|Mounted Knight by Arthur Pyle|
Monday, February 5, 2018
Ratik, as Far as that Goes.
Yesterday my brother was looking at the World of Greyhawk map and he noticed the land of Ratik. He was curious about the little nation, and I'll be honest here, I was too. In my years of running in Greyhawk I never ran across the province as I tend to focus south of the Nyr Dyv and out west towards the Sea of Dust.
Ratik was new territory for me to explore; and the thing is, Ratik appears to be new territory for everyone else too. As best as I've been able to tell it was only mentioned in four places: (1) the World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, (2) in an article in Dragon 57, (3) the Living Greyhawk website, and (4) the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. That's not a lot of information to go on.
In the World of Greyhawk Boxed Set (pg. 32) the Archbarony is revealed to be an offshoot of Aerdi and to be a province ruled by the rather competent Ratik line. They have strong connections with the dwarves and gnomes of the area and are respected by the raiders and nomads surrounding them. When the hordes of humanoids began attacking Ratik not only weathered their advances but drove them out of their lands. Unfortunately this sent the humanoids south into the Bone Marches where they wrecked havoc.
Aside from the prosperous logging industry the only aspect of the Ratik description that I found worth noting was that in the north Ratik woodsmen were armed with bows and patrolled that boarder while in the south "hillrunners" were equipped with slings and watched the southern boarder.
The article from Dragon 57, Developments from Stonefist to South Province by Gary Gygax, (pg. 13 - 16) is largely a battlefield report. While there are some interesting tidbits here it largely points towards the steady development of the fractious area without anything all that substantive given away. The only thing that I found interesting was that the dwarves in the Rakers (the mountain chain to the west of Ratik) are largely holed up in their mountainous fortresses as they are being besieged by gnolls and like-minded humanoids.
After this all I found on the area is from the Living Greyhawk website and Gazetteer (pg. 88 - 91) which largely express the same information though with the Gazetteer providing more depth to the reader. Our leader is now Lady Evaleigh of Ratik and the barony is now completely divested from Aerdi. To be perfectly honest, while this provides the reader with the most information on the area from any of the sources I have it's largely a mess. This brings up one of the problems that I have with the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. While it provides players with some of the most current information on the setting as of its publication it also tends to feel a bit like the authors are attempting to throw everything they can think of at the players. It makes things feel rushed and discombobulated at times (especially in less developed areas like Ratik).
So that's as much information as I have on the nation of Ratik. If anyone else has anything to add from any of the official sources (Living Greyhawk, modules, the magazines, and so forth) please let me know because I would love to continue fleshing out the little nation-state.
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