Forgotten Realms Wiki
Forgotten Realms Wiki

Urchins were a family of marine scavenging animals valued for gems and pearls found inside their bodies.[1]


A typical urchin was 3 feet (91 centimeters) in diameter. They were round creatures covered with thousands of 3-inch-long (7 centimeters) sharp needles. Different subspecies of urchins could be easily distinguished by their color: black, green, red, silver, and yellow.[1]

One of the more distinct subspecies was the land urchin. Unlike their distant cousins, they lived on land and moved about on five scrawny legs.[1]


Urchins were non-aggressive scavengers, feeding on fish and shellfish found on seabeds. Urchins never attacked humanoid-sized opponents unless threatened.[1]

Most commonly, sea-dwelling urchins could be found on shoals and shallows near coasts. On occasions, they could be seen on land during low tides, quickly rolling around, looking to scavenge.[1]


Urchins were eyeless creatures; instead of sight, they had an innate clairvoyance ability on which they relied in combat.[1]


When pressed, urchins could fire their sharp spines with the aim and distance of a light crossbow. Different subspecies of urchins could fire multiple spines at a time (black and green: 2 spines; red: 3; yellow: 4; silver: 5; land: 6). The number of spines on their bodies that could be fired offensively was virtually unlimited and some types of urchins had paralytic and deadly poisons inside the spines.[1]

The land urchins were shy critters and only attacked if someone approached them within 10 feet (3 meters). The main method of self-defense was their paralytic poison that lasted if injected for 36 seconds.[1]


A snowbarb urchin.

Seer Urchin
a species endemic to Serôs, these urchins had Their organ-gems were translucent and naturally attuned to enchantments, making them sought after for the creation of crystal balls possessing a 10% increased scrying range.[3]
a species endemic to the Sea of Moving Ice, snowbarbs were commonly found in the shallow waters near Icewind Dale. In this region only Ice Hunters were known to fish for and eat them.[4]


Depiction of an urchin.

Urchins served as a food source for fish and some humanoids.[3]


The best-known item for which urchins were sought after was their crystalline organ-gem. Sages connected the urchins' clairvoyance to the gem-organs, making it highly valuable to alchemists. The value of the organ-gem varied depending on the subspecies, from 10–2500 gold pieces.[1]

Unlike their marine cousins, land urchins did not have organ-gems but quite often formed pearls inside their bodies with age. An older land urchin could hold between 2 and 12 pearls. A land urchin pearl was valued based on their shape and size, between 100 and 600 gold pieces each.[1]

Yellow urchin poison, also known as yellow urchin extract, was valued among all the types of urchins for its ability to be effective while inhaled underwater, unlike other types of poison. When extracted, it appeared to as a thick and milky fluid. When used underwater it created a cloud of poison 10 feet (3 meters) wide, dispersing after 10 minutes, or 1 minute in a strong current. A vial of this unique poison was valued at 800 gold pieces.[5]

Various species of urchin were known to be eaten raw with a drizzle of lemon juice on the coastal areas to the south from Icewind Dale.[4]

A spell called urchin's spines required an urchin's spine to be used as an arcane component. It transmuted the caster's skin, clothing, and armor into a hide covered in thousands of 2-inch (5 centimeters) spines.[6]


In the days of Myth Nantar and As'arem, an abundance of kelp and urchins served as a big part of their food harvest.[2]

Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun possessed two scrying orbs that were urchin gems of 15 inches (38 centimeters) in diameter. One of them was gifted to him by Elminster Aumar. Blackstaff appreciated their esthetics as well as their sturdiness compared to other types of scrying orbs.[3]

Notable Urchins[]




Azure BondsThe Wyvern's Spur
Referenced only
The Ring of Winter
Video Games
Neverwinter: Storm King's Thunder