Monday, September 26, 2011
Green Dragon Inn, pt II
As a follow up to last week's post on the Green Dragon Inn mentioned in the Blue Book, I spent a little time looking in to the publication history of the Green Dragon in Greyhawk, which I'd read was owned at one point by Robilar, PC of Rob Kuntz.
As it turns out there is far less material on Greyhawk's Green Dragon than I had thought. While it apparently goes back to 1972 in the original Greyhawk campaign, it barely made it into print by TSR. This Dragonsfoot thread indicates that the first print reference to this Green Dragon was in the Official AD&D Coloring Album from 1979. I have a copy of this, so I pulled it out to see what it said:
"Here at the Green Dragon, a busy inn in a town on the shores of the Lake of Unknown Depths, a group of adventurers have met to plan a daring expedition in search of a fabulous treasure. They sit at an outside table, quaffing amber ale and charting their course to wealth beyond belief ... The innkeeper, his wife and the stableboy are all busy caring for the wants of the adventurers, for they known the party will soon set forth on their quest - possibly to return loaded with bright gold!"
That's about it, other than the accompanying picture (see above) by Greg Irons, who illustrated the entire album in fantastic detail. See more pictures from it here.
I found a "Green Dragon Tavern" in Dragon #37 (May 1980), but it's actually yet another one, found in a town in the module The Pit of the Oracle by Stephen Sullivan. What's ironic is that this same issue has a Sorcerer's Scroll column where Gygax states that "The City of Greyhawk might make a 1981 publication date, certainly 1982, and about the same time the series which will eventually represent the whole of the Dungeons of Castle Greyhawk will begin" and further provides information on Robilar (and other Greyhawk notables), but without mention of the Green Dragon.
I also have Artifact of Evil (1986, TSR), which is a Gord the Rogue novel by Gygax, where the Green Dragon is the location of a brief meeting between Gord and his druid friend, Curly Greenleaf. The "Green Dragon Inn" is described as "a place frequented by foreigners, mercenaries, tough adventurers, and others of less savory aspect" (pg 35). There's another appearance in Night Arrant, a later Gord novel published after Gygax left TSR that I don't have a copy of.
So it appears that most of what is now known about the original Greyhawk Green Dragon is from much more recent interviews and columns. Holmes' Green Dragon was first mentioned in the Blue Book, which was published in the Fall 1977. While it is possible he heard of the Greyhawk Green Dragon directly from Gygax or others at TSR, it is more likely a separate creation with a name inspired by Tolkien's Green Dragon in the Shire.