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Morbid Haunt

Medium aberration, unaligned

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 88 (16d8 + 16)
Speed 30 ft., fly 10 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 9 (-1)

Damage Immunities radiant
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Alien Reveal. When the morbid haunt’s true nature is revealed, each creature within 60 feet of the morbid haunt that sees it and isn’t Construct or Undead must make a DC 14 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is poisoned for 1 minute and has periodic mind-staggering visions of the Distant Realm for 24 hours. On a successful save, the creature is immune to the effects of Alien Reveal for 1 week. A creature can repeat the save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Apparitional Visage. The morbid haunt is indistinguishable from Undead creatures like ghosts or specters. It counts as an Undead for the purpose of features like the paladin‘s Divine Sense. A creature within 30 feet of the morbid haunt can use its action to make a DC 14 Intelligence (Investigation or Religion) check to learn the morbid haunt’s true nature.
  • Radiant Absorption. Whenever the morbid haunt is subjected to radiant damage, it takes no damage and instead regains a number of hit points equal to the radiant damage dealt.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The morbid haunt makes two Ravage attacks and a Soul Swallow.
  • Ravage. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Soul Swallow. The morbid haunt attempts to extract a fragment of the soul of a creature within 5 feet of it. The target must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 16 (3d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If this damage reduces a creature to 0 hit points, the creature instantly dies and can’t be resurrected with means other than the wish spell.
  • Grave Wail (Recharge 5-6). The morbid haunt emits a horrid wail. Each creature within 30 feet of the morbid haunt that can hear must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or take 18 (4d8) psychic damage and become stunned until the start of the morbid haunt’s next turn. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and is not stunned.

REACTIONS

  • Divine Gluttony. When a creature within 30 feet of the morbid haunt regains hit points, it must make a DC 14 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature doesn’t regain hit points. Instead, the morbid haunt’s next melee attack deals an additional 9 (2d8) radiant damage.

TACTICS

Morbid haunts are most often encountered in environments where a disaster has struck and the number of the Undead is rising. It is unknown how they come to these places, and Undead creatures seem to be unaware of their presence.

They treat morbid haunts as their own kind.

A morbid haunt behaves exactly like the Undead it imitates until a potential prey draws close. Discerning a ghost from its morbid haunt can be done safely from a distance with the use of powerful divination magic. Anyone who approaches the creature to identify it will likely be attacked.

Just like the Undead, morbid haunts often form groups to increase their chances of catching prey. These so-called frights are most often encountered at the sites of the gravest disasters. In such places of sorrow, no priest is likely to stop and think twice about whether what they see is real.

War, famine, and similar disasters are terrible tragedies on their own, but sometimes what follows turns out to be far worse. Morbid haunts gather in disaster-stricken places for unique feasts. Only one thing can sate a morbid haunt’s hunger, but the Aberration is patient. Like light to the flies, the places it stalks eventually summon its prey.

Areas affected by catastrophes often become inundated by monsters that come to devour the dead, the living, or both.

Ghouls, worgs, rabid animals, and even brigands prey on the misfortunate victims. Some souls are cursed to stay behind as ghosts or spirits doomed to never find peace and absolution.

In the aftermath of such tragedies, holy servants of gods come to put those restless spirits to rest. However, these divine powers are the sustenance of morbid haunts.

Eerie Imitators. What first appears to be a ghost or a specter is in fact an otherworldly Aberration of unknown origins. Morbid haunts mimic Undead spirits to lure priests and clerics who wish to help the tortured souls. These ominous creatures have ghostly visages that make setting them apart from real spirits barely possible. Their appearance and the sounds they make – painful wailings and unearthly gasps – are just a wicked trick.

Abominable Visitors. The true nature of a morbid haunt is unsightly and freakish. It has a pale, human-like body with elongated limbs that are abnormal in shape. It is never clear which parts of its body are functional and which are mere grotesqueries. Its sudden and twitchy movements can seem like a morbid haunt is a puppet operated by a maniac. This poses a question no one wants to answer . . . what kind of being might be its puppeteer?

Widely Traveled. Morbid haunts plague various planes, always looking for more divine powers to consume. One could argue that they appear on the Material Plane more frequently because its mortal denizens are weaker prey.

Divine Nourishment. Holy people who find themselves face to face with a morbid haunt are already lost. The creature feeds on the divine energies, and every attempt to fight it off results in its strength growing. Hopeless priests’ souls are devoured as their bodies become lifeless husks and end up in the eternal embrace of the Distant Realm.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Affinity Torus Copyright 2022 Dias Ex Machina Author Chris Dias

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