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    Which States Get The Worst Of It In Your Campaigns/Stories?
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
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    Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:17 am  
    Which States Get The Worst Of It In Your Campaigns/Stories?

    Canonically, we've seen some states of the Flanaess get it much worse than others. Geoff remains overrun by giants as of 591 CY. Tenh is ravaged by the Fists, then a four-way war and finally being burned to ash by a demonic incursion. The Wild Coast is overrun by the Pomarj and divided up between the Orcish Empire and Greyhawk. Other states, like Onnwal, Sterich, Furyondy and the Shield Lands have managed to reverse some of the losses they experienced during the Greyhawk Wars.

    So I'm interested to hear-which states tend to get the worst of it in your games or stories, and which ones tend to have better fates?

    In my own version of things, Bissel was suffering from deep social rot and internal decay well before the Greyhawk Wars. It didn't collapse during the Wars so much as it disintegrated, with most citizens eagerly accepting the arrival of Ket and converting to the Baklunish gods. The Bisselites were a people that had lost faith in their leaders, their armies, their gods, their fellow citizens and especially themselves long ago, and Ket gave them something they could actually believe in.

    The Shield Lands are gone for good. The Knights of Holy Shielding made a valiant last stand against the Horned Society and the western Bandit Kingdoms, but they ultimately couldn't stand against the endless ranks of their enemies. The Shield Lands may have been doomed no matter what-if they had asked Furyondy for aid, annexation would have been the price. This was not foolish paranoia on Earl Holmer's part the way it was in canon-he knew full well how greedily the Furyond hawks were eyeing his lands. At least by fighting the Horned Society and Bandits on their own, the Shield Lands had some chance of surviving as an independent country.

    The Wild Coast was long considered the garbage midden of the Flanaess. Narwell was a literal garbage dump, and as the old saying went it was harder to tell whether a pile of excrement rotting in the noonday sun smelled worse than a man from Narwell. The rest of the Coast wasn't much better, as the incompetents, failures and second-raters of the Flanaess migrated to this place. Many people in the surrounding lands remarked than when the Orcish Empire overran the place, they actually improved the quality of the Coast's residents!

    King Lolgoff of the Ice Barbarians opposed the Scarlet Brotherhood's efforts in his lands, and so they tricked him into letting the western part of his kingdom be overrun by the Hold of Stonefist during the Greyhawk Wars. Lolgoff has been disgraced by the Scarlet Sign's efforts, which leaves the Brotherhood free to continue weaving its insidious influence through the Thillonrian Peninsula.

    Tenh, Geoff, Sterich, Onnwal and Furyondy all survived the Wars intact, although they are like Nyrond in that they were badly damaged by the conflict and still struggle to recover. Tenh and Nyrond also have the Pale occupying parts of their lands, and are not in the best positions to oppose them.

    The Horned Society became a full-fledged empire in the aftermath of the Wars, essentially swapping roles with Iuz from canon. While Iuz's minions are the ones scattered across the Flanaess in their master's perverted contest, the Horned Empire is the new powerhouse in the north. It annexed most of Iuz's lands with the help of the humanoid priests who corrupted so many of Iuz's humanoid forces. The Bandit Kingdoms also survived intact, although Warfields lost its leader Hok when he was killed by Holmer in the Shield Lands' last stand, and Wormhall is eager to collaborate with the Horned Ones. The rest of the Kingdoms, most notably Stoink and Rookroost, are watching the situation warily.

    Those are some of my changes. How about yours?
    Forum Moderator

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    Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:24 pm  

    Great topic CSL!

    Well I don't have the notes or recall for specific details of my many campaigns over the years, but I can point out which places get worked over the most.

    The Shield Lands is always first to my mind. The proximity of Iuz, the Bandit Kingdoms and the Horned Society mixed with no natural borders to separate them has made this state a punching bag every time. Poor Knights. It's what they signed up for.

    The Frost Barbarians have had bad luck in my games. They get beat back by Aerdy, they get fooled by Vatun, the old horde rules in the 1E Unearthed Arcana meant my players were always depleting the fighting population for their own crazy raids and quests. The Snow Barbs kind of boss them around. Yeah the Fruztii seen better days.

    The Rovers of the Barrens are fighting a losing cause. Iuz is ascendant. The Wegwuir are more numerous. The Stonefists are more brutal. No one likes the Rovers...

    Almor has got trounced many times too. Much like Shield Lands. Aerdy has to get thru them to get to Nyrond. In canon they get really blasted.

    Furyondy of course takes the brunt of Iuz's direct wrath. That state is Gondor to Iuz's Mordor. The back and forth between these two have been constant in my games. One campaign my players actually got high enough level to finish off Iuz and conquer Dorakaa, but only after many years of war.

    That's about it for now. Wish I did more Aerdian campaigns. Lately I do Hold of the Sea Princes but those games haven't got into warfare too much, and even so it would be at sea.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 29, 2006
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    From: Dantredun, MN

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    Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm  
    Re: Which States Get The Worst Of It In Your Campaigns/Stori

    CruelSummerLord wrote:

    So I'm interested to hear-which states tend to get the worst of it in your games or stories, and which ones tend to have better fates?

    Good topic. I'm most interested in examples of the latter. Border states are set up for a tough time in both Gygax and Sargent materials and I don't see a lot of surprises there. FtA haters need to remember that it's the Age of Great Sorrow; humanoid and evil realms are on the rise.

    That the evil states had half their gains erased in the WotC revival doesn't sit well with me because the reversals weren't motivated by plot or story, but a real world marketing appeal to grognards who didn't like the Wars.


    Ket's alliance with Iuz goes badly for them. The Ketties gain Bissel, but many of their leaders and generals are slowly charmed, assassinated, or blackmailed by agents of Iuz. Ket becomes similar to Stonefist before Redbeard's charm was broken. Fortunately for Veluna, friction with Tusmit and Ekbir turns Ket's attention to the west.

    The Scarlet Brotherhood didn't hide and plot for centuries only to be beat back to easily. They maintain control of the Sea Princes (less the marshes and some slave revolts) and Onnwal. They make gains in Medegia and exercise more obvious control in the Pomarj. Diplomats make lucrative trade deals and send support to the desperate Yeomanry, who are exhausted from repelling giants. The southern Yeomanry becomes subtly less free.

    The Theocracy of the Pale makes gains and/or finds converts in Nyrond, the Flinty Hills, Knurl, Innspa, and even fridges of the North Province and Almor.

    The County of Ulek nearly loses Courwood to the Pomarj. The city is quickly rescued and virtually annexed by Celene.

    Besmo is a bigger mover and shaker in the north. Blackmoor is more populous and conducts trade with both the western Baklunish states and the Rhizia (the former through the Wolf Nomads, the latter through the Sea Barbarians).
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