After defeating the Drow and routing the Drider, the party continued down the tunnel eventually reaching a large open chamber, much larger than the Drow encounter chamber. The tunnel walls adjacent to the large chamber were marked with “lizard men” symbols. Upon entering the area the party encountered a couple of snake-like beings with arms and humanoid heads, but no legs and long snake-like tails. These asked why the party was in the area, and upon discovering that one of the party spoke draconic, one left to seek a superior to interact with the party. After a short wait the initial snake-man returned with two distinguished looking snake-women. One of them addressed Kugel, who spoke draconic, and discussed the party’s intentions.
Gregor did not like the evil nature his paladin powers revealed. Unable to understand the snake-like beings, he relied on Kugel’s translations, although he repeatedly urged a less diplomatic approach to the endeavor. Kugel explained to the snake-lady that the party was attempting to pass through the area and had no desire to enter into hostilities with her people. The snake lady replied that the area was home to an entire village of her people but that for a mere 1,000g she would ensure the party’s safe passage to the other side. Kugel mentioned the party’s recent experience with the Drow and the snake-lady’s response was full of hostility for the spider-worshipers. Sensing a possible advantage, Kugel mentioned that they had recovered two Drow blades which intrigued the snake-lady who asked to see them to confirm that they were actually Drow blades. Upon examining one she agreed they were likely “Drow captain” blades and modified her offer to two swords and 300 gold.
Gregor’s frustration with the situation was growing, so Kugel suggested that Gregor consult with Violet for a moment. As Gregor’s back was turned, Kugel handed the snake-lady a small bag of gold and told her to keep the swords. Gregor demanded to know what was happening, so Kugel explained that the snake lady was expressing her desire to conform to Gregor’s demand for safe passage and a desire to repent her evil ways. Suspicious, Gregor then demanded that the snake lady prove her words by leading the party on. Kugel then, in draconic, requested that their payment be accepted and safe passage be granted. She agreed and turned to lead the party through her village. Gregor was pleased with the result of his request and the party moved through the village without incident. The party continued on for hours more, eating as they walked, until they eventually came to the end of the tunnel as it opened into a vast underground cavern.
Talon ventured into the cavern far enough to listen, where he heard in the distance the faint sounds of water dripping into water. Gregor and Kinestarre then moved further into the cavern, with the light from Gregor’s shield providing dim illumination. Soon the entire party had entered the cavern. Suddenly Gregor and Kinestarre were attacked by swooping winged snake-like creatures with prominent horns. As the party reacted to the surprise attack, two large lizard-men appeared on the edge of their light.
As the battle was joined, a pit suddenly opened underneath Violet, Talon and Malf, but all three managed to avoid falling in. Just as they dodged away from the pit, a stone wall appeared between Malf, Halmod, Talon and the rest of the party. The two large lizard men moved in and attacked Gregor and Kinestarre. Malf helped Halmod and Halmod clambered over the wall, landing on the other side. One of the flying snakes dove behind Malf, attacking him and hovering over the newly formed pit. Talon and Malf then scrambled over the wall as well.
Kinestarre and Gregor faced down the giant lizard men, but Gregor suddenly found himself in the constricting coils of the larger of the two giant snakes. Halmod managed to get off a devastating fireball, but while it left the lizard men and snakes smoking and burned, did not kill any of them. Kinestarre and Kugel continued to exchange blows while Malf pulled out his bow and Talon moved into position to sneak attack.
Gregor found himself lifted off the ground and as the snake carried him off, his shining shield revealed the presence on a high rock of a large tentacled spell-casting snake. Talon delivered a brutal sneak attack on one lizard man and Malf tried to bring down the snake carrying Gregor, but was unable to stop it. Violet and Kugel healed the massive damage Kinestarre was taking from the Lizard man and Halmod triggered another fireball.
Soon the smaller flying snake was down, Gregor was fighting the large flying snake alone next to the tentacled snake and Talon, Halmod and Malf were dealing with the remaining giant lizard man. Just as it seemed the tide might be turning in the party’s favor, a barrage of spells erupted from the tentacled snake resulting in Talon being paralyzed, Kugel being dazed and Halmod being blinded.
Malf’s bow finally got the attention of one lizard man while Kinestarre continued to whittle down the other. The large snake then dropped Gregor and charged Malf, doing massive damage with his horn. Halmod found himself grappled and carried off by one lizard man but the other lizard man, badly damaged by Kinestarre and Halmod’s fireballs, finally dropped. Gregor went after the tentacled snake and using his “smite evil” power drove the snake off the rock where it healed the remaining lizard man and suddenly vanished. Halmod managed to get off a suggestion spell to cause the lizard man to drop him, and then turned invisible and moved out of danger.
The large snake delivered a deadly blow to Malf, who fell bloody and unconscious to the ground. Talon recovered from his paralysis and attacked the large snake while Gregor dove off the rock, bouncing off the invisible tentacled snake, and then rushed to heal Malf. Violet attempted to reach Malf but was tripped by the remaining lizard man’s tail. Talon bravely faced the large flying snake and his deadly short sword drove the snake into retreat. Violet finally reached Malf and once healed, Malf rose and with well-aimed arrows, slew the fleeing giant snake. The final lizard man was dispatched, and as Kugel summoned a pterodactyl, the invisible tentacled snake fled from the party. Halmod’s sight was restored.
After a short time and some necessary healing, the party scouted around and discovered two rock outcroppings with small caves. Further searching turned up a hidden entrance to a small alcove under the large rock where they discovered a chest. Talon quickly opened the chest and they discovered some bottles, some gold and a small tube with a blank piece of parchment which radiated magic. At this point we stopped for the night. The players were rewarded for their success by reaching level 9 with their characters.