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Mammoths were enormous ancient elephants covered in thick fur.[5][3][4][1][2] Those with the thickest fur were known as woolly mammoths.[5][3][4][2][note 1]


Mammoths were enormously sized beasts, much larger than other elephants,[3][4] standing as tall as 15 feet (4.6 meters) at the shoulder and weighing in at 9​ to ​11 tons (8,200​ to ​10,000 kilograms).[2] Their tusks were extraordinarily long,[1] sometimes as long as the creature was tall,[2] and weighing on average 50% more than the tusks of a standard elephant.[5][3][4]

All mammoths were covered in thick, woolly hair[3][4][1] that was brown and shaggy.[2]

An adult mammoth could easily carry 3 tons (2,700 kilograms) of weight and could be compelled to carry even as much as 8 tons (7,300 kilograms)! A single beast was strong enough to drag 40 tons (36,000 kilograms).[2]


Mammoths were surprisingly intelligent animals,[5][3][4][2] even exhibiting some higher-level emotions and customs, such as paying special respect to the bones of their dead, returning often to visit sites where fellow herd members have died, sometimes repeating such a pattern for years in the case of a mate, sibling, or calf.[2]

Mammoths were usually calm creatures but became extremely aggressive if threatened,[5][2] far much more so than elephants.[3][4] They defended their young and had exceptional memories of previous aggressors, attacking creatures that had tried to harm them or their offspring in the past.[2]


If given the option, mammoths preferred to fight with their herd and not in isolation, though a larger bull male might be an exception.[2] In general, they fought like elephants,[5] by charging, goring, stomping, and trampling.[1][2] If a mammoth caught a victim in its tusks, it often tossed that creature through the air.[2]


The largest mammoths lived out in the open steppes, where they had little to fear, because of their massive size.[2] They organized into large herds,[3][4][2] led by the oldest female member, along with her sisters and daughters.[2] The male mammoths were the fighters who defended the herd.[2]

They preferred to live in cold, subarctic climates,[3][4][1][2] such as the High Ice[8] and Sossal,[10] but could survive in many climates, even subtropical ones.[1] In fact, mammoths were common in the Shining Plains of the Vilhon Reach.[6][7]

Mammoths, like other elephant species, were herbivores.[5][4][1]

The ivory from mammoths was more expensive than that from other elephants.[5][3][4][11][12]

It was possible to train a mammoth for use as a mount or pack animal, but this had to be done from a young age, because an adult animal would starve itself rather than submit to a trainer. Such training typically took at least six weeks.[2]


During the time of the Empire of Netheril, a tribe of orcs known as the Icebeast orcs were skilled at taming and training such creatures as woolly mammoths and remorhaz.[8]

In the same era, the Rengarth tribe relied heavily on the presence of mammoths in their land, using them both as a source of food and as beasts of burden. The Netherese believed that the affinity the Rengarth had for the mammoths was a form of magic (but in truth, the Rengarth hated all forms of magic).[13]


In 1364 DR, Dwahvel Tiggerwillies claimed to have "larger ears than a Sossalan mammoth" in regards to her information-gathering skills.[10]



  1. In Frostburn, woolly mammoths were classified as dire animals.

See Also[]


Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden
The Paladins
Video Games
Pools of DarknessIcewind Dale: Heart of Winter
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
The Fallen Star

Further Reading[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 332. 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 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 Wolfgang Baur, James Jacobs, George Strayton (September 2004). Frostburn. Edited by Greg Collins. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-7869-2896-4.
  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 3.15 David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 107. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 65. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  9. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  10. 10.0 10.1 R.A. Salvatore (October 1998). The Silent Blade. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 3, p. ?. ISBN 978-0786913886.
  11. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  12. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 142. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  13. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 17–18. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.