Expert DM Competition #4 -- Create an Urban Menace (Optional Elements 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13)
Witch of the Creeping Forest
Every town has its share of dirty rumors and nasty little secrets -- whether it's the haunted wizard tower, the "noble" baron's torture chamber, or the church hiding a cult of Orcus. Perhaps an even more common occurrence is a branding of locations as "cursed" or "evil". Shadowy forests, umbral caves, dark bogs or marshes, one can always find a place that is strictly avoided by the general populace, whether out of common sense, superstition, or both. The Creeping Forest is one of these locals, the forbidding trees and the ever-present stench of decay convincing many to simply leave the forest alone. While it's true that few who foolishly (or stupidly) enter the Creeping Forest alone ever return (let alone survive), perhaps more sinister are the rumors that a malignant presence inhabits the deepest reaches of the wood, periodically emerging to raid settlements, stealing entire families from their places before retreating into the slimy darkness. Local authorities have sponsored scouring and purges against the resident oozes and slimes, but always emerge relatively unscathed, finding little sport in the ochre jellies that flourish throughout the twisted groves and no trace of the raiders. This has lead to a general dismissal of these rumors, citing that ‘only folklore and the overactive imaginations of bards and minstrels haunt these ancient trees’. But the common folk cling to their superstitious truth-- that the Creeping Forest hides an ancient, sinister evil force.
Unfortunately, these superstitious commoners are more right than they'd prefer.Breaking it Down --
The Witch of the Creeping Forest is a menace both because of her long-term goals of domination as well as the unintentional effect her presence has on the local monstrous humanoid tribes, goading them into fool-hardy raids on nearby settlements.
While the local inhabitants don’t know much about the Witch or her plans in general, they know that some spiteful force is provoking the Drukai into their infrequent assaults (the Drukai admit as much themselves!). Both the irregularity of these attacks and the threat of Ochre Jellies (and worse!) in the Drukai’s forest home prevent the citizens from investigating too deeply and putting a permanent end to the problem.
The Creeping Forest is an intentionally ambiguous strand of trees that can be added to your campaign -- ideally nearby a large city, though it can really be used near any settlement. Though the outer-most reaches of the forest are home only to Ochre Jellies and other, less menacing, slime-kin, the heart of the wood is the stronghold from which the dreaded Witch of the Creeping Forest and her band of Drukai reside.
Residents of the nearby towns know that some sort of threat lurks in the ancient trees. From time to time ravenous bands of Drukai come streaming out of the forest, slaughtering those who would outright oppose them and capturing those who fail to run away. It is usually takes less than half an hour before the Drukai, their screaming captives forced along with them, disappear back into the strands of trees.Who are the Drukai?
– As far as can be determined, the Drukai are not an actual race, but rather the name of a clan of creatures. Drukai might be goblins, gnolls, orcs, or some other group of humanoids or monstrous humanoids native to the area. In part because of this, local governments treat the dwellers of The Creeping Forest as nothing more than nuisances. True, they’re raiding nearby towns and villages, but so are any other number of goblin and orc tribes. If anything, the sporadicalness of their attacks makes the threat from The Creeping Forest minor compared to those of evil humanoids elsewhere. It is because of this that the towns and settlements find themselves in a rather unfortunate situation – they know there is danger in the cursed woods, but they have neither the equipment nor the man power to dare attempt to drive out this danger alone.
What the citizens do not know is that the Drukai are not the true danger to the region, for inside the darkest reaches of the forest lairs an ancient primordial aspect of water and slime. Known simply as ‘The Witch” to the Drukai, their continued existence is completely dependent on regular offerings of slaves and treasure. For now, their cruel and unfathomable mistress tolerates their presence and allows them to eke out an existence in their ancestral lands, as long as they continue to offer tribute.
In this case, the menace and the threat from the menace come from two different groups. The Witch does not directly attack the community, yet the threat posed by her is ultimately much greater than the occasional slave raids undertaken by the Drukai. The Drukai are not intrinsically loyal to The Witch. Rather, their actions result from a sense of self-preservation more than anything else. Ember Sinclair, Witch of the Creeping Forest --- Level 29 Solo Controller
In the middle of a large chamber stands a fairly normal looking woman. She is wearing a sleeveless vest and a pleated leather skirt. Though it’ x ;s hard to be certain, she appears abnormally tall, perhaps 8 or 9 feet. The woman’s flaming, red-orange hair peeks out from a tiered, pointed hat, coming down nearly to her waist. She is barefooted, seeming to stand on top of the murky water, and holds nothing in her hands, but the menacing smile and hint of chaos in her eyes speak to a greater inner strength. Clearly, she is not at all what she seems.
Large elemental humanoid (ooze, earth, aquatic) XP 75 x ,000
Initiative +1 x 8
Senses Perception +25 x ; Blindsight 10
HP 1 x ,355; Bloodied 677; See also Oozeborn Apotheosis
AC 45 x ; Fortitude 43, Reﬂex 41, Will 41
Immune disease; Resist 15 x acid, poison;
Saving Throws +5
Speed 8 x , Swim 10
Action Points 2
[basic attack] [b]Slime Lash (standard; at-will) [/b]
Reach 2 x ; +34 vs AC; 3d6 + 7 damage.
The Witch thrusts out a hand at you – x ;before it gets even close to touching you, the hand dissolves, replaced with a writhing tentacle of slime!
[basic attack] [b]Slime Bolt (standard; at-will) ✦ x ; Acid[/b]
Ranged 10 x ; +33 vs. Reflex; 2d8 + 10 acid damage and ongoing acid 5.
The witch forcefully thrusts out her hand, and a gob of ooze streaks out, smashing into your chest with painful strength.
[b]Veil of Slime (standard; at-will)[/b]
Close Burst 1 x ; +33 vs. Fortitude; 2d10 +9 damage and affected characters are pushed 1 square.
Miss: Half-damage and the targets are not pushed.
The witch abruptly raises both hands towards the ceiling, and the pool of ooze around her responds, blasting upwards in a geyser of ooze and water.
[b]Insidious Whispers (1 x /round, immediate interrupt, when targeted by a melee attack; at-will,) ✦ Psychic, Charm[/b]
Ember makes an attack against the attacking creature; +35 x vs. Will; on a successful hit, the attack only does half-damage.
as you strike with your weapon, your mind suddenly fills with nagging doubts and false suppositions.
[b]Torrential Charge (standard; recharge 6 x ) [/b]
Ember makes a ‘ x ;charge’ attack to an empty square, within range 8 and line of sight. Ember shifts along a direct line to that square, ignoring rough terrain and occupied squares, making an attack against each enemy in her path.; +32 vs. AC; 4d10 + 4 damage and knocked prone, miss: half-damage and targets remain standing;
The Witch dissolves into a flood of rushing slime. Her aqueous form billows past, the oozing liquid pulling sharply at your legs with near crushing force.
[b]Oozeborn Apotheosis (free, when first bloodied; encounter)[/b]
Ember’ x ;s resistance to poison and acid increases to 20, and she additionally gains resist 5 all. Ember’s Reflex defense increases by 2, and her Torrential Charge ability automatically recharges and additionally will now recharge on a roll of 5 or higher. Ember now can use four total actions per round-- two standard, one move, and one minor. These changes last until the end of the encounter.
Ember’ x ;s flesh suddenly dissolves, forcefully sloughing off of her body, leaving a roughly humanoid-shaped upper torso of slime while her lower half becomes a mass of roiling, pulsating, ooze.
[b]Slimespiral (standard; encounter) ✦ x ; Healing[/b]
Close Burst 8 x ; +31 vs. Reflex; 4d8+10 damage and affected characters are pulled up to 8 squares. Miss: half-damage and affected characters are pulled up to 4 squares. Regardless of the outcome of the attack, Ember restores 40 health.
The water within the air and all living things suddenly comes alive as Ember beckons. The semi-sentient liquid hurls itself towards her to create a forceful cyclone of rushing water and oozing slime. You yourself are drawn closer as your very blood jerks, heeding the call of the witch.
Alignment -- Evil
Languages -- Common, Primordial, Deep Speech
Skills – x ; Perception +25, Arcana +24, Heal, +25, Nature +25, Endurance +29, Intimidate +27
Str 27 x Dex 19 Wis 22
Con 31 x Int 20 Cha 26 Tactics
– Ember’s strength lies in ranged combat and she knows it. She will pepper the party from afar whenever possible, using Slime Bolt and Torrential Charge to deal damage from a distance. Even when forced into melee range, Ember continues hurling Slimebolts, relying on her Insidious Whispers ability to prevent damage from opportunity attacks. If more than one character is adjacent to her, Ember uses Veil of Slime to push them away. Sometimes she even uses Torrential Charge to place herself into the middle of the group, the better to use Veil of Slime with on the next turn. When Ember becomes bloodied and her Oozeborn Apotheosis is triggered, she burns one of her action points on her next turn to use a combination of Slimespiral and Torrential Charge to deal heavy damage to as many PCs as possible. After this first round, Ember proceeds as before with the exception that she will no longer allow opportunity attacks, instead resorting to her Slime Lash ability. Ember should use her second action point soon after she becomes bloodied to either hit a single target with three Slime Bolts in an attempt to finish them off, or escape melee opponents with Torrential Charge before blasting someone with two Slime Bolts in the same turn. Ember is utterly confidant in her powers, fighting until the death. Despite her power, Ember is a loner – the Drukai who provide tribute to her do so out of fear – and, considering the few number of beings who actually know about her, she is more than likely to always be encountered alone. In extremely rare circumstances, she may be encountered with an Ooze Knight, as described below.History
-- The Witch of the Creeping forest is an ancient elemental entity of slime and water. Though not immortal, she does not age and has easily lived for over a thousand years. Her interest in the affairs of the civilized world is a strange one – though she does not actively desire land or conquest, she does seek to expand her influence by creating a network of powerful agents. To do this she needs living beings. Because of the superstitions surrounding her forest-base (not to mention the threat of the Drukai and the oozes inhabiting the Creeping Forest), not nearly enough people wander in on their own initiative. To this end Ember relies on the Drukai, a large tribe of humanoids she has bullied into providing her a steady tribute of slaves. Though the majority of these offerings are simply devoured or fed to her pet slimes, the occasional captive possesses enough potential for Ember to take interest.
Ember prefers adolescents since they are both physically developed enough to assess their potential abilities and performance, yet young enough that they have not yet made a name for themselves, or otherwise garnered widespread renown. It is to these captives that The Witch performs a terrible ritual, permanently augmenting them with a shard of her essence and changing their very core. After being performed, The Witch returns the adolescent to society, usually within a day or two of their original disappearance. The ritual leaves no outward physical appearance, and aside from the loss of two days within their memory, and the sympathy the adolescent receives for “somehow” escaping from the Drukai raid, the shaken teen can return to their normal life.
In truth, this ritual is both a blessing and a curse – upon their return the youth becomes stronger, smarter, and faster than others of their race [for game play purposes, the elite array used by PCs rather than those scores used by NPCs] and is clearly destined for great things. Yet this enhanced power comes at a terrible price, for at any moment The Witch of the Creeping Forest can compel her essence to possess the character, usurping control of their body and mind and granting them even unique physical and combat prowess. These Oozeknights [see template below] of the Witch then carry out Ember’s goals and objectives before she allows her powers to recede, leaving the character amnesic towards their actions while so possessed, but otherwise unharmed. Ember knows what her chosen know – at any given moment she can call upon their memories and mental abilities. The Witch can use a chosen to make a knowledge check (Arcana, History, Streetwise, etc.) in lieu of her own. The chosen in question does not realize their faculties are being used in such a way. Additionally, Ember has some slight influence over her Chosen, even when they are not possessed by her essence, allowing The Witch to direct the NPC to certain courses of action-- following the PCs, for instance.
What this amounts to is that Ember is slowly building a network of champions and heroes throughout the land – a sleeper army hidden among the champions of the land that can, at any time, suddenly desert their personal causes and rise up as an elite and powerful army headed by the primordial aspect of ooze and water herself. And with civilization’s most cherished defenders and knights suddenly ‘missing’, who will be left to stop The Witch?
For the PCs -- Encountering and Confronting the Menace
Ember is a level 29 solo monster, and she will more than likely only be encountered after a party braves a combination of the oozes in the forest, bands of Drukai protecting their home, and the Ooze Knights protecting Ember’s personal sanctuary itself.
The menace whether, initially encountered either directly (the PC’s witness or are the targets of a Drukai Slaver Warparty) or indirectly (the lord of the land, or a local government official tells the PCs of the region and begs for intervention), will likely be assumed to be the Drukai. Perhaps the PCs lie in wait for the next raid, or better yet, set and bait a trap the Drukai can’t easily ignore, something that offers an easy way to make off with treasure and or captives. Depending on their chosen race, individual Drukai may be neutral or unaligned rather than outright evil and can be negotiated with. If nothing else, the Speak with Dead ritual allows the PCs some answers to pressing questions – PC’s will find out the true menace of the Creeping Forest -- the malevolent witch who lives in the center.
Even though The Witch has now been revealed, the Drukai know very little about her, and the PCs must scrounge around for more information themselves if they want to find out the truth of the matter—a skill challenge. Setup
: The PC’s can attempt to ferret out up to 6 snippets of information related to The Witch and her activities Level
: 27 Complexity
: 3 (requires 8 successes before 3 failures). Primary Skills
: Intimidate, Diplomacy, Nature, Arcana. Intimidate
(17): You brutally interrogate and/or threaten a captive Drukai or the spirit of a dead Drukai raider. You can only achieve two successes from the use of this skill. Diplomacy
(26): You speak with locals, both commoners and learned scholars, entreating them for information regarding The Drukai, The Witch of the Creeping Forest, or both. Nature
(26): You investigate the outskirts of the forest, making note of the type of trees, state of the vegetation and the varieties of Ooze living therein. Counts as one success and allows characters to provide a +2 bonus to those making either Diplomacy or Arcana checks. Arcana
(31): You spend time leafing through arcane tomes and scholastic material, searching for references to The Witch of the Creeping Forest, the Drukai, or both. Each success reveals one additional snippet of information over what would normally be revealed. Success
: The PC’s discover 4 of the pieces of information outlined below (determined randomly) Failure
: The characters, despite their best efforts, only manage to find 2 pieces of information.Lore on The Witch of the Creeping Forest -- Roll d61
– The Witch of the Creeping Forest is not human, but rather a primordial being of great age and power.2
– The Witch of the Creeping Forest is known as Ember Sinclair. She is reclusive, and rarely leaves her home, the forest of the same name.3
– The Witch of the Creeping Forest has a lair deep within the cursed grove, guarded by all manner of slimes, oozes, and worse.4
– The Witch of the Creeping Forest is, in fact, part ooze herself, a trait that grants her resistance to acid, disease, and poison.5
– The Witch of the Creeping Forest has the ability to corrupt one’s thoughts and intentions – those who raise steel against her suddenly find themselves doubting their abilities, weakening their blows.6
– The Witch of the Creeping Forest does not sponsor or otherwise command the Drukai. The Drukai live in fear of The Witch, sating her with regular offerings of slaves and treasure. In return, the Witch’s pet oozes deter attempts to remove the Drukai from their ancestral home.
Regardless of the success or failure, two things happen. Firstly, the PCs learn the general location of the Drukai base camp in The Creeping Forest. Secondly, one or more Chosen of the Witch (NPCs with the Ooze Knight Elite Template) take notice of the party, subtly compelled by Ember to offer aid or their services in battle. One sample chosen is detailed below, though this is not guaranteed to be the Chosen Ember sends against the PCs, depending on DM's choice and the PC's current level.Sample Ooze Knight -- Sirri “Viper” Kronsweld --- Level 22 Fighter (Elite Soldier)
Medium natural humanoid XP 8 x ,300
Initiative +1 x 3
Senses Perception +11 x ; Darkvision
HP 396 x ; Bloodied 198; 3 healing surges, also see Second Wind
AC 43 x ; Fortitude 39, Reﬂex 36, Will 36
Resist Acid 1 x 5
Saving Throws +2
Action Points 1
Combat Challenge (Fighter Class Ability)
Second Wind (Standard, Encounter)
DM's Note: Viper is wearing Battleforged Armor @ 2 x nd level of power
Cleave [Fighter 1 x PHB 77] (Standard, At-will)
+28 x vs AC; 2d10 + 6 damage; on hit, one secondary target takes 6 damage.
Sure Strike [Fighter 1 x PHB 77] (Standard, At-will)
+30 x vs. AC; 2d10 damage
Silverstep [Fighter 13 x PHB 81] (Standard, Encounter)
Target: one or two creatures, +28 x vs AC; 2d10 damage and pushed 2. Effect; Viper shifts 2 sqaures
Vorpal Tornado [Fighter 17 x PHB 83] (Standard, Encounter)
Close Burst 1 x , +28 vs. AC; 1d10 + 6 damage, targets are pushed 1 and knocked prone.
Reaving Strike [Fighter 19 x PHB 84] (Standard, Daily) Reliable
+28 x vs AC; 5d10 damage and target is pushed 1.
No Surrender [Fighter 22 x ] (Immediate Reaction, Daily) Healing
Viper regains enough hitpoints to bring her to 198 x – all attacks made by her until the end of the encounter are made with a -2 penalty.
Trample the Fallen (Iron Vanguard Feature, PHB 86 x ):
When Viper pushes a creature or knocks a creature prone, it takes 6 x damage.
Caustic Splash (immediate interrupt when bloodied; encounter)
Viper's slimy skin ruptures violently with the attack, dealing 50 x % of the triggering attack’s damage as acid damage and applying ongoing acid 5 to all in close burst 2.
Alignment -- Good
Languages -- Common, Supernal
Skills – x ; Athletics +22, Endurance +22
Str 22 x Dex 14 Wis 12
Con 22 x Int 13 Cha 15
Equipment -- +4 x Battleforged Warplate, +4 Lightning Halbred Tactics
-- Viper is an excellent tactician, always moving and using her fighter exploits to reshape the battlefield as she sees fit. Because of her Iron Vanguard ability, Viper deals bonus damage whenever she uses one of her encounter or daily powers. Viper's Glaive lends her reach which she uses to assault the more nimble (and squishier) strikers and controllers of the party. Because of her Cleave abillity, Viper always attempts to position herself within range of as many foes as possible, a tendency that helps inflict even greater damage if someone triggers her Caustic Burst ability. Viper saves her action point to first cleave, then use reaving strike on a single enemy.
Sirri Kronsweld, known locally as ‘Viper’ because of her snake-like reflexes, is a wanderer. She travels from town to town, often hiring on as a guard on merchant caravans. She is slightly short, standing only 5’ 7”, with tanned skin, and short, light brown hair. This carefree young woman (now closer to 30 than 20, but you couldn’t tell for looking at her) is kind and amicable, donating to charities that which she does not need to maintain her modest, nomadic lifestyle. Viper lives for the thrill of new experiences, makes new friends easily, and is generally well liked by those she meets. Viper sees her martial skill simply as means by which to make a living – she fully expects to one day settle down and enlist in a local garrison (though with her abilities, she’s more likely to become captain of the watch rather than a mere guard). Some claim Viper as forgetful, at past times having missed contracts and appointments because of confusion on the current date. Viper jokingly maintains that she is simply bound to get lost in the experience of new places, and though bothersome at times, this oddity of her personality is simply attributed to her natural wanderlust and lack of real roots.
What no one, Viper included, knows is that this happy, cheerful exterior hides a menacing secret. When Viper was 15, Drukai raiders abducted her entire family in the middle of the night. While her parents were simply consumed, Viper’s potential was seen by The Witch of the Creeping Forest, and was thus endowed with a fragment of that entity’s power. The young teen struggled out of the forest the next day, bloody and beaten. Viper, too scarred by the “encounter with the raiders” to remember much of anything, was taken in to the local temple as an orphan. After that fateful encounter, it wasn’t long before Viper’s skill with weapons was discovered; eventually leading her to the path she has forged today.
The PC’s might discover Viper in any town they are visiting, or, depending on how they get there, guarding a caravan. Viper is friendly, and can prove to be a staunch ally… as long as the PCs don’t involve her in anything related to the Creeping Forest. In this case, The Witch exerts her control over Viper, surreptitiously suggesting Viper to follow and assist the PCs. If the PCs locate and infiltrate Ember’s lair, Viper’s dark secret is not revealed until the final confrontation with The Witch herself, increasing the difficulty of the encounter. If Viper is fighting with the party (rather than against) she does not fight in Ooze Knight form – she loses the ability to use Caustic Splash and Resist Acid 15, but keeps all other benefits of Elite status. Ooze Knight -- Elite Template
Ooze Knight (Elite Soldier)
Humanoid (Elemental) XP EliteSenses
-- +2 AC; +2 reflex, +2 Willresist
5 acid at 1st level, 10 acid at 11th level, 15 acid at 21st levelsaving throws
-- +2action point
-- +1hit points
-- double normalCaustic Splash (immediate interrupt when bloodied; encounter)
The Ooze Knight’s slimy skin ruptures violently with the attack, dealing 50% of the triggering attack’s damage in close burst 2. At 21st level, also applies ongoing acid 5.
An Ooze Knight is immune to the damage and secondary effects caused by Ember’s Torrential Charge, Slime Veil, or Slimespiral abilities.
Though all of Ember’s personal chosen possess the capacity to be involuntarily turned into Ooze Knights at any moment, for the majority of Ooze Knights, the condition is irrevocably permanent. Any humanoid creature can be made into an Ooze Knight, which The Witch uses as guards and menial labor. The process creates a 2-3 inch thick “skin” of ooze over the creature’s entire body. Clothing and equipment can still be worn normally as the ooze (though slimy) is decidedly attached to the creature and will not drip or spread beyond the exterior of the creature. Ooze Knights are not found in the majority of the Creeping Forest, confined to a relatively small area near Ember’s personal fortress. Rarely, entire cadres of Ooze Knights are sent forth from the forest to deal with a particularly meddlesome problem that The Witch doesn’t want to risk a chosen with solving.
For the PCs -- Encountering and Confronting the Menace Cont.
Once PCs enter the forest proper, they are at risk to encountering dangerous swarms of oozes (advanced Shadow Slimes and Azure Jellies make for particularly dangerous encounters) and Drukai. As stated previously, Drukai is a title or clan name taken up by the humanoid tribes living in the Creeping Forest, and an actual Drukai can be a creature of any race. Several good options for Drukai include Dragonborn, Eladrin Vampires, Shifters, Water or Earthsoul Genasi, Rakshasa, Shadar-Kai, or Dopplegangers.
The Drukai maintain a permanent presence of some sort as their home base, and it is here that the PCs are likely to encounter their leaders, both martial and spiritual. These two Drukai belong to the group of those few who know enough about the Witch to direct the PCs to her base, and are likely to live long enough to divulge that information in exchange for mercy. The Menace, Confronted
-- The PCs can continue on to Ember’s stronghold, fighting past through throngs of guardian slimes and Ooze Knight protectors. As the PCs battle through the majority of Ember’s sunken fortress, they travel ever downwards to the lowest level of the dungeon, a huge, octangonal room. That is to say that the room is octagonal with the four cardinal directions extending 9 squares out from the center, while the NE, SE, NW, and SW corners of the room extend out only 7 squares from the center.
Upon entering, Ember occupies a 4 x 4 depression (filled with a mixture of nascent slime and water) in the center of the room. There is a small layer of water and detritus covering the entire floor of the room, a foot deep, that makes moving more laborious, but does not significantly hamper it. Slime, moss, and fungus line the perpetually slick walls. Ember herself stands upon the surface of the water at all times. The central depression contains an appropriate treasure parcel (if applicable).
If one of Ember’s Chosen has inserted themselves into the party, they maintain in control of their actions until the final confrontation against Ember in the depths of her stronghold. Ember allows her Chosen to take two turns before unleashing her control in an agonizing full-round action (standard, move, and minor action) resulting in screams of agony as the as ooze and slime billows out of the Chosen’s every orifice, creating the ‘skin’ exhibited by all Ooze Knights. The Chosen regains the use of Caustic Burst and gains Resist Acid as appropriate, and fights against their former allies, the PCs.
Alternatively, if the PCs declined the Chosen's offer of assistance, Ember may have already recalled her minion to her lair, and the two fight against the intruders together.
Depending on the Chosen the DM has decided upon, this may increase the difficulty of the encounter, and should likewise result in more awarded treasure. For a truly tough encounter, pit Ember and a level 28 Ooze Knight chosen against a party of five level 28s!Epilogue
- The death of Ember eradicates the menace posed by The Creeping Forest. Without her presence to call and sustain them, the abnormally high number of oozes within the forest diminishes rapidly, allowing the proper authorities freedom to bargain or purge the remaining Drukai as they see fit. Yet killing Ember does not eliminate her legacy – fragments of her power still lie dormant scattered throughout her score or so of chosen. PCs may have to deal with the very real possibilities that one of these chosen will be consumed to reconstitute The Witch, now very much enraged.
Permanently killing Ember and cleansing or eliminating her remaining chosen is a suitably epic quest to prove one’s destiny and secure immortality for the PCs.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one.
Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.