Derro (pronounced: /ˈdɛrDER-o[8]) were a species of monstrous humanoids that inhabited the Underdark.[citation needed]

Description[edit | edit source]

Derro appeared to resemble small dwarves. They had blue-gray skin, and their hair was often white, yellow,[2] or pale tan in color.[6] They lacked both irises and pupils, showing uniformly pale eyes. Most derro looked haggard and wore shabby clothing, appearing pitiable to unsuspecting victims.[2]

Biology[edit | edit source]

The eyes of these creatures were capable of seeing in total darkness[1] as well as the ultraviolet spectrum out to a range of 120 feet (37 meters). They often suffered nausea while in sunlight.[6]

Their bodies were typically quite dexterous.[6]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Derro were typically known to wield repeating light crossbows with poison-laced arrows, hooked fauchards, daggers, spears, and aklys.[6]

Rumors & Legends[edit | edit source]

Legend had it that the derro originally lived on the surface of Faerûn.[9] But they opened portals to the Far Realm, which offended the World Serpent, who cast the derro into the Underdark.[10][11]

There were other conflicting legends of how the derro came to be. The duergar believed that the derro were another dwarf clan that was long held by mind flayers, which resulted in the madness that afflicted them. The derro themselves all told oft-changing variations of the myth of their god; all versions shared a common focus on his stealing of magic from a great evil to help the derro survive through their ideals of deceit and cruelty.[12]

Outside of their origins, there were a few rumors that claimed they ate human flesh.[6]

Society[edit | edit source]

Derro were widespread and were likely to be found in small bands throughout the Underdark.[citation needed] Derro warrens existed in duergar cities like Gracklstugh, but they were treated as a disrespected underclass.[13]

The derro were a strange and sadistic race. While clever and stealthy, they were also murderously insane. It was very common for derro to devote themselves to some strange quest, such as collecting only certain types of gemstones or slaying as many members of a particular race as possible. Some derro were assigned specific missions by powerful derro savants, with the possibility that they might even join a company of comrades to fulfill some irrational goal.[14]

Derro bands survived the challenges of the Underdark only thanks to their intense paranoia and the sorcerous powers of their leaders.[12]

Religion[edit | edit source]

Most derro revered the god Diirinka, but very few became actual clerics.[citation needed] Instead, Diirinka's blessing was considered manifest in the sorcery of their many savants.[12]

Notable Derro[edit | edit source]

  • Buppido, a cunning and insane killer who believed himself to be the incarnation of the derro god Diinkarazan.[15]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Dungeon #20: "The Ship of Night"Out of the AbyssDragon+ #21, "Six Faces of Death"
Realms of the Underdark: "Sea of Ghosts" • Storm of the DeadVenom in Her Veins
Referenced only
Escape the Underdark
Video Games
MenzoberranzanSword Coast Legends
Referenced only
Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 224. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 158–159. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  3. Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland and Robert J. Schwalb (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 49–51. ISBN 0786954902.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  5. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  7.  (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  8.  (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In  ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  9.  (March 2012). Venom in Her Veins (Kindle ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), loc. 2983. ISBN 0786959843.
  10.  (March 2012). Venom in Her Veins (Kindle ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), loc. 3216. ISBN 0786959843.
  11.  (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 48. ISBN 0786954902.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2  (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by . (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  13.  (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by . (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  14.  (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  15.  (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by . (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.

Connections[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.