A wyvern (pronounced: /ˈwɪvɜːrnWIH-vurn[7][8] about this audio file listen or: /ˈwvɛrnWY-vern[7][8] about this audio file listen) was a large winged lizard, distantly related to the dragon, with a poisonous stinging tail and sharp teeth.[9][5]

Description[edit | edit source]

These creatures varied in length from 15​ to ​35 feet (4.6​ to ​11 meters), weighed around a ton, and were covered in dark brown or grey scales. They typically had either red or orange eyes[6][5] and their jaws were filled with long and sharp teeth.[6]

Unlike true dragons, wyverns only had a pair of hind legs instead of a set four. Their wingspan could get over 50 feet (15 meters) in length.[6] And their huge tails were long,[5] comprising almost half of their bodies,[6] yet very mobile.[5] These ended in a thick cartilage knot with a stinger protruding out of it, not unlike that of a scorpion.[6]

Telltale sounds that these creatures produced included loud hisses and throated growls, similar to the vocalizations of alligators.[6]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Wyverns were aggressive and not greatly intelligent.[6][5] They were not averse to attacking anything less powerful than themselves. Their sleek, strong legs proved very useful for an attack.[3][note 1]

Combat[edit | edit source]

When fighting these creatures would dive down from above, grabbing prey with their hind leg claws, and then attempt to sting them to death. They were also known to slash at creatures with their claws mid-flight.[6] Their tails were so long that opponents were typically struck by a wyvern's tail before their legs.[5]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Wyverns can be both solitary and group animals. They did not have a strong odor, although their lairs often could be tracked by following the smell of their recent kills.[6]

Cloud giants kept griffons, perytons, and wyverns, akin to what humans did with hawks and other birds of prey. These tamed wild creatures could also be often encountered patrolling the cloud giants' gardens, together with other tamed predators like owlbears.[10] Dragons, griffons, and wyverns had a fierce rivalry over hippogriff meat. Manticores, chimeras, griffons, perytons, and wyverns were territorial rivals.[6]

Languages[edit | edit source]

Despite their middling intelligence, wyverns were fluent speakers of Draconic.[6]

Habitats[edit | edit source]

These creatures were typically found in areas that were favored by dragons, such as tangled forests or large caverns.[5]

Many were known to inhabit the Forest of Wyrms.[11]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Wyverns were used as mounts by various races and cultures, including Zhentarim skymages[12] and the extradimensional marauder Imgig Zu.[13]

Usage[edit | edit source]

Wyvern hide was used in the creation of bookbindings,[14] and its blood was an ingredient in the belarris poison.[15] Additionally, the poisonous barbed tail of the beast was used in the creation of poison darts.[citation needed]

The dried blood of a wyvern was one of the components used in create darkenbeast spells.[16]

History[edit | edit source]

Wyverns were created by the aearee of Viakoo in −30,700 DR.[17]

Cultural Significance[edit | edit source]

Some wyverns served the dark Chultan demigod Eshowdow, and their appearance was seen as a good sign by his followers.[18]

House Dlardrageth, a powerful sun elf family from Arcorar that corrupted their bloodline by breeding with fiends, used the image of a golden wyvern against three red crossed swords as their house's insignia.[19]

Expensive wyvern whiskey from Nimbral had a wyvern scale floating in every bottle.[20]

Notable Wyverns[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Curse of the Azure BondsHoard of the Dragon Queen
Referenced only
The Secret of SpiderhauntHellgate Keep
Novels
The Wyvern's SpurBladesinger (novel)SwordmageSandstorm
Referenced only
Realms of Valor: "Patronage"An Opportunity for Profit
Comics
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (#1)
Video Games
Pool of RadianceCurse of the Azure BondsSecret of the Silver BladesGateway to the Savage FrontierEye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth DrannorBaldur's GateBaldur's Gate II: Shadows of AmnNeverwinter Nights: Wyvern Crown of CormyrNeverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the BetrayerIcewind Dale: Enhanced EditionBaldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear
Referenced only
Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over DaggerfordBaldur's Gate III

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Although normally depicted with only two legs, some sources, such as the ADD comic "The Gathering", show wyverns with four legs like dragons. The scorpion-like sting on the tail suggests it is in fact a wyvern.

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 303. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 268. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 259. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 366. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 102. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 186. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
  9. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 186. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
  10. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  11. Tim Beach (October 1995). “Encounter Tables”. In Julia Martin ed. Elminster's Ecologies Appendix II (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 0786901713.
  12. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  13. Michael Fleisher (December 1988). “The Gathering”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1 (DC Comics), pp. 3–5.
  14. Jeff Grubb, Kate Novak (November 1992). The Ring of Winter. (TSR, Inc), p. 145. ISBN 978-1560763307.
  15. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 0786960345.
  16. Jean Rabe (1991). Red Magic. (TSR, Inc.), p. 11. ISBN 1-5607-6118-0.
  17. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  18. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  19. Steven E. Schend (March 1998). Hellgate Keep. (TSR, Inc), p. 23. ISBN 978-0786907861.
  20. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 153. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  21. Ossian Studios (June 2018). Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford. Beamdog.

Connections[edit | edit source]

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