A water weird is a rare water elemental creature which inhabits a body of water. In the dungeon environment, there are commonly bound as guardians of fountains, pools, and similar bodies of water.

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The water weird is an amorphous creature made of water, and is capable of hiding perfectly within a body of water such as a pool or fountain. When disturbed, it reveals the form of a serpent, striking out at intruders.[1]

When slain, the water weird reverts to a pool of normal water.[2]

Personality and alignment[edit | edit source]

Water weirds are neither innately good nor evil in alignment, but reflect the water source which they protect. A weird bound to a sacred pool may become neutral good, while one bound to a befouled water source may become neutral evil.[2] Water weirds reportedly exist which are chaotic evil in alignment.[1]

The water weird was originally listed as chaotic evil in the Monster Manual (1e) (1977), but in the D&D 5th edition Monster Manual they are neutral and may be of other alignments.

Abilities and traits[edit | edit source]

Elemental traits and combat ability[edit | edit source]

A water weird is typically encountered in dungeons where it has been summoned by a spellcaster and bound to a specific water source, where it attacks intruders other than the spellcaster or anyone the spellcaster has instructed it to permit. It is killed if it leaves the water source to which it is bound, or if that water source is destroyed.[2]

As an elemental, the water weird does not require air to breathe, nor does it need to eat, drink, or sleep. It naturally cannot be poisoned, grappled, knocked unconscious, knocked prone, or exhausted. It is difficult to harm with fire or normal weapons. As it is made of water, it is practically invisible inside a body of water.[2]

A water weird fights by encircling opponents and constricting them like a serpent. It can swim through water with exceptional speed.[2] A water weird will attempt to drag an opponent into the water in order to drown them. A less well known ability is to take control of a water elemental.[1][3]

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

The spell purify food and drink can defeat an evil water weird. Adventurers historically reported that such a spell instantly kills the creature,[1] though it is mosre recently believed to cleanse an evil water weird of its evil alignment.[2] Regardless, this is ineffective against water wirds in their native plane of water.[4].

Spells which may summon a water weird include monster summoning V.[5]

As a summoned creture, a water weird can be guarded against using a spell like protection from evil,[6] protection from specific elementals, and protection from all elementals.[7]

The horn of the tritons, when used to calm rough waters, can dispel a water elemental.[8]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Environment[edit | edit source]

Water weirds originate on the plane of water, but can inhabit any body of water.[2]

They are encountered, though very rarely, in fresh waters, including shallow and deep waters, and both small and large bodies of water. They are more common in small bodies of water, such as ponds, small lakes and minor rivers.[9] They may also appear in salt water, or any smaller body of water, if summoned.[5]

Water weirds are encountered in the isolated Moonshaes of Faerûn, with individuals occasionally found on beaches, streams, rivers, lakes, and in groups at sea.[10]

Lair[edit | edit source]

A water weird inhabits a body of water, which it guards dilligently. This is commonly a fountain or pool of water found in a dungeon.[2] They may also guard a well.[11]

Life cycle[edit | edit source]

The water weird's life cycle is unknown.

Use of reincarnation magic within the Underdark can cause a creature to be reborn as a chaotic evil water weird. Over time, they lose their original memory and forget that they were ever anything but a water weird.[12]

Diet[edit | edit source]

As an elemental, a water weird does not need to eat or drink to survive.[2] They are thought to feed somehow on the life force of victims.[13]

Treasure[edit | edit source]

A water weird might guard some treasure.[1] Adventurers occasionally toss coins into fountains in case they contain a water weird, and such water receptacles may contain treasure.[2][14]

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Water weirds originate on the plane of water.[2]

Ancient history[edit | edit source]

Recent history[edit | edit source]

Society and culture[edit | edit source]

Organization[edit | edit source]

A water weird bound to a body of water may be solitary, or in a group or two or three.[1] In its native plane of water, water weirds are commonly encountered in groups of between 3 and 12.[15]

Allies[edit | edit source]

A water weird typically obeys the instructions of the spellcaster who summons it, though disobedience is not unheard of.[2]

A group of water weirds can be summoned by Olhydra, archomental princess of evil water creatures.[16]

Water weirds are known to work for other aquatic and water elemental creatures, including nereids,[17] who are also known to magically manipulate water into serpentlike form to feign the feared water weird.[18]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Water weirds inhabiting a body of water attack anyone who approaches, unless instructed otherwise.[2]

Language[edit | edit source]

Water weirds understand Auran, the language of water elementals. However, they do not speak.[2]

Cultural significance[edit | edit source]

Water weirds feature in X the Mystic's Rules of Dungeon Survival, which suggest tossing a copper coin into a pool before drinking from it.[2]

Water weirds appear in artwork in the Temple of Elemental Evil.[19].

Variants and related creatures[edit | edit source]

A massive three-headed water weird was once unnaturally created using the power of the Witch-King Zhengyi and the archdemon Orcus.[20]

Water weirds are the best known of a group of creatures called elemental weirds. Others include earth weirds, fire weirds, and air weirds.

Publication history[edit | edit source]

The water weird is one of the earliest of D&D creatures and appears in numerous sourcebooks and adventure modules.

Original D&D[edit | edit source]

The earliest appearance of the water weird appears in Gary Gygax's Lost Caverns of Tsojconth, designed for the 1976 Metro Detroit Gamers WinterCon V Gamefest D&D tournament. This module formed the basis of the AD&D module S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982), although the water weird did not appear in that conversion.

Basic D&D[edit | edit source]

The water weird appears in the Master Rules (BECMI) (1985), AC9 Creature Catalogue (1986), p.79-80, and DMR2 Creature Catalog (1993), p.109-110.

Water weirds appear in the adventure modules Rahasia{{UnknownBook}} and B8 Journey to The Rock (1984), reprinted in B1-9 In Search of Adventure (1987). One appears in the solo adventure CM5 Mystery of the Snow Pearls (1985).

AD&D 1st edition[edit | edit source]

The water weird appeared in the Monster Manual (1e) (1977), p.100. This is the first officially published TSR sourcebook to include the water weird. The creature is also mentioned in the Players Handbook (1e) (1978), p.44, as an example of a creature which protection from evil protects against, and the Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.147, which mentions the ability of the horn of the tritons to dispel the creature, and in the random monster charts.

The water weird is described in the Fiend Folio{{UnknownBook}}, p.33 as summonable by Olhydra. It is mentioned in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1986), Manual of the Planes{{UnknownBook}}, Monster Manual II (1e) (1983), FR2 Moonshae (1e) (1987), FR5 The Savage Frontier (1988), FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards (1988) (with regards to spells which protect against elementals),

Water weirds appear in various adventure modules including REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1987), DL8 Dragons of War (1985), FRC2 Curse of the Azure Bonds (1989), Danger at Darkshelf Quarry{{UnknownBook}}, C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (1980), GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders (1986) (as a potential reincarnation subject), H4 The Throne of Bloodstone (1988), I13 Adventure Pack I (1987), I2 Tomb of the Lizard King (1982), Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980), T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985),

A water weird appears on the cover of Endless Quest Book #1: Dungeon of Dread. This artwork appears in the water weird's TSR's 1992 trading card, #40.

Water weirds appear or are mentioned in Getting Into the Flow of Magic Fountains, Dragon #34 (Feb 1980), The Pit of the Oracle, Dragon #37 (May 1980), The Halls of Beol-Dur, Dragon #41 (Sep 1980), The Inner Planes, Dragon #42 (Oct 1980), The Temple of Poseidon, Dragon #46 (Feb 1981), The Wandering Trees, Dragon #57 (Jan 1982), The Dragon's Bestiary, Dragon #116 (Dec 1986), Undersea Priests, Dragon #165 (Jan 1991), 101 Surprises in a Bag of Beans, Dragon #171 (Jul 1991), Hirward's Task, Dungeon #5 (May/Jun 1987), The Shrine of Ilsidahur, Dungeon #10 (Mar/Apr 1988), The Dark Conventicle, Dungeon #11 (May/Jun 1988), The Last Slave Lord, Dungeon #215 (Jun 2013), and Lowdown in Highport, Dungeon #221 (Dec 2013).

They are also mentioned in Polyhedron issues 8, 31, 35, 77, and 126.

AD&D 2nd edition[edit | edit source]

Water weirds appear in AD&D 2nd edition with the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989), where they are given additional detail. The similar earth weird is mentioned in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One (1994). The Monstrous Manual (1993), p.104 , describes the water weird as a subtype of water kin, of which the nereid is another.

As in AD&D 1e, the water weird is mentioned in the Player's Handbook (2e) (1989) and Dungeon Master Guide (2e) (1989).

Water weirds are mentioned in the arctic random encounter table in Council of Wyrms (1994) and Council of Wyrms Setting (1999), in Of Ships and Sea{{UnknownBook}}, in the artifact tables in Book of Artifacts (1993) and Encyclopedia Magica Volume One (1994), in the fountains in Encyclopedia Magica Volume Two (1995), as a creature banned from Greek-setting in HR6 Age of Heroes Campaign Sourcebook (1994).

Spells which affect or summon water weirds appear in Spells & Magic{{UnknownBook}}, Priest's Spell Compendium Volume One (1999), Priest's Spell Compendium Volume Two (1999), Priest's Spell Compendium Volume Three (2000), Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume One (1996), Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Three (1998), Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Four (1998), and Tome of Magic{{UnknownBook}}.

They are mentioned in the Al-Qadim City of Delights (1993) and MC13 Monstrous Compendium: Al-Qadim Appendix (1992), and the Birthright setting's Book of Magecraft{{UnknownBook}}. In Dragonlance, Taladas: the Minotaurs{{UnknownBook}} and the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four (1998), p.15, details the child of the sea, a race of which some members can summon water weirds; the latter book also details the water weird's vulnerability to the prismatic dragon's breath weapon. Water weirds are mentioned in the Dark Sun book The Will and the Way (1994) as creatures summonable by psychoporters.

They are mentioned in the Dragonlance books DLA1 Dragon Dawn (1990), Dragonlance Classics Volume II (1993), Dragon Magic (2e){{UnknownBook}}, DLS4 Wild Elves (1991), and in an encounter table in the MC4 Monstrous Compendium: Dragonlance Appendix (1990). In the Forgotten Realms 2e books, they are mentioned in Cloak & Dagger (2000), Elminster's Ecologies (1994), Faiths & Avatars (1996), FMA1 Fires of Zatal (1991), FRA2 Black Courser (1990), FRA3 Blood Charge (1990), Prayers from the Faithful (1997), Sea of Fallen Stars (1999), The Ruins of Myth Drannor (1993), and The Ruins of Undermountain (1991).

They appear in the Greyhawk adventure WG12 Vale of the Mage (1990), WGA4 Vecna Lives! (1990), WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins (1990), and WGRX Ivid the Undying (1995). In Planescape, they are mentioned in the Planescape Campaign Setting (1994), Planes of Chaos (1994), The Inner Planes (1998), The Planewalker's Handbook (1996), Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994), and Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III (1998). Their fire-equivalents, the heart fiend, is mentioned in the Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness (1994).

The water weird receives a brief mention in the Spelljammer source book SJR4 Practical Planetology (1991) as inhabitants of the ring-world Nivil.

They also appear in Dragon Mountain (1993), The Lost Shrine of Bundushatur (1998), Masters of Eternal Night (1998), Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (1999), Return to the Tomb of Horrors (1998), The Rod of Seven Parts (1996), TSR Jam 1999 (1999), and Vortex of Madness{{UnknownBook}}.

Water weirds appear or are mentioned in The People, Dragon #205 (May 1994), Arcane Lore: Speed of Wind, Strength of Wave: Sea Magic, Dragon #220 (Aug 1995), Bazaar of the Bizarre, Dragon #243 (Jan 1998), The Taltos, Dragon #247 (May 1998), 101 Paladin Quests, Dragon #257 (Mar 1999), Thunder Under Needlespire, Dungeon #24 (Jul/Aug 1990). Hermes' Bridge, Dungeon #32 (Nov/Dec 1991), Mad Gyoji, Dungeon #33 (Jan/Feb 1992), Asflag's Unintentional Emporium, Dungeon #36 (Jul/Aug 1992), The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb, Dungeon #37 (Sep/Oct 1992), Tulips of the Silver Moon, Dungeon #55 (Sep/Oct 1995), A Watery Death, Dungeon #56 (Nov/Dec 1995), The Rose of Jumlat, Dungeon #57 (Jan/Feb 1996), Hunt for a Hierophant, Dungeon #63 (Jan/Feb 1997), Training Ground, Dungeon #67 (Mar/Apr 1998), Ssscaly Thingsss, Dungeon #70 (Sep/Oct 1998), and Deep Trouble in Telthin, Dungeon #72 (Jan/Feb 1999).

D&D 3rd edition[edit | edit source]

The water weird, along with the fire, air, and earth weirds (a group known as elemental weirds, appeared in Monster Manual II (3e) (2002), p.90-93.

Water weirds appeared in DD1 Barrow of the Forgotten King (2007).

D&D 4th edition[edit | edit source]

Water weirds never appeared in D&D 4th edition.

During the 4th edition era, two adventure modules for the AD&D were printed in the digital Dungeon Magazine which included water weirds: The Last Slave Lord, Dungeon #215 (Jun 2013), and Lowdown in Highport, Dungeon #221 (Dec 2013). However, the 4th edition conversion guidelines replace the creatures with a water elemental and water mephit, respectively.

A brief mention to the creature is made in the editorial to Dragon #370 (Dec 2008), in reference to a D&D adventure of an earlier edition.

D&D 5th edition[edit | edit source]

The water weird returns in the Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.299. It is mentioned in the Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014) as a native to the plane of water, and a creature found in the Underdark and urban environments.

They appear in the adventure modules Princes of the Apocalypse (2015), Out of the Abyss (2015), Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (2018), Acquisitions Incorporated (5e) (2019), and Tales From The Yawning Portal{{UnknownBook}}'s conversion of The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.

It is briefly mentioned in Volo's Guide to Monsters (2016) as a possible ally of a storm giant.

Creative origins[edit | edit source]

According to the preface to the Monster Manual (1e) (1977), the water weird was created by Ernie Gygax, son of D&D creator Gary Gygax.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Monster Manual (1e) (1977), p.100.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Monster Manual (5e) (2014), p.299.
  3. T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985), p.119.
  4. Manual of the Planes (1e) (1987), p.48.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.224.
  6. Players Handbook (1e) (1978), p.44.
  7. FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards (1988), p.42-43.
  8. Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.147.
  9. Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.147,179,190.
  10. FR2 Moonshae (1e) (1987), p.11,16.
  11. I13 Adventure Pack I (1987), p.39.
  12. GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders (1986), p.97-98.
  13. B7 Rahasia (B7) (1984), p.28.
  14. DL8 Dragons of War (1985), p.22.
  15. Manual of the Planes (1e) (1987), p.49.
  16. Fiend Folio (1e) (1981), p.33.
  17. Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1986).
  18. C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (1980), p.10.
  19. T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil (1985), p.105.
  20. H4 The Throne of Bloodstone (1988), p.27.
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