MMORPG: The Temple of Elemental Evil is a well-known 1st edition AD&D module that took place in the World of Greyhawk campaign. Does this current storyline share any similarities to that module other than in name?
Cryptic: There are a number of parallels, updated and revised for inclusion in the Forgotten Realms. The original Temple had four elemental nodes (water, earth, fire, and air) prominently featured in the depths of the temple. In Neverwinter, we have four distinct areas around the Sword Coast area of the Forgotten Realms that feature the elemental nodes acting as strongholds for the different elemental cults and their element-aligned monsters. Instead of Iuz and Zuggtmoy as evil powers behind the elemental cults, we have the four Princes of Elemental Evil and their Prophets.
MMORPG: What is causing the rise in elemental cultist across Faerun?
Cryptic: The aforementioned Princes of Elemental Evil have gifted their respective Prophets with powerful elemental weapons. The Prophets used these weapons to create elemental nodes, focal points for their respective elements. They then raised watchtower-like structures called elemental beacons to watch over the nodes and focus their power. This brings us to the start of the Elemental Evil module in Neverwinter, with the Elemental Prophets ready to make their next move…
MMORPG: What are the primary difference between the four cults other than the element they serve? Do they have similar or contradictory goals?
Cryptic: If they were to share any goal, it would be to bring chaos and destruction to the world. However, by the nature of the elements they serve, they often come into conflict with each other.
MMORPG: Who are the prophets that are leading the cults and what can you tell us about their motivations?
Cryptic: Gar Shatterkeel is the Water Prophet, gifted with the trident known as Drown. His blue skin is covered in barnacles and has a mechanical claw arm after he lost his to a shark. He is as cold and remorseless as the sea, and wants nothing more than to drown the Sword Coast in a massive tidal wave.
Marlos Urnrayle is the Earth Prophet, and possesses the war pick called Ironfang. He was once a handsome noble who acquired a cursed fae ring that turned him into a medusa. Now he despises beauty, seeking to turn it to stone and smash it. Marlos wants to cause massive earthquakes to tear everything apart.
Vanifer is the Fire Prophet, and wields the flint dagger called Tinderstrike. A former dancer, she is seductive and manipulative. Possessed of a terrible temper, she would see the world burn.
Aerisi Kalinoth is the Air Prophet, with the spear Windvane. Claiming to be an Avariel (“winged elf”), she is haughty and imperious. She would destroy everything with massive storms and hurricanes.
MMORPG: What are the Elemental Evil princes’ plans once they make it to the prime material plane?
Cryptic: The Evil Elemental Princes want to tear the prime material plane apart, reverting it to its primordial elemental state of earth, air, fire, and water. This would effectively expand their domains and strengthen them immensely. Of course, doing so would cause untold destruction across the known world!
MMORPG: With the Elemental Evil storyline Wizards of the Coast is adding in Genasi, Aarakocra, Sverfneblin, and Goliath as playable races. Is there any chance we could see one or more of these added as playable races in the future? If not will we see them added as NPCs during the expansion?
Cryptic: We actually have some Aarakocra featured in the air-focused Adventure Zone known as Spinward Rise! And it’s entirely possible you’ll see Genasi, Sverfneblin, and Goliaths in future zones. As for new player races, we’re always looking to see what we can introduce in new modules. If there’s a new player race you’d like to see, please make your preferences known on the Neverwinter forums!
In the Q&A we mentioned the Aarakocra, Svirfneblin, Genasi, and Goliath. These are the 3 races, and one sub-race that WotC added for the 5th edition table top RPG. The Aarakocra is a race of anthropomorphic birds originating from the elemental plane of air. The Svirfneblin are a sub-race of gnome that are from the underdark. The Genasi are part Genie part mortal race and are infused with an elemental affinity. Finally the Goliath is a large nomadic humanoid people that hail from the highest mountain peaks. You can read more about these races in a free download from WotC here.