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Ghoul, Darakhul Captain

Family: Ghouls

Medium undead, lawful evil

Armor Class 16 (breastplate)
Hit Points 165 (22d8 + 66)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 16 (+3) 17 (+3) 14 (+2) 14 (+2) 18 (+4)

Skills Animal Handling +6, Insight +6, Intimidation +8, Perception +6
Damage Resistances necrotic
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Undercommon
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Master of Disguise. A darakhul in a prepared disguise has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to pass as a living creature. While using this ability, it loses its Stench.
  • Necrotic Weapons. The darakhul captain’s weapon attacks are magical. When the captain hits with any weapon, the weapon deals an extra 2d6 necrotic damage (included in the attack).
  • Stench. Any creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of the darakhul must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the darakhul’s Stench for 24 hours.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the darakhul has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
  • Turning Defiance. The darakhul and any ghouls within 30 feet of it have advantage on saving throws against effects that turn undead.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The darakhul captain makes three attacks: one with its bite, one with its claw, and one with its longsword. Alternatively, it can make four attacks with its longsword.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or contract darakhul fever.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. If the target is a creature other than an undead, it must succeed on a DC 15 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. If a humanoid is paralyzed for more than 2 rounds, it contracts darakhul fever.
  • Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage, or 9 (1d10 + 4) slashing damage if used with two hands, plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.
  • Heavy Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.
  • Imperial Conscription (Recharge 6). The darakhul captain targets one incapacitated creature it can see within 30 feet. The target must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw, taking 27 (5d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. If the victim has darakhul fever, this reduction can’t be removed until the victim recovers from the disease. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain by this attack rises as a ghast 1d4 hours later under the darakhul captain’s control, unless the humanoid is restored to life or its body is destroyed. The captain can have no more than four ghasts under its control at one time.
  • Leadership (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). For 1 minute, the darakhul captain can utter a special command or warning whenever a nonhostile creature that it can see within 30 feet of it makes an attack roll or a saving throw. The creature can add a d4 to its roll provided it can hear and understand the captain. A creature can benefit from only one Leadership die at a time. This effect ends if the captain is incapacitated.

About

Leaders of law enforcement units in undead cities, darakhul captains are stoic and steely darakhul hand-selected by the city’s leadership for the role.

Patrol Teams. When on patrol, darakhul captains ride ghoulsteeds and are rarely without a handful of darakhul and ghouls at their sides. In the larger cities, captains patrol with one or two emperor’s hyenas.

Dangerous Position. Many captains meet their ends not from threats outside the city but from forces within it. Captains regularly face the dangers of being assassinated by a rival or killed by a city leader upset about recent events.

Hungry Dead Nature. The darakhul doesn’t require air or sleep.

Darakhul Fever

Spread mainly through bite wounds, this disease makes itself known within 24 hours by swiftly debilitating the infected. An infected creature must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw after every long rest. On a failed save, the victim takes 14 (4d6) necrotic damage, and its hp maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the victim finishes a long rest after the disease is cured. The victim recovers from the disease by making two consecutive successful saving throws. Greater restoration cures the disease, while lesser restoration gives the victim advantage on the next saving throw.

Primarily spread among humanoids, the disease can affect ogres, and therefore other giants may be susceptible. If a creature dies while infected with darakhul fever, roll a d20, add the character’s Constitution modifier, and find the result on the table below to determine what undead form the victim’s body rises in.

d20 Result
1-9 None; victim is simply dead
10-16 Ghoul
17-20 Ghast
21+ Darakhul
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Empire of the Ghouls © 2020 Open Design LLC; Wolfgang Baur, Richard Green, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Kelly Pawlik, Mike Welham.