Temple of Elemental Evil
History - The Temple of Elemental Evil
For many years, a cult of Chaotic Evil flourished somewhere on the shores of the Nyr Dyv. Although the location of their Temple is lost, these facts regarding it and its followers are known.
The cult was based on the premise that the elemental forces of the universe are Chaotic and opposed to mankind, and are thus (from a humanocentric viewpoint) Evil. The Temple of the cult sought to destroy all works of Good and to disrupt order. Its members were thieves, assassins, brigands, and the like. Fire was regarded as the first elemental evil, and its penchant for Chaos fitted the premise of the cult. Water was likewise worshipped as an even more powerful force of Chaotic Evil, in the form of floods, storms, and raging seas beating upon the land and ocean vessels. The epitome of Chaotic Evil, however, was regarded as a combination of air and earth, represented by blackness and corresponding with the demonic Abyss. This combination was regarded as a complete negation of matter.
The cult grew powerful and rich, attracting followers of the worst sort and offering them safety within the walls of the Temple stronghold. From this fortress would the followers ride to rob, pillage, and lay waste the lands about, tithing the cult from the spoils of the carnage. Captives from those raids were brought back to the Temple to serve as human sacrifices (children to the fire, men to the water, and women to the blackest Evil) or to slave their lives away in bondage. Besides the extensive upper works of the Temple, a deep labyrinth beneath the place was constructed, but virtually nothing is known about these dungeons except that they were inhabited by a plethora of creatures serving Chaos and Evil. It is rumored that a demon took up abode in the deepest level, to better receive the sacrifices to it.
Eventually the neighbors of the Temple grew tired of these depradations. All Good, both Lawful and Chaotic, banded together to form a mighty host. Their army marched to the Temple, fighting two battles along the way. The first was conclusive, thought the forces of Good who held the field afterward, so they gained the reputation of victory, and their ranks swelled with local men. The second battle saw a great slaughter of kobolds, goblins, ores, hobgoblins, evil men, and the like. The Temple was thereafter besieged, fell, and its inhabitants put to the sword. It is reported by some sources that the Temple and its precincts resisted complete destruction, but the majority state that the whole was razed so that the cult could never emerge again nor could any find where it once flourished.
The upper works of the Temple were thrown down and destroyed in the final siege of the war against its hordes. Because of its great power and evil, however, the conquerors did not actually raze the Temple proper, instead sealing its great doors and placing mighty wards of all sorts upon the place and the black labyrinth beneath. Even as great a force as overthrew the Temple could not cleanly deal with what lurked below. Since that great battle, the Temple area has been shunned, its ruins deserted. The nearby village of Nulb has returned to a semblance of normal activity — questionable at best, for the place has always been rumored to house thieves, brigands, smugglers and pirates. But as Nulb stinks of garbage and filth, the Temple area reeks of the foul corruption and pervading Evil from whence it was spawned. No wonder that both places have again been left to their own devices. When the Temple of Elemental Evil flourished, earthquakes, storms of all sorts, great fires, and flash floods struck areas nearby with seeming capriciousness. All that ceased when the Temple was assaulted and sealed. You have been advised of all this, and urged to go elsewhere to seek your fame and fortunes. The unease which prevails upon those merely passing near the ruins shows that some wickedness still haunts the place. There are many bad folk in Nulb, and still greater perils amidst the fallen Temple.
== Additional information learned through library research: ==
When the demoness Zuggtmoy initially conceived the plan to establish her own rule on a portion of the Flanaess, she decided to use as many “tools” as possible, just as did her competitor (Lolth). Consulting some of her clerical servants, Zuggtmoy decided that Elemental Evil would have more appeal than a cult dedicated to her beloved fungi. Recruiting was not difficult, and soon the rudiments of the Temple of Elemental Evil were flourishing. The beauty of the quadrate system was obvious to Zuggtmoy; each type of Elemental Evil would appeal to a broader base of servants and followers, and certain ones would actually serve her directly. The four separate elemental temples would also compete, spreading evil more effectively and also serving to check one another if any grew too powerful—Zuggtmoy, of course, desiring to retain all real power in her own grasp. The appeal of elemental destruction and demonaic aid attracted many maligned and twisted creatures to the Temple, and it grew ever more rapidly. At this crucial juncture, luz himself requested an audience with Zuggtmoy. The Old One, long ruling a realm of his own, perceived the Temple of Elemental Evil and Zuggtmoy as tools to be used for his own ends. Help the demoness and her Temple to grow, aid their ravaging of the lands around, and they would surely draw down the hosts of Good from Veluna, Furyondy, and everywhere else nearby. This drew foes away from his own border immediately, and at the very worst weakened them to some degree.