As a result, it behoves me to have a look at the country, and see what adventures it inspires.
I use two main sources for information on Veluna: the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set and the 2001 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Neither describes what is occurring in my campaign, as it is set 50 years after the 1983 set and 35 years after the 2001 set, but they have useful bits. I tend just to use what I like and discard the rest. Rao is the god of Veluna? Not a chance! It’s St Cuthbert – it fits my game better!
According to its original presentation, Veluna has 250,000 Humans, 10,000 High Elves and 7,000 Gnomes living within its borders. The capital is Mitrik (population 12,600), and its ruler is known as His Venerable Reverence, the Canon of Veluna, the Shepherd of the Faithful and, is a 19th level cleric. Seven noble families support the Archcleric, the Plar of Veluna being the foremost amongst them. The population numbers have gone up with each subsequent release – many think the population numbers are laughably low for every version of the setting!
Veluna is a realm that stands for Good and Law. It is allied with the realms of Bissel, Furyondy, and Highfolk and with the Gnomes of the Kron Hills. It participated in the fight against the Horde of Elemental Evil, and for some reason has sovereignty over Verbobonc, the Viscount being a willing vassal. Verbobonc is the largest population centre near to the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil.
This matter of Elemental Evil is key to the more recent history of the state. The daughter of the Plar of Veluna was betrothed to Prince Thrommel of Furyondy; however, he was abducted by agents of Elemental Evil. Alas, he was never rescued. In my Greyhawk campaign, the characters came across the “Tomb of Thrommel” from which they recovered Fragarach, his legendary sword. The builders of the tomb are, at this point, a mystery.
Furyondy and the Vesve Forest protect Veluna from the direct threat of Iuz, so the primary threats to Veluna come from the humanoids and giants of the Yatil Mountains and the raiders of Ket.
Interestingly, the ruler of Ket is known as the “Shield of the True Faith”, but as he’s of Baklunish descent, it’s particularly unlikely that it’s the same god as worshipped in Veluna. I’ve selected St Cuthbert as the deity for the Archclericy of Veluna. For Ket, we have Al’Akbar. This god isn’t mentioned in the 1983 set, but he’s one that has storied lore due to the Cup and Talisman of Al’Akbar, both magical artefacts described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
So, the threats that present themselves: Humanoids, giants, raiders from Ket, agents of Iuz, and internal factions. My initial story has heretics of St Cuthbert’s church stealing relics and holing up in an abandoned border fort. The adventurers need to recover the relics, and once they do, they’ll discover items that lead to the next plot thread.
Using the Cup and Talisman of Al’Akbar sounds interesting. The old adventure Day of Al’Akbar has no relationship to this campaign (or much else) and can be ignored.
Looking for inspiration from the player characters, the ones that instantly jump to mind as having potential plot hooks are:
- a half-elf monk of Xan-Yae (a Baklunish goddess), who was exiled from the Vesve forest,
- a Greyhawk noble, who likely has links to nobles in Veluna – he certainly does to those in Furyondy
- a rogue, who links up with the Thieves’ Guild in each city he visits
So: heretics with stolen relics, the threat from Ket, internal politics and the work of agents of Iuz. Those sound like good potential areas to start with as I craft storylines the players can investigate. Let’s also see if I can weave in some character-driven stories as well!