One of the main encounters in “Masters of Eternal Night” is with the Thralltakers.
The Thralltakers are an elite squad of bounty hunter mind flayers and thralls. Based on the PCs actions the group’s composition changed. For example, since they ignored a group of flayers in the ‘enduring revolt’ encounter the Thralltakers were reinforced.
This was too big a combat to use theatre of the mind and I didn’t want to go full 5-foot squares as it would take a long time to play out. Instead, I used combat ‘zones’ where it took a full action to move between zones and spells only affected their own zone unless they had a range above 30 feet. This added some order, verisimilitude and a better understanding of the battle with all the minis. The battle took 2 hours.
Here is how it all came together.
MIND FLAYER THRALLTAKERS
Depending on the result of the skill challenge “Surviving the North” make the following changes:
- No failures: Leave as is.
- 1 failure: Add a resurrected Shuluth to the battle.
- 2 failures: Shuluth uses the hand of and eye of Vecna to call a tanaruukk steel warrior.
- 3 failures: Shuluth uses the hand of and eye of Vecna to call two tanaruukk steel warrior.
- 4 failures: Shuluth uses the hand of and eye of Vecna to call three tanaruukk steel warrior.
- Noth deploys the dimensional hoop allowing Qhellissk (describe how he is wearing ancient robes like the other flayers the PCs fought in the ship but his right hand is all tentacles) to and its foulspawn to step through and appear behind the party and then attack.
- Vour will summon a thoon hulk. Thoon hulk will charge into battle.
- Skwusch will activate the collar on Bluntfell making him a large creature.
- Bluntfel will charge into battle.
- Zebulon drinks his potion of fire breath then risks it and drinks a potion of giant strength. Then seek’s out Elbit for single combat.
- Bastian drinks his potion of giant size and seeks out Heidt (describe mind flayer sword and Tiamat shield).
- Jon drinks his potion of heroism and seeks out Falone.
- Shuluth uses the eye and hand of Vecna summoning 3 Tannaruk Orcs.
- Shuluth mind blasts.
- Vour uses mind blast.
- Quellisk uses psychotic blast and then attacks the closest enemy so that it can enthrall that enemy’s brain.
- Foulspawn attack
- Noth uses phantasmal killer on Alokin.
- Skwusch uses baleful metamorphous on Maline.
- Bluntfel will use bodythief if it can.
- Tannaruk orcs charge blindly into battle.
- The berserker charges the leading character
- The manglers fan out to chip away at the character’s flanks.
- The grue stays back, keeping out of melee to harass the characters with its ranged attacks.
- The rest will engage.
That was the plan which pretty much fell apart after round 1. The PCs used the wolficorn to teleport away and then the wizard dropped a meteor storm. This killed Bluntfell and injured everything else except the foulspawn (who regenerated). The tanaruk avoided the damage as they were in a different zone.
The party then blew their whistle and Sempiternal, true to his word, sent a fast zombie horde made up of hundred of dead gith and mind flayers. The PCs also used the mind flayer vampire well by moving him around to stun/scare the mind flayers (I had the mind flayers move to avoid the illithid vampire – one of the things they hate/detest/fear).
After this point, I was just playing it by ear.
Though the PCs were shocked when they saw so many minis appear they underestimated the power of six 17th level PCs. The battle ebbed and flowed but the only creature on the PC side to go down was Spike. The rest of the PCs exhausted their abilities, magic items and spells and all were hurt to varying degrees but no PC died in the end.
In retrospect, I should have taken pictures, next time.