Cairn Wraith (5e Creature)

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Cairn Wraith[edit]

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12)
Speed 25 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)

10 (+0) 14 (+2) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 12 (+1) 5 (-3)

Skills Stealth +4
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages the languages it knew in life
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Ethereal Sight. The wraith can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.

Incorporeal Movement. The wraith can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the wraith has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.


Multiattack. The cairn wraith makes two attacks with its phantom scythe or one with its phantom scythe and one with its life drain.

Phantom Scythe. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (4d6 + 2) psychic damage.

Life Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

Etherealness. The wraith enters the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, or vice versa. It is visible on the Material Plane while it is in the Border Ethereal, and vice versa, yet it can't affect or be affected by anything on the other plane.

Horrifying Visage. Each non-undead creature within 60 feet of the wraith that can see it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. A frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the frightened condition on itself on a success. If a target's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to any wraith's Horrifying Visage for the next 24 hours.

Cairn wraiths are hooded, scythe wielding spectral spirits of former necromancers or warlocks that have used the corrupting influence of magic to extend their lives beyond the mortal limit, but at the price of losing one's own physical body. Afraid of the punishment that lies for them in the afterlife, these spirits would try all they can to cling to this fading world.

Touch of Death. Within the material world, these spirits are amongst the most dreaded of all undead. Lacking physical forms altogether, they cannot be easily put down by nonmagical axe, sword or hammer. Even the strongest faith and exorcisms used by clerics and priests cannot banish such creatures easily. Worse still, the cold touch of a cairn wraith drains the warm essence of mortal men completely. A cairn wraith is capable of reaching into the body of an adversary and closing its freezing claws around the victim's vital organs, sending painful chills that can kill a man instantly.

Remnant Spirits. For some, the only magic that can be harnessed is unpredictable shamanism or difficult rituals. Many do not realise the inherent hazards of what they are doing. Slowly, the dark magic corrupts them, and as they become steeped in dark magic, these arcane scholars learned to extend the span of their lives by decades; even centuries.
Most of these seekers of immortality manage to only to preserve their spirits, not their bodies. Decay destroys their body, rotting it away even as they seek to desperately to sustain it. With no corporeal form to speak of, these wizards become wandering spirits, clad only in their death shrouds. As their grip on the world of mortals weakens, these vagrant souls are drawn to places of grief, where they linger, feeding on the sorrow of mourners. Not truly alive but unable to die, they become chilling shadows caught between this world and the next as miserable spirits who hunger for the warmth and flesh of mortals. Bound in the mortal realm to tombs and barrows, swathed in robes of inky darkness, these spirits became the cairn wraiths.
Powerful vampires and liches are capable of binding cairn wraiths, willing or not, to their services and using them as a form of nearly untouchable assassins and shock infantry.

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