Medium undead, lawful neutral

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 90 (12d8 + 36)
Speed 30 ft.

16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 8 (-1)

Skills Insight +5, Investigation +3, Perception +5, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages understands all languages it knew in life but can t speak
Proficiency Bonus +3
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)


  • Ethereal Sight. Ankou can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.
  • Incorporeal Movement. Ankou can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
  • Rejuvenation. If Ankou is destroyed, it regains all its hit points in 24 hours if it is on the Ethereal Plane.
  • Soul Reaping. The ankou can draws the soul from corpse of a Humanoid that died within the past 10 minutes. This reaping takes at least 1 minute, and it destroys the corpse. The victim’s soul is trapped in the ankou for 24 hours, after which time it passes on to a higher or lower plane and the person is incapable of being revived. If the ankou dies before the soul passes on, the soul is released. While a soul is trapped in the ankou, any magic that tries to restore the soul to life has a 50 percent chance of failing and being wasted.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, Ankou has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
  • Undead Nature. The ankou doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.


  • Multiattack. Ankou makes two attacks with its Scythe.
  • Scythe. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic 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.
  • Frightful Presence. Each creature of Ankou’s choice that is within 30 feet of it and aware of it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to Ankou’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.


Ankou appears as a figure shrouded in a tattered black robe and wearing a large hood that obscures its face. Its skeletal hands grip a wickedly curved scythe that seems to emanate an otherworldly aura. It moves with an unsettling grace, its form sometimes flickering as if shifting between the realms.

An ankou is a spectral embodiment of death, existing on the threshold between the living and the afterlife. It is often seen as a harbinger of doom and an omen of death’s approach.

An ankou’s primary role is to serve as the collector of souls, guiding the departed to their final destination and ensuring that the transition from life to death occurs smoothly. It roams the mortal realm, appearing when death is near to claim the souls of the dying and transport them to the afterlife.

An ankou’s ability to induce fear and reduce a creature’s hit point maximum can make it a formidable threat. Additionally, its connection to the ethereal and shadow planes can create opportunities for unique encounters and mysteries.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Celtic Bestiary. Copyright 2023, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.

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