Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Shadows of Darkness In T1 4 Temple of Elemental Evil By Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer For Your Old School Campaign

The sudden appearance of  T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil By Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer adventure location being wretched back into the world of men in the Black Forest's of Germany during The Thirty Year War  doesn't mean that there are not other far reaching implications  far away in the English countryside!

The appearance of the temple means that its power is going to spread across Europe like a slowly corrupting rot in every grove & stone circle serving the local witch cults.Were there others going back hundreds of years ago? One thing to keep in mind when dipping my toe back into both Arthurian mythology & literature is that Arthur was effectively having adventures in his youth with his step father & brother. So just like the Lion & Dragon retro clone which starts PC's at level zero, pre Caliburn sword pulling Arthur is a zero level PC. But who were Sir Ector & Arthur's step brother Sir Kay?
These two figures were key not only in Arthur's development as king but as one of the knights who controlled one of the most dangerous & mysterious areas of the English countryside.
"Sir Ector /ˈɛktɔːr, -ər/, sometimes Hector, Antor, or Ectorius, is the father of Sir Kay and the adoptive father of King Arthur in the Arthurian legend. Sometimes portrayed as a king instead of merely a lord, he has an estate in the country as well as properties in London.
Ector appears in the works of Robert de Boron and the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, as well as later adaptations such as the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. In these versions, Merlin takes Arthur from his biological parents King Uther Pendragon and Igraine, and brings him to Ector's estate. Merlin does not reveal the boy's true identity, and Ector takes him on and raises him with Kay as his own son. When Kay is old enough to be knighted, Ector's young ward serves as his squire.
In The Once and Future King T. H. White says his lands lie in the "Forest Sauvage"; some later writers have used this as well.
In the earlier Welsh stories, the father of Kay (Cei) is instead named Cynyr (Kyner)."

The "Forest Sauvage" is a Welsh entrance to Fairyland often considered haunted and very dangerous to mortal man. With the reappearance of the temple of elemental evil the place has exploded to life with occult energies. The fact that a family of knights was stationed there by the English crown wasn't a mistake. These knights to protect the locals from having their souls swallowed up.  The Welsh fairyland is very similar in many respects to the Norse
Alfheim & the German mythological version of Fairyland.

"Álfheim as an abode of the Elves is mentioned only twice in Old Norse texts.
The eddic poem Grímnismál describes twelve divine dwellings beginning in stanza 5 with:
Ýdalir call they     the place where Ull
A hall for himself hath set;
And Álfheim the gods     to Frey once gave
As a tooth-gift in ancient times.
A tooth-gift was a gift given to an infant on the cutting of the first tooth.
In the 12th century eddic prose Gylfaginning, Snorri Sturluson relates it as the first of a series of abodes in heaven:
That which is called Álfheim is one, where dwell the peoples called ljósálfar [Light Elves]; but the dökkálfar [Dark Elves] dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature. The Light-elves are fairer to look upon than the sun, but the Dark-elves are blacker than pitch.
The account later, in speaking of a hall in the Highest Heaven called Gimlé that shall survive when heaven and earth have died, explains:
It is said that another heaven is to the southward and upward of this one, and it is called Andlang [Andlangr 'Endlong'] but the third heaven is yet above that, and it is called Vídbláin [Vídbláinn 'Wide-blue'] and in that heaven we think this abode is. But we believe that none but Light-Elves inhabit these mansions now."

So we begin to see the false Heavens of Fairyland & get a bit of a glimpse of the dangerous & chaotic nature of the Elves of legend & mythology. This brings up the illusions & set ups from mythology & history that we have when the chaotic anti reality of Fairyland washes against our world especially during the blood shed and horror of the Thirty Year War.

Szene aus dem 30jährigen Krieg. Signiert. Datiert (18)59.
This would be around the time of the Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years' War because the blood shed of Europe has been on going & the temple of elemental evil has spreading its corruption across Europe.
"Some in the court of Ferdinand II did not trust Wallenstein, believing he sought to join forces with the German princes and thus gain influence over the Emperor. Ferdinand II dismissed Wallenstein in 1630. He later recalled him, after the Swedes, led by King Gustavus Adolphus, had successfully invaded the Holy Roman Empire and turned the tables on the Catholics.[55][56]
Like Christian IV before him, Gustavus Adolphus came to aid the German Lutherans, to forestall Catholic suzerainty in his back yard, and to obtain economic influence in the German states around the Baltic Sea. He was also concerned about the growing power of the Holy Roman Empire, and like Christian IV before him, was heavily subsidized by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister of Louis XIII of France, and by the Dutch.[57] From 1630 to 1634, Swedish-led armies drove the Catholic forces back, regaining much of the lost Protestant territory. During his campaign, he managed to conquer half of the imperial kingdoms, making Sweden the continental leader of Protestantism until the Swedish Empire ended in 1721.
Swedish forces entered the Holy Roman Empire via the Duchy of Pomerania, which served as the Swedish bridgehead since the Treaty of Stettin (1630). After dismissing Wallenstein in 1630, Ferdinand II became dependent on the Catholic League. Gustavus Adolphus allied with France in the Treaty of Bärwalde (January 1631). France and Bavaria signed the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau (1631), but this was rendered irrelevant by Swedish attacks against Bavaria. At the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631), Gustavus Adolphus's forces defeated the Catholic League led by Tilly.[58][59] A year later, they met again in another Protestant victory, this time accompanied by the death of Tilly. The upper hand had now switched from the league to the union, led by Sweden. In 1630, Sweden had paid at least 2,368,022 daler for its army of 42,000 men. In 1632, it contributed only one-fifth of that (476,439 daler) towards the cost of an army more than three times as large (149,000 men). This was possible due to subsidies from France, and the recruitment of prisoners (most of them taken at the Battle of Breitenfeld) into the Swedish army."

Things are raging in most of Europe during this time except for the English countryside. The events within the Swedish intervention 
enable the forces of Fairy to move across Europe even as the humanoids from T1-4 to move with perfect cover of the fog of war.

Did some of the magic items seized by Sir Ector & Arthur's step brother Sir Kay have been taken back to the Welsh Fairyland of the "Forest Sauvage" from the time of Arthur? I think so.because the knight's influence has faded from human history and slipped into legend. Perhaps this a small part of the fairy glamour that has seized Europe proper.

The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631)

This sort of whole sale display of magick enables the power of chaos to slip through the cracks of reality especially as the occult takes hold from the temple of T1 -4. This is something that we see time & again in Clark Ashton Smith's
Averoigne stories. Notable in CAS's Colossus of Ylourgne, The (1933)  & Maker of Gargoyles, The (1932).
Many friends have mentioned that the appearance of the Temple of Elemental Evil allows powers of darkness and chaos to flourish in the occult environs of Europe. This could be exactly the type of thing that the Elves want. This makes prey so much easier to pick off especially during the blood shed of the Thirty Years War.

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