One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
This is long, but I modestly ( ) think it's worth it:
For ages, there's been speculation on what Cobb Darg really is.
I actually have the article about Corb being a dragon dragon if you would like it. I thought it was a neat spin since Dragons don't really like to meddle directly in human affairs...
...Third, use the GH specific dragons and NPCs: shadow dragons, cloud dragons, dust dragons, obsidian dragons, and greyhawk dragons (Aestrella, Cobb Darg and, of course, everyone's favorite Mizaab Zalen)...
...specifically, a gold dragon?
What a good thread. The idea of Cobb Darg being a gold dragon was articulated in "Dragons of Aerdy" by Joe Katzman (1998), which was once available on the Codex of Greyhawk.
...What the PCs and their players don't know is that this zero-level commoner just happens to be Cobb Darg (ssshhhhh....... the gold dragon)...
...And , if a recall correctly, Cobb Darg the leader of the city of Puertaferro(i dont know te original name in english, Irongate i think) and a Very Old Gold Dragon is disguse.
... I too heard the rumor that Cobb Darg was a polymorphed gold dragon. I seem to recall another article in Dragon that had a simple map of Irongate...
I've always been kind of liked the gold dragon idea myself.
...As for Cobb Darg...I recall a discussion on him WAY back when the LGG was being written. It was the general consensus to leave his species indeterminate, because it was one of those interesting little mysteries that various DM's had used and abused in all sorts of ways (I distinctly recall one person mentioning they had Cobb Darg being a half-dragon...)...
...perhaps a half-gold dragon?
About ten years ago (?), I saw a site that had him as a red dragon who survived the Rain of Colorless Fire. And of course: Greyhawk Dragon!
It would explain his age.
How about a proto-komazar?
...My theory is that Cobb Darg is related to the komazar, who are human-dwarf hybrids magically created by the Scarlet Brotherhood for use as slaves (described in The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory by Sean K. Reynolds). Cobb is probably not a pureblooded komazar, since they're mute and have short, waddling legs, but he might be an earlier prototype or a hybrid of komazar and one or more of his ancestral races...
I like the komazar idea. It also fits opposite the Iron League's greatest enemy too- the Scarlet Brotherhood...
...that would explain why he had the Scarlet Brotherhood's number.
hmm, I seem to remember cobb Darg as being the very first Derro ever created or some such stuff..
...even if not the first, then a derro would give him a similar background to a komazar, only far older.
...Now THAT was unexpected. My craziest bet was Cobb darg be a kind of construct, as Philidor...
Oh, I forgot the "Cobb Darg is a golem or other construct created by Elayne Mystica" theory. Also that one.
He's a doppleganger.
He's an ogre mage.
He's a dwarf.
He's a unique being that Wastri has been trying to kill for as long as that demigod has existed. He's Wastri's antithesis: where Wastri is a hybrid of human and toad who hates demihumans, Cobb Darg is a hybrid of human and demihuman who hates toads, bred to be the one being who could slay the demigod.
...I've also seen that he's an avatar (St. Cuthbert? Zilchus?).
Anyway, here's why there's no answer:
Erik Mona and I are to blame for any mystery surrounding Cobb Darg's "heritage". His true nature has never been revealed, so officially, you can feel free to go in any direction you wish.
Just keep these few things in mind:
For a man, he's unusually short (under 5 feet), but is legendarily wily and wise. No one knows his "class", he has never cast spells in public or revealed a religious affiliation.
He's also lived a great deal of time, having been elected to the mayoralty of Irongate at least 4 successive 10 year terms (and has just started a fifth in 590 CY).
He has been a member of the inner sanctum of the Iron League for as long as any man in that secret society can remember....only the elves of Sunndi or the Dwarflords of the Iron Hills can remember a time before him....
Here are the prevalent theories, whispered by various circles in the city and its environs:
1) Darg is a human with dwarven heritage (extremely unusual) and that helps explain his appearance and long-livedness. This would also explain his great affinity with the dwarven enclaves bordering Irongate who regard him as a strong ally. His wisdom comes from having lived before the Turmoil Between Crowns, having secretly been a member of the Iron League since its inception, indeed perhaps its founder!
2) Darg is a dragon, one of the last inhabitants of the Dragonshead Peninsula, who lives polymorhped as a man. He cherishes this region so much, that he is willing to engage in this charade to protect its mysteries. Only in secret is his true form ever revealed (which is known only to a handful of people, including perhaps Elayne Mystica, a close confidant.) This would explain why he inhabitants the Lord Mayor's Tower virtually alone, suffering few visitors, even among the lords of the city.
3) Darg is in fact a human, and is either secretly a wizard, scholar, or sage who has learned some great secret. This has afforded him unnaturally long life and the foresight to protect Irongate and defeat its enemies in ways others could not. This would explain his secret forays into the old caverns in the hills near Irongate and his prohibition against exploring the ruins beneath Dwurtown.
One of these might be the truth, none of them, or some combination. Use whatever works best in your campaign.
Personally, I'd double down on this:
...besides, at least once, something "mysterious" should just be an exaggerated story. Not every oddball character needs to be a dragon or other planar being. Never hurts to make your enemies think otherwise though.
...and say that he's human, and not even unusually high level at that (3rd level Expert/ 4th Rogue in CY 591?).
Anyway, I was thinking that if a final canonical decision were made, that a lot of people would be disappointed regardless of the choice, and it might actually screw things up for anyone who had made a final decision and actually used the old boy in a campaign. But if the Powers That Be ever focus on GH ever again, I think that there would be pressure to decide, one way or the other, particularly as a plot device (when they "BLOW IT UP!").
So, how to square the circle of leaving it up to the DM versus the urge for standardization?
How about a Cobb Darg of Irongate supplement which includes two dozen options (or more) for the DM to use?
The accessory would include the following:
1) Description of Irongate: A brief description of Irongate City, Anchorgate/Bronzegate, and the rest (including Maldin's stuff);
2) History of Irongate (particularly CY 445-591);
3) NPCs of Irongate (some people associated with Cobb Darg, sort of like the "Beautiful People" and "Ambassador" sections of Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess and From The Ashes);
4) Staff and Servants (Cobb Darg's team, from Elayne Mystica down to his shoe-shine boy);
5) Cidereal Citadel (Cobb Darg's residence, I assume);
6) Cobb Darg, Basic Background (all the stuff which every version agrees with. This would include the 1980 and 1983 WOGGs, Draon # 57, Greyhawk Wars, From the Ashes, The Adventure Begins, Dragon # 351, the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, and Maldin stuff);
7) Cobb Darg, the "Truth" (at least 24 versions of Cobb Darg, including stats, personal belongings, items of office, specific personal history, and an explanation as to why no one has been able to figure him out until now!).
The DM could take one version he likes, or merge two or three, or even just use it for inspiration without taking too much from any.
One advantage of this approach is that even if the players get their hands on it, they still don't know which way the DM went.
You could probably do this with other mysterious types e.g., the Egg of Coot.
Ah a topic very close to my heart. My campaign is set in and around Irongate so this has bothered me for years. It hasn't really impacted the game however. I like the Dragon idea, though I was more inclined to go with Greyhawk Dragon rather than Gold Dragon. So of the other options seem okay to but might require further explanation.
I'm throwing around ideas for a slightly advanced timeline - cy600. One of the options is having Darg assassinated by the SB, but I probably like him to much for that.
Would love to see more detail on Irongate. I'd be happy to contribute to such an enterprise.
...The speculation behind Cobb Darg, was likely supported by him and his cabinet. His enemies would or could be obsessed with whom he really is. I prefer him as a dwarf or dwarf born...
-If you're going to know who your enemy (or even ally) is, you'd want to want he is. Can't do a psych' profile on him if you don't even know what species he is.
Odd that no one has figured it out, particularly if you consider magical means. Or maybe someone has figured it out, but are keeping it close to their vest because:
1) They're friendly (e.g., would the Nyrondese spill the beans?);
2) They know, but they don't want Cobb Darg to know they know (so they can play head games without Cobb knowing they're playing head games);
3) to conceal their source e.g. they want to use that guy who shines Darg's golden scales again.
...It hasn't really impacted the game however...
-Yeah, I haven't DM'ed there, but I doubt it would matter much unless one was involved in high level diplomacy or espionage, or if one of the PC's becomes his dietitian.
...I'm throwing around ideas for a slightly advanced timeline - cy600. One of the options is having Darg assassinated by the SB...
-Oh no. Not "Blow it up!"
I've considered the possibility, too. But that's why I'd like there to be options as to what he is. He might get assassinated, but the means of assassination might depend on his species, which in turn should be up to the DM:
...How about a Cobb Darg of Irongate supplement which includes two dozen options (or more) for the DM to use?
...Cobb Darg, Basic Background (all the stuff which every version agrees with. This would include the 1980 and 1983 WOGGs, Draon # 57, Greyhawk Wars, From the Ashes, The Adventure Begins, Dragon # 351, the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, and Maldin stuff);
...Cobb Darg, the "Truth" (at least 24 versions of Cobb Darg, including stats, personal belongings, items of office, specific personal history, and an explanation as to why no one has been able to figure him out until now!).
The DM could take one version he likes, or merge two or three, or even just use it for inspiration without taking too much from any...
...essentially, World of Greyhawk CY 600might state "Cobb Darg was assassinated", but the details should be to the DM.
...Would love to see more detail on Irongate. I'd be happy to contribute to such an enterprise.
-Agree part one. Part two might take me a while, but that, too. Someone would have to convert it to D&D 5.0 or whatever. I know Maldin has a ton on Irongate, too.
One other issue: Cobb Darg's alignment. I really don't see him as Evil, and I don't see him as Chaotic, either. Nothing about his running of Irongate shows Evil, and Chaoticwould have shown up in his diplomacy, I think. That leaves LG, LN, NG or N. It might sound unimaginative, but i'd make him LN (LG). That way, he can brutally ruthless "if neccessary", but rarely is. Failing that, LG (LN).
Interesting you raise the topic of his alignment. I certain is is either LN or LG, perhaps influenced by what kind of dragon he is (Gold of Greyhawk) - sorry to the rest of the heretics who believe something else
Yes I certain there is a ton of basic material on Irongate sitting out there. Shame we cant colaborate to build up a Gazetteer for Irongate through Canonfire...
Contact Mortellan; check his site - resident irongate expert.
His site is an Irongate Gazetteer.
Like SirXaris: the explaination that caught my imagination was The Oerth Journal #13 article. Revealed as a gold dragon, given his rulership style the alignment fits and I like the idea that a dragon has deceived an entire kingdom into protecting its hoard. Not every dragon has to be fast asleep until adventures stumble into its lair.
...On another note, why are there multiple entries for races in the poll? If he's human he's human or if he's a doppleganger he's a doppleganger. ..
-That's the other reason that the poll is "screwed up."
Sometimes, if I click the "submit button" it doesn't work. So I usually click it a bunch of times to make sure it goes through. This time, I think, it simply took every click and put it in times four.
I'll try something else.
...The Oerth Journal #13 article that outed Cobb Darg as a Gold Dragon was my first exposure to the issue, so it is still my prefered explanation for his success.
...Like SirXaris: the explaination that caught my imagination was The Oerth Journal #13 article. Revealed as a gold dragon, given his rulership style the alignment fits and I like the idea that a dragon has deceived an entire kingdom into protecting its hoard. Not every dragon has to be fast asleep until adventures stumble into its lair.
-That may be where I first saw the gold dragon option, but I think it's older than that. But OJ has a lot of stuff that turns out to be bogus, so I'm holding out.
I think he's a very astute, politically-capable, clever little man. But then, I'm boring.
-That would be my vote!
If I could vote...
Interesting you raise the topic of his alignment. I certain is is either LN or LG, perhaps influenced by what kind of dragon he is (Gold of Greyhawk) - sorry to the rest of the heretics who believe something else...
...given his rulership style the alignment fits and I like the idea that a dragon has deceived an entire kingdom into protecting its hoard...
-I'll come up with an alignment poll, too.
...Contact Mortellan; check his site - resident irongate expert.
His site is an Irongate Gazetteer...
...Yes I certain there is a ton of basic material on Irongate sitting out there. Shame we cant colaborate to build up a Gazetteer for Irongate through Canonfire...
MY main point is really my "two dozen shades of Cobb Darg" idea. There would be some commonality, but the exact details will be left to the individual DM. Then, if a canonical change in the "history" of Irongate comes along, it should be something which accomadates the two dozen options.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum