Thursday, November 8, 2018

OSR Commentary - The World of Greyhawk's Cracks of Evil Across The Planes In Your Old School Campaigns

I've had my back against the wall with work for some days now & I've been going over the classic  Greyhawk box set again. The Rain of Colorless Fire is one of the defining events in Greyhawk that completely & utterly wiped out the Suel Empire. Utterly & completely the peoples of  Suel are no longer a power upon the face of Greyhawk. Their war against  the Baklunish was the stuff of legend as the Invoked Devastation ravaged the face of Oerth. Were these change of events caused by the use of cross planar  magical rituals  & Elemental weapons?! I believe the answer is yes.

There's been very little trace of the Suel Empire per say except some new in the recent fifth edition Against the Giant events from Wizards of The Coast. 

There seem to whole cloth artifacts & magic rites associated with the Invoked Devestation & the Rain of Colorless Fire.  But do these events also include the use of incredibly advanced relics & lost technologies as well!?! Well the Greyhawk Grognard blog/site gives some very dedicated insight into this;
"And, to be fair, this doesn’t have to be inconsistent with the “official” version, either. Nothing says that the invocation of the power from the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash didn’t take place at Tovag Baragu. Indeed, the fact that it has some connection to other planes is a point in favor of this theory.
Many fans of Greyhawk have come up with their own inventive backstories for the Rain of Colorless Fire and its Baklunish-destroying counterpart, the Invoked Devastation. They range from ancient Baklunish artifacts to nuclear weapons to meteors from Greyspace to the use of the mysterious artifact/ruin Tovag Baragu. I’m sure there are many others."

Could all of these cataclysmic events help to explain the existence of a multiplicity of different versions of Blackmoor & Greyhawk locations scattered across the planes?! I think so & I also think it could help to explain the reach of two or more of Blackmoor's most infamous factions. The Great Migrations across the face of the Flanaess may have also lead to other worlds. Planar seams & shifts in reality of both Greyhawk & Blackmoor allow many peoples to escape. But its allowed the Egg of Coot to slowly blend into the background of Greyhawk over the centuries.
The Egg of Coot as a Relic by Havard. goes into some of the details of the Egg's machinations. The egg doesn't make waves on Greyhawk.. yet but its cult continues to spread here & there on Greyhawk. Greyhawk's Archbarony of Blackmoor is silent & deadly quietly going about its business. There's a solidly done section about Greyhawk's Blackmoor over at the Blackmoor Archives.

The second faction from the classic Blackmoor campaign that's active in the steaming jungles of Greyhawk & beyond is the Froggies.
DA2 Temple Of The Frog Dungeon Module has another location deep in the jungles of Greyhawk slowly biding its time. And you can bet your last gold piece Saint Stephen of the Rock has been very busy across the face of Oerth.

And if all of this is going on Greyhawk then what the Hell is happening in the Mystara & Greyhawk locations way in Mystara's ancient past?! I've talked about the Shared Mystara/Greyhawk elements from the site . before but what if these two adventure & fiction elements co existing are no accident. What if these elements are the uneasy result of two planes of reality co mingling together because of a dimensional cataclysm eons ago?!
What does this mean for Calidar?! Well it means that Calidar could be next in the path of a planar invasion that its sky ship wandering inhabitants might not even be aware of!?

In CC1
Beyond the Skies we get a whole load of Calidar gods, demons, etc. & scattered throughout there are several hints & outright illusions to the weird high fantasy aspect of this venerable Bruce Heard setting. These include several mentions of dimensional or planar instabilities these could well be cracks caused by the Invoked Devastation of old.

But where are these planar cracks & dimensional weirdness leading?! Is any place safe?! Could the world of Arduin be next or your campaign?! Next time we follow the winding path through the spirals of imagination & see where they take us!

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