Announcer Voice: “Previously On Death Gate”
Zed’rath asked The Hermit if any of his alchemical potions could be used offensively, but he said that his mixtures were all of a natural sort to help people. Gromel asked about the Yuan-Ti; the Hermit explained that some time ago he’d sent a group of hirelings wearing red shirts to check out the Yuan-Ti kingdom, but they had never returned. He had better expectations for this group. With that little bit of information the Hermit kicked them out onto the trails as Shaika flared up again.
The group traveled for about half a day (north and east), the plain was rather barren and it was hard to imagine any life having ever lived there. As they began the climb, Zed noticed some human tracks and some that he couldn’t recognize, which he guessed must be Yuan-Ti. As they made their way up, the Drow and Petril were struggling with the higher altitude, but both did their best to hide it. Up on the mesa, they found more barren land and a strange tall spire rising just off center. While the exhausted ones caught their breath, Kuri scanned ahead and found the area around the spire teeming with life. They jumped on their Obsidian Steeds and rode towards the center of the mesa… where Zed had them all pull up on their steeds just in time as the ground dropped off into a sheer cliff. In the center of the mesa, the land suddenly dropped into a huge jungle covered valley. The group decided to ride south around the valley, looking for a trail or some way down into the bowl. As they rode around they realized that a river ran along the southwestern part of the bowl. Beyond that, the area had been flooded and there were humanoid shapes working in the flooded fields. The spire rose 100’ above them. They noticed a trail on the north side of the bowl, and carefully made their way north, without kicking up a a dust trail. As night drew on, they decided to make camp. It wasn’t the most defensible, but at the top of the trail they had the best view of everything around them.
The night passed without incident and the next morning they headed off down the trail. At the beginning of the jungle, the Drow took to the trees to try to get a better view of the area around the trails. At one point, the Rogue almost fell out of the trees because he almost used a large snake as a vine… While the group was following the trail, Vistra stepped off the trail and suddenly started sinking in quicksand. Grom was able to save her using his spear to pull her out. Now that they recognized the quicksand, they were able to avoid future pools.
Zed playing Tarzan through the jungle
After hours of travelling, they finally came to the swampy civilized land. Zed was surprised that there were no sentries. The southside of the cliff face had been carved into an elaborate entrance, but there seemed to be no easy way to get to in without being seen. The slaves seemed so badly beaten down, and without hope. The group decided to force their way through the jungle to the western wall. Once the jungle ended, the group was stuck unsure what to do. Zed dared to talk to one of the slaves, but he was warned that the group should turn back while they still had their freedom. He also warned that there were too many guards and that they already knew that the group was there. The scout returned and reported to the group. They decided that there was no further use for stealth, so they made their way along, keeping the cliff wall at their backs, towards the front entrance, bypassing hovels along the way.
As they drew closer to the entrance, a Naga slithered out of one of the buildings and shot them all with lightning. “Lithe” hissed that she had new playthings as the group started their attacks. While the Naga fought off the group, a giant viper climbed out of the well in the center of the courtyard, showing that the slaves had to even fight for water. The viper cornered the drow, cutting him off from the rest who were ganging up on the Naga, Lithe. Once the Naga was dead, the group rushed to Zed’s rescue. The viper died with it’s fangs stuck in the drow. As the group was prying the dead snake off, an old woman exited one of the hovels and warned the group rather harshly that she’d seen adventurers like them before, especially one like the warforged who had been torn to pieces by the Yuan-Ti. Kuri and Vistra took offense and told the old lady that if she was so doubtful, then she should just stay out of their way.