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A vampiric mist, also known as crimson death or crimson mist,[1] was an incorporeal undead creature that fed on its victims' blood and body fluids.[3][4] Vampiric mists were the remains of nearly destroyed vampires that could not return to their resting places to regenerate.[1]


These vaporous creatures lurked in bogs, swamps, and other foggy areas where they could remain concealed and indistinguishable from the surrounding fog.[1] They were vaguely shaped like the upper body of humanoid figures whose fingers formed long tentacles through which the creatures fed.[4][3]


Vampiric mists were the remains of former vampires that, whether through massive damage or exposure to sunlight, dissolved into mist and were prevented from returning to their resting places in order to regenerate their physical forms. In that state, they were stripped of all personality and intelligence until only their thirst for blood remained.[1]

There were other legends that suggested that crimson deaths could be the lost souls of mortals that had been turned into vampires. Yet another legend suggested that crimson deaths were instead extremely evil air elementals that had been cursed and cast out of the Elemental Plane of Air.[4] The creatures originally known as vampiric mists, meanwhile, were first thought to be immature crimson deaths, but were later discovered to in fact be the separate creation of a great vampire wizard.[6]


Due to their insatiable thirst, vampiric mists were inexorably attracted to the scent of blood, rushing towards any open wound or injury they could smell within one mile (1.6 km). Although vampiric mists were completely devoid of their previous intelligence or personality, they still retained some of the behavioral characteristics of vampires. For example, they could not enter a residence uninvited.[1]

It was also possible to forge alliances with a vampiric mist, as long as a constant supply of victims was provided.[4]


Vampiric mists avoided combat, except to feed or to defend themselves.[4] When attacking a creature, the mist's tentacles wrapped around its victim, causing its blood to escape through pores, eyes, nose or mouth, with no pain or discomfort caused to the victim.[1]

Although they were virtually undetectable and very agile when not fed, once they started filling with blood they became progressively redder, until they became saturated with blood and started dripping it out.[1] In that state, they were more sluggish and much easier to detect.[5]


Vampiric mists were known in legends throughout Faerûn. The sun elf vampire Jander Sunstar decided not to commit suicide for fear of becoming a vampiric mist.[7]

Amidst the havoc of Halaster's Higharvestide in the Year of the Gauntlet, 1369 DR, the Sojourner's Portal in the House of the Moon became warped so that it worked the other way, and the mirror unleashed a crimson death and three vampiric mists from the depths of Undermountain into the heart of the temple. They hunted and slew a number of priests before they were stopped; the vampiric mists were swiftly destroyed, but the crimson death fled into the sewers of Waterdeep and was lost.[8]


Vampiric mists were solitary and preferred to hunt solitary humanoids as well, which were easier to hunt and could not call for help. They usually required at least one victim per week. It was common for a vampiric mist to carry valuable belongings or the remains of its former victims into its lair to serve as bait for other prey.[4]

If a vampiric mist were captured and imprisoned inside a container, it could pass for a genie prison or another form of magical vapor. If released, the mist would immediately attack whoever freed it.[4]


Beyond the Prime Material plane, vampiric mists could be found in the Domains of Dread.[9]



The crimson death and vampiric mist were originally two distinct creatures in 2nd edition, with the crimson death appearing alone in 1st and 3rd edition, and the vampiric mist appearing alone in 4th. Eventually, 5th edition merged them in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, with the line "Vampiric mists, sometimes called crimson mists..." and using the slain vampire origin of the crimson death. This leaves some discrepancies, with the additional creation stories of the vampiric mists and the creatures appearing separately in 2nd sources like Powers & Pantheons.


Book of LairsDungeon #17, "The Waiting Room of Yen-Wang-Yeh"Dragon+ #21, "Six Faces of Death"
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
SpiderkillerBeneath the City of the Dead
Referenced only
Vampire of the Mists
Video games
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 246. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  2. Daniel Helmick (December 2013). “Vainglorious”. In Miranda Horner ed. Dungeon #221 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 David Cook, Steve Winter, and Jon Pickens (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume Three Forgotten Realms Appendix (MC3). (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-88038-769-6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  6. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), pp. 253, 254. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  7. Christie Golden (September 1991). Vampire of the Mists. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-155-5.
  8. Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 161. ISBN 978-0786906574.
  9. William W. Connors (1996). Monstrous Compendium - Ravenloft Appendices I & II. (TSR, Inc.), p. 71. ISBN 0786903929.