AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: The Convergence Manifesto, Part 15

Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread!  Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games that you nerds might be into.  Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.

The subclass of the week for today’s thread is the Way of the Long Death Monk from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. The monks of this order study both the meaning and mechanics of dying, seeking to use their understanding of death as a guide to their martial arts.

Beginning at 3rd level, a Long Death Monk can use the Touch of Death technique to extract some of the life force of a creature as that creature approaches the end of its life. Whenever you reduce a creature within 5 feet of you to zero hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your WIS modifier plus your monk level. Note that temporary hit points do not stack, so if you use this ability more than once, it will simply refresh any of the temp HP you’ve lost since your last use. Also remember that temporary hit points generally only last until your next long rest.

At 6th level, you gain the ability to terrify those around you by showing them the Hour of Reaping. As an action, each creature within 30 feet of you must make a WIS saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn. Note that this ability does not distinguish between friends and foes, so your allies are just as liable to become frightened as your enemies.

When you reach level 11, you’ll have developed enough Mastery of Death to be able to easily escape its grasp. Whenever you are reduced to zero hit points, you can spend 1 ki point to be at 1 hp instead. Note that there’s no action or reaction required for this ability; the only limit is the amount of ki points you have.

Finally, at level 17 you have mastered the Touch of the Long Death technique to channel the energy of death into a creature. As an action, you can touch one creature within 5 feet of you and spend any number of ki points between 1 and 10. The target must make a CON save or take 2d10 necrotic damage per ki point spent. If the save is successful, the target still takes half the amount of damage.

Players and Characters

Josephus is back as DM to continue his Eberron. The members of the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guild in Sharn include:

  • Sly, a Wildhunt Shifter Druid of the Circle of Dreams from the mysterious and exotic continent of Xen’drik (CleverGuy)
  • Cherri Bomb, a pink TieflingSwashbuckler Rogue, who may or may not have once been a pirate (Waffle)
  • Uda Haserrea, a Summer Eladrin Paladin of the Oath of Conquest, hailing from the Fairy Court of Thelanis (Wasp)
  • Petie, an Earth Genasi Horizon Walker Ranger, who grew up in mostly Dwarvish community that was unfortunately built too close to a Xoriat manifest zone (Spiny)
  • Scylla, a Half-Elf Genie Patron Warlock, who a found a curious patron in a back alley market near Morgrave University (Hayes)
Kiss of Thunder

Dear Patience,

Did you know that dead sailors who are buried at sea are believed to be fed to an angry sea god called “the Devourer Below”? Cherri told us all about it on our way back to the High Prince after we fought off those pirates. The High Prince’s men even sacrificied our one captive, once it was clear he wasn’t going to give us any more information. He was bound, weighted, and tossed overboard alive. It was rather grim, but Cherri assured us that a sacrifice to the Devourer was important for a safe voyage. Perhaps we should have given more, because we were attacked by a group of undead merrow and a flock of zombie seagulls during the journey.

Then again, maybe our offering was accepted, because these creatures didn’t last very long. Cherri and Petie shot the merrow with arrows and crossbow bolts, while Uda and the Prince’s guards manned the ship’s ballista. I stood on the forecastle and summoned up another storm cloud and called lightning down on the creatures, while Scylla’s thunderous Eldritch Blasts kept the monsters from getting too close. Not to say that it wasn’t dangerous. The Prince’s guards were pulled overboard by merrow harpoons, and Cherri nearly went into the water as well. And all the while we were being harassed by zombie birds. But luckily, we were able to save the guards from being eaten, and once the merrow were destroyed I sent a Thunderwave into the swarming flock and scattered them, leaving only a handful of individual birds to clean up.

Anyway, we returned to the High Prince and Scylla regaled him with the tale of our encounter with the Wind Whisperers (with some embellishment, as that seems to be the style in Lhazaar). The Prince set up a meeting for us with Lady Alizeh of the House Lyrandar. On our way to the Lyrandar airship dock, that was still under construction), we bought some potions in the market. It seems like everyone we talked to had a different story to tell, most of which couldn’t possibly be true. We heard about everything from ships being hunted by an enormous white whale, to mermaids trading their voices for human legs. We even heard about a group of adventurers who sailed to Icewhite Island and stabbed a blizzard in the eye that I think was actually referring to one of our own early missions!

Anyway, we met with Lady Alizeh, who told us that the Wind Whisperers had stolen a Lyrandar airship called the Kiss of Thunder. The leader of the Wind Whisperers was Prince Koulton Brightwood, an excoriate from Lyrandar (that means he was kicked out of the house and his dragonmark was cut off his body, though Scylla tells me that’s more of a symbolic gesture, since the dragonmark will just grow back). He made some kind of deal with House Thuranni to keep himself hidden, so it was his daughter Therriv who was captaining the Kiss of Thunder. Therriv was a powerful sorceress, with a mixed dragonmark of Lyrandar and Thuranni. Lady Alizeh believed that the Aerthervane was tethered to the bound elemental that powers the airship, and was being used to create the powerful storms that accompanied the vessel. She gave us another airship called the Gilded Needle, along with Lyrandar soldiers to run it, and told us to track down the Kiss of Thunder, then board it and recover the Aethervane. We’d probably have to kill Therriv in the process, but ideally we could accomplish all this without destroying the Kiss of Thunder itself. Alizeh wanted that ship back.

We were able to study a schematic of the Kiss of Thunder, and come up with a plan of sorts to get to the elemental power source as fast as possible. At least, we knew we’d have to reach the bottom deck of the airship to find the elemental matrix. Lady Alizeh saw us off and gave us each another Feather Fall token. We spend days tracking the Kiss of Thunder, following the path of destruction caused by the raging storm around it. During our downtime, the Lyrandar airmen let us each try our hand at controlling the ship, but none of was able to control the bound fire elemental that powered the Gilded Needle. We followed the Kiss of Thunder’s path of destruction until we reached Eel Bay. We managed to spot the Kiss and caught up. We could see the captain channel lightning from her hand into the ship and start up the hurricane.

We finally managed to catch up to the Kiss of Thunder over Eel Bay, and as we moved into position to board the airship, we saw the Captain Therriv blast lightning into the controls on the top deck to start up the hurricane, then run below. Cherri, Petie, and Scylla all jumped from the Needle, using their Feather Fall tokens to land safely on the deck of the Kiss, while Lyrandar soldiers used harpoons and ropes to climb down. I turned myself into an ape and climbed down one of the ropes, while Uda used another. As the two airships began to exchange fire, we rushed to the stairs going below. A single pirate stood his ground in the doorway until Scylla’s Eldritch Blast pushed him down the stairs. Cherri led the charge to the next deck, right into a waiting group of three more pirates. She ducked to one side and engaged one of the pirates, and I jumped down after turned back into myself and blasted the other two with a Thunderwave as I came into the room. The pirates were tougher than I expected, though, and rushed back at me before I could move. I took a heavy beating before my friends could arrived to take some of the heat off of me, but we killed the pirates as fast as we could. Petie, Uda, and I saw to the party’s wounds as we continued down to the engine at the bottom of the ship. I made sure to wait for Uda to go first this time.

She kicked down the door to the engine room, only to be blasted with magic immediately. The captain was waiting for us, with her pseudodragon familiar by her side. We could see the Aetheravane, sort of like a rapidly spinning astrolabe, connected to the elemental engine. I tried to catch Therriv with Hold Person, but that pseudodragon interfered somehow. Scylla blasted the familiar out of the air and knocked the captain backwards for good measure.

Unfortunately, we hadn’t been paying attention to our positioning, and the captain blasted all of us with the lightning bolt. Uda and I both were nearly killed, but Petie healed me and I was able to get Uda back with a Healing Word. In the meantime Cherri closed in and engaged with the captain, while Scylla fired off more Eldritch Blasts. I stayed back out of the way after that, trying to keep myself alive so that I could help the others if they were hurt. Luckily, once my friends were able to surround the captain and keep her contained, she wasn’t hard to kill. Uda’s divine smites finished her off, but the airship engine was overloading–we had to get the Aerthervane out of it quickly. Uda managed to stop the Aethervane from spinning and hold it in place while Scylla and I looked at the connections. I gave Scylla some Guidance and she figured out how to disconnect it safely. And just in time! The whole ship would probably have exploded in the next 12 seconds.

With the Aethervane disconnected, the hurricane around the ship dissipated, and the Lyrandar soldiers were able to subdue the remaining pirates and take full control of the Kiss of Thunder. Cherri took Captain Therriv’s head (along with a scimitar and a fancy hat) as proof that the job was done. Lady Alizeh was very pleased that we’d returned the Kiss of Thunder intact, and we were rewarded handsomely. We’re flying back to Sharn now, with the Aethervane secure. I do wonder what the Provost is planning to do with all of these relics we’ve been collecting for him…

A question for another day, I suppose. I hope things are well back home. Don’t worry, I’m staying as safe as I can! Grandmother Wolf is watching over me, as I’m sure she is over you.

Your brother,