Among the gods worshiped by the Tiger Nomads is Incabulos, the god of plagues, famine, nightmares, and disasters. He is revered by some who wish to win his favor and gain some of his wicked power, but most want only to appease him and keep his vileness at bay. From this belief came the Black Riders, a group of rangers that believe the only way to keep Incabulos pacified is to give him the death and destruction he craves. These rangers did not wish to commit these acts upon their people, so instead, they commit vile deeds upon others in Incabuloses name.
Black Riders conduct their raids into foreign lands under cover of night when possible, but this is not always possible when they roam far from their homes. The Black Riders are also valued combatants whenever the Tiger Nomads go to war as shock troops and scouts.
Black Riders, like their name suggests, dress all in black and even dye or paint their armor and weapons black. A side effect of the indoctrination process turns their skin a pale blue color like that of a corpse. Those who can survive the process are forever changed and must live apart from the rest of their tribe for the tribe's safety.
Hello everyone. The good news is that all of the writing needed for my upcoming Ravensrook grimdark city supplement is finished. Now its just a matter of waiting for some art and the last edits and layout before the final product comes out. And with that project wrapping up I now have more time to get back into generating more Greyhawk content for the Greyhawk Companion.
The Defenders of the Greenkeep are little more than a motley collection of survivors from the invasion of the Bandit Kingdoms by Iuz and the massacre at Steelbone Meadows. They inhabit a section of the eastern Fellreev Forest that was traditionally a zone of contention or a border region between the Dazark orc tribe and sylvan elf clans. The worship of Olidamara was the bonding agent that kept most of them together through the roughest of times. These bandits view life with a devil may care attitude. With the constant threat of possible death just around the corner, they laugh and live life to its fullest.
The Defenders of the Greenkeep exist in loosely knit bands of bandits turned foresters that move freely throughout their territory—Scavenging and avoiding trouble. A handful of permanent campsites are located throughout their area of the Fellreev, but are shared by all. They come to these camps to share news and recoup after encounters against Iuzian's Dazark orc and sylvan elf tribes.
With a grim sense of humor and determination, they learned the ways of the forest. Their very name is a joke, as they can't defend the Greenkeep, their name for the Fellreev, they can barely hang onto their territory. While they have not allied with their stronger and more numerous neighbors, they have benefited from the alliance between the displaced Reyhu and the sylvan elf tribes.
The Defenders have become master ambushers and deadly archers. They excel at hit-and-run tactics and are highly mobile when it comes to traversing the rugged terrain of the forest. Despite the close ties between the various bands of Defenders and their sharing of a common worship of Olidamara, no new leader has risen to forge them into a cohesive force.
The Dreadwood is a large forest in southern Keoland that separates it from the Hool Marshes. This forest is home to a fiercely independent nation of wood elves that aggressively defend the wood from intruders, most notably monsters that filter in from the Hool Marshes. Still, even greater evil exists in the wood's thick interior centered around ancient ruins once used by dark wizards.
A royal writ was bestowed upon the elves giving them the right to govern most of the forest as its protectors. A convenient way for Keoland to save face appearing to grant the elves that which they already claimed. Still, the Keoland crown and the elves have been on good terms for centuries.
The Dreadwalkers were founded over 900 years ago by House Lizhal to help protect against the foul and dark magics of House Malhel. House Malhel fled into the Dreadwood to escape their punishment by House Neheli and the Silent Ones for ravishing parts of Keoland with their foul magic. Unable to eradicate them, the Dreadwalkers did contain them in the deep interior of the woods. Aberrations sometimes emerge to torment the forest from these very same areas, and an evil taint has twisted the forest there.
Over the centuries, the Dreadwalker's mission has changed and become one in line with the visions of the wood elves. Today, they protect the entire forest against all its enemies. Traffic traveling along the Dreadwood Road is often targeted by bandits and humanoids infesting the forest, forcing the Dreadwalkers to patrol its length constantly.
The Dreadwalkers are comprised of wood elves, humans, and a handful of the indigenous gnome population. They are on good terms with the Keoland garrisons, the wood elf nation, the great druidess Reynard Yargrove and the druid circle that calls the Dreadwood their home. While they often work with these other organizations, they predominantly scout the forest in their own bands.
Many thanks to the brilliant work of Joseph Bloch, the Greyhawk Grognard himself for inspiring me with his writing on the Baklunish West. I encourage you to check it out along with his other offerings on his webpage. www.greyhawkgrognard.com/
In the realm of the Baklunish West, there exist vast swaths of dry steppe and deserts. This sea of grass and sand can be deadly to travelers that find themselves lost within its depths. The threat of dying of thirst is as fatal as the wandering monsters, bandits, and Paynim warlords that can be found there. While streams, wells, and even lakes can be found in this landscape, the threat of getting turned around by the vast sameness of the landscape is a real possibility for the untrained. Even among those accustomed to living there, the chance of delusions and visions brought upon by heat exhaustion is a real threat.
Worshipers of Geshtai, the Daughter of the Oasis, goddess of lakes, rivers, wells, and streams, have long sought to help those in need upon the dry steppe. While her Rashaws (Baklunish Cleric) are found at particular sites throughout the Baklunish West, a class of rangers more suited to the task roaming the steppe has arisen to help them. These Palins Shepherds work in tandem with the far fewer priests of Geshtai to help travelers and protect these life-giving places.
While initially derived from the faithful of Geshtai, it is not a requirement for a Plains Shepherd to worship her to be a Plains Sheperd. Regardless of the faith of the Plains Shepherd, they are treated with reverence by most people, and it is generally forbidden in the Baklunish West to harm a Plains shepherd. Those who do are shunned or staked to the ground to bake in the hot sun.
A Plains Shepherd works primarily in solitude when not leading travelers to water sources and safe-havens. Still, it is not unusual to find them in the company of a Yatama or apprentice. These students who wish to take up the profession of a Plains Shepherd will ride with them for several years, learning their ways.
Plains Shepherd's wear flowing robes of white trimmed in blue, along with a blue tagelmust (Headscarf and turban). Sheperd's are highly trained archers and usually are armed with a tulwar and spear. Most Shepherds do not wear armor, and if they do, it is always light armor. Shepherds are also excellent riders and generally prefer to use camels over horses.
Over the generations, many of those that found themselves persecuted by the evil Aerdy despots fled into the Adri Forest. Eventually, out of this grew small but well-organized bands of rangers, priests, and druids dedicated to protecting the forest and those that live within it.
Among these groups, one organized by the priesthood of Ehlonna, calling themselves the Warriors of the Huntress, took shape. These militant foresters believed in being aggressive and proactive against threats to the forest. They also bring the blessing and teachings of Ehlonna to all who wish it along the way.
As the reputation of these priests grew, they took on followers of like mind and faith. Chief among these followers are the rangers who aid in their crusade to keep the forest clear of the evil that ruined and broke apart the Great Kingdom.
The Warriors of the Huntress are on good terms with most in the forest, even if they are considered hotheaded by some. This lustful approach to defending the Adri has led to the warriors pursuing threats, or perceived threats, outside of the forest. Because of this, the Warriors of the Huntress have a reputation outside of the Adri. In the North Kingdom, the warriors are wanted criminals with bounties on their heads.
The Warriors of the Huntress have no real structure to their organizations and instead make decisions by committee. But the priestess Lisara Elmhern is regarded by most outside of the Warriors of the Huntress as being their unofficial leader.