Underkraken Battles

It’s once again the time of year when the Ancient of Pelgranes flaps its hoary wings and takes flight across the Dying Earth, when Simon runs his annual 13th Age game and – entirely co-incidentally – asks me to write up a monster. This time, it’s Underkrakens.
Now, Underkrakens are described in 13 True Ways as gigantic eldritch horrors that lurk in the depths of the Underworld that might be cities or spaceships or monsters or gods, or possibly all of those things and more. The Underkrakens once unstoppably rampaged through the deeps, but for mysterious reasons have juddered to a halt and are now mostly dormant. However, their inhabitants/crew/servitors/emanations, the Soul Flensers (13 True Ways, p. 199) have gone forth to steal soul-fragments  to reawaken the slumbering krakens.
So, here’s what happens when they do…
Underkrakens are too great and terrible to be treated as a single encounter. Therefore, this fight consists of two connected encounters – fighting with the Underkraken’s tentacles, then battling its psychic manifestation.


Huge tentacles of molten stone and alien flesh burst from the earth. Eldritch energies seethe around them as the tentacles trace the shapes of arcane runes and forbidden sigils.
This opening fight is big on randomness and unexpected attacks. The characters need to carefully track the number of tentacles – it’s best to wipe them out all at once, or they’ll rapidly regrow.


10th level troop [ABERRATION]
Initiative: +20
Tentacle Swipe +15 vs. AC—60 damage
[group ability] Eldritch Tentacle Attack +15 vs. PD – 50 damage.
Natural Hit: Roll a d6. Some of the result below require other tentacles to give up their attack action this round. If there aren’t any other tentacles who have not yet acted this round, treat this as a roll of a 1 instead.
1. Burst! A new tentacle with 50 hit points emerges to join the fight. The new tentacle may attack immediately.
2. Fling! 25 additional damage, and the target pops free and is flung across the battlefield, moving far away.
3. Rrrrrrip! (Requires 1 other tentacle). The target must make a Strength, Dexterity or Constitution skill check (DC30) to avoid being nearly torn in two by the tentacles; if the check fails, the target takes 3d20 damage and 20 ongoing damage (any healing ends).
4. Flank! (Requires 2 other tentacles). All three tentacles may make immediate tentacle swipe attacks at the target. The target is vulnerable to these attacks.
5. Sigil of Madness (Requires 3 other tentacles) The target must make a Charisma, Wisdom or Intelligence test (DC30) to overcome the psychic assault. If the test fails, the character takes 25 psychic damage and becomes Confused until the end of the next round.
6. Sigil of Death (Requires 4 other tentacles). The tentacle may make a free Death Ray attack.
[special trigger] C: Death Ray +15 vs. PD (1d4+1 nearby or far away enemies in a group) – 120 necrotic damage, and if this attack reduces the target to 0 hit points or fewer, the target remains active in the combat but is Confused. The target remains Confused until restored to 1 hit point or more; the target is still slain if reduced to a negative hit point total equal to or greater than half their starting hit points.
Slice! If you slay a tentacle with a critical hit, excess damage transfers to another tentacle, as if they were mooks.
AC 26
PD 24 HP 200
MD 20


It looks like an octopus, or maybe a skull with tentacles. Either way, it wants to eat your brain – and it brought friends.
10th level mook [ABERRATION]
Initiative: +16
Soul Flensing Tentacles +15 vs. PD – 35 psychic damage
Natural even hit: Randomly select one of the target’s limited-use powers or spells. The nascent flenser lays psychic eggs on that power or spell; if the target uses the afflicted power or spell, the target takes 10 psychic damage and adds a new nascent flenser to the battlefield.
Natural 3, 6 or 9: The target is confused (save ends)
AC 26
PD 22 HP 50 (mook)
MD 24
Mook: Destroy one nascent flenser for every 50 damage dealt to the mob.


Something terrible awakens. A vast, inhuman mind – or a community of minds, intellects yoked to a single terrible intent, all individuality subsumed – thinks for the first time in centuries. It’s like some great glacier, cracking and melting, calving huge bergs that crush anything below, flooding the land with meltwater. The glacier mind is moving now, and it will grind the world to dust.
The player characters have only a few moments between this battle and the last – there’s no time even for a quick rest. They may each spend only one recovery, but may roll for recharge powers.
The Krakenmind fight also challenges the players consider their attacks carefully.


Large 13th level leader [ABERRATION]
Initiative: +25
Mind Blast +18 vs. MD (three attacks) – 80 psychic damage
Natural roll greater than the target’s Intelligence: The Krakenmind may make a free Mind Sift attack on the target.
Mind Sift +18 vs. MD – 80 psychic damage, and the Krakenmind may select one of the target’s spells or attacks and give it to a nearby mindshard. The target may not use that ability until that mindshard is destroyed.
C: Psychic Maelstrom + 18 vs MD (all nearby enemies) – 40 psychic damage
Natural roll greater than target’s Wisdom: The target is hampered until the end of their next turn.
Escalator: If the escalation die is odd, the krakenmind may make one Psychic Maelstrom attack as a free action that round.
Spawn Mindshard. When the Krakenmind takes damage, it creates a mindshard with hit points equal to the amount of damage dealt. The mindshard is conjured from the dark impulses/fears/regrets of the attacker, so have the player describe the appearance and nature of the psychic construct.
All mindshards are destroyed when the Krakenmind is slain.
AC 29
PD 23 HP 900
MD 27


11nd level troop [CONSTRUCT]
Initiative: +22
Psychic Slam +16 vs. AC—60 damage
Painful Memories: If the mindshard attacks the character who created it, both shard and target take 30 damage.
R: Psychic Bolt +16 vs. PD – 50 damage
Painful Memories: If the mindshard attacks the character who created it, both shard and target take 30 damage.
Lesser Shard – all mindshards with less than 50 hit points count as mooks, and damage transfers between them.
AC 27
PD 23 HP Varies
MD 23
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