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[Review] A Den of Stinkin' Evil

A Temple of Elemental Evil Commentary

  1. Keneth
    I originally posted this on the Co8 forum, after re-playing ToEE with Co8 content a number of years ago, but I thought I might preserve it here for posterity since I often point people to it when they ask me what I thought of the game. I doubt I'll ever play the game again, but this was my most enjoyable and extensive run. I used to have some screenshots saved of this awe-inspiring journey but, alas, none remain to this day.

    The Glorious Tale of Imrod, the Sword of the Ruby Sorceress

    I started out as a fighter with an unhealthy love for bastard swords (having already known about Fragrach though incidentally not Scather) and Serena, a cleric of Wee Jas (I like the Death and Magic domains although I failed to take into account that you need the Good domain to craft holy weapons). They were the ultimate tools of righteousness that brought everything in their path closer to the Ruby Sorceress when it was "their time" (generally 1 surprise round after having spotted the burly man in heavy armor charging towards them). Had a good run with those two right up until the moathouse where I stumbled through the backdoor into the bandit lair and got effortlessly disposed of by their leader. "Damn," said the cleric, "We need fireballs. Lots of fireballs."

    And so a sorcerer was made, a somewhat underclothed lass (due to the corset having no bra, which I only noticed after getting a free room at the inn), who grew from hurling around maximized fireballs and magic missiles to a full-blown utility and field-control caster with power word shenanigans and greater heroism for err'one. Imrod, the fighter was impressed. It all went well after that, the three had a good thing going and were more than a match for anything that Oerth decided to throw at them until that one fateful encounter. A pesky little chest at brother Smyth's that simply would not open no matter how many times Rachelle, the sorceress who was at the time still enjoying the breeze on her chest, cast her Knock spell. After much frustration she sighed defeated, "I think we need someone more fitted for the job. To Nulb, right?" she said, already halfway through casting her teleportation spell. Serena shook her head in dismay but knew there was little choice in the matter since her trusty sidekick with the pointy sword wasn't willing to simply smash it to bits.

    They searched all over Nulb to no avail until finally, they stopped (or rather were forced to do so by the starry-eyed fighter) at a place of somewhat ill-repute that didn't really sit well with the two female members of the party -- Madam Ophelia's Snake Pit. Imrod immediately took a liking to one of the fine ladies of the establishment, a feisty young scoundrel by the name of Riana, who for some reason thought that the party's cleric was her long-lost sister (incidentally standing around on the other side of town doing nothing) and was more than willing to join the fair band of would-be-heroes.

    It took a few dozen sneak attacks and a whole tribe of dead bugbears before the newest member of the party finally got the hang of picking locks (not really sure how that works) and after a couple of minutes of tinkering with the darned chest, the whole party stood in amazement as the warrior opened the newly acquired book and (very) slowly read through a few paragraphs, whisking them all away to find some untold glory in an obscure arena.

    After a few weeks of heroic deeds, systematic extermination of anything more dangerous than a butterfly, and several accidentally rescued (and unknowingly robbed) nobles, the party found themselves enjoying quite a bit of prestige. They were known from Verbobonc to Furyondy, as the noble knights, dragonslayers, temple liberators, and purveyors of swift justice. Riana, under the tutelage of her warrior friend, picked up some rudimentary fighting techniques with a bastard sword so that she could wield a weapon more befitting of a knight and stave off any bad first impressions that would portray her otherwise shady nature in a bad light. Proud of his work, Imrod bestowed upon his protégé a magnificent blue sword that he received as a reward for saving some prince's life (seeing how he already had one that was more shiny anyway). The sorceress even found herself some new clothes, although the rest of the party wasn't really sure that marauder armor was an improvement. Serena decided to please her goddess (and the rest of the party members!) by forging some spectacular magical items although she could not help but feel somewhat drained of life each time she got up to the task.

    Having grown quickly bored with sitting around, the merry band of unlikely heroes decided it was time to uproot the... err... root of all evil. They obliterated the strange golden skull that the cleric had been using as a paperweight (something about it being evil and stuff, whatever Burne...) and headed down the final flight of stairs inside the dark temple (why do they always build these downwards? and where does all that earth and gravel go?). Inside they were greeted by a man in a funny pink armor (or was it red?) who had some serious anger management issues. A single hit from Imrod's heavy sword resulted in the summoning of a dark avatar of some obscure demigod (I thought these things were supposed to take a while to build suspense?) but within a few moments, he found himself impaled with both Fragrach and Scather from each side. Iuz fell, and the rest of the evil legion was overcome by dread and disbelief. They weren't given a chance to flee.

    Finally the party came upon a throne of gems guarded by an overprotective crone. They had no need for precious baubles, having already amassed enough gold to fund an entire kingdom, but Serena figured that a platinum pillar would fit in nicely inside their castle. Sadly things did not go as planned and the party found themselves ambushed by a foul creature of nightmares -- an overgrown fungus with lady parts (at least I hope it was in that order). Imrod was so disgusted that he started hacking at it ruthlessly and before the entire party even found their bearings, the vile mushroom was already begging for mercy. There was none, Serena released a pillar of golden fire upon the repugnant beast and watched it burn as it spit the final shrieks of defiance at the valiant adventurers.

    And then the heroes used their never-ending stacks of gold to turn the temple into a shopping complex known throughout Greyhawk as "The Magic Mushroom".

    The cleric and rogue were lvl19 at the end of the game, Serena due to crafting items, and Riana due to lagging behind 8 levels when I got her. Imrod and Rachelle were both lvl20.
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