Basiliks

Somewhat related to the Medusa, these serpentine menaces habituate the underground of central Finaru, coming out of their earthen abodes occasionally to feast on the unsuspecting Dwarven Miner. The basilisk is an odd sort of creature, and there are three major subspecies that should be noted, each with their own little set of dangers.

The Serpent Basilisk is, to put it loosely, an enormous snake. Its scales are similar to those of the Medusa, its closest relative, in that they are razor-edged, poisonous, and impossibly resistant to weaponry. Their fangs contain venom potent enough to fall a man within minutes — but the most dangerous weapon in their arsenal is the set of eyes that rest within their scaled skulls. These eyes hold a unique talent, by now widely known and feared: establishing a direct line of sight with them is immediately fatal. Contrary to popular lore, the basilisk does not turn its victims into stone; nor does staring at it through some kind of reflection damper the effect. Furthermore, the basilisk is not privy to its own deathly gaze; reflecting its eyes back at it will simply leave you wide open for attack.

The forest-dwelling Sauren Basilisks are a strange form of mutation, branching off of the closely related Serpent Basilisk. They walk on hind legs, using their taloned forearms to claw at their opponents, and utilize their barbed tails as a slashing whip. They seethe with poison; even their tongues are venemous, burning the skin on contact. They attack ferociously, being a more physically direct threat than their serpentine cousins. Their eyes do not hold as much power; staring straight into them is a painful, disorienting mental shock, but it is not dangerous. However, the moment that the victim is disoriented is an opportunity for the Basilisk to strike — and if it lands a blow, it is most assuredly fatal.

The last predominant species of Basilisk is by far the most uncommon. Living within the snowfields of Venosu, the Lisk’asi Basilisk (named after the tribe that discovered them first, and were hence wiped out by them) is small, slow, and exceedingly powerful. They are the size of a lengthened rat, and appear to be miniature snakes, though their structure is radically different. Instead of the entirety of their body being prehensible, the Lisk’asi Basilisks utilize tiny cilia — centipede feet, if you will — to move. Their exoskeleton is constructed of one of the hardiest substances in the realm, and their ability to curl into a sphere provides a geometric protection that is nearly impossible to destroy. They are not susceptible to the elements; they are just as comfortable in searing heat as they are in freezing cold. At first, they don’t seem to be dangerous at all — and, at first, they aren’t. Stay within the Lisk’asi Basilisk’s range of smell for long enough, however, and it will tag your scent within its head. Once there, it never leaves, and the Lisk’asi Basilisk can track a smell for dozens of miles at a time. It never tires, and will continually follow its target for as long as it needs to, until it is within biting range. Oftentimes, travelers expect that they have far outrun the Lisk’asi Basilisk, and lay down to sleep. They do not awaken

Related to the Medusa, the Basilisk inhabits central Finaru.