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    Old vs. New Wee Jas
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
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    Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:16 am  
    Old vs. New Wee Jas

    Taking whatever canon positions you prefer (Folio, LGG, GVD, SKR, etc), please discuss the following.

    A Suel temple of Wee Jas that closed on the cusp of the Twin Cataclysms (i.e. over a thousand years old) is discovered far from civilization. This is back when she was a Suel-only deity, and (maybe) before her Death portfolio (if you use those terms). Regardless, let's assume Things Have Changed.

    The Scarlet Brotherhood is fighting the adventurers for whatever's in there, so we know their stance. (I've already designed the adventure, just trolling for other ideas.) The adventurers currently have a good relationship with Wee Jas, though none worship her.

    What is found? How is it protected? What is (are) the modern church's attitude(s)? What is the goddesses attitude? Her Suel and non-Suel followers? What happens when the adventurers who open it plunder it? Will there be some kind of tit-for-tat with the modern church (You don't talk about our history, and we'll do X for you)? Maybe something more sinister (They know about our shady past!)? Anything else?

    Telas
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:06 pm  

    Something that has been discussed infrequently at Greychat is God vs. Church. The setting of this adventure may be an excellent place to play this dichotomy out.

    Historically in Greyhawk, we have discussed Gods... who they are, what they do, what they know. It is a very Olympian setup. However, as DMs and fans of the setteing we discuss the often conflicting interpretations of the dieties (and I can think of no better example that Wee Jas) we ascribe the conflicts to either the god, or the author. This often results in vain attempts to reconcile various views of the gods, or in flame wars in forums like this one.

    To me this is a little non-sensical. It is enjoyable to craft the nature of the gods and do a little world building; however, that has already been performed by EGG and his various successors. So, we the authors revise the gods and argue. It seems to me that the equation is incomplete, particularly in a world where the gods are not omniscient.

    The equation should include the followers, but they seem to be the overlooked component in most discussions. Telas your adventure idea brings it to the fore. I would suggest the following:

    If this were my adventure, Wee Jas would not care that the followers are not Suel. She would not have cared 1000 years ago that they were not Suel, provided they followed the rites she proscribed, and they worshipped her. She would, however, covet those items and artifacts from here temple, and wishes them to remain in the hands of her followers.

    Initially she does not lend a hand on either side. However, if a follower is killed using divine magic she supplies, then she interceeds by preventing a devout follower from being harmed with her magic. This would probably give the SB an advantage, though they may be after the artifacts because they are Suel, rather than because they worship Wee Jas.

    If the carnage continues she may send down a lawful outsider to attempt to mediate between her followers... or to slay the defilers. The squabbles amongst the differeing views of Wee Jas could (and I think should) be the principal focus of the adventure. This may well end up in a non-typical role playing experiance where both sides attempt to parley for long periods. Arguments could rage for extended periods over who is the most righteous in their pursuit and goals. It could easily bleed over into arguements of who has the blessing of Wee Jas.

    Clearly this works better if your characters are followers of Wee Jas. It also would be helpful if they like political intrigue. However, even if they do not, this could kick off a broader debate around which a campaign could be crafted. If all the resources of Wee Jas clergy and followers (more than a few magic users), there could be conflaguration, or even a crusade.

    If there are no followers amongst those present (the SB worshipping someone else) the outsider may bring a patriarch from an area where she is worshipped heavily. He may just stroll in and claim the loot after it has been saved.

    You pose the question of what is found? Does it really matter? It could be a shard of animal bone, but the devout will put it in a reliquary and carry it through out the land. A few simple nails left over from construction could become high religous artifacts. The adoration that such items may receive could charge them with true magic. An ancient priests vestment could easily be something more.

    If it were me, I would have no significant loot, and no guardians. Or I would have both in limited supply. The primary treasury might well be intact, and have some valuables. But the threat and the danger would be in a SB band and maybe merceneries that they hired.

    Maybe a half dozen different parties show up to stake a claim: The SB, the players, a representative of the Temple in Niole Dra, on from Greyhawk, one from Veluna, and others from other locations. They are all well financed and well equipped. Their equipment is the party's plunder.

    The possibilities are intiguing. Telas, is it an adventure you might post? Sorry for the meandering reply.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:27 pm  

    Actually, I've got most of it done, I'm primarily curious as to what others think the reaction will be of Wee Jas and her faithful.

    SPOILER ALERT: My group better not be reading this. You know who you are.

    The SB openly worship the old Suel gods, but the party's found some evidence of Tharizdun's hand in their doings. This remains a subject of some mystery to the party.

    The party has (after a bad start) made friends with a tribe of goat-men nearby, who apparently descend from Suel thrall. Despite their limited intelligence and culture, they do not want the Old Masters (Suel) returning.

    The temple is high in the Hellfurnaces, on a node of geomantic power. It's empty and sealed, but an Ogre Mage and clan of Hobgoblins camp outside in the remains of a monastery (hint). The last of Wee Jas's faithful sealed the doors and locked themselves inside a thousand years ago (hint).

    Various fun things will follow, none of which I will get into... yet. However, some of them tie directly into how Wee Jas used to, and currently does, view things like (coff) undead.

    Long, rambling replies are great... it's like a frozen brainstorm. I do like the imperious "How dare you!" approach.

    Telas
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:33 pm  

    Telas, this sounds really good.

    Following from your hints I'm guessing that if the followers who sealed themselves in now some kind of creature that might be considered abominations by Wee Jas she probably would be pretty happy if the party cleaned the place out. If they do something stellar like have a priest of Wee Jas reconsecrate it then it would really put them on her good side. If Tharizdun is involved with the SB competitors, even without their knowledge, I'd be of the opinion that Wee Jas would not look on them favorably, even if they do ostensibly pay her homage. Nobody likes that guy.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:23 am  

    I've played up some of the Tharizdun connection to the SB as well. The Scarlet Brotherhood book makes allusions as to there being a faction of the SB that is looking for info (at the very least) on Tharizdun. If I recall correctly this faction is called the Black Brotherhood (which I also inserted an outpost of in the Forbidden City adventure in Hepmonaland). One thing I had them do is act as a foil to the higher level pcís in my campaign, which began with a renegade pc who joined the SB and further linked through the Slave Lords. The pcís had gone through the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun adventure and got hold of a couple artifacts that they brought forth. While resting in a nearby cave they were ambushed an SB group that had been tracking them and the artifacts were taken. Iíll not name the artifacts here, but they were the ones in the most hidden of places in that adventure, plus another unique one I created myself.

    Nobody knows exactly what this group is up to, but they fear the worst. I donít plan on the group pursuing the release of the Dark God, but rather they are looking for a way to harness His power, if possible. Of course, there is always a glitch; that glitch being a group of insane maniacs within the Black Brotherhood that actually seek the Dark Godís release. This later group is just there to mess with things though, not that they will ever actually succeed.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:28 am  

    I've always looked at Tharizdun as far more subtle (and therefore powerful) than he's usually given credit as being. Think of the computer Neuromancer in William Gibson's novel; it subtly moved people through small manipulations into doing things they never otherwise would.

    The chaos, anger, and outright hatred after the Twin Cataclysms, along with the secretive and backstabbing nature of the SB provided an opening for him at the highest ranks. The bulk of the Brotherhood does not know this, but were one to do an audit of their operations over the last thousand years, one would find a significant percentage dedicated to promoting T or his return.

    To that end, the SB are very active in the Yeomanry, trying to "sanitize" any early records of their history.

    Telas
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:35 am  

    I am rereading the Illiad and it is very interesting the interplay of the gods and mortals. Early in the work Achillies is ready to strike down Agememnon for the Kings pride and greed. His hand is stayed by Athena who "values both," men.

    The interplay of gods and men in the Illiad could provide an interesting dynamic for your game. After all, you may have two groups that Wee Jas values. And how interesting it could get if her Avatar came down and spoke to them.

    Just a thought.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 28, 2006
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    Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:57 pm  

    Telas,

    There are several points to consider about Wee Jas and whether she cares about this temple or not:

    1) Omnipotence: By the very nature of there being more than one god in Greyhawk, the gods cannot be omnipotent. If they were all knowing they could not keep secrets from one another and most of the canon conflicts we see with the gods would not be possible.
    This would mean that Wee Jas might not notice her temple being invaded. Especially if there has been no active worship in over a thousand years.

    2) Consecrated Ground: If the hidden temple is still consecrated to Wee Jas on the other hand she might have some connection to the place and would be more likely to notice something disturbing her temple.

    3) Nature of the Temple Guardians: If the undead followers of Wee Jas are Lawful and are there with her blessing or she didnít care at the time (remember she didnít have her death portfolio until after the Twin Cataclysms), then she might still have contact with them. If they are Chaotic or she repudiates them in general then she may not care much at all as they have profaned her temple. Or, she might favor those that cleansed her temple of them.

    As for what the modern temples of Wee Jas would think about the invasion of this ancient site would wholly depend on what the PCs do.

    If they sack the temple and show no respect and word gets back to them they might be upset.

    It would also depend on what is housed in the temple. If there is a relic or early temple history hidden there they may want it and look unfavorably on those that keep it for their own gain.

    The Scarlet Brotherhood (SB) is probably the most dangerous opponent to the PCs. If there is a worshiper of Wee Jas or worse a priestess of her faith with them, they might have greater favor or be able to call upon their deity when entering the temple site. Wee Jas is not going to worry about SB dogma so long as they worship here appropriately.

    Just some ideas.

    Bryan Blumklotz
    AKA Saracenus
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 23, 2002
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    Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:17 am  

    I thought this would be a thread on the differences between Wee Jas in 1e and 3.5. Boy was I wrong!

    Anyway, I would say focusing on her vanity and magic portfolios would be key. Treat it like a temple to Boccob, only more structured and a bit more decadent. Lots of magical treasure and art objects of obscene value to be found.
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