|The arms of the Bandit Kingdoms, as depicted in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000).|
|Region||Empire of Iuz|
|Ruler||Iuz (in theory)|
|Government||Various petty dictatorships theoretically owing fealty to Iuz|
|Capital||None; Hallorn, Riftcrag, Rookroost, and Stoink function as "regional capitals"|
|Major Towns||Hallorn, Riftcrag, Rookroost, Stoink|
|Coinage||No national coinage; some fiefs produce their own coinage|
|Languages||Common, Orcish, Halfling|
|Religions||Iuz, Olidammara, Erythnul, Norebo, Hextor, orcish pantheon, Nerull, Ralishaz, Kurell, Fharlanghn, Pholtus, Trithereon, Rudd, various goblinoid gods.|
In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the Bandit Kingdoms is a political state of the Flanaess. It was formerly known as the Combination of Free Lords, and sometimes called the Bandit Lands.
This area was settled, if not very well, by Oerdians as they pushed eastward and fell under the rule of the Great Kingdom of the Aerdy, though it was never very tightly held. When Furyondy revolted in 254 CY, this area fell under control of local petty nobles. Eventually, they united as the 'Confederation of Free Lords', an alliance to stop outside invasions; it didn't stop them squabbling. By the early 300s, the Shield Lands were created to stop raids from this group.
In 513 CY, the western Confederation was overrun by the Iuz-sponsored Horned Society. In 579, the Shield Lands launched a successful invasion, only to themselves be defeated by the Empire of Iuz in 583, who occupied all of the old Bandit Kingdoms. It remains under Iuz's control, though his power is weaker here than at home. Now, thousands of bandits are looking for a leader to lead them in revolt, as they want their freedom for petty thuggery back!
The Bandit Kingdoms are generally located in the central portion of the Flanaess. They are bordered by the Fellreev Forest to the north, and by a somewhat undefined border with the Shield Lands to the south. To the west, the Ritensa River divides the Kingdoms from the Empire of Iuz proper, while the Artonsamay River forms the eastern border, starting in the Fellreev, and arching through the Phostwood before passing between the Shield Lands and the County of Urnst.
In the heart of the Bandit Kingdoms lies the vast Rift Canyon, more than 180 miles long and up to 30 miles wide. Formed by forces unknown, it is surrounded by a rocky wasteland. Near the southwest end of the canyon rises White Plume Mountain, a volcano whose tunnels until recently housed the evil wizard Keraptis. And to the north of the canyon lie the Tangles, a small, yet dense forest where bandits opposed to Iuz's force reside.
As of 591 CY, the most populous towns are Rookroost (pop. 17,500), Stoink (pop. 13,300), Kinemeet (pop. 7,300, though orcs outnumber humans over 2-to-1), Riftcrag (pop. 5,000), and Alhaster (pop. 4,700).
As of 591 CY, the population of the Bandit Kingdoms totaled 475,200 persons. Approximately 80% of those native folk are of primarily Oeridian, Flan, and Suel extraction, with somewhat less common Baklunish ancestry. Half-orcs make up almost another 10%, with the remainder of the population consisting of halflings, elves, gnomes, dwarves, and half-elves in gradually decreasing numbers.
Worship of Iuz is promoted by the Old One's occupying forces. But left on their own, the Bandit Kingdoms native folk will also worship Olidammara, Erythnul, Norebo, Hextor, the orc pantheon, Nerull, Ralishaz, Kurell, Fharlanghn, Pholtus, Trithereon, Rudd, various goblinoid gods.
The most widely-spoken languages in the Bandit Kingdoms include Common, Orcish, and Halfling.
There is no one central government within the Bandit Kingdoms; most of the territories are petty dictatorships whose alliances can shift as quickly as the wind. In theory, the various warlords all pay homage to Iuz and his forces, since these lands were claimed by Iuz as his own during the Greyhawk Wars. However, for most of the Bandit Kings, this fealty is a charade.
As the Bandit Kingdoms are an occupied land, there is no official national capital. Hallorn, Riftcrag, Rookroost, and Stoink function as "regional capitals".
Due to the independent nature of the various groups within the Bandit Kingdoms, no one standard has been adopted as representative of the entire region. However, several of the fiefs have traditionally carried their own devices:
- Dimre: Azure, a roundel or voided gules between two chevronels of the second
- Johrase: Per bend argent and or, a morningstar erect sable
- Reyhu: Argent, a quatrefoil vert voided or, a chief ermines
- Rookroost: Argent, a rook passant sable within a bordure gules
The Bandit Kingdoms have little in the way of natural resources, though a fair amount of silver is produced from mining operations in the Rift Canyon.
The Bandit Kingdoms as a whole do not maintain any standard coinage of their own, though individual fiefs within the Kingdoms will produce their own currencies (or will use coins looted from nearby nations).
- Gygax, Gary. "From the Sorceror's Scroll." Dragon #56. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
- -----. "Where the Bandits Are." Dragon #63. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1982.
- -----. The World of Greyhawk. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1980.
- -----. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1983.
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.