October 2nd Grave Dancer

A Grave Dancer is an undead spirit of retribution. It appears as a small hooded skeletal figure that dances through the streets of a town, leaving sorrow and death behind. When a community does something to offend a god with death in its portfolio, occasionally that deity will send a Grave Dancer to plague them. Each night for a month, a Grave Dancer comes to the cursed town and seeks a new victim. It starts with the elderly, but works its way, selecting younger people each night until on the final evening, it selects a toddler. In the darkest hour of the night, the grave dancer causes a dense fog to engulf the town and it begins to dance, accompanied by a music that can only be heard by those it has targeted. As they dance through the village, the dancers become more insubstantial, transparent, until they reach the local graveyard to sink into the earth where a gravestone awaits them. Each night, the dance is attended by every person from the village who danced in previous nights, until the last victim, usually a young child or toddler, is accompanied by a month’s worth of the dead.

People who try to interrupt the dancers during the first part of the dance are more likely to join the company, though legend tells of lovers and family managing to dance their way into the precession in exchange for their loved one. After the midway point, the dancers can not be touched or stopped by anyone save the Grave Dancer itself.

The sort of god who would unleash a Grave Dancer upon a town is seldom swayed by acts of penance or retribution.

 

Grave Dancer

Medium Undead Neutral Evil

AC 16

HP 110 (20d8)

Speed 30ft, 60ft fly [[-1]]

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Str 10, Dex 22 (6), Con 10, Wis 20 (5), Int 10, Cha 22 (6)

Saving throws Wis +9

Skills Performance (Cha) +10, Persauasion (Cha) +10

Vulnerabilties

Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from non-magical weapons

Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained.

Senses Darkvision 60’. Passive Perception 19

Languages The languages spoken by the target village

Challange 10 (5900 xp)

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Abilities

Illusion: After a Grave Dancer has killed a creature with its dance, it creates an ongoing illusion of the dance continuing. This continues until dawn. There is a DC 18 Int save to see through the illusion. The Grave Dancer fades away after creating the illusion, and the illusion can not affect additional creatures with the Dance of the Dead.

 

Undying: Without a ritual or quest specific to the deity that created a particular Grave Dancer, it can not be permanently destroyed or contained for more than one night. A captured Grave Dancer fades from existence with the dawn and returns to enthrall and destroy another victim the next night.

 

Incorporeal Movement

The Grave Dancer can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. I takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

 

Actions

Beguiling Touch. Melee weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit  36 (8d8) cold damage. The target must make a dc 18 Will save or gain the charmed condition. They may make a save each round to end it.


Dance of the Dead:
A Grave Dancer can entrance creatures by dancing. Any creature that can see a dancing Grave Dancer must make a DC 18 Wisdom save each round or join in the dance. Each round of dancing drops the dancing creature’s constitution by 1 point DC 18 Con save to avoid. If a creature’s constitution drops to 0, they die, becoming insubstantial as their spirit continues the dance through the rest of the night, to sink into a marked grave created by the Grave Dancer’s magic. The Grave Dancer chooses one victim each night who does not need to see the dance to be affected by it, and is at disadvantage on all saves vs the dance.

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