Back in the 1990s, when the Greyhawk resurgence was under way, the great mystery of the campaign setting was … who is Philidor the Blue Wizard? Introduced by Carl Sargent in the From the Ashes boxed set, Phildor is a super-powerful wizard (25th level?) in a campaign setting where ultra powerful NPCs are not the norm.
Sure, there’s the Circle of Eight – a group of wizards in Greyhawk who sought to maintain balance in Oerth – but they were the exception. Greyhawk isn’t about superpowerful NPCs intervening on the players’ behalf; it’s about finding the balance between light and dark, about stories focused on character heroics, and about not detailing the world down to the last blade of grass.
And yet … there was Sargent’s Philidor. Part of the attraction was speculation about what happened to the archmage Tenser after he was killed by Rary the Traitor at the end of the Greyhawk Wars. Tenser was associated with the color blue, and it made a certain kind of sense that Philidor might be his new incarnation. Subsequent modules killed that speculation (Tenser returned to Oerth when a clone, hidden on one of Greyhawk’s moons, was activated … not the best storyline).
The speculation continues, and I’ve pulled together a few Internet threads discussing the blue wizard:
- Vaults of Pandius: Philidor the blue wizard??
- Greyhawk Wiki: Philidor
- Morrus: Greyhawk Oddities
- Canonfire: Meditations on the Blue Wizard
There’s still no answer … but it is fun to speculate.
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Cover art from the Greyhawk boxed set. Credit: TSR.