Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Strategic Review #1

"The Strategic Review" served as "the newsletter of Tactical Studies Rules" and covered topics in military miniatures, games, and swords & sorcery.  Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring, 1975) was released in January, 1975 (6 pages).

The editor is listed as E. Gary Gygax, the assistant editor as Brian Blume, co-authors of "Warriors of Mars" (released the prior year, for which an advertisement is included).

TSR News:

We learn that TSR has acquired the rights from Guidon Games to publish Chainmail, and that a 3rd edition is to be published (the additional spells in Chainmail 3e were therefore likely drawn from OD&D, not vice versa).

Two companion booklets to Chainmail were mentioned as forthcoming, one dealing with the Crusades, and the other with mythical English Medieval times.  Neither were ultimately released, although would have been interesting to see.

Creature Feature: The Mind Flayer

The dreaded Mind Flayer, as portrayed in the Blackmoor supplement (1975).  Illustration by Tracy Lesch.

The mind flayer was introduced, a creature inspired by the cover illustration for "The Burrowers Beneath" by Brian Lumley according to Gary Gygax, in response to a Q & A thread in 2005.  These brain-devouring creatures quickly became classic D&D villains.

A hit by one of their tentacles penetrates the skull within 1-4 combat "turns" (rounds) at which time their victim is killed (no saving throw) although I've adjudicated that a tentacle can be severed, if sufficient damage is inflicted (see entry for octopi, in the AD&D 1e Monster Manual).

Mind flayers as introduced in SR #1 also possess a raw form of psionics, the "mind blast", a 60' x 50' radius cone of "psi force" with effects determined by the intelligence score of the victim(s) ranging from death to permanent insanity.

Finally, the entry for mind flayers also lists an early example of "magical resistance" (at 90%).  The only prior creatures with magical resistance were balrogs, (as discussed here), removed from later printings of the OD&D rules.

Wargaming World:

Old school dwarf with sword, one of the "Fantastiques" line of Der Kriegspielers miniatures.

We learn that the Hinchliffe line of Martian figures was released in the summer of 1974, the Tolkien-inspired "Fantastiques" line of Der Kriegspielers was being produced, and about a "Conan" series being prepared by MiniFigs.

Fanzines Europa, Great Plains Game Players Newsletter, and Wargamer's Digest, are mentioned, each of which published articles by Gygax (Europa #6-8 (Apr 1975), Great Plains Game Players Newsletter #7 (Apr 1975), Wargamer's Digest vol. 1 no. 7 (May 1974), vol. 2 no. 8, (Jun 1975).

Postal D&D Variant:

A postal D&Ds variant is advertised, combining D&D and Midgard, through the magazine Fantasia, as discussed in this post on the Blog of Holding in 2010.

Update (June 17, 2020): Jon Peterson discusses "Dungeons & Dragons at a Distance: Early Play-By-Mail D&D" on his blog, in May, 2020

Castle & Crusade:

A column for discussing the Chainmail rules, the first installment concerns "The Spear in Man-to-Man Combat" differentiating between the javelin, spear, lance, and pike.

Solo Dungeon Adventures:

The feature article for The Strategic Review #1 involves rules for solo dungeoneering, by Gary Gygax, with a special thanks to George A. Lord.*  Preliminary testing was attributed to Robert Kuntz and Ernest Gygax.

*Jon Peterson discusses "The Invention of Randomly Generated Dungeons" on his blog, in November, 2017

The general architectural features, along with some of the tricks/traps, the gas subtable, and the properties of magic pools, are contemporaneous with the original Greyhawk Castle and El Raja Key dungeons.

A few omissions are noted:
Table I. is missing a line for "11-13" although should presumably read "Turn (see Table IV.)"
Table VI. is missing a line for "12" although should presumably read "Chimney down 1 level, passage continues, check again in 30'
Table VII. is missing a line for "19" but, as with "17-18", could also indicate a gas trap.

This article was later revised and expanded as the basis for Appendix A: Random Dungeon Generation in the AD&D 1e Dungeon Masters Guide.

Solo gaming by means of "Wilderness Adventures" is also mentioned, in apparent reference to general adventures using the "Outdoor Survival" playing board, as described in OD&D vol. 3: The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Early Greyhawk Fiction

In the months following the release of Dungeons & Dragons (Jan, 1974), Gary Gygax published several pieces of short fiction, inspired by memorable episodes drawn from the original Greyhawk campaign.  Let's have a look at each of these, in turn:

Swords and Sorcery - In Wargaming

The article "Swords and Sorcery - In Wargaming" (Wargamer's Digest, vol. 1, no. 7, May 1974) recounts a session refereed by Rob Kuntz, in which Gary's legendary characters "Mordenkinen" (a 13th level magic-user), his companion "Bigby" (an 11th level magic-user), the Lords "Yrag" and "Felnorith" (9th level fighting-men), and the Bishop "Raunalf" (a 6th level cleric) explore the 4th level of a dungeon (probably Kuntz's "El Raja Key").

Mordenkinen (foreground) and Bigby perch atop an ivory pillar in the Great Hall, seeking to escape the reach of an iron golem.  Illustration by Greg Bell.

The twain encounter a magical guardian, previously referenced in OD&D vol 2 Men & Magic, under the entry for "Living Statues":
Various stone and metal monsters which come to life if trespass into a certain area is made. One of these monsters was iron, impervious to all weapons save two special ones he guarded, had a fiery breath, poison sword, and a whip of Cockatrice feathers which turned the thing struck by it to stone.
 Gary Gygax, OD&D vol. 2 (1974)

Mordenkinen is turned to stone, after which Bigby teleports to safety and returns with reinforcements.  He meets the same fate as Mordenkinen, and the Lord Yrag is also slain, before the Lord Felnorith is finally able to defeat the magical guardian.

The doughty Lord Felnorith confronts a fearsome iron golem across the fallen body of Yrag, with a petrified Bigby in the background.  Illustration by Greg Bell.

Gygax revisited the tale in "The Devious DM: The Other Side of the Screen" published in Dragon #307 (May, 2003).  He recounts the origins of these characters in "What's in a Name? Call it Whatever, But it Still Smells Sweet" published in Dragon #318 (Apr 2004).

The Expedition Into the Black Reservoir

An adventure into the dungeons beneath Greyhawk Castle* is recounted in "The Expedition Into the Black Reservoir" (El Conquistador, vol. 1, no. 12, August 1974), featuring Ernie Gygax's character Erac, along with the lama Londlar (a 7th level cleric), the dwarf swordsman Nulfyke (3rd level), and the acolyte Ugubb of the Lake of Crystals (a 1st level cleric).

*according to Allan Grohe "the Black Reservoir level was originally Castle El Raja Key, and was moved into the Expanded Greyhawk Castle after Rob Kuntz became co-DM of the campaign.  The original map is included in Rob's El Raja Key Archive @" as mentioned here on the Acaeum forums

Erac would later perish on a return visit, as recounted by Scott Gregg in a post on the Doomsday message boards, in March, 2004:
Erac was a lawful good wizard who reached the level of Warlock (6th level)* adventuring in and around the ruins of Greyhawk Castle.  On one expedition into the dungeons below the castle, while exploring the sixth dungeon level, he discovered a small sublevel separated from the main dungeon by a single corridor.  At the end of the corridor, Erac discovered a small area containing many small, shallow wading pools, the ceiling overhead was decorated to look like a star-filled night sky.  Upon entering the area, a wall slammed shut behind him, cutting him off from the main dungeon and trapping him in the newly discovered sublevel.  Erac never discovered the secret for escaping his prison, and eventually he succumbed to starvation.
*note that Warlocks were 8th level magic-users in the OD&D rules

The Giant's Bag

Gygax relates a wilderness adventure, refereed by Rob Kuntz, in "The Giant's Bag" (Great Plains Game Players Newsletter #7, April 1975).  The sorcerer Nestre (a 9th level magic-user) was likely played by Ernie Gygax (the character's name, like "Tenser", is an anagram of "Ernest").

The giant encountered represents a typical hill giant.

The Magician's Ring

Another expedition into the dungeons beneath Greyhawk Castle is described in "The Magician's Ring" (Wargamer's Digest, vol. 2, no. 8, June 1975).  Lessnard the magician (a 6th level magic-user) was played by Mike Mornard.

Some of Mike's early gaming experiences are related in this thread on the RPGnet forums, including the adventure published above:
Later in 1973, in Michael's last semester of high school, Lessnard returned to adventure beneath the ruins of Grehawk Castle.  Again Gary acted as Dungeon Master but this time Lessnard brought along three lackeys: Crum, a Veteran, St Cuthbert, and Acolyte, and Flopspell, a Medium.  Their adventure led them through a one way secret door, trapping them on a deep level of Greyhawk Castle.  As the foursome desperately sought a way back to the surface their numbers dwindled, first losing St. Cuthburt and, second, Crum.  In a series of amusing moments (for Gary), Flopspell tried to get the upper hand on Lessnard.  Despite the traitorous acts the two make it back to the surface.  The adventure so amused Gary that he immortalized the story as The Magician's Ring on the pages of Wargamer's Digest in June of 1975.

It's interesting to note that each of the above stories consistently use level titles to describe the characters involved.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The City of Greyhawk

"Blackmoor" is a village of small size (a one-horse town), while "Grayhawk" is a large city.  Both have maps with streets and buildings indicated, and players can have town adventures roaming around the bazaars, inns, taverns, shops, temples, and so on.  Venture into the Thieves' Quarter only at your own risk!
Gary Gygax, OD&D vol. 3 (1974)

From this first published mention of the City of Greyhawk, an entire campaign setting would grow.  Whereas the Town of Blackmoor sprang up close beneath the walls of Blackmoor Castle, the City of Greyhawk was situated about a league distant from the ruins of Greyhawk Castle.

Illustration from "Outdoor Geomorphs, Set One (Walled City)" (1977), by David Sutherland.  A possible depiction of the City of Greyhawk?

Allan Grohe has previously noted that certain features of the City of Greyhawk are mentioned in the supporting text for "Outdoor Geomorphs, Set One (Walled City)" published in 1977.  Gygax also provides instructions for keying a city, and gives a few examples:

Gygax recounted the development of the City of Greyhawk in his article "To Forge a Fantasy World: Greyhawk's Creation" published in "Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Essays on Roleplaying" (2000), edited by Jim Dietz: and then the bold adventurers needed a place to go to sell off loot, seek the services of mages or clerics, as well as for a change of pace.  In short, the players wanted a large community setting where they could manage special needs of their characters, and a place for those same swashbucklers to encounter the darker denizens of a city, experience other challenges quite different from those of underground dungeons.  Where else, it seemed, than a city of the same name as the castle.  So the City of Greyhawk sprung up as a single piece of graph paper around the same time that level four of the castle dungeon complex was being developed.

Only very gross details of the place were developed, save for the specific ones that the PCs (Player Characters) frequented.  Thus there were about a dozen inns and taverns that had developed floor plans, inhabitants, and so forth.  There were a score or so other locations that were likewise detailed – several temples, a wizard’s tower, the "Sages' Guild", the "Mercenaries Brotherhood", a few arms & armor dealers, merchant shops, and of course moneychangers and jewelers.  The wizard was never very helpful, and that was a role that was most enjoyable for the DM to assume.  Eventually an irate monk (played by Terry Kuntz) dared to paint that curmudgeony spell-worker’s tower with red and white barber-pole strips.  Of course the wizard took this in stride and styled himself the "Striped Mage of Greyhawk" thereafter.(1)  Another of the more amusing locations, this one of the merchant sort, was the "Mystical Trader" run by thieves who offered spurious magic items for sale, meantime doing the best to purloin the real ones possessed by the unsuspecting players.  Naturally, this establishment changed locations frequently, and the proprietors altered their appearance with each removal.

Two major adventuring areas were thus solidly in play early on 1973.  There were the castle ruins and its dungeons and there was the city, with key places that players' characters would likely visit indicated by color: red for a tavern or inn, gold for a money changer or gemner, gray for a weapon and arms dealer, green for a merchant, blue for a temple, purple for the place of a potent wizard, etc.(2)  Other areas around the city were developed on the spot as the need arose.  As a matter of fact, all of the adventures in the City of Greyhawk were "winged", created from whole cloth on the spot, for being so immersed in the game it was quite easy to create exciting encounters, and play character roles suitable for such a fantasy city.  The many players now active – out of some 30 total, 12 to 20 would typically show up for a play session – loved this.(3)  Even though the castle dungeon levels were deeper, the challenges greater, the rewards richer, proportionally more time was spent in "city adventuring."

This was initially surprising, as the lure of the hidden underground mazes and the many perils of the "wilderness" had been the primary interest of players.  Now, with the mazes of the city before them, and the many strange encounters possible therein, the group began to focus on the urban setting about half the time.  To manage this, this single map for the City of Greyhawk became four, and there was greater detailing of important areas thereon as a mnemonic device for the DM.


1) For a description of this amusing episode, see "Getting Even Puts the Other Guy Ahead" in Dragon #305 (Mar, 2003) by Gary Gygax.

2) Arneson color-coded the various buildings in the Town of Blackmoor, and Gygax likewise provides advice on doing so in "Outdoor Geomorphs, Set One (Walled City)"

3) Providing some context for the paragraph in OD&D vol. 1 "Men & Magic" which states "At least one referee and from four to fifty players can be handled in any single campaign, but the referee to player ratio should be about 1:20 or thereabouts."

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Greyhawk Castle

In OD&D vol. 1, Men & Magic, we find reference to a sinister "underworld" beneath the ruins of an ancient castle, in the section "Preparations for the Campaign":
First, the referee must draw out a minimum of half a dozen maps of the levels of his "underworld", people them with monsters of various horrid aspect, distribute treasure accordingly, and note the location of the latter two on keys, each corresponding to the appropriate level.  This operation will be more fully detailed in the third volume of these rules.  When this task is completed the participants can then be allowed to make their first descent into the dungeons beneath the "huge ruined pile, a vast castle built by generations of mad wizards and insane geniuses".
This captures the spirit of the original Greyhawk Castle, inspired by the dungeons beneath Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Castle, as well as David Megarry's Dungeon! board game.

Just as Arneson used the model for Branzoll Castle in his Blackmoor campaign, Gygax used Bodenburg Castle to represent the ruined upper works of Greyhawk Castle.

Model of Bodenburg Castle, part of the "Legends of Wargaming" exhibit at Gary Con VI in 2014.  Photograph posted on Facebook, courtesy of Allan Grohe.

In OD&D vol. 3, The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures, Gygax provides a brief description of the dungeons beneath Greyhawk Castle:
"Greyhawk Castle", for example, has over a dozen levels in succession downwards, more than that number branching from these, and not less than two new levels under construction at any given time. These levels contain such things as a museum from another age, an underground lake, a series of caverns filled with giant fungi, a bowling alley for 20' high Giants, an arena of evil, crypts, and so on.

Further details were provided in "How to Set Up Your Dungeons & Dragons Campaign (Part II of a Series), published in the fanzine Europa 6-8 (April, 1975):
Before the rules for D&D were published 'Old Greyhawk Castle' was 13 levels deep.  The first level was a simple maze of rooms and corridors, for none of the participants had ever played such a game before.  The second level had two unusual items, a Nixie pool and a fountain of snakes.  The third featured a torture chamber and many small cells and prison rooms.  The forth was a level of crypts and undead.  The fifth was centered around a strange font of black fire and gargoyles.  The sixth was a repeating maze with dozens of wild hogs (3 dice) in inconvenient spots, naturally backed up by appropriate numbers of Wereboars.  The seventh was centered around a circular labyrinth and a street of masses of ogres.  The eighth through tenth levels were caves and caverns featuring Trolls, giant insects, and a transporter nexus with an evil wizard (with a number of tough associates) guarding it.  The eleventh level was the home of the most powerful wizard in the castle.  He had Balrogs as servants.  The remainder of the level was populated by Martian White Apes, except the sub-passage system underneath the corridors which was full of poisonous critters with no treasure.  Level twelve was filled with Dragons.  The bottom level, number thirteen, contained an inescapable slide which took the players 'clear through to China', from whence they had to return via 'Outdoor Adventure'.  It was quite possible to journey downward to the bottom level by an insidious series of slanting passages which began on the second level, but the likelihood of following such a route unknowingly didn't become too great until the seventh or eighth level.  Of the dozen or so who played on a fairly regular basis, four made the lowest level and took the trip: Rob Kuntz, now a co-referee in the campaign went alone; and three of his friends managed to trace part of his route and blunder along the rest, so they followed him quickly to the Land of China.  Side levels included a barracks with Orcs, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls continually warring with each other, a museum, a huge arena, an underground lake, a Giant's home, and a garden of fungi.
 from Europa 6-8 (Apr, 1975)

The maps for Gary's original dungeon were probably similar in design to those published in Dungeon Geomorphs Sets One-Three (1976, 1977), as discussed in this post from 2013, on the Random Wizard blog.

Gygax apparently used the first level of the original Greyhawk Castle dungeon for a demonstration of how D&D is played at Origins II (July 23-25, 1976), as discussed in this thread from 2014, on The Acaeum Forums.

"Gary Gygax, creator of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS led a group of novice adventurers through his demonstration game on Friday evening before a standing room only crowd." from The General, vol. 13 no. 2 (Jul-Aug, 1976)

A portion of the map used at Origins II appears to be identical to a part of the map of the Greyhawk Castle dungeon used by Gygax at a convention game in 2007, as identified by Zenopus later in the same thread.

Years later, Gygax would relate memorable episodes from the earliest years of the Greyhawk campaign in a series of articles in Dragon magazine from 2001-2004, entitled "Up on a Soapbox".  Those concerning the original Greyhawk Castle include:
An encounter with kobolds and their treasure on the 1st level of the dungeon in "Penny for Your Thoughts" published in Dragon #302 (Dec, 2002).

A description of the progressively deadlier features of pit traps (open pits on the 1st level, covered pits on the 2nd level, etc.) in "Ain't it the Pits?  A Trap for all Occasions" published in Dragon #294 (Apr, 2002).

Obmi, the dwarf, the "first real villain of Greyhawk Castle" in a large chamber in the center of the 3rd level, with gnoll servitors operating a repulsion ray, in "So This Lousy Dwarf With Boots of Speed - Enter Obmi" published in Dragon #287 (Sept, 2001).

An extension of the 4th level, occupied by a large band of gnolls, and the discovery of the first "portable hole", in "Place It, and They Will Come - Defying the Odds" published in Dragon #296 (Jun, 2002).

A description of the labyrinth occupying the 6th level, its denizens and hidden treasures, in "Sooner or Later, Luck Favors the DM - Looting the Labyrinth" published in Dragon #291 (Jan, 2002).

The 7th level, "centered around a circular labyrinth" is probably described in "Direction Sense - A Stairway to Nowhere" published in Dragon #293 (Mar, 2002).

An elusive, golden, bejeweled creature, encountered somewhere "around the dungeon's 8th level" in "The One That Got Away - The Jeweled Man" published in Dragon #290 (Dec, 2001).

The path by which a few notable PCs descended to the 13th level, then to the opposite side of the planet, in "Sherlock Holmes or Sheer Luck?  Unbelievable, But True" published in Dragon #295 (May, 2002).

For those wishing to learn more, Allan Grohe's Greyhawk Castle Archive is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive source of information regarding the original Greyhawk Castle on the internet.

Update (Jan 18, 2020): For a deep dive into the most recent insights concerning the original Greyhawk Castle dungeon, check out this thread on the Knights & Knaves Alehouse, the latter entries in particular, which include newly uncovered maps

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Great Stone Face: Enigma of Greyhawk

OD&D Supplement I: Greyhawk contains a puzzling illustration depicting a great stone head, reminiscent of an Easter Island moai carving, together with the caption "The Great Stone Face Enigma of Greyhawk", without accompanying text.

The Great Stone Face, or The Enigma of Greyhawk.  Illustration by Gary Gygax.

The mystery behind "The Great Stone Face" remains elusive.  The statue is often confused with the great bas-relief face in which the demon Fraz-Urb'luu was imprisoned (described in yesterday's post), which turns out to be completely unrelated.

An episode from the original Greyhawk campaign involving The Great Stone Face was recounted by Scott Gregg in a post on the Doomsday message boards, in March, 2004:
Erac's Cousin was lawful good, but he was also greedy, a trait that the wizard Bombadil was able to use to his advantage.  Deep in the dungeons of Greyhawk Castle there stands an enormous stone statue known as The Great Stone Face, or The Enigma of Greyhawk. A ring of strange runes circle the base of the statue, and the statue itself radiates magic. Many adventurers have tried in vain to unlock the enigma's secrets.  While adventuring alone in the dungeons Bombadil placed a Magic Mouth spell on the stone face that when triggered stated, "The ways of balance need to be maintained.  Give your most prized possession as a gift freely to one who walks the path of balance and your great reward will follow in short time."  Shortly thereafter Bombadil returned to the chamber of The Great Stone Face, this time accompanied by Erac's Cousin.  While exploring the area Bombadil conveniently placed himself out of hearing range of the spell.  As planned his unnamed companion triggered the spell, and a short time later donated a potent magic item to the sly Bombadil, who just happened to be the first neutral character Erac‘s cousin ran into.
Ernie Gygax played "Erac's Cousin", and Jim Ward played the wizard "Bombadil".  Gary provides further details regarding this encounter in his article "Thus Spake the Great Stone Face of Greyhawk Dungeons - The Enigma Conquered" published in Dragon #288 (Oct, 2001).

What is the secret of the enigma?  Nobody knows for certain, although Gygax finishes his article with the following observation:
The moral of this brief tale is a simple one: If the DM places something that seems insoluble in the campaign, if it defies attempts to unravel its mystery for a prolonged period, the players will likely take over and make something else of it.
Gary Gygax, 2001

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Greyhawk: The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures

The third section of OD&D Supplement I: Greyhawk is only five pages in length, and mostly concerns "The Underworld" of dungeon exploration.

Additions to the "Tricks and Traps" section in OD&D vol. 3 include:
Giant bubbles which float about in the corridors and rooms of the dungeons.  The slightest touch will explode them, causing from 1 to 10 dice of damage depending on the level they are on.  These bubbles might (1 in 6) contain a gem.
Precursors to the AD&D 1e "Gas Spore" perhaps?
Vegetation which holds (grass is fine for this), entwines (vines or brambles), moves, flails branches (shrubs and trees), shouts warnings, hurls missiles (fruit, nuts, thorns), or emits perfumes which cause death, forgetfulness, sleep or the like (flowers or fruits).
Possible inspiration for "Grab Grass" (module X2), "Strangle Vine" (module X9), "Whip Weed" (originally appearing in White Dwarf #9 (Oct/Nov 1978) as the Whipper), "Killer Tree" (module X2), "Archer Bush" (module B3), or "Amber Lotus Flower" (module X2)?
Furniture which is animated to trip, confine, and smother (rugs and carpets) or move about and hug and kick (stools, chairs, divans) or blinds and throws down (tapestries and wall hangings).  (Ours is known as the "Living Room").
In 2007, Rob Kuntz, co-DM of the original "Greyhawk" campaign, released "The Living Room" as a mini-module.  You can read James Maliszewski's review, here.

"The Living Room" by Rob Kuntz (Pied Piper Publishing, 2007).  Cover illustration by Jim Holloway.

Finally, there is reference to a literary source of inspiration:
A great bas-relief face which if looked upon will either bestow some worthwhile knowledge or increase to the beholder or else cause him to save versus magic or else be turned into a wart on its face or something similar (see A. Merritt's FACE IN THE ABYSS for a good example).

Cover to 1st edition of "The Face in the Abyss" by A. Merritt (1931), downloadable at, here

Scott Gregg shared some information provided by Ernie Gygax about the great bas-relief face in the original Greyhawk campaign in a post on the Doomsday message boards, in March, 2004:
Back in the Greyhawk dungeons, Erac's Cousin and the fighter Ayelerach came upon a beautiful face that cried golden tears.  The face told the adventurers the tale of his imprisonment and the heroic deeds required to release him.  The adventurers agreed to recover The Urn of Moon Dust from a group of werebears.  Erac’s Cousin and Ayelerach successfully recovered the urn, and to complete the quest, they sprinkled the moon dust on the weeping visage.  The face was actually the demon prince of deception, Fraz-Urb'luu, who had been imprisoned by the mad arch-mage Zagyg centuries earlier. The completion of the quest resulted in his release.  When he came to his proper form the adventurers attacked the fiend to try to undo their foolishness.  The enraged demon fought back fiercely.  In desperation Erac's Cousin used a gate spell from a scroll he had and managed to gate in the god Zeus, but to their shock and horror, the god chose to ignore their plea for help.  The demon then whisked himself and the adventurers back to his own plane where strange forces there drained the magic from all the items Ayelerach and Erac's Cousin were carrying, including Erac's Cousin's prized Vorpal Blades.  Fraz-Urb'luu quickly subdued the stranded adventurers and they suffered unspeakable tortures at his hands before they eventually managed to escape.
Ernie played "Erac's Cousin", and Mark Ratner played the fighter "Ayelerach".  Gary Gygax provides further details regarding this adventure in his article "Cut to the Quick: Two is Too Many" published in Dragon #320 (June, 2004)

It's often stated that the Greyhawk supplement didn't include much information on the original "Greyhawk" campaign, but I suspect many of the "Tricks and Traps" listed may have originally been used in the dungeons beneath Greyhawk Castle.

Monstrous Tricks and Combination Monsters:

Here, we get another glimpse of the original Greyhawk Castle dungeon:
Monsters which are in endless supply due to a magical point of origin.  "Greyhawk" had a fountain on its second level which issued endless numbers of snakes.
This fountain is also mentioned in an article by Gygax in the fanzine Europa 6-8 (April, 1975), in which he provides an overview of the 13 levels of the original Greyhawk Castle dungeon.

Monster Level Tables:

The wandering monster tables are expanded, increasing to 12 rows for dungeon levels 1-3, and 20 rows for dungeon levels 4-6.*

*James Ward provided an expanded version of the table for level 4 in the article "The Wandering Monster", published in The Dragon #15 (June, 1978).  This included number appearing, spells for spell-casters, hit points, and stats for giant beetles, giant scorpions, and carnivorous apes (differing from the stats published in the AD&D 1e Monster Manual)