Friday 26 May 2023

On Jallarzi Sallavarain, Part 1

So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Jallarzi Sallavarain
Who knows the story of the Circle of Eight? In game, in character, that is… Few, I imagine. Fewer, I fact, than we might imagine. And of those few, fewer still would know their identities, I expect.
The mysterious assembly of wizards known as the Circle of Eight has long benefited from a past obscured by misinformation and enigma. [LGG – 156]
Most members of this mysterious assembly prefer it that way, I imagine. Were they common knowledge, carrying out their aims would be extremely difficult.
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. [LGG – 156]
Kings would demand fealty of them, were they known. And tyrants and despots and fell beings could easily threaten their very existence, couldn’t they? Best then to work in secret, to blend into the shadows of anonymity.
So, what do “we” know about them?
The Circle of Eight
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.
[TAB – 7]
Their base of operations is the Free City of Greyhawk. Few of them live there, though.
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]
Indeed, none are native to that great city. They would appear to be citizens of the wider Flanaess.
One thing can be said of them, however: they are all powerful wizards. Each and every one of them. They would have to be to guide and affect the course of the Flanaess as they profess to do.
Regardless of background, most wizards are identified by a single name: Mordenkainen or Bigby are examples. Generally, the higher a mage’s eminence, the more likely this is, though there are extremely powerful mages with multiple names, like Jallarzi Sallavarian [….] [PGtG – 48]
And they are a disparate menagerie of mages.
Thus far I have pondered the original eight: Otto and Otiluke, Nystul, and Drawmij, Bigby and Tenser. And Bucknard and Rary. But members come ang go. It’s time then to cast light on those members who replaced those who left the assembly, however they might have departed it.
The first of these is Jallarzi Sallavarian:
Jallarzi Sallavarian, Wiz15: HP 47, AL NG. Str 10, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 19, Wis 17, Cha 17. [LGJ#0 – 8]
Jallarzi is a tall (5 ft. 7 in.) woman of striking features. [LGJ #0 – 9]
She prefers to dress comfortably in silks and satins imported from the Far West, and though the material would seem to belie an opulent lifestyle, she prefers function over style in clothing, often eschewing the flowing skirts so popular in the Garden Quarter for simple breeches. [LGJ #0 – 9]
She is also known to disguise herself and creep through the seedier areas of town in order to spy on the shady side of society. [PGtG – 22]
Jallarzi rarely travels alone, for the pseudodragon, Edwina, constantly flutters at her side, occasionally acting as a messenger in times of need. The creature is fiercely loyal, and the few attempts that have been made to abduct it have met with dismal failure and, given Jallarzi's extensive contacts in the City Watch, unusually harsh sentences. [LGJ#0 – 9]
Edwina - Pseudodragon
Edwina is the familiar of Jallarzi Sallavarian [.] [CoG:FFF – 82]
Jallarzi is unique in that she was the first woman asked to join the Circle. Indeed, she remains the only woman to date to be asked to join the Circle.
The only woman in the Eight and one of the few leaning more toward good than neutrality [.]
[She] uses her other affiliations to benefit the Circle whenever possible. […] [PGtG – 22]

That makes her very special, indeed. So, who is Jallarzi Sallavarian? To answer that we need to begin at the beginning….
549 CY
Jallarzi Sallavarian is born. [In “The Adventure Begins” it is noted that Jallarzi is 42 years old. The Adventure Begins sets the date as 591 CY. 42-year-old Jallarzi Sallavarian {TAB – 88}]
She was born into the gentry of the Duchy of Urnst, an affluent daughter of influence.
Lady Xenia SaIlavarian, a distant cousin of both the Circle of Eight member Jallarzi and Duke Karll of Urnst […] [TAB – 31]
She is nearly purebred Suel, [with] pale skin and curly, honey-blonde hair [.] [LGJ#0 – 9]
As are most citizens of the Duchy of Urnst, it would seem.
Urnst, Duchy of
Population: 751,850—Human 79% (S) [LGG – 124]
The Suel race is very fair-skinned, some being almost albino. They have light red, yellow, blond, or platinum blonde hair. Eye color varies from pale blue or violet through deep blue, with gray occasionally occurring. Curly to kinky hair is common. The inhabitants of the Duchy of Ernst [sic] are nearly of pure Suel race. [WoGA – 13]
Being Suel does not necessitate their being evil, however.
Alignments: LG, NG*, N [LGG – 124]
Indeed, Jallarzi is indicative of the temperament of her nation, being NG.

Jallarzi grows up in Nellix, seat of the Sallavarians. [Conjecture]
Lady Xenia Sallavarian [...] taken back to Nellix, where [she] is tended by her family. [TAB - 31]

563 CY
Jallarzi's family moves to Leukish after she exhibits an aptitude for magic. She begins study at 14. [Conjecture]
Born into minor nobility in the Duchy of Urnst, she studied magic as a teen under the mysterious Seer of Urnst and the redoubtable Warnes Starcoat. [LGJ#0 – 8]
I expect she began her tutelage under Warnes; and it was only after the scope of her talent became evident that she came to the attention of the celebrated (and perhaps infamous) Seer. [The Greyhawk Wiki has her tutors reversed, but I find it had to believe that the Seer would waste his time on a green student, however well-connected she was.]
Why infamous?
[P]artially shrouded in shadow [,] the mysterious magician known only as the Seer[’s] features are indistinguishable beneath the long robe which hides all but his gnarled hands from view. "It is fortunate for all of you that the Duke is both a wise and merciful ruler." His words are almost musiclike but have a strangely malevolent undertone. [C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness – 4]
Few altruist souls are described as “strangely malevolent.”

564 CY
The Seer of Urnst
Just how malevolent was the Seer?
[T]he Chief Magical Councilor of the Duke, an enigmatic figure known only as the Seer of Urnst. The [Seer and Warnes Starcoat] quickly came at odds (it is said that the [Seer] practiced dark, forbidden rites) and Warnes left Urnst for the Flanaess and adventure, coming to live in the Free City of Greyhawk for some time. [LGJ#0 – 11]
Did adventure truly call to Warnes; it might have: He was young and brash, merely 29 years old.
Warnes was born [in 535 CY {585-50}.] [Rot8 – 59]
Did he leave willingly? Was it prudent that he should leave Urnst? Did he leave in haste, without much notice? Might that have had something to do with the shadowy Seer’s dark and forbidding rites? Whatever the reason, the Seer took the young Jallarzi under his wing. One wonders what he hoped to gain by instructing the young Jallarzi? Political influence? He had that already. Leverage? One wonders. One also wonders what that tutelage was like; and whether Jallarzi harboured resentment towards Warnes after his sudden abandonment?
Jallarzi is 15.

570 CY
Jallarzi’s cousin Justinian took the throne of Urnst; and soon proved himself to be a divisive ruler.
The dynasty of House Lorinar began in 497, and has provided Urnst with a number of capable rulers. The primary exception to this was Justinian, Karll's older brother, who ruled briefly in 570-571 CY. A devotee of the philosophical school of "Skepticism," realized in the writings of Urnst-born scholars Daesnar Braden and Elbain Hothchilde, Justinian questioned the divinity of the gods, increasing temple taxes some three hundred percent upon gaining office. [LGG – 125]
That philosophy, and that increase – which might be construed as religious suppression – would not have garnished much support for Justinian from the devout. Indeed, it likely made him quite a few enemies.
Jallarzi would have been rather critical.
Jallarzi […] Temple of Pelor, since she is an ardent worshipper of this deity. [CoG:FFF – 27]

The events of C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness occur in 570 CY.
For many years legends of the Soul Gem persisted. And so it happened that one day, not long ago, while researching in some ancient tomes, the great Seer of Urnst discovered the strange account of the Soul Gem and the legend of its master. […]
Turning to Justinian Lorinar, Duke of Urnst for aid, the Seer recounted to him the story of the Soul Gem and of the magician's own unsuccessful attempt to recover it. He convinced the Duke that the gem could be both a very powerful protection from one's enemies and a great tool with which to battle the forces of evil. He confided that he, the Seer, knew how to use the gem's power and could teach Duke Lorinar this knowledge, if he could but obtain the jewel. [C2 – 2]

571 CY
Justinian’s rule was not long, Soul Gem or no Soul Gem.
The duchy had never been a particularly religious place, but the subsequent razing of Leukish's defiant temple of Zilchus triggered the Temple Coalition Revolt, during which great riots embroiled the capital. In 571, most churches withdrew from Urnst, declaring the duke and his noble advisers, the Honorable Chamber, heretics. When Justinian found himself sorely wounded in battle with Bright Desert dervishes later that year, no cleric in the land would heal him. [LGG – 125]

572 CY
Justinian likely died of those wounds. Whatever the cause of Justinian’s passing, his brother succeeded him shortly afterwards. Jallarzi could only be thrilled when Justinian’s kind-hearted brother ascended to the throne.
Karll, a ranger at Stalwart Pines, reluctantly gained the [Urnst] throne in 572 CY. Though Karll is kind-hearted and a great friend to those he cares for, it took him a long time to care for the business of the nation. [LGG – 125]
The Seer was less thrilled.
[The] enigmatic archmage known as the Seer, [was] expelled from court in 572 CY [.] [LGG – 126]
Why was he expelled? Dark, forbidden rites might have something to do with that.
Jallarzi is 23.

573 CY
Rumours began to circulate concerning the exploits of talented and adventurous mages abroad. All too soon those very same mages were seen in court.
Privately, members of the Circle explored fantastic corners of Oerth, including the strange and foreboding City of the Gods, near Blackmoor, further depths of Castle Greyhawk, and even the manifold layers of the infernal Abyss. More importantly, through their own adventurers and the exploits of those related to them, the Circle began to formulate what soon would become one of the most impressive networks of informers and agents the Flanaess has ever known.
[LGJ#0 – 6]
The young and impressionable Jallarzi would have been seduced by the exploits of these magi: Mordenkainen, Tenser and Bigby and Bucknard, each were as daring as her cousin Karll!
[Karll] could often be found hunting giants in the Abbor-Alz, or exploring the depths of the Celadon with his elven friends. [LGG – 125]
They were young, these wizards, unlike the gnarled Seer, dashing and attractive too. Especially Bucknard!
Bucknard was fairly young when he disappeared but he was rumored to have become an archmage and was well-known in royal courts from Keoland to Nyrond. [PGtG – 23]
She did wonder why they were in Urnst. Urnst was boring, to her mind, unlike far Blackmoor and the metropolitan Free City. Why indeed?
While no one disputed his ability as a ranger, many questioned his aptitude for leadership. In this environment, corruption fermented in the capital. While Karll adventured, Hadric, a self-interested mayor, really ran Leukish, and gripped the entire nation in an economic stranglehold. [LGG – 125]

574 CY
Inspired by those dashing wizards, Jallarzi all too soon ventured out in search of her own adventure. She left Leukish and settled in the Gnarley Forest, reputedly brimming with magical creatures and monsters.
It was there that she became acquainted with Edwina.
Edwina - Pseudodragon
Edwina is the familiar of Jallarzi Sallavarian, who used a find familiar spell to summon the little creature from her home in the Gnarley Forest. [CoG:FFF – 82]
It was in the Gnarley Forest that she soon learned that caution was at the very least the equal of valour.
She does not act precipitously in combating evil. “Victory tomorrow is better than rushing to defeat today” is an old Suloise proverb she often uses. [CoG:FFF – 27]
She is 25 years old.

575 CY
Mordenkainen and Tenser and Bigby weren’t the only wizards mentioned in the courts of Urnst. Warnes Starcoat was all too soon a homegrown hero, exciting the imagination of the people of his native land.
Warnes came to real prominence in CY 575, after defeating the plots of a certain mysterious magus, known only as the Weird of Gnatmarsh. [LGJ#0 – 11]

576 CY
Warnes Starcoat
Indeed, it was in Warnes that Karll believed he had finally found a wizard worthy to be his trusted councillor.
Warnes has a constant interest in the politics of the central Flanaess, particularly the Urnst states. [Rot8 – 59]
In 576, Warnes was appointed Chief Sorcerous Councilor to Duke Karll, filling a vacuum left open a few years earlier by the mysterious disappearance of the Seer of Urnst. Six months later, he was welcomed in Countess Belissica's court as well. [LGJ#0 – 11]
Jallarzi was not so sure. Indeed, she was a little shocked upon hearing the news. Warnes Starcoat? Yes, he dabbled in politics and affairs of sate… But a councillor? Trustworthy?
Warnes solves problems quickly, but he delegates the actual labor to others. He doesn’t lose his temper, but he ignores those he does not respect, preferring to deal only with experienced, intelligent people. His peers find him touchy and suspicious, but a worthy ally. [Rot8 – 59]

Jallarzi Sallavarian
Jallarzi moves to the Free City of Greyhawk in 576 CY at 27 years of age. [Conjecture] It was there that she first made actual acquaintance of the renowned Tenser.
Later travels brought her to Greyhawk. There, under the tutelage of Tenser, she became the youngest mage ever inducted into the Society of Magi. [LGJ#0 – 8]
If I may be so bold as to weave some colour into Bucknard’s altogether drab tapestry: Jallarzi, apprenticed to Tenser, introduces herself to his friend, Bucknard; she’s smitten, enamoured by his affability…. You get the picture. 9 months later, Skye “the Lion” is born.
[Skye the “Lioness”] is 9-year[s]-old [.] [Rot8 – 14] [If Skye is 9 years old in 585 CY, then she was born in 576 CY, before Bucknard disappears.]
Why would I suggest this? Because Bucknard’s tapestry is pretty thin and needs a few threads to reveal the pattern within.
I digress. It’s just a suggestion; do with it what you will.

Was Leomund ever a member of the Circle of Eight? Some say he was. Leomund says otherwise.
[T]he ancient mage Leomund, an immigrant from the east who retired from the Circle in 576 CY and has been little seen since. [TAB – 60]
Whatever Leomund’s affiliation, he left the Free City for the Lendore Isles, his adopted home.
Otiluke replaced him later that year. [TAB – 60]

578 CY
In the months leading up to his disappearance, the wizard [Bucknard] became obsessed with Kyuss and the Age of Worms. As he learned more about the ancient prophecies, be also grew increasingly paranoid, to the extent that he ceased confiding in close friends like the archmage [Tenser]. He told no one of his discovery of the sinister connection between the Ebon Triad and the cult of Kyuss, nor did he divulge his theory that the Ebon Triad itself seemed to have been founded in the town of Alhaster. His research led him there, where he attempted to contact a woman named Lashonna, one of Prince Zeech's most trusted advisors and the foremost authority on the town's occult affairs.
[Dungeon #131 – 50]

Jallarzi would have discovered Bucknard’s last whereabouts and certainly would have followed him north. She could not help but become embroiled in the politics of the Bandit Kingdoms.
The usual turmoil of competing states preying upon one another and any available neighbor outside the territory sums up activity within the area until CY 578. Bandit groups made forays into Tenh, the Pale, Nyrond, County Urnst, and even the Shield Lands and portions of Furyondy. Most groups were mounted, but the usual number of river raiders and buccaneers from Redhand plied the waters. Prince Zeech’s ships and galleys actually staged a major action against the Duchy of Urnst, managing to slip in through the easternmost portion of the Cairn Hills, loot and pillage, and then escape with their gains. [Dragon #56 – 21]
She certainly would have aided Nyrond and County Urnst whilst engaged there, especially after Zeech attacked the Duchy.

579 CY
[T]he powerful wizard Bucknard […] vanished in 579 CY while exploring an unknown demiplane. His fate is not known. [PGtG – 23]
Jallarzi would have been devastated by evidence of Bucknard’s disappearance.
She is 30 in 579 CY.

580 CY
Jallarzi eventually returns to the Free City of Greyhawk and buys a house.
Jallarzi Sallavarian’s House
H16: Jallarzi Sallavarian’s House
The home of this great wizard, proud member of the Circle of Eight, is plainly appointed and contains little of value. [CoG:GotF – 61]
High Street is a 20-foot-wide road of hard-packed sand and dirt, set between the gardens and facades of the city’s finest temples, residences and government centers. Traffic along High Street usually consists of merchants and trade caravans going to and from the Duke’s Gate.
Jallarzi’s tower is magnificent, even by the impressive standards of the High Quarter, where stately residences and gorgeous temples are common. The building is set among lush gardens – a single huge tower, 80 feet across at the base, which straddles a small bluff that runs through the city. It rises more than 200 feet against the nearly moonless sky, growing slimmer until it ends in a conical roof. At the peak shines a brilliant blue beacon visible across much of the city’s north end. Unlit windows are slashes of darkness in the light stone of the tower. [Rot8 – 10]

Jallarzi purchased the tower and its gardens five years ago [calculated from 585 CY]. Not caring much for interior decorating, she furnished only a few rooms, focusing more on comfort than elegance. Only the first and third floors of the residence are normally inhabited; the second floor accommodates guests and the fourth through sixth floors are empty, sealed off from the rest of the tower. [Rot8 – 11]

A pair of servants tend to the mage’s housekeeping and eating needs. She maintains a pleasant parlor and sitting room where she meets with her guests. Jallarzi also has a luxurious personal suite and several for guests. The rest of the house is unfurnished. [CoG:GotF – 61]

Why is this important? Because rumour has it that Bucknard disappeared while exploring an unknown demiplane. [PGtG – 23]
The house of the great wizard Jallarzi Sallavarian is in reality a portal to many different universes. It is said that one of these planes is strewn with gold and silver as Oerth is strewn with rocks and clay. [CoG:GotF – 96]
One imagines that she would leave no stone left unturned in her quest to find him.

Jallarzi has begun making friends, too.
Marial is close friend[s] with Jallarzi, who first came to Marial for advice concerning the darker parts of the city. Since their first meetings, Jallarzi has become fascinated by Marial’s paradoxical nature, while Marial eagerly listens to Jallarzi’s tales of the greater world.
[WGA4 Vecna Lives! – 92]
[Jallarzi] often ventures forth into the Old City in the evenings and at night, wearing her hat of disguise to appear as a beggar or a street urchin, spying on shady society (which fascinates her), using detect magical detection spells to check alignments, magical items being carried, polymorphed creatures, and the like, reporting anything of possible importance back to Derider Fanshen. [CoG:FFF – 27]
Derider Fanshen, City Constable Derider Fanshenis 43 years old, […] with honey blonde hair and bright gray eyes. [She] is very friendly with High Matriarch Sarana of Pelor’s church [.] [CoG:FFF – 10]
I imagine Jallarzi is drawn to certain persons because of their good nature and affiliation with Pelor.
Jallarzi is friendly with Derider Fanshen [Constable of Greyhawk] and with High Matriarch Sarana at the Temple of Pelor, since she is an ardent worshipper of this deity. [CoG:FFF – 27]

Kieren Jalucian
Jallarzi is a mere [31] years old [.] Her broad smile and pearly-white teeth set off her healthy, tanned complexion most flatteringly. She is, however, in no mind to be flirtatious and gives overattentive males short shrift.
[CoG:FFF – 27]
It’s been suggested that she’s romantically connected with Kieren Jalucian, guildmaster of the Guild of Wizardry and principle of the University of Magical Arts.
Kieren is very much enamored of Jallarzi Sallavarian and the two of them will often be spotted touring the town on Kieren’s carpet of flying, or dining at the Golden Phoenix. From time to time the adventurous spirit overtakes them, and they will travel incognito into the seedier areas of the Free City, where Kieren enjoys a good arm-wrestling contest or similar feats of physical prowess [.] [CoG:FFF – 16]
The Golden Phoenix
[T]he Golden Phoenix is a place to be seen [,] the place will be thronging with [the] upper-crust [of the Free City], and many such people take lunch or dinner here when they feel like having a good (and expensive) time. […] Lady Valderesse Sharn, Tenser, Otto, Jallarzi Sallavarian (sometimes looking for Edwina, who is friendly with the pastry chef here and may be too fat to fly home), Nerof Gasgal, and Org Nehshen are among the place’s patrons [.] [CoG:FFF – 63]
Was she, though? Romantically engaged with Kieren? Unlikely. She would have been flattered, though. Keiren is fun, connected, and rich. And associating with Kieren would have elevated her public profile, certainly.
The Desportium of Magick
This annual festival is held on the last night of Growfest, just after dark, at and around the Grand Citadel. […] The contestants are mages specializing in illusion magic [,] striv[ing] to portray to most real and detailed illusions to the admiring crowds. […] [J]udging of the displays is made by Kieren Jalucian, Jallarzi Sallavarian, and Otiluke, and their marking is keenly attentive to detail. [CoG:FFF – 66]
How could Jallarzi love Kieren? It had only been 2 years since Bucknard vanished.

581 CY
The Vale of Lamia
Meanwhile, back in Urnst…
For decades, a number of ruins have been reported in the Vale of Lamia, but the dangers of the region have defeated most exploratory attempts. […] The ruins […] include a castle […] and a ziggurat of recent manufacture [.] […] The ruins [of the castle] suggest a Suloise origin, perhaps from the earliest days of Urnst’s colonization. The ziggurat is told to be magical and filled with nonliving guardians. […] A distant relative of Duke Karll of Urnst vanished with his expedition here […]; no adventuring group has gone here since. [TAB: AM – 4]
Would Karll have mentioned this to cousin Jallarzi? He might have; then again, he is a Ranger of note, and likely would have sent his Royal Pathwardens to investigate. How deeply they ventured into this foul Vale is anyone’s guess. [See Dungeon #85, Natural Selection, for further details on the Urnst Rangers.]

Jallarzi very likely would have respectably declined, even if he had been asked to participate. She was otherwise engaged.
[Mordenkainen:] “We do not need another agent in Greyhawk. Otiluke is our eyes and ears there, and we learn all that transpires at the Oligarch’s councils.”
[Tenser:] “So? Jallarzi is friendly with Derider Fanshen, and learns much more of the seamier side of the city. Many travel there and conduct business in disguise which the Oligarchs do not hear of. She is wise, Mordenkainen, she sees what others do not. And she is related to the Palatine Duke, and is close to the councils of Urnst. She has advanced far in so few years. She would strengthen our hand, and return us to full circle again.”
[CoG:FFF – 27]

[Mordenkainen:] “Tenser, she’s a woman!”
[Tenser:] “Yes, and very charming, and a lot younger than most of us. It’s about time, in my opinion. Sometimes, Mordenkainen, this place gets like an old coot’s drinking club.”
“I don’t like this. I know that Rary says she is wise and knoledgable, and Otilike likes and approves of her and says it will make it easier on him. I am not convinced.”
 “Well, then, probation? A trial period?”
[CoG:FFF – 27]

Jallarzi Sallavarian was invited to join in 581 CY, replacing the much esteemed Bucknard, who had mysteriously vanished two years earlier. LGJ#0 – 6]

Jallarzi Sallavarian
14th-Level Mage
Neutral Good
Hit Points: 38
Str 10 Int 18 Dex 18 Wis 17 Con 9 Cha 17
[WGA4 – 85]

Jallarzi & Edwina
Jallarzi’s Traveling Spell Book: (spells/day)
1st Level (5): Burning hands, cantrip, dancing lights, detect magic, detect undead, gaze reflection, hold portal, light, magic missile, mending, mount, read magic, shield, shocking grasp
2nd Level (5): Alter self, continual light, darkness 15’ r., ESP, hypnotic pattern, knock, locate object, rope trick, shatter
3rd Level (5): Blink, delude, dispel magic, fireball, flame arrow, hold undead, infravision, lightning bolt, phantom steed, protection from normal missiles, slow, water breathing
4th Level (4): Charm monster, contagion, improved invisibility, monster summoning II, phantasmal killer, plant growth, polymorph other, polymorph self, remove curse, shadow monsters, solid fog, wall of fire, wall of ice, wizard eye
5th Level (4): Advanced illusion, chaos, feeblemind, major creation, monster summoning III, passwall, sending, teleport, wall of force, wall of iron
6th Level (2): Conjure animals, disintegrate, geas, glassee, mirage arcana, programmed illusion, transmute water to dust
7th Level (1): Charm plants, delayed blast fireball, duo-dimension, spell turning
[WGA4 – 85]

Pseudodragon familiar: Edwina [CoG:FFF – 27]
Magical Items: Bracers of defense AC 2, ring of protection + 2, staff of striking, arrow of direction, boots of elvenkind, cloak of elvenkind, hat of disguise, rope of climbing, ring of feather falling, wand of fear, wand of illusion, wand of magic missiles, wand of metal and mineral detection, wand of secret door and trap detection. [CoG:FFF – 27/WGA4 – 85]

Jallarzi is the youngest and newest member of the Circle of Eight. She is also the only female member. Her long blond hair and tan skin make her strikingly attractive and she could have more than her share of interested males to keep her company, if she wished. However, she is independent-minded and not terribly interested in the attentions of eager suitors. She is more than capable of protecting herself. As regards the old wizards of the Circle of Eight, she is not as confident or sure of her footing.
Jallarzi is currently “on trial” as a member. Furthermore, she is keenly aware of the doubts of her status held by many in the Circle. She knows this is because she is a woman, but she does not also realize there are concerns about her ability to maintain the Balance. [WGA4 – 85]

Whatever the members’ misgivings, the Circle of Eight was once again complete.
In the early 580s, the Circle of Eight included Bigby, Drawmij, Jallarzi Sallavarian, Nystul, Otiluke, Otto, Rary of Ket and the archmage Tenser. [PGtG – 21]
The only woman in the Eight and one of the few leaning more toward good than neutrality, Jallarzi offers a much-needed fresh perspective on matters put before this curmudgeonly men's club. [PGtG – 22]

One wonders how up-front Jallarzi might be about her recent inclusion in this decidedly meddlesome group. Would she declare her membership to Karll? Or might that raise an eyebrow of disapproval from him and her peers? A mage of note, though, could be public in all regards. Couldn’t one?
She was one by then, wasn’t she?
Teachers and tutors for almost any subject or craft can be found in the city, though their rates vary wildly. Even members of the Circle of Eight spend time as tutors; Jallani Sallavarian, for instance, is in great demand as a magic tutor for mid-level mages of good nature. [TAB – 6]

How did she get on with her new associates?
She already had a fond relationship with her most recent mentor, Tenser.
Tenser is a not-frequent visitor to Greyhawk City, coming out of curiosity, concern, or simple sociability. […] He usually stays either at the house of his good friend Otto […], with Jallarzi […], or treats himself to a little luxury at The Golden Phoenix [.] [CoG:FFF – 22]
The others would still be relatively unknown to her. But she was a keen observer.
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 rection to this suggests that it might be true—but why? As with so much else about Drawmij, this is unknown. [CoG:FFF – 24]
She would soon develop friendships with others affiliated with the Circle, too. Some of those were certainly already know to her:
Jawal Severain: Librarian, Guild of Wizardry
Jawal is a renegade who has devoted his life to the cataloguing and maintenance of the guild’s library of magical texts. […] Jawal is well respected by the Circle of Eight [.] Over the years Kieren and Jawal have become firm friends, and he is generally on good terms with the membership of the Circle of Eight. [CoG:FFF – 17]

She was not given much time to do so, however.
The final week of her six-month trial membership was to be a baptism by fire. [LGJ#0 – 6]
The Circle of Eight sensed a great danger afoot, but somehow their divinations were blocked. All evidence pointed to the Cult of Vecna, whatever their intent. Mordenkainen sent the others of the Circle to investigate.
The Whispered One
Their quest did not turn out as planned.
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. [LGJ#0 – 6]
Jallarzi is not accompanied by Edwina, her pseudo-dragon companion, on this adventure. Edwina refused to go, since Otiluke was also taking part. (The wizard and the pseudo-dragon do not get along.)
[WGA4 – 85]
Finding the tyrant alive, after a fashion, and completely controlled by the Whispered One, the ill-prepared Circle of Eight panicked, and was defeated. [LGJ#0 – 6]
They were not just defeated: They were killed!
Jallarzi was dead. Indeed, the whole of the Circle, with the exception of Mordenkainen, were dead!
Jallarzi was just 32 years old when she died.

“The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece 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.

The Art:
Jallarzi Sallavarian, by Sam Wood, from Living Greyhawk Journal #0, 2000
The Circle of Eight detail, by Mark Zug, from Living Greyhawk Journal #0 cover, 2000
Duchy of Urnst Map, by High Programmer (Alan De Smet)
The Seer of Urnst, by Jeff Dee, from C2 Ghost Tower of Inverness, 1980
Pseudodragon, by David A. Trampier, from Monster Manual 1e, 1977
Warnes Starcoat, by Gary Williams, from WG6 Isle of the Ape, 1985
Alhaster detail, from Dungeon #131, 2006
Jallarzi Sallavarian’s House detail, by Diesel, from City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989
Kieren Jalucian, by Aaron Williams, in "Nodwick in: The Lich Strikes Back," from Dragon #270, 2000
Mordenkainen, by Dan Burr, from Dragon #185, 1992
Tenser, by Gary Williams, from WG6 Isle of the Ape, 1985
Jallarzi & Edwina detail, by Mark Zug, from the Living Greyhawk Journal #0 cover, 2000
The Circle of Eight, by Sam Wood, from the From the Ashes Boxed Set, Ref card #13, 1992

1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1043 City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
9038 C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness, 1980
9309 Vecna Lives! 1990
9576 Return of the Eight, 1998
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine #56
Dungeon #85, 131
LGJ #0
Greychrondex, Wilson, Steven B.
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda

No comments:

Post a Comment