A helmed horror was an animated construct formed from a suit of armor and often found as a guardian.[6][5]

The most powerful type of helmed horror was the battle horror,[5][7] also known as a shadowguard.[7]


A helmed horror was an empty suit of armor, with purple magical light flickering between the joints. They often carried a greatsword and a heavy crossbow.[5]


Helmed horrors fought intelligently. They went after soft foes first and used their magic to outmaneuver foes.[5]


Helmed horror 3e

A helmed horror imbuing its weapon with fire.

Helmed horrors could move through the air, as with the spell air walk. They could see unseen creatures and objects, as the spell see invisibility. They were immune to several spells. They could imbue a melee weapon that they held with a magical attack power.[5]


Helmed horrors were over 5,000 years old. Both Netheril and Imaskar were known to have used helmed horrors.[4]

Notable UsesEdit

D279-Helmed Horror-Ron Spencer

A helmed horror with a flail attached to its arm.

The Seat of Might in Myrinjar was guarded by several helmed horrors.[8]

Battle horror shadowguards were employed to defend the "silent vaults" of Hlintar in the Vast in the mid–14th century DR.[7]

In addition, the deities Deep Duerra, Flandal Steelskin, Gaerdal Ironhand, Gorm Gulthyn, Helm, and Laduguer made use of these constructs.[9]


The process of creating helmed horrors was something of a badly kept secret for many years. While unknown to the magical community at large, a great number of clerics of Bane, liches, and evil wizards knew well how to create these constructs.[4] In later times, it was uncommon knowledge. A powerful spellcaster, with knowledge of both construct creation and arms and armor creation was needed, and a special workroom, along with the spells needed for the ritual.[5]

Mornbryn's Shield fog

One of the helmed horror guarding the keep in Mornbryn's Shield.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Greenwood, Martin, Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Monstrous Compendium. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 183. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 175–177. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  6. James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  8. Ed Greenwood (April 1999). “Elminster's Everwinking Eye: A Wayfarers Guide to the Forgotten Realms”. In Erik Mona ed. Polyhedron #135 (TSR, Inc.), p. 8–9.
  9. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 10–15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
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