Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Death of A God & The Tomb Of Pan Dungeon Session Report '89

I saw a city in a lonely land:
Foursquare, it fronted upon gulfs of fire;
Behind, the night of Erebus hung entire;
And deserts gloomed or glimmered on each hand.
The City of the Titans  (1915) 
by Clark Ashton Smith

There was a quick debate on Twitter about how gods should never be killed in Dungeons & Dragons style games. This reminded me of one of the most dangerous dungeons our party of players encountered back in '89. The Tomb of  Pan was a home brew that my uncle had come up with whist his kids & me were in school learning Greco Roman mythology. 

The Clash of the Titans film was still on everyone's mind in '89

My uncle had picked up on a bit from Greek mythology & the closest I could come was this quote from the Stack Exchange Mythology  & Folklore beta ; 

"Then the voice said aloud to him, When you are arrived at Palodes, take care to make it known that the great God Pan is dead.
Plutarch. Plutarch's Morals. Translated from the Greek by several hands. Corrected and revised by. William W. Goodwin, PH. D. Boston. Little, Brown, and Company. Cambridge. Press Of John Wilson and son. 1874." 

We were to try & figure out what had killed him & the we were right in the middle of the events of Ragnarok during that time.  We were use Charon to get into Tartarus to find the tomb. Most of the adventure was sew up whole cloth from Deities & Demi Gods & The Manual of the Planes. 

We ported into the deathly quiet of the plane & began searching for the tomb. Our druid wasn't really sure what happened to her patron. It began with the shadow demons on the first level of the tomb after we investigated the wax seal & had made the offering to the gods. Tartus usual suspects were after us DemodandsAchaierai, Shadow demonsMephits, & Vargouille. They all came at us & we died by the score as I remember. My wizards were cut down left & right but we had a pact with the gods. The tomb was fiendish, clever, & very dangerous.
Vrubel pan painting. 

The tomb was empty.
Fighting through the final rooms we entered the garden level of the tomb & found Zeus waiting for us & we didn't even wait around. We'd had some dealings with the father of the gods before & his wraith was nothing to fool with. Apparently he had resurrected the god & this was nothing for even the affairs of demi gods & heroes. 

Copyright Tsr, Deities And Demigods, Dungeons And Dragons

So did we feel cheated? No not at all we had gotten away with a bit of treasure & had learned that the Greco Roman pantheon was heavily involved with the events of Ragnarok. We had barely escaped with our collective lives at the time.  There were losing characters in my uncle's games & then there was  losing characters. That would come much later on! But that's an other blog post for another time. Is there a Christian allegory here? Umm yeah & my uncle used it to bait us & then switched up events in the same campaign. 
Gods devolve into demons over time & eventually fade or assume a different role. They may also become demons such as the Pagan gods were turned into devils & demons by later Christian church sources. Should player's high level PC's be able to kill gods or their avatars? Hmm very rarely & there should be some serious consequences for those actions. As we shall see there are some very nasty consequences & PC's will bare the brunt of them. 

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