[RPG] How are the skeletons in Tresendar Manor created? And by whom


Under Tresendar Manor,

Room 4 of the Redbrand hideout (on p. 22 of the adventure), where the Tresendar crypts are, contains 3 animated skeletons. They attack any creature that approaches either adjoining door unless that creature wears the Redbrands' cloak or speaks the password.

It looks like the animate dead spell only works for 24 hours at a time. However,

Glasstaff (using the evil mage statblock on p. 57) isn't nearly high enough level to cast it, and doesn't have the spell in his statblock. Also, the skeletons are not "free-roaming"; they are working for the Redbrands.

Who made the skeletal guards in Tresendar Manor, and how were they constructed?

Best Answer

NPCs (and the DMs who run them) are not bound by the same rules that PCs (and the players who run them) are.

For the skeletons in the Redbrand Hideout, the two possibilities are:

  1. The skeletons were created by Glasstaff or the Black Spider, or
  2. The skeletons preexisted the Redbrands, and Glasstaff or the Black Spider bent them to their will.

The adventure text does not go into detail on the skeletons' origins, so the choice of the above two options is up to the DM. The DM can come up with whatever explanation s/he sees fit as to how Glasstaff or the Black Spider can control the skeletons. What is important to understand is that Glasstaff, the Black Spider and the skeletons in the Redbrand Hideout are not bound by the same rules that PCs are.

A cleric PC does not have the Divine Eminence trait that a priest NPC has. A drow PC does not have the same innate spellcasting (ability to cast without components) that a drow NPC has. Similarly, an NPC wizard does not need to be able to cast animate dead to have skeletons under its control, and the skeletons remain under its control even after 24 hours have passed.