that was Joseph Bloch's intent (one could ask him, of course, perhaps on his blog).

    In fact, that use of Krovis had never even occurred to me.

    I think, rather, the idea is that if an NPC villain starts to conquer the Flanaess, one of the steps the PCs are intended to take while gathering allies is find his tomb in the Pomarj and perform the lost, mystic ritual needed to awaken him, probably after defeating various guardians and solving appropriate puzzles first.

    And he still shouldn't be used as a deus ex machina, "Krovis is here! We're saved!" It's more of a "Through our efforts, we've managed to awaken the ancient hero who opposed Kas once before. But this is only the first step; next we must negotiate with the Keoish and elves of Celene and perform whatever tasks they require to convince them to ally with this ancient Flan guy they've never heard of, find the Crown of Burgess, destroy the Sword of Kas, and summon the Kelmain from beyond the world's edge. Then and only then, with his armies sufficiently distracted, we can fight Kas in personal combat and take him down."

    I always saw him as a potential ally and a source of ancient knowledge, not as an antagonist. As an ally, he offers a flavorful way for the PCs to start building up their army of liberation. As an opponent, he's not going to be any more effective than any other excuse to get a coalition of states gathered together to oppose the new expansionist power, and probably less effective than most. A return of Prince Thrommel would have more credibility in the eyes of the modern Flanaess, and Krovis's ancient wisdom isn't going to be so effective against a modern PC. As an individual, Krovis is a high-level character and probably hard to take down in personal combat, but dealing with a PC who commands entire nations is going to take more than that.

    I don't think Krovis awakens automatically when the tyranny-o-meter in his Krovis-Cave reaches a certain threshold; I think there are ancient rituals once known to certain bards of the Old Lore - a mystic horn that needs to be winded, riddles that need to be answered - and that in the past there were still people around who knew to perform them to receive Krovis's aid when it was needed. These secrets have long since been lost, until the PCs stumble upon them.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:00 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    You're assuming the Flan thought of themselves as one people, Mystic. I doubt that was the case. They were many nations with a history of wars between them.


    The Celts and native Americans were much the same as you describe, but even as different tribes they often recognized "common" enemies. (Rome and the U.S. Calvary come to mind) And it was in this context that I was speaking -- Krovis and the Flannae against a common enemy.

    rasgon wrote:
    In our world, the idea of continent-spanning "races" is mostly a 19th century construct. To project that kind of racism on to Krovis would be anachronistic, I think.


    In our world the "concept" of race is much older than that. Even in the wars of ancient Israel -- some 3,000 years ago -- "race" was spoken of and played a factor.

    As far as "the idea of continent-spanning "races" is" concerned, the sons of Japheth (whites) always dominated Europe. The sons of Ham (modern Arabs and blacks) have always dominated Africa. And the sons of Shem have always dominated the Far East, Asia. I'd call that "continent-spanning."

    rasgon wrote:
    Krovis doesn't represent "Flan pride" or anything like that . . . He represents the desire for political balance on the continent.


    If true, he's the only one to apparently feel that way, as everyone else seems bent on ruling the entire Flanaess, one way or another. Even among the Flan tribes.

    As such, Krovis would be better suited as an ally of Boccob, the only Greater Deity seeking true "balance." While Trithereon may be interested in individuality, he doesn't impress me as being strong on "balance" in particular.

    I agree with Rob in that Krovis and Trithereon are not a very "logical" mix. And Rob, I think you should go ahead and link Krovis with the Vecna/Fleeth story. If ever there was a Tyrant worth opposing, it would be Vecna.

    Of course, that leaves open the question: When is Krovis going to "wake up" and help "us" with Iuz? Evil Grin
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:29 pm  

    I agree that it would be very bad to use Krovis deux ex machina-like.

    However, there are couple of ways to take the statement "to prevent the domination of any goodly portion of the Flanaess by a single individual or state." It could be taken to mean "to prevent the domination of any good-aligned portion of the Flanaess", or it could be taken to mean "to prevent the domination of a sizable portion of the Flanaess". Either reading has its issues, as plenty of good nations have fallen in the past and near present, and sizable portions of the Flanaess have been taken over in the past and the near present.

    Under either reading, and as a cultural figure, through the centuries Krovis has been an incredible underachiever. Wink Perhaps a ret-con is in order to have had him rise up a few more times in the past and make his presence felt in minor, and perhaps not well remembered, conflicts in the Pomarj area.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:30 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    The Celts and native Americans were much the same as you describe, but even as different tribes they often recognized "common" enemies. (Rome and the U.S. Calvary come to mind) And it was in this context that I was speaking -- Krovis and the Flannae against a common enemy.


    Well, first of all, no, I don't think the Celts and Native Americans were much the same as I described. The Flan were the sole human population of the entire Flanaess; compare them to the Romans and Greeks and Celts put together, rather than the Celts alone, and ask if an invasion from Carthage on the African continent would have been enough to cause all the Celts to rally in defense of their Roman enemies.

    Secondly, if you plucked a Hopi from Pre-Columbian times and told him to go defend the Choctaw in 1831, no, I don't think he's necessarily going to go, "My fellow red men! I must save them!" He's not going to recognize this completely alien group as being "his" people; neither is Krovis, who went to sleep before the Great Migrations, suddenly going to have any great fellow-feeling for the Demogorgon-worshiping cannibals of the Flanmi River during the period when the Houses of Naelax and Torquann were subjugating them.

    Historically, the European colonists in North America often found native groups who were willing to fight against other native groups, and Caesar allied with Gallic tribes against their fellow Celts. Each group did as they felt their self-interest merited, not according to some imaginary ethnic solidarity.

    Quote:
    In our world the "concept" of race is much older than that. Even in the wars of ancient Israel -- some 3,000 years ago -- "race" was spoken of and played a factor.


    I specified continent-spanning races; the ancient Israelites were fighting their own neighbors. There's no comparison.

    Quote:
    As far as "the idea of continent-spanning "races" is" concerned, the sons of Japheth (whites) always dominated Europe. The sons of Ham (modern Arabs and blacks) have always dominated Africa. And the sons of Shem have always dominated the Far East, Asia. I'd call that "continent-spanning."


    The Biblical names you're mentioning were applied by the authors of the Book of Genesis to peoples who lived relatively near to them in the Middle East and along the coast of the Mediterranean and Red Sea, not to the inhabitants of entire continents; the authors of Genesis weren't even aware the majority of those continents existed. You're applying modern ideas to ancient texts that weren't written with those ideas in mind. That's sloppy, anachronistic thinking. 3,000 years ago in Palestine, there was no idea of a "white race" or African race; only the peoples of Greece, Kush, etc.

    Did the other "sons of Ham" rush to defend the Egyptians against the (probably European) Sea People? Of course not. Do you really think that in ancient times, the Greeks, Celts, Romans, and other peoples you lump together as "sons of Japheth" would have joined together to defend Eastern Europe from the Persian Empire (who, I guess, are Semites according to the pseudo-Biblical scheme)? I don't.

    Quote:
    If true, he's the only one to apparently feel that way, as everyone else seems bent on ruling the entire Flanaess, one way or another. Even among the Flan tribes.


    Right. Which is why most or all of his military campaigns were against other Flan.

    Quote:
    As such, Krovis would be better suited as a
    an ally of Boccob, the only Greater Deity seeking true "balance." While Trithereon may be interested in individuality, he doesn't impress me as being strong on "balance" in particular.


    I agree that Trithereon isn't much into balance and Boccob is, but Boccob, as a greater deity, has a much broader chessboard to be concerned with; the fate of just the Flanaess isn't very important to him (he's the Uncaring, after all). Meanwhile, overthrowing a few specific tyrants like the Priest-Kings of Woe and Lum the Mad was very much in the interest of Trithereon, so he's more likely to ally with Trithereon than Boccob. Boccob won't help him, while Trithereon will; the logic of it is pretty simple.

    Quote:
    Of course, that leaves open the question: When is Krovis going to "wake up" and help "us" with Iuz?


    Probably when Iuz manages to do something impressive enough to be worth opposing. He conquered much of the North, but since then he's suffered setback after setback. If he conquered Keoland or the former Great Kingdom, that would probably merit Krovis's attention.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:31 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    It could be taken to mean "to prevent the domination of any good-aligned portion of the Flanaess", or it could be taken to mean "to prevent the domination of a sizable portion of the Flanaess". Either reading has its issues, as plenty of good nations have fallen in the past and near present, and sizable portions of the Flaneass have been taken over in the past and the near present.

    Under either reading, Krovis has been an incredible underachiever. Wink


    I've always read it as "sizable," and agreed. Even in those situations where he has been said to act - with Lum and the Isles of Woe - he really didn't have anything to do with their actual fall, as far as we know.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:01 pm  

    I think you may have miss understood some of what I said.

    The Sioux and Cheyenne were known to war against one another, but joined together to defeat Custer, that's just one example which comes to mind.

    The Celts were always fighting one another too, but came together to fight against Caesar.

    In each case, they eventually went back to fighting each other afterwards. Perhaps the Flan never behaved this way, I don't think canon really answers that and we will each "play it" in our own way.

    As for the rest, I appreciate that you consider the Bible to be a work of fiction, some people do. But many of us don't. Noah's sons were all of the middle east; Japheth's sons moved into Europe, Ham's into Africa and the Middle East and Shem's into Eurasia and Asia.

    And the constantly warring Greek tribes did unite to fight the Persians. The Spartans were not the only "Greek tribe" at Thermopylae.
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:17 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    The Sioux and Cheyenne were known to war against one another, but joined together to defeat Custer, that's just one example which comes to mind.


    Sure, because their leaders agreed it was in their interest to do so, not because they were both "red men" fighting the "white men." As I said, there are lots of examples of European settlers allying with one Indian tribe against another. For example, during the French and Indian War, the British allied with the Cherokee and Iroquois while the French allied with the Huron, Mississauga, Ojibwa, Winnebago, and Potawatomi. Again, because they were convinced it was in their self-interest to do so. No native solidarity there.

    In the Gallic Wars, Caesar allied with the Aedui, Ambarri, and Allobroges (all Celts) against their mutual Celtic enemies, the Helvetii. Again, no racial solidarity, just pragmatic self-interest.

    Quote:
    As for the rest, I appreciate that you consider the Bible to be a work of fiction, some people do. But many of us don't. Noah's sons were all of the middle east; Japheth's sons moved into Europe, Ham's into Africa and the Middle East and Shem's into Eurasia and Asia.


    The discussion in question is not about whether or not the Bible is literal historical truth, but whether the people of Israel 3,000 years ago had the modern concept of "race." They didn't; that's something applied to their writings much later, as later peoples met groups the ancient people of Palestine had never heard of.

    If you think Isidore of Seville, for example, was divinely inspired when he asserted that all Europeans were descendants of Japheth, that's one thing, but the Bible itself doesn't say that, and Israelites 3,000 years ago didn't believe that. It's an assumption that has nothing to do with our discussion. It might even be a really good assumption; that's irrelevant, because it relies on information the ancient Israelites didn't have. We're not discussing what the real origin of the Europeans was, but what the ancient people of Israel believed about their world.

    Quote:
    And the constantly warring Greek tribes did unite to fight the Persians. The Spartans were not the only "Greek tribe" at Thermopylae.


    I know that; that's why I picked that example. If you reread what I wrote, I was asking of the Romans and Celtics would necessarily have sided with the Greeks against the Persians because they were all "white" or Japhetic or whatever. They wouldn't have; the Greeks at the time certainly didn't consider themselves to be of the same race as the other peoples of Europe, a term that didn't refer to a continent until much later.
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:53 pm  

    I don't recall implying that the Flannae would have joined together simply because of race. Confused

    The Oeridians and Suel certainly behaved that way for the most part, during the Migrations. But the Flan would certainly have seen "common cause" and a "common enemy" after a certain amount of time had elapsed and the Oeridian/Suel intent of domination of the Flanaess became apparent.

    The only "racial" aspect I threw in was that I couldn't see Korvis siding with the Oeridians or the Suel against the Flan. That statement undoubtedly implies what would be a "racist" view on Korvis' part. But I believe that the Flan tribes would have seen "common cause" against their oppressors. And Korvis would have had more "in common" with the Flan, of any generation, than he would have had with the Oeridians or Suel.

    Incidentally, I do not base any of my assertions upon the musings of Isidore of Seville, or any other human philosopher. The Bible's place names help "us" to know these things I speak of. But you and I will disagree on the divine inspiration of the Bible, so let's not go there. We'll keep it Greyhawk.

    I believe that if the Flan would have joined together for common cause against a common enemy, Korvis would have sided with them, rather than with the Oeridians or Suel. But that's just my opinion.

    Besides, as Cebrion said, Korvis has never been very effective in that regard anyway. Wink
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:18 pm  

    It's also interesting to me that Krovis seems to have been kicking around at roughly the same time as Vathris, the Flan hero-god who taught the Durha, Itar, Sulm, Ronhass, Rhugha, and Truun the arts of civilization. Not that there is necessarily any connection between the two.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:25 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    But the Flan would certainly have seen "common cause" and a "common enemy" after a certain amount of time had elapsed and the Oeridian/Suel intent of domination of the Flanaess became apparent.


    Just as in your real-world examples, not necessarily. For one thing, the Oeridians and Suel weren't a monolithic force; the history of the Great Migrations is primarily of the Oeridians and Suel fighting against one another, with the Flan allying with the Oeridians against the Suel more often than not because the Oeridians were their least-worst option (and honestly, most of the Suel outside of the Sheldomar were scumbags, and the Oeridians often weren't).

    Quote:
    The only "racial" aspect I threw in was that I couldn't see Korvis siding with the Oeridians or the Suel against the Flan. That statement undoubtedly implies what would be a "racist" view on Korvis' part.


    Right, which is what I was replying to. I don't think Krovis was racist in that sense, and I don't think he would have necessarily sided with the Flan simply because they were Flan. I doubt the word Flan had any meaning other than "people who lived near the Flanmi River" until long after Krovis's time. Would Krovis have sided with demon-worshipers and necromancers against the armies of Aerdy? I don't think so; that wasn't what he was about. It's not that he would necessarily have chosen Aerdy's enlightened neutrality over the evil of the Flanmi tribes, though he was neutral himself; it's that he was above petty concerns entirely. He slept through them. If it doesn't involve someone trying to take over the continent, he stays asleep.

    Quote:
    And Korvis would have had more "in common" with the Flan, of any generation, than he would have had with the Oeridians or Suel.


    He's a quasi-deity dedicated to preventing the Flanaess from being dominated by any overwhelming power group, not someone dedicated to helping out the people he feels he has something "in common" with. He's true neutral and no longer exactly human, an ancient force called forth only in extreme circumstances.

    Quote:
    Incidentally, I do not base any of my assertions upon the musings of Isidore of Seville, or any other human philosopher. The Bible's place names help "us" to know these things I speak of.


    They might help "us," but they didn't help the ancient Israelites, which is what we were discussing. Again, you're mistaking modern geographic knowledge for the knowledge of people who lived a long time before such knowledge was commonplace. I mentioned Isidore of Seville because, as far as I know, he was the first to make the assumption that Japheth fathered all the peoples of Europe, not the ancient people of Israel and not the Bible. I'm sure many people came to that conclusion independently, but it's a comparatively modern idea. Before you can believe anything about Europe, you have to have the concept of Europe. And believing that various disparate groups have a common ancestor doesn't mean you believe they're a monolithic "race" who still have anything in common with each other generations later. These are all later ideas, not Biblical ones.

    Quote:
    I believe that if the Flan would have joined together for common cause against a common enemy, Korvis would have sided with them, rather than with the Oeridians or Suel. But that's just my opinion.


    Well, that didn't happen. Who would the "common enemy" be, the Oeridians or the Suel? Anyway, it wasn't Krovis's job to take sides in local conflicts or "race wars" of the sort you seem to be imagining. It's not what he was quasi-deity of. He would have stayed asleep.

    Quote:
    Besides, as Cebrion said, Korvis has never been very effective in that regard anyway


    It's Krovis, not Korvis. We don't know what his criteria were, really. What is "sizable" to us may not be considered sizable by an immortal who's lived for thousands of years. His primary concern would have been fixing problems that a few centuries of time wouldn't fix on their own - and the Great Kingdom wasn't one of those.


    Last edited by rasgon on Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:37 pm  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    Vathris, the Flan hero-god who taught the Durha, Itar, Sulm, Ronhass, Rhugha, and Truun the arts of civilization.


    I thought that Vathris was particular to Itar and sided with them in their war against Sulm?

    Quote:
    It's Krovis, not Korvis.


    Thanks for correcting my spelling, Rasgon.

    Quote:
    His primary concern would have been fixing problems that a few centuries of time wouldn't fix on their own . . . He's a quasi-deity dedicated to preventing the Flanaess from being dominated by any overwhelming power group


    Well, Vecna and Iuz would both meet that criteria I think. And given that they're both -- at present -- gods attempting to take over the Flanaess, I would presume -- wrongly I'm sure -- that Krovis would be interested in that. No?
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:44 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    I thought that Vathris was particular to Itar and sided with them in their war against Sulm?


    Yes, but he was responsible for introducing to the arts of civilization for the entire region. See here.

    Quote:
    Thanks for correcting my spelling, Rasgon.


    I don't mean to be a pedant; it just seemed like an easy mistake to fix if I pointed it out. No offense intended.

    Quote:
    Well, Vecna and Iuz would both meet that criteria I think. And given that they're both -- at present -- gods attempting to take over the Flanaess, I would presume -- wrongly I'm sure -- that Krovis would be interested in that. No?


    Perhaps. From the Dragon article, we don't know what he was doing more than 2,000 years ago or after the time the article takes place (Rob speculates 582 CY); he could have been fighting Vecna before that point or Iuz after that, if you want him to have been. Also, acknowledging the problems with the article from a "canon" standpoint (Joseph Bloch was writing in a time when much less of the history of the Greyhawk setting was fixed, after all), we can be more creative in interpreting it and choose our own points in history where we think Krovis might have acted.

    But Vecna apparently lived in the Sheldomar for 1,000 years without expanding his domain much further than his immediate reach, and Iuz has been trying to conquer the Flanaess for a century now with only moderate success, so perhaps they're not worth his time. If, in your campaign, Iuz has more success than he's had in published works to date, then it might well be entertaining to make awakening Krovis one of the things the PCs do to fight him.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:11 pm  

    Great Discussion Wink

    I do not want to rehash issues but the Vecna and Iuz imperial implacation struck me. As both empires are excessively chaotic based more on terror then sustained oppression.

    The Empire of Vecna strikes me more as a loose collection of territories more akin to a mafia collection racket then a militaristic disciplined empire.

    The Empire of Iuz for all its gruesomeness and sadism is full of internal fractures. The empire crumbles easily as squabbling is rampant which creates an extermely unstable structure as the inevitable reverses within the north demonstrate.

    Given the inherent weaknesses of both of these empires is it so surprising that Krovis fails to consider either as a threat to achieve widespread domination.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:37 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    I don't mean to be a pedant; it just seemed like an easy mistake to fix if I pointed it out. No offense intended.


    I didn't think that you meant to be and my thanks was sincere, so no sweat. Cool

    rasgon wrote:
    But Vecna apparently lived in the Sheldomar for 1,000 years without expanding his domain much further than his immediate reach, and Iuz has been trying to conquer the Flanaess for a century now with only moderate success, so perhaps they're not worth his time.


    A distinct possibility. Second guessing the thought processes of a deity would be futile indeed. But I was referring to your previous statement:

    Quote:
    His primary concern would have been fixing problems that a few centuries of time wouldn't fix on their own


    Given their status as deities, neither Vecna nor Iuz are problems that can be solved with mere "time," no matter the number of centuries involved. And neither of them is going to lose his desire to dominate the Flanaess anytime soon, or within the next couple of thousand years. So, a little more "active" divine help might be appreciated.

    In my opinion, both characters were allowed to grow a little "too strong," so that mortal kingdoms and armies simply cannot deal with them. I think this "growth" should have been curbed in the very beginning. But, now that's its here, it has to be dealt with and, realistically, it won't be dealt with without a little divine help.

    As to Crag's point:

    Quote:
    Given the inherent weaknesses of both of these empires is it so surprising that Krovis fails to consider either as a threat to achieve widespread domination.


    You're talking about the "mortal" aspect of the kingdoms. In each case it is easily "solved" every time Vecna or Iuz give their "mortal" kingdoms their undivided attention. In effect, they only experience minor setbacks when the deities' attention is elsewhere. But that situation won't last forever.

    I will also point out that both Vecna and Iuz are personally more powerful than when Zagig imprisoned the nine. So I wouldn't look for something like that to ever happen again.

    Neither Iuz nor Vecna are going anyplace anytime soon. And no mortal kingdom is going to do anything about that situation. Someone "above" that will have to "take a hand" in these matters.

    But those are just my thoughts. Cool
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    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:57 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Given their status as deities, neither Vecna nor Iuz are problems that can be solved with mere "time,"


    Time isn't a concern for them, but are they problems that need solving? They've both caused a lot of misery, to be sure, but it's not clear that either ever dominated a "goodly" enough portion of the Flanaess to be worthy of Krovis's attention. At least, not yet. Iuz hopes to drag the whole planet into the Abyss, so he's certainly ambitious enough, but perhaps not yet successful enough (unless you want to incorporate Krovis into your version of the Greyhawk Wars).

    Vecna attempted a great many schemes, from striving to become the only greater deity of the world of Oerth in Vecna Lives! to restructuring the whole cosmos in Die Vecna Die!, but dominating mere geography seems to be beneath him in the present era. He wasn't very expansionist during his time as a mortal lich, and seems unlikely to bother with conquering mortal nations today. And it's the conquest of mortal nations that Krovis is concerned with. Kas might be another matter.

    Quote:
    You're talking about the "mortal" aspect of the kingdoms. In each case it is easily "solved" every time Vecna or Iuz give their "mortal" kingdoms their undivided attention. In effect, they only experience minor setbacks when the deities' attention is elsewhere. But that situation won't last forever.


    Vecna doesn't currently have a mortal kingdom, and Iuz seems to care about little else. I'm not sure what might be distracting the Old One, unless he's still recovering from being temporarily absorbed by Vecna in Die Vecna Die! Iuz makes an attempt to conquer Greyhawk City (via the Underdark) in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk.

    I think it's absolutely valid to assume that Iuz's setbacks to date are only temporary (or to ignore those setbacks entirely in your own campaign), and play out a storyline where Iuz becomes a lot more successful, and Krovis's aid is needed. But I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable that he hasn't acted yet.

    Quote:
    I will also point out that both Vecna and Iuz are personally more powerful than when Zagig imprisoned the nine. So I wouldn't look for something like that to ever happen again.


    Well, Zagig also imprisoned Rudd, Zuoken, Merikka, Wastri, and Olidammara (and others). The first four are probably more powerful than Iuz was at the time of his capture, and Olidammara was probably more powerful than Vecna is even now. But the mercurial Mad Archmage may have other things on his mind; he's gotten what he wanted from the event (demigodhood of his own), and doesn't need to capture gods anymore. St. Cuthbert's already cashed in the chips that allowed him to intervene then, and the others involved may have other concerns at present as well (Murlynd is busy battling St. Kargoth, for example). So I think you're right that hoping for a deus ex machina isn't going to rid the world of either of them.
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:19 pm  

    Wow this thread took off fast!

    smillan_31 wrote:
    It's also interesting to me that Krovis seems to have been kicking around at roughly the same time as Vathris, the Flan hero-god who taught the Durha, Itar, Sulm, Ronhass, Rhugha, and Truun the arts of civilization. Not that there is necessarily any connection between the two.


    This is indeed a connection I am focusing on for a grey-fiction piece I've been researching/toying with for the last several months. Keep up the discussion because it's good stuff!
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:22 pm  

    Ye Gods... after all this time, folks are still talking about Krovis and my article.

    I am humbled.
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    Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:27 pm  

    Thulcondar wrote:
    Ye Gods... after all this time, folks are still talking about Krovis and my article.

    I am humbled.


    I could say bad things about it if it would make you feel better... Cool

    Just kidding.

    After all, the mark of good work is that it endures. Well done.
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    Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:04 am  

    Yes, it is an article filled with fun. I used it quite a bit when I ran Scourge of the Slave Lords. After going through all of that hell, the PCs strangely enough split up- one group returning to Greyhawk City by ship via Highport(they wanted to kill the crew of the Ghoul while they were at it, but didn't find them in port), the other taking a much more brutal overland route through the Pomarj from Suderham to Elredd.

    Suffice it to say, many a humanoid from the tribes mentioned in your article was encountered(and killed) along the way. The PCs were really turned into hardened veterans by those adventures. Cool
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    Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:51 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    But Vecna apparently lived in the Sheldomar for 1,000 years without expanding his domain much further than his immediate reach, and Iuz has been trying to conquer the Flanaess for a century now with only moderate success, so perhaps they're not worth his time.


    There's only a few hints to the actual size of Vecna's Empire. Mona has it stretching from the Rushmoors to a little north of Dyvers ("Vecna's Realm"). Kirt Wackford has it covering northern Keoland (just north of Niole Dra), southern Veluna, the Kron Hills, Dyvers, the Wild Coast, Greyhawk, and the Duchy of Urnst (Oerth Journal 16, 49). Vecna: Hand of the Revenant places Fleeth on the "eastern plains" according to Uhas of Neheli, which makes me think Veluna, given the moon worship shown in VHotR--though they claim Pholtus in VHotR, an Oeridian god so widely worshiped pre-migrations makes me think Uhas did not know of Rao's association with the moons & thus made an assumption--Rip first postulated Rao, though it could also be Pelor, given images of sunburst bearing enemies in DVD. My postulation is that the empire covered a northern slice of modern-day Keoland, all of Gran March, Bissel, southern Veluna (a little further north than Kirt's estimate), southern Furyondy, Dyvers, Verbobonc, the Plain of Greyhawk, and the Cairn Hills (the later due to a Vecnan labrotory found in a cavern beneath Diamond Lake (see Dungeon #125, 18, 23).

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Given their status as deities, neither Vecna nor Iuz are problems that can be solved with mere "time," no matter the number of centuries involved. And neither of them is going to lose his desire to dominate the Flanaess anytime soon, or within the next couple of thousand years. So, a little more "active" divine help might be appreciated.


    Iuz I won't argue with, but I think Vecna's ambitions, even during his days on Oerth, far surpass domination of the Flanaess. He's more interested in dominating the multiverse.
    GreySage

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    Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:58 am  

    Robbastard wrote:
    There's only a few hints to the actual size of Vecna's Empire.


    Dragon #342 made it pretty clear, I think. From page 20: "As an undying king he ruled a land ranging from the Sheldomar Valley [to] the northwest shores of the Nyr Dyv, although his immediate reach was only the land near his stronghold, called the Rotted Tower in the Rushmoors."

    The Vecnan laboratory in the Cairn Hills I presume was built during a different stage of his career, either before he became an empire-builder or during a time of exile or retreat, though that's open to interpretation.

    Rao is somewhat associated with the sun as well as the moons, according to Dungeon #41. The Book of Incarum said that Rao took the light of his soul from the world (i.e. the sun) when humans fell into the blasphemous worship of Tharizdun, but he created the moons afterwards so that the repentant could have their way lit for them even at night. Later, after Tharizdun's defeat, he returned the light of day. The deity in Vecna: Hand of the Revenant was clearly tied closely to the moons, though, where Pelor is not (though as a god of light, he likely has some lesser concern with lunar light).
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    Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:05 pm  

    Sorry about the delay in my response, but I’ve been having internet connection issues today.

    Rasgon wrote:
    Quote:
    Time isn't a concern for them, but are they problems that need solving? They've both caused a lot of misery, to be sure, but it's not clear that either ever dominated a "goodly" enough portion of the Flanaess to be worthy of Krovis's attention. At least, not yet.


    Robbastard wrote:
    Quote:
    Iuz I won't argue with, but I think Vecna's ambitions, even during his days on Oerth, far surpass domination of the Flanaess. He's more interested in dominating the multiverse.


    My actual thinking is more along the lines of this; the Gods have a pact of non-interference upon the Prime Material plane. St. Cuthbert apparently needs some kind of special “permission” from the other Gods to do the things he does; Why don’t Iuz and Vecna? Seems a little one sided to me.

    Rasgon wrote:
    Quote:
    St. Cuthbert's already cashed in the chips that allowed him to intervene then, and the others involved may have other concerns at present as well (Murlynd is busy battling St. Kargoth, for example). So I think you're right that hoping for a deus ex machina isn't going to rid the world of either of them.


    Both St. Cuthbert and Mayaheine -- among others -- are said to have began as mortals. As such, if anyone has the “legal right” to “walk” the Oerth without “permission” it would be them. As former mortals, why would they need “permission” to walk “in” their former home planes? They should be just as “free” in this regard as Vecna and Iuz evidently are.

    Rasgon wrote:
    Quote:
    Iuz hopes to drag the whole planet into the Abyss, so he's certainly ambitious enough . . . Vecna attempted a great many schemes . . . but dominating mere geography seems to be beneath him in the present era. He wasn't very expansionist during his time as a mortal lich . . . Vecna doesn't currently have a mortal kingdom, and Iuz seems to care about little else.


    So, my point; Why haven’t the other Gods put a stop to it? If Iuz and Vecna are true Gods, then they have to follow the same rules as St. Cuthbert. If the combined Gods can put a stop to Tharizdun -- who apparently has more power in his little pinky than Iuz and Vecna combined -- then surely some Greater God/Gods can make Iuz and Vecna “obey the rules.”

    Rasgon wrote:
    Quote:
    I think it's absolutely valid to assume that Iuz's setbacks to date are only temporary (or to ignore those setbacks entirely in your own campaign), and play out a storyline where Iuz becomes a lot more successful, and Krovis's aid is needed. But I don't think it's necessarily unreasonable that he hasn't acted yet.


    And the Gods know this as surely as “we” do. So why the non-interference. These two “Gods” interfere as they see fit. Surely some Greater God/Gods is/are not pleased by this?

    Rasgon wrote:
    Quote:
    Well, Zagig also imprisoned Rudd, Zuoken, Merikka, Wastri, and Olidammara (and others). The first four are probably more powerful than Iuz was at the time of his capture, and Olidammara was probably more powerful than Vecna is even now.


    I simply meant that expecting Mordenkainen, Rary, or some other “powerful” mage to be able to accomplish this type of feat is unreasonable and unlikely.

    Robbastard wrote;
    Quote:
    There's only a few hints to the actual size of Vecna's Empire.


    Rasgon wrote:
    Quote:
    Dragon #342 made it pretty clear, I think. From page 20: "As an undying king he ruled a land ranging from the Sheldomar Valley [to] the northwest shores of the Nyr Dyv, although his immediate reach was only the land near his stronghold, called the Rotted Tower in the Rushmoors."

    The Vecnan laboratory in the Cairn Hills I presume was built during a different stage of his career, either before he became an empire-builder or during a time of exile or retreat, though that's open to interpretation.


    As I’ve already pointed out, a physical, “mortal” empire isn’t necessarily the issue, its two Gods walking about the Oerth as they see fit. Given Krovis' penchant for protecting the Flanaess from such “overwhelming forces” I thought he might be a good fit, causing all sorts of "minor setbacks" for these two deities.

    Canon certainly needs to allow more leeway for St. Cuthbert and Mayaheine to do so, given the great “freedom” enjoyed by Vecna and Iuz in this same regard.
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    Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:50 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    My actual thinking is more along the lines of this; the Gods have a pact of non-interference upon the Prime Material plane. St. Cuthbert apparently needs some kind of special “permission” from the other Gods to do the things he does; Why don’t Iuz and Vecna? Seems a little one sided to me.


    Iuz and Vecna are natives of Oerth (ie, Oerth is their home plane), Cuthbert is not.

    Quote:
    Both St. Cuthbert and Mayaheine -- among others -- are said to have began as mortals. As such, if anyone has the “legal right” to “walk” the Oerth without “permission” it would be them. As former mortals, why would they need “permission” to walk “in” their former home planes? They should be just as “free” in this regard as Vecna and Iuz evidently are.


    Cuthbert & Mayaheine may have begun as mortals, but they are not native to Oerth. St Cuthbert is possibly from Earth (based on the real SC), & Mayaheine's plane is unrevealed, but it's definitely not Oerth.
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    Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:44 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:
    Cuthbert & Mayaheine may have begun as mortals, but they are not native to Oerth.


    And thus it is proven that there are exceptions to every rule. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    So these two Gods could supposedly kill of the worshipers of other Gods and nothing "divine" could/would be done about it, since Oerth is actually their home plane. Hmm.

    That sucks. Razz

    I'm guessing from your own writings that there is no definite answer to the size of Vecna's former mortal realm.

    I still think that Krovis could have interfered with the machinations of these two deities by joining with various adventurers and causing "minor setbacks" for Iuz and Vecna. These types of incidents could have led to the fall of the Isles and Vecna and could play a part in Iuz' woes now and again.
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    Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:14 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:

    There's only a few hints to the actual size of Vecna's Empire...Kirt Wackford has it covering northern Keoland (just north of Niole Dra), southern Veluna, the Kron Hills, Dyvers, the Wild Coast, Greyhawk, and the Duchy of Urnst (Oerth Journal 16, 49)...My postulation is that the empire covered a northern slice of modern-day Keoland, all of Gran March, Bissel, southern Veluna (a little further north than Kirt's estimate), southern Furyondy, Dyvers, Verbobonc, the Plain of Greyhawk, and the Cairn Hills (the later due to a Vecnan labrotory found in a cavern beneath Diamond Lake (see Dungeon #125, 18, 23).


    My basic assumption was that the Vecnan Empire was contemporary with the Great Migrations at the time of Kas' rule, and that Kas allowed the Suel to pass through and even settle but did not allow the Oerid.

    Thus looking at the Migration maps (from the WoG), the northern edge of the Empire would be roughly coterminus with the northern extent of the Suel "arrow" and southern edge of the Oerid "arrow" in Veluna.

    Thus I used the hypothesized Vecnan Empire as a ret-con explanation for why the Oerid could pass through the mountain pass of future Ket but could not go south around the Nyr Dyv.
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    Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:23 pm  

    Interesting and from several sources; I contend the Vecnan empire was rather amorphus in its structure as well as its borders. The actual borders of the empire appear much more fluid as the empire ruled more through the threat of intimidation rather then fixed borders and stationed troops.

    In my view; the settlements would be periodically visited to render tribute rather then garrisoned. The threat of annihillation rather then brute force kept the imperial settlements sending in tribute. This structure uses limited resources to maxium benefit over the largest area and suits the psychological philosophy of Vecna.

    Overwhelming force isn't required as long as the psychological fear of overwhelming force is instilled in his subjects. Of course, I contend once the martial fallacy of the empire was exposed it collapsed rapidly.

    However back to the other "bad boy" of the Flanaess; Iuz Evil Grin

    Perhaps like vecna it is simply a difference of views but I do not understand how some can view Iuz as an overwhelming evil empire that would provoke Korvis or the reninciation of the non-interference pact.

    Sadistic sure but over then sq. area the north is hardly populace and coherent. An accomplishment absolutely but objectively he conquered a thinly populated region inhabited by mainly chaotic decentralized states. Of those states he decieved (barbarians) and betrayed his mercenaries (bandits) to achieve his goals. The masterstroke was a massive purge (Horned lands) which can not be repeated.

    His tactical triumphs were results of numerical superiority rather then strategic thought as he overwhelms his opponents. His assault on a defended populace nation was absorbed and then ultimately repulsed. His forces have difficulty controlling the gains he has retained - global threat Question

    In my view; Iuz is a spoiled child - I want that - I want - I want.

    He has become fixated on Furyondy because it was the initial state to slap his hand during his rise and say no Shocked . Like any brat he hates that and must have revenge. However does anyone honestly believe if Iuz somehow conquered furyondy that Keoland and the other states of Sheldomar Valley would not eventually march north to halt his progress.
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    Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:09 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    I contend the Vecnan empire was rather amorphus in its structure as well as its borders . . . the empire ruled more through the threat of intimidation rather then fixed borders and stationed troops.

    In my view; the settlements would be periodically visited to render tribute rather then garrisoned. The threat of annihillation rather then brute force kept the imperial settlements sending in tribute.


    This is very much the method employed by the Iroquois Confederation to "rule" much of North America. The Maya and Inca used similar methods as well. History thus proves that this method works well. I can see Vecna using such a method if his interest lay elsewhere -- as time has proven it does.

    Crag wrote:
    I do not understand how some can view Iuz as an overwhelming evil empire that would provoke Korvis or the reninciation of the non-interference pact.


    Iuz -- on the other hand -- does wish to dominate the Flanaess. My point was simply that, as a God, no mortal nation is going to be able to do anything about him.

    Time is his ally, not his enemy. Time is only the enemy of mortals and their kingdoms, not Gods.

    The "setbacks" Iuz has experienced are temporary at best. The Crook of Rao did not banish all of his demons, and can't. Iuz will grow in power -- on his home plane, Oerth -- until the Crook of Rao will be useless. An artifact cannot surpass a God's power on the God's home plane.

    And like any evil God, Iuz can grow in power through "human(oid)" sacrifice. Just sit there while Halga and others continue offering up sacrifices.

    Iuz does not rule over the Flanaess at this time, but in time he will. No mortal nation is going to stop him. His mortal troops were stopped, his demons temporarily banished. But nothing happened to Iuz. And these setbacks were due to his "spoiled child" impatience, he struck too soon. But he will learn patience, time is on his side.

    And as I stated before; Don't hold your breath waiting for another Zagig type person to imprison him again. Not going to happen.

    These factors are what make me ask; How long before "someone" among the deities has no choice but to violate the non-interference pact? Given enough time, Iuz will win and no nation on Oerth will stop him.

    Will the Gods simply watch the annihilation of their worshipers?
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    Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:14 pm  

    I think I can agree with most of that, Crag. In my view, it seems the difficulties with Iuz arise more from differing opinions on game mechanics and playing styles than on in-game, in-setting logic.

    By that, I mean that there are those who could never imagine (based on their preferred style of play and view of how the game "should" work) having PCs powerful enough to beard a demigod in his own lair. Conversely there are also those (especially those more familiar with 3.5e and later editions) who don't or can't understand why somebody hasn't taken him out already.

    Either view, if extended to its (possible) logical conclusion raises difficulties. With the first view, if Iuz really is such an insurmountably powerful being it seems likely he would have conquered most of the Flanaess by now. Or, with the OP in mind, it seems likely somebody like Krovis or the Circle of Eight would have found it necessary to stop him long ago. With the second view, and with so many epic level characters running around these days, Iuz's current stats suggest he could easily be taken out by any number of individual characters, much less whole PC parties.

    Thus, if the issue of Krovis and the Non-Interference Pact are to be included as a "realistic" part of the setting, it should behoove individual DMs to consider not only the extent of Iuz's political and military power (and Sulm's, and the Isle of Woe's, and Vecna's, etc.), but also the relative personal power of the NPCs involved.

    As far as my own campaign is concerned, I tend to agree with you, Crag, that Iuz is not so powerful as he might appear. He is little more than a spoiled brat, and were he not so personally strong his time would have already come. It is only the fact that the Flanaess's uber-powerful NPCs have been distracted by events elsewhere that has kept him in power.

    Should I ever complete my update of the setting (yeah, right, like that's ever going to happen), I intend to have Iuz deposed and relegated to the role of a wandering (albeit dangerous) spirit who only exists to subvert the innocent and corrupt the good - sort of like the current popular view of Satan (as opposed to the biblical view). In his place I intend to install a revived Horned Society that better fits my own peculiar in-game sense of logic.
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