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Greyhawk Character
Nystul, as depicted in Living Greyhawk Journal #0 (2000). Art by Sam Wood.
Homeland Tenh
Gender Male
Race Human
Age Born 538 CY
Class Wizard 17
Alignment Neutral

Nystul is an archmage and member of the Circle of Eight. He is also the most famous native of the Duchy of Tenh.


Nystul is 53 years old in 591 CY. He stands 6'7" tall and weighs 184 pounds. His lank, uncombed hair is mousy brown in hue, and his features are rather plain, with Flan features and an Oeridian's olive complexion. He has been described as a "ridiculous gangling beanpole," a condition which has inspired him to specialize in magic that disguises his appearance. He often travels disguised as a demure half-elven maiden, a form in which he flirts with chivalrous knights and paladins in order to gain their protection.

Nystul is a flippant sort with a preference for puns and quips that tend to annoy his colleagues Mordenkainen, Bigby, and Drawmij. Nystul is intelligent, subtle, and profound, however, with an unerring tactical sense.


Nystul is a member of the Circle of Eight. At one time, Nystul had an apprentice named Janina. Nystul is allied with the Keepers of the Flan, a group of mages, druids, and loremasters of the Tenha clans currently dwelling in the Rakers or the Phostwood.

Nystul, unlike the other members of the Circle, believes that Rary's apparent betrayal of their group is only a ruse. He believes that Iuz and his servants are the true enemy of both the Circle of Eight and his homeland of Tenh.


Nystul was born to a family of well-connected nobles in the city of Nevond Nevnend. His family's better-connected enemies brought them low, however, charging them with sedition and insurgency in the court of the then-ruling Duke Pet'yeu of Tenh. The nobles in Nystul's house were tried for treason, and the house was disbanded. Nystul was secreted away by servants and raised in a small monastery of Pholtan monks on the border of the Pale, near the Phostwood. A clever old cleric called Friar Nemonicus, obsessed with the powers of light and darkness, encouraged young Nystul's gift for magic and provided him with a permanent protection from evil enhancement. When he came of age, the monks paid for Nystul to study in the Sorcerous Union in Radigast City. There, Nystul befriended Otto. After graduating, Nystul built a home in Redspan and took on apprentices of his own. It was not long before Mordenkainen offered him membership of the Circle of Eight in 571 CY.

During the Greyhawk Wars, Nystul did his best to help evacuate refugees and arm his countrymen against the invaders.


Nystul is responsible for developing such commonly known spells as Nystul's Magic Aura and Nystul's Undetectable Aura.

Nystul has also developed the following additional spells:

  • Nystul's Blacklight Burst
  • Nystul's Blackmote
  • Nystul's Blazing Beam
  • Nystul's Crystal Dagger
  • Nystul's Crystal Dirk
  • Nystul's Dancing Dweomer
  • Nystul's Dancing Werelight
  • Nystul's Enveloping Darkness
  • Nystul's Expeditious Fire Extinguisher
  • Nystul's Flash
  • Nystul's Golden Revelation
  • Nystul's Grue Conjuration
  • Nystul's Lightburst
  • Nystul's Radiant Arch
  • Nystul's Radiant Baton


Nystul is known to have authored the following works:

  • Libram of the Great Paravisual Emanations
  • Metaphysics of Mathematics


  • Gygax, Gary. Players Handbook. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1978.
  • Heard, Bruce. "Spells Between the Covers." Dragon #82. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1984.