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Basic Information

The Karkadann is the Persian mythology equivalent of the unicorn. It has black scaly skin and an upper lip that's flexible like a finger.

Like a unicorn, the Karkadann is fascinated by virgins and calmed by their presence, but is generally hostile to other animals. It's said the karkadann kills elephants by stabbing them to death and gutting them with its horn.

Also like the unicorn, Karkadann horn was said to be a universal antidote for poison. It's unknown if it's made of ivory, bone or keratin.


1. A karkadann appears in the second voyage of Sinbad the Sailor in 1,001 Arabian Nights.

Game and Story Use

  • It's clearly a rhinoceros, so you could lean into that. Construct your scenario around the notion of the unicorn that's in the woods, but then when the PCs get to see it, surprise, it's a rhino! I bet a lot of fun could be had applying unicorn or horse tropes to a much larger, armored beast.
  • Or you could lean hard in the other direction. Interpret the description more liberally. Perhaps it sheds its skin like a snake. Maybe the prehensile upper lip is longer and more like an elephant trunk or a tentacle. Perhaps the horn is especially long, or serrated, or otherwise noteworthy to further distinguish it from the unicorn.
  • A unicorn-variant with a scaly lizard hide might make it the preferred mount of reptilian humanoids.
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