No, not math class. :) I was just curious, and couldn't find a reliable source (maybe I just didn't dig enough here), but I'm running a party through G1, and for the first time (out of probably 8 times I've run it) this group is really taking interest in the buried temple, and the scroll tube found by the secret stairs.
From what it sounds like, the temple is dedicated to the Elder Elemental God. Is the symbol on the scroll tube (a triangle inscribed with a Y) Eclavdra's symbol, or that of the EEG? And is the EEG Tharizdun? I'm finding conflicting info!
Can anyone help? _________________ Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
EEG is Tharizdun according to Monte Cook and WotC in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Gygax on the other hand certainly meant for them to be separate entities.
They are not the same in my greyhawk world, as I think linking them together was a poorly thought out idea that didn't make a lot of sense given what we already knew of them. But that doesn't mean that they can't be in the same entity in another's greyhawk game (in fact I would postulate that the fact that "officialy" they are the same according to the current IP holder would dictate that they are the same in more peoples games then not).
Hm. Thank you for the answer. It does seem sort of 'tacked-on', making them the same. I think I'll be leaving Tharizdun out of it, then. Thanks agian! _________________ Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
While I had long treated them as different entities, I've now gotten used to the idea that they're the same. I like the idea presented in the Monster Manual IV that the Elder Elemental God persona was adopted by Tharizdun specifically to fool the Princes of Elemental Evil into becoming his unwitting pawns. The elemental aspect and entropy/madness aspect are integrated very smoothly in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, and the synthesis makes more sense, in my opinion, than assuming the elemental cult was purely the creation of Zuggtmoy and Iuz.
That said, I can't accept either Tharizdun or the Elder Elemental God that is presented in Monster Mythology or the Monster Manual IV as the patrons of House Eilservs; neither the idea of a fourfold elemental god nor an imprisoned god of ultimate dissolution seem to fit the character of the ambitious drow. As originally presented by Gygax, they revered a Cthulhoid tentacled being; elemental as in fundamental rather than elemental in the sense of the four classical elements. Fortunately 3rd edition provided us with a number of alternative ancient, alien entities to select from (it giveth and it taketh away). I think the Elder Evil Holashner from Lords of Madness, a ravenous, tentacled, burrowing creature the drow could have learned about through trade with the aboleth, would fit the GDQ series better - or perhaps Eclavdra sacrifices to a variety of alien entities inspired by contact with the aboleths, not limiting herself to one in particular as long as they offer her house an alternative to Lolth.
My personal point of view, therefore, is that Tharizdun is indeed the same as the being secretly worshiped in the bowels of the Temple of Elemental Evil, manipulating the elemental princes, Zuggtmoy, and Iuz like puppets in his pursuit of freedom (and I think this is inescapable if you're at all interested in using Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil without major alterations), but Tharizdun has nothing to do with Eclavdra's heretical cult. It makes sense to me that Tharizdun assumed a variety of guises in order to gain worshipers among those otherwise not inclined to revere a being committed to the destruction of everything, but there are plenty of elder elemental gods who have nothing to do with Tharizdun.
To answer the original question, the triangle with the Y on it is the symbol of the Elder Elemental God, the "Eye of Flame."
IMC, I haven't worried much about who the REAL elder elemental gods were. The one that seduced Eclavdra away from Lloth, however, was not a real EEG, but GRAZ'ZT, using the EEG trappings. Only later, after the fall of the giants, did Eclavdra realize what she was really worshiping.
For me, that allows the best reconciliation with the three or four different versions of Eclavdra that appear in the original GDQ, in ItE, and in the Gord novels. I don't know how this squares with the GDQ mega-module, since I haven't read that. I have about a two page post on this on the Greytalk archives, probably around 1996 or so... _________________ My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
ok, here i am to ask the same thing again..sorry guys, its so damn confusing!
-by wizard of the coast (the supposed "oficial" take on that, as wizards own the rights) tharizdun is a dark and forgotten god. his "aspect"/"avatar" is the EEG, also know as EEE.
- by gary, Tharizdun is a dark and forgotten god (he is so many other things, but lets keep it short), and the EEG is actually 3 alien gods (no relationship to tharizdun). the GH one is Vilp-akf ícho Rentaq. EEE was the name Zuggtmoy adopted to lure more minions, as by ToEE.
You're on target. Personally, I would take Gary's information on this matter over WOTC's. Why? 1) Gary created the god and should know what is going in with them. 2) Return to the TOEE is the first time I saw this connection leading me to believe it was made with either no understanding of the source material or a misreading of the source material or even, someone thinking it would be 'Cool' to have the EEG and Tharz be the same thing.
In other words, WOTC making them the same seems flawed. _________________ Agape,
2) Return to the TOEE is the first time I saw this connection leading me to believe it was made with either no understanding of the source material or a misreading of the source material or even, someone thinking it would be 'Cool' to have the EEG and Tharz be the same thing.
actually I believe it was just Monte Cook deciding that Greyhawk had to many "similar" ancient forgotten evil deities, and combining them to make the setting less complicated in his mind. I fully blame Monte for this, and though I do wish the editors would have reigned him back on this point, I don't think it was really WotC's fault (in fact I don;t think anybody at WotC really cared enough about greyhawk that much at that point to notice).
I think the deal, rather, was that Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil was intended as a homage to 1st edition modules in general, and Monte Cook wanted to fit in references to more than one if possible. It was his way of saying, "I thought The Temple of Elemental Evil was really cool, and I thought The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun was cool too, so this is my way of working both into the same module so that everyone can see how cool those other modules were."
Rather than making Greyhawk more simple, he made the Temple of Elemental Evil more complex. I don't think he cared about making Greyhawk simple - his job was to write a module, not rework the whole setting; whether the setting as a whole was complex didn't make a difference in his particular job. He worked the Princes of Elemental Evil and Tharizdun into a plot that previously only had Zuggtmoy as its chief villain.
The thing was that after I read that I started loosing interest in the whole thing. I tend to be fairly open minded on such matters but, this was one thing I just couldn't put together. _________________ Agape,
I think having a bunch of gods using various EEG's to hide behind is great exactly for the fact that it makes things more confusing. This seems to fit well with a bunch of Chaotic gods and powers who are trying to sway more worshipers their way.
The thing was that after I read that I started loosing interest in the whole thing. I tend to be fairly open minded on such matters but, this was one thing I just couldn't put together.
If it's not to your personal tastes, there's nothing that can be done about that, but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the concept. Because the Elder Elemental God was never associated with the Temple of Elemental Evil at all, before (in canon), it doesn't really change anything to say the creation was a conspiracy by an aspect of Tharizdun subverting the cult of Zuggtmoy rather than another, separate being subverting the cult of Zuggtmoy. Since Monte Cook invented the idea of another cult subverting Zuggtmoy's in the temple, it was his idea to do with as he wished; Gygax and Mentzer didn't really have any thoughts on the matter, since it wasn't a plotline they came up with. It seems to me that the identity of the patron of the Eilservs is a question entirely separate from the identity of the force behind the Temple of Elemental Evil.
I wouldn't think of it as two gods being combined into one, or of Gary Gygax's desires defied. It's an additional couple of layers of intrigue added to the Temple's background. There can still be, in your campaign, plenty of other elemental evils who have nothing to do with Tharizdun. The cult of Vlip'afkchu'Rentaq can still be active in the Underdark, and Zuggtmoy can be doing whatever else Zuggtmoy does. That doesn't make any difference to the module, which I think is quite good. I don't see why making Tharizdun's cult an influence in that particular adventure is necessarily a deal-breaker, regardless of what else you want to do with the concept of elemental evil elsewhere in the campaign setting.
Why's that? He's involved (or, rather, his servants are) in order to get himself untrapped. And raw elements go well with entropy, I think; the point is seeing the savage force of the elements dissolve, burn, and wear away all that is. Though really, Tharizdun wants to do away with the elements as well; it's just that his unwitting pawns the Elemental Princes of Evil don't know that.
is the Vilp-akf ícho Rentaq and the 3 EEG a invention of Gary or Cook?
Or the OJ#12 article part on Rentaq is a creation/ compilation of Paul Stormberg?
Just to clarify - and further complicate things - Tharizdun was created by Rob Kuntz (with the name Tharzdu-un or something like that) and adopted by Gygax later. The EEG was Gary's. Kuntz's version of Big T was very dissimilar to Gygax's as well, as seen in Dark Druids, the first installment in Kuntz's Tharizdun series (the rest have yet to be published).
As I recall (and I don't currently have my sources handy, so I could be wrong), Gygax never intended Tharizdun to be a part of the ToEE, instead intending to use his EEG instead. This was supposed to eventually lead into another series of modules - loosely related to the GDQ series - that never got written, much less published, and which was supposed to revolve around that mysterious deity.
Cook added Tharizdun to RttToEE because he was clearly confused about who the EEG really was - given that plenty of others have made the same mistake (including myself), I highly doubt this was done merely as an homage to past modules.
I believe it was Oerth Journal #12 (again, I could be wrong, since I don't have it handy) that posited a collection of "primordial deities" that included both Tharizdun and the EEG. In my campaign, that collection also includes the Oerth Dragon of Drachensgrab fame. All these primordials are apparently evil, which to me begs the question of who their good counterparts might be, if any. It also begs the question of where good came from if the "original sources" were only evil - but then, that's the kind of nitpicking that drives guys with theology degrees like me over the deep end.
Perhaps grodog could provide some clarification of these details, since he likely knows such things far better than I.
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