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General Monster ENCyclopedia: Galeb Duhr

It has been a little while since the Monster ENCyclopedia looked at the flumph, but this sporadic monster series is now back with the galeb duhr. Read on for the exciting story of how D&D's classic rock-man grew two extra limbs and shrank from 12 feet to 4 feet in just four editions.

Monster ENCyclopedia: Galeb Duhr
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 ENCyclopedia series is busy with an alphabetical browse through the creatures of Dungeons & Dragons, with an article on one monster for each letter A-Z. We have reached the letter "G" and the galeb duhr is our featured creature this time.

Origins and development
Along with the land urchin and the thri-kreen, the galeb duhr is one of three creatures whose first D&D appearance was in Monster Cards, Set 2. TSR produced four sets of these cards, each containing a colour picture, and statistics for one monster. Most of the featured monsters were from the Monster Manual, but each set also included three "totally new creatures", perhaps as a hook to get monster completists to buy the cards even if they already owned the Monster Manual (and the Fiend Folio).

The Monster Cards themselves don't include credits, but New AD&D Aid: Monster Cards, a promotional article in Dragon #61, informs us that Harold Johnson oversaw the Monster Cards project, and that the new creatures were submitted by various members of TSR's Design Department, with Mike Price responsible for the galeb duhr.

Monster Cards, Set 2 (1982)

A galeb duhr is not complicated to describe. It looks like a 8-12 foot tall boulder and has rocky appendages that "act as hands and feet". That doesn't mean it has four limbs (at least not yet) merely that the two limbs it is depicted as having, double up as feet (for walking) or hands (when manipulating objects). In this initial appearance, galeb duhr are large creatures (described in the text as "very large"), and ponderously slow. They live in rocky or mountainous areas, where groups of up to four of them are occasionally encountered together.

As well as a double "stomp" attack, galeb duhr can cast a handful of earthy spells as if they were 20th-level magic-users: move earth, passwall, stone shape, transmute rock to mud, and wall of stone. They have the ability to animate one or two boulders, much like a treant controls trees. The text attributes this ability to the fact that galeb duhr can feel the "earth power" in the rocky areas they inhabit. They are vulnerable to cold attacks, and immune to lightning and fire (but not magical fire).

Monster Manual II (1983)

All twelve of the new creatures from the Monster Cards were eventually reprinted in the Monster Manual II. The galeb duhr entry differs only by one or two words from the text on the card. It also has a new (black and white) picture, but this is clearly adapted closely from the colour Monster Cards art.

Galeb duhr appear in several more AD&D adventures during the 1980s. In The Bane of Llewellyn there is an uninspiring combat encounter with a galeb duhr. The most interesting part of the encounter is the peculiar capitalisation of "Galeb duhr" throughout the text, as if the editor thought it was a proper noun, rather than just the type of creature.

The Earth Node in The Temple of Elemental Evil is home to two galeb duhr. The description of the pair gives us a first glimpse of galeb duhr attitudes to other beings. We learn that they have little patience, but are generally only hostile to those who feed on stone or gems. So opposed are they to mineral eaters that they are willing to provide aid in return for information about offenders.

Polyhedron #26 contains the adventure Needle, which was later published in an expanded stand-alone form. Part of the story takes place on the moon of the PCs' home world, and the inhabitants of the moon include galeb duhr, who are able to inhabit both the air-filled tunnels and airless surface of the moon. These galeb duhr are adapted to lunar life, and are less vulnerable to cold. Frank Mentzer, Needle's author, seems to be the first person to have given any galeb duhr a name: "Caleb".

Although it is mostly remembered as a rules supplement, the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide contained a substantial DM's section, detailing the Deepearth setting. Here, galeb duhr are mentioned as one of the denizens clustering near the centre of the Dark Realms, a region on the underdark near an interplanar whirlpool. Towards the end of the 1st edition era, The Official RPGA Tournament Handbook included a peaceful encounter with four galeb duhr in the adventure The Long Way Home. The galeb duhr merely want to ask some questions, and then they will let the PCs pass.

2nd Edition
Likely driven by the monster-per-page format of 2nd Edition's Monstrous Compendium series, the galeb duhr entry in Volume Two has been substantially expanded. The galeb duhr still has just two limbs, and specimens are still 8-12 feet tall. The description now makes it explicit that galeb duhr look like any other rock when not moving.

When encountered, a galeb duhr is said to prefer to avoid contact by disappearing into the ground. They generally fight only if pursued, or if "otherwise irritated", but are unhesitating once they commit to a battle. They have exactly the same spell casting abilities as in 1st Edition, with the exception of stone shape which can now be used at will. The rock men remain immune to lightning and normal fire, but now also get a save bonus against magical fire. Their melee attacks and ability to animate boulders remain unchanged.

Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989)

In 2nd Edition, for the first time, we get some insights into galeb duhr society. Rock people are quite solitary, and don't co-habit with any other creatures, not even earth elementals. At most, they live with a few of their own kind. They are usually encountered in small family groups in mountainous regions of the Prime Material Plane, but the Monstrous Compendium suggests that they are native to the Elemental Plane of Earth. Family groups occasionally include "young" galeb duhr, being smaller-sized specimens than normal; at this stage, the exact nature of their reproduction remains a mystery.

Galeb duhr collect gems and sometimes have other small magic items taken from those who tried and failed to steal these beloved gems. The creatures feel responsible for the smaller rocks and boulders around them, and may grow angry with visitors who disturb the area. One galeb duhr past-time is singing. Sages are divided on the effects of the gravelly, low rumbling sounds produced by groups chanting in harmony. Some claim it can create or prevent earthquakes, while others speculate that it is a form of communication with distant relatives.

The Monstrous Compendium informs us that galeb duhr eat rock, preferring granite and disliking sedimentary rocks, but this is revealed to be incorrect in The Ecology of the Galeb Duhr. This article, by Robert Isaacson, appears in Dragon #172 and provides a slightly different interpretation of some galeb duhr habits. It clarifies that while galeb duhr do draw sustenance from contact with rocks, they do not actually eat (or sleep or breathe). In the same way that plants require sunlight to survive, a galeb duhr requires contact with the earth to nourish itself. If removed from contact with rock, the life force of galeb duhr will slowly begin to ebb. The creature will first lose its ability to manipulate stone, and eventually its connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth will vanish completely, transforming it into nothing more than a normal boulder, which cannot be restored to life by any means short of the power of a wish.

The Ecology article details more external anatomy. A galeb duhr has a "rocky brow" above its stony black eyes, and a cavernous mouth capable of a mischievous grin. A galeb duhr uses digits on each appendage to grip the ground with each step, giving it a ponderous, but steady gait. When required, their digits are capable of fairly delicate manipulation. If a galeb duhr wishes to pose as a boulder, it draws its appendages close to its body, and closes its eyes and mouth. Galeb duhr speech is slow, similar in pace to that of a treant.

Galeb duhr have no internal organs, being solid stone throughout. Their body always matches the predominant stone of the area, with granite-like stone the most common, and other igneous and metamorphic types less common. Galeb duhr are never formed from sedimentary rock. If a galeb duhr is killed, the rock fragments of the creature's corpse are almost indistinguishable from other rocks. At least one sage (Liera Silvershadow, upon whose journals the Ecology article is based) postulates that the lack of anything resembling physical organs supports the theory that galeb duhr are the manifestation of animating elemental forces.

In addition to immunities to lightning and fire, and resistance to magical fire, we learn that galeb duhr are immune to poison and, because they do not breathe, harmful gasses and drowning. Acid attacks do still harm them. Because of their vulnerability to cold, galeb duhr often become dormant in wintertime, but those dwelling in underground caverns or areas strong in earth magic are protected from the chill. After more than three days in sub-freezing temperatures, galeb duhr act as though under the influence of a slow spell.

Isaacson's article sheds some more light on the reproductive cycle of the galeb duhr, although in doing so it contradicts the Monstrous Compendium's mention of mobile "young". Galeb duhr have no gender, and do not mate. They can live many thousands of years, but if they do eventually die of natural causes, their bodies crumble away over a few days, leaving just three large chunks of stone. These are young galeb duhr and they remain immobile for roughly one century before awakening as adults. At this point, the largest offspring usually takes over the territory, with the two smaller siblings moving off to find other homes. Occasionally, all three will continue to share one area.

A galeb duhr is a fiercely territorial creature, and is nearly impossible to dislodge once it has settled down. A typical territory covers one to four square miles, and the galeb duhr slowly patrols it, looking for signs of disturbance. A galeb duhr is intimately familiar with its land, and will usually have traps prepared for key access paths. These traps harness the natural landscape, and may be triggered by the creature's natural stone-shaping abilities. Example terrain traps employed by the galeb duhr include collapsing outcroppings, avalanches, and crushing walls of stone.

When not patrolling, a galeb duhr spends much of its time sitting in one place, watching and thinking. Intruders in the galeb duhr's territory will typically be observed for some time, to establish their intent. Peaceful travellers are permitted to pass, while those deemed to be hostile are harried and attacked by the galeb duhr from hiding. If this approach does not drive away the intruders, the galeb duhr animates boulders around it, and attacks, usually in a steep or narrow area, to limits its opponents' options. The Ecology article establishes that galeb duhr may attack with a crushing bite, as an alternate to blows from its appendages.

The "earth power" mentioned in the original Monster Cards text is expanded upon in the Ecology. It is described as analogous to the strength of a galeb duhr's connection to the Elemental Plane of Earth, an unconscious link, but one which gives them the ability to shape stone and draw sustenance from rocks. Just as galeb duhr lose their powers and eventually die when separated from rock, so do they have the potential to become more powerful in areas with abnormally strong connections to Elemental Earth. Perhaps not unexpectedly, given their native elemental affinity, galeb duhr do not seem to have any religion.

In some areas where the elemental link has been magically strengthened, whole colonies of powerful galeb duhr gather. These stronger galeb duhr are modelled in the article's footnotes by gaining new powers for every 500 years they live in a particular territory beyond the first 2,000, with exceptional cases gaining powers sooner. The new powers include bonuses to hit dice and armour class, improved resistance to magical fire, special resistance to cold, double the number of animated boulders and new spell abilities stone tell and stone barrier.

AD&D Trading Cards (1991)

The illustration of the galeb duhr on card #475 of the 1991 AD&D Trading Card series suggests a greater size than in any other 2nd Edition appearance. It is little more than a giant face in the mountainside, stationary with small trees and grass growing on and around it.

The adventure Castle of the Blind Sun in Dungeon #49 again muddies the waters when it comes to galeb duhr diet. It includes an encounter with a group of galeb duhr, in which is it mentioned that granite is the galeb duhr's favourite food. It isn't clear if that applies just to this specific group, or to all galeb duhr.

Monstrous Manual (1993)

The Monstrous Manual has an updated colour picture of four galeb duhr, but the text is the same as the Monstrous Compendium entry. These monsters still eat rocks and have mobile young. None of the Dragon Magazine additions to galeb duhr lore have been included.

3rd Edition
When introduced to 3rd Edition in the Monster Manual II, galeb duhr were, from the description at least, very similar in form to earlier incarnations. They are described as living boulders, with dark, brooding eyes, a mouth and rough-hewn appendages that serve as hands and feet. There is more height variation here, with large specimens reaching 16 feet, but the typical example is much smaller, at just 4 feet tall.

The written description isn't clear on how many appendages serve as hands and feet, and presumably no earlier sample art was provided to the illustrator. As a result, the 3rd Edition galeb duhr has grown two more limbs. It has two arms and two legs!

Monster Manual II (2002)

Statistically, 3rd Edition galeb duhr have not evolved much. They still start with 8 Hit Dice, but while earlier incarnations maxed out at 10 Hit Dice, the largest can now advance to a significant 24 Hit Dice. They have gained a borrowing speed and, amusingly, have Perform ("ballad, chant, sing, storytelling, and five others") as a skill. For some reason, their treasure is now limited to gems and potions. We learn that the name of a group of galeb duhr (3-5) is a "tumble".

Their are some minor modifications to the spell-like abilities of galeb duhr, with the boulder animating ability now modelled as an at-will use of the animate objects spell, but limited to stone. Their ability to remain still and look like a boulder is codified as the Freeze ability, and they gain Tremorsense within 300 feet.

Like the 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium, the 3rd Edition Monster Manual II insinuates that galeb duhr originate from the Elemental Plane of Earth. Their reproduction is once again a mystery. Galeb duhr habits remain largely unchanged; singing and/or sitting still are still favoured activities. They remain highly territorial and quickly become hostile to anyone threatening their homes, but there is perhaps more emphasis placed on their dislike for mining than previously.

The galeb duhr received an update to 3.5 Edition rules in the D&D v.3.5 Accessory Update which was available as a download and a printed freebie in game stores.

Curiously, the plural of galeb duhr seems to have changed from "galeb duhr" in 1st and 2nd Edition, to "galeb duhrs" here. It remained "duhrs" into 4th Edition, but seems to have reverted back to the original invariant plural for 5th Edition. For consistency, this ENCyclopedia entry sticks with a plural of "galeb duhr" throughout.

4th Edition
Whatever the reason for the additional limbs the galeb duhr gained in 3rd Edition, they were here to stay, with the illustration in the 4th Edition Monster Manual indicating distinct arms, legs and a head. This incarnation also keeps the smaller default size ("medium").

Monster Manual (2008)

Comparing 4th Edition monsters statistics to any other edition is difficult, but the abilities of the two types of galeb duhr presented in the Monster Manual are certainly more limited in scope than before. The Galeb Duhr Earthbreaker can hurl stones and generate a shock wave. The slightly more powerful Galeb Duhr Rockcaller can fill an area with rocks to make it difficult terrain or cause the earth to reach up and grasp one opponent. The Rockcaller also has a rolling attack, which is a cool idea for a creature that is essentially a boulder. Neither type of galeb duhr can animate boulders. These galeb duhr have also lost their immunity to fire and lightning, now having immunities only to petrification and poison.

The 4th Edition Monster Manual's lore entry for the galeb duhr is a confusing mess. It starts by noting that all dwarves were long ago slaves to the giants and titans, and continues with the following sentence: "More than one variety of dwarf failed to escape during the initial revolution, including the galeb duhrs". So apparently galeb duhr are a type of dwarf, despite there being no mention at all of this relationship anywhere elsewhere in the monster entry. As it turns out, galeb duhr are indeed a form of corrupted dwarf tracing their origins back to the days of dwarven servitude to the giant races, but we have to stumble onto this information in the Player's Handbook's racial description for dwarves.

The entry in the Monster Manual notes that while some galeb duhr have slipped away from their brutish masters, some still serve the giant races. This servitude relationship with the giants is a recurring theme in 4th Edition, and all galeb duhr speak both the dwarven and giant languages.

Galeb duhr dwell on a wider variety of planes in 4th Edition than previously. They can be found living in the Elemental Chaos on the earthmotes of Irdoc Morda and Allrock (according to The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos), as well as in Celestia, one of the astral dominions (see Manual of the Planes).

Dungeon Magazine #198 presents two new variations of galeb duhr. The Galeb Duhr Rockbreaker is an upgraded version of the Earthbreaker, with a more powerful shock wave attack, and a new stone burst ability. The Galeb Duhr Rockspawn, on the other hand, is just a one-hit minion.

Most 4th Edition encounters featuring galeb duhr are combat encounters, but towards the end of the edition, there was a shift to more role-playing in adventures. In The Elder Elemental Eye, the eighth season of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters organised play, there is an encounter with a galeb duhr hermit who actively avoids combat. If the heroes talk to the creature they can gain valuable information. If they attack it, it simply burrows away.

One of the last books for 4th Edition, Player's Option: Heroes of the Elemental Chaos, expands slightly on the galeb duhr origin story, building a link to the elemental magic known as "earthforging". Dwarven efforts to master elemental power led to the birth of the galeb duhr, as an unknown number of dwarves succumbed to the "temptation" of elemental power, losing themselves to its magic.

D&D Miniatures: Against the Giants #36/60 (2008)

It wasn't until 2008 that the first (and so far only) galeb duhr miniature was produced for D&D. Since the figure appears in one of the first sets released for 4th edition, it's tempting to wonder if the desire to produce a more accessible medium-sized miniature had any influence on the decision to keep the smaller size and additional limbs introduced in 3rd Edition.

5th Edition
The first 5th Edition appearance of the galeb duhr is in the Reclaiming Blingdenstone adventure from the August 2012 D&D Next Playtest Packet. These galeb duhr are a plot hook rather than active participants in the adventure. The heroes of the story must assist the gnomes of Blingdenstone in waking a group of ancient Speaking Stones. These are said to be ancient galeb duhr, and are revered as manifestations of the gnome deities. They have grown silent, no longer producing the subtle vibrations the gnome priests use for their divinations. There are no galeb duhr statistics in the adventure, those would have to wait for the Monster Manual

Monster Manual (2014)

The most recent version of the galeb duhr sticks to the medium-sized four-limbed body we've had since 3rd edition. This galeb duhr keeps the rolling charge attack from 4th edition and gains a special "downhill" rolling speed. It is also able to animate boulders again, although this is only a once-per-day ability. It has no immunities to fire or lightning this time, but galeb duhr are now resistant to most types of weapon damage (as well as poison, paralysation and petrification). At 9 Hit Dice, these galeb duhr are very slightly stronger than their 8 Hit Dice 1st and 2nd Edition ancestors.

The background and lore in the Monster Manual are quite sparse, and not entirely consistent with their game history. It is said that galeb duhr form naturally in places touched by Plane of Earth, and that they do not age or eat. They are permanently bound to the Material Plane, and do not return to the Plane of Earth upon death.

As previously, galeb duhr are said to be good at assessing threats and guarding areas under their protection. This time though, there is more emphasis on the possibility that a galeb duhr could be summoned by a spellcaster to act as a stone guardian, or charged by druids to protect a sacred hilltop. These galeb duhr speak only the Terran language.

Galeb duhr relatives
There are several D&D creatures related in some way to galeb duhr. The dridge are a race of rock-like creatures resembling galeb duhr who once lived beneath the surface of the world of Lukkum in Shadowspace (see Heart of the Enemy). The Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix notes that the strange bipedal shell-dwellers known as geonids may also be related, but the artwork makes it look as if geonids are just good at pretending to be galeb duhr.

Geonid, Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix (1994)

The City of Raven's Bluff details the dragger, a slightly weaker, but more aggressive cousin of the galeb duhr. Pro tip: When viewing a galeb duhr and a dragger next to each other, the dragger is the one with the larger mouth.

Dragger, The City of Raven's Bluff (1998)

Even more exotic relatives include the faerie phiz from Dragon #191, which is described as a mystical entity "similar in nature to a treant or galeb duhr", and the demigod-like dharum suhn from Planescape Monstrous Compendium Volume III. However, the relationship between the galeb duhr and the dharum suhn is likened to the relationship between the lowliest of apes and the most powerful human wizards.

Dharum Suhn, Planescape Monstrous Compendium Volume III (1998)

The galeb duhr of 4th Edition have an alternative taxonomy. They are relatives of the azers and eisk jaats, all of whom descended from dwarves who were once enslaved by giants and twisted by elemental energy (The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos).

Galeb duhr allies and enemies
Despite their solitary natures, galeb duhr have been known to ally with other creatures from time to time in D&D history. The Ecology of the Galeb Duhr gives treants and pech as two examples of potential allies. This is supported by the adventure Things That Go Bump in the Night in Dungeon #38 which features a role-playing encounter with a galeb duhr named Rockwell and his best friend Clement, a treant. When not dealing with adventurers, this pair spend their time in philosophical discussions. Planes of Chaos mentions that oreads, guardian spirits of mountains, are on good terms with galeb duhr, and even speak the galeb duhr language.

The galeb duhr of 4th Edition are much less discriminating about their allegiances. The Monster Manual notes that they are sometimes encountered with gargoyles and other creatures of elemental earth, and the sample encounter group includes a bulette. King of the Trollhaunt Warrens, includes an encounter with a galeb duhr working alongside trolls and nothics. This galeb duhr has sworn to serve the troll king Skalmad, and joins the trolls in combat against the PCs, albeit reluctantly. The Monster Manual 2 and Monster Manual 3 both expanded the pool of potential allies to include stone giants, goliaths, xorn and even earthquake dragons. This newfound willingness to work with other creatures extends to galeb duhr in specific campaign settings, with the Dark Sun Creature Catalog noting that burrowing anakore can be found in the company of galeb duhr, and that the four-armed giants know as brohgs are known allies.

Galeb duhr have been known to serve individual elemental beings. The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Volume III notes that the archomental Sunnis, Princess of Good Earth Creatures counts galeb duhr among her followers in her fortress stronghold Sandfall. The 4th Edition Monster Manual 3 says that some galeb duhr create shrines and claim Ogrémoch as their maker. Galeb duhr are mentioned as serving under the banner of the Great Dao Khan Kristobal in Elemental Patrons and Palaces in Dragon #408, but they have not always voluntarily served dao; Secrets of the Lamp notes that galeb duhr are among the types of slaves captured by the sandmen who serve the dao slavetakers. Finally, as has already been mentioned, 4th Edition galeb duhr often serve giants or titans. Dungeon #198 even has a stone giant named Arnak who can call forth five galeb duhr each encounter.

Compared to this list of friends, D&D sources don't mention many galeb duhr enemies. The lunar galeb duhr in Polyhedron #26 steer clear of the neighbouring spider-like chak, and there are examples of galeb duhr killing worgs (Dungeon #73) or hiring PCs to get rid of unwanted goblins (Axe of the Dwarvish Lords), but none of these are serious enough to qualify as racial enemies. The only mention of a true enemy appears to be the chaotic earth elementals known as erdeen. These creatures are detailed in the Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix, but are basically chaotic galeb duhr. Unfortunately, the nature and reason for the enmity between the erdeen and the galeb duhr is not disclosed.

Galeb duhr and magic
The Ecology of the Galeb Duhr teaches us that most earth spells (including dig, move earth, passwall, sink, spike stones, stone shape, and transmute rock to mud) have no effect on a galeb duhr and The Complete Druid's Handbook adds strengthen stone to that list. Of course, in 1st and 2nd Edition, galeb duhr had a magic resistance of 20%, so ordinary spells might also fail against them.

Some spells are especially harmful to galeb duhr; earthquake causes death (or merely extensive harm) and stone to flesh turns a galeb duhr into a fleshy substance, causing it considerable distress and the loss of all stone powers. Ballant's stonesplit (a 6th level wizard spell from Dragon #145) causes great damage to stone-composed creatures, and Iuz the Evil notes that although the primary use of the stone curse spell is to weaken construction, it can also be used offensively in combat against creatures such as galeb duhr.

The 7th-level priest spell antimineral shell (from Player's Option: Spells & Magic) does not harm a galeb duhr, but is it impervious to stone-based lifeforms, so is a good defense against one. Animate rock charms a galeb duhr, allowing the caster to control it. However, the galeb duhr will resent this, and attack once the effect wears off. The stone tell spell forces a galeb duhr to truthfully answer questions. The command earth spell (found in From the Ashes) gives a priest limited powers over creatures from the Elemental Plane of Earth, including galeb duhr.

Fortunately, there are also some spells which benefit galeb duhr. The Bazaar of the Bizarre article in Dragon #145 includes Ballant's stonestrength. This is a 5th-level wizard spell that completely repairs any stone-composed creature it is cast upon, including galeb duhr. A spell unique to galeb duhr is stone barrier. This is similar to a blade barrier but with the form of a whirling wall of flying stones. It appears in Dragon #172.

The Encyclopedia Magica entry for gargoyle cloak, which is a slightly expanded version of the one from Temple of Elemental Evil, lists the galeb duhr as one of the creatures for which other cloaks of polymorphing may be found. The 3rd Edition Magic Item Compendium contains a Galeb Duhr Hammer which is a +1 warhammer that causes the ground to try to grasp its targets. Playing havoc with what we thought we knew about galeb duhr lifecycle, this hammer is actually the nascent form of a galeb duhr, given as gift by dwarven clan fathers to other friends of the earth.

Lastly, Dragon #172 reveals that a spell which is cast using a fragment of a galeb duhr's body instead of an ordinary stone material component becomes half again as powerful. Unfortunately, the fragment only keeps this power for a month after the death of the galeb duhr, and it is always consumed during the casting of the enhanced spell.

In the Birthright campaign there are rumours that the dwarves of Baruk-Azhik have struck bargains with the resident galeb duhr to serve as spies or sentries (see Player's Secrets of Baruk-Azhik), and in the adventure The Sword of Roele there is an encounter with Crusher, a galeb duhr member of the Order of the Sun. A neutral evil branch of galeb duhr appear with uncommon frequency in rocky Shadow World terrain, according to Blood Spawn: Creature of Light and Shadow.

A group of mad galeb duhr reside in the Screaming Valley in the Plains of Dust. According to the novel Betrayal, they lure travellers into drowning themselves in a river of mud by assaulting them with high-pitched, maddening screams. They are said to be ancient creatures, predating the Cataclysm, which prompts one of characters in the novel to suggest that it might have been living through the Cataclysm that drove the galeb duhr mad.

Forgotten Realms
Galeb duhr dwell in many parts of the Forgotten Realms, including northwest Faerûn. The Savage Frontier notes that they inhabit most mountain ranges in the region and in The North boxed set we learn that Turnstone Pass has been blocked by treants and a large number of galeb duhr, forcing caravan traffic to follow alternative routes. We discover in Dragon #248 that along with leucrotta, galeb duhr have always inhabited the Rockshaws, a northeastern region of the High Moor. Further south, galeb duhr are known to reside along the River Lundeth in Thindol on the Chultan peninsula (see Serpent Kingdoms).

An Attack on the Watchwall, Unapproachable East (2003)

The nation of Aglarond, in the area known as the Unapproachable East, has a history intertwined with that of the region's galeb duhr population. Spellbound notes that there are ancient galeb duhr living deep in the Tannath mountains, far from human habitation. Back in 1085 DR, during the time of King Brindor, these galeb duhr worked with the King's wizards to raise the black, stone fortress of Glarondar and the great Watchwall which stretches miles northwards from Glarondar to the slopes of the Umbergoth mountains (see The Grand History of the Realms). In Unapproachable East it is mentioned that in return for this assistance, King Brindor pledged the aid of his people whenever the galeb duhr might call for it. So far they have not. In the Living Forgotten Realms module Sojourner's Way, set in the same region, the heroes meet a galeb duhr named Onyx, Stonespeaker for the Diamondsoul tribe. A skill check is needed to persuade the creature that they are merely passing through.

In Black Courser, while they are accompanying the Tuigan army, the heroes of the adventure wander into a community of over a hundred galeb duhr, drawn by the Tuigan tradition of leaving a small gemstone (much coveted by the galeb duhr) on the rocks as they pass through the region. On the other side of the continent entirely lie the Moonshae islands. In Halls of the High King, both the elven (Llewyrr) and human (Ffolk) peoples have legends about tall standing stones or menhirs that loom up out of the mists in open country, late at night, and only when there are mists about. Travellers who see them usually flee headlong, for they look menacing and are accompanied by the sound of wailing, unearthly voices. It isn't clear if these are a local species of galeb duhr, or something more sinister.

Galeb duhr are also found beneath the surface of Faerûn. Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark details The Speaking Stones, a circle of eighteen stone menhirs that predate the svirfneblin city of Blingdenstone. Thought by the gnomes to be a cluster of truly ancient galeb duhr, the Speaking Stones are venerated as manifestations of the Lords of the Golden Hills. Svirfneblin priests cast augury and commune from within the circle, interpreting the responses to their entreaties from subtle changes in the vibrations that permeate the bedrock below. The 3rd Edition supplement Underdark details a band of nomadic galeb duhr known as Durgg-Gontag, with the name referring to both their tribe and any place they stop. Although not a political group, the Durgg-Gontag are friends of the Harpers, and often act as their agents. A chance meeting with the Durgg-Gontagg can be a huge boon to lost underdark travellers, as the galeb duhr are usually happy to share their supplies and act as guides.

During the Spellplague, the landmass known as Returned Abeir replaced Maztica in the west of the planet. According to the 4th Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, the city of Darrawn in the Fimbrul region of that continent is inhabited by earth giants and galeb duhr, who wage an endless war against dragons, rebel galeb duhr, and oni-led orc bands.

References to galeb duhr are also scattered throughout Oerthian tomes. Three galeb duhr lead three clans of mephits in the Tower of Power in Greyhawk Ruins, and in From the Ashes galeb duhr are mentioned as inhabitants of the Stone Citadel of Dawn in the Mounds of Dawn. Krangord, one of Iuz's citadels, is occasionally attacked by renegade galeb duhr (see Iuz the Evil), and in Return of the Eight galeb duhr are listed as one of the monster races that the wizard Tenser counts as allies. Could Tenser's allies and Iuz's renegades be the same group of rock-men?

In one of the Perrenland regional scenarios for the Living Greyhawk campaign (The Purity of Sound), there is an encounter with an advanced galeb duhr named Oldus Rockus. He requires that the adventurers perform for him in order to pass.

Historical settings
Creative Campaigning suggests galeb duhr as an appropriate creature to use for a D&D campaign set in Celtic Ireland, while Age of Heroes disallows them in a Greek setting.

In G'henna, rock dancers are galeb duhr without legs which move by rolling (see Circle of Darkness). According to The Shadow Rift, galeb duhr are found in the Stowndowns area of the Rift. They are sometimes employed by the erdluitle, a race of neutral good earth creatures similar to pech, who also inhabit the Shadow Rift.

Galeb duhr names
Caleb, Crusher, Dun-Durgg, Oldus Rockus, Onyx, Rock, Rockwell

Dragon #61, p51, "New AD&D Aid: Monster Cards" (May 1982)
Monster Cards, Set 2 (May 1982)
Monster Manual II, p68 (August 1983)
C5: The Bane of Llewellyn, p7 (March 1985)
T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil, p116, 126 (August 1985)
Polyhedron #26, p21 (November 1985)
Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, p97 (June 1986)
I11: Needle, p8, 44 (February 1987)
C6: The Official RPGA Tournament Handbook (March 1987)
FR5: The Savage Frontier, p16 (August 1988)
Dragon #145, p41-42, "Bazaar of the Bizarre" (May 1989)
Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (August 1989)
WGR1: Greyhawk Ruins, p68 (July 1990)
FRA2: Black Courser, p27 (July 1990)
FA1: Halls of the High King, p62 (October 1990)
Dragon #172, p20, "The Ecology of the Galeb Duhr" (August 1991)
1991 Trading Cards Factory Set, card 475/750 (September 1991)
SJQ1: Heart of the Enemy, p46 (February 1992)
From the Ashes, Reference Card #6 and Atlas of the Flanaess, p72 (October 1992)
Dungeon #38, p35, "Things That Go Bump in the Night" (November 1992)
DMGR5: Creative Campaigning, p19 (January 1993)
Dragon #191, p95, "The Dragon's Bestiary" (March 1993)
WGR5: Iuz the Evil, p11, 21 (March 1993)
Monstrous Manual, p122 (June 1993)
ALQ4: Secrets of the Lamp, Genie Lore, p17 (October 1993)
HR6: Age of Heroes, p53 (March 1994)
Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix, p37, 47 (July 1994)
Planes of Chaos, Monstrous Supplement, p20 (July 1994)
PHBR13: The Complete Druid's Handbook, p94 (August 1994)
Dungeon #49, p59, "Castle of the Blind Sun" (September 1994)
Encyclopedia Magica, Volume I, p303 (November 1994)
Circle of Darkness, p64 (May 1995)
Spellbound, Campaign Guide, p48 (June 1995)
The Sword of Roele, p51 (February 1996)
The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier, The Wilderness, p57 (April 1996)
Player's Option: Spells & Magic, p 178 (May 1996)
Player's Secrets of Baruk-Azhik, p10 (May 1996)
Planescape Monstrous Compendium Volume III, p21, 35 (March 1998)
The Shadow Rift, p100-101 (April 1998)
Return of the Eight, p58 (May 1998)
Dragon #248, p60, "Wyrms of the North: The Moor Dragon Mornauguth" (June 1998)
The City of Raven's Bluff, p94 (October 1998)
Dungeon #73, p17, "Quoitine Quest" (March 1999)
Axe of the Dwarvish Lords, p101-107 (April 1999)
Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark, p41 (November 1999)
Blood Spawn: Creature of Light and Shadow, p80 (January 2001)
The Dhamon Saga, Volume 2: Betrayal (June 2001)
Monster Manual II, p107 (September 2002)
Unapproachable East, p96, 105 (May 2003)
D&D v.3.5 Accessory Update (July 2003)
Underdark, p147 (October 2003)
Serpent Kingdoms, p129 (July 2004)
PERSM 5-03: The Purity of Sound, p16-17 (2005)
Magic Item Compendium, p52 (March 2007)
The Grand History of the Realms, p118 (September 2007)
Monster Manual, p114 (June 2008)
Player's Handbook, p37 (June 2008)
D&D Miniatures: Against the Giants #36/60 (July 2008)
Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, p208, 211 (August 2008)
P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens, Adventure Book Two, p28-29 (October 2008)
Manual of the Planes, p91 (December 2008)
Monster Manual 2, p125, 136, 215 (May 2009)
The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos, p76, 137 (December 2009)
Monster Manual 3, p68, 163 (June 2010)
Dark Sun Creature Catalog, p12, 20 (August 2010)
Dungeon Magazine #198, "Warriors of the Stone Giant Thane" (January 2012)
Player's Option: Heroes of Elemental Chaos, p42 (February 2012)
Dragon #408, "Elemental Patrons and Palaces" (February 2012)
AGLA2-3: Sojourner's Way (February 2012)
The Elder Elemental Eye, p16-17 (February 2012)
D&D Next Playtest Packet (2012-08-17), Reclaiming Blingdenstone, p6, 21 (August 2012)
Monster Manual, p139 (September 2014)

Other ENCyclopedia entries
Visit the Monster ENCyclopedia index for links to other entries in this series.
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[h=3]Galeb duhr relatives[/h]
There are several D&D creatures related in some way to galeb duhr. The dridge are a race of rock-like creatures resembling galeb duhr who once lived beneath the surface of the world of Lukkum in Shadowspace (see Heart of the Enemy). The Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix notes that the strange bipedal shell-dwellers known as geonids may also be related, but the artwork makes it look as if geonids are just good at pretending to be galeb duhr.
The Mystaran Monstrous Compendium's claim that Geonids may be related to Galeb Duhr is very dubious. The only similarity is both creatures are able to disguise themselves as boulders, but that's hardly a substantial argument. The methods they use for this disguise are quite different. Geonids disguise themselves by hiding inside their shells which mimic boulders. A Galeb Duhr is effectively is an animated, intelligent boulder that pretends to be a rock just by standing still.

Ironically, the Mystara MC adds some additional information to the Geonid that makes it less likely the two species are related.

The original BECMI versions (from X5 Temple of Death (1983), AC9 Creature Catalog (1986) and so on) have very little in the way of description beyond them having a boulder-like shell, two legs, and two arms with "stony fists". At least the "stony fists" opens the possibility they're creatures made of living rock like the Galeb Duhr. The BECMI versions don't say what Geonids eat, or even if they eat anything, so they could subsist of "earth energy" like some versions of the Galeb Duhr.

The AD&D version in the Mystara Monstrous Appendix are normal organic lifeforms. The description says Geonids have "tender flesh", reproduce sexually, and eat almost any plant or animal matter. Their young are born without shells so can not disguise themselves as boulders, instead hiding within their mother's shell. Galeb-duhr are made of solid rock, are asexual, do not eat, and their young look like boulders too, only smaller.


I'm guessing that the reason why their treasure in 3e was limited to gems and potions was because they had treasure types Qx3, which has always been gems only, and X, which was "any 2 potions" in 2e.


Crazy comprehensive look at a monster I didn't even know existed.

Glad to see you back in the proyect!


Great stuff.

What about the name? It does have a celtic vibe, was it just made up or have some basis in something?


ENWorld's best series. This needs to be made into a coffee table book once the alphabet is complete.


Great stuff.

What about the name? It does have a celtic vibe, was it just made up or have some basis in something?
I'm no Gaelic scholar, but it looks like the author picked a quasi-Gaelic (Irish/Scottish) sounding name.

"Rock man" in Irish is carraig fear. I'm not saying that is the exact wordshape he was thinking of, but "galeb dúr" does have a semi-Gaelic sound to it.


Shirokinukatsukami fan
The Mystaran Monstrous Compendium's claim that Geonids may be related to Galeb Duhr is very dubious.
I agree; I found the link to geonids very unconvincing. I'm not sold on the relationship to the faerie phiz either, but the possibility seemed worth a mention.

I'm guessing that the reason why their treasure in 3e was limited to gems and potions was because they had treasure types Qx3, which has always been gems only, and X, which was "any 2 potions" in 2e.
Well spotted -- that's got to be the reason.

What about the name? It does have a celtic vibe, was it just made up or have some basis in something?
As far as I know, it was just made up. There is a Twitter conversation between [MENTION=14053]ST[/MENTION]vWinter, [MENTION=11365]Alphastream[/MENTION] and [MENTION=34696]Dread[/MENTION]Gazeebo implying that the galeb duhr might be an anagram of something, but I didn't find anything to support that. Also, Dragon #61 disagrees with Steve Winter about Harold Johnson being the creator of the galeb duhr. I wonder if Mike Price is on Twitter?


Shirokinukatsukami fan
Galeb Duhr is an anagram of the British town of Aldeburgh....coincidence? I think not.
It might not be a coincidence, but it looks like Mike Price's family was based in Indianapolis while he was working for TSR, so it seems unlikely (but certainly not impossible) that he'd pick a UK town name as the basis for an anagram. This would be a really cool nugget of information to get a definitive answer on though.


Really enjoyed that, thanks. Great research. I've never used galeb duhr before. Definitely will now.


First Post
Excellent history article. MOAR!!!!!!!
This kind of content makes ENWorld just awesome IMHO.
Of course, some creature history articles may be rather short on content because the creature is not well represented in past publications. But on the other hand, some creature histories could span several articles due to their wide use in D&D content and lore.
Regardless... thank you for this. Just reading this kind of material gets my DM creative wheels spinning.


I'm no Gaelic scholar, but it looks like the author picked a quasi-Gaelic (Irish/Scottish) sounding name.

"Rock man" in Irish is carraig fear. I'm not saying that is the exact wordshape he was thinking of, but "galeb dúr" does have a semi-Gaelic sound to it.
apparently its Welsh and based on a legend about the rocks on a certain hill that would awaken every century and roll down to the river for a drink.


I agree; I found the link to geonids very unconvincing. I'm not sold on the relationship to the faerie phiz either, but the possibility seemed worth a mention.
Well at least with the Faerie Phiz you can see where the comparison to Galeb Duhr comes from, what with them both being chunks of natural material that are supernaturally animated and intelligence.

Besides, the Phiz's Dragon #191 MC writeup only said they're similar in nature to Galeb Duhr, which does not necessarily mean they're related in a "genetic" sense - If that even means anything for such magical creatures.

The Phiz's entry also says they are similar in nature to Treants, and segues neatly into the obvious parallels between Treants and Galeb Duhr. Maybe the most significant is their ability to temporarily animate trees/boulders to fight besides them, effectively creating "combat clones". Few D&D creatures can do that, which could be evidence for an actual relationship.

Furthermore, the Phiz's entry says sages agree they're created by overflowingly powerful magic produced by faeries or wizards, while Galeb Duhr and Treants reproduce by themselves.


The change in plurality spelling, from galeb duhr to galeb duhrs, is probably related to the same impulse that resulted in the change of multiple phaerimm to phaerimms. :p


First Post
In the Forgotten Realms novel Red Magic (Book 3 of the Harpers series) there are two galeb duhr guarding a gold mine northeast of Amruthar in the nation of Thay. When approached by a large army of Szass Tam's undead, the galeb duhr (under magical compulsion from Maligor, a rival Red Wizard) animate and attack, sending a massive assault of boulders tumbling down the mountain side that demolishes maybe half of the skeletons and zombies.

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