Page IV (HOTC)
Battle Tactics Gorlon & Owlbears
Gorlon initially does not want to fight. If they meet him before the owlbears, for example by going from (A) to (B) to (D), he will ask the players for help with his mistake. He explains he should not have trusted the hag and that he is in her servitude. He asks the players to kill the hag before his curse triggers and he loses control. He has an interesting reward for them if they do.
He has, in an act of defiance, copied the way to undo the curse. He himself is not able to perform the ritual, nor does he understand the encryption.
He offers this scroll up if he can convince the party to go after the Hag instead.
After he has said what he needed to say, his curse triggers, calls for the awlbears and they attacks.
In round one, Gorlon will use its Curse of Blindness. He will run to the closest enemy and use his small hand attack first and his Big Hand attack second. If the Big Hand attack hits, he uses the displacement to put the creature closer to his owlbear companions. Only if he needs the extra movement is when Gorlon uses his Curse of Rage bonus action. The Owlbears always use their Curse of Rage bonus action and focus on the first creature they see.
Round by round
In the following round, Gorlon figures out what creature has healing capabilities. He attacks them first. He remains focussed on the healer and uses Curse of Blindness (If available) on the other characters to make it harder for them to locate their enemy. The owlbears remain with their standard practice of using their Curse of Rage bonus action and attacking.
The following are scenarios where the encounter participants might act differently than is described, for example:
- If a character goes for the owlbear eggs while the owlbears are alive, they are directly the target of the owlbears.
- If a target enters Area D without the presence of Gorlon, Gorlon hastes towards it and uses his Big Hand to push creatures out of his small living space.
By finding the Scroll in the trapped chest, or by promising to help Gorlon after knocking him unconscious and waiting for him to wake, the players can fulfill the quest of the centaurs partly. The centaurs suggest they take the owlbear’s and monkeys back to their camp. The trust the players with finishing off Granny Martha, and bestow their reward early. The blade is a Shortsword of Woodland Blessing.
Gorlon has been very down on his luck. He has suffered since his birth as he was cursed by an unknown entity (which was Granny Martha herself, but Gorlon does not know.). After seeing doctor after doctor, he lost all hope. It was only a dream of a woman who promised she could help if he could help her first.
It was Granny Martha, a powerful Curse Hag, that had cursed him at birth only to reap the rewards now. She had carefully used convoluted language to hide the time of servitude Gorlon had to undergo, which he did not notice.