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    Bone March and North Province
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    CF Admin

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    Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:06 pm  
    Bone March and North Province

    grodog's response to my post about Gary Holian's article, A Reign of Death, in Oerth Journal 32, prompts me to post about my a dimly imagined but never clearly designed campaign set in and around the Bone March and North Province.

    Below, I jot down some ideas in hopes to produce something longer in the coming month or two. I welcome any and all comments.

    First, a historiography of sorts: in childhood, I found the World of Greyhawk boxed set extraordinary. In an early campaign, I created a dual-class NPC with a background in North Province, Torus Extermtor. As a lawful evil devotee of Hextor and a minor member of the Aerdi nobility, he served as a significant foil for the PCs and led a rival party. (Depending on the iteration, he was a fighter, or cavalier, who became a wizard.)

    As time and editions passed, I returned to the character occasionally, including during a From the Ashes 2e campaign, where I imagined more about his base in Bellport and his familial and political relations to the court at Eastfair. After I found the online Greyhawk community and read Ivid the Undying, I imagined connecting him to that Garasteth lord of the Highland Castles, Baron-General Shalaster; a dynastic marriage between minor bloodlines of Garasteth and Naelex; and the fall of the Bone March.

    Around this time, I created another NPC with a North Province background. Jakob Silesius Naelex was a fighter-cleric of Hextor and featured as patron to PCs in a short-lived humanoid campaign set in the Pomarj. Grafting onto aspects of the prior NPC, I developed this second NPC's backstory in substantial detail and cast him as a survivor of the fall of Spinecastle and the Bone March.

    Finally, when Gary Holian started publishing about Spinecastle and Demogorgon's deathknights, I began to imagine the campaign that I briefly describe below—as something to play after the completion of a 3.5e campaign, Shadows on the March (in which grodog played) which was set in Sterich and based on Greg Vaughn's Istivin trilogy in Dungeon 117–119.

    The briefest sketch of a campaign: in the context described above, I have imagined a campaign in which the PCs must contend with the predominately LE society of the North Province while they witness the humanoid invasion of the Bone March, attempt to prevent it, and ultimately fail.

    Thus, the campaign would be set a dozen years before CY 576; give me a chance to explore the geopolitics of Bone March, North Province, and possibly Ratik; and involve the PCs in a (doomed?) epic.

    I'll stop here and look forward to any comments.
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:05 am  

    Yeah, the Northern Aerdy confluence with the Bone March is my favorite area of conflict and intrigues me tremendously. The fallen March, the rampaging humanoids, the last bastion of hope in Knurl, the plotting nobles of the decaying Great Kingdom, and the allies in Ratik.

    Shalaster in particular is a fascinating individual, considering he didn't start in the Highlands. He traded for it with his fief after the war(s), which is only mentioned in passing by rough location in Ivid. I personally decided it was the village of Middle Nordan.

    Shalaster could both be a patron or an obstacle once he moves in. Until then Highlander is run by a Torquan. I decided the previous lord was the foster of young Shalaster and he fought with his troops but perished in the war. The Lords new son was a scholar and was scared shitless of running a border with humanoids flowing through it so took his "foster brother's" offer of a trade for the "safer" confines near his kinsmen in Rinloru (until Delgath, lol). The solid Highlanders and Rakersmen of the principality are glad for a Lord more to their taste who would keep away the humanoid menace.

    Playing in the pre-invasion time in a doomed March would be fascinating, but heart-rending.
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:06 am  

    I also love the mix of political intrigue and humanoid combat/dungeon crawls that exists in the Bone March, Ratik and North Province area. My own take on the Greyhawk Wars involves Bone March being effectively cut in two as Knurl is destroyed and the southern part of the March as far as the Blemu Hills is annexed by Northern Aerdy, while the northern part of the March is conquered by Ratik and the old human regime is restored. Northern Aerdy acquired all the mineral wealth of the hills, which gives him a valuable economic edge as the Flanaess tries to rebuild from the destruction of the Wars.

    The Bone March-Ratik alliance is not exactly secure. Gary Holian told me about the Key of Spinecastle, which inspired me to have Count Dunstan as the provisional Marquis. He needs the Key for the people to accept him as their legitimate ruler rather than a placeholder, so he's searching for it. He puts on a bold face, but the cowardice he tries so hard to hide makes him terrified at the idea of losing his claim to nobility, particularly with the whispers that the old Marquis Clement may not actually be dead...

    And then there's his daughter Evaleigh, who tries to do right by her adopted country of Ratik. Unfortunately, most Ratikkans refuse to trust a woman as their leader even if their country's become more egalitarian in recent years. There are rifts between father and daughter as the later tries to keep his grip on power, another source of stress for a young woman who wants to honor the memory of her lost husband Alain.

    I had a question for MTG about his campaign-what if the players somehow figure out a way to stop Bone March from falling? Is it possible that they might take out the leaders of the humanoid invasion, find some sort of magic that gives the human resistance an edge, or something like that? How do you plan to avoid railroading or other hazards like that?
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:39 am  

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    My own take on the Greyhawk Wars involves Bone March being effectively cut in two as Knurl is destroyed and the southern part of the March as far as the Blemu Hills is annexed by Northern Aerdy.


    Interesting that you did that. I had the North Kingdom engineer a takeover in Knurl in 598, taking Count Dunstan and the town's mayor in chains to Eastfair, effectively decapitating the legitimate rulers and then installing a loyal Hextorian Cleric as governor; Grennell then unwilling to give someone power over such a solid base (at least until he could get something "valuable" for it.

    As long as the humanoids were kept out, order maintained, and trade continuing the sheep grumbled, but stayed in line.

    My players, by then high level, confronted the governor and forced his retreat, and later found the mayor, turned into a vampire under the old arena, but were unwilling to follow the trail of Count Dunstan.
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:21 pm  

    I've located two Necromancer Games mega-adventures in Bone March: the city of Tsar nestled under the mountains in the west, and Rappan Athuk in the east, in the hills just outside of the Loftwood. Knurl serves the function of Bard's Gate, and survived the invasion of the Bone March.
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:40 pm  

    Ashur wrote:
    Yeah, the Northern Aerdy confluence with the Bone March is my favorite area of conflict and intrigues me tremendously. . .

    Ashur, I'm glad to hear of another Greyhawk fan who has gamed in and around Bone March, North Province, and Ratik. One of my hopes with this thread is to identify an informal group that has played in the area and stimulate us to share about our campaigns and related ideas.

    Ashur wrote:
    Shalaster in particular is a fascinating individual, considering he didn't start in the Highlands. He traded for it with his fief after the war(s), which is only mentioned in passing by rough location in Ivid. I personally decided it was the village of Middle Nordan.

    Interesting. I don't recall placing Shalaster's original holdings, but upon reviewing Ivid, I notice the old dispute between Houses Garasteth and Torquann regarding the "lands south of Rinloru" and think it would be fun for them to refer to the same area of Shalaster's original holding. See id. at p. 58.

    Ashur wrote:
    Shalaster could both be a patron or an obstacle once he moves in. Until then Highlander is run by a Torquan. I decided the previous lord was the foster of young Shalaster and he fought with his troops but perished in the war. The Lords new son was a scholar and was scared shitless of running a border with humanoids flowing through it so took his "foster brother's" offer of a trade for the "safer" confines near his kinsmen in Rinloru (until Delgath, lol). The solid Highlanders and Rakersmen of the principality are glad for a Lord more to their taste who would keep away the humanoid menace.

    I like your explanation for why a Torquann princeling would "trade" his ancestral holdings for a completely different region, and recalling the land trade makes me wonder how common the practice is, and how it can be lawful, in Aerdy because at English common law, substituting one mesne lord for another required the king's approval. (In contrast, mesne lords were free to subinfeudate.)

    I also wonder when Shalaster and the unnamed Torquann made their trade. Was it shortly before the fall of the Bone March, or was it shortly after its founding? Ivid says they were "originally constructed to form a highly defensible fall-back line south of the Tessar" [sic], but even with magic, castles take years to build, and the Imperial Highlanders moniker seems more like a creation of a House Rax Overking rather than one of Naelex.

    Ashur wrote:
    Playing in the pre-invasion time in a doomed March would be fascinating, but heart-rending.
    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    I had a question for MTG about his campaign-what if the players somehow figure out a way to stop Bone March from falling? Is it possible that they might take out the leaders of the humanoid invasion, find some sort of magic that gives the human resistance an edge, or something like that? How do you plan to avoid railroading or other hazards like that?

    As I originally imagined it, the campaign would be an epic tragedy, but on reflection (now), I think it would be better to make the result open to the PCs' interventions. Perhaps they can stop the invasion or at least limit it? After having read, but not DMed, a number of Paizo's Adventure Paths, that's certainly the model—allowing for the PCs to defeat the great menace though also providing for their failure.

    Part of why I originally preferred an epic tragedy is taste but also because I imagined that few of the players would know Greyhawk well enough to appreciate the futility of their actions. Also, however, I liked the idea of learning what the PCs would do in the face of obvious defeat (i.e., when Spinecastle falls). Would some or all die gloriously? Would some or all sacrifice themselves to help others evacuate? Etc. And if some survived, would they have retreated to Knurl, the Highland Castles, or elsewhere?

    As I write now, however, I think it would be better to avoid "railroading" the PCs, as CruelSummerLord put it. Beyond promoting the players' sense of agency (for those who know the setting well), it would require more design work so that the PCs could play past the fall of Spinecastle. Something like this:

    Act I - Introduction (wherein the PCs adventure in Bone March and the surrounding areas, developing their characters, learning about the region, and gaining a sense of loyalty to it).

    Act II - The Battle for Spinecastle (wherein the PCs connect the dots regarding earlier adventures, learn of Spinecastle's peril, and participate in its defense).

    Act III - To Save the Bone March (contingent on the outcome of Act II, the PCs might fight a desperate retreat to save as many evacuees and refugees as possible, or their earlier success might position them to take the war into the Rakers, perhaps to end the threat).

    Act IV - Denouement (Did the PCs preserve the Bone March, or have they retreated to a nearby land? How do they reconcile with their new situations? Etc.).

    More the next time I can again sit down to write.
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:58 pm  

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    I also love the mix of political intrigue and humanoid combat/dungeon crawls that exists in the Bone March, Ratik and North Province area. My own take on the Greyhawk Wars involves Bone March being effectively cut in two as Knurl is destroyed and the southern part of the March as far as the Blemu Hills is annexed by Northern Aerdy, while the northern part of the March is conquered by Ratik and the old human regime is restored. Northern Aerdy acquired all the mineral wealth of the hills, which gives him a valuable economic edge as the Flanaess tries to rebuild from the destruction of the Wars.

    I've sometimes mused about a North Kingdom campaign that would feature an effort to retake at least some part of the Bone March, and like many I suspect, the adventure seed regarding the Seal of Marner (Ratik?) in the '83 WoG boxed set interested me greatly in how PCs based in Ratik could contribute to retaking the Bone March for humanity.

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    The Bone March-Ratik alliance is not exactly secure. Gary Holian told me about the Key of Spinecastle, which inspired me to have Count Dunstan as the provisional Marquis. He needs the Key for the people to accept him as their legitimate ruler rather than a placeholder, so he's searching for it. He puts on a bold face, but the cowardice he tries so hard to hide makes him terrified at the idea of losing his claim to nobility, particularly with the whispers that the old Marquis Clement may not actually be dead...

    I like it. My GH collection is in storage in a different state, so until the pandemic ends, I won't be able to access it, but when I can, I look forward to reviewing Gary's Dragon / Dungeon / Living Greyhawk Journal writings on the Bone March and Spinecastle.

    I'm intrigued by your plot teaser about Clement and wonder if you ever used Monduiz Dephaar IYC.

    More broadly, has anyone developed the Bone March's nobility? Are there any tidbits as to which Great House of Aerdi (or possibly another Oeridian tribe?) settled it? Has anyone substantially expanded the description of the Bone March entries in the Folio, WoG, or LGG?

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    And then there's his daughter Evaleigh, who tries to do right by her adopted country of Ratik. Unfortunately, most Ratikkans refuse to trust a woman as their leader even if their country's become more egalitarian in recent years. There are rifts between father and daughter as the later tries to keep his grip on power, another source of stress for a young woman who wants to honor the memory of her lost husband Alain.

    I forget Gygax's racial admixture for Ratik but think it was something like Ofs or maybe OFs. If the Flan culture persists (perhaps especially among the commoners), I wonder if the sexism derives more the old Aerdi nobility of Ratik—since Aerdy seems to feature patrilineality (though perhaps not primogeniture), and it could be interesting to contrast that with a Flan-derived matrilineality.
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    Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:41 pm  

    Chevalier wrote:
    I've located two Necromancer Games mega-adventures in Bone March: the city of Tsar nestled under the mountains in the west, and Rappan Athuk in the east, in the hills just outside of the Loftwood. Knurl serves the function of Bard's Gate, and survived the invasion of the Bone March.

    Interesting. Can you share any notes regarding how you adapted those modules to the Bone March?

    Your post made me recall that I considered adapting Necromancer's The Grey Citadel to represent Bellport.
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    Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:41 pm  

    mtg wrote:


    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    The Bone March-Ratik alliance is not exactly secure. Gary Holian told me about the Key of Spinecastle, which inspired me to have Count Dunstan as the provisional Marquis. He needs the Key for the people to accept him as their legitimate ruler rather than a placeholder, so he's searching for it. He puts on a bold face, but the cowardice he tries so hard to hide makes him terrified at the idea of losing his claim to nobility, particularly with the whispers that the old Marquis Clement may not actually be dead...

    I like it. My GH collection is in storage in a different state, so until the pandemic ends, I won't be able to access it, but when I can, I look forward to reviewing Gary's Dragon / Dungeon / Living Greyhawk Journal writings on the Bone March and Spinecastle.

    I'm intrigued by your plot teaser about Clement and wonder if you ever used Monduiz Dephaar IYC.

    More broadly, has anyone developed the Bone March's nobility? Are there any tidbits as to which Great House of Aerdi (or possibly another Oeridian tribe?) settled it? Has anyone substantially expanded the description of the Bone March entries in the Folio, WoG, or LGG?


    Now that I think about it, Gary Holian may have been the one who suggested that Clement may not be dead. The 1983 Glossography outright says that he's deceased, but the LGG changes this to "presumed deceased". I've never heard of Monduiz Dephaar, so I've never used them.

    As for Bone March's nobility, I would assume it would be either House Rax or House Cranden, the latter being more likely. Remember that the Battle of Shamblefield happened just as the Malachite Throne was about to transition from House Cranden to House Rax. The Aerdi nobility of Bone March and Ratik also retained at least some of their moral character in the modern era, as have most of the rest of House Cranden.

    mtg wrote:


    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    And then there's his daughter Evaleigh, who tries to do right by her adopted country of Ratik. Unfortunately, most Ratikkans refuse to trust a woman as their leader even if their country's become more egalitarian in recent years. There are rifts between father and daughter as the later tries to keep his grip on power, another source of stress for a young woman who wants to honor the memory of her lost husband Alain.

    I forget Gygax's racial admixture for Ratik but think it was something like Ofs or maybe OFs. If the Flan culture persists (perhaps especially among the commoners), I wonder if the sexism derives more the old Aerdi nobility of Ratik—since Aerdy seems to feature patrilineality (though perhaps not primogeniture), and it could be interesting to contrast that with a Flan-derived matrilineality.


    I should note that the sexist attitudes of most Ratikkans is of my own invention, albeit inferred from the LGG. However, I agree that the sexism comes from the old Aerdi influences rather than the Flan influences that were considerably more egalitarian when the Flanaess as a whole is considered (and the influences of some of the eastern Flan, as evidenced by Ehlissa, may in fact have been more matrilineal!)

    It certainly makes for an interesting view of how the culture of the Flanaess has developed since the Great Migrations...
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    Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:22 pm  

    Chevalier wrote:
    I've located two Necromancer Games mega-adventures in Bone March: the city of Tsar nestled under the mountains in the west, and Rappan Athuk in the east, in the hills just outside of the Loftwood. Knurl serves the function of Bard's Gate, and survived the invasion of the Bone March.


    I used RA exactly as you said. I didn't get Tsar. My game was based out of Knurl.
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    Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:43 pm  

    CruelSummerLord wrote:

    I should note that the sexist attitudes of most Ratikkans is of my own invention, albeit inferred from the LGG. However, I agree that the sexism comes from the old Aerdi influences rather than the Flan influences that were considerably more egalitarian when the Flanaess as a whole is considered (and the influences of some of the eastern Flan, as evidenced by Ehlissa, may in fact have been more matrilineal!)


    There was a Ratik Living Greyhawk adventure (RTK3-08 The Fourth Assassin) where Evaleigh (back from an extended absence leaving a henchman posing as her) tries to make nice with the movers and shakers in her realm, and it's clear they would prefer a native son to lead them then a foreign golddigger. She has a nice little 2-page speech at the end.
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    Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:22 pm  

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    Now that I think about it, Gary Holian may have been the one who suggested that Clement may not be dead. The 1983 Glossography outright says that he's deceased, but the LGG changes this to "presumed deceased". I've never heard of Monduiz Dephaar, so I've never used them.

    Nice detail. If Clement survived the fall of Spinecastle, I wonder how much longer he lived (in terms of longevity) and how old he would be in CY 591 (the LGG's baseline) if he remained alive.

    In turn this makes me wonder what forces orchestrated the humanoid invasion of Bone March. Grenell is implicated in the betrayal of Spinecastle, but given the relationship between the Hateful Wars and the humanoid invasion of the Pomarj and the relationship between the drow and the giantkin invasion of Geoff, I suspect puppeteers beyond the humanoids of the Rakers.

    Monduiz Dephaar is one of the death knights of Demogorgon that Gary Holian detailed in his articles (and referred to in his recent OJ article).

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    As for Bone March's nobility, I would assume it would be either House Rax or House Cranden, the latter being more likely. Remember that the Battle of Shamblefield happened just as the Malachite Throne was about to transition from House Cranden to House Rax. The Aerdi nobility of Bone March and Ratik also retained at least some of their moral character in the modern era, as have most of the rest of House Cranden.

    Reviewing several online sources indicates that the Overking elevated Caldni Vir to marquise of the Bone March in CY 109 following the Battle of Shamblefields and that Vir's descendants constituted the March's ruling House Vir until Clement's (presumed) death. In turn, this reminds me that I enjoyed the LGG's specification of Aerdi nobility beyond the Great Houses of Aerdi. Also, Caldni Vir was born in Edge Field, which was ruled by a Naelex princeling as of CY 585.

    With these bits in mind, I wonder if no Great House populated the nobility of Bone March but that it instead was generated from Vir's subinfeudation to reward Aerdi knights who warred against the Fruztii to extend the Great Kingdom's frontier, liberate Johnsport, and defend Spinecastle.
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    Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:31 pm  
    Re: Bone March and North Province

    mtg wrote:
    [Finally, when Gary Holian started publishing about Spinecastle and Demogorgon's deathknights, I began to imagine the campaign that I briefly describe below—as something to play after the completion of a 3.5e campaign, Shadows on the March (in which grodog played) which was set in Sterich and based on Greg Vaughn's Istivin trilogy in Dungeon 117–119.


    Was that after the Wild Coast campaign, Marc? I'm not recalling the Istivin game, offhand.

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    Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:47 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    I like your explanation for why a Torquann princeling would "trade" his ancestral holdings for a completely different region, and recalling the land trade makes me wonder how common the practice is, and how it can be lawful, in Aerdy because at English common law, substituting one mesne lord for another required the king's approval. (In contrast, mesne lords were free to subinfeudate.)

    My assumption would be the Herzog of the North would have to approve it, and he probably had no reason to not want a milksop defending his northern border. He probably drove a hard bargain and extracted promises from both of them. Food from the new Torquand lands and mineral wealth and or troops from the hill principality.

    mtg wrote:
    I also wonder when Shalaster and the unnamed Torquann made their trade. Was it shortly before the fall of the Bone March, or was it shortly after its founding?


    It doesn't say but I would go with post Wars. Ivid says:
    Ivid the Undying , Carl Sargent p.56 wrote:
    Shalaster gained the backing of the Imperial Highlanders for several reasons. First, he is a war hero who has fought alongside them. Second, the highlanders are stubborn, proud men who don't like being led by priests. Third, Shalaster has made it clear that he does not actively oppose Grenell. He is not attempting to subvert the Herzog, and he pays taxes and tithes at the same rates as he did post-war. Thus, the highlanders don't believe they have mutinied.

    Emphasis mine, but it sounds like he served alongside them for some time before the swap. In the timeline presented, Shalaster is 39 years old in 585 CY which means he was born about 546 CY. So when the Bone March fell in 563 CY he would have been about 17 *cues Joan Jett*. Not quite of age to be trading desmenes yet. Probably at the end of his fosterage (in my game with the old Torquand Prince of Highlander, a relation of the Torquands in the surrounding areas to Middle Nordan, so a good "hostage/relationship building" experience). The Greyhawk Wars erupted in 582 CY and he would have been 36. If we assumed he traded prior to this, something must have happened to his parents (at least his father) to leave him in charge. I would go with one of Ivid's purges.
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    Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:24 pm  
    Re: Bone March and North Province

    grodog wrote:
    Was that after the Wild Coast campaign, Marc? I'm not recalling the Istivin game, offhand.

    Yes, after the Fall of Prym. I recall you playing in the first few games of Shadows on the March, but maybe you left the Bay Area before the PCs arrived at Istivin?

    Your grey olven bard, Illustin, started in Courwood and traveled west to Sterich, meeting other PCs along the way. I can't recall many details but think your last(?) session involved Illustin being captured by an erinyes.
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    Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:39 pm  
    Re: Bone March and North Province

    mtg wrote:
    grodog wrote:
    Was that after the Wild Coast campaign, Marc? I'm not recalling the Istivin game, offhand.

    Yes, after the Fall of Prym. I recall you playing in the first few games of Shadows on the March, but maybe you left the Bay Area before the PCs arrived at Istivin?

    Your grey olven bard, Illustin, started in Courwood and traveled west to Sterich, meeting other PCs along the way. I can't recall many details but think your last(?) session involved Illustin being captured by an erinyes.


    I'll have to see if I can find my PC notes (I've been organizing my office, and think I saw them a couple of weekends ago). I left SJC in November 2005, but from April/May 2005 through then, I was working a lot on our search engine implementation at Juniper (50-75+ hour work weeks or something stupid like that). So that might account for my lack of memory, if creeping age isn't sufficient :D

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    Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:51 pm  

    Ashur wrote:
    My assumption would be the Herzog of the North would have to approve it, and he probably had no reason to not want a milksop defending his northern border. He probably drove a hard bargain and extracted promises from both of them. Food from the new Torquand lands and mineral wealth and or troops from the hill principality.

    I love it. This explanation sounds compelling. In English common law terms, Grenell required different (greater) services and incidents from both of his liegemen. In turn, this suggests that such "trades" would be rare, for what would compel a member of the landed nobility to choose greater obligations (services and incidents)?

    Ashur wrote:
    mtg wrote:
    I also wonder when Shalaster and the unnamed Torquann made their trade. Was it shortly before the fall of the Bone March, or was it shortly after its founding?

    It doesn't say but I would go with post Wars. Ivid says:
    Ivid the Undying , Carl Sargent p.56 wrote:
    Shalaster gained the backing of the Imperial Highlanders for several reasons. First, he is a war hero who has fought alongside them. Second, the highlanders are stubborn, proud men who don't like being led by priests. Third, Shalaster has made it clear that he does not actively oppose Grenell. He is not attempting to subvert the Herzog, and he pays taxes and tithes at the same rates as he did post-war. Thus, the highlanders don't believe they have mutinied.

    Emphasis mine, but it sounds like he served alongside them for some time before the swap. In the timeline presented, Shalaster is 39 years old in 585 CY which means he was born about 546 CY. So when the Bone March fell in 563 CY he would have been about 17 *cues Joan Jett*. Not quite of age to be trading desmenes yet. Probably at the end of his fosterage (in my game with the old Torquand Prince of Highlander, a relation of the Torquands in the surrounding areas to Middle Nordan, so a good "hostage/relationship building" experience). The Greyhawk Wars erupted in 582 CY and he would have been 36. If we assumed he traded prior to this, something must have happened to his parents (at least his father) to leave him in charge. I would go with one of Ivid's purges.

    Again, thanks for explaining this so clearly, and especially for noting Shalaster's age.

    Reflecting on our discussions so far, I had recognized that the trade should occur after Bone March’s fall in CY 563 and before the start of the Greyhawk Wars in CY 582, but the age reference is very helpful.

    To me the choice mostly becomes how old one wants Shalaster to be at the time of the exchange, how many years one wants him to have had to gain the loyalty of the Imperial Highlanders before he became "a war hero who . . . fought alongside them[,]" and any other relevant dates in the history of the Great Kingdom and North Province. For the first two factors, having him be between 27 and 30 feels right, and CY 576 has an obvious resonance (i.e., being the baseline date for the Folio and WoG boxed set). This would give Shalaster six years with the Imperial Highlanders before CY 582. The only missing factor is that I recall earlier skirmishes between the Great Kingdom and Nyrond (reported by Gygax in Dragon, iirc), but I don't think these started earlier than CY 580, so this would still put Shalaster in place early enough for him to have led the Imperial Highlanders if some of them had been dispatched to engage those skirmishes.
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    Fri May 01, 2020 2:26 am  

    In response to your request in the Earthly Cultural Analogies thread I thought it would make more sense to respond here about my points of reference for this region.

    Historically, I have the tribes of the Aerdi, Thallari & Medegi as resembling the Franks and the Kingdom of Aerdy resembling the Merovingian Kingdom. By the time of the Great Kingdom in 576CY I use the 14th/15C Holy Roman Empire as a rough reference point for culture, fashion, armour etc. I remember seeing somewhere (I can't remember the exact reference) that 576CY might correspond to about 1445AD but I figure that in terms of fashion the Great Kingdom and successor nations might be a bit behind the curve due to the cultural stagnation resulting from the reign of Ivid the Undying.

    At the moment, as my focus has been around 576CY, I've not delved too deeply into Ratik, the North Kingdom & Bone March. I'd use the Holy Roman Empire as a baseline and then take the various mitigating facotrs to tweak it from there.

    In terms of geograhical reference I've recently discovered the Oerth is at a 30 degree axial tilt compared to Earth's 23.5 degrees which changes my previous work a bit, unless you go with the lore that some kind of weather magic is used to regulate the whole of Oerth's climate. I'll put both reference points:

    Bone March - California (San Diego to San Jose) (30 degree tilt) or Oregon (23.5 degree tilt). The former makes it straddle the sub-tropics/temperate zones, the latter puts it completely into the temperate. The LGG refers ot it as cool, rocky farmland but I'm not sure that's taking into account the actual lattitude of the area.

    Culturally Holy Roman Empire as baseline, I get the impression that Bone March was a last bastion of the Heironean element of the GK and had some disapproval of North Province which will have been modifyingfactors on their culture along with goblinoids and humanoids poppping up left right and centre.

    North Province -I use the more hilly and barren parts of California (LA to San Fran) as a reference point. The land is supposed to be rocky and unfertile. At a 30 degree tilt it's gonna more San Diego to LA and sub-tropical rather than temperate

    Culturally Holy Roman Empire as baseline, I've not go any more referenc epoints for the culture here at the moment I'm afraid.

    Ratik - Either North California (30 degree tilt) or Oregon (23.5 degree tilt). The LGG mentions that it's wintry all year round but as with Bone March that's not really taking into account the actual lattitude of Ratik. I'm not a meteorologist but I'm sure you could justify some geographical effects that make the climate colder though.

    Culturally there is a Holy Roman Empire influence from its days as a province of the GK. By 576CY it's had a decade to do things its own way and diverge, especially the 10 years of the Northern Alliance will have gradually introduced more Suelii influence. I've tentatively put a reference point of the Duchy of Schleswig (a medieval buffer state between the HRE and Scandinavia). I have the Suelii nations being akin to the Kalmar Union mixed with the Kievan Rus. Physically, the LGG has the people of Ratik being an Oeridian-Suel admixture but prior to the Northern Alliance the Suelii and Ratik were sporadic enemies I think so prior to the 560CY they'd have been pretty standard Oeridian. From the start of the Northern Alliance onwards I'd imagine features may gradually start to get slightly lighter (more grey eyes and auburn hair for example) but even by 591CY that's only about 30 years of fre elove between the Oeridian population of Ratik and the Suelii so perhaps these lighter colourations would be pretty recent in the children and grandchildren of the adults of the 560s?

    Rakers - I use the Teton Range as a reference point for these.

    Also, I'm not saying these areas exactly resemble the Earth reference points, I just look at the suitable terrain from those states. If you go with the 30 degree version then there's a greater extreme between summer and winter and in the summer much more run off water from the mountains which might effect the culture of those regions.

    I hope these reference points are of some help. It's not an area I've developed much so these are just what I have noted down at the moment.[/b]
    GreySage

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    Fri May 01, 2020 4:50 am  



    Wolfling wrote:

    Bone March - California (San Diego to San Jose) (30 degree tilt) or Oregon (23.5 degree tilt).


    The Bone March is roughly 40 degrees latitude, similar to New Jersey on Earth.

    Quote:
    North Province


    North Province is 40 to 35 degrees latitude, similar to Maryland to North Carolina on Earth.

    Quote:
    Ratik


    Ratik is 45 degrees latitude, similar to Maine and Nova Scotia on Earth.
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    Fri May 01, 2020 9:13 am  
    Europe Anolgue

    45 degree latitude-Alps

    36 degree latitude-Strait of Gilbraltar

    I think the 6.5 degree more in tilt means that the seasons are a little more extreme. I don't think it means we should adjust the latitude values from one planet to compare with the other planet.
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    Fri May 01, 2020 3:22 pm  

    rasgon wrote:


    Wolfling wrote:

    Bone March - California (San Diego to San Jose) (30 degree tilt) or Oregon (23.5 degree tilt).


    The Bone March is roughly 40 degrees latitude, similar to New Jersey on Earth.

    Quote:
    North Province


    North Province is 40 to 35 degrees latitude, similar to Maryland to North Carolina on Earth.

    Quote:
    Ratik


    Ratik is 45 degrees latitude, similar to Maine and Nova Scotia on Earth.


    Sure, if you want to use east coast comparisons instead. I went with the west coast because it seemed to fit better with how I viewed it in my mind but either works as a point of reference.

    40 degrees north is brushing the top of Bone March, I calculated it at 40 to 36 degrees which is California (Fresno to the northern border) or Virginia up to New York on the east coast.

    Ratik I calculated at 43 to 41 degrees north so more Connecticut to Massachusetts.

    North Province I calculate at 38 to 35 degrees north, so still California but more like Bakersfield to Sacramento.

    I mean these are just reference starting points so I guess it's not like a few degrees variiation makes much difference.

    raymond wrote:
    I think the 6.5 degree more in tilt means that the seasons are a little more extreme. I don't think it means we should adjust the latitude values from one planet to compare with the other planet.


    Yeah it would mean hotter summers with more ice melt, colder winters. But it also means that the tropics encompass a larger area (reaching up to 30 degrees north) as would the polar regions resulting in a slightly smaller temperate zone so that would definitly warrant considering adjusting the latitude values if you felt inclined to. It's easy enough to justify an unchanged climate for a whole number of reasons and I'm not sure I'd bother to alter anything myself, I just thought it was an interesting thing to consider.
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    Fri May 01, 2020 6:02 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    Reflecting on our discussions so far, I had recognized that the trade should occur after Bone March’s fall in CY 563 and before the start of the Greyhawk Wars in CY 582, but the age reference is very helpful.

    To me the choice mostly becomes how old one wants Shalaster to be at the time of the exchange, how many years one wants him to have had to gain the loyalty of the Imperial Highlanders before he became "a war hero who . . . fought alongside them[,]" and any other relevant dates in the history of the Great Kingdom and North Province. For the first two factors, having him be between 27 and 30 feels right, and CY 576 has an obvious resonance (i.e., being the baseline date for the Folio and WoG boxed set). This would give Shalaster six years with the Imperial Highlanders before CY 582. The only missing factor is that I recall earlier skirmishes between the Great Kingdom and Nyrond (reported by Gygax in Dragon, iirc), but I don't think these started earlier than CY 580, so this would still put Shalaster in place early enough for him to have led the Imperial Highlanders if some of them had been dispatched to engage those skirmishes.


    I concur- maybe around age 30, long enough to not be so wet behind the ears and become a commander they would respect - and yet with enough time to entrench himself in Highlander and begin to attract those not so satisfied with the Herzog or Hastern.

    So right around CY 576
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    Sun May 03, 2020 12:47 pm  

    Wolfling wrote:
    In response to your request in the Earthly Cultural Analogies thread I thought it would make more sense to respond here about my points of reference for this region.

    Historically, I have the tribes of the Aerdi, Thallari & Medegi as resembling the Franks and the Kingdom of Aerdy resembling the Merovingian Kingdom. By the time of the Great Kingdom in 576CY I use the 14th/15C Holy Roman Empire as a rough reference point for culture, fashion, armour etc. I remember seeing somewhere (I can't remember the exact reference) that 576CY might correspond to about 1445AD but I figure that in terms of fashion the Great Kingdom and successor nations might be a bit behind the curve due to the cultural stagnation resulting from the reign of Ivid the Undying.

    At the moment, as my focus has been around 576CY, I've not delved too deeply into Ratik, the North Kingdom & Bone March. I'd use the Holy Roman Empire as a baseline and then take the various mitigating facotrs to tweak it from there.

    Thanks. I find this helpful and will peruse a couple of online encyclopedia entries to understand more fully what you suggest—and consider getting The Holy Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction.

    Once I've read more, I'll ask or comment more on the subject.
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    Mon May 25, 2020 8:30 am  

    mtg - Grey Citadel as Bellport is interesting, though you'd have to change out the waterfall I suppose. I've located that one in the Yatils, where the Velverdyva comes down out of the mountains into the Highfolk Vale.

    For RA and Tsar.- I knew I wanted these in my Greyhawk world, and I was trying to figure out what was close to the geography (easier with RA than Tsar, for which there's not an exact match anywhere) and where these places might have originated/survived. The Bone March/Ratik area seemed like a good candidate because it's been the wild frontier of Aerdy for so long. RA fits really nicely in a spot that's a little wild, but adventurers can get to fairly easily (especially before the fall of Bone March - a little trickier after that). Tsar had to be relatively close, but still remote enough for a temple-city of Orcus to survive - I thought the headwaters of the Harp River was a suitable spot - right next to the mountains as in the module, near enough to a frontier town (Knurl) to have a staging ground for adventurers, but at the edge of the march, where even the rulers of this state might never have fully had control over things. From there it was just a matter of inserting the history of Tsar into the history of the Great Kingdom, which worked out pretty easily - I can post some of the detail on that if you want. Basically set in the early 3rd century CY (about 231); the destruction of the Army of Light spells the doom of the good priesthoods of Aerdy (Heironeous, Pelor, Pholtus) and encourages the rebellion of Furyondy.
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    Tue May 26, 2020 2:47 pm  

    Chevalier wrote:
    For RA and Tsar.- I knew I wanted these in my Greyhawk world, and I was trying to figure out what was close to the geography . . .

    I can post some of the detail on that if you want. Basically set in the early 3rd century CY (about 231); the destruction of the Army of Light spells the doom of the good priesthoods of Aerdy (Heironeous, Pelor, Pholtus) and encourages the rebellion of Furyondy.

    Yes, please share more about how you incorporated RA and Tsar IYC. I've stared inviting players and plan to decide in the next week or two whether to pursue a campaign in the Bone March or Hold of the Sea Princes (very likely using Pathfinder 1e).
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