The Sand Viper is the most dangerous known snake on the Sarvonian continent. Even if it is most commonly only found in the desert of Rahaz-Dath, some very few cases have been reported of some Sand Vipers being found in the nearby Narfost Plain as well. Besides being very poisonous the Sand Viper is also one of Sarvoniaís most beautiful reptiles, it has a beautiful yellow hide covered with white spots outlined in black. This hide, when worked properly, can be turned into the most beautiful skin jackets and boots.
Appearance. The Sand Viper is not long, sometimes it can reach the length of one ped, but there have been rumors about sightings of 4 ped long vipers as well.
The Sand Viper, as all snakes, is covered in many small scales of a splendid yellow color, it also has white markings that are outlined with a thin line of black. These markings form a very regular pattern that follows the extension of the Viperís body. It also have several lineal markings on its head that could look like a human eye if one uses a bit of imagination.
The eyes of the Sand Viper are also yellow and has a small round pupil, they are placed on each side of the head, this giving the Sand Viper a very poor binocular sight. The eyes are protected by a thin, translucent membrane to protect it from the sand. It also have a extra pair of eyelids.
The sand viper has also a very good sense of smell that it uses to find and capture its food. However,, as most snakes, the Sand Viper is completely deaf, but it can feel the vibrations of the sound waves trough the ground and the air, but it canít tell the difference between sound frequencies.
Finally the snake has a double set of fangs that is used to inject the poison into its prey or its enemies. The poison of the Sand Viper is both a neurotoxine and a hemotoxine, the neurotoxine paralyzes the muscles and respiratory reflexes and the hemotoxin causes a massive destruction of the red blood cells. The prey dies of blood loss or of lack of air after few minutes. The smaller the animal the faster the poison makes its effect. Assassins are known to use the poison of this particular Viper because it works very quick and has no known antidote.
Special Abilities. The Sand Viper can camouflage perfectly in the sand because of its yellow color. The double pair of fangs allows the snake also to inject massive quantities of poison when it bites, the poison being one of the most lethal in all Santharia.
Territory. The desert of Rahaz-Dath and its surrounding territories. Some very few cases have been reported of some Sand Vipers being found in the nearby Narfost Plain as well.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Sand Viper has adapted perfectly to the dry desert of Rahaz-Dath, during the daytime it buries itself in the sand to protect itself from the burning heat, leaving only its head and eyes visible. If it is disturbed it will bite whatever is in reach, even if it is a rock or a piece of wood. It is a very aggressive reptile and with its swift movements it is also a very efficient killer. The Sand Viper is very territorial and will defend the area around its nest ferociously, attacking anyone or anything that comes to close. Many a traveler has been saved from the bite of the Sand Viper by using a walking stick to tap the ground before their feet. The Sand Viper hunts mostly by night and with help of its sense of smell and vibrations.
The Viper sheds its skin with irregular intervals, from two to five times a year depending on the presence of humidity in the air.
Diet. The Sand Viper feeds mostly on the Dune Mouse that can also be found in the desert. It also eats small insects and lizards.
Mating. The mating of the Sand Viper occurs in the early spring months. The males leave their territory in search for a female to mate with. When more than one male wishes to mate the same female a rather spectacular battle takes place. The males riss the front of their bodies and have a "wrestling" match, the one that is forced to the ground first looses and the winner will be the one allowed to mate.
The Sand Viper is oviparous and the female will lay up to twenty eggs at once that she carefully buries in the sand to protect them from heat during the day and from cold during the night as she guards them. Most wanderers that die from Sand Viper bites are the ones that try to rob the nest (the eggs of the Sand Viper are considered as delicatessen by the people from Strata) and found themselves faced with a furious mother.
The eggs hatch after two months and the small Vipers have to survive by themselves as the mother leaves them. Nevertheless each one of the small Vipers has enough poison to make it off with a grown human being.
Information provided by Lucirina Telor Vevan