Veil of Whispers 11: Behold My Broken Build

Posted on Apr 7, 2024 in Tales from the Table. Last updated on Apr 15, 2024.
Part of a series called Veil of Whispers.

The beholder gets what’s coming to him.

Date: April 6, 2024

Characters present:

Character level: 11/12

A Beholder, Beheld

Okay, here we go again. Having defeated the necromancer and taken his magical rod, which was also a phylactery of Valdemar the lich, the party had set off back toward Waterdeep on their airship when the skull adorning the rod suddenly floated into the air and began attacking Pi. The party geared up for battle and quickly found that the floating skull wasn’t particularly powerful. Pi blasted it with magical energy, and it fell right back down where it had been just a few moments ago, motionless once more.

Tired after the battle with the necromancer, the group headed below deck to rest. Caeus stayed awake to pilot the ship. It didn’t take long until that darn skull came back to life once more. “You undead folks just don’t know when to quit, do you?” said Caeus as he drew his bow. The rest of the party ran back up to help when they heard the struggle. They knocked the skull out of the air once more, Pi sending it flying over the railing with her repelling blasts. They brought the ship down to locate the skull and managed to destroy it with a casting of remove curse. The rest of the journey was uneventful.

After doing some shopping in Waterdeep, the party wasted no time in hunting down their next target. This one was the beholder that had defeated the previous party. According to Lilith, it was located in a town called Warlock’s Tomb, which didn’t bode well for much of anything.

Arriving at the outskirts of the town, they noticed immediately that something wasn’t right. The town was abandoned. No house seemed intact. Windows were broken, roofs were caved in, and the streets were littered with wood and stone debris. Light shone from inside one of the houses. Outside was a sign saying “Elfman’s Emporium”. The party entered. Inside stood a skeletal man, Danny Elfman, behind a counter, selling soap and anti-beholder potions. He told the group of another adventuring party who had also set off to fight the beholder1. The party didn’t care. He also told them where to find the beholder, which they cared about a little more.

Pi bought a magical charisma-boosting soap which she immediately used to try and convince Danny to give her everything he owned. Sander bought a potion of beholder ray reflection, which would let him reflect a beholder’s rays, but also blind him if there was any light around. The party quickly devised a strategy involving Sander drinking the potion and acting as a meat shield while the other two fired from cover.

Having failed to convince Danny to give up all his possessions, the group headed for the mausoleum where the beholder was supposedly located. Pi used a magical robe she’d bought in Waterdeep to summon a horse before heading inside. Caeus pushed the heavy double doors open, revealing an empty stone room with a staircase leading down into darkness. Hearing a scream from below, Caeus rushed down the stairs. The others followed at a more moderate pace.

The stairs led to another nondescript stone room with double doors at the far end. Inside were three dead halfling adventurers lying on the ground. Acid had melted holes in their heads, and their brains had been removed. The lone survivor, a human adventurer whose name we never learned, was under attack from what the DM described as “humans with tentacles on their faces”. Mind flayers.

They fired psychic blasts at the party, leaving Caeus stunned for nearly the entire battle. Pi kept the flayers away from him with her repelling blasts while Sander failed to land a single toll the dead on the enemies. It’s a wonder the party survived. But survive they did, and so did the human from the other party. Nobody knows where he went, but the party headed back to the ship to recover from their injuries.

Eight hours later, they headed back into the crypt or whatever it was. Beyond the second set of double doors they found a small chamber ending in a steep drop. As they began tying a rope to make their way down, a previously invisible monster appeared before them. It was an enormous skull with a single glowing red eye, surrounded by floating moats of red light that fired rays of colorful magic at them. One hit the horse, temporarily paralyzing it. The others used the horse as cover. Caeus was at his best when spending all his resources fighting a single enemy per day, and this just so happened to be the exact situation he found himself in. He killed the beholder-turned-death-tyrant in a single round, dealing a total of 225 damage. After that somewhat anti-climactic battle, they headed back to Waterdeep. Their next target: an undead dragon laying siege to a city.

The scene of the battle.
Yes, it was supposed to be a death tyrant, but I don't have one of those and I had just finished painting my Beholder mini. The horse is represented by Rosa's old mini.

I think Caeus could beat Valdemar all on his own.

  1. The joke here was that they were a human and three halflings, making them two and a half men. We had this party composition in another campaign and made the very same joke back then. ↩︎