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    Canonfire :: View topic - Iuz: Why is a demigod allowed on Oerth?
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    Iuz: Why is a demigod allowed on Oerth?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun May 16, 2004 5:02 pm  
    Iuz: Why is a demigod allowed on Oerth?

    I was just wondering if anybody could help me because I'm struggling to explain this one to my players.

    Why is Iuz, as a demigod, allowed on Oerth? Isn't there some sort of "divine pact" that forbids gods from traipsing around Oerth? Would other gods take offence that he's on Oerth and combat him? And if there was a divine combat on Oerth then this would surely rip the planet apart.

    I know gods can walk the Oerth as "avatars" but this is different. When they are avatars they're only taking a mortal shell that has only a fraction of their power infused within. Now, one might say Iuz is actually only an avatar on Oerth, but all my references seem to say that Oerth is his actual "home plane".

    Secondly, why is Iuz a demigod when his ancient father, Graz'zt is only a non-divine demonlord? I'm also struggling to explain this one to my players.

    If someone could help it would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
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    Sun May 16, 2004 6:01 pm  

    Baggins,

    My understanding is the following...

    1) Iuz is a cambion (born of a human mother and a demon lord), and as such was born a mortal on Oerth. Over the course of several decades, he built a powerful following among humanoids and evil humans, a following that was important enough to enable him to achieve demi-godhood. Being born on Oerth and having built his domain there, Oerth remains his home plane, and that is acknowledged in the pact of non-interference (in other words, the other gods can't order him to "relocate"). He is of Oerth, and of Oerth he shall remain (whereas the majority of the other gods arguably existed prior to the creation of the Oerth, which explains why their home planes are other than the prime material plane).

    2) The answer to your second question was included in the above reply. He attracted a sufficiently strong mortal following on Oerth to make him a demigod.

    That is my understanding... perhaps some of the veterans would like to correct me?

    I hope this was helpful...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun May 16, 2004 7:04 pm  

    I'm not sure why they are allowed to do this, but not only Iuz, being a demi-god residing on Oerth, there is also an intermediate god that walks Oerth. Fharlangahn (sp?) who's home plane is the Prime Material, walks all of Oerth. Also Wastri, I believe is somewhere in the Vast Swamp, though Wastri is also a demi-god I think.

    I'd also be interested in hearing theories as to why these particular gods/demi-gods are free to walk the Flanaess. Very interesting question Baggins.
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    Sun May 16, 2004 7:24 pm  

    TwiceBorn wrote:
    Baggins,

    My understanding is the following...

    I hope this was helpful...


    Thanks, TwiceBorn. This was helpful but it also creates more questions for me. For example, St. Cuthbert is an Intermediate God (or Lesser, I'm not sure; I haven't got my gazetteer in front of me) and he was once a mortal, too. Therefore, Cuthbert should be able to roam the Oerth as a god also. If he were allowed to do this, then you know where he'd go -- to Iuz's front doorstep to kick his butt! Wink

    I believe Iuz and Cuthbert are bitter enemies. What's stopping them battling it out?

    Also, Iuz has a distinct advantage over other gods because he is "physically" present on Oerth to awe and terrify his mortal followers. Other priests have to rely on fairly vague and ambiguous contact with their deities.

    Actually, I don't understand why Cuthbert would not set up base on Oerth like Iuz. Just imagine the mortal empire Cuthbert could set up in the Flannaess. A mortal realm ruled by a god. It would be an unstoppable bastion of Goodness and Law. The only individual to get in his way would be Iuz but because the cambion is only a demigod -- and Cuthbert a intermediate god -- Iuz would soon be mince meat! Happy

    It's all very fancinating, isn't it?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun May 16, 2004 9:28 pm  

    I would agree that Iuz is allowed to *remain* on Oerth whereas other gods are forbidden from *coming to* Oerth. The point being since Iuz chose the Oerth as him home plane when he ascended, he is allowed to remain here.

    I know that Cuthbert used to be a mortal, but it is no clear to me that he was a mortal *on Oerth*. He may have been from some other world. Thus although he would dearly love to face Iuz directly, the general agreement between gods limits how he is allowed to do this. He was allowed to participate in Iuz's imprisonment. He is allowed, under particular circumstances, to face him directly (as in the original ToEE).

    A better comparison would be Zagyg. He was born a mortal on Oerth and ascended there. As a god, he has been given liberty in influencing events on Oerth, including even traveling in the past and messing about with its timelines!

    As to why Iuz is a demi-god and Grazz't is not, well, Graz'zt may not be titled a demi-god but certainly has all the relevant trappings. He rules several layers of the Abyss, is personally more powerful than other CE powers (ie Lolth), is for all appearences immortal (ageless and cannot be truly slain except on his home plane) and can grant spells (one of the versions of Eclavdra is a priestess of his). You might say that he has concentrated on secular power, dominating the Abyss, and so Demon Prince is a more relevant title. Grazz't cares little about whether humans worship him or not, so he has not sought the title of demi-god, but there is little difference in practive between a demon prince and a demi-god.

    Although in my opinion the "Elder Elemental God" was a front for Graz'zt when he dabbled in human and drow worship.
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    Mon May 17, 2004 6:31 am  

    All demi-gods are exempt from the non-intervention act in one way or another and no demi-gods are capable of avatars.
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    Mon May 17, 2004 2:00 pm  

    I think it also has something to do with their "Home Plane." I do not have my rule books in front of me but I believe that Iuz is listed as Prime Material or Oerth or something like that which allows him to remain on Greyhawk. I think the same applies to Fharlaghan.

    Can anyone confirm?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon May 17, 2004 3:21 pm  

    Rhineglade wrote:
    I think it also has something to do with their "Home Plane." I do not have my rule books in front of me but I believe that Iuz is listed as Prime Material or Oerth or something like that which allows him to remain on Greyhawk. I think the same applies to Fharlaghan.

    Can anyone confirm?


    Yes, I had to go looking! Here's a quote from the Greyhawk Player's Guide on the list of dieties table:

    "**: Lives on Prime Material Plane, in the Flanaess (Iuz: Empire of Iuz; Wastri: Vast Swamp). Fharlanghn roams all of Oerth."
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    Mon May 17, 2004 5:01 pm  

    Abysslin wrote:
    All demi-gods are exempt from the non-intervention act in one way or another and no demi-gods are capable of avatars.


    Thanks, this helps me out but now my players are gonna want to know why demi-gods aren't ruling the Oerth?

    Just think of the shear advantage they would have over mortal rulers. We're talking Gods in the living flesh here! Think of the fanaticism they can stir up in their followers!

    Iuz should have no problem sweeping through the south with his zealous legions. Crushing all puny mortal kings in his wake!

    Indeed, even if the forces of good do mount an offensive against Iuz, what mortal king can hope to combat a demi-god? If you read the 3E Deities & Demigods book, a demigod, although the lowliest of the gods, has awesome powers at his disposal. King Belvor or King Archbold would not have a hope in defeating him. The only way Iuz could be successfully combatted is if another demigod went up against him (or maybe four 40th level PCs).

    So why isn't there any demigods of Good seated on the throne of Furyondy or Nyrond. And why aren't they at the forefront of battle itching to engage the Spurned Iuz in battle?
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    Mon May 17, 2004 5:29 pm  

    Quote:
    Thanks, this helps me out but now my players are gonna want to know why demi-gods aren't ruling the Oerth?


    Iuz is trying his hardest.

    Wastri is busy trying to create a new Inlict Warts (TM) spell, while mustering up forces of lizard folk and gripplis in the Vast Swamp.

    There is a baklunish demigod of good wandering the plains of the paynims, but he chooses not to interact with civilization. I can't recall all of his details, but he fell from grace or something to that effect.

    Zagyg could care less what happens on the Flaness.

    Cuthbert intervense when neccessary.

    Zuggtmoy... well you know the story...

    Lloth (or Lolth) same as above...

    That's all I can recall off the top of my head, but in any instance, this is Greyhawk.. make it up. (and submit it to Canonfire)
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    Mon May 17, 2004 6:18 pm  

    Okay, how about this as an explaination. Iuz knows the gods have this hands off approach. One god gets involved with manipulating things on Oerth, the other gods aren't going to stand by and let it happen, so they get involved. Then you have this huge cataclysmic god war happening on the Flanaess. Not that Iuz probably cares, he just doesn't want to be beaten. Because if he takes direct action then the other gods are free to take direct action. And St. Cuthbert's direct action would probably be to borf down and split his skull for him with that big cudgle of his.

    Anyway, the point is, and I'm trying desperately to get to it, is that he's on the Prime Material plane, on Oerth, and is indeed trying to take over the place, but he's doing it somewhat indirectly, by not actually doing it himself. He's doing it through raising armies to fight in his name and building a following of priests to do the same. Iuz himself is not actually using his demi-god abilities to lay waste to the Flanaess. See St. Cuthbert actions above. Laughing
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon May 17, 2004 9:33 pm  

    Why isn't the Oerth ruled by demi-gods?

    In my campaign, the primary focus of the Circle of Eight
    is to limit the influence of outer planar powers on the
    Oerth. This is the reason for its officially neutral stance,
    regardless of the alignments of the members.

    It's not four 40th level characters, but 8 mages of 20th
    level plus. They mostly work behind the scenes, but are
    very effective at countering the attempts of godly powers,
    good and evil, to build power bases on the Oerth.

    In my campaign, Mordenkainen participated in the capture of
    Prince Thrommel when he thought a united Furyondy-Veluna would
    be too much an invitation for good powers to dominate the central Flanaess.

    Kirt
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    Wed May 19, 2004 2:12 am  

    Several important things to consider about demi gods and their supposed ability to rule Oerth:


    1) There are a bunch of demi gods. Mayaheine isn't gonna stand around doing nothing if Iuz starts *personally* smacking down armies. And gods generally aren't stupid enough to risk annihilation (ie fighting other gods in their real form).

    2) Having a lot of personal power is very different from being able to rule the world. Ruling the world requires big organizations of competent folks to actually manage it. Mere demigods are not omniscient, omnipresent, or anything else along those lines. And most big governments, even if led by powerful individuals, are notoriously corrupt and incompetent.

    3) Most of them don't give a rat's behind about ruling Oerth. How would ruling Oerth help Rudd exemplify a life of daring and skill? Gods pursue courses of action that further their own interests. Those interests are quite often not all that explicable to petty mortals. Iuz is about the only one with 'being a petty tyrant' as high on his list of divine priorities. And as a CE dictator, he has a lot of problems with the issues in point #2.

    4) The full fledged gods can't *manifest* directly on Oerth without a lot of hassle. But those interested in material planar affairs are more than capable of getting around that. Rao can't show up on Oerth. But his highest priest just happpened to get a major Raoan artifact and use it to completely mangle Iuz's and Ivid's master plans. Meanwhile, he's at home with an air tight alibi. "What? Smiting demons on Oerth? Me? No, really, I was at home the whole time. Just ask!"


    On the ascension issue, most demi gods got help from a more significant divine entity. Even Iuz may have, considering its quite an interesting coincidence that his apotheosis coincided with Zagyg's.

    Demon Princes, Archdevils, etc were originally considered (back in the 1e days when Greyhawk was the official gameworld) to be lesser gods 'in effect' if not in fact. It was only a couple decades later that Wizards backed off that stance in favor of the FR's more trivialized infernal lords.
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    Wed May 19, 2004 4:42 pm  

    IIRC, Iuz gained his demi-god status at least in part from his use of the Soul Husks (in the Howling Hills, I think). Whether Iggwilv and/or Grazzt played a role is anyone's guess. Zagyg channeled the power of the nine gods he imprisoned to make his ascension.

    A few thoughts on the issue: Any god (I do not include demons/devils, which i agree are de facto gods, but not de jure gods) can visit Oerth any time he or she chooses (they are gods, after all). But many gods just aren't interested in visiting Oerth (Boccob because he doesn't care; Celestian because he prefers the astral; etc.), and are content to influence events through their servants. With regard to the good Powers, I think you also have to consider that these gods reflect the ideals of freedom, independence, morality, etc. - ideals that would fail if the gods attempted to rule over mortals. The idea is for mortals to choose and live up to these ideals on their own - that is how they pay homage to their deities.

    The non-intervention pact is just that - a pact that the gods will not intervene directly in the events of Oerth; not an agreement that no god can visit Oerth. The pact also reflects the simple truth that if one god intervenes directly on Oerth, another god will intervene to counter that move, and another, and another, until armeggedon (are even worse from the gods' perspectives because they would be directly at risk). The Iuz - Cuthbert conflict during the ToEE period provides an object lesson for the other Powers.
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    Wed May 19, 2004 4:54 pm  

    Lefto wrote:
    IIRC, Iuz gained his demi-god status at least in part from his use of the Soul Husks (in the Howling Hills, I think).


    Soul Husks! What on Oerth are they? Which book can I find 'em in?

    Thanks.

    Also, another interesting note is that Lolth in 3E Deities & Demigods is a god while Graz'zt in Book of Vile Darkness is a demonlord. However, from all descriptions, it appears that Graz'zt rules more layers of the Abyss than Lolth. Graz'zt has 3 layers while Lolth has only one.

    I guess Lolth is more concerned with the Prime Material (and alternate Prime Materials) than the Abyss. I don't know?
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    Wed May 19, 2004 8:51 pm  
    Soul Husks

    The Soul Husks are some mysterious remains found in the Howling Hills that have some direct connection to Iuz's divinity.

    The source material that details (sketchily) these artifacts is the great accessory Iuz the Evil, it is a gazetteer of both Iuz's lands and the whole of the north, to include Tehn, the Shield Lands, the Northern Wastes, etc. If you can find this either at a sale, on ebay, or as a download get it. It is one of Carl Sargent's best works.

    Having said all that, these items are not really described at all, but are pretty much left to the DM to decide what exactly they do.

    O-D
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    Fri May 21, 2004 9:45 pm  

    Lolth in the 3e Deities book is the FR Lolth. The 3e Dieties and Demigods book presents the "D&D Pantheon", which is NOT a greyhawk pantheon despite considerable overlap in names. Many of the gods are modified from their Greyhawk version. St. Cuthbert is a major example.

    In the 1e days, Lolth was a demonlord the same as Graz'zt and others. All of them had "lesser god" status, though only a few (like Lolth and Yeenoghu) got deity write ups in the first DDG. Later on, the drow fetishists expanded that whole drow religion into Lolth being an exiled Elf Diety rather than a demoness and there being a bunch of other drow gods. Some of this material was then reverse imported back into supposedly Greyhawk materials, like the Living Greyhawk's list of dieties.
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    Sat May 22, 2004 6:57 am  

    The spellings are different as well. Lloth is FR, Lolth is Greyhawk (Original).
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    Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:15 pm  
    Not sure if this fits....

    This is strictly my interpreteation:

    Iuz is "allowed" to meddle (indirectly, as noted earlier) by the other gods, because he hasn't been entirely successful. If he were to take over, say 50% of the Flanaess, then there might be a Celestial Smackdown.

    My analogy for this is Tolkien's Silmarillion, in which Morgoth (the Great Enemy, of whom Sauron was but a lieutenant) dominated Middle Earth, and the Elves and Men had to send Earendil the mariner with one of the Silmarils to ask the Gods for forgiveness and retribution. (I read it years ago, please don't flame me for spelling or plot errors.)

    In other words, if it got so bad that Iuz dominated most of the world, then you might see Iuz playing Tito Ortiz to St. Cuthbert's Randy Couture.

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    Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:09 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Lolth in the 3e Deities book is the FR Lolth....
    In the 1e days, Lolth was a demonlord the same as Graz'zt and others ... with "lesser god" status -- only a few (like Lolth and Yeenoghu) got deity write ups in the first DDG.

    Later on, the **drow fetishists** expanded that whole drow religion into Lolth being an exiled Elf Diety rather than a demoness and there being a bunch of other drow gods. Some of this material was then **reverse imported** back into supposedly Greyhawk materials, like the Living Greyhawk's list of dieties.


    Exclamation Very good point Vormaerin! This has happend over and over with a number of 1E and 2E materials -- which causes a great deal of confusion for those of us that have been gaming for a while now. A lot of 1E/2E material fell victim to being "reverse imported" back into Greyhawk and doesn't really work here because other canon worlds (mostly FR) really altered the way in which a lot of "monsters" functioned. And with 3E that "import" is now causing even greater confusion for those who don't have the background.

    Therefore in Greyhawk this "modified material" doesn't always make a lot of sense and requires a creative DM to sort things out for his campaign.
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    Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:02 am  

    I mentioned this elsewhere a couple of times but I had talked to Gary Gygax about Iuz quite a while ago and he explained that for every alternate prime material there is an alternate Iuz.

    Shocking! Shocked

    That should tell you something about demigods.

    Here's the explanation for the "demigod" Iuz running amok unchecked:

    Iuz creates a swath due to the power of the Artifact of Evil fragment. Artifact of Evil largely ignored later on in Greyhawk publications.
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    Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:19 am  
    This Artifact of Evil....

    It's not a Ring of um, Power...?

    Shocked

    Telas, never making another Halfling character again if it is....
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