Robilar

Greyhawk Character
Lord Robilar
Robilar01.jpg
Lord Robilar, as depicted in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (2007).
Homeland Bright Lands
Gender Male
Race Human
Age
Class Fighter
Alignment Lawful Evil

Robilar (also known as Lord Robilar or Sir Robilar) is a powerful warrior who serves as commander of Rary's forces in the Empire of the Bright Lands.

Contents

Description

Robilar is described in Rary the Traitor as a grim-faced, saturnine man with a short goatee, black hair, and deep-set eyes. He wields the Blade of Black Ice, which is said to have been forged by Iuz himself, but which was gifted to Robilar by Mordenkainen.

Despite his evil alignment, Robilar is friendly, loyal, and charming, if somewhat gruff. He has a soft spot for adventurers, seeing in them the same sort of devil-may-care heroes he himself once was. This was true even during his "Bilarro" days (see below).

Relationships

Terik is Robilar's brother and adventuring companion. Quij and Otto were at one time his henchmen. Robilar has adventured with Tenser, Mordenkainen, and other members of the Citadel of Eight, as well as, occasionally, Rary. Later, he allied himself with Rary for a time, believing his other former friends had grown soft and weak.

Lord Robilar rides his mechanical steed across the Bright Desert, as depicted in Rary the Traitor (1992).

Robilar once ruled a castle west of the Free City of Greyhawk in which a large army under his control was garrisoned. When his castle was sacked by an army of Good led by Tenser, Otis, Rufus, and Burne, many of his high-level cohorts were slain. His surviving forces fled to the Pomarj, and include:

  • Heavy Cavalry: 50 (Regulars)
  • Medium Cavalry: 100 (Regulars)
  • Light Cavalry: 50 (Regulars)
  • Light Horse Crossbowmen: 50 (Regulars)
  • Heavy Infantry: 100 (Elite Orcish)
  • Light Infantry: 100 (Levied)
  • Heavy Archers: 50 (Elite Orcish)
  • Light Crossbowmen: 50 (Regulars)
  • Pole Armed Infantry: 100 (Regular Orcish)

The demigod Iuz counts Robilar as an enemy for trying to slay him. Iuz's sometime lover, Zuggtmoy, was also freed by Robilar in a separate incident.

Home

Robilar's former home in the Domain of Greyhawk is now a gutted ruin, though the dungeons beneath, carefully warded and boobytrapped by Robilar, are still intact. The castle is a square set around a central courtyard; the outside walls are intact, though some of the inner walls have collapsed. It is rumored that in the dungeons is hidden a great hoard of treasure, or some artifact wrested from beneath Castle Greyhawk. Out-of-date maps of Greyhawk Castle also likely exist beneath Robilar's home.

Nearby is the hamlet of Furzehill.

History

Lord Robilar with the Blade of Black Ice, depicted on his mechanical steed in Epic Level Handbook (2002).

Robilar's origins are unknown. Some claim he was born on the Wild Coast, though a few say he is a scion of one of the Celestial Houses of Aerdy, perhaps Cranden, Rax, or Naelax. A few even whisper that Robilar may be Mordenkainen's illegitimate son.

Robilar first came to prominence in the early 560s, when he joined Mordenkainen's Citadel of Eight. Later, he gained more fame in the Free City of Greyhawk in 565 CY, when he and Yrag captured Sir Bluto Sans Pite, the perpetrator of the River of Blood mass murders. For their efforts, both men were ennobled by the city directors.

In 570 CY, Robilar, with Riggby and his orc henchman Quij, released Iuz from his captivity in the Godtrap using magic supplied by Mordenkainen. Bigby, Tenser, and Neb Retnar attempted to stop the plan, but arrived too late. The six adventurers battled Iuz together and nearly succeeded in destroying the cambion with one of Bigby's Crushing Hand spells, but Iuz managed to teleport away at the last minute. The release of and failure to destroy Iuz would have grave consequences on the future of the Flanaess.

Nine years later, Robilar and Quij ventured to the Temple of Elemental Evil atop a carpet of flying. Leaving Quij outside to guard his carpet and griffons, he bullied his way into the depths, slaying vast ranks of monsters and freeing the demoness Zuggtmoy.

This incident resulted in Robilar's being forcibly evicted from the Domain of Greyhawk by Tenser's army and being named persona-non-grata throughout the region. It may have been around this time that Robilar took a journey to the eastern land of Lynn to study with the Dragonmasters, where he gained their respect through his own skills in handling dragons.

Shortly before the outbreak of the Greyhawk Wars, Robilar returned to the dungeons underneath Greyhawk Castle, where he encountered a potent artifact called the Orb of Opposition, which swapped him with a somewhat ideologically different double from an alternate Oerth called Uerth, named Bilarro.

In 584 CY, at the end of the Greyhawk Wars, Robilar/Bilarro, with Rary, betrayed the Circle of Eight. Whilst Rary (himself a Circle member), killed Tenser and Otiluke, Robilar helped destroy their clones in order to prevent the wizards from returning to life. Rary and Robilar were unmasked and have now fled to the Bright Desert where they established the Empire of the Bright Lands. Tenser in the meantime has returned to life, while Otiluke is still dead.

In 597, Robilar was returned from Uerth through the aid of adventurers who had foiled the plans of Iuz underneath Castle Greyhawk.

He also developed an aggressive fighting style known as "Robilar's gambit" at some point in his life.

Heraldry

Robilar's arms, as depicted in World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983).

Robilar bears as his coat of arms the following blazon: Or, a dragon rampant vert. He has also been known to go to battle with a banner emblazoned with a black unicorn.

Creative origins

The name Robilar appeared first in Gary Gygax's novel The Gnome Cache, as a baron character. Because Robert J. Kuntz contributed some ideas to that story, Gygax suggested it be used as his main PC in their Greyhawk campaign. The character Robilar accomplished many impressive feats in Gygax's home campaign, including being the first to successfully complete the adventure Tomb of Horrors.

Kuntz was unhappy with Robilar's storyline involving the betrayal of the Circle of Eight, believing that Robilar would never turn on Mordenkainen, his old adventuring companion. Prior to the publication of Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (2007), Kuntz speculated that this was not actually Robilar, but a rogue clone.

Bibliography

  • Collins, Andy and Bruce R. Cordell. Epic Level Handbook. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
  • Cook, David. "History of the Greyhawk Wars." Wars. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1991. Available online:[1]
  • Gygax, Gary. "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: Greyhawk: the Shape of the World." Dragon #37 (1980). Page 11.

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