Bright eyed and scaly tailed with a few fangs in for good measure, the O'quadar Riding Snake is probably the most friendly thing you'll ever meet. Coming from the far off Linfalas Forest located at the Crimson Isles between Sarvonia and Nybelmar these things are quite content to please. Everybody loves the O'quadar Riding Snake.
Appearance. "Huge" is an appropriate description for this Riding Snake: The average male is 15 peds in length and 1 ped in diameter. Females are slightly less at around 3/4ths the size of their male counterparts. For coloring they have stripes, males have orange, red, and black stripes, with a dull yellow coloring of the Snake, females have purple, gray, and red stripes, and a slightly lighter shade of yellow than males. These stripes tend to indent into the Snake's body about four nailsbreadths which is extremely useful for saddles - these indents increase grip when the Snake is moving, thus allowing it to move faster, easier. They both have huge bright yellow eyes, giving the Snake a friendly look.
The O'quadar is a cold blooded Snake, like most others, and is consequently
quite fast in direct sunlight, easily matching any horse in speed as it slithers
along the ground, slithering unfortunately doesn't give as smooth a ride as one
would think merely replacing the up and down of horses
with a side to side, although special saddles have been manufactured to counter
this annoying problem. The O'quadar is loyal to you so long as it likes you and
it likes most anything that doesn't try to harm it. The Snake is also very
economical after you buy it, being cheap to maintain. An unfortunate problem
with the Snake however is that many of the more excentric and rich buyers like
to have a pit of O'quadar's for dropping unsuspecting heroes into. The Snake is
non-venemous, but the heroes in the pits don't mind nearly as much.
Territory. The snake evolved in the Linfalas Forest at the Crimson Isles between Sarvonia and Nybelmar and thus has no other natural place to go since it can not fly or swim at all. It is exclusively found at this small island, with the exception of bought and trapped ones, transported to other places and bred.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Snake is very friendly. It will purr if petted and it will love a master for ever after only a little attention. O'quadars are usually saddled for comfort as the Snake is indifferent to this object of leather attached to its back. The Snake is tolerant and happy most of the time. In its native habitat it has no natural enemies, short of trappers and even then they are simply moved, which doesn't bother them very much due to their natural happy disposition.
Hunting is a simple task for the O'quadar, which they do about once a day. They stalk around the forest until they find what they want. Then they silently get into position to attack, then they rush in for a quick bite to the side. Most animals die right there after getting bit in the side, thus the needlessness of poison. The O'quadar usually doesn't bother chasing those who get away and is patient enough to simply find a new target.
O'quadar are generally not very social beasts. Most O'quadar are spotted alone with an indifferent look on their face despite how the person spotting them is not a normal sight. A male O'quadar lives around 40 years, a female near 50. Very few O'quadars die of anything besides old age, them being giant snakes and all.
An O'quadar sheds its skin once every six months. It easily wriggles out of it and leaves it behind to be turned into a bird's nest or a hand bag or extremely hungry coyote food.
Diet. The diet of the Riding Snake is probably what makes it so desirable. Despite its humungous size it has an incredibly slow metabolism as most Snakes do. It can live easily off of a deer each day, and mostly they will find them on their own making it quite economical for you, overfeeding is not especially fatal to the Snake but it may get fat and a fat O'quadar seems to not feel like doing very much so it is best not to overfeed.
Mating. An O'quadar Riding Snake will mate once in its life. The female births approximately five baby snakes. The two parents will stay with them until they reach adulthood after three years. It is uncertain why it takes this long for the baby to grow but it takes that long. After the children finish growing the family all will go their seperate ways to live out their lives.
Origins. Although the actual origin of the O'quadar is unknown, the Snake's discovery is still a widely told anecdote, dispite its not being especially funny after the n-th time it is told. Basically all it is, is a fishing story. The story goes something like this:
"A man of Gnyle is walking through the forest when he is accosted by the indifferent stare from bright yellow eyes. The man of course runs away and heads straight to the bar, where he tells all his friends an incredibly exaggerated account.
"There I was," He starts, "Standing there, returning the stare of a great serpent beast! Its eyes showed emotionless death, as it spelled out my future. Suddenly it sprang forth like a demon and attempted to swallow me alive. Fortunately I jumped out of the way behind a tree and deciding the best course of action I stood in front of the beast and held out my hand. 'STOP!' I said and the monster did fearing my voice. I went on telling it not to bother me or my people ever again or else a great wrath would fall upon its kind. The beast slithered away defeated and now we are safe!"
Of course the man wasn't believed in the slightest and somebody soon went into the forest and studied this "Great Beast". One was soon taken out of the forest and discovered to be a friendly critter.
At the moment Gnyle has declared the O'quadar as their cities mascot and a humungous blue flag with a coiled up O'quadar on it is flying high up in the city."
-- "Incredible Stories" by A.G. Loft, p. 181.
The O'quadar Riding Snake trade business only started a few years ago. The
Snakes are used both for commercial and individual use. Some ferry groups of 20
people to a Snake across dangerous grounds for a considerable price. Others use
the Snake to move large burdens. Commercial use of these Snakes has increased
economies for many places due to their high efficiency over goblin slaves or
other similar things.
Assorted different types of saddles are used for Snake riding. One type has metal coils in between the Snake and saddle that flatten and stretch as the Snake moves left or right. This absorbs any sort of shock created as the Snake moves. Another example is a moveable saddle, clamped either onto the Snake or around it. It has two bars, one in front and back. The saddle slides along the bars in a, to the passenger, stationary form, as the Snake slithers left and right underneath. Many forms of saddles exist for the snake, most actual owners have designed their own but all of these are engineering marvels.
Information provided by Belgarion