Greyhawk: From the Ashes
From Left: Baklunish, Flan, Oeridian, Olman, Rhennee, and Suloise humans.
The Flan peoples were the first humans known to have settled the eastern portion of the continent of Oerik, the Flanaess, which is named for them. Regions of the Flanaess that contain a significant number of Flan peoples include Geoff, Sterich, the Rovers of the Barrens, Tenh, and the Wolf Nomads.
Pre-migrations Flan are described by scribes as “hardy and capable hunters but not particularly warlike, and their small and scattered groups made no appreciable civilizing efforts.” This is a simplification, for the Flan boast several pre-Migrations cultures, including those found at Sulm in the Bright Desert, Veralos on the edge of Rift Canyon, Tostenhca in the Griff Mountains, and several others. In ancient times, the Flan feared the Ur-Flan, rare mystics and necromancers who held entire tribes and kingdoms in bondage to their evil.
Pureblooded Flan boast a bronze-colored complexion, varying from a light copper shade to a deep brown hue. Eyes are typically dark brown, black, brown, or amber. Their wavy or curly hair is usually black, brown-black, dark brown, or brown.
Having once inhabited the plains of Central Oerik, the Oeridians moved into what is now known as Ull (where they were called the Yorodhi by their Baklunish neighbors) starting 1,235 years ago. The Oeridians were driven eastward into the Flanaess by orcs and goblins used as mercenaries by the Baklunish Empire and the Suel Imperium. The Oeridians settled in much of the Flanaess, often conquering and assimilating the Flan natives and Suel settlers, though some lands, such as the Sheldomar Valley and Vale of Luna, were settled more peacefully.
The Flanaess’ most powerful modern empire, the Great Kingdom of Aerdy, was founded by a warlike Oeridian tribe known as the Aerdi. The Nehron of modern Nyrond, the Keogh of modern Keoland, the Ferroi of modern Furyondy, and the Vollar of modern Veluna are other notable Oeridian tribes.
“Unmixed” Oeridians are most commonly found in Furyondy, Perrenland, the Shield Lands, the North Kingdom of Aerdy, the See of Medegia, Onnwal, and Sunndi.
Oeridian skin ranges from tan to olive. Their hair ranges the whole spectrum from honey blond to black, although brown and reddish brown predominate. Eye coloration varies, but brown and gray are most common.
The Suel began migrating to the Flanaess in large numbers circa -447 CY, from the Suel Imperium. The numbers of the Suloise Migration increased dramatically after the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire in -422 CY. The Suel settled in many regions of the Flanaess, often competing with the native Flan and migrant Oeridians, as well as non-human inhabitants such as the elves and dwarves.
Though people of Suel descent can be found nearly anywhere in the Flanaess, notable lands that contain a significant number of Suel include the Thillonrian Peninsula, the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Lordship of the Isles, the Sea Barons, the Sheldomar Valley, and the Urnst States. The Lendore Isles were once home to a large contingent of Suel, but most humans have been expelled from that land since the cult of Sehanine Moonbow gained control after the Greyhawk Wars.
Purebred Suel typically have pale skin, with albinism being far more common than among other races. Violet and pale blue eyes are common, with gray and deep blue less common. Hair color is fair, from several shades of blond to light red, and is often kinky in texture.
Suloise fashion favors solid colors, with parti-colored garments marking higher social station. Emblems, tokens, or similar affectations (typically in hues contrasting their clothes), often mark status or affiliation with ancient Suel houses and traditions. The ancient Suel often wore loose-fitting pantaloons covered by a baggy blouse, but their fashion has adapted to various climes in the centuries following the Great Migrations.
Descendants of the human inhabitants of the ancient Baklunish Empire, the Baklunish of today are confined chiefly to the northwest Flanaess, in that region known as the Baklunish Basin and other nearby regions, including Zeif, Ekbir, Tusmit, Ull, Ket, the Dry Steppes, the Plains of the Paynims, the Tiger Nomads, and the Wolf Nomads.
In some cases, the Baklunish mirror the real life Arabian people. Many similarities can be drawn between the two, including aspects of their culture and the influence of genies and other magical forces. However, other Bakluni groups have been compared to various nomadic horse tribes of Central Asia.
Baklunish folk have golden-hued skin and hair that ranges from blue-black to dark brown. Their eyes are often green or gray-green.
The Rhennee are not natives of Oerth, but rather immigrants from a land called Rhop on another world or plane of existence. Believed to have first arrived on Oerth in the Adri Forest in approximately 140 CY, they were driven out by its hostile inhabitants and now inhabit the rivers and lakes of the Flanaess. They live nearly exclusively in a seaborne culture upon barges that hold individual families. Though the vast majority of Rhennee families are waterbound nomads, a select few travel by land in wagon trains, much like the Rhennee’s real-world counterpart, the Roma (or Gypsies). These are known as the “Attloi” and are greatly looked down on by their kin, though they see themselves as the “true people” because they never left their landborne culture.
Rhennee are often distrusted by many people and are thought of as thieves and worse. But there are a few, rare communities and cities that welcome them. Among these are both Veluna and The County of Urnst. They can also be commonly found in Dyvers, Perrenland and in the Wharf and River Quarters of the Free City of Greyhawk. Because of stereotypes and prejudice, the Rhennee are exploited and harassed, i.e., stopped to pay extra taxes, prohibited from trading areas, jailed for lacking fishing permits, but are driven away by illegal fishermen, etc. This is especially true in the Duchy of Urnst, where the Rhennee are persecuted by the highly militant elite cavalry of the Duke, the Bar Rampant. Because of this, and their cultural differences, they are insular and keep to themselves. They have social taboos that are perceived as virtually unbreakable that prohibit such things as marrying outside of their own culture, or teaching their language to non-Rhennee. They also have cultural standards that allow them to treat non-Rhennee differently from their own people. They can lie, cheat, steal, and deceive outsiders but these actions can end up with them being banished from Rhennee culture if they are done to others of their own families.
The skin tones of the Rhennee range form olive to tan, their hair is usually curly and brown or black, with grey, blue, hazel and sometimes green eyes. The Rhennee are short and wiry but strong, men averaging 5 feet 6 inches and women shorter.
The Olman have been known to worship non-divine beings such as Xilonen and Xuxeteanlahucuxolazapaminaco as if they were true gods. A gas spore and a giant snail seem to have also played a part in their mythology. The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan mentions, but does not name, other entities revered as gods by the Olman: a coyote (the Aztec god Huehuecoyotl), a crab-headed god (possibly Blibdoolpoolp, or perhaps more likely Kalka-Kylla), an alligator-headed god (probably Huhueteotl), a feathered warrior (probably the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli), a jaguar (Tezcatlipoca or the Aztec god Tepeyollotl), a sun god (perhaps Tonatiuh), and a “dual-god, the supreme god, the god of creation” who fits the description of the Aztec god Ometeotl.
Olman legend states that the Olman gods discovered Oerth and the Olman people circa -2400 CY. At that time, the Olman had not migrated from their homelands in Hepmonaland. Some 500 years later, the Olman began warring with the Touv people in the northern jungles of Hepmonaland.
Olman civilization advanced much between -1900 and -1500 CY, when they began working bronze and stone, and built great cities in northern Hepmonaland.
A great disaster befell the Olman city states of Alocotla and Xapatlapo circa -1100 CY, when their high priests made a pact with the god Tlaloc, leading to the creation of the yuan-ti.
Around -1000 CY, the Olman people began migrating from Hepmonaland to the Amedio Jungle. There, they erected a portion of their vast empire that would outlast that in Hepmonaland. In -805 CY, the Olman of the Amedio Jungle declared themselves the true Olman nation, marking this year as the beginning of the Olman Lunar calendar (OL 1). By -800, however, all seven of the Olman Amedio city-states would declare themselves independent, though they were still considered part of the same empire.
In -490 CY, the emperor of the Amedio Olman empire, Tloqasikukuatl of Chetanicatla, was assassinated by priests of Zotzilaha. By -425, the empire fell into civil war. The city-state of Tamoachan was destroyed in the magical warfare in a single day.
During the height of their civilization, the Olman built great temples and shrines deep in the jungles of the southern Flanaess. They also explored the southern oceans to an extent that may have out-stripped even modern explorers from Aerdy, Greyhawk, and Keoland. The Olman are also credited with developing the blowgun, sometime in the seventh century before the Common Year.
The modern Olman inhabit the Amedio city-state of Xamaclan (last remaining city-state of the Olman’s Amedio empire), and are also spread out in isolated tribes throughout the Amedio Jungle. Sparse populations also exist elsewhere. One such remote location is the Isle of Dread, an island far to the south of the Azure Sea which was overrun by the kopru centuries ago. There, many small tribes of Olman remain.
Olman tend to have reddish-brown or dark brown skin tones, and speak their own language. There is a theory that the Olman are directly related to their alternate-world cousins, the Aztec and other Central American natives. This is primarily because they worship the same pantheon of gods. How this cross-universe colonization from Earth to Oerth might have occurred, none can say.