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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, swanmays are a sisterhood of humanoids who can assume a swan form. In normal form, they resemble a slender, tawny, attractive human female, generally clad in light robes and some form of white, feathered garment. In swan form, they completely resemble swans.

Characteristics and habits[]

Swanmays are all originally human females who were given their form of lycanthropy by voluntarily accepting a token, such as a feathered garment or signet ring, from a current swanmay. The true purposes of the swanmay sisterhood are not known, but they seem to be peaceful protectors of nature and in particular, water birds. They live in small lodges on the banks of lakes in deep forests, and these can generally be recognized by the large number of swans, and other water birds, located around them. Swanmay lodges are only lightly fortrified against attacks, but contain two escape routes: a tunnel leading to the lake and a hatch onto the roof, which can be used by swanmays when in swan form. Swanmays seem to protect swans out of pity due to their similarity more than any other reason.

Swanmays are rather indistinguishable from normal humans when in normal form, but can assume the swan form at will (they have full control over their shapeshifting). Any garments they are wearing, particularly the feathered garments, become part of the plumage when they do so. Swanmays attack with whatever weapons they have when in normal form, but prefer to attack with their beaks and claws in swan form. Abhoring violence, swanmays will as soon fly away as attack. Swanmays rarely associate with other creatures, only communing regularly with feys, sylvan elves, and certain priests.

Many swanmays serve the goddess Fionnghuala.

Swanmays speak Common and Sylvan.

They are neutral good in alignment.

Creative origins[]

Swanmays were inspired by the swanmay in Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, who in turn was based on swan maidens in folklore.

Notable swanmays[]

In the ready-to-play online adventure "The Blasted Heath," there is a swanmay named Icara. Icara is a a half-pixie, half-copper dragon swanmay who is three feet tall and sports a red Mohawk.[1]



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