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Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Nyr Dyv, Part II
Posted on Sat, May 08, 2004 by Farcluun
CruelSummerLord writes "The inner workings of Greyhawk and other states, down to the Orcish Empire of the Pomarj, are all explored in the second part of the Nyr Dyv volume of the Brother of the Cruel Summer's research...

Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Nyr Dyv, Part II
By: CruelSummerLord
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

GREYHAWK, FREE CITY OF

The “Gem of the Flanaess” has remained, since the Wars, the center of the Flanaess. Adventurers flock to its streets, traders and diplomats view it as a city of opportunity for their own fortunes and those of their own countries. Foreign trade has once again expanded in 591 CY as the states of the Flanaess rebuild from the destruction.

Greyhawk itself was not damaged by the Wars, but things did not go well for it, as enemies appeared on all sides. The Horned Empire to the north looms over the other Nyr Dyv states, having destroyed the Shield Lands and absorbed their territory. To the south, the half-orc despot Turrosh Mak and his humanoid legions cut off the main trade-routes to the Principality of Ulek, destroying most of the Wild Coast towns in the process. And a Cell of Iuz, led by Jumper of the Lesser Boneheart, has appeared in the Cairn Hills, as the evil god’s minions and their horrible monsters prepare to raze and loot the Gem of the Flanaess.

The elven kingdom of Celene has promised death to any Greyhawker who comes into their lands, and have already slaughtered those Wild Coast inhabitants who ignored their warning. And, as always, Dyvers remains an ally only in word, as both cities absolutely loathe each other, and would gladly raze their neighbor if they could.

Society and Culture: Greyhawk now exists for one reason and one reason only: Money. It is commonly known that thieves are in control of the government, and they strictly enforce both their protection rackets and trading duties. Any and all races, human, demihuman and humanoid, are all welcome in the Free City, and they are encouraged to spend freely in the city’s many markets. Race and gender mean little to Greyhawkers, as they wish to attract the goods of all peoples. The problem comes when foreigners take umbrage to some of the businesses Greyhawk hosts…

Bandits frequently stop in Greyhawk to sell their prisoners to slavers and brothels, and many of these lower businesses are present in Greyhawk, though mercifully they are restricted to the Old City. Slavery is also openly practiced and perfectly legal, with bargain prices compared to the exorbitant sums demanded by the Slave Lords, Sea Princes, or Dyvers.
The fortunes of the nobles are smaller than those of the patrician Gentry of Dyvers, though they are even more aggressive when it comes to hoarding their wealth, and do not know the meaning of “charity”. The working poor have been able to make decent living for themselves, and they are all inspired by those few who have aspired and succeeded to join the nouveaux riches.

Greyhawkers are decent enough people, having a basic sense of fair play and justice. They should not be tempted too far, however-every Greyhawker knows that it is the crooked and corrupt who thrive in this city. Still, even most of the thieves are not themselves truly evil, but they are ruthless in destroying freelancers and keeping the City Watch out of their business.

The Directing Oligarchy has conventions built within it that check and balance the influence of its various members. The Guild of Thieves may have the greatest clout on the council, but every major city religion, the guild of merchants, and other such interests tend to balance influence out. The “inner circle” consisting mostly of the thieves, merchants and assassins, have learned to temper their desire to line their pockets, working diligently to bring as much coin as possible into the city.
Ostensibly, the City Watch reports to the oligarchy, which makes one wonder why the thieves who run Greyhawk would allow law enforcement to operate in their midst. The thieves allow this to go on for several reasons. One of these, obviously, is to weed out the foolish and incompetent thieves who are not smart enough to avoid getting arrested. The Watch is also a valuable ally in taking out opposition to the thieves’ monopoly on criminal investigations. Finally, there must be a pretense of law enforcement to bring foreign traders and travelers into Greyhawk, lest it become a corrupt, bankrupt cesspool like some of the former cities of the Wild Coast.

Military Structure: Despite the city’s incredible wealth-increased by the acquisition of some key Cairn Hills mines and the annexation of the Wild Coast towns of Narwell and Safteon-her military forces have hardly been impressive. Free cities do not, as a rule, match organized kingdoms either in the quantity or quality of their soldiers. The Oligarchy has opened the city coffers wide to provide for the training and strengthening of the standing army and militia, citing the enemies that surround the Free City. Even the best trained cavalry and foot are no better than the secondary forces of middle powers like Veluna and Sterich.

Nerof Gasgal, as part of the political game he is playing (see Foreign Relations), hope to bring in some the tough and hardened units of the Horned Empire to battle both the Cell of Iuz and the Orcish Empire, while also harassing Dyvers’s trade and winning the support of a powerful ally at the same time. If these troops were to turn on Greyhawk, however, the effects would likely be disastrous.

Ruler: Nerof Gasgal, the assistant guildmaster of thieves in Greyhawk, and the city’s Lord Mayor, is a short, stocky fellow who nonetheless moves incredibly fast. His long, thin face, and brown eyes sunk back into his skull, make him vaguely resemble a rat. His furtive glances, low voice, and smirk do nothing to harm this image.

Gasgal tries to pass himself off as a spice merchant who cares about civic politics, but most people know him as a thief. Those that do usually do not care, however-Gasgal has a strong work ethic, an excellent ability to judge character, and the ability to exude charm when necessary. All these abilities have made him one of the best Lords Mayor since Zagig Yragerne himself-and Gasgal intends for historians to remember him as such.

Gasgal is moderately corrupt, skimming off city funds for the benefit of his guild (and vice versa), pulling strings to get underlings cleared of criminal charges (only when necessary), sending press gangs against those that cross him (or causing trouble for them with the city watch), and dodging taxes on his most profitable merchandise. Even as he lines his pockets, he is always forward-thinking, with the prosperity of the Free City and its reputation as a great trading center being of highest priority.

Nerof is, even more than most crowned heads in the Flanaess, quite accessible to adventurers, though of course he dislikes those that are too devoted to a particular cause or god (such as paladins and blackguards, for instance.) During a normal work day at City Hall, those with sufficient fame and status can see the Lord Mayor without an appointment, provided His Solemn Authority is not otherwise indisposed. This accessibility makes him well-liked by even the goodly members of the Directing Oligarchy, despite his criminal tendencies.

Foreign Relations: Greyhawk is currently in the middle of a delicate political game that centers around the Nyr Dyv. The Horned Empire has seized control of the old Shield Lands ports of Amundfort and Critwall, and now threatens either to invade neighboring states or to choke trade along the Nyr Dyv with sponsored privateers. A Cell of Iuz has sprung up in the Cairn Hills, its intentions to loot and plunder the rich Gem of the Flanaess all too obvious. The Orcish Empire of the Pomarj threatens from the south.

Greyhawk has some difficult decisions to make-its own armed forces are neither numerous nor well-trained compared to those of its foes. Attempting to play one of the enemies against each other, or even to ally with one or more of them, would alleviate the military pressure on the city and win valuable allies to be used against other foes, or even in an attack on Dyvers. The trade that would come would be another boon.

On the other hand, alliances with the Horned Empire or the Pomarj would infuriate Furyondy and the Principality of Ulek, two other valued trading partners of the Free City. While the Furyonds have no love for Dyvers, they would be livid at any attempt by Greyhawk to destroy it. Greyhawk is sending money to Furyondy to help the kingdom rebuild its navy, and is now sending support money to keep King Lynwerd in power in Nyrond, and how the Horned Empire would feel about this is anyone’s guess.

Dyvers and the Duchy of Urnst are allies of Greyhawk in principle, though in practice they act more like enemies. Dyvers and Greyhawk are engaged in endless conflicts, both economic and political, to control the rich east-west trade in everything from slaves to spices. Urnst had foolishly given up control of some rich Cairn Hills mines to Greyhawk, but is openly sending parties to guard and mine these places. The outgoing nature of both city and duchy make them both jealous and angry of Greyhawk’s unique status.

HIGHFOLK AND THE VALLEY OF THE VELVERDYVA

This realm is safe and peaceful, known all around the Flanaess as a place of good, kindness and light. Here, man dwells in harmony with his kindred races, and even elves and dwarves get along well. Well-regarded by all its neighbors, Highfolk remains a place of safety and security in a very troubled time. Though it suffered the attack of a Cell of Iuz in the closing months of the Greyhawk Wars, this blight upon the land was destroyed by a party of bold adventurers. Currently, Highfolk is a place of safety and sanctuary, where any and all may rest their minds and heal their bodies.

Society and Culture: Enough has been said about this place in canon that only a brief description is needed. Beautiful forests and rivers, gently sloping valleys, and peaceful human and halfling farms and villages dot the roads leading to Highfolk Town itself, a place where human and elf live in harmony, strangers are greeted as long-lost kin, and almost everyone is hardworking contributor to the community.

Travelers who visit this realm will benefit from the qualities of its townspeople, though they should be warned that the people will expect their kindness to be repaid, especially as concerns the defense of the village. The people of Highfolk often commission adventurers who lodge among them to do tasks in the Yatil mountains or the Vesve Forest, or to pay some small sum to defray the costs of living that exist even here. They will also react badly to any who abuse their hospitality, turning very harshly on any who display bad manners or aggressive behavior.

While Highfolk is considered an elven realm, all the human and demihuman races live in harmony here, and all their community leaders are accorded respect and consideration. There is little organized government here-people do not lock the doors to their homes, and trustingly leave their windows open. Any who abuse this trust are swiftly dealt with, being beaten and cast out of the community.

Military Structure: Being perhaps the most peaceful place in the Flanaess, Highfolk has little need of an army or military force, though decent militia dressed in leather and wielding short swords and pole arms can be raised when necessary. The elves of the periphery of the Vesve, and the dwarves of the Yatils both have small but stout units stationed here, generally armed with chain mail and shield, with replacements rotated every few months. The Knights of the High Forest are the scouts and first line of defense for the realm-hated by the Knights of Holy Shielding, they stand alone, proud and aloof in the defense of their forest home.

Ruler: Sir Loftin Graystand, the mayor of Highfolk in the 570s CY, is a stocky and surprisingly pudgy wood elf, whose reddish-auburn hair is streaked with grey. Always dressed in robes of pastel blue and green, he is never without his roanwood walking stick and his pipe in his mouth.

Loftin is a friendly chap, though he has a tendency to ramble on and drift away from the topic at hand when in conversation. Often, those he speaks to have to remind him of what they were previously talking about. He usually insists on smoking his pipe when discussing important matters (he says the smoke clears his brain), and can be rather offended if anyone protests his smoking. Unlike most elves outside Highfolk, he gets along quite well with dwarves, willing to pay handsome prices for their pipeweed.

Along with his friendly demeanor, Loftin tends to view humans in a grandfatherly manner, always ready with timely wisdom and a knowing smile that most people will find charming if they get to know him well enough.

Tavin Estreade, the Mayor of Highfolk who replaced the retiring Loftin Graystand in 589 CY, is obviously a man of the farm-his thick blond hair hangs dirty down to his shoulders, his thickly muscled hands are often caked with dirt, and a perpetual shadow is his beard. Despite his apparent low birth, Tavin’s eyes shine with intelligence and inner fire that combine both the cunning mind of a natural leader with the common sense and experience of the frontiersman.

Tavin is cordial but blunt towards most visitors, though he warms up quite a bit towards fellow farmers and attractive human or elven women. Towards fellow men of the oerth, he is friendly and jovial, and towards the women he acts the part of a classic plains gentleman, doffing his hat and kissing the hands of the maidens who cross his path. In any case, he is always open and honest, and will respect people who speak to him in the same blunt manner, rather than attempting to flower their words over with honeyed words.

Tavin has attempted, since his election, to bolster the defenses of his town, since he knows full well that rogue humanoids fleeing the chaos of ruined Iuz will choose his home as the perfect place to attempt to recoup their losses. He has Loftin’s full support-the old elf speaks to Tavin as if he were a favorite nephew, and often do the two engage in battles of jibe and wit.

Kashafen Tamarel is the Count of the high elves dwelling in the southwestern fringes of the Vesve Forest. A tall, angular fellow with oddly slanted eyes and ears that seem much too small and short for an elf, and some of his mannerisms and features suggest a strain of human blood in his ancestry.

Kashafen is overjoyed to see the destruction of Iuz, and the victory of Furyondy against the Horned Empire, and so the thoughts of evil threatening his home are far from his mind. Nonetheless, he is still grim and driven by the social problems with his kinfolk who dwell deeper within the Vesve…

Two elven kingdoms exist therein, and the folk of both realms are disgusted with their kin-elves of Highfolk allowing the greedy, murderous (as they see it), humans to walk in their midst. Even worse is the presence of dwarves from the Yatils who visit Highfolk. While these bearded folk are friendly and jolly sorts, the elves of the deep Vesve cannot overcome the rooted antipathy between elves and dwarves.

The strain of divided loyalties and the embarrassing words and deeds of his kinfolk pulls at Kashafen, who would love to see Tavin Estreader make peace and alliance with the elves of the deep Vesve. (This is unlikely to occur, given that humans were the ones who both sired the wicked Iuz, and later released him from bondage.) As such, Kashafen is at the same time friendly and honest, and yet testy and irritated, often shifting moods depending on the topic at hand and however cool the Vesve elves feel towards his human neighbors at the moment.

Foreign Relations: Highfolk obviously has strong alliances with the dwarves of the Yatils, and the human realms of Furyondy, Veluna, and Verbobonc. They are technically allies of Dyvers, though that city and its visitors get a cool reception whenever they appear in Highfolk. The people of Dyvers consider the Highfolk lazy and unmotivated, while the Highfolk view the folk of the free city as greedy, grasping, and conniving. The Shield Lands are respected, though many Highfolk find the attitudes of its people, and even more so the Knights of Holy Shielding, irritatingly smug and superior. Their only real enemy is perhaps the Horned Empire, though they are well defended by Furyondy, Veluna, and the Knights of the High Forest.

THE HORNED EMPIRE

The lands belonging to the Lord of Pain, Iuz, were all once part of a lawless, bandit-ridden area known as the Northern Reaches. Ostensibly under Furyondy’s control, these territories degraded into the modern Bandit Kingdoms. When Iuz rose in the late 400s CY, he claimed the western Bandit Kingdoms, assimilating them into an empire that loomed over the whole of the Flanaess.

When Iuz vanished in 505 CY, his generals began a bloody conflict for power, each of them attempting to seize the vacant throne of Dorakaa. Some of these people, being of a more lawful bent than their lord, swore off Iuz and pledged themselves to the dark god Nerull and the archdukes of the Nine Hells, seizing Iuz’s southern territory for themselves.
Ambitious bandits, humanoid enclaves, and other s***** from around the Flanaess gathered into an organization called the Horned Society. This group based itself on the old Ur-Flan legends of the dreaded “Horned Ones”, dark cultists who revered the evil Flan gods and arch-devils, and preyed on the Flan peoples of the Pre-Migrations Flanaess. While not a direct descendant to that group, it is suspected that Nerull and the arch-devils decided it the time was right to balance the presence of chaotic evil in the Flanaess with that of law.

Thus did the first thirteen Hierarchs pledge themselves to Mephistopheles, Asmodeus, and Nerull the Reaper, creating around them a society based on human supremacy, the subjugation of lesser races, and the rule of might through fear. Many smaller groups and cults devoted to the devils and Nerull were easily assimilated into the organization, which was based on a dogma agreed on by all groups, rather than being devoted to the teachings of a single god.

The Horned Society’s nation soon presented a dire threat to the nations of the south, and clashes with Furyondy, the Shield Lands, Iuz, and the Bandit Kingdoms were both frequent and bloody. The Society proceeded to build up its forces, even as the Shield Lands were retrenching against these hated enemies.

Their defenses proved to be of no use, as the Society, allied with the lords of the Bandit Kingdoms of Warfields and Wormhall, attacked the Shield Lands in 579 CY. This fighting proceeded into and through the Greyhawk Wars, as the Society, slowly but surely, choked the life out of the Shield Lands and then attacked Furyondy. The Society’s intentions were plain-it wanted nothing less than empire.

But what of Iuz during this time? When he returned in 570, he too had been preparing his forces for a great assault. However, it seems that many, though not all, of his humanoid troops turned against him. The gods of the humanoids, such as Gruumsh and Maglubiyet, sent their priesthoods to ally with the Society, angered at how the upstart Old One subverted their peoples. The humanoid priests had infiltrated Iuz and started frenzied rebellions among the humanoid troops. Bloody riots, looting, and chaos consumed the lands of Iuz even as the Society smashed northwards, knowing all along that Iuz meant to attack them sooner or later.

By 585 CY, when the wars finally ended, the Society had crushed the Shield Lands beneath its iron boot, and less than a score of the Knights of Holy Shielding remained alive. Furyondy was victorious against the Society, though it suffered considerable damage. The homeland of Molag was secure, and Society troops were subduing the warring factions in Iuz, though Halga and Null, Iuz’s greatest spell-casters, still hold out in Dorakaa. The western Bandit Kingdoms were either allied with the Society, or considering the option to do so.

The Hierarchs, though they failed to make inroads into Furyondy, were triumphant. The rich fields of the Shield Lands and the critical ports of Critwall and Admundfort were now under their control. Over half of Iuz’s old land was in their iron grip, and Dorakaa buckled under siege. The Society’s forces went as far as the north, clashing with the Rovers of the Barrens and the Wolf Nomads in the west, though they could not make any claim to these lands.

And now, with the war’s end, the Horned Society is the name given to the organization, its nation being properly renamed the Horned Empire. It made no immediate attempts at the conquest of any of its neighbors, even sending diplomats to Greyhawk, Dyvers, Leukish, Radigast City, and even Nevond Nevnend of Tenh. Cautious trade from some of these began, even as Furyondy protested loudly. The Horned diplomats assured its neighbors that it had no intentions to attack…for now…

Society and Culture: The Horned Empire is a strongly centralizing nation, making no provincial divisions in conquered territories. The reins of power are held by the Hierarchs, who have differing responsibilities in differing areas of the empire, although there is no official feudal system dividing these territories. The Hierarchs meet weekly and conduct their affairs as a group-few of them could or would dare to act without the consent of all others. Ironically, debate is carried forwards with politeness, and the Hierarchs always vote on proposed courses of action, though the Unnamable Hierarch has the right to veto any new laws or ideas, and has the deciding vote should the rest of the council be deadlocked.

Various groups are represented on the council of the Hierarchs, the churches of Mephistopheles, Asmodeus, and Nerull the Reaper being the most obvious. Orc and hobgoblin priests of Gruumsh and Maglubiyet have been granted their positions on the council for their invaluable aid in defeating Iuz before he could attack. Wizards, warriors, and thieves all represent their professional brethren upon the council as well.

Life in the Horned Empire is harsh-serfdom is enforced for most of the conquered peoples, though certain citizens will be brought into local administration if they prove competent and loyal. Conquered serfs can travel without the company of their lords, though they must provide passes that give them permission to enter cities like Molag or Delaquenn. This system of passes is extended to all foreign visitors-merchants and adventurers are welcomed and allowed into the country, though they must accept a trading pass and display it to any authority that questions their presence.

There are two sets of laws in the Empire-one for the Hierarchs and their minions, and one for everyone else. Everything from rape to theft is punished by execution, or a public beating and branding, when committed by one commoner against another. Doing such to a Hierarch or his favored minions will bring about a slow death for the offender. Hierarchs may do what they want when they will, though their minions are punished for unnecessarily harming a serf or peasant. The Hierarchs are assumed to be above wasting energy tormenting valuable peasants, whose mining and farming in occupied lands is what powers the nascent empire’s economy.

Military Structure: The strict, harsh discipline imposed by the Society upon its soldiers has created a highly trained military force of excellent quality. Soldiers of all races, from goblins to even a handful of giants, make up the infantry core of the army, serving as light, medium or heavy foot as their race dictates. Artillerists and sappers are usually human, though some evil gnomes from the Howling Hills are known to offer technical expertise in these matters.

The cavalry of the empire is not as fine as its foot, being a hodgepodge collection of goblin worg-riders, human bandit horsemen, armored mercenary cavalry, and others. This cavalry needs to be better organized and divided into compatible units, though the problem is being worked on already. Archers and crossbowmen tend to be human and hobgoblin, although each unit of archers will have a giant with them to complement arrows with rocks, as well as to offer physical protection if they are engaged. The navy, formerly left to decay under Iuz, is now being built up, with former Sea Princes offering expertise as administrators and captains.

Ruler: The Hierarchs and their true identities are mostly unknown, though Xagyg reports that the “leading Hierarch is purported to be a priest of the 18th level. Other leaders are reported as a magic-user above the 12th level of ability, a master thief of the 13th rank, and a trio of fighter Lords.” It is also known that orc and hobgoblin priests have been added to the Hierarchs’ Council in order to represent their religions and races.

As a general rule, the Hierarchs do not fight amongst themselves or let their own private schemes and feuds interfere with the working of the empire as a whole. That said, they may be engaging in any number of interests and plots, involving anything from exploration of White Plume Mountain to treasure hunting in the Forbidden City of the Pelisso Swamps.

Some of them are cold, icy and calculating, never showing any emotion except when considering one of their own schemes, in which case they offer a sinister smile. These Hierarchs usually prefer to remain subtle and quiet, working behind the scenes, and going masked when they must reveal themselves. Others are proud, blustering and outgoing, leading raids and attacks themselves openly, enjoying the terror of the victims.

Foreign Relations: Needless to say, the Horned Empire is distrusted by all of its neighbors, and openly hated by Furyondy. Tenh, the Urnst states, Greyhawk, and Dyvers have all received visits from Horned representatives, and the latter two have opened some cautious trade with the empire, much to Furyondy’s dismay. A demilitarized zone marks a tense border between empire and kingdom, and armed Furyond soldiers will not allow anyone to pass over their border in either direction, being inclined to slay first and ask questions later. In response, the slaves exported and used by the Horned Empire are, more often than not, of Furyond origin.

Some of the Bandit Kingdoms, such as Warfields, Wormhall, Johrase, and the Rift have pledged alliance with the empire, or are seriously thinking about doing so. Others, such as Reyhu, Rookroost, and Greenkeep have no intention of doing so, and are raiding and plundering the still-unsettled empire with glee, stealing both coin and grain. One can only guess what the Hierarchs will do about the problem.

POMARJ, ORCISH EMPIRE OF THE

Once the domain of a loose alliance of independent lords who had broken away from the rule of the Principality of Ulek and Keoland, this place fell victim to the defeated humanoid hordes of the Hateful Wars, fleeing the disasters that befell them in the Lortmil mountains. The humanoids easily defeated the poorly trained forces of the Pomarj barons, dividing the realm into tribal territories, making rough re-creations of their destroyed homes in the Lortmils.

The humanoids here raided the elves of Celene and the dwarves of Ulek constantly, but fought each other even more than their demihuman foes. Rarely did any of the monsters attempt to reach out in conquest or war, although they got on well with the peoples of the Wild Coast. Anarchy was the rule here-the only effective rulers were the humanoid chiefs and kings.

All this changed first with the rise of the Slave Lords in 570 CY, who brought greater organization and unity to the area, before holding the southlands hostage to their terrifying slave raids, going as far as the Lordship of the Isles to plunder their illicit trade. The Slave Lords were eventually destroyed in 579 CY-it seems that an erupting volcano destroyed their hidden city of Suderham.

One of the Slave Lords survived, however. The half-orc Turrosh Mak, a brilliant military general, fearsome warrior, and charismatic leader, waged a series of bloody conflicts during the Greyhawk Wars to establish control over all the varied humanoids of the region, his own personal power ending most of the conflicts between the volatile races. Mak struck both into the Principality of Ulek and the Wild Coast, occupying the former and destroying the latter. Mak has taken the last few years to consolidate his gains, as he must still put down the vicious infighting among his own soldiers. When he is ready, however, he will choose between the Free Cities of the north, the gravely weakened Onnwal, or the Principality of Ulek to invade and destroy.

Society and Culture: The debauchery of Erelhei-Cinlu, Molag, or Rauxes can be found across this foul realm. Slaves, kidnapped from their homes by bandits or humanoid raiders, are the chattel of the humanoid leaders of the region. Assassins, thugs and brigands roam the streets of the half-ruined cities, chattering in Jebli or Euroz with their humanoid companions as easily as they would Common. Stray dogs and children fight in the streets for scraps of food and shelter, while adults get into fist and knife fights freely, often egged on by others, who make bets on the outcome.

The humanoid chiefs have divided the realm into their own petty territories, which they have named after their old lairs and kingdoms in the Lortmils. Owing to the fact that the humanoids will fight each other as willingly as they will humans, dwarves or elves, there is little central authority beyond each individual chief or king, who only control as much territory as their warriors can hold. Skirmishes and battles over the best farmland and mines are common.

With Turrosh Mak in power, the general social life of the Pomarj will not change, though Mak will have instilled strict discipline among the chiefs, who act as his vassals in a twisted mockery of the classic feudal model. Fights are still common, especially between rival tribes of orcs and hobgoblins, but Mak rarely allows things to get out of hand, sending in his own elite forces, loyal to him alone, to settle the matter if he decides that things have gotten out of hand, or he needs to make an example of some unlucky tribe.

Mak summons the greatest leaders of each humanoid race to council every few months, and while he takes advice surprisingly well, his word is law; none of the lesser leaders may disobey his orders or rise against him, under penalty of death. Early in his reign, Mak carried out frightfully effective purges in the ranks of those who displeased him, causing even the raucous ogres and orcs to fall into line quickly. Outside of these councils, Mak rules alone-he has absolute power, and can do anything to anyone within his borders.

Military Structure: The humanoid armies of the Pomarj are poorly organized, and all have varying levels of professionalism and training, though they all obey Mak’s orders to the letter. His own personal charisma has won him loyalists among all the humanoids, and these report to him the dealings and doings of their chiefs and tribes. They also act as messengers between Mak and his field commanders. Despite their lack of formal training and disorganized ranks, the humanoid hordes are still a dangerous force on any battlefield, as they will charge in and fight in a killing frenzy, acting as one huge shock unit.

Giants and some monsters are present in the elite ranks of Mak’s army, and his own personal guard consists of two-headed giant trolls. These are used as “motivation” for the common soldiers, rendering most types of psychological trickery and demoralizing tactics useless against the humanoid masses.

The Pomarj’s navy is being built up and consolidated from the sundry collection of pirate vessels it once was. These forces are, however, suffering growing pains, and Mak has executed three admirals for incompetence in as many years. Siege engineers are of good but middling quality.

Ruler: Turrosh Mak is a huge, snarling thug of a man, though one would use the term “man” loosely. He appears not so much as a man but as a snarling, drooling cross between a warthog and a man, with a prominent snout and yellowed, twisted tusks poking up from his mouth. His reddish, bloodshot eyes send chills down the spine of even the hardiest dwarven warrior, as does his huge two-handed battleaxe, won from a hill giant chief in a wrestling death match.
Mak is seven feet, nine inches and five hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle, gristle and bone, with very little of his bulk jiggling with fat. Never taking off his spiked, black plate mail, his deadly stare and eerily clam manner conceal a cunning and calculating mind, but also an almost tangible feeling of power.

Mak is incredibly charismatic, winning over mutually hostile humanoid tribes to seek death in his service. He loves to take the field personally, wading into the middle of a mass of dwarven warriors, before hacking his way out again. He also enjoys smashing into a mass of cavalry charge, knocking down horses and crushing disarmed knights.

Mak is not suicidal, however-he will not pick fights he knows he cannot win. He has no qualms about sacrificing as many as a thousand of his soldiers for a few acres of gained ground, though at the same time he hates waste and prefers to avoid such extreme commitment of soldiers and supplies to such actions. Among his many other talents, Mak is a great organizer-whatever organizational problems his humanoid hordes have, they are always immaculately armed and prepared with supplies.

Foreign Relations: Ostensibly, the Orcish Empire is hated by all of its neighbors, especially Celene and the Principality of Ulek. The vulnerable Onnwal is attempting to erect new naval defenses in case of an attack from the west, though it is the rich cities to the north that Mak truly craves. Dyvers and Greyhawk are ostensibly enemies of the Pomarj, though both would leap at the chance to open trade with the humanoids and get a portion of their vast mineral wealth, and both would also have Mak destroy the other, if they could get away with it without Ulek, Celene or Furyondy knowing. Other than this, the humanoids of the Pomarj are enemies with everyone, including those of their kin who have returned to the Lortmils, or carved out new realms by rising from the DeepOerth.

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Re: Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Nyr Dyv, Part II (Score: 1)
by eanondson on Sat, May 08, 2004
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Good stuff, but clearly it needed to have some disclosure labeling it as an "Alternate History".


Regards,
Eric Anondson



Re: Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Nyr Dyv, Part II (Score: 1)
by Yabusama on Mon, May 17, 2004
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I love this series of articles, there are many little bits of info that can lead on to ideas for adventures, and as far as being non-canon, well maybe a note to indicate this, but hell I enjoy them anyway.



Re: Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Nyr Dyv, Part II (Score: 1)
by CruelSummerLord on Thu, May 20, 2004
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I should probably explain some of the reasoning behind these articles. Like many other fans, I'm not too thrilled with how Sargent handled FtA. Hence the reason I did what I did in going out on my own, although I've tried to weave canon in where I can-like the mention of Count Lewenn being demoted in the druidic hierarchy, Larissa Hunter as ruler of Dyvers, Belvor turned into a bitter, exhausted warrior, the violence in the Sea Princes, or the Flight of Fiends (something which I should have mentioned-while it didn't cripple Iuz as it did in canon, it did banish all the fiends summoned during the Wars) and so forth.

My goal was to explore those things that canon has never been able to do because of space considerations-detailed descriptions of social structures, military forces, etc., in a way that DMs can use either in a pre- or post-Wars campaign. Hence my writing two sections on the same subject-describing Belvor as he is now, and as he was in his prime. Another example in the upcoming Aerdy East section is a section devoted wholly to the old Great Kingdom under Ivid V, and two seperate entries for Ahlissa and North Kingdom (or, as I like to call it, Northern Aerdy, which is still a canon name. :P) I've tried to build on what we see in canon on various snippets of information on rulers and national personalities, alignment indications, etc. that we get in canon. As a result, there may be some political differences from canon in my version, especially in "Foreign Relations" but most of it should otherwise be usable for any DM.

I also had a couple of other goals with the way this is presented. One is to take a jab at the political correctness that seems to be seeping into D&D settings in the last few years-from "The Adventure Begins" noting how formerly male and human domains now have mixed crowds (like the Savant Inn), and how supposedly rough and not-so-nice nations like Greyhawk have abolished slavery. Forgotten Realms also has some references to this, such as a Mulhorandi city dropping its taxes on nonhuman visitors, and re-organizing the inheritance laws to make them more equitable. Such things are wonderful, beautiful things in real life, but they don't necessarily make for a more evocative campaign setting.

Also, I admit I made up a lot of the personality quirks for the rulers, although there are no over contradictions to anything we see in canon, AFAIK. The reason I wrote these sections was to reply to the critique that D&D characters are two-dimensional flat. I hope that by giving them a face and some actual personality traits, they can become more rounded as opposed to stock characters.

In any case, I am very grateful for all the positive response, and am glad to have helped in any way I can. The Aerdy East and Bitter North states are all done, and once exams are done, work will begin in earnest on the Baklunish West and the Greyhawk Travel Guide...



Re: Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Nyr Dyv, Part II (Score: 1)
by Tedra (tedra@cableone.net) on Mon, June 14, 2004
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I just wanted to let you know Cruel Summer Lord, that I have truly enjoyed these articles. I should have posted this on the III installment I suppose but it was here that I found some valuable information. Needing a detailed description of Highfolk for a campaign, I have come to rely on the resources here at Canonfire. Your description of Highfolk was EXACTLY what we needed. Your detailing was excellent and if any of you haven't also read the GHGA's Summer Lord has done on the Sheldomar Valley, you'd better go see. Now. Fabulous work!




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