Malus Thorm

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Malus is the undead master surgeon of the House of Healing, and twisted follower of Shar. Having somehow kept his personality despite being in the Shadow-Cursed Lands, he believes graceful pain and calculating mutilation are the key to truly embracing the ideals of his dark faith. At his depraved hospital, he tirelessly works to train his Undead Nurses to hone such skill, yet their hollowed state leaves them lacking in ability beyond being dutiful assistants.

The objective of the scalpel, sisters, is to soothe, for a scalpel, indeed, is an extension of Shar. See how the patient reacts when I but stroke the right nerve. Hear its comfort. Hear the melody of mercy. Pray, sister, show us the extent of your beneficence.

— Malus Thorm instructing the Undead Nurses in their "medical practice."

Overview[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

In life, Malus directed a shift in the House's purpose from tending to the sick and injured among the populace of Reithwin to exclusively serving the Dark Justiciars of Ketheric Thorm's army, as he believed keeping the latter healthy would help them serve Shar while the rest were better off left to her oblivion.[text 2][text 3]

Quests[edit | edit source]

He plays the role of obstacle in the quest Wake up Art Cullagh, holding the quest item the Battered Lute.

Involvement[edit | edit source]

Arriving at the House of Healing and gaining entry to the surgery theatre, Malus will be busy educating his undead nurses on a poor 'patient'. While cordial at first seeing you as a new student, preaching his view of Absence being the way to understanding Shar. After mutilating the 'patient' he will urge to do the same to you. Beyond attacking to defend yourself, there are a mix of Skill Checks that can be done instead:

  • A DC 14 Investigation check will lead to you pointing out the nurses aren't skilled enough for surgery.
  • A DC 14 Religion check will let you use the ways of Shar to counter Malus own views.
  • A DC 16 Persuasion check will suggest the nurses aren't ready and just make you sick instead of 'curing' you.

If any of these checks are successful, Malus will ask how to train the nurses properly, leading to two differing DC 21 Persuasion checks.

  • Suggest that Malus offer himself up to be practiced on by the nurses, which he gleefully accepts. After a bloody scene in which they blindly hack away at his body, the nurses will become passive, and the master surgeon very much dead.
  • Convince Malus to have the Sisters test their skills against each other, leading to a bloody brawl between them.

If the player has first read the Surgery and Physiology: A Sharran's Primer book in the room behind Malus, two additional options are available, both of which are instead DC 18, and both of which result in the nurses killing Malus:

  • [INTIMIDATION] I have read your treatise. Initiate the final lesson, or die by my hand. (DC 18)
  • [PERSUASION] ‘Only with sacrifice is mastery gained.’ For the sisters to learn, you must submit. (DC 18)

If the nurses were convinced to fight each other, the mad surgeon will press to tend to you next. He can be attacked, proving much easier to defeat without the support of his nurses. Alternatively, he can be convinced to do the work for you:

  • A final DC 21 Persuasion check, requesting that Malus perform the procedure on you
  • DC 21 Deception check with advantage for Sorcerer or Cleric, asking that Malus bless you with the blinding procedure

Awed by your diligence, Malus will happily make an example of himself, stabbing and killing himself through the eye.

Combat[edit | edit source]

Attacks and abilities[edit | edit source]

Generic Physical.webp

Claws Claws

  • Lash out with deadly claws, dealing 2d4+4Damage TypesSlashing damage.

Action

Generic Utility.webp

Request Surgical Instrument Request Surgical Instrument

  • Request a tool for advanced surgery.

Bonus action

Grants Surgeon's Chosen Surgeon's Chosen onto one of the undead nurses, having them lend a unique Instrument of Loss for him, allow Malus to perform powerful and debilitating attacks. The surgical tools are the following:

Generic Physical.webp

Bloody Bonesaw Bloody Bonesaw

  • Hack at a target, dealing 8d8 + Dexterity ModifierDamage TypesSlashing damage, and possibly Slowed Slow it.

Action

Generic Physical.webp

This Won't Hurt A Bit This Won't Hurt A Bit

  • Jab a foe with a syringe, dealing 8d8 + Dexterity ModifierDamage TypesPiercing damage, and Poisoned Poison them.

Action

Generic Physical.webp

Terror Trepan Terror Trepan

  • Bore into a foe's brain, dealing 8d8 + Dexterity ModifierDamage TypesPiercing damage and Frightened Frighten them.

Action

Generic Physical.webp

Lethal Leech Lethal Leech

  • Suckle a foe with hundreds of piercing teetch, dealing 8d8 + Dexterity ModifierDamage TypesPiercing damage, making them Bleeding Bleed.

Action

Animate Dead Zombie Icon.png

Lovely Assistant Lovely Assistant

  • The Surgeon reanimates the corpse of one of his nurses.

Bonus action

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Related literature[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]