The appearance of dragonwights varied with each individual, with color and features depending upon the type of dragon they were in life. They were often in an advanced state of decomposition due to the time it took to prepare them, giving them a resemblance to zombie dragons, except they had glowing eyes (much like a dracolich) and were typically somewhat spectral.
Dragonwights had an average level of intelligence and often had some memories from when they were alive. And much like a standard wight, dragonwights disliked bright lights and would try to avoid them, even though they did no actual harm to them.
Dragonwights possessed all the same abilities and weaknesses as normal wights.[note 1] Such as immunities to cold-based spells and abilities, as well as charm, sleep, and hold spells. And they were unaffected by poisons or paralyzation effects. They could be harmed by holy water. And the only weapons that could harm them were those made of silver or enchanted.
In addition, just like normal wights these creatures drained the life out of their victims with their bite and claws. And those killed by them would arise as wights. Dragons killed by them would arise as free-willed, half-strength dragonwights. Humanoids slain by them would arise as wights, albeit with scaley and draconic features, and would be under the control of the dragonwight. A dragonwight's creator had no control over these wights and when it died they became free-willed.
In terms of dragon abilities, dragonwights lost whatever dragon breath they had in life. Some couldn't fly, while others could, albeit with their maneuverability hampered. And only dragonwights retained the spell-casting abilities they had in life. 1⁄4 In addition, like most undead forms of dragon the spell protection from evil was ineffective against them and the spell dragonbane would ward against them.
While living in the Temple of the Dragon Oracle, a cell of the Cult of the Dragon performed sorcerous experiments on a black dragon, using one of the original copies of the Tome of the Dragon, and transformed it into a dragonwight. It was one that couldn't fly and did not retain its spell-casting abilities. Over two centuries later, this dragonwight was found to still be living within the ruins of the Temple of the Dragon Oracle in 1358 DR.[note 2]
Creating a dragonwight required the intact corpse a dragon that was at least of young adult age when it died, though it could only be that of a true dragon. They were best made from dragons of evil-alignment that were especially vicious or territorial. Such as black, brown, red, topaz, and white dragons.
Creating a dragonwight also required the animate dead spell and a fragment of a wight as an additional material component. It took around two weeks to prepare the body and overall the creation process could cost on average 7,500 gold pieces. During the creation process the dragon's spirit would be infused with power drawn from the Negative Material Plane.
- This entry tells the reader to refer to the Monster Manual of 1st edition, so that is referenced here when necessary.
- Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in The Shattered Statue, but through extensive research this wiki has estimated a date. The explanation for this date is divided into three points:
(1) Page 16 of The Shattered Statue (February, 1988) describes the destruction of Phlan by dragons as having occurred "several years ago." Since the conflict "Dragon Run" did not exist until The Moonsea, this has to be referring to the Flight of Dragons (1356 DR), which was introduced in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set.
(2) The Savage Frontier (August, 1988), is set in 1358 DR and has Amelior Amanitas refer to its events in past tense.
(3) Page 18 of The Shattered Statue describes the Cult of the Dragon as having long had no presence in Volkumburgh Vale, but TSR Jam 1999 has the cult re-establishing themselves there in 1359 DR.
(4) In conclusion, all together this info suggests that The Shattered Statue takes place in 1358 DR.
- The Shattered Statue
- Jennell Jaquays (February 1988). The Shattered Statue. Edited by Steve Perrin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 26. ISBN 0-88038-498-0.
- Jamie Nossal (October 1996). “The Draconomicon”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #234 (TSR, Inc.), p. 17.
- Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
- Jamie Nossal (October 1996). “The Draconomicon”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #234 (TSR, Inc.), p. 16.
- Jennell Jaquays (February 1988). The Shattered Statue. Edited by Steve Perrin. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 20, 26. ISBN 0-88038-498-0.
- John D. Rateliff ed. (1999-02-22). TSR Jam 1999. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2. ISBN 0786914459.
- Jamie Nossal (October 1996). “The Draconomicon”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #234 (TSR, Inc.), p. 15.
Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple • Pink • Yellow
Gem dragons: Amber • Amethyst • Beljuril • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal • Obsidian • Ruby
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 • Firedrake • 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 • Ghost • Hoarder • Rathrea • Vampiric • Zombie