Advancing up the narrow, winding stair, Locklar held his sword ready for any foe that might be hiding in the darkness. Reaching the top, he came to a small wooden door. One blow broke the lock, and he entered the small room atop the abandoned keep. But his anticipation turned to disappointment.
Rather than a chamber filled with golden treasures, only a single chest could be seen. Muttering that it had better be worth the trouble, he carefully checked for traps and, finding nothing, slowly opened the lid. A grin returned to his face, for within the chest was the ancient crown of the King of Kalmazorn.
He was about to reach for it when a shimmering mist appeared within the chest. Watching warily, he saw it form into coils, then materialize into a ghost-like serpent, it’s fangs sharp and its eyes dark. Tentatively, Locklar poked at the serpent with his sword. The serpent struck…
No. Enc.: 1
Armor Class: 4 
Hit Dice: 2-5
Attacks: 1 or more (bite)
Damage: 1d6, special
Save: F2 – F5
Hoard Class: See Below
These magical serpents are created by mages to serve as guardians of special treasures or locations. The more powerful the magic-user who creates it, the more powerful the spirit snake is. Spirit snakes will never retreat or abandon their ceaseless guardianship unless dispelled by their creator.
Spirit snakes are invisible until the item or location they’re charged with guarding is disturbed, at which time they materialize and attack, gaining a +2 bonus for surprise. Spirit snakes are tied to a specific item or location and cannot move from it, but they can strike at any being within 5′. If the item they are guarding is moved, they will move with it.
All spirit snakes regenerate 3 hit points per round after taking damage. If reduced to 0 hit points or less, they will re-form and resume their guardianship in 24 hours. All spirit snakes also have at least a 25% resistance to magic spells, and are immune to effects which affect the mind, such as sleep, fear, and illusions. The only known method of permanently destroying a spirit snake is by casting a dispel magic upon it after it has been reduced to 0 hit points or less.
Additionally, spirit snakes have the following abilities based upon their number of hit dice:
- 3 HD: Bite slows recipient (as per spell) for 1 turn unless save is successful
- 4 HD: As 3 HD, plus can bite twice per round
- 5 HD: As 4 HD, plus magic resistance is increased to 40%
The spell used to create the spirit snake will be featured in this week’s Thursday Thaumaturgy.