“C’mon, Dillil – it’s not that difficult of a shot. Not even for you.”
The male halfling lowered his crossbow slightly and turned his head back toward his sister. There was a bit of scorn in his face. After growing up with his twin sister, he was fairly accustomed to the ridicule. “I just want to make sure. The thing is in the shadows and I can’t quite get a good read on it’s head. It's not as big as your head, you know. It's not as slow as you are either.”
Behind both the halflings stood a middle-aged dwarf in full plate armor. He leaned heavily on the top of his greatclub, using it almost as a crutch. He yawned as he looked down at the two siblings. “Quitcher bickerin'. Y’all jes' need t’ kill the thing. Else I’ll hafta c’mon up there an’ beat the thing inta paste. It’s jes' a snake, fer cryin’ out loud. Shoot the snake, Dillil. Pull the danged trigger! An' you, Shiloru, jes' let 'im be.” Behind the dwarf, in the dark, stood a tall female figure. She simply shook her head at the proceedings.
From the shadows in front of the halflings came a high-pitched squeak, almost as if from a bat. It was followed by a second, then a third.
Dillil sighted along his crossbow and took a deep breath. “Fine, Alakin. Keep your shorts on, please...for all of our sakes.” The halfling just started to exhale and pull on the trigger and there came a dreadful sound. He dropped the crossbow and held his hands to his ears. Behind him, his sister also grabbed her ears and fell to the floor, writhing in pain. The dwarf winced, then simply tugged his helm further down onto his head. He sighed heavily and then swung his club up to his shoulder as he stepped forward. Upon reaching the edge of the shadow, he looked down and saw an eight-foot-long serpent. It was patterned with pale greens and yellows; in all respects but one it looked no different than any other snakes. The piercing sound continued, echoing from the stone walls and bouncing back and forth as the dwarf strode forward.
‘Oy,’ the dwarf thought to himself, ‘the critter ain’t got no eyes. It’s jes got one big mouth.’ His hands tightened around the base of the club and he squeezed, the wood and his knuckles creaking and crackling from his strength. “Ok, m’friends. I’ll shut the critter up fer ya. It’s jes a matter of shuttin’ his mouth.”
Alakin took a deep breath and shifted his weight. The massive oaken club lifted from his shoulder and whistled downward. At the last moment, the snake seemed to sense the danger from the onrushing club and began to move. It was not quick enough and the club smacked heavily against the hewn stone floor, catching the snake’s head between the wood and the stone.
“There y’go.” The dwarf lifted the club and looked underneath. A spot of green paste stained the floor at one shattered end of a seven-foot length of twitching serpent. “Now we’ve got somethin’ fer dinner. I’ll git cleanin’ it up if y’all will git some fire started.” He looked at the two halflings moaning and lying on the floor with blood dripping from their ears. He looked up at the tall figure as he picked up the snake’s remains and flipped it over his shoulder.“Seandi, d’ye mind gittin’ a fire started? It looks like these two’re outta commission fer awhile.”
Hit Dice: 3d8 (13 hp)
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Armor Class: 17 (+3 Dex, +4 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+0
Attack: Bite +3 melee (1d4) or Howl +6 (1d12)
Full Attack: Bite +3 melee (1d4) or Howl +6 (1d12)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Howl
Special Qualities: Blindsense, Scent
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +1
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 1, Wis 12, Chr 2
Skills: Balance , Climb , Hide , Perception , Swim
Feats: Weapon Finesse
Environment: Temperate forest
Organization: Solitary; Clutch (2-5)
The howler snake closely resembles a large viper. They are usually decorated with a pale green and yellow pattern. They can most easily be distinguished from a viper by the complete and utter lack of eyes. The howler snake’s mouth is also actually considerably larger than a viper’s. In addition, the scales on a howler snake are thicker and stronger.
Without eyes, the howler snake must rely on echolocation instead. The echolocation also serves as a warning to potential attackers. Much like an annoyed rattlesnake will give an audible warning before striking, the howler snake will let out little beeps and squeaks, sounding similar to a bat’s cries. The howler snake, however, lacks any serious venom. The howler snake can use its echolocation ability offensively as well.
Howl: Once per round when threatened or in combat, the howler snake can howl, which deals 1d12 points of sonic damage to all creatures in a 60-ft cone (Reflex save (DC 16) for half damage). In addition, regardless of the sonic damage received, each howl attack requires a successful Fortitude save (DC 18) or the creature will suffer a -8 modifier to all perception checks for 2d6 rounds.
Last year's "S": S is for Sheriff