The Zilant is a serpent that is rumored to fly and walk upright, like a chicken. It is also (supposedly) fire breathing. It's size is undetermined, but it is rumored to be immense.
No Zilants have been encountered (by the party), but one of their number, Yaqub, supposedly lives under a hill 10 versts upstream from the Kochmak city of Udyn.
Hatchlings - presumably, the progeny of a zilant - have been encountered. They are approximately the size of a typical poisonous snake, but fatter, with thicker scales, and aglow with fire. A hatchling that approaches one closely causes minor burns on their body. They also secrete a venom, which is painful, and causes short-term paralysis. More than a dozen seem to be born to an adult zilant at a given time.
The creatures are meat eaters, consuming livestock, wild cattle and horses, as well as people, judging by the bones in their lair.
The adults are 15 feet long, or longer, with grey scales, gold-colored extremities, avian (or chicken-like) feet, bat wings, and a long, clubbed tail. They are capable of breathing fire. Some specimens are able to take human form, and to use magic, while others seem to possess only rudimentary intelligence.
Civilization and Culture
According to rumors (now confirmed), male adults kidnap human females.
Common Myths and Legends
According to an interpretation of a prophecy by Princess Botagöz of Udyn, a zilant is to destroy that city. This may now be in process, as Yaqub's serpent-wife has flown off in the direction of that city.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Some specimens claim rulership over certain human communities and settlements (e.g. in the form of claiming ownership of their water supply). They may also manipulate human relationships to serve their interests (for instance, paying raiders to capture human slaves). They occasionally pass in human form. Some seem to display an interest in human artifices.