How to Talk Like You're From Greyhawk

How to Talk Like You’re From Greyhawk


The following is a list of salutations common to the Flanaess. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the many different and varied greetings an explorer may encounter throughout their sojourns, but rather a brief example of some of the more common greetings. Many pockets of the Flanaess have their own unique greetings or twists, some with obvious religious overtones and others with more secret or sinister meanings.

“Cold iron avail you”
A common exchange between warriors among the Highfolk and in Furyondy, referring to the efficacy of cold iron against certain undead (among luz’s servants).

“I spit on the Old One”
An almost aggressive greeting, a rejoinder to any question of one’s bravery, among the same folk. It can even be a challenge to the bravery of the one so addressed.

“Stone endures still”
Greetings and sign of friendship among those allied with Irongate, an acknowledgment of the heroism of the dwarves there and the endurance of their walled city. Variants included Stone endures, and So long as stone endures.

“’ware and were, friend”
A greeting used between, and when meeting, rangers of the Gnarley Forest, who have many friendships with werebears there. When used by an outsider, it shows politeness in that one has taken the trouble to learn something of the rangers’ ways.

“Hands in your pockets, eyes on your purse!”
A characteristic well-wishing and farewell used in the Free City of Greyhawk. It is a city ruled by thieves, after all.

“Are you athought?”
A half-challenge or intimidation used by seniors of the Scarlet Brotherhood wishing to put juniors at a disadvantage. True believers should not think. They should just obey orders.

“Until the starbreak”
A farewell and oath of fidelity used among the barbarians. It has two distinct meanings. The exhalation of breath in the bitter cold causes a frost and tiny cloud of snow flakes to fall, and those falling flakes are referred to as ’the breaking of stars" Hence, until the starbreak is roughly equivalent to until we talk again. Also, an ancient barbarian religious myth tells that the end of the world begins with the falling of stars from the sky as the heavens break. Hence, until the starbreak also means forever.

“May the Axe grow great”
An expression used among the exiled Knights of Holy Shielding. It refers to their deity Heironeous, who possesses a magical axe that can shrink and expand in size. The phrase expresses the desire to see good grow great, for the Shield Lands to be reclaimed, and is a general expression of goodwill, an encouragement, and a hope of better times.

“Kill your father, eat your mother”
An encouragement among the orcs of the Pomarj, entreating the listener to evil and notable deeds. It sounds marginally more unpleasant in original orcish. However, if the listener’s parents are both dead, it is a terrible insult, for it implies that the listener is incapable of performing worthwhile acts of evil, and generally leads to a fight to the death.

Credits: Information from Salutations of the Flanaess


“Fist of the archpaladin!” – followers of Heironeous

“Istus on stilts!” – followers of Istus

“Shooting Stars!” – followers of Celestian

“Fharlanghn’s muddy boots!” – followers of Fharlanghn

“Moradin’s forge!” – Dwarves

“What in the 9 hells/abyss…?!” – common

“When the 9 hells/abyss freezes over!” – common

“Not a snowball’s chance in the 9 hells/abyss!” – common

“Holy Hazen!” – people of Veluna or followers of Rao

“Pelor’s holy light!” – common or followers of Pelor

“Vecna’s bloodshot eyeball!” – common among younger generations after his death

“Cuthbert’s Cudgle!” or “The Saint’s Cudgle!” – followers of St. Cuthbert but also common


“By the axe of Heironeous…”

Pick up Lines

“You’re violent! I admire that trait in a woman.” – followers of Hextor

“You blinded me with science!” – common among Gnomes

“Are your boots so dusty because you’ve been running through my dreams?” – followers of Fharlanghn

Other Phrases

“I’d need as many hands as Hextor.”
Common in the lands of the Great Kingdom, meant to indicate that a person is overworked or a given task is impossible.

“As like to meet a Wendarner with the right number of fingers”
An expression meaning, roughly, “Once in a blue moon.” Used in the lands of the former Great Kingdom referring to the inbred population of the village of Wendarn. (from Ivid the Undying)

“Never bet against a cleric of Istus.”
This goes without saying in Baklunish lands, but sometimes is used as a phrase to indicate something should be obvious, common knowledge, or just common sense.

How to Talk Like You're From Greyhawk

Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus Davidnic madartiste