Monster Analysis: Dashilla the Sea Fury

Thanks to @ornerine for this art piece!

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-44 The Diver’s Grave

  • Armor Class 15

  • Speed 50 ft (swimming)

  • Legendary Actions, Lair Actions

  • 257 damage taken, 3 HP Remaining

Where once the waters rolled calmly by, where ocean's heart did sing,
There stalked a lass with a hungry eye and claws that grasp and wring.

With lantern lure of a glimmer pot, with treasure in their eyes,
Below they swam to the gold they thought would await them as their prize.

Yet each of them went to surely die, their graves to not be found
For Dashilla and her hungry eye collects the lost and drowned.

The Sea Fury

As Matt would confirm on Twitter, Dashilla is based on the sea hag, but with many of his own special modifications to make her a much more powerful legend.

Dashilla’s lair benefited from one of three different effects, not to be repeated until all three had been used.

  • Lament of the Dead - The spirits of drowned sailors rise from the floor, filling the chamber. All players must make a Wisdom Saving Throw (DC 12) or be frightened of Dashilla for the round.

  • Clouded Waters - Silt and bone swirl up among the chamber, heavily obscuring visibility. Any creature cannot see more than 5 feet in front of them. (Dashilla is unaffected.)

  • Tethering Walls - Any creature within 10 feet of a wall must make a Dexterity Saving Throw (DC 12) against the grasping seaweed, or be grappled and take poison damage (estimated 2d6). (Dashilla is unaffected.)

Although Dashilla did not benefit from Legendary Resistances, she had access to three Legendary Actions per turn, using a total of 6 legendary actions in her battle with the Nein. (She possibly used more after she disappeared from sight, but we wouldn’t know.)

  • Forced Vision - Dashilla can force one creature she has previously touched to move up to ten feet and make a single attack. This action required groundwork, and relied heavily on the party’s remarkably low perception checks as she tagged them individually on the way to her throne room. Once tagged, however, Dashilla could force the target to see her terrifying visage where she wanted them to think she was, and send them to attack what they thought was her.

  • Shifting Speed - Dashilla can travel her full movement without granting attacks of opportunity. While this was used in the early rounds to strategically place herself for combat, this turned into her saving defensive ability that allowed her to escape with her life.

Dashilla’s hungry eye was the most powerful asset of all. With but a Death Glare, she could take out a single target who could see her and failed the wisdom save, from full HP to 0. Although she could have repeated this as many rounds as she wanted, her claws granted her a very powerful series of attacks, more potent than the average sea hag.

Encounter

With Dashilla’s presence finally unveiled, the lair actions set the rhythm of the battle. The passing spirits in the first round appropriately raised the tension for all, frightened and steadfast alike. Dashilla followed up this display with a Death Glare at Caleb, sending him instantly unconscious. She retaliated against Fjord’s Eldritch Blasts by forcing him to (unsuccessfully) attack Beau, and skittered across the room after taking a hefty bolt from Nott without taking any attacks of opportunity.

Despite extremely limited visibility in the second round, the party held their positions and continued their assault. Dashilla use the cover to get in close to Beau, though Beau, Jester, and Caduceus took advantage of her proximity right back to blast her. Fjord fired blindly into the murky waters, successfully hitting the hag. By the time the water cleared up in the third round, the Nein’s mobility was limited even more than before by the grasping seaweed. Even though only Clay was grabbed, the rest of the party continued to hold their positions so as not to be entangled. Dashilla turned her attention to Jester, having put up with her divine lollipop and annoyingly cheerful hamster unicorns. (Editor’s note: we, unlike Dashilla, found the hamster unicorns utterly delightful.)

Yasha and Clay were responsible for party support this encounter. Yasha brought Caleb back to consciousness with her healing hands, and saved Caduceus from the grasping seaweed. Caduceus provided healing to Beau and Bless to himself, Caleb, and Fjord.

Beau found herself out of range for most of the encounter, but easily tanked Dashilla’s incoming attacks, both from the hag herself and those directed at Beau via her own party. Caleb attempted some of his powerful spells, but was removed from the fight early and then was forced to protect himself from Dashilla’s assault. Nott and Fjord sent a constant barrage of crossbow bolts and Eldritch Blasts (respectively), adding to Dashilla’s damage total.

Jester dealt the most damage to Dashilla of any one party member. Her Spirit Guardians kept the hag from being fully comfortable in her lair, while her Spiritual Weapon and Guiding Bolt knocked off a significant portion of Dashilla’s health pool. Jester’s Hellish Rebuke provided one last shock to Dashilla, encouraging her to flee before someone else finished her off.

By the fourth round, the party was completely unphased by Dashilla and her army of drowned spirits, concentrating fully on not letting her get away. She still got away, but the party were able to search her chambers for the eye and other treasure… And experiment with her arcane tools, before returning to the surface and leaving well enough and Dashilla alone. As the Nein sailed off, they just escaped her fury as she poured the remaining blood required for the tempest ritual onto the table, just missing the Squalleater and primed to rage on for future ships unfortunate enough to sail overhead.

Ghosts

Thanks to @caitmayart for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 1-21 Trial of the Take Part 4

  • Armor Class 11

  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 11

  • Speed 40 ft (flying), Incorporeal Movement

  • Resistant to acid, fire, lightning, thunder, and nonmagical weapon damage

  • Immune to cold, necrotic, and poison damage

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 45, 80

    • Ghost 1: Expelled by Turn Undead

    • Ghost 2: 54 damage taken, 29 killing blow by Nott

Although the lost souls that fell victim to Dashilla’s past rituals were not directly involved in the encounter with her, they appropriately set the tension surrounding the encounter. In campaign 1, ghosts caused quite a bit of strife all on their own with their ability to possess the bodies of those unable to contest their charisma.

The spirits of the Diver’s Grave followed the party around, keeping a safe but menacing distance for most of the search for the orb. Beau got too close to one lost soul who attempted to take her over, but Caduceus, experienced in dealing with undead and quickly recognizing her condition, swiftly dealt with her possession by chasing the spirit away. After the battle with Dashilla, Beau, Nott, and Caduceus all concentrated their attacks on an unsuspecting ghost, destroying him before he could react. Who ya gonna call.