Saturday, May 5, 2018
Infinity War and Greyhawk
D&D is full of numinous objects to collect or destroy, we call them artifacts and relics. Everyone has heard of these type objects (you can see a list of them in my primers on the front page) and for the most part they are objects like swords, orbs or even a hand. While dangerous in their own right, few are world-shattering. Now there is such a thing (2E is the last I heard of it) as resonating effects. If two or more artifacts are brought together they give more power than the individual parts. One infinity stone is powerful in the hands of a character, but two sets you on a path toward being an epic figure, perhaps god-like eventually.
Rod of Seven Parts is the best one however, since it's a singular object once assembled (much like the Gauntlet). Collecting all seven pieces of the rod is a long term quest which if it fell into the hands of a big bad like say, Iuz or Iggwilv, would make them even more ridiculously powerful than before and require an assemblage of heroes to help take the villain down. Defeating a near deity/demigod isn't easy, but it's not unheard of in D&D.
For example, the old 3.5E Dungeon adventure path: Age of Worms was a high-level quest to stop a nigh invincible demigod from emerging on Oerth. This series also included the Ro7P to a small degree. The 2E module, Vecna Lives! was also a quest to defeat an ascendant arch-lich from completing his master plan to become a greater god. Very Thanos-y. The more recent Rise of Tiamat story-arc in 5E also involves a plot to prevent world catastrophe with the mother of all dragon's return.
Eli Tomorast is definitely fills that niche as a power seeking madman with resources and a stable base of operations. Rary the Traitor is another no-brainer. He is a very high level wizard with many enemies and also a remote base to work out from in the Bright Desert. He already seeks the Scorpion Crown, but what if that is just his "gauntlet" and there is some stones it requires to really unlock it's power? Too many wizards messing around in Greyhawk? Okay, might I suggest then Warduke. Warduke is originally from generic D&D action figure fame, but came to Greyhawk lore in the Paizo era, featured in Dungeon Magazine #105. He is an ominously evil, high-level fighter who is also a Hierarch of the mysterious Horned Society. Few warriors in Greyhawk except Warduke can command the gravitas of Thanos and basically slash and burn his way to ultimate power.
I'm sure there are many other candidates, those are the first few that popped in my head. In summary, if you are floating the prospect of running a high-level, epic campaign then it's perhaps it's time to try saving the world by gathering the "Infinity Gauntlet" or stopping evil from doing so first.