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Summary[]

Join Alex, Helen, Bryn, Lydia, and Ben as they do battle in the Blight! This week Hamid hovers, Azu gets psyched for smiting, Zolf reckons it's killable, and Cel drinks defensively.

Synopsis[]

Wilde is humming his golden-threaded bardic performance throughout the combat, and the scene is also accompanied by the gentle sounds of bells. 

The party is on edge and ready for a fight after being psychically bombarded with messages of guilt but no enemy is visible yet. Hamid casts fly upon himself to hover 5ft above the ground. Zolf uses calming touch on Hamid, because he is shaken, and readies his glaive, setting it on fire. Cel spots some stationary silver figures toward the blight and calls them out to the party.

The whole party then feels a sense of growing unease from directly overhead. Looking up, they see something that to Azu and Hamid is slightly reminiscent of the hounds in Rome, behind a portal or tear in reality. A mass of tentacles plunges out from the portal, followed by a maw of squelching, inward-pointing teeth (likened to the Sarlacc from Star Wars, or the robot shark from James and the Giant Peach but meaty), a sense of dread is pouring off the creature and its skin appears to have a rainbow, metallic sheen to it.

Cel realises it is not a natural being; Azu thinks it's not a demon but definitely looks like it could be, and Zolf thinks it is coming from the Ethereal plane, but the ethereal plane shouldn't usually give off that kind of dread- something is wrong on the Ethereal plane for this to be happening. 

Skraak climbs the nearest tree and the mouth snaps out and sinks into their shoulder, slightly hurting them. Skraak briefly turns, and looks at Hamid with a look of intense, visceral hatred before regaining his senses. Skraak finishes climbing the tree, and activates the stalking dagger.

The sound of bells moves closer from all directions and Sumutnyerl turns into a mechanically large dire polar bear! Cel is very impressed by the transformation. Sumutnyerl then tries to snap at the tentacles, but is not successful. 

Azu searches for evil, and detects the worst possible evil... this being would destroy all life if it could. She casts protection from evil on everyone except Skraak, who is out of range. Wilde continues to sustain his bardic performance.

Break

Hamid takes a 5 foot step backwards through the air, and casts two scorching rays at the tentacle beast. It makes a horrible noise as both hit it.

Zolf activates freedom's call, protecting those in a 30 ft radius from various possible horrible effects of the tentacle beast. He then casts slay living on it, grabbing a tentacle, his hand seething with an eerie dark fire, hurting the monster further. 

Cel drinks a targeted bomb admixture to stop the party for suffering splash damage, and narrowly avoids a bite from the shark sausage. The beast's skin feels 'gristly'.

The shark sausage hits Hamid twice with all of its tentacles, but only slightly injures him. In the tree, Skraak holds his turn until Azu has gone.

The sound of the bells moves closer, sounding like they are on top of the party, but nobody can see anything, and Cel doesn't smell anything that could explain it either. The party then hears a monstrous roar coming from the blight (but off to the left), independent of the bells or the portals, and appears to be medium or large sized. 

Sumutnyerl tears a tentacle off with their (bear) jaws, and black ichor gushes everywhere. The ichor has no smell, which is interesting...

Azu uses smite evil on the shark sausage and hits it with her giant axe, slicing its mouth off. Ichor sprays and gushes from it, spraying everyone apart from Skraak. Everyone sprayed feels brief, random emotions (e.g. adoration for a bush, or hatred for a party member). The creature deflates, and it appears that all the tentacles were actually only coming from one arm of the creature. The creature recedes and the portal shuts, severing the remaining injured tentacles that the party had been dealing with. They fall down into a surprisingly small pile of jelly, ichor everywhere. 

Wilde briefly stops humming, and remarks that the encounter was very easy, at which point there is the sound of the world just slightly tearing... 

Quotes[]

Ben: "I 'flame on' on the trident because that is a bonus action which I can use now-"
Bryn: "Hey Ben, I think you made a glaive mistake."
―Ben forgets what his weapon is.

Alex: "You know what I'm like with my detect alignment things, I like to do the spectrum thing. This is the most evil thing you've ever encountered"
Helen: "Oooh, worse than Shoin, which is saying something."
Alex: "Like, off the chart evil. This is something that you can categorically state thanks to this spell, given the power this thing would wilfully kill everything in existence just because it could."
Helen: "My evilometer is just exploding."
Alex: "If it wasn't mechanically rude, I would stun you for how evil this is."
―Azu detects evil.

Alex: "You leave my stinky bells alone!"
Ben: "Not going there, not going there."
―On Cel not being able to smell anything related to the sound of bells.

Combat breakdown[]

Ongoing effects: 

  • Cel: -2 to charisma, +4 to constitution, +2 AC, wings, and Scent
  • Hamid: +4 AC from mage armor. -2 to attack rolls, -2 to saving throws, -2 to skill checks, and -2 to ability checks from being shaken
  • Skraak: +2 to saving throws, +2 to skill checks from heroism
  • Wilde's bardic performance gives the whole party: +3 to will saves (against charm and fear effects), +3 to attack rolls, and +3 to damage rolls
  • Sumutnyerl: -2 to attack rolls, -2 to saving throws, -2 to skill checks, and -2 to ability checks from being shaken
  • Azu's aura of courage gives the whole party +4 on saving throws against fear effects.

Initiative: Hamid (Nat 20; 26), Zolf (Nat 20; 25), Cel (23), Shark sausage, 15 (Skraak), Bells, Sumutnyerl, Azu (6), Wilde

Round 1 

  • Hamid: Casts fly on himself and moves 5 feet upwards.
  • Zolf: Uses calming touch on Hamid so he is no longer shaken.
  • Cel: Makes a Perception check of 18 and at the edge of their vision towards the blight, they notice at least two stationary silver figures or shapes, approximately medium sized.
  • Shark sausage: A portal opens overhead and the large shark sausage emerges. Zolf makes a Knowledge (planes) check: 18. He thinks it is coming from the ethereal plane, but the ethereal plane shouldn't give of this kind of dread, something is wrong on the Ethereal plane for this to be happening. Azu makes a Knowledge (religion) check: 21. She thinks it's not a demon but it looks nasty.
  • Skraak: Climbs the nearest tree. He rolls 15 and fails his Acrobatics check to avoid an attack of opportunity from the shark sausage, it bites him for 7 damage. Skraak makes a successful Will save with a 25. Skraak activates the stalking ability of their dagger.
  • Bells: The sound of bells grows louder and seems to be approaching.
  • Sumutnyerl: Transforms into a large dire polar bear and attacks the enemy but misses.
  • Azu: Uses detect evil and learns that the shark sausage is incredibly evil. She casts protection from evil, communal, and succeeds in casting defensively with a 22 concentration check. Protection from evil gives everyone except Skraak: +2 AC, +2 to saving throws, and an extra saving throw against mind control.
  • Wilde: Sustains his bardic performance.

Round 2

  • Hamid: Takes a 5-foot step back through the air and casts scorching ray, firing two rays. 23 (23 fire damage), 18 (23 fire damage) to the shark sausage. He retroactively rolls to cast defensively on Zolf's turn and succeeds.
  • Zolf: Activates freedom's call and emits a 30 ft aura in which allies are not affected by the confused, grappled, frightened, panicked, paralysed, pinned, or shaken conditions. If they leave the aura these effects, if active, would take hold again. Zolf then casts slay living on the shark sausage: 19 (hit), and the shark sausage fails its DC 20 Fortitude save, taking 45 damage.
  • Cel: Drinks an extract of targeted bomb admixture and provokes an attack of opportunity, but the shark sausage misses.
  • Shark sausage: Attacks Hamid with all of its tentacles and two hit, dealing 8 damage to him.
  • Skraak: Delays his turn until Auz has acted.
  • Bells: The sound of bells moves distinctly closer and is right at the party, but no one sees anything. A roar is also heard in the distance.
  • Sumutnyerl: Takes 3 attacks against the shark sausage but rolls a nat 1 on the first two and hits with the third, tearing a tentacle off.
  • Azu activates smite evil and attacks with her axe: 24 (30 damage). She slices off the shark sausage's mouth and kills it.
  • Wilde: Sustains his bardic performance.

Plot Notes[]

Trivia[]

  • The shark sausage tentacle beast took 130 damage in under two rounds (about 10 seconds), and only dealt 15 damage to the party (7 to Skraak, 8 to Hamid).
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