What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

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Beoric
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What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by Beoric » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:28 am

There is a hidden temple to Tharizdun, the Elder Elemental God, in the Steading of the Hill Giant Chief that is described as follows:
WEIRD ABANDONED TEMPLE: This room is of faintly glowing purplish green stone, carved with disturbing shapes and signs which seem to stare out from the walls and columns, to shift position when the watcher's back is turned. Touching the walls makes one chilled, and contact with a pillar causes the one touching it to become nauseous. At the far west end of the temple is an altar of pale, yellowgray translucent stone. It feels greasy to the touch, but it has no effects upon those who touch it. Behind this altar is a flight of low, uneven steps which lead to an alcove with a concave back wall of purplish black, glassy appearing substance. If any creature stands before this wall and gazes upon it for one round, a writhing amorphous form of sickly mauves and violets will be seen stretching its formless members towards the viewer. This sight causes the creature seeing it to have a 50% chance of becoming insane. If the creature does not go insane, a touch upon the curving will cause a scarab of insanity to appear upon the altar for the first one so doing, and a 5,000 g.p. gem for the next.
The hill giants have abandoned and blocked off the temple, but the Fire Giant King has an active temple:
TEMPLE OF THE EYE: … This place is illuminated by a strange swirling light which seems to be part of the very air of the place. Eddies of luminosity drift and swirl here and there, causing the whole scene to be strange and uncertain. Distances and dimensions are tricky to determine in the shifting light of rusty purple motes and lavender rays. Globs of mauve and violet seem to seep and slide around….

9. Giants' Worship Area: Each pillar radiates a sense of unease and insecurity .... The wall to the west is a mural showing giants bowing to a cairn of black, offering sacrifices, giving gifts, etc. … The scenes on the west wall grow more horrific, showing human and giant sacrifice near the altar (north) end.

10. Servants' & Thralls' Worship Area: ... Each of these pillars radiates mild fear in a 2' radius, and if one is touched, the creature contacting it must actually save versus fear or run away in absolute panic... The wall to the east shows a scene of various creatures crawling, then creeping, up to huge, vaguely squid-like creatures with 10 hairy tentacles. In the forefront of this mass self-sacrifice are elves and men, but there are also dwarves, gnolls, orcs, trolls, halflings, ogres, goblins, etc. amongst the crowd. Those near the monsters are being torn apart and the bloody gobbets eaten as dainty morsels…

11. Priests' Area: … If the altar stone is touched by living flesh or hit, it will begin to fade in color, ... Any further touch when the altar is thus transformed will paralyze a creature touching … If the drum is beaten, the chimes rung, and the triangle struck while the altar is changed, a glowing golden eye will swim into view from the stone's writhing center. All creatures seeing the eye must roll on the table below (d 12) to learn their fate:

1. death
2. insanity'
3. rage (attack own party)"
4. fright and weakness (50% strength loss)"
5. age 1 to 20 years
6.-12. no effect (looked away in time)
The greatest temple is of course the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, where the whole dungeon is a temple, which dungeon is devised to gradually convert adventurers into followers of the Elder God (see http://www.greyhawkgrognard.com/2018/04 ... temple-of/).

In my campaign there are also links from all of this to the Temple of Elemental Evil (inspired by this series of articles http://www.greyhawkgrognard.com/2014/04 ... ental-evi/), where Zuggtmoy is imprisoned; but it also appears that Tharizdun may also be imprisoned there, unbeknownst to anybody, and Loth is involved, trying to keep Tharizdun imprisoned. There are also links to the Vault of the Drow, where one of the factions worships Tharizdun.

So the big question is, what manner of Big Bad is Tharizdun? The temples are clearly Lovecraftian, but Lolth’s efforts to keep him imprisoned sort of speaks to Lords of Dust plotting against each other, and the implied power levels say “overlord” more than “daelkyr”.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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Beoric
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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by Beoric » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:14 am

Seriously, NOBODY has any opinions?

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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by agathokles » Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:16 am

Uhm, the question is not terribly clear. Are you asking how to adapt Tharizdun to Eberron?

G

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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:38 pm

He can be the Elder Elemental Eye, the first of the Overlords. This shouldn't necessarily be true, but maybe its followers believe, or even an actual hoax perpetrated by Tharizdun itself (much like his Dawn War version hoaxing the primordials).

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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by Beoric » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:32 am

agathokles wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:16 am
Uhm, the question is not terribly clear. Are you asking how to adapt Tharizdun to Eberron?

G
I'm trying to determine what type of creature Tharizdun would be in Eberron.

Lovecraftian imagery implies he is from Xoriat, the plane of madness, and is therefore likely to be daelkyr. Plotting by a fiend to keep him imprisoned seems more like a Lord of Dust plot, and since there is no canon interaction between the daelkyr and the Lords of Dust that I am aware of, this suggests that he is an Overlord. The geographical range also implies he is not daelkyr, assuming most of the "Giant" adventures are set in Xen'drik, and the daelkyr invaded Khorvaire. Although aren't the Umbragen Drow facing daelkyr forces? Hmmm.

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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by HawkDiesel » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:54 am

Just because the lore evokes Lovecraftian horror does not mean that Xoriat and the Daelkyr have a monopoly on such things. Each of the Overlords seem to embody some abstract concept, so there is no reason that a native outsider like an Overlord couldn't embody some kind of madness or body horror. Additionally, it could be that the Overlord had been changed in some way over the eons due to its particular form of imprisonment or attempts by its worshippers to interact with / free it. Maybe the Day of Mourning had a much farther reach than the borders of Cyre, for example.

But from my perspective, whether the creature is an Overlord, daelkyr, or whatever is secondary to the function of the creature within your story and campaign. The more important aspects are the atmosphere you are trying to cultivate, how this creature interacts with your Eberron (and vice versa), and how your players interact with this being/creature.

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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by willpell » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:34 am

Tharizdun is a god, and Eberron doesn't have interventionist gods. So I'm not sure how this could be done at all. I'll give it more thought and look at this again.

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Re: What is my Big Bad: Daelkyr, Overlord or Other

Post by Beoric » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:51 am

Having looked at the sources again, I think that the idea of equating Tharizdun with the Elder Elemental God was a post-Gygaxian development. Tharizdun in WG4 does not have the same trappings or symbolism as the EEG in the ToEE, Giants and Drow series. So we are talking about the Elder Elemental God but not necessarily Tharizdun.

I also note that just because he was called the Elder Elemental God does not mean he has to be an Eberron style god, he could be some other entity that is worshipped as a god. Tiamat is a good example of this.

Also, since I first posted this Keith has made some comments on his site to the effect that the daelkyr, while trapped in Khyber, are able to roam Khyber; this would explain how the EEG can partially manifest in several places.

However, despite that, I am gradually moving toward the idea of him being an overlord, particularly since I realised the "vaguely squid-like creatures" could be aboleths, which in current cannon are native to Eberron and can be quite squid-like depending on the artist. I haven't seen much development of the aboleths in Eberron, so using the EEG as their primary god could be a way to bring them in.

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