I was rereading this module the other day, and I read Gary Gygax's comment that while players of lesser skill may cleanse the temple of evil (by which he means the mountain giant Groorg and his minions), truly skilled adventurers would discover the Horn of Dread Tharizdun, the robes, torches and other paraphernalia, and eventually penetrate into the Cyst to find the book that was the Lament for the Lost Dread Tharizdun, which is apparently the true objective of the adventure.
My question, though, is why? Why would the adventurers go to all the trouble of penetrating the Cyst to retrieve Dread Tharizdun's artifacts? What good would come of it? The Temple is repeatedly described as unnerving, disturbing and outright evil, and players who penetrate too far risk insanity and madness, so why on Oerth would any adventurers seek to penetrate the Dark Lord's temple?
To my mind, a band of good-aligned heroes would simply settle for killing Groorg and his minions and freeing Gnome Vale from their intrusions, possibly looting the dungeon level (particularly the large fortune in gems in the tombs of the priests) and leave Dread Tharizdun's relics securely buried. To actually attempt to retrieve the Dark Lord's true artifacts would be a tremendous act of evil, anathema not only to beings of good, but also beings of evil who would themselves suffer from the madness, entropy and hate that the Dark Lord represents.
Does anyone have any idea why the adventurers would do this? I, quite frankly, am stumped.
I'd like to speak from the perspective of my players who were running their character's through the Cyst. The adventurers in them wanted to find the reason for the temple's existance deep in the mountains. None of them thought it was Groorg who made the temple and they sought out the reasonings for it's existance.
Heroic adventurers might also think in the same manner. The Cyst is not native to the area in appearance, so it might be disconcerting to live so close to such an evil structure. Think about the villages outside of the mountains. It might be a burden to live so close to a place which hides itself in already haunting moutnains. If the people could decern a reason for the existance of such a place (and evetually, perhaps its destuction), it might make the populace feel more secure in their knowledge. And who better to discover these secrets? Adventurers of course!
~O _________________ Prince Omote Landwehr, Holy Order of the FPQ ~ Castles and Crusades Society
My players will almost always, when playing good, view anything like that as "stuff we cant allow to be lieing around because if we can get it so can the baddies".
They will almost always take stuff like that and find a blacksmith/alchemist with a forge, melt down a ton of lead place the "item" in a metal frame and encase it in lead. Myself and past dm's always use lead as the you cant see thru it or pass extra-dimensional thru it type of metal.
And so after that they will find a nice deep sea channel or church vault to toss it into.
You have to also understand Gygaxs mindset concering the game, he was a strategic player whose roots are in war gaming, not role playing, so his intrepretation of what a skilled group of adventurers would be may very a bit from other gamers.
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