Kobold Press

Victory’s Bestiary: Living Cloudkill Hurricane

The Wreck of a Transport Ship by William TurnerFor days, schools of dead deep-sea fish washed ashore on tall waves violent with green foam. An olive-colored cloud then stretched across the entire horizon, blotting out the rising sun and casting bolts of jagged lightning down into the tempestuous sea.

All ships were moored, and the people of the coastal cities were warned to flee to steadings more inland. The cloud continued to creep toward shore with a malign intelligence, bringing with it noxious gusts of wind and heavy rains that burned through wood, iron, and flesh-like embers on a piece of parchment.

The only mortals to survive the living cloudkill hurricane’s landfall were the ones that had prayed for its arrival for decades.

The living cloudkill hurricane is too large to be faced as a single entity. The stats below represent one of the hurricane’s appendages, a noxious cloud-to-ground vortex wreathed in acidic lightning, which can be engaged in combat by the PCs. Finding a means to destroy the storm is a major quest.

Living Cloudkill Hurricane

A wide cyclone of poisonous gas punches down from the dark emerald sky like a swirling fist. Broken stone, splintered wood, and choking livestock orbit the funnel on a howling gale, its advance masked by a torrent of corrosive rain.

Huge 9th-level wrecker [Aberration]

Initiative: +18

HP 360            AC 21

PD 27              MD 19

C: Killing gust +12 vs. PD (up to 3 nearby creatures) – 70 force and poison damage.

Natural even hit: Roll 1d6. If the result plus the escalation die is greater than or equal to the number of recoveries the target has remaining, they must start making last gasp saves as they inhale the cloudkill.

Natural 16+: The living cloudkill hurricane makes a corrosive chain lightning bolt attack as a free action.

C: Hurl debris +14 vs. AC (4 far away creatures) – The living cloudkill hurricane picks up a structure, breaks it apart, and hurls it across the battlefield. On a hit, it deals 50 damage. This attack also has a secondary effect depending on what kind of building the hurricane destroyed:

  • Military (tower, barracks, armory): The living cloudkill hurricane sucks up hundreds of weapons and armor shards. These objects lash out from the vortex, giving the hurricane a cumulative +20 bonus to damage.
  • Religious (church, temple, mausoleum): The living cloudkill hurricane sucks up a dozen enchanted guardian skulls. The hurricane gains a cumulative +2 bonus to defenses.
  • Merchant (shop, inn, bazaar): The living cloudkill hurricane sucks up 360 gold pieces worth of mundane treasure, as well as a single magic item that the vortex can wield against the PCs (such as a wand). This magic item can be claimed if the vortex is destroyed.
  • Farm (barn, stable, fishery): The living cloudkill hurricane sucks up cattle, chicken, goats, and other livestock that it proceeds to use as a meat shield against the PCs’ attacks. The hurricane gains 35 hit points.
  • Other: Wing it.

Natural 16+: The living cloudkill hurricane makes a corrosive chain lightning bolt attack as a free action.

[Special Trigger] R: Corrosive chain lightning bolt +12 vs. PD (2 nearby or far away creatures) – 75 acid and lightning damage, and the target is dazed (save ends). If the target is wearing metal armor or wielding a metal weapon, the target takes ongoing 20 lightning damage (save ends).

Limited use: 1/round.

Acid rain: Creatures in the area affected by the living cloudkill hurricane take 10 acid damage at the start of their turns unless they find shelter from the rain.

Noxious gale: Living creatures in the area affected by the living cloudkill hurricane are vulnerable to attacks that deal acid or poison damage.

Swallowing vortex: Creatures must make a hard save (16+) to disengage from the living cloudkill hurricane. On a failure, the creature that attempted to disengage is stuck (hard save ends).

Torrential downpour: Ranged attacks made against the living cloudkill hurricane take a penalty to attack rolls equal to twice the escalation die.

Building Battles

Though it is intelligent and revels in the worship it receives from evil aquatic creatures, the living cloudkill hurricane doesn’t work with other monsters. However, hydras and green dragons are known to follow the storm, ravaging cities in the storm’s wake.

Encounters with the living cloudkill hurricane are best in crowded urban areas where the vortex can pick up and hurl a variety of buildings.

Treasure

When the living cloudkill hurricane is completely destroyed, the PCs may claim the following rewards in addition to any treasure they would normally earn:

  • At the center of the hurricane is the Eye of Xann, Lord of Storms and Tyranny. This artifact allows the wielder to command storm giants and conjure air or lightning elementals.
  • Also at the center of the hurricane is what remains of a fleet of seafaring half-kraken warriors that was swallowed up by the storm a century ago and held in magical stasis. The fleet pledges their allegiance to the PCs.

About the Author

Sersa Victory is the founder of SVD Press, a small group that publishes deathtrap dungeons for Dungeon World and 13th Age. Among other titles and curses, Sersa was named Apprentice of Acererak by Chris Perkins and Monarch of the Monsters by Kobold Press readers. His adventures, including Revenge of the Iron Lich and Fane of the Heresiarch, laid the foundation for the genre that would be known as fourthcore.

6 Replies to "Victory’s Bestiary: Living Cloudkill Hurricane"

rwaluchow

June 16, 2014 at 5:51pm

Wow; that is badass!

Chris

June 17, 2014 at 1:43pm

Very nice, especially Hurl debris! The thought that it deals damage by throwing crazed up cows after sucking up a farm… :)

A while ago, I read about a Greater Mask Wight on your twitter; unfortunately, the link did no longer work. Any chance to see that monster again in the future?

Kobold Press

June 17, 2014 at 1:49pm

The mask wight link is still live here, fortunately.

Tim Baker

June 22, 2014 at 9:16pm

Deadly cool!

Debby

June 24, 2014 at 7:51am

Love this. Unfortunately, I only play 3.5 so I’ll have to convert this. I hope you don’t mind.

Wolfgang

June 24, 2014 at 9:35am

Don’t mind a bit, everyone should play the game they like.

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