Billy Blue called the PCs to his little restaurant. He paced around his back room. He was pissed but, for once, the players were not the cause. A corpse on a table, a pile of jewels, and two ratty looking cutpurses all huddled together, waiting Billy’s verdict. They painted quite a story.
‘It was just a hold up. We weren’t gunna kill him,’
‘He started hissing and pulling out this knife. We was just defendin ourselves. It was an accident,’
The thieves were operating outside their assigned neighborhood. That offense was normally enough to warrant a quick, messy death. There was a complication, however. As the PCs approached the body, they could see the corpse’s light-green scales, the flat-slitted nostrils, the nictating eyelids turning dry and milky. They’ve accidently killed a yuan-ti. If Billy didn’t move quickly and decisively, the whole town could turn on him, that is, if the snakes didn’t get him first.
The players scooped up the pile of jewels as payment for their investigation. Careful inspection of the corpses clothes lead them to the cobbled heights of Gilded Hill. The yuan-ti had been impersonating a local lawyer working with a court surveyor. Documents lifted from his apartment lead the PCs to a run-down shop out in Pott’s Field.
There, they met a rather friendly, talkative Yuan-ti mastermind already packing up. Whatever reason originally lead the snake-worshippers to set up shop in Northallow, they’ve decided to relocate somewhere warmer. The leader, named Yrss, made a bargain with the players: let the snakes walk free and the players can have full access to the cult’s treasury in town. The only caveat, Yrss is a genius trapmaker, a true artiste, and the treasures are guarded with some of his most nefarious traps.
Eager for great reward and piqued by the promise of danger, the players accepted the deal. They didn’t want to just let the trapmaker walk, so at sword point, they lead him toward his own devices.
In front of a run-down warehouse along a shady road in The Old Post, the party stopped to cautiously approach, checking locks, poking around windows. Yrss giggled and clapped as the players guessed and second guessed each of their actions. They spent an agonizing half hour skirting around the circumference of the warehouse. They foiled a few simple needle traps, an odd clockwork mouse, and a false chest in a crate.
Finally, after dusting off an old riddle in the middle of the floor, a room opened under their feet. Shelves rolled back and folded up as the true trap-puzzle rolled out. An altar filled with arcane switches, a set of panels with divine runes arranged with vague symbols, and a set of snake statues curled up all quietly waiting for a few intrepid adventurers to test their mettle.
As they climbed inside, a net of necrotic energy trapped them within the puzzle-room and slowly lowered, threatening to crush them under it’s crackling darkness. The statues animated and circled, tossing players onto springboards, launching them into the life-draining net. After a great deal of frantic button-pressing, the net fizzzled and failed, freeing the players. A grate opened leading the players to the snake’s secret armory.
Pleased with the demonstration of his machinations, Yrss divulged a special password, “Darkness Overcomes” and vanished, shedding his skin in the process.
The password deactivated the final trap, one which would have destroyed the treasure itself, and the players were pleased to find a great fortune in piled gold, as well as a number of exotic and powerful magical trinkets.