Horrors from Durlag’s Tower – Monster Variants

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We don’t go to Durlag’s Tower.

 

Durlag’s Tower, an abandoned dungeon that sends shivers down the spines of many.  For some, it’s a cautionary tale about love, obsession and paranoia.  For others, it’s a giant grave that acts as a memento for dwarven kind.  For some, it’s the ultimate treasure trove that’s just waiting to be explored!  Eternally notorious for a variety of reasons, this accursed place rests a distance from both Beregost and Nashkel.  If traps aren’t the cause of death, the terrible monsters that lurk in the depths likely are.  Or worse yet?  It could the party’s very vices that lead to their own downfall.  Needless to say, the only people that would explore such dangerous ruins have a death wish.

Author’s Note: The Adventurer’s League has recently released an adventure inspired by the classic Durlag’s Tower dungeon from the Forgotten Realms… but more specifically, Baldur’s Gate.  So, I figure, what better time to revive some of the classic monsters from the original dungeon!  Granted, most of them were easy to build variants of classic/existing monsters already in 5E.  So, without further ado, enjoy!  Also, pardon this one being a bit sparse, I’ll post something for the weekend too, I promise!

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Diseases and Plagues – Sinister Sickness for D&D 5th Edition

EDIT: So, I might clean this up as part of a DM’s Guild post in the near future.  Also, be sure to check out the various creepy creations I’ve made besides this by clicking here.

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Journal Entry 183

Illness.  A force capable of wiping out an entire city, if not civilization, if left unchecked.  My superiors theorize that it is the result of the machinations of the lower planes.  I know better though, I’m well aware that life so evil need not come from other planes, but from our prime material.  Sicknesses come from small germ-like creatures, accidentally bred through hosts and environments, but that’s as far as I can gather on my research.  By all means, I’m sure fiends can create their own diseases though… and I shudder at the thought.

That said, I will never rule out an element of the supernatural in plagues.  I’ve witnessed many things while acting as a physician: pustules emitting acidic vapor, coughing fits leading to burning alive, previously rotting and wasting victims returning as the undead, demonic incubation.  The list continues onward.  In fact, some of these cases I plan on covering more in depth, in addition to some new discoveries I’ve made.  I must go back into plagued lands to dive deeper.  However, one can’t venture into these dark depths without proper protection.  As unnerving as it may be to the public, the plague suit has proved quite effective.  Aromatic contents treated with protective wards is helpful enough, after all.  Now, I ready myself for travel throughout the planes, in hopes of understanding disease throughout all realities.

Author’s Note:  My avatar on many of my pages tends to be a plague doctor.  So, what could be more appropriate than analyzing diseases with such a character.  Also, I guess this marks a return to planar and sci-fi content, right?  Plus, one of the things that inspired this was Russet’s Mold and Vegepygmies from Expedition to Barrier Peaks… a module I had previously converted!

Also, be warned!  If you do not like Body Horror or other forms of Medical Horror, I do not recommend continuing.  While I don’t go into grotesque detail, I’ve still tried to capture both to the best of my ability.  And even then, many of the diseases here are quite deadly and have the capability to kill an entire party.  As such, use them sparingly.

Also, please pardon the lateness of this post.  I’ve been under immense stress for the past month and a half.  Things haven’t been going too well for me and I’m doing my best to manage.  That said, things are getting better and I’m trying to make things go back to normal.  As always, thanks for understanding.

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Graveyard Tyrant, Divine Atrocity & More – FromSoft inspired Horrors for D&D 5th Edition

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There is a certain darkness that lurks within our multiverse.  Great beings of power hold dominion over reality, creating guardians to defend their reign.  Likewise, powerful mortals meld conviction, innovation and craft to create a testament to their beliefs  Among them are foul creatures that epitomize forces of corruption.  These creatures are born out of hatred, malice, destruction, tyranny, bedlam and a wide variety of other horrid acts and negative emotions.  However, many of these fell beings were forged from the best intentions.  Purity, piety, justice, liberty, order, compassion, knowledge; all desires to improve or better understand the worlds around us.  However, positive intentions are distorted by extremes and turn into unending nightmares unforeseen by the perpetrators.

Where kindness and creativity go awry, cruel and unspeakable monsters arise.  All are the embodiment of some ideal that has turned horribly wrong.  Spiritual powers of nature contorted into vicious beasts, an arbiter judge of the dead turned callous taker of souls, the most virtuous and divine being unraveled and maddened by the abyss, those dedicated to a cause pursuing their quest into the depths of insanity.  Such tragic horrors are just examples of great power that falls from grace.  These beings were not meant to be or not meant to become this way.  The Divine Atrocity is the desecration of nature by its own followers, The Graveyard Tyrant is death’s hatred for the living taking hold of the land, The https://i2.wp.com/img03.deviantart.net/9c58/i/2014/243/d/8/bloodborne___cleric_beast_by_artsed-d7xeote.jpgDemon-Shackled is a fell knight who gave up on all that is sacred for the Abyssal chaos they fought, the Sundered Saint is the deranged remains of a faithful being driven insane by their convictions and goals.  Thus, a swift death is a true act of mercy when it comes to their existence.

These sacrilegious mistakes often haunt wastelands plagued by far worse evils.  The entropic decay and destruction only serves to empower these tainted powers.  Mad cults, other beings born of the same madness as such abortions of science and arcana.  They pose a challenge to any crusader, chosen one or hunter foolish enough to get in their way.  In some cases, the very land around these abominations conspires against those who bring their wicked masters any harm.  These soulless forgeries of life seek to destroy all those who oppose their sick mutation, those who defy their damnation, those who defend against their twisted ways.

Author’s Note:  I wasn’t really happy with these creations, initially.  So, I figured they were both due for an update.   We’ve had horrors from the mists, some classic dark fantasy and a bit of weird western and steampunk for good measure too!  So, I’ve done all I can to expand my “Gaslamp and Gothic” theme to it’s fullest.  On that note, the other reason I wanted to do this is a tribute to the gaming series/multiverse I love so much.  The Souls games (and Bloodborne) are coming to an end for the time being, so polishing some homages is fitting tribute.  Here’s my take on Grave Lord Nito and Cleric Beast in D&D 5E.  In addition, I create some extra content to commemorate Dark Souls III and make general homage to all of the Souls games (including Demon’s Souls).  And as always, the mad rambling prose is in part thanks to my love of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and of course, H.P. Lovecraft.  The first three monsters are directly inspired by various creatures, while the third is a general homage to several beings from the series.

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Diabolist – A Fiendish Arcane School for D&D 5th Edition

EDIT 2019: This is really due for a revision.  I like the overall concept of this, so I’ll probably create something in the near future.  After all, why should the warlock have all of the diabolical fun!?

 

Throughout the ages, many schools of magic have been created and also destroyed.  Some have come under attack due to ignorance; arts such as Necromancy and Enchantment have been targeted in particular.  Among the most notorious is the art of magic inspired by fiends.  The school of Diabolism is such an art, where contact with dark planes leads to manipulating vile energies into wholly new effects.dedicated to dark gods and demonic creatures.  While many styles of magic are unlawfully targeted and discriminated against, the diabolists are almost always cruel and wicked.

While pacts with otherworldly beings are the results of enslavement, diabolic mages intentionally scour obscure tomes and demonic rites to enhance their magical craft.  Some are connected to patrons like warlocks, while others steal devilish secrets for their own purposes.  Warlocks forge direct deals with fiendish beings.  Meanwhile, most Diabolists cheat their way into obtaining fiendish magic, often resulting in horrific consequences.  That said, many Diabolists are active within cults and truly follow their infernal agenda to its fullest extent.

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