Howdy Greyhawkers! Even if you don't play the most recent editions of D&D like myself, then you may have got Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
by now. This book has a very nice smattering of Mordy lore in the sidebars of course, but it also does some decent bits of Greyhawk lore in the main sections as well. Let me point out the ways.
The moral philosophy that drives Mordenkainen and his Circle of Eight
is detailed here. It spells out pretty well that the Blood War
between lawful devils and chaotic demons is a focal point on this cosmic-level concept. Examples are telling:
"a disciple of the Balance might act cruelly or heartlessly one day, and benevolent and caring the next."
"Keepers of the Balance sometimes resort to strategies that seem inexplicable to those who don't grasp the whole situation. A crusading paladin might be discouraged from seeking out and defeating Demogorgon because doing so could weaken the Abyss..."
This can perfectly explain the questionable behavior of not only Mordy but also Rary the Traitor.
I surmise that the fact the Circle of Eight didn't stop the Flight of Fiends
is because it affected both sides of the Blood War. If it were instead the Flight of Demons, then there would have to be an equal purge elsewhere.
Tzunk on Stygia:
Speculation that the layer of Stygia was once a prime material plane that was pulled into Hell by Asmodeus
mentions the archmage Tzunk who researched the topic extensively. Tzunk should know some things about the planes, he used to own the Codex of the Infinite Planes
and tried to conquer the City of Brass
Demonic Boon of Zuggtmoy:
Creatures who serve the Fungi Queen might get some rewards including stat and spell bonuses. There is also this nasty boon, Spore Kissed. "Zuggtmoy's followers are primarily mindless victims of her children's strange spores. The spores burrow into a victims' brain, turning it into a fanatic servitor." Basically the creature is immune to being charmed or frightened and if slain, the spores break and poison everyone. Nice.
Elf Deities (Seldarine):
The entire elven pantheon is listed here. This is good news to fans of obscure Greyhawk deities such as Ye'Cind
(music, enchantment) and Gadhelyn
Apparently the Archlich Vecna wants to take the Raven Queen's
power (elven goddess of the Shadowfell
). "Vecna has long coveted her ability over knowledge and souls; to steal souls would give him the ability to amass and army of the dead large enough to conquer the Shadowfell (Plane of Shadow) and turn it into his own kingdom of death...Vecna has embroiled himself in a terrible conflict, leading his armies into relentless battles against the Raven Queen and her shadar-kai fanatics..."
Yes, Vecna has moved on from taking over Oerth
to an entire inner plane! He still hates Kas
though. Woe to any PCs who get involved in this war.
More Deities Listed: Ulaa
appears in the dwarven pantheon list, Bleredd
(labor, crafting) in the gnome list and Charmalaine
(keen senses, luck) in the halfling pantheon. Charmalaine gets some lore in fact, including her ferret friend Xaphan and the power to astrally project to scout out things before she goes into danger.
Types of Halflings:
Greyhawk halflings are mentioned specifically. They live in underground burrows or cottages. They have hairy feet and hands and rarely wear shoes. The list also describes the three subraces, stout, hairfeet and tallfellows.
Epic level elemental monsters are in this bestiary. "The methods for summoning elder elementals remain hidden in forbidden tomes or inscribed on the walls of lost temples raised to honor the Elder Elemental Eye."
Oh no not him!
These three-headed undead bosses are new to me, and Vecna is to blame: "Infighting and treachery brought the skull lords into existence. The first of them appeared in the aftermath of Vecna's bid to conquer the world of Greyhawk, after the vampire Kas betrayed Vecna and took his eye and hand. In the confusion...Vecna's warlords turned against each other, and the dark one's plans were dashed. In a rage, Vecna gathered up his generals and captains and bound them in groups of three, fusing them into undead abominations cursed to fight among themselves for all time."
Star Spawn and Elder Evil Blessings:
These is some quite evil creatures in MToF and the worst might be the star spawn I'm not sure. Cultists and creatures serving evils like Kyuss
have some ammo in this book. If you're tired of these gods, well there is a bunch
of new names to add to your list, like Tyranthraxus the Flamed-One, Ragnorra the Mother of Monsters and Bolothamogg Who Watches from Beyond the Stars. Cthulhuian stuff indeed!
Yes the undead sword wraiths first featured in Greyhawk Adventures
are adapted to 5E here. This book takes it up a notch though, and adds Sword Wraith Commanders!
That's all I got on one run through. I'm sure there is more. This book is a must have for those who like planar stuff in their campaigns.