Monster ENCyclopedia: Remorhaz
  • Monster ENCyclopedia: Remorhaz


    One of D&D’s hottest creatures lives in the coolest climes. Arctic explorers might place “burned alive” low down on their list of risks, but that’s exactly what will happen if they run into a remorhaz. A capable hunter, the remorhaz grows large enough to swallow a polar bear whole. Anything it eats is rapidly immolated by the chemical fires raging in the creature’s stomach. Join this edition of the Monster ENCyclopedia as we examine the remorhaz (from a safe distance).


    Monster ENCyclopedia: Remorhaz
    This is a series of posts about specific monsters from D&D's history. Each entry takes a look at the origin of one D&D creature, and tracks its appearances and evolution across different editions. Our choice for the letter R is the remorhaz, an unusual arctic creature with a long D&D history.

    Origins and development
    The remorhaz made a colourful debut in 1976 in the pages of The Dragon #2. It gets an entire page to itself, dominated by a wonderful Erol Otus illustration. According to an interview with Tor.com this was Otus’s first published colour piece. In his words, the drawing was of a “blue and fuchsia winged worm in an icy landscape”.


    The Dragon #2 (1976)

    The Creature Features article in The Dragon wasn’t attributed to anyone when published, but Otus and Rob Kuntz probably share the credit for the remorhaz. As Kuntz tells the story in his Lord of the Green Dragons blog, Gary Gygax had Otus’s illustration pinned up in his office and liked it, but didn’t have a name or statistics for the creature. Gygax handed Kuntz the picture, and he gave the remorhaz a name and wrote the article printed in The Dragon. Writing in Dragon #324, James Jacobs suggests that the works of Robert E. Howard may have influenced the creation of the remorhaz.

    The remorhaz is thirty feet in length, and the circular red protrusions running from head to tail down its back are kept at temperatures high enough to melt non-magical weapons. Although it is a super-heated creature, the remorhaz dwells in cold areas such as mountains or frozen wastes. It is of neutral alignment and low intelligence, but is also a dangerous predator in the extremities it roams. When a remorhaz gets close to its prey, it will often flap its vestigial wings.

    Encounters are usually with a solo remorhaz, but woe betide travellers stumbling into a lair, where up to four may be found. They have either 6, 10 or 14 Hit Dice, and an Armor Class varying by targeted body part (blue underside AC 4, head AC 2, hot part AC 0 plus melted weapon). They have 75% magic resistance. A remorhaz can attack with a bite, doing 3-36 points of damage, or breathe fire, doing damage equal to half the remorhaz’s Hit Dice. Despite its many legs, the remorhaz moves only as fast as a human.

    1st Edition
    The following year the remorhaz made it into the AD&D Monster Manual with a black and white illustration by Dave Trampier. The creature’s appearance and basic statistics are similar to the version in The Dragon, but much of the text is new information. A remorhaz may have between 7 and 14 Hit Dice, and displays a corresponding increase in size, starting at 21 feet and growing to as much as 42 feet in length.


    Monster Manual (1977)

    An aggressive predator, the remorhaz now does marginally more bite damage (6-36). It rears up its front quarter and beats its wings before striking with a speed that belies its large size. The remorhaz heats up internally when aroused, and it uses its glowing back protrusions to disperse excess warmth. As well as melting weapons, the hot surface does 10-100 points of damage on contact. Although the Monster Manual remorhaz can no longer breathe fire, the remorhaz gains the special ability to swallow a target whole on an attack score of 20. The intense heat in the digestive system of the remorhaz instantly kills the victim.

    The habitat of a remorhaz is now limited to chilly wastes and it even has the alternative name of “polar worm”. (The index in the Monster Manual II later offers “ice worm” as another synonym.) A quarter of the time a remorhaz shares its lair with a mate and one or two eggs. These eggs are worth 5,000 gold pieces to the right buyer.


    G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (1978)

    Although it is an unusual creature, the remorhaz appears quite frequently in early adventures. The thirty foot long specimen living in the upper layers of G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl is surrounded by the scattered remains of its past victims. One of the many parallel worlds accessible through the gateways in Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits is called the Frozen Lands; it includes the remorhaz on its list of resident creatures.

    UK5: Eye of the Serpent offers us some insight into remorhaz eggs and the hatching process. In this adventure, an ice mephit is keeping a remorhaz egg in a chilly pool to prevent it from hatching. The egg is 18 inches long, and glows faintly blue, heating the water in the pool slightly. If removed from the cold water, the egg begins to glow brightly before hatching into a young remorhaz. The hatchling is three feet long, has 7 hit points, and a bite that does 1-6 points of damage. The shell fragments continue to glow and might be sold for 50 gp to a jeweller.

    UK7: Dark Clouds Gather has a pair of remorhazes living in cave in a snowy ravine. The male is encountered outside the cave, but retreats to his mate if the battle goes against him.

    Another pair of remorhazes lives in Korum’s Pass in REF4: The Book of Lairs. Local merchants offer a bounty of up to 10,000 gp for the head of the strange behemoth attacking travellers in the region. It turns out that this is a male remorhaz hunting on behalf of a nesting pair, and he will aggressively defend his mate and unhatched young. The encounter takes place in a series of icy tunnels, and the remorhaz is described as making good tactical use of the conditions. When the remorhaz heats up, it interacts with the icy environment to cause a fog to fill its lair, and it uses the fog to disguise lightning fast strikes on its opponents from above.

    The adventure Out of the Ashes in Dungeon #17 includes an unusually large ancient remorhaz, which is fifty feet in length, has 16 HD and swallows victims whole on a roll of 18 or better. That’s a rather vicious 3 in 20 chance of instant death each time the remorhaz bites!

    The Ecology of the Remorhaz appeared in Dragon #114. Co-authored by Ed Greenwood and Kurt Martin, the story opening the article takes place in the Krylen Peaks. Krylen is, interestingly, the name of two peaks on Earth, on in the Antarctica and one in the Arctic. This is one of the more detailed of the Ecology series of articles, and provides a wealth of information on remorhaz physiology and the creature’s life-cycle. It states that “remorhaz” is both singular and plural, but this convention would be discarded from 3rd Edition onwards, with “remorhazes” the currently accepted plural.

    The introductory tale describes the remorhaz as a massive centipede, but the footnotes classify it more accurately as a segmented worm. It has a number of segments equal to its Hit Dice. Each segment has a rock-hard outer layer, which insulates against the cold, and shields the remorhaz against icy spikes and attacking opponents equally well. This armor protects a layer of strong muscle and chorded nerves which surround the internal core where the digestive organs are located. Although is is described as heavily scaled in the fiction, this appears to refer to the large segments rather than a coating of smaller scales. The underside of the remorhaz is softer than the rest, but this part is only visible when the remorhaz rears up to attack. In combat, two human sized opponents can target the softer (AC 4) underside, two more the head (AC 2) and the remainder must target the heated and armored segments (AC 0).

    Each segment of the remorhaz’s body has one pair of flexible, armored, chitinous legs. Each leg ends in a large suction pad and a two iron-hard toe talons. The suction cup has no sensory nerves, so does not feel pain. The talons are used primarily to grip on slippery arctic ice. If legs are broken off, a scab of protective fluids will form to protect the wound while the remorhaz regrows the missing limbs, which takes up to twenty days. A remorhaz’s movement rate drops if it loses enough legs, but even without any legs, it can still slither. Although it can swim, a remorhaz generally avoids water as it cools it down too quickly.

    The two small membranous wings are used to assist the remorhaz lift its head before striking, as well as for temperature regulation in some situations. The wings can be targeted for attack, and are susceptible to fire. Disabling the wings reduces the remorhaz’s attack bonus in combat.

    The head of a remorhaz is framed with two large curving black horns and dominated by enormous jaws filled with four horrible fangs. A remorhaz has two large icy white eyes, each consisting of a globular cluster of more than a thousand tiny eye lenses. The eyes are coloured white to provide a natural snow-glare filter. Their compound nature of the eyes makes a remorhaz difficult to blind. It can even regenerate damaged eye lenses, but only very slowly and one at a time. The remorhaz has 9” ultravision at night, or 7” infravision in full darkness. It also has excellent peripheral vision.


    Dragon #114 (1986)

    The preferred attack strategy of a remorhaz is to rear up using its wings, release a birdlike shriek and then make a lunging strike. It can raise its head up 9 inches for each HD (so 10½ feet at 14 HD) and can strike forwards an equal distance. Its compound eyes mean it can see and target enemies within a full 180° arc. A remorhaz tends to focus on an opponent who either recently struck it, or who has inflicted significant damage. A remorhaz does not use its rear body segments or legs to attack, but may attempt to roll and pin an opponent with its heated back plates. If it manages to pin a target, it will then take advantage of this to also bite. A person accidentally impaled by a remorhaz’s taloned leg takes 4-9 hit points of damage, and non-magical items it steps on are likely crushed.

    Even ignoring the risk of being swallowed whole, the bite of a remorhaz can do a lot of damage. This scales with Hit Dice, from 4-24 damage at 7 HD up to 6-36 damage at 14 HD. It takes a 13+ HD remorhaz to be able to swallow a human-sized prey whole, but a 12 HD remorhaz can swallow short humans and elves, and a 11 HD version can swallow someone halfling-sized. Even for targets too large to be swallowed, a roll of 20 indicates full bite damage. Someone bitten by a remorhaz must also make a save or suffer a brief -2 penalty to attacks; this is because of the creature’s overpowering superheated breath.

    The remorhaz requires special digestive processes to help break down the huge chunks of meat that it swallows. A chemical known as thrym is the basis for the remorhaz’s internal digestive heat. Two chemicals released from its stomachs mix to form the compound which is then circulated through it digestive system as well as pumped through its body to heat the back protrusions. Although the resulting hot, caustic liquid can break down almost anything the remorhaz ingests, it is capable of excreting molten metals and other indigestibles through a stomach flap.

    A remorhaz has three physical states. Since it uses a lot of energy when active, the remorhaz also spends up to a fifth of its time in a dormant state in its lair. Its second state is its normal state, where it is active, but does not super-heat its back protrusions. A remorhaz will often remain still for a long time in this state, waiting to ambush arctic travellers. When ready to attack, a remorhaz heats up its back protrusions to maximum and enters its third, heated state. Fully heated protrusions are red hot and do the 10d10 damage noted in the Monster Manual. When the creature is in its normal state, the protrusions have a darker colour and do only half as much damage.

    It takes a remorhaz two rounds to change from its normal state to its super-heated state. A remorhaz with up to 10 HD can sustain the higher temperature for up to six rounds, while a large specimen (11-14 HD) can sustain its heat for up to ten rounds, but then usually in two shorter bursts. A typical remorhaz can only enter its heated state once every 36 hours or so, and it needs to eat a human-sized meal at approximately the same frequency to avoid freezing to death. Usually, a remorhaz does not lose heat from its well insulated feet, but if the air is damp, its back protrusions will cause cold air to condense into fog. In rare situations where a remorhaz is removed from its customary environment and kept in surroundings of 60°F (16°C) or more, it will try to use its wings to fan itself, before eventually becoming sluggish. It recovers quickly once it cools down. According to the Ecology article, it is the properties of thrym which gives the remorhaz its magic resistance.

    A remorhaz lair consists of slippery ice tunnels, made smooth by repeated melting and refreezing. Thanks to its feet talons, the treacherous surfaces of these tunnels do not hamper the remorhaz. However, it cannot use its preferred raised head strike in confined spaces, so it will try to engage in more open spaces. The central area of the a lair is much larger, often large enough for stalactites to form, but the remorhaz tends not to take prey into this chamber unless it is a male feeding a nesting female. Treasures found in a lair are left overs items from previous victims that are hardy enough to survive both extreme cold and remorhaz trampling.

    Remorhazes of both sexes usually hunt and lair alone. A remorhaz typically roams over a roughly circular area of about 60 miles across. Even if this overlaps with another remorhaz, the creatures seldom fight over territory. When food is plentiful a remorhaz may roam further to seek out others of its kind. When searching for a mate, a remorhaz will announce itself with mournful wolf-like roars, and by rearing up and flapping their wings to attract attention. Female remorhazes are slightly larger than males (14 HD specimens are always female). Mating takes place during the autumn season, and a female remorhaz will produce one or two grey-blue eggs within three months of building a nest. A remorhaz pair will remain together only until the eggs hatch. On average, about one in four remorhazes mate each season.

    The information on remorhaz eggs given in the Ecology article isn’t entirely consistent with UK5: Eye of the Serpent. Here we learn that an egg which drops below 60°F (16°C) for more than a few minutes will never hatch. The female incubates her eggs for the 3-4 months it takes them to hatch. At the end of this time, the hatchlings eat their way out of their eggs. Although a newly hatched remorhaz has all of the abilities of an adult, it fights only to defend itself and remains in the lair. The male remorhaz leaves the nest as soon as the young hatch, while the female stays with them for a few days or weeks before driving them away from the lair to fend for themselves. If something stops the eggs from hatching, the male remorhaz will remain with the female for additional egg-laying cycles until they achieve success. Over the course of four months, the small (1HD) hatchlings to grow to large-sized worms (7HD), at which point they are considered adults. It is possible but dangerous to raise and train a young remorhaz to serve as a guard. A remorhaz will recognise only a limited number of masters, and behaves erratically when hungry.

    Dragon magazine offers up just a few additional morsels of remorhaz lore from its 1st Edition run. Dragon #54 notes that remorhazes are sometimes found living in ruins. The article The Nine Hells: Part II in Dragon #76 suggests that remorhazes (or “glacier worms”) might be found on the icy plane of Hell known as Cania. Dragon #93 offers two recommendation for the pronunciation of remorhaz: REE-mOr-az or REHM-Or-@z. In Dragon #137, Treasures of the Wilds (possibly the single most referenced article for Monster ENCyclopedia series) confirms the value of a remorhaz egg as 5,000 gp and pegs the price for a young remorhaz at 9,000 gp.

    We’ve touched on the Official AD&D Paints before in this series (with the otyugh) but as Kim Mohan points out in a column in Dragon #55, the paint set provided some rare insight into the colours of D&D creatures during an era when most existing pictures were black and white. Along with “Beholder Body Fuchsia” and “Anhkheg Underside Pink” the paints included “Remorhaz Blue/Green”.

    To wrap up 1st Edition, here are two of the more obscure appearances of the remorhaz. First, there is a remorhaz loitering in chamber 10 of the ruined castle keep in which the story in the The Official AD&D Coloring Album takes place.


    The Official AD&D Coloring Album (1979)

    Then, did you know that in 1981 you could buy transfers of D&D monsters? More often called decals in the US, transfers are tiny transparent vinyl stickers that can be transferred from a plastic layer to another surface by rubbing the top side. Children use them to decorate school books, as well as to reduce the future collectible value of D&D modules by adding interesting new monster scenes in unexpected places. Eight different packs of these were produced, and the From the Monster Manual pack in Series II included a colourised version of the Monster Manual remorhaz picture.


    AD&D Rub Down Picture Transfers Series II (1981)

    2nd Edition
    The Monstrous Compendium Volume One has a full page entry for the remorhaz, which consists of the description from the Monster Manual plus some edited highlights from the Ecology article. It is accompanied by a black and white illustration which enlarges the wings, and changes the structure of remorhaz’s mouth considerably.


    Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989)

    Careful inspection reveals a few nuggets of new lore in the text. We learn that a remorhaz eats deer, elk, polar bears and humanoids of all sorts, right up to frost giants. Their language consist of roaring, bellowing and howling. (The Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting even lists “remorhaz” as one of the languages of the Realms, but the idea of a remorhaz language was abandoned after 2nd Edition.) Infravision is now limited to 60 feet. Remorhaz lifespan is noted as 30 years. The value of a remorhaz egg has plummeted from 5,000 gp to 500 gp.


    Monstrous Manual (1993)

    The Monstrous Manual reprints the text from the Monstrous Compendium page, but provides a colour picture. In The Complete Ranger’s Handbook, the remorhaz is listed as a potential follower for an arctic ranger. This seems like a rather impractical choice for an adventuring ranger. Would a ranger with such a follower ever be welcome in a settled area?

    Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff is a 2nd Edition update of the 1st Edition Giants series, and there is still a remorhaz in the Glacial Rift with the frost giants.

    Near the end of 2nd Edition, A Paladin in Hell features a remorhaz roaming the Temple of Neheod in the Nine Hells. The creature was captured by devils in Stygia to use as a weapon, but escaped during an assault on the Temple and now wanders freely. Groups of devils might be encountered searching for the beast in the hope of recapturing it.


    1993 TSR Collector Cards, #63/495 (1993)

    The remorhaz featured on two different sorts of collectable cards during the 2nd Edition era. The 1993 TSR Collector Cards feature a remorhaz on card #63, and Runes and Ruins the eighth booster pack for the Spellfire collectable card game has a remorhaz on card #84. The Spellfire card recycles the picture from the Monster Manual, but adds colour.


    Spellfire: Runes & Ruins Booster Pack, #84/125 (1996)

    3rd Edition
    The remorhaz in the 3rd Edition Monster Manual is similar to its predecessors, but there are some differences. In both the text and the illustration the creature’s wings have morphed into “winglike fins”. The remorhaz’s mouth continues to evolve, and instead of four fangs, it is now “brimming with jagged teeth”. The back protrusions look a lot more like stumpy horns on each body segment, and are much less round than in previous pictures. In colour, the remorhaz is described as whitish-blue with a reddish glow from its internal heat.


    Monster Manual (2000)

    In 3rd Edition, many creatures have an “advancement” entry, indicating that a creature can have more Hit Dice than the standard version presented. The Monster Manual contains a set of rules for adjusting a monster’s statistics as it advances. This allows the remorhaz entry to dispense with all of the HD-related changes that were previously detailed, and instead, a baseline 7 HD version is presented.

    The 7 HD remorhaz has a bite attack doing 2d8+12 damage. It retains the ability to try to swallow whole a target, and once consumed, a victim takes 2d8+12 crushing and 10d10 fire damage per round. As in previous editions, contact with a superheated remorhaz causes 10d10 points of damage and melts most weapons. In a change from 2nd Edition, remorhaz do not have a language and cannot speak.

    In its update for the Monster Manual v.3.5, the remorhaz gains darkvision (60 ft.) and low-light vision. Its preferred climate is amended from “any cold land” to “cold desert”, and the text now notes that a remorhaz is unable to speak. The rules for grabbing and swallowing changed significantly between 3.0 and 3.5, so the relevant text in the remorhaz description also gets an update. The size of a 7 HD remorhaz is given as 20 feet long, with a body 5 foot wide. A typical specimen weighs 10,000 pounds. The advancement table is flattened so that the remorhaz grows to huge and gargantuan size later in its lifespan.

    In the adventure Ill Made Graves (Dungeon #133) a barbarian opponent makes use of a vial of pheromones he collected from a female remorhaz to lure a male into the heroes’ camp. These pheromones remain potent even though the barbarian has had them for several months.

    Just in case someone wants to play a remorhaz, the article Monsters with Class in Dragon #293 pegs the Effective Character Level for the creature as 13, comparable to a treant or a succubus.

    The Fiendish Codex II confirms what we learned from A Paladin in Hell in 2nd Edition, that remorhazes populate the Stygian wilderness.


    A Practical Guide to Monsters (2007)

    Straddling the 3rd and 4th Edition eras, Wizards of the Coast published a series of colourful D&D-themed children’s books using their Mirrorstone imprint. The second release in the series was A Practical Guide to Monsters, and it includes a glorious three page spread on the arctic worm, including a map of a typical lair. If you can find them, the Practical Guide series is a great way to introduce young readers to the worlds of D&D.

    4th Edition
    The remorhaz didn’t make the cut for the first 4th Edition Monster Manual, but it does get to show off on a double-page illustration at the beginning of the Monster Manual 2.


    Monster Manual 2 (2009)

    Most of the remorhaz entry in the book is taken up by a large stat block, and a third of that is a complicated explanation of the remorhaz’s swallow ability. The remorhaz has progressed from hunting bears and giants, to eating anything right up to dragons. The text points out that while a remorhaz is able to digest almost anything, it prefers meals that are not still fighting to escape. The recycled picture from the 3rd Edition Monster Manual accompanies the text.

    Mechanically, the remorhaz is a level 21 Elite Brute, with 480 hit points. It has a bite attack which does 2d12+10 damage, a trample attack (2d10+5 damage), an immolating carapace which does 3d10+5 fire damage, an aura which does fire damage, and the aforementioned swallow which only does 20 damage per round to an ingested creature, half of which is fire damage.


    Dragon #377 (2009)

    Dragon #377 has an alternative take dubbed a legendary remorhaz. These creatures have lived long lives, chiefly by slaughtering anything they meet. Legends of the frozen north speak of them as engines of destruction. Unusually for remorhazes, they can be encountered underwater.

    A legendary remorhaz is a level 14 Solo Brute, with 584 hit points and a different array of attacks. It can bite (2d10+5 damage), trample (2d8+6) and swallow (15 damage), but it also has the poorly named bloodied claws and thrashing claws abilities which combine to let it attack all nearby creatures for 4d6+6 damage. It can regurgitate a swallowed victim like a fireball, causing a burst of 2d10+9 fire damage, and ice skitter makes it nimble on the ice. As a legendary creature, this remorhaz has two action points to give it more uses of these abilities.

    Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl in Dungeon #199 is inspired by the 1st Edition adventure of the same name, but written for 4th Edition. The frost giants are quite keen to rid themselves of their resident remorhaz so one of the potential encounters is a three-way battle between the adventurers, two frost giants and a remorhaz. If the adventurers are successful, and take the time to skin the creature, a local lord will pay 100 platinum coins for the hide.

    The default setting for 4th Edition was expanded beyond Nerath for the Conquest of Nerath board game, and a series of Dragon articles explored the region in more detail. The cold windswept land of Moghmarrin lies to the east of Nerath and is home to remorhazes (Dragon #403). Slightly further afield in the cosmos, remorhazes inhabit the abyssal layer of Soulfreeze, according to the Demonomicon. In Dragon #408, the dao Great Khan Kristobal resides in a tent made in part from remorhaz leather.

    5th Edition
    Two different remorhazes appeared in the D&D Next playtest adventures. Legacy of the Crystal Shard has a young remorhaz, which is a medium-sized 4 HD monster with a 2d4+4 bite attack and a grapple. A plot to hatch a remorhaz egg is a key part of this adventure. Dead in Thay has a huge 11HD remorhaz with a heat aura, a 2d8+6 bite attack and a chance of swallowing a target whole.


    Monster Manual (2014)

    Both the young remorhaz and the adult get stat blocks in the 5th Monster Manual, but these have been boosted from the D&D Next versions. The young remorhaz is now a large creature, with 11 HD and a bite that does 3d10+4 piercing and 2d6 fire damage. The adult remorhaz is huge, and has 17 HD and a bite that does 6d10+7 piercing and 3d6 fire damage. If it manages to swallow a creature, that creature takes 6d6 acid damage per round. Contact with the heated body of a remorhaz causes 3d6 fire damage.

    In description, this remorhaz is similar to one in the 3rd Edition Monster Manual. The text is light on lore, but mentions the remorhaz’s furnace-like heating system and ability to change into a cooler state while hiding. Because the young remorhaz has its own stat block, the description explains that a juvenile gnaws on its prey rather than swallowing it whole. Remorhazes are immune to cold and fire. They have darkvision 60ft. and termorsense 60ft.

    The Dungeon Master’s Guide mentions that remorhazes live in the Frostfell on the border of the Elemental Planes of Air and Water.


    Tales from the Yawning Portal (2017)

    The most recent appearance of the remorhaz in Tales from the Yawning Portal takes us right back to the remorhaz in G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, which gets a colour picture in this version of the adventure.

    Remorhaz variations
    An undead remorhaz guards the entrance to the Kingdom of the Ghouls in Dungeon #70.

    The 3rd Edition Manual of the Planes confirms that remorhazes reside on the variant Elemental Plane of Cold, but it also mentions an earth elemental variant living on the Elemental Plane of Earth and fiendish remorhazes which live in the Abyss and Nine Hells. The frost giant jarl Gnorgrak in Dungeon #89 has a trophy of a fiendish remorhaz, which suggests they occasionally make their way into the Greyhawk setting. This is confirmed in the Living Greyhawk adventure CORS4-02: Here There Be Dragons which features Baelberyth, an advanced two-headed half-fiend remorhaz. Two heads for two trophies!

    The adventure Heart of the Iron God in Dungeon #97 takes place inside a multi-storey ambulatory Colossus, controlled by an evil wizard. An advanced 16HD remorhaz is trapped inside. The benefits of this advancement are limited by the fact that it has been polymorphed into human shape. The artist appears to be as confused as the remorhaz by these circumstances, and has chosen to depict a remorhaz very much not polymorphed into human shape.


    Dungeon #97 (2003)

    An adventure site detailed in Frostburn is home to four fully grown half-white dragon remorhazes as well as dozens of hatchlings and eggs. These creatures are able to breed true with each other and their rapid population growth poses a threat.

    Dragon #427 notes that a pack of ice devils bred aquatic remorhazes to bore into the iceberg that imprisons the archdevil Levistus. Unfortunately for them, the savage cold of Stygia was too powerful and the ice refroze, trapping the devils and the remorhazes forever.

    Remorhazes and gods
    The demon lord Kostchtchie resides on a glacial layer of the Abyss called the Iron Wastes. According to the Demonomicon of Iggwilv entry for Kostchtchie (Dragon #345), there is a strong association between this demon lord, his followers, and remorhazes. Tribal cults worshipping Kostchtchie are often located near the lair of an advanced fiendish remorhaz, and similar creatures dwell in his abyssal realm.


    Dragon #345 (2006)

    In The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier boxed set for the Forgotten Realms, Darnell the Unfearing claims to have passed through a portal known as the Gate of Perdition and fought the remorhaz god. Most discard this claim as a fevered hallucination.

    Remorhazes and other monsters
    Remorhazes have been associated with frost giants since G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, and although the Monstrous Compendium Volume One points out that a hungry remorhaz will hunt and eat a frost giant, the creatures more often appear in D&D working for the giants.

    In the Council of Wyrms boxed set there is a pair of remorhazes nesting close to a frost giant lair. If the conflict between the dragon PCs and the frost giants isn’t going well for the giants, they smash the ice wall sheltering the remorhazes, forcing them into combat with their draconic opponents.


    Icefang, Dungeon #20 (1989)

    Dungeon #20 features Icefang, another remorhaz with a connection to frost giants. That issue was published in November 1989, a few months after the launch of 2nd Edition, but Dungeon didn’t immediately upgrade, so he is technically a 1st Edition remorhaz. Icefang was raised by the now-deceased frost giant king Mok-Turoknin. Abandoned by the remaining frost giants after his master was slain, the remorhaz has entered a nearly permanent dormant state in the ice. If he is disturbed from his slumber, Icefang will awaken hungry. He wears a silver collar with his name inscribed on the outside in giant runes.

    The frost giants in the Forgotten Realms novel The Giant Among Us keep a remorhaz. They prevent it from eating their pet mammoth by lashing poles to its head. The 3rd Edition Monster Manual explicitly acknowledges that frost giants can be both prey and masters. The 4th Edition Monster Manual 2 suggests that a frost giant, a remorhaz and a rime hound are an appropriate encounter group.

    By the time we reach the 5th Edition Monster Manual, frost giants are going out of their way to find remorhaz nests and eggs, so that they can train the creatures from hatchlings to act as guards. Volo’s Guide to Monsters goes as far as to say that remorhazes are the frost giants most prized living possessions, and suggests that hatchlings are surprisingly receptive to the giants’ bullying manner of training. Volo’s also has a rare picture in which the remorhaz is facing away from the viewer.


    Volo’s Guide to Monsters (2016)

    Like frost giants, trolls have a mixed relationship with the polar worms. MC14: Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix notes that ice trolls will sometimes go hunting for remorhazes, but The Ecology of the Troll in Dragon #301 notes that a remorhaz is one of the few creatures that can cause a troll to fear for its life.

    Dragon #377 notes that a legendary remorhaz will team up with bestial ice creatures, such as winterclaw owlbears. Revenge of the Giants pairs a remorhaz with a pack of wolves and dire wolves.

    The cryoserpent, published in Dragon #44, is a fifty foot long arctic serpent with a cold attack, which is it said to use against remorhazes. Twenty years later, the 3rd Edition Monster Manual introduced the frost worm, another huge arctic serpent with a cold attack. The description of the frost worm notes that some sages believe it to be related to the remorhaz, but the two creatures do not get on. A frost worm will attack a remorhaz on sight, often losing the ensuing battle.


    Frost Worm, Monster Manual (2000) and Dunewinder, Sandstorm (2005)

    A confirmed relative of the remorhaz is the dunewinder from Sandstorm. This huge bristled worm is a distant cousin found in desert climes. It is known for its distinctive sidewinding motion across the sandy dunes. WG5: Mordenkainen’s Fantastic Adventure notes that the heat-producing properties of the hetfish are similar to those of the remorhaz.

    The xaver is a scuttling creature that looks exactly like a sword. According to Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One, remorhazes like the the taste of xaver flesh. They are also fond of rothé, particularly ghost rothé (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting).

    Few creatures prey on remorhazes. A clan of garantuan yetis living on Faerûn’s Great Glacier are regular remorhaz hunters (FR14: The Great Glacier). Whitespawn hunters are one of the many spawn of Tiamat detailed in the Monster Manual IV; although they are only medium-sized and humanoid, they hunt effectively in small groups to bring down larger prey, including remorhazes.

    Remorhaz parts
    The Ecology of the Remorhaz puts almost every part of the creature to use. The two curved black horns of a fully grown remorhaz can be turned into scimitar scabbards or even cut up into unusual mugs. The four fangs can be turned into foot long knives. The legs can be boiled to cook the meat inside -- considered a delicacy -- and the hollow legs can be made into canes, cups or blowguns. The proprietor of Zhelairia’s Deliciously Delicate Dinners and Desserts (Dungeon #128) serves filet of remorhaz, so presumably other parts of the creature are also edible.

    The armored sections of the segments can be fashioned into small shields (or as Races of Faerûn notes, even full suits of chitin armor), and the undersides makes excellent leather. Hellsteel armor (from Champions of Ruin) is made from the scales of a remorhaz tempered in the fires of the Nine Hells. The cells and fluid of a remorhaz eye can be used to manufacture eyes of the eagle or to scribe infravision scrolls and spells. An intact eye is worth 1-10 gp, and eye fluid 1gp per flask. Of the external structures, only the wings have no real utility once removed, other then as ornamentation if preserved correctly.

    The chemicals which combine to form the thrym inside the remorhaz are not as effective once removed, forming only a weak acid, but the individual internal fluids can be used as components for spells involving fire (e.g. produce flame, heat metal, burning hands), and to make potions of fire resistance, rings of fire, and rings of warmth. They can also be used in magics designed to neutralise poisons. A flask of remorhaz digestive fluid (thrym) is typically worth 5-10 gp. The Monstrous Manual limits the number of flasks of salvageable thrym to ten per Hit Die of the remorhaz. It isn’t clear what glands they are, but Dragon #317 lists remorhaz “dried heat glands” as a component for the manufacture of boots of the winterlands. It pegs the market price for these as 500gp. Perhaps these are the organs producing the chemical constituents of thrym. The Book of Artifacts suggests that remorhaz blood is a component in the creation of a frost brand sword.

    Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical lists two drops of remorhaz ichor as one of the components to include in the construction of a building, in order to ward it against oozes. A single drop of the ichor is used to brew Annath’s Draft, an elixir that offers substantial protections against cold.

    Remorhaz and magic
    The remorhaz appears on the monster summoning VI table in 1st Edition and Monster Summoning VIII table in 2nd Edition, but is not a standard summoning option from 3rd Edition onwards. The summon ice mephits spell from Dragon #229 occasionally lets a remorhaz through by accident.

    Another way to conjure up a remorhaz is using a pyxis (from Dragon #171). This is a bit like a D&D version of Pandora’s box. Opening the pyxis grants a wish but only after it brings forth a horde of 10-100 monsters, including remorhazes. The Teeth of Dalhvar-Nar, detailed in the Book of Artifacts, can be used to summon 7HD remorhazes. There is a remorhaz figurine in the Adventurers League adventure DDAL4-10: The Artifact which turns into a young remorhaz if touched. In Greyhawk’s From the Ashes, the Hanging Glacier of Alisedran has ice shards containing tiny bubbles with miniature monsters. The monsters are all cold-dwelling creatures like remorhazes, and become life-sized if the shard melts.

    The article Get More Bang for Your Bones in Dragon #324 rates remorhaz zombies as the third best choice for a 14th level caster of animate dead, beaten only by athach skeletons and seven-headed hydra skeletons. Remorhazes are immune to the heart of ice spell from Faiths & Avatars.

    According the Ecology article, few magic items are strong enough to protect against the ferocious internal heat of a remorhaz. Even a ring of fire resistance allows its wearer to survive for only one or two rounds, not normally long enough to free the victim from the inside the creature.

    The adventure Khazefryn in Dungeon #81 features an intelligent frost brand bastard sword named Remorhaz. It grants resistance to fire and use of the ice storm spell.


    Frost Helm, Magic of Incarnum (2005)

    In Magic of Incarnum totemists are capable of fashioning a frost helm in the shape of a frost worm’s head. This helm is used by totemists leading remorhaz hunting parties because of the frost worm’s legendary hatred for the creatures. It grants protection against cold. The heart of fire soulmeld, on the other hand, draws on the essence of the remorhaz to grant a totemist bonuses to attacks made against cold creatures.

    The rage of the remorhaz power in Complete Psionic causes the skin of a psychic warrior to heat up. This causes damage to anything -- including a weapon -- that strikes the warrior’s body.

    Al-Qadim
    Although the arctic remorhaz does not occur in Zakhara, both ALQ3: A Dozen and One Adventures and Cities of Bone suggest that a variant remorhaz might be found in the Sea of Salt. Neither source specifies any different physical characteristics for this variant, but A Dozen and One Adventures refers to it as a salt worm.

    Birthright
    The Birthright Campaign Setting lists the remorhaz as one of the Monstrous Manual creatures found in Cerilia. The Rjurik Highlands notes that an occasional remorhaz will attack the colony of Tjarvaald. Remorhazes hunt the Ice Steppes and Ice Plains in northern Vosgaard (Tribes of the Heartless Waste) and are sometimes spotted on the tundras of Hogunmark (Player’s Secrets of Hogunmark).

    Blackmoor
    The remorhaz never made the jump to BECMI D&D, so it wasn’t available for Dave Arneson’s series of Blackmoor adventures for D&D. However, it did merit a mention in the d20 update of City of the Gods where a remorhaz dwells in the arctic ecology of the strange city. The remorhaz also appears on the encounter tables for the Greyhawk version of Blackmoor in From the Ashes.

    Dark Sun
    The Dark Sun boxed set notes that the remorhaz can be found on Athas, although adapted to the harsh arid conditions. In MC12: Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert and in the revised Dark Sun Campaign Setting boxed set, the remorhaz is listed on the encounter table for scrub plains.

    In 4th Edition, the Athasian remorhaz is described as an elemental sand dweller that sucks the heat out of the scorching air. It looks more like dusty rock than glacial ice.

    Dragonlance
    Remorhazes are native to Icereach in southern Ansalon. Icewall Castle, first visited in the adventure DL6: Dragons of Ice, has a room where a remorhaz is kept to deal with prisoner disposal needs. On the continent of Taladas, detailed in Time of the Dragon, remorhazes dwell in north of the Panak desert and on the icy slopes of the Ring Mountains in Northern Hosk.


    The Bestiary (1998)

    The Bestiary has a two page entry on the remorhaz, but this is mostly an adventurer’s yarn. The story describes the remorhaz as having hairy legs, but begins when the storyteller mistakes remorhaz tracks for those of a herd of elk, so he may not be the most credible observer. The background information suggests that while the remorhaz might be a giant insect, it could also be a relative of dragonkin or nagas. Mention is made of tribes of thanoi who worship the remorhaz as a child of the gods.

    The 3rd Edition adventure Price of Courage notes that remorhazes are bred by ogres in Zhea Harbor, but often escape into Frozen Plains of Southern Ergoth, where they grown to immense size. It is possible for the heroes to encounter a clutch of as many as nine 16HD advanced remorhazes in the adventure! The 12HD remorhaz in the Remorhaz Room in Icewall Castle has grown to a 16HD advanced remorhaz by the time it appears in Dragons of Winter.

    Eberron
    The Explorer’s Handbook has a glacier encounter with a remorhaz, and Secrets of Xen’drik suggests frost giants and a trained remorhaz as an arctic encounter. Dragons of Eberron describes an ice cliff lair in the Bluespine Peaks of Xen’drik where twenty remorhazes are nesting.

    Forgotten Realms
    Remorhazes are pervasive across the arctic northern reaches of Faerûn. They can be found from the Sea of Moving Ice in the west through to the Great Ice Sea in the east. FR5: The Savage Frontier notes that the creatures live in the tundras near Icewind Dale. The novel Sojourn recounts the first time Drizzt Do’Urden and Bruenor Battlehammer meet, which is when Drizzt comes to Bruenor’s aid in a fight against a remorhaz on the slopes of Kelvin’s Cairn. Remorhazes can also be found in the Ice Mountains to the south of Icewind Dale and they particularly like to lair along the Iceflow river located west of Luskan (FR1: Waterdeep and the North, City of Splendors).

    Also in this region, three young remorhazes are hibernating in the Great Worm Cavern in Storm King’s Thunder. The adventure’s abandoned frost giant complex contains an adult remorhaz as well as several remorhaz heads mounted as trophies. To the north of Icewind Dale lies the Endless Ice Sea. The remorhazes inhabiting this region fight an ongoing battle against the old white dragon Arauthator (Dragon #230). In the 5th Edition adventure The Rise of Tiamat there are two remorhazes among the frozen trophies in Arauthator’s lair.

    Not all polar worms fight dragons; there are some semi-intelligent remorhazes living in the High Ice region of the Anauroch desert who worship the white dragon Augaurath (FR13: Anauroch, Dragons of Faerûn). In this region during the time of the Netheril empire, remorhazes were found as far south as Glacier Lake (Netheril: Empire of Magic). In the Netheril novel Sword Play the young barbarian Sunbright is felled by a remorhaz.

    Faerûn’s Great Glacier is home to a unique species of remorhaz found only in the Opoboquo Valley (FR14: The Great Glacier). Much smaller than its relative, the Opoboquo remorhaz is light green, only ten feet long, incapable of swallowing prey, and not quite as hot as a normal remorhaz. However, the shells of these creatures remain warm after they are slain, making the Opoboquo a hunting target for the native Angulutiuns, who use the shells to fashion sleds.

    The 170 strong community of Ahtitlak shares its settlement with remorhazes. More accurately, these Nakulutiuns settled in a remorhaz lair a thousand years ago. Although they had mixed success at first (the remorhazes ate half the tribe), they persisted and over the course of the ten centuries, taught successive generations of remorhazes to trust them completely. In return, they tend to the creatures and care for their eggs and young. They even fashion special leather saddles which enable them to ride the remorhazes. Neither the people nor the remorhazes of Ahtitlak like strangers, whom they attack mercilessly.


    FR14: The Great Glacier (1992)

    The portion of the Great Glacier on Vaasa’s northern border is known as the Ice Run. A three hundred strong tribe of nomads known as the White Worm people count the northern portion of Vaasa and the Ice Run as home. The leaders of the tribe have all single-handedly defeated at least one remorhaz in battle, according to FR9: The Bloodstone Lands. In Dungeon #177, the high shaman of the White Worm tribe is named Telvannah. She can call on the Spirit of the Remorhaz to gain extraordinary control over heat and fire.

    Located some 400 miles south of the Great Glacier, the Glacier of the White Worm is a river of ice in the Earthspur Mountains between Impiltur and the Moonsea. According to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set the name comes from the pale albino remorhazes living there. The 1993 Campaign Setting hints that there is a remorhaz “king” living in the centre of this domain, and this is repeated in the 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, where the king worm is said to be of giant size. The latter source also suggests that the Glacier is home to variant remorhazes with long tentacles attached to their heads.

    The Monastery of the Yellow Rose is situated near to the Glacier of the White Worm (FR9: The Bloodstone Lands). It is also known as the Citadel of the White Worm. The initiation ceremony used by the resident monks requires that they ride on the back of a remorhaz, using magical spurs and a lasso. So important is this ride as a statement of their devotion that some of the younger monks will attempt the ride as often as once a week. Sadly, the burial catacombs of the Monastery of Yellow Rose contain the remains of many failed riders. The 5th Edition Adventurers League adventure DDEX2-09: Eye of the Tempest takes place in this Monastery, and includes a stat block for a remorhaz hatchling (which still has 45 hit points!).

    Remorhazes are occasionally reported in places neighbouring the Glacier of the White Worm including the Bloodstone Lands (H2: The Mines of Bloodstone) and Mulmaster (Mysteries of the Moonsea).

    Eastwards of the Great Glacier are the Icerim Mountains. According to Unapproachable East, the remorhazes living there are hunted by ice trolls, who favour armor made from their scales. Further east still are the arctic plains of the Endless Waste. Remorhazes roam here (The Horde Barbarian Campaign Setting) and as far south as the Sunrise Mountains forming the eastern border of Thay (Dragon #356). This is probably where the Red Wizards obtained the remorhaz eggs they have in their hatchery in Dead in Thay.

    Remorhazes are occasionally found a little farther away from the poles. They are thought to lair along the road through the Cloud Peaks between Nashkel and Crimmor in northern Amn (Lands of Intrigue). In the city of Selgaunt, capital of Sembia, a merchant named Ghalivar Braceltar sells a milky beverage known as ice wine (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting). He claims that this is the milk remorhazes feed to their young, but this is unlikely to be true.

    Beyond Faerûn entirely, H4: The Throne of Bloodstone mentions remorhazes living on two different layers of the Abyss, the glacial fourth layer and the Glacier of Kostchtchie on the twentieth layer.

    Greyhawk
    Greyhawk Adventures describes an expedition encountering “iceworms”, which it theorises are remorhazes. This is supported by the encounter tables in MC5 Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures. Locations in Oerth where remorhazes have been reported include the Vale of the Bite in the Northern Barrens (WGR5: Iuz the Evil), the Cold Wood in the Adri Forest (Dragon #208), and the Land of Black Ice in the Bitter North (Player’s Guide to Greyhawk).

    Historical settings
    Dragon #137 suggests that remorhazes are suitable creatures to use for a campaign set in an ice age. The article Cities of the Ages: Novgorod in Dragon #290 contemplates a campaign based in the northern Russian city. In this fantasy version of Novgorod, the Germans of the Peterhof pay a premium to Russian traders for remorhaz carapaces.

    HR6: Age of Heroes considers remorhazes to be disallowed for campaigns set in ancient Greece. Looking into the future, the d20 Modern books d20 Apocalypse and d20 Future both suggest the remorhaz as a suitable creature to use in a futuristic campaign.

    Magic: The Gathering
    Both the Plane Shift: Zendikar and Plane Shift: Kaladesh supplements relate hellions to remorhazes. Hellions are enormous serpentine creatures that emerge from rocky ground or from within lava eruptions. A hellion resembles something between a millipede and a crustacean.


    Hellions, Plane Shift: Zendikar (2016) and Plane Shift: Kaladesh (2017)

    Mystara
    Although the remorhaz didn’t appear in any BECMI D&D products, it is mentioned in the 2nd Edition Glantri: Kingdom of Magic boxed set. The creatures can be found in the glaciers of the Colossus Mounts in Glantri.


    Glantri: Kingdom of Magic (1995)

    The picture is an illustration of the explorers Mement Cintra and Klaalan encountering a remorhaz during an expedition to locate a rare magical component.

    Planescape
    The realm of Ondtland is located on Mungoth, the third layer of the plane of Gehenna. It is an ice-locked, frigid place and it is said that remorhazes live in its high glaciers (Planes of Conflict). According to The Inner Planes, they can also be found in the Paraelemental Plane of Ice.

    Spelljammer
    Karpri is a water planet detailed in SJR2: Realmspace. It has a frozen southern region, inhabited by remorhazes. Armistice, a massive earth body described in SJR4: Practical Planetology, is said to have two native species very similar to the remorhaz. In SJR7: Krynnspace, remorhazes live on the ice-covered moon of Zeboim, which orbits the large air planet Zivilyn.

    Miniatures
    For an oversized monster, the remorhaz has been surprising well represented in D&D miniatures. Ral Partha produced the first, incredibly detailed metal remorhaz miniature the mid 1990s.


    Ral-Partha, 11-504: Remorhaz (1996), image from Cool Mini or Not

    In 2009, Wizards of the Coast release a huge remorhaz miniature as part of the pre-painted plastic Legendary Evils set.


    Wizards of the Coast, Monster Manual: Legendary Evils #31 (2009), image from Minis Gallery

    Gale Force Nine have held a licence to produce limited run resin miniatures since 4th Edition. When they updated their line to match 5th Edition branding, the remorhaz was one of the first creatures released.


    Gale Force Nine’s, D&D Collector’s Series: Remorhaz (2014), image from Gale Force Nine

    Most recently, WizKids released a young remorhaz as a large-sized figure #44 in the Monster Menagerie set.


    WizKids, Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie, #44 (2016), image from Minis Gallery

    Computer games
    The remorhaz has appeared in arctic regions of several D&D computer games, including the Secret of the Silver Blades and Treasures of the Savage Frontier.


    Secret of the Silver Blades Cluebook (1990) and Treasures of the Savage Frontier Cluebook (1992)

    Remorhazes feature in all of the Icewind Dale series of games. The soundtracks for both Heart of Winter and Icewind Dale II even have a track called The Remorhaz Tunnels.


    Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (2001)

    More recently, the Curse of Icewind Dale expansion added the remorhaz to the Neverwinter MMORPG.


    Neverwinter: Curse of Icewind Dale expansion (May 2014)

    Comparative statistics


    References
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    Monster Manual, p258 (September 2014)
    The Rise of Tiamat, p33 (November 2014)
    Dungeon Master’s Guide, p57 (December 2014)
    Gale Force Nine, D&D Collector’s Series: Remorhaz (December 2014)
    DDEX2-09: Eye of the Tempest, p10, 18, 54 (June 2015)
    Plane Shift: Zendikar, p32 (April 2016)
    WizKids, Icons of the Realms: Monster Menagerie, #44 (April 2016)
    DDAL04-10: The Artifact, p17 (May 2016)
    Storm King’s Thunder, p88-89, 126, 162 (September 2016)
    Volo’s Guide to Monsters, p28 (November 2016)
    Plane Shift: Kaladesh, p31 (February 2017)
    Tales from the Yawning Portal, p127, 185 (May 2017)


    Neverwinter: Curse of Icewind Dale promotional art (2014)

    Other ENCyclopedia entries
    Visit the Monster ENCyclopedia index for links to other entries in this series.
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Cleon's Avatar
      Cleon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Echohawk View Post
      Monster ENCyclopedia: Remorhaz
      Thanks Echohawk, I was wondering what would be the R.

      The only additional titbit I could think of about the Remorhaz was that it featured in an RPGA-supported adventure at a UK Games Day in London I attended (literally) decades ago where the polar worm was on the other side of an ice ravine.

      I don't think that was an official publication though.
    1. Cleon's Avatar
      Cleon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Echohawk View Post
      The Creature Features article in The Dragon wasn’t attributed to anyone when published, but Otus and Rob Kuntz probably share the credit for the remorhaz. As Kuntz tells the story in his Lord of the Green Dragons blog, Gary Gygax had Otus’s illustration pinned up in his office and liked it, but didn’t have a name or statistics for the creature. Gygax handed Kuntz the picture, and he gave the remorhaz a name and wrote the article printed in The Dragon. Writing in Dragon #324, James Jacobs suggests that the works of Robert E. Howard may have influenced the creation of the remorhaz.
      The story Jacobs is referring to is The Lair of the Ice Worm and is written by Carter & de Camp not Howard.

      The eponymous Ice Worm of that story (also called a "Remora" or "Yakhmar") is a legless creature that radiates weapon-shattering cold rather than weapon-melting heat and has the ability to hypnotize its victims with its glowing eyes & piping voice.

      It doesn't resemble the AD&D Remorhaz at all, apart from also living in arctic areas.
    1. Olgar Shiverstone's Avatar
      Olgar Shiverstone -
      An underrated monster -- I've never actually used or encountered one in tabletop! Just in SSI games and Icewind Dale ...
    1. Echohawk's Avatar
      Echohawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
      The story Jacobs is referring to is The Lair of the Ice Worm and is written by Carter & de Camp not Howard.
      I thought perhaps @James Jacobs was thinking of The Valley of the Worm when he wrote that. It has something looking vaguely remorhaz-like on the cover, and is at least written by Howard. But the written description doesn't really match the cover, so it would be a case of Erol Otus inspired by the book's cover artist rather than by Howard's writing.

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    1. Polyhedral Columbia's Avatar
      Polyhedral Columbia -
      This is one of the best Encyclopedia articles yet! A classic. Glad the BD&D version from Dragon #2 made it in.
    1. Cleon's Avatar
      Cleon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Echohawk View Post
      I thought perhaps @James Jacobs was thinking of The Valley of the Worm when he wrote that. It has something looking vaguely remorhaz-like on the cover, and is at least written by Howard. But the written description doesn't really match the cover, so it would be a case of Erol Otus inspired by the book's cover artist rather than by Howard's writing.
      That cover is the Panther paperback version of The Valley of the Worm (aka Skull-Face Omnibus Volume 2) which was published in July 1976.

      Dragon #2 was published in August 1976. A month doesn't seem long enough for Otus to do the picture, have Gygax pin it up, have Kuntz stat up a monster and then have it published in a magazine.

      The book cover also has little resemblance to Otus's Remorhaz picture. It's pretty much a generic giant arthropod with a pair of antennae and horizontal mandibles. Otus's original Remorhaz picture has horns, purple spots, vestigial wings and fangs in a vertically-hinged jaw.

      Also, I agree about it not matching the description in Howard's writing:

      Source: The Valley of the Worm
      I can only say that it looked somewhat more like a worm than it did an octopus, a serpent or a dinosaur.

      It was white and pulpy, and drew its quaking bulk along the ground, worm-fashion. But it had wide flat tentacles, and fleshy feelers, and other adjuncts the use of which I am unable to explain. And it had a long proboscis which it curled and uncurled like an elephant's trunk. Its forty eyes, set in a horrific circle, were composed of thousands of facets of as many scintillant colours which changed and altered in never-ending transmutation. But through all interplay of hue and glint, they retained their evil intelligence intelligence there was behind those flickering facets, not human nor yet bestial, but a night-born demoniac intelligence such as men in dreams vaguely sense throbbing titanically in the black gulfs outside our material universe. In size the monster was mountainous; its bulk would have dwarfed a mastodon.

      *SNIP*

      The spongy skin yielded and gave beneath my feet, and I drove my sword hilt deep, dragging it through the pulpy flesh, ripping a horrible yard-long wound, from which oozed a green slime. Then a flip of a cable-like-tentacle flicked me from the titan's back and spun me 300 feet through the air to crash among a cluster of giant trees.


      The impact must have splintered half the bones in my frame, for when I sought to grasp my sword again and crawl anew to the combat, I could not move hand or foot, could only writhe helplessly with my broken back. But I could see the monster and I knew that I had won, even in defeat. The mountainous bulk was heaving and billowing, the tentacles were lashing madly, the antennae writhing and knotting, and the nauseous whiteness had changed to a pale and grisly green. It turned ponderously and lurched back towards the temple, rolling like a crippled ship in a heavy swell. Trees crashed and splintered as it lumbered against them.
    1. Ramaster's Avatar
      Ramaster -
      Awesome as usual!

      Very small nitpick:

      "...the icy plan of Hell known as Caina..." should be "...the icy PLANE of Hell known as CANIA..."
    1. Echohawk's Avatar
      Echohawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ramaster View Post
      "...the icy plan of Hell known as Caina..." should be "...the icy PLANE of Hell known as CANIA..."
      Fixed, thanks!
    1. Kelanen -
      Well done as always Echohawk!
    1. Richards's Avatar
      Richards -
      Excellent entry as always, Echohawk! I had been hoping for either the remorhaz or the rust monster when you got up to "R."

      Johnathan
    1. pemerton's Avatar
      pemerton -
      Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone View Post
      An underrated monster -- I've never actually used or encountered one in tabletop!
      I've used it at least twice - when I first ran G2 in its original AD&D version, and when I ran it again updated to 4e:

      Spoiler:
      Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
      a gust of wind . . . blew the paladin off the ice ledge down into the rift below.



      the paladin down on the rift floor, fighting one of the eladrin that survived the fall plus the remorhaz that was attracted by all the activity.



      At the end of the session . . . [t]he paladin was inside the remorhaz (but, being a tiefling, was mostly enduring the auto-fire damage it does to swallowed creatures).



      The ranger flew off to help on his carpet. The invoker followed on his newly-tamed giant frosthawk, but not before giving the sorcerer a lift down to the rift floor, where he was able to try and free the paladin from the remorhaz.

      The remorhaz fight was quite amusing, as it burrowed down into the earth to try and get away from the pesky sorcerer, but got followed through the tunnel being blown up from the outside while the paladin stabbed it from the inside, using second wind (free action for a bloodied Questing Knight) and a couple of Lay on Hands to keep himself alive.



      Eventually the sorcerer killed the remorhaz and the paladin was able to cut himself out


      I think it's one of the best classic D&D monsters.
    1. Xaelvaen's Avatar
      Xaelvaen -
      My favorite to date in the series! This is my all-time favorite dnd monster, and you truly hit it spot on. Somewhat patiently awaiting more!
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