The Temple of Ngurct

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The Temple of Ngurct
Eamon adventure #23
The Temple of Ngurct intro.png
Authors James Plamondon
Robert Plamondon
Created 1982
Released 1982
Revised 15 February 1993 (DOS)
15 February 1993 (ProDOS)
EAG number 23
EDX number 12-01
EDX set Best of the Classic Adventures
Native format Apple DOS 3.3

The Temple of Ngurct is an Eamon adventure written by brothers James Plamondon and Robert Plamondon in mid-1982 and released soon after. The adventure is notable for incorporating several custom-made features that were advanced for the time, particularly wandering monsters and other random or odds-based events. A sequel, Return of Ngurct, was written by Hoyle Purvis in 1991.

Background

James Plamondon in 1978.

In correspondence with Huw Williams in 2019, James Plamondon recalls that Dungeons & Dragons was an inspiration for the adventure: "My brothers and I were hard-core D&D nerds, attending games weekly throughout college." James created the adventure probably in the summer of 1982 after graduating from Oregon State, but he notes that he might have started it over the previous Christmas break or spring break. Regarding the name of the adventure, he writes, "the name 'Ngurct' was the option that my brothers, friends, and parents found to be the least pronounceable, so I chose it. Temple of Sally just didn't sound ominous enough."

Recalling the experience of creating Ngurct, James writes:

What I remember most is lists of entities on pads of yellow quadrille paper, which my father, the engineer, bought by the ream. Creatures, rooms, test strings, choices, everything had to have a unique ID number, and it was a pain in the ass to suddenly think, "Hey, it would be cool if I could just..." and then have to renumber everything. If I recall correctly, the items had to be numbered sequentially because they were array elements (but it was a long time ago, so I am probably wrong about that).

This adventure is one of only two written by James (the other being The Senator's Chambers) and the only published adventure by Robert. In his 1983 Call-APPLE article Robert writes that he "tinkered with the programs" while the adventure itself was by James.

Premise

The game's introduction provides the following background:

There is an old ruin of a small citadel on a cliff overlooking a rarely used pass. The road through the pass has become increasingly hazardous in recent years. Now, only rash and desperate travelers — or those travelling in very large parties — dare to use it. Those who have survived the crossing tell dark tales of fearsome beasts and strange happenings; in all these tales the citadel is the eye of the storm.

It is rumoured that the evil priests of Ngurct have occupied the citadel; their foul creed worships the black demon of the same name. Ngurct is the patron demon of exotic monsters — and he requires the regular sacrifice of human unbelievers.

Ngurct is associated with Nektor, god of the undead.

You have been hired by your king to eradicate this scourge, and make the pass safe for travel and commerce once again.

The power of Ngurct is locked into a gold medallion. If you return the medallion to the king, the power of Ngurct will be broken.

It is rumored that Ngurct himself abides in the citadel, though it is not known in what form. For your efforts, you will be paid 5,000 GP upon the return of the medallion. And, of course, you will get to keep any loot you find.

Good luck!

The adventurer arrives at the main entrance of the ruined citadel, ready to seek the medallion.

Walkthrough

The citadel and its environs have two main sections to explore: first an above-ground area where the ruined remains of the citadel buildings stand, then a series of tunnels and chambers that run beneath it. You'll encounter both enemies and allies, and while some of them appear in fixed locations, others show up at variable times and places. Goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, guards, giants, or bugbears may randomly enter the room you're in to engage you in combat, while the friendly Sumata, Joubert, and Debbie may appear and join your on your quest.

Note that secret rooms or items may be revealed by using the EXAMINE command, but it's sometimes necessary to examine a room more than once. Also, monsters don't leave bodies behind, and other than their regular weapons don't drop anything else they're carrying, so don't loan your comrades any weapons you aren't prepared to lose.

Surface

"The stones and rubble are loose and dangerous." (Tower and ruined wall at St. Kevin's Monastery, Ireland.)
  1. You begin just south of the citadel's main gate, near the ruined east tower. Before entering, start by following the outside path to the east.
  2. The path runs east and then turns north into a rubble-filled breach in the citadel wall. Climb through and you'll meet another adventurer named Gonzales who says he's seeking "the reward on Princess Thera". He may be willing to join you. (There's a one-in-three chance you might slip on a loose stone here and take a small amount of damage.)
  3. Return along the path to the main gate and enter north into the empty courtyard, then go north again.
  4. You've emerged onto the middle of a short east-west road. Start by going west.
  5. At the west end of the road are exits north and south. Go south.
  6. You've entered the citadel's west tower where an animated skeleton stands guard — kill it and take its axe. A stairway leads up to the top of the tower, but all it offers is a view of the mountain pass, so return to the road.
  7. Go north and you'll be in the abandoned barracks once used by the citadel's guards, now haunted by a ghoul armed with a sword. Defeat the ghoul and collect the pile of copper coins.
  8. Go east into the citadel's armory (there's a 20% chance you'll trigger a spear trap) and take the old blade blanks.
  9. Go east again and you'll be in the headquarters of the citadel guards, still inhabited by the guard captain, a sizable hobgoblin. Defeat the hobgoblin and take the loot: a bag of silver coins, five copper ingots, and a stone idol.
  10. Go south across the road and you'll be in the ruined remains of the east tower. As in the west one, a skeleton stands guard; kill it and take its mace. You've now cleared out the above-ground portion of the citadel, so it's time to descend the stairs...

Underground halls

  1. At the bottom of the stairs you reach an oak door that leads north. Go through, but be aware that it will shut and lock behind you, and you'll have to find the key in order to reopen it. Past the door is a torchlit hallway that extends both north and west.
  2. Start by going north where you'll find doors east and west. There's a small random chance (15%) that you'll trigger a trap here that releases a jet of damaging green gas.
    • In the east room you'll find the friendly knight Belisarius fighting a goblin; he'll likely join you when combat's over.
    • The west room is a filthy kitchen occupied by a bugbear cook.
  3. Continue north along the hallway until it starts to bend west with a door east.
    • The east room is a torture chamber occupied by a poker-wielding guard and a Kobold. There's also cell to the south, but it's locked; however, if you kill the guard and EXAMINE the room you'll find a ring of keys under his body that will open the door. Inside the south cell are two friendly prisoners, Zapata and good Sir Charles, both of whom may join you.
    • The west room is an empty storage chamber with a strange slit running through the ceiling and wall, but it's best to avoid this room since there's a 20% chance of a large scything blade swinging out and injuring you or a member of your party.
  4. Retrace your steps south along the hallway to the locked door, then start down the west branch of the hallway where there are some south doors.
    • The south room (or rooms, since it's in two parts) is a barracks where some orcs and bugbears are relaxing. Interrupt their card game and gather up the scattered coins and gems.
  5. Return to the hallway, which now begins to bend north with a door to the west.
    • The room to the west is an officers' quarters where you'll find an iron key (for opening the oaken stairway door), a brown potion which you may drink to heal your wounds, and a valuable ruby stickpin from the officer's lapel.
  6. Follow the hallway north and there'll be doors east and west.
    • Behind the east door is the mess hall (which connects to the kitchen you explored earlier) and a flagon of extremely potent wine.
    • West is the magic lab where a small wizard guards a collection of potions: red, yellow, and black. The yellow potion (marked H2SO4) is sulfuric acid — immediately fatal. The red is human blood — gross but not damaging. The black restores some of your health.
  7. Take the hallway farther north to where it ends with exits north and east.
    • East is the mummy room where (yes) a mummy waits to attack you, and drops a silver ankh when defeated. You can EXAMINE the room to find a silver scarab hidden in the sarcophagus. There's also an inscription on the wall, and if you READ HIEROGLYPHICS you'll learn that the mummy was "the Great Alkanda, right hand of Ngurct on Earth" who can be resurrected by someone holding the golden medallion and speaking the words "annal natthrac".
    • North is a filthy, garbage-filled room where six giant rats lurk. The east exit leads to the storeroom you avoided earlier; the west exit is the path forward.
  8. From the filthy room, go west into a hallway.
  9. Go west again to where to hallway turns south. You'll notice the north wall is cracked, and if you EXAMINE it you'll locate a secret door!
    • The hidden north chamber is the cult's treasury, guarded by a giant and an ogre. Defeat them and take the loot. The chest is locked and too heavy to carry, but you can come back for it shortly when you've found the right key. Inside will be lots of valuable treasure guarded by a cobra.
    • Go out and enter the west chamber; there you'll battle a Minotaur who'll drop a valuable double-bladed axe. Collect the diamonds and the steel key (which opens the chest in the treasury).
  10. Continue south along the hallway; a door leads east.
    • The east room is a library where you'll find a book about Ngurct and a ring of keys (used for opening cell doors). Reading the book is dangerous and will cause you to be transported to "the lost room", a chamber with no exits. (If you wind up there, the being that trapped you will ultimately return you to the tunnels if you make enough of a ruckus by casting power spells and whatnot.)
  11. Continue south to the first set of cell doors
    • The west cell is empty.
    • The east cell is locked and holds a prisoner named Abdul.
  12. Go south again to the second set of cells.
    • The west cell is locked and holds a prisoner named Osborne.
    • The east cell is empty.
  13. Go south again and you're just outside the entrance to the Temple of Ngurct. Make sure you're in good health before entering!

Temple

  1. Go south into the temple where a high priest and his assistant are preparing to sacrifice Princess Thera while a troll and an ogre look on. Upon your arrival, Thera will struggle free, swipe the second priest's ceremonial dagger, and join the fight. The enemies aren't weak and depending on how much support you have you may need to FLEE to heal and catch your breath. Kill the lot and collect the artifacts, including the priests' swords "Wrath of Ngurct" and "Necronis". EXAMINE the room to find a secret door in the south wall.
  2. South is a supply room containing a silver dagger, silk robes, and a candelabra.
  3. East lies an east-west tunnel lined with side-chambers.
    • The north room is the priests' lavatory. Ignore the hole in the floor — it leads only to an immediate death.
    • South is the high priest's bedroom — and the gold medallion you've been seeking!
  4. The next section of tunnel has a single side-chamber to the south, an empty bedroom.
  5. The third section also has a single door south that leads to a bedroom, but this one is occupied by a naked priest about to sacrifice a bound girl. Dispatch the priest and the girl will join your party.
  6. The last section of tunnel (rigged with a crossbow trap) bends north toward a strange door. Pass through it and you'll find it's a one-way exit back to the base of the stairs below the east tower.

Ascend the stairs, make your way back to the main entrance, and ride off into the sunset. If Princess Thera was in your company, you'll receive 3,500 gold pieces for her safe return. If you have the medallion of Ngurct you'll receive a further 5,000 gold pieces from the king, who immediately destroys the item and breaks the power of Ngurct.

Reviews

Thomas Zuchowski reviewed The Temple of Ngurct in the March 1993 issue of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter, giving it a score of 7 out of 10. Zuchowski felt the Plamondons "did a really good job" with the adventure and praised the interesting additions and customizations they were able to make despite the relatively unrefined nature of the early Eamon system. He felt the adventure's difficulty was higher than normal, but it depended a lot on the player's choices and the adventurer's companions. Playing time was estimated at one to two hours.

Eamon Deluxe creator Frank Black included Temple of Ngurct as the first item in his Best of the Classic Adventures collection.

Sequel

Hoyle Purvis wrote a sequel to the adventure entitled Return of Ngurct, one of five adventures by Purvis released in December 1991. Strange creatures and mysterious robed figures are again attacking travelers through the pass, and the king fears the medallion has been remade. He tasks the adventurer (and others from the first adventure) to return to the citadel and put an end to Ngurct once and for all.

Location

The location of the mountain pass occupied by the Ngurct cult or its distance from the Main Hall are not made clear, though the king's concern about its effect on travel and commerce suggests that it lies within the kingdom, perhaps near its borders.

Trivia

External links