Greyhawk: Return to the Classic
Flan is generally used in reference to the Flan people, (sometimes called the “Flannae”), a race of humans of Oerth, though the term may also refer to the language and culture of said people. The Flan peoples were the first humans known to have settled the eastern portion of the continent of Oerik, the Flanaess, which is named for them. Regions of the Flanaess that contain a significant number of Flan peoples include Geoff, Sterich, the Rovers of the Barrens, Tenh, and the Wolf Nomads.
Pre-migrations Flan are described in the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting’s Guide to the World of Greyhawk as “hardy and capable hunters but not particularly warlike, and their small and scattered groups made no appreciable civilizing efforts.” This is a simplification, for the Flan boast several pre-Migrations cultures, including those found at Sulm in the Bright Desert, Veralos on the edge of Rift Canyon, Tostehnca in the Griff Mountains, and several others.
The traditional calendar of the Flan is called the Flan Tracking.
Pure Flan have bronze skin, varying from a light copper hue to a dark, deep brown. Flan eyes are usually dark brown, black, brown, or amber. Hair is wavy or curly and typically black or brown (or any shade between). The Flan have broad, strong faces and sturdy builds.
The Flan were the first known humans to live in eastern Oerik, and it is from them that the Flanaess gets its name. Although evidence exists that the Flan had settled nations, and even several vast empires the many nations where weak after centuries of infighting. They were displaced by Suloise and Oeridian invaders. Large pockets of Flan live in what are now Geoff, Tenh, and the Barrens. The Tenha are pure Flan, and the coppery Rovers of the Barrens nearly so. The people of Geoff and Sterich also show strong Flan heritage, as do the Stoneholders, Palish, and certain Perrender clans.
The Flan have always been strongly tied to the natural world, as they were nomadic hunter-gatherers for so long. They see nature as an entity to be respected but not controlled, and this is reflected in their myths, legends, and culture. Many Flan believe the season of a child’s birth affects later life, and certain customs and taboos must be observed annually. Modern Flan still have a preference for the outdoors, and those who live in cities usually raise gardens and flower beds. A tree is planted at the door of a Flan home, and the health of that tree is believed related to the welfare of the family. Storytelling is a favorite pastime, and most families have ancient oral folklore and legends to pass on.
The ancient, nomadic Flan wore simple clothing of animal skins: belts, breechcloths, capes, robes, and footwear (boots and hard-soled slippers). Body painting and tattoos were common methods of personal decoration, and these traditions are still practiced by the Rovers of the Barrens (who prefer yellows and reds). Modern Flan tend to dress in what is currently fashionable, but they favor bright primary colors in solid arrangements.
Flan wizards normally work in harmony with nature, avoiding destructive magic. A few delve into the necromantic arts of the ancient Ur-Flan, but such practices are shunned by respectable folk. Many prefer protective and divinatory spells, a practice that stems from their traditional roles of guarding nomadic tribes and helping them survive. Flan clerics are often druids, who are more accepting of agriculture than they once were. Like the sun god, Pelor, many Flan deities have strong “natural” aspects such as the Trinity. St. Cuthbert is said to have waged holy war protecting some of these ancient peoples rituals and traditions.