The Basilisk Picture

In thinking of redefining certain mythological creatures, I found that older descriptions of basilisks and cockatrices are nearly identical. At some point in time, cockatrices became large cockerels with bat wings and a lizard tail, possibly with teeth (hens teeth eh?). D&D has their bite as petrifying, but the legend around them still says their gaze for the most part. Basilisks seem to be a simple change of name early on, but evolved into more of a lizard with a gaze of stone (in Harry Potter, it becomes a snake, though that is a throwback to it being the "king of serpents" and Pliny the Elder describing it as a small snake). The names likely arise from misunderstanding a description of alligators sunning with their mouths open and birds settling in to pick the gators' teeth. To become about a lizard with a bird's head.

I decided to make a re-design of a basilisk for possible use in a setting, using throw-back elements to when it and cockatrice were interchangeable (though they would not be in my setting, as I'll cop out and use the typical appearance for a cockatrice). There will only be one, and it takes its appearance from a raven and a black dragon crossed, in a configuration similar to hippogryphs and griffons. A female cockatrice would have a poison bite, slow acting and creating a rigor-mortise sort of state, but the Basilisk will have petrifying abilities from gaze alone, at choice either a paralysis or the usual stone one, or a possible "kill you on the spot" that legend still mentions. It would also be a divine being.

I really should work on that setting more. Or run it. It would be a long while before this fellow showed up.
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