Wind Dukes of Aqaa



Jun 22, 2007 1:24:14
Hello all,

I'm currently brainstorming for an article regarding the Wind Dukes of Aqaa, who I know absolutely zero about and just find the title "Wind Dukes of Aqaa" to be very interesting.

I'd like to know anything anyone wants to tell me about them, namely the key things I'm looking for are:

1) How many are there?

2) When were they first heard of?

3) Is there any actual "canon" references to them or are they sort of generic D&D that got tacked onto Greyhawk?

Most of my article will be invented whole cloth since it's really my take on the Wind Dukes, but I'm curious to see what's available on them.

Thank you in advance,


Jun 22, 2007 3:20:02
A detailed 2e description can be found in the of Rod of Seven Parts. I think thy are ative outsiders with the air sub type with 3(?) different castes, each with varying abilities.


Jun 22, 2007 8:02:14
The Age of Worms series in Dungeon magazine is a good place to start to.


Jun 22, 2007 10:11:04
First of all, it's spelled Aaqa (though this isn't completely consistent). The race is also known as the vaati.

1) How many are there?

At this point, probably only a few thousand at best, or more likely a few hundred, nearly all of them dwelling in the secluded Vale of Aaqa. In their heyday, there were millions.

2) When were they first heard of?

They were first heard from in the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide, in the description of the Rod of Seven Parts artifact. Nearly everything from the artifacts chapter of the DMG was eventually incorporated into Greyhawk, if it wasn't part of it already.

They next appeared in the 2nd edition DMG and they were name-dropped in 2nd edition Greyhawk products like From the Ashes and Ivid the Undying. They were mentioned in the Book of Artifacts.

They were detailed fully in the Rod of Seven Parts boxed adventure set, and their description and stats later appeared in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four and the Mahasarpa web enhancement for the 3rd edition of Oriental Adventures. This last is a free download that you can snag from this page - it'll give you the basics of what you need to know; the various caste systems in their society, their 3rd edition stats, and so on. It's pretty much the same as how they're treated elsewhere.

They were fleshed out further in the Age of Worms adventure path for Dungeon Magazine.

3) Is there any actual "canon" references to them or are they sort of generic D&D that got tacked onto Greyhawk?

There are canon references. Whether you consider the 1st edition DMG to be generic D&D or a core Greyhawk source depends on how much you revere the ancient words of Gygax.

One important reference is "the Eternal Storm of the Wind Dukes" described in the From the Ashes boxed set, which is a permanent magical storm of air and chaos in the Abbor-Alz, almost impossible to find and invisible from outside. In the center of it is a portal to the location of one of the lost fragments of the Rod of Seven Parts. Exactly how it's tied to the Wind Dukes of Aaqa isn't clear; I assume it's a traumatic horror left over from their war against Chaos.

My own theory, completely personal, is that the location where the city of Greyhawk is today was once the site of a city that had contained an ultimate blasphemy: a place of neutrality where the minions of Law and Chaos lived in peace. Something like Tanelorn in Michael Moorcock's books, a place where champions could go to retire when they wearied of endless war. When this location was discovered, the arrogant forces of Law marshaled their strength and destroyed it utterly, wiping it from the map like the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah, and the spirits of those former champions of Law and Chaos were transformed into the whirling, tormented maelstrom still manifest in the nearby Abbor-Alz range today, eons later.

There's another brief mention of them in the description of Lake Aqal in Iuz the Evil, saying that there was said to be a group of powerful and reclusive wizards on an island there "as powerful as the Wind Dukes of Aqaa [sic] or the Glittering Wizards of the Isles of Woe in Oerth's prehistory." Because of the similarity of names between "Aaqa" and "Aqal," there have been some speculations that the island in Lake Aqal and the Vale of Aaqa are one and the same, and that the wizards in question are as powerful as the Wind Dukes because they are the Wind Dukes. This is supported by the description of Lake Aqal in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, which mentions "benign, long-featured men who walked on air." This might describe the vaati. On the other hand, it's vague enough that it might not. Vaati are described as ebon-skinned, androgynous beings, lawful neutral in alignment. They can fly innately (without wings).

Another race it might describe is the protectors from module B3. I think the protectors might even be an off-shoot or related race to the vaati.

The Wind Dukes are mentioned briefly in Ivid the Undying, where it says the wicked bard Nightsong knows "the whispering hymns of the long-dead Wind Dukes of Aaqa."

Two big sources are Dungeon Magazine #124 and #129. Adventures in these issues, part of the Age of Worms adventure path, explore tombs left by the Wind Dukes in the Cairn Hills, and much about the history of the vaati and their war can be divined from inscriptions on the tomb walls.

Dungeon #129 says that they had "strong ties" to the Elemental Plane of Air, and that at their peak their empire comprised most of the Elemental Planes, including the Planes of Water and Fire. The genie races bowed to them.

The Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss is another crucial source, putting the war between the Wind Dukes and the Queen of Chaos in the perspective of the history of the Abyss. We learn exactly where the Fields of Pesh were (modern-day Bandit Kingdoms), and that the final battle between the Wind Dukes and Miska the Wolf-Spider was so cataclysmic that it created the Rift Canyon.

Erik Mona has, from what I've heard second hand, speculated that Galap-Dreidal, builder of the Ghost Tower of Inverness, was a Wind Duke.


Jun 22, 2007 17:04:06
Hi all -
Cold Penguin, it is very nice to see you posting your thoughts again. It was several years ago you came to GreyChat as a teenager with lots of good ideas, and it'll be nice to see you post some of those thoughts here and other places. Good luck, and even if you've not really gone anywhere, it's still good to see you posting.
Thanks, and good luck. IIRC, Rod of 7 Parts boxset had something, but it was so long ago.
Be Well.
Theocrat Issak


Jun 23, 2007 1:33:52
Wow. If Boccob ever gets knocked off and they need a replacement god of knowledge, Ripvanwormer should submit his resume.


Jun 23, 2007 11:07:18
Wow. If Boccob ever gets knocked off and they need a replacement god of knowledge, Ripvanwormer should submit his resume.

Agreed. That was awesome, Ripvanwormer.


Jun 23, 2007 13:06:08
Hi all -
If Bobcob becomes the way of forgotten realms gods, there are several candiates to rise from Earth to the Oerth heavens. Alan Grohe is one such being, and of course Erik Mona and Gary Holian are others. Because Bobcob is so ultra powerful, his immortal power would need to be divided between many. Ripvanwormer certainly could handle some of the past knowledge whereas EM and GH would take on the knowledge of the future (esp. with EM head of Paizo, he may know where Greyhawk history and lore is headed).
But without a doubt that was some excellent and detailed reading. What's worse it the thought that he knew exactly where to go to retreieve that information. Because the thought that he actually just knew that stuff off the top of his head is just sickening. Gross.
Be Well. Be Well Known.
Theocrat Issak


Jun 23, 2007 13:55:12
There is also some information (and statistics) about the Vaati in the Mahasarpa web enhancement for 3E Oriental Adventures.


Jun 26, 2007 8:25:37
Excellent summary.

There is one more recent mention of the Wind Dukes - Dragon 353 references them in the section on the Princes of Elemental Good. Apparently the Elemental princes (good and evil) were divided along Law and Chaos lines during that time, and learned to become good and evil only afterwards....



Jun 28, 2007 13:37:49
There is one more recent mention of the Wind Dukes

Two more, actually. Dragon 353 mentions them in the Elemental Princes of Good article, and Dragon 347 mentions them in the Elemental Princes of Evil article. Together, they help flesh out what the elemental powers were doing during the war with Chaos, although we don't learn much about the Wind Dukes themselves.


Jun 28, 2007 23:15:04
I ran the GDQ series first about a year ago and my PC's Failed in the Demon Web. Although they escaped, they eraned the enimity of the SPider Queen forever. Their hatred was apparently greater for the spider queen. I set it up so that the Queen of Chaos was Lolth's younger sister. They Assessmebled the Rod of Seven Parts and are first going to try it aginst the Queen of Chaos. If they defeat her they pull a telling blow to Lolth's ally base and then they plan to go for Lolth....:D

My question is...
os there a 3.5E conversion for the Box set Rod of Seven Parts.


Jun 29, 2007 9:39:06
I haven't seen one, though the Rod itself was converted to 3E in Arms and Equipment Guide. The Vaati conversion I had not learned of until this thread. I haven't seen conversions for the spyder-fiends.

Interestingly, the official view is that the Queen of Chaos is a precursor to Lolth - and demons in general. But I know I thought about her being Lolth myself over the years.



Jul 06, 2007 1:17:54
As for canon sources there's also the article "A History of the Rod of Seven Parts" by Skip Williams in Dragon 224 which describes the Vaati castes.


Jul 10, 2007 0:10:39
Some info on RPGA modules R7-10 appears on my site @ though there's not a lot of info in there on the Wind Dukes, more on the Rod itself.

edit: and thanks for the plug, Issak :D


Jul 13, 2007 10:39:50
Don't forget the Whispering Cairn(Age of Worms series) in Dungeon # 124!

oops, RipVanWormer already mentioned that issue!