RavenloftCampaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain:Any land
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:Non- (0)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:3
Movement:Fl 15 (A)
Hit Dice:4
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Wounding
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:M (10' long)
Morale:Steady (11)
XP Value:975

No free man can know a slave's fear. It is an inescapable fear, a fear that grinds down his soul. A fear that not even death will end his suffering.

Mama Bitterrum

A devilwhip is the restless spirit of slave owner or overseer. Feared by escaped and released slaves, a devilwhip is tormented by its undead existence, and directs its rage at those whom it abused in life.

A devilwhip takes the form of a black leather whip, which hovers as if wielded by an unseen man-sized being. It moves with unnatural speed and agility, however, as if the weapon had a will of its own. Devilwhips only appear at night, and glow with a faint, lunar luminescence.

Devilwhips cannot communicate with the living.

Combat: Devilwhips are rightly feared for their vicious attacks. Though they are often assumed to be ghosts, devilwhips are fully corporeal. The spirit strikes with brutal lashes, inflicting 3-4 (1d2+2) points of damage. Furthermore, the bloody wounds caused by a devilwhip are supernaturally resistant to healing, much like those from a sword of wounding. Thus, injuries from a devilwhip may not be healed by regeneration, and a victim will lose one hit point per round for each wound inflicted. Medical attention, such as bandaging, stops this loss, and in any case the gruesome bleeding will abate in one turn. Wounds inflicted by devilwhips are resistant to magical healings, and the damage may only be recovered by the natural processes of rest and time.

A devilwhip can only be struck by weapons of at least +1 enchantment, or by a blessed pitchfork, hoe or other farm implement. Like most undead, they are immune to sleep, charm, hold, death, mind-affecting, or life-affecting spells. Poison, paralysis, cold, and electrical attacks are likewise ineffective. They may be turned as shadows, but cannot be controlled, whether by evil priests, other undead, or magical means. They are not affected by holy symbols or water. Dispel evil causes a devilwhip to vanish for twenty-four hours.

Habitat/Society: A devilwhip is the spirit of an cruel master or overseer, whose anguish at the time of death causes them to linger in the world of the living. The harsh character of these men causes their restless souls to manifest in the peculiar form of the devilwhip. Apparently, the twisted, unholy rage of the undead spirit only finds respite in the grievous assault of its own property - its slaves.

Devilwhips are active only at night, when they hunt the countryside for the scattered folk that they once violently used and abused. Devilwhips can sense the general direction of the nearest slave which it owned in life. If attacking such an individual, a devilwhip will continue to strike that individual relentlessly. It never checks morale in such a situation, ignoring all other opponents. It attacks until the target is dead, at which point it vanishes. Its rage is apparently satiated for a time, but it will resurface in a week to seek more victims. If, by some chance, no former slaves of a devilwhip remain alive, the spirit becomes more sedentary. It takes up residence in an abandoned mansion or agricultural field, preying upon intruders.

Devilwhips are relatively weak, but spectacularly viscious undead. They are understandably feared by enslaved folk whose masters have perished. Whatever the fate of the slaves - resale, escape or, rarely, freedom - they always have an eye to horizon, waiting in dread for that black whip to finally find them. Accordingly, many slave cultures shun those newcomers in their midst who outlived their masters and overseers. The Voodan express their belief that devilwhips seek to collect the souls of their rightful property - much to the terror of more impressionable slaves.

Ecology: Devilwhips are undead beings which do not interact markedly with their environments. They are significant only in terms of the fear they inspire among enslaved people.

The Lonesome Road