1870s paintings by Arnold Böcklin, 1878 For centuries, rangers from the Queen’s Wood have traded rumors of a blighted fortress built from hundreds of thousands of petrified sacrifices. It is here that the half-tarrasque hydraic medusa serpent queen is said to dwell, reigning over a court of snake cultists drenched in the blood of displacer beast young.

Believed to be an icon in her own right, the serpent queen is the progeny of the tarrasque and the first hydra, who in turn laid the eggs that would hatch into the first seven medusas. According to legend, her stronghold materializes in the midst of elven kingdoms that let the passage of time erode tradition, though if any elves have survived such a calamity, they have not come forward to tell of it.

Half-Tarrasque Hydraic Medusa Serpent Queen

Ochre plates of chitin reinforce the emerald-colored hide of a towering hydra. Each of the beast’s five heads bears a medusa’s face and snaky hair, and their segmented eyes cast down upon a gallery of crumbling petrified warriors. An iron crown wrought in the shape of a coiled serpent rests atop each head.

Huge 7th level wrecker [BEAST] Initiative: +9
Immunity: poison

HP 215            AC 23
PD 21              MD 17

Snaky hair +12 vs. AC (5 attacks) – 20 poison damage.
Natural even hit: 10 ongoing damage (save ends).
Natural 16+: The serpent queen may make a tangle of petrifying gazes attack as a free action.

[Special Trigger] C: Tangle of petrifying gazes +12 vs. MD (up to 5 nearby enemies) – 20 psychic damage, and the target must start making last gasp saves as it turns to stone.
Limited use: 1/round.

Coordinated bite +12 vs. AC – 100 damage.
Natural even miss: 50 damage.
Natural 16+: The serpent queen may make a roar of the tarrasque attack as a free action.

[Special Trigger] Roar of the tarrasque +12 vs. MD (1d3 nearby enemies in a group) – 50 thunder damage, and the target is dazed (save ends).

Caught by an eye: Whenever a nearby enemy attacks the serpent queen and rolls a natural 1, the serpent queen may make a tangle of petrifying gazes attack against a single target as a free action.

Reflective armor plating: When a magical attack targets the serpent queen, the attacker must roll a natural 6+ on the attack roll. Otherwise, the attack hits one of the attacker’s allies instead (determined randomly).

Serpent’s coil: Enemies take a penalty to last gasp saves equal to the escalation die.

Sprout heads: The first time the serpent queen is staggered, it sprouts a sixth and seventh head, gaining two additional snaky hair and tangle of petrifying gazes attacks.

Tarrasque invulnerability: When the serpent queen is reduced to 0 hit points, it does not die, but rather discorporates, regenerating after 1d10 days. The serpent queen can be slain only in battle if it is wounded at least once by a magic wand crafted by a demon of 7th level or higher.

TREASURE

When the half-tarrasque hydraic medusa serpent queen is slain, the PCs may claim the following rewards in addition to any treasure they would normally earn.

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  • One of the crowns worn by the serpent queen is magical. A living creature that wears the crown is immune to poison, cannot be turned to stone, and may command any medusas, hydras, or hatchling tarrasques they encounter.
  • The queen’s seventh head has three eyes, the middle of which is actually an eye-shaped crystal vial. This vial is filled with water collected from the waterfall cascading down from a floating island that only appears for seven days every seven years. The effect(s) of this water, and its connection to the serpent queen, are unknown.
  • About the Author

    Sersa Victory is the founder of SVD Press, a small group that publishes deathtrap dungeons for D&D, Dungeon World, and 13th Age. Among other titles and curses, Sersa was named Apprentice of Acererak by Chris Perkins and Monarch of the Monsters by Kobold Press readers. His adventures, including Revenge of the Iron Lich and Fane of the Heresiarch, laid the foundation for the genre that would be known as fourthcore.

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