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More than a powerful form of undead, a dracolich was a dragon who had voluntarily tied its soul to a phylactery, freeing itself from death. A type of lich, the creature's spirit could possess any dead reptilian body, usually their original form, and retained all the powers and abilities of the former body. That meant a dracolich had the supernatural fear aura, spells, and breath weapon it had in life, plus the terrible might of the undead.[4]

...Stripped of life, of hunger, of the needs of the flesh, an undead dragon is simply evil incarnate.
— Jothan Ironspell[7]


A dracolich had the strange ability to inhabit the body of any reptilian corpse upon death, though they were at their most powerful when inhabiting the corpse of a dragon. When killed in its corporeal body, the dracolich didn't "die". Instead, its spirit fled and hid in the phylactery, awaiting another suitable body to animate and inhabit.[8] Like other types of lich, a dracolich was only truly annihilated when its phylactery was destroyed.[4]


The process of becoming a dracolich was discovered by Sammaster the Mad, a fallen Chosen of Mystra, who was inspired after re-translating The Chronicle of Years to Come by the prophet Maglas. He was convinced that Toril would suffer a great apocalypse and "naught will be left save shattered thrones with no rulers. But the dead dragons shall rule the world entire…" Sammaster's first success was with the great red wyrm Shargrailar the Dark in the Year of the Queen's Tears, 902 DR. Since then, Sammaster and his followers, the Cult of the Dragon, created many more, preparing for the apocalypse they "knew" would come."[9]

Notable Dracoliches[]




Dark and Hidden WaysPool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor
Referenced only
The Veiled DragonSpellfirePromise of the Witch-KingThe Siege
Shackles of the Past
Video Games
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth DrannorNeverwinter Nights series (Neverwinter NightsTyrants of the Moonsea)Neverwinter (Dragonbone Vale)
Board Games
Dungeon Command: Curse of UndeathBattle for Faerûn
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsSpellfire: Master the Magic

Further reading[]



The Family of Dragons

Metallic dragons: GoldSilverBronzeCopperBrassCobaltElectrumIronMercuryPlatinumSteel

Chromatic dragons: RedBlackBlueGreenWhiteBrownGrayPurplePinkSaltYellow
Gem dragons: AmethystBeljurilEmeraldSapphireTopazCrystalObsidianRuby
Neutral dragons: AmberJacinthMoonstonePearl
Lung dragons: Chiang lungLi lungLung wangPan lungShen lungT'ien lungTun mi lungYu lung
Planar dragons: AdamantineAstralBattleBlightChaosEtherealHellfire wyrmHowlingMirageOceanusPyroclasticRadiantRustShadowStyxTarterian
Epic dragons: ForcePrismatic
Catastrophic dragons: EarthquakeVolcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: CobraDzalmusMistRadiantRattelyrSongVishap

Draconic transformations: AirAscendantBrainstealerHidecarved