The Legends of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms

Posted in Feature on July 16, 2021

By James Wyatt

James Wyatt joined Magic’s creative team in 2014 after more than 14 years working on Dungeons & Dragons. He has written five novels and dozens of D&D sourcebooks.

Planeswalkers

The Planeswalkers in Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms are characters of tremendous power whose influence extends across many worlds of the D&D Multiverse. They range from gods to exalted adventurers.

Grand Master of Flowers

Grand Master of FlowersGrand Master of Flowers

Known as the Platinum Dragon, Bahamut is the patron and progenitor of the metallic dragons. He makes his home in the Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia, but he often wanders the Material Plane in the magical guise of a venerable old wizard, a humble fisher, or a dashing young monk. In human form, he is usually accompanied by seven ancient gold dragons magically disguised as canaries or other songbirds.

Bahamut is deeply invested in the affairs of mortal creatures, especially when they fall victim to the machinations of Tiamat the Dragon Queen and the evil dragons that serve her. Adventurers and dragons alike pray to Bahamut to uphold honor and justice, or when they need courage to face a great threat.

Learn more:

  • Monster Manual
  • Tyranny of Dragons
  • Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, Dragons of Autumn Twilight

Mordenkainen

MordenkainenMordenkainen

Mordenkainen, a human archmage from the world of Greyhawk, leads a powerful group of adventurers called the Circle of Eight and has authored several planar tomes. He has also crafted many renowned spells (most notably Mordenkainen's faithful hound). He is the primary adherent of a philosophy of Balance, which holds that the Multiverse is a collection of opposing forces, each one trying to tip the scales of fate in its favor. He posits that if any side in a struggle grows too powerful, it becomes tyrannical. For the sake of the Balance, the cosmos must remain in a static state where neither side in any of these struggles can permanently gain the upper hand.

Learn more:

  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Lolth, Spider Queen

Lolth, Spider QueenLolth, Spider Queen

Lolth is an ancient goddess who spins webs of deceit and feeds on destruction and chaos. The Spider Queen maintains a stranglehold over her Underdark cult of drow elves, severing them from the rest of the world.

Millennia ago, Lolth ignited a divine war between elven gods, sundering the elven peoples forever. She then convinced a group of drow elves to follow her to the Underdark—where they remain her fanatical worshippers to this day.

Known as the Spider Queen or the Demon Queen of Spiders, Lolth commands the absolute loyalty of her cultists. Whatever she demands, they do.

Learn more:

Zariel, Archduke of Avernus

Zariel, Archduke of AvernusZariel, Archduke of Avernus

Zariel was once an angel, but her impetuous nature and love of battle led to her fall. Obsessed with the conflict between devils and demons that rages across the Lower Planes, she attempted to intervene in that Blood War and exterminate evil from the cosmos. Instead, she became a general in the devils' forces and ruler of Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells.

Learn more:

  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
  • Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus

Ellywick Tumblestrum

Ellywick TumblestrumEllywick Tumblestrum

The legendary bard Ellywick Tumblestrum—a gnome whose many journeys began on an unknown world of the Material Plane—has beguiled a fey prince, calmed the fury of the Nine Hells, twisted the mind of an archmage, won the love of a dragon-god, and brought a demon queen to tears. The magic of a wish spell granted by a lucky draw from the Deck of Many Things made her the greatest bard in the Multiverse. Her music bends hearts and minds to her will, draws animals to her side, and reshapes her environment.

Learn more:

Heroes—The Legend of Drizzt

Learn more about The Legend of Drizzt on dnd.wizards.com and in places like these:

  • R.A. Salvatore, The Legend of Drizzt series
  • Philip Athans, A Reader's Guide to R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt
  • Dark Alliance

Drizzt Do'Urden

Drizzt Do'UrdenDrizzt Do'Urden

Drizzt Do'Urden defied an evil goddess and her cult, fleeing the Underdark for freedom aboveground. This drow elf ranger and his companions now defend the surface world from any—rogue wizards, tyrants, even gods—who would harm it.

The shadow of the vicious goddess Lolth looms over Drizzt's life. As the extraneous third son of her high priestess, he was pledged as a sacrifice at birth—and only a twist of fate saved him. Burning with rebellion, Drizzt escaped the Underdark . . . and his family will never forgive him.

Drizzt is now building a life of purpose alongside his loyal and trusted friends: the Companions of the Hall. Whether he's wielding his magic scimitars—Icingdeath and Twinkle—against an adversary or tactically solving an unwinnable scenario, Drizzt relishes meeting any worthy challenge.

The surface world is filled with dangers and wonders. With allies like the Companions at his side, Drizzt faces them all with an ardent heart and ready blades.

Bruenor Battlehammer

Bruenor BattlehammerBruenor Battlehammer

Bruenor Battlehammer is a dwarven clan leader whose gruff exterior hides a gentle heart. Whether he's questing to recapture his lost throne or wading into battle, he keeps an eye on safeguarding his charges and building them a better future.

As Clan Battlehammer's king, Bruenor longs to drive invaders from dwarven cities and lead his exiled people home. And this middle-aged axe-swinging curmudgeon might just have the grit to do it. Battle is what stokes the dwarf's forge: Bruenor is usually found charging helm-first into combat rather than enjoying his victories.

Like a master miner, Bruenor discerns the potential in people and will hammer away—none too gently—to excavate it. Whether he likes it or not, he's become a mentor to all the Companions, and he's surprised to find himself forging friendships that will endure for centuries.

Catti-brie of Mithral Hall (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Catti-Brie of Mithral HallCatti-brie of Mithral Hall

Catti-brie was born to human parents in Icewind Dale, but when her parents were killed in a goblin raid, she was adopted and raised by the kindly dwarf king Bruenor Battlehammer. With a zest for life that seems to know no bounds, Catti-brie loves the open road and constantly seeks out new experiences. She's an accomplished fighter and a talented archer, wielding a sentient sword named Khazid'hea and a magic bow called Taulmaril.

Wulfgar of Icewind Dale (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Wulfgar of Icewind DaleWulfgar of Icewind Dale

Wulfgar was born among the Tribe of the Elk in Icewind Dale, but he was taken captive as a young man and raised by the kindly dwarf king Bruenor Battlehammer. Trained in hand-to-hand combat by the drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden and armed with a magical warhammer called Aegis-fang, Wulfgar is a formidable fighter—especially since he stands fully seven feet tall. His brute strength is tempered by a strict code of honor passed down from his ancestors.

Heroes—Companions of Ellywick

Hama Pashar, Nadaar, and Varis are Ellywick's companions in her journeys through the Forgotten Realms.

Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker

Hama Pashar, Ruin SeekerHama Pashar, Ruin Seeker

Curious and studious, Hama Pashar is more interested in acquiring knowledge than treasure. She comes from the southern land of Calimshan where she has made extensive study of both ancient and modern cultures across the world. But she has always been impatient with books when ruins lie scattered across the world, practically begging to be explored so they can reveal their secrets!

Nadaar, Selfless Paladin

Nadaar, Selfless PaladinNadaar, Selfless Paladin

Bold and confident, the bronze-scaled dragonborn paladin Nadaar leads the adventuring party as they explore ruins across the Forgotten Realms. Though he never lets his enjoyment of exploration blunt his alertness—as danger certainly lurks around every corner—he takes a gleeful delight in all the precarious situations he ends up in. He knows his companions find comfort in having his armored bulk between them and any danger that lies ahead, and he is more than happy to bear the brunt of any attack.

Varis, Silverymoon Ranger

Varis, Silverymoon RangerVaris, Silverymoon Ranger

Thoughtful and perceptive, the half-elf ranger Varis comes from the northern city of Silverymoon, heart of the Silver Marches. He is keenly aware of his surroundings and in tune with his wolf companion but can sometimes come across as aloof with his adventuring friends. Even so, they know that Varis is always covering their backs, ready with an arrow if danger should arise from any side.

Heroes—Commander

The face cards of the Commander decks are members of an adventuring party that is trying to make a name for itself on the Sword Coast. The four companions—the paladin Galea, the warlock Prosper, the wizard Sefris, and the barbarian Vrondiss—are each pursuing their personal goals as they explore ancient ruins, defeat powerful monsters, and acquire legendary treasures.

Galea, Kindler of Hope (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Galea, Kindler of HopeGalea, Kindler of Hope

Galea hopes to win influence and better the world on her adventures. As a member of the paladin class, Galea has sworn a sacred oath that fuels her divine power. The Oath of the Ancients is a solemn vow to foster the light of joy and love wherever it still flickers in a dark and dangerous world, starting in her own heart. She delights in song and laughter, in beauty and art—not just for their own sake, but because these things have the power to sustain life and light in times of terror.

Prosper, Tome-Bound (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Prosper, Tome-BoundProsper, Tome-Bound

Prosper hopes to earn power and wealth on his adventures. As a member of the warlock class, Prosper wields magical power that he claims he won in a bet with a powerful supernatural being whom he refuses to name—some ancient entity of ineffable nature and incomprehensible power. His greatest secrets are inscribed in a Book of Shadows, which he has warded with terrible curses to protect it from prying eyes.

Sefris of the Hidden Ways (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Sefris of the Hidden WaysSefris of the Hidden Ways

Sefris hopes to earn knowledge and magical power on her adventures. As a member of the wizard class, Sefris draws power from her study of ancient tomes and forbidden lore, drawing on her training among the sinister Red Wizards of Thay. Though she specializes in the School of Necromancy, she rejects the ignorant view that all traffic with the forces of the dead is necessarily evil. Her magic can sustain life as well as end it, and she is every bit as loyal to her friends as she is an implacable enemy to her foes.

Vrondiss, Rage of Ancients (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Vrondiss, Rage of AncientsVrondiss, Rage of Ancients

Vrondiss hopes to earn fortune and glory on his adventures. As a member of the barbarian class, Vrondiss is fueled by rage. In the throes of battle, he enters a berserk state where his rage takes over, giving him superhuman strength and resilience. As he walks the Path of the Ancestral Guardian, he has learned to call upon the spirits of his dragonborn ancestors to fuel his rage, and he looks to those spirits for wisdom and protection on his path.

Heroes—Brimstone Angels

Learn more about these legendary characters in author Erin M. Evans' Brimstone Angels series: Brimstone Angels, Brimstone Angels: Lesser Evils, The Adversary, Fire in the Blood, Ashes of the Tyrant, and The Devil You Know. Also see Farideh on dnd.wizards.com.

Farideh, Devil's Chosen

Farideh, Devil's ChosenFarideh, Devil's Chosen

Farideh is a tiefling warlock who uses her powers to protect the people she cares about (and the various cities she travels to) from the Nine Hells and other villainous groups. Adopted by a male dragonborn named Mehen, she has an identical twin, Havilar, who fights with a glaive and is a bit flighty.

Farideh gained her powers when Havilar accidentally summoned Lorcan, a cambion from the Sixth Layer (Malbolge) who happened to be looking for an heir of Bryseis Kakistos, the Brimstone Angel, to fill out his set. Farideh happened to be that heir as well as being hungry for better control over her life and a way to protect her sister. She was easily swayed by Lorcan, who is very attractive and very manipulative.

Lorcan, Warlock Collector (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Lorcan, Warlock CollectorLorcan, Warlock Collector

Lorcan is a cambion, the offspring of a fiend and a human. As a way of gaining influence among the devils of the Nine Hells, Lorcan amused himself by collecting warlocks, granting them a fragment of infernal power in exchange for their service. In fact, he achieved a rare feat: he collected a full set of thirteen warlocks, all of them descended from one of the first thirteen warlocks who made pacts with Asmodeus, the ruler of the Nine Hells. The tiefling warlock Farideh is the prize of his collection.

Heroes—Legends of Baldur's Gate

Learn more about these legendary characters in IDW's Legends of Baldur's Gate comic. Also check out Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, or bring them to life in your D&D game with character sheets for these three and their other companions.

Minsc was introduced in the Baldur's Gate video games and has appeared in a variety of other places. His most recent appearance in a card game was in Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur's Gate.

Delina, Wild Mage

Delina, Wild MageDelina, Wild Mage

Delina is a young moon elf sorcerer who wields the unpredictable power of wild magic. Finding herself in trouble in the city of Baldur's Gate, she accidentally reawakened the ancient hero of the city, Minsc, and got thrown into further adventures pursuing her lost twin brother.

Krydle of Baldur's Gate

Krydle of Baldur's GateKrydle of Baldur's Gate

Krydle is a half-elf rogue in Baldur's Gate. Despite his father's wealth and reputation as a great adventurer (and companion of the renowned ranger Minsc), Krydle subsisted as a thief in the city's extensive criminal underground until chance brought him into contact with Delina and Minsc—and set him on the course of further adventures!

Minsc, Beloved Ranger

Minsc, Beloved RangerMinsc, Beloved Ranger

Minsc is a powerful warrior from Rashemen, in the eastern part of the Forgotten Realms.He travelled to the area of Baldur's Gate as part of a rite of passage, serving as the protector of a witch named Dynaheir.

He is a dangerous berserker in battle, but a fiercely loyal companion. He is extremely attached to his pet miniature giant space hamster, Boo.

After being petrified and spending over a hundred years mistakenly identified as a statue commemorating himself, Minsc was restored to living flesh by a stray spell cast by Delina.

Heroes—Other

Barrowin of Clan Undurr

Barrowin of Clan UndurrBarrowin of Clan Undurr

Barrowin Undurr is a proud daughter of Clan Undurr and a devout follower of Gorm Gulthyn, the dwarven god of vigilance and duty. She spent fifteen years in the city of Ironmaster, in Icewind Dale, overseeing and protecting her family's investment in the city's lucrative mining operations. Then she joined a kindred spirit in pursuing a dream of building a fortress in the Spine of the World mountains, to help defend the pass connecting Icewind Dale and Neverwinter. Their efforts were thwarted at every turn and eventually her beloved companion was carried off by a white dragon.

Now Barrowin has found new friends within a budding organization called the Order of the Gauntlet, which vigilantly guards against the rise of evil in all its forms. Above all, Barrowin respects the Order's devotion and vigilance. She now believes that Gorm Gulthyn has chosen her as his emissary, and that the Order of the Gauntlet might be what the dwarven god of vigilance had in store for her all along.

Learn more:

Gretchen Titchwillow

Gretchen TitchwillowGretchen Titchwillow

It all started when a young halfling named Gretchen wandered into a grove of willow trees just outside Waterdeep. Gretchen never cared much for the hustle and noise of the big city; she loved nature, its creatures, and the silence and gentleness of the woods. She would walk among the slender trunks and relax under the boughs, watching the dragonflies buzz about her head.

That's when the willows began talking to her. They told her many secrets and showed her many things that only willows know. Gretchen spent the next year sitting in the willow grove, listening to their whisperings and marveling at their stories. At the end of the year, the great willow offered up a gem as big as her fist. Gretchen took the gem, and now she has the voices of the willows within her head, giving her guidance and purpose.

Learn more:

  • Betrayal at Baldur's Gate (board game)

Kalain, Reclusive Painter

Kalain, Reclusive PainterKalain, Reclusive Painter

Kalain is a famous painter from the metropolis of Waterdeep. After a love affair with a powerful nobleman soured, she took to painting monsters that, in her mind, represented the man who jilted her. Her magical power clings to the canvas of her paintings, giving her the ability to bring these monsters to life on command.

Learn more:

  • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Minn, Wily Illusionist (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Minn, Wily IllusionistMinn, Wily Illusionist

Many forest gnomes have a knack for illusion, but Minn has made illusion magic her life's work. Blessed with a vibrant coterie of imaginary friends as a child, the master illusionist now delights in the company of semi-real illusory creatures brought to a semblance of life by her magic. She uses a magical deck of illusions to produce illusory guardians, mounts, allies, and companions at a moment's notice, supplementing her formidable array of illusion spells.

Oswald Fiddlebender

Oswald FiddlebenderOswald Fiddlebender

A gnome artificer from the cold lands of Icewind Dale, Oswald Fiddlebender specializes in the alchemical techniques of crafting potions. He pilots an airship that includes his laboratory, despite his propensity for crashing the airship in settled areas.

Learn more:

  • Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Shessra, Death's Whisper

Shessra, Death's WhisperShessra, Death's Whisper

Shessra is a half-elf warlock who is obsessed with plundering the secrets of the ancient empire of Netheril, a realm ruled by powerful wizards whose fall brought the vast desert of Anauroch into being. True to her nickname, she speaks only in sibilant whispers, whether she's using magic to bend the minds of others to her will or draw out the secrets of the dead.

Trelasarra, Moon Dancer

Trelasarra, Moon Dancer Trelasarra, Moon Dancer

Trelasarra is a drow and a cleric of Eilistraee, a deity of moonlight and mercy. She leads a group of other drow who reject the worship of the evil goddess Lolth, guiding them in both religious practice and military discipline as they prepare to fight off unwanted attention from the evils that lurk near her temple in the vast dungeon of Undermountain.

Volo, Guide to Monsters

Volo, Guide to MonstersVolo, Guide to Monsters

The bombastic world traveler Volothamp Geddarm is known for a long series of travel guides offering questionable advice and spurious information about locations across the Forgotten Realms, though his most recent tome—Volo's Guide to Monsters—might be his most popular. Volo has an inflated opinion of himself and his importance in the world, but he's not without his charm. There is nothing he won't do to help a friend in need.

Learn more:

  • Volo's Guide to Monsters
  • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Dragons

Ebondeath, Dracolich

Ebondeath, DracolichEbondeath, Dracolich

Long ago, the black dragon Chardansearavitriol—better known as Ebondeath—ruled over the Mere of Dead Men, a swampy region situated between Neverwinter and Waterdeep on Faerûn's Sword Coast. He laired in a crumbling ruin called the Uthtower and fed primarily on orcs from the nearby Sword Mountains. Then he vanished, leading to rumors that he had died. But in fact, he succumbed to the persuasion of a priest of Myrkul (a god of death) with ties to the Cult of the Dragon, who convinced Ebondeath to become a dracolich—a fearsome undead dragon.

Learn more:

  • Ed Greenwood, "Wyrms of the North: Voaraghamanthar," in Dragon Magazine 258 (April 1999)
  • Eric L. Boyd, "Eye of Myrkul," in Dungeon Adventures 73 (April 1999)
  • Divine Contention (on D&D Beyond)

Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant

Icingdeath, Frost TyrantIcingdeath, Frost Tyrant

The nomads of Icewind Dale considered the white dragon Icingdeath to be but a legend, a tall tale to scare children. But the great white wyrm is no legend. Dracos Icingdeath is the common name for the dragon Ingeloakastimizilian, who crawled into his freezing lair one day and went to sleep for so long that when he awoke, he had grown too big to crawl back out through the narrow tunnels. Content to stay in his lair, surrounded by his massive treasure hoard and covered in a layer of ice, Icingdeath spent decades without even moving.

But that lonely slumber was interrupted by a young nomad named Wulfgar, who found the dragon's lair and challenged him. With the help of Drizzt Do'Urden, Wulfgar killed the dragon and claimed both his hoard—to aid the people of Icewind Dale—and the dragon's two horns, as a trophy to prove his worth as he made a bid for the leadership of his people.

Drizzt, for his part, claimed a weapon from the dragon's hoard: a scimitar that he calls Icingdeath, in memory of the dragon.

Learn more:

  • R.A. Salvatore, The Crystal Shard
  • Philip Athans, A Reader's Guide to R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt

Inferno of the Star Mounts

Inferno of the Star MountsInferno of the Star Mounts

Tales of a red dragon of awesome age, power, fire-magic mastery, and hoard size have long been told and retold across the Heartlands and Sword Coast North. The dragon known as Inferno (at least to humans, who have simplified his real name, "Imvaernarhro") is said to lair in the heart of the High Forest and devour even the mightiest adventurers who come against him.

Inferno has traditionally kept to himself, troubling other dragons and the wider world little (except those who seek to violate his privacy). Aside from the diversions of dealing with intruding adventurers, his time was spent chiefly in sleeping and experimenting with fire magic. However, his isolationist ways are changing. He now seems to be taking an interest in the politics and society of Faerûn, but his motivations for doing so have not yet come to light.

Learn more:

  • Power of Faerûn

Iymrith, Desert Doom

Iymrith, Desert DoomIymrith, Desert Doom

Known as the Dragon of the Statues and the Doom of the Desert, the ancient blue dragon Iymrith commands an army of gargoyles and has studied magic for centuries in the hope of one day transcending her physical form and becoming a god.

Iymrith often uses magic to appear as a storm giant. In this guise, she infiltrates storm giant settlements and insinuates herself into the affections of the rulers' heirs, becoming a mother figure to them—and turning them against their parents so that they might rule as Iymrith's protégés. She demands great accomplishments from her own offspring, but she is more than willing to support and aid them with her considerable resources.

Ferocious in her youth, Iymrith has grown more philosophical and even whimsical as she ages, but she has not lost sight of her quest for transcendence.

Learn more:

  • Storm King's Thunder

Klauth, Unrivaled Ancient (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Klauth, Unrivaled AncientKlauth, Unrivaled Ancient

Klauthen Vale is a narrow, winding valley in the Spine of the World mountains. Thanks to ancient and powerful magic, the valley is a perpetually warm oasis in the frigid north. Roaming this expanse are hundreds of sheep, goats, and cattle plucked from other regions of the North by the vale's dread overlord, the red wyrmKlauth. "Old Snarl," as Klauth is also known, likes to lie on a ledge high on one of the valley walls and survey his domain, descending occasionally to snatch up an animal or intruder. One of the largest and most fearsome red dragons ever known in Faerûn, Old Snarl is sometimes moved by strange whims to perform acts of kindness for creatures he doesn't think can harm him.

Learn more:

  • Ed Greenwood, "Wyrms of the North: Klauth" in Dragon Magazine 244 (February 1998)
  • Dragons of Faerûn
  • Storm King's Thunder

Old Gnawbone

Old GnawboneOld Gnawbone

The domain of Claugiyliamatar, better known as "Old Gnawbone," encompasses a significant swath of northwestern Faerûn, and the dragon's notoriety for killing adventurers spreads even farther out. She controls a network of spies in Waterdeep and Neverwinter. Her greatest desire is to rule as an all-powerful dragon queen of Waterdeep, doted on by nobles and worshiped by commoners. This dream is probably not realistic, but it drives her to try to find a way to take on human shape and still employ her vast draconic powers.

Her nickname comes from her habit of chewing on the corpses of humanoid kills, letting them dangle from her mouth like a splintered toothpick.

Learn more:

  • Ed Greenwood, "Wyrms of the North: Claugiyliamatar" in Dragon Magazine 233 (September 1996)
  • Dragons of Faerûn
  • Sleeping Dragon's Wake (on D&D Beyond)

Tiamat

TiamatTiamat

The five-headed progenitor of the chromatic dragons, Tiamat embodies the greed and vices of evil dragonkind. She dwells on Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells, but she believes that the Multiverse and all its treasures will one day be hers alone.

Tiamat is a gigantic dragon whose five heads reflect the forms of the chromatic dragons she created—black, blue, green, red, and white. She is a terror on the battlefield, capable of annihilating whole armies with her five breath weapons, her formidable spellcasting, and her fearsome claws.

Mortals who hunger for control, power, and wealth often swear fealty to Tiamat in pursuit of those goals. Many of her followers have attempted to break her out of Avernus—and failed—but even while she remains in the Nine Hells, Tiamat can send her aspect to manifest in the Material Plane.

Learn more:

  • Tyranny of Dragons

Other Monsters

Acererak the Archlich

Acererak the ArchlichAcererak the Archlich

Acererakis a powerful lich known and feared throughout the Multiverse. Much of his past is forgotten, but ancient texts assert that he comes from the world of Greyhawk.

Acererak travels the planes in search of artifacts. When he finds something useful or interesting, he locks it away. Although he's powerful enough to pursue godhood as other liches have done, Acererak has no interest in being a god or being worshiped. He prefers to create evil gods and unleash them on mortals and immortals who oppose him.

Although he has lived on many worlds and crafted countless demiplanes, Acererak spends most of his time building tombs. He fills each one with treasure to attract powerful adventurers. He then kills them off in terrible fashion, using deadly traps and monsters while baiting and ridiculing them. The terror he evokes scars their souls, which he traps in his phylactery, the location of which is one of the Multiverse's greatest secrets.

Learn more:

  • Tomb of Annihilation

Asmodeus the Archfiend

Asmodeus the ArchfiendAsmodeus the Archfiend

Asmodeus, the Lord of the Nine Hells, wants to rule the cosmos. Under his watch, he believes, the universe would take on a pristine, perfect state, with every living creature assigned a place in the infernal hierarchy. Wars would end, and every creature would have a purpose to fulfill. The universe would be a utopia, at least as Asmodeus views such a thing.

Of course, as he sees it, Asmodeus is the only being with the charisma, strength, and insight necessary to shepherd in this ideal future. His rivals among the devils are inferiors who, if left to their own devices, would turn the cosmos into a demon-infested maelstrom. The powers of good are sentimental fools, too delicate and soft to do what must be done. In his mind, Asmodeus has been chosen by the universe to protect it from annihilation.

Learn more:

  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar

Grazilaxx, Illithid ScholarGrazilaxx, Illithid Scholar

Grazilaxx is a mind flayer member of the Society of Brilliance, a sect of highly intelligent monsters that have banded together to solve all of the Underdark's problems. The society is investigating what it fears is some kind of "demonic incursion."

Like other members of the society, Grazilaxx is erudite and talkative (though he prefers to "speak" via telepathy), opting for diplomacy and debate over violence.

Learn more:

  • Out of the Abyss

Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Karazikar, the Eye TyrantKarazikar, the Eye Tyrant

Like most of its kind, the beholder Karazikar is hateful and paranoid, trusting no one. Its servants are keenly aware that failure to please their master means death or petrification. It lurks in a great chasm in the Underdark, called the Vast Oblivium, and it considers itself the master of all it surveys. Long ago, the beholder heard rumors of an arcane device known as the Maze Engine, capable of shifting the gears of reality, and it has become obsessed with locating this mighty artifact.

Learn more:

  • Out of the Abyss

Nihiloor (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

NihiloorNihiloor

A mind flayer named Nihiloor serves as a master spy for Xanathar, the beholder crime lord of Waterdeep. With its alien mind, Nihiloor considers itself Xanathar's equal, but for now it is content to serve the beholder, lurking in the shadows and pursuing its own schemes. It spends much of its time creating intellect devourers—brainlike creatures that can inhabit the skulls of humanoids and transform them into puppet-spies.

Learn more:

  • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Orcus, Prince of Undeath

Orcus, Prince of UndeathOrcus, Prince of Undeath

Orcus is the Demon Prince of Undeath, known as the Blood Lord. He takes some pleasure in the sufferings of the living but far prefers the company and service of the undead. His desire is to see all life quenched and the Multiverse transformed into a vast necropolis populated solely by undead creatures under his command.

Orcus rewards those who spread death in his name by granting them a small portion of his power. The least of these becomeghoulsandzombieswho serve in his legions, while his favored servants are the cultists and necromancers who murder the living and then manipulate the dead, emulating their dread master.

Orcus is a bestial creature of corruption with a diseased, decaying look. He has the lower torso of a goat and a humanoid upper body with a corpulent belly swollen with rot. Great bat wings sprout from his shoulders, and his head is like the skull of a goat, the flesh nearly rotted from it. In one hand, he wields the legendaryWand of Orcus.

Learn more:

  • Out of the Abyss

Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll

Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll

Targ Nar is a gnoll who accompanied a demonic force to Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells, on a mission to claim the sword of Zariel. He led a pack of fifteen gnolls in the service of a demon called a nalfeshnee.

Learn more:

  • Monster Manual ("Gnoll, fang of Yeenoghu")
  • Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus

Storvald, Frost Giant Jarl (Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Commander)

Storvald, Frost Giant JarlStorvald, Frost Giant Jarl

From his icy fortress of Svardborg, Jarl Storvald leads teams of frost giants out in their ships in search of theRing of Winter, an artifact he can use to bring about an Age of Everlasting Ice. Although he's far from reaching that goal, the frost giant ruler poses a terrible threat to the North.He is vicious and cruel, and his thoughts never stray far from conquest and domination.

Learn more:

  • Storm King's Thunder

The Tarrasque

The TarrasqueThe Tarrasque

The legendary tarrasque is possibly the most dreaded monster of the Material Plane. It is widely believed that only one of these creatures exists, though no one can predict where and when it will strike. The destructive potential of the tarrasque is so vast that some cultures incorporate the monster into religious doctrine, weaving its sporadic appearance into stories of divine judgment and wrath. Legends tell how the tarrasque slumbers in its secret lair beneath the earth, remaining in a dormant state for decades or centuries. When it awakens in answer to some inscrutable cosmic call, it rises from the depths to obliterate everything in its path.

Learn more:

  • Monster Manual

Xanathar, Guild Kingpin

Xanathar, Guild KingpinXanathar, Guild Kingpin

Xanathar is the name given to the beholder crime lord that lives in the dungeons under Waterdeep. It isn't the first beholder to claim this mantle, nor will it be the last.

Like all beholders, Xanathar is a paranoid tyrant that charms and bullies its minions into servitude. The Xanathar Guild is made up of some of Waterdeep's most disreputable folk, as well as monsters forced into subservience or drawn to the beholder by the promise of treasure, food, or power. Treachery within the ranks of the guild is common as servants vie for the beholder's favor and affection. Such boons are fleeting, though, as the beholder is quick to distrust those who finagle their way into its good graces.

The only creature Xanathar truly cares about aside from itself is a fish, named Sylgar, that it keeps in a large glass tank. Xanathar has minions that look after the fish constantly, but even their ministrations can't keep such a creature alive forever. Whenever the fish dies, panic spreads through the occupants of the lair as minions try to replace the fish before Xanathar realizes what has happened. Luckily for them, the beholder can't tell one fish from another.

Learn more:

  • Xanathar's Guide to Everything
  • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Zalto, Fire Giant Duke

Zalto, Fire Giant DukeZalto, Fire Giant Duke

Fire giants love to fight on a large scale, andDukeZaltois one of the greatest warmongers of his age. Zalto has set into motion a plot to wage war on dragonkind for the glory of Surtur (the god of fire giants) and the divine favor of Annam the All-Father. It begins with the reconstruction of the Vonindod, a dragon-slaying colossus built by his ancient ancestors.

Duke Zalto has a nagging wife,Brimskarda, and two ill-tempered children—a belligerent daughter namedCinderhild and a sadistic son namedZaltember. The children distract him from his enterprise while his wife chastises him for not acting quickly enough.

Learn more:

  • Storm King's Thunder

Latest Feature Articles

FEATURE

July 16, 2021

Commander, Party of Four? by, Glenn Jones

Today, I'll be telling tales and spilling secrets from the design of the Commander decks for Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Before I dive into the product, I ...

Learn More

FEATURE

July 12, 2021

Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Prerelease Primer by, Gavin Verhey

It's time for a combination years in the making: Magic. Dungeons & Dragons. One epic experience. Welcome to Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms! I am so excit...

Learn More

Articles

Articles

Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All