Somewhere in humanity's lost eons a race of malformed serpentine humanoids rose, now known as inphidians. While the truth of their origins has been long forgotten, most sages subscribe to one of two theories. The first states the creatures are the failed results of horrific experiments performed by the dark and nameless sorcerers of an ancient snake-cult in their attempts to ensorcel their followers. The second theory contends the inphidians were once a cult of snake-worshippers cursed by an ancient snake-god for some transgression against the ethos. Whatever the truth, it appears as of late that the inphidians have evolved into true race, beyond the machinations of arcane experiments or curses. While there exist several known species, recent reports describe encounters with yet unidentified inphidians and others are sure to surface as encounters with the race grow more frequent.
All inphidians, regardless of the subspecies, have viper heads in place of their hands. The creatures use these in combat to deliver a powerful bite that injects the victim with poison. Inphidians, particularly the craftsmen, wear special gloves called inphidian gauntlets that let them use their hands like any other humanoid with five digits (including an opposing thumb) uses its hands.
Inphidians trade with other races, particularly evil underground races such as derro, driders, and drow. Trade usually takes the form of crafted goods, food, or slaves. Inphidian craftsmen are some of the finest known distillers of poisons, venoms, and antitoxins. Their products are highly sought after by all manner of poison-using races.
An important aspect of any inphidian community is religion. The inphidian race as a whole worships the Great Serpent (Hassith-Kaa). Little is known of this religion or the priests of the Great Serpent.
COBRA-BACK INPHIDIANMedium monstrosity (inphidian), neutral evil
DEFENSEArmor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 45 (7d8 + 14)
Speed 30 ft.
|STR 15 (+2)||DEX 14 (+2)||CON 14 (+2)||INT 12 (+1)||WIS 13 (+1)||CHA 12 (+1)|
STATISTICSSkills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Inphidian
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Keen Smell. The cobra-back inphidian has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
Limited Poison Resistance. The inphidian has advantage on saving throws against serpentfolk poison.
Multiattack. The cobra-back inphidian makes two attacks: one bite with its snake arms and one to spit poison.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage.
Spit Poison. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20 ft./60 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) poison damage.
The cobra-back has bluish green scales and stands roughly 7 feet tall. A large flap of skin forms a cobra-like hood that runs from the back of the head down the spine. It has crimson burning eyes and a forked black tongue. Its hands end in viper heads.
Cobra-backs are a race of inphidian bred for combat and they relish the savagery of such events. They bully others of their own kind, and can often be found leading common inphidians on hunting excursions. They primarily function as muscle in inphidian hunting or adventuring parties and serve in inphidian communities as guards and protectors. Cobra-backs are loyal and follow orders without question.
When threatened or enraged, the hood of the cobra-back fans open just like that of a true cobra.
Cobra-backs are extremely aggressive and prone to attacking opponents on sight. Though they possess superb stealth skills, they prefer a straight-ahead fight rather than one that relies on trickery and guile. A cobra-back opens combat by spitting its poison at an opponent before moving into melee where it bites with its snake-hands. Of all the inphidians, the cobra-backs are the most likely to employ inphidian gauntlets (see the sidebar above for details). Those wearing inphidian gauntlets wield longswords or spears.