Wraiths are possibly the single most feared monster in the Known Lands. While there are more powerful monsters in the world, what makes wraiths so dangerous is their ability to turn those they kill into more wraiths - and wraiths can kill ordinary mortals very quickly. Fortunately, under normal circumstances wraiths cannot exist in the material plane for long, or else the world would likely have been depopulated by them by now - unless they keep close to a locale with a strong connection to the Plane of Shadows, they weaken and dissolve after a day. However, 24 hours are potentially more than enough for a single wraith to multiply rapidly and depopulate an entire metropolis if not stopped quickly. This is what happened to Praxus during the Liberation War (though fortunately, most of its inhabitants had fled the city before that point), and this is the reason why most cities now have permanent protection circles against undead scattered through their districts at strategic locations. There are arcane methods of capturing and transporting wraiths without dissolving them, but anyone known to do so would be considered pariah by almost any government.

Disturbingly, wraith-like entities have been found in various ancient ruins scattered across the surface of the planet Surtus, making it possible that these beings originated from that world. The Surtus wraiths don't display the vaguely humanoid appearance of wraiths appearing on Rothea, but manifest as vague blobs of darkness with tentacles reaching out of the blobs to their victims. Some scholars speculate that these wraiths are the remnants of an ancient, non-human civilization on that world which was wiped out by a wraith plague - and they worry that the same might yet happen to Rothea.

Adventure Ideas

  • The player characters learn of a plot to release a wraith within their home city. They have a small time window to thwart the villain as he is arranging distractions so that the authorities will be focused elsewhere when he releases the wraith. If they arrive too late, they have to defeat a small horde of wraiths before they can spread out to the rest of the city.

Designer's Notes & Resources

Every incarnation of D&D seems to have some undead monsters whose numbers can increase exponentially if unchecked. Wraiths in D&D4E continue this tradition, and they are especially dangerous in an urban environment. Thus, Urbis basically treats them as Critters of Mass Destruction - which they essentially are.


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Urbis - A World of Cities © Jürgen Hubert. All material on this site excepting forum posts is owned by him.