Monday, April 26, 2010

Garham to Greyhawk Campaign Primer

[Required reading for every new Garham to Greyhawk Campaign player.]

The planet you are on is called Oerth (like our Earth in some ways). The continent you are on is called Oerik. You are in the eastern portion of Oerik, known as the Flanaess (like Europe in some ways). The year is 610 CY (the rough equivalent to the beginning of our 16th century).

This is the central Flanaess. To the north is a great lake known as the Nyr Dyv, or Lake of Unknown Depths. Between you and the Nyr Dyv is a range of hills known as the Menhir Hills or, more commonly, the Cairn Hills. They are called the Cairn Hills because they are famous for the cairns, or burial tombs, of an ancient people scattered through the hills.

Thirty-one miles to the northwest as the crow flies is the City of Greyhawk. It is famous for being the most powerful free city-state in the Flanaess. You have never been there. The route there is a two-day journey on foot and fairly dangerous, winding south around the Grey Pools Mire and the infamous Castle Greyhawk, renowned for its endlessly deep dungeons – a magnet for both adventurers and monsters alike, even though rumor has it that the dungeons were emptied years ago. No, if there is anything you have needed from a larger city, the trip downriver to Yggsburgh is just six hours along the Ellery River and usually much safer.

What you call home is the Town of Garham, home to 1,273 people on the west bank of Diamond Fish Lake. Once, Garham was a wild and corrupt mining town called simply Diamond Lake. Fifteen years ago, Diamond Lake was caught up in a plot by cultists operating out of the Cairn Hills to raise an undead army and attack the City of Greyhawk. Five years ago, one of the adventurers who had stopped the cult returned home to Diamond Lake a local hero and helped clean up the corruption in the town. His name was Tolliver Garham and he became so popular with the people that they offered him the job of governor. When he refused and insisted on the lesser job of garrison commander, the town was renamed after him for both his exploits and his selflessness.

Some mining of iron and silver still goes on in Garham, though not as much as it once did. Many miners have left. There was a time when Diamond Fish Lake was so polluted that it was unfishable, but druids came and spent eight years praying over the lake until it was purified. Those druids have not been seen in eight years, but fishermen have been drawn to the area ever since, so much so that the principle occupation in Garham today is now fishing instead of mining. The still-active mines are in the rocky crags north of the town.

The end of the 6th century on the Common Year calendar is widely regarded as having been an Age of Heroes. Adventurers seemed to spring up from every community to go on quests and route out monsters from lairs and dungeons far afield, only to return home with treasures of magic and riches enough to build castles and hold the lands around them. Garham seemed to be the last of his generation, for Diamond Lake – or Garham, has not produced an adventurer in the last four years. Until now.

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