Clotho whispered to her infernal siblings, “Shhh. Did you hear something, sisters?”
Lachesis paused in her work and listened for a moment. She smiled as she heard the faint but distinctive sounds of an approaching group. “Only the sound of fools eager to add their souls to our pot, sisters.”
Atropos giggled and ran one of her hands through the dark bubbling ether that roiled in the dark granite cauldron at the center of the den. “By the sounds of their numbers, our cauldron will be overflowing with souls, sisters!”
Clotho slowly rose from the darkwood spinning wheel and approached the numerous racks of armor and weapons that lined the walls of their stone lair. “It does not matter their numbers. I have spun their threads.” She picked up a battle-worn pair of gauntlets and fitted them to her lower wrists. “They end here, sisters.”
Lachesis joined her sister at the racks and fitted a tarnished golden circlet to her head. “I too have seen their fate and measured their lives. Our sister is right. These fools and their souls will soon be parted.”
Atropos grabbed a pair of shears, a greatsword, a wickedly sharp throwing axe, and an ivory kris with her many hands. “All that remains is the cutting!”
Lamia Morta, How All Deaths Begin . . . is the third in Corle Huffman's raid series, and the best by a large margin, in my opinion! This raid is just so incredibly good, it outshines the others. This was the first scenario I've run where it felt like a raid should feel: fast, adrenaline-pumping action where the characters just try to stay alive as long as possible in order to have a chance of beating the final boss.
I didn't help develop this raid, but I have played as the raid boss enough to learn my way around the encounter. I wrote this article in order to showcase some of the tips and tricks I've learned for other aspiring raid bosses. That said, there is some very useful information in here for wannabe heroes, also—fools!
Like raids in the MMO, this one comes in stages. The first stage is the three Moirae Sisters and the pool of weapons and armor that they draw from.
Stage 1 Raid Boss Goals
Destroy at least one character.
If you do use your Gown's special ability, make sure that it is only to get a guaranteed kill.
As the raid boss, you may have a tough order to fill if there are some smart players running the heroes. They should be protecting their Mages, Priests, and Warlocks with heavily-armored protectors while presenting you with tanks on the front line, sporting some obscene armor totals thanks to buffs like Blessing of Kings or Vindicator Hodoon’s aura. In addition, they should have at least one taunter, if not two. Your go-to weapon in this phase will either be the Staff or the Hellreaver, as they can dish out some serious damage.
Remember—you are only trying to knock down one character. Concentrate your fire and look for opportunities to one-shot weak characters with a Girdle/Staff strike. The most useful tactic for me was using the Shears to move and isolate a character on the front lines closer to my other two sisters, and then use a Staff/Reaver combo-strike to finish them. If they only present a target with 5-6 armor, then the Shears aren't going to do much more than 1-2 damage. Usually, that won't be enough to completely isolate them from their allies' reactions. In this case, you might have to work out those buffs with the Kris and just hope for a crit. Pay very special attention to your clock and watch out for Viper Sting followed by a non-Polymorph tick up. That can spell doom for your plans pretty quickly!
It’s very easy to screen against the negate ability of the Moirae, so don't count on being able to stop the heavy attacks or key plays. Players are rewarded for being able to position correctly during this phase. Once you've smashed them a few times, don't get discouraged when they figure out a way to beat Stage 1 without losing anyone.
Stage 2 Raid Boss Goals
Kill the Hunter, or the main DPS if there is no Hunter.
Spread out the characters.
Hunters can hurt you in Stage 3 with Viper Sting, forcing you to spend a tick getting it off. If the Hunter is also a heavy-hitting type like Aluna, then you seriously need to get rid of him/her. Characters like Irana, Daelus, or Druids packing Starfire are also reasons for concern. Mages are easier to kill with the Spirits, because it’s just too hard to keep them alive without a powerful healing strategy. However, this usually means a weakened opening in Stage 1. Try to spread out the players as much as possible in preparation for the final stage.
Destroy, maim, kill.
You will find it very easy to start dropping characters in this stage. In fact, you should be dropping a character per tick—and since you attack on every tick, the players are on a very tight countdown! Keep in mind that you aren't unbeatable. With your 3 resist and 4 armor, heavy-hitting characters can start to mess up your health pretty quickly. Starfire, Savin's strike, Aluna with Arcane Shot, and Daxin are all tough to handle. Anything that can do 7+ damage is a big worry. Try to take down two characters with your first action by Girdling into a Staff strike on a full character, and Kris-punching a weakened character. This also ticks up two characters, so try to take full advantage of that Staff.
If they are going the Blood Elf route with Shadowsun, then it is possible that they could Viper Sting you and exhaust 4-5 pieces of equipment on the round you come out. Since you generally have to use one of your three instants to ready your best weapon (either the Shears, the Staff, or the Reaver) and another to Kris strike, your turn only costs you 1 tick. Usually, you can only ready one piece of exhausted equipment in such a scenario. And forget about using the Girdle, in this case! If you were Stung during this time then that's pretty bad, since you will have to spend a tick getting rid of it. This is an incredibly hard strategy for the players to actually pull off if you exhaust and ready the right pieces of equipment, as they will constantly be taking 3 damage from the Gloves. Even so, it forces you to pay attention to what you exhaust and how you use your instants. Use your Staff tick up, don't forget about the Hellreaver's ability to exhaust their Action Bar cards if there is something you are worried about, and try hit-and-run tactics with your 3 movement until you have knocked out the problem characters.
Always, always, always make sure that you are only spending 1 tick to attack! Don't put yourself in a position where you accidentally kill a character with your main swing and have nothing to swing the Kris at to bring you back down. Follow these steps, and you should be giving your players the raid scenario they deserve: a long, hard slog to victory.
As the final Moirae fell, the battle ended with a clang of metal. Implements of war slid from the sister's dying hands to rattle against the stone floor.
Fillet took a deep breath and wiped the blood from his eyebrows. He glanced uneasily towards his sole remaining companion. A fading light of falling star-trails illuminated the hesitant expression on the Night Elf's face.
"Is it really over?” she asked.
“Yes,” the Warrior answered, strapping his trusty axe to his belt.
Moonshadow looked over the field of corpses—trusted allies and hard-fought enemies alike. “Was it worth it?”
The Gnome bent down and grasped the hilt of a giant polearm. “Hell yes!” he exclaimed, his tiny hands raising Hellreaver high into the air.