1 luglio 2012

Something about Razaak

Prima che venisse spento, non so per quali motivi, c'era in rete un bel sito intitolato Advanced Fighting Fantasy: the biggest unofficial home of the FF phenomenon.

Forse in virtù di un'oscuro presagio, o forse per mania dell'accumulo in hard disk, sta di fatto che all'epoca salvai in locale diverse pagine di quel sito; ed in particolare quelle che contenevano spunti per avventure e campagne e delle simpatiche biografie dei principali personaggi dell'universo di Titan.

Non credo quindi di far torto a nessuno, ed anzi penso di rendere omaggio ai suoi autori, se pubblico di seguito la biografia del Negromante Razaak, insuperabile arcinemico di Crypt of the Sorcerer.

Razaak's history
Where the Demonic Three were - to all intents - born badly, Razaak started out as one of the "good guys". Apprenticed to a Lawful wizard - whose identity has never been revealed - Razaak learned the art of magic. But the young wizard was impatient, and the lure of Dark magic was too much - filled with dreams of limitless power without the burden of responsibility, Razaak absconded to the wilderness of the Flatlands, and spent forty years in solitude, studying the Dark Arts.

An able student, Razaak advanced rapidly in power. As part of his pact with the dark gods, Razaak had to destroy all his weapons, save for a set of sacrificial daggers consecrated to his evil patrons. His sword, however - a magnificent, enchanted blade - could not be destroyed so easily. Instead, he cast it into a deep lake, letting it sink deep into the weeds and water. At last, when his decades of obsessive, solitary study were complete, Razaak's skills as a necromancer were great, and he was ready to put them to use.

He delivered an ultimatum to the nobles of Allansia: acknowledge him as their leader or face the consequences. Powerful as he was, none had heard of him - he had, after all spent forty years alone in the wilderness - and, crackpot wizards being ten-a-penny in Allansia, the nobles ignored him. Furious, Razaak summoned a swarm of black insects that spread pestilence across the continent. He repeated his ultimatum: the nobles had until the next full moon to acknowledge him as the supreme ruler of Allansia, or there would be worse to follow.

Countless adventurers set out to dispatch the mage. None survived, and none succeeded. At last, a warrior named Kull arrived, carrying the sword that Razaak had tried to dispose of. Kull claimed to have found it, held aloft from the lake where Razaak had left it by a skeletal hand. It was the only weapon capable of hurting Razaak, and - after a titanic struggle - Kull at last landed the killing blow upon the Sorcerer.

Razaak fell, but as he died he unleashed one last curse upon his conqueror. The flesh feel from Kull's bones, leaving the once-mighty warrior little more than a mindless skeleton, cursed to wield Razaak's sword forever. Kull - or what remains of him - now drifts on a raft on the lake where he found the sword, waiting for someone to relieve him of his burden. Razaak's body was sealed up in a stone sarcophagus, placed in a fissure and - in time - forgotten. The necromancer, however, did not die easily. The lawful sorcerer who sealed his tomb declared that it must remain sealed for at least one hundred and ten years, or Razaak would rise again. Now, one hundred years later, there is still a danger that some treasure-seeker will stumble on the forgotten tomb and wake its deadly prisoner.

Razaak in combat
Razaak may be a Necromancer, but he is still a formidable warrior:


Worse, Razaak's icy touch can drain the life out of any living creature. If he hits a target in two consecutive combat rounds, then the victim is drained of their life force entirely, become a mindless Zombie under Razaak's control - and an immediate threat to their former comrades. On top of that, Razaak will possess a truly impressive array of spells - heavily biased towards those relating to creating and controlling undead, and to destruction. As if this weren't bad enough, hurting and killing the necromancer is no easy task. The sword he cast away can only harm Razaak. Any other weapon will slide harmlessly off him, and even his sword will inflict only normal damage against him. Reduced to zero STAMINA, Razaak will die - for a while. The only way to ensure that he never rises again is to hammer the horn of a Gargantis through his heart while he is dead. And getting the horn of a Gargantis is an adventure in itself...

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