Friday 9 February 2024

On Quij

“No class of man is altogether bad, but each has its own faults and virtues.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped

Was Quij a member of the Citadel of Eight? My guess would be no. Quij was Robilar’s henchman, and that by itself ought to invalidate any possibility of membership. In that vein, then, he may be considered an associate member. Maybe. That might even be stretching credibility, however, because even calling Quij a henchmen might be erroneous.
I suppose that if we are to pass judgment in that regard, we must define what a henchman is, exactly.
According to the Cambridge dictionary a henchman is: a person who is loyal to or works for someone in a position of authority and is willing to help that person even by hurting others or by committing crimes.
That works. We’ll come back to this.
The most applicable definition for our purpose is in the Players Handbook.
A henchman is a more or less devoted follower of a character. In return for the use of his or her abilities and talents, the henchman receives support, lodging, and a share of his or her master’s or mistress’ earnings – in the form of stipends or as a shore of treasure taken. Henchmen are always of a character race and character class, but are never player characters. [PHB 1e – 39]
This definition would appear to apply, but our exploration of Quij that follows will either prove or disprove his qualifications as henchman proper, one way or the other.
Quij is, after all, “only” an orc.
Orcs are savage raiders and pillagers with stooped postures, low foreheads, and piggish faces with prominent lower canines that resemble tusks.
[MM 5e – 244]
MOVE: 9"
HIT DICE: 1 [that would be 1-8 hp, compare that to a human’s 1-6 hp]
INTELLIGENCE: Average (low)
ALIGNMENT: Lawful evil
SIZE: M (6'+ tall) [somewhat larger than a human]
[MM 1e – 76]

That would appear to eliminate Quij’s potential status as a henchman proper, from the get-go, given that [h]enchmen are always of a character race and character class [PHB 1e – 39], at least as far as 1st edition AD&D is concerned.
Although it is not made implicit in 2nd edition, the same rule would appear to be implied, in that they have the nerve and ability to become powerful adventurers. [PHB revised 2e – 152]
3rd edition, however, appears to have dispensed with this requirement.
There are no limitations on the class, race, or gender of a character’s cohorts [.] [DMG 3.5 – 104]
Followers may be apprentices, admirers, henchmen, students, or sidekicks. [PHB 3.5 – 168]
Followers are similar to cohorts, except they’re generally low-level NPCs. […] Followers don’t earn experience and thus don’t gain levels. [DMG 3.5 – 105]
The answer, then, is not so cut and dried.
So, can Quij be Robilar’s henchmen? I suppose that depends on whether you, as DM, allow it.

If it weren’t for Robilar, we might never have even heard of Quij at all.
540s CY
Robilar is a grim, black-haired, saturnine man with a brooding countenance, deep-set eyes, and a short goatee.
[COR1 – 00 – 3]
Robilar spent much of his earlier career adventuring in Castle Greyhawk [.] [OJ#3 – 41]
[T]he first adventurers to explore the ruins of Greyhawk Castle set forth. […]
Robilar and Terrik, Murlynd and Tenser, [and] a cleric […] slew a few rats, found stairs leading down, and entered the dungeon with torches flaring. [Dragon#AN2 – 96]

543 CY
Quij is born in the Pomarj [.] [TAB – 98]
Population: 20,000?
Demi-humans: None
Humanoids: Orcs (15,000), Goblins (10,000), others
Resources: silver, electrum, gold, gems (I, II)
[Folio – 14]

Tribes of vicious humanoids have banded together and rule […] the Pomarj. [Folio – 6]
[The humanoids are] masters of the whole peninsula. [Folio – 14]
The humanoids have not often dared to cross into Ulek, but their raiders cause much trouble in the Wild Coast. [Folio – 14]
These invaders work their way up from the Pomarj, through the Suss and Welkwood. [Folio – 22]
The folk of the Wild Coast at one time made concerted efforts to clear the Suss, and managed to drive Its verge back several leagues. Due to the disappearance of timbering parties and the threat of marauding humanoids, such operations are no longer conducted anywhere, however. The edges of the Suss are watched closely by the petty nobles and lordlings of the Wild Coast. [Folio – 26]

The Suss Forest
Where, exactly, was Quij born?
Canon does not pin the location down, specifically; but, judging by what follows, I suggest the Suss Forest.
Suss Forest: Where the Welkwood approaches the Jewel River near city of Courwood, the forest becomes the Suss. The Suss is a dark and dreary wood filled with thorn trees, brambles, briars, and thickets. Its massive trees are black with age, seeming to menace those who pass under their boughs. The western end of the forest, where the wood grows near the foothills of the Lortmil Mountains, is open and clean, but east of the Jewel River it is a foreboding place. Many nonhumans, mostly orcs and goblins tied to their brethren in the Pomarj, lair in this part of the Suss, along with gibberlings, ettercaps, and stranger creatures. legends place a lost city of Old Suloise in this forest, but few dare to confirm these rumors due to the dangers of the wood. [LGG – 141,142]

550 CY
All too soon, the torrent of riches Robilar had become accustomed to in the Mad Mage’s mage ebbed to a trickle as it was increasingly crawling with more treasure seekers than monsters. He went in search of far more fertile fields.
In the Suss Forest
[L]egends place a lost city of Old Suloise in [the Suss] forest, but few dare to confirm these rumors due to the dangers of the wood. [LGG – 142]
But however hard he searched the lost city eluded him. Not so orcs. He found them everywhere. And they took umbrage to his scouring their hard-claimed territories.
A year ago, you conquered a band of orcs single-handedly, and one of the orcs, Quij, became your henchman. Quij seems to be blossoming in your service, and except for a cowardly streak that comes out you have no complaints about him. [COR1 – 00 – 3]
Young Quij
Quij is 7 years old.
Quij is not a bad sort, for an orc, that is.
[L]N orc-m HD[1]; Str 15, Con 15, Int 5 …. [TAB – 98]
[TAB states that Quij is CN, which reflects orc’s 3rd edition alignment shift from LE to CE. {MM 3e – 146} I have changed it back as being Lawful reflects Quij’s narrative.]

[Robert Wiese’s 2000 GenCon tournament Finger of the Wind declares that this occured in 560 CY, but I would suggest this earlier date. Why? Because:
Orcs are cruel and hate living things in general {MM 1e – 76}
Being bullies, the stronger will always intimidate and dominate the weaker. {MM 1e – 76}
They take slaves for work, food, and entertainment {MM 1e – 76}
ALIGNMENT: Lawful evil {MM 1e – 76}
The earlier Robilar subjugates Quij the better – or shall I say “tamed,” instead? Quij’s innate hatred of humans would be more easily be quelled at an earlier age, helped along by his understanding that the strong shall always rule, and that he – being young and weak – must, by his very nature, obey.]

One wonders why Robilar took on the boy? There must have been others more suitable. Why Quij, then? Did the boy’s cowering appeal to Robilar? Or was the boy appear the most malleable?
TREASURE TYPE: Individuals L; C,O,Q (X 10), S in lair [MM 1e – 76]
The orc whelp could have carried much. Indeed, Quij could have been little more than a nuisance, at first; and orcs being what they are, Robilar likely had need to hobble the boy at night, until the boy was sufficiently cowed to not slit his throat while he slept. So, why even spare him? Surely a great many fell before they submitted. Did Robilar experience a moment of mercy? Or was it merely mastery? He must have.

Quij would have been terrified, carried away by the monster who all but slaughtered his clan. He must also have wondered why Robilar allowed him to continue live. Or why this fiend suddenly, inexplicably, bestowed what “kindness” he did upon him, feeding him, clothing him.
It mattered not why, however. Robilar had the right to do as he pleased with his slave.
Robilar’s continued “kindness” would have made its mark on the boy. First his master, Robilar would have, in time, become his chief, and then, surprisingly, his surrogate “father.”
Quij, then, may be more than a mere Follower; he may actually worship Robilar.
Robilar's servant, the euroz Quij, [is] wholly incorruptible (insofar as loyalty to his master was concerned) [.] [LGJ#0 – 10]
[This passage could be tabled as further proof that Quij was taken under Robilar’s wing at a very early age, and is not a subdued adult. As a subdued adult he would never exhibit such fanatical loyalty.]
Young as he is, Quij would have been little more than a fetch-and-carry link-boy, to begin. His duties increased with age, but not by much.

Quij wasn’t the only creature collected by Robilar while in the Suss. He acquired a few green dragons while there, too, it would seem.
The dragons were a small family, consisting of a mother, father and baby. The creatures had no names, but Robilar spoke their native language, so all was understood between them. Robilar trained all three dragons as fighting steeds. [OJ#7 – 41]
Quij could only be timid around these beasts. Timid? Perhaps terrified might be a more apt description.
But he bore it well. Robilar had them well in hand, and that made them alright in Quij’s book. He would, however, keep a wary eye on them when Robilar was not around.
Robilar, in Quij’s mind, could do anything, if he could tame such powerful beasts as these!

551 CY
In the months that followed, Robilar trekked across the Plains of Greyhawk, Quij in tow.
[Robilar’s] adventures have taken [him] across the Flanaess [.] One wizard, named Mordenkainen, approached [him] a couple months back about joining an adventuring group he was forming. He prattled on about Balance and working to prevent anyone from getting the upper hand, but all that meant nothing. To [Robilar], the invitation looks like a call to adventures that [he] cannot pass up. [COR1 – 00 – 3]
Within months, Mordenkainen had brought the renowned warrior Robilar to his cause, as well as the cleric Riggby, and his zealous assistant, Yrag. From the shores of the Nyr Dyv, Mordenkainen recruited the righteous Tenser, who in turn introduced the dim-witted though well-meaning Serten to the assembly. [LGJ#0 – 5]
They called themselves the Citadel of Eight, taking the name from Mordenkainen’s renowned Obsidian Citadel, in the Yatil Mountains. [LGJ#0 – 5]
Robilar began his career as an adventurer, seeking his fortune in the company of such Greyhawk luminaries as Mordenkainen, Bigby, Serten, and from time to time, Rary the Mage. [WGR3 Rary the Traitor – 11]

What did Robilar’s new adventuring companions think about his euroz “henchman”?
Little is said about it. But despite Mordenkainen’s high words about Balance, and despite Quij being mere orc, he appears a little anxious.
Mordenkainen: Robilar has a henchman, Quij the orc, who he left in your castle. You are a little nervous. [COR1 – 00 – 2]
Robilar appears to be amused by his concern and discomfort.
You left Quij to take care of Mordenkainen’s castle, and the thought of your servant there makes you chuckle. [COR1 – 00 – 4]
The others probably thought nothing of the obsequious, sycophantic orc. They may even have made mention that so long as Robilar kept Quij on a short leash nothing more would be said about him.

550s CY
In the years that followed, Quij found himself roaming further and experiencing more than he had ever thought possible.
In the years that followed, their adventures focused on Greyhawk and the Selintan valley, and the crags of the Cairn Hills and depths of the Suss Forest were opened to their prying vision. [LGJ#0 – 5]
In his adventurous youth, he traveled throughout the Flanaess and beyond and met Mordenkainen, Riggby, Merlynd (now the quasi-diety Murlynd), Robilar, Bigby and other now-famous personages. [Rot8 – 58]
With his allies in the Citadel of Eight, Robilar conquered the dungeons of Castle Roakire and the mirrored halls of the Forever Cairn, meeting each new challenge with a fearless abandon and a lust for fresh adventuring thrills. [EttRoG – 10]

One would imagine that it was an exciting time in Quij’s life. But that would be presuming much.
Quij found himself at adventure’s door, minding the horses.
Robilar often left his trusty orc hero Quij to guard the transport [.] [T1-4 – 28]

Times were good, regardless his low status. Indeed, Quij could hardly complain, given the luxury he soon found himself amidst.
Robilar reached the pinnacle of his career when he was named a Lord of Greyhawk [WGR3 – 11] when Robilar aided in bringing the villain behind the River of Blood mass murder case to justice. [LGJ#2 – 8]
Not that Quij gave a toss about those deaths: people lived, people died; only the strong survived.
But catching this Sir Bluto Sans Pite [S2 – 11 / White Plume Mountain Revisited – 25] seemed to matter because in the aftermath, after Robilar returned from city hall, his patron was a-plumb with ribbons and metals, and a title!
And soon after, Robilar was building a grand keep!
Robilar's Castle was located about 70 miles southwest of the City of Greyhawk, on the Wild Coast (Hex E4-89). The castle complex was surrounded by several villages, all of whom paid a tithe to Robilar for protection. The castle consists of a series of structures; a great keep surrounded by four walls with towers at the corners.
[OJ#7 – 41]
Quij would have thought they would never venture out again – what for? – what with the fine food and servants who even bowed to him (they were ordered to).
But his lord being who he was, Robilar was soon on the move again… without his faithful Quij, it would seem, who was ordered to “hold down the fort,” whatever that meant – it was not like all that stone was going to float away, was it?
Robilar fears nothing, and to prove that point, he often adventures alone, even when the odds appear greatly stacked against him. [OJ#7 – 41]
Before long, Quij became aware that Robilar was often venturing out without him, and that his “holding down the fort” appeared to be his lot in life.
Quij was despondant. But Robilar knew best. He would do as Robilar bid, as he always did.

557 CY
Before too long, Quij wondered if would ever see the outside of those castle walls, ever again.
In the company of his apprentice Bigby, the fearless Lord Robilar, and the willful cleric Riggby, the wizard [Mordenkainen] relentlessly explored the ruins of Zagig’s castle, charting its secrets and plundering its priceless treasures. [EttRoG – 4]

Indeed, he nary ever saw a soul not employed within the keep. Not a bad thing, really; at least those there did not flinch upon sight of him.
Mordenkainen Came a-Callin'
But few ever spoke to him, if they had no need to. It came as quite a surprise, then, when Mordenkainen came to call one day when Robilar was off, out and about. And asked to see him!
He asked Quij many curious questions, like did he know where Robilar went, what he was about, and whether he, Quij, liked working for his master.
Quij did not know what to make of it – indeed, he wondered if it were some sort of trap, a way for them to be rid of the stupid orc, once and for all – so he said that he liked his master very much and that he was always loyal.
Then Mordenkainen left. But not before he commanded Quij that he ought to keep this conversation between them, hinting that Robilar might not like others talking about him behind his back.
Having found Robilar's servant, the euroz Quij, wholly incorruptible (insofar as loyalty to his master was concerned), the Archmage of Greyhawk [LGJ#0 – 10] went away.
Quij thought it best to never mention the visit. Because, truth be told, it worried him, and because he suspected it might be a test of his loyalty, but mostly because, in time, he forgot about it.

560 CY
One day, Robilar returned with another in tow.
Robilar, Tenser and Teric [sic] were adventuring in Castle Greyhawk when they encountered Otto in a room on the second dungeon level. In the ensuing melee, Otto was subdued by Tenser. After a dispute involving the two mages, he decided to work for Robilar. [OJ#7 – 44]
Was Quij jealous? He was. He was not afforded such finery at this increasingly corpulent Otto was.
Otto the mage retained his laboratories/apartments on the third floor of Robilar's Castle, near Robilar's training halls. [OJ#7 – 41]
Truth be told, Quij began to worry that Robilar would have no further use of him, what with all the mages and sages, and dragons and men-at-arms Quij was stumbling over in the keep, these days.
Robilar’s green dragons would be:
Adult – 51 -100 years – 5 hit point per die; average
Young – 6-15 years – 2 hit point per die; small [MM 1e – 29]

Early 560s CY
Whatever his fate and status, Quij would become acquainted with a great many powerful people.
Over the years, the Citadel played home to such luminaries as Prince Melf Brightflame, of the Olvenfolk, the half-orc Quij, Felnorith, Robilar's brother Terik, and even, at one point, the Quasi-Deity Murlynd, in disguise. [LGJ#0 – 5]
Does this mean that Quij eventually became a member of the Citadel of Eight? Not at all. They were formidable warriors, luminous mages, and clerics par excellence. Quij was but a cowardly HD4 [TAB – 98] orc in their company. Hardly a peer.
I doubt they would have given him much though after their initial surprise at finding an orc in their midst. But Robilar appeared to have him well in hand; so, I imagine Quij would have soon become invisible to them – except when they required someone to bake the biscuits and mind the horses, that is.
Hang on! HD4? But orcs are but HD1. I suspect left alone at the dungeon door to guard the horses was a far more perilous duty than we might expect.

561 CY
Perhaps their vast skill could only have made an impression on the stupid and supposedly cowardly orc in their midst.
He may have been beneath their notice, but they were certainly not beneath his. In fact, he made a great study of them: at practice, in combat; at study, in public, and at table. He mimicked their moves, their speech, their manners.
Quij? I think not!
Str 16, Int 9, Wis 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Cha 8 [Finger of the Wind, pg. 4]
Not that they noticed any change in Quij; not even Robilar, who was forever ordering him to fetch this and hold that, to get me this and lift that. He was lucky for what hand-me-downs they might bestow upon him. But their hand-me-downs were not our hand-me-downs; their hand-me-downs were the stuff a great many adventurers dream about.
Those hand-me-downs would eventually enable the supposedly cowardly Quij to accompany their luminous selves into adventure proper, only to find that Robilar’s pet orc could be surprisingly useful, when they might need an extra hand – you know, carrying torches and loots, and standing betwixt them and those ogres over there.
Indeed, they were soon surprised that Quij had become very useful, indeed, one day, when he found himself on an adventure that included:
  1. Mordenkainen the Mage (Wizard 10)
  2. Robilar (Fighter 8)
  3. Quij the Orc (Barbarian Rogue 4/4)
  4. Bigby the Mage (Wizard 7)
  5. Tenser (Wizard 7)
  6. Serten (Cleric 7)
  7. Riggby the Partriarch (Cleric 7)
  8. Yrag (Fighter 8)
[From the 7-round 2000 GenCon Tournament “Finger of the Wind,” by Robert Weise.]
Quij is 18.

564 CY
Robilar’s, and thus Quij’s, time in Mordenkainen’s Citadel was finite, however.
For a group that so decisively defeated its enemies, there remained several problems. Robilar never quite bought into Mordenkainen’s philosophy, and he and Tenser often bickered over matters of morality. [LGJ#0 – 5]
[B]y this time [Robilar] had begun to grow weary of his old friends [.] Feeling that all the others had grown soft and weak as a result of their prestigious positions, Robilar maintained friendly relations only with Rary. [WGR3 – 11]
It made no never-mind to Quij. He went where Robilar went; and if Robilar decided that his former companions were a bunch of deluded do-gooders, that was good enough for him.

569 CY
Not that Robilar took Quij everywhere. He did not take Quij with him to see the City of the Gods, an experience reserved for himself and Mordenkainen, alone.
After the dissolution of the Citadel, Mordenkainen remained great friends with the organization’s most cunning fighter, Lord Robilar, and together they traveled the length and breadth of the Flanaess, from the City of the Gods in the northern wastelands of Blackmoor to the vine-choked crumbling pyramids of the Amedio Jungle. [OJ#25 – 15]

No sooner had they returned, perhaps the greatest confrontation in decades was about to unfold.
Battle of Emridy Meadows
A great battle was fought to the east, and when villagers saw streams of ochre-robed men and humanoids fleeing south and west through their community, there was great rejoicing, for they knew that the murderous oppressors had been defeated and driven from the field in panic and rout. [T1 The Village of Hommlet – 2]
Robilar took interest in these maneuvers, exciting Quij.
After hearing of the happenings in the Hommlet area, Robilar finally decided to investigate the Temple himself. [OJ#3 – 42]
Perhaps they would be heading to this Emridy, he hoped!
They did! And, after so many times he had been left “holding down the fort,” he found himself speeding across the plains, and over forests, towards what would surely be the event of his year!
Quij was somewhat less excited when Otto climbed aboard, however.
Robilar traveled with his henchmen Quij and Otto the Mage to the Temple of Elemental Evil. [OJ#3 – 42]
Then the worst happened! Not altogether unexpected, but Quij was crestfallen when instructed to do what he had hoped himself above by then.
The Temple of Elemental Evil
Robilar arrived on his carpet of flying, and then set off into the Temple depths, leaving his trusty orc hero Quij to guard the transport device and a pair of griffons.
[T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil – 28]
Lord Robilar eventually entered the Temple with a small party. [T1-4 – 28]
While other adventurers raided the temple and then withdrew, Robilar entered the temple and fought his way through it. [OJ#3 – 42]
While other adventurers had proceeded circumspectly, Robilar bulled his way through. [T1-4 – 28]
Two days later, much of the Temple was sacked, bits and pieces of monsters were spread about, and a certain personage was loosed. But in the process, the minions of Good had been alerted, and they too arrived in the area, in force. [T1-4 – 28]
Robilar's ravages were followed by the army of enraged Good folk, led by Tenser and associates—including Otis, Burne, Rufus, et al. [T1-4 – 28]
Robilar freed the demoness Zuggtmoy, who was imprisoned beneath the temple complex. [OJ#7 – 42]
Why did Robilar free Zuggtmoy? Robilar purposefully released the demoness, because too much good was going on around the place. In a manner, to balance the proceedings. [OJ#3 – 42]
Robilar left with pursuit hot on his tail, Quij wearing a new poncho he'd made from "master's flying rug" (two days being a long time to wait in the cold)! [T1-4 – 28]

Quij had no clue what had unfolded while he has been left shivering at the gate. Robilar did not explain, either. All he said was they had to “hoof it” now that the carpet was in tatters – a realisation that had left his patron livid! –, and that he had better “hop to it”!
That they did, with Robilar casting a great many worried glances behind them.
Robilar and Otto fled back to his castle, with the Force of Good in hot pursuit. The druid Jaroo, in falcon form, followed Robilar and Otto over 200 miles back to Robilar's castle. After they were informed of his whereabouts, the good war party eventually rallied outside of Robilar's castle. Robilar and Otto abandoned the castle and it fell to the Forces of Good. [OJ#7 – 42]
Quij too, if you are wondering his fate after the carpet incident.
Quij is 26.

570 CY
The Green Dragon Inn
Where did they go? Nowhere. Everywhere.
Eventually they snuck back into Greyhawk, hoods up, keeping to the shadows, taking refuge in some tavern in the River Quarter for a time.
Green Dragon Inn
The Green Dragon Inn is located in Greyhawk’s River Quarter, along a wide street crowded with rivermen, cutthroats, and thieves. [EttRoG – 14]
Why there? Robilar said he owned the place.
He owned the place in secret, entrusting the day-to-day management to a former cohort, the swordsman Ricard Damaris. [EttRoG – 10]

Before too long, Robilar was slipping out in the night, usually with Otto, telling Quij to, once again, “hold down the fort.”
Quij was upset. Why should ever faithful he be left behind, in preference for that fat newcomer? His uncontained fa├žade must have betrayed him, because Robilar told him that he could not go because he was too conspicuous – as if that coxcomb whale were not. He had to be patient, Robilar cooed, something Quij was not too proficient being.
Then, one night, Robilar returned, looking all too pleased with himself! “This is really going to save my bacon,” he said.
How, Quij wanted to know.
“We got a job to do,” Robilar said, “and when we do it, we’ll be back in the pink!” Whatever that was supposed to mean.

Then, one night soon, they – he too, much to Quij’s surprise – snuck out of the Green Dragon into the night.
Cactle Greyhawk
Originally, three set out to investigate the prison of Iuz below Castle Greyhawk. These were Lord Robilar, his orc 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.
[WGR5 Iuz the Evil – 5]
Tenser had learned of Robilar's plan, feared that Riggby was being duped, and came post haste to prevent their action. [WGR5 – 5]
In 570 CY, Lord Robilar, his orc henchman Quij and Riggby, Patriarch of Boccob, freed Iuz. [PGtG – 24]
Just as Robilar dispelled the barriers keeping Iuz at bay so that he might be slain, the wizard Tenser appeared with Bigby and the warrior Neb Retnar at his back. The trio had come to stop the dangerous gambit, but arrived too late. [EttRoG – 4]
The archmages Bigby and Tenser arrived, intending to kill him, but during Iuz's incarceration the half-demon had transformed, and he emerged a demigod [.] [PGtG – 24]
Tenser and his cohort began battling the freed, enraged demigod. Riggby at once aided the assault. [WGR5 – 5]
Robilar and Quij considered flight and felt their chances would be best if they made odds of four against one into six against one. [WGR5 – 5]
Quij was with Robilar when Iuz was freed and nearly slain in 570 CY [.] [TAB – 99]
The six adventurers were no match for the enraged Iuz, who escaped certain death in the clutches of Bigby’s notorious crushing hand by plane shifting to the Abyss. [EttRoG – 4]
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. [WGR5 – 5]
That magical warp freed the additional gods and caved in many of Castle Greyhawk’s deepest dungeon complexes. [EttRoG – 4]
Quij only survived by the skin of his teeth. He rose to his feet, brushed the dust and grit off, and breathed a sigh of relief. He was out of his depth, he knew, and was sure he would die just then.  But he hadn’t. Little did he know of the peril he was still in.
Since that fateful brush with extinction, Iuz has schemed to destroy those six [Bigby, Quij, Rary, Riggby, Robilar, and Tenser]. [WGR5 – 5]
Not that anyone bothered to tell him.
All Robilar told him was that they had to “hoof it” again.
After Lord Robilar was exiled from the City of Greyhawk and the sacking of his lordly lands the two split and despite an attempt to remain aloof from the consequences of his actions, Mordenkainen was left bearing the responsibility of his actions. [OJ#25 – 15]

They were on the run again. So much for being “in the pink.”
Where did they go? Here. There. Everywhere. Nowhere.
South. Ever south. Towards the Pomarj.
Sometime over one year ago, Robilar escaped and is now somewhere in the Pomarj region [.] [Dragon #37 – 11]
Why? The Pomarj would have been within easy striking distance. Besides, the denizens of the Pomarj were far from discriminating.
Only corrupt or adventurous humans and demihumans intentionally entered there. [Wars – 15]
There are undoubtedly renegade humans helping these invaders, and mercenaries as well [.] [Folio – 14]

Robilar would not have been deterred. He had strength in numbers.
  • Heavy Cavalry: 50 (Regulars)
  • Medium Cavalry: 100 (Regulars)
  • Light Cavalry: 50 (Regulars)
  • Light Horse Crossbowmen: 50 (Regulars)
  • Heavy Infantry: 100 (Elite Qrcish)
  • Light Infantry: 100 (Levied)
  • Heavy Archers: 50 (Elite Orcish)
  • Light Crossbowmen: 50 (Regulars)
  • Pole Armed Infantry: 100 (Regular Orcish)
Many of the higher-level figures were slain during the taking of the castle, but Robilar has Otto, a high-level magic-user, and Quij, an Orcish hero of high ability but low intelligence, as well as some relatively low-leve1 cohorts. This force is Lawful Evil but suspect by the minions of Hell due to chaotic actions.
[Dragon #37 – 11]
And 3 green dragons. Let’s not forget about them.
It’s not as though the disparate tribes could have prevented Robilar from finding a deserted castle and setting up shop.
The orcs and goblins carved up the realm into small territories ruled by individual tribes and chieftains. [LGG – 88]

In the Drachensgrab Hills
Where did they settle? In the most remote, most fortifiable, and most formidable of terrains.
Robilar made his way […] to the Drachensgrab Mountains and is believed to have joined his forces located there. [OJ#7 – 43]
Drachensgrab Hills: The low mountains of the same name found in the Pomarj are surrounded by these hills. Rich in valuable minerals and gems, these hills have always been the home of many terrible beasts and monsters which had to be contended with by the humans dwelling along the lowland coasts. Now that the area is in the hands of humanoid hordes, many of the monsters there will undoubtedly be enlisted into their ranks. Legends say that these hills hide the resting place of one or more powerful creatures who may someday return to life. [Folio – 22]

571 CY
No sooner had they settled, Otto betrayed him.
So it was that Otto worked his way into Robilar's organization, and onto the path of events that would see him as a founding member of the Circle of Eight. [LGJ#0 – 10]
Quij knew they could not trust that fat finger-wiggler! But Robilar would never listen to him. Quij knew better than to say, I told you so; so, he kept his peace.

570s CY
Regardless their initial strength, orcs are orcs. Evil, vicious, tenacious.
Kill your father, eat your mother is an encouragement among the orcs of the Pomarj, entreating the listener to evil and notable deeds. [FtAA – 16]
Robilar’s presence and reputation would have only been a challenge. Night after night they came on, probing, scaling the walls, ambushing patrols.
Quij wondered, silently, as night after night, he was sent out on patrol, if he might just slip away into the hills. What with their nightly losses, he suspected that none would miss him. He did not, however. Loyalty kept him “holding down the fort.”

580s CY
Turrosh Mak
Quij heard Robilar mutter to himself that he could not remain within the Drachensgrab Hills for much longer, or even the Pomarj for that matter. Something about a Turrosh Mak. Soon, everyone was whispering that name, this new orc leader.
In the early 580s, a new leader emerged to unite the tribes, a rabble-rousing half-orc named Turrosh Mak. [LGG – 88]
United under a half-orc leader of greater strength than had been seen before, one Turrosh Mak, they strove to reclaim the "birthright" their new tyrant stressed to them: their old homes in the Lortmils. [FtAA – 7]
This Turrosh Mak could not be reasoned with, it was said.
Turrosh Mak sign[s] no peace treat[ies.] [FtAA – 21]
Indeed, Robilar had to flee this new paradigm. He and Quij and those followers who had not already slipped off into the night made a mad dash for the port of Blue and eventual escape. One by one his follows were picked off, mile by mile, regardless that his dragons wheeled overhead. Only he a Quij (and the dragons, of course) lived to gain the relative safety of its gates.

582 to 584 CY
Where did Robilar flee to? To Greyhawk City. [WGR3 – 7]
Back to the Green Gragon Inn.
Robilar secretly owns the Green Dragon Inn, in the City of Greyhawk. He uses the inn as a meeting place and as a means of ferreting out information and keeping up with the local happenings within the city. [OJ#7 – 41]
He owned the place in secret, entrusting the day-to-day management to a former cohort, the swordsman Ricard Damaris. [EttRoG – 10]
He could not, however, walk the streets as himself. A disguise was in order, hence Robilar became
Captain Gallancz [,] a tall middle-aged man with bushy blond hair and beard and a red military coat [, a veteran of] Emridy Meadows who happens to be in town on business. [EttRoG – 16,17]

Quij was said to be a half-orc – he could pass, apparently (even some of those who attended Mordenkainen’s citadel called him the half-orc Quij  [LGJ#0 – 5]), not that Quij could see it; or that anyone argued the claim, not after eyeing either Robilar or Quij, and wondering what the dispute might cost them – which was fine with him, if that meant he could be out and about.
It was then that the half-orc named Ral [TAB – 98] was born.

Captain Gallancz began gathering followers. He was a captain, after all, and it would be suspicious if he did not command a troop.
Robilar, if anyone, would know to be wary, regardless his renewed strength. Indeed, because of it. He would be forever keeping an eye and ear out for those he knew and might recognise him. Indeed, none would have thought to look for him under their very noses. To one and all (outside his followers) he was Captain Gallancz, and he meant to keep it that way. For now.
As to Ral… so long as he kept to the seedier districts, no one appeared to even take note of him.
Time passed. They kept their heads down.
It was not hard to remain unnoticed. The world was distracted.
For two long years (582 to 584 CY), the nations of the Flanaess had schemed, murdered, and warred against each other until nearly all sides lay bloodied and beaten: war had exhausted the land and the people. [Wars – 24]
Then, one day, the war was over.
The proposed truce, though simple in theory, proved an enormous undertaking, what with the countless ambassadors present. [Wars – 24]

584 CY
One day, Quij caught Robilar looking all too pleased with himself, muttering “this is really going to save my bacon.”
How, Quij wanted to know. Robilar spun on him, furious that he’d been overheard.
“Don’t you worry about it,” he snapped.  Then: “I’ve got a job to do,” he said, “and when it’s done, I’ll be back in the pink, again!”
Quij did not like the sound of that. He’d heard that before; but it had been “we” then, and not “I.”
Rary finally and irrevocably fell under evil's sway. Returning to Greyhawk, Rary enlisted the aid of Lord Robilar, a powerful if somewhat unstable nobleman with a substantial household guard, and together the two formulated a plan to put themselves into a position of power in the Flanaess. [WGR3 – 7]
Quij had no idea what his master was up to. Not that he ever really did. But this time he was worried that whatever it might be, it would not come out well.

He was up to no good, it turned out.
9 Goodmonth
The treaty to end the war was to be ratified in the Grand Hall of Greyhawk, but brief moments before the signing ceremony, an explosion destroyed the area [.] [Rot8 – 3]
A blazing explosion destroyed a good part of the Grand Hall only minutes before the ambassadors assembled for the day. A fierce magical battle immediately ensued, spreading havoc through much of the old city. [Wars – 24]
Often considered soft-spoken, her demeanor has hardened noticeably since she was the first to discover the devastation on the Day of Great Signing [.]. [LGJ#0 – 8]
When the fire and dust cleared, constables discovered smoldering robes belonging to two powerful members of the mysterious Circle of Eight—Otiluke and Tenser. The murderer of these wizards, undeniably a powerful mage [.] [Wars – 24]
A badly wounded third, Bigby of Scant, claimed that their assailant had been their one-time ally, Rary, member of the Circle of Eight. [LGG – 38]

While Rary was committing murder, Robilar’s forces were attacking Otiluke’s manor in Grehawk and Tenser’s castle on the shores of the Nyr Dyv. And Quij did as he was bid. As he always did.
Simultaneously, Rary’s ally Robilar entered Tenser’s castle (four days’ travel away) and initiated an attack. When the battle ended, Tenser’s forces were slain, his castle was looted and all Tenser’s cloning materials were destroyed. [Rot8 – 3]
In the ensuing confusion and shock, Lord Robilar's own troops struck, destroying every one of the dead wizards' hidden clones, assuring the permanent death of both Tenser and Otiluke. [WGR3 – 7]
Did Quij kill the clone? One wonders. Indeed, one wonders which raid Robilar participated in. One imagines the one against Tenser’s castle. And that it was Robilar’s dark blade that fell upon Tenser’s hope for survival.
Sacking Tenser’s tower was not an easy task, however. It wouldn’t be, would it.
Quij took part in the sacking of the castle of the slain Archmage Tenser, but the orc became separated from his comrades after the raid. [TAB – 98]
Quij was once a henchman of the notorious Lord Robilar[.] [TAB – 98]
No more.
Robilar was never to see Quij ever again. Did he look for his faithful servant? He did not. He was busy, just then.

Quij found himself alone.
[Quij] escaped capture but eventually collapsed, sick and exhausted, before the roadside shrine to Ralishaz, the deity of chance and ill-fortune. Quij gasped out a plea for rescue and the shrine unexpectedly spoke to him. He must do two things to survive, the statue told him: He must always wear a holy symbol of Ralishaz around his neck, and he must live in the city where he is the greatest danger. [TAB – 98]

Quij was fortunate to have stumbled upon that very shrine. Or lucky. Maybe it was the unlikelihood that he did that saved him.
Ralishaz, The Unlooked For
(The Unlooked For), CN (CE) intermediate god of Chance, Ill Luck, Misfortune, and Insanity
Order does not exist, only randomness and chance, and the odds are stacked against you. While you may have a good run against the odds, eventually the universe will balance itself out against you. Randomness and insanity go hand in hand, and sometimes those who are the most insane are the ones who are closest to the true nature of the universe. Kindness and prosperity are illusions, as misfortune comes to all sooner or later. [LGG – 181]
What other god would have bothered to bless such an ill-fated soul as Quij. None other, I would imagine.
Quij is 41 years old.

585 CY
Quij did indeed do as he was bid.
Quij correctly guessed that he would have to live in Greyhawk – which currently offers a substantial reward for him, alive or dead. [TAB – 98]
One would imagine that living there would be a death sentence; but Ralishaz is merciful. Or amused, at the very least. None noted Quij; but then again, none ever did, he being eclipsed by Robilar’s shadow.
Greyhawk is […] frequently visited by the Circle of Eight, the revised Tenser, and many other old enemies who would love to get hold of him, but no one looks for him here. [TAB – 98,99]
It was not Quij, after all, who lived in the midst of his enemies, it was half-orc named Ral [.] [TAB – 98]
No one was looking for Ral.

591 CY
It would appear that Quij’s devotion to the god of Chance and Misfortune was well-placed.
He’s alive, after all. Still.
Indeed, he is very lucky to still be alive. Enemies abound.
[He fears] Iuz might like to torture the orc a bit before eating him alive. [TAB – 99]
He may be because he is loyal. And he can follow orders.
Quij has never taken off the necklace he was instructed to make, and has never left Greyhawk since he arrived. He is generally happy with his life now, and no divination spell will detect him so long as he wears the necklace. (some disguise make-up also helps.) [TAB – 99]

Where might we find Quij? Nowhere.
But we might find Ral where Quij was once taught to hide. In plain sight.
Ral, the Half-orc
Ral loves the roguish air of the tavern and lives in an attic room with the permission of the tavern owner [of the Roc and Oliphant Tavern], 64-year-old Walforf the Archmage [CN hm W1; hp 1].
[TAB – 98]
Waldorf is harmless. Ral is not. “Ral” is actually a full orc [.] [H]is true name is Quij [CN orc-m HD4; Str 15, Con 15, Int 5 …]. [TAB – 98]
[I do not edit Ral’s CN alignment now, because it is fitting that he is indeed CN; he is Ralishaz’s creature, after all; and he must look out for himself, and no other, if he wishes to continue to survive.]
C14: Roc and Oliphant Tavern.
A boisterous and noisy tavern favored by athletes and party-goers [.] [TAB – 98]
Perhaps the biggest draw here is the bartender, an elderly half-orc named Ral. Ral is as ugly as they come, but he seems friendly and certainly knows how to mix drinks. He wears a holy of Ralishaz around his neck “for good luck” (a worn string with three small bones on it). He wears a colorful old poncho on cold nights. [TAB – 98]
He wears a ruined flying carpet that once belonged to Robilar, telling students it is a family heirloom. [TAB – 99]
It kind of is, actually; for if Quij could ever claim a family, it might be Robilar, sad to say.
Not that he ever wishes to see his adoptive “father” again.
He fears that someday Robilar will find him and think him a traitor, and also fears that agents of Iuz might do the same [.] [TAB – 99]
Quij is 48.

“I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both; and I believe they both get paid in the end; but the fools first.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped

One must always give credit where credit is due. This History 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:
Orc, by Les Dorschied, from Monstrous Manual 2e Premium edition, 1989
Mordenkainen detail, by McLean Kendree, from Mordenkainen's Tome of Marvelous Magic II, 2020
The Suss Forest, from Anna B. Meyer's map
Map detail, by Darlene, from World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
Mordenkainen detail, by McLean Kendree, from Mordenkainen's Tome of Marvelous Magic II, 2020
Mordenkainen detail, by Dan Burr, from Dragon #185, 1992
Quij, from Finger of the Wind, 2000
The Temple of Elemental Evil, by Keith Parkinson, from T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil, 1985
The Green Dragon Inn, by Grey Irons, from The Official AD&D Coloring Album, 1979
Castle Greyhawkfrom Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, 2007
Pomarj Peninsula, by Alan Froke
Otto, by Sam Wood, from Living Greyhawk Journal #0, 2000
Turrosh Mak detail, by Wayne A. Reynolds, from Slavers, 2000
Captain Gallancz, by T. Denmark and F. Hooper, from Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, 2007
Tenser's Castle, by Sam Wood, from Return of the Eight, 1998
Ralishaz, The Unlooked For, by Jeff Easley, from Dragon #71, 1983

1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1043 The City of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1989
1068 Greyhawk Wars Boxed Set, 1991
2009 Monster Manual 1e, 1977
2011 Players Handbook 1e, 1978
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide 1e, 1979
2140 Monstrous Manual, 1993
2159 Players Handbook Revised 2e, 1998
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1980
9026 T1 The Village of Hommlet, 1979,1981
9031 The Rogues Gallery 1e, 1980
9147 T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil, 1985
9386 WGR3 Rary the Traitor, 1992
9399 WGR5 Iuz the Evil, 1993
9576 Return of the Eight, 1998
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Players Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, 2007
Monstrous Manual Premium Edition 2e, 1985, 1995, 2013
11552 Monster Manual, 3e, 2000
Dungeon Masters Guide 3.5e, 2003
Players Handbook 3.5, 2003
Monster Manual 5e, 2014
LGJ #0, 2
Oerth Journal #3, 7, 25
COR1 – 00 The Citadel PCs
Dragon Magazine #37, AN2
Dungeon Magazine #221
The Greyhawk Wiki
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the tale of Quij! Good ol loyal Quij deserves his retirement into anonymity. I was also rather surprised that I didn't remember that reference in TAB about Quij. It goes to show authors like Moore and Sargent threw in little easter eggs all over their large works. Kudos again!