Mordenkainen (NPC)... (Admin Update Mordenkainen)

The Archmage

First Met


Mordenkainen has been of little help to the heroes thus far... beyond hosting the Conclave to advise on the Return of He Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken.

Appearance


Mordenkain was born 509 CY. His birthplace is unknown, but before coming to prominence in the early 560s, he is thought to have resided on the Wild Coast. He also resided for a time in the City of Greyhawk, as well as Highfolk. He is rumored to be of Oeridian blood, possibly Aerdi. Some claim that he is a descendant of Ganz Yragerne, first Landgraf of the Selintan, which would mean he's also related to Zagig and Heward. According to some sources, he is distantly related to House Cranden, one of the royal houses of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy.

About 561 CY, with his young apprentice Bigby, the warriors Robilar and Yrag, the clerics Riggby and Serten, the ranger Otis, and fellow mage Tenser, Mordenkainen formed the Citadel of Eight. The group was named for the Obsidian Citadel, Mordenkainen's stronghold in the Yatil Mountains. The Citadel disbanded after the Battle of Emridy Meadows in 569 CY, where Citadel member Serten lost his life.

Two years later, Mordenkainen formed the Circle of Eight, a cabal of eight wizards with himself acting as the ninth "shadow member" and leader. Mordenkainen felt that the failure of the Citadel was due to its composition. He felt that such a group as he envisioned could only succeed if its members were "men of intellect and sorcerous skill, whose primary interests were more than material."[citation needed]

Mordenkainen's role in the Greyhawk setting has been described[who?] as a form of one-man peacekeeping force. He operates according to a theory based on power balance and Neutrality, trying to keep neither Good nor Evil from getting the upper hand. His methods are manipulative; he operates very much from the shadows.

Mordenkainen the Archmage formed the Circle of Eight as a tool to manipulate political factions of the Flanaess, preserving the delicate balance of power in hopes of maintaining stability and sanity in the region. Mordenkainen's view of 'enforced neutrality' is not a tit-for-tat equality but rather a detailed theoretical philosophy derived from decades of arcane research. He has fought ardently for the forces of Good, most recently during the Greyhawk Wars, but just as often has worked on darker plots to achieve his ends.

Mordenkainen appears much younger than his years, perhaps in his mid-forties. He is tall, of medium build and often depicted wearing black, blue, or grey. He wears a Van Dyke beard with two prominent grey streaks. Its shape has changed over the years, and in recent art is narrow and pointed, but was originally broad, covering the whole chin. He once wore his graying black hair at medium length, but since 591 CY has been shaving his pate bald, as well as trimming his goatee to a fine point. He speaks with a deep, melodic voice.

When traveling, Mordenkainen often disguises himself as a poor, elderly merchant.

Mordenkainen can be stubborn and difficult, and does not tolerate fools. He normally spends much more time listening than talking, but when he does speak, his pronouncements are authoritative and rarely questioned.

As a major character in the World of Greyhawk, Mordenkainen has had dealings with nearly every other character in the setting. His enemies include Evard, Iuz, Rary, Terik, and Sir Robilar. His allies include Heward, Murlynd, Zagyg, Jallarzi Sallavarian, Otto, Ravel Dasinder, and the lesser deity Dalt.

He is distantly related to Heward, Zagyg, and Bigby. This latter was at one point Mordenkainen's apprentice.

The "Wizards Three" articles mention that Mordenkainen is an associate of Elminster of the Forgotten Realms setting and Dalamar of the Dragonlance setting, who all meet on Earth to swap news and magic. He is also stated to have an apprentice named Rautheene.

Mordenkainen's citadel is defended by humans, dwarves, and gnomes. The wizard is also allied with various giants.

Mordenkainen is a powerful wizard and a potent political manipulator. He has many allies in the Free City of Greyhawk and his influence is far reaching.[citation needed]

He is responsible for developing a number of spells, all of whose names begin with the word "Mordenkainen's".

Mordenkainen is known to have authored or co-authored the following diegetic works:

Architecture (with Leomund)
The Codex of Mordenkainen
Cosmogony of Magnetic Fluids
Dark Sides of the Memory
Epic Saga of the Great Conjurers
On the Rise of Magecraft and Modernity
Weapons of the Ether (with Melf)

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