Heroes of the Veiled Cataclysm
Geography and population
In the Greyhawk setting, the planet Oerth has four continents. The focal continent is called Oerik, and it is largely known for its eastern end, known as the Flanaess.
The Flanaess can be broken down geographically as follows: the Baklunish Basin in the northwest, the Empire of Iuz in the north, the Thillonrian Peninsula in the northeast, the Sea of Dust in the far west, the Sheldomar Valley in the west, old Ferrond and its southern frontier (including the City of Greyhawk) at the center of the Flanaess, Old Sulm and the Aerdy frontier to the east, the old Great Kingdom to the far east, and the Amedio Jungle to the southwest.
The Flanaess is home to Oerth’s “enlightened humanity,” — Baklunish, Flannae, Oeridians, Olman, Rhennee, Suloise, and Touv in particular. Key distinguishing features include antagonism between the Bakluni and Suloise (and the ancient war that nearly annihilated them both), the relative primitiveness of the indigenous Flan, and the Oerdians’ military conquest of much of the Flanaess.
Elves and dwarves of different sorts have powerful strongholds and nations, with gnomes and halflings living in smaller pockets near friendly (and more powerful) neighbors. Even where these races are politically advanced, such as in Celene (realm) or the Ulek States, isolationist policies often limit their power to the regions they inhabit. Wicked drow elves often plot mischief against the free world, with other nefarious creatures such as orcs, ogres, giants, and dragons acting as all-purpose enemies. When viewed as a whole, however, the Flanaess appears anthropocentric (or more specifically, humanocentric) despite the presence of so many fantastic species.
At the center of this game world stands the Free City of Greyhawk, a city-state once under the domination of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. The Circle of Eight, a select group of wizards, monitor events across the Flanaess, intervening when the balance of power is threatened by extremes of good or evil. Several evil factions still prevail across the sub-continent, including the undead remnants of Aerdy, the wicked demi-god Iuz (who rules his expanding territory, the Empire of Iuz), and the mysterious Scarlet Brotherhood (whose racial purity doctrines and fanatical monasticism invite comparisons with both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan). The orcs and other humanoids of the Pomarj, led by chieftain Turrosh Mak, threaten the Wild Coast and the Ulek States. Among the factions opposing these forces of evil are the major kingdoms of Nyrond, Furyondy, and Keoland as well as numerous smaller states, organizations and individuals.
- Bigby, known mostly for his many hand and fist spells.
- Eclavdra, the drow high priestess who fomented the Giant Rebellion.
- Edralve, another drow priestess who worked with the Slave Lords of the Pomarj.
- Gord, a young rogue from Greyhawk who reluctantly became a crusader for Neutrality.
- Iuz the Old, half-fiend tyrant-god of the Land of Iuz.
- Jallarzi Sallavarian, the first woman to join the Circle of Eight, a capable wizard in her own right.
- Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders, the chief drow goddess of the Abyss.
- Melf, an elf who violates his queen’s isolationist policies to fight wickedness.
- Mordenkainen the Archmage, leader of the Circle of Eight (one of Gygax’s early characters). Mordenkainen is a strong force for neutrality.
- Nerof Gasgal, the Lord Mayor of Greyhawk, a former thief turned politician.
- Obmi, a deranged dwarf assassin in the service of Iuz.
- Rary of Ket, also called Rary the Traitor, a former member of the Circle of Eight.
- Robilar, an evil warrior allied with Rary who sometimes works with heroes for his own purposes.
- Saint Kargoth the Betrayer, fallen paladin and Oerth’s first death knight.
- Tenser, another great wizard who actively seeks to rid Oerth of evil. Former member of the Circle of Eight.
- Vecna, Lord of the Spidered Throne, the Whispered One, god of Secrets and Magic.
- Yolande, grey elven Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Celene.
- Zagyg, the mad but benign archmage who becomes a demi-god (his name is a play on Gygax, the name of the creator of the setting).
- Zuggtmoy, Demon Queen of Fungi and Blight, imprisoned in her Temple of Elemental Evil.
TOWNS and Places of Interest (visited)