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    Canonfire :: View topic - Obsidian Citadel
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    Obsidian Citadel
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:15 am  
    Obsidian Citadel

    Hey guys. I'm looking for as much information as I can find on the Obsidian Citadel and what forces Mordenkainen has at his disposal there. I am well acquainted with the information in the old boxed set and Gord's Greyhawk but where else might I find some reasonably accurate information?

    The City of Greyhawk states the following on p.21:

    Quote:
    Mordenkainen has many servants in, and around, his Obidian Citadel. He can summon and ride a very old silver dragon of largest size, and is known to be on very good terms with a strong clan of stone giants who assisted in the building of the citadel. The citadel's defenders are marshalled and organised by two 12th level fighters of LN alignment, the lords Eraj and Felnorith, both of whom ride trained griffons. Dwarves, gnomes and humans all serve as troops within the citadel, and are usually of elite quality and strongly loyal to the archmage....


    Firstly, a question about the dragon. The Living Greyhawk Gazetter clearly shows a black dragon for his mount. Did Mordenkainen piss off the silver in some way and it left his service? Or was it slain?

    Secondly, is Eraj actually Yrag or somebody else? The Adventure Begins states on page 114 that:

    Quote:
    Yrag left the Citadel of Eight several years ago, after the Greyhawk Wars, following a falling-out with Mordenkainen over long-term strategic policy.


    Lastly, who is Felnorith? Gord's Greyhawk states that he is an elf but I am sure that I read somewhere that he was a human warrior with a noted collection of magical blades. Also, wasn't there a nasty wizard by the name of Felnorith involved with the Temple of ELemental Evil?

    Ta.

    Damien.
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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:45 am  

    You know I never saw that Eraj/Yrag connection before. Hmm. I don't believe in coincidences like this pertaining to GH naming. Knowing what we know of the elusive Yrag he already skulks around Greyhawk City incognito so why not another alter-ego when he is in the Yatils? It certainly fits when you consider Felnorith the elfin lord -is- a former member of the Citadel of Eight along with Mordy and Yrag. So yes, most likely after the Citadel broke up, those two fighter-lords went to stay with Mordy in his remote Citadel. Why the name Eraj? Well as the quote said Yrag had a falling out with Mordy but maybe he made up with the wizard and wanted a new start so Mordy's lesser staff wouldn't know him (Unfortunately Felnorith being an elf could not disguise as easily). I'd say Yrag spend his free time in the CoG to chase skirts and also spy for Mordy, while the obscure Felnorith might be closely invested with what is happening in neighboring Highvale.
    Good topic!
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:15 am  

    I certainly agree that it fits too. The City of Greyhawk boxed set is set before The Adventure Begins so there isn't even a need to make it reconcile along your lines. There is also precedent for Yrag using a pseudonym as he has also gone by the name Yr as well!
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:42 am  

    hi damien!
    this does not respond to your questions, but this was the palce i firts read about the "sword collector"
    http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=34464

    Yrag
    Race: Human; Class: Fighter; Level: 19; Alignment: Neutral
    Yrag was the first character Gary created. He appears as a stout and hardy man, flaxen haired, and normally dressed in gray and green robes. He stands over 6' tall and is very broad-shouldered. Yrag is ever watchful of things about him, and usually prefers no new undertakings unless these are shared with those persons he knows and trusts.


    Felnorith
    Race: Human; Class: Fighter; Level: Circa 12; Alignment: Neutral
    Felnorith is known as the Sword Collector, and he has a large collection of magical blades.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:35 am  

    The following "Orders of Battle" information appeared in an old "From the Sorcerer's Scroll". (Don't ask me the issue number....)

    Quote:
    Mordenkainen: (MU of 20th level): Several years ago, the Neutral arch-mage took his rather vast cavalry force and rode into the west, supposedly on a mission to succor an (Evil) associate who called for his aid. He has never returned. His force consisted of:
      Medium Cavalry: 500 (Regulars)
      Light Cavalry: 500 (Regulars)
      Light Horse Archers: 1,000 (Regulars), 2,000 (Levied)
    This force was Chaotic, possibly Neutral, although any Evil cleric encountered could count on a swift and sure death.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:22 am  

    Thanks very much! Exactly the sort of info that I am interested in! And quite different than what I expected to boot. I was expecting a small contingent of griffon cavalry and a large number of archers and footmen for some reason...
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:16 am  

    DMPrata wrote:
    The following "Orders of Battle" information appeared in an old "From the Sorcerer's Scroll". (Don't ask me the issue number....)


    Dragon Magazine # 37, page 11 ;)
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:21 am  
    Re: Obsidian Citadel

    Damien wrote:
    Firstly, a question about the dragon. The Living Greyhawk Gazetter clearly shows a black dragon for his mount. Did Mordenkainen piss off the silver in some way and it left his service? Or was it slain?


    Na, the Silver dragon just got tarnished.

    Actually, I seem to remember that in his 2nd edition write up he rode a cloud dragon.

    Given his alignment I'd think that a cloud dragon (also a neutral alignment) is more likely that a silver or a black. However, given his power and proven ability to make powerful allies its possible that he has a black, silver, cloud and a couple of others dragon allies that would be willing to allow him to ride them.
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:22 am  

    We've discussed Eraj and Felnorith before, in this thread.

    Felnorith was human. Chris Siren got erroneous information, apparently from Randy Richards' World of Greyhawk Fanclub, claiming him as an elf. It's not the only error on the Gord's Greyhawk site.

    Eraj is almost definitely just a variant spelling that Gary Gygax used to describe his old character Yrag when he wrote Artifact of Evil. However, later post-Gygax canon seems to present them as very different, so your mileage may vary.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:00 pm  
    Re: Obsidian Citadel

    Damien wrote:

    Lastly, who is Felnorith? Gord's Greyhawk states that he is an elf but I am sure that I read somewhere that he was a human warrior with a noted collection of magical blades. Also, wasn't there a nasty wizard by the name of Felnorith involved with the Temple of ELemental Evil?

    Ta.

    Damien.


    If I'm not mistaken, Falrinth was the name of the wizard you're thinking about from the ToEE.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:07 pm  

    Very informative thread. Actually, I quite like your idea that Eraj could be Yrag's son. IMHO Yrag should be considerably stronger than 12th level in spite of canon but I know that his levels have varied at times due to curses and drainings and such. I'll think on it some more before I make a decision for my campaign.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:03 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    The following "Orders of Battle" information appeared in an old "From the Sorcerer's Scroll". (Don't ask me the issue number....)

    Quote:
    Mordenkainen: (MU of 20th level): Several years ago, the Neutral arch-mage took his rather vast cavalry force and rode into the west, supposedly on a mission to succor an (Evil) associate who called for his aid. He has never returned. His force consisted of:
      Medium Cavalry: 500 (Regulars)
      Light Cavalry: 500 (Regulars)
      Light Horse Archers: 1,000 (Regulars), 2,000 (Levied)
    This force was Chaotic, possibly Neutral, although any Evil cleric encountered could count on a swift and sure death.


    That would be issue #37, starting on page 10.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:04 pm  

    This has been a personal interest of mine as well, so here's everything I've managed to locate, with references wherever possible. Note that the majority of this was drawn from a note collection created by a longtime fan whose name I have lost. So, if anyone knows the collector/editor, please add for credit where it is due. (Please pardon any typos - I am copying straight from original posts, so I haven't edited or formatted anything.)

    Reference 1
    The Obsidian Citadel and its Circle of Eight was original to my own campaign. When Mordenkainen was at a level I considered too high for normal adventuring, I used the money he and his associates had amassed to construct the siad fortress. The members of the 'Circle were Mordenkainen and his associates--others of my PCs. The latter included Bigby, Yrag the fighter, Rigby the cleric, Zigby the Dwarf, the Elves Vram and Vin, and Felnorith as principles. A number of lesser PCs were associated.

    - E.G.G.


    Source: http://www.enworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=46861&page=22&pp=15

    Reference 2
    The Circle of Eight
    The characters that make up The Circle of Eight are all PCs of Gary Gygax. Some were made from scratch as PCs, some were created to serve as recruited henchmen, and a few were encountered NPCs that ended up as permanent additions to the circle. The members of the circle roam the far reaches of the Flanaess and beyond. Several members have magical means of traveling , but others do all their traveling to and from The Obsidian Citadel via normal means.

    Mordenkainen
    Race: Human; Class: Magic-user; Level: upper 20s; Alignment: Neutral
    Mordenkainen appears to be a middle-aged man bedecked in simple gray robes, perhaps resembling a merchant. His face suggests age beyond his normal appearance, as if wisdom were a part of his charisma, thrusting out upon those that stand near him almost as much as do his bushy eyebrows. His hair is black and cropped, his beard black with silver streaks and well waxed. Mordenkainen maintains a latge force of mounted archers, and also has two subdued red dragons named Gorki and Porki under his control. Although Mordenkainen is the founder of the circle, it would not be correct to refer to him as the circle's leader. He is more accurately the first among equals.

    Bigby
    Race: Human; Class: Magic-user; Level: Circa 20; Alignment: Neutral
    Bigby was Mordenkainens first apprentice. He was originally encountered by Mordenkainen while adventuring. After a quick battle, Mordenkainen subdued Bigby with a Charm Person spell. Mordenkainen treated the ensnared magic-user fairly, and eventually Bigby decided to stay with Mordenkainen on his own free will as his apprentice. Bigbys appearance is unassuming. His attire is unremarkable, when traveling he usually wears a simple dark gray robe with the hood pulled up (for Bigby is a somewhat retiring and secretive man). When this hood is thrown back, his lean but healthy features will be exposed: studious brown eyes, light brown hair, and a laugh that precedes jokes on almost a forced level. To those who do not know him well, he might be viewed as oddly nervous (or paranoid), but this is nowhere near true. The mark to which Bigby adheres is simple "Caution". When Mordenkainen is away from the Obsidian Citadel, it is Bigby who assumes the role of steward.

    Yrag
    Race: Human; Class: Fighter; Level: 19; Alignment: Neutral
    Yrag was the first character Gary created. He appears as a stout and hardy man, flaxen haired, and normally dressed in gray and green robes. He stands over 6' tall and is very broad-shouldered. Yrag is ever watchful of things about him, and usually prefers no new undertakings unless these are shared with those persons he knows and trusts.

    Riggby
    Race: Human; Class: Cleric; Level: Unknown; Alignment: Neutral
    Riggby is a cleric of Boccob, with a lesser devotion to Zagyg. He is normally dressed in light gray and off-white colored robes. His eyes are chestnut brown, his hair pure black, and his opinions are short and succenct-"Convert, or else!!"

    Felnorith
    Race: Human; Class: Fighter; Level: Circa 12; Alignment: Neutral
    Felnorith is known as the Sword Collector, and he has a relatively large collection of magical blades.

    Sigby Grigbyson
    Race: Human; Class: Fighter; Level: 10; Alignment: Neutral (Good)
    Abilities: Strong suits are Dexterity and Constitution. Strength is good. Wisdom is low. Charisma is well above average. Comeliness is above average.
    Mordenkainen met Sigby Grigbyson in Dyvers. The former was looking for an addition to his personal entourage and was impressed with the young fighters abilities. Sigby hails from The Archbarony of Ratik. The events that led him from that distant place to the central regions of the continent are not recorded, but Sigby is known as an inveterate wanderer and it may have been simple wanderlust. Sigby honors the god Fharlanghn and like the Dweller on the Horizon, he is able to travel great distances afoot without tiring. Whether this is some blessing bestowed upon him by Fharlanghn, or if it is accomplished by some magical device in unknown. Sigby is a quite likable fellow, and with his high Charisma and Comeliness he rarely has a problem getting along. Sigby is well known for his swordplay. He wields a marvelous blade that strikes well and parries likewise. Recently, Sigby was spotted in the City of Greyhawk. It is rumored that he is planning on traveling north to the Obsidian Citadel to call upon Mordenkainen. Possibly to share information and give over some item he may be carrying with him.

    Ziggby
    Race: Mountain Dwarf; Class: Fighter; Level: Aprox. 11th; Alignment: Neutral
    Ziggby, more commonly known as "Zig", is the leader of Mordenkainen's 300 or so dwarven followers. These dwarves were the primary builders of the Obsidian Citadel. During his last adventure, he fought the evil dwarf Obmi and the dwarven throwing hammers were flying. Ziggby had the upper hand, but Obmi escaped before being defeated.

    Vin & Vram
    Race: Elf; Class: Fighter/Magic-User: Level: Unknown; Alignment: Neutral (Chaotic Good)
    Vin and Vram are twin brothers.

    The Obsidian Citadel
    The Citadel of the Eight is a massive fortress. The central structure of the complex is a great citadel and hall. Eight tower keeps arranged in an octagonal pattern surrond the central citadel. These structures are connected by curtain walls and lesser towers. This complex is surronded by an outer wall, also built in an octagonal form. Reports that the Obsidian Citadel is located somewhere in the Yatil Mountains appear to be greatly exaggerated. It may or may not be found there. The actual whereabouts of the fortress may perhaps be unknown, but some believe it is in the rocky hills that are covered by the Vesve Forest...

    - Scott Gregg


    Source: http://piedpiperpublishing.yuku.com/topic/2106

    Reference 3
    A few comments based on info Gary's provided.

    Vin and Vram, being twin brothers and sharing one tower of the eight that make up the citedel of eight, only count as one.

    Ziggby, or Zigbie, or Zig is a fighter lord himself. Some of the dwarves are surely his followers, the rest his men-at-arms.

    I don't think dragons were meant to be the ultra-rare mega-beasts they've become. The subdual rules for dragons were there for a reason. I know many of the early PCs had one or more dragons. I think the typical encounter with the early dragons was more like the picture of a mounted St. George lancing the dragon half the size of his horse and not with the flying battleships 2e and 2e dragons are.

    - Scott Gregg


    http://piedpiperpublishing.yuku.com/topic/2106

    Admittedly, there may some conflict with canon in the above, but it should still be a good jumping off point for detailing the Citadel. I hope this helps.
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    <div>Braggi, Swain and Varlet at Large<br /></div>
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    Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:31 am  

    Thanks very much indeeed! I clearly have some work to do before the game session tomorrow night! The plan is to have Chendl all but broken after a near 3 month siege by the forces of Iuz, with nasty luminaries such as Patch and Ormuz just arrived and preparing the death knell. King Belvor has been rushing around the Barony of Littleburg and the Viscounty of the March trying to raise an army to break the siege. I plan to have the forces of the Citadel arrive on the eve of battle and aid in the defense of the city.

    This information should allow for some very cool cameos. A combined force of gnomes, dwarves and men arriving should be quite cinematic. By the way, are there any details given for the gnomes anywhere?

    Thanks again.

    Damien.
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    Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:43 am  

    rossik wrote:

    Dragon Magazine # 37, page 11 ;)



    bubbagump wrote:


    That would be issue #37, starting on page 10.


    :P
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    Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:23 am  

    rossik wrote:
    rossik wrote:

    Dragon Magazine # 37, page 11 ;)


    bubbagump wrote:


    That would be issue #37, starting on page 10.


    :P


    Sorry, somehow I missed the original citation. That's what I get for reading forums when I'm supposed to be working, I guess. Didn't mean to quibble.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:53 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    rossik wrote:
    rossik wrote:

    Dragon Magazine # 37, page 11 ;)


    bubbagump wrote:


    That would be issue #37, starting on page 10.


    :P


    Sorry, somehow I missed the original citation. That's what I get for reading forums when I'm supposed to be working, I guess. Didn't mean to quibble.


    no problem at all!
    more people helping, so everyone wins Happy
    CF Admin

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    Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:03 pm  

    Scott Gregg has some further info/details on his forums @ http://doomsdaygames.proboards.com/index.cgi?

    Gary detailed the Obsidian Citadel/Citadel of 8 in one of his Paizo-era Soapbox articles in Dragon; details @ http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/gh_castle_sources_soapbox.html (issue 318/April 2004).

    I'm sure that there's some other useful info in Joe Bloch's research on his Greyhawk Grognard blog, too.
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    GreySage

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    Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:19 am  

    Nice links, Grodog. Cool

    We appreciate the effort, thanks! Happy
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:51 am  

    Joe Bloch - that was the person who collected up the information I posted here. At last - credit where it is due. Thank you Grodog!

    Happy

    Joe, iirc, made a major project of collecting up everything he could find written by E.G.G. and R.J.K. about various Greyhawk and D&D subjects from a number of forums, including Pied Piper and ENWorld. I also recommend Joe's collection for historical nuggets about how the game came to be and an number of inside looks into how Greyhawk was created. Fascinating stuff - and often quite funny too.
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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:57 pm  
    Re: Obsidian Citadel

    Damien wrote:
    Firstly, a question about the dragon. The Living Greyhawk Gazetter clearly shows a black dragon for his mount. Did Mordenkainen piss off the silver in some way and it left his service? Or was it slain?


    There is also what looks like a gold dragon in the lower right corner of the LGG cover. I wouldn't read much into it. They could be there as much for symbolic effect - good, evil, and Mordy in between - as anything .
    GreySage

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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:50 pm  
    Re: Obsidian Citadel

    smillan_31 wrote:
    They could be there as much for symbolic effect - good, evil, and Mordy in between - as anything .


    An interesting observation Smillan, though I had thought the other dragon to be a Brass given that dorsal spine, or maybe a Bronze. Still, the symbolism would remain in effect regardless. Wink
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:13 pm  
    Re: Obsidian Citadel

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    smillan_31 wrote:
    They could be there as much for symbolic effect - good, evil, and Mordy in between - as anything .


    An interesting observation Smillan, though I had thought the other dragon to be a Brass given that dorsal spine, or maybe a Bronze. Still, the symbolism would remain in effect regardless. Wink


    The spine on a brass is a less pronounced than that on a gold or a bronze, looking less like the sail on a dimetradon than those two. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure it's a gold though because you can see a whisker poking up on the right side of its face, though you can't really see them on the left.
    GreySage

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    Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:46 pm  

    After taking another look . . . I must concur. There is definitely a whisker showing, its a gold. Wink
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    Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:13 pm  

    I just noted something from the new Oerth Journal #25. It has a bearing on this discussion so I thought it might be worth drawing your attention to it. The Obsidian Citadel sidebar on page 17 mentions Eraj and Felnorith. Looks like the team there have backed the notion that they are indeed elves...

    Damien.
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    Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:42 am  

    Damien wrote:
    The Obsidian Citadel sidebar on page 17 mentions Eraj and Felnorith. Looks like the team there have backed the notion that they are indeed elves...Damien.


    I wouldn't say 100% that we back this. Just going from what research we found. I would openly say that either could "portray" themselves as an elf or a human. Whether, they are either is up to you. =)
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    Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:54 pm  

    They're actually smurfs portraying humans disguised as elves. They're really sneaky that way.
    GreySage

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    Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:10 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    They're actually smurfs portraying humans disguised as elves. They're really sneaky that way.


    I saw that movie! It's really impressive in 3-D.

    About Eraj and Fel... looks like both the original players and sources (Artifact of Evil and City of Greyhawk) are in agreement that they're human. Duicarthan must have gotten the elf idea from Chris Siren's site.
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    Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:23 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:
    They're actually smurfs portraying humans disguised as elves. They're really sneaky that way.


    I saw that movie! It's really impressive in 3-D.


    Rumor has it that WotC is coming out with 4-D next year, so it'll be even kewler.
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    Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:55 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    About Eraj and Fel... looks like both the original players and sources (Artifact of Evil and City of Greyhawk) are in agreement that they're human. Duicarthan must have gotten the elf idea from Chris Siren's site.


    Yeah my reference was Eraj [NPC] COG:FFF Pg# - 21 it neither states in there that they are or not human. So I am sure I found another reference somewhere. A website is a likely source, though I think it was wikipedia or the ghwiki here iirc.
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