As a DM, I had ideas to incorporate the standard trope of a living island. I have found the Zaratan - which I love, but is ironically too small for my needs. At "only" 80 feet across, one can easily see from one edge to the other.

I am looking for something similar: A living, moving island, though I want it to be big enough to carry one or several villages. Does such a thing exist and/or are there official ways to make the Zaratan big enough for this purpose?


3 Answers 3


The Titanic template will only get the base creature up to Gargantuan, which is probably not large enough. (Monster Manual 2)

A Genius Loci might work, they can be as large as a moon or smallish demi-plane. (Epic Level Handbook)

Now that HeyICanChan mentioned it, a mobile stronghold made of Living Wood can be made as large as you want! (Or can afford...)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ …And here I'd thought you'd go with a mobile stronghold. I mean, just build villages on top of it, right? ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2019 at 19:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am fond of my mobile strongholds! I think the living part biased my thinking towards a creature, but now that you mention it, a Living Wood stronghold would fit the bill! \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Mar 20, 2019 at 17:04

Why not a colony of Zaratan that migrates across the ocean as a single mass?

As they travel, they change places, making the villages move around too. The residents are used to this, but visitors might be caught out by the shifting ground on moving day (about once a week or so).

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    \$\begingroup\$ While technicaly not answering the actual question, you DO provide help with the underlying issue- Which is why you get a +1 from me. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arthaban
    Mar 19, 2019 at 12:21

You simply need a bigger Zaratan. According to the Forgotten Realms wiki entry:

A zaratan's shell could easily measure hundreds of feet in diameter.

Source: Wolfgang Baur, Steve Kurtz (1992). Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-370-1.

So yes, bigger Zaratan is allowed by published material all right. It is a 2nd edition material, but it looks like 5e's Zaratan has a head at least 100 ft long. So they were big, are big, no indication that they were shrinked in the meantime.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why the downvote? Op asked for official way to make Zaratan big enough, and I provided official source of Zaratan big enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Mar 19, 2019 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited to account for my edition mistake. Forgot to include in edit summary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Mar 19, 2019 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that the "5e Zaratan" you link to is an unofficial third-party monster from Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 19, 2019 at 20:41

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