Crystalion - Large Elemental (CR 15)

So, waaaaay back in the early 1990's, when 2nd Edition AD&D was our game, I devised an epic adventure that saw the group venture into the deadly realms of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals. Now, for those of you that aren't familiar with that vicious dimension, it's a plane that forms where the Positive Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Earth meet - a realm of super energised earth that blossoms into crystals harder than adamantium and sharper than a vorpal blade.

Before they even started, they had to work out simple things like "How are we even going to breathe? There's no air there", and "How are we going to avoid being sliced into kibbles by the elemental blades of crystal", and "How do we avoid being murdered by the minions of that realm?"

The reasons they were undertaking this journey were twofold.

Firstly, I had just got Dragon #174, which contained some brutal Quasi-Elemental monsters, a ton of new Ioune Stones and rules about hunting for them, and my players were itching to get their hands on some new, potent magic. Secondly, one of the characters was in the process of forging a legendary blade, and wanted to bathe it in the essence of one of that realms potent monsters.

Through painstaking and expensive research, the group learned of a construct that wandered the radiance bathed edge-realms called....*sigh*....I was 17 when I wrote this ok? The *gag* Rainbow *retch* Golem, and they decided that this potent being was perfect for tempering the blade.

We had fun - massive fun - and it proved to be one damn tough adventure, that saw hardened veterans fall before Energy Pods, Trilling Crysmals and all kinds of other weird things. Eventually they located the delve of know, My Little Pony Golem, and entered, glad to be no longer accumulating temporary hit points from their proximity to the Positive Plane (If you don't know, back then you gained cumulative temporary hit points every round you were exposed to the life infusing rays of that plane. Unfortunately, if you accumulated as many temporary hit points as your maximum hit points, you reached energetic potential and BOOOOM! Exploded).

Image Copyright Wizards of the Coast
Look how happy they are!

After some further horrible experiences, the characters came to a prismatic altar of blazing crystal, upon which stood the object of their hunt, flanked by two magnificent felines, carved it seemed from the very essence of the plane. Each beast had a mane of spun diamond thread, faceted eyes that blazed with radiant power, and claws of sharpened dense elemental crystal.

The final battle began, and everyone focused on the golem, destroying it in less than a round (ouch). However, the guardians - Crystalions - were among them, and that's when the real battle began.

Yep, the BBEG was a damp squib. The "minions" almost killed everyone.

I won't bore you with the details of their escape, or the casualties when they opened an Ioune Stone geode back in the Prime which unleashed a blast of deadly energy. However, Crystalions are cemented in by players minds, and now, they can be cemented in your players mind / nightmares too.

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Turns out there are not any cool crystal lion images on Google.