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Skwusch’s Thrall: Zebulon

As part of “Masters of Eternal Night” the Thralltakers – a group of mind flayer bounty hunters – pursue the party and eventually attack them. In the original adventure, it was a trio of standard mind flayers – – Noth, Vour and Skwusch along with Bluntfel, the intellect devourer-bloodhound and a thrall bodyguard. 

Each one of these was designed to counter 3 fighter types in my party.  I made this guy to go against the monk in my party and I told the monk if he can defeat Zebulon in single combat he would become “Master of the Dark Moon” which effectively means he gets to pick a level 1 to 20 4e monk power (Daily, Encounter or At-Will).

Here is one of the NPC bodyguards.

ZEBULON, Dark Moon Master
Medium humanoid (human), neutral evil
Armor Class 18 (bracers of defence, ring of protection)
Hit Points 229 (27d8 + 108)
Speed 40 ft.

23 (+6) 16 (+3) 18 (+4) 12 (+1) 16 (+2) 8 (-2)

Saving Throws STR +9, DEX +7, CON +8
Skills Athletics +9, Intimidation +7, Perception +2, Persuasion +7
Damage Resistance force (brooch of shielding)
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Undercommon
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

Clawmark Caryl Rune. A melee weapon deals one extra die of its damage when Zebulon hits with it (included in the attack).

Indomitable (3/Day). Zebulon can reroll a saving throw he fails. He must use the new roll.

Psionic Seal. Zebulon has a psionic tattoo on his face that grants him the mind blast attack action.

Special Equipment. Zebulon carries a +2 tekko (stylized almost to the point of impracticality), brooch of shielding (automatically cancel magic missile attacks, grants force resistance), potion of fire breathing (active), bracers of defense (faded red wraps made held together by grey leather with shiny golden rivets), ring of protection, potion of stone giant strength (active, downs it during first round), heavy furs, and boots.

Survivor. Zebulon regains 10 hit points at the start of his turn if he has at least 1 hit point but fewer hit points than half his hit point maximum.

Unarmored Defense. While Zebulon is wearing no armour and wielding no shield, his AC includes his Wisdom modifier.

Dark Moon Strike (1/Day). The next time Zebulon hits with a melee attack, the attack is treated as a critical hit.

Multiattack. Zebulon makes three unarmed attacks and uses fire breath or throws six razor shuriken. He may also use gloom fist or mind blast if available.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 19 (2d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, Zebulon can choose one of the following additional effects:

  • The target must succeed on a DC 17 Strength saving throw or drop one item it is holding (Zebulon’s choice).
  • The target must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • The target must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of Zebulon’s next turn.

Gloom Fist (Recharge 4-6). Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 19 (2d8 + 6)) bludgeoning damage and the target takes ongoing 5 necrotic damage and is dazed (DC 16 CON save ends both).

Ghost Shuriken. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit (ignores armor), range 20/60 ft., one target.
Hit: 9 (1d6 + 6) piercing damage and 7 (1d6) necrotic or cold damage (Zebulon’s choice).

Fire Breath. Zebulon uses a bonus action to exhale fire at a target within 30 feet of him. The target must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Mind Blast (Recharge 5–6). Zebulon psionically manifests psychic energy in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw or take 19 (4d8 + 1) psychic damage and be stunned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Shadow Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.
Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) necrotic damage plus 3 (1d6) piercing damage and the target is grappled (Escape DC 17). At the start of the targets round it takes necrotic damage automatically, however, the damage is increased by d6 each round until the target escapes or Zebulon changes target.

Visceral Riposte. Zebulon automatically hits the first target to miss him in combat with unarmed strike. This attack is a critical hit and does 40 points of bludgeoning damage but does not allow Zebulon to add an additional effect. The caryl rune glows when he uses this ability.

Deflect Missile (1/Turn). In response to being hit by a ranged weapon attack, Zebulon deflects the missile. The damage he takes from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + 3. If the damage is reduced to 0, the adept catches the missile if it’s small enough to hold in one hand and the adept has a hand free. This is a free action.

Zebulon 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. Zebulon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Weapon Attack. Zebulon makes a weapon attack.
  • Mind Blast. Zebulon uses his mind blast attack or rerolls the recharge.
  • Dark Moon Tentacle. Zebulon makes a shadow tentacle attack.

Zebulon is a quiet individual whose psychopathic tendencies are kept in check by his illithid conditioning. If Zebulon is fought in single combat by another monk and defeated his locust tattoos crawl from him to the monk granting that monk, the “Dark Moon Master” title and the following actions – ghost shuriken (at will), gloom fist (1/encounter) and shadow tentacle (1/Day)

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