A serpent must first seek to live, and survive. There are times when it must hunt and kill. And there are times when it must hide, or obscure its true nature. A serpent is a creature of the world, a symbol of life, and a symbol of an ever-changing world. A serpent will shed skin as it grows, adopting a new skin and form.
These were the words that reverberated through the mind of Viper. Commandments and a way of life.
A serpent must first seek to live and survive. This meant that the first priority for Viper must be survival. This governed his early life, the fight just to survive. Thus, he became the hunter.
There are times when it must hunt and kill. Viper became a hunter and killer for the Count and the valley. Not a random killer, he was no assassin. But he was able and willing to kill to survive and those who threatened his home. For a snake is a hunter and killer to live and survive.
There are times when it must hide, or obscure its true nature. He learned the art of hiding, the ambush, and the quiet kill from a distance from the serpent. A serpent is not a fighter, a creature that relishes the engagement of tooth and claw. It will hide from superior foes. It will strike from ambush, surprising its enemies.
A creature of the world, a symbol of life. The serpent is a creature of the wild, it does not feed on carrion. It will only kill to eat and survive. And it does not condone those who kill for the simple purpose of killing. From this Viper learned his hatred of the Orcs, creatures that would kill just for sport, and the Undead, who defied the normal circle of life.
A serpent will shed skin as it grows, adopting a new skin and form. Life is change and growth. A serpent never stays the same, it grows, shedding skin and emerging new every time. Adopting this Viper now knew it was time for the shedding of skin. Time to emerge a new person and creature. There were still times when he would remain a creature of the earth and shadow. But his new form could also rise to the skies, in brilliant plumage, demonstrating the beauty of life in all of its forms.
I was thinking more about my Pathfinder character and I wrote this. Because there are a lot of different concepts and ideas about snakes and serpents. There are the silent killers, the vipers. There are some snakes who rely upon stealth, camouflage and trickery to lure prey, avoid hunters and stay alive. Often the serpent is used as a symbol of rebirth, the never-ending cycle of life.
And I thought of all the ways that my character has approached his snake worship since I began playing him. Of how his approach to snakes and what snakes do have influenced how I approached and built the character. And now that his approach has become more heroic he is thinking less of the earthbound snakes, and now thinks about the beautiful Couatl, the mythical flying serpents.
This whole thing with this character has been a lot of fun. I can really only think of one other time when I put this kind of thought in a character. And in that case, I was to a large extent just mimicking the character in one of my favorite book series.But in this case, it has been all me. It has been my own ideas and learning more about the system. I am proud of all the work I have done on this. It really captures how much I can put in and get out of my role playing games.