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The Elder Elemental God / Tharizdun

 
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StylinLP38
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:22 pm    Post subject: The Elder Elemental God / Tharizdun Reply with quote

Could someone provide a little clarification between the canonfire article "Gods of the Flanaess: The Elder Elemental God" and the "Dark Druids" module?

I just bought the latest version of Dark Druids and read the notes of what is to come some day. if ever. But I am trying to put together sense of Tharizdun and The Elder Elemental God and this Dark Duke that module mentions.

Some threads state that the Elder Elemental god is one and the same as Tharizdun. But this article states that this is a completely separate entity.

Quote:
One theory is that the Elder Elemental God is one of the original horrors that threatened the Oerth under the command of the Dark Lord, Dread Tharizdun.


Quote:
Another theory holds that the Elder Elemental God is in fact one of the demons that was vomited up by Dread Tharizdun along with the devils and daemons that would eventually come to control the lower planes.


Quote:
Yet another theory says that the Elder Elemental God was itself formed from the elements themselves by the madness and evil that existed among the gods and mortal creatures like humans


But the theory I read on Grogdogs site mentioned this:


Quote:
Cult of Tharizdun: With little organization and no unified leadership, the Cult of the Elder Elemental Eye has never reached its full potential. Still, its members work tirelessly, clandestinely seeking ever more power for their evil patron. Their ultimate goal is to bring the Chained God into the world— a event that would be catastrophic for the entire cosmos.

Tharizdun has either always been the hidden force behind the cult of the Elder Elemental Eye (in which case the Elder Elemental Eye doesn't exist), or that Tharizdun's cult has been using or manipulating worshipers of the Elder Elemental Eye for their own purposes (which leaves them as separate entities).


Also, the information about Greyhawk Dark Elves state the following:

Quote:
Some drow, especially of the House of Eilserv, worship a nameless Elder Elemental God (said to have ties to Tharizdun) instead of Lolth. Erelhei-Cinlu is ruled by eight drow noble houses, split between worship of Lloth and the Elder Elemental Evil. Elder Elemental God is actually just a guise adopted by Tharizdun in order to gain the loyalty of the Elemental Princes of Evil.
- In 1st edition AD&D, the only gods noted to be worshiped in Erelhei-Cinlu were Lolth and the Elder Elemental God.

- However, it's said that drow elves worship other demon lords as well, with Lolth only being one example as such.

- In the Gord the Rogue books, after the Elder Elemental God is revealed to have been a hoax perpetrated by Zuggtmoy and Iuz, those formerly loyal to the Elder Elemental God turn to the worship of Graz'zt instead.


Tharizdun [Deity]
(Master of Malevolence, Dark One, Slumbering One, He Who
Slumbers, He Who must Forever Sleep, Great Destroyer, Ultimate One,
Ultimate Darkness, Ultimate Evil, Ultimate Foe, Ultimate Woe,
Unrelenting Darkness, Utmost of the Netherworlds, Absolute
Darkness, Biophage, Blackest One, Dark One, Darkest of
Abominations, Great Evil, Great Master of Evil, Him of Utter
Darkness, Master of Malevolence, One Who We Will Not Name,
Slumbering One)[/quote]
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall the EEG being revealed as hoax in the Gord the Rogue books (citation?). So far as I know, the EEG wasn't a hoax - the Elemental Cults of the Temple of Elemental Evil were a hoax, as they were not about serving the interests of evil elemental powers, but of Iuz and Zuggtmoy. The various Elemental Temples were just a facade; acting as vehicles to appeal to a greater variety of evil followers. That may be the hoax that is being referred to.

As to the EEG and Tharizdun, they are distinct and independent powers. One is not pretending to be the other, nor is one an aspect of the other (so far as I know/am concerned).
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
I don't recall the EEG being revealed as hoax in the Gord the Rogue books (citation?).


Artifact of Evil, page 92.

"The drow were of some help. These dark elves had abandoned all service of the supposed Elemental Evil—that had been his and Queen Zuggtmoy's ploy anyway. To imagine that anyone could swallow the concept filled Iuz with fiendish delight! What was more chaotic indeed than the ravening elements? At least a quarter of these nighted drow now served Iuz, much to the dismay of their mighty demoness mistress."
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: The Elder Elemental God / Tharizdun Reply with quote

StylinLP38 wrote:
Could someone provide a little clarification between the canonfire article "Gods of the Flanaess: The Elder Elemental God" and the "Dark Druids" module?

I just bought the latest version of Dark Druids and read the notes of what is to come some day. if ever. But I am trying to put together sense of Tharizdun and The Elder Elemental God and this Dark Duke that module mentions.

Some threads state that the Elder Elemental god is one and the same as Tharizdun. But this article states that this is a completely separate entity.


As the guy who wrote that Gods of the Flanaess article, I'd advise you not to try and look for consistency between anything I write and canon. Aside from the EEG and Dread Tharizdun not being the same entity (as Gary Gygax once said on a message board), and incorporating the GDQ series plot, I pretty much made up most of what is in the article, including on the EEG's origins. I did not do any research in other sources.

Long story short-don't go trying to reconcile my work with established canon. I incorporate what elements of canon I like and toss out the rest. For instance, Duke Ehyeh of Tenh gets a far better depiction in my work than he did from Woesinger in the Dust series for the Living Greyhawk campaign.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pet theory is that the Elder Elemental God is Gruumsh.

- Both have the same unholy symbol, a single flaming eye.
- Both are mighty creator gods banished after a battle with the gods of good.
- The orcs represent him as a giant orc, but this is not his true form. He is something much older.
- I assume that many of the creator gods of monstrous races (goblins, giants, dark dwarves, etc.) are aspects of the Elder Elemental God as depicted by various species.
- There were originally four elemental gods: Beory, goddess of earth; Velnius, god of air; Procan, god of water; and the eldest of the elemental gods, who presided over fire and proclaimed himself king of all existence before being overthrown by the younger gods.

He has no relationship with Tharizdun, and in fact helped the other gods imprison him.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
Cebrion wrote:
I don't recall the EEG being revealed as hoax in the Gord the Rogue books (citation?).


Artifact of Evil, page 92.

"The drow were of some help. These dark elves had abandoned all service of the supposed Elemental Evil—that had been his and Queen Zuggtmoy's ploy anyway. To imagine that anyone could swallow the concept filled Iuz with fiendish delight! What was more chaotic indeed than the ravening elements? At least a quarter of these nighted drow now served Iuz, much to the dismay of their mighty demoness mistress."

Thanks for the quote, but it refers to the whole Elemental Cults shtick (which Iuz and Zuggtmoy created) of the Temple of Elemental Evil as being the hoax, not the EEG.
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StylinLP38
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you CruelSummerLord, rasgon and Cebrion for the information.

Cruel, thank you for the clarification, since I am going to be running Greyhawk campaign with TOEE, Dark Druids and Rangers in the Gnarley, Eclavdra and Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. (I still have no feedback on Dark Druids yet) i think I will run with the following:

Quote:
the whole Elemental Cults shtick (which Iuz and Zuggtmoy created) of the Temple of Elemental Evil as being the hoax, not the EEG


Also, in my Greyhawk world I am using and paying close attention to all the Cults of these gods and organizations. When you talk about Iuz, Loth and Tharizdun and Elder God you are really talking more about their cults that are their will and hand in Oerth. It is the cults of these gods that are doing all the things the players will be fighting against in the campaign.

In TOEE you have the Cults of Iuz, Elder God and Tharizdun on site with their separate agents and agenda's. So, Iuz and Zuggtmoy AND Tharizdun agents all are supporting publicly that the Elder God as the big bad organization and deity and cult that everyone is worshiping that is behind all these big evil plans.

Cult of Tharizdun: With little organization and no unified leadership, the Cult has never reached its full potential. Still, its members work tirelessly, clandestinely seeking ever more power for their evil patron. Their ultimate goal is to bring the Chained God into the world— a event that would be catastrophic for the entire cosmos.

Tharizdun has either always been the hidden force behind the cult of the Elder Elemental Eye but that Tharizdun's cult has been using or manipulating worshipers of the Elder Elemental Eye for their own purposes (which leaves them as separate entities). I believe this is a great plot hook what with all that is said here there is no evidence of Tharizdun activity inside the TOEE temple. But there is in the Giants series. Not sure what to make of that...

Quote:
the Elemental Cults of the Temple of Elemental Evil were a hoax, as they were not about serving the interests of evil elemental powers, but of Iuz and Zuggtmoy. The various Elemental Temples were just a facade; acting as vehicles to appeal to a greater variety of evil followers.


But in regards to the dark elves Eclavdra and the Giant modules,

G1 Steadying of the hill Giant
1. The giants either stumbled on (or were subconsciously guided to) the temple of the Elder Elemental God, and doing so somehow alerted the Eilservs (who were already worshiping the EEG). That was the impetus for the drow to incite the giants to their attacks, as mutual worshipers of the EEG. The fact that there’s a sealed scroll from Eclavdra in the Steading, identified with the symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye, also speaks to that interpretation.
2. The dungeon level was here before the giants, and contains a temple to the Elder Elemental God

10: WEIRD ABANDONED TEMPLE: Temple of Tharizdun

G3 Fire Giant module

9C. Abandoned Temple:
This temple was built hundreds of years ago by worshipers of the Elder Elemental Eye.

11A. Umber Hulk Cavern: symbol represents the Elder Elemental Eye, an ancient evil power. the Elder Elemental Eye is also known by the name Tharizdun. The holy symbol can be used to activate the altar in area 9C. Both the holy symbol and the ceremonial dagger were possessions of an Elder Elemental Eye cultist who perished here decades ago.

13: TEMPLE OF THE EYE: Priest's Area: summoning of the Elder Elemental God. I think this is what the altar would look like in the missing altar inside The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun module.

15. Temple of the Elder Elemental Eye
This temple predates the construction of the rest of Snurre’s Hall, though the identity of its builders remains unknown. The temple is dedicated to Tharizdun, the evil god believed to have created the Abyss and whose portfolio includes madness and annihilation. Rarely referred to by name, Tharizdun is more commonly known as the Chained God or the Elder Elemental Eye. Eclavdra is drawn to this place and the secrets it
conceals. She knows that the altar has great divinatory powers, and that it demands a living sacrifice in
exchange for that forbidden knowledge. Eclavdra uses what she learns for her own benefit, as well as the
benefit of her giant allies.
===============================================
Based on Grogdogs quote below it seems Elclavdra worships the Elder God and doesn't know anything about Thurizdun. What is happening in TOEE:

Quote:
The four elemental cults are made up of those “useful idiots” who were unaware that “Elemental Evil” was just a cover for Zuggtmoy and Iuz’s machinations. Factions loyal to both of those demonic entities are to be found, as well as a faction loyal to Lolth, who sent agents to infiltrate the Temple, thinking it was a genuine manifestation of the Elder Elemental God.

Eclavdra get tied into Iuz and Zuggtmoy's machinations. there is definitely a connection between the Elder Elemental God that is worshiped by Eclavdra and the drow house Eilservs, and the Temple of Elemental Evil. They share an unholy symbol (the trisected triangle, aka the Eye of Fire). House Eilservs turned from the worship of Lolth to that of the Elder Elemental God, and they sought allies and operatives in the lands above, they took this fact as a sign, and enlisted Nosnra and his hill giants as
followers.

The elemental keys start off in the Temple, and if the PCs don’t use them to good effect, could end up with Lolth. Indeed, perhaps that is what Falrinth (who is secretly in Lolth’s service, just like Lareth the Beautiful) is actually there to do; find the gems/keys and send them to his mistress, the demon queen Lolth, to keep the EEG in prison for eternity.
http://www.greyhawkgrognard.com/2014/04/20/more-on-temple-of-elemental-evi/

The Elder Elemental God is partially manifested in the deepest levels of the dungeons beneath the Temple. The magical devices in Lolth’s “egg” correspond to the elemental symbols in the Temple, and are presumably the keys to releasing the Elder Elemental God (or keeping him captive).

There are actually two trapped powerful beings beneath the Temple. Zuggtmoy, who was imprisoned by the forces of Good when the Temple fell, and the Elder Elemental God, who took advantage of an “anomaly” below Zuggtmoy’s prison and sought to escape his own extra-dimensional prison through here. In so doing, he became stuck. It is possible to free him, however, as well as Zuggtmoy.

Zuggtmoy, seeking a suitable “cover” cult, settled on that of Elemental Evil, believing that the Elder Elemental God was in no position to object. She was unaware of his ability to partially manifest. With Iuz as partner, she set her new Temple of Elemental Evil atop the ruins of an ancient shrine to the Elder Elemental God, drawing on a bastardized version of its iconography, not realizing that her efforts were strengthening the imprisoned god, eventually allowing him to partially manifest beneath the Temple, although still unable to actually escape his prison.

In 569, The Temple was defeated at the Battle of Emridy Meadows and Zuggtmoy imprisoned beneath the Temple by the forces of Good. They were unaware of the Elder Elemental God’s presence, believing the “cover story” that Zuggtmoy was behind it all. Construction of a small keep is begun in Hommlet, to garrison the area against a resurgence of the Temple.

After the triumph of Good, the Temple is riven by factions. The four elemental cults are made up of those “useful idiots” who were unaware that “Elemental Evil” was just a cover for Zuggtmoy and Iuz’s machinations. Factions loyal to both of those demonic entities are to be found, as well as a faction loyal to Lolth, who sent agents to infiltrate the Temple, thinking it was a genuine manifestation of the Elder Elemental God.

Once he himself was freed from the dungeons beneath Castle Greyhawk, Iuz began his attempts to liberate his ally and restore the Temple, needing a force to keep Furyondy/Veluna off guard with a threat to their rear. Humanoids and brigands begin to trickle back to the place, and spies are placed in Nulb and Hommlet (and beyond). Prince Thrommel is kidnapped and kept in the Temple dungeons for safekeeping.

At this point, rumors of the revival of the Temple begin to spread as the raids by bandits and humanoids under its banners begin anew. The adventurers arrive at the tiny village of Hommlet to investigate…

This gives a lot of layers to the onion. The outermost layer is the Cult of Elemental Evil, which is just a ploy invented by Zuggtmoy. Within that layer are the cults of Zuggtmoy and Iuz, acting as pupper-masters from the shadows. But there are also agents of Lolth, there to infiltrate and undermine what they believe is a legitimate cult of the Elder Elemental God. And in the innermost recesses is the actual Elder Elemental God, trying to escape the prison that Lolth has placed him in, partially manifested in the deepest levels of the dungeons. The surviving factions of the Cult, although currently directionless and feuding, could be brought back in line either by a freed Zuggtmoy, an engaged Iuz, or by stumbling on the actual Elder Elemental God, whom they thought they had been worshiping all along!


The "SECRET HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE" as outlined in the TOEE mega module confirms all this. I will not quote the 6 paragraphs here. But in the main temple below is only descriptions of Iuz's agents and altar. also Zuggtomy's preists and altar. Nothing about Thurzidun.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
Thanks for the quote, but it refers to the whole Elemental Cults shtick (which Iuz and Zuggtmoy created) of the Temple of Elemental Evil as being the hoax, not the EEG.


It also says that the drow who worshiped the Elder Elemental God in the GDQ series (including Eclavdra, their high priestess) defected to the worship of Iuz, Zuggtmoy, and Graz'zt when the hoax was exposed. The "Elemental Cults schtick" is the Elder Elemental God; it's the exact same hoax religion that the drow fall for in the GDQ modules. Which is why Eclavdra is a servant of Graz'zt in this book, and why she's in place to be cloned as Leda.

It's a hugely significant part of the Gord series, and Iuz laid the scam out explicitly in the quote I typed above. He basically says "I can't believe the drow were so stupid that they fell for our hoax religion" and brags about how now a quarter of them are serving him (the other three-quarters serve Zuggtmoy, Lolth, and Graz'zt). He's not referring merely to the Temple near Nulb, but all references to Elemental Evil in Gary Gygax's modules, which is why he keeps talking about drow. Not just Lareth the Beautiful (who was probably not intended to be a drow), but frigging Eclavdra, who you might remember as a prominent character in the GDQ series and not in T1-4.

That's the context of the quote; Eclavdra shows up on the next page as a servant of Graz'zt, and any readers who might be confused by this shouldn't be because Iuz just explained why no one worships Elder Elemental Evil anymore.

Could there be a real Elder Elemental God somewhere, unaffiliated either with the drow cult or the Temple near Nulb? There could be, but that takes care of every reference to such a god in the official (at the time; I'm not counting Monster Mythology because it hadn't been written yet) modules. Gygax has said that he originally intended the Elder Elemental God to be real, and the secret force behind the Temple, but since he didn't have time to complete T1-4 and had to delegate the project to Frank Mentzer, that didn't end up happening and he used the Gord novels to tie that plot up in a bow.

From Oerth Journal #12:

Gary Gygax wrote:
A: You have sussed out a dark secret! The EEG was indeed meant by me to have a place in the very nethermost recesses of the ToEE. An anomaly there allowed him to manifest a portion of himself, and by doing the wrong (right from the DM’s point of view) thing the adventurers could release him also! Of course that would counter somewhat the freeing of Zuggtmoy, had she been loosed, so on balance it could serve to redress that error. But, alas, I was too busy with other things at the time when the project was being completed. As it was already quite hefty, I decided to omit any mention of this to Frank Mentzer, and so the ToEE was released with only the Eye of Fire as a clue to what I should have included in the adventure.


Last edited by rasgon on Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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StylinLP38
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rosgon excellent, I will take all that as canon for my campaign. Now to take a good look at those Tharizdun alters in the G1, G3 and the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun module. Im not so concerned that these hidden forgotten temples to Tharizdun is there. But what is the Cult of Tharizdun doing at this time in 576 CY. Obviously, there is no written references to Tharizdun agents in the TOEE. Of course in anyones particular campaign you could make it so...but I do not now see why.

But those Altars in the G1 G3 and WG4 there is. Also, there is suppose to be one in the Lortmil mountains. What I am trying to figure out is what these guys are all up to in Greyhawk at this time. At 1st I thought it was awesome that they were the behind the scenes cult of TOEE. But I guess that isn't so.
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