No attack will work
|First appears||Webfoot DROD|
|Is brain visible||Head: No, Body: Yes|
|Traverses shallow water||Yes|
Serpents are huge red reptiles that live deep in the Beneath. Their thick plated skin renders them invulnerable to most attacks. However, their bulk prevents them from moving diagonally.
Serpents are subtle creatures, attuned to the secret vibrations of the soil. They're normally much larger than any other creature around, some having been sighted that are hundreds of feet in length. Thousands, if using actual feet. They usually feed on smaller animals, using their long bodies to restrict their prey's movement until closing in for the kill. As they're so large, they do have trouble changing direction and can't make sharp turns. Even more concerning is that their mighty body muscles, which propel them along the ground, aren't capable of subtle correction. One of the things serpents have given up to grow to such a size, in fact, is any ability to fine-tune their movement. Their motion is chaotic and hard to predict, though not entirely random.
Experienced smitemasters don't let this weakness fool them, however, into thinking serpents are easily dealt with. Serpent muscles are strong enough to resist even the greatest of pressures. Their skin is hard as rock. Smitemasters will occasionally -- if they relish the prospect of carrying a heavy roll of skin up a mile or so of stairs -- roll up serpent skin and sell it aboveground, where it's used as a kind of leather. It isn't that flexible or easy to work with, but it's incredibly durable and very strong. The only problem is getting some, as it's heavy... and on serpents.
Serpent behavior is more complex than most monsters', but not unlearnable. Serpent movements follows these rules:
- If the serpent's prey is directly in front of behind it, it will try to move forward.
- Otherwise, the serpent will try to move vertically or horizontally toward its prey until they are in the same row or column.
- The serpent will alternate between moving horizontally and moving vertically every five moves. If the spawn counter ends in 0-4, the serpent will prefer to move horizontally. If the spawn counter ends in 5-9, the serpent will prefer to move vertically.
- If the serpent's desired move is blocked, then it will try to make the following moves in order: N, E, S, W. If the serpent cannot move, its tail shrinks by one.
- Serpents will shrink by one tile for every turn they are stuck in place. When it shrinks to one tile long, it dies.
- Serpents are vulnerable to fire traps, puffs, being dropped into pits and water, and their heads being blown up. Serpents are immune to all other attacks, including briar.
- Serpents can traverse shallow water.
- A serpent's head is a brain-visible object, but the rest of its body is invisible.
- Serpents can't move across scrolls, force arrows (in any direction), or any type of potion or horn.