It has been a little while since I last profiled a enemy or monster in DDO. I was thinking about this other day when I was taking Erdrique (Level 15 Rogue) through the quest Eyes of Stone. Eyes of Stone is the capstone quest to the Deception in Stormreach chain that also includes Diplomatic Impunity and Frame Work. The end boss in this quest is Hesstess, who is a powerful and charismatic medusa. As this little quest chain begins, we learn that Hesstess is an “ambassador” from the monster nation of Droaam, who is led by the Daughters of Sora Kell (three extremely powerful hags). However, as we make our way through the quests, we learn that Hesstess’ real mission is to convince the some of the monstrous races of Eberron to join in on the near future invasion of Droaam while at the same time paving the way for the invading forces to capture Stormreach.
Erdrique fighting the treacherous medusa, Hesstess.
As we make our way into the quest Eyes of Stone, we learn that Hesstess has made quite use of her ability to turn her enemies into stone. The majority of the inhabitants in Lordsmarch Plaza fell victim to her powerful gaze. For the majority of our characters, Hesstess will be the first medusa we encounter in our adventures. We will encounter a few more throughout the Attack on Stormreach chain and in some questing out in Eveninstar.
Hesstess is a red-names monster and when you finally encounter her she is guarded by a number of Droaam troops including gnoll casters and clerics, might ogres, and annoying orcs and half-orcs. However, she hardly needs these other troops to be dangerous. She is equipped with a powerful longbow, but whenever I encounter her, she tends to rush in and to melee. Obviously, her most potent attack, is her “medusa gaze” ability which will turn you into stone. As she begins this “gaze” a sound cue will go off and you will see powerful beams emitting from her eyes. You will also see a debuff icon that simply says you are slowly turning to stone. I typically back out of this predicament as fast as powerful. Also, as you can imagine, the snakes that compose her hair have the ability to inflict you with a poison attack as well.
She also has a variety of spells at her disposal. The DDOWiki documents that she has the ability to cast Delayed Blast Fireball, Power Word Stun, Disintegrate, Arcane Blast, and Hold Monster. I find it interesting that two of those spells are designed to immobilize you (Power Word Stun and Hold Monster), like she needs anything else in that department. Of course she could be using those spell as a torment. Let’s hold you and let you watch as I slowly turn you to stone!!
Battling Hesstess can be quite adventurous. I typically wade in as soon as I can, taking out any gnoll casters or clerics first. Hesstess is a monstrous humanoid and I’m not certain if she has any type of damage reduction. She is definitely evil though, so holy and pure good weapons tend to work well on her. I used a cannith crafted acid quarterstaff of pure good and was going regular damage indicating she also takes acid damage. Special attacks that do extra damage will also be useful but most tactical abilities will not work, since she is red named. Just as a side note as well, this encounter actually allows you to set up a mirror so that the mirror can be used to reflect her gaze back onto herself so that she turns into stone. I have to admit, I have never employed this logic but it is there.
If you are within the level 12 to 14 range and are looking for an interesting challenge, try taking on Hesstess. She is definitely a challenging boss. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Lordsmarch Plaza.