Open Sea’s & the Slithering Evil.

Part 3 – Ophidian Island – 212

As the storm subsided the party and the crew made their way across the waves their ship having sustained damage from the fighter and the Storm. It was on the second day that the crew saw across the waves and island with tall trees scattered across the island surrounding a lone mountain. Jutting from this mountain was a tall steep spire which towered above the island and into the clouds above.

As the ship limped its way to the sandy shores Kyoko limped forward having sustained a crossbow bolt to her leg during the pirates attack. “Alright crew. We rest here for three days. Get some in wood to repair the ship, get some fresh water and food and we leave. Anyone late to the ship in on the sunrise of the third day gets left behind” she commands and the crew, most of them fully healed from Lizbet, rush off to complete their captains orders.

She beckons for the party. “My maps show this island but warn people to not set up camp, they believe this island to be cursed. Can you keep watch over the crew, Siu and Lizbet to make sure we all leave this island in one piece, or at least the same state we arrived in” she requested, grimacing as she lent the wrong way on her injured leg.

The party nod as Kyoko turns to head back towards her cabin and maps. She had insisted on Lizbet healing her crew before using magic to heal her leg, Lizbet had used all her magic on the crew and was yet to fully recover her magic to heal the captain.

A hour later a group of four crew members run towards where everyone was set up not far from where the ship was moored, the deep water of the cove perfect for a ship of this size.

“we’ve found another ship that looks untouched that would have all the gear we need to make repairs. The other crew are too spooked to enter it and we are finding it hard to get the materials from the trees to make repairs. What should we do?”


Areas and places of note

The breached boat – The crew members that scouted out the beach just north to where the Dancing drake reported in finding a large multi-sailed ship that had a abnormal breaching in its hull that was the ships doom, apparently. The ship itself contains enough material to repair the Dancing Drake and provide spare sail in case something goes wrong, though it wont be Red. However, whilst on and near the ship recovering the materials the party kept seeing glimpses something watching them from the ship – the crew members calling out saying that its the lost crew of the ship who have taken refuge onboard their broken ship.

The Beach – the beach is a mixture of soft, fine sand and smooth pebbles that coat the edge of the island in a welcoming soothing blanket of warmth. The sand, however, is so find that tracks of all kinds seem to melt away quickly with but the faintest of breeze so it’s easy to get lost and not to notice the presence of animals or other creatures until its too late.

The Forest – a relatively humid jungle has sprung up not far from the beach and waters edge. It’s home to mainly snakes of all sizes but any trace of them from when the party first encounter them seem to have disappeared once they enter the jungle in true after the disappearance of their crew and Captain Kyoko.

The Mountains – A large range of mountains has erupted in the centre of the island – large and imposing and so closely clumped together that they could be considered a single large mountain. Fresh water streams form pools at the base of the stone cliffs and, with some time searching, statues of humans bound and constricted by giant snakes can be found littered around the mountains base. Other ruins, evidence of settlement can be found and a large winding staircase was crudely cut into the side of the mountain leading towards a singular jagged spire that juts from the mountain into the sky like a spear piercing the clouds and heavens above.

The temple – at the base of the spire is a large, well crafted temple that is guarded by a large snake statue. The statue is so well crafted that it appears to be a snake until people notice the worn out foot and hand holds that appear to lead up to the snakes snarling jaw where two large blood stained fangs have been a carved out of white stone. These fangs drip with a sickening ichor and appear to have blood seeping into the white stone as the party examine them. The abyssal scripture around the statue states “the faithful, anointed by the serpents venom will be blessed by the serpents gift and will be welcomed as one of the faithful” and only once one of those present has placed blood upon the fangs will the statue briefly come alive and move to the side revealing the steps down. Those who force the snake fang onto their arm as a way of anointing the fangs with their own blood in this manner will feel the affects of snake venom (poisoned) but will feel a sense of unease like a creature is beckoning them into the dark depths below.

The Temple itself is filled with snakes, some forming a single humanoid shape when they encounter the party attacking as a swarm. Behind large sealed double doors an Abyssal Naga waits for the party.

Notable NPC Interactions

Choi Fang is one of the crew members that managed to be spared from the abduction of the the rest of the crew as he was with the party near the other beached ship.

Koyko Harimasu and several other crew members were taken by the snake servants and are unconscious within the temple. As she still suffers a wounded leg (Lizbet being unable to heal her due to her magic needing to replenish and Kyoko insisting the crew take precedence) she is unable to move quickly or defend herself adequately.

“Wild girl” Living on the island after having escaped the Naga within the temple when her ship’s crew and other passengers were taken after a freak storm ripped a hole in their hull, or so they think it was the storm.
Living on the island with the Naga’s servants has made her cunning, stealthy and self reliant but the potential of leaving with the adventurers made her do something that she swore she wouldn’t do. Hope. She trails the party, wedging the stone serpent statue open so they can escape whilst following behind them making sure that she is there in case she can help them leave with their lives.


Environment and running the adventure

The Island – The wind and fine sand makes tracking difficult (other than the site where the crew was ambushed where the volume of disturbance makes the tracks easily readable). Any survival check to look for tracks or signs of life are made with disadvantage on the beach. The sounds of the jungle in the trees, and the wind howling through it makes sound dissipate before it reaches the ears giving disadvantage on perception checks that rely on hearing

The Temple – Entrance

When the party enter the temple they are greeted by an imposing snake statue that is ten feet tall and the intricately carved serpent coils around a large dark stone that is positioned against the far wall. As the party approach the serpent statue a dank, warm draft comes from behind the statue where, upon investigating the party can see stairs leading into the darkness beyond and below.

Closer inspection into the serpent statue itself reveals deep, purposely crafted recessions into the statue itself leading up the carving of the snake towards the top where the gaping jaw of the hissing snake reveals two large white carved stone fangs that drip an ichor.

Looking around the room they are in they notice a scuff mark on the stone to the right of the statue that look as if a large, heavy stone object had recently and often prior moved across the roughly carved stone slabs that formed the floor of the room.

Large engravings in a foreign and abrasive language are carved into the door frame amongst images of slithering snakes and to read the words aloud gives the party a deeply unsettled feeling within. There is a single phrase that is readable in common “Serpents gift” that is repeated at different parts in the symbols.


The intention of this room is for the party to investigate the stone statue and uncover the puzzle – to be bitten by the serpent will bestow its gift and allow the worth to pass through.

The groves (as seen in the second drawing) are steps up towards the fang – investigation or high perception will reveal worn groves that looks like shoes, and blood in these recessions as if someone who was bleeding used them as a hand or foot hold.

The fangs themselves (the image of the serpents gaping jaw) are dripping an ichor that will inflict the poisoned status against any who take the poison into their blood stream. The statue itself just needs blood applied to the fangs which will absorb some of the blood and the snake will momentarily come alive and shift to the right, dragging the heavy black stone along with it and revealing the pathway down into the temple itself.

The language is abyssal and will read “the faithful, anointed by the serpents venom will be blessed by the serpents gift and will be welcomed as one of the faithful” – Serpents gift is also written in common beneath it as if translated once before.

Any blood smeared on the fangs will do and the puncture of the skin to place blood will inflict the poisoned condition on the person (DC18 to resist…) but that person will feel a strong connection to the temple afterwards. Many people can voluntarily be poisoned and each of them will gain the following:

-Advantage on saving throws vs charmed, paralyzed and poisoned from snakes or the Abyssal Naga.
-Poisoned condition until the end of a long rest.
-Advantage on perception checks to notice snakes.
-Advantage on Animal handling checks (snakes).


Encounter area

Refer to Temple Map – but any single snake (not the Naga) could be encountered on the island as a random encounter.

Room 1 appears to be a small entrance room, small shrines litter the walls where the emphasis appears to be on the worship of snakes. There isn’t much else to this room.

Room 2 is a large room that looks like it would have held books and a small library at some stage – the wall opposite the party a decomposed bookcase has crumbled away from the wall and has revealed what used to be a secret door that lead into a small room beyond.

Room 3 and 4 were separated by a wall that has long since fallen down – the rooms appear to have been bedrooms once but have long since rotted away to nothing. Home to snakes with area being warm and humid there may even be several snake egg clutches in these rooms.

Room 5 (and trapped hallway) a small spike trap will shoot upwards on any who step on the pressure plate. DC14 dexterity check will see the person unharmed, if they fail 2d6 piercing damage and their movement speed will be reduced by 10″ until a long rest due to the injuries to their legs.

Just outside the Naga room there is a wide hallway – at the end of this two large Constrictor snakes would be coiled around humanoid statues by the door – they wait like statues until creatures come within 10 ft or they take damage – at which point they throw themselves at the intruders as their Naga commands.

Naga Room a Large hole in the roof (not drawn in as it was decided later) appears the only other way in or out, on the left side there is a hidden trap door that will lead to a small treasure room that is little more than a crawl space. To uncover the room a perception check of DC14 (or investigation once the door becomes cracked – see encounter) will reveal the room.

Encounter

Refer to Map.

For this fight let’s assume that the party is Level 4 and that they have had a full long rest before coming into the temple. The aim of this temple is to throw a few creatures at them during the temple to wear them down on spell slots and limited abilities to make the Naga fight a bit harder (as it is just a single creature…)

Room 1 will have a Giant poisonous snake and a Swarm of poisonous snakes in a swarm. They attack the first thing they become aware of.

Room 2 will have one Giant Poisonous snake per person in the party with an extra one lurking behind the chests in Room 5.

The hallway to Room 3 and 4 – this area will have several holes in the top of the walls near the roof – as the party members walk by them giant poisonous snakes (three in total) will drop down on the party.

Room 3 and 4 will have a single Swarm of poisonous snakes guarding the clutches of snake eggs.

Room 5 the trap will reset but once triggered it is easy to avoid when someone knows its there. The room itself will have a giant poisonous snake hiding behind the chests and will lunge and bite who ever comes close.

The hallway to the Naga room will have two poisonous snakes come from holes in the walls when the party walks past them – but they will attack before the Giant Constrictor snakes will attack the party (so to not overwhelm them) while these snakes attack the “totally-not-statue-snakes” will remain motionless. Once the party comes within 10ft of the statues the Giant Constrictor Snakes will attack the party and engage them.

Naga Room – the Naga will drop out of the ceiling once the party reach the centre of the room. Along the back wall the crew members and Kyoko can be seen unconscious, drooling and staring open eyed as if hypnotised or charmed. Once the Naga reveals itself it will attempt to charm the parties magic users and then knock the others unconscious (as it did the crew). It doesn’t hold back and doesn’t seem to care about getting injured (knowing it will revive in a few days time) and will guard its resurrection like a closely held secret. Once the Saga is slain it will fall down, convulse and in its death throws it will break the hidden trapdoor – causing a crack to appear and the steps beyond to become visible to those who actively look there.

Treasure

Distribute the following in the 3 chests in the map

  1. Immoveable rod
  2. 1x Potion of Resistance
  3. Ring of Swimming, Ring of water walking
  4. Potion of animal Friendship
  5. Chime of Opening
  6. Potion of Hill Giant Strength
  7. 4 Art items – each estimated to be worth 250gp each to the right buyer.