Monster Analysis: Chain Golem and Hotis

Chain Golem

  • First Appearance: 93 Bats Out of Hell
  • Armor Class: between 14 and 24
  • Construct: Immune to Percy’s Head Shot effect


Although the chain golem may not be present in the 5e Monster Manual or similar guides, it has a very rich lore within the 3.5 edition Monster Manual II. The kytons were infernal beings who were so depraved that the gods locked them up in the deepest pockets of the Hells. The kytons escaped from the Hells to the Shadowfell, where their depravity and love for masochism intensified. They embraced their chains and tore their own flesh from their bodies, replacing it with what they could carve from more powerful mortals as the means to their patchworked longevity and social status.

Since each subsequent target would need to be more powerful and challenging to capture than the previous quarry, the fiends found ways to trap and drag these creatures back so they might be harvested or turned into additional kytons. Forged in hellfire exclusively by the kytons, chain golems patrol the Hells at the command of their masters and their masters alone. No other fiend or creature knows the process for the constructs’ creation; any who do learn it immediately become an assassination target for the shadow devils.

The Encounter

The bearded devil who got Vox Machina their equipment back mentioned that the overseer for Hotis’ area of the Bastion of Flesh was not in the area, though they knew better than to leave the area completely unguarded. The chain golem’s activation was triggered by Vox Machina’s presence on the chain-riddled floor, and formed out of the ceiling and floors themselves. The floor presented its own troubles; anyone in it, moving or not, took damage every round.

The chain golem used two kinds of attacks. The first, the slam attack, is a standard golem ability, regardless of type. The second was an ability Matt called “Chain Prison.” It required those within a certain range of the golem to make a dexterity save of 20 or be restrained. On subsequent turns, the restrained could make a strength save to break free. Combined with the difficult terrain mentioned above, this would pose a significant challenge to any party attempting to flee on foot. However, it wound up being more of a nuisance to a teleporting Vox Machina.

Vox Machina themselves just tried to avoid interacting with the chain golem as much as possible. Their strategy was to find Hotis and get out. Which brings us, at last, to:


Thanks to @BlackSalander for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 20 Trial of the Take Part 3
  • Encounter Appearance: 93 Bats Out of Hell
  • Armor Class: Presumably significantly lower than 32 (as hit by Grog)
  • Previous Armor Class: 16
  • Total HP: Presumably significantly lower than 22 (as dealt by Grog)

Vex, Vax, and Tova looked for the correct door to Hotis’s chamber. Grog finished smashing the door to the chamber with a single hit, then splattered Embryonic Hotis with a single hit.

That was it. That was the fight. The door was the worst part, and it wasn’t that much of a challenge, especially compared to other doors that VM has faced.

Okay, so the door puzzle combined with the urgency presented by the chain golem and the approaching devils offered the real challenge. Hotis wasn't the danger here; the Hells were.