Oerth Journal 33 Review

Oerth Journal Issue 33 has hit the press, and the PDF is available for free download, along with all the back issues, at Greyhawkonline.

The new issue has beautiful Greyhawk specific artwork created by LadyLoth. The picture “Nyrondese Soldiers” depicts two soldiers on guard in a camp behind a wooden palisade, as they walk their patrol inside a motte-and-bailey garrison. The contents of the issue go in a variety of directions.

5E Adventure

Notable contributions include a 5E adventure by John O’Neil Roy titled Housecleaning. Without giving away too much, it’s a sequel to his module Unwelcome Guests, and involves exploring a wizard’s tower in eastern Furyundy. Things get a little feywild along the way.  It’s fun to see 5E material for Greyhawk, and it looks great.

Death Knight vs. Good Lich

Gary Holian further develops his death knight lore in “Twofold Lands of the Dead.” Meet Myrhal, the ruler of a shadowy undead realm hidden in the Adri Forest, and explore his sprawling necropolis, Vaxhaunt—a city in which thousands of undead crowd the twisting streets and alleys. Many woodsmen of the Adri have become Undead Hunters to deal with the menace (a character hook which also appears in Jay L. “Lord Gosumba” Scott’s introduction of the Paladin subclass “The Undead Hunter”). Then there’s the concealed land of Aveta, north of Innspa, a utopian kingdom ruled by the lich Seragrimm. He’s a good lich. How about that? And the arch-nemesis of Prince Myrhal.

Arbor Day

Lance Hawvermale’s “Lore of the Usk Tree” is framed as an excerpt from the botanical journal of Canaldryn the Spry, sage of dendrology. This fun article describes the many uses of the amazing blue-fruited Usk tree, along with some magical items and great artwork.

Sadism and Sorrow in the Gnarley

In this issue, we also visit the Gnarley Forest. Les Reno gives us the sadistic unpleasantries of “A Priestess and Her Martial Servant,” and then “The Sorrowful Tale of Erann and Danala,” a new addition to Greyhawk lore which tells the tragic story of unrequited love between a ranger and swanmay of the Gnarley Forest. The Sorrowful Tale qualifies as this issue’s Tale from the Green Dragon.

Horned Society and Greyhawk Wars

It’s well known that, since the fall of Molag, rumors have circulated that some of Hierarchs survived. William “Giantstomp” Dvorak confirms the rumors in “Tale of the Hierarchs: Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the Horned Society.” The survivors now labor in secret clandestinely rebuilding the society. Or if you want to take the outcome of the Greyhawk Wars in a different direction, Jared Milne presents his variation on the outcome of the big war, framing it within an alternate Oerth.

A Lot of Dwarves

There’s also a lot of dwarves in this issue. We probably should have put dwarves on the cover. Kristoph Nolen introduces us to previously unknown dwarven lands off the map in his article “People’s Republic of Mordengard.” Amy “Theala Crittenden  gives us a new magical book, The Dwarven manual of Creation. My own contribution, and first published material in the journal, consists of excerpts from a backstory I created in preparation for my novel on the Hateful Wars. “Dwur Kingdoms of the Lortmils: History, Development, and Locations of Dwarven Strongholds” and the accompanying article about the red dragon Zaddridur narrate the foundation the undermountain kingdoms of Gilmorack, Rockhome, and Balnorhak.

Unfortunately, the endnotes and documentation didn’t make the final edit. For the record, I borrowed heavily from earlier Oerth Journal articles such as Sobrach, “The Lortmil Mountains,” Oerth Journal 2:14-19, Russ Timm, Living Greyhawk Duchy of Ulek Triad, “A Guide to the Duchy of Ulek,” Oerth Journal 16:60-71, and Gary Van Binsbergen, “A Compilation of the Draconic Realms of the Flanaess,” Oerth Journal 24:3-12.

There’s lots more content than that in Oerth Journal 33, but why take my word for it? Go download a copy for yourself. And if you appreciate having a regular periodical keeping the Flanaess alive, support Greyhawkonline and Oerth Journal on Patreon.

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