Greyhawk Timeline According to Gord

Author: DHBoggs /

 When the original Greyhawk folio was published, the default date for the setting was Common Year 576.  Since then the setting date has been continually advanced through various publications.

Among the first to advance the date was The Greyhawk Wars, a product which has had a somewhat contentious reception, in part because it was published after Gygax's ouster from TSR and did not have his blessing.

Interestingly, Gygax himself also continued to advance the Greyhawk timeline, both in Dragon Magazine articles and in his Gord the Rogue novels.

Below is what can be cleaned of the political machinations ongoing in Greyhawk according to details from the Gord series of books.

Surprisingly, while a lot of folks have given thought to various parts of the timeline, including most notably the esteemed Eric Mona, I have yet to come across anyone who put it all together as I have here.  

(Events of Saga of the Old City)

559 CY:  Flocktime: Gord Born.

576 CY: Small naval battles erupt between the Rhennee and Duke Karall of Urnst.

578 CY: The Horned Society occupies the Bandit Kingdoms of Warfields and Wormhall.

578 CY: (Sunsebb 1) The Battle of Woodford. A twelve thousand strong Aerdian army led by Grand Marshal Dreek bent on invading Nyrond through the Adri forest pushed back at the Harp river. 

(Events of Artifact of Evil).

579 CY:  The Horned Society wages war against the Bandit Kingdoms.  The war is ongoing and in stalemate. (p95)

The Scarlet Brotherhood and the Horned Society act in concert as allies. 

580 CY:  The principality of Ulek attacks and conquers Strandcastle Keep in the Pomarj - a bastion held by the Scarlet Brotherhood. (Chap 1&2)

Iggwilv frees Zuggtmoy from her prison in The Temple of Elemental Evil. (p. 330)

A large army of Pomarj monsters under The Scarlet Brotherhood moves through the Suss and Welkwood forests, harried by elves and woodsmen.  The force attacks Celene, and are defeated in a battle that lasts 2 days. (p231)

Iuz Moves against the Hierarchs of the Horned Society.  Blackmoor, the Hold of Stonefist, and the Bandit Kingdoms ally with him.  (188-189)

An Army of Iuz under the command of the wizard Lord Ormuz is ambushed in the Vesve Forest and defeated by an army under the command of the wizard Mordenkainen. (chap29)

Iuz conquers Molag, subjugates the Horned Society, and begins construction of a new palace in Molag as winter sets in.

Iuz is now the self-titled Emperor of Evil and Lord of Pain. He receives tributes and offers of alliance from all of the Bandit Kingdoms, the Hold of Stonefist, and factions of the Wolf and Tiger Nomads. (p. 343-44)

*581-582 CY: (Events of Sea of Death)

*583 CY: (Events of Come Endless Darkness)

Iuz, assisted by by Iggwilv and Zuggtmoy, launches a massive, multipronged, attack.

Iuz takes control of the Vesve, and the lands west and south to the Velverdyva, but is stopped at Chendl.

Iuz captures the territories of Furyondy north of the Crystal River, and the Shield Lands excepting only the capital island.

The Bandit Kingdoms and the Rovers of the Barrens acting under orders from Iuz, overrun the Duchy of Tehn.

Iuz directs the The Hold of Stonefist to attack the Theocracy of the Pale. Urnst holds. Highfolk holds.

The Great kingdom marches against Nyrond, Almor, and the Iron League.

The Bakluni fight the nomads to the North and South and come to a stalemate.

The Scarlet Brotherhood in the Pomarj attacks Celene, Ulek and Urnst.

*584 CY: (Events of Dance of Demons)

The Great Kingdom is in a state of civil  with both north and south provinces allied against Ivid. Medegia is also in open rebellion.

 

* These dates are not possible to nail down through internal chronology in the novels.  While Gord's age is stated in several instances, his journeys into and on other planes make his age greater than it would be by an unknown number of years had he remained in Greyhawk.  This is made explicit in Sea of Death where it is stated that he appears to be merely 20 years old (p55) but is actually at least 28 (p58). Given his birthdate of 559, Gord should have seen his 21st birthday near the start of SoD, so his appearing to be 20 years old at the start of that book fits the 581 date as following shortly after the events of AoE. DoD has Gord being 30 - two years older than the 28 he is said to possibly be at the Start of SoD. Therefore the dates used here follow the logic that, not counting the 8 years he ages while plane hopping, he is 20/21 in SoD and 22/23 at the start of DoD and reflect an approximate of the amount of time needed to account for the events mentioned.  They also roughly match the published Greyhawk Wars dates.

Interestingly, while the Greyhawk Wars unfold differently in the TSR publication, the end results are much the same.  It may be worth a post attempting to harmonize the two...

3 comments:

Trent said...

By the time of the last couple (post-TSR) Gord novels Gary had decided to "blow up the world" as a parting shot at TSR so I think we can pretty safely disregard the escalation of the destruction depicted there as something Gary would've intended to happen had he remained in control. That still leaves open the question of the events in Artifact of Evil, though. It's implicit that module WG6 is set after AOE (the opening boxed-text monologue mentions how Iggwilv has returned and is gathering her forces as the impetus for the module's mission) so apparently Gary didn't intend the world of the novels and the world of the game to be totally separate. I wonder if he was perhaps planning, in line with the AD&D 2nd edition release perhaps, an "updated" World of Greyhawk set that moved the timeline ahead 5 years or so and reflected the developments from the Dragon articles and first couple Gord novels.

paleologos said...

I keep meaning to read Gary's Gord books. I actually like his style.

grodog said...

Dan—

If you’re not already familiar with it, check out Krista Siren’s Gord’s Greyhawk at https://greyhawkonline.com/gordmain/

There’s not a timeline there like you’ve built here, but it’s an excellent resource for Gord research.

Allan.

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