Sentinel Artifacts are an in-game mechanic introduced in the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies map Voyage of Despair, and are also present in IX during the intro cutscene, and are in-game in Dead of the Night and Ancient Evil. They are exclusive to the Chaos story, and are effectively the Chaos story's replacement for the Power mechanic in the previous Aether story.
Sentinel Artifacts essentially work as the Chaos story version of the Power Switch, as many areas of a map cannot be opened up until the Sentinel Artifact is activated. The difference between the two, however, lies in the fact that the Artifact is not necessary to buy Perks. However, Pack-a-Punch cannot be activated without the Sentinel Artifact, apart from IX. The Sentinel Artifact is located in the following locations for each map:
- Voyage of Despair - Located on the Poop Deck.
- Dead of the Night - Located in the Grand Staircase.
- Ancient Evil - Located in the hand of a headless statue in the Amphitheater.
The Sentinel Artifacts were created by the mysterious group known as the Nine in order to harness and protect the power of Prima Materia. When activated, the Artifacts will begin a Trial that will test the worthiness of an individual, through battling the undead and other creatures. Once activated, an individual cannot leave a Trial unless it is fully completed, or the individual is killed. The Sentinel Artifacts are each based off of a specific God of a mythology, with the Artifact on Voyage of Despair corresponding to Odin, the Artifact in IX corresponding to Ra, the Artifact in Dead of the Night corresponding to Danu, and the Artifact in Ancient Evil corresponding to Zeus.
The Danu Artifact, at some point, came into the possession of Alistair Rhodes, until it was stolen by his butler, Godfrey, and the enigmatic religious group known as "The Order" during a house party in Alistair's manor. The Artifact was activated, transforming the guests of the Rhodes Manor into Zombies, Nosferatus, Catalysts, and Werewolves. Soon after, Godfrey, Jonathan Warrick, Christina Mirela, and Gideon Jones completed the Trial set forth by the Danu Artifact. After receiving a preminiton of the Odin Artifact, Godfrey murdered the other three members before he was subsequently shot to death by Scarlett Rhodes, the daughter of Alistair.
Soon after Alistair's kidnapping, as requested by him, Scarlett gathered three of Alistair's most trusted companions; Stanton Shaw, Diego Necalli, and Bruno Delacroix. The group of four traveled onto the Titanic in order to gain the Odin Artifact, until it was subsequently stolen and activated by a member of the Order. Afterwards, the four began the Trial for the Artifact and completed it. They were then shown a vision of Delphi, Greece, where they would be able to find the Oracle and learn more about the Order that they faced off against.
The group soon arrived in Delphi, and spoke to the Oracle. They then inhaled an unknown vapor that allowed the group to travel into the bodies of individuals in the past. There, they were transported to a gladitorial arena in the Roman Empire, where they were forced by the Order, and their leader, the High Priest of Chaos, to complete the Trial of Ra. They were then, in those bodies, executed by the Order.
At some point, during ancient Greek history, demigod Perseus used the Zeus Artifact in Delphi to complete the trial to usurp his father as ruler of Olympus. He kept Medusa, who went by the name of the "Oracle", trapped within Delphi after beheading her 2 sisters. After awakening, Scarlett, using her knowledge gained from her experience in the Trial of Ra, opened the gateway to Delphi. They headed towards the Temple of Apollo, where they discovered the imprisoned Oracle. They agreed to help her in exchange for the freedom of Alistair Rhodes. After the trial was completed, and Scarlett and her friends defeated Perseus, as well as the mighty Pegasus. The crew returned to the Temple of Apollo, where Scarlett proceeded to free the dying Oracle. Meanwhile, Diego, Shaw and Bruno find Alistair, who has been turned to stone alongside 2 members of the Order. At this point, Diego realizes the identity of the Oracle, and rushes to save Scarlett. The Oracle, who reveals herself as Medusa, then kisses Scarlett in order to gain knowledge of modern history. Due to the kiss, Scarlett is put into a comatose state, and is dragged behind a pillar to safety by Diego. Medusa puts on one of the masks belonging to the Order, proclaiming that she will access the Library, and take control of the world.