Linnorms had immense bodies that were snake-like, lacking both wings and rear limbs. They moved through a combination of walking with their forelegs and slithering like a snake. Their bodies could grow to be as large as 70 feet (21 meters) and weigh as much as 2 tons (1,800 kg).
These creatures had flexible skeletons, containing hundreds of vertebrae, and grew large trunk muscles that allowed them to dig into the ground with the scales of their underbelly and by pushing forward with their ribs. Their forelegs ended in sharp, razor-like claws.
These creatures were typically known to be cruel, hateful, and very spiteful. They were infamously untrustworthy, rarely honoring bargains. They never were known to show signs of compassion or empathy, caring nothing for the deaths of other creatures.
They were fiercely territorial. Unlike some draconic creatures, not all linnorms were known to be avaricious. The oldest of linnorms typically suffered from some form of insanity due to their isolative nature.
Much like the more common breeds of dragon, linnorms possessed varying forms of dragon breath. They also were immune to magical effects that induced sleep or paralysis. They generally did not grow more powerful as they aged and thus were considered to be a type of lesser dragon.[note 1]
When engaging in combat a linnorm relied upon their dragon breath and immense strength, attempting to crush their opponents and swipe them with their tails. Being brilliant tacticians and strategists, linnorms studied their foes from afar and formed plans of attack, then waited until conditions were in their advantage before they made a quick and decisive attack.
- Corpse tearer: The most feared of all linnorms, these creatures were believed to be direct descendants of the legendary Nidhogg.
- Dread linnorm: The largest variety of linnorm, they held the most irrational hatred towards humans.
- Flame linnorm
- Forest linnorm
- Frost linnorm
- Gray linnorm: The smallest and most aggressive variety of linnorm.
- Land linnorm
- Rain linnorm
- Sea linnorm
- Stygian linnorm: A variety of linnorm that was native to the Styx.
Rumors & Legends
Due to their single-mindedness, these creatures lacked a societal structure and largely lived solitarily lives, usually refusing to ally themselves with any other living creature. Whenever they did ally with someone, a linnorm would typically turn upon them after they achieved their goals.
Once every decade female linnorms would release pheromones that were tuned to the heightened senses of male linnorms, though this call to mate went unanswered more often than not. While mating these creatures entangled their long bodies around one another, forming a sort of "mating ball." The resulting clutch of eggs would be cared for by the female until they hatched, at which point they would be abandoned. Gray linnorms were the exception to this, remaining with their hatchlings until they could fend for themselves.
- The Hermit
- Kroth, a dread linnorm that inhabited the unnumbered layer of Demonwing in the Abyss, acting as a guardian of the balor commander Straoth's tower.
- David "Zeb" Cook (May 1991). Vikings Campaign Sourcebook. Edited by Newton Ewell. (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 1-56076-128-8.
- Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 140–142. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
- David Wise ed. (December 1994). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 156076838X.
- Jacob Frazier (June 2007). “The Ecology of the Linnorm”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #356 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 61.
- Jean Rabe (June 1992). “The Vikings' Dragons”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #182 (TSR, Inc.), p. 17.
- Jacob Frazier (June 2007). “The Ecology of the Linnorm”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #356 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 62.
- Jacob Frazier (June 2007). “The Ecology of the Linnorm”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #356 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 63.
- Andy Collins, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams (November 2003). Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 4, 287–288. ISBN 0-7869-2884-0.
- Jacob Frazier (June 2007). “The Ecology of the Linnorm”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #356 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 64.
- Jean Rabe (July 1992). “The Vikings' Dragons”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #183 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 66–70.
- Jean Rabe (June 1992). “The Vikings' Dragons”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #182 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 19–23.
- Wolfgang Baur (August 2007). “Enemies of My Enemy”. In James Jacobs ed. Dungeon #149 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 84–85.
- Wolfgang Baur, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (April 2007). Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. Edited by Michele Carter, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 38–40. ISBN 978-0-7869-4038-7.
- Jacob Frazier (June 2007). “The Ecology of the Linnorm”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #356 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 60.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 82–83. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- Monte Cook (1998). A Paladin in Hell. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 978-0786912100.
Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple • Yellow
Gem dragons: Amber • Amethyst • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal • Obsidian
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 • Faerie • 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
Linnorms: Corpse tearer • Dread • Stygian
Drakes: Ambush • Black firedrake • Dragonne • Elemental (Fire • Ice • Ooze • Smoke • Water) • Felldrake (Crested • Spitting) • Greater • Guard • Mind • Portal • Rage • Space • Vulture
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 • Hoarder • Rathrea • Vampiric • Zombie