Monster Analysis: Thomara Earth Elementals

  • First Appearance: 110 The Climb Within
  • Armor Class 17
  • Speed 30 ft, 30 ft burrowing
  • Darkvision 60 ft, Tremorsense 60 ft
  • Resistant to nonmagical physical damage
  • Immune to poison damage
  • Immune to exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, unconscious
  • VULNERABLE to thunder damage
  • Suggested/Estimated average HP: 126
    • Elemental 1: 131 damage taken, 19 HDYWTDT by Pike
    • Elemental 2: 106+ damage taken, Unknown killing blow by Percy
    • Elemental 3: 131 damage taken, 27 killing blow by Vex’ahlia
    • Elemental 4: 161 damage taken, 38 killing blow by Grog
    • Elemental 5: 127 damage taken, 25 killing blow by Vex’ahlia

With but a brief dwarven warning sign into the lost dwarven city of Thomara, Vox Machina wandered into the lair of the primordial titan’s earth elementals. In combat, standard earth elementals are really good at one thing: smashing. While these dead-eyed (but not undead) creatures share a lot of stats with their Monster Manual siblings, they were a little more creative in their ambush and attacks thanks to a couple extra abilities.

The assault began with Percy getting pulled and buried inside the stone wall. This strategy continued over the course of the battle as the earthen floor below rose to swallow Trinket, Pike, and Keyleth. These paralyzing tactics were paired with a fair share of smashing, with two slam attacks per turn. Tremorsense meant that not even Vax or an invisible Scanlan could hide from them. On top of all that, their Earth Glide ability made it difficult for the party to hit and keep track of the creatures, as they used the surrounding body of the reanimated earth titan to their defensive and guerilla advantage.

Once the elementals started ducking into the floor and walls, Vox Machina was forced to use held actions and guesswork to deal damage. This did not pose significant disadvantage, however, as most of the party has ranged attacks, and the elementals did not. Any elemental that showed its face was met by a hail of daggers, arrows, and bullets. Any that came within melee range got an up-close look at an axe, sword, or mace.

Even being swallowed by the earth didn’t slow the party down much, as Keyleth shifted into her own earth elemental form when she was swallowed, and used it to pull both Pike and Trinket free. Keyleth and Scanlan both were able to get Thunderwaves off on two elementals simultaneously, taking advantage of the creatures’ vulnerability to thunder damage. Even the elementals’ resistance to physical damage was easily ignored, thanks to a full stock of magical weapons.

Keyleth was forced to burn a 5th level Transmute Rock to pull Percy out at the start of the battle in addition to the 3rd level Thunderwave, and Scanlan used one each of his 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spell slots. Vex had to drop her Pass without a Trace for Hunter’s Mark, forcing her to recast PWT after the fight and burn another 2nd level spell slot. The battle also burned a fair amount of hit points, with Grog, Vex, Percy, and Scanlan taking a combined 126 damage from slam attacks. The elementals may have been no match for Vox Machina, but they slowed the party and depleted valuable spell and healing resources, adding to difficulty of the final showdown with Vecna.