We only saw the aftermath of the attack by the Yuan-Ti. A few houses were burning, and people were frantically carrying buckets from Lotus Lake to quench the fire. We looked around and, not finding any other snake demons, went to help the townspeople. Oromis and I began hauling buckets of water from the lake while Petra cast ice magic. Eclipse began tending to the wounded. Hebo and Luna began helping others to look for other people. I do not know where Ezio went initially, but he later informed me that he was still looking for any sign of the enemy.
Luna and Hebo noticed that some houses had their windows open and that none of these houses were on fire. Being taken captive themselves briefly, they surmised that the burning houses were set by the monsters as a distraction so they could more easily abduct other people.
As they were returning to us, they found one building with a burning roof. No other person was outside of it, so they decided to check if anyone was still within. Hebo snuck through a window and heard cries from a storage closet at the back. Two people were trapped and Hebo and Luna could not break them out. Hebo cast a Message spell and informed me of the trouble. I gave my water bucket to Oromis and ran as fast as I could to Hebo and Luna.
The roof was on the verge of collapsing when I arrived and Hebo was coughing from the smoke. I entered and saw Luna beating on the door. “Stand back!” I shouted to her and the people inside. I brought my thunder cannon to the hinges and fired. Luna freed the people and we escaped just as the roof finally fell and buried the house in flames.
Ezio returned to the group as we finished putting out the rest of the fires. The citizens of Lotus Lake were very scared and distressed from the events of the night and we heard the clamoring of people who had lost their friends or family. Ezio reported that he found tracks of our enemies leading directly into the water. We had trouble following the tracks at night. Tired as we were (and some of us injured), we needed rest and had decided to track the enemy in daylight.
The next day brought us both good news and bad. The bad news was that almost twenty people from Lotus Lake were not accounted for. The good news was that the townspeople offered a hefty bounty for finding their families and sending the snake demons to meet their gods. We gathered our supplies and headed out.
The creatures were snakes, so it made sense that they could swim and had gone through the lake in order to hide their trails. We had guessed correctly and found new tracks on the far side of the lake that lead out of the crater and into the nearby woods. There, we briefly lost the trail. While we debated on what to do, Oromis became irritable and wandered off. After a few moments, we noticed that he had disappeared. Fearing that the snake demons were still out there and perhaps had captured our companion, we followed Oromis’s tracks with great haste.
When we soon found him, Oromis was bleeding slightly, but certainly not as bad as the Yuan-Ti creature lying prone with deep cuts in its side. Knowing they spoke the language of my masters, I began to interrogate the creature, translating its words back to my companions.
I am afraid I scared Hebo and Luna. The Abyssal language is not pleasant on the ears or the tongue. I did not speak harsh words to the monster, other than promising it death if it did not comply with our demands, but my native language perhaps makes me sound much more intimidating than I wanted my companions to hear. The monster did in fact tell us what we needed to know. Apparently he and his kind planned on sacrificing those that they captured atop the highest mountain in the region. I asked my companions if we had any further questions for our enemy, but Oromis was still burning with rage. “I’ve ‘eard enough outta this!” he roared as he brought his axe down and removed the creature’s head.
The tallest peak was nearby, perhaps only a few hours away if we charged as fast as we could. The gods were with us and we sped quickly towards it. Along the way, we began to worry if we were on the right track. As we ran, we passed by a few of the snake monsters on patrol, signaling that we were close. Our race turned up the hills and higher and higher towards the mountain. The snake monsters were now very far behind us.
We approached the summit, slowing ourselves down to approach more cautiously. Ezio climbed to the summit before the rest of us, but his foot tripped on a small rock and one of the Yuan-Ti guards descended upon him. We soon found ourselves in a battle against an overwhelming force. And luck was not on our side.
Oromis tried to find a better vantage point so that he could better attack, but found himself cursed into servitude.
Eclipse and Petra were trapped behind a rock with archers all around them.
Luna snuck around the side and discovered even more snake demons, as well as the captives from Lotus Lake in a strange trance as they were set to be sacrificed one by one.
Hebo and Ezio were pinned with monsters all about them, and Ezio was injured again. Hebo sent Spoink away, afraid for his friend.
I took an arrow to the chest and decided to keep my distance, firing at anything I could see.
We fought and fought, but we are yet outnumbered.