Sanctum of the Serpent God – Descent Below
At last we have begun the final battle at the end of the Serpent’s Skull adventure path for Pathfinder. This contains major spoilers for the final part of the adventure.
Tabansi’s Journal – Part 71
We have finally begun the final push to defeat Ydersius, having organised the factions into armies and prepared the great machines that will take us down into the depths of the earth. The cyclops general, Aveshai, has offered us his sword to use in the final fight, but none of us are able to use it. It is aligned to both Law and Good, and must of us are not so inclined. Though it would accept Derek as its owner, he is not inclined to use such a sword.
Derek has made a deal with a Planetar of Sarenrae, named Venus, who will aid us as an ally in the fight. Whilst the armies attack the serpentfolk and distract them, our small party will head into the inner sanctum and try to put a stop to the serpentfolk priest before he can raise his god back from the dead.
When we activated the machines, a deep rumbling noise came from each of the seven ziggurats, and large stone blocks slid out away from them. As birds and animals fled from the noise and vibrations, the seven spears began to slowly turn, and began their descent into the earth.
They span faster and faster, sending clouds of dust into the air, and causing buildings to collapse. As they vanished into the ground, they left behind a gigantic hole. Boring downwards like screws, they left paths carved into the walls, 40ft wide and sloping down – seven spiral ramps for our armies to descend. As the spears descended, so they began to glow.
Time passed, and eventually the spears broke through into the underground cavern where the city of the serpentfolk was. Each spear descended directly down onto one of the domes of the serpentfolk, by now radiating light so bright that it filled the dark city with sunlight.
Our armies spilled out into the city, and the fight for the future of the world began.
We gave the armies time to engage the serpents – drawing as many of the defences out into open battle as possible before we used dimension door to take us back to the tunnels we had found last time, just outside of the Morlock caverns that were shielded by teleport traps.
Our initial plan was to head through the caverns as quickly as we could, but we were accosted by Morlocks. Though Ek’Tura wanted to ignore them, we ended up in combat. Venus turned out to be a valuable asset, and she, myself, Arkin and Athazog made reasonably quick work of the creatures. As we fought though, the strange stone whispered in our minds, making it hard for anyone to use magic and sapping at some of our life energy. Derek especially was hit hard, and was overcome by the negative energy as it sapped at her intellect and personality.
Player’s Note: Derek, Ek’Tura and Venus had to make saving throws each round to avoid taking damage to Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Derek managed to roll a 1 twice in a row, and his Intelligence was taken dangerously low. They also suffered non-lethal negative energy damage.
Derek drunk his own potions to restore his mind, but was still in a bad state, so I yelled at him to take a potion from my own backpack as I shot Morlocks with my bow.
Eventually we pushed through into a large cavern, which had two large serpent mouths carved into the high walls opposite. Between the carvings was a set of huge double doors. Within the mouths, shielded behind carved teeth, groups of serpentfolk guarded more doors that led back into the temple.
Guarding the main doors was a thesselhydra – a huge beast with a single maw surrounded by serpentine heads. This cavern was clear of the life draining properties of the tunnels, so Venus healed Derek bringing him back to his senses, whilst Ek’Tura was able to disintegrate some of the teeth allowing us to fly up to the right most serpent mouth and fight our way in.
The aura around our angel turned out to be useful as well, protecting us from the attacks of the serpentfolk and turning back much of their magic. Once the first group of serpentfolk were dispatched, we had two sets of smaller double doors – adamantine and barred from the other side which we had no chance of breaking through. So Venus moved aside to allow Ek’Tura to use his magic to knock on the doors – we heard the bars fall off and the doors were unsealed.
Athathog pushed them aside and charged in at a lone serpentfolk on the other side, and I put an arrow into it. Since we were still being shot at by the second group of serpentfolk archers, we all pushed our way through the door and made short work of the guard. Beyond was some doors and a flight of stairs leading deeper into the serpent’s lair.