Friday, May 13, 2016

St Kargoth the Betrayer, King of the Death Knights

Way back in 1983, in Dragon #79, St Kargoth the Betrayer was introduced to the world. Originally a powerful paladin in the world of Greyhawk, in the Great Kingdom of Aerdy, Kargoth fell from grace when he made a deal with the demon prince Demogorgon and became the first death knight. He, in turn, corrupted a number of his fellow Knight Protectors, who were also transformed into death knights. He now dwells in the stone fortress Kolurenth, which sits atop a rocky pinnacle that protrudes from the sea in Demogorgon's realm in the Abyss.

St Kargoth has also been featured in Dragon #290 in 2001, mentioned in Dragon #291, 306 & 357, & made appearances in Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, & Dungeon #150.

He currently wields Demogorgon's Bilious Sphere, though he once wielded a greatsword called Gorgorin the Shatterer. Lost when he battled Hainard of the Whiteguard, he continues to seek for his sword. He rides a glowing green chariot pulled by six nightmares, and spends much of his time away from his fortress serving Demogorgon's whims.

St Kargoth the Betrayer

Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 18 (plate)
Hit Points 231 (22d8+132)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
Str                    Dex                  Con                  Int                    Wis                  Cha
24 (+7)             15 (+2)             22 (+6)             16 (+3)             18 (+4)             22 (+6)

Saving Throws Dex +8, Wis +10, Cha +12
Skills Intimidation +12, Perception +10
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Abyssal, Common
Challenge 20

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If St Kargoth fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. St Kargoth has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. St Kargoth’s weapon attacks are magical.

Marshall Undead. Unless St Kargoth is incapacitated, he and undead creatures of his choice within 60 feet of him have advantage on saving throws against features that turn undead.

Spellcasting. St Kargoth is a 20th level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 20, +12 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following paladin spells prepared:
1st level  (4 slots): command, compelled duel, searing smite
2nd level (3 slots): darkness, hold person
3rd level (3 slots): dispel magic, elemental weapon, hellish rebuke
4th level (3 slots): banishment, blight, staggering smite
5th level (2 slots): banishing smite, destructive wave (necrotic)

Multiattack. St Kargoth makes four attacks: three with his longsword and one with his Bilious Sphere. If he is wielding only this longsword, he makes 3 attacks with it.

Bilious Sphere. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d6+7) bludgeoning damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage and 18 (4d8) necrotic damage.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d8+7) slashing damage, or 12 (1d10+7) slashing damage if used with two hands, plus 18 (4d8) necrotic damage.

Hellfire Orb (1/Day). St Kargoth hurls a magical ball of fire that explodes at a point he can see within 120 feet of him. Each creature in a 20-foot radius sphere centered on that point must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw. The sphere spreads around corners. A creature takes 35 (10d6) fire damage and 35 (10d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Parry. St Kargoth adds 6 to his AC against one melee attack that would hit him. To do so, St Kargoth must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

Bilious Sphere

This twisted iron rod topped with the Bilious Sphere is a corrupt parody of the Orb of Sol. Using the Bilious Sphere requires attunement by an evil-aligned creature.

The Bilious Sphere may be used as a melee weapon, causing 1d6 bludgeoning damage plus 2d6 acid damage on a hit.

Holding the Sphere confers damage resistance to acid.

The Sphere has 7 charges. While holding the Sphere, a creature may use an action to cast one of the following spells from it (save DC 15):

Acid Sphere (at will) – Flaming Sphere, but does acid damage rather than fire damage. 1 charge may be expended to cast this as a 3rd level spell.

Disintegrate (3 charges)

Melf’s Acid Arrow (at will) – 1 charge may be expended to cast this as a 3rd level spell.

Stinking Cloud (1 charge)

The Bilious Sphere regains 1d6+1 charges each day at dawn.

While holding the Bilious Sphere, the wielder can attempt to create an intense feeling of hatred in a creature within 60 ft, requiring a DC 15 Will save. On a failure, the creature views another creature within sight (chosen by the wielder) as its most hated enemy. The target must do everything in its power to slay its enemy. This effect lasts until the enemy is dead or 24 hours have passed. Once this property of the Sphere is used, the property can’t be used again until the next dawn.

Gorgorin the Shatterer

Gorgorin the Shatterer is St Kargoth’s lost greatsword, a vicious-looking weapon of darkened steel. To gain use of its power, an evil-aligned warrior (barbarian, fighter, paladin, ranger, etc) must become attuned to the sword.

The sword grants +3 to hit and damage. When one hits a celestial with it, it does an additional 2d10 necrotic damage.

On a critical hit, in addition to the normal effects, the target is effected by a disintegrate, requiring a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. When Gorgorin strikes a nonmagical object or a creation of magical force, it is automatically a critical hit. 

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