Guardians of the Highest Citadel: Sartoom & Abraxas

Inviolate and unimpeachable is the Highest Citadel, the redoubt of the dead and splintered gods of the Age of Dusk. Within its impenetrable walls are said to exist riches unimaginable, the artifice of deities and the secret to immortality itself. Over the long aeons, many have tried breaching the Citadel, and none have succeeded. In the centre of the island Nol-Atun, where the men turn into crystal statues at night begins the long and tortuous Helical Path up the mountain Abarrat. Nine guardians must be faced before one may enter the Citadel, each more formidable then the previous one. These are the 5th and 7th.

The Fifth Guardian.
Sartoom
is a perfect sphere of featureless black material 4 metres in diameter. It inhabits a perfectly cubical marble room with a chessboard pattern. Grotesque cubic sculptures of men, statues of squares, crucifixes, square pillars and cubes and other angular constructions are dotted throughout its lair. No object in its lair has curves of any kind(do not immediately tell this to the players, simply describe the objects) Any object or creature with any visible form of curves that sets foot in its lair is subject to desintegration rays(one per player round save vs spell or desintegration). Sartoom has 360 degree vision but it cannot perceive angles and straight lines. Thus, any object without obvious curves(like a square or a cube or a brick) is invisible to it. It is deaf, can detect invisible objects and thick as a brick but it never sleeps. Good luck players.

Stats: Doesn’t need them. Assume its basically invulnerable.

The 7th Guardian.
Abraxas
is a chimera composed of the body of a giant schorpion and five male upper bodies, hairless and handsome as the sun. Its eyes are glowing pools of saphire light. When any prospective adventurers enter its lair on their way up the mountain Abarrat it will block their progress. Abraxas will explain that it will answer one question from each of the players truthfully with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ and ask a question in return. After one question per person has been asked it will attack and fight to the death(it does not mention this). Escape is blocked by a barrier of emrald flame. The only question it asks the players is ‘Do you have a means to slay me?’ It can detect truth from falsehood unerringly so lying will not dissuade it from attacking. Abraxas knows all the abilities of the swords in the room and will answer all questions truthfully. Abraxas will not attack if the players attempt to remove the swords, but it will defend itself if attacked. Players will find that if they attempt to carry the swords out of Abraxas’s lair they become increasingly heavy until they carrying them becomes impossible.

Within the room, embedded within the marble floor, are 6 two handed swords of dull iron, each taller then a man and seemingly forged for giants. A name is inscribed upon each in Old Sybarran. Each sword is cursed so that only one may be removed by each player and they may not be given to others.

Life – A single hit from Life will slay Abraxas instantaneously.
Doom – A single hit from Doom on Abraxas will kill the wielder and shatter Doom.
Hope – Once a player has drawn hope he feels assured that Hope can slay Abraxas with a single blow. He is wrong, though Hope can inflict damage upon it(1d12+3 per hit).
Hero’s Death – Hero’s death will slay Abraxas with one hit but will kill the wielder also. Hero’s death will shatter upon contact.
Answer – Answer does nothing but allows each Player to ask 1 more question before Abraxas attacks, provided he may ask a question in return(he always asks the same question).
Last Wish – The wielder gets to make a wish and is made aware of this immediately, though the wish may not be by him to flee the room or escape in any other way. The wielder may wish his companions past Abraxas or anywhere on the planet(except for the Highest Citadel, which may only be entered through this route). If Abraxas is slain by another blade, the wielder has escaped death and may consider himself lucky as shit. Wishing for the solution of the puzzle is kind of a smart move and is totally okay. Abraxas will attack immediately after the wish has been made, and will target the wielder.

Upon Abraxas’s death, all intact swords may be removed from his lair. They give +3 to hit and inflict d12+3 points of damage and count as a Deiophage for the purpose of harming divine creatures and piercing invulnerability.

Abraxas.
HD: 12
Speed: as plate
AC: As chain.
N. attacks: 6
Damage: 1d12 x 5 (bite attacks). 2d20 Sting. All attacks require a save vs poison to avoid melting into a pool of black superheated goop.
Special:
-100% magic resistant. Invulnerable to all but quest blades, Deiophages or similar artifact weapons.
-Abraxas is sluggish and will always strike last in the first round of combat.
Int: 20+

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6 thoughts on “Guardians of the Highest Citadel: Sartoom & Abraxas

  1. That does not sound like either Carlos Santana’s or Herman Hesse’s Abraxas.

    Regarding sartoom, my first goofy male locker room dude response is that women, having boobs, don’t stand a chance. But after my mind elevated slightly from the gutter, I realized anyone with a conventional skull was totally hosed. Seems like the proper way past is to squeeze into a box and wobble your way past. A bit too Raggi-ian for my tastes, except that it is cleverer by a magnitude of 3.

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    1. Hahaha metal-gear soliding yourself past is a perfectly viable low-tech solution. My mind was going in the direction having the wizard turn everyone into fucking grotesque cube-people and hoping you can cast polymorph other with block-fingers before the system-shock or cube-brain madness starts setting in but this is waaaay better. The biggest challenge would be finding out what gets past and what doesn’t.

      Consider this an experiment. I’m hoping i can figure out 7(4 now) more interesting guardian monsters for what i perceive to be a possible last adventure for a campaign in the Age of Dusk. I’m going to avoid straight up combat encounters if at all possible and strike a balance between the mythical sphinx-like creature and the video-game puzzle boss of death.

      Your evaluation of my work as Raggi-ian has peaked my curiosity. Might i ask for your definition of Raggi-an, so i may possibly add it to my glossary? I shall assume one characteristic of the Ragg-ian involves death-traps or at least high lethality but im curious as to your complete defenition. If the above characteristic is on the level i think ill hit full Raggi-an with number 9. Im hoping i can pull out of the nosedive before i hit Monolith from Beyond Space and Time levels.

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  2. Sorry, Prince, I have played a troll on the net for so long it is tough to break out. The raggy thing was unfair. I was struck by the nature of the death trap, and my nasty trollishness rose in the gullett. I actually like this, and I am eager to check out the other seven guardians.

    I’ll try to be more helpful than reactionary in the future.

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  3. These have a real Clark Ashton Smith vibe. I am reminded of the stories “The Weaver in the Vault” and “The Seven Geases”. You a CAS fan?

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    1. Guilty as charged. Ive read two of his collections and liked them immensely. I must cite ‘The Isle of the Torturers’, ‘the coming of the white worm’, ‘the last hieroglyph’ and ‘the weird of avoosl wuthoqquan’ as particularly memorable. I’d go so far as to state i prefer CAS above Lovecraft any day.

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