Temple of Elemental Evil Overview
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First, a warning to Paladins, without giving away spoilers. If you take on any of the quests in the Temple for the evil priests, beware that you will likely fall. Though it may sound obvious, sometimes it's easy to forget that performing evil deeds goes against your moral & ethical "code."

Do not read the rest of this overview if you do not wish to have spoilers about this last part of the game. Instead, skip the overview and begin with the Temple Exterior below it. This overview describes, in general, the steps you'll need to take to successfully solve the temple. For specifics, see the appropriate link on the navbar.

The Temple is dominated by four elemental sub-temples: Earth, Air, Fire & Water. Temple Dungeon Level 1, just below the interior is completely devoted to the Earth Temple. Dungeon Level 2 is subdivided into the three other sub-temples: Air, Fire and Water, with a small section devoted to the "Greater Temple" in the northern section of Level 2. It's easy to distinguish which temple you're in due to the color of the floor and walls.

Dungeon Level 3 is not devoted to any particular type of temple, but is your traditional dungeon... though it is somewhat more linear than the others. The purpose of Dungeon Level 3 is to have you find an artifact called "The Orb of Death," which is required to gain access to the last level, called "The Locked Level." Hence, acquiring the Orb is the only way to win the game (in most situations). There is an alternative storyline ending, and that's what I'll summarize here.

Within each of the sub-temples on both Dungeon Level 1 and 2, there is a High Priest of that respective temple: Romag of Earth, Kelno of Air, Alrrem of Fire and Belsornig of Water. Each of these priests will want you to complete three quests for them in order to be initiated into the Greater Temple, which is on Dungeon Level 4. You can do their quests in any order, and you can even attempt to do as many as possible for rival temples all at the same time. When you complete one quest for any temple, you're no longer required to wear the robes of that temple to remain peaceful with its inhabitants. Instead, you're a member.

In the Temple Interior (the ground floor) you'll find four chests. Inside each is enough robes to equip your entire party. Every chest has the robes of one particular elemental temple. One chest each for earth, air, fire and water. Even though they weigh 5 lbs. apiece, you should try and have each party member carry one of each color robe so that they can switch easily and not be attacked by the temple's inhabitants.

After you complete any three quests of whichever temple (or temples) you decide to side with, you'll be taken to Hedrack in the 4th level dungeon, who will have you do one more quest. If you complete that, you can be initiated into the Greater Temple if you want, and can end the game then, though you won't have the same ending as you would if you reject the Greater Temple.

Lining the left side of Dungeon Level 4 you'll find portals to each of the elemental nodes, each smallish dungeons with a "boss" at the end. Defeating the boss is pretty much your only way out once you enter, and they can be tough. A level 10 party is definitely recommended for these nodes. What's their purpose? When you defeat each boss, they'll drop an elemental gem of their kind. This gem has great powers, both individually and when combined into an artifact called "The Orb of Death," which you can find on Dungeon Level 3. The Orb is required to complete the game if you reject the Greater Temple initiation or do not beat all of the elemental nodes. There is an alternative way of getting each gem... though I'd definitely recommend the traditional fight to get perhaps the most satisfaction.... If you have a rogue, you can simply pickpocket the gems off of the guardians. Finally, the elemental nodes are not required to win the game unless you decide to leave the Orb of Golden Death alone, in which case you'll need to beat them all, and enter the last area via a doorway that opens up once that's completed.

When you get the Orb, you'll immediately gain access to a secret stairway that leads to "The Locked Level." You'll find the stairway at the throne at the very back of the Temple Interior. When on the locked level, either by doorway after the elemental nodes, or by the Orb (the easiest way) you'll meet an old woman. Your dialogue with the old woman will determine the ending.