[Greyhawk] Blackmoor on Oerth

Dave Arneson's original fantasy campaign; as compelling, gritty and enigmatic as ever.
The Book-House: Find Blackmoor products.

Moderator: Havard

Post Reply
ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3454
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

[Greyhawk] Blackmoor on Oerth

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:05 am

I'm collecting quotes about the history of ancient Blackmoor in the World of Greyhawk campaign, to see if I can piece together its history. From the following, it seems that it was a Flan land that became claimed by the Baklunish Empire to the south. Taking Baklunish magic and technology to previously undreamt-of heights, the nobles there founded the City of the Gods and declared independence, becoming an ally of the rival Suel Imperium in order to help maintain its sovereignty. Eventually the constructs of the city were brought down by a plague of chaos introduced by the slaadi, then swallowed by the encroaching Land of Black Ice (cause unknown) at about the time of the Twin Cataclysms. The expansion of the Land of Black Ice was ultimately stopped by native Flan sorcerers using the power of the oerthmagic native to the region, but by that time the City of the Gods culture was ruined and forgotten.

The Egg of Coot also uses construct servants, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a connection.

'After they dug down to the shape, they found it to be a strange construct from an ancient realm that predated the Black Ice. They freed the creature's head and were amazed to see that it still lived. The creature is known as a nimblewright, and it told tales of the wealth of southern lands, of magical constructs, and of the secrets of its ancient empire.' - Dungeon #115, page 32.

'Long ago, a small fiefdom in the northlands reached the heights of civilization--its craftsmanship and knowledge of artifice were unmatched. Constructs served the lords and ladies of the land, performing menial labor and freeing the city's aristocracy to devote more time to art, philosophy, and war. The heart of these lands was called the City of the Gods, and it was unlike any city before or since. Some say the City's automatons were struck down by a plague... Over the ages, the advancing ice drove out what few denizens remained...' - Dungeon #126, page 43.

'Mathghamhna was somewhere in the Baklunish Empire (for example, the northwesternmost spur of the Yatmil [sic] Mountains or the "City of the Gods" in Blackmoor).' - College of Wizardry, page 9.

'The secret of creating brass men is said to have been given to humans by the efreet, who hoped that in time the brass men could take control of the humans and help the efreet rule the human lands from their City of Brass.' - Dungeon #126, page 60.

'...oddities such as "memory gears," "animating spirit-gems," "everwound springs..."' - Dungeon #126, page 45.

'Clockwork eunuchs balance the skills of clockwork artisans, clerics, and genie-binding sorcerers. They depend on carefully set everwound springs, memory gears, and magical rune-powered animating gemstones that pulse with elemental power.' - Dragon #334, page 39.

'In the earliest days of the conflict between the Suel and Baklunish empires, Suloise magi sought to turn the legendary Baklunish affection for the elements against them. To do this, they created four artifacts of surpassing power and infused these symbols of elemental magic with a portion of the spirits of powerful elemental princes.. After detecting the flaws in the elemental items, the Suel dispatched them to foreign lands as gifts of the emperor's gratitude... The Unquenchable Scepter traveled north, to what would become Blackmoor (and rested in that land's fabled castle for centuries).' - Dragon #294, page 94.

'Through a series of improbable accidents, the green slaad and its sword (a source of raw chaos) entered the orderly waters of the Gearspring Well... the Well could no longer create clockwork creatures; instead it infected all the clockwork creatures near it with gear madness.' - Dungeon #126, page 58.

'Legend says that the numerous mounds and standing stones throughout the archbarony were created by the Northern Adepts of Old Blackmoor (presumedly a cabal of Ur-Flan sorcerers) to constrain the encroaching Black Ice.' - Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, page 34.

'Before the time of the Great Migrations, the moors north of the Cold Marshes were inhabited by Flan tribes who dwelt in stockadelike hill-forts near the numerous hot springs throughout the region. These remote tribesmen were little troubled by the events in the southern lands, though their own tales say that the Black Ice already filled the northern valleys. It is not known what, if any, civilization existed in the far northern land before the Ice claimed it, but the rumor of evil in the north was old even when the Oeridians and Suel were new to the Flanaess.' - Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, page 34.

'The Suel were in fact the first outsiders to have a significant effect on the lives of the ancient Flan... The Zeai learned also of the City of the Gods and the Egg of Coot...' - Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, page 34.

'It is unknown who or what the Egg of Coot is, though he (it?) seems to possess magical ability of the highest order and is responsible for creating the nonhuman "automata" that populate the land immediately around his home.' - Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, page 34.

The hardest thing is pegging down the time period of the height of the City of the Gods culture. I think the City of the Gods must have been a going prospect during the early decades of the Baklunish-Suloise wars, since without it there wouldn't be much for the Suel to ally with. It's gone and swallowed by the Black Ice by the time the Zeai sea barbarians arrive during or slightly after the Great Migrations era, though, so there's not much of a window for it to have collapsed in the meantime (probably only a century or two; enough time for the Suel refugees fleeing the Rain of Colorless Fire to degenerate into barbarians in the distant Thillonrian Peninsula and then to sail to Blackmoor from there)). Probably the Black Ice was already advancing by the time of the Baklunish Suloise wars, and may even have surrounded the city by that point, but the gear madness had not yet destroyed the civilization until later in that period. It's been suggested by some that the Black Ice was somehow caused by the Rain of Colorless Fire, that it was a reaction to it, though others vehemently reject the theory (since the two phenomena are so far apart).
Last edited by ripvanwormer on Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7925
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: [Greyhawk] Blackmoor on Oerth

Post by Chimpman » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:22 pm

These are great references rip! so thanks for posting them. Yet another reason for me to pull out my old mags and thumb through them for gems to find.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 25128
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: [Greyhawk] Blackmoor on Oerth

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:53 pm

I wish I knew enough about Blackmoor to be able to help with this sort of thing.

Good luck with your research.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

Post Reply

Return to “Blackmoor”