Races of the Dragonshead
The humans predominant within Onnwal today hail from two main racial groupings: the Oerid and the Suel. The only clues to the Flan (the original inhabitants of the area) presence (apart from a few scattered descendants living in the Headlands) are the survival of several impressive hillforts on the fringes of the Headlands and the periodic discoveries of ancient burial mounds. The latter seem to fall into two categories: burial sites that have been discovered in the course of sinking foundations for new buildings or those that survive in their natural state in the countryside.
Of the modern-day human inhabitants of the Dragonshead Peninsula, there are very few examples of pure breed Suel or Oerid, except in the Eastern Marchlands, where pure Oerids predominate. Most have a typically muddied background, borrowing characteristics from both races, although the Oeridian influence is predominant in most individuals. Onnwalons are a fair-haired race – various shades of blond and auburn being the most common hues. Predominantly grey-eyed, some individuals have pale blue or even violet eyes. The climate has given most Onnwalish at least a slight tan, although those who spend much time outdoors, such as sailors and soldiers, tend to develop a light dusting of freckles on exposed skin areas.
The Onnwalish style of clothing runs to wide-legged pantaloons with a lightweight vest to cover their chests all in basic, solid colours. In cold weather, a cape or cloak is added to keep the chill air at bay. Here, an Oeridian influence can be detected as many Onnwalons add a necktie, hat, or sash with a checked pattern.
As to temperament, they take much from their Suel and Oerid ancestry. Stubborn and proud, they can be aggressive and quick to anger. They have a strongly developed sense of community – a legacy of the almost constant attacks by the South Province – and a strong awareness of the strength that can be gained from family. Family is very important to these folk and many know their ancestry back several generations.
Scarlet Brotherhood – Suel
Most examples of pureblood Suel in Onnwal are members of the occupying Brotherhood forces. They are uniformly fair-skinned (some being albinos) and their hair colour is similarly light – strawberry blondes, yellows, and platinum predominating. Their eye colour ranges from pale blue and violet through to deep blue – a very few have grey eyes. They tend to wear loose-fitting pantaloons and airy blouses of solid colours. Red is the favourite colour (unsurprisingly) but white and light blue are also popular. Many monks refuse to wear any colour but red. When it is particularly hot, a lightweight vest is substituted in place of the blouse and when the weather cools, light robes are added.
They love adornments, particularly broaches, with people of high rank having them fashioned out of silver or green, red, or yellow gold. Items of lesser value are carved from ivory, bone, and rare woods. Much of the jewellery also contains semi-precious stones, the colours of which are chosen to contrast the colours of the rest of the piece. Monks tend to wear black or white jewellery, made of blackened or white gold. Some examples of these are ancient, created before the Twin Cataclysms. Many are old and bear the family crest of the owner (and are therefore easily traceable).
The Brotherhood’s warriors, imported to the peninsula from Hepmonland, are originally of Suel descent. A millennium in the reeking jungles of the south has altered them – many are now at least as deeply tanned as the average Oeridian (though they do throw up the occasional albino) and freckles are common. Hair colours are, if anything, slightly lighter than mainland Suel – there are some redheads amongst the population, but this approaches auburn in hue. Eye colour is likewise as the Suel of the Brotherhood. Many of the savages wear nothing but a loincloth, although some add a simple cloth covering over their shoulders, particularly when it is cold. In Onnwal many wear stiff leather sandals and tie fur around their ankles, perhaps trying to invoke protective magicks. They are, however, decorative people; tattooing and body painting of spiral and barred- spiral patterns being common amongst them. Similarly, primitive jewellery is common consisting of bone, animal skin and body parts, bright stones, pebbles, and simple metal items.
The warriors also wear no armour, preferring to go into battle unencumbered – although a few have been seen to use shields. Their weapons are predominantly constructed of wood, sharpened bone, animal horn, and stone – mainly wooden spears tipped with bone or horn, bone short bows (with stone or bone tipped arrows), stone axes, and stone knives.
More warriors imported by the Brotherhood, the Hochebi were chosen for their lawful natures and fighting prowess. Used primarily by the Brotherhood to battle the Dwur and Noniz of the Headlands, many bands of Hochebi have left behind rebel lines after the Brewfest Rebellion.
Migrating to the Headlands many thousands of years before the Twin Cataclysms, some among these Dwur have a great reverence for Fortubo as well as their own deities.
Believing that Fortubo himself had led them to the Headlands, they established their citadels and holds with the blessings of the already resident Noniz who had already suffered a grievous toll in their war with the humanoids of the area. Dwarvish civilization in the area is centred on three main citadels: Nerakern, Sarakast, and Vergannin.
A Council of Elders currently rules Nerakern, but there used to be a theocracy ruled by the priests of Moradin. Religion is still a very important part of life in the city, with the priests of Moradin ruling in all but name. The citadel itself stands on a small plateau in the Headlands, with its four great towers dominating the skyline. It is built across two great bridges spanning the River Nera (Silverstream). But, as with most other Dwur settlements, most of it is out of sight underground. Many of the walls of the city are decorated with great stone carvings of the Dwur pantheon, although Fortubo is a prominent absentee. Priests of Mordain’s faith consider Fortubo˘s faith pollution of Dwur traditions.
Sarakast is the newest of the major citadels. An offshoot of Nerakern, here rulership is in the hands of a Council of Merchants, who are in negotiations with the priesthood of Zilchus. Sarakast is thought to control many of the passages and caverns that traverse the full length of the Headlands.
Vergannin is the most isolated of the three citadels and is famed for its mighty warriors and skilful smiths. Now, however, the citadel has fallen on hard times with many of its mines being played out. Dwur from here are thought to be busily exploring portions of UnderOerth to locate new sources of precious metals and gems.
Pre-wars the Dwur mined silver and gemstones from the hills, which was then traded with Irongate or Onnwal. Now the trade flows exclusively to Irongate.
The Dwur of the Headlands were allied with the Iron League (at least in matters of defence) and have strenuously resisted the incursions of the Brotherhood into the hills. However, they are dubious about getting involved in human affairs and have so far declined offers to join the Resistance movement in a more active role. Noniz (Gnomes) The first good-aligned inhabitants of the Headlands, the Noniz occupation predates even that of the Flan. Never numerous, the Noniz (with the aid of the Dwur) managed to defeat and drive out the many tribes of Celbit and Jebline that infested the Headlands. The Noniz suffered particularly heavily during this long series of wars and their numbers have still not recovered.
Preferring the protected fertile valleys to the wind-blasted slopes of the hills, the Noniz made their homes deep under the limestone cliffs of the Headlands. Their civilization criss-crosses the Headlands following the valleys that cut through the hills. Their settlements are typically small but within easy travelling distance of others. Baerian Vangaer leads the Noniz of the Headlands.
The Noniz greeted later Dwur migrations with enthusiasm, as their presence was seen to offer increased security to the Noniz. Of a similar mind to the Dwur, the Noniz have declined a more active role in the Resistance although they too have resisted Brotherhood incursions into the hills.
Hobniz migrated to the area during the time of the Great Migrations when successive waves of Oerid and Suel settlers displaced them from their traditional homes to the north. Landing on the northern coast of the peninsula they settled the western slopes of the Headlands It is here that their main settlement, Bergardbridge, can be found.
Hardy souls and experienced fishers and boatmen, the rugged lifestyle of the Hobniz attracted them to the Dwur with whom much trade is carried out. Most Hobniz live in subterranean homes with perhaps only a few windows cut into the hillsides to let in light. Many are skilled miners, jewellers, stone smiths, or mushroom farmers. Wrestling is a favourite pastime amongst these folk who will even challenge visiting Dwur to a friendly bout.
Pre-occupation, many Olves hailing from Sunndi, Irongate, and points east made Onnwal their home. With the coming of the Brotherhood most fled and the Brotherhood persecuted the remainder. Some have now begun to return to their homes in the freed portion of Onnwal. There are no known enclaves of indigenous Olves in Onnwal however.
Half Orcs making their home in Onnwal mostly originate on the Wild Coast, fleeing here to escape the onslaught of Turrosh Mak’s humanoid legions and the prejudices of Greyhawk City and the remaining free cities of the Wild Coast. No Orcs are known to be indigenous to Onnwal and so all Half Orcs in the region must originate somewhere else, although they could have been resident in the peninsula for some time. Half Orcs can be found on both sides of the conflict, although those siding with the rebels are treated considerably better than those allied to the Brotherhood. There is significant prejudice against Half Orcs, especially in the Storm Coast, where exiles from the Pomarj are most commonly found.
Languages “Commonly” in Use in Onnwal
Ancient Suel (the language of the Suel Imperium) is a ‘dead language’, now only spoken by the Scarlet Brotherhood and a few learned sages. Most who understand the language do so in its written form. It is used in this way to decipher surviving documents, tomes, and spellbooks of the Suel Empire that was destroyed by the Rain of Colourless Fire over 1000 years ago.
As it name suggests “Common” is the most widely spoken language in Onnwal (and indeed the Flanaess). It is the language of trade and negotiation and is also the youngest language in the Flanaess, being a blend of Ancient Baklunish and Old Oeridian. Its origins allow mutually exclusive languages to be first translated into it and then into the other. Common is the essential language for all those who travel across national and cultural boundaries.
Once an ancient Oeridian tribal language, Ferral was a well-kept secret by officials of the Iron League. Officials and officers of the Iron League used it, mainly for identification and command functions. It is not possible to classify Ferral as a living language, as today it amounts to little more than a code. Ferral is a stagnant language and does not have the capability to express new concepts.
Old Oeridian was, until the works of Revort Leyhar, believed to be a pure language, free of outside influences until a few centuries ago. It is still used within the boundaries of the old Great Kingdom mainly by scribes, clerks, lawyers, and other professionals and many libraries are filled with documents and books in this language. Translation of Old Oeridian into any language apart from Common is impossible because of its unique linguistic components.
Existing primarily as a spoken language amongst the warriors of Hepmonland that claim Suel descent, this language is derived from Ancient Suloise and Olman, from which names for the flora and fauna of the jungles were taken. Many higher concepts are absent from Rasol, as are terms and phrases inappropriate to the jungle environment. Speakers of Ancient Suloise can understand perhaps 40% of what is said. Primarily a spoken language, comparatively few written characters exist in Rasol. Those few in existence are related to food, water, creatures, and land and take the form of runes recognizably of Suel origin, however, magic is needed to divine their meanings.
Other Languages Found in Onnwal
Greetings & Farewells
The following greetings, sayings, and phrases are in common use in and around Onnwal.
Are You Athought? Used exclusively by those in the Scarlet Brotherhood. It is a challenge used by superiors to their juniors. The implication is that those loyal to the Brotherhood should not think but should carry out the orders of their leaders.
Remember the Farmers! A rallying cry was used by the Resistance to stiffen morale and to underline the vengeful nature of their struggle. The saying refers to the 34 farmers burnt to death by the Brotherhood in 585 CY.
Stone Endures (and its variants) Used by those allied with Irongate as a greeting or sign of friendship. It is also used to acknowledge the heroic defence of that city. Other formats of the saying include: So long as stone endures and stone endures still.
‘Ware the Breakers is a farewell used between sailors. It literally means to beware of the Breakers that pound the coasts of Onnwal when returning to port.
Titles and Forms of Address Old Onnwalon society were very rigid and codified and it was vital that holders of important ranks were hailed in the correct fashion.
As many members of the Resistance are from this “old school” a list of ranks and the correct form of address are listed below.
Szek Your Majesty or Your Noble Authority
Duke Your Highness
Prince Your Grace
Baron Your Prominence
Lord Mayor Worthy Sir
Character Classes in Onnwal
The following notes may be useful when developing a Player Character for use in Onnwal. You should develop your PC’s individual history so that you have something to make it your own character. Describe their appearance, where and how they got to Onnwal etc. Maybe keep a history of activities, people they met, etc…
If you wish to play a character that originates in another part of the Flanaess, we recommend you contact the relevant TRIAD for information. You should include in your history how you came to be a resident of Onnwal.
It is not possible to play a Player Character who is a member of the Scarlet Brotherhood, Savage Warrior, or Hochebi; or any evil character.
Barbarians native to the peninsula are of Flan descent and hail from the steep, almost impassable valleys of the Headlands to the east of Onnwal.
Remnants of the Flan civilization swept aside by successive migrating waves of Suel and Oeridians still dwell high up in the Headlands. Only a few trappings of civilization survive amongst these folk who have, in the main, regressed back to a more primitive state. They have not forgotten the secrets of agriculture or metalworking but eschew many of the trappings of modern society. They no longer live in large communities, preferring instead to exist in a series of small well-fortified hilltop communities. Power in their society remains in the hands of hereditary tribal chieftains who rely on advice from the tribal druids and other spell casters.
Worshipers of Beory, the Flan have claimed the high peaks of the Headlands as their own and not even the Dwur contest their claim. As their ancestors did they live in peace carrying out some small amount of trade with the other residents of the hills and fighting amongst themselves. Representatives of the Resistance have met with several tribal chieftains in a bid to convince them to join in the struggle to free Onnwal from the grip of the Scarlet Brotherhood, so far without success.
The Flan are acknowledged as fine hill fighters, many of whose remote fortresses have never fallen to an external foe. These warriors prefer to use javelins, hand axes, and daggers.
The Flan of the Headlands commonly has dark brown or black eyes although a few have eyes of brown or amber hue. Their hair is usually black, but some individuals possess brown-black, dark brown, and brown hair. Tribesmen tend to go about wearing little more than a loincloth, a cape in bad weather, and leather wrappings on their feet. Body painting, for war or ceremonial purposes, is also common with yellow and vermilion colours being favoured.
Prior to the Occupation, bards tended to wander the peninsula bringing news and cheer to the inhabitants of the towns and villages of Onnwal. Others took passage on the many vessels that docked in the ports of Onnwal, bringing back new tales and news of the outside world. With the coming of the Brotherhood, however, bards were persecuted, imprisoned, or killed to stop their knowledge of the outside world from reaching the inhabitants of this beleaguered state. Many bards joined the Resistance in search of new sagas and stories and became not just observers but valued members of the movement.
With the liberation of many parts of the country, bards once again returned to the general populace bringing good cheer and raising the morale of the common folk of the country. The prodigious knowledge and memory of bards have proved useful to the Resistance who use them as messengers and spies.
Due to the successive waves of migrations across the peninsula, the religious situation in Onnwal is a complex one. Prior to the invasion, the populace worshipped Suel, Oeridian, and a few Flan gods. The Brotherhood outlawed all religions, not of Suel descent and incarcerated or killed all the priests of these “deviant” religions that they could find, forcing many more to flee. Every community in Onnwal had some kind of shrine or temple within it, although who was worshipped were depended on the racial bias of the community and what primary industries it was involved in. Priesthoods in Onnwal were highly hierarchical in nature, as befitted a lawful society.
Commonly worshipped deities of Onnwal include Osprem, Zilchus, Procan, and Norebo. Currently, however, folk are turning to deities with more of a martial aspect such as Trithereon, Mayaheine, and Heironeous.
For more information on the deities on the peninsula refer to <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Chapter 6, Deities of the Dragonshead.>>>>>>>>>>>>
Druids are rare in Onnwal, being almost exclusively of Flan stock. Living in the Headlands surrounded as they are by such an example of Beory’s bounty, few feel the need to travel to the lowlands of the west. Some few do, however, feel compelled to witness all the forms of Beory’s creation. Such individuals are generally female, as is the priesthood of Beory in the Headlands. Refer to the entry for “Barbarians” for a physical description of these folk.
Fighters are the most common single character class in Onnwal. Before the Occupation they could be found guarding caravans, acting as city guards, serving in the Szek’s standing forces, Onnwal’s navy, or in a noble’s household troops. Others hired themselves out as mercenaries or bodyguards. With the coming of the Brotherhood however, this changed. Many skilled fighters were slain, incarcerated, or forced to flee. Many joined the Resistance while a few others changed allegiances and now side with the Brotherhood.
Onnwal is a subtropical land and this, coupled with the need for many fighters to operate over water, has made heavy, encumbering armour such as plate mail rare. Natives of Onnwal tend to use crossbows more than other kinds of bows because of the lack of suitable wood – however, some groups, like the Hillstalkers, do make use of longbows and are famous (in part) for it. Fighters are also the most common class found in the War Companies of Onnwal.
Those devoted to monastic life were rare in Onnwal before the Greyhawk Wars. Ideals of mental and physical mastery and perfection were somewhat alien to the somewhat more practically minded Onnwalons. The few monks that there were tended to be devotees of religious faiths, solitary wandering hermits that existed outside the official church hierarchies.
Of the churches whose beliefs lend themselves to a monastic outlook, the Church of Pholtus is the one which has by far the most monks in Onnwal today. Many of these are missionary monks from the Theocracy of the Pale, where there are established monasteries to the Blinding Light. These Radiant Brothers of the One True Path have come to Onnwal to teach the locals the harsh structures of their faith and have had a number of converts, particularly in the Eastern Marchlands.
Among the Dwur of the Headlands, monks of Fortubo are known to exist. They tend to be solitary – living alongside or in small communities in the hills on the fringes of the Dwur lands. Some of Jascar’s wandering followers in the Headlands are monks, rather than priests. Monks of Heironeous and Mayaheine are unknown in Onnwal – though the creeds of these churches do not rule them out.
It is not possible to play a monk of the Scarlet Brotherhood in the Living Greyhawk campaign.
Paladins are rare in Onnwal, but the best examples can be found following the Oeridian power, Heironeous. Champions of justice, law, and good, many paladins refused to retreat before the advance of the Brotherhood invasion forces and were killed. The faith of Heironeous, although never numerous, was however a powerful one, sponsoring as it does the Order of the Golden Sun. Most of its adherents were members of the various noble families of Onnwal. Many of the servants of these families also venerated Heironeous and it is from these that the new ranks of paladins are coming. Newly ordained paladins of Mayaheine are also not unknown in Onnwal, as this relatively new faith has gained many converts since the Brewfest Rebellion.
Predominantly drawn from the rustic folk of the interior of the peninsula, the rangers of Onnwal are hardy folk, skilled in traversing the twisting valleys of the Headlands. Alternatively, other rangers native to the Dragonshead could be Flan hillmen. Rangers are most at home away from the civilization of Onnwal, be it in the woods of the lowlands or in the uplands of the Headlands. Many members of the Hillstalkers, an elite unit of the old standing army were rangers. The Szek also maintained another small group of rangers – The Timber Wardens – who were tasked with protecting and maintaining the many small enclaves of woodland dotted throughout the country. Favoured enemies that a ranger could have developed in his career now include Savage Warriors, Trolls, Hochebi, and undead, the numbers of which are on the rise.
Prior to the Occupation, the thieves of Onnwal had been united under the leadership of the Guildmaster of the Wreckers. Membership of the Wreckers was open to all followers of the larcenous way and this policy almost cost the group dearly during the initial phases of the Brotherhood’s operation. Rakehell Chert however caught wind of the Brotherhood’s infiltration of Scant days before the fall of the city and spirited the bulk of his thieves out into the countryside where he organized them into a series of independent cells.
The Wreckers: Before the occupation the Wreckers were predominantly made up of smugglers, privateers, hijackers, wreck-looters, and confidence men who preyed upon rich merchants and their cargo, rarely bothering the common folk of Onnwal. Well organized by their leader Rakehell Chert, they were a constant thorn in the side of the authorities. Based in Scant they operated mainly along the coasts of the country but had operations and safe houses in all settlements of note in the country and contacts in Idee, the South Province, and Nyrond.
After the fall of Onnwal, they became the only true organized resistance to the Brotherhood and even today maintain a prominent place in the Resistance. Many of its members are dubious about working so closely, and sharing so many of their secrets, with their old enemies – namely the soldiery and sailors of Onnwal but Rakehell Chert’s instructions are clear on this matter. Membership to the guild is now by invitation only and prospective candidates are rigorously observed before being granted admittance to the group. This defence had served them well against agents of the Brotherhood who continually tried to infiltrate the group since they originally slipped through Kuranyie’s fingers.
Sorcerers are independent but charismatic loners in the main – indeed, they are actually more common on the peninsula than wizards. Many learned (and not so learned) individuals have proffered many reasons for this, but no one has proved definitively why this is so. Some sorcerers claim to have the blood of dragons running through their veins, but again, none can substantially prove this.
Being a sorcerer is a life that individuals must be born into. Whereas wizards have spent many years poring over manuscripts and books, a sorcerer comes into his power naturally at puberty or at a ‘crisis point’. There are no known groups of sorcerers in Onnwal as they have little need to share their knowledge. Those with sorcerous abilities were also detained by the Brotherhood with many disappearing beneath Obelstone Keep. Their fate, although almost certainly gruesome, remains a mystery. Whatever the truth of it, sorcerers most commonly come from the Storm Coast, while a few hail from the Eastern Marchlands. Sorcerers amongst the Dwur and Hobniz are distrusted, with some even being forced from their clan holds. The Noniz, exposed to magic through the practices of their illusionists, have a higher degree of tolerance of sorcerers who are at least allowed to dwell amongst them as normal members of society.
There is no established “Wizard’s Guild” in Onnwal as Wizards from the peninsula are known for being notoriously individualistic. Additionally, and quite simply, there are not enough wizards in Onnwal to sustain a Guild organization. Prior to the Occupation, the closest thing to a Wizard’s Guild known in Scant were a few informal groups that met occasionally. However, as part of their Occupation, the Brotherhood systematically hunted down all known Wizards, their spellbooks and research were confiscated and, if the individual was not of Suel descent, they were slain out of hand.
Scant had, prior to the Occupation, been the base for a small group of sages and historians intent on unravelling the ancient history of the peninsula and its people. Some believed that the peninsula had been the site of great conflict millennia ago. Others had chosen to specialize in the Great Migrations and the Onnwi – the original Suel settlers of the peninsula. The best known of these sages in recent years is Morrev Ironseeker, a Dwur of long years, and much knowledge that was forced to flee to Irongate in the face of advancing Brotherhood forces.
The Aerie: The Aerie is the vulgar name for the Transcendent Convocation of the Wielders of Wind and Wave, a famed group of Air Elementalists and Weather Mages. Renowned throughout the Iron League and beyond for their power and skill, some of their members have crafted great magical items, among them the Scant Wand of Storms and the Rod of Onnwal. Founded in 76 CY by the Aerdi Mage Cyrannden Darstyne, it has had several distinguished members since its inception and still highly prides itself on its secrets and power over the elements – though some more conservative priests of Procan saw these claims and actions as heresy.
Before the invasion, they made their base in Obelstone Keep, though its members could be found working in many parts of Onnwal whether it be in the farmlands, on a ship, or in the navy. The Invasion forced many of them to flee to Nyrond, The Wild Coast, the Isles, the Headlands, and beyond taking with them many magic items and secrets. The few that stayed are either interned in Obelstone or working for the Rebellion.
With its members dressed in bright blue or silver robes, the Aerie was very exclusive with several initiation rites that must be completed in order to join. The Szek often encouraged members to work with the navy for certain missions. Their biggest success came when they used their expertise in controlling winds to force several pirate vessels into coves in which the Onnwalish Navy could easily contain and board, them. The members of the Aerie rarely liked to get involved with government unless it affected them directly, preferring to carry on with their research.
The Greenleaf Society: This was the name given to the loose group of mages who on occasion gathered at the house of Fraznier of Halmarn, better known to the wider world as the Archmage Bigby. Formed soon after Bigby settled in Scant, the Society consisted of Bigby, his apprentices (past and present), as well as some of the brightest and best of Onnwal’s magi including Milos Relaster and Kelen the Grey. The Society had practically no formal structure – though Bigby was generally acknowledged as the leader – and it served as much as a talking shop and opportunity for the members socialize as anything else. Nevertheless, matters of great import were often discussed by the Society and given the members’ power, decisions reached by the group often had far-reaching influence in Onnwal and beyond.
For all its knowledge and farsightedness, the Brotherhood’s invasion caught the Society by surprise. Bigby withdrew to Mitrik in Veluna, whilst other members fled to Irongate, Nyrond, the Urnsts, and the Domain of Greyhawk. The Society has effectively ceased to exist now – though the members do remain in contact, and old ties of friendship remain strong. Many work what means they can to aid the cause of Free Onnwal and the Iron League. It is known that two members of the Society aided Bigby in the creation of the gate linking Irongate to Mitrik.
The Warmages of Killdeer: The warming is the epitome of a fusion of two ancient Oerid traditions – the love of excellence in marital arms (as epitomized by the Spear Dancers of the Eastern Marchlands) and the use of magic in war (as personified by the Aerdi War-Mages of old). In the Eastern Marchlands, some adepts have combined weapon play with magery. Masters of the art are found exclusively in the service of the Great House of Coriell.
Warmages must serve and protect the scions of the House of Coriell and their lands and chattels. They are very proud of Oerid traditions and have great hatred for the Scarlet Brotherhood. They have a strong sense of fellowship and spirit.
They are very reluctant to leave fellow Warmages behind on the battlefield. The Commander of the Warmages is usually the most powerful mage of the cadre. He is chosen every four years by a non-lethal trial of combat, overseen by the Duke.
War Companies of Onnwal
While there are many individual heroes who fight to free Onnwal of the tyranny imposed by the Scarlet Brotherhood, Onnwal has long been known for producing small groups of adventurers colloquially known as War Companies.
The ranks of a War Company often are less than ten in number, but they are proving to be effective fighting forces against the Scarlet scourge.
Some of the War Companies now fighting for the freedom of Onnwal are listed here…
| The Axebiters | The Breakers | The Flaming Hearth | The Flaming Quarrel | The Gilded Hammers of Sarakast | Justice League of Onnwal | Phoenix Chatellaine | The Rising Sons of Onnwal | The Teldur Sisters | Thorns of the Greenleaves | The Thorns of Tassek | Whiteburrow and Glimworth |
“Well met young ones. I am Banrak Axebiter and was blessed by Clangeddin Silverbeard to have been born of the Axebiter clan. Only the strongest of our people leave our sector of Irongate, and those that leave well are tasked with one thing. To ensure travel and trade to Irongate are not disrupted. While Onwall is our neighbour and clearly these dangerous lands unsettled Irongate, Onwall has always been a great ally to us. That said we have come to this land of Onnwal to fight for and with our friends. But I digress and should start from the beginning”
“In the Northeast quarter of Irongate lives ‘The Clan’ Yes yes,I know there are other Clans but that’s like saying there are weapons other than Axes. If you had been to Irongate then you would know that the Axebiters are the ones that keep the City safe, if you know what I mean. Many of our clans are called to serve as guards on the Great East Gate. This is no small honour, as it has over time become known as ‘The Great Dwarven Gate’ due to many generations of service. You should know that due to us Dwur it’s the only gate in Irongate that has not been breached.”
“Now it is no easy task to guard the gate and the skills required have been honed over many a year. So we ‘The Axebiters’ accept what we are forced to endure. We travel. We move from place to place and well,” Banrak grins “how should I put this. We look for trouble and hmm! And then we remove it. Of course, it is all part of the improvement process of our skills.”
“Now let me introduce you to the unit that holds firm within the stockade in the Headlands. I, Banrak Axebiter, am the leader but not by command. Each Dwur chooses to serve and each is essential to the freeing this land of the Scarlet Scourge.”
“Many have come and gone but a few remain strong. Mole is my right hand Dwur, You will find him in the thick of battle swinging a Great Axe or dragging a fresh skull home in his net. Stumpy is our tactician and political adviser. Smarter by half than the rest put together he keeps us up to speed with the complicated human relations that seem to exist between the nobles. Kobort of Celine is our blessing although many will find his scent overpowering. We found him in Onnwal with no knowledge of his parentage or Clan. Well turns out his dad was clan in the Battle of a thousand Banners so we are re-educating him out of many of his bad habits. Finally, there is Mistress Naya, our holy adviser, our judge and our jury of morality, our brewer and the best there is as Wenta surely sent her from the heavens. Best not tell her that though, things are awkward enough at the moment.” Banrak blushes “Well I best be getting another drink, hey, these look dry…” Banrak looks at the empty tankards in front of him, looks up and smiles
The most famous of the War Companies of Onnwal, the Breakers have been active in and around the peninsula for many years. Taking their name from the great waves that crash against the sea defences of Onnwal, the Breakers were originally seven in number. Three of their members perished fighting against the invading forces of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The survivors fled to the Free City of Greyhawk for a time, before returning to Onnwal to fight under Jian Destron’s banner. They are all well equipped with items of powerful magic.
The group has not recruited any new members to their ranks recently, as they are worried about the possibility of Brotherhood spies and assassins. In general, they can either be encountered as a single group of as two pairs – the humans and the half-elves forming two separate “sub-groups”. All four members of the Breakers wear the stylized device of their War Company – a huge wave breaking against a well-buttressed sea wall. the members of the Breakers are:
The Flaming Hearth
Where on earth did we come from? Stop reading now, or you’ll find out.
Out on the road again, somewhere in Onnwal, a small group of travellers who just so happened to stay together for no better reason than to talk whilst on the road, share a meal at a tavern or just to watch each other backs when resting for the night. Two half-euroz, two humans and three hobniz, came to regard each other as friends and a common bond was realized; the desire to see Onnwal free of the Scarlet tyranny.
It was during one of the many nights in an inn that the topic of War Bands came up. A recent proclamation was announced that in order to unify the numerous resistance fighters striving to overthrow the brotherhood, various figures of note were willing to sponsor groups of adventurers.
Gremag the half euroz and Creedle Ix the hobniz both had ties to the Duchess Saielma Relaster and no love of the Scarlet Brotherhood, so this night it was decided to petition the Duchess for sponsorship. Talik and Ralph Thistledown, the two other hobniz, Imsh, another half euroz and Davos Quick being the original group all agreed that this would be a splendid idea.
As for the name of this war band, well there we were, doing what hobniz do best, sitting in front of a large fireplace in an inn, eating cheese and biscuits when we were asked by one of the patrons if we were anything to do with the famous adventuring group known as the Flaming Spear. `No’, was the response, ` We’re The Flaming Haft’. I can only guess that the poor chap was a little hard of hearing because from that point on, The Flaming Hearth was born.
Since then, more have flocked to our banner, most notably Netley Marsh, Onnwal’s first diary farmer and we currently have a full complement of ten, even though one or two are in semi-retirement. We have had our setbacks over the years, but none of us have forgotten our roots and what we stand for. We have spread the word to distant shores and been responsible for several allies coming to Onnwal’s aid.
Our hearts are for Onnwal and we’ll never rest until it is free.
The Flaming Quarrel
The Scarlet Brotherhood is but one enemy, but one that has brought the problems of Onnwal into sharp focus. “Free Onnwal” is so ridden with traitors, corrupt interest groups and internecine conflict that the Brotherhood barely deserves a mention. The common people are so distracted with the rebuilding effort and shouts of “Remember the Farmers !” that they are allowing the corrupt to get away with it again. We don’t accept that things ideally should be as they were pre-invasion. We don’t accept the marginalization of anyone who thinks differently, or has different ideals, is off base stock or common blood.
|Everyone who failed or betrayed the people – from the bastard Soldas to the so-called Szek should be held accountable. They should be forced to be better than themselves, to be worthy of the people. And the only way to do this is to shake and challenge the people’s assumptions and perceptions until they demand to think and live for themselves. Root out corruption. Spread the Faith and Word of Joramy. Question everything. Get angry. Express your anger strongly and passionately throw yourself into any quarrel or dispute. And finally, shoot the disgusting Onnwal sense of complacency in the face, and have it buried at sea.
The Gilded Hammers of Sarakast
|Although they are not currently active, following the death of their comrade Vergaduin at the hands of the Flan Chieftain Arawn Bloodweaver, these six Dwur from the Citadel of Sarakast is legendary amongst the younger Dwur. Their exploits are still told to this day in Sarakast, especially their daring stand at Gol-Daer against a horde of 120 Hochebi warriors. Since Vergaduin’s death, they have gone their separate ways.
Justice League of Onnwal
|A letter has recently appeared nailed onto doors of various temples throughout Longbridge, Killdeer, and Sornhill.
Patriots of Onnwal,
In a land shorn of all hope and suffused only with the blood of slain innocents, countless voices have continually called for a just hand to liberate them from their bondage, and to oppose the chaos and sedition that seem to abound today. Thus in this desperate hour, several brave souls, under the patronage of the Established Church of Heironoeus, have decided to unsheathe their blades and gird their loins to answer this plea. These good folk call themselves the Justice League of Onnwal.
Of course, there are those who would have the green and gold of Onnwal replaced with the red livery of the Scarlet Sign, and would thus comment that nothing can be achieved by men whose ranks are scarcely more than a half dozen, that many of their number hail from foreign climes, or that no single God or ideal unites them in their veneration. Yet to them I say this: there are some things that even the weakest and smallest among us can accomplish unaided; some common truths that are known throughout the Flanaess; and some purposes that unite all truly beneficent deities. The aim of the Justice League is to sow the seeds of truth, justice, and honour back into our barren land, so that once more our soil can grow rich with its bounty.
Thus I beseech you, fellow patriots, if the land you would have Onnwal be is one where thieves and traitors are not rewarded but punished, and where commoner and noble alike can revel in the just rule of law, then I ask you to step forward and pledge your support to the Justice League of Onnwal!
For Honour, Szek and Onnwal,
Sir Gildor Uskraven
Glaive of Azharadian and a True Patriot
The Teldur Sisters
Three sisters hailing from Myrhill, mainly act as bounty hunters for the Rebellion and other non-Brotherhood factions. They have worked thus for nine years, since their drunkard father squandered their inheritance. They are now based in Killdeer and have used their accumulated booty to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. The sisters are:
They use the symbol of Myrhiss repeated thrice and entwined as their coat of arms.
Whiteburrow and Glimworth
This smallest of War Companies currently has only two members, but will take on most jobs, although they will not be willing to hurt innocents. They have been partners for around ten years after they met while incarcerated in Killdeer. In this time, the pair have travelled over much of the peninsula. They are:
A note found pinned within Taverns and official buildings throughout the free towns of Onnwal:
By order of the Free State of Onnwal and under the sponsorship of the holy church of Jascar the war company the Phoenix Chatelaine has risen.
To ensure the freedom of the peoples of the dragonshead The Phoenix Chatelaine are pledged to drive out the Scarlet usurpers, crush the remaining Hochebi degenerates and stamp out banditry from the Headlands.
As guardians of a Free Onnwal from our eastern neighbours, the Headlands are deemed sacred by Jascar and as such are to be cleansed.
Membership of The Phoenix Chatelaine is limited to members of the Church of Jascar or experienced wilderness adventurers only. Those not of a pure heart or tainted by the blood of the foul goblin and orc need not apply.
For a free Onnwal
Signed: The Phoenix’
The only known members of the Phoenix Chatelaine are:
The Rising Sons of Onnwal
|Patron: Sir Halrend Lorendrenn, Baron of Dunheern and Glaive Valorous of the Order of the Golden Sun.
Ethos: To return freedom to the people of Onnwal, seek and eradicate any spies or traitors in free Onnwal. The Rising sons of Onnwal shall seek out and bring to justice any that have been aiding and abetting the Scarlet Brotherhood. They hold Sir Halrend Lorendrenn in great respect and aim to bring the Order of the Golden Sun to glory again. The War Company also seeks to encourage cooperation between Sunndi and the Eastern Marshlands in their fight against the Brotherhood.
|Motto: “Until the Sun rises again on Onnwal”
Chain of Command: None, but Clerics of Heironeous are held in high regard.
Rivals / Enemies: Those who seek to keep the people of Onnwal oppressed.
Allies: Order of the Golden Sun, Church of Hieroneous.
History: The War Company was formed by Palin the Avenger when he met Elonderill Brightstar, Talonas Elendril and Elonas Al-thor in the Slumbering Wyrm. They shared one aim: to seek out and kill those who try to oppress your kin and nation. They set out to do what they could to help free the people of Onnwal. A person of skillful dexterity was required and Osborne Goodbarrel, was duly appointed. Then Terrin the Faithful came to provide discipline into the cadre, they were ready to fight for freedom and justice. They have only just bloodied their blades in the first of many battles for freedom.
The Rising Sons of Onnwal have been involved in more than their fair share of fighting to eradicate the Brotherhood but have lost Elonas Al-thor to the blades of the enemy. Osbourne Goodbarrel has returned home after the loss of his father, he has taken the loss badly. To replace his much-needed skills with all things intricate another member has joined the group. Derrin Du a feisty street urchin from Scant with dextrous fingers and a mind to match has replaced Osbourne. He has shown potential and is a welcomed asset to the group.
Current Members of the war company:
Thorns of the Greenleaves
The Thorns of the Greenleaves took their name from the Greenleaf society, a group of mages who met to discuss issues of the day over a nice cup of tea. One of the Members of the Greenleaf was Milos Relaster, Baron of Norland who sponsored the Thorns, The Thorns were a more traditional adventuring group. We were fortunate also to take on an Honorary Patron, Fraznier of the Greenleaf
The group was founded in the month of Needfest CY592, though we had adventured before; being brought together in the pursuit of True Resurrection for one of the founders, Avalon. The other members were Lamont, Avalon, Talon, Elana, Fug, Gurd and Grendel.
We were rather cosmopolitan in outlook. We always hoped to achieve greater things as a group than any of us might as individuals. Our most important lesson during our adventures was to ensure that we got a good night’s rest prior to the mission. Late nights always had a bad result.
We took the symbol of a Greenleaf on a gold background in recognition of our sponsors. As representatives of the Greenleaf, we hoped to gain their confidence and their good grace. We were happy to act as eyes and ears and even helping hands on their behalf in places they may currently fear to be seen in.
However, the Company has gone into hibernation, at best, as the leader, Lamont, went gadding off to Geoff on jolly as the Onnwalish Envoy there. He got what he deserves it seems. Rumours abound that he is steeped in evil now and is tantamount to a lich. The Thorns presently find themselves in temporal stasis.
The Thorns of Tassek
|Thorns Web Page
|CINCTA SPINIS ROSA
‘The Rose is Girt with Thorns’
The Thorns are pledged to oppose the Scarlet Brotherhood. While many might enjoin such a cause in lands still loyal to the Szek, the Thorns rally around Baron Keirnal Maldrenn, whose estates have already fallen and whose son is the famous Sir Dorlan Maldrenn, one of the six surviving Glaives. The Scarlet Brotherhood has been successful in causing fear and paranoia by sneaking agents into the free lands of Onnwal. The Thorns seek to do the same in return, supporting those opposed to the Scarlet Ones and raiding deep into what would otherwise be ‘safe’ Brotherhood territory.
There is a strong emphasis on the Wild. The Thorns have noted the success of their enemies in sneaking Hochebi patrols through the wilderness, and use the same tactic to draw close to Brotherhood strongholds. By necessity, the Thorns prize tact and diplomacy, even when dealing with those who may not deserve it. They have a particularly good record in bringing back Brotherhood agents alive for questioning. Their freedom to act in enemy territory depends on local goodwill and the trust of authorities back home.
The Thorns are by tradition a very religious group, and usually hold some form of evening prayers to the gods of good and nature the members hold dear. All are willing to tolerate appeals to other deities, recognizing differing interests can ally to a common cause in the heavens as well as on Oerth.
It is by such consensus that they believe the war will be won. The Brotherhood succeeds where they can sow division and fear. They can be defeated only with the courage, not just to fight, but to embrace a union of all those who defy the Scarlet Ones. If Onnwal is to be free, it must be one.
War Companies of Onnwal:
are you on this page?
If not, why not?!
- Write a short (up to about 200 words) description of the War Company and a summary of the members.
- If the members are already listed on the Patriots of Onnwal page, then just name them and links will be added.
- If a member is not on the Patriots page – then get the player to submit a bio’ of the character!
- Don’t forget to send a graphic (jpg) of the War Company’s Coat of Arms.
- And finally, if you have your own web page dedicated to the War Company and its’ exploits – send the URL
|Click on the wolf to send your War Company write-up to the webmaster:
||Q. How many Scarlet Brothers does it take to light a candle?
A. Depends how many you set fire to in the first place.
the Phantom of Scant