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    The Final Word on Iuz and Company
    Posted on Sat, September 08, 2001 by Toran
    iquander writes "Who were the Nine Demigods imprisoned by Zagig Yragrene beneath Castle Greyhawk?
    Long a question that has plagued and confounded fans of the World of Greyhawk. Presented here is one scholar's answer to this thorny question. Resurrected from the archives, here is what Savant Iquander had to say on the subject before the setting was republished. Even today, it still remains a sound response to the often-asked question.

    Author: Erik "Iquander" Mona




    The Ultimate, Definitive Listing of Iuz's Fellow Prisoners


    by Erik Mona (Iquander@aol.com)
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


    Along with, "how did Iuz help with the Temple of Elemental Evil when he was imprisoned?" and "when did the short war happen?" this question should be bronzed and inducted to the Greyhawk Hall of Fame.

    The exact same topic has come up on Usenet and on the mailing lists countless times already. In short, "officially," the only other prisoner with Iuz in Castle Greyhawk was Wastri. This information comes from "Bathtime for the Hopping Prophet," an adventure card from the City of Greyhawk boxed set.

    Given the fact that there were nine prisoners, and that nearly everything Gygax has ever written has included, in some way the number nine, it's safe to say that there is a pattern here. The basis of this pattern, of course, are the nine celestial alignments. These alignments played a huge role in Gygax's game, and unless I'm mistaken, there's evidence to prove that everyday people perceived alignment as "fact." Anyone else remember "alignment languages"?

    So, it would seem to make sense that Zagig Yragrene, in order to steal a portion of the Obelisk's power, needed to capture nine demigods; one of each alignment. This raises a very real concern. Not counting Mayahaine (because she wasn't on Oerth yet) or Gaknulak (because his ties to Oerth are tenuous, and he rarely visits), Oerth has but two other demigods. If we assume Rudd and Zuoken were brought along for the ride, we're still five demigods short.

    Or are we? I combed through all of the Greyhawk material I could, searching for "forgotten gods." I found quite a few, such as Dalt, Om and Landron, but none of these seemed to be of the "demi" extraction. A few others, however, did. Against the Cult of the Reptile God introduced us to Merikka, the goddess of agriculture (most likely of Oeridian heritage). Likewise, the Forgotten Shrine of Tamoachan introduced us to almost a dozen divine beings once worshipped by the now dormant Olman empire. Of these, Tlatzoteotl and Chitza-Atlan make excellent candidates. Xilonen, the Hairy Mother Goddess of Corn is a slightly less successful match, though I have chosen to retain her as one of Zagig's captives. Finally, one of the pregenerated characters from that module worshipped Stern Alia, patron of Pontylver and most assuredly an Oeridian demigoddess. In fact, I've incorporated her into Oeridian myth as a sort of Virgin-Mary figure, a once-mortal imbued with the seed that begat Hextor and Heironeous (just who's seed it was, I have yet to determine...).

    So, broken down by alignment, let's take a look at the contenders (it should be noted that I've played fast and loose with some of these alignments, as they were not given in the original material).


    The Nine Imprisoned Demigods

    Alignment

    Name

    Sphere

    Worshipper's Alignment

    Sex

    Notes

    LG

    Merikka

    Agriculture

    Any Good

    Female
     

    LN

    Stern Alia

    Law, Truth

    LN

    Female
     

    LE

    Wastri

    Amphibians, Bigotry

    LN, LE

    Male

    1

    NG

    Xilonen

    Corn

    Any

    Female

    2

    True Neutral

    Zuoken

    Physical and Mental Mastry

    N, LN

    Male

    3

    NE

    Chitza-Atlan

    Underworld (Mictlan)

    Any

    Male
     

    CG

    Tlazoteotl

    Mother of the Earth

    Any

    Female

    4

    CN

    Rudd

    Chance, Skill

    CN, CG, N

    Female
     

    CE

    Iuz

    Deceit, Pain

    Any Evil, CN
    Male 

    Notes:
    [1] This assumes Wastri's LE "tendencies" were enough to satisfy the conditions of the casting.
    [2] Psyclops mentioned some good reservations about this being's placement on the list last time around, and I don't have much in the way of support for it at the moment. Off hand, I'd say that the Xilonen of Tamoachan was merely an avatar of the thing cut off from the god itself either with the decline in worshippers or the capture of the true deity by Zagig Yragerne. At any rate, another "official" placement in this slot would be much appreciated.
    [3] Another concern last time around is why Zagig, a neutral fellow, would capture a neutral god. My guess is that the formula warranted it, and Zagig wanted divinity so badly that matters of personal ethos were of little concern at the time. In my campaign, Zuoken is still down there. When his followers discover the location of their patron, it is likely some real religious fervor will break out between followers of the servant of the Uncaring One and the servant of the Lady of Perfection.
    [4] Tlazoteotl, the Mother Goddess of the Earth, was probably at one time a lesser goddess. With the fall of the Olman Empire, however, worship of this being waned, and she became of demigod status. She did not take the failure of her people well, and the great ameoboid workbeasts she once bequeathed to the people of Tamoachan de-evolved into hideous creatures called "gibbering mouthers" by Sea Princes explorers.

    Final Note: In the process of composing this, I changed Merikka's alignment from CG to LG, to reflect the much more lawful aspect of agriculture. Those players wishing to keep their information in line with canon will note that Tlazoteotl has no "official" alignment, and that she can easily be moved to the LG spot, allowing Merikka to take up her original CG. The version presented above, in my opinion, is far more satisfying.



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    Re: The Final Word on Iuz and Company (Score: 1)
    by MerricB on Sun, September 09, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://merricb.com
    The Final Word? Surely not. :)

    If this is ever settled, what do we have left to argue about? (I know, Iuz and the Short War)

    Of course, there's always Rob Kuntz's list, lovingly compiled and printed in Oerth Journal #7, which I'm sure the Savant Iquander is aware of. I certainly hope so, because he edited that issue!

    Of course, I do wonder what version of the World of Greyhawk we're discussing here - given there are infinite variations of Oerth, just as there are of Aerth and Earth...

    In any case, I will just close by thanking Savant Iquander for (once more) a scholarly article, and to note that if one takes this list as correct, Zagyg has in the past captured other deities than those listed by Iquander, as Olidammara was once trapped by Zagyg (per the 1983 Guide to the World of Greyhawk, page 73).

    One wonders in this case, whether Zagyg may be left free to act on Oerth for long in the future. Surely he has enraged most of the powers by now!

    Cheers!
    Merric, the Dreamer-Minstrel



    9's and why not Fraz? (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Sun, September 09, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html
    What other instances of nines are there in EGG works? We have the nine alignments, of course, but what other nines does EGG regularly use?

    We all know that Fraz was captured by Zagig, I'd like to know why the general tendency is NOT to count him among the nine imprisoned demigods?

    Discuss :-)

    grodog



    Re: 9's and why not Fraz? (Score: 1)
    by rasgon (notnotallowedyet@hotmail.com) on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    In response to grodog:

    Yes, because Fraz Urblu was imprisoned in a different part of the castle; he was put a wall somewhere, while the Nine had a chamber all to themselves.

    That's the reason Olidammara isn't included as well (besides the fact that he's not a demigod).

    Personally, I think that Rudd (CN(CG)) and Wastri (LN(LE)) balance one another out very well. For LE, I'd nominate Princess Glasya of Hell, just because I like her.


    ]


    Re: 9's and why not Fraz? (Score: 1)
    by Tzelios (b_steelio@hotmail.com) on Sat, May 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    In response to Rasgon: "besides the fact that he's not a demigod"

    Olidammara (spelling?) was a demigod back at the time of his imprisonement.


    ]


    Re: 9's and why not Fraz? (Score: 1)
    by rasgon (notnotallowedyet@hotmail.com) on Sun, January 03, 2009
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    This was probably true in Gary Gygax's original campaign, but as far as the published canon goes, I think it's unlikely that Olidammara soared from demigod to intermediate status in less than a century. Olidammara was known to the ancient Flan, sponsored both Rudd and Kurell, and shows every evidence of having been a significant deity for a very long time. Anyway, you wouldn't have had any way of knowing this back in 2004 when you wrote the above, but the "Core Beliefs: Olidammara" article in Dragon #342 (2006) explains that Olidammara actually discovered that Rudd and the other demigods were being held beneath Castle Greyhawk only later, and he's captured by Zagyg during a failed attempt to rescue her, so his imprisonment was separate (and, anyway, very temporary - probably Zagyg tricked him into coming close enough to the obelisk that he lost his divine powers).


    ]


    Re: 9's and why not Fraz? (Score: 1)
    by Tzelios (b_steelio@hotmail.com) on Sat, May 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Allan,

    The world per EGG is composed of 9 dimensions (see Gord novels).

    Also, I feel, but I cannot provide a solid proof yet (this would require an essay), that EGG follows a traditional real world (or should I say occult? Why not, after all, one of Zagig's areas is occult studies) connotation of the number 9: 9 is truth, reality, the whole.

    Cheers,

    tzelios


    ]


    Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Taras on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    The ever-popular LGG alters this thesis slightly. Merikka and Rudd were canonized as having been prisoners of Zagig Yragrene, and it is implied that Zuoken is still a prisoner, based on the date of his disappearance (505 CY), which coincides perfectly with the time of Iuz's imprisonment.

    This brings us to Iuz, Wastri, Rudd, and Merikka as official victims of Zagig's Imprisoning Madness, and Zuoken as a possible fifth.

    I wonder how long it'll take before the remaining four demigods are officially named somewhere...



    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    "Official" naming is, and always has been, irrelevant. The list Rob Kuntz provided is the one and only correct list of demi-gods imprisoned under Castle Greyhawk, because those WERE the demi-gods imprisoned under Castle Greyhawk. There's no way to even make an issue of it. Erik Mona's guesses, while an interesting exercise, were only an exercise.

    Fraz-Urb-Laa is not considered one of the nine demi-gods for two reasons: 1) it's not a demi-god, but a demon prince (albeit an extremely powerful one), and 2) it was imprisoned in a separate area of the dungeons.


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by iquander on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    >>>
    Erik Mona's guesses, while an interesting exercise, were only an exercise.
    >>>

    Depends. If we're talking about trying to find out exactly what Gary did in his personal campaign, I agree that Rob's list is correct (though apparently Gygax has cast some doubt on this, per some other posts I've read--saying that it was "just about" right, or somesuch).

    If we're talking about making sense of the overall body of Greyhawk work, much of which was not written by Gygax, however, we've got to start asking questions like this, and jumping through fun rhetorical hoops to solve them (if they really need to be solved).

    One thing that bugs me about applying the Gygax campaign list to the published Greyhawk is that it makes Zagyg MUCH, MUCH more powerful. How does a human spellcaster, albeit with the help of Kelanen and Boccob, capture freaking Obad-Hai?

    Gary's Greyhawk is not the published Greyhawk. If it was, we'd have Odin running around, portals to Mars, and the "logo" of the Circle of Eight would be an eightball. Gary was clowning around with his buddies, and even he changed certain details before publishing the setting. Why some people want to slavishly stick to what he did in his "rough draft" campaign puzzles me. Not even he bothered to do that.

    --Erik


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Tzelios on Sat, October 12, 2002
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Dear Mr. Eric Mona,

    I love and always appreciate your work for its scholarly depth. I consider you one of the most important second-generation Greyhawk designers.

    However, there is an approach that mostly helps to enrich a fantasy world like that of Greyhawk, and in parallel, to detangle and alleviate confusion. To quote the words of your colleague Gary Holian, this method “asserts the PRIMACY OF CANON and exhorts its practitioners to find the most consistent and ingenious method to satisfy ALL sources”. Guess what the name of the method is? The name of the method is your name (!): MONAtic.

    Given the work of Plato on the consistency of names, “Cratylus”, and modern psychology theories investigating the relation name-personality, I suggest that you should immediately go to a psychiatrist! Alternatively, using your highly coveted skills, you can prepare a second “final word on Iuz and co”, where you should attempt to clean up the mess that you did.

    A very, very good fan of yours,

    Stelios “Tzelios-Stelios” Skarlatos


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Tue, September 11, 2001
    By your own words, you state that the list Kuntz gave was incorrect. Many of those listed are not demi-gods, your very first reason for saying Fraz-Urb'Luu couldn't be one of the Nine.


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Thu, September 13, 2001
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    Erik did NOT say Kuntz's answer was incorrect. He said it was based on human memory, which is never 100% accurate. No one is suggesting Rob Kuntz's memory is particularly faulty, and certainly no one is accusing him of having fabricated a false list.

    Fact: The Rob Kuntz list answers the question "Who were the nine demi-gods captured under Castle Greyhawk?"
    Fact: The nine gods listed WERE all demi-gods before their imprisonment. Whether the ones later listed as lesser gods ascended after their imprisonment, because of their imprisonment, or were simply retconned into lesser gods by Gary Gygax because player interest in them seemed to be higher is up to individual interpretation.

    The problem here lies in the question being asked, not the answer given. "Who were the nine demi-gods captured under Castle Greyhawk?" is a historical question. The answer is the Rob Kuntz list. "Who should the nine demi-gods captured under Castle Greyhawk have been in published canon?" is a different question, and the one that Erik Mona's article answers.

    Lastly, I must say that, if this article had appeared in the Heretic's Nest area, or lacked the words "Final Word" in the title, it would never have got my dander up like this.


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by iquander on Thu, September 13, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Scott,

    Taras posted this from something I wrote in about 1996. Even then, the "who was under Castle Greyhawk" thread was a joke among Greytalkers, since everyone had their own theories (Kuntz hadn't yet appeared, for instance, so his list wasn't yet an issue).

    I titled the AOL thread "Last Word on Iuz and Company" as a joke, which I guess has become somewhat ironic five years later given the fact that I now have some control over what becomes "canon" or not.

    Though I did insert a mention of Merikka as one of the nine in the LGG, and though some of my work on Zuoken that suggested he was one was used in the LGG as well, I've really got no burning desire to fill out the list any further than it's already been filled, at least insofar as printed material is concerned.

    So, sorry to raise your dander, albeit five years after the fact. :)

    --Erik


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Herald on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.puddleton.com
    I believe that in the next coming months there will be a new diety named as the mother of Hexator and Heironious as well as the recently killled god of war named in the new chainmail game. Did you have something to do with that naming Erik?


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by iquander on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    >>>
    I believe that in the next coming months there will be a new diety named as the mother of Hextor and Heironious as well as the recently killled god of war named in the new chainmail game. Did you have something to do with that naming Erik?
    >>>

    Yes, though it's not really fair to call her "new," since she's been around at least as long as the published Tamoachan adventure.

    --Erik


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Taras on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    From what I've heard of Chainmail, that will be Stern Alia, although since I don't own any of that stuff, or the Dragon issues where it was previewed, I can't veryify the info.

    Would anyone else care to verify this and maybe post the relevant quotes?


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by iquander on Thu, September 13, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Yes, it's Stern Alia. I don't have any quotes for you, sadly.

    --Erik


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Herald on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.puddleton.com
    BTW, who does IUZ have trapped to give him his God like powers?


    ]


    Iuz's Prisoners (Score: 1)
    by Taras on Mon, September 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I don't have Iuz the Evil handy at the moment, so I can't give any quotes, but I believe that it was either paladins or solars or somesuch that he was holding in the Soul Husk Caverns that gave him his power. I don't recall any names specified, but, after the Wars, their number may have been added to, since I'm sure a few POW's were taken.


    ]


    Re: Living Greyhawk Gazetteer Update (Score: 1)
    by Irb on Mon, December 10, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Maybe it's St. Cuthbert. That bastard's been awfully quiet lately ;)


    ]


    Re: The Final Word on Iuz and Company (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes on Thu, March 21, 2002
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.ManoftheCranes.com
    Am I missing something? Where is Cuthbert?

    Cheers
    Man of the Cranes



    Re: The Final Word on Iuz and Company (Score: 1)
    by Iggwilv on Sun, July 27, 2003
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    In response to the above comments... a demon lord is a potent force, but for the most part not a demi-power. Also, I don't believe Cuthbert was imprisoned, hence his absence on the chart. Plus EGG has a tendency to prefer imprisonment of EVIL (though I like the 9s theory proposed above), so any good deity would likely be relatively obscure. I think it has something to do with his love of "pulsing purple rune covered altars which induce madness" and that sort of thing.



    Re: The Final Word on Iuz and Company (Score: 1)
    by SirXaris on Thu, April 21, 2011
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://https://www.facebook.com/SirXaris?ref=hl
    I think most of the concerns can be satisfactorily answered by simply assuming that those who originally discovered that several divine powers had been imprisoned by Zagyg used the term 'demi-god' interchangeably with 'avatar'.

    Thus, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that even greater gods could have been imprisoned - that is, one of their many avatars, being of demi-god power, were what Zagyg managed to imprison within the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk.

    SirXaris



    Re: The Final Word on Iuz and Company (Score: 1)
    by CombatMedic on Tue, February 10, 2015
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Color me convinced.Avatars it is (IMC).Iuz doesn't have an avatar (at least not if one goes by GH Adventures), so I'd say in his case he was fully trapped. But he'd be an exception, not the rule, in that regard.



    ]


    Re: The Final Word on Iuz and Company (Score: 1)
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