Curly is a name that will live in infamy at my table. You see, part of a DM's job is to run monsters. I didn't have the Monster Manual so I had to create my own. I decided to create 3 unique monsters, a boss and two henchmen. To keep track of them I nicknamed them Larry, Moe and Curly - after the Three Stooges.
Note: Asmor's 4e Monster Math Cruncher is essential. I recommend it.
The table this week saw Kaylia, Evellen and Dullac. Newcomers were Kolgrim (dwarf fighter), Ulieth (Elf-Battlemind) and Matthiakia (Shardmind Invoker). The ritual was still being performed with the Onyx skull, and our heroes were still on the clock. The skull was gathering power from the sacrifices, our heroes had to hurry!
Evellen had the idea to kill the sacrifices before the ritual was over. He gave it a shot, but failed. He went to a corner to lob attacks at the monsters.
Larry and Mo were a couple of Dread Ghouls (my creation). They were both Brutes. I used their nicknames out loud during the encounter, so the table referred to them by those names. I rolled with it. As it turns out Larry and Moe were pushovers for the party, Kaylia's assistance wasn't needed. She fought anyway.
Curly is the Crimson Lord. An Artillery monster with ghoulish qualities, I rolled two versions of him, one to fight alongside Larry and Moe (an Elite) and sole (a Solo). Because Larry and Moe were obliterated by the party I used Solo Curly.
Curly didn't start off that badly. He channeled the power of the Onyx Skull, gaining temp HP and boosting his attacks by a little bit. The party was making good progress aginst him, until he got bloodied.
The Wrath of Curly:
The Wrath of Curly is a powerful attack that can only be used once bloodied. Thank's to Curly's ability to channel the skull's power he was able to use it frequently. The party kept making Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate checks against the skull, trying to stop it from aiding the Crimson Lord (aka Curly). They had some success, making the Wrath of Curly less available to the Crimson Lord. The Crimson Lord was not happy with the party talking to his patron, so he went after them.
Ulieth had it pretty bad, marking the enemy so that Curly came after him. Kolgrim also marked Curly drawing attention to himself. Curly tore into Ulieth. Kaylia was so enraged that she used Fiery Bolt right when Ulieth was adjacent to Curly, doing enough damage to knock Ulieth out. She did manage to revive him and drag him away to safety (and profusely apologize). Then came the Wrath of Curly.
Curly used it when he was first bloodied. He rolled damage high enough to kill (and I mean kill) Ulieth. The Onyx Skull, impressed by his earlier bluffing rivived him with 1 HP. Evellen hid in a corner, but Curly found him and smacked him too. Evellen died, shouting a deal to the skull. The skull replied by riviving him with 1 HP. Evellen and Ulieth both earned themselves the Skull Mark.
Dullac and Matthakia were not spared. Dullac took it stoically, Matthiakia not so much. He screamed and then performed his character's special move: spacing out.
Kolgrim and Kaylia continued to hack away at the Crimson Lord. Matthiakia's spells failed to connect, Ulieth, Evellen and Dullac had moderate success at it.
Curly wound using The Wrath of Curly every other round, brutalizing the party. Kaylia's higher reflex spared her from the worst of it. Eventually Curly was felled by Kolgrim, problem was he needed to be killed by fire or radiant damage. When Curly started to rise again Kaylia rolled a 20 (which was awesome) with Hellish Rebuke, taking him down once and for all.
Wow. I won't be running a monster like Curly for a while.
Lastly, A Skill Challenge:
I made a new skill challenge similar to the one Styxwater gave me (more social than physical though). The Onyx Skull tried to find itself a host. It attached itself to Dullac and started killing him to possess his body. That challenge with another 20 roll from Kaylia (which was double awesome). I've never rolled so well before. Kaylia acquired the Cursed Onyx Skull, which has a mind of its own and is very evil. Evellen and Ulieth have the Skull Mark making them very nervous. Maybe the hostages can help...