|Woodblock print of a basilisk from Ulisse Aldrovandi, Monstrorum historia, 1642.|
A basilisk (Latin: regulus) is a sometimes small, but always powerful reptile that has been dubbed "king of serpants." It is either potrayed as a huge lizard or snake, or as a three-foot high rooster with a serpant's tail and teeth. No matter which form it takes, it is always highly toxic. Its breath kills whatever it touches, as does its sweat and saliva. Any river it drinks from is permanantly poisioned. Even its gaze is lethal to all but weasels.
Weasels, roosters, and the plant rue are the only creatures safe from the basilisk's rampage. Weasels, immune to only the basilisk's gaze, can use the rue to heal themselves from the poison. Basilisks are also deeply afraid of roosters, and will run upon hearing a rooster's crow.