Friday, 22 April 2022

On Drawmij

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Circle of Eight has long been a subject of mystery. Do they exist, the people wonder? Surely, some say. A myth, most would opine. And rightly so. The Circle has never fully revealed itself; nor should they. Truly, most remain undisclosed, blessedly anonymous, they might say; otherwise, how else could they function? If their membership were common knowledge, kings and queens, and oligarchs and dignitaries would presume to summon them and command their obedience.
Command obedience? Of archmagi? That would be hubris, indeed.
It is no wonder then that most members of the Circle would prefer to remain a source of doubt and mystery, to toil in anonymity. Consider Otiluke, whom even his fellow Oligarchs remained unaware of his inclusion until after his passing. Would they not have expected audience at their convenience, and expected their native son to do their bidding in what they deemed their times of need? Consider Modenkainen, a decidedly stateless personage if there ever was one, perched within his citadel in the Yatils; might he have secluded himself there to rid himself of such parochial insistence? And consider the reclusive Drawmij (N male human Wiz18), who oversees Keoland and the south from his undersea lair near Gradsul [.] [LGG – 156] Dwelling fathoms beneath the sea would certainly discourage even the most insistent supplicant, I should imagine.
In fact, I would expect that most archmages prefer not to be at the beck and call of petty despots, regardless how well-meaning they may appear. What do these insular czars know of the evils that lurk across the Flanaess? Would they not cower in their keeps if they had any inclination how easily those great evils could brush aside their impotent power should they wish? Even archmagi can fail to prevent such things, despite the magic they wield. Would not Nystul have prevented the rape of Tenh, if he could? Would not Otto have spared Almor its fate? I expect Drawmij would spare the Sheldomar Valley of a similar fate if it were in his power to do so. And he might very well have, thus far.
One might ask, where was Drawmij when Ket annexed Bissel? Could he have prevented that from happening? One might argue that Bissel is very much alive and well and bidding its time, regardless. And where was Drawmij when hordes of giants swept down from their mountain aeries into Geoff and Sterich and the Yeomanry? One might ask how a single archmage could have prevented their incursion across so wide a front, even if he had wished to? Conventional steel, and the bravery of a great many adventurers have prevailed and stemmed the tide where a single mage would surely have failed.
So, where was Drawmij while these events unfolded? Might there have been other greater threats afoot that we were not aware of unfolding concurrently? Indeed, the question begs repeating: Where was Drawmij during the War? During the giant invasion? Hiding in his citadel under the sea? Or elsewhere, stemming what might have been? And what might the Black Mage of the Valley have been up to all this time?
He has two passions—one for the sea and all things connected to it (he spends most of his time in the secluded depths of the ocean) and the other is an abiding hatred of Jason Krimeah, Mage of the Valley. [WGA4 Vecna Lives! – 84,85]

Come to think on it, who is Drawmij, anyway?
Drawmij (Not fond of the sketch)
He’s a wizard. And an exceptional one, at that.
Drawmij, Wiz18: HP 81, AL N. Str 7, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 22, Wis 17. Cha 9.
Drawmij is 63 years old, though he appears in his late twenties or early thirties. His hair is sandy blond, his eyes blue, nearing purple. There is an unsettling quality to his features, and more than a few acquaintances have noticed that something about him seems different each time they are in his presence—the shade of his eyes, his height, or even the thickness and curl of his hair. Still, the mage is affable, and given his profession, little attention is paid to what Rary once termed "troubling inconsistencies." [LGJ#0 – 8]

It’s ironic that it was Rary who commented on Drawmij’s “troubling inconsistencies.” Rary might be a more apt candidate for such a description, in retrospect, but hindsight has always been 20/20. Indeed, I might hazard the opinion that troubling inconsistencies might be attributed to any and all wizards; Zagig, more so than most, for instance.

409-505 CY
Zagig Yragerne was always an odd duck, one might say; but he did as wizards do: He traveled far and wide, collecting all manner of arcane wisdom, later conducting extensive magical research. There’s nothing surprising there. It’s the spells he created, though, that puzzle the mage community to this day, earning him the name, The Mad Archmage; although those spells may be the least puzzling of all his pursuits.
Consider one such fruit of his labour, collected in a number of tomes referred to as Zagig’s Comedicon. What was in these tomes? His memoirs? Spells? Or were they a test to see who might actually seek them out? None might have had they not pondered why he secreted them deep in the depths of Castle Greyhawk soon after penning them, causing others to do just that.
But curiosity beckons. It was inevitable that others would seek them out, in time. Maybe that was the point…. Clues to their whereabouts began to circulate, and the learned were lured to discover just what it was the Mad Mage thought it best to hide away. Did the Mad Mage, himself, scatter those rumours and clues about, just to see what might happen should others unearth them?

505 CY
Not that anyone did until Zagig ascends to godhood in 505 CY, taking his secrets with him.

c. 505 CY – 560 CY
Though it was only a matter of time before they were unearthed.
It has been rumoured that the spell tomes of the Mad Archmage Zagig Yragerne were removed from Castle Greyhawk long ago [….] [Dragon #270 – 60]
What does this have to do with Drawmij? Nothing, at present. Drawmij wasn’t even born when the first tome of the Comedicon was “found.” Not that anyone made heads or tails of its contents when it was, no matter what intensive scrutiny was applied to it. Its contents appeared to change with each reading, each page as mutable as the last.

528 CY
Drawmij was born [PGtG – 22] in Gradsul to a well-connected noble family of Suel decent that could trace its ancestry back unto the very founding of Keoland.
His hair is sandy blond, his eyes blue, nearing purple. [LGJ#0 – 8]
The Archmage Drawmij, who is a distant relation of [Duke Luchkan, the last scion of the Sellark family (a cousin of Tavish within House Rhola)] is a close advisor and can sometimes be found in his company. [LGJ#1 – 13]
His earlies memories were of the sea, of waves crashing upon rocky cliffs, and of gulls wheeling overhead as cargos were hoisted from tall ships moored at dock.

532 CY – 541 CY
Drawmij was a quiet child with a quick mind. His family was astonished how quickly he learned to speak and then to read, but his talent was not unexpected. Many of their ancestors had just such a talent, they would say, meaning magic. But such a talent was hushed up, lest suspicion be directed towards them. So, a sage was commissioned to tutor him. The sage instructed him in math and literature, in geography and history, particularly his family’s, their shipping trade, and their “adventurous” kin who had gone abroad aboard their fleet.

542 CY
Young Drawmij
Drawmij began his instruction in the arcane arts at the Academy of Magic in Niole Dra at 14 years of age, as many of his family have.
[I chose this age as it is the age children enter high school. It’s purely arbitrary, but I believe aristocratic families could afford sending their children to the Academy at a fairly young age, while other, poorer, families might require a certain vetting before the State would deem any other candidate worthy of the expense.]
The practice of magic was a scarce and tightly controlled commodity in […] Keoland [until an] academy of magic was established in Nicole Dra to train and regulate wizard, a practice already common among rivals such as Furyondy and Aerdy. Mages who were not members of this academy, nor established nobility, were still considered illicit, but the fervor to eliminate such “witches” eroded as Keoland mixed with other cultures during its imperialist phase. Lawless wizards eventually took to calling themselves freemages. Only in cosmopolitan Gradsul, where the act under the protection and support of Duke Luskan and the archmage Drawmij, do freemages gather together as a guild (calling themselves the Sea Mages), often hiring themselves out to ship captains for travel and exploration. [LGJ#1 – 9]

c. 562 CY
Drawmij, at 34
Drawmij is 34 years old [conjecture on my part, given that in the 1e DMG magic-users were 24 +2d8 years of age when beginning their adventuring career].
He began to travel the length and breadth of the Sheldomar and beyond, and given a hidden rebellious streak, and with extra coin to spare, he was wont to seek out those haunts that would never have been considered suitable to one of his lofty station. He discovered that once he hit the road and was introduced to others not as genteel as he, that he was just as comfortable, and welcome, in dark, smoky, and riotous taverns as he was in the courts of the nations he visited.
Drawmij is known to have friends among the minstrels and bards at the court of Yolande of Celene. How Drawmij the recluse befriended such garrulous and roguish (for the most part) folk is something not even Mordenkainen knows. [COG:FFF – 23,24]
Drawmij knew his family would not approve of these “friends,” or his adventuring with them, so he learned to keep his own council regarding either pursuit.
Tall, slim and youthful-looking, Drawmij could easily have been a charmer of women, were it not for his close-lipped nature. He is intensely secretive, saying little about his opinions or his past. Still, the reclusive Drawmij is a good friend to many a rogue and minstrel. [WGA4 Vecna Lives! – 84,85]

c. 564 CY
One wonders what Drawmij was up to during those years. He most certainly travelled in his adventures: to the Ulek states, to Celene, into the Dreadwood and the Hools, and mayhap even as far north as the Barrier Peaks. One wonders because Drawmij does not speak of his travels, or what he encountered while in these parts.
But like many an adventurer, he most certainly made enemies while about them.
For nearly twenty years prior to the Greyhawk Wars, there was no contact with the Valley of the Mage. [LGG – 127]
The Mysterious Jaran Krimeeah
[No] contact was had with the valley until an exiled Aerdi wizard named Jaran Krimeeah, also called the Black One, learned of its existence and made himself master of the place. Marauding monsters had taken a heavy toll on the human communities, though the remaining gnomes and valley elves had defended themselves. Jaran magically restrained these summoned monsters and was hailed as the Mage of the Valley. He ruled for a number of decades, assuming great power over the vale and its inhabitants. One of his last public acts was to place a rogue drow elfin command of the valley's forces. Access to the valley was soon forbidden to all outsiders.
[LGG – 127]
During this time, the Mage acquired the antipathy of the wizard Drawmij, who joined the Circle of Eight and directed certain plots against him. [LGG – 127]
Why? None know; but there are rumours to that regard, even if none can say whether these rumours have any credence.
The valley elves already live under a cloud of suspicion for their tendency to follow the orders of the Mage’s drow lieutenant [.] [Complete Book of Elves – 26]

570 CY
Drawmij wasn’t the only mage travelling the length and breadth of the Flanaess. And making enemies while he was about it.
The chaos surrounding the return to power of the demigod, luz, in CY 570 prompted Mordenkainen to consider a new paradigm. Though the Old One worked to check the growing power of the Horned Society, and kept Furyondy's eyes on its northern borders, Mordenkainen knew well that the situation would not last. The dissolution of the Citadel left Mordenkainen without a tool to shape events as he would and though he hardly admitted it to himself, he longed return to a life of adventure.
The Citadel's primary failure, he surmised, had been its inclusive philosophy. As its founding concept had been arcane, he had been foolish to assume that men like Robilar or Riggby would rally to his cause without subtly working against it for reasons personal, spiritual or political. Men of intellect and sorcerous skill, whose primary interests were more than material, would replace them. Thus was born the Circle of Eight. [LGJ#0 – 6]

571 CY
Drawmij is 43.
Over the next year, Mordenkainen invited some of the most prominent magi in the Flanaess to join him. By the first month of 571 CY, he had gathered eight mages to his cause, among them Bigby, Otto, Rary, Nystul, Drawmij, and the affable Bucknard. [LGJ#0 – 6]
Why would Drawmij join such a company of magi? Perhaps he admired Mordenkainen. Or perhaps Mordenkainen suggested that such a company of magi could aid him in his trials with the Black One.

Drawmij M16
A Watchful Drawmij, at 43
Str 7, Int 18, Wis 17, Dex 16, Con 15, Cha 9
AL N; AC 0 (Dex 16, gray robe of the archmagi, ring of protection +3); hp 44
SD 5% magic resistance
Spells: 5-1st, 5-2nd, 5-3rd, 5-4th, 5-5th, 3-6th, 1-8th.
Magic items: gray robe of the archmagi, ring of protection +3, dagger +3, chime of opening, figurine of wonderous power (serpentine owl), helm of underwater action, ring of shooting stars, wand of magic missiles, wand of polymorphing, and a folding boat of special sort. [COG:FFF – 23]
What does Drawmij watch over? A number of worrisome places, all in the Sheldomar Valley, it would seem.
Dim Forest: The huge old trees of this vast forest are so broad and leafy as to make the ground beneath dim on the brightest and sunniest of days. No tracks are known, but some certainly must exist to allow passage through the leagues of woodland. Olvenfolk are said to dwell in that portion west of the Javan; terrible creatures live elsewhere within its bounds. [Folio – 26]

Dreadwood Forest
There is constant warfare within the Dreadwood, with monsters and humanoids battling the elves who ward the place [on] behalf of the King in return for Keoish protection of the forest. Large-scale efforts have been mounted to clear the woods of evil creatures time and again, but the enemy retreats into hidden places and beyond the trees into the trackless Hool Marshes, to return when the companies of woodsmen and elves retire. It is suspected that the Sea Princes are in collusion with certain bandits and humanoid bands who creep through the Dreadwood on their way to raid Keoland and the Yeomanry. [Folio – 21]

Hool Marshes: After the initial rush of the Hool River from the high lake and freshets in the Hellfurnaces, it begins to meander across the plains, and most of its length is surrounded by quaking mires and bottomless pools. This forms a natural boundary between the lands of the Yeomanry and the holdings of the Sea Princes to the south. These marshes are also home to renegade humans, humanoids, and many types of monsters. [Folio – 23]

Rushmoor (Marshes): A long stretch of land east of the mid-Javan to the headwaters of the Sheldomar is known as the Rushmoors. This area forms part of the northern boundary of Keoland and is a part of the unclaimed region consisting of the central Dim Forest, eastern Oytwood, and the Rushmoors. Many dangerous creatures inhabit the marshes, and there are reports of humanoid bands there as well. [Folio – 23]

Azure Sea: This body of water is one of the main carriers of commerce between west and central nations. Freebooters are fairly common, and the savages inhabiting the islands of the Amedio coast practice piracy. There are a sprinkling of other pirates in the east, and the Sea Princes are not above occasional buccaneering. [Folio – 19]

Among other places, peoples, and things….

572 – 576 CY
Regardless his new circumstances, Drawmij was never one to be ordered about. He would come and go as he pleased; but he had to admit that this newfound camaraderie had its perks. Few might know that this Circle existed, and fewer still might have any inclination what they might be about, but those that did opened doors for him that would never have been open to him otherwise, no matter his station and lineage.
Drawmij only visits Greyhawk when he must. This is usually to consult the mages guild concerning some rare magical item, or arcane text, which Drawmij seeks to purchase. If he does this, he arrives unheralded and leaves as quickly as possible. [COG:FFF – 23,24]

Allentar Grassfield
Drawmij being Drawmij, he made what “friends” he did, in the manner and places he always had.
Allentar Grassfield (Stout/Tallfellow) 12th Level Thief
S 10, I 11, Dex 15, Wis 13, Con 11, Cha 11
Standing 4’3”—tall for a halfling—Allentar still has the characteristic plump shape of a halfling. Born in the Flinty Hills, Allentar was orphaned in his early teens when raiders from the North Province of the Great Kingdom passed through their lands. Fleeing their terror, he eventually drifted down to the City of Greyhawk. There he went from one con and mark to another. Only a fortunate meeting with Drawmij (his hand was in wizard’s pocket) changed the course of his life. Quickly becoming a ward, then friend of the wizard, Allentar has risen to be Drawmii’s trusted eyes and ears in the slums and dives of Greyhawk.
Allentar has a personal code of honor that centers around an utter loyalty to Drawmij, a man he sees as saving him from ruin. This loyalty doesn’t change his view toward others or life, however. The world is a mean, hard place. Allentar will take what he needs when he needs it. [WGA4 – 14,89]

The sea called to Drawmij. It always has. It always will. So, it comes to no surprise (maybe it does, a little) that shortly after his induction to the Circle, Drawmij retreated to an undersea citadel from whence he oversaw his sphere. Why? To guard against his enemies? To stay out of their reach? To experiment in solitude and peace? None in the Circle can say why, for certain; but Drawmij was always a secretive soul, and he’s not telling. Indeed, it’s doubtful that even the Circle knows its exact whereabouts. And he has friends that can keep it so.
Reportedly, Drawmij also consorts with the Hierophant Sverdras Meno, a powerful being who oversees the vast Azure Sea. Meno is thought to be a member of the mysterious Cabal, a congregation of the Old Faith even more enigmatic than the Circle of Eight. Few know that it is the one-time fastness of the hierophant that Drawmij has made into his private residence. [LGJ#1 – 8]
Drawmij’s lair is built within an undersea cavern lying not far below the continental shelf, and is fully self-sufficient and self-replenishing. Drawmij is known to have coral golems (similar in nature to stone golems) as custodians, in addition to the many magical protections within his home. [COG:FFF – 23,24]

Drawmij's Magical Boat
But how did he manage such a feat? The citadel itself was surely the work of Sverdras Meno. But Drawmij has in his possession a number of curious devices that even the most learned who’ve seem them cannot classify. Most imagine them magical; Drawmij is an archmage, after all.
Drawmij’s magical boat is a metal vessel capable of sealing itself and traveling along the bottom of the sea, using a shaped wall of force as a buffer and some form of telekinesis for travel. Drawmij can see outside through the glassteel windows, and has some unknown magical way of seeing to an extended range (120 yards) even in the gloomiest of waters. [COG:FFF – 23,24]
But I wonder…. A shaped wall of force? Propulsion by telekinesis? True sight through the murkiest of waters? And what the deuce is glassteel?
There are those who say that those who’ve ventured into the Barrier Peaks have always returned with the most curious contraptions. Those that have returned, that is.

Drawmij's Undersea Apparatus [ITM]
DUN#77 - 64,65

His retreat did not mean seclusion.
From his cavernous home below the surface of the Azure sea, Drawmij deals with merfolk, whales and dolphins, and many other denizens of the deep. From them, and his own scrying—Drawmij has made a few contacts as such outside of Keoland—little of importance happens along the shores of this massive ocean which Drawmij does not hear of sooner or later. Drawmij and Otto have enchanted a rare, singular, magical item which allows Drawmij to hear the songs and messages of the great whales at scores of miles distance, so that information can be relayed very quickly. [COG:FFF – 23,24]

576 CY
Zagig had secreted his Comedicon tomes well. Few were found, even 70 years after he had hid them away beneath Castle Greyhawk; which makes me wonder, does Zagyg decree who finds them, and when?
[The] sage-wizard Ansalor of Westkeep, a long time collector of both magical and mundane oddities, recovered one of these tomes from the depths of Greyhawk Castle and returned to his native city in the Hold of the Sea Princes. [Dragon #270 – 60]

577 CY
This tome was as incomprehensible as any other of the other Comedicons.
For nearly a year thereafter, Ansalor remained sequestered in his tower to study and ponder the work. Through his studies, he discovered that the tome carried a peculiar enchantment that frequently rearranged the order in which the pages appeared. This frustrated Ansalor to no end, as it required him to spend most of his time trying to puzzle through the tome’s everchanging contents. [Dragon #270 – 60]

578 CY
Indeed, two years into his study, Ansalor had still made little progress in deciphering Zagig’s tome.
By 578 CY [Ansalor] had become so disgusted by his inability to make an accurate record of the book, he turned it over to one of his frequent clients: the wizard Drawmij. [Dragon #270 – 60]
Why Drawmij? Perhaps Drawmij could be trusted to share what he might divine from the inexplicable tome, unlike many other magi; any of the Silent Ones or the Seekers, for instance, would surely have absconded with Ansalor’s copy, and an untold number of magi could be affiliated with either of those secretive societies.
Who are the Silent Ones?
The Silent Ones are a guild of mysterious spellcasters who hail from the Sheldomar Valley in the Flanaess. They are and eldritch order of ascetics dedicated to uncovering and safe-guarding ancient secrets of magic and arcane history. […]
The Silent Ones are nominally servants of the Kaoish Throne, however no actual authority can be exercised upon them by that crown that is not explicitly given to it by age-old writs. […] The order is often sought out by the high and mighty for council and while rarely cryptic in their responses, the Silent Ones are very circumspect about what they reveal and will refuse knowledge they deem dangerous. [LGJ#4 – 12]
Mayhap Ansalor shared the tome with Drawmij because Drawmij could carry on Ansalor’s study in secrecy, without the Silent Ones being aware….

578-582 CY
Alas, Drawmij, made as little progress as Ansalor.
Drawmij possessed the Comedicon for a number of years but, like Ansalor, he had difficulties with it. Eventually, he returned it to the sage who, not surprisingly, wasn’t particularly glad to get it back. Ansalor packed it away, and there it remained until the Greyhawk Wars. [Dragon #270 – 60]
I imagine Zagyg was amused that even a member of the Circle of Eight, with all their resources at his disposal, was not equal of Zagig’s challenge.

580s CY
In the early 580s, the Circle of Eight included Bigby, Jallarzi Sallavarian, Nystul, Otiluke, Otto, Rary of Ket and Tenser. [PGtG – 21]

580 CY
Where might Drawmij stay when visiting Greyhawk? With Otto? With Bigby? Maybe. But Drawmij was ever one for privacy. He was also always conscious of not being a burden upon his colleagues. He was of a mind that guests had a tendency to overstay their welcome, and he was adamant that he would never be such a burden.
Besides, he always did enjoy a good pub.

High Tower Tavern and Hostelry
This inn, distinguished by its tall tower, pointed at the top like the hat of an old and eccentric wizard, is the favorite of the [Free City of Greyhawk’s] upper reaches. It is unpretentious and not as expensive as most neighboring establishments. The style of dress might not be as elegant here as at the Patricians’ Club, bit it would be hard to find customers who are having a better time.
The proprietor, Eric Goodfellow, was once an aspiring mage, ever reaching [middling power] before deciding that his life calling involved more sedentary pursuits. He still keeps his hand in the magical arts, but he keeps his magic quiet, known only to himself, his good friends, and the occasional customers who have seen him cast a spell.
This is a favorite gathering place of the powerful wizards of the Council of Eight, when one or more of them are in Greyhawk. On most occasions, these wizards disguise themselves before venturing in public. Otto, Tenser, and Nystul are the three wizards most commonly encountered here. [COG:GOTF – 63]
What’s more, friends in low places would be more likely to visit him in such lodgings, when they might be less inclined to if he were bedding down where others might take note of their comings and goings.
He was ever thoughtful, was Drawmij.

581 CY
16th - Level Mage
Hit Points: 44
Str 7 Int 18 Dex 16 Wis 17 Con 15 Cha 9
[WGA4 – 84,85]

Fully six feet tall, weighing 172 lbs., Drawmij is 54 years old but appears a youthful 29. He has dark blond hair, deep blue eyes verging on violet, and wears cool colours with his magic robe. He is often silent and intensely secretive. He spends long periods in his undersea lair (about 150 miles southeast of Gradsul, in the Azure Sea) studying magic and experimenting with it. His current passion is experimenting with magics which affect time and distance, but the results of his work with customized versions and combinations of spells such as haste, slow, distance distortion, dimension door, teleport and others are unknown. Drawmij is well known within the Circle of Eight for saying nothing about anything until he is very sure of himself. [COG:FFF – 23,24]
Drawmij has an enduring hatred of Jaran Krimeeah, the Mage of the Valley, and is forever trying to persuade other members of the Circle of Eight to help him kill the wily old archmage. Jallarzi Sallavarian has suggested to Otto that Drawmij’s real antipathy is for Jaran’s aide, Tysiln San the drow, and Drawmij’s explosive reaction to this suggests that it might be true—but why? As with so much else about Drawmij, this is unknown. [COG:FFF – 24]

Drawmij’s Traveling Spell Book: (spells/day)
1st Level (5): Affect normal fires, cantrip, charm person, comprehend languages, dancing lights, Drawmij‘s beast of burden*, Drawmij’s light step*, enlarge, grease, jump, protection from evil, read magic
2nd Level (5): Alter self, continual light, detect invisibility, Drawmij’s adventurer’s luck, Drawmij’s breath of life, Drawmij’s scent mask*, Drawmij’s swift mount*, invisibility, irritation, magic mouth, Melf’s acid arrow, spectral hand, summon swarm, whispering wind
3rd Level (5): Blink, dispel magic, Drawmij’s marvelous shield*, Drawmij’s iron sack*, flame arrow, hold undead, infravision, lightning bolt, Melf’s minute meteors, monster summoning I, protection from normal missiles, tongues, water breathing, wraithform
4th Level (5): Confusion, contagion, detect scrying, Drawmij’s handy timepiece*, Drawmij’s instant exit*, Drawmij’s protection from nonmagical gas*, Drawmij’s tool box*, emotion, extension I, fire trap, monster summoning II, rainbow pattern, remove curse, shout, wizard eye
5th Level (5): Airy water, animal growth, cone of cold, conjure elemental, contact other plane, Drawmij’s flying feat*, sending, stone shape, summon shadow, telekinesis, transmute rock to mud, wall of force
6th Level (3): Anti-magic shell, chain lightning, conjure animals, control weather, Drawmij’s beneficent polymorph*, Drawmij’s merciful metamorphoses*, legend lore, mislead, monster summoning IV; part water, shades, stone to flesh
7th Level (2): Control undead, delayed blast fireball, Drawmij’s instant summons, duo-dimension, reverse gravity, teleport without error
8th Level (1): Incendiary cloud, mind blank, trap the soul

Magical Items: Cloak of the bat, ring of protection + 3, dagger + 3, chime of opening, figurine of wondrous power (serpentine owl), ring of shooting stars, wand of magic missiles, wand of polymorphing

What was Drawmij up to, at this time? Keeping his beloved Keoland secure from what threats might arise.
There were rumours about some doings in the north. Cults. Secret societies. It was all quite disconcerting. Drawmij was reminded of the rise of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the Battle of Emridy Meadow, and would rather not have to endure such a drama.
Now, through divinations (or rather, their failure), you’ve sensed a great danger to [Verbobonc and the Sheldomar]. And not just you, either. All your fellow wizards at the Guild of Wizardry have sensed something ominous. Whatever it is, Mordenkainen, leader of your circle, is worried. He wants the best, the cream of the crop, to investigate this mystery. [WGA4 – 20]

And in that regard, Drawmij and his colleagues consulted any and every clue, any string of evidence, however esoteric and obscure, searching for an answer to explain just what might be brewing.
Grey College
Drawmij consulted one text recently, A Rigorous and Complete Treatise on the Theoretical Applications of De-salinated Waters in the Production of Potions. [WGA4 – 20]
That was a dead end, however interesting it might have been to the reader.

But other books requested were not: ‘The Chronicle of Secret Times’ by Uhas of Neheli, for instance; and ‘Treatise on the Practices of Hidden Ones.’ ‘Gnomicsheris’ was enlightening; as was ‘The Poems of Thalac Jiwo’ and others, however unlikely they originally seemed.
A sinking sensation developed in the pit of each of their stomachs: All clues led to mention of portals and prophesies, and most worrisomely, made mention of the Cult of the Whispered One: Vecna!
Something definitely had to be done.
Most of the Circle are powerful. Most are resourceful. They are certainly all capable.
But they are not invincible, no matter people might believe, no matter what tales are told of them.
Alerted to a rising evil in the Flanaess, the Circle hastily gathered for a nearly unprecedented field operation in 581 CY. A new power sought to join Oerth’s vast pantheon, and its efforts threatened to corrupt the magical order of the known world.
The Circle traveled to the hills south of Verbobonc, where they investigated the tomb of a long-dead Oeridian tyrant who was thought to have possessed the awesome artifacts known as the Hand and Eye of Vecna. Finding the tyrant alive, after a fashion, and completely controlled by the Whispered One, the ill-prepared Circle of Eight panicked, and was defeated.
Vecna destroyed the entire Circle, save Mordenkainen, who had elected to remain in Greyhawk as a safeguard against just such an occurrence. When news reached the archmage, he mobilized the Circle's allies, and a small cadre of apprentice wizards, former companions, and long-time confidantes embarked on a nearly hopeless bid to thwart Vecna's apotheosis [.] [LGJ#0 – 6]

Allentar Grassfield
Allentar joined that desperate fellowship to avenge his old friend.
Allentar [Grassfield] has a personal code of honor that centers around an utter loyalty to Drawmij, a man he sees as saving him from ruin. [WGA4 – 14,89]
Where they successful in their endeavour? You might say they were; then again, you might say that Istus, herself, somehow took events in hand.
Somehow (it is whispered that they employed the aid of luz, who stood to lose much under the deification of the Lich Lord), the intrepid adventurers managed to banish the Maimed God at the strange stone circles known as the Tovag Baragu, and Oerth returned to relative normalcy, save for the absence of the Circle of Eight. [LGJ#0 – 6]

The loss of the entire Circle of Eight, save Mordenkainen, was quite a blow.
An important though seldom noticed event took place in 581 CY, when an agent of Vecna, the Whispered One of ancient Flan legend, struck down the entire Circle of Eight [.] The Circle had acted subtly as a balancing agent for years, preventing any one power from dominating too much of the Flanaess.  [LGG – 14]

582 CY
The recent deaths of the members of the Circle of Eight was the prelude to an attempt by the evil Vecna to overthrow the entire pantheon of Greyhawk’s deities and install himself as absolute ruler of the gods. Only the bravery and fortitude of a brave handful of adventurers was able to thwart Vecna’s machinations and put an end to his plans. [WGR2 Treasures of Greyhawk – 32]
The Flanaess was in shock. The Circle of Eight was gone? Dead? Was that possible? Surely it was a lie!
But it wasn’t.
They were dead. Truly dead.
Bigby’s will is in an unmarked envelope under the pillow. His first request is that his friends in the Circle of Eight clone him from a flesh sample he has left for the purpose. If this is not possible, he will leave his magical items and all but three of his spell books to Mordenkainen. The other three spell books go to Andrui, with an apology for not being able to teach him more magic himself. His money is to go first towards paying off Fraznier’s creditors, with 75% of the remainder going to his old friend, Ortux the Hand, and the rest to a charity of Ortux’s choosing. The will mentions a few items of sentimental value that Bigby wished to leave to Otto, Nystul, Drawmij, and the others. [WGR2 – 38]

But Death is not always the end, is it? There is always hope. Especially where archmagi are concerned.
Mordenkainen addressed this absence by recovering what was left of his fallen comrades and cloning them. This endeavor consumed time that otherwise might have seen him addressing the reports of the Circle's allies in the North, who warned of alarming developments in Stonefist and the Barbarian Lands. When those events spiraled into the first conflicts of the Greyhawk Wars, the Circle's clones remained undeveloped and half-aware. By the time the clones reached full maturation, the Circle of Eight had been forced to take a reactive stance to the tumultuous events unfolding before them. [LGJ#0 – 6]

Though the Circle's leader, Mordenkainen, returned his colleagues to life using powerful magic, the group was in disarray when war again erupted in the distant north in 582. [LGG – 14]

The entire Circle of Eight was slain by an agent of Vecna, and so would fear and hate this cult greatly. [TAB – 3]

582 – 584 CY
Though the Circle never acted concertedly during the Greyhawk Wars, certain "hotspots" received a good deal of their attention. Mordenkainen, Bigby, and Otto fought against the Old One's army at the infamous Battle of Critwall Bridge, and Drawmij was instrumental in organizing the flood of refugees from the Lost Lands to fastnesses in the Good Hills. Nystul worked primarily alone in besieged Tenh, while Otto and Bigby left Mordenkainen in the Vesve Forest to do what they could for the Iron League. Citing pressing personal needs, Rary retreated to his tower in Lopolla and refused to come to the aid of his companions. [LGJ#0 – 6]

583 – 583 CY
When the Lordship fell to the Scarlet Brotherhood in late 583 CY, the nature of the tribute changed. A complete blockade of the straits was applied, with only ships of the Scarlet Brotherhood or Lordship of the Isles being allowed free passage. [LGG – 150]
The wizard Drawmij, one of the Circle of Eight and long thought to have a stronghold beneath the Azure Sea, is likely working against the Brotherhood and other enemies of the open seas. [LGG – 147]

Bay of Renho
This bay is best known for the number of dolphins visible here. Some suspect the dolphins visit a secret underwater city, or perhaps a secondary home of the wizard Drawmij. As Drawmij is displeased with the Brotherhood’s blockade across the Densac Gulf, he may be spying on them from his location. [TSB – 30]

584 CY
The Black One of the Valley
For nearly twenty years prior to the Greyhawk Wars, there was no contact with the Valley of the Mage. When giants from the Crystalmists swept down into Geoff and Sterich, these nations appealed to Keoland for aid and sent a small deputation to beg assistance from the Mage of the Valley. Against all hope, they were allowed inside the valley and given audience with the Black One—or so they at first believed. When the aid-seekers were introduced to the Mage, one within the group recognized him as an exiled necromancer, Nyeru of Bissel. Wisely, this discovery was never revealed to the ersatz Black One. Negotiations continued for several weeks with no real progress, until the marauding giants of the Crystalmists found their way into the valley.
[LGG – 127]
Wisely, the mission was kept secret from Drawmij, as well.
Far more concerning was the Black One’s identity. Where was Jaran Krimeeah? Was he dead? Replaced by this Nyeru of Bissel? Or was this Nyeru only in for an absent Krimeeah?
Little is known of events in some areas, such as the Valley of the Mage. The valley elves here have taken to slaying adventurers outright, but a few surviving (albeit foolish) explorers report seeing distant battles being fought in the valley involving unknown forces. Some believe the Mage himself has been killed, but divinations yield nothing on this matter. It is thought that an invasion of giants and humanoids took place here in 584 CY, but valley elves still hold the pass into the valley. The wizard Drawmij of the Circle of Eight still wishes to see the valley invaded and its ruler thrown down, but no one yet knows the root cause of his hatred. [TAB – 35,36]
Drawmij did not doubt that Jaran Krimeeah was still alive.

The War was long and perilous. Luckily, not one of the Eight perished in its waging.
But one never sees betrayal from a brother, does one?
During the Greyhawk wars, two members of the Eight, Tenser and Otiluke, were killed as a result of the actions of Rary of Ket, now known as Rary the Traitor. [PGtG – 21]
On the Day of the Great Signing, however, Greyhawk suffered a great treachery: Rary, one of the Circle of Eight, destroyed his companions Tenser and Otiluke in a great magical battle, then fled. Many suspected that the former Archmage of Ket had hoped to hold the ambassadors hostage, perhaps capturing Greyhawk itself in the process. Instead, he and his cohort, Lord Robilar, went to the Bright Desert to form their own kingdom. Fearing further disruptions, the delegates hurriedly signed the Pact of Greyhawk. [LGG – 16]

The treachery of Rary in 584 CY saw the destruction of Tenser and Otiluke, leaving the Circle at five. [LGG – 156]
Nothing was left of their bodies to allow revival by clone, resurrection or any other spell. The assassin was, incredibly, another member of the Circle, Rary of Ket. The treachery left the Eight (now Five: Bigby, Drawmij, Jallarzi Sallavarian, Nystul and Otto) reeling. [Rot8 – 2,3]

Drawmij met the news of the treachery of Rary with classic dispassion. Indeed, the nascent archmage appears to have been the Circle member least affected by the events of the Greyhawk Wars and Reconstruction. He only grudgingly agreed to the addition of Warnes and Alhamazed, and argued steadfastly against expanding the purview of the Circle to include nonhuman members. Finding Nystul his only ally in the matter, however, he has since treated the olve Theodain Eriason with bland acceptance. [LGJ#0 – 8]
There appears to be some confusion as to whether Drawmij actually disapproved of Theodain’s inclusion. Drawmij, as expected, has been mum on the subject, either way.
But one wonders, doesn’t one? Theodain has acted against the Black One of the Vale, on occasion; in fact, he has voiced concern concerning the Black One, many times. Drawmij surely saw a kindred soul (or spirit, in this case) in Theodain.
Theodain was brought into the Circle at the behest of Drawmij. Drawmij and Theodain may have future plans regarding the Mage of the Vale, as Theodain sees that wizard as a potential threat to the region. [Rot8 – 60]
Not that Drawmij would say as much. Indeed, neither do the rest of the remaining Circle, either, concerning their number, not that they ever have, have they?
The Circle of Five: While rumors fly everywhere, formal news of the Circle’s expansion is kept secret, for a short time at least. [Rot8 – 53]
Officially, if one can ever say that, they were Five.
In the last two decades, the Circle has seen members come and go, but its dedication to Mordenkainen's goals and methods remains steadfast. Current members include Bigby of Mitrik (N male human Wiz19), once Mordenkainen's apprentice and now an archmage in his own right; the rotund and jovial Otto (N male human Wiz15/Clr3 of Boccob), who favors the kitchen over the laboratory; Jallarzi Sallavarian of Greyhawk (NG female human Wiz15), one of the most dynamic wizards in a city of mages; the reclusive Drawmij (N male human Wiz18), who oversees Keoland and the south from his undersea lair near Gradsul; and Nystul (N male human Wiz17), a Tenha expatriate who wishes to expand the Circle, beyond eight if need be, to combat the growing threats presented by Iuz, Turrosh Mak, and the consolidating factions of the former Great Kingdom. [LGG – 156]

585 CY
It came to pass that their number would be replenished.
Three new members were appointed in 585 CY: Alhamazad the Wise, Theodain Eriason and Warnes Starcoat. [PGtG – 21,22]

586 CY
And finalized.
The famed Circle of Eight was re-formed in 586 CY, with the addition of the Urnst archmage Warnes Starcoat, an elderly Baklunish sorcerer from the Sultanate of Zeif, and – to everyone’s surprise – a powerful elven wizard from the Yeomanry. [TAB – 37]

Sadly, the Circle was not as it once was. As one. It might never be again.
One wonders why Drawmij and Nystul were so opposed to a certain nomination.
[Drawmij] only grudgingly agreed to the addition of Warnes and Alhamazed, and argued steadfastly against expanding the purview of the Circle to include nonhuman members. Finding Nystul his only ally in the matter, however, he has since treated the olve Theodain Eriason with bland acceptance. [LGJ#0 – 8]
Was Drawmij actually opposed? Or could it be that he wished that his opposition would somehow reach the ears of the Black One?
Thankfully, Theodain was more amicable than his “elder” colleagues.
Theodain has taken to the affairs of the Circle with avid enthusiasm. He finds Drawmij, Nystul, Otto, and Jallarzi particularly to his liking, and he has enjoyed his infrequent visits to the Free City. [LGJ#0 – 11]
Even if Alhamazad is not….
Alhamazad the Wise is new to the Circle and its politics and as such has kept his distance from the other mages. He is wary of Drawmij, though the two share many common interests. [LGJ#0 – 6]

589 CY
The famed Circle of Eight has many roots in the city and the nearby Wild Coast. This exceptionally powerful group is a political body of wizards who work to maintain a balance of power across the whole Flanaess, so that states can formulate heir own policies without interference or Fear of invasion and conquest by outside Forces or empire-building neighbors. Two merit members of that body (Otto and Jallarzi Sallavarian) have homes in Greyhawk; all the others (Mordenkainen, Bigby, Drawmij, Alhamazad, Nystul, Warnes Starcoat, and Theodain Eriason) visit on an irregular basis. Tenser, a former member, lives near the city in a fortress on the south shore of the Nyr Dyv. [TAB – 7]

590 CY
The mysterious assembly of wizards known as the Circle of Eight has long benefited from a past obscured by misinformation and enigma. The group's influence reaches from the Baklunish west to the Solnor Ocean, though its secretive methods ensure that few know the extent of its ministrations. Certain members of the Circle are well known and liked, their talents appreciated throughout the Flanaess. The mages Bigby, Jallarzi, and Otto, for instance, are welcome in courts far from cosmopolitan Greyhawk. Others, such as Drawmij, Nystul, and Theodain, prefer to operate away from the public gaze. [LGG – 156]

591 CY
Drawmij, at 63
Despite his age of 63 years, Drawmij is tall, slim and young-looking, with dark blond hair and deep blue eyes, which contribute to make him arguably the best looking male of the Eight. He is secretive and says little even to fellow members of the Eight. He is a dedicated foe of the Mage of the Valley. The mage makes his home in an underwater lair located at least a hundred miles offshore in the Azure Sea. As might be expected, Drawmij is an expert with magical devices involving water (he has a number of magical boats) and in adapting spells to underwater use. He visits the City of Greyhawk only when he must.
[PGtG – 22]

Drawmij spends as little time in Greyhawk as possible, finding the place stifling and distasteful. He prefers the cultured antiquity of southern Keoland, and his private undersea demesne to that. His only regular terrestrial haunt is the Keoish city of Gradsul, at the mouth of the Sheldomar River.
Drawmij has a close connection to Duke Luschan of Gradsul, a distant cousin to the King of Keoland. The two may be kin, even close family. Reportedly, Drawmij also consorts with the Hierophant Sverdras Meno, a powerful being who oversees the vast Azure Sea. Meno is thought to be a member of the mysterious Cabal, a congregation of the Old Faith even more enigmatic than the Circle of Eight. Few know that it is the one-time fastness of the hierophant that Drawmij has made into his private residence.
The mage speaks of contacts within the realm of Celene, and offers the weave of his fine robes and various artifacts displayed about his home as proof of his olven connections. Whether for reasons of politics or something more sinister, however, few in Enstad admit to any sort of relationship with the man. Somehow, though Drawmij has few known agents, he manages to report ably to the circle on matters involving Keoland and its client states.
In the last ten years, Drawmij has focused his magical study upon the science of travel and, more specifically, upon theories of the manipulation of time. Though he has not admitted to ultimate success, there can be no denying that Drawmij, once merely enigmatic, has grown quite eccentric of late, perhaps as a reaction to an experiment gone awry. Jallarzi put as much forward to the assembled Circle in their most recent meeting, but she received only a cool smile from the mage and a harsh reprimand from Mordenkainen.

Drawmij has friends in all quarters, it would seem. The Circle of Eight and the Silent Ones of Keoland have never seen eye to eye, except in Drawmij’s case. Mayhap that may be due to his family, his station, and his steadfast loyalty to the nation of his birth.
Turgin [Ilhane] is now based out of Gradsul and spends more than nine-tenths of the year away from the Silent Tower, much of it in his hovel above a tavern in that city’s dock quarter. He is a moody man, given to bouts of pronounced irritability, and though he has attracted many would be apprentices, in awe of his strong presence, he has turned them all away, preferring solitude. He has, however, developed a network of agents in the south, where he has been charged with uncovering plots against the interests of the Silent Ones. He has made the acquaintance of the Archmage Drawmij, who has no friendship for the Silent Ones, but can be counted on in matters that threaten Keoland. [LGJ#4 – 20]
Or could it simply be that they share common cause? Whatever the reason, Drawmij is welcome where they are not.
Not that you’d think that Drawmij would meddle in “domestic” affairs, but one imagines that he consults with his cousin on a number of issues.
Relations between Keoland and the Prince of Ulek are strained from the latter's economic alliance with the Lordship of the Isles, so support of the latter's Pomarj campaign remains tepid. Duke Luschan wants to build a dozen new frigates to contend with naval threats on the Azure Sea, and he courts an alliance with Irongate. Rumors come out of Dorlin about cases of madness in certain families of the Neheli. Monsters plague the southern frontier. [LGG – 66]

In the Study
Drawmij spends quite a bit of time researching this and that, but few of his tomes have ever seen the light of day. Only one is noted, although there is sure to be others. One does wonder, given Drawmij's propensity to hold his cards close to his chest, how this tome actually found its way out into the world?
“Repertoire of Illustrious Conjurations” by Drawmij (conjure elemental, Drawmij’s instant summons, monster summoning VII, summon shadow, invisible stalker, guards and wards)
[Dragon #82 – 58]

He has penned a few spells in his time, though.
Although individual wizards of the Circle have developed their own spells, which are predominantly of one type (e.g. Tenser and Drawmij have their own spells which are mostly of the alteration school), all of them are considered as general (non-specialist) wizards. [COG:FFF – 21]

Level One
Drawmij’s Beast of Burden
Drawmij’s Light Step

Level Two
Drawmij’s Adventurer’s Luck
Drawmij’s Breath of Life
Drawmij’s Scent Mask
Drawmij’s Swift Mount

Level Three
Drawmij’s Marvelous Shield
Drawmij’s Iron Sack

Level Four
Drawmij’s Handy Timepiece
Drawmij’s Instant Exit
Drawmij’s Protection from Non-magical Gas
Drawmij’s Tool Box

Level Five
Drawmij’s Flying Feat

Level Six
Drawmij’s Beneficent Polymorph
Drawmij’s Merciful Metamorphosis

Level 7
Drawmij's Instant Summons
[GA – 127 / PHB – 87]

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
― Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

One must always give credit where credit is due. This Bio is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.
Special thanks to Gary Holian for his essay A Brief *Annotated* Outline of the History Of Zagig Yragerne.”

The Art:
Drawmij, by Sam Wood, from Living Greyhawk Journal #0, 2000
Drawmij, by Sam Wood, from Dragon Magazine #290, 2001
Zagig Yragerne, from Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, 2007
Mordenkainen, by Clyde Caldwell, from WG4 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure, 1984
Drawmij's Undersea Apparatus, by Stephen Daniele, from Dungeon#77, 1999
Gradsul, by Luis Vasquez, from Living Greyhawk Journal #1, 2000

1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
1043 The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989
2011 Players Handbook, 1st Ed., 1978
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
2131 The Complete Book of Elves, 1992
9309 WGA4 Vecna Lives!, 1990
9360 WGR2 Treasures of Greyhawk, 1992
9576 Return of the Eight, 1998
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11374 The Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
LGJ et. al.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda


  1. Good stuff as always David. I never paid much attention to Drawmij, but he seems a more interesting and enigmatic personality after this read.

  2. Drawmij is such a blank slate that in one campaign revamp, I had him secretly be evil and the one who framed Rary. As for his enmity for Jaran Krimeeah, I had it be over a cutting remark that he once made about Drawmij. Sometimes a petty reason for burning hatred works better than a weighty one.

  3. Ill say it again, I had no idea there was this much published source on the Circle of Eight members. Drawmij is one my faves, and reading his entire history was rather fulfilling. I am sure it bears no resemblance to a backstory Jim Ward might have, but I approve of this version more because so many authors have contributed to his legend.