I was going through my notes and materials and came across some of my folders where I kept articles about Greyhawk I printed off the net. This made me think about my first discovery of fan made Greyhawk materials.
In the late 1990's I only had the email that we got as a student at the university and had to use the school's computers. At the school computer lab, I was able to check online for a bit during off hours. Lo and behold, I found some kindred Greyhawkers out there on the internet. A lot of people like me, who had .edu email extensions and obviously put their labors of love up in their spare time between classes.
Back in the days of yore, I would print off the articles I found on Greyhawk as I could find them (at 5 cents a pop for the paper) as I couldn't save the articles any other way. Somehow, the binders full of these old articles still survived after countless moves and life events.
The best site was the Codex of Greyhawk. Its purpose was to collect various Greyhawk files scattered across the 'net, and put them in one, central archive. Articles from The Oerth Journal, The Council of Greyhawk, and message boards were posted here and they represented some of the best of the non official Greyhawk lore of this or any time. Some folk who have been Canonfire regulars have early materials posted on the Codex, as well as a few who have become professional RPG writers.
My personal favorites on the Codex are the series on the "Dragons of Aerdy" and the "Geoff Project". These offer different takes on some major adventuring areas and have top notch ideas and writing styles. If for no other reason, swing by the Codex and check these articles out, I have not been able to find them anywhere else. Major kudos goes to all the authors of these works, I certainly gained a lot of inspiration from them over the years.
The Codex is still available on the Wayback Machine. This is a true time capsule to the early days of fan created materials for Greyhawk. Some of the links are not working, so I recommend you give it a quick look see sooner rather than later. It seems that the longer time goes by the more old internet lore gets lost in cyberspace. Some of the articles on the Codex are available elsewhere, but if you have not checked it out, do so.
O-D, your experience discovering the various Greyhawk fan-sites on the internet sounds just like my own.
I loved the Codex of Greyhawk and Iquander's posts (Erik Mona) inspired me to seek out the opportunity to participate myself. I lacked the time to follow through back then (1998, or so), but succeeded years later, all due to the inspiration of those early posters.
In fact, the reason I found Canonfire! was because years later I was trying to find the Codex of Greyhawk and the Oerth Journal.
Thanks for sharing this lovely recollection. Like you, and many others, I delighted to find the online Greyhawk community in the late 1990s and have fond memories of the GreyTalk and Greyhawk-L listservs (and the Greyhawk AOL folder).
I particularly remember my amazement at reading (and eventually posting to) the Greyhawk AOL folder, a GREYALL.TXT (providing an edited log of the folder from Sept. 17, 1997 to Dec. 31, 1998), and volume 1, issue 7 of the Oerth Journal.
Greyhawk's community of online fans has such a rich history. I wish we could access all that's been created but am glad that Canonfire!, Greyhawk Online, and other websites, blogs, etc. have archived some of our collective creations.
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