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Black Crier

Medium undead, neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 150 (20d8 + 60)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 19 (+4) 16 (+3) 11 (+0) 20 (+5) 12 (+1)

Saving Throws Dex +8, Int +4, Wis +9
Skills History +4, Perception +9, Performance +9, Religion +4
Damage Resistances necrotic, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, stunned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages understands all languages but can’t speak
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

Special Traits

  • Bound by Calamity. The black crier is bound to a region where a major catastrophe will happen. This region can be of any size but is never smaller than 1 square mile. If the crier leaves this region, it loses its Rejuvenation trait and Crier’s Lament action. It permanently dies if it remains outside of its bound region for more than 24 hours.
  • Rejuvenation. If it dies within its bound region before the catastrophe it heralds happens, the black crier returns to life in 1d6 days and regains all its hp. The black crier dies after the catastrophe ends and doesn’t rejuvenate. Only a wish spell can prevent this trait from functioning.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The black crier uses its Bell Toll. It then makes two melee attacks.
  • Bell. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage plus 14 (4d6) necrotic damage.
  • Bell Toll. The black crier targets one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. The creature must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the target takes 14 (4d6) necrotic damage and is frightened until the end of its next turn. On a success, the target takes half the damage and isn’t frightened. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target suffers one level of exhaustion.
  • Crier’s Lament (1/Day). The black crier unleashes a devastating peal of anguish and rage in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 16 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, a creature drops to 0 hp. On a success, a creature takes 21 (6d6) psychic damage and is frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

About

This skeletal figure is dressed in the style of a town crier. It carries an elaborate silver bell in its bony hands, and its skull gleams white in the moonlight.

Heralds of Calamity. The black crier is an undead that appears hours, days, or even months before a great catastrophe. The larger the catastrophe, the earlier the black crier appears.

Servants of Fate. Black criers are not malicious or vengeful undead and exist to warn of coming danger. They defend themselves if attacked but don’t pursue fleeing opponents.

Mute Messengers. Despite their name, black criers cannot speak; instead, they use cryptic hand gestures or other mysterious signs to warn people of the impending calamity.

Undead Nature. A black crier doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

Portents of Disaster

A black crier is always accompanied by signs of impending disaster. The crier isn’t affected or targeted by these portents, but it otherwise has no control over them. The portents appear within a black crier’s bound region (see the Bound by Calamity trait) and can be one or more of the following, becoming more frequent as the date of the catastrophe approaches:

  • Swarms of rats or insects appear, destroying crops, eating food stores, and spreading disease.
  • The ground in the region experiences minor tremors, lasting 1d6 minutes.
  • Thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes plague the region, lasting 1d6 hours.
  • Natural water sources in the region turn the color of blood for 1d4 hours. The water is safe to drink, and the change in color has no adverse effect on local flora and fauna.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.