Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
An Introduction to Flan Fairy Tales and Early Myth
An Introduction to Flan Fairy Tales and Early Myth by Yaliel Dawnshroud
What we know of the early stories of the Flan is both extensive and narrow at the same time. This seeming contradiction comes from the fact that they produced a massive amount of oral history. This produces the situation where, although we have only a small fraction of what existed, we have a large body of stories. So on one hand we have enough tales to fill five large volumes but we also have hints at a vastly larger amount of forgotten lore.
Most of what we have preserved comes from the regions of Geoff as well as the Nyr Dyv and Wolly Bay. Some of the old tales were preserved by Elves and Halflings and some made their way into the oral and written tradition of the post Oerdian invasion Flan. It was during the Oerdian invasion, or migration from their point of view, that the Flan sought to preserve their history in writing. By that time however the lore of the ancient Flan kingdoms of the Bright Desert was mostly lost, as was some of the pre Suel tales of the areas where we have later works.
What we do have can be classified into six eras:
Tales of The Dawn Times
This is essentially the creation cycle of the Flan and any myth involving a time before the Kingdoms of the Bright Desert. The Dawn Times end with the God Pact and the imprisonment of the Mad god. The most well known Flan myth of this cycle is the Dance of The Three that describes the relationship of Pelor, Nerull and Beory.
Tale of the Morning of the World
These tales go from the founding of the Kingdoms of the Bright Desert through the first Kingdom of Geoff and end with the destruction of the City of Morning Rainbows by the Archlich. This cycle provides most of what we know about the civilizations of what is now the Bright Desert.
The Great War
These are the tales of the war between the good races of the Flaness and the Archlich. Although some is in the previous cycle, this is where our knowledge of the Ur-Flan comes from.
These are stories from after the archlich but before the Oerdian invasion. The cycle wtih the most gaps and missing stories, the post Vecna but pre-invasion periods records were greatly damaged in the Oerdian invasion.
These are a short but powerful and prolific set of tales from the period of the Oerdian invasion. More modern versions of the previous four eras come from this time. The Flan people felt they would be killed as a people so they began to write their stories more consistently. An invasion era creation myth and a true Dawn Time tale can be told apart by the relative anti-Oerdian Racism in the invasion era writings.
Post Invasion And Modern
These are the tales from the era of the foundation of the Oerdian Great Kingdom until present day. This is the most historically accurate and extensive body of works.
These are purely historical divisions. There is also a literary dimension and type of tale. Those follow the normal set of nearly any culture (Fables, Parables, Poems, Rhymes, Ect..), so an overview in this introduction is unnecessary. Since these are the six eras, the five volume set of Flan Tales for Children follows these divisions; with the Dawn and Morning of the World tales together in one volume.
The first three eras have massive gaps in what we know, despite the large volume of tales. It is not uncommon to have a single tale that makes a reference impossible to figure out without reference to other scholarly works. To that end such references are footnoted with information to a source for further study. There is also a glossary as appendix to the work that serves as a reference and annotated bibliography.