One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Circle of Eight. They are interesting, iconic and all, but it's just that I don't want them in my campaign world when I'm the DM, because they have the power to solve practically any problem, and I don't like that. So I want them dead, but they are so very, very strong.
Something that springs to my mind is age: Mordenkainen is over 80 years old, right? When will he die from old age? He's not a druid or a monk, after all. Without Mordenkainen, the group would be a lot weaker and they could even disband without the legendary founder.
Other than that... Iuz? Vecna? Warduke? Anyone? Halp?
Rary killed off several of them when he formed the Empire of the Bright Desert. Just say he got all the rest of them and none of them came back.
Or maybe spread the 'cause of death' out a bit more. As you say, some are quite old. Others have inspired grudges by various major demons and the like. Iuz could take a couple of them out. Some might just get killed in a routine horse-riding accident; that happened enough in reality. Plagues, maybe? Lost at sea in a storm, or eaten by a kraken or leviathan?
Or when all else fails, a wizard/assassin or demigod with time stop....
All the above plus, some alot of those Circle wizards have already imbibed Potions of Longevity before. They have two options to stave off Nerull at this point. Go the Zagig/Murlynd route and become a demigod/quasi-deity. Such acts are usually only in reach of wizards but once they achieve it they leave the mortal plane to go live their lives elsewhere in the multiverse. This was the fate of many former adventurers like Keoghtom and Heward.
Two...they can become liches to prolong their lives and plans. Greyhawk is full of these ancient wizards. Some bury themselves away in their lairs letting them fall to ruin until later found, others go mad and start trouble. Either way you can have them out of the picture or use them as villains ala Rary.
Thank you, Mortellan, you gave me an idea. What if Mordenkainen tried to become a deity, failed and died? Surely even someone like Mordenkainen would be tempted by godhood, even at the risk of dying. He had about 90% chance to succeed, got unlucky and died.
I agree that you can definitely run a game in a post-Circle of Eight Flanaess. The novel Nightwatch also posits this IIRC, although I think that Mordenkainen is the sole surviving member of the Cicle, but it's been quite awhile since I last read it, so my recollection may be off.
Whether you kill them all off or declare them inaccessible/unavailable depends on your desires for the campaign. Some other, somewhat less-lethal options you may want ponder:
- one or more C08 members are turned to stone, so not dead, but definitely not active and engaged in the world; this also gives the possibility of reviving them later, if they can be found; a variant on this would be for one or more members to voluntarily be turned to stone, similar to the teachers from Myth Drannor in "Into the Forgotten Realms" in Dragon Magazine #95
- one or more Co8 members are unavailable for an extended period of time, while doing spell research/magic item creation/planar research/etc.
- one or more Co8 members are: imprisoned, in temporal stasis, in a sepia snake sigil, or otherwise semi-permanently out of the picture, but not officailly dead
- one or more Co8 members have been kicked out of the organization, outlawed in their homeland, are on the run/on the lam until/if things cool over
- one or more Co8 member have been captured by a powerful extra-planar creature (a la Fraz-Urb'luu capturing Ayelerarch [or however one spells it])
- one or more Co8 members fall in love and leave the organization behind to pursue their new life of romance and small babies! ;) _________________ Allan Grohe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I would have someone reactivate the deity prisons under Castle Greyhawk and have the Circle of Eight now being held prisoners themselves. This retains the flavor of Greyhawk, it doesn't require killing any major NPCs (of which you simply can ignore or remove from your campaign if you wish). You can reactivate them at a later date with minimal fuss if you change your mind a few years from now.
Just decide whom is responsible and allow it to happen. People will eventually start spreading rumors when no members of the Circle of the Eight have been seen for quite some time. The truth need never be known. _________________ Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
If you don't like them you could do what I do and pretty much ignore them. They are out and about in the world and the players may hear of their deeds but they don't make appearances in the campaign as the players are the heroes.
Great recommendations from all. I also think it would be easy, and nicely fit into any campaign to ease some of the Circle off into the sunset, so to speak. Based on the personalities and histories/actions of some of the Circle I think the following could be some options.
Mordenkainen as the most powerful and infamous of the group could follow in the footsteps of Zagig and others and ascend to Hero-deity status after years of research and quests across the planes. This would easily take him away from Oerth for years or decades during the process of ascension alone.
I think Tenser would continue fighting against evil, particularly Iuz and eventually either be killed or die of extremely old age.
Based on Bigby's personality I just don't see him using magic to stay alive far past his natural lifespan. I think Bigby would retire from interaction with the world (this has been mentioned in written material) and probably die of old age in seclusion. Iuz could also have him assassinated.
I think Otto would die fat and happy in the middle of a 7 course meal.
Drawmij and Nystul are mysterious and have their own varied agendas. I can easily see both fading into obscurity and not affecting the campaign.
I think Jallarzi would continue to fight against evil (with Tenser) and based on her young age and growing power probably be a constant fixture across the world for decades. This would also open up numerous opportunities for her death from Iuz or from her enemies from the Outer Planes.
Warnes could become the most powerful wizard on Oerth (especially with the disappearance of Mordenkainen). Based on his great intelligence, alignment and affinity towards Zagig, I can also see him striving to attain deity status eventually. Or he could retire to the country and die in old age (this fits some of his personality traits and hobbies mentioned in sources).
I think Alhamazad would die of old age rather early based on his already advance age, and his apparent lack of want to use magic to prolong (or even ease) his life and health.
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