Rebec Malevolenti

Wondrous item, artifact (requires attunement)

This three-stringed fiddle has a narrow boat-shaped body and a horsehair bow. Its finish has the cracked polish of old bone, and when stared at intently tiny glowing red letters can be seen to swirl about just beneath its varnish, never staying still long enough to be read. It weighs 1 pound. When an attuned to the rebec malevolenti uses an action to play the instrument, they gain the following benefits:

  • A +3 bonus to AC and advantage on Wisdom saving throws.
  • Resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
  • Immunity to the charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, poisoned, and restrained conditions.
  • The fiddler becomes immune to the negative effects of exhaustion. They still gain levels of exhaustion normally, however, and if they gain 6 levels of exhaustion they die and their soul is drawn into the rebec malevolenti. A creature dying in this fashion cannot be returned to life unless the caster of raise dead, resurrection, or a similar spell succeeds on a DC 20 Wisdom check when casting the spell. If the check fails, the spell is wasted without effect.
  • The fiddler become engrossed in playing the instrument and has disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks. They perceive the dead raised by the violin as long-lost friends or family and are generally unaware of their surroundings more than 30 feet away.
  • If the fiddler is reduced to 0 hit points, they do not fall unconscious and instead immediately gain 1d10+10 temporary hit points. This does not require an action and occurs every time they are reduced to 0 hit points, even if this happens multiple times per round. These temporary hit points are immediately lost if the fiddler stops playing for more than 1 round, causing them to drop to 0 hit points and begin making death saving throws.

The primary purpose of the rebec malevolenti is to awaken the dead to wretched unlife. Each round that the rebec malevolenti is played, any corpses within range of its sound (including those buried in this range) are subject to reanimation. Even corpses that have rotted away can return as incorporeal undead creatures called ectoplasmic remnants that resemble ghostly outlines of their form in life. For each round of playing in an area where dead bodies are present within 100 feet, roll 1d6 to determine the type of undead creature that is created. These creatures do not attack the fiddler but are not otherwise under the fiddler’s command, attacking living creatures as opportunity presents.

They remain animated until destroyed or the rebec malevolenti is destroyed, at which point all previously animated undead are destroyed.

d6 Type of Undead
1-2 common skeleton
3-4 common zombie
5 Ectoplasmic remnant (see below)
6 Undead creature of GM’s choice (typically Challenge 2 or lower)

Ectoplasmic Remnant

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 15 (2d8+6)
Speed 30 ft., fly 40 ft.

16 (+3) 11 (+0) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 12 (+1)

Damage Vulnerabilities slashing
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft.; passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge Rating 1/4 (50 XP)


  • Phase Lurch. An ectoplasmic remnant can move through an objects but can’t stop there or remain within them. It cannot move through creatures. Slimy mucus that lingers for 1 minute marks the locations on the object where the ectoplasmic creature entered and exited it.


  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, 5 ft. reach, 1 target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) bludgeoning damage and the target must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1d4 rounds.


The powers of the rebec malevolenti cannot be dispelled or nullified by silence. The fiddler must use their action each round to play the instrument.

Their play can be interrupted by effects that would break their concentration, though they have advantage on Constitution saving throws to avoid losing concentration. Playing the rebec malevolenti does not provoke opportunity attacks.

While it is almost impossible to slay or stop the fiddler while they are playing, the rebec malevolenti itself can be attacked. It has an AC of 15, though the fiddler tries to shield the weapon with their body while continuing to play, causing attackers to have disadvantage on attack rolls against the instrument.

The rebec malevolenti has 20 hit points and has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons, and it regains all lost hit points at the beginning of the fiddler’s turn if not reduced to 0 hit points, which breaks it and causes the fiddler to cease playing.

While at 0 hit points, it can be destroyed by dealing it at least 5 points of fire or radiant damage or casting a bless or remove curse spell on it. This causes the rebec malevolenti to turn to dust, though it reforms a year and a day later in a random location, waiting to be discovered again.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Ultimate Treasury (5E) © 2023, Legendary Games; Authors: Jason Nelson, Loren Sieg, Pedro Coelho, Matt Goodall, Linda Zayas-Palmer, Thurston Hillman, Jeff Ibach, and Alex Augunas

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