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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Fiend-Sage of Rel Astra
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    The Fiend-Sage of Rel Astra
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    CF Admin

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    From: Rel Astra

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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:39 am  
    The Fiend-Sage of Rel Astra

    Fiend-Sage of Rel Astra

    I realize that the submission is quite long and will be very hard for some people (with shorter attention spans, like myself) to get through, so I wanted to lay-out a synopsis here...

    Drax, the Fiend-Sage, and Andromansis are my 3 favorite Greyhawkian personas (without a doubt) and I want to expand on them in a great deal of depth. However, I want to see if anyone has any points to bring up that I may have missed or haven't yet thought of.

    I used a timeline like format in an attempt to keep the various events the fiend-sage is involved in, in order. The timeline is 90% set by official sources with me filling in nearly 100% of the motives and backstory behind each event.

    Synopsis

    1. Bloodwar is going bad for the demons bcuz Iuz is taking numbers of their army via the Blackspear Chamber.

    2. The demonic leader of the Bloodwar strikes a deal with Drax, trading the servitude of the fiend-sage for the use of the Crook of Rao in an effort to return his armies home from Iuzian control.

    3. Drax uses the Fiend-Sage to research means of undoing his Animushood. (Ongoing)

    4. Fiend-Sage comes to the conclusion that only a member of Rao's high clergy is able to invoke the crook's powers.

    5. Drax "trades" the crook to Canon Hazen, which eventually will fulfill his end of the bargain with the demonic leader.

    6. Canon Hazen invokes the crook's power.

    7. Drax and the Fiend-Sage along with many other Aerdy rulers dethrone Ivid.

    8. Drax supports Xavener as the new Overking since Drax was raised by House Darmen.

    9. Drax has the Fiend-Sage devise a means in which to run the Scarlet Brotherhood blockade of the Tilva Strait (which is successful) bcuz it is crippling Rel Astra's (wealthy, but not living up to its potential) economy.

    10. The Fiend-Sage, along with Andromansis are near a solution to undoing Drax's undead status, which will free the Fiend-Sage from his servitude at which time he wishes to slay Drax and return home to slay the demonic leader who betrayed him and helped Drax bind him into the Lord of Rel Astra's service.

    End of Synopsis

    Well, that is a very basic take on my article.

    Does anyone have any other basic concepts or ideas (official or otherwise) that I may have missed in the process? I'd really like to detail this trio! Wink
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    Last edited by abysslin on Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:58 am  

    A damn good submission :-)

    The idea of summoning demons and the weakening of their lines against the devils is terrific. I never thought about that as I assumed the tanar'ri were exclusively Grazz't stock (who is not an enthusiast of the Blood War, IIRC).

    I had some doubts, though:

    - Regarding 2e and 3E sources only, wasn't the Crook hidden in the Isle of The Ape and retrieved from a party which included Warnes Starcoat?

    - Is the Fiend sage a Molydeus demon? I think I read about it somewhere.. If that so, is the Molydeus stock subservient toward the Balors (I thought they were independent "inquisitors")? And finally, if the Fiend-Sage is a molydeus, I think its behaviour is far too liberal for one of its kind.

    - The Fiend-Sage was never named, wasn't it?

    - By canon sources, did they really steal the Crook?
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    Victor Caminha
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:12 am  

    Quote:
    The idea of summoning demons and the weakening of their lines against the devils is terrific. I never thought about that as I assumed the tanar'ri were exclusively Grazz't stock (who is not an enthusiast of the Blood War, IIRC).


    Thanks! I thought the Iuz-Bloodwar thing was pretty good, myself )

    The Tanari are quite variable in breeds and alliegences as told by the very few sources I have regarding them.

    Also, I believe Graz'zt is a Devil of the 9 Hells which would mean he is fighting against the Tanari of the Abyss in the Bloodwar.

    Quote:
    - Regarding 2e and 3E sources only, wasn't the Crook hidden in the Isle of The Ape and retrieved from a party which included Warnes Starcoat?


    Yes, I had stated:

    "Tenser of the 'Circle of Eight,' and some unaffiliated adventurers had braved the perils of a demi-plane and recovered a powerful artifact known as the "Crook of Rao."


    Quote:
    - Is the Fiend sage a Molydeus demon? I think I read about it somewhere.. If that so, is the Molydeus stock subservient toward the Balors (I thought they were independent "inquisitors")? And finally, if the Fiend-Sage is a molydeus, I think its behaviour is far too liberal for one of its kind.


    He is indeed a molydeus. The 2nd Ed. MM states that the Balors lead the Bloodwar and the Molydeus Tanari run about making sure everything is in working order.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "too liberal?"

    I'd like to understand that question better, bcuz it seems to relate to what I'm asking in so far as advice!

    I had a hard time portraying him as Chaotic evil amongst a Lawful evil society. I thought perhaps, I wasn't allowing him to be liberal enough, but I think I'm misunderstanding your point.

    Quote:
    - The Fiend-Sage was never named, wasn't it?


    No. I have Drax holding sway over him by his knowledge of the Fiend-Sage's true name, so I thought it better not to mention it Wink

    The old "true-name" trick!


    Quote:
    - By canon sources, did they really steal the Crook?


    No official product explains how Drax got the Crook from the group that retrieved it for Tenser. My submission's timeline begins right after Drax obtains the Crook of Rao.
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:28 am  

    abysslin wrote:
    Also, I believe Graz'zt is a Devil of the 9 Hells which would mean he is fighting against the Tanari of the Abyss in the Bloodwar.


    No! He`s definately a demon. One of the most powerful demons in fact, holding sway over 3 abyssal layers, opposing Orcus and Demogorgon. He`s the proverbial dark man demon and probably descended from Pale Night.

    Check out the info on him on Gord`s greyhawk:
    http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/outer.html#grazzt

    And here is TheSerge`s excellent Dicefreaks writeup of Grazzt including a very nice flavor text:
    http://community.dicefreaks.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=45
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:29 am  

    Quote:
    Also, I believe Graz'zt is a Devil of the 9 Hells which would mean he is fighting against the Tanari of the Abyss in the Bloodwar.


    Nope Graz'zt is a demon prince... always has been since his first appearence in S4... he is never realy given an area of control in previous editions... (Like Orcus is demon prince of undead, or Yeenoghu is demon prince of gnolls) but the 3e Book of vile Darkness changes all that and makes him basically "Demon Prince of Pimps"

    given the fact that there are an literaly an infinite number of demons in the abyss I think the idea that the paltry few hundred or so that Iuz was using would somehow weaken the war effort as far as the bloodwar is concerned is sort of weak... but then again I find the whole idea of the bloodwar sort of weak in the first place and conveniently ignore that piece of 2e blech.
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:36 am  

    Quote:
    Graz'zt is a demon prince


    Hmmm, well that certainly doesn't change anything so far as this piece is concerned. (You can tell how much I break out my 1st Ed. books these days)

    Quote:
    Given the fact that there are an literaly an infinite number of demons in the abyss I think the idea that the paltry few hundred or so that Iuz was using would somehow weaken the war effort as far as the bloodwar is concerned is sort of weak


    Now that does hold some weight. Perhaps I will have to make some adjustments as to the Balor simply wanted his subordinates returned home just for the simple fact of not having some mortal deity running around with his tanari peons.

    Doesn't sound nearly as interesting though. Sad
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:39 am  

    all in all it is a good peice though :)
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:43 am  

    lol, that's it, Wes! Break me down and pick me back up again.

    Is this some kind of wierd vandetta related revenge for the Map of Seaton thread? lol... Wink
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:06 pm  

    > The Tanari are quite variable in breeds and alliegences as told by the very few sources I have regarding them.

    Agreed.

    > Also, I believe Graz'zt is a Devil of the 9 Hells which would mean he is fighting against the Tanari of the Abyss in the Bloodwar.

    I disagree, but the others already made their point ;-)

    >"Tenser of the 'Circle of Eight,' and some unaffiliated adventurers had braved the perils of a demi-plane and recovered a powerful artifact known as the "Crook of Rao."

    D'uh! I hadn't seen that. My bad.


    > I'm not sure what you mean by "too liberal?"

    I don't remember the exact description in MC 8, but it seemed to me they were a bit too fanatic about the tanar'ri cause and more an inquisitor than a war-plotter. It gave me the impression that even favoring the demonic army I thought the agreement with Mammon was a bit too much for this kind of demon. And someone so worried about the demonic status Quo should have IMHO a a healthier dose of "narrow-mindedness" and obsession about returning home. I may well be wrong, but the fact is that I never thought Molydeus a good choice for the race of a fiend sage. Perhaps a glabrezu could fit better, IMHO.

    > The old "true-name" trick!

    Got it. Just digressing a little, I always found funny the description about Drax and the fiend Sage walking in the streets of Rel Astra with everybody else giving a wider berth :-D

    > No official product explains how Drax got the Crook from the group that retrieved it for Tenser. My submission's timeline begins right after Drax obtains the Crook of Rao.

    Hmm just to clarify things then, as I am a bit confused:

    1 - Tenser and his buddies retrieve the Crook
    2 - Drax and his buddies steal the crook and the Canon tries to win back
    making offers to Drax
    3 - Drax sells the Crook for a ridiculous price
    4 - The Crook is used; The Flight of the Fiends occurs
    5 - Drax steals back the Crook

    Is that so?
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    Victor Caminha
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    Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:21 pm  

    Quote:
    I may well be wrong, but the fact is that I never thought Molydeus a good choice for the race of a fiend sage. Perhaps a glabrezu could fit better, IMHO.


    I think there could've been better choices too, like a lawful minded devil instead of a wack-job chaotic demon!

    At any rate, I understand your use of "liberal" now. I had thrown in the Mammon bit in an attempt to give reason as to why the Fiend-Sage was chosen as the trade-bait in the Balor's deal with Drax.

    Quote:
    Got it. Just digressing a little, I always found funny the description about Drax and the fiend Sage walking in the streets of Rel Astra with everybody else giving a wider berth :-D


    heh, I rather liked those descriptions. Sargent makes a comment about it in WGR7 and I believe Gary makes similiar in the LGG.

    Hmm just to clarify things then, as I am a bit confused:

    Quote:
    1 - Tenser and his buddies retrieve the Crook
    2 - Drax and his buddies steal the crook and the Canon tries to win back
    making offers to Drax
    3 - Drax sells the Crook for a ridiculous price
    4 - The Crook is used; The Flight of the Fiends occurs
    5 - Drax steals back the Crook


    1. Yes

    As per Isle of the Ape.

    2. Drax stealing it is of my creation.

    There is no mention in official product of how Drax obtains the Crook of Rao after it is retrieved from the Isle of the Ape. In this case, I give reasoning as to Drax wanted a "secret weapon" should he ever come to odds with Ivid V and his fiendish armies.

    Also note, I do not go into detail about how he stole it. This is an excellent oppurtunity for high-level evil campaigners to steal it for him from Tenser and the Starcoat group, lol.

    3. Yes, Canon Hazen acquires the Crook from Drax.

    Canon Hazen getting the Crook for a few minor magical items appears in the From the Ashes: Atlas.

    I would think there is no way Drax gives up an artifact for some normal magic items unless he had more to gain in the deal. Using my version, he pays off his debt to a Balor and knows he will get the Crook back anyway.

    4. Yup

    bubye fiends.. Which weakens Iuz and leads to the fall of Ivid V.

    5. Drax reclaiming the Crook is also of my invention.

    Giving reason that the crook may also be used to awaken Sabbastith, the Black Dragon held in stasis in Spikerift (of the Grandwood), also of my creation.
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    Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:18 am  

    Darn how did I miss this discussion?

    Graz'zt a devil...I wouldn't pan that idea entirely. Most devils are winged-gargoylian-horned-humanoid stock. Most demons are anything but that. Graz'zt seems to be an exception among his kind. Very handsome, etc. I think with some creative alteration be it intentional amputation or magical concealment, him being a devil in disguise, be it exile or plant, to ruin the Bloodwar would be a wild twist.
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    Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:01 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    Darn how did I miss this discussion?


    Ditto.

    I really like Abysslin's setup here with the demons displeased with Iuz taking their troops and working to undue Iuz to get them back. It is the best use of the "Blood War" in Greyhawk that I have seen.

    (As a general matter, I do not care for the "Blood War.")

    The problem of infinity should not necessarily be an impediment to Abysslin's setup.

    Yes. The planes of the Abyss are infinite. Yes. The demonic inhabitants are infinite.

    That does not mean, however, that everybody necessarily fights in or supports the Blood War; that internal, abyssal rivalries (Grazzt vs Demogorgon vs Orcus) are set aside; or that all demonic troops are created equal. Iuz could very well be siphoning off troops that are vitally necessary for the prosecution of Blood War or defending against diabolic counterstrokes, or for seeing after internal rivalries between demonlords. Even if there are an infinite number of demons.

    Neither should the number of demons summoned by Iuz be an impediment. I think "a few hundred" grossly underestimates the number of summoned demons. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, would be more likely, I would think. For Iuz to suffer the magnitude of reverse that was dealt by the Flight of the Fiends, he must have been relying on great numbers of them. His "empire" all but collapsed with only the lands of the former Horned Society (and immediately adjacent portions of the Shield Lands) remaining truely conquered.

    Abysslin might profit by doing a bit of rewriting to make clear the importance of the demons that Iuz called away, sufficient to move the demons to plot against him to get their troops back. Other than that, I think this is a very clever and well done work.

    GVD


    PS - And the Grazzt thing. Wink
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    Wed May 17, 2017 12:08 am  

    Sheesh. I'm really feeling a Greyhawk writing itch again. Any volunteers want to help clean out my office? Room and board will be provided as well as Greyhawk poppy and wenches with decanters of endless ale.
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    Wed May 17, 2017 6:08 am  

    Coming back to this, are you? Been awhile. Laughing

    Yeah, I need to get my juices going again too. rolleyes
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    Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:10 pm  

    Iuz's minions come mostly from Graz'zt and Pazuzu/Pazrael. The Blackspear Chamber probably opens into an iron fortress on the Abyss's first layer.

    Both Graz'zt and Pazuzu contribute demons to Iuz's cause in order to ensure the other one doesn't have too much influence. Both ultimately hope to drag Oerth into the Abyss as part of their personal dominions. The magic of the Blackspear Chamber grants demons summoned by it magical benefits "such as barkskins, stoneskins, and enhanced magic resistance" for 1d100 days after their return to the Abyss, so it's probably a net benefit to the demonic side of the Blood War.

    One of Graz'zt's goals, according to the Hellbound: The Blood War boxed set as well as 3rd edition's Fiendish Codex I, is to arrange a peace accord between the demons and devils, so that the fiends can unite and crush the forces of good. His primary agent in this is Rule-of-Three, a cambion who is, according to Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, actually another of his sons.

    According to 4th edition's Demonomicon, Pazuzu has spent millennia doing the opposite, keeping the Blood War running in partnership with Asmodeus in order to distract the forces of good from their real goal (locating the shard of pure evil that corrupted Tharizdun; this could be compared to the Theorparts from the Gord the Rogue series, where a third of the Abyss was aligned with the other lower planes in their goal of freeing Tharizdun while Graz'zt and the Zuggtmoy/Iuz/Iggwilv faction opposed this).

    The Blood War is run on the demonic side by a coalition of balors, mariliths, and nalfeshnee. The nalfeshnee create the armies by promoting manes and larvae to appropriate forms. The mariliths are the chief strategists, while the balors lead the armies in battle.

    Molydei serve the Abyssal lords directly, press ganging demons and shepherding them to the town of Styros on the first layer of the Abyss, from which they use the River Styx to embark to deeper layers and other lower planes. In this, they have authority even over balors.

    On the diabolic side, the Blood War is primarily run by the Dark Eight, eight pit fiends each responsible for different aspects of the war.

    A possibility: it's Graz'zt who wishes to end the use of the Blackspear Chamber because it inflames the fury of the Blood War and gives power and influence to his rival, Pazuzu, forcing him to contribute his own troops in order to counter Pazuzu's influence on Oerth. Graz'zt sends the Fiend-Sage to Drax to negotiate the use of the Crook of Rao.

    Rule-of-Three recruits the Fiend-Sage to his subrosa scheme to ally with the archdevils. Mammon could easily be the contact. Rule-of-Three then betrays him, reporting the Fiend-Sage's dealings with Mammon to Graz'zt (who is secretly well aware of all of this). The Fiend-Sage's goal is then to free himself of Drax and return to the Abyss to have his revenge on Rule-of-Three.
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