Role Playing Games on
D&D Monster Origins

This is a collection of monster origins, as best I can determine them. My focus has been on quotations from original or early sources. Whenever possible, steps have been taken to make the texts more accessible to the reader: abbreviations have been marked in the text and links have been given where possible.

This is a work in progress. Many obvious things are still missing; please bear with me.

Any errors in the abbreviations or links are mine. Errors in the originals have not been corrected, though I may have inadvertantly introduced new errors.


Since the original file was becoming large, I've split the list up alphabetically. Each section has whatever quotations, pictures, and explanations I was able to find for the creature in question.

Monsters: A

Monsters: B

Monsters: C

Monsters: D

Monsters: E

Monsters: F

Monsters: G

Monsters: H

Monsters: J

Monsters: K

Monsters: L

Monsters: M

Monsters: N

Monsters: O

Monsters: P

Monsters: Q

Monsters: R

Monsters: S

Monsters: T

Monsters: U

Monsters: V

Monsters: W

Monsters: X



I would appreciate input from others on this project, especially in finding earlier sources than those given here. Please send mail to charles (at) this website,

I'm especially looking for the following.


These sources are worth consulting if you would like to learn more about this subject.

Major Sources

These are sources that I've used several times. Listing them here together gives me an opportunity to offer multiple versions or commentaries.

Natural History of Pliny the Elder

EN World Q&A

This remarkable session has provided so many quotes that it deserved its own section. This is an online conversation recorded between Gary Gygax and the members of the EN World message board.


Further Reading


This work draws from many sources, some of which are still copyrighted. This is done as Fair Use acording to title 17, chapter 1, §107 of the US Code. The purpose of this collection is for comment, scholarship, and research, the passages quoted are small in proportion to their lengths, and this work is not believed to harm the market value of any of the works quoted. Indeed, their inclusion may well increase their demand. Still, I respect the wishes of living authors regardless of the legality of doing otherwise. If you have any concerns about short passages from your works appearing here, please email me at charles (at) this website,

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