Fear of the Dark
Swords of Eight Human Wizard
Mordenkainen appears much younger than his years. He is tall, of medium build and often wears black, blue, or grey. He wears a Van Dyke beard with two prominent grey streaks. Its shape has changed over the years, and in recent art is narrow and pointed, but was originally broad, covering the whole chin. He once wore his graying black hair at medium length, but since 591 CY has been shaving his pate bald, as well as trimming his goatee to a fine point. He speaks with a deep, melodic voice.
When traveling, Mordenkainen often disguises himself as a poor, elderly merchant.
Mordenkainen can be stubborn and difficult, and does not tolerate fools. He normally spends much more time listening than talking, but when he does speak, his pronouncements are authoritative and rarely questioned.
Mordenkain was born 509 CY. His birthplace is unknown, but before coming to prominence in the early 560s, he is thought to have resided on the Wild Coast. He also resided for a time in the City of Greyhawk, as well as Highfolk. He is rumored to be of Oeridian blood, possibly Aerdi. Some claim that he is a descendant of Ganz Yragerne, first Landgraf of the Selintan, which would mean he’s also related to Zagig and Heward. According to some sources, he is distantly related to House Cranden, one of the royal houses of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy.
About 561 CY, with his young apprentice Bigby, the warriors Robilar and Yrag, the clerics Riggby and Serten, the ranger Otis, and fellow mage Tenser, Mordenkainen formed the Citadel of Eight. The group was named for the Obsidian Citadel, Mordenkainen’s stronghold in the Yatil Mountains. The Citadel disbanded after the Battle of Emridy Meadows in 569 CY, where Citadel member Serten lost his life.
Two years later, Mordenkainen formed the Circle of Eight, a cabal of eight wizards with himself acting as the ninth “shadow member” and leader. Mordenkainen felt that the failure of the Citadel was due to its composition. He felt that such a group as he envisioned could only succeed if its members were “men of intellect and sorcerous skill, whose primary interests were more than material.”
Mordenkainen left the circle to found the Swords of Eight and take on the vampire Strahd. His expedition failed and he was lost.
However, the adventurers eventually found him next to lake Zarovich. Mordenkainen recognized Uther, and invited them into his mansion…