Though natives of Ysgard, the winged snake-creatures known as lillendi are found across the planes of chaos, where they do all they can to protect works of creativity, both mortal and non.
Art and creativity are the center of lillendi culture in every aspect, the most valued and treasured concepts imaginable. Devoted to the progress of these endeavors, lillendi prize such pursuits more than any sort of material gain, finding a skilled piece of carving or a new manuscript worth far more than any amount of gold. The destruction of artistic works stirs in them a special horror, one they are usually quick to avenge. As such, the lillendi consider the Infinite Staircase a sacred site to their people, and desecrating it is an act quick to bring their wrath. This belief likely also comes about due to their status as servants of the various gods of the moon. Most often found in the service of the Faerunian power Selune, lillendi are in fact servants of all the various lunar deities, and though able to enter the Prime, they refrain from doing so unless ordered by the power that commands them. Many lillendi serve as proxies to their deities, though such proxies are most often the least involved in Prime affairs.
Lillend society is divided up into a variety of "secret" societies, known as "mysteries". Each mystery revolves around a specific morsel of information passed from generation to generation, each relating to some location, artform, or other such dark. These mysteries originate from the days before lillendi spread throughout the planes, each family having their own hidden knowledge and techniques for some form of art; as the lillendi grew and spread out, the focus on secrets left mere families and expanded to full guilds or societies. Each mystery has a specific mask associated with it, again dating back to when these masks were used to identify which lineage a lillend descended from. A lillend's status is determined by the number of mysteries to which they hold membership, with the highest-placed lillend bearing elaborate masks covered in the symbology or ideograms of dozens of mysteries. For example, one of the more well-known mysteries is the Infinity, to which those lillendi charged with guarding the Infinite Staircase belong. These lillendi each wear faceless masks of infinity, blank masks individually and subtly styled by each lillend, engraved only with the symbol of infinity and allowing a lillend to take the form of a similar symbol emblazoned upon some sort of solid surface.
Though generally peaceful folks, the lillendi are quick to violence when they feel offended, and hold long grudges. Beyond their attitudes to those who disrespect the arts, they often feud with the more violently-inclined petitioners of Ysgard, and are considered rivals of the asuras, devas, and valkyries. They have a special hatred for the baatezu and modrons as well, considering quite ill of such beings and looking for any excuse to attack when dealing with them; for the modrons, they find them staid and lacking in creativity, while the baatezu they find far too tyrannical and cruel. Lillendi have an odd relationship with tanar'ri; though they certainly do not approve of the fiends, they at least appreciate their refusal to be constricted by needless hierarchies and restrictions in the pursuit of their desires.
Lillendi tend to be somewhat serpent-like in their biologies, though only vaguely. Able to feed on most anything, both material food and magical essences, they can even survive on moonbeams and the essence of the wilderness, though they prefer solid food. With broad tastes, they consume most anything, though they get special pleasure from gorging themselves on meat, which induces in them a state of torpor. This state, though slowing them and making them gneerally sluggish, is quite enjoyed by the lillendi. These creatures are thought to excrete nothing, able to digest all substances with equal capability, though a few claim those substances they cannot digest are converted into the fog they are occasionally seen to exhale. Lillendi neither mate nor marry, reproducing parthenogenically, producing lifeforms that tend to resemble their mothers. Even those that appear male reproduce in this manner, being biologically female though acting with male human patterns of custom.
The strangest aspect of their biology, however (if it even is biological in nature), must be the Silent Hour. A lillendi is said to be able to choose the hour of her demise, a quality alternately claimed as a gift or a curse, depending on if the sage believes it bestowed from the gods of the moon or the various lawful powers. Before passing on for good, a lillend ties up her loose ends before disappearing in a misty fog, absorbed by her power's realm. Some occasionally arrange things so as to enter the Silent Hour when a battle is to occur, as lillendi in such situations are fierce combatants, wishing to make a good impression on their power before their passing. Lillendi are most certainly not otherwise immortal, with accidents or violence still quite able to kill one outside the Hour. However, the faces of such lillendi are always found wracked with despair after their death, as it is a belief among their people that those that pass on outside the Silent Hour will never join with the power they serve.
A tauroid species, lillendi have the upper torsos of attractive elven women (or rarely, men) but the lower bodies of snakes, their body in total usually reaching 20 feet by maturity. Broad feathered wings extend from their backs, with a wingspan of 15 to 20 feet by adulthood. Though the humanoid portions of their anatomy are fairly normal in appearance, the feathered and scaled portions are all brightly colored, with striking patterns that are unique from individual to individual. Some lillendi choose to tattoo their flesh, covering their entire body with artistic patterns, though most eschew this. Lillendi tend not to wear clothing, but usually have jewelry of some form, and those of higher status possess totem masks indicating their membership in various mysteries.
- Planes of Chaos - Monstrous Supplement, pp.16-17
- Tales from the Infinite Staircase, pg.15