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A swanmay was a humanoid that could transform into a swan,[1] via an induced form of lycanthropy.[6]


Swanmays were intelligent rangers (or druids) that could take the form of swans, mostly for mobility purposes. In humanoid form, they resembled beautiful women, often wearing light armor or attendant garb[3]. The swan form gave some advantages in combat, but mainly improved communication with natural beings. As swanmays became more experienced, they could charm people, and speak with animals, as well as with plants. The most experienced swanmays could charm monsters and even gain a high resistance to weapons other than cold iron, which applied to both forms.[1]


These induced lycanthropes kept themselves to their own kind, never divulging about their true nature.[1] They disliked noisy, ferocious, and evil beings.[2]


In swan form, the creature took reduced damage except against cold iron and had higher resistance to magical spells.[1] In this form, they attacked with flying leaps, buffeting their wings, and biting. In human form, they fought in light armor, and attacked with swords and daggers at close range, and bows at long range.[2]


Such creatures were part of a secret order that wished to protect the wilderness from evil. Only good-willed females were permitted to join the order, and must have had history in protecting the wild. The order had additional requirements for recruits, such as being able to speak Sylvan and the ability to speak with animals. As well as meeting these requirements, an initiate must have performed a great deed for another swanmay before being accepted into the order.[1] When they were officially a part of the order, they accepted a feathered token that allowed them to change forms. The token could also be a signet ring or a feathered garment.[2]


Swanmays rarely traveled outside a specific area, as they preferred living in sororities near rivers, lakes, and forests teeming with wildlife.[1] Some could be found across the forests of Cormanthor.[7]

Beyond the Prime Material plane, swanmays could be found in the Beastlands.[8]


Swanmays got on well with like-minded forest dwellers, such as dryads and and wood elves.[2]


A swanmay in her humanoid shape.

The first swanmay was a human ranger named Fionnghuala. Fionnghuala gave her life defending King Oberon of the Seelie Court from the Queen of Air and Darkness. In reward for her selfless bravery and sacrifice, Oberon raised her from the dead and made her a demigod, while his wife Titania offered her the magic white feather that transformed her into a part-fey being and made her into a swanmay.[9]

Notable Swanmays[]


See Also[]


Cloak of ShadowsWhen a Good Man Loses his Head
Referenced only
Silver Shadows
Video games
Pools of Darkness
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards

Further Reading[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 334. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 David "Zeb" Cook, et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume Two. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8753-X.
  4. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 116–117. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  5. Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  6. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 230. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  7. Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), p. 12. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.
  8. Dale Donovan (December 1995). “Liber Benevolentiae”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Conflict (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0309-0.
  9. Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 122. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  10. Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.