His Most Profane Eminence, Lord of Pain, Fiend of the North, Child of the Evil One, Master of the Dread and Awful Presences, Iuz the Evil, The Old One
Demigod of Deceit, Pain, Oppression, and Evil
Symbol: A human skull with blood-red highlights, a grinning skull
Home Plane: Oerth
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Portfolio: Deceit, evil, pain, and oppression
Worshipers: Wicked humans, orcs, goblinoids, and demons
Cleric Alignments: CN, CE, NE
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Mind* (CD), Trickery, Tyranny* (CW).
Favored Weapon: Greatsword (m)
Description: luz (EYE-ooze) is thought to be the cambion (half-fiend) son of the demon lord Graz’zt and the powerful wizard Igglwilv. Appearing on Oerth as a shriveled old man or as a huge, demonic-looking being, luz has many fiendish allies and impersonates other gods to fool mortals and increase his territory. He remains a great threat to the balance despite setbacks since the Greyhawk Wars. His symbol is a grinning skull, and he holds a particular hatred for Zagyg, Vecna, St. Cuthbert, and Greyhawk.
“The weak must be exploited, tortured, and stripped of hope. The strong must be constantly wary of betrayal by their underlings. Pain is power, and inflicting pain demonstrates power best. Crush those beneath you. luz must be obeyed, and those who defy him will know absolute pain.”
luz’s clerics inflict cruelty and torture upon all who oppose them. luz tolerates no less than fanaticism and complete obedience. His clerics constantly try to outdo each other in their acts of cruelty and evil. They show their superiority over all other beings by hunting for trophies; rare finds such as unicorns or paladins are truly prized. The clerics create spells and magic items of terrible power and evil nature, and travel the world to commit acts of evil and search out luz’s enemies, luz is served directly by the Boneheart-two tiers (Greater and Lesser) of six advisers each (clerics and wizards), and by the Boneshadow, six spies and evildoers who roam the world. Iuz builds grand temples to himself in his nation-state, but his churches elsewhere are small and secret. He maintains important sites for mass rituals, sacrifices, and other ill deeds in forbidding wilderness terrain far from the eyes of good.
Few beings have a greater capacity for cruelty than the demigod Iuz. Ruling from blood-black Dorakaa, City of Skulls, Iuz harbored an undisguised desire to dominate all of the Flanaess. He first gained notice, however, a century before the Greyhawk Wars.
The malignant tyrant also known as Iuz (EYE-ooze) the Old because one of his favored forms is that of a withered human male. Iuz is thought to be the half-fiend son of the demon lord Graz’zt and the powerful Witch-Queen Iggwilv. Appearing on Oerth as a shriveled old man or as a huge, demonic-looking being, Iuz has many fiendish allies and impersonates other gods to fool mortals and increase his territory.
Iuz arose, in 479 CY (more than a century ago), in the frontier country on the plains north of the Lake of Unknown Depths. At that time, the region was a fractious collection of independent fiefs. The petty princes who ruled these plots of land vied to inherit the lands of Furyondy, which at that time reached far north. Among these princes was a paltry despot of the Howling Hills, a petty noble who died under mysterious circumstances, and left the land to a son of questionable origin. The “son”-Iuz quickly and ruthlessly gathered rebel warlords to his side, slew them, and claimed their bandit followers as his own. Oddly, rumors alternately described the “son” as an old man and a 7-foot-tall, feral-faced fiend.
The young cambion tanar’ri soon used his powers to great effect. Realizing that his warriors could not hope to triumph by simple force, Iuz began to ally his men with other minor clan leaders to beat off stronger enemies. Of course, those allies always ended up suffering most of the casualties and their leaders died in battle with astonishing predictability. Slowly, the size of Iuz’s warband increased. Celbit and jebli orcs of the Vesve margins began to join. The human scum serving Iuz didn’t like the ores overmuch, but they soon saw how their enemies liked them even less. And of course, there was Iuz’s magic. Many cambions wield magic, but that of Iuz, aided by his mother, was far more powerful than anything the competing hordes could muster. Iuz had control of the entire Land of Iuz in little over a decade
After the incipient Lord of Evil reorganized his small estate into a military camp, his attention swung to neighboring fiefs. Feigning a merely defensive stance, Iuz worked covertly to pit his despotic neighbors against each other. In time the resources and wills of these princes were whittled away by conflict, and Iuz seized the land. By the end of his first year on the throne Iuz had assimilated the three fiefs surrounding his.
Iuz’s domain began to spread like mold upon an overripe peach, primarily due to his use of humanoid tribes. Most human princes considered orcs and goblins vermin-ridden inferiors, an attitude best typified by His Eminence Count Vordav, who swore to “burn on sight any hovel of those miserable scum." Though this attitude allowed the petty princes to “maintain a false sense of purity for the old Aerdi traditions," it also meant their armies were quickly overmatched by Iuz, who made full use of orcish cruelty and fecundity.
Iuz’s merciless nature impressed his demonic father, the great Abyssal prince Graz’zt, who provided fiendish allies and artifacts of otherworldly origin. Political influence from his mother, who had conquered the neighboring nation of Perrenland, cowed skeptical subjects of Iuz into submission. By the time Iuz allowed the degenerate savage humanoids of the northern hills into his cities and armies, none of his human subjects had the willpower to resist—and besides, the feral subhumans brought stunning victories in the field.
Refugees from this domain fled to Furyondy, telling stories of the most ghastly abominations. Iuz’s capital city, Dorakaa, was a charnel house, with a road of skulls being constructed from there to the Howling Hills. Watchtowers along the road were entered by chained slaves, who never saw the light of day again. From the towers, acrid clouds of smoke belched out across the barren plains. Burning beacons proclaimed to all Oerik that Iuz had a kingdom and sought further conquest.
As more and more fiefs fell to the humanoids, a swelling stream of refugees carried wild tales of Iuz’s powers to Furyondy in the south. According to such rumors, Iuz had constructed a road paved with skulls between the Howling Hills and Dorakaa, his new capital. The watchtowers guarding the road were said to be fueled on the flesh of living men. Iuz himself had sloughed off his withered form and grown to colossal size – or so the tales said. Though hindsight may dismiss the most outlandish of such claims, the rumors at that time spread panic along the southern shores of Whyestil Lake. The King of Furyondy, Avras III, shifted attention to his northern frontier to prevent expansion of Iuz’s power into the heartlands of Furyondy.
King Avras of Furyondy grew concerned about the rise of evil to the north of his lands, and the elves, rangers and good forces of the Vesve began fighting in earnest for the safety of their homeland against the increasingly well-trained and marshalled humanoids in Iuz’s service.
As the stories of his inhuman cruelty spread, so did his reach, and by 500 CY, he controlled much of the land north of Lake Wyestil. By this time, several cults had begun to spread his depravity far and wide, and he rewarded their cruelty with power and prestige.
So it was that Iuz’s external threat sundered Furyondy internally. By 505 CY, a three-way split had grown in the ranks of the nobility. The most powerful faction was the Great Lords of the south, who used Iuz’s threat to lever their lands from the king’s control. Second in power was the Order of the Hart, which grew in unity and strength to oppose Iuz’s border raids. Least in power was King Avras III with his estates and kin. Trapped in the lands between the more powerful factions, the king futilely strove to appease both.
Iuz’s growing kingdom soon engulfed the Middle Lands to the edge of the Rift Canyon in the east, to the ancient Vesve Forest in the west, and to the tenuous borders of the Shield Lands in the south. Tens of thousands died as Iuz’s borders expanded. Those who rebelled or refused to submit to his will were ruthlessly slain, their skulls placed along a bloody three-hundred-mile road snaking from the Old One’s capital in the haunted city of Dorakaa. Iuz’s ambition knew no bounds, and he seemed poised to threaten the whole of the Flanaess. But just when it seemed that nothing could stop his ever-expanding empire, Iuz vanished in 505 CY.
To become a deity, Zagig needed to capture nine demigods as catalysts, and Iuz made for an excellent candidate. With assistance from his old adventuring companions Heward, Murlynd, Keoghtom, and Kelanen as well as St. Cuthbert himself, Zagig managed to summon Iuz to his dungeons below Castle Greyhawk and force him into an inescapable arcane prison.
Within Iuz’s own lands, many factions struggled for power when their master left. Tanar’ri came to odds with each other and decided to leave the barren lands to their own fate. Deprived of their lord, the orc and goblin armies massing on Furyondy’s borders rapidly dissolved. The barbarous creatures fought the regents of Iuz and won for themselves the east and west shores of Whyestil Lake. East of the lake, savage chieftains and unscrupulous humans founded the Horned Society by 513 CY, but the depths of the Vesve Forest remained untamed up to the Greyhawk Wars over half a century later. Other blows beset the tyrant. His mother offended Graz’zt, who drew her to the Abyss and imprisoned her there; Iuz’s growing alliance with Zuggtmoy, tanar’ri Lady of Fungi, never had the chance to grow to fruition.
For sixty-five years Iuz raged within his cage until deliverance came not from one of his devoted cultists but instead from the battle-hungry Lord Robilar, who tried to murder him immediately upon release. Aided by Mordenkainen and Riggby, a fierce magical battle erupted in the dungeons of Zagig’s Prison, triggering earthquakes and warping reality. Iuz fled just as several other enraged demigods emerged from their malfunctioning prisons, leaving Castle Greyhawk in chaos, and swore eternal vengeance on those who had attempted to slay him.
Iuz’s banishment was long indeed, one reason why the defenders of good were slow to respond to his reappearance. But, the creature returning to its homeland was no cambion tanar’ri now. How Iuz became a demigod is a secret any sage of Oerth would give an arm and a leg to discover. Zuggtmoy, Iggwilv, Graz’zt and Lolth are all said to have had some part, perhaps even unwittingly. The unpredictable and mighty magics Zagyg unleashed within Castle Greyhawk are unknown in their effects. Iuz’s own unquenchable will, and wielding of magic mightier than any cambion almost from his birth, may be part and parcel of his destiny too. Istus and other Greater Powers know, but they are not telling.
Upon returning to his homeland, Iuz’s tyranny began anew, as he brutally recaptured his capital and set about sorting out his loyal servants from the traitors. The twelve greatest of the former were elevated to positions in his Greater and Lesser Boneheart, a grisly cabinet of malevolent clerics and wizards. Together the Old One and his demented court reclaimed the old empire and began pressing for more, probing into the Bandit Kingdoms and the Shield Lands on its borders and initiating a conquest planned six decades before.
To his annoyance, Iuz discovered that the Temple of Elemental Evil he had developed with Zuggtmoy in the Gnarley Forest had been sacked a year beforehand. The Temple was a clever feint by the Old One. He allied with Zuggtmoy to bring evil creatures to the Temple, hoping to draw the attentions of the forces of good in Verbobonc, Veluna and Furyondy south to this burgeoning citadel of evil, and the ruse worked. Zuggtmoy was bound within the Temple, and Iuz no longer needed worry about her dangerous games anymore. On reflection, perhaps the fall of the citadel of chaos and evil was not such a bad thing after all. Forgetting it, Iuz developed his plans.
The first strike was a stroke of unusual cunning and ingenuity. Constructing an elaborate fiction about a “Great God Vatun,” Iuz managed to ally the barbarian nations together. Deluded by dreams of greatness, the barbarians subjugated the Hold of Stonefist. In turn, the Fists, under the leadership of their magically-compelled chieftain Seword Redbeard, swept into Tenh, conquering it with lightning speed. The powerful nations of the Flanaess were astonished. What was at work here? Iuz’s cunning plan drew attention away from his lands, far eastward.
The Vatun ruse did not last long. Commanding the barbarians to strike into Ratik, a longtime ally of the barbarians, was a mistake by Iuz, some think. Others say that he wished to abandon this part of the Flanaess to confusion, since its role as a ruse and feint was played to the full. In any event, the barbarians began to slink quietly home, though the Fists remained in Tenh and occupy it still. Now Iuz could concentrate fully on the war.
The week of the Blood Moon festival in the lands of their most Dread and August Presences, the Hierarchs of the Horned Society, took on an unusual aspect in 582 GY. Never before had the very streets of Molag run awash with blood. With the aid of fiends and his orcish army sweeping across the plains of the Society’s lands, Iuz vanquished his old enemies in days rather than weeks. The blow was so decisive that the Hierarchs had no time to call on extraplanar aid before they were massacred. Absorbing the hobgoblin soldiery of the land into his own armies, Iuz swept onwards across the Ritensa to the Shield Lands.
The full tale of the stupidity of the Shield Land rulers is too well known to bear lengthy repetition here. Fearing that Furyondy’s warnings were a ruse to cover Belvor Ill’s desire to annex their lands, the Knights of Holy Shielding hesitated in accepting a Furyondian army on their soil. The hesitation cost them their land, and for many their lives. Many thousands of Shield Landers were evacuated to Furyondy and across the Nyr Dyv, but many others were slain or captured. Iuz’s Boneheart wizards, Kermin Mind-Bender and the dreaded Archmage Null, distinguished themselves in this conquest, with their magic proving vital to the supply of fast-moving armies
These schemes engulfed much of the Flanaess culminating in the Greyhawk Wars in 582 CY. The Great Kingdom struck at Nyrond and the eastern campaigns began. Furyondy’s rulers saw all too clearly that Iuz had flanked their land. Belvor acted to bring Keoland, Veluna, the Gran March, the Ulek states, and even the Yeomanry into alliance against Iuz at the signing of the Treaty of Niole Dra. But Iuz was prepared, for he too had nurtured alliances of his own.
As armies marched northwards to strike at Iuz, Ketite soldiery struck swift and deep into Bissel and even Veluna. Bissel is still occupied, but Veluna freed itself and lost no lands to the Bakluni invaders. But the attack, and the cascade of giants and humanoids down from the Crystalmists into Geoff, Sterich, and the Yeomanry, drew away the support armies from Furyondy. Iuz struck, smashing the Whyestil navy, capturing Crockport and Grabford in northern Furyondy, besieging Chendl itself and Redoubt, the great fortress protecting the northern road to the capital.
For two years, Iuz and his fanatical clergy worked to expand his realm and his faith. In the end, Furyondy held. The great armies of good and evil ground each other to a halt, and when Belvor sundered the siege of Chendl and drove Iuz back northwards into the oncoming autumn of 584 CY, Furyondy was saved. But even that great nation had not the strength to drive into Iuz’s own lands. Both Furyondy and Iuz were ready enough to sign the Pact of Greyhawk. Iuz, grown used to easy strikes and conquests of great speed, saw tens of thousands of his soldiery slain. Three of his twelve Boneheart wizards were destroyed. He reached out his clawed hand to the pool of darkness in his throne room, but drew it back. It was time to settle for the gains he had made and prepare anew. It was clear that Iuz was among the victors.
The Obsessions of Iuz
Those who imprisoned Iuz below Castle Greyhawk consist of many of the most important beings in the World of Greyhawk: the mad Archmage Zagyg, St. Cuthbert, and the four quasi-deities Heward (the mage-bard), Murlynd (paladin-wizard), Keoghtem (bard-mage) and Kelanen, the Prince of Swords. Why they allied to banish Iuz is unknown; probably, each had his own purpose. What is certain is that, while Iuz may hate these six and wish revenge upon them, his scope for vengeance is strictly limited. After all, even Iuz would have a hard time challenging a demigod, an intermediate god, and four quasi-deities. In addition, those six dwell on planes other than the Prime Material, so they are beyond Iuz’s immediate reach.
Rather, Iuz’s most burning desire is to have revenge on those who freed and tried to slay him. Originally, three set out to investigate the prison of Iuz below Castle Greyhawk. These were Lord Robilar, his ore henchman Quij, and Riggby, Patriarch of Boccob. Unfortunately, the investigation freed Iuz. Whether this was by error or perhaps design on the part of Robilar, who secretly carried a pair of highly unusual dispelling magics about himself on that fateful day, sages cannot say. What is known is that at the moment of Iuz’s being freed, Archmage Tenser arrived on the scene together with Bigby the mage and a powerful fighter going by the unlikely name of Neb Retnar. Tenser had learned of Robilar’s plan, feared that Riggby was being duped, and came post haste to prevent their action. Tenser and his cohort began battling the freed, enraged demigod. Riggby at once aided the assault. Robilar and Quij considered flight and felt their chances would be best if they made odds of four against one into six against one.
Iuz was very nearly destroyed in that conflict, escaping to the Abyss just before Bigby would have destroyed him with his infamous crushing hand spell. He left behind him a backwash of chaotic evil magic which altered the alignment of Retnar, left Riggby catatonic for days, and caved in a large part of Castle Greyhawk’s deepest dungeon complexes. Since that time, Iuz has always protected himself with a carefully secreted soul gem hidden on an unknown, unbelievably well-guarded Abyssal plane. He can be killed on the Prime Material, but unless the soul gem is destroyed beforehand, he cannot be destroyed forever.
Since that fateful brush with extinction, Iuz has schemed to destroy those six. Tenser, of course, is dead; slain by Rary and Robilar. In the Bright Desert, Robilar is over a thousand miles from Iuz and cloaked by magic which prevents his scrying. Since Iuz has no spies there to report to him, information on Robilar is scant. Quij has deserted his master and Iuz cannot see him either. Perhaps he has become part of Turrosh Mak’s Pomarj armies, or fled to the Bone March or even farther afield. Elsewhere, though, Iuz sees those he hates.
Riggby, growing old, hides himself in Verbobonc and southern Furyondy, sometimes hiding in Veluna City or Mitrik. Bigby was driven from Scant by the fall of Onnwal, and now lives in Mitrik. Retnar’s whereabouts are unknown, but he is whispered to serve the Brotherhood and to be a cultist of Tharizdun, the Dark God Iuz hates and fears. Iuz hears occasional tales of Retnar working in Verbobonc, Dyvers, and stalking the lands of the sacked Temple of Elemental Evil, but these are no more than snatches and are usually too little to do the Lord of Evil much good.
Thus, the eyes of Iuz look to the south. From his spies, he knows something of Riggby’s wanderings and he knows he was Furyondian-born. As the man grows older, he will come home. Evil things lurking in the Gnarley tell him of Retnar; Bigby’s new home is common knowledge. Thus, while subjugating the Horned Society gave Iuz great delight, Furyondy and its allies Highfolk and Veluna are Iuz’s heart’s desire. That is where he will strike next, and where he will pluck his special victims from their hiding-holes as a cat reaches with its claws into a mouse’s home. Iuz anticipates these captures with relish, but he can wait, at least for awhile.
The clerics of Iuz are a fanatical lot, always seeking to increase their own power while obeying the whims of the Old One. Within the Empire of Iuz, his clerics hold positions of respect and power, proudly displaying their holy symbols and demanding obedience from the common folk and other lesser creatures. Clerics of Iuz usually dress in gray robes adorned with bones. Most learn to use the greatsword, although weapons that cause tremendous pain—such as whips and flails—are not uncommon.
Furthermore, Iuz encourages treachery among his faithful as a means of rooting out the comfortable and the weak. The weak must be exploited, tortured, and stripped of hope. The strong must be constantly wary of betrayal by their underlings. Pain is power, and inflicting pain demonstrates power best. Crush those beneath you. Iuz must be obeyed, and those who defy him will know absolute pain. Iuz’s clerics inflict cruelty and torture upon all who oppose them.
Iuz tolerates no less than fanaticism and complete obedience. His clerics constantly try to outdo each other in their acts of cruelty and evil. They show their superiority over all other beings by hunting for trophies; rare finds such as unicorns or paladins are truly prized. The clerics create spells and magic items of terrible power and evil nature, and travel the world to commit acts of evil and search out Iuz’s enemies. Iuz is served directly by the Boneheart—two tiers (Greater and Lesser) of six advisers each (clerics and wizards), and by the Boneshadow, six spies and evildoers who roam the world.
Outside the empire’s borders, clerics of Iuz usually hide their faith, dressing as normal travelers so as to not draw unwanted attention. They are not openly welcomed in any civilized land, and they are treated with outright hostility in some places—particularly the northern kingdoms that have been savaged by the Old One’s military campaigns.
He remains a great threat to the balance despite setbacks since the Greyhawk Wars. His symbol is a grinning skull, and he holds a particular hatred for Zagyg, Vecna, St. Cuthbert, and Greyhawk.