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Dark Souls x 5E: Ebonwrath’s Lair

Dark Souls x 5E: Ebonwrath’s Lair

As we skip to the end of this series, we come to the final battle, a capstone clash with the campaign’s titular boss monster, Ebonwrath, Master of Souls.

Love this idea? Catch up on the rest of this series!

Having hoarded the souls of both minions and prey, the adult black dragon has subverted his own mortality and attained a pseudo-lichdom that empowers him with soul manipulation, necromancy, and teleportation that rivals the might of even ancient wyrms.

In this final encounter, the PCs fight to free themselves from their eternally-imposed servitude and take their souls back from the tyrant.

With minor modifications, this encounter can serve as a battle with an adult black dragon for any campaign looking for a CR 20 challenge!

Begin the Battle

At the beginning of the encounter, explain that the PCs feel a drain on their lifeforce. They have only ten rounds to kill Ebonwrath or flee. Failure means the dragon fully consumes their souls into his hoard. If the PCs fail, they regain consciousness at their last rested-at bonfire, but they lose any souls they had as per the rules of the campaign.

Two Stages of the Fight

The encounter takes place in two stages across two locations: Ebonwrath’s lower lair and Giants Fall Ruins. The former is a murky underground lake that sits at the edge of sunken ruins. This map by DysonLogos from Dyson’s Delve Level 11 fits the bill. The latter is covered in a previous post. Go there for the map (also designed by DysonLogos) and for NPC and location details.

First Stage. Here Ebonwrath prefers to terrorize the PCs by using the lake for cover and ambushing from the water like a crocodile. He also inundates the PCs with summoned skeletons via his Command the Damned legendary action. During this stage, Ebonwrath can use the lair actions of a black dragon.

Second Stage. Once Ebonwrath is reduced to half HP or less, he acts on initiative count 20 to teleport himself and the PCs to Giantsfall Ruins. Here the dragon targets any present NPC with intent to turn them against the PCs via his Jailer of the Soulless feature.

The encounter ends if all PCs are killed or turned into soulless servants, if they flee to a neighboring floor of the dungeon (Ebonwrath does not follow but instead mocks their cowardice), or if they kill Ebonwrath. The campaign concludes when Ebonwrath is killed, allowing the PCs to reclaim their souls and do with the remaining hoard of souls as they wish. Ebonwrath does not have lair actions during this stage.


Huge [Adult, Black] Dragon, Chaotic Evil
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 250 (19d12 + 133)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

27 (+8)10 (+0)25 (+7)16 (+3)13 (+1)21 (+5)

Saving Throws DEX +6, CON +13, WIS +7, CHA +11
Skills Perception +13, Stealth +6
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, force, necrotic, piercing, radiant, and slashing
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 23
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

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

Stolen Lifeforce. Ebonwrath has subsumed the life forces of his lair’s minions, which grant him his resistances. However, when Ebonwrath takes damage, the attacker gains a number of souls equal to the damage dealt times 100. This number of souls is deducted from the final XP/soul reward at the conclusion of the encounter.

Jailer of the Soulless. A creature killed by Ebonwrath arises as a soulbound servant at the beginning of its next turn. A soulbound servant retains all the statistics it had in life, except that it has half its HP. At the beginning of each of its turns, a soulbound servant must make a DC 19 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, the soulbound servant is allied with Ebonwrath and must take actions that best serve Ebonwrath’s commands and interests. On a success, the soulbound servant may act as it desires for that turn. If Ebonwrath dies, all soulbound servants die along with him.


Multiattack. Ebonwrath can use Soultaker’s Burden. He then makes three attacks: one with his bite and two with his claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 8) slashing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., up to three adjacent targets. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage.

Soultaker’s Burden. Each creature of Ebonwrath’s choice that is within 120 feet of Ebonwrath and aware of him must succeed on a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or bear the weight of the souls that creature carries. Each soul that creature has (either equivalent to the creature’s CR or the number of souls it has collected) weighs 1 pound for 1 minute. A creature’s movement speed becomes 0 for 1 minute if it gains 1,000 lbs, and it is restrained if it gains more than 2,000 lbs. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Acid Spit (Recharge 5–6). Ebonwrath spits a glob of acid on a point up to 90 feet away. Each creature within a 20-foot radius of the impact must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw, taking 63 (18d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Legendary Actions

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

Command the Damned. Ebonwrath summons 2d6 soul minions into unoccupied spaces up to 30 feet away. Each soul minion has 1 HP, AC 11, +0 for all saving throws, is Medium and has 30 feet of movement speed. A soul minion takes its turn on initiative count 10 and uses Ebonwrath’s Claws action to attack. A soul minion lasts for 1 minute or until it is destroyed. A destroyed soul minion is worth 100 souls.

Tail Attack. Ebonwrath makes a tail attack, then teleports up to 20 feet away.

Ravage Lifetimes (Costs 2 Actions). Ebonwrath consumes the souls of nearby creatures to heal itself. All creatures within 10 feet of Ebonwrath must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. Then Ebonwrath regains HP equal to half of the total damage dealt to all creatures within 10 feet.

about Sebastian Rombach

We can neither confirm nor deny that Sebastian is actually three raccoons in a trenchcoat. His freelance contributions can be found in Tome of Beasts 2, Tome of Heroes, and more. You can roll dice with him at https://startplaying.games/gm/dontbreakthedm or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @dontbreakthedm.

2 thoughts on “Dark Souls x 5E: Ebonwrath’s Lair”

  1. Ooh, seems like a cool final boss! Lots of minions to control though with the Command the Damned legendary action. Might end up with a pretty cluttered battle map haha. Really enjoyed this series!

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