Look away! Don’t meet its gaze! The scarecrow began as unintelligent creation, animated by evil clerics. As it shambled through the editions, it became a more complex construct. A spirit plucked from the ether by a hag and bound inside a carefully crafted body. After centuries as sentries, some scarecrows even awaken as independent creatures. But no matter which edition’s scarecrow is after you, don’t look into those glowing red eyes... too late! You have already been paralyzed and forced to read this Monster ENCyclopedia entry.
Don’t blink or you’ll miss this entry in the Monster ENCyclopedia series. Malicious and often murderous, these tiny fey will turn you into a pincushion for their miniature daggers. If you are unlucky, the poison in your wounds will knock you out. This time we’re taking a look at one of D&D’s fastest moving creatures, the quickling.
Whether they are magical hybrids, alien invaders or creatures warped by a curse, perytons are single minded in their pursuit of their victims. If, as that shape in the sky draws closer, you notice that it casts a humanoid shadow on the ground below, beware! Once a peryton decides it wants to eat your heart, the only way to stop it is to kill it. The peryton has appeared in every edition since AD&D -- join the Monster ENCyclopedia as we take a look at this half-giant eagle, half-stag monstrousity.
This is a special instalment in the Monster ENCyclopedia series, which has been taking a slow and steady (very steady!) alphabetical tour through various D&D monsters. Each previous entry in the series focussed on the history of just one monster. This entry is a little different. Tomb of Annihilation is set in the jungles of Chult, and is triggered when resurrection stops working across the world. This hook doesn’t stop the adventure from delightfully resurrecting a number of lesser known D&D creatures to flesh out the jungles. These aren’t creatures likely to get Monster ENCyclopedia entries by themselves (well, maybe the froghemoth), so this is a combined entry looking at the history of several of these monsters.
The nightmare is the steed of choice for all kinds of D&D villains. Black in colour with flaming hooves, it is a highly intelligent creature. As it progressed through editions it gained weight and became more flammable. But is there more to the nightmare than simply being a mount for bad guys? This instalment of the Monster ENCyclopedia takes a closer look at this evil equine to find out.
Was there ever any doubt about the flumph as the first choice of an 'F' monster for the Monster ENCyclopedia? After appearing only in relatively obscure sources for several editions, one of D&D's most notorious creatures received a promotion to a prime spot in the 5th Edition Monster Manual. Join us for a look back at the thirty-three-and-a-third-year history of the flumph.
Driders are half-spider, half-drow creatures created by the god Lolth from drow who fail a test designed to measure their worthiness. Appropriately then, the first appearance of the drider is in Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits. 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.
The catoblepas was first described nearly two thousand years ago by Pliny the Elder, as a buffalo/boar hybrid with a deadly gaze. However, that's the legendary Ethiopian beast version, and not the D&D version. D&D has a much shorter publication history (thankfully, or these posts would be a lot longer), and since this is a series about the monsters of D&D, our catoblepas story starts with a single (uncredited) paragraph in The Strategic Review, Vol. II No. 2.
The barghest originated in Dragon #26 in the Dragon's Bestiary column. This first appearance lacks an illustration, so D&D players would have only a written description of the barghest to start with. (The picture below comes from the later Planescape Campaign Setting). There is also no credit for the column, but in response to a letter in Dragon #30, the editor confirms that Gary Gygax was the creator of the barghest. 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.
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. Because this is the first post in this series, it starts with the first creature to appear in any A-Z of the denizens of the worlds of D&D, the aarakocra.