Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Postcards from the Flanaess
in Greyhawk
Cities of
Jason Zavoda Presents
The Gord Novels
Greyhawk Wiki
    The Bucknard Manuscript
    Posted on Fri, May 06, 2005 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "Bucknard is back! And he has news! Oerth's reality has been fatefully destabilized with potentially disasterous consequences. Its time for the Circle of Eight to swing into action and restore the Balance! But there is the small matter of what to do about Iuz, and Vecna, who are no help at all. Or are they? And who are the Secret Seven and what is there involvement? Break out your planar mechanics textbooks and multiversal sliderule. This is going to get complicated but all will be explained. Lucky Bucknard is back! Initiate Code Scarlet!

    The Bucknard Manuscript
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Dungeon Masters

    The Bucknard Manuscript detailed below describes a growing imbalance in Oerth’s reality that allows portals to open to Oerth’s past, future and alternate Oerth’s that never were or might have been. Characters and creatures from the present can enter these portals and travel to Oerth’s past, future or alternates. By the same token, creatures from Oerth’s past, future or alternates can use these portals to enter the present. The cause of these portals is the activity that has occurred at Tovag Baragu in the adventures Vecna Lives and Die, Vecna Die. Tovag Baragu has become unstable, allowing coterminous pasts, presents, and futures. Individual Dungeon Masters can determine how prevalent the portals are and what moves through them. Praxis points can be a new source of villainy and adventure.

    “The Seven” referenced in the Note attached to the Bucknard manuscript refers to a wizardly organization - The Secret Seven. Briefly, the Seven stand in some opposition to the Circle of Eight and have thus far avoided detection by Mordenkainen and his cohorts, by intention and by keeping to less traveled paths. The Seven do not have the same structure as the Circle. They lack the infrastructure of a network of informants and great, fixed strongholds. They tend to use individual operatives and rely more on the seven wizards referenced in their name. Like members of the Circle, the Seven are each located in a different part of the Flanaess. Where the Circle has a headquarters or focus in Greyhawk, the Seven are most concentrated in Furyondy/Veluna. The wizards of the Seven are located in Chendl (Furyondy), Willip (Furyondy), Mitrik (Veluna), Seltaren (Duchy of Urnst), Rel Mord (Nyrond), Rel Astra (Aerdi/Great Kingdom) and Niole Dra (Keoland). More on The Seven later.

    Both the Note and Manuscript are “in character” documents that may be handed out to players:

    [NOTE (appended to the Bucknard Manuscript) - “The following document purports to be a report to the Circle of Eight by the wizard Bucknard on the aftermath of events occurring in and around the Tovag Baragu site. The document was allegedly uncovered during a raid against the hold of Rary the Traitor by a group of adventurers and mercenaries out of the Duchy of Urnst. It came into my possession during routine work in Nellix. Beyond the fantastic nature of the contents, the authenticity of this document seems dubious.

    The supposed group of adventurers was not identified, nor any reason given for the undertaking of such a dangerous, if not suicidal, mission. An independent operation by freelancers seems unlikely, as our operatives have reported no trace of the movement of any such group in the southern foothills, who would doubtless require provisioning. Discrete inquiries within the government of the Duchy of Urnst have revealed no overt sponsorship for such an action. While a covert operation cannot be ruled out, this would be out of character for the Duke. Curiously, however, Garrek, a ranger of some note and distant relation to the Duke, apparently “vanished” late last year, only to reappear in six months time, heavily sunburned and apparently much worse for the wear. This, of course, proves nothing.

    The attribution of the document to Bucknard is equally suspicious. While once an associate of Mordenkainen and the Circle of Eight, Bucknard has had no known involvement with Circle business for some time. Certainly, Mordenkainen might call in a favor or the like but the choice of Bucknard for such a mission seems unlikely.

    Finally, Rary’s supposed possession of this document defies logic. Rary is no longer a member of the Circle of Eight and would not be privy to such a report, obviously prepared after his flight to the Bright Desert, as is clearly implied by the timing of the so-called “Iuz Incident.” While Rary could have pilfered the report, this would suggest an unprecedented lapse in the Circle’s security. For Rary to come by this document, we must reasonably believe that Rary has a confederate within the Circle or is still cooperating with the Circle in some way that would account for the sharing of such information. These are preposterous suggestions!

    Given the provenance of the document, it is my conclusion that this document is an obvious hoax and forgery.

    In Service to the Seven - Yorag Lenholt”]

    [MARGINALIA written on the Note in another hand - “Followup Garrek, confirm whereabouts during pertinent timeframe.”]

    [The Bucknard Manuscript:

    “Tovag Baragu - A Damage Assessment
    Prepared by Bucknard at the request of Mordenkainen for the Circle of Eight

    Honored Members of the Circle,

    Advised of your suspicions attendant upon the phenomena observed in Rel Mord [scarlet coloration obliterates text], I undertook the investigations suggested by Mordenkainen.

    I am compelled to report that it was indeed Baron Lum who was sighted in Rel Mord. His appearance was, however, associated with a static causality loop, rendering his “appearance” no more than a ghostly after-image. I am unable to explain the presence of the loop but it avoids any immediate difficulties in this quarter.

    On the other hand, Tenser’s suspicions about the reports from [scarlet coloration obliterates text] are much more troubling as, based on my investigation, I believe it was, in fact, [scarlet coloration obliterates text] Thankfully, no one was foolhardy enough to [scarlet coloration obliterates the text] While no harm was done, this occurrence suggests the extreme danger we face in the future.

    As I have been out of the game, so to speak, for some time, I have taken the precaution of securing all references to [scarlet coloration obliterates text] with the Circle’s Code Scarlet for obvious reasons.

    Behind each of these observances, I believe, are the aftershocks of events having transpired at Tovag Baragu of which we are all generally aware. I will briefly recap.

    Tovag Baragu

    As you know, Tovag Baragu is the most powerful Nexus known to exist on Oerth, exhibiting temporal, spatial, dimensional and planar modalities. While credited to the Ancient Baklunish in some texts, Tovag Baragu almost certainly predates all known civilizations. Its existence is fundamentally unexplained and attempts to explore the site have proven highly problematic, beyond the most rudimentary of investigations and manipulations. In this wise, proving the point, are the two most infamous attempts to manipulate Tovag Baragu.

    The Vecna Incident

    The Arch-Lich Vecna in 581 CY attempted to harness Tovag Baragu to achieve ultimate godhead. His attempt was thwarted by a group of adventurers and the timely intervention of the demi-god Iuz. While the resultant Circle Investigation indicated that any danger to Oerth was averted, my further investigations lead me to conclude that the confrontation between Iuz and Vecna destabilized Tovag Baragu, causing oscillations in the previously stable Nexus pattern. By itself, the presence of these oscillations is not inherently harmful, so long as they are balanced. Indeed, oscillation is not an uncommon observation in lesser nexes, and is present in all artificial nexus formations. Had further events not developed, I believe Tovag Baragu would have naturally stabilized; much like the peel of a bell gradually fades to silence. This was, however, not to be the case.

    The Iuz Incident

    In 590 CY, the demi-god Iuz, never one to allow an opportunity to go unplundered, returned to Tovag Baragu to pick up where Vecna had too recently left off. Unknown to Iuz, he would set in motion events that would see Vecna achieve godhood, though not godhead. While this event, in itself, is one of continuing concern to the Circle, it now appears that a greater danger was fermented. Iuz’s gross attempts to harness Tovag Baragu, already destabilized from the Vecna Incident, further destabilized the Nexus. Tovag Baragu was thrown radically out of alignment. In such an unbalanced state, the Nexus became subject to Browynian Motion, all but assuring that Tovag Baragu would not, indeed could not, stabilize on its own. Imagine the peeling bell we spoke of placed upon a ship at sea; the movement of the ocean will cause the bell to continue to peel.


    Perichoresis, as you will recall, is the natural state of the Multiverse - a stately promenade along the multiversal plane, alternatively stated as within the multiversal medium, each universe moving in conjunction with every other universe, never intersecting but always maintaining a related, mutually reinforcing order. This is the essence of an ordered Multiverse, which stands in stark opposition to unfettered Chaos, which would otherwise hold sway. Of course, Order is not the same as Absolute Law, which would be ultimately entropic and, thus, inimical to life as we know it on Oerth. Here, then is where we must address the explorations of the Archimagus Browyn.

    To explain how Order would not involve, or devolve into, Absolute Law, Browyn demonstrated that Order incorporates Chaos within a framework of Law, thus avoiding entropy and stagnation, and quickening life and magic. Indeed, all Nexus formations embody this very dynamic interplay between Law and Chaos. The fly in the ointment is Chaos’ habit of constantly and continuously generating possibilities that must be restrained by principles of Law, lest Chaos overturn Law and, necessarily, Order. This process of a chained Chaos struggling against a latticework of Law, that we call Order, is referred to as Browynian Motion. In a Multiverse in which Order demonstrates Perichoresis, Browynian Motion is negligible. If, however, Peroichoresis were to be upset, Browynian Motion would be demonstrably felt.

    This, I believe, is what has happened as a result of events at Tovag Baragu.

    As Tovag Baragu, Oerth’s prime Nexus, became serially destabilized by first Vecna and then by Iuz, it became subject to Browynian Motion. Perichoresis became distrubed. Put simply, Oerth is out of Balance and continues to move out of Balance due to Browynian Motion. Thankfully, while Perichoresis is disturbed, it is not so unbalanced as to threaten the integrity of the Multiverse. Like a poor dancer at a ball, Oerth may embarrass itself, but the ball goes on. To stretch the analogy, Oerth may, however, yet die of the embarrassment.


    The destabilization of Tovag Baragu has serious consequences for Oerth’s reality. Recall; Tovag Baragu exhibits temporal, spatial, dimensional and planar modalities. All of these are subject to the imbalance present in the Nexus. Because Oerth’s other Nexus points remain, to this point, unaffected, Tovag Baragu will likely stabilize after a fashion but this “stability” may be wildly different from the stable reality we have known. Reality may change. Reality may cycle through flux states. And this is the good news! In the worst case scenario, Oerth’s other Nexus points may destabilize with unknowable consequences.

    At present, Oerth is experiencing gradual Coalescence as Tovag Baragu “wobbles.” Oerth’s past, present and future, along with myriad alternative Oerth’s are coalescent toward a new point of centricity. Each of these near infinite states is beginning to intersect, where they previously were strictly kept in ordered series, never interacting, in the main. True Coalescence is the necessary precursor to a new point of centricity or reality, that may or may not, resemble what we have known.

    Immanence, Transcendence and Praxis

    The phenomena in Rel Mord and [scarlet coloration obliterates text] are examples of immanent phenomena. Simply put, they are intersections of Oerth’s past with the present. In the case of Baron Lum, this intersection was ephemeral. [scarlet coloration obliterates text] appears to have been all too real and was thankfully a temporary state.

    The corollary would be Transcendent states, intersections with Oerth’s future or some alternative Oerth.

    Evidence to this point suggests that Immanent events are more likely than Transcendent events because Immanent events, being anchored in the past, are more concretely defined, hence “real” and thus, more likely to manifest. This is, however, pure supposition.

    While we just do not yet know enough about the forces at work to predict the specifics of any intersection, we can reasonably speculate as to how manifestations will occur. Immanence and Transcendence will manifest at points of Praxis, which unfortunately are likely to occur randomly. Praxis may be stable or unstable. To this date, we have no evidence of stable points of Praxis forming.

    Unstable Praxis will be temporary intersections, likely marked by unusual fogs, mists, darkness, shadows or the like. These observable markers will delimit the points of the intersection of realities.

    Stable points of Praxis will be permanent intersections, unless and until closed or otherwise dislocated. Stable Praxis points will likely be marked by “gates,” clearly setting forth the stabilized intersection. Such “gates” may be a set of pillars or columns, two adjacent trees, an archway, a doorway, an alleyway or any “portal” around which the Praxis can stabilize itself.

    A Working Model

    Think of our Flanaess as the Prime. Imagine that there are other Flanaess’. Some represent all the times past and future. Others represent alternative histories that have not, did not or will not occur on our Flanaess Prime.

    The destabilization of Tovag Baragu has made it possible for gateways, points of Praxis, from these other Flanaess’ to open into our Flanaess Prime. Travel through these gateways can occur both ways.

    Oddities may abound. So may Paradox. Two Iuz. Two hundred Iuz! All in the same reality but all but one come from different realities. Unlikely, but possible.

    Note if you will, reports that have circulated about “Fading Lands” and other, similar mysterious places. Perhaps, we have missed important warning signs. Certainly, some of these localities bear a strong resemblance to Transcendent Praxis points that have stabilized!

    Restoring the Balance

    While we may wait and hope for the best as matters unfold, I do not recommend it. The dangers are obvious if Tovag Baragu is not brought back into Balance. And I believe there is a way in which we can do just this, a way to restore Balance.

    Iuz must ascend to godhood via Tovag Baragu.

    Vecna and Iuz initially destabilized Tovag Baragu. Vecna did so fatefully when he began his ascension. If those same powers could again be brought to bear in a more controlled fashion, I believe that Tovag Baragu could be brought back into alignment! Ascending Iuz is the obvious and necessary course and counterweight to Vecna’s destabilizing actions. And we would have a willing subject. Of course, many will not understand the necessity. They can be dealt with. I believe our duty is clear and stand ready to assist.

    Yours in Service to the Circle - Bucknard”]

    Related Links
    · More about Beyond Oerth
    · News by Dongul

    Most read story about Beyond Oerth:

    The Final Word on Iuz and Company

    Article Rating
    Average Score: 2.77
    Votes: 9

    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Very Good


     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

    Associated Topics

    Beyond Oerth

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    No Comments Allowed for Anonymous, please register

    Re: The Bucknard Manuscript (Score: 1)
    by Kirt on Sat, May 07, 2005
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Interestng idea, but ultmately the presentation is too confusing. This would be better written out of character, where you could explan and develop your ideas more freely.

    Re: The Bucknard Manuscript (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Mon, September 28, 2009
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I would have to agree with Kirt's observation, too confusing. The information needs to be presented in a simpler way, especially as some of the aforementioned information is to be passed on to the players' characters.

    There is no doubt that much time and effort went into the presentation and it is commendable that the author was able to stay on track through it all. The article is also well written.

    But ultimately, it is too cumbersome a document for game play.

    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!

    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.28 Seconds