ripvanwormer wrote:It says the "civilization of Blackmoor," not the City of Blackmoor. The distinction is important. The City of Blackmoor was sacked by the Egg of Coot in the 540s CY, only about thirty or forty years ago from the perspective of SJR1.Big Mac wrote:No date, but Havard might be able to help*: A tradesman called The Happy Gauntlet launches from the City of Blackmoor, its captain completing many voyages before stumbling into an illithid ambush. The entire crew, except for the captain's wife, Sharanger Szeltune, are destroyed by the mind flayer's mental powers. She is mortally wounded but is able to unleash powerful spells that allow her to take the helm and retreat. She then retreats to a safe world, lands her ship in a hidden location and transforms herself into an archlich. <"I must Go Up to the Stars Again" p 7-8 SJR1 Lost Ships>
Now, the module makes it clear that they're talking about something much more ancient: "Her knowledge of space and the worlds to be found in it are so dated as to be almost useless (though she knows where places of power are to be found in Greyhawk, which are now lost and overgrown ruins)."
I don't think the modern Archbarony of Blackmoor ever had much of a "civilization." It's a backwater, cut off from other lands by the Relentless Horde in 320 CY.
It's possible that Sharanger hails from the Archbarony of Blackmoor prior to 320 CY, when it was easier to travel to the lands of the south and the Archbarony was somewhat less of a backwater. That'd place her at 250+ years old; I think the (vague) notes in the adventure imply a significantly greater gulf of time, though.
See, then, my post on Oerth's Blackmoor, where I collected direct quotes from a variety of sources on the ancient civilization in what is now the Archbarony of Blackmoor. This earlier Blackmoor, a technological civilization, existed during the latter years of the Suel and Baklunish empires, declaring independence during those kingdoms' final wars and finally being destroyed by a plague of "Gear Madness." This civilization had contact with the Fraternity of Order, who were founded about 982 years ago.
Note that there wasn't a "City of Blackmoor" in those days. The "City of the Gods" seemed to have been the capital of that land, though it probably wasn't named that, then.
Anyway, the City of the Gods civilization was probably at its height around 1000 years ago, during the Baklunish-Suloise Wars, just before the gear madness hit.
The Netherese spelljammed during the Age of Discovery, between -1205 and -1064 DR, or roughly 2400 to 2500 years ago. The City of the Gods civilization in Blackmoor was more like 1000 years ago.(I wonder how this compares with the Netherese spacefaring dates, and if it will show which of the two spheres was the first to convert from a groundling sphere to a spacefaring sphere.)
That doesn't mean there weren't spelljammers from Oerth before then, of course. The Suel civilization is about 6000 years old, and the Doomgrinder civilization is about 8000 years old (and I definitely think they ought to have had spelljammers). But in general, civilization on Toril seems to be older, and the earliest mention of spelljamming on Toril long predates the earliest canonical spelljammers from Oerth.
References to Greyhawk aside, let us say that Sharangar and her husband were wizards from Dave Arneson's Blackmoor before they became Space faring Arch-Liches. Probably even as a mortal she would have been very powerful. Perhaps we could link her to some of the other wizards in the Blackmoor setting? Was she a member of the Wizards Cabal in her younger days?