In Erendorn, there is a venom so potent that Twilight Elf Assassins have dedicated many years to procuring it. But this venom is held in the mouths of the Sloo-Tans, a race of humanoid snakes who are not only highly skilled in combat, but are also protected by an 18-foot abnormity of their own creation.

Digital painting of two armoured Sloo-Tans in the desert

The Sloo-Tan of Erendorn

Native to the arid deserts that lie to the north-east of Erendorn, the Sloo-Tans are a race of humanoid snakes who possess vicious venom and fearsome combat skills. With a muscular torso fused to their characteristically green tail, these creatures slither quickly across the ground like nothing ever seen before.

Over the years, the Sloo-Tans have developed many different adaptations that allow them to live in Erendorn’s sun-scorched deserts. Their colourless, almost anaemic skin is tinged in grey, allowing them to easily disappear not only into their inherited sheets of sand, but also into most types of environments that they find themselves in. Meanwhile, the dark green scales of their long, coiling tails help to distract targets, drawing their attention to what appears to be a dormant snake but what is in fact a hungry Sloo-Tan awaiting its prey.

To withstand the burning hot sands, the Sloo-Tans move in a mesmerising serpentine manner, sidewinding across the desert floor to avoid their membranous human skin from becoming blistered. This species also has the ability to retain huge amounts of water in order to survive the desiccated environment that surrounds them. Although living in this terrain has been difficult, and while many members of the race have since left their parched homeland, the deserts have still equipped the Sloo-Tans with many excellent skills.

Skills in Combat

After hundreds of years spent sidewinding through the deserts and hunting at close range, Sloo-Tans have evolved incredible speed and accuracy when it comes to combat. Their hybrid also comes with many advantages: they have the upper body strength of a trained soldier as well as the serpentine swiftness of their reptilian ancestors, allowing them to easily dodge oncoming attacks. All of these skills have made the Sloo-Tans incredibly proficient in combat.

However, while their fighting abilities are impressive, it is the venom carried in these creatures’ salivary glands that makes the Sloo-Tans so formidable. This race has some of the deadliest, most potent venom in Erendorn. Although they do not always rely on it, it means that these creatures are dangerous to engage with. But there is one race in Erendorn that isn’t deterred by the Sloo-Tan’s deadly venom – in fact, they are obsessed with it.

Twilight Elf Assassins and the Sloo-Tans

The biggest threat to the Sloo-Tans are the Twilight Elves, a race that collects deadly poisons and venoms for use in toxic warfare. An elite group of assassins has made this race infamous, and it is part of their ongoing objective to procure the Sloo-Tan venom.

As a result of their obsession with obtaining the deadliest toxins in Erendorn, the Sloo-Tans are constantly attacked by hordes of Twilight Elf Assassins. Luckily for these humanoid snakes, their swiftness makes them some of the few creatures capable of outmanoeuvring a Twilight Elf Assassin. As a result, their frenzied foes are usually left disappointed, and for good cause; if Sloo-Tan venom fell into the Twilight Elves’ menacing hands, there is no telling what harm they would use it for.

There is one member of the Sloo-Tans who has the most powerful venom of all. While talk of his legend has meant that new, specialised fleets of assassins have been sent to ambush the Sloo-Tan settlement, this member’s safety is considered paramount above all else and the Sloo-Tans would do anything to protect him because this individual is not only their leader, he is also their self-created Venom Lord.

Digital painting of Elven assassins hiding in trees, waiting to ambush 2 humanoid snake creatures below
Twilight Elf Assassins frequently attack Sloo-Tans in an effort to procure their deadly venom for use in toxic warfare.

Venom Lords

Since the beginning of time, the Sloo-Tans have been breeding Venom Lords. These are enormous, almost monstrous members of the race who are bred in order to help defend the desert settlement. Venom Lords are created during the Sloo-Tans’ sacrosanct birthing ritual, which takes place in an area just beyond the peripherals of the desert: the Venom Fields.

Once in a moon’s cycle, the Sloo-Tan will venture out to the Venom Fields where they dig ten deep craters into the ground. Each crater is then filled with a hundred eggs which are left to merge with each other over the coming days. As the eggs combine, so does the biological matter inside begin to fuse with one another, eventually metamorphosing into a giant Sloo-Tan.

Being birthed in this way grants Venom Lords with incredible strength and awe-inspiring size. But the birthing ritual can be dangerous for this precise reason, and all members of the Sloo-Tan who are present for the birth of a Venom Lord attend with the knowledge that they are risking their life – for, every so often, a Venom Lord will immediately turn against the Sloo-Tans. This is why those who attend these rituals are usually highly skilled in combat and defence; they must be prepared to take down a Venom Lord if necessity dictates.

A Venom Lord’s aggression is also why the Sloo-Tans cannot risk breeding more than 10 at a time, since their monstrous creations could easily cause extreme destruction and high numbers of fatalities. Usually, the birthing of a Venom Lord unravels with no unexpected occurrences – but there was a ritual that did not go as planned. During one, legendary birthing process, a mistake was made, and a Venom Lord unprecedented in size and power was born.

Gigantus

One fateful night, on the eve of the birthing ritual’s final day before hatching, a momentous accident occurred. As always, ten craters had been dug in the Venom Fields and each filled with a hundred eggs. This time, however, the walls between the craters were dug very close together, causing them to weaken as the days unravelled. What happened next seems inevitable in retrospect; but for the Sloo-Tans present on that pivotal night, nothing could have prepared them for what was about to take place.

During the night, the walls between the craters eventually collapsed. Their cracking and crumbling alerted the watchful Sloo-Tans, who proceeded to hurry over in fear that a Venom Lord had awoken early and was in a rage. What they saw instead were a thousand eggs merging in a giant pit. The gravity of the mistake dawned on the Sloo-Tans in a sickening realisation as they watched their 18-foot creation burst from the ground.

3D renders of humanoid snake creature, a Sloo-Tans
Sloo-Tans are a humanoid snake species who possess some of the most potent venom in Erendorn.

Leading the Sloo-Tans

Given his immense size and power, it would not have been out of Gigantus’ nature to attack the Sloo-Tans on the night of his birth. If he had, we would be talking about them as a species on the brink of extinction. To the shock of all in attendance, Gigantus was very docile towards the Sloo-Tans that night. In fact, he has since become their leader, residing in a deeply entrenched crater where he is worshipped and idolised.

Word of Gigantus has travelled far across Erendorn, from the Dead Forest in the north to the Ice Plains in the south, and his legend has terrified many races. But while Gigantus has added another layer of protection to his race’s survival, his creation was an accident that the Sloo-Tans never wish to repeat lest they breed a destructive monster that turns against them.