Karzoug hype advice (DM, Chapter 5 spoilers)

Rise of the Runelords

Hey everyone! My group is currently on Sins of the Saviors (about to enter the Shrine of Lamashtu) and I need help! They have learned about Karzoug, but don't seem to realize exactly what they're up against (long story short, they've kind of trounced all the wizards they've gone up against so far, so no fear in that respect). I need to make them scared of him, or at least have some respect for his power, because right now they are kind of happy-go-lucky about the whole thing. I want them to realize the exact scope of the evil that he is, and just what he's capable of, so they know why it's so important to make the dominant/commanding weapons and stop him. Any advice here?

I'm considering having the inhabitants of Runeforge refuse to speak his name and be generally hesitant to talk about him, since they can sense his (seemingly) inevitable return. I imagine the statue at the end of Saviors will help, but I want them to know how cruel and evil he is as well as his raw gamey power.

Grand Lodge

I honestly think you can lean into that without too much issue. It's not that Karzoug is oh-so-scary stat-block wise (although he kinda is), it's that he controls not only incredibly strong and versatile forces, but his position as Runelord grants him control of powerful arcane artifacts. Even a weaker wizard who was also a Runelord would be terrifying, but, notably, he's not a weak wizard, either.

- I'd probably not suggest the 'they won't speak his name' thing given the folks in Runeforge have the least to fear from Karzoug of potentially anyone in Golarion, and they're some of the best-prepared to kill him if he shows up.

- If you want to provide a sense of scale to his evil, I'd recommend having the Scribbler mention the Storval Deep's origins - Karzoug's home, which he was so ashamed of that he slaughtered everything within, mined it, and flooded it.

- If your PCs really believe they're up to the task of taking on Karzoug without going to Runeforge, it seems appropriate enough to let them try and get to Xin-Shalast. If they find the trip too challenging or confusing, they'll likely turn back until they're better-equipped. And if they somehow make their way all the way to the Pinnacle of Avarice... well. Competent party.

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