In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, the Olman are a race of humans. They inhabit the southern fringes of the Flanaess and are primarily a tribal people, though in the past they commanded a great empire. The Olman are roughly modeled on the Aztec.
Olman tend to have redish-brown or dark brown skin-tones, and speak their own language. There is a theory that the Olman are directly related to their alternate-world cousins, the Aztec and other Central American natives. This is primarily because they worship the same pantheon of gods. How this cross-universe colonization from Earth to Oerth might have occurred, none can say.
Olman legend states that the Olman gods discovered Oerth and the Olman people circa -2400 CY. At that time, the Olman had not migrated from their homelands in Hepmonaland. Some 500 years later, the Olman began warring with the Touv people in the northern jungles of Hepmonaland.
Olman civilization advanced much between -1900 and -1500 CY, when they began working bronze and stone, and built great cities in northern Hepmonaland.
Around -1000 CY, the Olman people began migrating from Hepmonaland to the Amedio Jungle. There, they erected a portion of their vast empire that would out-last that in Hepmonaland. In -805 CY, the Olman of the Amedio Jungle declared themselves the true Olman nation, marking this year as the beginning of the Olman Luna calendar (OL 1). By -800, however, all seven of the Olman Amedio city-states would declare themselves independent, though they were still considered part of the same empire.
In -490 CY, the emperor of the Amedio Olman empire, Tloqasikukuatl of Chetanicatla, was assassinated by priests of Zotzilaha. By -425, the empire fell into civil war. The city-state of Tamoachan was destroyed in the magical warfare in a single day.
During the height of their civilization, the Olman built great temples and shrines deep in the Jungles of the southern Flanaess. They also explored the southern oceans to an extent that may have out-stripped even modern explorers from Aerdy, Greyhawk, and Keoland. The are also credited with developing the blowgun, sometime in the seventh century before the Common Year.
The modern Olman inhabit the Amedio city-state of Xamaclan (last remaining city-state of the Olman's Amedio empire), and are also spread out in isolated tribes throughout the Amedio Jungle. Sparse populations also exist elsewhere. One such remote location is the Isle of Dread, an island far to the south of the Azure Sea which was overrun by the Kopru centuries ago. There, many small tribes of Olman remain.
Links and references
- Gary Holian. "Exploring the Isle of Dread." Dungeon #114 (Paizo Publishing, 2004).
- Gary Holian, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (Wizards of the Coast, 2000).
- Johnson, Harold, and Jeff R Leason. The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (TSR, 1980).
- Roger E. Moore. "Green Nightmare: The Amedio Jungle, Part I." Oerth Journal #4 (Council of Greyhawk, 1996). Available online: 
- Sean K. Reynolds. The Scarlet Brotherhood (TSR, 1999).
- Carl Sargent. From the Ashes (TSR, 1993).
- Steve Wilson. "Greychrondex." Available online: 
- The Olman gods of Greyhawk
- Tamoachan Revisited - The Origins of the Olman
- The Olman at the Great Library of Greyhawk.
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