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Razaak is a highly powerful undead necromancer who serves as the primary villain and final enemy of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Crypt of the Sorcerer. He is infamous among fans for being one of the hardest to reach and arguably the hardest to defeat of all the series' villains, being close to invincible without cheating.

Appearance

No one knows what Razaak looked like back when he was a living human, but as a lich, he is downright hideous, grotesque, and sickening. When the hero confronts him, the narration states that they never felt such repulsion.

He is small, bald, deformed, and hunchbacked, seemingly five feet tall or less. His face is an oversized skull covered with pulsating red veins, his mouth is fixed in a rictus, his left eye is abnormally small and his right eye is bulging and protruding. His skin is of a deathly waxen colour, his arms are shrivelled, the left one being awfully shrunk while the right one is so long that it touches the ground, and his hands with pointed nails are described to look like a "bird of prey's talon".

Moreover, Razaak wears luxurious red and golden robes, further adding to the grotesque of his unbearable aspect.

Personality

Razaak is a villain of absolute malevolence, cruel, hateful and spiteful. He is power-hungry and vindictive, having craved control from day one and learnt magic solely to be able to dictate his law to people. He demands obedience from anyone and takes great offence when his demands are not met, dishing out horrible and disproportionate retribution.

Affreux Razaak

Razaak in all his ugliness.

He became even worse after returning as an undead, no longer being satsfied with ruling all, now craving to extinguish all life and raising all of the dead as his undead slaves. He is also scornful and arrogant, dismissing his foes as hopeless even when he knows they possess the only way to harm him.

Powers and Abilities

Unsurprisingly for a Fighting Fantasy villain, Razaak is a highly powerful wizard, being able to threaten the entire continent of Allansia on his own. Being a necromancer, he can wither all life in a defined perimeter, raise the dead as zombies or worse, enlist the help of powerful undeads-individuals, and return from the other side of the Veil. Razaak can absorb life-force by the mere touch of his fingers. Grabbing his victims long enough kills them and turns them into his undead slaves. Such ability makes him virtually invincible in battle, to many players' dismay.

Furthermore, Razaak is very skilled in Demonology, being able to summon dangerous demonic entities to the Earthly Plane and to create monsters. He is also well versed in traditional Dark Magic, as he has mastered several deadly attack spells, can summon living creatures, can shape-shift and can craft powerful magical artefacts such as his own cursed sword.

The fact that he owned a sword hints that Razaak was once a talented swordsman, and even if he is no longer able to wield a weapon, he remains an adept fighter, fast and spry enough to be more than a match for powerful knights (though given the condition of his awfully deformed and withered body, it seems quite clear that his fighting skills now mostly stems from his evil magic)

Background

Razaak is the son of a man named Tamal, likely a powerful wizard himself, who died at 108 years old. It is written on his gravestone that his soul is now one with his son, but no further explanation is given.

Razaak was once an apprentice wizard, who like many others studied in the famous school of the Forest of Yore, under the tutelage of the great archmage Vermithrax Moonchaser. He was very greedy, selfish and ambitious and only learnt magic to become able to dictate his law to others. At some point, he exiled himself in the desert and studied magic on his own during 40 years of loneliness. Razaak became a dark wizard and then a necromancer. Since he had to renounce to his own magic sword to entirely devote himself to Dark Magic, he cast it into a lake.

A hundred years before the start of the story, Razaak sent messages ordering every ruler of the continent of Allansia to pledge obedience to him. However, having never heard of him, no one took him seriously.

Infuriated, Razaak summoned thousands of bugs who spread plague, pestilence and misery throughout western Allansia. Then, after several months, he gave the Allansian lords until the next full moon to abdicate in his favour, slaying every mage and warrior sent to kill him. But one day, a warrior named Kull discovered Razaak's own cursed sword, the only weapon who could harm him, and used it to kill the evil necromancer. Though the unfortunate hero paid the heavy price for his victory, as just when Razaak fell Kull suffered the sword's curse and was turned into a undead skeleton.

Since then, Kull spent the following decades drifting aimlessly on a raft, on the lake where he found the sword. Razaak's corpse was put into a crypt into the Moonstone Hills, which was sealed by a wizard and was not to be reopened before 110 years, otherwise Razaak would rise from the grave as an undead Lich and would try once again to take over Allansia.

Ungoth

Ungoth

Ungoth, the Skeleton Lord

Razaak's right-hand-man, titled the Skeleton Lord, who protects his crypts and checks anyone who wants to contact his lord. He is a very powerful sentient undead with vast knowledge and great mastery of magic. This makes him a lich, like his lord, but nothing is known about his origins, what influence he truly has, and how he came to serve Razaak.

He might have been a mighty ruler and mage when alive, but he seems unable to fight. He is courteous and patient, but cold, imposing and cruel, petrifying any intruder at once. Oddly enough, the hero cannot fight him or try to resist his magic with a relic, and can only trick him to escape alive.

Crypt of the Sorcerer

During one of their many travels, the playable character learns that an evil force is expanding over Allansia from the Moonstone Hills. Plague, drought and catastrophes have been spreading over the land, and the sky itself is covered with ominous grey clouds. The hero learns of a fissure near the Moonstone Hills, whose surroundings have become a wasteland and where a decrepit hand blasts firebolts on intruders. They decide to seek the counsel of their old friend the Great Mage Gereth Yaztromo.

It appears that the Undying One rose from the grave when his crypt was opened, probably by grave-robbers. Now a lich, Razaak is preparing to raise every dead in Allansia from the grave as his undead servants, to invade the continent and extinguish all life there, making it a decayed land of undeads. Razaak also recruited every troll in Allansia and secretly raised a monstrous Gargantis: a giant beast of awesome power to serve as his major asset. The hero sets out to find Razaak's sword and use it to destroy the Undying One once and for all.

During their quest, the hero needs to find many relics and intel. The gamebook itself is a difficult one-true-path, meaning that the hero must speak with everyone they encounter, to never flee from a battle and to look everywhere for every item and piece of information they can find.

After finding the cursed sword, the hero befriends an expert hunter named Symm, who goes along with them. They both escape an ambush by Razaak's monsters, as the necromancer has heard of them and wants to crush all opposition. The hero must rescue Yaztromo, who is about to be sacrificed by a hellish Demonspawn summoned by Razaak. The hideous creature can only be destroyed with Razaak's sword.

The Gargantis

The fearsome Gargantis.

After visiting a haunted graveyard, the hero and Symm meet the dwarf Borri, who invented a hot-air balloon to travel and who joins the adventure. The hero and their comrades head to Razaak's mines where he hides the fearsome Gargantis, which they must slay to take its magical horn.
  • The hero needs a magic crystal when facing the monster, lest its psychic power drives them and their companions to sheer madness, then to their death. If they found a magic wand, they can paralyze it and avoid a very hard battle. Indeed, the Gargantis is a formidable foe with 12 in skill (power level) and 24 in stamina (life points) the highest stats available.

Finally, the hero and their companions can head to the Moonstone Hills and the fissure where the evil lich has built his underground lair. The hero must venture inside on their own, disguised as one of Razaak's demonic servants. After reaching the end, they will need:

  • To find a matriculate number to enter the innermost sanctum of Razaak's lair, without being killed by the throne sentinel.
  • To have a magical key to enter said innermost sanctum without getting imprisoned in a magical trap.
  • Upon entering, the hero is greeted by Ungoth the Skeleton Lord, who asks them no less than four questions about Razaak and his troops. If they fail to answer, Ungoth turns them to stone and the game is over.
  • The same fate awaits them if they do not know the secret code to enter Razaak's private quarters.

Confronting Razaak

If the hero wears an amulet representing a horned demon, it compels them to obey Razaak and the lich kills them without fight. If not, they will need many trinkets to survive Razaak's many, many attempts on their life.

  • Razaak appears shape-shifted as Gereth Yaztromo to catch them off-guard. Without a magic ring to see beyond the appearances, he feigns a friendly gesture to catch them, turning them into his undead slave.
  • They then need to have breathed the smoke from a broken glass orb, to survive Razaak's Firebolt spells. If not, he grievously wounds them with his first blast and finishes them off with a second.
  • After this, they need a special scroll AND to know how to use it, to cast a magical barrier that destroys the thousands of man-eating bugs he summons. If they do not, they cover them, poison them, and slowly devour them in a gruesome demise.
  • Finally, they need a magical shield to withstand Razaak's Thunderbolt spell, or end up fried to a crisp.

Now the hero can finally settle their score with the wretched lich. THE WORST IS YET TO COME! Razaak is a formidable enemy with 12 in skill and 20 in stamina. If he wins two attack rounds in a row, no matter when, he drains the hero's life-force and turns them into his undead slave, winning the fight and dooming everything. Given Razaak's level of power, it's virtually impossible to defeat him without cheating or being blessed by luck.

Upon beating Razaak, the hero pierces his heart with the Gargantis' horn so that he would never return. Now, they must escape from the collapsing crypt without minding the necromancer's cursed treasure, and have at least 6 stamina points left to win the game. (If not, they are too weak to escape in time and die under the rubbles). Symm, Borri and Yaztromo greet them and Yaztromo dispels the sword's curse, throwing the cursed weapon into the chasm to be buried forever under tons of rocks alongside its wretched owner. After a few days of sleep, a now healed hero can now celebrate their awesome victory as it should be.

Trivia

  • Like Zanbar Bone, another Fighting Fantasy villain created by Ian Livingstone, Razaak has the power to absorb life-force through his fingers and needs a anti-illusion ring to be defeated.
  • The battle against Razaak is similar to that against Belgaroth, another Fighting Fantasy villain. Both are insanely difficult to defeat and both need lots of knowledge and items to be faced safely.
  • The Fighting Fantasy canon establishes that Razaak was killed for good by none other than the legendary hero Chadda Darkmane, a friend of Yaztromo who had already defeated the equally powerful Zharradan Marr, putting an end to the Trolltooth Wars, which opposed Zharradan Marr and his rival Balthus Dire.

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