[Comics] Tempest's Gate

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[Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Big Mac » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:10 pm

Over in The Squishy Bits forum, Cthulhudrew said that Kenzer & Co published two comic book series that were set in Greyhawk. One of these was a four issue story called Tempest's Gate:
  • Issue 1: Born of Fire
    Image
    Blurb: "Aidus, a young paladin in command of an isolated border colony, soon realizes his inexperience is more than dangerous... it's deadly! Raiding orcs, a fiery sorceress, true love, and mysterious new companions are only a few of the dangers Aidus must face, as tensions in the border town bubble over!"
  • Issue 2: Forged in Tears
    Image
    Blurb: "While the paladin Aidus journeys to the capital with his new ally, the powerful sorcerer Zed-Kraken, the beautiful half-elf Vail fights a lone battle against a pair of savage were-rats! Will Aidus survive a duel to the death, not to mention political conflicts and assassinations? And who are the mysterious were-rats, and what of the other pair watching and waiting in the shadows? And what is the tragic past that ties all our heroes together? Find out, if you dare!"
  • Issue 3: Tempered in Fellowship
    Image
    Blurb: "The bold new era of Dungeons & Dragons continues! In the capital city, Aidus and Zed-Kraken continue to struggle against their mysterious and powerful attacker. Meanwhile, the rest of the fellowship bands together for a dangerous journey into the Barrier Peaks, hoping to bring an end to Mistress Flame's reign of destruction. Will anyone survive to reach the end of the story? And just who is the griffon-riding "Stealth"... a strange new ally, or a deadly new enemy? Find out, if you dare...."
  • Issue 4: Sheathed in Justice
    Image
    Blurb: "The paladin Aidus and his adventurers confront the Minions of Evil within a forgotten dungeon. Traps, undead guardians and the Fire Sorceress Mistress Flame all wait to test the companions. Who will fall in battle? The fantastic conclusion to the Tempest Gate mini-series!"
Does anyone have these comics? How well do they fit into Greyhawk? One of the magazine blurbs mentions Barrier Peaks, but where would the "capital city" be? Would that be the City of Greyhawk or the city of a nation closer to the Barrier Peaks?

More importantly, could the Tempest's Gate comics be raided to give you a background story or NPCs for a tabletop game?

EDIT: Do any of the characters from these comics appear in any other GH sources?
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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Kuronons » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 pm

Heya David,

Well by the time being, you should surely have already all your answers concerning this mini-series by Kenzer & Co...
But voila, after years of silence, I started post again on my blog and reviewed the 4 K&C mini-series within the last weeks... Better late than never heh XD

In this one, is mentioned Evard. (tho he s not appearing in)
As well, Zarak the half-orc assassin from the LJN toys line and some storybooks/colorbooks etc is present in here.
The capital of Bissel would be Pellak imo. (especially considering it s the HQ of the Kinights of the Watch) -> Still some interrogation on the Castle Overlook tho... That s unclear to me after some researches.
The Margrave of Bissel is present too... unnamed tho... could be Larrangin (LG male human Ftr9/Clr2)

Here s the link to my review where you could find some interesting info I hope :
https://kuronons.blogspot.com/2018/07/d ... ate-k.html

O_oV

Kuro

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by vestcoat » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:43 pm

Big Mac, What's with all of the formulaic discussion prompts? You post multitudes of topics on both here and FB with the same format and rarely respond to any replies. The subject line is always a random product name and the post is always something like "Does anyone have this? Has anyone read it? What's it like? How did YOU use it in YOUR campaign?" I get the impression that you don't google any of your questions, check pdfs, or read existing reviews before posting and you're not interested in buying the products or participating in the discussions that follow, you're just trying to generate traffic. It's becoming a major turnoff for me. The spammy topics will drive users away from the Piazza faster than sleepy boards will, imo.

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:52 am

Kuronons wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 pm
As well, Zarak the half-orc assassin from the LJN toys line and some storybooks/colorbooks etc is present in here.
!!!!! :o

Now I'm going to have to try and dig this up in some back issue bin somewhere. I have an obsession with all those LJN characters.
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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Kuronons » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:21 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:52 am
Kuronons wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 pm
As well, Zarak the half-orc assassin from the LJN toys line and some storybooks/colorbooks etc is present in here.
!!!!! :o Now I'm going to have to try and dig this up in some back issue bin somewhere. I have an obsession with all those LJN characters.
Well, you can have an look of him on the link I shared - scans montage of my own (drawn by 2 different artists).
But so you know, pdf of these are easily found on the web to have some insight before finding them in papers.

Having interest in these characters, I believe you already know the 2 story books (The forest of enchantment & the Treasure of time) ?
If not, there s also a review -and scans- of both on my blog.

O_oV

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Icarus » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:59 am

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:10 pm
… Kenzer & Co published two comic book series that were set in Greyhawk[/url]. One of these was a four issue story called Tempest's Gate: Does anyone have these comics?
As a matter of fact:
Image
How well do they fit into Greyhawk? One of the magazine blurbs mentions Barrier Peaks, but where would the "capital city" be?
Would that be the City of Greyhawk or the city of a nation closer to the Barrier Peaks?
It fits seamlessly … it's written in 3rd Ed., so the "default" setting was Greyhawk. In the comic, they specifically mention being in the Kingdom of Bissel, Margrave Larrangin, the Realstream River, the Barrier Peaks; also: the City of Greyhawk, Gran March, Ket, Valley of the Mage, Evard, Heironeous, and Ulaa (calling her by name and "the Stonewife"). I'm not sure, but I think the town of Tempest's Gate, and the dwarven hold of Kharak Dhul are written for the series.
Additionally, the author has said, " I played in this world way back when..." and "Everything has to be consistent with (…) the World of Greyhawk … I do have consistent source material to reference". So, not only the finished product, but, the intent was to write something that fits. By both author, and publisher.
More importantly, could the Tempest's Gate comics be raided to give you a background story or NPCs for a tabletop game?
Oh, good grief, yes!! There's plenty here to be used as backgrounds. Barbarian hillsmen, dwarven town, humans, orcs (and theoretically half-orcs for PCs), paladins, rogues, pyromancers, wererats, wizards … tragic tales of towns destroyed, mysteries afoot, missing families, etc. … there's plenty here.
EDIT: Do any of the characters from these comics appear in any other GH sources?
Not that I'm aware of, other than the aforementioned assassin, I s'pose.
Last edited by Icarus on Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Icarus » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:51 pm

On the topic of the capital:
I would also say that the capital in the comic is Pellak. Mostly because the canon capital is Pellak.
And they were very explicit about where names came from in 3rd edition:
Sword and Fist wrote:When place names are given, these names refer to the D&D world, as defined in the D&D Gazetteer.
D&D Gazeteer, Ch.1, p.2 wrote:The D&D game setting is located on the sphere of Oerth, most specifically on the continent of Oerik, in its easternmost portion called the Flanaess.
Dungeon Master's Guide, 3rd Edition wrote:The D&D game draws ... from the Greyhawk™ setting.
The one thing that is different is that Castle Oversight (at Pellak) is referred to as "Castle Overlook".
Though some have suggested gthat this is actually two different fortresses. Personally, I don't think that this is any different than the Union of Moneychangers being called the Union of Moneylenders. "Folk … tend to disregard linguistic precision in everyday speech. Some of the many variations in nomenclature are used across the Flanaess … may be used in gameplay by players to give more flavor to the campaign." Player's Guide to GH, p16)
I think "oversight" makes it somehow sound like they forgot about it and it was missed, but "overlook" sounds more like a different part of speech, making it sound like what it does rather than what it is.
Personally, I'd have liked perhaps "overwatch". But, if one were to ask me, that's still essentially the same.

The depiction of Castle Overlook from Book 2: Forged in Tears
Image
[Edited to fix image link]
Last edited by Icarus on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:03 pm

Kuronons wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 pm
Heya David,

Well by the time being, you should surely have already all your answers concerning this mini-series by Kenzer & Co...
But voila, after years of silence, I started post again on my blog and reviewed the 4 K&C mini-series within the last weeks... Better late than never heh XD
Hi Kuro,

Thanks for bumping my topic after all these years.

I had not gotten anywhere with these, so it's great for you to get me some additional information.

I have been doing some other research into Greyhawk oddities. My Chainmail research has worked out pretty well (and I've hunted some stuff down) and I got told that New Koratia was not part of Greyhawk, but saw the novels cheap and got them as a gamble (and struck gold, as they are connected to Oerth).

But I do struggle a lot with comics. I was never into comics when I was younger and I find it quite tough to work out where to buy old comics.
Kuronons wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 pm
In this one, is mentioned Evard. (tho he s not appearing in)
As well, Zarak the half-orc assassin from the LJN toys line and some storybooks/colorbooks etc is present in here.
The capital of Bissel would be Pellak imo. (especially considering it s the HQ of the Kinights of the Watch) -> Still some interrogation on the Castle Overlook tho... That s unclear to me after some researches.
The Margrave of Bissel is present too... unnamed tho... could be Larrangin (LG male human Ftr9/Clr2)
I've heard of Warduke before (but not paid too much attention to him) but your review also mentions that Zarak has been to Greyhawk and Mystara. That is a super-interesting fact for me. I'm a Spelljammer fan and if Zarak, Warduke and others have been to the areas of Oerth mentioned in these comics...and have also been to Mystara, that might suggest they have used Planescape travel or Spelljammer travel to get from one world to the other. :)
Kuronons wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:21 pm
Here s the link to my review where you could find some interesting info I hope :
https://kuronons.blogspot.com/2018/07/d ... ate-k.html

O_oV

Kuro
That's a brilliant review.

You certainly let people know about the quality of the artwork (which I didn't doubt anyway, as I've heard good things about Kenzer and Company).

I'll have to try to remember all the things I was wondering about, when I first stumbled onto a page that mentioned these comics (and something else...which I think was called Black & White, that I wrote about in a sister topic) and couldn't find any Greyhawk fans writing about them.
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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Kuronons » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:26 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:52 am
!!!!! :o
Now I'm going to have to try and dig this up in some back issue bin somewhere. I have an obsession with all those LJN characters.
Btw, just so you know, I recently added Zarak's stats (montage with 2 different stats found on D&D modules - sources info included) on my review.
Amazing how the guy lost 9 pts of CON between the 2 releases in only 1 year !! (as well as 1 pt of STR and got on the other hand 5 more pts in CHA) XD
Am pretty sure you got these already but anyway, just in case, here it is (in url as it seems image resize does not work in here and me being actually too lazy to upload a reduced one :P) :

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Vsujt2A1wLE/ ... odules.jpg

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Kuronons » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:42 am

Icarus wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:59 am
In the comic, they specifically mention .........Margrave Larrangin
The Margrave was mentioned by his name ? I was thinking it could be Larrangin considering the context tho but damn I missed that. XD
The one thing that is different is that Castle Oversight (at Pellak) is referred to as "Castle Overlook".
Though some have suggested gthat this is actually two different fortresses. Personally, I don't think that this is any different than the Union of Moneychangers being called the Union of Moneylenders. "Folk … tend to disregard linguistic precision in everyday speech. Some of the many variations in nomenclature are used across the Flanaess … may be used in gameplay by players to give more flavor to the campaign." Player's Guide to GH, p16)
I think "oversight" makes it somehow sound like they forgot about it and it was missed, but "overlook" sounds more like a different part of speech, making it sound like what it does rather than what it is.
Personally, I'd have liked perhaps "overwatch". But, if one were to ask me, that's still essentially the same.
Yeah I tend to that conclusion too... your language analysis does work. And yeah Overwatch would have fit better ! :)

Somehow, even if the context and the process really differ, it reminds the discussion I had concerning the Dungeons & Dragons Annual 1987 (Marvel) which was the comic version of the D&D anime's The Eye of the Beholder episode. It was entitled The Eye of the Watchman in the manual. When one was believing it was due to copyright issue, my thinking was it was due to the fact the original comic was in spanish and that the primary translation of "Vigilante" is watchman and not beholder... And nobody from the RPG dpt controlling the accuracy of the terms used -especially in an external company's publication- you ended up with an official D&D product issued which does not respect its own nomenclature.

Oh and btw, Icarus, totally beside the point but... thanks again for the tip on the Age of Worm adventure back then ! Was really something you got there !! :D

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by vestcoat » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:36 pm

Castle Overlook also appears in the very first 3e adventure in Dungeon Magazine, Evil Unearthed (nominally set in GH). It's not a perfect fit because the castle in Evil Unearthed is a remote ruin and the castle in Tempest Gate is in a capital, but it's a lot more intriguing than just saying Oversight has multiple names. Furthermore, Evil Unearthed needs an official GH placement and connecting it to a piece of comic canon is cool.

Bissel's borders and sovereignty change constantly, maybe Castle Overlook was a former capital destroyed in the Small War or the humanoid fallout of the Hateful Wars. This would place the Tempest Gate series in the past, before its destruction, which complicates Evard's involvement. Or maybe Evil Unearthed occurs in the 570's and the Watchers rebuild the ruin after the adventure's completion and in time for the Tempest Gate comics.

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Icarus » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:43 pm

vestcoat wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:36 pm
Castle Overlook also appears in the very first 3e adventure in Dungeon Magazine, Evil Unearthed (nominally set in GH). It's not a perfect fit because the castle in Evil Unearthed is a remote ruin and the castle in Tempest Gate is in a capital, but it's a lot more intriguing than just saying Oversight has multiple names. Furthermore, Evil Unearthed needs an official GH placement and connecting it to a piece of comic canon is cool.

Bissel's borders and sovereignty change constantly, maybe Castle Overlook was a former capital destroyed in the Small War or the humanoid fallout of the Hateful Wars. This would place the Tempest Gate series in the past, before its destruction, which complicates Evard's involvement. Or maybe Evil Unearthed occurs in the 570's and the Watchers rebuild the ruin after the adventure's completion and in time for the Tempest Gate comics.
Well, hmmm ... now, this complicates things.
It can't be just a matter of multiple references to a since place, since we now know there's another place published that uses that exact same name.
So, clearly, there is unquestionably a Castle Overlook, and a Castle Oversight.
As Vestcoat says, that creates a problem. The adventure in the magazine and the comics then either have to be set in a different time from each other, or this necessitates placement for Castle Overlook elsewhere in WoG, if not in Bissel specifically. If not for the explicitly wrong geography and completely incorrect placement, I would've suggested using Castle Overlook from Evil Unearthed as part of the previous capitol of Bissel, Thornward, prior to 590, or so. The story fits reasonably enough, even with the involvement of Evard circa 580CY! But, as I said, the depicted geography is entirely wrong.

The problem which arises is the references in the comics to "Castle Overlook" are specifically to the fortress at "the capital of Bissel", because it names it as such. There is absolutely no doubt that the capitol is given both names. And there is likewise no doubt that the place in the comics is not, and cannot be, the castle named in Evil Unearthed by the description of the castle given in the Dungeon magazine environs, it is not the same castle as the capitol.

We know these things:
  • The two castles are referred to by similar names (Oversight and Overlook).
  • The capitol is referred to by both names.
  • "Oversight" is only used to refer to the capitol.
  • The other [unplaced] castle is only referred to as "Overlook".
  • The same name ("Overlook") is used to refer to both castles.
But, how then does this avoid confusion for places that end up with the same name? The answer? … it doesn't. For example, how many "Springfields" are in the US? 41, apparently, if Wikipedia can be trusted. It shouldn't be an issue that a name is used in two places.
But, clearly, the canon-written-fact is that local people in-game sometimes refer to places a little differently.

So, insofar as the place named in the comics which are being discussed in this thread, it is only one place, and it is referred to canonically by two names. The only thing I can surmise is that there are clearly two different places, and sometimes -if the listener isn't aware- there could be confusion.
Occam's Razor being what it is … the simplest solution is that there are two different places.
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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by vestcoat » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:50 am

Good analysis, but the two-places answer leaves me wanting. How about this little tweak:

Bissel has a long history with the Knights of the Watch and all of their nomenclature regarding "vigilance" "oversight" "overlook" etc.

We know the Castle Overlook in Evil Unearthed once protected the whole "valley" (Lortmils to Barrier Peaks), like an early outpost in the region, or capital if you will.

After the original Castle Overlook fell, perhaps the name became a shifting title given to wherever the current headquarters of the Bissel Watchers is located. So "Oversight" is the original and permanent name of the fortress at Pellak and "Overlook" is its current Watcher honorific and title.

This way, their headquarters and spiritual bastion can never truly fall despite frequent invasions.

On a side note, all of the knightly protectors of the realm in both Tempest Gate and Evil Unearthed are beholden to Heironeous, but the Watchers are not religiously exclusive. So maybe the shifting "Castle Overlook" tradition is more of a Heironeous thing than a Watcher thing.

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Re: [Comics] Tempest's Gate

Post by Icarus » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:13 pm

vestcoat wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:50 am
Good analysis...
Well, thank you.
vestcoat wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:50 am
How about this little tweak .... perhaps the name became a shifting title given to wherever the current headquarters of the Bissel Watchers is located. So "Oversight" is the original and permanent name of the fortress at Pellak and "Overlook" is its current Watcher honorific and title.
This way, their headquarters and spiritual bastion can never truly fall despite frequent invasions.
... maybe the shifting "Castle Overlook" tradition is more of a Heironeous thing than a Watcher thing.
Well, my analysis covers the facts, really, and nothing more.
Yours goes a long way toward explaining the “why” of the matter.
This is something that, at this point, we may never know, and so for those of us who care about such things and don’t want a dry, plain answer, actually like.
Not only does it explain the situation, it adds a little something to it by way of offering a motivation to explain how things could’ve ended up that way.

On a humorous note, though:
If one were inclined to use it, though, I would suggest that it might only be a Watcher thing, else Heironeans worldwide would start duplicating their fortresses all over the Flanaess ... and that could be *confusing*!!!
An you imagine if their were a tradition of scores of Castle Overlooks?
Or if there were possibly two (or twelve! of every named Heironean stronghold.
There’s likely be colloquialisms!! “I’m sorry I can’t do it, Marge! I can’t be in two places at once! I’m not Heironean!”
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