Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > Researching the Temple
New Topic    Add Reply

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
Jesse Lowe
Human
(6/30/03 10:08 am)
Reply
Researching the Temple
My characters are going to be going to Verbobonc from the CRM fairly soon, and they've said they want to find out more about the Temple of Elemental Evil. Below are my notes on what I've got planned to be available for them, but I could use a little input.

First, what information _should_ be available outside the cult of Tharizdun itself? What blasphemous writings were discovered when the original temple fell, what secrets did the gods tell their trusted clerics, what did repentant cultists confess? Even though we're talking about a secretive cult, it's been around for quite a while and there ought to be a lot of material available. Of course, it's not necessary helpful material, or even true! ("The Cult of Elemental Evil is noted for its use of rabid weasels, trained from birth to attack the tender parts of their foes...") Offhand, I can think of descriptions of the cult of Elemental Evil from an outsider's POV, histories of the Elemental War, anecdotal evidence of the Madness domain, some tracings of other outposts of Tharizdun, and possibly knowledge of the Giants-Drow-Temple connection. Depending on the source, there might also be knowledge of Zuggtmoy's disappearance, or other things that might be useful to adventuring parties.

Second, _how_ should this material be available, and what do the PCs need to get it? At the moment I'm toying with some kind of book rules that would allow the player/character to formulate a question and then make a Knowledge check with a bonus from the source he's using. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what DC's I should set for what questions. Any ideas?

My notes (drawing heavily on the Verbobonc supplement posted a while back):
        It?s possible the characters will want to do a little looking up on the Temple of Elemental Evil. Verbobonc is a good place to do it, thanks to it?s unusual place in Tharizdun?s cult?s history, but a bad place thanks to the paranoid reaction the temple?s name produces. Should the characters be unwary in their research, they?ll have to talk to high-ranking clerics about it and submit to alignment tests. These should clear things, and they will receive cooperation.
        Locales of interest for doing this research include, but are not limited to:
----The Church of St. Cuthbert (old or new): Though the PCs are unlikely to get in, the church has records of the Temple of Elemental Evil, including depositions from Canoness Y?dey and Elmo. Should the PCs be amazingly helpful and diplomatic, they might even get a letter of introduction to Canoness Y?dey if they state an intention to go through Hommlet.
----Church of Delleb. General knowledge of the Elemental War and related topics can be found in the main collection; talking to Julia Fairfriend and convincing her of sincerity, good intent and confidentiality (plus a good-sized donation) can give access to the special collection. This special collection gives a +10 on Knowledge checks relating to the Cult and +20 on general ?evil? knowledge checks. Giving or allowing Julia to copy a rare tome also makes this easier.
----Betham?s Books: It?s possible but not likely that Betham has books that may help the cause. Finding something requires at least 2d4 hours of searching the collection. There?s a 25% chance of anything worthwhile actually being here.
----The Silver Consortium. As the home of Verbobonc?s mage?s guild, the library here is worth looking into. Although the staff aren?t as helpful as at the Church of Delleb, the collection is larger and more comprehensive. If the staff discovers that the PCs are searching for information on the Temple of Elemental Evil, they will notify the authorities immediately, and find ways to keep the party under surveillance until the matter is resolved. However, the Occult section does have several books that explain the history of the cult in some detail, and three comprehensive histories of the Elemental War can be found in the Public collection.

JRedGiant
Faen
(6/30/03 1:56 pm)
Reply
Adventurers logs?
I don't have the original ToEE knowledge to flesh this out, but it seems to me that some of the many adventuring parties that sacked the the temple to begin with may have kept journals, and some of those excerpts may be available in Verbobonc.

ZansForCans 
Faen
(6/30/03 8:11 pm)
Reply
Re: Adventurers logs?
I've tried to follow much of the 'recorded' Greyhawk history IMC, with minor fills here and there to patch things together. Some of this repeats your own thoughts, but I'm just core dumping ideas here :)

The first rise and fall of the ToEE was a huge ordeal and the knowledge of the external events should be ingrained for everyone who has spend more than 5 or 10 years in this area (Verbobonc, Veluna, & Furyondy). The inner workings of the Temple were probably not well documented or understood during this campaign. It was driven by large armies and the razing of the ToEE and moathouse were likely fast and furious, led by very destructive magics. Remember that Zuggtmoy was imprisoned at the end, so there was likely little deep exploration of the place at that time. With Iuz's involvement likely well-established by those in the know, much of the rationale behind the rise of the Temple may have been attributed to a tactical move by him to flank the three states. Some may have even considered it a very early prelude to the Greyhawk Wars themselves, if his hand was indeed the driving force. One can only wonder what the result would have been had the Temple been allowed to flourish until Iuz moved openly.

The second rise and fall are known to commoners only in the myths, legends, and rumors that have grown through bards' tales over the last decade or so. IMC, a single adventuring group was responsible for the assault on the ToEE and the destruction of the lower levels. They worked closely and were aided by the NPCs of the original module, all of whom were agents in some way or another of the 'good' states. With the slower cleansing of the Temple and a stronger desire for the truth, much more was found out about the actual workings of the Temple. However, these facts are not widely known at all, but Y'dey is likely to be the single most important source of first-hand information aside from the adventurers themselves (IMC, they are currently out of the picture). Elmo may know some, but he was more of an outsider than his brother, having been stationed in Hommlet. Certainly, there is likely to be recorded information from her and perhaps the others at the strongholds of St. Cuthbert in Verbobonc. I can't see how they would not be closely guarded secrets of the order, however. Any inquiry without substantial backup (or references to Y'dey, for example) would be met with extreme suspicion.

What I have allowed to leak into character's knowledge from these two events are very basic ideas about the workings of the worship of the Elemental Eye: the idea that there are four distinct worship groups, each corresponding to a major element; that they did not get along with each other and evidence abounded that they frequently clashed within the Temple itself amongst themselves; the names of a few of the higher ranking NPCs in the Temple, and if pursued, some basic information about their role in the Temple (as could be gleaned by an adventuring group at the time).

I used their encounter with Lareth to introduce a few more insider things that outsiders would know be able to know, but that foreshadow things to come in this adventure. For example, he was enamored with the cleverness of the Temple clerics' subtle ways to gather clerics of other evil deities and convert them to working, if not worshiping, Zuggtmoy. Those that excelled (him included), were eventually privy to the fact that she was but a pawn in the affair, guided through her own illusions of grandeur and lusts for power or through indirect manipulation of Iuz, who thought he was infiltrating the power of the Temple through his secretive help and overtures to her. Both were, of course, wrong.

As he was brought under the wing of those above him, he learned that the true power lie through the EEE, from which the clerics of the Temple actually drew their own divine might. And these clerics were the ones that aided Zuggtmoy during the first rise and drove the power rise during the second rise (under the guise of freeing her). Lareth knew of this ruse to channel her power and leverage her influences without ever releasing her. What he only began to grasp a hint of before he was killed, risen, and abandoned was that there was a focus to the drive of the second rise beyond the thirst for power that lured so many of them in. They, those truly in control, were searching for something. Something beyond the power of the great EEE. He never had direct evidence for what that was, but his long isolation and brooding in Nulb and years of careful divination has given him enough to piece together all he saw and experienced there. He knows the true power he served. And he has come to terms with it...

OK, so now you can see part of my suggestion in your other thread that IMC, the Lareth encounter was really useful from both as a role-playing opportunity and a past-present-future link. Anyway, you can leak bits and pieces of this through writings recovered by the adventurers. Perhaps they had other links to Verbobonc besides the Cuthbertians, which would allow you to spread out the information a bit more than the direct history might suggest.

Although it takes a lot more time, I tend to reward good information gathering role-play that is directly related to the plot more directly than using die rolls. In your situation, they may be setting up important alliances or tipping off hidden foes that could be important later in the campaign. I tend to save the rolls for gathering more tangential material. For example, I decided to fix exactly what Yether and Y'dey knew about EEE and big T and had reasons or triggers for when and why both might divulge details. YMMV...

My campaign site has some bits (under the Information topic) gathered from the original adventure and from the intro of this one that I used as preface for my players. They might be useful if you don't have ToEE handy...

Whew! Sorry to go on so long... you caught me on a dumping night :) Hope this helps a little...


Group Editing & Authoring Support
flexible campaign management for the web
info :: demo

lightnng
Faen
(6/30/03 8:54 pm)
Reply
Re: Adventurers logs?
I just want to note how absolutely awesome Matt's site is... I borrowed tons of stuff of it for our own campaign, with no more than minor modifications at times. I particularly recommend reading the first couple of session logs, the dialogue between Elmo and Y'Dey is not only brilliant, but easily used in any RttToEE campaign. My players have really enjoyed my "playing" it, and it set Elmo and Y'Dey in their minds in such a fashion as I never could have achieved just winging things.

Great stuff.

His background piece is truly fantastic. If you want, you can also download a slightly modified, more generic (basically trimmed down to fit any campaign world, such as FR) version of it on our site.

ZansForCans 
Faen
(7/1/03 8:00 pm)
Reply
Re: Adventurers logs?
:o Thanks for the kind words!

I can't take much real credit for the background though as it's mostly a copy & paste from bits of ToEE and RTEE. My only real contribution there is the the divulging of what happened during the second fall in my campain's history.


Group Editing & Authoring Support
flexible campaign management for the web
info :: demo

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -



Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.3c
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.