War and Aftermath

It is a tribute to Ivid’s incompetence that a nation with the vast armies and resources that the Great Kingdom had was fought to a standstill by much smaller Nyrond. For all the excellence of the Nyrondese armies, and their superb morale and training, Ivid should have been able to crush them.

Instead, such trivial diversions as Osson’s raid into Ahlissa and Medegia brought out the very worst in Ivid. He became utterly obsessed about such matters and ordered appalling reprisals, verging on genocide, against the people of those lands. He saw it as punishment for treachery in not dealing with such affronts to His Imperial Majesty.

Convinced of treachery among his nobles, he invoked a unique new form of ensuring their obedience. With Hextor’s priests and the aid of fiends, he had the nobles slain and brought back to unlife as powerful undead creatures—animuses. He thought that by eliminating their human weaknesses and he could be certain of the loyalty of wholly acquiescent zombie-leigemen.

What he actually had, however, was a large number of very powerful and embittered monsters who retreated to their own lands and simply defied him.

In response, Ivid began executing as many traitors (the vast majority of them imagined traitors) as he could get his once-elite Companion Guard to lay their hands on. Rauxes was awash with blood; by the end of the wars, its population was barely above half its pre-war total.

The supreme irony is that Ivid himself is an animus now. After an assassin’s poisoned and enchanted dagger struck him, only this revivification process was able to prevent his death. Still, the process failed in some crucial respect, as Ivid still has the wasting disease he contracted shortly before the wars. The disease appears to be incurable.

Ivid the Undying is dying by the day.

To return to the history of Aerdy: one must add to Ivid’s crimes the decimation of Medegia by troops. This came about because of his rage over the Medegian failure to support him in his military campaigns, the failure to resist Osson’s raids, the execution of the ruler of Ahlissa, and the destruction of Almor.

All these have simply added to the tidal wave of hatred against the overking which is awash within the Aerdy lands. Even his Naelax cousin, ruler of North Province, has seceded from the kingdom.

Yet, the sheer terror which Ivid still inspires prevents many of the princes from acting directly against him. The legacy of more than 130 years of Naelax rule through fear cannot be shaken off in a few years.

Ivid signed the Pact of Greyhawk to give himself time to prepare for a final, crushing onslaught of Nyrond. Yet, that will almost certainly never come – at least not from Ivid himself.

The mad overking can claim direct control over not much more than a few hundred square miles around Rauxes. And his leigemen find pursuing their own squabbles building their own empires within old Aerdy – much more interesting than sending their armies to Nyrond. They have no intention of leaving their own landholdings vulnerable to opportunistic conquest by their neighbors.

Ivid believes himself to command great provincial armies, which have in actual fact long marched homewards.

Aerdy is now a nation-state no longer. The greatest of all empires of the Flanaess has passed into history.

Carl Sargent. Greyhawk Adventures, Ivid the Undying, 1995

The Former Great Kingdom of Aerdy

War and Aftermath

Greyhawk Samaryllis Samaryllis