As a side note, does any one know where the Blue Shrine should be?
I have seen it just south-east of Celik, just south of the Ringing Mountains, in the Endless Sand dunes, and FAR west of the Deadlands! WTF!!!
So i have the following questions:
¤ Where the heck is it really supposed to be?
¤ What all can it do?
¤ Is there a book/article that goes into more detail about it? If not, is there a detailed history of it, canon or otherwise?
I have read the stuff in the 4e campaign setting on it, that’s about it.
I agree completely. You will have to come up with something.
I’m going to have it be the entrance to an underground temple to water. Inside this shrine/temple complex are the bones of the first water cleric, supposedly. These bones have become magical artifacts, sort of, that will help the party defeat Kalak. At least that’s what the party is told. What is really there, or if the bones will actually help them, I have not decided.
Maybe your answer is in your question…
What if the Blue Shrine is some sort of a dilemma in which it teleports to other places on Athas so in the history of Athas the Blue Shrine did indeed appear in all those places and now in your campaign it is about to teleport again while your players are inside. Now of course the why, when and how is up to you.
I mentioned this some in my “Athasian Underdark” thread, but one plot point I had was that the rhullisti actually had ancient blue age settlements underground as one of their attempts to escape the brown tide. There are hidden blue age ruins down there and a lot of the tunnels were actually dug by life shaped creations as part of this desperate bid for survival. This is also why the Athasian underdark is capable of supporting any life at all down there. Oases and streams were established by the rhullisti down below, allowing a few civilisations to exist in these cthonic realms.
The Blue Shrine is something I see being one of two things in my capaign. Either it is the entrance to one of the largest rhullisti cities of Cthonia (my name for the underdark of Athas) a series of dead ruins haunted by life shaped horrors that have formed their own ecosystem in the absence of the rhullisti.
Or the Blue Shrine is actually one of the old floating cities of the Blue Age that beached itself in a remote corner of Athas. Perhaps it is mostly buried under sand at this point and serves as a pilgrimage point for water clerics. This ancient city might also be haunted by life shaped creatures that adapted for the Athasian wastes or it could be filled with undead. If you want it to be less of a dungeon crawl maybe it has been repurposed by water clerics to serve as a small city for the peoples of the wastes who now dwell in petrified or mummified life shaped buildings. That is definitely a chance to play up the “weird and exotic locales” that Dark Sun does so well.
In the 4e book, the Blue Shrine has connections to the Old Gods of Athas. It’s marble halls are filled with the smell of incense, it’s torches never go out and when you sit upon a throne at the end of the Shrine you’re filled with images of the Dawn War. Angelic armies fighting armies of the Elements with primitive Athas as their principal battleground. Ultimately in 4e it’s stated that the Primordials won the Dawn War, and the Gods were either slain or driven out. But that’s stated from The Wanderer’s point of view, rather than abject fact. How I thus interpret the Blue Shrine is the location of a “shattered” God. One who’s essence lingers on Athas, but is splintered and badly broken. In one of my campaigns I had my group’s Preserver: Misha, go to the Blue Shrine after he obtained the Avangion Apotheosis and become the “vessel” for these shattered shards - absorbing what remained of their power and the God’s identity.
Thus he began essentially a true Athasian man-God. Completely bypassing “The Gray” (Shadowfell) and any need for the Astral Sea.
The only time I have used the Blue Shrine was right after running Dregoth’s Acending. The heroes stopped the casting, but the raw energy was enough to bring him back to life. The conduits had been realigned and did not snap back to the elemental planes. With only Dregoth’s Templars still able to cast spells the Blue Shrine (and the other seven planar shrines) had to be visited, a ritual performed by a cleric, and a new guardian bound to each shrine, all while dodging newly empowered undead (the conduits realigned with the Grey)
I was actually thinking of using the Blue Shrine as part of my 2nd major Dark Sun campaign. Long story story short I was going to have had Rajaat’s lairs in the marshes below the jagged cliffs actually connect to the rhullisti tunnel network, with Rajaat having actually studied the ancient ruins and even absconding with a few key samples. The whole thing was meant to culminate in the PCs reaching a half sunken pyramid in the marshes where Rajaat first discovered Defiler Metamorphosis and discovering a way of killing Borys while having a climactic battle with a “proto dragon” that Rajaat had in stasis.