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.
I'm taking my son and friends through a campaign that is based in Furyondy and leads up to the Greyhawk Wars. There have been tidbits that get them thinking that maybe Iuz is back, but all their mentor figures are telling them that it's just another False Iuz.
At what time do people know he's back? Is it when he invades? I'm just trying to time it right. The Crown Price is just about to disappear and I'm not sure when to spring it on them.
Since I have people's attention, what year does he actually invade Furyondy? I just haven't looked it up lately.
In the background for the game, they talk about Iuz and how he came about. The Kingdom of Furyondy was rife with tension beforehand and after. There are a couple of paragraphs of Furyondy politics and how the country is split. Then it says:
With all the turmoil within his borders, King Belvor IV virtually ignored Iuz's return in 570 CY. Iuz, for his part, had not sought to draw the attention of the southern lands.
So, I can probably play it any way I want, really. Was he just too busy to even notice? Or did he notice, but couldn't do anything? Possibly both, depending on when.
WGR5 supports your source from the Wars! box, "Iuz's banishment was long indeed, one reason why the defenders of good were slow to respond to his reappearance."
Considering Tenser and Bigby were present at Iuz's release, Tenser probably informed his network of good connections immediately (which I would assume includes Furyondy) and Bigby probably told Hazen in his future home of Mitrink.
Judging by the factions described in Marklands, you can certainly assume the nobles in southern Furyondy tried to dismiss Iuz's reappearance as yet another imposter. There were probably years of squabbling and unheeded warnings as good eyes focused on giants, Heirarchs, the ToEE, Slavelords, Bandit invasions, drow, Iggwilv, Ketties, etc.
And remember Iuz wasn't a demigod when he was imprisoned. Neighboring states took his return seriously, but didn't know they were dealing with a full-fledged demigod.
We also know a key part of Iuz's strategy prior to the wars was feints and alliances to distract good to the south. He was directly involved with the ToEE itself, and the ToEE, in turn, stirred up humanoids in the Pomarj, described by Kuntz in WG8 (see Paul Stormberg's analysis here https://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1135408#p1121318).
With all of this in mind, I imagine an approximate timeline like this, give or take a year with any specific.
570: Iuz returns. Belvor, Hazen, Knights of the Hart, the Directing Oligarchy, leading druids, and the CoE are informed immediately. Hints and clues show he's grown in power, but few suspect he's a demigod.
570-572: Iuz reclaims his homeland and consolidates power. His prophets and madmen in blood-splattered white robes demonstrate new abilities.
573: the cult of Iuz is recognized as an international menace capable of wielding powerful magic (i.e. higher than 2nd level spells). Iuz focuses on spy networks and alliances abroad and the second rising of the ToEE.
575: Iuz is generally acknowledged by those in the know to be a demigod with an inner circle of high priests, wizards, and demonic alliances. His goals remain unclear. Iuz continues to downplay his power. Good looks to the south. An arms race of artifact retrieval commences.
576: Events in T1-4 and S4 (Iuz sponsors a competing expedition to the Caverns).
577-579: events in Dragon articles, WG6, A1-4, WG8, and Gord novels. This is basically the Greyhawk Wars 1.0, with the Bandit Kingdoms invaded and a large battle in the Vesve. I assume these plans are halted and both Iuz and the CoE are setback a year when they have to contend with Vecna in WGA4.
580: Events in WGA1-4 and WGR1. Cults of Iuz are expelled from both Greyhawk City (Falcon) and Castle Greyhawk. CoE slain and cloned. Vecna banished to Ravenloft. Iuz may have also been trapped in the Mists, but quickly escapes. Maps in Castle Greyhawk indicate an invasion via the underdark exiting from the Castle, the Gnarley (probably Blackthorn) and the Mistmarsh (Iuz's plot in Expedition to Greyhawk Ruins may have been intended as early as 580!)
581-582: events in WGS1-2, Greyhawk Wars commence.
Conclusion: Iuz's return plays out like global warming IRL or the Night King in GoT. There's plenty of warning, but everyone argues and focuses on distractions, especially if they stand to benefit politically or economically in the short term or if their world view places a lot of trust in the status quo.
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