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Oerth

Oerth (pronounced 'Oi-th'[1]) is an Earth like planet, one of five 'Alternative earths' (Earth, Oerth, Aerth, Yarth, Uerth[2]). It differs to Earth in that its axial tilt is 30 degrees, has different weather and seasons, and is geocentric. Oerth has a circumference of 25,200 miles and a surface area 202,139,540 Sq. miles and is much 'rounder' than Earth and about 2.6% bigger[3]. The City of Greyhawk sits on 35 N latitude[3],[4].

Latitude Hex width Sq. Miles Locations
90 0 0 North Pole
55 21.01 382.27 Blackmoor
50 23.54 479.83 Nomads, Rovers, Barbarians
45 25.90 580.68 Ekbir, Theocracy of the Pale, Ratik
40 28.06 681.84 Shield Lands, Urnst, N. Province
35 30 779.32 Veluna, Greyhawk, Sea Barons
30 31.71 870.07 Highport, Rel Astra
25 33.19 953.77 Yeomanry, Sunndi, Lendore
20 34.41 1024.73 Lordship of the Isles
15 35.38 1083.34 Top of Sea of Dust and Amedio Jungle
10 36.07 1126.19 Hepmonaland
0 36.62 1161.36 Equator

A Hex is 30 miles or 10 leagues across, using the Darlene Map. 10 leagues would actually equal 34.52 miles, but assuming miles that would make it the following: a (Edge) or from outer point to centre= 17.321 or 17 miles. b (Short Diagonal)= 30 miles. c (Long Diagonal)= 34.641 or 35 miles. From middle of Edge to centre (incircle radius)=15 miles. Perimeter= 103.923 or 104 miles. Area= 779.423 or 779 miles.

Oerth has at least four continents, the largest of which is Oerik (which makes up about 14.66% of Oerth), lying mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. Southeast of Oerik lies the much smaller landmass of Hepmonaland, lying in the tropics. Hyperboria[5], also called Telchuria (after Telchur, the god of winter), lies at the north pole, while an unnamed fourth continent lies in the southern hemisphere. Oerth is thought to have four oceans, including the Solnor Ocean, the Dramidj Ocean that circles Telchuria, the Ocean of Storms south of Oerik, and the Sea of Thunder encompassing Polaria. Oerth also has a number of islands, the largest being Fireland in the northern Solnor, depicted on maps as being roughly half the size of Hepmonaland. Polaria is a chain of mountainous islands covered for at least part of the year by the southern polar ice cap. The easternmost part of Oerik, the Flanaess, has received the lion's share of detail, though Hepmonaland has received significant attention. Western Oerik was the setting for TSR's original miniature line, Chainmail, but few regard the material written for that setting as canon, especially after the miniature line's cancellation in 2002. Author Frank Mentzer, in a series of early modules, added a small territory called New Empyrea to the world across the Solnor Ocean from the Flanaess, but it has not been mentioned in subsequent Greyhawk products.

Gygax decided to concentrate his first efforts on the continent of Oerik and asked TSR's printing house about the maximum size of paper they could handle; the answer was 34" x 22" (86 cm x 56 cm). He found that, using the scale he desired, he could fit only the northeast corner of Oerik on two of the sheets.[6] This corner of Oerik became known as "the Flanaess", so named in Gygax's mind because of the peaceful people known as the Flannae who had once lived there.

The Flannaes, (not including Amedio, Hepmonaland, Dry Steppes, Sea of Dust, Land of Black Ice, or large bodies of water) is approximately 6.5 million sq. miles of land.

This map, Commonly known as the Darlene Map, from the AD&D The world of Greyhawk Folio/Boxset (1e), shows the Flanaess Prior to the Greyhawk Wars. Each Hex is 30 miles wide, roughly equating to 779 square miles. Check the grid above on how to adjust for altitude.

From the 'From the Ashes Boxed Set' (2e), showing post war greyhawk,.

From the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer (3e).

This map is done by Anne Meyers, showing the Flanaess post war, including details from Living Greyhawk and extends further into the surrounding lands.

This from the World of Greyhawk Boxed Set shows the latitude lines of Flanaess, as part of the section detailing weather and climate.

This shows the continent of Oerik, of which the Flanaess is apart of.

From Dragon Annual 1, art by Dave Sutherland, this map shows the other continents of Oerth. Oerik is in the top right hand corner.

Nations of the Flanaess and Oerik

Below are listed the known countries, nations and states. Some of these places have changed in name, became annexed, or emerged post Greyhawk Wars. Post war, the lands of the Flanaess can be grouped into 8 main regions[7][8] and 1 'region' for ungrouped nations[7][8].

Western Nyr Dyv (Old Ferrond)

Centred on the Velverdyva River this land was largely populated by oeridians in it's early history, but has strong influences from Suel and Flan heritage. Once part of the Viceroyalty of Ferrond, which in turn was part of the Great Kingdom, the nations listed below have since become independent and remain on good terms with each other. It is threatened by the Empire of Iuz to the North[7]. The region has rich soil, pleasant climate and healthy trade relations with many of their neighbours, leading to a flourishing land[8].

The Sheldomar Valley (Old Keoland)

Once all part of Keoland, many of the nations grew independent after disagreeing with Keoland's militarism . Stock is mostly of Suel with strong Oeridian influence, but pockets of Flan heritage exist in certain regions (Geoff, Sterich, Ulek). The region is threatened by the humanoids, including giants, from the surrounding mountains and the organised humanoid forces of the Pomarj. Post Greyhawk wars, the Hold of the Sea Princes is struggling to fend off influence from the Scarlet Brotherhood[7]. The lands are fertile with a warm and mild climate[8].

The Baklunish West ("Former Baklunish Empire")

Settled by the survivors of the Invoked Devastation[8]. The Baklunish Stronghold, only the Ket have slight mixed bloodlines from interacting with the lands of Western Nyr Dyv. Peoples of this land go from nomadic horsemen to grand merchant cities with powerful navies. This land is stable and secure, with little outside threats. Ket occasionally send small raids to Bissel and Veluna[7].

The Bitter North ("Old Blackmoor")

A region grouped more for geography than similarities between it's inhabitants. The Nomads, Blackmoor and Perrenland do not share many connections. The climate in this region of steppes and coniferous forests varies from cool to frigid, making this a sparsely settled area home mostly to nomads, orcs, and goblins, except in Perrenland.[8]

The Empire of Iuz ("Northern Reaches")

A product of the Greyhawk Wars. Many of these nations before the war would find it unthinkable they would be associated with the lands of Iuz, but were taken over partially or fully during the war. Tenh would have previously considered itself part of Old Aerdy East, Rovers as part of the Bitter North and the Shield lands of Western Nyr Dyv.[7] These lands are wilderness dotted with ruined human towns and active orc lairs, with a cool to temperate climate.[8]

The Thillonrian Peninsular ("Barbarian North")

A cold stretch of land, bi-parted by mountains, it's a ruggedly beautiful landscape with coniferous forests and deep fjords. The climate is subarctic, with rocky soil and a brief growing season. The barbarians here are of near pure suel stock and call the land Rhizia[8]. The Hold of the Stonefist is a bandit founded country, and has gained many enemies over the years.[7] 

Old Aerdy West ("Old Nyrond")

Oeridian-Suel bloodlines are dominant in this region, with strong Flan influences in the Pale. This was the last region to be settled by the oeridians. Much of it was once part of Nyrond, which itself was part of the Great Kingdom. After Nyrond claimed independence, so too did Urnst, Almor, Tenh and the Pale. Almor was annexed by Nyrond during the Greyhawk wars, having suffered heavy casualties and Tenh was lost to the Empire of Iuz. This region is noble but beset by many enemies and with ever dwindling resources and internal stability.[7]

Old Aerdy East ("Old Kingdom")

The final remnants of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. The core of this region used to be focused on the Flanmi River plain, but has shifted to Relmor Bay. The main threat to this region is the still ongoing civil war and instability within it's borders.[7] These lands are rich and their climate pleasant, though long years of civil war and oppression have damaged the economy. Many orcs and goblinoid races live among the numerous, warlike Oeridians here.[8]

Independent Isolates

Also inlcudes the Amedio and Hepmonaland Jungle, and the Dry Steppes.

Forests of Oerik

Hills of Oerik

Mountains of Oerik

Other Notable locations of Oerik

(Includes Swamps, Wastes, Deserts and so on)

Other locations in Oerth

These are lands expanded upon in Dragon Magazine articles[5] and other notes, and exist outside the continent of Oerik. This knowledge is presented as having been written by Heward in universe, who suspects that most of these lands were settled by Flanaess seafarers.

  • Barbarian Seameast: A land of primeval forests and tribesman.
  • Celestial Imperium: An imperium further west of the old Baklunish and Suel Empires. Characterised by hard working peasants ruled by a complex bureaucracy. The Wall of Tsian is a massive fortifaction that seperates the Celestial Imperium from the Orcreich.
    • Celestial Sea: A warm gulf active with trade between Erypt and the Celestial Imperium.
    • Dragon Island: An island rumoured to exist in the Celestial sea that is ruled by a 'Dragon Prince'
  • Elven Lands: Elves that supposedly travelled across the Solnor sea and settled on the peninsula above the Kingdom of the Marches.
  • Empire of Lynn: A desert land. The city of Lynn has grown rich from coastal trade
    • Elvanian Forest: A forest that grows from the foothills above the Empire of Lynn, populated by elves and sylvan folk.
  • Erypt: An arid land with priest-kings. Trades with the Celestial Imperium.
    • Gulf of Ra: Rumoured to have sahaugin cities.
  • Fireland: An island with volcanic activity that warms the artic climates. People live among the fjords.
  • Gigantea: A land ruled by giants.
    • Jotunhiem Sea: The icy sea between Gigantea and Hyperboria, sailed by giants in drakkars.
  • High Khanate: A land of horse riding and sea faring nomads.
    • Low Khanate: Named so for it being a deep valley within the High Khanate.
  • Hyperboria: The north pole, partially connected to the Flanaess through an ice bridge
  • Ishtarland: A land with two great rivers, and strong storms, that vie for sea trade with the surrounding kingdoms, such as the Tharquish Empire.
    • Gulf of Ishtar: The gulf between Ishtarland and the Tharquish Empire that both vie for control over.
  • Kingdom of the Marches: A temperate land of 'princely states'.
  • Nippon: A land of warriors, poets and fisherman.
    • Nippon Dominion: a protectorate of Nippon.
    • Sea of Nippon: A sea infamous for storms and monsters.
    • Pearl Sea: famous for it's pearls
    • Sea of the Dragon King: Blue waters and coral reefs
  • Orcreich: A land of orcs with a tyrannical ruler.
  • Polaria: The South Pole. A collection of small islands covered by a large ice mass.
    • Ocean of storms and the Sea of Thunder
  • Red Kingdom: Named for the colour of it's stone. Inhabitants are unknown.
  • Tharquish Empire: An island nation that is spreading it's influence far.
    • Tarquis Dominions: Protectorates of the Tharquish Empire in the mainland.
  • The Tribes of Enllaves: Desert nomads that live in plateaus above the desert, south of the Empire of Lynn.
  • Zindia: A country of rich cities within a jungle climate, west of the Sea of Dust.
  • Solnor Ocean:
    • Mare Mysticum: the sea between the Firelands and the lands of the Elvenlands, Kingdom of The Marches, and the Elvanian Forest.
    • Oceanum Titanicum

  1. Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7
  2. 1984 interview for Polyhedron Newszine, Gygax descibing his HEROES CHALLENGE game books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, Roger E. Moore, 1998, 2e, pg 9, ISBN: 0-7869-1249-9 & Oerth Journal 4#,"Measuring up the Oerth", Gary Holian, August 10, 1996
  4. The World of Greyhawk, Boxed Set, Gary Gygax, 1983, 1e
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dragon Annual #1, Vol. XXI, No. 13, Beyond the Flanaess by Skip Williams, 1996, TSR
  6. "Gary Gygax: Q & A (Part I, Page 8)". EN World. 2002-09-06. Retrieved 2009-03-15. Gary Gygax: Q & A (Part IV, Page 11)". EN World. 2003-11-05. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, Roger E. Moore, 1998, 2e, ISBN 0-7869-1249-9
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Living Greyhawk Gazetter, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, Gary Holian, Frederick Weining, 2000, 3.0