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For the temple, see Temple of the False Serpent (temple).

"Temple of the False Serpent" (2x39) is the thirty-ninth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein discover what creatures lie in wait in the inner depths of the temple...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

Previously on Critical Role Edit

Last we left off, the Mighty Nein had found their way way south outside of the Dwendalian Empire, on the coast of the Menagerie Coast. Still on a pirate ship apparently, and following a thread to pursue aspects of the mystery of Fjord's background and the relationship to his mysterious patron. Followed a mostly-charred map to an island known as Urukaxl. Passing the dangerous reefs, you came upon what seems to be the mother ship to the ship you had stolen, known as the Squall-Eater, which was then, you realized, helmed by Captain Avantika, who gave you the option of working with her under her guise as essentially, currently, captives and maybe eventually crewmen of the ship... or be be killed and, you know, left in the harbor, held down with rocks, and die.
Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 39b

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 39

So you took her up on the offer. You also discovered that she seems to be as enthralled with this same entity as Fjord is, and has some sort of similar history with how this serpentine entity known as Uk'otoa. Uk'otoa, once a creation of Zehir, the Cloaked Serpent god now banished since the Calamity, this entity had then began to build its own following and the followers of Zehir, this old god who once was their creator grew jealous and sealed it away. Now Avantika, with your help, is looking to begin to release these seals, bring it back, and as such gain the blessings and boons of this entity.

You decided to go into the jungle with her, on this mission alongside an adventurer-dungeoneer who had plotted out some of the path for you named Jamedi. You made your way through avoiding what looked to be hunting parties of lizardmen, hunting parties of lizardmen being hunted by yuan-ti snake-people. You made your way towards what looked to be a mostly stone-crafted village in the center of this island surrounded one large, old temple. You snuck in, masquerading as some of these snake-people and mostly succeeded. You managed to sneak your way through part of the town. Gathering some attention, you threw up some distracting illusions, you quickly killed off a few of them that had began to grow wise to your presence, not being natural and wanted. And in the midst of the commotion, you raced up the steps of the temple. You managed to kick one of the sentries off the side, found a way through the top and closed it off locking behind the very top of this five-sided pyramid.

Now, once inside, you began to descend slowly down the curved stairs. But in missing a trap that was present, triggered it, the stairs went smooth and the entire party slid down the slide, Goonies-style. Before impacting to the ground of one of the top chambers of the pyramid. Looking within the interior of this five-sided chamber, you noticed amongst the two pillars to the side a raised platform where there was a fountain of some kind, surrounded by three of these mostly-humanoid but snake-scaled, covered in places, yuan-ti people. And one, with grey armored scaly skin, mostly human body though tall and lanky, and what appeared to be a head that was purely cobra-like, the hood exposed, as all of them turned to your direction, as you impacted the stone. And they're made aware of your presence.

Part I Edit

The party, including Avantika and Jamedi confronts three unhappy-looking yuan-ti (pureblood priestesses), and one taller gray figure with a large hooded snake head (a yuan-ti mind whisperer). Yasha quickly polishes off the first priestess and Avantika gets the second. The whisperer, however, is stronger and more powerful, with both poison and psychic damage on top of physical attacks, and causes serious damage to Beau and Caleb before Yasha gets in the killing strike. The third priestess surrenders.

The party looks around. They are in the top chamber of the pyramid. There are clusters of mossy plant life in the corners around a central fountain. The stonework and iconography is of Zehir, the Cloaked Serpent, but it appears to have been placed over older carvings-- the priestess says of "a false idol". They try to question her, but she slits her throat.

They inspect the fountain. In the ceiling directly above are two holes stained crimson. Along the floor of the fountain basin, underneath the water, there are two reliefs of coiled snakes with empty eye sockets. One of them has empty eyes, the other one has an empty eye socket and a dull gray eye that still remains. Nott notices the snakes' eye holes are about the same size as the rubies she found. The water is pouring through grooves in the sides of the bottom basin through holes in the floor into the room below. In each corner of the room is a six-inch hole leading to a slowly-descending tube. They find a key and some jewels on the bodies of the priestesses, and shove the limbs of the bodies into the corner holes to plug them.

Avantika quietly questions Fjord about his visions of Uk'otoa, and he tells her of his most recent vision. She puts her fingers through his hair, pulls him close and headbutts him a little before walking off. Jester sees this.

Matt realizes at this point that the Lesser Restoration Caduceus cast on Beau last episode should have cured her disease, so it kicks in now.

Nott gets Jamedi to both eat and drink, suggesting he's not undead. They realize that the key probably fits the trap door that locked behind them as they entered this chamber. Nott comes clean that she has three rubies, and puts them into the eyes of the snakes, using Mage Hand. The fountain shifts and spirals slowly downward into pitch black darkness holding a small orchard of stunted trees bearing green to yellow fruit. Caleb sends in his light globules, illuminating a chamber about 40-feet high. About ten feet below them is a very narrow staircase. Nott jumps down and descends the stairs into the chamber.

She picks up two slightly fermented fruits and eats one; soon afterwards, she starts feeling tingly, and seeing strange colors and light trails. Beau and Jester successfully reach the stairs down, but Caduceus slips, and Caleb casts Feather Fall on him, Yasha, Fjord, and himself as they jump. The party speculates that the trees are nourished with blood from above.

On the north, south, and west wall, there are large stone tablets on the wall. At the bottom of each is a hole 12 inches wide and five inches tall. Beau picks up Nott and faces her to the north tablet, and Nott sees glowing symbols there, so Beau walks her to the others as well. Nott writes down what she sees, but even with Comprehend Languages Caleb can't read it, so Jester feeds Caleb a fruit, and he gets just as high as Nott. He also sees a fourth inscription (but no tablet or hole) on the east wall, and he can read them all. South = The fountain feeds the garden. West = The garden feeds the warden. East = The sacrifice feeds the fountain. North = The warden guards the false serpent.

One of the vines rises up and curls around Nott, grappling her. There are two vines, one around Nott and one trying to wrap up Jester. They prove to be difficult opponents, dealing significant amounts of physical and poison damage, and grappling and restraining their targets. The grappled and high Nott is rendered unconscious by the poison before Fjord manages to get in the killing blow on that one. The other one manages to grapple and restrain Fjord before Jester gets the How Do You Want to Do This on it. Caduceus heals Nott, but both she and Caleb are still very high.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Caduceus looks through the south hole, and sees a hatchery full of one foot tall eggs. Looking through the west hole is a small room with a wide set of descending stairs, and north is another hatchery. Nott manages to squeeze through the western hole and in her addled state manages to pull an obelisk carved into the wall, which opens all three doors and sends the fountain back up, closing off the way they entered. The party stealthily descends the stairs into the chamber beneath. The room is about 60 feet, with three intricately carved load-bearing pillars. The entire room is filled by about an inch or two of water, and in the center is a pool of water around a small well.

Yuan-ti Abomination

Fan art of Yuan-ti Abomination, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

They see a shape coiled quietly: one of the yuan-ti abominations they had encountered previously, just looking into the water. Nott and Jester offer to attack with "Fluffernutter"-- their code for the combination of the little keg of black powder Nott stole from the ship, and Nott's explosive arrow. Fjord and the rest are unenthusiastic about an explosion in a closed room with load-bearing pillars.

They discuss potential strategies, with Nott and Jester still wanting to use Fluffernutter as a Plan B. Nott gets a surprise attack on the abomination, and the fight begins. Its first action is to rake its scimitar across the stone, causing an echo throughout the chamber, then resheathing it and pulling its longbow. It is a strong opponent, managing to cost Jester over half her hit points with one arrow. Fjord casts Hunger of Hadar, obscuring it and causing it continuing damage.

Suddenly, the surface of the well begins to rise up and bubble, as multiple serpent heads rise from it and a hydra emerges, the true Warden of the False Serpent, summoned by the noise of the battle. Jamedi hangs back and refuses to take part in the battle. Fjord manages to sever one head, and Caleb cauterizes the wound and burns off another head with Scorching Ray, preventing their regrowth. Caduceus Banes it, and they continue to trade damage, mostly concentrating on the hydra rather than the abomination. Caleb casts Slow on both creatures, thanks to the Bane, limiting the hydra to one head attack per round, rather than multiple.

Nott and Jester, to almost universal horror, break out Fluffernutter, with Jester throwing the barrel in the air towards the heads, but Nott's explosive bolt misses and the barrel splashes into the water. Just prior to Yasha's turns, Caduceus casts Path to the Grave on the hydra, making it vulnerable to everything for double damage. They get it down to one head but it regrows four because the wounds weren't cauterized on two of the beheadings, and it succeeds in overthrowing the Slow. It then is able to knock Beau out, and she loses her first death save, with the abomination nearby ready to strike at her, but Nott manages to kill the abomination with a sneak attack, and Jester heals her. The party can then focus on the hydra, and Yasha is able to finish it off.

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes

Quotations Edit

  • Fjord: What's your awesome shot?
    Nott: It's a little something we like to call--
    Nott and Jester: Fluffernutter.

Trivia Edit

  • Sam's giant flask bears a message that reads "I have had it with these motherf**king SNAKES on this motherf**king PLANE ISLAND!".

References Edit

Art:

  1. Fan art of Yuan-ti Abomination, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.


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