History of Oerth
Oerik is generally known to be the largest of the four continents of Oerth, though only its eastern extent, the Flanaess, is reasonably well known. (What is not known about the Flanaess, however, could fill a thousand libraries.) The Flanaess is regarded by its inhabitants as “the center of enlightened humanity,” though tales are often told of foreign civilizations of advanced aspect whose nature and customs would astound even the most cosmopolitan wayfarer from the City of Greyhawk.
The Time of the Gods
The war between Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh continued throughout the ages in world after world. The battles of this war soiled each place that they touched and produced betrayals and atrocities that authored line after line in The Book of Sorrows of the elves and The Tales of Greed of the dwarves. Legend tells when this war came to Oerth it was the event that tempted Abbathor to abandon his brethren for ill-gotten gain. It was this war that may have split the drow from the other elven peoples. Though the drow were punished and marked by Corellon for their fabled alliance with Shargaas, the purity and single purpose of the elves was forever shattered. When this war spilled onto Oerth, it began this world’s Epoch of Myth.
Corellon saw Oerth as a planet devoid of any intelligent life: human, demi-human, humanoid or monstrous. During this viewing he saw that Oerth had to be made ready for the Great Struggle that would soon come here too. He wept for yet another world that would be soiled by this eternal conflict. However, to give the world to the Unclean (the orcs and humanoid allies of the orcs) was anathema. His elves needed allies and the orcs needed more enemies.
Corellon likely could count on the dwarves to defend the hills, forests and mountains they would eventually gain on Oerth but he could not count on them as firm allies in the fight against the Unclean. Dwarves and elves had always been less then firm in their love and cooperation with one another. Corellon himself and Moradin never did understand each other’s ways nor did they view the most basic issues in the same light. If orcs were to be fought Moradin and his pantheon would be there for the battle. Likely Clanggedin Silverbeard, dwarfish Father of Battle, brought Flandel Steelskin, gnomish weapon forger, into the fray. Thus gnomes were added to Corellon’s allies, though not by his direct desire or intervention.
Corellon sought out the gods of men because men and their numbers might be needed to oppose the hordes of Gruumsh and his allies. The allies he found were Lendor and Beory. Lendor was the first to pledge his aid. Seeing that he could not possibly be God to all of the men that would be needed to oppose the Unclean, he began the process of bringing forth the other gods that would populate his pantheon. As always good must be balanced by evil, law by chaos and in so doing the allies of the Unclean among men would be created as well.
With a heavy heart, but in honor to his promise to Corellon, Lendor begets Phaulkon and Wee Jas, Osprem and Xerbo and Syrul and Norebo and from these came the rest of the pantheon. These deities were available to the Suel when, in the Epoch of Myth, men would choose their gods.
The new pantheon produced great allies for Corellon Larethian and great disasters. It is said that either Beltar or Syrul told Maglubiyet of the conflict and drew his goblin and hobgoblin hordes into the conflict. Ostensibly they were brought to Oerth to fight the orcs of Gruumsh but that plan turned to dust as they fought humans and demihumans as well once they were established.
Men and dwarves would be allies to the elves in many places on Oerth and in many great battles during many periods of time. Some men would and even some dwarves would, however, ally themselves with the forces of the Unclean, or become masters to their Hordes.
Beory’s hand in this Great War will be left to the scholars of the Flan to disclose.
The History of the Flanaess:
- THE EPOCH OF MYTH
- THE EPOCH OF LEGEND
- TIMELINES OF OERIK
- HEAVENS AND OERTH
Key Milestones in the History of the Flanaess:
- The Great War and Twin Cataclysms
- The Great Migrations
- Keoland and Aerdy
- The Great Kingdom Crumbles
- The Ivids and Iuz
- Prelude to War
- The Greyhawk Wars
- The Great Kingdom Awakens
- The Final Act
- War’s End
- Flight of Fiends
- The Great North Crusade
- Chaos in the North
- A New Great Kingdom
- The Unknown Fate of Rauxes
- Assasinations, War, and Rebellion
- A New Empire is Born
- The Rest of the Once-Great Kingdom
- The Wounded Giant, Nyrond
- Reversals and Change for the Scarlet Sign
- Victories in the Sheldomar Valley
- Other News of Importance
- The World Beyond the Flanaess
Each month has 28 days. Each festival is seven days long.
Climate and Seasons
The Flanaess is exceptionally blessed in regard to its weather. Outside of the northern latitudes, the winter temperatures seldom fall below freezing, except during the two winter months, and at night during early spring and late autumn. In the depths of winter come a few days when the temperature reaches the freezing point, then gradual warming begins. The northeast and north-central regions tend to be considerably colder, for the seas of those regions cause winter to linger about twice as long as it does in the heartland of the Flanaess. An important exception to this is the Dramidj Ocean, whose strange, warm currents moderate the climate of the lands that border it.
Autumn, winter, and spring are rather short seasons, but summer in the central Flanaess lasts five or more months. Prevailing winds are from the northeast in the winter and autumn, and the east and southeast at other times. Most areas of the Flanaess have
sufficient rainfall to assure abundant crops.
At latitudes above 60 degrees, the phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun can occur. During mid-summer months, the sun never sinks far enough below the horizon to permit total darkness; during mid-winter, there may be days when the sun never rises. At exactly 60 degrees latitude, these effects will occur only on Mid-summer Day (no sunset} and MidWinter Day (no sunrise). For every degree of latitude beyond the 60th parallel toward the poles, these phenomena will each occur for two additional days, one before the midpoint and one after.
The smaller moon (Celene, or The Handmaiden) goes through four cycles each year, becoming full on the middle evening of each of the festivals. This evening, of course, becomes the high point of the celebration, especially in the case of Midsummer’s Night, when those who use druidic spells are gathering mistletoe for the coming year.
Luna, the large moon, makes 13 cycles of 28 days during an Oerth year. Its cycles are linked with those of Celene in a manner that causes both to be full on Midsummer’s Night in Richfest. On Midwinter’s Night, however, only Celene appears; this period is known as the Dark Time, or the Dim Nights, to many superstitious peasants.