monster Ankou



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Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625) : The Triumpf of Death, detail Date 1597

Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625) : The Triumpf of Death, detail
Date 1597


He who collects the souls of the dead and aids them on their journey to the
next world, in his rickety old cart. The cart is pulled along by two nightmares.

Tall, and wears a wide-brimmed hat and long coat, he has two companions, who are skeletons in some versions, following behind
his cart and tossing the dead into it.

The Ankou is the first dead person of the year (though he is always
depicted as adult, and male), charged with collecting the others before he can
go to the afterlife.

One says that there were
three drunk friends walking home one night, when they came across an old man
on a rickety cart. Two of the men started shouting at Ankou, and then throwing
stones, when they broke the axle on his cart they ran off.

The third friend felt bad,
and so wanting to help Ankou, first found a branch to replace the broken axle,
and then gave Ankou his shoe-laces to tie it to the cart with. The next morning,
the two friends who were throwing stones at Ankou were dead, while the one who
stayed to help only had his hair turned white. He would never speak in detail
about how it happened.


Monster Encyclopaedia
II: The Dark Bestiary

Author J. C. Alvarez

Series Monster Encyclopaedia

Publisher Mongoose

Publish date 2005

OGL Section 15 me2

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can be found on the following website

Grand OGL Wiki

material below is designated as Open Game Content

Medium undead  
Hit Dice 18d12+3
(120 hp)
Initiative +8
Speed 30 ft.
(6 squares), plus see cart speed below
AC 24 (+4
Dexterity, +10 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple +9/+24
Attack Touch
+13 melee (1d12 plus death touch)
Full Attack Touch
+13 melee (1d12 plus death touch)
Space/Reach 5 ft.
/5 ft.
grip, death touch, detect thoughts, gripping gaze, obscuring
, rebuke undead, skeleton spawn
reduction 10/magic or silver, Darkvision 60 ft., detect evil, Spell
30, turn resistance +8, undead traits, unnatural aura
Saves Fort
+6, Ref +10, Will +16
Abilities Strength 14,
Dexterity 18, Constitution –, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 20, Charisma 21
Skills Intimidate +21, Listen +23, Move
+20, Search +17, Ride (Dexterity)+20, Sense
+21, Spot +23, Survival +20
Feats Ability
(death grip), Alertness, Improved
, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed
, Toughness,
Environment Any
Organisation Solitary
or cart (1 plus 2-4 fiendish heavy horses and 2-8 4th level human fighter skeletons)
Treasure None
Alignment Always
neutral evil
Advancement 19-36
HD (Medium)

As the mists gather
and swirl around the road, you see a black cart approaching, drawn by four dark
horses. The cart driver appears to be a gaunt humanoid dressed in a black hooded
cloak, but as it comes closer you perceive he holds the reins with skeletal
hands. Beneath the cowl two points of evil light begin to shine…

Ankou are the grim collectors
of the spirits of death; they travel the misty roads at night, looking for sinners
to load on their creaking carts. An ankou looks like a skeletal, grey humanoid
with shining eye sockets, riding a cart drawn by four black horses and dressed
in a long black cloak intended to cover its true skeletal nature. A phantasmal
mist always accompanies the arrival of the ankou.

Ankou understand Common,
but they never speak.


An ankou attacks only creatures
that have committed evil actions; against those it deems to be innocent, the
ankou prefers to retreat via its plane
ability. When it has chosen a target,
the ankou attempts to force surrender via its gripping gaze attack and immediately
takes the subdued target to the plane of shadow. The ankou does not use other
combat tactics unless absolutely necessary.

Death Grip (Su): An
ankou’s base attack bonus equals its full Hit Dice when grappling. If it
wins a grapple against an opponent, the victim must roll a Will save (DC 26, Charisma based) or become paralysed by the ankou’s grip, in which case
the ankou automatically achieves a pin. A creature pinned by an ankou must succeed
at another Will save each round or suffer 2d6 points of Charisma drain. If the
save succeeds, the Charisma drain is reduced to one half (1d6) and the victim
is freed. Creatures reduced to 0 Charisma by an ankou’s death grip are
irrevocably dead and ready to be loaded on the creature’s grim cart.

Death Touch (Su): The touch of an ankou deals 1d3 points of Charisma damage (no save). A creature
reduced to 0 Charisma by an ankou’s death touch dies after one round.

detect thoughts (Sp): An ankou can spend a standard action to attempt to read the thoughts of any
living, intelligent creature within 1000 feet as per the detect thoughts spell
at caster level 18th. The target is allowed a Will save (DC 17) to avoid the
effects, as usual.

Gripping Gaze (Su): Any living creature meeting the eyes of an ankou must succeed at a Will
save (DC 24, Charisma based) or become paralysed with fright for 2d4 rounds.
This is a mind-affecting, fear effect.

Gripping Gaze (Su): Any living creature meeting the eyes of an ankou must succeed at a Will
save (DC 24, Charisma based) or become paralysed with fright for 2d4 rounds.
This is a mind-affecting, fear effect.

An ankou is permanently surrounded by an obscuring
effect at caster level
11th. Successful dispel
and similar effects may cancel this obscuring
for 1 round per caster level; after this time, the mist rises and completely
surrounds the ankou again. The ankou can turn this effect on and off at will.

Rebuke undead (Su): An ankou has the ability to rebuke/command undead as an 18th level evil

Skeleton Spawn (Su): As a standard action, an ankou can choose any creature it has slain via its
death grip or death touch attacks and cause it to rise again as a skeleton.
The creature gains the skeleton template as usual but it also has turn resistance
+4 when in the ankou’s presence.

detect evil (Sp): Despite being an evil creature itself, an ankou can detect evil at will, as
a paladin can.

Unnatural Aura (Su): Any normal animals within 100 feet of an ankou become shaken (no save) and
adamantly unwilling to move in the ankou’s general direction until the
ankou moves away more than 100 feet. Any normal animals within 30 feet of an
ankou must succeed at a Will save (DC 24, Charisma based) or become panicked
until they are more than 100 feet away from the ankou.

Skills: An ankou’s Move
bonus is granted to its cart and the horses pulling it as long
as the ankou is riding the cart.

The Ankou’s

An ankou usually appears
riding a dark cart made of death and darkness. If the ankou appears alone, it
can summon this cart as a free action; the cart arrives the next round. The
ankou’s cart is a Huge object with Armour Class 18 (–2 size, –5
Dexterity, +15 natural), a hardness of 15, 30 hit points for each wheel and 150 hit
points for its body.

The cart is usually pulled
by 2-4 fiendish horses. When pulled in this fashion, the cart gains a base Fly speed of 120 feet. If the ankou is riding it, both the cart and its horses gain
the Move
skill at the ankou’s skill modifier.

long as the ankou is riding it, an ankou’s cart can plane
to the
plane of shadow. Anything and anyone aboard the cart, including the ankou and
the horses pulling it, is transported as well.

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