The Serpent Kin

The fascination with mythical serpents is prevalent throughout the land. One tale tells that the two great snakes, the Overwyrm and the Underwyrm, had to be separated in their struggle by the gods, and the upheavals gave rise to the three worlds. While most Rasennans spend less time contemplating the place of metaphysical ophidians, scholars record many scions of the primordial serpents in the world.

Couatls are serpents of the divine, a form of angelic beast akin to sphinxes. They serve any god of the Seven-and-Twenty. Like angels, they take different forms depending on the aspect of the god they serve — the radiant couatls of Kaeal shine like sunrise and sunset, while the angel-serpents of murder who serve Zamalla are dark, bruised shadows full of supernal venom.

Naga are serpent-people of the Overworld, something like fata. They can take human form as they please; there are some folktales of virtuous peasants who spared a serpent in the field, only to later marry that serpent in the form of a beautiful youth or maiden.

The Nithians are creatures of a more dread aspect, taking the disturbing form of serpents with monstrous human-like heads. Their origins are uncertain, but they are an old race. Their name references myths of an ancient culture called Nithis, where these man-serpents were worshipped as gods. Those that survive are reputed to still hunger for worship and adoration.

Drakainae are powerful creatures who appear as women above the waist, serpents below. They are exclusively female, renowned for dragon-like pride and considerable magical gifts. Some say they were created by a fallen Old Goddess, much as legend holds that lamiae were this goddess’s attendants, harpies her temple slaves and medusae her oracles. But the Tyliel attest that a drakaina’s blood is clearly thick with the power of the primordial serpent, which makes their origin rather less clear.

Finally, the serpent-blooded are the remains of people who used the blood of primordial serpents or serpent-beasts to transform themselves into ophidian hybrids. The traditional rituals used to enact this change are foul in nature — the phrase associated with them is “envenoming the soul” — and most serpent-blooded covens are populated with creatures whose personalities are as venomous as their blood.

The Serpent Kin

Rasennan Summer Barastrondo