One of the first monsters that appears in Legends of Windemere are the Snake Fiends, which are based off the Naga. This is a mythological creature, but I wasn’t 100% certain of that when I wrote the story. The name kind of stuck. Sadly, this monster gets very little attention since it shows up so early and doesn’t make another appearance until Book 10. So they remain a mystery and it’s only recently that I did more with them.
Physically, the Snake Fiends have the hooded head of a human and a serpentine body with poisonous spines. A long spike is on their tail and they have multiple hearts, so they are a force to be reckoned with if you’re a young adventurer. More experienced warriors and casters see them more as a nuisance. A constricting snake can’t do much against platemail and the poisonous parts wouldn’t get very far either. So a Snake Fiend in the wild is more inclined to avoid travelers or hiss from a distance. They are only aggressive when they feel safe.
Now the reason the Snake Fiends were used is because that was what appeared in the game and I never thought to change it. Having them being underground creatures and a common treasure horde protector made sense. They can burrow through the piles of treasure and sense movement on the ground. In fact, you’ll learn that their burrowing ability is much more versatile than one would expect. A Snake Fiend in a field or any terrain with deep soil can hold its own against stronger creatures by moving beneath the surface. Using their vibration sense, they can use their tail spikes to stab from below. Their eyesight is better in caves because direct sunlight is too strong, but the hood helps if they face the right direction. There really wasn’t much depth to their design and habits. Sometimes a monster is closer to a simple animal than a complicated threat.
To see the Snake Fiends in action, check out: