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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][2][3] and were even worshiped by some.[14][15]


Dragon turtles were distantly related to dragons and had dragon blood.[16] They appeared as huge turtle-like creatures with a long tail and neck with large, taloned flippers.[2] Their heads had a golden crest down the center.[3][2]


The shell of a dragon turtle measured between 15 and 25 feet in diameter[2] and was strong enough to leave it almost impossible to harm.[5] The shells were streamlined with jagged protrusions.[2] The shell was often a shade of deep green, similar to the color of the ocean, with silver highlights running along the raised areas.[5][2] This meant that a surfacing dragon turtle was often mistaken for light reflecting on the water.[2]

Due to the shell's immense strength, shields made from dragon turtle shells were exceptionally tough and had resistance to heat or steam attacks.[3] Their shells were also valued for use as book covers,[17] jewelry,[18] spell components,[19][20] furniture,[21] or as a building material.[21]


Dragon turtles were aggressive and solitary creatures who would attack any ships and other dragon turtles that entered their territory.[3] 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.[3][6] 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.[22][23][24]


Dragon turtle

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.[5][1][2][3] Dragon turtles could also expel a blast of scalding steam from their mouths.[5][1][2][3]


A dragon turtle guarded a vast territory that could expand up to 50 square miles. Other dragon turtles were only permitted to enter the territory of another during mating season.[3] Dragon turtles lived in vast caves under the seafloor[3] or hidden in coral reefs.[1] These lairs were used to store their treasure hoards.[3] 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.[3]


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.[25]

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.[26] The juvenile was killed by another far older and larger dragon turtle whose territory spanned most of the deepwash.[10]

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.[27]

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.[28][29]

Notable Dragon TurtlesEdit


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. [6]
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.[30]
Scyllmara was a wealthy dragon turtle who took up residence in the flooded city of Soorenar in Chessenta.[31]
The Curse of Irphong
This mighty dragon turtle lived in the flooded caverns around Sloopdilmonpolop but was killed by a kraken in 1363 DR.[32]
Lake Midai Monster
The dragon turtle in Lake Midai attacked any boat that set upon the water's surface.[33]

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.[34]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  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 David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  4. James Wyatt (October 2001). Oriental Adventures (3rd edition). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 145. ISBN 0-7869-2015-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 James Lowder, Jean Rabe (1993). The Jungles of Chult. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-5607-6605-0.
  7. Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  8. Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  9. Scott Fitzgerald Gray (April 29, 2014). Dead in Thay. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 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.
  11. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 145. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  12. Shawn Merwin, Steve Townshend and James Wyatt (August 2012). War of Everlasting Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56.
  13. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  14. You must cite a specific book in this boxed set.
  15. Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  16. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  17. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  18. Ed Greenwood (December 1991). “If You Need Help - Ask the Drow!”. Dragon #176 (TSR, Inc.), p. 24.
  19. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 97. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  20. 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.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 175. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  22. 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.
  23. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  24. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  25. Jeff Grubb (1988). Mad Monkey vs the Dragon Claw. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-88038-624-X.
  26. Steven E. Schend (1996). Undermountain: Stardock. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0451-8.
  27. 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.
  28. Erin M. Evans (October 4th, 2016). The Devil You Know. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 476. ISBN 978-0786965946.
  29. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  30. Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz (1993). City of Delights (Gem of Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
  31. 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.
  32. Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  33. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1986). The Mines of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0-8803-8312-7.
  34. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.


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