Monster Analysis: Maelstrom and Air Elementals

  • First Appearance: 68 Cloak and Dagger
  • Armor Class 15 (Maelstrom 20)
  • Darkvision 60 ft
  • Speed 90 ft flying
  • Air Form: can occupy hostile creature’s space; can pass through space as small as 1 inch wide without difficulty
  • Resistant to lightning, thunder, and nonmagical physical damage
  • Immune to poison, poisoned, exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, prone, grappled, restrained, unconscious
  • Suggested average, max HP: 90, 144
    • Maelstrom: 167 taken, 39 HDYWTDT by Percy
    • Elemental 1: 101 taken, 28 finishing blow by Vax'ildan
    • Elemental 2: 87 taken, 23 finishing blow by Percy

Whether they were already denizens of the forsaken island of Glintshore or they were intentionally placed by Vox Machina’s quarry as an additional trap, the air elementals formed another hurdle to the party’s pursuit. In the aftermath of this battle, the party was presented a difficult choice: spend time to lick their wounds and recover their spent abilities (and risking Ripley getting away or being that much more prepared), or continue pursuit in hopes of catching Ripley underprepared (and risking a much more difficult battle). More on this in the next monster analysis!

The elemental battle also served the purpose of informing Vox Machina just how much a threat the terrain could be in addition to the combatants. The effect of the glass was further emphasized by the type of damage dealt (slashing instead of bludgeoning). This was a convenient way to change the flavor of the elementals without actually changing what they could do.

The air elementals appear to be fairly textbook, forming simple support to the maelstrom’s much heavier assault. Even the maelstrom’s abilities appear to match that of the air elementals, albeit with a much higher armor class, HP pool, reach, attack modifier, and damage capabilities.