These tough, wiry plants had smooth trunks that varied in brown to yellowish tones and on average grew to heights of 10 feet (3 meters). They had vines that were light green in color, yet looked desiccated, and were covered in leaves as well as sharp, hollow thorns. Their leaves were pointed, had two-lobes, and were pale in color. But once a bloodthorn fed, their leaves took on the same color as a victim's blood.
On average their vines grew to lengths of 7 to 12 feet (2.1 to 3.7 meters), while their thorns were typically 3 feet (0.91 meters) in length. Bright red berries also grew continually on these plants. They were juicy, yet bitter, and produced a fragrant odor that appealed to most creatures
Whenever a living creature came close to them a bloodthorn would lash out with as many of its tendrils as possible, grappling the creature and jabbing it with its thorns in an effort to extract blood. However, they typically ignored scavengers and allowed them to remove the carcasses of their victims.
After a good feeding of three or more human-sized victims, a bloodthorn would reproduce by shooting out seed thorns away from itself. Such thorns typically flew around 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6.1 meters) away from their parent.
Bloodthorns were generally known to grow in thick, briar-like patches in deserts and plains. They were native to the Outer Planes, but could sometimes be found transplanted on Prime Material plane.
In northwest Faerûn, bloodthorn grew in the heavy woods of Cormanthor, Daggerdale, and Shadowdale. Particularly the Border Forest, Spiderhaunt Wood, and the Vale of Lost Voices. In west Faerûn, bloodthorns grew in the Forest of Tethir and the Forest of Mir. And beyond Faerûn, they grew in the jungles of Chult.
Beyond the Prime Material, bloodthorns grew in the barren wastelands of the Abyss, Carceri, Outlands, Pandemonium, and Baator. In the Abyss, they were particularly known to be found on the 1st and the 248th layer. They also grew in the fiendish plane of Fury's Heart.
- In Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two these creatures are labeled as being carnivores. However, this contradicts their description as blood suckers.
- Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 19, 2009). Monster Manual 2 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 204–205. ISBN 0786995101.
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- Jon Pickens ed. (1995). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two. (TSR, Inc.), p. 95. ISBN 0-7869-0199-3.
- Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 18–19. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 178. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
- Jeff Grubb and George MacDonald (April 1989). Curse of the Azure Bonds. (TSR, Inc.), p. 93. ISBN 978-0880386067.
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- James Lowder, Jean Rabe (1993). The Jungles of Chult. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 1-5607-6605-0.
- William James Cuffe (December 1998). “Stench Cow Recipes!”. In Jeff Quick ed. Polyhedron #133 (TSR, Inc.), p. 11.
- Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
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