Salamanders: Serpents of the Fire Plane

Lore: Slaves and Smiths

Within the Elemental Plane of Fire, slithering across the Sea of Ash, the salamanders enjoy two things above all else: power and flames. On the Material Plane, they can most often by found reveling within forest fires or among the blazing skeletons of their victims. Born from eggs of obsidian, they are initially small snakes of fire, but grow to adulthood within a year.

In times long past, the efreet tried to enslave the azers in order to build the City of Brass. When that effort failed, the efreet instead turned to the salamanders, enslaving them and using them as weapons of war to lay waste to the Planes. The salamanders blame the azers for their enslavement, which the efreet use to manipulate them. Should someone other than the efreet use a salamander as a slave, the efreet destroy them rather than enslave them.

Their slavery has impacted the culture of the salamanders. Their societies are built after the efreet fashion, with the strongest and largest taking control. As they age, they only grow larger and more powerful, becoming cruel nobles of their kind that wander across the Elemental Plane of Fire like nomads.

Salamanders generate intense heat within their bodies, making them dangerous to even touch. They themselves use this heat to smith iron and steel with their bare hands. Though not the best, salamanders are regarded as some of the best metalsmiths in all the planes. Some use them as warriors, but others enlist their aid for their crafting skills.

This lore is rife with storytelling potential. It could be a simple encounter; the players come across a forest fire and need to defeat a salamander within. Or maybe it could be something on a larger scale; maybe the players need to enlist a salamander smith to forge an item for a quest, or even lead an uprising against the efreet. The sky is the limit!

Design: Dave and Cooler Dave

So we’ve got a fire snake and a fire snake man. Well, at least we have variety.

Of the two designs, the salamander is much more interesting. The fire snake is just that. It works, but it’s kind of dull.

The salamander’s look is much more interesting. The flame-like ridges along its body, the roaring fire-like hair (or… whatever that is), it’s cool! They could have stopped at making it orange and red to communicate it’s fiery nature, but they went above and beyond!

Is it wholly unique? Not really. You’ll see monsters like this abound in fantasy. Still, it is definitely one of the cooler monsters.

Stats: Feel the Heat

Oh, joy. Two monsters at once. Again. Love it when it does that.

The Fire Snake is the weaker and more boring of the two. This one is really simple; all it can really do is hit you with basic melee attacks augmented by fire. That, and it’s Heated Body ability deals damage so long as you stand near it. And as you might expect, it’s immune to fire damage and resistant to nonmagical melee. Even with that, it’s still not a complex or interesting fight. Though it’s vulnerability to cold damage ought to make a wizard’s day.

The Salamander itself is a bit more interesting. It has the same resistances, immunities, and weakness to cold that the fire snake had. It also has the Heated Body ability, as well as the Heated Weapons ability, which adds extra melee damage. Finally, it has a Tail attack, which has a chance to grapple its victim, a dangerous combination with its fiery abilities. Beyond that, however, it’s just as simple and boring as the fire snake.

And… yeah, that’s about it. If you’re looking for something simple but challenging, these monsters are an excellent pick. However, if you’re looking for something that will really push your players to their creative limits, you might want to look elsewhere.


This monster is a mixed bag. It’s lore is fantastic! Then its design is okay. And we wrap up on a disappointing stats section. I’m honestly not sure where I’m going to place it.

But I guess we’re about to find out. So the Salamander is going to… let’s say… #72 on the Best of the Bestiary.

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Mind Flayer
  4. Dragon Turtle
  5. Mummy/Mummy Lord
  6. Nagas (all three of ’em)
  7. Green Dragons
  8. Red Dragons
  9. Blue Dragons
  10. Black Dragons
  11. White Dragons
  12. Silver Dragons
  13. Couatl
  14. Behir
  15. Aboleth
  16. Sea Hag
  17. Lamia
  18. Bronze Dragons
  19. Brass Dragons
  20. Copper Dragons
  21. Gold Dragons
  22. Chuul
  23. Kuo-Toa
  24. Gibbering Mouther
  25. Kraken
  26. Intellect Devourer
  27. Chimera
  28. Death Knight
  29. Fomorian
  30. Bone Devil
  31. Dracolich
  32. Faerie Dragon
  33. Gelatinous Cube
  34. Lich
  35. Peryton
  36. Remorhaz
  37. Orcs (all four of ’em)
  38. Magmin
  39. Kobold
  40. Kenku
  41. Hobgoblins
  42. Night Hag
  43. Green Hag
  44. Black Pudding
  45. Ankheg
  46. Hook Horror
  47. Oni
  48. Purple Worm
  49. Storm Giant
  50. Hill Giant
  51. Empyrean
  52. Efreeti
  53. Grimlock
  54. Minotaur
  55. Dao
  56. Cloud Giant
  57. Manticore
  58. Drow (all four of ’em)
  59. Shadow Demon
  60. Modrons (all five of ’em)
  61. Marilith
  62. Drider
  63. Aarackockra
  64. Azer
  65. Demilich
  66. Spectator
  67. Gray Ooze
  68. Ochre Jelly
  69. Hydra
  70. Rakshasa
  71. Marid
  72. Salamander <—————–
  73. Harpy
  74. Werejackal
  75. Otyugh
  76. Half-Dragon
  77. Cambion
  78. Fire Giant
  79. Nothic
  80. Pixie
  81. Animated Armor
  82. Roper
  83. Banshee
  84. Basilisk
  85. Yochlol
  86. Bulette
  87. Cloaker
  88. Darkmantle
  89. Doppelganger
  90. Revenant
  91. Ghoul and Ghast
  92. Sahuagin (all three)
  93. Ettin
  94. Medusa
  95. Pit Fiend
  96. Erinyes
  97. Chain Devil
  98. Bearded Devil
  99. Barbed Devil
  100. Spined Devil
  101. Ice Devil
  102. Mimic
  103. Djinni
  104. Merrow
  105. Nalfeshnee
  106. Glabrezu
  107. Chasme
  108. Grell
  109. Barlgura
  110. Horned Devil
  111. Balor
  112. Shadow Dragon
  113. Myconids (all four of ’em)
  114. Piercer
  115. Werebear
  116. Lizardfolk
  117. Vrock
  118. Dretch
  119. Pseudodragon
  120. Gnolls (all three)
  121. Goristro
  122. Hezrou
  123. Manes
  124. Quaggoth
  125. Frost Giant
  126. Weretiger
  127. Werewolf
  128. Duergar
  129. Quasit
  130. Dryad
  131. Flumph
  132. Goblin
  133. Nightmare
  134. Rust Monster
  135. Wereboar
  136. Wererat
  137. Githyanki
  138. Owlbear
  139. Planetar
  140. Imp
  141. Ogres/Half-ogres
  142. Roc
  143. Clay Golem
  144. Flameskull
  145. Displacer Beast
  146. Carrion Crawler
  147. Githzerai
  148. Grick
  149. Invisible Stalker
  150. Rug of Smothering
  151. Bugbear Chief
  152. Bugbear
  153. Flesh Golem
  154. Vine Blight
  155. Twig Blight
  156. Needle Blight
  157. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  158. Bullywug
  159. Hellhound
  160. Ettercap
  161. Gas Spore
  162. Cockatrice
  163. Lemure
  164. Homonculus
  165. Merfolk
  166. Solar
  167. Deva
  168. Gorgon
  169. Hippogriff
  170. Griffon
  171. Cyclops
  172. Centaur
  173. Ghost
  174. Pegasus
  175. Fire Elemental
  176. Water Elemental
  177. Air Elemental
  178. Stone Giant
  179. Deep Gnome
  180. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  181. Iron Golem
  182. Stone Golem
  183. Earth Elemental
  184. Galeb Duhr
  185. Helmed Horror
  186. Flying Sword
  187. Crawling Claw
  188. Violet Fungus
  189. Shrieker
  190. Gargoyle

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