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|Dungeons & Dragons creature|
|Source books||The Isle of Dread (1981), Creature Catalog (1986), Monster Manual II (2002)|
|First appearance||X-1: The Isle of Dread, by David Cook and Tom Moldvay, 1981|
The kopru first appeared in module X-1: The Isle of Dread, written by David Cook and Tom Moldvay (ISBN 978-0394514260, ISBN 0394514262) in 1981. The creature has since appeared in several other books. The most recent version of the kopru can be found in the Monster Manual II, published by Wizards of the Coast (ISBN 978-0786928736, ISBN 0786928735). The kopru is considered a "Product Identity" by Wizards of the Coast and as such is not released under its Open Gaming License.
Kopru have supernatural mental powers, which they use primarily to control and manipulate other creatures. In earlier versions this ability was described as a more powerful charm person effect, which had an indefinite duration. More recent versions of the kopru describe this mind-controlling ability as a psionic power.
Kopru typically dwell in extremely hot and watery environments, such as hot springs or hydrothermal vents.
Kopru are amphibious, reptilian creatures with smooth, hairless bodies. Their upper body is roughly humanoid, with a head and two arms, whilst their lower body is eel-like and with the tail breaking into three fluke-like segments, each tipped with a claw. Their hands are webbed, and also with sharp claws. Small spikes also protrude from their shoulders and elbows. They have bulging, fish-like eyes and a tentacled, sphincter-like mouth.
The expansion of kopru society is severely limited by their need for extremely hot, wet environments (such as volcanic hot springs). As a result, their civilization has been in a state of slow decline for many years.
In the original module, the alignment of the kopru is described as "Chaotic." Of their behavior and beliefs, it is said that "while they do not truly hate all men, they view most humans as nothing but brutes to be used, played with, and controlled." A more recent version listed in Monster Manual II states that the kopru's alignment is "always chaotic evil." Their society is described as being "matriarchal and savage."
The same source stated that the kopru once controlled a great empire on a remote volcanic island chain called the Thanegioth Archipelago. The kopru thrived in the hot geysers and mud springs that could be found there, and eventually enslaved the native human population with their mind-controlling powers. With the humans under their control, they built a large temple for themselves on the largest island, the Isle of Dread. There, the enthralled humans served and worshipped them as gods for many years.
Eventually, and for reasons not explained in the module, the humans revolted against the kopru and fled many miles across the island to a small peninsula. The kopru did not pursue them, presumably because they were unable to survive for any length of time outside of their boiling mud geysers. Thus their empire crumbled, and their great temple fell into ruin.
In the description of an online web enhancement for "Stormwrack", a 2006 hardcover rulebook in which they are prominently featured, author Darrin Drader writes:
A race of cruel undersea creatures called the kopru once conquered a vast expanse of territory and established a huge, underwater empire. Since the demise of their civilization thousands of years ago, their race has steadily declined, until it became a mere shadow of its former self. While most of the kopru have succumbed to their monstrous natures and degenerated into barbarism, a few kopru matrons remember the tales of their race's former glory and seek to restore the golden age of the kopru empire. Most avoid their ancestral ruins because of the powerful magical safeguards placed there by the conquering elves to bar access to those sites, but recent raids in the area of a ruined kopru city suggest that one matron may have found a way around them and begun rebuilding the once-great Kopru Empire.
- Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Cook, David, and Tom Moldvay. The Isle of Dread (TSR, 1981).
- Holian, Gary. "Exploring the Isle of Dread." Dungeon #114 (Paizo Publishing, 2004).
- Leati, Tito. "The Ecology of the Kopru." Dragon #354 (Paizo Publishing, 2007).
- Vaughan, Greg A. "Torrents of Dread." Dungeon #114 (Paizo Publishing, 2004).
- Drader, Darrin. Stormwrack, (Paizo Publishing, 2006).