If we’re allowed to make more than one request, I find myself in need of a bunch of weird-ass temples for the city I’m building. Ten of them, say. But only if you run out of suggestions; I wouldn’t want to be prioritised over someone who hasn’t made a request yet.
Temple of the Swarm
Billions of insects, centipedes, spiders and other crawling creatures carpet a large pit in the center of this temple. Supplicants make a donation and are given one of the insects, which they may take home, set free or even burn to make a wish. Worshippers may also sacrifice themselves to the swarm in order to purify bad deeds, end personal suffering or show devotion.
Temple of Boros
Worshippers are dropped into random points in this large, multi-storied maze. Those who make it out must have been blessed by the gods. Others are likely dead at the hands of monsters, traps and other men and women who have found a way to live there.
Temple of Dedication (Cult of Owrox)
Families who make deals with the cult of Owrox sometimes offer lifetime servitude of children or grandchildren in exchange for the release of souls the god has captured. In order to ensure a contract is honored, these young slaves are sent here to commune with the captive souls of their ancestors. There are over a hundred small alcoves throughout the temple where crystal balls can be ‘attuned’ to a specific soul. For most, merely speaking with the departed is enough to scare them into being faithful. Some of the kinder imprisoned souls manage to establish warm relations with their living kin. Others browbeat their descendants. In all cases, the servant must touch the crystal ball and ‘feel’ the helplessness and doom the captured spirit feels. This is the existence the contract breaker faces if the terms are not fulfilled. This is why Owrox has few defectors.
Temple of Batrubis
This temple is home to a 50 foot giant, who sits on a throne. Because he has magical talents that can be performed at will, and because he’s, well, a fifty foot giant who says he’s a god, he is worshipped as a living deity. Believers take great pride in the fact that their god, unlike others, can be seen and worshipped in person.
Temple of the Golden Bliss
A thousand monastics have found paradise here. They sit surrounding a golden ball of light and experience life in a perfect place. Their bodily functions slow to almost nothing, so that they may sit for days at a time. In their minds, this prayer/meditation takes them to a place of perfection. Corpses of those who die in this state are carried out by acolytes who hope to take their place someday. Unknown to the cult: The ball of light is an elemental from a positive energy plane. It has mass ESP and can cast flawless telepathic illusions. It feeds on the misdirected spiritual energy in its presence.
The Temple of Graves
The graves in this temple are smashed icons, idols and other religious artifacts. The acolytes here accept these for any reason whatsoever. Some are brought by those who have lost faith. Others are captured in foreign lands and are brought here by returning travelers and soldiers who want to dispose of the objects but fear supernatural reprisals. Some of the smashed artifacts are still quite valuable and possibly quite cursed. While presented to outsiders as a service, this temple is run by mages, who, being chaotic, seek to reduce the influence of gods in the world.
The Sunken Temple
The Sea God does not send major storms or red tides to the Island of Siros so long as his temple is packed with worshippers. When an earthquake sent part of the island into the sea a thousand years past, the temple was submerged. The local priesthood realized the only way to end a decade of storms that followed was to fill the temple with worshippers. Lots were drawn and the chosen drowned. Using a number of submerged air tents and caves, divers were able to chain these chosen to the pews. As these bodies decay, they must be replaced. When the supply of criminals and unwary travelers runs out, lots are chosen. Tritons and Merfolk sometimes interfere with this temple. What right have land creatures to even imagine a sea god?
Secret Temple of Yuchen-Domma
The fake temple is upstairs. It is dedicated to an obscure, harmless and minor goddess from some foreign land. The real temple is hidden below and is dedicated to Yuchen-Domma, goddess of the dirge. Members of her inner circle have quarters here.
In a cavernous inner chamber, followers and captives of her cult are wander about listlessly, singing a section of her dirge of hopelessness. This dirge functions as a protection from chaos and protection from good spell for all followers in the temple. It also delivers -5% HP per round (five percent of maximum HP, rounding up) to anyone in the chamber or areas immediately around it who is not also singing the dirge and has not plugged their ears (which only halves the effect). Anyone hearing it for more than a round will be able to join without knowing the words or the melody (no one knows the meaning). Clerics and paladins who join in will offend their patron deities greatly and must undergo a quest immediately after leaving the temple or face the wrath of their god. Mages and chaotic characters who join in will lose the ability to speak in 1-3 days (The DM should determine an appropriate cure). Elves vaguely recognize the tune but cannot remember where they might have heard it before.
The priests of the Confidence of Alaf have for aeons held poor Vantu prisoner. The pitiable god was captured by Alaf, companion to a great hero in epic days past. Alaf is not a god, but he, and through the ages his confidants, tortured Vantu until he granted divine powers and spells to the order.
Vantu appears as a frail, incoherent man shackled to a wall (or on rack or other torture device) in an obscure torture chamber in the basement of the temple. The temple above resembles a museum more than a temple. Tapestries, paintings and performances recount the Epic of Eidivir, inflating the role of Alaf, of course.
Cathedral of Crom’s Slumber (Eastern)
Here the Great Dreamer of the Eastern Order of the Holy Rest slumbers, stirring only every few days to eat and drink. In her sleep, she communes with the previous great sleepers who have passed to the underworld. She acts as the conduit for communication between the church and the underworld, relaying blessings, spells and status reports on events that might disturb Crom and wake him (and cause all nations and people to battle until hardly a man walks under the sun).
It is essential that no one make noise here. The floors and walls are covered with rugs and tapestries. The priests take vows of whispering and refrain from even casting silence spells except in emergencies. If adventurers find their way in and make noise, wear boots, etc., the priests will do everything in their power to silence them first, then kill them if necessary (They are lawful neutral).