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The jaculus is a stout, dun snake which grows about a foot long, up to a third of which is its serrated rattle. It possesses an unusual, cross-hatched ribcage that grants an insectile appearance when moving and the ability to lock itself rigid, rib-against-rib. The breed has a narcotic venom akin to that of the amphisbaena.

In the wild, a jaculus typically hunts birds, squirrels, and beetles among the tree branches. During the spring, they cluster above predators’ lairs, and fall upon prey much larger than what they can eat themselves, stiffening their bodies to drive their rattle deep inside. This fragile structure then breaks off and releases a flood of debilitating toxins while the serpent withdraws to safety. The poisoned animal is easy prey for the larger predator, and scavengers and insects drawn to the kill provide ample food for the jaculus and its newly hatched young.

Thaia-thaan’ag breeds jaculi and use them in their raids. An agitated swarm released into a forest slithers into the trees, only to fall on those attempting to flee. Cultists can also charm the snakes into rigidity, at which point they become useful as daggers or crossbow bolts. A jaculus rarely survives such uses but the cultists have hundreds more seething in their breeding temples, so it matters very little.

The jaculus darts from the branches of trees; and it is not only to our feet that the serpent is formidable, for these fly through the air even, just as though they were hurled from an engine. --Pliny the Elder. Naturalis Historia, ca. 77 AD