first trailer for jab Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Dropped at the end of last July, a friend of mine almost immediately DMed me asking, “Is there any lore about the fat dragon?” dragons whose body types differ from those of the slim, agile models D&D Monster Manual are quite rare, which has made this chunky boy stand out.
I had a theory, but it wasn’t confirmed until the toys were requisitioned for the movie – Red Dragon Inn honor among thieves There’s Themberchaud, who has a pretty significant history in the Dungeons & Dragons game. That made me feel pretty good about the possibility that the movie was actually going to dig into D&D lore. If writer-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were willing to go full throttle on a deep-cut character like Themberchaud, what else can I expect from them?
The film doesn’t delve into the backstory of the dragon itself, but here’s what we know about the Underdark’s weighty threat.
Who is the fat dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons movie?
Themberchaud is a red dragon who lives in Graklstug, a city of Duergar in the Underdark of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. If there are too many fantasy nouns in one sentence for you, we can break it down. The Forgotten Realms is the most popular campaign world for Dungeons & Dragons RPGs, and the Underdark is a vast underground cave system beneath the surface that is home to all kinds of monsters and subterranean species, including the ever-popular drow, or dark elves. Are included. Duergar, also known as gray dwarves, are like dwarven dwarves: cold, serious, and work-obsessed, they have the crafting skills of the more familiar fantasy dwarven archetype, with none of the boisterous fun.
thumberchaud dragon first appeared in Drizzt Dooorden’s Guide to the Underdark, a supplement to the second edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons published in 1999 by TSR. In this early source, the dragon is given an imposing role in the city of Graalstug. As a young dragon less than 100 years old, he is described as the Wyrmsmith of Graklstug and a descendant of previous dragons in the same role. His fiery breath lights the forges and tempers the steel produced by the city, and his every whim is attended by the monastic keepers of the flame.
The next mention of the dragon was in a pair of accessories for the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons from Wizards of the Coast: underdark in 2003, and dragons of ferun in 2006. These sources largely repeat information from the second edition, updating Themberchaud’s age to over 100 and explaining that he is not only happy with the couple’s hoarding of his treasure, but also a steady diet of unruly slaves. being fed.
A monster backstory going back decades
Themberchaud’s story was greatly expanded upon for the Rage of Demons storyline from Wizards of the Coast in 5th edition D&D. He appeared in Tabletop Adventure out of the abyss and computer rpg sword coast legends in 2015, and the Endless Quest Gamebook escape the underdark In 2018. In this storyline, the dragon’s appearance, personality, and backstory all received more attention.
Concept artist Richard Whitters designed Themberchaud’s new appearance, giving him the unique characteristic of being overweight. The extended backstory for Themberchaud in Wrath of the Demons is based on an online lore article from previous editions as well as an online lore article from 3rd edition about the inclusion of psionics in the Forgotten Realms posted by Wizards in 2007.
Each wyrmsmith of Graalstugh is hatched from an egg by the keepers of the flame and raised to fulfill the role of keeping the town’s forge running. These dragons are highly pampered, to the point where Themberchauds often have no need to leave their chambers, which contributes to their enormous size. Born and raised entirely underground in the city, Themberchaud has never been outside. He barely flies, and has known no other existence than to serve the Dugar. escape the underdark It even makes it clear that he’s grown up enough to never leave Gracklestugh:
“And now I’m too big to ever go. Even if I tear apart the entire space around me, I can’t make my way out of here to the surface. Instead, I bury myself in the prison my parents built, under a sky I’ve never seen.”
What the dragon doesn’t know is that eventually, the Keepers of the Flame plan to kill him before he becomes too powerful to control and tries to dominate the city, as red dragons naturally gravitate towards tyranny. are because they age. The Keepers always follow that pattern, killing a Wyrmsmith once it reaches a certain age, then replacing it with a newly hatched Wyrmling. But the Red Dragon Egg meant to be Themberchaud’s heir was stolen by the thieves’ guild of the Gray Ghosts, Graalstug. This started a war between the psychics and the thieves, and left Themberchaud paranoid and distrustful of his lifelong caretaker.
out of the abyss Players can travel to Grakalstug to explore the Underdark, where they can be persuaded to become agents of the Keepers of the Flame, the Gray Ghosts, or Themberchaud himself, as three power factions vie for control of the Wyrmsmith’s fortune. Are. Meanwhile, the king of Graalstug has lost his mind, a story that connects to Sword Coast Legends.
In this poorly regarded CRPG, which now stands as a notable piece of relic in the 5th edition D&D catalog, players travel to Graalstugh, the source of Montier, the magical MacGuffin of the game’s single-player campaign. They find that the city has been taken over by a minder, who has taken advantage of the king’s mental illness. The same brain layer has invaded Themberchaud’s brain as well. Players must defeat the Mind Flayer in order to save the king and dragon, who reward them by refraining from eating the heroes.
Themberchaud of The Rage of the Demons storyline is vain and proud, like most red dragons. He is described as pampered and restless. In sword coast legends, He has that deep and loud voice that you would expect from such a big monster. Like all dragons in D&D, he can speak, and is a character that can be interacted with, not just a monster to fight and kill.
Where Dragon’s bulk makes him memorable, it also makes him tragic. He is a victim of manipulation and abuse from his evil gray dwarf guardians. Unfortunately, he is evil himself, and freeing Themberchaud from the Guardians of the Flame, or saving him from being replaced by a new Wiresmith, will likely result in the subjugation of the entire city under the dragon’s rule. But such are the dilemmas of choice facing TTRPG players.
Why is the Underdark deserted?
Once it was confirmed that Themberchaud would be featured in honor among thieves, a lot of elements from the trailers started to line up. Bald-headed statues, caves, the underdark, runes-covered ruins – the movie will be going to Gracklestugh! So it came as a great surprise to learn that the film removes Dragon from his longtime home, which has always defined him and his story.
Instead, the film’s heroes find Themberchaud in Dollblunde, another Underdark settlement. It was once home to the Dwarves, who abandoned it centuries ago. In the lore of previous editions of D&D, Dolblunde was the home of Daurgoth, a dark giantess of immense power, Dracolic. But “Creeping Doom” has not been mentioned in the official product since the 4th edition supplement. Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons, Perhaps the filmmakers felt that Dracolic’s challenge rating was too high for the film’s heroes?
But while I’d love to see Themberchaud come to life, his presence raises questions. How does he finally free himself from Gracklestugh, and why – unrelated to any lore present in the film – is he hung up in the lair of another, more powerful dragon? Unfortunately, the dragon himself doesn’t reveal any clues – like many Hollywood dragons, Themberchaud only roars and makes other animalistic noises throughout the film, depriving the audience of his unique character and personality.
During the course of the film, the protagonists remark that Themberchaud has found a new lair, suggesting that his arrival in Dolblunde is recent. And it appears that the film takes place several years after the story of Secrets of Demons. So perhaps Wizards of the Coast – which is performing with new rules and adding elements to the canon of the games based on the film – will finally tell the story of how the Wyrmsmith of Gracklestug finally escaped his prison. It certainly sounds like a great idea for an epic campaign.