From his hideous throne in the wretched gloom of Dorakaa, Iuz the Old, Lord of Pain, stretches his bony hand across the Flanaess. Since the signing of the Pact of Greyhawk, his empire of tyranny and suffering is secure - at least for a time. None of the lands of good and hope are strong enough to threaten him. Iuz surveys his domain and cackles gleefully. He has added much to his holdings, but he is not yet content.
This sourcebook details the many lands Iuz controls; his dark priests and their magic; Iuz's fiendish allies from the Abyss; his marauding humanoid armies and raiders; and much, much more. These are lands of ineffable evil, a beacon for adventurers seeking glory within their perilous borders. Servants of good, prepare your weapons and ready your spells, for there are no challenges greater in all the Flanaess than those of the Lands of Iuz.
WGR5: "Iuz the Evil" (1993), by Carl Sargent, is the fifth book in the World of Greyhawk Reference series. It was published in March 1993.
Continuing the "WGR" Series. When the "WGR" series started off with books like WGR1: "Greyhawk Ruins" (1990) and WGR2: "Treasure of Greyhawk" (1992), it was focused on adventures, not reference as the term was understood by other AD&D product lines. That changed following the publication of Greyhawk Wars (1991), a bold reinvention of the Greyhawk line.
However, Carl Sargent's From the Ashes (1992) marked an even more important point of departure for Greyhawk, because it fully detailed a darker and grittier iteration of the setting, as imagined by Carl Sargent. He followed it up the next January with his first regional sourcebook, WGR4: "The Marklands" (1993), so "Iuz the Evil" was actually his second geographical sourcebook for Greyhawk. There would be just two more, only one of them published by TSR.
Expanding Greyhawk. "Iuz the Evil" expands both upon the demigod Iuz and the Empire that he has built in the From the Ashes era.
Iuz is one of the oldest and best-known deific villains of the Greyhawk setting, rivaling others such as Vecna, Tharizdun, Iggwilv, and Zuggtmoy. He originated in the Castle Greyhawk campaign run by Gary Gygax. There, he was one of nine demigods imprisoned in the 13th (and then final) level of Castle Greyhawk; he was freed by Robilar (Rob Kuntz), after which he became a threat once more in the lands of Oerth. In Ye Olde Days, Iuz the Evil was more commonly called Iuz the Old.
Though Iuz was mentioned here and there in early sources, his first major appearance was in Dragon #67 (November 1982), which includes his stats and a little bit of background, as described by Gary Gygax in "The Deities and Demigods of the World of Greyhawk". After that, Iuz was next seen as a shadowy force working in the background of T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985); in his Greyhawk Grognard blog, Joseph Bloch suggests that Iuz could have been important in several early Greyhawk adventures, but Gary Gygax wasn't as focused on the creative side of Greyhawk by the mid '80s, so if this was the intention, it got lost in the shuffle. Meanwhile, Gary Gygax himself featured Iuz in his Gord the Rogue novels (1985-1988), but some of those were published by New Infinities Publications, so their canonicity is in question — especially since Gygax destroyed Greyhawk at the end of the series.
At TSR, Iuz came center stage again beginning with From the Ashes, when his Empire expanded to encompass many formerly independent lands, including the Bandit Kingdoms, the Horned Society, and the Shield Lands. As was broadly the case for Greyhawk, these areas hadn't received much attention prior to From the Ashes, though S2: "White Plume Mountain" (1979) had been loosely set in the Rift Canyon, just south of the Bandit Kingdoms. "Iuz the Evil" was thus the first major look at these Greyhawk realms.
Future History. WGR6: "The City of Skulls" (1993) immediately followed up on "Iuz the Evil" by presenting Iuz's capital city. Unfortunately it was the final published book in Carl Sargent's Greyhawk revival. Iuz was later brought into the Planescape setting in "On Hallowed Ground" (1996) and returned to Greyhawk to play a central role in the Die Vecna Die! (2000) adventure.
About the Creators. Sargent is best known for his From the Ashes work on Greyhawk, which was the core of the creatively strong third wave of Greyhawk publication. Surprisingly, it contained just four books: From the Ashes, and WGR4 through WGR6. A final book, "Ivid the Undying" (1995), was released by TSR as a free text file, and later turned into a handsome PDF by fans.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.