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    Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:17 pm  
    Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    The WoG boxed set indicates that Iuz is commonly worshiped in common areas, and among the Flan. Is this meant to indicate something closer to "recognize and having a Deity's power" than veneration?

    In any case, why are the Flan marked out for this? Since Iuz became a god so recently, shouldn't he have just been a common deity? Does he have a special connection to the Flan that I'm missing?
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    Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:43 pm  

    I'm not aware of any specific tie between Iuz and the Flan. Based on the timeline, I agree that he should be a common deity.
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:17 pm  

    I really dislike Iuz. He just hasn't been around long enough to fit in as a Flannish deity IMC. For me the Greyhawk campaign makes me think and I never hesitate, as DM, to run the campaign my way. I don't see Iuz surviving in my future campaigns but I'm only on 579cy so he has some time left.
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:23 pm  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    mindseye wrote:
    In any case, why are the Flan marked out for this? Since Iuz became a god so recently, shouldn't he have just been a common deity? Does he have a special connection to the Flan that I'm missing?


    The most common explanation I've heard is that the lands of Iuz are traditional Flan lands, like the nearby Rovers of the Barrens (who are Flan) and Wolf Nomads (who are of mixed Flan and Baklunish descent), and both Iuz's human foster father and the people who served him may have been of at least partly Flannae descent.

    The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer lists the Empire of Iuz's human racial composition as Ofsb, which means a thorough mix of Oeridian, Flan, Suel, and Baklunish, with Oeridian ancestry predominating. However, the Empire of Iuz includes the former lands of the Horned Society, Bandit Kingdoms, and pieces of other surrounding nations, so Iuz's original fief, the Howling Hills, may be less diverse. The Howling Hills, at least on the western side of the Dulsi River, are the traditional sacred burial grounds of the Wolf Nomads, who are mixed Baklunish and Flan with Baklunish predominating, though when the region became a petty fief of northern Furyondy it was probably not in Wolf Nomad hands. Some Oeridian lord might have seized control of the area in order to gain control of the wealth of the Groaning Mines, but it may have subsequently passed into the hands of a bandit king of Flan descent.

    All of that is admittedly a thin rationale, however, as you could probably more easily call Iuz a Baklunish or Oeridian god on that evidence (and yeah, Common would fit best).

    If Iuz's foster father was Randar from the Endless Quest adventure Castle of the Undead, which is wildly speculative, Randar was probably of mixed Rhennee and Wolf Nomad descent.

    Iggwilv's ancestry is unknown, but she probably originated (as Natasha the Dark) on another world. Apocryphally, Iggwilv ruled as the ninth queen of Irrisen on the world of Golarion for a century under the name Tashanna from probably 3 CY to 103 CY as Oerth reckons time before rebelling against Baba Yaga and turning up on Oerth, first as Hura when she raided the Vault of Daoud in Lopolla circa 303 CY, and then as Tasha in the company of Zagyg Yragerne in 318 CY. As Louhi, she ruled the realm of Pohjola north of Finland for a time.

    Graz'zt is, of course, a demon, said to be a child of the elder demoness Pale Night and, according to some sources, the devil Asmodeus or possibly Nyarlathotep.

    It's also true that in Gary Gygax's own conception, Iuz isn't a recently ascended deity. He's "Iuz the Old," and the original idea was that he's haunted the North for centuries. More recent work by TSR and WotC writers made him only a century or so old, but that wasn't what Gygax had in mind when he designed the pantheons of Oerth. The seeming strangeness of him being identified as a Flan deity may be due to shifting ideas of his origin in canon.
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    Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:50 am  

    Okay All of that together makes some more sense. Would a mix of both work?

    For example, Iuz the Cambion, has actually been around for centuries, (Iggwilv's adventures in the 300's would still give a couple of centuries) and the "Life Story of the Emperor of Iuz" is simply a convenient fiction, much as his lineage is. It gives him "Legitimacy" in claiming right to rule but little else.

    So his old form has been around a couple of centuries, and the Flesh form is just the god's current form?

    Another possibility is that there was an older Iuz that was worshiped, a minor Flan god to be sure, that the cambion and his allies quietly murdered so as to take advantage of the former god's reputation and infrastructure?

    Anything in the canon to outright contradict that?
    Encyclopedia Greyhawkaniac

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    Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:19 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    mindseye wrote:
    In any case, why are the Flan marked out for this? Since Iuz became a god so recently, shouldn't he have just been a common deity? Does he have a special connection to the Flan that I'm missing?


    The most common explanation I've heard is that the lands of Iuz are traditional Flan lands, like the nearby Rovers of the Barrens (who are Flan) and Wolf Nomads (who are of mixed Flan and Baklunish descent), and both Iuz's human foster father and the people who served him may have been of at least partly Flannae descent.

    The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer lists the Empire of Iuz's human racial composition as Ofsb, which means a thorough mix of Oeridian, Flan, Suel, and Baklunish, with Oeridian ancestry predominating. However, the Empire of Iuz includes the former lands of the Horned Society, Bandit Kingdoms, and pieces of other surrounding nations, so Iuz's original fief, the Howling Hills, may be less diverse. The Howling Hills, at least on the western side of the Dulsi River, are the traditional sacred burial grounds of the Wolf Nomads, who are mixed Baklunish and Flan with Baklunish predominating, though when the region became a petty fief of northern Furyondy it was probably not in Wolf Nomad hands. Some Oeridian lord might have seized control of the area in order to gain control of the wealth of the Groaning Mines, but it may have subsequently passed into the hands of a bandit king of Flan descent.

    All of that is admittedly a thin rationale, however, as you could probably more easily call Iuz a Baklunish or Oeridian god on that evidence (and yeah, Common would fit best).

    If Iuz's foster father was Randar from the Endless Quest adventure Castle of the Undead, which is wildly speculative, Randar was probably of mixed Rhennee and Wolf Nomad descent.

    Iggwilv's ancestry is unknown, but she probably originated (as Natasha the Dark) on another world. Apocryphally, Iggwilv ruled as the ninth queen of Irrisen on the world of Golarion for a century under the name Tashanna from probably 3 CY to 103 CY as Oerth reckons time before rebelling against Baba Yaga and turning up on Oerth, first as Hura when she raided the Vault of Daoud in Lopolla circa 303 CY, and then as Tasha in the company of Zagyg Yragerne in 318 CY. As Louhi, she ruled the realm of Pohjola north of Finland for a time.

    Graz'zt is, of course, a demon, said to be a child of the elder demoness Pale Night and, according to some sources, the devil Asmodeus or possibly Nyarlathotep.

    It's also true that in Gary Gygax's own conception, Iuz isn't a recently ascended deity. He's "Iuz the Old," and the original idea was that he's haunted the North for centuries. More recent work by TSR and WotC writers made him only a century or so old, but that wasn't what Gygax had in mind when he designed the pantheons of Oerth. The seeming strangeness of him being identified as a Flan deity may be due to shifting ideas of his origin in canon.


    Rasgon is one of the best Greyhawk scholars Ive encountered but footnotes with references please as Id love to add the source material to my index.
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    Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:12 pm  

    I'm fond of Frederick Weining's old Blackmoor article and its reference, among other things, to Iuz's fear and aversion of the lands and Oerth magic north of his realm. This hints that he has old connections to the land and possibly a weakness to Flannae traditions. Beory also opposes Iuz in ToEE, not just St Cuthbert, which could strengthen the Flan pantheon connection.

    Iuz's inclusion in the pantheon is intriguing, not unworkable, and there's no reason to ignore it.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:23 am  

    mindseye wrote:
    Another possibility is that there was an older Iuz that was worshiped, a minor Flan god to be sure, that the cambion and his allies quietly murdered so as to take advantage of the former god's reputation and infrastructure?


    I have always assumed that the cambion assumed the place of a pre-existing Flan deity, just like he pretended to be the human son of a bandit lord (1, 2). He is the God of Deceit, after all.

    He may have actually killed the other god to take his place as part of his apotheosis, or he may have just assumed the place of a Flan god whose worship was so faded after centuries of the subjugation of Flan people that there was no effective resistance.

    1. Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil Section
    2. From the Ashes Atlas, p. 5
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    Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:30 pm  

    Kirt wrote:

    I have always assumed that the cambion assumed the place of a pre-existing Flan deity, just like he pretended to be the human son of a bandit lord. He is the God of Deceit, after all.

    He may have actually killed the other god to take his place as part of his apotheosis, or he may have just assumed the place of a Flan god whose worship was so faded after centuries of the subjugation of Flan people that there was no effective resistance.

    It's possible that the Soul Husks that fueled Iuz's apotheosis were dwindled or dead Flan deities.
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    Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:21 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Kirt wrote:

    I have always assumed that the cambion assumed the place of a pre-existing Flan deity.

    It's possible that the Soul Husks that fueled Iuz's apotheosis were dwindled or dead Flan deities.

    If the Flan deities in question were once mortal heroes of Oerth, it is quite possible that they were buried in the sacred tombs in the Howling Hills. In that case, part of the ritual may have involved Iuz recovering the bodies of their once mortal forms, transporting them to the Soul Husks caverns, and then using them to summon the ascended gods and then bind or defeat them.
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    Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:46 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    It's also true that in Gary Gygax's own conception, Iuz isn't a recently ascended deity. He's "Iuz the Old," and the original idea was that he's haunted the North for centuries. More recent work by TSR and WotC writers made him only a century or so old, but that wasn't what Gygax had in mind when he designed the pantheons of Oerth. The seeming strangeness of him being identified as a Flan deity may be due to shifting ideas of his origin in canon.

    This has always confused me. As you said, Gygax often referred to Iuz as "the Old", which implies he's been around a long time. Given that he's a god, I assume this to mean he's been around for several centuries at least, but the background story from S4 contradicts this somewhat when it refers to Iggwilv's rise to prominence with: "Nearly a century ago..." Admittedly, there's room to be flexible with Iuz's timeline in the background (i.e. it's likely Iggwilv conceived Iuz before her rise to power), but if she subjugated Graz'zt around this period then that's not leaving too much time before to do this. Maybe a few decades? At this point it becomes mostly speculative.
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    Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:43 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    Luz wrote:
    This has always confused me. As you said, Gygax often referred to Iuz as "the Old", which implies he's been around a long time. Given that he's a god, I assume this to mean he's been around for several centuries at least, but the background story from S4 contradicts this somewhat when it refers to Iggwilv's rise to prominence with: "Nearly a century ago..." Admittedly, there's room to be flexible with Iuz's timeline in the background (i.e. it's likely Iggwilv conceived Iuz before her rise to power), but if she subjugated Graz'zt around this period then that's not leaving too much time before to do this.


    Iggwilv was a powerful sorceress and didn't really "need" to rule Perrenland. I have to assume that her brief foray at domination there was in part designed as a diversion to distract he attention of Furyondy from the real play - Iuz taking over the north. Yes, this contradicts the idea of Iuz haunting the north for centuries - which is why I figure whatever the original name of the cambion was, he assumed the identity of the Old One, an ancient Flan god.
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    Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:45 pm  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    Luz wrote:
    This has always confused me. As you said, Gygax often referred to Iuz as "the Old", which implies he's been around a long time. …
    You know … that's interesting.
    I always just assumed it was because of his form.
    One of them, anyway. He's commonly depicted as an Old Man.
    <shrug>
    That's what I always thought, anyway.
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    Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:06 am  

    Iuz has been around a long time. Long ago, in the guise of a mortal man, Iuz became the greatest warlord of the northern lands and subjugated the area to form the land of Iuz, which he ruled far beyond the lifespan of a mortal man. During that time, Iuz apparently let his outward form reflect the passing of the years, thus the appellation "Iuz the Old." This was from a time before his true nature became known. Then, and now, he appears as an old man merely as an affectation. It probably amuses Iuz to appear as such to visitors, who see demons and powerful mortals cower and prostrate themselves to a shriveled old man sitting on a throne of bone.
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    GreySage

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    Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:21 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    Icarus wrote:
    Luz wrote:
    This has always confused me. As you said, Gygax often referred to Iuz as "the Old", which implies he's been around a long time. …
    You know … that's interesting.
    I always just assumed it was because of his form.
    One of them, anyway. He's commonly depicted as an Old Man.
    <shrug>
    That's what I always thought, anyway.


    There's nothing really specific in early canon that contradicts the idea that Iuz was born circa 460 CY (the date that Graz'zt was imprisoned by Iggwilv). But A Guide to the World of Greyhawk (1983) says [page 71] "Whether Iuz is a human who has become demon-like through the centuries, or whether he is a semi-demon, a cambion (as some suggest a by-blow of Orcus_, no mortal knows..." which suggests he's been around for some centuries.

    The same book [page 9] gave 479 CY as the date when the "might of Iuz grows" and subsequent canon has Iuz very young (approximately 19 years old) at that time, but I don't think that was the original intention.

    I remember a forum quoting Gygax giving a more specific age for Iuz, a number of centuries, but I think the website is defunct.
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    Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:15 pm  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    Iuz's original fief, the Howling Hills


    From the Ashes, Atlas of the Flanaess, page 5: "In CY 479, the land now called Iuz was only a fractious collection of paltry fiefs. Among its princelings was a minor despot of the Howling Hills who died in that year and left his barren holdings to a son of dubious origins: Iuz."

    Quote:
    The Howling Hills, at least on the western side of the Dulsi River, are the traditional sacred burial grounds of the Wolf Nomads


    Atlas of the Flanaess, page 59: "These hills are now wholly within the province of Iuz; those on the western side of the Dulsi River are sacred burial sites to the Wolf Nomads..."

    Quote:
    Some Oeridian lord might have seized control of the area in order to gain control of the wealth of the Groaning Mines, but it may have subsequently passed into the hands of a bandit king of Flan descent.


    The Groaning Mines are detailed in Iuz the Evil, page 22.

    Quote:
    Iggwilv's ancestry is unknown, but she probably originated (as Natasha the Dark) on another world.


    Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk, pages 157, 167, 172.

    Dragon #359, "Unsolved Mysteries of D&D," page 30. "Which begs the question—is Tasha Iggwilv's real name? While the answer to this is unclear, long-time readers of DRAGON might want to look back to issue #84's classic adventure by Roger Moore, "The Dancing Hut." In particular, check out area 15—Natasha's chambers. 'Natasha the Dark is an adopted human 'daughter' of Baba Yaga who was influenced by the witch to take up her sorcery and use it for dark purposes.'"

    Quote:
    Apocryphally, Iggwilv ruled as the ninth queen of Irrisen on the world of Golarion for a century under the name Tashanna from probably 3 CY to 103 CY as Oerth reckons time before rebelling against Baba Yaga


    The Witch Queen's Revenge (Paizo Publishing, 2013). Page 48: "Tashanna, who led her own revolt against Baba Yaga 500 years ago, impressed her mother enough that she was spared this fate."

    Page 59: "And so Elvanna began studying the reign of Tashanna, Irrisen's ninth queen, who had raised her own failed rebellion against the Old Crone in an attempt to retain her throne-an event in Irrisen's history known as the Witchwar. Elvanna discovered Tashanna's journal, which outlined Tashanna's own suspicions of Baba Yaga's plans for her daughters."

    The dating just comes from subtracting 500 from 603 CY. Between 2001 and 2007, the Greyhawk calendar under Paizo and Living Greyhawk advanced from 591 to 507. The Golarion calendar advances one game year per real year too, so I assumed that since 4713 AR=2013 then it also equals 603 CY. For intellectual property reasons, there's no official connection. Each queen of Irrisen reigns for exactly 100 years before Baba Yaga replaces her with another, and The Witch Queen's Revenge takes place exactly 500 years after the Witchwar.

    Quote:
    and turning up on Oerth, first as Hura when she raided the Vault of Daoud in Lopolla circa 303 CY


    Dragon #336, "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv." Page 77: "Iggwilv's first confirmed appearance was nearly three centuries ago in the western borderlands known as al-Ket, though she was known then as Hura. The witch ensconced herself in a tower on the outskirts of the City of Lopolla for many years, conducting varied vile investigations. Her plunder of the Vault of Daoud proved one outrage too many, though, and the people of these devout lands saw her hounded from her stronghold into exile."

    The dating isn't exact here. I just added 200 years to the Witchwar that ended with her leaving Golarion. It was around this time, though.

    Quote:
    and then as Tasha in the company of Zagyg Yragerne in 318 CY.


    This one's complicated. Dragon #336 [page 77] says "she eventually settled in the blossoming City of Greyhawk two centuries ago, where she came to the attention of its mysterious lord and benefactor Zagyg Yragerne."

    However, Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk lists 'Tasha' as a member of the Company of Seven, Zagig's adventuring company (see the references above). Dragon #293, "Places of Mystery: Spinecastle and Veralos" [page 90] mentions an expedition to the ruins of Veralos by the Company of Seven in 318 CY. Only Zagyg, Murlynd, and Keoghtom are listed by name in that source, but Expedition makes it clear that Tasha/Tashanna/Natasha/Iggwilv was a member of the group, so she must have joined it shortly after being driven from Ket.

    The "two centuries ago" references Iggwilv aiding Zagig in the summoning of Fraz-Urb'luu. This was probably in 370 CY, when Zagig's "eccentric personality appeared to gradually deteriorate," according to The Adventure Begins, page 60. Consider the possibility that his madness and paranoia were a result of the strain of binding a demon lord and Iggwilv betraying him. This fits with the timeline of Fraz-Urb'luu being imprisoned for a little more than two centuries prior to Ayelerach and Erac's Cousin freeing him.

    The 4th edition sourcebook Demonomicon (2010) also mentions [page 6] Iggwilv's connection to Baba Yaga, to Zagyg, and to the Company of Seven.

    Demonomicon, page 16: "My adopted mother and mentor Baba Yaga taught me the first incantations of demon summoning when I was but a girl of ten winters."

    Quote:
    As Louhi, she ruled the realm of Pohjola north of Finland for a time.


    Gary Gygax's Sea of Death, page 15. "The witch was incredibly ancient, older even than old Iuz—in fact, Iggwilv was the mother of the cambion who had designs on all of Oerth. Iggwilv's infamy reached beyond Oerth to other worlds that paralleled it and occasionally touched it for a time. Ychbilch she was called on one of those worlds, Louhi on another."

    Louhi, the old crone of Pohjola, appears in 1st edition Deities & Demigods, page 60.

    Quote:
    Graz'zt is, of course, a demon, said to be a child of the elder demoness Pale Night and, according to some sources, the devil Asmodeus or possibly Nyarlathotep.


    Faces of Evil: The Fiends, page 61: "The Lady known as Pale Night is one of the oldest Abyssal lords. The Mors Mysterium Nominum book says she is also the mother of several others, including Graz'zt, Lupercio, and Vucarik of Chains."

    Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, page 70. "Much has been written about this mysterious demon lord. The Mors Mysterium Nominum claims she is the mother of several tanar'ri lords, including Graz'zt, Lupercio, and Vucarik of Chains. The Black Scrolls of Ahm claim she is the mother of nothing less than the tanar'ri race. Iggwilv's Demonomicon, on the other hand, portrays her not as a mother of demons but as the mother of several notorious and monstrous Material Plane races such as the harpy and the lamia."

    Dragon #360, "The Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Graz'zt." Page 10. "The exact nature of the entity that Pale Night ensnared and mated with has long been the subject of debate among scholars. Those with their own desires and allegiances invoke names such as Asmodeus, Loki, Set, or even one of the ancient baernaloths, perhaps basing their theories more upon personal prejudice and loyalty than actual evidence. Others maintain that she chose as her mate the patriarch of an ancient race of immortal warriors from an alternate reality. Some hold it was the Abyss itself Pale Night called into her vault. A few ancient and ageless scholars believe that Pale Night was not, in fact, the aggressor in this matter, but that one of the Old Gods themselves, a cosmic entity of a thousand names and crawling chaos, visited Pale Night from his own court at the center of the universe, leaving her impregnated in an attempt to spawn a race of demons who would fulfill unknowable roles in his own dire plans for reality."


    Last edited by rasgon on Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:02 pm  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    There's nothing really specific in early canon that contradicts the idea that Iuz was born circa 460 CY (the date that Graz'zt was imprisoned by Iggwilv).


    I'm not actually sure where I got this date from. Dragon #336 [page 77] calls Iuz "her handsome young son, now of age" when Iggwilv invaded Perrenland in 480 CY, which implies he's not very old then. I don't know if he was specifically 20, however.

    Dragon #336 [page 77] also claims Iuz's ancient-looking form was an unintended result of the battle between Iggwilv and Graz'zt. "Iuz suffered the worst from his parents' battle, his comely form shattered into two—one decrepit and manikinlike, the other red-skinned, hulking, and demonic."
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    Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:20 pm  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    rasgon wrote:
    There's nothing really specific in early canon that contradicts the idea that Iuz was born circa 460 CY (the date that Graz'zt was imprisoned by Iggwilv).


    I'm not actually sure where I got this date from. Dragon #336 [page 77] calls Iuz "her handsome young son, now of age" when Iggwilv invaded Perrenland in 480 CY, which implies he's not very old then. I don't know if he was specifically 20, however.

    Dragon #336 [page 77] also claims Iuz's ancient-looking form was an unintended result of the battle between Iggwilv and Graz'zt. "Iuz suffered the worst from his parents' battle, his comely form shattered into two—one decrepit and manikinlike, the other red-skinned, hulking, and demonic."


    Rasgon now with source and page references; Excellent.
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    Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:03 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    … lots and lots and lots of incredibly cool references …
    I think that may be the most well-cited and completely referenced collection of Tasha/Iggwilv references I've ever seen written.
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    Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:37 am  

    Well, that's because rasgon is the one and only sentient AI living in the web (he "killed" the others), and that just so happens to have a fascination with all things Greyhawk (and Planescape, and...). Veritable treasure trove of knowledge. If/when any new Greyahwk development takes place, I'd be very happy to see him tapped as a content advisor by the powers that be.

    As to Iuz's age, I agree that 460 CY seems awfully recent for his date of birth. From early on, I had the impression that Iuz had been around for centuries rather than generations. Come to think of it, I wonder if some of the earlier material (in Dragon Magazines perhaps) on the time of the formation of the Great Kingdom, and the subsequent fracturing of Ferrond and so forth, might also make small mention of the independent Northern Lords (that Iuz may start out as one of) whose lands eventually come under the control of Iuz. Could be small kernel there. Can't recall offhand.
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    Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:50 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Come to think of it, I wonder if some of the earlier material (in Dragon Magazines perhaps) on the time of the formation of the Great Kingdom, and the subsequent fracturing of Ferrond and so forth, might also make small mention of the independent Northern Lords (that Iuz may start out as one of) whose lands eventually come under the control of Iuz. Could be small kernel there. Can't recall offhand.


    I don't know of any canonical references (and I'm not omniscient, there's a lot I forget or miss at times) beyond the standard (From the Ashes, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, etc.).

    I like to think that the (generic) adventure "Kingdom in the Swamp" in Dungeon #4 could be used to expand upon the history of the region, however. That adventure featured a warlord called Kenither the Gaunt, who three centuries ago conquered "the Kingdom of Thrydric" with an army of undead. "According to legend" he had made a pact with Orcus to gain control of the land in exchange for forcing the populace to worship the Demon Prince of Undead and forfeiting his soul to Orcus after his death. After he took the throne, Kenither overtaxed his people to finance additional wars and ignored the terms of his pact, making no attempt to spread Orcus's worship. Six years later Orcus took his vengeance, ravaging Kenither's domain with demons and undead and forcing the king to inhabit a single castle "in a steamy swamp far to the south" (the Hool Marshes probably fit best, though you could use another swamp if you wanted, like the Pelisso Swamps or even the Rushmoors), where he remained trapped as a vampire, unable to leave for fear that Orcus would claim his soul.

    I like this idea because it gives the region a pre-existing demonic reputation, and partially explains why people thought Iuz might have been a by-blow of Orcus. A short-lived kingdom in the northern marches (dissolving again after only six years) wouldn't break canon too badly. Perhaps some even believe "Iuz the Old" was one of the demons who terrorized the land three centuries ago, or even Kenither the Gaunt himself returned to rule.
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    Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:31 am  

    Is it possible the appellation "The Old" is ironic? Meaning that while Iuz has a form that bears the appearance of an old man, the Flan are quite aware that he is a recent ascendant to godly might? Also since they recognize him as the god of Deceit, they allow him to have his little joke and play along, even though he doesn't appear in the ancient myths or legends?
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:54 pm  

    mindseye wrote:
    Is it possible the appellation "The Old" is ironic? Meaning that while Iuz has a form that bears the appearance of an old man, the Flan are quite aware that he is a recent ascendant to godly might? Also since they recognize him as the god of Deceit, they allow him to have his little joke and play along, even though he doesn't appear in the ancient myths or legends?


    The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (page 62) credits the orcs with giving Iuz the nickname "the Old One" and it might be relevant that orcish lifespans are very short.

    "The orcs of the northlands, who had known Iuz for generations of their short lives and had named him the Old One, worshiped him as a god..."

    That suggests he was initially an orcish god, though, rather than a Flan god.
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    Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:16 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    rasgon wrote:
    Icarus wrote:
    Luz wrote:
    This has always confused me. As you said, Gygax often referred to Iuz as "the Old", which implies he's been around a long time. …
    You know … that's interesting.
    I always just assumed it was because of his form.
    One of them, anyway. He's commonly depicted as an Old Man.
    <shrug>
    That's what I always thought, anyway.


    There's nothing really specific in early canon that contradicts the idea that Iuz was born circa 460 CY (the date that Graz'zt was imprisoned by Iggwilv). But A Guide to the World of Greyhawk (1983) says [page 71] "Whether Iuz is a human who has become demon-like through the centuries, or whether he is a semi-demon, a cambion (as some suggest a by-blow of Orcus_, no mortal knows..." which suggests he's been around for some centuries.

    The same book [page 9] gave 479 CY as the date when the "might of Iuz grows" and subsequent canon has Iuz very young (approximately 19 years old) at that time, but I don't think that was the original intention.

    I remember a forum quoting Gygax giving a more specific age for Iuz, a number of centuries, but I think the website is defunct.


    In the original Folio, under the desription of the Land of Iuz:

    "luz, old Iuz of fearbabe talk, may be human - or may once have been human, but this is not known for certain one way or another. He has ruled the lands from the Howling Hills south to the Lake of Whyestil for ages longer than any man can live. The lands between the Dulsi and the Opicm Rivers are steeped in wickedness and evil, so much so that the otherwise fearless Wolf Nomads and Rovers of the Barrens pass through the Cold Marshes rather than enter the merest edge of the Land of luz. For a time the land was leaderless, for Iuz himself was missing. For many decades the evil of the place was in relative quietude for lack of evil direction, and the neighbors of good ilk prospered. Iuz had been trapped by the mirthful and mad Zagig, locked away in a strange chamber deep below the ruins of Greyhawk Castle, one of nine powerful demi-gods so confined. These prisoners were loosed in 570 CY, and once again Iuz rules, and his forces gather for fell purpose."

    And in Dragon #67, in the article describing the deities of Greyhawk, Gygax mentions:

    "Whether Iuz is a human who has become demon-like through the centuries, or whether he is a semi-demon (as some suggest, a by-blow of Orcus), no mortal knows. He is, however, the first known godling of Chaotic Evil; his wickedness and treachery are infamous throughout the Flanaess."

    Both sources cement the statement that Iuz has been around far longer than one and a half century. And perhaps this is a clue to his Flan origin. Perhaps Iuz is a Flan (or Ur-Flan?) that has roamed the north for maybe more than a millennium, spreading chaos and evil and acquiring immortality as a quasi- or hero-deity status before his apotheosis into a demigod.

    For me, this thread has opened up dramatic new avenues - I had never seen the reference in the Folio, his Flan origin or the Dragon article. So many more storytelling options!
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    Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:43 am  
    Re: Why is Iuz in the Flan Pantheon?

    Silvermane wrote:
    Both sources cement the statement that Iuz has been around far longer than one and a half century. …

    I'm gonna have to agree with Rasgon here.
    Rasgon wrote:
    There's nothing really specific in early canon that contradicts the idea that Iuz was born circa 460 CY
    Emphasis mine.
    There's nothing "really specific" that "contradicts" it.
    150 years is certainly "ages longer than any man can live". And "through the centuries" … well, it certainly stands that anything that takes place in two separate centuries is more than a single century. … that's "through the centuries". Let's not get pedantic about whether it's been 200 full years, or not. That'd be akin to debating whether someone was "72 1/2" or "in their 73rd year" kind of thing. Same-same.

    At any rate, there's specific officially published material setting some dates. Unless there's something specific that directly contradicts the original material, I wouldn't be likely to disregard it, unless I were intentionally trying to make it be different for sake of making him be even older.

    Personally, I think already being 150 or 200 years old is pretty friggin' old.
    But, maybe that's my American PoV. Since, you know, 1820 seems pretty old to me, too, as far as current events goes.
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