(I have added a slight modification to the 1st (Helicon) and 7th (Abraxas) guardians, described in prior installments, based on a conversation with a friend. Helicon warns any adventuring party about his 8 brothers, stating that the last one is so powerful he will slay at least one of them with certainty. However, should they bypass all the guardians of the Highest Citadel without slaying ANY of them, the 9th will let them pass unmolested. Helicon may be spared using the suggestion offered by Monsieur Timothy in the comments section, Abraxas may be asked to surrender if one has the weapon that will slay him).
The 2nd Guardian: Agak the Father of Ghouls.
The plains surrounding Mount Abarrat are littered with the bones of all the heroes who have attempted to climb the Helical Road and breach the Highest Citadel. It is Agak who throws them off the cliffs once they have fallen. Agak is a vile creature of tangled black hair, dark black skin, eight arms ending in ghoulish talons and a necklace of gilded children’s skulls. Two large canines protrude from its jaw. Its hunched shape makes it no taller then a man. It cackles and berates any who reach its lair, a grove of dead trees and polluted soil, its very air thick with decay. Agak will deny anyone access unless they solve its riddles. It’s riddles are meant to frustrate yet challenge, and there should be about 7 in total:
“What is the most interesting number?
“Why do green apples prove all Ravens are black?
“I know a place that is like your place except they are missing one thing, where children don’t have mothers but they have parents. Where people don’t have meals but they have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Where they don’t have morning but they have sunrise, day and evening. Where they have boys and fathers but not men. Where soldiers wear swords but not maces. Where time is measured in years but not months. What is it missing?
“You are captured and imprisoned on sunday. The Gaoler says you will be hanged within a week but that the execution will come as a suprise to you. Why will you not be hanged? Or will you?”
And so on and so forth. Incorrect answers will cause the loss of a single experience level. Once all its riddles are solved, Agak curses and skitters off, swearing all the way. Agak may be fought directly, he has the following stats(HD 8, AC -3, MV 180′, #At 8, D 1-6 + paralysis. Spec At: Taunt 1 char per round as Confusion spell, save to avoid. Spec def: 50% magic res. reflect abilities as spell turning upon succesful resistance. Undead immunities Morale 6). 1-6 female ghouls rise from the toxic mud of Agak’s grove each round to do battle with all who would bring harm to their husband. Each carries seemingly precious jewelry worth only 5 gp and is turned as though it were a wight.
Agak’s necklace allows one to control the undead as an evil cleric of equal level (or doubles the amount of undead that can be controlled if one is already an evil cleric) but lowers Charisma to 3 because of the vile corpse stench that emanates from the character. It also makes one immune to sleep and charm.
The 6th Guardian: (*) the Mirrored Prince.
The Sial-Atramentar were not the first of the tools made by the Gods of Old. (*) represents an early attempt, considered too unstable and unpredictable. (*) Lairs on the other side of a great gorge in the mountain, miles deep and spanned by a single bridge of worked stone 333 meters in length and 7 meters wide. When the characters are hallfway across the bridge he emerges from the massive and darkened archway on the far side of the bridge. (*) Appears as a composite creature, a bizarre fusion of all its adversaries. It wears the faces of his adversaries upon its armoured chest, and has the same number of arms as all its opponents combined, each arms carrying the most powerful weapon possessed by its adversaries. It will have to be defeated by those who wish to plunder the Highest Citadel. For the purposes of naming, (*)’s truename is an amalgam of all the characters names combined. Its stats are fixed once it emerges from the archway and will remain the way they are until it is defeated or the characters retreat, at which point it will retreat. Hanging back just behind the archway and joining the fight once the first character reaches the centre will not prevent (*) from copying one’s abilities.
HD: As highest level of its adversaries. HP is combined current hp of all characters.
AC: As best AC possessed by its adveraries -1 (meaning its AC is actually one better)
MV: As best MV possessed by its adversaries.
#AT: (*) Receives one full turn for each of the characters facing it in battle.
D: (*) has the same equiment as the characters facing him and deals damage accordingly. Attack bonus is the most favourable of all combined characters. This includes not only weapons but also any magic items the characters might be carrying.
Special Attacks: Any abilities or skills possessed by the characters.
Special Defences: All temporary and permanent defensive abilities possessed by the characters. Any magical effect affecting the characters will affect the mirrored prince as well (a wizard has cast stoneskin on his party before battle? (*) has stoneskin as well). This applies to both beneficial and harmful spells.
Saving throws: Most beneficial of all character saves.
If one manages to slay (*) he explodes into a million shards of razor sharp glass, dealing 10d6 damage to anyone within 60 feet. Anyone bathing in the reflective puddle of blood that remains behind is covered by a thin sheen of silvery material that improves his AC by 1 point and renders him immune to nonmagical weapons permanently. Initially unbeknownst to the player, the silvery material will kill them in exactly 1 year unless it is somehow removed (this requires godlike power, which can incidentally be found in the Highest Citadel).
Personal note: Give other Guardians some treasure too so there is always a temptation to murder them.