Hawk's Death

The Children of Joyhdee [2]

Haile and Fair Greetings Ian,

“Philidor is easy, since that piece has been crafted into a Corel document, long ago. I have never seen this, any idea where I can get my hands on it?”

At the moment, nowhere. After the beginning of the year, I’ll have the facilities to create PDF document. At that point, I’ll begin converting and dressing documents for release. Vision@Work will probably have a website around then, too.

“Gwydesion of the Cranes is a slightly different story. I have my own ideas about who and where to go with him, but as I’m currently into other projects, these will remain shelved until time allows.”

“Just out of curiosity, would you care to share any of those with me.”

Sure, but as I said, my attention is elsewhere for the moment. Once I put Verbobonc to bed, there’s going to be time for a lot of side projects, including the Knights of the Hart, expanded Cuthberran material (from my long-go posts), a Holdings & Halls product, revised and expanded Doomgrinder material, Pale Falcon articles, sagely lore and so on.

“I know who Gwydesiesin is within my own campaign – he is the one ‘Child’ I have fixed in place, and he is vastly different from the way in which he was presented within Ivid the Undying; that is only his public face, he is way WAY older, and much more powerful, but his days are numbered. His sacrifice has already been partially documented (see my story on canonfire: ‘Iuz the Evil’), and is vital to the restoration of the balance within the Flanaess.”

How much older do you think he can be? Ivid the Undying doesn’t offer his age, save to note his appearance is as one who has perhaps seen more than sixty winters. I assure you he’s lived well beyond that. As for any involvement of his in the affairs of mortals, you’ll note from the words in Chapter One of Ivid, as in the description of Gwydesiesin, that the Children of Johydee manage to impact the world through indirect means. It’s one of the fundamental reasons they have not become marked as power figures in a setting where such folk are singled out. You may, perchance, have too superficial a perception of the Children.

“One question though… ‘the Walker is attempting to remove a large portion of corrupt and profane Medegia…’ do you mean actually and physically, rip it from the Oerth and take it elsewhere? What will it be like once it arrives in the elemental? What of the people? And what would be left behind? Alright, that was a couple of questions ;) Also I am very excited to begin speculating on his previous identity within his mortal life.”

As with the Children of Johydee and other figures, it really matter not who The Walker was in ordinary life. He may not have even been of the Flanaess or Oerth. The point of all these figures is to establish a layer of occurrence grander in scheme than mortal life, even of powerful mortals. To make important miniscule aspects of who and when diminishes their value and impact.

If Death turns out to be some near-sighted schlep with a black robe, the impact of his appearance is lessened. If the Gods have statistics and one can travel to the nether realms and battle them to death, there becomes less value in the Gods. So, all these things are unimportant against what happens now or next.

From Ivid the Undying: “Rather, just keep in mind that there are places, and people, which fit into a grand magical pattern which Istus alone sees in its fullness. Some of them remain entirely enigmatic. That’s deliberate; Philidor, The Walker and The Spectre should, at this time, remain wholly mysterious. Their timespan of perception covers decades and centuries and they are not over-hasty.”

From the Tome of Magic:

“Estate Transference (Alteration)
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 10 turns
Area of Effect: 1,000 square feet/level
Saving Throw: None

This powerful spell allows a caster to transfer a large area of land in the Prime Material plane to any of the elemental planes. All buildings, people and wildlife within the area of effect are also transported. The land forms a pocket of the Prime Material plane within the elemental plane.

The pocket is a sphere with a diameter equal to the diameter of the land. The surface of the pocket allows creatures to enter or exit the pocket, but prevents the elements from entering the pocket.

Inside the pocket, the land is surrounded by air of a temperature matching that of the Prime Material plane at the moment the land was moved. In addition, a source of water is created within the pocket.

Before the spell is cast, the area to be moved must be surrounded by solid markers of material from the destination plane. Thus, if a wizard wants to move his castle to the Elemental Plane of Fire, he must first surround the area with solid blocks of matter from the Elemental Plane of Fire, such as hardened magma or magically-crystallized fire. The blocks must be spaced no more than five feet apart and may be placed above ground or under the surface (at a depth of no more than three feet).

The wizard must be within the area to be moved when he casts the spell. When the land moves, a hemispherical crater is left behind in the Prime Material plane. Inside its pocket on the desired place, the land continues its existence as if nothing changed, with the exception of occasional visits from planar creatures.

Any land that is moved in this manner can never again be moved with spell. The material component (in addition to the markers) is the appropriate magical device to control elements of the desired plane (bowl of commanding water elementals, brazier of commanding fire elementals, censer of controlling air elementals or stone of controlling earth elementals). The item must be permanently placed at the heart of the area of effect and cannot be used for any other purpose. If the device is disturbed in any way, the spell immediately fails, allowing the energies of the elemental plane to flood into the protected area."

“As to which Power(s) support Johydee’s Children, this was never formalized… ….to say he was thinking of The Dweller on the Horizons.”

Don’t confuse The Walker with one of Johydee’s Children. Beings such as he and Philidor are not of that ranking. Do you know what a Proxy is?

From Ivid the Undying: “The Walker is often said to be a being verging on Demipower status, perhaps a human who is undergoing divine ascension and in he last stages of a sublime enlightenment. Some say he is an aspect of Fharlanghn, but this is surely only a partial truth at best.”

“I had never considered this. In my own work, a new generation of Johydee’s Children are arising, one to represent each alignment. She is the supporter of her “chosen.” She chooses them not for their strength or power, but for the belief and ability to lead others. Each of the children has the potential within them to alter the destiny of the Flanaess, lead others correcting the imbalance that is threatening to destroy the world."

Well, that’s not exactly in keeping with her spirit, is it? Refer to the description of Johydee’s Mask in the Book of Artifacts, p.49. Johydee is held to have been a High Priestess of a Goddess of Truth and Justice. Thus, neither balance nor non-goodly alignments would be in order for her.

“My biggest point that I need to resolve is this: before I had fully formulated my plans (as I have now ;) ) I had hinted at something much larger, perhaps even larger than the Gods behind Johydee (have you read Stephen King’s It? the turtle was my inspiration). And now I need to figure out just what that was. Because my main theme, is the restoration of the Balance, Beory could play a big part. Perhaps as Johydee’s ‘mother’, or the deity sponsoring her own ascension, perhaps Fharlaghn is the ‘father’, I don’t know, I’m thinking aloud here.”

Actually, Ian, no, you don’t. In fact, it’s probably better that you don’t define it. Because, what if it’s not a single thing? What if the encounters your players have are but diaphanous tendrils of multiple cosmic machinations? It is the human need to define and align that causes us to take everything we have and force-fit it into a single form. What if it’s two (or three, or more) somethings, rather than the one? You arrive at what’s known as misconception. History is full of it, as it should be. Folk of incredible clarity and insight hold less fascination, otherwise.

Indeed, it’s only necessary to convey that there are matters beyond the scope and comprehension of mortal life extant and that occasionally a particular being may play a crucial role. Leave the rest to their imagination and I promise what they will conceive will dwarf anything you could offer.

I have not read Stephen King.

“I loved the Castles Forlorn adventure. I don’t know if you have since managed to get your hands on this, but the boxed set in effect presented three castles, each were obviously Castle Forlorn at various stages of its evolution, and each was populated by the inhabitants at the time. During the course of the adventure the players would jump from one to the next with no real control of their own. They had the ability through their actions to effect things, though, and the major inhabitants of the castle, many of whom are ghosts in the current time can be encountered during their lives. In the past, players might learn the history of the ghosts and try to aid them or deal with them better as foes. A real challenge to DM, this one, but well worth the effort.”

No, I’ve never found this adventure to read it.

“I am shocked, I actually had not realized this. I had assumed that through the strength of her children then she must have been, and of course she is such in earlier and later works. Hhmmm…”

I would challenge you to present an earlier work that mentions her as a Power. Even in the pages of Dragon No. 71, she was mentioned only as a quasi-diety, on the level of such folks as Keoghtom; a grouping which is well worthy of expunge. It’s from here that she first appears as such ranking in the 1998 “Greyhawk Player’s Guide”.

For the greatest part, this was an effort to pull together assorted mentions from magazine articles and products of a huge database for continuity. Unfortunately, no effort was made to correct inherent errors or expunge material that deserved it. The going concept of the time was that it would somehow offend people to get rid of anything. Thus, at points you’d have seen these convoluted arguments and explanations isolating dictionary definitions for key words, rather than just tidying up the storyline, correcting inaccurate dates, explaining away the droit as someone’s mistellings.

“That is why I value your insights, Noel. OK, so you attempted to prevent Johydee from being listed as a Power, so what is she? I have no obligation to follow what is published, in fact my players certainly have no idea yet of Johydee’s identity. I didn’t know when I began this arc in our adventures where it was headed. I was inspired by the vague ‘Children of Johydee’ thread on the forum and began to develop these ideas years ago, before I even knew who Johydee was or where I was going with it. This is the ultimate work in progress. I am excited about anything you can offer on this one.”

Honestly, Johydee is probably no-one of any consequence beyond her deeds. It’s probably far more likely that one of the so-called Children of Johydee was actually behind the crafting of the mask which bears her name. You’ll note from the “Book of Artifacts” that she didn’t create it.

More likely, these folk came to the attention of Oerthers due to Johydee’s actions. Due to their otherwise unknown status, those who followed were simply lumped into association coined by her name in the way these things are. The Children, then, are not related to her in any sense, temporal or spiritual.

One of my irritants is found in the way folk take things in their most superficial sense, above all other. Through actual research and reading of the source material, matters become more clear by far. Or, perhaps it is better to say, it becomes more clear what things are not (like Tzunk being incorrectly named, even by Sargent, as the Wizard-Priest of the Isles of Woe when he was actually the discoverer of the fateful tome). Instead, the errors of one author are further abused in later works, perpetuating the error, rather than correcting or abating it.

I suppose this is how I’ve become so involved in setting matters aright. Too bad it’s so poorly received.

Soft Winter and Sweet Flowers,
The Watcher

The Children of Joyhdee

Haile and Fair Greetings Ian,

“I don’t expect you to remember me but we were talking about six years ago about the Children of Joyhdee through GreyTalk, I had forgotten myself but I came across our old posts in the archives (I was Thoric@msn.com in those days).”

Actually, you are who I thought you were when I received the post. I keep copies of all my mail against a future when I may need to recall what transpired. I used a Juno address way back then, but in the meanwhile I’ve become a tad more profligate, improving my system and connection, dramatically. Normally, I give out my Netscape address for replies, but this is my main address… at least until the group server is fully functional.

“You had mentioned that you had some insights into where Carl Sargant was headed with his Children of Joydhee threads, namely Gwydesion of the Cranes and Philidor. I wondered if you still cared to share those with me.”

Philidor is easy, since the piece has been crafted into a Corel document, long ago. Of course, in the modern – post 591 CY – environment, he’s more or less moot and removed from the Flanaess. I’ll likely revise that data and reformat it into a PDF document come the New Year, assuming Vision@Work gets a website.

Gwydesion of the Cranes is a slightly different story. I have my own ideas about who and where to go with him, but as I’m currently into other projects, these will remain shelved until time allows.

From an old GreyTalk post:
The Walker: The Walker is a kind of demi-proxy, under the influence of a Quest spell, which he is completely in agreement with, that will reward him in the afterlife. In life, and to a certain degree now, he was one of Joyhdee’s Children, a mage with fantastic power who was devoted to the betterment of the Oeridians.

Through serious tinkering and the use of the largely unknown field of meta-magic, the Walker is attempting to remove a large portion of corrupt and profane Medegia, centered on Mentrey, from the Flanaess. As most of you know from my earlier post, and from the online text of Ivid the Undying:

“Detect magic shows a faint line of abjuration and alteration magics left behind in the trails of The Walker, and a particularly skilled decoder of cyphers might see The Walker is building up a spider’s web pattern centered on Mentrey… Certainly one startling physical change which has been observed only very recently is that tall, stark, utterly smooth stone monoliths 12’ or so in height have sprung up at the nexus points in the web pattern, and these radiate the same pattern as the trail… these silent stones stand as physical evidence of The Walker’s passage… Again, their purpose – if they have one – is unknown.”

Until now. When all this patterning is complete, The Walker will have completed the casting of a HUGE “Estate Transference”. This casting explains why The Walker cannot be turned from his passage (and why he’s able to deflect/defeat any attempts to do so), he’s working to save his Oeridian home from further defilement by both the ascendant Power of Hextor (who created the foul animuses) and the infestation of fiends.

Somewhere well protected in Mentrey is a non-standard stone of controlling earth elementals, perhaps a cellar stone or buried statue, which will open a gateway and remove this evil. The Walker will of course be present when this happens, the last leg of his journey bringing him down the very streets of Mentrey. The last act of this quasi-mortal, once (this large chunk of) Medegia has been transported to the Elemental Plane of Earth, will be to destroy the stone, and with it any chance of return to Oerth. From here The Walker will be recalled to serve his new master on the Outer Planes.

As to which Power(s) support Joyhdee’s children, this was never formalized. Carl was toying with a number of potential ideas and planned to “reveal” something as the campaign advanced. Sadly, we will not likely have the chance to find out what Carl had in mind. As to the ultimate fate of The Walker, I have dug through my old notes and found that Carl was somewhat partial to Fharlanghn. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch – The Walker, Elemental Plane of Earth, saving the Oeridians – to say he was thinking of The Dweller on the Horizons.

Curiously, we never got around to discussing the dog, unless it was the mage’s (in true life) familiar. The Walker is devoted to its well-being, and Carl did mention there was an uncanny rapport between them. I can only fathom that some portion of the divine essence which empowers/sustains The Walker for so long must also feed through their magical link to sustain the dog as well.

The Spectre: Gosh folks, there’s a whole lot less to go on here. I never got my last reply from Carl, so I only have a number of side notes on the topic. First off, the Spectre is one of the elves that has undergone The Testing. This happened long ago in Flanaess history. Even at that time, however, the elves controlled some part of Lendore Isle as a most secret site for seeking the Retreat. For reasons we never delved fully, the (as considered by Carl) Oeridian Power Cyndor (Time, Infinity, Continuity) was on good terms with the Elven Power Labelas Enoreth, because of some unusual facet of this island chain, probably a contention concerning the Suel Power Lendore (Time, Tedium).

The Spectre is/was/will be an elven worshipper of Labelas from the “City of the Summer Stars” whose Retreat to those islands was interrupted by the discovery of a huge, unnatural mansion. Unfortunately, I can’t say what significance the Spectre was supposed to have on the campaign at large – if, indeed, Carl had even dreamed up all the connections himself as of then.

What I can tell you is moving Lendore’s faithful off the islands that bare his namesake and converting them to a stronghold of powerful elves was a deliberate intention on Carl’s part. The Spectre was to have had some, alas unknown, part in that.

For all intents and purposes, The Spectre is trapped between the Prime Material and some other plane, possibly Arvanaith, possibly something related to the Chronomancy supplement, which Carl also wanted to use something from. He did say the effects on play were adventures similar to the time-shifting castle found in the Ravenloft supplement Castles Forlorn. I do not personally own this product, so I can only speculate as to the particulars here.

If anyone is familiar with this product, I would be interested in any insights you might have. Please email me privately at vision.at.work@juno.com. I hope that wasn’t too disappointing; many times Carl’s notes weren’t all that clear, or he’d make references to things he hadn’t told me about yet. I often got the impression he could use a good assistant/apprentice to keep him organized.

“Joyhdee seems like a very obscure and little known deity to have sponsored such powerful (and they ARE powerful) characters. I am very curious, especially in these ‘children’ and also in any thoughts or information you may have on Joyhdee herself, regarding her mortal life and/or ascension and who may have sponsored HER.”

::cough, cough:: You’ll note that nowhere in Sargent’s work is Joyhdee mentioned as a Power. It seems the folks behind GH98+ can’t get away from creating the unnecessary and obvious. And, yes, I had attempted to work with them to avoid such measures. Take a look at the Special Thanks line in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer for evidence. So, Ian, you must decide if you will follow what has been published or something alternate if I am to offer you anything more,

Soft Winter and Sweet Flowers,


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