Username Password
  or Create an Account
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Greyhawk Wiki

#greytalk-discord
    JOIN THE CHAT
    Canonfire :: View topic - So I was reading a book the other day...
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    So I was reading a book the other day...
    Author Message
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 09, 2014
    Posts: 96


    Send private message
    Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:02 pm  
    So I was reading a book the other day...

    The Price of Power by Rose Estes in fact. And while I don't really want to get into much discussion of the characters personalities or Rose Estes skills as an author, I did want to pose a couple of questions about the books.

    Building on recent discussions involving "canon" and "published sources" where do Estes novels in general fall? They are definitely published, but not being game material, they may not be held to as strict of standards.

    I've read Master Wolf as well and together there are a few interesting points

    First off, who is Maelfesh, does he appear in any other sources, and how would he come to have any control over Iuz.

    Also, since Iuz was born on Oerth (as far as we know) could he even be banished back to the Abyss (let alone by a spellcaster who gets more spells wrong than right)

    Is the Culture and Priests of Exag that are referenced by Estes corroborated in the published material anywhere?

    I can understand why Estes might have wanted to do away with Iuz, since he played such a major part in the Gord novels, but wouldn't it have been easier to ignore him rather than dismiss him that way?

    The Classic adventure adaptations aren't true to "Published Sources" either with different dates and outcomes, but they still seem to meld into the whole of Greyhawk better.

    Is there anything else I should know about while I'm reading Greyhawk novels?
    I don't mind minor spoilers, I'm reading mostly for atmosphere and flavor.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3062
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:36 pm  
    Re: So I was reading a book the other day...

    mindseye wrote:
    [Building on recent discussions involving "canon" and "published sources" where do Estes novels in general fall? They are definitely published, but not being game material, they may not be held to as strict of standards.


    The Estes novels aren't considered canon (except to one another), for the simple reason that they're pretty notoriously awful. Besides the unfortunate amount of bestiality in her novels, Estes took very little care in remaining consistent with the RPG sourcebooks and no subsequent RPG writer bothered referencing her material in any way. If they had been more successful, TSR might have felt pressured to include them in their continuity, but they came out at a time when Greyhawk was very low-priority for the company and they were roundly ignored.

    The first two Gord novels (Saga of Old City and Artifact of Evil) are both considered canon; the RPG materials draw on them extensively. The later Gord novels, published by New Infinities Productions Inc., can't be used by TSR/WotC writers because they don't own the rights, so they're not TSR/WotC canon.

    Master Wolf could actually be reconciled with canon if you assume that the Iuz featured in that novel is one of the "false Iuzs" who ruled during the true Iuz's imprisonment. I named him Zargle Bloodrune in this thread. This isn't that unlikely a take, given that Mika-oba states outright that he doesn't think Iuz is the real thing ("I don't believe you're Iuz at all. I think you're just some old has-been magic-user. You can do some illusion and some spells and you can kill me, but you're not Iuz.") and the novel takes place some generations before the present day (576 CY), so it can't possibly be Iuz. Estes' fourth Greyhawk novel, The Eyes Have It, includes Mika-oba's great-great-grandson as a character and it takes place shortly after Lolth's banishment in the GDQ series (circa 576 CY, though this dating is disputed; some prefer to place the GDQ modules after T1-4).

    The second Mika-oba novel, The Price of Power, had to deal with the fact that Iuz had been unceremoniously killed off in Master Wolf, so they introduced the demon Maelfesh to be his replacement. Maelfesh hasn't been mentioned in any subsequent source, even ultra-completist sourcebooks like Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss fail to mention him. It would have made sense for Estes to use Graz'zt, but that would have required more knowledge of the setting than she had.

    Apart from that, most of The Price of Power fits in canon except for the portrayal of the city of Exag. There's another, canon, version of Exag detailed in Dungeon Magazine #145-147.

    In The Demon Hand, the third and final Mika-oba novel, the action shifted to an entirely new land, the island of Dramidja, which doesn't exist in any canon source.

    The last Rose Estes Greyhawk novel, The Eyes Have It, takes place generations later, after the events of the GDQ series. Lolth is said to have been banished from Sterich and one of the adventurers responsible, Kathryn Fern-Clyffe, was named Queen-for-Life of the Yeomanry. There are other issues in this novel that separate it from canon Greyhawk but it's one of the better Rose Estes novels overall. The appearance of Mika-oba in this novel as an old man does set the Mika-oba trilogy many decades in the past, however, during a period when the true Iuz must have still been imprisoned.

    Quote:
    First off, who is Maelfesh, does he appear in any other sources, and how would he come to have any control over Iuz.


    As I said above, Maelfesh doesn't appear in any sources, and nobody should be Iuz's boss (though in Iuz the Evil he's dependent on Graz'zt and Pazuzu for his demonic troops, necessitating a complex political balancing act with them). But, as I said above, the plot of Master Wolf makes more sense if you assume that the true Iuz is still imprisoned beneath Castle Greyhawk and the Iuz who appears in the novel is an imposter.

    Quote:
    Also, since Iuz was born on Oerth (as far as we know) could he even be banished back to the Abyss


    Yes, actually! The 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set noted that Iuz "is rumored to have a soul object secreted on the Abyssal Plane dominated by the demoness Zuggtoy [sic.], with whom he is known to consort. He is thus free to roam outside his domain without fear of permanent harm."

    Iuz the Evil notes that Iuz created this soul object after nearly being destroyed by Bigby shortly after he was freed from beneath Castle Greyhawk. "Iuz was very nearly destroyed in that conflict, escaping to the Abyss just before Bigby would have destroyed him with his infamous crushing hand spell. He left behind him a backwash of chaotic evil magic which altered the alignment of Retnar, left Riggby catatonic for days, and caved in a large part of Castle Greyhawk's deepest dungeon complexes. Since that time, Iuz has always protected himself with a carefully secreted soul gem hidden on an unknown, unbelievably well-guarded Abyssal plane. He can be killed on the Prime Material, but unless the soul gem is destroyed beforehand, he cannot be destroyed forever."

    Quote:
    Is the Culture and Priests of Exag that are referenced by Estes corroborated in the published material anywhere?


    No, as I said above, the canon version of Exag is detailed in the Seeds of Sehan arc in Dungeon Magazine #145, #146, and #147.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 16, 2019
    Posts: 20


    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:14 am  

    Quote:
    Since that time, Iuz has always protected himself with a carefully secreted soul gem hidden on an unknown, unbelievably well-guarded Abyssal plane.


    Apropos of nothing & somewhat off-topic for this thread, I've had some fun with this particular bit of info in my own game. In my version of ToEE, Iuz was actually delighted by the imprisonment of Zuggtmoy, along with his soul gem, in the temple. What safer place could there be for his soul gem than a place continually watched over & guarded by the forces of good!

    Although superficially seen to be working to free his ally, the Old One's forces actually work to frustrate any attempts to break in. No wonder, then, that anyone getting close to the final rooms will attract his personal attention!
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 09, 2014
    Posts: 96


    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:50 am  

    I had forgotten about the false Iuz's and with the story occurring at that point in the timeline definitely explains some things.

    But now I have a new question. How long did Iuz rule before his imprisonment? I'll have to go back now and see exactly how long he had to build a reign of terror.

    Back to Estes novels however, does she give a fairly accurate account of Wolf Nomad Society? Or is there any detailed accounting of Wolf Nomads in any of the Sourcebooks?
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
    Posts: 288


    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:36 am  

    mindseye wrote:
    I had forgotten about the false Iuz's and with the story occurring at that point in the timeline definitely explains some things.

    But now I have a new question. How long did Iuz rule before his imprisonment? I'll have to go back now and see exactly how long he had to build a reign of terror.

    Back to Estes novels however, does she give a fairly accurate account of Wolf Nomad Society? Or is there any detailed accounting of Wolf Nomads in any of the Sourcebooks?


    Iuz is mentioned in the '83 boxed set timeline. 479cy Might of Iuz grows
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3062
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:15 am  

    Yeah, Iuz reigned from 479-505 CY, or about 25-26 years, so he had over a generation to consolidate his power. For comparison, Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq from 1979-2003.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 09, 2014
    Posts: 96


    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:21 am  

    That's actually a fascinating comparison.

    So Iuz is decried as a villain by those far from him that risk little in their lands should he be invaded.

    Those bordering him have fought him before, but are currently at a uneasy peace, concerned by the instability that a war would bring.

    The Sheildlands also fear the intentions of crusaders from afar wanting to add their holdings to spoils from Iuz.

    it's easier now to see why Iuz hasn't been removed by a holy coalition already. :O
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 1369
    From: Wichita, KS, USA

    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:55 pm  
    Re: So I was reading a book the other day...

    rasgon wrote:
    The first two Gord novels (Saga of Old City and Artifact of Evil) are both considered canon; the RPG materials draw on them extensively. The later Gord novels, published by New Infinities Productions Inc., can't be used by TSR/WotC writers because they don't own the rights, so they're not TSR/WotC canon.


    While the NIPI Gord novels are not owned by WotC/Hasbro, many of the general concepts, timelines, and story elements from the novels were incorporated into Carl Sargent's later-2e-era Greyhawk works. So, while they're not directly a part of canon they're sort of backdoored in by Sargent (although only so far, since at the end of the novel series Greyhawk is destroyed, of course!).

    Allan.
    _________________
    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
    http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3062
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:56 pm  
    Re: So I was reading a book the other day...

    Mortellan did a good rundown of the setting elements introduced in Sea of Death on his blog, here, with part two here.

    Chris Siren's Gord's Greyhawk website is archived at greyhawkonline.com.

    Come Endless Darkness and Dance of Demons mostly took place on other planes of existence, which are kind of midway in the evolution from the cosmology Gygax laid down in 1st edition AD&D and the cosmology he developed for his Dangerous Journeys RPG. The main thing that I think Sargent might have lifted is the character Leoceanius from Come Endless Darkness, who appears as the king of the sea lions in that book and is similar to Water Lion from Carl Sargent's Monster Mythology.

    Basiliv the Demiurge from Come Endless Darkness is a very different character from the Black One, Jaran Krimeah, detailed in Greyhawk Adventures, though ostensibly they're both the Mage of the Vale.

    The demon lord Vuron, a servant of Graz'zt first introduced in Come Endless Darkness, appears in 3rd edition sources like Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss as Verin. The concept of a proto-demon from Come Endless Darkness (page 266) became the qlippoth in Erik Mona's Armies of the Abyss published by Green Ronin, which became the obyriths in 3rd edition and qlippoths again in the Pathfinder RPG. The demon lord Marduk mentioned in Come Endless Darkness became the demon lord Kardum, Lord of Balors, in Fiendish Codex I.

    There are some differences (the Rovers of the Barrens are allied with Iuz in Come Endless Darkness, while in TSR canon Iuz mostly wiped them out), but the state of the Flanaess at the beginning of Gygax's novel is similar to the height of the Greyhawk Wars in the Wars boxed set. Tenh, northern Furyondy and the Vesve, the Shield Lands, the Bandit Kingdoms, and the Horned Society have all fallen to Iuz, while the Scarlet Brotherhood and the Great Kingdom have launched assaults of their own.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3062
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:39 pm  

    mindseye wrote:


    Back to Estes novels however, does she give a fairly accurate account of Wolf Nomad Society? Or is there any detailed accounting of Wolf Nomads in any of the Sourcebooks?


    I think her version of the Wolf Nomads is mostly fine, though the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer has a different take on their religion and magical traditions.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

    Joined: May 29, 2018
    Posts: 288


    Send private message
    Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:36 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    mindseye wrote:


    Back to Estes novels however, does she give a fairly accurate account of Wolf Nomad Society? Or is there any detailed accounting of Wolf Nomads in any of the Sourcebooks?


    I think her version of the Wolf Nomads is mostly fine, though the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer has a different take on their religion and magical traditions.


    I definitely need to re-read Estes. I thought her work was complete crap but I really hated that she wasn't Gygax so I need to give her another try.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 09, 2014
    Posts: 96


    Send private message
    Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:10 am  

    Well having read it more recently, I can say that at least part of it isn't your imagination. She seems to be intentionally making her main character someone who is an offensive, sexist, cowardly and stupid man child who screws up more of the magic he gets right. And it's not even done in a comedic manner.

    After being one of the big bad's of the Gord novels, Iuz is dispatched by this screw up spellcaster. It makes more sense once you accept Ragson's explanation that it took place during the time of Iuz impersonators. But there's nothing in the books to indicate the time skip, so reading the books right after Gord's will be a little jarring.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3062
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:49 pm  
    Re: So I was reading a book the other day...

    rasgon wrote:
    Yes, actually! The 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set noted that Iuz "is rumored to have a soul object secreted on the Abyssal Plane dominated by the demoness Zuggtoy [sic.], with whom he is known to consort. He is thus free to roam outside his domain without fear of permanent harm."

    Iuz the Evil notes that Iuz created this soul object after nearly being destroyed by Bigby shortly after he was freed from beneath Castle Greyhawk. "Iuz was very nearly destroyed in that conflict, escaping to the Abyss just before Bigby would have destroyed him with his infamous crushing hand spell. He left behind him a backwash of chaotic evil magic which altered the alignment of Retnar, left Riggby catatonic for days, and caved in a large part of Castle Greyhawk's deepest dungeon complexes. Since that time, Iuz has always protected himself with a carefully secreted soul gem hidden on an unknown, unbelievably well-guarded Abyssal plane. He can be killed on the Prime Material, but unless the soul gem is destroyed beforehand, he cannot be destroyed forever."


    Dragon #337 (page 54) says that Iuz's soul object is hidden deep below the Gasping Crater in Zuggtmoy's realm of Shedaklah, guarded by advanced vrocks and bebeliths.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 22, 2019
    Posts: 11


    Send private message
    Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:02 pm  

    I feel that it is worth mentioning that the Demon Hand (Greyhawk Adventures 5) is not the last novel starring Mika-Oba. That would be The Name of the Game (Greyhawk Adventures 6). If you skipped it, you wouldn't have missed anything of note other than a powerful magic user thinking that 'Afellow' was the name of a kingdom on Oerth.
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    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


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.30 Seconds