Sunday 26 October 2014

The Shahmaran

I have never before heard about this mythological creature from Kurdistan and the Yezidi tradition... depicted as a woman whose head and chest are stuck on the back end of a backwards-facing basilisk. With what's going on in the world the Kurds need the protection of this benevolent "queen of serpents" more than ever.

HD: 9
AC: 16 [3]
MV: 12"
Attacks: Snake bite (d8); spells
Defenses: Immune to poison, 50% magic resistance, poison scales
Mind: Genius

The Shahmaran may or may not be unique. Known as the "Queen of the Snakes," this benevolent guardian dwells in desolate places and ruins. She appears as an eight-legged giant basilisk with a snake head at the end of a long, flexible tail, and a queenly human head at the front, both sprouting crown-like arrays of horns.  If attacked she will strike with the snake's poisonous bite. Creatures who attempt to bite her scaly part must save vs. poison at -4 or die.

A Shahmaran usually is preceded or guarded by numerous snakes of all sizes, typically 2d6 serpent swarms, 2d6 normal snakes and d4 giant snakes of various types. She has magical spells as a 9th level druid, oriented toward divination and animal summoning spells, which will invariably summon snakes.

Despite her terrifying appearance Shahmaran is a benevolent creature, and sometimes takes a human lover, although those who have known her are unable to bathe without shedding snake-like scales ever thereafter.  They guard their wisdom closely, but each kiss from them conveys one cosmic secret, which some lovers of weak mind have been unable to handle. Shahmaran are the mortal enemies of lamia.

1 comment:

  1. Well that's a new one on me too. Assuming Shah- = ruler and -maran = snakes, I wonder if the name has any relationship to the "Mara" of Buddhist legend, who was also a snake sometimes. But what almost made me hork out my drink is the part about her having lovers, given the anatomy. Ew.