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Maure Castle

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Some thoughts on the Greater Halls:

Fascinating stuff – love the soul demon illustration, the effects of the various portraits and the plate-armored dragon.

Even better are the revelations: “Y” grows more mysterious, which was more than a little surprising. Other initial questions (which I don’t expect answers for, btw, I’m just thinking out loud):

- Why doesn’t Malcanthet get a portrait? Y hates her, I realize, but half the subjects in the room seem to hate the other half, anyway (Orcus/Demogorgon/Grazz’t, Yeenoghu/Baphomet, etc.)
- Shad-Duan – no mention of this guy anywhere, that I can tell, though given his name and title he may have a connection with the Cult of the Long Shadow. Is he the shadow figure that was attached to the red-haired woman (Wee Jas?)
- The pit from in the Orcus-portrait vision is, presumably, Elluvia’s Pit noted in Afelbain’s diary back in #112. “Where her creatures will fly to I have no clue” – well, I guess he figured it out.
- The boy (presumably Dalt). But what’s the way he is trying to open? And who’s trying to stop him? The Elders?
- Who destroyed Dalt’s portrait?
- What’s Fraz Urb’luu’s connection here? Was he a secret patron of the Maures? Is the lost staff mentioned his? (I’m guessing not – the history doesn’t jibe, as I think his staff was lost after the Maures disappeared). Also, Shad-Duan’s portrait says the staff must be found for “your sire” to return. And Fraz is already back.
- The Elders, who I had written off as a bunch of mysterious dead guys, may still be around. And the Eye of the Elder does something besides its listed abilities.
- Who’s Ill? And why did the Maures consider her a threat?
- Kerzit gets a painting. That’s more evidence that it was no accident that Eli Tomorast was in Maure Castle with the Tome of the Black Heart. He was following a trail — but to what? He finds the book in a curio shop. It leads him to the Lost City of the Elders (I’m presuming that’s how he got there) and to Maure Castle. His journeys have also included the Forgotten Temple of T. and Rauxes (pre-calamity? Probably). What’s he after?

Lots to ponder. Can’t wait to see what happens next. My only concern is that my group will be into epic levels by the time this finishes out.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Most of those questions are intentionally left up in the air for now. But as for the missing Malcanthet picture... I asked Rob about this myself and he ponited out something intereting... the hall only contains portraits of allies to the Maure Family. Malcanthet is Elluvia's patron, certainly, but neither of them are allies to the family overall.

Contributor

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infomatic wrote:
Why doesn’t Malcanthet get a portrait? Y hates her, I realize, but half the subjects in the room seem to hate the other half, anyway (Orcus/Demogorgon/Grazz’t, Yeenoghu/Baphomet, etc.)

James answered this in part, but I'll also point out that the family was composed of individuals which had their own distinct powers and allies. When saying that the family had allies, it is only true because, in some cases, one of the individuals had gone the distance in attaining that ally and thus became the family's benefactor in that respect, and probably the one who would act as the family's intermediary with that "ally," the others being known to that Ally as a just faceless "Maure."

infomatic wrote:
Shad-Duan – no mention of this guy anywhere, that I can tell, though given his name and title he may have a connection with the Cult of the Long Shadow. Is he the shadow figure that was attached to the red-haired woman (Wee Jas?)

Try page 93 of DUNGEON #112, Tome of the Black Heart for Sha-Duan.

Th red-haired woman is not Wee-Jas, far from it. The hair color is only a hint at the relationship this woman holds with another not of the family (big hint, note the illos in the issue for this). What is she doing in the picture?

infomatic wrote:
The pit from in the Orcus-portrait vision is, presumably, Elluvia’s Pit noted in Afelbain’s diary back in #112. “Where her creatures will fly to I have no clue” – well, I guess he figured it out.

There are many pits in Hell, I wouldn't get too side-tracked.

infomatic wrote:
The boy (presumably Dalt). But what’s the way he is trying to open? And who’s trying to stop him? The Elders?

Good question! (the First) Keep that up and I will send you a box of Greyhawk Cookies...

infomatic wrote:
Who destroyed Dalt’s portrait?

Another good question! *Starting to bake cookies now*

Hint: Find out who conquered the Maures and you answer this question; as well, who could have made the mark as described on the picture?

infomatic wrote:
What’s Fraz Urb’luu’s connection here? Was he a secret patron of the Maures? Is the lost staff mentioned his? (I’m guessing not – the history doesn’t jibe, as I think his staff was lost after the Maures disappeared). Also, Shad-Duan’s portrait says the staff must be found for “your sire” to return. And Fraz is already back.

Read Besteck's fragmentary notes about the staff in #139. What is Fraz's main attribute in his title? Who was he deceiving? He was obviously an ally of the Maure at one point.

infomatic wrote:
The Elders, who I had written off as a bunch of mysterious dead guys, may still be around. And the Eye of the Elder does something besides its listed abilities

You are correct. As mentioned in #124, the Maure studied items which they had secured from alien lands and planes. Aflebain makes mention in his fragments of maybe securing the Eye from Uncle for study. This obviously came to pass as it no longer occurs on the "Chamber's" level but in the Statuary, so it was moved after the diary entry, eh?

infomatic wrote:
Who’s Ill? And why did the Maures consider her a threat?

What is ILL looking for?

infomatic wrote:
Kerzit gets a painting. That’s more evidence that it was no accident that Eli Tomorast was in Maure Castle with the Tome of the Black Heart. He was following a trail — but to what?

Eli is one of the fist power mongering mages to actively start tracking down the Maure history, let's put it that way. His reasons as to why may be as simple as that but may also expand over time depending on what he finds and if he is able to manipulate same--he's an opportunist, and a very dangerous one, with information now at hand which others do not have...


Interesting stuff, Rob! More stuff to ponder, for sure! :D


Regarding Sha-Duan: *Thumps head.* Right, my bad. My party hasn't gotten to the tome yet.

Thanks for the replies, Uncle. More to think on. I realize I'm a long way from those cookies, but ...

• The Red-haired woman: There's a similar woman (red hair, green eyes) described in the entry with the "favorite niece" inscription. I'm not sure if there's ever been a description of Elluvia; she'd be a key suspect, I suppose.

• Dalt's portrait: Who could have made the mark? Who could have bypassed a CL22 Temporal Stasis spell (assuming this painting had one)? On this level, the False Bersteck and Malcanthet's cleric possess the capacity -- Malcanthet could have done it as well, of course. Early money's on Lady Mal or her servant, whose name I forget; perhaps she doesn't want Dalt to get whatever he's after.

• Who conquered the Maures? Interesting question; from the "Chamber of Antiquities, we learn that Elluvia was not the only Maure plotting a betrayal. Perhaps a third faction put down both Elluvia and Y's adherents. Fraz?

Two more points on Malcanthet:

• From the intro: "Her attention is focused far to the south". That's interesting — a plug for Savage Tide? Or maybe she's interested in what Rary's up to.

• We learn that Malcanthet was looking for the Book of Vows, but not why. The book records all the demonic bargains the Maures had. Was she a) Looking for proof of a bargain with another demon lord, or b) Trying to destroy evidence in the book about her?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

infomatic wrote:

Two more points on Malcanthet:

• From the intro: "Her attention is focused far to the south". That's interesting — a plug for Savage Tide? Or maybe she's interested in what Rary's up to.

I can shed a little light on this one by saying Rary's nowhere near south enough to be FAR to the south, but a place like Tamoachan might be about the right distance...

Contributor

infomatic wrote:


• The Red-haired woman: There's a similar woman (red hair, green eyes) described in the entry with the "favorite niece" inscription. I'm not sure if there's ever been a description of Elluvia; she'd be a key suspect, I suppose.

Well, he gave it to his niece, so he must be the Uncle (or an Uncle), note that it notes "Favorite," indicating also that there is at least one brother, whoever that is, heh?

infomatic wrote:
Dalt's portrait: Who could have made the mark? Who could have bypassed a CL22 Temporal Stasis spell (assuming this painting had one)? On this level, the False Bersteck and Malcanthet's cleric possess the capacity -- Malcanthet could have done it as well, of course. Early money's on Lady Mal or her servant, whose name I forget; perhaps she doesn't want Dalt to get whatever he's after.

Well, as I wrote the picture description the marks were very distinct, unles James changed these--I will look.

infomatic wrote:
Who conquered the Maures? Interesting question; from the "Chamber of Antiquities, we learn that Elluvia was not the only Maure plotting a betrayal. Perhaps a third faction put down both Elluvia and Y's adherents. Fraz?

Uncle praises Fraz's involvement at another key (maybe you missed that). Find out the Dalt connection and you have solved a majority of the whole riddle. But I will not be so easy with the rest. ;)

Why are there seemingly two different portrayals of Dalt? No one has asked that yet. And why are both hidden (one dstroyed and the other but a strange vortexual memory cycle?)


Uncle wrote:

Well, as I wrote the picture description the marks were very distinct, unles James changed these--I will look.

Yes, they're described as claw marks (forgot that while I was typing). That seems to acquit the cleric (though Malcanthet is still a suspect, as she's got claws even though the adventure notes that she prefers that scourge of hers). The funky trident used by the False Bersteck could be the source (I also forgot about Gigantus, who could get lucky with a Dispel Check and has claws, though he doesn't seem a likely candidate).

The Dalt thing has thrown me -- must think more on that. Nice mystery!

Contributor

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infomatic wrote:
Uncle wrote:

Well, as I wrote the picture description the marks were very distinct, unles James changed these--I will look.

Yes, they're described as claw marks (forgot that while I was typing). That seems to acquit the cleric (though Malcanthet is still a suspect, as she's got claws even though the adventure notes that she prefers that scourge of hers). The funky trident used by the False Bersteck could be the source (I also forgot about Gigantus, who could get lucky with a Dispel Check and has claws, though he doesn't seem a likely candidate).

The Dalt thing has thrown me -- must think more on that. Nice mystery!

Great! Yes, re-read Bersteck (fake) and he's not leaving that room at all. Gigantus is supposedly a pet/servant of (the real) Bersteck and is assumed to have not been inimical to the family members. so...

Yes, it is a nice mystery, not so much left up in the air, but I have been parceling out the bits as I go along. The difficulty in assessing this comes from the fact, as many might start to suspect, that there are several different plots being exposed and twoare major ones. Hint: one was (or still is, perhaps) more or less expected at some point and one was unexpected.

I also suggest you re-read area #12, The Star Room, VERY carefully. And note Besterck's diary entry: "One enters who we do not know... Impossible!" This directly suggests that the family, which seemingly had dealings with just about every demon/devil and or/god in the known area, and certainly with even some off-world ones, was actually confronted by something totally foreign to them, which Bersteck seems to react to with utter astonishment... :)

Thanks for the interest. :)

RJK


Uncle,
We're eagerly awaiting the Family Crypts. Will we find Uncle Maure down in the family crypts? Can he be aided or restored to health/life by altrustic PC's, (and GM's)?

In the familiar tune of 'where's Waldo', Where's Elluvia Maure? Is she still hanging around on some obscure outer plane? Inquiring minds want to know...

Contributor

Allen--

Elluvia. Well, I hope someone puts 2 and 2 together on this woman, as she's part of one of the major plots, and the one which was "unexpected."

Indeed, where are all of the Maures now? We know of Aflebain, and since the ID Core still funstions that suggests taht some are still alive, eh?


I'm going to be starting a MC campaign (retro-converted to AD&D 1e rules) soon-ish, and will be starting to really dig into the hints and tantalizing teasers scattered throughout the adventures! :D

I'll post some more details about the campaign outline once I re-read to get some more creative juices flowing. (I'll be taking over as DM for a group of PCs who will have played Caverns of Thracia before doing MC, with perhaps some other interludes in between, depending on whether they'll stand a chance in MC or not yet at that point [Thracia is just for levels 4-8 in OD&D terms...]).

Allan.

Contributor

grodog wrote:

I'm going to be starting a MC campaign (retro-converted to AD&D 1e rules) soon-ish, and will be starting to really dig into the hints and tantalizing teasers scattered throughout the adventures! :D

I'll post some more details about the campaign outline once I re-read to get some more creative juices flowing. (I'll be taking over as DM for a group of PCs who will have played Caverns of Thracia before doing MC, with perhaps some other interludes in between, depending on whether they'll stand a chance in MC or not yet at that point [Thracia is just for levels 4-8 in OD&D terms...]).

Allan.

What are their current levels?


The game hasn't begun yet, Rob, but will soon. The PCs will play Caverns of Thracia first, then perhaps some other interludes if I feel that they won't stand a chance in MC. In theory CoT is for levels 4-8, but I haven't read it and will be playing that portion of the game, so I'm not really sure what level they'll be when the PCs are "done" with that module.

Allan.

Contributor

grodog wrote:

The game hasn't begun yet, Rob, but will soon. The PCs will play Caverns of Thracia first, then perhaps some other interludes if I feel that they won't stand a chance in MC. In theory CoT is for levels 4-8, but I haven't read it and will be playing that portion of the game, so I'm not really sure what level they'll be when the PCs are "done" with that module.

Allan.

I suppose for a retrofitted 1e game that they should be at least 9th level each. If you need some help in fooling them with the Iron Golem I recently made some notes concerning variations for it; and btw, if anyone on these boards would like to take a stab at converting this information to d20 I will give it over to James for posting here. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Long time reader, first time poster. Anyway, I think I may have solved the "Y" riddle, but in the event that I'm right, I don't want to ruin the surprise. Here's where I got the idea for my little theory though: Monster Manual IV, page 7, bottom left corner, "symbol".

Contributor

Generic Villain wrote:
Long time reader, first time poster. Anyway, I think I may have solved the "Y" riddle, but in the event that I'm right, I don't want to ruin the surprise. Here's where I got the idea for my little theory though: Monster Manual IV, page 7, bottom left corner, "symbol".

Not owning the MM IV I will not be able to confirm or deny that.

Prolly wouldn't confirm even if right guesses came along anyway, as I would not want to ruin the fun.

Dark Archive

Uncle wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:
Long time reader, first time poster. Anyway, I think I may have solved the "Y" riddle, but in the event that I'm right, I don't want to ruin the surprise. Here's where I got the idea for my little theory though: Monster Manual IV, page 7, bottom left corner, "symbol".

Not owning the MM IV I will not be able to confirm or deny that.

Prolly wouldn't confirm even if right guesses came along anyway, as I would not want to ruin the fun.

The reference is to Tharizdun, the Elder Elemental Eye. I find all these riddles intriguing, but admittedly I'm not really trying to solve them overly much and am enjoying the plot as it unfolds. Here's hoping the full story of the Maure's is told at some point and that we get a Hardcover with all the various Maure adventures in them. That would make an awesome adventure book.

Bye the way, let me add my thanks to you Uncle, for the Maure family. Those adventures, even though I haven't played or run them, make for really enjoyable reading. You could almost write a novel just focusing on the mystery of the Maures. Really fantastic stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yup, my guess is Tharizdun. I figure I may as well go on with my little theory now. And on the off chance that I'm right...

******Spoilers Ahead******

So why T? I think I remember reading a post by Rob mentioning that Tharizdun might have a role in Maure Castle. And really, as the Maures are a bunch of psychopaths anyway, who better to be their patron than the King Psychopath?

Tharizdun's symbol is described as "A black triangle with an inverted yellow Y inscribed within". A "Y" you say? Maybe like the "Y" that all those wizards seem so interested in? I've always seen T's symbol as that chaotic swirly thing, but I guess that's actually the Elder Elemental Eye's symbol (which makes sense, as the EEE is Tharizdun's less-crazy alter ego).

Tharizdun is trapped in a prison demiplane. It's been pretty well established that he isn't going anywhere without some serious help. So who better to help bust him out than Dalt, "The Opener of Ways"? The kid is a divine lockpick.

As I recall though, Dalt is a neutral god. He'd never willingly unleash something as dangerous and evil as T. So if the Maures were to secure his aid, they'd have to deceive him. Hmmm... who do we know that likes to deceive? Here's a hint: he's a 15-foot-tall blue ape demon lord with wings.

Assuming I'm right, here's my interpretation of the four visions the characters see when touching Fraz's portrait:
1: Dalt arriving at the behest of the Maures.
2: Elluvia (the tall woman) is seducing Dalt into doing the Maure's will.
3: Dalt is preparing to enter T's prison and free him.
4: Elluvia is not Elluvia at all. Or rather, she had been possessed by Fraz-Urb'luu for the purpose of tricking Dalt.

For all their planning though, the Maures obviously failed. The way I see it, after realizing that her supposed allies allowed a demon lord to possess her, Eluvia became understandable angry. And there's a good chance that the Maures would just dispose of her when she had served her purpose, as she was always a black sheep anyway. But Elluvia (with the aid of Malcanthet) managed to somehow get the last laugh.

On an unrelated note, I think the staff refered to in Shad-Duan's portrait might be the Staff of Shadow Maiming from issue 112. It's a minor artifact obviously dedicated to Yeenoghu. Maybe if you stick that staff in the right place, Yeenoghu will show up and grant you three wishes or something?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey Rob, when you're all done with the Maure extravaganza, you should make a final adventure: "Maure Family Reunion". The Maures and all their friends would get together and have a barbecue on some out-of-the-way layer of the Abyss.

I can see it now: that old trickster Afelbain would cast animate dead on the burgers to freak out the chicks. There'd be plenty of reminiscing too. ("Hey Zenebar, remember that time when we were kids, and you broke my favorite doll? And to get back at you, I locked you in the Closet of Excruciating Torment and Mind-Shattering Horror for the whole afternoon! Those were the days"). Of course Yeenoghu would show up drunk, as usual. He'd make passes at Malcanthet, who would respond by playfully showing him what being flayed alive by a +5 shocking burst adamantine scourge feels like. And I figure by now Uncle is a little senile, but since he's a 26th-level wizard, all the junior Maures have to pretend like they care about his ramblings ("Did I ever tell you kids about the time I fell in love with a great wyrm prismatic dragon? Well it all began 4,547 years ago...). Yeah, that'd be a family reunion I'd actually want to go to.


I'd considered the Dalt-freeing-Big-T scenario, too, but not the Ellivia-but-maybe-not-elluvia angle. Interesting idea. Note that they could be deceiving Dalt in another fashion -- Dalt's trying to free his brother, Vatun. Under this scenario, Elluvia + Fraz trick Dalt into trying to spring T, saying that it's Vatun imprisoned in that extraplanar prison. Obviously it didn't work; not sure what the Eye, Staff et al work in.

Tharizdun's symbol used to be an inverted pyramid; in 3.0 it shifted to that spiral thing.

Contributor

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Generic Villain wrote:

Yup, my guess is Tharizdun. I figure I may as well go on with my little theory now. And on the off chance that I'm right...

******Spoilers Ahead******

So why T? I think I remember reading a post by Rob mentioning that Tharizdun might have a role in Maure Castle. And really, as the Maures are a bunch of psychopaths anyway, who better to be their patron than the King Psychopath?

**Yes, and psycopath's of the cosmic variety--they had far wandering imterests.**

Tharizdun's symbol is described as "A black triangle with an inverted yellow Y inscribed within". A "Y" you say? Maybe like the "Y" that all those wizards seem so interested in? I've always seen T's symbol as that chaotic swirly thing, but I guess that's actually the Elder Elemental Eye's symbol (which makes sense, as the EEE is Tharizdun's less-crazy alter ego).

**Ah-huh...**

Tharizdun is trapped in a prison demiplane. It's been pretty well established that he isn't going anywhere without some serious help. So who better to help bust him out than Dalt, "The Opener of Ways"? The kid is a divine lockpick.

**Ah-huh.**

As I recall though, Dalt is a neutral god. He'd never willingly unleash something as dangerous and evil as T. So if the Maures were to secure his aid, they'd have to deceive him. Hmmm... who do we know that likes to deceive? Here's a hint: he's a 15-foot-tall blue ape demon lord with wings.

**Ah-huh. :)**

Assuming I'm right, here's my interpretation of the four visions the characters see when touching Fraz's portrait:

1: Dalt arriving at the behest of the Maures.
2: Elluvia (the tall woman) is seducing Dalt into doing the Maure's will.
3: Dalt is preparing to enter T's prison and free him.
4: Elluvia is not Elluvia at all. Or rather, she had been possessed by Fraz-Urb'luu for the purpose of tricking Dalt.

Perhaps the shadow rising from her?

For all their planning though, the Maures obviously failed. The way I see it, after realizing that her supposed allies allowed a demon lord to possess her, Eluvia became understandable angry. And there's a good chance that the Maures would just dispose of her when she had served her purpose, as she was always a black...

**Not bad, you should be writing mysteries yourself. :)**

Darn quoting stuff wouldnt work.:(

Contributor

Generic Villain wrote:

Hey Rob, when you're all done with the Maure extravaganza, you should make a final adventure: "Maure Family Reunion". The Maures and all their friends would get together and have a barbecue on some out-of-the-way layer of the Abyss.

I can see it now: that old trickster Afelbain would cast animate dead on the burgers to freak out the chicks. There'd be plenty of reminiscing too. ("Hey Zenebar, remember that time when we were kids, and you broke my favorite doll? And to get back at you, I locked you in the Closet of Excruciating Torment and Mind-Shattering Horror for the whole afternoon! Those were the days"). Of course Yeenoghu would show up drunk, as usual. He'd make passes at Malcanthet, who would respond by playfully showing him what being flayed alive by a +5 shocking burst adamantine scourge feels like. And I figure by now Uncle is a little senile, but since he's a 26th-level wizard, all the junior Maures have to pretend like they care about his ramblings ("Did I ever tell you kids about the time I fell in love with a great wyrm prismatic dragon? Well it all began 4,547 years ago...). Yeah, that'd be a family reunion I'd actually want to go to.

LOL! Now that I would attend, too. Quite a nice imagination mixed with humor there. Like that a lot, espec. the passes at Malcanthet.

Contributor

Brent wrote:
Uncle wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:
Long time reader, first time poster. Anyway, I think I may have solved the "Y" riddle, but in the event that I'm right, I don't want to ruin the surprise. Here's where I got the idea for my little theory though: Monster Manual IV, page 7, bottom left corner, "symbol".

Not owning the MM IV I will not be able to confirm or deny that.

Prolly wouldn't confirm even if right guesses came along anyway, as I would not want to ruin the fun.

The reference is to Tharizdun, the Elder Elemental Eye. I find all these riddles intriguing, but admittedly I'm not really trying to solve them overly much and am enjoying the plot as it unfolds. Here's hoping the full story of the Maure's is told at some point and that we get a Hardcover with all the various Maure adventures in them. That would make an awesome adventure book.

Bye the way, let me add my thanks to you Uncle, for the Maure family. Those adventures, even though I haven't played or run them, make for really enjoyable reading. You could almost write a novel just focusing on the mystery of the Maures. Really fantastic stuff.

Thanks Brent. I have already outlined to short stories for it, one involving the Lost City of the Elders and the other, how Eli found the Tome of the Black Heart.

Now, somebody still needs to solve that riddle (Black Heart)--Hint--look in the aftermatter of my Dark Druids adventure. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the Greyhawk info infomatic. As an FR man myself, everything I've learned about GH has come from Dungeon/Dragon Magazine, Cannonfire, and messageboards like this.

But yeah, on second thought Y probably isn't Tharidzun. I remember reading Y described somewhere as "the Maure's demonic patron", and Tharidzun never struck me as demonic per se. On checking the Fiendish Codex I, the only listed demon lord who's name begins with Y is Yibyru, who is as I recall the idiot mother (daughter?) of Zuggmoy. I seriously doubt the Maures would devote themselved to a low-ranking demon lord that Uncle could probably bind with a spell or two. Maybe Y is one of those proto-demons that we've occasionally heard about? Or an Obyrith lord?

After looking back on the Eye of the Elders artifact, I got one other idea. I had read somewhere that the Suel archmages practiced something called "Power Magic", but I couldn't find any information on Power Magic. However, one of the Eye of the Elder's powers is a magic word that translates into Power, and gives an arcane caster huge benefits. Maybe this eye is the thing that taught the Suel their magical ways? Or maybe I'm connecting dots that aren't there. Either way, I've really enjoyed the mysteries of Maure Castle. I haven't been this interested in a dungeon since I first opened the Ruins of Undermountain.


GV - I agree that it may not be Mr. T. Although it is sometimes difficult to tell which patron the text is referring to, I seem to recall that it makes reference to the Maure's patron being a demon prince...but I am also quite facinated by the postulations stated above...good stuff guys.


Uncle wrote:
Brent wrote:
Uncle wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:


Now, somebody still needs to solve that riddle (Black Heart)--Hint--look in the aftermatter of my Dark Druids adventure. :)

Ok, Uncle, I'm curious. Who exactly are the Dark Druids. I've occasionally made use of a re-occurring villain, who is a 13th level evil Druid, who incinerates player characters with Fire Seeds. Naturally, I'd love to find a fraternity for him to join of like- minded, nature-loving lunatics...

Contributor

The d20 Drak Druids adventure I had published through Troll Lord Games--evil druids galore and lots of nastiness! Including references to the Dark God himself.


So does anyone think that Dungeon will do like they did with the shackled city with Maure Castle and turn it into a book?

Dark Archive

Drake wrote:
So does anyone think that Dungeon will do like they did with the shackled city with Maure Castle and turn it into a book?

Well, considering that they haven't been able to commit to a Age of Worms collection (though more for legal and profit-driven corporate-controlled reasons than from lack of desire), I doubt that they would jump right into Maure Castle over an adventure path that touched many more gamers (and thus, corporate head honchos could see as more profitable). Don't get me wrong, I would love to see it happen, because the adventures rock, but it doesn't look like the corporate leaders of Paizo are terribly eager to put out more hardcover collections. Just my two cents.


From what I've read, Paizo would love to publish and AoW h/c, but haven't been given permission to do so by WotC. I'm sure they'd love to do the same with the MC levels, too.

Allan.


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Hmm, not sure if this was ever brought up ...

Anybody remember that "Wheels within Wheels" writeup on the Circle of Eight? I think it was from the LG Journal or somesuch, co-written by Erik Mona.

It includes references by Mordenkainen to the Tome of the Black Heart — apparently after reading it (or presumably, a copy he had made during his Maure adventure) he started getting really worried about Tharizdun's return.

There's already a strong link between the Tome and Maure Castle: The City of the Elders (which the Tome can lead to and the Maures visited, Sha-Duan (alluded to in both) and the fact that the Tome could open the Unopenable Doors. If the Tome also includes details of Tharizdun (and, perhaps, his prison), that would seem to strengthen the link between Big T and the Maures.


infomatic wrote:
Hmm, not sure if this was ever brought up ... Anybody remember that "Wheels within Wheels" writeup on the Circle of Eight? I think it was from the LG Journal or somesuch, co-written by Erik Mona.

Yes, from LGJ#0, and the article is available from WotC's site @ http://www.wizards.com/rpga/downloads/LGJcircleof8pdf.zip

infomatic wrote:
It includes references by Mordenkainen to the Tome of the Black Heart — apparently after reading it (or presumably, a copy he had made during his Maure adventure) he started getting really worried about Tharizdun's return.

That seems reasonable, however...

infomatic wrote:
There's already a strong link between the Tome and Maure Castle: The City of the Elders (which the Tome can lead to and the Maures visited, Sha-Duan (alluded to in both) and the fact that the Tome could open the Unopenable Doors. If the Tome also includes details of Tharizdun (and, perhaps, his prison), that would seem to strengthen the link between Big T and the Maures.

...I'm not so sure that I follow the rest of your conclusions: I don't recall the Tome enabling the Unopenable Doors to open, and I'm not sure how you see Sha-Duan specifically playing into this picture?? More details to connect the dots, please :D


grodog wrote:
I don't recall the Tome enabling the Unopenable Doors to open, and I'm not sure how you see Sha-Duan specifically playing into this picture?? More details to connect the dots, please :D

All I have is dots, unfortunately.

But Dungeon 112, p. 13, says that Eli "turned to the magicks of a newly acquired grimoire, the Tome of the Black Heart, to see himself through" the doors.

The Sha-Duan link is a bit more tenuous -- my rationale was simply that I've only seen the name in two places — in the Tome itself and in the Maure's hall of paintings. The reason I mentioned it is because it strengthens the link between the Maures and the Tome. I haven't seen "Dark Druids" but hopefully I'll get a chance to check that out for more clues.


Really great information in this thread!

Rob, any chance the Dark Druids could have more than a passing connection with GH's Ur-Flan? Might have to check it out.


Craig, that's very likely, although IIRC the ur-Flan were added to GH in the From the Ashes era, so while the DD wouldn't have originally been conceived of with the ur-Flan in mind, they can easily be tied together (quite nicely, IMO).

You may also want to check out the new edition of Dark Druids that RJK's selling via his Pied Piper imprint: http://www.pied-piper-publishing.com/index.php/products/dark_druids

Allan.

Dark Archive

Just a quick question, but does everybody remember the 8 pointed star at the Unopenable Doors? I was reading through my collection of Dungeon magazines recently and I remember reading about some treasure that included a triangular metal plate that was keyed to a plane. These two seem to be connected and I was wondering whether anybody had any hard facts on these mysterious plates?


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Valmoth Galvador wrote:
Just a quick question, but does everybody remember the 8 pointed star at the Unopenable Doors? I was reading through my collection of Dungeon magazines recently and I remember reading about some treasure that included a triangular metal plate that was keyed to a plane. These two seem to be connected and I was wondering whether anybody had any hard facts on these mysterious plates?

There's not a lot of info on them, Valmoth Galvador. Your best sources for lore are:

WG5's 'Entering the Level' on pages 4-5 wrote:


Characters who examine the floor here will note that there is an eight-pointed star chiseled into the stone. The points of the star are entirely cleaned out, as if something is supposed to be set into them. The “something” which is meant to be inset is a set of eight metal triangles, each about the size of a halfling’s hand and each of a Merent hue. In the Greyhawk Campaign, each plate was enchanted to a different plane typically a special demi-plane or similar place. Thus, a double adventure was set up for each of the eight triangles. First came the search for the metal plaque, and then came the adventure of traveling to the destination encoded on the plaque, exploring, and finding a way back. When the whole WORLD OF GREYHAWK Campaign series is eventually completed, the eight triangles will be placed therein, as will the destinations encoded upon them. Until such time, you may either leave the eight-pointed star as an enigma, or else decide for yourself the locations of the plates and their mysterious destinations. Then, either in this dungeon complete (or in another), your adventurers may find a special treasure--an explanation of the power of the eight-pointed start and its metal pieces, and a clue as to where one of them might be found. Thereafter, you have a whole new set of adventures for your campaign!--EGG

In addition to what is revealed in Dungeons 112, 124, and 139, you'll find a few other tidbits out there:


  • The Age of Worms AP includes one of the pieces of the eight-pointed star as part of Dragotha's treasure hoard in Dungeon 134's "Into the Wormcrawl Fissure"
  • Erik Mona wrote two RPGA adventures for Living Greyhawk back in Year 1. They were part of an intended series of seven modules titled "Absolute Power" that has not yet been completed (I'm eternally hopeful); the two adventures are entitled "River of Blood" (an allusion to S2 White Plume Mountain), and "As I Lay Dying" and contain some clues and hints about the eight-pointed stars.
  • The Living Greyhawk logo itself features the eight stars in it; you can see it in the LGJ #4 issue on Paizo.com @ http://paizo.com/image/product/magazine_issue/Other/LivingGreyhawkJournal/4 /cover_500.jpg

I can't think of any other sources about the eight-pointed star, offhand.

Allan.


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several people starting looking for a fan driven continuation. I will say this,
if I turn out to put out quality material for this upcoming new game world, I will revisit this at a later date, for right now I doubt my ability to provide as good as material as Rob has done over the years. Also, talking over the telephone is not a good way for me to communicate with anybody. So, if there are others that want to continue working on fan based material, do so. Maybe someday in the future, I will be able to meet with Uncle for a major sit down and hammer ideas event and have enough confidence in my work to tackle such a treasure that Maure Castle has become. Just want to inform all gentle readers. Godspeed.

Vermilleo
May 6, 2013, 04:26 AM | FLAG | LIST
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+

I realize this thread has been dead for awhile but it's not like necroing a thread is a crime, right? I just wanted to say that while Yog-Sothoth is also my first guess (pretty much along the same reason as the OP, mainly due to the Silver Key), two other possibilities include Yuggoth (if it's not just a planet...? Which it may not be) and Y'golonac, who is also an (albeit less-known) Old One. Also his (?) "portfolio" seems to overlap rather well with the Maure family's personality <<

Andor the Wise
03:27 AM | FLAG | LIST
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+
I'd like to put my two coppers worth into this discussion. Ive been playing greyhawk now for 22 years. I actually stumbled upon this blog recently looking for info for my own campaign that is a compilation of modules and my own stuff. Anyway, on to my coppers: i read both of generic villian and arten's posts and great work by both, but i think everyone has missed a critical point that RJK tried to allude to on several occasions, and that is TIME. When looking at things on the surface we have seen through the eyes of our characters as if they were reading things un real time. But that is incorrect. Here is a timeline I came up with using the Hisrory of Oerth from the OJ's and the dates provided in the maure adventures : 5069SD (-447CY) Slerotin creates tunnel in the Crystalmists.
5069-5102SD (-447to-414CY) Slerotin's apprentices establish Maure Castle; create 8pointed star and leave oerth.
5102-5152SD (-414to-364CY) Chamber of Antiquities (level 6) created by Afelbain; Statuary (level 7) created; Afelbain joyous that he witnessed Uncle summon "the prince. Dread talons, 7times making 7passes. Earth trembled and obeyed."
5152-5802SD (-364 to 286CY) levels 8-18 completed.
5249SD (-267CY)Tanilar Kreel, a cultist of the Cult of the Long Shadows,scrawls message before he dies "they know not what they anger"; the Purple Stone tried to subvert all the cults and the Maures; Maures raise the Unopenable Doors.
5202SD (-14CY) Lower levels sealed.
5516-5766SD (1-250CY) Uncle and Vexus have dealings with Rauxes.
5752SD (236CY) Vexus dealing with Duchy of Urnst.
5802SD (286CY) Vexus's repository updated.

Now, what do we know/hypothesize: Uncle summoned the prince early on. If this was Y, then why the need for Dalt later? And all of the extensive rituals to summon one who is already here?
Who or what wanted to destroy the Maures and why?
From the notes from Elluvia to Bersteck, we find that 1. Bersteck had possessions of the Scythe of Yenoghuu, and 2. Elluvia gained possession of it.
Elluvia had unwanted attention from family members.
Orcus was once a servant to Tharizdun.
Why was Afelbain's death depicted in Orcus's painting?
Area 16 of the Greater Halls shows that there were once paintings there. Were they moved to the paintings room? Why?
How did Uncle get to the Lost City of Elders?
Afelbain alludes to something that Elluvia can give Uncle that will make him relent when she wants to create her pit. I believe this is the Book of Dead Names.

NOW FOR THE PAYOFF: Y and the HE in the note about "pray tha the boy is successful so that HE may come, are two differnt beings. Y may be yog sothoth sothoth as surmised in artens post, but I believe him to be a red herring, a fake. Uncle has been around longer than any of the other Maures. He sets up a false god to hide the fact that he secretly worships tharizdun. He obtains the Tome of the Black Heart and summons Kerzit (the prince that Afelbain witnessed being summoned). In the early goings, Dalt was summoned as an unknowing dupe to aid in the illusion that yog sothoth was their god. Convincing Dalt of the same, they send him to supposedly break yog free, but in fact, it was Tharizdun that Uncle wanted to summon to help them destroy the fiends of Rauxes. At the time of the Maures fall, the Great Kingdom was on the move,taking over all around. Their power was much more than Vex surmised. Was that due to Xaenes arrival from another dimension? Hmm. Yea Vex was trying to get in Elluvias pants, but his was the way of gifts and honeyed words (aftr all, he was a merchant and rogue), but it was Bersteck, Elluvias real uncle, who took on thw role of her rapist. Hence overwhelming anger that pours forth when she has the magic mouth scream "Die, Bersteck!" Oh, and by the way, her method of carrying out her excution attempt is the clue to what Malcanthet had her southern attentions on. Elluvia kept stringing Vex along, dangling the goods but never allowing a taste, putty in her hands, gaining information about Uncle until the time was right to strike, then usung his want for hwr as leverage to have him help her in the coup. The picture of Dalt being led by her is correct, she to was misled and deceived by Fraz. So, what happened to Dalt and why was hus painting defaced you ask? The paintings are gates of a sort. They allow access, both ways, to the demon depicted. But they lose their magical properties if destroyed. So by destroying Dalts painting is to close the gate thereby stranding Dalt. Who then, would know that it was Tharizdun and not Yog that would also not want him coming? Malcanthet. Hers was the claws that rent the painting. Berstecks comment "Curse Vex for hus greed was referring to his involvemnt with Rauxes, as he became a turncoat once seeing the true power of the great kingdom and seeing his gain by switching sides,hence the other reason he helped Elluvia summon Malcanthet.

By the way, this also explains the reason there are paintings of Kerzit and Shan Duan mixed in with the others. Now for the proof/link: I finally received my copy of Dark Druids in the mail today. It deals with thw Dark God (as Tharizdun is also known as). On page 43, the list of the Dark quest Series, part 3 is titled Black Heart (as in Tome of the).

THE END.

Thanks for your time reading my ramblings.
Greyhawk lives on! Always!


TOME OF THE BLACK HEART, KERZIT, AND THE LOST CITY OF ELDERS.

FACTS:
1. Eli captured Kerzit while visiting the Lost City of Elders.
2. Eli chanced upon the Lost City in the past, and seeks to return.
3. Eli's hands were removed and 12 spikes grafted to each by the same creature that gave them to him.
4. If the Tome is stolen or destroyed, Kerzit will be loosed.
5. The Tome was written by several evil magi near the Valley of the Mage.
6. Tome was found by Eli in a curio shop.
7. Kerzit was created by higher demons to serve the cause of chaos.
8. Eli summoned Kerzit through the Tome.
9. Eli visited the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun and was taught by priests there.
10. Mordenkainen made magical copy of Tome.
11. Uncle has been to the Lost City of the Elders.
12. Eli has yet ti breech the Greater Halls, so he is unaware of thw painting of Kerzit.

IDEAS/SURMISES/ORDER OF THINGS

1. Kerzit was created.
2. Uncle somehow gains access to the Lost City of the Elders. Did he already have the Dagger Obelisk? This would make sense,since Fharlangn and Celestian, the gods needed to make sacrifices to in order to create the dagger, were prevalent in Maure in the beginning.
3. Somehow, the priests of Tharizdun also knew how to create thed dagger and and performed the ritual for him to get to the Lost City before their fall.
4. Eli goes to the City and finds/captures Kerzit.
5. While there, he acquires his new hands.
6. The evil magi discovers the means to write the Tome. Tome is lost when the Mage of the Valley destroys/runs them off.
7. Eli finds Tome in curio shop.
8. Eli summons Kerzit using the Tome.
9. Mordenkainen, after killing Eli, and realizing that in taking the Tome would somehow free Kerzit, akws copy of the Tome.
10. Eli is resurrected and returns to Maure where the Tome and Kerzit await.

I believe that the evil mages were in fact worshippers of Tharizdun.
I also believe that Uncle summoned Kerzit ages ago, and perhaps was the original author of the Tome, and that the evil mages, like Mordy, also made a copy.


Some more Maure revelations in Rob's Dragonsfoot Q&A thread starting @ http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1556355#p1556355

Allan.


How come this always seems to return just when I'd forgotten about it and was trying to get on with my life..?! Anyway, still not gotten round to running MC properly, I think its almost become too much of a sacred cow for me now and I'll never run it :(

Latest theory: Maures could manipulate time, therefore the impossible foe who brings down the House of Maure is Elluvia herself but from a different timeline..? She manipulates Dalt to open the way between different timelines allowing her alternate self to enter Maure Castle just as the Maure's believe they are summoning "HIM" or "Y" or whoever.


If thats the case, then why was Bersteck surprised to see her?


Andor the Wise wrote:
If thats the case, then why was Bersteck surprised to see her?

He is surprised because whilst the Maure's were suspicious of Elluvia in this time line the last thing they would have expected would be an alternate Elluvia and all the "impossible" paradox that entails.


More timeline thoughts....the last date I posted was 286 CY...Vexus's Repository updated. This is the last recorded date (to my knowledge) before the catastrophe struck. Adding to this timeline is the following:
320 CY..Zagig begins construction of Castle Greyhawk.
420 CY...Zagig rules from there for 100 years and disappears.
420-505 CY...sometime between disappearance and trapping Iuz in the Godtrap...Zagig returns and traps Fraz-Urb'luu in a Wal bas relief. Thoughts: did Fraz's disappearance coincide with the magical catastrophe? Was Zagig the "one we do not know... Impossible!"?


Several times in the magazines, it says that several centuries have passed since the fall. This doesn't add up given the known timeline. I'm assuming the writers were stating the centuries thing as fluff..without actually thinking about the timeline. Therefore, unless something else comes along to discount the timeline, I'm assuming those statements to be in error.


I've been thinking about Fraz-Urb'luu, and how he fits in all of this lately. In a source it says he debased a sect of druids...basically turning them into Dark Druids. Another source says he was around during the war between the Gods and Primordials. And yet another says he has succubi as values to carry out his deceptions.


In Dungeon 139, pg. 78, Room 12. Star Room, the parchment says "Pray that the boy opens the way so HE may come. My niece is not always the trustworthy sort. Afelbain should follow her to make sure the plan is forwarded without error." And at the bottom, in Abyssal, is an intercessory prayer written in blood "May the Lord of Deception Fraz-Urb'luu grant us our victory." Now like most...I believed this parchment to explain the scene in Dalt's painting...or vice versa.


Yet upon further contemplation, I believe the prayer at the bottom to be a Deception...AND a legitimate prayer, penned by Elluvia...NOT the author of the rest of the parchment (which I believe to be Uncle). Let's break down the first part...."The Elders have several of their order aligned against us. We must either return the Eye or ascertain its ancient use." This may or may not have anything to do with the second part about Dalt making way for HE. But what can be assumed here is that they have contact of some sort with the Elders, they either stole or borrowed the Eye..and have yet to figure it out.


And they have both friends AND enemies amongst the Elders. Ok...now on to the second part...now we all assume that Dalt was sent to open the way or loose the bindings of something BIG. Some think Yog, some Tharizdun, others think Dalt was deceived into thinking he's going after one and actually freeing the other. But follow what's actually taking place leading up to his departure...1) the boy (Dalt) is to is to allow someone to come that the writer wants to come. 2) Elluvia is to see to it that it happens. 3) AFELBAIN is to follow her and make sure she does what she's supposed to. I

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