Ancient Shade

5th-level necromancy

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (burning candles of planar origin worth 500 gp)
Duration: 10 minutes

You grant the semblance of life and intelligence to a pile of bones (or even bone dust) of your choice within range, allowing the ancient spirit to answer the questions you pose. These remains can be the remnants of undead, including animated but unintelligent undead, such as skeletons and zombies. (Intelligent undead are not affected.) Though it can have died centuries ago, the older the spirit called, the less it remembers of its mortal life.

Until the spell ends, you can ask the ancient spirit up to five questions if it died within the past year, four questions if it died within ten years, three within one hundred years, two within one thousand years, and but a single question for spirits more than one thousand years dead. The ancient shade knows only what it knew in life, including languages. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This spell doesn’t return the creature’s soul to its body, only its animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can’t learn new information, doesn’t comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Deep Magic for 5th Edition (c) 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors: Dan Dillon, Chris Harris, and Jeff Lee.

scroll to top