Wereserpents had three forms: human form,[note 1] snake form, and hybrid form. The hybrid form was a bipedal humanoid covered in scales and had a long tail and flexible limbs. As well as being able to transmit lycanthropy via a deadly bite, wereserpents could be cursed with the condition from birth, being passed on from parent to offspring.
In their human form, wereserpents appeared very attractive, drawing much attention to them. Thus, they could often be found as part of criminal or mercantile operations. They were lithe and fine-featured, often having dark eyes and dark hair. As well as their beauty, wereserpents were known for their acrobatic skill, as well as their ability to be stealthy.
Individual wereserpents developed very differently to other wereserpents. They were diverse in developing skills, and would lean towards being rogues, whilst others would become mages or, rarely, priests. They were attracted to snakes and snake-like creatures, often keeping them as pets. Although they liked the company of snakes, it was said that they generally hated yuan-ti and nagas.
Wereserpents often utilized their poisonous bite in combat, which would also transmit the curse of lycanthropy. They much preferred their hybrid form, where they could use a mix of their humanoid and snake-like abilities. Such creatures could regenerate quickly, if not stopped by a silver weapon.
Their hybrid and snake forms made them far more dexterous and strong. They would also become incredibly stealthy, and adept at climbing and swimming.
As well as striking with a weapon (usually with large knives), spells or their fangs, the shifters could grab and constrict their target, dazing them. Thus, they could effectively fight two foes at once, suffocating one with their tight grip, whilst battling another with a weapon. These shapechangers could drastically alter their form, from a crush-grip constrictor to a unique human.
Generally, wereserpents would stick together. These types of lycanthrope were usually integrated into a society unaware of their presence. They were fairly common in tropical areas, banding with nagas, and those of yuan-ti enclaves. The sarrukh of Okoth would fairly often employ wereserpents as their lackeys.
There were rumors around 1479 DR that there was a city full of wereserpents, known as Buldamar, in the Lake of Salt. The seemingly normal city folk would transform into their serpentine forms during nightfall.
A fallen noble house of Tethyr, the Janor family, was made up of many wereserpents. Despite the rumors, the Janors of Zazesspur had kept it a secret. They maintained their wealth by investing in businesses, both illegal and legal, throughout the Sword Coast.
Sarrukh and yuan-ti had the knowledge of changing humans and other humanoids into wereserpents.
- The original form of a wereserpent could also be a giant, as opposed to a human.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 167, 270–271. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 69–70. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Matt Sernett (December 2010). “Born Under a Violent Moon: Shifters in the Forgotten Realms”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #394 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 60–64.
Aranea • Coyotlwere • Hengeyokai • Jackalwere • Selkie • Shifter • Wolfwere