By Jake Shultz
Mourning Star is an undead incarnation of grief. It draws its power from the sorrow of the bereaved and the remorse of the survivor, as well as the regret, longing and unfinished business of the dead.
Mourning Star is driven by fear and grief. Ultimately, it desires to reunite the dead and the living, but it’s methods are corrupted by generations of misery. It will drag the living towards death and raise monstrous simulacrums of the dead in an attempt to bridge the gap, only causing more fear and sorrow in the process.
It appears as a woman wearing a long black mourning dress, with bonnet, opaque veil and parasol. A sobbing, wailing wind blows around her, causing her dress to flutter and flow. Occasionally, tears can be seen dripping from beneath the veil that glitter like polished diamonds.
Mourning Star is said to appear as a result of a failed resurrection attempt. This could be because of an interrupted ritual, insufficient/incorrect material components, or if the soul is not free or willing.
Mourning Star will always prioritize creating more Ghouls when it can, spreading them out against as many creatures as possible. While ghouls created by bargaining treat their targets as friendly, remember they are NOT friendly to the rest of the party. This could create some tension as the bereaved watch their recently revived lover viciously attack their allies.
Remember that Denial affects all creatures, friend or foe within 30ft. (Note that instant death effects bypass such abilities.) Mourning Star must reduce targets to 1 hp and then use Acceptance to finish them off. This also means the ghouls are difficult to destroy until Mourning Star is dealt with.
A target that becomes permanently affected by bargaining may one day be convinced it was nothing but some waking nightmare, but until then the doubt will continue to tug at the back of their mind.
- Unable to afford a full resurrection, the party opts for a budget resurrection from a back alley cleric. He seems to know what he’s talking about… and the spell components look real…
- The resurrection ritual is interrupted part way through by the deceased’s former business partner, who would rather certain secrets remain buried.
- The ritual seems to go well, but fails in the final moment. The cleric informs you that the ritual failed because it would seem the deceased’s soul is still on the material plane – they are still alive out there somewhere.
Consumable, Very Rare
Very rarely, Mourning Star’s tears solidify into a diamond like crystal. Much softer than a regular diamond, it won’t hold up to an appraiser’s scrutiny, but counts as a diamond worth 25,000gp solely for use as a material component for Resurrection or True Resurrection.
Alternatively, when crushed and dissolved in purified water, the tear can be consumed to grant you the effects of Death Ward, except it lasts for 24 hours.
Weapon (morningstar), Rare
This black parasol with lacy trim can extend shadowy spikes, functioning as a +1 Morningstar that deals an additional 1d6 necrotic damage, and any creature struck with this weapon cannot recover hit points until the end of their next turn.
Once a day, before rolling an attack with this weapon you can choose to target all adjacent creatures. Roll once against all affected targets.