Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:07 pm
Plains of the Paynims and the Dry Steppes
By Mike Bridges (aka Mortellan or GreyhawkMike)
The Plains of the Paynims and the Dry Steppes, is an ideal region for those that want to play a wilderness survival campaign, where overland travel and resource management is more important. Dominating the Baklunish West, this vast grassland-steppe region runs from the border of Zeif in the north to the Sulhaut Mountains in the south, and from the Barrier Peaks-Crystalmist Mountain chain in the east to prairies running hundreds of leagues westward. The main sources of water here is the Wadi Khijar that runs through the northern plains and Lake Udrukankar in the south, where sits their only permanent settlement, the trade town of Kanak.
Collectively, the Paynims are the nomadic descendants of the original Baklunish Empire, who have held out for a thousand years since the Invoked Devastation. While all the tribes share a language and similar customs or superstitions, their regional titles and alignments can vary. The Paynims migrate into the northern plains during the summer when the Dry Steppes become too arid, then return south in the colder seasons. Besides internal tribal feuds, the nomads’ main enemy is their brutal cousins in the land of Ull. After centuries of division, a self-titled Mahdi of the Steppes ambitiously seeks to unite all the tribes under his banner.
Country specific resources:
WGA4 Vecna Lives! (map and detail on stone circles)
The Scarlet Brotherhood (Fields of Padyr)
Living Greyhawk Journal #5 (map)
Adventures in this country include:
- Guard Baklunish caravans (usually Mouqollad Consortium) travelling through the wide-open plains in virtually any direction.
- Serve the charismatic Mahdi of the Steppes in fulfilling the Prophecy of the Phoenix by uniting all the Paynim and dervish tribes.
- Hunting wild animals and vicious monsters found on the plains.
- Lead pilgrims south into the Dry Steppes on their way to Kanak and the stone circles of Tovag Baragu.
- Contend with nomadic tribes of centaurs vying for the same land.
- Search for ancient treasure in the shadow of the Sulhaut Mountains, on the haunted battlefield of Padyr.
- I9: Day of Al’Akbar can be conveniently set in the Dry Steppes.
Adventures in nearby areas include:
- Visit Baklunish monasteries (Falla-nil, Azor-khem) located high up in the Ulsprue Range.
- Interaction with the orcish population of Antalotol, some who are part of the elite Uruzary Corp.
- Travel west to exotic lands beyond Eastern Oerik like Risay and Komal.
- Frequent hostilities with neighboring nomads in Ull.
- Explore ancient Suel ruins beyond the mountains in the deadly Sea of Dust.
Obviously, the Plains of the Paynims and the Dry Steppes is not suited for urban storylines. At first glance, the area seems to be an empty, unremarkable place on the edge of the map. However, once you begin to explore the nuances of frontier life and scratch the surface of their history, you will discover a campaign set here can hold as much treasures and adventure as any place in the World of Greyhawk.
Richard Di Ioia (aka Longetalos)
Last edited by Longetalos on Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total