Sage of Shadowdale has something to say about pretty much everything.
Despite having pages in Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Adventures, and Polyhedron
Newszine, the Old Mage still has more to speak of the Realms. Not wanting
to anger an archmage, we decided it would be best to give him a weekly
column from which to discuss the finer points.
well, young one...
The House of Darkness
Harpers warn that the temple itself has other powers to reveal intruders
and lessen their magics, and to augment the power, duration, and precision
of spells of the Dark Blessed while theyre within its walls. Although
this seems likely (given that its a known feature of other Cyricist
temples that began as holy houses of Bane), its not yet been investigated
and described in any detail by any outside observer.
the sanctum are tall tapestries, through which the Exalted (the patriarch
and his two "Hands") can appear; they conceal a wall opening
into a rear gallery that in turn descends to the newest part of the temple:
a long, low, ugly wing of kitchens and pantries stretching away to the
east and joined to the Hallowed Hall by a dining hall.
horrors are known to stand as silent, motionless guardians at various
points around the temple--to be activated either when their conditions
are met (usually such commands involve intruders. but the specific commands
of these "Silent Watchers" are temple secrets) or when theyre
touched and commanded by any priest of Bane resident in this temple.
years, various coerced workers (often faithful seeking to earn their freedom
from temple disgrace, or persons owing a debt to the temple) have been
impressed into work on a ragged, ongoing series of battlements that are
gradually enclosing the temple proper--that is, a stone walkway that winds
from buttress to the main wall and so onto the next buttress, around it,
and back to the wall again. Thus far, this "lofty walk" traverses
the north and east walls of the temple (though sections along the north
wall have twice fallen under the weight of winter ice). It is joined to
the ground by many rickety support-pillars and stairs, and sports crenellated
battlements whose merlons are crowned with the same irregularly-angled
dark metal spikes as the outer temple walls. It is a favorite place for
the Exalted to bully lay worshippers into undertaking dangerous or demeaning
tasks, affording as it does the peril of being hurled off it, and semi-privacy
for converse taking place on its heights. When complete, it will be added
to the guards patrol routes (oh yes, the temple does have temple
guards, of whom more later), and will give the priests a means of more
easily and often inspecting the roof, and sending workers up to repair
be noted that on no less than four occasions in the last two years, workers
have fallen through the roof to their deaths in the Hallowed Hall below--and
that a Voonlarren lass (widely thought to have consorted with, and somehow
displeased, the Exalted) was recently chained spread-eagled on the roof
to die in the sun, her eyes pecked out by vultures--only to fall onto
the heads of visiting clergy during a ritual when the birds arriving to
feast on her proved too heavy for the decaying roof where she lay.
part of the holy temple ground is the easternmost end of the new north
wing, where the "End Pantry" spends much of its time flooded
with ankle-deep water. Molds and mildew grow thickly here, and servants
or faithful supplicants whove displeased the Exalted have been known
to be shut up here to shiver in the water--often held down with stones
to keep them half-submerged--for days. In warmer months, live eels are
released into this noisome pool for ongoing husbandry by the cooks--and
when theyre swimming hungrily about, imprisonment "in the wet"
can get really unpleasant.
Hit Dice: 18d10
Speed: 20 ft.
AC: 30 (-1 size,
-1 Dex, +22 natural)
Attacks: 2 slams
5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.
+6, Ref +5, Will +6
33, Dex 9, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1
+5, Spot +5, Swim +5
Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects.
Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain,
or death from massive damage. Immune to all spells, spell-like abilities,
and supernatural effects, except as follows. Electricity effects slow
it (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds, with no saving throw. Fire
effects break any slow effect on the golem and cure 1 point of
damage for each 3 points of damage they would otherwise deal.
Weapon: First or second round of combatcloud of poisonous gas, 10-foot
cube directly in front of the golem lasting 1 round, free action every
1d4+1 rounds; Fortitude save (DC 17), initial damage 1d4 temporary Constitution,
secondary damage death.