Bearded serpents are a mildly poisonous snake found in the southeastern part of <placeholder>. The name derives from a series of narrow scales on their throats that puff into a beard of spines when they are hissing a warning. The species has been domesticated somewhat, though they must be raised in close association with their eventual owner to willingly allow themselves to be mounted. In nature, this is largely impossible, but within the Empire, magic is used to accelerate their rate of growth so that a century of growth can occur in a few short years. While they can handle winter weather, they are generally sluggish, many of their stats including speed and dexterity being halved at such times, they prefer the wetter and warmer lands. If they enter a period of extreme cold, they will seek out a burrow and enter a state of hibernation.
Keeping a bearded serpent requires a degree of skill with animals and a steady supply of meat. They are best suited to eating roughly a goat a week when fully grown. If heavily active for an extended period, this may increase to roughly a goat and a half a week. Feeding them more to that will lead to difficulty in movement and sluggishness, while feeding them less can lead to erratic behavior. A starving serpent will eat any living thing it can swallow, which includes most people and livestock. They generally will not eat their rider or trainers unless absolutely desperate for food, but their companions, local farm animals or random wildlife are all potential targets.
Due to their quiet natures and all-terrain abilities, they are often employed by the Ninja class as mounts.
Price: Full grown with proper training – 900gp
Young hatchling still needing training – 400gp
N Huge Animal
Init ; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 15 ( Dex, natural, –2 size)
hp 51 (6d8+24)
Fort , Ref , Will
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite (2d6+9 plus poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 17, Cha 2
Base Atk ; CMB ; CMD 23 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics , Climb , Perception , Stealth , Swim ; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +4 Perception, +4 Stealth
Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Con; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Imperial Humans can ‘milk’ a bearded serpent for a week and distill the poison into a much more effective weapon coating. This injection poison is similar to the bite of the serpent, but with a DC 18 to save and does 1D4 Con dammage. If the serpent uses it’s venom at any time during the milking period, the supply will not be sufficient for creating the concentrated poison. Difficulty for distilling is 17.
On a DC of 25, four of the above injection poisons can be rendered into a fine powder that is mixed with special oils. The save difficulty goes up to 20 and the poison becomes a contact poison instead.