People of the Flanaess:
In the ancient days, two major empires ruled the land west
of the Flanaess:the Baklunish and the Suloise. From the
Baklunish Empire, which fell in the Invoked Devastation,
emigrated to the Flanaess both the Baklunish and Oeridian
races. The latter has, by far, been given more research,
as they dominated and now largely inhabit much of the
eastern portion of the continent Oerik. However, this work
will deal with the former race as it has been in the Flanaess
and it is in the land today. It should further be stated
that its concentration will be on the lands whose culture
is still that of the Baklunish, as opposed to the Paynims
and Nomads, who live on the fringes of the fringes of civilization
and are not necessarily friendly with their cousins in Ekbir,
Zeif, Tusmit, and Ket (which, though it has a mixture of
physical characteristics, is largely Baklunish in culture).
The Baklunish have the second darkest skin tones of all the
peoples of the Flanaess, lighter only than the Flan. Their
distinctive complexions, with an almost golden quality to
them, are one of the more exotic differences between the Bakluni
and the other races of the Flanaess at large. Distinctively
grey-green, green, or rarely grey eyes contrast with the
vivid skin tones to create a unique visage for these dwellers
on the edge of civilization. Most humans with green eyes
have some Baklunish stock in them. Hair color is dark, which
is common in the Flanaess, but incredibly fitting to Baklunish
The common dress of the Baklunish has been described elsewhere
in fitting detail, and most of it does not need to be described
here. It is worth mentioning that, in an astounding proportion,
robes are the favored dress of Bakluni. Women always wear
robes, while men may wear long coats over breeches in some
times and places. Baklunish robes have developed to a point
of exquisiteness among the upper classes, serving as many
functions as the shirts and breeches of the easterners.
The Baklunish Empire was a very heavily religious land, with
as many, if not more, priests than mages in its heyday.
Now, though, the gods of the Baklunish are weakened considerably.
Some postulate that this is a result of the Invoked Devastation,
and that the gods themselves ultimately turned away from
Oerth with their people's fall from greatness. This is
at least as good of a guess as has been offered yet, and
this work will work with that as a reference point.
Now, as the gods of the Baklunish have turned from their
people, a good number of the people have turned from the
gods. This is not true in Ket, where religion has been preserved
as a way of keeping the Baklunish culture in tact, but in
other nations, it is a fact that the people and gods are
turning away from each other.
In the document regarding Ket that I have published, the
god Kestal has been described. He is revered widely among
merchants, and often spurned among others. Very few to no
non-Baklunish worship him.
The Baklunish culture is exotic, sometimes bizarre, and very
divergent from the Flanaess at large. Despite all this strangeness
to outsiders, the Baklunish society is a very structured,
orderly one. One is born to a certain place in life, and
extenuating circumstances (such as adventuring) aside, he
will die in the same position. Marriages across these lines
are extraordinarily rare, though young Baklunish maidens are
oft noted for their beauty, and there is ever the charming
tale of a young rogue who breaks these barriers to steal
the heart of one of those maidens--of course, that is a romance,
and unless that rogue can defend himself, he has little to
no chance of surviving the wrath of the maiden's brothers.
This section is also an appropriate place to discuss the
rather unique architecture of the Baklunish. While the
legends often speak of sparkling cities with curved domes
of bronze and gold, the reality is a vision of the semicircular
dome, which was taken by the early Oeridians, and can still
be seen in places in Keoland. The buildings of the upper
classes are often of granite or some other stone; they are
never extravagant enough to be of marble.
Law in the Baklunish lands is harsh, though often fair.
In Ekbir, the laws are more concerned with the weal of the
people, but through the rest of the civilized Baklunish lands,
there is very little concern for this, as the laws are largely
concerned with creating an ordered society. Murder, theft,
and such crimes are harshly punished--often to the horror
of outsiders. Also, cultural taboos such as adultery are
often given severe penalties. No matter what, the Baklunish
are great proponents of an ordered universe, and work toward
making the western extremes of the Flanaess lands of that order.
In the Baklunish culture, there is no specific law or taboo forbidding
slavery. In Ekbir, it is frowned upon, and slaves may be
freed by writ of the Caliph. In Tusmit, Zeif, and especially
Ket, government officials tend to turn a blind eye to slavery
as long as it is not on a massive basis.
Despite the comments under "Religion" above, one of the Baklunish
gods never wants for worshippers--Xan Yae, goddess of twilight,
shadows, stealth, mind over matter, et cetera. These qualities
also belong to the Monk class. If there is access to the
first edition AD&D Player's Handbook, the monk therein should
be used, and spread through monasteries throughout the Baklunish
lands. Failing that, the Monk from Player's Option:Spells &
Magic should be used.
These two races were opposed during wars a full millenium
ago. Even to this day, there are bad relations between pureblood
Baklunish and Suel. It is noteworthy that the Scarlet Brotherhood
in particular acquired its monastic style from the monks of
Xan Yae, one thing successfully stolen after the Twin Cataclysms.
No one can explain it now, but the animosity between Bakluni
and Suel are strained, as if there is a cultural memory in
each of the races.
This is, of course, only an overview of the Baklunish. It
is based primarily on the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set
by E. Gary Gygax. The reader can feel free to change and
add anything he wants to this description. If you get even
one thing of use out of it, then it's been worth the time
that I put into it.
-Wayne S. Rossi
To the throne room...