Feather Serpent

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 240’ (80’)
AC: -2
HD: 60
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 10d6
Save: L20
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

There are many, especially those who live in the Southern states, Mexico and both Central and South America who believe that this creature is the physical embodiment of the ancient Aztec god Kukulkan.

Those who are familiar with the myth of this creature would be hard pressed to disagree with this statement. The creature is however, the product of mutagenic toxins and radiation, not anything divine. Why they named it the Feathered Serpent is not really understood, since it has crystals instead of feathers growing from its head and spine.

Physically this creature appears as a massive snake, usually a python or a boa constrictor. It is one of the largest mutant monsters to inhabit the America’s, being typically around eight to one hundred and twenty feet in length, and weighing an unbelievable sixteen to twenty-four tons. The mouth is filled with three rows of rear-ward pointing teeth, making it easier to swallow prey.

The monster has a large growth of what appears to be feather-like crystals that reach from the top of its head and grow down the length of the creature’s spine, covering about 20% of its overall length. Despite the mix-up of numerous myths, this creature cannot fly and does not possess any sort of mystical powers.

The scales are incredibly tough and also are naturally resistant to light-based attacks. It has a natural Damage reduction of 20 against light-based attacks, and any light-based attacks has a 50 / 50 chance of being randomly re-directed in another direction. If it is re-directed towards the attacker, it will gain a free attack, treated as a ranged attack using the creatures to hit.

The crystals are another form of defense. The monster is able to absorb any non-light based attacks and store the energy in the crystals. It can store any type of energy and each crystal will hold up to 30 hit-points of damage. The creature has 10d10 of these crystals on its back and it can store the energy indefinitely. If it chooses to do so, it can release the energy as a single shot from each crystal, firing up to 1d4 crystals per turn. These attacks are treated as a ranged attack and will always do 30 points of damage.

All manner of energy except radiation, neural, light-based and sonic can be stored in these crystals. Also the Mutant Lord has to determine how many crystals and what type of energy is stored in each. See the Mutant Future core book as well as the various Wisdom from the Wastelands High-Tech weapon issues for details.

It may seem that this monster is all but undefeatable, but that is not the case. It is exceptionally vulnerable to cold-based attacks and suffers a -5 to all saving throws when cold is involved, and in addition any cold-based weapons cause quadruple damage to the creature. Any energy that is stored in the crystals on its head and spine will automatically discharge in a random direction as well, effectively draining any attacks that it may have stored up. Although this is a double edged sword, those attacking the creature could very well be hit by this sudden and explosive discharge of energy.  

These gargantuan mutant snakes are voracious eaters, needing to consume massive amounts of food in order to survive. Fortunately, like their much smaller and un-mutated cousins, these creatures once they have sated their massive hunger, tend to be lethargic and often will sleep for weeks or months on end, digesting their meals. They only need to eat once every six months, but when they do, they require three hundred hit dice worth of food before they are filled.

In combat, they bite, inflicting massive damage. Any creature humanoid-sized or smaller must make a saving throw versus death or be swallowed whole. Those who are swallowed will find that the interior of the creature is very restrictive and are instantly subjected to the monsters stomach acid, which will kill them well before suffocation will be an issue.

Victims will suffer 6d6 points of damage per round until they are able to cut free or somehow escape from the stomach of the monster. Items carried by those unfortunate enough to come in contact with the acid must save versus death (using the characters saving throw) or suffer 1d2 condition levels of damage per round. If the Mutant Lord has access to Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1: Artifacts, then the items must save versus acid.

Those trapped inside must use a cutting weapon and inflict at least sixty points of damage in order to cut themselves free form the monster, and if they succeed, it will be very, very upset.

If the creature is killed, the scales can be harvested from its body and converted into a literal scale-mail suit of armor, which will have an AC of 5 and a damage reduction of 8 against energy and light-based attacks, although it does not have the same reflective properties as on the living monster.

Mutations: Aberrant form (new body parts), energy reflection (modified), gigantism, reflective epidermis (modified).

Source: Mark Ellis’ Outlander series.

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.