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Forest/ Jungle
6 Votes


Hits: 3321
Comments: 9
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.25
Condition: Normal
ID: 3745


March 16, 2007, 8:08 pm

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“Yarun slipped into the pit - his curses suddenly converted into screams of mortal agony.  Looking down into the pit, all we saw was a mass of writhing serpents and frothing blood….”

Full Description

The swarmsnake is a dangerous snake which forms large swarms, and instead of using venom or constricting it’s prey, uses a nasty, serrated bite to rip out chunks of flesh.

It appears as a large, thick and stubby snake.   It is to about 6’in length, but can grow 4” in diameter and weigh 30lbs.  It’s head is quite large and broad for a snake, providing suitable anchors for its powerful jaw muscles.  The mouth is equipped with a set of very sharp cutting teeth, similar, but smaller, to sharks teeth. 

The swarmsnake is darkly colored and generally matches the soil in the area.  It is able to adjust it’s color over a couple of generations to better blend into the surroundings.  It is found in temperate to tropical climates, mostly in heavily wooded regions.

Operating singly, the snakes will ambush larger prey who blunder onto them, remove a gobbet of flesh and then slither away quickly.  As a swarm, they will attack en masse and engage in a frenzy of biting.  When swarms are found, they generally will wait in natural pits, holes, or under vegetation. Swarms usually form near mating season, but can be found any time of the year.  The cooperative nature of their attack allows them to take large game.

As a further danger, the mouth of the swarmsnake is infested with dangerous bacteria (similar to a Komodo Dragon) and almost always causes dangerous infections.

Like most snakes, the swarmsnake has the ability to sense the heat of mammals from a fair distance. 

There are legends of giant varieties of these creatures 30’ in length which can easily devour a man.

Plot Ideas

A swarm of these critters has made it’s way into the poorer section of town and now are taking down the occasional homeless person.  The PC’s might be contacted for help by these people, as the town guard are not sympathetic.  Maybe if they moved to a richer portion of town…

Dirty Tricks

The local mob equivalent uses these creatures to teach object lessons.  A ‘subject’ is placed blindfolded in a room with one or more of these things.  Depending on the intended audience of the lesson, the subject may or may not be allowed to ‘learn’ from this lesson.  The snakes are also introduced into the homes of people who the mob wishes to ‘instruct’. The mobsters may even maintain a pit full of the critters to dispose of undesirables.

The PCs might be contacted by a surviving maimed victim seeking justice, or one of the PC’s themselves might find one of these in their room..

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

March 17, 2007, 14:21
Dirty Tricks is my favorite bit! It almost can be used to define the locale, a peculiar lifeform, incorporated into the culture of the land and time.

Fun place to visit, beware of snakes! Nice.

(out of votes for today)
Voted Cheka Man
March 17, 2007, 14:46
Only voted
Voted manfred
March 17, 2007, 15:19
You have pulled the piranhas out of the water, and left the scariness intact. Kudos for that.

A solid enviromental danger that adventurers will have to be careful about from now.
Voted Murometz
March 19, 2007, 21:23
Only voted
Voted Wulfhere
March 19, 2007, 22:05
A decent critter to round out a dangerous locale. I would expect that those harboring these things in an urban area would see the authorities land on them with both feet.
Voted Incarnadine
March 20, 2007, 22:29
While not particularily unique or innovative, decently solid.

Good source of Snakes on a Plain jokes though...
Voted Chaosmark
August 17, 2007, 10:29
Nicely done.
March 4, 2009, 17:08
Rawrg! Bumpage.
December 27, 2011, 11:52

Snakes on a Plain! Quick! Vote for your liiiiiiiiives!

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

It is known that a certain Earl Von Trumble keeps his vast castle moat stocked with Wet Faeries, the waters so clear that every bone of every one of his past enemies can be clearly seen on the bottom, twenty two feet below.

Encounter  ( Any ) | June 20, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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