Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain:Tropical and subtropical jungles
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Genius (17-18)
Alignment:Lawful good
No. Appearing:1-4
Armor Class:5
Movement:6, Fl 18 (A)
Hit Dice:9
No. of Attacks:2
Damage/Attack:1-3/2-8 (2d4)
Special Attacks:Poison, magic use
Special Defenses:Etherealness
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L (12' long)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:6,000

Psionics Summary


Clairsentience - Science: aura sight; Devotions: all-round vision, see sound.

Psychometabolism - Science: metamorphosis; Devotions: chemical simulation, ectoplasmatic form.

Psychoportation - Science: teleport; Devotion: time shift.

Telepathy - Science: mind link; Devotions: ESP, invisibility.

The couatl are feathered serpents of myth and lore. It is believed that they are distant relatives of dragons, although this remains unproven.

So rare as to be considered almost legendary, the couatl is one of the most beautiful creatures in existence. It has the body of a long serpent and feathered wings the color of the rainbow. Since it has the ability to polymorph, the couatl will sometimes appear in the form of other creatures (always of good alignment).

Couatl are able to communicate via telepathy with almost any intelligent creature which they encounter. In addition, they can speak common and most serpent and avian languages.

Combat: A couatl will seldom attack without provocation, though it will always attack evildoers caught red-handed. Whenever possible, a couatl will attack from the air.

Since it is highly intelligent, the couatl will frequently use its spells from a distance before closing with its foes. If more than one couatl is involved, they will discuss their strategy before a battle. The couatl will also not hesitate to polymorph into another, more effective form in combat.

The couatl have a variety of abilities which make them more than a match for most other creatures. In addition to being able to polymorph themselves at will, a couatl can use magic. Fully 45% will be 5th level wizards, while 35% can act as 7th level priests. The remaining 20% are able to use both types of abilities.

In addition to their other magical abilities, couatl can render themselves and up to 450 pounds of additional matter ethereal at will. Further, they can detect good/evil, detect magic, turn invisible, and employ ESP whenever they desire to do so. The oldest and most powerful of couatl can also use a plane shift on themselves and up to 8 others. This ability has a 90% chance of reaching the desired plane.

The couatl uses its poisonous bite and constriction when forced into melee combat. When it bites it does 1-3 points of damage and injects a deadly toxin. If the victim fails a save vs. poison it is killed instantly. If the constriction attack succeeds, the victim takes 2-8 points damage each round until it or the couatl is killed.

Habitat/Society: This winged serpent is native to warm, jungle-like regions but can also be found flying through the ether. Their intelligence and goodness have made them objects of reverence by the natives of the regions which they inhabit. Considered to be divine, there are many legends in which the couatl is the benefactor of mankind and the bestower of such precious gifts as agriculture and medicine. There are even shrines in certain areas dedicated to the couatl, and any who attack or harm a couatl are automatically viewed as the blackest of villains.

Although solitary in nature, couatl think of themselves as a single, extended clan. This clan is led by the oldest and wisest of their numbers but assembles only in dire emergencies.

Most couatl dwell alone, making their lairs in caves and abandoned buildings in remote, uninhabited regions. They hunt jungle animals for food once every fortnight or so. Many enjoy traveling, often undertaking long journeys of exploration.

On rare occasions, a pair will mate for life and establish a joint lair. Unlike many other reptiles, the couatl bear live young. Births are rare, averaging only one per couple each century. Both parents participate in the rearing and education of the single offspring, and will fight to the death if their child is threatened. Young couatl reach maturity in thirty or forty years and, though some will elect to remain with their parents for as long as a century, will eventually set off in search of the couatl's never-ending quest for wisdom.

Intellectually curious, all couatl have vast stores of information and enjoy learning more. When one of them learns some new and fascinating fact he will inevitably set out in search of his brethren to share and discuss it.

Couatl can sometimes be persuaded to help good adventurers or give sound council. If they feel that they are being sought for frivolous reasons, they will simply fly away. They are not greedy and do not seek treasure for its own sake. Aid from a couatl may well take the form of a magical item from its hoard.

Ecology: The couatl usually reigns supreme in its jungle, having little to fear from most other monsters.