Midnight Serpents

Midnight serpents…

As if ordinary snakes weren’t horrifying enough… there exist monstrous versions of these reptiles that are far more deadly and terrifying in every way.

I’ve already covered sea serpents, but I’m afraid midnight serpents are an entirely different kettle of fish. For starters, they aren’t even close to as large and generally only measure in at about twenty feet or so.

Midnight serpents, also called shadow serpents, get their name from the fact their scales aren’t just black but are rather utterly devoid of light. They look like living, moving shadows. Their scales are harder than steel, and much lighter making them prized for armor. But, such exotic armor remains very rare indeed.

For to kill a midnight serpent is no easy feat. They tend to be most active at night and given the darkness of their scales, they are damn near invisible after sunset. Even the most well-lit areas have dark corners and despite their size, midnight serpents are adept at compressing themselves into spaces you’d swear they couldn’t fit into.

If the idea of a twenty-foot long magical snake with scales too tough for normal blades to cut through leaping out at you in the middle of the night doesn’t have you checking under your bed tonight then perhaps this will.

Midnight serpents are most renowned for their venom. A venom so potent that it’s actually tough to get any clues as to exactly how deadly it is. Simply because if someone is bitten… they die before they can say when it was.

A few daring hunters that specialize in exotic creatures have said that its venom is so deadly that you’ll die if it bites your shadow. Now, normally I’d say that such things are a gross exaggeration, but as I’ve yet to find a single record of anyone surviving the venom I’m not entirely sure. Given the unique nature of its scales, it also leads me to believe that it possesses magical properties. So, perhaps a magical venom that truly can kill by biting someone’s shadow?

I’ve seen stranger things in my time, so I certainly can’t rule it out.

There is good news, however. Midnight serpents rarely attack humanoids unless provoked in some fashion and seem to prefer larger game.

But, they have been known to prey on towns and villages during food shortages, and there have been towns who have been entirely wiped out by these creatures.

They are most commonly found in and around the region of Druguar. They tend to nest in burrows within dense forests or jungles, and in caves within mountains. Like many of the creatures in this compendium, they are highly dangerous and best avoided.

On a side note, there was an emperor to the east who’d got it in his head to breed them and use them as trained beasts within his army.

He, his tamers, and a good deal of his court were eaten during a demonstration.

- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University

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