The Writings of Markus De'Soltier IV



Jan 02, 2004 8:02:23
My Dear and Respected Fellows of the Order of Literati,

I respectfully submit this minor documentation of the cultural differentiation between the species of humans in the Flanaess.

I have noted, somewhat thankfully, that humans, despite their short lifespans and thus relatively fast evolution (see: Evolutionary Theory, Iseldarn of Chathold) through generational change, are somewhat resistant to the background effect of magic in oerth.

A rather interesting fact, to be sure, but one best left for discussion in another document. I mention it simply because of the seemingly profound effect it has on the longer lived races and their strong differentiation throughout their sub-species. Prime examples include the differences between the so called, 'Grey Elves' and 'High Elves and a distant relative known as the 'Grugach'. Though all distinctly elven, all are also distinctly different in appearance, culture and even physical ability.

A Baklunish man, however, is much the same as an Oeridien man, despite different skin colours, attitudes and demeanors.

I believe this is due to humanites in born resistance to the magical effects of the Oerth. Elves have always been known to be in harmony with such magics and so it is no wonder they are readily affected by it, enough so that they are changed radically throughout only a few generations.

Dwarves support this theory, as they are heavily resistant to magic and thus despite cultural differences, there is naught to be said for the differentiation between a mountain and hill dwarf.

So, what are the differences within our species?

Such will be explained in a further document. For now, I must attend to my duties. I encourage everybody to think upon these differences and inform me of them by the usual means.

Markus De'Soltier IV
12th Tier Scholar of the Wintershiven Academy of History & Divine Lore
Honoured Member of the Order of Literati
Former Theocracy of the Pale Ambassador to Rel Mord
Loyal Servant to the Theocrat


Jan 02, 2004 8:12:17
Yes, there's a point to this.

Pick a region, any region, that is dominated by humans, of any of the human subraces, and point out something unique about them and discuss it. For instance... an old flan tradition is to keep a plant outside the house as a 'family tree'. The health of that tree is an indicaiton of the fortune of that family.

How does this affect a player character? Is there a mystic bond between plant and human, a sacred trust from the far off origins of the flan before the migrations and their connection to the Old Faith? If you harm the plant, do you harm the family, or is this just myth and superstition?


Jan 02, 2004 12:46:39
Quick question: do you mean to choose and discuss something that's stated in Greyhawk material or do you mean that we make up a tradition or ritual? Because I can do plenty of the second part.


Jan 02, 2004 20:06:37
Anything you want. The idea is to promote creative discussion.

This was spurred by the feats thread. I figured I'd try and get people to post and discuss various aspects of the human cultures on oerth, that would lead to some creative work being done, like feats or whatnot.


Jan 02, 2004 21:52:19
Ok, well I'll make one up then.

Oeridians in Furyondy suffering a death of family or a friend will often douse themselves in ice water during the mourning ceremony. This is meant to bring the mourner "back to reality" and to realize that their loved one is gone.

This tradition has seen increased usage since the Greyhawk Wars and many soldiers perform after difficult battles to remind themselves that many more are to be lost and that there is more work to be done.

What does this mean for PC's? Well I think it'd provide some nice roleplaying material to work with if a fellow party member or trusted NPC dies.

I'll try to think of something better, this was just a random thought that popped into my head.


Jan 02, 2004 22:31:07
Nah, that's just the kind of thing I'm hoping to get discussion on.

Perhaps it could be tied in to the gods Procan, Atroa, Velnius, Wenta, Sotillion and Telchur?

"Life came from the sea, and to the sea, all life will return," is Procan's motto. He is the father of the wind gods, including Atroa who is also the oeridien goddess of renewal and many earth cultures believe in life after death and rebirth, which is what renewal is all about.

Perhaps the water could be salty as well? Maybe the ritual could include a pinch of salt added to icy water (that'd suit Telchur to a tea), or even ale (that could include Wenta), or something.

Eh, just some random thoughts.


Jan 02, 2004 23:30:29
Gnomish Travellers Test of the Kron Hills

While the wee folk of the Kron hills tend to avoid contact in most cases with the larger types wandering though their land a few will trade from time to time with merchants and adventurers.
Prior to being granted rest and succor in one of their villages the elders first put the newcommers to a test. One of the village warriors, usually a ranger, will obtain a baby bird or or other non dangerous baby mamal and get one of the children of the village (or an advanced illusion of one if they are particually wary) to present it to the travellers. Typically the most vocal one who makes themselves out to be a groups leader, urged on by the child to return the animal to the nest is all that is required to pass the test.
If the animal is returned then they are made honourary gnomes for their time they stay in the village.
If the animal isnt, then the village fades out around the travellers under illusions and the gnomes retreat until they leave.

ex-Elriche of House Tormtor


Jan 03, 2004 0:17:57
The above is pretty cool, nothing to add, but figured I'd say I like it.


Jan 03, 2004 1:42:05
Well I like the Oeridian water thing. I also like the way Delglath expanded on it. Perhaps in the Sheldomar Valley an old oeridian ritual is to drink to the passing of a loved one or friend in hopes that their new journey will be just as good as thier firstor even better.
While the oeridian people of Furyondy Veluna and Nyrond might dose their heads in a river or steam perferred or in a puddle or bowl of cold water. So that those who passed on will find a familiar spot in their new forms. It is also used to help those who mourn their passing realize that life goes on.

These are just a few ways to expand on both Delglath and Coldpenguin ideas.

You could have the baklunish people collect a sample of earth usaually sand. To either pass on to their kindred or to scatter to the winds of time. Worshiper's of Istus tend to blow or let the winds of Fate take the earth from where a corspe lies or will lay from their hands. While others worshippers may keep earth or in some cases ashes fro their dead in decorative urns and believe it is a good omen to keep ones relatives with them.

Among the Paynim tribes a common practice is to wear a small pouch of which the remains of all of their kindred whom they met from the time of their birth are kept. This way one is always with family and has ties to the other world. This way the living members may protect their souls from evil spirits.

Once again just another thought but this is my addition on this theme.


Jan 05, 2004 17:29:59
Prior to the recent wars it was the custom in the Great Kingdom to bury the dead within great vaults with treasures gained in life. Even the poorest peasant could look forward to a burial in an ancestral tomb set into a hillside, even if he or she was simply stacked on top of other corpses. It was considered sacrilege prepare the corpse in any way. The body would be placed in its finest garb and placed in the tomb with select items of worth or import.

Maybe since the end of the Greyhawk wars or even since the reign of Ivid the Undying many more folk would burn their dead instead of burying them due to the whole Animus thing...This would cause a problem with old traditions vs. outright necessity.