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Dragon turtles were aquatic creatures that were related to dragons. They were considered among the most dangerous aquatic creatures in existence[1][3][5] and were even worshiped by some.[15][16]


Dragon turtles were distantly related to dragons and had dragon blood.[17] They appeared as huge turtle-like creatures with a long tail and neck with large, taloned flippers.[3] Their heads had a golden crest down the center.[5][3]


The scales of a dragon turtle were generally smooth, but overtime becoming more coarse until finally being molted. By that time the scales had lost much of their durability.[18]


The shell of a dragon turtle measured between 15​ to ​25 feet (4.6​ to ​7.6 meters) in diameter[3] and was strong enough to leave it almost impossible to harm.[6] The shells were streamlined with jagged protrusions.[3] The shell was often a shade of deep green, similar to the color of the ocean, with silver highlights running along the raised areas.[6][3] This meant that a surfacing dragon turtle was often mistaken for light reflecting on the water.[3]

Due to the shell's immense strength, shields made from dragon turtle shells were exceptionally tough and had resistance to heat or steam attacks.[5] Their shells were also valued for use as book covers,[19] jewelry,[20] spell components,[21][22] furniture,[23] or as a building material.[23]


Dragon turtles were aggressive and solitary creatures who would attack any ships and other dragon turtles that entered their territory.[5] Like true dragons, dragon turtles were obsessed with gold and treasure. They often attacked ships in order to loot the treasure. After sifting through the wreckage, the creatures would carry the valuables back to their lair in their mouths.[1] Sailors wishing to pass through the territory of a dragon turtle found that the creatures were intelligent enough to accept bribes or tributes.[5][7] Sometimes turtle dragons could even be bribed to fight for others, notably working with sahuagin raiders or powerful marids.[1] Some dragon turtles could even master powers of sorcery. Dragon turtle sorcerers were rumored to guard farm caverns in the Undermountain.[24][25][26]


A dragon turtle attacks a ship.

When in combat, dragon turtles would use their massive bulk to slam into enemies. Dragon turtles were capable of capsizing even large vessels.[6][1][3][5] Dragon turtles could also expel a blast of scalding steam from their mouths.[6][1][3][5]


A dragon turtle guarded a vast territory that could expand up to 50 square miles (130,000,000 square meters). Other dragon turtles were only permitted to enter the territory of another during mating season.[5] Dragon turtles lived in vast caves under the seafloor[5] or hidden in coral reefs.[1] These lairs were used to store their treasure hoards.[5]


Dragon turtles were carnivorous and would eat almost anything in order to satisfy their appetite, even other dragon turtles. If food was in particularly short supply, dragon turtles were known to hunt sea birds using their steam breath attack.[5]


Dragon turtles generally spoke Aquan,[3][1] Draconic,[6][14][3][1] and sometimes Common.[3]


High quality dragon turtle scales, those which had not been naturally molted, were highly valued for the production of armor that was both durable and flexible.[18]


As of 1358 DR, a dragon turtle had been floating off the coast of T'u Lung for 20 years. The creature was immense even by dragon turtle standards and was often mistaken for an island. Due to its immense size, it did not see ships as a threat, and when disturbed, it simply left for a better spot to rest.[27]

In 1369 DR, the corpse of a young dragon turtle washed up on the shore of the Deepwash. The body attracted scavengers and spoiled fishing in the Deepwash for months.[28] The juvenile was killed by another far older and larger dragon turtle whose territory spanned most of the deepwash.[11]

In 1371 DR, a Red Wizard Brazhal Kos developed a successful method of enslaving dragon turtles that were inhabiting Lake Thaylambar in large numbers. Thay was trying to cull the dragon turtle population for years before and after the story of Brazhal's successes spread. The number of hunters on the lake increased dramatically after that, even though many of them died in the process.[29][8] The number of aspiring fishers remained high for a few years that followed. The fishermen could easily be spotted by their unusual gear, nets, and huge hooks, big enough to catch a dragon turtle.[29]

In 1372 DR, it was rumored that the harbormaster of Port Nyanzaru paid tribute to a dragon turtle to keep all other sea monsters away.[30]

In 1487 DR, Nanna-Sin was resurrected and took the form of a dragon turtle. He then went to protect Djerad Kethendi against the forces of Unther.[31][32]

Notable Dragon Turtles[]

Aremag breaks the surface to collect tribute from a sailing vessel.

Aremag was a venerable and grouchy dragon turtle who lived in the Sea of Swords. Aremag patrolled the trade routes of sailors heading south from Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep. Aremag had established protection rackets forcing traders to offer tributes of gold or food in exchange for safe passage. He had also been known to guard the port of Chult and demand tribute from people wishing to leave the city. [7]
Sometime around 1367 DR, Parnak awoke and sank two ships in the Golden Gulf in Al-Qadim. The dragon turtle had sought tribute but sunk the ships after the tribute wasn't enough.[33]
Scyllmara was a wealthy dragon turtle who took up residence in the flooded city of Soorenar in Chessenta.[34]
The Curse of Irphong
This mighty dragon turtle lived in the flooded caverns around Sloopdilmonpolop but was killed by a kraken in 1363 DR.[35]
One of Toril's largest known dragon turtles.[36]
Lake Midai Monster
The dragon turtle in Lake Midai attacked any boat that set upon the water's surface.[37]

In Velen, hanging over the hearth at Morgan's Inn was the head of a dragon turtle that was slain by Captain Morgan. The inn had gained fame for this gruesome trophy and the ghost of the sea captain who still resided at the tavern.[38]

Rumors & Legends[]

  • The residents of Elmwood a town on the shores of the Moonsea, told legends of a vicious dragon turtle, the size of their entire city, who dwelt in the depths of the lake.[39]
  • Some claimed that frost giants used the abrasive, molted scales of a dragon turtle to exfoliate, though there was little evidence to support this.[18]



See Also[]


Nightmare KeepTomb of Annihilation
The Ring of Winter
Referenced only
The Crimson Gold
Video Games
Referenced only
Neverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the Moonsea
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Unusual OppositionA Lesson in Love


  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 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. James Wyatt (October 2021). Fizban's Treasury of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 191–192. ISBN 978-0786967292.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. James Wyatt (October 2001). Oriental Adventures (3rd edition). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 145. ISBN 0-7869-2015-7.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 James Lowder, Jean Rabe (1993). The Jungles of Chult. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-5607-6605-0.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  9. Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  10. Scott Fitzgerald Gray (April 29, 2014). Dead in Thay. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 207. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. 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. 145. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  13. Shawn Merwin, Steve Townshend and James Wyatt (August 2012). War of Everlasting Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Eric L. Boyd (November 1998). Demihuman Deities. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  15. You must cite a specific book in this boxed set.
  16. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  17. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Cryptic Studios (August 2016). Neverwinter: Storm King's Thunder. Perfect World Entertainment.
  19. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  20. Ed Greenwood (December 1991). “If You Need Help - Ask the Drow!”. Dragon #176 (TSR, Inc.), p. 24.
  21. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 97. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  22. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 105. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 175. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  24. Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), p. 127. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  25. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. Edited by Bill Slavicsek. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  26. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  27. Jeff Grubb (1988). Mad Monkey vs the Dragon Claw. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-88038-624-X.
  28. Steven E. Schend (January 1997). Undermountain: Stardock. Edited by Bill Olmesdahl. (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0451-8.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Voronica Whitney-Robinson (September 2012). The Crimson Gold. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3120-5.
  30. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  31. Erin M. Evans (October 4th, 2016). The Devil You Know. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 476. ISBN 978-0786965946.
  32. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  33. Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz (1993). “Gem of Zakhara”. City of Delights (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
  34. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  35. Eric L. Boyd (November 1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. Edited by Jeff Quick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  36. Ed Greenwood (04-21-2019). Largest Dragon Turtles in the Realms (Tweet). theedverse. Twitter. Archived from the original on 08-22-2021. Retrieved on 08-22-2021.
  37. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1986). The Mines of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-8803-8312-7.
  38. Steven E. Schend (August 1997). “Book One: Tethyr”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Lands of Intrigue (TSR, Inc.), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  39. Ossian Studios (August 2019). Designed by Luke Scull. Neverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the Moonsea. Beamdog.


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: Volcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: CobraDzalmusMistRadiantRattelyrSongVishap
Draconic transformations: AirAscendantHidecarved