Threads of Invasion

Deranged, I tell you...

Who da snake? YOU da snake...

I’ve decided the problem with these snake people is their fixation with water. I mean – what’s with that? Any room that needs a plug hole AND PLUG is clearly the work of the deranged. So really, they would all be better off as dead as dead things are when they’re dead. Ha. That feels better…
Having extricated ourselves from another damn POOL, we checked out the wharf cum entrance hall which was quite nice if you’re into marble floors and mutant snake statues (i.e. deranged). No wet footprints, no Kyla and nothing of interest except the illusory back wall. Actually, that was kind of interesting assuming the entire party being damned near killed to death just for LOOKING through an illusion is your idea of interesting. The psychotic yuan-ti doorman and his soggy little turncoat offsider Kyla (yes, you, traitor) were like an evil dynamic duo we just could not manage to hit. Since we were unable to make a strategic rearward withdrawal we ended up like surrendering, and after a leetle bit of hard work managed to stop both Whiskey and Jet from needing the services of a Bag of Holding, and to get Salth back onto multiple hit points.
The yuan-ti confesses he is called Sacharlim and decides the best use for our sorry asses would be of a sacrificial nature. We are not so sure about this but as we are all manacled to the wall in a little private cell down the end of the corridor he’s the only one present with a vote. On the good side – sorta – he wants to sacrifice us as part of the ritual to bring back Sertrous (!) and blabs on about that a bit so now we have some valuable Intelligence, which will be Useful, once we have Escaped.
Weirdly, there is a mildly surreal debate about the escaping part of the plan – such is life amongst people who have independent views on things and no clear chain of command. Eventually we all agree that being sacrificed would be a bad thing so Jet slips out of her chains and frees everyone else and we’re off … to … um … hmmm. Back to the pool where an increasingly serpentine looking Kyla is cavorting in the water? Maybe not. Luckily we have a Whiskey and are not afraid to use it, he says the back wall of the corridor is also illusory. Jet says it’s quiet on the other side of the stone door there and despite the almost certain presence of the ninja snakeman on the other side through we all go, quiet as mice, off up the stairs.
Sometimes it’s not as great as it might be to be able to say “See, I was right!” Sacharlim was indeed on the other side of the door (bad) but was engrossed with knitting or something (good) and Jet was able to sneak up and completely surprise it. At least I assume it was surprised, I certainly was: surprised by her complete inability to hit a sitting duck snake not once but twice. Sheesh… Then again, we pretty much all flailed around for a while before I FINALLY hit the thing properly, at which point the big scaredy-snake ran away through its pet portal. Unable to follow, all we could do was loot the place. Yes! Clean soft paper at last!
Jet goes back to check on Kyla while the men sort the looting bit out, but gets rumbled by the villagers in the other cells. (Did I not mention them? OK, all the missing villagers are in the other cells that line the corridor, some of them slowly transforming into more snakemen, happy?) Now OF COURSE we would have loved to go and help her, but unfortunately the ritual of silence Whiskey had painstakingly cast over the door at the end of the corridor/bottom of the stairs worked perfectly … and we had no idea there were any problems. On the bright side Jet managed to run away from Kyla with no real difficulty and escape up the plughole, and Kyla came scampering up the steps to get snake-boy to deal with it. Sur-pri-ise! We sure were: she beat the crap out of us for a little bit until we got into our stride and laid a whole lot of hurt on her snaky butt. So she runs away, and we chase – usual stuff – and she gets away, and we catch up with Jet, and then free the villagers that are still villagers. Job done.
Well nearly. Sacharlims portal is a two-way model so Jet and Whiskey have to do some stuff that I can’t reveal at this security level, and temporarily disable it. Now the job’s done, and we can take a little time to properly examine our spoils – more gold than a pigeon could carry! An avant-garde sculpture of an aberrant creature! Actually snake-boy had (past tense, tee hee) quite a nice stash of stuff so there’s little doubt we’ve irritated someone fairly important in these parts. Good.

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tzcooper Synaesthesia

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