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A unicorn was a mysterious and majestic magical beast resembling a horse with a horn protruding from its forehead.[3]

Description[]

A unicorn resembled a horse with a white coat, mane, and tail. However, it had a number of traits that distinguished it from a horse, including cloven hooves and a long ivory-colored horn that protruded from its forehead. Males had a white beard.[3]

Abilities[]

Unicorns were not subject to poison, death magic, or charm spells.[5] Unicorns were able to sense evil nearby and radiate an aura which protected them from most evil spells. A touch of the unicorn's horn could both heal wounds and cure poison.[3] Unicorns also had the ability to fey step to nearby locations.[2]

Varieties[]

A beautiful and graceful unicorn.

There several varieties of unicorn recorded in Faerun besides the so-called "regular" unicorn (or sylvan unicorn, according to some scholars)[6].

Black unicorn

Black unicorns were the evil counterparts of regular unicorns. They were created through magical breeding programs by the Red Wizards of Thay.[7]

Celestial charger

Celestial chargers were unicorns from Celestia that were the enemies of all evil creatures that would destroy woodlands.[3]

Sea unicorn

Sea unicorns were a rumored variety of aquatic unicorn found in the Sea of Fallen Stars, resembling a hippocampus with a horn.[8]

Combat[]

Unicorns attacked primarily by impaling foes on their horns, although they could also use their hooves as weapons.[2]

Society[]

Unicorns dwelt deep within their forests and shunned most creatures, only conferring with fey such as pixies, dryads, and sprites. They usually showed themselves only in defense of their forests.[3] They scratched glyphs into the bark of trees in the areas under their protection.[4]

Unicorns mated for life.[3]

Unicorns that rested at the Place of the Unicorn, sacred to the unicorn goddess Lurue, in the Sword Mountains were healed of all injury and disease.[9]

Habitats[]

A unicorn and its foal.

At least 100 unicorns could be found in the High Forest[10], as well as a few down through the Unicorn Run.[11] Unicorns were most likely to be seen near the Sisters waterfalls, where seeing them and the moon rise above the cliffs were seen as a sign of good fortune from the goddess Mielikki.[10][12] Other locations home to unicorns included the Forgotten Forest.[12]

Relationships[]

Unicorns were often sent as servants of Corellon Larethian, Eldath, Isis, Labelas Enoreth, Lurue, Mielikki, Mystra, Rillifane Rallathil, Sheela Peryroyl, Silvanus, Solonor Thelandira, and Tymora to aid their worshipers.[13]

Usages[]

Unicorn horns were reputed to have magical and healing properties.[2] They could be used in the production of antidotes and healing potions.[4] They could be sold to alchemists for thousands of gold pieces. However, there were many people in the Realms, particularly followers of Mielikki and Lurue, who were willing to punish slayers of unicorns with death.[14]

Unicorn horns were considered a status symbol by wealthy demons of the Abyss. Theses gruesome items were used as post-meal toothpicks.[15]

History[]

A cavalry of 50-100 "unicornriders" existed in ancient Cormanthyr.[16]

During the Shoon Dynasty, rulers experimented on unicorns in an attempt to discover the secrets of eternal youth.[17] A herd of unicorns used to inhabit Shilmista before they and the elves that tended them were slaughtered in 355 DR by Necroqysar Shoon VII for use in the Tome of the Unicorn and the Staff of Shoon.[18]

In the 1370s DR, inhumanely shackled and clamped unicorns could be found in the Stockyards of Samora, Azzagrat. The celestial beasts were chained and manacled around their necks to steaks driven deep into the ground. Heavy metal harnesses prevented these unicorns from teleporting away or even to be able to lift their heads. The unicorns were to be slaughtered and eaten by influential residents of the Abyss, namely by the Lady of the Counting-House, Maretta, Graz'zt's loyal servant.[15]

Notable unicorns[]

Trivia[]

  • The symbols of the goddesses Lurue and Mielikki were unicorns.[22]
  • A number of the locations in Faerûn were named after unicorns, such as Unicorn Run and the Place of the Unicorn.
  • Unicorns were a popular theme for inns and taverns, such as The Unicorn and Crescent, the Weeping Unicorn, The Jaded Unicorn, and House of the Wise Unicorn.
  • The name of the year 355 DR, the Year of the Mourning Horns, may refer to the slaughter of unicorns in that year.[18]
  • In Cormyr, the unicorn symbolized the "hidden mysteries and serenity at the heart of the forest."[23]
  • Stone unicorns from a bridge over the Silverymoon Ford were relocated to the High Palace of Silverymoon.[24]
  • Two common expressions among druids from Sossal when making a promise were, "Swear by the oak and the unicorn's horn," and "By the unicorn..."[25]

Appendix[]

See Also[]

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

Adventures
For Duty & DeityBaldur's Gate: Descent into AvernusCandlekeep Mysteries: "Lore of Lurue"
Novels
Darkwalker on MoonshaeDarkwellStarless Night • 'The Thousand OrcsLady of PoisonQueen of the DepthsSon of ThunderNight of the HunterRise of the KingVengeance of the Iron Dwarf
Referenced only
The Ring of WinterThe Council of BladesDawnbringer
Video Games
Neverwinter (Fury of the Feywild, Sharandar)Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
Board Games
Mertwig's MazeBattle for FaerûnDungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards

Further Reading[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 294. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 257. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  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 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 249–250. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 353. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 98. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  6. Michael John Wybo II (February 1993). “Unique Unicorns”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #190 (TSR, Inc.), p. 91.
  7. James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  8. Steven E. Schend (1999). Sea of Fallen Stars. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 0-7869-1393-2.
  9. slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  10. 10.0 10.1 slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  11. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 166. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  13. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 10–15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  14. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Dale Donovan (May 1998). For Duty & Deity. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-1234-0.
  16. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  17. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  19. Douglas Niles (September 2004). Darkwalker on Moonshae. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3560-X.
  20. R.A. Salvatore (March 2014). Night of the Hunter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-6511-8.
  21. Cameron Blair (2020). In the Garden of Evil (DDAL09-08) (PDF). D&D Adventurers League: Avernus Rising (Wizards of the Coast).
  22. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  23. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  24. slade, et al. (April 1996). “Cities & Civilization”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  25. Richard Lee Byers (May 2006). The Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 238, 248. ISBN 0-7869-4003-4.

Connections[]

Inherently Good Creatures of the Upper Planes
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