||12, Fl 18 (B)
|No. of Attacks:
||Poison, spark shower
||Immune to electricity
||L (8-10' long)
Winged serpents, sometimes called spark snakes, are colorful reptiles that
dwell in Zakhara's forests and jungles. Winged serpents come in many colors,
ranging from sky blue and emerald green to raspberry red. They are supported by
invisibly swift, gossamer wings, making them resemble reptilian hummingbirds. When
their delicate wings are folded back, winged serpents can spider climb
Winged serpents move with liquid grace and devastating speed. They always
receive a -3 bonus to initiative.
The bite of a winged serpent inflicts 1d4 points of damage and injects the
victim with a corrosive, acidic fluid. This poison has an onset time of 1 round
and inflicts an additional 2d8 points of damage for the following 2 rounds (half
damage if a save vs. poison is made).
By far the most dangerous attack of these reptiles is their sparking breath
weapon. Their wings beat so quickly that they build up a static charge from the
ambient air (especially in the humid forest). A winged serpent can discharge
this static electricity from its mouth in a spark shower, a cloud of dancing
sparks and electrical energy 10 feet in diameter. Those caught in the area of effect
take 2d8 (2-16) points of damage (half if a save vs. breath weapon is made).
The spark shower will also ignite any exposed flammable objects, like clothes,
hair, dry wood, or lamp oil. Once it has been discharged, it takes one turn for
a winged serpent to build its static charge back up. All winged serpents are
immune to electricity.
Winged serpents are vulnerable to fire-based attacks (especially their
delicate wings), against which they save at penalty of -2. If a winged serpent fails
its saving throw against a fire attack, assume that its wings are incinerated.
Although this won't affect its ability to bite a victim, the serpent cannot use
its breath weapon until the wings grow back.
Winged serpents must eat constantly in order to survive. They flit about the
jungle in small flocks, searching for tropical fruits, from which they draw
their nourishment. A winged serpent will fly up to one and inject it with corrosive
venom. The venom breaks down the fruit into a soft, juicy mixture, partially
digesting the fruit while it still remains in its skin. The serpent will then
suck out the fruity pulp through the incisions made by its fangs. A typical
winged serpent will eat roughly 10 times its weight in fruit each day, just to stay
Winged serpents mate as often as they eat (i.e., incessantly), although they
do not care for their young, which are born live and wingless. They are born
with their spider climbing ability, which helps them climb fruit trees and search
for food. The young are dark green in color to help them blend in better with
the foliage, gaining their chromatic hues only after their wings mature. During
the first few months of life, winged serpents are extremely vulnerable to an
entire host of predators that roam the jungle heights (including mundane snakes,
monkeys, and giant insects). Vestigial wings appear after a month of life, and
become fully functional after three months.
Winged serpents have no permanent lair and hoard no treasure.
Winged serpents play an important role in the jungle ecology. Like giant bees,
they transport pollen from fruit tree to fruit tree and help with the
distribution of seeds throughout the jungle. As adults, they have no natural enemies.
If captured during their first month of life before their wings have matured,
they make excellent (if expensive) pets. They must consume a great quantity of
fruit to survive, eating on average 100 gp worth of fruit each month (this cost
might be reduced if a large orchard is available). A skilled animal trainer
can teach a winged serpent up to three tasks or tricks per point of intelligence,
which the creature will gladly perform (provided a supply of fresh fruit is
constantly at hand). They can even be trained as guardians, although rogues have
quickly discovered that unless they are extremely well-trained, they can be
easily distracted by a decoy of aromatic, fresh fruit.
Few useful by-products can be obtained from a winged serpent. Their poison
decomposes almost immediately after exposure to air, and their hide is too thin
and fragile to serve as good leather. Their wings, however, if powdered and mixed
with ink, can be used to inscribe a protection from lightning
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