Hi, i was reading about Irongate in the Living Greyhawk and a drawing showed "The Archmage Elayne Mystyca and Cobb Darg". I know of the second, though i would like to know WHAT he is, as the book doesnt even defines if he is human or not. And most importantly, who is this Elayne Mystica besides an archmage? Is she a Living Greyhawk character? Did she appeared in a former, canon product?
I seem to recall "Elayne Mystyca" showing up first in some ancient Dragon issue (from, umm, way back in the days of 1st Edition). Something about her being an albino Suel, I think. But, my memory might be a bit fuzzy on the issue.
She may have also shown up in a later article, from the Moore-era, since I seem to recall a few articles on the Suel and the Llera (which, I believe, was the tribe she belonged to). Perhaps someone else will be able to provide more information (like specific issue numbers and such).
As for Cobb Darg...I recall a discussion on him WAY back when the LGG was being written. It was the general consensus to leave his species indeterminate, because it was one of those interesting little mysteries that various DM's had used and abused in all sorts of ways (I distinctly recall one person mentioning they had Cobb Darg being a half-dragon...).
Yes, Irongate is the English name of, uhh, Puertaferro. Cobb Darg is it's Lord Mayor, and, thus, quite unlike to be a derro. I would like to know where it's stated that he's a gold dragon, though.
As for the other part, ah, no. I've never heard of any such mercenary band. And the Suel archmagess I was thinking of wasn't part of any mercenary band, to my knowledge. You might be thinking of a Lerara mage from some more recent articles. The one I'm thinking of is from...umm...I want to say somewhere in the 90's or early 100's or such of Dragon. Same issue as a quasi-deity of Wave Motion with the ugly name Tsolorandril. Old, old stuff.
Ah, just looked it up. Dragon 139. Elayne Mystica is, in fact, a Lerara mage that was first introduced in that issue. Guess I misspelled the tribe name earlier. Sorry about the confusion.
Erik Mona and I are to blame for any mystery surrounding Cobb Darg's "heritage". His true nature has never been revealed, so officially, you can feel free to go in any direction you wish.
Just keep these few things in mind:
For a man, he's unusually short (under 5 feet), but is legendarily wily and wise. No one knows his "class", he has never cast spells in public or revealed a religious affiliation.
He's also lived a great deal of time, having been elected to the mayoralty of Irongate at least 4 successive 10 year terms (and has just started a fifth in 590 CY).
He has been a member of the inner sanctum of the Iron League for as long as any man in that secret society can remember....only the elves of Sunndi or the Dwarflords of the Iron Hills can remember a time before him....
Here are the prevalent theories, whispered by various circles in the city and its environs:
1) Darg is a human with dwarven heritage (extremely unusual) and that helps explain his appearance and long-livedness. This would also explain his great affinity with the dwarven enclaves bordering Irongate who regard him as a strong ally. His wisdom comes from having lived before the Turmoil Between Crowns, having secretly been a member of the Iron League since its inception, indeed perhaps its founder!
2) Darg is a dragon, one of the last inhabitants of the Dragonshead Peninsula, who lives polymorhped as a man. He cherishes this region so much, that he is willing to engage in this charade to protect its mysteries. Only in secret is his true form ever revealed (which is known only to a handful of people, including perhaps Elayne Mystica, a close confidant.) This would explain why he inhabitants the Lord Mayor's Tower virtually alone, suffering few visitors, even among the lords of the city.
3) Darg is in fact a human, and is either secretly a wizard, scholar, or sage who has learned some great secret. This has afforded him unnaturally long life and the foresight to protect Irongate and defeat its enemies in ways others could not. This would explain his secret forays into the old caverns in the hills near Irongate and his prohibition against exploring the ruins beneath Dwurtown.
One of these might be the truth, none of them, or some combination. Use whatever works best in your campaign.
Thank you. Oh, thank you! I have been wondering the EXACT same thing ever since LGG first came out. I never got around to really vocalize it though. I too heard the rumor that Cobb Darg was a polymorphed gold dragon. I seem to recall another article in Dragon that had a simple map of Irongate. It was nestled between two cliffs dotted with mine tunnels and dwarf communities if I am remembering correctly.
The city of "Bronzegate" was shown on the opposite side of the isthmus. _________________ Rhineglade the Dreamcaster
Member of the Indigo Order
Emissary of Hyerune
I've seen three different "dragon" theories on the internet:
1) Gold dragon (mentioned above);
2) Red Dragon (he crossed from the Crystalmists during the ROCF/ ID);
3) Greyhawk Dragon.
Years ago, I thought he might be some sort of polymorphed magical creature as well. But it occurred to me that if I thought of it, and whole bunch of other people thought of it, then that's probably not the answer for two reasons:
1) The "in game" reason: If everyone else has thought of it, then it would probably have been the first lead every intelligence service in the Flaneass would have followed (particulalry old Aerdi's, Ahlissa's, and the Scarlet Brotherhood, not to mention his curious allies in the Iron & Golden Leagues), and almost certainly discovered, after which it would have become knowledge after a few years (certainly by CY 591);
2) The "meta-game" reason: If everyone else has thought of it, so will the players.
My theory is that Cobb Darg is related to the komazar, who are human-dwarf hybrids magically created by the Scarlet Brotherhood for use as slaves (described in The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory by Sean K. Reynolds). Cobb is probably not a pureblooded komazar, since they're mute and have short, waddling legs, but he might be an earlier prototype or a hybrid of komazar and one or more of his ancestral races.
I think it's probably not possible for humans and dwarves to breed naturally, or hybrids between the two would be more common and the Scarlet Brotherhood wouldn't have to resort to magic to make theirs. Or the resulting hybrids might be sterile, as in the Dark Sun campaign.
He's a doppleganger.
He's an ogre mage.
He's a dwarf.
He's a unique being that Wastri has been trying to kill for as long as that demigod has existed. He's Wastri's antithesis: where Wastri is a hybrid of human and toad who hates demihumans, Cobb Darg is a hybrid of human and demihuman who hates toads, bred to be the one being who could slay the demigod.
I like the komazar idea. It also fits opposite the Iron League's greatest enemy too- the Scarlet Brotherhood. And besides, at least once, something "mysterious" should just be an exaggerated story. Not every oddball character needs to be a dragon or other planar being. Never hurts to make your enemies think otherwise though. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I've always thought that one of the things that has made this such an interesting question for people was Gary Gygax's frequent uses of anagrams for names. Cobb Darg is just unusual enough to tease the mind into trying to rearrange letters to come up with some "Eureka! there's the hidden message" Just missing the N and having an extra C, B, and B to spell out "Dragon."
I don't think it is an anagram but given Gygax you probably would consider the possibility, even if just subliminally.
My theory is that Cobb Darg is related to the komazar, who are human-dwarf hybrids magically created by the Scarlet Brotherhood for use as slaves (described in The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory by Sean K. Reynolds). Cobb is probably not a pureblooded komazar, since they're mute and have short, waddling legs, but he might be an earlier prototype or a hybrid of komazar and one or more of his ancestral races...
-I don't have "Scarlet Brotherhood" on me, but IIRC, the komazar weren't a "finished product" until the 580s. Perhaps Cobb was an unsuccessful "prototype" who escaped (probably those darn long legs)?
It would help to explain why he had the Scarlet Brotherhood's number in 584; but if he did, why didn't he warn the rulers of Onwall, Idee, and Sunndi?
Come to think of it, prototype komazar or not, why didn't Darg tell anyone else what the SB was up to?
...I think it's probably not possible for humans and dwarves to breed naturally, or hybrids between the two would be more common and the Scarlet Brotherhood wouldn't have to resort to magic to make theirs. Or the resulting hybrids might be sterile...
-I think it's just as likely that humans or dwarves do breed naturally; the magic was only neccessary to make sure that the stubby legs would breed true. The reason you don't see more human-dwarf cross-breeds is that most humans aren't interested in getting it on with a dwarf (and vice versa). Cobb Darg could be the result of a rare exception.
The only question I'd have is: How does the gene for the 2:1 ratio for males:females among dwarves (and gnomes) operate when mixed with humans.
BTW, how would that work among dwarves. (Now THAT'S a geek question!)
...He's a unique being that Wastri has been trying to kill for as long as that demigod has existed...
-That would be true, if Wastri found out. But how would Wastri have found out? Half the intelligence agencies in the Flaneass (at least) would be at least curious to know what Cobb Darg is; what's Wasti's edge?
I like the komazar idea. It also fits opposite the Iron League's greatest enemy too- the Scarlet Brotherhood. And besides, at least once, something "mysterious" should just be an exaggerated story. Not every oddball character needs to be a dragon or other planar being...
-My original, completly non-cliched idea is: Cobb Darg is a reasonably regular short human who's really persuasive, who's generally knowledgeable, really good at reading people and things, and is hard to figure out*.
This would explain why no intelligence service has ever been able to figure out Darg's "secret"; he really doesn't have one. Darg's advantage isn't that he has magical or psionic powers, or that he's an ump-teenth level whatchama'callit, or a brilliant general; rather, Darg simply knows which of the people who do have those abilities can be trusted to do the job (e.g. Elayne Mystica).
In D&D 3.5 terms, he'd have decent INT, WIS, and CHA scores, he'd max out in "Diplomacy", "Sense Motive", "Bluff", & "Spot", he'd have at least +1 in a slew of "Knowledge" skills, plus Skill Focus and Negotiator. That, plus, as Lord Mayor, he'd have something like Necklace of Protection vs. ESP, Potions of Longevity, etc.
Theoretically, he could have all of the above, and still be a 2nd level Expert. Now, after 40+ years of dodging trouble as the Lord Mayor, I'd assume he'd be higher than that, particularly after the War of the Golden League (579-580) and the Greyahwk Wars (582-584).
...Never hurts to make your enemies think otherwise though.
Before getting too crazy with anagramic possibilities, consider also Gary's penchant for naming characters using obscure words (e.g., Gleep Wurp the Eyebiter):
Nice catch, David! :D
Other possibilities: Darg has an artifact that prevents him from dying; he's sold his soul to some outer planar power for immortality; he's drunk an infusion of Oerthblood and will live for as long as The Headlands remain above the waves of the Azure Sea. _________________ Allan Grohe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
...It would help to explain why he had the Scarlet Brotherhood's number in 584; but if he did, why didn't he warn the rulers of Onwall, Idee, and Sunndi?
Come to think of it, prototype komazar or not, why didn't Darg tell anyone else what the SB was up to?
-When did Elaine Mystica join Darg's staff?
It occurs to me, that if Mystica served on Darg's staff before 584, that the Scarlet Brotherhood would have considered her (as a pure-blooded Suel Lerara) to be an obvious candidate for subversion. What if she eagerly "accepted" the offer, then immediately turned around and informed Darg what they were up to, and continued serving him, but now, as a double-agent, able to feed the SB false intelligence, and with additional insight into the SB's plans?
It might even explain why Cobb Darg was able to save Irongate from the SB, but didn't have the time to warn Onwall & Idee- Elaine wasn't given the final "heads-up" until an hour or so before the attack; there was barely time for Irongate to react, let alone warn their allies.
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