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Secret Ruler of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy??

 
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Izar_Talon
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject: Secret Ruler of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy?? Reply with quote

OK, so we all know that Ivid V was the Overking of the Great Kingdom, but I am getting ready for a new Greyhawk campaign (starting tonight with a solo session for my brother!) and I am setting the campain in 576 CY, and I'm basing it on the original 190 Folio and the 1983 boxed set, so I've been reading through through all the material to refresh myself.

(two months ago a good friend of mine bought a big lot of old D&D books from a guy and was sorting through them to sell off, and in the stuff he came across TWO copies of the 1980 World of Greyhawk Folio, and a copy of the 1983 boxed set... all in REALLY excellent condition!!! And, knowing how much I love Greyhawk, he set them aside and when I next saw him he asked me how much I would pay for them. I was flabbergasted at the books and their quality, told him how long I had wanted these books, and immediately looked them up on eBay and showed him the prices they were going for, and told him that I wouldn't be able to afford them right then but would try to save up to pay him what they were worth. Well, instead of that he said I could have them for TWENTY DOLLARS EACH! I live on social security disability income and he knows how tight my money situation is. I thanked him profusely and became the proud owner of the 1980 World of Greyhawk Folio and the 1983 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, in marvelous condition and complete with all the maps and everything except the box! He even threw in an old Dragon magazine insert of Greyhawk weather patterns that had also been in the lot of books. This wealth of original Greyhawk material is what inspired me to run this campaign!)

So anyway, during my read-through of the 1983 boxed set I came upon a very interesting thing while reading the rulers section on page 17 of the Glossography; on this page it lists the name, class, and level of each of the rulers of the various realms of the Flanaess, each of which match up with the names listed in the Overview of Political Divisions in the Atlas of the Flanaess... with one exception. In the Atlas, the ruler of the Great Kingdom is listed as:

"His Celestial Transcendency, the Overking of Aerdy, Grand Prince Ivid V, etc, etc... "

But in the Glossography the ruler of the Great Kingdom is listed as:
"?, C 7/MU 12."

I do not believe this to be a typo, and there is no indication that this Cleric/Magic-User is meant to be Ivid V. I believe instead that this was meant to tell the reader that Grand Prince Ivid V was a mere puppet, and the TRUE ruler of the Great Kingdom was a secret Cleric/Magic-User (dual-classed Human, I presume) who ruled the Great Kingdom of Aerdy from behind the throne, probably a Hextorite knowing the ethnic makeup of

Has anyone else noticed this little hidden gem in the 1983 boxed set? Does my assumption make sense to anyone else? Are there any other hidden goodies and adventure hooks buried in the old setting material that anyone has ferreted out? (I also want to eventually use the idea of the lost Old Suloise city hidden somewhere in the Suss Forest for a nice high-level dungeon ruin for the PCs to explore.) I plan on going forward with this idea of the Great Kingdom being secretly controlled by a hidden power behind the throne, having a powerful Priest of Hextor being the true power manipulating Ivid for his own ends and for the greater power of the Church of Hextor. This would even play into what happened to Ivid and the nobility of the Great Kingdom during and after the Wars, if I do decide to go that route, with all the Animus shenanigans and so forth.

Ivid could get tired of all the manipulations and decide to take power into his own hands beginning with a campaign of assassination throughout the highest ranks of the Priesthood of Hextor to get rid of those who would use him, starting with the "secret ruler." But then the Church of Hextor would bring him back using their newly-created secret ritual to create the very first Animus. Then, rather than Ivid ordering all the killing and Animus-making, it would instead be the "secret ruler" who does it, turning the highest levels of the nobility into Animuses (Animi?) under his direct control (since the Animus is a specially-designed Hextorite creation) securing himself a continued power base as the Chief Animus with the full power of Hextor behind him. And then once the full ranks of the higher nobility are all Animi under his command, the Hextorite "secret ruler" could step out of the shadows and eliminate Ivid, taking charge of the Great Kingdom and turning it into an Undead Theocracy (Divinecrocracy?) dedicated to the total subjugation of the Flanaess, and unending undead war for the Eternal Glory of Hextor.

The whole thing could turn into an Oerthly Zombie Apocalypse scenario, only in this case it would be even worse for any survivors since the zombies wouldn't be just mindless wandering hordes, but would be under the control of powerful free-willed undead warriors and generals!

I think it could make for some very interesting results...[/b]
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grodog
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Secret Ruler of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy?? Reply with quote

Izar_Talon wrote:
I do not believe this to be a typo, and there is no indication that this Cleric/Magic-User is meant to be Ivid V. I believe instead that this was meant to tell the reader that Grand Prince Ivid V was a mere puppet, and the TRUE ruler of the Great Kingdom was a secret Cleric/Magic-User (dual-classed Human, I presume) who ruled the Great Kingdom of Aerdy from behind the throne, probably a Hextorite knowing the ethnic makeup of


I think that you can definitely run with this concept, and interpret it in lots of interesting ways.

FWIW, Rob Kuntz created Xaene/Zayene as the figure who's the power behind the throne of Ivid, and detailed his machinations in his series of four Maze of Zayene modules from the late 1980s. They're well-worth picking up if you're interested in Gygax/Kuntz-driven Greyhawk content, and you can buy them pretty affordably from eBay and/or NobleKnight (in both d20/3e and RJK's original AD&D editions).

For some alternative interpretations of that same power play, check out Ivid the Undying @ https://www.acaeum.com/library/library.html (1 PDF and 1 big map). Carl Sargent build upon many of the same foundations that Gary and Rob defined in Greyhawk, but also brought his own vision to the setting as well (From the Ashes and the later WGR books @ http://www.tsrarchive.com/gh/gh-wgr.html ). You can buy the WGR books from DriveThruRPG as PDF or POD titles.

Allan.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karoolck would be a good candidate for power behind the throne, too.
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Kalindren
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Joined: Aug 17, 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's plenty of jockeying for power within the Imperial Court (Xaene and Karoolck being just 2 of the players/former players).

Carl Sargent referenced this though in the WGR7 Ivid the Undying stat block for Ivid: "He has long abandoned his service as a priest of Hextor—a profession that had been forced on him by his father as a form of disciplining. He can no longer use priest spells."

Seems as good an explanation as any. Ivid's madness (and rumoured Hellish parentage) go a good way to explaining the ? in the 1983 folio.
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