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Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Bitter North, Part II
Posted on Wed, November 17, 2004 by Farcluun
CruelSummerLord writes "Through vile Iuz, religious Pale, and rambunctious Perrenland...

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

IUZ, EMPIRE OF, CELLS OF

Iuz, the Old One, the Lord of Pain, is a blight upon the world brought into being by the cursed hell-witch Iggwilv, who offered her body to the demon lord Grazz’t in exchange for great knowledge and power. The result was Iuz, her cambion son, who grew to command a fell realm of evil and wickedness that once threatened to engulf the whole of the Flanaess. He hatched many plots and schemes to do this, such as the creation of the Orb of Elemental Evil and the magical charming of Sevvord Redbeard, rhelt of Stonehold, among other things. While he only enjoyed indifferent success in most of his planning, Iuz had nonetheless assembled a large collection of human and humanoid servants that were devoted to carrying out his lunatic plots of conquest and domination.

By the time of the Greyhawk Wars, Iuz would have proceeded to embark upon his grand plans of conquest, but for several setbacks he suffered. First, the Temple of Elemental Evil, a plot he had entered into with the demoness Zuggtmoy, was defeated, leaving him reeling and disorganized. The charming of Sevvord Redbeard was dispelled, thus ruining his plans to engulf the barbarians of the north-eastern Flanaess into an alliance that he would manipulate. Finally, many of his own devoted humanoid servants revolted.

The humanoid priests of Gruumsh, Maglubiyet, Vaprak, and the rest of their traditional racial gods had never forgiven the Old One for stealing so many of their people away from them, bringing them to worship himself instead. They plotted their revenge, assisted by the support of the Horned Society, who knew all too well that they were not safe with the murderous cambion demigod as a neighbor. The humanoid priests began slipping in among Iuz’s humanoid hosts, and stirring up riots and rebellions, subverting the orders of Iuz’s human leaders and dividing his humanoids into two factions, one who remained faithful to the Lord of Pain, and another who wished to return to their old gods.
Racial animosities and rivalries even between the humanoid priests soon erupted into conflict and war. Iuz and his followers attempted to gain control of the situation, but the Old One’s lieutenants-who all hated one another and would gladly kill their fellows if it meant their master would reward them-also began turning on each other, each more concerned with proving themselves to their master than coordinating a proper strategy. Soon, Iuz’s realm began to fall apart in bloodshed and violence, as dozens of different factions all began butchering each other for the power they believed was rightfully theirs.

From the west, the well-disciplined hosts of the Horned Society quickly smashed into Iuz’s territory, adding yet another ingredient to the fiery cauldron of violence. They set about trying to annex the land, recruiting certain humanoid bands and slaying others, and mercilessly killing any followers of Iuz unlucky enough to cross their path.

Iuz could not keep control of the situation, as events occurring in the Abyss were quite similar to ones going on on the material plane. He was forced to flee to the Abyss in order to sort these matters out, but not before calling his most trusted servants to him, giving them very specific orders.

Halga and Null, his high priestess and court archmage, were to remain in Dorakaa with loyal human and monstrous followers, attempting to re-establish their master’s court. The rest of Iuz’s clergy and wizards, that order known as the Boneheart, were to fan out around the Flanaess, looting and killing to make their master proud. They would then be required to carve out territory for themselves, murdering and enslaving all who got in their way. These territories, he said, were to be his Cells. Iuz told his servants that he was creating a contest-when he returned from the Abyss, he would see how each of his servants had done in creating their Cells, and how much wealth and power they had acquired. He would then select the strongest Cell, and make it his new domain, rewarding the servant who had done best with the greatest “gift” he could offer-eternal life and demonhood as Iuz’s most favoured servant.

With those words, the members of the Boneheart spread out across the Flanaess, causing chaos and destruction wherever they traveled. Lands left undefended by soldiers fighting elsewhere in the wars were razed and pillaged, and their people enslaved or killed. Some participants in Iuz’s twisted game settled upon a spot for their Cells immediately-others simply reveled in the mayhem they were causing, and much time went by before they too established their Cells.

Iuz’s macabre contest suits his demeanor and ethos perfectly. The Cells are spread out all around the Flanaess, places where violence and cruelty are the order of the day. They are almost always engaged in raids and battles with their neighbors, who are always implacably hostile to them. Also, the motivation to make their Cell the best has set each of the participants at each other’s throats-they all engage in secret plots to destroy or weaken the Cells of their opponents, in order to make themselves the strongest. This, of course, pleases their perverted master to no end.

Society and Culture: Iuz’s realm is much the same before the Wars as is or would be any unified empire he created afterwards. Ruling over a sickening, perverse, ugly mockery of human society, Iuz wields the full and absolute power of life and death over all in his grip, even his most powerful servants. All the nation’s power flows to and from his clawed hands. Nothing can take place in his lands without his approval-those who disobey or displease him will be fortunate if they are granted a swift and painless death.

There is no specific political structure in Iuz’s nation or empire; either Iuz or one of his lieutenants will give orders, and these orders must then be distributed down through the chain of command in the nation’s military and magical hierarchies. Iuz’s servants make up this chain of command, and are little more than a glorified mob of strong-arm bosses who constantly bicker and scheme against each other, each trying to gain their master’s favor while undermining their enemies. As a result, the distribution of orders and information to and from the capital of Dorakaa is often chaotic and confused, leading to riots and violence between factions loyal to Iuz’s various underlings.

These underlings are engaged in various attempts to discredit and kill each other, as they all seek greater rewards from the Old One they serve. Iuz allows this to go on, as it often weeds out his most incompetent servants. However, when things become too chaotic even for his own tastes, and the very fabric of his realm is in danger, he will immediately step in and put a stop to all bickering. His servants are quite happy to set aside all grievances and work with each other cheerily when he does this, as none of them would dare to fight when their master is about.

Iuz’s retinue of servants includes a coven of demons devoted specifically to serving him, and they are faultlessly loyal despite their chaotic alignment. The rest of his entourage is made up of human wizards and clerics, and warriors of many races who he shows favor to at different times. The warriors are of all professions-fighters, cavaliers, barbarians, etc.-and generally serve as Iuz’s war-generals and field commanders. The wizards and clerics are the ones he trusts with carrying out his word and running the regional capitals of his nation or empire. The twelve strongest of these are the Boneheart, the most powerful of his servants who are chosen for their ability, power and evil.

Iuz and his servants hold all power in the realm. Beneath them are those humans and humanoids who live as “common” citizens of the realm. These people are even more evil and despicable than their Horned or Bandit neighbors. They are treacherous, double-dealing snakes who would slit their own mothers’ throats for a few copper commons-if mommy didn’t get them first, of course. They only live as fellow citizens without killing each other because they know to do so would have Iuz’s minions brutally crush any riots that broke out, reviving all those who were killed as undead skeletons and zombies to serve their foul ruler.

At the bottom of the social ladder are those very unfortunate humans and demihumans who are conquered by Cell or empire. They are forced to work and toil for nothing more than a crust of bread and rare respites in the whipping. Tied to their masters even more tightly than chained dogs, these poor souls have literally no hope for the future, unless they are ever freed. Their living conditions are horrible; physical, mental and sexual abuse by their wicked masters is very common. Regardless of who they are, anyone who liberates them will be treated by these lost souls almost as avenging angels.

The Cells of Iuz have many of the same conditions, except that it is each member of the Boneheart that wields absolute power in their little fiefs. These conquered areas are generally little more than armed camps, ruled by powerful magic-users and swarming with savage monsters and evil humanoids. Degenerate bandits, rogue giants, and others might join the Cells if paid well, and if they get the chance to cause true havoc.

The most famous Cells are in the Suss Forest, the Gull Cliffs, the Spine Ridge, the Dreadwood, the Griffs, and the Sepia Uplands, though there are bound to be others. Each of these little tyrannies are a grave threat to all their neighbors, both good and evil-ruled by powerful wielders of both arcane and divine magic, they have the capacity to take over realms and kingdoms far greater than their limited sizes would suggest!

Military Structure: Iuz’s troops are a ghastly mockery of human armies-a wide variety of evil humanoid races-orcs, goblins, ogres, giants, gnolls, kobolds, hobgoblins-serve alongside evil men in Iuz’s vast armies. They are organized into racially separate companies to prevent infighting, which are further divided along tribal lines when considering races that are hostile to their own, such as orcs and hobgoblins. Despite the racial tensions that are inevitable in such a mixed-race army, the terror they all feel for Iuz keeps all but the most disruptive and foolish soldiers from revolting in the field. Their levels of training and discipline vary with each individual unit, but they all generally manage to act as a single force against enemy armies.

Iuz’s armies also use some vicious trained monsters, such as chimeras, giant scorpions, gorgons, gargoyles, hydras, owlbears, and so forth. However, these are very difficult to train, and so are only used in specific circumstances. Even then, they can be a critical weak point in Iuz’s forces-if they forget their training, or are feeling especially energetic that day, they can play havoc with their unit’s normal tactics. While sometimes used in the field, these monsters are increasingly being used for other purposes-to launch guerilla attacks, to guard commanders, to act as mounts, and so forth.

Ruler: Iuz the Old is a twisted, shriveled manikin of a man in his normal form, looking like some sort of cross between a man and a demon, with all the muscle mass sucked out of him. This gives him a bizarre unsettling appearance, even when one does not consider his twin red eyes that shine like hot coals promising hellish tortures, or his wicked smiles, which hint at gloating malice and an eagerness to rip out the throat of anyone he meets. Indeed, this is one of his favorite pastimes.

While the rulers of other evil nations might have certain redeeming qualities, or complicated personalities, Iuz is very simple: He is a megalomaniac bent on world domination. Any who can stand listening to his drooling, lisping speech will hear the words of a creature twisted by the recognition of his own debased heritage, a sadisitic desire to inflict pain and slow death on living things, and an appreciation for “music” that consists of children screaming and crying for mercy. Iuz simply feels that if everyone considers him to be an evil and vicious thing because of his heritage, then he is quite happy to fulfill their expectations.
Iuz loves to see his minions kill and fight with each other in their attempts to prove their loyalty to him-it appeals to his ego. Still, he has no compunctions about stopping a battle and ordering his servants to work together if it suits his end. And, of course, any incompetent or disobedient subordinates are slowly killed, before being turned into wights or specters to act as personal valets. Worse still is anyone who questions his orders or protests his decisions-the one thing Iuz hates more than unicorns, paladins, sunshine, rainbows and fresh-baked pies is anyone who questions his decisions. These unfortunates, even if they are powerful members of the Greater Boneheart are eaten alive-literally.

Iuz has currently traveled to the Abyss to seek out Iggwilv, Zuggtmoy and Grazz’t, aiding them against their enemies, using the ruse of a war to keep his servants from prying into his business. He wants the assistance of his “family” against the Circle of Eight, the church of Rao in Veluna, Tuerny the Merciless, the Scarlet Brotherhood, and a number of prominent heroes, all of whom are pursuing agendas that could bode ill for his own. The Old One is playing a dangerous game that involves many of the great powers of the Flanaess. Even the Lord of Pain himself may not be aware of what the consequences of his actions could be…

Foreign Relations: The Land or Empire of Iuz will be hated, loathed and feared by all its neighbors. No trade comes to an established land of Iuz-his only export is the misery and horror his troops deliver in his own name. While he enjoys cordial relations with the Horned Society before the Wars, each is fully aware that their counterparts would be willing to destroy them and take their power base for themselves.
The Cells of Iuz have no foreign relations whatever. As little more than territories conquered by powerful members of Iuz’s Boneheart, they are viewed as a dangerous and frightening threat by all their neighbors, both good and evil. As such, evil despots and heroic adventurers alike will take steps to destroy them. The rulers of the Cells, for their part, are quite eager to conquer countries and towns and use them to expand their own power bases, eagerly anticipating the day when Iuz returns to judge the outcome of his contest.

PALE, THEOCRACY OF THE

The Theocracy of the Pale was long known as a realm where both good and evil seemed to be intertwined. A land of charity, hard work, and honesty, the Pale was a land where pious, devout people struggled against the deprivations of a harsh land and its evil inhabitants to carve out a living in the name of their god, Pholtus.

If this were all there was to the tale, the Pale would likely be known as the eastern Flanaess’s answer to Veluna. Unfortunately, it was not. For the branch of Pholtus’s faith that had founded the Pale, the One True Path, was infamously intolerant and expansionist, fanatically devoted to the harsh, rigid tenets of its god. While vigorously follwing their doctrine within the borders of their own lands, the clerics of the Pale set out to spread the word and convince others to follow them on the One True Path-by force, if necessary. Needless to say, this did not endear them to any of their neighbors.

The clerical leaders of the Pale had long dreamed of making a military expansion to expand their borders and draw their neighbors into Pholtus’s flock, but had been engaged in military stalemates with Tenh and Nyrond. When the Greyhawk Wars struck, however, the Pale quickly pounced on the openings left by its vulnerable neighbors. Soldiers were sent into Tenh, then battling against the hordes of Stonehold, and Nyrond, who struggled against Aerdy in the east.

The Pale succeeded in putting Redspan under siege, and that city would fall by 584 CY. Atherstone was similarly engaged, though the Pale had much less luck against the eastern city, which was well-built against attacks by bandits, trolls, and worse. In Nyrond, however, the Pale was much more successful, and would capture a great swathe of land between the Franz and Nesser rivers, threatening Woodwych, Womtham and the County of Urnst. Stout resistance and the end of the war finally put an end to the Pale’s expansion, though it remained in firm command of the territory it held.

Now, the Pale is remaking the towns and villages it has captured in its own image. The temples of all gods but Pholtus have been razed, and new temples to the Blinding Light. Children are being enrolled in religious schools-forcefully if necessary-to educate them in the One True Path. Dissent is stamped out mercilessly.

In Tenh, Atherstone remains under siege, though the city holds out yet. Redspan is now fully in the hands of the Pale, and they are building a road through the Phostwood to link that city with the Pale proper. They have met brave but ultimately futile resistance from that wood’s fairy folk, who are one of the few allies the Tenha have in the hostile north. However, the faeries are tricksters, not warriors, and are losing badly to the Pale’s army. This army is full of clerics that can cast spells to detect their snares and traps, neutralize the poison of their sleeping drugs, and silence their magical music. With so many of their standard tactics useless, the hapless woodfolk are being slaughtered en masse.

Nyrond and Tenh are both trying to free their captured territories from Palish domination, but both nations were ravaged during the Wars, and thus have great difficulty in getting the Palish troops to leave. Neither one wants a protracted conflict so soon after emerging from a devastating war, and so they must let the Pale soldiers stay for now, knowing full well that they may expand again very soon…

Society and Culture: The people of the Pale are a nation of puritans. Strict in their attitudes and solemn in their demeanor, they are famous for being able to deny the instinctive urges of their bodies and keep frivolity from ruining them. Believing fully that all work and no play is the only way to salvation, most Palish, even the children, spend all day working, going to church, reading scripture, eating, or praying. They do not take kindly to anyone who interrupts their daily routines, and are all too happy to deflect the attention of the government’s Church Militiant onto foreign troublemakers.

The government Is essentially a huge religious bureaucracy-everything from the military to agriculture to education to government policy is controlled by the church of Pholtus. The church wields absolute control over all aspects of society, and brooks no resistance to its domination. A very strict hierarchy exists within both the government and the faith, meaning advancement is in either case a very long and difficult road. This hierarchy is in the form of a pyramid, with many petty clerks and low-level curates acting both as the ministers to and rulers of local populations.

From here, more powerful clerics work in successive layers of government, each wielding power and authority to override the decisions of the lower ones, until one comes to the Council of Nine. The Council of Nine are the head clerics of each of the nine archdioceses that make up the realm’s provinces. They elect, from among themselves, a theocrat to act as head of state and government. The theocrat has absolute power in theory, though the Council of the Nine can block his decisions if five or more of them agree to do so, as can two-thirds of the Church Militiant, if that group decides to. Otherwise, the theocrat reigns until he dies, or commits so grievous a sin that Pholtus denies him spells, at which point he is generally banished from the realm or killed, depending on how grievous the offense.

The Church Militiant is a separate section of the Palish church of Pholtus. They are made up of fanatical templars chosen by the Council of Nine from among their underlings in each of their dioceses. The Church Militiant acts as the eyes and ears of the Council within their own provinces, and also as their arms.
As a group, they are charged with ensuring that the people and the rest of the church adhere to the doctrine of the One True Path, and adhere to this goal very strictly. They have the authority to override any and all decisions of government on a local basis, and have the power to do almost anything they wish individually. They never act against each other-as part of a greater whole, individual members or the entire group will act in the interests of their god within his borders. While the Council of Nine chooses the Templars of the Church Militiant, this is not a patronage position-the Church Militiant can depose members of the Council or even the theocrat himself if they feel that these men are abusing their powers or have committed great sin.

Despite all this unpleasantness, the Pale does have its good side. The Church Militiant is not power-crazed; they will stand up for the rights of the common folk as often as they do the highest members of the clergy. Individual members can form deep friendships with certain common citizens. They are as much a defender of the rights of the people as they are an oppressive tool of the church. While always quiet and reserved, the people will repay kindness and compassion generously, and are known for their hospitality and willingness to aid weary travelers if they are not disrupted in their daily lives by these people. Most members of the One True Path as a whole are not vicious or wicked, and will happily welcome anyone who honestly converts to the faith as a prodigal son or daughter. Women and demihumans are also treated very well-nothing divides the citizens of the Pale, save their degree of loyalty to the Blinding Light.

Military Structure: Every realm in the north needs a powerful army to survive, and the Pale has one of the best in all the Flanaess. All its soldiers, light or heavy, cavalry or foot, archer or slinger, sapper or sorcerer, are brilliantly disciplined and trained. They are bloodied constantly by invading bandits, humanoids and barbarians, border clashes with Tenh and Nyrond, and invasions from the trolls of the Troll Fens to the north. Thus, many threats plague the Pale, though its soldiers are always ready to rise to the challenge. Their great success in defending their realm means that the Pale is one of the safest realms in all the Flanaess to travel through, even in the wilderness.

Ruler: Theocrat Ogon Tillit is a tall, vigorous old man with amazing strength and stamina, despite the fact that he appears to be in his early sixties by 585 CY. A short, cropped moustache, gleaming blue eyes, several ugly scars, and a thrice-broken nose further add to his aura of power and leadership.
While Tillit is not a screamer or rabid shouter, his strong voice allows him to get his point across quite clearly, cutting through any defensive tactics his verbal opponents may use. Tillit is a proud religious zealot, though he is also a very intelligent one-his arguments have always been eloquent and forthright, and he loves nothing more than to pick apart the arguments of his opponents, whether within his own church, or outside it. He also sets a sterling example for lesser clerics, following the tenets of the One True Path to the letter.

Tillit embodies the principles of the hardline conservative clergyman. He has no compunctions about smiting heretics, and brooks no resistance in imposing the word on outsiders. Yet he is not without compassion-he freely extends church funds to poor widows and orphans who may have suffered from war, and actively works to build them new homes and give them food. This will only occur if the poor people swear to worship Pholtus-if they do, he will give all the aid he can. If they will not, he will have no regrets about letting them starve.

Tillit’s great health and strength are renowned throughout the church, though after the Greyhawk Wars this strength will have begun to fade, and badly. During the battles in the Phostwood, Tillit himself had taken the field to deal with a renegade cleric of Iuz, Panshasek the Vile, a member of the Boneheart fleeing his master’s crumbling empire and seeking to establish a Cell of Iuz in the woods. In the battle, Tillit was affected by a demonic parasite, a curse cast upon him by the cleric. The vile thing slowly began to eat at him from the inside, rotting him from without.

Clerical spells did not work on the parasite-the cleric of Iuz had escaped, and his curse cannot be healed until the cleric himself is slain. The Council of the Nine has posted a reward of 10,000 gold glories (Palish gold pieces) for Panshazek’s head. While they wait for the reward to be reclaimed, the Council of Nine has observed Tillit’s weakning condition. His public appearances have become fewer and fewer, and clerical spells are only slowing the parasite’s effects, and cannot stop them. Unless he is healed, TIllit will not be long for this oerth by 591 CY-at that time, the effects of the parasite will become terminal, and he will die by Richfest at the very latest. In the meantime, the Council of Nine will be politicking among themselves to replace Tillit on the Throne of the Sun.

Foreign Relations: The Pale either conducted or still conducts trade with Greyhawk, both Urnst states, Tenh, Nyrond, Furyondy, and independent demihumans in the surrounding forests, hills and mountains, but does not have close relations with any of them. The Pale’s doctrine of expansion and conversion of heathens does not sit well with any of its neighbors, and its usually militiant stance on matters of international importance sours things even further.

An undeclared state of war remains between the Pale and Tenh and Nyrond, as the former occupies the territory of both of the latter realms. However, Nyrond and Tenh are in no shape to muster the forces to push the Pale out of their lands-their economies and armies are simply too weak at the moment. The County of Urnst is also very frightened for its future-Countess Belissica has marshaled her forces, and is calling on Duke Karll of the Duchy of Urnst to send help if necessary. All three countries know they have temporary respite due to the current leadership problems surrounding Ogon Tillit’s illness, but they are fully aware this fortunate state of affairs cannot last forever.

PERRENLAND, CONCATENATED CANTONS OF

The Concatenated Cantons of Perrenland, or Perrenland for short, are famous for being the one-time domain of the demonic harridan Iggwilv, mother to Iuz the Old. Due to its isolated geographical position and adept diplomatic maneuverings, the nation of Perrenland managed to avoid getting engulfed in the Greyhawk Wars by signing accords of nonaggression with both Iuz and the Horned Society. These gambles seemed to pay off for the realm’s ruler, Voorman Franz, at first, as the Horned Empire did not strike so far as to cross the Yatils, and the Cell of Iuz that would be founded in the Sepia Uplands did not immediately threaten his own nation. Humanoids fleeing the chaos in Iuz did not raid into Perrenland, either.

Voorman Franz’s policies turned out to be foolish and short-sighted, however. All of Perrenland’s trading partners, such as Veluna, Furyondy, Highfolk, and the demihumans of the surrounding hills and mountains, were upset and enraged at Perrenland’s neutrality towards the evil powers and noncommittal stance concerning relations with them.

Perrenland had never cultivated alliances with any other nation, but it still maintained trading partnerships with all the surrounding peoples. When the anger of Perrenland’s neighbors thinned the purses of its citizens, they turned on the government with a vengeance. Franz was unanimously rejected by the whole of the Cantonal Council, and retired from politics in disgrace. The new voorman, Karenin, sought to re-establish good relations with Perrenland’s trading partners, but he had to deal with a looming political crisis reflected in the fierce divisions among his citizens. Some people wanted to open trading with the Horned Empire, and others wanted to mend fences with their neighbors.

As a result of these conflicts, chronic instability has wracked Karenin’s new government. He has tried to build consensus among his people, but this has served to weaken his image as a strong leader, leading people to believe that he is simply an appeaser, without the spine needed to quell all the conflicts.
And so, as the rest of the Flanaess wrestles with new international intrigues, rising evil, and a new world order, Perrenland’s conflicts center around local politics. Cantons make their own individual reforms, and the national government remains plagued by a deadlock. The nation has little interest in continent-wide conflict, and is more concerned with its own political stability.

Society and Culture: Perrenlanders are thought to be a curious lot by the rest of the Flanaess. They have a wide variety of ethnic origins, with each canton having its own little cultural quirks. This also brings a wide variety of attitudes on various issues, most of which tend to concern local matters within the canton the particular ethnic group lives in. At the same time, however, Perrenders share similar attitudes on a wide variety of issues, not the least of which is a desire for local sovereignty and a tendency to reject outside authority. Every race that has called Perrenland home, from the earliest Flan and dwarves to the later Oeridian arrivals, preferred to keep to themselves and organize on a larger scale only when necessary. Indeed, it is thought that the country would never have come together had there not been a pressing need for mutual defense and cooperation against outsiders.

Perrenland’s government is complex, with many layers, each with their own particular responsibilities. The base of society is divided into eight clans, each of which has their own province, or canton. Each clan has its own head, a hereditary position held by the oldest fit male warrior. These heads sit on the Cantonal Council, a gathering where all eight leaders discuss legislative matters and pass laws. They then elect a voormann, or executive leader, from among themselves to conduct diplomacy, command the military, and handle most foreign affairs. The voormann can also veto any laws the Cantonal Council passes, but they can override his veto with a unanimous vote, and can also remove him from office if at least five of the other seven council members support a no-confidence vote, which can be called at any time-usually when popular uproar demands it.

The cantons have their own particular forms of government. Some are ruled by elders, others by warriors who earn and keep their positions by virtue of combat, others by democratic consensus, or are controlled by the clan leaders themselves, in addition to representing the clan on the Cantonal Council. The powers of the cantons are very specific, relating to education, religion, demihumans, and other matters that the nation’s founders did not wish to trust to a national government as a whole. The national government can face very harsh sanctions from the cantons and the clan leaders who represent them if they are judged to be meddling in the canton’s areas of control.

Perrenland’s attitudes towards women and demihumans vary. Most clans are, unfortunately, very oppressive of women, and are very proud of their masculine image. In those areas where women are treated as more than servants, their status and rights still remain very limited. The people of Perrenland accept all elves as allies, and most treat well with dwarves. Gnomes and halfings are another matter-halflings can be treated as children, due to the fact that they are considered a protective underclass in the country, under the guardianship of all humans. Gnomes are welcomed by some, but others are very suspicious of them, and many Perrender dwarves, and clans allied to them, believe the gnomes threaten their monopolies over Perrenland’s rich copper trade. Finally, it should be noted that slavery is permitted among some clans and outlawed by others, and the nation profits from the slave trade as does Greyhawk or Dyvers.

Military Structure: Perrenland’s armies are of modest size, but rather good quality. Medium and heavy infantry are good, though not outstanding, as are the crossbowmen. The heavy cavalry is likely the best in all the north, though the medium cavalry of Tenh is still the best cavalry overall. Perrenland’s archers, however, are second to none, trained by the sharpest-eyed elves in the Vesve and Highfolk, who often accompany Perrenland’s militia bands. All in all, while not the match of a Horned Empire, Furyondy, or Theocracy of the Pale, Perrenland’s armies are well-suited to their duties, but are not capable of truly heroic endeavors as are the forces of those other nations.

What makes Perrenland truly famous is her excellent militia bands, which are superior to all but the best mercenary companies from the rest of the Flanaess. With pikemen (armed with short sword as a backup weapon), bill-or-glaive-wielding mountaineers, crossbowmen, cavalry, and infantry wielding axe and flail, these bands are sought after from as far away as Nyrond for their excellent training, loyalty, and honesty. They are often thought of as superior to Perrenland’s formal military forces, and are used by their home country for special or dangerous missions beyond the ken of their regular forces.

Ruler: Voormann Franz was a short, stocky man, not unlike Cobb Darg of Irongate, a genial fellow who seemed to be friendly enough to all who spoke to him. With curly black hair, bleary eyes, and a reddish nose from consuming Perrenland’s famous alcohol, he did not strike anyone as a particularly competent or able politician, but behind the face of the alcoholic there was an incredibly cunning political mind.
Franz was famous for playing games with his neighbors, being able to avoid committing his nation’s limited military power to any extremely dangerous causes, and adeptly ducking or neutralizing political crises. His most famous coup was signing an accord of neutrality with Iuz and/or the Horned Society, thus freeing his nation from being drawn into conflict with the mighty evil power to the east. Many of Perrenland’s trading partners were outraged, but since Franz had carefully kept them all at arm’s length and at odds with each other in their dealings with his country, he had managed to avoid any real damage.

Franz’s judgement finally failed him when his own people reacted with outrage at his dealings. He was ignominiously removed from office in the next election, and old scandals in his administration came to light. As people and clans disputed, Franz quietly accepted his retirement salary and retired. He relinquished his seat on the Cantonal Council, passed leadership of his clan on to his son, and returned home to his own canton. Now living the comfortable life of a retired statesman at his estate on the outskirts of Traft, Franz has no regrets about his administration, taking some amusement at the problems plaguing his successor, Karenin.

Franz is happy to discuss Perrender politics with anyone who cares to do so. He firmly believes that no nation should commit on a devoted path to good, such as Veluna has, or that they should traffic with demons and goblinoids, as have Iuz and the Horned Empire. Perrenland, he believes, has neither the strength nor the need to get engaged in lofty political battles. Simply surviving in the hostile northland is enough of a challenge for any realm.

Karenin, the current Voormann, is tall, thin and wiry, a sprightly young man with shoulder-length brown hair and the light copper skin color that comes from a Flan heritage mixed with many Oeridian ancestors. A man who is as agile in wit and mind as he is with sword and bow, Karenin seems to be an honest, open and genial fellow, who genuinely takes his duties as voormann seriously, and seems to care about the welfare of his citizens, though he is famous for favoring certain clans-most notably his own-over others.
Karenin took over from the disgraced Franz following the latter’s ejection from office in 584 CY, and immediately set about trying to reconcile the Cantonal Council, which had split into factions following Franz’s vacating his position. Unfortunately, while he was a skilled administrator and militia band leader, Karenin has had little success re-uniting a fractured council, trying to find consensus among the various factions instead of demonstrating leadership and forcefully unitiing them, as many of his people feel he should. His patronage of certain clans in the government further tainted his image. Rumors of support from Furyondy and, even worse, the Knights of the Hart-who some suspected were trying to undermine Perrenland’s government-dog him, and his popularity is at an all-time low.

Karenin remains affable and friendly, but his nerves are being rubbed increasingly raw as he tries to hold his Council together. He has been accused of lacking any real leadership or vision, an image he has tried and failed to correct. It seems more and more that while he genuinely wants to do his job well, he lacks the political tact to balance all the various factions in his country, and to juggle all the interests and influences that come in from outside, as well.

Foreign Relations: Perrenland has always tried to keep its neighbors and trading partners at arms length. Its policy has been to never get caught up in the petty wars and battles of other states, and to act only in its own interests. As one might expect, this means that none of the realm’s neighbors hold any affection for it. Furyondy, Veluna, and others still deal with it, though they revile Perrenland’s role in the slave trade that goes through Greyhawk and Dyvers.

Perrenland’s two major enemies, besides the various evil monsters of the Yatils, are the Tiger Nomads and the Knights of the Hart. While being able to deal with the Wolf Nomads on a limited basis, the cruel and savage nature of the Tiger Nomads prevented any settlement from being reached with them. To this day, Perrenders and Tiger Nomads will attack each other if they meet in the wilds.

The rifts between the Knights of the Hart and Perrenland run much deeper than simple raiding. In the days when Perrenland was a part of the Great Kingdom, and Furyondy afterwards, the old knightly orders that would eventually form the Knights of the Hart aggressively put down many Perrender rebellions, and would burn villages, kill women and children, and murder clan chiefs as means to do so.

Perrenders are quite happy to hold modern grudges against the descendants of these ancient knights, and the Knights of the Hart resent being blamed for something that happened centuries ago, even though older Perrender elves can still describe the events from firsthand experience. Some Knights in Furyondy still dream of returning to Perrenland and conquering the realm once again for their king, in the noblest tradition of their ancestors.
"
 
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Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Bitter North, Part II (Score: 1)
by WavesCrest on Fri, November 19, 2004
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www11.brinkster.com/greyhawk
Much mor e interesting than the LG version of the Pale, and you managed to find something interesting to do with old Tillit than just killing him off. Bonus points for an NPC writeup! :)



Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Addendum: The Bitter North, Part II (Score: 1)
by Maraudar on Fri, November 19, 2004
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Some real great stuff here. I like the way you've put these areas into perspective. This does read much better than most of the stuff I have read




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