Proper Name: Free Lands of Dyvers
Ruler: Her Excellency Larissa Hunter, Magister of Dyvers (NG female human Fighter L12)
Government: Democratic meritocracy: magister elected for undefined term of office, on the basis of personal achievement, by the Gentry of Dyvers (minor nobles, landowners, and wealthy merchants)
Capital: Free and Independent City of Dyvers
Major Towns: Dyvers (pop. 52,000), Caltaran (870), Maraven (530)
Provinces: Dyvers the city (a major noble fief), plus six lordships (minor noble fiefs) over two villages (Caltaran and Maraven) and surrounding countryside
Resources: Shipbuilding supplies, foodstuffs (fish, meat, cheeses, local ales), clothing
Coinage: [Modified Furyondy] citadel (pp), wheatsheaf (gp), galley (ep), wagon (sp), common (cp)
Population: 128,000—Human 79% (Osfbr), Gnome 8%, Halfling 6% (lightfoot), Elf 3% (high 50%, sylvan 50%), Dwarf 2% (hill), Half-elf 1%, Half-orc 1%
Languages: Common, Rhopan, Gnome, Halfling
Alignments: N*, LG, NG, LN, CN
Religions: Zilchus*, St. Cuthbert, Pelor, Fharlanghn, many others
Allies: Furyondy, Veluna, Verbobonc, Greyhawk (weak)
Enemies: Iuz, Pomarj, orcs of the Gnarley Forest
Overview: The city of Dyvers is located in perhaps the most lucrative trading nexus in all the Flanaess, a fact that has benefited it greatly throughout its long history. The city’s position on the southern banks of the mouth of the Velverdyva River allows Dyvers to capture the flow of trade from markets such as Schwartzenbruin, Highfolk Town, Thornward, and Verbobonc. Of course, trade flows up the Velverdyva, as well, so Dyvers sees much traffic from the Nyr Dyv and her various port cities. Accordingly, Dyvers is a reflection of many cultures—even the common barkeep can make change in a dozen different coinage systems.
Notable settlements and locations within the Free Lands:
- Castle Eastguard
- East Gate Island (Shrockhom)
- Great Crown Island
- Leviathan Rock
- West Gate Island
- Zendrelda’s Tower
The Free Lands of Dyvers consist of approximately 2,000 square miles on the southern bank of the Velverdyva, including four river islands, the verges of the Gnarley Forest, and the northernmost tip of the wooded Kron Hills. The land nearest the free city is suitable for farming and is leased to freemen by the Gentry of Dyvers, a collection of noble families who proudly trace their lineage back to the city’s Aerdi founders. The wild lands beyond the farms are technically owned by the less influential members of the Gentry, but are in fact populated primarily by lawless woodsmen, sylvan elves, and no few fairies, who of course pay tribute to no human lord.
A number of small villages dot the Free Lands of Dyvers. The most notable is Maraven, a burgeoning eastern town near the border with the lands of Greyhawk. Maraven straddles the highly traveled Greyhawk Road, and in the past played the Gentry of Dyvers against the Directing Oligarchy of Greyhawk, managing to remain neutral even through periods of heavy skirmishing between the cities. In recent years, however, the Magister of Dyvers, Larissa Hunter, put an end to this intrigue, stationing a castle to the east of Maraven, solidifying a hold on eastern nobles whose support was once tenuous at best.
Dyvers enjoys temperate weather throughout much of the year, with some accumulation of ice on the Velverdyva in deep winter. Due to its immense size and perhaps magical properties, the Lake of Unknown Depths does not freeze in cold weather; Dyvers runs shipping operations year round. Crews are mindful of the monstrous predators of the lake, however, and prepare accordingly.
The elite of Dyvers’ small military forces are the Free Marines, 1,500 well equipped and trained mariners who double as passable cavalry and infantry in times of crisis. Most troops are in the Free Army, roughly three thousand humans carrying either polearms or short spears and shields. The current magister achieved great success in the wars as the captain of this able force.
History: Long a trade port, Dyvers was also the capital of Aerdy’s Viceroyalty of Ferrond. In that role, it served as a welcome port to goods and travelers who braved the unexplored shores of the Nyr Dyv. The palace of the viceroy rivaled that of his colleagues in the west, and its domed central structure and austere stone towers have long been cited in travelogues as among the finest examples of Oeridian architecture.
By 254 CY, the degradation of the Great Kingdom had grown too profound for the lords of the west. In that seminal year, the heir to Viceroy Stinvri was proclaimed King Thrommel I. The Viceroyalty of Ferrond was no more. In its place stood a vast independent kingdom, Furyondy, with Dyvers as its cosmopolitan capital.
Dyvers had been the region’s capital for more than 150 years. Despite the grandeur of the palace grounds and the long tradition, however, Thrommel and his newly installed court desired a grander seat for their new realm. A short time after the coronation, plans were drawn for a new capital, Chendl, far to the north. By 288 CY, the king had abandoned the “City of Sails” for his new seat of power, the meticulously crafted architectural wonder of Chendl.
In the ensuing centuries, Dyvers slid further from the affairs of central Furyondy. With the construction of the new port city of Willip, on the Nyr Dyv’s northern shore, much traffic from the north and east was diverted from Dyvers, and the region entered an economic slump. At this time, Greyhawk entered a period of expansion and wealth that served as a mixed blessing for Dyvers. Increased wealth to the southeast meant the creation of new markets and an invigorated flow of goods and coin. It also meant increased territorial ambition on behalf of the Landgraf of Selintan, Greyhawk’s traditional ruler. While both cities grew richer, a bitter rivalry developed. Dyvers, once the center of learning, art, and culture in the west, saw much of its influence sapped by the upstart city that had deemed itself, without bothering to confer with the Gentry, the “ Gem of the Flanaess.”
The people of Dyvers are a mercantile folk, prone to cutting corners to achieve profit. Furyondy’s relationship with Veluna troubled the freethinking folk of the city, as Veluna’s cleric rulers were highly principled, rather ascetic, and encouraged great donations to church coffers. When many cities in Furyondy established a code of “canon law,” replete with church courts stocked with Raoan doctrine and Cuthbertine punishments, the Gentry of Dyvers decided that enough was enough. Preparing for the worst, they informed the crown of their intention to split from Furyondy in 526 CY. Perhaps because Furyondy feared the growing power of Greyhawk and felt it needed an ally in the region, Thrommel II, the reigning monarch, allowed the secession to pass unchallenged.
In recent years, Dyvers has gained the unfortunate reputation of being a good place to “get lost”—or, rather, to lose one’s pursuers. After the Horde of Elemental Evil was routed at Emridy Meadows, some adherents to darkness who did not flee to the Wild Coast instead traveled north to Dyvers, bolstering the criminal element in the city. In part because of the aftermath of that conflict, the Gentry of Dyvers live in fear of Turrosh Mak’s Pomarj “empire” and have even charted out wholesale evacuation plans for the city in the event of invasion (the populace fleeing to either Furyondy or Verbobonc).
The aftermath of the Greyhawk Wars brought at least one important change to Dyvers. The city had never enjoyed a warm relationship with Furyondy’s branch of the Knights of the Hart, and when some knights loudly contemplated annexation of the city for King Belvor, public anxiety grew to an all-time high. The city’s Magister, Margus, failed to adequately address the concerns of his public, letting the matter slip by without comment. This led to his ouster in 585 CY and the subsequent election of its fiery army commander, Larissa Hunter, as the new Magister. Hunter is patriotic to a fault, continually rubbing Greyhawk and Furyondy’s noses in minor trade victories, and shortening no few tempers in foreign lands. Still, she has captured the hearts of her people and is a popular sovereign.
Conflicts and Intrigues: Rhennee Bargefolk now inhabit the four islands of the city’s River Quarter, causing trouble. Two Free Marines ships were captured by pirates late last year; among the missing is a wizard, Rashaman of Safeton, Larissa Hunter’s husband. Outlying farms in the south now suffer raids by orcs, gnolls, and ogres from deep in the Gnarley Forest.
G Holian, E Mona, SK Reynolds, F Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. 2000