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Greyhawk Character
Rary, as depicted by Andrew Hou in Dungeon #103
Homeland Bright Lands (formerly Ket)
Gender Male
Race Human (Baklunish)
Age 86 (born 511 CY)
Class Wizard 24
Alignment Neutral Evil

Rary of Ket is a powerful archmage, a former member of the Circle of Eight, and ruler of the Bright Lands. He is also called Rary the Traitor.

Rary was responsible for the deaths of Circle members Otiluke and Tenser at the end of the Greyhawk Wars. After his betrayal, Rary fled with his ally Lord Robilar to the Bright Desert, where he established the Empire of the Bright Lands.


Rary is a man of mixed Baklunish and Suel stock, six feet tall, 170 lbs, with auburn hair, bright green eyes, and a tanned complexion. He looks decades younger than he did ten years ago; though he is in his eighties, he appears as if he were in his fifties. This is a new development; formerly, Rary had allowed his aging to follow its natural course. Rary is not vain, but he knows his plans may take many decades to come to fruition and is prepared for every eventuality. He favors tan robes with intricate gold patterns.

Rary is characterized by thoughtful contemplation. He disliked those who acted foolishly or rashly - Otiluke was a particular target of his scorn, though even Mordenkainen is too volatile for Rary's tastes.

Rary's intellect is virtually unmatched in the Flanaess, exceeding that of many gods (not to mention that of his old associate Mordenkainen).


Rary's younger brother, the renowned sage Arkalan Sammal, resides in the Free City of Greyhawk. Arkalan has renounced Rary, as have most of his former allies.


Rary of Ket

Born around 511 CY in Ket, Rary was known as a quiet, dignified scholar and a skilled mediator and peacemaker. He was a living legend in his homeland, and held in the greatest respect by the Paynims, and would confer with their shamans and wise men, telling them tales of their past. The frequency of Paynim raids into Ket decreased dramatically because of his influence.

Rary the Traitor

After a decade's careful deliberation, Rary decided that the Circle of Eight was too quarrelsome and sophistic to ever be effective in its goals. Studying the legendary defeats of such figures as Vecna and Lum, he determined that surprise and treachery were the most effective weapons he could muster. And so it was that the most gentle, non-violent, soft-spoken, and mild of the Eight, who could easily have been its leader if he had desired it, brutally slew two of his fellows on the day of the signing of the Treaty of Greyhawk. Simultaneously, Robilar besieged the castle of his former adventuring companion Tenser, sacking its treasures and destroying all of Tenser's known clones. The two conspirators then fled to the Bright Desert, where with Robilar's soldiers and Rary's Paynim allies they founded a kingdom.


Rary has decided, calmly, dispassionately, after careful thought and inward debate, to do no less than conquer the Flanaess and impose his vision of what is right upon its people. His empire in the desert is just the beginning.

Of more immediate concern is his desire to destroy the accursed Scorpion Crown artifact. Destroying an artifact is no easy task, and Rary has reason to believe that destroying this one in particular may have considerable deleterious effects that he wishes to research and account for before he begins. When he is successful, he believes the Bright Desert will begin to grow green and fertile once again, which should bring him additional wealth and support among the local populace. Initially he had thought to use the crown to command the desert's manscorpions, but he soon realized that wearing it would trigger a curse. No, destroying it would be far more rational, and Rary is nothing but rational.


Rary seems to specialize in meta-magical/ psionic spells, or mental/ mind-based spell enhancements. He is responsible for developing such commonly known spells as:

  • Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer
  • Rary's Telepathic Bond

Rary has also developed the following additional spells:

  • Rary's Aptitude Appropriator
  • Rary's Arcane Conversion
  • Rary's Empathic Perception
  • Rary's Interplanar Telepathic Bond
  • Rary's Memory Alteration
  • Rary's Mind Scan
  • Rary's Mind Shield
  • Rary's Plane Truth
  • Rary's Protection From Scrying
  • Rary's Replay of the Past
  • Rary's Spell Enhancer
  • Rary's Superior Spell Enhancer
  • Rary's Urgent Utterance


Rary is known to have authored the following works:

  • Arcane Puissance of the Memory
  • The Lost Spellbook of Rary the Traitor

Creative origins

On the Dragonsfoot forums, Gary Gygax wrote: "Rary was a low-level PC of Brian Blume. He wanted him to make "Medium," so he could be Medium Rary. That's how the character was played...if one can call it that." [1]


  • Bonny, Ed. "Arcane Lore: The Lost Spellbook of Rary the Traitor." Dragon #249. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1998.
  • Cook, David. "History of the Greyhawk Wars." Wars. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1991. Available online:[3]
  • Heard, Bruce. "Spells Between the Covers." Dragon #82. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1984.
  • Williams, Skip, Penny Williams, Ari Marmell, and Kolja Raven Liquette. Complete Mage. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2006.

External link