Temple of Agrippa, 949 GUE
(above: before destruction, below: after destruction)

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One of the most noteworthy projects in 668 GUE was the Temple of Agrippa, said to be the roots of the secret alchemical society. When the armies of Pseudo-Duncanthrax conquered Kivolli (the region near what would later be known as the “Desert River Province” and much later, “the Valley of the Sparrows”) the ancient town was little more than ruins in the depths of a hollowed out mountain, stacked upon subterranean cliffs at the base of the Temple of the Ancients. This Temple was archaic, dedicated to the pseudo-god Athena. From what the researchers could tell, the religion apparently had an animistic nature and its ritual involved the worship of elements and base metals. Some said that the ruins went back to the days of Yoruk, but there was no definite way to confirm this assumption. Locksmoore had saw this place fit for his experiments and religious dedication.

At any rate, Pseudo-Duncanthrax gave the entire area to the Agrippa clan in a land grant that they would hold onto for another two hundred years. The caverns mountain was more extensively hollowed out, and the temple temple was rebuilt and expanded in 668 GUE. The Frobozz Magic Construction Company connected the temple to the rest of the underground at Mile 735 of the Southern Highway. Some say Locksmoore was responsible for the reconstruction; others claim that this was highly unlikely. The head of the Agrippa family in the seventh century was the only person outside of Duncanthrax himself that could have afforded the job. Though it appears that Locksmoore heavily imbued the temple with magical powers—the magical symbols and emblems woven by the sorcerer into the very architecture and fabric of the temple. This shrine was rumored to have the power to forge the Philosopher's Stone. It was a temple devoted to the power of love united with alchemy as well as a barrier to heartless adventurers.

“The greatest achievement in science and medicine, in religion and law, give us nothing if we have not love, for power without love can only bear the fruits on infamy. Only the pure of heart and of soul may hope to enter here and survive.”

Cornelius Agrippa himself seemed to have been the first head of the modern alchemical order, the first in a direct line of succession that still survives possibly even today. Perhaps in his exploration for the temple ruins, he discovered some way to unlock the secret science of the ancients. Cornelius Agrippa was one of the few friends that Pseudo-Duncanthrax kept with him throughout his whole time as king. He was also one of the first engineers and explorers to accompany Pseudo-Duncanthrax during his first expeditions into the newly-discovered underground caverns in the east. Perhaps there, Agrippa too discovered the alchemical truths that had been revealed to Yoruk a millennium before. Satchmoz the Incomparable later travelled across the Great Sea and experimented in collaboration with them.

Through his intense study of the ancient secrets, Locksmoore gradually found his way to the truth regarding the purifying religious power of fire, and even recovered both Yoruk’s shield and journal. His holy and ascetic nature had won him the approval of spiritual forces (which are suspected to be demonic), who granted him an extremely long span of life. He would manage to outlive the first six ruling members of the Flathead Dynasty before being executed inadvertently by one of Dimwit Flathead’s overzealous governors. Before his death, he would found an ascetic order of monks that still survives even today. Perched high atop the lonely mountains of the Steppinthrax Peninsula, the Steppinthrax Monastery would keep alive the fire of his ancient beliefs for many centuries.

Which Duncanthrax attempted to quietly murder Cornelius Agrippa in 668 GUE is a matter of much controversy, and is a rather unsolvable puzzle. As Drespo Molmocker’s impersonation was unmasked this year, it cannot be determined whether the homicide occurred before or after this discovery. A few historians point to the letter from Agrippa to the king, making note of the overabundant praise in the greeting, as well as the tremendous insults that were not characteristics of the second king. One does well to keep in mind that the authentic Duncanthrax, while having nothing left to conquer, did his best to finish the ruthless deeds of underground expansion. It also is possible that Agrippa, residing in the isolated underground temple, had no recollection of the restoration of the true monarch. This would account for the heavy feeling of betrayal and the bizarre murder attempt that would seem to be a rather quick change of behavior. It should also be noted that the Unnatural Acts, banning illegal magic were enacted during the days of the authentic Duncanthrax, and it does not seem outside of his character to have banned alchemy as an evil practice from the start.

Whichever king it was, Agrippa, who had continued to practice alchemy within, decided that the art was too dangerous to be exposed to men devoid of compassion. Duncanthrax sent a spy with poisoned fruit, hoping to trick Agrippa into consuming it. But the spy ended up consuming the fruit instead and chocked to death on his own villainous bile. In response, Agrippa sealed up the temple by burying its the Great Underground Highway entrance with heavy explosives so that the king would never have access to what he sought. He carved a curve into a simple plague: “A pox on Duncanthrax, a ruler without heart, the greatest evil known to man.” Agrippa then composed the following letter to the king:

To King Duncanthrax, My Holy and Exalted Ruler, The King of Kings, The Emperor of All Both Above the Earth and Below, More Bellicose Than Mother Hungus Defending Her Young

    A greeting to your lecherous soul. I bear ill news.

    Your spy is dead, choked to death on his own villainous bile. He had consumed the sweet, but deadly fruit you so kindly bequeathed to me. You stand alone as a soul of pestilence and putridity, a festering wart on the hindquarters of humanity. Be you assured that I have sealed off the places that you seek, made certain with your tools of choice, with powder and with fire, that you shall never find the places that you seek. I, too, practice more than alchemy.

    Nor think you that my secrets are of maps and words alone. In the black darkness of your heart, there is not room enough for the smallest inkling of the knowledge that you seek. Nor will your brilliant scientists avail you. To them, Alchemy is nothing but a principle – the purification and transmutation of base metals into Gold, the search for power. The goal of goals, the Quintessence, pure distillate of Human Spirit, lies well beyond their ken. They have too much in common with your most learned and thoughtful self; their hearts are black as pitch and bled of any memory of love or empathy. In all due time, their highest honors and diplomas shall follow you on your stately journey into Hell. With men such as you, it is better to let knowledge fallow than curse the world with your brand of benevolence.

    With all Humility,

    Your Most Insignificant and Smelly Servant,


    The Eastlands

    668 GUE

When the Temple of Agrippa was later discovered by Dimwit Flathead (who reigned from 770~789 GUE), he saw it fit to order its reconstruction by setting an additional level upon the ancient regions previously constructed by Lockmoore and Cornelius Agrippa, thus accounting for a strange duality in the contrast between the old and the new.

At the beginning of the tenth century, the group of four dark alchemists, Erasmus Sartorius, Francious Malveaux, Sophia Hamilton, and Thaddeus Kaine, were drawn by the legends of the Temple of Agrippa and selected it as their site of worship (c. 922 GUE). Remote and forgotten by all, this temple proved to be the perfect place for discreet worship and ritual, free from the stifling restrictions of the Guild of Enchanters. Since the days of Duncanthrax, the ceiling of the hollowed out mountain where the temple dwelled had suffered from earthquake damage, exposing the earthen innards to the sky allowing them to use any eclipse for their rituals.

The Temple of Agrippa had been laid out after the fashion of most mosques--there was a large central dome to the north, and a cloister with a fountain in the south end. The library, alchemy lab, and galleries extended off from the south end of the cloister area, and the east/west walls of the dome area respectively. Also, there were two Minarets able to be seen outside from the northeast and northwest corners. The knockers of the entrance to the temple were created by the earlier followers of the animistic religion who originally constructed the temple. “When the sun and the moon are joined the entrance to eternity is opened.” Also within the massive subterranean realm beneath the temple was a vast mine complete with a tracked cart system and a tremendous natural black lake.

The Temple built by Cornelius Agrippa was a lower area beneath the visible structure of the temple connected by many rooms of natural rough stone. Several of the tunnels are remnants of the Great Underground Empire. Except for the fountain, everything has changed. Instead of the smooth stone masonry of the Temple, there is the rough rock of a natural underground tunnel. The flagstones have been replaced by uneven cobblestones that are cracked and covered with moss. This was the branch of the Great Underground highway that was sealed off in 668 GUE. Except for the Nemesis in 945~9 and the unknon female adventurer in 949, no one visited the original subterranean levels in centuries.

The four alchemists constructed a new altar in the dome room of the upper temple which they prepared to sacrifice their purified virgin on a  solar eclipse in 945. It was here where they invoked the Great Eclipse, murdered the virgin Alexandria Wolfe, and then were in turn murdered by Lucien Kaine who had witnessed his love pass away before his eyes. As a result of the conflict, Lucien, initially a young innocent, was transformed into the embittered, tortured dark force known as the Nemesis at the moment he watched all those whom he had trusted plunge a dagger into his lover’s heart. Though the ceremony was incomplete, Alexandria’s spirit was dispersed throughout the temple and remained trapped within.

Four huge glass sarcophagi beneath the temple dome were created the moment Lucien murdered the cabal. Because they had been in the midst of a powerful alchemical ritual, when Lucien plunged the knife into each of their hearts, their elements (fire, water, earth, air) consumed them. The Nemesis, realizing that these elements might be important instruments, ripped their elements essences out of their souls by unknown magic and placed their souls in the four sarcophagi. Although Lucien did not know at this time the significance of these substances, he knew that they were powerful and held the key to some form of eternal life. He knew they could prove useful in the future. Thus he kept these elements alive and vibrant, but hidden throughout the temple where he presumed no one could find them. Lucien was able to keep the souls of the four alive in their bodies, while maintaining intense torture for them in an “eternal hell.” Lucien also smashed the four’s alchemical device which had been built upon the altar and placed the different colored fragments of their metals in another room of the temple to be studied.

Lucien initially buried his lover in the mausoleum in front of the temple. However, he could not accept her death and dug her up, placing her preserved body deep within the temple, on the site of the original temple altar in the lower levels. Obsessed with the death of his lover, Lucien dedicated the remainder of his life to finding the secret of bringing Alexandria back to life—a secret he knew his father and the cabal had already discovered. Lucien became obsessed with the occult and spent all his fortune searching out every occultist in the land. From quacks to scholars, he sought out their advice and discoveries to no avail. He obtained much knowledge, but could implement only two powers—keeping the body of his lover in stasis, and trapped the souls of the dead cabal in their sarcophagi. This ancient building became his hub.

When Lucien was killed in 948 by the man who would become the Second Dungeon Master, he disappeared into a cloud black fog along with the knife that he was murdered with. But he could not die. As a ghost, his tortured soul returned to the Temple of Agrippa more embittered and determined than ever. The temple was to be his limbo, his purgatory, his hell. It was at this point that Lucien transformed into a demon, the Nemesis, an embittered, ruthless soul in pure anguish. Fed by fury, his soul had smoldered over the years, growing in desperation and power. He tried even more desperately to torture the four alchemists to learn their secrets but to no avail. The Nemesis gained some supernatural powers which were limited to the temple. He had the power to appear and manipulate objects and influence the perception of reality, however, he could not directly interfere with a person.

In the same year (towards the end of Mage or early Jam), Bivotar arrived at the temple altar and made it past Lucien’s Gallery, but while reposing to envy the paintings, Lucien bludgeoned him. In the gallery, the flow of time was as circular as the room, and Lucien killed Bivotar before he was ever actually born.

Hurtling through a jagged gash in the earth and traversing the length of a subterranean tunnel, an unknown female pilgrim who had been sent by the new Dungeon Master himself,  eventually found herself within the interior of the mountain where the Temple of Agrippa lay, of whose ceiling had broken away to reveal the sky above. The spirits of the four alchemists, Alexandria, and Lucien were still trapped within the temple environment, but their interactions were limited. They were able to react to the pilgrim’s stimulation, but went off on their own dialogue course. The trapped spirits worked in this fashion because they were imprisoned in another dimension. Certain enchanted objects were able to invoke them, but they were not completely free. The alchemists were able to manipulate this pilgrim into releasing their four elements which the Nemesis had locked away, as well as using the the orrery to transport herself to each of the alchemist's homelands through a magic portal resting at the center of the gilded planetarium. When she entered those regions, the door was left open for the Nemesis to follow. In this way, the Nemesis was able to attempt to thwart her progress.

After returning each metals and correctly arranging them on the temple altar, the alchemists became enfleshed creatures will full alchemical powers. The four alchemists stood by the altar with their sarcophagi splintered and cracked apart. When Lucien Kaine presented her with his ring, the female pilgrim received a hallucination of the death of Alexandria. All suspicions were thoroughly confirmed. The four souls that she thought were allies were really her enemies. Lucien, the Nemesis, was truly anguished. Dead was only a physical state, and like all metal in alchemy, may be transformed. The Circle had used this pilgrim in a last ditch effort to complete the ceremony Lucien interrupted so many years ago and made another try at eternal life. The eclipse that would be perfect for the sun and moon to join and their eternity to open drew near.

In the final confrontation between the evil alchemists, the pilgrim had to use everything she had learned about alchemy. Descending into an enormous subterranean world beneath the temple, she searched for Lucien’s and Alexandria’s metals of gold and silver. Using the proper techniques in unison with the mystical and archaic devices in the inner sanctum below, she forged the two metals into one—into the quintessence.

When she returned to the temple dome room, the alchemists were standing around the altar, chanting. The translucent, shimmering soul of Alexandria levitated above the altar’s center. As the eclipse drew towards its completion, the ceiling rent asunder and its shadowy form appeared in the sky above the altar space. At the moment that the eclipse formed, she tossed the quintessence towards the altar. In midair, a blast of light from above struck the infinity symbol and reflected into the four sarcophagi. The alchemists, realizing too late what she had done, screamed as they and their sarcophagi exploded in a blast of wind, fire, water, and earth.

The process, with its permanent destruction of the four alchemists, in turn fully restored both Lucien and Alexandria to the flesh. Once the three emerged from the Temple of Agrippa, thee entire structure exploded behind them, leaving nothing but scattered ruins. Thus today, within this hollowed-out mountain that remains exposed to the sky, stands the strewn ruins of the Temple of Agrippa with a vast network of tunnels and subterranean chambers beneath it waiting to be explored.


An hourglass, similiar in nature to the Phee Hourglass, was documented to have been incorporated into the design of the Temple of Agrippa either during the days of its foundation in 668 GUE, or during a later renovation. Since this hourglass was destroyed with the temple in 949 GUE, modern research has been unable to be implemented using the relic, forcing one to rely on the records of the past. Judging from these uncovered documents, while each step of the Phee Hourglass takes one into the past or future by increments of 681 years, this second one was modified so that each step would not bring one into the future or past by a constant number of years, but to specific points in history. Comparing the records in parallel columns, it is evident that some dates were found to match those as given by the Phee Hourglass. Due to these dates, some researchers feel that they cannot conclude that each step of the Phee Hourglass can be proven to be of 681 years. Though due to the frequent testing of the Phee Hourglass, and that there is only one surviving record of the Temple Hourglass, most researchers find the constant of 681 years to be a proven value.

It is apparent that Lucien Kaine harnessed the full powers of a magical hourglass in the Temple of Agrippa, that seems to have had similar properties of temporal travel as the legendary Phee Hourglass. For certain relics from the mid-seventeenth centur (or beyond) found their way into his possession—these included a tele-orb, and a copy of Boos Miller’s book “Great Underground Empire Toasts.” (The crystal ball of Radnor found in the Steppinthrax Monastery may also have been placed there by identical means.)