Naga Adolescent, Elven Forest Water (CR 4)
AC: 16 (0 Dex, 6 natural), 10 touch, flat-footed 16
Hit Dice: 4d8+4 (22 hp)
Fort +6, Ref +1, Will +6
Speed: 30 ft., swim 40 ft.
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +3; Grapple +2
Attack: Bite +5 melee
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee
Damage: Bite 1d6+2, constrict 1d4 pr round
Special Attacks/Actions: Poison, constrict
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 15
Special Qualities: -
Feats: Alertness, Lightning Reflexes,
Skills: Spot +1 and Swim +1
Climate/Terrain: Temperate aquatic
Adult water naga spend the winter hibernating in deep holes dug in the floors of ponds or rivers. They emerge in early spring and, after eating a hearty meal of frogs and fish, mate underwater. The female lays 100-500 eggs in the deepest area of the pond, then covers them with mud. The mud conceals the eggs and keeps them warm until they begin to hatch in mid-spring.
The hatchlings grow quickly, reaching a length of 10 feet in a matter of weeks. During this time, their neck spikes fall out, and they begin to acquire their characteristic scales (emerald green in reticulated patterns with pale jade green) and red spikes along the length of their spine. They also grow lizardlike legs, a pair at each end. Lungs develop, enabling the adolescent naga to crawl ashore and breathe air. Though it can still breathe water, the naga spends most of its adolescence on land, creeping through the grass for rats and slithering up trees for bluebirds.
All but the most ferocious predators, such as chimerae and dragons, avoid the adolescent naga. If the naga can't frighten them away, it can usually outrun them; the naga's legs allow it to move as fast as a jackal. The intact hide of an adolescent naga, including the leg skin, can bring as much as 5,000 gold pieces from collectors.
By late summer the adolescent has grown to its full 20-foot length. At this time, the naga enters its final stage by shedding its outer layer of skin. It scrapes against rocks or other sharp projections until the skin peels off in a single piece. Its head comes off as well, along with its legs. A tiny bud resembling a miniature human skull appears where the serpent head used to be. Over the next few days, the skull expands and becomes covered with scaly flesh. The water naga is now mature. The shed skin, complete with serpent head and legs, can fetch 35,000 gold pieces or more.
Creatures with the aquatic subtype always have swim speeds and thus can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe underwater. It cannot also breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality.