Top Ten Most Dangerous Places on Oerth
This is a list of current places, in order, in the Flanaess considered to be the worst at the moment circa 591CY.
Hepmonaland- This region has been put on my top ten because it's never been truly explored. No one has any idea what's in it, what type of ruins or what lost civilizations roamed this land in an ancient time. There are known to be cannibals, snakemen, and only the gods know what else.
Rumors of the Scarlet Brotherhood having outposts and even a couple of settlements in this area are thought to exist, but the Brotherhood is so close-mouthed this cannot be confirmed through questioning. Some returning adventurers who have survived talk of ruins with construction and architecture that has not been seen anywhere else on Oerth. It is a very old, mysterious and ancient land and so are it's secrets.
The Nyr Dyv - This area is simply dangerous because 95% of all adventurers have no seaman ship skills whatsoever. The depth of the Nyr Dyv has never been found. Dragon turtles, giant octopi, serpents, fresh water umber hulks, and pirates roam the seaways. Half the time characters never even take the swim skill. Don't get me wrong, this is a very dangerous place on its own, but when you combine the fact of what is here along with the ignorance of the sea by most heroes, its usually a disaster waiting to happen when an encounter takes place. Also at this time Iuz, though with no true fleet on its waters, controls the Nyr Dyv.
Oricsh Empire of the Pomarj - Orcs tend to roam everywhere on Oerth and after about third or fourth level sometimes they seem as if they aren't much of a threat. What makes the orcish empire so dangerous is that it is a controlled, militaristic, organized society. (As much as an orc can be civilized) The orcish warlord of the territory, Gakurish Lemnak, controls his lands with an iron fist. Worse is that the orcs follow the structure he's set. The capital Cantona holds around 700 orcs and some 250 slaves for menial labor. The others have been either eaten or sacrificed to their god Gruumsh. At this point in time Gakurish is satisfied with what he holds. What makes the situation so dangerous is that he has the troops to hold what he has and if the other kingdoms around him allow it to continue, he will eventually have enough to either strike west into Welkwood or head north toward the rest of the Wild Coast. Adventurers can expect human contact very rarely or not at all. Once they've entered this area they will be on their own, no towns to restock supplies, no place to buy horses, or any other traveling necessities, unless they can raid orc bands and take what they have. Human civilization is nil here unless you consider slave pens a human community. If the adventurers are captured in this land there's a great possibility that unless they escape, or cause a revolt with the other slaves they're with and it actually works the outside world will probably never been seen again.
The Sea of Dust - This barren inhospitable wasteland is probably one of the worst survival skills testing geographical location on Oerth. The Sea of Dust is exactly that. Dust. Along with the cinders and volcanic ash added by The Hellfurnaces this region is what is left of the Suel Imperium of a thousand years ago, destroyed by the Baklunish with the Rain of Colorless Fire. In this area, if a wet cloth is not used to breathe through, adventurers will actually begin coughing up blood from the ash irritating the respiratory system. Also windstorms can come through this area that are so strong it could tear flesh from bone. Other strange symptoms have been known to occur from breathing in the fine ash. If the land itself isn't harsh enough to cross, the creatures that have adapted to this way of life are constantly on the lookout for their next meal, such as huge tunnelling worms, dragons, harpies, and giant lizards. The harshness of the environment alone if nothing else makes this a very, very nasty place to visit.
The Wild Coast - In my opinion it's a wonder the gods haven't gotten together and completely destroyed all living things in this area of Oerth. This is probably the most structured and civilized form of chaos and evil in the whole southern area of the Flanaess. Slave trading is as a common a trade as blacksmithing. Thieves stand on street corners and very arrogantly sometimes rob someone in broad daylight, punch their eyes shut, and dare them to start trouble either themselves or by the authorities (which half the time the thieves guild is paying for them to look the other way). Almost 60% of this entire area behaves this way.
There are known high level evil fighters and clerics that have actually set up strongholds, taken lands with no regard to whose ownership it is (including the king, If there was one!) and daring someone to tell them otherwise. If organized crime in our world today had it's own little area of the world to operate in, the Wild Coast would be its capital. No one can be trusted or relied upon. The characters will really, truly be on their own when in this area even though the city of Greyhawk and the kingdom of Furyondy are slowly getting sway in the land. They brought some form of law and order back, but there are still many wild areas and towns that are out of reach at the present time.
Troll Fens - I know this is a small place and it isn't mentioned much, but it's name reflects exactly it's nature. Huge, gigantic trolls, ogres, and bands of gnolls stalking the mist shrouded wasteland is so bad, and there are so many there, the Theocracy of the Pale have made watchtowers around it's borders like fence posts, along with multiple keeps and three castles that are also in the area.
If people smirk at the Fens not being dangerous, just keep reminding them that they're passing a watchtower every thousand yards and at every one, they are being stopped, questioned, and warned to leave. Because of the situation and importance of a garrison being set up in this manner, name title officers will always be suspicious of anyone (even if his commanding officer has written a letter of free pass through the area) and most regular troops will be paranoid and nervous to the point that if any situation would come up with a party where a hostile act might be imminent, they would probably not hesitate to shoot or stab first and ask questions later.
The Bone March - The humanoids of the surrounding areas of the Rakers took over the Bone March in 560CY. It was easily taken because there was so much turmoil within the Great Kingdom that they could not muster the forces to keep them out. Even though order and discipline are disappearing among the humanoid troops of orcs, ogres and gnolls, the Bone March is still full of these creatures. The humanoids of the Bone March are still wanting to conquer the gnomes of the Flinty Hills and all together destroy Ratik but morale is fleeing and all that will end up remaining after a few years are a bunch of savage creatures wandering the March wondering where their next meal and gold piece will come from next. This is a dangerous area for any human or demihuman to be caught in.
Lands of Iuz- The Lands of Iuz are ruled by the demigod that holds the land's name.
Iuz's parents are these two very powerful influences on the world of Oerth. (Iggwilv more so than Graz'zt). Both have trained him and he is just as evil as either of those two could be. His capital is Droakaa. It's a nightmarish city where fiends, evil humanoids, and the most vile of humans reside. The road to Droakaa, called the Highway of Skulls, has the bodies of Iuz's enemies impailed on poles along the roadside all the way to the capital. People are following this road daily to join the evil demigod's crusade to destroy all that is good and swell. I believe that what I've described should be enough for anyone to realize just how bad this place is. The destruction of any non-evil anything is meat and drink of this sadistic and complete total evil that is Iuz and his following. The only reason he has not started more wars for more lands is he just doesn't have enough man power to do so. And in my opinion this is the only thing that has saved The Free City of Greyhawk and Furyondy from being utterly destroyed. VERY, VERY BAD PLACE!
Geoff - During the Greyhawk Wars Geoff was invaded by the giants and humanoids of the Crystalmist Mountains. The natives of Geoff were forced to leave from the invasion. Those would could not escape have been enslaved or worse. The land now has no order and giants and humanoids run as hard and as fast as they can destroying, pillaging, and burning everything within an inch of it's life. The capital of the land itself, Gorna, has actually been settled by giants, most of them Formorians. These giants have done to the capital what the others are doing in the above sentence, and has mostly ruined Gorna now. If the giants and humanoids have anything to say about it the land of Geoff will be the next Sea of Dust. Fun place for adventurers whose preffered enemies are giants, but other characters would be advised extreme caution crossing through or even traveling along it's borders, for they are organized as far as patrols go.
The Hellfurnaces - Located on the southwestern side of the continent, this has to be one of the nastiest places in any D&D campaign world. Through this whole range there are numerous humanoids such as giants, ogres and trolls. Also there are perytons, dragons and harpies that rule the air in this region and numerous natural caves dotted along the mountain range lead to the Underdark where drow, kuo-toa, mind flayers and even worse lair. So really in this area you've got enemies in front of you, above you and below you twenty-four hours a day. (Did I also mention this a volcanically active area where hellhounds, salamanders, and fire newts also like to dwell?) If you've gotten to the point that you cannot devise an adventure in the Hellfurnaces I would suggest to let someone else run for a while because you would be the most unimaginative person on Oerth.