Within the Undercity of Penumbra in “Dawn of the Overmind” the last remaining temple dedicated to Maanzecorin – the dead illithid god – stands. The last vestige of this god broods their over its destruction and the fact Ilsensine never returned it to life after Orcus used the “Final Word” on it and destroyed it.
It initially takes out its frustration on the PCs but after dominating the party fighter – Falone – it realises that these PCs are a true threat to Ilsensine and its plans and sees a way to seek revenge against its former lord.
It marks Falone with the Sign of the Yellow King allowing her to use Ultrablast one time and then fades into oblivion.
I used the Yellow King as inspiration for Maanzecorin. The PCs only tangled with it a few rounds before making peace with it. But the fact it had them worried for those few rounds made me think it was an effective threat to a party of 6 level 18 PCs.
THE FORGOTTEN TEMPLE OF MAANZECORIAN
Dressed in a yellow robe with a brass human-like mask over a seemingly illithid-like face. But instead of legs, only tentacles move below its tattered robe.
He was the Illithid god of secrets. While nominally subordinate to Ilsensine, he was more pragmatic and willing to cede some measure of Illithid superiority to the extent that he pushed that it was not only possible but prudent to learn some things from the minds of thralls before ultimately consuming them. He was horribly evil, sure, but he was more of a scholar than Ilsensine in some ways.
He was obliterated by the power of the Last Word, used against him by Tenebrous (aka Orcus during the period after he’d been killed by Kiaransalee). Tenebrous was seeking the Wand of Orcus which still contained a fragment of his original godhood and could have been used to restore him to life (before the Last Word consumed him as well). To this end, Maanzecorian was one of the deities or deity-like entities hunted down and killed by Tenebrous because they might have known where the wand was.
Maanzecorian’s petrified corpse is currently drifting on the Astral Plane, and his former deific domain of Rictus in Gehenna is slowly being subsumed back into the plane at large, though its petitioners have likely already in significant proportion become the main course on a 24-7 buffet to the native yugoloths and others (though the more powerful ones, and any proxies, may have either died the moment Maanzecorian did or might have since been claimed by Ilsensine).
This proxy is all that is left of the murdered power.
The shade won’t engage if left undisturbed but entering the temple is enough to trigger it. The temple is also protected by three ancient symbols that honour Maanzecorian (see sidebar). The shade itself engages in melee but does not leave the temple.
Special. If Maanzecorian discovers that the PCs are actually fighting against Ilsensine – perhaps via dominated one of them – he will stop fighting and bless one of them with the “Sign of the Yellow King” before fading away permanently. This allows the PC to use the Yellow Kings ultrablast ability one time.
Features of the area
Illumination: dark though the symbols give off a baleful yellow glow.
Symbol traps: each trap has a skull motif. Intruders within a trap’s burst area are attacked each round. A character dominated by Maanzecorian is immune to this affect. For details, see the trap statistics block, above.
Pillars: each of the smaller carved pillars provides cover. Squares that contain pillars are impassable.
Ceiling: the chamber’s ceiling is 40 feet high.
SHADE OF MAANZECORIAN
Medium aberration (mythic, mythos, undead), lawful evil
Armor Class 24 (natural armor)
Hit Points 435 (30d8 + 300)
Speed 60 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)
|24 (+7)||24 (+7)||30 (+10)||30 (+10)||28 (+9)||30 (+10)|
Skills Acrobatics +16, Deception +19, Perception +18, Sleight of Hand +16
Damage Resistances fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 28
Languages all, telepathy 100 ft.
Challenge 30 (155,000 XP)
Incorporeal Movement. Maanzecorian can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. He takes 5 (1d10) force damage if he ends his turn inside an object.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Maanzecorian fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Magic Resistance. Maanzecorian has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
The Yellow Sign. Once per day, as a bonus action, Maanzecorian can touch any solid surface and inscribe the Yellow Sign upon it. The Yellow Sign remains for 1 year but is only active when light from the sun of Maanzecorian’s distant home world shines in the night sky as a star. Any creature that looks upon the Yellow sign must succeed at a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw or fall under the control of Maanzecorian (as dominate monster). Regardless of the results of the saving throw, that particular Yellow Sign has no further effect on the creature for the next 24 hours.
Unspeakable Presence. A creature that comes within 100 feet of Maanzecorian and is aware of it must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 23). If it fails, the creature suffers from short-term madness. A creature already suffering madness instead is affected as if by confusion until it is more than 100 feet from Maanzecorian. If the creature fails its saving throw by 5 or more, it suffers from long-term madness instead.
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). Maanzecorian’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 27). He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- At will: dispel magic, dream, sending, detect thoughts, levitate
- 3/day: mass suggestion, project image, teleport, dominate monster, plane shift
- 1/day: feeblemind, symbol (one of each type)
Multiattack. Maanzecorian uses ultrablast or psychic crush and then makes 4 attacks with his tattered lash.
Tattered Lash. Melee Weapon Attack. +16 to hit, 40 ft. reach, one target.
Hit: 16 (4d8+7) slashing damage and 17 (5d6) necrotic damage, plus the wound made by the tattered lash continues to bleed, and the target takes an additional 17 (5d6) necrotic damage at the beginning of its turn. The target can then make a DC 23 Constitution saving throw, ending all the effects of such wounds on itself on a success. Alternately, the target, or a creature within 5 ft. of it, can use an action to make a DC 23 Wisdom (Medicine) check, ending the effects of the wounds on a success. This necrotic reduces the creatures hit point maximum. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
Ultrablast (5-6).Maanzecorian psionically manifests psychic energy in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 24 Intelligence saving throw, taking 91 (26d6) psychic damage and be stunned for 1 minute on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one and only be dazed until the end of the creatures next round. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the stun effect on itself on a success.
Psychic Crush (3/Day). Maanzecorian can attempt to crush the mind of a single creature within 60 feet. The target must make a DC 24 Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma save (targets choice) or collapse, becoming unconscious and dying at 0 hit points. If the target succeeds on the save, it takes 21 (6d6) points of psychic ddamage andis sickened for 1 round. If the target saves this ability recharges.
Evanescent. If Maanzecorian would be struck by an attack (even a critical hit) he may use his reaction to become insubstantial temporarily and the triggering attack misses.
Yellow Sign (1/Year). Maanzecorian raises his hand and uses his finger to write a rune in the air – The Yellow Sign. All creatures that can see him must make a Wisdom saving throw the first creature to fail is dominated as described in the Yellow Sign trait. Hand the player the Symbol of the Yellow Sign, it is dominated until the shadow of Maanzecorian is defeated.
Maanzecorian 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. Maanzecorian regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
- Spellcasting. Maanzecorian casts a spell.
- Tattered Lash. Maanzecorian makes one attack with tattered lash.
- Transitory. Maanzecorian becomes insubstantial until he uses his tattered lash again. While insubstantial Maanzecorian takes half damage from all sources.
- Signs. Maanzecorian draws a glowing sign in the air with its finger and then flings at an opponent. This acts as the symbol spell except it has a casting time of 1 action, any damage is maximized, the symbol triggers on impact with the target.