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Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(3/4/03 3:48 am)
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EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
My group passed through the Moathouse, killed Dunrat and crew, met Lareth, and has seen multiple Obex's but have still have no clue at all on the involvement of Big T. This is due mainly to failed Knowledge: Religion checks so far on the Obex, and the refusal to give Lareth a good enough bribe. But I haven't been in a hurry to rush things as per Thrommel's suggestion on clue progression in the BoB area.

Anyway, things will start to become clearer soon as they become more and more involved with the temples and other groups in the CRM. I'm doing a lot of work on personalizing the handouts, both as my own campaign background is non-Greyhawk, to work details out for myself, and to give more versimilitude. This along with thinking about what certain people will know if captured and questioned (I'm thinking particularly about the fire bridge now but it shouldn't be long before key elemental temple personnel are as well) has driven home the following questions to me:

1) I'm guessing that anyone such as Terrenygit who is wearing an Obex knows, but which obstensibly EEE clerics in the CRM know that EEE is really a front for Big T? Is it limited to only certain persons? Or is it pretty much common knowledge?

2) Some EEE clerics are clearly in the know, for example Tessimon with her letter from Hedrack. What exactly is their motivation in continuting to venerate elemental evil when they know the truth?

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/4/03 5:12 am)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
In the introduction to the various main areas in the CRM, it says that they know of the mysterious Doomdreamers. They know that they wield strange powers (I don't have my books with me, so I can't give the direct quotes), but I'd say that that would be all, unless they're actually toting the Obex around.

Most of the Elemental Priests just want to be king of the hill. If Tessimon wants more, she'd want to become a Doomdreamer. A desire perhaps born out of her short visit there.

I really don't think that the EEE priests have a clue about Tharizdun.

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

smetzger
Here for a while
(3/4/03 6:37 am)
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In the Know
I disagree with Siobharek. I think most EEE preists will know the truth. They have surely seen an Obex holy symbol on their superiors. The Knowledge Religion check is not that high to know its from Big T., plus I am sure they talk about the Doom Dreamers themselves.

Why would they continue to serve EEE if they know about Big T? Probably all they know is that the Doom Dreamers follow Big T and that its just a natural progression from EEE to Big T. You only 'graduate' to worshiping Big T, when you get accepted into the Inner Fane. Think of the whole cult as highly secretive with 'special' rituals and 'secrets' that only the higher ups know. One of the draws of the cult is climbing this latter of success and finding out what these 'secrets' are and then being able to lord it over the ones below you who don't know them.

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/4/03 6:50 am)
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Re: In the Know
But if the EEE priests "graduate", do they then switch deities and domain powers'n'all?

AKAIK there isn't any indication of that in the module.

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

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(3/4/03 8:02 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: In the Know
I don't think anyone but the doomdreamers realize that the EEE is merely a facet of Tharizdun. The best that a cleric of the EEE can hope for is to work alongside the doomdreamers, or directly for them, and never join their ranks. When a cleric of the EEE gets powerful enough, and the Triad decides that the cleric should join the ranks of the doomdreamers, then that cleric will be told of the connection and can then start worshipping Tharizdun without penalty. Now that the cleric knows the connection, though, I don't even think there is a need to 'change' deities to the worship of Tharizdun himself.

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(3/4/03 8:18 am)
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Re: In the Know
IMC, I decided that EEE is the more public aspect of big T and how most worshipers are brought into the cult. For most, it is easier and more natural to trust in the (concrete) destructive powers of the elements rather than fully grasp the (more abstract) abosulte dissolution intended by big T. I don't see switching to big T from EEE as some official process (they are CE after all), but not fully coming to this realization and accepting it will stop you from ever getting into the inner circle (in game terms, perhaps limiting the granted clerical powers [spell level, character level, etc.]).

Doing so would certainly bring about a change in focus (domains) away from the 'limited view' of a single elemental power. As for why that wouldn't be in the module, I would just counter that *most* adventures are usually intended to be a bit more static (i.e. no NPC progression) than that. With the length of RTEE, I suppose it opens the door for this though.

So, IMC, just about all but the lowest level peon clerics know about big T and have some inkling of what their true master represents. They still prefer to worship him in this 'other' aspect that big T allows/has set up. Worshipers (non-clerics) probably don't necessarily have this much insight, but there aren't a ton of them in the module anyway, so it probably won't come into play.

I had to do this IMC because I was having a hard time reconciling why the EEE clerics in the moathouse were working on the excavation there (I think I even opened a thread a few months back on it). And, as smetzger points out, they are working side-by-side with obex-wearing folk (superiors for the moathouse trek). The clincher for me when I was debating this was Geynor's journal coupled with the fact that he is an EEE worshiping cleric. He talks of the shrine as it being of the god he worships. With the obex symbol down there, if they were separate entities in his mind before, I think the wording would be different.

There is certainly a grey (pun intended?) area here from the adventure text though and I think someone (maybe even you Siob?) suggested removing all the obexs (obicies?) from the moathouse/Hommlet clerics. Doing that would resolve a bit of the juxtaposition issue early in the module, localizing it to the CRM where don't have to have a general solution since the big T clerics can be more secluded.


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errant42
Looking around
(3/4/03 11:56 am)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
IMC, it's more like Siobharek and Infiniti2000 say... Clerics of the EEE have no idea who the real power behind the cult is. The Doomdreamers are the mysterious inner circle of the cult, but no one outside of them knows that they serve Tharizdun (or even that such an entity exists).

Thus, I'm playing it much more secretive than is published... the PCs might not even figure it all out by the end of RttToEE (since the campaign will ideally continue after that). I didn't allow anyone a Knowledge: Religion roll to figure it out, and the Obex is just a mysterious symbol that they have assumed is a variation on the inverted triangle of the EEE.

Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(3/4/03 6:06 pm)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
Hi all, thanks for all the input.

While I do find it interesting the individual interpretations that people are putting on it for their own campaigns, I would like to focus the thread in on what the default is in the original module. I want to understand the default well before I make changes.

One thing I realized in reading the replies above is that the Big T knowledge actually breaks up into two smaller bits of knowledge:
1) That the clerics wearing the Obex are worshippers of Big T
2) That EEE itself is an aspect of Big T

It seems that Infiniti2000 and Siobharek are of the opinion that only the Doomdreamers realize #2. So do both of you think that it is common knowledge that the Obex wearers, and by extension nearly everyone in the fanes worship Big T? If yes, then isn't it a strange power structure for clerics who think they worship a different god to set themselves up around and take orders from clerics of a separate god? If no, then how to the Obex wearers explain their different powers/domains/holy symbol/prayers to the others?

smetzger posits that there is a graduation of sorts to the higher mysteries of the cult. Siobharek points out one concern with that, which is there is no indication of that in the module (however Hedrack and Lareth did "switch" deities in the intervening years).

But one problematic data point for both interpretations is Geynor Ton. Here is a worshipper of the EEE with Air and Evil domains, who from his journal knows a lot of the inner mysteries of the cult "Yours shall be the name we proclaim, Dark Lord, once we have breathed new life into your most deserved worship."

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(3/4/03 6:28 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
For that answer, you must review the nature of the EEE itself. Remember that most worshippers (particularly clerics) of the EEE know about the previous duplicity in the ToEE, whereby those worshipping Iuz, Zuggtmoy, and even Lolth were actually worshipping the EEE. They are very familiar with working with 'other' cults, knowing they are all part of the same source. However, in their insanity, they do not realize that this time the joke is on them. Everyone in fact worships Tharizdun.

Someone on the boards even speculated that perhaps some of the EEE clerics have learned the truth, but don't care. Perhaps Lareth knows what the real deal is and continues to worship the other facet. After all, the EEE is Tharizdun, so what does it really matter if you worship the EEE or Tharizdun directly?

errant42
Looking around
(3/4/03 7:01 pm)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
Yeh, the "default" status seems to be rather contradictory... which is why so many people have different views. In the prologue/history at the beginning of the module, it states that all knowledge of Tharizdun was stricken from history... in fact, the implication that I get is that the -gods themselves- did this.

However, identifying the Obex is a fairly simple task... most religious NPCs are listed as being able to, and even the PCs themselves get a relatively easy Knowledge: Religion roll, and only a slightly harder to get details. That just doesn't sound right to me... -Maybe- a Knowledge: Arcana, The Planes, or Ancient Mythology roll, all with very high DC... but Knowledge: Religion? The gods themselves wrote him out of history, so they're not going to teach about him in Cleric School.

The prologue definitely implies that clerics of the EEE don't (necessarily) know that they are worshipping an aspect of Tharizdun. It also implies that most of those who recieve power from him do so unknowingly, through various demon lords. However, much of the material in the module (including Geynor Ton's journal) suggests that they do know, and actively pursue his agenda (i.e. liberation).

So in short... it's up to you. Don't rely too much on the default, because it's just not clear.

Edited by: errant42 at: 3/4/03 7:17:07 pm
Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(3/4/03 7:50 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
"The prologue definitely implies that clerics of the EEE don't (necessarily) know that they are worshipping an aspect of Tharizdun."

Exactly my point, er, what I meant. The clerics of the EEE just think that those worshipping Tharizdun are merely deluded like the worshippers of Lolth, Iuz, and Zuggtmoy. They do not realize yet that the joke is on them now.

"Cleric School" :lol

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(3/4/03 7:57 pm)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
I believe the intent is best put by this quote from the introduction: "Clerics of the EEE are his clerics, although sometimes they do not realize it." It goes on to give the particular example of how the drow from the GDQ series were pulled in. This is echoed in the Appendix about the worship of big T/EEE. Someone pointed out many moons ago that the wording suggests 'worshipers' of EEE are truely unknowing but that clerics sometimes (often, rarely--you pick ;) ) know the truth. But this might be splitting hairs...

I think that MC did not intend there to be a clear cut division between EEE clerics not knowing the scoop and only big T clerics knowing. If you read the intro very closely, there are quite few places where the phrases "cult of Tharizdun" and "clerics of EEE" are used interchangeably, or at least by my reading, are hard to separate into two distinct 'factions'. I suppose that doesn't mean in and of itself that the "clerics of EEE" know that they are the "cult of Tharizdun", but there it is... :)

I think there is plenty of latitude, intended or not, to encompass all the variety here, though.


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Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(3/4/03 8:06 pm)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
I see what you are saying I2K but I think there is a huge difference between 1) working with two other religions/cults, and acting like the front organization for them when you are actually the "real" power, and 2) being totally obedient and submissive to the traditional leaders of your cult, who you know worship a completely different god.

I find it much easier to swallow if they don't know anything about T, and just think that their leaders know something they don't and have access to some mysterious font of power. I guess Geynor Ton and the other EEE clerics in the Moathouse were exceptions, filled in on the existence of T as they needed to know to carry out their mission.

errant42
Here for a while
(3/4/03 9:45 pm)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
That's how I've been playing it... except that -none- of the clerics of the EEE are "in the know," even the ones in the moathouse. Basically, only the ones who have Tharizdun-inspired dreams know the truth (i.e. the Doomdreamers, though not all of them have the PrC... basically, anyone who is a cleric of Tharizdun as opposed to EEE). And not even they know the -whole- story, just the bizarre, maddening fragments that come to them in dreams.

The way I play it, Tharizdun hasn't (and can't) directly contact them yet. It states that his remote locale keeps him from being able to directly send power to his clerics (which is why he uses various demon lords and princes of elemental evil... something like divine signal relays). And to know the full truth would shatter the mind of any mere mortal. The more they know, the more they lose touch with reason and sanity (and their Insanity score goes up).

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/5/03 12:02 am)
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Re: EEE cleric knowledge of Big T
...and a chirpy good morning from the time warp that is C.E.T. (Central European Time). I trust everyone had a Happy GM's Day?

Quote:
So do both of you think that it is common knowledge that the Obex wearers, and by extension nearly everyone in the fanes worship Big T?
Obviously I can only speak for myself, but no, I don't think so.

In fact, I doubt that the EEE clerics in general know what the Doomdreamers are. Or even care, for that matter. The Doomdreamers have power and live in an exclusive location. For the lucky few, they can get a snippet of that power (cf. Tessimon's arm and altar). That is all.

But Geynor Ton is a wrench in that respect. I suggest that he is not an EEE cleric, but a cleric of Tharizdun. An subordinate of Dunrat, perhaps? It simply doesn't make sense that a nobody like him knows so much and, say, Fachish would know squat.

Fortunately, my crew didn't think about it and wouldn't have a clue which clerics they've met worshipped what.

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

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