Big Mac wrote:Is that something that would work well in wildspace?
I suppose it could. It's described as "a mass of pulsing blackness" that gradually becomes "swarming motes of nothingness drifting over the ground, each one absorbing light, life, and sanity." It hunts down "nondemon living creatures," which I guess implies it's a phenomenon of the Abyss, though you could ignore that and just have it hunt down all life, including demonic life.
Does the material in Living Greyhawk Journal connect naturally to the City of Brass, or would a GM need to build a bridging story between the two?
The Lords of the Elder Elements are basically just a throwaway line (and accompanying illustration) in the Living Greyhawk Journal #4. It's an idea that Gary Holian had but never fully developed. It's not really important except that it seems similar to the primordial cults of 4th edition, which have been developed.
Primordials in general correspond to the elemental, quasielemental, and paraelemental lords of earlier editions, though many are new and significantly different from those described in previous editions of the game. They tend to be more evil and hostile to the rest of creation than inner planar lords in 1st-3rd editions were, though they're about even with the Elemental Princes of Evil. Some of the "Elder Elemental Evils" in the Forgotten Realms setting, including Dendar the Night Serpent and Kezef the Chaos Hound, were reinterpreted as primordials in 4th edition.
Tales of the Lamp for Al-Qadim mentioned a temple of Imix, the Elemental Prince of Evil Fire in the City of Brass, and Imix is described as a primordial in 4e.
In the adventure outline I was talking about (which is less than a page in length), low-level PCs discover that the aggressive city-state of Hassiek is being advised by primordial cultists. Hassiek isn't on Oerth, so my mention of the Lords of the Elder Elements was probably not relevant at all. In a Greyhawk campaign you'd probably want to pick a different aggressive group like the Slave Lords, Scarlet Brotherhood, or perhaps an ambitious city-state like Rel Astra. The particular mix of enemies/minions mentioned in The Plane Below (demons, archons, elementals, and slaadi) might be too eclectic for a campaign set in the traditional AD&D cosmology. If you made the cult dedicated to just Imix, you'd probably want to stick to fire-related enemies. If it were more of a mixed cult, like the Cult of Elemental Evil, you'd be able to pick from a broader group of foes.
There isn't any direct connection between the primordial cult and the City of Brass except that the efreeti sheikh Ma'mum is using the leaders of the cultists
as puppets in his scheme for world conquest. It's just one ambitious efreeti, not the City of Brass as a whole.
Same goes for Zerhadlun vs Shr'akt'lor. That depends on if you want to run a pre-Torment or post-Torment game.
It goes a little deeper than that. In the game, the githzerai Dak'kon is responsible for spreading a heresy (the Iron Circle of Zerthimon) that divides the wills of the population of Shra'kt'lor and makes it vulnerable to a githyanki attack. This is part of the background of the game rather than something that happens in the present day; I think it's supposed to have happened a few decades ago, during one of the Nameless One's previous incarnations (his "pragmatic" incarnation). Planescape sourcebooks describe Shra'kt'lor as a city that exists in the present day, so there's something of a contradiction there. Interestingly, no third or fourth edition sourcebook has ever mentioned Shra'kt'lor.
But yeah, it basically depends on whether you want to treat Planescape: Torment as canon.
Do you think that is a dwarf settlement in Nentir Vale? Is there any clue as to its location? And if it is in Nentir Vale, is it one of the "raided locations" that has been lifted from Greyhawk or Mystara?
It's Hammerfast in Nentir Vale, which is pretty much the dwarf community 4th edition always uses. It wasn't raided from another world. It could as easily be Rockhome on Mystara or the Principality of Ulek on Oerth, though, assuming you're wiling to accept the conceit of galeb duhr slaves of a hill giant clan kidnapping dwarves. I think it might make more sense to use sandmen and dao, though, in games that include those creatures. You could even fit the yak-men into it.
Is there anything new about the cult that wasn't in earlier sources?
A little bit. Not much. The best source is probably Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.
And is this the Nentir Vale version of the temple?
Presumably. I don't see any specific Nentir Vale references in it, though; it pretty much just describes the cult and temple as they exist in Greyhawk. The only things different are the leaders they describe and the idea that there's a parallel temple in the Elemental Chaos that would create a permanent conduit between the Elemental Chaos and mortal world if it were ever brought into conjunction with the mortal world's version of the temple.
Same questions as Temple of Elemental Evil. Is there anything new with Wave or is it just a 4e restat? And is this connected to the Nentir Vale version of White Plume Mountain?
Well, artifact descriptions are much longer in 4e than they were in previous editions, detailing things like how the artifact reacts to varying PC actions. They connected Wave to the 4e goddess Melora instead of Poseidon, as the original module did.
I wonder why they used the old name for something different.
Is there anything at all archon-like about them? Could you fit them into the 1e-3e mold if you used a crowbar?
4th edition archons have absolutely nothing in common with the archons of previous editions. The WotC designers just decided that they didn't want a separate planar species for each alignment (partly because they included fewer alignments, and partly because their design philosophy was that it was bad to create monsters just to fill in slots), so they cut out celestial archons from the game and gave the name to a different monster. The same thing happened to eladrins. It's things like this that make the Forgotten Realms wiki a bit of a mess; the change in cosmology between 2e and 3e also messed the wiki up considerably.
Hmmm. I suppose that if elves can have drow, the djinns could have a subrace that was radically different from the main group. Is there anything about the original djinn that would prevent an alignment change?
Not really; genies are all about elements and magic, not alignment. You wouldn't really need a separate subrace of neutral djinn, any more than you need a separate subrace of humans to explain a human community with a nonstandard alignment. For that matter, you could easily have a community of chaotic neutral high elves without inventing a separate subrace to explain them. These seem more like aggrieved and scattered individuals than a community, anyway.
Githzerai monks sound like they could be a fun addition to D&D. Is this something new?
No, it's part of Charles Stross's original concept of the race. You don't see it in 2nd edition because the monk class mostly didn't exist in 2nd edition (except in the form of the fighting monk cleric kit, which doesn't work because githzerai aren't supposed to have clerics in 2e, and the monk class included in The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory late, late in 2nd edition). Githzerai monks appeared in 3rd edition as soon as githzerai did, since the game had monks again. 2nd edition described githzerai as "monastic," but was unable to give them an appropriate character class to fit.
...unless some princes of evil managed to corrupt a group of archons and turn them into elementals.
I think they would have been better off using a different name for elemental constructs.
Nope. Archons, in previous editions, are angelic beings, sometimes with animal characteristics. 4th edition archons are evil elementals wearing suits of armor. Having one transform into the other would make as much sense as a group of kobolds being corrupted elves, or a bunch of gold dragons being corrupted umber hulks. Other than the name, they don't have a single thing in common. The "corrupted celestial" theory wouldn't make any sense in the context of The Plane Below anyway, which has archons being created in archon forges, possession of which constitutes their main hook. Who would care who had control of an archon forge when you could just cut off whatever route the kidnappers are taking to ship archon slaves to the Inner Planes and render them useless? And why would primordials use such a specific and distant celestial race as their raw material when they can get hold of elementals much more easily? I mean, if an archon could be transformed into an evil, amorphous soldier of darkness, presumably anything could, including races that would cause them much fewer problems to capture.
If you're playing in 2nd or 3rd edition, just use Krynn-style elemental minions instead, since that's essentially what they are. It's like if 4th edition renamed harpies "trolls," it would make more sense for players of previous editions to continue to use harpies than to concoct an elaborate theory about how all trolls were harpies transformed by evil wizards.