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


Mammoths were enormously sized beasts, much larger than other elephants,[2][3] standing as tall as 15 feet (4.5 meters) at the shoulder and weighing in at 9–11 tons (8.2–10 metric tons).[5] Their tusks were extraordinarily long,[4] sometimes as long as the creature was tall,[5] and weighing on average 50% more than the tusks of a standard elephant.[1][2][3]

All mammoths were covered in thick, woolly hair[2][3][4] that was brown and shaggy.[5]

An adult mammoth could easily carry 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) of weight and could be compelled to carry even as much as 8 tons (7.2 metric tons)! A single beast was strong enough to drag 40 tons (36 metric tons).[5]


Mammoths were surprisingly intelligent animals,[1][2][3][5] 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.[5]

Mammoths were usually calm creatures but became extremely aggressive if threatened,[1][5] far much more so than elephants.[2][3] 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.[5]


If given the option, mammoths preferred to fight with their herd and not in isolation, though a larger bull male might be an exception.[5] In general, they fought like elephants,[1] by charging, goring, stomping, and trampling.[4][5] If a mammoth caught a victim in its tusks, it often tossed that creature through the air.[5]


The largest mammoths lived out in the open steppes, where they had little to fear, because of their massive size.[5] They organized into large herds,[2][3][5] led by the oldest female member, along with her sisters and daughters.[5] The male mammoths were the fighters who defended the herd.[5]

They preferred to live in cold, subarctic climates,[2][3][4][5] such as the High Ice[8] and Sossal,[10] but could survive in many climates, even subtropical ones.[4] In fact, mammoths were common in the Shining Plains of the Vilhon Reach.[6][7]

Mammoths, like other elephant species, were herbivores.[1][3][4]

The ivory from mammoths was more expensive than that from other elephants.[1][2][3][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.[5]


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 AlsoEdit


Further ReadingEdit


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 65. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  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 David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  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 3.16 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 107. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 332. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 W. Baur, J. Jacobs, G. Strayton (September 2004). Frostburn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-7869-2896-4.
  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.


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