A scitalis is a strange form of serpent found only on Cuccagna and its outlying islands. Whether it is the creation of some mad wizard - perhaps Prospero himself - or a relatively natural creature of the World of Nightwick is unknown to scholars. Some scant few believe that it is the descendent of normal serpents who have been warped for centuries by the weird magics of Cuccagna, though most agree that the magicians who inhabit the island have not done so for so long.
It appears as a serpent with a pair of vestigial wings and two stunted limbs, neither of which aid it in locomotion. Its head is rather like that of a normal serpent, but it sports two protrusions that look rather like the clipped ears of a fighting dog. In life its scales are pulsing and scintillating, forever creating new patterns across its opalescent hide. In death they maintain their iridescence but lose all sense of motion.
Scholars of Cuccagna say that the mesmeric effect of the scales is created by a combination of their strange alchemical makeup and the creature's extreme body heat. The source of this heat, whether organ or stone swallowed in youth, has yet to be found.
AC 15 (4), HD 3, Attk 1 Bite (1d4 + Constrict), THAC0 16 [+3], MV 90' (30'), SV D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (3) AL Neutral XP 30 NA 1 (1d6), TT U
- Brilliance: Anyone looking at the scitalis must save vs spells or become hypnotized until they can no longer see the scitalis (including if it dies) or until the victim is constricted. Victims stand still, simply gazing at the scitalis.
- Averting Eyes: -4 penalty to hit. The scitalis gets a +2 bonus to attack.
- Constrict: 2d6 Automatic damage each successive round after a successful bite attack.
- Body Heat: If either damage die for Constrict rolls a 6, the victim must make a save vs breath or lose all flammable items.