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    So I heard there was something called the Horned Society...
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:30 pm  
    So I heard there was something called the Horned Society...

    I've read a little about the Horned Society but all of the information seems to be copied from the same source.

    To Wit: The Horned Society was a group that took over part of Iuz's lands while he was trapped. He returned, and they were wiped out by the time of the Greyhawk Wars in 583CY.

    There are rumors that they went underground but nothings seems to have been published about it.

    And there doesn't seem to be much more about them.

    So I have some questions. (Is anyone surprised at this point?)

    So with a beginning year of 576CY, Iuz has been back in action for about 6 years. Is the Horned Society already driven into the shadows by this point, or is their demise delayed until the Greyhawk wars?

    Do any of the published materials delve into the existence and makeup of the Horned Society in any detail?

    On a completely unrelated note, has any devil ever taken any particular interest in Iuz?

    Also didn't someone create a list of what 5E domains fits which Greyhawk deity? I can't seem to find a link to the list...
    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:44 pm  
    Re: So I heard there was something called the Horned Society

    mindseye wrote:
    There are rumors that they went underground but nothings seems to have been published about it.


    The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer has a section on the Horned Society as an underground society. "Strike on the Rabid Dawn" from Dungeon #111 and "Critical Threats: Warduke" from Dungeon #105 also use it that way.

    Quote:
    So with a beginning year of 576 CY, Iuz has been back in action for about 6 years. Is the Horned Society already driven into the shadows by this point, or is their demise delayed until the Greyhawk wars?


    In 576 CY, the Horned Society is a relatively thriving nation. Between 579 and 581 CY (when the City of Greyhawk boxed set takes place), they conquer the Shield Lands and are arguably the preeminent threat of the northlands. Iuz destroyed the Horned Society's leadership in 583 CY, during the night of the Blood Moon (Coldeven 11). This event was dramatized in the novel Artifact of Evil by Gary Gygax, although there are some differences between how it plays out in the novel vs. how it played out in the Greyhawk Wars boxed set. In Artifact of Evil, it's noted that the Hierarchs escaped the conquest of Molag, while in Wars they were said to have been assassinated.

    Quote:
    Do any of the published materials delve into the existence and makeup of the Horned Society in any detail?


    The original World of Greyhawk boxed set gives the Horned Society lands the same writeup as all of the other nations of the Flanaess. Dragon #56 has some information on the Horned Society's military and leadership. And the sources mentioned above. Greyhawk Adventures includes a Horned Society NPC.

    Here are some Canonfire articles on the Society:

    Agents and Plots of the Horned Society Ascendant by Osmund-Davizid.
    The Horned Society by me.


    Quote:
    On a completely unrelated note, has any devil ever taken any particular interest in Iuz?


    Not particularly, no. Iuz is neck-deep in the politics of the Abyss, but he doesn't have anything to do with the Nine Hells. Honestly, he's probably beneath the notice of any of the Lords of the Nine. The pit fiend Baalzephon of the Dark Eight has interests in the Great Kingdom, though, which might ultimately conflict with Iuz's desire to conquer Oerth.

    The Horned Society doesn't have a specific devil as its patron. The Horned Society member from "Strike on the Rabid Dawn" worshiped Asmodeus, and Erac's Cousin, if you believe the theory that he's the Unnameable Hierarch, is a servant of Baalzebul. In early 2nd edition sources, Nerull is named as the patron of the Horned Society, probably because Carl Sargent wrote during a brief period in which TSR writers were forbidden from mentioning the archdevils (the Dark Eight were officially the highest-ranking baatezu in the Nine Hells until Planescape reintroduced the archdevils as the Lords of the Nine a few years later). Iuz the Evil noted that Iuz fears that Nerull bears a grudge against Iuz over his conquest of the Horned Society, but "he's unlikely to act directly over the loss of one small land in the many worlds where he reaps his grim harvests."
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:26 pm  

    Thank you very much!!! Now I just need to see if I can track down any of those sources!

    Sounds like there's plenty of room to flesh out a dark network bent on revenge.

    Also the Nerull angle is interesting. I hadn't heard that before.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:37 am  

    Jim Ward originally described Guiliana Mortidus in Greyhawk advnetures when the Horned Society was still in operation and she was a mid-ranking priestess (deity or pantheon unnmamed).

    rasgon wrote:
    ... Iuz destroyed the Horned Society's leadership in 583 CY, during the night of the Blood Moon (Coldeven 11). This event was dramatized in the novel Artifact of Evil by Gary Gygax, although there are some differences between how it plays out in the novel vs. how it played out in the Greyhawk Wars boxed set. In Artifact of Evil, it's noted that the Hierarchs escaped the conquest of Molag, while in Wars they were said to have been assassinated...


    -I never saw it as a contradiction. I was always under the improession that most of the Heirarchs got whacked, but some escaped. IIRC, one of the short advnetures in Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess involved a surving Hierarch who was hiding out.

    rasgon wrote:
    ...The Horned Society doesn't have a specific devil as its patron. The Horned Society member from "Strike on the Rabid Dawn" worshiped Asmodeus, and Erac's Cousin, if you believe the theory that he's the Unnameable Hierarch, is a servant of Baalzebul. In early 2nd edition sources, Nerull is named as the patron of the Horned Society, probably because Carl Sargent wrote during a brief period in which TSR writers were forbidden from mentioning the archdevils (the Dark Eight were officially the highest-ranking baatezu in the Nine Hells until Planescape reintroduced the archdevils as the Lords of the Nine a few years later). Iuz the Evil noted that Iuz fears that Nerull bears a grudge against Iuz over his conquest of the Horned Society, but "he's unlikely to act directly over the loss of one small land in the many worlds where he reaps his grim harvests."


    -Rasgon's take has it that Anthraxus arrived too late to save the Heirarchs. You could interpret Anthraxus' apperance in Arifact of Evil as Tzuggtmoy in disguise, but either way, no one seems to have thought it odd that Anthraxus was on the Heirarchs' side, probabaly indicating that EG Gygax accepted some sort of Neutral Evil component to the HS.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:19 pm  

    Iuz the Evil; Hierarch Nezmajen (13 lvl Priest of Nerull), Escaped Bloodmoon Massacre. Resides in the subterranean ruin of Darkpool. Retains the clandestine loyalty of Jhanser's Lands; Kindell and Ixworth. His raiders; 2,000 men, ambush orcs, often blaming the Fellreev Forest bandits.
    However; these raiders actually seek Nerull's Bane, an ancient necropolis reported to contain 20,000 souls. Nezmajen, plots to raise an undead army and march on Molag. Few realize this; thus Iuzians, view these raiders as a minor nuisance, merely another petty bandit band.
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:13 pm  

    I don't have much to add, except that the City of Greyhawk boxed set (I believe it was this product) had an adventure card called "To Slay a Hierarch." There was a 13th level cleric hiding out in a house in the city after escaping assassination at the hands of Iuz's minions.

    I remember the adventure fondly, short as it was. My female Drow witch, Minx, cast wall of water to separate the Hierarch from his minions. He then managed to hold her. The DM ruled that she could not maintain concentration while held, so the spell expired abruptly with a crash of water flooding the house to a depth of about two feet. This wave knocked Minx off her feet and she began to drown. Being a party of evil PCs, my comrades ignored her plight in favor of focusing their attacks on the Hierarch. Just before she died, however, one associate sat her up in a corner, with the understanding that a return favor was expected. Evil Grin

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    Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:54 pm  

    SirXaris; Hierarch Andrade Mirrius, however I like the moral murkiness of Nezmajen. Initially; the PC's could believe his raiders, are heroic freedom fighters. After all; they resist the occupation of Iuz, even when their loyalties are discerned. Support Nerull Worshipers, enemy of my enemies, or else aid Iuzian forces through inaction. No win Scenario...what about Nerull's Bane?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:10 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    I don't have much to add, except that the City of Greyhawk boxed set (I believe it was this product) had an adventure card called "To Slay a Hierarch." There was a 13th level cleric hiding out in a house in the city after escaping assassination at the hands of Iuz's minions...

    -That's the one. Wink
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:26 pm  

    20,000 souls for an undead army?

    excellent Cool Evil Grin

    Also, I'd seen many mentions that the Horned Society used fiends to keep the peace, and I though the referenced them as diabolical, but I'll have to look again. But employment of devils doesn't preclude use of the yugoloths as well. That and Nerull's NE alignment offers up lots of room for internal squabbling.

    So much conflict built into the setting.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:52 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    Iuz the Evil; Hierarch Nezmajen (13 lvl Priest of Nerull), Escaped Bloodmoon Massacre. Resides in the subterranean ruin of Darkpool. Retains the clandestine loyalty of Jhanser's Lands; Kindell and Ixworth. His raiders; 2,000 men, ambush orcs, often blaming the Fellreev Forest bandits.
    However; these raiders actually seek Nerull's Bane, an ancient necropolis reported to contain 20,000 souls. Nezmajen, plots to raise an undead army and march on Molag. Few realize this; thus Iuzians, view these raiders as a minor nuisance, merely another petty bandit band.


    My google-fu found no reference to Nerull's Bane. Is it from someone's home campaign?
    GreySage

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    Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:57 am  

    Nerull's Bane is from Iuz the Evil by Carl Sargent. It's an ancient ruin that predates the Flan; it may have been created by a prehuman race. "This once-proud city was the creation of a much older race than the Flannae, an unknown people who vanished long before the bronzed ancestors of the Rovers fearfully approached this place."

    The Flan named it Nerull's Bane because corpses don't decay there, growing mummy-like instead, so they used it as a burial site.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:23 am  

    Oh wow. I Shocked
    I will need to read that source deeply.

    There's so much!
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:34 pm  
    Other Articles on the Horned Society

    Osmund-Davizid here,

    Thanks to Rasgon for the reference to my article on Agents of the Horned Society. Not to toot my own horn, but I also did a few more articles on the Horned Society, mostly because I thought they were a good idea to use and then I did not like how they were handled in the Greyhawk Wars.

    So if you are still looking for other materials, check out these articles on Canonfire:

    Wyrms of Oerth: Verithmirax - I did a series on dragons throughout Oerth, and this one was a philosopher who contrinuted to the rulership of the Horned Society.

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=738&mode=&order=0&thold=0

    Also I made up my own version of a devilish patron of the Horned Society, This is entirely my own creation and is in no way official, but I tried to draw in from various sources to make up something that made sense. The articles are: The Libram Infernal: The Sixth Hell Malbolge (two parts)

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=539&mode=&order=0&thold=0

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=541&mode=&order=0&thold=0

    Let me know if you find these useful.

    O-D
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:22 pm  
    Re: Other Articles on the Horned Society

    Osmund-Davizid wrote:
    Let me know if you find these useful.


    Yes they will be helpful, even if only by guiding where I go with my campaign.

    Thanks for all the help everyone!

    I agree that they seem to have been interesting, just to be shoved off stage left.

    How long was the gap between Gygax being forced out and the Greyhawk Wars?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:59 am  
    Copyright Years

    1985 was copyright date for WG6

    1991 was copyright date for Wars
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:58 am  
    Re: Other Articles on the Horned Society

    mindseye wrote:
    Osmund-Davizid wrote:
    Let me know if you find these useful.


    Yes they will be helpful, even if only by guiding where I go with my campaign.

    Thanks for all the help everyone!

    I agree that they seem to have been interesting, just to be shoved off stage left.

    How long was the gap between Gygax being forced out and the Greyhawk Wars?


    Yeah, the Horned Society always struck me as 'wasted potential'. One of the reasons I don't care for the canon version of the Greyhawk Wars was how many potentially interesting states were wiped off the map. That's why I had them get the jump on Iuz in my own version of the Wars, taking advantage of Iuz's reverses (the defeat of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the failed effort to charm Sevvord Redbeard, which in my version was largely prevented and only served to enrage Redbeard)and working with disgruntled priests of the humanoid gods to destroy his state before he destroyed theirs. Iuz is still an active participant with his ghastly contest of the Cells of Iuz, essentially switching roles with the Horned Society from canon. That keeps them both in place for the foreseeable future.

    As for canon sources on the Horned Society, Roger Moore's "The Adventure Begins" describes Andrade Mirrius's, Nezmajen's, and Giuliana Mortidis's plans to subvert Greyhawk into a puppet state of the Horned Society, with their ultimate goal to lead a crusade and destroy Iuz's empire. If your campaign centers around the Greyhawk area, they're natural choices if you want to use the Horned Society as your BBEGs.

    Note that there's also mention in the LGG of "masked advisers" appearing in the councils of the humanoid chiefs at Spinecastle in Bone March. That's another natural place for the Horned Society to resurface, and it would fit their MO to advise humanoid leaders behind the scenes.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:45 pm  
    Re: So I heard there was something called the Horned Society

    rasgon wrote:

    The Horned Society doesn't have a specific devil as its patron. The Horned Society member from "Strike on the Rabid Dawn" worshiped Asmodeus, and Erac's Cousin, if you believe the theory that he's the Unnameable Hierarch, is a servant of Baalzebul. In early 2nd edition sources, Nerull is named as the patron of the Horned Society, probably because Carl Sargent wrote during a brief period in which TSR writers were forbidden from mentioning the archdevils

    Nerull's connection with the Hierarchs came from the Gygax novels, which Sargent sourced heavily. The Gord books refer to the Horned Society as "Nerull's followers." The chief Hierarchs represent Tartarus, Hades and Gehenna. Anthraxus visits on behalf of Nerull. Daemons, hordlings and demodands fortified Molag.

    True, the Horned Society had more allies in Hell than the Abyss (the Dukes of Hell sent aid to Nerull), but Gygax gave the Horned Society a stronger Neutral-Evil disposition in the novels than he did in the boxed set and Sargent retained that.
    -
    On a different note, mindseye, be aware that the publishing history of the Horned Society, BK, Shield Lands, and Iuz is confusing because Zeb Cook missed some earlier sources when writing the Wars! box, namely the Dragon news articles and Gygax novels. Thus Gygax's invasion of the Bandit Kingdoms and fall of the Shield Lands is referenced by Sargent in the City of Greyhawk boxed set, then Zeb ignores that and re-invades them in Wars! Then Sargent returned to the helm and tried to tidy up with little references, like Iuz's High Priest Patch dying in the Wars rather than Gygax's Theopart plot.

    IDK why Sargent didn't retain Gygax's fall of the Horned Society, maybe because James Ward and company kept the Horned Society alive in Greyhawk Adventures the year before CoG was published.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:04 am  

    Yay! Eh Publishing inconsistency can be used as fodder for rumors!

    "So and So really died at this time, but the government wants your to believe...."

    "They can't possible be invading Friendly Town, it was wiped off the map back in 568!"

    Evil Grin

    As long as I stick to one coherent timeline as far as my adventure's history is concerned that should work.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:21 am  
    Re: So I heard there was something called the Horned Society

    vestcoat wrote:
    rasgon wrote:

    The Horned Society doesn't have a specific devil as its patron. The Horned Society member from "Strike on the Rabid Dawn" worshiped Asmodeus, and Erac's Cousin, if you believe the theory that he's the Unnameable Hierarch, is a servant of Baalzebul. In early 2nd edition sources, Nerull is named as the patron of the Horned Society, probably because Carl Sargent wrote during a brief period in which TSR writers were forbidden from mentioning the archdevils

    Nerull's connection with the Hierarchs came from the Gygax novels, which Sargent sourced heavily. The Gord books refer to the Horned Society as "Nerull's followers." The chief Hierarchs represent Tartarus, Hades and Gehenna. Anthraxus visits on behalf of Nerull. Daemons, hordlings and demodands fortified Molag.

    True, the Horned Society had more allies in Hell than the Abyss (the Dukes of Hell sent aid to Nerull), but Gygax gave the Horned Society a stronger Neutral-Evil disposition in the novels than he did in the boxed set and Sargent retained that.
    -
    On a different note, mindseye, be aware that the publishing history of the Horned Society, BK, Shield Lands, and Iuz is confusing because Zeb Cook missed some earlier sources when writing the Wars! box, namely the Dragon news articles and Gygax novels. Thus Gygax's invasion of the Bandit Kingdoms and fall of the Shield Lands is referenced by Sargent in the City of Greyhawk boxed set, then Zeb ignores that and re-invades them in Wars! Then Sargent returned to the helm and tried to tidy up with little references, like Iuz's High Priest Patch dying in the Wars rather than Gygax's Theopart plot.

    IDK why Sargent didn't retain Gygax's fall of the Horned Society, maybe because James Ward and company kept the Horned Society alive in Greyhawk Adventures the year before CoG was published.


    Great thread, I've always wanted more info on the Horned Society. I really like that certain high level members survived Iuz' massacre and are still out there buildings forces and biding their time.

    So do I need to read the Gord novels? I know they are important cannon and contain tons of material that multiple sources draw from, but I admit I've never read them. I've heard they are a mixed bag. Are they worth reading?
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:29 pm  

    Sure. They are entertaining pulp fantasy of median order. The first three (Gord the Rogue, Artifact of Evil, Sea of Death) are rather fun reads, and there are many kernels of Greyhawk lore spread about within all three. I find the later three books to be less entertaining, and they have less Greyhawk information in them as well. I've read the series three times, though it has been a while since the last time.
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:25 pm  
    Re: So I heard there was something called the Horned Society

    xo42 wrote:
    So do I need to read the Gord novels?

    Yes! The first three are awesome and contain tons of useful material. The next two are worthwhile and enjoyable. The last two (Dance of Demons & Come Endless Darkness) can be skipped.

    There aren't many GH novels and half of them can be ignored, so why not read the good ones? An average novel is more enjoyable reading than the average module, IMO, and OOP novels are cheaper than OOP modules.

    The 10 Novels Every Greyhawker Should Read:
    1) Saga of Old City
    2) Artifact of Evil
    3) Tomb of Horrors
    4) Nightwatch
    5) Sea of Death
    6) Quag Keep
    7) White Plume Mountain
    8) Temple of Elemental Evil
    9) King of the Dead
    10) Siege of the Tower
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:04 am  
    Re: So I heard there was something called the Horned Society

    vestcoat wrote:
    xo42 wrote:
    So do I need to read the Gord novels?

    Yes! The first three are awesome and contain tons of useful material. The next two are worthwhile and enjoyable. The last two (Dance of Demons & Come Endless Darkness) can be skipped.

    There aren't many GH novels and half of them can be ignored, so why not read the good ones? An average novel is more enjoyable reading than the average module, IMO, and OOP novels are cheaper than OOP modules.

    The 10 Novels Every Greyhawker Should Read:
    1) Saga of Old City
    2) Artifact of Evil
    3) Tomb of Horrors
    4) Nightwatch
    5) Sea of Death
    6) Quag Keep
    7) White Plume Mountain
    8) Temple of Elemental Evil
    9) King of the Dead
    10) Siege of the Tower


    Ok, you guys have convinced me. I've had them on my Amazon favorites list for years, but have never bought them. I know, crazy mistake, but I will fix it now. Thanks Cebrion and Vestcoat!
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