Why is Dyvers Here?

I was watching the most recent livestream of Legends & Lore episode #105 on Lord Gosumba’s twitch channel when Anna Meyer lamented Dyvers’ position on the Nyr Dyv. Her point was that there wasn’t a logical reason for Dyvers to be positioned where it was on the shoreline.

I disagree.

Dyvers Area map from pg 7, colorized by me so I could see it better

In the Second Edition adventure, Slavers, Dyvers was discussed in some detail[1]. Here it was revealed that the city was founded in its location because of two factors: an established trade route; and river traffic patterns. It is implied that the river traffic stuck closer to the southern edge of the river and lake though no reason for this preference is explicitly stated.

Now there are a couple of things that I infer from the above map that tend to add weight to the two factors that drove people to settle in the area now known as Dyvers. The first is that the trade road would cross the Velverdyva River at the Dianrift and Caltaran juncture[2] and then would continue on keeping the Gnarley Forest to its right and the river/lake to its left as it passed east towards the Great Kingdom.

The second is brought on by this map of Dyvers:

Dyvers city map from pg 9, color by me to help me distinguish areas

The city map shows us that the main road, which goes on to be called “Greyhawk Road,” travels through the city itself. This leads me to believe that the reason the city was founded in this location is because of its proximity to the “Greyhawk Road” and the ease ships would have disembarking their freight here.

There may be another reason for this location taking precedence over a later position such as that of Maraven. The three major islands north of Dyvers could have a drastic effect on how the river behaves as it empties out into the Nyr Dyv. Perhaps they cause an increased current to the north and a decreased one south? Or perhaps, while we see the three major islands, there are a number of smaller islands north of them that make river traffic difficult if not impossible?

There’s not enough evidence to suggest one answer over another at this point.

Anyway, that’s my argument for Dyvers’ placement on the Nyr Dyv. What do you think Anna?


[1] Arguably the information in this adventure provides the most information about the city published in any official form. It constitutes what I consider the baseline version of the city and what I tend to build off of when creating my own version for my home games.

[2] The text states that there is a bridge at the Serault on page 16, but there is no mention of a bridge going towards Dainrift. It would be logical to assume that the text implies a ferry crossing at this juncture. I prefer a bridge crossing and so have one.


4 thoughts on “Why is Dyvers Here?”

  1. It is as good an argument as any and has logic. I think Anna is quite focused on her Oerth climate map right now and this could be focusing her on those aspects? There are any numbers or reasons a city might be founded and grow. The Nyr Dyv has many sea monsters and they may have been more prolific in earlier times. This may have forced bits to the coast as you suggest. Maraven may have been subject to worse storms or other conditions. There may be a natural spring at Dyvers that provides a reason for a trade stop to start there. The Free City of Greyhawk used to be an unimportant village until made righ by treasure brought back by adventurers from the tombs in the Cairn Hills. That doesn’t show up on a topographical map.

    Liked by 1 person

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