Windborne Dead

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 15, or 17 while outdoors
Hit Points 170 (20d8 + 80)
Speed 5 ft., fly 100 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 20 (+5) 18 (+4) 17 (+3) 19 (+4) 21 (+2)

Saving Throws Str +7, Wis +8
Skills Arcana +7, Intimidation +9, Perception +8, Religion +7
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities paralyzed, poisoned, prone
Senses passive Perception 18
Languages any languages it knew in life
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +4

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Fear of Falling. Windborne dead still carry within them the memory of their final fall and are terrified of being reminded of it. Once per hour when a windborne dead touches the ground, even if it took no damage from falling, it takes 17 (5d6) psychic damage.
  • Undead Nature. The windborne dead doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Windsense. The windborne dead can detect the tiny gusts of wind caused by movement. It can pinpoint the location of any creature or object within 60 feet of it that moved since the end of the windborne dead’s last turn.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The windborne dead makes two air burst attacks.
  • Air Burst. Ranged Spell Attack: +9 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (4d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
  • Hurl to the Winds. The windborne dead summons powerful winds to whisk its foes into the air, flinging the victims to their doom. The windborne dead can choose to affect either a 15-foot cone or a 5-foot radius around itself. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be flung up to 30 feet in any direction, including up, and be forced prone. If a target strikes a solid surface during this movement, it takes 10 (3d6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be forced prone.
  • Crushing Vertigo (Recharge 5-6). The windborne dead imparts the debilitating sensation of vertigo and falling from a great height. A creature that the windborne dead can see within 60 feet of it must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 42 (12d6) psychic damage and is poisoned until the end of its next turn. On a success, the target takes half as much damage and isn’t poisoned.

REACTIONS

  • Accelerate Fall. When a creature that the windborne dead can see falls or descends in altitude, the windborne dead causes it to take 1d6 bludgeoning damage for each 10 feet it descends (in addition to any damage it would normally take from falling), whether or not the creature hits a surface at the end of this descent. Spells or effects that mitigate damage from falling (such as feather fall) do not protect against this damage.

ABOUT

Many windborne dead still bear fragments of the spell power they wielded in life, and such magically inclined dropdeads make powerful foes indeed. Evocation magic is an obvious choice for windborne dead wizards, as are abjuration and illusion spells that can debilitate enemies and inflict mortal fear.

However, regardless of its powers in life, a windborne dead can never cast feather fall– the spell which could have saved it from its horrible fate to begin with.

Power and creativity birth cruelty, and it is this combination that creates windborne dead. Sometimes cheekily referred to as “dropdeads,” these beings arise from spellcasters who die from terrible falls from tremendous heights.

Specifically, many windborne dead manifest from sorcerers or witches whose teleportation magic goes awry, leaving them stranded in the atmosphere, having failed to prepare even the most basic feather fall spell as a contingency. Other times, windborne dead arise from powerful spellcasters who are simply and unceremoniously flung from the top of a rival wizard’s tower.

In any case, the fear of their final moments, the pain of their deaths, and the lingering teleportation magic used to bring about their downfall causes these doomed mortals to rise again as spiteful undead. These twisted souls go about the world seeking only to inflict their fate unto others, particularly spellcasters.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlezoo Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Authors: William Fischer, Stephen Glicker, Paul Hughes, Patrick Renie, Sen.H.H.S., and Mark Seifter.

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