These multipronged monsters were truly enormous: individual dracohydras had been recorded as reaching a length of 125 feet (38.1 meters), not counting their tails which could be as long as 105 feet (32 meters). They generally reached their maximum size when they reached 12 years of age. They had anywhere between two and five heads, though the majority typically sported three. Dracohydras were covered in thick, muddy-brown scales, with the scales on their bellies ranging to a lighter cream color, and their eyes were red.
Although dracohydras had features associated with both dragons and hydras, they were not in fact hybrid creatures, but rather a distinct species.
The breath weapon of a dracohydra was similar to that of a black dragon, essentially a spray of concentrated acid that could reach as far as 40 feet (12 meters). They were in turn immune to the deleterious effects of acid.
Dracohydras grew more powerful as they aged, gaining a number of spell-like abilities. A young adult could cast wall of fog, an adult could add darkness to their arsenal, an old dracohydra typically knew stinking cloud, and the great wyrms of the species had command of cloudkill.
Although not the most discerning of dracoforms, dracohydras had some measure of intelligence and were able to speak their own variation of Draconic—they understood roughly half of what chromatic dragons said and vice versa. Some dracohydras were taught Common by wizards associated with the Cult of the Dragon. A typical dracohydra's personality was akin to that of a white dragon: bestial, selfish, and rapacious. They had trouble processing abstract thoughts, and so tended to act in a rather direct and unsubtle manner.
Dracohydras were incredibly voracious creatures who needed a steady supply of food to sate themselves. Their overwhelming preference was fresh meat, though they had been known to eat virtually anything—even rocks and gemstones—when hungry enough. They were known for killing intruders into their territories for the sake of it, even when not motivated by hunger. This territorial instinct was prized by the Cult of the Dragon, who used dracohydras as stationary guards. The extreme food requirements for dracohydras meant that the Cult usually kept dracohydras near a large food source, such as a herd of grazing animals. Apart from feeding them, the Cult relied on methods such as bribery, manipulation, and magical charming to keep their dracohydras in line.
The favored terrain of a dracohydra was snow-covered mountain peaks, preferably in an area with frequent violent storms. Still, they would settle for most remote mountainous regions—the further from civilization the better.
As one might expect given their abundance of heads, dracohydra combat centered largely on using their innate breath weapons or simply biting their opponents to shreds, with occasional kicks, wing buffets, and claw attacks thrown in.
Dracohydras were solitary beings who only sought out others of their species for mating purposes, forming mated pairs to rear their offspring. Dracohydra parents protected their young, though would rarely give their own lives in defense of their children. When dracohydra offspring reached young adulthood, they generally headed out on their own, or—more rarely—challenged one of their parents.
They had an intense hatred for all other draconic creatures, usually attacking them on sight if they found their odds to be favorable. Dracohydras especially considered storm giants, stone giants, and red dragons to be their mortal enemies. Red dragons, in particular, considered the meat of a young dracohydra to be a delicacy.
Exactly how dracohydras came to be was a matter of debate among sages. Some believed them to represent the next step in the evolution of dragons, while others believed them to be an offshoot species related to the very first dragons of antiquity. Others still believed dracohydras to have been created by Tiamat, the Queen of Chromatic dragons. Another theory proposed that Sammaster, the leader of the Cult of the Dragon who was famous for producing many draco-hybrid creatures, had engineered dracohydras into existence.
Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple • Pink • Yellow
Gem dragons: Amber • Amethyst • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal • Obsidian
Lung dragons: Chiang lung • Li lung • Lung wang • Pan lung • Shen lung • T'ien lung • Tun mi lung • Yu lung
Planar dragons: Astral • Battle • Blight • Chaos • Ethereal • Hellfire wyrm • Howling • Mirage • Oceanus • Pyroclastic • Radiant • Rust • Shadow • Styx • Tarterian
Epic dragons: Force • Prismatic
Catastrophic dragons: Volcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: Dzalmus • Mist • Radiant • Rattelyr • Song • Vishap
Draconic transformations: Air • Ascendant • Hidecarved
Linnorms: Corpse tearer • Dread • Stygian
Drakes: Ambush • Black firedrake • Dragonne • Elemental (Earth • Fire • Ice • Magma • Ooze • Smoke • Water) • Felldrake (Crested • Spitting) • Greater • Guard • Mind • Portal • Rage • Space • Vulture
Dragonets: Crow's-nest dragon • Draken • Faerie dragon • Pseudodragon
Dragonbloods: Draconic creature • Dragonborn of Bahamut • Dragonspawn
Drow-dragon (shadow) • Drow-dragon (deep) • Half-dragon • Kobold (Dragonwrought • Urd) • Weredragon • Zar'ithra • Zekyl
Undead dragons: Dracolich • Dragonwight • Hoarder • Rathrea • Vampiric • Zombie
- Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 67. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- Nigel Findley, et al. (October 1990). Draconomicon. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 68. ISBN 0-8803-8876-5.
- Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 101. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.