The Greater Temple (Dungeons of Elemental Evil #419)
Note: This information was taken from TSR's original AD&D adventure, the Temple of Elemental Evil.

For the DM: This area is normally guarded by 2 trolls and 2-3 gargoyles. Leaders of various races may also be present. During alerts, all the ogres and gargoyles (who lair here) will be here, commanded by all the human leaders, who prefer defensive positions behind the altar drape. Other guards will be stationed at each corridor.

This vast center of evil activity is impressive in its simplicity. The ceiling a full sixty feet overhead appears as if a quiet outdoor night sky, stars gleaming in their constellations. The walls are lined in smooth black marble or onyx, of such fine craftmanship that the joints can barely be detected.

Around the sides of the room, eight corridors lead off to the unknown. The walls of each corridor are painted a distinctive color; those to the south are brown, the next gray, then red, and the northernmost pair green. High on the walls between each two corridors are small flying buttresses -- a dozen in all -- and upon each, sitting nearly 50 feet above the floor, is the statue of a gargoyle, sitting and scowling down upon the room's occupants. These are real gargoyles, the aerial defenders of the Greater Temple. They serve the leaders to some extent, but are quite likely to attack without command, should they sight unengaged intruders. During any pitched battle in the Temple itself, however, their favorite tactic is to wait for opportunity and swoop to attack those already engaged, moving swiftly in from the defenders' rear and gaining a 1 in 3 chance of surprise (but only if their target is busy in melee).

Thirty feet north of the entrance is a series of broad steps, leading 5 feet upwards to a stone altar. Draped across the altar is a sheet of red silk, with the eight-pointed fire symbol embroidered upon it in golden thread.

Flanking the altar are two large pillars of gold, which reach to the ceiling far overhead. Each is made of common stone adorned by gold leaf. (Scraping the stone can produce 100 gp worth of shavings per turn.) Behind the altar is a glistening purple curtain, 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall, unmarked by any design.

The 10 foot wide walls beside the curtain bear ornate carvings of the four elemental symbols. Each such design is over 5 feet wide; those of earth and water (triangle and square) are to the left, the others to the right.

In the niches just north of the altar stand monumental statues, each 20 feet tall. To the left is a humanoid garbed in robes, with a horned and grinning skull head (luz). To the right is a monstrosity with a fat bulbous body, four elephantine legs, a long thin neck, and a tiny humanoid head surmounting the whole (Zuggtmoy).

In the corner behind each statue is a peep hole, used by those in the adjacent area (usually the human leaders) to watch these side areas of the Temple when the need arises. They can also view the area through the curtain behind the altar. These holes are of sufficient size (nearly an inch across) to permit spell casting or the use of devices (such as wands) through them, given the proper concentration and aim.

Altar Curtain

The curtain behind the altar appears to be made of a shiny purple ribbed cloth. It is, in fact, a cluster of six violet fungi bearing special enchantments. Unless pacified (by methods described below), they attack anyone approaching within 5 feet of the south side. Up to 24 tentacles may be produced at once, sprouting forth from the curtain in an instant, but only 6 can attack any one mansized target in range. Any hit, however, causes the victim to make a saving throw vs. poison; failure means quick rot. Anyone may easily push through the curtain of fungus, but doing so means that 3-5 tentacles hit automatically. The growths otherwise attack as if a 6 HD monster.

An unfortunate victim loses limbs to the rot at the rate of one per round; the torso rots last, and this causes immediate death. The loss of each limb causes the effective loss of 10% of the victim's total original hit points (rounded up), and this alone may slay an already-damaged victim. However, if a cure disease effect is applied within four full rounds of the hit, the victim's life may be saved. (A regenerate spell will re-grow any one limb and return the hit points for it at the same time.)

One great defensive advantage to the curtain is that those to the north of it (all the human leaders, in case of alert) can open it slightly to see through it. The curtain blocks all non-magical missile fire from the south side, but those to the north can fire from that direction with missiles or spells.

This horrid drape can be quieted only by the presenting of a special scarab inscribed with the letters TZGY. (One such scarab may have been found in the quarters of the evil traders in the Village of Hommlet.) If such a scarab is presented towards the fungi in a manner similar to that of a cleric turning undead, all waving or attacking tentacles withdraw, and the curtain can be easily passed in safety, parting just as would a normal curtain. Each human leader in this Temple area carries a scarab of this type.

Total immunity to disease prevents the fungi attacks from having any effect, of course. Resistances to poison also apply, but only as modifiers to the saving throw. The enchantments here are such that even total immunity to poison provides only a +5 bonus to the saving throw against the rot.

The enchanted fungi can only be damaged by certain spells or magical edged or piercing weapons. The drape is unaffected by any sort of blunt weapon (including thrown boulders) and all mind attacks (including charm and hold spells of all sorts). Missile fire cannot pass through the drape to the area north of it (though those behind can shoot through it to the south). The drape will appear to take only a few scratches from attacks which damage it, remaining completely intact and active until the whole is destroyed (all 100 hp), when it crumbles to a the floor in a loathsome mass. Once slain, the fungi do not cause rot.

Ceremonial Activity

The vestments on the main altar are changed to reflect the current Temple activities with respect to the Nodes and Elemental Planes. Creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire are now being summoned and sent to the Fire Node, as indicated by the red silk altarpiece. In the process of the ceremony, the fire creatures come forth from their Plane and arrive in area 427, proceed from there into the Greater Temple, and continue towards area 426, from whence they are sent to their proper destination.

This and similar ceremonies have been witnessed by all the residents of the area. Other elemental creatures from all the Planes have arrived over the past months, all in the same fashion. If characters manage to interrogate any captives, they should easily acquire a general description of this procedure, and should thus be able to deduce the locations of the more dangerous gates (those leading off to the Planes themselves).

Violet fungi curtain: AC 7, MV 0, HD 3 (x6), hp 100,
#AT 24, D rot, SA tentacles to 5' range, attacks as 6 HD,
SD magic weapon to hit, immune to blunt weapons and
mind-attack spells, AL N(E), SZ L (20' x 20'); XP 1110 + 4/hp

Gargoyles (12): AC 5, MV 9"/15", HD 4 + 4 (hp 3-8 per die),
#AT 4, D 1-3/1-3/1-6/1-4, SA + 1 bonus "to hit" and damage
when first swooping to attack, surprise on 1-3 when attacking
a victim already engaged, SD hit only by + 1 or better
magic weapons, AL CE, SZ M; XP 165 + 5/hp

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