"The dark form hung in the sky above our beloved city like a huge shapeless maw, sucking the life from our world. For five helpless days. The beautiful blue sky was faded now. But not the brooding darkness of storm clouds. Death comes in the chill twilight of a clear evening and a starry sky more beautiful then any before. Curse this war. Our enemies are vanquished, but there is no celebration. We are undone. We are to blame. There will be no one to remember."
- A long forgotten chronicler of the death of Kule.
The Codex of the Infinite Planes as presented here is an extremely powerful and dangerous artifact. The DM can use it as an engine of change in his world (whether by its direct use, or the effects of items created or creatures released by its use), doing its work in the background such that the characters never know that it is there. If desired, it can exist only for the DM's benefit (and fun!), and this is the main reason for which I provide this information. In a moderate-leveled campaign, the DM can spice up their campaign by having the Codex "touch" a PC or an important NPC. In an epic, high-level campaign, the DM may allow the PC's to interact with it directly and use it as the climax of a great quest. If used in this second manner, it is strongly suggested that the DM should make sure that the artifact scares the heck out of the PC's, so much so that they will try to rid themselves of the book as soon as they are done with it - at any cost. Even if a PC can overcome the difficult obstacles to successfully controlling it, there is a truly terrible price to be paid for using the Codex, and it should get increasingly more dangerous the longer they keep it. Eventually it will endanger the PC's entire world. It's use should only be allowed in the most dire, plane-shaking storylines.
The Codex has long been associated with the World of
and the history that follows reflects that, however, since it was last
retrieved from the City of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire, it can
now be located anywhere the DM wishes, at the heart of a maelstrom of
and intrigue. An effort has been made to remain compatible with as many
AD&D products as possible. DM’s are, of course, encouraged to
the information contained herein to fit their particular campaign
The Codex is a large tome 3 feet by 2 feet in size and 8 inches thick. It weighs an incredible 395 lbs and is very difficult to move around. The covers of the Codex are wrapped with a black reptilian-like hide (an outer-planar beast of great power that has been extinct for uncounted millenia, thus unidentifiable) with banding, corner protectors and 2 latches made of an unusual, extremely hard, brownish metal (tantulhor). The latches do not lock, but are merely to keep the cover closed when the book is being moved around. If the tome is left open for an extended period of time, the book will close and latch itself. Annoyingly, this only happens when no one is watching.
The material of the cover itself, visible on the inside of the cover when the book is open, appears to be a black, obsidian-like material which cannot be affected by any physical or magical force, and closely resembles the shell material which composes the Crystal Spheres (see various Spelljammer campaign materials).
The pages of the Codex are composed of a very thin, flexible, dull grey metal somewhat reminiscent of oxidized lead sheeting but cannot be scratched, dented, torn, or affected by any physical or magical force. Neither can it be written on in any known way. The number of pages cannot be counted, and there is always at least one left, no matter how many are turned.
The Codex is incredibly old, predating any of the known
even predating the Blood War, and may possibly have been created by the
beings that created the planes - or it may be one of them! Unbeknownst
to any being that may temporarily possess it, the Codex is
but has an intelligence so alien that not even the Powers understand
nature though they all greatly fear it. Only Boccob may known that it
more than just another powerful artifact, and he isn't about to talk
it. The latches and leather wrapping may be uncounted millenia old (and
indestructible), but are still a relatively recent addition to the
and not technically part of it. See my Grand Unified Theory - Life,
the Multiverse, and Everything - for the truth about the origin
the Codex, and its importance.
There are two possible ways in which beings can interact with the Codex.
The Codex can reach out and contact the minds of any number of beings anywhere in the multiverse. How it chooses its targets is unknown. The poor sod who is contacted sees the Codex in his dreams (though he may not always realize the identity of the book he sees), and can utilize some of its minor powers (such as those of planar travel) through those dreams. What the victim sees within his dream varies from person to person, depending on their backgrounds, personalities and desires. The victim is commonly compelled to inscribe into the book what it knows while in the dream state (if he doesn't realize it is the Codex, he may think it is a dream-state journal), although that transfer of information may be surreally symbolized by some other activity or action. Over time, the book drains the character's knowledge and life force until there is no trace of the character. (See Dragon #203, pg 74 for an example of this process.) This parasitic process may be how the Codex fuels and maintains its incredible power. It may also explain why there is always one more page when leafing through the Codex... it is continually adding onto itself by draining the knowledge of countless victims spread across the multiverse at all times. The DM can have an outer plane savvy NPC fall victim to the Codex, the only clue to the cause of their disappearance may be any notes the NPC left behind that were scribed during their waking moments.
If the character realizes the danger that he/she is in, a successful save vs spells (same modifications as below, no other allowed) allows the character to break free of the Codex before it is too late. In this case success does not result in attunement, but freedom, and failure only results in continued enslavement by the Codex. This can be attempted but once per day. Each night the character remains under the control of the Codex results in the loss of one half of one level of experience until all levels are lost (and the character has been completely absorbed by the Codex) as all their knowledge is slowly drained away. An attempt to use one of the powers of the Codex means that the character forgoes any attempt to break free that night, and may suffer any of the book's malevolent effects. Needless to say, interacting with the Codex under its own terms is the least desirable method.
A being who has been touched by the Codex (and survived) often displays
permanent personality changes afterwards, and may even show mild
physical effects. Charisma and Constitution each drop by 1 point,
however Intelligence, Wisdom, and Perception each increase by 1
point. They tend to be more aloof and quiet, less violent, more
observant. They often abandon former ties and become wanderers. They
usually abandon organized religion as well. This has a particularly
powerful effect on any priest that is "touched" by the Codex.
Once a priest gets a glimpse at the true structure of the
multiverse, could they ever go back to the narrow-minded view of the
world that their god preached? I think not! Suddenly the Powers (gods),
including the priest's own god, are seen as just another, albeit
higher, tier in the interplanar ecology, with the Codex as the
ultimate tier, perhaps (at least in their Codex-affected minds)
even the cause of everything. Conversion becomes an
instant source of priests for the Book. No need for a complicated
temple heirarchy for recruiting and training new priests. Indeed, no
need for temples! "The Multiverse is my temple." By having a priest
"parasitized" by the Codex in
their dreams, there is now not only a wandering priesthood exploring
the planes, but a mechanism for allowing PC's to join it. If the DM's
purpose for having the Codex
touch a PC is to convert them into a priest of the Codex, and that PC fails their
initial 2 attempts at breaking free, the Codex can grant a "special" (and
flexible) bonus to the 3rd attempt to save (since the Book may consider
having the priest as more beneficial then draining them completely). If
the PC then becomes a priest of the Codex,
all lost levels are replaced as they now realize the truth of the
multiverse (as far as the Book is concerned). All knowledge and
experience that the touched character has, as well as all future
experience, becomes known to the Codex. If a priest of the Codex
were to ever actually encounter the physical Codex itself, he
would never under any circumstance open it (and become attuned). One
does not look at the face of your god, let alone attempt to possess him.
Priests of the Codex,
usually just referring to themselves as "Priests of the Book" (since
virtually no else knows they even exist), can sense each other
(as being fellow "Priests of the Book") when within visual range.
Strangely enough, they cannot sense the
current owner of the Codex,
although they may come to believe someone is the current owner if
presented with enough evidence. Priests of the Book will not reveal
fellow priests or the owner of the Codex, even under magical
coersion - the strength
of an elder-artifact fortifies them. They maintain access to all the
spell spheres that they formerly had access to, plus Astral (if they
did not already have access), and often maintain the pretext of still
being priests of their former god. They may continue to visit and pray
in temples of their former god, the occupants of those temples never
suspecting anything other then a visiting fellow priest. Any training
is done in the dream
state, and thus expends no real resources, although training (in the
skills and spells of their former religion) can also be done in their
former temple if they wish to reinforce the illusion.
Most gods will not even know that their follower is no longer a
follower (again, the power of an elder-artifact surpasses that of any
god), and will continue to grant spells. There are a very few gods,
Boccob for example, who may actually have a shot at knowing what
happened to their former priest; however any god powerful enough, lucky
(or unlucky) enough, *and* knowledgeable in the appropriate areas
(such as arcane knowledge) to ever find out that one of their followers
was somehow affected by the Codex also knows enough to not want
to take any chances by interfering. They may observe in order to try to
figure out what the former priest's intentions may be (most gods won't
even realize that the Codex itself is sentient, and has purpose
Priests of the Book tend to be observers of arcana and of history,
knowing that they are a funnel for knowledge. They will become
wanderers and adventurers (if they weren't already). The less
adventurous among them are satisfied just to be present, while
others are more pro-active in their search for knowledge. Any event
that mimics one of the rumored effects of the Codex will surely
attract any Priests in the area. While silently recognizing eachother,
they will observe and explore as individuals, almost never actually
working together (or even openly acknowledge eachother) unless
There are a variety of ways that a DM could incorporate this
information, depending on which edition of D&D they use. In 1st or
2nd Edition games, a priest kit could be constructed. In my 2nd Edition
game, Priests of the Book are simply specialty priests. In 3rd Edition,
a specialty priest or even a prestige class (for those prestige class
addicts) could be constructed. Even within a single campaign, it would
be within the spirit of the intents of this article to have different
PC and NPC priests of the Codex have different skill and class
Whatever method of character construction the DM decides upon, they
should begin with the PC or NPC's original class as a base. Those
skills remain with the character. The Priest of the Book then also
gains access to the Astral sphere of spells if they do not have it
already, and may also gain access to the Traveller's sphere.
Skills/feats/non-weapon proficiences (again, depending on the game
edition you use) that the character can add to his/her pre-existing
skills should be related to travel, knowledge and secrets, arcane
magics and history, detection, observation and divination, the planes,
and the Powers (gods). The DM should pick and choose, since clearly no
character should be able to learn all of those skills... thus every
individual Priest of the Codex can be unique and specialized in
a few particular areas. Observers of present history or magical
milestones, unearther of
ancient history or ancient magics, searchers of arcane items,
explorers of planes or of secret places, connoisseurs of spellcraft or
alchemy, chroniclers of the actions, interactions and intents of gods.
All of these special mandates require different skills. Specific skills
such as gather information, disguise, decipher
script, etc. could also be useful to the character's new mandate.
Priests of the Book may also join other groups in order to facilitate
their hidden agendy; groups such as the Seekers (both the Greyhawk and
Spelljammer organizations), the Dustdiggers, the Silent Ones, the Sons
of Marchanter, and any of a variety of large universities or wizards
guilds. Again, I will not place here a detailed "kit" or "prestige
class" because not only does every character start off with a different
base, but you should be creative and customize every individual
according to what you feel will work best with your campaign and what
your player may find most interesting. Every Priest of the Codex
is as unique as his or her own history.
If a character opens the book, he will see the first page with
alien-looking symbols on it. (The book will always open to the first
despite all other attempts to the contrary.) After a few moments of
the Codex, the symbols begin to move and swim about the page,
into different forms. At this point the character must make a saving
verses spells modified ONLY according to the PC’s level. No other
are allowed, irrespective of ANY magic the character may possess.
god nor artifact can alter this roll. Only highly experienced PC's have
any kind of chance to control the Codex.
||Result of Failure|
||11 levels lost, character at 0 level, can no longer gain levels.|
||11 levels lost|
||8 levels lost|
||6 levels lost|
||4 levels lost|
||2 levels lost|
||1 level lost|
A faint bluish glow surrounds the character, and after a moment, appears to drain into the book. If the character is less than 11th level, he physically drains into the book leaving no trace behind and is irrevocably lost. A failed save results in a permanent loss of levels (restoration will NOT replace lost levels, nothing will!) and the character is thrown back by a great force, spending the next 2d10 days in a coma. The character, now at a lower level, can continue to gain experience by adventuring. For the rest of their life, the character will have a vague haunted feeling of being touched by "ultimate power" and allowing it to slip from their grasp.
A successful save drains one hit point permanently, and links the reader to the Codex. The symbols finish reconstituting into the character's native language, spelling out the title of the book - "The Codex of the Infinite Planes". Any other character looking over their shoulder will only ever see meaningless symbols. The character then makes a second save, this time verses Intelligence at -4, or the character goes insane. No other modifiers are allowed.
If the character successfully attunes to the Codex, and has retained his sanity, he can now peruse the book. The first section of the book consists of "The Great List" of the Codex - hundreds upon hundreds of names going on for scores of pages. This is the list of all those who have successfully attuned to the book. Each entry is written in the native language of that particular being, however magic (such as Comprehend Languages or Tongues) cannot effect the book. Thus, only those entries written in a language normally known to the reader are understandable (and this can only be possible for the final few entries). The character may come to realize that the last dozen entries alone represent 3000 years, so the entire list represents an unfathomable amount of time.
The Great List is composed of three columns. The first is the
true name. The second column is how the being was commonly known at the
time of attunement. The third column is how history came to record that
being's existence. Time is an aspect of the multiverse that matters not
Codex. The third column appears at the same time as the others.
The character who has just attuned will find, to their amazement, that
their name appears at the bottom of the list. Including the third
This is when the DM can clue the player to the "Big Picture" in store
his or her character in the future. Be vague if you don't have an epic
campaign storyline. Also, history may not always record a being's name
for posterity. For example, Ilkben's name has been lost, but not his
When creating the list to hand to a player, be sure to only include
entries written in languages that the PC can normally read without the
aid of magic, and "x" out the rest. The "x"s below represent languages
that no PC would know. See the Codex timeline below for more
|(hundreds of previous entries, all of which are unreadable to any character)|
|Old Dwarvish||Fodar, of Clan Urthil||Fodar the Sage||Fodar the Sage|
|Ancient Suloise||Xodast Xuel-Crix of Suendrako||Xodast, the Brooding Mage||Xodast, the Doom Bringer|
|Ancient Suloise||Vlar Zihn of Sueldore||Vlar the Daring||Vlar the Unfortunate|
|Ancient Baklunish||Ilkben Al-Azim of Udrukankar||The Wizard of Kha-Alazan||(One of) the Wizards of the Final Retribution|
|Old Oeridian||Yagrax Belcrux of Nyrr||Yagrax, High Wizard Priest of the Isles of Woe||Yagrax, Ruler of the Nyr Dyv|
|Elvish||Fincelin Forshaven of Ulfardell||Vice-Admiral Fincelin Forshaven||Grand Admiral Fincelin Forshaven|
|Old Common||Zagig Yragerne of Greyhawk||Zagig, the Mad||Zagyg, the Mad Archmage|
|Common||Tzunk Hokbrag of Fax||Tzunk, the Wandering Mage||Tzunk, Master of the Plane of Molten Skies|
|(Last Owner of the Codex)*|
* This entry will depend on where individual DM's choose to place
in their campaign.
The format used here is a combination between the DMG artifacts section, and the Book of Artifacts format. All powers of the Codex are, at least initially, invoked.
As the Codex is read through by the PC, he will become aware
of its powers. First Minor Powers, then Major Powers will become known,
but are not automatically accessible. If the PC then chooses to read
entire appropriate page, that power becomes available to the PC. Side
and curses only become apparent when they take effect, and perhaps not
even then. The Codex must be physically present, grasped with
hands, and read from to use the Prime Powers. It does not have to be
to use Major and Minor Benign Powers if the possessor is still linked
has read the appropriate page. Distance is not a factor, not even the
interplanar distances. No magic can sever or block the connection
the Codex and its "owner". A new person successfully attuning
the Codex supplants the previous possessor.
Once the characters have it, they will eventually want to get rid of it! The easiest, and most common, way to wrest one’s freedom from the Codex is to die. Most players will not view this as the optimum choice for their characters, but this option will be covered nevertheless.
There are several rumored ways in which the Codex can be destroyed. One is to read every one of its “infinite pages”. This is quite an impossible feat for several reasons, even if one did have the time. The Codex is constantly adding pages to itself (by parasitizing the knowledge of others), and the reader would almost certainly befall a terrible fate long before the 99th page was ever reached. Another rumor has it that one page of the book opens a portal upon the book itself, wiping it out of existence. This is certainly a groundless and desparate hope on the part of its victims. In any event, randomly reading pages in an attempt to find this alleged portal is highly inadvisable.
In reality, the book cannot be destroyed. It’s existence is intricately weaved into the very fabric of the multiverse. One would have to destroy both the Codex and the Multiverse, in the ultimate cataclysm! There are several options open to the characters, however.
Power is intoxicating, and the players may wish to live dangerously and attempt to keep the Codex. In every sense of the word, the Codex is the most powerful magic item that they could ever come in contact with. It is capable of destroying worlds! And creating them. This attracts a lot of attention. If any NPC witnesses its use, or suspects its use, assume that the information will inevitably spread. Creatures from across the planes will come knocking on the PC’s door, and knocking VERY loudly. Even if they do not know its true identity, any magical book of sufficient power will attract beings wanting to take possession of it. The PC’s will find out that hanging on to the Codex may be a very difficult, full-time job. If they resolve to hide it away and promise to never use it, the hiding spot would have to be quite extraordinary to prevent its discovery by others. Also, as it is an artifact, the temptation to use the Codex is virtually irresistable. The DM should simulate this compelling urge whenever the situation permits. For example, whenever the PC’s are in a tight spot, the DM could “off-handedly” suggest that the powers of the Codex could easily extricate them from the present situation. Of course each use brings the PC’s closer to certain doom. In a very dire situation, involving planar factors, the DM could even force a saving throw to avoid using the Codex.
Once they finally realize that Ultimate Power carries the Ultimate
the PC’s may wish to rid themselves of the Codex. If the Codex
is the finale of a grand epic quest, one after which the players intend
to retire their PC’s, a PC can perform the ultimate sacrifice to the
good - to kill themselves in order to sever the Codex’s
to a living being. It is unlikely, though, that the players will buy
idea. A more viable (and more difficult) option is to find an
being willing to attempt to take control of the Codex, thus
the PC, carry it away to a safe hiding place, and commit the ultimate
by either dying or becoming a sequestered guardian of the book. An
quest could be created to find this being. Perhaps an aasimon, a wise
powerful priest of neutrality (that must then resist the conversion
power of the Book), or similar such epically selfless individual. The
best choose well, because the temptation to use the Codex is
impossible to resist! If the wrong being got it’s hands on it, the
could be changed forever. And history has shown that it is usually not
for the good.
The last possibility is both the most desirable and least likely. A
sufficiently high levelled Priest of the Codex (18th or higher)
or group of priests (total number of levels greater then 20, let by a
priest of at least 12th level) can perform a special ceremony that
severs the connection between the Codex and its owner. This is
difficult because there are so few priests of the Codex (let
alone one high enough in level), nobody knows they exist, they are
never found together except under particularly exceptional situations,
locations or events, and the current owner must sincerely want to
relinquish ownership. Finding such a high leveled priest of the Book
would be a major quest requiring interplanar travel.
What follows is a detailed, annotated timeline explaining the entries within the Great List. Some of this information could be discovered by PC’s after extensive research, while other entries have been lost to history. Each entry is in the following format:
Date: Years in SD (Suel Calender) [years in Common Year], for the
of DM’s not familiar with the Greyhawk timelines, the Pact of Greyhawk
(the end of the Greyhawk Wars) was signed in 6099 SD [584 CY]
Name: Possessor of the Codex
Method of Acquisition: How the Codex came into their possession.
Use: Which major powers were used by the owner and to what end. Numbers, e.g. (2,5), refer to the Primary Powers list above.
End: How the owner lost control of the Codex (usually cause of death).
Prehistory: Research leading to the creation of planewrending scythes by a greater fiend wizard. (See Hellbound: The Blood War Planescape boxed set.) The first such Scythe of Plane-Opening created is a magic item of artifact ability. Further experimentation into larger effects resulted in the irretrievable loss of 350 square miles of lower planes real estate and over 250,000 Blood War troops. Thankfully, no known fiend has successfully controlled the Codex since that day, though many have tried.
Date: approx. -10,000 SD [-15,000 CY]
Name: An unknown race of reptilian-like creatures.
Method of Acquisition: Unknown, but they may have been the creatures to first bring the Codex to Greyspace.
Use: The planet Greela is destroyed in their continuing attempts to exterminate the Juna. (2,11)
End: Destroyed at the same time as Greela.
Date: approx. -2000 SD [-7500 CY]
Name: An early group of spelljamming illithids.
Method of Acquisition: Discovered in the wreckage of Greela.
Use: Disappearance of Greyspace's second sun, "Anti-Liga". (see SJR6 Greyspace pg. 26) (7,11)
End: Unknown. This event may have been the original source of the rumor concerning an ancient illithid artifact capable of quenching suns.
Date: -120 to -114 SD [-5635 to -5629 CY]
Name: The Kule mage Artasophus
Method of Acquisition: Discovered when exploring very old ruins in the Worldspine Mountains on Raenei (also known as “Luna” and is the larger moon of Oerth).
Use: Creates the Book of the Planes (see OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes pg. 42) (4,5,11,12)
End: Killed while travelling the Outer Planes.
Date: 0 SD [-5515 CY]
Name: Sarlon Ak-Rolx, a high war-wizard of an empire on the far side of Kule (also known as “Celene” or “The Handmaiden” in the Flanaess, and is the nearest moon of Oerth).
Method of Acquisition: The sacking of Artasophus' abandoned castle.
Use: During a war between two Kule empires, the opening of numerous gates to the Elemental Planes beneath the near-side empire results in massively destructive earthquakes. (6,11)
End: The atmosphere of Kule is stripped away by the accidental opening of a massive gate to the quasi-elemental Plane of Vaccuum (see SJR6 Greyspace pg 11). Survivors escaping to Oerth seal the Codex in a specially prepared chamber deep within an asteroid in the Grinder (later to become known as the Rock of Bral). Then Sarlon sacrifices himself to break the connection between the Codex and a living being.
Date: 3319 SD [-2196 CY]
Name: Fodar of Clan Urthil, member of a dwarven colony on what is now known as the Rock of Bral
Method of Acquisition: Discovered in a sealed chamber deep within the Rock.
End: Fodar and the entire colony are wiped out by a creature released from the Codex during initial opening (when reading the pages of the Great List).
Date: 3319-3328 SD [-2196 to -2187 CY]
Name: Mitch Spinifer, spelljammer and trader in fine beverages. Now calls himself Mitchifer.
Method of Acquisition: Discovered when searching out the cause of the destruction of the dwarven outpost in the Grinder that he regularly traded with.
Use: Creates the World Serpent Inn (see OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes) and becomes immortal (6,10,12)
End: Decides not to push his incredible luck and seals it back up in the deep chamber. One of only two beings to use the Codex in a score of millenia without ending in disaster. Zagig was the other.
Date: 4897-4906 SD [-618 to -609 CY]
Name: Xodast Xuel-Crix, “the Brooding Mage”, archmage
Method of Acquisition: Discovered in a sealed chamber within the Rock of Bral.
Use: Research leading to the writing of the thankfully lost volume "Non-Conduit Transdimensional Fabric Fluxes and Real-Time Inter-dimensional Matrix Transformations", and its application: creation of the artifact known as the "Bringer of Doom" (see Hordling entry in the Monstrous Compendium). Also used to imprison a Shadow Prince (see WG7 Castle Greyhawk, pg 97). The Bringer of Doom is used 100 years later to bring down the "Invoked Devastation" upon the Baklunish Empire. (1,2,3,6,11)
End: Ripped apart by powerful lower planes creatures when cornered in an interdimensional matrix.
Date: 5075 SD (for 3 rounds anyways) [-440 CY]
Name: Vlar Zihn, freelance Suel warrior
Method of Acquisition: Discovered when exploring the ruined castle of "The Brooding Mage".
Use: None. Well sort of (1).
End: After a successful linking, Vlar failed his intelligence check and, in a fit of insanity, immediately summoned a "friend" (spelled without an "r" =fiend) to chat with. He was instantly torn to shreds, as was most of his group. How unfortunate.
Date: 5087-5094 SD [-428 to -421 CY]
Name: Ilkben Al-Azim, High Wizard to the Great Kha-Khan
Method of Acquisition: Hears about Vlar the Unfortunate from Baklunish spies in the Suel Empire, and visits the ruined castle of “the Brooding Mage”.
Use: Creates the lost artifact known as the “Ashen Staff”, and brings down the "Rain of Colorless Fire" upon the Suel Empire by using it and Tovag Baragu. (6,9,11)
End: Destroyed at Tovag Baragu (see Greyhawk Adventures hardcover) during the "Invoked Devastation"/"Rain of Colorless Fire".
Date: 5225-5245 SD [-290 to -270 CY]
Name: The Dwarves of Kirahk (no single individual), western edge of the Crystalmist Mountains.
Method of Acquisition: Discovered in the buried remains of Ilkben's lab.
Use: Never used, read, or even opened.
End: City attacked and destroyed by Yagrax.
Date: 5245-5255 SD [-270 to -260 CY]
Name: Yagrax Belcrux, high priest
Method of Acquisition: Attacks the dwarven city of Kirahk to acquire the tome.
Use: Becomes ruler of the central Flanaess by using other planar creatures against his enemies. (1,3)
End: During experimentation, an uncontrolled random Prime Power (2) is set off and destroys the capital and surrounding islands.
Date: 5713-5716 SD [198 to 201 CY]
Name: Fincelin Forshaven, high level wizard, Admiral in the Elven Imperial Navy
Method of Acquisition: Discovered during an elven-sponsored expedition to the sunken ruins of the Isles of Woe.
Use: Destroys the planet Borka in the 1st Unhuman War in 5716 SD. (2,11) (see SJR6 Greyspace pg 55, and Dragon Annual #1 pg 46)
End: During the destruction of Borka, unstable space also destroys much of the Elven fleet, including the Admiral's ship. The massive planar energy release also attracts (or the Codex releases) many extraplanar creatures which decimate the rest of the fleet.
Date: 5900-6025 SD [385-510 CY]
Name: Zagig Yragerne, archmage
Method of Acquisition: Discovered in the wreckage of an Elven Armada near Borka while looking into the methods used by the Elven Fleet.
Use: Creates "repeating floors" within Castle Greyhawk (see WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins, pg 2), demi-planes (for example, WG6 Isle of the Ape, among others), and various artifacts. Summoning of the Nine (see WGR1 pg 80), and the chipping of the Obelisk (see WGR1 pg 67). Achieves immortality. (1,2,3,7,8,10,11,12 - busy guy!)
End: After around 5940 [425 CY] he rarely used the Codex, realizing the dangers involved in pushing his luck, until 6020 SD [505 CY] (see WGR5 Iuz the Evil, pg 5). Then after becoming a demigod, Zagig either no longer wished to use the tome, or was no longer able to use it.
Date: 6025-6026 SD [510-511 CY]
Name: Tzunk Hokbrag, archmage
Method of Acquisition: Discovered in Zagig's "tomb" at the bottom of Castle Greyhawk.
Use: Siezes control of the City of Brass. (see 1st Edition DMG, pg 156, and ALQ4 Secrets of the Lamp) (1,2,3,4,5)
End: Massive surprise attack by the vengeful efreeti.
Date: 6026 SD (barely longer than Vlar) [511 CY]
Name: Hssaoud, efreet lord
Method of Acquisition: Retrieved from Tzunk's "palace" in the City of Brass.
Use: Attempt to sieze control of the City of Brass. (1)
End: Destroyed by a creature released from the Codex.
Date: Sometime between 6026 SD [511 CY] and the present.
Name: Last owner as chosen by the DM
Method of Acquisition: Retrieved from the City of Brass after researching fragments of Tzunk's history.
Use: Up to the DM (if any)
End: No doubt died a horrible death, leaving the Codex of the Infinite Planes in its present location.
I've tried to maintain compatibility with every remotely related TSR product up to the time the original article was written. For this reason, some of the timeline entries in this article are a bit different than my actual campaign. For example, I didn't want any living elves around that fought in the 1st Unhuman War (and would remember certain things!), so the war (and the destruction of Borka entry) actually occurs just before the Xodast entry in my personal campaign. More recently, there has been renewed interest in the Great Book, both within the Living Greyhawk campaign (as a series of core adventures), as well as the newer 3rd Edition rules books. As much of this newer material is incompatible with my earlier vision of the Codex (and indeed is incompatible with some of the original canonical writings on the Codex), I've chosen not to alter my own material and to ignore this self-contradictory material rather then try to reconcile its inconsistencies. What is presented here is from my own personal campaign for people to enjoy and use, and DMs can modify it for their own campaigns however they want.
While most of this article is 100% compatible with all official
TSR/WotC publications on the World of Greyhawk (except for the newer
material just mentioned), there are several places where my work
diverges from other unofficial and/or fan-based timelines which contain
incorrect, arbitrary or home-campaign-based histories, such as
Tamerlain's Oerth Journal GreyChrondex timeline.
My Yagrax entry occurs just over 100 years later than the OJ entry, and the OJ places Tzunk much earlier than I do. Both of these are because of other events in my own campaign. The Yagrax entry was close enough that I didn't feel it was worth changing, and there is certainly no official reason to change it. The Tzunk date I didn't change from my home campaign timeline because, for this article, I wanted a mechanism to get the Codex out of Greyspace so that DM's could place the Codex into any campaign world they desired. And I can find no official info that puts any time restrictions on Tzunk, so the OJ date is quite arbitrary.... and damn inconvenient! Besides, you should have seen the look on their faces when my own players adventured to the bottom of Zagig's Tower in WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins, and saw Tzunk's signature in the registry!! Now their signatures follow Tzunk (and his companion) and Mordenkainen (and his party)! Talk about memorable! However, your campaign is your own to do with as you will. If you wish to modify my timeline, and place Tzunk before the Twin Cataclysms, as most people tend to do, then feel free to do so.
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