Victor Hugo "Hic clavis, alias porta" (The key is here, the gate elsewhere) 1871 In the center of a great saltwater sea floats an island necropolis: a city of twisting catacombs, looming mausoleums, and sprawling graveyards rivaling in size the capitol city of the empire itself. It is from this nether citadel that the arch-lich lays his schemes, forever plotting to overrun the shores of civilization with his hordes of ravenous dead.

Though the arch-lich commands vast legions with which to launch campaigns, the spearhead of his assaults are, without exception, the lich-touched siege kraken monumentbringers, undead engines of destruction that shamble from the water to lay waste to coastal settlements. The spiderlike creeping advance of these monstrosities is inexorable, their march leaving behind only blighted monoliths ringed with slime-choked ruins and shattered skeletons.

Lich-Touched Siege Kraken Monumentbringer

A gargantuan undead kraken lumbers upright on six tall legs, its pallid skin shimmering with paralytic ooze. Statues and obelisks jut from its back like spines, each one bearing necromantic sigils that leave trails of sickly green smoke.

Huge 6th-level wrecker [BEAST, UNDEAD]
Initiative: +6

HP 250            AC 19

PD 17              MD 13

Paralyzing leg sweeps +11 vs. AC (3 attacks) – 25 acid damage.

Natural 16+: The target is stuck (save ends). If the target is already stuck, it is instead stunned (save ends).

Crushing stomp +11 vs. AC – 60 damage, and the target is dazed (save ends).

Natural even miss: 30 damage, and one nearby small structure or similar piece of terrain crumbles.

Natural 16+: The siege kraken may make a congealed ink and flotsam blast attack as a free action.

[Special Trigger] C: Congealed ink and flotsam blast +11 vs. PD (1d3 nearby enemies) – 40 acid and negative energy damage, and 1d4 zombie pirates (see below) rise from the ink and flotsam. They act immediately.

Plant monument +11 vs. PD – 80 negative energy damage, and the target is stuck (save ends). In addition, the siege kraken plants a statue or obelisk into the ground next to the target (or on top of the target in the case of a hit). Until the end of the battle, enemies that can see the monument take a penalty to defenses equal to the escalation die. In addition, the monument has one of the following effects (determined randomly) for as long as it stands, plus one cycle of the moon:

1. Humanoids born within 66 miles have the symbol of an arch-lich as a
birthmark on their palms birthmark on their palms.

2. Unburied dead within 66 miles glow with dim corpse light. Each whispers the same secret to those nearby.

3. Buried dead within 66 miles have their most prized possession in life teleported to the hollow within their chest.

4. Monuments to the arch-lich burst from the ground in the center of every village or city within 66 miles.

Limited use: 1/battle, as a quick action.

Deft legs: The siege kraken cannot be intercepted, nor does it draw opportunity attacks for moving or using ranged attacks while engaged. The siege kraken can disengage from enemies without having to make a saving throw.

Resist negative energy 16+: When a negative energy attack targets the siege kraken, the attacker must roll a natural 16+ on the attack roll or it deals only half damage.

Siege engine: As part of its movement, the siege kraken can step on, step over, or crash through low walls, short buildings, or similar terrain.

Treasure

When the lich-touched siege kraken monumentbringer is slain, the PCs may claim the following rewards in addition to any treasure they would normally earn:

•

  • Inside the siege kraken’s body is the moldering skeleton of a pirate captain. She is clutching the deed to a ship called the Icarus, as well as a treasure map pointing to a temple at the bottom of a nearby hellhole.
  • If the PCs raise one of the siege kraken’s monuments in triumph, they may name one edict. A legion of 10d10 skeleton warriors rise from the sea make a pilgrimage to the site, arriving in 6 hours. They pledge to carry out the edict.

Zombie Pirates: HP 20 (mook); AC 23, PD 20, MD 16; Slam +11 (12 negative energy damage).

About the Author

Sersa Victory is the founder of SVD Press, a small group that publishes deathtrap dungeons for D&D, Dungeon World, and 13th Age. Among other titles and curses, Sersa was named Apprentice of Acererak by Chris Perkins and Monarch of the Monsters by Kobold Press readers. His adventures, including Revenge of the Iron Lich and Fane of the Heresiarch, laid the foundation for the genre that would be known as fourthcore.

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