Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Greyhawkery Pause


Welcome back Greyfolk, and thank you for continuing to read Greyhawkery. This post is a short announcement that I'm hitting the pause button for March leading into Gary Con 2023. Maybe interacting with some of my favorite people in the community will inspire me to do some new content. I'll still be chatting Greyhawk Wednesdays on Legends & Lore stream and gaming 1d3 times a week. While you are waiting for me to write something clever, please check out some of my friends' Greyhawk blogs:

David Leonard's Greyhawk Musings

Joe Bloch's Greyhawk Grognard

Thomas Kelly's Greyhawk Stories

Fantasy Maps by Anna Meyer

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Extra-Planar Influences on Greyhawk

Welcome again Greyhawk fans! Over on Legends & Lore stream we were discussing how examples of extra-planar influences on the World of Greyhawk setting are abundant and often drive Oerth's history, pre-history, and current timeline meta-plots. By extra-planar we mean the inner (elemental), outer (heaven and hell) or in-between places (ethereal, astral). Whatever arrangement of D&D cosmology you follow, it's true that archdevils, demon-princes, archomentals, and other entities are always either directly involved or a step removed from the action in published material. For instance, the Temple of Elemental Evil famously involves both elemental and demonic influences, and the demiplane of dread, Ravenloft within the deep ethereal has netted a few Greyhawk denizens in the past. I had a couple leftover examples to share, so let's have a look: 

One of my favorite overlooked examples is from the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. In the section on the Plains of the Paynims it related a story of how a marid (genies from the Elemental Plane of Water) influenced the future of the whole Baklunish West.

"The first group of traders to make a complete circuit of the Paynims lands returned to Zeif with little material wealth, but possessing a great store of information. The mighty works and monuments of the empire were gone, except for scattered, fragmentary ruins. Only the stone circles of Tovag Baragu stood unmarred, by the waters of Lake Udrukankar. Within the lake itself, the Shah of the Waters appeared and asked the merchants for the name of the new emperor. At first they made no response, but finally they gave the name of the sultan rather than earn the ire of the mighty marid of Udrukankar. They reported that the marid granted his blessing t the great sultan and departed.

The Paynims remember the tale differently, saying that the marid shah gave, in addition to his blessing, a rare and legendary jacinth. It would identify the sultan as the heir to the imperial Baklunish line. Had the sultan returned with it to Udrukankar, the Paynims allege, he would have become the new emperor and founder of the 12th Dynasty of the Baklunish. Yet, only merchants returned in the years that followed, for the jacinth was lost and with it the imperial inheritance." 

The Baklunish have a history of dealing with the elemental planes. The culture is patterned in part off Arabian Nights tales where genie-kind have a hand in affairs. Here, a marid who rules over the only remaining body of water in the old empire has set a test on the sultan to verify his inheritance to the throne. Yet Istus intervenes and the jacinth is lost. As an aside, I can't fathom that the author didn't intend for this "jacinth" to be anything other than the Jacinth of Inestimable Beauty from AD&D artifact lore. As quests go, having the sultan hire PCs to find this particular jacinth so he can claim rulership of the entire west is a huge meta-plot. Thank the marids for that one.

Greyhawk is well known for its overuse of demons. The lower planes are constantly influencing events in the Flanaess be it Graz'zt and Iggwilv bringing Iuz into the world, or Demogorgon creating the Death Knights and thus wrecking what nobility was left in the Great Kingdom. One of my favorite demon-princes is Pazrael (aka Pazuzu from MM2). According to Iuz the Evil, he has a lot going on:

"Pazrael has an alliance with Iuz for several reasons. First, he is wary of Graz'zt and feels Graz'zt may have designs on his Abyssal plane, so one way of keeping tabs on what Graz'zt is doing is by having his own fiends in Iuz's domain. Second, his nabassu grow strong marauding within Iuz's realm. Third, Pazrael has a long term goal of supplanting Iuz on (Oerth), a goal he realizes will take decades to achieve..."

But that's not all this avian demon-prince is up to in the Flanaess...

"Duke Szeffrin, ruler of the Almorian lands, is the other main power player with a firm alliance with a fiend of great power. The Abyssal Lord Pazrael lends strength and magic to Szeffrin. Plus, tanar-ri (demons) in his service us the gate at Onyxgate to enter Prime Material Plane. What Pazrael is doing in Szeffrin's domain is simple, his is testing magical strength on a scale which he doesn't want to offer to Iuz. Pazrael wants to see how his most mighty magics work in Almor, to "field test" them for the day when he can act against Iuz."

That double-dealing Pazrael! He's a true prince of demons. Even though in later publications the Crook of Rao and the Flight of Fiends kind of ruins this meta-plot, think of the implications if Pazrael's plans do go ahead as planned. If heroes learn of Pazrael's scheme, do they stop him and thus aid Iuz or do they inadvertently help a demon lord to eventually replace the demigod of evil? Outside a few Greater Boneheart NPCs I don't know who else has the power and resources to seriously fill a void left by Iuz. It's an epic level plot for DMs to consider.

Using extra-planar driven villains and plots in Greyhawk tends to be a high-level affair. However, what is more fantastic and magical than bringing in bizarre encounters from these alien places. Next time you use faeries, or shadow dragons, or astral born githyanki in your campaign, consider for a second what their reason for being on Oerth might be, it could lead to even more adventure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Greyhawk: Let's Fight Iuz

Welcome Greyhawkers to another rousing edition of Let's Fight... Previous installments like the bone-breaking encounter with Ulaa. can be read in the Best of Greyhawkery page. 
To recap how this column works: in the old days of AD&D, PCs could potentially take on gods (despite what later authors say about gods staying off Oerth). The 1E Deities & Demigods was first to give stats and rules on the powers of immortals, later referred to as avatars in the Greyhawk Adventures sourcebook which gave players a better chance to somehow prevail over a deity in combat. Iuz (aka The Old One) is a different case in that he physically lives ON Oerth so any heroes trying to put an end to his evil reign will inevitably have to fight him, right? Luckily for DMs Iuz is one of the deities in the World of Greyhawk boxed set that was given stats. He was later updated with 3.5E stats in Dragon #294, but for purposes of this post I'll stick with the old school stat block. Enough talk let's examine how much damage the demigod of pain can inflict in battle. Enjoy!

Caveat #1: Iuz the Evil rules an entire domain in the Flanaess (think Sauron in LotR), thus depending on when you fight him it could be a small country (576 CY) all the way to an extensive empire (591 CY). Between his priesthood, his high-level Boneheart henchmen, his humanoid and undead armies, and countless summoned demons from his palace in Dorakaa, Iuz has what seems like an inexhaustible barrier of fanatic defenders around him. Fortunately, this chaotic evil demigod is sadistically vindictive and likes to get his own hands dirty from time to time. I mean, Iuz has previously tangled with powerful foes like Zagyg, St. Cuthbert and Vecna before so, for this exercise we can assume the PCs have made it to the final boss and will fight only Iuz. For the time being...

Caveat #2: (Also Possible Spoiler) The mysterious Soul Husks in the Howling Hills. Do they hold the secret to the Old One's divinity? Would destroying those husks in advance weaken Iuz or possibly just kill him outright making this whole fight unnecessary?  For this reason, let's say the PCs don't have access to the Soul Husks.

Caveat #3: Cause I like to throw in special conditions. In the Glossography, Iuz is listed as a Cleric 16 and Assassin 16. Assassins in 1E are a variant thief class in this edition and have the ability to "assassinate" (of course) and do thievely stuff like sneak around (as a 14th level thief). So again, for this exercise we will also assume Iuz, the demigod of deception, is ambushing the PCs to start this battle...

1. Assassination/Poison Use: As if his (99%) move silently and measly (93%) hide in shadows isn't enough, Iuz can cast Invisibility to open up the festivities. Since he can backstab, the first unlucky PC to be attacked will likely take x5 damage, plus poison (pick your poison), PLUS possible instant death from the Assassination Table (pg75 1E DMG). According to this chart, Iuz 100% insta-kills any character HD 0-7, but even if Mordenkainen is on the PC's team, there is a 30% chance Iuz can insta-kill an 18+ level character. 1E is brutal.

2. Iuz's Forms. Congrats, the PCs were surprised, and one of their party is probably toast, but now they have won the initiative on round one. The Old One appears either as a 7-foot tall cambion demon with long talon fingers, or a 5-foot tall elderly man with talon fingers. In either form he has 165 hit points (in 3.5E he has 760 hp, hah). This is a significant amount in 1E terms. For comparison, Hextor has 200 hp and Heiroenous has 217, and they are lesser war gods!

3. Defenses. The Old One can only be hit by +1 or better magic items. This should be a given, no player is going to tangle with a demigod with ordinary weapons. When the front-line PCs move into melee, they will find Iuz has a -4 AC but -8 AC with his magical Cape of Protection. This Cape also gives him a whopping 65% magic resistance! But wait, there is more!

4. Precast spells? Of course, foolish mortals! Iuz is a Cleric 16, has an 18 INT and 20 WIS. He could conceivably have any number of pre-cast spells (Mirror Image is one he can do at will), but he needs just one. As a demigod Iuz can cast Anti-Magic Shell a barrier which moves with him. What the shell does is make him 100% impervious to magic as well as breath weapons, gaze and voice-attacks. Worse yet, all magic is suppressed in his 16' diameter shell. This means all those +1 or higher weapons are now ordinary swords when the PCs rush in for melee. Oops. 

5. Ranged spells. Maybe the PCs hang back and assess their situation. At range, as a demigod, Iuz can cast Finger of Death spells pretty much at will. Save or death effect. One hero a time. If Iuz used any other spells at range, he would be toying with the PCs.

6. Melee, Hand-to-Hand versus Two-handed Sword: Okay the PCs have committed to fighting him up close cause at range he is just picking them off. Here is where Iuz gets true shock value. In half-demon form he can choose to go toe to toe with his great +3 sword doing a scary +12 damage, but he only gets one attack per round. Yawn. The old man form on the other hand can attack with two bony hands doing 11-14 damage each. Furthermore, whoever he hits with his hands is now being strangled! That victim will DIE in 1d4+1 rounds unless freed. Mind you, he has a 21 Strength. Additionally, while the Old One is squeezing the life out of a poor hero, and his allies hopelessly stab at him with dispelled weapons, he can once per round "expectorate" on the poor adventurer like the Exorcist. This nasty spittle ages the person 1-6 YEARS and the body part struck withers becoming useless, no save! (gross yes, but 1E does not mess around) If any heroes make it out of this fight alive, they may well have a limp and full beard.
7. Mobility. Iuz is just your average medium-sized creature when it comes to moving around. As a demigod however, he could conveniently Levitate at will making this fight a ranged massacre, unless the heroes can fly. Or to be really annoying, Iuz like all deities in 1E can just teleport without error. He can zip around the field attacking from above, behind, four rounds later, etc. Theoretically he might be able to strangle a helpless PC and teleport them both over White Plume Mountain and let go. But I digress...

8. Healing. The demigod of evil is light on healing as you'd expect. Though he should really only need one spell, Heal, which he can use once a day to recover all his lost hit points shy of d4. That would be a true kick in the butt for any party that thinks they have the Old One on the ropes.

9. Summon and Gate in Allies. Okay suppose Iuz underestimated the heroes; they are a Monty-Haul bunch with all the experience and tricks in the AD&D book. Iuz is no fool so he calls in help like any good deity would. Once per day each he can cast Summon and Gate spells. He can only summon one or two chaotic evil creatures, but the total can be 20 HD worth. Not too shabby! With the Gate spell however the Old One can draw in demonic aid that he is so well known for doing. My money is on him asking his BFF Zuggtmoy the Demon-Queen of Fungi to save his hide. He will owe her a favor after that spell. She has AD&D stats in the Temple of Elemental Evil by the way.

10. Psionics?! This is optional, but in 1E a lot of your deities and quasi-deities have psionics in their stat blocks. I personally never used them, but the rules are there in the PHB/DMG and aren't overly complicated. Iuz the Evil is listed as type III which means he has three minor and two major psionic powers. He also has all psionic defense/attack modes in the book. Like Psionic Blast, Id Insinuation, Ego Whip. Really? I don't need to explain any of these powers because they are redundant at best. Iuz is already terrifically hard to defeat, giving him psionic powers would be another way for the DM to tease the players. Unless the heroes have a psionic character in their group, this would be no contest.

11. Finish Him! Lastly, Iuz has his "soul object" safe-guarded on another plane of existence. This means defeating Iuz while a long shot, is possible, since he has this contingency in place. He will however keep coming back, and remember, Iuz is vindictive. Take heart adventurers! Whatever game system or timeline you play, Iuz can be brought down permanently, but to succeed it will require a few quests in advance to weaken his resources and powers, rather than confronting him directly. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Ull: Land of a Thousand Villians - Habahk the Flame Death

Welcome back Greyhakwers! Today I submit for your campaigns, a new entry in my ongoing Ull: Land of a Thousand Villains column. For more villains like the fiery foe below, go to the Best of Greyhawkery page. Enjoy!


“Ull is a popular destination for the most deranged and desperate criminals in the Baklunish West. The smart ones know they cannot easily blend into Uli society, so they stay out of trouble. The foolish ones end up as thralls. Then there are the rare ones that only seem to get worse”. 

Habahk “the Flame-Death” (human, male, rogue 5)

   The man known as Habahk arrived in Ull a few years ago while working odd jobs in a Tusman caravan heading south to the Dry Steppes. Originally from the city of Dhabiya in Zeif, the gruff Baklunish man is infamously known as the Flame-Death for committing many heinous crimes including murder and arson. Wanted by authorities in Zeif, Habahk has evaded justice so far by hiding in plain sight among Ull’s chaotic society, where he now openly works as an alchemist assistant and sometimes as a cook for the decadent pit-masters of Kester. Habahk’s reputation is beginning to catch up to him, however. His special talents have recently been sought out by vengeful locals wanting to see their sworn rivals ruined by fire. So far, the serial arsonist has been unable to resist the opportunity, even though the Flame-Death knows he will eventually attract the wrong attention.

   DM’s Campaign Notes: Habahk makes a good mid-level villain of the week. He is an otherwise unremarkable rogue NPC with a decent bounty on his head, whose capture could lead players on to even bigger story implications. The Flame-Death has indeed earned the enmity of the Mouqollad Consortium, the Royal Navy and many in the Qudah (Al’Akbar) not only due to his many acts of arson against these groups, but also since he is part of an outlaw Cult of Imix (evil-elemental prince of fire) once based in Dhabiya. Known for the creation and employ of many deadly fire-based magic items (such as Brazier Commanding Fire Elementals, Neckless of Missiles and Wand of Fire), the surviving members of the cult like Habahk, are on the run from Baklunish bounty hunters and heroic agents of Alhamazad the Wise. Sooner or later, these other potentially more dangerous cultists will gather in Ull to rejoin with the Flame-Death. If Habahk is killed or captured, they will certainly exact vengeance on any who have gone after one of their own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Greyhawk Quiz #3: Module Covers

Greetings, fans of Greyhawk trivia! This is the third installment of my Greyhawk quiz, check out this link to see the previous ones. This time my friends, we are not doing multiple choice, so you'll need to type in your answers. Get ready to show off your knowledge of Greyhawk module covers. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Wars of Greyhawk: Battle of Blackwater Bend

Happy New Years Greyhawkers! Let's get back to my continuing military history of the Flanaess. If you haven't seen the previous entries in the Wars of Greyhawk, go to the Best of Greyhawkery page on this blog. This entry pits the forces of Iuz versus the tenacious Wolf Nomads. Enjoy!

Siege of Eru-Tovar and the Battle of Blackwater Bend

Conflict & Date: 
The Battle of Blackwater Bend occurred eleven weeks after the Siege of Eru-Tovar, on the 22nd day of Harvester, 578 CY. 
Armies & Commanders: 
Eru-Tovar (3,400 total)
Wegwuir tribal chiefs
2,400 light infantry, 500 medium infantry, 500 archers. 
Wegwuir Horde (Wolf Nomads) (20,000 total)
Bargru, Tarkhan of the Wegwuir.
10,000 light cavalry, 2,000 medium cavalry, 1,000 mounted crossbows, 7,000 mounted archers.
Northern Host of Iuz (25,500 total at Eru-Tovar)
Lord Choldraf, High Priest of Iuz.
2,000 heavy infantry, 1,000 light cavalry, 2,000 heavy cavalry, 2,000 crossbows, 4,000 hobgoblins.
Mellard-Plict the Mage.
6,000 orcs, 3,000 gnolls, 3,000 goblins, 100 ogres, 2,400 other (norkers, ogrillons, bugbears, etc).

The Wegwuir Horde routed the forces of Iuz the Evil.

Eru-Tovar (500 total)
350 light infantry, 50 medium infantry, 100 archers. 
Wegwuir (Wolf Nomads) (2,000 dead, 4,000 wounded, 6,000 total)
(dead) 900 light cavalry, 200 medium cavalry, 100 mounted crossbows, 800 mounted archers. (wounded) 1,800 light cavalry, 400 medium cavalry, 100 mounted crossbows, 1,700 mounted archers.
Northern Host of Iuz (13,200 total, plus 8,750 deserters)
250 heavy infantry, 400 light cavalry, 300 heavy cavalry, 700 crossbows, 1,000 orcs, 600 hobgoblins, 325 gnolls, 1,200 goblins, 25 ogres, 400 other (losses at Eru-Tovar).
50 heavy infantry, 100 light cavalry, 50 heavy cavalry, 100 crossbows, 2,700 orcs, 1,000 hobgoblins, 1,675 gnolls, 1,000 goblins, 75 ogres, 2,000 other (deserters at Eru-Tovar)
800 heavy infantry, 200 light cavalry, 475 heavy cavalry, 525 crossbows, 2,100 orcs, 2,100 hobgoblins, 1,000 gnolls, 800 goblins (losses at Blackwater Bend) 

Ever since the return and increasing rise in power of the demigod, luz, the Wegwuir avoided their ancestral lands east of the Blackwater, instead focusing their annual raids upon the neighboring Chakyik tribes (Tiger Nomads) to the west and south into rugged Perrenland. In the spring of 578 CY, Iuz capitalized on the predictable absence of the nomad hordes and directed the Boneheart to form an army to conquer the town of Eru-Tovar, the only permanent settlement of the Wolf Nomads. Iuz hoped this bold move would crush the Wegwuirs’ morale and force them into his subservience. 

A):   The Northern Host of Iuz was placed under the joint-command of Lord Choldraf, a high priest of Iuz (Cleric 14) and the lesser Boneheart mage, Mellard-Plict (MU 12). Lord Choldraf for his part raised human mercenaries for the campaign; 2,000 heavy cavalry, 1,000 light horse, plus 2,000 heavy foot and 2,000 crossbowmen. In addition, he rallied 4,000 hobgoblin shock troops to compliment his well-armed soldiers. Mellard-Plict on the other hand, drew his forces from the worst corners of Iuz’s land, raising about 6,000 orcs, 3,000 gnolls, 3,000 goblin and xvart scouts, as well as a huge mixed horde of ogres, ogrillons, norkers, and bugbears. Swelling to over 25,000 in number, the Northern Host gathered in the arm of the Howling Hills between the Dulsi and Blackwater Rivers, and at the start of summer 578 CY they force marched westward toward Eru-Tovar. 
B):   Unsurprisingly, the leaders of the Northern Host did not work well together, and both were unhappy with sharing command. The pair quarreled incessantly during the march through Wegwuir territory; Lord Choldraf was incensed that the evil wizard could not firmly control his diverse rabble of humanoids, and in turn Mellard-Plict insulted the Iuzian priest’s personal powers and disputed the quality of his well-armed, but relatively weak troops. 
C):   The Host arrived at Eru-Tovar the following month and a siege was laid on the Wegwuir stronghold according to Iuz’s design. The bitter feud between commanders continued however as each ran a separate campaign in an effort to claim the glory of taking Eru-Tovar. The chaos on display before Eru-Tovar allowed its warriors, outnumbered by over eight to one, to withstand ten weeks of siege. Initially, the hardy Wegwuir ignored calls for surrender, then repelled any attack sent against their town with skill and discipline, while harassing the dual sieges with their own destructive sorties. The casualties suffered by the Host was significant, compounded by the tendency of the rival besiegers to slay the other’s wounded. This general disarray also allowed Eru-Tovar to send fast riders, easily eluding the siege to warn the Tarkhan’s horde and rally aid among the Wegwuir tribes.
D):   Meanwhile to the west, the annual feud between Chakyik and Wegwuir hordes abruptly ended with a treaty. As Istus would have it, the Tiger Nomads turned their focus to the Caliphate of Ekbir just as the dire news from Eru-Tovar reached the Tarkhan. Incensed by the craven attack on the Wegwuirs’ only permanent town, Bargru turned his force of 20,000 lancers and mounted archers to ride back in haste. The Tarkhan’s horde arrived at Eru-Tovar by late summer, just in time to raise the siege as it was already faltering. 
E):   The Northern Host of Iuz had been alerted of the Tarkhan’s return, so the call was made to retreat eastward by their original trail along the Black Water, in order to reach the Howling Hills where they hoped Iuzian reinforcements would be amassing. Lord Choldraf was furious as his well-trained units were forced, at a considerable loss, to provide a screen for the main Host’s withdrawal.  
F):   Yet again, Lord Choldraf blamed the undisciplined humanoid troops under the cowardly Mellard-Plict for their misfortune, as a great number of the wizard’s troops began to desert, many splitting off into smaller tribal bands to fend for themselves in the wild.
Many of these deserting bands were further scattered across the plains and highlands as reinforcements for the Wegwuir arrived from the northeast. Lekkol Noyon, seventh son of Bargru (half Flan), hastily returned from the Barren Plains with 800 veteran horsemen at his back, fresh off a grueling campaign allied with the Rovers of the Barrens against the despised Horned Society. Lekkol’s riders were gladly added to the Tarkhan’s horde, further increasing the nomad’s morale.
G):   Taking his time, the Tarkhan closely pursued the remaining Host over several days, methodically steering them in a series of hit and run skirmishes, off their path and toward the wide bend of the dark and muddy Blackwater. Now cornered and outnumbered by a more mobile army, the remaining Host of Iuz had no choice but to stand and fight a pitched battle which occurred on the 22nd day in the Dozenmonth of the Squirrel (Harvester). It is said in the outset of this battle, the priest Lord Choldraf begged for intervention by Iuz the Evil, but his prayers fell on deaf ears. The vile mage Mellard-Plict was likewise ineffective during the battle, using his spells instead to escape from the wrath of the Tarkhan. The brutally efficient Wegwuir archers and lancers easily routed the desperate invading Host, who soon abandoned their arms and fled over the brackish tributary. The Wegwuir took no prisoners, slaying nearly 8000 enemy soldiers including many drowned while crossing the Blackwater. The Wolf Nomad victory was decisive, losing about 2,000 and twice that many wounded. Only a few thousand of luz’s once formidable army survived that day and finally made it back to the Howling Hills. 

Lord Choldraf returned to Dorakaa in disgrace and never again commanded Iuz’s armies; worse yet the priest was demoted in Iuz’s unholy hierarchy. Choldraf continued to serve in the Old One’s court, seeking atonement for his infamous defeat. Unlike his rival, Mellard-Plict did not return to the Land of Iuz to answer for his failure at Eru-Tovar, instead abandoning his position in the Lesser Boneheart. Rumor has it the mage not only feared the judgment of Iuz, but also the vindictive Lord Choldraf. It is said, the wizard fled to the Vast Swamp far to the south, where he now serves another demigod, Wastri, the Hopping Prophet.
Following the Battle of Blackwater Bend, Bargru returned to Eru-Tovar in triumph, but rather than celebrate the Tarkhan immediately reinforced the garrison and began repairing the badly damaged defenses of his capital that had barely held out during the weeks-long siege. Once Eru-Tovar was secured, the Tarkhan journeyed to the border of Lake Quag near the Sepia Hills, territory of the Guchek tribe, also known as the Wild Dog Nomads. Bargru met with their leader, Jicta Khan, to seek answers for why he alone among the Wegwuir had not joined the Tarkhan’s horde that spring, nor offered succor to Eru-Tovar against Iuz’s siege. The angry Tarkhan and his retinue was instead welcomed with a deadly ambush by Jicta Khan. Bargru’s personal guards were slaughtered defending the ever-wary Bargru, who barely managed to escape the trap using his ancestral powers of illusion. 
It was later discovered Perrenland secretly made an alliance with the Guchek, backing the rebellious tribe in their independence from the Wegwuir, as a hedge against future raids by the Wolf Nomads. The Tarkhan returned to Eru-Tovar more incensed than before, though by spring of 579 CY he still had not taken action against the traitorous Jicta Khan.

Heroic Hooks
   DMs who wish to feature the Battle of Blackwater Bend in their own campaign should note this conflict takes place about two years after the starting timeline of the World of Greyhawk boxed set. This battle is set during a time when the demigod Iuz the Evil, is rising in power, and is expanding his domain in all directions. The Battle of Blackwater Bend could make a good historical flashback, or a climatic event for a Bitter North campaign. The following hooks are suggested for DMs who want to have player characters participate in the Siege of Eru-Tovar and the Battle of Blackwater Bend without necessarily reenacting all the events.
  • Hold the Gate: Your party was unfortunate to be in Eru-Tovar as the siege was brought by the Host of Iuz. Now the locals have turned to the PCs to take a lead in the defense of the small town. Eru-Tovar is no fortress however, so the players must use their power and cunning to keep the disorganized enemy from breaching the gated walls of this earthen-work domain.  
  • Ride Them Down: Your band of characters has joined the Tarkhan’s horde in driving off the armies of Iuz. There are many skirmishes along the way, as mounted Wolf Nomads harass the routing Iuzians. Your unit is at the forefront of one of these skirmishes, as luck would have it they must contend with a squad of heavy cavalry sent to stop them by the vile priest Lord Choldraf.
  • Locate Deserters: The forces of Iuz are on the run. The Tarkhan is trying to steer the fleeing army toward the bend of Black Water. While the main horde accomplishes this, your allied band of adventurers are split off to hunt down deserting bands of dangerous humanoids and soldiers formerly commanded by the evil wizard Mellard-Plict.
  • Neutralize the Wizard: The Wegwuir town of Eru-Tovar can withstand conventional siege warfare for weeks, but the PCs special talents are needed to step in and help fend off the magical depredations of the Lesser Boneheart mage Mellard-Plict and his arcane assistants.
Gary Gygax. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983).
Gary Holian; Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer.
Gary Gygax. Greyhawk’s World: Events of the North Central Flanaess. Dragon Magazine #56.
Carl Sargent. Iuz the Evil.