Dragons of the North
- Known Dragons of Faerûn
- Notable Dragons
- Arauthator, "Old White Death"
- Arveiaturace, "The White Wyrm"
- Balagos, "The Flying Flame"
- Claugiyliamatar, "Old Gnawbone"
- Daurgothoth, "The Creeping Doom"
- Deszeldaryndun, "the Kindly Dragon"
- Eldenser, "The Worm Who Hides in Blades"
- Felgolos, "The Flying Misfortune"
- Galadaeros, "Sunset Flame"
- Gaulauntyr, "Glorytongue"
- Hoondarrh, "Red Rage"
- Iymrith, "The Dragon of the Statues"
- Jalanvaloss, "The Wyrm of Many Spells"
- Kallionastiryne, "The Forest Wyrm"
- Karasendrieth, "The Dragon Bard"
- Klauth, "Old Snarl"
- Lhammaruntosz, "Claws of the Coast"
- Malaeragoth, "The Dragon Unseen"
- Miirym, "The Sentinel Wyrm"
- Mornauguth, "The Moor Dragon"
- Munwithurix, "The Fen Wyrm"
- Nurvureem, "The Dark Lady"
- Nymmurh, "The Wyrm Who Watches"
- Olothontor, "The Minstrel Wyrm"
- Palarandusk, "The Unseen Protector"
- Raulothim, "The Silent Shadow"
- Saryndalaghlothtor, "Lady Gemcloak"
- Thalagyrt, "Old Lord Memory"
- Tostyn Alaerthmaugh, "the Silver Flame"
- Valamaradace, "the Dragon Queen"
- Voaraghamanthar, "the Black Death"
- Zundaerazylym, "the Laughing Dragon"
Draconic Domains of the Sword Coast North
By Ed Greenwood, updated by Sean K Reynolds
Wyrms of the North
This overview, reprinted from Dragon Magazine Annual 3 and updated to use the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting map as its basis, wraps up the Wyrms of the North series.
Volo is justly proud of his efforts in assembling lore on dragons who currently flourish in the Sword Coast North, so he has prepared this wyrm-by-wyrm summary of their nameless dominions and attitudes toward intruders (for sale as a pamphlet to interested adventurers throughout the North).
The notorious mage Elminster edited much of Volo's draconic work, but he opposes the idea of "a bloodthirsty adventurer's guide to dragons" and has refused to correct errors and omissions herein -- save to warn readers that he can call to mind almost forty dragons active in the area who are missing from this survey. In other words, don't think that dragon's territories are quite so tidy as the map shows . . . or that these wyrms are the only draconic dangers awaiting a traveler.
(Old White Death)
From his lair in the Lonefang, this old male white dragon tirelessly patrols a domain that stretches from the Cold Run east to Mount Gaumarath (northernmost peak of the Ice Mountains) along the Spine of the World, with an unknown northern boundary and a "bump" extending southeast from the Fell Pass in a great arc to take in all the land north of Mithril Hall and the Citadel of Many Arrows (the headwaters of the River Surbrin). Arauthator never hunts in the Moonwood, the Coldwood, or Icewind Dale, but he seeks to slay any dragon who encroaches on his dominion. He delights in battle but is far more patient than most dragons. He spends much of his time scouring out tunnels beneath the Endless Ice Sea, gleefully devouring the remorhaz he finds there.
To Arauthator, all cold-dwelling creatures are prey to be devoured. Dragons and other formidable foes are rivals to be destroyed or driven away. If that means letting them explore the domain or lair unchallenged for a time, so be it. Only Arveiaturace is acceptable as a mate, and she is always escorted out of the domain when her pregnancy is achieved. Explorers, prospectors, and adventurers are the worst invading perils but might be misdirected into wild goose chases or into attacking other nearby wyrms. Avalanches are useful weapons against all foes.
If prospectors find ore, Arauthator immediately leaves them unmolested and tries not to show himself in the sky nearby; mining communities mean sledge- or wagon-trains of ore pulled by dragon meals, and humans always bring livestock. If a dragon obligingly devours the stock, the miners must bring more, starve in the worst winter months, or leave (and on the journey out, unwittingly offer themselves as meals).
(Iceclaws/The White Worm)
From her lair in the Icepeaks, this ancient female white dragon holds sway over a territory that stretches over the Trackless Sea from Tuern and the Sea of Moving Ice south to the shores of Lantan, bounded on the east by the headlands of the Sword Coast from Tethyr north to Mount Sar, and on the west by an invisible line running parallel to the Sword Coast that begins as far west as one can fly and still see Tuern, and runs well east of Gundarlun, Mintarn, and the Moonshaes. Arveiaturace sometimes hunts into the Crags and northern Neverwinter Wood, but other dragons (notably Claugiyliamatar) dispute her right to this region.
A loner except when she (rarely) mates with Arauthator and rears his progeny, Arveiaturace is intelligent, sensitive, suspicious, and always vigilant. She regards humans -- particularly those aboard ships -- as her food, and she loves plunging into wild battle-lust when fighting creatures who fly into her air over the Sea of Swords. On the other hand, her loneliness often drives her to spare those who talk with her. She respects and is respected by Laeral, the Lady Mage of Waterdeep, and the shipwright Old Aldon of Mintarn. She seeks a powerful wizard she can trust to be her companion and rider.
Arveiaturace is not above filling the ears of a conversationalist she has decided to spare with tales of "The Lost Treasure Isle of the Nine Wizards" (which most sages agree is wholly her invention): an island somewhere between the Moonshaes and Evermeet that rises from time to time, displaying the drowned towers of the wizards -- crammed with their magic items, gems, and gold -- for a season or so before sinking once more. Of course, according to Arveiaturace, it has always just surfaced -- just the thing for ship after ship of greedy Amnians, Nelanther pirates, and bold Baldurians to come seeking . . . or ship after ship of meals for a sea-roving white worm.
(Bahor, Dragonbane, The Flying Flame, The Dragon King)
This male red great wyrm's domain stretches from the southern edge of the Wood of Sharp Teeth to the Giant's Run Mountains and from the south bank of the upper River Chionthar (nigh Iriaebor) to the River Ith. The entire Wealdath and fringes of this dominion are claimed by other dragons, but the Flying Flame has a rather casual attitude toward draconic dominion that other dragons have learned to accept. (Most hide when they see him, or keep to their lairs and ignore his passage.) Balagos considers all Faerûn his; other wyrms are merely custodians of areas within it, holding their positions and lives at his pleasure. Betimes he slays a random dragon to keep others in fear, then flies over half of Faerûn in slow triumph with his victim's corpse dangling from his jaws for all to see.
A megalomaniac, Balagos is a fearless, ruthless foe who delights in slaughtering adventurers, wizards, and dragons alike. He possesses three outstanding talents: He never forgets the appearance, name, or manner of any encountered being; he's a shrewd judge of character; and he considers consequences and likely outcomes. No foe is to be underestimated, but no being is worthy of his friendship and love, or no being will be allowed to remain in any place (or in possession of any property) the Flying Flame desires for himself. He loves to take spectacular and public revenge on all who defy or withstand him.
For the last two summers, Balagos has been smoldering over his inability to find and slay a band of Harpers who plundered a cache of magic only months after he'd established it. Worse, word of their endeavor has spread among Harpers, and everywhere the dragon flies he hears the taunting tune played by a "singing sword" that was among the loot stolen from him; some Harpers who've never seen the sword, but who've had its tune played to them, employ minor spells to make its melody when they see Balagos. At first, the dragon's rage lured him into a variety of traps -- but now he snarls and waits, cursing Harpers and devising ways to bring about the deaths of all who harp.
From her lair in Deeping Cave, this ancient female green dragon commands a domain stretching down the Sword Coast from the south bank of the River Mirar to the north bank of the Dessarin. Almost all of this territory is claimed by other dragons, but Claugiyliamatar cares not. She seldom leaves her lair, preferring to scheme and watch the world through scrying crystals while employing dozens of humans and halflings to carry out her will. She abandons her idleness, however, to defend her territory against intruding dragons. She enjoys devouring adventurers and entire caravans.
Cunning, paranoid, and utterly cruel, Claugiyliamatar dwells alone, driving away male green dragons who come courting. Through her agents, she enjoys manipulating affairs in Neverwinter and Waterdeep. Most of Old Gnawbone's earnings are invested so as to stir up rivalries and strengthen organizations she controls to create more trouble and squeeze profits anew.
Claugiyliamatar is fascinated by human and elven women who wield power, and she spends hours scrying them. She's also interested in magic, especially items that enable her to take on human form and retain her draconic powers. She hungers to participate in the bustle and intrigue of city life, from knifings in alleyways to passionate courting and drinking. Since her own spells are too feeble to win her human shape, she spies on nobles and mages to learn who has magic and where they keep it hidden, so as to send her agents forth to steal it. She has no interest in the company of other dragons, and she values other beings only as tools.
Her most recent tool is the Blood-Red Crown, a dozen bored and jaded young noble ladies of Waterdeep who formed their own adventuring band to feel both excited and important. They carry trifling magics, but Claugiyliamatar has been covertly directing them to tombs and ruins in or near Neverwinter and Waterdeep. The ladies of the Crown have turned up only magic too minor to be worth relieving them of, thus far, but Old Gnawbone is awaiting the day when they find something really useful -- and she can send in agents to seize it.
(The Creeping Doom)
From his lair in Dolblunde, this dracolich (in life, a male black great wyrm) spies on a territory bounded by the coast from the mouth of the Dessarin to Mount Sar, east to Amphail and Bargewright Inn, and thence down the Dessarin to the sea once more. Daurgothoth concentrates on road traffic in his scrying. He is interested in all things magical and news of dragon activity. To escape detection by prying mages and adventurers, he seldom acts openly.
Daurgothoth is obsessed with two goals: gaining abilities of other dragon breeds to become the supreme dragon, and "coming back to life" sufficiently to sire his own new dragon species. He continually strives to improve his spells and find a suitable mate -- or construct one, much as he was modified in undeath to gain a tail sting and various breath weapons.
He'll energetically slaughter any being who discovers his endeavors or finds his lair, including bands of adventurers working for him whom he judges have begun to learn too much about him. Daurgothoth uses project image spells to speak with underlings while posing as a deliberately mysterious human mage, directing them in shady dealings in Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter, and Secomber. His initial bold acquisitions of magic alarmed mages and authorities, so he has taken to working through a web of unwitting thieves and unscrupulous merchants. Daurgothoth is a brilliant crafter of magic, endlessly inquisitive, and a miss-nothing observer with an impressive memory. He is paranoid, patient, and calm, and he can't be goaded or blinded by pride.
From time to time, he feels the need for companionship and music, so he seeks out traveling bards, seldom offering them violence or revealing his true nature. Fearing capture by the Cult of the Dragon, he strikes at its agents whenever he can do so without revealing the location of his lair. He recently discovered Claugiyliamatar's pet adventuring band and intends to use them to trace her -- so he can wind up holding the magic of both Crown and green dragon, no matter how much blood it's drenched in.
(The Guardian Worm of Everlund, The Kindly Dragon)
From "Softwing," the lair in the Floating Mountain he shares with the gold dragon Valamaradace, this adult male silver dragon roams a territory determined and patrolled by his consort. Its borders consist of the Moonwood, a line southeast through Dead Ore Pass to Sundabar, thence southwest along the River Rauvin to Turlangtor, and on into the Woods of Turlang as far as the Lost Peaks, thence along the Dessarin to a point south of Flint Rock, and from there due north across the Evermoors to the River Surbrin, and along its banks back to the Moonwood again.
Silverwing is graceful, prudent, good-humored, and helpful to humans and other civilized folk in need -- usually providing healing and shelter, but sometimes assisting them in personal endeavors and goals. He avoids human society and politics but works behind the scenes against trolls, orc hordes, and other evils, preferring to make foes simply vanish. He and his consort dislike the open hunting and spreading of fear practiced by many dragons.
Deszeldaryndun prefers to render aid in disguise, but he won't hesitate to reveal his true powers. A shrewd judge of character, he uses magic covertly to probe alignments and true natures. He prefers a simple life in the wilds and frequent human contact on his own terms, spending much of his time posing as a human woodcutter or -- with her permission -- as the human sorceress Alustriel -- whom he's spent enough time working with that he can portray her flawlessly. Silverwing enjoys conversation with intelligent and sensitive good-aligned humans. He has a natural talent for mimicry, specializing in human and half-elven voices, movements, and mannerisms. He is an accomplished singer and loves gossip, learning secrets, and seeing the overall implications of human activities in the North. Disinterested in (and ignorant of) the doings of other dragons, Deszeldaryndun hates only dracoliches and the Cult of the Dragon, but he investigates all intruders into his shared domain with an eye to keeping it free of oppression and murderous destruction.
(The Worm Who Hides in Blades, The Lurker)
This amethyst male great wyrm uses magic to leave his withered, wasted, magically preserved body in "secure" hideaways and transfer his sentience into the blade of any tempered, edged metal weapon (from whence he can perceive and employ his magic as if in his own body). In this form, he roams all Faerûn inside swords, considering none of it his territory, but all of it his to freely traverse.
Eldenser ignores other dragons unless they discover him, whereupon he'll cheerfully do battle against attempts to menace or control him or anyone wielding "his" blade. He has little interest in slaying other dragons but dislikes fleeing from them, preferring to best or outwit them. A fan of adventurers (who as blade-carriers can bring him excitement and travel), Eldenser is wary only of spellcasters who want to magically examine the blade he's in -- and actively aids and spies on anyone working on magic that might allow a dragon to regenerate or replace an aged, crumbling body.
He currently devotes himself to observing the beauties of Faerûn and the entertaining strivings of its inhabitants (half-elves, humans, and elves in particular); trying to influence political events to aid heroes, weaken authority, and generally promote opportunities for entertainment to observe in the future; and following a mysterious process for achieving draconic immortality known as Ossavitor's Way. Eldenser recently learned a spell that enables him (from within a blade, and silently) to briefly animate a nearby nonmagical bladed weapon smaller than the blade he's in -- such as a dagger -- and he uses this to slay folk he thinks might suspect his presence and attempt to control him.
(The Flying Misfortune)
This juvenile male bronze dragon roams Faerûn more or less freely, ignoring territories claimed by other creatures -- and most beings have learned that it's easiest to ignore his intrusions.(He's clumsy and has a knack of crashing into or unintentionally destroying things, blundering into the midst of delicate or dangerous situations, and generally causing mayhem.) Fighting or trying to entrap him always carries a cost, and Felgolos clearly has no intention of carving out a domain of his own, seizing treasure, or competing for food.
Possessed of sleek build, unshakable curiosity, and unfailing good nature, Felgolos refuses to make enemies or to be prudent, and he wanders Faerûn intruding everywhere and blithely venturing into great danger. Through years of peering about in perpetual wonderment, Felgolos has led a charmed life; though he's often been hurt and forced to flee, he has survived. Sensitive to the wants and needs of others (once he learns them), he tends to avoid mated dragons he knows are rearing young. News of perils, however, attracts Felgolos rather than deterring him. He is afraid of no creature and views no one as his foe -- until they've attacked him. Curiosity as to the doings of others rules him.
(The Sunset Flame, The Flame Dragon)
From the island of Flamehome (also known as "Galadros" or "the Dragon's Isle"), this mature adult male copper dragon roams the waters in a wide circle that takes in the Purple Rocks, fiercely defending them against encroaching dragons. However, he considers himself exempt from the territorial claims of other dragons and flies wherever he wills. Outside his own domain, his encounters with dragons are as polite, brief, and casual as possible; he offers no menace, ignores it when offered to him, and soon departs. Galadaeros lairs in a caverns in the highest peak on Flamehome and is said to have three wizshades, or female wild mages, or even some of the Seven Sisters, as servants. He spends his days acting as the steed, reinforcements, and advisor to the all-female Galadran Company, between twenty and thirty female human adventurers (derisively known as "Sharptongues") whose ranks originally consisted of highborn Waterdhavian ladies. Galadaeros is gentle and good humored, lacking typical draconic pride, and he has an uncanny ability to judge the needs and schemes of humans (females in particular). He has few known foes, but the Cult of the Dragon -- and adventurers who come to Flamehome intending to carry away treasure or attack the Galadrans -- are definitely among them.
(Glorytongue, The Thief Dragon)
This mature adult female topaz dragon lairs on the tiny islet of Alsapir's Rock, just offshore near Mount Sar, and she roams the Sword Coast from Baldur's Gate to Luskan, usually near Waterdeep or the outer Moonshaes, but sometimes reaching the Nelanther. Gaulauntyr is solitary dragon and moves about often to avoid other dragons (preferring a life of stealth in and about human cities to slumbering in a lair in the heart of a territory). She finds the City of Splendors increasingly crowded with dragons (and other formidable beings) working undercover and so makes far fewer and more timid forays into it than she once did.
Glorytongue spends her days watching human life on the Sword Coast and devising new ways to steal gems or food. (She loves exotic cheeses.) One of the most intelligent -- and paranoid -- dragons of the North, she cloaks her true form in illusions and hides whenever possible. An accomplished mimic of human voices, she has a wry and shrewd grasp of human and draconic nature, always having a ready escape route, a scheme to disappear or adopt a disguise, and secondary plans if the first one fails.
Gaulauntyr's nickname comes from her habit of delivering touch spells with her elongated tongue (and the spell she uses to so transform her tongue). Many dragons and others she has robbed seek to recover their losses, but Glorytongue has no strong and persistent foes (the Cult of the Dragon will become such if they ever discover who's behind all of the dragon-hoard thefts). Increasingly, she's taken to robbing exhausted or wounded adventurers who've made camp or gone to sleep in a "secure" stronghold.
(The Red Rage of Mintarn, The Red Terror, The Sleeping Wyrm of Skadaurak)
This venerable male red dragon considers coastal islands up and down the Sword Coast his domain but roams Faerûn at will (avoiding magic-strong realms such as Evermeet, Thay, and Halruaa), preferring to hunt in the Shaar or wilderness backlands. Though large and aggressive, Hoondarrh feels his vigor lessening. Increasingly he avoids other dragons, though he remains a fighter of experience and cunning, possesses the skills of an increasingly accomplished spellcaster, and commands the formidable magic of the Ongild, a magical emerald that lies in his innards.
The folk of Mintarn pay Hoondarrh tribute money in return for his protection against pirates. He delights in toying with ships south of Mintarn; only his Long Sleeps have kept humans from abandoning water travel in the region. Between slumbers, he entertains himself by watching human doings (mostly in Waterdeep). He rewards those whose pranks, bold deceptions, treacheries, and intrigues amuse him -- but he tirelessly hunts down anyone who dares to steal from him. Hoondarrh often plays elaborate deceptions of his own and regards adventurers seeking his hoard or life as entertainment. The recent feud between the Stoneshields dwarven adventuring band and the elven White Flower Venturers was Hoondarrh's doing . . . and so were the tales that the lost Spell Throne of Malavarr (a high-backed seat that floats about and enables nonspellcasters seated on it to unleash powerful magics) had been found by a Waterdhavian noble family and hidden in a cellar somewhere in the city for their personal use.
The Red Rage dreams of a mate and offspring -- and is becoming increasingly impatient for the achievement of immortality, for he dares not allow himself intimacy until secure in its everlasting protection. He seeks word of wizards working on magic concerned with eternal life or enhanced longevity, and he seizes magic items that might help him win eternal life. In the meantime, he prolongs his natural lifespan by sleeping for decades or centuries at a time.
(The Doom of the Desert, The Dragon of the Statues)
Driven by all-consuming ambition, this female blue wyrm lairs in a nameless ruined city in Anauroch, northeast of Ascore. She slays all intruders and is attended by many gargoyles of her own creation. The gargoyles fly patrols, tunnel the city to keep back the sand, and transport rocks from nearby mountains to expand the "windbreak dune" wall on the windward side of the city. Iymrith also controls a band of adventurers, the Company of the Flame Spider, whom she keeps trapped outside the city and uses to attack intruders.
Iymrith roams the western edge of Anauroch as far south as to be within sight of the Greycloak Hills, as far west as the eastern High Forest, and north to where the Ice Mountains meet the glaciers. She is continually trying to build and animate new bodies for herself, so she can move from body to body and forever cheat death. She will do anything to gain all the magic she can and so rise to supremacy over all Faerûn. Then she can live forever, crafting ever-stronger magic. No one knows if she'll ever feel secure enough to think of mating, dwelling elsewhere, or sharing her magic -- but for now she's an enthusiastic menace to all who venture within her reach.
That reach may soon extend much farther than before: Iymrith has just stumbled on a means of opening short-lived (sunset to sunset) portals in distant locations (such as rich cities in Sembia, Amn, and in Waterdeep itself) and is sending raiding parties of gargoyles through them in search of magic. If she perfects a spell she is working on that will allow her to temporarily inhabit a gargoyle body and suffer no harm if it's destroyed, the Doom of the Desert (with spells at the ready) may soon join such forays -- and begin her grand plan of looting every mage's tower in Toril.
(The Wyrm of Many Spells)
A mature adult female steel dragon who doesn't defend a territory, Jalanvaloss is happy to share the city of Waterdeep with other dragons who hide in human shape as she does. She tolerates the brief visits of such worms as Galadaeros (keeping herself hidden) but reveals herself to savagely fight off any dragon who dares to attack Waterdhavians, despoil the city . . . or do her ill.
Jalanvaloss is a keen observer, never forgetting the smallest details, and she seems to revel in being part of as many intrigues and deceptions as possible. She's an actress of the first rank and an adequate mimic, and she enjoys manipulating others and scheming. Over years of residence in Waterdeep (in a succession of assumed female human guises), she has become expert in recalling the genealogies, relationships, cabals, and alliances of Waterdhavians high and low. She is active in city underlife but also enjoys the entertainment provided by the pretensions and indulgences of its nobles.
Once the steed of the wizard Rythtalies, Jalanvaloss was magically altered by him (in a process lost with his demise) and is now a spellcasting prodigy, though she wasn't born one.
A huge, scarred male great wyrm red dragon, Klauth is known for swift and brutal attacks but has recently retired into brooding paranoia in his lair of "Klauthen Vale" (a narrow, winding valley in the mountains east of Raven Rock) to build his strength, awaiting the day when he'll be powerful enough to emerge as the unquestioned master of dragonkind. Habitually snarling and savage, he's also unpredictable -- and may aid stricken creatures (except dragons, whom he drives away or slays on sight) rather than devouring them. Dragon eggs are a favorite meal (save for those of red dragons, which Klauth uses to magically augment his vitality). He has never mated or shown kindness to another dragon.
Klauth leaves his valley on rare forays to smite potential rivals and to search for the hoards of two white dragons he slew. He doesn't defend a domain and considers himself free to roam (but recognizes that sightseeing over Waterdeep or Iymrith's desert city would be dangerous and imprudent). Recent prudence has led him to employ stealth, invade other dragons' domains only for specific reasons, and perform tasks quickly and efficiently. Over the years he has become an expert on creatures of the North and acquired magical means of affixing wands to his wings and firing them as he swoops at foes. He is thought to have bargained information with Alustriel of the Seven to gain a "live and let live" agreement. Like Iymrith, he is experimenting with spells allowing him to transfer his intellect from body to body -- in Klauth's case, bodies grown from red dragon eggs (once he masters how to create fully grown dragons without minds of their own, that he can store in magical stasis until he needs them).
(The Claws of the Coast, Mother Wyrm)
A homely, whimsical, kindly, and inquisitive very old female bronze dragon, Mother Wyrm is famous for owning and operating her own Sword Coast merchant shipping fleet, the Scaly Eye, and for her "swoop from the sky" rescues of shipwrecked humans. Her fleet is over two dozen vessels strong, and she often appears when one is endangered (suggesting she magically farscries their progress). She preys largely on pirates; her depredations have made the Nelanther passable to shipping in recent years. Lhammaruntosz often transfers "fast mail" messages and small items from ship to ship, using "flyover" droplines.
Lacking pride and disinterested in territory, Lhammaruntosz avoids combat whenever possible and never lingers to destroy foes, simply striking to defend herself, end an urgent problem, and be on her way. She carries magic items that can cause deadly midair acid-ball explosions, and she has vigorous personal regenerative powers that allow her to largely ignore the elements.
Lhammaruntosz doesn't regard her roaming as defining an exclusive domain; she'll ignore or calmly greet and pass other dragons who treat her the same way, fighting only those who offer her battle or attack her friends or Scaly Eye folk or property. She has two lairs, a hidden inland hoard-home and a "resting lair" in the heights of Orlumbor, and she is almost always on Orlumbor or flying along the Sword Coast, visiting coastal agents (and avoiding Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate).
Mother Wyrm recently ordered six large, fast new merchant caravels built for her in Waterdeep; it is rumored she discovered a bay somewhere in the Nelanther where over a dozen sunken ships lie, crammed with pirate treasure.
(The Dragon Unseen, The Unseen Dragon)
This very old male sapphire dragon dwells in a vast cavern network beneath the Graypeak Mountains that he calls his Realm of Stone and Shadow. Scrying mirrors drift slowly along its passages, and Malaeragoth uses them often to spy on Faerûn, bending much of his attention on Sembia and the Cult of the Dragon (sometimes posing as a human while using them to seek advice from or manipulate surface-dwellers). Malaeragoth commands legions of skeletons and zombies, but he has no allies and prefers solitude.
Beyond his extensive lair, Malaeragoth claims no territory but considers himself free to travel anywhere. On his rare flying forays, he doesn't hesitate to fight if anyone bars or disputes his way. He watches over approaches to his lair, having developed an intense dislike of surprise guests and visitations. Patient and shrewd, he hates the Cult of the Dragon and has become so expert at manipulating it (through magical guises and unwitting agents) that he's well on the way to controlling it.
Recently, he has hit upon the idea of befriending adventurers (while posing as a human) and aiding them in rising to rule the realms of Faerûn -- while magically eavesdropping on their minds. The Unseen Dragon prefers keeping his manipulations hidden over controlling his pawns into precisely achieving his own goals -- but the extent of his manipulations, and numbers of folk involved as his agents, are staggering.
(The Sentinel Wyrm)
All that remains of this former female silver great wyrm is a malevolent, diligent guardian force bound under Candlekeep, as she has been for over fifteen hundred years. In that time, her lair, a pillarlike islet just offshore from Ulgoth's Beard, collapsed into the sea. Miirym once roamed coastal lands between the High Moor and the Sea of Swords (and as far offshore as Mintarn), south to the Cloud Peaks, and north to Mount Helimbrar, but her territory is now as lost as her name and body.
Today Miirym is little more than an all-seeing set of spectral jaws that can bite or unleash any chromatic or metallic breath weapon. Tortured by loneliness, her sanity isn't strong. She craves converse and companionship (and of course, freedom to roam all Faerûn in her own body again), and treachery or sneak attacks upon her evoke savage, furious attacks in return. Trapped in endless guardianship of Candlekeep, Miirym roams a sharply limited "domain" of subterranean passages accompanied only by the occasional monk and by floating, spell-reflecting "glass guardian" spheres. She'll attack all intruders who seek to force their way up into Candlekeep, or anyone bearing any sort of scroll, book, or writing.
(The Moor Dragon)
A priestess of Shar trapped in dragon shape by rivals, this young adult female green dragon lairs in the Rockshaws, a monster-haunted, trackless region of broken country in the northeastern High Moor. She lairs in extensive caverns beneath Greenleaf Vale (a forested bowl valley) but uses them only when wounded or as shelter from fierce wintry weather, spending most of her time spying on the doings of others or basking on high mountain ledges around Amn, plotting. Mornauguth seems to ignore the very concept of draconic territory, never defending her own lair nor caring if she angers other dragons by her roamings. Only fear of being caught over water curtails her wanderings, which are concerned with the doings of the Sharran clergy, rival priesthoods, and other human intrigues, broken by hunting trips and explorative forays. The only "domain" she'll defend against other dragons are the Sharran temples of Faerûn (Amn in particular).
Subsisting on wild game, adventurers, and caravans, Mornauguth desperately wants her human form back. She prays often to Shar for this boon and gives all the wealth she gains to the Dark Embrace temple in Amn. At least once a month she performs some daring deed (often a raid on a state building, palace, jail, or fortress) in the name of Shar. On rare occasions, clergy of the Dark Embrace request her service as a steed or aid in an attack on a strong target (usually a Selûnite temple), and so far she has given it willingly; how long she'll continue to do so without any reward or sign of Shar's favor remains to be seen.
(The Drow Dragon, The Dark Lady)
This adult female dragon is actually a form of song dragon, changing between drow and shadow dragon forms. Using illusion spells to appear human, she poses as the Dark Lady of Rundreth Manor, a ruin overlooking the Long Road north of Amphail, and lures men thence. Most she robs, slays, and devours at leisure, but some she seduces and releases. Freed consorts who speak of the Dark Lady are hunted down and destroyed; those who keep silent and remain friendly are suffered to live. (Nurvureem uses the men who walk away devoted to her to bring her back magic items, potions, and spell scrolls -- and to keep her informed of adventurers and Cult of the Dragon agents.) Occasionally she visits one of these "Faithful Few" for companionship and to check on their doings. Those who prove weak or turn against her become coerced allies, fearful servants, or (most often) swiftly dead. Some of them remain her willing servants lifelong. She seems to be seeking longtime friends, and perhaps a suitable mate.
Only human, half-elven, and elven spellcasters customarily impress Nurvureem; she treats such individuals with care until she has measured their power and decided whether she should seduce them, remain hidden, seize their magic while they sleep, or simply attack and win another meal. Rotting dragonflesh is her favorite food, usually gained by devouring adventurer or weather-weakened dragons. She has no taste for fair and open battles. Wyverns are her next favorite fare, followed by humans.
Nurvureem is lonely, probably less than sane, and unrepentantly evil, openly delighting in theft and cruel pranks. She finds amusement in plots against her -- save for those launched by dragons, which arouse her to seething anger -- and regards adventurers' strivings as her personal entertainment. She often spies on adventuring bands to enjoy "the show" (and dine on whatever they slay). She despises and destroys dracoliches and members of the Cult of the Dragon on sight but doesn't bother pursuing them. She hates other drow, shuns drow company, ways, and faiths, and is both fascinated by and fearful of other sorts of elves. Elves who treat her arrogantly never fail to enrage her, but she has tasted too many traps to let anger goad her into instant attack.
Nurvureem's "chosen ground" is the Dessarin valley south of Triboar, the lower Delimbiyr as far east as Secomber, and the coastal lands south of that to the Way Inn. She knows every ravine and nameless creek in this territory but does not bother to patrol or defend it as a formal domain.
(The Wyrm Who Watches, The Guardian of the Silmerhelves)
A kindly male bronze ancient dragon now sleepy with age, Nymmurh has devoted much of his life to watching over the Silmerhelve human noble family of Waterdeep. He crafted several magic mirrors and portraits in their homes to serve as constant scrying portals that he can see, hear, and speak through at will (remaining hidden unless he desires otherwise). These portals entertain Nymmurh as the Silmerhelves live out their lives under his scrutiny. He reveals himself to at least one family member of each generation so as to advise the clan, and he has become a family legend.
More than once he has covertly arranged matches for Silmerhelves. He regards the family as under his protection but does not watch over every young wayward member and doesn't hold himself responsible for the survival and successes of individuals. If the family ever faces extinction, he'll kidnap and hide Silmerhelves to continue the family line while he makes things safe in Waterdeep for their eventual return.
Nymmurh can scry all of his portals constantly and adjust their magic to allow him, another creature, or items to travel through them in either direction. Whimsical, good-natured, and curious, Nymmurh desires to learn more about humankind because he sees them as the "great shaping force" destined to rule over or influence all of Faerûn during his lifetime.
He views dragons much as humans: potentially dangerous sources of entertainment about which it is prudent to learn all he can. Nymmurh tries to hide his existence from other dragons as much as possible, swooping down to feed by night, and almost never venturing out of his lair in dragon form.
Nymmurh has a need to constantly learn more about Toril. He likes to guess what lies ahead in politics, trade, and technology, finding it all very entertaining. He has no desire to rule and finds no joy in outwitting or trapping others, preferring to watch from the background unnoticed -- and unattacked.
Nymmurh lairs in the peaks of Alaron in the Moonshaes, in the Pit, a chain of caverns heaped with odd items of all sorts; he's an incurable collector of souvenirs. Nymmurh ignores the concept of domains, cheerfully roaming the North (the Sword Coast and near offshore isles in particular) heedless of what dragons dwell where. The only areas he'll defend against intruders are his own lair and a larder island he has established in the Korinn Archipelago.
(The Minstrel Wyrm)
A very old male blue dragon who dwells in Mount Araddyn (just north of Mount Sar along the Coast Road), Olothontor loves music. For about a fifth of each year, Harpers and other bards stay at his lair, which he rarely leaves, on promised "return visits" (some have been making annual appearances for nigh twenty years). These visits seldom overlap; the Minstrel Wyrm prefers to host one intruder at a time.
The front of Olothontor's lair is a crumbling old stone mansion built by titans (hence, large enough for the dragon) and enspelled by him so that entry into rooms causes favorite songs to be heard. These magical "recordings" warn Olothontor of intrusion and awe timid intruders into flight from this "haunted" place. Especially accomplished or promising guests are almost pleaded with to stay and lift the dragon's loneliness with music, but the hostile or tuneless feel the dragon's spells or breath weapon forthwith.
When Olothontor does take wing, he can be found anywhere between Mintarn and Anauroch, Neverwinter and Silverymoon, and occasionally as far south as Tethyr -- wherever he can hear music. Olothontor is aware that other dragons regard certain areas as their personal domains and flies high (or very low to the ground) to avoid attracting attention to himself -- but that's his habit anyway. He regards an attempt by another dragon to dwell or habitually perch on Mount Araddyn as an invasion of his own domain and ferociously battles any wyrm foolish enough to lair nearby. Olothontor just wants to be left alone by other dragons, orc hordes, adventurers, and anyone else who does not love music.
(The Unseen Protector, The Sun Dragon)
Mature when Netheril was young, this male gold great wyrm prolonged his existence beyond natural death and decay through powerful magic, but the spells that maintain his magically knit form are now failing, and he dares materialize for only minutes per day -- usually for scant seconds, to proffer or snatch something . . . or attack.
In solid form, Palarandusk appears as a fierce gold dragon whose jaws are white with age, whose scales are cracked and pale, and who weeps when he must slay -- but slays nonetheless, without hesitation or mercy. His mastery of magic and spell roster is that of a 28th-level sorcerer, and he employs many spells forgotten today. The rest of the time, Palarandusk exists as an invisible entity who can watch, listen, speak, and move about, but can't make physical attacks or cast spells (except those that affect only himself). In his invisible, semisolid form, Palarandusk doesn't age, the spells that maintain him don't deteriorate further, and he suffers no harm from the elements.
Palarandusk is now the guardian of Ieirithymbul, a tiny mining village of gnomes in the valley of Felrenden (in the westernmost Sword Mountains, not far from the High Road southeast of Leilon). He regards the gnomes as his children and watches over them as their "Unseen Protector." He chafes in his decline, however, and dreams of once more being a widely respected power in the Sword Coast North (he once was, as "the Sun Dragon," protector of Neverwinter).
Enslaved by a Netherese sorcerer who altered his longevity and eventually his nature and abilities, Palarandusk flourished for centuries before his powers began to fail, and fear of the rising Arcane Brotherhood of Luskan drove him to "disappear." He studied magic, hiding in human form, for decades before being attacked by adventurers -- and was so ravaged in that battle that his body was only held together by "a webwork of shattered spells." He rebuilt his frame into the slowly crumbling Unseen Protector he is today.
Palarandusk's body has continued to deteriorate despite several magical augmentations. He has recently learned much about current trade alliances and practices along the High Road and remains alert for news of doings elsewhere in the North (that may in time affect the valley he guards).
The aging gold wyrm possesses a thorough, sympathetic understanding of human and gnome nature. He believes dragons have a duty to live in harmony with the land, devouring prey only as needful, despoiling things only when ruination can't be avoided, and protecting their domains against damage from floods, fires, and invasions.
The Unseen Protector drifts from one gnome to another like an anxious but silent invisible sheepdog, trying to maintain an overall, ongoing picture of the whereabouts and doings of all Ieirithyn gnomes. He defends them without thought for his own safety, never employing traps or ruses and never sleeping. As he works, he's always contemplating ways in which his body can be magically strengthened.
(The Silent Shadow, The Wyrm of Axard)
This gigantic male emerald great wyrm won his more famous nickname for his habit of flying over almost every important event in the Sword Coast North a century ago, watching and never speaking. There was much speculation as to what mysterious master he served, but the truth was simply that Raulothim liked gliding on high winds and being a part of everything.
Now, however, a mature Raulothim spends long days lying motionless, gazing out over the North from his lair in the Pit of Stars, a volcanic cauldron on Axard, the northeasternmost isle of Ruathym. The sight of a spelljamming ship and the opening of a portal to another plane frightened him deeply: How many realms unknown to him exist? Who watches Toril from them, and what are their aims? Raulothim broods . . . whenever he's not building his magical might for the day when someone from otherwhere who thinks he knows too much will come to slay him.
The Silent Shadow gains magic by plundering ruins and tombs, tearing apart the towers of wounded or absent wizards, and seizing or buying magic from adventurers. He largely ignores domains (though he defends Axard as one), considering himself free to roam all Toril. Well aware of other dragons' territorial claims, he escapes their notice entirely by never intruding needlessly into their territories.
(Lady Gemcloak, The Axemother)
This adult female crystal dragon makes her lair in a cave in the Crags, overlooking Mirabar. A recent arrival in the North, she has taken over a rich gem mine developed by the Kreeth goblin tribe (whom she exterminated) and spends much time in its depths, devouring the exposed ores.
Certain bold dwarves approached her to gain permission to mine in her lair and have struck a bargain: They're free to mine, defend her lair against intruders, and even to dwell in certain of its reaches, in return for feeding her all the gems and metals she desires. She's quite happy to eat flawed and shattered gems, low-grade metal ores, and rust scraps, and she has come to trust the dwarves -- who in turn see her as the "mother" under whose protection they can found a new city or tribe.
She considers a very small area (Mirabar and a small stretch of the Crags) her domain but defends it fiercely. Other dragons, predators of all sorts (including greedy humans), and anyone the dwarves don't want around is considered unwanted and dealt with accordingly. Lady Gemcloak reportedly has a vicious streak in battle and loves maiming and spectacularly slaying foes. (Dismemberments and crushings are favorites.)
(Old Lord Memory)
This very old male mist dragon lairs in a damp, dripping cliff-face cavern on the shore of the Sea of Swords, north of Port Llast. He keeps to himself as much as possible, and many folk who dwell nearby don't know he exists at all. His hobby is collecting and remembering arcane lore valued by the intelligent races who dwell in the North (such as singular items of treasure and magic items), but one must trade information to gain desired information out of him, overcoming his distaste for being disturbed at all.
Thalagyrt can employ his own spells to project (as three-dimensional images) scenes that live in his memory -- and his mind holds thousands upon thousands of such memories, some of them surprisingly important or private moments to humans, elves, or other civilized folk. (He has made a career of collecting mind-images from dying folk and others who desire to preserve recollections of events.)
A visitor who persuades (usually by payment of large amounts of gold coins) Old Lord Memory, for example, can see and hear the confrontation in the throne room in Suzail where the risen Azoun confronted the traitors who sought to murder him . . . or a tender, murmuring love-meeting between the great mages Elminster and the Simbul, Witch-Queen of Aglarond. These are but two examples of literally thousands of scenes, some of them crucial to an understanding of now-crumbling treaties and long-dead heroes, rulers, and villains.
Thalagyrt ignores the draconic concept of domains and avoids fighting any other wyrms he meets. "Just leave me alone" might well be his watchphrase. This means he's timid, but not craven. If forced to fight, he will, and he reportedly can call (from afar, by magic) on swift and powerful aid from the Chosen, the Heralds, Malchor Harpell, and others who value the lore he preserves.
(The Silver Flame)
This proud, reckless young adult male mercury dragon is swiftly rising to prominence in the daily news of the North, because he wants to be "in" at the heart of everything important that occurs. Hot-tempered and yet gallant and changeable in his likes and dislikes, Tostyn is lighthearted and enthusiastic by nature and spends his time dashing about, swooping down to make attacks or low rolls from the air. He lairs in the depths of the Everlake, at the heart of the Evermoors, but spends little time "at home."
Tostyn made his lair where he discovered an invisible column of air that keeps the water out of an underground mansion (probably once the abode of a powerful wizard). Now it houses his collection of magical or simply valuable automata, vessels, and oddities. Its owner is more often to be found somewhere near Waterdeep, rushing about "being a part of things." Until spells were mustered to drive him off, he made quite a habit of "crashing" the country parties of Waterdhavian nobles. Domains mean nothing to him -- but he is just thoughtful enough to avoid blundering into the faces of larger, older dragons. He hates no one until he is crossed with vicious or cruel acts; opponents who "play by the rules" are respected. He disdains beings who use poisons or magical deception, but he is essentially lighthearted and lives for the moment; grudges and feuds aren't for him.
(The Dragon Queen of Silverymoon)
The Dragon Queen is an ancient female gold dragon seldom seen by humans except as Targarda, an agile, diminutive female human possessed of "elven" looks (her favored form when on rare forays into civilized places).
Valamaradace dwells with her consort, the adult male silver dragon Deszeldaryndun Silverwing, in the Floating Mountain, a gigantic, hollow oval rock kept aloft by her spells (which also enshroud it in mists and direct it wherever she desires). Usually it hovers low over the woods due west of Everlund, or south of there on the verges of the High Forest. The draconic couple refers to it as "Softwing." Valamaradace determines the boundaries of their shared domain (detailed under Deszeldaryndun's entry). She concerns herself with patrolling its borders and planning how best to tend its growing things, rather as a diligent human minds a prized garden. Her consort deals with intruders and "civilized"' beings within the territory, whereas Valamaradace sees to removing diseased trees and plants, planting new ones, balancing light and shade, marsh and dry land, and so on to create as lush and stable a land of plenty as she can. She is constantly busy "adjusting the balance" of living things and refining her spells to give her greater control over the domain -- and sharper weapons in battle.
Neutral-aligned beings are tolerated as travelers in her territory, but not as settlers; evil beings are destroyed or driven out upon detection (which has led some good-aligned beings and Harpers to describe the domain as "the Haven").
Valamaradace is gentle and soft-spoken; she rebukes pride and arrogance whenever she encounters it -- and has found that many good creatures show all too much of such vices to the world. She uses gifts given to her for the benefit of all, so that none might go hungry or needy in the Haven. Creatures who take advantage of this policy to laze away their days here expecting free food and handouts are visited by superiors, creditors, or others (sent by the Dragon Queen) to be "set back to their destined tasks."
(The Mere Wyrm, The Black Death)
In the heart of the Mere of Dead Men, the vast coastal swamp between Leilon and Waterdeep, dwells the black dragon Voaraghamanthar. This marauder of the swamp avoids other dragons who intrude into the Mere or claim it as part of their domain and is said to have strange powers -- able to emerge suddenly from beneath long-placid swamp waters; read and reason as intelligently, patiently, and humbly as a timid human scholar; and to be in two places at once.
That latter power is due to the true nature of the wyrm: "Voaraghamanthar" is really two identical twin adult male black dragons who pose as one dragon in their dealings with intruders into the Mere and with members of the Cult of the Dragon. Their true names are Voaraghamanthar and Waervaerendor, but they call each other by the short-names Weszlum and Welzour -- that is, when they need to speak at all. The twins share an empathic link and work together with no trace of jealousy. They are thought to be seeking immortality (as all dragons are) -- hence their dealings with the Cult. The Followers of the Scaly Way have thus far been unable to convince Voaraghamanthar to seek anything more than full and exhaustive details of dracolichdom.
They also seem to be interested in the treasures that might lie beneath the inky waters of the Mere (relics of earlier human realms) and in lurking underwater or otherwise lying low when other dragons are near -- not, it appears, out of fear, but because they've no interest in disputes with other dragons.
(The Laughing Wyrm)
This ancient female steel dragon has no real domain but considers the city of Neverwinter her territory, defending it against other dragons who dare show themselves or try to dominate its inhabitants. Battle so excites her that she chortles and hoots almost constantly; hence, her nickname.
Zundaerazylym has dwelt "in hiding" in Neverwinter for years, taking dragon form only to fight off a raiding mage of the Brotherhood of the Arcane and to devour a pair of wyverns who laired too near in the Crags. The Laughing Wyrm poses as Amundra Nelaerdra, a jolly, plump, gossiping laundress and seamstress. More than once, the "Laughing Laundress of Neverwinter" has smuggled embarrassed guests out of the Mask, a notorious festhall, in gigantic baskets of laundry, allowing them to avoid confrontations with rivals, spouses, superiors, or admirers. The steel dragon has an understanding with the owner of the Mask, the spellcaster Ophala Cheldarstorn, who sometimes aids Zundaerazylym with her spells.
Zundaerazylym likes adventurers, is wary of wizards she doesn't know, and dislikes tyrants of all sorts, from children lording over other urchins in alleys to kings who mistreat their subjects or try to conquer new territory; more than once she's taught sailors from Luskan and overblown adventurer-wizards a lesson -- usually luring them into private places by posing as a flirtatious tavern wench, then changing to dragon form with clashing jaws and wild laughter. Usually she lets those she has thus terrified flee unscathed, but she has been known to tear a mage's staff, cloak, and garments all away, or break a sailor's swordarm and the sword with it.
Much has been said in the past of the Wyrms of the North, those two dozen or so dragons made famous by the scribblings of Volothamp Geddarm - so much so that one might think that all dragons of import make their lairs and focus their interest in the Sword Coast and Western Heartlands. Not to be forgotten, though, are the dragons who lair at the other extremes of the compass rose.
About the Authors
Ed Greenwood is the originator of the Forgotten Realms setting and carries all of its crumbling castles, bustling cities, flashing spells -- and soaring dragons -- in his head. When he's crossing the border every year on his way to the Gen Con Game Fair, he hopes it doesn't show. The rest of the time, he doesn't care if it does.
Sean K Reynolds is a coauthor of the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. He is always on the verge of quitting his job and becoming a crazed hermit. He would like to thank Brian Cortijo for scanning the text and map of the original Dragon Magazine article summarizing the Wyrms of the North.