January 31st, 2008: This week's comic should be familiar to any fan of science fiction. It touches on an interesting tangent of Greyhawk lore; the enigmatic Black Obelisk of Greyhawk Ruins. This powerful object is supposedly what drew the Archmage Zagig Yragerne to build his castle on that site. As the module relates in rumor, "A great black obelisk of unlimited magical abilities rests deep within the ruins. It grants wishes to any who ask."
The Obelisk creates unpredictable Magical Deviations in the Power Tower ruins and furthermore blankets the deeper levels with a cloak which even deities cannot see through (except Boccob), thus cutting off clerics from their patrons. After Zagig manages the improbable feat of capturing nine gods and becoming a demigod himself, he alters a gold dragon he has been raising and then sets to manipulating the obelisk as the module states: "Somehow (perhaps a pact, perhaps a ransom) he used their powers with his to turn the dragon into a pseudo living temple and chip off five pieces of the obelisk to be placed within the temple."
The rest of the obelisk is still quite intact but its appearance in the module perhaps needed some editing:
"A giant 15'x25'x15' chest of platinum rests upon the concealed island. A giant padlock hold the chest shut..."
"Within lies the obelisk which drew ZAgig to this area. The obelisk is a large 9' diameter stone which looks as if made from obsidian. One large shield-shaped chip is missing from it as well as four smallersuch chips. It rests in the chest's very center and is supported by a delicate interwoven spiral stand of platinum (3000gp). However this is only for looks. The obelisk is actually frozen in space in relation to Oerth It can only be moved or scratched by powers equivalent to multiple deities under the careful guidance of a brilliant mind."

The sticking point is that by definition an obelisk is a tall narrow foursided column topped with a pyramid. Being that Greyhawk Ruin's obelisk has a diameter it must be roundish if at best cylindrical, so more accurately what the authors meant was a monolith or maybe a megalith. I'd love to hear if anyone has a better term for it. At any rate the black obelisk has an even more myserious purpose for which Zagyg has not even fathomed. The question: How did Zagig find an object of such power that it eluded numerous mages, clerics and deities of the Flanaess before him? The answer: Perhaps it chose him...Check it out.

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