Dreads were undead creatures in the form of a pair of skeletal arms from small- to medium-sized humanoids. There was also a variation known as a vampiric dread that gained some health from the damage it inflicted.
Dreads had no intelligence and could only do what they were instructed to do. They had the ability to fly and to see in the dark and observe physical behavior, traits, and possessions if so instructed. They could also listen for passwords or other command words. They were typically used as guardians.
The name of this creature came from its ability to strike apprehension and fear in the hearts of ordinary people and beginning adventurers, but sufficient wisdom helped overcome the frightful presence of this creature. Dreads used a claw attack, or they could wield a melee weapon appropriate for their size. They were tireless and pursued their target relentlessly. Dreads had the undead immunity to fatigue, exhaustion, ability drain, energy drain, sleep, charm and other mind affects, stun, paralysis, disease, and death magic, as well as raise dead. In an unusual twist, resurrection could be performed on a dread that wasn't attacking or instructed to prevent it.
Vampiric dread could also swim and in some instances follow a target through a portal. They gained temporary health above and beyond their normal quota by successfully striking an opponent. This extra health was used to mitigate damage it took in combat and faded very slowly over a period measured in tendays.
Dreads were created in a process similar to other typical undead by means of the animate dead spell. Additionally for dreads, a zendalure gemstone worth at least 1,000 gold pieces was required as part of the materials.
- The hub of the network of portals known as Lost Princess Road, located on Skarn Rock just off the Sword Coast, was guarded by vampiric dread. Using an incorrect activation word caused up to six of these creatures to rise out of the stone and attack.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 169. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Greenwood (Februry 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Lost Princess Road”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #268 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90.