Blackmoor

Proper Name: Archbarony of Blackmoor
Ruler: His Luminous Preponderancy, Archbaron
Bestmo of Blackmoor (NE male human Ftr11/Wiz4)
Government: Actual government structure unknown;
numerous nonhuman tribal leaders in area
Capital: Dantredun
Major Towns: Dantredun (pop. 700), Blackmoor
Town (ruined), Egg of Coot (pop. 180?; many
automata)
Provinces: Ten underbaronies (four ruined)
Resources: Walrus ivory, copper, gems (II)
Coinage: Currently none; old coins found in many
ruins (standard types in odd shapes)
Population: 110,000-Human 37% (FOsb), Orc
20%, Halfling 18%, Elf 10%, Gnome 7%, Half-orc 5%
Half-elf 2%, Other 1%
Languages: Common, Flan, Orc, Halfling, Elven,
Gnome
Alignments: LN, LE, NE*, CE
Religions: Unknown
Allies: None
Enemies: Iuz, Wolf Nomads (sometimes)

Overview: The Archbarony of Blackmoor is possibly
the most remote realm in all the Flanaess, situated
between the western shores of the Icy Sea and the
eastern edge of the Burneal Forest. The land of
Blackmoor also includes the northern fringe of the
Cold Marshes, and fully encompasses the Gloomfens,
as the locals call the northern arm of the
marshes. The northern border is vague, but few settlements
lie within sight of the ominous Land of
Black Ice.
Little is known for certain of the government of
the archbaron; his court has no relations with those
of the sovereigns of other lands. The militias of the
small underbaronies are typically leather-armored
villagers, wielding shortspears, longbows, or slings.
The archbaron's personal guard includes perhaps
three score "knights" (heavy cavalry of offensive
mien), and heavy and medium infantry made up of
several hundred human and half-orc soldiers. All are
located in the town of Dantredun, now the capital of
Blackmoor. Many more nonhuman soldiers can be
called up from the surrounding area.
Dantredun is a stonewalled city with rotting
wooden gates that stand open day and night. Few
invaders have ever bothered to threaten the city,
though kobolds from the Burneal Forest are a constant
nuisance. Many small villages and forts dot
Blackmoor's lands, often built near volcanic vents or
hot springs. The occasional sharp tremor or emission
of poison vapors is a common hazard in this
northern land.
The former capital of the archbarony, called Blackmoor
Town, now lies in ruins that overlook Blackmoor
Bay. Atop its highest hill are the fabled remains
of Blackmoor Castle. An orc "king" holds court at the
Castle, claiming to rule the town in the name of the
Egg of Coot, whose forces conquered the town fifty
years ago. It is unknown who or what the Egg of Coot
is, though he (it?) seems to possess magical ability of
the highest order and is responsible for creating the
nonhuman "automata" that populate the land immediately
around his home.
The lands of Blackmoor are steeped in magic, often
called Oerthmagic, the source of which has not yet
been identified. Legend says that the numerous
mounds and standing stones throughout the archbarony
were created by the Northern Adepts of Old
Blackmoor (presumably a cabal of Ur-Flan sorcerers)
to constrain the encroaching Black Ice. If so, perhaps
the stones also hold power against the demigod Iuz,
for he clearly avoids the land.
History: Before the time of the Great Migrations,
the moors north of the Cold Marshes were inhabited
by Flan tribes who dwelt in stockadelike hill-forts
near the numerous hot springs throughout the
region. These remote tribesmen were little troubled
by the events in the southern lands, though their
own tales say that the Black Ice had already filled the
northern valleys. It is not known what, if any, civilization
existed in the far northern land before the
Ice claimed it, but the rumor of evil in the north was
old even when the Oeridians and Suel were new to
the Flanaess.
The Suel were in fact the first outsiders to have a
significant effect on the lives of the native Flan.
Cousins of the Ice Barbarians calling themselves
Zeai, or Sea Barbarians, colonized the Tusking Strand
and Brink Islands north of Blackmoor. They raided
the native villages, though this was little enough to
the Flan, who raided each other constantly. The Zeai
learned also of the City of the Gods and the Egg of
Coot, and stood in awe at the looming menace of the
Black Ice. Soon other peoples learned of these wonders
as well.
Oeridians and some Suloise from the southern
lands appeared in Blackmoor, usually in small bands,
seeking treasure and magic. On their trail came more
substantial groups, outcasts of other lands who
wished to create their own domains. These minor
barons built the first castles, and brought a new kind
of warfare to the moorlands. The natives were driven
from the most habitable regions, and were forced to
take shelter in the bogs. Here they encountered the
Hopping Prophet, and many joined his growing
band of followers. Elsewhere in Blackmoor, the lichlord
Ranial the Gaunt organized resistance to the
Aerdi, creating the Crown of Blackmoor in an attempt
to wield the Oerthmagic against the invading armies.
He ultimately failed, and the Great Kingdom made
even this distant land a subject state, which they
titled an archbarony.
Viceroys of Ferrond administered the archbarony,
but they took little interest in Blackmoor apart from
occasional punitive actions. They did build the Stornawain
Road through the Cold Marshes, linking the
Northern Reaches with the archbarony, but the route
was never maintained by the local lords and barons.
Eventually, Blackmoor was released from the grasp of
Furyondy and the Great Kingdom, unwanted and
forgotten. Rumors of another lich-lord rising to
power in Blackmoor were lost amid the general
upheaval of the early 300s CY, as the Relentless
Horde swept across the northlands and completely
cut off the archbarony from the southern realms.
Adventurers still traveled to Blackmoor, searching
for the legendary City of the Gods or testing their
mettle in the dungeons of Castle Blackmoor. This
was fortunate for the archbaron, for the Dungeoneers'
Tax was one of his few sources of income.
Even this trade came to an end when the Egg of Coot
conquered the capital, Blackmoor Town, and
destroyed both town and castle. His orc army made
the castle and upper dungeon levels their stronghold,
but his elite nonhuman shock troops continued to do
battle even after their enemies were gone. This race,
called qullan in the Nomad dialect (after their mottled
appearance), remains a hazard from Blackmoor
to the Barrens to this day.
The Greyhawk Wars did not touch Blackmoor
directly, but new immigrants have arrived in the
aftermath, all fleeing from the evil of Iuz. Teuod
Fent (N male human Wiz13 (illusionist)), a former
Bandit King, now styles himself baron of Ramshorn.
His successful raids on the slave-trains of Iuz
have brought many former Tenha, bandits, and
even Shield Landers into Blackmoor. Archbaron
Bestmo has as yet taken no direct action against
this possible threat to his authority. Iuz, meanwhile,
does no more than send the occasional nonhuman
contingent into Blackmoor, and a number
of these have already deserted. The Egg of Coot has
taken no action yet, either; his goals, as always, are
inscrutable.
Conflicts and Intrigues: Archbaron Bestmo is said
to be searching for the fabled Crown of Blackmoor.
Wolf Nomads have spotted forces of Iuz roaming
the Cold Marshes, avoiding Blackmoor proper. The
Wolf Nomads propose an alliance with local enemies
of Iuz, coordinating raids from the north and
west.

Kingdoms of Flanaess

Blackmoor

The Night Shade of Greyhawk and the Hallowed Revenant Amphoras tatafornow