Yuan Ti

Yuan Ti are snake like creatures.

The species comprises a number of castes. In some campaign settings, the yuan-ti are descended from evil human cultists who mixed their bloodlines with those of serpents. They have formidable psychic abilities. The original yuan-ti castes were the abominations, the halfbreeds, and the purebloods

histachii yuan-ti in Shao Wei

Histachii are savage creatures who were once human prisoners, but were transformed into reptillian-humanoids by their yuan-ti captors via the drinking of a potion of yuan-ti venom mixed with other ingredients. The resulting savage and mindless creature serves no purpose other than as fodder for the yuan-ti; to run headlong into opposing foes, to guard the brood chambers, to tear apart any non reptillian creature they see. Those too old or stupid to be of any use, or those too powerful for the yuan-ti to control, are left on the surface to rot and die.

Yuan-ti breeds

The yuan-ti come in several distinct castes or breeds. The three most prevalent, described in the Third Edition Monster Manual, are as follows:

Purebloods appear mostly human, with minor reptilian features, such as slitted eyes, a forked tongue, or patches of scales on their skin. They serve as diplomats and infiltrators, pretending to be human.

Halfbloods are humanoid in shape but have a wide variety of noticeable serpentine features, such as a snakelike tail in place of legs, a complete covering of scales, a hood like a cobra, a snake's head, or snakes in place of arms. Halfbloods serve as warriors and temple assistants.

Abominations are almost completely snakelike, with only a few human features, such as arms or a humanoid head. They are the most venerated within the yuan-ti society, serving as clerics and in other roles of power.

In addition to the three main breeds, other breeds have been described as well:

Tainted ones are human agents of the yuan-ti who have willingly undergone a ritual of transformation to make themselves yuan-ti, gaining a venomous bite and slight psionic ability. They retain their human appearance but often develop reptilian mannerisms, such as frequently licking their lips or drawing out sibilant sounds as they speak. They first appeared in Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn.

Broodguards, also known as histachii, are humans who have undergone the ritual of transformation but have been found unworthy, degenerating into hairless, near-mindless reptilian monsters. The yuan-ti employ these wretches as watchers over egg-broods and other demeaning tasks. They first appeared as the histachii in Dragon Magazine #151 ("The Ecology of the Yuan-ti" by David Wellham, 1989).

Holy guardians are a rare breed specifically bred as temple guards; they are also sent on missions to obtain needed goods for abomination priests. Holy guardians are naturally servile and follow their superiors without question. They uniformly have a serpentile tail in place of legs and a snakelike head. They first appeared in Serpent Kingdoms.

Mageslayers, another rare type of yuan-ti, are bred for the special purpose of battling or hunting down human magic-users, and most of their abilities are magical rather than psionic. Mageslayers have a humanlike head but a snakelike tail instead of legs. They first appeared in Serpent Kingdoms.

Anathemas are by far the most powerful and loathsome of yuan-ti, worshiped as divine incarnations of Merrshaulk. They are truly bizarre in appearance, with a body made of hundreds of snakes entwined together to hold up a gargantuan snake head. An anathema's power dwarfs even that of an abomination, but since they represent such unfettered chaos, they are usually found away from yuan-ti cities, establishing cults that worship Merrshaulk through them. They make a common practice of grafting yuan-ti body parts onto humans and other races for use as personal servants. Anathemas are extremely rare, however, and only a handful are likely to exist on any world. They first appeared in the Third Edition version of the Fiend Folio.

Ignans are another rare subspecies of yuan-ti that dwell in hotter climes of the world, including in volcanoes and on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Ignas are similar to yuan-ti halfbloods, except they are slightly more powerful due to some of the fire spells they wield. Ignans were first described in Monster Manual IV.

Wretchlings are pathetic creatures created out of humans and used as guards and expendable shock troops by the yuan-ti. They are unintelligent and wander throughout the jungles of Xen'drik. Wretchlings have no memory of their former human lives and have a savage desire to kill, though they lack the intellect for complex strategies unless carefully instructed by their masters. Wretchlings look like scaly humans with fangs, reptilian eyes and patchy hair. They first appeared in Secrets of Xen'drik.


The goal of the Yuan-ti, as dictated by their demonic god Merrshaulk, is to bring about the ultimate destruction of the world.

In addition, there is a sub-faction of Yuan-ti, the Vanguard of Sertrous (outlined in Elder Evils), who follow the teachings of the ancient obyrinth Sertrous, sometimes known as the first heretic, who wish to assist him in reconquering his layer of the Abyss.

Yuan-ti society as described The Ecology of the Yuan-Ti, Dragon #151, 1989 was divided into the pureblood, halfbreed and abomination castes. The histachii were described as the progenitors of the yuan-ti. It was necessary for the yuan-ti to acquire human captives to turn into histachii, as breeding between any of three yuan-ti castes resulted only in abominations, while histachii could produce purebloods and halfbreeds.

Serpent Kingdoms


In Shao-Wei


In Reshaga


In Zamunda, near Khemet. The nation is no more, but remnants remain within Khemet. The nation is old and is looking to rise again. It used to be centered around the Upper Anekh Region.

At Whydah, the chief centre, there is a serpent temple, tenanted by some fifty snakes. Every python of the danh-gbi kind must be treated with respect, and death is the penalty for killing one, even by accident. Danh-gbi has numerous wives, who until 1857 took part in a public procession from which the profane crowd was excluded; a python was carried round the town in a hammock, perhaps as a ceremony for the expulsion of evils. The rainbow-god of the Ashanti was also conceived to have the form of a snake. His messenger was said to be a small variety of boa, but only certain individuals, not the whole species, were sacred. In many parts of Africa the serpent is looked upon as the incarnation of deceased relatives.

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