One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
In the western Sulhauts, near the headwaters of the Rumikadath River, lie the ruins of an ancient citadel. Discovered in the late fourth century CY, they were described as follows:
These people have built for their king a palace worthy of royal dignity, this place they call Ensaed. They built large and strong walls, standing in circles one within the other, each one higher than the next… five in number. Within the last are the royal palace and treasure-houses. Throughout, the buildings and battlements are overlaid with silver and with gold… The people dwell round about the wall.
- Polstar, Travels(1) 5.80-81
Long thought a work of fantasy, recent corroboration from other sources have led some scholars to reevaluate Polstar’s travelogue, some admitting that it may contain elements of truth. Unfortunately, no expedition has yet been able to re-enter the ancient site. The Paynim of the Steppes view the site as sacred to Geshtai(2), barring access to all outsiders.
According to the Nipponei historian Veliscous(3), Ensaed was founded by Stroices (Strasal), the legendary first king of ancient Baena. He offers a description of the city (Histroica 7.21.8-16), writing that it was "richer and more beautiful than all other cities in the world; although it had no town wall, the citadel had impressive fortifications." This confirms Polstar's words that those living in the area dwelt "round about the wall," but Veliscous offers more plausible dimensions: the circumference of the citadel was 1 mile. He also states that the builders used cedar and cypress wood, which was covered with silver and gold. The roof tiles, columns and ceilings were plated with silver and gold. This sounds like a credible description of an oriental palace, like the one found in the Komali capital.
When the Komali king XXX, a member of the Unogonduri(4) dynasty, had overthrown the Baenian empire in -1126 CY, he captured Ensaed. The text known as the Chronicle of XXX(5) states:
King XXX called up his troops and marched against XXX, king of Urnir [i.e., Komal], in order to meet him in battle. The army of XXX revolted against him and in fetters they delivered him to XXX. XXX marched against the country Ensaed; the royal residence he seized; silver, gold, other valuables of the country Ensaed he took as booty and brought to Urnir.
According to the Nipponei historian XXX(6), Ensaed became the summer residence of the Unogonduri kings (Thrasis 1.9.21).
In Sunsebb -1097 CY, the Baenian rebel Ptomaris reoccupied Ensaed and made it his capital; he was defeated, however, by the Komali king XXX (Flocktime -1096 CY). He celebrated this event with a large relief and an inscription along the road between XXX and Ensaed (the famous XXX inscription).
Nipponei sources mention temples dedicated to the god Voln (probably Velnius) and a goddess of healing, which the Nipponei called Soltepius (Sotillian)(7). This shrine was destroyed in -887 CY by the Sakurian king Gamaei, who overthrew the Unogonduri empire. A Sakurian sepulcral monument, a lion, is still visible.
Later, Ensaed was one of the capitals of the Baklunish empire, sometimes called Ensadia.
(1) From The Travels of Marek Polstar, by Marek Polstar in 398 CY. For more information on this text, see "A Treasure Trove of Tomes," Dragon Magazine 253, page 44.
(2) The Rumikadath River "flows out of the western Sulhauts to feed Lake Udrukankar. It is slow and shallow, but the local nomads and dervishes consider placing vessels on it to be an act of desecration, except during the spring rites of Geshtai." [Living Greyhawk Gazetteer] As the ruins of Ensaed sit near the headwaters of the river, over time it has become a cult site of particular importance, some believing it to be the chosen sanctuary of the goddess of rivers.
(3) PLACEHOLDER FOR FOOTNOTE about Veliscous… A copy of his Histroica has been acquired by... (Royal Library of Keoland?) (thru Farshore/Sasserine)?
(4) The royal dynasty of ancient Komal, named after its legendary founder Unogondures.
(5) PLACEHOLDER FOR FOOTNOTE
(6) PLACEHOLDER FOR FOOTNOTE on the author of Thrasis (c.-1000 CY - c.-920 CY)
(7) The prevailing academic opinion is that Baena was an ancient Oeridian kingdom. That Voln is the Nipponei name for the Oeridian god Velnius seems clear. The illustration of the ceremonial chalice (pictured above) is from XXX
Last edited by ephealy on Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:18 am; edited 1 time in total
The following is an excerpt from Histroica, by the Nipponei historian Veliscous. It ties in with my blurb on Ensaed, above.
21 Baena is the most notable principality in Yawak, both in size and because of the excellent horses and soldiers it produces It supplies fabulous mounts to the whole of Yawak, the royal stud farms being situated in Baena because of its excellent pastures. On its borders a ring of Nipponei cities was founded by Gamaei to protect it from the neighboring barbarians. Ensaed is an exception. This city is situated in the northern part of Baena and commands that portion of Yawak which borders on XXX. It had always been the royal residence of the Banai and is said to have greatly exceeded all the other cities in wealth and the magnificence of its buildings. It lies on the skirts of Mount XXX and has no wall, but possesses an artificial citadel the fortifications of which are of wonderful strength. Beneath this stands the palace, regarding which I am in doubt whether I can give an accurate description. The palace is about (a mile) in circumference, and its buildings show the obvious wealth of their founders. Cedar and cypress were used for all the woodwork, but none of it was left exposed, being plated with silver and gold. Most of these precious metals were stripped off in the invasion of Gamaei and his Sakurians...
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