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The Faithful Quartermasters of Iuz

 
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mindseye
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:17 am    Post subject: The Faithful Quartermasters of Iuz Reply with quote

Surprisingly enough, the Faithful Quartermasters of Iuz are starting to grow on me. Evil Grin It smacks a little of the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms' Red Wizards setting up embassies to sell magic items, but it actually does kinda fit. As the "Malcontent" article in the most recent Oerth Journal demonstrates, even nations nominally dedicated to good have uniform responses to Iuz.

Additionally, with the timeline being 576, this approach makes even more sense. Iuz has only been free for approximately 6 years. He's consolidating his lands, but hasn't moved against the Horned Society yet, or started his greater schemes that will ignite the Greyhawk Wars. Although his summoned demon hordes and undead likely eat very little, many of his forces and all of his citizens do. He legitimately does need the food. And he has to be trading with someone. So while the quartermasters are likely to be unwelcome in Furyondy, The Shield Lands, Maybe the Great Kingdom and the Iron League are more welcoming.

As long as Hardby and Greyhawk will allow the flow of trade through, he shouldn't even have that hard a time getting his grain and fish home. This suggests an interesting set of adventures where the party is hired to fight off pirates in the Nyr Dyv attacking necessary grain and fish shipments. but they are working for Iuz. And other adventures where they are the privateers employed by Furyondy and Urnst. Evil Grin Talk about both sides against the middle. Have mercenaries on both sides play the Game of Thrones method of not fighting to the last man, (nonlethal final hits and the like.)

This helps Iuz reestablish his network outside of the Empire, and not every Quartermaster needs to be a tiefling. Heck he may even be sending Good (or at least Neutral) aligned merchants out that honestly only care for the money or feeding their families. I mean the road of bones is kinda hard to ignore, but given the mobility of the average serf, it's not unreasonable that they simply don't have the opportunity to move. Being a merchant (or working for one) lets them see the world and help provide needed food and supplies to their loved ones back home.

Now rumors (and factual details) will abound about the Quartermasters. Firebrands will attempt to incite the rabble. Some of the boats and trading stations will be burned down or driven off. But enough will survive. The network will grow. And the Old One will laugh as the greed will spread .

To be sure I don't see the Quartermasters setting up a pension plan and generous retirement benefits. They are a temporary tool that will burn themselves out once the Greyhawk Wars get underway. If not because the host countries throw them out, I foresee that his shipping issues will become more pronounced as the war drags on. If he had a southern shipping lane directly to the sea, maybe things would be different.

Anyway that's my two cents.
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Amesang
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My current group's been playing Ghosts of Saltmarsh and my character, a NG cleric of Wenta, is the only one who hasn't bought anything from them — granted, I'm also the only one in the group at all familiar with Greyhawk.

I mean, part of me wonders how anyone could tolerate them and their master… but I also have to remember that Saltmarsh, at least, is fairly far from most of the world's politics and appears to have a more "neutral" outlook especially when it comes to smuggling.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I'm glad the Rant of a Malcontent is well-received.
A lot of folks got a little bent when Ghosts of Saltmarsh came out because of the agent of Iuz in the small, out-of-the-way town of Saltmarsh. It wasn't there before, they added lore that wasn't previously established, it's not Gygax, it's a tieflilng, etc. There's a lot of gripes about it.

But, I, for one, agree with you it fits pretty well.
If one wants to, it's a logical explanation to the situation. There's no nation in the world (in our IRL world, that is) which can exist without some kind of trade. That's why trade embargoes are such a big deal and ar so effective. The last 50 years against Cuba, China after Tiananmen Square, South Korea, etc. They're effective against "the bad guys".

And, I'm sure whomever is responsible for the economic stuff in the Empire of Iuz, which is a small "evil" nation as much as the IRL ones I mentioned, isn't likely to have big embassies in capitols or anything, but, small isolated towns where they can just quietly do business is much more likely. And, there's nothing that says the agent of luz is just broadly and loudly proclaiming public support for demons or anything. The actual agent might just stay mostly out of sight and only deal with traders in a quiet back room kind of thing.

The Rant of the Malcontent showcases the attitude of a commoner saying, "Don't you see?! Are you blind to what's really going on?! You're dealing with the Bad Guys! It's blood money!"
Not an uncommon reaction, or situation, if one thinks about it.
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Icarus wrote:
You know, I'm glad the Rant of a Malcontent is well-received.
A lot of folks got a little bent when Ghosts of Saltmarsh came out because of the agent of Iuz in the small, out-of-the-way town of Saltmarsh. It wasn't there before, they added lore that wasn't previously established, it's not Gygax, it's a tieflilng, etc. There's a lot of gripes about it.


The question we should ask isn't why Iuz would trade and exchange ambassadors to other realms, it's why he wouldn't. Even during the Cold War, the USSR had embassies in London and Washington. And why on Oerth would places like Greyhawk or Dyvers let moral scruples get in the way when there's profit to be had in trading with Iuz?

The way I see it, evil nations like the Great Kingdom and its successor states would often have embassies in good or neutral nations like Furyondy, Urnst or Keoland, as would places like the Horned Society or some of the Bandit Kingdoms. This would apply to Iuz sending ambassadors to places like Greyhawk, Keoland and Nyrond, not to mention Northern Aerdy, Irongate, Onnwal, the Urnst states, etc.

As for the other gripes Icarus mentioned, it's a little late to be complaining about adding lore that wasn't previously established when Carl Sargent did so much of that 30 years ago. And if there are going to be tieflings in the Flanaess (not something I would condone, for the record) then Iuz is one of the most likely places they'd come from.

And so what if Gary Gygax didn't add it? Where were the complainers when Leonard Lakofka and Rob Kuntz were adding in material that Gygax didn't write?
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CruelSummerLord wrote:

...The question we should ask isn't why Iuz would trade and exchange ambassadors to other realms, it's why he wouldn't. Even during the Cold War, the USSR had embassies in London and Washington...


-Agreed.

CruelSummerLord wrote:
... if there are going to be tieflings in the Flanaess (not something I would condone, for the record) then Iuz is one of the most likely places they'd come from...


-I think you're being a little hard on the tieflings. Wink They shouldn't be all over the place, but I don't see anything wrong with one popping up here and there. And the Land of Iuz would be top of the list, followed by the Horned Society, with perhaps Aerdy, North Province, Medegia, the Pomarj behind. The Scarlet Brotherhood loves biological experimentation for their thralls, but I'm not sure that breeding tieflings would be a smart move. I'm open to argument, though.

CruelSummerLord wrote:
...And so what if Gary Gygax didn't add it? Where were the complainers when Leonard Lakofka and Rob Kuntz were adding in material that Gygax didn't write?


-Ah, but they were his official aide-de-camps, and he usually looked it over before making anything "official" anyway.
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mindseye
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Greyhawk that doesn't grow, dies.

And I think that's a lot of why WotC keeps it around but doesn't put it front and center anymore. You aren't going to please the "purists" and unlike Forgotten Realms, they don't have the original author around to give changes the stamp of approval. Also, while Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms have vastly different scopes and maps and history, a wizard built for Greyhawk wouldn't be out of place in FR for the most part. The products are different to players who obsess over the details, but to the kid starting out with a brand new player's guide probably can't tell the difference. Eberron is different, there's trains, magic as technology, and other things. It's different enough to notice. Darksun and Planescape were also different enough, but the industry learned from the too much all at once process. I think the business part is more mature now. But there's not much place for publishing new Greyhawk, while there is a place to update adventures like they did with Saltmarsh, and the conversion kits on DMsGuild. Not like the elemental princes thing. it's another thing that fits greyhawk more.

The beneficial part of this is that Greyhawk is left alone primarily for the fans to use in their own campaigns. There's easily enough published adventures already to keep a 20 year campaign going. And with how similar the two settings are the new things can be converted over without much trouble. That way we can introduce Tieflings if we want, and argue about how they got there, without refuting a sourcebook that tells players that they are valid player characters. We can introduce dragonborn from the Celestial Imperium, and maybe they are responding to an ancient prophecy that requires them to find the babe that was born in the Rakers.

To me, Forgotten Realms is great for best selling novels, Adventure League Shared Campaign modules, and being splashy and attracting attention to the hobby. The DMs with their own campaign worlds don't need any of that, but can still pick what they want out of it. Greyhawk is for those in the middle. Not enough time or energy to make things up whole cloth, but less pressure to include every little piece of lore that comes out of the WotC mills.

I like it here.

Embarassed
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CruelSummerLord wrote:
The question we should ask isn't why Iuz would trade and exchange ambassadors to other realms, it's why he wouldn't.

I couldn't agree more.
That's absolutely spot-on.
I thought it interesting, though, how the writer took inspiration from the IRL fact that there are malcontents, to use that to write about one of "those fellas" who's gonna stand on street corners and rant about it.
There will always be people who rant about something, you know?

Did you see the sheer number of exclamation points in that article? Exclamation
Clearly, a zealot. Evil Grin
He probably thinks they're better off with banned alcohol, no books that even obliquely mention certain words, keeping centaurs of the Free City, and not allowing wizards to specialize in necromancy.
... because, you know, those are all the social hot-button topics in the Domain, these days. Happy
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