Ket (Greyhawk)

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Greyhawk Realm
Motto Unknown
Region Velverdyva, Tuflik and Fals Trade Route
Ruler Beygraf Nadaid
Government Feudal monarchy with semi-hereditary rulership
Established 340 CY
Capital Lopolla
Major Towns Lopolla (27,300), Molvar (16,000), Polvar (12,600), Falwur (13,500)
Provinces six provinces
Resources copper, silver, gems
Coinage Bastion (pp), greatshield (gp), wagon (ep), lance (sp), helm (cp)
Population 275,000
Races human (Baklunish with some Oeridian and Suel), dwarf, halfling
Languages Common, Ancient Baklunish
Alignments LN, N, LE, CN
Religions Al'Akbar, Mouqol, Fharlagn, Geshtai, Istus, Xan Yae, some other Baklunish gods
Allies Paynims (sometimes), Tusmit (sometimes)
Enemies Bissel, Veluna, Gran March Furyondy, Knights of the Watch, Iuz (sometimes), Zeif (sometimes), Ekbir (minor)

Ket is a political state in the fictional World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. Because it lies in the only gap in the north-south spine of mountains that divides the eastern Flanaess from the western Baklunish Basin, Ket is a nexus of important trade routes, a nation of caravans and merchants where peoples and cultures from all parts of the Flanaess mix and mingle. Various editions of material published about this region between 1980 and 2000 have changed its character from a self-serving state often at odds with its neighbors to an evil state in league with the enemies of Good, and back again. Using Ket as a setting enables dungeon masters to present adventures within a pseudo-Persian or Arabian background, or to use Ket's grassy plains or primeval forest as a geographical setting, or to highlight tensions between major cultures of the World of Greyhawk, or to use the themes of trade, bazaars, caravans, evil viziers or horse-centered culture. From 2001-2008, Ket was also a region of the Living Greyhawk campaign linked to play in most of Eastern Canada.

The World of Greyhawk folio edition (1980)[edit]

In 1972, as part of the development of the game that would become Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax created the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk and the nearby city of Greyhawk. As his players began to venture further afield, Gygax created other regions and cities for them to explore. With play sessions happening seven days a week, and sometimes twice a day,[1] Gygax didn't have the time to create the map for a whole new world; he simply drew his "world" over a map of North America, with the city of Greyhawk located near the real-world Chicago,[2][3] then adding new cities and regions as his world slowly grew through on-going adventures.[4]

In 1973, Gygax founded Tactical Studies Rules (later TSR, Inc) with his friend Don Kaye in order to publish the rules to D&D. By the late 1970s, Gygax sensed that D&D players were interested in learning more about his world of Oerth and decided to publish some of the details of his campaign world. However, rather than use his old map of "Oerth/North America", Gygax decided to create an entirely new planet from scratch and then publish several campaign settings that would eventually encompass every part of this new world. For the first campaign setting, he focused on one corner of one continent, an area he called the Flanaess. He divided the Flanaess into 50 states, regions and city-states. Some of them, such as the cities of Greyhawk and Dyvers, were taken from his old campaign world. Others, such as Ket, were new creations. Once the geography was finished, Gygax then created a thousand-year history for the Flanaess, complete with its own "Common Year" (CY) calendar, and set the date as the year 576 CY.

In 1980, Gygax published these details in the 32-page folio The World of Greyhawk. Due to space considerations, his thousand-year history was very condensed, and regional descriptions were extremely brief; Ket's single paragraph describing its people and history was a mere 154 words. In this edition, Gygax portrayed Ket as a belligerent nation often at odds with its neighbors. Its population was given as "50,000+", 23,400 of whom lived in the capital of Lopolla. (Although not mentioned in the descriptive text, a second Ketite city, Molvar, was shown on the map of the Flanaess that accompanied the folio.) This edition did not provide a name for each country's ruler, and Ket's leader was simply called "His Illustrious Glory, the Beygraf of Ket, Shield of the True Faith". (There was no indication of what god was served by "the True Faith". Gygax had originally planned to create a specific deity for the True Faith; however, other projects intervened, and it was one of the details that Gygax never finished.[5]) Since Ket lay between Baklunish lands to the east and Oeridian lands to the west, it was considered a buffer state and a crossroads of trade and culture; its people were a mix of human races (although Baklunish culture predominated), and the court and military showed strong influences from both east and west. Other than trade, its resources were silver and gems. Militarily, Ket had been both the victim of invasion and an aggressor seeking new territory, although in 576 CY, its most pressing concern seemed to be raiders from the Plains of the Paynims.[6]

Much of southern Ket was covered by the Bramblewood, a vast primeval forest that had one main road "and possibly some secondary tracks". Ket lay on a high plateau, and two major rivers, the Tuflik and the Fals, originated within Ket before flowing off the plateau to the north and south respectively.

The lack of space in the 1980 folio edition precluded an in-depth history of the Flanaess, but some of Ket's history can be pieced together from details contained in the descriptions of surrounding lands. Keoland's article mentions an invasion of Ket some 220 years before, a military adventure that ended in grief for Keoland at the battles of Molvar and Lopolla. If Ket was at one time the victim of an invasion by Keoland, it also had a reputation as an aggressor: neighbouring Bissel stands "as a bulwark between the Ket masses and the rest of the east", and Perrenland's description mentions "Attempts at expansion into Perrenland... by Ket were vigorously resisted by the inhabitants." Ket's aggressive character can also be seen in its frequent use of mercenaries from Perrenland (in disputes with Tusmit), tribesmen from the Plains of the Paynims (in disputes with Tusmit and Ekbir), and hillmen from the nearby Tusman Hills.

Coats-of-arms for all of the states were illustrated on the inside covers of the portfolio. Ket's was blazoned thus: Gules, a scimitar in pale argent, the point to the base.

World of Greyhawk boxed set (1983)[edit]

In 1983, the folio edition was upgraded to a boxed set that quadrupled its page count to 128 pages.*[7] However, most of the increased space was devoted to new details of deities, races, and cultures. The only changes to Ket were that its population was now specifically 85,000, and the name of its ruler was Zoltan. In this edition, Gygax outlined the various human pantheons of gods, including the Baklunish deities Istus, Geshtai, Zuoken and Xan Yae. The True Faith was again mentioned as the predominant religion of Ket, but none of the Baklunish gods was specifically linked to it.

The only other extra detail about Ket in this edition was that intelligent apes called dakon were known to dwell within the Bramblewood Forest.

Sea of Death: Gygax delineates his vision of Ket (1987)[edit]

After a dispute with TSR's majority owner Lorraine Williams, Gygax was forced out of the company at the end of 1985. Just prior to this, he had written the first two Gord the Rogue novels, set in Greyhawk. As part of his separation agreement with TSR, he retained rights to Gord to Rogue, and in 1987, he wrote the third book of the series, Sea of Death. The second chapter is set in Ket, and it highlighted what Gygax had originally envisioned of Ket in his World of Greyhawk material.

In Sea of Death, the city of Lopolla (called Hlupallu) is crowded, noisy, grimy, decadent and dangerous, with a quasi-Arabian flavor reminiscent of some of the city settings in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian short stories, Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar stories or John Norman's Gor novels. The city itself is divided into four walled quarters: the Casbah fortress, the Souk marketplace, the Medina residential quarter and the Ourmistan foreign quarter and warehouse district.

Out in the countryside, Bedouin-like nomadic tribes led by a hetman eternally wander, staying in one place only for a season before moving their herds of horses and goats to a new location. The men hunt and fight from horseback, while the women tend crops. The people have names like Malik ibn Urchi, Ageelia, Omar, Mulha and Zulman.

In a tavern fight between the obviously eastern Oeridian Gord and several (western) Baklunish guards, most Baklunish patrons immediately side with the guards, while non-Baklunish patrons side with Gord. However, several Ketites—in keeping with Gygax's vision of Ket as a mix of eastern and western cultures—take both sides:

In seconds a cacophony of battle-cries and challenges erupted, and the place truly became a battleground of east versus west. Ketites fought on both sides, each according to his feelings at the moment...[8]

Greyhawk Adventures (1988)[edit]

For almost three years after the departure of Gygax from TSR, no new material about Greyhawk was published other than the "joke" adventure module Castle Greyhawk. In 1988 Greyhawk Adventures by Jim Ward appeared, the thirteenth and final hardcover book published for the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. The contents were designed to give Dungeon Masters ideas and play opportunities unique to the Greyhawk world, and included six plot outlines that could be inserted into a Greyhawk campaign. One of these was "Csipros Erd—Geysers of Death", set in the borderlands of Ket: 65 years before (510 CY), the young Lord of Polvar, Sandor the Headstrong, pursued a band of orcs carrying a great store of treasure into the Yatil Mountains. There the Ketites cornered the orcs in a geyser-filled valley, but suddenly orcs and humans alike were overcome by a mysterious vapour issuing from the geysers. The only survivors were Sandor and a few men who had been observing from a nearby hilltop. Sandor and his men returned to Ket for reinforcements, disappeared back into the Yatils to recover the treasure, and were never seen again. To common knowledge, the geyser-filled valley and its lost treasure have not been re-discovered since.

This was the first mention of "Polvar" in published material, and while it was not clear whether Polvar was a city or a province, in later editions of the setting, it would become both.

The Greyhawk Wars: Ket takes center stage (1990)[edit]

Other than Greyhawk Adventures and a few Greyhawk novels by Rose Estes, the Greyhawk campaign had been left largely moribund by TSR while they concentrated on newer settings such as Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. However, in 1990, TSR decided to revive the Greyhawk campaign setting. Instead of introducing new campaign settings covering other areas of Oerth as Gygax had planned, TSR reset the Flanaess storyline by moving the time forward from 576 CY to 585 CY. Two adventure modules (WGS1 Five Shall Be One by Carl Sargent and WGS2 Howl from the North by Dale Henson), and the strategy game Greyhawk Wars set out a new and darker vision of the Flanaess that involved a continent-wide war fomented by Iuz the Old, the half-demon ruler of the country of Iuz. Alliances were broken, countries were destroyed, governments were overthrown, and evil was ascendant.

In Gygax's campaign, Ket had been an exotic but largely unremarkable state, mainly neuttral and on the periphery of events. Now in the new setting, Ket became a main player in the new storyline. As described in the Greyhawk Wars game, Ket was studiously neutral at the start of the war. However, Beygraf Zoltan of Ket had actually negotiated a secret treaty with Iuz, and at a critical juncture of the war, Ketite horsemen invaded and conquered neighbouring Bissel, threatening the left flank of the forces of Good. Ket had become identified as Evil, and the states that had been formerly suspicious of Ket because of its aggressive border raiding were now openly hostile to Iuz's new partner.

The follow-up campaign sourcebook, From the Ashes (1992), written primarily by Carl Sargent, set the campaign world in the year immediately following the end of the "Greyhawk Wars".[9] Ket, which continued to occupy Bissel, was described in language that left no question as to its evil status: "Bissel was forced to surrender by the fierce horsemen of Ket"; a group of Tusmit mercenaries in the city of Greyhawk is viewed with suspicion since "some are fearful that they might be spies in the pay of Ket"; Perrenland was "subjected to the aggressive territorial ambitions of Ket (fairly frequently)"; and Ket's rulers "smilingly dismiss any notion of further territorial ambitions...although [Ket's neighbor Veluna] would say otherwise."

Some other details of Ket were updated as well. Lopolla's population was decreased slightly to 22,000. The Baklunish goddesses Istus and Xan Yae were now widely revered in Ket, with no reference made to Gygax's "True Faith". For the first time, there were also geographical details about Ket: it is not a fertile land but is good pasturage, and has reserves of copper and gold. (In Gygax's edition, silver had been Ket's natural resource.) Although Baklunish people have golden-hued skin, Ketites' pale yellow or tanned skin betrays their mixed ancestry.

Under Bissel's description, more details of Ket's on-going occupation are given: The Margrave of Bissel committed suicide rather than be Ket's puppet, and Bissel is now ruled by a Ketite prince, Graf Imran, who has retained Bissel's mercenaries and soldiery and pays them well. He does not allow interference in Bisselites' daily lives, except that "the Ketite priesthoods zealously seek converts among the Bisselite folk, so far without discernible success." Dwarven clans in the nearby mountains have always traded with Ket, among others, and the invading Ketites have been "very careful to maintain good relations with them."

The description of the Bramblewood Forest remained largely the same, except that instead of dakons, the forest was now inhabited by dangerous creatures such as ettercaps and losels. The single road through the forest that had been mentioned in previous editions was now "well-maintained and heavily patrolled by Ketite soldiery."

Possible plot hooks for Dungeon Masters outlined in this edition include the sale of the highly sought-after "Book of the Griffon" in the city of Molvar, with the note that travelers can expect "bureaucratic harassment from Ketite officials hoping to prevent them from getting to Molvar."[10]

In follow-up books, Ket's reputation as an evil nation was cemented. Rary, a formerly-good archmage who had betrayed his fellow wizards at the end of the Greyhawk Wars, had originally come from Ket. In Rary the Traitor (1992), Rary's ties to Ket are emphasized.[11] In Iuz the Evil, "Iuz regards Ket as a nation of fools whom he will eventually subjugate even though they allied with him in the Greyhawk Wars."[12]

However, Sargent's darker vision of the Flanaess did not attract a new audience, and in late 1994, TSR shelved the Greyhawk campaign for good.

The only mention of Ket for the next few years was a plot hook in Issue #3 of The Oerth Journal called "The Sign of the Red Talisman". This unofficial material, for use by dungeon masters looking for new material for their Greyhawk campaigns, outlined a powerful group of Baklunish wizards operating in Zeif, who had "assisted the Ketites and the Beygraf Zoltan in the capture of the east-west buffer state known as the March of Bissel."[13]

Wizards of the Coast updates the Greyhawk campaign (1998)[edit]

In 1996, TSR ran into insoluble financial problems related to entering the collectible card game genre, and the following year was bought by Wizards of the Coast (WotC). After the merger, the determination was made that TSR had created too many settings for the D&D game, and several of them were eliminated.[14] However, WotC's CEO, Peter Adkison, was a fan of Greyhawk,[14] and Greyhawk was once again revived. A team of people was put together to revive the moribund Greyhawk setting by pulling together all the previously published information about the campaign setting. Once that was done, the decision was made to update Carl Sargent's unpopular storyline. After a "prequel" adventure to set the stage was released in 1998 (Roger E. Moore's Return of the Eight), the Greyhawk Player's Guide by Anne Brown was released later the same year. This 64-page booklet moved the storyline ahead 6 years to 591 CY, and explained in a few sentences what had happened to each region in the intervening time. If Ket had been placed on the center stage by Sargent, it was returned to the periphery in this edition. In order to remove the "evil" taint that Ket had gained during the Greyhawk Wars, the plot device of making the beygraf totally responsible for the treaty with Iuz was used; Beygraf Zoltan, now the sole architect of the treaty with Iuz, was assassinated, and his successor quickly pulled Ket out of all of Bissel except the city of Thornward. Now, "no major external threat exists to this stable area." This was the first official source that delved into the makeup of Ket's society. Unlike Gygax's vision of a land of wandering Bedouin-like tribes, Ket was now "an urban-centered society based on trading it all its forms." Instead of the devious Ketites described in Gygax's Sea of Death, Ketites now followed the "Four Feet of the Dragon": honour, family, generosity, and piety.[15]

This edition also introduced two new deities to the Baklunish pantheon, both of whom were to have a major effect on future descriptions of Ket: Mouqol, god of merchants, and Al'Akbar, a minor hero-deity.

Later in 1998, Roger E. Moore's The Adventure Begins greatly expanded on material mentioned in the Greyhawk Player's Guide. The assassination of Beygraf Zoltan was now explained as the work of a Ketite general, who had feared for Ket's future with Iuz an ally. Following Zoltan's death, the country teetered on civil war, but the new beygraf, Nadaid—it is unclear whether Nadaid was the general who assassinated Zoltan—seized power just in time to prevent an attack on Ket's forces in Bissel by Gran March, "which had been waiting for a moment of weakness." The end result was that Ket's forces were voluntarily withdrawn from Bissel, although the armies of four nations—Ket, Gran March, Bissel and Veluna—shared administration of Thornward as an open city. This did not end local resentment against Ket's actions—"Veluna and Keoland are furious with Ket even now for Ket's invasion of Bissel during the Greyhawk Wars." However, in keeping with the theme that ordinary Ketites had been dragged into the alliance with Iuz against their will: "Never mind that the beygraf who signed the deal is dead now, and Ket is more suspicious of Iuz than before."

As a further sign that Ket was to be regarded in a less pejorative light in this edition, an area of Greyhawk City home to large numbers of Baklunish merchants was called Little Ket. "The folk here are distant but friendly, and the odd smell of their mildly spicy food is everywhere."[16]

Ket in the third edition of D&D (2000)[edit]

In 2000, WotC released the Third Edition of D&D, and for the first time, made Greyhawk the default campaign world for D&D—that is, unless a Dungeon Master specifically used a different campaign setting, it was assumed that his or her D&D game was set in the world of Greyhawk. Because players who had previously used other campaign settings would be unfamiliar with Greyhawk, WotC also released the Dungeons and Dragons Gazetteer, essentially a summary of information about Greyhawk from all previous editions.

Although most of the basic information about Ket remained the same—other than Nadaid had replaced Zoltan on the throne—some details were changed:

  • Ket was now a former province of Zeif.
  • Gygax's undefined "True Faith", which had been dropped from subsequent editions after he left TSR, was revived and was now linked to worship of the obscure god Al'Akbar. Religion now played a far greater role in Ket's social life than before: "The clergy of Ket is intertwined with its military hierarchy. Every company has its own cleric, and Ketite soldiers are expected to adhere to the devotions of Al'Akbar."[17]
  • The Mouqollad Consortium, a mercantile guild that followed the teachings of the other new god, Mouqol, was an important part of Ketite life: "the bazaar of each major town is administrated by a particular merchant clan [of the Mouqollad Consortium.]"

Ket in the Living Greyhawk campaign (2001–2008)[edit]

The introduction of the Third Edition of D&D was closely followed by the roll-out of Living Greyhawk, a massively shared D&D campaign that ran from 2001–2008, administered by WotC's organized play division, the RPGA . In order to give the campaign setting as much latitude for play as possible, WotC published the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer,[18] the most in-depth examination of the world of Greyhawk yet. As with every other political state and region, Ket's description and details of its history and society were greatly expanded:

  • The population was more than tripled, from 85,000 to 275,000. The racial makeup of the population, which in Gygax's editions had been "mainly human", was divided into "Human 96%, Dwarf 2%, Halfling 1%, Other 1%"
  • In addition to the cities of Lopolla (whose population was restored to its original 27,300) and Molvar, the towns of Polvar (12,600) and Falwur (13,500) were added. The country itself was divided into six districts, four of them centered around the four urban centers and two dividing the Bramblewood Forest between them. This edition completely replaced Gygax's concept of a country of nomadic tribes with a quiet and peaceful rural countryside: "The northern and western portion of Ket are more civilized country [than the Bramblewood], with tilled fields and many villages."
  • Copper and gems were still on the list of natural resources, but silver replaced gold.
  • Social details such as the denominations of local coinage and the various gods worshipped were added
  • The greatly expanded history of Ket explained in detail historical details that had only been mentioned briefly in previous editions:
    • how Ket began as a province of Zeif
    • the invasion of Ket by a group of nomads called "The Brazen Horde"
    • the subsequent invasion by Keoland, and the construction of a trade road—now called the Irafa Road—through the Bramblewood Forest
    • the Ketite resistance movement that eventually drove the armies of Keoland out of the country and won Ketite independence from Zeif. This was also the time when the True Faith (now linked to Al'Akbar) became the predominant religion in both the military and government.
    • During the Greyhawk Wars, Ket had unsuccessfully attempted to invade Veluna, and Highfolk gnomes had defeated Ketite forces in the nearby Lorridges hills.
    • When Beygraf Zoltan was assassinated after the Greyhawk Wars, the mullahs (priests of Al'Akbar) refused to magically restore Zoltan to life (further cementing the new storyline that it was Zoltan alone who had dealt with the evil Iuz.) Nadaid, a moderate, came to power with the support of the Mouqollad Consortium, and had little respect from the fanatical priests of the True Faith.

New to Ket's history was mention of a period of militarism about 120 years previous to the current setting, when Ket had besieged the city of Thornward for a year, and also raided into Bissel and Veluna. Attempted invasions of Perrenland also took place during this time. Also new was an alliance made two centuries previous between Ket and the dwarves of the Yatil Mountains against the depredations of the archmage Iggwilv.

References to specific monsters found in the Bramblewood were dropped in favour of a more generic description of "strange, evil non-humans and fell monsters". In addition, the yarpick or daggerthorn tree is identified as being abundant in the Bramblewood. The fruit of these trees, yarpick nuts, which can be either consumed whole or ground into meal, are sold in the marketplaces of Ket, Perrenland and the Baklunish nations to the west.

In the run-up to the start of the Living Greyhawk campaign, Ket was assigned to all of Eastern Canada except Quebec (specifically the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador), and a trio of volunteers (the "Triad") was appointed to oversee the development of the campaign in Ket. Although the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer had greatly increased the history of Ket, there was very little material about the social, geographical, political and religious fabric of the country. In the months before the official launch of the campaign, the Triad worked with a volunteer development team to flesh out a proposed social background and geographical setting for Ket. Some of the new material was based on previously published references; for example, the eight forts on the Irafa Road mentioned in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer were now given names, as were the six provinces. However, for the most part, instead of extrapolating the material that had been published by WotC material over the past three years, the development team veered back to the vision of Ket set out in Gygax's Sea of Death. This version of Ket was unveiled in 2001 in A Favour, the first Living Greyhawk Ket adventure. What was revealed was a feudal theocratic pseudo-Persian society of unforgiving laws and harsh punishments, where the merciless and literal interpretation of statutes and decrees outweighed any considerations of justice or mercy. Citizens were hauled off to the copper mines or sold into slavery for the smallest infractions. Several races, including elves, were held to be a lower class than horses. Mullahs of the True Faith were in positions of power, and the national police force known as the Threshers had arbitrary powers of arrest, detention, judgement and sentencing. In Lopolla, the Triad even used Gygax's names for the four quarters of the city (Souk, Casbah, Medina and Ourmistan), although the Ourmistan was now a tent city outside the walls, since Ketites were now so xenophobic that foreigners were not allowed to live in the city proper.[19]

Most of these new details directly contradicted previously published WotC sources; for instance, despite the published assertion that Ket was a cultural and racial melting pot that welcomed trade—a constant hallmark of Ket since Gygax's first edition—the people of Ket in this new incarnation were uniformly Baklunish and extremely xenophobic.[20]

In later years of the campaign, some of the harsher aspects of Ket were changed, restoring it to something more closely akin to WotC's published vision of Ket.

Timeline of Ket during the Living Greyhawk Campaign[edit]

The Living Greyhawk campaign was notable for moving the campaign timeline ahead one year for every calendar year of real world time. This is the history of Ket during the Living Greyhawk campaign as outlined in the various adventures produced for play in Ket. (Although the campaign was administered by the RPGA, which is in turn operated by Wizards of the Coast, all history developed during the campaign was "non-canonical"—that is, it was not taken into consideration when "official" Greyhawk material was subsequently published by WotC; the timeline of a Dungeon Master running a Greyhawk home campaign would be very different that the developments seen in the Living Greyhawk campaign):

CY 591 Beygraf Nadaid, the ruler mentioned in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, was still on the throne. The harsh laws enforced by the Threshers, Jurats (judges) and priests were at their most extreme, and the people of Ket suffered for every minor infraction of the law. Many were shipped off to the copper mines as slaves, and there were several instances of escaped slaves that needed to be caught and returned to the mines.[21] Arad Darkeye, a hero of the Greyhawk Wars, was found wandering near the Bramblewood Forest, a lonely and forgotten man who told of a cache of treasure hidden within the forest.[22] In the city of Molvar, a master criminal stole a sacred gem, the Blood of the True, and disappeared from sight.[23]

CY 592 In the Yatils Mountains to the north, the dwarves were uneasy about something near or in Threefalls Lake, although they were loath to say what.[24] In the Bramblewood, a tentative pact with the Silvertip elves resulted in a trade agreement concerning yarpick nuts.[25]

CY 593 The dwarves revealed that the problem near Threefalls Lake was a clockwork horror (a mechanical spider) that had broken out of its ancient tomb.[26] An investigation into an old research facility revealed that during the Greyhawk Wars, a band of renegade wizards under the tutelage of then-Beygraf Zoltan conspired to create a weapon of mass destruction that would have enabled Ket to conquer all its neighbours on behalf of Iuz.[27] An odd drug that caused insanity in wizards was discovered, but the source of the drug was not found.[28]

CY 594 A series of uprisings among the common folk convinced the Beygraf to soften the harsh laws to some extent.[29] The army marched into neighbouring Tusmit on a speculative invasion, but both the Tusmit and Ket armies were ambushed by a powerful rebel force near the city of Vilayad. A combined Ketite/Tusmit army finally came to their rescue and broke the siege of Vilayad.[30] Back in Ket, the Archons (the wizards' guild) were infected by a drug that causes insanity, and attacked the main temple in Lopolla, destroying it. At the same time, the evil wizards responsible for this also attempted to assassinate the Beygraf, but failed when their weapon of mass destruction (based on secret research done during the Greyhawk Wars) was disabled.[31]

CY 595 Ket proposed that the three foreign nations that controlled the free city of Thornward (Ket, Gran March, and Furyondy) all withdraw and turn over control of the city to Bissel. In the Yatils, the clockwork horror that escaped its ancient tomb two years ago reappeared, having built an army of other machines.[32]

CY 596 The army of mechanical spiders raced across Ket into the Bramblewood Forest and attempted to open a planar gate to another dimension that would allow more mechanical creatures to invade. A hasty alliance of elves and Ketites destroyed the mechanical army, at great cost to both Ket and the elves.[33] In Lopolla, the main temple was rebuilt and consecrated.[34] The Beygraf decided that Rary, nominally Archmage of Ket, had been away from Ket too long, and started a year-long competition to replace him.[35]

CY597 An intricate plot of Iuz to replace Nadaid with one of the high nobles under the cover of civil unrest was uncovered. Nadaid's life was saved by Najmeh, a female monk of Xan Yae.[36] The lost Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar were discovered in the nation of Ekbir, and Sylvana (daughter of the late Beygraf Zoltan) called upon the army to march into Ekbir and seize them. When Nadaid objected, his brother, the Black Arrow, deposed him. Nadaid escaped from the city as the army marched off to war.[37] Bissel took advantage of the army's absence to invade and burn the capital city of Lopolla to the ground, exacting revenge for their humiliating defeat during the Greyhawk Wars.

CY 598 From the safety of Molvar, the ex-Beygraf Nadaid made alliances with the Church of Hextor, the Thorns (imperial palace guards),[38] and the elves of the Bramblewood,[39] as well as hiring hobgoblin mercenaries.[40] He also recovered the sacred gem that had been stolen in 591 CY.[41] Using these, Nadaid forced the remaining Bissel army out of Ket.[42] In Ekbir, as the Ketite army faced off against the army of Ekbir, Al'Akbar appeared, called everyone dogmatic fools, and destroyed the Cup and Talisman so they could never be used to foment war again. With nothing to show for their long journey, the Ket army headed home.[43] Upon returning to Ket, the Black Arrow was assassinated by rebel priests trying to drive Ket into civil war. When their plot failed, and Nadaid re-ascended the throne, married Najmeh, and as the final act of the Living Greyhawk campaign in Ket, he dug up the first shovelful of dirt in the rebuilding of Lopolla.[44]


  1. ^ Gygax: "An average of seven gaming sessions a week was typical even when I was busy working. Often I played more than that. " "Gary Gygax: Q & A (Part II, Page 9)". EN World. 2003-02-26. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  2. ^ Gygax: "The planet was much like our earth. The city of Greyhawk was located on the [Great] lakes in about the position that Chicago is, and Dyvers was north at the Milwaukee location. The general culture was pseudo medieval European. Some of the kingdoms shown on the WoG map were around the adventure-central area, the City of Greyhawk." "Gary Gygax: Q & A (Part III, Page 4)". EN World. 2003-04-14. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  3. ^ Gygax: "When I was using the pre-World of Greyhawk map for my world setting, the West Coast of North America was the Pleistocene region inhabited by savage cavemen and their contemporary fauna." "Gary Gygax: Q & A (Part IX, Page 45)". EN World. 2005-07-06. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  4. ^ Gygax: "When I initiated the Greyhawk campaign, I envisaged a world of parallel earth sort. Thus the geography then assumed was pretty close to that of earth. Being busy running game sessions, creating dungeon levels, the map of Greyhawk City, writing new material, and also really enjoying 'winging it', I never did a large-scale map for the world.""Gary Gygax: Q & A (Part I, Page 8)". EN World. 2002-09-06. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  5. ^ Q: You list the leader of Ket... as the Shield of the “True Faith”. What “True Faith” would that be?" Gygax: "One that I never had the opportunity to elucidate. That was to come, but... in short, the deities for the folk there were to be other than those enumerated by me."Stormberg, Paul J. (Spring 2001). "Thus Spake: Gygax: Ye Secrets of Oerth Revealed". Oerth Journal (12): 4. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  6. ^ Gygax, Gary (1980). The World of Greyhawk. TSR. p. 12. ISBN 0-88038-279-1. 
  7. ^ Gygax, Gary (1983). World of Greyhawk. TSR. p. 28. ISBN 0-88038-279-1. 
  8. ^ Gygax, Gary (1987). Sea of Dust. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: New Infinities Productions. 
  9. ^ Sargent, Carl. From the Ashes. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1992
  10. ^ Sargent, Carl (1991). From the Ashes. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc. 
  11. ^ Sargent, Carl (1992). Rary the Traitor. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc. 
  12. ^ Sargent, Carl (1993). Iuz the Evil. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR, Inc. ISBN 1-56076-584-4. 
  13. ^ Holian, Gary (1996-03-20). "Sorcerous Societies of the Flanaess" (PDF). The Oerth Journal (The Council of Greyhawk) (3): 9. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  14. ^ a b 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. Renton WA: Wizards of the Coast. 2004. p. 55. ISBN 0-7869-3498-0. 
  15. ^ Brown, Anne (2008). Player's Guide to Greyhawk. Renton WA: TSR. ISBN 0-7869-1248-0. 
  16. ^ Moore, Roger E. (2008). The Adventure Begins. Renton WA: TSR. ISBN 0-7869-1249-9. 
  17. ^ Moore, Roger E. (2008). Dungeons & Dragons Gazatteer. Renton WA: TSR. ISBN 0-7869-1249-9. 
  18. ^ Holian, Gary; Mona, Erik; Reynolds, Sean K.; Weining, Frederick (2000). Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Wizards of the Coast. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7869-1743-3. 
  19. ^ Tyler Bannister (May 2001). KET1-01 A Favour. Wizards of the Coast. 
  20. ^ Bannister, Tyler; Campey, Steve; Ket Development Team (2001-01-02). Regional Gazetteer: Ket. Wizards of the Coast. 
  21. ^ Larry Douglas (November 2001). KET1-05 Search for the Lost. Wizards of the Coast. 
  22. ^ Campey, Steve; Garofalo, Vincent (2001). Fallen hero. Wizards of the Coast. 
  23. ^ Chris Sapkowski (2001). KET1-06 Thicker Than Water. Wizards of the Coast. 
  24. ^ Stephen Baker (2002). KET2-03 Fish Out of Water. Wizards of the Coast. 
  25. ^ Stephen Baker (2002). KET2-02 Shockwave. Wizards of the Coast. 
  26. ^ Stephen Baker (2003). KET3-05 Broken Faith. Wizards of the Coast. 
  27. ^ Jim Rea (2003). KET3-03 Into Thin Air. Wizards of the Coast. 
  28. ^ J.P. Chapleau (2003). KET3-06 Burnt Flour in Highdough. Wizards of the Coast. 
  29. ^ Stephen Baker (2004). KET4-04 Water the Meadows. Wizards of the Coast. 
  30. ^ Stephen Baker and Telquenariel (2004). KET4-09 All's Fair. Wizards of the Coast. 
  31. ^ Jim Rea (2004). KET4-07 The Darkeye Hour. Wizards of the Coast. 
  32. ^ Stephen Baker (2005). KET5-02 Recruitment Drive. Wizards of the Coast. 
  33. ^ Stephen Baker (2006). KET6-07 All Good Things. Wizards of the Coast. 
  34. ^ Stephen Baker and Telequenariel (2006). KET6-02 Rule of Engagement. Wizards of the Coast. 
  35. ^ Stephen Baker (2006). KET6-06 The Patriot's Post. Wizards of the Coast. 
  36. ^ Alan Brown and Penn Davies (2007). KET7-01 Balance of Secrets, KET7-03 Balance of Harmony, KET7-06 Balance of Peace, KET7-07 Balance of Ket. Wizards of the Coast. 
  37. ^ Alan Brown and Penn Davies (2007). KETIA7-04 At the Beygraf's Pleasure. Wizards of the Coast. 
  38. ^ Alan Brown and Penn Davies (2007). KET7-09 A Thorny Issue. Wizards of the Coast. 
  39. ^ Lisa Liscoumb and Michael Rowsell (2008). KET8-02 Crossing the Threshold. Wizards of the Coast. 
  40. ^ Alan Brown and Penn Davies (2008). KETIA8-01 Friend of My Friend. Wizards of the Coast. 
  41. ^ Jason O'Gorman and Penn Davies (2008). KET8-03 Blood of the True. Wizards of the Coast. 
  42. ^ Alan Brown and Penn Davies (2008). KETIA8-02 A Time for Action. Wizards of the Coast. 
  43. ^ Stephen Baker (2008). VTFIA8-01 Unity and Discord. Wizards of the Coast. 
  44. ^ Jim Rea and Penn Davies (2008). KET8-06 The Empty Throne. Wizards of the Coast. 

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