Speculation in Greyhawk City

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Jared Milne

“Zilchus damn their oily hides!” Cariel Mansharn shouted. Standing up from his desk, he threw his chair across the room, where it hit the wall with a resounding crash.

“What be your problem, then?” Stimtrin Cannasay asked as he walked into the room. He was utterly calm and did not react in the least to the seething anger in Cariel’s eyes.

“What do you think, you fool?” Cariel asked. “It’s the same thing it always is!”

“And what’s that?” Stimtrin asked, his expression thoughtful and inquisitive.

“Another gods-damned bubble is about to burst,” Cariel said, pointing to the ledger on his desk. “Just like they always do. Why don’t these speculators ever learn?”

Cariel’s anger turned to dread as he realized the mistake he’d just made.

“I canna say,” Stimtrin said, his brow furrowing as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Perhaps ‘tis the result of speculators thinkin’ that certain prices last indefinitely, or the feelin’ that the speculator is shielded from risk, mayhaps even the ‘greater fool’ theory where assets be continually sold for ‘igher than their value ‘til …”

“Or maybe it’s because so many speculators are glorified paper-pushers who don’t actually create anything of value,” Cariel said, interrupting Stimtrin before the dwarf’s ramblings pushed him past the breaking point. “They just strip the value out of things actual merchants create!”

“Have ye ever supposed it might be yer words be reason are why ye’r none closer to becomin’ Master o’ the Guild?” Stimtrin asked.

Cariel wanted to reply with an angry shout, but the dwarf’s calm and respectful expression showed he meant no insult. Grudgingly—very grudgingly—he nodded. “Perhaps they are the reason,” Cariel said as he retrieved his chair and sat down again. “But that doesn’t make them any less right.”

Vampires of Grabford

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Session One of GRNC 2 – The Retaking of Grabford

A GREAT NORTHERN CRUSADE ADVENTURE from Greyhawkstories.com

(Campaign Notes and Adaptation by Thomas Kelly)

Scene One: Search for Dina

Sir Harassin wakes from a troubled dream in which he saw two lovely women vying for his attention. It’s daylight, midmorning before noon, but the sun shines pale through the accursed never-ending creeping fogs that rise and fall all around the city walls. The siege is underway. The shouts of soldiers, the cries of the wounded, and the battering of the ram against the unyielding Morsten Gate fills his ears. The battle goes well by day, despite the weird shadows and creeping fogs, but by night, terrors from inside the city come out to stalk the men in the camps. Mournful wails of ghosts and specters haunt the night. Not one of the men dares sleep so long as the sun is down.

Harassin tries to remember the details of the previous night, drinking with the raftmen of the Lucky Prince. Captain Paddy Lash and his crew have been making some extra coin by running supplies up the canal for the army while waiting for their promised reward. Ordinarily they don’t stay the night near the cursed city. But their Vetha wisewoman failed to return yesterday. Harassin waited with Paddy Lash and Danni, spending the night on the barge. They shared the last of their Pomarj Black. That’s the last thing Harassin remembers.

Continue reading “Vampires of Grabford”

The Invasion of Geoff

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Here’s a new Greyhawk video dramatizing the giants’ attack on Geoff at the end of the Greyhawk Wars.

An overwhelming army of giants, giant-kin, and their evil followers stampedes into the Grand Duchy of Geoff, overrunning the land in late CY 583. Mayloriel, the grey elf consort of the ranger lord Darlon Lea, learns of the invasion only days before the giants enter the county of Ffrwythlon Dol. She organized the people of her county and led them south across the river to Oytmeet and later to Gorna where she and Darlon Lea led their warriors to assist in the defense of the city and the escape of the population. Thanks to Mayloriel’s early warning, many lives were spared.


Visit the Geoff page for more adventure from the Liberation of Geoff.

Grabford Falls

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Introduction to GRNC 2 – The Retaking of Grabford

A GREAT NORTHERN CRUSADE ADVENTURE from Greyhawkstories.com

Thomas Kelly

The Great Northern Crusade advances! Several months ago, Furyondian and Velunese forces, under the command of Grand Marshal Jemian, crossed the flare line and slammed into the armies of Old One. Fighting under the blessing of Heironeous and assisted by high-caliber magic from powerful mages such as Bigby, the vengeful crusaders made quick initial progress.

By Needfest (CY 586), cold weather, freezing rains, and deep snows hampered the army’s advance, but with Atroa’s warming smile and the promise of warmer weather, the campaign resumes in the spring. The Knights of the Hart have already taken control of the Bone Road west of Grabford and reached the Veng, driving a wedge between the occupied Furyondian cities of Grabford and Crockport. While the Furyondian navy sails out of Morsten to take control of Grabford harbor, the Lady Katarina Walworth and Count Artur Jakartai command the crusaders of the Holy Shielding to lay siege to the fallen capital of Crystalreach County.

The walls of Grabford and the battlements of the city’s forty towers hug the banks of the great Veng River where the the water widens into shallows impassable by large craft and heavy laden ships. Those heavier vessels must enter Grabford’s harbor and make their way through a marvelously engineered canal that snakes through the city before it passes out through the southern wall. Beyond the walls of the city, the canal rejoins the Veng half a mile downstream. Within Grabford, three impressive drawbridges span the canal, allowing even proud-masted sailing ships to pass through its city. The proud citizens of Grabford once enjoyed the sight of the river’s great sailing vessels and laden barges gliding gracefully past their streets, and they profited no small amount from their passage. King Belvor built strong city walls and forty towers, and he garrisoned a thousand of Furyondy’s finest soldiers to guard the strategically significant fords and protect the canal. For all these reasons, Grabford numbered among the proudest cities of the Kingdom, a necessary port of call for every trading vessel that sailed from Lake Whyestil to the Nyr Dyv.

Then came war. (CY 583)

The armies of the Old One descended into Furyondy, laid siege to Chendl, and conquered Crockport. The Furyondian Navy and all the merchant and cargo ships of Lake Whyestil fled the fall of the harbor town (Crockport). Abyssal bats and winged fiends pursued the mariners across the great lake like raging storms, driving ships upon the rocks or spilling them into the lake. Buffeted, burnt, and torn, only a few surviving vessels escaped down the Veng and passed through the canal at Grabford in disgrace. The good folk of the city watched with no small dimay as the tattered navy of Furyondy, and all those noblemen’s trading vessels too, passed through their city in haste. None dared stop at the docks or tarry long enough to drop anchor in the harbor.

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The Chronicler’s Final Tale 

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By Carlos A.S. Lising

Edited by Thomas Kelly

They started to arrive at sunrise. One by one, each appeared in their own way. The first to arrive came as glittering sunlight and a cloud of glissando moonbeams, realizing themselves into shapes and forms as they pleased. The next, seven in number, strode forth from the verdant density of the timbers, offering nods of salutation and respect to those that arrived before them. In turn, they greeted five, rising from the ocean’s cresting waves. Four more, hailed later, brought forth on world’s winds. They all assembled before the great pavilion. Each one older than time itself, yet, none of those ancient ones could say who was responsible for the colonnade that stood at the foot of the mountain with it’s everlasting pillars of pristine white marble, run through by veins of silver and gold. Certainly the next seven, clambering from deep burrows and bearing gifts of baked goods and fresh cheeses, did not know. Neither did the thirteen from the west, pale skinned, proud, and imperious. And for all their profane knowledge, not even those knew who came riding upon dark pock-marked steeds or vile clouds of darkness, accompanied by the chittering laughter of the mad or the sighs of the damned. Still they came, one by one, gathering before the pavilion. Some stood beside mortal enemies or next to long-estranged kin—this one beside that one, even those antithetical one to the other as fire to ice, light to dark. None raised a weapon; none raised a voice. They came because each knew they must. They came to offer a first and a last word, each the same: respect.   

***

His conscious awareness surfaced as if from deep, dark waters, like one arising from non-existence, like one waking from a sound sleep, the way one sloughs off the soporific haze of a dreamless slumbering. Past the gossamer veil came the normal sense of confusion. Where am I? Why do I feel so cold? What time is it? 

Continue reading “The Chronicler’s Final Tale “

Esmerin

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The Hateful Wars: Chapter Thirty-Nine

Thomas Kelly

A soft mattress in a clean, well-lit place. Sunlight poured in through a round window. Beside the bed stood a small chair and desk. From pegs on the far wall hung a coat of glimmering mithril armor. Next to it, a short sword, still in its scabbard.

Kristryd passed her hands over her body, but she felt no wounds. On the desk beside the bed she found her personal belongings, including her comb and her silver-framed mirror. What was the last thing she remembered? A stab in the back, a blow to the head, a slow tumble into darkness. “How came I to this place?” she asked aloud as she sat up in the bed. “Where is this place?”

“How did you come here?” Alton Chubb Quickbread came through the open doorway into Kristryd’s room. He waved his hands above is head dramatically as he explained, “Your big griff carried you here. Upset all the eagles too. They were screaming at each other, swooping around, but your horse-bird set you down in the town square. They told me, ‘Alton, you will never believe what just happened. A big blonke hippogriff carried the broken body of pretty dwarfess, all dressed in mithril armor, and laid her down right in the center of town.’ I didn’t need to be told twice. I knew it could only be you, my fairhead.”

“You healed my wounds?”

“I also made muffins!” the halfling boasted.

“Is this Prinzfield?” Kristryd asked, swinging her legs out of the bed.

Alton shook his head. “You’re not in Prinzfield, my lady.”

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Siege of Castle Hagthar

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The Hateful Wars: Chapter Thirty-Eight

Thomas Kelly

“Now the rats flee as the ship sinks,” Urgush remarked to himself. Tidings of the battle of Riechsvale had travelled quickly through the mountains. “Gather around me,” the half-blood summoned the leaders of those few clans that yet remained under his sway. He tried to imagine how Hroth might rally their hearts if he were present. He chose his words accordingly. “Hear what I will say. I won’t wait here to be buggered by bearded dwur boys and frolicking olvin ass-lickers.” He lifted his eyes reverently in the direction of the distant Yatils even though they remained far out of sight from where he stood on the high slopes of the northern Lortmils. “Am I not the servant of the great witch? Time to leave these stinking dwur-shit holes and join her fight against those putz-sucking Perrenlanders. Then we will eat and drink without fear, and she will feed us the flesh of men!”

With inspiring words like this, he rallied those tribes and clans that remained yet loyal to him. Urgush gathered up the treasure of gemstones he had stolen from the treasuries of Dengar. He loaded the precious cargo on wagons with many other treasures, indeed, all the treasures of his tribe and those beneath him—a lovedrury to place before the archmagis.

Continue reading “Siege of Castle Hagthar”

The Battle of Riechsvale

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The Hateful Wars: Chapter Thirty-Seven

Thomas Kelly

“This war of yours may profit the dwarves, but my people suffer! Unhappily we joined your alliance. Now our lands have been raped while yours remain whole and untouched.” The Count Palatine spoke from bitterness of heart.

Kristryd replied with sympathy, “Peace to you and upon all that is yours. They caught us unprepared this once, but we will not suffer it to happen again.”

Several months had elapsed since the siege. The queen of Gilmorack and her retinue did not arrive in the County until Ready’reat. By then, Jurnre’s wide streets had been swept clean, the fountains sparkled again, the gardens had been prepared and pruned, and the market squares restored. Yet the dwur queen’s eye had not failed to notice the ravaged lands all about. Her journey took her past burned-out villages, ransacked farmsteads, orchards stripped bare, and vacant-eyed, broken people. What will they eat this winter? Where will they find shelter from the rains? she wondered.

Strategy in Jurnre

Kristryd summoned a council of the alliance in Jurnre and promised assistance to those who had lost homes, farms, and villages during the raids. Her father and her brothers came up from Gyrax. Duke Gallowagn’s daughter Nevallewen arrived from Tringlee, demanding reparations. Nevallewen spoke on her father’s behalf, “You drove them out of the mountains and into our lands. Villages are burnt, granaries looted, vineyards trampled, and people slain. Who will compensate for loss of life and home?”

“We are at war!” Kristryd answered boldly, irritation punctuating her words. As much as she admired the duke, she did not like Nevallewen, and she made no attempt to hide her distaste for the elfess. “We have all suffered. Don’t speak to the dwur about your losses. The blood of our folk stains the stones above and below because, when there is a job to be done, by Moradin’s hammer, we dwarves get it done! All of us have paid a heavy price.”

Continue reading “The Battle of Riechsvale”

The Tale of Artur Jakartai

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Chapter I

First, How Jakart begat a son named Artur and gave him over to the Temple of Heironeous.

555 CY

It befell in the days of Holmer, Earl of Walworth, Knight Commander over all the Shield Land Lords, that there lived a Shieldlander named Jakart the son of Merlart the son of Tristart the son of Fendart, an Oeredian, and a mighty man renowned for valorous deeds in the service of the Shield, though he himself could claim no title as lord nor knight. He made his coin as an adventurer and sellsword until the years weighed too heavily upon him for bravery and foolishness, at which time he used what coin he had saved to purchase a wide and fertile valley for cultivation on the border of the Western Reaches of Warfields, along the banks of the Ritensa. Cold and long were the winters, but the land gave forth an abundance, hastening to bring grain to head for the shortness of the summer months. Every year at harvest, fang-faced goblins and orcs crossed the river to steal away the sheaves from the threshing floors, but Jakart and the servants of his household slew them oft as he found them, pursued them back to the river, and sent them home, most often empty-handed.

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Iggwilv Tribute Video

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Greyhawk video!

Here’s my second attempt at a video featuring a montage of Iggwilv-Tasha artwork, both published and fan-generated, set to David Bowie’s “Putting out Fire.” This revision has artwork from the fantastic Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. To learn more about the backstory of Tasha, her mother Baba Yaga, her sister Elena the Fair, and how Tasha became Iggwilv, the mother of Iuz, read the Mother of Witches cycle.


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