5e SRD >Races >

Mortiss

The mortiss are sentient undead and mostly of good or neutral alignments, having repented their sins and been given a new outlook on existence. Nergal’s hounds hunt them mercilessly, but they are determined to remain free of his shackles, despite their condition. With no capacity for resurrection, they have only this one chance at redemption.

Mortiss come from all walks of life and are comprised of many different races. As a whole, they possess a wide array of skills, but their decayed bodies can be a hindrance.

Since the beginning of time, the mortiss have been imprisoned in the underworld where they served penance for crimes they committed in life. For reasons unknown to the mortiss, Nergal sought to keep these souls forever imprisoned and in a state of perpetual suffering regardless of the crimes committed in their lifetimes.

The Dead & The Damned

Mortiss are literally the corpses of the dead and damned. They are the imprisoned dead, tortured by Nergal and his nephandim minions. Their bodies are in some stage of decay, mirroring zombie-like undead. But that is where the similarity ends.

Sentience gleams in their eyes; although dead, they are free of the yoke of Nergal and his minions. Their existence is now their own, and they attempt to have some semblance of normality again.

The mortiss look much like the race they were born into, though now they are dead and decomposing. Their physical features remain, albeit decayed, but they are fragments of their former selves. Often they dress in familiar clothes, while others attempt to completely hide their true nature, wearing full armor and helms to obscure their nature. Some mortiss smell of funeral flowers or rich oils as they attempt to mask the scent of their dead flesh.

Since the mortiss originated from many different races, they lack their own culture or society. Ultimately, all mortiss share one thing in common. they are undead, existing under constant threat of violence from all other races.

Whenever the mortiss travel, they must take steps to cloak their appearance and hide their essential nature to have any hope of negotiation, parley, or discussion. Unfortunately, this necessary act of deception only confirms what most people expect—you can’t trust the undead or allow them to exist.

Living creatures take months or years before they can accept the presence of an undead creature. Indeed, some creatures never reach such acceptance no matter how many times the mortiss proves their value.

Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Age. Mortiss do not recall their true age in years. They may have any physical appearance of age but are not subject to physical aging effects. Mortiss do not mature, and they do not age in appearance.
  • Alignment. Mortiss often see themselves outside of the world and other creatures, thus favoring Neutral alignments. At the same time, having already atoned for the sins of their past lives, many of the mortiss are of Good alignment.
  • Size. Mortiss have similar height and weight compared to when they were alive. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet due to your broken body. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
  • Language(s). You can speak, read, and write the languages you knew in life.
  • Undead Resilience. As one of the undead, you have certain resistances and Benefits:
    • You have resistance to cold damage.
    • You have resistance to necrotic damage.
    • You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe.
    • You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
  • Undead Weaknesses. Likewise, being one of the undead leaves you several weaknesses most living creatures do not experience. Since you are undead, spells such as cure wounds or mass cure wounds cannot heal you. An inflict wounds spell, however, heals you as if it were the cure wounds spell. A raise dead or resurrection spell cast on you destroys you unless you succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC. If a caster uses either spell in this manner, they do not need the spell’s material component. You cannot be raised from the dead through any means short of a wish.
  • Vulnerable to Radiance. You have vulnerability to radiant damage.
  • Vulnerable to Turn Undead. You can be affected by another creature’s Turn Undead class feature.
d4 Mortiss Quirks
1 You remember bits and pieces of your former life and shout out details without thinking.
2 You’ve forgotten how to exist among the living. Their customs of eating, hygiene, and social graces will need to be relearned.
3 You mimic the behaviors and quirks of those around you, attempting to learn appropriate behavior.
4 No one appreciates your gloomy brand of gallows humor.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Book of Monstrous Might (C) 2021 Total Party Kill Games. Author(s): Brian Berg, Mark A. Hart & Danny Grimes.