Wyverns of Midgard

Wyverns of Midgard

war wyvern

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The wyvern is a common but misunderstood dragon of Midgard. This bird-like dragon has near-bestial intelligence, a poisonous stinger, and no breath weapon—a distant cousin of true dragons at best. Wyverns are seldom intelligent enough to appreciate their heritage, nor can they communicate their thoughts to those around them.

The origin of the wyvern has long been a source of debate in the scholarly community. Some claim that it is a type of proto-dragon or forerunner of modern dragons. Others think they’re more closely related to birds or dinosaurs than true dragons.

Whatever the case, wyverns first appeared in Midgard in the Dragoncoil Mountains shortly after the Vanir War. They spread across the known world within a few thousand years.

Now one of the most prolific species of dragonkind, most live within the borders of the Mharoti Empire, where many serve as mounts for dragonborn knights or guards for more powerful dragons. Despite their inability to speak, wyverns can follow commands in Common or Draconic and are fiercely loyal to those who show respect and feed them live prey.

Wyverns fear and admire true dragons (such as blue or gold dragons) and never willingly attack a true dragon unless compelled to do so. In return, most true dragons view wyverns as a typical human might view a monkey: a creature vaguely resembling them in form but not an equal in importance, power, or intelligence.

Wyverns can live up to 200 years. Unlike true dragons, they do not grow more powerful with age. They are generally solitary creatures but congregate in large flocks every two to three years to mate, producing two to five large brown eggs with azure markings that they place in great mounds atop hills, cliffs, and similar hard-to-reach locations. A trained wyvern costs upwards of 1,200 gp on the open market, while a wyvern egg typically sells for 500 gp.

Several war wyverns (see Creature Codex) have appeared in the ranks of the Mharoti army. These wyverns are bred for combat and have been altered by draconic or elemental magic to gain a poisonous breath weapon. War wyverns can reproduce with common wyverns, resulting in either a common wyvern or another war wyvern (equal chances for either result). A trained war wyvern costs 2,500 gp.

Wyvern Subspecies

Aside from the common wyvern and war wyvern, several other subspecies exist in Midgard’s wilds.

Banded Wyvern. This large subspecies can be found in the Tunturi Range in northern Midgard. They are best known for their banded brown and white scales, which help them blend in with the taiga, and for the forked crests atop their heads. Banded wyverns are more powerful than common wyverns and have the statistics of war wyverns, though their AC comes from natural scales rather than armor, and they do not possess the war wyvern’s venomous spittle.

Emerald Wyvern. Native to the jungles of southern Midgard, the emerald wyvern is known for its sleek body and gleaming green scales. Emerald wyverns are insectivores and prefer giant insects and spiders over humanoid or mammalian prey. They have resistance to poison damage and are immune to the poisoned condition because of their diet but are otherwise identical to common wyverns.

Sand Wyvern. A subspecies known for their gray-yellow coloration, blunt heads, and large spade-like wings, sand wyverns lurk in the desert regions of Midgard, burying themselves beneath the sands during the day to keep cool and hunting at dusk and dawn. Their modified wings reduce their flying speed to 60 feet but grant them a burrowing speed of 30 feet in loose sand and soil.

Whispering Wyvern. This evil subspecies of wyvern is thought to be corrupted by void or shadow magic. Found mainly in Ghostlight Forest and the Pytonne Mountains, the whispering wyvern is infamous for its dry, whispery shriek and dull, bluish-black scales. In addition to poison damage, the toxin of a whispering wyvern causes the victim to fall into a death-like trance (treat as being incapacitated) for 1 hour. An affected creature can end the effect with a successful DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns.

Wyvern Riding

Owning a wyvern mount symbolizes great prestige for a dragonborn in the Mharoti Empire. Most wyvern riders of the Mharoti Empire are officers in the army, important officials, or dragonborn heavy cavalry (see Creature Codex).

Jambuka and kobolds are never allowed to ride wyverns, though this does not stop wyverns from being tamed and used as mounts by human or elfmarked heroes that prefer them over griffons or hippogriffs.

Some dragonborn share a deeper bond with their wyvern mount than others, seeing in the wyvern a kinship that goes beyond words. These dragonborn can select the following feat when bonded to a wyvern (of any type).

Wyvern Rider

Prerequisite: Dragonborn only.

You develop a deep bond with your wyvern mount, allowing you to work together as a fighting unit. Bonding with a wyvern requires spending at least 1 hour daily in its company for 1 week.

While riding your wyvern mount:

  • you and the wyvern gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws.
  • your wyvern benefits from the Flyby creature trait. This does not prevent opportunity attacks made against you.
  • you have advantage on attack rolls against enemies without a fly speed.

Wyvern Equipment

The Mharoti Empire has developed specialized equipment for use by wyverns and their riders.

Wyvern Tail Blade. This large blade attaches to a wyvern’s tail, allowing it to make slashing attacks by whipping its tail. This blade prevents the wyvern from using its tail to make regular stinger attacks. Still, wyvern knights often prefer this when fighting against creatures immune to poison, such as elementals or undead. A wyvern tail blade deals 2d10 slashing damage.

A wyvern tail blade costs 75 gp.

Wyvern Wing Guards. These thick leather sheets are strapped to a wyvern’s wings by a complex series of ropes. The guards slow the wyvern’s fly speed to 60 feet, but grant it a +1 bonus to AC and help prevent the wings from being damaged by bolts or arrows (if a bolt or arrow would pierce right the wyvern’s wing, the guards prevent this from happening).

A pair of wyvern wing guards costs 60 gp.

Get into Midgard with the Midgard Worldbook! This acclaimed campaign setting is rich and deep, with a decade of support from Kobold Press. Find out about the Mharoti Empire or any other part of the wide world of Midgard!

about Phillip Larwood

Phillip has been writing for Kobold Press and other companies for many years. From multiple articles in the early days of Kobold Quarterly magazine to recent books like Tome of Beasts 2 and Vault of Magic, Phillip is never more satisfied than when he sees his name in print. Something that he points out to his family and friends over and over and over again.

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