Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Postcards from the Flanaess
Adventures
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly
Denizens
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Druidic Circles
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Druidic Circles
    Author Message
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 580
    From: British Isles

    Send private message
    Mon Mar 13, 2023 2:13 pm  
    Druidic Circles

    I've always just taken for granted that there are eight druidic 'circles' corresponding to the eight broad geographic areas of the Flanaess (exlcuding 'Isolated Realms' as the ninth) each with the druidic hierarchy lid out in the 2e Player's Handbook.

    However, it occurred to me earlier that I don't recall any canon material supporting this prior to the Living Greyhawk material and that my information on the Old Faith is heavilly influenced by the LG material. Is anoyone aware of anything canon pre-LG?

    I know the Old Faith is mentioned in The Temple of Elemental Evil but beyond a vague mention of superiors (for the druid disguised as a giant within the temple itself) the details of the Old Faith are vague.

    There seems to be very little of Beory herself. From the Ashes mentions that she has very few priests and that 'those who exist are druids (but they do not have the Charisma requirement of other druids)." It also goes on to state that many of her priests are "solitary , and the priesthood has little organisation".

    Obad-Hai gets more attention and seems to be one of the only 1e deities where canon material states that he's a deity with druid followers. However, again there is reference to a lack of hierarchy. The 2e Forgotten Realms style write ups of the lesser Oeridian gods does add druids to the priesthood of deities like Atroa.

    Looking at the 2e Player's Handbook the class description of the druid mentions that there is only one Grand Druid on the entire planet and that a continent tends to have only 3 or 4 geographical areas at most.

    I've never really liked the idea of such a tightly administered pan-Flanaess Old Faith with its upper hierarchy of over 416 druids & their assistants. Options I'm toying include;

    i) A much looser 'global confederation' of Oerth Mother connected groups; shamans, mystics, druids who gain their magic directly through their connection to the Oerth Mother as opposed to via an intermediary like Ehlonna, Ulaa or Atroa.

    ii) Simplifying the Flanaess into perhaps four geographical regions as per the 2e PHB rather than eight.

    iii) Simply making the Old Faith diminished in its reach and limiting it to the central Flanaess. Outside of that different druidical or nature based priesthoods dominate. Shamans in the Burneal and Bitter North, independent priests/druids of Obad-Hai across the Barrens & Rovers territory, mystics of the Bright Desert etc.

    I'm interested to hear if anyone deviates from the Living Greyhawk Old Faith material or if they have any thoughts on this?
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 360


    Send private message
    Mon Mar 13, 2023 8:30 pm  

    I attended a Q&A with Gary Gygax at Gen Con in 1985. I got to ask him a question, and I asked him how many Great Druids there were in the Flanaess.

    He answered me, definitively, seven. And then moved on to the next question with no further elaboration.

    If you consider the Baklunish lands (including those nations off the map) as the eighth region, this lines up rather nicely onto your initial idea.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 380
    From: Verbobonc

    Send private message
    Tue Mar 14, 2023 10:13 am  

    I believe Oerth Journal 15 addresses this very topic in an article entitled, "The Nature of Druids in the Flanaess: The Old Faith".

    In my personal campaign development material, I consider the Oeridians and Suloise to have polytheistic pantheons, while the Old Faith of the Flan is more a single religion, with Beory being the center of it, and Pelor and Nerull being opposed aspects of life and death, but not in conflict. Thus, and Old Faith Druid would simply be a druid of the Old Faith, True Neutral, and serve Beory, and Pelor and Nerull and the other Flan gods were merely aspects that a druid might call upon. Similarly, Obad-Hai is considered the first druid and is more a saint who is invoked by druids of the Old Faith.

    Now, the Oeridians and Suloise, when they encountered the Flan, misunderstood the unitary nature of Beory, and assumed all of the aspect to be separate gods like they had, and thus they created temples and churches to them, creating syncretic faiths. What the gods think of this... who knows.

    I have not decided if the Baklunish follow a similar pantheistic system, or they operate more Al-Qadim style...
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1361
    From: Tennessee, between Ft. Campbell & APSU

    Send private message
    Wed Mar 15, 2023 10:24 am  

    tarelton wrote:
    ...I consider the Oeridians and Suloise to have polytheistic pantheons, while the Old Faith of the Flan is more a single religion, with Beory being the center of it, and Pelor and Nerull being opposed aspects of life and death, but not in conflict. Thus, and Old Faith Druid would simply be a druid of the Old Faith, True Neutral, and serve Beory, and Pelor and Nerull and the other Flan gods were merely aspects that a druid might call upon. Similarly, Obad-Hai is considered the first druid and is more a saint who is invoked by druids of the Old Faith...


    -I went with Beory = Spring, Pelor = Summer, Obad-Hai = Autumn, and Nerull = Winter. I probably got this from someone else, but I don't remember who, when, or where. Could be different aspect of the same over-being.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
    Posts: 360


    Send private message
    Wed Mar 15, 2023 9:27 pm  

    I use Ehlonna for spring (adversary of Obad-hai autumn) and Beory represents all four of the seasons in one.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 654
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Sun Mar 19, 2023 1:01 pm  

    tarelton wrote:
    I believe Oerth Journal 15 addresses this very topic in an article entitled, "The Nature of Druids in the Flanaess: The Old Faith".

    I highly recommend Paul J. Stormberg's article, "The Nature of Druids in the Flanaess: The Old Faith," Oerth Journal #15 (Jan. 2004), at 11–18, and its companion, "By Sword and Song: Notes on the Old Faith Bards of the Flanaess," id. at 20–28. Both provide thoughtful and well-researched elaborations from Gygax's original texts (e.g., D&D and AD&D rules and modules, Gord the Rogue novels, and several influential GreyTalk posts from 1997.

    tarelton continued:
    Quote:
    In my personal campaign development material, I consider the Oeridians and Suloise to have polytheistic pantheons, while the Old Faith of the Flan is more a single religion, with Beory being the center of it, and Pelor and Nerull being opposed aspects of life and death, but not in conflict. Thus, and Old Faith Druid would simply be a druid of the Old Faith, True Neutral, and serve Beory, and Pelor and Nerull and the other Flan gods were merely aspects that a druid might call upon. Similarly, Obad-Hai is considered the first druid and is more a saint who is invoked by druids of the Old Faith.

    Interesting. The integrative (rather than conflictive) view of Pelor and Nerull feels familiar from past years' discussions, but Obad-hai as the first druid feels novel, and the idea of him as a "saint" feels almost shocking (inasmuch the saints seem solidly Oeridian after Gary Holian's integration of Scott Rennie's old Dragon article in his various death knight articles).

    tarelton, IYC, is the Old Faith view of Pelor–Nerull "true" or do these two greater deities exist independently? And, if you use Alignment, how do you reconcile these deities' antithetical alignments?

    Responding to jamesdglick and edmundscott's contributions, if Ehlonna represents spring and Beory integrates the seasons, the resonance with Persephone and Demeter surface. How do you relate these gods, if an all, with the children of Velnius?

    IMC, I have yet to feature druids heavily. The main datum that I have in mind comes from an earlier discussion of druids here on Canonfire!, Specific Druids of the Flanaess, which Kwint started in June 2020.

    crash72ndst wrote:
    Sverdras Meno was a great and powerful druid who once lived in and cared for the Menowood, according to the LGG (page 141). The Menowood now takes its name from him.

    Sverdras Meno is still around. According to Living Greyhawk Journal #0, he is now Hierophant Sverdras Meno, "a powerful being who oversees the vast Azure Sea. He is thought to be a member of the mysterious Cabal, a congregation of the Old Faith even more enigmatic than the Circle of Eight." Meno is known to consort with Drawmij, and is the previous owner of Drawmij's current underwater demesne.

    Also, my campaign notes mention that Ehlonna is reportedly worshipped by a small cult in the “Grand” Duchy of Berghof. Although her faithful have little local political power, they can call upon allies in the Yeomanry and Dreadwood.

    Finally, the PCs have met a druid, Mo’xah, of mixed Olman and Oeridian descent, who spiritually leads a "maroon"* community, Kwahünepantlah, in the wild "mountainous" interior of eastern Fairwind Island, and a second druid, Maarja, a formerly enslaved Amedian, who leads a revolt on a plantation in central Flotsom Island.

    The way I've imagined it, these druids are both of the Old Faith but of different lineages: Mo’xah represents a lineage that survived the centurial invasions of Firstcomer and Toli Suel (per Samwise, Rasgon, and others), Oeridians of the Great Migrations, the invasion of the Kingdom of Keoland (led by the Rholan Suel, but also including Keogh and other Oeridians), and the consolidation of control effected under the Sea Princes.

    In contrast, Maarja might have been a novitiate in her coastal Amedio village or someone who was initiated by an elder among the enslaved peoples of Flotsom Island. Either way, however, both of them participate in rituals that druids of the central Flanaess would recognize.

    To close, thanks to this thread, I've reread Stormberg's article, supra, and he notes that the Dreadwood houses the holy groves of the Great Druid of the Western Flanaess, Oeridia Uskhome, and the Archdruid of the Amber Sphere, Reynard Yargrove. Both of them venerate the Shalm.

    * I have yet to devise a word for these maroon communities IMC but am considering adapting from the Spanish “cimarrones,” “cumbes,” or “palenques;” Portuguese “quilombolas,” Quechua “nisqakuna,” and Macedonian “kostenlivi”.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3311
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:09 pm  

    Eric Menge's article Power Groups: Druids of the Old Faith from the Wizards of the Coast website is also worth reading.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 380
    From: Verbobonc

    Send private message
    Mon Mar 20, 2023 4:50 am  

    [quote="mtg"]
    tarelton continued:
    Quote:
    In my personal campaign development material, I consider the Oeridians and Suloise to have polytheistic pantheons, while the Old Faith of the Flan is more a single religion, with Beory being the center of it, and Pelor and Nerull being opposed aspects of life and death, but not in conflict. Thus, and Old Faith Druid would simply be a druid of the Old Faith, True Neutral, and serve Beory, and Pelor and Nerull and the other Flan gods were merely aspects that a druid might call upon. Similarly, Obad-Hai is considered the first druid and is more a saint who is invoked by druids of the Old Faith.

    Interesting. The integrative (rather than conflictive) view of Pelor and Nerull feels familiar from past years' discussions, but Obad-hai as the first druid feels novel, and the idea of him as a "saint" feels almost shocking (inasmuch the saints seem solidly Oeridian after Gary Holian's integration of Scott Rennie's old Dragon article in his various death knight articles).

    tarelton, IYC, is the Old Faith view of Pelor–Nerull "true" or do these two greater deities exist independently? And, if you use Alignment, how do you reconcile these deities' antithetical alignments?

    MTG The short answer is that both views are true. To give you the short version of my concept of Flan religious history, for eons the Flan tribes worshipped various local nature spirits such as the Earth Dragon in the Pomarj and Red Fox in the north. Eventually, some of the wisest shamans developed/discovered the True Faith and the Balance, centered on understanding (not necessarily worship) of the Earth Mother, Beory. In fact, Beory is the title that the Flan give to their religious system, though the migration-period humans assumed she was a god such as the ones they worshipped. Pelor and Nerull were mere concepts to the druids, the flourishing and decaying of life, concepts which a druid might call upon depending on what he was doing in a given moment. Again, the Suel and Oeridians saw these as separate gods, and assigned them status and characteristics similar to their own gods. The other Flan powers, Rao, Allitur, Berei, Zodal, and Obad-Hai may have been among the first practitioners of what would become the Old Faith, providing inspirational stories, and again, being misconstrued by the migrating people, they considered them gods as well.

    IMC, the Flan are largely in the lower classes, with the notable exceptions of Tenh, Geoff, and Sterich. T1 demonstrates this well with hints at tension between the congregations of St. Cuthbert and the Old Faith. Syncretism has occurred, with concepts from the Old Faith being worshipped in new ways by the dominant Oeridians and Suel, creating churches of Pelor. Many of the Flan, scattered and driven from their original homes like a bow wave before the great migrations, have adopted Oeridian and Suel forms of worship as well, specifically in Tenh and other Flan-dominated realms, with the result that the Old Faith is practiced, with the exception of the County of Ulek, in villages and farming hamlets, but seldom in cities.

    Historically, you could look at it was what happened throughout the classical world between the 1st and 7th centuries AD being played in reverse, with polytheistic religious structures replacing (semi)-monotheistic ones.

    That being said, it was all more a thought exercise for me. In the game, there are Old Faith Druids (treated as Druids of Beory or Obad-Hai with relevant powers). They are True Neutral and seek the Balance, but not in a Fern Gully way, rather they want peoples to thrive in a sustainable way in harmony with nature; otherwise they would not have been welcomed in every farming village.

    So yes, I have evil priests of Nerull, but a druid may call upon the idea of Nerull for a burial or rotting spell, while in the next breath he may summon Pelor (healing) to help a friend or prepare crops. The churches of Pelor and Nerull are separate from the Old Faith... and the why is a mystery for the theologians. I just like the ambiguity alot!

    Also, this is not the central point of my campaign, but I really liked the ideas of different pantheons, syncretic faiths, and the like, and ran with it. A good book on this is Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword about how modern monotheistic religions developed from about 300-700 AD... it is fascinating reading.

    Maybe I'll get around to posting my Flan note soon...
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 580
    From: British Isles

    Send private message
    Tue Mar 21, 2023 12:03 am  

    Thanks for all your thoughts! I was reading up on Celtic paganism and the huge variety of deities they seemed to revere. They seemed to have certain key deities or deific roles throughtout the Celtic regions;

    i) a god of the Underworld/Death who was the progenitor of the tribe
    ii) an earth mother figure associated with fertility
    iii) a celestial god of the sky/heavens
    iv) a god of crafting or skill
    v) numerous healing gods

    These roles can be quite nicely filled with most of the deities listed as FC in the Guide to Greyhawk

    i) Nerull
    ii) Beory
    iii) Pelor or potentially Rao if you go with a kind of moon god connection that's been suggested in the past
    iv) This is the only one without a clear FC deity to fill the role but Bleredd fits nicely
    v) Pelor also fills this role but Zodal could be a nice fit, Rao could be a fit as a nurturing healing type deity too

    There were also certain deities who had very wide coverage throughout the various Celtic peoples;

    i) Cernunnos (the Horned God) - Obad-Hai
    ii) Epona (deity of equines) - Ehlonna
    iii) Ogmios (god of eloquence) - Allitur or Rao fit this role
    iv) an agricultural deity - Berei

    Having Nerull take a more prominent role in early Flan culture is quite interesting. By the time of the Migrations or maybe because of it he loses prominence and takes on a much more sinister role.

    It also looks like from the earliest canon material only Beory and Obad-Hai can have druids but then I discovered an article in Dragon #92 where Gygax talks about druids of Ehlonna (but it does seem like they're a small sect of the faith).

    I'm not sure why I dislike the idea of the Old Faith hierarchy covering the entirety of the Flanaess. Maybe it seems too neat or convenient. I suppose there is a big difference between where the Old Faith is popular and where there is a lone archdruid or great druid assigned to the Thillonrian Peninsula as a warden.

    I also like the idea of the Old Faith being less homogenised. Beory is always at the core but who the deities associated with the seasons or the heavens etc are could vary, influenced by the history of the region. The modern Old Faith may be more like Romano-Celtic paganism with a few areas with a more purist Celtic paganism vibe. It would also make for a more interesting dynamic within the Old Faith if there is scope for internal debates and arguments about faith and doctrine. It's not a Lawful faith afterall.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 654
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Tue Mar 21, 2023 7:08 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Eric Menge's article Power Groups: Druids of the Old Faith from the Wizards of the Coast website is also worth reading.

    Thanks for that. I think I read Menge's article back in the day but must have forgotten it. I especially like his "Ways of the World" and suggestions that "each season has a deity who acts as steward for that portion of the year" and their identities depend upon the faithful. In contrast, the myth of "Obad-Hai and the Summer Tree" feels too obviously Norse (Odin, Woden, Wotan, etc.) for me.

    tarelton wrote:
    So yes, I have evil priests of Nerull, but a druid may call upon the idea of Nerull for a burial or rotting spell, while in the next breath he may summon Pelor (healing) to help a friend or prepare crops. The churches of Pelor and Nerull are separate from the Old Faith... and the why is a mystery for the theologians. I just like the ambiguity alot!

    Thanks for sharing all this tarelton. I too enjoy the ambiguity and really like your articulation of it. Regarding the seasonal deities—in particular Nerull as winter and Obad-hai as summer or autumn—I recall an old GreyTalk post by Rasgon about Iuz, which riffed off his "the Old" appellation in a dialogue with his "mother," wherein he retorted to her rebuke in ways that suggested he was not only the son of Iggwilv and Graz'zt but also somehow a reincarnation of a Flannae spirit of the North. Rip, did you ever repost that here on Canonfire! (or elsewhere)? A quick search didn't turn it up.

    tarelton wrote:
    Also, this is not the central point of my campaign, but I really liked the ideas of different pantheons, syncretic faiths, and the like, and ran with it. A good book on this is Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword about how modern monotheistic religions developed from about 300-700 AD... it is fascinating reading.

    Maybe I'll get around to posting my Flan note soon...

    Please do. I'd love to read it, and thanks for suggesting In the Shadow of the Sword. I've been wanting to read about the Ottoman Empire for several years and have picked up (but yet to read) Jason Goodwin, Lords of the Horizons: (1998) and Halil Inalcik, The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300–1600 (1973). (I have read a few related Very Short Introductions, including Byzantium, Crusades, Islamic History, and Silk Road.)
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 654
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Wed Mar 22, 2023 8:11 pm  

    Wolfling wrote:
    Thanks for all your thoughts! I was reading up on Celtic paganism and the huge variety of deities they seemed to revere. They seemed to have certain key deities or deific roles throughtout the Celtic regions;

    i) a god of the Underworld/Death who was the progenitor of the tribe
    ii) an earth mother figure associated with fertility
    iii) a celestial god of the sky/heavens
    iv) a god of crafting or skill
    v) numerous healing gods

    The Underworld/Death god / role who is also the tribe's progenitor makes me think of many American indigenous origin stories that are chthonic.

    Wolfling wrote:
    These roles can be quite nicely filled with most of the deities listed as FC in the Guide to Greyhawk

    i) Nerull
    ii) Beory
    iii) Pelor or potentially Rao if you go with a kind of moon god connection that's been suggested in the past
    iv) This is the only one without a clear FC deity to fill the role but Bleredd fits nicely
    v) Pelor also fills this role but Zodal could be a nice fit, Rao could be a fit as a nurturing healing type deity too

    For the fourth role, you might also consider a version of: Boccob that emphasizes his Knowledge attribute / aspect / domain; Berei that emphasizes the knowledge, skill, and technology of Agriculture; Lirr that emphasizes Art in Apollinian sense; Olidamarra that emphasizes Roguery as in trickster gods; or Rao that emphasizes Reason.

    Wolfling wrote:
    There were also certain deities who had very wide coverage throughout the various Celtic peoples;

    i) Cernunnos (the Horned God) - Obad-Hai
    ii) Epona (deity of equines) - Ehlonna
    iii) Ogmios (god of eloquence) - Allitur or Rao fit this role
    iv) an agricultural deity - Berei

    Having Nerull take a more prominent role in early Flan culture is quite interesting. By the time of the Migrations or maybe because of it he loses prominence and takes on a much more sinister role.

    As Rasgon drew on and developed in the post I mentioned above, Iuz's racial origins are also listed FC.

    Also, of the Common gods, Incabulous, Joramy, Lirr, Myhriss, Olidamarra, Ralishaz, and Trithereon represent fundamental attributes / domains and might well feature across the Flannae's Old Faith.

    Wolfling wrote:
    I'm not sure why I dislike the idea of the Old Faith hierarchy covering the entirety of the Flanaess. Maybe it seems too neat or convenient. I suppose there is a big difference between where the Old Faith is popular and where there is a lone archdruid or great druid assigned to the Thillonrian Peninsula as a warden.

    I also like the idea of the Old Faith being less homogenised. Beory is always at the core but who the deities associated with the seasons or the heavens etc are could vary, influenced by the history of the region. The modern Old Faith may be more like Romano-Celtic paganism with a few areas with a more purist Celtic paganism vibe. It would also make for a more interesting dynamic within the Old Faith if there is scope for internal debates and arguments about faith and doctrine. It's not a Lawful faith afterall.

    A comment that Samwise once made regarding the Common-vocca comes to mind. As I recall, he reminded everyone that the homogenization derived from / was useful for the game aspect of RPGs. Nevertheless, I'm sympathetic to your distaste for such a hierarchy, Wolfling. As I reflect on it, however, until one holds that the Old Faith has a global hierarchy, a Flanaess-spanning hierarchy only covers part of the great continent of Oerik. Large but not comparable to, say, Africa or Eurasia.

    This raises something I've meant to ask you, Wolfling. Have you ever made a map that superimposes, say, Europe or the Mediterranean over the Flanaess? If not, would you be willing to create and post one? I think it'd be helpful for a variety of our discussions.

    In closing, the Old Faith should definitely have internal arguments, debates, and interpretations about faith and doctrine. Stormberg's article suggests how the veneration of particular deities by Archdruids could contribute to and structure these conflicts.

    Finally, IMC, I've also been imagining the ancient Flan–Olman–Olven interactions around Jeklea Bay before the Twin Cataclysms. For example, UK1 features "the beautiful half-elven princess, Caerwyn," whose estates were "on the lovely island of Sybarate[.]" Given that Caerwyn is a Welsh name that means love, fair, and/or blessed, that Caer Gywn translates into “White Fortress,” and that Geoff has been described in ways derivative of Wales, I understand that Caerwyn's principality, or the kingdom of which she was a princess, involved the intermixture of Flannae and Olven peoples, and IMC the olven peoples involved a combination of high and sea olves.

    Once I imagined this, then I had to wonder about the latter-day distinction between Flannae and Oman peoples, and my take-away is that these might be better understood as a distinction drawn by Oeridian (especially Aerdian) and Suloise peoples—at least until the "alien gods" came to the Olman peoples. I'll say more about these ideas in another post, but for this thread, my suggestion is to imagine how the Old Faith animated the faith and religion of Olman peoples in the Amedio Jungle.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2706
    From: LG Dyvers

    Send private message
    Thu Mar 23, 2023 7:13 am  

    mtg wrote:

    Once I imagined this, then I had to wonder about the latter-day distinction between Flannae and Oman peoples, and my take-away is that these might be better understood as a distinction drawn by Oeridian (especially Aerdian) and Suloise peoples—at least until the "alien gods" came to the Olman peoples. I'll say more about these ideas in another post, but for this thread, my suggestion is to imagine how the Old Faith animated the faith and religion of Olman peoples in the Amedio Jungle.


    With respect to the homogenization of the Flan people - in my campaign, I consider the word 'Flan' to simply be a term used by the Oeridians in reference to any native of the Flanaess they encountered in their migrations eastward. As the Baklunish and Suloise migrated easward following the Oeridians, they adopted the name that was already in use by the peoples they encountered. Since the Oeridians didn't travel south into the lands of the Olman, they never encountered them and they were eventually known by the name they called themselves, which the Suloise had adopted even before the Twin Cataclysms.

    I see many different cultures and colors of peoples across the Flanaess that have all been lumped into one name (Flan) much like the Romans called all non-Roman peoples barbarian. In Perrenland, the people are very dark-skinned with a culture similar to Switzerland. The Rovers of the Barrens are very Amerind-like, and the peoples of Geoff have a Celtic culture. None of these are of my own invention. I just don't think there is any good reason to try to choose one of them and force all Flan peoples to be of that one race and culture.

    Past cultures in the Flanaess were different from even the three I mentioned above. The people of Ehlissa in Caerdiralor may have been celtic, or not. The peoples of Tostenca were likely very different from the Rovers near them. The people and culture of Sulm was different from any others. I picture the Ur-Flan not as a distinct race or culture, but a cult that spread across many of the Flan races/cultures. (I imagine Rip Torn's character as the evil priest in Beast Master. Happy )

    SirXaris
    _________________
    SirXaris' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SirXaris?ref=hl
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3311
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Thu Mar 23, 2023 10:42 am  

    mtg wrote:
    rasgon wrote:
    Eric Menge's article Power Groups: Druids of the Old Faith from the Wizards of the Coast website is also worth reading.

    Thanks for that. I think I read Menge's article back in the day but must have forgotten it. I especially like his "Ways of the World" and suggestions that "each season has a deity who acts as steward for that portion of the year" and their identities depend upon the faithful. In contrast, the myth of "Obad-Hai and the Summer Tree" feels too obviously Norse (Odin, Woden, Wotan, etc.) for me.


    I read Obad-hai's yearly death and resurrection as more like Attis, Osiris, or the Fisher King. See also The Killing of the Divine King from James Frazer's The Golden Bough.

    Quote:
    I recall an old GreyTalk post by Rasgon about Iuz, which riffed off his "the Old" appellation in a dialogue with his "mother," wherein he retorted to her rebuke in ways that suggested he was not only the son of Iggwilv and Graz'zt but also somehow a reincarnation of a Flannae spirit of the North. Rip, did you ever repost that here on Canonfire! (or elsewhere)? A quick search didn't turn it up.


    I think you're referring to The Birth and Childhood of Iuz.
    Quote:

    With disgust, the witch cast her babe into the box. "Think you that Iggwilv can be wyrd-bound by such as you, youngling?" She spat at her child, her spittle running green down his face.

    "Young am I?" asked Iuz mildly, his smile making his cat's teeth shine. "No, mother, I am old. I am old as darkness, old as lies, and old as the doom of all."

    "Then I am the mother of doom, the mother of lies, and the mother of darkness," Iggwilv waved a bony hand as a ghost picked up her son's casket and flew with it deep into the wastes, loosing a new bogeyman into the unprepared Flanaess.


    I tried to suggest there was some kind of ancientness in him beyond his chronological age, that Iggwilv had birthed some kind of archetypal force. I think the idea that he was specifically sort of reincarnated Flan spirit might be from a different conversation, however. There's also the Soul Husks that he's supposed to have stolen at least some of his divinity from. They might be ancient Flan demigods or quasi-deities.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: May 12, 2005
    Posts: 935
    From: Woonsocket, RI, USA

    Send private message
    Thu Mar 23, 2023 2:36 pm  

    Wolfling wrote:
    Thanks for all your thoughts! I was reading up on Celtic paganism and the huge variety of deities they seemed to revere. They seemed to have certain key deities or deific roles throughtout the Celtic regions;

    i) a god of the Underworld/Death who was the progenitor of the tribe
    ii) an earth mother figure associated with fertility
    iii) a celestial god of the sky/heavens
    iv) a god of crafting or skill
    v) numerous healing gods

    These roles can be quite nicely filled with most of the deities listed as FC in the Guide to Greyhawk

    i) Nerull
    ii) Beory
    iii) Pelor or potentially Rao if you go with a kind of moon god connection that's been suggested in the past
    iv) This is the only one without a clear FC deity to fill the role but Bleredd fits nicely
    v) Pelor also fills this role but Zodal could be a nice fit, Rao could be a fit as a nurturing healing type deity too

    At least among the Rovers, Red Fox might fill the role of the god of crafts.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
    Posts: 52
    From: TregMallin

    Send private message
    Fri Mar 24, 2023 1:35 pm  

    I like what was done with the Old Faith at The Setting to End All Settingshttp://mythlands-erce.blogspot.com/2019/07/alternate-oerths-mythic-greyhawk_24.html:

    Beory - the spirit of the Oerth itself;
    Elohnna - the Spring Lady of fertility and new life. Patron of all rangers (they all get their spells from her);
    Obad-hai - Summer King, The Green Man, Leader of the Wild Hunt;
    Incabulos - The Autumn Lord of decay, plagues, sickness, famine, nightmares, drought, and disasters. He who clears away the stale, weak and static so that nature may grow something new when the rot turns to soil. A hard god.
    Nerull - The Winter King of Death. Even harder.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 654
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Fri Apr 07, 2023 7:15 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    I read Obad-hai's yearly death and resurrection as more like Attis, Osiris, or the Fisher King. See also The Killing of the Divine King from James Frazer's The Golden Bough.

    Thanks for that. I've now read about Attis and the Great Mother and have meant to read The Golden Bough for decades. I look forward to reading this chapter soon.

    rasgon wrote:
    I tried to suggest there was some kind of ancientness in him beyond his chronological age, that Iggwilv had birthed some kind of archetypal force. I think the idea that he was specifically sort of reincarnated Flan spirit might be from a different conversation, however. There's also the Soul Husks that he's supposed to have stolen at least some of his divinity from. They might be ancient Flan demigods or quasi-deities.

    Re-reading your post today made me think of them as prior "Old Ones" (and also reminded me of Vathris). In past discussions, I've thought of them as Flannae quasi-deities (or perhaps hero-gods) that Iuz tricked, vanquished, or otherwise defeated.

    I'm going to review all the published Flannae demi-, hero-, and quasi-deities and think about it more.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 580
    From: British Isles

    Send private message
    Sun Apr 16, 2023 5:58 am  

    mtg wrote:
    This raises something I've meant to ask you, Wolfling. Have you ever made a map that superimposes, say, Europe or the Mediterranean over the Flanaess? If not, would you be willing to create and post one? I think it'd be helpful for a variety of our discussions.



    Sorry it's taken me a while to get around to doing this. They're a bit cobbled together but should be sufficient as a rough comparison;



    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 654
    From: on the way to Bellport

    Send private message
    Sun Apr 16, 2023 3:02 pm  

    Wow! Thank you!

    On first impression, I'm struck by how the various "states" of the Flanaess seem comparable in size to today's European countries.

    I'm going to look at these maps for a while and think more about them.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 580
    From: British Isles

    Send private message
    Sun Apr 16, 2023 11:55 pm  

    No worries mtg.

    I think one of the things that really stands out is the vast size of some of the forests. The Vesve is bigger than Norway!
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1361
    From: Tennessee, between Ft. Campbell & APSU

    Send private message
    Wed Apr 19, 2023 7:15 am  

    Wolfling wrote:


    ...Sorry it's taken me a while to get around to doing this. They're a bit cobbled together but should be sufficient as a rough comparison;

    ...


    ...the map of Europe needs to be flipped around, IIRC.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 580
    From: British Isles

    Send private message
    Wed Apr 19, 2023 11:02 pm  

    Ideally yes, but if you flip Europe without warping it to fit the landmass of the Flanaess its less easy to see the comparison of sizes because a lot of Europe ends up in the water and Scandinavia still isn't anywhere near the Thillonrian Peninsula.

    When I get a chance I'll try and do a warped version to match the landmasses together with Europe flipped.
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 1.73 Seconds