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Arawn, Lord of the Otherworld

Arawn is a Welsh mythological figure who is the king of Annwn, the Otherworld, and is associated with death and the hunt.

Arawn, Lord of the Otherworld
  • Pantheon: Welsh mythology
  • Deity Title: Arawn, Lord of the Otherworld
  • Deity Symbol: A silver stag
  • Home Plane: Annwn, the Otherworld
  • Deity Level: Greater deity
  • Alignment: Lawful neutral
  • Aliases: Annwn, King of the Dead, Lord of the Hunt
  • Superior: None
  • Traditional Allies: Other deities of the Welsh pantheon
  • Traditional Foes: Deities associated with the underworld or death, who challenge Arawn’s authority and influence over the realm of the dead.
  • Divine Artifact: The Cauldron of Rebirth, which is said to grant immortality to those who drink from it
  • Servants: The Cŵn Annwn, spectral hounds that are said to roam the Otherworld
  • Servitor Creatures: Banshees, faeries, and other magical creatures
  • Sacred Animal: The stag
  • Manifestations: A pale, tall figure with a silver stag’s head, spectral hounds, and other ghostly creatures
  • Signs of Favor: An increase in hunting success, protection from harm while traveling, and prophetic dreams
  • Worshipers: Hunters, warriors, shamans, and those seeking knowledge of the Otherworld
  • Cleric Alignments : Lawful neutral, neutral
  • Specialty Priests: Huntmaster, Shaman
  • Holy Days: Samhain (October 31st) and Beltane (May 1st)
  • Portfolio: Death, hunting, the Otherworld, rebirth
  • Domains: Death, Magic, Protection, Travel
  • Favored Weapon: Longbow
  • Favored Class: Ranger
  • Favored Race: Elves
  • Duties of the Priesthood: To safeguard the knowledge of the Otherworld, to protect the land and its creatures, and to guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife
  • Major Cult/Temple Sites: The ruins of Gwynn ap Nudd’s castle in North Wales, and the prehistoric cairn at Loughcrew in Ireland
  • Benefits: Clerics of Arawn gain the ability to turn undead and cast spells related to death, rebirth, and hunting. They are also granted the power to communicate with the spirits of the Otherworld and the animals of the land. In addition, they receive a boon to their hunting abilities and are granted protection while traveling through wild lands.

Arawn, also known as the Welsh King of the Underworld, is a complex and enigmatic figure in mythology. As a ruler of Annwn, the Otherworld of Welsh mythology, Arawn is often portrayed as a figure of great power and mystery.

Arawn is a stoic and just ruler, known for his unwavering sense of duty and his deep concern for the well-being of his subjects. He is deeply committed to maintaining balance and order in the Otherworld, and will go to great lengths to protect his realm from external threats.

Despite his intimidating appearance, he is a fair and compassionate leader, who always strives to do what is right, even if it comes at a great personal cost. He is respected and feared in equal measure by his subjects, who know that he will always put their needs before his own.

At his core, he is a deeply philosophical and introspective being, who spends much of his time contemplating the nature of existence and the meaning of life. He is driven by a desire to understand the mysteries of the universe, and to uncover the hidden truths that lie beyond the veil of reality.

Arawn is a tall and imposing figure with broad shoulders and a muscular build, standing at over 7 feet tall. He has long black hair that falls in waves around his face and piercing blue eyes that seem to glow with an otherworldly light. His skin is pale and flawless, almost like marble, and he wears a black cloak that billows around him as if caught in an unseen wind. He moves with a graceful fluidity that belies his immense power and strength, and his presence commands attention and respect.

Although Arawn is content to rule over Annwn, he is not without ambition. He dreams of a day when the barriers between the worlds will break down, allowing him to explore the mysteries of the mortal realm and to bring his wisdom and enlightenment to all who seek it.

Arawn, Lord of the Underworld


Challenge Rating: 30

Armor Class: 30 (Divine Armor)

Hit Points: 700 (50d20+500)

Speed: 60 ft., fly 120 ft.

30 (+10)24 (+7)28 (+9)26 (+8)30 (+10)30 (+10)

Skills: Insight +30, Intimidation +30, Perception +30

Senses: truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 40

Languages: All

Divine Traits:

  • Immortal
  • Divine Resistance: He has resistance to all damage types except psychic and radiant.
  • Divine Awareness: He is aware of everything that happens within the boundaries of his domain.
  • Divine Presence: He radiates an aura of cold and dread that fills creatures within 120 ft. with fear. Creatures within the aura must make a DC 30 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. They can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success.

Divine Equipment:

  • Divine Armor: A set of black, glowing armor that grants Arawn a +10 bonus to AC and resistance to all damage types.
  • Spear of the Underworld: A powerful spear that deals 3d12 piercing damage and 3d12 necrotic damage. It also has the ability to cast the spell Cloudkill once per day.

Spellcasting: He is a 20th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 30, +22 to hit with spell attacks). Arawn has the following spells prepared from his domains:

Death Domain:

  • Power Word Kill
  • Finger of Death
  • Create Undead
  • Raise Dead
  • Harm

War Domain:

  • Divine Strike
  • Crusader’s Mantle
  • Haste
  • Spiritual Weapon
  • Blinding Smite


Multiattack. Arawn can use his Frightful Presence. He then makes four attacks with his Spear of the Underworld.

Spear of the Underworld. Melee Weapon Attack: +30 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 36 (3d12 + 10) piercing damage plus 36 (3d12) necrotic damage.

Frightful Presence. Arawn radiates an aura of cold and dread that fills creatures within 120 ft. with fear. Creatures within the aura must make a DC 30 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. They can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success.

Divine Word. Arawn speaks a word of power that can kill one creature within 120 ft. of him. The target must make a DC 30 Constitution saving throw or die instantly.

Legendary Actions:

Arawn 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. Arawn regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Attack. He makes one attack with his Spear of the Underworld.
  • Teleport. He teleports up to 120 feet to an unoccupied space within his domain.
  • Divine Smite. Arawn expends a spell slot to deal additional radiant damage equal to the spell’s level to a target hit by his Spear of the Underworld.

Lair Actions:

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Arawn can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects within his domain:

  • Summon Undead. He summons 1d4+1 ghouls or 1d6+2 skeletons to fight for him. They appear in unoccupied spaces within 60 ft. of Arawn and act immediately after him in the initiative order.
  • Fearful Aura. He intensifies the aura of cold and dread within his domain. All creatures within 120 ft. of him must make a DC 30 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. They can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success.
  • Divine Protection. Arawn creates a magical barrier that grants him resistance to all damage types for 1 minute.


Originally written by Dom of D20 / D&D 3e Netbooks and Downloads.

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Arawn is the fey lord of the dead, and dwells in the bleak underworld of Annwn. He is the representation of the natural law that all things must end, even life. He revels in his role, and rules his shadowy domain with an iron hand, pitting his faithful servants against one another to win his praise. Sometimes he even extends his reach into the lands of the living, either through his mortal servants or his hunting hounds, although he cannot physically travel in the lands of the sun.

Being responsible for keeping the laws of the dead and ruling over them in the underworld has made Arawn a hard, bitter god. He tolerates no insubordination, though he is rumored to have been quite a rogue in his youth. He acts as king and war leader in his realm, and dispenses justice to his subjects with an iron hand. He holds his word sacred, and honors any promise he makes or deal he strikes, regardless of the other party.

Arawn is the ruler of the underworld resting place of the dead. The Celts, who often use magic to bring the slain back to life, tend to view Arawn as an evil deity, for his habit of reclaiming the resurrected back to his realm. However, Arawn, rather than being evil, is the dutiful guardian of the dead. He will recall back any dead who would return to the world of the living to resume its former life. As such, any resurrected or raised-from-the-dead character will be hunted by the hounds of Arawn until they catch him and bring him back to the underworld. The sole exception concerns those brought back to life during the night of Samhain, who are free from the god’s wrath. In fact during the night of Samhain the dead may try to escape to the world of the living, and if they succeed (either as resurrected or undead), they won’t be pursued by Arawn. (Note that Arawn only forbids the souls to return as undead or resurrected, not as reincarnated which is the normal course of life and death.) Arawn traditionally appears as a gray rider mounted on a big,dark, ghostly horse. He leads a pack of otherworldly red-eared white hounds, that help him hunt the dead who would escape to the mortal world.

Typical worshippers: Very few people worship Arawn. The rare necromancer is not a worshipper of Arawn, but he well knows his laws and will typically create undead the night of Samhain to escape the wrath of Arawn. (Note for that matter, that skeletons and Zombies are merely animated corpses, and that certain undead are evil spirits bound to a cadaver, not souls brought back to the mortal world as undead.)

Duties of priesthood:

Priests of Arawn officiate at one and only one religious function – burial. Burials involve simple graves for most, complex graves including chariot and trophies for warriors and chieftains. Priests of Arawn do not officiate at sacrifices to other gods, but are generally on hand for ceremonies of their own immediately following such events.

Priests of Arawn are clerics rather than filidh. They preside over burial and funerals, and must hunt and destroy all undead they encounter or hear about. They can only turn undead and are forbidden to rebuke them. They are likewise prohibited to cast any spell or use any item that can raise or animate the dead. These forbidden spells include animate dead, create undead, create greater undead, raise dead, Reincarnate, and resurrection. Otherwise, priests of Arawn are the traditional guardians of “mortuary mounds”, that is: cold, damp, and foggy places where are buried heroes, rulers, and other important characters. Such places often contain gates that lead to the underworld.

Special Benefit: Priests of Arawn have access to a special feat of their own: Resist Undead, that gives them a +2 bonus against all special attacks of undead such as Fear, Energy drain, Permanent ability drain, Temporary ability damage, Gaze, Paralysis, etc.

On resurrecting any individual, there is a 2% chance per level of that individual that Arawn will intervene. He will either send his avatar to reclaim the body or (25% chance) he will attempt to bargain. He will offer some other similar character from the legions of the dead provided he can keep the original character. Refusal of his offer will be met with force.

Originally Posted by Tebryn14 of the Wizards Community forums.

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Arawn controls all the power of life and death of the worshippers of that pantheon. He is one of the few evil powers of the bunch, but truly isn’t all that evil. He feels that evil is necessary to allow good to shine brighter, and he simply does his job. He punishes the wicked, and rewards the brave. He appears as a man draped in completely black robes.

Cleric 25/Wizard 15
Medium-Size outsider (Evil, Extraplanar)
Divine Rank15
Hit Dice20d8+180 (outsider) plus 25d8+225 (cleric) plus 15d4+135 (wizard) (960 hp)
Speed60 ft.
AC69 (+7 Dexterity, +15 divine, +28 natural, +9 deflection)
Base Attack/Grapple+40/+63
Attack+5 impact icy burst unholy club +69/+64/+59/+54 melee; or by spell +63 melee touch, or +62 ranged touch.
Damage+5 impact icy burst unholy club 1d6+17+1d6 cold/19-20 +1d10 cold; or by spell.
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5 ft./ 5 ft.
Special AttacksRebuke undead 16/day, Domain powers, salient divine abilities, spell-like abilities.
Special QualitiesDivine immunities, DR 25/epic, fire resistance 20, spontaneous casting of divine spells, understand, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all beings within 15 miles, remote communication 15 miles, godly realm (10 miles), greater
at will, plane shift at will, SR 67, divine aura (1,500 ft., DC 34), familiar (vulture), fast healing 3, uncanny dodge.
SavesFort +56, Ref +54, Will +64.
AbilitiesStrength 27, Dexterity 24, Constitution 28, Intelligence 34, Wisdom 44, Charisma 29.
Skills*Climb +33, Concentration +86, Craft (alchemy) +64, Diplomacy +72, Gather Information +39, Heal +72, Hide +59, Intimidate +61, Jump +33, Knowledge (Arcana) +90, Knowledge (history) +74, Knowledge (planes) +87, Knowledge (religion) +90, Listen +73, Move Silently +58, Profession (Judge) +93, Search +47, Sense Motive +74, Spellcraft +87, Spot +73, Swim +38. *Always receives a 20 on checks.
FeatsAlertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Extra Turning, Fast Healing, Greater Spell Penetration, Heighten Spell, Improved Initiative, Maximize Spell, Mobility, Persistent spell, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Sacred Spell, Silent Spell, Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration, Spring Attack, Still Spell, Weapon Focus (club).
Ability damage, ability drain, acid, cold, death effect, disintegration, electricity, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, Paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, transmutation, banishment, imprisonment.
Salient Divine AbilitiesAlter Size, Arcane Mastery, Automatic Metamagic (Stilled Cleric spells), Automatic Metamagic (Silent Cleric spells), Avatar (10), Divine Shield (12/day, stops 150 points of damage), Divine Spellcasting, Divine Storm (Negative Energy, DC 34), Extra Domain (Fate), Extra Domain (Renewal), Hand of Death (DC 44), Increased SR, Instant Counterspell, Know Death, Life and Death, Life Drain (DC 34), Soul Mastery*, Spontaneous Wizard Spells. *Soul Mastery Arawn can prevent the soul of any worshipper of the Celtic Pantheon  from returning to its body when an attempt is made to return it to life, unless that attempt is made by a Greater Power.
Domain PowersDeath touch 15/day; cast evil spells at +1 caster level; regain 1d8+9 HP 15/day when HP total falls below 0; uncanny dodge.
Spell-like  AbilitiesArawn uses the following abilities at 25th caster level, except for evil spell,  which he uses at 26th caster level. The DCs are 34+spell level. Cause Fear, Death Knell, Animate Dead, Death Ward, Slay Living, Create Undead, DestructionCreate Greater Undead, Wail of the Banshee, Protection from Good, Desecrate, Magic Circle against Good, Unholy Blight, Dispel Good, Blasphemy, Unholy Aura, Summon Monster IX, True Strike, Augury, Bestow Curse, Status, Mark of Justice, Geas/quest, Vision, Mind Blank, Foresight, Charm Person, Lesser restoration, Remove Disease, Reincarnate, Heroes’ Feast, greater restoration, polymorph any object, Freedom.*Cast as an evil spell only.
Cleric Spell/Day (Levels 0-17)6/10/9/9/9/9/7/7/7/7/3/3/3/3/2/2/2/2;  base DC=29+spell level.
Wizard  Spell/Day4/7/7/7/7/6/5/4/3; base DC=24+spell level.

Possessions: Arawn carries a +5 impact icy burst unholy club.

Other Divine Powers

Death of Earl Siward by James Smetham Date 1861 Arawn
Death of Earl Siward by James Smetham Date 1861

As an intermediate deity, Arawn automatically receives a die result of 20 on any check. He treats a 1 on a saving throw or attack roll normally and not as an automatic failure. He is immortal.

Senses: Arawn can see, hear, touch, and smell at a distance of 15 miles. As a standard action, he can perceive anything within 15 miles of his worshippers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one of his titles or name as spoken in the last hour. He can extend his sense to up to ten locations at once. He can block the sensing power of deities of his rank or lower at up to two remote locations at once for15 hours.

Portfolio Sense: Arawn senses the death of any worshipper of a Celtic deity the instant it happens and retains the sensation for 15 ten days (or weeks, depending on what system that person’s home world uses). He likewise senses the birth of a child to a worshipper of the Celtic Pantheon.

Automatic Actions: Arawn can use Knowledge (Arcana), Concentration , Knowledge (religion), Diplomacy, Sense Motive, or Profession (Judge), as a free action, as long as the DC is 25 or lower.

Create Magic Items: Arawn can create any magic item that creates a death effect, that brings someone back to life, or that prolongs someone’s life if the market price is 200,000 gp or lower.

Elements from -Celtic Age Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts

Full netbook can be found on the followng website

Files Tube.

Hunter of Souls (Su): Arawn has power over the souls of the living, and may hunt them as he chooses. He may institute this power over any living being who is not protected against Death Magic, whether that person is in his line of sight or not. Arawn simply needs to know the individual’s name. To use this ability, Arawn sounds his horn, calling for a particular soul to bow to his will. The sound of the horn is only audible at the location where the individual is standing. The targeted character must make an immediate Fortitude Save at DC 35 or die. All those within 20 feet of the individual being thus harvested take 3d10 points of damage from the awesome power of Arawn’s horn and must make a Fortitude Save at DC 30 to avoid being Deafened. The effects of Deafness wear off of the Ascended in 1d10 rounds. For mortals, the effect is permanent.

The Wild Call (Su): When Arawn is hunting on the mortal plane, any sentient mortals within 30 feet of his pack finds themselves drawn into the hunt. Those who hear the sound of the horn or who see the hunt in progression must make a Will Save at DC 18 or lose control of themselves and instinctively join the hunt. They will recover when the sun rises far from where the joined the hunt with no memories of the event other than instinctive, animal emotions.

Create Undead (Su): Arawn can summon undead creatures at will. Arawn is the master of the dead, and these creatures are not simply random dead people: they will almost always be the ancestors, familiar friends, or other deceased souls relevant to those Arawn is fighting. It is more disturbing to see your dead father rise up to face you, and as such, all saves made versus these creatures’ Fear-based effects are at -2.

Cold Immunity (Ex): Arawn suffers no damage from Cold.


Arawn strides through the bustling streets of London in the mid-1450s, his piercing blue eyes scanning the crowds for any sign of trouble. As a powerful sorcerer and one of the few remaining beings of his kind, Arawn knows all too well the dangers that lurk in the shadows.

Despite the turmoil of the times, Arawn remains focused on his mission: to protect the magical realm from those who seek to destroy it. He has spent centuries honing his powers and knowledge, and he is determined to use them to preserve the balance of the universe.

In recent years, Arawn has become increasingly concerned with the rise of the Inquisition and their persecution of anyone suspected of practicing magic. He knows that this could mean the end of his kind, and he has been working tirelessly to rally other sorcerers and magical beings to his cause.

As he walks through the streets, Arawn can sense the fear and desperation of those around him. He knows that the Inquisition is growing stronger every day, and that time is running out. But he remains steadfast, determined to do whatever it takes to protect his people and the world he loves.

For Arawn, there is no other option. He will use every ounce of his power and knowledge to ensure that the magical realm survives, even if it means risking everything he holds dear.

The Cŵn Annwn

The Cŵn Annwn (Hounds of Annwn) are a group of supernatural dogs from Welsh mythology. They are associated with Annwn, the Welsh Otherworld, and are said to be led by Arawn, the Lord of the Underworld.

Cŵn Annwn


Medium fey, chaotic evil

Armor Class: 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 130 (20d8 + 40)
Speed: 50 ft.

Scores18 (+4)20 (+5)14 (+2)10 (+0)16 (+3)8 (-1)

Skills: Perception +7, Stealth +9
Senses: darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages: Sylvan


  • Fey Ancestry. The cŵn annwn has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put it to sleep.
  • Magic Resistance. The cŵn annwn has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Pack Tactics. The cŵn annwn has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the cŵn annwn’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.


  • Multiattack. The cŵn annwn makes two bite attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • Frost Breath (Recharge 5-6). The cŵn annwn exhales a blast of icy breath in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 28 (8d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • Frost Breath (Costs 2 Actions). The cŵn annwn uses its Frost Breath.

Legendary Actions:

The cŵn annwn 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. The cŵn annwn regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Move. The cŵn annwn moves up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Bite (Costs 2 Actions). The cŵn annwn makes one bite attack.
  • Summon Pack. The cŵn annwn can summon 1d4 additional cŵn annwn to aid it in combat. The summoned cŵn annwn appear within 30 feet of the original and obey their master’s commands.
  • Intimidating Howl (Costs 2 Actions). The cŵn annwn lets out a howl that strikes fear into the hearts of its enemies. All creatures within 30 feet of the cŵn annwn must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute.
  • Frost Breath (Costs 2 Actions). The cŵn annwn uses its Frost Breath.

Challenge Rating: 6 (2,300 XP)

Physical Description:

The cŵn annwn are spectral hounds with shaggy black fur and glowing red eyes that can strike fear into any mortal’s heart. They are said to be the guardians of the Welsh underworld, Annwn, and often accompany Arawn, the king of the Otherworld, on his wild hunts. Their howls can be heard in the dead of night, and their appearance often foretells impending doom.

The Cŵn Annwn, also known as the “Hounds of Annwn,” are a legendary breed of hunting dogs from Welsh mythology. They are said to be magical creatures, able to move between the worlds of the living and the dead with ease.

Physically, the Cŵn Annwn are described as being large, black dogs with glowing red eyes. Their coats are said to be sleek and shiny, and they are often depicted with shaggy, pointed ears and sharp, white teeth. They move with a fluid grace that is both beautiful and intimidating.

In mythology, the Cŵn Annwn are known to be fierce hunters and guardians of the underworld. They are said to be the companions of Arawn, the Welsh god of the dead, and are often seen accompanying him on his hunts. Legend has it that their howls can be heard echoing across the Welsh countryside at night, signaling the approach of death and the arrival of the wild hunt.

The Cŵn Annwn are also associated with the Otherworld, a mystical realm that exists beyond the physical world. They are believed to be able to travel between this world and the next, guiding the souls of the dead to their final resting places. In some stories, they are even said to be able to transport living beings to the Otherworld, where time moves differently and the laws of physics do not apply.

Despite their fearsome reputation, the Cŵn Annwn are also revered in Welsh mythology as symbols of loyalty and companionship. They are said to be fiercely protective of their masters and are often used as symbols of devotion and faithfulness. In modern times, the Cŵn Annwn continue to inspire artists, writers, and musicians, and their legend has become an important part of Welsh cultural heritage.

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