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Here for a while
(1/19/03 5:42:07 pm)
The four sided statue
Was reminded of this by a comment in a thread on Lareth - what DOES the small statue in 32a mean? Answer in that thread:
"... give the PCs some insight into the Tharizdunian mythos and light the light of recognition in old-timers' eyes."

I read T1 and T4 a long time ago, but I've never seen any of the WG- series stuff... is this a reference to something out of the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun I've seen mentioned elsewhere? What exactly do these four aspects of Tharizdun represent? I've tried to think of parallels with the four elements (fire, water, earth, air) but haven't been able to work out what the specifics means (the wavy bladed sword, the lilac masks, etc), and anyway that seems more appropriate for the Elder Elemental Eye than the big T...

This isn't terribly urgent, as my players have largely forgotten about the statue, but it did bother me at the time - I had no understanding of this thing at all... any illumination appreciated!

Here for a while
(1/19/03 9:00:47 pm)
Re: The four sided statue
I broke down and bought WG4 from ($5, I think) to get the insider scoop on the few things from RTEE and to get some flavor of Gygax's big-T. The four-sided statue is indeed in there and is part of some complex worship device. The whole bit is a tad too long to post here, but here is the part where it states what each statue represents:


I've only skimmed it so far, so I don't have much more to add that would help an RTEE campaign...

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Looking around
(1/19/03 9:04:48 pm)
Re: The four sided statue
Yes, that is exactly where the 4-sided statue is from, WG4 (sequel to S4), as well as the Torch of Reaveling, the Incense of Dreaming, intense cold, Tentacled Rod I think, Black Thurible, etc. etc.

Still here? Wow.
(1/21/03 9:28:20 am)
Re: The four sided statue
A further "chime in" that this is great material for someone who wants to know more about "big T". RttToEE doesn't follow it quite lockstep, but it does come close.

If you decide to run WG4 as a side plot, I proposed the idea once that one of the other temples (Air or Earth) sponsored a group of faithful similar to the ones at the Moathouse, and the sole survivor of that group could be encountered making it's way back home to report in that they found it, map in hand.

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

Here for a while
(1/21/03 5:20:24 pm)
4-sided statue
I did something a tiny bit different with the statue.

The statues are representations of actual people, followers of Tharizdun in their human forms. Three of the faces on the statue correspond to Arinanin, Tilorop, and Vecna, while the fourth face is unrevealed. IMC, it belongs to a cleric of Tharizdun named Drovan. Sensing the eminent failure of his empire at the hands of the Binders, he sent Drovan off to seek the best means for his release. He is the last of the 4 empowered by Tharizdun directly.

The actual release of Tharizdun is being orchestrated by 4 nobles, who are funding the operation. THeir combined wealth is vast, allowing the temple access to nearly limitless financial resources. The noble Ardomere has convinced the other 3 nobles that they are descended from the 4 original worshippers of Tharizdun, and that their mission is to find the Black Scroll and release him from his prison. At first they agreed only through slight coercion, but the charisma of Ardomere and his ability to make things go right is enough to convince them that even if they do not share a greater destiny, he just might, and latching onto him would be a good thing in the long run.

Of course, Ardomere is Drovan. He has been biding his time, prodding the followers of Tharizdun in secret ways, but never involving himself directly until now. Drovan has created a magical disease, one that is highly contagious, and whose only goal is to spread madness. He is now ready to seek the Black Scroll that he lost long ago, but first he has released his disease in Hommlet, striking a match that could cause insanity to spread through the Flaeness. When the madness has spread sufficiently, he will effect the release of Tharizdun, who will feed off this madness and be unstoppable.

Problem for the characters: They currently possess the Black Scroll, and very soon, Drovan will want it back.

I used this background to extend my campaign into Epic levels, by making it a Planar adventure after the end of the Temple. I plugged in all 4 temples, so the adventurers will have to fight through all of them.

Here for a while
(1/21/03 6:01:38 pm)
Hm... was Vecna actually a follower of Tharizdun? I didn't think he was that crazy...

Looking around
(1/22/03 12:02:14 am)
Re: Vecna
Well, in the OJ material, Vecna learned of Tharizdun when he was still a young man studying magic at the elven king's court from an ancient text he found written by Tilorop in the days of the Suel Imperium. Tilorop apparently became aware of Tharizdun's faith secretly and convinced one of the great Suel houses (I forget which, Fruz maybe?) who later had their scion ascend to emperor to convert.

Here for a while
(1/22/03 7:16:34 am)
Alternate ideas
A few of alternate ideas on the statue that aren't mutually exclusive...

1) The four sides could be replaced (i.e. gigantic clue bat) by the evil elemental princes. A smaller clue bat would be to perhaps just augument the figures with a little bit of an elemental theme (Perhaps each figure wields an elemental sword... this provides a nice forshadowing).

2) The four sides all have the same face... that of Laerth the beautiful. For some funkiness, the faces are all distorted/overlapped by the four elementals. This would tie in nicely if using Laerth of the 4xhalf elementals.

Now for a little touch of extra oogieness

3) Once Laerth is declared the champion, the statue changes to each figure having his face, and the statue becomes increasingly purplish-black. As Laerth obtains the half-elemental templates the statue changes again (protraying that change as well).

4) Once Imix (or other prince) is released the statue changes (perhaps changing again after 3. above), to show the released prince.

If you're into cinematic cut-sceenes, imagine a certain uptight Priestess who just happens to be near (presuming its left in her care or where she might have access to it) the statue, perhaps studying it to determine a safe way to destroy it, at the moment it changes. Imagine her, momentarily, jumping up and down and screaming like a little girl before regaining her composure and some time thereafter casting Sending to let the PCs know what happened.

If you are feeling extra cruel...
Imagine Y'Dey accidently touching it during her hysterics (or in trembling fear if you don't envision her getting hysterical at seeing Lareth) and getting sucked inside, like a bad horror movie, as the statue further transforms (or maybe just acts like) a sphere of annihilation. Later that day it is Burne who lets the PCs know what has happened.

"It takes an uncommon mind to think of these things, Hobbes." - Calvin

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