Monster Analysis: Remnants at Sprigg's Abode

In the hidden residence of Sprigg the Obnoxious, Vox Machina learned the hard way that they weren’t the only ones with an eye on the key to Ioun. The primary goal of the Remnant—and Vecna, in particular—was the demise of Vox Machina’s key to Ioun (who can be argued the absolute antithesis to Vecna). Given each enemy’s damage output and battle capability, it would be ludicrous to think that the Whispered One had plans to take out the entire party with such a meager strike force. The untrained (but still reasonably skilled) assassins downed Sprigg immediately following a declaration from their demigod that caught the party by surprise.

Shadow Ghasts

  • First Appearance: 102 Race to the Tower
  • Ghast First Appearance: 10 K’Varn Revealed
  • Encounter Appearance: 105 The Fear of Isolation
  • Armor Class ≤18 (suggested 13)
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Darkvision 60 ft
  • Immune to poison, necrotic damage
  • Immune to charmed, exhaustion, and poisoned
  • Necrotic Claw
  • Suggested average, max HP: 36, 64
  • Minimum 73 damage taken, 22 killing blow by Grog

The party had encountered ghasts before in the Underdark, with Vax falling victim to their paralyzing touch. While the shadow ghasts were slightly stronger due to coming from the plane that specifically empowered them, the save DC of their paralyzing touch seemed to be similar to that of their Material Plane brethren. Scanlan succeeded on both of his Constitution saving throws, negating one of the advantages the Remnants attempted to bring to the battle. (And, in a turn of the tables, Percy paralyzed one of the two ghasts with Manners.)

Thanks to @JDIllustrates for this art piece!

Hulking Horror

  • First Appearance: 102 Race to the Tower
  • Encounter Appearance: 105 The Fear of Isolation
  • Armor Class 17
  • Monster 1: 138 damage taken, 17 killing blow by Vax’ildan
  • Monster 2: 142 damage taken, 14 killing blow by Pike

The hulking, masked undead creatures stitched together by both thread and necrotic energies were the surprise muscle brought into the fight. Kept at bay by the censer when the party traversed the Shadowfell, the creatures literally crashed through the walls of Sprigg’s tiny house. Their lack of intelligence, on the other hand, did not direct them to strategically hit the targeted gnome trickster. Additionally, removing their masks appeared to unleash the void housed within their face, allowing the cruel mockery of life to escape from their physical forms.

Remnant Rogues

  • Encounter Appearance: 105 The Fear of Isolation
  • Armor Class ≤28 (yes, that was the lowest to hit)
  • Estimated total HP: 65-80
    • 20 finishing blow by Vax’ildan
    • 19 finishing blow by Keyleth
    • 26 finishing blow by Percy
    • Death by fire and log restraint
    • Finishing blow by Scanlan
    • Finishing blow by Grog

The Whispered One’s rogues’ best round was their surprise attack against Sprigg. Fortunately for him, these rogues didn’t seem to have Vax and Vex’s assassinate abilities, nor were their stealthing attempts subtle enough to evade the keen eyes of Percy and the twins. As it was, they still dealt a staggering 96 damage to Sprigg in the surprise round (double could have killed Sprigg outright). After that, however, they dealt a combined 56 points of damage to Vox Machina, who vastly outpowered them. Before the first round was over, their attempts at a calm, quick assassination were in complete disarray.

Remnant Necromancer

  • Encounter Appearance: 105 The Fear of Isolation
  • Armor Class ≤22 (suggested 15)
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Resistant to necrotic damage
  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 66, 108
  • 91 damage taken, 22 killing blow by Percy

Vox Machina learned from their first encounter with Vecna’s spellcasters in Episode 100 that allowing arcanists to cast results in a lot of damage to a lot of people very quickly. Alas for this necromancer, he was not given the opportunity to prove his worth beyond a single Blight spell at Vax. Even though he was potentially in charge of the operation, Vex’ahlia and Percy's focused attacks took him down before an order could be so much as grunted.

Vox Machina

The Remnants’ luck turned for the worse as soon as Vox Machina was able to respond.

Vax was the primary intimidator against the Remnant scouts, showing them how to REALLY rogue by dashing out the window, downing one and terrifying another in a single turn. Between Whisper and his Boots of Haste, his mobility allowed him to quickly survey and take control of the battlefield. In the second round, his divine smite helped dismantle the hulks, along with Pike's equally divine abilities.

Percy also provided ample offensive tactical support, restraining the shadow ghast before it could act and picking off fools who thought they were safe. Vex's arrows debilitated yet another assassin and tied up the necromancer for her and her, ahem, "betrothed" to finish off. Even Trinket served well as a meat shield against the hulking undead, absorbing the bludgeoning damage. 

Scanlan, Pike, and Keyleth all initially focused on keeping Sprigg alive before entering the offensive fray. Scanlan's Dimension Door brought Sprigg to safety where the older gnome could incapacitate an assassin into a fit of laughter. Scanlan also took advantage of the terrain, pinning a burning assassin under a giant log.

Pike's Guiding Bolts served well against the undead. Keyleth brought the fire, both in spell and elemental form. Grog also served as resident wrecking machine, weakening a number of foes and the structure of the second floor with his enhanced size and might. 

Vox Machina ultimately entered the fight with three goals in mind: save Sprigg (check), convince him to seek redemption by saving himself in battle & turning to Ioun (check), and saving his house & book collection (um... half check?). While Vox Machina opted out of saving the house, the destruction of Sprigg’s physical prison further prompted him to leave his metaphorical one. This enabled him to go with the party and further the success of their second goal.

Though Vox Machina left the Prime Material plane soon after, they also left the question unanswered of how Vecna spotted Vox Machina and so quickly transported six rogues, two hulking undead monsters, two shadow ghasts, and one necromancer from Thar Amphala and/or the Shadowfell to the forest adjacent to the Pools of Wittebak...