Cobrais has two seperate forms, one the creation of a potent spell, the other his true form. In his true form he is a cobra of immense size, nearly thrity feet long, with the first six feet lifting off of the ground. He can pull himself higher, but doing so requires signifigant exertion. He has a thin pair of arms, and a magnificent hood. His eyes are beguiling and those who make the mistake of locking eyes with him are visited with the subtle horror of the reptilian race, hunter and devourer of mammalians.
In his human guise, Cobrais is a very thin man with blonde hair and a piercing gaze that most find unsettling. His mannerisms remain reptilian, despite his appearance. The most astute observer will notice that his moves very little, never twitches or fidgets. He blinks rarely, so much that trying to stare him down is nearly impossible. He lacks his hypnotic powers in the human form, but he is still unsettling. Otherwise, he is nodescript. Average height, and easy to foeget as long as eye contact isnt made. He doesnt talk with a lisp in either form, as it is considered gauche to do so. He favors gold jewelry, and yellow, or gold colored clothing.
Created long ago, the Golden Serpents are an ancient race, created from the hand of the serpent god of wisdom whose name humans are not worthy to utter. The god made the Golden Serpents wise, and immortal, but made them patient and cunning, and left their arms too weak to wield a sword, or cast a spear. They were left with their venom for self defence, but it was the will of the serpent god that his children be peaceful and not consumed with the hubris and rage of the younger races.
But there were things unexpected. The humans, the most arrogant and foolhardy of all races came upon the face of creation. They were a hungry and ill content. They always could look to the horizon and want more and never knew the concept of being filled. They learned voraciously, and they wrested sorcery from the elves, metal crafting from the dwarves, and the bloody arts of war from the orc and the troll. Then, it fell into their grubby hands knowledge of the Golden Serpents, living gesalts of the god of reptilian sorcery.
They came with spears and nets, traps and snares. Many died, impaled upon the poisoned fang, or repelled by the cunning spells. Rather than defend doggedly, the Golden Serpents withdrew from the world, seeking the hidden vales and closed warrens. Still the humans came, hungry for their blood, and golden scales. It wasnt until a human mage sought out the Golden ones, and skinned one, making a coat out of a soul thousands of years old.
Cobrais could stand no more of the running away and the hiding. Their numbers were few enough, and it was the will of the Serpent God that their seed be infertile so that the world would not be infested with a plague of Golden ones. Cobrais forsook the company of his brethern, and wrapped himself in a human shell crafted of sorcery and serpent guile.
The others advised him that hunting the humans was folly, and would lead to more death and suffering on their part. Cobrais chided them for being meek when they had so much knowledge. It was a sin to let their kind be skinned into clothing and cheap furniture. They held their tongues as he departed the hidden vale, casting a spell of forgetfulness upon himself so that he could not find his way back to it, or reveal its location should his plan fail.
Cobrais sought out a human city, thick with vermin and criminals with black eyes and bloody hearts. He insinuated himself there, first becoming a petty criminal, but gaining position within the theives guilds. With his ability to hide, and immortal life of wisdom, he made his guild the stronger, advising it, and rarely acting in its interests.
Once situated comfortably, he began sending out feelers, questions here, insinuations there. They obliquely referred back to the Golden Serpents. He hoarded the knowledge that found its way back to him, many of the informants were found later dead. He suffered none who knew even the name of the golden ones to live. At a great distance and removed from his own kin, he planned to be their protector.
Cobrais has a cunning plan. He will let the humans do the work for him. they will seek out the information, they will steal the books and the records of the lost cities and vales. It will be the humans who draw steel and poison one another. Only in the direst emergency will he actually move his own hand, and then it is swift and unseen, and always lethal.
Nothin Personal, just business - Cobrais is a powerful, but shady, even for a thieves guild, figure. A rival guild seeks him out, either to join them, or to be killed. The PCs could already be in his employ, or could be hired by the rival.
The Golden Egg - The PCs have a piece of information pertinent to the Golden Serpents, and they have come to the attention of Cobrais. He will try to purchase the information from them, completely. If it is a book he wants the entire book, and any copies. He should seem a little unreasonable about the matter. If they refuse, he will see that they are shadowed, harassed and made miserable until they surrender the item.
A WHAT! - Someone has seen a giant golden snake in the city, and the search is on with local officials making substancial reward offers. Cobrais is obviously hostile about the matter ansd he is secertly paying to have the snitch found and liquidated.
Antiquties My Boy - Cobrais, despite his shadow war, still retains the trappings of a scholar and mystic. He is often sought out by those seeking sages and knowledgable people, this could easily be the PCs.