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The cerastes is a three-foot long, slime-coated, mottled green and yellow serpent with an amphibian, protoplasmic cast. Its head is dominated by four scything, dagger-long tusks ringing a lamprey-like mouth. Tiny black eyes glisten with ophidian malice.

Foul-tempered and territorial, the cerastes attacks anything that nears its fetid lair, lashing out to rend with its terrible maw. It then sucks the fluids from the stunned or dying victim, draining it to a husk with incredible rapidity. Cerastes who happen to capture large prey have been known to swell themselves to bursting in feeding.

Though they prefer fresh-water marshes and swamps, cerastes have been encountered in forests and wastes. They do not tolerate extreme cold or salt water well, so are seldom found far north or near the shoreline. In winter, a cerastes collapses its lair around itself and freezes in the earth until the thaw.

In the wild the serpents roll in detritus, which sticks to the tacky mucus coating their bodies to blend in with whatever environment they inhabit. When tended by cults, they are kept glistening oily within the temples and burrows. They are also favored companions for ambushes and waylays due to their adaptive camouflage. There are reports of some cults having bred much larger specimens.