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A wight was an undead creature given a semblance of life through sheer violence and hatred. They could drain the life energy out of victims by touch, turning them into new wights upon death.[3]

Just one look in its eyes, and you know a wight is not a man. It hates the living. It hates us and everything we have. All the beast wants is our souls and our blood.
— Garibanz of Harkenwold[7]


Wights appeared as weird and twisted reflections of the forms they had in life.[3] They existed in a state between being alive and being dead. When attacking their prey, wights' eyes glowed like white-hot embers.[1] Their mummified flesh covered the twisted skeleton, the hands ended up in deadly claws,[4] and teeth were sharp and jagged like needles.[3]

Most wights were humanoid.[8]


Wights were evil undead creatures brought back to unlife by their vanity, evil deeds, and desires. Upon the ends of their mortal lives, the dying spirits reached out to Orcus or another evil deity, receiving undeath in exchange for spending eternity, hating and trying to destroy all living beings.[1]

Wights retained their personalities and memories in the undeath. They possessed free will at the same time as they were tasked to perform the bidding of the evil powers that brought them back.[1]

Even though wights hungered for living beings' energy, they did not require it as a source of sustenance. The wights could retain their undeath trapped in tombs for centuries. Their craving for life energy was more akin to an addiction. Sages theorized that when a wight drained a victim's life energy, it received a rush of mortality, euphoric reminder of their mortal existence. Chasing that feeling led to extremely depraved actions by wights.[9]

Wights were territorial creatures. They rarely traveled away from their burial places, or locations they knew in life unless commanded by their masters. Some exceptions to the rules indeed existed. Scholars theorized that the wights' attachment to their tombs was due to its reminder of their condition, a source of pride, rather than sorrow. Another theory was they dwelled in catacombs simply due to the tactical benefits of winding corridors and shadows.[9]

On contrary to wide belief, wights could be "born" anywhere, not necessarily in crypts and burial mounds. There were rumors of aquatic wights, returning to unlife among shipwrecks, possibly relating wights to lacedons.[10]


A wight draining the life from its victim

Upon touching someone living, wights drained the life out of the victim through flesh, clothing, and armor.[1]

Wights were known to serve other stronger undead creatures like wraiths and other evil beings. When they followed a leader, they often avoided strategy and planning, relying on their drive for death and destruction instead.[1]

A slaughter wight was able to release a death wail when slain. That ability whipped surrounding undead creatures into a frenzied attack.[2]

Among scholars, at least, it was unheard of for wights to use weapons instead of their own claws.[11]


Wights were active at night, retreating away from the hated sunlight into crypts, tombs, burial mounds, where they dwelt during the day. Unlike vampires though, wights simply disliked the sun, not harmed by it.[4] Their lairs were easily detected by eerie silence surrounding the area, abandoned by birds and wild animals, and abundant dead plant life.[1]

Humanoid victims of the wights were returned as zombies controlled by their killer.[1] The creatures that were killed with the life-draining attacks came back as enslaved wights themselves. If the master was slain, the wights that were created regained their malicious free will. Bringing a wight back to life was nearly impossible.[4]

A wight lurking in the darkness.

Like other undead, wights did not need air, food, drink, or sleep. They were resistant to necrotic damage and to damage dealt by non-magical and non-silvered weapons, immune to poison[1], and paralyzation[4]. Wights were unaffected by sleep, charm, hold spells.[1][4] Holy water was deadly to these undead creatures, and raise dead spell could instantly annihilate a wight.[4]

Due to their undead nature, wights existed simultaneously on the Prime Material as well as on the Negative Material planes, which granted them the powerful life-draining abilities that also nourished the creatures. A lot of animals could feel the presence of these evil dead creatures: dogs growled and howled, horses stopped and refused to move forward feeling the creatures, birds, and insects fell silent.[4]


The word "wight" meant "person" in the Realms' past.[1] Centuries later, the word came to be exclusively used to describe these catacomb-dwelling undead creatures.[4] There was no known spell that could create a wight, and the legends that described their origins were contradictory.[12]

The ancient barrow burial locations where wights could be often found could be found all over North-Western Faerun, namely the Moonshae Islands, Dalelands, and Rashemen. The Battle of Bones spawned a plethora of wights and undead over the years as well.[13]

In 1357 DR wights could be found infesting the Burial Glen in Myth Drannor along with other undead creatures.[14]

In 1371 DR a group of ten undead Purple Dragons wights roamed the High Road in Cormyr looking for the “enemies of Cormyr". In their twisted undead stare, of course, the enemies were all living beings.[15]

Notable Wights[]



The name "wight" is of Germanic origin. It began as a general word meaning "being" or "creature", but over the years it was increasingly applied to spirits of either good or evil until it was connotated with the supernatural.[18]


Desert of DesolationThe Shattered StatueTales of the Outer PlanesLords of Darkness: The Tombs of Deckon TharCurse of the Azure BondsHalls of the High KingUndermountain: Maddgoth's CastleHow the Mighty Are FallenVale of the Dragon OraclePool of Radiance: Attack on Myth DrannorInto the Dragon's LairThe Twilight TombShadowdale: The Scouring of the LandScepter Tower of SpellgardGhosts of Dragonspear CastleThe Rise of TiamatCurse of StrahdStorm King's ThunderTomb of AnnihilationThe Tortle PackageWaterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
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Board Games
Tyrants of the Underdark: Aberrations and Undead
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Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
At the Foot of the LighthouseCorruption in KryptgardenThe Courting of FireBlood Above, Blood BelowChelimber's DescentThe Ark of the MountainsOver the EdgeFester and Burn


Further reading[]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 300. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 262. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 255. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 360.. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  6. Graeme Davis (October 2006). “The Ecology of the Wight”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #348 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 65.
  7. Logan Bonner (June 2011). “Bestiary: Wights”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #191 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2.
  8. Graeme Davis (October 2006). “The Ecology of the Wight”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #348 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 61.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Graeme Davis (October 2006). “The Ecology of the Wight”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #348 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 62.
  10. Graeme Davis (October 2006). “The Ecology of the Wight”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #348 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 63.
  11. Chet Williamson (July 1998). Murder in Cormyr. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 21, p. 130. ISBN 0-7869-0486-0.
  12. Graeme Davis (October 2006). “The Ecology of the Wight”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #348 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 60.
  13. Graeme Davis (October 2006). “The Ecology of the Wight”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #348 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 64.
  14. Jeff Grubb and George MacDonald (April 1989). Curse of the Azure Bonds. (TSR, Inc.), p. 71. ISBN 978-0880386067.
  15. Sean K. Reynolds, Steve Miller (2000). Into the Dragon's Lair. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-1634-6.
  16. Erin M. Evans (January, 2010). Realms of the Dead ("The Resurrection Agent"). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786953632.
  17. 17.0 17.1 R.A. Salvatore, James Wyatt, and Jeffrey Ludwig (November 19, 2013). Legacy of the Crystal Shard. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-6464-2.
  18. Tom Moldvay (October 1993). “Beyond the Grave”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #198 (TSR, Inc.), p. 20.