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Cariad Ysbryd

Girl with Flowers Robert Lewis Reid (1862–1929), Cariad Ysbryd
Girl with Flowers Robert Lewis Reid (1862–1929)

A faintly glowing beautiful elven woman, dressed in her finest clothes, floats through the air. She bears a serene expression and constantly sings a beautiful, wordless song.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.

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A cariad ysbryd, or “ghost lover,” is the spirit of a good elven female who has chosen to remain among the living to perform good deeds. While technically undead, they love all living things and only harm creatures who destroy life, especially undead. Cariad ysbryd hate one form of undead above any other: the banshee. If a cariad ysbryd encounters a banshee, she will abandon everything in her efforts to destroy her opposite, and vice versa.

A cariad ysbryd is content to improve the health of the inhabitants of the territory she calls home, an area five miles in diameter around the spot where she died. A cariad ysbryd can sense the health of every creature in her territory. If intruders harm any living thing within that area (including each other), or if one of them is already suffering in some way, she makes her way to them to heal the wounded, singing her calming song to quell any violence.

A cariad ysbryd’s home appears to be untouched wilderness, even if there are settlements near her home, because her song prevents destructive acts by Intelligence creatures. She does not interfere in the natural cycle of life and death (including the violent but necessary acts of predators).

While a cariad ysbryd doesn’t seek out treasure, she does not refuse gifts, so many minor valuables may be found scattered around her domain.

  • A cariad ysbryd is 5 to 6 feet tall and weightless.
  • A cariad ysbryd speaks the languages that it knew in life.
Cariad Ysbryd
Medium undead (Incorporeal)
Hit Dice13d12 (84 hp)
SpeedFly 50 ft. (good) (10 squares)
Armor Class15 (+3 Dexterity, +2 deflection), touch 15, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple+6/ –
AttackIncorporeal touch +9 melee (1d6 plus 1d6 positive energy)
Full AttackIncorporeal touch +9 melee (1d6 plus 1d6 positive energy)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksSong
Special QualitiesDarkvision 60 ft., incorporeal traits, lifesense, restorative spirit, Spell Resistance 18, +2 turn resistance, undead traits
SavesFort +4, Ref +7, Will +12
AbilitiesStrength -, Dexterity 16, Constitution -, Intelligence 16, Wisdom 15, Charisma 17
SkillsHeal +26, Hide +19, Knowledge (nature) +19, Knowledge (religion) +19, Perform (song) +27, Listen +20, Spot +20, Survival +2 (+4 in aboveground natural environments)
FeatsAlertness, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will (B), Mobility
Challenge Rating7
TreasureDouble standard
AlignmentAlways neutral good
Advancement14-26 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment


A cariad ysbryd would rather prevent combat than win it, a philosophy her song enforces on her surroundings. She uses her tune of wrath sparingly, for it prevents her from using her tune of balm in the same day. However, when a cariad ysbryd fights a banshee, she uses her tune of wrath without hesitation.

A cariad ysbryd’s incorporeal touch attack infuses a target with positive energy. undead foes (even incorporeal ones) take an additional 1d6 points of damage. The cariad ysbryd can channel this positive energy into living creatures as well, healing up to 1d6 points of damage. The cariad ysbryd can control its positive energy enough to avoid healing living foes (dealing only the base damage).

Calming Song (Su): A cariad ysbryd constantly sings a calming melody as a free action. This song affects all creatures within 60 feet of the cariad ysbryd like the calm emotions spell (Will DC 19 negates, effective CL equals the cariad ysbryd’s Hit Dice). This is a sonic, mind-affecting compulsion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Deathless (Ex): Like living creatures, deathless are harmed by negative energy and healed by positive energy. Evil clerics can turn or destroy deathless creatures as good clerics turn or destroy undead. Good clerics and paladins can rebuke, command, or bolster deathless. Deathless creatures gain the same benefits from consecrate and hallow spells as undead do by desecrate and unhallow spells, and they are hindered by desecrate and unhallow spells as undead are by consecrate and hallow.

Evil casters can be stunned by overwhelming auras of deathless creatures as good casters can be stunned by overwhelming undead auras. Use the “evil elemental or undead” line in the detect evil spell description when deathless are in the area of a detect good spell. Deathless are healed by disrupt undead and damaged by unholy Water as undead are damaged by Holy Water. Deathless are not affected by disrupting weapons. Spells that have greater than normal effect against undead creatures–including chill touch, magic stone, searing light, sunbeam, and wall of fire–do not have these enhanced effects against deathless creatures. Deathless take only 1d6 points of damage per two caster levels from searing light. Spells such as command undead, control undead, create undead, create greater undead, and halt undead do not affect or create deathless creatures.

Lifesense (Su): A cariad ysbryd can mystically sense every living or undead creature within her territory (an area up to 5 miles across). If strangers enter her territory she immediately senses it. If a living creature is wounded or damaged within her territory the cariad instantly senses it.

As a standard action, a cariad ysbryd can link her lifesense to living or undead creatures within her territory, but to no more than 1 creature per Hit Dice the cariad possesses. This allows her to monitor the direction and distance to the creature(s) and any conditions affecting them: unharmed, wounded, disabled, staggered, unconscious, dying, nauseated, panicked, stunned, poisoned, diseased, confused, or the like. A cariad ysbryd can stop lifesense-monitoring as a free action; otherwise the monitoring will continue until the monitored creature dies, leaves the cariad’s territory, or the cariad ysbryd is destroyed.

Any effect that opposes divination spells, such as the nondetection spell, will also oppose a cariad ysbryd’s lifesense. Lifesense can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.

Restorative Spirit (Su): Good-aligned creatures who remain within a cariad ysbryd’s territory (an area up to 5 miles across) for over a week heal as if long-term care were administered by the cariad ysbryd. bards that spend more than a month within range of this ability gain a +3 bonus to Perform checks used in conjunction with Bardic Music for a length of time equal to the length of time they spent near the cariad ysbryd.

Song of Power (Su): Once per day, as a standard action, a cariad ysbryd can sing a song of great power. She can sing one of two tunes, chosen at the time of singing.

Tune of Balm: All living creatures within 30 feet of the cariad ysbryd are affected by a combination of the heal, remove fear and Neutralize poison spells.

Tune of Wrath: All undead and creatures with the Evil subtype within 30 feet of the cariad ysbryd take 6d6 damage (Fort DC 17 halves the damage). A banshee affected by a cariad ysbryd’s tune of wrath takes 6d6 damage if it succeeds on the save and is destroyed if it fails.

Skills: A cariad ysbryd has a +8 racial bonus on Heal and Perform (song) checks.

Cariad Ysbryd as Deathless

If you are using Book of Exalted Deeds in your campaign, cariad ysbryd are deathless rather than undead.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #186 (1992).

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