Two Player Adventure: Undead Snakes

Use a Level 3 character for this adventure, you can either use the same character from the previous Two Player Modules or make a new one for this with the Character Sheet or find one to use in the Premade Characters list.

Morning Forest

You awaken to a warm beam of sunlight on your face as it peeks through the flap of your tent. The air is crisp and cool outside, with drops of dew still covering the ferns and underbrush of the forest floor.

Your camp is much as you left it last night, and by your estimation you should arrive in the village of Rothe River by the afternoon. You don't know much about the town beyond what was said in the letter you received asking for your help. You've gained some local renown as an adventurer, and you've started to receive direct requests for help. The 300 gold reward for this one is especially fortunate since your supplies are dwindling a bit. There's a church with some trouble for you to solve, and beyond that you know the town is situated right along a river. A fact you might have guessed upon hearing the village's name. You're in your tent, what do you do?

Let the PC decide how they want to start their day and break camp, this is a chance for them to get properly into character and decide how they want to approach this adventure. Or this might be a brief 5 second intro before they decide to carry on, and once they decide to leave you can continue.

It begins to rain shortly into the morning's travel, quickly growing into a heavy rainfall that soaks everything.

The PC will be soaked from the rainfall, and will need some sort of heavy cloak or other cover to keep their clothes and items dry. In heavy rainfalll, everything is considered lightly obscured, all creatures have disadvantage on sight/hearing checks, and all open flames are extinguished.

You trudge on through the mud and puddles. It's mid-afternoon when you arrive in Rothe River, a small village of about 300 people. The entire village is divided by the river, with various boats moored along the shore to ferry people and supplies across. It sits near the base of a massive waterfall, nearly a mile high that flows down from the rocks above and into the valley below. Both sides of the shore have farms along the banks, and a group of fishermen and crab traps float within the river.

Everyone in the village will know about the undead in the church's crypt, and will be relieved and excited to see an adventurer in town. Everyone should pepper the PC with lots of questions about their skills and previous adventures, or what it's like to fight monsters and travel the world.

The village has a Tavern, named the Brazen Arrow if the PC wishes to visit. It's owned by a male elf named Dayereth Withrethin, a shrewd and somewhat pushy cook. He's middle-aged and wears a scarf over his head, with hazel eyes. The tavern is near the crossroads of the village along a paved brick road. It's a plaster and wood framed building, with shuttered windows and chimes blowing by the door. The inside is filled with hunting trophies on the walls, with a bell on the door and cured meats and cheese hanging from the ceiling.

Dayereth Withrethin knows of the undead in the church crypt, but hasn't seen them. The town priest started yelling about them one day and a couple villagers went to look, sure enough, there were undead snakes down there. One villager almost lost their eye for it, and everyone has been nervous since.

There's a Blacksmith, named The Golden Scabbard, owned by a male human named Gerald Hayes. He wears dark clothes and a heavy breastplate. He loves justice and goodness and right action. The Blacksmith is near the town gate, with the street outside full of market stalls. It has a large wooden door and a small vegetable garden near the front. Inside the forge is a racoon, serving as something of a mascot. There's a crossbow sitting on the counter and saws and tools hanging from the ceiling.

Gerald Hayes saw the undead, describing them as vile monstrosities. He and a group of others went down into the crypt, and he had to just about drag the others out to avoid them getting killed. He's very grateful that the PC has arrived, hoping things can get back to normal soon.

The PC can explore the town and speak with the villagers, who are all very eager to meet them. Once they go to the church you can continue.

Stone Church

The church is found near the market quarter, on a street adjacent to a large home. The church is one of the only buildings made entirely of stone, about two-stories tall with a gray tile roof. Along the side is a small koi pond, filled with a variety of herbs and other useful plants. The large double doors of the church are open, and standing within them is a male human, looking at you and smiling ear-to-ear. He's a stocky man, wearing brown cloth vestments. His skin is fair and golden hair is greying, obviously dyed. There's patches of grey hair where he applied too little dye and sharply golden hair where he applied too much.

The man is Robert Charlton, the priest of the village and the one that sent the letter to the PC. He has a huge range of feeling, going from happy and jovial upon first meeting, to weeping when describing the "plague" of undead in the church's crypts. He loves tea and will invite the PC to some, and is very sensitive about his hair.

If the PC asks about the problem they're having, he'll describe "undead snakes" that come out at night in the church's crypt. He'll suggest that the PC search the crypt at night, but the PC can approach this however they like. Once they explore the crypt, you can continue.

Church Crypt

The crypt is a dark maze of caskets and bones. Skulls line little inlets in the walls like shelves, arranged in macabre displays to honor the dead. Religious symbols and epitaphs also adorn the walls. As you pass by one of the shelves you hear a rattling inside, and a patchy-looking snake attacks!

Use 2 of the Flying Sword statblock (Monster Manual pg 20), except as animated bones and snake skins. The "snakes" aren't undead, and any abilities that specifically target the undead will fail on them.

After defeating the snake, it falls to the ground an inert pile of skin and bones. On closer inspection, you realize that this isn't an undead at all. Someone has animated a pile of shed snake skin and left it in the crypt.

If the priest is questioned about the skins, he'll say no one in town could have animated them (which is true). The only possible culprit he can think of is a tribe of Yuan-Ti that live in the swamp. If the PC uses Insight, a DC 15 will reveal that he's hiding something. If pressed, he'll reveal that they've had trouble with the Yuan-Ti in the past. Most of the villagers are content to avoid the yuan-ti and leave them be, but the priest sees them as abominations, and is sure they're the cause of most if not all of the problems in the village (which he genuinely believes).

If the PC agrees to investigate the Yuan-Ti, you can continue.

You head out of the village and into the swamp a few miles away. Within the swamp are city ruins of an ancient empire that once inhabited this place. It's long since decayed and fallen to ruin, with only bits and pieces still standing against the murky waters. As you travel deeper towards the middle, you see what you believe to be the Yuan-Ti lair. One of the ruined structures remains more intact than the others, and appears to be patched up with layers of mud and interwoven branches. A small entrance leads inside, decorated with charms and other crafts made of bone and leather.

Yuan-Ti Lair Dungeon Map

The structure is a Yuan-Ti lair. The entrance leads to room #1. It's a small room with a well in the middle, decorated with partially destroyed furniture. There's a door to the north, or an open passage to the south that leads into a dark room. The door is unlocked and leads to room #2, while the southern passage leads to room #3

Room #2 is a latrine and bath, with a couple shallow pools. The corners are filled with rubble from the partially collapsed ceiling. There's a Yuan-Ti Pureblood (Monster Manual pg 310) here who will attack when they see the PC. On a table along the northern wall is an Eversmoking Bottle

Room #3 is a kennel, with a large web in the corner and a Giant Spider (Monster Manual pg 328) perched on it. The western door is open with a magic eye above it. When the eye sees the PC, it will close, causing a heavy stone block to seal the passageway. If the eye is attacked, it will also close and cause the passage to close. The solution is to use the Eversmoking Bottle to obscure yourself, causing the eye to remain open if the PC moves slowly and stays within the smoke pouring from the bottle.

Room #4 is a storage room with old items scavenged from the ruins, edible plants foraged from the swamp, and meat from hunted animals. There's another Yuan-ti Pureblood in here that will attack on sight. There's enough storage shelves and items piled up that the PC may also be able to stealth through.

Room #5 is a bedroom with various cots spread around. The floor is partially collapsed and filled with holes, and the ceiling has cracks. There's a Yuan-Ti Broodguard (Volo's Guide to Monsters pg 203) here, but he doesn't want to fight. If the PC is willing to parlay, he'll describe how they animate their shed skin as defenders to their lair but didn't place them in the church's crypt. He'll claim that a Yuan-Ti saw the priest and a female half-orc hunter from the village come and capture the constructs.

The PC can decide whether to believe the broodguard or not, and whether to investigate the priest further. If they decide to kill the Broodguard, they'll be able to collect their reward from the priest. However, when the PC decides to move on they'll be attacked by guerilla yuan-ti that shoot arrows at them from cover in the trees and avoid direct engagement. The PC can use their Eversmoking Bottle to effectively evade the arrows.

If the PC decides to side with the Yuan-Ti, they can further investigate the priest and may choose to question the hunter. The hunter is Greeba Bristol, a dark-skinned female half-orc that stands over 6'3" and wears a long pastel cloak. She has long silver hair, full rosy cheeks, and twinkling gray eyes. She's a bit of a narcissist and will cave quickly under pressure, revealing that the priest hired her to capture the animated snake skin for him and keep it a secret.

The priest can be confronted, but is ultimately unapologetic and indignant, claiming the Yuan-Ti are an abomination that must be destroyed. He'll insist that the PC go back and kill the Brooadguard to receive the reward. If the PC threatens to expose the priest or tries to intimidate him, he'll attack. Use the Cult Fanatic (Monster Manual pg 345) statblock. If the priest is killed or otherise incapacitated the 300 GP reward can be found on his body, but the PC will be run out of town by an angry mob. It's a DC 20 check to calm down the mob and convince them of the priest's guilt, or DC 25 if the priest was killed. The Eversmoking Bottle can be used here to effectively evade the spears and arrows of the villagers.

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