Free City of Greyhawk

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HISTORY

The Free City of Greyhawk (also known as Greyhawk City and the "Gem of the Flanaess"),named for the small grey hawks which populate the region, was originally a trading outpost on the Selintan River specializing in local wood and woven garments. In time the town developed strong textiles and meat-packing industries. From the earliest days, Greyhawk was ruled by a warlord who took the title “Landgraf of the Selintan.” This first Landgraf’s son was then married to the Gynarch of Hardby’s daughter. The nuptials formalized a political alliance that served as the basis for rule over the Lanstadt of Selintan, the area that eventually became known as the Domain of Greyhawk.

In 4 CY, Greyhawk came under the domination of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy and remained so while strong Overkings ruled from the Malachite Throne in Rauxes. The Great Kingdom’s influence over the city began to wane during the third and especially the fourth centuries as the House of Rax declined and the Overkings hold on distant provinces became increasingly tenuous.

In approximately 310 CY, the mage Zagig Yragerne emerged from the Wild Coast and bribed his way into a seat on the Directing Oligarchy. Soon after, the Oligarchs elected Zagig Lord Mayor.

Greyhawk subsequently rose in fame and prominence under the leadership of Lord Mayor Zagig. He instituted legal reform, developed a new currency, fortified the walls, founded the city’s first university and embarked on a major building program. Most notably, he directed the construction of nearby Castle Greyhawk.

Although Zagig — later known as Zagyg — became increasingly erratic over time, his rule is generally considered to be the most effective in the Free City’s history and brought widespread prosperity to the region. Much to the annoyance of Dyvers and other rival cities, Zagig proclaimed Greyhawk to be the "Gem of the Flanaess," and did much to ensure this moniker was justified. Unfortunately, the "Mad Archmage" disappeared in 421 CY, leaving no clues regarding his whereabouts, and no heir to inherit the title of Lansgraf.

In 498 CY, after decades of Zagig's absence, the Landstadt was therefore abolished, the title of Lansgraf permanently retired, and the Free City's Directing Oligarchy assumed political authority. The new Lord Mayor Paerinn officially proclaimed Greyhawk a free city, though it had been effectively independent of the Great Kingdom's rule for over a century.

Soon thereafter, the city lost its claim over Hardby and the Wild Coast, as the leading women of Hardby broke from Greyhawk and established the ruling office of Despotrix. This loss of lands sent the Free City into economic decline, a situation that persisted for several decades. Fortunately, the discovery of treasure in the dungeons beneath Castle Greyhawk and other nearby locales set off a gold rush of sorts, and Greyhawk's economic fortunes recovered substantially in the second half of the sixth century.

GEOGRAPHY

The Free City of Greyhawk is located centrally in the Flanaess, which is the easternmost part of the continent of Oerik on the world of Oerth. The city controls a large swath of land along the Selintan River from the Nyr Dyv south to Woolly Bay most of the Cairn Hills, parts of the Gnarley Forest, the northern Wild Coast, and parts of the Abbor-Alz. The entire region is officially known as the Domain of Greyhawk. The Domain is bordered on the east by the Abbor-Alz and its western border lies within the Gnarley Forest. The area south of Greyhawk City along the Selintan is known as the Plain of Greyhawk.

The city itself is encircled by a wall 30 feet high along its entire length, 18 feet wide at the base, narrowing to a ten foot wide platform at the top, with a parapet on both the inside and outside edges. Four gates – Black, Highway, Garden, and Cargo – are 16 feet high, 24 feet wide, and one foot thick. Each of the remaining gates is 12 feet high, eight feet wide, and one foot thick. The gates are made of iron-reinforced roan, backed by a two-inch thick iron portcullis, which is housed in a gatehouse while raised. Two towers flank each gate.

The gates are known as the Black Gate, Cargo Gate, Druid’s Gate, Duke’s Gate, Garden Gate, Highway Gate, Marsh Gate, St Cuthberts Gate and Wharfgate.

The northeast corner of the city houses The Grand Citadel, which is bordered within the walls by the High Quarter, which abuts the Garden Quarter. The High Market is at the intersection of the two. Traveling south through the Garden Gate, Clerkburg is to the east, and 

RELIGION

The Free City of Greyhawk hosts temples and shrines to many deities, including Beory, Boccob, Celestian, Corellon Larethian, Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Garl Glittergold, Heironeous, Istus, Kord, Kurell, Lirr, Moradin, Norebo, Obad-Hai, Olidammara, Osprem, Pelor, Pholtus, Procan, Ralishaz, Rao, Saint Cuthbert, Trithereon, Ulaa, Wee Jas, Xerbo, Yondalla, and Zilchus. The worship of evil deities and fiends is forbidden, and such cults, though they may have followers, do not have a public presence.

GOVERNMENT

The Domain of Greyhawk has no officially named provinces. Some of the region's settlements are under the direct rule of the Free City, while others have varying degrees of autonomy. Notable settlements include:

  • The Free City of Greyhawk
  • Blackstone -A mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City
  • Diamond Lake – A mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City
  • Elmshire – A large halfling town on the Nyr Dyv, east of the Selintan
  • Greysmere – A dwarven stronghold south of the Mistmarsh
  • Grossetgrottel – A gnome warren located in the northwestern Cairn Hills
  • Hardby – A small, virtually autonmous port city on Woolly Bay, east of the Selintan
  • Magepoint – A coastal village east of Elmshire, under the protection of Tenser the archmage
  • Narwell – A large inland town on the former Wild Coast
  • Safeton – A small port city on the former Wild Coast, virtually under martial law
  • Steaming Springs – A mining town in the Cairn Hills directly controlled by Greyhawk City

Greyhawk's Directing Oligarchy elects one of its own to as Lord Mayor, who serves as the head of state in addition to his directorial duties. The current Lord Mayor, Nerof Gasgal, has held office since 571 CY. The Lord Mayor heads both the Directing Oligarchy and the Council of Mayors and Manorial Lords. The chief of state also officially heads the military, though actual command is most often left to the Captain General of the Watch.

The Free City of Greyhawk is ruled by the Directing Oligarchy, an executive council of twelve to eighteen members representing the City's major professional guilds and the military. In some cases, the Oligarchy may include important wizards or clerics. New Directors are chosen by current council members when a vacency must be filled.

The Greyhawk Council of Mayors and Manorial Lords is an annual assembleage of leaders from the various baronies and towns in Greyhawk Domain. In theory, this gathering allows citizens of the Domain to have a voice in the governance of the region, but in practice this Council has little real authority.

Major legal matters in the Free City of Greyhawk are adjudicated by a Judge of Greyhawk, one of eight such officials appointed by the Directing Oligarchy. One of these eight is chosen to serve as Chief judge of Greyhawk, a position currently held by Sir Anton Palmirian who also sits on the Directing Oligarchy and oversees the Guild of Lawyers and Scribes. In cases of great import, three Judges of Greyhawk may preside. Appeals of major cases are always heard by a panel of three Judges of Greyhawk, though the Lord Mayor sometimes sits in place of one of the Judges.

Lesser matters in Greyhawk City are tried by magistrates from the Guild of Lawyers and Scribes.

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Free City of Greyhawk

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