Everybody – the party, the gnomes, and the Kettite men-at-arms – all waited in silence. Deep in the Black Temple, it’d been non-stop battle with the giants and their servitors, more arriving all the time.

But now, no reinforcements came. The power of this oversized bandit gang had been broken.

The battle over, it was now only Silence in this deeply unsettling place of dark worship. The walls appeared to writhe when seen out of the corner of the eye. Everywhere, black stone, only relieved by veins of various shades of purple.

This is Session 6 of my recap / walkthrough / playthrough series of THE FORGOTTEN TEMPLE OF THARIZDUN (1982) by Gary Gygax. [PDF for $5 at DTRPG].



The gnomes were talking amongst themselves. The bandits were no more, their stone giant leader a mountainous pile of flesh in the hallway. Their sturdy gnome companions emphatically thanked the party. But their fight was done, and they did not want to remain in this alien temple one moment longer.Abomination. Doesn’t belong here“, they muttered. The gnomes told the party they were now honorary citizens of the Gnome Vale, and could take refuge there at any time.

They departed, and the Kettites guardsmen joined them, heading up and out. Yebarinscrud asked them to camp outside for a night to watch for other denizens entering the temple entrance. The gnomes said they’d camp near the Temple for two nights.

The Spoils of Battle

Undeterred by the departure of their allies, the party set about searching and looting this apparently empty level.

[This is the result of the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun’s clever design by Gary Gygax. The inhabitants of this dungeon level did not remain in their rooms, awaiting the party kicking in their door. They mobilized to defend against the intruders, leaving a (mostly) empty level. And now the adventure takes on an entirely different tone…]

Tagren and Yebarinscrud went from room to room, digging through piles of ogre garbage and troll offal, finding platinum and gold coins, and occasional treasures not ruined by the bestial humanoids.

The Great Chapel

Rolen and Wilhelm were fascinated by the sinister chapel just to the north.

Small, fluted columns of deep black stone line a 20′ aisle, leaving a 10′ wide space beyond on both east and west walls. Within the front 40′ of the place, all stone is black. Beyond, where a stone rail rises 3′ from the floor, and a curving step or dais rises 1′ and meets the back wall, floors and walls are of deepest purple, although the ceiling remains black.

The rail and altar made them nervous.

This railing is 3′ high and intricately carved and pierced. This work is disgusting and disturbing in nature, being of vines and tendrils, tentacles and serpentine bodies intertwined with human forms and skeletons and other things unknowable. There is a 3′ wide gateway in the exact center of the rail. (…) This step or dais appears to be the place where an altar service might have been conducted. There is a low table of black mineral which has bits of shiny purple within its polished surface. (…) To either side are rotted and crumbling chairs of some sort. There are piles of rusted metal near the doors on the north wall.

Rolen cast Mage Hand, and used it to touch the rail and the altar. He got brief sensation of cold from the altar.

They passed through the gap in the rail with no incident.

Wilhelm ventured to touch the altar, and was damaged by Cold for his trouble.

Rolen opened the door to the left to a room that appeared to be a robing room for the acolytes of the temple.

The rotted remains of several closets line the east wall, and there appear to be vestments of indeterminate stuff moldering away there also. There is but one door other than the one by which you entered, a heavy bronzewood door to the west.

Wilhelm was intrigued by an object on the wall behind the altar.

On the wall behind the altar stone there is an anomaly. The violet color of the stone seems to bear the indistinct shadow of a large, vaguely-human shape. But it is so obscure, and so uncertain in form, that it may be a trick of light playing upon the curving surface of stone.

No matter how enticing it was to touch, Wilhelm resisted, remembering his experience with the altar.

Rolen continued into the next room, a mirror of the other. It seemed to be a sanctum for the priests.

This room is similar to the others you have seen here, for it is all of black stone. However, there remain bits of rotten carpeting on the floor, and it appears that an arras or tapestry must have rotted and fallen from the west wall, for there is a moldy heap of something there. (…) There are several decayed chairs scattered here and there. A rotting divan lies in a heap next to the east door. Several low stools surround a place on the floor where lilac-colored stones have been inset to form a two-tiered pyramid. Near these stools is a low wooden table with a great mound of dust on it.

He moved to investigate that moldy heap in the corner, and was overwhelmed by extreme cold, and he immediately backed off. He fired a Fire Bolt at the mass, but it only grew. Rolen left the room.

That was enough of the creepy temple for the two, and they soon joined Delmar the thief, who’d been carefully exploring to the east.

Also Yebarinscrud and Tagren finished their looting of the west, and also joined the rest of the party. The giant corpses were already getting ripe, quicker than one would expect.

They found more empty rooms, filthy from the previous inhabitants.

Opening one of the doors, the party was jumped by two ferocious dire wolves. But they were quickly dispatched by the fighters.


Turns out they’d been pets of the stone giant, and this was his room!

There is a strange bed of enormous size. This odd construction of logs and planks occupies 20′ of the west wall. Sconces are used as wall pegs and hold various giant-sized garments. Near the entrance is a
crude table and a chair. Next is a large barrel, a small cask, and a crate. Against the far wall are five chests. Near them are a great club, several giant-sized spears, and a notched bastard sword which seems to have seen service as a dagger.

The party waited impatiently while Yebarinscrud went through a 10 minute ritual, casting Detect Magic. The bastard sword glowed, as did something within chest #2 (which turned out to be a small gargoyle statue that gave off Illusion magic).

Rolen studied the sword. It was clearly magic, but was notched, and in more worn shape than a typical magic weapon. Tagren gave it a few swings in the air, which determined little, but it seemed well-balanced and sharp nonetheless.

The other chests:

  • Chest #1: Carved amethyst chalice worth 5,000 g.p., gold flagon with gems worth 3,500 g.p., 3 pieces of miscellaneous jewelry, an ivory box with jeweled cover worth 2,000 g.p., a leather pouch with 21 base 10 g.p. gems, and a crystal ball (worth 500 g.p.) wrapped in a bolt of silk.
  • Chest #3 4,300 g.p.
  • Chest #4: 1,874 e.p. intermixed with 2,308 silver coins. There are also 3 10 pound bars of silver.
  • Chest #5: 4,094 c.p., 17 1 pound copper bars, and 9 small leather bags containing 50 bronze pieces each.

What a haul! The party left the baser coins, but they were quite wealthy now, if they got away with their gains.


They continued up the hallway. One room had two frumpy human women cooks. They immediately mistrusted what they saw and shut the door!

Rolen and Delmar investigated one room. The thief determined from the map that there should be a room beyond. And he found a secret door on that far wall!