Session 34: Against The Kuo-Toa Hatch-Mother

Level 3 of the Kuo-toa Lair Hatchery in Wave Echo Lake
While Atilius maintained his focus on the caped kuo-toa with his arcane eye, the group debated how to best deal with it, over a dozen other kuo-toa, and the ogre sized one laying eggs in the pools.

Moriarty suggested killing the guards at the bottom of the stairwell before confronting the kuo-toa on this level, but the idea was discarded.

The group was afraid that the caped kuo-toa might escape again, and Atilius suggested he would stop it with counterspell. Broward was concerned that it might not work, depending on the type of magic, but deferred to Atilius as the more accomplished wizard. Turenim said that he could cast dispel magic.

Turenim pointed out that, while the kuo-toa might not know they were outside the door, there was a good chance they knew they were coming. He leaned towards Atilius directing a fireball on the far corner where the caped kuo-toa was hiding.

Corbin was watching from the opposite end of the stairwell as they heard a dull roar and felt the heat from above. They looked up as a twenty-foot wide column of fire fell on them from above. Lee, Atilius, and Albrecht leaped aside, only suffering minor burns. Pippin and Moula did the same, evading the flames entirely. Moriarty, Turenim, and Broward stood there, dumbstruck, and the wizard fell.

Lee, thinking the flame strike came from an opponent upstairs, began to dash up, followed by Albrecht, Pippin, and Atilius, and quickly passed by Moula. Moriarty moved to enter the room when the doors burst open and a cloaked kuo-toa appeared. It waved its scepter, attempting to catch Lee, Albrecht, Pippin, and Atilius in a blade barrier, but Atilius stopped it with counterspell. Moriarty swung Fiendburn at it, but was not where it appeared to be, and it knocked the flaming hammer aside with its scepter. Turenim used preserve life to revive Broward and heal Moriarty.

As Lee began to make his way back down the stairs, he drew his long bow and hit the cloaked kuo-toa twice, breaking its concentration on its spirit guardians. Albrecht followed Lee down and cast hex and eldritch blast, also hitting it twice. Pippin ran down the walls using his slippers. Broward, revived, cast levitate, and rose twenty feet into the air by the stairwell. Atilius cast scorching ray, but could not hit the mark. The kuo-toa waved its scepter and fiendish spirit guardians surrounded it. Moriarty fell from the fiends' strikes. Moula jumped off the stairs from three levels up and struck it with her staff and strikes, taking the deathly strikes of the swirling fiends'. Turenim cast aura of vitality, reviving Moriarty.

Lee hit the cloaked kuo-toa with another arrow. Albrecht cast hexblade's curse on it and hit with an eldritch blast. Pippin darted in and hit it with Yig, and when he dashed out he almost fell into the stairwell shaft. Broward, continuing to rise, cast a fire bolt, but missed. Atilius hit it with magic missiles. The cloaked kuo-toa's scepter crackled with electricity as it struck Moriarty, dropping him. It followed up and hit Moula as well, and began backing up into the large chamber behind it. Moula tried to trip it, but missed. She followed it into the room, and tried again, knocking it prone, and smashed it with her staff. Five of the kuo-toa in the room swarmed her with spears, and she managed to avoid all but two of them. Meanwhile, more kuo-toa, two with spiked clubs, were closing in from farther away. Turenim used his aura of vitality to revive Moriarty again.

Lee moved down the stairs, trying to get a clear shot at the cloaked kuo-toa in the room, but missed. Albrecht struck two of the kuo-toa that were attacking Moula, with eldritch blasts, dropping one of them. Pippin ran in and dropped another with Yig, but Yag got stuck on a kuo-toa's sticky shield, and he struggled to free it. Broward lowered himself, but missed with a fire bolt. Atilius cast fire bolt as well, but accidentally hit Moula. Moriarty moved to engage the cloaked kuo-toa, but it dropped him again with its crackling scepter. The ogre sized kuo-toa vanished from where it had been squatting by a pool. The two kuo-toa brutes with spiked clubs replaced their fallen kin and struck at Moula, dropping the monk. Five kuo-toa charge Pippin with their spears, but the child was too quick for them. Five other charged Albrecht, three of them stabbing him with their spears. Turenim cast mass healing word, healing Moriarty, Lee, Atilius, Pippin, and Broward, and reviving Moula. He used his aura of vitality to revive Moriarty.

Lee hit the cloaked kuo-toa with an arrow. Albrecht moved away from his companions, drawing a pack of kuo-toa with him, and cast thunderwave, dropping five of them, and injuring a sixth, which Pippin finished viciously. Broward caught a kuo-toa with a fire bolt. Atilius cast fire bolt at one of the brutes, but missed. The cloaked kuo-toa waved his scepter to cast mass healing word. Atilius tried to use counterspell, but failed, and four fallen kuo-toa rose and joined the ranks of their kin once again. Something hard smashed Atilius in the head, and he turned to find his attacker, but saw no one as he was smashed again. Moriarty swung Fiendburn at the cloaked kuo-toa, but missed. One of the brutes swung its spiked club at Albrecht, who parried one plow, but not the follow up. The other brute swung at Moula, and she dodged one blow, but fell to the other. Pippin scrambled away from the spears of the five kuo-toa that were attacking him. Three kuo-toa stabbed at Albrecht with their spears, and two of them hit the mark. Turenim used his aura of vitality to revive Moula.

Lee landed an arrow into the cloaked kuo-toa's throat and it gargled blood and fell to the ground. He landed a second arrow into another kuo-toa. The hexblade's curse revived Albrecht as its target died, and he stuck his rapier into one of the brutes. Pippin dropped one kuo-toa with Yig, and stabbed another with Yag. Broward caught a kuo-toa with a fire bolt, and Atilius caught a brute with magic missiles. In turn he was hit again by his invisible assailant. Moriarty slammed Fiendburn into the brute attacking Albrecht, and it retaliated, hitting him with its spiked club. The other brute swung wildly at Moula, but could not catch the monk as she fended him off with a kick while using wholeness of body to heal herself. Three kuo-toa stabbed at Pippin with their spears, but only one connected, just grazing the dodging rogue. Albrecht fell as three of the four kuo-toa stabbing at him connected. Turenim cast mass healing word again, healing Moula, Pippin, Lee, Atilius, and Moriarty, and reviving Albrecht.

Lee dropped one of the brutes with an arrow, but missed the other. Albrecht, still surrounded by four kuo-toa, cast thunderwave again, dropping two of them. Pippin swung Yig and Yag at a kuo-toa, but both blades were held fast on its sticky shield. Broward dropped that kuo-toa with a fire bolt. Atilius hit the remaining brute with magic missiles, and was again struck by a blunt object he could not see. Moriarty swung Fiendburn at the remaining brute, but missed. It retaliated, but also missed. Moula dropped it with two swings of her staff, and back kicked another kuo-toa. It tried to counter, but missed the monk. Another grazed Pippin. Two others stabbed at Albrecht, but missed. Turenim used his aura of vitality to heal Albrecht.

Lee struck two kuo-toa with arrows, dropping one of them. Albrecht stabbed at another, but missed. Pippin, with his blades stuck on the dead kuo-toa's shield, picked up the whole thing and with both hands and swung it at another kuo-toa, which blocked the blow with its shield, and the two shields were stuck together. Broward threw a fire bolt, but accidentally hit Pippin. While maintaining concentration on his arcane eye in order to see the caped kuo-toa that was hiding behind the crumbled wall, Atilius looked around in vain for his invisible attacker, until he was struck again, and fell to the blow. Moriarty swung Fiendburn at a kuo-toa, but missed. Moula dropped one kuo-toa with her staff, but missed one that hit Albrecht with its spear. Another stabbed at Pippin, but missed. Turenim used his aura of vitality to revive Atilius.

Lee sunk arrows into two more kuo-toa, dropping one of them. Albrecht cast eldritch blasts in the direction of Atilius' attacker, but found nothing. Pippin pulled Yig free, but missed a kuo-toa with it. Broward hit a kuo-toa with his fire bolt, and Atilius dropped the same one with magic missiles. He fell once again to his unseen attacker, which moved on to smash Turenim. Moula swung at the area around Turenim, but found nothing there. Turenim used his aura of vitality to revive Atilius again, and healed Atilius, Albrecht, and Moriarty with preserve life.

Moriarty moved to the crumbling wall where the caped kuo-toa had been hiding.

Lee drew Talon and attacked the area around Turenim, as did Albrecht with eldritch blasts, and Broward with a ray of enfeeblement. Pippin freed both of his swords. Moula leaped aside as a forty-foot-wide ice storm pounded down on Lee and Turenim. Atilius was struck as well, but managed to jump out of the area. Moula pulled the lantern of revealing from her pack and spotted the ogre-sized hatch-mother backing up to the larger cavern. Moula rushed at it, landing two kicks into its large midsection. Turenim used the last of his aura of vitality to heal Atilius, and tried to cast blindness on the hatch-mother to no effect.

Moriarty, now on the far side of the crumbled wall, swung at the caped kuo-toa, but missed the wide-eyed creature as it staggered back, weaponless.

Lee charged at the hatch-mother with Talon, drawing blood. Albrecht hit it with an eldritch blast, and it lost focus on its greater invisibility. Pippin swung at it, but could not close in. Broward cast a fire bolt at it, but missed.

Atilius, speaking in undercommon, urged it to surrender, insisting that they did not want to harm it.

It replied in its gurgling dialect, telling them to flee if they meant no harm. When they did not, it responded with a fireball. Moula, Pippin, and Albrecht avoided most of the blast, but Lee had his back to it, and was scorched by the flames. Moula smashed the hatch-mother twice with her staff, and landed a kick to its legs. Turenim cast healing word on Lee, and dashed to close the distance with the hatch-mother.

Behind the crumbling wall, Moriarty slammed Fiendburn into the caped kuo-toa, which disappeared in a cloud of smoke, leaving behind the faint smell of brimstone.

The caped kuo-toa appeared with a puff of smoke behind the hatch-mother. Lee slashed into the hatch-mother with Talon. With psychic blade, Albrecht stabbed at it, and thrust his rapier deep, killing the large kuo-toa. Pippin ran forward and opened the terrified looking caped kuo-toa from groin to gills.

And with that the battle was over.

Moriarty came running over, eyeing the cape. Pippin stood over the body of the caped kuo-toa as Moriarty approached.

"It's mine!" Moriarty demanded.

"Step off!" Pippin told him.

"But-" Moriarty started.

"Your recklessness lost you the cape." Albrecht rebutted.

"Just step off." Pippin repeated. "It's not yours. What are you coming over here for?"

"First we should give it to Atilius to identify." Moriarty suggested.

"That has nothing to do with you." Pippin retorted.

"Yes it does." Moriarty responded. "I want to see if this is what was really causing him to be able to teleport."

"Okay." Pippin replied. "We'll find that out. There's no reason for you to take the cape."

"Okay." Moriarty acknowledged.

"Just be glad you have that hammer...for now." Pippin warned.

"Shut up, Pippin." Moriarty demanded.

"How about we just kick you out of the party?" Pippin threatened. "Who do you think you are? With all your muscles and your handsome beard and all of that."

"Where exactly has your muscles and your handsome beard gotten you?" Albrecht chided.

"Just remember your place." Pippin finished. "And we'll all get along." And he gave the cape to Atilius, and made sure the rest of the kuo-toa were all dead.

Atilius took out his diamond to begin casting identify, when Broward asked, "What's the urgency in identifying this cape?" He motioned to the two slaves cowering by the pools.

To the right was a much larger room containing many anvils and bellows.

The pools were filled with what looked like hundreds of eggs, each the size of a small chest. One of the pools was filled with over a dozen hatchlings that had been feasting on the dead body of a slave hung over the pool on a metal cage.

One of the slaves, a female, seemed paralyzed with fear. The other, a male, began throwing the eggs out of the pool onto the floor. He looked over at the group and said, "Broward, help me!"

Broward began tossing the eggs out of the pool as he introduced the slave, Tobin, as one of the guards hired to protect the miners. He was a young man in his early twenties, with dark hair hanging to his shoulders and a full beard.

Tobin explained that he had been a guard in Neverwinter before joining the miners on their way to Wave Echo Cavern. He told them that the other slave had been there long before he was captured, and that her tongue had been cut out.

Albrecht retrieved the cloak worn by the kuo-toa that attacked them in the hall.

Moriarty began to wander off into the other room, when Turenim called him back, warning him not to wander off alone.

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