They gather frankincense by burning that storax which Phoinikes carry to Hellas; they burn this and so get the frankincense; for the spice-bearing trees are guarded by small Winged Snakes of varied color, many around each tree; these are the snakes that attack Aigyptos Nothing except the smoke of storax will drive them away from the trees . . .Herodotus, Histories III
In the Roman province of Arabia there lives a most unusual, and dangerous, serpent that is found nowhere else on earth. They are small (about a foot long), aggressive, colorful and armed with deadly venom. What marks them as unique is that they possess a pair of leathery bat-like winged. They fly with a nimble grace and if need be swoop down to attack with deadly accuracy. Their colors seem to constantly shift in the light, and their moods, sometimes rippling across their bodies in pulsing patterns when agitated.
These winged snakes also have an unusual mating pattern, marked by the death of both partners. The males are typically killed by the females at the end of copulation. The female do not lay eggs. Rather carry their young, typically 2-12 in number, within their bodies. Once the young winged serpents are fully formed they eat their way out of their mother’s body, killing her.
These snakes tend to dwell in groves of Torchwood Trees, also known as Incense trees, whose dried resin is used to produce both frankincense and myrrh. They are quite aggressive and viciously defend their territory, which makes harvesting these resins to be extremely dangerous. Each tree in a grove of Torchwoods could have between 1- 3 Winged Serpents living in it. Large groves of these trees can support flock of up to sixty individuals.
Luckily those who make their living harvesting resin from these trees have learned how to drives the snakes away for a short time. They burn the wood and dried resin of the Storax three, also known as the sweetgum tree. Storax is often used as a disinfectant, flavoring, in incense and perfume, but when it burned produces an acrid smoke. This smoke drives away the winged serpents, but only while the smoke persists. Once the smoke clears the aggressive snakes quickly return to their Torchwood Trees. Those who harvest frankincense from the Torchwood Trees do not try to eradicate the winged serpents because they protect the trees from human thieves and other wild animals.
In truth, the Winged Serpents of Arabia are not snakes at all. They are alien creatures, summoned from a far off galaxy by the ancient sorcerers of the Fallen Kingdom of Stygia. It seems the resin of the Torchwood Trees can be used in creating powerful wards to use against the Serpent God Set, whom the later Egyptians called Apepi. These are both avatar forms of the Great Old One Yig, the father of serpents.
In later periods – While rare, these creatures can be found in roaming wild in Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. They are often kept as pets by cultist of Yig, and as such have been transported all over the world. Winged Serpents always serve as guardians to locations sacred or important to their ultimate master, Yig, the Father of Serpents.
Winged Serpents of Arabia, Defender Guardians of Set
Char. Averages rolls
STR 35 (2D6+6 x 5)
CON 35 (2D6+6 x 5)
SIZ 15 (1D6+6 x 5)
DEX 90 (4D6+4 x 5)
INT 15 (1D6+6 x 5)
POW 65 (2D6+6 x 5)
Av. Damage Bonus: -2
Average Build: -2
Average Magic Points: 13
Move: 6 / 12 Flying
Attacks per round: 1 (can use bite to fight-back numerous times per round)
Fighting attacks: Bite. Injects a Strong poison which causes 2D10 points of damage, 1D4 minutes after being bitten. Victims make an extreme CON check to take half damage. The effects of the poison are searing pain, swelling, and cramping, followed by full body spasms and ultimately seizures before death. While the bite from a single winged serpent can be deadly, victims are usually attacked by swarms of these creatures.
Fighting 45% (22/9), damage 1D4 + Damage bonus + Poison
Dodge: 42% (32/13)
Skills: Climb 90%, Jump 70%, Listen 50%, Stealth 40%.
Sanity Loss: 0/1D4 for Sanity points to see a Winged Serpent of Arabia