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MisterBrix
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(12/19/02 7:10:33 am)
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Thardy and his temple
What is the
Ghaunadaur-Thardizun-Elder Elemental God-Connection?

How (and when) would place the "lost temple of T." with regards to ToEE and RtEE?

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(12/19/02 8:19:01 am)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
MisterBrix, if you're referring to WG4, The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, I was planning on doing a conversion of it, but the PCs got well beyond the point of needing the XP boost to divert from the standing adventure, and showed no interest in pursuing the clue.


My thought is that the FToT is still out there, unknown to the Fanes and the party alike. You can convert it with the existing inhabitants, or substitute new ones who moved in when they moved out or were adventurer-slain.


If you want to add it into RttToEE, my advice is to have the party have a "random" encounter outside the CRM with a returning out-party of the cultists, working for one or another of the EEE groups, who are on their way back having discovered it's location (complete with map). The party ambushes them, kills them, takes the map, perhaps even questions one of them (before or after death) about the map's signifigance.

If word gets back, you can bet that that temple will be sponsoring their own "adventuring party" to take the inhabitants down and recover the goods, similar to Dunrat and crew and the Old Moathouse.

The PCs can discover the "out party", take their map, and investegate out of curiosity.

The PCs can discover the delivered map in one of the temples, and investegate what was of such interest to said group, perhaps discovering the party the temple sent on the way there, or inside the temple itself.

The PCs can even, potentially, be HIRED by one of the Temples with whom they establish peaceful contact, in hopes of gaining the upper hand in inter-temple conflicts without putting their own personell at risk.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Trithereon
Here to stay
(12/19/02 8:36:35 am)
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The Lost Temple of Tharizdun
It depends on where you set your game campaign ...

The original World of Greyhawk Gazetteer set history rolling at CY 576, the City of Greyhawk boxed set reset the clock at CY 582, the From the Ashes boxed set moved it forward to CY 585 while both The Adventure Begins and the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer pushed the clock to CY 591.

If you assume that all the published adventures from the 1st and 2nd edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons have been completed then the Lost Temple was found sometime between CY 576-591. Personally, I'd place it before the Greyhawk Wars and at about the same times as the original Temple of Elemental Evil adventure which according to the The Adventure Begins was in the mid to late 570's.

However, it may still be lost in your campaign ... if you want it so. I could make a nice side quest and welcome distraction from the CRM.

Edited by: Trithereon at: 12/19/02 8:40:46 am
Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(12/19/02 9:52:08 am)
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Re: The Lost Temple of Tharizdun
My thought on that, Trithereon, is:

Who's to say the module "got played"? From what I can tell, WG4 is fairly timeless.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Corran Webster
Looking around
(12/19/02 1:43:12 pm)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
If things run ideally in my ToEE campaign, I'd like to do the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (LCoT) and the Forgotten Temple of Big T (FToT) immediately after ToEE. I was thinking of having pointers to LCoT from ToEE: probably using clues from agents of Iuz who are interested in recovering his mother's stuff (and possibly his half-sister as well?) from the LCoT. FToT meshes in nicely with LCoT, and will give the players some exposure to Big T before we play RttToEE :evil

But that might be too ambitious, or the players may get sick of 1st Edition dungeon crawls.

As an aside, I'm a little unsure of how to deal with the various factions in the original ToEE. I'm tempted to make most of the various clerics of the elemental temples worshippers of the Elder Elemental Eye (and hence, unwittingly, Tharizdun), except for a couple of worshippers of Iuz. I'm unsure exactly how Zuggtmoy fits into this, as she isn't divine, and so can't grant clerical spells, but the implication in the original module is that some of these clerics worship her.

Perhaps undistinguished clerics of Elemental Evil should be considered as worshippers of the general philosophy of "Elemental Evil", and having access to appropriate domains like Evil, the various elemental domains, Death, and maybe Plant or some oozey/slimey domain.

Any suggestions about how the various powers in ToEE related, and how to model their clerics?

Corran

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(12/19/02 8:46:18 pm)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
Quote:
I'm unsure exactly how Zuggtmoy fits into this, as she isn't divine, and so can't grant clerical spells, but the implication in the original module is that some of these clerics worship her.


BoVD (pg 123, beginnning of Ch 7) has a section on this that you could apply here. The greater unique demons and devils "act as patrons" for clerics who in fact are gaining their power through either abstract sources or actual evil gods. Remember that a cleric doesn't have to have an actual deity chosen--chosing two domains is enough and BoVD gives suggested domains for the archfiends. So, even if it were just pseudo-worship of Z and Iuz, I don't think it's a problem (in other words, a ToEE cleric wouldn't be weirded out that they were channelling through the intercession of Z without invoking a god(dess)).

But here you have so much more to work with since, if you take the RTEE history straight-up, EEE/big T minions convinced Z to build the ToEE and recruit all the forces. Depending on how deeply you want these elements planted in your ToEE, clerics there could have been unwittingly getting their goods right from the big guy himself even if they thought they were just going through Z. They just don't realize that the great reservoir of chaos and evil actually has a manifestation. This would give you some latitude to add mild Insanity to a few clerics to spice things up and foreshadow what's to come in the ToAC.



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MisterBrix
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(12/20/02 8:50:13 am)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
Thanks for your input, guys.
Very helpful for I am a real Greyhawk novice.
So far no one has answered to my first question.
Could it be that Ghaunadaur (FR), Thardizun and the Elder Elemental God are one and the same?
Another question which came up during my research concerns Lareth.
He is a human, right? And he worhips Lloth? Unusal, but ok. Has anyone some thoughts on this?

1. How can a human become a (high ranking) cleric of Lloth. What has happened to this guy in the past that he started worshiping the Spider Queen.

2. How is he regarded by the drows? Wouldn't the drow try to kill such a defiler?

3. If Lareth worhsips Lloth, why is he later raised as a champion of Tharizdun?

Has anyone connected ToEE (RttToEE) to the Drow series (+Against the giants) and would like to share some experience?

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(12/20/02 12:57:54 pm)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
The Elder Elemental God is - in this adventure - a front for Big T. Ghaunadaur is made up by FR designers who fell for this hoax ;) . In the old ToEE, the Elder Elemental God was a shadowy force of destruction that fell in with the drow (and vice versa), and who fueled the original Elemental temples. Back then, Iuz was the behind-the-scenes schemer. Of course, now we know he was duped by Big T.

Same with Lareth. Thought he worshipped Iuz - and Lolth on the side. But in stead he was duped and is now simmering in Nulb trying to work his insane noggin around that one. He probably worshipped Lolth because she wanted a piece of the action and being quite the perfect specimen, he found grace before her eyes.

It's a bit of a cop-out, but a very good one: Back then, everyone was duped by Big T. He engineered the creation of the nodes, but before they could be put to the proper use, the impatience of his demonic patsies (Iuz and Zuggtmoy) brought the temple down. So this time he's bringing in the guys in the know, the Mentalists of Murk, the Doomdreamers!

Haven't done Against the Giants and Queen of the Spiders. So I can't help there. Sorry.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(12/20/02 2:00:52 pm)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
There's not a lot in the GDQ sequence.

In G3 there are a couple of drow "guests" of the Fire Giants who are worshipers of the EEG, including a nasty little temple that will have some (now) awfully familiar elements and symbology. The party winds up following them into the depths of the earth and back to Drow-town, but by the time they get there it's almost entirely a "stop Lloth and her mad plan" adventure, and the strange Drow with their strange EEG god are all but forgotten.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Gwyddno Maolan
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(12/20/02 6:08:31 pm)
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Re: Thardy and his temple
There's also a weird temple in G1, in the area where the escaped orc slaves live. IIRC, it has some touches vaguely reminiscent of the Elder Elemental God stuff in G3, and could be linked in as another EEG-related site.

Gwyddno Maolan - Serene Master of Pain and... Forestry?!
Armsman: There's a Warden charging you.
Wizard: So?
Armsman: Just saying.

Trithereon
Here to stay
(12/21/02 5:33:08 am)
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Ghaundaur, Lloth and any other FR referrence
If you are setting your game in the World of Greyhawk then you can blissfully ignore any referrence to Ghaundaur for, as Siobharek pointed out, it is merely a Forgotten Realms thing.

And BTW it's spelled Lolth, not Lloth. At least, in Greyhawk that's how you spell the Spider Queen's name ;)

Some personal viewpoints regarding your questions:

1) Lareth the Beautiful, the new master of the Moathouse in the ToEE, was a 5th level cleric. His access to only 3rd level spells does not exactly make him a high ranking cleric by most standards. His past is not detailed but he is described as " ... the dark hope of chaotic evil - young, handsome, well endowed in abilities and aptitudes, thoroughly wicked, depraved and capricious. Whomever harms Larth had best not do it in the presence of one who will inform the Demoness Lolth!" By that account, I'd surmise that while Lareth was not a high ranking cleric he was, for what ever reason, favored of Lolth.

2) If Lareth is so beloved by Lolth then who among the drow are going to dare harm him? What dark elf is going to question the desires of their Demoness Queen?

3) Why indeed. He is the "dark hope of chaotic evil". Perhaps Lolth saw in him a great potential for evil but could not divine its ultimate purpose? IMC, I created a Prophesy of Unariq to help explain this. It was interpretted by the doomdreamers, after Unariq's death, that the Champion of Elemental Evil would rise from the ashes of the fallen temple. They first raised Hedrack but he was not the Champion. Hedrack in turn raised Lareth but has been rebuked by the disillusioned, ex-cleric of Lolth.

Edited by: Trithereon at: 12/21/02 5:34:29 am
MisterBrix
Looking around
(12/21/02 7:06:39 am)
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Re: Ghaundaur, Lloth and any other FR referrence
"If Lareth is so beloved by Lolth then who among the drow are going to dare harm him? What dark elf is going to question the desires of their Demoness Queen?"

I thought of jealousy and mistrust. At least the drows (a lá Salvatore and with regards to CE alignment) are full of intrigue. Progression through assasination, etc.. Most of the time drows think that they are by far superior to humans.
They may think that Lareth is an imposter or swindler.

Corran Webster
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(12/21/02 10:40:24 am)
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The Way I think I'll play it
I've been thinking things over, based on comments on this thread, and this is how I think I'll handle things in my campaign:

Tharizdun and the Elder Elemental Eye are one and the same entity, with EEE an aspect of Tharizdun. Tharizdun was imprisoned by the other gods eons ago, but as small group of his worshippers kept the faith. Eventually they discovered the black cyst underneath the Yatil Mountains, and built what is now the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. For centuries they tried to revive their god in the black cyst, but failed.

A few hundred years ago, a group of doomdreamers from the forgotten temple, discovered that there was a source of dark power associated with Tharizdun in the area of Verbobonc, and were led to the Crater Ridge Mines as an ideal base. Using the EEE cult as a cover, they set up the system of competing elemental temples to protect the true core of the sect. In the meantime, the cult in the Forgotten Temple fell into decline, and eventually failed, as the more active and ambitious followers left for the Crater Ridge Mines, and the older cultists died out.

Independently of this, drow, primarily of house Eilservs from the city of Erelhei-Cinlu underneath the Joten and Crystalmist mountains, discovered a number of ruined temples of Tharizdun/EEE (like the one under the Steading of the Hill Giant Chief), and chafing against the rule of more powerful, Lolth-worshipping noble houses, started to worship EEE. After some time, they came in contact with the doomdreamers in the Crater Ridge Mines, although they did not know the truth about the relationship between EEE and Big T.

With the help of his followers, Tharizdun led hints about the dark power source under what is now the Temple of Elemental Evil drop to the Demoness Zuggtmoy, as well as ideas about how to use it. The connection with Tharizdun was kept well concealed, and instead Zuggtmoy was led to believe that this was simply a source of "philosophical" evil with an elemental aspect. Acting as a patron for clerics chanelling this power, Zuggtmoy (later with Iuz' help), established the cults of elemental evil and built the ToEE to concentrate this power.

It was no accident that the ToEE had much the same organizational structure as the EEE cult in the CRM; nor that the symbology and trappings were almost identical. The clerics of the EEE from the CRM infiltrated and controlled much of the activities of the first rising of the ToEE, including the construction of the moathouse; and the symbology had to be very similar for the cult to actually access the power of the Elder Elemental Eye. A number of drow from their EEE cult became part of the leadership of the first rising of the ToEE as well.

Some of the more canny members of the elemental cults realised that there was something more going on with their leadership, but rather than suspecting that their cult was controlled by Zuggtmoy and Iuz (the easiest secret to ferret out), or by the cult of the EEE (much harder to discover), they leapt to the conclusion that the presence of the drow meant that Lolth was the actual power behind the temple. A small subgroup began worshipping Lolth in addition to the EEE, hoping that this would aid their rise in the temple power structures.

Following the first fall of the ToEE, agents of the EEE and of Lolth sifted through the wreckage and regathered some of the scattered forces to set the foundations of the second rising. With Zuggtmoy out of the picture, and Iuz not involved on a day-to-day basis, the EEE cult took a much more active role in the leadership of the second rising, and some of the top leaders may even have been aware that all of this was simply a front for Big T, and worshipped him directly. Although the stated goal was releasing Zuggtmoy from her prison, the leadership had no interest in this. Rather they were interested in how to access the power of the elemental nodes, and in finding the champion of evil that the doomdreamers had prophesied.

Promising young clerics, like Lareth, were initiated into the EEE cult to set up the next generation of leadership; and clerics of Iuz and Zuggtmoy, like Hedrack, were seduced into the cult. Lareth, as it happens, although a member of of the EEE cult at the time of the second rising, believed that Lolth was the power behind the EEE, and so also payed her respects. Hedrack quickly realised where the true power lay, and became one of the chief EEE clerics in the temple.

The low-level banditry which the second rising was using to finance its operations eventually attracted the attentions of adventurers, and the ToEE was thrown down a second time, this time the edifice itself being destroyed, and Zuggtmoy banished (and bound by Big T).

Shortly thereafter, the drow clerics of EEE helped sponsor an invasion of giants from the Crystalmists. The Lost Temple of Tharizdun was also rediscovered around this time.

The intervening years were largely spent with the cult in the CRM rebuilding their strength and researching exactly how to use the nodes to bring back Big T. The worshippers of Iuz are dead or gone to aid Iuz directly in other places; and the worshippers of Elemental Evil, Zuggtmoy and Lolth are wiped out or converted to worshipping the EEE.


In game terms:

* in the original ToEE module, clerics of the elemental temples are worshippers of the philosophy of Elemental Evil, and have access to the Chaos and Evil domains, as well as one of the Air, Earth, Fire and Water domains. They do not have access to the Madness domain. Ultimately, their power comes from Big T.

* worshippers of Zuggtmoy are cultists of the Elemental Evil philosophy, but with Zuggtmoy as their patron. They can access the Plant and Slime domains in addition to those available to the general followers of Elemental Evil. A number probably have the Thrall to Demon feat from the BoVD. Ultimately, their power comes from Big T.

* worshippers of Iuz have access to Chaos, Evil and Trickery domains. Most of these in the ToEE are outsiders (ie. not cultists of Elemental Evil) who were sent to help the temple reestablish itself. Their power comes directly from Iuz.

* cultists who also revere Lolth can access the Trickery and Destruction domains in addition to those of Elemental Evil cultists. Their power comes from both Lolth and Big T.

* EEE and Big T worshippers are as described in RttToEE. Ultimately, their power comes from Big T.

Obviously there are shifting allegiences amongst clerics of the various powers behind the ToEE. There is little penalty for a cleric who changes faith to one of their original faith's sponsoring powers (eg. an Elemental Evil cleric who changes to worship Zuggtmoy or EEE); when they formally switch allegience they will likely simply keep the same domains, but if they want to change their domains they will have to undertake some sort of quest, or make an appropriate sacrifice to the new power they worship.


I'm not an expert on Greyhawk, so this probably contradicts canonical sources in a number of places, but this is enough for me to do the conversions of characters from 1st Edition ToEE to 3rd Edition; and it weaves the facts from the various sources as I understand them into a whole.

As for MisterBrix's questions about Lareth, the way I've converted him from 1st Edition, is that I have him as a cleric of the Elder Elemental Eye with the Evil and Madness domains, just like in RttToEE. However he can see that the EEE is just a front for something deeper, but thinks that Lolth is the true power behind it. Hence he prays to Lolth as well. Lolth heeds his prayers because it gives her a potential agent inside the leadership of the Temple in the future, and she sees the dark power that he represents as the eventual champion of evil. Lolth would really like to swing the temple to be an organisation that works for her ends (although there is in fact very little chance of this happening).



Anyway, I hope this helps other people with the background of things for their campaigns.



Corran

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(12/23/02 9:21:49 am)
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Re: The Way I think I'll play it
Very nicely done, Corran Webster. Ties the elements together nicely.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

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