Witch Queen and Demon Lord

A Brief History of the Knights of the Hart, Part 3

(CY 460 – 505)
Kirt Wackford

In which is related the rise of Iggwilv, her conquest of Perrenland, and her war against the Knights of the Hart, her fall from power, and the rise of her detestable child, the Demon Lord Iuz.

From whence the Witch Queen Iggwilv came is not known. An erudite sage calling himself the “Eye of Boccob”[1] places her as being of mixed Flan and Baklunish stock and hailing from Ket. Others say that she is an ancient being and hint that she might not be from Oerth at all.[2] All that is known for certain is that she chose to settle in the Yatil mountains between Ket, Perrenland, and Veluna around CY 460.[3] The place suited her purposes well, for it was teeming with humanoids, giants, and monsters. These she bent to her will, establishing a small despotry while conducting magical experiments in the Caverns of Tsojcanth.[4]

War and Seduction

In CY 480 she loosed her army of humanoids on the settled alpine valleys of southern Perrenland. The Perrenders were staunch defenders, but could not resist the combination of humanoid numbers, organization, and fell magics. The mountain holds were quickly overcome, and the forces of Iggwilv pushed out on to the plains. She ultimately conquered most of the southern plains around the Quagflow, the region as a whole being known as the “Marches of Perrenland.”[5] After this, her advance slowed. In the low rolling plains her brutish troops found no caves in which they could hide from the light of Pelor. The mobile cavalry of Perrenland could outmaneuver the humanoids, gathering in massed formations for day attacks, then scattering and riding far away before nightfall. Conquest of the entire land would be difficult. No matter. Iggwilv turned to her dark arts. In innumerable guises she walked among the free hetmen, ensnaring them with her charms. Captivated and captured, they did her will and ordered their people to cease attacks on the lands that the humanoids had taken. The hetmen scarce believed themselves in thrall to the leader of the goblinkind, but they nonetheless told none of the new mistress of their souls. Iggwilv held the southern portion of Perrenland and her troops busily looted it;[6] the rest of the nation tried a few counterattacks before slinking back, utterly cowed by fear of the witch.[7]

The leaders of the Marklands watched these events with growing concern. Their recent rebuff from their own attempted conquest of Perrenland[8] had embittered them against the nation, and they offered no aid to Perrenders in their struggle against the Witch Queen. Once Iggwilv was firmly in control of those lands, the Marklander leaders laid out their plans to contain her. Having a mad archmage so close to the old capital of Dyvers had been bad enough.[9] An archmage dedicated to evil, with a humanoid army and a nation of wild Perrenders in thrall, could well prove much worse. The forces of Iggwilv pointed like a dagger at the heart of the Highfolk and lay uncomfortably close to Mitrik. 

Distractions Elsewhere

At the time of Iggwilv’s conquest of Perrenland, the bulk of standing armies of Furyondy and Veluna were stationed in eastern Veluna and in Bissel. Furyondy’s control of Bissel faced three threats. First, the Bisselites themselves. The “nation” of Bissel was an administrative convenience recently concocted by Keoland. In reality, the land was home to many cultures and languages.[10] It had been a “nation” for only a century, and many of its peoples still lived as independent tribes under the resented presence of a foreign authority. Bissel had been under Furyondian rule for less than five decades,[11] and its people were still of questionable loyalty. A strong army, constantly present and dispersed through the land, was needed to insure peace and cooperation among the natives, both with the rulers and with one another. 

The second threat to Bissel lay in the north. Ket and other Baklunish nations launched countless raids into Bissel, and through Bissel into Veluna.[12] To guard against the Westerlings, Furyondy needed to maintain both fortifications in the north and a highly mobile cavalry force capable of rapid response to incursions. 

Finally, Keoland remained a lingering threat to the south. Though wracked with internal struggles following its losses in the Short War, old Keoland still looked to its frontiers. It would certainly have made a move to retake its former vassal state at the first sign of weakness from the Furyondian rulers, and perhaps follow that up with another push into Veluna. Against the threat of Keoland, Furondy had to construct fortifications in the south and maintain enough forces in Bissel so that there could be no doubt of its intention to keep its prize. The Keoish-allied Knights of the March traveled in Bissel on any number of pretexts. So long as they conducted themselves peacefully, the rules of chivalry did not allow Furyondy to harass them or deny them passage. These knights were courteous spies, continually probing for gaps in the defense of Bissel. Furyondian Knights shadowed their uninvited guests, ensuring that they took no offensive actions. 

Contest for the Velverdyva Valley

With so much of their force committed in the west, Furyondy and Veluna had little to spare when Iggwilv began her conquests. Troops had been pulled from the north and east of Furyondy and stationed near Mitrik for a century. Punitive expeditions against the northern and eastern bandits had already become rare. Only those few troops required to garrison the frontier castles remained. Thus, turning their attention to Iggwilv resulted in the neglect of the Northern Reaches (the consequences of which are well known). Furyondy and Veluna did little to actively oppose Iggwilv besides shifting some of their more mobile forces to northern Veluna. Their Knights of the Hart patrolled the Velverdyva Valley frequently, gathering information. Their troops lay ready to oppose any obvious move against Highfolk City. But they were willing to let Iggwilv make that first move. The rulers of Furyondy and Veluna concluded (correctly) that they could not realistically defend the entire valley. A strike could come from anywhere—the goblinkind in service to the Witch Queen could emerge from the mountains at any point along its two hundred sinuous miles. Covering the whole valley would leave their forces weak and spread out, so the two nations decided to not provide any garrisons at all. Instead, they used their own knights to gather intelligence and relied on the elven knights to provide for the defense of the valley. 

The High Forest Branch of the Knights of the Hart thus readjusted their priorities. They ceased all activities in the Northern Reaches and in Bissel and put all fourteen of their knights into service in the Velverdyva. 

Religious Persecution

As they had under the Oeridian invasion, the local Flan clergy provided the focus of resistance to the rule of Iggwilv.[13] Other faiths actively opposed her as well. In her conquered lands, Iggwilv forbad the practice of any human religion. Her champions killed outright any priests that they could find. In the part of Perrenland still free but under her influence, Iggwilv conducted a campaign of terror against priests. She sent summoned demons and half-orc assassins to the free lands to eliminate holy men and women. Their deaths were contrived to look like accidents or like acts of divine wrath. The charmed hetmen turned a blind eye and discouraged investigation, saying only that such-and-such a priest had offended the gods. Iggwilv even instigated skirmishes between the tribes of charmed hetmen. The leaders on both sides invariably had explicit instructions to make sure that no tribal priests or shamans of the other side survived the fight.

The Perrenders began to feel that their gods had deserted them. Priests who suspected the truth went into hiding or took up assumed identities. But Iggwilv’s magic saw through these ruses, and the clergy continued to die. Eventually, in ones and twos, those that remained alive decided to flee. 

The High Forest Branch saved many of the priests. Elven Knights took human form (through illusion, polymorph, disguise, and other magical means) and traveled through Perrenland, seeking to discover priests before the Witch Queen did. Those whom they found, they smuggled into the High Vale. From there, the knights escorted the priests to Highfolk City where they could contact others of their faith. Those priests who chose to leave Perrenland tended to be of the Oeridian and Common faiths, that is, those who could rely on international churches in other lands to receive them as honored refugees. The indigenous holy men and women of the Flan had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Many sacrificed themselves in courageous acts of resistance against the Witch Queen.[14]

The Elven Hart in the Velverdyva

Once Perrenland had fallen, humanoids began raiding the Velverdyva Valley in earnest. The scattered settlements in the Valley were well accustomed to humanoid raids and knew how to take care of themselves. Gnome and halfling villages had extensive systems of fortified tunnels to which they would retreat. Elven communities used hiding rather than fortification as a defense—whole villages could disguise themselves with magic and natural camouflage. These measures had, for centuries, enabled the settlements to survive raiding parties descending from the Yatils. Shortly after Iggwilv’s reign began, however, the character of the raids changed. The goblinkind stayed longer, putting communities under siege or driving them off. It seemed as if Iggwilv had territorial plans on the upper Velverdyva. To remain and survive, the inhabitants had to coordinate their defenses and come to one another’s aid. The Elven Knights dedicated themselves to achieving this. They set up dialogues between villages and organized regional defense plans. They encouraged villages to look to one another for assistance and led joint patrols. They set up communication networks and trained local defense officers. The work of the Elven Knights united the disparate peoples of the Velverdyva Valley in resistance to the encroachments of Iggwilv’s humanoids. 

The actions of the Elven Hart raised the consciousness of the Velverdyvins. Many of the formerly isolated folk began to think of their region’s place in the grand scheme of things. Local elves performed great feats of heroism against the invaders of their homeland. Several years of resisting Iggwilv’s advances cultivated a core of local elven heroes. Grand Master Thiladorn organized them into the Velverdyva Valley House, which eventually increased the number of full Knights in the High Forest Branch to eighteen. 

Iggwilv’s Strategy

In truth, Iggwilv cared little for the pastoral Velverdyva Valley. Highfolk City, with its ancient magics and secret lore, was the real gem she prized. Lust for Highfolk consumed her. But her forces could not hope to conquer the city in one swoop. A few probing expeditions at the start of her reign had proven that. Even if her humanoids could mount an effective siege, the Markland forces stationed near Mitrik would break it. To take Highfolk required her to use the Perrenders. 

Velverdyva Valley

The Perrenders remembered what they had suffered under the Oeridian occupation.[15] Even the clansmen not yet under the magical compulsion of Iggwilv, once whipped up by their charmed hetmen, were more than willing to engage the forces of the Marklands. When the Perrenders took to the field and held the southern armies at bay, the goblins of Iggwilv would have the time they needed to take the city. The only flaw in this plan lay in the difficulty of getting the Perrenders to the conflict and keeping them supplied once there. This was the reason the Witch Queen had spent years trying to gain a hold in the Velverdyva. If she could control the river, a sufficient force of Perrenders could be rapidly transported south and then kept supplied by barges. But if she could not wrest control of the river from the natives, the Perrenders could be harassed by guerilla attacks during their long march south. Once there, more importantly, Iggwilv doubted her ability to supply them for long. Her goblins would be more than happy to strip the local farms (and eat the farmers, too!) but not so the Perrenders, particularly the ones she did not rule outright. They would have to have a traditional supply line coming all the way from their homeland. Thus, while Iggwilv worked to supplant the local communities along the river without revealing her plans, her efforts were stymied by the organizational skills of the Elven Hart. Although they did not know it at the time, the High Forest Branch was thus directly responsible for the preservation of Highfolk City from the ravages of the Witch Queen. 

Iggwilv and Graz’zt

Iggwilv burned with hatred for the Elven Knights. She sent minor demons to eliminate them. But the elves were all tested veterans and powerful fighters—they were not as easily dispatched as the Perrender priests had been.[16] After a few close calls, the Hart realized the danger that they were in. The other Branches of the Hart, as well as elven nobles in the region, donated arrows of demon slaying–enough that all of the Knights were able to carry one or two. 

Iggwilv resolved to send even more powerful demons to destroy the members of the branch. Ultimately this proved to be her undoing. She called on her bound consort Graz’zt and demanded that he put at her disposal his strongest demons.[17] Although he had aided Iggwilv in the past and remained under magical compulsion to obey, Graz’zt refused to comply immediately. He was in the middle of an Abyssal war and could not spare any of his mighty lieutenants.[18] Iggwilv attempted to cause him dolor and force him to do her will. He fought against her bindings and attacked her. Although prevented by her wards from assaulting her physically, Graz’zt launched wave after wave of curses, feebleminds, and disjunctions. He even released mass-damage spells, not caring if he slew himself, for at least that would free him from the witch’s bindings. All the time he was wracked with dolor and set upon by her responses. A protracted and desperate struggle between their wills ensued. In the end, Iggwilv banished Graz’zt  to the Abyss for 100 years and Graz’zt stripped Iggwilv of her magical powers.[19]

Their minds now freed from the Witch’s charms, furious over how they had been held in mental bondage, the northern hetmen called upon their followers to reclaim the south of Perrenland. Iggwilv’s daughter and general, the beautiful Drelnza,[20] led the goblinkind armies bravely, but when it became apparent that Iggwilv herself would not fight, the humanoids retreated to the mountains. Clearing the vermin from the alpine valleys made for bloody work, but the humanoids were now disordered and isolated. The free and united Perrenders eventually slew or drove them off. When Iggwilv did not punish her troops for their defeats, the goblinkind grew insolent, then boldly rebellious. They looted the Caverns and the realm and deserted their queen.[21] Iggwilv fled. 

Her desire to eliminate the elven Knights thus ultimately led to the downfall of the Witch Queen. If the Elven Hart knows this, they do not boast of it. 

Demon Lord

The ultimate victory against Iggwilv incurred a high cost. A decade of preoccupation with Perrenland and the Velverdyva by the Marklands had left the Northern Reaches long neglected. With few Knights of the Hart and no army patrols, the area utterly collapsed into banditry. Though still claimed by Furyondy, none of the local lordlings recognized the rule or rights of the king.[22] In CY 479 a local bandit lord of the Howling Hills region died and left his holding to a son named Iuz.[23] This “man,” powerful and darkly handsome, quickly consolidated his inheritance. Using humanoid mercenaries, dark magics, and cunning strategies, he rapidly expanded his fief.[24] At the time, elven Knights of the Hart still rode errantries in the Northern Reaches. They soon heard rumors of the new bandit lord and duly reported them to Furyondy. Most troubling was the suggestion that this Iuz employed humanoid mercenaries, when the policy of Furyondy had been to eliminate the goblins and their kin where possible.

The elves recommended that the Furyondian Knights send a full commission of inquiry and assert dominion over Iuz’s holdings, forcing him to meet the standards of a subject of the king. But the Howling Hills were a long way from the civilized parts of Furyondy, and the king and his knights alike were more interested in reclaiming the estates just across the Veng and Whyestil than those in the distant north. They let the matter rest for the time being.[25] The next year Iggwilv began her invasion of Perrenland and by CY 481 she was menacing the Highfolk. The Elven Hart was recalled from the Northern Reaches and Furyondy turned away from the matter.[26]

The problem of Iuz grew, as one sage has said, “like mold on an overripe peach.”[27] As his domain spread, tales of its horrors and atrocities reached Furyondy with increasing regularity: a road from Dorakaa (his new capital) to the Howling Hills lined with skulls, watchtowers with fires fed by human fat, Iuz himself taking a huge, demonic form.[28] Clearly, the rumors would have to be investigated and action would have to be taken. But the pressing matters of Bissel and Highfolk were deemed more important. The known dangers of Ket, Keoland, and Iggwilv received more attention than the rumors from the north. By the time Iggwilv fell in CY 491, Iuz had conquered all the land between the Dulsi and Opicm Rivers and was regularly sending raiding parties into the Vesve.[29]

Dealing with Iuz

When the fall of Iggwilv freed the Furyondi army and Knights, everyone knew that something would have to be done about Iuz. Tales of the horrible fates suffered by lord and vassal alike in the half-civilized baronies on the northern shores of the Whyestil were common knowledge. But still, King Avras III hesitated.[30] A war against Iuz, now great in power, would deplete the army, impoverish the treasury, and yield little in land or booty for the participants. The northern lords pressed for immediate action, but, to succeed, the king would need the troops of the southern lords as well. They were loath to have their men so far from the frontiers of Ket and Keoland, and they attempted to wring concessions from the king.[31] The war would likely extend beyond the period the king could demand free service from the nobles, and he had little to offer them. The line of selfless Furyondian monarchs had slowly lost lands relative to the nobles. The occupation and defense of Bissel had, for the last half-century, steadily drained the royal treasury (while enriching the noble rulers). King Avras attempted to increase taxes to pay for a campaign against Iuz, but his attempts only earned him the unjust moniker of “King Avarice.”

The king preferred another stratagem. Veluna and Verbobonc had long aided his realm and continued to send troops and knights to assist in the defense of Bissel. Even the independent elves provided indispensable aid with their knights of the Hart. But the Shield Lands had been noticeably lacking in its contributions to Furyondian war efforts, both in the Short War and the more recent trouble with Iggwilv. Avras’ requests for assistance against Iuz were politely declined as well.[32] Avras decided that the Shield Landers had proven their lack of common cause with the rest of the Marklands and that the time had come to forcefully remind them of their duties to the greater good of all. In short, Avras announced his intention to annex the Shield Lands. He claimed that, as Thrommel I had granted the lands their independence, it was within his own power as the monarch of Furyondy rescind that grant.[33] By making the Shield Lands a royal domain, Avras would have access to enough troops to conquer Iuz without having to rely on the southern lords. 

Avras’ plan needed the support of all his nobles. He sought to assemble an army of overwhelming force so that the Shield Lands would quickly surrender (after a token battle to satisfy the honor of the Knights of Holy Shielding, of course). He wanted to capture the Shield Lands intact, not punish or destroy it. And while the southern lords were perfectly willing to participate (in return for booty from the rich land), the northern lords were not. Their insistence on the threat of Iuz stymied Avras’ plans of assembling an army of overwhelming force. 

Thus, the strategies of Avras languished for years while he tried to build a coalition. The southern lords supported the invasion of the Shield Lands but not Iuz, the northern lords the reverse. Fearful of losing the struggle, the northern lords looked for an ally. They found it in the Furyondian Knights of the Hart. The Furyondian Knights for the last century had slowly slipped from the direct control of the throne. As the power of the Kings of Furyondy waned in the fifth century CY, the Furyondy Hart had increasingly come under the direction of the Heironeoun church.[34] By mid-century they were already recruiting their own members, with the ceremonial knighting by the king having become a rubber-stamping formality.

The Knights recognized the threat of Iuz. Their Heironeoun leaders were far more eager to fight the demon of the north than to conquer their church brethren in the Shield Lands. The northern lords found common purpose with the knights. They donated funds for castles and chapter houses. They and their subject knights sought membership and promotion in the order. Within a few years the northern lords had infiltrated the order well. They did not control it, but they could be sure of its support of their position, even against the king. 

The Northern Reaches

The elven Knights of the Hart watched these machinations carefully and unhappily. They saw the shift in loyalty of the Furyondy Hart and warned their king to no avail. The malleable honor of the humans disappointed them (particularly the elves who had been original members of the order before the founding of the High Forest branch), as did the impotent schemes of the king. They counseled against any occupation of the Shield Lands. They favored immediate action against Iuz. After the fall of Iggwilv, they were increasingly occupied with defending the Vesve against humanoid encroachment from the north. The king listened but did not act. He convinced neither one side nor the other of his nobles to join him. 

The struggle fell moot in CY 505 when a band of heroes, wizards, and (some say) deities surprised Iuz and bearded him in his own throne room.[35] With the twin evils of Witch Queen and Demon Lord finally fallen, most in the Marklands breathed a sigh of relief and turned to complacency. The Elven Hart, on the other hand, merely ceased its visible activities. The elven knights engaged in a series of clandestine operations that surpassed even those of the original and secret Hart. But that tale is for another time.

[1] Gary L. Holian, coauthor of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer.

[2] “The witch was incredibly ancient, older even than old Iuz…Iggwilv’s infamy reached beyond Oerth to other worlds that paralleled it and occasionally touched it for a time. Ychbilch she was called on one of these worlds, Louhi on another.” Sea of Death, p. 15.

[3] Iggwilv first appeared in the historical chronicles of Perrenland in CY 460. Even then she was a powerful wizard, a master at fiend-summoning, planar exploration and necromantic magic … Iggwilv created an empire from her base in the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, named after a legendary wizard of old and hidden in the Yatils. In 480 CY, Iggwilv sent her humanoid and barbaric human minions out to conquer and loot surrounding territories. Perrenland was enslaved from 481 to 491 CY … Uninterested in the administration of her new lands, she stripped them of their treasures to support research into new magic.” Return of the Eight, p. 55.

“Nearly a century ago the Arch-mage Iggwilv sent her evil minions to conquer the lands around her abode. So successful was she that the Marches of Perrenland were subjugated for a decade…Legend states that the arch-mage gained much of her prowess from discovering the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, wherein was hidden magic of unsurpassed might. It is certain that Iggwilv ruled her domain from these caverns. There she also conducted arcane experiments and rituals, trying to further increase her powers.” The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, p. 2. 

Lost Caverns is the original canon reference on Iggwilv, and subsequent works have used this as a source, though with varying degrees of fidelity. If we assume that the module is “set” in CY 576 (when the Guide to the World of Greyhawk was said to have been completed), then “nearly a century ago” is 85 to 95 years before CY 576. This gives us a date for the start of Iggwilv’s rule of Perrenland as between CY 481 and 491. “Return of the Eight” chose to place the invasion in CY 480 and the start of her rule in CY 481. As far as Iggwilv’s arrival in the Yatil’s at CY 460, that is not mentioned in Lost Caverns. Return of the Eight may have taken that date from “Campaign Classics: Three Greyhawk Grimoires,” an article on pages 49-54 of Dragon #225. Unfortunately, the dates and sequence of events given in that article do not reflect other published information. For another interesting, non-canon, story of the career of Iggwilv see “Lerrek’s Tale” in Oerth Journal #13 (Volume 2, Issue 2).

[4] The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, p. 2.

[5] Ibid.

[6] “…great indeed was the loot brought to Iggwilv’s lair in answer to her insatiable demands for treasure.” Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth p. 2. 

[7] Return of the Eight indicates that all of Perrenland, and more, was conquered by Iggwilv. “Perrenland was enslaved … all Lake Quag was taken; and her raiders pushed the southern boundaries of the Wolf Nomad lands.” Psychlops, coauthor of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, finds this an unwarranted exaggeration. Certainly, the original canon reference to “the Marches of Perrenland” seems more restrictive. My idea of Iggwilv ruling a small portion of Perrenland through conquest and influencing the rest through the charming of its leaders is offered as a compromise.

[8] For details of this invasion, see “A Brief History of the Knights of the Hart: Part II” and “The Religious History of Perrenland”, both on Canonfire!

[9] “[The descendants of the Landgraf of Selintan] ruled a growing domain which rose to considerable heights c. 375 CY under the rule of Zagig Yragerne (the so called Mad Archmage)” A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, pp. 23, 25.

[10] Bissel is listed as having a racial composition of “OSB” (A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, p.14. From the Ashes Reference Card #2), indicating that each of the three races is present in nearly the same amount and that there is a strong Baklunish presence in the nation. Compare that, for example, with the Gran March (SOf) and Veluna (Osf).

[11] “The Littlemark, or March of Bissel, was the northernmost frontier of the Kingdom of Keoland, c. 400 CY. It was wrested from the latter in the Small War (Furyondy vs. Keoland) which [sic] ended Keoish influence in Veluna (438 CY). Bissel became a tributary state of Furyondy for a few decades…” A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, p.19.

[12] “For many decades [Ket] has alternately menaced the Oeridian/Suloise states east and south and threatened them by invasion.” A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, p. 28; “Knights of the Watch…are…pledged to protect the east from incursions of the Paynims and the other Westerlings.” A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, p. 79; “…the Knights of the Order of the Hart were organized to assure that [Veluna, the Highfolk, and Furyondy] retained their freedom, purpose, and allegiance. Historically, Ket and the Baklunish states have been perceived as the major threat…” From the Ashes Campaign Book, p. 69. 

[13] “A Brief History of the Knights of the Hart: Part II” and “The Religious History of Perrenland”, both on Canonfire! 

[14] The effect of the impoverishment of the Flan religion is detailed in my article, “The Religious History of Perrenland”, on Canonfire!.

[15] “A Brief History of the Knights of the Hart: Part II”) and “The Religious History of Perrenland”, both on Canonfire!. 

[16] So long as he makes his saves against telekinesis, even a seventh-level arathalian will quickly beat a Vrock, for example. See my twin articles on the arathalian character class and the training of arathalian in the Knights of the Hart, on Canonfire!.

[17] Canon says that Iggwilv accidentally freed Graz’zt in the course of a magical experiment (The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, p. 2 and Return of the Eight, p. 55). I have taken the liberty of reassigning the purpose of Iggwilv’s summons.

[18] “He was, in fact, waging a winning battle against the troglodyte, harpy, and bar-Igura. At a crucial moment, however, Graz’zt was magically taken to the Prime Material Plane and forced into bondage by a mighty magic-user. He battled free at the cost of being confined to his own plane for a century.” Monster Manual II, p. 39.

[19] “There was a terrible battle, and although the demon was forced to flee to the Abyss, Iggwilv was so stricken from the contest that her powers and strength were forever lost.” The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, p. 2; “The battle was so fierce that Graz’zt fled to the Abyss, but in the struggle Iggwilv was wounded and lost much of her power.” Return of the Eight, p. 55

[20] The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, p. 29. 

[21] The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, p. 2, Return of the Eight, p. 55. 

[22] Which king? The identity of the royal line of Furyondy is in a sorry state of affairs in Greyhawk canon. The King during the period of the first appearance of Iuz is alternately called “Hugh III” (A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, p. 19), “Avras III” (Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil Section), “Avras” (From the Ashes p. 5 and Iuz the Evil p. 3), and “Belvor II” (The Marklands p. 3), with the last two names coming from the same author! Similarly, a previous King reigning in CY 526 is variously called “Thrommel II” (A Guide to the World of Greyhawk p. 21) and “Belvor III” (Greyhawk Wars, footnote 7).

[23] Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil Section; From the Ashes Atlas, p. 5.

[24] Ibid, plus Iuz the Evil, p. 3. 

[25] “The rise of Iuz, who united a rabble of humanoids and petty rulers after his mysterious appearance in 479 CY, was not noted by Furyondy for some years…” The Marklands, p. 3.

[26] Given the relationship between Iuz and Iggwilv, the timing of the founding of their respective states is surely not a coincidence. The pair were most certainly aware that the distraction provided by Iggwilv would likely protect Iuz from Furyondian interference at the start of his reign.

[27] Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil section. 

[28] Ibid; From the Ashes Atlas, p. 5; The Marklands, p. 3; Iuz the Evil, p. 3. 

[29] “Iuz had control of the entire Land of Iuz in little over a decade.” Iuz the Evil, p. 3. 

[30] See note 22.

[31] Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil section. 

[32] The Shield Lands had always been the least cooperative of the Marklands. To be fair, however, the Earl of Walworth was at the time preoccupied with the growing power of both the Bandit Kingdoms and Nyrond. Furyondy had done nothing about Nyrond in over a century and had abandoned its patrols in the Northern Reaches a decade ago, allowing the Bandit Kings to expand greatly.

[33] Greyhawk Wars, footnote 4. While most regard as ridiculous Earl Holmer’s suspicion of Belvor IV’s intentions during the Greyhawk Wars, one must remember that Belvor’s own grandfather spent several years planning the forcible annexation of the Shield Lands.

[34] “In reaction, the margraves infiltrated the Order of the Hart, a small religious faction at the time, and patiently, deliberately transformed it into a military brotherhood loyal to them.” Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil section. 

[35] A Guide to the World of Greyhawk, p. 27; Greyhawk Wars, Iuz the Evil section and footnote 6; From the Ashes Atlas, p. 5; The Marklands, p. 3 [note that here the date of CY 503 is given]; Iuz the Evil, pp. 3 and 5.

Adapted for Greyhawkstories.com from the original article posted to Canonfire! 6/1/2002; edited by Greyhawkstories.com, updated and revised by the author.

Maps by Anna B. Meyer Fantasy Cartographer.
Read Iggwilv: Mother of Witches

Featured Art: Kilart

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