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Ice Geist | New Monster for Fifth Edition

When a group of travelers becomes stranded on a dangerous, snowy pass with no way to escape, sometimes they turn to murder then cannibalism. These evil deeds taint the terrain around it and the souls of the unfortunate become a single powerful, undead entity: an ice geist.

An ice geist appears as a huge, black cloud with screaming humanoid faces boiling to its surface. Supernatural blue light flashes through it like lightning. As in its last moments, the geist still hungers for bloodshed and the flesh of living things. It seeks other creatures who share in the same misfortune as it did. Living creatures killed by an ice geist join its cloud, adding to the fiendish cloud’s strength.

Undead Nature. The ice geist does not require air, food, water, or sleep.

Ice Geist

Huge undead, chaotic evil


Armor Class 13

Hit Points 114 (12d12 + 36)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft.


Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 16 (+3), Con 16 (+3), Int 10 (+0), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 8 (-1)


Saving Throws Int +4, Wis +6, Cha +3

Damage Vulnerabilities fire

Damage Resistances acid, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with silvered weapons

Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12

Languages the languages it knew in life

Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)


Air Form. The geist can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing. In addition, the geist can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. Each time a creature starts its turn in the same space as the geist, that creature takes 5 (1d10) necrotic damage plus 5 (1d10) cold damage and must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw.  Creatures immune to being frightened automatically pass their saving throw. A creature that fails its saving throw, is paralyzed until the start of its next turn. A creature that succeeds on a saving throw against this trait is immune to this effect for 24 hours.

Absorb. If the ice geist kills a creature using its Air Form trait or Life Drain trait, it regains 10 (3d6) hit points.

Aversion of Fire. If the geist takes fire damage, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the end of its next turn.


Actions

Multiattack. The ice geist makes up to three Life Drain attacks against creatures sharing the same space as it.

Life Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target in the same space as the ice geist. Hit: 21 (4d8 + 3) necrotic damage plus 9 (2d8) cold damage. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or its hit points maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

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Lost Castle of Dreams | 9th-Level Adventure for Fifth Edition

Estimated Duration: 4 hours

Suggested Music:Obscura” by ASKII

Lair of the Chicken Lich

The Lost Castle of Dreams is situated deep in the forest, far from the nearest town. Currently, it is infested by chickens. It is rumored that countless treasures of gold are stored here.

Where to Add This Encounter

This side trek is designed for three to seven 5th- to 10th-level characters and is optimized for five characters with an average party level (APL) of 9.

This unusual encounter can be placed as a side quest or at the end of a major quest. While set in the world of Omeria by default, it can easily be placed in any campaign setting that fits the description (dark forest, far from town, etc.)

The Chicken Lich

The chicken lich was once a powerful spellcaster named Zeek. Zeek intended to have his soul stored in a decorative golden egg. Unfortunately, the egg went missing the day of the immortality ceremony and one of Zeek’s henchmen substituted a normal chicken egg. The ritual went awry and three weeks later, Zeek hatched as a newborn chick. Zeek still had his memories and spellcasting abilities but was now in the body of a chicken. Needless to say, Zeek immediately disintegrated the henchman who caused the mishap. The rest of Zeek’s disciples and henchmen were then turned into chickens to share in Zeek’s misery.

Area Description

Unless stated otherwise in the individual room descriptions, the chicken lich’s lair has the following features:

Dimensions & Terrain. The chicken lich’s lair is a cellar where the top layers have long since been swallowed by a primordial forest. Creeper vines run down the walls and onto the cracked pavers in the ancient floors. Inside the cellar, the ceilings are roughly 15 feet high and braced with ancient, rotten timbers. Old, moldy tapestries of some long-forgotten royal family still hang from the walls.

Doors. What few doors there are have been left open, granting access to Zeek’s henchchickens. In some locations, however, the doors are protected with traps, as noted in the individual areas.

Lights. With the exception of area 1, continual light spells have been cast all around the establishment.

Sounds & Smells. The place reeks. Mold coupled with chicken feces attacks the nose immediately upon entry. Then there’s the sound of clucking throughout.

Of Chickens and Men

The Chicken Lich’s lair is ruled by Zeek and his henchchickens.

Zeek, The Chicken Lich uses the archmage stat block with the changes described for chickens below.

Zeek’s disciples use the mage stat block with the changes described for chickens below.

Zeek’s guardians use the rat stat block and a swarm of Zeek’s guardians uses the swarm of rats stat block. Either way, the guardians have Intelligence scores of 10 and can speak Common.

In addition to their own stat blocks, the chickens have the following changes:

  • The creature’s size is Tiny, its type is beast, and its alignment is Lawful Evil.
  • The creature’s Strength score is 2 (-4).
  • The creature does not have a melee or ranged weapon attack that it can use.

What Does Zeek Want? Ultimately, Zeek wants to be left alone to his own devices. Sometimes, his needs cause trouble—for example, he may require the blood of a virgin to complete a spell. And he’s been known to accidentally open doors to the Other here and there. This events draw attention to adventurers.

What Does Zeek’s Henchchickens Want? Overall, most of Zeek’s henchchickens are okay with their current predicament. After all, the work is good and there’s plenty of seeds to go around. However, some do long to become human again.

1 – Entry

Finding the actual entrance into the Lost Castle might prove difficult for the characters as they travel through the forest. However, the telltale sign of chicken prints might give away its location.

The stairs leading into the castle’s old cellar are terribly overgrown and count as difficult terrain.

Trap: Hold Person Glyph. At the bottom of the stairs, Zeek has set a trap. Any creature that steps onto the bottom step without disarming the trap automatically triggers it. The glyph targets the creature that triggered it with a hold person spell (DC 17). Noticing the glyph requires a successful DC 17 Intelligence (Arcana) check, then a second successful DC 17 Intelligence (Arcana) check to disarm it. Creatures that are no proficient in the Arcana skill cannot find or disarm the trap.

The trap also alerts the chicken disciple and shield guardian from area 4. The pair arrive 1 round after the glyph is triggered.

Stoneshape Door. The entrance to area 2 is blocked by a wall created by the stone shape spell. It is clear that there was once a door there that has since been bricked up.

2 – Prison Cell Main Area

Zeek keeps those who’ve wronged him or those he finds important here. Roll randomly or choose one of the following NPCs from the Zeek’s Prisoner table to determine the identity of the prisoner.

Zeek’s Prisoner
  d6 Prisoner
1 A lawful good mage.
2 chicken guardian who turned on Zeek.
3 A rogue (spy) who tried to break into the cellar, looking for Zeek’s treasure.
4 commoner Zeke needs for a sacrifice.
5 vampire spawn whose blood Zeke needs.
6 goblin named Boop.

Stoneshape Door. The door leading back to area 2 is blocked by a wall created by the stone shape spell (the same one described in area 1). It is clear that there was once a door there that has since been bricked up.

3 – Prison Cell Pool

Stagnant water pools in the majority of this room.

Cell Bars. Old, rusted bars give anyone standing in area 5 a clear view of this area.

4 – Guards

One of Zeek’s chicken disciples stands guard here. The chicken disciple has a large amulet around its neck which it uses to control the shield guardian that is also present. The shield guardian has a stored slow spell within it (DC 17).

Double Door Riddle. A creature that steps in front of the set of double doors is stopped by a magic mouth that appears on the wall over the door. The mouth looks like a chicken’s beak. It asks the following riddle:

“To proceed, answer this riddle. Answer wrong, and you will find death.

“I have ten or more daughters. I have less than ten daughters. I have at least one daughter. If only one of these statements is true, how many daughters do I have?”

If the mouth has any daughters, there will always be two statements which are true. Therefore, the correct answer is “no daughters.”

Failure to answer the riddle correctly causes the mouth to cast a power word kill spell on the answerer. Then, the door arcanely locks and will not open for another 24 hours, at which point it asks the question again. While locked, the door requires a DC 25 Strength check to break open or a DC 25 Dexterity check using proficiency in thieves’ tools to unlock. The doors have AC 20, 50 hp, threshold 10, and immunity to poison, psychic and as well as bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks.

If the prisoner saved from area 4 is the mage or the chicken henchmen, it will automatically know the right answer.

Treasure. The belongings of the prisoner kept in area 4 are in this room. To determine the nature of the belongings, refer to the Prisoner’s Belongings table below using the identity of the Prisoner as determined by Zeek’s Prisoner table (see area 2).

Prisoner’s Belongings
Prisoner Belongings
mage a spellbook containing all the spells from the mage spell list
chicken guardian
spy all of the spy‘s normal equipment
commoner a pouch with 10 sp
vampire spawn +1 longsword, chainmail
goblin short bow, scimitar, dungeoneer’s pack

5 – Chicken Guardians

Two chicken disciples and three swarms of chicken guardians are in this area. They can see into area 3, therefore, if an intruder enters that area without being careful, the entire complex will be on high alert.

6 – Zeek’s Lair

Zeek, The Chicken Lich is in this area. If alerted to the presence of the characters, he is ready for battle. He’s cast a globe of invulnerability on himself. Meanwhile, he uses his two shield guardian amulets to call forth his two shield guardians. While the shield guardians distract the characters, he retreats to area 8 to prepare his belongings and escape. The shield guardians each have a stored slow spell (DC 17) which they can use to slow down faster characters (such as rogues or monks).

He keeps his time stop spell handy in case he needs to flee to area 8, which he can defend with a wall of force long enough to gather the most valuable treasure and teleport away.

7 – Zeek’s Chambers

This area is where Zeek sleeps. The floor is covered in hay. Unlike the other chickens who reside in the Lost Castle of Dreams, Zeek keeps his regular areas free of his own droppings.

8 – Zeek’s Treasure

All of Zeek’s treasure is in this room contained in a stone sarcophagus measuring 10 feet by 4 feet.  If Zeek must flee to this room to escape intruders, he can easily teleport away with this sarcophagus.

Treasure. The sarcophagus holds the following treasure: 13,500 gp and 1,500 pp in linen bags, 10 gems worth 1,000 gp each, +1 chain mail, +2 wand of the war mage, and a sword of vengeance. The wand of the war mage is cursed. Any creature that attunes to the wand permanently polymorphed into a chicken. While a chicken, the creature’s size becomes tiny, its Strength score becomes 2 (-4) and it can’t wear or carry anything. To change back into a chicken, a greater restoration spell must be cast upon the character.

Wrap Up: Don’t Cross The Chicken Lich

Zeek is over a hundred years old and plans to see his 200th birthday. He will try to escape if he feels that the odds are against him and failing that, he’ll try to cut a deal with the adventurers. If he does escape, he won’t take the setback lightly. Almost immediately, The Chicken Lich will learn everything it can about those who raided his Lost Castle and use that information to seek vengeance. A devious chicken, Zeek isn’t above capturing loved ones, framing the characters, ruining the characters’ reputation, or destroying whatever else is important to them.

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Bloodroot Tree | New Monster for Fifth Edition

Bloodroot Tree

Infesting the thick, black forests of the Xenem Dynasty and parts of Aegreya, the bloodroot trees are vampiric plants that act as a natural defense to the vampire citadels which they surround. The first trees were created by Xenem Shi’s daughter, Ming and planted in his garden. Although thankful for the gift, Xenem saw them as a perversion of necromancy, what he considers a “delicate and beautiful” art. Thus, the trees were relegated to the grounds beyond Baolei.

Adventurers sometimes travel to Xenem Dynasty seeking the fruit of these trees. The fruit is believed to grant a consumer regenerative powers.Undead Nature. The tree does not require air, food, water, sleep, or sunlight.

Bloodroot Tree

Huge plant, chaotic evil


 Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 142 (15d10 + 60)

Speed 20 ft.


Abilities Str 23 (+6), Dex 8 (-1), Con 19 (+4), Int 10 (+0), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 11 (+0)


Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, necrotic; slashing from nonmagical attacks

Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages Common, Xenemese

Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)


False Appearance. While the tree remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal tree.

Grasping Roots. The tree can have up to six roots at a time. Each root can be attacked (AC 15; 5 hit points; immunity to poison and psychic damage). Destroying a root deals no damage to the tree, which can extrude a replacement root on its next turn. A root can also be broken if a creature takes an action and succeeds on a DC 16 Strength check against it.

Regeneration. The bloodroot tree regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point remaining. If the tree takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the tree’s next turn.


Actions

Multiattack. The tree makes three attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage and the target must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Root. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 50 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is grappled (escape DC 18). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained and has disadvantage on Constitution checks and Constitution saving throws, and the tree can’t use the same root on another target.

Blood Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature that is grappled by the tree, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 9 (1d6 + 6) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit points maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken and the tree regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.