Dokahi’s Brood: Rhaluq the Many 4

For Under the Seas of Vodari, we’re creating several kaiju-like ultra-powerful monsters. They’re commonly known to exist, but to be bound in slumber by the bards of the College of Deep Dreamers. Their awakening is an ever-present threat in the setting. In this post, I’m creating lore and stats for the one I named Rhaluq the Many. As I start, I have only the very vaguest concept.

Rhaluq the Many

Rhaluq is the newest form of an immortal and apparently indestructible horror. It has changed names and forms countless times, as heroes rise to destroy or contain it. When allies from above and below the waves gathered to strike down Nolgathar the Contagion, they succeeded in ripping that impossibly massive body asunder, but it infected them with Dokahi’s transformative power. As they celebrated victory, they began to merge into a horrifying new form: a titanic crab-like thing made out of dozens of humanoids, which were soon encrusted with barnacles.

Eventually, the song that binds Rhaluq the Many in slumber must fail, because that is the nature of Dokahi’s unquenchable malice. If someone stops it, then perhaps it will take on a new form that allows the Deep Dreamers to bind it once again.

Roiling Thought. All of the people that became Rhaluq are still in there somewhere, their thoughts part of its psychic composition. Dokahi’s pervasive malice channels their confusion and anger at her into destructive rage against the world. Rhaluq’s many minds prevent anyone other than Dokahi or the Deep Dreamers from controlling or contacting it, but its collective sense of self is almost completely lost.

Cacophony. When it is awake, it is possible to speak with Rhaluq the Many. Its voice is the chorus of all the bodies nearest the surface of its form, some of them poking through the barnacles.

stat block

Design Notes

I’m in the odd position of writing a kaiju and not wanting to copy my own work, which is why I haven’t copy-pasted Colossal Creature from the Kaiju Codex. Also, this is for OGL publication, so I don’t think I can use Mythic actions – even though this creature would be a strong candidate for them.

I am taking one thing from Kaiju Codex, decisively: this creature is not fair for its CR. It’s not as unfair for its CR as I made the kaiju of the Codex to be, but you’re not particularly supposed to be able to take this thing on as a single team of PCs and win. (If that were feasible, the whole lore of the Deep Dreamers doesn’t work so great.) That said, I’m very familiar with how PCs can surprise you and punch above their weight.

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4 thoughts on “Dokahi’s Brood: Rhaluq the Many

  • Craig W Cormier

    Interesting monster design. I agree that this beastie would benefit from Mythic actions.

    Is Disposable Bodies supposed to grant hit points equal to Rhaluq’s hit dice or the hit dice of the creature being absorbed? The last sentence is unclear.

    Psychic Invitation is actually amazing and I will be stealing it for some of the high-level aberrant monsters in my own campaign world.

    I am a little curious as to the logic of setting its CR purposefully low or designing the monster to be too strong for its CR, however you want to approach it. CR is already a very unreliable metric for judging monster strength, especially for high-level monsters and monsters that are supposed to be solo-type fights. Why would you muddy those waters further on purpose? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

    • Brandes Stoddard Post author

      The intention is that Disposable Bodies restores hit points equal to the absorbed creature’s hit dice. You’re right that the wording is ambiguous – thanks for catching that!

      The logic behind not really even trying to get the Challenge Rating right is that kaiju are meant to be survived, not defeated. This is more obvious in some of the features I created for the Kaiju Codex. I’m pondering how I would rebuild the features here to make it more obvious that your victory condition for encountering something like Rhaluq is escape. Don’t have the answer yet.

      • Craig W Cormier

        In my experience at least, Rhaluq doesn’t actually appear to be anything like an unstoppable or unbeatable challenge, especially at the high levels he is intended for. I’m not familiar with anything you published in the Kaiju Codex, so I can’t comment on that.

        Even my level 13 party is capable of pumping out the damage necessary to defeat Rhaluq’s various healing powers (though they don’t have the hit points yet to stand up to the punishment it can deal).

        In principle, I actually don’t have a problem with flat out stating that a creature like this can’t be permanently defeated via combat as long as that is suitably telegraphed to the PCs. The tarrasque has historically been like this, you can’t kill it only put it back to sleep. Maybe just offering DM guidance on using such creatures in a game is the best way to handle making it a memorable challenge with multiple ways to resolve it.