In today’s Open Grave preview, we take a look at sample undead monsters.
Undead are among the most terrifying monsters in the Dungeons & Dragons world. From flesh-eating ghouls to scythe-wielding reapers, undead haunt the nightmares of mortals and lurk in the darkest corners of the imagination.
Undead share no ancestry, heritage, or bond with others of their ilk, and they are as widespread and varied as living creatures. The creatures share only one trait—their return from the grave.
Common beliefs holds that undead are evil, and although many are indeed cruel and wicked, some are merely animate creatures that act mindlessly at the behest of an evil master. Many undead are capable of experiencing the same emotions and desires as the living. They commit treachery and harbor hate, yet they can also have friendships and exemplify honor, kindness, and even love.
Brain in a Jar
A brain in a jar is the preserved brain of a sinister being who sought to escape death. Through ritual magic and complicated alchemical processes, the brain is kept alive, retaining all the memories and mental faculties of its former host. The creature usually has some malevolent goal that could not be achieved in life, which drove the brain’s former host to take desperate measures to achieve longevity.
Many creatures hope to escape death. When such creatures are powerful and corrupt, they sometimes turn to rituals that can transform them into liches. However, immortality comes with a price, and these creatures lose the remaining shreds of their humanity in process.
In a far reach of the world, under a grim, lonely hill, lies a crypt filled with terrible traps and ferocious guardians. Treasures fill the tomb, guarded by the lair’s keeper, the demilich Acererak. Having escaped death through lichdom, he houses his intelligence in a bejeweled skull and his soul in a hidden phylactery. Acererak quickly dispatches trespassers, relieving the victims of any magic trinkets or tomes they might have.