Legion of Entropic Gloom – A Dastardly Undead Cult

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“You’re just in time for our weekly Necronomicon Study! Sit down, have a glass of kool-aid.”

The concept of death inspires some of the oldest fears known to civilization. The end of life, the end of all we have worked for. The finality to our existence. While many fear death, the idea of undeath proves to be far more horrifying to many. The idea of losing ones self, the very essence, coming a shriveled shell that exists as a mockery of its former self. These are the fears of the undead. For that reason and more, they are a menace to civilization on the average.

Why are the undead are considered a menace to the living? For a variety of reasons, of course. Many of these reasons derive from ethics over necromancy, while others are because of their often destructive ways. None embody the latter more than a secretive cabal known simply as “the entropic gloom”. This quasi-religious order is dedicated to eradication of the living, assimilating them into the ranks of the dead. The reasons for this? Cloaked in shadow, much like themselves. It could be out of contempt for the living, some utopian ideal of unity or perhaps even a penchant for heinous acts of violence. While much of the ranks of this cult are typical undead, some have been transformed into truly incredible servants of dread forces.

Author’s Note: I loving making undead nasty nasties! This is no surprise, for those who know me well enough… So with that, here’s an assortment of living dead monsters to torture your players with. After reading up on monstrous synergy via Tome of Foes, I’ve plucked a few ideas to boot! Also, priest characters, you’re gonna have a bad day.

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Spirit of the Festive Season – The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

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It is not certain if these spirits are of the deceased or the emotion of yuletide joy that persists after one is lost.  Perhaps they’re not even ghosts at all, but a powerful embodiment of the season itself!   Perhaps they’re divided courts of the fey, likely a Winter Court.  It is quite likely that they’re spiritual manifestations of Celestials and Fiends, who take a different role in good and evil.  No matter their origin, these beings are dedicated to their cause of taking part in a yuletide celebration.  All of these spirits are decorated with assorted garb.  Crowns of wreaths, fanciful ball costumes, monk robes, simple cloth, peasantry garments, regal/noble outfits, etc.  It’s rare that any two spirits at all resemble each other.  In fact, they often go out of the way to look different from each other.

Their other reason for appearing, beyond overseeing festivities, is to visit those in dire need.  In the case of good spirits, they lead the subject on the right path through showing them the error of their ways.  In other cases, they give rewards to the just and noble.  In the case of bad spirits, they torment souls who have dared to stray away from the spirit of the season, rendering them horrified or mad.  Or even worse, they might even further a victim’s descent into damnation.  No matter the case, they materialize during season festivities and carry a certain power allowing them to perform incredible feats.

All are tied to a point in time, capable of incredible feats of divination and conjuration.  Memories of the past, mirrors of the present and visions of the future.  When such abilities prove to be not enough, they are even capable of gathering more spirits to aid them.

Author’s Note:  Faith from Brynvalk is hosting RPG Blog Carnival and I’m more than happy to contribute again!  Last year, it was all about the faerie folk.  This year?  Literature.  So, with a dash of “novel inspiration”, I’m focusing on Gothic literature (and some related genres and authors, like more Lovecraft!)  For starters, I’m going to do something in the name of the yuletide season and make a semi-modular creature based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.  I might do one more entry to fit the general season, who knows?  (That said, I’m busy with work being a real pain, so it’s hard to say.  Hopefully, I won’t delay too much.  We’ll see!!)

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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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Ghostly Haunt: A template of the Unquiet Dead for D&D 5th Edition

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When a soul faces great tragedy, not even the dead are granted final repose.  When this isn’t the case, some sort of plight plagues ghosts, tethering them to this world.  The whole experience horrifies, saddens and angers them greatly.  Ghosts are created from all the mortal races of the multiverse, trapped in the realm of the living until they can finally break free into the lands of the dead.

Creating Ghostly Haunts

Ghostly Haunt is a template applied to any living non-planar creature.  Creatures with this template have died and returned as undead.  Stats after the jump.

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