Prophecy: Common Knowledge

Common Knowledge

This page contains information about the World of Greyhawk which
all characters would  know.  Beyond this information,
your character would only have knowledge about his or her
particular home area, their past, and what ever knowledge skills
your character may have.  Obviously an exceptionally stupid
character may know less, while an exceptionally brilliant
character may know more.  It is up to you to roleplay that
out, but bear in mind that if information is not on this page,
you must confer with the DM to work out additional
information you may know.   

Eastern Oerik in relation to the whole Oerth & the heavenly
bodies.

As is obvious, the Oerik continent is the major center of the
world, and the eastern portion, the Flanaess, is the center of
enlightened humanity.  Oerth has four great continents and
countless islands, and four great oceans and countless seas, which
surround these bodies of land.  Little is known about the
lands of the western portion of Oerik, less still about the savage
inhabitants of the other continents, but such knowledge is, of
course, of little use anyway and of no importance to
humanity.  The heavens are far more important and
interesting.  We must study the stars, those which wander and
those which are fixed, to properly understand Astrology.  The
sun travels once around Oerth in 364 days, visiting the 12 lairs of
the zodiac in an appointed round which never varies.  The
Great Moon (Luna) waxes and wanes in fixed cycles of 28 days each,
upon which our months are based; while the Handmaiden (Celene, the
small aquamarine satellite) follows a path which shows Her in full
beauty but four times each year, thus showing us the time for our
festivals.  When both Mistress and Handmaiden are full, things
of great portent are likely to occur, depending on the positions of
the five wandering stars in the Lairs, naturally. 

Days and Months of the Year.

The Flan standard week of seven days has the following days:

  • Starday – Work
  • Sunday – Work
  • Moonday – Work
  • Godsday – Worship
  • Waterday – Work
  • Earthday – Work
  • Freeday – Rest

The Dozenmonth of the moon and the Four Festivals are:

Common

Olven

Nomads

Season

Needfest

   

Festival

Fireseek

Diamondice

Tiger

Winter

Readying

Yellowillow

Bear

Spring

Coldeven

Snowflowers

Lion

Spring

Growfest

   

Festival

Planting

Blossoms

Frog

Low Summer

Flocktime

Violets

Turtle

Low Summer

Wealsun

Berrytime

Fox

Low Summer

Richfest

   

Midsummer Festival

Reaping

Goldfields

Snake

High Summer

Goodmonth

Sunflowers

Boar

High Summer

Harvester

Fruitfall

Squirrel

High Summer

Brewfest

   

Festival

Patchwall

Brightleaf

Hare

Autumn

Ready’reat

Tinklingice

Hawk

Autumn

Sunsebb

Lacysnows

Wolf

Winter

Events

Needfest, Godsday 4th, Midwinter Night – the Dark Time or the
Dim Nights, only  Celene appears (a time of superstition
to many peasants)

Readying 11th – Great Moon’s Glory, Luna is full but Celene is
new

Richfest 4th, Midsummer Night – Druids gather mistletoe, both
Celene and Luna are full, and at midnight, Celene eclipses
Luna

Goodmonth 11th – Both moons are new.  This is always a
Godsday.  Called the Dark Night, Black Night or Star
Night.  Many ordinary folk light all night bonfires.

Climate And Seasons.

The Flanaess is particularly blessed in regards to its
weather.  Except in the northern latitudes, the winter
temperatures seldom dip below freezing except during the two winter
months, and at night during early spring and late autumn.  In
the depths of winter, there will be a few days when the temperature
reaches 0, and then gradual warming begins.  The northeast and
central northern regions tend to be considerably colder, as the sea
of those regions causes winter to linger about twice as long. 
An important exception to this is the Drawmidj Ocean; its warm
currents tend to moderate the climate of the lands which border it,
to a degree similar to several latitudes farther south.  Both
spring and autumn are protracted seasons, by and large. 
Summer in the central lands of Oerik lasts five or more months.
Prevailing winds tend to be from the northeast in the winter and
autumn, from the east and southeast in other times.  The
wintry north wind is often called “Telchur’s Breath” after the
Oeridian god of the north, and the spring wind from the esat is
called “Atroa’s laugh”, for the Oeridian goddess of the east and
springtime.  Mountain ranges and the like may alter
this.  Most areas of the Flanaess have sufficient rainfall to
assure abundant crops.

Population Distribution

In most states, the majority of the population is centered round
the capital city and the other large urban areas of the
state.  Similarly, most population density occurs in the
midlands of an area, with decreasing density as the border is
neared.

Small towns, Villages, et. Al.

Communities are nearly always located on a waterway, road or
coast (lake or sea).   Some small settlements occur in
wilderness areas where some produce, resource, or the like, gives a
reason for habitation.  These communities are most thickly
scattered in agricultural areas.

Fortifications

Forts and castles are generally found as the seat of
aristocratic power or as protection against hostile
incursion.  Therefore, there will be several types of
fortifications within a state – those of a ruler, those of his/her
liegemen, and military forts built to protect coasts or
borders.  There are also the fortified places built by
independent nobles, petty lords, bandits, and so forth.  These
occur in borderlands, unclaimed areas, and other out-of-the way
locales.

It is safe to assume that one will encounter some form of
habitation or stronghold in any given area of 100 square leagues,
provided the place is relatively fertile and flat.  The
harsher the terrain, the less the likelihood of discovering
habitation, although robber forts and the castles of petty
aristocrats might well be found in such areas.

Distribution of humanoids

The various races of humanoids have generally been driven into
the least favorable areas-mountains, barrens, marshes, swamps and
forest.  From time to time groups of humanoids band together
and attempt to retake areas of better land.  This occurred in
the Pomarj and Bone March.

Only Iuz, the Horned Society, and portions of the Great Kingdom
allow the more civilized humanoids to dwell amongst the humanfolk,
at least to any large scale.  The large free cities are also
known to allow various sorts of humanoids free access to their
precincts.

Land Communications

There are roads between major cities in each state.  The
general condition of these highways depends upon the particular
state, but most are fairly broad and well-kept.  These roads
continue through border areas where trade routes exist.

A secondary system of poor roads and cart tracks connects the
small towns and border forts to the main traffic arteries. 
Roads of this nature are usually the only links between most
states.  There are notable exceptions, such as in the Ulek
States, the two Urnst states, Furyondy and Veluna, and Keoghland
and Gran March.

Maintenance of thoroughfares is by political subdivisions and
communities.  In certain areas travelers pay a toll for road
usage, and a portion of this fee is used to maintain the road.

Characteristics of the Races inhabiting the Flanaess

There are few pure racial groups extant on the Flanaess, save
perhaps at the fringe areas of the continent.   Of
course, the races of demi-humans are relatively unmixed, but
humankind, as is its wont, has industriously intermixed in the
central regions to form a hybrid type which has actually become the
norm. There are four tribes that humans have descended from and
each influences the local culture in terms of appearance and dress.
The four tribes are Baklunish, Flannae, Oeridians, and Suloise.

Languages

Most scholars agree that only five of the countless dialects of
Eastern Oerik were or are spoken by enough people to be properly
called languages.  These are: Common, Suloise, Flan, Ancient
Baklunish, Old Oeridian. While most people have heard of each of
these languages, most people only speak Common or a racial
tongue.