Having established themselves as competent and heroic types—and the DM having fortified himself with tea—our half-breed heroes were approached by a poor peasantly gentleman asking if they might go in search of his wife and children: people with strange, slit eyes had broken into his home and dragged them off into the night!
Despite his being too poor to pay their usual fee, Dench and Wiglaf agreed to investigate the matter. Percival Peasant took them to his home and showed them where they'd been dragged away. Using only their senses—aided by Survival rolls in the 20s—our intrepid heroes sallied forth on the trail of the kidnappers. An experienced traveller—and roller of a 20—Dench surmised that since the strange, slit-eyed people had no fur and thus were likely not tabaxi, and also lacked the tails and headcrests of lizardfolk, they were most probably dealing with the perfidious snake people, the yuan ti!
As they followed the tracks through the woods to the east, they encountered a massive snake, soon joined by another just as massive but much scarier and creepier for its odd tentacles and terrible beak. Dench was now certain that yuan ti plans were afoot… or maybe even atail!
The trail led them to a cave-like entrance in the side of a wooded hill and they ventured in to a mysterious room with no doors! Also with two slit-eyed, slightly snakey women. Battle ensued and the room was won. And then began the search for secret doors. Which confused the DM for there were none—he'd just forgotten to draw in the perfectly visible door and open corridor. Oops. ahem A successful search, a damp cloth and 50 XP later, the illusion was pierced and they found a door and corridor.
They continued in, slaughtering all things vaguely snake-like as they went. They found a kitchen and, having dispatched the indignant chef, realised, to their horror, that he'd been cooking a human! Dench's second-thoughts about slaying all before him vanished and they pressed on.
They found Percival's wife and one of his children. 'Have you seen my son?' wondered Mrs Peasant. 'Uhh…' replied Dench. 'Yeah, we just saw him—he was in a stew,' added Wiglaf. Mrs Peasant fainted.
Fortunately for the Peasant family, Dench and Wiglaf soon found the Peasants' son alive. Unfortunately, he was strung up at an altar with a yuan ti boy, both of them in the midst of being sacrificed by a truer snake than our heroes had seen before: all rippling human muscles beneath a snake head. The villain turned to them and ordered his pet giant snake to attack. It seemed he was in charge of this snake sanctuary! One might even call him the boss of it.
The pet died swiftly but its master proved far more resilient and dangerous. Dench's great axe and Wiglaf's fire tore into him but behind him, on the altar, the sacrifices were bleeding to death! Would they kill him in time to save the young Peasant? It seemed so but then Sseth sstepped forward and whisspered sseductively into Dench's ear, ssuggessting he return home to a nice sstein of ale. It seemed a good idea to Dench and he ambled off towards Hornly's Tavern.
Wiglaf battled bravely and alone, hurling all his magical energies into defeating the vile Yuan ti before the boy died. Sadly, though he defeated the snake-headed man, he could not do it in time and young Percy expired. Along with the yuan ti boy but no-one asked his name! It was Sstephen. With a ph not a v! Yeah, Sseth had an easy choice when picking who'd die.
With Sseth's death, the spell on Dench ended and he made his way back to the sanctuary. Meanwhile, Wiglaf found three sprites trapped in cages in a room off the temple—he released them in exchange for 'some magic seeds'. They met Dench on their way out and marvelled at Wiglaf's courage in freeing most of the hostages.
And so the quest ended, two-thirds successful. And if the loss of young Percy (and the 100XP for rescuing him) stung, the pain was eased by a nice pile of money and jewellery, many boring mundane scimitars, bows and sets of studded leather armour for easy sale, a vicious-looking cleaver and a bright red pearl of arcane power! Also, third level. (Yes, that means you too, person who read to the end.)