Mysterious Places10/11/2005

Rumors and Whispers of the Flanaess
Mysterious Places

Tall tales, unlikely rumours and idle gossip swirls throughout the taprooms, marketplaces and temple precincts of the Flanaess. Separating truth from foolish speculation, downright lies and the ill-informed ramblings of drunks, yokels and rumourmongers attempting to separate a fool from his coin is an essential skill for any adventurer travelling the Flanaess.

The veracity of many of the rumours detailed below is certainly in doubt. While in many cases the truth of the matter is impossible to determine, these are the kind of rumours that that adventurers will inevitably come to hear. Some may foreshadow events detailed in as yet unreleased core or core special adventures, while others may hold as much weight as a summer breeze. DMs are encouraged to use the below rumours as fillers in any encounter in which the PCs could learn about supposed events.

The archmage Tenser has once again been seen abroad in the Central Flanaess. It is thought that the archmage–slain by the perfidious Rary but since returned to life–is bent on retrieving several caches of spellbooks and magical items secreted about the Flanaess against a time of great need. Tenser has publicly stated that he does not wish to rejoin the Circle of Eight and that he finds its ethos of balance mutually exclusive with his belief in the forces of law and goodness.

Rumours of hitherto unknown burial cairns discovered in the environs of the Free City of Greyhawk are once again causing an influx of adventurers to the Free City. For long years little of import was uncovered in the Free City’s environs, and these latest discoveries are greeted with much enthusiasm by adventurers and other daring (or avaricious) individuals.

High up in the Corusk Mountains east of the Schnai city of Knudje can be found the so-called Hanging Glacier of Alisedran. First described in the travelogue On Sledge and Horseback to the Barbarians of the North the glacier is thought to be far older. Dread stories handed down from the time before the Great Migrations speak of this place. The few explorers who have survived the terrors of the Corusks to find the glacier speak in awe of a huge glacier tumbling over an impossibly high and sheer cliff. Vast chunks of ice hover above the river far below seemingly frozen in midair by some magical force. The glacier is also thought to be the nexus from which in some way a veritable horde of monsters rampage out of the mountains in twenty-year cycles. These monsters invariably cause much damage to the settlements of the Schnai before the doughty barbarian warriors slay or drive off the invaders. 596 heralds the beginning of another cycle and the Jarls of the Schnai are known to be looking for brave adventurers to eradiate this threat.

The City of Hardby–the so-called Scorned City–is suffering some extremely unseasonable weather. Temperatures are soaring and with it tempers fray and industry grinds to a halt. Coupled with this great heat comes an increased number of fires within the precinct of the city. While most have been small and easily contained a few have resulted in the death of several citizens. Some whisper that Hardby is cursed, or that some demon-worshipping cult is behind it all. Others believe that the infamous Traitor is behind the terrible heat-wave. They whisper that he uses it as a lever to gain political control over the city.

Tales of desperate battles beneath the dusty peaks of the Abbor-Alz against dark dwarves and the discovery of an alliance between the duergar’s mysterious leader and the Monarch of the Bright Lands have caused much consternation in the taprooms and alehouses of the Central Flanaess. Exact details of the pact are unclear but surrounding nations are bound to view this development with no little trepidation. Secure in his desert fastness many label Rary as one of the greatest, and most dangerous, powers of evil currently active in the Flanaess.

The ruins of another mountain city were found in the depths of the Rakers. Seemingly similar in construct to the great ruins at Tostenhca this city is far more remote than its better known sibling. Of particular interest to adventurers are the accounts of a vast quantity of precious gemstones and metals still said to adorn the city’s temples and palaces. Such a wealth of treasure could greatly benefit many, not least Tenh’s new duke who still battles to restore his beleaguered nation.

The orcs of the Pomarj seem once again to be preparing for war. Adventurers returning from daring raids deep inside this malign realm report tribes massing for battle and the movement of large bodies of troops. Coupled with this rumours speak of the clandestine return of Jedurek, one of Turrosh Mac’s most capable war captains. Drow have also been spotted in Highport; what this development portends is surely ill.

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