Breaking The Chains
Baklunish Suloise Wars
The Baklunish-Suloise Wars were a decades-long conflict that profoundly altered the course of history in the World of Greyhawk.
The wars began in 5031 SD (-484 CY). For more than a year, raiders on both sides of the Sulhaut Mountains had been pillaging the nation opposite of them. The Emperor of the Suel, Ad-Zol, sent nine thousand troops to punish the northerners. The ensuing battle on the Fields of Padyr lasted three days, and both armies were all but annihilated. This was but the beginning of a conflict that would last another 63 years. It was in one of the early battles that the monk Zuoken, with 38 others, held off a critical pass from an entire army of vengeful Suel, earning himself the sobriquet “the Survivor” and inspiring an entire generation.
During this period, the Suloise created four artifacts infused with a portion of the spirits of powerful archomentals, hoping to turn the Baklunish affiliation with the elements against them. They were flawed, however, so the Suel sent them to foreign lands as gifts to the Empire’s allies. They included the Chalice Everlasting, bound unwillingly to Olhydra; the Oerthly Plates, sent somewhere in the Central Flanaess; the Unquenchable Scepter, which was sent to what is now Blackmoor; and the Tempest Horn, sent to an empire in Western Oerik.
As the war grew more fierce, it is believed that Suloise wizard/priests in the service of Syrul created the su-dopplegangers to infiltrate their own government, though it is possible that they were intended as a weapon against the Baklunish. It is clear that, at the time, the Suel were as great an enemy to themselves as to anyone else.
Main article: Great Migrations
In 5050 SD (-465 CY) both sides began employing orcs and associated humanoid races as mercenaries against one another. The marauding, unprincipled mercenaries pillaged wantonly, helping to drive the Oeridians eastward into the Flanaess. The Oerid migration reached its peak within eight years, hordes of nonhumans entering the Flanaess after them. In 5069 SD (-446 CY), the Suel began to flee east as well, venturing across the Kendeen (or Harsh) Pass in the southern Crystalmist Mountains (now known as the Hellfurnaces) to escape the war. Along with uncounted commoners, a number of noble Suel houses fled in order to escape the opportunism of rivals who might use the cover of the war to eliminate them. Zellif, the son of Emperor Ad-Zol himself, fled then, accompanied by thousands of loyal citizens. Ad-Zol diverted forces from the war in pursuit of his son, but the pursuers were never heard from again.
The Baklunish fled the wars as well, but mainly migrated north, toward the Dramidj Ocean.
In 5091 SD (-424 CY), Kevelli Mauk founded the Scarlet Brotherhood in order to preserve the Suloise culture and bloodline from dilution. Mauk, his servants, and his ten most ardent students managed to escape to the Flanaess just before disaster hit, where after numerous travails they joined Zellif’s colony on the Tilvanot Peninsula.
The Twin Cataclysms
The disaster in question, in 5094 SD (or -421 CY), was precipitated when the Suloise Mages of Power, who practiced a kind of magic unknown to the present day, created a terrible cataclysm remembered as the Invoked Devastation. The details of this calamity are unclear, except the fertile heartlands of the Baklunish empire were transformed into the Dry Steppes, her great cities and rivers now entirely gone. There are not even ruins to mark the graves of ancient Baklunish civilization; Tovag Baragu stands alone where there was once a capital city.
The kingdoms of the dwarves in the northern Crystalmists and Sulhauts were also devastated, the legendary Axe of the Dwarvish Lords lost.
In retribution, the magi-priests of the Bakluni gathered within the stone circles of Tovag Baragu and conjured a mighty working, bringing down the terrible Rain of Colorless Fire upon the Suloise basin. This Rain burned people, buildings, even rocks and soil to ash, leaving the Sea of Dust as a monument to the hubris of Man. Together, the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire are known as the Twin Cataclysms.
Thus ended the Baklunish-Suloise Wars.