Campaigning in the Wild Coast can lead to multiple types of adventures. The area offers an almost unlimited variety of possibilities. This is due to its location and proximity to the free City of Greyhawk, Dyvers, Hardby, Celene, and the Pomarj. All exert some varying degree of influence here. Missions may occur in the Gnarley and Suss Forest, the plains between towns such as Narwell, Safeton, Elredd, and Fax, and sea based adventures in the Wooly Bay. Every community in the Wild Coast is a unique location with its own internal issues, political intrigue and specific localized problems; thus making the Wild Coast a fantastic place to begin a Campaign and start a new adventuring party.
Country specific resources:
Slavers Reference: Pages 43 - 61
Dungeon 85 "Lord of the Scarlet Tide"
Dragon #90 "playing the political game"
Video: Gabbin’ at Lord Peak’s Haven #91 - Wild Coast
Adventures in this country include:
-Slavers Reference, Orcish Wild Coast: Pages 62-81
-Ruins of Nol-Daer, Dungeon Magazine #13
-Joining the famed Narwell Headhunters to pursue their frontier justice
-Spying and skirmishing with the forces of Lord Mastryne
-Becoming a member of the Cockatrice Riders of Pascorel
-Defeating the Humanoids located in the dead magic zone of the Ruins of Cantona
-Working to defeat the schemes of the Slavers from their base at the Port of Elredd
-Searching for the final two Dwarven Legendary Axes of Power in the Ruins of Varnifane
-Allying with the Swanmays and the Gnarley Forest Rangers against the Humanoid forces of Blackthorn
Adventures in nearby areas include:
-Slavers Series: A1-4; fighting against the original Slave Lords of Highport and the Pomarj
-Fighting the Cult of the Earth Dragon throughout the area and their main City of Kalen Lekos in the Pomarj
-Assistance in dealing with strange plagues that has beset communities in the Welkwood and Gnarley Forest
-Forays deep into the Suss Forest to seach for the Lost City of the Suss, or the Hidden Temple of Erythnul _________________ Richard Di Ioia (aka Longetalos)
Discussions on CF Discord 23 October 2021
Question by @Ralf leading into @seguilia @OblivionSeeker @eradan and myself.
Is the Wild Coast good for a dungeon crawl campaign?
Of course! You can put a cave, ruin or dungeon most anywhere so why not there?😄 . There is one legendary site from canon that remains completely open to your imagination - The Lost City of the Suel in the Suss forest, something that goes back to before the Twin Cataclysms. Is this where the Suel Snake Goddess lies in secret? Gary Gygax's version of the Lost City or of a city like it is given a whole chapter in his novel Artifact of Evil. There is another adventure "Ruins of Nol-Daer" published in the Dragon The Wild Coast is close to centers of earlier Elf and Flan settlement and it is reasonable to see it as secondary part of the Suel migration. There is plenty of scope for ruins and the like with all of that. It makes a great place for wizards from other places to build a tower and work in quiet. Beyond this, the Pomarj is just to the south, teeming with humanoid caverns, the Underdark, ruined dwarven mines, and the strongholds and dungeons of cultists, slave dealers, pirates, crime syndicates, Scarlet Brotherhood operatives and most anything else not nice.
Check out the Wild Coast Postcard on Canonfire at : http://www.canonfire.com/cf/ghpostcards.php
and the map fo adventure modules at : http://www.canonfire.com/cf/ghadventures.php
Highly recommended: "Lord of the Scarlet Tide" by James Jacobs in Dungeon #85, which is mostly set beneath Narwell. (You might want to read the Demonomicon article on Zuggtmoy in Dragon #337 for a little more of the backstory and some ideas for potentially following up on things.) It's open enough to allow PCs to... *go deeper* once they've solved the primary situation, and it includes a digression involving an abandoned temple of Tharizdun, details of which are left for the DM to develop. Also, Andy Miller's "The Setting Sun" in Dungeon #73 introduces a really, really nice twist to Newtemple on the Coast…
"Ruins of Nol-Daer" is Dungeon #13, not Dragon, and yeah, it's pretty good.
Beyond providing a location for "standard" dungeon settings, the Wild Coast offers DMs an opportunity to think about *accumulations* of structures over time. I think FtA first mentioned Narwell as having been burned down and rebuilt several times; Jacobs uses this to good effect in "Scarlet Tide." Buildings on the remains of other buildings... and underneath all this, subterranean populations having *built their way upward*, and interactions having occurred between what's above and what's below.
We can easily imagine a keep or trading post built atop what was once a much earlier settlement, or some of the towns and cities going through different stages of influences, so you have one population's buildings reworked with elements of a later population's style (as a kind of imposing of the new on the old, while implying historical continuity), or taking the burned-down, then rebuilt slums of Safeton and imagining various cults and gangs burrowing into what's underneath, the older, earlier levels…
You can have that in any town near a low-ground river or an estuary. Buildings sink with time
Yes, but here's what makes it interesting. The Wild Coast earned its name because it resisted conquest, at least until the Mak took the south and Greyhawk took the north. So the combinations I'm discussing play out differently than they would, say, in places where there was a dominant culture or hegemony.
Add to that known Underdark openings-- in the Pomarj, in Narwell, in the Gnarley…
Again, think in terms of the Flan, and whoever/whatever was there *before* the Flan. Then add Suel and Oeridian migrations. Factor in that most of the Coast's population centers don't have political continuity. (Safeton is an exception.)
Then think the Underdark right beneath all that.
Also, I take it as a given that the development of permanent settlements accelerated the woodlands receding to their current boundaries, as human populations took trees for construction, fuel, shipbuilding.
So whatever genii locorum might linger in their old haunts, or have withdrawn or "died"-- and might be none too happy about things.
Add to that the various standing stones and rings, etc. in surrounding areas (outside Greyhawk city, in the Gnarley, the Stone Ring in the Welkwood)... lots of opportunity.
That line between wilderness and "civilization" can get pretty thin.
(Suggesting another, punning meaning to "Wild" Coast.)
Oeridians never really took over Wild Coast.
Oeridian is listed as a minor strain among Wild Coast population, if I'm not mistaken.
Returning to your question. It's pretty obvious to me the Wild Coast (and I'll include the Coast's surrounding woodlands, as I imagine the forests were at one time much bigger than they are) had a significant Flan population. Suel and Oeridians settled along the Coast, mixed with the natives-- and even absorbed local lore and custom, in some instances, and with exceptions (Safeton).
In terms of Oeridian invasions-- by which I mean full-on attempts at seizing territory-- there's the example of Carashast and what became of his followers at Bad Deep.
Of course, one could argue thst Carashast wasn't building or expanding a kingdom, that the man and his followers were simply interested in slaughter and torture for their own sakes. And while there was probably an element of that at work (definitely, in my campaign's backstory), I think it's safe to assume he hoped to establish his own wider territory.
But yeah. My take? Depending on where you are on the Coast, you get a strong Flan influence or a pronounced but idiosyncratic Suel influence-- or a hodgepodge of cultural influences and signifiers.
"Influence" being a key word. Syncretism is A Thing.
Closer to the woods, more Flan cultural influence, sometimes with a touch of Suel or Oeridian beliefs. Along the Coast itself, you get Suel culture in Safeton (although that's developed its own odd takes on things, tradition mixed with a kind of ruthless pragmatism) and all sorts of combinations in the other ports and their vicinities.
The Oeridian model appeared to be Oeridian tribe moves into area with Suel or Flan and pushes them out or absorbs them and forms new Kingdom based around that tribe. Ferrond . Nehron. Keogh. Aerdi. Etc. I cannot see that in Wild Coast. The Suel set up over top of Flan. And to the extent the Oeridians filtered in it presumably was from neighbouring realms in bits and pieces. The Wild Coast seems to be the place not worth conquering and where the flotsam and Jetsom from others washes up. Or we’d have had the Exampli tribe take over and develop into the Kingdom of Example. Then presumably get taken over by the GK or Keoland.
Hardby was Suel too. I have been meaning to go back and research it and outline the ethnic origins of the WC fiefdoms. On the list …
I think it's more complex than that. The Coast has its assets. Arable land. Timber. Access to the Bay. The problem seems to have been something else. There are hints in FtA and in Creighton Broadhurst's Mysterious Places pieces on the WotC, and I think you get more clues from some of the adventures set in the area (and descriptions of some of the things *around* the area).
That Forest of Suel turned to stone was the warning sign …
Founders we're sure of. Safeton = Suel aristocrats. Narwell= Naer's Well. Either a Suel priest of Phyton or sorcerer-priests. Eldredd, started by Baklunish mercenary (!).