|Images of danse macabres|
Source: Skeletons of Scarwall, pg(s). 80f.
Danse macabres are morbid specters of the final fate which awaits every mortal. They appear as an incarnation as death, most often resembling a skeleton in a black robe, surrounded by a procession of ghostly aristocrats clad in all their finery performing the dance of death.
Danse macabres appear in the form most associated with death by the surrounding culture. Usually this is the form of a skeleton clothed in a black robes wielding a scythe. Regardless of the incarnation, the danse macabre is always surrounded by a twirling procession of dancing ghostly figures. These represent the inevitable dance of death that every mortal is a part of, the great leveler that affects kings and paupers alike.
Habitat and ecology
Danse macabres manifest at sites of mass death where hundreds, if not thousands, met unpleasant ends. No one is really sure what exactly causes these creatures as many sites with thousands of dead have never spawned danse macabres. Some element of irony or vengeance seems to be the deciding factor, and as such it is very hard to predict what massacres or disasters will actually spawn a danse macabre. It has been suggested that these creature do not harbour any hatred for the living like most undead, instead they just want to send all mortals to their final fate quicker than fate intended. These creatures rarely move far from where they are spawned but can still rapidly depopulate an area. As undead, they do not interact normally with their natural surroundings.
The danse macabre's incorporeal scythe drains the health of those it strikes. Danse macabres are surrounded by an aura of dancing spectral figures. Any who try to pass through this aura are drawn into the "Dance of Death", forcing them to do nothing else; every moment engaged in the dance of death drains their life force away from them.