The mlarraun, also known as a "spitting snake" or a "stone snake", was a snake-like magical creature, classified as both a Scaled One and a serpent, native to Faerûn south of the Inner Sea. They were notorious for spitting poison and assuming a pliable stone-like torpor.
A mlarraun was a snake with dark brown to black scales and a head shaped like a thin arrowhead.
They passed the day sleeping, sunbathing, or hunting. When hunting, they would stalk their prey and could kill up to several herd animals or other big creatures at once, saving them for later consumption. A mlarraun could eat fresh meat, rotting carrion, and food contaminated by its own poison.
Mlarrauns were not intelligent, lacked cunning, and were incapable of expecting danger. Quite a number were inadvertently trampled by hooved beasts.
They could climb and swim as well as crawl.
They had the strange ability to fall into deep torpor state when specifically targeted by a magical effect. A mlarraun's scales turned hard and grey to protect it from attack, which gave them the name "stone snakes". Its body, however, remained flexible and could even be posed and adjusted by others without waking it. It could remain in such a state for up to one hundred days, or until severely damaged or targeted by another magical effect. By whatever means, when awaking it immediately bit or spat poison at the nearest creature.
Ecology & Habitat
These snakes could be found in the warm plains and open lands of Faerûn south of the Inner Sea. They were particularly common in the Serpents' Holding plains west of the Nagawater in Sespech. There they laired amidst the rolling, hilly terrain along with numerous other kinds of serpents. Some were found beyond these lands, usually carried away by others.
In addition to alchemical uses, mlarrauns were oddly useful for their stone torpor. Humans often took torpid stone snakes as curios, unaware that they yet lived. Artisans shaped them into handles, ornaments, and building scrollwork, which merchants sold. Some were even sold as toys. This fell out of practice as the mlarrauns began waking up.
Some, however, did this deliberately, using the stone snakes in traps or as dangerous gifts for enemies, and hired adventurers to capture mlarrauns. This practice was not so common, as the period of torpidity was unpredictable and varied widely. They were most often used in this manner by yuan-ti and other Scaled Ones.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70–71. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 140, 146. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.