Prior to entering the Barbed Fields, traversing the Ghostlands outside of Rosohna were the closest they had come to experiencing the horrors of the aftermath of the Calamity, the cataclysmic battle fought by the gods to preserve or destroy Exandria. The Ghostlands, appropriately named, are home to the unhappy spirits that remain from the battles fought there. Similarly, the Barbed Fields were left forever changed by the final Calamity battles fought there. The desolate landscape of the Barbed Fields seems to be home to a very different, but no less dangerous, type of resident than the Ghostlands: the Sorrowsworn.
Sorrowsworn: The Lost
First Appearance: 2-64 A Dangerous Chase
Armor Class 15
Speed 30 ft
Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 8
Resistant to physical weapon damage when in dim light or darkness
Suggested Average, Max HP: 78, 120
The Lost 1: 83 damage taken, 10 HDYWTDT by Beau
The Lost 2: 108 damage taken, 23 HDYWTDT by Jester
The Lost 3: 100 damage taken, 12 HDYWTDT by Beau
The Lost 4: 80 damage taken, 12 HDYWTDT by Jester
The plane from which these creatures are produced is one of eternal darkness and despair: the Shadowfell. Individuals trapped there are twisted by their fear and loneliness, becoming a physical manifestation of anxiety, desperate for the embrace of any living creature to alleviate it. The victims of these hugs, of course, are treated not only to the spiked appendages that protrude from the Lost’s limbs and back, but the full brunt of the psychological horror that the creature personifies. Attempting to aid the victim only forces the Lost to flood the victim’s senses even more.
The Nein also quickly discovered, thanks to Beau’s Extract Aspects, that the lack of light only strengthened the creatures’ hides against physical damage, including magical attacks. Caleb’s Driftglobe weakened the resolve of their despair as well as this resistance, granting the party 120 total damage they wouldn’t have dealt without it.
Both Fjord and Caleb fell prey to The Lost’s horrifying embrace, taking damage not only on the initial attack, but once a round when an ally successfully hit the Lost and at their end of their own turn. Caleb was attack hugged into unconsciousness, while Fjord lost over half of his overall health before they were rescued by Jester and Beau (who killed The Lost) and Caduceus (who brought Caleb back from unconsciousness and being shoved inside his assaulter).
It’s unclear how these particular sorrowsworn ended up free of their plane of origination, only to be stranded in the middle of the Barbed Fields. Yasha remembered that creatures linger from the final battles of the Calamity, like “entities from planes parallel to [the Prime Material] that seem to either pop through or still remain, just hunting for whatever sense of life they can come across.” If these Lost sorrowsworn have been separated from the Shadowfell since the Calamity, they would have been wandering the wastes of the Barbed Fields for over 800 years. It’s also possible that there is a rift nearby leftover from the Calamity, where such creatures can pass between the planes. Either way, the Mighty Nein will know to be on high alert for other creatures that are drawn to their life force.
Swarm of Bats
Encounter Appearance: 2-64 A Dangerous Chase
Armor Class 12
Speed 30 ft flying
Blindsight 60 ft, Passive 11
Resistant to physical weapon damage (magical included)
Immune to charmed, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, and stunned
Suggested Average, Max HP: 22, 40
29 damage taken, 14 HDYWTDT by Fjord
Even though they dealt a little bit more damage than the party anticipated (and we can confirm their attack damage was significantly enhanced compared to the MM suggestion), the rabid swarm of bats added little more than an annoyance to the battle. They dealt 15 total damage before becoming spell components for Caleb and food for his moorbounder.