LADY MALINE, VAMPIRE (ENCOUNTER)

My PCs have conquered the bad guys in “A Darkness Gathering” and now head off to the North in “Masters of Eternal Night“.  One of the encounters was with one of my PCs former characters who died in the Tomb of Annhiliation.  Accerak brought her back as a vampire and sent her out to retrieve the Wand of Orcus and Staff of Accerak that the party still had (but did not dare use). This was not necessarily a combat encounter but the PCs refused to give the items up so it turned into a battle – mostly one-sided. The battle occurred in an abandoned village and I cracked out the miniatures for this one.  But one meteor storm later and most of the attackers were dead.  

High-level play!

VAMPIRES AT DAWN

A female figure glides gracefully in from the darkness dressed in black and red leather – not altogether appropriate for the weather but the cold does not seem to bother her. Both her arms raised in a sign of peace and parley.

As she comes into the full light of your campfire you see that barring her being less conservatively dressed than Maline and paler – she is the spitting image. A twin even. She even bears a mockery of the holy symbol of the Raven Queen as a broach.

Her arms are raised in a sign of peace and parley. She walks directly to Maline and says, “hello sister, so good to see you, you have something my master seeks. I am here to retrieve it, I do not seek to fight”. As she speaks two elongated canines are clear marring her beauty somewhat – she is a vampire.

  • DC 21 Perception: You also see dark shadows flitting through the ruins of the town, moving inhumanly fast
  • DC 26 Perception: Something big is rustling on the other side of the porous wrecked walls to the west.

 Mahlyn is the twin sister of Maline il Xafra. She died in the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Acerak reanimated her as a vampire and has sent her to retrieve the Wand of Orcus from Maline and Falone.

TACTICS
Mahlyn is here to retrieve the Wand of Orcus, she won’t fight if she doesn’t have to, she understands how dangerous the PCs are. She has become is one of Accerak’s trusted lieutenants, and she’s eager to curry favour with him and, in turn, Orcus. The Wand of Orcus is key to bringing Orcus back. Even if the vampires are successful in downing the PCs they will take the wand and leave.

Disfigured Vampire (brute): The disfigured bursts through the crumbling wall and attacks whichever PC is standing nearest to it at the time. It uses blood drain only when Mahlyn or the callophage vampire daze a PC (and thus grant it combat advantage).

Callophage Vampire (controller): The callophage enters the town at the southern footbridge, then uses alluring visage, then a claw attack to set up disfiguring bite, then stolen beauty used against a PC who could be badly hampered if limited to basic attacks or spells.

Skeletons and Zombies (soldiers): These creatures are distractions and nothing more. Zombies are the fresh remains of townspeople and the skeleton minions are the decrepit remains of an ancient battle that took place here.

Mahlyn (skirmisher): Mahlyn summons a legion of skeletons and zombies and then uses betraying gaze in the first round if possible. Note that this is likely to result in a friendly fire incident. Then she uses slashing rollto lure the PCs into the maze of shanties in the western part of the map. With elite hit points, regeneration, and an attack that deals ongoing damage, she can afford to be patient. As soon as she’s down 100 hit points, she’ll use eviscerate, then blood drain to heal herself and weaken a PC. Thereafter, she’ll useeviscerate whenever it’s recharged, because she deals more damage when attacking a dazed enemy.

The disfigured and callophage fight until slain, but Mahlyn will flee (probably via mist step) if reduced below 50 hit points. If she escapes, she returns to Accerak’s nearby lair, where she remains until the end of the adventure (unless returning her to the fray at some point would be suitably dramatic).

FEATURES OF THE AREA
Illumination: The fading sun provides ambient light in addition to any the PCs have (like a camp fire). Even in the middle of the day, it’s not considered direct sunlight that would suppress the vampires’ regeneration.

Walls: The shanty walls provide cover, but they’re flimsy. Any attack that hits a wall, even an unarmed attack from a weak PC, creates a hole roughly 1 foot in diameter. Once there’s a hole, a creature can attack creatures on the other side of the wall and gain the benefit of 3/4 cover (incoming attacks suffer a +5 AC). A second hit in the same section of the shanty wall makes the hole big enough to function as a doorway.

Wrecked Shanty: The debris from collapsed shanty walls is difficult terrain.

Low Wall: The low wall provides cover. A DC 20 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check is needed to jump or vault it at full speed. Those who fail the check get over the wall but end their movement in the square just beyond it. Creatures can also put holes in the low walls as if they were shanty walls.

Shallow Water: The squares marked as shallow water are frozen and difficult terrain.

Campfires (if any): These are the PCs bonfires, which are used by them to stave off a little of the cold, deal 10 fire damage and 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends) to any creature that starts its turn in the same square as the bonfire.


MAHLYN, LADY VAMPIRE
Medium undead (mythic), lawful evil
Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 204 (17d8 + 68)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 18 (+4) 18 (+4) 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws DEX +9, WIS +7, CHA +9
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +9
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Celestial, Common, Elvish, Primordial
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)

Evasion. If Mahlyn is subjected to an effect that allows her to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, she instead takes no damage if she succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if she fails.

Sneak Attack. Once per turn, Mahlyn deals an extra 14 (4d6) damage when she hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of her that isn’t incapacitated and she doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Mahlyn fails a saving throw, she can choose to succeed instead.

Mist Step. As a bonus action, Mahlyn teleports up to 30 feet and becomes insubstantial until the end of her next turn. While insubstantial she gains the following additional resistances and immunities:

Misty Escape. When Mahlyn drops to 0 hit points outside her resting place, she transforms into a cloud of mist instead of falling unconscious, provided that she isn’t in sunlight or running water. If she can’t transform, she is destroyed. While she has 0 hit points in mist form, she can’t revert to her vampire form, and she must reach her resting place within 2 hours or be destroyed. Once in her resting place, she reverts to her vampire form. She is then paralyzed until she regains at least 1 hit point. After spending 1 hour in her resting place with 0 hit points, she regains 1 hit point. She may use a bonus action to voluntarily use this trait and revert back so long as she has more than 1 hit point.

Regeneration. Mahlyn regains 20 hit points at the start of her turn if she has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If she takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of her next turn.

Spider Climb. The vampire can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Vampire Weaknesses. The vampire has the following flaws:

  • The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
  • Harmed by Running Water. The vampire takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
  • Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the vampire’s heart while the vampire is incapacitated in its resting place, the vampire is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
  • Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The vampire takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

ACTIONS
Slashing Roll. Mahlyn makes two bloodletter attacks and can move up to her speed. Once Mahlyn enters combat her features become feral.

Bloodletter. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) necrotic damage and ongoing 10 necrotic damage (DC 17 Con save ends). Instead of dealing damage, the vampire can grapple the target (escape DC 18).

Blood Drain. Melee Weapon Attack:+9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by the vampire, the vampire has advantageon, incapacitated, or restrained. This attack can be used as a free actionif an adjacent target is bloodied.
Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the vampire regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire’s control. The target is also weakened (deals half damage on any attack that requires an attack roll) (DC 17 Con save ends).

Eviscerate (Recharge 5-6). Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one or two creatures. Automatically recharges if the attack misses.
Hit:28 (7d6+4) necrotic damage and the target is dazed (grant advantage to attackers, can take only 1 action, no reactions, can’t flank) (DC 17 Con save ends).

Betraying Gaze (1/Day). Mahlyn targets all humanoids she can see within 30 feet of her. If the target can see the vampire, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or attack a target of Mahlyn’s choice and is then immobilized – it may use its Move action and Cast a Spell action if not already used this turn. An immobilized target can repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts for 1 minute or until the vampire is destroyed, is on a different plane of existence than the target or takes a bonus action to end the effect.

I Am Legion (1/Day). Mahlyn magically calls 4 zombies and 18 skeletons, provided the area has corpses to raise (such as an ancient battleground or graveyard) The called creatures rise immediately and act on their own turn, acting as allies of the vampire and obeying its spoken commands. The undead remain for 1 hour, until the vampire dies, or until the vampire dismisses them as a bonus action.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
Mahlyn can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. She regains spent legendary actions at the start of her turn.

  • Move. Mahlyn moves up to her speed without provoking opportunity attacks or uses mist step.
  • Bloodletter. Mahlyn makes one bloodletter attack.
  • Blood Drain (Costs 2 Actions).Mahlyn makes one blood drain attack.

ZOMBIE TOWNSPEOPLE
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 8
Hit Points 22 (3d8 + 9)
Speed 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
13 (+1) 6 (-2) 16 (+3) 3 (-4) 6 (-2) 5 (-3)

Saving Throws WIS +0
Damage Immunities Poison
Condition Immunities Poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 8
Languages Understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.

ACTIONS
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage. On a successful hit the target is grappled (Escape DC 15) while grappled in this way the target grans advantage to attacks.


ANCIENT SKELETON SOLDIERS
Medium undead (minion), lawful evil
Armor Class 13 (Armor Scraps)
Hit Points 1
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 14 (+2) 15 (+2) 6 (-2) 8 (-1) 5 (-3)

Damage Vulnerabilities Bludgeoning
Damage Immunities Poison
Condition Immunities ExhaustionPoisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 9
Languages Understands all languages it knew in life but can’t speak
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Bone Explosion. When the skeleton dies, it explodes, and each creature within 10 feet of it takes 7 (2d6) piercing. These skeletons bear the personal sigil of Mahlyn on their forehead – a skeletal crow.

ACTIONS
Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target.
Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.


FERAL VAMPIRE
Medium undead, lawful evil
Armor Class 12 (tattered armor)
Hit Points 190 (20d8 + 100)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
23 (+6) 15 (+2) 20 (+5) 7 (-2) 13 (+1) 8 (-2)

Saving Throws STR +11, DEX +7, WIS +6
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +9
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magic weapons
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
LanguagesCommon
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)

Gaze Upon My Hideous Ruin. When reduced to 0 hit points the feral vampire’s trapped soul screams in pain and relief at being freed from its undead state. All creatures within 10 feet of him must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this anguished call or take 16 (2d8+7) psychic and 16 (2d8+7) thunder damage and be pushed back 25 feet by the force of the shout.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the vampire fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Regeneration. The vampire regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.

Spider Climb. The vampire can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Vampire Weaknesses. The vampire has the following flaws:

  • The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
  • Harmed by Running Water.The vampire takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
  • Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the vampire’s heart while the vampire is incapacitated in its resting place, the vampire is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
  • Sunlight Hypersensitivity.The vampire takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The vampire makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.

Vampiric Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage,and 10 ongoing necrotic damage (DC 18 Con save ends). Instead of dealing damage, the vampire can grapple the target (escape DC 18).

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by the vampire, incapacitated, or restrained.
Hit: 9 (1d6 + 6) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the vampire regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire’s control.

REACTION
Gaze Upon My Hideous Ruin. When first bloodied, as a reaction, the feral vampire screams in pain and disgust at itself. All creatures within 10 feet of him must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this anguished call or take 16 (2d8+7) psychic and 16 (2d8+7) thunder damage and be pushed back 25 feet by the force of the shout.

 


CALLOPHAGE VAMPIRE
Medium undead, lawful evil
Armor Class 14 (tattered robes)
Hit Points 144 (17d8 + 68)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 18 (+4) 18 (+4) 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws DEX +9, WIS +7, CHA +9
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +9
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magic weapons
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
LanguagesCommon
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)

Shapechanger. If the vampire isn’t in sunlight or running water, it can use its action to polymorph into a Medium cloud of mist, or back into its true form. While in mist form, the vampire can’t take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects. It is weightless, has a flying speed of 20 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the mist can do so without squeezing, and it can’t pass through water. It has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and it is immune to all nonmagical damage, except the damage it takes from sunlight.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the vampire fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Regeneration. The vampire regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.

Spider Climb. The vampire can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Vampire Weaknesses. The vampire has the following flaws:

  • The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
  • Harmed by Running Water.The vampire takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
  • Stake to the Heart.If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the vampire’s heart while the vampire is incapacitated in its resting place, the vampire is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
  • Sunlight Hypersensitivity.The vampire takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.The vampire makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. Instead of dealing damage, the vampire can grapple the target (escape DC 18).

Disfiguring Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by the vampire, incapacitated, or restrained.

On a Hit the Callophage Vampire has two options:

  1. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the vampire regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire’s control.
  2. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) psychic damage,and the target takes ongoing 10 psychic damage and is dazed (DC 17 Con save ends).

Stolen Beauty. The vampire targets one creature it has hit with disfiguring biteit can see within 100 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or take 3d10+3 psychic damage, and the target cannot use class features (save ends). Aftereffect: The target cannot willingly move closer to the callophage vampire (save ends). When this attack hits the callophage vampire clearly becomes more human-like​ and attractive.

Alluring Visage (1/Day; recharges when bloodied).All creatures the callophage vampire targets within 50 feet of him must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or move 15 feet towards the vampire then become immobilised (save ends). Each creature that has not yet saved against the effect is pulled 15 feet and immobilized (save ends).

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