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Cloakers were intelligent creatures that dwelt underground and resembled large flying manta rays when active. At rest, they looked like a black cloak, hence their name.[3]


Cloakers communicated through a subsonic moan, inaudible to most creatures, that could travel up to 60‒80 ft (18‒24 m).[1] They were capable of increasing the intensity of their moans as a defense mechanism, rendering them audible, and causing foes to feel a mixture of fear and nausea.[1][3] The highest intensity of this subsonic moan was capable of causing an effect akin to hold person on an individual with 30 ft (9.1 m). However, these sounds could not penetrate dense materials, such as stone.[4]


Their minds and thoughts were so alien that it was said no one could communicate with them.[6]


Some cloakers were known to be capable of manipulating the shadows around them, though a light spell would easily render them blind and incapable of using this ability.[4][3][2] Others expressed the ability to conjure up to three illusory duplicates of themselves that copied their movements, but could only do so in an area of darkness.[1][4]


Cloakers generally either waited in ambush for their prey,[3] or stalked them from a safe distance.[1][2] Once an opportune moment presented itself the cloaker would unfurl its fins and attempt to engulf their prey within them. Once a cloaker had entrapped its prey in this manner, they would use their long whip-like tail to defend itself from any creatures that might try to intervene.[1][3]


  • Cloaker lord: a larger and more powerful species that had the innate power to dominate normal cloakers.[6]
  • Snow cloaker: a species of white-skinned cloakers that were endemic to the glacial lake Llashloch in High Ice.[7][8] Their bodies were adapted to the severe cold of the region and their population was notably small.[7]


A well-fed cloaker on a steady diet of adventurers.

Cloakers were generally reclusive creatures, though older ones were known to coerce small groups of humans, goblins, and drow into doing their bidding; however, derro and quaggoths were the most commonly seen servants of older cloakers. At times cloakers were even known to be worshiped by tribes as a sort of god.[2] On occasion, one or more cloaker lords would draw together a population of cloakers to form a city,[6] and despite their generally reclusive nature, cloaker communities were surprisingly social, with the creatures forming odd social cliques, castes, and roles for themselves. They appeared to greatly care about popularity, with the most popular cloakers being those which were larger, had darker coloration, or kept the most "pets" in the form of enslaved darkmantles, lurkers, or humanoids.[9]

Cloakers did not venerate any deity.[10]

Some believed that cloakers were related to creatures known as trappers. Scholars also believed that they may have been an asexual species, but there was no definitive proof of this[4] and cloakers had been observed to appear to court others of their kind within cloaker settlements.[9] It was known, however, that a cloaker lord was capable of spawning cloakers as a byproduct of their own asexual reproduction.[11]


Cloakers—or at least their ancestors—were believed to have originated in the Plane of Shadow.[12] In Faerûn, many were known to inhabit the Underdark, either alone or in settlements like Cloakerhaven[9] or Rringlor Noroth,[13] though scholars believed that cloakers may have once built and inhabited the ruined Underdark city of Ikemmu.[14]

Other cloakers were known to inhabit the Shadow Swamp, acting as warlords over lesser creatures in the plane of shadow such as the ghirrash and khumat.[15][16] Beyond that plane, they could be found in the Domains of Dread.[17]


See Also[]


Curse of the Azure BondsDungeon #20, "The Ship Of Night"Dark and Hidden WaysPolyhedron #87, "Eye of the Leviathan"Dungeon #70, "Ssscaly Thingsss"City of the Spider QueenOut of the AbyssWaterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Referenced only
Hordes of Dragonspear
Dead of Night
Video Games
MenzoberranzanWarriors of Waterdeep
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
It's All in the BloodBlood Above, Blood BelowThe Tower of Ahghairon
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland and Robert J. Schwalb (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0786954902.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 25. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “Anauroch”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  8. Ed Greenwood (November 1991). Anauroch. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 67. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  10. Eric L. Boyd (November 1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. Edited by Jeff Quick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  11. Ed Greenwood (1992). Menzoberranzan (The City). Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc), p. 89. ISBN 1-5607-6460-0.
  12. Ed Bonny (January 1995). “The Demiplane of Shadow”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #213 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24–25.
  13. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 234. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  14. Matt James (February 2010). “Explore Ikemmu: The Gloaming City”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #175 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58.
  15. Mike Donais, Skaff Elias, Rob Heinsoo, and Jonathan Tweet (October 2003). Miniatures Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-7869-3281-3.
  16. Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (March 2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-0-7869-4119-3.
  17. William W. Connors (1996). Monstrous Compendium - Ravenloft Appendices I & II. (TSR, Inc.), p. 71. ISBN 0786903929.