Plague Tower

Wondrous item (skeletoy), rare

Skeletoys are objects that Underhell fiends use as their monstrous tools. Most of them are made up primarily of spinal columns and skulls, but other configurations also occur. Generally, mortals can’t use one of these items effectively unless they trick the skeletoy into believing they are fiends or acting under the direct orders of fiends; in such a case, the item will not oppose them until it realizes the truth. All skeletoys obey any fiend who commands them, or a minion acting on that fiend’s behalf. In case of conflicting commands, the skeletoy obeys the highest-ranking individual to give a command. All skeletoys have the same special purpose: to further the fiendish invasion and protect all Archlords.

This tower of diseased bone and pustule-ridden flesh stands 60 to 100 feet tall. It can slowly walk, ignoring difficult terrain due to its size. To control the plague tower, you must touch it and speak a command word. Until another creature speaks the command word, you control it like a mount or command it if it can understand you (no action). The plague tower has a walking speed of 20 feet. Due to its Strength score of 20, it can carry up to 2,400 pounds without slowing. A creature riding atop it can use it as a mount, using the plague tower’s speed instead of its own. The plague tower has three 10 ft. square platforms 20, 40, and 60 feet off the ground with ladders leading up to each. Each platform can accommodate one Large creature or four Medium or Small creatures.

The plague tower is a Gargantuan object with Armor Class 15, 200 hit points, and immunity to poison damage.

Cloud of Contagion. At initiative count 20 each round (losing all ties except to lair actions), roll a d10. On a 1, the tower spews a cloud that exposes creatures within to one disease from the following list: cackle fever, gasp of fire (page 123), sight rot. The cloud is a 60-foot-radius sphere that moves 20 feet in the direction of the wind on initiative count 20 each round. The cloud vanishes when exposed to a strong wind or when it moves farther than 1 mile from the plague tower. You can change the disease the tower will produce by touching the plague tower while speaking the command word for the new disease; this does not change any existing clouds of contagion.

Sign of Suffering. Five or more plague towers can be placed at key points in a gigantic pattern that impairs healing magic across a large region centered on the midpoint between the towers. The area is 1 mile in radius per tower in the pattern. In the area, each spell that would remove conditions or make a creature regain hit points is wasted (making the action useless but not expending the spell slot) unless the caster succeeds on a check using their spellcasting ability. The save DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. A creature that fails this check automatically fails on subsequent attempts to cast that spell in the affected area for 8 hours.

Sentience. The plague tower is a sentient neutral evil wondrous item with an Intelligence of 8, a Wisdom of 12, and a Charisma of 11. It has hearing and darkvision 120 ft. The plague tower can communicate through emotional impulses with any creature touching it and can speak, read, and understand Abyssal and Infernal.

If the plague tower opposes you when you command it to move you, it moves with intentional clumsiness, forcing any creature atop it to succeed on a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or fall off, landing prone at a point adjacent to the plague tower at any point during its movement.

Personality. A plague tower is stupid and servile. A creature that the plague tower can understand can trick the plague tower into serving it without conflict until the next dawn with a successful DC 15 Charisma (Deception) or Intelligence (Arcana) check as an action so long as it is not obviously going against the plague tower’s primary purpose. On a failed check, that creature can’t make the attempt again until the next dawn and any other non-fiend has disadvantage on attempts to use the same skill to influence that plague tower.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Planet Apocalypse, © 2021, Petersen Games.

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