Monster Analysis: Chuul, Deep Scion

Thanks to @RecluseArt for this art piece!

Chuul

  • First Appearance: 2-46 A Storm of Memories

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-47 The Second Seal

  • Armor Class 16

  • Speed 30 ft, Swim 30 ft

  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 14

  • Immune to poison and poisoned

  • Suggested, Max HP: 93, 143

    • Chuul 1: 141 damage taken, 22 killing blow by Nott

    • Chuul 2: 96 damage taken, 38 killing blow by Yasha

    • Chuul 3: 92 damage taken, 23 killing blow by Nott

    • Chuul 4: 82 damage taken, 12 killing blow by Jester

The crustacean-like chuul were creations of aboleth, ancient intelligent aquatic beings. The chuul were their amphibious servants, only intelligent enough to follow their commands. Even without the presence of an aboleth to give commands, chuuls operate on auto-pilot, guarding ancient ruins, killing trespassers, and taking their treasures for their hoard.

Chuul may not be very bright, but they’re vicious. They have two pincers they can use on a multiattack, which then also grapple the target (escape DC 14). If the chuul is grappling a creature, they also have a tentacle attack at their disposal, which can be used to paralyze its target (DC 13). (If Beau wanted to, she could have attempted to command the chuul; they understand, but can’t speak Deep Speech.)

The chuul in the temple of Uk’otoa sensed The Mighty Nein’s presence before they or the Nein even saw them. Chuul have the ability to sense magic out to 120 feet, which they use to clue them into approaching magic users or shiny magical items for their collection. Several members of the Mighty Nein have magic items on their person, not to mention the Water Breathing spell Fjord cast on everyone before they went underwater.

Deep Scion

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-47 The Second Seal

  • Armor Class 13+ (Suggested 11)

  • Speed 30 ft, (20 ft and 40 ft swim in hybrid form)

  • Darkvision 120 ft, Passive Perception 11

  • Suggested, Max HP: 67, 99

  • 72 damage, taken, 12 killing blow by Caleb

Deep scions, like the sea spawn The Mighty Nein fought in episode 2-46, are lost, stolen, or drowning people that have been transformed by a mighty sea being into an amphibious servant. While the sea spawn have to return to the water for a certain number of hours per day or die, the deep scion is completely amphibious, allowing it to spend as much time above and below the waves as its master wants. As a result of the transformation ritual, the deep scion becomes a shapeshifter between its original, true form and its piscine hybrid form. Their original form may be intact, but their mind is chained to the commands of its master. This shapeshifting ability allows the deep scion to work its way back into society to serve as its aquatic master’s secret envoy.

We saw no sign of this deep scion’s creator or any other life with an intelligence score higher than 6, so there’s no telling what this particular deep scion was up to or how long it had been there. Its primary purpose in the fight was as a living flash bang, stunning the assailants and giving his superiors enough time to mount their assault.

Battle

Thanks to @Morphenominal12 for this art piece!

The chuul got really lucky with the results of the deep scion’s psychic screech. Beau was close to the door, making her an easy target, but under normal circumstances, she would have been the hardest to hit with her AC of 19. With her being stunned, the first chuul got advantage on its attack to grapple her so that by the time the stun wore off, chuul 4 was emerging. Beau, realizing she would need to take the role of tank for dealing with the two chuul, prevented chuul 4 from moving away from her and closer to the nearby Nott, who was also just shaking off the stun. Beau trusted that her friends would take care of her and the other chuul, and she was right. Caduceus healed her for 6 points, and without those 6 points, she would have been left with 1 hit point at the end of that battle. Fjord, Nott, and Caleb all focused fire on the two chuul surrounding her until one was down and Fjord could get her out.

Jester finally had the opportunity to be the damage dealer she’s been wanting to be, dealing 50 combined damage with Spiritual Weapon, Toll the Dead, and Inflict Wounds, and killing one of the chuul. A Hasted Nott cleverly convinced the unintelligent chuul that she was on its head, not only forcing it to waste a round of attacks, but also to take damage from an illusion. Caleb discovered the fun that is auto-hit Magic Missiles, dealing it at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels. And when one of the chuul set its sight on the wizard with his AC of 11 (!), Captain Tusktooth and First Mate Beau Thunder Stepped over to his aid. Yasha, save for a Spiritual Weapon strike from Jester, took on one of the chuul all by herself, distracting it from going anywhere else before cracking it open like an oyster.