A tree python was a breed of snake native to the Serpent Hills. Though they were often mistaken for normal, non-magical, tree-hunting constrictor snakes, the tree python was actually an intelligent and magical creature.
Its natural coloration was a dull, greenish-brown. However, it had the chameleon-like ability to alter the colors of its scales to match its surroundings, making it hard to discern. This magical snake could even quickly and automatically shift the colors of individual scales as it moved, such that its emerging head might be sky-blue, its body as green as the leaves, and its tail brown like the branch.
The tree pythons' intelligence made them wise hunters who never forgot past experiences and instead learned from them. Understanding when they were vulnerable, they would flee battle and hide when they were outnumbered, exposed, or hurt, and in turn attacked when their prey was at its most vulnerable.
Tree pythons could latch hold of something with their jaws for hours and even days at a time, with no apparent ill effect. Only intense cold would encourage them to let go and go some place warmer.
A tree python could coil up and launch itself like a spring, letting it leap impressive heights and distances with ease, and to jump down from trees with little harm.
Because of its chameleonic scales, a tree python blended in with its surroundings, giving it an excellent ability to hide.
It was also an excellent swimmer.
A favored tactic was to hang from a tree and drop onto its prey. It picked isolated targets or the final members of a group passing below. They knew not to fall onto metal that might be a weapon or armor.
Once it had its prey, a tree python would bite and grab hold, and then constrict and crush its victim.
Tree pythons were nocturnal creatures, typically hunting in the night and sleeping during day. However, when they found good prey, they would pursue it without rest, staying close and attack when it went to sleep.
To hitch a ride, they took any chance to drop themselves onto a passing wagon or pack animal, either riding a beast or securing themselves by grabbing onto ropes with their powerful jaws. A few were even known to stow away on flying mounts by biting their harnesses.
Originally native to the Serpent Hills of the Western Heartlands, and most numerous there, tree pythons had spread throughout Faerûn by the 1370s DR. They were also found in the Forest of Wyrms.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 105. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Tim Beach (October 1995). “Encounter Tables”. In Julia Martin ed. Elminster's Ecologies Appendix II (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0786901713.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.