Unjust Justiciars | 3 Free 5e Villains

Unjust Justiciars | 3 Free 5e Villains

By Sebastian Duesing

The flame of vengeance burns in the hearts of these three villains. Though disparate in nature, origins, and methods, these revengers are united by their desire to deliver justice to those they—sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly—deem deserving of it.

Godbrand von Valdt

Male undead human, neutral

A pair of eyes as cold and dark as a winter’s night stare out from beneath a burgundy hood. No hint of life brightens the knight’s grim face. As he draws his sword, a blade with a squared tip like the sword of an executioner, there is neither fear nor satisfaction in his expression, and as he raises the blade high, his dark cloak follows his arm away from his chest, exposing a hole in his armor at the heart and the stain of dried blood beneath it.

Description. Godbrand is an undying revenant who lives to hunt down those that commit the ultimate sin in his eyes: betrayal. He still sees himself as the honorable knight that he was in life. His appearance is such that he can pass for a living person until he chooses to reveal his undeath.

Motivation. Godbrand was murdered by a trusted retainer, and now he is animated by the wrath he felt as he realized the betrayal. His revenge did not end when the traitor had fallen by his sword: he persisted to hunt down all that would turn their back on their loyalties.

Method. When he sees signs of disloyalty, he shadows his marks for as long as it takes to confirm they are the betrayers he believed them to be. When he discovers treachery, he prefers to slay his targets in a time and place that will reveal their betrayals.

Means. Endless undeath is Godbrand’s greatest advantage; he can be very patient. Because he lived a life as a knight, he is a capable warrior with a small fortune in gold stashed in his crumbling lair.

Minions. Godbrand prefers to work alone whenever possible, but when he needs minions, he prefers the dependability of undead to the fickle nature of living folk.

Flaw. Years spent hunting for treachery have distorted Godbrand’s ability to detect it. At times, he sees betrayal wherever he hopes to find it, even among the innocent.

Lair. Godbrand lairs in Harrow Hall, a decaying keep tucked away on a mountainside. Almost all that pass it by believe it to be abandoned.

Campaigns with Godbrand. Godbrand stalks his targets for a long time before striking; he is not an indiscriminate killer. The discovery of one of his victims always causes a stir in the surrounding community, as he ensures the circumstances of their death will reveal their betrayal. At times, acts like slaying a would-be assassin of a beloved monarch have briefly made him a folk hero, but he is no less inclined to slay those who would abandon their evil commitments than betrayers of righteous causes.

Betrayed Knight Godbrand

Medium undead, neutral

Armor Class 18 (plate)

Hit Points 136 (16d8 + 64)

Speed 30 ft.

20 (+5) 17 (+3) 18 (+4) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 17 (+3)

Saving Throws Str +10, Con +3, Wis +5

Skills Athletics +10, Intimidation +8, Perception +7

Damage Immunities necrotic

Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, frightened, stunned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Common

Challenge 10 (5,900 XP) Proficiency Bonus +5

Regeneration. Godbrand regains 10 hit points at the start of his turn. If he takes fire or radiant damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of his next turn. His body is destroyed only if he starts his turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.

Reforming Body. When Godbrand’s body is destroyed, his soul reforms in his lair as an invisible specter after 1 hour. After the specter spends 10 days in his lair, Godbrand’s body reforms, and he regains all his hit points. If the specter is killed, Godbrand dies.

Turn Immunity. Godbrand is immune to effects that turn undead.

Ceaseless Hunter. Godbrand knows the distance to and location of the creature targeted by his mark victim ability as long as that creature is on the same plane of existence.


Multiattack. Betrayed Knight Godbrand makes three weapon attacks.

Executioner’s Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (4d6 + 5) slashing damage.

Heavy Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d10 + 3) piercing damage.

Bonus Actions

Mark Victim. Godbrand marks a creature that he can see within 120 feet of him as his chosen victim. Against a marked creature, Godbrand scores a critical hit with his executioner’s sword on a roll of an 18, 19, or 20. The mark ends on the target if Godbrand marks another creature or if the marked creature is hidden from divination magic (such as by the mind blank spell).

Vengeful Howl (Recharge 5–6). Godbrand unleashes a horrifying scream. Creatures within 60 feet that can hear him must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 18) or be frightened of him until the end of his next turn. If a creature marked with his mark victim ability fails this saving throw, they also take 22 (4d10) psychic damage.

Vesper Astraeu, Mage Hunter

Male elf, lawful evil

As a magic bolt races towards the leather-clad elf, his eyes begin to glow scarlet, as does a geometric mark upon his forehead. Invoked by neither word nor gesture, a barrier of shimmering red force springs to life around him. The bolt of force shatters like glass as it impacts the barrier, and the elf raises an eyebrow in a scornful taunt.

Description. Vesper is a tall elven man with brown skin and auburn hair. Magical tattoos that protect him from spells glow blood-red on much of his skin, and when he uses his psionic abilities, his eyes alight with a similar hue. He dresses and acts as ostentatiously as an aristocrat.

Motivation. Vesper is the scion of the Astraeu family, a line of mage hunters that have served as checks on the power of overambitious arcanists for centuries. Many of his family considered this a solemn duty performed for the protection of all; Vesper is an unusually enthusiastic practitioner of their craft.

Method. His zealotry makes Vesper the bane of any arcanist powerful enough to be noteworthy. To Vesper, the mere existence of a mage with significant power is a threat to the good of the world, and he makes It his job to pre-empt that threat.

Means. Like his family members, Vesper wields potent psionic powers to counter his foes’ spells. While he employs minions to scout out and intimidate his targets, he has a duelist’s flair: he prefers to face his targets one-on-one.

Minions. Vesper has all manner of thugs, spies, and mercenaries at his disposal, some of whom have served his family for decades. He primarily uses his minions to spy on and gather information about his targets, as well as to intimidate and dissuade mages from pursuing advanced magic.

Secret. Vesper lost his first love to the whims of an enchanter, and the grief of that loss drives his fervent hatred of mages to this day. Now, he targets enchanters with particular vitriol.

Lair. Manor Astraeu has belonged to Vesper’s family for generations, and it serves as his base of operations now, though he spends much of his time pursuing his targets.

Campaigns with Vesper. Any sufficiently capable wielder of arcane magic, whether they are a player character or an NPC, could become one of Vesper’s marks should they flaunt their power in front of the wrong people. Any rumors of powerful arcana are enough to draw Vesper’s attention.

Mage Hunter Vesper

Medium humanoid, lawful evil

Armor Class 17 (studded leather)

Hit Points 170 (20d8 + 80)

Speed 30 ft.

13 (+1) 20 (+5) 18 (+4) 24 (+7) 15 (+2) 16 (+3)

Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +8, Int +12, Wis +7

Skills Acrobatics +10, Arcana +12, Investigation +12, Perception +7

Damage Resistances magical damage from spellcasting

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Common, Elvish

Challenge 11 (7,200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +5

Magic Resistance. Vesper has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Spell Shatterer. When Vesper successfully interrupts the casting of a spell with counterspell, creatures of his choice within 10 feet of him must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 20). A creature takes force damage equal to 5 times the level of the interrupted spell on a failed save and half as much on a success.

Spellcasting (Psionics). Mage Hunter Vesper’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 20, +12 to hit with spell attacks). He can cast the following spells:

At will: counterspell, dispel magic, magic missile (at 3rd level), shield

3/day: dimension door, fear, hold person

1/day: wall of force


Multiattack. Mage Hunter Vesper either uses disrupt concentration or casts a spell with a casting time of 1 action, then makes two attacks with force blast.

Force Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +12 to hit, range 60/120 ft., one target. Hit: 26 (3d12 + 7) force damage.

Disrupt Concentration (Recharge 4–6). Vesper psychically targets a creature he can see within 30 feet of him that is concentrating on a spell. That creature must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 13 (3d8) psychic damage and loses concentration on the spell. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and does not lose concentration.

The Wildwitch

Female fey, chaotic neutral

Sparks fall from the open hands of the figure shrouded in ash and smoke. Tongues of flame race outwards from where she stands, travelling as if guided by her intent. The sky darkens as the witch tilts her face to the clouds, and though lightning arcs through the sky, no rain comes to quell the wildfire.

Description. The Wildwitch is an elder fey who embodies the destructive forces of nature. Like many of her fey kin, she takes on several different appearances, but all of her forms have a feature in common: a hollow back splintered like a rotten log.

Motivation. The Wildwitch is a guardian of druid groves and other sacred land. When one of those places suffers harm, its druids can perform a ritual to summon the Wildwitch to enact retribution upon those that violated it. This is the Wildwitch’s apparent purpose: to remind the powers that be that nature will never be under their control.

Method. Wherever the Wildwitch goes, natural disaster follows. It is not always immediately obvious to a person or group that has drawn the ire of the Wildwitch that she is the cause of their sudden misfortune, but if her warnings are not heeded, she will quickly make her presence known.

Means. The Wildwitch wields powerful druidic magic that allows her to call down storms, wildfires, plagues of insects, and blights upon her foes, usually with the intent to drive them from the land.

Minions. The druids that call the Wildwitch to defend their sacred lands serve her as vassals while she lingers in their groves, and elementals, beasts, and plant creatures are drawn to serve her.

Weakness. The Wildwitch cannot leave the bounds of the territory she is summoned to defend.

Lair. While the Wildwitch finds herself at home in any grove she visits, her true lair is deep within an ancient druid grove called the Sparrow Woods.

Campaigns with the Wildwitch. The Wildwitch makes for a useful villain in an adventure in which the characters’ interests run up against those of a group of druids, such as when a druid grove contains a resource or artifact that the characters want.

The Wildwitch

Medium fey, chaotic neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 180 (24d8 + 72)

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.

13 (+1) 19 (+4) 16 (+3) 18 (+4) 24 (+7)  21 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +8, Wis +12

Skills Animal Handling +12, Nature +9

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan

Challenge 12 (8,400 XP) Proficiency Bonus +5

Aura of Wildness. Beasts, elementals, fey, and plant creatures within 30 feet of the Wildwitch (not including herself) have advantage on attack rolls and saving throws.

Wild Steps. The Wildwitch is unaffected by difficult terrain caused by magical and nonmagical plants and plant creatures.

Spellcasting. The Wildwitch’s spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 20, +12 to hit with spell attacks). She can cast the following spells:

At will: entangle, plant growth, sleet storm, spike growth, thunderwave

3/day: awaken (as an action), call lightning (at 5th level), wall of fire

1/day: control weather, earthquake


Multiattack. The Wildwitch makes two attacks with wildfire blast and uses thunderous strike once.

Wildfire Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +12 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 25 (4d8 + 7) fire damage.

Thunderous Strike. The Wildwitch unleashes a wave of thunderous energy around herself. Each creature of her choice within 10 feet must make a Strength saving throw (DC 20). On a failed save, a creature takes 16 (3d10) thunder damage and is pushed up to 15 feet in a straight line away from the Wildwitch. On a successful save, a creature takes half damage and is not pushed.

Legendary Actions

The Wildwitch 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. The Wildwitch regains spent legendary actions at the start of her turn.

Empowering Aura. All beasts, elementals, fey, and plant creatures within the Wildwitch’s aura of wildness regain 14 (4d6) hit points.

Grasping Plants. Plants grow thick and tangled in a 5-foot-radius sphere around a point the Wildwitch chooses within 120 feet of her. This area becomes difficult terrain for 1 hour.

Thundering Jaunt (Costs 2 Actions). The Wildwitch uses thunderous strike then teleports to an unoccupied space she can see within 60 feet.

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