View Full Version : The Temple of Elemental Evil - Apotheosis of Zuggtmoy?

2017-06-28, 01:22 PM
What if the Temple of Elemental Evil was a ploy by Zuggtmoy to transform herself into a more powerful Demon Princess?

Now that I have your attention, let me elaborate.

Everyone knows the Temple of Elemental Evil. And we all know what a convoluted mess it is, with elemental cults secretly being a ploy by Zuggtmoy, Demon Princess of Fungus, who is in turn being manipulated by Tharizdun. But what if a DM wants to simplify things?

Well, one option is to cut Zuggtmoy out entirely. Perhaps the ToEE is just a straight-up Tharizdun cult; after all, he is directly associated with corrupt elements in at least one edition of the game. Or perhaps it's a chaotic and unstable collective of different Primordial cults. Or take a simpler layered approach; it's a collective of four or more Primordial cults that also worship Tharizdun as the ultimate "Master of Masters", which I think is actually the 5e depiction of the Temple.

But what about giving Zuggtmoy herself some love? We know that, in canon, Zuggtmoy is well aware that her position as "Demon Princess of Fungus" is pretty much a dead-end job. We know that in at least one edition, belief can affect the fundamental nature of planes or planar creatures. And we know that demons are, in all editions, highly mutable beings.

So, what if the Temple's purpose is to fuel a demonic apothesis? Perhaps the cult's true intended purpose is to provide the raw belief and magical energies Zuggtmoy needs to cast off her old, limiting title as Queen of Fungus and instead be reborn, stronger and more powerful, as a new Demon Queen of the Elements? The conflict between the subtemples may be stoking the metaphorical fire she needs to be reforged in, or it may be helping her to decide which elemental aspect to take on, or some combination of the two.

What do you think?

Mr Beer
2017-06-28, 06:03 PM
Sure, sounds good. You can't overuse it, but I find it highly entertaining to have the players acquire the McGuffin, only to find that was the BBEG's plan all along.

Mark Hall
2017-06-29, 12:19 PM
It sounds like a great option. Especially if she's being manipulated by Tharizdun into this, but her succeeding still serves him by making her a vassal deity. So, Tharizdun has the plan to become the god of these corrupted elements BUT, even if he fails to achieve this, he's got a fallback where she's the new god, and he's her divine patron.