Daemon, Charon

Large fiend (daemon), neutral evil

Armor Class 24 (natural armor)
Hit Points 520 (26d10 + 260)
Speed 30 ft., swim 60 ft.

26 (+8) 18 (+4) 30 (+10) 16 (+3) 20 (+5) 14 (+2)

Saving Throws Dex+15, Con+20, Wis+16
Skills Athletics +19, Perception +16, Stealth +15
Damage Resistances cold, lightning, necrotic
Damage Immunities acid, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, stunned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 26
Languages Common, Abyssal, Infernal
Challenge 22 (41,000 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +7


  • Curse of Ages. The first time in a round that Charon strikes a creature with a weapon or a successful Paralyzing Touch attack, that creature must succeed at a DC 24 Constitution saving throw or instantly grow decrepit and feeble, as if the target suddenly became ages and becomes ancient for the targets race (wrinkles and all!) The target’s Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength scores are reduced by 6. If Charon touches or strikes a cursed target (either a naturally very old or ancient creature or a creature suffering from this effect or a similar magical effect), that creature is subjected to memory loss (see below) as if struck by Charon’s Unholy Oar.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/day). If Charon fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Weapons. Charon’s weapon attacks are magical.
  • Stygian Bond. Charon regains 20 hit points at the start of his turn if it has at least 1 hit point. Charon’s regeneration cannot be overcome by any means when he is in physical contact with the River Styx or when he is aboard his skiff while on the River Styx.
  • The Pale Horse. Once per turn as a bonus action, Charon can cause his mount, the Pale Horse, to transform into a skiff that can carry up to four passengers plus himself. He can also transform this skiff back into the Pale Horse as a bonus action, in which case he automatically mounts the Pale Horse and any passengers or cargo in the skiff are dumped into adjacent squares. The mount uses the stat block of a nightmare with these changes: he has 250 hit points; AC 19 and its subtype is daemon. Charon can communicate with the Pale Horse telepathically over any distance.


  • Multiattack. Charon uses Dread Aura and then can make three melee attacks or two ranged attacks. As death is inevitable, Charon’s attacks always hit a living target.
  • Paralyzing Touch. Melee Spell Attack: +16 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (3d6) cold damage. The target must succeed on a DC 24 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. The target’s immunity or resistance to cold damage is also reduced by one level after each hit until the target becomes vulnerable to cold. In addition, the target is exposed to Curse of the Ages.
  • Unholy Oar. Melee Weapon Attack: +19 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10 + 8) necrotic damage. This weapon does double damage to creatures who are lawful, chaotic or good in alignment. If the target has an active protective spell (for example, shield) Charon knows all active spells and can siphon a spell from the target transferring its effects to himself. The target creature loses the benefit of the spell when this happens. The target’s immunity or resistance to necrotic damage is also reduced by one level after each hit until the target becomes vulnerable to cold. In addition, the target is exposed to Curse of the Ages.
  • Stygian Bolt. Ranged Spell Attack: +15 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d8 + 4) cold damage. Unless the target is immune to the effects of the River Styx two effects occur:
    • Any cold immunity is reduced to resistance, resistance is reduced to normal and normal is reduced to vulnerable.
    • The target must make a DC 24 Wisdom saving throw or gain a level of Exhaustion due to swathes of its memory being wiped out. If a creature gains 6 levels of Exhaustion from this attack they do not die, but their memory is permanently wiped out, effectively becoming 0 level characters.
  • Dread Aura. Charon can emit a fear aura in a 60-foot radius. Each creature of Charon’s choice in that area must make a DC 24 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, a creature becomes frightened of Charon for 1 minute. While frightened, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from Charon by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to Charon, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to Charon’s Fear Aura for the next 24 hours. A creature immune to the frightened condition has this immunity removed but still resists the first exposure to Dread Aura.
  • Reach of the Styx (Recharges after Short Rest). Charon can transport himself and any adjacent creatures — such as passengers on his skiff — to any point touched by the River Styx, even if he is not currently on a plane through which it flows, traveling as if via a plane shift spell.
  • Innate Spellcasting. Charon’s spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 24, +16 to hit with spell attacks). He can innately cast the following spells:


  • Deathly Rebuke. In response to being hit by an attack, Charon utters a fell word, dealing 10 (3d6) necrotic damage to the attacker, and Charon teleports, along with any equipment he is wearing or carrying, up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space he can see.


Charon can take 1 legendary action after each enemy he is in combat with, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Charon regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Move. Charon moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks or uses Reach of the Styx (if available).
  • Attack. Charon makes one attack from his available attack options.
  • Terror. Charon uses his Dread Aura.


Charon considers the entire River Styx as his lair. He knows all that goes in and around the river. His lair actions can be triggered while on the River Styx or within 1 mile of either side of the river.

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Charon can take a lair action to cause one of the following magical effects; Charon can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • Charon rolls a 1d4 and regains a spell usage – 1-2; 3/day spell, 3; 1/day spell or 4; 1/week.
  • Charon targets one creature he can see within 30 feet of him. A crackling cord of negative energy tethers Charon to the target. Whenever Charon takes damage, the target must make a DC 24 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, Charon takes half the damage (rounded down), and the target takes the remaining damage. This tether lasts until initiative count 20 on the next round or until Charon or the target is no longer on or near the River Styx.
  • Charon calls forth the spirits of creatures that are yet to pass through the River Styx to their afterlife. These apparitions materialize and attack one creature that the Charon can see within 60 feet of him. The target must succeed on a DC 24 Constitution saving throw, taking 52 (15d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a success. The apparitions then disappear.


An ancient figure dressed in black, with eyes that are sunken pits glinting with malevolent cunning, Charon, the Horseman of Death and Boatman of the Styx, is ancient even by comparison to his kindred Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the first — and only — Lord of Death.

Yet Charon’s title obfuscates his true focus: not simply death as a whole, which is the purview of all daemons, but specifically death by old age. Even the most virile mortals must eventually succumb to that looming specter, and in this sense, it’s unsurprising that the Boatman remains the most powerful of the Four. Like mortality’s inevitable end, Charon’s patience is legendary.

Charon resembles his thanadaemons, and most presume that he modeled them after himself. Charon, however, is so ancient as to have preceded the creation of humanoid life and thus his current form is likely nothing more than a modern guise, with his original form long discarded.

Daemons in Charon’s service range far and wide across Abaddon, often riding the Styx to other reaches of the cosmos, hunting souls in his name. Unlike those of the other Horsemen, Charon’s servitors often act in understated and subtle ways, yet they harvest just as many souls as others.

Death’s Bargain. When approached independently by a traveler, Charon sometimes simply carries the guest off to be consumed. Other times, however, he makes legitimate deals, though his bargains work toward ends hundreds or thousands of years in the making. Charon’s dealings also serve him well in other ways, with even his fellows among the Four often quietly acquiescing to his authority.

In the past, Charon has bargained with dying and desperate divinities, archfiends, empyreal lords, and even the populations of entire worlds, offering them aid in return for payments of souls, knowing all the while that the bargainers were beyond saving anyway.

Charon’s domain is the largest of the Four, particularly when one takes into account the fact that the River Styx stretches into or borders the others’ realms, the unclaimed wastes, and the planes beyond. Every branch of the Styx ultimately flows back to Charon’s citadel, the Drowning Court, which comprises hundreds of mobile islands, ships, and floating castles swirling around a massive central whirlpool.

Charon’s Cult. Charon is worshiped by ferrymen and -women, grave robbers, undertakers, the undead, and so very many doomed and damned would-be immortals. The Horseman of Death is served by thanadaemons, his deacon servitor race, along with krakens, grim reapers, hags, hydrodaemons, river monsters, and numerous varieties of undead. Charon’s unholy symbol is a skull with coins over its eye sockets, and the quarterstaff is his favored weapon.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Dragon’s Hoard #36 © 2023, Legendary Games; Authors Jason Nelson, Darrin Drader, RJ Grady, Thilo Graf, Matt Kimmel, Mike Myler, Margherita Tramontano, Scott D. Young, Drew Zambrotta.

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