Post Greyhawk Wars: 585 CY
The Kingdom of Furyondy
Ruler: King Belvor IV
Spring, 585 CY
Furyondy stands at this time.
The nation has suffered a serious loss of fighting manpower, but it has also gained from an influx of refugees and warriors from other nations. The Shield Landers, of whom some 11,000 were evacuated to Furyondy, are the most important group.
Furyondy has lost territory to the north, including some vital fertile land south of Whyestil Lake (and the fish resources of the lake itself), which has reduced gross food production by about eight percent. To the east, the Veng river is too dangerous for most merchants to sail, so trade has been adversely affected. However, Furyondy has generally not lost too much of its lands and productive resources. It is down, but certainly not out.
Furyondy is, however, faced with a desperate need to spend far more money than it did before the War. Chendl itself is in a state of considerable disrepair. Several vital northern castles have been lost and building more along a new northern frontier will be time consuming and very expensive. There is also a pressing need to hire mercenaries for the defense of the Kingdom and to aid the Highfolk, which is also a drain on finance. The Southern nobles have long grumbled about their taxation load, which, in truth, has never been great. Now they are a little more willing to support the king, but there are strong tensions between the different provinces and Belvor’s impatience with some of his nobles makes more than one fear that the king may try to depose the noble houses and centralize rule of the lands.
Since the war, Furyondians are more serious and troubled folk. Most have lost someone they cared for. Nearly ten percent of this nation’s population died in battle. This has sobered and toughened them. They believe war will come again. Next time it will be a fight to the finish. A few Furyondians are plunged into despair, but most are readying their defenses, eager to learn fighting skills in village and hamlet militias. Morale is generally still good outside of the northern provinces And, while some Furyondians favor sharp practice in dealing with outsiders, most are still tolerant of foreigners. They are wary. Villages which can afford it have palisade walls and stockades under construction, or at least earthwork defenses. But Furyondians have one great advantage: they know who their enemy is. They know evil lies to the north. Everyone else is a potential ally, or so most Furyondians believe still. Iuz has slain a tenth of this people, but he has not broken their hearts and wills.
Furyondy is still a strong and vital kingdom. While some of its people are still bemoaning their losses in the wars; this· is no nation of cowards or fainthearts. Rather, Furyondy needs to buy time, to marshal its resources, build new defenses, steel its people and collective will, and whip dissident nobles into line behind a valorous and capable king.
Whether it will have that time, Istus alone knows.
Furyondy is home to over 15,000 people who have fled here from their own, conquered homelands. Around 11,000 of these are Shield Landers who, by and large, have integrated well. Around 2,000 of them are troops, most of them having fought for Furyondy during the Wars, so native Furyondians have tolerance and respect for these folk. Shield Landers tend to be hard working, but not terribly adaptable, so often they work in jobs which are below their level of ability. Other exiles have arrived from Nyrond, Bissel, the Lost Lands or the Bandit Kingdoms, in much smaller numbers. Furyondy is fortunate that these immigrants have been accepted, and appear to accept their new home.
Beginning of 586 CY:
Rumors of a Great Northern Crusade sweep throughout all of the major cities on Greyhawk.
King Belvor of Furyondy and Canon Hazen of Veluna call for all and any able bodied man and woman that can swing a sword. Stories circulate that Canon Hazen has recoverd the Crook of Rao and will soon use it against the forces of Iuz
Coldeven of 586 CY:
The Great Northern Crusade
News from the North:
Word spreads through Furyondy of an extraordinary event. The great fiends that had patrolled and ravaged the many lands seized by Iuz are no longer in sight. Their disappearance initially causes a panic among troops on the front lines, who feared the monsters had crossed deep into Furyondy as a prelude to a renewed invasion by Iuz’s forces. However, word is soon received from priests of Rao, contacted by their superiors in Mitrik, that the artifact known as the Crook of Rao has been recovered, and it had been used by His Venerable Reverence, Canon Hazen, aided by many lesser priests and the archmage Bigby, to rid the Flanaess of the fiends’ presence. Reports confirming the absence of these monstrosities conflict with later news that a few fiends in scattered locations have withstood the Crook’s effect and remain at large. Still, the majority of these demons have been cast from Oerth, back into the depths of their home planes.
The consequences of this event are twofold:
First, chaos spreads through many humanoid armies of Iuz, who recognize the loss of their powerful masters; disorder even erupts among the mortal leaders of these forces, Iuz’s priests and Boneheart spellcasters, who have no idea where the fiends have gone.
Second, and more importantly, the armies in Furyondy that are arrayed against Iuz took heart. Northern lords, commanders, knights, soldiers, and commoners who dream of bitter revenge against Iuz now see it within their grasp. King Belvor knows there is no chance to hold an offensive back without risking his throne in the process. He thus sends out word to his nobles that a counteroffensive against Iuz will begin on his command. He manages to suppress the usual squabbling between the lords of Furyondy and direct their attention to calling up levies, arming troops, requisitioning supplies, and laying hasty plans for the attack