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Skeleton, Monarch

An undead monarch, tight white skin clinging to its skeletal visage and a crooked oversized crown dangling precariously from the top of its skull, stares with glee at the coming battle.

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 16 (chain mail)
Hit Points 142 (15d8 + 75)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
21 (+5) 14 (+2) 20 (+5) 12 (+1) 14 (+2) 8 (–1)

Saving Throws Wisdom +6
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with silver
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages the languages it knew in life
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Master Tactician. The monarch skeleton and any skeletons within 30 feet of it have advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the skeleton’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
  • Sovereign’s Command. As a bonus action, the monarch commands a skeleton within 30 feet of it to make one attack as a reaction against a creature the monarch attacked this round.
  • Turning Defiance. The monarch skeleton and any skeletons within 30 feet of it have advantage on saving throws against effects that turn undead.
  • Undead Nature. The monarch skeleton doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The monarch skeleton makes two dreadblade attacks.
  • Dreadblade. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or its hp maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. This reduction lasts until the creature finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hp maximum to 0.
  • Grasp of the Grave (Recharge 5–6). Each non-skeleton creature within 30 feet of the monarch must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or be restrained by ghostly, skeletal hands for 1 minute. A restrained target takes 10 (3d6) necrotic damage at the start of each of its turns. A creature, including the target, can take its action to break the ghostly restraints by succeeding on a DC 16 Strength check.

About

Undead King. Necromantic energy seeps from the monarch and warps the reality of the mortal world it corrupts. It brings all that appear before it to their knees in reverence. A powerful arcane necromancer could discover and unlock the ability to command armies of undead with the remains of a monarch skeleton, but such research risks madness.

Dread Blade. The blade the monarch wields is a powerful and cursed weapon when in the hands of the monarch. Infused with corruption, it slices through what remains of a mortal coil.

Ghostly Minions. The monarch skeleton can call upon the greatest warriors who have fallen before to rise and hold its enemies at bay. The monarch is often accompanied by a royal guard of skeletons eager to defend their sovereign.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.