Special Qualities: Fists of thunder and lightning, spell-like abilities, construct traits, damage reduction, fast healing, spell resistance
From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard
17 Nymm, 998:
Success! With the help of Jelek’s scrawled notes, Kyrian was finally able to show me how to activate the statue we found a few weeks ago on the fire giant cleric. Apparently the statue was meant to imprison someone - or something - that the giants saw as a threat. Kyrian did not seem quite as curious about further investigation as I was, and hurriedly ushered me from her home.
I gathered the others and activated the statue. A terrible tearing sound filled the room as a swirling portal appeared, bathing us in a sickly red light. With a nod and a grin, Zarn stepped through and the rest of us followed.
We fell about ten feet to a hard floor, landing in a labyrinth of cold, dark adamantine dimly lit by an unseen light. The passageways were twenty feet across by twenty feet high with no visible imperfections, and with perfectly squared corners at the turns. Zarn gaped at the impossible amount of the metal that surrounded us - his axe cost him thousands of gold pieces, the value of these halls were beyond calculation.
An echoing metal on metal sound woke us from our reverie. Whatever was trapped here was approaching.
The footsteps of our opponent were rhythmic, slowly growing louder as it approached to unbearable volumes. Just when I thought I could take it no more, it turned around the corner to face us.
A twelve foot tall statue of a hulking onyx man in golden armor stood before us for a moment before speaking in a mechanical voice.
“YOU WILL GIVE ME THE STATUE AND REMAIN HERE UNTIL THE MISSION IS COMPLETE.”
Clearly we were not going to agree to this command. Maruts are inevitables that represent the inevitability of death, and are lawful extraplanar constructs from Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead. They hunt those who use unnatural means to cheat death. It’s likely that this inevitable was hunting a powerful giant, and was sealed away rather than simply destroyed for unknown reasons.
I tried explaining to the inevitable that the giants of Xen’drik are likely dead, and its mission is complete.
“YOU WILL GIVE ME THE STATUE AND REMAIN HERE WHILE I ASCERTAIN THAT THE MISSION IS COMPLETE.”
Sighing, I nodded assent to the marut while simultaneously giving the others the signal for attack. It would be a difficult fight, but I had faith in my comrades.
Maruts are intelligent constructs, like the warforged, and share many construct traits. They are protected by a shield of law that can only be easily pierced by anarchic weapons, have high spell resistance, and repair themselves from within at an impressive rate. Their offensive capabilities are impressive - they punch with the strength of an iron golem, but have one fist of lightning that blinds opponents and a fist of thunder that can stun them, as well as a vast array of spell-like abilities at their disposal.
I opened the battle with a Cone of Cold followed by a Quickened Magic Missile. Khovis struck the marut with a Flame Strike, but failed to affect the construct. Kleija stocked up on adamantine construct-bane arrows after our encounter with the iron golem, but even these enchanted arrows barely harmed the inevitable.
Senna and Zarn charged forth into melee, and a Chain Lightning arced into us from the marut’s hand. The inevitable apparently was displeased by my treachery as it ignored the rest of the party and walked implacably towards me as they threw caution to the wind in a full offense. My Lightning Bolt glanced off of the inevitable and I was struck by both of its giant fists. Why do they always go after me?
Blinded and stunned, I have no idea what happened next, other than I was hit shortly thereafter by another pair of crushing blows. I’m sure that Khovis was busy healing me and the others were doing their best to disable the construct, but it was still standing when my vision finally cleared.
I stepped back and cast a Stoneskin on myself - it is an expensive spell, but certainly worthwhile when you have the attention of an extraplanar killing machine.
Thankfully, the Stoneskin was enough to keep me alive while we whittled the inevitable down. As the construct fell, the labyrinth began shaking violently like an earthquake. As slabs of adamantine began to fall, I was able to once again activate the statue to get us out of the inevitable’s prison.
Why did the giants imprison the construct though, rather than simply destroy it? Could we have released something worse with our actions? There is more research to be done, and every answer simply raises more questions.
Sadly, even the most good-natured and well-intentioned heroes must occasionally do battle with Inevitables. These creatures are truly alien, and while their goals and intents are almost never malicious, their very single-mindedness and intractability make conflict with humanoids as inevitable as their name. Whether a marut is tasked with retrieving an item or protecting it, watching a location or destroying all witnesses at it, heroes who delve into the most dangerous recesses of Xen'drik are sure to encounter one. And, being skilled heroes with some accomplishments to their name - in other words, fully convinced of their own omnipotence - adventurers are likely to foolishly engage the marut in trial of combat.
So, it falls to me once more to abandon the idea of adventurers applying caution or discretion, and once more advise the reader on how the marut may be defeated. Ah, well, yes. The good news is that this creature is wearing plate armor and isn't especially fast. So when things go ill, as they will, you can accelerate in rearward direction with some hope of survival - assuming that the marut's chain lightning doesn't do you in while you try. Seriously though, in order to deal with inevitable's offense, you should carry some protection to electrical damage. This will help against both the chain lightning and the electrical damage caused by the marut's fist. Sonic protection wouldn't hurt either. On top of that, you're going to need incredible defensive armors of your own, the ability to absorb strong blows like the marut does, or a sea of healing ability.
To bring down the titan, chaotic-aligned weapons are an absolute requirement. Without such damage reduction-breaching weapons, characters that rely on strength of arms are reduced to near total ineffectiveness thanks the marut's strong ties to law and justice. Since the marut is a construct, rogues should rely on items - healing or damaging - as their sneak attacks are wholly ineffective. When it comes to the spellcaster, there are two choices. The first is to unload damaging spells. This isn't a bad choice, but the critical element here is to maximize your damage output in as short a time as possible. Since the marut's components naturally repair themselves, you must deal as much as possible in a short a time as possible. The other choice, for a gambling spellcaster? The marut is an extraplanar creature, and the dismissal spell has a chance, if the spell can penetrate the marut's spell resistance and the marut fails to save against the effect, that a single spell that dispatch the foe. The chances of that happening? You'd have better odds, much better odds, with wired deuces against wired aces.