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    Canonfire :: View topic - Under the Microscope: Lendor
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    Under the Microscope: Lendor
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    Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:04 pm  
    Under the Microscope: Lendor

    Okay this is something that has been nagging me for sometime. I'm sure at some point it's been discussed on the mailing lists or some chat in the past, but here are my facts and ponderings anyways.

    Is Lendor, the Suel God of Time and Tedium the same being as the Archmage Lendore who is responsible for bringing flocks of Suloise to Lendore Isle (Spindrift Isles formerly)? I say yes.

    According to the Suel Deities series in Dragon, Lendor appears as a husky old Suel man with white hair and beard. As far as I can find there is no description of the Mage Lendore except he must live to a ripe old age before he passes on, except according to the LGG, he prophetically promises to return before 'The Final Calamity'. Thus there is superficially a similarity in age and racial type. And the fact Lendore promises his return might imply some sort of immortality as well.

    In 1st edition rules, the God Lendor is credited as a Fighter 13, Cleric 12 and Magic User 19. This puts him in the 'name' category of Archmage, akin to the noted 'Archmage Lendore'. As a sidebar, would this Lendore, an archmage of such skill and reputation to foresee the Invoked Devastation (LGG) actually be considered a Mage of Power?

    Back on track, Lendor quite obviously was worshipped in the Suel Empire for most if not all of its long history, so to think that a mage would have been named after a deity is not a big stretch. People do call their children Jesus after all. Still, there is too much coincidental going on.

    As God of Time Lendor (according to Dragon) can use Time Stop in a limited fashion, whereas in 3E I am sure these restrictions are more liberal. Lendor is likewise able to undo the Wishes of any Suel God and Banish any of the Suel pantheon back to their homeplane as he wills. This stems from his being the Pantheon head, being both the Father and Mother of the Suel deities. In this way he is much like Zeus. It is also written only Lendor can calm the berserker rage of Kord. No other Greyhawk God has such power and mastery over other deities.

    In addition to standard archmage power, Lendore seems to have had prophetic power. Could this ability in fact have been not divination but actual first hand knowledge from traveling in Time? Lendore also promised his people in the Isles an 'Aerial Sanctuary' of their own. No small feat either if this was truly accomplished.

    An additional wrinkle in this business of prophetic escapes from the Twin Cataclysms is Kevelli Mauk, founder of the Scarlet Brotherhood (source:the Scarlet Brotherhood) who also was warned by divination at the last hour and used an hourglass shaped artifact called Lendor's Matrix to safely transport his followers to the otherside of the mountains. Now it isn't definitively stated in the LGG how the mage Lendore brings his people to the Isles except they 'journeyed to the furthest eastern coast' then further on to the islands. Clearly Lendore's band went ahead of Kevelli's for the LGG says even Lendore didn't anticipate the Rain of Colorless Fire. Could it be that they used the same Matrix to not only mass teleport from the Empire under everyone's noses but to suspend Time (tSB). The Matrix could have been left behind, stationary or whatever its nature.

    So back to the duality of mortal and godly Lendors. Nellisir wrote this on the CF forums and it supports what I feel is going on:

    Quote:
    This is probably useless to you, but I've been toying with the idea that the archmage Lendor, to give the refugees in the City of Glass their own land and freedom from the elves, takes them back in time. And they beget the Suel race. It strikes me as a very cyclical, Lendorish thing to do.

    Seemed like it'd make an interesting campaign, particularly if the Suel gods are ascended mortals -- Wee Jas, Kord, Lydia, and the rest could be alive right now in Greyhawk It'd explain Lendor as the head of the pantheon.

    Cheers
    Nell.


    So there it is, Nell's idea sums up all the suspicions I have. I think it works well given all the info I have found to date. Furthermore, another power of the God Lendor (Dragon) is Reverse Time. While it is a limited area and duration (1 hour I think), it also has a side effect; 20% chance of accidentally throwing everyone back in time 10-1000 years. So with that in mind it is not too much to assume Lendor's Matrix or a similar artifact of Lendor's design could produce a larger area of effect and perhaps even intentionally more distant in time.

    To think Lendore's reason for protecting his chosen followers from annihilation and war was because their offspring become the Suel Gods is quite a mythic tale. The cyclical nature of it sort of reminds me of Norse myths of Ragnarok and the god's rebirth. Scarily, one of Kord's mortal offspring from his dalliances could someday become Him in the future-past! And Lendor, Prince of Time, in a biblical way, may have partly manifested mortal as Lendore to pursue this lengthy prophecy-cycle, thus avoiding the God's non-interference pact.

    That's all I got, enjoy.
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    Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:27 pm  

    Two words: utterly brilliant. Happy I've passed this on to Len Lakofka. I'll let you know if I hear anything from him about it.
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    Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:03 pm  

    Not too keen on the two being the same. I think there is a more simple explanation, which is that the Archmage Lendore was simply named in honor of the god Lendor. This isn't all that uncommon.

    How many Jesus's have you heard of there being around lately? Wink
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:47 pm  

    DMPrata: Since Len wrote over half the information we presently know about Lendor it would be cool to hear something from him!

    Cebrion: Yeah I acknowledged that possibility. Ocham's Razor and all that. Still, how many of those honorific Jesus's exhibit their own miracles? Anyhoo this is more of an exercise of the mind. Trippy, man.
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    Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:48 pm  

    I'm with Cebrion but it is a pretty interesting idea. If you're familiar with the Heinlein story "All You Zombies" it does also explain how Lendor could be both mother and father of the Suel gods.
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    Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:46 am  

    If Lendore = Lendor, why bother diddling about with sending Lendorian Suel back in time to become their own great to the xth grandsires and just grant them powers to shoo the Olve off the isles? And isn't he condemning their decendents/ancestors to die in the Rain of Colourless Fire? Instead of helping them regain greatness, he locks them in a futile, unchanging cycle of rise and fall (which is tedious, I'll grant you). Seems more a curse than a blessing.

    It's an interesting idea, but I don't buy it. Celebrion's thought sounds more likely.
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:29 pm  

    I think Lendore should be pronounced with three syllables, to better distinguish it from Lendor (otherwise, what's the point of the extra e?).

    I've always thought of him as a Mage of Power. That he was a prophet is indicative that he did worship the god of time, perhaps being marked or chosen by him in some way, or bred by Suloise god-makers for hundreds of generations in order to act as a conduit for the god's power.

    On the other hand, it really isn't very impressive for a Mage of Power to predict the Invoked Devastation, seeing how the Invoked Devastation was their idea in the first place. He might well have just sat in on the meetings. I kind of like the idea that he was a bit of a fraud, making much of his supposed oracular powers when he was just making educated guesses. He isn't really returning from the dead or any such thing, he just said he would be because he had to keep making more impressive claims for himself in order to keep his followers. Maybe he named himself Lendore just because it sounded impressive, adding the extra e in order to be fancier still. His real name was Gus or Melvin or something.
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    Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:19 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    DMPrata: Since Len wrote over half the information we presently know about Lendor it would be cool to hear something from him!


    Well, I heard back from Len, alright — and I wish I hadn't. Confused At first, he thought I was confusing Lendore with Leomund. When I provided him with the quotes from the Gazetteer indicating that Lendore Isle was named for Lendore the Arch-Mage, he quite angrily responded that it was full of crap, that he had named Lendore Isle with Gary's blessing, and that "I don't give much of a crap what someone else dreams up later."

    Suspecting that perhaps he had misunderstood the source (his resentment of TSR's later bastardization of his material being well-known), I tried to explain that it was Gary Gygax himself who had written this way back in 1980, and that it was not some latter-day Sargent or Reynolds development. Still, Len insisted that I didn't know what I was talking about and wasn't listening to what he was saying. At this point Gary got involved, explaining that, yes indeed, there was no Arch-Mage named Lendore — except in the published WORLD OF GREYHAWK® setting — and that he was Gary's fabrication.

    So, in short, those of you playing Len Lakofka's home game can rest assured that no Arch-Mage named Lendore ever existed. (Oh, while we're at it, Lo Reltarma is actually "Loreltarma," which is supposed to be on an island by itself, and Lendore Isle — despite its placement on the map of the Flanaess — is not in a sub-tropical climate... oh yeah, and magic missiles don't always hit.) The issue of the Arch-Mage Lendore is only relevant to the unwashed masses who ignorantly accept Gygax's published campaign setting as canon, without the benefit of Len Lakofka's unique insights....
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    Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:21 pm  

    Gosh, I'm shocked.....
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    Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:41 am  

    Quote:
    The issue of the Arch-Mage Lendore is only relevant to the unwashed masses who ignorantly accept Gygax's published campaign setting as canon, without the benefit of Len Lakofka's unique insights....
    Well I must say I'm disappointed but in retrospect not at all surprised that the jaded response was the usual we get from classic GH authors. Thanks for the effort though DMPrata, the rest of clarification on the Isle and such was good legwork.
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    Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:08 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Not too keen on the two being the same. I think there is a more simple explanation, which is that the Archmage Lendore was simply named in honor of the god Lendor. This isn't all that uncommon.


    Sorry for climbing on-board this discussion rather late. I think that Cebrion's idea is the most convincing. Nomenclature in honour of the gods was particularly common amongst the Ancient Greeks, by the way. "Theophoric naming" is the technical term.

    Maybe the "-e" suffix in "Lendore" (which I too think should be pronounced as a syllable in its own right) had the same meaning as the "-kles" suffix in Greek? In that case, "Lendore" would have meant "Lendor's Glory". That seems not inappropriate, all things considered.
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    Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:42 pm  
    this flap about LENDORE the arch mage

    Lendore Isle has NOTHING to do with some Arch Mage called Lendore. The island was given to me by Gary Gygax when he showed me his hand drawn copy of WoG. We agreed where my campaign would go. I called the Island LENDORE not LENDOR since naming it for a god would be impolite. However, I could name it using the Suel 'possessive' which is to add 'e' to words ending in other than vowels and 'j' in words ending with a vowel. So a fighter named Aldama who owned a sword would have it called Aldamaj Sword.

    Ho hum.

    EGG just sent me an email today confirming that he created Lendore after the fact as part of the ongoing joke he and I had about Leomund and Lendor.

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    Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:57 pm  

    IMC 'homebrew' posts are nice, but asserting them quite that vehemently isn't really helpful. The WoG campaign most certainly has an ancient mage named Lendore associated with the isle of the same name. The existance of Archmage Lendore has been a published fact of GH for 25 years. Of course, no one is required to use him any more than they are any other NPC.

    IMC, the Mage of the Valley is Galap Dreidal, a Vaati deserter (essentially) who settled there after abandoning the "Ghost Tower". That may or may not interest people looking at the Valley of the Mage in general. It certainly does not answer any questions about Jaran Krimeah, however.

    Regarding Lendore, I find the time travel conspiracy amusing but I wouldn't actually use it in my campaign. I'm rather in favor of Rasgon's "he's a fraud or braggart" line of reasoning, though he (or someone else) obviously did construct the sky fortress thingie (if you use the elves in Lendore storyline in your campaign).
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    Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:18 am  

    I appreciate the support. Smile

    If you don't like the idea, don't use it. Personally, I think too many people run Greyhawk as low-magic, low-fantasy, low-interest game, because they think the only alternative is Elminster. So the obvious, mundane, explanation has to be the correct one.

    Now, aside from the fact that we're dealing with a setting that includes demigods as temporal rulers, and massive magical destruction, we're talking about a floating city of glass. To paraphrase Dr. Evil..."it's a fricking city of glass, people! In the air!" That is high magic, and done right, high fantasy. That. is. cool.

    As far as the RoCF...so? If we accept that Lendor does take the Suel back in time (something that is also high magic, and explains alot of suel mystery), then he has to. If he doesn't the Suel don't exist at all. He's the god of tedium as well as time; making changes isn't really in his nature. Anyways, they get at least 5000 good years, which is better than anyone else but the elves. And it doesn't end Suel presence -now- (there are still lots of Suel around), it just guarantees their presence in the past.
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    Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:24 am  
    Re: this flap about LENDORE the arch mage

    Leomund wrote:
    However, I could name it using the Suel 'possessive' which is to add 'e' to words ending in other than vowels and 'j' in words ending with a vowel. So a fighter named Aldama who owned a sword would have it called Aldamaj Sword.


    Cool concept, now my eyes will be open for other examples.

    Quote:
    EGG just sent me an email today confirming that he created Lendore after the fact as part of the ongoing joke he and I had about Leomund and Lendor.

    LWL
    Thanks for the response to this thread Leomund; now you have me hooked, what is this joke between Leomund and Lendor?
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    Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:36 pm  

    Gary Gygax dreamed up Lendore the arch mage. Lendor Isle was NOT named for him. Since I created the island in the first place I can tell you that it is NOT named for a person. I don't much care what is in print.

    Print does not equal truth it meerly states biased opinion.
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    Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:05 pm  

    Printed material is certainly something any DM is free to ignore. But it is obvious that your initial ideas were revised for use in the official material. The world of Greyhawk is not just several folks' homebrews stitched together.

    The "Facts" of Gary's and your campaigns are interesting bits of trivia, but they do not supercede the 'facts' of the actual campaign world. Which, as you presumably know, was never intended to be a clone of those campaigns.

    Are you seriously suggesting that your intentions and homebrew material should be the basis for any discussion of the campaign world, not what the actual IP holder ends up publishing? Sorry, it doesn't work like that.

    If you'd like to participate in the discussion and share your thoughts and insights on how you do it in your campaign, I'm sure that would be welcomed. But if you are just going to be posting how everyone else is wrong (biased opinion) and you are the sole arbiter of 'truth', I think you are going to have a hard time being taken seriously.

    Lendore and the description of his relation to Lendor Island may not have been part of your intention, but its been a fact of GH for some twenty three years now. Any discussion of Lendor Island outside of your campaign is going to start with him as a result.
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:49 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Are you seriously suggesting that your intentions and homebrew material should be the basis for any discussion of the campaign world, not what the actual IP holder ends up publishing?


    No, I think what's happening here is that Mr. Lakofka is saying how he actually came up with the name of the island - which, as you say, is interesting.

    DMPrata went out of his way to contact Len Lakofka and find out what he thought about Mortellan's theory, and Len Lakofka went out of his way to respond. I don't think there's any need to read into it any further than that.

    I don't think he's saying that, in our individual campaigns, we can't come up with another explanation, or even that WotC can't come up with another explanation, only that, as the creator of the island in question, this is what he thinks about it. And that's why DMPrata asked him, isn't it? There's no particular reason to ask him about what he thinks about material others have come up with, so we probably shouldn't complain if his answer is "not much."

    That happens a lot, I've found; some well-meaning fan will ask Gary Gygax what he thinks of the Mystara setting or some such. Usually the answer is that it was after his time and he doesn't really have an opinion.

    In this case, it was perfectly reasonable for DMPrata to assume that the creator of Lendor Island was responsible for the archmage Lendore; as it happens, he wasn't, and so his answer to the question about what he was thinking when he invented the character was "the character doesn't exist."

    Debates about whether the original campaign or its published incarnation is more "true" seem fairly irrelevant. What's relevant is, a man was summoned, he responded to the summoning and took the time to tell us what he knows. If we don't like the response, we can ignore it, but there seems to be little point in arguing about it.

    As I recall, Mr. Lakofka had a similar response to speculation about why the apparently land-locked Suel Imperium had three gods of the sea.
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    Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:22 pm  

    That's true enough. Perhaps I'm just reading more vehemence into his response (with its capitalizations for emphasis and derogatory remarks about the printed material) than is actually there. I felt, perhaps because of DMPrata's post or the way Leomund wrote his, that he was here to stomp on the whole topic at hand. A simpler response without the comments on biased opinion and whatnot wouldn't have garnered the response I gave.

    If he was trying to contribute constructively to the discussion, then I'm certainly sorry for misunderstanding him. But that's not the way I understood the post.
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    Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:54 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    If he was trying to contribute constructively to the discussion, then I'm certainly sorry for misunderstanding him. But that's not the way I understood the post.


    Having been subjected to name-calling for having the audacity to assert the primacy of Gygax canon, I for one don't think you misunderstood a thing. Mad This whole issue reminds me of RJK's well-publicized rants about the way Robilar was handled in TSR's latter years. One must accept that when one forfeits creative control over one's work (presumably in exchange for some financial consideration), one loses the right to bitch about how the work is subsequently handled.
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    Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:49 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    One must accept that when one forfeits creative control over one's work (presumably in exchange for some financial consideration), one loses the right to bitch about how the work is subsequently handled.

    Is that really so? I think that one has every right to bitch about how something that he or she has put love and labor into has derailed because others have handled it differently or without respect to the original idea. Legal matters are one thing, but in most cases this is an emotional issue.

    If Rob thinks that Robilar has become a patsy later on, why shouldn't he publicly say so when someone's asking about that? Why shouldn't Len bitch about how things have developed away from his original intentions when someone wants to know his opinion?

    I think that you're probably making the mistake to assume that everyone involved with Greyhawk should embrace the canon and stick to the written word. Truth is that there are many people out there who think differently and they have every right to express their opinion publicly and even enter discussion about certain topics.
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    Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:35 am  

    Sure, they are free to express their opinion. I'm not aware of a single participant on this site who uses everything exactly as written.

    The issue is the manner in which these people have expressed their opinion. Asserting that everyone else is wrong because they are the one true way to understand something is completely useless to the furtherance of meaningful discussion.

    The Robilar of WoG is not Rob's PC. The Lendore Islands in WoG are derived from Leomund's campaign, but not identical to it. "Hey, Lendore the archmage wasn't part of the original concept and I'd not even realized it had been added later, so there wasn't any big secret about him to my knowledge" is one thing. Calling DMPrata names and saying anyone who wrote something other than his version was lying (biased opinion, not truth) are entirely different.

    Obviously, I don't have inside information on how the published Lendore Islands ended up the way they do (and I hate the elf conquest events), but its hard to deny that Gary didn't use Len's work as written. The islands are in a different climate zone and have a slightly different arrangement compared to Len's version (see post above), not to mention the whole Lendore thing.

    The idea of this thread was to discuss a way to use Lendore the Archmage in an interesting way. Vehement posts that there is is no such figure and anyone saying there is is espousing "biased opinion" is not a constructive contribution to that topic. Sadly, this thread seems to have died since there has only been one semi on topic post since Leomund came in blasting the source material.
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    Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:00 am  

    Thorvald wrote:
    Is that really so? I think that one has every right to bitch about how something that he or she has put love and labor into has derailed because others have handled it differently or without respect to the original idea. Legal matters are one thing, but in most cases this is an emotional issue.

    If Rob thinks that Robilar has become a patsy later on, why shouldn't he publicly say so when someone's asking about that? Why shouldn't Len bitch about how things have developed away from his original intentions when someone wants to know his opinion?

    I think that you're probably making the mistake to assume that everyone involved with Greyhawk should embrace the canon and stick to the written word. Truth is that there are many people out there who think differently and they have every right to express their opinion publicly and even enter discussion about certain topics.


    As a creative artist myself (both as a writer and a musician), I think so. I feel it hypocritical to take someone's money and then complain about what they do with my work. If company XYZ, Inc. comes along and gives me a truckload of money in exchange for creative control of my work, I have no right to bitch about what they do with it. After all, I took their money. If I were that concerned about what would be done with it, then maybe I shouldn't have "sold out" in the first place.

    It's unfortunate that many creative artists nowadays have to choose between retaining creative control and paying the rent. Nonetheless, once that choice is made, the artist must live with the consequences. I seriously doubt that anyone held a gun to Len Lakofka's head back in 1979 and said, "Sign over your rights to Lendore Island or else!" (Hell, at the end of the day, even Gygax took the money and ran in '85....)
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    Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:50 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    I feel it hypocritical to take someone's money and then complain about what they do with my work.


    What makes you think Len, or Rob for that matter, got any money, or formally signed away any rights? TSR handled things like that very informally back in the day.
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    Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:37 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    What makes you think Len, or Rob for that matter, got any money, or formally signed away any rights? TSR handled things like that very informally back in the day.


    Well, I suspect that Len Lakofka would be able to quit his accounts payable (or is it accounts receivable?) job if he had never formally signed away the rights to his work. Think about it: he could sue WOTC for back royalties on every reference to his Lendore Isle campaign, the Suel pantheon, and half of the new cleric spells from Unearthed Arcana. Clearly, there must be some legal instrument preventing him from doing so.

    According to the terms of the SRD, WOTC defines the following words as Product Identity:
      Andrella
      Beltar
      Bralm
      Fairwind
      Fortubo
      Garrotten
      Grellus
      Jascar
      Kord
      Lake Farmin
      Lendor
      Leomund
      Llerg
      Lydia
      Norebo
      Osprem
      Pelltar
      Phaulkon
      Phyton
      Pyremius
      Qualton
      Restenford
      Syrul
      Wee Jas
      Xerbo...

    I could go on, but I think you get the point. Clearly, Len Lakofka invented every one of the proper names listed above (and I'm sure Gary Gygax could testify to that fact). Nonetheless, WOTC now "owns" those words. How could this be without the creator's express (or at least tacit) consent?
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:44 pm  

    Lawsuits are expensive, and though he might have a good case, I suspect it isn't an ironclad one. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the words WotC claims to own could be reasonably challenged, though, if someone had the money and patience to do it.
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    Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:24 pm  

    The newer authors do not have the older authors on speed-dial to ask all sorts of inane questions of them (that's what forums are for! Wink ), and so those newer authors make their own leaps of faith regarding the material.

    There is no point in arguing the merit of things that do not stick to the original intent (if it doesn’t suit your view) when you can simply just change it (or not) for your own campaign.

    Take the comments about the origin of these bits of information at face value and do with it as you will. It’s sometimes just nice to know ALL the info on things to form a more complete picture of how it came to be.

    Scratch Lendore Isle off the list, and get back to the point of the thread if there is anything more to add.


    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Aug 18, 2006 5:53 pm  

    Just a few general comments about copyright ownership.

    One can lose a viable claim to IP ownership by submitting an article to Dragon or Dungeon, especially if the author agreement so states. Alternatively, if the creative work was expressly "for-hire," then one wouldn't have owned the IP in the first place--in terms of U.S. copyright law (int'l moral rights are a different construct).
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    Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:21 pm  

    Another question is why does Lendor take the forms of a silver dragon and female elf? I suppose a history in the Spindrift Isles might partly explain his affinity for the elven form. The fact that he is both father and mother of the Suel deities explains his need to take female form on occasion. The dragon seems obscure.

    One possibility is that the nonhuman deities Chronepsis (the dragon god of time) and Labelas Enoreth (the elven god of time) are both aspects of Lendor.
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    Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:03 pm  

    Brilliant idea! Especially brilliant for those who would like to pair down the demihuman pantheons. ;)
    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:58 pm  

    The counterpart to that example would be to say that Beltar is the same as Falazure (dragon god of undead) or Garyx (dragon god of fire), and the Great Mother of the beholders, explaining her dragon form and beholder form.
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