Encounter; Ashes to Ashes, Part II

This encounter, divided into three sections appearing here over the next few days, focuses on using skill challenges to deal with undead haunting a crematorium in the city. See Part I and Part III for the other sections.

The Burning Pilgrim (Mad Wraith) Level 6 Lurker

Medium shadow humanoid (undead) XP 250

Initiative +8

SensesPerception +6; darkvision

HP54 Bloodied27

AC18 Fortitude15, Reflex18, Will17

SpeedFly 6 (Hover); phasing

Immune disease, poison; Resist 10 necrotic, insubstantial; Vulnerable 5 radiant (see also mad whispers below)

Action Points 1


Mad Whispers (Psychic) aura 3

Deafened creatures are immune; any enemy in the aura at the start of its turn takes 5 psychic damage and is dazed until the start of its next turn. (If the mad wraith takes radiant damage, the aura is negated until the end of the mad wraith’s next turn.)

Spawn Wraith

Any humanoid killed by a mad wraith rises as a free-willed mad wraith at the start of its creator’s next turn, appearing in the space where it died (or in the nearest unoccupied space). Raising the slain creature (using the Raise Dead ritual) does not destroy the spawned wraith.

Standard Actions

[MA] Touch of Madness (Psychic) • At-Will

Attack: +8 vs. Will

1d6 + 5 psychic damage, and the target takes a –2 penalty to Will defense (save ends).

[M]Touch of Chaos (Psychic) • Recharge on a roll of 5 or 6

Attack: +9 vs. Will

2d6 + 4 psychic damage, and the target moves up to its speed and makes a basic attack against its nearest ally as a free action.

Alignment Chaotic evil LanguagesCommon

SkillsStealth +13

Str6 (+1) Dex20 (+8) Wis6 (+1)

Con 12 (+4) Int11 (+3) Cha19 (+7)

The Burning Pilgrim: The mad wraith’s original name is lost to it along with its sanity. Ubietsi burned him alive in the ovens, an act which destroyed the Pilgrim’s sanity. Now the mad wraith behaves like a violent schizophrenic and attempts to kill anyone who comes into sight.

Kradets (Trap Haunt) Level 8 Lurker

Medium shadow humanoid (Undead) XP 350

Initiative +12

Senses Perception +9; darkvision

HP 52; Bloodied 26

AC 20; Fortitude 16, Reflex 18, Will 17

Immune disease, poison; Resist insubstantial

Speed fly 6 (Hover); phasing



A trap haunt cannot voluntarily move more than 20 squares from the place where it died. If it is forced beyond this range, it is weakened and unable to use its ghostly possession power until it moves back within range.

Standard Actions

[MA] Grave Touch (Necrotic) • At-Will

Attack: +12 vs. Fortitude

2d6 necrotic damage.

[M] Ghostly Possession (Charm) • Recharge d4, d5, d6

Attack: +12 vs. Will

Target must be a living humanoid; the trap haunt enters the target’s space and is removed from play, and the target is dominated (save ends). The trap haunt may use this power only against one creature at a time. When the target is no longer dominated, or when the trap haunt chooses to end its ghostly possession (a free action), the trap haunt reappears in a square of its choice adjacent to the target.


LanguagesCommon, Supernal

Str 10 (+4) Dex18 (+8) Wis11 (+4)

Con14 (+6) Int11 (+4) Cha16 (+7)

Kradets, the Thief: Kradets is obsessed with finding a replacement for itself and is incapable of telling the difference between the oven where its remains were destroyed and the thieves’ guild of which it was once a member.

Weltschmerz (Banshee) Level 12 Controller

Medium shadow humanoid (undead) XP 700


Senses Perception +13; darkvision

HP91; Bloodied45

AC23; Fortitude23, Reflex23, Will24

Immune disease, poison; Resist insubstantial

Speedfly 6 (Hover); phasing

Standard Actions

[MA] Spirit Touch (Necrotic) • At-Will

Attack: +15 vs. Reflex

1d10 + 2 necrotic damage

[R] Death ’s Visage (Fear, Psychic) • At-will

Ranged 5

Attack:+15 vs. Will

2d6 + 3 psychic damage, and the target takes a –2 penalty to all defenses (save ends).

[C] Terrifying Shriek (Fear, Psychic) • Recharge on a roll of d5 or d6

Close Burst 5; targets enemies

Attack:+15 vs. Will

2d8 + 3 psychic damage, the target is pushed 5 squares and is immobilized (save ends).


Languages Common, Supernal

SkillsArcana 7, Heal 10, Insight 10, Stealth +13

Str14 (+8) Dex15 (+8) Wis14 (+8)

Con13 (+7) Int10 (+6) Cha17 (+9)

Weltschmerz: Of the three spirits Weltschmerz is the most lucid, though it is also so depressed it will be difficult to start and maintain a conversation with the wailing ghost.

Tactics and Strategies

These incorporeal undead are the vengeful spirits of three people either murdered by Ubietsi or whose remains the dwarf defiled. They seek vengeance on any living person they encounter but aside from the following notes, act as described in the Monster Manual.
While Kradets (the trap haunt) cannot voluntarily move more than 20 squares from the central oven and this still gives him free range over most of the level (but not the floors above or below) he stays close to the ovens. The Burning Pilgrim (the mad wraith) frequents the smelting room. Weltschmerz (the banshee) the entire level. In combat, all three make use of the dangers of the facility.

Witnesses Story

The PCs are encouraged to speak with Ubietsi, other dwarves who work in the facility and with living relatives of people Ubietsi (ostensibly) cremated. Sinister elements of the city’s government and the local thieves’ guild also have something to say.

Other Dwarves at the Embassy:

“What is going on?” Over the past few weeks, ghosts have begun appearing down on the smelter level. There appear to be three ghosts. They’ve been attacking people and so we can’t work down there.

“Where did they come from?” We don’t know. The ghosts look human. The building some people call the “dwarf embassy used to belong to humans. We purchased the place about 20 years ago. Then it was in human hands. Some men had died in some accidents around the furnace. That’s why the humans were willing to sell the place. Maybe they’re the ghosts of the humans who died.

“Who operates the ovens?/What do you know about him?” Ubietsi is responsible for the ovens and handles cremations. He is a respected and honored dwarf.


The dwarf is cagey and taciturn in his discussion of the undead haunting the crematorium and smelter. He is unwilling to admit he is lying unless faced with express proof and in that case will stall for time and attempt to murder the people who caught him.

“What are they?” They are different kinds of undead. They can’t be touched, but are still dangerous.

“Where did they come from?” I don’t know. They might be some of the spirits of the remains who’ve been cremated here. (Allow an Insight roll against Ubietsi’s Bluff skill to determine he is lying.)

“What do they want?” I can’t image. Maybe you should talk to the families of the people cremated here. (Allow an Insight roll against Ubietsi’s Bluff skill to determine he is lying.)

“What may we do?” It would be best to try and destroy them, maybe through magic. (Allow an Insight roll against Ubietsi’s Bluff skill to determine he is lying.)

Thieves’ Guild and the Government:

Elements of the city government and thieves’ guild want Ubietsi to continue his work because they find what he does useful. Based on what they know and their individual roles in the situation, both groups have also deduced what is going on with the ghosts and are willing to sacrifice the PCs in an effort to resolve the situation and maintain the status quo. If Ubietsi dies, these groups will seek to replace him with someone of a similar moral temperament. Any PC who is a member of the city government or thieves’ guild will receive the following “advice.”

“What should we do?” It is in your best interests to make the problem go away quickly and quietly. Mr. Ubietsi is a valued and respected member of our community.


Ubietsi and the smelter possess an excellent reputation in the city for handling cremations with discretion and professionalism. As he cremates people once or twice a week, and has done so for years, many people in the city have hired the dwarf’s services. Only one of the ghosts haunting the smelter is from someone Ubietsi was supposed to cremate.

“What do you know about Ubietsi/the crematorium?” People say they do a good job. And they were cheaper than Astodan. Mr. Ubietsi was very good. Almost silent when we went to him and hired him to… cremate father. He is a dwarf after all.

2 thoughts on “Encounter; Ashes to Ashes, Part II

  1. Pingback: Encounter; Ashes to Ashes, Part III | Nevermet Press

  2. Pingback: Encounter; Ashes to Ashes, Part I | Nevermet Press

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