Talk:Queen Ehlissa's Marvelous Nightingale

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Is The Book of Artifacts Canon or is it Apocrypha?

Rip & Rob,

I have been reseaching Queen Ehlissa, the euphonious artifact, Xagy, and the foundations of the Kingdom of Ahlissa. In the course of my readings I find one thing that bothers me about the entry for the Marvelous Nightingale in the Book of Artifacts... The entry seems generic (like most of its entries). It also commits the double sin of contradicting previous canon without mentioning its Greyhawk origins at all.

Further confusion is brought into the picture with the entry from the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer where it states: "The ancient kingdom of Ahlissa, ruled by the Flan and easily conquered by Aerdy, is known today only for its founding wizard-queen, Ehlissa the Enchantress, and a magical nightingale she made." (LGG, pg. 13) While it says she created it, it says she founded the Kingdom Ahlissa where the BoA says she was already Queen. With both the DMG1 and LGG contradicting the background in the BoA, I find its assertions doubtful of use for Greyhawk canon.

Also, I get the impression from the DMG1 that no one really knows who, when or why it was created, except for the assertion from Mordy that Xagy and Joramy made it 1,700 years ago (11th Century BCY). There is no mention that Ehlissa was alive at the time of its creation The only thing we are sure of Ehlissa used it to command her subjects and rule her kingdom for "several hundred years." For all we know, Ehlissa found the artifact after its creation and used it to create her kingdom.

The reason I believe that the Marvelous Nightingale was found some time after its creation is that by calculating back 1,700 years from 576CY it would have been founded c -1,100 CY. The Kingdom of Ehlissa/Ahlissa was conquered by the Aerdy in the 5th Century OR (which is between -145 CY and -44 CY), (See LGG, pg. 80). That means the Kingdom of Ahlissa lasted nearly a 1,000 years before being absorbed into the Great Kingdom. This seems awfully long for a Kingdom that had been founded upon the charms of an artifact that obviously was not present when the Suel of House Zelrad arrived and where absorbed into the kingdom after fleeing the lands that became Keoland (LGJ#4, pg. 17)

Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying, I believe that the BoA is Apocrypha and great care should be used with its entries and this wiki. Further I think we need to reexamine the assumptions about the creation of the Marvelous Nightingale and the founding of the Kingdom of Ahlissa. Thank you for your time. -- Saracenus 22:47, 23 December 2007 (EST)

We're defining "canon" as things published by the owner of the intellectual property in question, or things licensed by the owner, and which have not been specifically disavowed in later products (as WG7 Castle Greyhawk was). The Book of Artifacts is canon by that definition. And yes, canon occasionally contradicts itself. When that happens, the best solution is simply to note that different sources disagree (for example, the different versions of Nerull's realm in On Hallowed Ground and the 3rd edition Manual of the Planes, or the fact that Merikka's alignment is different in Against the Cult of the Reptile God, or that Baalzephon is identified with a different gender in Hellbound: The Blood War).
You're absolutely right that Book of Artifacts is very generic, but I don't think it's the purpose of this wiki to decide what sources people should or shouldn't use, only to identify what the various sources say. It's not our place to declare an official source "Apocrypha" - that's something only WotC can do (although of course we can do it in our own campaigns).
The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer says that Queen Ehlissa herself made the Nightingale, which confirms that it was created during her reign (she didn't just find it later on) and may contradict the idea that Xagy and Joramy made it. I assume what it really meant was that she commissioned it, which is what the Book of Artifacts claimed. Your mileage may vary, however, and it's absolutely valid to edit the article to note the ambiguity. -- Rip 02:03, 24 December 2007 (EST)
Well said, Rip. Yes, the BoA, DMG 1E, & LGG are all canon, despite any contradictions. When contradictions are found, they should be noted & cited. One thing I hope this wiki becomes is a go-to source for Greyhawk authors. If contradictions are noted, the author can research the sources & possibly come up with a way to rectify any discrepancies, which would ideally lead to fewer contradictions in GH canon as a whole.--Robbastard 18:41, 24 December 2007 (EST)