Peryton (Dungeons & Dragons)

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This article is about the Dungeons & Dragons creature. For other uses, see Peryton (disambiguation).
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Type Magical beast
Image image
Publication history
Source books Monsters of Faerûn, Forgotten Realms 2 (MC11), 1E Monster Manual 1, Monstrous Manual, Monster Vault 2: Threats to the Nentir Vale
Mythological origins Peryton

The peryton is a magical beast from the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.


The creature was based upon the peryton created and described by Jorge Luis Borges in his Book of Imaginary Beings.[citation needed]

Publication history[edit]

The peryton first appeared in first edition in the original Monster Manual (1977).[1] The creature was further developed in Dragon #82 (February 1984).[2]

The peryton appears in second edition for the Forgotten Realms setting in the Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix II (1991),[3] and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[4]

The peryton appears in third edition for the Forgotten Realms setting in Monsters of Faerûn (2001).[5]

The peryton appears in fourth edition in Monster Vault 2: Threats to the Nentir Vale (2011).[6]

Physical description[edit]

The peryton combines the body of a giant eagle (5 feet tall with a 25-foot wingspan) with the head of a powerful stag. Its skin is impervious to weapons that are not magically enchanted. Its body has dark green plumage and yellow talons. Its stag head is blue-black with pale orange eyes and glossy obsidian antlers. The peryton casts the shadow of a human rather than its own shadow most of the time, and smells like a human as well.


Perytons are evil creatures who roost atop high cliffs in dense forest. They create nests of 4 or so individuals which are completely independent of any other nests, and nests are never located closer together than few miles of one another except under special circumstances, such as a particularly prominent hunting ground. Perytons need to eat human or humanoid hearts to survive, and females need them to reproduce, and they hunt such beings accordingly[citation needed].


Perytons have little desire other than to hunt and obtain the human hearts they need to survive. Every day, they try to make at least one kill. They attack by finding a human, tricking them with their human shadow, and then flying up extremely high and diving back down at lightning speed. They grab the victim in their talons, carry them high up into the air again, and then rip out the heart from there. If they have eaten recently, they may carry the human back to the nest and keep it as a slave until its heart is needed. They will take any treasure the victim might have, and hoard it much the same way as dragons. Perytons can only be harmed by magical weapons.

Perytons communicate in a series of roars and cries. They cannot speak, but understand Common.

Perytons are usually chaotic evil in alignment.


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. ^ Findley, Nigel. "The Ecology of the Peryton" Dragon #82 (TSR, 1984)
  3. ^ Cook, David. Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix II (TSR, 1991)
  4. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  5. ^ Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  6. ^ Sterling Hershey, Brian R. James, Matt James, Steve Townshend. Monster Vault 2: Threats to the Nentir Vale (Wizards of the Coast, 2011)