Thursday, January 21, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Ancient Armory: The Guardian

One of the most powerful artifacts in the Thundarr universe is The Guardian. This mechanical marvel looks like a large computerized sphere on a mechanized base with two satellite dishes attached to the top of it. Seated at the foot of The Guardian are three large spheres riddled with antennae, each with a single laser barrel sticking out of the center. When a predetermined perimeter is breached or threatened, The Guardian's three orbs will activate, taking flight in tandem to neutralize the threat.

In actuality, The Guardian is an Ancient supercomputer designed to disarm and immobilize an armed foe. According to information revealed in the episode "Portal Into Time," The Guardian was developed by Guardian Computer LTD in the late 1980s for the U.S. Defense Department. When The Guardian is programmed and activated, its sensors constantly sweep the area, searching for any threats within range. If any threat is detected (weapons, large armored vehicles, or other devices of a combat-offensive nature), The Guardian's three orbs will launch, flying off to investigate. If they encounter any hostile action or if a potential threat is determined to exist, the orbs will each fire a very destructive disintegration beam. This beam will instantly de-atomize any non-living item. (The device was designed to disarm, not to kill.) The orbs will first target any large mechanized devices (tanks, trucks, etc.). If the threat still exists, they will then target any energy-based weapons as well as explosives. They will then move onto projectile-firing guns and rifles. If the enemy still advances, the orbs will begin removing everything else of a non-organic, non-living nature (leaving the enemy disarmed and demoralized). Usually a disarmed foe will either retreat or will be easier for the defenders to subdue. The orbs themselves are highly armored (treat as AC 1) as well as being protected by a forcefield.

Because of its highly destructive ability (and potential for abuse by power-hungry PCs!), The Guardian should be used as a plot device for the Mutant Lord rather than a potential weapon. In the episode "Portal Into Time," The Guardian blew a circuit while defending a village (housed in the remnants of The Alamo) from the wizard Krom. Thundarr, Ookla, and Ariel had to travel back to the 1980s and retrieve a new circuit to repair The Guardian of the future before Krom and his minions could overtake the Alamo villagers. A similar quest would make for an exciting adventure in the World of Thundarr!

NOTE: This device was inspired by the episode "Portal Into Time" from the classic post-apocalyptic cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian." Stay tuned each week for Thundarr Thursday!

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