Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mordenkainen and the Obsidian Citadel

Greetings Greyhawkers. Today I was digging through my old DM notebooks for something to show off and I found a nice one. I don't know if anyone else has ever dealt with this obscure location of the Flanaess. The pic to the side is a side view and rough floor-plan for Mordenkainen's Obsidian Citadel.

Here is what we know about the Citadel according to the City of Greyhawk boxed set:

"Mordenkainen lives in the Obsidian Citadel, a symmetrical complex of towers and walled defenses in the Yatil Mountains. Very few know its precise location; only Tenser and Bigby of the Circle of Eight know exactly where it is. It is protected by sheer and harsh mountains, fierce winds and swirling clouds, and also by illusions and disorientating magical effects which cause the searcher for the citadel to become confused and lost. Magical defenses also prevent access by such spells as plane shift or teleport to "unauthorized" persons, and the Ethereal plane to confuse those who would seek to enter by this route. Those whom Mordenkainen wishes to approach and enter are given magical amulets by the archmage which effectively act as find the path spells (one use per amulet only) so far as locating the citadel goes.

Mordenkainen has many servants in, and around, his Obsidian Citadel. He can summon and ride a very old silver dragon of largest size, and is known to be on very good terms with a strong clan of stone giants who assisted in the building of the citadel. The citadel's defenders are marshaled and organized by two 12th level fighters of LN alignment, the lords Eraj and Felnorith, both of whom ride trained griffons. Dwarves, gnomes, and humans all serve as troops within the citadel, and are usually of elite quality and strongly loyal to the archmage."

From what I gather most of this information was gleaned from Gygax's novels Artifact of Evil and Come Endless Darkness in which Mordenkainen and his forces from the citadel clash with the armies of evil. I also assume the Citadel of Eight (precursor to the Circle) may have been named for this place or vice versa? Anyhow, what I was using the citadel for is hard to remember without re-reading half my notes, but at any rate here is what I wrote for my keyed locations (with commentary).

1. Approach Gate: human archers x5 and 2 teams of gnome grenade "slingshoters." Don't remember what those grenades do, but fun anyhow.
2. Man-at-Arms barracks and workshop.
3. Dwarven and human crossbow and ballista operators.
4. Aerie of Eraj and Griffon. Somehow I left out Felnorith?
5. Mordenkainen's Tower: (selective translocation shift to the Cold Marshes) Nasty move I guess I added to the boxed set's magic wards.
6. Cavern of Glimmer (I assume this was the silver dragon)

Then I had these additional game notes, all my own creation, which might shed some light on what was going on in this campaign.

All denizens of the Obs. Citadel were fooled to allow KJ (Kieran Jalucian) who was a normal friend of M (Mordenkainen). M had left instructions with Eraj and others to guard the OC from enemies until this possible return - or succession.
Gate mirror to Mordenkainen's Private Isle. Pocket demiplane where he tests magic and where he passed time. 1 day = 53 GH days!

Now having looked at this again, I need to find out what Jalucian was doing there and what this Private Isle was all about. I smell a future post!

1 comment:

Mystic Scholar said...

Sounds good! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

On a side note: CF has received the story.