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Criosphinxes (pronounced: /ˈkrsfɪŋksKRY-o-sfinks[5]) were a type of ram-headed sphinx.[6]


Like other types of sphinx, these creatures had tawny lion bodies as large as a horse with large wings similar to that of a falcon. In addition, they were always male.[1] When born they lack their distinctive ram horns. These develop rapidly over the course of their first year of life and then at an increasingly slow rate afterwards. Though they had the head of a ram, their mouth was full of sharp carnivore teeth.[4]


Criosphinxes found wealth extremely attractive[6] and would pursue it above all else if they couldn't find a gynosphinx.[1] Because of their penchant for wealth, they enjoyed extorting tolls from travelers.[6] They also had remarkable memories, at least in terms of remembering their treasure caches.[7]


Unlike other types of sphinxes, these creatures did not possess an innate spellcasting ability. Because of this,[1] they relied upon their leonine claws and ram-horns in combat.[1][4] And would forgo using their teeth.[4] When fighting, their combat tactics were rather simple.[1]


Like most sphinxes, these creatures lived largely solitarily lives. Though while searching for a mate, occasionally up to four of them could be found traveling together, each of them hoping to take her for themselves.[4] Criosphinxes would bury their treasures in the ground as they traveled, often having several caches spread over a considerable area.[7]

Whenever a criosphinx mated with a gynosphinx, male children born of their union would also be criosphinxes.[7] Gynosphinxes always abandoned these children, leaving them to fend for themselves or to be raised by their father.[8]

It was a common practice among members of this species to add a descriptive adjective to their name.[4]


These creatures were a carnivorous species.[2][4] They would use their sharp teeth to rip chunks of meat from their prey and then swallow them whole.[4]


Criosphinxes were typically found in deserts[1] or forests[2] with a warm climate.[1][2] They tended to be nomadic, disdaining permanent lairs.[7]

In Faerûn, they could be found in the Hullack Forest.[9] In the Shining South they could be found in Dambrath, the Shaar, and the Toadsquat Mountains.[10]


These creatures were capable of speaking Common, as well as the language of sphinxes and animals.[4]


Criosphinxes were known to act as servants of the deity Nephthys.[11]

Criosphinxes lusted after gynosphinxes[6] and constantly sought them out,[1] though the latter found them repulsive.[6]


Around 1374 DR, one could find criosphinxes stabled by the Zhentarim as mounts within the Temple in the Sky.[12]



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 233. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 324. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 89. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Johnathan M. Richards (February 1998). “The Ecology of the Sphinx”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #244 (TSR, Inc.), p. 86.
  5. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 25.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 90. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Johnathan M. Richards (February 1998). “The Ecology of the Sphinx”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #244 (TSR, Inc.), p. 84.
  8. Johnathan M. Richards (February 1998). “The Ecology of the Sphinx”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #244 (TSR, Inc.), p. 88.
  9. John Terra (November 1997). Four from Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), pp. 89, 127. ISBN 0-7869-0646-4.
  10. Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 82, 88, 90. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
  11. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Web Enhancement for Faiths and Pantheons. Wizards of the Coast. p. 13. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.