Session/Game: Marches 3e #27 Date: 10/7/01
Campaign Date: Povem 29 IY 469
Sir Rannos, human fighter, CG, level 12, Bob LaForge
Scagnetti, human, sorcerer, level 8, CG, cohort
Sarissa Lin, human, monk, level 10, LN, Charles Tillinghast
Gabriel Leadfoot, halfling rogue 7/ ranger-1, NG, Mike Miller
Sir Ostler, human, cleric, LN, level 11, Joe Fryar
Ragnar, human rogue-10, CG Shaun Sipple
Angus McNasty, gnome illusionist-9, CN Dave Nelson
Beavis McNasty, gnome barbarian-6, CN cohort
The adventurers arrive at the sight of the serpent tower just as night is falling. A light snow starts to fall driven by a stiff, cold wind. A mile to the South, the smoke from a campfire can be seen in the light of the setting sun. Gabriel, Ragnar, and Sarissa move to investigate while the others start to make camp in the now-empty Chapel Perilous.
The three aforementioned companions arrive at the scene of the campfire to witness two very cold lizardfolk guards. They are doing their best to keep warm in the cold snow and driving wind while they guard an iron door dug into a pit emblazoned with some odd heiroglyphics. Once the two thieves dispatch to two cold-blooded lizardfolk, the others are sent for to investigate the strange door.
The heiroglyphics appear to be text written in the forbidden tongue of the serpents. The heroes quickly decipher the answer to the riddle posed in the text (the future) and enter. Inside they feel the great, humid heat of the serpents’ den. The place is well preserved after thousands of years, as if this place is seperated from time and space. Inside the great hall they see frescoes and mosaics depicting the past and future of the serpent race. In one scene, it depicts serpents coming into this place with elf maiden captives and exiting with an army of serpent people. In another, it shows the final domination of the world of Caedes by the serpents. The heroes manage to figure out the order of the entrance gemstones and move onward. Thereafter, the adventurers must push their way past a series of trap-based encounters. An illusionary flamewall in a spear-trapped tunnel, a demon-infested pit, a stainless steel maze with a minotaur in it, and an ambush that seperated some party members from others to allow a demon to attack only a few. Every now and again, the party would catch a glimpse of an elven fighter who turned out to be Sir Bador, Lady Adia’s former bodyguard and co-hort who had been working with Sir Richard of Goldhaft and in charge of Adia’s abduction. After that the adventurers happened upon the serpent’s pantry and chapel where they lived. There was much treasure to be found here including several herbs that temporarily incresed the scrying skill of the one who used them. The party then came upon the lever trap room. Inside was some seven marked levers and an inscription that went like this:
pull three levers to pass this way
each one in order without delay
move more than three then hold your breath
or else you'll find you'll catch your death
to pass this portal all three you seek
each one you pull must be unique
the first you pull is in between
at least two others, it would seem
its home is always to the right
of the lever of twinkling light
the second lives next to the skull
king of the sky, it's enemies null
but in the day all gone from sight
only to return to rule the night
beholder's eye has burning power
unless pulled first, it will devour
a pull on dragon makes you cringe
with breath of fire it can burn and singe
it's power is beyond all seen
unless that lever is pulled in-between
the punishment for choosing skull
unless pulled third is never dull
the star keeps shining in the night
unless pulled second it provides you light
to pull the goblin lever means
a sonic assualt in extreme
unless goblin's turn is very late
in which case you face a different fate
dwarf's lever beats your head right in
unless you pull it to begin
and shell initially benign
will crack your bones and start to dine
know this, the serpent will prevail
most beautifully our victims wail
because the serpent will stand fast,
that lever is the third and last.
With the help of Beavis pointing out that there could be more than one lever “to the right” of the star lever, the characters managed to avert their doom and continue on. The party happens upon a boat dock with water that leads into a dark infinity, and an armory with several trapped chests. After doing their best to avert all those trapped chests and doors, the characters faced the misdirection room where Gabriel was abducted and impersonated by a demon while the rest of the party was distracted by illusions of Rannos-doubles that attacked the party. The demon managed to sneak behind Ostler and crush him before the rest of the party figured out what had happened and killed the demon. Finally, the heroes came upon the operating theatre where the elven women were used as breeding stock for the serpent repopulation program. Inside, the heroes found several cells with bodies of elven women in them. Their wombs were ripped forcibly from their bodies. They were left to bleed to death, chained in their cells. Only the Lady Adia remained, clad in a plain examination gown. As the heroes moved to save her from her imprisonment, two huge demons appeared to challenge the party. However, as the battle was joined clouds of dust of sneezing and choking were released making the entire party helpless for several rounds. A real live serpent-man appeared from the safety of invisibility and started casting spells at the helpless party. He taunted the heroes from his safe pearch, telling them that the serpent people had already created their new army and that there was little humanity could do to stop him. The serpent made a mistake when he unleashed his magical attack on Adia as well. Sir Bador appeared and fought for his lady. He slew the serpent sorcerer and threw him down into the operating theatre. The serpent landed akwardly on the operating table where he had violated so many of his victims. Bador then dropped his weapons, ran past the choking and wretching heroes in order to comfort Adia. The hardened elf warrior broke down in quiet sobs and trembling whispers asking for her forgiveness.
Once the heroes recovered, Bador surrendered without a struggle. He showed the adventurers how to exit the serpent’s lair by summoning the ship from the jade dock. He also let them in on the scheme that brought him to this fate.
Apparently, Richard of Goldhaft had promised Adia to him in exchange for ading the serpents in their quest for sorcerous elven maidens. These women still carried the traces of serpent genes in their blood and made exceptional incubators. For Bador’s help, the serpents gave Goldhaft information on the whereabouts of the Reliquary of the Sixth Saint. Bador still carried a grudge against his former homeland, and was more than happy to aid the serpents in exchange for his goal. It was only later when Bador was told that Adia would have to go through the serpent’s “tests” before she could be released that he had second thoughts. He served them as long as he could, until he realised that the serpents had no intention of honoring his part of the bargin.
According to Bador, Goldhaft's army could probably already be on the march to Storm Eagle to extract his revenge on that place.
Adia is pregnant. Once conscious, she warns the others that the magical surgery performed on her forces her to carry the child to term. If the child should die before birth, she would also be killed. The magical bond is only broken once the birth has taken place.
Adia has no clue what sort of child is growing inside of her.