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Hero mastering a lion. From the palace of Sargon II at Dur Sharrukin (now Khorsabad, near Mossul), 713-706 BC., Enkidu
Hero mastering a lion. From the palace of Sargon II at Dur Sharrukin (now Khorsabad, near Mossul), 713-706 BC.
  • Gender – Male
  • Race – Human
  • Occupation –
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Enkidu is a  wild-man raised by animals. His beast-like ways are finally tamed by a courtesan named Shamhat. Later he adventures with Gilgamesh until his death in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Older sources sometimes transliterate his name as Enkimdu, Eabani, or Enkita.

First Tablet

Enkidu is the quintessential savage person in the beginning of the epic:

“The whole of his body was hairy and his (uncut) locks were like a woman’s or the hair of the goddess of grain. Moreover, he knew nothing of settled fields or human beings and was clothed (in skins) like a deity of flocks.”

Enkidu roamed with the beasts of the wilderness. He protected the animals, destroying the hunters’ traps, and lurked around the watering holes to protect the game. These actions were much to the chagrin of a local trapper. The trapper went to King Gilgamesh to ask for help. Gilgamesh offered the advice “Trapper, go back, take with you a harlot, a child of pleasure … he will embrace her and the game of the wilderness will surely reject him.” The trapper did what he was told, and hired the harlot Shamhat to corrupt the wild man. Enkidu was immediately taken with the harlot and bedded her. Over six days of lust, Enkidu is tainted by the harlot. The animals begin to avoid him, the bond he once shared with them having been broken. Now “he scattered the wolves, he chased away the lions” and the herders could lie down in peace, for Enkidu was now their watchperson.

After the abandonment of his animal brethren, Enkidu is introduced to a pastoralist way of life. He works for the trapper and shepherds, hunting and killing the animals he once served. Soon he grows restless, looking for a greater challenge.

Shamhat tells of a great king in the city Uruk (Gilgamesh) and says, too, that he would be a worthy challenge for Enkidu. Gilgamesh is surprised by Enkidu. The two wrestle fiercely for sometime, until suddenly Gilgamesh gains the upper hand and throws Enkidu to the ground. Knowing his defeat, Enkidu praises Gilgamesh and both swear an oath of friendship, and thereafter cohabit.

Enkidu later in the Epic of Gilgamesh

Enkidu assists Gilgamesh in his fight against Humbaba, the guardian monster of the Cedar Forest. Contrary to Enkidu’s conscience, he cooperates in killing the defeated Humbaba. Afterwards, he again assists his companion Gilgamesh in slaying the Bull of Heaven, which the gods have sent to kill Gilgamesh as a reprisal to spurning the goddess Ishtar’s affections. Upon its destruction, Ishtar demands that the pair should pay for its destruction. Shamash argues to the other gods to spare both of them, but could only save Gilgamesh. The gods pass judgment that Enkidu had no justification for fighting the Bull of Heaven and was interfering with the will of the gods. Enkidu then is overcome by a severe illness. Near death, he has visions of a gloomy afterlife, and curses the trapper and Shamhat for civilizing him. He retracts his curse on Shamhat, however, after Shamash scolds him, reminding him that it was Shamhat who taught him about civilization, and ultimately, brought him to Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh mourns over the body of Enkidu for several desperate days. In a vivid line repeated in the epic, Gilgamesh only allows his friend to be buried after a maggot falls out of the corpse’s nose. Gilgamesh’s close observation of rigor mortis and the slow decomposition of Enkidu’s body provides the hero with the impetus for his quest for eternal life, and his visit to Utnapishtim.

There is another non-canonical tablet in which Enkidu journeys into the underworld, but many scholars consider the tablet to be a sequel or add-on to the original epic.


The Epic of Gilgamesh, Foster, Benjamin R. trans. & edit. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. ISBN 0-393-97516-9

Roleplaying Notes

Used with permissiom from Farmboymdp
As seen in Farmboymdp thread at Wizards forum

Enkidu, the Wild Man
Male Strong 4/ Dedicated 5/ Wildlord 6/ Soldier 2; CR 17; Medium-size human; HD 4d8+8 plus 5d6+10 plus 6d8+12 plus 2d10+4; hp 103; Mas 14; Init +3; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 23, touch 23, flat footed 20 (+10 class, +3 Dexterity); BAB +12; Grap +20; Atk +15 melee (1d6+4 nonlethal, unarmed), or +15 melee (1d6+6, Khopesh), or +15 ranged; Full Atk +15/+10/+5 melee (1d6+4 nonlethal, unarmed), or +15/+10/+5 melee (1d6+6, Khopesh), or +15 ranged; FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL Gilgamesh; SV Fort +14, Ref +9, Will +14; AP 9; Rep +4; Strength 15, Dexterity 16, Constitution 14, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 16, Charisma 12.
Occupation: Primitive (Climb, Handle Animal, Survival).
Skills: Climb +8, Diplomacy +6, Handle Animal +12, Hide +11, Knowledge (earth and life sciences) +4, Listen +16, Move Silently +14, Ride (Dexterity)+10, Spot +18, Survival +21, Swim +5, Treat Injury +5.
Feats: Alertness, Archaic Weapons Proficiency, Brawl, Combat Reflexes, Combat Throw, Defensive Martial Arts, Dodge, Endurance, Improved Combat Throw, Improved Grapple, Iron Will, Mobility, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Stealthy, Track, Unbalance Opponent.
Strong – Melee smash, improved melee smash.
Dedicated – Empathy, improved aid another, intuition.
Wildlord – Animal empathy, animal companion (camel; see below), fast Climb, resist venom, call companion, skill mastery (Survival).
Soldier – Weapon Focus (Khopesh), Weapon Specialization (Khopesh).
Equipment: Khopesh, clothing.

And now, just because I can, his faithful companion:

Kaboobie, the Flying Camel
Male Camel; Large animal; CR 4; HD 9d8+18; hp 58; Mas 14; Init +3; Spd 50 ft., fly 50 ft.; Defense 20, touch 13, flat footed 16 (-1 size, +4 Dexterity, +7 natural); BAB +6; Grap +14; Atk +5 melee (1d4+3, bite); Full Atk +5 melee (1d4+3, bite); FS 10 ft. by 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; AL Enkidu; SQ Low-Light Vision, scent; SV Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +2; AP 0; Rep +0; Strength 21, Dexterity 19, Constitution 14, Intelligence 2, Wisdom 11, Charisma 4.
Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5.
Feats: Alertness, Endurance.
Advancement: None.

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