- 1 Introduction
- 2 Characters
- 3 Dr. Simeon Christie
- 4 Dr. Simeon Christie
- 5 Vern Howlett
- 6 Vern Howlett
- 7 Hanna Shea
- 8 Hanna Shea
- 9 Rose Lawlor
- 10 Rose Lawlor
- 11 Aspen
- 12 Aspen
- 13 Synopsis
- 14 Background
- 15 Hook
- 16 Encounters
- 17 Neverpeak Spirit's Eve Festival
- 18 The Rector Credge
- 19 Elwin Chapman's Fate
- 20 Frightened Local
- 21 Tree Riddled Path
- 22 Ghostly Procession
- 23 The Graveyard
- 24 Banshee
- 25 The Tower's Door
- 26 Bramble Demon
- 27 The Bell Tower
- 28 The Conclusion
- 29 Similar Guides
This adventure is a 2 to 3 hour one-shot for the fifth edition of the world's most popular tabletop roleplaying game. Balanced around four players of 4th level characters, The Bell Must Toll Tonight comes complete with five premade characters to get started quickly.
The players take roles as members of Venator Obscuras, a guild dedicated to the investigation and containment of dangerous supernatural and magical phenomena. The guild tasks the characters with an investigation into strange energy surges in the town of Neverpeak. Their investigation takes them into peril and a dire situation.
Dr. Simeon Christie
Dr. Christie is a scientist and physician with a large breadth of knowledge and field experience. Since joining the Venator Obscuras he has constructed many inventions, the latest of which he is currently field testing: a device that senses ghosts and allows ghosts to convey simple sentences.
Trait: Loves to share stories of his vast travels.
Ideal: Believes there is always more to be discovered about the unknown.
Bond: He seeks knowledge most have deemed too dangerous to be shared.
Flaw: He considers his opinions better than those less educated.
Dr. Simeon Christie
Level 4 – Scientist and Explorer – Human
Armor Class 12 (Leather Armor) Hit Points 22 Speed 30 ft.
|8 (-1)||14 (+2)||10 (0)||18 (+4)||12 (+1)||10 (0)|
Saving Throws Int +6, Wis +3 Skills History +6, Investigation +8, Religion +6, Medicine +5, Survival +3
Languages Common, Dwarvish, Gnomish, Abyssal
Natural Explorer. Simeon is a master of navigating the natural world, and he reacts with swift and decisive action when attacked. This grants him the following benefits:
- He ignores difficult terrain.
- He has advantage on initiative rolls.
- On his first turn during combat, he has advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted.
In addition, he is skilled at navigating the wilderness. He gains the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more:
- Difficult terrain doesn’t slow his group’s travel.
- His group can’t become lost except by magical means.
- Even when he is engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), he remains alert to danger.
- If he is traveling alone, he can move stealthily at a normal pace.
- When he forages, he finds twice as much food as he normally would.
- While tracking other creatures, he also learns their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.
Dagger (Silvered). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4+2 slashing damage.
Crossbow (Light) (Silvered Bolts).* Ranged Weapon Attack:* +4 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8+2 piercing damage. Loading, two-handed.
Potion of Healing (x6), Alchemist’s Tools, Tinkerer Tools, Ghost Box
Ghost Box (2 charges) This small metal box is a device used to detect and communicate with ghosts. When activated the box has a light on the top that will burn brightly when in the presence of a ghost. Ghosts can manipulate the delicate electrical workings within the box when activated to form limited sentences of less than 10 words. The ghost box can only be activated twice before the electrical wiring fries.
A skilled survivalist and swordsman, Vern Howlett is the most experienced of this Venator group. Years of hunting, tracking, and killing the monsters that Venator Obscuras deals with gives Vern unparalleled insight into the monsters he faces.
Trait: He has a motivational or inspirational quote for every situation.
Ideal: He believes the best way to deal with monsters is to kill them.
Bond: To him, the Venator Obscuras have a worthy goal, and he will adhere to their orders.
Flaw: He is harsh in judgment against himself and others.
Level 4 – Monster Hunter – Human
Armor Class 18 (Splint Armor) Hit Points 35 Speed 30 ft.
|18 (+4)||10 (0)||14 (+2)||10 (0)||12 (+1)||8 (-1)|
Saving Throws Str +6, Con +4
Skills Athletics, +6 Perception +3, Nature +3, Survival +3, Religion +1
Defense. While Vern is wearing armor, he gains a +1 bonus to AC.
Action Surge. Vern can push himself beyond his normal limits for a moment. On his turn, he can take one additional action. Once he uses this feature, he must finish a short or long rest before he can use it again.
Favored Enemy (Undead). Vern has advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track his favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.
Greatsword (Silvered). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6+4 slashing damage.
Crossbow (Light) (Silvered Bolts). Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 piercing damage. Loading, two-handed.
Blessed Weapon Oil (x2)
Blessed Weapon Oil. This small bottle contains enough weapon oil to coat one bladed weapon. Using a bonus action to coat the blade will afford the user an extra 2d6 radiant damage when the coated weapon strikes its next target.
Hanna Shea once skulked around cities relieving the rich of their goods, however when a member of the Venator Obscuras spotted her ability to see and interact with spirits, she was recruited into their service instead. Since being recruited Hanna has been using her skills to help locate and eliminate dangerous spirits.
Trait: She always knows how much gold she has, and likely knows what valuables others around her have as well.
Ideal: She believes the Venators are using her abilities for a just cause.
Bond: She looks for the spirits of her family each time she sees spirits.
Flaw: She values her life and wealth over other's.
Level 4 – Medium and Theif – Human
Armor Class 15 (Leather Armor) Hit Points 32 Speed 30 ft.
|8 (-1)||18 (+4)||10 (0)||12 (+1)||10 (0)||14 (+2)|
Saving Throws Dex +6, Int +3 Skills Acrobatics +8, Persuasion +6, Stealth +6, Perception +2, Deception +4, Intimidation +4
Sneak Attack. Hanna knows how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, she can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature she hits with an attack if she has advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.
She doesn’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn't incapacitated, and she doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.
Cunning Action. Hanna’s quick thinking and agility allow her to move and act quickly. She can take a bonus action on each of her turns in combat. This action can be used only to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.
Spirit Sense. Hanna can sense any spirits in the spirit realm or otherwise within 30 ft. She doesn’t see them but knows their number and general location.
Medium Channeling. Hanna can focus her senses to be able to see and speak with spirits. While using this ability Hanna can see and speak with spirits as if they were living, however, the spirits still retain any incorporeal aspects. This ability is taxing and only lasts for ten minutes. Hanna can use this ability twice per long rest.
Dagger (Silvered). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4+4 piercing damage.
Dagger (Off-hand) (Silvered). Melee Weapon Off-hand Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4 piercing damage.
Shortbow (Silvered Arrows). Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target.* Hit:* 1d6+4 piercing damage. Two-handed.
Climbing Gear, Thieves Tools
Rose Lawlor is a formidable wizard recruited into the Venator Obscuras thanks to her knowledge of lore and magic. Rose has far from humble beginnings, being the daughter of a well-placed noble. She uses her position as a Venator to annoy her parents and put off any discussion of marriage to a stuffy nobleman's son.
Trait: Any slight against her or her family is met with a drastic response.
Ideal: She believes building a career will give her leverage for her goals.
Bond: She is trying to prove she is worth more than a marriage.
Flaw: She often does things she believes will push her family's buttons, regardless of the consequences for others.
Level 4 – Historian and Arcanist – Human
Armor Class 15 (Mage Armor) Hit Points 17 Speed 30 ft.
|8 (-1)||14 (+2)||10 (0)||18 (+4)||12 (+1)||10 (0)|
Saving Throws Int +6, Wis +3 Skills Arcana +6, History +6, Insight +3, Religion +6
Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan, Celestial, Abyssal
Spellcasting. Rose is a student of arcane magic. She is a 4th level wizard spellcaster. Her spellcasting modifier is intelligence and her staff works as an arcane focus. Her spell save DC is 14. Her prepared spell list is as follows:
Cantrips (at will): Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Shocking Grasp, Message
1st Level (4 slots): Thunderwave, Shield, Mage Armor, Silent Image, Magic Missile, Charm Person, False Life
2nd Level (3 slots): Suggestion, Spider Climb
Ritual Casting. Rose can cast a wizard spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and she has the spell in her spellbook.
Nimble Casting. When Rose casts a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, she can instead change the casting time to 1 bonus action. Rose can do this twice per long rest.
Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +1 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6-1 bludgeoning damage.
Crossbow (Light) (Silvered Bolts). Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8+2 piercing damage. Loading, two-handed.
Components Pouch, Reference Texts
A vampire with a conscience, Aspen turns heads in most cities. Aspen only recently contracted the vampire's curse and sought out Venator Obscuras for their help. While he couldn't be cured, he has retained his morality and manages to keep his killer urges in check thanks to a carefully kept routine. In life, Aspen was a talented healer and continues to use his skills to help other Venators.
Trait: He is often afraid of losing himself to his curse.
Ideal: He believes monsters like him shouldn't be allowed to live.
Bond: The Venator's saved him from falling completely to his curse, he will do as they ask as far as he can.
Flaw: His curse draws him to violence at times.
Level 4 – Vampire and Healer – Human (Undead)
Armor Class 16 (Chain mail) Hit Points 28 Speed 30 ft.
|14 (+2)||8 (-1)||10 (0)||10 (0)||18 (+4)||12 (+1)|
Saving Throws Wis +6, Cha +3 Skills Medicine +6, Insight +6, Religion +2, Persuasion +3
Languages Common, Dwarvish
Spellcasting. Aspen is a student of arcane magic. He is a 4th level spellcaster. His spellcasting modifier is Wisdom and his hammer works as an arcane focus. His spell save DC is 14. His prepared spell list is as follows:
Cantrips (at will): Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy, Light, Mending
1st Level (4 slots): Cure Wounds, Healing Word, Bane, Shield of Faith, Bless
2nd Level (3 slots): Hold Person, Silence, Aid
Vampiric Charm. Once per long rest Aspen can cast the Suggestion spell without using a spell slot or spell components. His spell save for this suggestion spell is DC 14.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, Aspen has disadvantage on Attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Warhammer (Silvered). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d10+2 bludgeoning damage. Two-Handed
Crossbow (Light) (Silvered Bolts). Ranged Weapon Attack: +1 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8-1 piercing damage. Loading, two-handed.
Herbalism Kit, Healer's Kit, Potion of Healing (x1)
Venator Obscuras is an organization that hunts and eliminates supernatural and magical threats. The characters are all Venators within the organization and have been sent to the town of Neverpeak to investigate strange spectral energy surges discovered by the arcanists in Venator Obscuras Headquarters.
On arrival, the characters are at the heart of a Spirit's Eve Festival. The locals are honoring the ghosts in their midst thanks to the thinning line between the spirit realm and this one, however, the festivities are interrupted by the local rector. The rector orders everyone home and cancels the festival, he has foreseen deaths at the hands of spirits allowed to run free for the whole year. The rector fears the man he sent to ring the bells and close the gates allowing ghosts into this realm, has fallen to some terrible fate. The anointed bells at an old ruined church hours from town must be rung before midnight or the gates will remain open all year. With no one else fast enough to send, the rector begs the characters to try and ring the bells and close the gates.
The way to the church is a long one. They discover the man sent before them, slaughtered by a demon and possessed by a spirit. They then encounter a frightened local, running from something dangerous in the woods. Their pathway forward is blocked by trees and brambles, seemingly created by the demon trying to keep the gates open. While finding their way through the forest around the demon's barrier, the characters find themselves surrounded by a vast ghostly procession towards the church, pointing the way and warning of things that may have escaped through the open gates.
Soon the characters find themselves in the unkept graveyard of the old church and are set up by the resident banshee. She wails of demons and her tranquillity but attacks all the same. Once the banshee is dealt with, the characters meet their final challenge, the bramble demon baring their entry to the bell tower. All that's left once the demon has been removed is to climb the tower and strike the bells to close the gates for the year.
The line between the spirit realm and this one grows thin each year around the Spirit's Eve. A set of spirit gates at the ancient church outside of Neverpeak open, allowing ghosts, and others from the spirit realm to pass through and gain a small amount of interaction with this realm. The ancient church has anointed bells that ring and close these gates, pulling anything that entered back into their realm. The church around the bells was left to decay as time moved past its purpose, but the bells continue to rung each year under the direction of the church in Neverpeak.
The Spirit's Eve festival is held each fall, welcoming in peaceful spirits with offerings of food, drink, music, and dance. The celebration goes on from dusk until midnight ending with a speech from Rector Credge. Each year a man from Neverpeak is sent to the ancient church ahead of nightfall to prepare to ring the bells by midnight. This year Elwin Chapman, a local brewer, was selected for this duty.
Unbeknownst to the town, a bramble demon has escaped through the gates this year, rolling his way from the ruined church and creating a large barrier on the path to the church. This demon hunted and killed Chapman as he was on his way to the church, preventing Chapman from fulfilling his duty. The demon wishes to stay in this realm and bring others through the gates.
The characters have been sent to Neverpeak by the Venator Obscuras. The arcanists there have been monitoring the spirit realm using their specialized equipment, and they noticed some odd spikes in the Neverpeak area. The character's group was pulled for the job and they were sent on their way to Neverpeak through an old teleportation circle in town.
Neverpeak Spirit's Eve Festival
You exit the bright teleportation circle into a dim garden. You can hear music and chatter in the distance and you turn to find yourself at the base of the tall stone wall of a church. The smell of cooking meats and the light of lanterns pull your eyes towards the front of the church.
An old teleportation circle within the church grounds brings the characters to Neverpeak. Characters may have noted the oddity of a Venator Obscuras teleportation circle here, with DC 15 History check they could have looked into the circle before they left Venator Obscuras Headquarters. This teleportation circle was constructed over a hundred years ago to assist in a matter pertaining to a set of spectral gates, though the report associated with those gates is lost.
The lush church grounds cast long shadows in the early dusk and the path around the church leads into the town square. The square is set up and decorated for a festival with paper lanterns, streamers, and bunting in fall colors. Music and chatter reach the characters first before they see a large gathering celebrating within the square with booths of food, large dining tables, a small stage of musicians, and large dance floors around the stage. The music is upbeat and the atmosphere cheery as the locals move about and dance in the square. Shuttered shops and closed homes surround the square, further the characters can make out low wooden walls of the village edge and quiet empty streets. It seems most of the town is consumed with the festival.
The characters are greeted with curiosity and caution thanks to Vern and Aspen's intimidating presence, but the locals are more welcoming thanks to the festival. The locals are willing to share the following information with the characters:
- The festival celebrates the spirits visiting them tonight,
- They and the spirits get to enjoy a day of food, dance, and music,
- These are only the peaceful spirits, the sanctified church grounds keep the ill-meaning spirits that wander tonight at bay,
- The veil between the spirit's realm and this one is thin today, many spirits will be wandering about.
Characters may recall similar festivals from other places with DC 13 History or Religion check. With a DC 15 Arcana check, a character would recall that this thinning of the veil is usually linked with spectral gates allowing creatures from the spirit realm through.
Hanna senses the presence of spirits within the festival grounds and surroundings. If she uses her Medium Channeling Ability she can see many, many ghosts celebrating among the living. These spirits are piling in from the front gates of Neverpeak, spreading out in the festival to dance and admire the displays put out for them. The other characters experience these spirits with a drop in temperature, though they may mistake it for the local weather. Dr. Christie's Ghost Box also detects spirits if it is activated, and the ghosts try to communicate their pleasure and appreciation.
The celebration is interrupted with a slam from the church, the doors crashing open as the dark-robed Rector Credge rushes out towards the festival.
The Rector Credge
An elderly dark-robed man bursts forth through the church gates into the festival grounds. He yells as he enters, "We must cease our frivolities. There are evil spirits at work tonight that have thwarted our best of plans! You must go home and begin your prayers for your safety tonight. Go home, bar your doors, wield your holy books and pray, for I have received a vision that the gates will not close this night! The bells shall not toll tonight! I beg of you to leave this festival."
The rector repeats his warnings as he moves through the festival crowds. Upon seeing the Venator Obscuras symbols on the characters he stops and approaches them unless they have already sought him out. He conveys the problems as he sees them.
- There is a set of gates that allow spirits through to this realm, the gates open on Spirit's Eve.
- The gates are closed each year by the ringing of anointed bells within an old ruined church outside of town, but they must be rung before midnight on Spirit's Eve.
- Elwin Chapman, the brewer tasked with ringing the bells, left earlier in the day to reach the church.
- Rector Credge just received a vision of Chapman's demise on the path to the church.
- There is hardly time to reach the bells before midnight.
Credge will gladly provide the characters with whatever information and supplies they wish to have. He doesn't know what killed Chapman, or what changed this year. If Hanna tries to get information out of the spirits here, she can make a DC 13 Persuasion, Deception, or Intimidation check to learn what they know. The spirits know that many dangerous things lurk on the other side of the gates, but most don't want to come through. Only a demon would be interested, but they have a hard time pulling themselves through the gates, they're too large. Dr. Christie's ghost box may also prove helpful, but getting specific information will be difficult, and the characters will still have to convince the spirits to help with a DC 15 Persuasion, Deception, or Intimidation check. A character recalls that a demon would fit the events here with a DC 18 Religion or Arcana check.
The characters arrived in town at about 7 PM, just as the sun began to fall. Rector Credge warns that walking to the church takes about 5 hours, which places the characters arriving near midnight. The bells must be rung before midnight or the gates will remain open all year.
Elwin Chapman's Fate
Fields and trees disappear into the darkness at the sides of the track you were pointed down. The travel has been fast, but ahead disturbed earth and a dark pool on the ground draw your attention.
Darkness soon envelopes the path as the characters travel past trees and fields to the sides of the track. A mile outside of town, the characters find a patch of disturbed earth, Vern would recognize the sight of a fight immediately. A pool of blood soaks into the dirt and a discarded sack spilled the small meal of bread and cheese it contained onto the path.
Hanna and Vern notice movement off the path as a figure moves jerkily towards the group. As the figure gets within the light of the torch, characters see deep gouges in the man's arms, legs, and face. His movements are shaky as he reaches out and rips at anything in his reach. Gasping and gagging noises escape a gaping mouth, hanging at an odd angle due to the damage to his jaw. (Zombie, MM p. 316) If the characters got a description of Chapman, they will recognize him, otherwise, the identity of the man is unclear. After Chapman has been struck down, a Specter (MM p. 279) leaps forth from the corpse and hurls itself towards the characters again. The specter is difficult to see in the torchlight, a light mist of a creature that most of the characters can barely make out in the darkness. Aspen gets a better view than most, seeing a billowing figure that floats over the ground. Hanna can sense its location better than she can see it.
With the threats handled, Dr. Christie and Aspen would recognize the wounds that Chapman suffered were not caused by the specter they just fought. The wounds are rough-edged and have particles of wood and plant life inside the cuts.
A scream pierces the nighttime quiet. Seconds later the light of a lantern begins to appear at the curve in the path, a young woman running with her skirt in her free hand dashes around the trees, heading your direction.
Further on the characters first hear a scream on the wind from the direction they're traveling. Willa Gardiner, the daughter of one of the farmers who live outside of town, was frightened by the bramble demon moving through the forests ahead. She came across it on her way home while the demon was creating its barrier on the path, Tree Riddled Path has more information about that barrier.
Willa fled at the sight of the demon, avoiding the fate Chapman had. She is hysterical when she meets the characters on the path. The lantern she has only allowed her a glimpse of the root and thorn-laden demon, but the sight of a hulking shape moving in the darkness was enough to send her running. She knows the following:
- She saw a very large shape in the woods ahead. Too large for anything she can think of.
- There was a wall of roots and thorns across the path ahead.
- The church is about another hour's walk.
- Her family's farm is another half-hour down this path.
Tree Riddled Path
The lantern light reaches a rough wall in front of you. A construction of tree roots tangled around bramble bushes and thorns that have sprung from the ground. The wall goes on as far as you can see to either side of the path.
The path ahead is covered in tall wooden spires jutting from beneath the ground. The spines are covered in brambles and thorns. This wall of plants goes out of sight to either side of the pathway. This barrier was created by the bramble demon to slow anyone's progress towards the bell tower. A DC 13 Investigation or Arcana check will allow a character to discern the bramble demon last traveled towards the left via a set of large scraping footsteps in that direction. The root wall extends 100 ft to the left of the path and 175 ft to the right of the path. Any successful checks to try and find the best way around leads the party to the left.
Rustling in the trees and along the underbrush kicks up around you. The temperature suddenly plummets.
After setting out to find their way across or around the bramble barrier, the characters feel the temperature suddenly drop. Many spirits from town are heading back through the gates near the church, their procession passing through the character's path. Hanna would sense their presence as they passed. The trees and grass around the procession ruffle and ripple in winds made by the specter's movements.
If the characters attempt to contact these spirits they know the following:
- They are traveling to return to their realm beyond the gate.
- The gate is just outside the church grounds, within half an hour's walk.
- They can point the characters in the direction of the church and gate.
- The bramble wall was the work of a dangerous demon.
- The demons have been up to something recently within their realm.
- When the bells have rung any spirits who passed through while the gates were open will be pulled back through painfully.
The church towers loom into view across the clearing you just entered. The clearing is dotted with many squat, dark rounded and cross shapes, tombstones. The bell you've come to ring is across an unkept graveyard.
The ancient church the characters are looking for has come towering into view against the night sky. Tombstones of the long-dead make dark irregular shapes in the darkness. The bell is within the church on the far side of this graveyard, but Vern and Aspen would recognize the danger of traversing a neglected graveyard at night, especially with the veil thin on Spirit's Eve.
You hear the sound of weeping as you cross the graveyard. Then a pale white figure appears at the edge of your lantern light, wailing.
This creature is a banshee, a restless spirit said to foretell the death of those who hear her cries. She resides within the ancient church grounds, spending her days in oppressing solitude. Her crying echos through the graveyard, slowly forming coherent complaints about the tower doors being closed and things moving about. If the banshee sees the players she will attack.
Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 58 (13d8)
Speed 30 ft., fly 34 ft.
|1 (-5)||14 (+2)||10 (0)||10 (0)||10 (0)||17 (+3)|
Saving Throws Cha +5, Wis +2
Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, poison Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses dPassive Perception 10, darkvision 60 ft. Languages Aunderstands the languages it knew in life but can only wail Challenge 13(1,100 XP)
Frightening Presence. Each creature of the banshee’s choice within 60 ft that can see or hear it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the banshee is within line of sight, ending the effect on a success. Once a creature is successful or the effect ends, it is immune to the banshee’s Frightful Presence for 24 hours.
Banshee Cry (1 per day). The banshee releases a piercing cry, the wail has no effect on constructs or undead. A creature within 30 ft that can hear the banshee must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failure the creature takes 5d6 psychic damage, or half on a success.
Life Drain. Melee Spell Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 12 (3d6+2) necrotic damage.
The Tower's Door
Wooden spines and brambles bar the door to the bell tower. Scraping on the stone of the roof alerts you to a hulking presence climbing in the darkness. A growling voice vibrates from the center of the figure as it lowers itself to the flagstones, "These living will leave this place or join the dead. The moon is too high for them to ring the bells tonight. These gates will remain open for me…My friends…My allies."
Anything other than an agreement to leave the church results in conflict with the bramble demon. With a DC 13 Nature check characters will learn of the demon's weaknesses and resistances.
Hanna would sense many spirits about, similar ones from the procession, heading back through the gates to save themselves the pain of being pulled through. They would know that the demon will also likely be pulled through if the bells are rung while he is in this realm.
Large fiend, chaotic evil
Armor Class 15 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 136 (16d10+48)
Speed 30 ft.
|18 (+4)||8 (-1)||16 (+3)||10 (0)||14 (+2)||12 (+1)|
Saving Throws Str +6, Wis +4
Damage Vulnerabilities fire, radiant
Damage Resistances cold, necrotic
Condition Immunities exhaustion
Senses Passive Perception 10, darkvision 60 ft. Languages Abyssal, Common Challenge 5 (1,1800 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The bramble demon’s spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 13). The demon can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
1/day each: Entangle, Faerie Fire
Wooden Husk. The bramble demon can use its reaction to manipulate its body around attacks, it halves the damage of an attack against it.
Multiattack. The demon makes two slam attacks. If both attacks hit a Medium or smaller target, the target is grappled (escape DC 14), and the demon uses its Engulf on it.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
Engulf. The demon engulfs a Medium or smaller creature grappled by it. The engulfed target is blinded, restrained, and unable to breathe, and it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw at the start of each of the demon’s turns or take 13 (2d8+4) bludgeoning damage. If the demon moves the engulfed target moves with it. The demon can only have one creature engulfed at a time.
The Bell Tower
The wood blocking the doors recedes, and the torchlight that flows inside reveals heaps of splintered and broken wood and crushed stone. The interior of the tower has been trashed, the platforms and stairs leading upwards are missing and the pull cut near the top.
Once the demon is dealt with, the roots and briars blocking the doors to the tower recede. The demon tore apart the interior of the tower, the platforms and stairs that once led upwards are missing. The rope tied to the bell has been cut and is strewn across the floor. Only supports remain clinging to the walls. The bell is 60 ft up the tower, and while the climb is difficult it is possible. A DC 15 Acrobatics or Athletics check will allow a character to climb the tower.
If the bell is rung before midnight, the spirits who exited are pulled forcibly back through the gates as they close, including any demons that escaped. The temperature gets drastically warmer as the gates close, and any ghosts that Hanna or Dr. Christie's ghost box could sense disappeared. The characters are welcomed back into town the following dawn (or afternoon if they rest in the ancient church) with open arms and generous thanks from Rector Credge.
Thanks for Reading
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Survival video games are still going strong in 2021. Here's everything to look forward to on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and beyond.