More than a powerful form of undead, a dracolich was a dragon who had voluntarily tied its soul to a phylactery, freeing itself from death. A type of lich, the creature's spirit could possess any dead reptilian body, usually their original form, and retained all the powers and abilities of the former body. That meant a dracolich had the supernatural fear aura, spells, and breath weapon it had in life, plus the terrible might of the undead.
The process of becoming a dracolich was discovered by Sammaster the Mad, a fallen Chosen of Mystra, who was inspired after re-translating The Chronicle of Things to Come by the prophet Maglas. He was convinced that Toril would suffer a great apocalypse and "naught will be left save shattered thrones with no rulers. But the dead dragons shall rule the world entire..." Sammaster's first success was with the great red wyrm Shargrailar the Dark in the Year of Queen's Tears, 902 DR. Since then, Sammaster and his followers, the Cult of the Dragon, created many more, preparing for the apocalypse they "know" will come."
A dracolich had the strange ability to inhabit the body of any reptilian corpse upon death, though they were at their most powerful when inhabiting the corpse of a dragon. When killed in its corporeal body, the dracolich didn't "die". Instead, its spirit fled and hid in the phylactery, awaiting another suitable body to animate and inhabit. Like other types of lich, a dracolich was only truly annihilated when its phylactery was destroyed.
- Sapphiraktar the Blue
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- Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 310–312. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- Richard Pett and Greg A. Vaughan (June 2006). “The Ecology of the Dracolich”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #344 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 84–90.
- ↑ Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-0786965614.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 310–312. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Andy Collins, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams (November 2003). Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-7869-2884-0.
- ↑ Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 1. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- ↑ Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- ↑ Warning: edition not specified for Promise of the Witch-King
Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple
Gem dragons: Amethyst • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal
Lung dragons: Chiang lung
Planar dragons: Astral • Faerie • Shadow
Miscellaneous dragons: Brainstealer • Prismatic • Radiant • Rattelyr • Song • Vishap