Afanc (pronounced: /ˈfæŋkAY-fænk[2] Loudspeaker listen), or gawwar samakat, were a dangerous breed of fish found in the oceans around Zakhara, the Land of Fate.[1]

These creatures were initially named because they were confused with a similar creature found in the distant Moonshae Isles. Within the Land of Fate, gawwar samakat was the proper name to use when discussing these fish.[1]

Some sailors returned with tales that the gawwar samakat would sometimes sing to lure ships to their doom, leading others to believe that these fish possessed more than “animal” intelligence.[1]


These large fish averaged a length of 50 ft. (15 m). Their bodies were usually gray or blue-gray in color, providing natural camouflage with the ocean water. When spotted from a distance they were often confused with whales.[1]


A gawwar samakat usually never needed to actively hunt. Instead it preferred to attack those who would hunt it, usually because they believed it to be a whale until it was too late.[1]

The favorite attack of these large fish was to create a massive whirlpool. They accomplished this by swimming quickly in concentric circles around a vessel. These circles became tighter as the gawwar samakat neared the vessel, increasing in intensity until they were capable of pulling a ship into the depths. These devastating whirlpools could be created within a matter of minutes. Ships caught within the whirlpool were spun rapidly, making any kind of missile attack on the gawwar samakat extremely difficult.[1]

Generally, ships over 60 ft. in length were too large to be effected by this whirlpool attack. For larger ships the gawwar samakat chose a more direct approaching, attempting to ram through the hull or capsize them.[1]


These fish lived within salt water, but laid their eggs in the brackish water where rivers entered the sea. Gawwar samakat eggs were a delicacy to humans and other creatures.[1]

It was possible to encounter packs of younger gawwar samakat in rivers.[1]


Given their size and fearsome reputation, the gawwar samakat did not have any natural predators. However, they were prized by Zakharans for their scales and bones for use as weapons or decorations.[1]



  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 1.12 David C. Sutherland III and Cynthia K. Felegy (1993). “City of Delights (Monstrous Compendium)”. In Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz eds. City of Delights (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
  2. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 25.