Before opening a sarcophagus, light a torch.
  — X the Mystic's 7th rule of dungeon survival[1]

A mummy was an undead creature created from a preserved corpse animated by the dark gods of the desert. These horrid creatures were often marked with symbols of the dire gods they served. While other undead often stank of carrion, the herbs and powders used to create a mummy gave off a sharp, pungent odor like that of a spice cabinet.[3]

Mummies caused fear in the living on sight, and any creature they touched was affected by a rotting curse called mummy rot. Inhabiting great tombs or temple complexes, they maintained a timeless vigil and destroyed would-be grave robbers.[3]

Mummies were the undead guardians of tombs and vaults of honored dead (such as kings or nobility of the ancient world). They patrolled their homes with dedication, remaining alert for signs of tomb robbers or others who would desecrate their assigned lair.[3]


The creation of a mummy was a long and gruesome process, involving separating the internal organs of the prepared body. The body was then wrapped in expensive linens and anointed with sacred oils. When the tomb was finally sealed, the mummy awakened in an undead state.[citation needed]

The spell mummy creation also animated a corpse into a mummy, but only for a short period of time.[6][7]


Mummies were granted great strength. They also carried a virulent curse that acted as a disease. This affliction – known as mummy rot – caused the flesh of its victims to rot away, leaving gruesome scars and disfiguring the unfortunate soul before finally expiring from the wasting disease.[citation needed]

A mummy moved with a slow, shambling gait and groaned with the weight of the ages. They attacked intruders without pause or mercy. They never attempted to communicate with their enemies and never retreated. An encounter with a mummy usually ended only with the destruction of one combatant or the other.[citation needed]


  • Bog mummy: Corpses preserved through the natural action of bogs or swamps and animated through evil magic.[8]
  • Clay mummy: Unlike standard mummies, clay mummies are vulnerable to bludgeoning weapons rather than fire.[citation needed]
  • Crawling apocalypse: A creature that resembles a giant mummified octopus.[9]
  • Greater mummy: These are mummified priests of a god who, through being imbued with dark magic, becomes a creature of the undead.[citation needed]
  • Hunefer: These mummies of demigods whose power has not utterly departed to astral realms.[10]
  • Huecuva: Huecuva are created from divine or oath-bound creatures who have failed in their vows.[citation needed]
  • Ice mummy: A creature that succumbs to an ice mummy's rot freezes and shatters, melting into nothing at the first thaw.[11]
  • Mummy lord: Mummy lords are often potent spellcasters. They are found as guardians of the tombs of high lords, priests, and mages.[3]
  • Resurrected mummy: These mummies are formed from the wrapped corpse of a dead body, the ashes of a dead creature, and a necromancer's stone.[citation needed]
  • Salt mummy: Ancient corpses of humanoids preserved by being buried in salt. Salt mummies were generally very evil when they were alive.[12]
  • Swarm-shifter: These mummies appear like a normal undead until their body explodes into a swarm of smaller creatures.[citation needed]
  • Ka: A type of mummy of an ancient king, priest, or lord. Though much like a normal mummy, it inflicts no mummy rot, but curses.[13]

Notable MummiesEdit

  • Kesefehon, an elven commander of Myth Drannor who died of an unknown disease that turned him into a mummy after his death. In 1369 DR he was trapped in his undead state inside his crypt in Myth Drannor's Polyandrium.[14]



Dungeon #19: "House of Cards"Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth DrannorShadowdale: The Scouring of the Land
Video Games
Pool of RadianceGateway to the Savage FrontierTreasures of the Savage FrontierDungeon HackAl-Qadim: The Genie's CurseDescent to UndermountainIcewind DaleNeverwinter NightsNeverwinter Nights: Hordes of the UnderdarkBaldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsDragonfire (Corruption in Calimshan)

Further ReadingEdit

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 228–229. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 190–191. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 261. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 72. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. Scott Bennie (1990). Old Empires. (TSR, Inc), p. 74. ISBN 0-8803-8821-8.
  7. Mark Middleton et al (March 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Three. (TSR, Inc), p. 604. ISBN 978-0786907915.
  8. Richard Pengelly, Brian Walton (August 1997). “The Dragon's Bestiary: The Other Mummies”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #238 (TSR, Inc.), p. 85.
  9. Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, Bruce R. Cordell and JD Wiker (March 2005). Sandstorm. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 143. ISBN 0-7869-3655-X.
  10. Andy Collins, Bruce R. Cordell (July 2002). Epic Level Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 198–199. ISBN 0-7869-2658-9.
  11. Richard Pengelly, Brian Walton (August 1997). “The Dragon's Bestiary: The Other Mummies”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #238 (TSR, Inc.), p. 86.
  12. Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  13. Tom Moldvay (October 1993). “Beyond the Grave”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #198 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 21–22.
  14. Sean K. Reynolds (2000). Pool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor. Edited by Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 0-7869-1710-5.
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