"Noone can come close to them without a Shasreel accompanying them. Even the High Priestesses are scared of those things!"
"A High Priestess? Scared of one of Sturn's children?"
"Why else would they be strictly forbidden within the city? What would people think if the priesthood couldn't protect us? Just- Shut up and buy something. Someone's coming." - Anonymous traders in Bakison's marketplace, arrested shortly afterwards.
The Nehebek, commonly referred to as the 'Great Serpents of the Sands', are the third-largest beasts roaming The Sands of Sturn
behind the Mastodons and Mountain Rays, but remain by far the most aggressive. Females of the species can grow to reach forty feet in length with males reaching closer to fifty. Their heads measure over two feet wide and can separate their mandibles to exceed that, easily capable of swallowing most Risen and beasts of the desert whole without issue. Covering their body in plates of light beige, their scales are thick and sharp, raising off of their body with a slight red hue. This coloration allows them to blend neatly into the desert sands even when not submergered below the surface.
Despite a fierce combination of size and advanced musculature that could overpower most prey, the Nehebek are primarily ambush predators. They vibrate the scales along their body and move in a peculiar pattern to sink below the sands leaving two tipped 'horns' above their nostrils above the surface. Beyond this they stay contrary to most of their kind and work in packs for coordinated hunting. The serpents lie in wait for a prey to cross into their hunting grounds before all of them begin vibrating harshly, shaking the surrounding sands to the point where it is nearly impossible to traverse. They strike rapidly, one after the other pumping their target full of venom before wrapping around and breaking them with constriction. For prey to large to swallow whole or when food has been scarce, multiple Nehebek will constrict together, targeting individual limbs and wrenching the body apart into pieces small enough to share with the pack.
A pack is typically made up of one male and three to four females. It is unusual for the male to be the largest of the species, but it remains common for the Nehebek to be uncommon. The male is the pack leader, deciding the hunting grounds, the prey, and the pecking order within. They display a keen intelligence and communicate with one another on a scale unheard of amongst other serpents. Beyond this, they are known to hunt and eat Dahlen
just like any other prey in the desert. This has brought forth a fear out of the Risen, which originally believed all serpents to be allies under Sturn
's creation. An anomaly to be sure as none of the priesthood have been able to figure out why they are this way. For now, the High Priestesses have outlawed any intended interaction with the Nehebek, regardless of the reason.