Monster Analysis: Xhorhas Assassin

Thanks to @JohnHerzogArtist for this art piece!

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-13 Lost & Found
  • Armor Class 16 < x < 20
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Darkvision 60 ft, able to see in magical darkness
  • 41 damage taken, 5 knockout blow by Mollymauk

After escaping from an out-of-control heist, watching one of Zadash’s great landmarks suffer serious damage, and fleeing into the sewers under the cover of the city’s panic, The Mighty Nein found themselves facing an angry, very wounded individual in insect-like armor who only spoke to them in a language they didn’t speak (Undercommon). While they weren’t interested in fighting the individual, they had no intention of lying down while they slaughtered the lot of them.

Thuron, Xhorhas Infiltrator

For background into Xhorhas and the Dwendalian Empire’s longstanding feud, check out our Context post from last week.

The armored individual the Nein met in the sewer (who we later know as Thuron) was one of two drow sent from Xhorhas to take back what the Dwendalian Empire had (not so rightfully) stolen: a mysterious dodecahedron of arcane power known as a Beacon. The pair also set out to bring down the Zauber Spire with most of the residents of the Tri-Spires in it. The first of the pair was handled by the flying, lighting-wielding mages before they could escape. However, based on both Thuron’s power and skill, Empress Krynn fully intended to get the Beacon back from Zadash.

Thuron was an adept combatant (his +10 to athletics shows that he is much stronger than any of his Monster Manual drow counterparts). Like all drow elves, Thuron had the ability to innately cast Darkness, which he used to his advantage in the first round. He had had no problem seeing through this magical darkness, but this left The Mighty Nein blinded for its duration.

More notably, Thuron wielded a magical longsword that created a shadowy echo of himself the first time he was struck in a round and the first time he struck someone else. The shadow form was easily dispatched when it did take damage, but it was able to make an attack of equal strength to its source on the assassin’s turn in addition to Thuron’s own attacks, dissipating on a successful strike. The wielder could also choose to use an ability called Transpose Echo to switch places with it as a reaction so it would take the hit instead of him, preventing a crit from Mollymauk from striking true.

The Mighty Nein

Beau made the choice at the top of the battle to grapple Thuron, both as a means of preventing his escape and demonstrating that the party wasn’t interested in fighting him. This was especially helpful when he cast Darkness; even if they couldn’t see him, the Nein could at least be sure he wasn’t moving away from Beau. After a round of unsuccessfully trying to convince him to stand down, the party settled on knocking him unconscious.

Fjord dashed through the darkness to determine that no one else was wandering the sewers, granting Thuron an attack of opportunity. This single strike burned Fjord’s full Armor of Agathys, dealing 10 cold damage back to the drow. Fjord was able to return the favor in the third round when Thuron rushed Jester.

Caleb stayed back from the fight, sending Frumpkin in to listen while Comprehend Languages was active. Nott initially attempted diplomacy via a repliable Message, but spent her second round taking out the Echo. Jester was severely hampered by the darkness orb, but was able to use her Hellish Rebuke against Thuron before putting her healing skills to work after the fighting stopped.

Mollymauk, Fjord, and Beau took advantage of flanking positions to, well, gain advantage on their attacks. Molly’s Blood Maledict prevented a crit from landing on Beau, but it was not enough to prevent her from falling unconscious. After striking both the imposed Echo then the target itself, Molly’s nonlethal hit (keeping up with the theme of the rest of the party’s attacks) gave The Mighty Nein time to revive Beau, tie up Thuron after separating him from his gear, and sort of figure out what they wanted to ask him. Sort of.

Thanks to @AvivOr (@UpTo4Players) for this art piece!

While the party opted to only keep some of his gear and let him flee with his precious Beacon and his life, sadly (or not so sadly), Thuron did not escape death. The Crownsguard soon found him in an extremely weakened state, with none of the mercy that the Mighty Nein offered.