Like other lamias, nobles had the upper bodies of attractive humans, but their lower bodies were always of great serpents. They had red eyes. Lamia nobles moved with a graceful sinuousness.
Like common lamias, lamia nobles had powers of illusion and suggestion and could magically charm others. In addition, like sorcerers and dragons, they had an innate ability to cast an assortment of spells. Usually, female lamias had more advanced powers of sorcery than the males. Like with all lamias, the touch of a lamia noble would slowly but permanently drain the wisdom from a victim until she or he was susceptible to all manner of commands from the lamia.
Whereas lesser lamias had to resort to illusionary magic to disguise themselves, lamia nobles could take the form of a human at will, although the disguise was not perfect, and the more intelligent or observant could see through the deception, as the lamia often left behind some sign of his or her true from, such as snakelike eyes or scaly skin.
Lamia nobles enjoyed collecting knowledge of history and arcane magic. Because of this, they were often found guarding ruins or other places of magical power in desert areas. If they had not been such vile and dangerous beings, they would have been good sources of knowledge to explorers and scholars.
Lamia nobles collected vast treasures, with a focus on gems, historical lore, and magical items, such scrolls, rings, or jewelry. Most of these collections were "gifts" from their charmed "admirers" or visiting scholars whom they later ate. While they collected jewelry, they were not known to ever wear clothing or jewelry on their bodies.
Lamia nobles were powerful entities; it was said that a single noble could wipe out an entire caravan by itself. Nevertheless, they preferred unfair fights, using all of their deceptive magics to turn the tables in their favor before beginning a battle. A lamia noble would use its followers—whether wisdom-drained slaves or even other lamias—as shields before putting his or her own life at risk.
Male lamia nobles were more physical in combat and typically wielded short swords. Female nobles usually relied on their more powerful spells in battle. Others preferred longspears or shortbows as weapons, which were usually enchanted. Lamia nobles could easily crush a victim by entangling her or him and constricting their thick tails. Once a noble had so entangled a victim, it would not release the grip until the victim was drained senseless, dead, or sworn to be a slave.
The spells preferred by lamia nobles were magics of illusion, which complemented their inherent powers.
Lamia nobles lived among lesser lamia in wild, desert regions, such as could be found in Anauroch, Calimshan, Mulhorand, the Shaar, Thay, Unther, or Zakhara, often residing in caves or ruined cities, such as Shoonach. Most preferred to be solitary, but others lived as rulers of lesser creatures. In south Faerûn, they sometimes led legions of gnolls and hyenas in addition to other lamias. On occasion, they were found in the company of ogres or giants.
Lamia nobles also were found in the Abyss, where they were servants of Graz'zt or other demon lords. Such lamia nobles enslaved lesser demons in much the same way as their cousins on the Material Plane enslaved other mortal creatures.
The reproductive cycle of lamias was complicated. When a male and female lamia noble mated, scholars agreed that a common lamia was produced. It was rumored that a noble lamia could only be born by the mating of a noble lamia with a human. When lamia nobles took mates, it was always only a temporary affair.
In Westgate, in the Year of the Lamia's Kiss, 615 DR, the androsphinx king Lyonarth was tricked by the lamia noble Nessmara, who had disguised herself as a gynosphinx. They began to rule the city together. In the next year, the Handweaver, a wizard, revealed her deception, and Nessmara and Lyonarth battled until they both were dead. Farnath, an apprentice to the Handweaver, became the next king of Westgate. Centuries later, Nessmara's lamia noble descendants controlled the northern ruins of Ilimar, within the Gulthmere Forest.
Around 1358 DR, more than twenty lamia nobles were in power in the ruins of Hlaungadath in Anauroch, leading about ninety lesser lamias. These nobles were armed with an array of Netherese magical items, including ropes of entanglement and wands of paralyzation. They would often disguise themselves as humans and leave the ancient city in attempts to deceive "intruders" who had entered their territory. The more ambitious among them would plan raids outside the desert, particularly from the orc holds in the mountains of the region, to steal human and dwarf slaves, which they then kept as breeding and food stock.
In 1373 DR demon lord Eltab was freed from his imprisonment under Thaymount. His unholy influence affected, enslaved, and changed many creatures that lived within the volcanic cavers. A few dozen lamia nobles were under the demon's control during his stand against Szass Tam. Eltab's lamias were notably different from their kin. These affected creatures were bloated, resembling slugs rather than snakes, their hair looked thin and unhealthy, and the creatures left poisonous slime trails behind them.
Notable Lamia Nobles
- Ereshkigal, queen of the undercity of Unthalass.
- Faridah bint Halah, who lived in disguise in Hawa.
- The Glaendra, who ruled over many hundreds of lamia in the Lion's Eye Oasis of Anauroch.
- Koreeis, leader of the lamias of Hlaungadath.
- Larithylar, a sorceress able to possess and control dragons.
- Nessmara, the lamia noble responsible for the death of King Lyonarth of Westgate.
- Ophidia as-Sokkari, a Princess of the necropolis of Sokkar.
- Transtra, a leader of the Iron Ring in Skullport.
- Uruathis, an agent of Kartak Spellseer working in Shoonach.
- Voraya, a member of the Twisted Rune who controlled much of the black market of Calimport.
- The challenge rating given here is for a female lamia noble sorcerer 7. Presumably, a lamia noble with a different number of sorcerer levels would have a different challenge rating.
- The Crimson Gold
- Wolfgang Baur, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (April 2007). Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. Edited by Michele Carter, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 206–207. ISBN 978-0-7869-4038-7.
- Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. ?. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 59. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
- Ed Greenwood (November 1991). Anauroch. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 32, 51. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
- Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 81. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- Spike Y. Jones (April 1993). “The Ecology (Love-Life) of the Lamia”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #192 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 90–96.
- Voronica Whitney-Robinson (September 2012). The Crimson Gold. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 12, p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-3120-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 269. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 132. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Ed Greenwood (November 1991). Anauroch. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 63–64. ISBN 1-56076-126-1.
- Scott Bennie (February 1990). Old Empires. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 42. ISBN 978-0880388214.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 187. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Nicky Rea (1994). Corsairs of the Great Sea (Campaign Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 978-1560768678.
- Template:Cite web/Perilous Gateways/Portals of Anauroch
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: NPC Booklet. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-847.
- Steven E. Schend, Sean K. Reynolds and Eric L. Boyd (June 2000). Cloak & Dagger. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-1627-3.
- Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 185. ISBN 978-0786912377.
- Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 978-0786912377.