Previews for August and Beyond
By Mat Smith


The archmage Zagig Yragerne built Castle Greyhawk more than two hundred fifty years ago after a long and prosperous adventuring career. As his architects and masons raised three splendid towers at the edge of a rocky crevasse in the Cairn Hills, Zagig became increasingly political, exploiting direct ties to ancient nobility and bribing his way into a seat as Lord Mayor of Greyhawk. The city flourished under Zagig's ambitious leadership, gaining a glittering reputation as the "Gem of the Flanaess," a star at the heart of the continent. At his height he founded the city's famed Guild of Wizardry, rebuilt a glorious coliseum from ancient times, and attracted the wisest mystics, the hardiest fighters, and the most opportunistic merchants and thieves to his burgeoning capital.

Then, one day, he was gone, never again to appear in the city of Greyhawk. From time to time he issued bizarre proclamations from his subterranean laboratories in the dungeons below Castle Greyhawk, where he toiled over esoteric experiments meant to grant immortality. Eventually he abandoned the city altogether, falling deeper and deeper into his obsession. For a hundred years Zagig schemed in his darkest dungeons, until at last his delving reached its goal -- the Obelisk, a natural obsidian formation infused with pure magical energy. With great effort and assistance from Boccob and St. Cuthbert, Zagig cut a shard from the Obelisk, using the power to entrap nine demigods in specially prepared prisons meant to siphon their deific energy. So infused, Zagig achieved apotheosis. "Zagyg" thereafter withdrew from the Material Plane and his dungeons to serve in the court of Boccob the Uncaring, Archmage of the Gods.

Even before his strange experiments, Zagig showed signs of madness. The dungeon levels of Castle Greyhawk served as death traps for three lifetimes of enemies who sought to lay him low. Portals to diverse demiplanes adorned his subterranean dungeons like windows into realms both magnificent and absurd. When the "Mad Archmage" abandoned the world, his clockwork beasts and murderous illusions became rulers of the castle, and Zagig's great architectural marvel became a death trap without a master -- a treasure-gilded proposition too tempting to ignore, but too treacherous to escape from unscathed.


1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.