“The serpent’s poison is life to the serpent; it is in relation to man that it means death.”Rumi
Also Known as: Stierfresser (Tol.), Paludis Draco (Oss.), Typhos (Sel.), Corsydd (Vic.), Vishnaga (Sub.), Canavilan (Neh.)
Habitat: Mire, Jungles
Hazard Level: High
Mire Serpents are enormous snakes found primarily in the Southern Mire of Victra. These enormous limbless reptiles are dangerous carnivores that have adopted a variety of ambush and hunting techniques in order to prey on the wide array of wildlife within the great swamp. From powerful muscles that allow them to strike, capture, and constrict, with incredible speed and razor sharp scales that allow them to lacerate and dismember victims, to potent aerosolized venom can stun and preserve prey in a half-dead state for later consumption, the Mire Serpent is a terrifying threat to all life in the Mire. Their natural colouration and texture is well adapted to their habitat, with camouflage so effective it is often difficult to distinguish specimens from flora despite their immense size. More than one adventurer has mistaken a Mire Serpent for a log to rest on and left only his friends to tell about it.
The monstrous mire serpent or Corsydd is an enormous and muscular snake species that dwarfs other members of its suborder and possesses a unique combination of attributes not found in any other Aeldan serpent, mixing attributes of constrictor and viper on one deadly package. Mire Serpents are reptiles of the Serpentis family and the dominant specimen of that group.
Mire Serpents can grow up to 12 meters in length and reach weights up to 1,200 kg. Mire Serpents are a significant threat to unwary travelers and even prepared crews can be decimated by an encounter with one. Despite their size, Mire serpents move in terrifying silence through the great southern swamp on their long limbless bodies, slithering from tree to water with soundless ease.
The scales of the species vary in colour from a mixture of dull and innocuous browns and greens, to iridescent greens and blues and midnight black. These scales often have chevron or striped markings in contrasting colours that help it blend into the mire and are hard and sharp at the edges, causing terrible wounds to any victim constricted by the species. Unlike most other specimens of its size the mire serpent has a diamond shaped head with a wide hood that flares out when attacking prey. Special glands in the hood of the serpent allow it to emit an aerosolized venom that stuns and disorients prey and its fangs are capable of delivering a more concentrated does that full immobilizes the target and places it in a state of slowed respiration and metabolism that allows them to survive many days or even weeks without food or water. While typically silent, injured mire serpents are also known to emit a harrowing hiss that seems to make even the stoutest solider weak in the knee.
Mire serpents are skilled hunters, adept at ambushing prey and using their natural strengths to greatest advantage. Between their combination of stealth, speed, bone shattering strength, and natural weapons such as razor scales, bite, and venoms, they rarely have difficulty defeating prey. The only time they are truly vulnerable is when they are in the process of digesting a meal. During this period they are often sluggish and somewhat oblivious to the world around them.
Serpents are aggressive hunters, often placing themselves in areas of high traffic, including on human roadways. They have keen senses, particularly olfaction, that allow them to detect prey from hundreds of meters.
The diet of the mire serpent is diverse. They are able to dislocate their jaw in order to swallow prey, with notable accounts suggesting the species can even digest Daedon and even Auroch whole, but much of their diet relies on small swamp mammals, reptiles, gators, and unwary humans. There are even some stories of serpents devouring drakes and Gluthor.
While not impossible to capture, they are not easily trained and few are willing to take on the risk and cost of keeping a Corsydd. One well known specimen is kept in the Shaw zoo in Victra. Bounties are not unheard of on serpents and tend to be based on a particular specimens level of interference with trade routes. Beyond this, some hunters seek them out as serpent skin is valuable and their meat is considered a delicacy to some in Victra and beyond. Some also find novel use for their potent venom…