Greyhawk: City of Thieves
To understand the City of Greyhawk and its place in the world today, one must first know of Zagig. His story is told all throughout the Free City in both fond remembrance and pithy asides, sometimes in the same breath. Zagig was born Zagig Yragerne in Hardby circa 280 CY. The son of a Despotrix, Zagig is said to be a descendant of Ganz Yragerne, second Lord Mayor of the Free City of Greyhawk, and Maro Yragerne, a former Despotrix of Hardby.
In the late 3rd century CY, with a young Murlynd and Keoghtom, Zagig joined or formed a group of adventurers known as the Company of Seven. Among their many exploits, it is said they ventured into the Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad, navigating the old lich’s riddles and defeating many of his guardians. Sometime around 310 CY, Zagig made his way to Greyhawk, where he allegedly bribed the members of the city’s Directing Oligarchy for a seat on their board, then somehow convinced them to elect him Lord Mayor of the city. After the death of his mother, Zagig became the first (and only) Despot of Hardby, as well as inheriting the title of Landgraf of Selintan, an old Great Kingdom provincial title applied to the ruler of the area now known as the Domain of Greyhawk. In 351, Zagig renounced the title of Despot, leaving the Gynarchy of Hardby to choose another Despotrix to rule the city.
Regarded by many as Greyhawk’s greatest Lord Mayor and citizen, Zagig is in many ways responsible for making Greyhawk what it is today. He reformed Greyhawk’s legal code, established a currency for the city, founded the Greyhawk Guild of Wizardry, brought scholars to the city to found colleges, oversaw the creation of mining towns in the Cairn Hills, and organized the city’s first Desportium of Magick. He also oversaw the construction of sewers, the Free City Arena, and Castle Greyhawk. It was Zagig who named Greyhawk the “Gem of the Flanaess.”
However, for all the good Zagig brought to the city, he also brought much peril. Stories say that Zagig’s sanity began to gradually decline after 370 CY, and many of Greyhawk’s citizens lived in fear of his outbursts of humor and rage. He occasionally proposed ideas for the city that utilized dangerous magic, and though most citizens felt this would endanger their lives, Zagig seemed not to care. He was also said to have brought monsters to public meetings.
On Coldeven 8, 421 CY, Zagig failed to show up for a meeting of the Directing Oligarchy. Though he had given no sign of his intentions, Zagig was not seen by mortals on Oerth again. Every year on this anniversary, the Lord Mayor and Directing Oligarchy share a meal of bread and water, in commemoration of the return to normalcy occasioned by Zagig’s disappearance.