||Any except arctic/any land
||Trios, pairs, alone or work with other lawful
||S, T, W
||1-3 (usually 1)
|No. of Attacks:
||L (up to 12' long)
Dark naga are fey creatures who have human-like faces (with fanged mouths) on
leathery, snake-like bodies. They usually work with other evil beings for
mutual gain or survival. Dark naga tend to be black, purplish-black, or very dark
blue in hue, and their crested heads and smooth, almost invisible scales make
them look like gigantic eels more than snakes.
Dark naga have natural ESP
powers (80' range), and use this ability constantly.
Dark naga have a (non-poisonous) bite and a poisonous tail-sting; the barbed
stinger does physical damage, and any struck being must save vs. poison or take
1-2 hp additional damage and fall into a drugged sleep (onset time 1 round,
sleep lasts 2d4 rounds).
The most feared ability of dark nagas is their power to wield magic. A dark
naga casts spells as a 6th-level wizard (4,2,2), and employs only verbal spells.
It may learn these spells from dragons, Phaerimm, or other creatures who can
cast spells with but a word or thought (act-of-will spells, as opposed to
spell-like natural powers, can easily be altered into verbal-release magics . . . but
the devising of a verbal-only version of a spell that normally has somatic and
material components is not nearly so simple a matter). It may devise new
spells, or verbal-only spell versions, itself by means of experimentation. Either
means of acquiring new magics is slow and expensive, and this can often force dark
nagas into servitude to a stronger evil creature or anyone who hires them, or
into the life of an adventurer.
Dark naga are immune to the effects of all known (normal and magical) acids,
venoms, and poisons. Some have been known to swallow poisons and act as a
courier, spitting up the dangerous liquid when they deliver it to its destination.
They can spit poison that they are so carrying up to 10' distant at any opponent;
this requires a successful attack roll, and takes the place of their bite,
though a naga can elect to bite and then release the poison as it does so,
combining the damage.
In battle, a dark naga may use its sting and either a spell or a bite in the
same round. If space permits, the naga can direct its sting and bite against the
same foe, but it is quite intelligent enough to direct attacks at multiple
opponents, even attacking foes in front of and behind it, simultaneously, if
caught between them in a narrow passage.
Dark nagas cannot be mind-read; their ESP
ability somehow renders them immune to the ESP
-like probes of others. They are subject but resistant to charm, sleep, hold
and similar enchantment/charm spells, receiving a +2 bonus to all saving
throws against this school of magic.
Dark nagas lair in rocky places, such as caverns or ruins; they like to have a
home where they can hide things (such as treasures and spellbooks), that has
more than one entry or exit, and at least one place narrow enough that they can
block it with their body, and singlehandedly fight off intruders. Dark nagas
are fond of traps, and will devise these (or hire other creatures to install
them) whenever possible.
Dark nagas tend to be loners, but can form stable family groups of two or
three; they are bisexual, and give birth to a squirming mass of many wormlike young
which they promptly abandon to fend for themselves. Intelligent enough to know
they can prevail against few creatures in the Realms alone, dark nagas work
with other evil creatures, such as orcs, hobgoblins, drow, phaerimm, beholders,
and the like. They like to fill a "commander and magical strike force" role,
perhaps in a sergeant-like intermediary rank, under a more powerful ruler -- but
they are wise enough to adopt the faith, beliefs, and rules of whatever group
Dark naga do not willingly eat other dark naga, but they will eat just about
anything else, both alive and dead. They eat a few lichens and the occasional
green plant, but their main diet is meat. They especially prize hot, still-fresh
Dark nagas spend their lives outwardly working with, or serving, others.
Whenever possible, however, they also pursue private goals, which may be as
whimsical and odd as some human goals ("cover this desert valley with trees," for
instance), but always include increasing their personal power by acquiring new
spells and magical items. Dark nagas are quick to plunder fallen foe, swallowing
items, scrolls, and spellbooks to spit forth later -- for all dark nagas have a
bag-like internal organ that they can use to carry things. This organ has thick,
rubbery air-sac walls to protect the naga against sharp points and the like,
but it also protects the cargo against digestive juices, and has the unusual
side-effect of shielding magic from all detection spells.