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The tarrasque is the most terrible creature known to inhabit the Prime Material Plane. A full fifty feet tall and seventy feet long[3] quadruped with a long tail, reflective carapace and two large horns on its head, the tarrasque was created by the primordials as a weapon of destruction during the Dawn War, with the purpose of undoing the stability instilled in the world by the gods so that the primordials could remake it. Fortunately, the primordials created only one tarrasque, which now slumbers within the world’s core.[4] No one can predict when it will next awake.[3]

The tarrasque is irreversibly tied to the Prime by its nature. As a result, the most one can hope to do is put the creature to sleep within the core, holding it off for a while longer. However, ancient texts seem to indicate that there might be a way to finally and ultimately deal with the creature, if one could somehow deceive it, luring it into another plane and sealing it there.[4]

Although the tarrasque is indisputably a force of pure destruction, it is not truly evil or even chaotic by nature, lacking the consciousness necessary for it to take a moral stance. As a result, it is merely neutral in alignment.[4]

Physical characteristicsEdit

The tarrasque is an enormous abomination, roughly the size of an ancient dragon, with two long horns extending from its forehead, a thick carapace, mighty tail, and a wide, toothy mouth. The tarrasque also has two small eyes, but it does not rely on these for its primary method of sensory perception, as if they are blinded or removed, it is effectively unhindered. The tarrasque is impossible to frighten or charm and has resistances to every kind of damage imaginable. It moves at a speed roughly half again that of a human, either while walking on the surface, climbing a height, or burrowing through the earth.[4]


The tarrasque is an eating machine while awake, capable of swallowing creatures of roughly giant size whole. When roused, it would, by its design, eat quite literally the entire world, including plants and animals.[4] Fortunately it has recently been only active for a week or two before it returns to its slumber to sleep for five to twenty months, although, once every decade or so, the tarrasque will stay active for several months, after which it will sleep four to sixteen years, unless disturbed[3]. Why it returns to slumber is unknown, though it seems inevitable that at some point it will try and fulfill its purpose to destroy the world entirely.

The tarrasque has many unusual abilities gifted to it by its creators. Among the most terrifying of these is its ability to ignore any natural resistances its victims have, cutting right through them with its deadly attacks. It also has the ability to dramatically hinder the ability of creatures within 200 feet of it to fly, reducing their speed substantially while also bringing them down to a maximum altitude of twenty feet, which puts them within the beast’s reach. Most dangerous of all, of course, is the tarrasque’s insatiable appetite.[4]

It is also rumored, though unproven, that the tarrasque has the ability to instill nearby creatures with terrible fear, rendering them incapable of action. It is also said that the tarrasque is wholly immune to the ill effects of fire, poison, or disease.[3] However, this latter ability seems to be a false interpretation, the tarrasque merely being immensely difficult to injure.[4]


Although the primordials created the tarrasque[4], not many know this. Most are wholly unaware of the tarrasque’s existence and those that do know of it are unsure about its origins, which they surmise to be anything from its actual creation to it being the weapon of an ancient and evil cabal of wizards. Most dismiss these theories, however, as unproven musings. More important is that the tarrasque rarely leaves evidence or witnesses, so dangerous is its nature.[3]

The tarrasque of Faerûn has not been seen since -339 DR when adventurers hired by the archwizard Karsus cut out its pituitary gland to be used as a spell component for the casting of Karsus's Avatar. Its lair was in what used to be southwest Anauroch. In the final years of the first Netheril empire, the creature's lair was under heavy guard by Angardt barbarians whose shaman's prophecies told of the beasts imminent awakening. A gold dragon named Dracolnobalen who protected the Angardt tribe provided adventurers working for Karsus with a liquid that she claimed would keep the tarrasque from waking again once applied to its body.[5] It seems to have worked, since no gigantic, hungry monsters have emerged from the "lair of the sleeping beast" since those adventurers ventured inside. Before the desert was restored to fertile land, the tarrasque's lair still existed and was known to those few who knew of its location as The Secret Place in the Sands.[citation needed]


Behind the scenesEdit

  • The first appearance of the Tarrasque occurred in the Forgotten Realms comic #8, summoned by a mage through a ritual that required the heads of 5 adult dragons to complete.
  • First appearance in AD&D: Monster Manual II pg 117 (1983).


  1. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 286–287. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 240. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 174. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  5. slade (1996). How the Mighty Are Fallen. (TSR, Inc), pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7869-0537-9.


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