Suloise

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In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, the Suloise, also known as the "Suel," are one of the major races of humans inhabiting the Flanaess.

The Suel began migrating to the Flanaess in large numbers c. -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 was 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.

Publication history[edit]

The 1980 Folio edition of the World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting contained no information about human racial diversity. Kenneth Burke's review in Dragon Magazine issue 46 was critical of the description of "cannibal savages" in the jungle lands of the Amedio Jungle and Hepmonaland as unfortunate evidence of racist assumptions.[1] Lawrence Schick, Vice President of Product Development at TSR wrote a response stating that "nowhere in the text of the Gazetteer is there any indication of anybody’s skin color. Nobody here ever gave it any thought, because it doesn’t matter."[2]

In Dragon #52 (August 1981) Leonard Lakofka gave information on the fictional languages of the Flaness to which Gary Gygax appended a brief description of the racial types of the setting, describing the Suloise as having "many" representatives who are so fair they are "nearly albino". Gygax stated that "The inner mixture of Oeridians with Suloise tends toward a typical European-mix looking population".

In Dragon #55, (November 1981) Gary Gygax gave more definition to the Suloise, stating again that they were fair skinned but that "some" were almost albino. The Suel were also determined to be the majority racial inhabitants of the lands of the Frost, Snow, and Ice Barbarians (northern lands topographically unique for possessing fjords, as well the Amedio Jungle and Hepmonaland. Their fictional history described bands of Suel taking up residence in the jungles after the Great Migrations. Their common dress was also detailed.

The 1983 boxed set edition reprinted these details of the Suel ethnicity and their pale skin and blonde hair. The boxed set also detailed their history involving a genocidal war against the Baklunish, and connections to the Scarlet Brotherhood, a faction of evil monks with a doctrine of Suel racial superiority. The set also listed many of their deities, but gave background and game statistic information on only a very few.

Leonard Lakofka detailed the gods not given complete details in a series of articles in Dragon Magazine, issues 86-90 and 92. Their resemblance to Norse culture was enhanced particularly in the descriptions of Lendor and Kord. Lendor being a deity of time and knowledge, and the father-god of the Suel pantheon (like Odin) and his son Kord who was a god of strength and battle and was known for dalliances with human women (like Thor).

Sean K Reynolds's The Scarlet Brotherhood provided the most detailed background information about the Suel culture and religion. It included two pages listing specific terms in the Suel fictional language Ancient Suloise and their English translation.

Description[edit]

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.

Religion[edit]

The following deities make up the Suel pantheon:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burke, Kenneth W. (February 1981). "The Dragon's Augury: "A Universal Constant "". Dragon (Lake Geneva WI: TSR) V (8): 49. 
  2. ^ Burke, Kenneth W. (February 1981). "The Dragon's Augury: "Grey" Areas Were Made That Way". Dragon (Lake Geneva WI: TSR) V (8): 50. 

Additional reading[edit]