The Temple of Doom is near the center of Negeémiliel. It lies on the south side of a great crevice called the Abyss of Doom, with a grand stone bridge that crosses the abyss from the north side. On the south side of the temple, there is a great plaza, which has other important buildings nearby, making the plaza and front of the temple akin to a city forum. Public demonstrations sometimes take place on the south side.
So on the north side of the temple, there is the abyss and bridge. The temple itself has a great façade with square columns that rise up to the ceiling of the voluminous cavern, perhaps in excess of a hundred meters up. On the south side there is a wall, and gate, along with a balcony looming above the aforementioned plaza.
There are many buildings within the wall, and spaces that are enclosed by massive building walls. Also, the temple extends far below the apparent floor of the cavern, with levels and dungeons carved down below the footprint of the temple, and likely extending above the roof of the ceiling as well.
When Negeémiliel was founded, it was built along the Abyss of Doom, a deep scar in the bowels of the world: a bottomless abyss that was supposed to fall until the very center of Aiers: a great obstacle for the trade routes, and in a beginning, the foundation of the small Drow colony, away from the metropolis, was mostly to take possession to one of the few passes in hundreds of kilometers of caves around:
The city, the bridge and the temple were founded almost at the same time.
Changes Over TimeEdit
However, with the centuries, the front gate of Negeémiliel become first one of the 80 gates of the drow city, and later, it ended being in the middle of the expanding city.
Originally, the fortress built was to serve as a fortified trading post, that evolved into the castle of the nascent city, and later became increasingly devoted to religious concerns from the temple that had been there from the beginning. Only now, the many functions of the citadel came under the temple, while the great city being built outside, and its new fortifications, gradually reduced the trade and military roles of the temple.
Nonetheless, roles of being a place of inner city trade, a city forum, and the defensible heart of the city and the most venerable center of Negeé worship in the city remained in place throughout the fantasy era and well into the modern era.
Changes of GoddessesEdit
Originally the Goddess Lolh was worshipped in the temple by the Erehel drow soldiers and elites of the settlement. Slaves would be regularly sacrificed by being hurled into the Abyss of Doom from or near the temple. These sacrifices were done in part to commemorate the completion of the bridge.
The war goddess Negeé would grow ever more important over time, and would eventually supplant Lolh as the matron goddess of the city. This was due to the former slave and working classes of the city, the Negeémel ethnicity, becoming the new masters of the city with the founding of the Acolyte system during the 5th Century a.a.H. The bridge sacrifices had already long ceased, largely due to being seen as insulting to the Negeémel drow whose ancestors had physically built the city, and who had gained greater political clout long before the revolution. After the revolution, the new regime would rename the city's name to Negeémiliel.
Sacrifices of drow and other races would continue in the Temple of Doom, but would involve death by removing the heart while the victim was drugged. Foreign fighters were valued as such sacrifices, in keeping with a war goddess, those captured in warfare and skirmishes, or adventurers captured committing crimes, although many a criminal native to the Negeémi State would suffer such a fate as well. Corpses were sanctified as belonging to the goddess Negeé and preserved by mummification.
Speculation: It might be possible that such mummification was borrowed from Lolh sacrifices as well, given the similarities of to spiders and their wrapped prey?
A Change of Attention to the SouthEdit
As the tastes in architecture changed, the former main entrance and the once vital bridge -now one among many- became the backdoor, meanwhile was excavated in Neo-Negeémi drow style a new facade and front gate to the south, in what will become the center of Negeémiliel.
This change of direction was based on the expanding city, of course, and how the Temple evolved from being a defensive bridge fortress to being an inner defensive citadel. It also illustrates how the Negeémi Drow had now conquered or otherwise incorporated or pacified the rival drow peoples of central Kazrrad, and were now focused on the south as a source of threats and military conquests, as well as exotic trading localities.
Functions of the Temple of DoomEdit
The Temple of Doom wasn't just a temple, but it was a real Citadel, city within a city: It was as well a fortress, bank, treasure keep, part of the Academy, the main Temple of the Cult of the Matron Goddess of the city, with multiple shrines for some more minor deities in the pantheon, library, school for commoners, hospital, hospice, a small theatre, prison and garrison...
There were as well large warehouses for stored goods and grain, stables, training grounds, dungeons and slave barracks. The House of Pleasure, a school for sex workers that might also serve as a brothel. is part of the temple.
More than a thousand drows -acolytes, priestesses, sorceresses, the male Oracle of Negeé and his eunuch priests, prisoners, slaves, free workers and hired commoners- live or work there, all under the direct orders of the powerful High Sorceress of the Temple of Doom: one of the more important positions in all the government of Negeémiliel.