Nodes of Elemental Evil
Note: This information was taken from TSR's original AD&D adventure, the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Nodes of Elemental Evil
Nodes of Elemental Evil
Air Node

Within the Air Caverns, the atmosphere is cool and windy. The relatively constant 60 degree temperature (F) is comfortable to all herein, but the winds range from mild gusts of 10-20 mph to full gales of 100 + mph. The environmental damage is due to dust, pebbles, and other debris blown by the winds.

Those arriving in the air caverns appear on a plateau atop a central spire, standing 200 feet above the floor level and reaching to within 50 feet of the cavern's roof. A steep slope down spirals widdershins from the peak.

Light seems to come from the ceiling of the cavern, casting a soft twilight glow throughout the area. The visibility from the peak is fair; many cave entrances can be dimly seen in the distance. Dense clouds of random shapes and sizes drift in the great cavern. Though they are constantly pushed and torn by the winds, they do not disperse easily. At floor level, however, visibility varies widely. When necessary, the DM may roll 2d4 to find the number of map squares (each 50' across) visible in any one direction, but this could change in a short time, possibly only a round or two.

The slopes, stairs, and caverns themselves are hewn of solid rock, apparently by very good craftsmen. All surfaces are strewn with rubble, an occasional bone or bit of lost, worn equipment, and an infrequent shallow pit or landslide.

Though most of the Air Caverns are dry and fairly mild, some are dotted with pools of icy water, with frozen lumps on the walls. These caves are even cooler towards their northern ends, where part of a glacial outcropping can be seen.

Earth Node

The Earth Burrows are dark and slightly damp--a typical cave-dungeon setting. The temperature is a constant 45 degrees, with little or no air movement. The environmental damage comes from the ever-present heavy dust in the air, and from occasional rockslides, minor cave-ins, and so forth.

Those arriving in the Burrows appear in the center cave, a large broad area 50 feet tall at its center tapering to only 10-20 feet at the side corridors.

The corridors have no light, and the dusty air permits only half normal range of sight, whether normal or infravision. Slopes are few, and the stone is dug out, rather than worked.

Fire Node

The rooms and corridors of the dreaded Fire Pits are humid and hot--so hot that the subsequent environmental damage is inflicted over periods of exposure. The areas are lit, either dimly or brightly, by the occasional pits of burning embers and leaping flames, as noted on the map.

Those arriving here appear in the central room, faced with a choice of eight doors. They, and all other portals in the Node, are large stone constructions with brass fittings. They stick frequently (-1 penalty to all 'open doors' rolls), but are edged by ample cracks which allow fire creatures and others of mutable form to seep through them even when closed.

The rooms and corridors, hewn from the surrounding rock, are well-made, perhaps by earth elementals or magic. Many surfaces are scorched and scratched, but few are chipped. Bits and scraps are rare, only found in small piles and singed on the upper side.

Water Node

The Water Maze is a great indoor ocean, a magical place suitable to both salt and freshwater beings. The ceiling of the great cavern casts a soft moonlight-bright glow. From the central pool, one might imagine the place to be a tropical atoll; but danger lurks throughout.

The air is changeable, once a lilting warm breeze and then suddenly a chilling draft. Swirling eddies in both the water and the air produce sudden changes in waves at any time. Mists rise from the water, adding an air of mystery and suspense to the visually peaceful setting. But it is these oddly tinted mists that poison the very air, causing the given environmental damage to the unprotected.

The depth of the water varies widely but averages about 50 feet. The dozens of craggy islets reach 10 to 80 feet from the surface, stretching towards the cavern roof far overhead (100-150 feet up) like pointing skeletal fingers. Icebergs dot the coldest part of the water, mostly to the northeast corner of the map.

Newcomers to the Node land asplash in the central pool area, which is only 10 feet deep and protected from most of the sea dwellers by a coral reef. Some few small scavengers might be lurking therein, but they will probably avoid a group of nervous humans.

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