Friday, April 8, 2011

Fantastic Locations: Temple of Geryon

Geryon was once the lord of Stygia, the Fifth Layer of Hell, a position he gained right after the demotion of Levistus.

Known for his staunch loyalty to Asmodeus, Geryon was the only one to support the Lord of Nessus upon the Hell-wide revolution known as the Reckoning of Hell. But, in the aftermath, his faithfulness was apparently useless, as Geryon was demoted and banished to Avernus with his court by Asmodeus himself.

He was at one time a commander of a Stygian fortress known as Coldsteel, only to later lose that position as well. His physical form has ultimately been destroyed and his life-essence was given to power up Glasya, Asmodeus's daughter.

After Geryon's short reign over Stygia and his swift demise, his occult followers began to wander aimlessly in search of another dark deity to follow, abandoning the temples built in Geryon's honor and most of the treasure and magical items within them. One such temple is buried deep in the jungle and has been overrun by creatures both from the local habitat and those left behind, used in various ceremonies and rituals done in worship of Geryon.

Geryon's temple was once a bustling metropolis of dark dealings and charismatic denizens. The minotaur faithful ran the city with a strict, ironclad hierarchy, though allegiances were not as orderly as they may have seemed. Physically twisted and fanatically loyal, the Priests of Geryon were the unquestioned rulers within the temple walls, and guarded their positions jealously. They were a web of despots, each with his own small domain to crush under his iron heel.

After Geryon’s fall and destruction, the priests tried to hide the change in circumstances from the rest of the city. They were used to their privileges and their power, and intended to keep them. Eventually, it became obvious that Geryon was no longer manifesting, and the truth eventually reached the ears of the general population. The other races in the city banded against the minotaur priests, and both fought each other to near extinction. What few remained wandered off to find better fortunes elsewhere.

For decades, the temple was a quiet place. The jungle has reclaimed much of what was the surrounding city. The temple itself remains barren, as if even the jungle plants can feel the taint of the terrible things done there, though the stones have begun to collapse in on each other, making the maze of rooms treacherous. The more dangerous fauna of the jungle tend to gravitate to the temple, drawn instinctually to the place.

In recent years, minotaur sightings have become more plentiful near the old ruins of the city. They wear metal armor, tinged with a whitish blue sheen that evokes the eternal ice of Stygia. Whispers and rumors abound of a new High Priest taking residence in the inner sanctum of the temple. The Priests of Geryon Resurrected work tirelessly toward uncertain ends, going about inscrutable errands in the ruins of the city and in the surrounding jungle. Only one thing is certain: since the priests returned, nobody who has entered the temple has ever been seen again.

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