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    Tenser and an alliance of Good
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:19 pm  
    Tenser and an alliance of Good

    There have been numerous suggestions and hints that Tenser left the circle of eight because of his differing views. He is lawful good (correct?) and he got tired on the neutrality of the circle. Can't remember where I read that, LGJ?

    I know Greyhawk has a non-black and white feel to it when it comes to alignment and I like that a lot. Having said that I really enjoyed good vs evil battles, and there are clearly some good vs evil affairs in Greyhawk. I think Canon Hazen and Tenser and the Flight of the Fiends thing as an example.

    So what are people's thoughts on Tenser forming an loose alliance of good-aligned people to futher the cause of Lawful Good?

    I was thinking this alliance would be restricted by class. IMC he is joined by a Cleric, other Wziards, a rogue and even a bard, all of high-ish level.

    I just wanted to see what other's thought of that concept?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:44 pm  

    I could easily see Tenser forming such an alliance. HOWEVER...

    Tenser has been around a long time and has learned the value of circumspection. If he were to form such a loose alliance it would probably take the form of keeping tabs on outbreaks of evil and making sure the right resources (adventurers, etc.) get moved to the right place rather than tackling it himself. He has also acquired some pretty powerful enemies. Tenser is smart enough to know that if he starts sticking his neck out somebody is likely to chop it off.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:42 pm  
    Re: Tenser and an alliance of Good

    Phalastar wrote:
    So what are people's thoughts on Tenser forming an loose alliance of good-aligned people to futher the cause of Lawful Good?


    As I understand it, Tenser already had that allience when he was a member of the circle of eight. Each of the Eight had their own network. The highest ranks knew they were working for the Eight, the lowers tiers probably not. Tenser probably employed dozens or hundreds in his organization, and probably showed a prediliction for good aligned agents (even as Mordenkainen would have had an organization that included many evil types on the payroll).

    So, after the return of Tenser, it would merely be a matter of re-constituting the organization by selecting those agents he wished to continue associating with and recruiting more.
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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:31 pm  

    Tenser is networked moreso than the others of his generation. The town of Magepoint on the shore of the Nyr Dyv within sight of his castle is essentially populated by henchmen and ex-adventurers who are all loyal to him.

    Aside from that I think Jallarzi and Warnes are/were on his side, I could be wrong.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:31 pm  

    Additionally, the first two adventure paths from Paizo include agents of Tenser (especially AoW), suggesting his influence reaches as far away as Cauldron and the Amedio Jungle. I'm unaware of any canon sources that detail the networks of Oerth's great mages, but I deduce from Paizo's material that Tenser's rebuilt network must be almost as far-reaching as Mordenkainen's.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:47 am  

    Mordenkainen must keep his cards closer to his chest. Who are in his network? I recall he has some fighter types at the Obsidian Citadel and if one goes with the Wizards Three articles his apprentice is Rautheene. Who else serves him directly? Robilar I suppose is back with him instead of Rary?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:43 am  

    Some of the circle´s major henchpersons (except for Mordy´s) were listed in Vecna Lives. They are also listed on Maldin´s City of Greyhawk NPC roster. (search for "hench") They are:

    -Allentar Grassfield, Mhl, 12T N, henchman of Drawmij, Vec89
    -Cymria of Celadon, Fe, 12F11M CG, henchman of Tenser, Vec90
    -Imiric von Suss-Varren, Count Mg, 11F12W(Ill) NG, fought Vecna cult, knows Circle of 8, former henchman of Otiluke, Vec90, TAB119
    -Johanna, Fh, 14P N, priestess of Boccob, henchman of Otto, visiting, Vec91
    -Marial, Fh, 15M CG, henchman of Jallarzi, Vec92, TAB88
    -Ortux the Hand, Mh, 15Pal LG, Knight of the Hart, henchman of Bigby, visiting, Vec93
    -Torik Red-Axesson of Highfolk, Mhe, 12P NG, priest of Ehlonna, pre-war henchman of Rary, post-war likely ex-henchman, visiting, Vec93
    -Yars Blud-Sigul, Md, 14F N, henchman of Nystul, Vec95


    Tenser´s was Cymria of Celadon, a 2E multiclass F12/M11 and Chaotic Good. So he does not only surround himself with LG people. Creighton Broadhurst updated her stats to 3E as an example in his article on the Eldritch Knight. She´s also mentioned in his Tenser and the Fortress of Unknown Depths from the mysterious places articles, which also mentions Magepoint.

    The Gord books include some scenes in Tenser´s fortress and introduce some more of Tenser´s henchmen: Alton (a wizard equal to Bigby!) and the cousins(?) Oscar (male mid-level mage) & Deirdre (female Cleric/Cavalier) Longhand. See the Gord´s Greyhawk site

    Wasn´t there another module which started with Tenser hiring the PCs and included a scene in his "throne room" ?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:15 am  

    Thanael wrote:
    Wasn´t there another module which started with Tenser hiring the PCs and included a scene in his "throne room" ?


    That'd be WG6 Isle of the Ape.
    Novice

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:19 am  

    In the Spire of Long Shadows (Dungeon #130) there is a scene where the players are granted an audience with Tenser in his Fortress of Unknown Depths.

    In that adventure (and earlier ones) you also meet some of his known associates: Celeste (CG gemale ghaele eladrin bard 4), Eligos (LN male human fighter 2/wizard 7/loremaster 1), and Cymria (CG female elf fighter 1/wizard 5/eldritch knight 7).

    In addition, in a previous adventure of the Age of Worms campaign you also find out that a major NPC was once a student of Tenser before they had a falling out. His name is Alustan (male human wizard 8)

    And just as a bit of nit-picking, the Age of Worms adventure never mentions Tensers name, instead he his called Manzorian. But in the Greyhawk conversion notes for the Age of Worms campaign it is suggested that you change Manzorian's name to Tenser.

    That said, since the Spire of Long Shadows adventure begins in Magepoint and you meet Manzorian/Tenser in the Fortress of Unknown Depths, it seems safe to assume that this adventure was written with Tenser in mind.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:29 am  
    Re: Tenser and an alliance of Good

    Phalastar wrote:
    There have been numerous suggestions and hints that Tenser left the circle of eight because of his differing views. . . .
    So what are people's thoughts on Tenser forming an loose alliance of good-aligned people to futher the cause of Lawful Good?


    Disclaimer - I liked the Co8 pre-GH Wars, best. Heck, I liked GH pre-GH Wars best.

    Given this disclaimer and given the GH Wars effect on the Co8, I think it logical and the most playable development if Tenser founds his own circle and Rary, shaking the sand from his shoes, does so as well.

    Mordy would then lead the neutralish and reconstituted Co8.
    Tenser would lead a new Circle of Light.
    Rary would lead a new Dark Circle.

    All three would square off against each other with Mordy's group on occasion forming alliances of convenience with the other two to try to maintain a Balance.

    To make more room for this kind of approach, other things would need to change most importantly getting rid of Iuz so Rary can shine more and finally putting Tharizdun and the Scarlet Brotherhood to bed for much the same reason. Let Rary become GH's new ultra bad guy, ably assisted by the membership of the Dark Circle.

    YMMV
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:07 am  

    Perhaps Tensor should (unofficially) be given the last name of Manzorian.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:49 pm  

    Pesonally GVD; I can't see it. Confused

    Tenser left because he was tired of all the talking and no action, so was Rary for that matter. I just don't see either recreating the very idea they both gave up on.

    Got to get more "grey" just because rary is out there doesn't mean Iuz and the SB have to pack it up, anymore then veluna or nyrond have to because tenser has broken away.

    Plenty of room for everyone; the more the merrier I say. Wink
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:45 pm  

    Whether you're pro pre-GH Wars or pro post wars era, the Co8 have always remained in the background, "behind the scenes" so to speak. That is not to say they've kept a low profile, but their influence and actions are subtle. There is no reason why this wouldn't continue if they split up and went their seperate ways. Personally, I would't like it if they became the primary forces for good, evil or neutrality. They're too smart to put themselves in the spotlight like that and its not, IMO, in their character.Whether its Mordenkainen trying to maintain balance, Rary manipulating evil schemes or Tenser furthering the cause of good, they'd do so with their respective networks nudged this or that way. I think in some ways they've been doing this all along (outside the circle) and that's what has led them to the point they're at now. Eventually heavy hitters like these guys are gonna butt heads.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:56 pm  

    Luz wrote:
    Whether you're pro pre-GH Wars or pro post wars era, the Co8 have always remained in the background, "behind the scenes" so to speak. That is not to say they've kept a low profile, but their influence and actions are subtle. There is no reason why this wouldn't continue if they split up and went their seperate ways. Personally, I would't like it if they became the primary forces for good, evil or neutrality. They're too smart to put themselves in the spotlight like that and its not, IMO, in their character.Whether its Mordenkainen trying to maintain balance, Rary manipulating evil schemes or Tenser furthering the cause of good, they'd do so with their respective networks nudged this or that way. I think in some ways they've been doing this all along (outside the circle) and that's what has led them to the point they're at now. Eventually heavy hitters like these guys are gonna butt heads.


    I agree with this. Definitely behind the scenes.
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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:57 pm  

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    Perhaps Tensor should (unofficially) be given the last name of Manzorian.


    Seconded. Isn't the name Manzorian linked to Tenser somehow in canon? I just can't remember, but I'd almost swear I've heard it somewhere other than Dungeon magazine. Of course, I could be wrong.

    Either way, it makes sense that Tenser would have a last name.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:00 pm  
    Re: Tenser and an alliance of Good

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Phalastar wrote:
    There have been numerous suggestions and hints that Tenser left the circle of eight because of his differing views. . . .
    So what are people's thoughts on Tenser forming an loose alliance of good-aligned people to futher the cause of Lawful Good?


    Disclaimer - I liked the Co8 pre-GH Wars, best. Heck, I liked GH pre-GH Wars best.

    Given this disclaimer and given the GH Wars effect on the Co8, I think it logical and the most playable development if Tenser founds his own circle and Rary, shaking the sand from his shoes, does so as well.

    Mordy would then lead the neutralish and reconstituted Co8.
    Tenser would lead a new Circle of Light.
    Rary would lead a new Dark Circle.

    All three would square off against each other with Mordy's group on occasion forming alliances of convenience with the other two to try to maintain a Balance.

    To make more room for this kind of approach, other things would need to change most importantly getting rid of Iuz so Rary can shine more and finally putting Tharizdun and the Scarlet Brotherhood to bed for much the same reason. Let Rary become GH's new ultra bad guy, ably assisted by the membership of the Dark Circle.

    YMMV


    Ummm...no. While I admit there's a certain symmetry to this idea, it would monkey far too much with GH as a whole. I could easily see each faction with its own network, of course, but not involved in a war against each other and certainly not at the cost of getting rid of such icons as Iuz, Tharizdun, or the Scarlet Brotherhood.

    Sometimes the simplest way is not the best.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:50 am  

    Thanael wrote:
    The Gord books include some scenes in Tenser´s fortress and introduce some more of Tenser´s henchmen: Alton (a wizard equal to Bigby!) and the cousins(?) Oscar (male mid-level mage) & Deirdre (female Cleric/Cavalier) Longhand. See the Gord´s Greyhawk site


    Dierdre and Oscar Longland made it into the Dungeon article on Hardby. Dierdre is a fighter/cavalier (14th?) and Oscar is a wizard (12th?). She is one of the favoured candidates to succeed as Despotrix and he is crippled (blind at least) but still capable of casting some spells and creating weapons.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:54 pm  
    Re: Tenser and an alliance of Good

    Phalastar wrote:
    I know Greyhawk has a non-black and white feel to it when it comes to alignment and I like that a lot.


    As I would not necessarily agree with that perception, I have a hard time wanting to set up another good-evil dichotomy. Tenser working with Mordy and Co. because of the commonality of being powerful wizards is much more interesting than Tenser working with good folks becuase of the commonality that they are good.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:45 am  

    Thanks for the responses. Some interesting insights.

    I too think the alliance would have to be low key - certainly he would be using others to do his will, providing direction and key resources and support rather than being directly involved.
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:23 am  
    Re: Tenser and an alliance of Good

    bubbagump wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    Phalastar wrote:
    There have been numerous suggestions and hints that Tenser left the circle of eight because of his differing views. . . .
    So what are people's thoughts on Tenser forming an loose alliance of good-aligned people to futher the cause of Lawful Good?


    Disclaimer - I liked the Co8 pre-GH Wars, best. Heck, I liked GH pre-GH Wars best.

    Given this disclaimer and given the GH Wars effect on the Co8, I think it logical and the most playable development if Tenser founds his own circle and Rary, shaking the sand from his shoes, does so as well.

    Mordy would then lead the neutralish and reconstituted Co8.
    Tenser would lead a new Circle of Light.
    Rary would lead a new Dark Circle.

    All three would square off against each other with Mordy's group on occasion forming alliances of convenience with the other two to try to maintain a Balance.

    To make more room for this kind of approach, other things would need to change most importantly getting rid of Iuz so Rary can shine more and finally putting Tharizdun and the Scarlet Brotherhood to bed for much the same reason. Let Rary become GH's new ultra bad guy, ably assisted by the membership of the Dark Circle.

    YMMV


    Ummm...no. While I admit there's a certain symmetry to this idea, it would monkey far too much with GH as a whole. I could easily see each faction with its own network, of course, but not involved in a war against each other and certainly not at the cost of getting rid of such icons as Iuz, Tharizdun, or the Scarlet Brotherhood.

    Sometimes the simplest way is not the best.


    Two points.

    Please don't get me wrong - I am not advocating for three competing and differently aligned "circles." I'm merely saying it would be a logical extension from FtA. IMO, FtA was so tremenmdously at odds with "classic GH" that it created entire species of difficulties that concieveably must be dealt with or ignored. Tenser and Rary breaking away is just one such difficulty.

    With all due respect, these "iconic" villains are inhibiting GH's ability to grow and develop post-FtA. Again, this is another problem that FtA caused. Yes. These are iconic villains but FtA did them no favors. Iuz is a rump power, the failed but always flailing "conqueror." His act is so old and tired that he needs to be retired. Icon or no icon. The SB is outed and in even worse shape. They just have nothing left of their original mystique. Tharizdun, unfortunately, has been so mishandled, RttTEE etc., as the boogey man du jour that he too needs a rest, although he is in the best position of the three mentioned, IMC.

    This is pie-in-the-sky but when next GH gets redone, those in charge need to go in with at least a 100 year timeline advance to try to make any coherent sense out of the mess FtA left of GH. A lot of the FtA products were good quality writing and had good new details but the overarching themes of FtA trashed GH and left its thematically hash and half-baked. The LGG put a bandage on the wound but that's all. GH still bleeds from the wound FtA left on the setting. Unfortunately, to fully get past FtA's damage some of the worst problems - Iuz and the SB - will require amputation IMO.
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:24 pm  

    AHA! GVD, I debated this in greychat a few weeks ago with several people including my arch-forum-nemesis Cebrion. I argue for pretty much the same as you concerning the removal of Iuz and a huge timeline jump to get past the recurring failures of evil in the current meta-plots. I think the SB can be revitalized though, they just need to either get teeth or get lost.
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:42 pm  
    Re: Tenser and an alliance of Good

    [quote="GVDammerung"] Tharizdun, unfortunately, has been so mishandled, RttTEE etc., as the boogey man du jour that he too needs a rest, although he is in the best position of the three mentioned, IMC.

    [quote]While I don't agree with all your points, GVD, I have to agree with this one. Tharizdun has become the default bad guy since FtA and whatever mystery that surrounded this obscure deity before is gone. IMO, he's the one to go.
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:41 pm  

    Some of the blame here is misplaced.

    Greyhawk Wars and its prequels (Five Shall Be One and Howl From the North) made Iuz out to be a brilliant, cunning, and extraordinarily successful schemer, swallowing almost the entire northern Flanaess in just a few years after an elaborate ploy. From the Ashes elaborated on this. Iuz the Evil set up a number of complex, onerous, and - I think - very satisfying methods for the PCs eventually defeating his evil, which was now more terrifying than ever. It suggested they take advantage of rivalries and politics in the Abyss, gain advice and aid from mysterious NPCs (Philidor, the Spectre, Mayaheine and St. Cuthbert, and the personages now known as the Company of Seven), and take out the source of Iuz's power (the soul husks). Truly, this sounds like a worthy adventure, epic in the classic sense of the word.

    Greyhawk Wars gets some deserved criticism for "outing" the Scarlet Brotherhood, but it still presented them as cunning, successful conquerors, whose empire abruptly swallowed up much of the southern Flanaess and regions south.

    The important thing to recognize is that Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood were among the victors of the Greyhawk Wars, and Furyondy, Sterich, Tenh, the Lordship of the Isles, the Hold of the Sea Princes and so forth were the losers.

    Any blame for defanging these villains falls squarely on The Adventure Begins, which began to dramatically and clumsily reverse these gains. Of course, both Iuz and the Scarlet Sign are still far ahead where they were before the wars began, but it did make them much less frightening.

    Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, unfortunately, makes Iuz out to be more buffoonish than ever before, being ensnared by the lower-level simulacrum of his mother and ending the adventure helpless and weak, or possibly imprisoned, depending on whether or not the PCs "succeed;" it's hard to say which is the preferred ending. It seems at least arguable that it'd be better to deal with a second Iggwilv (who would, at least, be countered by the first Iggwilv) and get rid of Iuz.

    What's needed is an adventure path that resolves the question of Iuz once and for all, giving him one last shot at achieving his goals or being banished by the PCs. He shouldn't be killed (or given apotheosis) off screen, but it's clear that he's reached nearly the limit of his effectiveness as a villain. This is less the fault of Greyhawk Wars, From the Ashes, or The Adventure Begins than an inevitable consequence of an advancing timeline. What exactly do you do with a villain bent on conquest ten or fifteen years down the line? If they've made no gains at all, they look like a paper tiger. If they make too many gains, the entire setting turns too dark for many tastes. If they make gains and then lose again, they look like buffoons. It's a no-win situation. Better not to advance the timeline at all, in my opinion.

    What's to be done? If Iuz is removed from the setting, should he simply be replaced with another great northern evil (like his mother, or a returned Kas), or is there another path that might be less samey (like a revived Empire of the Isles of Woe)?
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    Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:31 pm  

    If you subscribe to the Age of Worms campaign, that whole Kyuss plot could upset the balance of things. What is amazing and rather out of Paizo's hands I guess, is that Iuz should have responded to the growing threat of Kyuss in his borders but didn't-not even a token Boneheart spy; yet he is perfectly swayed to personally go sniffing around in the same place (Castle GH) he was captured not too long ago. Adding Iuz to AoW would have over complicated an already over the top plot sure (one that routinedly threw in Vecna, Erythnul and Hextor subplots) but for anyone with a long running GH campaign its a question mark. Say Kyuss wins, then you have TWO demigods adjacent in the north. Egad!
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:30 pm  

    While this is getting off the thread's topic, I don't think ousting Iuz is the answer here. As Rasgon said, the 2nd ed. GH material developed Iuz into a major power player and his 200 year existence (I think..?) isn't going to be undone in 10 -20 years.After all his careful planning to expand his empire, I just don't find it believable that he'd get offed simply because he hasn't gained more ground recently. If anything, he has spent this time solidifying his hold. Look at how long the Great Kingdom ruled and how long it took for them to crumble. Besides, does GH really need two destroyed evil empires? I don't think so.

    I think some of the GH bad guys like Iuz do need some new life, anything that's been around that long always does. Handled properly, a shake-up would be good. The Soul Husks is an excellent candidate to weaken, and waken, the stagnant demigod. It's an epic level dungeon that's been bouncing around in my head for years. The godtrap (groan) in ERCGH is not a good candidate, Iuz wouldn't fall for the same trick twice. Just two examples, but there are many more.

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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:26 pm  

    I agree with Rasgon that Iuz came out quite well in the wars. He certainly didn't lose. He added the Bandit kingdoms, Horned Society, chunks of the Barrens, Vesve, and Shield Lands to his territory.

    Really, what stopped him in the Greyhawk wars? It wasn't the military might of his neighbors. It was divine intervention by Rao in the form of the Flight of Fiends.

    It is in the individual adventure appearances that he tends not to be done well. And he isn't factored into enough plots, probably because designers don't want to have him overshadow the campaign world. Or they just can't be bothered to think about it. His agents should be stirring up mischief all over the north (and elsewhere). There are a lot of GH personages who largely sit on their butts doing nothing or get skipped out of plots right up their alley (Krovis anyone?). Its not a flaw with the characters, its a lack of consistent strategic vision for the campaign development.

    IMC, even though its set in the western Sheldomar, Iuz is definitely a scary figure. A demon lord right here in the world. But that is something the DM has to do.. support it with rumors of vile deeds done at his behest, the existance of agents doing nasty things, mercenaries from the northern wars talking about the Legion of the Deranged, etc.
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    Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:00 pm  

    Iuz has certainly been duped before, albeit by the most famous wizard the Flanneass has ever known and prior to his transcendence. He rules over a disjointed empire full of folk who must have reasons to rebel, not enjoying all the pain, oppression, and all. The cream of his armies had to have been devastated during the War, subsequent Crusade, and simply maintaining his grip on the lands. Worse, the Flight of the Fiends eliminated his generals and lieutenants. Organization of resources is not a mainstay of the chaotic evil mindset. Iuz's power structure is largely held in place by his clergy. They have always struck me as being more interested in betraying their superior for gain than in efficient execution of duties. If any land is set for an implosion, it would be the Empire of Iuz. However, he is a demi-god with a number of very powerful servants, and can perhaps keep his lands together thereby. Of course, I could certainly see one or two of his chaotic evil 20th level cronies taking advantage of the Empire's wane to make a power play to carve out their own little kingdom.

    To be honest, I always found the Horned Society more interesting than Iuz. A hierarch (Warduke!) returning to Molag and rallying the disaffected humans and hobgoblins Napoleon-style would be quite interesting. Asmodeus, Mephistopheles, or other devils may very well be interested in backing such an enterprise. (Or Nerull, however his worship spread through the Horned lands in the anti-devil 2e days.)
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    Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:14 am  

    Okay, humility time.

    Having had some time to mull over my thoughts on this I have to admit that my previous comment was probably a bit knee-jerk and hypocritical.
    Forgive me.

    I, too, think that Iuz and Tharizdun have been overused. In fact, in my own upcoming campaign I intend to remove Tharizdun from the equation more-or-less permanently. However, I still don't think that setting up a rivalry between former members of the Circle of 8 is the right way to go. I do think that maybe something could be done with Rary. Isn't it about time that he found that silly crown he's been looking for? Isn't it about time we found out why he wants it? But beyond that, I think the best way to advance the setting is to bring in some new blood - some new threat needs to loom on the horizon. Sadly, I doubt WotC could make it work. I've lost all confidence in their ability to do justice by Greyhawk. Any shake-up they engineer will probably end up breaking something that didn't need to be broken, fixing something that didn't need to be fixed, and pissing lots of people off (myself included).

    That said, I really believe that GH's true hope lies in Duicarthan's Oerth-World Development Project. I think that if that is pulled off successfully GH can be revived in a way that none of us have even imagined.
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    Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:11 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Really, what stopped him in the Greyhawk wars? It wasn't the military might of his neighbors. It was divine intervention by Rao in the form of the Flight of Fiends.


    The Flight of Fiends happened, what, two years after the Wars ended. According to the various sources on Iuz' Empire it was a lack of troops, difficulty in keeping the occupied lands in check, the loss of the barbarian allies, and similar facts that forced Iuz to accept peace. To this one might possibly add that a CE demon/demi-god wouldn't feel himself bound by a mere peace treaty!

    IMO Iuz has been badly served by being Vecna's punching bag twice!! Now, he gets imprisoned by a mere simulacrum! In T1-4 he gets summoned by a lvl 9 cleric to smash some PCs but flees like a baby the instant St Cuthbert shows his mug. It seems that his personal involvement in any plot spells ruin and defeat.

    Nevertheless, Iuz can be a great villain and if played like an irrational bully driven by desires rather than logic it allows his schemes to be dangerous but still beatable by the PCs.
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    Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:09 pm  

    I agree with Gilban... I've always seen Iuz as a childlike bully, with LOTS of power. He doesn't really think through his plans, he just wants, and goes after.

    Now.... imagine if this little child was confronted with something like Tharizdun on a serious bent to acquire power. Would Iuz decide, oooh, I don't like him.... I need to fight him too? Or would he be like a petulant and sullen child put in his place, looking for ways to rebel? Interesting ideas.......
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:47 am  

    Back to Tenser and his alliance.
    Maybe somebody should do it, but I don’t think Tenser is the mage for the job. Tenser did start out as a neutral, so it’s possible he still has a certain neutral outlook on certain things. I’d say L(n)G would be how I’d rate him. Generally Lawful, but with some selfish tendencies when it comes to his weaknesses. He did create the floating disc spell for hauling back as much loot as possible, after all.
    Also, in his Rogues Gallery entry, it is noted that he has alliances with some races that are not normally thought of as ‘good’.
    As over used as he is, Iuz is a natural candidate for a nemesis for Tenser, he has sworn vengeance on him.

    Scott
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    Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:40 am  

    Wizards gotta pay the bills too. Wink

    Tenser's alignment may still be in question. He has shown in Return of the Eight and in the recent Age of Worms A.P. that one of his ongoing tasks is to acquire and lock up dangerous artifacts. (I know from these two mods collectively that he has 1-2 pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts, a portion of the Regalia of Might, and possibly Baba Yaga's Hut! Hell he might have more.) His machinations with the Endless Well to draw out Oerthblood also imply that he might have studied these items to aid in making his own artifact. His secrecy regarding the well gives him potential for being just as shady as Rary or Mordenkainen.
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    Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:17 am  

    (Knowling I'll probably get smacked for this:)

    Hey, maybe Tenser's trying to become a god! I wonder if 4e will include him in the pantheon of some upcoming Greyhawk supplement. Wouldn't that be cool if he and Mordy and Rary all became gods and started duking it out over the fate of Oerth?

    (Just kidding - that would be atrocious! I just had to suggest it before somebody else did.)
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:09 am  

    Regarding the Regalia of Might, Tenser, the PC, has the good Crown of Might, actually an OD&D pre-cursor. This may be the inspiration for that rumor.
    If there ever was a logical reason for Robilar attacking Tenser, this would have been it. Robilar was working on acquiring the Crown. Tenser found out what he was doing, and beat him to it. This was the event that prompted Robilar, the PC, to become evil.

    Scott
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:18 am  

    Verrrry interesting. This information would have been handy in explaining the Robilar quirkiness that has dogged Mona and RJK and all us for the last several years. Artifact lust is always an acceptable reason for bizarre behavior.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:47 am  

    Hmm... maybe I can use Tenser as a supporter for the PC's setting up their own kingdom in the Deepstil are...
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:21 am  

    I'm fine with the way things are writen in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk in regards to Iuz. My readings have always of the early material has always lead me to believe that he was never truely leading his country, Grazzt and Iggwilv were constantly guiding him or manipulating him.

    Personally I would like to see Vecna tip his little canoe, but I want him to do it in a subtle and calculating way. Have Vecna gain control of the Heirarchs strip those lands away from him under that banner and give the old Shield Landers enought info to deal with the soul husks.

    I have a soft spot for the Shield Landers. They were the only spot on Greyhawk that if felt gave me the deep down feeling of chivalric government. I know there were other knightly orders, but they were on the beck and call of thier governments. The Shield Landers were all about the chivalric code. Plus adventures about a holy crusader to take back thier lands opens up a really cool series of game sessions.
    GreySage

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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:15 am  

    ScottG wrote:
    Also, in his Rogues Gallery entry, it is noted that he has alliances with some races that are not normally thought of as ‘good’.


    What it says is:

    "At the same time, Tenser is no fool. He has no aversion to using magic and generally will chose it first. He has gathered about him a firm power base for law and good and will readily use it if necessary. He will sometimes enspell good magic-users to go on dangerous missions to aid the cause of good. He is reported to have alliances with various non-human races and even some that are considered monsters."

    It sounds like he may actually be shanghaiing and magically compelling other good characters to go on missions, which sounds morally questionable. Return of the Eight mentions among his allies "so-called monsters such as firbolg, centaurs, sirines, nixies, werebears, brownies, sprites and galeb duhr."
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