|Dungeons & Dragons creature|
|Wind Dukes of Aaqa|
|First appearance||Dungeon Master's Guide (1979); stats first appeared in The Rod of Seven Parts (1996).|
The Wind Dukes of Aaqa, also known as the Vaati, are fictional characters of legend in the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. They were powerful lords of the elemental plane of air.
As outsiders, vaati do not need to eat, subsisting off of the air they breathe. However, the Vale of Aaqa produces a wide variety of foods that they can offer travelers or partake of as they desire.
Vaati do not age. Most are at least 3,000 years old, as they reproduce very slowly. It is unlikely the race will ever recover its losses from the ancient war with the Queen of Chaos.
Vaati are native to the Elemental Plane of Air. At their height, their empire had conquered all four of the Elemental Planes and much of the Prime Material Plane, though the war against Chaos annihilated most of them. Today, almost the entire race exists within the Vale of Aaqa on the Prime Material.
The Vale of Aaqa is a secluded realm surrounded by protective mountains. It cannot be entered by any means except flight; even teleportation is cut off.
Typical physical characteristicsEdit
Vaati are ebon-skinned and androgynous, though well-muscled. They rarely wear clothing, though some wear belts or harnesses to carry tools or weapons. Their eyes are pure white, glowing with the light of Law, and their velvety hair is typically closely cropped.
Most vaati are always lawful neutral almost by definition, although members of the unofficial wendeam caste are lawful good.
Vaati society is divided into seven castes. An eighth caste, the wendeam, is considered unofficial by the other Wind Dukes.
- All vaati are born into the wergadeam, or worker caste. After adolescence, they either remain wergadeam or are reassigned a caste to which they are more suited. Older wergadeam may be temporarily assigned other castes in times of emergency.
- The houdeam are the military caste.
- The haikjadeam are teachers, investigators, and keepers of lore. They have powers similar to those of paladins, though they are focused purely on Law and Chaos, caring nothing for Good or Evil.
- The trygrideam are farmer, animal keepers, and judges. They have powers similar to druids, though they see Nature purely as a result of universal Law. They secretly keep in contact with the exiled wendeam.
- The kheirdeam are physicians and councilors.
- The vindeam and bledrudeam are philosophers, guardians, and advisors. They have the ability to cast arcane magic; the vindeam specialize in spells of elemental air, while the bledrudeam are abjurers.
- The wendeam are descended from the Captains of Law who scattered the pieces of the Rod of Seven Parts after the battle of Pesh. It is their duty to track the pieces of the Rod as they move from world to world. Most other vaati castes treat them as outcasts; only the trygrideam understand their value.
Nothing of vaati gods has been mentioned. The closest thing to priests that they have are the kheirdeam caste, who have the ability to use divine magic relating to law and air and act as physicians and spiritual councilors.
The Wind Dukes spoke an ancient form of Auran known as Vaati. The Vaati tongue is musical, both rhythmic and melodic and containing complex whistling sounds. Vaati conversation sounds more like distant chanting or the whispering of leaves in the trees than human speech. Some vaati adventurers have taught themselves Common, however.
In the pre-history of the world, the Age Before Ages, the Wind Dukes' empire spanned all of the elemental planes and many worlds of the Prime Material. Eventually, they became a major player in a great war, representing the forces of Law against a powerful entity known as the Queen of Chaos. Seven of their number, known as the "Wandering Dukes," created a powerful artifact known as the Rod of Law, which was used in the Battle of Pesh to slay the Queen of Chaos's greatest general, Miska the Wolf-Spider. The rod was sundered in the battle, fragmenting to form the Rod of Seven Parts.
The rigid legions of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa were the most cultured of the elemental lords who ruled an empire that spanned worlds before the birth of the living races and stood against the legions of the Queen of Chaos for centuries as these two ancient powers struggled to determine the fate of the still forming multiverse.
This stalemate collapsed when the Queen of Chaos recruited her most potent and ruthless ally known as Miska the Wolf-Spider, Prince of Demons. The forces of Miska routed the elemental armies and snuffed out the culture of Aaqa one world at a time.
A consortium of seven great Wind Duke Warriors (also known as the Wandering Dukes), withdrew from the conflict to develop a plan to destroy Miska and break the back of the Chaos Army. The Wandering Dukes scoured the Great Wheel and drew upon the lore of a hundred cultures to construct one of the most potent artifacts in history, the Rod of Law.
In a pivotal battle on the volcanic fields of Pesh, Qadeej, the greatest of the Wandering Dukes, plunged the Rod into Miska the Wolf-Spider. A great planar rift erupted when the absolute Law of the Rod mixed with the absolute Chaos of Miska's blood that shattered the rod into seven pieces (Rod of Seven Parts). These parts were scattered across the land while Qadeej and Miska vanished into the rift.
Hundreds of the Wind Dukes remained at Pesh, many dead or dying from the epic final battle. By ancient tradition, these soldiers were buried in elaborate tombs on the worlds where they died, forever recalling the brave sacrifice of the heroes of Aaqa, and serving as a testament to the reach of their moribund empire.
Known Wind DukesEdit
The following Wind Dukes are known by name:
- Amophar was one of the seven "Wandering Dukes" who helped create the Rod of Law.
- Arquestan is a potential ally from the adventure The Rod of Seven Parts.
- Darbos was another of the seven "Wandering Dukes."
- Emoniel was one of the "Wandering Dukes."
- The Guardian of the Veil, a mythical Wind Duke entity that stands as sentry between the lands of dreaming and reality.
- Icosiol, one of the seven "Wandering Dukes." Icosiol was a wind duke general slain by Miska the Wolf Spider at the Battle of Pesh. He slew the demon Kizarvidexus, and his tomb rumored to lie in the Cairn Hills.
- Nadroc, an architect of Wind Duke tombs.
- Penader was one of the seven "Wandering Dukes."
- Qadeej, one of the seven "Wandering Dukes." He defeated Miska the Wolf Spider at the Battle of Pesh.
- Uriel was one of the seven "Wandering Dukes."
- Zosiel, a minor Wind Duke warrior slain by a sphere of annihilation directed by the demon Kizarvidexus at the Battle of Pesh. He is buried in the Whispering Cairn, built by Nadroc, in the Cairn Hills.
Age of WormsEdit
In the Age of Worms Adventure Path, the Wind Dukes figured heavily as an element of the backstory that brings the characters into the campaign and sets them on the path toward confronting the primary opponents of the storyline.
The Wind Dukes in Oriental AdventuresEdit
- ↑ Williams, Skip. "A History of the Rod of Seven Parts." Dragon #224 (TSR, 1995)
- ↑ Wyatt, James. The Mahasarpa Campaign: A Web Enhancement for Oriental Adventures. Wizards of the Coast, 2001
- Baur, Wolfgang. "A Gathering of Winds." Dungeon #129 (Paizo Publishing, 2005).
- Cook, David. Book of Artifacts. (TSR, 1993).
- Gygax, Gary. Dungeon Master's Guide (TSR, 1979).
- Mona, Erik. Age of Worms Overload (Paizo Publishing, 2005). 
- Mona, Erik. "The Whispering Cairn." Dungeon #124 (Paizo Publishing, 2005).
- Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. Renton, WA: TSR, 1998.
- Williams, Skip. "A History of the Rod of Seven Parts." Dragon #224 (TSR, 1995)
- Williams, Skip. The Rod of Seven Parts. (TSR, 1996).
- Wyatt, James. The Mahasarpa Campaign: A Web Enhancement for Oriental Adventures (Wizards of the Coast, 2001). Available online:
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