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.
I loved this topic. Had no idea there was three sources for the Rain. Well done! In my youth I always imagined the Bakluni tapping into the Hellfurnaces and causing supervolcanic eruptions to dump ash on the Suel. Like Pompeii on steroids.
My initial impression, when I was 13 or so, was that the Invoked Devastation and Rain of Colorless Fire were an exchange of 20th-century nuclear weapons as remembered by a medieval civilization that had long since forgotten that technology and could only discuss it in magical, poetic terms. As in Ralph Bakshi's movie Wizards. Artifacts like the Machine of Lum the Mad and the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o made me think of the World of Greyhawk as a post-apocalyptic setting with a forgotten technological past.
Note that Bruce Cordell's College of Wizardry credits the release of an entity called the Dragon of Shades with either the Rain of Colorless Fire or Invoked Devastation (it's a little vague since it's not really a Greyhawk sourcebook, it's a generic book with ideas for adapting it to Oerth included).
I remember the theory about Tovag Baragu and the fire wand of the Baklunish, but the duskdrakes and the Planes of Shadows one is new to me. I always thought of the Rain of Colorless Fire as a very last-option attack from the Blakunish mage-priests, recurring to forbidden powers to answer the Invoked Devastation. _________________ From Iron Hills to the world!!!
Just began to read Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad, and my head already hurts!
I like the idea of Dorgha Torgu if for no other reason than because I combined the "Mage of the Arcane Order" prestige class with Greyhawk's Guild of Wizardry (akin to the FORGOTTEN REALMS'S "Guildwizard of Waterdeep"), using the "chained a (demi)god of ancient days" concept for their Spellpool—explaining why Dorgha Torgu's little known to the world-at-large by having him be trapped by the Guild in emulation of their founder, Zagyg.
Personally I think I would use the Fire Wand/Rod of the Suloise/Baklunish as a focus for the Rain of Colorless Fire (akin to the Bringer of Doom being seemingly used for the Invoked Devastation), perhaps using Tovag Baragu and/or Dorgha Torgu to call forth and focus the elemental power of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash, with the eruption of the Hellfurnaces connected either directly or indirectly.
To try and further explain my thoughts on the matter I considered the Cagewrights from the Shackled City Adventure Path, that they would cast the 9th-level spell, precipitate complete breach—which is normally limited in area, duration, and effect—and augment its power with the eruption of Cauldron's volcano, and focus its effect on Carceri with the sacrifice of the Shackleborn… turning a "complete planar breach" into a full-on "planar rip," after reading this particular quote: "A one-time event of significant proportion can also make that location a breaching candidate, such as a spectacular volcanic eruption, a whirlpool of epic proportions, a mass evil sacrifice, and so on."
That seemed like the most sensible explanation for what the Cagewrights were attempting to do in lieu of epic magic (then again, my group broke up before actually completing the adventure). So, what I'm trying to say is I figure the Baklunish could have attempted something similar—take a base effect and use an "artifact locale" combined with direct-divine intervention to unleash a catastrophe.
…or, in other words …among the four possible explanations, why not all (or most) of the above?
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