The DZA’s Greyhawk: The Pomarj, reimagined


It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, but I’ve actually been working on a couple of projects lately. The first project I worked on after my last post was to design the facade of my necromancer’s tower in my friends homebrew game. It’s set in a Southern European setting, roughly 12th-13th century, and my design was for what would become the game world’s first example of Gothic (as we call it) architecture. I’m still not completely finished nor satisfied with the outcome, so it won’t be posted until it’s ready.

The other project I’ve been working on is a result of my patronage of Anna B. Meyer’s Patreon page. She recently uploaded Adobe Illustrator files of her incredibly gorgeous Greyhawk map of the Flanaess (2017 version), and I’ve been tinkering with Illustrator and her maps for the past few weeks. I’ve long had the idea (and even started a campaign about it) of incorporating the Principalities of Morgau and Doresh from the Midgard Campaign Setting by Kobold Press to the Pomarj of the World of Greyhawk.

If you’re not familiar with either of those places, I’ll provide a brief synopsis. The Midgard Campaign Setting has more Eastern European influences than Western, so it was a welcome breath of fresh air when I pledged to assist their campaign to create the book. I fell in love with it once I received the book, and the Principalities of Morgau and Doresh, the realms of vampiric nobility based on Transylvania and Eastern European myths, was one of the biggest reasons. The art was dope, too. The Principalities are ruled by the vampire Prince Lucan and his strain of vampires known as Shroud-eaters. He came to power over 300 years ago (in the game world) and his vampires have ruled ever since.There is also an order of knights in his realm, the Order of Knights Incorporeal (more commonly called the Ghost Knights) that fight in his wars. The vampires instituted a blood tax on their people, and use the mortals in their undead plots and schemes. Being a long-time Vampire: The Masquerade player, I felt right at home.

The Pomarj of Greyhawk is a realm that was overrun by orcs and goblins. It has long been a place of adventure within the game, and the Dorks even played a game set there that started with WGQ1 – Patriots of Ulek. I created a 3rd edition version of my very first character, the wood elf ranger Redhawk, for the game. To date it has been one of my favorite series of adventures with the Dorks. Redhawk’s favorite enemies were orcs, and we spent quite a bit of time fighting against the hordes of Turrosh Mak, the half-orc “emperor” of the Pomarj.

A few years ago I had the idea to combine the two, and started to think of ways to go about it. Here’s what I came up with:

The adventures A1-4, the Scourge of the Slave Lords, end in Greyhawk’s CY 580. By CY 590, the Slavers are back (compliments of the adventure Slavers, by Sean K. Reynolds) and ready to be destroyed once again by heroic adventurers. The Slave Lords are in league with Turrosh Mak (indeed, he is actually one of the lords), and have their base in the Drachensgrab Hills, in the Pomarj. The adventure takes the characters around the central Flanaess to battle the Slavers, eventually traveling to their headquarters in the Hills. My idea was to have someone subtly manipulate the heroes into taking action against the Slavers. In my campaign, this was the vampiress Sabina von Strand, originally a native of Pomarj almost a century before the goblinoids took over. She had vengeance on her mind, and formulated a plan with her master (Drelnza, the daughter of Iggwilv) to reclaim her homeland. In my campaign, Drelnza was one of the Shroud-eaters, a vampire strain descended from Lucan, an ancient vampire. Lucan had his vampiric descendants placed in various places in the Flanaess to find a new homeland for them to rule. Once Sabina hit upon her idea, he knew it could work to create a power vacuum in the Pomarj that he could exploit. From his exile in the White Kingdom of the ghouls in the underdark, he assisted Sabina’s plans. Sabina infiltrated the Slavers and kidnapped a number of adventurers whom she trapped in the dungeons of Castle Sulafrait in the Wild Coast. Arranging for their escape, she hoped their ordeal would bind them together to try to bring down the Slavers. Her plan worked, and a number of the adventurers banded together and campaigned against the Slave Lords. The group eventually came into contact with Redhawk’s Rangers, who had taken the ruined fortress Nol-Daer and were using it as a base to fight the orcs and goblinoids. Eventually the two groups slew Turrosh Mak and his companions, creating the power vacuum the vampires desired. As the humanoids of the Pomarj fought each other, Lucan’s undead poured up from the underdark to conquer the land. They destroyed the humanoid armies and added the corpses to their own armies. Now, his ghoulish hussars fight off the dwarves of Ulek and have chased the remaining goblinoids into the Suss Forest, or out onto the Pearl Sea where they joined the Brazen Coalition.

I altered the timeline a little bit to help me out. Instead of taking place in CY 590, I had the Slavers game take place in CY 584. With my game taking place in CY 598, after the events of the Savage Tide, it gave me a little bit more time for Lucan to establish his realm and repopulate it with humans. Now, his Black Army of Morgau (modeled on the Black Army of Hungary) stands ready to repel any invaders, though for now he has no more plans of conquest….

Soon I’ll post the map of the area that I created from Anna’s map of the Flanaess.