Cain von Blackrose
“Using the newly reborn body of Strahd von Zarovich, my soul was once again tethered to this world. From the shards of tattered dreams I rose, unwilling, tossed upon tides of pain that flowed and ebbed, and left me – searingly – awake, and – more revoltingly – alive. I do not wish to live. Not again. But before I return to the Abyss, I will drag this world down with me.”
“How I longed to rend the flesh of my one true enemies, how I thirsted for the taste of their life’s blood on my lips. I shall drink the mortals of this world. With Asmodeus, I shall sit upon a throne of skulls. But do not take me for a fool. I do not expect him to stay true to his word. And as such, when he has proved his worth, he, too, will perish.”
“I AM THE ANCIENT. I AM THE LAND. My beginnings are lost in the darkness of the past. I am not dead. Nor am I alive. I am undead, forever.”
“And then… a growing sense of vertigo, and the familiar displacement –
– the paradoxical moment when my twinned soul hovered both outside and inside the Reaver blade…
This was the instant – the glimmer of temporal distortion – my killer, Van Helsing, had been counting on all along.
This was the edge of the coin – the minute flicker of probability upon which Helsing had gambled everything. And do you know what my seven sins did? Nothing. They watched me hurl into the abyss. It was only when I had perished did they turn on Van Helsing, for he had reached the extent of his usefulness to them. They had employed him to strike me down. The traitors.”
“To know the future, Knight, King – to see its paths and streams tracing out into the infinite…
As a man, I could never have contained such forbidden truths.
But each of us is so much more than we once were.
Do you not feel with all your soul how we have become like gods?
And as such, are we not indivisible? As long as a single one of us stands, we are legion…”
“Pride thought my curse a blessing. That we were gods and that mortals offered their blood as sacrifice so that we could enjoy our supernatural powers. And somewhere deep inside my new self I knew he was right. That mortal dreams were prayers. Prayers to us – begging for our power. Do you seek to rise to my level, child?”
CAIN VON BLACKROSE
Medium undead (shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 405 (30d12 + 210)
Speed 40 ft., fly 40 ft.
STR 27 (3) CON 25 (5) WIS 20 (7)
Saving Throws Dex +9, Wis +7, Cha +9
Skills Arcana +15, Perception +12, Religion +10, Stealth +14
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks, cold, fire, lightning
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Elvish, Giant, Infernal, Gnomish, Druidic, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 23 (50,000 XP)
Shapechanger. If Cain isn’t in running water or sunlight, he can use his action to polymorph into a Tiny bat, a Medium wolf, or a Medium cloud of mist, or back into his true form. While in bat or wolf form, Cain can’t speak. In bat form, his walking speed is 5 feet, and he has a flying speed of 30 feet. In wolf form, his walking speed is 40 feet. His statistics, other than his size and speed, are unchanged. Anything he is wearing transforms with him, but nothing he is carrying does. He reverts to his true form if he dies. While in mist form, Cain can’t take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects. He is weightless, has a flying speed of 20 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the mist can do so without squeezing, and he can’t pass through water. He has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and he is immune to all nonmagical damage, except the damage he takes from sunlight.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Cain fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Misty Escape. When Cain drops to O hit points outside his coffin, he transforms into a cloud of mist (as in the Shapechanger trait) instead of falling unconscious, provided that he isn’t in running water or sunlight. lfhe can’t transform, he is destroyed. While he has O hit points in mist form, he can’t revert to his vampire form, and he must reach his coffin within 2 hours or be destroyed. Once in his coffin, he reverts to his vampire form. He is then paralyzed until he regains at least l hit point. After l hour in his coffin with O hit points, he regains l , hit point.
Regeneration. Cain regains 20 hit points at the start of his turn if he has at least l hit point and isn’t in running water or sunlight. lf he takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of his next turn.
Spellcasting. Cain is a 9th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 23, +15 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following wizard spells prepared:
-Cantrips (at will): mage hand, prestidigitation, ray of frost
-1st level (4 slots): comprehend languages, fog cloud, sleep
-2nd level (3 slots): detect thoughts, gust of wind, mirror image
-3rd level (3 slots): animate dead, fireball, nondetection
-4th level (3 slots): blight, greater invisibility, polymorph
-5th level (1 slot): animate objects, scrying
Innate Spellcasting. IN addition to normal spellcasting, he can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: chill touch (17th level), detect magic
3/day each: create undead, dispel magic
1/day: time stop
Magic Resistance. Cain has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. Cain’s weapon attacks are magical.
Master of Undeath. When Cain casts animate dead or create undead, he chooses the level at which the spell is cast, and the creatures remain under his control indefinitely. Additionally, he can caste create undead even when it isn’t night.
Spider Climb. Cain can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without having to make an ability check.
Vampire Weaknesses. Strahd has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. He can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. He takes 20 acid damage if he ends his turn in running water.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. While in sunlight, Strahd takes 10 radiant damage at the start of his turn, and he has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
Lord of Vampires. Cain can command all vampires whose combined hit points don’t exceed 500. These vampires follow Cain’s commands. DC 25 Charisma saving throw to resist.
Multiattack (Vampire Form Only). Cain makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.
Unarmed Strike (Vampire Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage plus 5d6 necrotic damage. If the target is a creature, Cain can grapple it (escape DC 18) instead of dealing the bludgeoning damage.
Bite (Bat or Vampire Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by Cain, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and Cain regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under Cain’s control.
Charm. Cain targets one humanoid he can see within 30 feet of him. If the target can see Cain, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be charmed. The charmed target regards Cain as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. The target isn’t under Cain’s control, but it takes Cain’s requests and actions in the most favorable way and lets Cain bite it. Each time Cain or his companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until Cain is destroyed, is on a different plane of existence than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.
Children of the Night (1/Day). Cain magically calls 2d4 swarms of bats or swarms of rats, provided that the sun isn’t up. While outdoors, Cain can call 3d6 wolves instead. The called creatures arrive in 1d4 rounds, acting as allies of Cain and obeying his spoken commands. The beasts remain for l hour, until Cain dies, or until he dismisses them as a bonus action.
Cain 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. Cain regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Move. Cain moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
Unarmed Strike. Cain makes one unarmed strike.
A Taste of Undeath. Cain casts chill touch (17th level).
Bite (Costs 2 Actions). Cain makes one bite attack.
Creeping Death (Costs 2 Actions). Cain chooses a point on the ground that he can see within 100 feet of him. A cylinder of swirling necrotic energy 60 feet tall and with a 10-foot radius rises from that point and lasts until the end of Cain’s next turn. Creatures in that area are vulnerable to necrotic damage.
Cain can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects; he can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:
-Cain’s voice booms throughout the lair. His utterance causes one creature of his choice to be subjected to power word kill (save DC 23). Cain doesn’t need to see the creature, but he must be aware that the individual is in the lair.
-Cain causes up to six corpses within the lair to rise as skeletons, zombies or ghouls. These undead obey his telepathic commands, which can reach anywhere in the lair.
-Cain causes skeletal arms to rise from an area on the ground in a 20-foot square that he can see. They last until the end of his next turn. Each creature in that area when the arms appear must succeed on a DC 23 Strength saving throw or be restrained until the arms disappear or until Cain releases their grasp (no action required).
-Dead beasts periodically animate as undead mockeries of their former selves. Skeletal and zombie versions of local wildlife are commonly seen in the area.
-The air is filled with the stench of rotting flesh, and buzzing flies grow thick within the region, even when there is no carrion to be found.
-If a humanoid spends at least 1 hour within 1 mile of the lair, that creature must succeed on a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw or descend into a madness determined by the Madness or Cain table. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw can’t be affected by this regional effect again for 24 hours.
Madness of Cain
01-20 “I want to achieve the everlasting existence of undeath.”
21-40 “I must consume everything I can!”
41-60 “Everyone around me is trying to kill me. I have to strike before they do.”
61-80 “There is more than one mind inside of my head.”
81-100 “There is only one solution to my problems: kill them all!”
Since a young age, Cain was inextricably tangled in plots to control the fate of the world, in a time pre-dating most history books. It is rumored that he was one of two sons of the first human male and female—never realizing his undiscovered destiny – to take his rightful place as the Father of Murder, and serve the Pillars of the Nine Hells. During one fateful night, a voice from the Abyss, Orcus, coaxed him into killing his brother, Abel. The gods, furious, sent him on a torturous journey of self-discovery as his curse of vampirism took irrevocable hold on his soul.
Cunning and relentless, Kain battled the oppressive agents of fate that sought to destroy him. For centuries, he ruthlessly pursued a singular ambition: to restore the land by purging it, and turn it to vampire rule. Armed with the legendary Soul Reaver blade, and pursued by his fallen creation Raziel, he hoped to reclaim the lands from the wreckage of history.
He created the seven sins, the first seven vampires to be turned by him, and ruled for many years with them as his errant knights. One day, when the sins had grown tired of his tyrannical rule, they took a gamble and hired the legendary hunter, Van Helsing.
Cain was stricken down by surprise, and cast into the depths of hell.
But unbeknownst to many, upon Cain’s transformation into a vampire, he was marked as one of the keys needed to merge the Nine Hells with the Material plane. And thus began Asmodeus’s plan.