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The Rise of a Tyrant...

History of Iuz

Iuz (pronounced eye-ooze), called the Old One and the Lord of Pain, is a cambion who became a demigod, the son of Graz'zt and Iggwilv, and the lover and ally of Zuggtmoy. He rules a nation on the world of Oerth and seeks to conquer more. He has made pacts in the past with some of the Abyssal Lords to provide tanar'ri for his armies, although there was a recent set-back when a holy artifact was used to banish many of his fiendish servitors.

Iuz feels nothing but hatred for Vecna, and the feeling is mutual. Iuz helped banish Vecna to the Demiplane of Dread, and Vecna absorbed the cambion's essence as part of his bid to escape and become a greater deity. Iuz escaped after Vecna's defeat in Sigil, but his fury has not abated.

Physically, Iuz looks like a fat human with reddish skin and demonic features; alternatively, he looks like a small, wizened old man who attacks with an acidic spittle.

Iuz, old Iuz of fearbabe talk, may be human - or may once have been human, but his is not known for certain one way or another. He has ruled the land from the Howling Hills south to Whyestil Lake for longer than any man can live. The lands between the Dulsi and Opicm Rivers are steeped in wickedness and evil, so much so that the otherwise fearless Wolf Nomads and Rovers of the Barrens pass through the Cold Marshes rather than cross even the edge of the Land of Iuz. For a time, the land was leaderless, for Iuz himself was missing. For many decades, the evil of the place was in relative quietude for lack of evil direction, and the neighbors of good ilk prospered. Iuz had been trapped by the mirthful and mad Zagyg, locked away in a strange chamber deep below the ruins of Greyhawk Castle, one of nine powerful demigods so confined. The prisoners were loosed in 570 CY, and once again Iuz rules, and his forces gather for fell purpose. Iuz has vowed to bring ruin on Tenser the Arch-mage and Lord Robilar and the others who tried to slay him when his prison was sprung.

In addition to the many evil clerics, thieves, fighters, assassins, and magic users who have gathered under the grim banner of Iuz, numbers of the foulest tribes of humanoids have grown in strength and are ready to march. Goblins, Orcs, and Hobgoblins in the thousands are known to be in arms, swelling the human contingents of Iuz's armies.

Iuz, the old, is the patron of wickedness. He rules a portion of the Flanaess named after him, holding court in the capitol city of Dorakaa where he plots the conquest and dominion of the entire Oerth. Iuz's wickedness and treachery are infamous throughout the Flanaess, and few creatures living outside his domain even speak his name let alone venerate him. There is great personal enmity between Iuz and St. Cuthbert. Ceremonies venerating Iuz include foul smelling incense or burning dung, the banging of great drums, gongs, or bells. Blood sacrifices are often part of rituals. Altars are usually of bone, and include many skulls. Services to Iuz are held in ancient, filthy, and dark places.

Clerics of Iuz are as cold blooded and malevolent as their deity. They dress in black (their master's favorite color) or blood stained white. All clerics of Iuz are dedicated trophy hunters, taking souvenirs from their defeated foes. A cleric's status is partially determined by the number of trophies in their collection, particularly skulls.

Meanwhile, in the far north, an obscure nobleman of the Howling Hills died and left his fief to his "son", a being known as Iuz. As Iuz quickly embarked on a campaign of conquest against his neighbors, it became apparent that he was no man at all, but rather the fiendish offspring of a necromancer and a demon. With the majority of rulers then more concerned with surviving the harsh political climate of the rapidly-disintegrating Great Kingdom, Iuz's influence continued to grow unchecked. Eventually, his depraved human and orcish followers came to worship him as a god, and the worst fears of goodly folk across the Flanaess were realized when Iuz's priests began to manifest powerful magical ability granted by their newly-ascended diety.

Things finally came to a head nine years ago, when Iuz's trickery touched off a transcontinental war the likes of which the Flanaess had never seen. Whole nations quickly fell to the forces of evil and the apparent destruction of the last Naelax Overking, an undead madman known as Ivid the Undying, signaled the final dissolution of the Great Kingdom. By the time an uneasy (and surely temporary) end to hostilities was finally negotiated, the news was grim: Large sections of the northern Flanaess were lost to the Empire of Iuz, while several key southern lands had been usurped by the sinister Scarlet Brotherhood, a secretive order of Suel monks dedicated to a doctrine of world conquest and militant racial supremacy.

History of The Flanaess

From what we understand, the history of the Flanaess began with only a group of people called Flanne or the Flan. They were the simple hunter type. In the west however there were two other races of people. One was the Suel Imperium and the other was the Baklunish Empire. They ended up waging war upon one another for year after year. It went on and on until the inevitable refugees began to filter across into the east, the Suel gang heading into the west part of the Flanaess and the Baklunish group along with a tribe of humans called Oeridians headed toward the north and very center of the Flanaess.

The war finally ended with fierce magic exchanged destroying the Suloise and Baklunish lands. The Baklunish calmed down a bit after their homeland was destroyed by the Suel and they turned the Suel Imperium into what is now the Sea of Dust. They set up shop on the east side of the Dramidj Ocean. The Suloise and Oeridian survivors however still had a bit of spunk left so they fought all over the central Flanaess with one another and everyone else that happened to already live there. Nice fellows, aye?

Apparently this went on for two centuries. It turns out that the Oeridians controlled most of the Flanaess by alliances with the Flanne and demihuman groups against the Suel. From this rose the Great Kingdom that controlled almost all of the Flanaess. It began to fall apart though after three hundred years in 254 CY when Ferrond became what is now Furyondy and then eventually became Furyondy and Veluna. Slowly but surely other states, provinces and countries began to emerge by revolt, civil feuding, and then decisions to secede from the Great Kingdom due to outlandish taxation happening in the south.

While all this was going on in the east, over in the west a little place called Keoland also began to rise and expand in power. It was created by less violent members of the Suel and Oeridian tribes. It grew to quite an impressive size reaching from the Crystalmists to the Pomarj. But of course over time it lost nearly everything it had gained while to the north the Baklunish had become horse nomads and ruled the northern steppes. The time when the city of Greyhawk reached its first time of 'aren't we wonderful' was in 375 CY. Before this though, orcs were growing like crazy and took over the Pomarj in 513 CY.

Insert Iuz. Here comes this half-demon, half-human called Iuz the Old. He suddenly appears and grabs his own set of lands to the north of the Shield Lands and the Nyr Dyv. Then a group called the Scarlet Brotherhood comes into play. They've been isolated in an area called the Tilvanot Peninsula and their major aim is to make the Suloise race the master race of the Flanaess. They were discovered around 373 CY. They have their fingers into everything including the manipulating of governments through their agents and a very frightening practice of cross breeding monsters and humans basically to simply see what they can make.

The Greyhawk Wars

In the year 582 CY was when everything began. It started in the north with the barbarians in the Hold of Stonefist. There was a tale going around that all but one of five magical swords called the Swords of Corusk had been found. When the final one was located a rumor had begun that a great god would come and lead them to greatness. The sword was never found but a man named Vatun suddenly appeared out of nowhere and claimed to be this great god and led three tribes of the barbarians against Stonefist. Stonefist was taken and suddenly their leader changed his allegiance. It's believed this was done magically.

In the same year under the leadership of Vatun, the Fists moved in and occupied the Duchy of Tenh. No one bothered to help them because they were of priggish Suloise decent. Apparently due to their arrogance everyone must have sat back and smiled as they were invaded. Soon though Vatun made a mistake and his gathering of hordes collapsed. He commanded the barbarians to invade Ratik, but they flatly refused. There had been a long standing alliance between the barbarians and Ratik against humanoids native to the Bone March. Doubt began to grow as to this Great God of the North Vatun. Of course the barbarian's great god was none other than Iuz the Old in disguise. But Iuz no longer needed them. He was ready to move on into the east and west.

Iuz moved into the Horned Society with the aid of fiends running through the streets of Molag. Iuz set up station and began to rule from that city. Furyondy stood up and took notice at this point and in a near panic beseeched an alliance with the Shield Lands. Afraid that Furyondy was trying nothing more than a bold attempt at annexation they refused. For their folly they fell to Iuz's main body of troops along with the Bandit Kingdoms.

Furyondy held its eastern border in CY 583 with the Battle of Critwall Bridge while in the north Crockport was taken after a massive force of humanoid mercenaries moved into the capital Chendl. Many battles still waged and finally it was that Furyondy and Iuz were drained. Then suddenly the Great Kingdom struck out with great masses and on more than one front.

Even though Nyrond was wary of Aerdy, they moved in and attacked at the Fists that were rampaging through the Duchy of Tenh. Once there they found they couldn't stand against them long and then their assumptions about Aerdy proved correct. Aerdy moved south and southeast into the Iron League, west into Almor and inevitably toward Nyrond. During the winter of that year things settled a bit. The Iron League allied with Nyrond but then a secession split the League. A Prince of the Lordship of the Isles was replaced by a cousin who announced his favor of the Scarlet Brotherhood. And then Nyrond also had to watch out for the Bone March that began threatening it as well as Ratik. Things seemed more settled in the west, but Iuz had been far from sitting on his hands. He was welcomed in Ket who saw chances to annex Bissel. Once spring came in CY 584 bloody battles began all over again.

All of a sudden the orcs of the Pomarj rose up out of nowhere with a half-orc leader. They moved into the eastern sections of the Principality of Ulek and also the southern lands of the Wild Coast. Queen Yolande of Celene refused to aid in any way so the orcs were stopped at the Pass of Celene by dwarves, gnomes, humans and a few elves. All were outraged and infuriated at the Queen over this. But the half-orc leader, Turrosh Mak, was happy with what he'd taken and he knew there was no force strong enough anywhere nearby to pose a threat to him.

In the north Ket made its move against Bissel and eventually Bissel had to surrender. It may have not happened that way but at this same time a horde of giants and humanoids moved out of the Crystalmist Mountains and right into the Grand Duchy of Geoff, Sterich, and Yeomanry. It was called the giant troubles and no one agreement has been reached on what caused it. It is believed that Zuggtmoy, freed from the Temple of Elemental Evil held an alliance with Iuz and along with Underdark aid from Lolth drew the giants out. The object of it all was to give the Keoland and Furyondy alliance something else to worry about from the west while tied up in the north with Iuz therefore making it impossible to overrun Iuz's forces.

Belvor of Furyondy along with elves and rangers from the Vesve Forest did defeat Iuz's drive into Furyondy, secured Chendl and Veluna held off Kettite.

The utter collapse of the Great Kingdom happened with the secession of the North Province. Triggering this secession was Overking Ivid V who was decidedly mad and executed his own nobles in charge of directing the armies when his attempts on Nyrond failed. After this he had them raised again as undead. Nyrond defeated Aerdy and the nobles of the Great Kingdom had Ivid assassinated. Then the priests of Hextor appeared and raised Ivid to undead status. Now instead of simple executions he implored whole massacres. Therefore along with help from the humanoids of the Bone March the North Province said goodbye to the Great Kingdom leaving nothing more than infantile states, most ruled by undead.

The Scarlet Brotherhood had supported the Iron League merely to have something between themselves and Ivid. When the Great Kingdom fell apart however, the Brotherhood wanted the Iron League to surrender. When this demand was met with refusal the Brotherhood retorted with its usual flair and assassinations of nobles and rulers suddenly became very common. The Brotherhood took over the Azure Sea and along with the Sea Prince's land they wanted Gradsul, but couldn't manage it. Not all of the Iron Leauge met with a tragic end. In Ironwall Cobb Darg had always known support came from the Brotherhood and as Idee and Onnwal were falling to the group he had every agent of the Brotherhood executed or exiled. Also the swamps of Sunndi held off all attempts on it.

Then finally at the close of 584 CY of all people the Scarlet Brotherhood began spreading word of peace. In Harvester of 584 CY in the Free City of Greyhawk, untouched by the war, came the Day of the Great Signing. But something happened in the Grand Hall where the peace treaty was to be signed. No one knows exactly what happened, but apparenty after a magical battle ensued through Old City two members of the Circle of Eight were dead, unable to be resurrected, their clones destroyed. Otiluke and Tenser. It is said that one of their own, Rary of Ket turned traitor for unkown reasons slaying two of his own. Rary fled with Lord Robilar to the Bright Desert. Why this occured, no one knows for sure.

Despite this The Pact of Greyhawk was signed and that was the 'official' end to the Greyhawk Wars. Border skirmishes and the like continued on and areas formed counterstrikes to regain lost lands for several years beyond Harvester of 584 CY.

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